My first three posts recounted bits and pieces of Peter’s birth story and time in the NICU, but I feel that such an extraordinary little boy deserves a more thorough account of the 28 hours leading to his birth and the 73 days that followed.
I started to write a detailed, extended version of Peter’s birth story when he was one month old. Writing down details helped me to cope with what had happened and preserve the memories, but recounting the emotions that went along with the events was a painful exercise. I took a long hiatus from my writing during which I merely recorded milestones Peter hit while in the NICU – e.g., off oxygen, out of the incubator, first breastfeeding. Yesterday, I went back to work on my birth story again, hoping that today’s post would be entitled, “Peter’s Birth Story, Extended Remix,” and tomorrow’s would be entitled, “From Birth to EDD, The First 86 Days.” Of course, I didn’t get nearly as far through the story as I’d hoped, and what I did write will need major revisions before it is worthy to commemorate the gift of Peter’s life.
So instead of posting about how my son came into existence, today I will attempt to justify the existence of this blog. Primarily, this website is simply the humble piece of work appears to be: a hobby for a stay-at-home mother lacking social outlets. It is also, however, a form of insurance against the Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times.” The last year of my life has been far too interesting. Last November, I wouldn’t in my wildest dreams have imagined I’d now be out of school, owning a house, or caring for a baby who had tripled his birth weight by the time he was 15 weeks old but was nonetheless still in the 0th percentile on his pediatrician’s growth chart. My blog would indeed be quite interesting by now if it had been started a year ago: full of anger at the abusiveness of my graduate research advisor, joy upon discovery of my twin pregnancy, fear prior to the confirmation that I’d suffered vanishing twin syndrome, happiness upon moving from a basement apartment to a bright, sun-filled house, and shock in the aftermath of my son’s precipitous delivery. I did not, however, have time to indulge in writing until recently, so I cannot sincerely regret the belated commencement of this blog. I merely pray that the coming years will not be nearly as interesting as the one that passed and that my blog will never gain the fame of Alexa Stevenson’s Flotsam. Despite Alexa’s experiences, part of me believes that if I blog, nothing interesting will ever happen to me or my family. And what a relief that would be.
Speaking of Flotsam, I must credit Alexa as one of the inspirations for this blog. After hearing fellow preemie moms praise her book, Half Baked, I read her entire archive up to the point of Simone’s homecoming. Just to ensure that her book was worth the $10 it costs on Amazon. (If you ever find this post, Alexa, rest assured that several of my family members will be receiving a copy of your book for Christmas.) “Alexa’s story,” I thought, “when combined with her humor and excellent comma usage, is indeed worth $10; might my story be at least worth someone’s effort to read?” The part of me that fears the Chinese curse hopes not, preferring that this blog remain forever lost in the fringes of cyberspace. The part of me that is completely in love with my baby boy hopes that one day Peter Thien will read this blog and be thankful that I recorded those first, eventful months of his life – months that, thank heaven, he cannot remember. And the lonely stay-at-home mom in me hopes that I can make a few friends with kindred souls over “the Internets,” much as Alexa did.
One more person deserves credit (or blame) for planting the idea that I might be a halfway decent blogger in my head: my former Latin dance partner, Ryan T. One day, almost two years ago, as he was driving me home after dance practice, Ryan complained that he couldn’t fathom how the lyrics to Elton John’s, “Sacrifice” were supposed to be about infidelity. The morning of Valentine’s Day, I wrote him this e-mail:
It’s a human sign [allusion to human fallibility]
When things go wrong [something happens that will later be regretted]
When the scent of her lingers [a man was intimate with a woman]
And temptation’s strong [the aforementioned intimacy is associated with temptation and, by extension, sin]
Into the boundary
Of each married man [this is probably open to different interpretations, but to me, ‘into the boundary’ refers to breaking marriage vows]
Sweet deceit comes calling [once tempted to infidelity, the temptation to lie to your spouse also becomes strong]
And negativity lands [you start to become more critical of your spouse to justify your own actions]
Cold cold heart [infidelity desensitizes you towards your spouse’s feelings, leaving her ‘in the cold’]
Hard done by you
Some things look better baby
Just passing through [the sin might not have seemed so bad at the time, but it irreparably damaged the married couple’s relationship]
And it’s no sacrifice
Just a simple word [although you’re still married, marriage no longer carries the promise of fidelity, selfless commitment to your spouse]
It’s two hearts living
In two separate worlds [in a healthy marriage, the couple lives as one in heart and spirit; infidelity breaks that union]
But it’s no sacrifice
It’s no sacrifice at all
After the fact
Sensitivity builds a prison
In the final act [after the sin, you’re no longer sensitive to your spouse’s feelings, and this readily leads to misunderstanding and discord in the relationship]
We lose direction
No stone unturned [once a sacred vow such as marriage fidelity is broken, other guiding principles in life lose gravity as well]
No tears to damn you
When jealousy burns [though your spouse is filled with jealousy, you’re heart has already hardened to a point where sin comes without regret]
That’s my interpretation, at least.
Ryan T. sent a short but very complimentary reply assuring me that, “If you have a blog or some other such outlet for your thoughts, I’d post. Would get a lot of hits, since plenty of people love the song but find it confusing.”
I doubt that this post will do much to increase my nearly-non-existent Internet following, but I’ll find out shortly.