Tuesday, December 6, 2011


I have a really hard time on my days off, home alone. That's when I really feel him missing. Holding him in front of the over-the-stove mounted microwave, counting down the seconds together while his milk gets warmed. He'd get so excited when it went down into single digits, eyes wide and smiling while he learned numbers. He was getting so heavy.
I had my routine down, flipping on the Keurig, taking the knives and forks quietly out of the dishwasher while Noah was still distracted by Sesame Street. When he heard any clinking sounds, he'd come running in and he'd be in charge of taking all the spoons out. "Good job!" I'd say after every spoon. I loved that look of accomplishment on his face. I wanted hime to grow up as proud of himself as we were of him.
I pushed myself to write this little entry today...it's been too long. Thank you Marybeth.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Is it the progesterone or just me?

I am feeling very overwhelmed today. Overwhelmed with the possibility that we will never have another baby. That we will never be able to afford the costs of ivf, donor eggs, shared donor eggs, adoption...Scared that when we do finally have a child again, it will make us miss Noah even more. The fertility treatments are wreaking havic on my body physically and emotionally. I can't believe I've lasted as long as I have in this process. I have to stop googling "progesterone side effects", "lower abdominal pain, left side, 3 days post transfer",
I feel like there is a "special purpose" I'm supposed to be concentrating on ( not like Steve Martin in The Jerk and his special purpose) Our first big step in making good  come from tragedy is something called Noah's Ordinance. This all came about without us even knowing. And everytime I say that I realize it comes out like an excuse or a plea to my family "don't be mad at me for bringing any negative attention on you all". The NJ
 Child Fatality and Near Fatality Review Board meets once a month and reviews all events in NJ. They decide what could have been done to have prevented the accident. A new ordinance was passed regarding that the pool itself must be fenced in with entry only through one locking gate. We found out about this by chance...
We were at themple for Friday night services, as we try to go every week. We sat down in the sanctuary and realized in the program that there was a baby namimg that night. We'd been having a particularly hard day and decided this would be emotional torture that we just didn't need. On the way out we said goodbye to our Cantor (who lives in Springfield). She mentioned that she was planning on building a pool and when she went to get her permit, they informed her of the law change. The "case" that changed the law was only referred to as "the death of N.L.". We decided to come forward and have everyone know who N.L.was and to hopefully help prevent this from happening to another family. Believe me, I have a sense of embarassment, shame, whatever, that I let this happen to my baby. Of course no one ever thought this would happen. Of course I watched my child like a hawk. That is the part I want to scream!!! That people still say I was irresponsible. It's a hurt you can't imagine. Sometimes I think God gave us this cross to bear (even though we're Jewish) because there is a deeper purpose, etc. Other days, I don't believe any God would've cut short the life of such a child. When people would ask how Noah was, my answer was always "he's ridiculous" "he's amazing" 'he's beyond words". I was never going to be one of those mothers who complained about their kids.

Friday, June 3, 2011

someone's in the kitchen...

I cooked last nite for the first time in a long time. Actually, I baked. It was a cherry/cream cheese pie with 3 tbsps of rum. Cooking is still hard...without Noah at my feet with his bowls and spatulas and jars of spices and measuring cups. The supermarket is still hard too. But I've heard that from lots of mothers. I also made BLT's. I'm bringing the rest of the pie to work today.

These fertility meds are really starting to effect my stomach. I know I can get pregnant again-I just feel it. And I actually think it won't even happen with medical help. We are going to an open house seminar for a private adoption agency on the 23rd. I'm trying to feel in my heart that however we become parents again, it will be because Noah sent that child to us. That was one of the last things we said to him at the funeral home. 'Make lots of friends and if you find a kid that is good for us and it's that kid's turn to come to earth, you send them to Momma and Da"

Monday, May 23, 2011

30 days at a time...

Living life 30 days at a time when going through fertility treatments. It must be hard enough for childless couples, but still doing our "grief work" and missing Noah in the most gut wrenching ways, these anxious 30 days are almost too much to bear. But I am not giving up. I just have to find different ways to get through the days...
Wanted to stop for bagels for everyone at work on Sunday morning. While I was waiting in the slowest moving line ever, I watched a little boy about Noah's age walk around and push chairs. Noah loved pushing and rearranging chairs. Then the little boy arched his back and leaned against his mother while eating a mini bagel...and my heart hit the floor. Little scenes like that trigger and show themselves all day long. And they probobly always will. I had to leave the bagel store after seeing that... mainly because the line wasn't moving and I was going to be late. But also because I needed to pace my sadness for the day. And that was too much sadness so early on into that Sunday.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Somewhere in Time...

I opened the glove compartment in my car yesterday, looking for a pen most likely. I had forgotten about Noah's socks. I found two mismatched socks a few months ago under the seat when I was vaccuming out my car. I don't remember what kind of day I was having but I really needed that "sign" that day. Also with the socks was a foam letter "V". I knew that had fallen out of one of Hal's clown bags while moving. But the letter "V" was my favorite to hear Noah say. It was so joyful..."Veeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!".

So these socks and the "Veee!" are in my glove compartment. Seeing them was like that scene in "Somewhere in Time" when Christopher Reeve accidently sees the penny in his pocket. Seeing that tangible object from the future while he is still in the past throws him into a tailspin and breaks the spell. I slammed the glove compartment shut quickly. I needed to reconcile realities in an instant. Socks are here...Noah is not.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Off Kilter

Taking a break at work...just feeling off kilter today. There was a small piece of my birthday ice cream cake in the freezer. A small piece still in the big sheet cake sized box. I'm eating the crunchies. Stacy says you can request "extra crunchies" when you special order from Carvel. Who wouldn't want extra crunchies?

Friday, April 15, 2011

"My, what lovely fallopian tubes you have, Mrs Landis!"

I had a test called an HSG today. They shoot dye into your uterine cavity and if it flows through and out of your fallopian tubes, you're in good shape. I felt physical pain for the first time in a long time today, which I guess is a good thing in a way. It hurt like a sonofabitch!! Like, about to faint hurt.

When I sat down in the waiting room, atop 50+ magazines was an old Family Circle magazine. The cover photograph was a pictureof  pink peonies in a vase. That was a sign from my mother that she was with me. Peonies were her favorite flower. She even had small section of tiles over her kitchen sink that was the prettiest painted pink peony. Hal and I brought her back a Chinese watercolor of a pink peony from this little store in Salem we wandered into. And for her birthday or mother's day one year, I brought her a vase filled with that fake gelatin/water stuff and silk white and pink peonies. I know she's with me when I need her.

Big day at work tomorrow. Kathy Benziger of Benziger wines is coming for a tasting. Very excited to meet her...and taste! I hope I can keep the coughing fits to a minimum.

Stopped for stuffing at Boston Market on my way home from test...not sure why. Wholly disappointing and won't be doing that again.

Had a dream I cut my hair into a bob ...with bangs.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Passover whine...

I got my business cards today. It's the second time in my life I've had my own business card. I wonder who decided on my title though...
Erica Landis
Enthusiastic Wine Professional

Is that opposed to "Blase` Wine Professional" ? Regardless, I'll take it. I am enthusiastic...

Today was the first day of my pre-procedure antibiotic. I feel like it made me stinky. And my hot flashes were out of control today. I'm gearing up for IUI this month (intrauterine insemination) with hormone injections nightly. Hal mixes the vials together and I give myself the shot. Hal does this funny thing with his tongue while measuring the medicines into the syringe. He moves his tongue back and forth like one of those thingies that sits on top of a piano and keeps time. Ticktockticktockticktock...He concentrates so hard. The shot doesn't hurt at all into my belly, alternating sides nightly. But the hormones sting and burn as they go in. But pain doesn't bother me at all anymore.

I tasted some NJ wines today. Surprisingly good but I doubt we'll bring any in. I opened for the tasting bar 3 old standbys. BLBL Toscana (sangiovese, cab, merlot, syrah), Vinea Tempranillo (aged 18 months in oak and another 24 months in the bottle before released). and Bear Print Chardonnay (Santa Barbara County- fruit upfront and switches mid palate to pronounced oak).

My fellow tribal members (Jews) are driving me nuts with their Passover wines. It's almost like it's confrontational when they ask me for Passover wine. Only when I try to help them in their selection by first identifying myself as a "member of the tribe" do they take a deep breath and realize they're in friendly territory.

I go for a test tomorrow called an HSG. They stick a catheter filled with contrast dye up into my hoo-ha and takes a looksee at what's going on in there. I hear it hurts but, again...who cares.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Life Part II...

My life changed on July 10, 2010. That day my son drowned in a pool. He was 21 months old and his name was Noah. Seeing his name in print makes me feel like he wasn't all a dream. I'm still not quite ready to write about it but I know in time it will come out. Where my life has gone since that day is what I want to focus on, with inevitable tie-ins to my life before that day all coming out as they seem good and ready. This journey, after the death of a child, can't be rushed. The journey back from the saddest of sadnesses to the "new reality" as I've seen it called in self-help books

I had been looking for a job for a few months when the accident happened. We had seen the poster go up in the window for the new Stew Leonard's Wines that screamed "Now Hiring!". We wrote down the phone number and I began bracing myself for entry back into the workforce after being a stay-at-home-mom for almost 2 years. Noah was ready for school. Then the accident...

The Rabbi left the hospital after there was nothing more for him to do. He turned on his car radio to 88am and immediately was listening to a PSA for water safety, read by Stew Leonard Jr, telling the story of how he lost his 21 month old son Stewie, the exact same way...in seconds. The Rabbi told the story of insane coincedence at Noah's funeral. I just remember Cantor Novick standing behind me playing with my hair and holding Stacy's hand on the left and Hal's hand on the right. I remember letting loose one of those gutteral cries at one point during the service.

A few weeks later I was interviewing for a job. I was wearing one of my favorite tops that happened to be a maternity top and some khaki pants. I only had "mommy"clothes and I put this together hoping it would look business casual...whatever that means. I just knew I needed this job. I needed to prove to myself that life was not over no matter how much I thought it truly was. I needed to fill my days. I needed to hide behind the facade of a regular person, not like the childless mother I was. My little buddy was gone. Ironically, "sink or swim" was the only metaphor I had in my head.

I got the job. I wanted to tell my mother but kept forgetting she had died 3 months prior to losing Noah. She would've been so proud of me. I met Stew and his wife about a week later. I was now a member of this small club that no one wants to be part of.

Something about the repetition of wine bottles on the shelves hypnotize me into a relaxed state. So does that sound crazy? Well, it's true. Each bottle has its own personality and promise of deliciousness or complexity or too tannic or too acidic or just the right balance of all. Each label is a work of art. Each bottle has the promise of a moment to lose yourself in a glass. I look for ways to lose myself on a daily basis...