Happy New Year

Monday, September 17, 2012

Ari has a blazer and khakis and a button-down shirt and a knock-off Burberry tie and little navy blue loafers.  But he's not at Rosh Hashanah services today.  None of us are.  Matt is with Ari at the clinic (he gets no medication passes... even for the high holy days) and I'm home with the baby.  Today Ari starts a new chemo drug that is administered weekly for 45 weeks (and it's a shot in his leg muscle. ouch.).  45!  That's basically a year...or in other words, no more shots by Rosh Hashanah 2013.

So as I sit here eating leftover challah and brisket, I rely on all my fellow Jews out there to pray on behalf of my family in synagogue today.  And I will write and recite my own prayers since I have no machzor and only memories (and google) to remind me of the Rosh Hashanah prayers.

In my own sanctuary (consisting of sofa and baby swing), I remember the acts of loving kindness friends, relatives, neighbors, and even strangers showed us throughout the past few months.  I thank God for giving us this support system.  And I thank God for medical advances, for research, for protocols, for statistics in our favor, for Dr. Hong and Dr. Silverman, for amazing nurses, for great toys, tons of free food and candy, and an incredible hospital and clinic. 

I thank God for Ari's spunk and personality and humor and joie de vivre.  I thank God for his beaming smile and happy-go-lucky attitude.  And I thank God that Ari is too young to understand.  And too young to remember. 

I thank God that the medicine is working. 

I thank God for a caring, loving, supportive husband who deserves to win Dad of the Year.  And for family members who have put all else aside to be by our sides.  And for a healthy new baby who reminds us of the joy and wonder of new life. 

On this Rosh Hashanah, I acknowledge the power and sovereignty of God and feel blessed to be me.

Avinu Malkeinu. Hear my voice.
Avinu Malkeinu. We have sinned against you. 
Avinu Malkeinu. Have compassion on me, on Matt, and most of all on sweet baby Alison and her big brother Ari.
Avinu Malkeinu. Bring an end to suffering, to hunger, and to war.
Avinu Malkeinu. Bring an end to sickness, to disease, and to all health problems.
Avinu Malkeinu. Bring an end to needles, to nausea, to oral medications, to hair falling out, to low blood counts, to infections, to complications, to port accesses, to NPO after midnight, to lumbar punctures, to bone marrow biopsies, to radiation, and to steroids.
Avinu Malkeinu. Bring an end to Cancer. 
Avinu Malkeinu. Keep Ari in remission and inscribe him in the Book of Life.
Avinu Malkeinu. Inscribe our whole family in the Book of Life. 
Avinu Malkeinu. Let the new year be a very good year for us.

I may not have a shofar, but I do have a 9 day-old crying.  Let her cries be like the shofar at Mt. Sinai, announcing God's presence. And as she cries, I am reminded of our people's cries and our people's triumphs throughout history.  May Ari, Matt, and I follow in the footsteps of our ancestors, overcoming this struggle.  And, may Alison's long powerful tekiah gedolah be the signal of the new year, a great year, for our family. 

(I should probably go feed her.)

Shana tova. 


ABG Day 5

Friday, September 14, 2012

I will never forget the car ride home from the hospital when Ari was 2 days old.  Matt and I both sobbed.  We were exhausted and petrified, and shocked we were allowed to leave with a newborn baby when it was clear we had not the slightest clue what we were doing.  And yet, we had a nursery set up with color coordinated furniture, bedding, and decor.  We had baby supplies and bottles.  And we had every detail and doo-dad ready for when we stepped foot in our front door.  We both stayed home all week, we had family on hand to help, and we only had 1 baby for whom to care.

And still, I spent the first week (maybe two) of Ari's life a hormonal, emotional, neurotic wreck. 

This time around, we left the hospital 1 day early.  Matt used a baby wipe to clean out the infant carrier before placing sweet Alison inside Ari's dirty seat.  We sped home to a nursery devoid of dresser, crib, glider chair and, heaven forbid, a changing table.  The room had a few newborn essentials (thanks to our dear friend Danielle who took a trip to Babies r Us on our behalf) in little pink canvas baskets (we stopped at Target on our way to the hospital to deliver the baby).  Our energy had been consumed by three scary months of procedures, medications, and chemotherapy to save Ari's life.  We simply didn't have the time or capacity (okay, I'll admit, or desire) to prepare for the new baby. 

Yet, after 5 days of her life, (and still without anything in her nursery), Alison is eating and sleeping and thriving.  And I'm calm and relaxed and have only cried once.  And that was today, when I realized I could love another baby as much as I love Ari. 

All summer, I thought of nothing but my sick baby boy.  I spent every waking minute in his hospital room, by his side, giving him love and support and praying he would be okay.  I ignored the kicks (and indigestion and constipation) because I couldn't bear the thought of sharing my love with another child.  In fact, I was scared that I would never be able to do so. 

But as I watch my 5-day old tiny miracle grow, and as she gazes into my eyes as I feed and cuddle her, I am filled with more love than I ever thought possible.  Already, I cannot imagine a life without her.  It will take time to figure out how to care for both kids but I feel so much more confident in myself as a mother than I ever expected.  And I feel so overwhelmed with my ability and capacity to love.
Ari update:

Woah, that was a deep post. 

(BTW, I may not have a changing table, but that hasn't stopped Alison from pooping every time she eats.  And naps.  18 times a day.)

In other news, Ari is home!!  He stayed in the hospital for 2 nights, had no serious side effects, and was cleared to resume this phase of treatment as an out-patient.  He will visit the clinic today and tomorrow for chemo and eye drops and steroids (Steroids!  I thought you were gone forever.  I didn't miss you.  Go away soon.) and next week he will go in twice for some other stuff (I haven't been the one with him so I'm a little unsure of the details, but I think a shot in the leg is involved.  He will love that.).  Then, we wait as his counts drop and then his body recovers.  In the meantime, he is full of energy, a bit feisty (and indecisive and cranky... thanks again steroids), and based on the enormous amount of emesis I witnessed yesterday, he is nauseus.  But, that doesn't stop him from kissing his sister, pushing his lawn mower, driving his car, and running up and down our street chasing turkeys.  Yes, turkeys.  Packs of wild turkeys.  I can't wait for Thanksgiving. 

I gotta go feed a baby and change two diapers!  And take a nap around midnight.


Alison Beth

Monday, September 10, 2012

I hadn't pulled an all-nighter since college. 

But since my scheduled Friday 8am induction did not begin until 11pm (long story for another day), I stayed up later than I have in years.  And at 4:57am on September 8th, out popped (literally, there was not a push involved... c'mon, I deserved it) the newest little Goldwasser. 

I forgot how hungry little babies can be but tiny 6 pound 8 ounce Alison Beth quickly reminded me. Lucky for both of us, the food at the hospital was surprisingly delicious so after we settled in our room and I regained feeling in my bottom half, we shared a meal.

She started with some fruits and veggies:

Indulged on a cookie (pulling an all nighter takes a lot of energy and she needed some sugar and fat):

And then she got a little silly with the craisins.  I told her this wasn't politically correct but she didn't listen:

There's nothing better than a good meal and good snooze after a night of boozin'.  Or, in this case, epidural-in'.  And oxytocin-in'. 

Welcome to the world Alison!!  Big bro Ari couldn't be happier. 


How it all went down:

We moved into our new home last Tuesday.

We took Ari in for what was supposed to be his final in-patient stay last Wednesday.  His counts still were not high enough to begin the next phase.  We met with the docs and came up with a plan to have me induced on Friday so that we could be home on Sunday and then Ari could be admitted Monday (today).  So far, all has gone according to plan.  Matt is currently at the Dana Farber with Ari.  Text message from Matt just received which says "counts very high, ready to rock" so Ari will be admitted today for a "2-5 day" stay in the hospital.  I am at home with the baby but will leave her with grandparents for a few hours daily to go in and be with Ari. 

Ideal?  Of course not.  Do-able?  Has to be.

The good news: Very easy delivery.  Very sleepy baby.  Home big enough for all of our stuff!  And, I can once again see my feet.

The just-got-to-deal news: Matt and I are apart.  I think he has the harder job this week and I wish I could be at the hospital to help with Ari, to be there in the middle of the night, and to reassure my little guy that everything is fine and he will get through the next few days.  (Fingers crossed only a few days!  I once again ask everyone to do an Ari dance and hope for minimal side effects and an easy week.)

The just-got-to-deal but hardest part of this news: Ari's super healthy and happy self is going to get a bunch of toxic drugs pumped through him.  He's going to feel sick.  And he'll be upset.  And he won't understand why he's in the hospital.  And then 10 days from now, his counts will all once again be depleted and then we just hope for no fevers or infections that could land him back in the hospital. 

And we do it with a newborn... a very cute and small one. 

Thanks for the continued support and love.  It means the world to all of us. 


  © Blogger template The Professional Template II by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP