I'm trying to eat better with this baby.
I admit, with Tommy, I didn't eat that well. I was in college and had a meal card with $500 on it. Most of the foods on campus weren't healthy and the ones that claimed to be were usually smelly and funny looking.
So yes, I had a lot of junk food.
I feel guilty about this now. Wished I had had more water, more good stuff and not stuffed my face with greasy campus food.
Sometimes I wonder if I made Tommy the way he is. Maybe all that junk, all that caffeine caused his brain to short circuit, to not work quite properly, to always keep him behind from children his age. To always make him seem different, to always have those differences stick out so other kids would wonder outloud what was wrong with him.
Why does he jump around so much? Why won't he sit?
Why isn't he talking, Amber? What's wrong with him?
Why does he follow things with his eyes like that?
Why, why, why.
I sometimes look at Tommy when he's sleeping, looking like a perfect angel. Normal. His legs curled, his mouth parted slightly, his golden hair sticking up slightly on the top of his head.
Did I do this to him?
I'll wince as I picture my nineteen-year-old self guzzling down soda after soda, unhealthy food after unhealthy food without so much as a thought to what was growing in my stomach.
Why did I have to be so stupid?
Sometimes I'll press my lips to his head when he's sleeping and apologize.
"I'm so sorry if I did this to you. Made you different. I didn't mean to. Mommy didn't mean to.."
I know it probably just happened. That he would have had ADHD and been delayed in speech no matter what.
But I can't help but wonder.
I've always wanted to bring it up with doctors. But then I worry that the truth will be revealed, that they'll look at me with pity and disgust.
This is why teenagers shouldn't have babies. That's what the doctors will think.
And I wonder, sometimes, why Tommy picked me as his mother. Some nineteen year old who didn't know any better, had never been around other children, didn't know the first thing about diapers. I've always believed that children pick their parents, that their little souls wait around until they find the right person to carry them.
I always tell Tommy, right before bed, "Thank you for choosing me as your Mommy." I know he had to, for a reason.
I feel slightly guilty that I'm doing it better with this baby. Eating right. I feel like I'm short changing Tommy, giving his sibling a better life by refusing caffeine and eating vegetables and fruits instead of a pile of greasy food.
That's not to say I'm only eating good foods. I admit I have something unhealthy now and again. I envy those who can only eat the right foods, all the time, but I know I'll never be like that.
I do know that I surprised Tom the other day in the grocery store. He had dropped Tommy and I off to run an errand and then he met us inside. By then I had loaded the cart with grapes, apples, green and yellow peppers, tomatoes, lettuce...he peered in it, looked around in fake disbelief and asked, "Whose cart is this?"
I swatted his arm. "You know it's ours. You know I'm trying to eat better."
When I got home I cut up the peppers and put them in a bag. For a snack. My appetite has been coming back so I'll sit on the couch and munch on the peppers. Tom made the mistake of bringing out some ranch, thinking I'd want something to dip them in. But ranch doesn't sit well with my stomach so I ran from the room, shouting at Tom to get it away, get it AWAY.
I insulted him, somewhat. I heard him get up, wash the bowl out, and then he did his little pout on the edge of the couch.
"Was only trying to help," he muttered.
Tomorrow is my first real doctor's appointment. Early. I may be half asleep as I check in and hand over my ID card. Might fill out the forms that they hand over to me all wrong.
Will I get to see the baby?
Probably not. It's a military hospital after all. I hear that they only do one ultrasound, in the middle, to tell the sex and to check if everything is growing properly. You only get multiple ultrasounds if you're high risk.
And guess what?
We fly out of England on November 1st. For good.