So what's going on here? Just last week I waxed rhapsodic about writer Catherine Newman and her wonderful babycenter.com column, Bringing Up Ben and Birdy, crediting her with saving my sanity and my sense of humor during the first tenuous postpartum months (and thereafter). And now, today, I read on her site that after four years, Catherine's column is ending in two weeks. I feel like I jinxed myself! I'm devastated, people. Seriously--kid me about pregnancy hormones if you will, but honestly, this news made me cry a little bit on the outside, and a lot on the inside. I will miss Catherine's writing tremendously; I really can't quite put into words how much her columns--and her book, Waiting for Birdy, meant to me over the years (and I do realize how that makes me sound like a loony super-fan). Countless times, she described a feeling or experience that mirrored my own so exactly it was truly uncanny. Plus, she made me laugh my head off on many, many occasions--often through my tears, but sometimes just in a pure-hilarity sort of way.
There's something symbolic about this, though, it seems to me. I discovered "Bringing Up Ben" (as it was called then, before Birdy was born) when I started getting the weekly Babycenter e-mails during my first pregnancy. (I was immediately hooked, and I vividly recall laughing out loud in a deserted hallway at my former job after having just read her line about those guilt-inducing pregnacy-book chapters on eating for two: "A pound of cookie dough washed down with a quart of half-and-half; now THAT'S what I call a 'Best Bite!'") I read all her installments as fast as I could, followed her 2nd pregnancy and then Birdy's birth, and when I was a postpartum, barely-walking invalid in June 2004 I sat in the dark during the many desperate wee hours of non-sleep and re-read all the columns about those weepy, pain-filled days after childbirth, and felt a lot better. Then I continued to avidly read her column every week for the next two years, through Julia's infancy and my own 2nd pregnancy. Just the other day I re-read the part in Waiting for Birdy about Birdy's C-section delivery, to prepare myself and have a few laughs while I was at it. And now, isn't this timing a little bit incredible? Catherine is publishing her last Babycenter column at exactly the time my next baby is due--the very week I launch into the next installment in my own life as a parent.
I feel like I was escorted through the past three years by a very wise and funny experienced-mom friend, and now, when I've read all I need to, it's time to say goodbye, ready or not.
I'm not ready. Sniff, sniff!