Wednesday, October 30, 2013

One


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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Getting the hang of this walking thing


Here's my girl yesterday morning, at 11 months and a few days, demonstrating her newly acquired walking skills. I love how she throws herself into the task, using her entire body to make it across the floor. I think she is very proud of herself. I know I am.

video
Mo

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Today in Central Park









Little Ms. Magpie is taking off in the standing and walking department. This morning, she walked across the room unassisted, 8 or 9 steps. And then later today, she went to Central Park where she continued her standing and walking adventures, motivated by the Biggest Bubble Ever! Eleven months and a couple of days, and I think we have a walker. I need to get more video of her crawling while she'll still do it. I will miss her slap slap slap sounds as she crawls rapidly around the apartment.

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Monday, September 16, 2013

10 months update


Baby girl is growing up, and I know I am way overdue for an update in this space. Working and being a mom have been difficult to balance. More on that in a future post, but for now, let me bring you up to speed on how the little one has been. 

What is Magpie's personality like these days?  Magpie is very smiley and bubbly and seems to be an extrovert so far. When meeting new people, she'll tuck her head in to my chest (our only sign of stranger anxiety) but can't resist peeking out to see the other person and smile at them. And then fairly quickly, she's reaching out to them and calling to them. So not a shy girl here... She loves peekaboo. She is very expressive and a bit intense and opinionated, but has a happy disposition overall. She is always in motion, always on the go. Smiling but doesn't like to be constrained for long - quick hug and then she's off to the next thing. I cherish the rare moments when she is mellow and will snuggle against me, which is usually just when she is waking up and right before she falls asleep. 

Motor Skills: Ms. Magpie's been crawling since she was 6 months - we thought she'd be walking by now, and she is close, taking a few unassisted steps before falling, but she is not walking without holding someone's hand for any distance yet. When she crawls, she moves fast, and slaps her hands down on the hardwood floors so you can hear her coming no matter where in the apartment you are (slap, slap, slap, slap, slap). It is a sound I will miss when she's sturdily on two feet : )

Communication: Verbal skills-wise, Magpie loves to babble and seems to be saying a few meaningful words - "hi," "mamamama," "dadadada," and "cat" (which is funny, because we don't have a cat) - in addition to making many other consonant-vowel combo sounds. She loves to make a "spppt" sound (with less spit than it used to include, thankfully!), she does a light fake cough to try to get you to cough back at her (Eh! Eh!), and sometimes she pants (breathes out of her mouth really fast over and over) when she is excited - maybe because her "sister" Moxie is a dog? This is usually in combination with arms outstretched and waving excitedly. She also loves to put her hand against her mouth as she is making a sound to listen to how it changes the volume and sound quality ("Ah-Wah-Wah-Wah-Ah-Wah-Wah-Wah"). She also loves to wrinkle up her face and make a pig face and noise when she is happy and excited.

We've been trying to teach Magpie signs for "milk" and "more" and "water" and "eat" and "mom" and "dad" (all from the baby signs, vol. 1 video, which is her one experience of watching the television), but the only sign she has picked up is the sign for "dog," which is funny and sweet, but not that useful. She waves hello and good-bye and just learned to clap last week, which she loves doing. Here she is on her first day "clapping" with one hand. She's a pro now, clapping excitedly at everything.

. video



Moxie and Magpie: Magpie loves playing with Moxie, "throwing" (more like dropping) the ball for her and patting  her while making ooing and aaahing noises. 

Activities: Activity-wise, Magpie loves the playground near our house, especially the swings and the sandbox (altho she will eat the sand, given the chance!). On hot days this summer, she really liked the water sprinklers they have at the playground. She loves the Manhattan Children's museum and the library as well and also loves all the sights and sounds of the grocery store and just street life in general in NYC.



Napping/Sleep: Sleepwise, she's doing well. She naps for two naps a day, morning and afternoon, for anywhere from 2-3.5 hours total. And then she sleeps at night from 7 or 8pm until approximately 6:30am. She usually sleeps through at this point unless something is bothering her, like a new tooth coming through. Speaking of teeth, she has two on the bottom and four on the top. More are on the way, based on some recent fussiness and drooling. : )

Eating: Magpie likes to eat a bunch of solids now and prefers to feed herself. Last night she had lamb saag and chickpeas and cantaloupe and strawberries and some naan. When she is done, she tends to drop her food off the side of her highchair (much to my frustration), but gets quite a bit in her mouth prior to that as well. She seems to prefer "real" food to baby food purees. She is still very small and so I still give her about 24 ounces of milk a day. This past week I started replacing one bottle of milk with a bottle of formula and she likes it and drinks it fine. My supply is diminishing because I am pumping less, and I'd like to stretch out our freezer stash as long as possible. And I have to admit, I am completely sick of exclusively pumping at this point. I plan to stop at 12 months and cannot wait to be done!


Weight: I still worry a lot about Magpie's weight. At almost 11 months, she weighs just 15 pounds. To give you a sense of how little she is, she still wears size 3-6 month clothes. She was 8 lbs., 3 ounces at birth...so gaining quite slowly. Any thoughts on that? Her pediatrician says she isn't worried because Magpie's development is right on time. But I've read that she should triple her birth weight by one year of age and she hasn't even doubled hers. She has dropped from the 50th percentile at birth to the 2nd percentile. Which honestly just makes me cringe inside. I'm thinking we may need to get another opinion to get to the bottom of this, but I'm not even sure what would be the right avenue. A developmental pediatrician? A nutritionist? A feeding specialist? Something else? Please let me know any thoughts or ideas on this. 

OK...enough for now....but better to get this off a little stream of consciousness-like than to have another month pass with no update!

Mo

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Magpie's birth story, part III


...Continued (sorry for the long delay) from Part I....and Part II....

Time continued to pass....by 4:30PM I was feeling the contractions again and my doula suggested I get the epidural topped off. In hindsight, I regret this. I wasn't in terrible pain and I was still able to use the bedpan, which was super important to me. But the doula told me that I needed to be able to rest so that I could push later. And that the fact that I was wincing with the contractions meant that I needed a heavier dose of epidural. Anesthesia came in and topped off the epidural, which stopped the contraction pain, but also numbed everything else.

At 5:15PM a new OB on call came in (this would be the third OB on call during my labor, my wonderful OB having long since started....and then finished...her shift). I had never met this OB. She was brusque and told me I hadn't peed enough and would need to be catheterized. It sounds trivial, and as someone who has faced significant medical things in my life, including cancer treatment, I know it IS trivial, but be what it may, I am terrified of urinary catheters. I hate the sensation of them and was worried that the epidural wouldn't numb that awful feeling it causes for me. The OB insisted - I had to have the catheter. She was sure I was retaining urine and that this was keeping the labor from progressing. I cried for awhile, out of fear, and then once I'd gathered myself a bit, a nurse came in and catheterized me. It was as bad as I had expected, and epidural or no, I felt it throughout the remainder of the labor as a constant pain that intensified during the pressure caused by each contraction (so much for any rest, as prescribed by the doula!). Further frustrating me, it turned out I wasn't retaining urine after all and had only a small amount in my bladder. So I would be in extreme discomfort for the duration for nothing.

By this point, I felt that my hopes for the birth were going out the window. I felt terribly out of control, hooked up to so many monitors and tubes, including internal monitors on Magpie, that I could barely move. I felt defeated and overwhelmed and terribly uncomfortable. Anesthesia came in again to give me another top off on the epidural at 6:10PM to try to help with the urinary catheter pain, and around 7:00PM, the OB came in, said I was now 6 centimeters dilated, but the baby was still high. She said I had also developed a slight fever and that Magpie's heartrate was creeping up. The OB told me brusquely (again) that I had until 11PM to get fully dilated or I was having a c-section. She then left.

I cried again. I asked a nurse if the fact that I'd had almost no fluids by IV or by mouth (hence the no urine) could be contributing to Magpie's high heart rate....she said yes, and promptly hung a bag of fluid. The rest of things are hazy, to be honest. Perhaps I rested some. It was certainly not a happy time. I was worried about Magpie, worried about myself. Desperately uncomfortable. Will was sleeping. The doula didn't have much to do since I was confined to bed. At some point, my fever, which was marginal to begin with, began to resolve, and Magpie's tachycardia also went away.

At 10:30, the brusque OB reappeared to check me. I blurt out, "I thought I had until 11PM?!" But she said she just wanted to see where things were at. She pronounced that my cervix was now back down to 4cm dilated, that my cervix was swelling shut. That I had to have a c-section. Would I agree to one?

I looked at Will, who had awakened when the OB came in. He looked just as lost as me. I didn't know what else to do at that point but agree.

And as soon as I did, the room whipped into motion. Anesthesia raced in to consent me, Will was told to gather our belongings from around the room. Within a half hour, my anesthesia had been increased and I was being wheeled into the OR. Will was brought in later before the procedure started.  And the procedure began. I was told to expect a lot of pulling and pressure. And it was intense, but fine. They said she was wedged into my pelvis tightly, and it took them a bit to get her free. On the other side of the blue curtain, I could just feel lots of pressure on my chest and abdomen, and then....I heard....a baby crying. There was no announcement that I recall, no showing her to me over the sheet, just this crying. And this will sound weird, but for a moment, I thought, why is there a baby crying in the OR? And it took me a moment to realize that that was our baby - the baby we'd been wanting for years and years. That at 11:38PM on October 23, 2012, she was finally born. That that was her crying. Everything felt so strange and out of body and not related to me by this point, though, that I don't think the impact of it really hit me. But she was here, and Will went over to the warming and weighing table to meet her.

And then unfortunately, starting a moment later was physical pain. Not just a little bit, but a huge, significant amount. My whole insides felt like they were on the outside. Like air was blowing on a giant raw,open wound. It was fairly terrible. I was screaming. And then I remember Will was back at my side looking worried. The OB told the anesthesiologist to deal with this because she couldn't close with the situation like it was, that when she lightly touched my peritoneum, I screamed. The anesthesiologist said he didn't have enough medications to deal with this and that he would be right back. And he left. (Is that even possible? But yes, this is what I remember). And then the anesthesiologist was back and was talking about putting me under general anesthesia. And I was refusing. Because I wanted to remember this. Well, not the horrible pain part, but having Magpie. I didn't want to be knocked out. They offered me ketamine, which I also refused (because it's an amnestic and would make me forget her being born). Then an attending anesthesiologist came into the OR and was really reassuring and said they would come up with something to ease the pain. The surgeons spread some kind of local morphine around in my abdomen, which helped a lot. And the anesthesiologists injected some more drugs into the epidural. They said if that didn't do it, they were going to have to put me under with or without my consent. But it was. I was ok.

The nurse brought Magpie over to see me while the surgeons worked to close my incision. She was pink and wrapped up tightly, and well...beautiful. I was pretty wrecked. In shock maybe, on each and every level.



It didn't sink in for a while....but she was here. We were parents. I was a mother. Finally, after everything, amazingly.

And now, 10 months later, even after the many years to get here, it is hard to imagine that this was not always the way it was meant to go. I know that I am lucky, so, so lucky, to have gotten through and out the other side.

I wouldn't recommend my labor experience to anyone (and ok, not really our miscarriage history or reproductive travels in general...). But damn, I am one lucky woman.

Mo


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Monday, August 12, 2013

Magpie's birth story, part II


...Continued from Part I...

Turns out I wasn’t feeling much happening with my contractions because nothing much was happening. My OB came in to check me that night when she got into the hospital to begin her shift…and I was now exactly 1 fingertip dilated. Hmmmm.

I had spent the day refusing the plans of various residents who wanted to put me on a dextrose drip for my IV (yes, a sugar drip for a diabetic) and then add insulin to control the blood glucose spike that would result. I couldn’t understand why we would create a problem (feed Mo sugar she couldn’t produce enough insulin to process, given the gestational diabetes) so that we could treat it (add insulin). I begged to be able to eat lightly and to just have my blood sugars checked. And since I wasn’t in active (or any) labor yet, I took the liberty of quietly eating some of the things I knew would allow me to control my blood sugar and give me energy for the labor to come. I was supposed to be on a clear liquid diet as soon as I hit the hospital, but all clear liquids are either steeped in sugar (e.g., jello, juice) or have no caloric value at all (e.g., chicken broth). Will wonderfully brought me some greek yogurt and nuts, two things that I knew I could eat just fine without any glucose spikes.  I skipped the various popsicles and Italian ices the nurses kept bringing me. “I’m diabetic this pregnancy,” I kept telling them. “Oh – right – I forgot.” This lack of attention to detail was not confidence inspiring for the road that lay ahead. The OB on call agreed to my management plan and we proceeded to switch to regular saline and checking my blood sugar at regular intervals. 

So I'd been secretively nibbling all along from a stash supplied by Will. Once my OB checked me around 8pm and told me that the cervix was softer and maybe 1cm dilated, she gave me one hour off to "officially" eat. Then we would start the Pitocin. 

But even on the Pitocin, not much was happening. I could see contractions occurring on the monitor but didn’t feel much going on. When the doctor came in overnight to check on me, she said I was not responding well to the Pitocin, even as they continued to up the dosage. Magpie's vitals were fine, but my cervix wasn't budging. I could feel mild contractions, but nothing too uncomfortable. And I was still 1cm dilated. A few hours went on like this before my OB said she wanted to break my waters to “get things moving.”

I was not very into this idea. I knew that once your amniotic sac ruptures, you are on the clock and must deliver within 24 hours. And I didn’t want some arbitrary timetable hanging over me and my uncooperative cervix. Given that I wasn’t responding so favorably to the induction, I made an alternate suggestion.

“How about you discharge me and let me go home until Friday and we try again with the cervadil when you’re back on call?” She gave me a quizzical look. I explained that my cervix did not seem to be responding well. And that once the amniotic sac was ruptured, I knew I had to have the baby within 24 hours (I must have sounded like a lunatic).

“You are not going home; you are here to have this baby, and you are having this baby,” my OB said to me.

Ok, then.

Truth be told, the idea of actually having Magpie, of her actually surviving the birth and coming into existence, wasn’t something I could really imagine. I mean, I knew of course that this was the plan, but emotionally, I was so protected from the fear of another loss that I couldn’t imagine it. We had been terrified to believe that Magpie would be born alive. I didn't focus on the negative either, trying to maintain a zen-like focus on the now, cherising the pregnancy but not assuming there would be a positive outcome. For months, I put off purchasing a crib or any other furniture for the nursery. I hadn't decorated. I hadn't bought any baby clothes or diapers. Nothing. To decorate, or make purchases that assumed a live baby was coming, seemed dangerous. A few weeks before my due date, I finally bought a crib, but I made the retailer promise to refund the money if the baby died. The week of her birth, Will and I and my sister finally began to cautiously prepare the nursery.

So hearing that I was having the baby, this hospital admission, no matter what the state of my cervix, was in a strange way surprising to me.

Once I processed this fact (obvious to everyone but me), I agreed to have my water broken.

Which was easier said than done.

The procedure sounded simple when I had read about it - you put a plastic hook (an amnihook) up through the cervix and nick the amniotic sac, which then empties. Not painful. No big deal. Problem is, the plastic arm on this hook is straight, and my cervix was so not ready for birth that it was still posterior, pointing backwards, not down. So the amnihook needed to bend around the back to enter the cervix, and well...anatomy-wise, this wasn't really happening. So this part of the process, which I thought would be not a big deal, was excruciating. In fact, my heart rate went so high that my doctor had to stop as she was worried that it would imperil Magpie's health. Despite the pain, after about 10 minutes of this torture, the sac was still intact. My OB said she would give me 15 minutes to recover, then try again.

The second try, at 4AM, was just as painful as the first, but she succeeded. My water broke, and was clear. Within minutes the contractions picked up significantly in intensity. And within the hour, I was contracting every 2 minutes, with contractions lasting as long as 1.5 minutes each. I could no longer talk through the contractions. I couldn't walk through the contractions. When one hit, I was lost in it, moaning, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow. It would reach a point where I would think it was unbearable, stay that way, and then begin to back off in intensity. I remember needing to use the restroom, but being afraid of getting caught in a standing position during a contraction. It took so long to move the IV pole and all the wires and disconnect me that it seemed like I was always caught somewhere in the middle of this trip. Or stuck on the toilet in pain and alone, not sure when I would be able to make it back out to the main room. Back at my bed, I tried many different positions: Sitting on a birthing ball draped onto the bed, sitting in bed on my knees leaning against the back of the bed, standing at the side of the bed with my hands on the bed. Nothing was really great, but the ball was probably the most doable. Between contractions I would just deflate, head down, exhausted, sleeping between them even if only a few moments, then wake again with the intensity of the next contraction.

We managed like this for a few hours, but by 7 AM, the contractions were coming one on top of the other with really no break in between. I couldn't think, I couldn't use any of the coping strategies I had learned. Hynobabies? Ha! I was lost in these contractions. And when the pain would ease a bit down from unbearable, another contraction would start. The contractions were overlapping at least half of the time. I started to think I couldn't do this.

At around 8:30AM, my OB stopped by and I asked if we could check how things were progressing, that if I had a long way to go, I might need an epidural. She told me she didn't need to check me. That despite the intensity and frequency of my contractions, I was undoubtedly still in very early labor and had many hours to go, but before we could talk longer, another contraction hit. Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, my eyes closed, all consuming, who knows how long it lasted. In this state, there is no sense of time. When the contraction was over and I opened my eyes, she was gone.

When the next contraction hit, I commenced vomiting. And with each new contraction, I retched again. I knew I couldn't continue this for another 12 or more hours. This was not doable. I asked my doula to track down my OB and tell her I needed an epidural.

The anesthesiologist came in to consent me and started giving a long and detailed explanation of risks and benefits during a contraction. Seriously? I testily asked her, "Can you please wait a moment?" Once I could think again, I then asked her to talk fast before the next contraction hit. She waited and then tried again. She got a little into her spiel, and I threw up as the next contraction began. In honesty, the only thing I remember her saying is that I would need to sit still on the edge of the bed for 8-10 minutes. I remember telling her that was not possible. She told me it had to be possible. I remember thinking I would try but that there was 0% chance I could do that. Fortunately during the procedure, I had a rare four-minute space between contractions and she got the epidural in on the first try. Compared to everything else, it was no big deal.

Once the epidural was in, my OB returned and checked me. I was 3 cms dilated and 90% effaced. I remember thinking, Wow - after all of this, that's it? Things were not really proceeding well here. But with the epidural in, at least I was more comfortable. For a while it was great. I wasn't in pain, but I still had full control of my legs. I was able to use a bedpan to urinate, which was hugely important to me, as I really didn't want to be catheterized (my main reason for not wanting an epidural, aside from the fear that it would slow my labor, is that I am almost phobic of urinary catheters).

My OB checked me again at 2:45PM. I had progressed to 100% effaced and 4 cm dilated....with a swollen anterior lip. The baby was still very high and not coming down at all, despite very intense and frequent contractions (that thankfully I couldn't feel very much). My doula suggested the baby was malpositioned and we proceeded to have me do a number of rocking exercises to try to get her to drop into a better placement.

I settled into this new rhythm. Surely I could make Magpie descend into a better position. I could have this baby vaginally if I just tried hard enough.

***To be continued***

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Magpie's birth story, part I - the prequel

I've never posted the story of my labor with Magpie and her birth. At first, I was too shell-shocked to process it, let alone write it down, and then I was too sleep-deprived, and then I kept putting it off, and then I returned to work and didn't have a second free anymore...and well, somehow nine months have passed. Ms. Magpie has now been on the "outside" as long as she was on the inside. And it is time to write about how that came to happen.

I was induced for my labor at 39 weeks and 2 days. This is not what I had wanted. During my pregnancy, I had quietly completed a Hynobabies course, with Will at my side; I had ponied up the money to hire an experienced doula; I was going to go through Magpie's labor unmedicated if I could, in a fully equipped hospital but with as little intervention as possible. After so very much intervention to create Ms. Magpie, and so much intervention during the pregnancy itself between the monthly IVIG infusions and the weekly ultrasounds, etcetera, I think I was just done. I was ready for something to go right - without a hitch - and without a thousand medical interventions to make it possible.

Then I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes during my 27th week of pregnancy. It quickly became apparent that I couldn't control my fasting glucose numbers no matter how carefully I watched my diet. My post-prandial numbers were lovely...but my fasting numbers in the morning were creeping steadily upward. I became so afraid of having a "large for gestational age" baby, and therefore so strict with my diet, that I didn't gain a single pound past my 27th week, only gaining 18 pounds the entire pregnancy, despite the recommendation to gain 25-35 pounds as a woman of normal weight at the beginning of pregnancy. When I look back on it, it all seems a bit crazy, but I was determined to try to do the best for this very wanted girl, whom I pictured swimming in sugar, and growing - I was repeatedly warned - ever larger because of it. Because of the rising fasting numbers, I was put on insulin at night, and then when that didn't do the trick, more insulin at night. I started doing twice a week non-stress tests at 30 weeks, soon adding growth scans to the mix once a week. They all looked good, but between the insulin-controlled gestational diabetes, my age of 40, my treatment with lovenox throughout my pregnancy (switched to heparin at the end), and my abysmal reproductive history of six consecutive losses, I was told that waiting to deliver without induction was a no-go.

"All babies are priceless and irreplaceable, but this baby is really priceless and irreplaceable," my OB said to me again and again. And she was right.

I was told that the placenta can start to break down at the end of pregnancy and that this happens faster in women with gestational diabetes. I was told that the risk of stillbirth goes up past 39 weeks for women with insulin controlled gestational diabetes. I was told not to risk it. That as soon as it was safe to deliver, we were delivering. My OB offered me an elective C-section a few times. "You're a primipara; your cervix is long and closed and posterior; this may not go well for you and may be a rough road to delivery."

But I was adamant. I was not going to have a scheduled C-section. I was going to try to do this unmedicated. I was going to give birth vaginally. Surely my body could do something "right." Looking back, it seems that I believed that if I was determined enough, I could make the birth itself turn out the way I wanted. A ridiculous level of persistence and determination had brought me through 7 IVFs and gotten me this far; in my mind it stood to reason that I could persist through a few hours of labor and have the birth I wanted.

So we proceeded ahead with the induction plan. My long and closed and posterior cervix ("not even a fingertip dilated") would be prepped with cervadil and then after 12 hours of cervical ripening, we'd move on to pitocin.

Although cervadil is usually placed at night, I asked to be admitted and have it placed in the morning so that the timing of the pitocin administration would allow me to overlap with the beginning of my OB's call schedule. And so I was admitted on a Monday morning at 10AM. An IV was put in, which stunk, because my veins are a wreck from having chemotherapy in my twenties, and so I tend to have a lot of pain with IVs. And then the cervadil was placed. Apparently they can't lubricate it and they try to place it as high as possible, tucking it behind the neck of the cervix. I'll be honest - it was a bit uncomfortable, but it was in. I was strapped up to all the electronic fetal monitoring equipment. And told to rest. This was impossible, of course, given my adrenalin levels, excitement, and nervousness. On the physical side, the IV, that electronic fetal monitoring equipment (which alarms every time you move), the scratchy gown, and the cruddy delivery room bed whose sheets wouldn't stay on leaving me repeatedly sticking against the vinyl mattress were not exactly conducive to sleep either. I was most definitely awake, but tried to rest.

We were on our way!! Or were we?

To be honest, I didn't feel really much of anything going on.


***To be continued***

Mo

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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Two teeth


Here is my beautiful girl at 8 months and change. She's growing up, moment by moment.

I am not entirely comfortable in this blog space but will try to keep posting. Thank you for your thoughts and comments on my previous post. They all helped and I am working to just tolerate the feeling of reduced safety that I have now. And also to be mindful of what I write, to realize that I have a wider audience than I imagined.

I have much to say, about parenting, about trying to balance life as an academic and clinician with being a mom, about what it is like to be here in the world of parenting and babies after being so long in the world of infertility and loss - so long there that I thought getting out of it was impossible.

Much to say on how deeply I desire to do right by this little girl, this oh-so-wanted little girl, and how I often feel completely de-skilled by her, disarmed, at a loss to possibly measure up to the ideals I have for myself ("If only I can get out the other side of these many losses, of this infertility, I will..."). Much to say on how each moment comes and goes so fast (how can this be true already?) that I want to hold on to each one, be mindful, be present - physically and emotionally. How already I sometimes glimpse the little girl emerging from the little baby I gave birth to. And much to say about those times when she looks up now and sees me and smiles, looks at me and her entire being lights up, and I feel so moved to be my best self for her, to be deserving of the trust and faith she has in me.



Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Found


I've been quiet this past month after receiving a couple of taunting comments from someone on this blog.

Apparently someone from my real life found this blog or someone from the blogosphere stumbled onto my identity, I'm not sure which. I've had real life folks find us before - and in the past this was always handled directly and honestly, with the person contacting me to let me know. I'll admit even in those cases, it felt weird to be found and to know that someone who knew me was reading.

But then I realized that that's the decision I've made as I've gone along - to make this blog real enough and personal enough that if you knew me well, knew our story, you'd recognize it in these pages (how many people in real life do YOU know who have had so many IVF failures and so many miscarriages and now are the proud parents of a tiny little girl?). So if you knew me, even without the photos of Magpie, you'd recognize the story because it's unusual enough. So be it. If I stripped out all the details to make it entirely anonymous, it wouldn't feel real or honest or emotionally true, and therefore, in my book, wouldn't have any point.

But now someone has found us and isn't being on the up and up. Instead they are leaving comments that are sort of....well, menacing. Sort of an "I know who you are!" kind of thing, and putting identifying information about us in the comments. They don't have all this information correct, but the intent is obvious. (They could have, for instance, emailed me at the email address on the blog and told me I had inadvertently posted clues to my identity, but instead they chose to post our identifying information where others might see it.) It's mean, really. Basically, it's a form of bullying.

I'm not sure what the point of this behavior is. Does this person want me to shut down the blog? Are they just plain hateful? Do they not understand that some of us work in professions where it is important that we maintain a sense of confidentiality and anonymity? I'm not sure.

But the sad result is that I haven't felt comfortable posting again. Five years and more than 500 posts, and in effect, I've been silenced. Maybe that was the intent of this person all along? I have no idea.

I'm trying to decide what to do about this space. One thing that would be useful to know as I mull over this is whether this blog has been helpful to you in any way in your own journeys. Did these words and our experience matter or assist you in any way through your own decisions, or your own pain and struggles?

Thanks for your thoughts and sorry for the silence.

Mo


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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Sweet potatoes, where have you been all my life?!

Magpie's first venture into solids this weekend was a raging success. Six months old and ready to eat!

At first she wasn't so sure about it...

But very quickly, she decided sweet potatoes were delicious


And fun to spread everywhere in reach!




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