21 December, 2011

memories

i realized tonight while i was getting you to sleep that aside from your dad and your grandmom and grandpop, i spoke to no adults today.

i guess that happens more often than i realize.

it doesn't bother. me

when i told your dad about that he said that you are actually smarter than some adults he knows. and i said totally...and way more interesting.

you are the coolest and most amazing person in the world to me. everything you do, you do with wonder and excitement. you are proud of yourself and you are the most important person in the world to you.

you always amaze me.

you decided a few weeks ago to stop peeing in your diaper. you woke up dry, and i let you have a naked butt all day. you told me every time you had to pee. and since then, you sleep with a pull-up at night (just in case...you have only peed in one twice i think) and other than that, you are diaper-free.

i was totally prepared to have you in diapers at age four. i never planned on "potty training" you. i figured you would do it when you were ready.

and you did.

you still poop in a diaper when i can get one on fast enough. but i know you will do that on the potty when you are ready, too.

just like you will someday sleep through the night when you are ready. (it's awesome that people have stopped asking that question, since i guess they assume all two-year-olds sleep through.)

so here's the thing. so often i am writing a post about something big that's on my mind. i forget to write about the small things like this. there is so much of you that i have never mentioned here. i guess a part of me likes to keep a part of you to myself. but i guess a part of it is that i know everyone knows that their own kid is amazing, so i assume people don't want to hear it.

but part of why i wanted to write a blog was so that i would have a record of our life together.

there is so much i have already forgotten. and that really stinks.

i want to remember everything. like all of the funny things you say and do, all of the times that i literally laugh out loud at something you've said. i want to remember the times you were scared or hurt and told me, "milky other side -- feel better mommy", the times when you left the house in the most ridiculous outfits because you wouldn't have it any other way. i want to remember the foods you love and the ones you won't even try, the way you mispronounce words like slippery and instead say "zippity", the way you scream at our blow up snowman, "SNOWMAN! WAKE UP!" to get it to stand up even though you know that when you flip the switch it happens, the way you resist getting into your car seat nearly every single time, the way you ask me to "do something else" as we go through yoga pose after pose, the way you say, "more again" if you want me to do something again, the things i am not allowed to do because, "no, grandpop do that!" and i guess i could go on and on.

it breaks my heart to think of all the things i have already forgotten and the things i will forget. if only i could record every moment of your life so that i could watch it when you are all grown up and want to be with your friends more than you want to be with me, when you are embarrassed to hear that you were still nursing when you were "that old", or when the idea of snuggling up next to me in bed is just creepy to you.

i never thought i would be such a sap. i never thought i would cling to something so much that it hurts just to think about it slipping away.

you are only a little over two. but these months since you were born have gone so fast. and the fact that i am 38 years old and have been out of high school for nearly 20 years just proves how fast time goes. i fear growing old now like i never did before. i wonder if i will even be around to meet your children.

time scares me.
my intense love for you terrifies me and invigorates me at the same time.
i loved who i was before your dad and before you. i loved my life. even when i was a mess and my life was messy.
but i had no idea how much better you could make me. and it.

this is the first time in a long time that christmas has been exciting for me. you make everything better.

we skipped the memorial for your brother on monday night. we went the first year, but that was it. the next year you were here and crying all the time. last year you and i both still had separation anxiety. and this year i really planned to go. but at the last minute i bailed. your dad had practice and could have gotten home on time. but i didn't push it. i just felt like things are so happy right now, i didn't want to be there and be sad.

i think of your brother all the time. i wonder what he would be like. i look at you and i wonder how much like you he would have looked. i imagine him being excited for santa. and it makes me really sad to know everything that he has missed. just as i told him while he was dying in my arms...he got so screwed.

i cherish those ten minutes i had with him.

and even though i can't remember everything that you do or say, always know that i cherish every single minute that i have with you.

i love you, little boy, and i thank you.

13 December, 2011

sometimes there is no happy ending

i recently had a friend endure a pretty traumatic birthing experience.

and i didn't know what to say to her.

so it got me thinking about all of the things people said to me along this road that just were not helpful at all.

when you were born via cesarean instead of at home like your dad and i had hoped, people said, "well at least the baby is here and healthy." "c-section babies are prettier with their nice, round heads." "why does it matter so much?""don;t be an octomom!" "just drink a bottle of wine and relax." "my friend decided to adopt and then she got pregnant."

when we were dealing with infertility, it was, "well can't you just adopt?" and now that we want a sibling for you, it's, "well at least you have one."

and when cooper died, there was a flurry of comments that made my blood boil, such as, "well now you have an angel in heaven to look over you" or "you can always have another one" or "at least you didn't know him" or "it was meant to be". there were plenty more and if you want to know what you should not say to someone who has lost a baby, no matter at what stage, just google it.

i know i probably said lots of things that were less than helpful prior to my loss. and probably now, too. most times now i just try to acknowledge and offer a hug.

our dear friend colleen said to me after we lost cooper that people in our world tend to look for happy endings...then she said that sometimes, there just is no happy ending.

yes, having a healthy baby is important, but we need to learn to be okay with losses and to acknowledge them so that the people who have lost know that their feelings are okay. we need to validate, rather than try to make the bad feelings go away.

14 November, 2011

gritting teeth

you hit your friends. and you bite them. well, not all of them, just a select few. you hit the dogs. and pull their ears and tails. you have hit me. and your dad. and uncle. and your cousins. and you grit your teeth when you do it. i know it's all normal, but i can't help but blame myself a little bit.

from when you were born those dogs have tested my patience every single day. i lost my love for them the first night i was home from the hospital with you. i know. i know. how awful.

i remember a dear friend who gave her cat away after her baby was born. i could not believe someone could do that. i saw lady and the tramp. it made no sense to me. i remember sitting home and missing events because one of my dogs had separation anxiety. i had always thought that my dogs were just like my babies.

but they are not. and now i totally understand that friend and her cat. and lady and the tramp makes perfect sense.

the dogs are hairy. and smelly. and usually bark at all the wrong times. the clicking of their nails on the wood floors drives me literally insane. they take my food. and yours. and they chew on your toys. and you get super upset when they do.

poor pathetic beasts. they don't do it on purpose. they are just dogs.

and i try. i try to accept them and have compassion. but as soon as i have set my mind on trying, one of them does something to make me...

yes. grit my teeth. and yell at them with such frustration. and (gasp)i have even given a few smacks on the rear to the really annoying one. i try not to let you see or to do it around you. but you know. you are sensitive to all of my feelings, even when you aren't looking. you are a toddler.

i lose patience with those dogs. i lose patience with your dad. i lose patience with strangers. i lose patience with myself. and i have even lost patience with you. when you were little and crying all the time, i would sometimes hold you and yell' "stop crying!"

i have rubbed off on you. you have learned it from me. and yes, i know that part of it is normal toddler behavior. and i mean, i don't bite you or hit you or anyone else, so that you figured out on your own. and i know all of that will pass.

what bothers me, though, is the gritting of the teeth and the pent up anger and frustration that you feel.

maybe i never let you cry enough.

i don't know.

all i know is that i need to work on this. i need to breathe and learn to be more like the way i used to be. the way i was when your dad met me. the way i was before things started going wrong. i need to go back to letting things roll.

and then maybe you can learn that, too. because that is one link in a long chain of teeth gritting that i would really like to break.

grandpop grits his teeth and is really angry at a lot of people a lot of the time. he spent a pretty big part of my childhood being angry with me and with uncle and with grandmom. he loved us, sure. but he had never learned patience from his mother.

his mother was one of the meanest people i have known. she was horrible to him. so horrible that i hate to even call her a mother. i went to her funeral only because i had to. i invited her to my wedding only because i had to. and when she declined the invitation i sent her check back.

the apples don't fall far from the trees.

but that stops here. i will not pass it on to you. i promise. we will be different.

02 November, 2011

explaining myself

it always seems i have to explain myself. this letter to you started out nice and clean. i used the first letter of a "bad" word instead of the whole word. now it seems i have the worst potty-mouth in south jersey...and that is saying a lot. so let me explain myself. to me, words are just words. and they are only as powerful as you allow them to be. don't misunderstand me. i don't plan to let you run around saying nasty words as you grow up and i will do my best not to say those words around you. but when you are all grown up and i share this letter...or now i guess it's more like a story...with you, i would hope that you would have learned, too, that words are just words.

that being said, the other day after posting my last entry, i thought for a moment that grandmom may someday read this. and that then she would have such mixed feelings about me and my beliefs. my life. and then i shivered at the thought that maybe nana (daddy's mom) and pop-pop (daddy's daddy) would read it and have an altogether new opinion of me. and then i have potential clients who may not hire me because they think i am too over-the-top, or too obscene. and then there are the parents of students i have taught in the past. what will they think? and daddy's students or their parents may somehow come across this and what will that mean for him?

one thing i forgot to mention about your mother -- i am impulsive. i don't think things through. ever. and if someone asks me to think it through i have even more resistance.

so here i am. with this blog out there in the world. for anyone to read. and i am just out there. exposed. out there. i use bad words. i admitted to smoking pot. i admitted to drinking too much. i have cursed people i know. people i love and care about. and i expect everyone to just grin and go along with it. and to think it's okay.

so no, actually, i don't. i don't apologize for who i am. that is something that has grown on me over time. i used to apologize for me all of the time. and i would try to mold myself into a person that whoever i was with would accept. i am so over that now. i like the bad words. to me they sound really nice. they sound convincing. not offensive. i did smoke pot. and i enjoyed it. and honestly i believe that everyone should try it at least once or twice. it gives you a whole new perspective. and when you are older and ask me about it, i will tell you the truth. and i drank my twenties away. and it was fun. and i hope you aren't as dumb as i was in some of the decisions i made, but whatever i did made me me. and i like me. and as for grandmom, she loves me. and she will see past the bad stuff. she might blame herself for screwing me up a little. or she will blame me for missing her lessons. but either way, in the end, no matter how screwed up i was or how many mistakes i was making, she was always there in the end, loving me just the same.

daddy's parents -- that's a bit more complicated. i would hope that if it was just too much for them that they would just stop reading and close the page. but maybe not. maybe they can look past it all, too, and think it's kind of cool to get a glimpse into my brain.

maybe a potential client will turn away, but in the end we have to click, so i want all of my clients to be able to see and know the real me. they story of me. maybe it will resonate with them. and maybe not. but either way, it's brutal honesty and it's okay.

the parents of the students from the past...well i think the ones that know me can appreciate what i write about. they are all humans just like i am and i am sure that what i see when i talk to them is not exactly as it always seems. we all wear different hats and play different roles throughout our days. there are many layers to each of us.

i guess i may never get another teaching job, but i don't think i will ever want one anyway. but i do hope that what i say never reflects poorly on your dad. he is so good and so accepting. and so peaceful and generally level-headed. he thinks things through. he is sensitive. and every entry i make in this long letter to you affects him in a different way. it's therapy for me. i hope that in some way it is also for him.

i never write with the intention of hurting anyone. i never write in a passive-aggressive way of getting my point across to one particular person. i write what is in my head and in my heart. i rarely re-read what i write and i often click "publish post" without even skimming over what has just erupted from my brain.

so sometimes after i publish a post, i feel this little twinge of fear in my belly. i wonder who might get offended. and i sometimes have an urge to put a little disclaimer at the end. a blanket apology.

but then i settle on the belief that there is nothing to be sorry about. for any of us. we are all on our path and we are all learning our lessons. i know i am offensive and abrasive. and i tend to hurt feelings. but i am just being honest. and real about the way i feel. it's not personal.

it's just me being me. i write because it makes me feel good. and because i am trying to figure me out a little bit more. and because i hope that along the way someone else may figure out a little something about themselves, too. and because people have told me that they have felt a connection and felt a little less alone in their head in knowing that someone else feels a little bit like they do. i write because it helps me figure out more and more about this person i am becoming.

and hopefully everything i figure out about me will help you to someday be a more complete and healthy you.

30 October, 2011

your mother's life in a nutshell

things were always easy for me and went pretty much however i wanted them to go.

i grew up in a house with two parents in a nice little neighborhood. we lived in the same house all of my life. it was grandmom, grandpop, me and then uncle chris. we always had a dog. and new cars. and a pool in the yard. things were easy. i pretty much got what i wanted. but i wasn't spoiled. we got our clothes at k-mart with scattered in jordache jeans...never guess or benetton anything like that. we took day trips to the beach. we went to disney a few times. i never felt like i was missing out on anything.

i hated high school. a lot. i was a shitty student. and a cheerleader. the captain. i only mention this because anyone who knows me now always gets a kick out of hearing that. most people don't believe it.

but as for school, i would have quit if it weren't for my guidance counselor who let me cut class and hang out with him most of the day almost every day. he was pretty awesome. and there was tera and pam and karis and "velezzie". my partners in crime. i loved those chicks and if it weren't for them i would have a lot less fun stories to tell about my high school years. they got me through it.

i was a total asshole in high school. so ignorant. and even mean. i would have hated that girl if i met her now. thank god for the people who changed me the most. jason was uncle chris' friend. and amit. he was jason's friend who was from israel and living here for a few years. jason made me realize (though he never said it) that i talked to much and was too much about me. and amit made me see how small i was in this huge world. he made me want to travel. to really travel, not just to go to disney world and the bahamas.

after i graduated there was no way in hell i was going to college. i hated school. so i went to this four month travel program in miami beach. i wanted to be a travel agent. i wanted to get out. to see it all.

so grandmom and grandpop paid for me to go down there and learn some stuff about how to enter things into a computer and to search for airfares and blah blah blah. i learned all of that stuff but more importantly i met kendra. she taught me how to be a good student. she taught me to love to learn.

after coming home from that school, i got a job as a travel agent. i hated it. i wasn't going anywhere with that job except to disney world and the bahamas.

so i quit.

and i started to work at the disney store (yes, the disney store).

and i bought a plane ticket to isreal. i informed your grandmother of this when she came home from work one day. i told her i was going and she said i wasn't and i said i already bought the ticket. i was 19. israel was in the news a lot at the time. buses were getting blown up. and i was going to visit my friend while he was on his leave form the israeli army. grandmom wanted to kill me. and i couldn't wait.

it was amazing two weeks. i came home with a feeling of smallness, but of greatness all at once.

i enrolled in county college. i took three and a half years to get out of there. i loved every minute of it. lots of times i showed up to class still hungover. and lots of times i was high while i was there. but i learned so much more than i ever thought i could care about.

i worked two jobs and saved all of my pennies. i was super lucky to have college paid for and to live at home rent free. so i saved and i traveled.

my girl caryn and i backpacked around europe together. we spent two and a half months romping around, relaxing outside of the louvre, wondering what it was like inside because we would rather spend our money on beer than on a ticket to get in.

we slept in atm machines. on the side of rail road tracks. we bought pot from cafe windows and saw bulls run through the streets of pamplona. we went canyoning in switzerland and rode milk trains along the coast of italy. it was eye-opening. and fun as shit.

so after europe, i spent another summer roaming around central america. (god i miss my backpack.) three of those weeks were spent on a beach in belize. drinking coconut rum and eating lobster tacos.

i pretty much alternated travel with work and school for those five and a half years. i was on a plane at least twice a year. and when i was home i was out partying and being a twenty-something. doing things i hope you never do but i am pretty sure you will. but hopefully you will be smarter than i was. and have more confidence. and feel like you belong everywhere you go.

i never felt that way. that's why the beer and the pot. i never ever in my life felt as if i fit in or belonged where i was. i hope that i can give that gift to you. i hope that you always feel as if you belong where ever it is you want to be.

i finally transferred to rowan university and decided to be a teacher. i knew i could do a better job teaching than any of the teachers i ever had. except for mrs. lyons. she was awesome. and i wanted to teach history because i figured that if i was going to see the world, i might as well learn about the places i was going to go.

i remember telling my favorite professor in the world that i would teach in cherry hill someday. he kind of laughed at me and said that it was a really tough district to get into. (see, easy.)

i met my first husband at rowan. we backpacked around cuba for our honeymoon.

i know it will probably be really weird for you to know that i was married before. but even that went well. we were just friends. and after about a year we realized that. we even drove to our divorce hearing together and laughed and joked. the people around us asked why we were getting divorced. we're still friends today.

so it is weird and i guess you could say that was the first big mistake of my life. but i don't know if it can be called a mistake. because everything in my life has brought me to you.

after i got divorced i did some of that traveling i said i would never do. i got an actual suitcase and stayed at resorts in the caribbean and never came into contact with locals unless they were serving my drinks or making my bed. blech. that shit i regret.

i was teaching at maple shade high school. i taught there for five years. i had some really awesome students...like bre, who we all love today and are so happy to have as a little part of our family. but that place wasn't for me. and i was feeling burnt out of teaching. so i resigned from my tenured position even though everyone said i was nuts.

i remember my last day. i went straight to the bus station and went to nyc for a kids yoga teacher training with the amazing jodi komitor. see, while i was married and feeling lost, i found yoga. and i became certified to teach yoga (with my teacher, flossie, another one of those people who helped me see the light) but i wasn't really into teaching adults yoga. i wanted to teach kids yoga. so i did. i got a bunch of certifications and eventually opened a yoga studio just for kids. it was the only one in south jersey. there still hasn't been another one. we made some mistakes and financially we couldn't cut it, but for a while dawn and tiff of yoga clubhouse were the go-to people for kids yoga in this area. it was a really exciting time. full of lots of learning and life lessons.

overlapping with that i ended up teaching at carusi middle school. back in cherry hill. where i grew up. where i had hate and swore i would never live. that's where we live. and that's where i was teaching (even though dr. m made it seem so hard). and that's where i met your dad.

we met in august of 2006. he moved in with me in november. we were engaged in january of 2007. pregnant with your brother cooper in september and married in november. things went so fast. we were super in love. it was kind of sickening sweet like a fairy tale. i never thought i would have met anyone that made me feel the way he did. he was perfect for me.

here is where it stopped being easy.

i got pneumonia on our honeymoon. at a resort. in the carribbean.

when i came home i ended up in the hospital. cooper and i both survived it. but that was the first of many absolutely shitty events in my life. up until then, my life had been pretty damn easy. no school loans. i went where i pleased. things had pretty much always gone my way.

until then.

in february 2008 your brother was born too soon. i was devastated. babies were not supposed to die. not my baby. bad things never happend to me. i was so unprepared. i cried for weeks. i looked like i had the shit beaten out of me my eyes were so black. your dad was amazing through it all. it was so fucking hard for both of us. but we stuck together. we made it through the most horrendous experience that any couple can live through. together.

once we had gotten back on our feet we wanted to try for another baby.

we tried for months. infertility. more shit.

we ended up having to go through ivf to have you. we wanted you so badly we would have done anything.

we were so lucky that it worked on our first try. maybe things were turning around for us. my pregnancy was awesome.

but then you were breech. home birth turned c-section. more shit.

and then you were you. as much as i love you, my perfect little boy, you were not easy. you rocked my world more than i had ever imagined you could. you demanded constant rocking and holding and nursing. you never slept unless you were on my boob. you barely accepted help form your dad. and you still don't most of the time. it's just me. me. me. me. you demanded that i learn how to take care of you in the way that you needed. and so i did. i was consumed by it. and i still am. everything else takes a back seat. me. your dad. the dogs. the house. everything.

and now that we feel ready, we want another baby. a failed ivf cycle. more. shit.

i guess sometimes i sound like a real whiner. or complainer. or a martyr. or just a miserable bitch. but what the fuck? i just wish that some shit would go right for your dad and me. for us it's been so hard. so fucking hard.

and it used to be so fucking easy.

21 October, 2011

positive

ok, so now that i have vented some anger, let me see if i can really let all of the positive things sink in.

mason is still so little. now we get more alone time. and maybe he will wean himself while i am pregnant next time since he will be older. deep down i guess i really did want him to be older before i had another baby.

i just have to get rid of the jealousy when i see friends having their seconds and thirds. or when i hear about really shitty people i know having more and more babies. i have to let it go and just focus on me and what's right for us.

don't get me wrong, i do want another baby. i really want three more babies, and maybe that will still happen. whatever happens is exactly what is meant to happen. i just have to remember that.

we won't try again for another ivf treatment until mason is done nursing because of all of the medications i will have to take. maybe we can get pregnant on our own in the meantime and i won't ever have to go back to the fertility center again.

i will be able to actually finish my childbirth education certificate. i was afraid that if i were pregnant i would never get it done. so i have only three more papers to write and then i can start offering my eight-week courses. i am really excited for that.

i can take on more doula clients and maybe finish that certification, too.

i can drink beer.

josh will be higher up on the pay scale when we do have another baby and maybe he will be able to take a few weeks off with us.

so there are good things. it doesn't take away from the fact that all of the negatives are there. and after some time passes, i know i will believe that these good things are really good. i am just really shocked. i never thought this was where this would end up, i really believed this would work.

negative

i hate shitty parents
i hate that i am sickeningly jealous of people who get pregnant easily
i hate that there are people who get pregnant accidentally
i hate people who don't take care of themselves while they are pregnant
i hate that so many people don't appreciate the miracle that a baby is
i hate people who take their birthing experiences for granted
i hate that i paid over $1600 in embryo storage over the past three years
i hate that i spent hundreds of dollars on acupuncture treatments
i hate that i paid hundreds of dollars for medicines that i pumped into my body
i hate that my son may have taken in some of those medicines
i hate that i had to take two courses of antibiotics
i hate that i had josh bring all of my maternity clothes down from the attic
i hate the embryologist at my doctor's office because she is a miserable bitch
i hate the voice of the woman on my meditation cds
i hate that my doctors just got richer
i hate that i waited all day to get bad news
i hate that i was worried about having twins and i won't even have one
i hate that i am mourning the loss of three embryos
i hate that i am now afraid i will never have another baby
i hate that i lost a baby at 22 weeks
i hate that i had to deal with infertility after losing my baby at 22 weeks
i hate that i had to have a c-section
i hate that i did not get my home birth
i hate that i can't try again to have another baby until mason is done nursing
i hate that this shit can't just be fucking easy for us

19 October, 2011

quick update

i am still feeling really positive and surprising calm about this whole thing. i am having a hard time not POAS (peeing on a stick for all of you who are not fertilly challenged and never have to learn these acronyms). but i figure if it is a false negative that will throw me into sadness and worry and it could possibly be unnecessary. but it's really killing me waiting. it's only a ten day wait as opposed the the two day, since the embies were already six days old when they were transferred back to me.

but ten days is a long time when you just can't seem to give your mind a rest.

i have been falling asleep every night while nursing you to sleep. your dad thinks i must be pregnant because i never fall asleep like that. but i also attended a birth the night of the transfer (no, i didn't follow the two days of rest after transfer rule) and was there for 24 hours. so i missed an entire night of sleep. i think i am just catching up on that. but any positive signs pointing towards a positive test are invited.

the best positive sign is that my acupuncturist says i have a pregnant pulse. she also says you are going to have a sister. the pulse thing makes sense to me, and from what i have found online on the infertility boards, no one's acupuncturist has been wrong on pregnancy prediction. the gender is another story.

but it doesn't matter to me if you have a sister or a brother.

with you i was desperate for a boy. i guess it was partly because i was used to boys because of your cousins, and because of your uncle, and because i always had more guy friends than girl friends when i was younger. but i think it was mostly because i was afraid that cooper would be my only boy. and if that had happened i would have probably been sad about that for my entire life.

but this time, boy or girl, i really don't care.

two girls, though, that would be a lot for me to swallow...

the transfer

this morning we woke up like everything was normal. we had our breakfast. you whined a lot for milkies with alternating bouts of play. daddy was home with us because he took off from work, but to you that was probably nothing different. grandmom and grandpop came over and daddy and i left together. this is something we have only done i think four times now since you were born. once was for my birthday dinner when you were about seven weeks old (we were gone about 45 minutes). then we went to our friend's surprise birthday party (that was awesome. it was my first time being back on daddy's motorcycle since before you were conceived.) last week we went out to shop for your birthday gifts. and now today, so that your sibling(s) could be transferred back to me. to us.

i had an acupuncture treatment before and after. that is supposed to increase the success rates of ivf transfers by something like 75% or so. i forget. it's been almost three years since i checked into it. so we got there about 11 o'clock this morning. i was freezing in the room and i had to pee. i need to drink 16 ounces of water just beforehand and then hold it until the procedure was done. it wasn't the most relaxing acupuncture treatment i have had.

so the doc came in after the treatment and i was terrified i was going to pee on him. and i asked the nurse if that had ever happened. she said yes, which didn't make me feel better. actually, a no wouldn't have been what i wanted to hear, either. (no, i didn't pee. well, not on him, anyway. i peed in a bed pan right after the procedure because they want you laying down for twenty minutes and i was having another acupuncture treatment so there was no way in hell i could have held all of that for another half hour.)

but the news was that the first embryo did not survive the thaw. and i know it's just a bunch of cells, but it made me really sad to hear that. then after the sad feeling sunk in, i realized that meant we were putting two embryos back in. the other two had survived, and there was no way i was letting one die off and there was no way i was re-freezing one.

so we watched in the ultrasound screen as a tiny bubble entered my uterus. it was just like watching when you were transferred back to my body. it's amazing to know what that tiny bubble can become.

so here we are. i have two embryos in my uterus. floating around in there looking to attach to the uterine wall. i am meditating and visualizing and hoping. and i am asking all of my friends to do the same. we find out next friday whether you will have a sibling. and then sometime next month we find out whether you will have one or two. it's going to be a long wait. both times. but i am feeling positive and hopeful. and i know that in the end it all happens the way it's supposed to.

28 September, 2011

F

well, after all these weeks of shooting myself up and taking pills, i got a call today from the nurse at the fertility center. my estrogen is lower than they would like so now we have to push the embryo transfer back a week. i am super bummed right now and i don't know if i want to punch someone in the face or if i want to cry. so many things were aligned to go along with this october 4 date, and now i have to make sure i can realign everything. i don't even feel like writing right now. i don't feel like doing anything. maybe i will just go eat that bag of ghirardelli chocolate chips in the cabinet. so keep sending those positive vibes, but especially send them on the 11th for me instead of the 4th. blah.

23 September, 2011

the acronym entry

for those of you who get pregnant by "just looking at him", FET stands for frozen embryo transfer. you might also not know that TTC means trying to conceive...you likely don't know that because you never had to spend much time on any message boards about infertility.

so here it is. a recap for those of you who have only read my post-mason blog entries.

josh and i TTC for about seven months after we started to TTC again after losing cooper. with cooper we TTC for three months. it was easy. average. no worries.

but the next time around things had changed. and after seven long months of timing it perfectly and checking cervical fluid and the softness of my cervix (yes, you can and should check out your cervix every now and then)and using ovulation predictor sticks and charting my temperature and all the other ridiculous things one has to do when TTC, i was feeling like something just was not right.

turns out it wasn't right. and after a couple of months of testing and after trying two months of IUI (basically what you all know of as artificial insemination -- or trying to become pregnant with a turkey baster) we decided to take our shot with IVF (in vitro fertilization).

i did everything to facilitate a successful transfer. visualization. meditation. yoga. fertility massage. acupuncture. eating for fertility. taking herbs. drinking nasty chinese herbal teas. it's been so long i don't even remember what else. but whatever could be done, i did.

and it worked. mason is an ART (artificial reproductive therapy) baby. he was the only embryo of five that we decided to transfer that day back in january of 2009. the doc said it was of such high quality that if we put two in, i would likely have twins. at the time that scared the shit out of me because i was terrified that my water would break again. after all, we were warned by the doctors that i had a 30% chance of being a pPROM queen in any subsequent pregnancies. (that's preterm premature rupture of the membranes and that is a cute little term we PROM queens use on the message boards).

so anyway, we transferred that one tiny embryo on its fifth day of existence (this is called a blastocyst and itss the most ideal situation for a successful transfer) and he became our mason.

so here we are. ready for more. this time it's easy. less meds. less doctor's appointments. i am still doing all of the things i did in order to prepare, which is harder this time around because i have a two year old to play with all day long, but i am fitting it all in. and i am not stressed about it. or worried. i am confident that it will work again.

i was told by the RE (reproductive endocrinologist) to wean mason before i could start the FET cycle. but i did some research and i talked to people and it turns out that none of the meds will get to him and that since all they need is timing of my cycle, which they manipulate with drugs, there is no reason to wean. so we are still nursing through this and no one has any idea except for us and now all of you. i couldn't see weaning him. i didn't want him to have to suffer because of my need for another baby. the worst thing that could happen was that one of the meds could have caused my milk to dry up, but that hasn't happened. i was okay with that risk because pregnancy could to that, too.

we had three embryos survive until the day after mason's transfer. they are all frozen in liquid nitrogen waiting to be placed gently into my womb someday. i have five babies right now. one is my precious tiny cooper. one is my vibrant and growing mason. and those three little frozen pops. that's how i see it.

it's amazing to watch as this tiny little embryo travels in a bubble into your womb. and then to have it grow in your belly and then to hold it on the outside. and then to watch it grow up. it's just amazing.

of course it would have been nice to have this all done naturally, but i am really fascinated by the way i was able to watch mason grow from the very beginning. and i am so thankful that this technology exists. and that my insurance pays for it. because otherwise, i would likely still be a mom of just one little angel baby. i do not regret not having conceived mason naturally. nor do i regret trying to give these other little babies a chance at life.

so people keep asking me if we tried again naturally this time. or wishing for me that i didn't have to go through all of this. but honestly, we didn't try that hard. i want to give these babies a shot. and if someday, we have no more embryos, then we will try again the natural way. but for now. i have to try to give these little ones life in the same way that i was able to give mason life. they are his siblings.

and according to a 40 week pregnancy calendar, today i am about week pregnant. how's that for optimism?

we are scheduled for FET (frozen embryo transfer) on october 4. that or those embryo(s) are six days old already. they have the same conception date as mason, which i have always thought was so interesting. so since they are six days old, i count back six days from october 4, which for me is transfer day and for you fertile myrtles is the day of implantation, and that gives me the conception date and two weeks before that is week one, the start of the menstrual cycle for those of you who do this naturally. if this is confusing, count yourself lucky. if not, my heart goes out to you sister.

so here i am, a week pregnant. the question is, am i pregnant with one or two babies? the embies are frozen in two vials. one embryo is all alone in one vial and the other two are together. we are thawing the sole embryo first. but there is a 2/3% survival rate for thawed embryos, which means likely two of our three babies will survive the thaw in the end. (i am not convinced that this will be true for us. neither is josh. we both think they will all survive. just gut feelings for both of us.)so anyway. if this one guy doesn't survive, then we are left to decide -- do we transfer one or two. if we transfer one, then we have to refreeze the other and then risk going through all the meds and prep work next time and showing up for another FET and having them tell us that we have no embryo to transfer. but if we put two in, i run the risk of having twins, which would be challenging but wonderful. but the problem is that i am planning a home birth. and in new jersey, you have to search far and wide to find a midwife who will agree to attend a twin home birth -- let alone a twin VBAC home birth (vaginal birth after cesarean).

so i have two midwives lined up as my just in case plan. i cannot and will not ever mention their names online because they will be taking a huge risk in attending my possible vbac twin home birth. they have agreed to attend my twin hbac (home birth after cesarean). and i am super psyched about that. and not afraid.

so there it is. in a nutshell. keep us in your thoughts and send out the positive vibes. and we will especially need those positive vibes on october 4. i contemplated not blogging about this and about keeping the date to myself. and about keeping the transfer quiet except for my closest friends. but this is me. this is how i live my life -- out loud. the more people who know about it just means more positive energy. and in the event that it is unsuccessful or if something sad were to happen along the way, i will have more people to turn to for support. that's how i survived losing my cooper. i asked for help. i accepted help. and i let people know how badly it hurt. so this is how it will be again. when i become pregnant, you will all know. and you will all know how happy i am. and if i don't you will all know. and you will all know how sad i am. that's just the way it is. that's just the way i am.

so if you enjoy reading my blog, you are along for the ride. welcome. and thank you.

18 September, 2011

sleeping baby boy

this is the story of one of the two things i feel guilty about with you.

when you were eight months old i am ashamed to say that i let you cry in your crib.

i remember deciding to try it. you were asleep on my lap, where you had napped your entire life. i was in a bad frame of mind and feeling frustrated, i couldn't move if you were sleeping. or talk. or anything. i had to hold my pee. i couldn't eat. and it had been like that for eight months. i was sick of it.

so this one day you were asleep and i attempted to read a book. i turned a page and you woke up. i was so tired of not being able to do anything that i started to ask around if people had let their kids cry in order to learn to sleep. many people told me they had. and lots of moms who i respected told me they had.

everyone i knew was telling me for months that i needed to do it. your grandparents. my grandmother. friends of your grandparents. my uncle. friends of mine. people we worked with.

and i was at my wits end.

so i tried it.

i did it at nap time. i put you in your crib once you were asleep in my arms. you woke up crying. i patted your butt and shhhhhed you as you cried and rolled over and reached your arms up for me to pick you up.

i thought i was doing the right thing. but it felt so wrong. it was awful. and i still feel like shit about doing it.

you fell asleep after about six minutes. and slept for about fifteen.

i tried it three days in a row. for one nap each day. and each day i felt nauseated in anticipation of it and during it and after it.

on the second day you cried less about four minutes and slept about twenty minutes.

you usually drifted off to sleep so peacefully and slept for a long time.

everyone said that i was doing the right thing. that it was good for you. that i just had to do it. that i had no choice.

but it felt wrong. it was wrong. it was no good for you. or for me. i did not have to do it and i did have a choice.

on the third day you cried for about two minutes. i said to myself, "f this. what the fuck is wrong with me?" and i scooped you up, said how sorry i was, tucked you into the moby wrap and held you tight. and i took a picture of us. and i never let you cry to sleep like that again.

so we went back to our lap naps. and sometimes i wrapped you up in the moby or tucked you in the ergo. and that was it. i felt so much better about me and about you and about sleep.

soon after this you started to sleep in the car. and the with the vacuum. and then i could nurse you to sleep in bed. and then i could sneak away. you used to wake up crying. now you just say, "mommy up!" and that's after you sleep for three hours nearly every day. all by yourself.

at night was always a different story. you usually fell asleep easily after your bath. i would get ready for bed and we would snuggle in on the couch together. daddy would bring me food and hold you while i ran to the bathroom. he would do everything for me that i couldn't do because i was holding you.

i sometimes forget how helpful he was. and i always want you to know that i couldn't be this type of mommy for you without a daddy like yours.

so anyway at night you usually woke a lot but you never cried at night. you never had to.

and these days, a couple of weeks shy of two, you are still usually up a lot. i mean every hour or two. but you are in bed with us so it's not as terrible as some might imagine. it would be terrible if i had to get up out of bed and go to you. but i don't. and maybe you would be sleeping through by now if you were in another bed, but for us and for now, this is just fine.

but here's the cool part. over the past few weeks, you've been sleeping longer stretches. you have only been waking up twice.it's glorious. these nights are still not the norm, but at least i know you are getting there. all by yourself.

i didn't have to let you cry.

i'm sure that lots of people who read this will have strong opinions about it -- and i would enjoy hearing them -- but i will disagree with them, for sure. because i know there is an option. we don't have to let our babies cry. and we do not have to teach them how to sleep alone.

today it's two pm and you are asleep on my lap. you've been asleep since eight last night. you are obviously fighting something off. but it's a day like this that makes me wonder how i ever got tired of sitting on the couch with the tv on and a sleeping baby boy on my lap.

those days were easy.

14 September, 2011

milky other side

your uncle chris has you conditioned to ask for "milky other side" instead of just "milky" or just "other side".

before you could talk you would sometimes start crying "milky" while you were nursing. i figured out that you meant you wanted to switch sides so i taught you to say "other side". so eventually, your uncle thought it was funny and every time you would start to nurse he would say real loud, "other side" and you would then switch sides. now you do it all. the. time. you nurse on one side for a few seconds and then say, "milky other side!" you come up to me and ask for "milky other side". at night you roll over in your sleep and cry out, "MILKY OTHER SIDE!"

it's funny -- most of the time.

and these are the joys of nursing a toddler. that along with the putting your hand down my shirt while i carry you through target. or trying to eat a meal out at PJs and having you climb from your booster onto my lap and nurse underneath my attempts to finish my sandwich and beer.

but the craziest thing is what goes on in my mind about the future. your dad and i have decided that we are ready to try for another baby. and for us that means that i have to take lots of meds and shoot shots into my leg and have one (or two) of your frozen embryo siblings transferred into my womb. i am excited and afraid at the same time. but what i think about the most is the way that a new baby or babies will change you and me.

i love you and me.

i am finally really understanding you and i have finally become really patient you and you are finally becoming patient with me. we are in such a groovy groove. i am terrified of shaking your life up. of shaking our lives up. things are so good right now. they are getting easier every day. and even though i sometimes hate nursing you, i can't imagine that part of our relationship going away.

we have friends who have just been through this. watching them introduce new babies into their little toddlers lives has been so terrifying for me. i have seen them grimace through the pain of sore nipple throughout pregnancy. i have watched and listened as they have become so frustrated with their giant nursing kids while the little babies are latched on peacefully. why would i want to do this to you? to me? to us?

i know that you will get so much out of having a little baby around. you love babies. you will love having a sibling in the long run. and i know that the benefits outweigh all of the inconveniences or even the stress that it will cause you. me. us.

but still, i can't help but mourn the loss of you and me. i am already mourning it. and i am not even pregnant yet.

i love you so much. i love us. and i am sorry for the way your world might be rocked in the future. but for now, i will just keep on smiling and laughing -- and yes most times i even smile at four AM -- when you ask for, "milky other side!"

17 August, 2011

here's where we are today

i took my yoga class. haven't been back since, but it's stayed with me. yoga is more important off the mat, anyway.

i went to acupuncture to get my chi flowing.

i have been reading my buddha books again. and i am finding some peace. of course i am not all better, but as far as the anger at the people who don't deserve it, i am letting go.

but then there were these two blog posts and a comment that got me thinking. the thoughts are rolling around in my head. so here i am letting them out. working through them. trying to figure it all out.

for one thing, i have decided that i will only be responding to a need for help when the help is asked for. i will reach out to people who are open and receptive. and the rest i will let go. i can accept that a parent can only make the choices that he or she is ready for right now in this lifetime. i can't change anyone. i can support other mothers if i know their decisions are made out of love, but when decisions are made out of selfishness, i believe that to be another story. i can't support that. i can keep my mouth shut (most of the time), but i cannot support it. babies are too too precious for us to treat them as if they matter so little.

so do i still judge? you bet. we all do. it's human nature. i'm working on it.

but here is the difference. i would never say something to a woman to make her feel bad for her parenting choices. yes, i say it here in my blog. but i don't force anyone to read my blog. people know where i am coming from. they don't have to read it. i say it on my facebook page that was set up specifically so i could say these things. i do not say it to a mother in line at the grocery store (well i did once, but i would never again). or to my friend. or to a cousin. or to anyone.

some say that if we don't want to be judged for our choices, we should not judge others. again, everyone judges. the trouble comes when we let those judgments out to hurt feelings. i would never outright tell a mother that she is making a wrong choice or that i think i know best. i may think these things in my head, and we all do and that's okay, but i would never let it out.

i do, however, find it amusing that so many feel it is okay to tell me that i should not have my baby in bed with me, that i should not still be nursing my son, that i should not pick him up every time he cries, that i should vaccinate him, that i should not have my baby at home, etc. etc. the difference is, though, that when someone says those things to me or about me, i don't care. it annoys the shit out of me that they think it's okay to say it, but it does not make me question what i am doing, nor does it make me feel guilty about my decisions. does it make me lose respect for the person. hell yes. does it make me keep them at a distance? for sure. but i say judge away!

i judge because i believe that our world is affected by the way people are born and by the way they are cared for as babies. i believe this because my gut tells me it is true. and because the research backs it up.

oh i know, you can find research to back up anything.

but i have yet to see research that proves that breast feeding is unhealthy (no matter how long it's done). i have never seen an ounce of research to prove that babies are not harmed in some way by being left alone to cry. i have never seen research that says it is not harmful to put a baby in your choice of plastic and to ignore it. i have not seen research that proves it is unsafe for a breast feeding mother to sleep in bed with her baby.

of course, it is impossible to prove that something is not harmful.

but i have read lots of research stating the opposite to be true.

so i am working on being unconsumed by it all. i am working on letting go. the buddha reminds me that suffering comes from the attachment to the idea that things should be different, not from the thing itself. so i am working on it.

and in the end, most of the babies will be fine. my hope is that in the future, we will all be more than fine.

12 August, 2011

pumping and working -- with love from guest blogger meredith

meredith is a super mom. i remember when we first met up together after having a baby, we chatted about all of the nursing challenges we had faced. i remember her saying specifically, "quitting just wasn't an option." i reference this quote often. it's just like anything else, if you enter a challenge with the idea of trying it out or seeing if it will work, undoubtedly, you will fail. if quitting is not an option, you will figure something out. you will make it work. just like meredith did. she went back to work and pumped for an entire school year. she had enough extra milk that she was able to supply other moms who needed milk for their babies with her own liquid love. my friend used her milk while her baby was in the nicu for months. there are so many stories of women who have made it work, against the odds, when others would have just given a bottle of artificial milk. i hope that these women will speak out and share their stories, too. more women need to understand that where there is a will, there is a way. if it's important to you, you can do it. and with a support network such as the one we have created on facebook, it makes it that much easier. so if you are a working mom, or are planning to go back to work after having your baby, or know someone who is, please ask to join meredith's facebook page. share it out. because if a mom wants to continue nursing, going back to work should not stop her. it's even law now that employers must provide a suitable and comfortable location THAT IS NOT A BATHROOM for moms so that they can pump. so here is a little something from meredith about meredith.



I breastfed until I was 4. I helped my mom pump for my sister. I tandem nursed with my younger sister. I grew up in a log cabin in the woods with my hippy parents. I guess you can say I was destined to be a breastfeeding mom.

From the time I got pregnant with Brayden in June of 2009, I knew I was going to breastfeed. There was no other option for me. And then when Brayden was born four weeks early on January 28, 2010, I was in for a challenge. He was so little & had so much trouble latching on. Thank goodness for my mom, my husband, & the nipple shield. Without these three things, I would have given up. Each day got easier & we fell into a groove & are still going strong almost 19 months later!

I knew I would have to go back to teaching that September, when Brayden was about 7 months old. With college loans, credit card debt, mortgage, & all the other fun expenses of being an adult, it was not an option for me to stay home, even though I wanted to so badly. However, I am very lucky with my childcare situation – my husband is a firefighter who works one 24-hour shift & then has three days off, so he is home with B most of the time & the other days a friend would watch B at our house or I would drop him off to go play with his friends & their stay-at-home moms.

I started pumping in June a bit so when I taught summer school for 5 weeks, 4 days a week, 3 hours a day, Brayden could still have my milk if he wanted when I was gone. So he would nurse before I left in the morning, then would sometimes take a bottle when I was away from him, & then he’d nurse as soon as I got home. Then in August I started pumping more frequently to prepare my freezer for my first school year as a working mom.

I knew that pumping at work would take some getting used to when teaching started up in September. It would be a daily occurrence – I would have 27 minutes, yes ONLY 27 minutes, to pee, pump, & eat. I was getting nervous just thinking about it. Was this even possible? But I knew I wanted Brayden to have breastmilk each & every day even when I was not there, so it was just something I had to get adjusted to doing every single school day. Back in July, I had ordered a Simple Wishes Hands-Free Pumping Bra from Amazon. This would allow me to eat, check Facebook, read e-mails, etc. while I pumped. This was the best $30 I ever spent! If you are going back to work, this is a must-have!

So I fell into a routine of running to the bathroom right after my advisory class, locking my classroom door, sitting down in a desk, getting the pump all set up, eating, packing up all the pump parts, & making sure I was ready for my 6th period class all in 27 minutes. When my body became adjusted to pumping, I was able to pump an average of 8-10 ounces each day. Just remember if you only get 3-5 ounces in a pumping session in the beginning, this is totally normal. Your body needs time to get used to the pump, so don’t give up!

As Brayden’s first birthday approached in January, I figured I’d stop pumping. This is what I had heard people talk about – only pumping until their baby was one. But Brayden was still taking some breastmilk from a bottle almost every day, so I didn’t want to deny him that. So I continued to pump until June. It had become second nature to me, so it was no big deal!

At almost 19 months, Brayden still nurses 3-4 times a day & a few times throughout the night. Whether he is nursing for comfort or food, I don’t care. I just cherish these special bonding times that we have together, just the two of us.

Our nursing relationship has continued to be strong even though I had to be away from him from 8:00am to 3:30pm, Monday through Friday from September to June. I would try to nurse him in the morning before work if he wanted to, pump at work, and then we would nurse right when I arrived home. This was a great way for me to relax after work & reconnect & touch base with Brayden after my work day. Then he would continue to nurse quite a bit the rest of the afternoon & evening as if to catch up for missed nursing sessions during the day.

As another school year approaches, I start to get sad that I have to be away from my little boy again, but I know that we will always be able to catch up when I get home over warm breastmilk.

10 August, 2011

practice

today, i took my first yoga class alone since before you were conceived. it's been over three years.

you and i took yoga classes together when you were a little baby. you were starting to walk and i couldn't do much yoga. i had to follow you around bending over holding your fingers and walk around the studio while everyone else practiced yoga. you never were one for sitting still. and when i was pregnant with you, i took classes. i loved it. especially with flossie. she made it so primal. so beautiful. but it was more about connecting with you than it was about me. i also have done a bit over teaching over these past three years. but that's just not the same. teaching yoga and practicing yoga are two very different things.

i haven't done much for just me over the past three years. that's not a complaint. just an observation. so it was nice to do this today.

but today's class was the first one in which i actually did some yoga that pushed me, that made me sweat, that stretched my body and my mind. it was fantabulously awesome. your dad took you to the park with your cousins while i practiced. i didn't worry about you at all. i knew that what i was doing for me was good for you. and i can't wait to go back.

however, i was ridiculed by my ego the entire time. of course, right across from me sat a super cool chick with facial piercings and rad tattoos and funky blonde hair. she had a beautiful practice. i couldn't stop thinking about how cool she was and how much i wanted to be more like her. and of course, the instructor jumped right in after only two sun salutes with one of my most challenging postures...PIGEON. i hate pigeon pose. i know, i am not supposed to hate yoga poses. but i hate this one. i hate it because it brings things up. it's hard. and i want so badly to do it.

so about halfway through the class i got a grip on my ego. i thought about the blonde chick (and remembered pocahontas from years back. remember her, nz?) and i thought that maybe she has had an easy life and nothing has gotten in the way of her practice. and then i thought maybe she had a lot of shit thrown her way and this was what saved her. and then i thought, does it matter? she has her practice. and she loves it. and i have mine. though it's not what it used to be and i have no idea what it will ever be again, it's my practice.

the funny thing is that afterwards, we went to school to clean out my old classroom. it has someone else's name above the door now. that made me feel kind of weird and sad. and then i cleaned out my stuff. i gave most of it to your dad for his classroom. and lots went into the trash or recycling bin. i walked out with a bag of yoga mats from when i used to own the studio and a box full of random buddha statues and the like that kids had given me over the years. i thought that was very appropriate.

and then i remembered that the first time i resigned from a teaching job, i was on my way to my first kids' yoga teacher training in nyc with jodi komitor. i was starting a new life. this time, i've already started my new life. but today, as i closed the door on one chapter, i re-opened a door to another. my yoga is still there. and so is the buddha.




09 August, 2011

bringing buddha back

i realize that much of my suffering -- anger frustration guilt regret jealousy and the rest -- is caused by greed, just like the buddha taught.

my desire to be able to reverse time, to hold cooper in my arms, to be able to change people's minds and actions, to change my own past actions, to get pregnant easily, to carry a baby without fear, to have my home birth, to make your dad behave in the ways that i want him to, and everything else that causes that rage to bubble up inside, is causing me to suffer. it's making me heavy. i don't laugh or love like i used to.

your dad misses me. he misses who i used to be. and i miss that, too. i miss who we used to be before it all.

i am not who i was before. and i never will be again. i can't fix that. i can't go back. but i can work on bringing a little bit of me back. the part that let things roll. that accepted other people. that didn't stress about things that i had no control over. that part i can bring back. i used to love people. and accept them for where they were. i used to laugh more. and smile more. and be, well, just lighter.

but things happened. i lost cooper. we struggled with getting pregnant with you. you ended up being pulled out of my womb by a doctor with a mask on instead of being born peacefully into your dad's arms like we had planned. and then you were you. you challenge me every step of the way. and while your dad and i came together like magnets in all of those other times of sadness and pain, when you were born we just seemed to repel each other's forces. it's been so hard. the past three and a half years have been so hard.

but here's the thing. i want to be light again. to be easy. to laugh. to let things roll. i want love and acceptance. i want you to have a mom who laughs a lot. and not just with you. i want you to see me laugh with others. and with your dad.

i need to bring buddha back.

31 July, 2011

guilt. anger. regret.

i was just straightening up some papers and came across my prenatal records form my pregnancy with you. once again, i am sorry i was so trusting of the doctors, i am sorry i let you down. i am sorry. i dropped the ball.

here is how it goes:

12/17/07 c/o brownish discharge since last week; spec exam, minor brown discharge
12/19/07 pink spotting persists
12/26/07 c/o brown discharge
1/30/08 terazol 7 (this was dr white's plan for dealing with my recurring c/o brown discharge)
1/31/08 increase fluid/blood per vagina all day, U/S - no fluid, to l&d

and that was that.


final report after you were gone:

placenta demonstrating chorionic villous edema, mild chorioamnionitis and funistitis

yup. an infection in my placenta. and in the bag of water that was keeping you safe. and no one caught it. no one. and i didn't keep fighting with them until they did. i let them let you die.

summary --
hospital course: contractions developed every 3 minutes. cervix closed, thick and anterior. sent to l&d for closer monitoring. developed a temperature of 101.4 with diagnosis this point of being chorioamnionitis (they never once told me that in the hospital. i found out from the high risk doc weeks later.) she was started on pitocin and augmented for delivery. (jesus how i wish i knew what i know now and i wish i had the fight in me then.) six hours later the patient complained of rectal pain. she was found to be complete and +3. she pushed for a live male infant, apgars 1 and 1 over an intact perineum (yes, because you were so tiny. so so tiny.) ... intructions to follow up in 2 weeks for a check.

that was the infamous follow-up appointment in which the caring dr asked if i was breast feeding you. i see here in the paperwork that she wrote baby with a little arrow pointing down. that was after i had to remind her that you died in her presence. what a fucking asshole.

high risk doc write-up includes, "i explained the possibility of ascending bacterial infection and intrauterine inflammation. it is difficult to determine the precise etiology, although the fact that there was chorioamnionitis and funistits suggest that intrauterine infection had occurred and that the fetus had begun to mount an inflammatory response." he went on to say that "i suggest she be screened for bacterial vaginosis with her next pregnancy and be treated if it is found to be present."

with mason, i was and it was and i was.

how hard would it have been for those docs at GARDEN STATE OB/GYN CARE to have ordered a check for BV on 12/17/07? six weeks before you died. you would be here now if they had.

it seems like the perinatologist knew exactly what caused your death. i still consider hiring a lawyer and suing that entire practice and that one doctor in particular. daddy says no. he says it will bring too much up. but it's up. believe me, it's up every fucking day of my life. and maybe it would be hard to prove. but maybe we could prove it. and maybe one baby would live because they decided to check moms for bv.

and you know what else hurts? (and here is when i wish i blogged anonymously.) it really hurts when friends stay with that practice. i don't know, maybe i expect too much, but if my friend went through what i went through, i would bail on that place so quickly and tell them exactly why. kind of in a stand and unite kind of way. you know, kind of saying, "girl, i got your back." so when i hear friends say that they stayed there, i still love them, but i kind of want to say "fuck you". (probably just lost another friend or two. not my intention.)

and it hurts when friends don't heed my warnings about being wary of birth in america. my story is not the only one. garden state is not the only place that is too big to care. i know we are all on our own paths and that we all need to learn our lessons in our time. but i am not making this shit up. neither are the countless others that share their experiences with me. i am not simply a disgruntled and angry patient who had a bad experience. these experiences repeat over and over again across our country.

there are facts.
there is research.
i have read it.
something is not right.

we need to make it right.

so i want to encourage all moms, to please, research. learn. be informed. choose wisely. take responsibility.

you do not want to live with the guilt and anger that i will live with for the rest of my life.

cooper, i am so sorry. i don't know what else to say. and i can't say it enough.

p.s. after people have read what i wrote, it seems like i gave the wrong impression of your dad. he just feels like suing wouldn't bring you back, so why should we put ourselves through it? all the money in the world means nothing to either of us. and nothing we do can bring you back, so why drag it through the system? he would do anything to make me feel better. and he suffers as much as i do. he just isn't as vocal about it. when he got home tonight, i showed him the report from the perinatologist. and he said, "all right. so we do it." he hadn't read those papers since it all went down, either. sometimes it seems like the past 3.5 years have been w blurry whirlwind.

02 July, 2011

i don't know how to title this one -- but it's angry as hell with lots of foul language so i apologize for that

not really sure how to gear this one or who to write it to.

been thinking a lot lately about your birth (ok, it's to you cooper) and the way it all played out. i think about how naive and uninformed i was all the time. maybe that's why i obsess so much over everyone else's pregnancy and birthing experiences.

we were at the ICAN meeting the other night. meredith was there (she was our midwife for your brother's birth). she was talking about how home birth is so safe because there are two midwives to one mama. as opposed to a birth in the hospital when there are many mamas and limited docs and nurses running in and out of rooms to take care of so many different women they don't even know personally.

it got me thinking about my pregnancy with you. the practice i was going to was a very nice office with three separate waiting rooms and 16 -- yes count them -- 16 practitioners. it was very impersonal. every time i went there i saw a different doc, as recommended so i will have met as many docs as possiblle so that the person on call that day when i delvered would not be someone i had never met (as if meeting a doc once for five minutes counts as anything anyway). i would wait in the first waiting room until they sent me back to whichever pod i would sit in until the nurse was ready for me. once i was called back into the exam room, i waited another long while for the OB to come in. she or he often spent less than five minutes with me...how are you feeling? are you feeling any movement yet? your weight looks good...blah blah blah. ok get dressed we will see you again in a month. i never made it so far as to have to go more than monthly.

oh, except for the multiple times i went in because i had some sort of strange smelling discharge. and some blood. no itching. but i was diagnosed three, maybe four, i have to go back and check my records, times with a YEAST INFECTION.

i have had recurring yeast infections my entire life. and while i had never had any blood and i had always had some itching, i took the meds for the yeast infection and went on my way. it passed every time. but then it came back. over and over.

remember, you were born at 22.5 weeks, so this should have been alarming to a doctor, you'd think. it should have caused me to look elsewhere for a care provider who gave a shit. or maybe even two shits. that would have been smart of me. maybe if i had you would be here today. i am actually almost certain that you would be.

but no. i stayed with them. and even though in my gut i knew that the diagnosis yeast infection made no sense, i always let them explain away why it did. and i took the meds. and it went away, and came back.

i remember searching online for "brown discharge during pregnancy" to no avail. i searched and searched. but i guess i was searching all the wrong sites. and god knows i was asking all the wrong people. there was nothing about it in 'what to expect'.

so i trusted the doctors.

(i later discovered that i had likely had bacterial vaginosis. it would have been a simple swab test to check for. and it would have been simple to cure. but no one took the time to think about it. or to check. maybe they are unfamiliar with something so common because their specialties are spread so thin that they are not really specialties at all. i was diagnosed with bv during my pregnancy with mason. i swabbed myself. meredith sent it away to the lab. i went to my wonderful back-up dr at cooper health systems, dr salvatore, and she gave me meds to be sure it would go away and never come back. it was so simple. so so simple. but instead all of those docs told me it was a yeast infection. the bv got worse and worse. it spread to my uterus. i got chorioamnionitis and the amniotic sac ruptured because of it. and you were born way too early and i had to tell them not to be aggressive with your care because i didn't want to put you through that and i wanted to just hold you while you were alive instead of look at you through a plastic box with tubes in your nose until you died in the end anyway.)

oh yes, back to the story.

when i went in the day BEFORE MY WATER BROKE AT 22 WEEKS AND TWO DAYS with the same complaints. brown discharge. a little bloody. no itching. weird smell. again, i was diagnosed by dr. w (i am sure i have said her real name on here before at some point during a rage, but for now i will leave it at that. you can always ask me to be more specific and i will gladly do so, or if you are sick of hearing from me and my angry self, i am sure that any of my friends who have also had horrible experiences with this doctor and with this practice will share) with yet another YEAST INFECTION. i used the suppository -- she said i needed the seven day because the shorter doses were obviously not working and that the blood was likely because the infection was so bad that my uterus was bleeding. wtf? how could it have even gotten so bad when i had been in multiple times over the course of three months with the same fucking complaints? see i am getting angry again.

so i used the suppository. and the next day it was leaking out of me. well, it along with the amniotic fluid that was keeping you safe. but i ignored it because i thought it was the fucking medicine.

and at 1:26 PM the day after seeing the careless dr w, my water broke. you were born and died the next day.

my water broke. but i didn't know that. there was blood when i peed. i called the doc. they said come in. she checked me. vaginally (count one). it was dr s this time. (she at least sent me flowers and a card after you died, unlike what that shitty dr w did.)

she said
this has nothing to do with why you were here last night.
your water broke.
you need to go right to the hospital.
sometimes we can keep youpregnant for a long time.

at the hospital i was checked vaginally again. and again. and again. and maybe again. by multiple doctors.

MY FUCKING WATER HAD BROKEN AND YOU MORONS KNEW THAT WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU PUT YOUR NASTY HANDS IN MY VAGINA?

so the next day i spiked a fever. shocking, right, that i would get a nasty infection in my uterus after the sac that was protecting you had broken and all of those assholes had put their hands in my crotch. they induced me. i had an epidural. you were born. i held you and your daddy and i cried and cried. you stopped breathing right there in my arms. i sobbed for days and days. i am sobbing now. it's three years and five months and one day later.

so you were born and you died. and it is my fault for being so ignorant. for trusting doctors instead of my gut. and i can live with that. your short life has madde me better. and i believe you knew what you were getting into. and i love you for it. more than anyone could ever know or understand.

i went back three weeks later to the ob. guess who it was again? yes, good old dr. w. she obviously didn't read my chart, or remember you at all even though only three weeks had passed, or know anything about breastfeeding for that matter because her response when i told her i was still having the same brown discharge with the weird smell was, "are you breastfeeding?"

um, no bitch. my baby died. and you were there. for the entire thing. what the fuck is wrong with you and your entire mcdonald-ized ob/gyn practice? i know for damn sure you weren't thinking i was pumping to donate my milk, because no one metioned to me that i could have done that.

her reaction was one of shock but moreso of embarrassment. and what did i say out loud, "it's ok. you have a lot of patients." i comforted her and made her feel that it was ok that she did not remember the most traumatic experience of my life. she did not remember this special being that she was lucky enough to come into contact with. but i told her that it was ok.

months later i wrote a letter to her telling her how i felt. i carried it around with me as therapy. i had no intention of mailing it.

but one day, i mailed it to her. she called and apologized again on my voicemail. she sounded like a blundering fool. but i felt a little bit good about it. maybe she won't make a mistake like that again. maybe she will read charts form now on.

every time i went back there to try to get some answers, no one ever had any. no one had any interest in helping me get answers. and guess what? every time i went back i had to explain to nurses and doctors and receptionists that my postpartum experience had been sheer hell and that the baby had died. they just kept asking the same questions. how is the baby? how old is the baby? how are you feeling? and i never once lost my mind on any of them. i was kind and polite instead of pouncing on one of them and grabbing my chart and screaming at the top of my lungs, DOESN'T ANYBODY HERE KNOW WHAT THIS IS FOR? DO ANY OF YOU READ THESE FUCKING THINGS?

so now that i have mason, and meredith who never would have missed the real diagnosis, i tell anyone who will listen about our experiences. i hope that i can help someone have a better experience that you and i had together. and i hope that maybe somewhere, something i have said has maybe saved a little baby from dying. i may come off harsh sometimes. or opinionated. and maybe some people don't like me for it. and yes i am angry. and maybe i need to work through it more. but for now, please forgive me for my anger. and know that i love you. and that i am sorry. and that i thank you. and that i understand.

12 June, 2011

i never knew how much i'd like you

tonight you just wouldn't settle down to sleep. you nursed. you switched sides. nursed again. cried for daddy. he came to lie down next to you. you nursed again. daddy snuck away. you switched sides. i asked if you wanted to "rock rock" and you said yes, reached out your arms to signal that you wanted to be picked up, and then moved your arm back and forth pantomiming me vacuuming. this means you want me to hold you over my shoulder, hum 'all you need is love', and vacuum the bedroom. you fall asleep within seconds. i turn off the vacuum and lay you down on the bed. sometimes you roll to your side and drift right back to sleep while i gently rub your back. but most times you say 'milky' and i nurse you back to sleep. then i eventually sneak away. sometimes it takes longer than other times.

tonight while i was waiting to sneak away, i was thinking back to one particular walk when you were about six weeks old. it was a gorgeous fall day. you had been awak all day. which was normal. you never slept during the day. so this day i stuck you in the moby wrap and stuck it out through your protests and walked the neighborhood until you finally fell asleep. you had done that before but it would usually only last seconds. this time you slept for a long time. i braved it and came in the house. you stayed asleep through the door being opened and closed. i slowly lay down on the living room couch and you stayed asleep, all tucked in. you slept a while. i think i may have even slept. until i felt pee all over me and you were screaming.

back then your cries ran through me like someone was pumping acid through my veins. i reacted with every sense of my being. i couldn't cope with your crying. i had no idea what you were ever trying to tell me.

but these days, you so rarely have to cry to let me know what you need. we have gotten into such a groove. i understand your body movements, the words that maybe no one else can decipher, the looks on your face that can communicate just about anything.

i never imagined back then on that gorgeous fall day that we would get along so well. the moment i saw that little bubble that contained the embryo that contained everything you would become, i fell in love with you. from the moment you were conceived, even before that, i have done everything in my power to protect you and to help you to be the strongest and the healthiest and most loved little human you could be.

but yet, in the beginning, i didn't like you too much. i was terrified of you. i was terrified of not being able to calm you, of not knowing what you needed, what you were telling me. when you did sleep i would literally hold my breath so i wouldn't wake you. i didn't know how to keep you happy. and that was new for me. i had always known how to keep people happy (when i wanted to, that is). but you were different. i had no control over you. again. new. those first few months, i was afraid.

but these days, i love you just as much as i ever did. maybe even more. but even more that that, i like you. a lot. you are super cool and you make me laugh all the time. i love watching you decipher your world and explore every inch of it. you fascinate me just by being you.

and now i can sense that although i understand you differently now, it was that same personality in that little bitty baby body that i was so afraid of. i just hadn't figured you out yet. back then, i had no idea how much i'd like you.

05 June, 2011

who i am today

dear cooper

yesterday was your due date. you would have been three. three years old. and likely there would have been no mason. and i would have been a whole different person. i would not be who i am today.

i carried you inside of me for just over half of a term pregnancy. i held you in my arms for only ten minutes. but no other person in this world has ever had quite the impact you have had on me.

your birth changed me. forever.

over these three years i have pissed people off. i have lost friends. i have been mean. i have wished for bad things to happen to good people. i have begrudged people of their happiness. i have felt hate. and anger. and jealousy. and sadness. and despair. and hopelessness.

but i have also learned so much about love. and life. and yes it sounds cliche. but it's true. i have made new and wonderful friends. i have strengthened bonds with old friends. i have watched your big cousins grow up and admired their dad as he learns more every day about being their dad. i have had people thank me for talking so openly about you. i have had people thank me for pissing people off because along the way they have learned something they might not otherwise have known and their lives have changed because of it. i have had people tell me that people i don't even know have been affected by me and my ramblings. i have facilitated as sixth grade students raised thousands and thousands of dollars in your name. and then walked five miles in your honor. and in honor of brothers and sisters they have lost that their parents only told them about once they heard about you.

all of those people who have thanked me or encouraged me, they have you to thank, little baby boy, not me.

i am honored that you chose me.

you weighed one pound and six ounces. you lived for about 600 seconds.

you changed me. you changed others. you have changed a little piece of the world in a way that i could never have dreamed.

i remember thinking, before meeting you, that once i had babies i wouldn't let that change me. you would fit into my life and i would go on living as i had always done, but with you by my side. i would go back to work, of course. i would still go out with my friends. i would continue living my life. you would fit into it.

but after you were here and then left so quickly, my whole focus changed. my life changed, so the life you would have had to fit into no longer existed. so once your brother was born, he met a whole different mom from the one you knew.

today i am consumed by motherhood. it is who i am. i do not mourn the loss of that other woman. or of her life. i do not feel the need to hold on to something that no longer is. this is me now. i am your mother. i am mason's mother. it's what i do. and it's what i do best. it's what i love to do. what i live to do.

so thank you again, baby boy. thank you for choosing me as your mother. i only hope that we can meet again in this lifetime. i hope you are still hanging around waiting to be held again in my arms. and know that if you are, if you choose to come back to me, you will meet a whole new mom but feel that same love again. only this time i'll be crying tears of happiness.

23 May, 2011

growing up

kid, you are growing up so fast. i realized the other day that you've been walking on your own for almost a year now. that is just so hard to believe. it seems like yesterday that you were demanding to walk around everywhere while i held onto your hands. it seems like that went on forever. it seems like yesterday when you stood up and held onto the couch all by yourself at your baby blessing celebration.

you were so ready to do things on your own from the beginning. i often wonder if that's what you were so pissed off about. you came out with this frustration that you just couldn't seem to get a hold of. and then when i couldn't get a hold of it either, it just seemed to escalate.

but as time went on, with every new skill you learned, it seemed that a little of the frustration disappeared.

a couple of weeks ago you grabbed my glass full of water and picked it up. i ran over to grab it from you as i imagined it falling and breaking all over your little toes. but before i got there you put it to your mouth, took a nice long drink, and put the glass back on the table. you did it so carefully. without even a dribble coming out of your mouth. i forget sometimes that you are growing up.

we were out the other day at the store. i forget what it was that we even bought, but as i paid i said my usual thank you to the cashier. when we got in the car and you saw whatever it was, you said "thank you" and did the sign at the same time. you kept doing it every time you saw that thing. we got you a fish. and on your own when we were looking at it together the next morning, you looked at me and said, "thank you" all by yourself. it wasn't the words that got me, it aws the look in your eyes. it was like you were thanking me for more than just the fish. it was the coolest thing i ever saw. well, that morning, anyway.

you have been saying thank you for so months now. i am always so amazed by it because i have never told you to say thank you. you just say it because you are soaking everything up that you see. you learn every day all the time without any effort on either of our parts. i never even taught you the sign for thank you. maren does it with jaren and you have seen her do it. you copy everyone around you.

last week you came up to me and said' "off". and when my face asked you "what off?" you pointed to your diaper and said "off. poop." i nearly pooped my own pants with surprise. for months you have been telling me when you pee -- since i leave your diaper off so often at home you are often telling me you have peed on the floor -- but i just figured that was because your diaper was off and it was easy for you to recognize it. but here you are, getting to be a big boy, telling me that you pooped. it's only been a week or so but i can't believe how much easier it is for both of us. i don't have to annoy you by asking you and checking your butt. you just tell me. i can only imagine how good that makes you feel to understand what is happening in our body and to be able to tell me about it. and also i guess to know that it's normal.

these days when you are tired you tell me, "up" and point towards our bed. if you want to nurse you say "milky" and show me where i should sit. you can tell me if you want a snack and point to the exact thing you want. if you fall and get hurt you can show me where it hurts and what did it to you. you make up your own signs for words you can't say. you have always been a communicator, from the moment you were pulled form my belly, but it makes it so much easier and so much more fun now that you can communicate with your words and with clear body language.

it must be so hard to be a baby. even with a mom who responds within seconds to your cries or requests, there have obviously been so many times when i couldn't understand what it was you needed, or now as you are getting older, what you wanted. when you were a tiny baby and you couldn't speak, or walk, or even sit up by yourself, you must have felt so much frustration with your world and even with the people who love you.

it was really hard for you to be a baby. and it was really hard for me when you were a baby. but now you are growing up becoming a big boy. we have figured each other out. and together we're trying to figure out the world. and it won't be long before you are eight. and then nine like your cousins. it happens so fast. it seems like just yesterday that they were running around learning about being "civilized" just like you are now. and now they are big and are sometimes just too cool to hang with your goofy mom. and that will be you someday. someday too soon.

so for now, i am going to spend every minute i can watching with wonder as you are growing up right in front of me.

18 May, 2011

attachment to the way other people do it

i have had a really difficult time with motherhood. not with the actual mothering part, but with accepting that all people are different and have different stories, and that no matter what, if a baby is loved, in the end he will be ok. i have had a hard time letting go of my need for others to parent their babies the way i parent you. because hey, i parent you the way i do because i believe that it's the right way to parent. many people say there is no right way, but i think there is. and i think that if everyone was honest, they think their way is right, too. otherwise, why would they parent that way? and maybe some good-hearted open and accepting people will say that there is a right way for each family. or for each child. or for each mother. yes, that's true, but there are just some big things that i believe are right.

1. i believe that we should all try to breastfeed our babies. that we should all become educated and take responsibility for learning how to do it. we live in a culture and time when breastfeeding is not the norm. many of us have never seen it done. but we need to prepare. to learn. to seek support. because it is best for our babies. and it's good for us. and for the earth. we need to give it our best shot. yes, there are people who have been abused and cannot even imagine putting a baby to their breast. there are people who have traumatic birth experiences and this affects their breastfeeding relationship. there are a whole slew of booby traps that can get in the way. but i believe it is our responsibility to try our best to figure it out. we all do the best we can with the knowledge that we have, i know this. and babies who are not breastfed will be just fine. they will be ok. they will thrive ( at least in this country). as long as a baby loved and fed with love, that baby will grow up and know how to show love. but i still believe that we should try our best. how can anyone feel guilt or make anyone feel guilt for giving it their best? i cannot understand a mother who simply refuses to try. and i guess it's not my job to understand. it's not my job to even accept it. it's her journey and she has her reasons. what business is it of mine?

2. i believe that hospital circumcision is wrong. this is just my belief. and i will do my best to urge people to choose to leave their sons intact. i believe it hurts and that it's a shitty way to introduce baby to the world. the mainstream world does not put the information out there about the risks of circumcision. they don't tell us that it is not necessary. they don't show the videos of the babies having it done to them. i encourage friends to at least wait a week or maybe even six months until bonding and breastfeeding are established until they have it done if they choose to have it done for whatever reason. at least then baby has learned to trust his mom. but when it's done in the hospital it is painful and done within a day of being on the planet. that sucks. i don't believe that anyone should feel guilty for their decision to do it. however, if you do it to your son after knowing 100% how the procedure is done and that it is not necessary, i just can't understand it. it makes my heart and my belly hurt. and again, i guess it's not my job to understand it. it's none of my business i guess, what someone else does to their sons genitals. and i can still love you if you do it. but in the end, i do think this is something that in the future people will look back and be very shocked to know that we as a culture did this to our babies for so long. and i know way too many moms who did have it done, and feel sad about it afterwards, so i will never shut up about why it isn't necessary.

3. i believe it's wrong to have a baby and to leave it in a container all day long. i don't think strollers or swings or cribs or or infant car seats used outside of the car are the devil. these things all serve a purpose and can be super helpful if your baby likes them. i just think it's wrong to stick your baby in a container and to ignore it all the time, no matter what. of course some women suffer from post-partum depression or are single moms or are sick and have no help from family and need to use these things. but i think it's wrong to leave a poor baby strapped into some container and to essentially ignore it for hours on end. babies are born with a need to be held and to bond with the people who love them. so when you can, i think you should hold your baby. not carry it or push it around in some apparatus all the time.

4. i think it is wrong and harmful to let your baby cry alone in order to teach him how to sleep. i can't imagine if i were crying and the person i loved just closed the door, left the room and said, "figure it out". there may come a time when the baby is older that you decide to let your baby cry for a few minutes until he falls asleep. ok, you know your baby and if he is ready. you may get to the point where youjust cannot function anymore, but i really believe there are other options. they just take longer than the three days or so that you would have to endure your baby's screams. 'the no cry sleep solution' is full of ideas. or you can just keep the baby in bed. or you can let dad hold the baby until he falls asleep and let dad put him down. there are so many different things you can try. and if you do let your baby cio in the end because you truly believe in your heart that it's best for your baby and it's what he or she needs, i can even understand that. your baby will still love you in the morning. but i just wish that sleep were not such a hot topic in our culture and that i would not have to hear about the poor little things crying alone.

5. i think it is wrong to hurt your child in any way. i cannot accept someone hitting their child. telling them to shut up. calling them names. i can accept that it happens and that people do it because they are doing their best at this time. but i cannot accept it in my life. so if someone treats their child in this way, i cannot be their friend. especially if they do it in front of my kid. it's not that i am trying to shelter him from the world, but i don't want you to know that i would choose people who do that kind of thing to their kid to be a part of our lives.

most of this post is therapy for me. i have to realize that all of these babies, as long as they are shown love, will be ok. and that i am not right. i am right for me and for you at this time. there is no right. there just is what we do. and what we learn. and how we change. but in the end, can i accept it? i have had a really hard time holding on to friendships in which someone makes choices different from mine. i guess i feel like i am in a constant state of defending my non-conventional choices and that instead of kindly explaining to them my reasons like i do, i really just want to tell them all of the things i just wrote about. maybe after this post i will have even less friends. but it's something i am learning to be ok with.

there are a lot of things i do that are not mainstream. i don't vaccinate. i use cloth diapers. i spend more money on feeding you and us whole and real foods than i can probably afford. i have used a stroller maybe five times with you. i never owned an infant car seat for you. you are intact. you sleep with us in our bed. i plan to nurse you until you are no longer interested in nursing (or until i can distract you enough that you are no longer interested). i take you to a chiropractor and a naturopath when you are sick instead of to the pediatrician. i let your fevers run their course. you don't drink cows milk. i will never take you to the animal circus. i plan to home educate you. but i don't always take the alternative route. i turned your car seat around at 14 months even though i knew i wanted to leave you rear facing for as long as possible. i give you ice cream. i have tons of toys for you to play with -- the plastic light up kind and everything. ok, so i guess i am pretty unconventional since that's all i can thnk of, but i don't think everyone should do all of these things. i don't think people who do them are bad. well, most of the time. but those things i wrote about above i have a really hard time with. if someone does one of those things, unless it's the last one, of course i can be their friend, if they still want me to be. if you do a couple or a few of them, i can still be your friend. if you do all of them, other than abuse your child, i can be your friend. but i still don't understand it. and i can't just let it go. i always think about it. i am not sure why. maybe it's because i think you think i am wrong if you don't do it the way i do -- a throw-back to the way i was always made to feel wrong when i was a kid. maybe it's my controlling personality. maybe it's because i tend to personify babies way too much and i feel like i can see from their eyes. maybe because if a person is making decisions that i would never accept in myself, i just can't understand it. i am trying really hard to understand why this lesson is so hard for me to learn. why am i so attached to the way other people are mothering their babies and children? i know that everyone has a story. everyone has a path. everyone has their lessons. i also believe that all little souls choose their parents, so they know what they are getting into. i am the same way about women and the way they choose to birth their babies. i just want everyone to have their best birth. deep down i can feel it. but i know thta what's best for me is not best for everyone. i don't think everyone whould have their babies at home. but i am so attached to women having their babies vaginally, naturally, without being induced, even though i delivered cooper with an epidural and you via cesarean. what is it? what is going on in my head that keeps me so attached to these things. i need a nice long talk with flossie, my teacher. i need to get back into my yoga practice. i need to sit. to meditate. i need to figure this out. i am losing friends and making people hate me. and i hate to be hated. and i guess i am reaaly lucky to have all this time on my hands to focus on things that don't affect my own life. i am lucky everyone i love and care for is healthy. that i can afford to live in a nice house in a nice place and stay home and have food on the table. someday, i will be too busy to notice or to care what others are doing. i guess i just hope that in the end the world is a better place for you and your kids. and i guess i believe the world will only get better if the babies and kids are shown better. i don't know. i am sure some people will read this and think i am self-righteous. that i have issues. that i am an asshole. i'm not even sure if i should publish this post. but i guess in the end, voicing our thoughts ans differences can be painful, but it can also lead to understanding. so here's hoping to a positive reaction...at least in the long run.