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pregnancy

gynecological misadventure, gynecological visit, mammogram, pregnancy, miscarriage, fibroids, mammogram, menopause, millenials

A gynecological misadventure is never fun, especially when they involve surprises and words like fibroids, pregnancy, menopause, miscarriage and mammogram all in the same visit. Last week, I had my “yearly” exam and mammogram because women’s reproductive health is my jam. And, I discovered the meaning of life or at least solved one of life’s great mysteries, why women start getting mammograms at 40 and not 25.

As the mammogram tech, the same lady who did my first mammogram last year, gingerly fondled my breast as she positioned and repositioned my very pliable breasts I realized, had I not given birth, breastfed and subsequently fallen victim to gravity, there is no way that she could maneuver my breasts into this machine. Mammograms are not a young woman’s game. Then I laughed because I remembered that I used to be known for my breasts and my legs. How’s that for irony? Broken and Broken. Check and Check.

Pert breasts could never do what these ever so gracefully aged, slightly used breasts can do. No way my 25 year old tits cold be placed into a machine as an entity in and of itself, separate from my body, as if I could remove them.., place them in the machine, walk out of the room and come back after pressing the imaging button. No way!!

Mature breasts have lived more and while they may be slowly creeping into my armpits because my hatred of bras has increased almost as much as my newfound love of full-coverage panties, they still have some life in these old girls… even if they are 3 inches lower than they used to be. You know the story, the bigger they are, the harder they fall.

I thought my advanced maternal aged” pregnancy at 31 made me feel old, well… you can imagine what being referred to 3 times (by 3 different medical professionals) as menopausal at “my age” made me feel like?

It was like suddenly my lady bits dried out, shriveled up, got arthritis and no longer functioned. I felt old, like my uterus suddenly needed a walking cane. Like the fruit that were my loins had suddenly rotted on the vine. Hey ladies… Don’t you worry about my bits, they’re working just fine, every 28 days just like clockwork and my ovulation could give any 27-year-old a run for her money. The shark week force is still strong with this one. 

The gynecological inner workings of my lady bits were insulted and then my ego was grievously injured. Shot through the uterus. Menopausal? Jesus! Had my moisturizer stopped working? This was more embarrassing than the fu man chu incident of 2005!

I knew this exam was different because for the first time in my lifetime, the doctor didn’t have to grab for the world’s deepest speculum, you know the one that feels like my uterus is in my throat? Nope she was able to use the “regular” speculum, just like she uses on everyone else. Whomp whomp. In a weird way I took pride in that crazy deep cervix of mine, it made me feel special like a gynecological unicorn but alas, now I am “average”.

I balked. “Wait? Is something wrong down there?” My doctor, whose sense of humor is just as randy as my own, replied, ” No, sometimes this just happens to women when they get “old”. Their uterus begins to fall.”

Not “older” that bitch said “old” and then she giggled, signaling to me that she was in fact giving me a hard time. I mean, I’m not Michelle Duggar, my uterus should be firmly in place and this lady wants to play Chicken Little with jokes about my uterus falling! Did I mention she’s only 3 years younger than me? Hey now!

Luckily, she quickly followed that by, “It’s hormonal. At different times of the month it can feel differently.” That didn’t give me any relief. And then while doing the physical exam, she gave me the head tilt and ” Hmmm?” Not a combo I like to see at my doctor’s visit.

Wait! What’s going on? Is my fucking uterus actually falling? Nope, she followed with this, ” Well, your uterus feels about the size of a 10-12 week pregnant uterus.”

Dumbfounded.

Silence.

Silence.

Gynecological misadventure number 1; possible pregnancy.

If you thought an accidental pregnancy at almost 40 was scary, you can’t even imagine what one today would do to me.Whispering as all the color and blood rushed from my face, “What? I’m not pregnant! Am I?” I hoped she had the defibrillator near by. Obviously being “menopausal and of the reproductive age of retirement ” I was going to have a heart attack any second now. Then, my brain, “Booyah bitches! Who you calling menopausal now?” Strangely, momentarily, I felt reproductively vindicated.

Wait? Was I one of those morons who didn’t know they were pregnant until they went into labor? 147 IQ, you failed me. Oh God, senility is setting in, maybe I am menopausal?

Then she tilted her head the other way and said, “Hmmm” again as she manhandled my uterus.., “Nope! Have you been having regular periods? When was your last one?”

Gynecological misadventure number 2; a possible miscarriage!

“26 days ago. I’m starting again on Thursday.” In my brain, ” oh dear Jesus, I’ve had a miscarriage again.” Holding back tears, saying a rosary in my head.

More uterine fondling, this time it felt personal. She tilted her head back in the other direction, “Hmmmmm, nope!”

Silence

Silence

Waiting

Jeopardy music playing in my head.

“Probably just fibroids!”

Just fibroids?” Que loca? There’s no such thing as just tumors in your uterus.

“Just tell the front desk to schedule you for a ultrasound and we’ll take a look next time.”

Gynecological misadventure number 3; cancer?

I tilted my head, “Hmmmm, Nope!”  I suddenly staged a sit in of one. I refused to leave the building without knowing whether I was dying or not. Damn you webmd. Just like the 108-degree bronchitis fever incident in 2009. I’ll sit here forever. I’ve got nothing but time, lady. She knows that I’m was just crazy enough to do it.

Needless to say, I was seen immediately for my transvaginal ultrasound. Suddenly, I found myself pantless in stirrups having trouble breathing. Then I remembered the last time I was in this room, on this table, I was told, ” I’m sorry, there is no heartbeat.” The day that all I could do was cry.

Gynecological misadventure number 4; fibroids?

As a middle-aged tech, at least 10 years my senior explained to me that fibroids are common in women who are “menopausal” I nearly lost my shit. If only I could breathe. Then she showed them to me, my fibroids. All 3 of them. I had gotten my first one with Bella, a second with Gabs and I’m assuming a third with the pregnancy I lost. I wanted a tattoo to commemorate the baby I lost but instead, I got fibroids as a parting gift.

So, I go upstairs and wait to see my doctor again. She confirms that I’ve got the fibroids (guess its better than hemorrhoids?) but it’s nothing to worry about. When I couldn’t take it anymore, I quietly asked her the question that we’re all dying to know the answer to, “Am I menopausal?”

Gynecological misadventure number 5; menopause?

She giggled, no hmmm or head tilt this time, “No, you have no symptoms and you are still regularly menstruating and ovulating. Some women do start the process at 35, though. But no, you’re not menopausal.”

I felt like she should have handed me a damn t-shirt saying as much. I felt reproductively spry. Then, I gave her a hug bye and said, “Can you pass the word along to the rest of your staff and… I’ll take that referral for a vasectomy for my husband now. You know since obviously, I’m still fab, fit and fertile!” My uterus is a millennial even if my breasts are looking middle-age ish these days. Damn you breastfeeding.

And we both laughed.

Have you ever suffered a gynecological misadventure or (any doctor for that matter) and how did you handle it?

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Childbirth, labor games, tlc, labor and delivery, pregnancy
Disclosure: This is a compensated post written by me on behalf of TLC and Labor Games, however, all opinions and birth stories are my own.

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately thinking of my journey into motherhood. It probably has something to do with May 1st just passing, my youngest just celebrating her first communion and about to turn 8-years-old in a couple of weeks and Mother’s Day. I’ve had babies on the brain and been a little nostalgic for that new baby smell. Quick someone have a baby and let me hold it. I’ll give it back, I promise. I just need a little something to take the edge off and soothe these twitchy ovaries.

Mother’s Day is right around the corner. There are lists everywhere for the perfect gift to get your mother whether she is high tech or high style but what about the brand new mother? I’m talking the mother who is giving birth? Sure push presents are nice but what if you could earn cash, prizes and all things new baby to help you ease into motherhood just by answering a few questions during labor? Would you do it? Well, there is a brand new game show on TLC premiering tomorrow, May 6, at 10 p.m. EST called, Labor Games.

The premise of the game show is that the host and a small crew show up right in the middle of your labor (during the height of it) to ask you questions and if you answer correctly, you can win prizes and cash including a $10,000 college scholarship for your new baby. Sounds intriguing, right?

I won’t lie; I spent most of the day of both my inducements bored silly. In fact, I remember specifically watching Jerry Springer and rolling my eyes in complete boredom right before all the real fun began in my first labor. When I say fun that would be referring to my completely unmedicated transition labor that came on fast and furious and hit me like a freight train.

The same labor caused me to consider jumping out of the window to stop the pain and left me looking akin to Linda Blair in The Exorcist. You know how some people ugly cry? Well, I am supremely ugly when in labor. My face tells the whole story and from the video, it was a scary trip.

For some reason, I kept refusing to use my breathing techniques, as if I was going to develop an immunity to them or use them all up. On my first labor, knowing nothing about what was going to happen, I refused to get an epidural until I was in full transition labor but by the time the anesthesiologist could get out of surgery and to me, I was fully dilated. From centimeters 7-10, you would not have wanted to ask me any questions because all of the answers would have been the same and they wouldn’t have been appropriate for polite society to hear.

But those first 7 hours of my labor, I would have definitely welcomed the opportunity for some entertainment and some cash because babies cost a lot of money. Of course, we’ll never know because I will not be having any more babies but how much fun will it be to watch this game show, right?

I don’t know about you but I can’t wait to see how this all plays out. I’ll be watching. Will you?

Labor Games Sneak Peek Weds 5/6 10p/9c on TLC.

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Annegret Raunigk, advanced maternal age, too old to have a baby, pregnancy

What do you consider advanced maternal age?

What age do you think is too old to have a baby?

Pushing aside, finances and social norms what is your cut off date? I had always said I’d never have a baby after 35.

I know. I was so adorable thinking in absolutes. I drew that line in the sand before I knew anything about life.

Then I found myself wonderfully and unexpectantly pregnant at 39 and I couldn’t think of a reason in the world why that would be wrong. I was scared; terrified to be exact. I’d heard all the horror stories of all the things that could go wrong.

READ ALSO: Unexpectantly pregnant at 39

In the end, it didn’t work out the way we had hoped but if it could have, I was absolutely ready to have another baby because even though my eggs might have been 39, my mind and heartfelt 25. Does that matter? How much does that factor in?

Is 39 too old to have a baby?

A German woman, Annegret Raunigk, is about to make history as the world’s oldest woman to give birth to quadruplets.

The 65-year-old mother of 13 and grandmother to 7 already made the news ten years ago when she gave birth to her daughter Leila at the age of 55. Well, she’s making news again now because Leila has requested a younger sibling.

The things we won’t do for our children, right?

After several rounds of artificial insemination, Raunigk finally became pregnant with four embryos. Thankfully, the pregnancy hasn’t had any major complications so far.

Is 65 too advanced maternal age to have a baby?

Of course, Raunigk has been blasted with questions regarding the pregnancy, her age and the effect the pregnancy might have on her and her unborn children’s bodies. This is her response…

“I’m not actually afraid. I simply assume I’ll remain healthy and fit. In matters of organization I have enough experience, that’s not new for me.” When asked about the “moral implications” of being pregnant at her age by German broadcaster RTL, she had this to say “How does one have to be at 65? One must apparently always fit some cliches which I find rather tiring . . . I think, one must decide that for oneself.” 

I am all for living your life your way and I don’t think it is anyone else’s business to tell anyone, man or woman, what to do with their body. Female empowerment is one of my life causes and anyone who has been a long time reader of The TRUTH knows that I am a ferocious advocate for women’s rights, reproductive especially. I don’t believe in putting people into boxes or labeling human beings.

READ ALSO: My truth about motherhood

However, in this case, I think there is something that no one has mentioned, what about those children? Granted the children may be perfectly healthy and happy, which would be ideal and I don’t necessarily think it’s my business to tell anyone when and how to have their babies but what happens in 20 years when these babies are 20 years old and she could quite possibly be dead?

It’s one thing to survive a pregnancy and delivery at 65-years-old but it’s quite another to bring a child into the world that you won’t be around to be available to them. My mom is 65-years-old and you can’t tell me that she would be able to be the same mom to a newborn as she was to me.

I realize that any of us can die at any time and age has nothing to do with how much we love our children but I just feel like giving birth at 65-years-old could be irresponsible and not fair to the children because 20-years-old is too young to not have your parent. This is a very real possibility for these babies.

Parenting is something we do for our entire lives and our children need us to guide and love them well into adulthood. Maybe that’s naïve of me but when I read this story I felt sad knowing that this mother might not be around to see these children grow to adulthood, get married or have their own children.

I guess the world is full of uncertainties and unexpected blessings and we can only do our best to thrive in our current situation but I feel that the emphasis in this entire situation should be on the children and not Ms. Raunigk.

What advanced maternal age do you think is too old to have a baby?

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In Armenia, a baby boy was born with Down syndrome. His father, Samuel Forrest heard his newborn son’s cries, as he excitedly waited outside of his wife’s delivery room to meet him. But the new father was not immediately invited into the room. Instead, this happened.

“This pediatrician walks out of the room with a little bundle — that was Leo,” Forrest said. “She had his face covered up and hospital authorities wouldn’t let me see him or my wife. When the doctor came out, he said ‘there’s a real problem with your son.’

Forrest was told that Leo was diagnosed with Down syndrome.

He was shocked, as any parent would be to get such unexpected news, but he held his son and all he felt was the overwhelming, unconditional love that we all feel when we hold our newborn for the first time. Of course there is a time of grieving for what you’ve lost and a time for processing, you have to wrap your mind around this new reality; what you get not matching up with what you’ve expected.

Leo, Samuel Forrest, Down Syndrome

Next, he walked into his wife’s hospital room, holding his precious newborn son, beaming with new father pride and then the other foot dropped. His wife presented him with an ultimatum: if he chose to keep the baby, she would divorce him. She had already discussed it with the doctors and decided to abandon the child to an orphanage, a practice that is accepted in Armenia. To me, that feels like throwing children away like garbage.

Forrest didn’t want to lose his wife. He loves her. But he just could not find it in his heart to abandon Leo. He refused to give his son up. Wasting no time, a week later, Leo’s mother filed for divorce and left them both.

Now, this dynamic father/son duo are alone in the world and need a lot of help. Forrest is planning to move back to his native New Zealand so that he can get support from his family and friends.

Forrest was asking for donations to his GoFundMe page, to help cover lost wages so that he can stay home with Leo, at least for the first year. He was hoping to raise $60,000 but when I checked this morning he had raised $272, 787, which will go a long way in insuring that Leo is taken care of.

I hope that when Leo is older and told the story of how the world did not abandon him and his father in their time of need, it will help alleviate some of the sting of the fact that his own mother abandoned him.

As for the mother in this story, I feel sorry for her. She is missing out on the honor of loving and raising her child because she can’t see past his disability. People are more than disabilities and every single child deserves a parent’s devoted and unconditional love. I won’t condemn her because I think living with the guilt of abandoning Leo will be enough of a punishment for her lifetime. I feel sorry for her. She is probably one of the most hated women in the world today thanks to this story going viral.

Someone made the comment that in the United States a woman who found out that her baby had Down syndrome in utero could simply abort the fetus. I guess that is technically true thanks to genetic testing but the question is how many of us would?

It’s not a decision I could make, that’s why I refused genetic testing for Down syndrome with my first two pregnancies because for me, it wouldn’t have made a difference but that is just how my heart chose and it’s easy to sit on my moral high horse when I never actually had to make that decision.

I want honest answers, so comment anonymously if you want to, but what do you really think of the practice of being able to walk away from a baby born with Down syndrome or any other disability?

 

 

 

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INternational Women's Day,#tbt, Throwback Thursday, The TRUTH about Motherhood, Motherhood

Today is Throwback Thursday #tbt and I’m doing it parenting style. It’s all about the motherhood. There will be a Throat Punch Thursday post here on The TRUTH  later today. But since it’s my 5-year anniversary week,  I have decided to do a little Throwback Thursday post #tbt.

This was the first post that I EVER wrote.I am pretty sure that no one ever read it:)  I had no idea what I was doing as a blogger and was definitely still figuring out motherhood. I knew what I wanted this blog to be. I wanted it to be a place where other mothers could come and get the real nitty, gritty down low on motherhood. I was tired of feeling like a failure only to find out that other mothers were only telling me the good parts of their experience and never the hard parts.

As I got to know more moms, I realized they were just trying to protect themselves because all they were hearing were the good parts and in the end…we all felt like failures. I never wanted another new mom to feel like a failure again. That is why I started this blog. I figured if I shared my highs and lows, if only one other mom felt better about herself or felt like she wasn’t alone, I had made a difference. I was trying to be the change.  Here is my #TBT post complete with Throwback Thursday Photos. Enjoy.

Parenting for beginners.

motherhood,the truth about motherhood, pregnancy, babies, parenting

There’s a club, more exclusive than the Junior League, the country club, or any other social/philanthropic women’s club, it’s called the Mommy club also known as the bliss/insanity that is Motherhood.

Welcome to the TRUTH about Motherhood where parenting gets really real.

Yes, there are many, many women in this club, from all countries and walks of life. Do you know of any other sorority where the initiation rite is growing and producing a human being? Seriously, that’s a little steep. It’s a never ending membership. Once you’ve joined, you’re a lifer and believe me it’s more stringent than any other club I belong to. It’s like being jumped into a gang. There is no way out. It’s a ’til death to we part sort of situation.

motherhood, mother

 Motherhood is hard. Parenting is not for the weak.

Once you are in the “Motherhood”, you are continuously scrutinized for your choices; from conception, to delivery, what you wear, what your child wears, how you speak to your child, what classes you take and the lists goes on to infinity and beyond. Worse still, other mothers seldom tell you the whole truth about motherhood. Parenting is the best kept secret there is. No one wants to admit how challenging it can really be.

The secrets of parenting are securely hidden from the newbies under lock and key by other parents. Being careful not to reveal an inkling of the real truth for fear that the species may cease to exist. You won’t be told the hard truth about pregnancy, labor, subsequent siblings, bedtime, discipline, after baby body or any of the other gruesome aspects of motherhood by your friends and neighbors.  You will hear all about the awesomeness by your mom friends. You will have rainbows and unicorns coming out of your ass. But that’s not reality.

The reality is that parenting is the hardest job that you will ever love.

I’m Truthful Mommy , also known as Deborah to other adults, and this is the truth that your mothers, sisters, and girlfriends never told you! This is the beginning, so if you are ready for the TRUTH about motherhood, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, as it happens to me, put on your mom goggles and have a seat and stay awhile. I’ll be giving you the good, the bad, the ugly of motherhood. I’ll be irreverent and brutally honest, so hold on to your hats. Sh*t is about to get real. Welcome to The TRUTH about Motherhood.

motherhood, parenting, mother, the TRUTH about Motherhood

My TRUTH about Motherhood is that parenting is everything.

I hope you will come back tomorrow and check out my new series This Blogger’s Life... My first interview will be with my friend, Jill Smokler,  the awesome force behind Scary Mommy! It will be live at 8 am EST. 

Okay, lets see those #TBT photos on Instagram. Leave your Instagram name in the comments and I will follow! I’m Deborah Cruz on Instagram.

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miscarriage, loss, grief, May 1st

Is there a right or wrong way to experience loss? Is there a time limit on grief? I don’t think so.

May 1st is my annual day of mourning. I don’t know if this is normal or not but it’s what is normal for me. My miscarriage changed me forever. It’s how I get through this. It’s the one day of the year that I am completely still and I allow myself to feel all the feelings because quite honestly, this week just knowing that the anniversary of such a terrible event in my life was approaching had me walking around feeling like an exposed nerve. I changed forever on that day and I‘ll never be the same. No matter how hard I try or pretend to be.

I have cried at song lyrics and at the sound of the giggles of my daughters, knowing that one is missing. There is a hole in my heart that will never be repaired; not for my entire life. When my littlest daughter cuddles into me at bedtime and asks me for baby brother or sister, I hold my breath, push down the lump and pray I can hold back the tears long enough for her to fall asleep. Most days it’s a tiny little ache that I hardly even notice anymore but other days, it’s a sharp shooting pain that steals my breath away and others that confine me to my bed and the space in my head where I am allowed to dwell in my heartbreak.

It’s just one day and it doesn’t seem enough but at the same time, how do you quantify loss?

When I had my miscarriage, I wanted to die. All I could do was cry.I wanted to sink into one of my deep, tear stained sleeps where I had sobbed myself into exhaustion and never wake up. I was given pain killers and sleeping pills to help. I can’t tell you how many times in that first month that I mixed them, hoping to “accidentally” not wake up. The only thing that kept my weary mind and body grounded in this world were my girls and the Big Guy. I’ve never told anyone that.

May 1st is the day that I had my D & E. Two years ago, I went in to my obstetrician’s office for a little spotting, just like I did in both pregnancies previous. Today was the day that my entire world crashed down around me. Then, it became real. My body failed me and my heart shattered into one million tiny scattered pieces. May 1st is the day that I lost my baby. I was 10 weeks and 4 days pregnant. I will mourn that day for the rest of my life.

I feel like people don’t understand; not my family or my friends and certainly not the general population. I feel like people are thinking that I should get over it. After all, “It” was just a pregnancy. It wasn’t like I had a child who lived and then he died. The thing that I feel people fail to understand is that “IT” was not an “it” at all. It was my child; it was a Bella or a Gabi. In my heart and in my mind, I loved that baby just as much as I love the two I get the privilege of kissing good night every blessed night.  I lost everything and I won’t ever get over that.

I don’t linger in my loss anymore these days. I live each day knowing that a piece of my heart is missing and it hurts when I think about it. I give myself this ONE day of the year. I don’t need permission or to explain it to anyone. I just need this one day to not buckle under the weight of my own heart, to not choke from the lump in my throat, to cry until there are no more tears left and to be mad as hell that where my baby should be, my arms are empty and will always be.

The pain of losing a pregnancy or a child is like no other pain. If you’ve never experienced it (and I pray that you don’t) just take that all-consuming, unimagined love that you felt for your baby the first time you held her and then multiply that by a million in the opposite direction. That is what I feel like on May 1st, like I am being hit by a Mack truck and the worst part is that I know its coming.

I know I’ll always take pause in remember the day that my world was shattered. Some years the anniversary will hurt less and some years it will hurt more. But every year, on May 1st, I am giving myself the day to feel all of my feelings , even if I feel absolutely nothing but flat exhaustion. Or maybe one of these days, I will be happy dressing my daughter for her wedding or witnessing the birth of my 1st grandchild  and I won’t be overcome with grief or even tinged with sadness. No matter what I feel, it’s okay but I have to do this for myself.

Part of me shut off that day. I pushed it down, way down so I could function but it’s there bubbling beneath the surface. There are feelings that are so overwhelming that I’m afraid to let them in and that is what today is for, to sit still, alone and feel whatever feelings come up.

Can we ever truly recover from loss?

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motherhood, #promisetobaby, johnson and johnson

I’ve been thinking about the beauty of motherhood a lot lately, in every way. It’s been a life changing couple of years. When I started this blog, I was in the thick of motherhood. I couldn’t see the beauty of it at all.

Sure, I saw the miracle in birth and felt the all consuming love that filled my heart with a smile from my daughters but I was right in the middle of it; too exhausted, too overwhelmed to stop and enjoy the little moments. I was too busy just trying to survive and truly believed that motherhood was misery peppered with moments of profound bliss but now I know better. Motherhood gives me so much more than I can ever give them. We give them life but they give us purpose.

The true beauty of motherhood is in the unexpected.

We just welcomed our newborn niece into the world and I’ve had babies on the brain. You know how that works? Ovaries start twitching and your uterus is all whispering, ” if you like it than you should put a baby in it!” Sneaky, baby loving uterus.

Babies are amazing and they smell like apples and pure love and you just want to eat them up and thank God because they leave you so freaking exhausted that you can’t see straight and you just want to cry. If only you had a free moment to do so.

birth, beauty of motherhood, motherhood, newborns, parenting

The beauty of motherhood is that it is always changing.

My daughters are now 6 and 8-years-old and I have to say, I really like them; as people. They are kind, funny, smart, full of personality and wit and I am so proud to have even a very small part to do with that. I’ve made it a point over the past year to try and step back, breathe and be in the moment.

I spent so many years going through the motions; doing what I thought was expected of a “good” mom but it was more like a checklist than enjoying and embracing the beauty of motherhood. It was one more thing that I had to get done to get to the next moment. But what was I rushing towards? The letting go? Tomorrow is not guaranteed.

I know it’s easier said than done but every moment we have with our children may not be magical, but each and every one is a miracle.  One day, I realized it doesn’t matter how perfect the birthday parties are or whether or not they have all the coolest clothes and toys, luxurious vacations and a big house in a fancy neighborhood. None of it matters because at the end of the day, all kids really care about or remember is that you loved them and the time you spent with them.

birth, beauty of motherhood, motherhood, newborns, parenting

The real beauty of motherhood lies within the mistakes and do overs.

I know that my girls are my two favorite people in the world and no matter what sleep I’ve lost, nights out I’ve sacrificed, money or my body that I have lost, it’s all worth it to be loved and have the privilege of loving my little girls. No amount of money, sleep or fun will ever be able to replace the early morning hugs and silly giggles that only a child of your own can bring.

Motherhood changes everything. Motherhood is hard. Motherhood is the realization that you can love deeper and truer than you ever thought possible and then just as quickly realizing that the thing you love most in the world, is walking around free in the world. Your heart is on the loose and you know that any hurt or damage they endure, will be multiplied by infinity in your own heart.

birth, beauty of motherhood, motherhood, newborns, parenting

The beauty of motherhood is the simple gift of loving and being loved so unconditionally that nothing else matters.

Motherhood is glorious in ways that I never knew possible and painful in ways that I never imagined. Motherhood is messy and wonderful. From the moment you know they exist, they will change your life forever. It’s harder than anything you’ve ever done or will ever do because it’s more important than anything else you will ever do.

But we do it willingly because the reward always outweighs the sacrifice and that’s the real truth about motherhood that no one ever tells you. The beauty of motherhood is that it’s blindingly beautiful at times and at other times it takes the breath right out of you.

Your heart won’t know what hit it. Enjoy it. Every single minute of it because it flies by and before you know it, the precious baby who you were wishing to crawl is out the door, dating and driving and all you can do is hold on for dear life as you are forced to let go.

birth, beauty of motherhood, motherhood, newborns, parenting

Beautiful, sweet Delaney, welcome to the world and Kate & Jeff, welcome to this wonderful, crazy club we call parenthood. It’s the best and hardest thing you will ever do and it is worth every single second of sleep lost and tear shed. XOXO

That is the real, true beauty of motherhood.

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pregnancy, loss, miscarriage, how to know when you're done

We are on baby watch 2014. My brother-in-law and his wife are in the hospital, as I type, being induced with their first child. I am so thrilled for them to welcome their little girl into the world. It brings back all those nostalgic excited feelings of expecting our first and then our second and then abruptly ends with a little pain in my heart that fills the hole left by loss. The hole is getting smaller but some days it’s a little rawer than others; a little less compact and clean. Some days it’s messy like the days when my 6-year-old begs me for a little brother or sister and I find myself not completely opposed to the idea.

Gabi is back on her “I want another baby” kick.  She wants to be a big sister in a big way. I tried. I really did and then we lost the baby and it scared me off the entire thing. Only now, when I should be planning a first birthday, I am trying to explain to my Gabi that I just don’t think a third baby is in the cards. She’s begging me. She spent the entire 30 minutes that we were cuddling before she fell off to sleep last night bargaining with me to just try just one more time. “Just try one more time mommy and if it doesn’t work. I won’t ask again!” Only I get pregnant if you breathe on me too hard, the scary part is the staying pregnant part.

Part of me wants to say yes. We are supposed to be five and we are only four but part of me is overcome with logic and memory and says hell no, remember that pain? To win big you have to be willing to lose big and I am not sure that the risk is worth it; for my heart. But still, my Gabi, my sweet dear child, has been asking for a baby to love for 3 years.

I thought maybe my new niece could help fill that space in my Gabi’s heart but she wants what she wants and she won’t let it go. She doesn’t know that with every ask she reminds me of my failure. How could she? She only knows that she loves me and a baby brother or baby sister would be a piece of me that she could hold in her arms and care for the way that I care for her. She really is an amazing child. Her heart is bigger than I could have imagined and her brain, she is wiser than most adults I know. If I could only give her this one thing. If things were different. If I were younger. I’d do anything for her.

For a long time after we miscarried, I thought anyone who tried again must be mad. How the hell can your heart take it? Mine couldn’t. I swore to myself that my heart couldn’t take it but I think I was wrong. We said the only way we would try again is if Gabi asked, if she meant it. I think her little heart broke as much as mine on that day I miscarried. She was able to verbalize her pain, even better than I was. I tell you, that kid is amazing. I wish I could do this for her but I don’t think I can. Not because I am afraid of losing but because there are so many things that could go wrong; so many ways to fail. The stakes are too high.

I’ve only miscarried once and it was after already having given birth twice so for me, losing my pregnancy was not losing a fetus, it was losing my child. As soon as I knew I was pregnant, the pregnancy was a Bella or a Gabi, not some far off could be someday, he/she was here and he/she was loved and when I lost him/her, it left a howling, primal pain in my heart that scared me. It scared me because I preferred to die than to live with that pain.

I am more cautious now because I know what it feels like to lose a child. I am overprotective and I worry a lot. Every potential threat is treated like the enemy because I don’t know who I am without these children. They complete me. I am broken. I will never be completely whole for the rest of my entire life. I will know that part of me is missing. Still, my head tells me that another child is not a possibility but my heart, my heart wishes it could grant my daughter her one wish.

After the miscarriage, I had convinced myself that I was done but there has always still been that little part of me that holds tightly to what if. I know many women just know they are done. I think it is something quite different to feel that you have no choice. It’s the difference between choosing to walk away and being turned away. One is a choice the other is a rejection; a failure; an unanswered question. How do you reconcile a decision under these circumstances? Is it wrong that I am looking forward to the day when I actually don’t have to think about the answer to the question of whether I am done having babies or not and just know that I am?

Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation? How did you deal with it?

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miscarriage, loss, pregnancy, I forgot, fertility, motherlode, babble.com, babble, amy klein

 

Babble.com, Babble, fertility issues, infertility, Mamlode, Amy KleinDear Babble,

What were you thinking running the article about Motherlode columnist, Amy Klein’s fertility issues, titled Should We Be Sympathetic to a 42-Year-Old’s Fertility Struggles? May I ask, were all the editors on vacation? Was there a hiatus on good judgment and common decency? Seriously, wtf were you thinking? Normally, I am a fan of Babble. Many of my friends write there and generally it’s very PG and non-threatening, a great resource for parents, but this particular post was deplorable. I know from her bio that the author is a comedienne but this shit was not funny.at.all!

And in answer to your “question” …Yeah, Hell Yeah!  You should feel sympathetic to anyone’s fertility issues because it’s a problem for the person who has it whether she is 25 or 45. Just like you should feel sympathy and compassion for a rape victim, no matter what she was wearing, how drunk she was or who she was dry humping the night she was raped. The same reason you feel compassion for patients with cancer, whether they smoked every day of their life, drank themselves into oblivion or played with radiation!

You are sympathetic because you are human and you have compassion to people’s struggles. You are sympathetic because you have not lived in their shoes and don’t know their story. You are sympathetic because you shouldn’t kick a person when they are down. You are sympathetic because you don’t want to be the mean kid on the playground; the bullying asshole that everyone else hates. But, instead, you chose to let one of your writers pen a condescending post on her thoughts on fertility issues, from her fertile high horse. Nice move; not very Disney of you, at all.

“These are the days of ugly emotions. Infertility hijacks your schedule, damages your relationship with your spouse and unleashes in you terrible jealousy of other women, women who conceive easily, without thought, without drugs, without dozens of days lost to medical intervention. Women whose biggest problems are swollen feet.”

Those seem like fighting words coming from a 42-year-old woman trying to get pregnant for the first time, I thought. Surely this woman must understand that at her age fertility problems are to be expected when trying to conceive for the first time. How could she be so angry? Didn’t she see this coming?

Moreover, like so many people do when confronted with this sort of thing, I thought, ”Are we really supposed to feel sorry for a 42-year-old woman who is doing IVF when she could just adopt?”

My head nearly exploded when I read the above part of the article. Let’s be honest, I know all about link bait and controversy. In fact, I am no stranger to controversy and I know I piss people off with my strong opinions on everything from gun control to breastfeeding but I would never make fun of a person who is physically unable to do something like breastfeeding, I don’t poke fun at the mentally ill and I certainly would never interview a mother of a child who found her gun and shot himself and ridicule her because I have one thing that this article lacks; human decency.

The article began dripping of judgment and condescension, on a parenting website. This should be a safe place for moms, not a place to be shamed and ridiculed. Then the author said she was going to give the woman the benefit of an interview, for context and understanding, only the entire interview read like this; ( paraphrased; these are not direct quotes ) To be fair: I do not know this writer or her story or her issues, I am only responding to how the piece was written. She may be perfectly lovely and may have just been having an off day but this is how I felt the piece came off and many of my FB followers agree.

Amy Klein (Interviewee) : Explanation, explanation, and explanation

Author at Babble: (dripping with condescension) You should have tried to get pregnant earlier.

Author at Babble: Why don’t you adopt?

Author: I married young because I knew I wanted to get married and I wanted to have a family. In marrying so young, I made a choice that didn’t work out and I’m now divorced, but I have a beautiful daughter. It seems that often women are cornered in these ways: wait to find someone you feel truly compatible with and enter a marriage you feel as certain as possible will last but then deal with potential fertility issues, or marry young and take your chances when you’re still quite fertile. Not that it’s always an either/or situation, but still. Based on the way things have played out for you, what advice would you give to younger women when it comes to love/marriage/babies? I mentioned on Facebook a while back that women should take the time they need to try to find a truly healthy love relationship, but that if they don’t find a great partner by their mid-30′s, they should just have a baby alone.

 

Author at Babble: That’s why I had my baby when I was young and fertile. I am divorced now, but I have my kid. Maybe you should have thought about all of this 20 years ago…when you were still fertile.

Amy Klein (exhausted and demeaned): Goes Home.

Please, Please, Please editors, read posts before they go live. Babble, I expected more from you. We all do. This post has left a bad taste in my mouth for Babble and I am sure it has for other readers, as well. Try a little human kindness when addressing the issue of fertility.

Sincerely,

Truthful Mommy

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pregnancy, birth, birth story

Gabi is my second child. She was induced on May 21, 2007. I was 39 weeks and I felt like I was 42 weeks pregnant. The doctors were afraid that she would be too large for me to birth vaginally if she went to term so I gladly agreed to an induction. After my first time giving birth,I was agreeable to do just about anything to avoid an unintentional natural birth.

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