I Want To Believe

I was a huge fan of The X-Files in the 1990s, and one of the show’s catch phrases was “I want to believe.” I had no idea how that phrase would eventually come home to roost.

I really didn’t expect that my daughters would still believe in Santa Claus by the time they were in 3rd grade. I’d be surprised if all of their Christmas-observing friends still believe, and I find it unlikely that none of the non-believing, worldly-wise 3rd graders has spilled the beans. The right jolly old elf hasn’t come up much in conversation this year, and my hunch was that they had their doubts, but maybe weren’t ready to ask the question outright, for fear of having their suspicions confirmed.

When I imagined having kids I also imagined that bidding the Santa days good-bye would be accompanied by a feeling of loss. I’m all for fostering magical

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When We’re All Dead…….

“What sports did Grandpa Jim like?” my son asks. We are standing in the kitchen and he is pulling the scissors out from the drawer, cutting the plastic wrap off a frozen raspberry fruit bar.

“He liked all sports,” I say. Sam hands me the wrapper and I place it in the can under the sink. “But I think baseball was his favorite. Baseball and basketball and football.”

We have just snuck inside during Eva’s nap after spending an hour outside in the sticky humidity tossing basketballs into the net from different distances, the point values for each shot marked on the driveway with chalk. Sam was upset when he couldn’t make the shots as easily as he had yesterday, and his voice was getting whinier and higher until finally (thank God!) he made a 5-point shot and declared himself the winner.

Later in the evening we lay in bed

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T Minus 2 Weeks and 2 Days!

Two weeks and 2 days until my official due date!  I can’t believe it.  In many ways it’s gone so slowly… counting the weeks one by one. But in many ways, it’s gone so fast — a year ago I hadn’t even started trying to get pregnant yet!  My life has turned upside down in the past year, and I know this past year is nothing compared to what I’m about to face

Am I feeling nervous?  Yes, but it’s mostly focused on handling having a child on my own going forward, as opposed to childbirth or handling a newborn baby.  Yes, I’m a bit apprehensive about childbirth itself, only because it’s not even close to anything I’ve ever experienced before. Sure, I haven’t experienced everything in life, but many things are gradual (i.e. aging), or I’ve had similar experiences (I haven’t been to Africa, but I have traveled a

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Thanks

Last month at youth group, when my son was asked what he was thankful for, he said, “everything.” And I’ve been thinking a lot about that … how he knows at nine to be grateful for the rain and the sun, for pain and joy.

This year isn’t ending like I thought it would, but that doesn’t mean I’m not grateful beyond belief. For closed doors and new beginnings so good that I didn’t dare dream of them myself. And for God’s grace to sustain me between the two.

For friends who are present and friends that teach me lessons. For family that’s got my back and the ones who drive me crazy (sometimes the same ones).

For doctors and medicine and treatment and access to them.

For youth group kids who teach me something new every time I’m around them. A church family of kindred spirits.

For stores who

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Thinking About Having Another

I have been pondering if/when to have a second child for quite sometime now, especially as I read about all the other SMC members who had their babies around when I had Elsie, and they are already trying for their second. And the fact that my 40th birthday is looming doesn’t help. :)

A little background history… I have (8) 5-day blastocysts and (7) unfertilized eggs in the deep freeze at my clinic. Elsie was the result of my first, single-embryo transplant. So I have every reason to believe that I can become pregnant with my second fairly easily.

So the questions that have been on what is starting to feel like a constant loop in my mind are:

  1. Do I want another child still? (One of the reasons I switched to IVF was so I’d have all those frozen embryos to try for another if I wanted to.)
  2. If so,
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Unintended Consequences

I have to admit – five years into this game, I’ve gotten pretty blasé about the whole “no father” thing.  So have my kids.  Claire announces it as needed, but in a very “whatevah” way.  “I told her you couldn’t find a dad,” she told me, as an aside, at a recent church lunch.  Evidently the topic had come up with her friend seated on the other side of her.  Or not.  It’s possible she just volunteered it.  We’ve known this girl’s family for years, and I’ve never seen their father, either.  Church is a mom-and-kids thing in their family, as is swimming lessons, evidently – the other place we see them.  Not a big deal, just chatter between the five-year-olds.

We’re busy, we’re happy, life is good.  Gymnastics, skating, swimming, soccer, kindergarten, cardboard-box inventions, baking projects, vacation planning.  It’s all good.  The big conversations have been had, and repeated. 

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Compassion and Empathy in Children

Eliza Grace was born on March 15, 2006, at 26 weeks, 4 days, weighing 1 pound 4 ounces and measuring just 11.5 inches long. She is the light of my soul and this is a story of our life in the big city.

Compassion and empathy may not win your kid an Olympic medal or a seat on the NYSE, but it sure does make for easy parenting.

I don’t know if compassion and empathy are genetic qualities or things that are learned.  But I am glad that Eliza has these qualities in abundance.  I posted on Facebook about Eliza’s recent thoughts about her mason jar.  As a reward for Eliza eating, she gets quarters.  Yes I know this is probably not the best feeding “protocol” but it works, so too bad for those in the feeding therapy community who disapprove.  Any port in a storm is my theory.

Eliza

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Single Moms By Choice Don’t Need To Do It Alone

Heard on All Things Considered

Pam Rector (left) with her daughter Grace became a single mother by choice when she was ready to have a child. Liv Aannestad is expecting her first child in March through the same process, and like all expecting parents she has some questions.

Liv Aannestad has known she wanted kids as long as she can remember.

“I always assumed it would happen the normal, typical way: I’d meet somebody, maybe either in high school or college, and maybe have a few babies,” she says.

As years went by, and she still hadn’t met the right person, Liv started thinking about doing it on her own — maybe adopting or fostering — but the timing never seemed right.

Now, she thinks it is. Liv, who is 36 and single, recently became pregnant through in vitro fertilization. Like all expecting parents, she has a lot of questions.

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A Letter To My Younger Self

I recently read a blog post by someone who has kids and was lamenting her pre-kid single life freedoms. The post was a letter to her young self about how she should enjoy being free, staying out late with friends, traveling and not worry about meeting someone to share her life with—or about whether she has kids; that her life would be just great without them. I love how people who are married with kids always joke about what a pain it is to be married, and tell single people how lucky we are to not have to “deal with” a partner and how hard it is to be tied down to kids.

So I decided to write my own letter to my younger single self:

Dear naive self who thinks she’ll just meet Mr. Right at that perfect age (no need to worry!) and who believes her uterus will

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Lucky Number Two

me and girls oct 2012My twin daughters, Eve and Lily, are 14 months old. I spent the first 12 months of their lives in a state of euphoria. Don’t get get me wrong – I’m a Single Mother of Twins – it was hard, but I felt and continue to feel that for every “part” hard it was at least three parts amazing and awe-inspiring. Toddlerhood has been tougher. I remain in awe and in love, but I also find myself feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and scared that I suddenly won’t be able to handle the next challenge.

As I look deep inside myself at this past year and forward to the years to come, what I feel more than anything is… lucky. Pure, found a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, LUCKY.

I did not ask for twins. Ok, more to the point, I did not want twins. I knew there

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