All Kinds of Choices

I was a divorced 44 year old woman, busy, happy, fulfilled.  Had my own business, loved the freedom, I used to say it was no coincidence that I didn’t have a boss or a husband, or that I drove a stick shift car — I liked to be in control!  I was in an on-again-off-again relationship with a great guy who (ironically) I thought was too busy with his sons from a previous marriage to devote enough time to ME (!), and we were in an “off” period.  I got on Match.com, and met and briefly dated another guy, it was honestly just a 6 week fling, he was not someone I was interested in long-term, he was really just to get my mind off the OTHER guy!  As I said, I was 44, I knew the facts of life.  But given my age, and the fact that many friends

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When Mommy Is At Her End

I wonder, do they know I love them, even when I am screaming at them from the top of my lungs?  These little beings that know Mommy’s every button (except her secret ticklish spot which I will die before revealing*).

It’s so much worse when I am sick, and my defenses are down.  They seem to know, and act doubly bad.  It’s as if, “We just want to really, really want to make sure you still love us, Mommy.  Do you love us always and forever Mommy?  Even when we insist on cosleeping and then run over the top of your face at 2 a.m.?  Or yank hard on a clump of your hair at midnight?  Even when we find cherished mementos of your teen years and systematically destroy them?  Even when we take the new loaf of bread, one of three foods you are allowed to eat while sick

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My Life: Pre vs. PostKids

Besides making the little people running around my house safe from monsters nightly, there have been some definite changes in my life since I became a Mom.  So many aspects of my life today would be unrecognizable to my former self.  Here are some big ones:

My workouts. Before kids, I went to the gym at least four, usually five or six times a week.  I had memberships in three different gyms, for the different convenient locations and variety.  I kept an “emergency” gym bag ready to go in my trunk in case I had an unexpected chunk of time and could fit in an extra workout.  I had such “emergencies” frequently.

Post kids, I try to take a walk if I get a chance at lunch at work.  I have a  gym membership and I went last month.  Once.  Or was it the month before?  There is a new

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20.88 Million

Insemination #8 went fine.

I worked from home yesterday, which I do strategically to cloak my suspicious number of appointments.  At 9:45 am, while peeing on mute during a conference call, I suddenly remembered that I hadn’t called the sperm thaw hotline before 8:30am as instructed.  Dropped off the conference call, called the sperm thaw hotline begging them to call me back with confirmation, called Olga hoping she’d put in a good word with the lab.  Slight panic.  Can you imagine how ridiculous it would be to miss a cycle because of forgetting this easy step?  But, now that I’ve missed the deadline twice, I see that it’s ultimately negotiable and probably more of a guideline.  A nice lady in the lab called me back within 5 minutes and called me “dear”.  Olga also called back and said, “You’re all good!”

Phew.  Sigh.  Gratitude.  Thank you.

Half an hour before

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Fear

The other night, I climbed up the stairs to crawl into bed. Tate was snoozing away in his crib, and I had decided to sleep in our shared room that evening.  I shut the bedroom door, locked it as I always do when we sleep in the same room, and turned on my burglar alarm (there’s a panel in my bedroom as well as on the first floor in the entryway).  When we go to sleep I set the alarm to instant, so any breach of the doors or windows causes the alarm to sound immediately instead of waiting the 45 seconds it has when simply set to ‘alarm.’

I climbed into bed and snuggled under the covers.  I had gone to bed much later than I had intended, and I was exhausted.  My head hit that cool pillow and I exhaled happily.

No more than one minute later, my

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Counting My Blessings

Normally I wouldn’t do anything for my birthday, but my nanny had asked for a personal day sometime soon to take care of some errands, so we arranged to do that on my birthday.

It was a perfect day.

Calliope and I walked to breakfast at a local cafe. Then we came home and she took a too-short nap while I worked out. But she was in a great mood throughout, despite the short nap.

In the afternoon, while Calliope “rested” in her crib, I worked on a photobook I’m creating which will be the Story of Calliope, all about Calliope’s conception.

Then we played with her friend Eleanor for a little bit at her house — Calliope (who is learning to walk, but isn’t there yet)  pushed Eleanor (who is even further from walking) around on her push “bike” — and then Eleanor and her mother took Calliope and

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How I Handle Single Parenting

“If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do well matters very much.” –Jackie Kennedy.

How do I handle single parenting? I just do. That’s the only way I can answer the question, “How do you do it, with two little children and a full time job?” I don’t have live-in help, I don’t have come-in help. With the exception of my elderly father there is no family help. However, I have a community of great friends and neighbors who care about my children, make me laugh and lend a hand. That makes a big difference. On the really bad days, it makes a difference between sheer despair and the determination to go on.

There’s no denying that I brought these children into the world by my own free will, and it’s my responsibility to make their childhoods happy, healthy and safe. Everyday, whether I want

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The Baby Obsession

My daughter Eliza has become obsessed with babies.

Not these babies:

Eliza would rather put a fork in her eye than play with a doll.

But Eliza is quite keen on these kind of babies:

I have spent weeks explaining to Eliza that she is going to be the one and only baby in this household.  I’ve tried the:

Mommy  loves you so much, there is no room for another baby.

Eliza advises that we can make room for a baby, all I have to do is sleep on the couch.

Mommy is too old to have another baby.

Eliza quickly pointed out that she sees women with white hair all the time with babies and since my hair isn’t white yet, I am not too old.

Mommy has an ugly uterus (so ugly that my OB took a lovely photo, suitable for framing, since she had never seen one

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Modern Family: Connecting with Donor Siblings

Moms hanging out at the park
Moms hanging out at the park

When I started my journey to become a Single Mother by Choice (SMC), using donor sperm from a bank, I thought I had thought through all possible scenarios. It was just two years ago that I realized I had not thought it all through. I had never thought about connections with donor siblings or donor families.

I had decided that I would tell my child about their conception from the start – no secrets. I imagined that one day, he or she might ask questions about the donor and I would answer. I chose an Open ID donor for this very reason. I figured, why not leave the door open if you can? Why shut it from the start. So, I figured we’d deal with the possibility of connecting with the donor if and when my child was ready or wanting.

I never factored

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What Has Been My Favorite Part Of Pregnancy?

elliot-794x794I have been asked this a handful of times. The immediate things that come to mind are the little flutters, especially when I first started feeling them. Like a little bird’s wing inside me. They gave me pure joy. He’s really in there. But more-so I think my true favorite thing about being pregnant has been the feeling of hope. The unknown, which surprisingly for someone like me who needs to feel in control, isn’t scary at all to me – it’s the kind of unknown that is like a spark, an excitement, an anticipation of getting to know him. My baby. Meeting him, seeing who he is and how our world will be.

I have all the hope in the world. That’s the thing about me – this shameless, undeterred, sometimes naive optimism that has carried me through the last 40 years and unchanged by disappointments and devastations, heartbreaks

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