Thursday, November 11, 2010


My little fun OB visit companion!

I have an antibody that lurks when Im pregnant & for the last 2 pregnancies it completely stayed out of the way. I just found out my number is right where they start monitoring more closely, with this, my 4th isoimmunized pregnancy. I am going t focus on the positives here, so far baby boy(what else? ;) looks good & is big, strong & active.
I am 30 weeks, which is much less scary than 20 weeks if baby needed to come out early!
I expected this 2 babies ago & was very lucky, so I am OK with extra monitoring.
I get to see him often, I see an OB one week & then the MFM/perinatalogist the next, all the way to the end, which God willing will be at least 37 weeks!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Back in April, things were busy, very busy, but OK. We were at birthday parties every weekend, Joaqueeny was playing soccer, my oldest played an instrument, basketball & did Cub Scouts. The Creature was making it through Kindergarten, pt 2. The little guy was growing fast & cute & darling husband and I were healthy & happy.

Then, the night before the littlest guy's birthday party, Joaqueeny breaks his arm. It was a simple break that healed well & he has only good memories of the experience, but it was no fun to be back in the ER again. The birthday party was pretty spectacular, great food & drink, a moonbounce, a magician. It was a little too good though, neighbor kids were running in & out whenever they wanted & causing mayhem with nobody watching them, adult neighbors were starting fights with party guests, it all went downhill from there. In the future, back to basics, small & meaningful parties, with people that care.

In May, my oldest boy got diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. He was so unbelievably sick the week before he was diagnosed that I was terrified it could be something much worse than type 1. When we told him what he had, we wanted to do it right, we wanted to present it in a way where he would be as OK with it as he could be. He was not only OK then, thanks to an amazing hospital team & an awesome endocrinologist team, he has been completely OK ever since. He has such a great attitude that its contagious,he does all of his shots & glucose checks. He can go anywhere & do anything, even without us, as long as he carries his kit that hooks onto his belt. I wish could have been 1/10th as awesome of a kid (when I was a kid!) as he is now.

At the end of that first week after his diagnosis, I learned I was expecting Number 6!
So, its been absolutely eventful & I haven't even mentioned all of the testing for school that we did for the Creature for this year (so far so good for him!) and the swim team that the oldest swam on all summer, every single day! I have a lot of challenges but still feel blessed to be here to face them & learn from my unique bunch of boys!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Its been such a challenging evening! I have lost my patience more than once & used language I am really trying not to use anymore. Too many hard things have happened to mothers I know. And then I went to one of my favorite blogs, Enjoying the Small Things, & I saw this quote,

"But, here's the thing. Once you become a parent...once you start feeling a little funny and you buy that pregnancy test...once you see a pink plus sign...once you know it's not just you anymore...well, you automatically carry around, for the rest of your life, an increased likelihood. To have your heart broken. And it's a constant fear that we struggle to put to rest.

And we can choose to be afraid or we can choose to live.

And I choose to live. "

love it.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

My friend Anne came to visit from Seattle, she was in town for a scientific conference because she is a very smart scientist, and she spent 2 nights with us. This is spring for us, outside, eating on the deck & exploring parks when we can. The boys loved her & it was fun to see someone as an adult that I had so much fun with as a teenager. We must have passed a million notes to each other back in the day! We used to explore DC together and watched tons of independent films and saw plenty of shows. We got good at finding the band after concerts and waiting by their tourbus. We discovered the Red Hot Chili Peppers were not very nice people, they probably are now :) I think of how bratty I could be back then & how unfriendly & I'm glad life knocked some compassion and cheer into me! Thanks Anne for stopping by, one day we'll get to you!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cutest thing around town!!

My Ramsay at a Leader day for us breastfeeding helping ladies. He plays well with others!
With each baby I have a different physique and different figure flaws. In fact, my body looks worse each time, but...I have a better body image each time. I want to be awesomely fit and I try whenever I can to exercise, but its harder each time & I have to do more each time. You would think with constantly breastfeeding and babywearing that it would fly off, but I still manage to hold onto that last 15 lbs. The funny thing is I really don't care much, I care less each time. I am so glad they are here and healthy that being bigger than normal is not a big deal. As we go into swimsuit season I will keep telling myself that ;)
Great article in the Toronto Sun today about "minor" surgery & its complications!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My boys are all asleep after the most hectic suburban day ever. I am so thankful I got to leisurely wander around the National Portrait Gallery yesterday and have a great dinner with an old friend & my husband (!), mussels, shrimp, wine, crusty bread..
Anyway, today was go go go & I was already losing it by 11 am when my basketball player couldn't find his shorts. We pulled it together, dashed into Target for more shorts, ran him to his friends house & then I took Joaquin to my folks house and my Creature & my little chunk & I went off to a bowling alley birthday party. As soon as the last bit of cake was eaten we dashed across the county to catch the last 2 minutes of the basketball game. Thenm after many minor catastrophes, back to my parents' where we had dinner with my dad's cousin, her husband, my great aunt & my dear brother & his lovely lady friend. Now I am enjoying a rare moment alone

The picture is a castle in the Mosel Valley in Germany that is pretty much the same as it was 500 yrs ago. I am dying to take all of my boys to see it. Once my husband gets in that part of the world I don't think he will want to leave. This is my convoluted post for the day, but I am happy to have made it through the hectic and damn it, I miss the blizzard that shut everything down 2 weeks ago, it really made my life simple!

Friday, January 29, 2010

No such thing as recovery...,,20340293,00.html

This is an article about John Travolta in

John Travolta: 'We Work Hard Every Day' to Recover from Son's Death

By Jeffrey Slonim and Blane Bachelor

Friday January 29, 2010 10:20 AM EST

John Travolta and Kelly Preston

A year after the tragic death of their 16-year-old son, Jett, John Travolta and wife Kelly Preston say they "work hard every day" on healing – a message reinforced by their recent trip to deliver medics and supplies to earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

"Once you get yourself stable, then you're able to reach out again," Travolta, 55, told PEOPLE. "And I think this whole year, every day we've been working on stabilizing ourselves. And it's been successful so far."

Added Preston: "It helps to look out and be helpful to other people … that really helps."

I agree with everything the two of them said, but then, you can't really use the word "agree" when talking about grief, because everyone's grief is so unique. As for the term "recover", that word has no place in discussing the loss of a child. A child is permanent, their soul is unrepeatable, they are not lost & replaced. It isn't like a sickness or a depression you get over one day like it never happened. Whether you parent a child here or not here, you parent them for life. A mother who has lost her only child is no less a mother than one who has one living, one dead. A person can "recover" from many losses, but I think losing a child is different, you may get some acceptance, but even that comes and goes.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Awesome letter to the Editor!

This was in last week's paper, a fantastic rebuttal to the ridiculous article the Post put out last week about how newborn circumcision may be recommended again based on very flawed studies done in Africa on HIV & circ.

There's good concern for not circumcising boys

Thursday, January 21, 2010

It would be disgraceful bioethics for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to recommend circumcision for U.S. infants based on African studies ["Circumcision may receive new support," Health, Jan. 19].

Amputating healthy, vital, nerve-supplied erogenous tissue from helpless infants, based on an assumption that they will be promiscuous adults, is remarkably totalitarian medicine. It also flies in the face of epidemiological realities. The United States has high rates of HIV and the highest rate of circumcision in the West. The "experiment" of using circumcision to stem HIV infection has been running here for decades. It has failed miserably. Why do countries such as New Zealand, where they abandoned infant circumcision 50 years ago, or European countries, where circumcision is rare, have such low rates of HIV?

Circumcising infants who can then claim as adults that they are less likely to catch or transmit HIV is a foolish gamble. And if circumcised individuals still need to practice safe sex, why bother with a procedure that might make them overconfident? Moreover, in an age when "super bugs" are rampant in U.S. hospitals, the CDC needs to weigh carefully the ethics of preventing disease by amputating healthy tissue from helpless children.

John V. Geisheker, Seattle

The writer is executive director and general counsel of Doctors Opposing Circumcision

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Jakob is 10!

My first baby is 10!
Pictures to come... He is having his 1st sleepover to celebrate his new decade this weekend.
There is a great website for parents who lost babies called "A Glow in the Woods." I am not that articulate anymore about intense grief, I am not there anymore, but I stop by and read from time to time. Tonight I read such a great essay there, "Birthing a Dying Child"

This part is great:
"As expectant parents dream up their their ideal “birth plans,” young mothers describe their birthing experiences around water coolers or playground equipment, and well-wishers congratulate new parents on Facebook walls, the birthing experience is often closely linked to merit. The fewer the interventions, the longer the unmedicated labor, the more (or less) dramatic the coping with labor pain, the bigger the baby, the higher the Apgar scores, and so on, the more heroic the birthing woman. Anyone who believes machismo is a strictly male phenomenon should listen to newly minted mothers swap their birthing stories. The natural birth movement in particular and the contemporary North American culture of parenthood in general deemphasize the unavoidable fact that no matter how much a woman takes care of her body, knows her body and trusts her body, the birthing experience may go horribly wrong."

And this, as a Catholic I love this:
"Receptivity is a central motif in Mariology across Christian traditions. "Here I am, the servant of the Lord," says Mary in the first chapter of the Gospel of Luke as the birth of Jesus is foretold. "Let it be with me according to your word." Mary’s openness to the mysterious movement of God is her chief virtue and ours. But opening ourselves to that which is beyond ourselves is dangerous business. The possibility of parenthood is no exception. When a couple open themselves to reproduction, they also open themselves to the relentless pain of being unable to conceive, unable to give birth. A pregnant woman opens herself to being cruelly betrayed by her own body, to standing by helplessly while her child is betrayed by his or her own body. Opening oneself to giving birth is opening oneself to suffering and death-to managing debilitating handicaps, to burying one’s child, to being overcome with sadness at the mere sight of another parent doting on a healthy newborn. Opening oneself to giving birth is opening oneself to hell."

Being open to God's will is a huge part of my life and that's what gives me the strength to go on & be a parent to my living boys and be open to whatever plans God has for us. When I'm expecting a baby I don't care how old I am, I won't get the AFP, nuchal screen, CVS or amnio. All of my kids are equal, born or preborn. Anything really bad can be seen on ultrasound.

The essay also says this:
"Some Old Testament scholars define "lament" as the reaction to a belief-shattering experience. Even though I knew better, before I carried and birthed my daughter Cara I believed that if I did what was right, I could expect positive outcomes. This is my lament. Metaphysically speaking, I do not know why bad things happen. I do not know whether God wills them, merely allows them, cannot stop them or something else entirely. What I do know is that I am not fully the master of my own destiny and that one day I will again witness the birth of something beautiful."

I remember seeing people leave the hospital every day with healthy babies when I was stuck in there with Alistair, and I never did leave with him. Even in the worst days back then I knew one day that I would again experience the awesome feeling of leaving the hospital with a precious little person.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

With all of the devastation in Haiti right now, I feel self centered for blogging. I just read that its a logistical nightmare, the port is too damaged to use & the airport just opened, but its a mess because too many relief planes are coming in. Then, there's not really a safe and stable place for relief workers. Wouldn't it be nice if some of the big cruise ship companies anchored empty boats close by and helped provide shelter for Haitians and relief workers?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I need to be sleeping right now! Everyone else is & that means I can too, but instead I'm here.

This picture was posted here last year, but I realize now its a picture of pure victory and joy. I had just gotten out of the hospital (kidney stone drama, big time) the day before, on Christmas Eve.

It was Christmas morning and I was healthy again. I had an unobstructed bladder for the first time in months & I narrowly avoided a stent placement that would have stayed in place for 4 months. I was on the mend and my 22 week gestation baby was OK after a night on IV morphine, and I mean lots of it.

I was and am so grateful that we made it through all that OK & as anyone knows who has had the unfortunate experience of hearing me talk about it..I am still shellshocked. I trust doctors less than ever and I know I have the possibility of more kidney stone dramas, but I will remain optimistic that it won't be that bad ever again. I may write more later (sorry!) but here is me last year, enjoying the absolute privilege of being sprung from the hospital on Christmas & here is my precious little guy & I together a year later.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Sunday, January 03, 2010

I will try to write something little every other day or so, just to record that I was here!

Ram-baby loves to sit with us and play with spoons but has still not had any solid food, at 8 & 1/2 months. The time of your life when you have the sealed digestive tract of breastmilk only is so short, I'm not in any rush to break that seal. He is happy & chubby, he just nurses a lot. I don't why that doesn't help me lose more weight, but it doesn't seem to have much effect yet :(

Christmas break has been really good and really bad. I am oddly excited about returning to normal routine.

About Me

My photo
I'm just a mom in the world. A crunchy Catholic mama of 6 trying to make sense of it all and stay positive. 5 boys here & 1 in heaven. One awesome man who I get to grow old with. I help new moms breastfeed. I`m happy. I don`t go to shows or dance clubs every night but I would if I could. Where`s the nanny? When I see her she`s SO fired! One of my boys is super sweet and sensitive, another one is a holy terror. I learn a ton from all of them daily. Like Nigella says, as any parent of small children knows,there comes a point in the day where you can`t go any further without a drink! I love cocktail hour. I`d like nothing more than to be with my family and some good friends surrounded by tropical plants drinking a margarita listening to the Eagles. I don`t care about trendy, I like that grungy 70`s vibe.