Family and Motherhood

GONE BABY GONE

The triggers are everywhere, Reminding me of how life is unfair. The children’s section of a bookstore, which I have to walk through, The cute characters and titles making me blue. A pregnant woman, I glare at her, Immediately embarrassed of my own hate, Jealousy and longing is my miserable fate. The clothing store with the children’s section, all of the clothes so sweet, Reminding me of the few items I keep in a drawer, a baby never will they meet. Mother’s Day, the worst day of all days, Reminding me of my failed womb, The many embryos implanted that went from hope to an eternal tomb. A baby’s smile warms and breaks my heart at the same time, Reminding me of the child that will never be mine. Children’s laughter can make me cry, Tears in my eyes as the strollers stroll by. That mom group...

JUNE SUPERWOMAN: SIMI BOTIC, HOLISTIC HEALTH COACH

I met Simi on the first truly warm summer day at Fox in the Snow Café in German Village. At this point in time, spring semester was over, and I was living in Cleveland for the summer, but that didn’t stop me from doing this Superwoman interview in person. I felt like I had to; I heard her speak at The Wonder Jam, and everything she said felt so right to me. So right, in fact, that I messaged her via Instagram after her talk to let her know just how important what she said was. An out of character move, but a move all the same. I don’t often find myself nervous for interviews. I love storytelling, and perhaps the best part of my job is the ability to tap into other people’s individual stories, but as I watched a black storm cloud whip wind through the cobblestoned streets of the village, I ...

DEAR DUCHESS: AN OPEN LETTER TO THE DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE

Dear Duchess, Like most of the world, I saw you standing in front of the hospital cradling your precious newborn son, looking ravishing in your tailor-made red dress, showing just the hint of a postpartum tummy hours after giving birth. As the mother of a newborn myself, I was amazed. Where were you hiding those enormous pads and mesh panties we all exit the hospital wearing after giving birth? I marveled at your seven hour postpartum super-humanness, not a hair out of place and stilettos to boot! I can’t pretend to know your secrets, but I would suppose your exercise regimen, hair stylist and the team of midwives working toward best outcomes of a natural birth had a lot to do with it. I cannot imagine the pressure you felt as you stepped out of that hospital into a sea of flashing paparaz...

ADVICE FROM THE SECRET PSYCHIATRIST: POST NATAL DEPRESSION

Dear The Secret Psychiatrist, are these feelings of disconnectedness, exhaustion, and sadness normal after giving birth?   Advice Most women are worried about being a perfect mother after having a child and it can be a stressful time. It is very common to feel tearful, worried, or sad after giving birth. This is called baby blues. Baby Blues is experienced in the first week of having a new born, and usually resolves in about 2 weeks. If these feelings last longer or up to a year after having a baby, then it is likely you are suffering from post natal depression. Facts 1 in 10 woman can experience post natal depression. Partners can also suffer, with 1 in 25 men suffering also. Causes You could be more likely to experience post natal depression if you have experienced post natal blues,...

PENT-UP CREATIVITY

My fingers glide across the keyboard making a slight melody of words. This is the only music that I ever learned how to make. The strumming of letters and the painting of words dance around me, like they just escaped. The freedom, the airy flowing freedom makes them so much lighter that they can float and fly and I feel completely ashamed as the monster that managed their captivity. Knowing they are locked up, I just kept saying I would get to them tomorrow; or the next day or the next month. Time has always been our enemy. I spent my morning balancing a spreadsheet, then made lunch for my kids, cleaned the kitchen, attempted laundry, picked up another kid from school then started dinner. My creativity would get buried inside the mundane, everyday life tasks. It is the list of things I hav...

WHEN MY LIFE CHANGED

It was a typical evening, so typical that I don’t even remember the day of the week. I was watching a documentary on the History channel with my parents in my mom’s office/family T.V. room. I remember the landline rang and my mom let the answering machine pick-up. His voice was familiar. He had been my mom’s doctor since her twenties. He said the result of her test came back, to please come into the office to discuss. He also asked for my dad to come with her. It seemed like an odd request, since my parents rarely attended doctor’s appointments without the other. When he hung-up, an odd and anxious silence fell over the room. We sat for a while, not listening to the TV, not talking, just thinking. I remember one line from the documentary that played shortly after the doctor’s message. “It ...

WHAT IS THE BEST DIET PLAN FOR A PREGNANT LADY?

People want to move away from healthy eating because often, healthy eating is described as difficult to follow, cook and afford. Fortunately for your pregnant self, that is not the case. Eating well means that you have to make it easy, and certainly delicious, as well as including the food the child needs and that will stop your wishes for other unnecessary foods. The best diet plan during pregnancy is not a diet – you do not reduce the amount of food you eat, but increase the better choices of food. Below is a list of different options for breakfast, lunch and dinner for you. You can mix and match them so you do not get bored and respond to what you want to eat. Do not forget that you have to follow the safety rules of what you eat: Stay away from everything that is raw unless it is...

MOM TO BE OR NOT

Looking back, I miss the naiveté of my early 20s. Was I aware that I may have fertility issues? Absolutely. PCOS, hypothyroidism, a history of skin cancer, not to mention the multitude of other health issues that came about throughout my life were all reminders that someday I may struggle. With a hopefulness that was almost childlike, I went out into the world and fell in love. After years of the ups and downs of the dating scene, the late nights out with girlfriends, and the numerous laughs and tears shared over glasses of wine, I had FINALLY found the one. He is charming and sweet and goofy, he never hesitated to remind me that I was beautiful or keep in touch with me throughout the days. While he doesn’t share my love of reading, he does share my love of history and sports (although in ...

TWO PERCENT

My mother had turned it into a game. And it was simple. Whoever found the most change in the house won. That was it. Our one story suburban home was free range. Everything counted. You only had to make sure that you turned every single silver cent in. Pennies allowed, of course, but frowned upon. It didn’t really matter, though. Only that our wooden, chipped coffee table was covered in coins. My mother and I didn’t start playing this game until I was 10 years old, right after my dad left. My older brother, Nicholas, wasn’t around much. Just as absent as our father. Spending most of his time at his friend’s house, unable to deal with our sadness, I think. I didn’t notice it back then. Especially when my mother would move the stacks of unpaid bills off the coffee table and we’d stand on eith...

BY THE LIGHT OF THE MOON

On September 28th, 2015 a wild red moon orbited so close to the earth, it eclipsed the sun. Nearer than ever before, it shone like a star, like a red, fiery, hot star – except, it was the moon. Promising the harvest. Promising the night. Promising to light up the dark. High above the gold of the eastern mountain tips, but low and close, burning bright into the sky, we traced its luminous shadows. Full of force, a howl, endings, and beginnings – we watched it rise and heard its wild call – we listened close, and so we made you. Like your sister, you had been waiting for us and not the other way around. That first week in October you were a tiny wonder I was having deep in the secrets of my mind. One morning, I drifted into the bathroom and unwrapped a pregnancy test. A few...

LETTER TO MY NINE-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER

I didn’t plan motherhood, although I always knew I would someday be a mom. You decided to come when you were ready rather than letting me plan and connect the dots. From the time I saw the positive on the (10) pregnancy tests to the time I saw you in my arms, bawling and squirming, is still a blur. I wanted to write you a letter to tell you how I felt. To apologize for not bonding right away. To explain why we are always harder on you. You are our little lioness, but also our little mouse: sensitive, but resilient. When you were born I waited for the overwhelming protective instinct to envelop me – that love to wash over and overtake me. But it didn’t happen. Instead, I felt overwhelmed, tired, and a disconnect. I had post-partum depression, and you were colicky. It was not your typi...

THE HUMOR OF MOTHERHOOD

Motherhood is a complicated, messy job. There are a lot of ups and downs, and it’s easy to get caught up in if you’re doing it right. But here’s the thing, we’re all figuring it out as we go and are learning on the job. This is a whole new thing, not only for you, but also to your little one. Instead of getting yourself worked up on all the things you’re doing wrong, I’ve found it helpful to look at how hilarious it is to be a mom. There are so many ridiculous things that happen on a daily basis, so why not embrace it and laugh at your silly, new life. Here are some examples: Guess that stain – who knew you could have so much fun trying to figure out if that brown spot on your shirt is coffee or poop! Mama Bear Mentality/Strength – how your new super power can protect your baby...

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