Tag Archives: parenthood

empathy.

This time last year, I was gushing with the secret that I was pregnant with my second child. Dan and I weren’t trying to get pregnant; we just did, and had it in our minds that because we got pregnant unexpectedly that this little bean growing inside me was certainly someone special.

My second pregnancy was vastly different from my first one. With Dax, I felt like Superwoman all the time (well, Superwoman who needed periodic naps throughout the day). However, the second time around, I was pretty miserable for the majority of it — constant stomach issues, nausea, hunger, and anxiety.

So when I went to the bathroom at a friend’s birthday party in late October and saw the blood indicating the beginning of “labor” (should that be in quotes? I don’t know. I certainly labored but it just feels strange to me.) part of me wasn’t all that shocked, if I’m honest. But all of me was heartbroken and sad. A few weeks afterward, when my heart was still raw, I remember praying to God and asking Him to just explain to me why.

The explanation never came, but He did give me a name — the name of the baby I’d never hold.

*****

“That’s a really interesting tattoo you have,” said my son Dax’s preschool teacher as I was bending down to pick him up today.

“Oh, thanks!”

“What made you decide to get it there?”

“Oh, yeah,” I laughed as I awkwardly flashed my armpit. (The tattoo in question is on located on the inside of my right bicep.) “This is my family tattoo — see, these two birds are for Dan and me and this bird is Dax, and this white one is for a baby we lost — so I got it on what I call my ‘mom bicep’.”

“Oh, okay,” she replied with understanding. “Did you have your miscarriage before or after Dax?”

“It was after. Like, almost exactly a year ago,” I said distracted as I reached for and just barely missed my son bolting out the door.

“Oh, yeah, I had one right before I had my son,” she offered.

After that exchange there was a blur around me involving my so-ready-to-leave toddler and all of his things, but as Dax was outside climbing into his car seat, his teacher came up behind me.

“Lindsay! I hope you aren’t upset with me about asking about your miscarriage,” she said sweetly with real concern sparkling in her eyes.

“Oh no! Not at all! If I wasn’t comfortable talking about it I wouldn’t have mentioned it in the first place.”

“Okay, just wanted to make sure,” she replied with a smile. “Have a great weekend!”

“You too!”

And just like that, we transformed from a teacher speaking with her student’s mother to two women gently sharing with each other their particular pieces of this broken life who can honestly say in that moment, “I know how you feel. It’s okay. I get it. I get you. It’s okay.”

And that is everything.

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Filed under life, personal

friday favorite: going from amber to julia.

DISCLAIMER: If you don’t watch Parenthood on NBC, this post probably won’t make any sense to you. If you don’t, here’s a fun guide to the cast to keep you up to speed. 
Pro tip of the day: Watch
Parenthood because it’s great. 

I’ve been catching up on Parenthood, NBC’s heart-warming and gut-wrenching drama all about family, on Netflix over the past couple weeks. When I first got into the show a couple years ago, I instantly felt a connection to Sarah Braverman and her rogue, outspoken daughter Amber, for all the obvious reasons: being a single mom, Sarah’s interactions with Amber reminded me a lot of the interactions I had with my own mom growing up; being the daughter of a drug-addicted absentee father, I could see a lot of my own angst and, shall we say, “colorful” language played out on screen; Amber and Sarah are freaking hilarious sometimes and so am I (humble, too, I might add) and are, quite frankly, hot messes sometimes. (FUN BONUS: Amber is also a musician and Sarah, we find out in season 2, is a also writer! So there’s that!)

I guess the connection was obvious to my husband as well because, after witnessing a rather passionate monologue by Amber, Dan turned to me and said, “Wow, I didn’t know you wrote for this show.”

That prompted me to rattle off all the reasons it was so scary to watch Amber and Sarah on TV because it was like watching myself. But then Dan said something really surprising to me.

“You’re more like Julia, actually.”

erika_christensen

His comment made me scoff at first.

Julia, Sarah’s sister and Amber’s aunt, is very different from Amber and Sarah. She’s been described by other characters on the show as, quote, “a little intense”. She’s a busy lady, what with being a successful lawyer by day and trying SO HARD it almost HURTS to be a perfect mom by night. Her husband Joel — a stay-at-home dad to their daughter Sydney — is much quieter than she, a bit subdued I’d say, but is completely adored by her and is head over heels for her.

At first, I struggled to find anything in common with Julia. But as the episodes wore on, I started to see what he was talking about. I am a working mom. Dan is a work-from-home dad. I have been described as “intense”. I am louder, probably to a fault, than he. In all of these ways, I mirror Julia. But Dan’s point was proven at one point during season 2 when we watched an exchange between the two of them that we swear we’ve had in the past.

There is no doubt that I used to be a hot mess like Amber. Maybe even as hot of a mess as Sarah. And I’ve been pretty reluctant to relinquish that identity because it defined me for so long. But now, I’m Julia. I’m kind of put together, but not without my own obvious junk. And that gives me hope for Amber’s character (no spoilers, please — still working through season 3!).

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Filed under the media, transformation

things i love thursday: MY SON! (march 1, 2012)

For those of you who aren’t following me and the hubs on our pregnancy blog, we found out this week that our little baby is a BOY! His name is Dax Arthur and we love him so much already it hurts, so this week’s TILT is appropriately all about him.

Check out our little man, currently spending his days rolling around in my belly!

Are those cheeks not the cutest little cheeks you’ve ever seen? And that NOSE! How are you not swooning already? Ladies?

(Also, yes, in case you didn’t know, my real first name is Helen. I’ve gone by my middle name all my life. Anywayyyy.)

Despite the fact that 90% of my friends and family were positive I was carrying a girl, I knew better. I’ve always said that God has been preparing my heart to mother boys ever since I was born. The pets I’ve raised on my own (Romeo and Hamlet) are boys. I was the only girl in my family. As a matter of fact, I used to think I could actually be a boy if I tried hard enough. (Oh, did you miss that? You can read about that nonsense here.)

For me, mothering a boy is a huge blessing. I don’t know the first thing about girls. I mean, I obviously have the girl thing down to some extent, what with being pregnant and all, but I think that trying to live up to what a “real” girl is supposed to be (fashion-forward, gourmet cook, a “gentle and quiet spirit,” all the things I’ll regrettably never be) would be overwhelming if/when I have a girl. While everyone says girls are “easier” to raise and that boys are “a handful,” I say bring it on. The fact that my first go at motherhood isn’t going to be associated with perfect girliness but rather messy rambunctiousness is (believe it or not) a huge relief for me. If and when we do have a girl, I’ll already know what it’s like to be a “mom,” and I can focus on figuring out what it means to be “feminine.” (SIDE NOTE: I’m currently thinking of my poor mom on my 4th birthday, desperately running around town to try and find the sole My Little Pony in existence that wasn’t pink or purple but blue. Sorry about that, Mom.)

Bottom line? I’ll take fart jokes and little league over… what is it that girls do? Good Lord, I don’t even know. Playing with non-pink My Little Ponies?

Dax, your mommy and daddy love you so much! We can’t wait to meet you and play with you!

What do you love this week? Is it my kid? I wouldn’t blame you if it was. He’s pretty great!

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Filed under gushes, life, pregnancy, reasons my husband rocks