Tag Archives: pregnancy

For my Kai, who will be six on Thursday


He is motion
His is no breath between words
He is no pause for your answers to your questions
He runs as if by motor
He is endless knock knock jokes and one liners-
When I told him one Halloween when he was three
No I want to be the princess, you are making me sad
He said-
Don’t be sad, be a dragon. Read the rest of this entry

Part four of five

Raining. Flood Warning. Ugh.

Kai was born over three years ago, and I haven’t finished his birth story.  I’ve started his birth story, but it’s not done. Last night I wrote about the music that playing the night he was born, and tonight, I’m going to start cleaning out the recesses of my memory –

In case, you want a refresher –
here is part one
part two
and part three


February fifth would begin the longest work week of  my life. February fifth was  when my long-term sub would come in to shadow me for her first days and my last before my maternity leave. When she walked in wearing a fur – I knew it was going to be a long day.  When she snapped her fingers in one of my student’s faces – well I knew things were going to get interesting – and When she started cleaning my room while I taught some of my final lessons to my ninth graders — I knew that my leave couldn’t come fast enough. Read the rest of this entry

admission – 26 of 365


grey. a bit of snow, a bit of sun. temperature at 11:18pm,  33°

Expectations are just resentments under construction.  – Anne Lamont

Mix in expectations with a toddler who never stops, and an infant who doesn’t sleep – liberally sprinkle in a pre-existing anxiety problem and bam – a sweet case of postpartum depression.

I’ve said that d-word just five or  six times now. And the thing is, I talk a lot, (here, many of you who know me, smile, nod your head, and think I’m understating it).  But as a friend pointed out the other night, I’ve kept this one  pretty close to my chest.

I probably wouldn’t be saying it here and now, if it weren’t for my mug being all over the local news tonight.  Keegan and I were on all but one of the local networks at a press conference for MotherWoman.

MotherWoman is an incredible organization here in the Valley doing good work  for women in the postpartum period and beyond.  Right now they’re working on advocating for a piece of legislation that would provide for screening for all pregnant and new mamas.

So – today I was brave, and after my group, I stayed around in solidarity with the women telling their stories to the press.

After today, I probably won’t want to talk about this again. But now, I’ll tell you, I wish there was a place outside of my group, where women could talk about what motherhood really looks like without being concerned with the judgments of others.    But the reality is –there’s a heavy burden to abide by the myth of the good mother, and when we deviate from that myth, judgement is passed readily and quickly – I know, because I’ve been ever so guilty of passing it.

And oh the stigma, real or imagined, to admit that in mothering, you’ve been deficient.  That stigma is what keeps me from speaking out-loud – except for this moment –

Tomorrow, MotherWoman travels to Boston to further support the legislation.  I send with them brave thoughts and loud voices, and hope-  so that the next mama sitting where I am, won’t ever feel judged, or any less than she is.

Nothing like leaving things till the last minute.


Kai will be a year in a little less than a month.

Nuts huh?

I have promised for nearly every of those eleven months to write down his birth story. And except for a sparse paragraph here and there, I just haven’t gotten it out.

This week I made a commitment to have it finished by his first birthday. And there is no time like the present to begin. This will probably be an epic, so I’m going to post in parts over the next few weeks.


I have never been surprised by anything in my entire life. That is, until you were born. Your father would probably like to think that when he proposed, I had no idea what was going on. But I had inkling, I mean, and I’m assuming you know your father well enough by now to understand my thinking on this, he booked a hotel room and made dinner reservations. How could I not know something was up?

Your birth story really starts 2 weeks and 6 days before you were due to be born, January the 19th. That day after I finished teaching, I went with your father to my 36 week appointment with the Midwives. Towards the end of the appointment, one of my Midwives, Amy was doing my exam and said “hmmph”

– I responded in kind, “hmmph, what?”

“Well,” she said, “I think I feel a hand, but we need to make sure it’s not a foot.” Amy told us to wait right there, and she would check down the hall if they could get us an ultrasound, “just to double check.” For the first time in my whole pregnancy, I was nervous.

That might sound funny coming from your worry wart of a mother, but it’s true. I spent my first eight months of being pregnant with you, very much free of fret and worry. It had been a lovely change. Your father, who is always strong when I need him to be, patted my knee and said, “no worries, don’t cry, like Amy said, it could be a hand.”

See the thing is sweet boy, I had planned this very, intervention-free birth for you. I had these soft, fuzzy images in my head of a miraculous birth with lights low, and music playing, and you being handed right to me, and me just falling all in love with you from the very beginning. And at that very moment, several weeks before you were supposed to be born, it seemed I wasn’t going to get what I wanted.

And the thing is, I always get what I want sweet child. You’ve learned by now that your mama is a control freak, right? Well you should know that my belief that I could truly control the universe had been shored up the day your father and I married. I had prayed for a beautiful sunny day for our outdoor wedding. The Monday before it looked as if the universe had other plans, it was rainy, it was wet, it was miserably cold, and the caterer had emailed, speaking of heaters and sides for our tent. But I stood strong, it would be sunny. I would make sure it would be sunny. And for good measure, just to make sure, I hung your great-great grandmother’s rosary beads outside, just in case. And wouldn’t you know, Saturday came with bright skies, warm breezes and a temperature that was perfect for your mama to walk down the grass covered aisle with Blackbird playing, and the sun on her face. And ever since that day, I had been fairly sure I was tapped in with the Universe’s plans. . .


part two



today is like christmas.

what a wonderful day. i tell baby, the world is a little less scarry today!
though, what is it with states opposing gay marriage?
We’ve been doing it here two and a half years, and guess what folks, the sky, it has not fallen down.

Lately, I’ve been writing with my kids (that is my students, you would be surprised to know I have 90 kids wouldn’t you?)
I’ve been writing with them a lot. It is easier to get them to do something if we do it together.

I wrote this in response to a vingette from Sandra Cisneros’ House on Mango Street, and I thought I would share.


My father has clear blue eyes- a perfect mix of his parents – Gram’s are a lighter, milkier, mother of pearl blue, like jewelry in old fashioned movies – and Grampa’s are steelier, harsher, hard, like he’s still in a ship in the pacific, during wwii

My eyes are dark — chestnut brown and almond shaped. They are the eyes of my mother, and her mother before her, and her father before her, and his mother before him. I am the fifth or maybe more generation of these eyes. I know since I have seen the pictures of my great-great-grandma Isabelle, who must have stood strong with these eyes, with her infant son in her hand, a widow so young, her husband gone form a hunting accident, while they auctioned off her farm—five generations of eyes see much.

I wonder what the next generation of eyes will bring– will my baby have blue eyes or dark, or maybe like my love, sweet green-grey eyes that catch golden flecks, like leaves in late September – though, I only wish for my baby, eyes that will see clearly the whole world around.