Making America Great Again One Conversation at a Time

This morning my six-year-old niece and I had one thing in common: we were both crying.  In my little liberal corner of the world outside of Portland, it was hard for me to imagine that forty-five percent of Maine residents and nearly forty-eight percent of United States citizens would vote for a man who demonstrated such blatant disrespect for immigrants, women, minority groups, and members of the military.  His exclusionary rhetoric goes against everything our country stands for, and everything I believe in.

Chalupa Batgirl

There are a number of monumental first in a baby’s life, and high on my personal list is Halloween. I love this low pressure holiday with it's clever costumes, quirky parties, and of course, guilt-free treats. Unlike Christmas, I never feel like I have to empty my bank account to fully enjoy it. On Halloween, one can indulge in one or more Reese Peanutbutter Cups (something I love, but avoid in my everyday life) because to not a little would go against the sugary spirit of the ghoulish holiday.  

Farewell, Birthing Fear

Empty - That is the only word I can use to describe the period that followed my daughter’s expedited exodus from my body and the nineteen emotionally taxing days that followed when she resided a town away in the NICU at Central Maine Medical Center.  

Stretch Marks with a Story

My body was ravaged by pregnancy.    After Lennon’s birth, I avoided mirrors for awhile because looking in them made me sad.  I didn’t like the flabby, aged woman I saw looking back at me.

Shameless Bed-Sharer

Against the advice of medical professions everywhere, I bedshare with my five-month old daughter, and I love it.  

The "New" Normal

“I just want to feel like myself again,” I told my husband tearfully at night when he returned from work. After having my daughter and entering the foreign land of motherhood, I struggled to adjust to my new responsibilities, schedule, and life.

As a high school English teacher, I was used to spending my days with children. I naively thought that managing with a single, prepubescent child, who lacked the cognitive processing and oral expression skills required to disagree with me, would be challenging but easier than my primary occupation.  I could not have been more wrong.

Goodbye, Blue Devils - Hello, Motherhood!

Today Lennon smiled at me. It wasn’t a “that fart felt nice smile” - I’ve witnessed lots of those in the last two months. It was a full faced grin of love and appreciation.

It was toothless and a bit drooly, but honestly, I have never seen anything more beautiful in my life.  To say I was thrilled was the understatement of the century.

Flawed Plan; Flawless Product: A Birthing Story

When I attend conferences or workshops, the individuals are often asked to categorize how they approach a project: thinkers, planners, and doers.  “Thinkers” are innovators – they come up with new ideas; “do-ers” figure things out as they go – they almost immediately begin the task; and lastly, “planners” require a roadmap – they enjoy exploring all of the variables and outlining a clear approach before they begin the task at hand. As an individual who can appreciate the beauty of a well-crafted, neatly typed list, I am clearly a member of the last category.

Pregnant, Preeclamptic, and Positive

For the past couple of weeks, I have become convinced that other smiling, happy third trimester pregnant women must be the best fakers in the world because for me, it is complete and utter misery.  At my recent thirty-one week appointment, however, my doctor informed me that my inflated feet, racing heart, severe headaches, and spotty vision is not the norm for most pregnant people. I am one of the lucky five percent of women who are diagnosed with preeclampsia. I usually strive to be unique, but this is the one time I wish I could be normal.

Mother’s Intuition Be Damned

For the last nineteen and a half weeks, I thought I was having a son.  I envisioned a pudgy, blonde-haired boy with my husband’s watchful blue eyes, inquisitive nature, and even temperament; as such, I have referred to the tiny child in my stomach as “he” during months leading up to the ultrasound appointment when the gender would finally be revealed. Against Doug’s wishes, I had even picked out a first name for my future son. Inspired by my husband’s profession and my love of slightly quirky baby names, I decided that my golden haired boy would be named Lennox, Nox for short.