Tag Archives: child

Who We Are And How We Got Here

This is who we are and this is how we got here..

My eldest son, James will be 19 in December. He is on the Autism spectrum (High Functioning). When we had James diagnosed at the University of Washington Autism Center almost 9 years ago one of the things the neuropsychologist told my partner and I was the best thing we could have done for James leading up to his late diagnosis was to treat him “normally”. What this meant is that James had chores and household responsibilities appropriate for his age and was held responsible when his behavior needed correcting even when we knew something was different about the way James was seeing the world and digesting experiences.

I went home after that visit and cried for two days. I couldn’t even look at my son square in the eyes. See what the doctor at the UW thought was great about how we had parented James up to the point of diagnosis, was exactly what had me riddled with guilt. Guilt for every nag and fuss and sarcastic response or impatient look or tuned out tangent. I felt embarrassed for every time I pushed him to be involved in an organized sport or sit through a loud movie or make eye contact with a stranger. And the more I read up on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) the worse I felt.

And then one day I got over it. I think it was during a conversation with my sister where she pointed out that I hadn’t been even close to being abusive or bad to James. I had been loving and firm, just like our father had been with us. And I knew I was doing my absolute best so on that day I decided that I was going to use my own parental compass and parent my kids exactly the way that I wanted to. Always attempting to lead with love.

For the most part, for the last 18 almost 19 years James has been nearly angelic. When my friends were having issues with their adolescent sons I was boasting about the cake walk I was on with James. The biggest challenge I had was securing supportive services for him through school. And the funniest part about that is I would work my butt off to secure a service and James would work even harder to prove he didn’t need it or very little of it.

It’s been my experience that finding support for non ASD presenting kids is hard. And let’s be clear, finding services for non neurotypical people is a monster effort and should be way easier than it is. But I feel like diagnosing and finding support for a non verbal child with classic ASD signs and symptoms is more straightforward than diagnosing and supporting a child that presents as neurotypical but does really quirky and sometimes dangerous stuff off and on. Most of my challenge around getting supportive services after our diagnosis was that at around age 13 James asked that we stop participating in the local Autism Awareness campaigns and walks and to stop advertising that we were an ASD family to our neighbors and on social media. I agreed but I found that after a while I felt closeted and shut off from other ASD parents and resources. The only support I had was on Facebook and the groups I joined never seemed to have parents or ASD members having similar experiences as us.

The other part of the challenge is that my son’s high functioning autism (HF ASD) has what we in my family call Cloudy Days. Meaning, we can go months without any significant spikes in characteristics commonly found with people on the spectrum and then one day I will notice that James is pacing (that’s how he stems) or he is having a hard time articulating his thoughts. When these “cloudy days” happen usually there is something that has lead up to it: over indulgence in processed foods, being overwhelmed at school, having a bad day at work, not feeling well or friend issues. I used to be able to anticipate these days because I was more in touch with what was happening at school or with friends but since James has started having more and more experiences that don’t include me, I am usually blindsided when his autism has spikes.

James is hyper aware of the stigmas that come with people’s lack of understanding of Autism as a spectrum and is sensitive to being treated like any other young person. So, I’ve tried to help him in any way I could. In some ways it has been a blessing that I was a very young woman when I had him. We share many of the same taste in music and pop culture and it’s not a stretch for me to understand his perspective on many things. Between my daughter (James’ younger sister) and I, we’ve become his social queue and societal support. My daughter specifically was great about breaking things down for James. And as he got older and learned behaviors became more automatic, James became a terrific social support to her too. They have a very special bond. In fact as I write this blog entry they are in the dining room cracking up over some YouTube video that they’re watching.

But over time, as it happens in every household with children, James has gotten older and includes me less and less in his decisions and requires more and more freedom. Freedom in his decision making and freedom physically from home.

You should know, I grew up in and around Los Angeles county in California. I’ve been around shaky situations and sketchy characters my entire life. I got a very normal 80’s baby city kid upbringing. But as a parent, I work really hard to raise my kids in cities with low crime rates and good schools. My kids have had very little exposure to all the danger that awaits them in the world. So the idea of my somewhat naïve 18 year old navigating around the city with his friends shook/shakes me to my core.

I’ve always been really honest with James about my concerns. And he is been great about navigating his new freedom with care. But like a boomerang coming back to it’s owner it appears that some of the heartache I dished my parents is coming back to haunt me.

Recently, I’ve been forced to wake up and think about the “support” I’ve been giving James up to this point.

  • Was I helping him when I agreed to lesson my involvement with the local Autism resource groups?
  • Was I helping him by not forcing him to socialize with other people on the spectrum?
  • Have I been a helper to him by being in every nook and cranny of his life, so much so that he may have had to keep secrets to have privacy?
  • Have I been the best mother to him without the tools of other ASD parents who have traveled this road before me?
  • Have I given him too much control over how we will live as an ASD family?

I’ve lost a lot of sleep and consumed many a cocktail mulling over these questions in the last few weeks. I’ve searched the internet and reached out to support groups in other states and none of what I find seems to speak to where I am or the questions I have. James is capable of taking care of himself. But do I believe I’ll need to provide a moderate amount of support for possibly longer than most parents of newly launched young adults? Yes. I believe he’ll get to any place he wants to be in his timing. But I can’t help but feel like someone out there has launched a teen with HF ASD into adulthood and being able to pick their brain for a while would help me so much.

I’m going to start a new blog series on my page documenting this journey of launching James into adulthood. Maybe someone that is parenting a younger child similar to my James will find these entries and they’ll help them. Or maybe I’ll just write these entries to get all the concern running through my head out and on paper so I can sleep at night. I don’t know. I guess we’ll just have to see what happens.

*Life Thief is a “real life” lifestyle blogger with a sassy mouth and real woman and mother sensibilities.

You can find her other blog posts at: https://thestolenlifechronicles.wordpress.com/

A Single Mom’s Birth Plan

 I went from married with a baby on the way to single Mom at 6 months pregnant and my entire “birth plan” or “vision” of what child birth would look like went out the window.
I scoured the internet reading birth stories…. I found a total of zero from a single mom. None. It was not a great start to envisioning a NEW Birth Plan.
My OBGYN was amazing and helped me to start over. We kept it simple- Healthy Baby, Healthy Mom.
I went into child birth for the first time armed with knowledge gathered like a true millennial, from YouTube videos. And of course, my OBGYN. But I opted to skip the birth classes and took a breastfeeding class, a car seat safety course and a hospital tour instead. All of which I attended alone, surrounded by couples. I sat and fought back tears while they went through the spousal support PowerPoint slides, but I left the class holding my head high.
It was the first activity I had done alone and I walked to my car knowing that I HAD this. I had to.
I am an over thinker and I knew if I took a class I would obsess and worry and go into child birth with a rigid plan and I realized that was unrealistic. I decided “go with the flow” was my mantra for this and I decided to stick to it.
I trusted my doctor and I trusted my hospital. And I am very, very glad I did.
I had to schedule an induction and I opted for the epidural. My mom was my support person and my dad and my little sister visited me while I was being induced I wasn’t alone the entire time aside from getting my epidural. My momma doesn’t do needles. That wasn’t great, but the contractions were so intense I just focused on breathing and not moving.
My daughters heart rate kept dropping and finally it dropped and they couldn’t get it to come back up. It was looking like an emergency C section and while my plan was loosey goosey an EMERGENCY C Section definitely wasn’t part of it.
My OBGYN gave me a shot at pushing but said I only had a few minutes before they will wheel me to the OR. I gave it everything in me and she was here in less than 15 minutes. The cord had been wrapped around her neck but she was perfect and screaming her head off.
I half realized something was wrong my doctor was yelling at nurses and barking orders. I wasn’t paying attention though, and was just craning my neck so I could see my perfect girl. It felt like an eternity, but they brought her over to me finally and I got to hold her. She was everything.
I suddenly heard my doctor telling them they had to take her from me, that I was losing too much blood.
They took her from me and my mom got to hold her.
Everything was just going so so fast. I was aware nurses were hurrying around the room and saw my doctor who is normally the calmest and kindest woman barking orders out like a drill sergeant. That was when it hit me, okay this is serious. I need her to fix me, I have to hold my Perfect Girl again. I realized then that I was hemorrhaging. I remembered the NEW birth plan that my doctor and I had made together – Healthy Baby, Healthy Mom. I needed her to follow through on our plan.
JUST as I started to really get scared she got everything under control.
I was okay.
They gave me back my Perfect Girl.
She is 5 months old now and I still cannot tell this story without crying. Her birth was traumatic, for me and for her but I wouldn’t change a single thing. As a Single Mom creating a birth plan was nothing like what you read about or see in the movies. But it is part of our story and I love it.
Healthy Baby, Healthy Mom. The very best Single Mom Birth Plan.
Single Mom Boutique Boss
-Allyson

Can You Get That For Me?

Can you get that for me?…

I was all set to write about my California adventures but something more important has happened.

My daughter is now taller than me.

I’m gonna need a moment.

Now granted I’m 5ft 2in so I am a small person, but she’s eleven.

Eleven (!)

I already feel like our lives go a million seconds a minute now this.

She of course is elated.

Me….

My heart is breaking.

She already doesn’t need me to tuck her in.

She will ask me if I’m going to leave when I go in her room after work to say hi.

Is this going to make her need me less?

I already have not the stage where things I do embarrass her. Although by virtue of who I am that feels like a challenge.

Also I am pretty sure the people in the car next to us at the stoplight DO enjoy my singing along loudly to Jump Around.

Even if she doesn’t.

I realize we are hitting those years and I am scared. I feel like I haven’t done enough. I’m not ready.

I’m not ready for her not to need me.

I’m not ready for her to be taller than me.

Or maybe I am.

Now I have someone who can get stuff off the shelf for me.

So there’s that.

She’s an amazing kid and I knew this day was coming- just maybe not this fast.

For now I’ll take solace in the fact tonight she still wanted a hug at bedtime.

We got this Mommas

Or at least we’re gonna pretend we do.

<3 Caprise

You Got This Mommas

You got this mommas…

Every week late Sunday afternoon I curl up somewhere with a beverage, music, blanket, and my iPad and start to write a post that will appear here.

I always try to find something I hope that will resonate with someone. Maybe help. Make someone laugh. Feel better.

The irony that my maternal instincts kick in, even when dealing with something like a blog post isn’t lost on me.

As I write this – it’s Mother’s Day. I will share with you that while I was never a 100 percent about getting married I always knew I wanted to be a Mom.

I am far from a traditional Mom and my own daughter sometimes compares me to a teenager on occasion, but I have always and will always put her first.

I worry and overthink when it comes to her. I try not to Tiger Mom her too much. I maybe get too much joy out of singing loudly to a song she doesn’t like in our car rides together.

Meals can sometimes be more like snacks.

She definitely gets too much time on her iPad.

I let her have two swear words a day.

My heart hurts when she is at her Dad’s, even though when she’s home we are rarely in the same room.

I love being silly with her. That she is almost taller than me.

Being a Mom is the best thing, deciding to do it alone was one of the hardest decision I ever made. I still worry about it, but I also needed to be a healthy, happy Mom for G. I still have my moments…

I will never be a PTA Mom. I send gift cards and emails to school. I am thankful for her teachers and her grandparents who have helped me to raise such a beautiful, funny, smart and kind spirit.

I don’t look like the other Moms with my tattoos and piercings, but I look like her and when she asks me to I dress up or down – I do. I love that we both like Vans and fun t-shirts.

In all of this ramble this is my point… no one is the perfect Momma. She doesn’t exist. But what you are is a Momma who is doing amazing on her own terms with her whole heart and that’s what it’s all about.

At least I hope so.

You do got this Mommas

<3 Caprise

The Truth About Infertility

I’ve just recently started opening up about my miscarriage and infertility. I think it’s extremely important to to talk about these things and shine a light on a topic that can sometimes seemingly seem “taboo”.

Not all of us are built to conceive or carry a child. Infertility does NOT discriminate. Personally, I have no trouble “getting pregnant”- staying pregnant that has been a problem for me.

My issues tend to start early on when the baby is still a teeny tiny tadpole alien. Most people have heard of the pregnancy hormone HCG. Well if you’ve ever had a baby before, then you know that in early pregnancy your HCG levels double every 24-48 hours in a healthy pregnancy. It’s also the hormone that causes your home pregnancy test to turn positive. But the other less talked about hormone needed to have a successful pregnancy is Progesterone.

If you’re like me, then you had probably never heard of it before becoming pregnant. Progesterone is a female sex hormone. It’s produced mainly in the ovaries following ovulation each month. It’s a crucial part of the menstrual cycle and for the maintenance of a healthy pregnancy. So in other words- it’s super important, and like the HCG hormone it’s number needs to be going up and doubling as well.

Remember when I said I don’t have a problem getting pregnant? Well once a fertilized egg implants in the uterine wall, progesterone helps maintain the uterine lining throughout pregnancy. Basically it keeps the lining thick enough for the baby implant and grow…or as my doctor so delicately put it “favorable conditions.”

For whatever reason, my body just doesn’t make enough progesterone on it’s own to maintain a pregnancy. My number stopped going up which resulted in miscarriage at 6 weeks and an almost miscarriage this pregnancy at 6 weeks as well. Fortunately, my doctor monitored my levels weekly starting at 4 weeks pregnant. She caught the progesterone early on and put me on suppositories twice a day until I reached 10 weeks, which was supposed to be the safe zone.

That’s when it got super fun..

When I went into my 12 week check up, I was feeling pretty good. Any mom who has suffered a miscarriage knows that the 12 week mark is a biggie! Chances of miscarriage drop tremendously at this point…in a normal pregnancy. She did a couple routine tests and broke the news to me that I still wasn’t making enough progesterone to maintain the pregnancy.

As frustrated as I was, she dove right into an action plan. She prescribed me a progesterone injection once a week in my hip to keep my levels high enough to carry the baby to term. Attachment.png

With my first pregnancy I had the hardest time not delivering early. I had a different doctor back then, who never thought to check my progesterone levels- so I was constantly in the labor and delivery room having my labor stopped. At 28 weeks I started dilating. By 33 weeks I was at 4cm. By 35 weeks I was at a 6. I was placed on bed rest and a contraction stalling medication for the last month of my pregnancy, ultimately delivering her at 36 weeks. She was healthy- but the whole ordeal was a bit stressful for me and Brett.

This time around is proving no different. My doctor has been super proactive and covered everything preparing for a premature baby..it doesn’t take my fear away..but it helps a ton. This week I had a serious of steroid shots that are designed to mature the babies lungs and get her ready to breathe on the outside. As painful as they were to actually get- I’m so relieved to not have to worry about my baby having breathing troubles if she decides to come early. Along with those shots, they gave me a shot to boost the baby’s immune system- since premies tend to be more susceptible to infections.

So now we are in a waiting game. Hoping she cooks for another 7 weeks at least, but prepared if she decides to come sooner. This whole experience has been so humbling. I’ve had a great support system, and a ton of support from family and friends. Attachment_1.png

Before I went through this, I never realized how common issues like mine are. Why isn’t it talked about more? I’ve spent countless hours online trying to find information and testimonials from other women who’ve gone through this, only to discover it’s fairly common…yet unheard of at the same time!? This needs to change. Early miscarriages, and premature births could go down tremendously if more women knew to ask their doctors to check for low progesterone. Remember, 1 in 4 women will suffer from a miscarriage. That number is way to high. Especially when its something like I have that is treatable if caught early enough. Attachment_2.png

Start talking. If you’re planning on trying for a baby, have your progesterone level checked, most women go their whole adult life not even knowing where they stand. Low progesterone levels cause irregular or heavy periods. I suffered for years, thinking it was normal. So if you’re suffering from either of those- get checked out! It’s a simple blood test, and like I’ve stated before, it’s treatable.

If this helps even one baby or mamma, I’ll be satisfied. Everything starts with a a conversation.

~Andrea

How Do You Do It All?

I get asked all the time how I do it.  “It” referring to working full time, taking care of a household, and raising four boys each with a different personality. I used to struggle and question my parenting style; for example do I parent like I was raised or do I parent like society says I should parent.

Then not so long ago I had an ephiany. I realized I need to keep doing what I’m doing. When my two younger boys, ages 12 and 14, are at each other’s throats, I try and remain calm and ask them what happened. Most of the time they talk and yell over each other and in the end I’m the one yelling.  That is okay because after some self reflection I tell myself I will try and do better the next time.

The truth is there is a combination of things that go into how I parent, work full time and take care of my household.  First of all, I pray for patience, patience, and more patience. Second, I do my self care routine. My routine consists of putting my kids to bed and watching TV or getting on social media.  I also like to go to the tanner or go for walks with friends. I realized long ago self care is not selfish. I know I cannot be there for my job or my kids if I’m a hot mess. Humor is also a very important piece of my daily routine.  I laugh at myself several times a day. Like when I’m looking for my phone while it is in my hand or when I am shopping and jump when I see my reflection in a mirror and say excuse me thinking it was another person.

I have to remember I am human and I am not perfect.  Mistakes are made daily and that is okay, because I am blessed beyond measure and I get to wake up every day and try again.  If I can tell myself at the end of the day that I put everything I had into being the best that I can be I know my kids will turn out okay.

 

Yours Truly,

Anne Smith- A Working & Single Mother

No More Goodnight

“Ok G ready to be tucked in?”

“I’m good Mom”

“What?”

“I’m going to tuck myself in.”

“Oh ok, Do you need anything, A hug?”

“Nope, Mom I’m good.”

“Juice?”

“Got it.”

“Ok well I love you.”

“I love you too Mom.”

That is when my eleven year old daughter broke my heart.

Bedtime is a ritual. It’s a treasured ritual. It’s sometimes the only time of the day I get to talk to G about her day where she is unfiltered. It’s when we cuddle. We joke. We even have our own poem. It’s been our thing since she was two.

I treasure that quiet with her, don’t get me wrong,when I’m an exhausted mess I would be a liar if I told you before she could read I didn’t edit stories so we could both get to sleep faster.

But this is different.

She chose this.

As she is a lot of things lately.

Which I’m happy about… her finding her footing, being comfortable and independent. But for nine years good, bad or otherwise she has been my solar system.

So much so she has never met a single person I’ve dated. I can hear your collective intake of breath and tongue clucks. Read my blog series… it will make sense.

Maybe

That’s not why we’re here. Another time. Another time.

I want my girl to feel secure but does this mean she doesn’t need me?

We have started entering the stage of one syllable answers to questions, if I get answer. I embarrass her now. Before if I broke out in song in the car she would have sang along, now she yells for me to stop.

She also comments on things about me she didn’t before.

I’ll just say it- how I look. How I act.

So this is new for me,as before I was Mom. Gorgeous no matter what. Perfect no matter what. Allowed to tuck in no matter what.

Now she sees me.

I mean really sees me.

My stress, my hurt, my happy. My silly. She doesn’t always like what she sees and she tells me.

She asks me point blank questions about things she never did before.

Honest.

Brutal.

The reality of not tucking her in is more than just not tucking her in.

She’s growing up. While I am incredibly proud of who she is becoming. I selfishly still want her to need me. Is she still going to need me?

Will you still need me …When I’m 64? Beatles song… sorry…

I am sure she does and will. I am 47 and when I’m sick all I want is my Mom, but I think you get it.

Relationships between Mothers and daughters can be fragile things. I’m scared.

What if I screw this up?

And now you know my secret. While I hate I’m not tucking her in. It  does mean some extra quiet time for me. Our majestic golden doodle now sleeps with her. Less chaos at bedtime because she is handling it.

But it also means we are entering those years.

The ones we see on the Lifetime movies, talk shows, The Kardashian’s.

Ok, I don’t watch that… but ack!

I certainly don’t want to be a cool Mom.  I mean, raise your hand if you saw Mean Girls?

Whoa

But I want to be someone she can come to. That is my fear. Or at the least if not me someone else and know she can send them my way after.

I went to college with women who couldn’t talk to their Moms. I am friends with women who couldn’t talk to their Moms. I sometimes can’t talk to my Mom.

I don’t want perfect but I want a balance. Guys,I am so terrified you know who will goof it up. I know I keep saying that, but I think sometimes as a single Mom we wear our worry and sadly guilt like jewelry, heavy around our necks. We don’t mean to, but for me I know I made the right choice but it’s still a tough one and it still is hard on her.

Deep breath….

For now I am going to still ask if she needs anything about three times at bedtime.

Sneak in after she’s asleep and kiss her forehead.

Revel in the fact that even though my poor baby had the worst tummy bug ever the other night guess who she had tuck her in?

That’s right.. the same lady who sings Jump Around at embarrassing levels in the school pick up lane.

We got this Mama.

At least I think we do.

Big loves Mamas

 

~~Caprise

Single Mom of the amazing Dbl G
Teacher
Sometime DJ
T-shirt collector
Henry Rollins Middle Aged Punk Prom Date

Choosing The Right Education For Your Children

Education is said to be one of the greatest things we can provide for our children.  That makes finding the right education for our children one huge responsibility as single mothers but what do you do when school just doesn’t fit your child?  Between bullying and the rising threat of school shootings toped by inadequate funding for education. I was facing this reality for my oldest son Logan. Logan has a long history of being physically and emotionally bullied in school, by students, paras and a teacher in his educational career.

Logan has an IEP and I have seen him be singled out by some of his mainstream teachers, He doesn’t have a behavioral disorder he is extremely high functioning autistic, which makes socialization difficult sometimes and he can get sensory overload.  About two years ago a para assigned to my boy decided when he laid down on his time out mat for sensory reasons that it would be ok to kick my son in the back and the head. I threw a fit and when the school didn’t do anything about it I pulled him out.

Logan used to be an advanced reader, but because of his IEP he hasn’t been challenged academically, to the point now he has fallen behind. Being frustrated and quite honestly fed up I decided to try a different approach. I have pulled him out of school after another incident and instead of trying a new regular school we are trying a online school.

To be honest this is the first time in a long time I am excited for a new school, and so is Logan. He’s a little down about not hanging out with kids all day but I’ve already signed him up with a fall sport and a spring sport through the community and this school offers events where the kids in the same class can meet each other since it is a locally based school. This school also offers student free career and tech classes once they are caught up. There is live class lessons and discussions where Logan can hear and see his classmates and teacher. The best part of this school is we can make his lessons completely individualized!

So here’s to new beginnings and bright futures I’ll follow up and report how its going before the end of the school year.

Always be unapologetically true to yourself

Ali

Life With Trisomy 18

Last night I was thinking about what life would be life if Lillian didn’t have Trisomy 18. I thought back to her diagnosis and how devastated I was that she was going to be sick. I was scared about how our lives would change to accommodate for her needs, and even more scared of the thought of living life without her. I knew that one or the other would be how things played out. It’s been over 2 years since I became the mother of a medically delicate child. So last night when I was thinking about where we would be now if Lillian was “normal” I just couldn’t imagine life any other way.

So many times I feel like having a disability is looked at as a bad thing. We live in a society where different things are assumed to be bad. Being the mom of a medically delicate child has opened my eyes to so much. I, too, once thought that being differently abled or being the mom of a differently abled child would be absolutely awful. Life shook me around and showed me that is not. It’s hard. But it’s also crazy beautiful and wonderful and worth it. Life with Lillian has opened my eyes to an entirely different world—a better world.

The truth is, Trisomy 18 has shaped Lillian, and me for that matter. Lillian IS NOT Trisomy 18, but she does HAVE it. And it does make her who she is. She wouldn’t be the same without that extra chromosome. She is perfectly imperfect and I wouldn’t have her any other way. Would I take away the sickness? Sure. Would I take away the short lifespan? In a heartbeat. But would I change anything else about her? No. Having a child with different abilities is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. She has taught me so much about so many things. I could go on all day about it! She is THE sweetest, happiest child I’ve ever met. And I honestly don’t think she would have the same personality if she didn’t have Trisomy 18.

There are many many days that I say I “hate” Trisomy 18. And what I’ve realized is that it’s not Trisomy 18 that I hate. It’s death. And we are all going to die. So I choose her. I choose happiness. I choose positivity. And I choose to live despite the inevitable.

**If you are interested in learning more about Trisomy 18 or following Lillian’s journey, please check out her Facebook Page here https://www.facebook.com/trisomy18princess

 

Written By: Alivia Kraft

Have Kids They Said- It Will Be Fun They Said

Have Kids They Said- It Will Be Fun They Said….

I’m sure you have all heard that phrase before, right?!? I’m not exactly sure who “they” are, but I’m thinking they were drunk or high or maybe even both when “they” came up with that phrase. I know what you are thinking right now…. wow that’s harsh. Maybe, maybe not! Don’t get me wrong, I love my girls more than anything in this world and they are the best two miracles to have ever entered my life. I’m just saying that sometimes (ok, maybe most times) parenting can be downright exhausting. Especially the times when you are grocery shopping and your children are in the dreaded car cart (damn carts) acting out the latest WWF moves with each other.

Back before I had children I planned everything and became anxious and irritated if something didn’t go according to that plan. Then I became pregnant with Emerson and I was beyond thrilled, I started planning her extravagant (maybe it was a bit over the top) nursery right away. Well, apparently Emerson didn’t like plans and decided that she was going to enter the world 4 weeks early after I was diagnosed with severe preeclampsia and hospitalized. When we were finally able to bring Emerson home I realized very quickly that my OCD like behaviors were going to have to take a backseat. There was not enough time in the day to tend to a newborn while sleep deprived and keep a spotless house.

Fast forward almost two years later and I became pregnant with Amelia. I could’ve sworn she was a boy during my entire first trimester. I was so convinced that I had been giving away a lot of Emerson’s girly baby clothes because I wouldn’t need them for a boy. I will never forget the day we did gender reveal cupcakes and Emerson ate into it while I watched on in anticipation awaiting the blue frosting in the middle. The frosting was pink…. I cut open all half dozen cupcakes because I was sure it was a mistake. This confession I always feel bad about, but I can own it. I cried… I cried because I wanted a little boy so badly. I got over it quickly and realized how grateful and thankful I was to have become pregnant again in the first place.

I never in a million years imagined myself being a single mom raising two little girls, it really was not in my life plan. I had met someone ten years ago, whom I thought at that time was my prince charming. Both of our careers were on track, we had each other, and we were living our best lives. Maybe fairy tales really did exist, or at least that is what I thought at the time. Then my world came crashing down on me one piece at a time until I stood at the center of a web of lies and my fairy tale became my worst nightmare.

I’m slowly picking up those pieces and have my friends and family to lean on for support. I look at my girls when they are playing so nicely together (rare moments) and I just have to smile and remind myself that everything truly does happen for a reason. Maybe fairy tales are more complicated in real life, maybe they do not exist at all. However, I owe it to my girls and to myself to keep writing our story, you just never know where it will end up 😉

Remember, hugs are always free!

xX Tamara xX