I knew which warning signs to watch for in her, the red flags they told us about in all of her therapies -- but I was completely unprepared to deal with what was happening to me.
She grabbed my hand and squeezed it hard enough to stop the blood from flowing to my fingertip, and it must have caused an unnatural backflow of blood surging towards my chest, because even when I wanted to be mad at her for not letting me rest, somehow she managed to lift me up out of my horrific mood.
I feel blessed to have conceived twins through IVF, and at the same time, I carry a sense of having been marked by infertility.
In the spirit of honesty, openness and pure transparency, here are true stories about the first year of parenthood. Some are mine, while others were generously shared by my like-minded and beautifully flawed parent friends.
When your second or third or fourth or fifth child is in the same situation, you know what to do already. You've been there, done that, figured it out. But when it's your oldest... your firstborn... We're all first-time moms. Forever.
I vowed to myself, there in that kitschy water park, that I won't ever sit on the sidelines again. I won't deny a pool date because I don't want to wear my bathing suit.
Please understand that you might not always grasp certain concepts when they are first introduced to you, and will indeed make your fair share of mistakes. As they say, if at first you don't succeed, try, try again -- because learning and practice certainly can and will make perfect.
Let me preface everything I am about to throw up (no pun intended) with an expression of deep gratitude. I am beyond grateful to be pregnant after working so hard to get to this point.
Some moments would pass when I would feel so incredibly sad, and Ava would come and tug on my shirt sleeve wanting to play. I would look into her big eyes and would be at a loss to refuse. So we played -- we played all of the time. We played while I swallowed down the sorrow.
I remember always be the last kid to get picked up from school or sports practice. It was so embarrassing. Recently, my son was the last one to be picked up from daycare. Guess what? He survived, and so did I.
It's natural. It's good. It's the process of life. But for a moment, when the Band-Aid starts to rip, it feels a lot like grief.
She is my daughter. Louise. She is four months old, has two arms, two legs, two great chubby cheeks, and one extra chromosome.
The biggest lie I tell my children isn't decorated in fairy tales or splattered with glitter, though. It's simple, plain, and three words long.
When you're an introvert and you become a parent, your body goes through a little shock. Suddenly, you have very little alone time. Sure, your new baby is not talking to you -- and at times, not making much noise at all. But let's face it: You are never truly alone.
To anyone who has lost a child, you may have felt you lost everything the day your baby died. What I want to tell you is that you did not lose a thing. I believe these signs are here for all of us to see. We just have to be able to see it. And when we do see it, to know our loved ones are comforting us.
I love "Bohemian Rhapsody." It's such an epic song. And with lyrics like, "Mama!!!!!!!" it was begging for a mom parody.