• Finding Magic in Motherhood, Part 12: The relief that came from telling my secret

    Finding Magic in Motherhood, Part 12: The Relief That Came From Telling My Secret

    I was always afraid that, because I’m skinny and petite, I would start showing early on. I was lucky winter went on and on into March that year since my warmer, winter specific dresses tended to be looser than my summer dresses. My closet was also full of colorful scarves my mom had made me over the years, which made it easier to shift attention to my neck. Between them and my coat, no one who didn’t already know knew. Originally, I had intended on telling my classmates once I passed the 12 week mark, but, having miscarried, I was afraid I would lose this, too, if I shared my…

  • Finding Magic in Motherhood, Part 11: I Don't Believe in Stress

    Finding Magic in Motherhood, Part 11: I Don’t Believe in Stress

    When I learned I was pregnant with my son, I was also somewhere in the middle of my seventh year of formal study in psychology (third year of graduate school). I knew the effects of a mother’s stress on a developing child. Knowing I’m generally an anxious Type A person, it was important to me that I minimize the risk of anxiety in my child. Neither my husband nor I have any known relatives who have ever been diagnosed with anxiety, so I was just keen on minimizing the risk of him developing even a normal level of anxiety. In order to keep my cortisol levels as low as possible…

  • Finding Magic in Motherhood, Part 10: School and Pregnancy

    Finding Magic in Motherhood, Part 10: School and Pregnancy

    I had about a week between the ultrasound and the start of my Spring semester, a week to finally let the thought I was pregnant settle in. Of course, that came with a whole host of other fears. I still wasn’t past the first trimester, so there was still a good chance I would lose this baby, too. But my more pressing issue was having to sit in classrooms for most of the day twice a week while battling nausea and keeping my symptoms under wraps. I was lucky. The first trimester was kind to me. It was almost as though the universe decided I’d gone through enough with my…

  • Finding Magic in Motherhood, Part 9: The Moment of Truth

    Finding Magic in Motherhood, Part 9: The Moment of Truth

    The day of our 8 week ultrasound was cold and sunny with a thick layer of snow on the ground. Even though it had stopped snowing, my husband’s place of work was closed for the day. I can’t tell you how grateful I was because, two weeks before, we thought he would be going back to work the day after we got back from California. If he had gone back to work, we would have had to wait a little longer for the 8 week ultrasound. I would have had to wait longer for my worry to ease a little. I was terrified there wouldn’t actually be a baby in…

  • Finding Magic in Motherhood, Part 8: The Fears, the Symptoms, the Uncertainties

    Finding Magic in Motherhood, Part 8: The Fears, the Symptoms, the Uncertainties

    As overjoyed as I was to learn I had conceived so soon after miscarrying and to see such an amazingly dark line, it was quickly tempered by fear, worry, and doubt. This time around was vastly different from the first. Instead of dizziness, I had annoying headaches. Instead of being quite sleepy, I felt wide awake. The line on the pregnancy test was dark and stark instead of pale and almost invisible. I couldn’t help but worry that something was going to go wrong. My friends knew I had lost my first pregnancy and they stepped carefully around me when the topics of kids and pregnancy came up. They knew…

  • Finding Magic in Motherhood, Part 7: I Should Have Known Something Was Going On

    Finding Magic in Motherhood, Part 7: I Should Have Known Something Was Going On

    Despite my husband’s reassurances, I was prepared for the long wait for another positive pregnancy test. The doctor had said to wait 3 months, but we had decided to not follow his advice. Still, there was no guarantee I would ovulate any time soon, no guarantee I would get pregnant again right away, no guarantee that my body was actually ready, or even capable of, carrying a child. After the miscarriage, I had to go in for blood work to make sure my hCG level was going down. Fortunately, it did, and I stopped getting positive pregnancy tests. I was nervous, but it was time to try again. The end…

  • Finding Magic in Motherhood, Part 5: The Miscarriage

    Finding Magic in Motherhood Part 5: The Miscarriage

    In all the plans my husband and I formulated, we never even considered miscarriage. We knew it existed, but didn’t know much beyond that. There wasn’t a history of miscarriage in my family that we knew of. My mom had never miscarried. There was no reason for me to think it would happen to me. I didn’t know it just happens, and there’s no telling who will miscarry and when. The Early Excitement Our plan worked flawlessly. We used ovulation tests, waited the two weeks, and then tested on a chosen day. We got a faint pink line, but a line was a line. No matter how faint, it meant…

  • Not Having a Birth Plan Made Me Less Anxious

    When I was pregnant with my first baby, I knew what a birth plan was. I knew what went into one and that many women have them. In theory. When I was pregnant with my first, I was a busy graduate student attending classes, trying to get through my practicum placement that required me to do psychological testing with college students and write up reports, study for my comprehensive exams, and get through a daily pile of class readings. To say I didn’t have much time to enjoy pregnancy is an understatement. There were times when I almost forgot! Until, you know, ligament pains, nausea, headaches, and the Braxton Hicks…

  • Happy Fathers Day! Reflections on Pregnancy Discrimination at Work Places in the US

    Hi All! Happy Father’s Day to all! Upon reflection, Father’s day is really, for me, about my children and my wife. My wife does some incredible work with our kids. They are good…but they are also young and learning how to be. Today, in that spirit, I leave you all with a NYTimes story on discrimination against pregnant women. There are several class action lawsuits against some major companies that espouse “family friendly” environments. Being a parent, is something important…as without the next generation, there would be no workforce or voting blocks! But this is really a digression. The article below details what was discussed in several of my post…

  • Smile: My Miscarriage Story

    My son was born almost 4 years ago, before “rainbow baby” was a commonly used term. I certainly hadn’t heard of it until he was 1. Even though he is a rainbow baby, I have a hard time thinking of him in that way. He isn’t my rainbow. He is something else altogether. I remember our excitement when we finally determined it was time to start trying for our first baby.  I was lucky; it happened on the first try. But the test line was so faint…but the box said a line was a line. I was pregnant. Almost immediately I started feeling the effects. Going to the bathroom twice…