Tag Archives: Birthday


15 Oct


I’m linking up with with  Tracy,  Galit , and Alison for Memories Captured today.  They’ve asked us to honor our children – to take a moment and celebrate who they are and to be respectful of them when we write.  I use this blog to share my own feeling about motherhood and my experience living with a mental illness, so I am always mindful of what my children might think when they read it many years from now.  I want it to reflect how much I cherish them, but also how challenging it has been for me to become a parent and to balance my life with the life of this family.  I hope they will take all the imperfections I share here and see their mother as more than just “mom,” instead a whole person with hopes, dreams, struggles, and bad days.

But when they read this post, (Hi, Doodlebug!  Hi, Bean!) all I want them to see is how proud I am to be their mother.  Because I am.  Even on the hardest days and the longest nights, I am.

No1 turned four this past week.  During her party, all the kids climbed into the giant-cardboard-box-turned-convertible and pretended to drive to Story Land.  They all played so nicely together the whole party and No1 was in the middle of it all, being celebrated and lavished with the affection her bright personality brings to all of us.  I love this picture.  I love how she’s surrounded by her friends.  I love the look of belonging I can see in her eyes.  I hope that this is one birthday she will actually remember years from now, because it was incredible.  She is incredible.





When Birthdays Aren’t So Happy

14 Oct

No1 turned 4 this week.  Among the bittersweet celebration of her newest number floated tiny flashbacks.  Bit and pieces of the horror kept snapping me out of my happiness.  The 37-week induction for no reason, the 12 hours she spent in ICU because of fluid in her lungs, the second-degree cervical laceration, and the feeling of complete disconnect with my new baby girl.  One of my most vivid memories of the day she was born is being wheeled into the ICU and realizing I had absolutely no idea which baby was mine.

Four years ago, early in October, I lost who I knew myself to be.  It may be the anniversary of my baby’s birth, but it’s also the anniversary of the onset of my PPD.

Past birthdays haven’t been so hard.  But my birth experience with No2 was so beautiful and peaceful and my bond so deep and immediate, that the anger over how bad round one was has resurfaced.  It’s almost as if comparing experiences has highlighted how horrid the first one was.  I realize it’s water under the bridge. . . that I have an amazing little girl who knows that she is loved and feels it ever day with me.  Maybe it shouldn’t matter how I gave birth to her, but it does.  Those early days were filled with emotional and physical trauma, both of which I suppose I’m still healing from.

Today, we celebrated with a party.  A house full of preschool friends, yellow “happy car convertible” decorations, a Matchbox car race, crafts, and treats.  It was joyful and a celebration of everything No1 is in this moment.  She had an incredible time.  Incredible.  I’m choosing to focus on that.  Choosing to live in the present.

But in these quiet moments when my heart reaches back to the past and aches for what might have been, or regrets all the time lost to denial and naiveté , I am trying to be kind to myself.  I’m staying up late to play video games with my husband, imagining Velma’s face on each villain and alien creature.  I’m taking long showers, freshening up the pink in my hair, and wearing my favorite makeup.  I’m sleeping in on the weekends and going to bed early to listen to podcasts I know will send me off to dreamland.  I’m sipping my coffee slowly and microwaving it as many times as it takes to finish the whole cup hot.  I’m soaking in each “I love you,” from my now-four-year-old.

It’s okay to celebrate her four astounding years on this earth and grieve for the joyful birth and postpartum experiences I was deprived of.  And spooning chocolate frosting straight from the can into my face?  Sure has helped with both.

MIA…and DoodleBug’s Third Birthday

10 Oct

The last month has kept me busy.  Between a recent toddler birthday, a new big girl room, doctors appointments, and prepping for Baby #2…not to mention teaching three days a week and being pregnant for all seven of them, I’m pretty impressed with myself for being awake right now.  It’s 8pm.

Sorry for being MIA online lately.  I have post drafts waiting and my twitter timeline is so long, I’m pretty sure it dates back to the Revolutionary War.  I have more posts in my blog reader than I care to admit, which makes me feel a little guilty.  But when things get hectic around here, or I feel tired, my online life is the first thing I give up.  I haven’t needed to write as much –  I feel relaxed and for the first time in a while, I’m able to get through my day without analyzing my feelings, and though I wouldn’t call my days “easy”, there does seem to be an ease about them…or at least a slower pace.  I’ve been going to bed earlier, taking more naps, and spending my down time actually resting instead of cranking out posts or stressing over completing projects.  If you keep up with me on a regular basis, I’m telling you all of this so you won’t worry.  I’m good.  Really.  Just pregnant and tired and giving myself lots of self-care.

Perhaps I can make it up to you with pictures from DoodleBug’s third birthday party?  What if I include baby pictures so you can marvel at how big she’s grown?

October, 2008

October, 2009

October, 2010

And this year…a small party with her favorite people.

Her sea turtle cake, lovingly made by my best friend.

Making a turtle craft with Daddy and friends.

Opening gifts.

And playing tea party...with all the men at the party.

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