Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Jamie's not a big baby dad. He clicks with toddlers more. He's good with Stella. Takes her on outings, plays in the yard, reads, gives her baths and all that jazz. His mom can vouch for how well he handles Stella with TV and ice cream--real champ! But here he is with Gianna after having lulled her to sleep.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A First for Everything

This is the first time Stella elected to sit in her aunt's lap--and smile!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

8 Days Old

Stella started sharing her toys! Already!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Morning Mug

Quite possible some of the best morning hair yet...

And then there's this morning hair, so cute because it's barely there.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


Perhaps the most difficult part of this entire ordeal is the disappointment. Everyone grows up with expectations: for jobs, family, vacation, possessions, fun, education, etc. Everyone deals with disappointment. I'm not saying that I'm different or exceptional in my feelings. I'm only saying that this has turned out to be one of the hardest things for me to deal with.

A year ago I didn't know what my family would look like in ten years. Quite honestly, I'm not entirely sure right now, but I no longer have the luxury of just waiting to see. This is disappointing to me.

There's a sudden urgency to decide if we want any more children. Well, I feel an urgency. Jamie, he's pretty placid. And I mean that well. He's not disappointed. That's a good thing because then I'd have to deal with disappointing his desires for a large family, or just one that's a little bigger. Thankfully, though, I don't have to deal with that.

I'm dealing with my disappointment. The cost is paid for me, physically, with many tears and loss of sleep. My muscles ache. My heart aches. I hurt.

In addition to disappointment is other people's dismissive ways of dealing with things. I know people mean well when they say things like, "At least you have two beautiful daughters." Or, "Some women with ovarian cancer don't have any children. Be thankful." Or, "You can always adopt." Or, "At least you'll be done raising children when you're still young." I know people mean well. But, People, it's still a loss. For me it's a loss. I am grieving what childbearing whimsy I once had. I am grieving the idea of more children. I am grieving the idea of a possible son.

These things may still happen. But they could happen with much risk to my current family. And if they do happen they must happen quickly. And I am exhausted. I am exhausted and that's why I couldn't decide right now what to do. I needed some space. I needed some mental health. I needed to cry and mentally troubleshoot what I want to do. I had this luxury--again, with much controversy--because my cancer was found so soon. I will not squander this chance to make a clear-headed decision.

But I just had to write this all down. I had to write because I am tired of crying. I'm hot and bothered and overwhelmed with life right now. And this is how I work. I do things intensely and get on with life. I don't want years of grief and disappointment--I don't want any, who does. But if I must feel this to move on, I want to feel it and move on. I want to enjoy year three with Stella, because year two has been a bummer. I want to enjoy year one with Gianna because it might be the last year one I enjoy with any of my own.

I am more than grateful for Stella and Gianna. And I am lucky. I am blessed. I know all this to be true.

This says a lot. Because I don't enjoy pregnancy. I don't do pregnant well. But the end result is absolutely worth it. There's a new person to meet. A new person that's a little mixture of yourself and (hopefully) your favorite other person. And instead of looking at it as greedy, I want to look at it as generous. Generous to want to bring someone into this world because for all its disappointments, it's a very good world in which to be.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Drug-Addled Ass Kicking and Cancer Free

This is my abdomen one week after my latest ovarian cancer surgery. I've never written about it here before because it seemed like such a downer of a thing to write about. But these are my new abs, holding the baby whose eighteen week ultrasound led to the discovery of a very large tumor on my right ovary (may it rest in peace). I have only one left--a controversial decision. Most have both taken out ASAP. I was too out of my mind to make a proper decision. Since November 2006 I've had morning sickness, cancer, laparascopic surgery twice, and a Arizona summer pregnancy. It's been a brutal year. One where I haven't felt myself. I regret not having written more of my feelings--not necessarily blogged them, just written them. It's been a doozy.

Sunday, September 02, 2007