Friday, October 31, 2008

On My Own

So, you've noticed the new header? Well, I had a hard time deciding on the wording, there. I don't think I ever posted much of an introduction here... many of the people reading followed me from my infertility blog or are family, so I sort of bypassed the whole thing. I didn't want to change my profile, since I use the same one for my blog for Bamboo Village Educational Fund, even though that is wildly out of date and I'm not exactly sure when I'm going to be able to get back into it. So, I wanted to say something about who I am and what this blog is about in the header.

The first and probably more obvious choice would be to call myself a single mother. The associations and assumptions that come with that couple of words, however, isn't any way I regard myself, even though for all intents and purposes I am single.

Finally, I settled on "on my own." Ultimately, I am the only parent the boys have, so in that sense, the phrase is entirely accurate... Except that I find myself in a situation where I am surrounded by the most wonderful, miraculously supportive group of family and friends I have ever experienced.

Since moving to Portland in May, I have been invited to stay with friends - and since late June, those friends have been Korin and Ryan. They have opened their home and their lives to me and the babies and my sister. They have sacrificed their own daily rhythm in order to help me first get through my pregnancy, and then adjust to the demands of caring for Maxwell and Shoghi.
It was Korin who took me to the hospital at 1am when my water broke at 28 weeks. They have held my crying babies, nurtured me into motherhood, prepared meals, washed clothes, guided me in cloth diapering and nursing, and so very much more. Their families have embraced and loved us. Their patience and magnanimity have given us a shelter in which to become a family. How could one possibly convey the depth of gratitude that comes with receiving such a gift?

Korin stayed with me during the c-section while Laurie went with the boys.

Ryan with Shoghi in th NICU

Korin, multitasking w/her daughter and Shoghi

here we all are: Ryan, Korin, Ruby, me, Shoghi, Laurie & Maxwell

Even before moving out here, one key relationship gave me daily support and championed my dream of being a mom: the relationship between me and my little sister, Laurie. After separating from my husband in October, Laurie moved in with me and was with me through every step of becoming a mom, from chosing a donor, to being with me for ultrasounds and comforting me at times when it looked doubtful that the pregnancy would continue. She and I would discuss hopes and dreams for hours, watching and listening to inspirational movies, books on CD, and songs. She packed my apartment and stepped out of her comfort zone to support me countless times. When it was clear that I wouldn't be able to make it on the cross-country drive we'd planned for months, she didn't make me feel guilty - instead she made arrangements to do the trip with a friend. After arriving in Oregon, her love and support became as much a part of my experience of becoming a mother as my own gestation and birthing of the boys.

She was the first person other than doctors to meet Shoghi and Maxwell, and she got to be the one to read to them their very first prayers - which would be the first words they heard after being born.

Laurie, right after the boys were born, in the rescussitation room.

Laurie is a core part of their lives and the gift she has given us by being a part of this process will surely cement a love between her and the boys that will have an unmatched intimacy.

A day in the life... Laurie in the background with Max.

This is really only the base level of support I have received. Even my husband, who I remain separated from, has been incredibly supportive of me becoming a mother. He has gifted us with continued health insurance, which is only symbolic of the way he has gracefully and selflessly supported my choice to bring these boys into the world. My brother, my parents, my grandparents... they have all showered our little family with support.

My brother Simon, holding Shoghi on his first visit, in September.

Dad & Mom, aka Popi and Memere, in October with the boys.

My mum w/the twins.

I am also surrounded by the most amazing communities of friends - they believed in me and in this life at times when I never thought it would happen. Jennie; Melanie; Julie; Elizabeth B.; Atika; Doula Jessica; friends at CU ink; the amazing women from my baby shower; dear ones Hilary, Miriam, Jo, Kelly; Beemama; Wise Women Devon, Kate, Hilary, Zannalyn, River, Melanie, Sphinxie... friends who have sent cards and gifts and well-wishes and prayers... the list is so long, it overwhelms me! I love you all!!!

"On my own," then, doesn't at all describe my life. I am beyond grateful for this experience and the sense of abundance and possiblity that has blossomed in my awareness. I know that even if I am always and forever the sole parent for Shoghi and Maxwell, that we will always have an ocean of love and community around us.

candles and beads from my due date group used in my birth blessing.


  1. Beautiful post Celeste.... I like you description. BTW, thank you for the birth announcement and photo - I already have the frame picked out....

    Love and prayers,

  2. What an amazing post. I've been reading your post for a short amount of time since reconnecting with Korin. What a beautiful world to be able to bring yourself and the boys into :) Stay strong.

  3. Thank you for introducing me to the people in your life. How blessed you are!

  4. So beautiful -- you are an amazing woman and you deserve to be surrounded by these amazing people who love and support you every step of the way.

    Thanks for the shout-out :)!!

    Love you!

  5. I am so glad you are surrounded by so much love and support. It warms my heart. And seeing Max in the BSJ I knit brought a huge smile to my face - I'm so glad it's getting to keep another beautiful baby cozy!

  6. Thanks for this post. I been reading your blog for a couple of months. I think you are amazing and thank god for that amazing sister and fabulous friends you have. You are so brave. Congratulations.


  7. Celeste, what a beautiful post. You are such an amazing person with a truly amazing family. I am so happy to have spent time with you all. It was such a gift.
    And, btw, I was sobbing reading this and the last 3 posts!!! xo
    ohhhh, and also, please don't hesitate to call me if you need some help or want some company, okay?

  8. You are truly, truly blessed. I'm married and don't have nearly the support and love surrounding me that you have you. I am so glad that you have what you need to make life with preemie twins not only just bearable, but joy-filled. Blessings.

  9. You and the boys are so very blessed, Celeste. (I'll even forgive you for leaving out C, S and B who continue to ask for pics and videos of the boys. LOL)

  10. I"m confused. What made you decide to have your twins with a donor, while still technically married? Especially given your religious beliefs?
    I am genuinely curious.
    -MDC Reader

  11. What a beautiful post! You are a very blessed woman. Is that an Elizabeth Zimmerman surprise sweater one of the boys is wearing?

  12. Dear MDC Reader,

    I had to think hard about whether to respond to your comment, which I found inappropriate as a public question. As a blogger, you could have emailed me privately if you're interested in something that I have not posted about, especially something as private as my religious beliefs.

    My religious beliefs are based on the idea that I have a direct relationship with God/ my Creator. My actions and decisions are really only for me and Him to assess.

    It's a shame that this story, which is one about love, acceptance, support and community should be met with your apparent judgment.


  13. I'm sincerely sorry. I did not mean to offend you.

  14. I'm sorry if I misunderstood... sometimes it's hard to interpret comments, especially when they come anonymously and out of the blue. If you do want to chat with me by email, feel free... onelongyarn at yahoo.

  15. thanks, by the way, for all the loving comments!

    yes, that's a BSJ on Max... we've got 3 of them that the boys wear regularly.

  16. it took me a while to respond to this amazing post. you have waited your whole life for this incredible time with your children and two at once! you attract amazing people into your life by who your are. love you and the boys and your support system!

  17. Oh my! I hadn't realized you had separated! *hugs* to you... going it alone, even with support, has got to be rough! And twins!