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change my profile, since I use the same one for my blog for Bamboo Village Educational Fund, even though that is wildly out of date and I'm not exactly sure when I'm going to be able to get back into it.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.

Monday, October 27, 2008


It might seem like a small thing, but the boys are growing so much that things are starting to really change... Today when I was holding Max, he put his arm around my neck, for the first time. It was lovely.
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Sunday, October 19, 2008

le sigh, le progress, le bye-bye

We interrupt your regularly scheduled blog updates to bring you this special report...


On the same day as the boys' "sister"/housemate Ruby got her first haircut, I was crushed to discover that Maxwell is starting to lose his own beautiful newborn locks. His soft, fine red hair is falling out! I'm just so sad - I am really hoping Shoghi's will stay fully planted on his head.

Max, in the hospital, when I first suspected red hair...
Max's bald spot... a sign of impending shiny head?


Tonight I felt completely elated when my champion nurser Shoghi refused to take a bottle. There could be no mistake - he let loose his most resounding cries while Laurie tried to soothe him, and he would only calm down when I came back to take him to nurse! Poor Laurie - Shoghi's a screamer! I was certainly happy with this turn; in recent days he's been getting increasingly less enthusiastic about the bottle, but an outright refusal? Wow, it was awesome to feel that he's really turning a corner with nursing. Now if only my supply would be enough, even enough for one baby... I'll post a more complete nursing update this week.


After a wonderful visit with my whole family of origin last week, my brother Simon and his girlfirend are leaving in the morning. It was so incredible to have everyone here - our relationships all feel so refreshed and even transformed by the boys. I'm sad that the out of towners are all gone home and will miss their presence and sharing the boys with them daily. I'll also miss their amazing help and support...