Posts Tagged ‘ Pregnancy ’

A Goodbye to Blogging, and Many Thank-Yous

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

Dear internet,

Well… it’s about that time.

I’ve been blogging for over four years, and for over a year here for Parents.  It’s been an interesting and, at times, a pretty amazing ride.  I’ve written about anything and everything, been on some awesome trips, received my share of hate mail, been published on and linked to from places like Yahoo!, Shine, and Time.com, and corresponded and shared my life with some pretty incredible people.

I have honestly enjoyed sharing my life with all of you.  Opening up about all of my experiences– the good, like giving birth to Caroline, graduating dental school, and finding a job… and the bad, like Caroline’s hospitalization, my postpartum depression, and my divorce– has been exciting, cathartic, therapeutic.  But with my new start here in a new state with a new job and a new home, the time has come for me to move on.

I’ll admit that part of it is that I’m simply burned out on the criticism and hateful email that I seem to get no matter what I write.  It is not easy to share as openly and publicly as I do, and I might just not have the backbone for some of the responses that I get anymore.  Having a job as a “real” dentist also means that I need to be a little more careful and professional about what I put out there on the internet, know what I mean?  I’ve always written whatever I feel about whatever’s on my mind, and if I have to constantly censor myself or worry about what I’m writing, then I’d rather just not write at all… or at least not write so publicly.  I also feel like I don’t have as much to say as I used to, and I really only enjoy blogging when I have something interesting to say.

I guess what it ultimately comes down to is, I just need my life to be a little more private right now.

I appreciate, from the bottom of my heart, all of you who have read and loved my blog, whether you’re a new or longtime reader; whether you’ve read occasionally or never missed a post.  Your kind words and support got me through some tough times, your advice helped me make some tough decisions, and what some of you have shared with me, in return for all I’ve shared, has touched my life as I hope I’ve managed to touch some of yours.  My favorite part has been the emails and comments I get from other single parents who have been inspired by what I’ve written to make changes in their lives, to go back to school, to move on, to find happiness again.  I’ve appreciated every word from you, more than you know.

Thanks for laughing and crying with me, everyone.  You might see me again on the internet someday, in a more anonymous or private space…you just might not know it’s me.

With love,

Julia…and Caroline

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Hey, Mindy McCready? Give the Kid Back.

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Anybody been following this Mindy McCready story?

Anybody not think she’s lost it?

Basically, she does not have custody of her five-year-old son, but she’s taken him out of state and is refusing to return him to her parents, who do have custody of the child.  She claims that her mother is abusing him and says that she’ll go to jail if she has to, but she won’t bring the boy back.

Mindy, honey?  Ya can’t do that.

Quite frankly, I’m not sure why she hasn’t already been arrested.  I’m fairly certain that if a man had pulled a stunt like this, there would be all sorts of Amber Alerts and search parties and he’d be in all kinds of jail.  As she should be.  That court order is there for a reason.  It is very difficult for a mother to completely lose custody of her child, so the courts must have deemed her unfit.

Even if she had some kind of joint custody, it still wouldn’t be okay.  Tyler and I have joint custody of Caroline, and if he took her out of the state and refused to bring her back?  I would freak the freak out.  Actually, I can’t even think about it without my hands starting to shake.

Who knows what is really going on with the child’s grandmother.  Maybe he is in an unsafe situation with his grandparents and needs to be removed.  But kidnapping him (and it literally is kidnapping, in a situation like this) is not the way to go about it.  That’s not how you keep your kid safe.  You file a report with child services and they can remove the child from the home within 24 hours if the allegations turn out to be substantiated.  You don’t go pick up the kid and leave the state when you don’t have custody and then go on the news announcing that you won’t bring him back.  (Or that you “probably” won’t bring him back.  Yeah, um, you “probably” don’t have a choice.)  All that’ll get you is a one-way ticket to jail and your child a one-way ticket back to the home that you wanted him removed from.  And if your child needs to be protected, how exactly do you plan on protecting him from jail?  Not.  Smart.

I’m not even going to touch the fact that she’s pregnant.  Okay, just kidding, I totally am.  The court won’t give you custody of the child you already have, and you’re having two more?  And doesn’t she think that maybe this little detour to crazytown could possibly affect her custody of those children once they are born?  The kidnapping of her son just reeks of selfishness and impulsiveness to me, personally, without much consideration for the consequences her actions might have for any of her children, born or unborn.

Go ahead and sound off in the comments… I can’t be the only one who thinks this is nuts.

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Apparently, You *Can* Fail a Pregnancy Test.

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Last week, one of my single friends was worried that she might be pregnant.  She texted me in a panic, asking if I got cramps with my morning sickness, and I yelled at her to take a test, and she yelled back that she couldn’t in the middle of the week because she would be a mess at work if she was indeed pregnant.

Eventually, she finally got up the nerve to take the test.  Here are the texts we exchanged throughout her ordeal:

Her: Okay, I took a test.  It’s blank.

Me: Blank?  What do you mean, blank?  There’s no control line?

Her: Nope.  Blank.  I think the test is too old.

Me: Don’t those things take like 10 years to expire?  Exactly how long have you been taking pregnancy tests?

Her: Don’t judge.  Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that according to this test I’m not pregnant yet.

Me: I don’t think you understand what a pregnancy test does.

Her: Of course I do.  You pee on the stick and then you may or may not get pregnant.

Me: Oh.  See, this is why I have a kid.  I don’t know how this s–t works.

Her: Exactly.  If I had been around a few years ago, you might not have gotten knocked up.

Me: Look, would you just pee on another stick already?

(pause for about an hour)

Her: Okay, I got another test.

Me: And?

Her: Only test I’ve ever been happy to fail.

Me: Well, that’s a relief.  This calls for a drink!!

Her: Yeah.  After that first one was blank I was sure I was pregnant.  Probably with a ghost baby.  I didn’t remember having sex with a ghost, but then again I bet no one would, right?

Me: …I see you’ve started drinking without me.

Her: Yup.  Cheers.

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Start Here: My Story

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Mom and toddler

Hi!  I’m Julia, single mom to Caroline, age two, who I adore but did not plan for.  I got pregnant with her unexpectedly about halfway through dental school.  I was married at the time.  I continued with school until I went into preterm labor around 28 weeks, at which point I took a year off.  I went back to dental school in January 2010, when Caroline was 11 months old.  That summer, I filed for divorce from my husband, and our divorce was finalized this past February.  I finally graduated from dental school just last week.  My blog is about the challenges and joys of being a single mother and a dental student… and now that I’m done with school, a brand-new dentist.

I’ve been blogging for about three years and just moved all my old posts here to Parents (after much effort and HTML editing and breaking and fixing of tags, which probably would have been no big deal if I actually knew what a tag was, which I don’t). Since most of you reading this are probably new to my blog, I thought I’d put together a list of the posts that summarize my story the best. For the rest of you who already know me and followed me here… a little walk down memory lane. Or skip this post and wait for the new stuff!

Pick and choose and skip at will!

Shock: The day I found out I was pregnant.

The perils of unplanned pregnancy: The start of the troubles between me and Tyler.

Preterm WHAT??: Preterm labor begins at 28 weeks.

Suddenly a stay-at-home mom: Temporarily leaving school and going on bedrest.

It’s a girl!: Caroline is born at 36 weeks!

My birth story will have to wait: NICU trials and tribulations.

Birth story: This one’s self-explanatory.

A paper cut on the eye: Struggles with breastfeeding and pumping.

My “I-will-never’s”: It’s so much easier to parent before you actually become a parent.

See you in 10 minutes!”: I was so not a newborn kind of person.

Life is good: Just kidding, I was so totally a newborn kind of person. That day.

Whose leg do I have to hump to get a referral around here?: Issues with reflux.

Diagnosis: I am diagnosed with postpartum depression and PTSD.

Quitting time: I quit pumping in order to save my sanity.

Single mom’ing it: Tyler’s long and frequent absences take their toll.

I can do this: I return to dental school after my year at home.

Milestone anxiety: Caroline’s gross motor delay and resulting physical therapy.

May 16, 2010: Was once supposed to be my graduation day… but was still a good one.

Overly personal statement: Thoughts on having a baby during dental school.

I think I need to clarify: Explanation of my decision to file for divorce.

Empty: Tyler officially moves out.

Dear Caroline: A letter to my daughter about why I left her father.

“I don’t think she smiles like that”: Finding my happy place.

Off-limits: Struggles with dating after divorce.

Same team: My roller coaster plunges down again, and stories of divorce counseling.

Irretrievable breakdown: Our divorce is finalized.

“How do you do it all?”: Well, as it turns out, I really don’t.

That which angers you, controls you: I struggle with Tyler introducing his new girlfriend to Caroline.

Control freak: Continued struggles and introspection.

Alone: Thoughts on being single.

Prayer for my daughter: Reflections on what I want for my daughter, based on my own trainwreck of a personal life.

DMD… finally: My graduation from dental school… at last.

Whew. Long list. But it’s way shorter than reading all of my past posts. And if the past three years of my life have been anything, they’ve been eventful. Enjoy, and welcome to my blog!

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Ask, and You Shall Receive

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

Well, my dear readers, here are my answers to your questions! Thanks so much for your interest in how our little family is doing.

A lot of people wanted to know what the dealio is with dental school. (God, I hate when people say “dealio”. Count your blessings, though, I could have said “dizzle”.) I am most definitely going back. I plan to start auditing some classes this fall– hopefully over the internet and not in person, so that I can still care for Caroline until I start back up in clinic. I will start officially in early January, right where I left off when I took my leave of absence due to preterm contractions. So, I will graduate with the class of 2011 rather than the class of 2010. The idea of being a year “behind” honestly doesn’t bother me anymore. It did at first, when I was still pregnant, but now that I have Caroline? Doesn’t even register on the scale of Stuff That Bugs Me. Having and raising her is a far bigger accomplishment than my DMD will be. And yes, that sappy statement would have totally made me gag before I had her, but I didn’t even blink typing it just now.

While I was pregnant, one of my biggest worries was that having a baby would make me not want to be a dentist anymore, because I suspected that parenthood would change my priorities. And while the idea of sending her to daycare and missing out on her smiles does get me all choked up, I really and truly do still want to finish dental school and go to work afterwards. I will always treasure this year that I was given to spend with her, but I want to be able to provide things for her that I could never give her as a stay-at-home mom– international travel, private schooling if she needs it, any kind of lessons or activities she wants, a paid-for college education. Besides, I’ve racked up so much student loan debt and worked so hard towards this goal that it just wouldn’t be practical or desirable for me to stay at home. I can definitely see why some moms choose to stay home with their babies, because that is just as a precious of a gift in its own way. I just don’t think that it’s the right choice for me, personally, to be one of them.

Others wanted to know how my relationship with Tyler has changed. I had to think long and hard about this one. It was definitely difficult during my pregnancy. It took him a long time to get excited about it… at times, I wondered whether he ever would. But once Caroline arrived, and especially while she was in the NICU, he was my rock. He loves that little girl so much. One of the best part of becoming parents, I think, is watching each other be parents. I have never felt so in love with him as I have watching him sing to Caroline, or tickle her, or rock her when she cries.

But, I don’t know that I can really say our relationship is any weaker or stronger now that she is here. Life changes 2000% when you have a child, but we are still who we are, and we love each other in the same way. I hope that doesn’t seem like a cop-out answer, because I don’t know how else to articulate it. Our day-to-day life and priorities have changed completely, but we still lean on each other and laugh together just exactly like we always did. All the external things are different, but internally, our relationship is still fundamentally the same, know what I mean? We always wanted to have children someday, so I guess the fact that Caroline came much sooner than we planned didn’t cause any long-term problems between us. We both accepted my pregnancy in our own time, and now she’s here, and it’s hard to remember what it was like when it was just the two of us, because we are so happy as three. Aside from her prematurity and reflux, she has been an incredibly easy baby, so I’m sure that has played a big part in our relatively smooth adjustment to parenthood.

Do we still have moments where we long for our old life, or feel that we weren’t quite ready for all this responsibility? Do we occasionally wish that we’d had more time as just the two of us before we’d added to our family? Sure we do. Maybe I’m not supposed to admit that out loud. But in any case, those moments are few and far between, because now that we have Caroline, imagining a life where she had never existed is unthinkable. And it might help that we both feel that way and don’t feel uncomfortable telling each other so. There are no misunderstandings or hard feelings there– we were thrown into this together, and we are both doing the best we can.

I’m not saying we haven’t had some hard times. Having a baby can be difficult on the best of marriages, and I sometimes resented the fact that my life was completely turned upside down as far as my career goes, while Tyler’s went on relatively undisturbed. It was tough to adjust to suddenly going from the whirlwind of clinic to the quiet of our apartment, and then the isolation of new motherhood. And sometimes I’ve probably taken it out on him, and he has been impatient with my resistance to the change, but he’s taken it in stride and done his best to help me out, and in the end, I see in him the wonderful father that I knew he would be.

If there is anything that has made our relationship stronger, I would say it hasn’t been parenting itself, but rather the NICU experience. We were handed a huge challenge right off the bat, and we really had to support each other just so that we could get through it. Tyler was strong and comforted me while I struggled for days, and then the night she was transferred, he reached his breaking point and it was my turn to step up for him. We made it through together, because of each other. Any parent who has had a child hospitalized will tell you that there is a lot of potential for misunderstandings and hurt feelings and disagreements, but we managed to get by without a single problem between us. Those two weeks probably strengthened us more than eight months of pregnancy and the past seven months of parenting ever could.

As for our future plans, I will be done with dental school in June of 2011, and Tyler will be done with his PhD in June of 2012. I will probably do a one-year residency in general dentistry somewhere near New Haven, where he is in school, and then we will go wherever his career takes us after he graduates. It’s looking like Denver is the most promising prospect for him to get a post-doc and then a job, but since it’s a few years away we are not entirely sure yet. He is pretty famous in his field (you may have seen him before on his National Geographic special!), so he shouldn’t have trouble finding work– several institutions have already contacted him about possibilities for the future. And of course, I can be a dentist anywhere, so I have always planned to follow him wherever he chooses to go.

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