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Parenting Pikkolo

Parenting PRIDE: Our journey from infertility to motherhood

June 24, 2017

by Amanda Boucher

Ever since Angela and I met, we knew that we’d have children. She’d never had a strong desire for it but I always did. Being a mom was something I knew in my heart that I’d always be. So, when infertility struck, it was devastating. After years of trying, losses and negative tests, we turned to other options. During our search we found embryo donation. The concept is simple; people that have leftover embryos, but are done with their families, choose to donate them to people like us. They have a few options for what to do with the extra embryos, including disposing of them, but some incredibly selfless donors choose to share them with families like ours.

 

We thought we’d give it a chance and just see what happens, and within two hours of posting our profile online, we were contacted by a wonderful family! We clicked with them immediately and began the seemingly daunting process of legally transferring the embryos to our names. Once everything was transferred and ready to go, we flew across the country to their clinic to start the process. Sadly, all six of the beautiful embryos that were so graciously gifted to us did not survive the thaw. We were back at square one.

 

I began calling around and eventually did find a great clinic and wonderful couple that were looking for the right home for their embryos. After some communication, they chose us! Five perfect frozen embryos were gifted to us. We traveled to the clinic in December of 2015 to transfer two embryos. Shortly after, we found out that we were expecting! My levels were great and doubling faster than usual. We went for our first ultrasound and just KNEW that it was twins! They did the scan and sure enough, there were two sacs! However, they couldn’t see a baby in the second sac and thought that it might have just been too early. Our second ultrasound showed the same and they sent us home with the advice to be happy that we had one healthy little bean.

lgbtq mother with son by flowers

Amanda and Landon stop to touch the flowers. Amanda is wearing Landon in a Victoria pikkolo carrier.

 

A few weeks later, at our ultrasound, the second the wand touched my belly, we saw the usual two sacs, but this time… we saw a baby in each sac! They checked out Baby A and all was well (whew!). They moved over to Baby B and we all held our breath. There was no heartbeat. We felt incredibly sad for the loss of one of our precious babies, but tried our very best to focus on our healthy Baby A.

 

Baby A soon was named Landon Samuel and was born in August 2016. Landon was and is the most perfect little guy! However, when Landon was two weeks old we took him to the doctor because he never seemed to stop screaming and arched his back quite a bit. After a quick test, he was diagnosed with Milk Soy Protein Intolerance (MSPI) and we started the crazy journey of attempting to tackle it. For the first six weeks of his life, we spent it sitting in the rocker holding him. Once we were finally able to muster up the courage to attempt to babywear him, life changed!

lgbtq mothers with son during pride month

Angela, Amanda, and Landon hanging out at the park together.

 

He was still miserable but much better when being held close. We were able to move around and feel a tiny bit human again. He spent countless days being wrapped up close to us.

 

Now that he is feeling better, getting older, and more active, he’s not a huge fan of being wrapped. He likes to get up and down as he pleases and we found that a buckle carrier was the way to go. We love the versatility and portability that a buckle carrier provides. Landon will be one soon and we plan to babywear until he outgrows his carrier! We love it!

lgbtq mom with son

Amanda and Landon in the Victoria pikkolo.

 

We do still have two amazing embryos waiting for us. If we are lucky enough to have a second little miracle, we will start babywearing from day one. It such a gift to be able to hold our little guy so close and we cherish every moment of it!

lgbtq mothers with son

A family of 3!

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Current Events Parenting

Our instinct to blame needs to give way to an openness to experiencing others’ pain.

June 17, 2016

Since the horrible, heartbreaking incident in which 2-year-old Lane Graves was killed by an alligator that pulled him into the lagoon adjacent to a Walt Disney World resort hotel around 9 pm on Tuesday night, a lot of people have been asking questions. Questions like “what kind of parents let their child swim in a lagoon in the dark when no swimming signs are posted??” And “Where were the parents when this happened?!” Or this gem “Why wasn’t this boy in bed asleep it was after 9 pm!” So, what kind of parent would have their 2-year-old child awake past 9 pm and allow them to stand on the literal edge of the shoreline where the water meets sand while standing mere feet away? This mom would. And I bet I’m not alone. There were no swimming signs, yes. And people should be aware that alligators are present in any body of fresh water in the south, yes. Does that mean that we should all be unsurprised when an alligator swims up and drags a small child into the water? No, I’m pretty sure that still qualifies as shocking, rare, and horrifying. And instead of protecting our own delicate psyches from having to deal with even the mere thought that something so horrendous could happen to any of us by heaping blame on the parents, we should allow ourselves to be vulnerable to contemplating that pain.

Our need to feel safe from these horrible things that we read about with seemingly increasing frequency needs to stop taking precedence over the right of those experiencing unimaginable grief to not be blamed for their pain. I understand the impulse, I do. We desperately want to believe that something could have been done differently. That somehow a misstep was made somewhere and *that* is what caused this, because otherwise accepting that accidents happen and life can be cruel is somehow too much to bear.

Lane Graves was a beautiful little soul, and his family loved him so much. Protecting ourselves from theoretical emotional distress doesn’t make it acceptable to call that love and care into question. We should let ourselves be open to experiencing the vulnerability that comes with accepting the fact that horrific things sometimes happen, even to good parents, to loving parents–and we should be ready to support each other when they do.

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Catbird Seat Blog Project Parenting

Around the World in the Catbird Seat

September 22, 2014

by Chaviva Gordon-Bennett
Back in January, when Ash was just a wee bean, I wrote about the deliciously awesome Catbird Baby carrier I’d been sent for review. With our dip into babywearing, we were exploring Moby-style wraps, Mei Teis, and Baby Bjorn-style carriers. In case you need a refresher on why “catbird” is the perfect terminology for any schlepped-about baby:

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first recorded usage occurred in a 1942 humorous short story by James Thurber titled “The Catbird Seat,” which features a character, Mrs. Barrows, who likes to use the phrase. Another character, Joey Hart, explains that Mrs. Barrows must have picked up the expression from Red Barber, a baseball broadcaster, and that to Barber “sitting in the catbird seat” meant “‘sitting pretty,’ like a batter with three balls and no strikes on him.”

It was Catbird’s mei tei that I initially fell in love with when Ash was small, but as time went on and we became more mobile, the pikkolo became (and still is) my go-to carrier.

Here’s Ash at four months after our trip
to the U.S. and before our move to
the U.S.He is loving his carrier because
he can see everything and every one!

When we first visited the U.S. back in February before we made the decision to move, we struggled to pack lightly when it came to baby carriers. Mr. T was fond of the Moby-style wrap we’d concocted, while I was using a ring sling. While in the U.S., we even picked up an additional ring sling to replace the one I’d been borrowing, but Mr. T stuck to the stretchy wrap that I just couldn’t master.

Almost the moment we got back to Israel, I feel like Ash wasn’t perceptive to the ring sling, so I needed an alternative. I finally got to give the pikkolo from Catbird a try, and I haven’t looked back.

When we made the move to the U.S. in April, it made life a breeze in the airport when we packed the stroller full of our carry-ons. With no space for Ash in the overflowing stroller, he rode in the Catbird seat! It’s amazing how comfortable he was in it and how easy it is to get on and adjust when I’m by myself.

The most surprising thing I’ve found about having the Catbird pikkolo as a consistency is that Ash knows the carrier. If he’s kvetching and whining in the car and losing it when we park and I get out, he calms down and gets excited the moment he sees me putting on the carrier. When he was very little, I used to call it his “special Asher chair,” and he now knows that it’s his special spot to see everything going on and he brightens up and calms down immediately. Talk about a baby making a positive association!

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