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Destination: Motherhood

The title of my blog is “From Here to Motherhood” because I started it when I was struggling to conceive. The journey was taking longer than anticipated and I needed an outlet for all of the emotions and experiences I was going through. I hoped with all of my being that the destination would be motherhood, but I was often worried that I wouldn’t get there. Well now, I can thankfully say that we have reached the destination.

I haven’t been very active on this blog since L was born. The reason is two-fold: I don’t have much, if any, free time and I don’t have the same need or energy to post. I may pop up from time to time if the desire strikes or maybe at another point, I’ll start a new blog, either out of desperation (as was the case with this one) or simple creative yearnings, but given the nature of this blog, I think it has come to its natural conclusion. Thank you to everyone who has read along with my journey, especially to those who offered words of encouragement and comfort during the dark times and who celebrated with me during the joyous times. At many points, I think this blog helped keep me sane and from feeling alone in my struggles. By writing this blog, it also introduced me to amazing women who were sharing their own stories of infertility. I truly appreciated everyone’s candor, vulnerability, humor, strength, and stories of inspiration and hope. I will keep you all in my thoughts and heart as you continue on your own journey.

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Sunshine Award

l210-sunshinyday-card

I was nominated for a Sunshine Award by Kim from Infertile Myrtle. I hadn’t heard of this award until very recently, but it is a way of recognizing bloggers who brighten your day. Knowing that other people read and enjoy my blog brightens my day, so to be nominated by someone is humbling. Here are the rules:

1. Include the Sunshine Award icon in your post
2. Link to the person who nominated you
3. Answer 10 questions about yourself
4. Nominate 10 bloggers to receive the award
5. Link your nominees and let them know they’ve been nominated

And it seems that each nominee also poses 10 questions for their own nominees, although apparently it’s not an official rule.

Here are Kim’s questions:

What do you do for work?

I am a school psychologist. So the vast majority of my work involves psycho-educational assessment (IQ, achievement, social-emotional, and behavioral testing and interviewing). Learning disabilities and ADHD are my specialties.

What made you want to start a blog & what motivates you to write?

I was a handful of months into TTC (5 I think) and I was getting frustrated. I know that 5 months of trying is nothing, but I had a feeling that something was wrong. In reality it was probably more my anxious nature than a premonition, but it did turn out that I have Diminished Ovarian Reserve. The blog was an outlet for all my frustration and emotional pain and it was such a help because I connected with others who understood and read the stories of many other women who were at various stages in their journey toward motherhood. Their strength and vulnerability were inspiring and helped me not to feel so alone.

I also enjoy writing. I used to write fiction when I was much younger. Mainly short stories and poetry. But I had gotten out of the habit when the responsibilities and routines of adult life got in the way. Even though I write lengthy reports for my clients, it’s not exactly the creative outlet I once enjoyed. Writing the blog provided some of that.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I have to admit that I am a TV junkie. I like WAY too many shows. J and I also really enjoy movies, so we often spend our weekend evenings doing that. I love reading as well and sometimes get into baking moods. I enjoy scrapbooking, but I don’t have the patience to make the super elaborate layouts that hard core scrapbookers do. Hanging out with friends and games nights are also great!

What is the last movie you saw in the theaters? Did you like it?

To celebrate my birthday, we saw Elysium. I liked it, but not as much as I had expected to. It was a really fun day though.

 
What is your biggest pet peeve?

Rudeness and cruelty. When you’re out in public and someone is being rude to the cashier or server or they act like the world owes them everything. I especially hate when they are obviously passing these traits on to their children (I once saw a mother encouraging her young son to pluck a peacock’s feather off its body at the zoo). I have caught myself feeling entitled in certain ways or at certain times, but I believe in treating people (and animals) politely and compassionately.

 
If you could create a holiday, when would it be and what would it signify/celebrate?

Oh god, I’ve never thought of this before. After wracking my brain, everything I came up with had to do with some sort of minority or “special interest” group, so as cheesy as it may sound: Diversity Day – a day to celebrate the strengths in people’s differences.

 
What is your guilty pleasure?

Probably all the young adult TV shows and books I enjoy (CW shows, Degrassi, Twilight, Hunger Games, etc.). I feel that I should be beyond these shows and books by my age, but I get wrapped up in the teen drama and romance.

 
What is the strangest talent you possess?

I’ve always felt like my feet have good dexterity – I have often used my toes to pick up things or push the buttons on the family tv (not the remote) when I was growing up which was positioned pretty low.

 
What is your favorite meal to order at a diner?

Chicken fingers and fries, hands down. They are my go to more often than not.

 
If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you buy?

A beautiful dream home on the waterfront in Halifax so we could be much closer to family and close friends, but without the worries of finding work or comparable salaries (both of which are much harder in the Maritimes). And a Mercedes GLK :)

Two of the blogs I read have already been nominated, and several of the blogs I used to read are pretty dormant these days. So my nominees are:

  1. Made in Toronto
  2. One Percent Chance
  3. Cirque de Baby
  4. Mommy Odyssey

Here are my questions:

  1. Why do you blog, and do you think you’ll keep blogging for a while?
  2. What is your favorite quote?
  3. What is your favorite way to de-stress?
  4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
  5. What are some characteristics that are important to you in a good friend?
  6. Who is your celebrity crush?
  7. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned this year?
  8. What’s the best show on TV right now?
  9. What unusual celebrity baby name do you secretly love?
  10. If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you buy?
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7 Things Sex Education Should Have Taught Us But Didn’t — The Good Men Project

When I applied to grad school, I was accepted to a program where my research would have focused on sex. The researcher I would have been working with was focused on sex education at the time. I have always been someone who believes that knowledge is power, in all areas of life, including sex. (Abstinence only programs don’t work. Point blank.) Human sexuality is  multidimensional – physical, biological, emotional, social, psychological . . . There’s so much to be explored and yet much of our society shies away from it as though it is something so taboo, a dirty, shameful secret, which only leads to unhealthy attitudes, expectations, and experiences.

On that note, I’d like to present the article that inspired me to post: 7 Things Sex Education Should Have Taught Us But Didn’t — The Good Men Project.

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Love Anthony

On Wednesday night, I stayed up an hour later than I should have so that I could finish reading Love Anthony by Lisa Genova. Lisa Genova is the author behind Still Alice (one of my absolute favorites) and Left Neglected as well. She is a Harvard-trained neuroscientist turned fiction author and I have thoroughly enjoyed all her books. As a psychologist whose undergrad research, graduate training, and career revolve around cognitive processing, the conditions she focuses on in her books are extremely interesting to me and her knowledge of science enriches her descriptions and character development. Still Alice focuses on Alzheimer’s; Left Neglected focused on the very fascinating, rare condition of hemispatial neglect and throws in some ADHD (albeit I think she calls it ADD in the book, which is not actually a current diagnostic term, but I digress); and Love Anthony introduces the reader to a more personal understanding of Autistic Disorder.

Autistic Disorder is one disorder on the Autism Spectrum and even within Autistic Disorder, there is such variety in the behavioral presentation. Lisa Genova sums this up at the end in her comments, saying something she has heard time and time again from those most familiar with Autism: “If you’ve met one child with autism, you’ve met one child with autism” (emphasis is mine). I really appreciated how Lisa Genova portrayed this character’s experience of autism. I’m in no way an expert on autism, but in my career as a school psychologist, I have worked with clients who have autism and I have made provisional diagnoses along the autism spectrum. I have approached the disorder from a very clinical, rather than personal, stand point. Lisa Genova’s portrayal of autism got me thinking more about the reasons behind some of the behaviors, such as stimming, and how logical such behaviors might be to the person with autism. I guess she had me reevaluating or deepening my conceptualization of autism. This book also had me thinking about Carly Fleischmann. She is nonverbal and was believed to have mental retardation/cognitive disability/intellectual disability (mental retardation is the proper diagnostic term, but many people like to use cognitive or intellectual disability instead because of less stigma) until one day she began communicating through typing and her family realized how aware she was of everything and how many undiscovered capabilities she has. She now has a website and popular following on twitter. Both the depiction of Anthony in the book and Carly’s story have inspired me to think about what is hidden behind the minds of those with autism and how they can sometimes be trapped in their bodies in a way that does not allow them to express the depths of their emotions or understanding. From my training and in my career, I’m very focused on test results, but they don’t hold the full picture.