Losing a child is one of the worst things anyone can imagine. As a mother, understanding how a parent moves forward if this happens is beyond me. Sara and I started talking about birth plans versus what actually plays out during labor. Sometimes things align and sometimes they are very different, but the outcome is hopefully the same. Sara and her husband planned a home birth, "but what ended up happening was so off left-field... nothing could prepare you for it." For Sara, talking about her experience has been part of the healing process. For me, and hopefully anyone that watches, it's a story that lends faith to the strength of people, surviving unimaginable situations and coming out on the other side. She is wounded, and the path to where she is now has been a challenge. But Sara is such a great spirit, and beyond this part of her story, she is candid, insightful and a joy to watch throughout this series. Watch her story HERE.
Are men with babies more attractive than women with babies? Do guys get more props for doing stuff with their kids than we do? Do they think there's something hot about a mom walking down the street with her child? Even though it's 2016 and I want to believe we're beyond thinking a dad grocery shopping with three kids by himself is heroic, I'll admit that scenario would catch my eye and probably wouldn't with a mom. And it's not because I'm checking papa out, it's because it still feels refreshing and different. Maybe deep down I'm just appreciating our modern approach to raising children on behalf of the generations of women before me. I'm pretty sure we all know some older fathers still kicking it who've never changed a diaper. So even in NYC where we've seen it all, I was curious if it's just sexist little me that still turns my head...
Why some women must struggle and fight to get pregnant, why some women can never get pregnant, and why others get pregnant because as Safiya says, "they sneezed," is a hard thing to wrap your head around. When you're trying to have a baby and it isn't working, even when there's a medical explanation, it still doesn't make sense. I've been told: It's unfair. It's depressing. It's expensive. It's exhausting. It's isolating. And when it feels like everyone around you is having babies, it can make the experience even more complex.
Safiya spent years trying to get pregnant as a single mom. Watch the first part of her story HERE.
I've never had a miscarriage. In fact, I got pregnant on our first try. This never really comes up unless someone trying to get pregnant asks. So I always feel uncomfortable telling them, like they'll think I'm bragging about the quality of my uterus or our superb baby-making powers as a couple. Our story wasn't easy or lacking sadness, and in my probably twisted logic I always feel obligated to buffer my quick path to pregnancy with why we decided to go ahead and try. We were in Pittsburgh, staying in the equivalent of Ronald McDonald housing, when my daughter was conceived. The woman in the room next to us was waiting for a lung transplant and we heard her cough all night. Everyone there was either very sick or supporting someone who was. Everything felt unbearably sad and strange. We were there for weeks with my mother-in-law and her time in the hospital was brutal; then she moved to hospice. I guess our logic was that there's never the right time for anyone to die or to be born, so we tried. I took a test and found out I was pregnant one morning; my husband's mother died that night. It was amazing but shocking that it happened so fast. It was complex and heavy for my husband and sister-in-law who had now lost both of their parents.
I tip-toed through my pregnancy, fearing if it didn't work out that I would crush this glimmer of light at a dark time. If anything happened I'm sure I would've blamed myself and retraced every wrong step I thought I made. But if I had miscarried it almost certainly would've been out of my control. I feel strange writing about a hypothetical miscarriage, but I'm considering my perspective when it was an actual possibility for us. At that time I was unaware how common they are (roughly 15-20% of confirmed pregnancies). I knew a few women who had miscarriages, but only because someone else told me. So it always seemed like their own private tragedy. I'd never thought to approach them and say, "I'm thinking of you, I'm here for you." So as they hid their grief, I pretended it didn't exist. Most miscarriages happen in the early stages of pregnancy, when we're encouraged not to make any announcement for this exact reason. So as a society we've set up a fairly common, albeit potentially devastating experience, as one we quietly face on our own.
I'm sure we would've kept a miscarriage to ourselves. Looking back, I can't imagine the two of us trying to make sense of a pregnancy loss in a tiny bubble. Disconnecting ourselves from meaningful perspective, isolating ourselves from the support of friends and family, many with their own stories, would have been extremely unhealthy. But my understanding was that miscarriages are your own secret story. How was I, a grown woman of child-bearing age, so disconnected from reality?
Why is it normal to ask for support after losing a parent but not a pregnancy? Is waiting to share the news until the 12 week mark a big part of the problem? Does this make it feel shameful? If no one knew you were pregnant does it make sense to announce that you were and then make them sad? Are we worried people won't know what to say? Does it make what happened less tangible and real? Regardless of circumstance do women feel guilty because it's our body? Are we afraid we'll be judged for doing something wrong? Do we question the legitimacy of our own response since we're in the dark? Are there just too many questions surrounding it?
There are so many questions and of course there is no right or wrong way to cope. Knowing that other people struggle doesn't make anyone feel better. But pregnancy loss can be so complex, and understanding you aren't alone can help. When celebrities like Beyoncé share their stories, the outpouring of support and appreciation for such openness shines light on the overwhelming desire to shift the narrative.
Again, as someone who has never experienced a miscarriage, my view is limited to the conversations I have with other women. But I know if it's something I ever face in the future, I feel more informed after hearing their stories, and I can certainly say I would not hide my own.
Please check out the first of many interviews here-> Fertility, Loss and Resilience.
Hello again! I've been on hiatus, but I'm back and more excited about this project than ever. I'm a mom now, which means I'm a completely different human being... Or am I? The new That's What She Said Project series features an amazing group of women with very different life stories speaking candidly about motherhood. We explore pregnancy, labor, postpartum identity, breastfeeding, mommy blogs, going back to work, childcare, loss and fear, among many other ups and downs mothers face.
The struggles to become a mom. The struggles when you are a mom.
Is there a difference between passion and desire? Is desire short term? Passion more holy? Is desire THIS MOMENT and passion about LIFE?
'I want macaroons!' vs 'Let's get kinky tonight!...' What about jumping off a cliff? What about leaving your family to follow your dreams?
The wicked-lovely Deb, teaches us an important lesson,
There's stuff on trash, that you don't want on you.
P.S. Our apologies for any audio buzzing. Watching this with Chrome on a PC might not be fun. This stupid microphone is in the trash-can, but we couldn't trash this lovely video. Maybe Deb has the mic by now. :0
Cats and Sex!! Say what you want, not what you think someone wants to hear!
Yesterday we talked blow jobs, today healthcare, and tomorrow maybe the new Smashing Pumpkins' album. Age, food, career, pets, fashion, sex.... all make us WHO WE ARE. We have a baby and talk about it all the time, but we don't talk about the thing that makes the baby. Sex is just as much a part of us.
In every aspect of our lives, we have to know what we want, to get what we want. Knowing what we want begins with an honest conversation, with others and most importantly, ourselves. Talking about titties and ding-dongs and posting naked pictures is lots of fun and can be shocking, but it's also preaching to the choir. To reach out beyond the people who are comfortable and tell them "It's ok to talk about sex and sexual health," it's important to bridge the gap.
You've met Cindy here at That's What She Said Project before, and it's always a treat to share a new video! It's no surprise Cindy lays out what we're doing here perfectly. She gets it.
Things would be so much better if people just thought about sex as personality. Our sexuality is part of who we are.
How will I feel after I post a video about Blow Jobs on That's What She Said?
Oy! What will the family think?
I always ponder the awkwardness say, an actor, must feel when Aunt Pearl and Grandpa Wilbur go see their new movie where they romp around naked. That's a rare, but fascinating contemplation. But aren't we all destined to have some strange or uncomfortable encounter with our family or friends about sex? How about those poor souls that walk in on Mommy and Daddy wrestling?
My family gave me some beautiful vintage nightgowns for my wedding night. I was on the phone discussing this with my Grandmother and Aunt Fran when the latter astutely noted, "But, it's not like you're going to keep them on very long." Not a big deal in the context of the universe, but a little, err, blush-inducing in the context of Granny Ruth. Does this make me a total prude?
Cindy Gallop is a powerful force. She's about to launch MakeLoveNotPorn.TV which is guaranteed to shake things up. [check out MakeLoveNotPorn.com too!] Cindy is admiringly open when she talks about sex. She's probably more comfortable discussing her sexual experiences in front of a massive crowd on stage than a lot of people are with their partners in their own bedroom.
Cindy also has parents. As I'm slowly but surely coming out of my own shell, I asked Cindy how she let her parents in on what she's doing. How did she break it to them that she dates younger men and is quite proud to talk about it? (click Read More to see her response VIDEO)
A needle puncturing your skin. Failure. Rejection. A child choking on a chicken-bone. Inadequacy. Biking in NYC.
I worked at CBS the year a commuter plane crashed in Buffalo, NY. For an entire day I watched the graphics department fine-tune a simulation of the last moments before the plane went down. I carried those images with me for several years, developing a new fear of something I'd been fine with for quite sometime. All of a sudden I'm crying before I get on a plane?
Fear rarely feels logical to me.How do you deal with fear, especially if you fear facing fear?
"Something is happening but you can't see it but you can feel it, like aging itself..."
The annual Pap. A drag, but a must.
MEAT: Jamón Ibérico de bellota
SOURCE: Black-Footed Pig (Spain)
COST: $95 lb
What’s Up: There are three types of Jamón Ibérico and they all come from a pig's leg. Meat-elites claim Jamón Ibérico de bellota is the best. Just as with us, the climate where the pigs live and the food they eat affect their flavor. The pigs that eventually turn into Jamón Ibérico de bellota only eat acorns (bellotas) for the last 3 months of their lives. It's worth noting that pigs actually like acorns, so it's not a foie-gras liver exploding force-feeding-tube scenario.
Where: Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria - NYC
Why: This is one of the most luxuriously cured meats in the world and when someone offers to treat you to some, you say YES and put it in your mouth!
How: The Jamón was thinly shaved into a pile on a white plate. We ate it plain-jane mostly or with a little piece of their tasty homemade bread. The more I ate the more I grasped the flavor-profile. Merely thinking of grisly-fat tissue makes me gag, but the fat marbled into this red meat actually melts in your mouth like butter.
My Reaction: My friend told me I would like it, and hot damn I did! Though I must be honest and admit I’d prefer a slice of salty country ham over this any day.
Final Thought: So the fanciest ham in the universe actually comes from “low on the hog?” Granny always said it was from high.