Father Of The Blog

A Journey Through Fatherhood and Parenting

Father of the Blog

Children’s Hospital Emergency Services Visit

Cinco de Mayo, a Super Moon and an ER Visit

Ever heard of a “SuperMoon?” Don’t feel astronomically challenged if you have not, over forty years old and I am just now hearing of this myself. In short, a “SuperMoon” is a term used to signify when the Moon appears to be closest to Earth. This past May fifth was one such astrological event and what I thought would be a fun Saturday night star and moon gazing activity with Kim and the kids but my good intentions turned eerily disastrous.

I’ll have to rewind the story to earlier in day… Not too far back tho… Early evening, I had mixed up a frozen batch of margaritas, it was Cinco de Mayo after all, and I had mentioned to Kim the coincidental fact that a super moon and the traditional south of the border springtime celebration coincided. (I’m not sure the history of Cinco de Mayo. Perhaps Mexico’s independence day? What I am sure of tho is that on this day we drink margaritas and eat Mexican cuisine). A plan was hatched to enjoy a couple frozen beverages, down a few tacos, dust off the telescope and find the binoculars for a fun night of sky watching. Harmless, right?

Around 8:30pm I scouted for the best spot to set up the telescope. The luminescent glow of a big bright moon was breaking the horizon line behind a row of tall trees directly across the cul-du-sac from our house. Attempting to find a decent lunar gazing location was frustrating, finding a clear shot of the ascending moon was impossible and it would take at least thirty to forty minutes for the moon to rise above the trees.

Higher ground is what we needed and I told the family that we must walk up the street to the elementary school for a clear unobstructed view, (ie, I begged Kim). Mobilizing quickly, the kids stayed in their pajamas and flash-like found flashlights. I cautiously disassembled the telescope and gently placed it in our green and red Little Tykes wagon with Sophie who was playing flashlight tag, my face being her target. Everyone except Hailey was excited for our sky watching expedition. She sometimes has issues with unanticipated change of plans, her main complaints being that she was in her nightgown and didn’t want to walk up the ‘big’ hill to the school. She had many other grievances as we marched toward our destination and I’m not even sure what those grumblings were; I let her cries drown in the bask of an ever brightening moon-lit sky.

Keeping track? It is now 9pm, we have four tired (one incendiary) yet excited little girls, a gargantuan full moon, Kim and I had consumed a pitcher of frozen Margaritas. What could possibly go wrong?

With flashlights brazened, we trudged up the “big” hill, (something we do almost every school day morning) to a steep narrow staircase that leads to a side entrance of the elementary school grounds. As we crested the last cement step the SuperMoon came into full view and it was strikingly magnificent.

Olivia (8) was fascinated, pressuring me to immediately get the telescope setup and I hastily chose a dark location, (better for viewing stars, but not so great for watching children) right behind the school at the apex of three terraced fields. Hailey (7) and Kim coldly bickered. Elizabeth (4) blasted into an elliptical orbit around Olivia and me while I was focusing the telescope on the oversized moon and in her exuberance she inadvertently enticed Sophie (2) from the Little Tykes wagon to join her in ring-around-the-telescope. Worried that the two little rockets would de-orbit and crash-land into the telescope I informed them that they were in a no-fly-zone and to jet “over there” gesturing with wave of my hand to a non-descript location.

In an instant, it happened: I had focused the moon into view and was making a slight adjustment for Olivia to have her first look. Hailey and Kim were still squabbling. Elizabeth darted down a steep shadowy incline that abruptly ends at a three foot retaining wall which drops down onto a black asphalt playground. Kim had hollered at Elizabeth as she was in mid-sprint down the hillside, “Elizabeth! Get back up here now!” Indifferent to Kim’s clear direction, Elizabeth defiantly did not stop, lunar crazed she kept on running down the hill with Sophie following closely in her contrail. Even with the reflective light of the massive moon they were both essentially flying blind. Elizabeth instantaneously stopped directly on top of the retaining wall, however Sophie did not stop and careened off the top of the wall disappearing into the darkness.

Silence, for a brief moment, frozen, for a split second and then an ear-splitting wail. My feet grew wings and carried me swiftly to Sophie. The crying was a good sign but she laid on the blacktop in a crumpled heap. I approached her cautiously reminding myself not to instantly scoop her up knowing that I could damage her little body even worse. She lay motionless for a minute and her cries were felt throughout the neighborhood. Rapidly scanning her body I couldn’t see anything dreadful although even with the radiant moonlight, it was too dark to see. She reached up for me and slowly drew herself into my arms. As she cuddled closer I softly felt her entire body for any breaks and gingerly carried her to the meager glow of the outdoor light fixture above the back door to the school. Using one of the kids flashlights, I noticed right away a large goose egg forming on her forehead, both elbows badly scraped up and her knees a bit scuffed. Intensely scrutinizing Sophies injured little body, if anyone had been talking to me I didn’t notice or acknowledge. I’m not even sure that I explained what my intentions or plans were to Kim or the kids, I didn’t speak a word, they instinctively followed my lead.

With Sophie cradled in a one arm football hold, I picked up the telescope, threw it into the wagon and pulled it behind me. “I got this. I got this.” Kim was trying to tell me she would tend to the wagon, but we still needed to get down the steep staircase so I pulled the wagons’ front two wheels over lip of the first step and waited for Kim to pick up the rear and we carried the wagon down the steps in silence listening to our baby scream.

Briskly walking home I still hadn’t said a word.  Sophie’s cries remained a constant ear shattering high pitch. Rapid fire questions from the kids were being ignored, “Will she be ok? Is she hurt? Is she bleeding? Does she have a broken bone? Etc. Etc. Etc.  I wanted to scream, “I don’t F-ing know! Shut the F-up!” Instead I bit my lip. The short walk back home felt like one of those dreams where you are running as fast as you can but going absolutely nowhere. Then Elizabeth asked, “what happened?”

“I’ll tell you what happened! Someone didn’t listen to their mother and now Sophie will probably have to go to the Hospital!” I regretted saying this as the words involuntarily exploded out of my mouth because at that moment, Elizabeth bared the blame and her older sisters let her know this too. “Yea Elizabeth, its all your fault Sophie got hurt!” Oye, sometime I say the worst things at the wrong times and this was definitely one of those moments. Elizabeth hung her head and slowed her pace. I wanted to tell her it was not her fault that Sophie fell, yet that would have to wait because I needed more than a flashlight to examine Sophie’s injuries.

Once home Kim and I quickly determined that an ER visit would be wise. Utilizing a couple stretchy hair/head band thingys I secured an ice pack to Sophie’s swollen head, made sure I had my ID and insurance card then strapped her into the five-point safety car seat. She was bewildered and crying but not as vocally. Before departing for the hospital, I talked to Elizabeth and told her again that what happened was not her fault, however by the look of regret and sadness in her eyes, our brief chat didn’t matter, she felt responsible and worried about her baby sister.

Hospitals are second nature to me; hockey injuries, childbirths, surgeries, illnesses, etc. I have plenty of expertise with emergency rooms although this was the first ER visit for any of my children. Fortunately, our home sits within a five mile radius of at least a half a dozen hospitals .Smartly, I chose (ie, Kim directed me) the children’s emergency room at the hospital where Sophie was born. Her medical information was already in the computer system which expedited the admitting process. All that I had to do before she could see a doctor was to fill out one standard medical history form, show my ID and insurance card.

This was my first experience with a Pediatric Emergency Center and the Children’s ER at St. John’s was great. The staff was quick and friendly however I was asked the same questions from the admitting attendant, the head nurse, Sophie’s nurse, an anesthesiologist and the physician. “Explain what happened?” ‘Umm… parental negligence.’ “Did she loose consciences?” ‘Umm… I almost did.’ “Did she vomit?” ‘Umm… pretty sure my wife hurled when she saw our baby disappear over a wall or maybe it was when she saw this nasty lump growing on her forehead.’

The doctor was confident that Sophie was going to be alright. The scrapes on her elbows indicated that she shielded herself and deflected some of the impact. “Better out than in,” is what the Doc said about the swollen bump on her head and “Better in then out,” regarding our taco dinner. No x-ray, no MRI, no CT scan. The prescription; Ice for the contusion on her noggin and elbows, ib profane for the pain and  polysporin for the abrasions. We were at the children’s ER for almost three hours, it was around midnight and before we departed Sophie was her inquisitive self again, playing with the toys and games that were available to us.

Kim was still awake when we arrived home from the hospital and overwhelmingly relieved to hear the optimistic prognosis. One odd coincidence tho; Elizabeth had vomited a few times while Sophie and I were at the pediatric emergency center. Strange, was Elizabeth sickened with grief? Or was it a metaphysical ‘twin-like’ sibling connection where the side effects of the accident transposed from one sibling to the other? I believe the former rather than the latter, although it was an ominously monster sized full moon and perhaps there is something supernatural about a SuperMoon.


Stay at Home Dad

Since the birth of Olivia (close to 9 now), there has always been one whole day during the week that I carve out of my work schedule to spend with the kids. This day is what my family calls “daddy day”.

In the past, we would plan the daddy day in advance. A special craft or new adventurous park or kiddie events around town or whatever fun activities we could dream up. One time a week, this was easy to prepare for, but now, every single weekday for two year old Sophie and three days a week for four year old Elizabeth are “daddy days.”

Officially, for the past six months, I am, “Work At Home Dad,” although ninety nine percent of the work I do is of the domestic variety. Originally, I figured on spending a few hours every afternoon working via computer doing viral marketing. (Imagine a sunny image of me, hacking on my laptop by a widow, steam from a freshly poured cup of tea rises and drifts as the afternoon passes and all my projects are completed ahead of schedule). The reality is, an extra forty five minutes at the most while the little ones are napping is all that I can scrape together for building a “work at home” business empire.

Pay Attention: Staying home with the children is not easy! (Every working parent who has a “stay at home” partner must know this). We have a basic daily/weekly routine which is a good game plan but there is a tinge of monotony even with all the many little surprises that occur while tailing little people from dawn to dusk. This observation and confession may be a bit to digest, I’ll break it down.

The “stay at home” routine (in a nutshell): Wake up, make coffee and prepare breakfast for all the kids. (Kim departs for work before anyone else wakes up). After a quick meal, I assist all four girls in preparing themselves for the day. Teeth, hair, face, clothes, fill backpacks and whatever myriad of preparations may surface. My two oldest can handle this all on their own, however occasionally a spot check is necessary and I will have to remind them to spend more time on personal hygiene or sometimes I’ll have to make a wardrobe adjustment which usually will hurt someone’s feelings. “Sweetie, you need leggings under ‘that’ skirt.” Or “We handed ‘that’ down to your little sister because it doesn’t fit you anymore. Please find something from your closet.” I’m positive my kids think the definition of “inappropriate” means “daddy says I look horrible in this!” If this makes me a bad dad, (in my childrens opinion). So be it.

Weather permitting, we all walk Olivia and Hailey to the elementary school. Our home is seven or eight lots down the street and they only complain about the short jaunt when the temperature is near freezing (any colder and we drive) but it is a perfect little warm up for the kids to get their bodies and minds ready for the day.

After we get Olivia and Hailey to school, then Elizabeth, Sophie and I soldier at a good pace to get to our next destination. What that destination may be depends on what day it is.

Stay with me reader, my points will be made regarding the difficulties in staying at home with kids. Read on.

Monday: Sophie and I will take Elizabeth to preschool. Her school is at a community center which we have a family membership to and perfect because I can drop Elizabeth off for PreSchool and then take Sophie to the staffed Play-Room while I get an hour of gym time. Afterwards, Sophie and I return home for snack, play, lunch, more play, a story time and nap. During nap time, (M-F), I normally prepare food for upcoming meals, fold a load of laundry, clean the kitchen (using the word clean loosely), make phone calls, check emails, look at anything work related and slack on that while I play an online game for thirty minutes. If I hustle the entire morning/afternoon, fighting for every extra second, I end up with a forty-five minute recess before the rest of the crew starts arriving home from school and work.

Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays: Both Elizabeth and Sophie are with me all day. After taking Olivia and Hailey to school our “daddy day” adventures begin. Tuesday is usually the day we go on “field trips,” (zoo, museums, butterfly house or wherever that has a hint of educational value). Thursday is typically errand day if needed (markets or shops) and Friday is “whatever” day, (indoor pool, parks or play dates).

Wednesday: Sophie and I are together all day. We have comfortably gotten into the habit of frequenting the public library for a fun morning story time consisting of a few short readings, mixed in with a craft, some singing, some dancing and… it’s free. We also restock a steady supply of fresh books for everyone’s perusal. Then we head home for snack, play, lunch, more play another quick book reading and then nap.

Of course this is template of what a typical week looks like and things do mix it up a bit depending on the weather and or other factors (illness or whatever). We have a routine but keep it loose and it seems to work.

If you have meticulously read through this post up to this point then you can begin to understand and digest how staying at home with the kids may get a tiny bit repetitive and tiresome. So, why? Why is staying at home with the kids monotonous? We do plenty of activities. We get out. We have fun. So why all the ho-hum humdrum? Couple reasons. One difficulty is… It is… a bit… socially isolating. Life becomes solitary with no work friends or peers to chat with and mostly talking to children all day everyday. Loneliness? Not exactly, however the lack of adult conversation and contact is desolate. Yes, I do get out sans-kids a few evenings during the week, I play hockey, I do yoga classes and I get to the gym routinely which helps a bit to break the tedium of endless nonstop kidspeak.

One more conflicting observation and a big hurdle to get over while staying at home with the kids; it is a difficult job and it is stressful work. As much as I would like to claim to the contrary, stay at home parenting is a wearisome, non-stop, wage-less job but the ultimate payoff is not monetary rather a vast wealth in strong family ties and a deep transparent connection to my children which is something that money can’t buy and more then enough to make my life enjoyable.

Rationalizing the Unknown

The Witches of Great Cuts

I’m not choosy about the person who cuts my hair. In fact the place that I frequent has a new set of stylists each time I go in for a trim. Granted two or three months will pass between each cut.

Backup four or five months: Embarrassing to Kim and the kids, my hair resembled a well used greasy mop head. It was time for a trim and upon entering the clips place I was unsurprised at the turnover of employees yet delighted to find two fresh, young, attractive stylists. One girl had long shiny auburn hair, a round face wearing a warm smile, big pretty brown eyes and puffy red lips. She wore tight black stretchy yoga-ish pants, a clinging white blouse with lacy fringe and a black long sleeve half jacket thingy which could have been part if the shirt, I’m not sure. A round silver pendant, about the size of a half dollar, centered with a pale crystal that changed colors as the light refracted through it hung low by a thin black leather strap. She also wore a few thick ornate copper bracelets and dangling earrings. Her name escapes me now yet this is who tended to my hair. The other stylist was a sultry bleach blond with a long narrow face, almond shaped eyes and thin pink lips. Her outfit was a bit more colorful and she also wore mystic jewelry.

I was the only customer for the duration of my service. The blond was perched on a shelf, her back to the big mirror in the stall directly behind the chair that I sat in. Hawkishly she studied me, sporadically pecking into the conversation that the brunette carried. Honestly I don’t even remember what we talked about except for the bit regarding cycling and that was only because I had commuted via my bike to work that day. The pretty brunette stylist was swift, I left a decent tip and departed with a clean cut.

Forward a couple months from then: My hair was not a complete mess but needed some work. In the weeks that had past between my last trim, I hadn’t even thought of the two young stylists until making my way to the clips place. Dismayed,  I was greeted by two new employees or were they? The two new stylists were both plump and close to my age, fortyish. One woman had long brown hair with once pretty eyes now sagging and pouty red lips. She wore tight black pants and a lacy cream blouse both of which struggled to keep their stitches from tearing apart. The other stylist had wavy shoulder length blond hair. Her once narrow face was padded at the checks and chin. Her clothes were bright and sunny. I was the only customer while the plump brunette cut my hair. We mostly talked about kids, a subject I can relate too. The large blond interjected comments as she circled around sweeping up hair. Something seemed oddly familiar about these two stylists. The meter of conversation, the style of clothes, I noticed the blond wearing ornate handmade jewelry and  that’s when I remembered the crystal necklace.

A pale crystal necklace hung around the brunettes neck. The crystal and the black leather strap looked very much like the same necklace that I noted from the young skinny brunette who cut my hair just previously although this necklace seemed smaller which could have been an illusion, juxtaposed on the larger woman. Whether the jewelry was lost, found, stolen, borrowed or something supernatural about it,  I figure the necklace to be the same.

Upon checkout my mind was in a flurry, contemplating the Deja vous-esque moment. My first thought was that a cable affiliated network television prank show was filming. I scanned every corner of the room for hidden cameras and anticipated a crew of show-hands to come bursting out from every direction. But that was not the case. Then I reasoned that I was part of some social experiment; How well a young pretty stylist will get tipped as compared to a bigger older counterpart? I nonchalantly examined the big brunette for signs of a fat suit and “heavy” makeup as she entered the transaction into the computer but I noticed nothing obvious. Consciously, I gave the stylist the same exact gratuity that I had given on my previous trim. While departing, I realized that the necklace had to be borrowed or maybe a duplicate purchased from the same jeweler. I wasn’t sure. As the door to the clips place closed behind me a curious thought entered my head, a transformation spell. Two witches practicing their craft. Ridiculous, right? Maybe, I don’t know.

You may be asking yourself where this post is heading? It is merely a small little coincidence in life that is an example of the unknowns and the coinciding thought process which can lead one to rationalize many different scenarios attempting to make order of things which happens on the daily (to parents especially). Whether it be the proverbial spilt milk or the root of some argument between children, expending the mental energies pondering such incidents just isn’t worth the effort however dwelling on such things is unavoidable which poses an arguable question; Are some truths in life are better left unknown?

Ideas and Hosting an Arts and Crafts Party

Getting Crafty at Birthday Parties

Second born Hailey recently turned seven and attempting to follow in the footsteps of what her older sister had just done, originally she asked to have a Sleep-over party. Kim and I were quick to block her intent on this. Our argument was that only half the kids her age would be able to spend the night, which was an educated guess at best, but plausible enough for Hailey to switch themes to a Birthday Craft Party.

She wanted to do at least three arts and crafts projects and we brainstormed together. Since Halloween was just around the corner Hailey suggested pumpkin carvings. An ambitious project for a dozen seven year-olds, I scaled it back to mini pumpkin paintings. Thinking inexpensive, I suggested decorating wooden picture frames and then printing a party-pic from our inkjet during the celebration to insert in each deco frame. Hailey liked that idea. For the third project I thought tie dye shoe laces would be fun and easy but Hailey wisely noted that only one friend wears shoes with laces. Kim chimed in with tie dye socks which was perfect being that Silly Sock Day was the following week at the elementary school. Hailey also wanted to do pizza and a scavenger hunt. Kim and I agreed to these plans as well. We decided three hours would be just enough time to get it all in.

A week before the party I stopped at the craft store to purchase all the supplies. We needed quite a bit. Three packs of paint brushes at one dollar a pack. And six big bottles of tempura paint, (two white, two black and two purple) at two dollars a bottle. That was all we needed for the tiny pumpkin paintings. I also bought sixteen wooden frames, (a few extra for future projects) at one dollar a piece. A fresh pack of 50 markers for ten dollars. A jumbo canister of multi-color, multi-pattern foamy letter stickers for five dollars and a small pack of foamy glitter heart shaped stickers for one dollar. All for the deco picture frames. I stumbled upon a tie dye kit that had everything we needed; six different color dyes, rubber-bands, gloves, tarp, six squeeze bottles and instructions. The kit was $40 but I had a 40% off coupon.

Kim picked up a couple six-packs of inexpensive white socks for the tie-dye project and a rock and roll guitar themed cupcake-cake that Hailey had picked out from Walmart. The mini pumpkins came from local supermarket. Three giant pizzas from Sam’s Club.  Everything combined we spent $150ish. Not too bad.

A few hours prior to the celebration, I had setup two folding tables in our living room to serve as a work area and Kim draped trash bags over them. An hour before the party began I scattered all the new craft supplies throughout the house, inside and out leaving a clue on each as to where to find the next set of supplies. The party attendees were held responsible for finding all craft supplies or there would be no art projects. Everyone had fun playing detective.

Once all the supplies were rounded up we started the first project; pumpkin paintings. There was just enough workspace and plenty of paint and brushes. A make-shift drying area was setup on the front porch. After everyone had finished painting. Kim and I quickly cleaned up and prepared the second project while the party moved into the backyard for crazy play.

Next we did tie dye socks. I preformed a quick demonstration for all the little people; twisting, folding and rubber-banding the socks. I had to assist a few of the girls with this part of the project and because of the permanency of the dye, I ended up applying the colors on each pair of socks and zip-locking the finished product. For the parents; I printed then highlighted the dye setting time and washing instructions. The socks turned out fabulously, Hailey proudly wears hers every other day.

Kim and I did a quick cleanup of the tie dye project, then tossed a big salad and prepared 3 huge cheese pizzas for consumption, ok so all we did was remove them from freezer, un-box and place ’em in preheated oven. The pizzas warmed up while the girls completed the third project; decorating unfinished 5×7 wooden picture frames with markers and foamy stickers and before the little partiers later departed I slipped a photo in the frame as a keepsake.

Hailey Party 2011

A Few Party Girls

Right after the feeding frenzy there was just enough time to sing “Happy Birthday” and devoured the cupcake-cake. We managed to squeeze it all in under three hours. As the children’s parents popped in for pickup we bagged up all the projects as party-favors recieving many thanks and complements on a great idea for Hailey’s birthday. While sweeping up the last of the foamy sticker scrap peelings from the floor and stored-away the folding tables, Kim and I congratulated ourselves for another smooth, disaster free party.

Miscarriage – Complete Clinical Spontaneous Abortion

Unsubscribing from a Miscarriage

Babycenter.com is a great site. Good articles, good community, good tools, loads of goodies for new and expecting parents. I used to frequent the site quite a bit as a parenting newb and when the current forums were old fashion bulletin boards I started my journal which eventually transformed into this blog. Even though I rarely lurk there anymore, I mention BabyCenter because for the past few months I have been receiving depressing emails from the site which I am having difficulty unsubscribing from. It is not a technical problem getting the emails to stop from being sent to me, sort of a user error, let me explain.

When Kim was pregnant with Olivia, which was nine years ago, a co-worker first told me about BabyCenter. Originally what attracted me and glued me to the site was the automated weekly newsletter/updates that came via email. It was great for tracking the developmental stages of all my babies and throughout the past almost decade, I  have updated my personal information adding each child to my account. I still receive weekly email articles regarding the progress of all my children. I receive one for an eight year old, one for a seven year old, one for a three and three quarter year old, one for a one and three quarter year old, sadly I receive updates for twenty week old in-utero. Sad because our fifth child never mad it past week eight.

Flashback: Only a few knew about #5, my mom was one person who knew. She took the secret to her grave and it suffocates my conscience. Excitedly I told my mom about the pregnancy, unfortunately a week later Kim miscarried. I couldn’t bear telling my mom about it and then shortly after the miscarriage it was too late to say anything.

It went like this; My mom was very sick when I told her about #5, cancer was spreading throughout her body and she was spending twenty three hours a day confined to bed. “Mom, I have something to tell you,” whispering so my sibs would not overhear. “Kim is pregnant again.”
“What!?” shocked out of her morphine stupor.
“Please don’t tell anyone yet it’s still very early.”
With her sense of humor still intact she replied, “Why would I tell anyone how stupid my son is?” Although I’m not completely sure she was joking.

That was the last real bit of conversation my mother and I had. A week after that exchange of words, I didn’t have the courage to divulge the truth and like a child that hides mistakes and misfortunes from their parents I couldn’t tell her about the miscarriage. Within a few days her conciseness had evaporated and a couple days after that she died.

Flashing-back even further: Kim sobbed holding the positive EPT stick. At that moment she didn’t want a fifth child. Unplanned and surprised about the pregnancy, she cried a lot. Conversely I was excited. Four girls, a wife, even a female dog, I was sure #5 was my boy, but I concealed my exuberance and let her use me as a punching bag, after all, it was completely “muyyyy fault.”

Over the next few days Kim’s mood was gloomy and to make things worse she knew I was happy and sanguine about it. Attempting to put an enthusiastic spin on the situation, I mentioned all the joys and love new babies inject into the family. New life, new personality, new sounds, new sibling dynamic, new responsibilities. Being that Sophie was only sixteen months old at the time, fresh Kim’s memory was, she responded with; new baby equates to, no sleep, no breaks, no money, no quiet, no sanity. “All of that is only temporary,” was my reply.

Three weeks after the positive EPT and a few days before Kim’s eight-week ultrasound she started bleeding. “Normal spotting” is what I told her and what I prayed for, however spotting was abnormal for her pregnancy history, I was secretly worried. Two days before her exam and scan she had a “complete clinical spontaneous abortion” which is how her doctor described it. I didn’t need a fancy term to make the memory of blood stained sheets and a blank ultrasound monitor more empathetic, I was crushed and Kim was saddened, tears tracked down her cheeks as the diagnostic technician departed the exam room allowing us a “few extra minutes.” Kim was, “getting used to the idea of #5.” On the car ride home I suggested we could actually try again for a fifth child, Kim said that I was crazy and with that, was the end of my dream for five.

Three months later:  Kim had it right. I am crazy. My mom had it right. I am stupid. Not in the context of wishing for another child but for the painful emotional hoarding. Why can’t I just log into BabyCenter and edit my account, removing the fifth child, so that the depressing weekly email reminders of what could have been finally cease? Letting go is not easy.