Nov 11 2014
My daughter’s 6th birthday party didn’t start off a total disaster. A handful of kids joined us at an art studio for a drawing lesson and other activities. I had a peculiar feeling that morning that the party wouldn’t be a good idea–I still can’t explain why–but when I saw the old-fashioned fun they were all having playing “Duck, Duck, Goose,” I started to pat myself on the back for a job well done.
But then, right in front of my eyes, yet too far away to do anything, my daughter Julian rounded the corner between one of her “ducks” and “goose,” slipped on the carpeting, and flew face forward into the sharp metal corner of a chair. We ran out–before even serving the cake–to tend to a nasty puncture wound just below her right eye.
Our pediatrician examined the gash and automatically mentioned a pediatric plastic surgeon who could revise the scar once it healed. After all, he explained, “If she was a boy, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. For them, scars are cool. But she’s a girl; it’s totally different.” Read the rest of this entry →
Aug 21 2014
My first delivery went textbook-smooth. From the time my water broke until the time I delivered my daughter was nine hours, which is under the average of 10 to 24 hours for a first labor. The one thing I hadn’t liked: To get me through the first part of labor, my doctor had ordered some Stadol, a narcotic that is supposed to “take the edge off the pain.” It made me alternately sleepy and groggy. It was only supposed to last an hour or two, but it lasted much longer, and I was totally out of it by the time my baby was born.
By the time my second child was ready to be born, I was determined to do it differently.
When I got to the hospital, I wasn’t in active labor. I was contracting now and then, but the contractions didn’t hurt. The only sign was the bloody show I’d experienced overnight. My obstetrician insisted that was enough–I’d gone so quickly last time, and I was five days overdue now, so it made a lot of sense to get me into the hospital sooner rather than later. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 27 2014
Thirteen years ago when I had gastric bypass surgery, losing over 150 pounds, I thought it would be the end of being called fat. Then my 7-year-old daughter, Cara, came home school the other day and said a girl had teased her.
“Your mom is like the fat minion from ‘Despicable Me,’” Cara repeated to me.
She barely got the words out before she broke into hysterical crying and I didn’t know how to comfort her. She was upset that someone would say that about me and I was upset that she had been teased for my shortcomings.
What she doesn’t know is that I could not care less about being called fat. I have been called fat my whole life and it no longer fazes me. My teasing started early. I remember when I was five and cast as one of the three little pigs in my day camp’s “Disney Review.” The kids seem to think “Pig” was a name that should stick. By middle school my nickname was “Moose,” but in high school I was just a regular teen. My personality kept me sailing through college and into my early 20s, but by my mid-20s I was hovering at the 300-pound mark and it was hard to ignore the looks and stares I was getting–especially on planes and subways. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 26 2014
Like just about everybody else, we here at Kveller love to get attention. But attention is that much sweeter when it means an amazing 11-year-old boy gets to share his story far and wide.
Earlier this month, we ran a story by Zimra Vigoda called “Choosing to Have My Son’s Leg Amputated was the Most Difficult Decision I’ve Ever Made.” As the title suggests, Zimra’s 11-year-old son, Amit, was born with a rare orthopedic condition whereby his right leg is chock-full of pathological fractures that don’t heal. After dealing with pain all his life, Amit decided it would be best for him to have his leg amputated, and after much consideration, Zimra agreed.
Apparently, Zimra and Amit’s story spoke to many, because since the post went live on Kveller, they’ve been making the media rounds and sharing their story on major news outlets. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 11 2014
I awake to a familiar screech. “Mommmmmyyyy……HELP!” So begins my biweekly sleep-run to my 11-year-old’s bedside. “Mommmmmyyyy……I want to cut it off, I can’t stand it anymore…I hate my leg….make it stop,” he hollers, eyes wide open yet not quite awake. My 14-year-old son appears at the door, sleepy-eyed yet familiar with the routine. He helps bring his brother to the bathroom and wash his face until the terror subsides. “Mommy, can I please get a pill?” I give him a couple of Advil on top of the bedtime Tylenol, a cup of water, and I hope for some peace.
As a mother of four kids, aged 6 to 15, I am certainly used to making lots of decisions. As all mothers throughout the world, from the time that they were babies until today, I’ve made thousands, perhaps millions, of decisions. I decided how and what to feed them, which schools to send them to, where we will live, what extracurricular activities they will participate in, what time they need to be home, whether they can stay out late on school nights, on weekends, and countless more such everyday issues. Some decisions were easy, others more challenging, but all were quite ordinary. Read the rest of this entry →