A Very Happy Mother’s Day!

This past weekend I got to spend a very special Mother’s Day weekend with my Mommy!

My mom flew in on Thursday afternoon, and Julia and I picked her up from the airport.  It was so special that Julia got to see her first thing after school.

Friday I worked from home while my mom and Julia got to spend the day together.  We took Julia to the dentist, and then did a little bit of shopping and had lunch together.  It was a terribly rainy day so we were stuck inside all day, but Julia had lots of fun splashing around in the puddles! 5.12.2016(8)

Friday night, the four of us went out to a lovely dinner at Alma Cocina in Canton.  It’s a Latin American restaurant that was absolutely delicious and surprisingly kid-friendly!  I would definitely go back there again, with or without Julia.

Saturday, Ken spent the day with Julia while my mom and I went to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.  This was the first time since Julia was born that my mom and I got to spend the day together just the two of us, and it was our first knitting event together.  I picked up some new yarn for a few new projects, and I can’t wait to start them in the next few weeks!  I just started working on my first sweater, so I want to get into that a bit before I start another project, but I have the sleeve started for now so I’m excited to see that progress.


Saturday night, my mom stayed home with Julia while Ken & I went out to the Orioles game.  We met up with some friends while we were there and had a great time.  Best of all, the Orioles won, and I got my Mother’s Day giveaway (an Orioles tote bag)!



Sunday was Mother’s Day.  We started the day with a photo shoot!  Julia’s friend Jonah has a Daddy who’s a Professional Photographer, and he was offering “mini sessions” at the Cylburn Arboretum for Mother’s Day.  The weather was beautiful and the location was perfect.  He gave us one sneak peek for fun, but I can’t wait to see the rest of the photos!


After our photo shoot, my mom and I took Julia to soccer practice, and then we all went to Brunch with my cousins Rachel & David.  It was nice to see everybody and we got to try another new-to-us restaurant in Fells Point.  Yum yum!


Sunday evening, I cooked dinner for me and my mom (Ken wasn’t feeling great so he didn’t have any…) and then Monday my mom and Julia spent the day together while Ken and I went to work.  When I got home, I made dinner for all four of us and my mom and I had a knitting lesson/afghan square blocking session.


It was such a nice visit with my Mommy and it was so special that we got to spend Mother’s Day together!  I hope we’ll get to spend more Mothers’ Days together in future years!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mamas out there, but especially to my own!

Happy News!

Finally, after 7 months of blood tests, and anxiety about what they would show, we can put the Partial Molar Pregnancy ordeal behind us!  I had my last HCG Blood Test on Monday and got the results back yesterday: my numbers are still at 0 for the 3rd month in a row which means we are done! Cleared to try again!

We went out last night to celebrate with some Prosecco and Italian food! 5.12.2016

We are so relieved and feel as though a ton of bricks have been lifted from our shoulders. We no longer have to worry about the “mole” growing back as cancer. And now, we can try again…

I know that if/when I get pregnant again, I will be a nervous wreck, a ball of nervous energy, until we see on Ultrasound that everything is going smoothly.  But I feel confident that one day, we will have another healthy baby.  It took one month to get pregnant with Julia, 5 months to get pregnant with the baby that never was, so I’m hopeful that it won’t take too long to get pregnant this time. But for now we are not in any rush.  It will happen when it happens, and when it does, we will probably keep it to ourselves until we know that everything is going well.

But hopefully, not too long from now, I can write the post I’ve been wanting to write for a long time now, entitled “Little Poppyseed 2.0 is on his/her way!”

Hello, there!

Why, hello there!  It’s been a while since I’ve written.  We’ve been very busy with lots of fun things.

As far as my recent medical issues are concerned, my HCG level came down to 0 and I have started having monthly monitoring.  Assuming my HCG levels stay down, we should be cleared to start trying again in early-mid June.  The summer will be a very busy time for us since we are moving on July 1st and getting settled in our new house and community, going to Disney the last week of July and then Ken will be starting his new job August 15th and Julia will start at her new school the last week of August… all that to say we may not have much time or energy to devote to “trying” but I feel confident that when the time is right, it will happen, and we will have another baby.

We have been busy with lots of fun things… we had Ken’s 10-year reunion last weekend, we went to Hopkins’ Spring Fair this past weekend, we have Passover coming up this weekend, my mom and Sheila are coming to visit for a weekend in May, and we have lots of birthday parties and baseball coming up soon, too!

Here are a few photos from the last few weeks to give you a sense of why we’ve been so busy.  I’m hopeful I’ll have more time to blog in the next few months and I can’t wait to share photos of our new house as it starts to come together.

Julia & I had a mini photo shoot at the Associated’s annual Hamentaschen Baking Event!



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We also had a super fun trip to Chicago for Cousin Paige’s wedding!  We had a couple days to explore the city–we had a great time at the Museum of Science and Industry and at the Field Museum. We definitely appreciated the city’s great public transportation system, which was very easy to navigate and which brought us from Oak Park, where we were staying, into downtown, with great ease.  The wedding was absolutely beautiful and a lot of fun.  We were up and dancing the whole night and really had a wonderful time celebrating Paige & Megan’s beautiful relationship and marriage!  Megan’s family was so wonderful and the whole weekend seemed like a true coming together of two families.  Mazel Tov to Paige & Megan!







While we were in Chicago, we also had the chance to meet up with some of the Pumpkin Patch Mamas who live in that area!  The longer our group of Mamas have been together, the more grateful I am for our amazing group.  Even though we all started as an internet discussion board surrounding our pregnancies and the birth of our children, we have become a true “village” of Moms all over the country.  It’s really like we have great friends in all parts of the country.  When I meet moms from the group, it feels as though we’ve been friends for a long time, even if we have never actually met in real life.  It was so nice to meet Rhonda & Lauren while we were in Chicago!


Baseball is back!

Ken & I went to Opening Day and we took Julia to Kids Opening Day a couple weeks ago.  She had a great time cheering on the Orioles.  She loves saying “Come on, Manny!” anytime Manny Machado is up to bat and she’s started figuring out how to pay attention to the game a little bit.




Here are some photos from Homecoming (Julia also had a great time at the Hopkins Lacrosse game!)





And then we enjoyed some lovely weather this past weekend at Spring Fair!



That’s all for now… I hope to write again soon!

Great News!

This morning the nurse from the OB office called me for the 11th week in a row:

“Hello?” I answered nervously, bracing myself for bad news.

“It seems that your second D&C did what it was supposed to do! Your HCG is down to 4!”

“YAAAAAY!!! That’s the best news you’ve ever given me!”

Now my doctor wants two more weekly HCG draws showing that the number is staying nice and low.  For all intents and purposes, an HCG under 5 is considered negative, so as long as it stays under 5, we’re good.  Then she wants 3 months of negative numbers.  And then we’ll be cleared to try again.  So in May or June (depending on how you count the 3 months–does she want negative in March, April and May, or does she want 3 months from March, which would be April, May and June), almost a year after we initially started trying, and right around the time I should have been due, we will be allowed to start trying again.

Realistically, that will be a very hectic time for us as we’ll be preparing to move out of state, moving, going on a trip to Disneyworld and then getting settled into life in a new place and Ken’s new job, so we may just “not prevent” for a while before actually “trying.” But we’ll be all done with this ordeal and can truly put it behind us.



Loss and Grief

We’re now 10 weeks post D&C (3 days post the second D&C).  For the most part, I am doing fine.  Emotionally, I’ve put the pregnancy loss behind me and I’m able to function at work and at home without thinking too much about it.  I don’t have random bouts of tears like I did in the first week or two after my miscarriage.  I’m hopeful and optimistic that my second D&C on Monday worked and that we’ll start to see my HCG levels drop closer and closer to 0.  I’ll be so excited when I hear that I’ve gotten to 5 or below and we can start crossing off the days on our calendar while we wait 3 months before we’re cleared to try again.  Of course the bleeding right now is a constant reminder, and there are things that come up that remind me about everything and make me sad, but for the most part I’m fine.

Even though I am (and have always been) very pro-choice, and I don’t think that life begins at conception, I do not feel comfortable saying that what we lost was just a ball of cells.  (In Judaism, life begins at birth.  In some cultures, life begins at “quickening.”  I don’t have a strong opinion about when exactly life begins.  But I do not think that what we lost was truly a life.  It was the potential for life, but it was not itself a life.)  There’s a saying that a mother becomes a mother the day she gets pregnant, and I truly feel that the day I found out I was pregnant this time around, I became the mother to two.  Obviously not to two babies since one was never to become a baby, but to two somethings: two ideas? Two hopes? Two wishes? I don’t know…

When I was pregnant with Julia we marked each week that passed.  I was 16 weeks pregnant, then 17, then 18… we read up about what her little body was doing each week–developing eyebrows, sucking on her thumb, growing 2 inches in length, etc. and we celebrated as we got closer and closer to viability and then closer and closer to full term.  This time around we can’t do that, but every now and then I can’t help but count… if I had the D&C at 8 weeks, and I’m now 10 weeks post D&C, I would be 18 weeks pregnant this week.  We would be almost half way there.  I don’t have much attachment to the weekly progression that we don’t get to see but the one date that does stand out in my mind is July 28th, the day that would have been my due date.

I fully understand that due dates don’t mean much of anything.  Take Julia, for example: her due date was October 23rd but she was born on the 8th.  I was born a week past my mom’s due date.  But still… July 28th would have been an important date.  As we approach that date I can’t help but wonder what, if anything, I should do to somehow mark it, commemorate it, remember it in some way.  I have no doubt that as the years go on, that date will lose meaning but this year I think I want to do something to mark that date.  I just read a beautiful article this morning, available here:


In it, the author talks about lighting a Yahrzeit candle, a traditional candle that’s lit in Jewish families on the anniversary of someone’s death.  She lit the candle on the anniversary of the day she miscarried but somehow I feel that it may feel more appropriate for me to light one on what would have been my due date.  This year we’ll be in Disneyworld on July 28th, but I may pack a candle in my suitcase to light on that day as my own way of acknowledging the day.


I just have to put it out there for everyone to share in our joy: we are officially DONE WITH DIAPERS!  YAY!!!

The day has finally come.  Julia is totally potty trained.  I’m sure there will be more accidents in our future but something has finally clicked and we are now done with diapers, even at nighttime. No more pullups, no more night-time diapers, no more $ to spend on diapers!  Hooray!






(At least until we hopefully some day, G-d willing, have another baby.)


You know what sucks even more than…?!

Yeah… you get the idea.  This whole ordeal keeps dragging on and on and on and on.

First the miscarriage.  Then the D&C.  Then we find out it’s a partial molar pregnancy.  Then it takes a long time for my HCG to fall (this past Monday it was still 246 so we’re getting there but it’s taking a long time…)

For the past few weeks I’ve been having irregular bleeding.  At first we thought it was my period coming back.  But my HCG level is too high for it to be my period.  Then it kept going for a couple weeks.  My Doctor gave me an Ultrasound order and told me to hold onto it in case the bleeding got worse or kept going on.  So finally this week I went to get the Ultrasound and I found out this morning that there’s still something in my funny shaped uterus.  Maybe it’s some retained tissue, maybe it’s a big blood clot that’s struggling to come out, maybe it’s the “mole.”  Whatever it is, it’s not supposed to be there.  So they’re going to do another D&C on Monday to get it out.  This time they’ll do it with ultrasound nearby so they can make sure they get everything out.

Hopefully that will help my HCG to come down to 0 but it just plain sucks.  I keep thinking we’re done, we can put this behind us.  But then something else happens to make this suck even more and drag this whole ordeal on and on and on.

But the good news is my mom was here over the weekend and we had a wonderful visit with her!  Ken was busy with a review course so he wasn’t around very much, but Julia and I had a lot of fun with my Mama!

We had some fun being goofy and silly! 2.18.2016(7)

We also had fun going up to Hershey… Julia go to make her own chocolate bar again, and we also made one for Daddy and one for Papa.



We had brunch at Cousin Rachel’s house with Aunt Lynda and Aunt Karen and most of the cousins.  That was a lot of fun!

My Mama and I also got a lot of time to knit, and she taught me some new things I needed to know.  It was a great visit and as always we were sad to see my Mama go at the end of the weekend, but we have her next visit (in May) to look forward to!



Sensitivity Training…

Over the past 8 weeks since my miscarriage and D&C I have had some conversations with healthcare providers and others in the healthcare setting that I should not have to have.  Examples:

When getting my weekly blood test, one of the phlebotomists saw on my lab slip that I was getting my HCG levels tested.  She asked me, “How many weeks are you?”  Her job is not to ask questions or to make small talk.  Her job is to take my blood and send it to the lab for processing.  Obviously she didn’t know.  But that shouldn’t happen.

Today, when I called the doctor’s office to ask my Doctor a question, I had the following conversation which shouldn’t have happened:

Me: “Hello, I’d like to ask my Doctor a question…”

Receptionist: “Okay, well are you an OB patient or a GYN patient?”

Me: “Um…”

Receptionist: “Well are you pregnant?”

Me: “No…”

Again… she doesn’t know anything about what’s going on with me.  But this is not a conversation I should have to have 8 weeks post D&C.  Luckily I’m doing well emotionally now that I’ve had 2 months to process everything, but if she had asked me that question a few weeks ago, I would have cried right there on the spot.  I don’t know if this lack of sensitivity is unique to my doctor’s office or to the healthcare system I use for medical appointments, but something needs to be done.

These providers need to have sensitivity training so that nobody else is put into an awkward situation like that.  I wasn’t going to go into detail with her “Well no, I’m not really pregnant… but my HCG levels would have you believe that I am, and I’m being followed and monitored because I had a Partial Molar Pregnancy.  And I’m really upset by my answer to your question.  No, I’m not pregnant.  But I should be.”

Perhaps I should help them to develop a sensitivity training…

Mommy, do we speak English?

Over the past several weeks, Julia has been asking a lot more questions about things she must hear at school.

“Do we speak English?”

“Are we Jewish?”

“Do we live in Baltimore?  The same Baltimore that Noa lives in?”

As she asks these questions, and as we answer them, I feel like it’s our job to not only answer her questions, but to give her meaningful answers that help her become a more well-rounded person.  So rather than just answering with “yes” or “no,” I try to give her some context:

“Yes, Julia.  Usually our family speaks English.  But Mommy also knows how to speak French.  And some of the songs you sing at school are in Hebrew.  Bubbie knows and uses some words in Yiddish.  Sometimes you hear Eitan speaking in Spanish.  And Daddy sees a lot of patients who speak Russian.  But yes, usually we speak in English.”

It’s amazing to see her take in these answers, put them all together and form her own view of the world.  The older she gets, the bigger the concepts are that we need to teach her.  And the more responsibility I feel we have for helping her to develop a world view, a set of morals and values.

Good news and more good news!

The good news is that my HCG levels are continuing to drop.  On Monday they were down to 545, and for the first time ever, I’m excited about the fact that I got my period on Monday!  I suppose “excited” isn’t quite the right word… it’s kind of bittersweet.  I’m glad I got my period back because it means my body is going back to normal.  My body no longer thinks it’s pregnant and my uterus is shedding its lining on its own.  I should start ovulating soon and hopefully my cycle will return to normal while we wait for my HCG levels to drop to 0 and while we monitor it staying at 0 for 3 months.  But of course it’s also sad because the only reason I’m getting my period is because I’m not pregnant.  If we hadn’t lost the pregnancy, I would be 15 weeks tomorrow.  I would be starting to show, I would be getting to the point where we could find out if we were having a boy or a girl.  I would be going out to get some cute maternity clothes for the rest of the winter.  I would be telling you what fruit is most comparable in size to a 15-week baby.  So yes, I’m excited that I got my period back because finally, 7 weeks post D&C my body seems to have realized that it’s not pregnant anymore and that it’s time to move on.

Now we just continue to monitor my HCG levels weekly until we get to 0 and then monthly for 3 months before we can try again.


And now the BETTER news is that over the last week or so, the potty training seems to have clicked for Julia!  The progression she had to go through was this:

1) First she could tell us after she went pee or poop in her diaper.

2) Then she was able to tell us WHILE she was going.

3) Finally she mastered the skill of telling us BEFORE she needed to go, and giving us enough notice to get her to the potty!

On Sunday she told us multiple times that she needed to go peepee in the potty and she even told us twice that she needed to go poopy in the potty.  She has figured out what it feels like to need to go and she was able to communicate that to us early enough that we made it on time and she went in the potty!  HOORAY!  She’s still wearing diapers for nighttime because many nights she wakes up soaking wet, but I’m in no rush to get rid of nighttime diapers for now.  I’m just so excited that she’s gotten herself to this point and she’s becoming more and more independent.

The other day we were remarking that Julia seems to be right on the verge between being a “Toddler” and being a “Preschooler.”  She’s still a toddler at times but she’s starting to be more and more independent and is learning to do more and more things all by herself.  This is an exciting age!