About Me

My extremely large tattoo, for which there is (of course) a story.
I never expected that I would be the sort of woman who was defined by motherhood.  I don't think that I have been, but rather all previous self-definitions have completely evaporated. As as result I'm re-learning who I am as a person, along with discovering myself as a mother. Hence the title of my blog. I am perpetually in a state of "becoming."

"Childhood," self-portrait at age 3
If you'd asked me six years ago, I would have told you I was first and foremost an artist, a writer, and a burgeoning culinary genius. Nowadays I'll tell you that I'd like a nap. That said, motherhood has thus far, been the most rewarding and joyful enterprise of my life.

I've been writing since I was about five years old, composing couplets and songs as I walked home from the bus stop.  I was first published when I was ten years old, and (until Becoming SuperMommy) had my writings included in journals and various magazines on a semi-regular basis, the most recent being the October 2009 issue of Playboy. I've also been picked up a couple of times around the internet- the most notable of which are Shakesville and the Huffington Post. (That's right, I'm kind of a big deal.)

I keep a blog for my non-SuperMommy writing, mostly poetry and fiction.  It can be found here, if you're curious.

Here is a table of contents for my ongoing non-SuperMommy writing.

I'm hooked on NaNoWriMo, and hope to actually turn last November's draft into something worth putting to print.

That said, I'm also nearly finished with a memoir. It's not exactly blog-to-book, but it is definitely related to my work as Becoming SuperMommy. Hopefully, in the near future, you'll be able to buy a copy and put my kids through private school. Or get me a minivan with doors that actually work. I'll settle for either.

I have also been making art for nearly as long.  I sold my first painting when I was 12, and have had regular and successful showings ever since.  I do tend to post pictures of my art on my poetry blog, but I keep a semi-professional website for my art, as once upon a time it was the main source of my income.

My art site can be found here.

Leading muralists at City Year Chicago
I finally graduated with my BA in Public Policy and Administration last year.  After thirteen years.  All that art and writing took me far away from a practical end to my education, and I jumped around from school to school to school for a long time, majoring in everything from Opera to Fashion Design to, ultimately, Public Policy.  It's been a wild ride. I am happy to say that for the time being, I have hopped off the institutional education train.

In all that confusion, I spent two years as an AmeriCorps volunteer- one as a VISTA (which I loved) and one with City Year (which I do NOT recommend), designed and produced costumes for both stage and screen, learned to cook something FIERCE, been a cover girl for a charitable calendar, and occasionally played doctor to friends without insurance.  I've hobnobbed with celebrities of various walks of life, and would have been happy to tell you in 2007 that Barack Obama was a genuine pragmatist who could accomplish almost anything, and that John Edwards was the biggest shmuck I'd ever spoken with.  Of all the things I've done, the one I will NEVER do again is give somebody stitches.  That was a nightmare I would not care to repeat.

I still paint, mostly for friends' weddings.  I still sew, mostly for my own nefarious purposes.  And of course, I still cook.  I do LOVE to cook.

And, most importantly, I'm still writing.  Daily, if I can, even if not here on Becoming SuperMommy.  I keep a few paper journals, and I try my best to at least write seventeen syllables daily.

When M and I decided to have a baby, we know how high the odds would be that we would have multiples.  M was on chemotherapy for brain cancer- astrocytoma.  Because of that it was unsafe to go about matters in the conventional way, and we were advised to try IVF.  Our first try yielded twins, in my opinion the most perfect little girls ever to stomp around the face of the earth.

SI and DD with SuperMommy
Right now the twins are three and a half years old, which is kind of the most perfect age there has ever been. I absolutely adore living with those crazy people.

That said, I HATED being pregnant.  Can't say it enough.  I had really bad SPD (symphysis pubis dysfunction)- which basically meant that I spent the first two trimesters with my hips dislocated.  It was excruciatingly painful and coincided conveniently with our move to a third floor walk-up.  I also suffered a subchorionic hematoma at 12 weeks.  This put me on bed-rest for a month, and ushered in the never ceasing terror that something else would go horribly wrong.  The girls were delivered at 35w gestational age, after an emergency c-section.

I had awoken in the middle of the night, sure that my water had broken.  When M turned on the lights the bed was soaked in blood.  It was absolutely terrifying.  It turned out that one of the placentas was beginning to abrupt from the uterine wall, and the girls needed out!

A few months after the happy moment that I held both of my little girls in my arms, and realized I had actualized myself in a new and terrifying way, I decided that it was time to start blogging about it.

Believe it or not, I thought that having twins would qualify me in some way to write about how to raise children. The naiveté slays me.

About 22 months after SI and DD came into the world, M and I decided that the time was right to make our little family a bit bigger.  M had gotten the all-clear that his chemotherapy hadn't caused any permanent damage to his *ahem* genetic materials, and we were thrilled to have the opportunity to just try.  After all the drama of IVF, it seemed impossible and simple.

Of course, having a baby is really neither of those things.  Even if you can get there by having a REALLY good time.

As it turned out, we're pretty good at getting pregnant without the bells and whistles.  By the time the girls turned 2, I already knew I had gotten pregnant.  The fun way.  Best of all, we were pregnant with just one baby this time around.  I figured the pregnancy would be a breeze.

I was utterly wrong.

It turns out I just plain suck at being pregnant.  During the first trimester of my pregnancy, three things happened.  One, my SPD returned from the first pregnancy.  The amount of pain involved is less, as this time around I know what to do to help (thank you acupuncture!), but that's balanced out by hobbling around after two toddlers when my hips seem to want to dislocate.

Also, my gall bladder essentially shut down.  It's manageable, but not at all pleasant to say the least.  If it ruptures or becomes horribly infected or something they'll remove it, but for the time being nobody wants to perform that sort of surgery on a pregnant lady.

And last of all, my very first pregnancy symptom this time around was a melanoma.  Fortunately, it's "stage 0", since I was able to notice it and have it removed so quickly I'm probably off the hook for chemotherapy.  But the jury is still out, and for the time being we're just extremely grateful to have caught it when we did. 

At any rate, RH joined us in mid-June, only a few WEEKS later than anticipated.  Turns out my cervix is just stronger than my previous c-section scar, so we had another emergency, middle-of-the-night cesarean.

That's how the SuperMommy clan rolls.

It's amazing- one reason I wanted to have another baby was to see how all three children interacted, and from the first moment it's been better than my wildest dreams.  DD and SI live for their baby sister, and RH doesn't love anything on this earth more than her big sisters.  Well, maybe eating.  She does love to do that.

RH is a charming, wonderful, happy girl who makes our lives even more brilliant and beautiful every day.  We're crazy about her.

SI, DD, and RH
It's been hard, adjusting to being a mom of three.  I've battled some PPD, a bizarre and incredibly unpleasant condition called D-MER, and generally lost all sense of direction with the rapid changes in my life.

I love being a mom, but most days I feel like I'm just not cut out of the SAHM cloth.  I've been working on starting up a non-profit that is near and dear to my heart, and generally pouring whatever creative energy I have into that, and my three girls.

Are we done yet?  We don't know.  Ask me again next time I say I think I might want to have another baby.  I'll let you know when/if that day ever comes.

And that's pretty much all you need to know about me.  If I've missed anything, let me know in the comments, and I'll get right on that.

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