Advice to Employers: Please Create Policies Assuming All Worker Are Single

Me and my daughter Motherhood is harder than it needs to be. This is partially because of the inexcusable work/life policies in the U.S., but also because of our own outsized expectations. We are living in an age when the ideal mom is a mash-up between the helicopter mom, the corporate exec, and the earth mama — and there's just not enough high-efficiency, low-emissions biofuel to go around.  –Elissa Strauss,  Why I don't want 'mom friends' We just celebrated "Mother's Day" and honored mothers and other women who help make the world and our families a better place. Every year at this time, I think about what mothers really need to be successful and independent. I say, "independent" because developing policies and legislation that are premised on the notion that all working moms have supportive families and/or spouses is not in the best interest of working moms. Instead, Corporate America and Congress should develop policies and legislation that p

Easter Reminded Me of the Miracles That Are My Children

Greetings from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania! Things have been busy. I am still a working mom of three, working full time who is trying to make a difference. I do a lot of things and try to be present so that I can learn from them. I share them on this blog so that we can learn together. Below are some thoughts, hacks, and/or lessons that I have learned from navigating my world.

Below is a tale of my road to becoming the mother of three. It was a road filled with joys and disappointments. However, I wouldn't giving nothing for my journey now. Here's to embracing every step of the journey, even the painful ones, and embracing the lessons learned along the way.

The "Today Show" featured a story that reminded me of my own fertility journey.
The week before Easter, Kristen Welker and Erin Andrew’s were on The Today Show last week discussing their fertility journeys and the segment made me reflect on my own and filled me with gratitude. To be perfectly candid, my first pregnancy was fueled by libations, love and bad decisions. It was a joyful pregnancy and I assumed that’s what my entire pregnancy journey would be like. And, I was wrong.

My second pregnancy resulted in miscarriage and filled me with doubt,

My second pregnancy ended prematurely at eleven (11) weeks. I was almost at twelve (12) weeks, the "tell everyone phase". So, I was surprised by the spotting, feeling of fullness and nausea that I experienced that week. I train physician on how to disclose negative news to patients. So, while I sat in the office with my now husband, before the negative words were uttered. I knew. I knew. I held it together because I didn't want to burden Andre with my tears. However, I was slowly crumbling inside as I waited for the doctor to choose the right words and deliver them in the careful way that he had been trained. 

I was devastated.

I returned to work after receiving the news. I declined medical intervention and opted to "go natural". I needed to pack up my things and prepare for missing a few days of work. When I was leaving I told my boss that I needed to be off for the rest of the week. He asked why and I lost it. I could barely complete the sentence. He was surprised yet kind. And said that he hoped Andre would be extra nice to me.

Miscarriage is a significant medical event that we don't talk about.

A few days later, my body spontaneously passed the products of conception. I had completed natural childbirth. So, I thought it would be a breeze compared to that. However, I underestimated the pain--the contractions were as intense as having a baby--and the feeling of emptiness, loneliness, and helplessness that resulted when there was no baby at the end of it. 

I called the doctor and got an appointment. Andre came home and took me to the appointment. As we walked through the lobby of the hospital to the ultrasound, I ran into my old hair dresser. I hadn't seen her in a while. I introduced her to Andre mentioned our daughter and she responded with, "Planning for anymore?!" and laughed. It was like a gut punch. It took everything in me to crack a smile and politely walk away. Inside, I was crumbling yet again. 

After the ultrasound confirmed that my body had "done the job",  Andre took me to a bar and I had a margarita. I don't know that there's a formula for recovering from a miscarriage. But tequila seemed like the perfect tonic. After we left the bar Andre took me home and went to his parents to complete remodeling their bathroom.

It was probably one of the most bizarre and frightening weeks of my life. And, I ended it filled with fear and doubt about whether I would ever be able to continue building my family. 

Despite my fears, I continued to grow my family.

As the photos demonstrate, my fears were misguided. Although it was not a smooth path, I gave birth to two other children without the aid of Assistive Reproductive Technology. The month after I miscarried, I was pregnant again with my "rainbow baby". The second baby wasn't meant to survive. However, my third pregnancy proceeded like a charm, even though I got into a car accident at nineteen (19) weeks that filled me with fear for the duration of my pregnancy. That child, first boy, was delivered drug free and within 45 minutes or so of arriving at the hospital. He delivered in two pushes and came out screaming announcing his arrival to the world. I didn't tell anyone, not even my husband, but I knew that I would bring another soul into the world. 

Although I had another unsuccessful pregnancy, I remained confident that I would have a third child and I did. My final successful pregnancy went like a dream. It was the birth that was traumatic. Thanks to Andre, the birth was a success and the baby was healthy. 

Grateful for the Today Show from taking me down memory lane. And, I know this for sure, regardless of what the future holds, I am blessed with my three children. And I know that each of their lives is a blessed miracle.