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401st Friday Blog Roundup

Heads up: this post may have triggers for you if you’ve experienced pregnancy loss, stillbirth, or neonatal death.  Tread carefully and skip the first section if you are raw.

So a few hours after I posted that last post, the ChickieNob witnessed another woman and I dancing around the “are you Jewish” question once we stated our last names.  People don’t actually come out and say, “hey, are you a Jew too?”  Instead we mention something like which camp we went to or drop hints about holidays.  Once enough clues were laid bare, the woman came out and said, “I’m Jewish, and we’re looking for a Hebrew school.  Do you know one?”  Which gave me the opportunity to tell her that I’m Jewish too and recommend a few shuls in the area.

When we got in the car, the ChickieNob asked why (1) she didn’t just come out and ask, “are you Jewish?” and (2) why we even cared.  Which led to a discussion of that blog post and how sometimes it is nice to acknowledge those commonalities.  How sometimes people are shy to volunteer information not knowing how the information will be accepted.  I could see the gears turning in her head, especially once she admitted that she sometimes feels out-of-sorts at school where there aren’t many Jews.

The ChickieNob rarely goes deep the first time around.  She likes to bring up a conversation topic, feel her way around it for a bit, retreat to think about it further, and then pull it back out when you least expect it and unload a series of enormous questions.  So our conversation about Judaism petered out, and I thought we’d return to our favourite topic of conversation: Hogwarts and people who go to Hogwarts.

But instead she matter-of-factly asked me as I was about to bring some pan-fried noodles into my mouth how a woman knows when a baby dies inside her belly.  I told her about sonograms and fetal movement and asked if there was a reason she was bringing this up right now.  No reasons; she had just shelved the Judaism conversation to delve deeply into later and she was ready to return to speaking about mortality.  She wanted to know what a miscarriage felt like, how I knew that I was miscarrying (and strangely, whether I kept the panties I had been wearing or threw them out), how the baby is delivered if he/she dies in utero, if the parents get to hold the baby after death.

I’m not sure how I felt about the frankness, the calmness, the space in which we were talking about things.  On one hand, we were speaking about it as we would any other part of life.  It wasn’t swept under the carpet or sanitized except for the fact that I put things in terms a seven-year-old could understand/fathom.  On the other hand, we were in a noodle shop, and it felt discordant: this hugely emotional topic being discussed calmly over pasta.  I really wasn’t sure what I thought about the whole thing.


Today is Friday the 13th.  As I wrote last time this occurred:

Though I’m usually fairly anxious around certain dates, allowing my imagination to run towards grotesquely disturbing scenarios, I’ve never had big feelings concerning Friday the 13th.  Even if I live … like … 2 miles from Camp Crystal Lake and I totally know someone who knows someone who is the cousin of the counselor who decapitated Mrs. Voorhees.

It’s one of those dates that I feel like I should have big feelings about.  If I’m not worried, then I must be a fool.

You know how girls pinched each other’s arms with a Cootie Shot to ward off boy germs?  Mentioning that it’s Friday the 13th feels like a horror Cootie Shot.

Do you care about Friday the 13th or are you not superstitious about the date?


And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week as well as the week before.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Whoa, seriously, I’m honoured and all, but only one post?  There was only one post that anyone read last week that deserved to be recognized?  Come on, what did you read this week that rocked your world?

Okay, now my choices this week.

Detour to Motherhood has a post about having a goal again.  After making the decision not to try to conceive anymore, she writes, “I can’t remember what tipped me from ‘maybe I’ll try again’ to ‘no way in hell,’ and it felt weird putting it all out there.  But it also felt like a great release.  I’ve found that all kinds of good stuff happens when you open up.  Like finding people to talk about adoption with.”  There is such joy inside the words of this post — I loved it.

Many Many Moons has a really interesting post about her relationship with her twin, and how pregnancy and adoption fits into that picture.  She explains, “In this case though of this pregnancy I don’t feel any of those old feelings.  I am just plain excited for her.  Of course I would love to be pregnant and get to have that experience, but I also know that I couldn’t love our baby even one drop more than I do if she came from my body.  I just want her to get to experience this crazy love that I’m feeling and I’m glad it didn’t take moving mountains to make it happen.”  The fact that they are identical makes this post ten times more interesting, and it was already a must-read for me.

Lastly, Mrs. Spit has a post of wonders.  It is a heart-stopping post, to read what is traveling through her brain in that moment.  And I couldn’t do it justice to describe it.  You need to click over and read it in full.

The roundup to the Roundup: A conversation with the ChickieNob.  It’s Friday the 13th.  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between July 6th and July 13th) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.


1 serenity { 07.13.12 at 8:58 am }

Crud, I meant to submit something this week for the Roundup. Ran out of time. Deborah had a really thought-provoking post about what we owe each other in this community: (http://unglamorous-mommy.blogspot.com/2012/07/what-we-owe-each-other.html). It’s a good read, but needs a warning: pregnancy mentioned.


2 a { 07.13.12 at 9:04 am }

Sorry – I still have last week’s post in my Reader because I haven’t had time to give it my full attention – so, you know, no contributions. Also, you stole mine from this week with Mrs. Spit’s post. 🙁

You and the Chickienob get into some deep discussions, don’t you? I guess I would talk miscarriage with my girl…but once she latches on to a topic, it never goes away, and I don’t think I want that to be part of my daily landscape. Maybe when she goes off to college, and I won’t see her every day, we can discuss it. We have addressed the topic that sometimes babies die before they can be born. She seems to find that sad, but not surprising.

So, I wish I knew why “I’m looking for a good Hebrew school” was different than “I’m looking for a good burger joint.” It’s just ridiculous that people still externalize their internal prejudices. I’m not going to pretend we don’t all have prejudices, but we should be evolved enough to know how to overcome them – at least for the moment, in polite society.

3 loribeth { 07.13.12 at 9:36 am }

I think the 400th celebration threw a few of us off on the second helpings front. ; ) Also, I have been so busy lately, I am WAY behind on my blog reading & commenting. 🙁 I actually flagged that post of Mrs. Spit’s to nominate but I am glad you beat me to it — it was wonderful. I also liked this rumination from QuasiMomma on happiness and the pursuit thereof:


As for Friday the 13th, I uess I am mildly superstitious, but not overly so. It really doesn’t faze me. (Much.) ; )

4 Denver Laura { 07.13.12 at 10:27 am }

I agree with Loribeth – the 400th celebration took my wind away.

My brother’s birthday is on the 19th but the 13th was on a Friday so we decided to have his birthday on THAT day instead. I hung black and red crepe streamers, we had a black chocolate cake… Rented all of the Friday the 13th movies that had come out up to that point…yeah, my brother’s name is Jason… It was more of my idea but I think he liked the attention.

5 Elizabeth { 07.13.12 at 11:51 am }

In line with Serenity’s pick for this week, I’m adding Esperanza’s thoughtful post on Expectations that we have of each other in the ALI blogging world.

6 Bea { 07.13.12 at 11:54 am }

PB has asked some frank questions about miscarriage, too (although not quite so detailed). I don’t mind frankness. As I am about to demonstrate:

“So, I wish I knew why “I’m looking for a good Hebrew school” was different than “I’m looking for a good burger joint.”

Yes, well said. Although as Mel put it, it’s about knowing how your own information is going to be received by others.

But it’s still funny what we seem to be uncomfortable with. When Mr Bea and I were learning Chinese I was always able to pronounce things more understandably to the listener. Much. More. I mean, by comparison he was barely intelligible. In the end he asked me what my secret was. I blew his mind by informing him that I was deliberately using *a Chinese accent*.

“Isn’t that racist?” he said. “To put on a Chinese accent like that?”

“No, Mr Bea,” I said, “it is *actually how you are supposed to speak Chinese*. Maybe if I was speaking English in a fake Chinese accent it would be racist, given I have a perfectly good native accent of my own, but in this case I am using it to *speak Chinese* the way it is *supposed to be spoken*, ie, with a Chinese accent. Note how not one Chinese person has been offended by my using a Chinese accent *to speak Chinese*, yet your mashing of the language tends to irritate the heck out of everyone because they can’t understand a word you’re twanging.” He didn’t have a return argument, but he still couldn’t do it because it “didn’t make him feel right”.

7 missohkay { 07.13.12 at 12:24 pm }

The “are you Jewish” part reminded me of a post I read once about the dance adoptive parents do around each other when they suspect but aren’t sure enough that the other parent also adopted. I like that we try not to make assumptions about other people’s backgrounds but it does make for awkwardness when you think you’ve identified a common bond but can’t say the words!

8 Lollipop Goldstein { 07.13.12 at 12:46 pm }

Missohkay — that is EXACTLY exactly it. And that politeness dance is shadowed by hate crime history and possible anti-semitism (There’s the collective history that we all know of — the Holocaust, for instance — but beyond that, every Jewish person I know has had run-ins ranging from insulting to downright scary. So it’s the collective coupled with the personal that fuels the dance.)

9 Alexicographer { 07.13.12 at 2:56 pm }

No time for a long comment, but I’ll note that I know that there is a — what? — code phrase (?) that people who are recovering alcoholics (at least those involved with AA) use when they meet each other to identify themselves. Because, yeah, if you’re part of a group a core commitment of which is anonymity …

10 Detour { 07.13.12 at 4:32 pm }

Aw, thanks, Mel! I appreciate the shout-out.

This post by Katie at From If to When made me tear up. http://www.fromiftowhen.com/2012/07/believing-in-unbelievable.html

Yeah, the noodle shop discussion about miscarriage with the ChickieNob does sound discordant. When I have conversations like that, I ask myself if there would be a place that would feel like the right place to talk about such and such. And there often isn’t…they’re just awkward, uncomfortable topics. It’s really awesome that you have open conversations like this with your daughter.

11 Stupid Stork { 07.13.12 at 4:56 pm }

I love having conversations like that without the tip-toeing.. Makes me happy. I think it can be way overly sanitized. (In short, I need to hang out with more kids).

12 Cherish { 07.13.12 at 8:39 pm }

Wow, you really get into the deep stuff. If she can handle it (and probably can, since she’s bringing it up), that’s great. The undies question doesn’t seem odd to me – I had a little touch of grief when I put on the same jammies I wore to the hospital for my m/c.

13 Lori Lavender Luz { 07.13.12 at 10:13 pm }

Sometimes I think it’s in a kid’s job description to poke us in our tender places. Maybe to help us deal and heal.

But I don’t really know that.

Like Miss Ohkay, I thought the same about sniffing out fellow IFers and adoptive families.

14 Mali { 07.13.12 at 11:25 pm }

I love that you have these discussions with Chickienob. As for me, even in the midst of grief over my pregnancy losses, if I was talking about the mechanics (and with a second and complicated ectopic pregnancy I had lots of mechanics to explain to the few who knew or were interested) it was a lot easier than talking about the grief and emotions. And I wished people would talk about these things more openly. Instead they pretend they don’t happen. So bravo to you and Chickienob.

I’m hopeless at remembering posts that move me, so I’m not good at contributions, though three of the ones I’ve read and enjoyed this week have been suggested for the second helpings, so I’m pleased to see others are giving them the recognition they deserve.

As for Friday 13th? I wrote about it myself here – http://aseparatelife.wordpress.com/2012/07/13/happy-friday-13th/

15 Justine { 07.14.12 at 12:13 am }

Maybe more of us SHOULD be talking about pregnancy loss in noodle shops. Maybe then it wouldn’t feel so bizarre.

I loved Detour’s post this week, too, and ManyManyMoons … glad to see they made it here!

I decided a while ago that Friday the 13th was an ordinary day. So it’s become one. One small step for mind over … well, mind, I guess. 😉

16 JM { 07.15.12 at 12:24 pm }

I like to look at it in the opposite way- that Friday the 13th is a good luck day. I was born on a 13th, so the superstition has never held much weight with me. And truly, I felt that scheduling my first u/s (first pregnancy ever, IVF #2, transfer #4) on Friday the 13th would bring luck. And well, it did 🙂

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