Thursday, May 5, 2011

An Ode to Angelina Jean

First off, I'd like to thank Christine and Nadia for hosting this May Mom Blog Hop. Thirty-one of us are part of the hop, one posting on each day in May, in celebration of motherhood. I am honored to be included!

It has only just begun, and I've already found so many great new blogs and Tweeters. If you've missed any of the blog hop so far, be sure to check out:
Moments of Motherhood by Nadia
Respect, Appreciation and Love by Christine
May Mom Blog by Crystal, and
Motherhood Includes by Dana

Some of these posts have extolled the virtues of motherhood; how great, fulfilling and totally awesome it can be. I don't disagree, there are certainly moments that being a mother is very rewarding.

There are also plenty of times when it is exhausting, frustrating and just plain hard. I have had days where I tearfully tell my husband that if I were failing at anything else as badly as I'm failing at motherhood, I'd have given up by now.

I think the best thing I have discovered on Twitter is that I am not alone in this. Some days I comfort other mothers at their wit's end. Others, I vent my feelings to my virtual friends or cry on their distant shoulders. And their blogs? Fantastic. Helpful. Informative. FUNNY. Poignant. Real. If you're a parent, or even just a sympathetic bystander, you should definitely follow along this month.


Angelina, which means Angel, had a name picked out almost three years before she was born. I had dreams about her. I had always known she was coming, someday. I couldn't figure out why she had made me wait so long, until right before she was born.

As you may know, Angie saved my life and my sanity when she was born. After more than two years of trying, my husband and I finally conceived a child - only to lose it seven weeks later. It was a tubal pregnancy. I woke up from what was supposed to be a D&C to find out that one of my tubes had had to be removed. I spent weeks crying to Lenny that I was broken.

Then, six weeks after I lost the first baby, I was pregnant again! For a long time I still cried for "Peanut," but Angie was due on 7/7/07 which I prayed would bring us luck.

On June 5th, four weeks before she was due, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I've written several blogs about my experience, which was just about as fantastic as it could have been, if you're interested. That day my surgeon told me to expect to have Angie that week. My OB/GYN argued, successfully, that we could wait until Angie was at 38 weeks.

I was in labor for 56 hours. I have already informed my boss and my husband that I will never work on June 23rd again. Angie was almost named Angelina Staydol after the drug that kept me relatively pain free for all those hours. They couldn't do a C-Section, because I was to start chemo two weeks later.

Yet, I was still able to make bad jokes... I told my doctor. "Doc, if I don't have this baby soon, I'm going to have a Cancer." She groaned, "Wendy, only you could make that joke." (Angie was supposed to be a Gemini, but since she delayed so long she is a Cancer. Bad joke, I know, but women with cancer in labor for 56 hours have special dispensation.)

Then finally, Angie was born. Healthy, whole and perfect. I was so thankful. I was 35 when she was conceived, 36 when she was born. I had refused genetic testing. I had cancer for crying out loud. I knew that I was blessed.

Then, after she was born, instead of my very first thought in the morning being "I have cancer" it became "I have a little girl!". Instead of focusing on the horror of breast cancer at 36, chemotherapy and suggestions that I should have a double mastectomy, I had something much better to focus on - Angie. She saved my sanity.

Later I would realize that her timing had been perfect. Had I given birth in April with Peanut, I may not have found the cancer until it was too late. As it was, the tumor had gone from the size of a marble to the size of a golf ball in only three weeks. She saved my life.

Not to mention that since I was on maternity leave I could better manage my crazy cancer patient schedule and not have to deal with work too.

It's been almost four years now. I remain cancer free after my treatments. Angie is no longer a baby, but now a "big girl" with "big girl panties" to prove it.

My husband often accuses me of being too lenient with her. Maybe I am, but I hate incessant whining love her so much. Nothing makes me happier than to see her happy. That, or I use her as a cover so I can add to my stuffed animal collection. Although I would gladly give my life for this child, her first act was to save mine.

I have always believed that she chose me, I didn't choose her. I remind us both of that when I feel like I'm failing at being a good mom.

Remember, you chose me.
"Remember," I tell her, "you chose me."

Think about that for a moment. What if we do choose our parents before we're born. Why did you choose your mother, what lessons did she teach you? What lessons did you teach her? Why did your children choose you? You may think that you're doing all the teaching, but pause for a moment to appreciate all that they're teaching you.

What did Angie teach me? That sometimes timing is everything. That often we have to wait for things we desperately want. That everything happens in its own time. That love really is the answer.

Thank you sweetheart.

Next up, is a blog by Kimberly at All Work & No Play Makes Mommy Go Something Something. Be sure to check her blog out tomorrow!

Thank you for stopping by :)


  1. This is my first time visiting your blog (Coming by way of the May Mom Hop) and I just have to say that you are such an inspiration. I am so happy that you both had each other during this time and that she gave you so much strength and hope to endure.
    You both rock.

  2. What a beautiful post. I know we've talked about the timing of Angie and precious Peanut before, but I'll never tire of this story. I am grateful that your Angie had such perfect timing. xoxo

    I love the notion of our children choosing us. My own have certainly taught me so much it is easier to think that their coming to us was decided in some cosmic place long before we all were.

    Happy Thursday!

  3. Wendy, I cannot believe this is the first time I have been to your blog. As Kimberly said, you are truly an inspiration--as is Angie! The timing of her birth seems to perfect to have been coincidental. What a poignant and touching story. I am going to spend some time exploring your blog now.

  4. Wow! What an incredible story you have! What an Angel you were given as well!!

    I am so happy for this May Mom Blog Hop, where I get to meet all these fabulous new mom friends!

  5. That. Was. Beautiful.

    Thank you so much for joining us and posting this amazing entry, Wendy. I'm glad I'm getting to know you because you are fantastic! :)

  6. I have tears rolling down my face. Despite the tissues I'm using to sop it up.

    That post truly made my day and I'm so glad that you shared something so personal and so life-altering.

    You've been such a sweet person from day one and I am completely in awe of your strength and courage. ::hugs::

  7. This is beautiful writing...and when I read "you chose me", I got goosebumps!

    So glad to "meet" you! Visiting from the blog hop and I love how you listed all the bloggers before you, too :)

  8. Such a awesome blog! Yes, I can tell that Angie choose you and it sounds like it was a wonderful choice for both of you. I am so glad that you are on the May Mom Blog tour and that I found you too!

  9. Thank you for the wonderful comments ladies! I'm so honored to be part of this blog hop, and so glad to have met so many wonderful ladies!

  10. It's amazing what we go through to bring our children into this world. Lovely post!

  11. **New Follower**

    Wonderful Post!

    Hopping over from
    "All work and no play makes mommy go something something"