That was then…

Welcome to my blog! I’m Jennifer, a melanoma survivor and mother to two angel babies and two living miracles. My journey to motherhood is full of twists and turns, all of which began more than 13 years ago with the conception and loss of my first pregnancy in March of 2008. Just a mere five months later, I lost my second pregnancy, a little boy, to a craniopharyngioma at 19 weeks, 3 days gestation. Finally, on November 25, 2009, I welcomed my first living child, Clara Elizabeth, into the world. Clara’s arrival marked a very joyous, although scary, time in my life, as she was born with a rare condition known as Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia (NAIT). To get all of the details surrounding Clara’s battle with NAIT, please read Clara’s Story.

In June of 2010, it was confirmed via genetic testing that all of my future babies would be affected by NAIT. Hence, my husband, Taylor, and I thoroughly researched the condition and after getting a recommendation from a NAIT support group I found on Yahoo met with Dr. James Bussel (a leading NAIT specialist) in December of that year to discuss future pregnancy options and treatment. Although we knew that getting pregnant again would be risky, we desperately wanted Clara to have a sibling. So in the early summer of 2011, we began our journey down the road to conceiving our fourth pregnancy. On July 10, 2011, I got my BFP (i.e. positive pregnancy test).

This blog was created to chronicle all of the trials and tribulations that Taylor, Clara and I faced as we prepared for the birth of our second living miracle, Elyse Lillian. Elyse, the product of my first and only treated NAIT pregnancy, was born on February 24, 2012, after four months of bi-weekly Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG) transfusions, a round of steroids and many months of anguish and worry.

Since Elyse made her grand entrance into the world over six years ago, I plan on giving this blog a little face lift. A lot has changed for our family since 2012 and I’m ready to write and reflect on all of those challenges, changes and plot twists.

And, this is now….

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Since I was a little girl, I always knew that I wanted to be a writer. I spent a significant part of my childhood reading — in the car whenever we left the house, sprawled out on the soft green grass beneath the shady trees in my grandparents’ backyard and, despite my parents’ warnings, by the dim hallway light that filtered through the crack under my bedroom door. They knew better, though. I am now near-sighted and have astigmatism.

When I got a little older, with pencil and spiral-bound notebook in hand, or, sometimes on the old typewriter my mother used for work, I’d write my own books — ones about other little children and the ways they tried to outsmart their parents. Somehow, my characters always had a leg up on me. As an adult, my writing took on a more professional tone. I worked as a Communications Specialist for a large New England bank before heading into the world of academia to attain my Master’s Degree in Communication Studies. I even tried my hand at professing for a while.

Then, I became a mom. My focus shifted to my two beautiful daughters and by the time the end of each day rolled around, I was too tired to put together a sentence, never mind a blog post or book. Now that my girls are of school-age, I find myself at a crossroads. I’ve spent the better part of the last 10-plus years as a stay-at-home mom and homemaker and tried my best to balance my family’s needs with my own. However, I am now an Elementary School Empty Nester — still a mom and a homemaker, but one with several extra hours in the day, a few more years of life experience under my belt, and a purpose (or two).

Armed with some time, my own keyboard and a back log of stories to tell, I’m ready to commit to a promise that I made to myself long ago. Without further adieu, I’d like to welcome you back to Deep Thought Thursdays 2.0!

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