And the Village Burned to the Ground
35 Weeks, 35 Days To Go

My Patented Formula: Post a Half-Assed Tantrum Then Frantically Backpedal When I Get Called on the Half-Assed Tantrum

Thank you, everybody, for your comments yesterday, and for indulging my moment of triumphant self-pity. I came very close to not even mentioning the situation at all, both because I thought some stiff-upper-lipitude would make it easier for my mom (I think, in fact, she was relieved to see that I actually DID want them down, since I guess I'd been a little TOO quick to assure her that I was fine! Fine with this! Don't you dare worry about me, because I am FINE!) and because I Know How Posts Like That Sound. Get some perspective! Things could be worse! Quit whining!

Which. Of course. A couple of you pointed that out. In SUCH a nice way too.

My intention is not to win gold medals at the Pain Olympics. My intention is to...I don't know. Throw words at the Internet to see what sticks, and yesterday I was very, very sad and things were hitting me in a bizarre delayed-reaction style -- my poor dad! my poor mom! what if this doesn't get better? who is going to take care of them? I'm not ready to take care of them because I still need someone to take care of me! I want everything to be just like it was last time! I need to find a way to fix this! I don't think I can fix this! I'm tired now!

I spent most of my allotted writing time working on a funny post about my dog peeing in Noah's bed. (Seriously. RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME. Staring right at me with her beady I-know-what-you're-gestating eyes.) wasn't really funny. It didn't work. It was tinged too heavily with the Stuff I Wasn't Really Writing About. So I deleted it, took a deep breath and just blurted out what was really on my mind for awhile until a nice cleansing cry came and I couldn't see the keyboard anymore.

Thus, my post was rambling, disorganized and unfinished. I knew I would get the "sack UP, ho" comments, because wah wah waaaah. I knew -- know! -- that this is a tiny, minuscule problem in light of what other families have gone through. Perhaps I should apologize for posting something raw and unfinished that dared reveal the 45-minute-long pity party I threw for myself, without spending hours making sure that I fully acknowledged that I was being a bit bratty and was aware of every single possible thing that could be worse.

(I still cringe a little, though, when I remember the shaming rebuke I got during my first pregnancy for bitching about our botched-to-total-hell kitchen remodel in the wake of Katrina, mostly because I could at least TALK about the kitchen remodel without crumpling into a little sobbing ball on the floor.)

(The floor that kept shifting and cracking. No matter how many times it was re-grouted. Because the contractor had cheaped out on the sub-floor and refused to acknowledge that he'd made a mistake and oh my God, I just wanted my canned goods out of my fucking living room.)

(ANYWAY, it stings, actually, the assumption that the simple act of devoting a few hundred words to a silly personal weblog means you truly think those hundred words are clearly the Most Terribly Important & Pressing Matter Of All Time, when really they are only a half step above inane stream-of-consciousness babble and barely scratch the surface of everything else going on in your life.)

My mom, as some of you may remember, was diagnosed with breast cancer during my first pregnancy, and for several months it certainly looked like she wasn't going to be there for Noah's birth either. But of course, I was mostly preoccupied with her being HERE, LIKE ON EARTH. My dad has had more serious health scares than I can even count at this point (cancer, aortic aneurysm, heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, multiple falls and head injuries and he actually doesn't have a voice box anymore, thanks to the cancer). And yet, they are HERE.

They were en route to the hospital with Jason's parents when Noah was born. I called my mom's cellphone from my room and didn't even recognize the trembly little-girl voice I used to ask how soon they would be there, and when they were farther away than I thought, I hung up the phone and cried. (My in-laws had decided that a not-very-quick trip to Whole Foods in PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY was absolutely essential before heading down to DC, know, WE HAVE A LOT OF WHOLE FOODS.) There was absolutely no one else I wanted on earth more than my mom.

But then they were there. I remember my mom came and hugged me first before directing her attention to the baby, which took me by surprise. My dad and I watched part of a Phillies game together. I accidentally recorded over the video we shot of them holding Noah for the first time. I was happy we'd get a do-over.

After Jason went back to work, my mom came and stayed with us for a week. She was still recovering from her mastectomy -- she was worried that she wouldn't really be much of a help, which was ridiculous. We sat on the couch together, we drank coffee and ate junk food and talked about babies and watched movies. It took both of us, in our post-surgical-weakened states, to carry the stroller down the stairs and making it to the post office down the street was a huge victory. She knew exactly what I was going through with breastfeeding and offered no judgment or unsolicited advice or anything other than support. She insisted I take naps. She insisted Jason and I go out for dinner. She told me, over and over again, what a natural I was, what a good mother I was already, and how proud she was. When she left, I was strengthened and confident that I Could Do This.

So yes, I very selfishly want that again.

It's painful to watch your parents age, to get sick, to suffer.

It's painful when it's a slow, natural process, when it just sort of hits you that oh, did he always walk that slow? was her memory always that bad?

It's painful when it's a dramatic roller coaster of health scares, when you can't help but wonder if the next middle-of-the-night phone call will be the last of its kind.

It's more painful than I ever really thought it would be. I have friends who lost parents suddenly, in car accidents usually, but most of them have younger parents who are still healthy and fit. Traveling the world, inflicting the dreaded pop-in and being a giant nagging pain in their ass, year after year.

I was 25 when my dad had a massive aneurysm and almost died. Multiple times, actually, in the span of a few weeks. Jason and I had talked about MAYBE having a baby MAYBE when I was 30. WE SHALL MAYBE SEE. But then I sat next to my dad's hospital bed and had the most terrible, horrible realization -- my maybe hypothetical child might not ever know him. I thought of the few stories I knew about my grandfathers -- both of whom passed away before I was ever born -- and how little I knew about them, those men in old faded photographs who meant nothing to me, and I could barely even breathe. The thought of MY FATHER being a mostly irrelevant figure to MY CHILDREN, just another man in a faded photograph...oh my God. I went home and told Jason we needed to have a baby RIGHT THAT SECOND.

It took him a little while to get on board, and then it took my body even longer to cooperate, but let me tell you: my love and respect for my father -- and my absolute non-readiness to lose him -- are why we have Noah in the first place. And I know I should be well past the point where I let one or two trolls get under my skin and drown out the hundred other kind voices, but the accusation that my post yesterday treated him like an afterthought, that I was truly only thinking about myself and not my parents, well...that's got to be one of the most ignorant things anyone has ever said to me, and frankly, how fucking dare you. (And thanks for reading! Kisses!)

I DO take comfort in the fact that my parents are still here. It's not been an easy road to HERE, let me tell you. I know I can talk to them over the phone, over email, over a webcam, and that while a postpartum trip up to Pennsylvania is not what any of us would prefer, it's doable and by God we'll do it.   

But sometimes I still want to climb on top of something and shout that THIS IS HARD, I DON'T LIKE IT, MAKE IT STOP.



Why are some people so stupid? Yes, there will always be greater tragedy in the world than what we are personally enduring, but that doesn't take away the suckiness for you OR your right to complain about it! Plus the fact that this is your personal blog, and if you'd like to complain about a blister on your toe that is your right without having to hear crap from others. Why don't they just go away if they're so bothered by your obvious selfishness and disregard for the planet?


Fuck the haters!


I was going to write yesterday that you DO have them. In the sense that you know , despite everything, that they would WANT to be with you. And they love you and all that. But then I saw all the lovely comments and thought mine would be just another 'me too' from a stranger...Next time, I'll know that even one more me too can take the sting out when you're troll-slapped. I understood where you were and thought by the time you read my comment, you'd be over the worst of it and I'd be redundant. Well, today I'm being redundant. For you. Just past your hour of need. Best wishes on a happy healthy delivery. (our Baby #2 came so fast DH wasn't even in the room to video & 6 months later his hard drive crashed with all the baby pictures on it - not at all backed up...Best laid plans!)

Tina C.

not sure if this will help, but i'm 4 months into life with the 2nd baby, with a 3 year old as well. it's so much easier the 2nd time around, i hardly needed anyone to help me with the new one. I need everyone to help me with the 1st one.


Big huge hugs.


a) I really hope you don't think my comment yesterday was troll-y or snarky; it was not at all meant to seem that way.

b) Want some company on top of whatever you're climbing? I could definitely use a Garden State quarry-like catharctic moment to yell, "THIS IS HARD, I DON'T LIKE IT, MAKE IT STOP!"


It's so, so complicated, everything with our parents, especially once we become parents. When my Grandmother died I was sad, of course, but also I was thinking holy shit! my parents are going to die some day, too! WTF? I think you should be proud of yourself for articulating what so many of us go through and really - eff those haters. In their asses. :)


I don't think you have any reason to feel bad. Sometimes a girl needs her mom. The fact that you have a relationship with your mom where you still can need her is awesome. I hope that my mom can be there when my kids are born, and if she can't, even if there is a compelling reason half as important as yours, I'll do the same thing you did.
If you want to stomp your feet about life being unfair, stomp away, this is YOUR space, we are all just visiting.


Well I totally understood where you were coming from. I am all for perspective and yes things could be worse, but you are entitled to your feelings and to vent your frustrations. My doctor likes to say "you need to let the toxins out or one day you wake up with a boil on your ass"- I like to make that saying fit other situations whenever possible.


In Paula Spencer's 100th Momfidence column in Woman's Day magazine this month, she talks about the feedback she receives. My favorite line, "I hear from plenty who disagree with me, too, but I'm used to that because my kids disagree with me all day long."


Just imagine all of the fucking trolls trapped in a room with your thousands of fans. Violence would ensue.


Your feelings are so valid. I am estranged from my parents (due to my mother's choices), and I was never close to my mom, so I didn't really miss having her around when my sons were born.

But. My brother died suddenly at age 30, when my firstborn was 8 months old. And I often want to cry when I remember how thrilled my brother was to be an uncle, and how geeked he would be to have three nephews for him to educate on the finer points of baseball, politics and beer. He was my best friend and i miss him.

So cry. It's hard to see family get older, and get sick, especially those you have leaned on and depend on. It may be part of life, but it sucketh.


I'm glad you wrote this, because I was pretty horrified and upset by many of the comments you received yesterday.

Nothing upsets me more than the whole "My suffering is worse than yours, suckah" game. Someone is always better off than us, and someone is always worse off than us. Always. It is the rule of life. But that doesn't mean that we don't have the right to be upset about what's bothering us.

What many people said was shitty and you didn't deserve it in the slightest. You deserve sympathy and understanding, because we've all be there -- each to a different degree, but we've all been there.

Walking With Scissors

Meh. Trolls are stupid. If they don't like the personal feelings posted on your personal blog, they can take a hike. Preferrably back under the bridges from whence they came.


I just want to say that your post yesterday made me cry, which is why I didn't comment on it at the time. When I did read some of the comments today, I was actually surprised at the tone of some of them because I in no way got that you were being bratty or selfish. Maybe I myself am bratty and selfish, but I didn't think that at all! You are entitled to feel however you feel! And newsflash people, you can have many different feelings about a situation and that doesn't make you a bad person. The fact that you are comfortable enough to express your ambivalent feelings is a sign of your you're emotional health!


Fuck that shit. Everyone has rough times, and comparison shopping problems is fucked up. Just because the loss of my dearly beloved dog pales in comparison to the loss of someone else's child doesn't mean I'm not horribly saddened by MY LOSS. You can't compare. Everyone suffers and the degree to which one is suffering doesn't much matter. What matters is if we are good enough people to let our friends/neighbors/strangers who are suffering that we're wishing them a better day/week/year. So fuck 'em.


I am not sure anyone understands what it is like to feel how you are feeling unless they have been there. You know that the day will come when you will lose a parent, but it hits hard when it actually happens and you are never prepared for sickness or a sudden death. My Dad has been at Suburban for 4 weeks with leukemia hanging on to his life. He is in the ICU, completely bedridden after getting his chemo treatments that he sailed through and then crashed later. He is like a baby, excpet he can talk, but everyday I cry to myself on the way home after I see him. I am 10 weeks pregnant and have a 2 1/2 year. He is really hanging on for his family versus himself, but whatever he is hanging on for, it is something giving him the will to live. Even though we are all grown up and parents ourselves, we will always want our parents there to be with us no matter what.

Feather Nester

Whatever. I am so sick of this judgmental bullsh*t, where everyone thinks they have the right to judge everyone else. It's such a waste of time. This is your blog, run by you. The whole point is for you to write whatever you want. Every individual has the choice to read it or not. It just shows the ignorance, as you said, of these people that they would presume to know anything about you or what you're feeling or going through. My personal theory is that trolls are people who see a part of themselves in your writing, and that for some reason it's a part they hate, and so they take out their self-hatred on you. I don't know why I'm all riled up. I just think it's a tragedy that when someone is brave enough to be honest about their emotions and where they're coming from and what's going on in a VERY PERSONAL part of their lives and share it with the world, so that we all might feel that it's a smaller place and learn more about our fellow humans and develop some compassion and empathy, and some idiot turns it around into a morality lesson for you? It's asinine. Keep doing what you're doing. There's nothing wrong with you, your feelings, or what you write about.


Hi Amy, I've read your blog for a while now but never have posted - I had to come out of lurkdom for this one. You have every right to feel the way you do about your parents missing the birth of your second child. Of course it's upsetting - especially with the health issues.

I love that you're so honest and open in your blog - it's one of my favorite things about it (and that you're a riot). I'm amazed that people posted negative comments about that entry and hope it doesn't stop you posting more entries like it.


Oh sweetie. Of course you wish your parents could be there! And of course you care about your father's health, I'm sorry you had people suggesting otherwise. Mean people suck.


This may have been said already, but remember that pain and fear are relative, and just because someone else has experienced pain or fear "worse" (as they may put it) than you have (circumstance-wise) doesn't minimize your pain or fear. Don't let anyone make you feel like your feelings aren't valid. This may easily be the suckiest combination of things for you - fear about your dad's health, the pain and anxiety of going through childbirth without your mom around - and just because someone can one-up you in the list of sucky things doesn't mean you're being selfish or petty.

Also, I know I'll be a mess if my mom can't be there when I have babies someday. Honestly, today I had a migraine and I called my mom from work and asked if she would come over when I got home and make dinner for me and take care of me. And I'm 27 years old! Sometimes we just need our moms.

Please know I'll be praying that baby Tivo's birth is an amazing experience for you guys and that both your parents can be as much a part of it and the first stages of his life as possible. Many hugs to you!


I was thinking that, reading the icky comments: "Did they not read when Noah was born? Did they not remember the picture with her dad holding Noah with his lip stuck out because Noah was crying, noting the 'family resemblance,' under the line mentioning that she got to see the one thing she was afraid she never would - her father holding her baby? That happened, right?" (Okay, so I read the Noah's Gestation and Birth archives more than once.)

My stalkerish point being, it was like some of those commenters had... you know... NEVER READ here, let alone ever read the post upon which they made comments. Ugh. So, yes. I think "fucking ignorant" would be a rather apt description.



maybe it's because I'm pregnant too, but I didn't think there was ANYTHING wrong with your post! Of course you want your parents there. And of course you want them to be there always, and be healthy.

Hang in there, be positive, and do what you can to achieve the best outcome for everybody.


I appreciated the fact that you were honest about how you were feeling. I'm due in November and even thinking about doing this without my parents or my in-laws makes me hyperventilate. You're entitled to feel exactly how you do and I think most of us understood that you were just speaking as a woman who was scared and hurting.

The Princess

Yesterday's post brought tears to my eyes because I would be feeling the same exact way if I was in your situation. There is just something about having your Mom there after you have a baby. I've had 2 and my Mom coming after I get home from the hospital is the most wonderful thing, EVER.

My father has cancer. He might not be here next year, we just don't know how much longer we have, so from that perspective, I can appreciate how you are feeling.


Wow. Do you read all of the comments? Because I almost fell asleep just scrolling to the bottom so that I could add one. Since there are eleventy-billion comments already, I'm sure this has been said - BUT:
1) One person ONE time dared to say something that conflicted with the voices in my head and on my blog, and I told her to GET HER OWN BLOG. PFFFFFHHHT.

2) My parents both passed away at 50, and I almost didn't have children because...what was the point if my mom couldn't meet him and squeeze him and cover him with kisses? In other words - I think it is extremely awesome that you have these feelings/wants/needs and even better that Noah has been able to know his Grandparents. I meet too many people who don't even like their parents (or inlaws) and that...makes me feel like it's all rather unfair.


Sometimes I think our mothers like to know we want them so badly we're willing to throw a tantrum. I think it makes them feel needed even when we're all grown up!


I think its easier for those who have never gone through something so extreme to be the quickest to judge because they just truly do not understand what you are going through... I miss my Dad so much, it fucking hurts. Still.


I can't remember if I'm delurking (I THINK I have commdented on your site before but I'm not sure...)

What you said today was pure brilliance. I was lucky enough to have both of my parents alive when I had my son, but by the time he was ten, they were both gone, they both died at the criminally wrong age sixty.

So yeah, your feelings are quite selfish, that "wanting your parents around to help you" thing. But on the other side? That's all THEY want, too.

Thank you, Amalah, for a very poignant post.


Amy, I can totally understand your feelings. My mom was diagnosed with leukemia two weeks after I turned 21. I still had younger siblings and I was scared to death of raising them.

My mom fortunately made a recovery and has been around to see me get married and have two children of my own. The first of which she was in the delivery room for. The second, she watched my son and she was called about 5 minutes after my daughter was born.

My mom is my best friend and I don't think it's at all whiny of you to wish that your mom was part of a very special day.

I wish there was some way for things to work out for both you and your parents for the birth of your son. Perhaps there will be.

Huge hugs to you.

Amy in Pa


I'm glad you only got a couple of trolls (jerks!)
I don't think we need our parents for those vulnerable moments (and special ones!) because we need them to DO for us. It's the sharing. That this moment is special because I shared it with you, that this moment is bearable because we shared it together. And when we are most happy, or most scared, is when we want our mom or dad to be there. To share it with us.
The way you talked about your first pregnancy-- sharing a new baby and a surgery for both of you-- sounded just like that.


excuse me while i get all Mama Bear for a second:

fuck ANYONE who would come over onto anyone's personal blog to poo-poo their sharing of private pain. seriously, FUCK YOU. HARD. with something pointy and metallic, preferably.

if personal blogs are worth anything at all -- the pixels that comprise the wee font characters, even -- their value comes precisely from the kind of sharing that's been going on here. honest, no-holds-barred, raw and genuine articulations of very human thought and feeling. these are threads that connect all of us, whatever our politics or proclivities. this is the kind of stuff that, honestly, makes feel like blogging IS worthwhile.

and if you read the words "if personal blogs are worth anything at all" and cackled *A-HA! but they aren't!* then please, for god's sake, fucking shut up and piss off already. as with televisual entertainment, if you don't like it, if it doesn't get your rocks off, then CHANGE THE CHANNEL, ASSWIPE. OKTHXBAI. no one is forcing you to read this, so if it's so mortifying to your sensibilities why not be off to other areas of the internet that might please you, ones completely devoid of emotion and humanity. may i recommend 4chan?

i'm sorry for the head-explode-yness here, i've just had it with these anonymous assholes and their lame-ass, pointless attacks. DONE, DONE, DONE.



Amy, as I sat here reading this post, I just kept thinking, "But...but, you shouldn't feel like you have to apologize for that other post!" Seriously, you shouldn't feel guilty about posting something from the heart--that's what blogging and having your own website is all about. You get to write what YOU want about how YOU are feeling at any given point, and sometimes that means to hell with thinking and analyzing and editing and re-editing. Also, moms are moms and we all love them and need them, and there's nothing wrong with that, either.


I read you every day but don't comment too often but OMG, do people actually say that you are being whiny when you talk about your own sadness and insecurities about becoming a mom to a second child soon? What the hell is wrong with people? Of course it's a freaky time for you. When I was in non-dilating un-epiduraled Pitocin-labor all I wanted was my MOMMY. And after the baby was born, all I wanted was to see my Dad holding my son. I have a photo and I cherish it more than many others.

I think you are brave for sharing things so personal. Keep it up and just let Tracy tell them what to do with sharp pointy objects ;)



I'm glad you wrote what you felt yesterday. So many of us know the high emotional state that comes with pregnancy, and spitting it all out at the internet is probably much better than spitting it all out at a loved one. Well done!


AMEN to that. There have been many time in the past where I've wanted to scream something similar.


I didn't take the time to read all 5,578 comments from yesterday - but surely no one really told you to suck it up? Please tell me no one pointed out all the ways it could be worse? Since when are women not allowed to have a little pity party. Why isn't it ok for us to feel sorry for ourselves for a few minutes once in awhile?


GAH, people are assholes. Having a parent that is ill is one of the most horrible things I've ever endured. And, until you have been through that how dare you judge someone who has.

I want to pull someone's hair. And, then flick them. I flick really hard.


Your feelings are your feelings and you are entitled to them. Bottom line. This is your blog.

I'm here if you need me, but you know that.


Good for you Amy! Don't ever apologize for feeling the way you feel. I've been reading you forever and I know how much your parents mean to you. I only knew one of my Grandfathers so I know what you mean about that. I love that my son is absolutely in love with my Dad. It makes my insanely happy to have them close by and I thank God that he's here to have a relationship with my kids since I never knew his Dad. I'm so sorry for what your family is going through and I'm thinking good thoughts for you. My mom was driving back to the hospital when my second child, a daughter, was born. I was very sad that she missed the birth since she had been there for the first but my little girl insisted on coming quickly. Luckily I had here there after and she has not always been in the best healthy so I'm very grateful to have her around with me as well. I relate to you so much and I want to thank you for sharing your life. And screw those guys for making you feel bad.

Mrs. Davis

There's something terribly unfair about being faced with our aging parents' health problems at the same time we are still becoming parents ourselves. I totally understand where you are.

My mother-in-law had a heart attack a week after our first son was born, and I don't think I ever really got over the upheaval that caused for us. My own mom was diagnosed with cancer when our second son was not even 4 months old, and she died 4 months later. We lived 8 hours away at the time. (We did, though, have the wonderful gift of a week-long visit from my parents just after #2 was born, and I will always treasure that.) But I was all about THIS IS HARD, MAKE IT STOP for many months after that.

I hope you have some wonderful, special times with your parents after the new baby comes.


I don't read the comments usually because I'm lazy and really only care about what I have to say!! Because I am important and speshul.

Seriously though, aside from the obvious if-you-don't-like-it-don't-read-it reaction I had, saying things could always be worse doesn't make it all better. This is your life and your reality right now and NO ONE has the right to tell you how to feel. We had a terrible summer but someone I know lost her husband to hanta virus. Just because her summer was worse than mine doesn't make the pain of losing my grandmother any less. It's just DIFFERENT.

You have every right to feel like you are being robbed. Your post yesterday wasn't about you, as far as I'm concerned. It was about your family -- Dad & Mom, Jason, Noah, Baby TiVo and you. You are all going to miss out to a degree. And that sucks and you deserve a tantrum. And your mom has probably had a tantrum, too. Because she loves you that much to be really, really sad.

The trolls can go back under their bridge where no one likes them because they are grumpy. (I watch Dora and I know all about trolls)


Oh.My.Word. Wow. Some people are seriously deluded.

Isn't the whole point of having a blog is so you have someplace to go when you're freaked out and having a pity party so you can write it all down and perhaps make a little more sense of it all? Or at least get it off your chest so you can have a good cry over it and move on! You know, even the "little" "pointless" "everyday" problems that pale in comparison to what's going on in the rest of the world? Isn't a blog supposed to be a little snippet of YOUR life and what YOU'RE feeling??

I saw absolutely NOTHING wrong with your post yesterday. If my mother and father were unable to come visit when I gave birth to my child I would be devastated! Of course there are worse things going on in this! There always have been and there always will be! But being in your third trimester, finding out your father is more ill than previously thought, and because of that your parents will not be there to meet the newest addition to your family is a pretty big deal! And that pretty big deal is completely deserving of a little stompy temper tantrum if you ask me.

I say feel free to stomp and cry away.

Also, everything's going to be OK. It will all work itself out in time. Just keep breathing and keep concentrating on baby Tivo.

Shamelessly Sassy

I completely understand what you are saying.


omg. i cannot even BELIEVE someone dared judge you in your pain. i cried for you, and even though i have not had a child, my god, how many times i have called my mom in my adult life because NO ONE ELSE WILL DO. we are always our parents' children, no matter our age. i am so sorry you are facing some of this right now...and it is hard and we all want it to stop. my thoughts are with you and your parents. sounds like your dad is a total tank (so is mine), so i have hope things will be ok in the long run.

willikat i hope some internet idiots don't stop you from posting your feelings and make you hold back.


Oh Heather, How I hope, hope, hope you read this. You are such an awesome emotional writer; the way you link your words together is an art form.
I relate to everything you said in your post and you are entitled to your feelings; I lost my precious father last year and he was my soul mate on this earth for 37 years. I loved him with every cell God filled me with and I have been through the almost lost him moments, and the late night phone calls and the natural progression of elderly age and it is not fun. You are NOT entitled to feel this way "you are SUPPOSE to feel this way for your parents". They are your Mom and Dad for God sake they created you and now you are preparing to deliver your second beautiful baby that you created with your husband Jason. Who best to share that with than your parents. God Bless you and your feelings and I will ask my sweet father to make sure God holds you in the palm of his hands.


You know what, honey? That person who made the horrible comment yesterday clearly is not introspective or self aware. If she were, she would know what you meant - that you are terrified to lose your parents. And part of that is being terrified that you won't have a Daddy to make things better. I've already explained to my parents that they both need to outlive me because I'm going to have to be institutionalized. And it's not because I'm selfish. It's because I love them so much and with such depth, I would happily dive in front of a bullet to save their lives. The thought of them in any pain or discomfort makes me sick to my stomach. You clearly feel the same way about your parents. The reader yesterday just isn't sufficiently emotionally intelligent to get it. Plus, she sounds angry and like she has her own issues, which she then projects out onto other people. I actually feel sorry for her because that's a sad, sad way to go through life.

And you, my dear, host a site I check every single freaking day, and I love everything you write. You are real and raw and unashamed, and I think that is to be greatly admired. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said in a speech, and I'm paraphrasing here, that basically the more you learn about others, the more you learn about yourself. I've learned an awful lot from you and I appreciate you very much.


I didn't want to leave a post that would belittle your situaion yesterday. After reading today's posting, I wanted to let you know that your blog yesterday helped me. My stepfather was diagnosed with cancer last month and I am due in November. My mother may not make it to my second birth either. It's all just started to sink in with me. He may die soon. That hurts too much to focus on. It's easier to be sad that my momma won't be there with me to welcome this baby into the world and help me through postpartum again. It's not the same over he phone and a month or so later.


Well said.

Hang in there, and I'm sending healthy wishes for your dad. And happy thoughts for you.


I seriously hope that my comment yesterday, though somewhat long and rambling, was not one of those that made you feel that your feelings and issues were insignificant. Truely.

I just wanted to share that I did, indeed, HONESTLY understand... beyond the simplicity of "MY god, I know how you feel" - when most often, people have NO F'ing CLUE.

It is an all-out tragedy watching those you love grow old, and become those that need YOUR care instead of them caring for YOU, as you so relied on them to do for many, many years. It bites the BIG one, to put it bluntly.

I still extend my email or whatever to you. If I don't get back to you very soon, it's because my grandmother passed this morning. (I know, wah, cry - I'm sorry to rain more on this tragic parade.)

I really am sincere, even in my sarcastic-sounding tone. It's the way I have learned to deal with the hand I have been dealt, I think?


I am not even going to read any other comments, like I usually would, and definitely won't read any from yesterday but here is the thing...your shit is your shit and you are entitled, like anyone else. To play the someone-has-it-worse game is pointless. Yes, someone always has it worse. You could say "hey, people in Katrina, at least you weren't in the Holocaust". Yea, that's helpful. "Hey soldier, you lost a leg in Iraq? So what, this guy over here lost two." It's certainly a slippery slope.

As my grandmother always said, with some people, "if you've been shipwrecked, they've been drowned". Sometimes we are all entitled to be drowned.


You are 100% completely entitled to your feelings... Does it make you feel any better that I threw a nice little hissy when my mom couldn't come until after a week after my second child was born, and my dad didn't come at all (they're divorced)? And they weren't even caught-up with major scary health issues? I was just sad, hurt, and yes, even a little scared. Like you, I want my boys to know their grandparents. And in your case, like you said, you were factoring in that sense of urgency you feel for your dad to see your youngest. So have your pity party...have your deep cleansing cry...and make some room on that high spot you've found cuz I know a few more of us will climb up and holler with you.
Lots of hugs and hope your dad is feeling better.


It's a brave walk to have a public blog. People who don't know you will take the invitation into your thoughts as an invitation to throw stones however they like. And then spit venom at you when you remind them politely "Uhh, DUDE. That is not what I meant."

I'm sorry you're going through such a tough time. Pregnancy is not easy. Birth is not easy. Postpartum is not easy. Learning to balance a young child and a newborn is not easy. None of these things are easy. Then adding to that stress the possibility that the people who loved you and raised you might not be there? Your parents? Your mother? -Your father? Damn right you can throw a tantrum. This is YOUR life, and YOUR reality. No one lives this but you. So I support you 200% when you tell those nosy judgemental assholes to back the holy FUCK up.

I'm sending good thoughts your way, Amy. You'll get through this. And while you're getting through it, feel free to bitch and moan and whatever else helps you cope. Because DAMNIT, you're making a HUMAN. Among other equally complicated things. Just do what you need to do.


My serious love and support for you. You can blog about farting 24/7 if you want, it IS your blog. Obviously an assload of people like to read it. Too bad that means more assholes than your average blog.




Thank you so much for posting this and standing up for yourself! My blood was boiling when I read those awful comments people wrote, and then when I couldn't reply to them I really felt like I had energy to expel!

I HATE it when people say "well, at least your parent is still alive." Please don't assume that all people who have lost a parent are complete assholes who guilt everyone into thinking they have no right to complain. I lost my dad years ago, but I would never DREAM of saying to you or ANYONE anything about "counting your blessings" because he's alive. Your situation sucks, and there is no contest in this life of who has the biggest burden to bear. Your pain is real and you deserve comfort.

And I hope those assholes that made those comments come back and read this because they made me so angry!

P.S. I have never commented your blog before; I lurk usually, but I want you to know that I read both your blog and Zero to Forty and I think you are such a witty, strong, wonderful woman! And I have you in my thoughts.

just beth

I just couldn't comment on your last post, it hits way too close to home, however, the very idea that someone made you feel badly for feeling scared and alone is reprehensible. (god I hope I spell that right)thank you for telling us your stories, and thus validating our own.




I've been lurking for a long time and I love reading your semi-stream of consciousness posts and your well worded sincere posts ...

I was horrified when I realized that you had trolls on your previous post. How dare anyone? unbelievable.

When I realized we were going to lose my Dad 6 years ago my very first thought was "But I need him to be here! I want him to walk me down the aisle" (I was nowhere near getting married). Was that selfish? Maybe, but you know what? I was feeling it and in that emotional time all I could think was how much I needed him in my life for ME because he was that important to me. And that is justification enough to feel it. Now my mom is going through her second bout with cancer and I'm thinking the same thoughts all over again.

I'll be praying for you and your parents and family.


I'm sorry people are making stupid assumptions about you and your intentions. You'd think they'd see the hurt in your post, that it would be enough to get the message through. I guess some people are just really dense.


I can never understand people who point out that things could be worse or call others selfish for sharing their feelings. In my world everyone is entitled to the occasional pity party, and sometimes even the small things in your own life are overwhelming. And this is not wrong or bad! Its like saying that nobody should go see a therapist because their problems aren't "that bad".

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings and don't let those asshats make you feel like you don't deserve to feel sorry for yourself occasionally or mourn loss in your own life (however small it may be).


I'm sorry, but who are these awful people leaving you messages that make you feel bad, when you are obviously already feeling bad? What is the point of that? Why do they have to say anything at all? Honestly, if you're that annoyed by something someone wrote, stop reading and go do something else. Everyone has challenges in their life and bad times, it is not a competition to see who is worse off.

Now I've said that, I'm very sorry for all you are going through Amy, and I hope it gets better.


Gawd, it just makes my ears bleed. What is wrong with people? We all (although one should never assume) read the news and have some concept of what’s going on in the world. There are terrible, tragic, awful things going on every single day – famine and war and disasters in spades. I may have missed something but I don’t recall you ever claiming flour beetles were equivalent on the natural disasters scale with hurricanes and earthquakes.

It may come as a shock to little miss stop whinging, who has clearly never had a crap day or a selfish thought (ha!), but some of us like hearing about your life, the good and the bad. People who haven’t got their heads stuffed up their bum will know you frequently write about the great parts, but actually, most people have occasional bad days and fears and moments of neurosis, and Love? If your blog constantly justified itself and preached at me about blessings and sunshine and stiff upper lips and how much worse it could be, I probably wouldn’t like it so much. Because we all bloody KNOW that. Because we are not imbeciles. So there.

(Sorry for the excessive rant, but that really got my goat. My very best to your mum and dad)


Your description of being with your mum after Noah was born made me cry - mine was exactly the same. Just there, comforting, telling me I was doing ok, wiping my tears, making me meals, caring about the minutiae like noone else would. I really don't know how I would have done it without her. And when my mum left I still wasn't confident I could Do This - so she came back. And kept coming back. Until I could cope.

She died when I was pregnant with my second son but this isn't a 'my pain is worse than yours' thing. I just wanted to say that your mum sounds wonderful, and I totally understand why you'd want her around. Loads of love and support. It's hard and bumpy and crap so much of the time, isn't it?

Anyone who thought different can fuck off. So there.


Well written.

And you can never please everyone.

Those who talked crap can just go stick their heads in some.



I know what you mean by it's hard watching your parents get old... I wonder, every day, if my boyfriend and I shouldn't just go ahead and get married already, just so I can have my parents at my wedding. Yes, we're only 21, but dammit, my moms family tends to not live past 65-68. Which means, if tradition holds, she has 7-10 years left. And even knowing I have that little of time hurts.

I am so sorry for what you have to go through with your dad, and the fact that your mom won't be there for your birth. It sucks. And all those people who tried to say you're selfish for that? Fuck 'em. They obviously don't know you, and they're just trying to push their own agenda, and trying to make up for their own shortcomings.


Er, that was suppose to read I'm sorry your mom won't be there for the birth of your child. Stupid coffee hasn't kicked in yet.


What cave did these people crawl from? There is always going to be something more tragic going on somewhere else in the world while you're dealing with your own personal tragedy. Your cat dies? Well, someone's grandma just died. You can't be upset then. You can't pay for groceries this week and will have to eat up surplus canned foods for a while? Well, there are starving children in Africa. Someone else has it worse than you do, so you can't feel sad.

What a load of BS. I can't even wrap my head around such a hideous lack of empathy. By their reasoning, only the five or six people in the world who have suffered the absolute most horrible things imaginable should be allowed to complain. Everyone else has to suck it up. If they were consistent, they'd apply this logic to themselves, but they don't. They complain just like everybody else when disaster strikes, and that's completely understandable.

I've been reading your blog for quite a while now (mostly lurking). While I know that every blogger (myself included) has a tendency to put their best foot forward, one thing that's pretty clear about you is that you deeply love the people closest to you, that you would do anything for them, that you aren't the least bit selfish. One post about wanting your mommy doesn't make you a selfish person. It makes you a normal person.

Kristie W

That was one of the most poignant posts I've ever read. It's not at all selfish to want your family with you when a new family member is joining the group. I'm sending well wishes your way.


I've never commented before, and for that I apologize. First and foremost, I can't even begin to imagine how hard all this must be. I'm really, truly sorry, as are the vast, vast majority of your (sane, compassionate, caring) readers. Those other (mean-spirited, horrible, emotionally unbalanced) readers? Have too much time and vitriol on their hands, obviously. (Also, they're probably Republicans. Puke.)

I usually am not big on the "story to illustrate my point" comment, but this whole situation made me think of my husband, who lost both of his parents in a car accident shortly before he started kindergarten. Then, about 10 or so years later, his sister died in a car accident. So, pretty much as orphaned as it's possible to be.

Does this mean that his pain and suffering always trumps mine? No. He listens to whatever I'm upset about, sometimes offering kindly words to put things in perspective. But he's never belittled me or made me feel that he'll always win any "pain grudge match".

So what I'm saying, in my long-winded and rambling way, is that his circumstances have made him more compassionate, more aware that everyone suffers, that it's a personal and valid experience for them at that time in their life.

Obviously, this did not happen to some of your readers.

Thank you for sharing your humanity with us. I hope you're feeling better and that your mom and dad know that they're in the hearts and minds of lots and lots of people in lots and lots of places.


It's hard for me just to watch my parents' hair go gray and their hearing and memories deteriorate slightly....I can't imagine how you must feel with all these health scares under your belt with probably more in the future. I know you see every moment with your mom and dad as priceless.
Like most, I understood how sad and scared you were for YOUR DAD in the previous post.
And I TOTALLY agree with this post, too. :)


Just because you complain about things that bother you on "YOUR BLOG" doesn't mean that you don't care about the more trivial things in life.

Geez...some people take themselves and their opinions WAY TO SERIOUSLY.

Good posts..both of them. I understood them..and I enjoyed them. Thanks!


I've never commented before but I absolutely had to pipe up and say Of course you want your mother! You're having a baby! Your second baby, which in many ways, is scarier than the first because you know what's coming. You need your mother! And your tantrum is nothing compared to what mine would have been. Nothing. I wish you all the very very best. I truly do.


See? The thing is, this is your weblog. Your place to write you thoughts, feelings, emotions, etc. I have my little space on the internet to do the same. Who am I to judge you for your feelings and what you write on your site? You don't deserve that, no human does. Just because you have a blog that's become popular over the years because of your superb storytelling talents, that doesn't mean anyone has the right to slam you for, well, anything. This is yours, I hope you're proud of it. In the end, that's all that matters. Hugs.

mrs. q.

You are entitled to your feelings and quit apologizing for them.Four years ago, when I was pregnant with my son, my dad was dying of cancer. I will never forget the look on his face when my husband and I told him we were pregnant (after a horrific two year trial). He was lying in the ICU and I was still only 10 weeks. We all cried. Partly because we were so very happy; partly because we both knew he'd never meet the baby.

I send you a hug...


My parents had me when they were still pretty young, and I'm still pretty young. I haven't had any major scares of any kind, with the exception of my dad having skin cancer on his face. Your last couple of posts are both terrifying me and making me grateful to think that I still have a while before I have to go through this.

The Other Laura

I don't comment over here very often because you know, you have hundreds already but I just have to say that really, the internet should get a life.

No one should jump all over you for being emotionally honest when that is probably why they read you in the first place.

My thoughts and nice non-denominational prayers are with all of you.


I'm more of a reader than a commenter but I did want to say that I appreciated your last post and I feel for you. My parents had me when they were older & my dad passed away several yrs ago. It makes me sad that he will never know any of my children. At this point, I want to hurry up & have them while my mom can be there. I think it's totally ok for you to vent about your disappointment and that it's not ok for others to bash you for it. This is your personal blog, it's not like you're trying to publish an AP article about your trials & tribulations. There's always going to be someone else out there worse off so if people want to read about that, they should pick up a newspaper, not post mean comments to you for keeping it real. I pray that everything will go well for you & your little one, and that your parents get to meet him soon after he arrives. Keep up the wonderful writing.


I am de-lerking to tell you that an apology is truly not necessary. Most NORMAL people understand that sometimes you just need to vent. You just happen to do it where fatheads can listen/read in. I said a prayer today, not just for you and your family, but also for the fatheads who apparently never have a bad day.

Korie B.

I started reading your blog soon after my daughter and your sweet Noah were born (mere months within eachother). I was struggling to breastfeed my non-latching child and a girlfriend e-mailed me a link to your blog. I dried my selfish "I suck as a Mommy" tears as I read about your crunchy toast point nipples and actually cracked a smile for the first time in weeks. I thank you for that.
Now we're both pregnant with our second children and I am a loyal reader. I need the laughs as I struggle with giving up my career to try and keep up with a rambunctious 3 year old.
Keep speaking your truth, sister. And as for the nay-sayers... Fuck them and their negativity.
Keep it coming....


You wrote:
It's painful to watch your parents age, to get sick, to suffer.

It's painful when it's a slow, natural process, when it just sort of hits you that oh, did he always walk that slow? was her memory always that bad?

Oh wow... sob... This was hard for me to read. My daddy is getting old, and I don't think I've wanted to really KNOW that. Now I'm really thinking about it.


You shouldn't have to apologize for how you feel. It's shameful that people would make you feel that way. Yes, other people have it worse. Yes, other people wish their parents were here. But that doesn't make YOUR pain any less. Knowing that someone else is going through something worse may help give perspective.....when you're not in the midst of feeling horrible but it doesn't help right now. Right here and right now, you're sad and overwhelemed. You have the right to feel that way. And I hope that when I commented about my mother dying, it didn't make you feel like you needed to apologize. It was meant to let you know that you'll get through this. There's a time when you won't feel sad and overwhelmed and scared. I promise :)


I applaud you for continuing to blog. The fear of judgement of others is why I can never actually do it. To share your innermost thoughts to all of the world, stripping yourself emotionally naked as you do takes an extraorinarily strong person. And, you know what? We all have selfish, pure id-desires and thoughts ALL THE DAMN TIME. To pretend we don't is displaying a real lack of insight and self-awareness, and to judge others for them is pure ignorance. And frankly, it pisses me off. Furthermore, anyone with an ounce of perceptiveness or ability to look beyond the actual words, would be able to realize that, yes, on the surface, you are upset because your parents/mom can't be there. However, it was clear to me in your initial post that your upset and pain went far deeper than that. That it wasn't JUST the fact that your Mom couldn't be there, but the fact that times are changing, and the realization that there will probably be many life-altering moments in the future that your parents won't be able to share in.

You should never feel that you need to backpedal or apologize for anything you've written. It's pure, raw and real. That's why we keep coming back.

Joni Velasco

Dude, opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one. Some smell worse than others. I'll stop right there.

You have every right - EVERY RIGHT - to feel the way you do and anyone who questions or judges you for it can suck it.

You are in a scary place - that place where you become the parent to your parents. Been there, done that. And now that they're both gone, I wish I had done it better but all we can ever really do is do our best with what we have where we are at the time.

Okay, enough of the philisophical crap. Tell anyone who wants to judge you to go away, focus on yourself and your family, and know that there are a whole lot of people out here in the blogosphere that think you rock and our opinions are the only ones that matter.


You know, I will never understand why some people think it is okay to make comments like that on other peoples' blogs. This is YOUR BLOG, and your concern for your father was evident, and you can write whatever you want!! And you are fully entitled to feel sad and disappointed with the entire situation!!

GAH. Some people! Anyway, I just wanted to say that no backpedaling is necessary. At least not in my opinion.


I don't comment very often, but I feel like you need as many people as possible telling you that we love you, it's perfectly right and normal to be upset, and the asshats who want to come here and post their negative assvice should just go jump off a bridge.

Every woman needs her mother, especially during the big events in her life. My childbirth years are far behind me and I still feel this way. I'll be a grandmother by Christmas and it hurts like hell that my Mom is not here to see her first great-grandson.

So please don't let some unfeeling inconsiderate jerks bring you down, or fill you with self-doubt. They are just jealous bitter old wenches.


Never argue with a pregnant woman about her feelings, or ice cream.
Trust me on that second one. It got ugly.
Sending love and best wishes to you, Amy.



My thoughts exactly! My mom died when my now-11-month-old son was 6 weeks old. I struggle daily with the idea that he will not ever know her and that she will never see any other babies I might have. Part of me is green with envy that you can talk to both your parents on the phone at least. But I definitely understand how you are feeling -- you just want everything to be like it was before. Me too! Where is a time machine when you need one?

I'm so lucky to still have my dad, but sometimes I feel like he's another kid to take care of since he's so lost without my mom. I think the words above multiple times a day.


What always amazes me is that people don't take in account that we, as humans, can have more than one feeling or emotion at a time!!! We can feel horrible sadness at our parents bad health AND AT THE SAME TIME feel sad that they can't travel to see our children being born, becuase of their bad health!

Donna P

I'd give anything to have my mom back. My dad too.

Hugs to you, Amy. Hang in there.


That's complete crap! Not you or anything your wrote but that people would give you a hard time for what you wrote! You're emotions and feelings are valid. Whatever you feel. Sure, we can always play the "Who Has It Worse?" game but I'm willing to bet that almost everyone here would loose. Does that mean that no one is ever allowed to be upset? I don't think so.

Yikes! I feel like I'm the one rambling here! I just wanted to tell you how sorry I am that you're dealing with this. I wish you all the best.


Bless your heart! Everything you're feeling is normal and acceptable - all of it! It's hard stuff, it just is.


It amazes me that people seem to forget that a blog is, in essence, a public diary. It's a place for a writer to share their talent with others, yes, but sometimes it's a place where you need to get the very real emotions out of you. It's easy to say, "ignore the trolls" but the fact remains that they're shitting on your emotions and it's not fair.
You're right: being a grown up sucks some times.(I still cry when I hear Ben Folds' "Still Fighting It" because it is so completely true.) Know that there are thousands of people out here that feel the same way.


My dad had a foot of his colon removed a few Decembers ago and it was sitting next to his hospital bed when I had those same thoughts you did. We got busy and made a baby that next summer. We were in Texas, they were in Nebraska and they got there two days later following a graduation and their basement flooding. I will never forget the sight of my dad holding my little boy in our living room. We all live in the same state now and my dad and little boy are best friends, just the thing for which I had always hoped.

Number two is on the way now and they'll get to be at the hospital this time, God willing, but there's a part of me that wishes they would have to drive a very long way to get to us and that I could see them all breathless and teary in my house. It's a little ridiculous, I know. I think there's just that part of me that wants things to be just the same as they were last time. They were so great last time. But this time will be different and this kiddo will be too and I'm sure it will be wonderful in it's own right. I've just still got to wrap my mind around it.


I don't comment here often, but I have to say that I get this post and I got the last one. I'm not pregnant. Your writing is just so good that the emotion comes through.
Big hugs across the Internet.:)


I am definitely not going to take you to task for whining. We had relocated about 5 hours away from our parents shortly before our second son was born and I was miserable because my parents couldn't be bothered to take a long weekend to come see me and my newborn. It sucked. And I cried and it was okay. Don't let people get you down because "It could be worse." So what? We can't deny our own feelings because someone else has a tougher road to hoe. It sounds like you had your pity party and are now getting on with the business at hand. Talking it out on your blog is probably a healthier way of dealing with it than keeping it in or dumping it all on your husband. Isn't this what we're here for?

Geesh! I hate intolerant people!


I SO understand what you're folks are both gone. My Dad died suddenly, almost 10 years ago. My mother spent the next almost five years after that dying slowly from diabetes and kidney failure and dialysis treatments, but emotionally she pretty much checked out when my Dad died. Both losses were painful and difficult but my mothers' was worse, because of all of the scares and hospitalizations and moving her in with my family to take care of her and then my (EX!!!)husband moving out and putting in the divorce papers that he only let her move in because he "thought she would die soon" and she had the gall to continue living and well, you get the point. It was all hard. But, I wouldn't have made one choice differently. And, I have no regrets. But, I do miss them both so much! So, I just wanted to say - I understand.....and, I hope it all works out.....


Oh, Amy. I seriously love you. Somebody will always have a worse problem. Someone's luck will always be shittier. Someone will always have a more horrible sob story. But guess what? they are not happening to YOU. this is your blog, about YOUR LIFE that you are willing to share with us, that reminds us that feeling sad about something non-world changing is okay. This IS a big deal. Really.
I guess I don't have anything new to say (that the other 190 comments haven't already said) and just want to add my hugs to the masses and say whoever thought you were being petty or whatever is a fucking retard who doesn't deserve the title 'internets'.
wow, that was a long comment for someone without anything new to say.


AMEN. Our lives may be insignificant in light of other situations, even when those situations involve people we love very much. But they are still OUR lives, and we are still stuck in living them, even when we would rather skip over parts, opt out, switch with someone else. Your blog is about YOU, and your experience, and while that is a very public forum, your life is still intensely personal. How else could it be?


I'm so sorry that you were subjected to a few crummy comments. Having two sick parents and having that vastly affect the relationship they have with my kids -- well, it really sucks. Because I love my parents and I love my kids and all these fantastic people should ALWAYS get to see and know each other when everyone's at their best, ya know? I read your post with the empathy of the person feeling so much empathy. Of COURSE you're concerned for your parents, and dammit, you are more than entitled to grieve for what their illnesses do to you and your kids.

All that said, I'm so glad that y'all have so much love and concern between you. Believe me, it sustains you throughout this kind of crap. Wishing you much much joy in the rest of this pregnancy and beyond.


Your post today made me feel worse than your post yesterday (or am I a day behind? Yes I am...). It made me miss my mommy & daddy (*sniff*) even more.

But, really, everyone feels sad and vulnerable at times and we all need to vent. And there are always jerks and asshats who will be sure to point out someone else in worse shape than you are.

We your loyal readers know (kind of) you and love you (in a non-stalkerish sort of way of course) and understand your wanting your mommy with you...and now I need to get up and see what my stupid dog is whining about...hopefully there will be no pee involved.

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