There But for the Grace of God Go I

posted by Momo Fali on April 9, 2009

I really didn’t want to write this post. I’ve sat here, for the past 24 hours, trying to find the right words. I don’t think words can possibly convey what I’m feeling, but I will do my best.

I am a mom of two preemies. My daughter was born during an emergency c-section ten weeks early and weighed just over two pounds. My son was taken from me seven weeks too soon because his congenital heart defect was worsening in utero. He tipped the scales at three pounds, eight ounces.

Needless to say, I have spent a lot of time in hospitals. My daughter stayed in intensive care for her first five weeks of life and my son has had nine surgeries and has been hospitalized numerous times. When he was an infant, if he so much as got a cold they admitted him, partly because of his underlying health problems, but also because he was premature and very, very small. On his first birthday, he weighed just thirteen pounds.

When you have a child who is premature, small and sick you seek out other parents who are in the same boat. Especially those who can still manage to have a sense of humor about the awful situation into which they have been thrust; the kind of people who understand the lingo, and the acronyms and what it’s like to have therapists practically coming out of your rear end.

We know our children’s medical history as well as we know our own phone number…probably better. We know the ins and outs of the health insurance industry, our doctors consider us family and pharmacists become our good friends. Parents of preemies know what it’s like to feed your kid every three hours, round the clock, for their first year just so they can maybe gain a few ounces.

We watch our children fight and claw their way to milestones like little soldiers. We can commiserate and we understand each other, and every now and then we have to help pick each other up…because sometimes all the hard work and struggles of raising a preemie don’t pay off. Sometimes the soldiers just can’t fight anymore.


This is Maddie. She was 17 months old and was still fighting up until the very end, which came day before yesterday. My heart breaks for her parents. Parents who were just like me and my husband up until Maddie died.

We are not in the same boat anymore. My family is sailing along on occasionally choppy waters, while their vessel has been completely overturned.

I am giving thanks that we have been very fortunate and I will hug my kids a whole lot tighter tonight. In Maddie’s memory we will continue our fight. Rest easy, child. Struggle no more. You have fought hard enough.

Oprah Cliffs Notes VIII

posted by Momo Fali on April 7, 2009

Last year I took fingers to keyboard and wrote to Oprah’s people about the community of moms I had found on-line. I thought it was a great idea for a show. I mentioned that blogging had opened up a new world for me….a world where I didn’t feel strange talking about the things no one ever tells you before you become a parent.

Yesterday’s Oprah featured moms and mom bloggers talking about motherhood and all the weird and frightening stuff that no one ever tells you before you become a parent. What a coincidence!
Needless to say, I was very interested in this show because I’m a mom blogger. And, because it was my idea. Not that I’m always a mom blogger. Sometimes, I’m a blogger who writes about Oprah shows which feature mom bloggers. That’s totally different.
This is Daphne. I personally know Daphne. Well, not so much personally know her as I’ve seen her on-line. Daphne is a new mom who admitted to pumping just before the show so that she wouldn’t burst. Considering that she also said her life sometimes resembles a sit-com, I felt the bursting would have been appropriate. Because, that? Funny stuff.

This is Karen. I really do know Karen. Well, not so much really know her as I really know some of her friends. Okay, not so much really know some of her friends as stalk some of her friends. So, yeah. In a nutshell, Karen and I are tight. Karen wanted to share her method of discipline with the audience, and that is to let your kids think you’re just a little bit crazy. Thank you, Karen. Consider it done.

This is Heather. I have no idea who she is.

Heather said she doesn’t like the early mornings that come with motherhood. This shouldn’t be a big problem much longer because her daughter is five. Oh…well, there is that little matter of Heather being seven months pregnant. Because the only thing better than facing an early morning, is facing an early morning with cracked and bleeding nipples.

And, here’s Vicki. Vicki recently was on a long car trip with her kids when she needed to use the restroom. When she saw that her children were all sleeping, she did the logical thing…instead of waking them, she peed in a diaper. This is her best, “Yep, I peed in a diaper” face.

Dee-Dee is not one to be outdone. Dee-Dee once ran out of diapers and instead of going out for more in the middle of the night, she fashioned her own out of maxi-pads.

What did I learn from this show? I learned it’s not really your idea if they can plug a new ABC sitcom at the same time. But more than that, I learned that I’m not as bad a mom as I thought I was.

Neither one of my kids has ever had to wear a maxi-pad.

Then All My Friends Asked For One

posted by Momo Fali on April 6, 2009

On Friday night I attended a jewelry party. Although, it wasn’t so much a jewelry party as it was a chance to get out with the girls, drink some wine and play dress-up with gold and silver that belonged to someone else.

The jewelry sales consultant organized a game for us, so that we could earn tickets for a chance to win a door prize. She would say a letter and we had to pull something out of our purse that started with that letter.

Being that I’m highly competitive, I felt my purse was well-stocked and that I could win the prize for sure. I’d collect all the tickets and walk away with that $5.00 bracelet if it killed me!

A few years ago, on a girl’s weekend, my best friend emptied the contents of her purse on the dining room table. You had to see it to believe it because you name it, she had it. There were oodles of things which had no place in a handbag. I seem to recall her saying, “So there’s my packing tape. Oh, and my Alice Cooper School’s Out album from 1972!”

As much as I missed her company, I am thankful she and her Mary Poppins purse weren’t there to compete with me on Friday.

The sales consultant started with “P” and a lady I’ll refer to as Quick-Draw proudly held up her phone. It wasn’t more than a nanosecond.

The next letter was “G” and before I could get my gloss into my hand, someone held up gum.

Next came “M”, and I can’t even tell you what the winner had that time, because I was busy thinking about tossing the contents of my purse across the room.

But, it pays to be patient so instead I held tight and waited. When the consultant said the letter “D” and all the ladies were trying to find their drivers licenses, I not only won the ticket, but I also won for originality.

That’s right, I pulled out my dog’s tranquilizers. After 11 years, that mutt is finally starting to pay off.

How to Pass the Class with Gas

posted by Momo Fali on April 3, 2009

I work as an aide in a second grade classroom where the teacher once asked for examples of words with the “short i” sound and one of the kids raised his hand and said, “Tit”. I always felt he deserved partial credit.

So it shouldn’t have been any surprise when I was grading papers yesterday and more than a few of them took the word “start” and rhymed it with “fart”. For that, they each earned a big, red happy face.

Some days, I really love my job.