Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Dr. Oz and moving on

Back in April the Baby S Story was featured on Dr. Oz.

To make this happen my good friend and I traveled to NYC for a day! WE had a special little tagalong as well, S's new little brother! (brother-in-love, my third child O)

We had a great time at the show, and I hope nobody could tell that I was a nervous wreck!

Although I wasn't able to see it live, I did finally find it online!!


It was a bit surreal and very nerve wracking, but doing a tv interview really made me realize how far I've come in the last couple of years. 4 years ago when I came back to CT after leaving S in the hospital in Michigan, I was a mess. I thought that leaving her would have been easy; after all we'd planned for the day when I'd relinquish custody, and that had all gone to plan. We'd planned that I would start phasing out my visits at the hospital and let her mother take over, and I'd been doing that. Packing up hadn't been difficult, but driving away was torture. I can still remember very clearly the panic attack that accompanied my driving across the state lines from Michigan to Ohio and again from Ohio to the next state. That first night I stayed at a friend's house, and cried myself to sleep.

For much of the last 4 years I have been living in crisis mode. My anxiety threatens to get the best of me time and time again. Living through this has taught me how to handle almost anything that people can say to me, as well as calm the inner critic who tells me that everyone is judging me silently. My life habits have been built around a need to calm the inner demons, and I have been adding techniques and habits to my daily routine that have been giving me amazing results. Before my pregnancy with O I was 125lbs and incredibly healthy despite a back injury that at times left me unable to walk. My pregnancy was great for my back, but torture for the rest of me. I experienced what I can only believe was Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) and lost over 25lbs in the first 2 months. Until I was nearly 8 months I couldn't stand for more than 5 minutes without getting dizzy.

This journey has been long, but it has had its purpose. I have been slowly working on finding ME again, Before I had O, I was becoming happier with my life and stressing less. I am still far from perfect. I suspect I have PTSD, and have been seeking treatment. But I am motivated to move forward with the life that I originally hoped my surrogacy would jumpstart. Today I have begun to heal, and I find that the best healing I can do for myself, is to help others. And so I have decided to resume my doula services <3 nbsp="" p="">
Additionally, I"m adding a new service, pregnancy coaching!

Many women feel as though they would benefit from having someone other than a doctor to talk to during their pregnancy who can give them facts and evidence on the choices that they have in their pregnancy, birth, and the care and raising of their newborn child. As an experienced mother and doula, I have insight and experience that allows me to help moms get the most beneficial information that can help them to have a powerful, empowered and satisfying birth. Research shows that a 'healthy baby' simply isn't enough for a healthy mother-child bond. When mothers experience a satisfying birth experience, they are more easily able to adapt to the challenges of motherhood and make sound choices in the care of their child. As a lifelong student, I have access to hundreds of journals and thousands of research studies and articles on every topic imaginable. If I don't know the answer, I can find it! Six years in school has given me a great toolbox of researching techniques, to make sure you have access to the most up to date and pertinent information on any topic you choose.

My website is a mess, but the contact form on this page will send your message to me: e-mail me

I'm writing a new blog as well, I would absolutely love for any and all of you to follow me there:

So now that Baby S is 4, I guess it's time to stop calling her a baby!!! From now on she'll be referred to as Stormie only. She's getting so big. I am SO proud of her! Until next time folks!!

<3 face="Verdana, sans-serif" font="">Crystal

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Help a little someone out!!

Special needs babies are such an inspiration to my heart!! Today I'd like to share one special little boy that I've known since before he was born. Ashton's mommy Tara and I were part of the same pregnancy group while I was pregnant this last time. While I was experiencing the aches and pains of being 8 months pregnant, Tara was delivering Ashton without knowing if either of them would survive to see him grow up. She had developed HELLP syndrome and pre-eclampsia. He was born at 27 weeks 2 days.
Ashton is such a special kid in my heart, and today he is being transported to Nationwide Children's Hospital in Ohio because the facility where he is now just isn't equipped to handle his lung issues. To save his life, his mom will live in the hospital or Ronald McDonald House to make sure he gets the best care. As a birthmom who has spent weeks in the hospital before adoption I know just what this means. Lonely, long, scary days and nights. Lots of stress and worry. Tara deserves to have this be as financially stress free as possible. Ashton's GoFundMe page is here

Read more here
#ashtonstrong #TeamAshton #fightlikeapreemie

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

RARE Disease Day: Leap Year 2016

February 29th is a day that only comes around once every 4 years. It's 'borrowed time', as commonly asserted.. a day to celebrate all things that are unique and rare. The Rare Disease Foundation uses this date as their day of recognition. After all, what could be so Rare as a child with an uncommon illness or disability? A day in June perhaps.. but even a gorgeous summer day can't compare with some of the beauty seen in the eyes of a child who has overcome life threatening illness and come out the other side still smiling. That beauty is what I've seen in S since the very first kicks inside my belly. She's always been a fighter, and her story encourages others as they encounter their own hurdles in life.

Leap Day is supposed to be a day where we appreciate the unique; the uncommon, but also a day of opportunity. Do you know where you were on Leap Days during your lifetime? I can't say for most of them.. but I know that on Leap Day 2012 I was 23 weeks pregnant with a precious little girl. I was terrified. I felt trapped, like I had no way out. Mere days away from the 'final deadline' I felt alone and scrutinized over a decision that I didn't know how to make. I still remember the words of my mother 'you have to do what you feel in your heart is right.. no matter what people will say or think'. 
That lesson has been one I've struggled with for my entire life. From the encounters in middle school where I was afraid to go to school with crutches.. or my anxiety about leaving them home on days I felt ok without them.. to decisions that I've made for my children, I've always worked hard on remembering who I am, what's important to me, what's best for me and the people around me, and letting that be enough. Nothing says that more than the twists and turns of the Baby S Story and the incredibly results that I've seen from Miss S herself. I love that girl; and she is my inspiration to keep pushing every day. 
Elisabeth and I have been hard at work over the last year, and we are thrilled to be able to put this book back up on the Amazon marketplace. We hope to expand the reach of this novel, and bring some of the ethical issues into the limelight that is needed to get people thinking about the value of human life, and the politics of surrogacy. Being on the other side now, I realize the need for these issues to be addressed, and the only way to do that is to start the conversation. I hope to be having a lot of conversations in the next year. So please, buy a copy for your mom, for your church group, for your local library. Share the link with the teachers and lawyers that you know and the single moms and special needs warriors alike. Together our voice can be heard. 

This year I spent Leap Day with two very sick little guys.. my 6 year old has a double ear infection and my 2 month old has RSV. It was far from a glamorous event to see.. bodily fluids and disarray everywhere. Regardless I was still sure to take my daily moment of thanks and thank every part of the universe that made this entire journey possible. S is a once in a lifetime child.. and I get to be her birthmother. I could not be more thankful. <3 span="">