sandsmama sandsmama

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Sandy Jorgenson  Thinker • Feeler • Mother • Lover • Murderino, duh 📝 • Glamour • Washington Post • Refinery29 • more • Find me @stopcensoringmotherhood // @sofarsofew

This sweet human and I are on our way back to Canada for another week of gallivanting and exploring together – but no matter where we are, @deedeemorrisphotography is exactly right: I’ve got my whole world right in my arms.

Take me back...

Thirty-five was all levels of bewildering, upsetting, beautiful and bold; I grew in my confidence, I questioned and faltered, and I got back up again. I made strides. And I was okay. Except that nine months in, I learned that the nine months ahead of me were lined with unprecedented emotion, unrivaled confusion and little, flickering tea lights to dimly light the way.
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I've been depressed, perplexed and wholly unsure of oh, everything, really. But, I'm acknowledging now, this confusion and darkness isn't bigger than I am. It's approachable, it's malleable and it's extinguishable, I think. I'm willing to try.
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What this'll look like, I'm not exactly sure. More openness, maybe? Less Netflix? (No. Fuck that.) Surely I'll bring with me one of those little tea lights as I turn inward, and my first step is to work harder at connecting with this little human I'm constantly feeling wiggling and squiggling around inside my body. Hi, little one. Who are you? Have you enjoyed all the Pillsbury Pizza Pops I've consumed over the past week?
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I digress. I'm happy today is August 13th. It’s my day. I'm grateful for what I have, for the future unknown, and for each of the happy-birthday emails I've gotten this morning from my dentist, my acupuncturist and my car dealership. It feels good to know you're loved, doesn't it?
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This is thirty-six. Cheers, friends!

“Mama, when we grow up, can Hattie and I get married?” .
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No, baby, I tell her; you’re cousins.
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“Oh. Well, can we change that? And just not be cousins? Then could we?” .
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These two sweet little women, born only seven Sundays apart, are joined at the hip and the heart. They just said goodbye after spending an incredible week together on the shores of Atlantic Canada, after being apart for two-and-a-half years. To say they’d missed each other would be an understatement.
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They squabble, they snuggle, they giggle and they glow, these two. And it turns out nothing is funnier to them than watching me blow giant bubble gum bubbles and letting them explode all over my face.
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It’s been perfect. And saying goodbye is the pits.

Second floor, furthest to the left: my first apartment. Haunted and majestic. This tiny town will always feel like home; it’s so good to be back.

The Atlantic is in me, and I in her; and never will you find a version of me so perfectly at peace than when I am here.

Proof—that we were here, that we were our own, that we were mountains and molecules all the same. Proof that we moved, and that we let the earth move us in kind.
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📸: @deedeemorrisphotography

I’ve no words for this just yet – but suffice it to say that to have spent sundown at my favourite place on the planet with my naked babe and my growing babe while @deedeemorrisphotography snapped pictures of us and made me weep out of love, wonder and joy was to experience, at the very least, pure magic. 📸: @liber_pater

When I became this person’s mother, never did I ever think I’d keep her at my breast for as long as I did. An earlier version of me would’ve recoiled at the thought; because if they’re old enough to ask for it, I reckoned, they were too old to do it at all.
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(Do you ever want to go back to that pre-mama version of yourself and roll your eyes at her so hard they topple right out of their sockets? Yep. Me too.)
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The moment they’re old enough to ask for this, it turns out, is the moment the fog clears, and confusion makes way for clarity. Those guessing games borne out of unintelligible cries turn into expressed need and ensuing fulfillment.
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I’m grateful for the experience this kiddo and I have shared, for everything she has taught me about myself, and for the opportunity I’ve had to share my story along the way.
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Happy #worldbreastfeedingweek, friends. I’m reposting this favorite breastfeeding photo of mine, and you can DM me for a link to the piece I published in @refinery29 last year: I Never Thought I’d Breastfeed A 4-Year-Old, But Here I Am. I’d love for you to have a read if you’re curious.
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Extended breastfeeding, otherwise known simply as breastfeeding. Soldier on, milky mamas. This is a beautiful thing.

loves mud and bugs and rainbows // has to be told more than once to stop bringing frogs into the house // experiments with mocking, saying “duh”, scoffing and other such teenage-isms // listens to childish gambino and the frozen soundtrack intermittently // wonders why, all things considered, pink eye isn’t actually called brown eye.
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My tiny, growing and glowing love. My wellspring of torment, frustration, hilarity and pure, exploding joy.

"It’s easy to be thankful for the things you’ve got. It takes guts to give thanks for the things you’ve lost," sang @cloud_cult to me in the car this morning. And god, did the concept make me weepy. It's easy for me to be thankful for the one living love I have wreaking havoc around my house – doing backflips off the couch, racing up and down the driveway on roller skates, using each article of clothing as a convenient, wearable napkin and leaving a hundred stray socks around every bare surface of our floors...
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But being thankful for what I've lost, for the baby of mine who died within the confines of my body back in 2014, that's a tall order. I don't know how. I know with equal certainty exactly what I lost, and nothing of it at all. Who were they? Who would they've become? In what thousand different ways would they've pushed against the confines of my patience and allowed my heart to expand and explode?
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And now, having been cloaked in my secondary infertility diagnosis for nearly four years, even being thankful for this third child of mine is a strange task. I thought it'd be easier; more straightforward; outright simple – dripping with love and exuberance and excitement.
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It isn't.
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I'm here. Floating somewhere between 15 and 16 weeks pregnant with this miracle of love and longing, still wading through my own fog of confusion. I'm pregnant, yes; I'm present, sure; and I'm perplexed. I wrote a blog post about the oddity of it all – DM me for a direct link.
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I'm processing. And with Cloud Cult, apparently, since they wiggled their way under my skin this morning. "There’s no use in running, unless you run like heck. The best things we’ve learned, we learned from the wreck.".
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(Amen and amen.)

A year or so ago, I had the honor of sharing a significant piece of my story in @washingtonpost. Why Being The Mother Of An Only Child Breaks Me Daily, the essay is titled. Having been diagnosed with secondary infertility after a heart-wrenching miscarriage at nine weeks along, being able to write and use my voice in such a significant way felt like the salve I’d been longing for.
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Three years into grief and denial, it occurred to me just how toxic my hope of conceiving again actually was. It was killing me.
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The fact that I’m pregnant today is remarkable, yes, but is entirely beside the point when it comes to my latest piece, which went live on @washingtonpost this morning. The crux is this: when it comes to matters of fertility, it’s okay to give up hope.
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Hope doesn’t make babies. Frankly, even sex usually doesn’t. If you’re looking for a permission slip to let go, it’s here. It’s okay to quit, and to walk away from every ritual and convention you’ve clung to.
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DM me for the link if you’d like to have a read.
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Sending great love and unwavering support to all mamas, whether your arms are empty or full.
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Image via @sarashakeel

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