FRANK PREGNANCY TALK Frank discussion of pregnancy symptoms, emotions, side-effects and oddities.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Lucia's Angels

While I’m moving, maybe you’d like to take a look at what else I’m working on- it’s the Lucia’s Angels foundation. We’re starting the first chapter locally, here on Eastern Long Island and have big hopes of reaching many women and their families across the country. Thanks in advance for reading!

Providing comfort and support to women and families going through the final stages of breast cancer.

Mission Statement:
Lucia’s Angels is a new foundation, under the umbrella of the South Fork Breast Health Coalition, created in loving memory of Lucia Terzi Bagan. Lucia was a very giving person- not only of the material sense but also of herself and her heart. It’s no wonder she had so many friends and family surrounding her in her final days. It’s Lucia’s wish that other women and their families could have that same kind of love and support through their toughest times.

Lucia’s Angels can provide assistance to women and families going through the final stages of breast cancer*. From last wishes like one more trip to the beach, to providing extra child-care, to the holding of a hand, Lucia’s spirit and Angels will be there.

Lucia’s Angels believes it’s very important to support and encourage women going through breast cancer to strive for healing and wellness. There are already several charities in place for breast cancer research, awareness and early detection, and support through treatment and healing. Currently, there are no charitable organizations to help end-stage breast cancer patients. Lucia’s Angels would like to be there for women and families going through this often-harrowing time of need.

Menu of Services**:

Individual Services:

Hair Styling
Manicures and Pedicures
Music Therapy
Ambulatory Trip
Other wishes or needs

Family Services***:

Child Care
Recreational Classes for Children
Clothing for Children
Other wishes or needs

*Women eligible for Lucia’s Angels support are those women who: live on the Eastern End of Long Island, have breast cancer, are eligible for Hospice-type services.

**Lucia’s Angels provides funding for the outsourced services listed and may or may not participate in the arranging or scheduling of said services.

***Family services may continue up to 30 days after the passing of their loved one.

As many of you already may know, my best friend, Lucia Terzi Bagan recently lost her three-and-a-half-year battle with breast cancer. It’s not that she wasn’t a fighter. In fact, she was one of the strongest, most giving, loving and independent “doers” that I know. She was always the one to organize our “girls” dinners, trips and birthday celebrations. She sent hand-embroidered thank you notes for having a simple chicken dinner at my house. She bought presents for everyone she knows for each birthday, anniversary, baptism, Bar Mitzvah, confirmation, graduation, baby naming, memorial or holiday.

Lucia and I became really close during our second pregnancies. We shared every baby kick, bout of heartburn, horrormonal hysteria and hating our husbands. Later, we even shared those precious times just wondering at our newborn babies.

While breastfeeding together one day Lucia asked, “Have you ever had a blocked milk duct?” Yes, I had. They’re usually quite painful. Her lump wasn’t painful. “Feel this. What do you think?” she had asked. I leaned over and felt the hard node on her breast. It felt solid and black and cold. It was cancer.

Lucia was never one to complain and she took on the task of managing her treatments and life the best she could without burdening her family or friends. She would pretend to be well, show up at my house to help me cook for a dinner party and then sneak off to the bathroom to be sick. She never wanted to put a damper on anyone’s good time.

Over time Lucia became much more sick and did finally accept some help from her family and friends.
We tried our best to be there for her kids and her doctors’ appointments. When she was moved to the hospice facility, we took turns visiting her and spending over-nights to make sure she was never alone. We fixed her hair and nails, gave her massages, read to her and brought her all her favorite foods, lotions and flowers. We provided dinners and play dates for the kids. We arranged an ambulance ride so that she could spend one last day at her home in Southampton. We tried our best to just be there for her, like she was for us, throughout our lives.

Lucia was also a huge advocate of the local Breast Health Coalitions and was very involved in many fundraisers, to her dying day. Lucia had me take over collecting local donations for Ellen’s Run this year. Even though she could barely speak, she told me what stores to visit, how much to ask for and that I absolutely must, “play the cancer card.”

“You tell them that I’m dying and that they must give,” she said.

So, on Lucia’s behalf, I’m asking you now- Please find it in your hearts to give a very generous donation to Lucia’ Angels to help support other women and families suffering from end-stage breast cancer. There are currently three families on the East End, including Lucia’s, that are very much in need of Lucia’s Angels help.
Thanks so much.

Stacy Quarty

Donations can be mailed to:
South Fork Breast Health Coalition
Lucia’s Angels
35 Farmstead Lane
Water Mill, NY 11976

For more info go to:

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

My New Space

After loosing my mind last week over the prospect of working from home- I went out and found a (hopefully) more affordable office in town. It’s a small 1-room office in the historic building pictured here. My office is the 1st floor, front left. That big window and door on the left is the one. That’s my nice new landlord moving out some old furniture.

I may not be blogging too much in the next week or two because I’m moving, but I’ll still find the time to lurk on your blogs at night. Wish me luck!

Monday, September 18, 2006

“Telling” Stories

How did you tell your husband, partner, sperm donor or boyfriend that you were pregnant? I want to hear your story and remember… nothing is too silly, simple or sickening for this blog.

Here’s my “telling” story. (It’s fairly tame compared to some of my other posts.)

The second time I was rewarded with the two blue lines, we were actively trying to get pregnant and knew what to expect this time around. I wrapped up the positive test in a small, narrow box with silver paper and a red ribbon. Spying the gift on the kitchen table, my two-year-old grabbed it and tried to unwrap it, assuming it was meant for her. I explained that it was a present for Daddy, and she could give it to him when he got home.

The sound of the garage door alerted her of Daddy’s arrival. She grabbed the present, ran to the basement door and began a dance of excitement and anticipation as she listened to him climb the stairs. The moment he walked in the door, she thrust the gift at him and squealed, “Open, now! Open, now!” My husband opened the gift with a quizzical look in his eye. Seeing the positive test, he was excited and delighted– a big change from his reaction to our first pregnancy, when he almost threw up.

You’d be surprised, but some men become quite queasy when contemplating the responsibilities of fatherhood. I guess that’s the closest they will ever come to morning sickness!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Kicking and Screaming

As I’ve previously mentioned, my plan was to retire my graphic design career, give up my office in town and concentrate more on my writing… from home. OK. Seriously now… what the f*** was I thinking? I’ve always been a working mom with an office to go to–my own space away from home–forever.

Yesterday, I started making plans for setting up my home office. I’ve got to be out of this space at the end of the month. I called the utility companies and notified them when to end service; I contacted the phone and Internet providers and set up the transfer of services; and I notified my bank and credit card companies of the change of address. I also measured the room and my existing office furniture and made a “to scale” drawing so that I could figure out where everything was going to go. Why do I feel like a rat trapped in a barrel? I kept wondering.

This room at my house has no closet space for my tons of office supplies. I thought I’d put in bookshelves on either side of the room, with cabinets below and then repaint the room (now the walls are cranberry red- too depressing to look at all day.) I mentioned my plans to my husband, trying to find the cheer in my voice. It will be OK. I’ll like this space once I get it set up the way I want. So, I won’t see anyone all day long; I’ll go back to my crappy running route on the narrow, highly trafficked roads by my house; the kids will constantly be interrupting me; the husband will keep asking me to just do this little thing in the house, because I’m “there” after all; and my sometime babysitter will find excuses to be late and leave early. But, I’ll have this sweet, little space, set up just the way I want it and it will be OK.

“You can’t put in bookshelves and paint the walls,” my husband said, “that’s going to cost us money.”

You can’t tell me what to do. This is my space. My space! MY SPAAAAAAAAAAACE!!!!!!!! I wanted to scream. He thought I should just move into the room, the way it is and see how I liked it. I knew how I was going to like it. I was NOT going to like it. I can visualize– I went to art school ya know.

We got the kids off to school and both went to work with steam blowing out our ears. This clearly was not going to work. Call me a whimp. Call me spoiled. I am just not ready to give up my space. I cannot do it. I will not do it. As of today, I’ve decided to downsize– get a smaller, more affordable space and do enough of the design business to cover the expenses. I can do it. I have to do it.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Under-Water Birth

Friday, September 08, 2006

Baby Steps

Yesterday, I called the surgeon to make my appointment. I’ve finally decided to have my umbilical hernia taken care of. Just a few weeks ago I was struggling with weather or not to have the surgery, as it would surely mean the end of my childbearing years. Why was I uncertain? I had always known that I’d wanted just 2.5 children (the .5 being my dog.) Two are manageable; they don’t outnumber the parents. My husband and I both came from families of two children. I’ve also always believed that I would have children in my 30s and 40 would certainly (for me) be the cut off. I’m 40 now.

Maybe my indecision was caused by my desperation to hold onto life– to keep it close, cherish and nurture it, to never let go. A new baby, a new life– would that somehow help me with my grief over Lucia? Would she be reborn into this baby? Has my train of life been derailed so that I must be forced to follow a new path… like Lucia did? She was thrown off track when she discovered the lump. Chemo, a mastectomy, multiple surgeries and a rampant malignancy that literally ate her from the inside out were not in her plan.

Lucia passed over three weeks ago and things seem to be getting worse, not better. Last weekend, while Lucia’s kids and mine happily wrecked the playroom (as usual) and Dan and Jamey watched the game in the living room, I was busy in the kitchen, preparing dinner– just me and my glass of wine.

“You don’t sauté the fish like that… Here, let me show you,” I heard Lucia say and I saw her over my stove, busily stirring pots and taking small sips of wine in between, as if it were part of the art of cooking. Flip the fish, shake the pan, stir the rice, check the veggies, sip the wine. The salt of my tears mixed with the Pinot Grigio.

“Why aren’t you here?!” I wanted to scream. It’s not fair. Not fair! NOT FAIR! You didn’t deserve this. I stirred the rice and took another sip of salted wine.

“Now your ruining a perfectly good glass of wine,” Lucia said, “Cut that out!” So I did. I grabbed a tissue and carried on.

And carry on now is what I must do. I’ve neglected my children, my husband, my parents and sister, I’ve gained weight, I drink too much, my roots are showing, I need a bikini wax life nobody’s business and my graphic design career is in the toilet. It’s time to get back to my own life. That’s what Lucia would want.

So, yesterday I started taking those first small steps of getting my life back on track, or at least finding a path, wherever that shall lead me. I made and appointment to get my hair done and a bikini wax; scheduled the car for a long-overdue service; decided to retire my design career so that I can concentrate more on my writing; scheduled dentist appointments for the girls; went for a run and promised myself that I’d only have one glass of wine instead of one bottle that night.

As I checked off those boxes on my personal “to do” list I felt a pang in my abdomen, a soreness- that damn umbilical hernia again. It’s time to get this taken care of too, I thought. Why have I waited this long? Who am I kidding? There’s no way I’m having any more babies. Poopie diapers? Sleepless nights? No thanks. I did my time. I’m done.

Now, don’t you worry- all you pregnant ladies. I’m still going to blog about pregnancy and want to hear all about how your little buns are progressing. I’m still addicted to pregnancy– just not mine.

So, it looks like I’m really doing it. I’m taking some steps to move on after this horrible summer. I’m still very involved with Lucia’s family and am becoming even more involved with breast cancer fundraising, including a new foundation we started– Lucia’s Angels. More on that later…

This morning I took even more steps as my running shoes slap, slap, slapped the pavement. I rounded the corner onto my favorite tree-lined street and filled my lungs with the crisp, clean air– scented with just a hint of fall. I love the smell of Halloween– pumpkins, falling leaves, candy and apple cider. I wondered what the girls were going to be this year? Princess again? I felt a smile spread over my face and suddenly felt… guilty. Lucia will miss Halloween this year. She won’t get to see her kids’ creative costumes.

“Oh, shut the hell up!” Lucia said.

So, I did.

P.S. I waited until 7:30 last night to pop the cork but still polished off the whole bottle. Oh well. I’m only human. Right?

Friday, September 01, 2006

Think You Look Bad During Childbirth?

I came across these photos at an EMS training site. At first glance I thought, Wow- that poor woman has really fugly-bad legs. A closer inspection just made me laugh. If you're worried about how your nether region will look during childbirth, I hope you will take some comfort in knowing no one’s crotch is as deathly ugly as Ms. Mannequin’s.