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Jan 12 16

That Million Dollar Question

by julie

There is a common question asked by newcomers to this adventure of parenting and it is asked in a variety of ways…………………………………

When will I know what my child will be like?

At what point, did you know how severe your child would be?

My daughter can hold her head up, does this mean she won’t be as severe as your child?

I am terrified that our son won’t be able to do anything. What signs will tell me how bad things are?

……………………But the answer they seek is the same. I wish, more than anything, that there was a straightforward answer that could bring instant comfort to the very real anxiety experienced in those early days. It is so pervasive that it tends to dominate everything else ~ every thought, every emotion, every experience, every thing.  As much as we try to ignore those worries, they demand our attention and we desperately want to know something……… ANYTHING that will give us an inkling of what the months/ years ahead have in store for our little ones and consequently for us.

If we were really honest, though, what we are seeking are answers that will tell us that our child won’t be as severe as the doctors have predicted and hopefully not as severe as some of the children we have seen on the countless Facebook groups we belong to. It is frightening to be launched into this world and as we start to look around and see the potential outcomes, that fear reaches whole new levels.

When we first heard those words…..Severe. Cerebral. Palsy. , we felt panic and terror rise in us like a hot lava. We couldn’t begin to imagine what our future would look like. Our daughter was a mere five days old when we got the diagnosis. We had only had five days to wrap our heads around the fact that we were parents let alone have our dreams and expectations of parenting come to a grinding halt.

When we got this prognosis, social media didn’t exist as it does today. My husband would read medical journals in search of some glimmer of hope that things would be okay. It is different now with things like Facebook and blogging. Parents find their way to public groups on Facebook and plead with the parents who are further down the road to please assess the video clip they have posted and tell them if they think their child will be able to walk or talk or at least be less than severe. It’s complicated because for the most part, they are told they just have to wait and see; that they just need to love their baby as they are right now. This is true but easier said than done. That is for sure. And still, the newcomers to this land want answers………just some measure of hope to hang onto as they navigate these early days.

The veteran parents, like me, try to comfort and console and tell them to trust that it will get easier but our words fall on deaf ears. Newcomers to this land know what they are looking for and if you aren’t providing it, they don’t want it. This is the nature of this journey. It isn’t right or wrong. It is just a part of it. I was there, too, at one time. I listened to the stories of miraculous outcomes and of the ones who proved those doctors wrong. I didn’t want to hear about anything else. I needed to know that there was always a chance that our girl would be that miracle and be that one in a million kid that baffled her doctors. And usually, when these questions are asked, there are the comments that boost the hopes of the parents. They often start with “The doctors said our son wouldn’t be able to do anything and look at him now (picture posted of child).” Others tell them not to give up and to believe in miracles.

I sometimes offer some hard earned words of wisdom:

I firmly believe that motherhood (and fatherhood) is the greatest lesson in surrender. Mothering a child with hie/ special needs/ medical fragility is an even greater lesson in surrender. And probably one of the hardest lessons of this whole journey. This is the thing:

There is no way of knowing when or how or what.

But as you try in vain to figure out something that cannot be figured out……….something magical happens. It is subtle and hard to pinpoint when the magic occurs but one day you are going to notice that you are not thinking about the future as much. There will come a time when you won’t compare your child to other kids with the same condition. You will even get to a place where you will no longer look at neuro-typical kids their age and feel a piece of your heart snap off like a piece of peanut brittle (imagine that!!). Eventually, your son or daughter will just be who they are. It will happen in time but being in the meantime just sucks. It is hard. REALLY hard. Chest-tightening-suck-the-breath-out-of-you hard. No one can give you the answer you seek. We can give opinions, share our stories and give you some hopeful comments, but none of us knows what tomorrow will hold.

Celebrate the great big things like a hint of a grin, a peaceful sleep, the lifting of a head during tummy time and every other moment that exceeds the last. For some of us, this includes having our child with us one more day. Stay in that moment and celebrate big time! Whatever the outcome, truth be told, your child will amaze you in a way you cannot even imagine! That I do know. And soon, you will know it, too.

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 Did you like this post? You might also like my new book! Available at www.amazon.com and at www.amazon.ca or through the link on this website.

Dec 7 15

She’ll Be Fine

by julie

She’ll Be Fine….”

I heard this statement more times than I can count after Meredith was born. A broad, hopeful statement announced with such confidence that for many, it would override the grim prognosis given by the neurologist. Sometimes it was peppered with additional claims like, “Oh, she is so beautiful. She’ll be fine” or “Lots of kids are a bit delayed. She’ll be fine” or “The doctors don’t know what they’re talking about. She’ll be fine.”

IMG_0035I am still not certain if the ones saying this actually believed it or if they were just trying to be positive in a very negative situation. They might have truly thought that cuteness was a measure of how a baby will turn out. This is reflective of the other belief that with enough love and prayers, miracles can happen. The problem with that is when miracles don’t happen, you can’t help but wonder if perhaps you would have loved a little harder or prayed a little more, things would be different.

I tended to lean more towards the knowledge and experience of our neurologist. I would nod and smile at those who would state “She’ll be fine” with such gusto and sureness that I couldn’t bear to shatter their dreams for our daughter. I would lead them to believe that I, too, knew she would be fine. The thing was, I knew the complete opposite was true. She wasn’t going to be fine. In fact, she was going to be far from fine. She wasn’t going to talk or walk or eat or dance or skip or sing or hug  or do an extraordinary amount of things. The one thing I knew for sure was that our girl was not going to be fine. She was dealing with a brain injury so extensive and complex that the mere fact she was still living was our miracle and I knew that this would likely be the biggest miracle of all; the fact that she survived her birth.

She’ll be fine” was expressed in an almost patronizing fashion. Beneath “She’ll be fine” was “Quit being such a worry wart. Let’s not entertain the reality of what you are dealing with. You are such a drama queen. Seriously, she’ll be fine.” And it was often punctuated with the flip of a hand and I usually felt like maybe I was over reacting, maybe she would somehow, with enough hope and faith and prayer, be fine.

Yesterday, we celebrated Meredith’s 12th birthday and guess what?12309521_10156274707170076_7736063497038614271_o

All of those people from the early days were right!

I have rarely been wrong when it comes to Meredith but all of those people who brushed off my concerns and worries with a flippant, “She’ll be fine” were right all along.

I do know, though, that their version of “fine” was very different than what “fine” has come to mean in our lives. Back then, “fine” meant she would fully recover, she would be neuro-typical and even “normal” (whatever that means) and “okay.” It was an attempt to ease our worries and invalidate our concerns.

Look up the meaning of ‘fine’ and you will discover that it means ‘of high quality’ and is associated with words like:  excellent, first-class, first-rate, exceptional, outstanding, superior, splendid, magnificent, exquisite, select, supreme, superb and wonderful.

“She’ll be fine?”

You bet she is. She is finer than fine.

 

Nov 27 15

The Moments That Define Us

by julie

The last almost twelve years is a blur of inhalations and exhalations, of periods of memory loss and of tens of thousands of moments that flicker through my mind like one of those ViewMaster toys from my childhood. I can sit quietly and access moments as though flicking through a ViewMaster reel…tiny frames of moments that were lived yet seem so far away that I wonder if they really did happen afterall. If it weren’t for the thousands of photographs taken over the years, I suspect the majority of our lives parenting Meredith would be forever lost in the abyss of mind altering exhaustion and unrelenting stress.

Sometimes, my husband and I will remember something out of the blue and will share it with one another. It is as though we have uncovered a long buried treasure. These little episodes of memory recall surface without warning and we are always shocked at how the details spill out once the memory is triggered. We will both try to fill in the blanks and sometimes we nod in agreement and other times, we wonder how our perception of one particular experience can differ so vastly. Of all of the events that will remain unearthed and of all of the events that work their way to the surface like a piece of glass embedded in your heel, there are a handful that stand out and that illustrate the most defining moments of this parenting path. The night we met the Walker family is one of those moments.

In the fall of 2009, we were preparing to bring Meredith to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) for hip surgery as her doctor could see from x-rays that her hips would soon start to dislocate if we didn’t intervene. We knew that this would be a straightforward surgery but all surgery carries risks especially for our medically complex children. I was very stressed in those days and meticulously planned every detail. We would be living away from home for at least two weeks and after a brief stay at CHEO we would be moved to Rogers House (pediatric palliative care home) which would provide transitional care for our little family before bringing Meredith home. At that time, we were still holding Meredith fifteen hours a day and I couldn’t fathom how we would do this with most of her body casted with her legs splayed out resembling a frog.

IMG_3631The surgery went well and we moved into a room shared with another family. Meredith was loaded with medications to help with pain and to keep her calm as the last thing we wanted was for her to fight the fact that she was on her back in a full hip spika cast (both legs up to rib cage). IMG_3664We settled into our room and by evening Tim was heading out for the night to sleep while I did the first shift. The family next to us had a similar arrangement and the mother left around the same time. Not long after, the father of the child in the next bed popped his head around the curtain and said, “Sounds like you have a similar model to us.” You see, Meredith and their son were making their usual noises and I had suspected our roommate was a lot like Meredith. It turned out their son was in hospital to get a feeding tube; a surgery that Meredith had in 2004 at just six weeks of age. Their son, Griffin, had already been through this hip surgery two years prior and so we were able to exchange tips with one another about what to expect and what improvements we might see. It was clear that Griffin’s dad, Dan, had a healthy sense of dry humour and we connected very quickly.

The next morning, Griffin’s dad wheeled him over to Meredith’s bedside so they could see one another. Up until this point, Meredith had never met another child even remotely like her. They looked at each other as well as they were able to and in that moment things changed for us. This little boy and his family represented far more than a chance meeting of a similar family. These things would be revealed in time.
IMG_3655As it turned out, they were heading to Rogers House as well for transitional care. A few days after Meredith’s surgery, we celebrated her 6th birthday at Rogers House. When I talk about defining moments I will tell you that one of the most heart melting of these was when on her birthday, there was a knock on our door and in rolled Griffin (with the help of his mama, Jen) bringing birthday flowers to our girl.

As I reflect on this moment six years later almost to the day, I cannot put my finger on what exactly changed for us but I suspect it was very simple. We discovered that we were not alone in this parenting adventure. At this point, social media was not like it is today and we were very, very isolated in our experience.

Before long, we made plans to get together once our kids were healed up from their surgery. Dan and Jen (Griffin’s mama) also had a two and a half year old daughter. In march of 2010, they made the 100km journey from their home to ours for lunch and to celebrate Copy (2) of Copy of Griffin's Visit 002Griffin’s birthday. He was just three months younger than Meredith.  I have never felt more regular than I did that day walking to the park with our new friends and our kids. For once since Meredith’s birth, I felt like we belonged. We went to the park and hauled our kids out of their wheelchairs and down the slides and there was lots of laughter and a sense of normalcy which we hadn’t felt in a very long time.

During this visit, Dan and Jen attempted to recruit us into the parent support group that had started at Rogers House. This was a monthly meeting for parents of children with medical fragility/ life-limiting illnesses and they felt that I, especially, could benefit from this. In those days I was sleeping rarely and found myself on the brink of burnout on a very regular basis. Dan was the primary caregiver to Griffin while Jen worked outside of the home. Dan urged me to give it a try. I attended the following month and very quickly knew that I had found my tribe.

Over the years, we got together when we were able and Jen and Dan came to our home for Meredith’s birthday party each year. Eventually, our visits had become few and far between because neither Griffin nor Meredith travelled well. Dan and Jen also added another child to the mix and so things got more complicated as time went on. But over the years, seeing Meredith with her friend, Griffin, even briefly, brought more joy to our lives than pretty much anything has.

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This past spring, Griffin’s parents were given a devastating prognosis due to complications of scoliosis and Griffin was given six months to live. About a month ago, things took a turn for the worse, and Jen and Dan pulled Griffin from school knowing that the end was near. On November 23rd at 5pm, Griffin died at home surrounded by his parents and grandmother. He was eleven years old.

Like Meredith, his traumatic birth outcome changed the course of the life his parents had dreamed for him. The eleven years that he lived proved to be challenging and certainly not without suffering at times. His parents loved him fully and were dedicated to giving him the best quality of life that could be provided. My heart broke in the days leading up to his death. It broke for his parents and all of the people who know and love them. It broke with the knowledge that one of the most influential people in our daughter’s life would no longer be a part of it. One could argue that their time together was brief but duration of time spent together does not reduce its meaning. On some level, I think they recognized themselves in each other.

Griffin gifted our family with connection and a sense of belonging. As a result of their meeting, we were brought into a tribe of parents that share a similar experience and this has broadened our support system and moved us out of isolation. Griffin was Meredith’s only friend who was “like” her and since she doesn’t attend school, he really was her only friend that she spent any time with. When we first met the Walkers, I never imagined that six years later, we would be preparing to gather tomorrow to celebrate Griffin’s life. I will be forever grateful that Dan popped his head around the curtain that night in November of 2009 and introduced us to a whole new world that we had yet to become a part of.

I will miss you, Griffin. Thank you for all that you brought to our family. You will never be forgotten.

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Oct 9 15

Kitten Smitten

by julie

It all started a couple of months ago when a pathetic-looking, stray kitten was found under my van. He was in rough shape and in obvious need of nourishment, love and a good once over by a Veterinarian.

The unfortunate reality is we are not pet owners. In the nineteen years that my husband and I have been together, we have owned a total of two cats (a brother and sister) who came together and in the end, left together. They were good pets but not fond of our screaming, unpredictable new baby and so after leaving many clear signs that they were not happy with the new addition to our family, we had to let them go.

Over the years, many people enthusiastically told us how “wonderful” a pet would be for Meredith. They would say things like, “I’ve read that children with cerebral palsy do really well with dogs” or “Wouldn’t it be so nice for Meredith to have a cat?” Yes, I suppose it would be but for most of the last twelve years, the thought of putting any more energy into giving care to another living being or thing, overwhelmed me and we just didn’t entertain the idea for more than about three seconds. We didn’t even have a plant in the house. I was serious about my caregiving tank being pretty much maxed out.

But the last couple of years have been a little less draining and I have been able to work more out of the home. My husband has always secretly wanted a pet but knew that it was a sensitive topic to broach.

So, this little kitten shows up and we try to find the owners but he isn’t claimed. The weather was rainy and windy so we provided shelter, food and water for him and I did what any responsible potential pet owner would do; I made an appointment with the Vet. As cute as he was, he wasn’t coming into our house with those manky eyes and dripping nose. I was actually warming up to the idea, though, and was feeling excited about introducing a kitten to Meredith. An hour before the appointment, our little stray disappeared, never to be seen again. Surprisingly, I felt a little twinge in my heart when he didn’t return.

Fast forward to last week when our friends posted a photo of a little stray kitten that had found its way to their doorstep. They were having no luck in finding the owners but hadn’t decided whether or not they wished to add to their pet family. After checking in with them and confirming that he was extremely affectionate, I offered our home if he wasn’t claimed. Five days ago, we became the proud human parents to a five month old male kitten. This is Tate:

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To say I have fallen head over heels in love with this furry, sweet animal, would be grossly understated. I love him because he has taken to Meredith as though he was specially trained as a therapy cat just for her and then hand delivered to us. I am so incredibly amazed at how intuitive and caring he is towards our girl and she is equally smitten with him. When I am holding Meredith in my arms, he lies beside us and then reaches his paw up and places it on her arm. I am not kidding. It is remarkable. Her naps are more settled this week since Tate lies across her legs and she can feel his warmth and beating heart against her. Oh, and that purring…….just makes her smile as soon as he starts. They are a beautiful match and I am grateful they, somehow, found their way to one another.

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Sadly, we learned after Tate arrived that one of Meredith’s caregivers is severely allergic to cats and so now that he has settled in so well, she has unfortunately had to give her notice. She is sad to have to let go of Meredith but feels the joy right along with us that Meredith gets to experience what every child dreams of experiencing and that is the love of her own pet.

 

Jul 6 15

Self-Care Revisited (a.k.a Practice What You Preach)

by julie

If you haven’t heard, I recently launched this sweet little book where I share life lessons that I learned when I was blindsided by an unexpected outcome. I wrote from my perspective of a mother of a child with medical fragility but I am hearing more and more from my readers that this book should be read by everyone. I agree. EVERYONE needs to read my book.

I spent a lot of time writing about self-care because as caregivers we cannot afford to be unwell or to get entrenched in the bad habits that could eventually lead to our demise. I was obsessed with my own self-care and health from the day Meredith was born. I knew that I had to be well in mind, body and spirit if I was going to provide care to her for the long haul. Over the last 11 1/2 years, I have had periods of time where I have slacked off or simply couldn’t do all of the things that I knew would support my system because I was too exhausted and stressed to head out for an exercise class or make a healthy breakfast when two gigantic mugs of coffee with heavy cream and sugar seemed to do the trick. And really, is there anything wrong with eating toast and peanut butter for dinner and crackers and hummous for lunch??

In the short term, no. There isn’t anything wrong with getting through the day (or the night) however you see fit. If you have parented like I have, you know all about survival mode. In fact, anyone who has been a parent knows about survival mode. Parents like me, get stuck in that mode for months and even years in a row.

On page 27 of my book, I write:

“If you are further along on the road and have evaluated your own self-care practices only to discover a very low score, it is never too late. Even small changes can yield big results in the long run, such as resilience, a strong immune system, a happier mood and a greater ability to cope with stress. The more you care for yourself, the easier and more natural it becomes………..Practice preventative healthcare so that you do not crumble under the strain of the realities of your life. It is more than possible, it is a necessity and the choice is up to you. Begin now.”

This is where ‘practicing what you preach’ rears its persistent head. I have been slacking in the self care department for a while now. I generally eat whole foods and feel relatively good. The problem is that I have also become somewhat of a sloth and have gotten into the habit of consuming a daily glass or two of wine. I know, I know…….not the worst things I could do but for me and the way my body operates, this “health” regime isn’t cutting it. I am carrying a round many extra pounds and realize that some of my ailments like excruciatingly painful periods probably have to do with a hormonal system that isn’t quite up to par. I know for a fact that starting my day with that glorious hot beverage of coffee (don’t forget the cream and sugar) and ending it with that even more glorious beverage of red wine (or two) is not helping an already over taxed system.

The most interesting thing to me is that the moment we exhaled and settled into the fact that Meredith was fully engaged in a stable, somewhat predictable phase of her life (the first one!), our self-care habits flew right out the window…..almost immediately. It was like we, too, could relax and ease up on the pressures we had placed on ourselves in an attempt to stay healthy and vibrant even in the midst of the stress we were under. And we jumped in to those bad habits with both feet; making up for lost time it seemed. We are starting to get the feeling that these days are winding down and life as we know it will change in the coming months and not in a good way. I know that there are big battles ahead and that we again, will need to be in tip top shape to handle them.

So, I did what any reasonable person would do. I signed up for a 12 week tune -up and balancing program offered by a local integrative health centre. Today is Day 1 of 30 days following the Whole30 program which will be followed by a re-introduction of the foods that might be wreaking havoc on my system. I already know the culprits but choose to ingest them anyway no matter how rotten they make me feel over the long run. Starting today, those culprits have been denied access to my body. Finally the last 30 days is about making this a lifestyle change and maintaining the healthy status I will eventually return to in a matter of 12 weeks. Did I mention I have signed a contract and will be monitored by a Naturopath, a Nutritionist, a Personal Trainer and a Mindfulness Coach? I have had to commit to attend one group meeting each week where different topics are discussed like impact of stress and the role of hormones in our bodies. And finally, I have to attend two bootcamp-type classes per week. I will now be held accountable because I have signed a contract and I have written a blog post so there is no turning back now.

It is humbling to admit that sometimes we need to get on board and practice what we have been preaching. It’s okay to fall off the wagon. The main thing is you eventually get back on not only for YOU but for those you love.

Jun 15 15

The Teacher Retires

by julie

I have some news and decided that this was the best place to share it. This blog has also been neglected and by writing here, I hope to be inspired to write more in the weeks and months to come.
In Chapter 22 of my new book, “What I Would Tell You,” I wrote about letting go and new beginnings:

You may need to let go of things in your life, things that you desperately want to hang on to, things that feel part of your identity. Often, familiarity and security keep us where we are and prevent us from growing an evolving………..Be willing to let go of certain things to make room for the opportunities that are waiting in the sidelines. Grief is a part of letting go, even if it is for the best and you are unsure whether letting go will lead to new beginnings. Yet every ending does lead to new beginnings even if it doesn’t feel that way at the time. There will be a new beginning. There always is.”

For the last few months it has become clear that it is time to let go of my beloved prenatal education classes. This fall will mark my 10th year teaching a class that I developed and shared with expectant parents that I know made a difference in their birth and parenting experiences. With the launch of my book and my desire to focus more on my celebrancy work as well as other paths I am pursuing, I decided that I would retire from teaching. Although I had intended on teaching until December, I have made the difficult decision to retire much earlier than planned due to unforeseeable circumstances. I will teach my last class in August 2015. THE GREAT NEWS is that Mother Nurture Childbirth classes will continue under the very capable hands of doula extraordinaire, Shannon Bedore , who will be teaching this class in Pembroke (location to be determined) on a monthly basis. Contact me at julie@juliekeon.com for more information.

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Prenatal Class 2006

It has been a struggle as I know how beneficial these classes have been and frankly, I love teaching especially couples who are embarking on this great adventure of parenting. But my heart isn’t in it as it used to be and that is because I am feeling called to use my skills and knowledge in other capacities namely offering more workshops for women who have experienced difficult/ traumatic births or unexpected outcomes as well as developing workshops for those who care for couples in labour/ birth and who have experienced vicarious trauma as a result like doulas, nurses, etc. Although I have been offering this workshop for 7 years now, I know that there is much more demand and I want to make the space in my life to put my energy into helping women who find themselves living with the aftermath of a difficult/ negative birth. There is much healing work to do in this area and the time is right for it.

I also love my celebrancy work. Creating meaningful, custom ceremonies for families, couples and individuals whether it be in the capacity of new baby welcoming ceremonies, marriages, ceremonies of transition like coming-of-age or croning ceremonies, healing ceremonies, ceremonies for the dying and finally celebrating lives well lived through memorials and end-of life celebrations, has been remarkably fulfilling for me. I am especially drawn to end-of-life ceremonies and hope to offer more of these in the months/ years to come.

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Celebration of Life Ceremony altar

I am grateful to the 1000+ individuals who entrusted me with their childbirth education and who taught me so much in the process. It has been an honour and a privilege for me to be a part of such an extraordinary experience in your lives and I have never taken that for granted. I always felt an enormous responsibility as a prenatal teacher and I developed my classes with care and practicality knowing that no amount of education can really prepare someone for their birth experience. My goal always was to help people to have a positive birth experience however they defined that and I know in many cases I met that goal.

And so, thank you to all of the parents who allowed me the time to walk alongside you if only briefly as you moved into your roles as parents and to the professionals who referred their clients/ patients to me. I am grateful as well as a little sad and I will miss you all.
XO

Apr 24 15

Due Date

by julie

With just under two weeks to go until my first book launch date, I have to say that releasing this book feels like I am about to give birth to that second child we never got to have. This journey of writing for the last three years and attempting to put words down that would hopefully bring some relief to new parents walking this path of parenting has been nothing short of a labour of love. As the words spilled out, I realized that this book had the potential to positively impact not only the new parents whom I wrote it for initially but also everyone who comes in contact with families like ours from therapists, to doctors and nurses to family relief workers, teachers, educational assistants and our extended family and friends who love us.

If writing and publishing a book is akin to birthing, I would say that my pregnancy has been smooth although lengthy. Once the book was completed in early December 2014 and we began the process of editing and preparing it for press, I felt as though my labour had been initiated.  Labour was arduous at times but definitely do-able and manageable with the support of my “doulas” in the form of my husband, Tim, our family relief workers and nurses who cared for Meredith allowing me time and space to work on the book and in my friends and family members who never doubted me even when I was certain there was absolutely no way this book would ever reach completion.

Now, just under two weeks from my “due date” I feel as though I am running out of time and I am questioning whether or not I am ready to actually do this and release this “baby” to the world. I feel excited and anxious, vulnerable and empowered. I feel as though I am in nesting mode~ tying up loose ends and getting my summer ceremonies written well in advance in anticipation of the attention my post-book period is going to require. And as all labouring mothers can attest to, even in the darkest most challenging moments, there is always the knowledge that their baby will be born one way or another. There is a point of no return when you realize that THIS is actually happening!  Receiving these photos from my publisher last night, made my “baby’s” birth all the more imminent.

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Yes….those are the pages of MY book being printed!!

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And these are my books ready to be packaged and shipped out today!

My motivation for writing this book was to help those parents living this life in isolation with their child who is dealing with medical fragility or special needs. In the end, if this book makes a difference in their outlook on what lies ahead, if it gives them hope and if they gain a few insights that allow them to be gentle with themselves, then all of the hard work, blood, sweat and tears was worth it. We never know who our children will grow up to be. I am excited to see  how my “baby” develops and grows.

Information about buying the book:

For those of you who live in Ontario, here are the book launch dates/ locations:

COBDEN: Wed. May 6th from 7-9pm at the Whitewater-Bromley Community Health Centre, 70 Main Street. Launch and reading!

OTTAWA: Fri. May 8th from 7-9pm at Singing Pebble Books, 206 Main Street. Launch and reading!

TORONTO: Sat. May 9th from 1-3pm at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, 150 Kilgour Road. Launch plus live interview and Q&A.

For those of you locally, who cannot make any of the launches, you can purchase the book directly from me for a limited time. I will also be at Arts in the Park in Stittsville on June 7. A link will be up soon on this website to the publisher’s website where you can also purchase books after May 15th. E-books will be available soon. Don’t hesitate to reach me if you have questions or have difficulty getting your copy of my book.

 

 

Jan 15 15

Mission Accomplished

by julie

I admit, I am not the most consistent blogger and for good reason. For the last three years, I have been working on a book. I didn’t write every day in that three years and sometimes I would go months without writing but the act of writing a book was a part of my life for the last three years, nonetheless, and was an undertaking far more strenuous than I could have ever anticipated.

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The great news is that my book is finished and will hit the shelves, so to speak, sometime in the spring 2015! To say that I feel a tremendous sense of relief would be an understatement. On top of relief, I feel sheer excitement at the thought of holding MY book in my hands, as well as, sheer terror at the thought of releasing it to the world.

It was so easy in December 2011 to announce that I was writing a book and it was easier still to tell people, “yes, I am writing a book.” Keeping it in the present tense meant that it was an ongoing process and there wasn’t the pressure of what finishing it entailed. But I did finish and for the last few weeks, the book has been edited again and will go through one final edit before heading to the first readers~ those who will provide reviews for the back cover! The cover design will be revealed soon enough and this crazy idea of writing a book will be a reality and I can start saying, “I wrote a book.” I will be a bono fide author.

I know there will be things, after publication, that I will wish I had included in this book. Hopefully, a second edition will come after it is a bestseller 🙂 and additional chapters need to be added.

I am excited to experience the unfolding of the next few months. This website will be completely renovated sometime in February/ March with a brand new blog about our life in this moment on this adventure of parenting through medical fragility. There will also be an option to pre-order and purchase the “What I Would Tell You” book through this website.

A lot in store for this new year of 2015. Bring it on!