Wednesday, October 19, 2011


A news-y post, unusual for me. But lots of small things I want to record.

First and foremost, the ultrasound went well, we are expecting a baby girl. The inevitability of a new addition to our family grows with my figure, and I am admitting a joy I have not felt often in the last few years. It's a good feeling.

There are some reading updates I wanted to give:

A blog: a fellow grieving mother referenced this blog post. It is very raw, and very real, and very touching.

An article from the New York Times on what it is like to parent a child with a terminal illness. This, unlike the previous one, did not leave me in a puddle of tears, but was equally raw, and real, and touching.

And two books. The first, called The Leftovers, by Tom Perrotta. I've not read his work before, heard about this one on NPR. It's the story of a the people left behind in a town after what appears to be The Rapture, but there doesn't seem to be a real pattern behind who disappeared and who didn't. Though I expected some sarcasm, the book is a real exploration of grief and loss and unmet expectations. While far from profound, I definitely found it thought-provoking. Much more than a religious rapture, it made me think about a disaster's effect on a community, ie the Japanese tsunami.

The second I'm not finished with yet. I'm probably the last person in America who has not yet read The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Technically, I'm listening to it on audiobook, anyway. After hearing many many people rave about it, I'm a bit disappointed. The reading is quite entertaining; there are several readers with different voices doing the narration. I also find the subject matter interesting, but the characters are so very unbelievable and caricatured to me that I had trouble with the first third of the book. I'm about 2/3 of the way through now, and the storyline, even with it's predictability, is getting good enough for me to forget some of my objections. I'll definitely finish it, but not a big fan.

And one I intend to read: The Marriage Plot, by Geoffrey Eugenides. His characters are the opposite of caricatures, I'm so glad he is publishing a new book. I may or may not like it, but his writing is so good that I'll enjoy reading it either way.


Margaret Polaneczky, MD (aka TBTAM) said...

Thanks for pointing me to theNY Times article - It was powerful.

rlbates said...

So happy all is going well

Libby said...

Congratulations! So happy for you and your family.

Betsy said...

So happy the ultrasound went well. I am also glad to hear of your joy. I know you're always remembering your boy and what a tribute to him that you are finding life-affirming ways to move forward.

michiganme said...

I felt the same way when I read "The Help"---entertaining enough, but many of the characterizations were over the top. However, I thought the movie was much better, so much more believable.

Katerina said...

Dr. Smak, I am so happy for your pregnancy and wish you the best. Almost a year ago you wrote wistfully of a door closing, not being the mother of a young child again, and I tried to suggest that it may not be so forever... and, as they say, here you are! I'm sure there will be sweet as well as bittersweet moments with memories of Henry as your last baby ever present but I know that you will be happy. Thinking of you.

SOCKS said...

It's so good to have you back - I missed your writings.

Sybil said...

Sorry to be late in my commenting but I am slowly getting all my blogs read after my holiday.
I am very very happy to read that the scan went well, congradulations and an early welcome to the baby girl..
I am away now to read the articles you have mentioned Please keep in touch with us whenever you can.
Love Sybil x

ADB said...

Congratulations on your pregnancy, and I hope all goes well. You have done a sterling job in raising awareness of what it is like to have a child with terminal illness, and how it affects you after the child dies.

...tom... said...

I was all but challenged to read The Help by an online 'friend' when I expressed skepticism about how 'good' it really was/could be.

I am down to double digits on the waiting list at the local public welfare book store. I did get access to and downloaded the audio version . . .but found it dreadfully boring.

The only time I would have to 'read/listen' would be online while working/surfing on the web ...and that just does not work well for me.

Guess I will wait for the print version . . .how primitive..!!



Rebecca said...

Dear Dr Smak- I have not read you blog for ages- followed you here after you left a comment on snickollet. I am so glad for you with this new baby.
Have you ever read ? She lost her daughter Ava at age 3. I check almost daily to see if possibly, maybe she will have a pregnancy announcement like yours (she is openly trying to conceive). I think you would appreciate her thoughts and insights.
Glad for you.