Shelley Writes | A Blog About Infertility, Adoption, Pregnancy and Motherhood
ShelleySkuster.com is a site focusing on our family's journey through infertility, adoption and pregnancy, as well as the transition of leaving the television news business to surviving the daily chaos of motherhood with three daughters under the age of three.
It’s taken me a long time to get to this point — the point where I feel comfortable sharing with you what is happening in my family.
Before I continue, I would like to request you please not comment with, “It will be OK.” Please also don’t assure me things could be worse. I already know this, and while these types of comments are well-intentioned, they won’t make me feel better right now because right now — in this moment — things are not OK. And something I’ve learned over the past few months is that it is OK to not be OK.
I simply need you, my beloved readers and friends and family members, to hold this space of pain and grief for me.
My son — my sweet, precious, happy son — does not meet any of his 14-month milestones.
We’ve known about his delays for quite some time now. He sees a teacher and a physical therapist through a local early intervention program.
At his recent check-up, though, there was something about filling in those boxes that made my heart sink.
Check. Check. Check. No. No. No.
No, he’s not running. No, he’s not walking backwards. In fact, he’s not even walking forward. No, he’s not standing. No, he’s not saying words...
I made my way down the list.
Our pediatrician is compassionate and thorough. He’s also known about our son’s delays from the earliest of days.
“It’s time,” he said.
He sent a referral over for us to see a developmental specialist at the local children’s hospital.
And while my brain was somewhat expecting this referral to happen at some point in the near future, my heart just wasn’t ready for the official-ness of it.
No one wants their child to experience delays. No one wants their child to have special needs or have some sort of diagnosis that could impact the rest of their life.
Certainly no one wishes for this, right?
I folded up the visit summary and referral information and tucked it in the outside pocket of our diaper bag. Then I buckled my son into his stroller. I gave him his favorite, soft blue blanket. We slid into the elevator and through the lobby, and I barely made it into the parking garage before I completely lost it. The December wind beat against my tear-soaked face.
When I got to our minivan, I parked the stroller and unbuckled my son. He is just learning to reach his arms up when he wants to be held. I scooped him up, and with my face pressed against his, I sobbed. Right there in that cold parking garage, I grieved the weight of the unknowns with My Son.
I texted my husband about the referral.
He said OK.
I replied: “I’m really sad about this.”
He texted back two words: “Me too.”
Many of you have followed our family’s journey through infertility, two adoptions and two pregnancies within four years; some of you have been following this page for a few weeks; others have cheered us on from the very beginning when I was still in TV news.
Regardless of how long you’ve been here, I want you to know I appreciate you giving me this space and platform to share what has weighed so heavily on my heart this year.
While my focus here oftentimes revolves around infertility, adoption and motherhood, I hope you’ll embrace and love us just as big with this new journey we are on with our son.
This post is sponsored by Holiday Inn brand. As always, thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that make this blog possible!
I remember waking up to the smell of pancakes on a hot griddle. My sister and I would excitedly stumble downstairs in our nightgowns. We'd run past my my grandpa sitting in his recliner listening to the morning news at an unspeakably loud volume and head straight to the kitchen where my grandma had been flipping pancakes, anticipating we'd be hungry when we woke up.
Her pancakes were cooked just the way I liked them: a thin center with a crispy rim along the outside of each one.
Maybe it's because she made them with so much love, but to this day sharing breakfast with my grandma brings about a sense of nostalgia.
Breakfast in Spillville, Iowa.
The mornings I'd spend pouring syrup over those homemade pancakes flipped and fried on the farmhouse kitchen griddle have become distant memories.
Now decades later, it's almost like it's come full circle -- watching my mom become much like her own by carving out time to create memories with her granddaughters; memories that will undoubtedly bring a similar sense of nostalgia for them as they grow up.
I think as mothers we can become so busy creating memories with our children, that we often forget about ourselves.
Perhaps that's why I was so excited to get away with three generations of my favorite moms -- my grandma, mom and twin sister.
We checked into our home away from home -- the Holiday Inn Hotel in downtown Brooklyn.
Staff at the hotel insisted we couldn't visit New York without snagging a slice of Juliana's Pizza.
This pizzeria is considered to be one of the best in the US, hence the 50-minute wait for a table.
Once inside, we filled up on fresh mozzarella, coal-fired deliciousness.
After lunch, we strolled through the Dumbo neighborhood (short for "Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass") and took in stunning views of Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge.
We hit up some touristy spots, then called it a night.
And as if waking up to this view after a good night's sleep wasn't enough...
We had this delicious breakfast cooked to order for us in the hotel's restaurant. It was a breakfast none of us cooked but all of us thoroughly enjoyed.
And it was the perfect start to a fun-filled day of sightseeing in the city.
As the sun went down we made our way through Times Square to Broadway.
This 1950s-themed diner is known for its world famous singing wait staff. In fact, many of them have gone on to perform in Broadway casts and national tours in shows like Wicked, Jersey Boys and Mama Mia.
The food (especially the homemade cheesecake!) and energetic atmosphere were an absolute blast.
After dinner, it was time to hit up our bucket list: It was show time at Minskoff Theatre!
It's hard to describe what it was like seeing a musical on Broadway, let alone getting to experience it with three people I love so dearly. It was truly extraordinary.
The next morning while I was packing up my suitcase, I couldn't help but smile. Not just because I knew there'd be a delicious breakfast waiting for us downstairs (much like those nostalgic breakfasts I anticipated with my grandma years ago), but because I realized that while motherhood is full of fleeting moments, the memories shared between a grandmother, mother and her daughters will never fade.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Holiday Inn. The opinions and text are all mine.