Monday, October 26, 2009


A long time ago, in a galaxy far away, I learned of a site called Baby Center. I call it a galaxy far away because there was this girl I used to know. I remember she was young and naïve. She wandered free, while carrying this simple belief, "if you want something bad enough, you could have it."

At the time, the girl decided she wanted to be pregnant. She naively thought she was not only going to get pregnant, but (are you ready for this?) she was going to plan the month too! Do you know this girl? Yes, this goof was me.

Anyway, Baby Center was right up my pregnancy planning alley. This site provided week by week information. You imput the date you think you'll be having your baby, and email updates magically appear letting you know exactly what's going on with your child.

Over the years, and unbeknownst to Baby Center, we've had a strained relationship. Ours is a one-sided love/hate connection. I loved the site while trying to get pregnant, but hated it when I couldn't. I again loved it when I might be pregnant, but hated it upon finding out I wasn't.

Baby Center never knew of my struggles with infertility. The emails kept pouring in - one as painful as the next.

When we received our referral for Aviana, I began to fall in love with Baby Center all over again. A real life baby. Supposedly - our baby. My hands danced the keyboard as I provided her birthday. Away we'd go. We were off together on sometimes hours long journeys of what is, and what would be. Even though our girl was in another country, and what felt a million miles away, I kept track of her every progression. I remained guarded throughout our adventures in cyberspace though. I knew the bottom of our adoption could drop at a moment's notice, but still, I had to look!

We finally traveled home with our long awaited girl, Aviana. I remember she would act a certain way and boom an email would arrive. It was as though Baby Center was reading my diary. They spoke of the exact occurrence and explained, what, why, when, etc. Baby Center and I had finally found our way. More than ever, we'd found pure, and only love. The hate had vanished. I looked forward to our daily communication. She filled me with knowledge and helped me with how to proceed in each new and exciting or even scary endeavor. By morning, she would welcome me with something like, “Why your 3-year-old repeatedly wants the same book read aloud.” My thought, "Oh my gosh - does Aviana ever! I was wondering"

She would not only tell of everything that was, but also what should and would be. Fascinating at the time. Now, not so much. These emails continue on a daily basis. Baby Center never got the memo. Truth is - I can't bear to tell her our sweet girl was hit by a car - that our 3~year~old can no longer walk, talk, hold the wight of her own head, or eat by mouth. No, Baby Center, our little one isn't a chatterbox right now, nor do we have bedtime battles.

After 3 ½ months of receiving, perusing, and deleting these emails, I have come to the conclusion - they are just too painful. They tell of another little girl, a girl I used to know, a girl who was stopped in her tracks on June 17, 2009 at 12:17pm.

Baby Center, I'm forced to sever our six year relationship.  I know you don’t understand. I know you thought you were nothing but good to me, to us. I know you did all you could. Trust me, “It’s not you, it’s me.” I’m sorry, but I must finally press the unsubscribe button.


  1. Amen Jen! I have had a similar battle with those e-mails . . . six pregnancies, no babies at the end . . .I finally stopped entering the "due date"! Now I do have two gorgeous Guate Tots and I didn't want to let Baby Center know about them. Not that Baby Center did anything wrong! I'm praying for your little sweetheart!

  2. Jen, yes, Baby Center keeps sending you emails of this other baby. I'm trying to think of something witty to write. I can't think of anything. Sorry, maybe I shouldn't have even started this comment but I'm not a quitter. So instead I will say that I will NOT look at Baby Center or anything else related to Baby Center in your and Aviana's honor. So take THAT Baby Center!!!!

  3. What a great post. Another way for us to understand what you experience each day. (P.S. It was great seeing Avi at Lily's party!)

  4. I was at Lily's party, too, but wasn't bold enough to introduce myself. I read your blog every so often and my heart goes out to you. You are a gifted writer. I do believe in the power of prayer. One of my favorite films, Shadowlands, is about C. S. Lewis. He says prayer doesn't change God, it changes us. I don't pretend to have any answers, but I do believe God loves your baby girl and allowed this for some reason. I lost a sister to suicide. There is no way to wrap my brain around it. I just have to believe that ALL things work together for good. He promised. I will pray for your girl. And for you, too.

  5. I understand you.
    I have a baby girl with a genetic disorder, and while it's not the same, in a way it is.

    I also got Baby Center's emails all through pregnancy and after birth. She was born a few days late, so the baby development emails were a week ahead. I didn't bother changing it because a) it's nice to see what the upcoming week will bring and b)of COURSE my baby will be super bright and advanced, and will be on par with the development one week ahead of her.


    In the beginning it was okay because it was all about nursing and burping and crying and swaddling, and it was okay when the first few milestones began to emerge. But then I just would read about these children who have no resemblance to my own.

    So I get you.