Entries in parenting (1)


Turning Lemons Into Lemonade

Performing at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY (photo by Jessica Salinas)Not only was 2016 the best year of my life, it has also been the hardest. I became a mother in January, and my son, Stanley, is a source of pure joy. When he was diagnosed with the rare liver disorder biliary atresia in March, our world turned upside down. He underwent a surgical procedure called the Kasai and spent three weeks in the hospital, during which we discovered he also had bilateral cateracts and needed two more surgeries. The doctors followed his progress and eventually determined that he would need a liver transplant. In June, Stanley was put on the organ list, and we got the call on July 15th. He spent 37 more days in the hospital, 31 of which were in the pediatric intensive care unit due to various complications. As one would expect, the experience has been an emotional roller coaster, so of course I turned to my favorite coping mechanism—writing and storytelling. Talking about what I'm going through while I'm going through it has helped me more than any therapist could and I feel more inspired than I have in a long time. I'm the kind of person who tries to make the best out of any situation, and this one has proven to be quite a challenge, but not impossible. 

One of the highlights of the last few months was performing in the chapel at the Green-Wood Cemetery as part of Encampment: Fireside Tales & Tunes in August. Another was October's All Stars of Comedy: Super Heroes Night at Pete's Candy Store, where donations were taken to benefit the Children's Organ Transplant Association in honor of Stanley. You can watch videos from both shows on my Storytelling page. 

I also appeared on a couple podcasts. I discussed Stanley's diagnosis and treatment on How to Get Away With Parenting and shared clips from old cassette tapes on Lost and Rewound. You can find links to both episodes, as well as other podcasts that have featured me, on my new Podcasts page. 

In addition, I'm relaunching my open mic Another Round Storytelling as a weekly show with cohost Drew Prochaska, starting Wednesday, November 9th, at Over the Eight in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. RSVP here for the event and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

You can read more about Stanley's hospitalization on his COTA website blog. And if you like looking at pictures of cute babies, you can also follow Stanley on Instagram or Facebook

Stanley at home two months post liver transplant (© 2016 Amber Drea)