Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I Never Wanted To Be Popular

An interesting phenomenon has occurred on my blog. I went from getting 80-100 hits a day, mostly from people who knew me or other law school moms, to getting 1500+ hits a day. I never wanted to have a story this interesting or emotional. I was happy that my posts revolved around being behind in my law school reading, disliking pregnancy, and the joys and struggles of having a newborn. A cute picture of Landon or a surprisingly good grade on an exam is about as exciting as this blog got. It was fun to see the random google searches that brought people here: "eating pizza while pregnant" was oddly common, "why don't I like being pregnant" pops up a lot, but the most frequent, and the reason I started this blog, is "having a baby in law school." I wanted to write my story of balancing the two- with a few cute pictures thrown in for fun.

And then Oct. 4th everything changed and I became a story that people talked about and linked to. Now hundreds of strangers read this each day. I am unbelievably grateful for their support- I have read every comment several times over. But it comes at a cost. Suddenly I'm open to being doubted (or outright criticized) and while that should be the last of my concerns right now, it hurts, a lot, when I find someone who does. I think it's human nature to remember every word of the 1 criticism out of 100 positive responses, and I'm no different.

I'm not sure what I'll do when this is all over (because someday, somehow, it will be). Do I start a new blog under a whole new name? Do I go back to my boring posts and trust that most people will lose interest? Have I discovered a whole new reservoir of online friends and blogs to follow? I'm not sure yet. I've gained a lot from this blog. My circle of blogger friends have enriched my life in ways I never anticipated. I was one of the first among my friends to have children and despite their enthusiasm and support, I felt a little lost. The other MILS (moms in law school) understand me in ways that my friends in real life cannot and they have become an important part of my support system.

I understand why people would doubt all of this- there have been many times over the past few days when I can't believe it's real. But I think that when you decide to become part of an online community, you take a leap of faith to trust the words of someone you wouldn't know on the street.

So thank you to those of you who have made that jump and offered your belief, prayers, and support. A year ago I never would have imagined this nightmare. And I certainly wouldn't have imagined that much of my strength would be drawn from people I've never even met.

39 comments:

  1. I found your blog several months ago. As a former law student who wondered if Chicago was as bad as the rumors, and more recent mom, I enjoyed following your journey. To be honest, if I hadn't followed it (and read the archives), I might have wondered about the truth of all this. It just seems so insane.

    However, you've provided so much detail (law school name, undergrad name, sports in undergrad, etc.) ever since you started blogging that it's just inconceivable that this is made up.

    I think about you all the time. Best of luck tomorrow. I'll be checking for updates.

    Oh, and I'm sure someone has already mentioned this, but

    http://www.familydefensecenter.net/people/staff-board-of-directors.html

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  2. Awww.

    I'm sorry that some difficults have caused you [additional] pain. There are jerks and misunderstandings everywhere in the world, but like any amazing story yours is powerful because 1) you're a good writer, 2) your emotions are very well written on this blog, and 3) it's clear that you have many strong emotions, feelings and love behind your entries here. Sometimes strong emotions evoke strong emotional response, and I can see how 1% may be a negative response, but it's highly unfortunate =(

    I read your blog BEFORE it became about this crazyness. I am in law school, and I'm getting married, and I want to have kids someday. I never commented before because I was content just learning from your experiences. All your issues were very valuable to me since I could see myself some day facing them.

    I felt extremely floored when I read your blog and it stated you were under investigation from the police.... I still remember the shock I felt that day. I don't know you, but all your stories, for the longest time, had been so NORMAL. And in so many ways you are like me (except the baby part) and my life is extremely boring. So, how could your life, as boring as mine, become so devastating?

    Also, I think it's beautiful that despite your natural protectiveness of Landon, you have such an acknowledgement of everyone elses pain (maya, random strangers lives who are helping you). You seem to have a high awareness of all those around you and their suffering and it's really pretty.

    Anyway, I think we all want to reach out to you because we can relate and your writing portrays a lot of your inner beauty.

    Also, there is an innate love for a baby. Your baby was loved and he is innocent. There is no reason for him to be away from you...

    I pray for you to get some sleep tonight. I pray for intense luck for tomorrow...

    Your baby will be okay no matter how long it takes for you to get him back, but I too hope it'll be tomorrow. But if isn't, he'll come back!! And you should take care of yourself...you deserve to be happy...much much more happier than you are now... *tears and hugs*

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  3. hmmm... meant to say

    *some difficult comments have caused you additional pain

    and also didn't mean to say despite your love for landon, but rather

    *besides your intense love for landon you also have care for others in your life

    I should read my commetns before I post! Next time...

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  4. I'm one of the many that just recently found your blog, and I just wanted to say that you and your family are in my prayers. I hope this will all be over for you tomorrow and you can begin to put together the pieces that have been ripped apart over these last few weeks.

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  5. I'm one of your more recent readers, led here by Amalah at Mom's Daily Dose. The internet renders the mom world a small world, and your story taps into the greatest fear a mom has. I am baffled by what you are going through, but I believe you, and I have to hope that the system will work its unwieldy way toward the right resolution. I have not seen negative comments because I don't read other comments that closely, but I would imagine that disbelief if your story might be borne of a desire to not believe your story - that is to say, people may wish such things could not happen, so they choose to call you a liar in order to continue believing such things do not happen. You now know better, and for that reason will have gained a perspective on the bond betwen you and your child that many on this earth lack. This is not to say this situation has a silver lining, but when he is back in your arms for good, you will know something so few people do.

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  6. Anon at 11:06: that is an almost beautiful way of summarizing this situation.

    I should clarify that no one has commented on my blog with negativity (perhaps fearing the hoard of angry responses, but hopefully just because most people aren't cruel). Out of curiousity I've clicked on some of the links that brought people here, and the doubt and criticism is from a few of those blogs and their comments.

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  7. Let us know what blogs, we'll go flame them. ;)

    I think keeping the blog going after this ordeal is over is important. Yours was the first pregnant law student blog I started reading. It was comforting to know that others had similar experiences and made it through. I doubt you're the only ones to ever be railroaded by child protective services. Others in similar situations might find comfort and inspiration from reading your story, and your subsequent posts about how life goes on and how you recover after such an ordeal.

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  8. I was directed here by one of your Texas friends, and I was so outraged that I spent my entire class period reading your past posts and researching things on pubmed related to birth injuries. I really had to make an effort not to cry in class - I'm the same age as you, and I just asked myself - how could I hold it together if that was me? You're clearly a very strong person, and your restraint in this blog, I think, has been incredible.

    Anyway, I was so upset that I called my mom and told her all about it, and she said "I would have lost my mind if they had taken one of y'all away." It was real to her because one of my brothers had pretty serious medical problems as an infant, and during one emergency room visit, my mom was very pointedly sort of interrogated about how Jim came to be in the ER and why he already had casts on his legs. We had a medical explanation, but if we hadn't - they were already moving toward the phone to make the call. So I suppose I can't really say it's real, because this didn't happen to my family. But my mom will be praying for you tonight, and I will do the same. And I'm sure that tomorrow I will be thrilled that Landon either goes home with you or with his grandma, and small parts of Texas will rejoice with you in the righting of this absolutely unbelievable wrong.

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  9. I am one of your new readers, I found out about your situation and your blog from a fellow law school blogger that I read on a regular basis.

    I am just in shock of the situation that you are going through right now. Everyday in law school we learn about the legal system in this country that is supposed to keep order and keep innocent people safe, and yet this time the system is so badly broken that innocent people are getting hurt. I have the utmost respect for you and I admire you for your courage and strength during this difficult time.

    Good luck tomorrow, you and your family are in my thoughts and I wish you all well.

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  10. I hope you're not dealing with trolls. I BELIEVE you. I hope all of this is over and I can go back to enjoying your so-called "mundane" posts:)

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  11. Hey, I've been reading since you were mundane -- though since I'm a MILS that's not surprising.

    You know I'm praying. My son even prays -- I asked him to add "Mommy's friend LL" to his prayer list last night because I'm pretty sure kids have a direct line to God, or whoever you turn to in times like this.

    Hoping for the best outcome today.

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  12. I've been reading since April and while I'm not shocked that you've gotten lots of attention, it's insulting to suggest that this isn't real.
    I'm thinking of you guys and hoping this will all go away somehow.

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  13. Howdy.

    This is Stephanie, the nurse Mama from Mama Drama.

    I've spent the whole morning trying to find a doctor for you to contact to help you, and since I left direct bedside care, I don't have the direct contact information I once did.

    However, I would suggest for you to contact Keith Bly who is a faculty member in pediatrics at UTMB in Galveston. I worked with him. He and the faculty there are very familiar with OI and other more rare autoimmune disorders that affect the bones of babies.

    I don't have a direct way to contact him at UTMB anymore, but try emailing him through his private website:
    http://www.bly.cc/

    I cannot imagine how you feel right now. I give you all the sympathy and prayers I can. Mainly, though, I encourage you to find a doctor QUICKLY to both be your ally and to diagnose your son. The ONLY way to help is for Landon to get the proper diagnosis.

    Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to help.

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  14. ((((LL))))

    Positive thoughts for today!

    Don't be like me and stop blogging! You once told me that you had enjoyed reading my ordinary, mundane anecdotes...how I wish your life will be "ordinary" soon.

    Hang in there!

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  15. LL,

    I'm a law school non-mom who has been reading your blog for quite some time. Although I'm nowhere near the kid-having stage of my life, your blog has been a welcome reminder that there is life outside of law school. I've always been impressed by how you juggle so much with such class and ease. And of course I've always enjoyed the snapshots of Landon, who just might be the cutest baby I have ever laid eyes on. ;)

    Since this ordeal has started, your family has constantly been in my mind and my prayers. My heart breaks when thinking back to his first pictures -- that gorgeous little baby boy who fought his way out of the NICU, and the devoted parents whose joy just radiated from each post.

    Please know that hundreds - if not thousands - of minds and hearts will be pulling for you this morning. Whether you ever blog again or not, none of us will be able to rest until Landon is home.

    You're a great blessing to the world and to your son. May God bless you in turn.

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  16. I actually thought as I read your blog, that it's too bad I found it. I cannot imagine anything this awful, especially when combined with the potent cocktail of post partum hormones that you must be dealing with.

    I will offer up my prayers today for you, and hope that you'll have some kind of good news, hopefully the best. This is a travesty, and makes me physically sick to read, but I continue, hoping for the happy ending and a return to the mundane.

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  17. sweet mama - I am praying for you today. I don't know your beliefs, but I know that God is going to take care of your precious baby and I pray that He will restore him to your arms.

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  18. I sure hope you don't discontinue your blog. I've loved reading about law school and Landon. Solidarity, sister! ;) But I, too, would be a bit freaked out by all the attention. However, with any luck, all the extra prayers will be just what you need to have a positive outcome today. You're in my thoughts and my prayers as you guys set out for court today. Please keep us posted!!!!

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  19. You have gained friends... that's what you have now. Friends that found you by a link. Friends that will not doubt you. Friends that will support you. We may not have a face, but we are behind you 100%. Do not start a new blog, please. It took this awful, awful nightmare to bring us to you, but we won't leave you!! So, please don't leave us when this is all over.

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  20. "May you live in interesting times" really is a curse, isn't it? The very ordinariness of the rest of your life to this point is what makes the story so startling, perhaps. No one who knows you expected this drama when you went to visit the GI doctor...how long ago?

    For now, I hope you can wrap yourselves in the prayers and comfort offered by so many.

    May today bring you your heart's desire.

    May your life become uninteresting.

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  21. I found your blog from a former law school classmate - both her and I had our babies in law school. I wish I knew of such a blog when I was pregnant in law school, as it can be a lonely adventure. I am sorry that some people are such jerks, but from the comments, it looks like the VAST majority are outraged over your situation.

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  22. I found you through Amalah's Club Mom blog. I haven't been following you for that long. But have been checking in multiple times a day.

    My heart breaks for your situation, I will be praying for you today for strength and also for the judge, for wisdom.

    I am half Swedish too!

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  23. I hope you don't close up shop. Go back to everyday posts, and you will pick up some friends who stay after this.

    Your story touches a lot of people. I'm grateful you are sharing it.

    Try to ignore the critics. This is your "house". you don't have to tolerate people bad mouthing you. Delete when needed.

    Hoping for the best for all of you.

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  24. What the heck is wrong with the Houston Chronicle bloggers? The tone of that whole post and the comments is pretty harsh. People need to stop judging and remember the golden rule -- if you don't have anything kind to say, don't say anything at all. Geez! I'm sorry if the PayPal thing seems hoaxy, but we live in an Internet age where many of us live far away from the people we care about. In this time of excessive shipping costs, it makes much more sense to send money than flowers or food and PayPal is a convenient way to do so. It's not a scam!

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  25. As someone that does not know you and came accross ur story on a messege board, I continue to think good thoughts for and pray for your family....stay strong!!!

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  26. Also there are those of us who have "lurked" for a long time, but never really felt like we had anything to contribute so never commented. I'm not a Mom (yet), so I didn't feel "qualified" to say much. I was looking to you to show that being a MILS is possible as it is something my husband and I are thinking about. One upside of all the traffic is if you install google adwords you could be making a killing in ad revenue.

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  27. I just wanted to say that I've been reading your blog for a long time and the people who would write things doubting you have not. So screw them. So many people support you and I hope you can just focus on that - we are all hoping for good news!

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  28. PT LawMom: This is Stephanie, the Houston Chronicle blogger who wrote the post today.

    I understand you coming to the defense of your friend at what you perceived was a "harsh" tone. I assure you it was not meant as such.

    Please read the comment by Anonymous at 1106. That person is right: No one wants to believe something so awful is happening to someone like them. People are left with facing three pretty ugly possibilities: 1) the mommy blogger in question (LL) and/or her husband is a child abuser and a smooth-talking liar; 2) the mommy blogger in question has not only had her baby very, very wrongfully taken away, but the baby has a terrible health condition; or 3) the mommy blogger is not a mommy blogger but, instead, some evil, manipulative sociopath out to pull a giant hoax on the blogsphere. For some people, the first two possiblities are so achingly painful to consider, they have jumped to the third. For others, the idea of a mommy doing everything right and still having a potentially disabled child with injuries that mimic abuse is too much to bear.

    I am so awed by the strength of LL in this post that she acknowledges the surrealness of it all and can attempt to understand some people's reactions to it.

    My post was an attempt to acknowedge that as well. Our Mama Drama commenters are lending their support and sympathy, also. No one is being harsh.

    As I said in my response to your comment on your blog, we have to be careful how we address things like the PayPal account because our blog is addosciated with a major newspaper. I truly hope you understand.

    And, really, if I was not lending my support, I would not only have not written a post about LL's situation, but I most certainly would not have jepardized my professional reputation and relationships to offer to help LL find a doctor who could help find an accurate diagnosis. Truly, that is the answer to the whole problem: if Landon is properly diagnosed, then there is no basis for an abuse allegation, and LL gets her precious little one back with HUGE apologies from all involved.

    LOTS of support from Mama Drama,
    Mama Stephanie, RN

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  29. Anyone who critizes you is an idiot with no common sense. I said it before and I'll say it again- NO ONE who would abuse their child would have spent even a fraction of the time, energy, money, etc... trying to figure out what was wrong with them, let alone all the legal aspects of what is now going on.

    Quite honestly, you sound like Super-Mom to me. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that all goes well today.

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  30. When things are dull and happy again, I'll keep on reading.

    Like many others, I came here several months ago by googling "pregnant in law school." You and I have very similar backgrounds, and each of your posts rings like good advice from a smart friend. I look forward to reading more of the good, the bad, and the wonderfully normal.

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  31. I'm one of the people that found your blog a few days ago when it was posted on another website. At first, I thought surely this had to be some made-up scam. Surely, this type of thing does not happen to honest people. However, after reading through your older posts, I completely believe you and I am so upset that this is happening.

    I went to a private school (K-12) that was also a home for children, where my mother happens to be the admissions counselor for the home. After reading your posts, I directed my mother to your blog and she is incensed that this could happen to someone. Her entire day is spent listening to concerned family members, community members, etc. discuss atrocious situations that children are subjected to, and it was THIS that really hit her hard. Please know that our thoughts are with you and your family. Mom is still trying to find something useful in an old case that may help you!

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  32. I've read you and come from Zuska.

    I know your writing but I can't say I know YOU.

    I hope no one was abusing your child but I'm sorry, a law degree and a big job for your husband just can't exclude you.

    I'm sure more will be revealed and I trust that your son will be well cared for.

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  33. I hope you keep blogging. I've been reading your blog a long time and don't think any of us doubt you. We all want the best for your family.

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  34. Bitter much, anon 2:08? Is it really necessary to spread your nastiness here? LL never said she thought she should be exempt. She and JP went and took the polygraphs and did what they had to do to be cleared. They just want answers like any other parent.

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  35. Dear Anon 2:08,

    Let me ask you what good you are doing for anyone by leaving comments like that on LL's blog? She hasn't asked for your approval and has simply shared her story in her own forum. Regardless of what anyone does for a living, everyone in this country is deserving of due process, which in this case, LL and JP have not received. I should hope that you never have to have the same experience her family has had to endure. This isn't about their professions...it's about their rights as parents and as American citizens. A thorough investigation has not been done, and in this case, they were treated as guilty until proven innocent. Yes, I realize the safety of a child is involved here. And even if I had doubt as to the type of parents LL and JP were, they should have at least been permitted to leave the hospital with the DCFS safety plan in place days ago instead of having their child ripped from their arms...a punishment that only happened to Britney Spears after how many charges of child endangerment? If you don't believe that LL is telling the truth, that's fine...I suppose you are entitled to your own opinion. But leaving the comment you did on her web site is like the real life equivalent of throwing a brick through the front window of someone's house. It's not appreciated, completely out of line, and just plain wrong. Go comment on your own site.

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  36. I'm sorry, LL, about that comment. I disabled the link from my post of the other day - hopefully no other meany-head stragglers will find their way. I was so INSISTENT on my blog to say that I did not believe that you or your husband did the things that you were suspected of doing ...

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  37. I like to read a variety of blogs- I typically prefer parenting/infertility/adoption/foster care etc but since I've often considered law school, I find it interesting for those reasons too.

    Some of us aren't just inflammatory responders, we're just too unmotivated to weed through crappy blogs to find the good ones. So when we stumble upon one with good solid writing, normal lives and interesting pictures, we're hooked.

    So maybe consider us new good readers? The kind that want to encourage and support, not rip you to shreds.

    Here's hoping things calm down for you soon.

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  38. I found your blog through another a few days ago, and I have commented on a previous post. What I want to tell you (and everyone else) is that life is unfair. The cliches are ridiculous, but dreadfully true. I was also unfairly accused of abuse and, had it NOT happened to me, I would have thought that there was some piece of the story that I was not disclosing.... Plus, when you are accused of something that you haven't done, it's really difficult to 'look' innocent.... Hell, you're in Law School! There's plenty of studies about false confession.... If someone is constantly telling you that you DID DO IT, you start to question yourself.

    Don't question yourself, LL.

    And I used to have a military blog that I took down because of those people that accused me of abuse (ex-husband).... I regret it. but I have awesome friends from the blogosphere and many that I have met and consider to be some of the closest friends ever. When someone reads your innermost thoughts and feelings, there's a kinship that happens....

    My blog family helped me through deployment and miscarriage.... And life....

    I think about you all the time, LL.... I haven't caught up in your posts, but I thought I read that Landon was home....

    Thank God.

    You'll never look at the news about 'abusive' parents the same way, nor will you be as judgmental because of this experience.... That might be the silver on the very black cloud....

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  39. Well, here's another positive response.

    I have had a tiny taste of what you are going through, when my ex-wife was caught using heroin. I had zero involvement in that, but CPS interviewed me to make sure I could take full custody of our son.

    He was old enough to answer questions like "Does your dad feed you every day?" and "What happens when you get in trouble?" It is both humiliating (to have to answer questions like that from a stranger) and sobering (when you realize that there are reasons for every question they ask).

    But there was no one accusing me of the opposite, never any danger of him being taken away. I can only imagine.

    Love.

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