My little Sadie. Something is switching over in me. Slowly but surely I feel more present with you rather than hovering anxiously somewhere above you constantly gauging your calorie consumption, your development, your size, your very essence.

Up until too recently you’ve been more a sum of your lack of met milestones, un-gained ounces, therapists’ concerns, doctor visits, possible syndromes.

I admit, I am a natural worrier. I’m Jewish. I was born this way. From the time my DNA was formed, I probably started worrying about being born, I’ve never been good with change.

I worried about your big sister fairly constantly when, in retrospect, there wasn’t much to worry about. With you, there’s certainly been cause for concern. You are “globally delayed” they tell me. As if they need to tell me. You need speech therapy. Isn’t that funny? You aren’t even a year and a half and you will soon be receiving speech therapy because the doctors are concerned you “have no words” yet.

My little Sadie. There is no diagnosis for you. You were an IUGR baby. That means you didn’t get the proper blood flow from your cord and you didn’t get the proper nutrients from my placenta (rather your placenta). To add insult to injury, you developed a fungal infection in your esophagus which made it painful for you to eat for your first few months. Is any of that the reason that you are well behind other babies your age? To be honest, we just don’t know. Will you eventually catch up? Like a Magic Eight Ball all signs point to yes but, we don’t know for sure.

Isn’t that the craziest thing? We. Don’t. Know. I can Google “small baby” all day -every day if I choose, take you to a developmental pediatrician or four if I choose, have you genetically tested if I’m curious. But in the end, I still won’t be able to predict your future. That thing I absolutely have the hardest time tolerating, that thing that crawls into my chest and squeezes so tight I have trouble feeling anything but fear, that thing responsible for the self protective walls going up, that thing called The Unknown, is now something I have to partner with for the long haul.

But there is plenty of positive, you are progressing and that’s the part that’s finally starting to sink in. A couple of weeks ago, your physical therapist said you may not walk for a few more months. But guess what, you started walking a week later. You walk all the time now. In fact, you love to push your twin sister who outweighs you by seven pounds around on your princess push toy. You also babble like a motherfucker. You surprise me every day.

My little Sadie. After all my vacillating we went ahead and got you the g-tube and everyone including me was hoping there would be some miracle growth spurt. But you stayed on your own special curve. As Randy would say, “You’re doing your thing, dawg.”

And I am grateful to be along for the ride. I’m grateful to be a part of your life. I’m grateful to be the mommy of a very special little girl. I’m not waiting for a miracle anymore because, as downright corny as it sounds, you are a miracle. Your grin lights up my whole world. Even more so because you were unhappy for so long. Yeah, I sound like one of those dippy ass Blue Mountain greeting cards. So sue me. I’m just learning that your difficulties make you even more amazing. Your smile is unrivaled. My favorite song is your maniacal laugh. You hate baths. You love books. You are fascinated with trying to climb into the refrigerator. You are so over vanilla Pediasure. When you open and close your hands along with my sorry rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, I feel like I won a hundred dollar scratcher lottery ticket.

This is something brand new for me, Sadie. We are both facing challenges within ourselves. And you are handling yours with aplomb. I could learn a little something from you.

My little Sadie. You are not “not on the charts.” You are uncharted territory. Waiting for me to discover.

H, if you are reading this, it sucks that sometimes it takes someone losing something/someone so precious to realize what you have. And how fragile and unpredictable it all fucking is. I dedicate this to you.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on May 4, 2009 6:41 pmSadie49 comments  


  1. Alison aka Baby B said,


    | May 4, 2009 @ 8:32 pm

  2. Summer said,

    Amazing Stefanie!

    You are not only talented in your wit, humor and writing, but in the incredible love you show to your daughters.

    This outshines them all.

    | May 4, 2009 @ 8:35 pm

  3. Cheryl Lage said,

    Was already near weeping and then caught your dedication to Heather.

    So many phrases so artfully written. Enjoy the “unchartedness.”

    Thank you for this, Stef.

    | May 4, 2009 @ 8:36 pm

  4. CaraBee said,

    That was wonderful! I was just wondering the other day how little miss Sadie was doing. Thanks for the update!

    | May 4, 2009 @ 9:06 pm

  5. Kim said,

    I want to thank you for sharing this, because it is e.x.a.c.t.l.y what I needed to read at this very moment.

    | May 4, 2009 @ 9:10 pm

  6. lisa said,

    Who couldn’t love a girl named Sadie. I call my 13 yr. old by that name, as well.

    She is a beautiful girl who lights up the screen. In my opinion, you are doing everything right by loving her.

    | May 4, 2009 @ 9:31 pm

  7. SmartAssMom said,

    Great picture. Great post, I can relate to a lot of it.

    | May 4, 2009 @ 9:31 pm

  8. Aunt Becky said,

    Sadie, my sweet Sadie. What an awesome kid you are.

    And Stef, I don’t know if I told you this, but Ben wasn’t expected to overcome many of his delays.

    Like Sadie, he showed them. And then bent over to let all the nay-sayers kiss his ass.

    Love you, girl. Give my Sadie a kiss for me. I’m coming out to pass out kisses soon. Don’t worry, it’s not a cold sore.

    | May 4, 2009 @ 9:41 pm

  9. Suzy said,

    They say you only get what you can handle and you were THE mother to handle this child. Because you didn’t get that as a child yourself so Sadie is your REWARD.

    | May 4, 2009 @ 9:44 pm

  10. Molly C said,

    This is so beautiful.

    And yes, we Jews are champion worriers.

    | May 4, 2009 @ 10:21 pm

  11. Kendra said,

    That was just beautiful. I’ve been wondering about Sadie lately, as I get to hear all your wonderful reality-TV wit, thinking that I know you’ve had a lot going on in the background. I am so happy to hear that she is happy. You are indeed in uncharted territory; I hope the journey is a good one for both of you.

    | May 4, 2009 @ 10:50 pm

  12. GingerB said,

    You are a wonderful mother. I wish I didn’t know anything about parenting kids with nebulous labels and hard to find answers but I do, and you describe it so ably that I know you are handling it all well. I keep trying just to let the girls drive, and get in the backseat, when I can. Then I call three therapists and have a mind melt, because maybe I am really Jewish.

    I tagged you with my mindless meme – come see me at http://gas-food-lodging.blogspot.com/2009/04/me-me-me-meme.html when you have a chance.

    | May 4, 2009 @ 11:30 pm

  13. Amanda said,

    You are wonderful. And thank you for this update on sassy Miss Sadie.

    | May 4, 2009 @ 11:51 pm

  14. Anna Marie said,

    Stefanie, I love this post. My special little tube-feeder sends Sadie kisses and we are both glad she is doing so well.

    | May 5, 2009 @ 12:11 am

  15. Backpacking Dad said,

    Gorgeous and shining.

    | May 5, 2009 @ 12:16 am

  16. Anonymous said,

    I think she is absolutely adorable in the two pictures. How much does she weigh now? How tall is she?

    | May 5, 2009 @ 12:40 am

  17. BabyonBored said,

    At last check she weighed 17.4 and her height is 26″ (i think).

    | May 5, 2009 @ 12:44 am

  18. Kelsey said,

    Everything about this is beautiful.

    | May 5, 2009 @ 12:53 am

  19. jen said,

    thank you so much for posting these words. My little one is in speech and physical therapy, and I am having a hard time knowing so much of it is out of my control.

    | May 5, 2009 @ 1:30 am

  20. Undomestic Diva said,

    That was incredibly sweet.

    | May 5, 2009 @ 1:36 am

  21. minniemama68 said,

    I’m the mom of 3 boys on the autism spectrum and I know what you mean about the curve. I also have problems with not knowing what the future may bring for my boys. It is great that you are enjoying your daughters and the special gifts they bring into your life. Children are amazing!! Enjoy!!!

    | May 5, 2009 @ 1:44 am

  22. Booklover1212 said,

    Stefanie – This was absolutely beautiful!

    I have read both of your books and have loved them so much. I will certainly be pre-ordering your next book! Keep ’em coming!

    | May 5, 2009 @ 1:57 am

  23. Beth said,

    Such a beautiful post. I just adore your writing.

    Adam was considered “unofficially IUGR, but not technically” (it’s a long story) and was a very poor eater when he was a newborn (still is, actually). As a fellow Jewish Mother :), it took me a good year to accept this. I still have my days of freaking out (like when he LOST 2 pounds last month) but I have learned to accept that he is who he is. Of course, he is the best. 🙂 Just like your gorgeous little Sadie is.

    Thanks, as always, for your beautiful writing.

    | May 5, 2009 @ 2:08 am

  24. Rita said,

    This was amazing!
    I think I’m PMSing…but it made me cry

    | May 5, 2009 @ 2:40 am

  25. Trish said,

    This was very good for me to read today.
    I’m still getting there.. but I have felt it coming a bit. Robbie has has 2 good weeks of weight gain (broke 12 lb this week) and it’s amazing how much saner I feel.
    I, too, am a worrier by nature (though I’m Baptist) so it’s hard.

    Glad to see there is light at the end of the tunnel..

    | May 5, 2009 @ 2:42 am

  26. Rebecca said,

    Allowing yourself to live with the unknown is hard. what a lovely post about Sadie & also a beautiful dedication to H & to M.
    All the best to you and your family.

    | May 5, 2009 @ 3:37 am

  27. Lee of MWOB said,

    Stef – wow – what a beautiful post. I’m all teary. What we learn from these precious souls…making us look so friggin’ deep within ourselves making us face our fears and suck it up for them. All for them.

    Your Sadie is so gorgeous and obviously quite a spirit….I had no idea you guys had dealt with so much already with her…but yes, you will partner with the unknown for the long haul and you’ll all be okay.

    | May 5, 2009 @ 5:27 am

  28. Wicked Step Mom said,

    I think you should stop calling her your little Sadie. She is getting so big now. I am so happy for all of you!

    | May 5, 2009 @ 1:36 pm

  29. Maya said,

    Thanks for making me cry in my office cube!

    She is beautiful, you are beautiful… and I agree… I wish it hadnt taken Maddie to make us hold our girls just a litle tighter.

    | May 5, 2009 @ 4:00 pm

  30. Linda said,

    Yay Sadie!
    She has blessed you with the gift of starting every day on the edge of discovery.

    I love, love love that precious little girl.

    | May 5, 2009 @ 5:45 pm

  31. Susan said,

    THAT was stellar. And so is your attitude. My two youngest were special needs. I say “were” because they’ve come so far. We were told that Mo might never walk and now I can’t get him off his effin’ pogo stick. Maddie still has some significant issues but they’re what make her special in that GREAT way. She wouldn’t be Maddie without them. Lovely dedication to Heather, by the way.

    | May 5, 2009 @ 6:26 pm

  32. Heidi said,

    I guess she doesn’t have a problem with rasberries. Your a great mom, all of your girls are really lucky.

    | May 5, 2009 @ 6:40 pm

  33. Anonymous said,

    You got to me with your description of constant worry–so like me. May I suggest? ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle. It can help with the worry.

    | May 5, 2009 @ 8:30 pm

  34. Anonymous said,

    Beautiful Posting…

    | May 5, 2009 @ 10:06 pm

  35. CRUSTYBEEF said,

    you are not alone. it’s soo scary..and you said it better then I could think it.


    | May 5, 2009 @ 10:11 pm

  36. Nicole said,

    My son is going to be 2 on Monday. Until last month the only words he was saying were kitty cat and mama. Mama came second.
    Kitty cat is fairly new, he started it around 19/20 months.
    I constantly get asked if he was born premature when in fact, he was 2 weeks late.
    He just stopped growing for a while during my pregnancy and he’s a very picky eater.
    Plus it’s in his genes to be tiny.

    This weekend he said his first full sentence.
    I didn’t even know that he KNEW how to do that.
    He said, and I quote, “I like cookie.”

    As you can imagine, I was beyond excited.

    I’ve been worried for so long.

    My friends’ children are all the same size as he is and they’re all at least a year younger — he still fits comfortably in my backpack carrier.

    My friends’ children, at less than a year old, are saying things like “uh oh spaghetti oh.”
    He was grunting when something excited him or he wanted attention.

    As worried as I was I promised myself that I would hold out until his second birthday to do anything about it.
    As the days have slowly dwindled down to the single digits he’s finally showing me that he’s just the strong silent type.
    Not that he can’t do it, just that he chooses not to.

    Since Sunday he’s said so many words that I have lost count.

    I know there are many valid reasons to be concerned but try and have faith. 🙂

    She’ll do it when she’s ready.

    Your daughters are beautiful!

    | May 6, 2009 @ 4:24 am

  37. Katie said,


    This is the first time I’ve read your writing and was SOOOO moved.

    Thank you for the lovely tribute.

    | May 6, 2009 @ 1:57 pm

  38. Beth said,

    What a beautiful post Stefanie. Your postings about Sadie have helped me, ever since I googled IUGR and underweight girls, and found your blog. And what I have realized, as my Maddie approaches her 2nd birthday and is still under 20 pounds, is that I need to accept that she is different, not in a bad way. She is special – she takes her time and does things, including gain weight, at a different pace than her twin sister and every one else on the growth curve. Your post, about loving her and accepting her for who she is, is beautiful, and speaks to me today as I watch my “little one” do all of her own things. Thank you

    | May 6, 2009 @ 2:54 pm

  39. Carolyn...Online said,

    The very best places for chlidren are sometimes the unchartered ones. It’s just hard for us parents to let them be there.

    | May 6, 2009 @ 4:05 pm

  40. Anonymous said,

    Wow..Sadie’s blessed to have you as a Mom. Keep up the funny and inspiring blog.

    | May 6, 2009 @ 4:36 pm

  41. Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said,

    I know.

    You are so right.

    | May 7, 2009 @ 8:39 pm

  42. Jean said,

    That was so beautiful.

    | May 8, 2009 @ 2:51 am

  43. Oz said,

    What a lovely post

    | May 8, 2009 @ 2:58 am

  44. sarah said,

    she’s beautiful. 🙂

    | May 8, 2009 @ 4:53 am

  45. Anonymous said,

    Long time reader (Sippy, Naptime), 1st time commenter: More posts like this, less TV tawk.

    | May 8, 2009 @ 9:17 pm

  46. christyhulsey said,

    nice post. kudos!

    | May 12, 2009 @ 3:21 am

  47. Becky said,

    The world could learn a lot from what you’ve just written. Thanks for this post. My little guy has many problems……your post helps me.

    | May 14, 2009 @ 7:08 pm

  48. Anonymous said,

    Okay, made me cry.

    I wish I could print this out and hand it to all the parents I work with who have not yet reached acceptance (and you, Stephanie, are ahead of the curve, since I work with kids up to age 6).

    Sadie is who she is, and she is amazing. Full. Stop.


    | May 19, 2009 @ 5:55 pm

  49. NewsPhotoGirl said,

    Oh wow. What a beautiful post. My daughter is so small and off the chart. Not even near the chart. All I want to do is cry when I look at her compared to her sister. Thanks for writing everything that I was feeling.

    | December 24, 2009 @ 4:35 am

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