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Ashlee is Mama of one darling boy. A 28 week early bird, now 1 and some change, doing beautifully. She lives near Chicago with her sweetheart husband and French Bulldog. She's a thinker not afraid to get her silly on. Babywearer, veggie queen, photography nut. Before the domestic days Ashlee was pursuing a future in developmental psychology but has happily shifted gears in favor of staying at home and couldn't imagine doing anything else. In her free time (ha!) you can find her whipping up babyslings, holding down the fort at Mama Speaks and spotlighting as an Itsy Bitsy Yoga Instructor.


I got a phone call from someone at our local newspaper yesterday. She said in honor of the most premature baby heading home they were doing a story on preemies and she wanted to talk to me about Xavier's story and Project X. Naturally I was really excited to talk and couldn't wait to see the story in print today. So... I read the story, everything sounds good until I reach my portion. I'm quoted as saying, "It's terrifying," Allen said. "You have in your mind the dream of your pregnancy and having the labor and having this chubby little baby.", nothing wrong with it except the fact that I simply did not say it, at least not in those words. And her summation of the rest or our conversation has such a negative slant and not only doesn't depict our situation but again is not what I said:

When Xavier was finally chubby enough to go home, Allen had another set of worries. At the hospital, she had to disregard her parental instinct and let the doctors take care of her newborn. When Xavier was ready to go home, Allen knew she'd have to relearn her instinct, and remember how to nurture him.

Xavier is 14 months old now and Allen said her motherly instincts came rushing back when he came home. He's big for his age now, but he has doctor visits every few months to make sure his growth is progressing normally.

We talked for maybe 15 minutes, and while I didn't expect her to print everything we talked about, in that time I said so much about the miracle these babies are, how yes it was hard, but that we wouldn't change a thing, so many positive, hopeful words. At the end of our call she asked me if I had any words of advice for other preemie parents or parents bringing their preemies home. I told her that while it wasn't the case with us, I know that being in a medical setting causes many parents to let go of their parental instinct and just let the doctors and nurses take over. The best thing for you and your baby, I said, is for you to follow that instinct and to be as involved in your babies care as possible. To bond and interact with one another whether in the hospital or at home.

Now I'm sure it's worse to me than anyone reading it but I'm really upset. And the fact that she printed this: "At the hospital, she had to disregard her parental instinct and let the doctors take care of her newborn. When Xavier was ready to go home, Allen knew she'd have to relearn her instinct, and remember how to nurture him." simply pisses me off. I was by Xavier's side every step of the way day and night for weeks. I did not 'disregard my parental instinct' but fought for it. I fought to hold him, to practice kangaroo care, to NURSE him! We held him every second we were able and when we couldn't I was perched at his bedside reading to him, holding his hand, singing, laughing, crying. I was worried of whether I would 'remember how to nurture him'?! Are you kidding me?!

So here, what I'd seen as an opportunity to share Xavier's story and get the word out about our foundation has become a disaster. I am fuming and disappointed, hurt and angry, and honestly down right disgusted. To have my words, our story turned into that has left me speechless. I guess I've learned my lesson...

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  • Anonymous O Mama Mia says so:
    7:13 PM  

    I hate the media. I think the best thing you could do is send in THIS post as a letter to the editor. Let your voice be heard exactly as you know it should be. I'm so sorry you had to go through this, hun! top

  • Blogger Shash says so:
    7:50 PM  

    The media is very one-sided and they take liberties all the time. I had friends who were torn apart by a news piece, bits and pieces aired and the good stuff was left behind on the cutting room floor. I hope someone will be able to read between the lines and maybe you'll get another chance with this reporter. top

  • Blogger Nicole says so:
    7:53 PM  

    I am so sorry this happened to you. I am sure there are no words to comfort you in a time like this. The words cannot be erased, but like O Mama Mia said, you can still voice the truth and write a letter to the editor. top

  • Blogger Adventures In Babywearing says so:
    7:54 PM  

    I would definitely let them know how you feel- maybe they can run a correction. I know how hard it is being interviewed for articles before and I often shake my head at what they actually choose to print!!

    When I read the article, though, knowing you, I totally knew that you didn't say those things!

    I only hope that someone reading it will take from it something positive, and shine a light on Project Xavier.

    You know the truth and that's all that matters. (And everyone that knows you "knows", too!)

    And anyway, you just rock.
    Steph top

  • Blogger mamamilkers says so:
    7:57 PM  

    Oh my. How awful! Obviously you were completely mis-represented. I would definitely write an email to the article's writer and cc the newspaper's editor.

    Was there a link to your blog in the article? top

  • Blogger Cyclone says so:
    8:06 PM  

    YES. Definitely, DEFINITELY send a letter to the paper!!!! top

  • Anonymous Mama C-ta says so:
    11:33 PM  

    Nice, why even talk to people, just make their own stuff up. I would totally write a letter hoping they'd print it in it's entirety.

    What they wrote has a completely different meaning then what you said. I can't stand the media. top

  • Blogger New Mama's Nest says so:
    9:04 AM  

    So, I shot off an email last night, to both the author and editor, pretty much saying what this post did. It felt so much better just to click 'send'. I'm not holding my breath but we'll see what happens! top

  • Blogger Christie says so:
    10:36 AM  

    Oh I am so glad you wrote to them! If you don't get a response, please, I beg you, call!!! No real journalist wants to get the story wrong. I am one. I know. If ever I am wrong, I want to know immediately and I want to fix it. Heart and soul journalists want to get it right, they really do. I'm sorry this happened. This stinks. top

  • Anonymous Peanut Butter and Jelly Boats says so:
    12:43 PM  

    Hmmm what could you do about this to make it right? top

  • Blogger Tracey says so:
    4:03 PM  

    Ah, that stinks. At least you weren't quoted saying something TRULY awful, you know? top

  • Anonymous Anonymous says so:
    8:49 AM  

    I agree with my girl Omamamia, send your post into them! This is why I hate the paper. They twist things in their own way alll the time! I'm so sorry you had this happen. I've never met you (yet!) and I knew you didn't say those things! top

  • Blogger Heaven Sent says so:
    1:00 PM  

    This stinks!

    I am with Christie, a REAL journalist stays true to the story and does want to know if he/she got it wrong. I am also a journalist by trade, and I can tell you that this is NOT normal, nor is it right.

    I admit that the media is slanted when it comes to advertisers, but NOT when it comes to old-fashioned reporting about subjects like this. You report EXACTLY what people say, in the context that they say it. Anything else is poor journalism.

    Your letter ot the editor was the right thing to do. If he/she is any good at his/her job, your letter will be printed in its entirety, or as much as space allows. top

  • Anonymous O Mama Mia says so:
    1:21 PM  

    Hey, girl! I just realized that my replies to your comments on my blog have been getting returned to me, but going into my spam folder. ggrrrr... Can you write me with an email I can add to my contacts/ safe list, please? top

  • Blogger Heidi says so:
    5:02 PM  

    I tried to leave a comment a couple days ago but somehow got an error message and didn't have a chance to try again...

    I'm glad you emailed them and I just wanted to say that I'm proud of you FOR sticking to you instincts. For kangaroo care and project X.

    Anyway, the media always has to put a negative slant on everything to get more drama which I'm sure gets more readers. I'm sorry they did that to you though. top