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Failure to thrive.

In the first few weeks after he was born, Nick just didn’t seem to completely wake up.  He was never fully alert.  He wasn’t comforted by anything; food, warmth, human touch, nothing seemed to stop him from crying.  It wasn’t a loud cry.  Just a constant one.  In frustration, after what seemed like hours of rocking and singing to him, I would put him in his crib, away from me.  Then all of a sudden it would be quiet, deathly quiet, and I’d wonder if something bad had happened to my baby.  I would run to him, only to discover him staring at some point on the ceiling.  It was impossible to break this gaze and get his attention.  We would later learn that this was seizure activity.  At the time, we didn’t know.  With this constant repetitive cycle that had developed, I felt as though I wasn’t able to learn who my child was.  He also was not gaining weight or growing.  In October, at the second month checkup, the pediatrician called it failure to thrive.  Nick hadn’t gained any weight for the previous four weeks.  I felt so guilty.

Something had to be done.  The solution was to start formula right away and to stop breast feeding.  I was so discouraged.  Ryan had nursed so successfully; he knew just what to do right from the start.  Nicholas had struggled and cried, every mealtime became a battle and again I felt as though we had found another area where the favorable comparison was one-sided.  The doctor assured me that there was not anything wrong with my milk or with Nick.  But I knew something was wrong, very very wrong.

It was over a year before we had any concrete answers from medical professionals.  I felt a lot of guilt and helplessness over that first year.  Once we had a diagnosis and a plan of action it was much easier for me.

I am grateful that today, the diagnosis usually comes quicker for a child with problems.  There are some families who end up waiting like we did, but that is not typical anymore.

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Announcing that I have finished a book with the working title of “The Fairy Fort.” I am currently pitching it to publishers. Keep checking back to watch the progress of my newest novel.

Here is a quick glimpse of the story.

Sarah Doherty is an 18-year-old living in rural Ireland at the tail end of the Great War. Plagued by severe epilepsy, she is protected by her parents and lives a sheltered, secluded, lonely life. The Fae, local Irish fairies, interfere with her life. She falls forward a century in time through the local fairy fort of standing stones. She had a seizure in 1918 and woke up in 2020. The 21st century world includes life-saving prescriptions, physical comforts and the independence and freedom she seeks. The locals are welcoming and Andy Mclaughlin, a handsome young historian, is intriguing. She doesn’t want to return home.

Then a letter arrives from Boston divulging the story of Sarah and Andy’s lives that are deeply entwined in the previous century. They are not yet in love but as they seek to verify the letter through online resources, they feel a growing obligation to their unborn family and to each other. What would happen to their posterity living in Boston if they don’t return to 1918? Even if they do make it back, her parents can never know what happened to her or that would change everything.

This Young Adult time-travel romance explores the question: Do we have the freedom to make choices or is free will an elaborate illusion?

This is my third book. I love reading time travel romances. I am an advocate for epilepsy awareness because my 43-year-old son has intractable epilepsy. As a genealogist specializing in Irish research, I live part of the year in the village where the story is based. I wrote the book to help young adults understand that difficult situations can change your life. Sometimes miraculously.

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