My name is Alexa Stevenson, and I write things.
One of those things is the website you are reading right now. It is called “Flotsam,” as indicated by the large banner at the top that says “Flotsam.” Sometimes people refer to it as “Flotsam Blog,” which is my own fault: “flotsam.com” was already taken, and I had to make do. Whatever you call it, in the summer of 2005, with the help of a faux interview by Barbara Walters, a website was born.
Almost three years later, so was my daughter Simone, weighing 1lb, 11oz.
Before that I saw a fertility specialist who was once a veterinarian, decried gauchos, planned a wedding, got married, recalled my long-ago stay in the Nervous Hospital, moved twice, conceived via IVF, and lost Simone’s twin brother, Ames, at 22 weeks. My daughter was born less than a month later after a stint of hospital bedrest, during which they never gave me enough sausage for breakfast, and after which I will never again take for granted the luxury of wearing clothes that do not tie in the back. Simone spent 96 days in the NICU and almost died, but in the end, she didn’t. I’ve written about all of this here, and Flotsam has been featured in the London Sunday Times, on Jezebel, and by the California chapter of the National Organization for Women.
Before I was a public diarist (which sounds unaccountably dirty, and possibly illegal), I was a plain old writer, and still am. I have been a contributor to NPR’s Morning Edition, and my first book, Half Baked, will be published on August 10th, 2010.
I live in St. Paul in the shadow of my laundry pile, with Simone, my husband Scott, and some cats, one of whom looks uncannily like Anderson Cooper. I have never met a cheese I didn’t want to meet again in larger quantities. My favorite drink is the sidecar, and I like other people’s books, music one can dance to (preferably in the privacy of one’s own home), and Switzerland. I think television is marvelous. I startle easily, and don’t believe in fireworks, sports involving projectiles, or purposely living upon a fault line. The parenting philosophy I cleave to is called “don’t kill the baby”—much easier to practice with mine no longer attached to an oxygen tank. (We have a gas stove.)
If you found me because you have a child in the NICU, here is all of the best advice I have on the subject, though I’m happy to offer more.
I read and save each email message I receive, and mean to respond to every one. Alas, I don’t, but I persist in believing that I will, someday. I have the loveliest readers, and am suitably shamed by my lack of aptitude for correspondence.
Write to me anyway: alexaflotsam AT gmail.com