#Microblog Mondays: If You Could Go Back…

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Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

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I try to make difficult life decisions by choosing the path of least regret. During IF treatment, what would I regret had I done, or not done? That way I can’t (hopefully) look back and say, “coulda, woulda, shoulda”. Obviously one can only make decisions based on the information they have, and sometimes it’s not all of the information, so what then?

I’ve been contacted by an up and coming fertility website to be a contributing writing, and I’m trying to tap the community to see what sort of information you wish you had during your IF struggles, or if you’re still in it, what are you looking for? What sorts of things did you find that helped you? I’m hoping to put out some original, and helpful content that maybe wasn’t there for you, or me but can be there for those who end up down this path, so my ears are open to suggestion!

#Microblog Mondays: 525,600 Minutes

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Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

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A caveat, this post is not so micro…

Hopefully some of you caught my Rent reference in the post title, and I apologize if you spend the day humming “Seasons of Love” to yourself (as I will be). Baby Girl is a year old, and all of the cliches apply, “where did the time go”, I ask of you?! We had a birthday party for her the weekend before last, it wasn’t anything over the top, family and a few friends. I think the fact that she has a summer birthday is going to mean they aren’t particularly well attended because of all of the other events and activities keeping people busy. We held it at my in law’s house as they back onto a park, have a lovely yard, and then it meant I didn’t have to clean my house (our condo is far too small to host anyways).

I was a little stressed leading up to, and on the day of the party but overall it mostly went without a hitch. I bought most of the food from Costco, and it was mainly just cold finger foods as I didn’t want to be dealing with cooking and what not while our guests were there. I was set on making a cake for Baby Girl to smash and I made cupcakes for the guests to eat. That all turned out well, except the cake was in the fridge and the icing hardened up so she couldn’t actually dig into it. We cut a piece out and she dug into that. I was disappointed but it was less messy, and the cake I made was entirely too large anyways. It was a beautiful day, we had a mini bouncy castle and a little kiddie pool, which Baby Girl loved (she is such a water babe). She proceeded to climb in, in her party dress which was actually really adorable, sort of like a first birthday trash the dress, just like my wedding trash the dress! The one thing that was sort of disappointing was that I made a video of Baby Girl’s first year on iMovie. It was set to music, and took a lot of time. I was really proud of it, but because it was so nice out, pretty much no one saw it as it was playing on the TV inside. Oh well, it’s a nice keepsake, and out family watched it.

For her actual birthday, we took an extended weekend and went to Vancouver. Our last family holiday before I go back to work. It was a nice getaway, the weather was beautiful and we did lots of fun sightseeing and activities, and although Baby Girl won’t remember it, I think J and I will look back fondly on it, and we can show her pictures and tell her stories. I found out that the Disney store does a little something special if you go in on your birthday, and luckily there was one very close to our hotel. It was a busy four days, and tiring as we were one time zone behind home which made the normal wake up time of 6:00am – 6:30am an hour earlier. We walked all over, took the bus, train and even a little tugboat. We did not manage to stick with a nap schedule so many a stroller nap were had. J and I were getting testy with each other at times (seems to be happening more lately…) but overall the sweet memories will prevail. Random sidenote; I walked right past Wanda Sykes! We were crossing the street in the opposite direction, J didn’t even notice but I stared (probably rather obviously). I wish I would have said something!

The past year is pretty impossible to put into words. Parenting certainly is a paradox; I love this little person more than anything, but she has definitely made life more stressful. J and I get annoyed with each other more often. I wouldn’t say we fight but there a million and one things that he does that annoy me lately. Perhaps because we are each taking care of Baby Girl in our own way, and when that doesn’t jive we butt heads. Plus we’re tired, and constantly being pulled in several directions.

I head back to work next week, after the long weekend, and Baby Girl officially starts daycare on Thursday. We’ve been into the daycare to visit and get her acclimated a few times and it is a very highly rated, and highly sought after facility (that we were extremely lucky to get a spot at). It’s a lovely place, and I know she’ll be cared for, fed well, learn new skills and socialize with other babies and people. But, it makes me sad that she won’t get the individual attention she gets from me. In some ways that’s good, she can learn to wait her turn, and that the world does not revolve around her, but she won’t get as many books read to her, as many cuddles, and all of the love I can pour over her. I don’t have a choice, financially we need me to go back to work, plus I’m not cut out to stay at home with her full-time. If I could manage to work part-time, that would be ideal but not possible right now. I’m somewhat looking forward to returning to the workforce. I’ve been relocated to a different office, it comes with pros and cons, but I am happy to not be returning to my previous office.

I am nervous and stressed about how daily life is going to go once I am back working. J will be doing daycare drop off and pick up as it is right by his work. My shifts will range, and I’ll be off sometime between 5pm – 6:15pm, J finishes at 5pm so we have to manage to get home, make and eat dinner, have playtime/bath time/family time and get Baby Girl to bed for 7:30ish. It’s going to be busy. I will have to work a couple Saturdays a month, which means I get a day off during the week. Sometimes I may still send Baby Girl to daycare so I can run errands, clean house, ect. and it will be nice to have that time to myself, but some days I’ll keep her home and we can enjoy mommy/daughter days and maybe meet up with some of our pals. There has been so much change in the past year, and we’ve gotten into a groove but now it’s all going to change again. If I thought her first year went quickly, I’m betting the next one feels even faster.

Looking back on the day that she was born, the emotions are hard to describe; relief, joy, exhaustion, fear but most of all big fat love. That love has only grown in the past year. Though the wait was hard; the years, months and days were worth it. We got our baby, the little girl meant for us, and I wouldn’t change that for the world.

Here are a few shots from her birthday week celebration!

 

Six Degrees of (Infertility) Separation

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With the stats being 1 in 6 couples suffering from infertility (in Canada), chances are nearly everyone knows someone affected. They just may not know it. As it is not something that is openly discussed (for the most part), many of us suffer in silence. Over time I have found many sisters in infertility, but you don’t always know it about someone right off the bat. 

This week I took Baby Girl to see my coworkers, and say goodbye to them as I am moving to a different office when I return to work next week. While chatting with my former cubicle buddy she divulged that her daughter is getting “her tubes flushed” (I’m guessing an HSG) and that her and her long term boyfriend have been trying for the past three years (unbeknownst to her). Her daughter is around 36 years old, I’ve met her on multiple occasions, but don’t know her well. My coworker has made mention to me multiple times that she wants a grand baby. She even used to sometimes make comments to me about having a baby. I can only imagine how she goes on to her daughter about giving her a grand baby. When she would mention it to me, I would caution her not to push. She didn’t know what I was going through, and even after I got pregnant I didn’t discuss how it came to be with any of my office mates.

When my coworker told me about her daughters troubles, I told her it had taken us a long time to get pregnant too, and that I had had the same procedure to check my tubes. Needless to say, she was surprised to hear it. She then went on to say that her daughter doesn’t want to do IVF, and I told her that was how we got pregnant, again very surprised. We didn’t get into it much more than that but I couldn’t stop thinking about her daughter after I left.

I emailed my coworker when I got home, and told her to please tell her daughter to email me if she wants to chat, and that going through this is very hard, isolating, and difficult to understand unless you’re in it. I’m sure her daughter wouldn’t be overly pleased that her mother was discussing her fertility with me, so my coworker may have been hesitant to pass my contact info on. But I hope she did, and I hope I hear from her. Though I’m on “the other side”, the pain is still real and I just want to hug her, and tell her it will be ok. 

#Microblog Mondays: More than “Just a Mom”

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Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

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The past year, I’ve spent a majority of my time “mom-ing”. Having this year off work, I’ve been the primary caretaker for baby girl and for a lot of this time I have struggled with my sense of self; my needs and my self have come second to Bebe and it’s been a tough adjustment to parenthood. But now that things have sort of fallen into a routine, we’ve got our groove, I get out more, hubby and I have date nights; life has some balance. I feel so much better when I have some time for me. Despite the fact that I am now a mom, and that is a huge game changer, I am not “just a mom” now. I was other things before Bebe came into our lives, and though my priorities have shifted, I don’t cease being the whole person, that I always was. Now I am a mother, but I am also still; a wife, a partner, a lover, a daughter, a granddaughter, a daughter-in-law, a niece, a professional, a friend, a teammate, a traveler, a blogger; an individual. I certainly want to try to be the best mom I possibly can, but not by sacrificing my sense of self. I owe that to my daughter, whom I love with all of my being.

#Microblog Mondays: Infertility, the disease

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Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

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I was thinking back to when my mom first asked me about our infertility (I had started following an infertility board on pinterest and stupidly had my Face.book account linked so she saw it there). I was very vague with her, at the time J and I didn’t know much about what we were up against but we knew it wasn’t good ( we had just recently received his first SA back, with bad results). It was looking back on this, that got me considering infertility, thinking on it as a disease (which it is).

It’s tricky to categorize it as such though as the true definition of a disease is;

A particular abnormal condition, a disorder of a structure or function, that affects part or all of an organism.

But with infertility, I find it doesn’t fit as neatly into this box. The definition of infertility is even varied, and vague (I won’t post all of the different definitions, but you can check them out here). In some instances an infertility diagnoses is based on attempting conception for a specific period of time (and this time period can vary depending on your age). It can be more straightforward if there is a reason for your infertility, perhaps PCOS, MFI, blocked tube, ect. Makes it easier to have a reason, but doesn’t always make it easier to treat (and by easier, I mean it’s easier for a doctor to put you in the box “infertile”). It get’s tricky because it takes (at minimum) two people to make a baby, but when one person is given a diagnoses of infertile, it often applies to the other half of the baby making couple too. For example; in my case, the most likely cause given to us for our infertility was male factor. But notice, it is “our” infertility, not just his. As far as we know, my “bits” are all in working order, yet I still consider myself infertile.

Sometimes there is no reason found (so you have a disease, but no one knows why, or what to do about it). It’s not really recognized as a disease by those that don’t suffer from it. It’s seen more as a hurdle, a barrier, but nothing so serious as a physiological problem (which it generally is in some form or another).

Infertility is a slippery beast to pin down. I can understand why the general population has a hard time recognizing it as a disease, when the medical community doesn’t even provide a concise definition. It’s not talked about like a real disease, there are no well known “runs”, or fundraisers. But those of us who suffer from it know better. So here’s hoping for more recognition, more research, more hope and more understanding.

#Microblog Monday’s: Life Happens

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Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

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This was my last weekend before returning to work (today being a holiday, I don’t return until tomorrow). I had plans of fun, family activities, nice meals, and time spent together. While we did get some togetherness, it was not as relaxing as I had planned. Baby Girl got her one year immunizations this past Wednesday, all was well, we went home and got on with our day. The next morning, I noticed she had a bit of a rash on her upper thighs and lower belly, it was big red splotches and not raised up, but I figured it was just a minor reaction from her shots and it didn’t seem to be bothering her so I wasn’t worried. Thursday was also her first day of daycare. Since we were paying for the whole month of September I was going to take advantage of Thursday and Friday, and since I wasn’t back at work yet, it would be a good couple days to ease her in, and take her from 9am – 3pm as opposed to 7:30am – 5:30pm that will be her norm.

When I took her in, they were just getting the other kids ready to go out for a walk in the stroller so I unpacked all of her stuff, and they whisked her away.  I had planned on staying a bit so she could get used to me leaving so it was a bit like having a band-aid ripped off, and there were tears prickling in my eyes as I left the centre. I knew she would be fine, but it’s a tough milestone. I was, however, looking forward to my baby free day of shopping and getting a pedicure. I mentioned the rash to the daycare staff, but told them it was minor, and wasn’t bothering her.

I headed to a mall very nearby her daycare centre (just happens to be the largest mall in the city, and maybe 5 minutes from daycare) and spent several hours cursing my boyish hips and short torso as I tried to find dress pants that fit. After finding several tops, a dress, one pair of pants and a skirt, I was ready to finish my day with a pedicure. I stepped off the escalator to head to the nail salon and my phone rang; the daycare’s number. The director advised me that the rash had spread and I would need to come pick Baby Girl up, in case it was anything contagious.

I left the mall immediately, and reached the daycare quickly. When I got there I could see she was covered in red welts and spots, but still seemed in good spirits otherwise. I called her pediatrician’s office but they weren’t able to get us in as it was already so late in the day. J and I decided to take her to the children’s hospital that is very near our house (and the same hospital as her ped’s office). After spending a few hours there, we left with her having received a dose a Benadryl and a diagnoses of reaction to the immunization. She had no fever, was still eating and drinking and otherwise fine so we went home, intending for her to go back to daycare the following day.

The next morning the rash was worse, her eyes were red and swollen and it had turned from a rash to bruising in several areas. I called our health hotline (it’s a province-wide health advice line staffed with nurses) and the nurse suggested we should take her back to the doctor due to the progression of the rash. I managed to get an appointment at my ped’s office, with another doctor, as her own ped was not in. When we took her in the doctor asked the same questions everyone had the day before; any new foods, changes in laundry detergent, anything else that could have caused it? It just happened that the pediatric dermatologist was doing rounds in their clinic that afternoon, and she came in as a second opinion. Everyone was very surprised at the severity of her rash, plus her wrists and ankles had now swollen and she was refusing to crawl, seeming to indicate it was causing her pain.

With all of the doctors conferring, they figured it was most likely an allergic reaction to something in the vaccines, as opposed to presentation of a mild case of the diseases that vaccines immunize for, but they also wanted to run blood work and urine for a few other more serious things it could be. In the meantime, they prescribed her pred.nisone (a very heavy-duty steroid) to combat the rash and the swelling, which they thought was also affecting her joints, given that she wouldn’t crawl. So after spending a few more hours in the hospital, and getting her testing done we went home with the steroids and appointment to come back on Thrursday to check on her condition.

The past few days the rash has improved drastically, though yesterday she seemed incredibly itchy, which was odd because prior to that she didn’t seem to be bothered whatsoever. She never had a full blown fever, she got slightly warm a few times but nothing indicating a true fever, and she still ate and drank with gusto. We’ve had some nights of bad sleep, including Saturday night in which she was awake from 12am -4am despite nursing, patting, shushing, holding, eating a snack, cuddling, going for a drive and a walk. I was in tears, and we were at our wit’s end. She would throw a fit any time we put her back in the crib, was happy to play in the living room but was yawning like crazy. J finally tried putting her down one last time (otherwise we were just going to start our day) and she finally passed out. Still woke up at her usual time of 7am, so Sunday was a long day for all of us.

Today is the first normal-ish day we’re having so I am making a nice fall meal of lasagna and apple crisp. We’ll enjoy our family time today, and begin living for the weekends tomorrow. I’m nervous to start work, to figure out our new normal, and meet my new coworkers (at my new office), but things are always in flux, and life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

**For the record, I am pro vaccine, and believe the reaction she had is less severe than if she were to not be vaccinated and contract a potantially deadly (preventable) disease.