#Microblog Mondays: A Beautiful Shower

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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 weekend, I happily attended a baby shower. The reason I was so looking forward to attending wasn’t because I have a baby of my own to ease the discomfort of the dreaded baby shower, but rather because of the circumstances. The shower was for my cousins newest daughter, who was born via gestational surrogate. They also have an older daughter, brought into the world the same way. It has been a very special journey for them, involving two amazing women who carried each of their daughters. These selfless women did it out of the goodness of their hearts, to help a friend in need (it is not legal to compensate a surrogate, in Canada). Both of them attended the shower, and they both still act like it was no big deal. Beautiful ladies. 

I’ve spoken about my cousins wife before, she has an “incompetent cervix” that has made it impossible for her to carry a pregnancy to term (she lost 4 babies, a set of twins and two singleton pregnancies). When I got pregnant I was pretty open with my family about the fact that we did IVF, and I knew my cousins wife would understand more than most. Little did I know, when I told her I was pregnant, her surro was just pregnant as well, as our daughters were born 3 months apart.

Also at this shower, another extended family member that I don’t see often was there. She struggled with infertility for years, and had gone down the path of adoption. Her and her husband were at the point of waiting for a match when they went to the Fertility Clinic (I think their referral to the clinic got lost in the shuffle because it took them way longer than is normal to get in). They were on their third IUI, staring down IVF for their next appointment, but it took. Third time was the charm and she is now 5 months pregnant.

My other cousin who was there is 37 weeks pregnant, and though she did not struggle to conceive, she is a labor and delivery nurse and has seen enough in her job to not take her pregnancy for granted.

So, three infertility “survivors”, two surrogates, and a labor and delivery nurse walked into a party…and it was beautiful. 

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The Days are Long but the Years (and Months) are Short

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Today is my birthday, almost baby girl’s half birthday and coincidentally my 200th post. Going for the trifecta! Birthdays, much like New Years, beget reflection. This will be the last year in my 20’s, which makes me sad just because I feel infinitely 21 or, maybe 25. I just can’t wrap my brain around ageing, and I don’t feel older, most of the time. More mature and adult-y, but not older. Obviously a lot has changed between this year and last, and even more from the year before that, it feels like a blur. Yet when I am spending my days trying to entertain an infant, get her to sleep, trying to fit in solid food, and keep the house going, the hours can drag. 

My little peanut is not so little anymore, weighing in around 16 1/2 lbs and measuring 25″ a couple of weeks ago. She gained 2 lbs and 1 1/4″ in a month, my growing girl! She has just recently started sitting unsupported for short bouts, and if she is on the couch or sitting against the boppy pillow she is perfectly stable. She was rolling from back to tummy around Christmastime but since the new year she doesn’t do it much anymore, and she still just flails around when on her belly. For some reason she doesn’t push up on her arms, she just uses her core to lift her chest off the floor but she tires of that pretty quickly so tummy time is often, but short. Plus if I put her on her tummy too soon after her last feed, she’s guaranteed to spit up. She is really strong standing, while supported. Just last night I was trying to sit her in her crib but she wouldn’t bend her legs so I put her standing at her crib rail and she held on and stood there without me holding her. She looked so grown up! 

We started solids about 3 weeks ago but it’s been slow going. She has taken pretty well to oatmeal pretty well but sometimes she just flat out refuses it for seemingly no reason. She loves sweet potatoes, and butternut squash. She was sort of indifferent to avocado, does not like applesauce (too tart I think), mango was a big no (a bit too strong of a flavour, maybe) and she puked after the three bites of peas I gave her. Carrots yesterday were so-so but I’ve heard bananas are usually a big hit so we’ll try those soon.

We went to Mexico in early January for a week. While it was a nice to escape winter for a while, and not have to cook or clean, ultimately you still have to, you know, be a parent. We’re going to California at the end of April because hubby has a conference, so we’re tagging along (woot woot!), and we’re planning on going to Vancouver for baby girls first birthday, just ’cause. Gotta make the most of being on mat. leave and not using up my vacation time. Have baby, will travel!

I don’t speak of it often, for fear of jinxing, but nighttime sleep has been very good since around 3 months, with a minor blip during, and for a week or two after, Mexico. She wakes up earlier than I appreciate, but I can’t complain about a full nights sleep with an early wake up call. Naps are my nemesis. My baby has high sleep needs, so her little 45 minute “catnaps” do nothing to stave off tiredness, yet she can’t connect two sleep cycles and fights being put back to sleep after waking from a catnap. So we have nap battles where I try to get her to go back to sleep and she screams, or I give in and just get her up which results in her being tired 20 minutes later and just generally crabby. I’m going to try some sort of nap sleep training before I lose my mind.

Breastfeeding is still going strong which I didn’t anticipate. In the beginning I had such a hard time getting her latched, I was uncomfortable and awkward feeding in front of anyone but my husband, yet I hated (still do) the cover, my supply sucked, breastfeeding took forever and baby never seemed satisfied. I took it day by day, with a goal of making it to my 6 week check up, then the 8 week mark, then 3 months. By the time we got to Christmas, it wasn’t even a question. I was so glad to be breastfeeding when we went to Mexico, it just made it infinitely easier to be able to whip out a boob, whenever, wherever. And I generally do just that. I’m over my discomfort of feeding in public. While I’m definitely still uncomfortable exposing myself, I’ve figured my wardrobe to help me be discreet without the nursing cover. Plus baby and I are both a lot more confident, it’s just easy and takes a lot less time than it used to, though she is rather distractable now.

So that’s life in a nutshell. Bored out of my skull one minute as I watch my pudgy girl play with her toy apple with the intensity of a brain surgeon, while the next minute I wonder where my teeny tiny brand new baby went. Still learning to adjust to this pace of life, but baby girl’s sweet face is the only birthday present I need this year. Except for maybe a spa day…

Perfectly Imperfect?

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I just saw this commercial for Plan B “emergency contraceptive” and my reaction was, “WTF?!”. Maybe I’m overthinking it, or my IF history is making me overly sensitive but I feel like they are being really flippant. Like, eh don’t worry about birth control until it’s an “emergency situation”. Is this commercial a bit ridiculous, or is it just me?

#Microblog Mondays: Trending

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

Many of you may have seen the latest “chain mail” thing sweeping across Facebook: the motherhood challenge. You are meant to post photos that make you happy to be a mother (something along those lines, I’ve seen a few various incarnations). When you participate you tag other people to keep it going. I figured it would reach me eventually and I wasn’t wrong. My sister in law tagged me today. I’m not sure how to respond/what to do. 

For one, I hate these types of things that sweep social media, generally they are annoying even if the messaging is meant to be uplifting. Secondly, I don’t share photos of baby girl on social media, it’s just something I’m not terribly comfortable with (though, don’t get me wrong sometimes it’s tempting because she’s so damn cute and I wanna be all “look how friggin’ cute she is!”). Lastly, the whole exclusion of those who are not mothers. If I was still in the trenches of IF, this little trend would really chap my ass. So my options are; ignore it, shut up and play along, or play along but add my own IF messaging to it. 

I feel uncomfortable just going with it, especially being that I’m supposed to tag others. But I am also tired and don’t necessarily feel like climbing up on my soapbox for something trivial (in the grand scheme) that most people will probably ignore anyways. So I’ll probably go with the avoidance route. Sometimes I feel like I’m still being overly sensitive; the pain has lessened, the wound is healing. But being infertile is like walking through a door and locking it behind you. No matter the outcome, you can’t go backwards.