#Microblog Mondays: Giving 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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For the years spent going through infertility, I withdrew into myself. I constantly felt spent, an empty shell that had nothing to give as all of my energy was sapped trying to hold myself together. Then came pregnancy which was also tiring, physically and emotionally so again my focus was turned inward, to myself and my baby. Once she arrived life was a bit of a haze for the first few months.

Now I’m starting to get myself back, a different version of me, but  the pieces are coming out of the shadows and allowing my gaze to turn outward again. I spent so much time buried under infertility, unable to be there for others, that now I want to be able to give back. It’s a bit of a vague feeling because I wasn’t sure in what way, but the first form of giving came to me via Facebook. 

A friend of mine posted that she had become an ambassador for a local breast milk bank. Truth be told I didn’t even realise it was an option in my locale (and it’s actually not, my city has satellite locations for them). I messaged her for info, and am in the process of becoming a donor. They ask for a minimum commitment of 150oz and that is a pretty big ask for me as my pump output isn’t huge. But I have until baby girl’s first birthday to do it (they only accept donations until your child is one). Despite my initial difficulties with breastfeeding, it’s now second nature and I’m pleased I’ve been able to keep it up*. The milk I donate is given, by prescription, to babies who really need it, sick and/or premature. It costs me nothing but time, and can be a huge benefit to someone else. I want to do that.

I’ve also never been able to give blood, be it due to tattoos, piercings, travel or weight requirements (I’m a petite person and never met the minimum weight). Thanks to pregnancy I’ve gained the few extra pounds I needed to be eligible. I am also now 6 months postpartum and am finally an eligible blood donor. So I’m off to the blood bank next week! Again, only costs me my time (ok and blood). I’m fine with needles (good thing or IVF would have been much more difficult) but I don’t like having blood drawn, or at least seeing it leave my body. So it could be interesting, but I’m just going to try not to watch it flow out, into the bag. I’m not a fainter, it just makes me a bit squeamish, so it should be fine.

So I’m starting relatively small, and with anonymous type things, as opposed to giving or helping a specific person/people. I’m glad to be able to put some positivity out into the world, now that I am not living in the vacuum of my own life. Helping is healing. 

*I am for all forms of feeding your baby, whatever is for you. Breastfeeding is for me, and the health benefits for sick and preemie babies are there so I’m all for sharing my milk with those who need it. 

#Microblog Mondays: Next Question

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


There is a question that every infertile-turned-parent dreads; when are you having another? I haven’t exactly been outright asked (yet), but the topic has come up.

I have a weekly meetup with some moms that all met through a new moms group, and a couple weeks ago one of the moms asked if anyone was thinking of another baby. Most ladies shook their heads, as most of us have babies around six months old, it’s still a bit soon for most to be considering it. One of the moms is getting married this summer and she indicated a desire to get pregnant after the wedding. I kept mum and just shook my head, that no I would not want another anytime soon. It did come up at one point in our moms groups meetings that I conceived via IVF but I’m not sure anyone remembers.

The other day I was at my chiropractors office and there was another woman with a baby close to C’s age. We got to chatting a bit and somehow work came up, and she asked if I was going back to work after my mat. leave finished, to which I said yes. She replied with, “Oh just get enough hours in and do it all over again?” (meaning work my minimum number of hours to qualify for mat. leave again). I told her, no, that we may only have one or wait until she is closer to going to school before having another. She seemed momentarily taken aback, but did give some sort of polite, non-committal response before being rescued from our convo by the doctor.

I know these are just the first of what is sure to become a recurring conversation for the next several years until we either decide to try for another (and succeed or not…), or decide our family is complete with the three of us. I won’t even get started on the debate people get into about only children.

Just when you think your done with the “when are you going to have kids” question, it starts all over again.

#Microblog Mondays: Odds and Sods

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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 won’t really be micro, and it doesn’t really have any direction because I have a million things floating around in my head, yet no time to write individual posts, so here goes;

There is tension/distance with my best one of my oldest/longest friendships. It’s been going on for a while (like over two years since she got pregnant with her youngest son). Her pregnancy/children and my lack thereof really drove a wedge between us. It came to a head after baby girl was born. I think she thought that would erase everything and make us close again, but it didn’t. I am trying to rebuild that friendship but we’ve grown as people, and grown apart. It sounds horrible, and I don’t want to just give up our friendship but sometimes friendships fade, or become less close when people change. This topic will probably need it’s own post at some point.

I took some “me time” this weekend to go clothes shopping. At first I was having a sucky time of it because I am not happy with my post baby body, plus I try and wear clothes that are breastfeeding friendly so it limits my choices a bit. But at the same time, I won’t be breastfeeding forever, and I want things that I like and that I feel like I look nice in and will want to wear once I go back to work. It’s a tall order, but after a second lap around the mall (the first was dismal) I had some success and felt better.

While I was out, J was on daddy duty. Normally when I go out, it’s in the evening so he doesn’t have to do as much because baby girl goes to bed early. Well going out in the middle of the day meant he got to deal with naps, feeding schedule (solids and milk), and generally entertaining baby. Not to say he can’t or doesn’t do these things otherwise, but generally I’m around too, so we split duties. Plus he doesn’t like being housebound, and I told him that taking baby in the car for a nap doesn’t count as a proper nap. We I am trying to nap train and for that she needs consistency in her crib. He actually even did some housework, and managed to walk the dogs (we live in an apartment condo so we actually have to go for a walk, not just put the dogs in a yard, so it entails packing up baby to go outside). I was quite impressed, and it left me wondering if he thinks I have it so easy staying home with the baby when he managed to take care of the baby and the house. A little while later he was laying on the couch, yawning and he admitted that he was beat, and he said “I don’t know how you do this everyday, I’m exhausted”. Best validation EVER. (For reference I was only gone for around 4 hours…).

Speaking of naps, baby girl has some pretty high sleep needs, yet she more often than not will only nap for 45 minutes (to the minute, she is like an alarm clock). When she wakes up she is still tired (yawning and rubbing her eyes 20 minutes after she gets up) but has had enough sleep that she won’t go back down. It is exhausting and becomes very frustrating day after day. I’ve read a lot about the “45 minute nap intruder” and tried some tips and tricks to deal with that but so far it’s really hit and miss getting her to nap longer. She has also started waking up earlier and earlier in the morning. Mommy no like-y.

I sometimes feel like a bit of a helicopter parent, not to baby girl, but to my husband. I really try and let him just do things his way but sometimes I will change/correct something he did, or ask him about X, Y, Z and I’m sure he feels like I am judging/second guessing. I try really hard not to. If it isn’t that important I mostly just let things slide, but I am the one who is around and caring for baby majority of the time so sometimes I can’t help myself. But as soon as I do or say something I feel bad and know I should have just let it be. Working on it…

One thing that has improved since having baby girl though, is my housekeeping. Our kitchen is almost always clean now (because I clean it a million times a day). But when baby girl is awake I don’t want to be cleaning and not spending time with her so I try really hard to keep things neat and tidy, cleaning up after myself as I go and cleaning when she’s sleeping. I was never a super messy person, but when it was just J and I we would sometimes be lazy and leave dishes in the sink, and though our house wasn’t unclean, we aren’t the tidiest people in terms of leaving clothes laying around or stacks of paperwork and what not. But since I spend most of my time at home now it has become my sanctuary and it drives me nuts when it gets messy. It’s a place where I can keep order when there is so much out of my control. Strange benefit of having a baby, as usually housework falls by the wayside with a new baby.

We’ve been working on solids with baby girl for the past month and a half or so, and she took to the first few things I gave her (butternut squash, sweet potatoes, avocado, baby oatmeal) but she has hated almost everything else, and we’ve tried; applesauce, peaches, banana, zucchini, peas, pears, mangoes, chicken, and carrots. I hope this child starts liking more than 4 items because this momma doesn’t want to deal with a picky eater (like I was when I was a child). I keep trying the foods she’s refused, because I’ve been told/read it can take many exposures for a baby to decide whether they like a food or not. I just hope she decides sooner rather than later so I can give her more variety and stop wasting the food I make and she doesn’t want. I’m also still figuring out when to offer her solids, before milk? After milk? Somewhere in between? Having to think ahead if we’re going out somewhere. I struggled with breastfeeding in the beginning but now it is like second nature and adding solids to the mix is just more work!

Baby girl is still pretty immobile. Her newest skill is sitting unsupported. She has a strong core, so she is a sturdy little thing. She looks like such a big girl sitting up by herself, she’s growing so fast 😦 She still won’t roll from her tummy to her back, which I brought up with her ped. because most babies will have mastered that by now. He didn’t seem to be worried, especially since she can sit up. She will roll from her back to her tummy on occasion but then she’s stuck. She doesn’t push up on her arms much when she is on her tummy, she mostly just flaps her arms like she is swimming or trying to fly. I suppose I should be thankful she’s not moving around too much so I can put her down somewhere and know that she’ll stay there.

I’m still really mulling on a second baby, though it’s not something we would want in the near future (like not in the next 3 – 4 years) but I just feel like we should make a decision so we can have somewhat of a plan for the future (I like having a five year plan). I know we don’t need to worry about it right now, and though we have 4 embryos left it may not actually happen. If we decide we do want to try for a second and it doesn’t happen I know it would be heartbreaking.

I’ve also been thinking on being a surrogate. It’s something I’ve been turning around in my mind for a while, since sometime after we started IVF and before we got pregnant (obviously I knew I would have to have a successful pregnancy first). It’s not something I’ve fully looked into yet, and I don’t know if I would even be allowed to be a surrogate, being that I’ve undergone fertility treatments myself, regardless of the fact that my uterus seems perfectly capable. Personally I think it is an asset that I know what I would be getting into, on that side of things. Obviously J would have to be ok with it, and if we do decide to have another of our own, I may not want to carry a third baby. I know that it is a heavy undertaking, but having seen the two little girls that it has brought into this world for my cousin and his wife, I know what a huge gift it is. Having been through infertility, and knowing the pain of wanting a child, it would be amazing to be able to help someone become a parent. This thought is really still in it’s infancy, but it’s being sitting in my brain for some time now, so I feel like it’s not just me being a daydreamer. (This could really also use it’s own post at some point…).

Work is another thinking point, for myself and for J. He could have a very good opportunity for moving up, and to a new location (within our same city) next fall (2017) but if he takes that, then we are sort of committing to it for a year and a half, to two years. And if we do that, then we may just end up staying here for the long haul. We’ve always talked about moving a few hours south of where we are now, to another large city, where J’s brother lives. If we are going to go, it would probably be next summer as the mortgage on our rental property is up and we could sell it and buy a house elsewhere. J could transfer there as well, but it may not be as good of an opportunity as what he could get here. I could probably also transfer to this other city, but it would mean I would have to go back to my same job when my maternity leave is up. I’ve considered changing careers, but if we are just going to up and move I am better off sticking with what I am doing for the moment.

So those are the inner tumblings of my mind. This was clearly not micro in any way, so if you stuck with it, kudos to you. Any advice, suggestion, or comments on any or all of the above are welcome!