#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.

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#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.

#Microblog Mondays: Mystery Angel

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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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Time is flying; tomorrow I’ll have an eleven month old. We are planning her first birthday, preparing for daycare, my return to work. Life is so different, and it’s about to change again as my maternity leave ends. Some days I look forward to returning to the workforce; having some variation in my days and adult conversation. Other days I just want to stop time; how can I leave my baby girl for most of her waking hours of the day? I don’t want to be a stay at home mom, I know that, it’s not for me, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be hard to send her to daycare for five days a week. This year off has been a good taste of it, and I am so thankful that living in Canada affords me this opportunity, but I would not leave my job to stay home. Not only would I not choose it, we can’t afford for me to stay home, so it was really a non-choice. Our summer is jam-packed with activities, meet ups with friends and family events so I know it is going to be gone in the blink of an eye.

In one of our mom and baby classes we spend the last few minutes with the lights dimmed, listening to peaceful, calming music and cuddling our babes (as much as they will allow). It is one of my favorite parts of our week, yet it is bittersweet because our undivided time together will soon end, and many of our activities together will cease. So it makes me a little weepy; for this season of our lives that is almost finished, for the new seasons to come, for all that we’ve had, and done and been through together. There has been so much that has happened in the past year, I can’t possibly describe it adequately and eloquently enough, but this beautiful song from our relaxation time together makes me feel all of the things that I can’t put into words.

*Sidenote: This song reminds me of Jess over at My Path to Mommyhood and the Mystery Baby that she is waiting for, so hopefully this sends some good vibes her way!

#MicroblogMondays: An Olive Branch

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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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After last week’s #MicroblogMonday post, I received a lot of comments from people relating to my situation; having a friendship suffer due to infertility. Most agreed, as I had suggested, that it might be time to let this one go. Since I published the post, I’ve really been thinking about this friendship; it’s been bothering me for a long time, that it’s withered to almost nothing. The last time my friend and I spent time together, I went to her house, I offered to come, I was the one who reached out (first to find out why she’d been giving me the cold shoulder, then to make plans). Since we still haven’t really reconnected I decided I owe us one last try, so I reached out once more, and we’re taking our kids to the park (near me this time) this afternoon. We’ll see how things go, and afterwards I’m going to let the chips fall where they may. At least I’ll know I gave it a shot. My rule of life is to take the path of least regrets, and I feel like I would regret not giving this friendship one more chance.