An Unwelcome Christmas Guest

Standard

Happy Holiday season everyone! I usually love Christmas time, but I have to say this year I just felt harried and stressed out most of the time. I think being back at work, trying to juggle Christmas, and parenting while working just had me falling behind with all. Last year I was on mat leave at Christmas, so as much as I was busy with, you know, a new baby (well 4 months by Christmas) I did have some extra time on my hands. Overall, Baby Girl seemed to really enjoy Christmas this year, gleefully ripping wrapping paper, playing with all of her new toys, and all of the extra attention that comes with family time.

The family time in itself was not free of drama. I only had three days off work, and this year we were having Christmas day with J’s family, who spend Christmas in the mountains, about a 4 hour drive for us. There happened to be some heavy snowfall the day before we were set to drive down so the roads were not great, and J white knuckled through it. Thankfully BG was a champ in the car (unlike the last time we made the same drive and she screamed for a good lot of it). She slept, snacked, chatted to herself and watched Daniel Tiger on the iPad. There were some miscommunications about how exactly Christmas day was going down as we were blending family (SIL’s parents and one of SIL’s siblings joined in (SIL is married to my husbands’ brother to make that clearer…)), there was upset and hurt feelings (none of which was discussed but was very apparent). All in all, I just stayed out of it and tried to enjoy myself but I don’t like sharing close quarters with so many people for multiple days, so it wasn’t exactly my idea of a good time.

We alternate years with eachothers families, so it was nice to have BG’s first Christmas with my family last year, but she was much more fun and interactive this year. Plus, there are lots of babies in my family this year, and I would have like to have seen everyone (plus, selfishly, I like the cooking in my family better…). Oh well, next year we will be here, and hopefully I won’t be so stressed out, as I will (hopefully) have a better handle on balancing work and life. Or at least know what to expect, and prepare myself by scaling back.

On our drive to our moutain destination, I discovered that an unwelcome guest was making an appearance for Christmas. We stopped for a break and some snacks, when I went to the bathroom to discover Aunt Flo had made her triumphant return. At first I brushed it off as I have had some random spotting over the past few months but in previous that’s all it has been, a very small amount of spotting, for one day and then gone. So at first I thought that’s what it was but after another visit to the bathroom later that day, I found that was not to be the case. It wasn’t full force, but more like a slow leak. I had no supplies with me, but luckily enough it was light enough I managed with wadded up toilet paper for the few days.

It still hasn’t picked up in flow much, but is consistently there. I have an IUD in, that I got around 8 weeks after BG was born, but I just finished breast feeding a little under two months ago (which was a whole other thing, and sad for me, but BG was ready). So, my hopes that the IUD was going to hold AF off indefinitely have been dashed. If it keeps up with this light flow, that is better than average but I feel like junk. Crampy and so sick to my stomach yesterday. I am hoping since this is the first time I’ve had my period in OVER 2 YEARS (so awesome!) that this one is just extra nasty.

With the return of AF, it immediately kicked my brain into TTC, fertility, future children, and a whole lot of emotions from my past experiences. Through years of trying to conceive, blood was usually bad (unless I was waiting for it to start an IVF cycle). I have such a negative stigma with my period (not that it’s such a nice thing in the first place). But it makes my mind jump to counting cycle days, who do I need to call, when do I need to start doing/taking XYZ. That’s where I was the last time I got my period. Heading into our FET, which nearly ended up cancelled due to cysts, which had to be drained, which were raising my estrogen. It was the 7th circle of hell. So it is hard to disassociate that.

Before now, I was just sort of burying my head in the sand about any future fertility type dealings I may have. Trying (not so successfully) to avoid thinking about whether or not we want to try for another baby. But now I feel like it’s being shoved in my face. Not that I have to make a decision just because AF has returned, but it gets me in that train of thought. We still don’t know what we want to do, but at the same time if we were going to have another we prefer some space between them anyways, so there still isn’t really that much pressure to decide right away. But until we decide, the thought is always there.

So here’s to hoping that she buggers off soon, and her follow up visits are mild. But there is no deny that my body is starting to go back to “normal”, which I suppose is good, but creates questions that I don’t have answers for.

I hope everyones’ Christmas/Hanukkah/Holiday Season was good, and not too much stress or family drama!

Advertisements

#Microblog Mondays: 525,600 Minutes

Standard

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

*******

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!

 

#Microblog Mondays: More than “Just a Mom”

Standard

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

*******

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: Mystery Angel

Standard

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

*******

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!

#Microblog Mondays: What’s in a Name? Pt II

Standard

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

*******

I would say that I have a complicated relationship with my mother-in-law, as I’m sure most people would. She’s a nice enough person, but I feel like the daughter in law is always viewed as the one who takes the son away from his mother, to some extent (even if she doesn’t hold it against me ha ha). I’m fairly close with my husbands family, in that we see them fairly often, have vacationed with them, ect. But even with all that, it’s just not the same as my own family, the one I grew up with, aunts, uncles and cousins that pepper the memories of my childhood. Of course, how could it be? Yet, as I witness other daughters-in-law calling their mothers-in-law “Mom”, I think, “I could never…” My mother in law is not my Mom. I call her by her first name, and that’s as far as it’s ever going to go. Her and my father-in-law will sign cards, and emails with “Mom” and “Dad” which is all good and well, but I would still never call them that. I don’t know, maybe I’m being weird about it but my Mom is the person who raised me, and she earned that title by mothering me. What do you call your mother-in-law? Would you ever call her “Mom” (if you don’t already)?

Déjà vu

Standard

My period has finally arrived, 4 days late. We can only hope the next cycle is also late, or the clinic can work around my trip. That is yet to be determined. We stayed in a hotel last night because we are out of town visiting family. So not fun hotel sex. Good thing I didn’t bleed all over the immaculate white bedding. I’m relieved to get the next cycle started, but nervous about what this cycle may or may not be the beginning of.

Today, I will be attending my nieces’ joint birthday party (they were born on the same day, both by c-section. So, yes, it was intentional). I am having a sense of deja vu, because close to this time last year we were visiting my sister in law in the hospital just after she had my niece, her second daughter. This same weekend we were visiting their new baby, my period decided to show up, driving us closer and closer to beginning our journey with IUIs, and then IVF.

While we were staring down infertility treatment, my brother and sister in law had just added another child to their family and been discussing adopting two little boys. Because my sister in laws pregnancies had been very difficult, but they (she) wanted to continue to build their family, they thought adoption would be a good “solution”. I’m certain they knew nothing about adoption, how it works, and what it cost. It was just their newest fantasy, they had cooked up while enjoying their new sweet baby. But it led to me cry in a mall food court when J told me. Happy birthday to my darling nieces, the living reminders of my infertility.

Life’s Complications

Standard

I don’t really know when or how it happened, but overtime I’ve become a grown up, with grown up problems and grown up responsibilities. I remember the days when life’s difficult decisions involved how to wear my hair (ok, let’s be fair this is still a problem) or who I was crushing on at the moment. Now I have bills, responsibilities, a big girl job, a husband, dogs to take care of, and infertility to deal with. In my mind I sometimes still see myself as the 18 year old version of myself looking over the life I lead now and that part of me wonders, “how did I get here?”. Not always in a bad way, but I’m sometimes just surprised at what grown up life has to offer, what I craved when I was younger is really just the burden of responsibility.

The other night I was digging around in the bathroom to find my birth control pills, and J asked what I was doing, so I told him. Since we decided we are not going to be seeking fertility treatments for a while, I can’t deal with the uncertainty of just not trying, not preventing. J was very surprised that I was starting birth control again, he seemed rather upset that just because we weren’t actively seeking treatment that we couldn’t just see what happens. Ummm, the whole point of taking a break is so that I don’t have to incessantly worry if I’m pregnant or not. And I can’t be one of those people who “accidentally” gets pregnant. Although, I may have said it before, I will say it again; no such thing as an accidental pregnancy. Either you were preventing or you weren’t. We all know how it works. So in any case, I am continuing with my birth control.

J spent the weekend flinging resumes all over the US, and beyond. I’m hoping that things progress fairly quickly now. He will have to see who wants to interview with him, and then we’ll have to decide from those where we would really like to end up. He’ll go through interviews, and have to get paperwork done for his visas, once it gets to that point. We have a vacation booked for the end of April and I’m really hoping we will be close to moving at that point. I am excited with the prospects of a fresh start, but there are aspects of this change that I am not looking forward to, the biggest one being dealing with our family.

I am mostly concerned about J’s mom, but my mom too. Last week my mom and J’s mom went out for coffee together, and J’s mom knows more about our treatments and whats been going on with us than my mom does. So I’m sure they discussed us, our lack of pregnancy thus far and our treatment. But my mom would have probably been hurt to get more information from J’s mom than me. I know this is my fault, since I haven’t shared any of it with her, but if I had it my way, J’s mom wouldn’t know anything either, but J is pretty close with her, and is more open with her than I am with my mom. I just don’t like people knowing what exactly we’re doing, and when because then it is just added pressure of other people wondering “did it work this time?”. It bothers me immensely, so I really hate that even J’s mom knows about it. I know a lot of you out there are very close with your mothers, and discuss your infertility with them candidly. I for one, am not a very open book, with my mom or anyone else. Also, I was an “accidental” pregnancy, so I feel like my mom cannot possibly understand or relate on any level. It’s a terrible form of coincidence.

But, I know we’re going to have to be more open with our immediate families when we tell them we’re leaving. J’s siblings do know we have been trying, and at least have a vague idea that we’ve been seeking treatment, so when we tell them we’re moving they’ll probably be a bit puzzled. It’s going to come as a bit of a shock to everyone I’m sure, as we’ve never mentioned it to anyone yet. J’s mom is not going to like it one bit. She is very attached to her kids, but especially J. We moved to Australia less than a year after we got married and she was a wreck. She was just destroyed, and even when we were in Australia, tried to be constantly in communication with us (thank goodness for Skype). So, not only do we have to break it to her that we will not be giving her any grandchildren soon, we are also removing ourselves from her reach.

We’ve discussed when to tell them, but haven’t come to any conclusions yet. If they were to ask us outright about our pregnancy efforts we would probably come clean, but they generally know better than to come out and ask anymore. My mom makes veiled comments to try and get me to open up but I have the feeling the next time I see her, or talk to her she’s going to come out with it, since I’m sure she’s gleaned some new info from J’s mom and I’ll be forced into coming out with all of it. I think we’ve sort of decided to let it come out organically, when the timing seems right, but if that doesn’t happen before J starts to get serious with a new location we might have to just have to spill the beans.

I know J is really dreading it because I’m sure his mom is going to get very upset, and most likely cry. I know overall my mom will supportive (she has always been that) but sad that I am leaving, as it is just her and I; she is a single parent, and I am her only child. I know it will be a difficult transition when we do move, no matter that it will be exciting and new, finding yourself in a foreign place in a completely new situation is always scary. I am looking forward to the coming weeks though, to see what happens. As much as I feel freed by the fact that we are no longer TTC, and have started to move towards our new future, nothing has changed yet.

I feel a mixture of excitement for the future, unease for the uncertainty, and dread for dealing with our family. When did life get so complicated?

image

*Sidenote, J and I watched the beginning of Up (the Disney movie) the other day because he’s never seen it. Wow, forgot how sad it is.