#Microblog Mondays: 525,600 Minutes

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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!

 

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#Microblog Mondays: More than “Just a Mom”

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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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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 Mondays: Mystery Angel

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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!

#Microblog Mondays: Friendship

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Wow, I’ve been absent for a while! It’s been unintentional, but every time I have some free time (aka, when baby is napping) there are a hundred other things I need to do and blogging falls down the list. I’ve been reading and following along, and I do have a million things to talk about (which is sometimes why I don’t blog, even if I find a pocket of time…where to begin!). Anyways, I’ve had a situation weighing heavily on me for a while, (I’m sure there are others in a similar boat) so I’m going to get it off my chest.

Like many other infertility sufferers/survivors, my best friend was busy procreating while I was struggling through IUIs and IVF. Her first child was born just after J and I started trying to get pregnant, so at that point I was super excited, for her, and for J and I. By the time she was pregnant with her second child, J and I were fully immersed in the world of IF. In a strange twist, just before my BF got pregnant for the second time, she had been prescribed clomid as she wasn’t ovulating regularly, and was having very long cycles. She went to her GP, who ran some tests and gave her the clomid (all of this happened in a very short period of time and she never went to Ye Olde Fertilty Clinic). She was waiting for her CD1 so she could get some bloodwork done. Her period never came, and it turned out she was pregnant.

That was a turning point in our relationship. As much as I didn’t want her to be in the IF trenches with me, it would have been nice for my BF to understand what I was going through. So when she told me she was pregnant, I was relieved for her, but also turned more into myself. I shared less with her, I didn’t see her as often (it was too hard). Once her second boy was born, I went for the obligatory visit (it’s awful that I saw it as obligatory, rather than wanting to see her new child). Granted, she also now had two children, and I had none so we were living very different lives.

Even once I finally succeeded in becoming pregnant, and having my baby girl, we never reconnected. She did come visit when baby girl was just new but then after that I noticed a distinct pulling away. She was very curt and brief in our text message exchanges, they were never initiated by her and when she didn’t wish me a happy birthday I knew something was really up. I questioned her on it, and she told me that she was hurt that our relationship had faltered after she got pregnant, that we weren’t close anymore, and that she rarely saw me anymore. She ended with something along the lines of “I’m not solely blaming you”, but sort of left it hanging as in, she mostly was blaming me. I did pull away, I know that. But I didn’t have much left to give to anyone during treatment, and then life with a new infant swallowed me up for a while. I blame myself, but I wish she would have made more of an effort too.

After I straight up asked her what was going on and we hashed that out a bit, we had a casual catching up convo, and I made a date to go visit her and her boys. That visit felt awkward, and stunted. We haven’t had much contact since, but neither of us has brought up our dying relationship. I think she’s stopped trying again, and frankly if it’s this much effort and things have changed so much between us, is it worth saving? I feel harsh saying that, and she is/was my best friend. We’ve know each other since we were 17, we used to be inseparable. But I think when things really changed was after the birth of her first child. And I get it, new parents are busy, priorities change. Couple that with the fact that I ended up undergoing fertility treatments, I think we’ve drifted too far apart, and though we now have similar-ish lives (in that we both have young children), I’ve changed fundamentally and I don’t knowhow well she fits in my life anymore.

I sort of feel like I am being lazy, and dismissive of such a long time friendship, not trying to save it. But I have a high school friend who I rarely see, and we don’t chat a ton but whenever we do, we never skip a beat, it’s like no time is lost at all. It’s not like that with my once-bestie. And that’s what makes me think, as sad as it would be, that it’s time to let it go.

#Microblog Mondays: Next Question

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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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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!