Sunday, 26 July 2015

Almost 10 months

Life has been good to us these past months. I love summer. Babykins is thriving.  Antidepressants have been the boost that I needed for so many years.  

Seriously- why did I wait so long to take these happy pills? They are so nice! They make me a more content person. I am surprised by how my thinking has changed. Little things that would annoy me (like the sound of a fan- seriously), don't anymore. I am a little lazier and sleepier too, but I feel like it's a small price to pay for better mental health.  My only fear now is thinking about stopping the pills, which I have no plans to do anytime soon. 

Babykins update:

He's a baby that loves to smile when you do, and happily seeks the attention of those around him. He's curiously exploring every aspect of his world, now on all fours, crawling and pulling himself up onto absolutely everything. 

He loves food. On the weekend, after he had breakfast at home, we went to a friend's for brunch. He had another full meal with us, and then when their daughter woke from her nap, he joined her for another small meal. Three breakfasts in about two hours. I love that he loves healthy food so much, and I hope he continues to be a good eater.  He's a big boy at almost 23lbs, and in the mid-80th percentiles for weight and height. 

I am enjoying this phase (he's almost 10 months) of parenting so much more than the newborn stage.  While it's still tiring, (Babykins is still is a crummy sleeper- we've tried lots of different approches but are realizing that this may just be him ��.), it's sooo much better than those first few months of feeling like a zombie who might pass out from sheer exhaustion at any second.  

This stage of development is so fun and interactive.  I am trying to soak it all in every day, knowing that tomorrow he'll be a bigger boy yet again. 

His smiles and giggles are so awesome, and I'm very good at eliciting both from him.  He's a happy, and very social little guy.  Everyone is always commenting on what a great personality he has. We feel so lucky and proud that he's our boy. 

I am in awe every day of how much he makes my heart explode for him, and how just when I think that I couldn't love him anymore, the next day, I realize I love him more deeply yet again.  I'm trying to soak in all of these innocent moments with him, because I know they are so fleeting. 

Last night, we went to a party where one of the other guests told me about her three losses and four years of infertility.  I think someone else at the party directed her to talk to me about our shared experiences. 

When her eyes swelled with tears, my heart remembered that pain so easily, yet with so much less of a sting. In so many ways every day, I am reminded that we could still so easily be fighting those day-by-day and minute-by-minute battles if it were not for Carla.  I love her more and more everyday too. 

Speaking of Carla, she came to visit us last month at our summer place with her mom. She spent 24 hours with us and we had a great visit. We went boating and relaxed together. They were easy company to host (phew!)

Babykins was teething (he has three little razor sharp teeth so far!). His new mobility and independence has him very uninterested in easily allowing his diaper change/clothing change/bedtime etc. to happen any longer in a relaxed manner.  

Poopy diaper changes are especially a gong show. When D and I are both home, we tag-team them because he is such a squirmy and strong boy.  

It was a little stressful for me navigating all of these new developments with Carla and her Mom around at first. I didn't want it to seem like we don't know what we're doing - even though, admittedly- a lot of the time we don't! (On this note, I am convinced that a lot of parenting is fake it until you make it.) 

I find myself wondering if we meet Carla's expectations on what she hoped for when she chose us.  She told me after her visit that she loves us so much and that we're awesome parents. It was so nice to hear, but I still feel a tiny bit insecure when we see her, even though I know she, and her family are some of the least judgemental people I have ever met. 

D thinks it's good for Carla to see the harder parts of parenting, not just all of the cute pics and giggling baby videos, and well prepped visits. I think she already knows this, and it's why she made the decision she did. 

Openess isn't without its hiccups, such as this one, but I definitely feel so glad that we have been able to build such a strong relationship with Carla and Babykins' extended families. The love they have shown our boy and us, is powerful and makes some of the small sacrifices we make to accomodate them in our lives very worth it. 

Birthdad (who has had no contact with us since the hospital and is no longer dating Carla) recently told Carla that he would now like to see some pictures too. It's a pretty huge step for him to ask for this, and I think it's because he sees how things are working well for the rest of his family and for Carla.  And, maybe he's had more time to process all of this for himself too. 

We're going to text him monthly pictures, and invite him to Babykins' first birthday party (which I do not think he'll attend). 

I can't believe that I'm even starting to  plan his first birthday. My boy is going to be one in the fall...eek!  :)


Thursday, 18 June 2015

8 months, a new nephew and taking the antidepressants

My Nephew

Right now, I'm in a hospital snuggling my newborn nephew.  He is 8lbs of pure bliss.  Ahhh. I am soaking it in. 

I am so excited for my sister to be a Mama, and to be an aunt for a second time.   I am especially happy because I worried about her being able to have a child. 

My sister and her fiancé generously invited me to be a part of her labour and delivery.  It was such an honour to be able to support her throughout the process and watch everything unfold.  It was especially meaningful for me because it's an experience that I may never have. 

I've always had a lot of love, respect and admiration for my sister, but watching the way she has navigated this experience has really made me admire her so much more. She has gone through many difficult situations with so much grace and positivity. 

I am also reminded by this experience, and as I often am as I experience motherhood, that I am so grateful to"be on the other side" and have my little Babykins waiting for me at home. 

Infertility changed so much of me, and I am so glad that I've been able to heal and to experience this without the dark cloud of infertility over my head.  

My sister ended up having a c-section because the baby's heart rate was decelerating significantly during her pushing. She's been recovering well, and the baby  is doing well. 

Tonight, the baby finally latched (on the third day). I was able to watch their breast feeding joirney unfold. Watching him finally latch was such a special moment to share in. 

Babykins update:

He's 8 months old now! 

He's the sweetest little thing.  Well, he's not so little- he's almost 23lbs! 

Many of our friends and family have told us that he is the happiest, most smiley and giggly baby they have ever met. He loves little repetitive games and surprises. A simple "BOO!" can send him into a giggle-fest. 

He started crawling the day before I left to meet my nephew. D has been sending me videos and pictures of him motoring around, leaving a path of toys in his wake.  They make my heart swell. 

He's a busy little guy, who wants everything to go in his mouth. He's also babbling up a storm, loves attention and food! He dislikes diaper changes and  is starting to be quite a challenge to change and dress.  If he had his choice, he would stay naked - probably forever. 

Antidepressants/my mood:

I started taking the antidepressants about two weeks after they were prescribed. They took the full 6 weeks to take their full effect, but they have been amazing. I am so happy that I have decided to take the plunge and see doctor and take his recommendation even though it was scary for me.  I just wish I did it sooner! 

Life is good. 


Thursday, 30 April 2015

Adoption panel, cleaning lady and 7 month (almost) update

Well, I started taking the pills!  I realized that it was anxiety that was stopping me from taking them originally... which probably seemed super obvious to all of you... but when you are living with it on a daily basis, thinking like this has a way of becoming normal.

So, we'll see how it goes!

I took Babykins to the zoo yesterday.  He really was just excited to be out an about, as was I.  It was a nice day with our friend and her daughter.  As an added bonus, she's a photographer so she snapped some nice pics of me and Babykins.

A little update about Babykins - he is a week away from being seven months old!

He's still waking a couple times in the night.    At his 6 month check up he weighed just over 20lbs, which was in the 92nd percentile for weight (wow!) and he's in the 70th percentile for height.  He's a big boy!  Apparently the reflux has not been slowing him down.  He loves solids and will eat just about anything I give him.  I'm noticing that temperature has more of an effect on what he dislikes more then the food itself.  So far, we have done vegetables and protein with some cereals.  I'm waiting until next month to introduce fruits and we'll do dairy after that.

His reflux has been improving.  We switched bottles, he started sitting up, and eating solids.  So, I really have no idea if any of these things were behind the improvement, or if it's just because he's older and his physiology is beginning to mature.  Who knows, but I am glad that he is getting better.

He's a little trooper with puking though - it doesn't even phase him, it's just a part of his life.

We met with Carla last weekend.  We happened to be visiting another friend very close by, so we stopped in (with lots of notice) for a visit.  We also saw his birth dad's family (but not his birth dad, he's not interested, and I respect that).

D was having a bachelor party weekend for my brother at our house, so Babykins and I went on our first road trip.  It was a big success.  He was great in the car and he even slept through the night one night - yay! I'm hoping that's a trend that continues.

This weekend we're speaking at an adoption panel locally about openness in adoption.  The facilitator said many of the people that are in the small group are hesitant about openness in adoption.  It's a feeling I remember well.  It's a full circle moment for us.

We also recently signed our finalization papers.  Now we just need the "rubber stamp" from the courts and he will be officially ours. :))))

He's an awesome little boy with just the best personality.  He smiles at EVERYONE and giggles very easily.  I can't imagine a better baby.  Even though it's been seven months, it's all still hard to believe that we got this lucky.

And oh - and I treated myself this week to having a cleaning lady come in.  Yesterday when I got home from the zoo, my house smelled so fresh and clean.  It was ah-mazing and worth every penny.  I might make this more of a regular occurrence.

It's so nice having your whole house clean all at one time.  I find with a baby that I can clean a little bit here and there but it wears on me looking at X or Y that needs to be done.   And, it's very anxiety reducing for me to have a clean house.   Already, I've done a few extra things that needed to be done, when I'd be trying to get basic household things done.

Sorry - this post was a little bit all over the place - but there's no time to edit! Hubby is away on a business trip.






Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Moods

So a while back, I posted something about my moods still not being right.  I've been tracking them on the app called Optimism for a few months - a huge win for me to continue doing this for this length of time.  I'm not the greatest at sticking to stuff like that.

I looked at the pattern and here's what I see.  Several weeks of feeling 8/10 (yay!), followed by a sharp decline around PMS time to 2/10.  I wrote notes about how I was feeling in the app and a lot of my complaints seemed to be directed towards my dear D.  I'm not sure that he deserves all of what I direct at him, it's probably just that he's the closest to me, we see each other A LOT (he works from home and now I'm home way more than I've ever been with Babykins), and I feel comfortable expressing these emotions to him (and not many other people in my life).

Every single month, in the early part of my cycle, I convince myself that nothing is wrong.  That my bad mood the month before was the result of X problem.

I can now see an unfortunate pattern in dealing with problems in my life.  My strategy has been: a) ignore it,  b) then get to the point where I can't stand it, but still don't communicate my needs (desires?) in a healthy way.  I get quiet while trying to stifle my negative emotions.  c) It gets to the point to where D asks me what's wrong on more than one occasion then d) We end up having a discussion and or fight about it  e) I feel better, which often also coincides with resolving the disagreement and my period showing up.

My cycles range from 28 days to 50+ days, which makes things more difficult.  When I'm having a long cycle, I feel like my body goes through weeks of PMS instead of a day or two like I used to have in my twenties.




I decided to talk to my doctor about it.

He was so awesome.  I love my family doctor and always have.  I filled in a couple questionnaires and scored mild for depression and moderate for anxiety.  I feel that this aligns with my judgement of how I feel.

He said some things to me that really made sense.

First, he told me to start taking 2000IU of vitamin D.  I haven't been a good vitamin taker, so note to self - DO THIS!  For reals this time.

He asked me if I feel guilty about feeling this way?  My answer to that is a big YES.  I feel like I have everything I asked for, and I'm upset about feeling this way.  That I have it so much better than a lot of people.  Why can't I just be happy for once?!

He told me that if there was a blood test or something similar to detect anxiety and depression that we wouldn't need to feel guilty about being treated anymore.  That because it doesn't exist that we beat ourselves up.  This resonated with me.

He also said that we've been through a lot in the past couple of years, and maybe it's just all coming home to roost.  I shook my head in agreement.  It definitely could be that too.

Or, it could just be something chemical.

He said that he thinks that I should begin treatment.  He said that most of the time people will need treatment for 9-12 months.

When I came home and talked with D about it, he felt that I should wait.  That I always feel better in the summer time.  That maybe I don't need it.  While I do partially agree with this, I don't think it's the full picture.  I wonder what it's like to have a normal mood AND have it be summer time?  That just might be the recipe for bliss.

So, now as of last Saturday, I have the pills... I just need to get the courage to take them.



Thursday, 9 April 2015

Baby number two?

A recent post helped me clarify some thoughts on trying for baby number two.  It's one of the many things I love about this blog.  I always seem to feel more at ease after going through the process of writing out my thoughts, and reading your comments.

What has been clarified for me is this.  

I really don't think it can get any better than Babykins.  He's simply the best.  However I would love to experience this all over again.  Okay, well, maybe not all of the moments in the first three months, ;) but everything ever since has been so much smoother. 

However,  I deeply just want to just enjoy Babykins infancy and toddlerhood without the added stress of going through another process, adoption or fertility.   After being stuck on the fertility wheel for seven years I am enjoying the freedom from being  and feeling like a patient all of the time.   

Either way, pursing another baby is going to require a lot of effort and emotional energy, no matter which path we choose.  I don't want to lose my contentedness with being a family of three if whatever path we choose doesn't work.  And while I am grateful (oh, so grateful) that I know it would be different this time around, having Babykins in our arms, I'm not naive enough to think that another loss or failure wouldn't be a blow, and a reminder of everything we have been through. 

Our options for baby #2 are adoption, a known altruistic surrogate (if I could find one) or a DE embie and my body.  What's that sound?  Do I hear you laughing at me, universe?   

Contributing factors: 

First, adoption rocks.  Waaaaay more than I ever could have imagined in my wildest dreams.

Second, I'm feeling more and more anxious about pregnancy and pregnancy loss.  It could be selective perception, but I feel like there have been a lot of people having very difficult pregnancies and births around me.  I'm not looking to be one of them.  And, I've been half-assed trying to loose the 5 pounds I put on since Babykins arrived, and it's not going anywhere.  I don't think I'd be good at all at trying to shed pregnancy weight and I'm about at the brink of not having a good body image.   I feel petty and silly even bringing that up, but I'm just being honest.

Third, we feel an obligation to give our four precious embies frozen in Colorado a shot at life with us or someone else.

Fourth, my moods are still out of whack and I don't want to make them worse.   (I'm seeing my doctor Saturday about them... I have a very busy week coming up but I hope to post again soon on how that goes.  I'm nervous about it!)

Here's what we decided.  

1) Try at least 1 normal embie in my body as a first step. Because yes, I am kind of nuts, but I still convinced that none of my pregnancies have been with normal embryos, except maybe my last DE pregnancy, which was a big painful question mark, which I need to turn into a period.

Or 2)  By no small miracle someone in my life stepped forward and offered surrogacy, then I would skip #1 and officially throw in the towel on my ute.  I'm not sure that's going to happen because a lot of my friends are entering advanced maternal age.  I am going to really have to put some thought into if I might ask someone.  My sister having a baby in June is a game changer... she might be an option down the road.  Who knows.

3) Hope that we get our answer with our embies one way or another quickly, so that trying for another adoption might be possible if it doesn't work out. 

We're taking the summer off to enjoy Babykins and re-starting everything in October after he turns one.  I'll be 36 then, and possibly 37 by the time a baby is born. 

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Meeting with Carla

We visited Carla this weekend.  As her mascara streamed down her face I couldn't help but feel a big stab in my heart.  She's sacrificed so much for him and for us.  I wish I could ease her burden in some significant way.  

The only way I know how to help is to share her load is to listen to her feelings and validate them. And to share Babykins. Skype, emails, texts, pictures videos and visits. I genuinely tell her that I love her. That she is family to us now.  I tell her how amazing she is and how much she has changed our lives. 

I do everything I can think of, but it doesn't even scratch the surface on how full my heart is for her and this precious, amazing little boy. 

I want to do something special for her especially this Mother's Day. I hope that we may be able to share the day together because honestly there is no one that I would rather bring in my first Mother's day with than her.  And I want Babykins to be with both of us on that day. 

I am going to write her a letter and I am thinking of getting a piece of jewelery made for her.  

There are so many things that I admire about her.  She is so genuine. So funny. So open. So friendly. So nonjudgmental. So loving. So brave and honest.  

I'm wondering if you have any ideas on something special I could do for her?  I'm not supposed to give her anything with significant value because of the adoption process rules. I'd love to hear your suggestions. 

Birth Dad wasn't able to be there.  He bailed at the last moment.  I don't think he's coping well with all of this.  He's an avoider and to complicate things, they are no longer a couple.  My hope for him is that he can find some peace in all of this.  






Tuesday, 31 March 2015

MIL issues and the best medicine

I hate confrontation.  

However, my MIL finally pushed my last button.  I even broke the rule that D and I have where he deals with his family and I deal with mine for more difficult issues. 

MIL been insisting on feeding Babykins junk food.   EVERY time I see her, she makes a comment about what sweet treat she's going to give him.   He's not even 6 months old yet.  

We made a choice and set a boundary.  Hubby and I don't want to give our baby junk food, especially in his first year.  And while I don't really want him to have it in his second year either, I'm sure he'll get a taste here or there of certain things. We are not going to be that strict. 

I've been ignoring her comments and D had told her (albeit very mildly and passively) that we aren't feeding him that stuff.  

Yesterday, she once again brought up the topic. She told me about how she is going to feed Babykins cookies (and not baby cookies) when she is babysitting him in May while my brother gets married. 

I couldn't take it anymore. I finally asserted myself and told her that it really bothers me she keeps saying stuff like that.  I told her that we don't want him eating anything unhealthy before he is a year old.   

Side note: I may very well choose to give him a taste of something one day- but I see this as a major respect issue and I want to be clear with her. 

She proceeded to tell me that her friend's kids aren't allowed soda, but she gives it to them when they are at her house anyways.  Who says AND DOES crap like that!?!?

She's told me things like this before about what kids eat at her house.  

I told her that if she does this, that maybe she wouldn't get asked to babysit again.  

She said you'll never know.  

I said maybe we'll need to get some cameras then. 

Then, there was awkward silence between us.  A lot of it. 

D and Father-in-law were in the room measuring for some baby gates that they are going to build.  They continued what they were doing and then they left. 

It's such a first world, problem, and one that any childless-not-by-choice person would love to have, I know.  But it still has me a bit riled up.  I keep trying to remind myself that I this is HER problem and she should be the one that feels icky right now, not me. 

I should be proud of myself for setting boundaries, and being assertive. For some reason,  it doesn't entirely feel that way though.  Like I said, I hate confrontation. 

But gah! She has a lot of nerve, doesn't she!?!

It will be interesting to see how our next visit goes, which happens to be tomorrow. 

The rest of the day was still a great one though. I went to my exercise class with Babykins and enjoyed the company of the people there. 

When I came home I found seven (!) humongous wild turkeys at the end of my driveway! I live in town and it's not something I've ever seen that close before. My neighbour even came out in his bathrobe and was feeding them within close range. It was quite the sight! 

Then we ate lunch and I put Babykins in his exerciser. And my oh my, he had such abundant belly laughs that is allowed me to get my camera out. I filmed a video of three solid minutes of him just laughing his head off, literally - he was throwing his head back every time he giggled- when I popped up from below where he could see me. 

It melted my heart and I have watch that video I thousand times over and over. I would share it here, but I'm in a place where I'm not sure about how much I want to visually show about our lives at this point so I'm going to hold off. 

I tell you though, it is honestly the best medicine that I could've asked for to get over the stuff that was happening with my MIL.