Sunday, 22 March 2015

A glimpse into a really great day

A glimpse into a really great day today

D works from home out of our basement.

His work schedule is kind of wonky, which is part of the reason why he started working from home a few years ago.  He can work anywhere from 4am to 8pm.

A typical day for him is to get up at 4am, do what he needs to get done, go back to bed soon after (and now care for Babykins during that time if he's awake), and then officially start his work day around 7:30am.  From 10:30am-3:00pm, he usually has some free time, and then he returns to work until sometimes 8:00pm.

Okay, first a disclaimer - yes, many days we can really get under each other's skin, especially in the winter months and when I have PMS.  But more often than not, it is just really nice to have him around, especially with a new baby in the house.

He's a very hands on Dad, and I love that.  I love watching him make Babykins giggle, talks with him, changes his bum or taking care of him in some other way.

Oh, and I also love that Babykins happens to be a fairly regular little guy and poops every day on Daddy's 5-7am shift! ....hehe.  Often in the morning, he'll hand me the baby and say "he's pooped and been fed".  It's music to my tired morning ears.  D will drop Babykins into bed with me, and calls it my "baby alarm clock".  He props Babykins up with a pillow, usually perpendicular to me.  Babykins gets excited to see me and usually starts waving his arms and kicking me in the ribs.  Many mornings, just as I realize that I'm too awake to go back to sleep, Babykins will drift off for his mid-morning nap.

Today, during his time off, I was supposed to go get groceries.  Our fridge is right now seems to only have odds and ends that do not go together.

I showered around 1pm after lunch and Mommy and Baby boot camp class (oh how I love this class btw - more on that in a minute) and got ready to go out.

D was laying in the bed with the baby.  He had been tired all morning and I was encouraging him to take a nap.  He told me he was going to let the baby sleep while he caught up on the House of Cards episode last night that he slept through (who's watching the newest season right now? I am obsessed with this series!) When I got out of the shower, I laid in bed for what I thought was going to be a few minutes in my damp terrycloth housecoat.  Instead, we all slumbered together for a couple of hours.  It was glorious.  I loved today.

Mommy Bootcamp

Back to Mommy bootcamp though! It's a good workout.  I like that Babykins gets to hang out with some other babies and I think he's entertained by watching me look silly and sweaty.

My favourite part though is that I have met some lovely women in this group.  It's a part of motherhood that I was really looking forward to, and that I really felt like I was missing out on for a lot of years.  I felt like many of my older friends had made so many new great friendships with other mommies while I went to my fertility treatments.   I'm glad that I've found an activity that I like where the ladies are great and good for me to boot.

Now, I'm (happily) in this place where I'm trying to figure out how to be friends with some of  the ladies outside of this class.  I find developing new friendships as an adult to be strange and so much harder than cultivating a work or school related friendship.   I find the hitting it off part always goes well, but then I feel weird asking to do something else with them.  It's kind of like asking someone out on a date I guess.    Lots of times, I wait for the other person to ask first.  It's kind of lazy and insecure of me, and leads me to not always hanging out with the person I was hoping too, but instead sometimes the person that just happened to ask me first.

I've even gone so far as to check out the other mommies on Facebook to see what I can learn about them there.  It's interesting what I can see without being friended, and has definitely steered me away from a few of them.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

5 month update

He'll be 5 months soon.

I blinked and the time went by.  With each month, the fog lifts, and my heart swells more and more with pride and admiration for this beautiful little soul and the woman who brought him into this world and our lives.

I've heard it called the "longest, shortest time" and I think the name captures my experience with parenting (so far) perfectly.

He's about 17 lbs now, and is just about to out grow his 9 month sleepers.  I swear the labels they put on clothing are just to confuse everyone, because he's at about the 50th percentile for weight and height.

I'm enjoying every month more and more.  The sleep deprivation is lifting and I love seeing his personality emerge.   He is happy, and relaxed, and just a really nice boy to be around.  People are always commenting about how happy and cute he is, and I feel so lucky.

The time passing makes me feel sad about saying goodbye to some things, like how he used to only like to sleep by snuggling into my neck.  And oh my gosh - every time I put something in the box of outgrown clothes (again!) it makes me a little teary.

I find it hard to resist the temptation to capture everything with my camera because I just want to be able to relive all of these moments.  Often when he's sleeping I'll watch the videos that I took over and over.  He's intoxicating, and sometimes I just can't get enough of him.

I try not to focus on it for long, but instead think about how cute he will look in the new outfit that I can now put on him, or how exciting it is to watch him learn new skills all of the time.

He has started to roll over, and has done it about five times in the last week or so.  He can really hold his head up high now when he is on his belly.  He will sometimes push his bum into the air and it makes me think that in a few weeks he'll be on the move.  I love my stationary little guy and it freaks me out a bit to think that he could be on the move already.

He loves to shriek and scream and hear his own voice.  He is interested in what we have to say to him, and he tries to talk to us.  I tell him I love him a million times a day.

I love how easy he is to make smile now.  I used to work for a long time to be rewarded with one smile.  And oh, it was so worth the effort then, but now he gives his smiles out so much more generously and I love it.  I can't get enough of that gummy little grin and slobbery face.

He's getting into more of a routine now.  I can see that he is headed towards one bigger nap in the morning and one in the afternoon, which is so much nicer than the million little cat naps that he was taking before.  It's certainly not because I've done this, he's worked it out himself.

I thought I would be a more scheduled parent, but it turns out that (at this point) I like to go with the flow and take Babykins' lead on when he needs a nap or to be fed.  I find it exhausting to try to make him do something (like nap) when he's not quite ready.  It is so much more peaceful to just follow his lead. He seems to know what he's doing, certainly a lot better than his newbie parents.  I also find at schedule would be difficult because he is always changing (having a growth spurt or getting over an illness), and that a more scheduled approach just would not serve us well.

I love also that he is good at playing independently.  He's content to spend time chewing on his hands and likes to now stick a handful of his fingers in his mouth all at once.  He'll gag himself and then look at me like "what happened?!?" or "who did that?"

He's still got reflux.  We just invested in 20 more new bibs and it has made life better.  I'm not sure what took us so long to do that.  Some days it feels like he doesn't spit up much, and other days, he just gushes.  If anything, it's improving slightly, but it's hard to say.  We are certainly getting better at coping with it.  

Off to watch some House of Cards... I can't get enough of that either!

Thursday, 26 February 2015

A post I love From The Unexpected Trip

The thing I love about this community, is that sometimes another blogger can take feelings and put them into words better than you ever could yourself.

For me, this post from The Unexpected Trip captured what I've been feeling in huge waves since Babykins was born, but that I could never describe in any coherent way.

I am in love with these words.  

Saturday, 21 February 2015

What's on my mind

What's on my mind these days ... rapid fire style:

  • Babykins is sick again.  It's another cold -his fourth!  Eek.  The poor lil' guy. This one's not severe like the others have been, thankfully.  However, we are so over this winter time cold business!   This sickness came with a rash.  After googling it, my anxiety prone self had my rational self convinced it was measles for about an hour last night.  The rash looks a lot like google images of early measles (or roseola).  There's a measles outbreak relatively close to us and everyone is freaking out, especially those with young babies who can't be vaccinated yet.   I've now calmed down because it's getting better.  My rational self has taken control again and now believes the rash is because of a detergent sensitivity or because his neck is almost always wet or damp.  Despite our best efforts, we can't keep up with the drooling, spitting up or washing bibs for that matter.  
  • I still think about my friends in the trenches a lot.   Almost every time I see a baby on board sign, a stroller, a pregnant belly, or a post of, I think of what you've been through and what we've been through.  I think of you as I write this post, and hope my comments about colds and laundry aren't viewed as complaining or ungratefulness. 
  • I've been tracking my mood using the Optimism app.  It's been good for me to do this.  It's kind of like how when you diet and write things down, that you naturally eat a little better.   My findings after a little over 1 month of tracking:  
    • Some of my moods are related to marital stress - two people being around each other too much I think (he works from home).  On the days where I'm out, or he is, I feel noticeably better.  For how much time we spend together I think we get along well, it's just hard (for me anyways) not to get annoyed about little things when you never get a break from them. 
    • I realized that I had some lingering things bothering me in my marriage that I had not discussed with husband.  They seem silly now (cleaning, home renovations and maintenance and money) but they were surprisingly things that I thought about everyday, but didn't discuss with hubby because I thought I knew what his response was going to be about them.  Turns out, we talked about it and it went way better than expected.  It's nice to not be thinking about that in the same way every day anymore.  
    • My moods are PMS related.   Big time.  I credit my messed up, pre-menopausal hormones for this.  I started googling PMDD.  I don't think  I have that, but I do think I have a lot of PMS mood symptoms.   
    • I was drinking more water and taking my vitamins, but I honestly can't tell if that does anything because I am not that observant and when I get PMS-y I tend to not do those things as well.  When I have PMS I eat sugar and carbs and take less care of myself.
    • It has been a worth while experiment I think I will continue for a little while yet.  I may go to my doctor to discuss the PMS. 
  • I've been cooking and baking up a storm.  Mostly comfort food which is not helping my waist line given the fact that we have been a lot less active this winter because of the weather and Babykins illnesses.  I've been on a Ina Garten kick.  I am really loving her recipes.  The only problem I find with them is that they are generally too salty for my liking.   Today, I made this soup, and it is  so yummy and totally worth the effort.  . It made the house smell ah-mazing! 
  • Babykins is awake now.  I've been ignoring him for the last three bullet points because he seems happy in his crib... but he's letting me know that my time is up now.  
  • Just kidding.  No noises anymore.  I will type like a mad woman.  
  • I've been thinking about the future of our fertility family.   This probably deserves it's own post, but the gist of it is this:
    • Background info: I am one of five siblings, D is an only child.  We both liked and probably each prefer the amount of siblings we had growing up. 
    • I feel very happy with Babykins and our tiny family with lots of love.   I see a lot of perks to having a small family. 
    • The 0-3 months stage was really hard and put a lot of stress on our relationship.  
    • Infertility treatments put a lot of stress on our relationship and our finances.  
    • I believe that the emotional stress of more fertility treatments (or an adoption) would be lessened because we have Babykins now and the pressure of thinking we would be childless forever is off.  Mentally, I've moved out of that place of "I have tried my hardest, maybe it's never going to happen" and into "I won the lottery" (As Michela 's family would say, not just the lottery, but the Mega Millions :).  I know this would make a huge difference in proceeding with other treatments/adoption, but I would be silly to think that either one would be a cake walk.  
    • I am ready to just enjoy life and get off the fertility hamster wheel.  
    • I love Babykins so much and can't imagine loving another child this much.  I wonder if there is more room in my heart.   I've heard this is a common thing to feel...  It's weird to think this way, because old me always hoped to have more than one child.  It feels strange to think about "one and done".  If I didn't, or couldn't have any more children, I think I could be content with our family of three.  
    • I am realizing how much I really like and need my "me" time.  More kids would cut into that.   
    • I am tired of torturing my body with hormones and drugs.  I feel anxious thinking about what I have injected or swallowed trying to get pregnant for seven years.  It was a lot.  Maximum doses of everything.  Ew.  
    • I get grumpy when I have to avoid things that I like - namely alcohol and coffee! Funny thing is that I don't drink much of either one of these things, but when I can't have them - man oh man, do I crave them like crazy!  
    • I'm scared of being pregnant again and losing another baby. 
    • Right now I feel like a surrogate would be amazing but all of the people who offered to me in the past may feel differently now as they are all several years older.  
    • I would love to have a daughter.   Another boy would be great too. 
    • I would love for Babykins to have a brother or a sister. 
    • Hubby is content right now.  
    • We both feel a sense of obligation to our four precious embryos to give them a chance at life, by using them ourselves or donating them.  
    • I feel my clock still ticking louder than ever in my ear.   Hubby doesn't see the rush because we used donor eggs.  I feel like we need to hurry up and use the embryos if we are going to, because I am 35 right now.  If I started fertility treatments today (including preliminary work ups, I would be 37 shortly after I gave birth if it worked on the first try (don't laugh at me universe because I'm laughing at myself for even thinking about that sentence).  
    • Planning any fertility treatments has implications for trying to adopt again. 
  • Wow, Babykins must have known that I needed to get that all of my chest, because guess what?  Phew.  He is still sleeping.  Time to read some blogs too, how nice :) 

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

My whole heart

This precious little boy had my whole heart on the day he entered this world.   

Yet, somehow, my heart swells more and more.   It feels like an elephant is living in my chest., I can't believe that I won the lottery and got to be his Mama.  

He's almost four months old, and I can't believe that either.  

Wednesday, 28 January 2015


I know I am not unique in my love-hate relationship with Facebook. 

For all of the posts that irk me - and my, oh my,  does that local mommy fb group that I'm a part of make me want to FREQUENTLY reach through my screen and give some people a hard finger flick right in between the eyes - sometimes, there's a little hidden gem in there.  I think those little gems are what keep me (and most of us?) coming back for more. 

I thought this was a great article about how postpartum depression isn't what a lot of people think it is. And how it isn't called just PPD anymore, it's called PPD/perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.

It really made me reflect on my mood in a different way.  And see my irritability and mood swings more clearly.   Obviously, I'm not postpartum, but I think I'm something.  For years, I've known that something has been wrong with my moods.

It is something I went to see my doctor about a few years ago.  He had me fill out a couple surveys.  When I returned them to him, he told me that I had scored very high on the anxiety questionnaire.  At the time, it was a bit of a lightbulb moment for me, because I had thought that it was depression that was affecting my life the most, although I know they often go hand in hand.  My depression score wasn't much better.

He asked me to seek counselling before prescribing any medications to me.  I went to two sessions, felt a little better and then didn't go back basically because I was too cheap, and I always felt like my feelings were situational, and that meant that they could just *poof!* get better.   I was always focused on fixing what I thought was the root of my problem - infertility.

I was also anxious thinking about taking anything that could affect a healthy pregnancy, and my doctor's teeny comment about the small risks to a fetus was enough to make me think that taking a pill would not be a good idea, especially when we seemed to be facing such a steep uphill battle already in that department.

I was doing things that were thought to only have a little chance of increasing my chance of getting and staying pregnant.  I felt like I didn't want to add anything to the mountain.  I'm not saying this was a rational decision, but it's the one I made.

I told myself that things weren't that bad, and that if things got worse, then I would do something about it.  The problem was, that when things did get worse,  I wasn't able to ask for help.

For the most part, I could function, but certainly not thrive, with my anxiety, irritability and depression.  A few times every year, when something horrible happened in our reproductive lives, things would to grind to a halt for a few weeks.   I viewed this as situational depression, and that once I grieved, that I would be okay.

I didn't notice though, that slowly I stopped doing many of the things I loved.

Photography was one of those things.  A few years ago, I was taking classes, shooting regularly, and going out with groups of friends to take pictures.  I was taking pictures of my friends' young families and learning new ways of post processing.  

Now when I look back, I can see that when I hit a snag or a roadblock with my photography (and in other areas of my life), that it would stop me.  It didn't have to be a huge problem, just something that would frustrate me, and need a little persistence to get through, but I'd give up.  When I'd finally get around to shooting (or doing XYZ), all I could see were the many unresolved problems that I "couldn't" figure out.  It led me to be comfortable with being stagnant.  I'm embarrassed about that, and much of the other stuff I'm writing about here today.

I told myself, and I told D that that it was the hormonal roller coaster that made me this way.

Injecting maximum does of follistim one month, followed by a lupron shot the next.  I thought my symptoms were hormone based, and I think hubby told himself they were too.  He basically gave me a free pass, with a lot of empathy for several years.  God. I am lucky to have this man, and I feel badly that he has had to endure cohabiting with me at times.

I told myself that if we ever made it through to the other side, that these problems would melt away.  I think we both clinged to that hope.

To a certain degree, I was right!

Babykins coming into our lives has lifted such a weight off our shoulders.  He brings so much joy and we are so grateful for him every single day.  I still can't believe how lucky we are to call him our son.

And, without all of the hormonal manipulation, I definitely feel MUCH better.

The problem is, is that I still don't feel great how I think I should.  I'm realizing that there is still something wrong with my moods.

I try to pin point what it is caused by exactly, and I think it's a compound problem.  It's hard for me to sort out.  I believe that the major contributing factors are:

  • Sleep deprivation. 
  • Hormonal.  I still have premature ovarian failure, and my cycles are messed up.  When my period is approaching, I definitely feel more rage.   Hubby thinks my moods are only related to the 5 or so days before my period.  What he doesn't know is that I internalize many of my grumpy feelings before that time, and by the time I get to a few days before my period, that lots of times my emotions related to certain triggers are already at a boiling point. 
  • Learned behaviour and thought patterns.   I need to be more mindful of the negative thoughts that constantly swirl in my head. 
  • Caffeine. It is my comfort in a glass when my energy is low.  I notice I feel edgier when I drink it too often, and maybe at all. 
  • Vitamin deficiency.  I've been told again and again that my vitamin D, and sometimes my iron levels are low.  Confession: I haven't taken any vitamins since my last fertility cycle because I have a bit of a pill aversion.  It's time to tighten up my bootstraps on this one.  
  • Water intake - is not consistent.  Some days I barely drink any water. 
  • Refined carbs - are also my crutch and my comfort.  It's how I solve my problem when I'm feeling hangry. 
  • It's winter and we're cooped up!

I love my husband, and he doesn't deserve an irritable wife.  My son doesn't deserve that either.

So from today on, I'm going to be monitoring my moods via a mood tracker.  I'm just started my period, so I think it's a great time to start doing so.  I'm going to keep track of the things I mentioned above to see if I can pin point anything in particular.  Going back to my doctor is an option too.

The Hubbs, D-Man.

He's spent a lot of years propping me up, and getting me through infertility and loss.  I could not have made it through these past seven years with out him.  He has been my empathetic ear and my rock.   He functioned on many days that I didn't.  He kept a level head on many days that I didn't.  He worked hard through out it all to pay for our lifestyle and for the gagging amount we have spent on infertility treatments.

Now, that the baby is here, his anxiety has reached very high levels.  He worries immensely, especially about Babykins.

He thinks about things like one of us accidentally tripping down the stairs while holding the baby, and about SIDS a lot.  He thinks about the worst case scenario all.of.the.time.  He checks things that I do and it drives me crazy.  "Is he too hot?" "Is he too cold?", "Should he be sleeping with his face like that?", "The weather isn't great should you be driving with him?", "Let's not go anywhere, so people don't touch him and give him germs".  I feel like I worry about Babykins a fair bit, and that D's worries are over the top.

He has reminded me of his friend who died in high school.  He was an only child and D says that his parents never recovered.   He tells me that if something happened to Babykins that we wouldn't recover either.

He tells me that the worst case scenario has always happened to us (in the baby department) and so he's scared it's going to happen again.  The respiratory problems and hospitalization that Babykins has been though has only made these feelings so much more heightened.

D's anxiety and my irritability is a shitty combination to say the least.  I'm sure you can imagine.

He works from home, which is awesome in that he's able to be a very involved parent and spouse, but it also doesn't give us much time apart from each other either.    With the winter, and almost two months with a sick infant, (and with me fighting three colds since December), it's been a lot to handle.

We recently spent time with one of D's childhood friends who lives far away from us.  We only see him about once a year.   (Random side note: He's a chiropractor and did an adjustment on Babykins.  I never thought that would be something I would do, but it was honestly very harmless - the most aggressive thing that he did was hang the baby from his feet upside down to let the weight of his head adjust his spine.  He explained everything he was going to do very thoroughly before he did anything, and got our consent.   I'm not sure if it did much but it was very neat to watch the adjustment!).  Anyways, D said various things though out our visit with him that led him to say, "Holy cow! When did you start worrying so much? Where did D go?!?"  I told him I couldn't have agreed more.

D doesn't see his anxiety the same way I do.

My point is, I suppose that we are both still suffering a bit.   And I feel guilty about that.  We've been given everything we ever asked for now.  But, I also think we have allowed ourselves to suffer for much too long too.   We need to do something about it.  I'm going to start with myself.  I'm writing this here to hold myself accountable.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

My sister

My sister is pregnant, and expecting her little one in June. I am happy for her, especially because I worried that the same saddness spewing infertility that touched our lives may have affected hers too.  

Luckily, it didn't, and it "only" took them 8 months to conceive.  She said the month that she found out she was pregnant was the month she began to think that she might have infertility.  That was the month that we brought Babykins home. 

I had no idea they were trying.  Or "not preventing" as she puts it.  To an infertile, I feel like those are the practically the same thing. 

Last night we found out the baby's gender.  Babykins will have a boy cousin less than 8 months younger than him (he? I am confused about my grammar and I am much too lazy to look it up). 

I am excited that Babykins will have a cousin the same age as him.   I am excited to have the opportunity to share in our parenting experiences together. That is truly a dream come true, especially because our friends' kids were born 8.6 million years ago. 

Here's the problem though. My sister is becoming one of *those* preggos to me, and it's getting harder for me to ignore.  For example, she sends me weekly updates via text message about what size of fruit or veg she is now carrying.  I'm running out of responses. 

Her boyfriend created an oh-so-adorable video on facebook of a collaboration of family and friends' elated responses to their news. It was very touching and I cried happy tears when I watched it. And then, I swiftly had a little pang of something ugly and jealous in my heart. 

To be clear, I'm not jealous of her pregnancy.  I'm actually quite pleased that I didn't have to squish Babykins out of my vagina.  I'm jealous of her naivety.  Of her pure bare-faced happiness and confidence in her growing little navel orange, and perhaps in this world. 

Digging deep, I realize that I'm the most peeved that she maybe doesn't treat me as an infertile anymore. Yes, I am a mother.  But I also earned my nasty little infertile badge too. One does not replace the other. 

I want to be rid of these feelings. I have ignored them for a while, but they keep announcing their presence, louder each time.  So, I'm acknowledging them here, in the hope that they now can calm the freak down. 

I hear you, infertile feelings. I get it. I know why you are here. I am still very inferile.  I won't forget you. I will always remember my wounds and scars. I promised myself that I wouldn't forget and I won't.  But this is my sister, and my nephew.  Won't you please now get lost?