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. 


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 Face.book, 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.  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/pappa-al-pomidoro-recipe.html  . 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 every.single.day, my heart swells more and more.   It feels like an elephant is living in my chest. 

Every.single.day, 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

Moods

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.

http://smyrnaparent.com/when-postpartum-depression-isnt-depression/

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? 

Saturday 17 January 2015

Another little bug

The little one seems to have a respiratory sensitivity, and as the doctor says, possibly asthma. 

He's been to the hospital and doctor a couple of times in the past couple of days due to his cold symptoms, wheezing, vomiting, and 105 degree fever!  An Xray showed no signsof pneumonia   (phew!). However, has bronchiolitis and probally RSV again. The doctor said there isn't immunity that's built if he's the virus already.  

He sure is
Initiating his newby parents! 

Luckily, he seems to be on the mend today. The fever has broken with the help of some meds. 

Now, I think I will keep him locked up in a little bubble now until June. Just joking. I think. 

Wednesday 14 January 2015

Update on the past month and life with a 3 month old

He sleeps more predictably now, which makes a world of difference. My crank-o meter has been dialed way back to levels where I may even be suitable to cohabit with other people.

I am learning that predictable sleep, even if it's spread out is nice.

Babykins starts getting sleepy around dinner time. He feeds around 6pm, 9pm, 1am, 4am, and then wakes for the day around 5am.  

D and I have been doing shifts where he goes to bed super early (like 7, 8 or 9pm), and relieves me at 4am. He comes and gets me at 7:30am when he has to go to work. This has worked well because it gives him a solid chunk of sleep, and I am able to get some too. During 9pm- 4am Babykins (now) sleeps pretty soundly, with the exception of waking for his feedings. He has virtually outgrown his sleeping baby goat noises, which means that sleeping with him nearby or with the baby monitor on is actually possible. During my 4am to 7:30am chunk of sleep, I honestly feel like I blink and it's over.  In the morning I feel human now and I don't even need to drink coffee (which I am learning affects my moods too). 

To complicate the sleeping situation over the past month, Babykins has had his fair share of illnesses. 

Like when he was hospitalized in December for 3 days (!) at ten weeks old for a severe respiratory virus. Now that was scary.  He was choking on his phlem and was working so hard to breathe. We even had to call 911 one night because of the choking.  Needless to say, we will be taking a first aid class hopefully this winter or spring. 

Then after all of the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, on the day we arrived home after being gone for a week we realized that Babykins was sick again.  It turned out that he had laryngitis. 

Watching a baby cry but not make a sound is such a weird thing. It might seem great, but it was a little tricky. Thankfully, Babykins isn't a huge crier anyways (he can really whine when he wants to but we can usually stop it from escalating). The laryngitis meant that he couldn't communicate with us, especially at night.  So we had to keep him very close so we would notice if he needed something. 

Daddy was able to dodge all of these little viruses, but I didn't escape them. 

Babykins has reflux too, which means that he is quite the little puker. He'll puke up what sometimes seems like half of his bottle hours after eating it. I do a lot of laundry and am very thankful that our couches are charcoal grey- eek.   

He doesn't seem to be in any pain from it, and he's gaining weight (he's almost 15lbs now!) so we have opted to not medicate him.  The side effects from the meds might be worse than the spitting up.  Thickened formula is an option that our paediatrician offered, but B has been on 4 different formulas (formulae? haha) already and we're reluctant to switch brands again, especially because the only thickened one we can find is a brand that didn't agree with him. 

All of this has given us quite the little initiation to parenthood. It's certainly doesn't even compare to some of the more severe and complex problems that many other parents have to cope with, but for us, it's still been something. 

Due to B's reflux and congestion, he's been sleeping mostly in a baby chair beside the couch, where we can watch him and he can be upright. He also loves to have a good ol' sleep on Mama's chest, and will sleep for about twice as long there as he usually does, if he's given the opportunity.  

Last night, we had our beat night ever- he slept from 9:30pm until 3:30am, woke for a feed and then slept more until 6:30! And it was in his crib and playpen. It was glorious!  We are hoping for him to be regularly   sleeping in his crib soon. 

At the end of our Christmas holidays, we met up with Carla and some of Carla and Mark's family. We had planned to see them sooner, but our visit got canceled because if Babykin's first illness. 

It was the first time that Carla would see Babykins since the hospital, and the first time that many of Babykins extended family would meet him.  Mark didn't come, apparently because he was upset with Carla's dad. 

It was a really great meeting for us.  We met at a restaurant in a hotel. We were the only ones there and they set up a big table for us. It was private and nice.  There were about 20 people there. Some gave us gifts, and everyone loved meeting the baby and I think us too. 

Afterwards, we set up a private page on Facebook to share pictures and notes with everyone. It's been a great way to update everyone all at once, and keep everything  somewhat private.  We will continue to text Carla extra pictures. 

At the meeting, we gave Carla a photo book of the days at the hospital.  Carla cried a few times throughout the 3 hour meeting. In hindsight, we should have met with her first, on a different day, so that she could just had some quiet time with Babykins in her own, and not have so many people around. She said she had no idea there were going to be so many people there, it was her Dad and Mark's Mom that did all of the inviting. 

Later in the afternoon, I met up with her in the bathroom when I went to change the baby's bum. We were the only ones there and I was so glad to finally have a few minutes alone with her. 
  
I asked her how she was doing. She said "it's hard" and tears streamed down her face.  My heart had been hurting for her all afternoon (and in many days leading up to this meeting).  Her beautiful blonde hair hadn't been washed.  She looked uncomfortable with her postpartum body. We hugged and I listened, but I wished that there was so much more that I could do to ease her burden. She has given so much to us, she has lifted the heavy blanket of grief, anger, isolation and sadness in our lives. I want to do the same for her...but I don't know how. 

Later, her father told D that she was having a rough time, but that she was still happy with the decision she made. It was a relief for us to hear that. I can only imagine how much harder things would be for her if she felt like she had made the wrong decision. 

We talked again about her coming to visit us in our home. She has said to us a few times that when she gets a car the first trip she wanted to take was to our house to visit Babykins.  We asked her if she liked the train. She said yes, and the next week we mailed her a gift card for two round trips to see us. We hope that she might take us up on the offer to visit and bring her sister, a friend, or whomever she wanted. It didn't sound like Mark would be coming (or driving them) any day soon.  We're not sure what his story is. 

On a different note, yesterday, I got an unexpected email. It was from an address that at first I didn't recognize, with a subject line of "hello". I thought it was spam, and I disregarded it, but then something made me reconsider and I opened it. 

It was an email from the very first couple who donated two embryos to us. She said she was sorry for not reaching out sooner. 

The last contact I had with them was an email telling them the transfer didn't work, and thanking them for what they had given us.  She said that she somehow felt that experience had linked us. She asked me what the last several years have been like for us. 

I responded to her, telling her in a couple paragraphs, just what the last five or so years were like, in the fertility department and otherwise. I told her about how things had changed. I sent her pictures of our beautiful son.  I thought about it and cried thinking about how if she had emailed me a six months sooner, how different my message would have been to her without our happy ending. 

We are so grateful for Carla and this little boy. 





Ps) Thank you for the suggestion of Bloglovin'. It took me a while to add all of my blogs but I am enjoying it!  This update was typed on my phone, please forgive the poor editing!