Thursday, December 29, 2011

The holiday fog has lifted

There have been moments in my life where I gain absolute clarity for absolutely no good reason.  I'm never quite sure what the catalyst is, but it doesn't really matter.  It always reminds me of third grade, when someone finally realized that I couldn't actually see as well as I should be able to and my parents got me glasses.  The moment I put them on, the world suddenly came into focus and was clear, sharp, and beautiful.  The fuzz, was gone.

There have been several moments that I've had like this in motherhood, where all the sudden things come together and I see more clearly then I have in quite some time.  Some of that I know is sleep deprivation, but some of it is just figuring things out and all the sudden realizing, okay, that's what this little person needs.  That's how this works.  I can't remember those moments as clearly as I do the one that lead to me being a mother (once again, sleep deprivation).  We had just finished our 5th cycle with the fertility doctor. The first ended in miscarriage, the second a chemical pregnancy, and the third, fourth, and fifth were big, fat, negatives.  We were pretty worn down, sad, and the world was pretty fuzzy.  We were at the point where we didn't expect to get pregnant anymore, we expected the negatives, anticipated them.  I was so caught up in what was being lost, that I stopped thinking about what we were hoping to gain.  Then all the sudden, the fuzz went away and we went into cycle 6 as different people.  Hopeful people, even though we had our lowest sperm counts, even though our doctor was preparing us for IVF. All the sudden we believed it could happen again.  And it did.

I'm not saying that the power of positive thought got us pregnant.  I'm infertile and I know that all the of the positive thought in the world doesn't make babies.  If it did, none of us would be here.  But I do know that we stopped working against ourselves.  We believed in the process and that changed how we approached it and what life was like around here during that cycle.  I'm not sure where my moment of clarity came from back then, but I am so glad that it arrived.

This morning I was sitting in the living room, playing with Bean, in a fuzzy fog.  The last few weeks have been, overwhelming.  Trying to do all the things that I felt like I should do, keeping obligations, and also doing the things that I want to do.  Trying to keep the "reason for the season" in mind, make it a special, thoughtful time of year for Bean, and for all of us.  Bean and Hubby both got sick and so the actual holiday was us just trying to get through.  We're on the other side, but I haven't recovered from it all.

Bean's on the mend though and I was sitting playing with her.  We got here some play food for Christmas.  It is in pieces and stuck together and comes with a pretend knife to cut it apart with.  She loves copying us and I knew she would love this.  But she hadn't gotten the hang of it yet.  She just ripped the pieces apart while I tried to put them back together as fast as she could, so that she could keep playing.  I showed her a couple times how the whole thing worked but mostly left her to explore and enjoy it for herself.  Then today while we were playing, it was like a light bulb went off over her head and she got it.  She was SO excited and so into it.  I had to go into overdrive to get that food back together as fast as she could cut it apart.  It was so much fun to watch and in that moment, the fog lifted.  Everything was crystal clear again.

My whole desire for the holiday was to make it special for Bean.  To buy gifts for the people I love that reflect how much I care about them, make them happy, and are interesting to them.  I got lost in the obligation, the gifts I had to buy, the places I had to go and things I had to do.  It wore me down.  Everyone getting sick was the first reminder that none of that other stuff mattered.  Then I read Mel's post about holiday gift giving and realized that it's all messed up.  The whole Christmas culture has become nutty and I have tried so hard to not become a part of it, but inevitable I have failed.  I wasted time, energy, and money on gifts that I felt like I had to buy, instead of focusing that same time and energy on what was really important, and the people who I feel are really important.

The one person who I managed to keep completely out of that equation was Bean.  Her gifts were not extravagant, but thoughtful to what she might like.  We read stories and talked about the holiday and what it means.  I know she's little, but she can understand so much.  I tried to make it fun, but meaningful. She got to help make gifts for people.  She was a part of the whole process.  And today I got to see the end result of that.  And it was wonderful watching this little girl, cutting up some ridiculous plastic fruit, with a huge smile on her face as she said "ove you Mama."  My world, is crystal clear.  And never have I been so focused on eliminating the causes of the holiday fog.  I am so glad that my normal life has returned.  And I have promised myself that next year will be different.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

And so it is Christmas...

It may have taken much too long, but I've let go of all the things I "need" to do, all the expectations of the holidays, all the pressure I put on myself.  I have had my reality checks, my reminders of what this season, and all year really, is all about.  A reminder of what is important.  It may not be perfect, but I am so thankful for my life.  For everyday.  For my little family.  My amazing husband, for our miracle baby who isn't much of a baby anymore.  For the little fur ball who brought smiles and laughter back into our home when we so badly needed it.  For our health, hubbies job, the fact that I can stay home with Bean.  For all the little moments that make life special and all the big ones that change it forever.  For some reason, I have been incredibly blessed and as we enjoy the holiday together and get ready to start a new year, with new adventures and new challenges, that's what I'm taking forward with me.  Happy Holidays to you all.  I am so thankful for your continued support.  One more reason, I am so very lucky.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Still here

I'm still here, just getting swallowed whole by the holidays.  Bean's sick, has been for a week now and it's super sad.  I hope she's better for Christmas.  Hubby has been doing work things in the evening three nights this week.  We're all exhausted.  And today my aunt, the one I talked about over the summer who has breast cancer, is having a mastectomy.  So emotionally I'm drained as well.  My theory at this point is that a new week starts on Sunday and that it's the week before Christmas.  We have no real plans, hubby still has one day off that he's holding onto and can use sometime.  So it's going to get better.  We're going to be rested (haha), relaxed, and ready to feel the holidays.  At least that's what I'm telling myself : )

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Again? Really???

*Sigh* Gym class, once again.  This week it was a mom that I haven't even really talked to ever.  We were talking for two minutes about her sons cough (after he coughed on Bean) and that he wasn't sick but she thought he just had allergies.  And the next breath was about how she's 11 weeks pregnant.  Do I have a "kick me, I'm infertile!" sign on my back???  *Sigh*

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Obviously I haven't been keeping up with the idea of blogging every day and mentioning something that I'm thankful for or that makes me joyful.  I was foolish to think that at the busiest time of the year, I would somehow defy physics and create extra time in each day.  I have however, been keeping this in mind each day though.  I've been trying to slow down for a moment and focus on the good.  Things have been busy and I find myself getting more and more nervous as the holidays approach.  The time is passing so fast and I just want to make sure that everything is special for Bean.  I'm probably putting too much pressure on myself,  it's just so much fun this year because Bean understands so much more.  I want to pass on my love of the holidays to her and I want her to feel how special she makes this time of year for us.  In the end, she is what we're the most thankful for at the end of everyday and I hope she feels that.

On the infertility front, I've been in touch with the RE's office to let them know that we're waiting until after the holidays but to be sure that we'll be ready to roll as soon as that's over.  All seems good on that front.  I'm going in this week for the last of my blood work and my nurse is ordering my meds so that I'm ready for a medicated cycle.  It's a little surreal to really think about, but I'm feeling more ready then I have.  Part of me is actually excited.  And, I can't be sure but I think there might actually be a slight possibility that I ovulated this last month.  I'm trying to decided if I should pay closer attention this month.  I never thought it would happen so I wasn't really keeping track, but about two weeks ago I thought my period was starting, even though it had only been a few weeks since the last one.  I felt kind of yucky and I was having some serious pains.  Then yesterday my period started.  I'm never that regular, I never experience stuff like that.  So I have no idea what it means.  Probably nothing, but I might keep a little closer eye on things this month.  We'll see.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Rocking chair moments

There are times when I'm really tired and I don't appreciate the time I spend with Bean in the rocking chair in her room enough.  When I'm less tired, I relish it because I realize how quickly she's growing and that all too soon, she won't want her mama to be rocking her anymore.  Tonight I had one of those special moments.  I had a rare night out to dinner with some friends and came home just in time for Bean to need a night time snuggle.  It was nice because even though she had been sleeping while I was gone, I missed her.  As I was snuggling and rocking her, she drifted back to sleep and out of nowhere came these little giggles. Such a sweet sound that made me heart feel so full.  I tried to imagine what she might be dreaming about and instead just felt so thankful that she has a life that lets her giggle not just when she's awake, but when she's asleep as well.  It's like she knows just what I need to fill up my empty tank and remind me what a precious gift I have.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Infertile Mama

I still struggle in small ways everyday with being an infertile mama.  I keep thinking the two parts of me will somehow magically seperate themselves.  That I can be an infertile in the quiet moments when Bean is sleeping or calmly reading books.  That I won't have to face the reality of it all in the middle of the mama moments.  But that's a crazy idea because when you're infertile, you don't get to choose when you face it.  Instead you just get to deal with it when it's thrown in your face.  Today was one of those days.

I feel like once you become a mama, everyone else who has a child sees you as being in this new imaginary club.  The idea is that we all can talk about breast vs. forumla feeding, sleeping through the night, temper tantrums, potty training, and of course, having more babies.  At least that's what the world seems to think.  Personally, I was always taken aback when a complete stranger would ask me if I as breastfeeding or if Bean was sleeping through the night.  We don't ask such intimate questions about any other area of people's lives, but parenting and children seems like fair game to a lot of other parents.  Don't get me wrong, I like to talk to other moms, but I'd like to know you're name first!  And being part of this club, can be challenging in those moments like I encountered today.

Bean goes to a little gym class at a local place every week.  One of the moms there also takes her daughter to the library story hour that we go to so we started chatting on the first day.  We've become friendly and chat every week usually.  She's super nice and I'm totally hoping to gain a friend from this.  She's one of those people who is so nice that you can't imagine a mean thing ever coming out of her mouth.  So today we were chatting and all of the sudden she leans over and whispers, "By the way, I'm pregnant!"  And in slow motion, it was like picturing this sweet, kind woman whispering and motioning for me to come in so that she could sucker punch me in the stomach.  I know that sounds dramatic, but it totally knocked the wind out of me.  Mostly because I was just so unprepared.  Never had we talked about trying for more kids or any of that.  We had just finished having a conversation about toddler gas and all the sudden, bam, there it was.  So I plastered a smile on my face, congratulated her, and tried to find my feet.  Before I could even do it though, she says that her sister is pregnant too (her sister also goes to story hour).  And then it was like the world was going in slow motion.  I know words came out of my mouth and I know they were the socially appropriate words for that situation.  I was trying so hard to sound excited because she is such a kind person and I AM happy for her.  I just. wasn't. prepared.

And so I made it through this, while trying to watch Bean as she jumped on trampolines and climbed into ball pits.  I got through it without needing a moment of quiet to collect my thoughts.  When we got home, Bean had fallen asleep in the car so I carried her up to bed and sat down with my own thoughts for a few minutes.  I surfed the internet and of course, there was story upon story of some "celebrity" or another announcing their pregnancy.  I was feeling overwhelmed by this in a way that I haven't since Bean was born.  I could feel myself being dragged down.  Then Bean woke up and I went up to rock her for awhile.  And while I was rocking her, the tears came.  I was crying because I loved her so much, because I was so thankful for her, but also because I was sad.  Sad that not only might I never be pregnant again, but that if I am lucky enough to be, I'm never going to be confident enough to tell an acquaintance about it at Bean's gym class in the first trimester.  I won't be announcing it to a crowd at Thanksgiving.  It's just not my reality.

Once Bean woke up though, it was all a little easier.  I actually think there are some wonderful things about being an infertile mama and one of them is that I'm never alone with my thoughts long enough to get to the dark places that I did before Bean was born.  Not only that, but I also am kind of happy, in a certain way, that I understand the preciousness of an uncomplicated pregnancy, the seriousness of a pregnancy announcement, and the miracles that surround us everyday.  This isn't to say, in any way, that fertiles don't understand these things, it's just different.  My reality is changed because of infertility.  I cannot build my family in the way that other people can.  I cannot easily choose how many children I have.  I may never be pregnant again.  Those things are all true, and hard, but they're me, and I like me.  I like my life.  I love my family.  I wouldn't change it for a minute.

And so here I am, an infertile mama trying to navigate the world the best that I can.  Which has made me realize that I am indeed all in.  I need that group of infertile and adoptive mamas to support me and I'm willing to work to make it happen.  Not just for me, but for all of us out there.  We deserve to have a few moments in our life when we're surrounded by people who get it.  And who will never whisper and draw us in close to tell us something that could hurt so much.   

Monday, November 28, 2011

All in?

As I've mentioned before, earlier this year I started a moms group for moms who started their families after struggles with infertility or through adoption.  I'm going to start by saying how thankful I am for the people that I've met through that group.  Having other moms who truly understand my situation, has been amazing, and I've found some wonderful friends.  It has also strengthened the other relationships in my life because I don't feel the need to rely so much on the rest of my support system as much when it comes to infertility.  It's hard because the people that I love, and who love me, want to support me so much but they just don't understand how, or what I need, when it comes to the infertility situation.  And I'm glad of that because I wouldn't want them to understand.  I wouldn't wish this on anyone.  So it's been incredible feeling supported by my usual network and my new mom friends.

The problem is that the group is a bit slow starting and I've been putting in a lot of energy without a lot or response from folks.  I've been working on getting the word out, but it's slow going and it's really hard to get input from the people who have responded so far.  There are the faithful few that I can always count on, but I wonder if all the effort is worth it for just a few people.  So I'm at the point where I feel like I either need to go all in and really make a big push to get people more involved, find new members, and give people lots of options of events to go to, or I need to take the friends I've made and walk away. I feel like there's so much potential here and I wonder if I just need to ride out this slow start or if this is a group that I really need, but that other people out there don't have the same feelings for.  Maybe other people don't feel as tied to infertility after they become parents.  I'm not quite sure what to do.  My plan for now is to ride out the holidays, when everyone is so busy anyway, and then see if there is some renewed interest at the beginning of the year.  So we'll see what happens.  Right now I'm just so happy to have a few mom friends who have dealt with infertility.  Maybe I'm expecting too much to have more then that.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Good friends, good food

Today we had our second Thanksgiving.  Our first was last week with my parents and today we celebrated with hubby's mom and one of my dearest friends.  There's a group of four of us from college who have stayed friends since we've graduated and are more family now then friends.  I love them all dearly.  We've been scattered around the country until last year when one of my wonderful friends came to live less then a half hour from me.  What an incredible gift that has been.  We have become even closer in the last year and I just love having my dear friend so close by.

This afternoon she came over and we cooked up a delicious meal for our second Thanksgiving.  I love cooking and baking but since Bean was born, I find it challenging to have enough time to do it as much as I used to.  Weeks ago we planned a menu for today and divided up the tasks.  Everything went so smoothly, was so much fun, and really turned out perfectly.  Not only that, but I got to do all the "work" with someone whose company I really enjoy.  It doesn't get much better then that.

So tonight I go to bed full and happy.  Happy to be home, surrounded by those that I love, and ready to face whatever the rest of the holiday season has to throw at me.  Actually, I'm really excited about it.  I can't wait to share all the things I love about this time of year with Bean.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Our cozy home

I know I've been a little cryptic lately.  Essentially we were visiting my parents for the last few days and working our butts off to try and get their house ready to sell.  This has been the routine for at least the last year now, and it's wearing on us all.  It feels like it's never quite going to get done.  But we keep plugging away.  Needless to say we were all really happy to get home today.  I'm always happy to get home.  I love our little house that we have worked so hard on and made into a wonderful home.  I love every inch of it.  There's no place else in the world that I'd rather be then here with my little family.  I admit that I still look at the local real estate and think about what our next house will be like.  The reality of the situation is that there won't be a next house for a long time.  And I really don't want there to be.  It's fun to have things to dream about, but I love what we've done with our house.  I love the way it feels.  I love how happy Bean is here and the memories that we have.  I can't imagine living anywhere else and all of the stress from the last few days melted away as soon as we turned the corner and I saw our little house waiting for us.  I feel so lucky to have such a wonderful place to live and such wonderful people to share it with.  And I'm SO looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight.  If Bean lets me sleep that is.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Beautiful weather

We've been busy today.  Or rather I have been.  I haven't had much time to spend with Bean, or anyone else, and have been trying to get as much done as I can to be a help to others.  I'm tired and the day was rather stressful.  At one point Bean went into full on melt down mode and I was reminded that as much as I need to help others, my first and foremost responsibility is to Bean.  So I dropped it all, got her in her boots and coat, put a leash on Pup Pup, and Hubby and I headed outside with everyone.  The weather was beautiful today.  Warm and pleasant, which I appreciate because Bean has been sick and if it's really cold we've been trying to play inside.  We forgot about all of our responsibilities and ran around, from one end of the yard to the other and back again.  It was blissful and I am so thankful for the chance to drop it all and just enjoy a beautiful day with my beautiful baby.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Doing the best I can

As promised, today and for the next month until Christmas arrives, I'm going to challenge myself to blog everyday about something that I'm thankful for or something that makes me feel joyful.  It feels like today should be the easiest day because it's the first one and because we were supposed to spend the whole day focused on the things we're thankful for.  I don't feel like that happened.  Thanksgiving was today and we ate turkey, mashed potatoes, and pie.  We sat around a table and said a prayer about how thankful we were to be together.  And that's where it pretty much ended.  There were a lot of things that didn't go as I would dream today.  My dream Thanksgiving was a far away thought and I was really struggling to keep myself going and trying to focus on the good today.

So part of me was just going to cop out and say the easiest things today, the most obvious.  Which of course would be Hubby, Bean, and Pup Pup.  I am so very thankful for all of them.  But instead, I'm going to be thankful today for what got me through the day, because sadly, I hardly had a moment to focus on, or spend with, my wonderful little family.

Today I'm thankful that I was born such a patient person.  I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher because I loved kids and because I have the right personality for it.  I am incredibly patient, something I both recognize, and have been told.  This was such an important part of my teaching style, but it has also served me so well in many other ways in life, and today was no exception.  There were times today when I could have thrown my hands up.  When I could have gotten angry or frustrated.  There were moments when a little part of me wanted to.  But I didn't.  The rest of my took charge and I just plugged through, attacking each moment as it came and working on making it from morning (which started quite early) until night.

And as I sit here looking back on my day, I feel a few things.  Exhausted for sure.  Exasperated.  A little sad that I couldn't have made more magic happen today for Bean.  Hopefully that will change in years to come.  I could list pages of negative words that I feel about the events of today.  Instead I look back and I feel good.  So much today was outside of my control.  I was thrown into a situation and just had to make the most of it.  And I feel like I did that.  I can go to bed tonight without one regret as to how I handled myself.  I may not have been able to give my family the day that I dreamed of, but in the situation we were in, I feel like I did the very best that I could.  I feel proud that I didn't let it all drag me down and I am really happy that I was a good role model for Bean today.  I took what I was given and was able to navigate it all gracefully.  And for that, I am very thankful.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Holiday time again

Around this time of year I always end up spending a few days trying to figure out how it's the holiday time again.  It seems like I was just breathing a sigh of relief that all of the busyness and obligations of the season had passed, and here they are again.  Down time is fleeting to begin with, and in the next month or so it will become nonexistent.

This year though, I'm trying to look at things a bit different.  I'm trying to focus solely on making this a special time and meaningful time for Bean.  Growing up I always LOVED this time of year and my goal is to create the same love for her.  For me, the holidays have never been extravagant.  Our family didn't have the money for that.  But they meant something.  They were a time when we all spent more time together, thought more about each other, and were genuinely thankful and aware of the good things that we had.  My family was relatively religious also so we talked a lot about the religious meaning of the holiday and what we believed had been sacrificed for us.  My mom also filled the holidays with special moments and traditions so that there was always something around the corner to look forward to.  And as if that weren't enough, my grandfather brought the holiday to life in a very special way.  He had such a vivid imagination and told all kinds of tall tales that I believed as a child and just enjoyed as a young adult.  According to him he worked for Santa and was the first in line to take over if anything were to happen to him.  There are moments when I still feel like that's where he is now.  He passed away almost ten years ago, but I still feel him at this time of year and I still remember every tale he ever told.

It's hard to figure out how to pass that joy and love that I have for the holidays on to Bean.  She has to experience it for herself and it isn't going to be the same.  I don't want her to regard this time of year as simply a time to get what you desire.  I want her to see it as I do, as magical, as a time to show others how much you appreciate them, and a time to really reflect on the big and little things in life that there are to be thankful for.  Somehow in my own family, that has been a little lost in recent years.  The hardship and difficulties have over taken the joy and thankfulness.  The holidays have become about obligation and neccesity.  I almost hated to see them come.

Last year was a little better.  It was hard not to just feel thankfulness and love this time last year as it was Bean's first with us.  This year it's even easier in a way.  We've started to get the hang of being parents, and being a little family.  Bean understands so much more.  It's time to start making it all real and special.  It's time to build the meaning and magic into her life, and I'm excited to do that.

So with all of that, I have a challenge for myself and a challenge for you, if you're willing.  The challenge for myself is to not let the stress and obligation of the holidays get to me this year.  To focus on the real meaning of it all and all the reasons that I have to be joyful.  So starting this Thursday, on Thanksgiving, I'm going to try to blog everyday about something that I'm thankful for, or that brings me joy, big or small.  My challenge to you is to tell me what your favorite part of the holiday season is.  What are your favorite traditions and memories?  How do you keep from letting it become overwhelming?  I love hearing what makes this time of year extra special to other people and I can't wait to hear from you!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Jumping back in

One of the things that I sometimes find overwhelming in the blogging world is stepping back.  If you need to step away, or if you're forced to for some reason, it feels really hard to come back.  So much has happened and all of these posts are there waiting for you to read and comment on.  The world has kept going even though you have stood still in a way.  It's like trying to jump back on a moving carousel.  So I've been standing here, on the sidelines for the last week, trying to look for the perfect foot hold.  I want to jump back in but I'm tired, and I can't seem to figure out where to land without somehow making a mess of things.  Then I realized that each day that I stay standing still, waiting for the right moment, more and more is just building up making it feel more and more impossible.  So I just have to jump.  Which is what I'm doing.

Life has calmed down a bit here and I'm seeing the bright side of things again.  I think one of the reasons that I've been avoiding the blog too is because I've been avoiding a larger issue in my life in general.  The whole point of weaning Bean was to start trying for another baby.  As soon as I was done I was supposed to call my RE.  I was definitely supposed to call her on day one of my first period.  Well, both of those things have happened and I haven't made the call.  It just all happened so fast, I didn't feel ready.  I wanted at least a month where my body was just my own.  I wanted to try to lose a little bit more weight before we started trying again.  And I wanted to just live life for a little while without it all feeling like a roller coaster ride.

What I realized is that life is always a roller coaster ride, no matter what you might do to try to stop it.  And as far as having my body back to myself, well, that's kind of a joke.  I have had maybe one glass of wine, a cup of half caffeinated coffee, and some ibuprofen.  It's been over two years since I only had to worry for myself when I put something in my body and I just can't switch it off.  So why switch it off to just switch it back on?  I don't miss any of that stuff really, except my allergy medicine.  I DEARLY miss my allergy medicine.  The only thing here that really seemed to matter was losing the weight.  So I got back on the elliptical in our basement for the first time in 2 years and it felt really good.  I plan on keeping up with that.

So I'm not sure where I stand right now.  I'm ready to be pregnant again in the larger sense.  Am I ready to go back to the RE for real?  I don't know.  I may wait on that until after the holidays.  Although that thought always starts the sound of a really loud clock ticking in my head.  We'll see what wins.  The desire for a somewhat peaceful holiday season, or the unrelenting feeling that I'm wasting precious time. I want to really enjoy this time of year with Bean.  It's always one of my favorites and she understands so much more this year.  I kind of feel like we need a last hurrah before life starts to change.  But that could just be me procrastinating something that feels hard right now.  I've got some thinking to do and hopefully I have it all figured out before my period comes again.  Whenever that may be.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Exhausted but thankful

My apologies to everyone, as I have been absent all week from blogging and commenting.  For once though, it's not my fault!  The plug got pulled on us last Saturday.  We got hit by that crazy snowstorm that came through and the power went off until Tuesday.  My mother-in-law was staying with us until Thursday when her power came back on.  So today is the first day that I actually have my real life back.  I missed it!  And I want so badly to jump back in, comment on all the posts that have gone up in the last week, and tell you all about what's been happening here.  But I am exhausted.  This last week took a lot out of me, and on top of that I have family stuff that's weighing on me.  So it's going to take me a little bit to get up and running again.  Right now though I'm really thankful.  I'm thankful for electricity, for heat and water, for a normal morning with Bean, for the fact that Bean was able to get through all this so easily, even if it was hard on the rest of us, and for the fact that this event was just a short spurt in my life.  I know that there are people out there who deal with basic challenges like this everyday and I'm not going to complain about what we had to deal with because it could have been much worse, and because it was temporary.  I am however, thankful that it's over.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Happy Now, Happy Forever

I've been struggling.  That's something I have a hard time admitting in real life.  But it's true.  Weaning Bean has stirred up a lot of emotions, and it took me awhile to figure it all out.  I'm sure that part of what I was feeling had to do with hormones that were out of whack in my body.  Some of it had to do with feelings that I wasn't entirely in control.  I felt like my choice to wean Bean, was only partially my choice.  If I wasn't infertile and I thought I could get pregnant again quickly and easily, would I have weaned Bean when I did?  Probably not.  I realized that I was feeling really angry toward infertility again.  Angry that it was somewhat controlling my life and my relationship with Bean.  I was angry that I had to take something away from her that made her happy.  Angry that I couldn't explain to her all the reasons why, and angry that the reason I weaned her, could end up not happening.  We could try to have another baby and fail.  And then will I regret my decision to wean before Bean seemed to be ready?  Potentially.  All of this was bouncing around in my head and heart.  I was sad, and mad, and kind of a mess.

Then I realized that I was facing the core decision that we make as parents everyday.  Do I help Bean be happy now, or do I make the tough choices to try and help her be happy forever?  It is easy, in certain ways, to give in to all the little things that make her happy, and at this age, that might not be so bad.  But as she gets older, there are going to be more and more things she wants, places she wants to go, friends she wants to have, and so on.  Not all of these things are going to be good for her, and I'm going to have to make the unpopular choices and put my foot down.  I'm going to have to take away a little of what she perceives as her happiness now, to try and ensure her happiness for the future.  And I'm okay with that. I know that's part of the parenthood gig, and both hubby and I have a very good appreciation of that from our own childhoods.  We are very happy now and attribute that, in part, to good decisions that the way our parents raised us influenced.

It took me a few days to realize that weaning Bean fit into this scenario.  She is happy when she nurses.  I still think about the last time she nursed and my heart almost breaks.  It brings tears to my eyes every time.  We had moved her bedtime feeding until before her bath, and Hubby was reading her books while she nursed.  She was laughing at something in the book and the look on her face was just of pure joy.  I was struggling so much with the feeling that I took that away from her.  Then I started thinking about why I did that.  Obviously, she was going to have to wean eventually, but I was hoping to wait for more cues from her that she was ready.  The hope though, is that by pushing her before she was ready, we'll be able to start the process of trying for another baby.  A sibling for her.  Which has a lot of question marks.  We might not be successful and Bean may be an only child.  Or we might be successful and she and her sibling may not have the kind of relationship we dream of.  Our hope though, our dream, is that Bean will have at least one sibling so that when we're gone, she'll still have family.  That they will have a strong relationship full of love.  That their lives will be strengthened and enhanced by each other.  That they will make each other happy forever.

So it's a bit of a gamble, but now that I can see it all in black and white, I don't feel so sad anymore.  I still miss nursing Bean and I can tell she misses it too.  That hurts me sometimes.  More so though, I'm focusing on the hope that we have laying ahead of us.  For the first time, I've had to take away something big that really makes Bean happy, but I have the opportunity to potentially give her something so much bigger.  I want the sun and the moon and the stars for her, and any other baby we might have.  I'm okay with taking away a few months more of her happiness for that.  For years, lifetimes of happiness.  Plus I'm already starting to see her settle in to our new routines and I'm finding new ways to make her feel safe and loved.  She makes me so very happy, and I hope that all the choices I make give that back to her.  She deserves all of that, and so much more.

Friday, October 21, 2011

All done?

Well, Bean's in bed and for the first time in her life, I didn't nurse her at all today.  In the last few days we moved her night-time feeding to before her bath.  Today I offered her a smoothie (milk mixed with a little yogurt) instead and while she was very torn, and really wanted both, after she tasted the smoothie, she stuck with that.  Obviously she's not going to get a smoothie before bed every night, but hopefully it will help in the transition.

This was a really hard process and I feel like I should be celebrating with a big glass of wine or something. Instead I just feel kind of sad.  I know this is the right time and I know that in the end it will be the best thing for her.  It makes me sad that she still loves it so much and we stopped it, and I think I realized today that I still loved it more then I was willing to admit.  It was our time together.  Precious moments when I got to stare at a beautiful little face that was blissfully happy.  I know we'll have more special things and lots of blissful moments, but it's harder to let go then I realized it would be.

I hope it's not too hard from here on out though.  I hope the next few days help us all move on and start the next chapter.  I hope that sleepy times in this house get happier again.  And I'm going to spend the next few hours before bed reminding myself how lucky I am to have experienced this at all, let alone for almost 18 months.  When I started nursing Bean I said I'd be happy if I made it to 6 months, and then to a year, and now here we are at almost a year and a half.  I am very blessed, and I do know that, even if my heart is a little heavy tonight.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I was vacuuming the nursery last night.  Bean's room.  The carpet in there is super plush so when you're done vacuuming it, you leave footprints wherever you step.  It's some of the only original carpet that we kept in the house after we moved in.  It's gray, which isn't my favorite color (I think it's kind of cold), but we were already trying for a baby when we moved in here and that room was earmarked for the nursery.  When you imagine the kind of floor that your baby is going to be rolling all over, taking their first steps on, and possibly trying to climb out of their crib and face planting on, that's the kind of carpet you imagine.  So soft, so thick.

When I first started vacuuming that room there was just a box spring and a mattress on the floor.  It was our second guest room, even though our first guest room was hardly ever used.  One of those rooms really should have been an office, but I didn't want to setup an office and then have to change it into a guest room if we got pregnant.  So we setup the guest room and stuck our extra mattress and box spring on the floor in there.  The room was an ugly color, but I didn't want to paint.  I just left it alone.  And then we got pregnant.  Hubby was away on business when we found out.  He brought back a teeny tiny t-shirt for our future little one and I hung it in the closet in that room.  About a week later I miscarried.  Then next thing I knew we had been in the house for a year and that room still hadn't changed.

It was the sad room.  It looked sad, it felt sad.  The door was always closed.  It was always cold in there.  I hated going in.  I rarely did.  And then I just couldn't take it anymore.  I wasn't working, I had quit because of all the doctors appointments and the stress that I was under at work.  I was home alone with the sad room.  So I went and bought some paint, a color that I would be happy with as a guest room, nursery, or whatever lay ahead.  I bought a bed frame, new sheets, a bookcase.  It became a proper room.  A room that I liked to be in.  I used to go in and lay on the bed and think about what it might become.

Whenever I used to vacuum that room though, no matter what was in it, I always vacuumed from the back corner out.  That way when I was done the carpet was perfect.  There were no marks, no footprints.  It was like nobody had ever been there and it was just waiting, plush and perfect for you to sink in when you really needed to.  When you needed to feel like the world was slightly bubble wrapped.  Which back then was often.  After we found out Bean was coming that room changed a lot, but I still vacuumed it the same.  Even after she was born.  I just wanted to keep that cushion there, perfectly waiting for her.

Last night for the first time I realized how differently I vacuum in there now.  Firstly, it doesn't happen very often.  Bean is afraid of the vacuum.  My hubby tried to tell her it was a little cow when she was in love with cows, and that it just mooed really loud.  So now she calls it a "moo" but she's still afraid of it.  Last night she was taking a bath when I was vacuuming.  So I was going really fast, just trying to  get it done.  And there were footprints everywhere.  I'm not trying to keep that room pristine anymore because it isn't mine to keep.  I kept it special, and safe, and soft for years.  But now it's Beans.  Even if I left the carpet perfect, her little feet wouldn't care.  They would go flying in after her bath, with the kind of happy run that only naked babies seem to be able to replicate.

It isn't very often anymore that I think about what that room used to be.  The sad days.  Sometimes I happen upon that little t-shirt that hubby bought for our first baby hanging in the back of the closet.  I can't seem to add it to Bean's clothes.  It's the only thing that actually belonged to our first little one and it feels like it should stay that way.  Then I remember how sad that room used to make me feel, when I was mourning something I thought I might never have.  Now I mostly just think about that rooms future.  I'll sit in there with Bean late at night and imagine what it will be like if we have another baby.  I redecorate the room across the hall in my head for Bean and imagine the little changes we'll do to make the nursery new and fresh.  It's easier to be in the dreaming phase this time around.  I know there could be a lot of sadness ahead, but I know it won't be like it was then.  Because no matter what happens, we have one little set of footprints all over that carpet.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Friday night I nursed Bean before bed and tried to enjoy every second, thinking it would be the last time that I ever did it.  Well, I was wrong.  Friday, out of nowhere, Bean started revolting against her nap.  She wouldn't let me rock her, she wouldn't sleep in her crib, she didn't want to nap, but boy was she tired.  She played in her crib for awhile, but if I left she got very upset.  I had no idea what to do so we spent an hour going back and forth from glider to crib and back again before she finally fell asleep in the glider with me.  I didn't think too much of it until it started again on Saturday.  I got her down for a nap much quicker Saturday, but it made me start to worry.  I was worried about the same thing happening at bedtime.  We had this grand plan to focus on helping her get to sleep on her own after she was weaned, but she seemed to be forcing our hand.  I started to panic a bit.  We're still not sure exactly how we're going to move forward in the sleep department.  We know what we don't want to do, but we thought we had more time to work on what exactly we were going to do.  Apparently Bean had other ideas.  So I spent the next few hours on Saturday being quite crabby (my poor hubby) as I worried about what was going to happen, if we were rushing the weaning, if I was doing the right thing, etc.

When I started weaning Bean I felt totally confident and am sure that's why things went relatively well.  I did not feel confident yesterday.  So I called it off.  I realized that I need to feel good going into our first night without nursing.  I need to feel like I know what I'm doing and that it's the right thing to do, and I'm just not sure right now.  I'm a planner, and I need a plan.  So that's what I'm working on.  So far in her life, Bean has let us know when she's ready for the next big step.  I can feel that kind of change in the air, I know it's coming, but for now, we're going to hold off on completely weaning while we try some new things at nap time, that we can hopefully use at bedtime as well once Bean is weaned.  So that's the story.  I failed and I feel completely okay with it.  I know it will happen and I'm not going to move forward unless I feel good about it.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Quick Update

Thanks to everyone for the words of encouragement.  We're down to just one feeding a day and I can't quite believe it.  The first night that I dropped the middle of the night nursing, Bean was pretty upset and was up for two and a half hours.  I stuck with it though and the next night she didn't even wake up!  I knew that was too good to be true and it hasn't happened again, but she hasn't been sad about not nursing at night, so I think we're really making progress.  My goal is to drop the last feeding this weekend and we'll be done.

I have to admit that there's a little part of me that's kind of sad about all this.  Breastfeeding has been so easy and special for us, I feel so very lucky.  I kind of expected my body to stink at this just like it has everything else baby related, but it has done an amazing job.  I know that we're incredibly lucky and I breastfed Bean for much longer then I had ever planned.  This is just another one of those milestones though that reminds me that she's growing and changing before our eyes.  She's becoming more and more of a big girl everyday and while I love every second of it, it's just going by so fast.  So I'm going to hold her close every night this week and enjoy the end of a very special time in our lives.  Hopefully it will keep going relatively smoothly.  It just breaks my heart to have her so sad, and know that I could fix it if I really wanted to.  I just have to keep in mind that we have to do this eventually and now feels like the right time.  Ready or not, our little Bean isn't a baby anymore.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Finding our way

Well, it's been almost a week and we've officially dropped our nap time nursing.  It went better then I expected and I'm ready to take on the next one, although it will mean less sleep for me, which will be tough to take.  I guess what I'm having a hard time with is that Bean used to love getting ready for a nap or for bed, and now she's not anymore.  She used to run to her nursery and climb into the glider for us to snuggle, and now she fusses and says she's tired but doesn't want to get ready for her nap.  I've tried switching our routine around, making her warm sippies of milk (which I discovered that she HATES), cuddling in the glider with her favorite books and lovies, anything that I can think of to make her feel happy, and so far no luck.  I need to figure out a new routine that works for us, and the sooner the better.  So we'll see what I can come up with next.

One of the really nice things about this week was that I allowed myself to push aside all of my other responsibilities and focus solely on Bean.  I tried to make each morning filled with fun activities to both tire her out and make her happy for nap time.  We had so much fun and I realized that it really isn't that difficult to find these little fun things to sneak into our day.  I just have to stop sometimes and postpone a trip to the grocery store or forget about something that needs washing or cleaning and make time for it.  We actually spent an hour at the pet store this week which made both Bean and Pup Pup very happy.

And in the middle of all of our outings, there were a few moments where my heart nearly burst.  The biggest being the most simple.  I was walking in an outdoor shopping center with Bean.  She was holding my hand and we were walking down the sidewalk.  I looked down at her, at this amazing little girl who is growing and changing so much everyday, and I realized that she's mine.  She's my baby girl.  And I nearly lost it.  The dream that I had for so long and fought so hard for is here, with five little sticky fingers clutching my hand and firmly wrapped around my heart.  I am so blessed and so in love.  I will always remember that moment, so simple, but so special.  And that's what's going to keep me going when I'm up at 4 am with a very unhappy little girl who just wants to nurse and go back to sleep.  We can get through this, we will get through this, and maybe the journey actually isn't so bad.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

It's official

I started weaning Bean yesterday.  My plan was to start this toward the beginning of August and we were down to just nursing twice a day then (before nap time and bedtime) and then she got strep throat, twice.  So all the sudden we were back to nursing four times a day and I realized recently that it's actually interfering with her sleep at this point instead of helping.  Up until now I think I was having a hard time weaning her because I felt like it was for me, so that we could start trying to have another baby, and I felt a little guilty, but now I see that it's really going to benefit her and so I started yesterday with a renewed conviction.

It went about how I expected.  Not good.  I had already gotten Bean back to nursing just 3 times a day, and I decided to drop her nap time nursing next.  So I took her to the park yesterday morning to tire her out and instead she just wanted me to hold her.  She was already sad by the time we got home and it didn't get any better.  There was a lot of crying on her part and feeling bad on my part, but she went to sleep.  This morning I did a much better job of making her tired and happy (a trip to the pet store never disappoints) and she actually went to sleep without a single tear!  I actually have hope that this may actually happen and that hopefully it won't be as painful as I had thought.  Or, today could be a fluke and the rest of the week will be a nightmare.  Either way I'm thrilled that we had at least one day where things went well.  Fingers crossed for tomorrow!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A loooong weekend

I'm not feeling too great.  We went to my parents this weekend to help again with what has turned into a massive effort to get their house cleaned out and ready to go on the market so that they can move close to us.  We've been working on this for over a year at this point.  And I'm exhausted.  I don't feel like I can go into all of the details here, but I feel like a lot of responsibility is being placed on my shoulders.  A lot of things that could be handled elsewhere, are being put on my plate, and I'm starting to feel more then a little worn out, and honestly, a little resentful.  I need a break.  On top of all that, my parents house has gotten to be too much for them.  They can't keep up, and it shows.  The amount of dust that has taken up residence with them, is incredible.  And my allergies can attest to that.  I started feeling crappy a couple hours after we got there, and I'm still feeling it now.  Their house literally made me sick.  It's heartbreaking in a lot of ways.

It's also hard to want to take Bean there.  Every time we go there's so much work to be done, so one of us ends up trying to keep her entertained among the chaos while the other one works, works works.  My parents seem to have no idea how to help with her, so we can only get half as much done as we're capable of.  It's frustrating.   And I feel like if their house is making me sick, it could be doing the same to Bean.  I want her to have a relationship with her grandparents, but I also wanted to get her out of there as quickly as possible.  I still have that little part of me that is that little kid who just wants to sit in a corner and say "it's not fair!"  Family should be easy, trips to grandma and grandpa's should be fun, it shouldn't be like this.  Then I remember that I'm an adult, and that yes, life isn't fair, and that's just the way it is.  Everyone has their challenges, and right now this is part of mine.  So I'll figure it out, and try to keep Bean on the fringe of all of it the best I can.

The good part about this trip was that I finally carved out a little time for Bean to have fun.  When I was in high school, I worked at our local children's museum and I managed to find time for us to take Bean there before we came back home.  She's a little shy, so it took her awhile to warm up and get into it, since there were kids around she didn't know, but once she did, she had a lot of fun.  It was the perfect ending to a not so perfect trip, and I'm really glad that we managed to do it.  I felt guilty that I wasn't using that time to help my parents, but I did the best that I could, and that's all I can do.

So hopefully life will go back to normal for awhile.  Bean and I will hopefully both feel better soon, we don't have any trips planned for awhile, and hopefully we can finally get moving on weaning.  I feel like we've had setback after setback in that department, and I'm ready to really push ahead.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Jumping through hoops

Well, I finally decided to take Bean to the doctor today and found out that she has strep throat.  Again.  This is the second time in less then a month.  And the last time it wasn't so much fun recovering.  The antibiotic gave her some digestive problems and even though I tried pumping her with yogurt, it didn't do the trick.  She didn't sleep well for the whole ten days and only wanted her mama.  I was exhausted by the end.  So the idea that it's starting all over again, is hard to imagine for several reasons.  The lack of sleep and how sad I feel that she's sick again, and I didn't know how badly until now.  Her doctor gave me some tips though so hopefully the recovery won't be so bad this time.  I do realize that I'm very luck that all she has is strep throat and am thankful for that.

What's really frustrating though is that our pediatrician recommended that both hubby and I (and pup pup interestingly) get tested to be sure we aren't carriers since Bean has had strep so close together.  So we called our doctor to go get a strep test and they won't give us a same day appointment (or an appointment before three weeks from now) unless we're sick. We explained the situation several times and were told to call back tomorrow and say that we're sick, even though we aren't, and we'll get an appointment for tomorrow.  I think this is pretty ridiculous.  Why is it so hard to try to get someone to help you avoid getting sick instead of just getting better when you are sick???  I just want to be sure I don't keep reinfecting my daughter again and again and I either have to wait three weeks or lie?  Ugh, health care, why are you so backwards???

Monday, September 12, 2011

Not enough time in the day

I've been having a hard time finding time to write lately.  I've spent time every day in the last week on the phone with my parents trying to figure out how to help them in the situation they're currently in.  Their house isn't flooded and the roads around them are starting to reopen, but they still don't have power, so I'm their source of information.  They are doing fine, much better then they think they are.  I can imagine how frustrating it must be, but from here I can see how devastated so many people in the area are.  They are very lucky to have their home untouched.

On top of that Bean is sick again.  I'm not totally sure what's wrong.  She has a fever and yesterday was not herself at all.  Lethargic, fussy, not hungry.  Today seems better but the fever is still sticking around.  So I'm keeping an eye on her for now.  Hopefully it's just a little virus that will run it's course.  I can see her wiggling around in her crib right now so I doubt I have much more time to finish my thoughts.  She doesn't seem to sleep for more then an hour anymore during the day, no matter when her nap is or how much she sleeps at night.  I can tell she needs more sleep, but I'm not sure how to make that happen.  So we just keep working on it.

I'm hoping to have more time soon to put my thoughts together.  I have a lot of half started posts that I want to have time to finish and get up.  I just have to convince Bean to give me some time to do it!  And I apologize for not checking in more with everyone else lately.  I'm trying!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Dibble Dibble Dop

Well, it's still raining around here.  We've been reading a lot of "Mr. Brown Can Moo" and Bean says "dop" a lot, which is part of his rain noise.  I know it hasn't been that long, but it feels like it's been raining for weeks.  I can't remember the days when we played outside all afternoon and Bean went to bed happy and tired.  It feels different around here and I'm so ready to have our yard not be a pond.

I realize though, that we are actually quite lucky.  My parents are currently stranded at their house because flood waters have blocked any exit route.  They aren't in danger of getting flooded, but they don't have power and the entire community around them is suffering.  It's difficult to see all the places of my childhood covered by water.  I haven't seen photos of the place that hubby and I got married and my hope is that means it's stayed dry.  I cannot imagine what it must be like.

I saw photos of an elementary school surrounded by water today and my heart was breaking for those teachers and kids.  I know how much of myself I put into my classroom, both through effort and money out of my own pocket.  I can't imagine how difficult it would have been to watch it all wash away.  My boxes of teaching things are currently occupying our basement, where we saw some water this last week.  I was worried that they might have been damaged and that I would have lost some things.  Now I realize that I'm lucky to have what I have, a few damaged items aren't going to be the end of the world.

And I realize that my muddy back yard isn't so bad, although I would love one day without rain just to remind me what it's like.  I could use a little something to lift the gray skies around here.  Hopefully it's right around the corner.  Until then we're going shopping to get Bean a good pair of boots.  I can't tell you how excited she is about that prospect.  All she talks about is being able to go "ashi" (which means outside) again more regularly.  I'm pretty excited about it too.  Hopefully all of you are seeing clear skies, dry basements, and sunny days ahead.

On an unrelated note, things are starting to get back to normal as far as sleep goes around here.  It took Bean a long time to get back to herself after having strep and being on that antibiotic, but she's back.  Unfortunately she's got some pretty bad teething pain, so we only had a few really good nights of sleep, but it's still much better.  So my efforts to wean are going to start this weekend.  I'll let you all know how it goes!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I've been a perfectionist as long as I can remember.  To be honest with you, I never stopped to think about why I feel like I have to do everything perfectly, I've just always acknowledged that it's a part of who I am, and I have to work with it.  Recently though I realized that it might help me to loosen up on the perfection front, if I actually had an understanding of why I am the way I am.  So I thought about it for awhile and it didn't take me long to figure it all out.

When I was a kid I was overweight.  I'm not quite sure how it happened, because at that point in time, neither of my parents were overweight and my mom was actually a new diabetic, so our meals were pretty carefully made.  Yet my brother and I both ended up weighing too much.  It wasn't until I was half way through high school that I realized I had some control over all of it and lost the weight.  It's been a daily struggle for the rest of my life, but I'm really proud of the fact that I've never gained more then 10 to 15 pounds back (unless you count when I was pregnant, which trust me, was pretty scary for me).  That experience changed me even more then infertility I would say, and there's nothing else in my life that even comes close to that.

It's really hard being a kid whose overweight.  Kids are cruel.  Even though the fact that I was overweight was no fault of my own (I mean I was a kid, I ate what I was given to eat), that didn't matter to other kids.  I was teased a lot and I realize now that's why I am such a perfectionist.  The best way to avoid getting teased, is to not give anyone ammunition.  I couldn't change my weight (at that point, or not that I realized anyway), but I could make sure that nothing else about me was a target.  And I've been doing that ever since.  I don't like to do anything in public until I've perfected it in private.  I don't want to be bad at anything.  Well, that's not totally true, I don't mind being bad, I just don't want other people to know that I'm bad at anything.  I don't want people to think badly of me or dislike me.  And I'm still that way.

I've started to realize though that this is something I really need to get over, or at least minimize.  Now I have a little girl who watches everything that I do, and if I don't want to make any mistakes, how can I tell her that it's okay for her to try something and not be perfect at it?  I can't.  So I'm going to work on it. I'm not that chubby little girl anymore and I, hopefully, don't have a whole bunch of people just waiting for me to mess up.  I'm not quite sure how to fix it all, but my plan is to just jump into things more and see what happens.  I'm going to start with a gift for hubby's birthday I think.

One thing I've never been good at is riding a bike.  I know how, but I stopped when I was a kid.  The whole chubby kid thing didn't work out too well with bike riding.  It's something that hubby really likes though and has wanted to do together ever since we got together, and it's something that we can do with Bean someday.  I've avoided it because I'm so out of practice that I feel like I'm not going to be very good at it, and you can't exactly practice riding a bike in your house.  You have to do it out in the world.  So I feel like it's the perfect thing to thrust my perfectionist self out into broad daylight.  Beyond that, I'm not sure where to go from here.  But I'm willing to try for Bean.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Well, we survived the hurricane.  Honestly, we didn't have it so bad although life was somewhat interrupted.  We lost power for about 15 hours or so and had some water in the basement.  Really not bad compared to what other people are dealing with.  I don't even think Bean noticed that anything was amiss.  In the midst of all of it, I managed to be a complete spaz and slice my finger open while doing dishes though.  Not my finest moment, but it's not as bad as it first looked and is healing well on it's own, so no trips to the ER had to happen in the storm.  Bean is pretty fascinated with my finger though.  Here's the conversation that we have about fifty times a day:

Bean: Owie?

Me: Yup, Mama has an owie, but I'm going to be okay.

Bean: See?

Me: We can't see right now, Mama's wearing a bandaid to keep her owie clean.

Bean: Clean?

Me: Yup, I have to keep it clean so it can get better.

Bean: *Pauses* Owie?

And so it begins again.  So a hurricane (or tropical storm, whatever it was when it got here) doesn't phase her in the least, but a bandaid on my finger has her undivided attention.  I have to say that I love her ever growing vocabulary, even when we end up going around in circles :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hurricanes and light sleeping babies don't mix

Well, it's not actually a hurricane here, but the wind is certainly whipping around and there's an awful lot of rain coming down out there.  Hubby just went to take pup pup outside one more time tonight, and I must say it makes me a little nervous.  I have a feeling it's going to be a long night.  Bean already woke up once from all the commotion, and since it's only supposed to get worse, I doubt that will be the last time.  So I'm off to bed with the hope that I'll get a little sleep and that we'll still have power when I wake up in the morning.  I hope you're all safe and sound tonight!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The next step

Just to warn anyone visiting from ICLW, I'm going to talk about my daughter a bit in this post so I understand if you don't want to stick around this time.

The next step towards getting back on the TTC road is weaning Bean. I have to admit that I have no idea how to begin and every time I get the guts to start, something happens. We were traveling a lot this summer, which seems like a horrible time to start, and now Bean is sick. She had a high fever last week and I took her to the doctor only to find out that she has strep throat. I felt so badly since I had no idea that her little throat was hurting her so and she couldn't tell me. She's starting to feel better but the antibiotic that she's on is doing it's job a little too well and her poor tummy isn't so happy. The only thing that has gotten us through the last week with any sleep at all is the fact that I'm still nursing. So I'm once again waiting until life gets back to some kind of normal before I take this on.

I have to say though that coupled with my worries about weaning, are my worries about sleep. Bean has had trouble sleeping ever since she was 4 months old. We have made incredible progress, but every time I feel like we're really on solid ground, we take a few steps back. This summer has really thrown us out of whack with all the traveling and mixed up schedules. I'm hopeful that when the fall comes, we'll have less distraction and she can get into a good rhythm again, but what if she doesn't? I worry that even when she's weaned, I won't really be ready to go through all the infertility stuff again or, if we're so lucky, be pregnant, because I'll still be exhausted. I don't know if I can do all this exhausted, so either we'll have to wait longer, or something will have to change.

So for now, we wait and see what happens. We wait for Bean to get well and things to settle down. We wait and hope that weaning is much easier then I'm anticipating and that hopefully her sleep will get back on track as we get back into our post-summer routine. But it's in the back of my mind a lot. I'm anxious about it. Infertility has this clock ticking in my head, making me worry about what kind of journey we have ahead of us and what I need to do to prepare for it, and how long it's all going to take, if it works at all. I don't want to rush Bean, I want us all to be ready for the next step in growing our family, whatever that may be.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A little about me

For all of you visiting from ICLW for the first time, or from anywhere else, here's a little bit about me. I'm a 31 year old mama who went through 3 years of infertility to finally have my baby. Now she's a 15 month old, walking, talking, thoroughly amazing little girl and I stay at home with her thinking every day how blessed I am to have this be my life. It may seem like a pretty ordinary life to anyone on the outside looking in, but to me it's pretty spectacular.

As far as infertility goes, I'm currently working out how it has changed me as a person and especially as a mama, but am also preparing myself to go back into the trenches to try for another baby. I'm about to start weaning Bean (which I keep saying and different things keep getting in the way, this time it's strep throat, ugh) and once I'm done then we're going to start trying again. I've already had an appointment with my Reproductive Endocrinologist (aka, infertility doctor) to talk to her about where we'd start this time and both hubby and I have had the necessary preliminary testing. We're still waiting to get the results of hubby's tests but as long as it all looks the same as it did 4 years ago, then we'll be back to doing medicated inseminations to try to have another miracle.

As far as the rest of life goes, it's busy. Super busy. I have a lot on my mind and have gotten bogged down a bit lately, but I'm bouncing back and ready to hopefully give you all some new things to read and find some wonderful new folks in the blogosphere to follow. So welcome, I'm so glad you're here, and I'd love to hear something about you!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fighting Fear

I've had issues with fear my whole life.  I'm not sure when or why it started but I always worry, about everything.  When I was little I was convinced our house as going to burn down, or someone was going to break in and try to do bad things to us, or, well, you get the idea.  I slept with the light on, the door open, and the hall light on.  If something bad was going to happen, I wanted to see it coming.  I actually told my mom once that I was more scared when my brother wasn't at home because his bedroom was in the hall before mine and I always figured if something bad happened, I'd hear him and have time to react.  What kind of a crazy kid thinks that stuff?  A scared one.

As I've gotten older the fears have changed to some degree, but some of the old ones are still there.  I still check the stove every time before I leave the house and have more fire safety equipment then I could ever use (I hope!).  I always make sure every door is locked and I don't really like to be home alone at night.  Honestly though, I've figured out a way to deal with those fears for the most part.  They've been there for so long, that there just a part of who I am in a way.  I'm always going to be a worrier, I'm always going to be a cautious person.  It's just me.  I can make that work and still have a happy life.

The worry that seems to cripple me sometimes though, especially since hubby and Bean came into my life, is that something is either going to happen to them or to me, and we're not going to have as much time together as we should.  I always worry that somehow, just when things get good, it's all going to go away.  Hubby and I dated for many years before we got married due to a promise he made to his family. Sometimes I felt like we were never going to get to that wedding day.  And a few months before it arrived he had to go on a trip for his work.  I was convinced that something bad was going to happen to him.  That this thing I had waited so long for and was finally in my reach, would be taken away at the last minute.  I felt the same way when we were waiting for Bean to arrive.  It just all felt too good to be true.

Obviously, bad things didn't happen.  I got married, Bean came into this world as perfect as can be.  But I'm still afraid.  Afraid that something is going to happen to me and that I'm not going to be able to watch this beautiful baby grow up into a girl and then a woman.  Afraid of what her world would be like without me or hubby.  Afraid that something will happen to her and I'll have to figure out how to live life without her.  This fear lead me to take the decision about who would be Bean's guardian very seriously.  It makes me think about things like life insurance and if we would have enough money to have the right person take care of Bean if I wasn't around and so that her life would change as little as possible.  It makes me think about what I would do if something happened to hubby and I was on my own.  And I know that all these thoughts and fears are normal, and most days that's all they are, normal fears.  But on other days I get caught up in them.  And on those days I just sit back and watch Bean and hope that I get to get to be an old lady and hubby gets to be an old man.  I hope that Bean grows up and has the life she'll come to dream of.  Those days I don't need anything big or major to happen to me in this life, I just need to be here for as long as possible.  And I've had a couple extra of those days lately after reading about people who have lost husbands or are losing children.  I ache for them and I worry for myself.

In so many ways all of that feels outside of my control, just like the big things in life that I used to be scared of and worry about.  But I found ways to try to control those things.  I make my house as safe as possible.  The smoke detectors are checked regularly, the doors are always locked, and I'm cautious.  But for some reason I haven't been as careful with myself.  I need to eat better more consistently.  I eat perfectly at dinnertime but breakfast and lunch are usually my last priority.  I worry more about what's going in Bean's mouth then I do my own.  And I don't exercise enough.  Sure, running around after her is pretty good exercise, but I need more of it.  I can be a much healthier person then I am and that is something real that I can do to make sure that I am on this earth as long as possible.  I can't control everything, I can't change how other people drive, or the bad decisions that they make.  But I can control this and I'd much rather have something to channel my energy into then sit here and think and worry about what could happen.

And I'd also like to try to support those people who are going through some of the things that I fear the most.  I'm not entirely sure what I can do, but I can start here.  I'm going to make sure these people know that I'm thinking about them, that my heart is breaking for them, and that they have touched my life.  I'm also going to ask that if anyone feels compelled to comment on my post today that instead they go and comment on these blogs instead, or another who is going through difficult times.  Because as much as I love to hear from all of you and cherish the things that you say, they need to hear from all of us more then I do today.

Stella Joy
The Daily Miracle

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Stuck in the moment

A few weeks ago there were several really heartbreaking stories in LFCA.  Well, that's not totally true.  I feel like every week there are heartbreaking stories in LFCA, but those are usually infertility related and those I'm somewhat prepared for.  These were stories of people who have had the rug pulled out from under their lives.  People who have lost family members in an instant.  And those stories I can't shake because it feels like it could so easily be us.  Our little family.  And that weighs on me heavily.  I know that eventually I'll stop thinking about it as much and in the same way, but right now I just keep running the words on those blogs through my mind and remind myself how precious each moment in life is.  So bear with me because I've written post after post and somehow it just doesn't seem like they fit right now.  It seems like other people have so much more to say and are in need of a thoughtful ear more then I am.  My thoughts are with them, and all of you, hoping that your lives are quite ordinary tonight.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Today was the day

My appointment with the RE was today and I'm happy to say that it went pretty well.  I ended up going by myself.  Hubby and I decided for several reasons not to take Bean with us.  We were aware of other patients feelings but we also just realized that if Bean was with us, neither of us would be able to focus 100%.  Plus the appointment fell right at Bean's nap time which would make it rough too.  So I got Bean down for her nap and hubby came home from work to stay with her while I went to the doctor.

One of the biggest reasons that I think this appointment went so well was actually because my doctor moved to a new office.  It may sound silly, but I make really strong place associations and I remember exactly how I felt in every single nook and cranny of that office that they were in two years ago.  The idea of walking back through that door was, overwhelming.  So walking into a brand new space that I've never seen before was pretty nice.  It felt like a fresh start.

Some of the staff in the office is still the same and I remember them from last time.  I'm really hoping that my favorite nurse is still there for the morning monitoring.  I saw Bean's picture in the photo album of their success stories that's in the waiting room.  I remember flipping through that when I was a patient last time around and not being able to imagine what it would be like to have a picture of my baby in there.  It was pretty special seeing Bean's little face staring back at me.  It brought me a certain sense of peace while I was sitting there instead of the anxiety that I had imagined.

The last time I was going through this, my RE's office was transitioning and changing a lot and it showed.  Things did not run very smoothly and it was frustrating.  I made peace with it because obviously, even amongst the disorganization, we got our miracle.  But this time around it was really nice to feel like they have their act together more.  I feel like I'm in better hands this time.  I know it's her job, but the doctor seemed pretty confident that the IUI's with injectables would work for us again this time and that hopefully it won't take long for us to get pregnant.  I'm skeptical of course, it's my nature, but I'm hopeful too.  I hope she's right.  I have to.

The only real bad part of the appointment was when I thought I had made it through and all the sudden she said "oh wait, you can't go yet, I need to do an ultrasound!"  Yikes!  Seriously?  I wasn't prepared for that.  I thought we were just talking today and I hadn't mental, or physical, prepared myself for that.  I have a toddler, if shaving my legs needs to get done, I need time to schedule that!  In a way though it was probably better.  Knowing that was coming would have brought me a lot of anxiety and I just didn't have time to think about it.  It really wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and now the first time is over.

So the next hurdle is weaning Bean.  Once we've accomplished that, however long it takes, I give them a call and we start everything up on my next cycle.  If I have a cycle that is.  My body isn't exactly good about doing that on it's own, so we'll see what happens.  If it takes more then a month though then they'll kick start things.  In the meantime I have to go in for some blood work, hubby has to go in to get checked out and make his "contribution" and we see how things are looking these days.  Hopefully all those tests come back as expected and we're ready to go in a couple months.  Right now I'm feeling really good about all of it.  So I'm going to focus on that right now and enjoy the time I have left nursing Bean.  And whatever happens next, well, I'll worry about that when it comes.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

New day, new perspective

I've come to the conclusion that the itchy skin I was talking about in my last post was more nerves and fears then anything else.  I have a tendency when I'm worried about something to find any reason possible to try to avoid it.  And that's what I was doing, I was trying to find a reason to reschedule that doctors appointment.  Because I'm scared of starting over and opening myself up to being hurt again.  I'm scared about emotionally going back to the really bad place that I was a few years ago.  I feel like I'm finally finding my footing again and finding myself, or rediscovering myself I suppose.  The person I was before infertility doesn't exist anymore, but I'm figuring out who I am now and I'm more self confident then I have been in a long, long time.  And I'm scared of losing all that.

But it doesn't matter.  I'm not going to let the fear stop me this time.  I can totally do this.  It's going to be hard, it's going to take awhile to figure out how to fit all of the appointments and shots and all of that into our daily routine without upsetting Bean's life too much.  But I'll do it.  I can do it.  And I'm so willing if it means another baby.  Because the reality of the situation is that I have been incredibly blessed once and I feel so lucky.  I have been living the last 15 months in this happy bubble that I'm afraid infertility is going to pop.  I'm not going to let it though.  Bean is the proof that all of the work and heartache is worth the payoff.  I know we may not be as lucky this time, but I have to try.  And I have the best possible way to stay grounded and focused on life at hand instead of getting caught up in the negativity of it all.  Bean's going to get me through this and I'm going to remind myself every day that I am one lucky mama, no matter what happens this time around.  And hopefully that will keep my head above water.

Thank you all for the support, you have no idea how nice it is to hear from people who really understand.  I have so much respect for this community.  That's why I'm scared of hurting people at the RE's office.  So I'm going to do my best to leave Bean at home and take my infertile self there and not my mama self.  But I know it's not always going to be possible to separate the two and I have faith that the other women in this community will be understanding of that.  I know that the positive person that is posting today will get lost at times and struggle with what's to come.  And so I'm thanking you in advance because so far I've had nothing but support from everyone, no matter where they are in their journey, and I only hope I can give a little bit of it back to all of you.  So here we go.  Time to start again.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Lost my mojo

In the last couple days I've definitely lost my mojo a bit.  I can't totally put into words what I'm feeling right now and I'm not sure that I should until it's totally flushed out.  I appreciate so much the input that everyone gave me on my last post and I'm going to move forward in all directions that were suggested, I think they're great ideas.  All the sudden I guess I'm starting to think more and more about our big return appointment at the RE coming up and it's weighing on me.  Not only for all the reasons that I've said before, but because I'm starting to feel a little like I don't really belong there anymore.  It used to be a place where I felt understood and like the other patients at that office knew my life in a way that nobody else did, even if they had no idea who I was.  Now I'm starting to feel like I have to go in and hide who I am, what I've been doing the last few years, and why I'm there.  I'm not just there for a baby, I'm there for a sibling for Bean.  I'm not just infertile, I'm a mama and those two parts of me are warring right now.  I feel itchy in my skin and like I'm not quite sure where I belong.  And while I wanted hubby to go with me to that appointment very badly, that would mean we'd have to take Bean with us, and I'm not sure I can do that anymore.  I just feel unsettled, unsure, and out of control again.  Welcome back to the land of infertility I guess.  I thought I never left but I guess I was a little farther removed then I'd realized.  Hopefully I can figure out a way to sort all this out before the big day.  I don't have too much hope on that one right now though.  We'll see.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Your Advice Please

I have a lot of thoughts rumbling around in my head but all my time today went to Bean, my mother-in-law, and commenting on other people's blogs, so those will have to wait.  I do have a question that I'd like to get out there though because I'd like some advice.

As I mentioned in last months intro for ICLW (which you can read here, I should have linked this up sooner for those of you who are visiting for the first time, sorry!), I started a moms group for people who started their families through infertility treatments or adoption.  It's been going really well and I'm realizing how needed this group is.  People are traveling from an hour or two away to come, which I think shows that we need more groups like this out there!  But it also makes me realize that I bet a lot of local people would love to join if they knew that it existed.

Which brings me to my question.  It seems to me that one of the best places to advertise this group could be at my RE's office, but it also seems like that could be one of the worst places to advertise it.  I'm sure there are other moms who are going to that office to try for their second, third, or more babies, but I also know that there are a lot of women going there who are still waiting on their first miracle.  I do not want to do anything to make their lives more difficult or make their time in that office any more stressful.  What do you all think.  Would advertising a support group for infertile moms at the RE's office be totally thoughtless to the patients there that aren't yet moms?  If so, any other ideas as to how I could get the word out?  I'm already leaning in one direction myself, but I'm curious to hear what all of you have to say.  I respect your opinions so much, thank you in advance!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Feeling Greedy

I keep thinking about that appointment that I made with the RE.  I was really excited the day that I made it and I just don't feel as excited anymore.  I feel a lot of things, but I'm having a hard time putting it all into words.  Mostly I just keep feeling like I'm rocking the boat I guess.  Upsetting the status quo.  When we were trying to have Bean it felt like everything was going wrong.  We were just getting ready to start down the road toward IVF when we found out that our last IUI worked and we were pregnant.  Every time I thought something bad was happening during the pregnancy, it resolved itself.  After we got our BFP, we really were blessed.  We got our happy ending and I have been reveling in every minute of it since.  So I can't help but feel like I'm being a little greedy thinking that we can go back and do this all again with such a good outcome.  I feel like a little kid who got away with having candy for dinner and now I'm going to ask for dessert.  Shouldn't I just be thankful for what I walked away with without going back and trying again?

It's a hard place to be.  I keep going back and forth in my mind.  Bean is our miracle.  She will always be our miracle no matter what.  If we're lucky enough to have another baby, they'll be our miracle too.  My desire to have more babies has nothing to do with Bean in a certain way and in other ways it has everything to do with Bean.

It's always been my dream to be a mama.  To have a house full of babies.  A boisterous, close knit family which is pretty much the opposite of what I had.  I always imagined my yard full of kids toys, my garage filled with strollers and bikes, and little voices all over the house attached to sticky hands grasping at mine.  I love that dream and a few years ago I went through a really rough time when I thought I had to let go of it.  I still have those days, when I feel like the dream is just that, and reality is much different, and I know that may very well be the case.  Bean may be the only baby, the only bike, the only little voice, and the only set of sticky hands.  And that's okay!  That's not to say that it won't hurt or make me sad if I have to give up that dream, I think any time you do there's some amount of mourning that you go through.  But I know how incredibly lucky I am to have experienced pregnancy, to see what a baby that's a combination of hubby and myself is like, to be a mama at all.  But I'm just not ready to give up on my dream, not yet, for me and for Bean.

Personally, I don't get along very well with my brother.  We are very different people living very different lives and we butt heads all the time.  I've always wanted a better sibling relationship for Bean.  I hope she'll have a sibling that she can have fun with, tell secrets to, depend on, and be a role model for.  I  know she'll be okay as an only child, but I really just want to be sure that she has someone who is there for her once we aren't.  I can't control the friends who come into and out of her life, or the partners, but I can try to create a family for her.  And I also think that Bean would be an amazing big sister.  I know she's still little, but I can see it in her.  She already has a baby doll that she likes to carry around and love. She takes pup pup his toys all the time and helps give him his breakfast and dinner.  I think she would be great and I'd love her to have the chance.

But it makes me feel greedy and like I'm asking for too much to think that any of that could really come true.  I feel like, as crazy as it sounds, somehow I'm risking the good things I have by asking for more.  Like you can't have too much good in your life, so if you try to take too much, then you'll have to have some bad to balance it.  It may sound crazy, but that's what my brain is thinking.  What am I wishing upon us by asking for more babies?  Should I just be content with what I have and be thankful that we had a miracle happen for us once?

These are the moments when I wish that I was normal.  Because somehow I can't imagine that fertile people out there think about anything like this when they're deciding to have more babies.  There may be a lot of thought that goes into it (or not) but I just can't see it being thought like this.  When something is easy for you to get, it doesn't seem greedy to take as much as you want.  But then that moment is followed directly by another where Bean says "Mom-me!" with her little pony tail on the top of her head and her dancing eyes and I am so very thankful that I'm not normal.  Because if I was, I know it would be different.  I would be different.  She would be different.  This is the road that got us here, for better or for worse.  And this is the one that's taking us forward.  And somehow I have to take this baggage along and go forward without making myself crazy in the process.  I'm still working on that part.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I did it!

I just called the RE and scheduled an appointment for August to talk to her about trying for number two.  I've been thinking about it for a long time but just couldn't get myself going to do it.  Then I saw how much Bean could really roll with the punches on this trip we just took and started thinking a lot about how long we wanted to have between babies, if we have any control over it.  So all the sudden I felt ready and I just sat down and did it. And it felt really good.  Scary, but good.

Vacation Revelations

We just got back from our "vacation" a few days ago.  I use the word vacation loosely because I always think of a vacation as something relaxing that you come back from feeling refreshed and ready to go.  I came back feeling exhausted and like I needed about 3 days to sleep it off.  We have a lot of family and friends in different places, so our vacations often turn into trips to visit folks we don't get to see very often.  Often it involves Hubby's family too.  There is good and bad in all of this, and while it is very tempting to use this post to rant about all the frustrating and exhausting things that happened in the last week and a half, instead I'm going to focus on some things I learned on this vacation.  It may not have helped me recharge my batteries, but it did give me new perspective on my life, and that's worth an awful lot.  So here's what I learned.

-I have an amazing husband.  Amazing.  He is so great with Bean, he's so supportive of me, he's funny and silly but knows when to be serious.  He helps me stay calm when I'm starting to lose my cool and he knows when I need a little reminder to just chill out and stop getting so worked up about things.  I realize more and more how lucky I am to have not only a husband, but a partner in life.  He helps with everything and doesn't expect me to take on the role of parent or home caretaker alone.  I am so very thankful for him.

-Bean is more able to go with the flow then I am.  I had a lot of worries about this trip related to Bean because there wasn't a lot of concern about her schedule or about baby proofing so that she'd be in a safer/easier environment.  I almost broke down a couple times with the anticipation of how hard it was going to be for her to play and sleep in our surroundings.  Well, she was just fine.  She didn't touch what she was told not to touch and she slept better on our trip then she has at home in awhile.  She was able to deal with the fact that we stayed in three different places with different people.  The only real problem that she had was that she didn't want to eat a lot of the food that she was offered, but I was prepared for that and had back ups.  She totally made me realize that I have to give her the opportunity to try things more often because she can handle what's thrown at her.

-I have to be less of a control freak.  If my 14 month old can deal with all this change and doesn't bat an eye when her nap is late or dinner is early or our normal schedule is completely thrown out the window, then I need to be better about dealing with it too.  On the outside, you'd probably never know that I'm having any kind of a problem, because I try to make sure that my craziness doesn't effect the other people we're spending time with, on the inside though I'm definitely having trouble giving up my control freak tendencies and am usually a big ball of stress.  I relax more as time goes by, but I admit that I do have a hard time, and I need to work on that.

-I love my house.  I was so happy to come home.  It's so cozy and comfy and it's safe for Bean.  I love her nursery.  I love rocking her to sleep in her big, comfy glider and snuggling her into her crib.  I love watching her run around and dance to her favorite music and I love that she can play in our fenced yard without having to worry about cars or neighbors or anything else.  I love how comfortable she is here and how she feels like she can be herself.  I love the moments when she starts babbling at the tree out her window or when she runs away without a diaper on and her little naked tush disappears around the corner.  I am so blessed to have such a wonderful home and yes, I wish I had more time to keep it more orderly, but it's ours and I love it and I am SO happy to be back here.

-Finally, as much as I complain about the fact that I wish all of my friends lived in the same place and weren't spread out across the country, I am so thankful for the fact that I have these friends.  It's nice to know that when you're in a new place, you have familiar faces to see there, and while I do wish that I got to see them much more often, we make the most of our time together and I'm just really thankful to have such wonderful people in my life.  People who you can be stressed and crazy around but they still remember who you really are without all the nuttiness.  People who have seen the hardest times in your life and now can really celebrate the victories with you.  People who understand you and who you don't have to explain yourself to.  People who it's just easy to be with and who you love more each time you see them, even when you don't think it's possible to love them any more.

It wasn't a relaxing vacation for sure, but it did make me think a lot about how very lucky I am.  It also helped me learn a lot about traveling with a little one and that will hopefully make our future trips a lot easier.  In the end, it was worth it both for what I learned on this trip and because our little family got to spend every single day together for over a week.  And any time that happens, it's a good thing, no matter the circumstances.