Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Slow Down, Take a Breath

It's been a crazy day.  A crazy week actually.  I feel like I've become a person who's always in a hurry.  I'm in a hurry to get ready in the morning, to make dinner, to get errands done, to get toys cleaned up, to get phone calls made, etc.  I have too much to do, not enough time to do it, and so I feel like I'm not doing any of it well.  The perfectionist in me doesn't like this one bit.

And, I feel like I'm not the person I want to be when I'm always in a hurry like this.  I'm not as kind, patient, or thoughtful as I would like to be.  I got home from errands and lunch today to realize that I could barely remember any of the conversations or interactions that I had.  I did have this nagging feeling in my stomach though that I wasn't exactly thrilled with the person that I was when I was out.  I try to treat everyone I come in contact with the way that I would want to be treated and I can't say that I did that.  I can't even remember if I did that!

I'm tired of being in a rush.  I want to slow down, enjoy my life, enjoy by Bean who is growing so fast already, I don't need to speed it up at all!  So something has to give.  If I'm recommitting to myself, what can I cut?  I honestly don't know right now, but I've got some thinking to do.

Monday, March 28, 2011


I don't know anyone else, but where I am, we're ready for Spring.  I always love Spring, it's one of my favorite times of year.  The calendar may say that it's here, but it isn't yet.  You know it's Spring when you hear the birds in the morning, when the buds start popping on the trees, and when the air smells like it. You know that smell, when everything smells fresh and earthy.  I'm so ready.

I always love Spring because it feels like the world is rewarding you for getting through the Winter.  Don't get me wrong, there are things I love about the Winter too, but by this point I'm done.  I'm done with the big bulky coats, the days being trapped inside as the snow, icy, or wind whips around outside the window, or the days when it looks so sunny and beautiful that it lures you out only to have your breath taken away by the bitter cold.  It's sneaky and it makes me yearn for Spring.  It feels like a gift, a recommitment.  The world saying, okay, I know I was tough on you for the last 4 months but you did it, it's over, and Summer is on the way.  You get to watch the earth come alive again, hear the sound of people outside, smell all those good smells in the air.

Spring is also a time when I can always drag myself out of a funk.  It's easy to keep dragging your heels when it's cold outside and the world feels kind of slow and sleepy.  Spring feels like a kick in the butt, a reminder to take a deep breath and get the most out of everyday.  This year, I need that kick in the butt.  I realized that for the last 4 years, I have been committed to lots of things, but never to myself.  For two years I was committed to making a baby, then I was committed to growing a baby, and most recently I've been committed to nurturing a baby.  It's been four years since I really focused on myself, and it shows.  I have lost all of my pregnancy weight, but I'm still hanging on to those pounds of infertility weight that I gained.  I don't take time for myself anymore.  I'm lucky if I get a shower everyday or am wearing clothes without a mystery stain let alone thinking about things like blow driers, mascara, or accessories.  I don't take time to read a book, or get out on my own for a little while.  I just haven't done it.

I feel like this blog was my first step in recommitting to myself.  I finally can acknowledge that I need to find an outlet for my thoughts and others who can understand where I'm coming from.  I feel really good that I'm here, doing this now.  I'm ready for more though.  I want to focus on myself, just a tiny bit.  I want to have those moments that I feel like are just for me, I want to feel good about myself, and I want to feel like I look as full of life as I feel.  I'm ready for it, I'm ready to put the whipping wind at my back and look toward those warm, sunny days.  I know it's not going to be easy, but I'm going to try.

Friday, March 25, 2011

ICWLers, You're Amazing

First, I have to say that my blog has been a bit neglected this week because I've been spending any online time that I have on everyone else's blogs.  Hopefully I can have something more insightful to post next week.

It has been such a privilege to visit all the blogs that I have through ICWL and to read all the powerful stories of people in this community.  I am kicking myself black and blue for not doing this years ago.  I felt so alone for so long, and it was completely unnecessary.  I have so much respect for the guts it takes to blog about this experience, and I didn't have the guts then, but I'm glad that I'm here now and hopefully finding a place for myself here, and the blogosphere in general.

This week has been exhausting in a couple ways too.  First, I'm not the kind of person who just clicks on five blogs, comments, and is done.  I must have visited every blog on the list, multiple times.  I wanted to comment when I felt compelled to, and not because I had five comments to leave that day.  On top of that, reading all those blogs takes you all over the world of infertility and it brought back a lot of thoughts and emotions.  Part of me put all of those feelings, thoughts, and experiences in a box and packed them on a shelf for awhile after Bean was born.  Reading the post I wrote about my infertility story now, I would write it totally differently.  I forgot things.  I forgot about our chemical pregnancy, or my MTHFR diagnosis.  When I was in the middle of my fight for Bean, I could have rattled of every diagnosis, dates of every cycle, doses of medications, and so on.  I still remember all that stuff, but it was in that box.  I thought I could pack it away for awhile and just be Bean's mama.  Not Bean's infertile mama.  I could deal with the way that infertility changed me as a parent but I stopped remembering the infertility part.  This week brought that all back.  And for that I'm thankful.

I'm thankful because when Bean was born we said we'd go back to the RE when she was a year old just to talk about trying for number two.  We knew we might not be ready yet, but we wanted to see what she thought about it.  Well that's a month and a half away!  If we really want to do that, I have to make that appointment now.  I have to go back to that office and feel all those things, and be the person I was back then again.

I'm also thankful because it's totally ridiculous of me to think that I can just pack up those bits and pieces of me.  Because even though they may seem small, they add up to something big, and I need to be able to deal with all of it.

So thank you all for letting me in (and continuing to), letting me be a part of your experience, and helping me come to terms with my own.  I think it's time to rewrite my infertility story and maybe start looking at the next chapter.  

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Read any good books lately?

About 4 years ago, before my journey through infertility and into mamahood started, one of my favorite things to do was sit down with a good book.  Then all of my reading switched over to books about infertility, PCOS, making babies, growing babies, raising babies, helping babies sleep, living with little to no sleep, teaching babies sign language, you get the idea.  So in an attempt to get back to a little bit of that person I used to know and love, I want to start reading for fun again!  But I need some help and recommendations.  I'm never good at finding new books to read.  I find an author that I like, read everything they've written, and then start looking again.  I also used to read a lot of Young Adult books.  Partially because of my teaching background and partially because I just think there are some amazing YA books out there.  Anyway, please share a book you love with me so that I can get back to it!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Question for ICLWers

I'm really excited to be blogging and participating in my first ICLW but I started second guessing myself as soon as I started to comment on other people's blogs.  Most of the blogs I want to comment on are written by people who are struggling with primary infertility and still waiting for their miracle.  I know that when I was in that position, some days I wanted to hear from people like me who had struggled like I did but who were successful in the end, and some days I didn't.  I don't want to pop into someones corner of the world and bring any more hardship then they already have and I don't want to be another reminder just like the random people who pop up pregnant all the sudden.  At the same time though, I can relate so much to all of it.  Once again, I feel like an infertile who doesn't belong.  So I'd like to hear from people who have done this before.  Am I worrying too much?

Monday, March 21, 2011

My first IComLeavWe!

Welcome to anyone stopping by from IComLeavWe!  If you're new to my blog, well, so am I.  I just started blogging a few weeks ago and am still getting my feet wet.  I started thinking about starting a blog long ago when we were in the midst of our infertility treatments.  Now, about 2 years later, I'm a SAH mama to a beautiful 10 month baby girl (Bean) and am in love with my ordinary life.  I am still dealing with how much infertility changed my life and myself, and the knowledge that we may be back on that road again sooner then later.  I'm also struggling to find my place in a world where I don't feel like a fertile or infertile anymore.  So stick around (and let me know you were here!).  Right now I've been flushing through the past, but I'm ready to look toward the future.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Getting to know myself again

One of the reasons that I think I've had a hard time finding people that I feel like I connect with lately, is because I'm not really sure who I am anymore.  I know who I am as a mama.  That's one part of me that I feel very strongly grounded in.  The rest of me though feels kind of, lost.  I have lost myself and my confidence and I know that it's because of the way that infertility changed the path of my life.

Right after Hubby and I got married, we moved to a new town for his job.  I had left my job at the end of the previous school year because I knew I would be leaving part way through the next year and didn't want to leave a class of kids with a long-term sub.  So I took what I thought would be a temporary job, which I really wasn't that interested in, to pay the bills.  When we moved, my boss offered to keep me on and I could work from home, which seemed like a good idea at the time, until we got settled.  BAD IDEA.  First of all, it's really hard to meet new people when you move if you don't have a job or kids.  Second, I didn't really love that job, and I ended up staying another year.  It just wasn't good.

I stayed because we had started all of the appointments at the RE and my job was really flexible.  I couldn't figure out how to teach and try to have a baby.  So I didn't.  Well, I finally quit my job because it was getting too stressful.  My last week of work was when I had the miscarriage.  It wasn't a good time.  I had planned on substitute teaching once I stopped working and I kept finding excuses not to get started.  I was worried it would be too stressful, I thought it still might be hard to coordinate doctors appointments and work, I would start after my surgery, and on and on.  Looking back now I realize that I was depressed and really low on confidence.  My usual self would have known I could go into any classroom and do a good job, but this version of myself was scared that I couldn't do it, so I didn't.

My "break" from work went from weeks to months.  I interviewed for some part time jobs but couldn't find one that really seemed like the right fit.  I did a lot of volunteer work.  I still wasn't myself.  I didn't feel good about myself or confident.  I felt powerless.  Powerless in my abilities to start our family and powerless in life.  We had failed cycle after failed cycle and it just got worse.  I didn't talk to my closest friends or family about it because it didn't seem like they understood.  We put a lot of things on hold because it was too hard to do during all the fertility treatments.  Life stood still.

We finally took a big leap and little Pup Pup joined the family.  He was the perfect distraction and I threw myself into being a puppy mama completely.  He helped us find a good place again and we started trying to think positively about our upcoming cycle.  The last one before IVF.  I won't drag things out any longer (now anyway) and just say that I truly believe that had something to do with why we were successful.  And I am so very thankful that we were and Bean is a part of our family now.

What I realized though, now that we're more distant from that time in our lives, is that it's not only always with me, but it took something from me.  I used to be really confident, and feel good about myself.  Being social was fun and meeting new people was easy.  I didn't over think things as much.  I am not the same person I was 4 years ago and I'm not sure I really like everything about who I am now.  Like I said, I love the mama side of me and I feel completely confident in that part of my life but I've lost a lot of who I used to be and I need to get to know myself again.  I think the first step in doing that is letting go a little bit of who I used to be.  I'm happy with where I am in my life now, and the road that we took, as difficult as it may have been and as much as it may have changed me, it's what got me here.  So for that, I am thankful.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Finding my place

I've been trying to find a moms group to join since most of my friends don't have families or babies yet.  I have to admit, I have a hard time joining new groups.  I've never been a really outgoing person and while I always have a pretty easy time making friends once I get up the courage to go and join something, it's getting up the courage that takes awhile.  I've been thinking about doing this ever since Bean was born but it wasn't until lately that I realized just how much we both need it.  So I finally got brave and got in contact with a group in my area.

I admit, I only went to one event and ever since then, I've been trying to figure out where I belong.  Part of me wants to be able to go to something like this and just be my wonderfully ordinary self, without all the baggage that I have that led up to me being a mama, but that's kind of a joke I think.  If I try to ignore that, well, it just doesn't work.  When I went to this moms group, I really enjoyed getting to talk about babies and watch Bean "play" with some other kids, but I had a hard time with some of the conversation and the general vibe.  They have all of these different things for the moms to do and the kids all play while the moms do their thing. I know that will probably be fine once Bean gets older, but right now I want to do things with her. I don't just want to stick her on my lap or on the floor at my feet while I do my thing.  I want this to be a group for both of us.

As for the conversation, I just have a different perspective.  I have a really hard time complaining about anything related to motherhood or being a SAH mama.  I love it and the hard stuff, well, I figure it's all part of the job.  Any job has both good and bad stuff, you just have to make sure there is a balance.  All I need to look at that little face while I'm nursing her or rocking her to sleep, and Bean erases any of the frustration I was feeling.  I know this is a hard job, but it has amazing payoffs, and so my feeling is to focus on the fact that I feel just beyond blessed to be given the chance to be a mama instead of spending my time complaining about this, that, or the other.  I feel like there was a lot of complaining.  I don't know if this was just the specific group that I went to, or something that happens at a lot of moms groups.

So at times like this, I feel like I have much more in common with people who have been in the infertility trenches.  I just feel like it gives you a perspective on parenthood that is hard to come by otherwise.  At the same time though, I feel like I don't totally belong among the infertiles anymore.  I know that I still am infertile.  No matter what my mother-in-law thinks, we're not just going to *poof* have lots of babies on our own from now on.  We didn't unclog a drain and now the pipes work.  I still feel broken and banged up, but I have a baby.  So no matter how much I can relate to all of those wonderful souls who are going through the same battle I did (and plan to again, when we're ready), they most likely want very little to do with me.  When I go back to try for #2, I'll be the woman that I used to be so jealous of who was sitting in the waiting room at the RE's office with my little one by my side.  I will be conscious of that every single time that I go and I will most likely feel bad, every single time.

So I'm still rolling around the idea of trying to start a moms group for other mamas who started their families through adoption or infertility treatments.  I have no idea if it will work or if, once again, I can get up the guts to do something that requires putting myself out there, but I want a place.  I want to fit somewhere, and right now, I just feel like I'm stuck part way in two worlds, and I haven't figured out how to totally make that work.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

One tired mama

I'll admit it, I'm having a hard time putting together a coherent thought today.  A little over a week ago, just before she turned 10 months old, Bean started walking.  At first it was just a step here or there and then it was a few more, and now she can't get enough of it.  Just when I was getting more comfortable with the crawling and standing, she's walking.  I had just started to give her some space and wasn't convinced she was going to crack her big ol' noggin on everything (and I do mean big, 99% percentile all the way!), and now she's staggering around like a drunken baby and is totally fearless, which means she plows into everything and wipes out regularly.  I can deal with the wipe outs on the carpet, but when she ventures to the tile in the kitchen, I get super nervous and can't be more then an inch away.

All this to say, I'm back to being hyper-vigilant, and it's exhausting.  I know that some bumps and bruises are part of the process, but I'm a worrier.  I always have been.  She is adorable though and I love her little drunken stagger and how proud she is to be moving around on two feet.  I love that she wants to experience all of life and isn't content sitting and watching it go by.  And I especially love that when she took that first little step, Hubby and I were both there and we were able to have this magical family moment together.  I just wasn't expecting it so soon!  I thought I'd have at least another month of crawling and cruising to prepare myself.  I think Pup Pup thought the same thing because he is not quite sure what to make of all of it.  Especially when she wipes out and lands on him.  Poor guy.  His crate is becoming more and more of a refuge.

For now I'm off to bed with the hopes that Bean will sleep through most of the night, so tomorrow I can actually come up with something more thoughtful to say.  Until then, from those of you who have been there before, how do you deal with the nerves without resorting to buying a baby size helmet or rolls and rolls of bubble wrap?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Taking a step back

I'm so excited to get my first comments!  But it made me realize that my kind of rambly thoughts probably need to be better organized if other people are actually reading them.  It also made me realize that in the last two years of reading other people's blogs, I have never commented on any of them.  I wanted to, I guess I just always figured it didn't really matter if I commented or not.  Now I realize how foolish that idea was.  So I have to apologize to all of the wonderful people whose blogs kept me going in the last few years, I owe you many, many comments.

I also realized that I just kind of jumped right in on the posts with the assumption that if people were interested enough, they would read more info about me on my pages.  So please, read my pages!  That way hopefully you'll have some idea what I'm talking about.  In an attempt to retrace my steps a little bit though, let me tell you about why I'm wonderfully ordinary.

Whenever I meet people, and introduce myself, Hubby, and Bean, I always have this urge that I have to suppress to blurt out to people what we went through to have Bean.  I know it would make me completely socially inept, but I feel like you don't really know us until you know that about us.  Because just looking at us, we seem so normal and ordinary.  We seem like the typical all american family, even with the dog and the white fence, but I feel anything but typical, mostly because I felt so broken for so long.  I didn't work for part of the time that we were going through fertility treatments (which is another story) and when people found out that I wasn't working, but I didn't have kids, I think they thought I was some kind of freak or lazy or something.  I once again wanted to just say something like "I'm not working because I'm infertile and for me, making a baby is a full time job."  Once again, not okay.  Anyway, all I wanted and wished for during that time was to be ordinary.  To have that wonderful, ordinary life.  And now we do, and I feel deliriously lucky.  But I also know that we really aren't ordinary and so I remind myself time and again when I meet someone for the first time, or start to make my own idea of what someones life is like, that I really have no idea.  To them, I look completely ordinary (yay!) and to me, I'm always looking for the extraordinary.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be pregnant or be a parent who didn't have to fight so hard to get here.  (This idea pops in my head a lot, but this time it was brought on by a "friend" everybody's favorite social networking site who announced she was pregnant at 6 weeks.  6 WEEKS!)  My entire pregnancy was different then I had imagined pregnancy would be and that was because I knew what could happen.  Not only did I know what could happen because of the miscarriage that I had, but in my battle with IF and when I was trying to deal with the loss of our first pregnancy, I turned to blogs and the Internet.  This really helped me but it also really opened up my eyes.  I found people who were dealing with the same things I was and then I found people who dealt with much worse.

When you're in the middle of it, it's hard to realize that it could be worse.  When I had the miscarriage, it felt like the end of the world, and at that time it was.  But then I started reading about people who lost multiple babies or who actually felt that baby grow inside of them only to lose them at the very end, or after they had gotten the chance to meet them.  If I was that devastated after 5 weeks, I can't imagine what it must feel like after 40.  I learned from all that reading, all the horrible things that could go wrong, and no matter how hard I tried during my pregnancy with Bean, I couldn't shake them.  As relaxed as I tried to be, I couldn't just let go.  My dear friends tried to throw me a shower and I was so scared of celebrating Bean before she was here, that I couldn't let go of control and let them just plan something.  I don't think they understood that.  One of them said something after she saw the draft of the invitation like "it doesn't even say baby shower, this is supposed to be a celebration!" but to me, it was TERRIFYING.

In the end, Bean arrived totally healthy and has just been, this amazing presence in my life.  Every single day I am thankful for her and realize how incredibly lucky I am.  Today, I feel a little extra lucky.  I spent my free time (as little as it is with a walking 10 month old) today reading a blog about the loss of a baby.  One who graced the world for only three days.  Today I hold my baby a little closer and realize that as much as I would have loved to have had a fun filled, worry free pregnancy, it doesn't matter.  Bean is here, she's healthy, and she's mine.  And while I can celebrate that, I can also feel incredibly sad today for the woman I met who can't say that.  Today, my life is easy and ordinary and I hope that someday, this person can say that too.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Here we go!

I've been thinking about this post for a really long time.  The first post seems like a big deal.  It feels like it should be a lot of things, and so in my head I kept putting it off because I said I wanted to work on the design of the blog.  I realized though, that I just don't have the time I need right now and I'm dying to get out there.  The design aspect is just an excuse to keep me from jumping into something new and I'm going to stop worrying about it.  I can redesign as I go and completely plan to, but for now, it is what it is.  So here we go, my first post!

Today I had a pretty big epiphany.  I had lunch with one of my best friends.  We went to college together and have been friends for over a decade.  For a long time we have lived in different places but recently ended up much closer geographically.  This has been both wonderful, and a little challenging.  It's made me reevaluate our friendship because it has different parameters now.  I was in a bit of a funk yesterday trying to figure out what to do about this friendship.  I have some issues from the last few years and how this friend, and some of my others, handled (or rather didn't handle) my struggle with infertility.  I felt kind of abandoned and I'm clearly still harboring some issues from that.

So last night I had a long talk with Hubby about whether I should discuss this with my friend or not.  You see, most of my really good friends are in a totally different place in life then me.  They don't have significant others and kids are not on the horizon.  I kept trying to figure out how to put my battle with infertility and my miscarriage into terms that they could understand.  How could I force them to see what life was like for me and help us have a better friendship and more open lines of communication?  Then it hit me today.  I can't and I shouldn't.  I have been trying to fit a square peg into a round hole and it's just not worth it.

I'm not saying that I don't want to be friends with this person anymore, but I need to recognize what this friendship is and what it isn't.  I need to find friends that have what I need and what I need is someone with the ability to relate to this struggle in my life.  So I have an idea.  I think I might try starting a play group for moms who have come to parenthood through adoption or infertility.  I feel like it would be great support for any future attempts to grow our families and I really feel like my infertility struggles have changed me as a parent.  I need to find other people who relate to all this.  Now I just have to be brave and actually do it.  I totally think I can.

As for my friend, we had a nice lunch today.  I appreciate her for who she is and what an important part she's played in my life up until now, and what an important part she'll play in the future.  But I can't hold her to unrealistic expectations and hopefully in the future I'll have support in this area of my life from people who really understand it, so I won't need her to understand something that she can't.  And I really really hope this is something she can never understand, because I wouldn't wish it on anyone.