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.