Monday, April 30, 2012

Where I'm at right now

So I realize that I've already fallen down on the job of posting my Sunday inspiration and I'm only on the second week, but I have a good excuse!  So I'll jump back on it next week.  This last weekend was just too busy because we went away, just the three of us, to celebrate Bean's birthday early.  Her second birthday is this coming Saturday, which I can't even believe.  We're having a small party for family here but decided that we wanted to do a small trip as her main gift.  Really it was a gift for all of us.  We've been so busy and focused on everyone else the last few months, we needed to focus on our little family.  So we went to "the city" and took her to the zoo and the aquarium.  She had such a good time and it was what we all needed, even though we're a little exhausted afterwards.

One thing that popped up this weekend that I wasn't expecting at all was my period.  When I had that surgery in March they told me that I'd have my end of March, beginning of April period and then we'd get started with the meds and insemination's and everything in May.  Now knowing my body, that could be more like end of May beginning of June.  Instead, I got my period at the end of last week and was totally unprepared.  Both physically and emotionally.  All the sudden I realized that we were here again, at the beginning.  And for a moment, I didn't feel ready.  Which I know is silly because we've been itching to get back at it and it seems like something always gets in the way.  But I was so focused on Bean, on making her feel special for her big day, and on just enjoying our life, that to all of the sudden throw it into upheaval.  It freaked me out.  All these what ifs started popping in my head.  What if I get depressed again, what if Bean isn't ready for a sibling, what if I mess with our wonderful little life and somehow that tips the scales and things start to go wrong.  Really wrong.  I could feel panic setting in.

I mostly managed to talk myself through it and just put it all out of my head until the weekend was over.  Then this morning when I had to head in for blood work and an ultrasound I thought about it a little more and started to let myself look at the good side.  What if it works, what if I'm pregnant again soon, what if we have another baby and are able to feel that feeling again.  That love.  That joy.  What if I'm able to see what kind of a big sister Bean will be.  I started to get hopeful and excited.  Which of course, as we all know sometimes, can be a tough place to end up.

Anyway, I went in and had the blood work and then the ultrasound.  As soon as the tech told the nurse practitioner that my lining was like 11 or 14 or something I knew that things were amiss.  I was also trying to figure out in my head how that was possible after I had the period from hell this weekend.  Anyway, the NP confirmed that my lining should be below 5 for them to get started so they would have me come back on Wednesday with the hope that the situation would fix itself (even though I'm already on day 4) and if it hasn't, then we wait until next month.  This whole, wait and see thing is starting to get old.  So if the ultrasound shows on Wednesday that things haven't gone where they need to go, I'm going to ask more questions and push a little bit.

I know that this whole thing is a roller coaster.  One minute you're up, the next your down.  Your excited, your scared, you're a mess.  I get that.  I just feel like I've been sitting there, strapped in, waiting for the darn thing to really start since January and I can't even get out of the starting gate.  Ever time I open the fridge I see that stupid syringe and at this point it's started to blend into the landscape.  Somewhere between the yogurt and the jelly are our dreams for a second baby.  And I don't know if I should feel frustrated, defeated, or relieved.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ordinary moments

My heart hurt today.  This happens to me often.  Times during the day when I pause for a moment and watch whatever Bean is doing and my heart feels so big and full of love that it doesn't feel like there is room in my chest for it.  I mean, I always feel full of love for her, but sometimes it's just so palpable.  I can't help but be overwhelmed by it for a moment, or longer.

This afternoon it was in the back yard.  Ever since Easter when we had an egg hunt, she's wanted to keep the empty eggs and her basket close at hand so that I can hide the eggs for her and we can recreate the events from Easter, minus the delicious treats inside the eggs.  This isn't the easiest venture because I'll hide a bunch of eggs while she closes her eyes, but then she wants more and more eggs to keep appearing.  So she brings the eggs she finds back to the big bowl that we store them in and goes to find more.  I then fill my pockets with the found eggs and walk around the yard trying to hide them.  The problem is that she follows me all around.  So it usually involves her bending over to pick up an egg and me chucking as many eggs as I can in the opposite direction while she's doing it.  Sometime she sees them flying through the air but instead of saying anything about my lack of subtleness, she just goes "AHH!" with excitement and runs off in pursuit.

I love every second.  She has SO much fun and it's just such an example of her life right now.  So simple in a way, and full of joy and discovery.  I was watching her today run across the yard to an egg just completely in the moment and happy and loving life.  And my chest started to get that feeling that it gets, where I just feel full to overflowing.  The tears start to come to my eyes and I just can't believe that I'm so blessed.  I can't believe she's mine and that she's so amazing and that I get to be her mama.  I know her life is going to get more complicated and the simple joys won't be quite so simple in the future, and I just want to take a snapshot of this moment for her.  I want her to remember what it looked like, what it felt like, and what makes it so special.  What makes her so special.  I'm rambling, I know I'm rambling.  I don't have a point really.  I just feel, lucky.  So very lucky to be able to love her.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday Inspiration: Remembering Funny

As promised, I'm going to start posting a blog every Sunday that inspires me to be more open and honest with my writing.  I have to start with someone I mentioned just the other day, Eve.

Back when I was trying to have a baby for the first time, I discovered Mel's giant list of blogs (thank you Mel!) and started reading and reading and reading.  At the time when I was just getting started, some were too hard to read, some had been abandoned long ago, and some I felt such a connection to.  The first one that I really felt connected to was Eve's blog.  Then she was writing at Infertility Rocks and she was also trying to get pregnant, but for the second time.  It seemed like everything that I was going through (for example, the great med delivery) she went through just a few weeks before me and she wrote so honestly but also with such humor.  I was immediately drawn in and felt like she was helping me along the way.

Eve and I found out that we were pregnant on the same day and although at that time I was just a blog stalker and never commented so she never knew (which I deeply regret), we were going through a lot of things together.  I learned all kinds of things about pregnancy from Eve and she continued to inspire me.  My heart shattered for her the day that I heard she had lost one of her twins, her little guy Will.  And I wouldn't have blamed her for dropping off the web completely at that point.  But she didn't.  She kept blogging, talking about what she was going through, what her family was going through, and let me (and the world) into what must have been one of the most difficult times of her life.

Eve's blog literally changed my life.  First by being there when I so badly needed someone, even though she didn't know it.  Secondly, she inspired me to start my own blog, once again without knowing it.  I felt like if Eve could have done all of this for me without knowing it, then maybe I could do the same for someone else.  So I started writing.  And I'm so very glad that I did.  Eve continues to write as well, and she continues to be one of the blogs that I think of when I'm struggling to find my own voice.  The courage, grace, and humor that she faces life with, and shares with the rest of us, they're pretty awesome.  So thank you Eve, for being one of my blog inspirations and for sharing your story.

Friday, April 20, 2012

My first attempt at greater honesty

So normally I wouldn't write this post.  I'd think about this morning all day in my free moments because it really annoyed me, but I'd wait until hubby got home, or one of my girlfriends called, and unload it on them instead.  But in an effort to bring more of myself to my blog, I'm going to tell you about it instead.

This morning Bean and I went to story hour at the library.  We haven't been in awhile and I was really looking forward to going even though our friends who go wouldn't be there today.  Our children's librarian is amazing.  She always has fun stories and songs for the kids and then some kind of activity for them to do.  Today I was so excited because she had big boxes of dirt and everybody got to plant seeds and take them home to watch them grow.  Bean and I have read lots of books about things growing and gardens in preparation for planting our own, so I knew she'd be excited.  What surprised me though was how grumpy most of the other parents were about it.

First of all, one of the strangest things about our story hour is that most of the parents dress their kids like they're going to church or something.  They all are dressed up and I'm not sure why.  Is it to show off, for fun, or is that the kind of thing they wear everyday?  Bean was there in her little leggings and short sleeved top.  She had a grass stain on her knee, and to be honest, I could care less.  Anyway, most of the parents today seemed annoyed that there kids might get dirty and that they might get dirty with them.  If they let them plant seeds at all, they just swooped in, got it done super fast, and got out of there as quickly as they could.

It reminded me of the time our awesome librarian took the time and effort to get cardboard boxes for every kid that they could decorate and make into a car.  She set up roads through the library with signs and we got to push them all around and pretend they were driving.  It was so much fun!  At least I thought so. There was a lot of complaining that day too and a lot of parents left their cars behind so they wouldn't have to "deal with them" at home, as their kids screamed all the way out the door.

On top of the dirt situation today, what irked me in general was just the attitude that I kept hearing from different people.  Complaints about this part of parenthood or that.  There was a mom there who hadn't been before who had twins.  I heard so many of the other moms tell her they didn't know how she did it.  That they would have to be on anti anxiety drugs if they had two kids at once.  They were describing this terrible situation and it just made my heart hurt.  For them, for their kids, and for this poor woman.  Undoubtedly it's hard having multiples, but why doesn't it ever jump to anyone's mind that it could be rewarding as well??

I was so frustrated by the general attitude in the room that we took off early.  And this is a feeling I end up having often.  I've tried a couple moms groups and every time I just don't feel like I belong.  I totally agree that motherhood, parenthood, is hard.  I have had my moments of frustration and exhaustion where all I can do is just sit down and cry.  But I also realize what an incredible gift I've been given.  I know try to seize every moment with Bean because I know that this could be my only child and I may never get to have these moments, at this age again.  I am so incredibly aware everyday of the fact that I'm an infertile mama and that if things had gone a different way, I might still be waiting and hoping to be one.

I realize that it's unrealistic to ask everyone in the world to get it, to understand what I feel like.  I guess I just have a hard time swallowing it when all I hear is the difficulties associated with being a parent, because while it is the most difficult thing I have ever done (both in the journey to get here and beyond) it is also by far the most rewarding.  I wouldn't trade a single second.  And I have a hard time surrounding myself with people who don't feel the same way.  I guess in the end that's my problem not theirs.  But I still haven't really figured out how to be part of groups like this.  And to be honest, there are many days like today where I wonder if I even want to.  I mostly do it for Bean and watching her today planting her seeds, watering them, and carefully bringing them home, it made it worth it.  Even if I am still feeling annoyed well after it's all over.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thoughts on my much belated blogoversary

I've been neglecting my blog.  It's easy to say that life has been busy, I've been overwhelmed, etc.  It's easy to make excuses and find other things to do then sit down and write, but that's not why I'm not sitting down and writing.  You see, I realized a few weeks ago that my blogoversary had passed by, and I started thinking about why I started this blog a year ago and if it had achieved the things that I wanted it to achieve. And I realized that the answer to that is, kind of.  I mean, I really wanted to be part of a community that understood my perspective on life and parenting through the lense of infertility, and I am.  I really wanted to be able to voice my feelings about everything, because I feel like infertility has changed everything in my life.  And I'm not even close to doing that.

I started to really realize that when I was reading a post awhile back that the lovely Eve wrote in response to the whole PAIL (Parenting After Infertility or Loss) situation started.  In part, that post was about censorship.  Which made me start thinking about my blog and what I say, or more importantly what I don't say.  I actually wrote a blog post about the whole thing.  Which of course none of you ever read because I never published it.  I didn't publish it for one of the million reasons that I don't publish lots of the posts that are sitting in my archives, never having been read by anyone but me.  What if it says something that would offend someone, or what if I'm writing about this community but I don't really "belong" enough to be writing about it.  What if somebody I know finds this blog and realizes it's me.  What if I've said something that hurts their feelings.  What if I say something that hurts anyone who reads it.  I could go on, but I'll spare you.

There are so many ways that I censor my writing.  Down to the fact that I realized all of my posts, even the ones where I am so worn out or worn down and just am feeling desperate, always end on an up note.  Because I feel blessed by my life and I don't want to sound like I'm complaining.  I can never just say that I'm having a hard time.  I have to say that I'm having a hard time, but it's okay, and sometimes it just isn't.  I censor so much, that I wonder how much of myself actually comes out here at all.  I realized that I'm trying so hard to make sure that nobody knows who I am or is hurt by what I might say, that nobody knows anything about me really.  I'm this shadow of a person because I check every single word that comes out of my mouth.  I'm like an infertile stepford wife.  And I don't feel good about that.

I'm so impressed with all of the people I've gotten to know who share so much of themselves.  I know it can't be easy, especially the kinds of thoughts and feelings that come when you're part of this community.  And I want to be more like that.  You all deserve to know the real me, because you've given me the opportunity to know the real you.  And so I'm going to start challenging myself.  Challenging myself to be more real, to let down my guard, and to talk about who I am and not just vague shadows of what I think.  I can't promise I'll be good at it, but I hope you'll stick with me as I try.

As part of that, I also want to highlight other bloggers who really inspire me.  Inspire me with their honesty, their openness, and what seems like an easy ability to know themselves and know their blogs.  So every Sunday I'm going to start the week with this bit of inspiration as a way to drive myself all week long.  I'm going to focus first on bloggers that I already know, but I'm also on the search for new blogs that inspire me as well.  If there's anyone that you'd like to recommend, please do!

So it's taken me quite some time to get this whole post written but it feels so good to do it.  I feel like this year of my blog is going to be the year that I figure things out more and that I open up and am able to be more of myself.  I know, here I am ending on on up note again, but this time I mean it.  It's scary to open up and let people know more about your true self, but it can also be so rewarding.  And that's what I'm focused on.  Because what's the point of doing all this work to edit myself.  If I'm going to do that, why bother blogging at all.  Which I'm surly not ready to stop doing yet.  I have too much I'm just itching to say.