Cosmic Reverse Psychology Session

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Cannot believe it is December 31, again. Can you stand another year-in-review post?

Maybe you should go back and read my post from last year on December 31. Then you will understand my title.

We had battled and lost, and last year at this time, we had pretty much given up hope of expanding our family. We had convinced ourselves that we were just as excited about eating organically and playing with our dogs as we would have been about decorating a nursery. And for all practical purposes, we truly were excited about those things. When you don't have an alternative, of course you are going to go bananas about making a fancy meal on a Wednesday night and teaching your dogs new tricks.

So I had decided to be bold and specifically NOT wish for a baby in 2011. I guess it was part self-preservation and part screw-you-infertility, but whatever it was- hell if I was going to tell myself that I'd have a baby in 2011 and have that empty prediction come crashing down again.

My friend always told me that God was going to knock my socks off when it came to expanding our family. I mostly believed her, but let's face it, after all the time of being without a child, I could never quite believe her 100%. I kept watching Him knock everyone else's socks off, and meanwhile, my socks were decidedly ON.

I will ask God someday why He waited to bless us with a child until we had give up 99.9% of hope of being parents. Maybe what I wrote last year was more true than I knew:

"But I also think that if we are to die to ourselves in following Christ, that means to give up our dreams in place of what God might have for us. And with this concept, that does mean giving up hope that your dreams will come true."

I had definitely given up on my dreams of how/when we'd have children. I think my thought pattern was something like "Supposedly God has something good in store for me, so I guess I will just have to lollygag around until whatever it is that is "so great" happens. If it is really going to happen."

I don't mean to imply that we should all start praying for our intentions as if God is playing a cruel game of Opposite Day. Actually, I think with respect to women struggling with infertility, it is the success stories of women who have given up or decided to adopt and then became pregnant which are sometimes the hardest. No one wants to hear that all you need to do is stop obsessing over getting two lines on a pee stick.

It goes without saying that 2011 has been the best year of my life. (2005 is a close second for when we got married.) I never in my wildest imagination thought we would conceive naturally after all we had been through, and I certainly didn't think it would happen this year. I was confident that 2011 would be a good year, but that was more like "Oh yah, I'm sure our dogs will be obedient this year" or "Won't it be neat to go to the winery down the street for their summer Friday picnics?" or "Let's buy some extravagant fancy car just because we won't have to pay for college".

I am so thankful for all that 2011 has meant to our family. Especially the arrival of our baby girl.

I hope that if we hadn't conceived like we did, that I would still be thankful for 2011. It's all hypothetical, but I hope that I would still have relished in the things that are blessings in our lives and held those as an example that no matter the size of our family, we are still very fortunate.

2012, you are coming after quite the year. 2011 set the bar way up high, and it is going to be a hard act to follow. But I will echo what I said last year, in that I hope that in 2012, we will continue loving each other and our dogs, paying down our mortgage, reading good books, making wonderful food (now in the crockpot), and falling asleep at 9:15pm (okay maybe now by the time I get the kitchen cleaned up it is more like 9:30 or 10). We are so grateful that we have baby M to love this year, and we pray she will grow healthy and happy and strong and that we will be good parents to her. I don't know what specifically 2012 will hold, but I hope it's a year of health and happiness for our family and friends. And no more cosmic reverse psychology, okay?

Almost drowned in Christmas

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I should be sorting laundry or putting away Christmas decorations or, heck, eating breakfast or going back to bed- things I can't really do that well when M is awake, but I wanted to get some reflections on "paper" about our first Christmas as a family of three.

Bottom line, there were many days when I was sure that I would be swallowed up by the preparations of Christmas this year. M is not a very good napper now that she is "older", and when she is awake, of course all I want to do is play with her, so that doesn't make for good conditions for a decorated house or perfectly wrapped gifts. Or Christmas cookies. Or anything else that I would have finished in the second week of December any other year of my life.

Because this year I was a little distracted by an amazing blessing. And I wouldn't trade her for any timely decorations or Christmas cookies.

But I felt a little guilty. It's her first Christmas after all, and isn't it supposed to be perfect? Don't tell her, but we didn't even wrap her gifts from us. (The ones from her aunts/uncles/grandparents were wrapped, of course.) As we were bleary-eyed wrapping one night at 10pm, we couldn't see the point in wrapping gifts that we would be unwrapping for her a week later. She didn't know the difference, right?

We never made it to take her to see Santa. We forgot to take a picture of the three of us in our Christmas outfits (we remembered while she still had her dress on, but we had already gotten into jeans..).

But it all came together. Mr. A helped out alot more than he has ever helped before, and I couldn't have done it without him. We had a nice time visiting his family, and everyone was very thoughtful with their gifts.

It is hard to believe Christmas is already "over", but deep down I am sort of glad. There is so much outside pressure for everything to be perfect, and it was a little overwhelming for me as a new mom. I think it ended up being perfect in its own way, and that's what I'm going to hang onto, not feeling guilty because it wasn't more perfect by someone else's standards.

Because after all, she is a perfect gift to our family, and she is worth celebrating every day of the year :)

Unfortunate Debate

Monday, December 19, 2011

Mr. A and I know this couple whose relationship is, on many accounts, completely toxic.

For the last 15 years, person B has been verbally abusive, manipulative, controlling, and disrespectful to person C on an almost daily basis.

Person C tries as hard as they can to let person B's tantrums go, but sometimes person C fights back.

This weekend, one of their fights became physical.

No one is seriously injured, and they have already done what they always do: go their separate ways for a few hours and then return home and pretend nothing ever happened. (GRRR!!)

So here is what Mr. A and I agree upon: Arguments should never be physical. If you feel yourself getting to that point, you need to just leave the area.

But here is our debate: After years of verbal abuse, is it understandable, if person C just couldn't take it anymore, and in a moment of desperation, person C lashed out physically?

I am not a huge victim sympathizer (e.g., don't whine to me if you get mugged in an alley at 230am all by yourself- you shouldn't have been there in that situation!), and so I will admit that it is beyond reason that person C has remained in this relationship. They shouldn't stay in a verbally abusive environment and then complain about it. But I suspect that person C thinks that staying is the "right" thing to do (for better or worse, right?), so that is why they stay.

I grew up in a manipulative, occasionally verbally abusive environment, and there were plenty of times that I wanted to slam the perpetrator's head into a wall. I get how awful it is to live like that.

Mr. A says that there is no excuse for violence in a relationship. He is a believer in "sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me". Hypothetically I agree with him, but when you get blasted every day, you get very worn down. He says that doesn't matter- walk you butt out the door before you let it get under your skin.

Of course, neither person B or C is blameless. Person B should learn to control their mouth, and person C should learn to walk away. One person I was telling this story to said, where is person C going to go? I don't care where they go, but if they keep this behavior up, they're going to be going to jail (if the fights continue to be physical and someone calls the authorities)!! I don't know all the legal stuff, but I'm pretty sure that if they get reported, the powers that be aren't going to care about verbal abuse, just who threw the punch?

Bottom line, person C should have left before person B's words made their blood boil. But I can understand why person C lost it. It's a very sad situation.

What do you think?

Overwhelming Gratitude

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Today M got her 2-month shots. I was dreading the day, and I thought I'd cry more than she would, but luckily, I didn't cry at all, and she was in remarkably good spirits the rest of the day, considering she got stuck three times in the leg.

But she has been a little extra cuddly, and while I was reading some books to her tonight, as she was falling asleep, I was looking at her and just overcome with gratitude for her. I don't deserve her, and the fact that she knows that I'm her mom and that I will do anything in my power to help her relax and be calm and happy is just incomprehendable.

Last year at this time, I was blaring my Josh Groban Noel Christmas CD (I'm still listening this year, just not blaring). There is a song on there called "Thankful". If you've never heard it, click play below and listen.

There are a few lines that brought tears to my eyes last year for the hope they held, and they bring tears to my eyes this year for what has happened in our lives since then.

"So for tonight, we pray for what we know can be
And on this day, we hope for what we still can't see"

Just like infertility colors your entire world, I sang this song last year with my ache for a baby in my mind and in my heart. There were many many days I was so sure that we just wouldn't be parents, but somehow I prayed for it anyway because there was a tiny space in my heart that believed it could happen. I prayed for a baby despite everything, knowing all that we'd tried, all that had failed, knowing that we had pretty much resigned ourselves to being a family of two. Goodness knows, I couldn't see that in a little more than a month later, we'd get the surprise of our lives.

But not knowing what was in store for us, we had decided to change our perspective, to really celebrate and give thanks for the blessings we'd been given. It was quite a paradigm shift, and it took a while to get used to. But I could appreciate the lyrics...

"It's up to us to be the change
And even though this world needs so much more
There's so much to be thankful for."

This year I'm having trouble believing that we're celebrating Christmas with a baby in our arms. It seems too good to be true. This was my dream that I was sure would never be real. I just cannot put into words how thankful I am for our baby girl. I hope these "year later" posts are not getting old, but they are all I think about these days.

I know that every one of you waiting for your little one feels like your prayer for a baby is one that can't be. Will you keep hoping for what you can't see right now?


Wednesday, December 07, 2011

It is really hard to write the wanted ad for the nanny you're seeking to take care of your little one. I mean, how do you even put into words what you're looking for, and more importantly, how are you going to find someone who is as delighted as you are when she goes squealing away in her bouncy seat?

I am also in need of some sanity. I'm feeling kind of off today, and for the last few days, and the first thought I had is "maybe I'm pregnant". (Don't worry, I cannot believe in any remote sense of the word that that's the case. It was just the first thing I thought of, and it totally cracked me up given our 4-year stint to conceive baby M.) Come on!! Ha!! I have seriously lost my mind!!!

{I honestly do not know how infant moms blog regularly. I really want to get back here more often- bear with me!}