Post Christmas

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Home again, home again.  I am so grateful that we love coming home.  When I was little (and even now), my mom always resented my dad for having a job in a city 10 hours from her parents, and so every time we left my grandparents' house, she cried and cried and chewed out my dad for the first couple hours of the drive home.  My mom still cries when we leave their house- I hope she doesn't mind that I don't, but as much as it is nice to visit them, there is truly no place like home for us.  We would rather be here than anywhere else in the whole world. 

We had a very nice Christmas, and I'm very grateful for smooth travels, and I will not complain too much about the cold I brought home with me. 

I never heard from my friend, but I know that everyone deals with life's struggles differently, and if she needs some time in her shell, so to speak, then that is perfectly fine.  I will be here for her when she is ready.

I started spotting this evening, and it reminded me of 2 years ago, to the day, when I started a new cycle that would bring us our first BFP.  I would be hugely lying if I didn't tell you that I've already thought about how perfect it would be if this cycle also brought us a BFP.  But seriously that would be too easy, so let's just do our best to let that thought go right out the window.  But wouldn't that be neat?  Hahahahaha.

I hope all my readers had good Christmases, and I hope your celebrations were kind and gentle, especially to any of you who are still living with empty arms.

A note

Thursday, December 13, 2012

She emailed me back this afternoon  :)

The short and not-so-sweet is that yes, their arms are still empty, and in the meantime life has also dealt them a bunch of crap in general.  Not what any friend wants to hear about another but I was just glad to hear anything.  She is going to call me next week to really catch up.

Please keep both of them, individually and as a married couple, in your prayers.  Her hubby especially, because he's a kindred optimistic-all-the-time spirit like me, and she said he is finally losing hope that he'll be a dad, and it's very hard on him.  I totally feel his pain, because I had pretty much given up hope, too, and as an eternal optimist, that is not an easy thing to do.  (I never lost hope totally, just maybe 90% of it, haha.)

She said she doesn't want to bring me down with talking about still dealing with IF, and I can honestly say that I still think about it all the time, so it's not like I'm living in lala motherhood land where IF has no place.  Is that weird?  Not just because I'd love to "accidentally" conceive another baby as many infertiles do in the fairy tales, but because every time I hug Maryanne and rock her to sleep, I'm reminded of the times when I didn't have any baby to hug, and when I cried to myself in the same rocking chair when I found out another ungrateful friend was pregnant...again.   There are no words to express how thankful I am for M, but I don't think IF in the deepest sense will ever go away for me. 

Sending a prayer of thanks tonight for my friend and her willingness to trust me with her sadness and struggles.  Also sending a prayer that I will be able to be all that she needs me to be as her friend and support system.

No word

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I havent heard anything from my friend.  My heart is aching for her.   In all our Christmas cards this year, i included our family picture, and although it took me a while to decide, i put one in her card, too.  I never wanted to be left out and neither did she..  last time we talked. 

I sent her an email "warning" about the picture, and i said if she received it on a hard day, she didnt have to open it.

As i was thinking more about her, what if she is jusy really busy at work?  Is it selfish of me to assume her silence is related to me having M, while her arms are empty?  I just wish id hear from her so i could stop wondering...

On the other side

Saturday, December 01, 2012

I called my friend a few days ago and left her a message.  It went something like this: "Hi, just calling to say hi.  I hope y'all are doing well down there, and I'd love to catch up sometime.  I really appreciate the gifts you sent for M's birthday; I hope you got my note.  I know it's been a while since we talked, and I have to confess that I'm a little worried that it's getting difficult for you to keep in touch.  I definitely don't want to leave you out of things, because I know we always talked about how neither of us wanted to be left out of our mom friends' lives, but I don't want to add to any hurt or ache you are feeling.  Please let me know how I can the best friend to you right now."

Good?  I haven't heard anything back from her...

I feel very unprepared for the situation I find myself in.  When I was in her place and dealing with my college friends who left me completely out, I hated hated hated it.  By some craziness, I wanted them to still send me pictures of their smiling kids, even if it stung me.  And that is what my friend and I had always agreed upon.  But that sounds so backwards to write.  Did I really want them to send me pictures of their kids who they flaunted around so presumptiously?  (Granted, I like to think I am very careful about not flaunting Maryanne around like some sort of prize.)

And then here I am, wondering if we'll ever be blessed with another baby, so in some ways I am back to feeling "Happy for {whoever}, but bummed for me." Which is also backwards because our family now includes Maryanne, who filled the HUGE hole in our hearts and our family, and who has fulfilled all our longings to share our love with a child.  So how can I be bummed?  No possible way!  But I find myself reading infertile blogs who had no issues conceiving #2 and thinking, "MAN, she is so freakin lucky.  I wish it would be so easy for us."

So I'm a little turned around about all this, but most of all, my heart aches for my friend.  Christmas is so difficult with empty arms, and I just pray that she and her hubby will be blessed with a miracle baby just like I was.

Some things

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

*As obnoxious as it sounds and feels, I am starting to struggle with infertility survivors who go on to become pregnant with #2+ without trying.  My feelings have been bubbling deep for months now, and they are only getting stronger.  It isn't nearly as difficult as before we had Maryanne, but I would love to be able to have another baby (greedy?), and given how long it took last time, I am so insecure about if it will ever happen again.  And of course everyone I tell that to has some story about someone who had an awful time conceiving baby #1 but then baby #2 was easy peasy, and that just doesn't help me feel better at all.  Blech.  It's hard not to feel guilty for feeling this way.

*Speaking of infertility, I would like your advice, especially any of you who are still waiting and still reading.  One of my best friends started trying a year after we did, so by now they have been trying for about the same time (or maybe a little longer?) than we did before we conceived.  We were very close before I got pregnant, and we kept in touch really frequently while I was pregnant, and we always promised each other that whoever got off the "infertility train" first wouldn't leave the other person out of anything, e.g. baby pictures, celebrations, updates.  Fast forward to this past spring, and communication from her has just about dropped to nothing.  (She did thoughtfully send Maryanne a birthday gift, but all my texts/emails to thank her have gone unanswered...)  She has a busy job, and I try to convince myself that she is just busy with that, but I can't help but feel my heart ache that it's getting too tough for her to keep up with me.  What do I do?  I don't want to leave her out, because I never wanted to be left out and neither did she, and it's not like I'm mobbing her with texts and emails and calls- maybe once every two/three weeks, but I don't want to keep trying to contact her if she honestly needs time and/or space.  I would love to hear how she's doing, and Maryanne and I pray for her every night that God would bless them with a baby.  Should I include a family picture of us in their Christmas card?  My head says yes, based on our previous conversations, but my heart stings and hesitates....

*I have lost 25 lbs since September, and I am SO excited about it.  I have not done any specific diet (other than eat more veggies/fruits/salads just because they have less calories than other alternatives), but I have made a commitment to exercise while Maryanne is napping, and two words:  PORTION CONTROL.  I am back to the size I was 10+ years ago, and it feels awesome.

*I can't believe that it's already (almost) December.  Where did this year go???  Thanks to those of you who are still reading- I know I haven't been very good about posting, but I still read all y'all blogroll buddies (on my phone mostly) :)

Aaaand a response

Friday, November 09, 2012

I was not surprised to get a dissenting comment on my last post....but I maintain my position:

Hi Leah, I'm sorry that you consider yourself a former reader.  I don't claim to know everything or be right all the time or say that one party is more Christian than the other (both parties honor various Christian concepts in my opinion), but what my post was about and what I do know is that Obama supports giving women the right to murder their babies, even supporting partial birth abortion.  In my heart, I cannot understand why people who call themselves Christians give Obama a pass on this stance of his because he also wants to help the poor.  Did Jesus want to help the poor or want to see everyone with God-given dignity?  Of course, and I agree with you that we should all endeavor to help those less fortunate than ourselves. 

But would Jesus think it was fine for someone to kill someone else?  Not a chance, not ever.  And I think it's a tragedy for our nation to place any modern social concern above the safety of its people.  When babies are allowed to be killed, they are no longer safe.  None of us are safe when all of a sudden it is okay for one citizen to kill another for whatever reason. 

That is why it's a tragedy.

The Guise

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

I know I've been gone for more than a month again (drat!), and I don't normally post on controversial things, but in light of the national tragedy that happened yesterday, I feel compelled to post this today.

I'm just starting making my way through Scripture again (this will be my second time to work through the whole Bible) with the help of my devotional Bible, and this morning's passage and reflection struck me hard.  Today's reading is Gen 3:1-7.  Yep, the serpent in the garden and the yummy (forbidden) fruit and the woman who ate it anyway.

Here is part of the reflection, written by Kathy Troccoli:
"'Did God really say it?'..How often am I tempted to listen to those words.  God most definitely has spoken...He means what he says.  Does what He says.  Never pulls a fast one.  And still we question or disregard His heart.  I, for one, have indulged in the rationalizing, the putting a stamp of okay on something that God has said is unholy.  We need only look around today to see the effects of Satan's questions.  Moral and spiritual decay.  A rightness placed on what is so obviously wrong.  A label of old-fashioned...attached to laws that are still the same in God's eyes...So we are left believing the lies of the enemy and with the consequences of our choices.  And it all takes place under the guise of love and honesty, goodness and fairness, open-mindness and tolerance.  The serpent may come to you today and say, "Did God really say that?" Your answer must be "yes".  For no matter how many promises God has made, they are yes in Christ."

Did God really say that killing is wrong?  Among other things, it breaks my heart that my country just re-elected someone with an abysmal record on the defense of life, from conception to natural death.  How many millions of babies have been killed under the guise of open-mindedness and tolerance, i.e. the guise that it is okay for a woman to choose to kill her baby, a baby created in the image and likeness of God?!!  How much more does it sting for those of us who long(ed) to conceive such a cherished blessing.

Today let us pray for our country and it's leaders, that they will turn back to God and lead with principles that respect the blessing of human life. 

If you hold back from rescuing those taken away to death, those who go staggering to the slaughter; if you say, "Look, we did not know this"-- does not He who weighs the heart perceive it?  Does not He who keeps watch over your soul know it?  And will He not repay all according to their deeds?
(Proverbs 24: 11-12)

The goings ons

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ooh, are you excited, two posts so close together!  Haha :)

I have made a commitment to myself to exercise at least half an hour each day, in addition to walking the dogs twice a day.  AND I have been keeping a food diary and getting back to eating no processed foods, and although I don't have a scale, I am feeling really great after doing this for almost 2 weeks (maybe down a few pounds?).  I have been doing mostly vinyasa/power yoga, and an overall toning/core workout, and I get my workouts in during M's morning nap.  If she happens to wake up before I'm done, hubby gets her out of her crib and then they sit and watch me finish (no pressure to look like the perfectly-in-shape women in the videos!).  We are so lucky to be able to both work from home- I have zero idea how moms who work in an office have time for exercise!!

I also have been walking once a week for 45 minutes with my one friend in my neighborhood, who has a 17 month old daughter!  I was telling her how I wanted to teach Maryanne to fall asleep on her own at night (she already does this for our nanny for her afternoon nap), and my friend encouraged me that her daughter cried for about 20 minutes, but after only 3 nights, her daughter goes to sleep on her own (after cuddles and prayers and kisses, of course).  Tonight I tried it with M.  Sure enough, she cried for 20 minutes, but she is now sleeping soundly.  I hope she doesn't hate me in the morning ;-)  It is nice to have a friend nearby- she was texting me good luck and sending prayers my way earlier in the evening- so sweet!

Mr. A is on a business trip for the week :(  Can't wait for him to get home on Friday.  He helps with M alot, but what I mostly miss is our hangout time- after M is in bed.  I am just glad that he would rather be at home with us than traveling any day. 

Last week, I told my acupuncturist that if we're not pregnant by January, maybe we can do some fertility-focused points, but until then, we are just continuing the overall health and balance focus during my sessions.  My acupuncturist has a few other infertility clients, and I just hope and pray that one day they bring their baby home, too.

Well I better scoot to bed.  The nights are clear and crisp these days, and it makes for excellent sleeping with the windows open.  Sweet dreams!


Sunday, September 02, 2012

Tee Jay left me a sweet comment to ask how we were doing, and I just have to oblige her and post real quick that we are all doing great!

M is 11 months old in a couple days, and she is AWESOME.  Hubby just got his pilot's license, and we went up in his plane on Friday after work, and it is SO COOL!!  M loved it, too.  Dogs are good :)  Work is really busy, and I wish I could just win the lottery already.  Our nanny has been with us since I went back to work in January, and I hope she stays with us until Maryanne goes to school...

My sister is due with her baby in 5 weeks.  Holy camoley.  Her shower was a huge success (or maybe instead of winning the lottery, can I just quit my real job and start a party planning business?), and I was so happy that so many people gave her such useful things.  She has still not asked me that much about my go at labor/delivery/motherhood, but I've given some unsolicited musings here and there, and I think I've accepted that that's going to be pretty much it unless actually having the baby jump starts a desire to see what's worked for her big sister.

As far as if they're excited, they are not as excited as we were (not sure if that is possible, though), but I think they are going to do okay.  Hubby and I and Maryanne hung out with them this afternoon, and we had a very enjoyable time, and they are both really cute/adoring to M.  It is so funny because all the time we don't hear from them or see them for a long time, we kind of build them up to be unsocial/unfriendly/uninterested in family members, but usually when we get together, we have a really nice time.

And speaking of seeing them, maybe the stars are thinking aligning because they want to get together with us for dinner this coming weekend, and she suggested that she and I get ice cream in a couple weeks the morning before her doctor's appointment.  I about fell off my chair.  Could it be possible that I might actually start to see her regularly?!?  How awesome would that be.


She is not going back to work after their baby comes.  I, of course, work from home full time, but because I work from home, I have a ton of flexibility in my hours.  Can you imagine all the fun things we can do together, with the kiddos?!?!  I don't exactly know how they crunched the numbers to make living on his salary doable, but apparently they did, and I just hope they were honest with themselves as far as their expenses go.  But all in all, given the recent improvement in the frequency of our get togethers, I am actually a little bit optimistic we will get to be mamas together, after all.

But enough about my sister ;-)

I'm still breastfeeding, although I think M is sort of self-weaning a bit- we are down to 2 times a day.  I got my first period post-baby almost a month ago, and raise your hand if you think we'll get a BFP this time?  Hahahahahahaha.  I am returning to acupuncture and taking my vitamins again, so we'll see.  At this point, we're just doing "general health/balance" treatments, and as much as I say at this point that I don't want to "try" as hard as last time, if we're not pregnant by December, I might ask her to do some more fertility-focused points.  We would both be 100% happy if our family is forever the three of us, so let's be clear about that!!

I really need to find time to return to yoga or running or something.  Just like 30 minutes a day.  It shouldn't be that hard!!!  I've been back in my normal clothes for a long time, I just feel like if I tried, I could be even smaller.  Smaller is relative, of course, I would still not be a size 4 or 6 :-P

Okay, I'm sure this is info overload.  I want so badly to keep up with this, I really do.  I promise not to let it sit untended for another 3 months ;-)  Leave a comment and tell me how you're doing!!  I read all your blogs while I'm nursing, so I'm pretty current on y'all, but it'd be great for you to say hi if you're still reading :)

Out of practice, I suppose.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

GEEZ.  I guess I really need to get back to blogging because apparently the whole point of my last post was lost on everyone.  Or at least everyone who decided to comment.  Surely there is at least one reader who understood what I was trying to say?

Which was....I am sad that my sister's pregnancy will be yet another thing we don't connect about.

Yes, she is handling it differently.  Yes, she has yet to tell a soul (for those of you who were confused- I think it is a little weird to wait until 13 weeks to tell close family, and I think it is even weirder to not have told them by 17 weeks).  Yes, she doesn't want to go shopping.  Yes, that is her prerogative.  Yes, I can't understand how or why she is acting this way (misfit, I have often wondered if the baby has a problem or if they are having marital dismay over this new development, but if anything is amiss, they aren't letting anyone know (par for the course!)).

But the bottom line is that I am just bummed out.  We have never really "clashed" (okay, maybe once last year before Easter), but in general, we are just not alike, and it is a disappointment to me that our differences do not really "attract" but instead they make me feel boring, lame, and pretty much like a transparent bystander in her life.  They have so many friends and hobbies and activities going on, and while we live 30 minutes away, they do not call us to see if we'd like to join them doing whatever it is that they're doing.   She could probably say that we don't invite them to do anything either, but we don't really "do" much anyway  (see?  I feel so lame...), so it would just be coming over to our house, which we invite them all the time, but they usually have other fancy plans already!

When we moved here 4 years ago, I thought that we would hang out all the time.  That October, I had mentioned that I wanted to go to a pumpkin patch.  Imagine my heartache when her cell phone pocket dialed me....while they were at the pumpkin patch with his sister.  For 5 long minutes, I listened and I cried.  The next day, I called her and asked her why she didn't invite us to go with them.  She didn't have an answer.  I had to make a concerted effort to adjust my expectations:  Just because we lived close didn't mean we'd be close or that they would incorporate us into their lives.  It took months for me to get over this.

I am waiting for the day (sometime soon, I imagine) when her cell phone pocket dials me again.  This time she will be gleefully registering at BRU with her college friends.  I will listen for 5 minutes and cry.

No matter how rosy the future might look all y'all commenters who think I'm just an awful mean sister,  it's time for me to make a concerted effort to adjust my expectations again.  Just because we will both have little babies close in age doesn't mean we'll be close or that they will incorporate us into their lives.  It will take a long time for me to get over this.

But that's why I'm bummed.  When I first found out, I had hoped that this time would be different.  Maybe this similarity would be the thing that bridged our differences.  But no, it's just more of the same story.

I know that alot of people aren't close with their siblings, and it's no big deal to them.  But I can't keep teasing myself that she and I will be close someday.  I was thinking about it today while walking the dogs, and it's sort of like that book/movie "He's just not that into you".  At some point, I have to admit that she's just not that into me and move on.

And for the 50th time this post, I'll say that it's just sad.  And that was the point of my last post.  No haters this time, okay?

Grieving being mamas together

Saturday, April 21, 2012

What?  You thought I'd never post again?  Well I thought I'd return with a head splitting deep thought whammy....

As you all know, my sister is pregnant.  Without trying and/or unplanned, however you choose to categorize it.  She is now in her 17th week, and has not told any of our extended family.  At first, they said they were going to wait until 13 weeks (don't get me started; I know the risk of miscarriage goes down, but hello, it's not like making it to 13w guarantees you a baby on your due date- there are tons of heartbreaking late loss mamas to testify to this...), but they have continued to drag their feet and keep this amazing news stuffed away.  They would like the world to believe they are a fancy, worldly, cultured couple whose lives are filled to the brim with amazingly exciting things all the time.  So they do alot of traveling and entertaining, and yes their weekends are chock full of activities, and maybe I am super lame, but it seems simply exhausting to me and with the bulk of "look what we're doing", the vibe is starting to seem fairly for-the-sake-of-showing-off.  But, my point is that when I ask her when they are going to tell people, she starts making excuses: "well not this weekend, we are throwing a party for X", "well not this week because I'm travelling for work", and on and on.  I think it is fairly sad that they can't take a half hour out of their super amazing lives to share the news of their baby with their family, for pete's sake.

She was not "excited" in the beginning.  Everyone told me to give her time- that she would warm up to the idea.  So here we are, months later, and she may have warmed up 0.5 degrees, if I'm generous. 

I have asked her no less than 25 times if she wants to go maternity clothes shopping, and she keeps telling me that she doesn't need clothes yet.  I reminded her that last year when I went in April, I bought stuff that was too big for me until August or September.  She keeps saying she doesn't need the clothes.  OMG!  How can she not want to go shopping for maternity clothes?!  I know she doesn't need them yet, but throw me a bone girl, just go try some on for this summer! 

I keep asking her what sort of prep they are doing for the baby.  Her answer?  They are planning on tiling their kitchen backsplash, tiling their bathroom floor, and installing a fan above their shower.  Oh wait, did you miss the baby things?  So did I.  Okay fine, maybe they are "nesting" but let's not forget the whole POINT of nesting which is to get ready for the BABY.  They are not, for example, fixing up the baby's room.  The closest thing they have come to even getting near the baby's room is "looking through some files" in there. 

So, to all who told me that she would warm up and that this would be so fun for us to be able to share pregnancy and baby talk, I give up.  I thought I was over this, but I don't think I am.  I am seriously grieving swapping baby advice and experiences, but most of all, I think I am grieving (in advance) of being moms together.  One of my favorite bloggers just found out her sister is pregnant, and she did the cutest post about it.  I about cried when I considered how different my relationship with my sister is (and realistically, will be).  She does not call me to ask what I thought about whatever baby product, or if I want to come help her clean out the baby's closet, and I do not think she will call me to ask about breastfeeding advice or sleeping trouble or any other thing about their baby.  She will not call me to see if we want to plan activities for the kids together- it will always be their family apart from ours.  (I know in theory our kids will be a year apart, but I don't think the kids will see each other more than I saw my cousins who lived several states away.  They don't involve us in their life now, and I can't tease myself anymore that it will change once they have a baby.)  It is really breaking my heart.

Full disclosure:  I hope their baby is a boy.  I don't want to have to share Maryanne's precious stuff with someone who could care less.  I am already grieving being moms together, much less being moms of girls together.

Our other sister and I are supposed to throw her shower in August.  At this point, I honestly do not know how I am going to do it.  How do you throw a shower for someone who would rather not celebrate their pregnancy, when the whole point of a shower is to celebrate the pregnancy!??!  Don't even waste your breath telling me that by THEN she will be really happy about it. 

I keep telling myself to just not ask her questions, to just let her humdrum along like she is apparently content to do.  I have tried.  But I can't.  I still call her and ask her about her baby, knowing I will hang up feeling hurt and disappointed and ostracized. 

Maybe this is how the fertile world is.  It was no big deal to get pregnant, so it is no big deal to be pregnant.  I think that is really shameful.  They can get all hyped up about all kinds of other things, but when it comes to the getting stoked about the baby that they are carrying, they just blow it off: no biggie, whatever.  It literally makes me want to cry.

As much as I'm grieving, I'm also very thankful that God is merciful.  I honestly do not think I could have survived her apathy if we hadn't had been blessed with Maryanne already.  We are so grateful for her, and just as we have done since the second the pee stick dried, we will continue to emphatically and excitedly rejoice in her presence and the fact we get to be her parents.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

I know that I haven't gotten back to posting alot yet, but I keep up with all y'all on my blogroll while I'm nursing Maryanne.

If you have a moment to pray for Deanna, please do. She is carrying precious twins and found out one of them (a baby girl) has an omphalocele, among other issues, and they are hoping that her issues do not affect the other twin. My heart is absolutely breaking for her. I am sure she is trying to keep her head above water, and I can't even imagine how hard it would be to be in her shoes, but I thought what she wrote today was so beautiful: "...the swelling around the baby's head, which actually looks like a halo, is very severe.....As of now, we are praying that God would take our special angel home. Regardless of her physical handicaps, she is just is perfect as her brother/sister. She already wears her halo."

If you have more than a few moments, maybe leave her a comment of support.


Thursday, March 08, 2012

I haven't been able to get back into frequent blogging (yet?), and most of my blog-reading takes place on my phone while I'm feeding Maryanne, but I take it that there has been some fuss over the creation of the new PAIL blogroll.

From my limited understanding, the issue is that there is already one universal infertility blog list (Stirrup Queens), so why do we need another? Or is the stink that it's exclusive to those still trying?

When I first heard about the new blogroll, and maybe I am not a deep enough thinker or something, but I was really excited. I viewed it as another resource as an infertile mom, but still an infertile. The same way that I view Stirrup Queens. Is there such a thing as too many resources? Of course, it will comprise people who are on the blessed other side of being childless, but I have found that infertility still affects me daily- good and bad. Just because I have a baby doesn't mean that I am not still the biggest cheerleader for my TTC or childfree buddies.

There were many days before we became pregnant that I absolutely not stomach another pregnant after IF blog. But there were some days when reading about someone's triumph over the IF crap gave me so much hope. Is having a blogroll that is entirely a testament to people's beating IF really a bad thing?

So anyway, I joined PAIL. I am also on Stirrup Queens' list, but I forget where.... I hope that it didn't offend any readers who are still trying. I know I don't have alot of extra brain cells these days, but maybe people are overthinking it and getting themselves into a tizzy? Why can't we all just get along? ;-)

New blog for you

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

IF makes this world a small one. It also brings people together who otherwise would never have met. And by "met" I mean both in real life and in this great Adoption-Loss-Infertility (ALI) and Pregnant/Parenting after Infertility and Loss (PAIL) communities of ours. (If you haven't checked out PAIL, it's new, so be sure to click the link and check it out!)

A (infertile) friend of a (fertile) friend of mine just sent me a sweet note to tell me that she is pregnant with twins after only one IVF cycle!! I was so excited to hear from her, and I was even more excited when she told me she has started her own blog!!

Please go over and say hi to her- at Miracles on Long View Drive! {Welcome to our little world, Miss Type A, and I can't wait to keep up with you through your blog!!}


Saturday, March 03, 2012

There's alot on my mind lately, and I wish there was an extra hour in the day for me to come and write it all out.

  • My sister, who I just mentioned in my last post about wanting to have a baby, is 9 weeks pregnant. Of course they "weren't trying but not preventing" and whadya know, a BFP fell into their laps. Because it happened so fast, they were not excited AT ALL when they told us (about 2 weeks ago). All they could say is that they were "shocked". It hurt. ALOT. I cried several times. Not that they got pregnant easily (because nearly the entire rest of the planet except for our precious IF buddies has no issue getting two lines on a pee stick), but that they did not go crazy with excitement over the gift that they didn't even have to try to get. Didn't they remember what we went through? How could they not be screaming with glee from the mountaintops!??!?!
  • I know there are alot of people who have less than happy reactions to a positive pregnancy test and an unplanned/surprise baby. Hello, I was a counselor at a pregnancy center. But I never thought my sister would have that reaction. I think that is what made (makes) it hurt so much.
  • I am really excited that Maryanne will have a cousin so close to her age (my sister is due on Maryanne's birthday). I hope that my sister and her hubby will come hang out with me and Mr. A more, now that we will have two little ones to play together.
  • My sister seems to be warming up to the idea of having a baby. Finally. Still not the gut-busting joy I was looking for, but I guess not all of us can be as mind-boggling ecstatic as we were to get our positive test...
  • I also need an extra hour to pour my heart out to Maryanne in the journal I bought for me/us to write in for (to) her. I want to make sure she knows how much we cherish her, so maybe when she is 15 and wants to wear God knows what outfit to the school dance with some loser and we say no to both things, she won't hate us as much. HA!
  • With all this pregnancy talk, I am having flashbacks of being pregnant. No way around it, I 100% LOVED being pregnant. The whole bit, from start to finish, all discomforts included. I would love to be pregnant again, and when I started craving protein in a major way a few days ago, Mr. A wondered if maybe I was pregnant again. I haven't even had a period yet, but supposedly "it happens". I can't believe that would ever happen to us, given our history of not conceiving easily, but what the heck, I did a HPT today, and OF COURSE it was negative. DUH. What did I let myself think?
  • I know having two kids so close together would be a ton of work. Mr. A, I have found out, is an awesome "infant" dad, but is not a very natural "newborn" dad. He is so good with Maryanne now that she is more interactive. I am so thankful!!! So maybe if we were to have another baby, it wouldn't be that much work because he could play with Maryanne while I hang out with the new baby?
  • Let's review my ttc history. Why am I even thinking of another baby as if it is up to me, like the rest of the fertile world? What on earth makes me think that God would bless us again, after answering such an enormous prayer once before?
  • I have said many times that Maryanne has filled the hole in our hearts. Is it hypocritical of me to say "but I'd love another baby"? I truly would be completely happy if she is our only baby ever, "but" it would be so awesome for her to have a sibling. I have started praying that God would allow us to conceive another healthy baby so that she could have a brother or sister. Is that greedy? How dare I pray for another when she is just 5 months old? Does that mean subconsciously I wouldn't be completely happy if she is our only baby? I hope not, because she is the light of our lives. We feel so grateful and lucky that we get to be her parents, and there is nothing that makes us happier than to see her smile from ear to ear at us.
  • On the other hand, our time with Maryanne is so precious, and we love being able to see her so much (with both of us working from home and being here with the nanny). I was so lucky to have a healthy and happy pregnancy before- if I got pregnant and I had worse morning sickness, etc., I know I would miss having fun with my baby girl. I should probably thank my lucky stars that I had such a smooth pregnancy and delivery, and that Maryanne is such a good baby...and not assume that a) I'll ever be pregnant again, and b) that it would go as awesomely as before.
  • Sweet little Maryanne is an awful napper. (Although she just started sleeping all night this past week- yay- so proud of her!) How am I ever going to start exercising on a regular basis? I have no idea when working moms exercise. 4am? I tried to get up at 5am to do yoga, but it just wouldn't happen. I am back to pre-pregnancy weight (maybe a little under, I don't know- we don't have a scale- but some of my clothes fit looser these days), but I'd love to lose a few extra pounds still.

One thing I am thankfully not wrestling with is dinners. I have, at long last, gotten back to pre-Maryanne cooking, and Mr. A and I (especially Mr. A) couldn't be happier. It feels so good to make real dinners again. I made enchiladas tonight. Or really, I made a double batch this afternoon while Mr. A was flying, and so I just had to pop the dish in the oven for 20 minutes when we were ready to eat, and I have a dish ready to take to a friend whose baby was born in January. YAY. I can't say it enough- it feels awesome to be cooking normally again :) :) :)

Infertility Sucks

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

My heart has been kind of heavy lately about infertility. I don't know if this seems two-faced of me to say, given the baby girl we've been blessed with, but except for the few people who seem to have amnesia about how much they struggled, once an infertile, always an infertile.

It just sucks how hard it is for us to become pregnant, and meanwhile there are naive, oblivious, fertile people who boldly announce when they're going to begin trying for another baby so that he/she can be born in whatever month they fancy. I would never dream of making such a proclamation. I mean how is it even possible that these people get things to work out so perfectly?

There are people who are on my WTE board who are already pregnant again. Granted, I haven't even had a period yet, but I can't help but wonder if we will ever conceive again. I absolutely loved being pregnant and giving birth- will I get to experience it another time? Far be it from me to say things like "when we have another" or other crazy things of that nature.

My next sister has been wanting to have a baby for a while, and while I suspect her husband is not totally on board, I imagine they might start trying sometime soon. I would love for her to let me in on when they start, so I can cheer her on especially when she's disappointed, but she is a pretty private person, and I don't know if she will tell me. And then of course there is the reality that most of the world's population doesn't have any disappointment associated with trying for a baby- there is just the one missed period and the following obviously positive test. I have said it many times before: I would never wish infertility on anyone. But will I feel any kind of infertile yuckiness if they hit a home run the first time they come up to bat?

It's just amazing to me that these things still run through my head, even as our daughter is here. But they do, and I doubt they will ever stop. Infertility just seeps so deep that you can't ever get rid of it, I don't think.

Last year, today

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A year ago today we got the first positive test of our lives- the first indication that our little baby was on the way. It's a day I'll never ever forget :)

So many new moms with new babies are posting so much lately, and I feel like I am such a lame new-mom blogger. When do you guys take a shower or clean up the kitchen or make your bed?! Haha. I have so much I want to tell everyone- or just document for the sake of remembering- but I feel like I barely have time to read how everyone is doing, much less write a coherent update of my own.

In a nutshell, Maryanne is doing awesome. She smiles and coos so much, and it just makes me melt. I can't believe that she is here- we are beyond lucky and blessed. Our nanny is great, and even when Maryanne is a little fussy, she is patient and loving. The one thing that seems to calm Maryanne down any time is reading books. I love that she loves to "read". We are still loving cloth diapering- prefolds and covers mainly, but we are just getting into using some fitteds and all in ones. We are exclusively breastfeeding, and it is also going great. With all the breastfeeding trouble we had in the beginning, I would never have guessed that it would be going this well at this point. She is no longer content to sit in her bouncy seat while we're eating- she likes to sit on my knee and watch us eating- if we are reading the paper, she will reach and grab for it, as if she needs to read it, too.

The one thing we are (I am) still struggling with is dinner. Mr. A does not like the texture of crock pot meals, and I have tried some new recipes lately that he has not liked at all. I am trying so hard to balance everything and cook like I used to, but it just doesn't work out very well alot of times. Mr. A always apologizes whenever he lets his criticism get a little too far, but it is hard to hear anyway, because of course I want to be able to feed him good, homecooked food that he likes. I know he is adjusting, too, in his own way, and we are being patient and forgiving with each other as we grow together as a family.

But no matter what, we are so grateful for the little girl we found out about one year ago today. We wouldn't trade her for anything, and we are so excited to see what this next year holds for the three of us!!

Home Run Dinner

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I have been on the hunt for dinner ideas that have short prep time... unfortunately Mr. A is not a huge fan of crockpot meals every night (sad face). I found the original recipe in a Cooking Light magazine and have adapted it just a tad. This seriously only takes 20 minutes to put together (shorter if you can chop the veggies ahead of time), and then it doesn't need long at all in the oven!! It was a heavenly dinner last night!!!

Baked Pasta and Vegetables

8 oz uncooked pasta (I used rigatoni)
1 Tb olive oil
2 cups chopped yellow squash (I used 2.5 small ones)
1 cup chopped zucchini (I used 1.5 small ones)
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups chopped tomato (I used 1 large one)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup shredded mozzerella
1 tsp dried oregano
3/4 tsp salt
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 egg

1. Boil water and cook pasta
2. Preheat oven to 400F
3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium/high heat. Add squash, zucchini, and onion. Saute until tender. Add tomato and garlic. Saute for a few minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in pasta, 1/2 cup of the mozzerella, oregano, 1/2 tsp of the salt, and the red pepper flakes
4. In another bowl, combine the ricotta, remaining salt, and egg. Stir into the pasta mixture. Spoon into a 8x8 dish that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of mozzerella on top.
5. Bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on how melted/crunchy you want the cheese

Fertile Assumptions

Monday, January 23, 2012

If you are a regular reader, you may remember my "friend" from college who told everyone else except me that she was pregnant. You can re-live the awfulness here and here.

She has a blog, and while I don't read it very often, I check it maybe every few months... for no real reason really, but just because it is sadly entertaining (sometimes) to read how the naive and fertile population exists.

Anyway, I happened to check it this afternoon, and I discovered that she and her hubby and daughter (who is I guess almost a year old now?) recently went to the animal shelter to adopt a dog. The woman whom they met there suggested that maybe they should wait a little while to get a dog because their daughter is still so little and it would be alot to handle.

(Which I pretty much agree with the shelter woman- it is alot of work to incorporate a new dog into your household, and there is no way I would do it with a baby. Sure, we have two dogs, but they were well-established before Maryanne arrived, and they have done absolutely amazing at incorporating HER into their lives!)

But anyway, here is where the fertile mindset just assaults infertility. She wrote that she told the woman (in a fairly snappy tone, I imagine) that if they waited a little while for their daughter/child to be older, they would never get a dog, because their daughter isn't going to be their only kid.


Since when does she have a crystal ball of reproduction/family building?

I guess I can't really blame her for being so presumptious, given her lack of experience with infertility. But it just sucks. If there is one thing that infertility rams into your head is that you have ZERO control over how your family expands. How dare you assume that children will come into your life when you think or want them to? (Of course we all know that for fertile people, children do come into their lives relatively when they want them to, which is just a cruel joke on the rest of us.)

I have a whole other post rattling around in my head about becoming pregnant again (I'm not, just in general). Bottom line, I'd love to have more children... I always said that I wanted three. But far be it for me to just assume that since we got pregnant with no help one time, that it will ever happen again. I actually assume the opposite- that Maryanne was just a miraculous fluke and that we will have trouble again whenever we decide we're up for trying again. And really, "trying" for us in the future will probably be way "less" than we did before. Maryanne is a huge answered prayer, and while we would totally welcome more children, she has filled the gaping hole in our hearts. Any more kiddos would just be huge bonuses- nothing we expect.

I have always said that I wouldn't wish infertility on anyone, and that is still true, but I wish there was a way to make fertile people truly grateful for their fertility and see it as the phenominal GIFT that it is, and not have them all take it for granted in the huge way that they all do.

First Day Back

Monday, January 09, 2012

Well folks, we survived.

Today was my first full day back at work since October 3. I am so fortunate to have had enough leave to get paid like normal and spend the last three months drooling over our miracle daughter. But we've decided that for now, since I can work from home, it is best for me to return to full time hours.

It was bittersweet when our babysitter C (the term "nanny" kind of conjures up a crusty old lady to me, and since our babysitter is young and vibrant, I'm just going to call her our babysitter) came to the door. We were confident in hiring her, and I knew that she was excited about working for us. Maryanne was such a trooper until it came time for a diaper change, and then she lost it. She was crying and crying, and I was on the phone with a teleconference, and the dogs were barking at the mail truck, and I was praying that C was being patient and loving, and then I was thinking to myself, can I really do this?

I was so impressed with C's care of Maryanne today. Even when she was crying, C was very encouraging and lighthearted. Maryanne only screamed a few times for a few minutes, and it did cross my mind to remind C not to shake Maryanne, but then I would hear her talking to Maryanne and reassuring her, and it made me feel much better. It warmed my heart to hear C reading books to Maryanne, singing to her, returning her coo's, and praising her for good smiles or holding a toy. When I would go fill up my water bottle and see C rocking Maryanne to sleep, I was comforted. And when I got to steal away to the nursery to feed my baby girl, I just basked in her presence. I am so unworthy of such a baby, of such a situation where I can work and still "be home" with her.

I hope that C was not discouraged by Maryanne's outbursts today; she said she expected some separation anxiety and that she thought today went well and was excited to be working with us. I think it will be great for Maryanne to have a new playmate and still be able to come see her mama whenever she wants to during the day.

I never thought I could cherish my time with Maryanne any more than I did before, but tonight when C left and it was just Maryanne and me (Mr. A was traveling for work today), I felt like our time together this evening was somehow more special because we'd been apart today. Not even apart really, but just not as together as we've been in the past three months. She was pretty zonked from her "exciting" day, and she peacefully fell asleep in my arms while I ate dinner. (Of course you know I couldn't put her down!) Because she was tired, she nursed with less vigor before bed tonight, but just seemed so satisfied to be close. I agree, baby. It is so good to have you close.

Especially after such a big day, for both of us. We made it, pumpkin. We can do this together!