Oh, Mother's Day

Saturday, May 10, 2014

(I know, I know, over a month since I've posted.  And I am going to write a retroactive IF Awareness Week post- stay tuned.  Lots going on (everyone says that, but of course it's true to some extent or another), and alot of things I want to write about but don't want to just rattle off a post because they're bigger than just random...)

But you know, about Mother's Day tomorrow.  For IF graduates, a very bittersweet situation.  Bitter because you remember what it was like to want to hide in your basement the whole day and because you (more than likely) still know someone who is doing that very thing, but of course very sweet because now you actually finding yourself in a position where the day actually involves you.

I have said a zillion times how grateful we are to have been blessed with M, and I could go on and on about it, and of course I championed my new favorite mothering book a couple months ago (if you never ordered it, you should give yourself a Mother's Day present right now and get a copy- you will not regret it!!), but the thought that came to me when I was reflecting about what to write about Mother's Day took me back to when I was not a traditional mother.

In the fall of 2010, I had gone to counseling because I felt totally alienated by my fantastically fertile college friends, and Mr. A was out of advice and ideas.  My counselor was not particularly focused in infertility issues, but she had a few helpful thoughts.  The one that applies most here was that when I was telling her of my desire to be a mom, she noted that there were many ways that I mothered that are still valid, even if they were not the traditional role.  I had two dogs that depend on me for exercise, food, water, and attention.  I cared for my husband when he was sick and made meals he liked.  I checked on elderly neighbors to see if they needed help with daily activities.  My volunteering often placed me in situations of providing advice to teenagers in crisis situations.  Even though I didn't have a child in the house, I had unknowingly been using my mothering abilities and strengths.

So if you are still waiting for a child to fill your home, or if you have overcome IF through acceptance of a child-free future, I celebrate you tomorrow, in all the ways you mother, even if they are not the traditional greeting-card ways!!


Monday, March 31, 2014

I knew the day would come, but I hadn't really prepared myself as actively as I'd wanted (mostly because I didn't know they were trying)... my sister is having another baby.

She called a couple weeks ago to tell me she was 12w along, and all I could say, over and over again, is "You are so lucky."  She kept saying, "I know, I know."

I cried off and on the rest of the day.  Alot of people I know are having their second (or third, etc) babies now, but this is my sister.  My nephew gets to be a big brother.  Meanwhile, M has to pretend her dolls are her sisters.  (Which she has started to do, without my prompting- one is her sister and one is my sister, and they are also sisters (haha), and she takes them everywhere...)

Mr. A is so solidly unmoved by families adding more kids to themselves, it's a lifesaver.  He ran down the list of reasons why it is great to have (and/or be) and only child, and I would repeat them to myself dozens of times in the next 2 days.  Many are materialistic, like being able to give her really nice toys and clothes, send her to a private school with excellent standing in the community, and pay for her college, etc... but subconsciously those are difficult for me because they are why my mom crucified families with only one kid- when I was younger, she would say "they just had one kid so they could take fancy vacations", "how selfish of them to just have one child so they can live in a bigger house", "too bad they didn't give their child a sibling".

After some journaling and praying, because feeling the weight of being left behind/infertile, when clearly we've been given M already, brings up guilt and confusion all its own, I came up with this: I am not longing for another baby for myself.  M is 100% enough for us- we prayed for a child to fill the hole in our family, and she has filled the hole a hundred times over and more.  I think at this point, after seeing my friends' kids "get" a sibling, I would love another baby for M.  I would love for her to have a ready-made playmate, instead of standing at the front door willing the neighbor kids to come bursting out of their door.  I don't want her to be lonely.  I want her to be able to say "this is my sister (or brother)" and see the proud smile on her face and see an actual sister or brother and not her doll.

Of course for as many people who are super close to their siblings (me), there are those who are not close or even at distinct odds with their siblings, so my assumption that M and a hypothetical sibling would have the kind of relationship I have with my sibs is definitely not a certainty.

I wrote in my journal for her: "You are more than enough for us; I hope we are enough for you."

Fast forward a few days, and I was a couple days past my usual new-cycle day.  It is interesting how you can rationalize with yourself and convince yourself of varying situations, because when I realized I was late-ish (of course any giddy-ness about being a couple days late is long gone by this point in time!!), I started thinking, well how are we going to save as much for two college educations?... we'll have to start full time childcare all over again...and on!  I laughed because only days before, I had had to convince myself of the glory in easily saving for M's college and being on our last leg of childcare!!

And of course, I had nothing to worry about because obviously I wouldn't be pregnant (CD 6 today), and I am grateful to genuinely feel happy and content with M as our only lovebug.  I pray that God will bless our relationship so that we can do, and enjoy together, really cool mother-daughter things that maybe we wouldn't be able to do if He'd given me a new baby every 2 years.

I am sure that my sister have another baby will bring the questions from M about where is her sister, etc., but I'm just praying God will give me grace in that moment to respond to her without losing it myself.  I am grateful for the family He has created for us, and hey, Jesus turned out okay with no siblings, right?  ;-)

One more about the book!!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Just a quick reminder about the excellent book I’ve had the privilege to review recently, Motherhood Realized- it's doing VERY well! (#1 in Motherhood at Amazon already!). To help the book keep moving up the charts, everyone who buys the book by TOMORROW (Saturday) gets some awesome prizes. You pay just $12.74 for a book and get about $40 worth of free stuff!! Just go to Power of Moms- Motherhood Realized for details.

 In all honesty, I think every mom needs to read this book as encouragement of how important and beautiful motherhood is.  And you all know me, I wouldn’t recommend something I don’t totally believe in- this book is powerfully inspiring!!  I think it would be the perfect present for yourself and all the moms you know for Mother’s Day!!  

 For what it’s worth, if you’re thinking of buying a bunch for friends/family, you should know that if you purchase 10 books, you get the Power of Moms premium package worth over $200 for FREE!  Visit Power of Moms- Motherhood Realized for details.

Still excited about the new book

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Hi ladies, Just wanted to share one more time about the Power of Moms' beautiful new book Motherhood Realized (free gifts at this link!).  This is one of my favorite quotes from the book, and they made it into a graphic, so I wanted to share it.  I pray every night that M feels like the most important person in the world, and that she would pick me to be her mom, if she could pick anyone in the whole world.

You can click here to buy it- it may be out of stock (it was when I ordered my 5 copies!), but they will be shipping very soon!!

Awesome book for pre-order March 24!!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

As I mentioned in my last post, I've become an ambassador for Power of Moms, an invaluable community and source of encouragement, inspiration, and learning for moms, and really, anyone who "mothers" in any capacity.  When I was waiting for M, I always tried to consider how I mothered others- my younger siblings and cousins, the kids I taught at church, and our friends' children.  So, if you are still waiting on your little one, don't feel like there won't be anything there for you!  

Anyway, they have one great book out already, but tomorrow (Monday) you will be able to order their newest book, which I have had the true privilege of reviewing beforehand.  In my opinion, it is even better than their first one, which is saying something because their first one rocked.

My favorite part of the new book is that after each essay/article, there are a couple of reflection questions on how to tie in the concept to what is happening in your life right now.  This makes each one very personal and very powerful.  I have an electronic copy, but you can be sure I will be ordering one for myself so I can dog-ear pages and highlight my favorite quotes!!!  Not to mention I want to get one for each of my close friends and family!!  

You can get a sample chapter from the book for FREE and watch a quick video by one of the authors at Power of Moms- Motherhood Realized.  Believe me, it is totally worth it to read a few pages- it will leave you wanting more, I'm almost sure :)

Here is the link you can follow to order this book on March 24 (tomorrow/Monday)!!

I will leave you with one of my (many) favorite quotes from this book-

"Can we remind each other that it is our uniqueness and love that our children long for?  It is our voices.  Our smiles.  Our jiggly tummies.  Of course we want to learn, improve, exercise, cook better, make our homes lovelier, and provide beautiful experiences for our children, but at the end of the day, our children don't want a discouraged, stressed-out mom who is wishing she were someone else."
-Motherhood Realized, Power of Moms

Power of Moms Ambassador

Thursday, March 13, 2014

It's no secret that being a mom to M is a dream come true and a prayer answered.  I try every second of the day to honor that blessing by being the absolute best mom I can be to her.  I do my best to savor every moment, not taking a single one for granted.  For me, this manifests itself in how I cook, what sorts of things we value in our home, how I respond to tough situations, and how I carry myself as a person. 

I would say I cook 98% of all of our meals from scratch (loving every minute!) because I think that is healthiest and most economical, but also because the time it takes to chop and cook and set the table (usually no more than half an hour) allows us time together at the end of each day to reconnect and learn and laugh.

As far as what is important to us in our home, I would say contentment and simplicity.  We have comfortable furnishings and a nice house, and I do my best to declutter (currently doing my Lenten cleaning each day and it is awesome!!) so that we can have a peaceful space to come home to and relax in.  M has plenty of toys, but they all have their space up and away from being a huge mess on the floor, and if it appears that there isn't enough room in the bins, we prioritize which ones we'd like to keep and donate the rest.  Each night the kitchen is clean, the counters are clear, the mail is sorted, and all the toys are put back away before we are all in bed.  Waking up to a clean house sets the tone for a good day, I think! 

But more than material things, we value calm voices, encouraging words, and peaceful conversation.  I was raised in a yelling house, and nothing good comes from yelling. Of course I have raised my voice, but do you know what happened the last time?  M started to yell back at me, and that hit me like a ton of bricks.  No way did I want my daughter growing up with that kind of frustration-coping mechanism.  I don't think I have yelled since.  There are moments which require stern redirection or correction, but because we try to make it a habit not to raise our voices, M is very receptive to even the most serious of tones.

I try to be an example to M of healthy life choices.  She sees me making healthy food choices, and because we do it twice a day, she is learning the value of walking the dogs (for both dog and human!).  I try to give myself some relaxing time right before going to sleep for reading blogs, reading some of whatever book I'm reading, and (new this year) making entries in my prayer journal, and my journal for M.

Part of my relaxing time is often reading articles over at Power of Moms.  It's a site with an incredible amount of resources, all focused on "deliberate moms".  A site with constant encouragement to keep up the good work and the daily decision to be the best moms to our kids.  The articles are honest- often exactly what I'm thinking- so it's not like the writers hold themselves on a pedestal, but instead they write about the conscious choice to respond in love when it's difficult...and whether they lost their cool or not!  :)  They also have organizational resources, schooling tips, podcasts on all kinds of topics, just to name a few things.  Please go check it out!!

Recently, they put out a call for Ambassadors.  Moms who would like to spread the word about their mission and purpose.  I applied and was super excited to be accepted!  In the application, I had to write why I wanted to become an Ambassador.  I wrote that I wanted to champion the cause of moms with small families.  So many of their contributors have 3 kids under 3, or 5 kids from age 2 to 14, and while I imagine those situations are truly challenging to manage sometimes, moms of one or two kids can have many of the same stressors and full plates. 

I'll be posting about a book they are releasing soon- I've had the chance to preview it, and so far it is AWESOME!  I have their first book, and it is one of the mainstays on my night table.  This new book is even better, so I hope that once you learn more about it, you will consider ordering it for yourself or a mom in your life. 

So, so grateful I'm even in a position to be a motherhood ambassador- for so many years, it seemed like I would never qualify!

What now?

Friday, February 21, 2014

It's been a relatively quiet week, and at the same time not so quiet.  Quiet in the sense that it is slowly sinking in that we really sold the house, and not so quiet in the sense that Mr. A's aunt passed away and we are preparing ourselves to fly cross country for her funeral.  Tips for flying (2+ hour flights and 2 hour layovers) with a 2 year old appreciated :)

With all the hubub of closing last week and buying crazy expensive airline tickets this week, and just the rigors of every day working and home life, I haven't dwelled (dwelt?) so much on secondary infertility recently.  I'm sure that will come back closer to home this weekend when I start a new cycle ;-)

Life is good these days, and I'm so thankful for it.  Thank God for His mercy :)

Sold (Recap)

Friday, February 14, 2014

We did it- closed on the house today!!  It is all at the same time anti-climatic and monumentally relieving.  We sat at home this afternoon and joked, "What do we worry about now?  What we will we do on the weekends now instead of going up to check on the place?"  Hahaha

This whole house selling process has been very interesting faith-wise.  When we first listed it, I was doing a Bible study of David with a good friend of mine, and I was feeling rather in the dark compared to David's direct question and answer sessions with God.  I remember writing at some point in our study that I wanted this selling process and my faith that God would bless us with a sale to redeem my rocky trying to conceive journey.

We received a couple really lowball offers pretty quickly after we listed it, but we had a bottom line and both offers were below it.  I prayed for God to send us an offer that we could accept, and a little before Christmas, we got such an offer.  I felt such at peace- yes, this offer was from God.  Throughout everything, all the little concerns and issues, I felt totally at peace.  This offer was from God- He would see us through.  That carried me all the way to two weeks ago, when we had the fairly major issue come up.  I tried so hard to weather it with the same peace, but the doubt crept in, and I ended up feeling betrayed.  A big, bold, unfaithful word, but I felt it.  I said, again Lord?  Really?  We can't wait 4 years for this house to sell like we could wait for M.  I feel like at that point I was begging God for mercy every other hour.  At one point I was driving, and I prayed, Look God, this is all You.  You need to fix this, and I can't wait to see your redemption.  I had never really prayed that way before, and it was definitely a vulnerable prayer.  The situation was out of my control, and the only thing I could do was wait and see what God was going to do about it.

The funny thing is that just earlier in that week, I had been talking with a friend of mine who miscarried last April and who hasn't conceived again (they are hoping to, for sure).  I was telling her that after all we went through, after all we scheduled and medicined and timed, at the end of it all, we just said, okay it's in God's hands.  Let's just see what He does with it.  And along came M.  {I know it doesn't happen that way for everyone, and I think babies conceived after scheduling and medicining and timing are just as much miracles as anyone!}  Anyway, the point is that she is feeling like it is so out of her control, and I was saying that maybe when it's so out of our control, that's when God can shine.

So when the big issue came up, I caught myself chuckling at my earlier comments because I needed to say them to myself at that point.  As I had written recently, the issue resolved, and here we are tonight, owners of just our (one) house.   {All this snow also threatened to put a wrench in the closing, but I had returned to my peace-prevails outlook, and I knew that it would all work out.}

As it has ended up, I think I felt more peace and confidence during this house selling process than I ever had trying to conceive.  It is very cool, and I am so grateful for the chance to experience this contentment amidst what felt like constant attacks from Satan to lure us into believing God didn't care.  I am humbled that even after my foray with doubt a couple weeks ago, God remained by our sides in blessing of the sale.

Now that this big situation is behind us, it'll be back to regularly-scheduled programming.  Until we decide that we are too fed up with our HOA here and want to get the bleep out of dodge to a real country place with cows for neighbors ;-)  You can't wait for another house sale, can you?

Almost there

Sunday, February 09, 2014

This Friday, girls...closing day on our house.  Lord, have mercy and bless this sale.

We had almost-a-catastrophe happen in reference to an H-O-A situation, and thanks to our contractor, it has been resolved.  In all seriousness, we probably owe the sale to him and his willingness to go to bat for us, magnified because we don't live in the area anymore.  If anyone needs an awesome, stand-up contractor in Virginia, please email me for their contact info.

12 More Days

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Lord, have mercy.  Please guard our townhouse from all harm in the next 12 days!!!

Had an awesome day!!  Making it to 8:30am church kicks our butts every.single.weekend, but going that early makes the rest of the day so great (the other service is not until 11:30- not sure why we can't have a nice normal 10!)!  We folded and put away ALL the laundry, played outside for a long while, went to Panera for lunch and saw our favorite cashier (we might go there a little too often...), trimmed the berry bushes, and made waffles and bacon for dinner (because one of the sad, sad casualties of 8:30am church is no big breakfast- major sad situation because we LOVE our big weekend breakfasts). 

Also awesome is that M is starting to say "awesome".  Hahahaha ;-)

But more awesome is that we love our church's Glory to God rendition, and so I end up singing/humming it all week, and now M does the same thing.  It is to the point where if I start singing it, she will interrupt me and say, "No, I sing Glory to God!"  And then she sings it to the dogs or her babies or to the backup Nativity Set, whose members are shacking up with her dollhouse family right now ;-) 

I've added a sibling for M to my Petition list in my prayer journal.  But the biggest, boldest prayer right now is for the sale of our townhouse- after that we can move onto other requests!!

Secondary Infertility

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I have been doing some thinking lately about what the point of blogging is at this point.  I still want to write in this space, but I find that I don't identify well with alot of regular mommy blogs (even many former-IF mommy blogs)- too perfect, too organized, having more kids easily (even many of my IF friends!).  I'm also not a regular infertile/waiting for a baby blogger either- because I did miraculously conceive M.

And so I was thinking that maybe I could seek out a secondary infertility bunch of people, but it has been kind of difficult to find such a group.  I've searched all manner of permutations of blog and/or wordpress and secondary infertility, and I just get a handful of results- some blogs that are not actively posted on anymore- but mostly just articles.  I want the guts of the struggle in honest bring-you-to-your-knees blog style, not some over-edited and rosy-looking conclusion paragraph!

Secondary infertility doesn't occupy my life as primary infertility did, but it is still there.  I don't want to dwell on it, but I can't deny that I wish we could another baby to our family.  I am beyond grateful to have M in our family, and she is over and above "enough" for us.  I just get a little tug at the heartstrings when I think of her growing up without a sibling, and that is a big reason why my heart longs for another baby. 

I know we can do our best to fill her life with good friends and fun activities and us, the doting-est parents ever, but what am I going to say when she asks for a brother or sister.  "Um, we've been trying ever since you were born." 

I just had a long conversation tonight with a friend of mine who's been trying to conceive since a miscarriage in April.  She had no problems conceiving her first two kids, and her miscarriage sadly opened her eyes to the world of reproductive heartbreak.  She is longing for another baby, and with several friends having conceived between then and now, she is experiencing alot of what you feel when everyone is having babies except you.  But she struggles with not wanting to appear like she's replacing the baby she lost or that her first two children aren't enough.

I think there's alot of guilt that comes with secondary infertility because you don't want to appear ungrateful for your previous child(ren), like they're not enough.  I feel like another way to look at it would actually be to say how much your first child(ren) increased the love in your family, and how much more would another baby do the same?  (Or maybe that's just me rationalizing it!)

I have been praying much lately that God will increase in me a spirit of contentment and appreciation and acceptance for how He has made our family- our family of three is just as "worthy" as someone's family of four or eight.  I definitely need that reminder from time to time.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Lord, thank you for Your mercy :)

I'm on CD3 today, but what with the benign thyroid biopsy and closing on our townhouse in a couple weeks looking very likely, I'll let not getting a BFP slide this time ;-)  Can't have too much excitement- gotta save something for later!  Haha :)

Thank you all for your prayers!

Biopsy Done

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

So this morning got even more complicated before it got better. 

When I left off last night, M's school was delayed.  My friend let me know that if M's school ended up closing, I could just drop M at her house and she could play with her daughter.  Well turns out that by 5:30am this morning- when the same friend texted me that she was in labor and heading to the hospital- M's school had closed.  So I texted our babysitter (different from our nanny)- because she was out of school, too- to see if she could watch M during my appointment.

I got back in bed and just prayed some crazy stream of consciousness because I couldn't sleep with all this stuff running through my head.

Wasn't it kind of a sick joke that the day I had to go to the hospital to get a needle stuck into my neck, my friend got to go to the hospital to welcome another baby into her family?   AND, now that M's school was closed, I couldn't just drop M off at her house, and who was going to watch M while I went to have my biopsy?  And please Lord, continue to bless the sale of our townhouse.  And please Lord, heal anything amiss in my thyroid.  I need to be healthy for my family- I love them so much.  And might I add again, what on earth am I going to do with M while I go to the hospital?  And please Lord, bless my friend with a smooth delivery of a healthy baby girl.  And what if the roads are too slippery to get to the hospital for my appointment.

At some point in my desperate pleading for all manner of things, I fell back asleep until 7am.

Soon, our babysitter texted back that both her parents were at work today, and she had to look after her brother and that would be handful enough without watching M, too.

Well shoot... of course.

So I started to think of everyone and anyone I knew who could possibly hang out with M during my appointment.  Mr. A could have stayed home as an absolute, absolute last resort, but he had one of his software demo's today, so it was pretty much the worst day for that.

I texted my neighbor, but she was staying an hour away with her husband's sister in the ICU.
I texted my other neighbor, but he also had a medical appointment at 10am.

Then I texted my friend who did the Bible study with me last fall.  By the grace of God, her hubby is a teacher (so he was home since school was cancelled), and he offered that I could bring M to their house to play with their kids while I went to my appointment.

{This all happened before 8:15am, and given what was on schedule for 10am, it was a little too much to handle.  I will not deny that there were tears at various points during all this.  Though Mr. A did not really understand why I was crying, he made way up for it by getting M dressed and ready to head out the door.}

I'm not really sure how we are going to repay them- their one act of generosity totally saved the day, no exaggeration.  I knew M would have a blast playing with their kids, and so after I dropped her off, I was able to relax and prepare myself for the impending discomfort with relative peace.

The biopsy itself wasn't too awful bad- truly the worst part was the injection of numbing stuff.  From my very uneducated hearing of comments, most of the nodule was fluid (so, from what I've read this is cystic?).  The doc and nurses were all very friendly and talkative- asking me all kinds of questions, which also struck me as kind of weird/funny because, um, if I'm talking, isn't that going to mess you up when you jam that needle into my neck?  Hahaha.

I left with a bandaid and went upstairs to see my friend and her new baby girl, born only an hour after she texted me (30 min after arriving at the hospital).  She is precious, and I thank God for this new little baby.

My neck feels a little swollen inside (not too noticeable from the outside) and a little sore.  Swallowing is not really what I want to be doing alot of (just feels strange), so maybe I will lose some of the last pesky pounds, ha!  Yawning has proven to be the most uncomfortable action yet- it totally does not feel good.

Praying for benign results.  Lord, have mercy!

PS.  What do you think of my new template?  I felt like I deserved a treat after today, and I am currently addicted to Etsy, and I found some great ones here!  It was a BREEZE to install, and I'm loving it!

Biopsy Tomorrow

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I was really doing well with this biopsy thing until tonight.  It was going to be a very smooth morning tomorrow- drop M at preschool, head to the hospital, have the procedure done, get coffee, and pick M up.

Oh yah, except it snowed a ton today.

And her preschool follows the ONLY school district that is in session tomorrow.  On a delay.  Which means that her school starts at my appointment time.  Which means that if (when) Mr. A drops her off, he won't get to work until probably 11am.  Not such a timely arrival for him.  He was not impressed.

So I cried about it for a while tonight- 3 main sobbing sessions, but on and off for maybe an hour.  I think I just had to get it out.  I could handle it no problem if everything went according to plan, but then it didn't.

Isn't that how so many things are?  I should have known to expect something to not go right, given what happened to our "plan" of having several kids, but I guess a girl can hope that things work out the way she thought they would. 

I have many people praying for a benign finding, and I really appreciate all the support from friends here, too.  Lord, have mercy!

Thyroid Nodule- pff.

Friday, January 17, 2014

In the interest of saving time and being lazy (honest), I've posted the email I sent to family and friends this week- prayers much appreciated :)

At my annual checkup in late fall, they noticed that one side of my thyroid felt larger than the other, so she scheduled me a followup appointment yesterday afternoon with an endocrinologist.  I don’t have any weird symptoms, and she said my bloodwork is in the normal range and the ultrasound of my thyroid doesn’t show anything alarming, but I do have a larger portion on one side of my thyroid.  She recommends a biopsy just to rule anything suspicious out, though 90% of these things are benign.  I’ll have the biopsy next Wed morning while M is in preschool, as it is just under the surface of the skin so it takes less than an hour with just local numbing, etc.  If you want to pray that it is totally benign, that would be awesome!

You, too?

Thursday, January 09, 2014

I think there is a mass outbreak of pregnancies.  No, I'm serious!  My friend in the neighborhood is pregnant.  My neighbor's son's wife is pregnant.  My friend's friend is pregnant.  Several bloggers I follow/lurk are pregnant.  My sister is probably accidentally pregnant again (pure speculation).  If you are pregnant and reading this, you better spill the beans so I can add you to the list!

I wonder sometimes if anyone who is still waiting to conceive or become a mom thinks my posts about (now secondary, I guess?) infertility are completely ungrateful and lame.  I definitely feel guilty wondering why it seems like I'm the only one longing for another baby and not seeing two lines. 

But then there are also times like tonight.  We'd finished dinner, with the dishes piled high in the sink (a sure sign of an excellent meal, no?).  Lately I've just been leaving the cleanup till after M is in bed- playtime is too precious with the three of us to waste it washing pots and pans.  We were chasing, doing puzzles, tickling, and hiding- and I was saying to myself, this is awesome.  We can focus 100% of our attention on her, play however and with whatever she wants, read her stories at bedtime, and come downstairs and clean up the kitchen and kick back.  No hectic timing of feeding a baby and eating our regular dinner all together, no double teaming bedtime for two kids, and when she's asleep, it's time to clean up the kitchen, and then time for just us.  Of course I'd give up the entire last sentence for the chance to give her a sibling, but we are head over heels crazy for her, and that's as good as a sibling, right?

Fake it till you make it

Sunday, January 05, 2014

My good friend's mom held a baby shower for her today, and M and I went together.  I knew that her daughter would be there, and turns out there was another 2-yr old girl there, too.  All in all, an enjoyable couple of hours, but her pregnancy remains pretty bittersweet for me.

To back up a little, I did end up throwing her a stock-the-freezer shower in mid-December, and it was AWESOME.  If you know anyone who's having a baby, you should definitely throw them a stock-the-freezer shower.  Just pick several recipes, make a master ingredient list, ask each participant (except the guest of honor) to pitch in on grocery items, gather up freezer bags and disposable aluminum pans, and make a general list of the order things need to happen (prep, cooking, etc.).  I ended up organizing recipes that I'd cooked for ourselves before M was born (my friend and her family and not casserole-y folks either, which is what 98% of the "freezer meals" that you come up with if you go looking for that category).  She invited two of her friends, and the four of us prepared 14 meals in 3 hours.  We didn't rush- enjoyed coffee and treats the whole time- and it was just a really fun morning.  (We met 9-12, so we could all have the rest of the Saturday to spend with our respective families.) 

For today's shower, I went and got a few things from her registry, and we also picked out a couple small things for her daughter, sort of a big sister gift.  I probably didn't need to get as much as I did, but I think it is part of my fake it till you make it campaign, to truly let it not bother me.  I think I'm doing a pretty good job of getting there- I have my continually-compiled list of reasons having only one child is great- but nearly the only thing that gets me is remembering holding M when she was just a couple hours old- so tiny, so precious, so loved, such an answered prayer.  And, gah, she gets to do that again.  And her daughter gets to have a sister.

I know there are many women who long for a child and never see that prayer answered in the affirmative, and I know that I am one of the lucky ones who's called mama.  But sometime in the last few months, misfit wrote something to the tune of just having one child is not exactly triumphing over infertility.  (Forgive me for the paraphrase, but I can't seem to find your exact language now!  Also forgive me for not commenting on that post- I love that sentiment from the moment I read it!)  And I've never felt that more than walking through my friend's pregnancy.  Yes, I can barely put into words how grateful I am for M, but I still feel infertile at times like this.  My friend has told me, in an effort to bolster any hope that- it can happen again!- that this was the only time they didn't use protection, and so it can happen anytime!!  It is such a sweet effort, but when I told Mr. A about this, he laughed and said, um, did you tell her we haven't used protection once in like 9 years?  Hahahahaha ;-)

So anyway, my friend's baby is due in 2 weeks, and because it is 100% true, I keep telling her that I'm so happy for her to be welcoming this precious new life into the world.  Because I am happy for her.  And I'm getting there about truly not having it get to me.  Slowly....

And as an example of God's mercy (in addition to the contract on our house, haha), I present to you, M's best friend from preschool's mom.  I invited them over to play recently, and she asked the dreaded question, are you going to have any more kids?  I said, well, we'd love more, but it took us 4 years of trying to have M, and so we aren't holding our breath.  Much to my great surprise, she said, "That's us too!"  I about fell off my chair.  We talked about each of our experiences, and I speak for myself, but I felt very safe with sharing our journey with her.  I hope that we will be able to deepen our friendship, because her daughter is really sweet, and M loves her, and there is nothing like having another friend who's struggled to build their family. 

Thank you Lord, for each of these women.  You have used them to teach me about humility, friendship, honesty, and mercy.  Help me to be a good friend to each of them, to reflect Your life.