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Lucky

I am so lucky. Lucky because:

  • My husband goes out of his way to make me feel special and beautiful and valued. For my birthday, he made me a necklace that must have taken forever to create.
  • Cupcake is more than I ever even dared to hope for. She makes me laugh every day, often every hour. This week, she’s been marching around the living room, repeating “Plus sign, Minus sign” over and over — for no reason at all. And today, she asked, “Where’s Burger King?” The only thing is, we have no idea where she came up with that because we never go to BK. Like, never ever.
  • Skittle has been kicking away for days, giving me very little reason to worry about her well-being.
  • Right now, I have a precious puppy dog licking my swollen feet and it feels like an at-home pedicure.
  • When I took a spill on the sidewalk over the weekend, I landed on my hands and knees and not any other precious body parts. The worst that happened was a skinned and bruised knee. Skittle immediately did a few somersaults to let me know that she was okay.
  • My mom just made an appointment for a prenatal massage for me. Her treat.
  • I have some really good friends, one (Leigh) of whom is willing to act as my doula at Skittle’s birth and another (Lillian) whom is my back-up sitter for Cupcake if my sis doesn’t arrive in time when I’m in labor. Us three girls have one last weekend getaway planned for this weekend!
  • So many of my worries end up being unfounded. Worries about Cupcake. About Skittle. About never again conceiving. About our financial security. About my husband’s job security. About my health. I now only pray that my worries about a breech baby, Honey being successful in Sales, and changes that I’ve seen in a mole on my neck (dermatology appointment tomorrow) all prove to be in vain as well.
  • I know God. When I have nothing else, at least I have my faith.
  • My husband was able to find a minivan in great condition at a really good price, and I suddenly have stopped caring that I’m going to be one of those moms. You know…the kind who drives a minivan.
  • My mama is amazing. She has spent the last eleven days with us and, in that time, she cleaned my house, made every meal every day, bathed Cupcake multiple times, let my husband and I have a date night, did five loads of laundry, put away all the groceries I bought, and stocked our freezer with four loaves of bread and countless homemade muffins, cookies, snack bars, and pancakes to enjoy for after Skittle arrives. We also did a number of fun activities together, like the zoo and an amazing little farm and a day trip to a city on the sea, and she paid for it all. I was sad to drop her off at the airport this evening, but am excited for her return in two months or so. It is crazy to think that, the next time I see her, Skittle’s birth will be imminent. As in, I will be nearing my due date, in labor, or our second baby girl will already have arrived. Wow!
  • We have a home that somehow always seems to expand to accommodate new family members and new toys, clothes, and other baby paraphernalia.
  • There always seems to be just enough money to buy what we need to and often even what we want to. Can we be sure money doesn’t grow on trees?

If I was so inclined, I could also tell you all the ways in which I am unlucky. Because many times, in many ways, I feel exactly that. Unlucky. But not today. Not now. Not lately. These days, I am just constantly overcome with a sense of gratitude for my blessings and good fortune. It leaves me feeling very emotional, very unworthy, and very fearful for what might be around the corner. I mean, things can’t stay this good forever, right? But right now, I will just thank my lucky stars and enjoy these days and these gifts and rest assured in knowing that life is full of ups and downs. And even if we do crash and burn, we will rise again.

And if you’re interested, a new bump photo has been posted here.

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Odds ‘n’ Ends: Clomid, PAs, Grief, My Mama, and Honey

Just a few bits and pieces to talk about today…

First off, I’ve been having daily headaches for the last week or two. Some days are worse than others, but the ache is almost always there. Up until three years ago, that was a chronic problem for me, but that’s not so anymore. It could be stress or lack of sleep (both holiday-related), but I’m thinking it’s from the increased Clomid dosage. I just really hope that having this one side effect isn’t an indication that the Clomid is affecting other parts of my body — like my lining. We’ll see tomorrow, when I go in for my first u/s of this cycle!

In other news, I went to a Mom’s Night Out Christmas Party for my mom’s group last Thursday. It was fun. After about two hours. Because those first 120 minutes consisted of one of the moms (a friend, but not a close one) announcing a pregnancy (which I’m now calling a PA because I’m too lazy to type “pregnancy announcement” more than once…or twice). She is now 8 weeks pregnant with her fourth baby. She did use IVF to conceive her first one, but got knocked up without trying for the next three. When she made her PA, I started crying. Quietly, and I don’t think anyone saw. Yes, I’m one of those infertiles who cries over someone else’s pregnancy. I just hate being blind-sided. I don’t blame her because, again, she’s not a close friend and she doesn’t know the extent of our TTC issues, but it hurt to hear about her getting a fourth baby because that’s what I want. She has everything I want.  Except I don’t want her kids (though they are exceptionally adorable and well-behaved), I want mine. I want my babies that have my mannerisms and look like me and emerged from my groin.  I went home that night bemoaning the unfairness of it all and cried myself to sleep.

The next morning, I woke up feeling better, only to hear about the  shooting at Sandy Hook. Why, why, why?  And again I was struck by how unfair so much of life is. Not just for us infertiles, but for oh-so-many, all over the world. Life can be very cruel. I do believe in God and I don’t believe He had a hand in any of this (a topic worthy of its own post perhaps),  but it still angers me and frightens me to see what human beings are capable of doing to one another, especially those smaller and weaker than themselves. Those poor, poor babies…and the poor families left behind. I can only pray for their peace and comfort in the weeks, months, and years ahead.

On a much lighter note, my mom arrives tomorrow! I’m very excited for this. I haven’t talked about her a lot on this blog, but my mom and I are very close and have always been this way, even through adolescence. We talk every night on the phone and she comes for a long weekend every couple months. This time, she will be here for two-and-a-half weeks and I couldn’t be more tickled by it. Not only do I have lots of fun things planned for us, including a local holiday festival, going to a new cupcake shop, and two date nights with Honey while we have a babysitter, but this means that I will finally get a break after all this Christmas craziness. When my mom is here, I don’t have to do practically anything. She insists on doing laundry, doing dishes, bathing Cupcake, cleaning, all of it… It really is like a small vacation when she visits. But even more than that, I’m just excited to have her company…and to know that for a full ten days, while Honey is at work, I don’t have to be alone (as in, the only adult in the house). It will be a very welcome change of pace!

And speaking of Honey, the other day I opened one of the books I’m reading to find a Post-it note with this written on it: “I would like to thank you for the 1000 ways you’ve improved my life. Every moment with you is a blessing.” This guy is just too sweet. Only one more reason why I love him so.

10 Things, Part 2

On Monday, I revealed the first five of ten things about myself so you all can get to know me a little bit better. Here is the second part of that list:

6. I was a good student. I graduated from high school with all A’s except for two lousy B’s that still make me mad these many years later. In college, I graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in English.  I also won a writing award, had two of my short stories published, and won the top award in the Humanities Department for my senior research project on Harry Potter (yes, it’s true). Several of my professors encouraged me to pursue grad school and I am sure I have disappointed them all by choosing to stay home and parent my daughter instead. But I do hope to one day return to school, hopefully this time to finish my degree in nursing, because I studied that for two years too. Okay…bragging done. 🙂

7. I’ve suffered a lot of loss. And I’m not talking just about my Teddy Graham or my sanity as I have taken this infertility journey. In my 28 years, I have lost six grandparents, two uncles (and one was only 40 years old), and a 19-year-old cousin. I don’t know if this is a lot for my age or not, but I do know that in my circle of friends, it is. Some of these deaths were more unexpected than others and some have hurt my heart more than others have, but they have all affected me in some way, big or small. And I still mourn my losses, especially my maternal grandparents, my maternal uncle, and my cousin. My cuz and I shared the same birthday (five years apart) and our children were born on the same day (three years apart), so we always had a connection, even if we fought like crazy. Not to mention that he was very young and died in a senseless act that could have been prevented. I miss him. I miss them all.

8. I love to travel. Like, loooooove it. If I could travel for a living, I would. I love it that much. It all started when I was very young and my beloved grandparents would take me along on their summer road trips. Two of my favorite places on Earth are London (where we will be returning to in October) and Kangaroo Island in Australia (where the Honey and I honeymooned), but I also have enjoyed Paris, Zurich, Venice, Cairns (in Australia), Sydney, Hawaii, New York City, San Francisco, Alaska, Cancun, Carmel (California), Yellowstone National Park, Walt Disney World, and so much more. In fact, there are very few places that I haven‘t liked. Some day, I hope to visit every state (I have 15 to go) and every continent…both are on my very-long-and-perhaps-impossible-to-complete Bucket List!

9. I’m very flawed. I’m lazy. I’m self-centered. I’m bossy. I’m so indecisive that I changed my college major a total of five times. I half-ass things (like housework) if I can get away with it. I’m a control freak. I’m super sensitive and get my feelings hurt very easily. I’m painfully shy, which I’m afraid sometimes comes off as stuck-up and snobbish. I’m terribly insecure. I’m occasionally self-righteous. I have unfair and unrealistic expectations of everyone, including myself.  The list really could go on, but I would hate to make you think I’m totally unworthy and then cause you stop reading my blog.

And finally number 10. I’m an only child…sort of. I was raised as an only child and I am my mother’s only child, but not for lack of trying. My mama would have loved to have a handful of children, but my dad (the man who raised me as his child) was sterile due to diabetes (type I). So I was conceived by a sperm donor. I guess I’m part of the first generation of sperm donor babies! My mom tried to have another baby after me, but after 12 tries, she finally gave up and I was raised without any siblings (which I hated, but I’ll save that rant for another post). However, in January, thanks to The Donor Sibling Registry, I connected with a half-sister who was conceived by the same donor and lives just three hours away. Amazing, right? Like, we could totally be a Lifetime movie. I’ll save our full story for another post, but I can say now that I have a sister (which still seems so weird to me)…and yet, she doesn’t feel like one. Not yet. Not at all.

So there you go! A little about me. But what about you…any little-known facts you want to share?

Another Sad Good-bye

Oh, sigh. I love it when my mama is here. I love the company during the day, and all the times we laugh together, and being taken care of, and having someone with whom to share cupcakes and ice cream. This time especially, I loved being able to forget all my problems for five days. But I hate it when she leaves. I hate saying good-bye. It just always leaves me feeling sadder and lonelier than ever.

I Want My Mommeeeeeeeee….

That’s what I kept saying as I was going through all of this over the last six weeks. I want my mommy! And when she walked off the plane yesterday, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. Finally, someone is here to take care of me.

You have to understand the type of mama she is. Think Gilmore Girls. That’s us! She’s my mom when I need one and my friend when I need one. And now that I’m a mom myself, she’s also my mentor when I need one, and I welcome that. And best of all, when she’s in town, I get a break. I play with my daughter and maybe do some baking/cooking, but I don’t have to do laundry, dishes, bath, bedtime, or any other mommy duties. I get a 98% reprieve.

Alas, at least for the weekend, I can stop being strong. I can take care of me, instead of caring for everyone else. I can focus on healing and less on hurting. I can stay in bed all day if I need to so that I can mourn and grieve. But I don’t think it will come to that. A month ago, yes. There was nothing I wanted more than to crawl under the covers and hide from the world. But now, I think I can face it. The pain isn’t gone, but it’s becoming bearable.

And I have fun things planned for the weekend! Pedicures, date night, a day trip into the city, lots of good food. For the first time in six weeks, I have something to look forward to. It feels good. For these few days at least, I just want to forget what is behind me, and especially all the uncertainty that lays ahead.