Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Some Good News

Another reason why I was fairly focused on thoughts about possible future children this past fall is because I had surgery in October on my uterus.  I didn't write about it at the time because I can be a private person, but also I can sometimes be a little avoidant when coping.  In this case it was a healthy coping because I didn't want to think about the surgery too much before it happened and then freak myself out.  Healthy la-la land was good for me by keeping busy with house projects and checking out my new running app.  So, I was not overly stressed leading up to or on the day of surgery.

I was also really glad that Tal was able to take off from work that day.  Part of me really wanted my dad to be there.  I'm a daddy's girl.  What can I say?  But, being that Tal is a nurse, I was in good hands.  Plus, he is a recovery room nurse, so he was in his wheelhouse so to speak.  However, I am thankful that I could share all of these feelings with Tal and he was kind, understanding and sensitive about it.

Just before my annual exam in the early summer, I had a few instances of some bleeding between periods.  Turns out, I had a small polyp that needed to be removed.  All went smoothly and the lab work came back with no worries.  During my follow-up appointment, my doctor was very positive and said that my uterus and ovaries looked great.  She gave the clear to start trying to have a baby.  The news really gave me peace of mind.  Things look healthy all up in there.  Then a few weeks later my regular doctor said my thyroid levels looked good with my annual screening for that.  More good news, which is also surprising given how the levels looked when I was in Florida.

Not to be cliche, but if it is meant to happen, it is meant to happen.  It appears my body is in fairly good shape for where I'm at in life to be trying for a baby.  I'll take that!  Right now in this moment, I feel very content and at ease.  I hope this feeling carries with me into 2017.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Dark Side Before Venturing into TTC

Okay, I've been avoiding my blog.  There has been something on my mind and I have been afraid to write about it.

First, with open enrollment at work for healthcare choices and tax savings accounts, it has gotten me thinking about how to afford a child while paying for daycare.  Staying home is not a very likely option.  Family is far way, so we cannot ask my parents to help out a few days a week.  The cost of daycare scares me, let alone getting a child into one after hearing horror stories of wait lists and non-refundable wait list costs, some that you still have to pay even if the daycare center does not eventually have an opening.  Let alone the rules.  We would only need part-time daycare as Tal and I work different shifts and my schedule rotates.  During the week, we would need about three days for four or five hours each.  But some places require that you pay for all five days.  Would we be lucky enough to find a daycare or private daycare provider who would be okay with a rotating schedule?  I know I'm putting the cart way before the horse.  But, you have to have some kind of plan before you try to have a child.  Or at least me.

Those worries led to worries about quantity and quality of time with a possible future child.  Working second shift makes it tricky.  But, there are other people who work second shift and have families.  It is doable.  Right?  I really like my job and I feel like it is a good fit.  That is also important.  Right?  Then, I'd feel guilty if I would not be spending enough time with a possible future child.  Would I be being selfish having a child and working the hours I'm working?  I think it could work and be okay for the first few years before they would go to school.  By then maybe there could be an opening for a position with more nine to five?  A lot can change.

Also, I guess part of me is somewhat grieving the loss of not being able to stay home to raise my child.  I always wanted that, more so than anything else.  As a little girl, the first thing I wanted to be was a mom.  People laughed at me or would tell me that was not what I really wanted to be.  I loved my mom and felt so loved by her that I wanted to be a mommy and take care of a child so they could feel as loved as I felt as a little girl.  As I realized that "mom" wasn't the answer people were looking for, I expanded my list to include teacher, ballerina and artist.  Don't get me wrong, I liked the idea of those, too. But, after I would say those things, I'd secretly tell myself..."and a mom."

So with lots of hard thinking about how to puzzle it all out with the logistics of having a child and making time to spend with a child, it got me thinking some more.  This is where the darkest question and fear loomed.  What if after all of this, if we had a child, what if we regretted it??  What if parenting was harder than we thought, like really harder than we thought?

Ugh.  I don't even want to admit that question crossed my mind.  It makes me feel like a horrible person.  Does it make me less deserving to be a parent?

I just don't want to screw it up.  I am afraid of being so stressed out that I will be a terrible mom, wife or person.  I do not want to lose me.  I do not want to be totally consumed by parenthood.  Life would change, no doubt.  Priorities would rightfully shift.  How do people do it?

With all of these thoughts running in my mind, I came across a blog from Mel's Friday Round-up.  Actually, it was part of the second helpings.

My response to "Women Who Wish They'd Never Had Kids" and "Why Parents Hate Parenting," by The Unexpected Trip

That blog and links within it led down a wormhole of some very raw, very hard realizations and insights shared by those who do regret having a child.  It is so sad, and my heart feels for those who have disclosed some very dark thoughts.  I don't want to be one of those of those that is completely overwhelmed by parenthood or bitter or resentful.  No, so sad.  I do not want to judge people and I guess it is good for them to have an outlet to express themselves, but still sad.  As the author of the post that reflects on all of these links about parenting, maybe it is healthy for parents to have space to process feelings, all feelings, as a way to heal and carry forward.

How do people do it?  Maybe I am thinking too much.  I just don't want to be holding the experience of parenthood up to wildly, impossible standards then have it all come crashing down.

Then this post popped up on my Facebook feed.

10 Dark Parenting Truths We Never Talk About, by Kristen Oganowski

And while the author tackled some of the dark sides of parenting, she somehow made it less scary.  There are truths in her words.  And it is what it is, but real and with love.  Life with or without children, is different...not better or worse, but different.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Favorite Time of the Year

Fall!  I love fall and everything in it!  The weather is crisp and beautiful, the leaves change colors and it is sweater weather.  I love the smells of fall, especially pumpkin!  Pumpkin everything, yes please!

(Not pictured:  Pumpkin Beer)

I also make some awesome pumpkin chip cookies.  I love fall!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Unwitting Wishes, Maybe?

Tal* smiled and said, "You know, whenever you talk about our future kid, you always say him."

"Oh.  Really?"  It took me by surprise, and I chuckled.

We were talking about our work schedules and the possibility of a new position opening up in my department.  I work second shift and that is not so kid friendly.  While the new position may get me home slightly earlier, I would lose some of that time with a longer commute.  More importantly, the hours are not guaranteed as they may be adjusted based on need and I could end up with the same schedule.  Better to stick with the known for now.

But, it is still kind of funny to me that in our conversations about a possible future child that my default is boy.  In my mind's eye it flips back and forth between a girl or a boy. Although, what comes tumbling out when I speak is boy.  Hmm...

*I'm switching to referring to my hubby as Tal because typing the tilde following T is a bit annoying and old.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Sticking to my New Year's Resolution Too Well

This year I made a resolution to not backdate my blog posts.  While I have been mostly successful, it has ended up with me posting less.  Not sure if it is really getting the result I intended.  Whoops!  Although, I think it has given me an opportunity to step back and think about my blog space.

Last year I had wedding planning to sprinkle into my rotation of posts.  It was nice to take some of the focus away from my past IF experiences or how IF pops up in my life here and there.

Maybe a shift set in motion.  This year there have been times where I may feel at a loss for what to write.  I have not been as inclined to write about IF, so I guess I have not been writing as much.  I've needed my life to be more, which it has.  It just may not be well reflected in my blog.  I should probably just write more about the everyday or what is current, rather than trying to make that connection to IF specifically.  Just write about life as it is.

Microblog Mondays

Friday, August 26, 2016

End of Summer

It was a day to steal away some fun before the last of summer got away.  After all of the unpacking, tending to some house projects and hosting visitors in our new home over the last few months, last Sunday was a lazy day for us.  T~ and I went to Kings Island.

The summer afternoon was made to explore the park, which was my first time visiting.  Sunshine, bluest of blue skies and puffy white clouds greeted us as we crossed the gate.  Hand in hand we meandered through the park.  We road a couple of the coasters, took in views from the tower and shared a funnel cake.  Then before heading out, we ended our visit on the tall swing ride as the sun was starting to set.  It was beautiful.  My heart felt full and my soul at peace.

T~ and I stopped at a friend's house on the way home and visited for a bit.  As we left for the evening, it was the first of the cool nights to lick at our heels as we hopped into the car.

It was good sleeping weather.  A heavy sleep under the weight of the blankets long forgotten from the summer's heat was woken by the cool of the next day's morning.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Summer Visitors

While this summer has been spent unpacking the house, we have also hosted friends and family when they have come to visit.  It has been nice to have people over at our house.  Quality time with those we care about is important.

I was a little nervous when one of my best friends came to visit with her three kids, who are also my godchildren.  They are six, five and three.  I wanted them to have fun and enjoy themselves.  And I hoped that I would have enough to keep them busy!  I'm not a mom, so I was a little worried.  Could I hack it for a weekend?  Of course my friend was coming and it was not like I'd have them all on my own, but I wanted to do a good job.

Fortunately, our new house is right down the street from a fun little park and splash pad.  I was just hoping for good weather.  There is also an ice cream shop down the other way.  So, that was good for a walk and a treat.  Then I looked online for touristy kinds of things and there is a nice children's museum in town.  Plus, if we had good weather, there are nature parks with hiking trails that the kids could handle, as I've seen other families there in the past.

I had an outline of big ideas, but wanted to think about the time between, too.  Kids have a lot of energy and if they do not have something to do, they will find something.  So, T~ and I went shopping for toys.  He has young nephews around the same age.  We figured buying some toys would be a good investment.  We picked out some things for inside and outside play.  I tried to get some things that can be gender neutral and a few things that may be a little more gender specific.  For example, Legos are great for many kids and for a good range of ages.  Lots of kids like to play with kitchen sets, color, use play-doh and play with outdoor toys, like hula hoops and a kickball.  But, I also got some superhero action figures with a couple of small vehicles and a princess doll set with a small fold up castle.  I tried to stay within a budget and not get too crazy.  Another thing we had going for us is that my husband has a good collection of Pixar movies and we have Netflix.  Not that we want to rely on TV, but it was likely to rain.

In addition, I worried about what the kids would want to eat.  I checked in with my friend and then went grocery shopping.  Again, I didn't want to go crazy, but at least have a few options.  I just really wanted my friend and her children to feel welcomed.  I thought about the times my brother and I would visit family as little kids and tried to pull from those experiences as to what made us feel comfortable and welcomed in someone's home.  A little bit can go a long way.

Finally, I was concerned about whether or not I'd have the energy to keep going the whole weekend.  I'm pretty used to a quiet house and that is very different than three small children.  I hoped I would not feel overwhelmed.

However, the weekend visit went very well!  The kids played nicely and had a lot of fun.  I got to enjoy quality time with my friend.  And I hoped she felt like she may have gotten somewhat of a break with the trip.  Her husband has been very busy with work and as a stay-at-home mom, she does a lot of the caregiving.

The kids loved the park and splash pad.  We went to the park the first night after dinner.  They had a lot of fun going on the swings and teeter totter and  climbing equipment.  The next morning we went to the splash pad before it had a chance to rain.  The day before was better weather for it, but the kids still enjoyed it.  They were very silly running around, slashing and filling a bucket of water.  Just good old water play and exploring.

We also went to a small, free farm at one of the Metro parks.  It ended up being smaller than we thought and it was self-guided.  With the possibility of rain, we were the only ones there.  I thought it was kind of a bust, but it turns out that the kids got a kick out of it.  They talked quite a bit about it the next morning.

They had a blast at the kid's museum, which I'm very glad that T~ came along so that each child could be paired with a grown-up.  This gave each child the ability to explore and spend as much time as they liked in the different areas.  It flowed well and we generally stayed together, but one or two may have lingered before moving onto the next thing or maybe skipped something that was not as interesting from time to time.  We spent quite a bit of time at the museum.  It was fun to play along with them, too.

The kids were very cute.  My friend said they could not wait to come and visit.  She said they were so excited to come to our house.  I've been to their house lots of times, but I think this was a fun adventure for them.  Snuggles and hugs and happy memories made.  I hope my friend comes to visit again, and we'd welcome the kids, too.  It was a successful, fun weekend!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Settling In

It has been about two weeks since we moved into our new house.  It is already starting to feel like home.

When we first moved our stuff into the house, we then left for Cleveland for my cousin's wedding.  So, we didn't stay in it until after we came back from the trip.  T~ walked me across the threshold.  Newlywed fun, and a great way to celebrate just over six months of marriage!

I kept fairly mum about the house as I was worried something may not work out.  We actually put an offer on another house in February, but we missed it by an hour.  There was a contingency offer on that house and the other family sold their house just before we submitted our offer.  It was disappointing.  However, it all worked out because we really like this house more.  The other house was very nice and an easy practical choice, but it was one of four houses we looked at when really starting to look since toeing the waters in the fall.  It almost seemed too good to be true.

Our closing was in the beginning of May.  You can see a picture here.  It took us about six weeks to move into the house because we needed to get some electrical updates.  While the kitchen and bathrooms has been updated, the rest of the house only had two pronged outlets.  We needed to do a little bit of updating to be able to plug in our TV and computer.  Plus, there was no previous washer and dryer, or even electrical outlets for them.  We believe the prior owner who lived in the house may have used a hand crank washer or went to the laundromat.  Plus, I wanted better lightning for the basement stairs and a light/fan combo for the main bathroom.  Not flashy upgrades, but we are excited about them!

However, with the delay in our move, it gave us time to take advantage of some nice sales.  We bought a new washer and dryer.  It is crazy the amount of technology has changed washers and dryers since the last time I went shopping for them.  Leaps and bounds!  Whenever I turn them on, I feel like I am in the future.  We also bought a new couch and got a really good deal on it.  Unfortunately, the old couch does not fit in the basement, so we will have to sell it.  Then, we got some awesome super sales on two rugs.  One is for our bedroom and one is for the guestroom.  We have hardwood floors throughout, which we really like.

Still plenty of packing, but it is coming together slowly.  We are happy to be in our new home!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Triggers, Not Just For IF

As my hubby and I were finishing dinner, he offered to clean up the dishes, which I appreciated.  He is a kind man and always willing to help out around the house.  Sometimes he spoils me.

His nephew's birthday was the next day and the present still needed wrapped.  So, I thought I'd help and pick out some wrapping paper and wrap it.  I went to the closet in the guest bedroom in our apartment.  As I was considering the options, I came across a roll I had not seen before that had obviously been used.

It sucked my breath away.  And I called out and asked, "What was this pink, flowery roll from?"  T~ responded from the kitchen with a vague, "I don't know."  My eyes became tearful and my heart sank with my thoughts starting to run all over the place.  I commented that I hadn't seen it before and I wondered what it had been used for.  He said in a puzzled voice that he didn't know, but then quickly followed that it must have been for his mom and recalled buying her something recently.

I took a breath and felt terrible for the ugly mess of thoughts coming to mind.  The wrapping paper was a trigger, unbeknownst to me, reminding me of my past spouse's infidelity.  I did not want those thoughts and it upset me to feel those ghostly feelings.  It also surprised me, as those distant thoughts seemed dormant, but quickly and sharply came to the surface.

T~ had recognized the change in my tone and came to check on me from the kitchen.  At this time I was trying to regroup myself and shake off the old hurt.  He hugged me and asked what was wrong as he held me.  I shrugged and did not want to talk about it.  He asked if it had something to do with my ex-husband, and I nodded.  He asked if I wanted to talk about it, and I shook my head no.  T~ said he was sorry to see that I was reminded of him and the hurt he caused.  And I said thank you.

T~ held me for a moment and I felt better, and secure in our relationship.  I am thankful for T~'s patience, compassion and understanding.  He did not make me feel less or like I was questioning him.  He acknowledged my pain and we moved on, with the rest of the evening quite pleasant and normal.

After the divorce, I had a conversation with a friend who had gone through divorce herself.  I felt broken and wondered who would want to be with me having been divorced.  My past felt so big and heavy.  I didn't know what to do with it.  Fourteen years was too much to ignore, but it was not something I wanted to discuss with a romantic partner either.  Carli told me that I did not have to hide my past and that one day I would find a man who would love me, all of me, and that he would be able handle my past--not that it would be the focus, but he would understand and not be afraid of it.  After thinking about my single days and dating and with my relationship with T~, she was right.  And I am happy to say that person by my side is T~.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Elephant in the Room

Before I started my blog, I found support for IF through a Baby Center forum group.  Each of the ladies that I met there has been successful in expanding their families, which I am sincerely happy for them.  Several of the ladies have even been fortunate to have more than one child.  Overtime as families started to grow, people transitioned away from the forum.  But, many have maintained a connection through Facebook.  It brings me joy to see them happy with their children.  They glow in their love for their children and families.  You can tell from their posts that they are very grateful and do not take for granted their blessings.  Life carries on and life brings challenges, but they handle it with strength and grace.

However, with being in different places in our lives, there has grown some distance.  It is natural to happen.  It is the ebb and flow of time and where we are in life.  But, it can be very lonely being the last of the group without a child.  When the last person had their baby a few years ago, I felt very sad and even jealous and angry at times.  I didn't write about it then because I did not feel like openly having a pitty party for me.  There may have been an entry that had a sentence or two that referenced it.  I edited it out because I did not want to hurt anyone's feelings or push them away.  But, the distance continued to expand either way.  I'm sure there are many reasons.  Sometimes people just have to move on to do their healing from IF.  Priorities obviously and rightfully shift.  There is more common ground with those who are also in the life stage of raising children.

As much as I don't want it to, it hurts.  Sometimes it is more and sometimes it is less.  More often than not, it is less now, but it has taken time.  Then I wonder, when will be the day when everyone is done growing their families?  Will I still be without a child?  Has that day already come to pass?  That will not really be known for quite sometime.  It will just silently happen and only to be determined by looking back to see when it was.

At least I feel like I am in a better place of acceptance now than when I first realized I was the last of the group without child.  And I have found other blogs to read, some parenting after IF, some trying to grow their families and some that are childfree.  Always new people to meet along the way.  Just not sure which way it will be for me.