Tuesday, January 20, 2015

So Many Variables

For much of January, I have been thinking and wondering and worrying...  Am I too old to have a baby of my own?  Are my eggs still good?  Is it selfish of me to want to have a biological child with T~?

And really what each of these questions should add is some form of "a healthy baby."  I am scared because the longer I wait, there is an increased chance there could be complications.  Usually, I am good about regular exercise and healthy eating.  However, my bigger concern is for the potential child.  I am nervous about possible health or developmental issues.  Sure lots of people have had healthy babies later in life.  Will that be me?  I would hope so.

But having been a teacher and now working in the medical field, I have seen more than my share of children with complicated medical or developmental needs.  It takes a lot of work.  And truth be told, I have had multiple parents who have expressed their guilt and confessed to me that they wondered if they had been selfish in having a child later in life.  They have wondered aloud if they brought on these troubles to their child...and stopping short of saying that maybe they should not have tried in the first place.  These are good people and I realize they are sharing these thoughts while under great distress.

Nevertheless, it gives me pause.  At what cost do you try?  Is the risk worth the benefit?  Who is the priority?  It is not all about you.  It is also about that future person you may bring into this world.  At what cost is it to them?  What are you maybe asking them to sacrifice?  Is it fair?

I know in some ways I am getting ahead of myself as T~ and I are still planning our wedding.  But, I can't help it.  I am feeling the pressure of time.  I want to make a responsible choice.  My thoughts waiver.  Should we try for a baby of our own?  Should we adopt?  Can I be happy without children and instead dedicate myself to my career by helping others?  Or should I focus my energies on the people in my extended family and friends?  Lots of questions and lots to think about.

When I start to feel overwhelmed by it, I focus on wedding planning and my life with T~.  It is much more fun.  :)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Looking Forward


It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work.  It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.  --Unknown

I hope to find peace in 2015.

Wishing you the best in the New Year!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Flipping the Calendar

Today as I was flipping my work calendar to get a glimpse of what I already had scheduled for the next month, I heaved a sad sigh.  It seems of late that my life is blocked in month sized segments.  My work schedule is a heavy influence, but about a month at a time is all that I seem to be able to handle.  And the pages just keep turning and time keeps passing by me.  I feel relief when I get through a month, but then it is just another month that has passed.

I have planning my wedding to look forward to this year.  I am really excited, and so is T~.  We are nearly finished with finalizing the venue.  Then we will start figuring out the other large details, such as an officiant, photographer, flowers and music.  And I can seriously start shopping for a dress.  There is much to look forward to in 2015.  It makes me feel happy.

Then in the back of my mind, as much as I try to push it away, I worry about time...time to build a family.  T~ and I have talked about it and we would like to have a child or two.  We agree on small.  He is open to adoption, but it would be nice to try for a baby of our own.  With every passing month we grow older.  I want to enjoy us, and let our relationship continue to grow and unfold.  I'd rather not rush things just to try to get to a maybe baby.  I don't want to wait or put it off either.  Ideally, I would prefer to be married for a year before having a child.  We want to enjoy our first year of marriage.  I don't know how we will feel by then...we may want to try sooner or a tiny bit later.  And if we were to get PG, I want us to be able to enjoy that, too.  I don't want to put us on a timeline.  But, I also don't want too much time to pass.  I am scared of us missing our window of opportunity, but it may have already passed.  Who knows?

Every now and then I will click on a link to a parenting blog that was posted on FB.  Sometimes I read them because I am curious and other times I read them because maybe one day I will find the information helpful to know...maybe...maybe.  Some of the writings are touching or insightful.  Sometimes I tear up a bit, a sting, and I think to myself I must be glutton for punishment.  (The words that got me were I want them to have babies.)

This most recent post made my heart ache.  A mother reflects on her time in motherhood.  She realizes that this life that she has right now is beautiful and something that dreamed about as a girl, a girl who always imagined herself as one day being a mother.  She also believes that when the end of her days come that she will look back on this time as the best part of her life.  (She could be wrong or she could be right.)  But, what she decides to do is to be thankful and drink it all in and allow herself to fully be in the moment and appreciate it.

I wonder, if I don't become a mother, what chapter in my life will I most be wistful?  What part of my life will I hold dear and want to relive in my mind over and over?  Am I living it now?  I find it a little hard to believe while I feel like I am waiting in hope or longing for a dream that may not come to be.  

And that is why I try to shove those worries about time passing to the very farthest corner of my mind.  I am trying to find some space of peace to be able to be happy living the life that I do have.  I am trying so hard to enjoy and make the most of the life I have with T~ right now.  It happens at times, but I want more moments of balanced happiness than those of longing.

What are the chapters in the lives of the childless that are most meaningful or peaceful or happy?  What do the childless wish they could relive just as it was and not as they might have wished it could be?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Heart of it All

It was really good to be home for Thanksgiving this year.  My fiance and I went to Ohio to visit our families.  We had six days, and we spent the first half with my family and the second half with his.  It was really nice because T~ got to meet more of my friends.  My brother surprised everyone by dropping in for the holiday, traveling up from North Carolina.  My parents' reaction was priceless.  T~ and I looked at wedding venues, too.  While it was very full, it still felt unhurried and with quality time with those we love.

I really miss living in Ohio.  I miss home.  The trip was just further confirmation for me that I want to move back.  Fortunately, T~ would also like to move back to Ohio.  It fits us both well.  I want to be closer to our families...a car ride verses a plane ride...to be able to spend time with them for holidays and everyday life.  I feel like I am missing out on so much!

This has been the year that has filled me with more urgency and want to spend more time with my family and closest friends.  I've always enjoyed spending time with them, but time is precious and limited.  I feel a greater need to get home.  Priorities are shifting and I may not have the patience or the time for my career to catch up.  Plus, if I want a chance of trying for a family of my own, time is running out.  I may have to chose, but hopefully something will work in my favor soon.  A friend of mine said I was nesting.  I am just so thankful to have T~ in my life and that we are in it together.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Ugly

I am afraid of my parents dying before they are grandparents.

It is an ugly thought.  It is not one I want to admit.  As much as I try to push it away, it keeps slithering back.

I have had a really hard time lately.  Should I be realistic or keep the faith?  Part of it is coping with living childless right now.  Opportunities for motherhood are not completely out of the picture.  That door has not closed, but time is not on my side.

But, I do my best to remember to live the life I have now and embrace the love, joy and blessings I do have because sometimes what the heart wants, it does not get.  Actually, I just had a conversation about this concept with my fiance and how it relates to work, which has been a challenge in starting and establishing a second career.  I want to have a full-time position, but my field is competitive and jobs are limited.  It may take awhile, and it is important to consider at what cost as time keeps passing.  I have worked hard, but I may not get both.

T~ is a rock.  At least we have each other and he is dedicated to making the most of what we have.  I am happy to share my life with him.  And I remind myself again to breathe.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Arm Wrap Up

Yesterday was my last session of PT for my shoulder.  There were a lot of emotions.  Nearly eight months of therapy after a failed attempt of treatment from another care provider and fourteen months since the injury.

I am thankful for being able to get a second opinion and to then get the care I really needed and advocated to get in the first place.  I am thankful for the doctor who believed my pain and that I should not settle for partial healing and movement of my arm.  I am thankful that he referred me to a fantastic PT group who also took my concerns as real and my desire to get better as true.  The new doctor and PT group found it reasonable for me to want to be able to put on a coat without pain or hook my bra when getting dressed in the morning or to be able to sleep through the night.  They recognized that my injury and healing process were atypical and were not going to give up.  They were able to work with my injury so that I could avoid surgery or manipulation under anesthesia.

It took a long time, and with very slow and steady progress.  They did not place blame or make me feel badly for it taking so long to recover.  They focused on the forward progress no matter how small.  They acknowledged my efforts and were my cheerleaders.  They listened to all of the little, subtle details of what I observed or noticed along the way to make adjustments or tweaks in their treatment plan.  They did not make me feel silly for being frustrated by some of the limitations I had experienced in my range of motion.   They were glad that I wanted to be able to throw a baseball again or reach for the cereal on the top shelf or be able to make snow angels.  I did not just want to settle for partial results.  Sure, I may not get back to exactly how my arm was before the accident.  But, I don't have to settle for good enough.  They understood that I wanted to get back to as close to my normal, which may be a bit farther than most because of me being hypermobile or naturally more flexible.  It was not a crazy expectation or unrealistic.  It was just me wanting to be me again.

So, before I left on that last day, I thanked the PT therapists who worked with me.  I also thanked other staff for their patience and kindness.  Once I stepped out of the hospital, I cried a little bit.  Tears of relief, tears of saying good-bye and tears of thankfulness.  Hopefully, it is over and my arm can heal that last five percent on its own with my own exercise, regular living and time.  I am walking away feeling confident in the medical care I finally received.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Blogging Relationships

Sometimes after commenting on another person's blog post, you realize that your comment could make a good blog entry.  I found Mel's post, Don't Starve the Good Bloggers, to be an interesting read.  It suggests diverting the energy in responding to trolls towards supporting the bloggers you enjoy reading and where their story, their writing touches you.  I like the idea of investing in others and sharing kindness.  The comments from the post seemed to follow a conversation around how people post comments or how often they receive them.  It reminded me of fostering relationships and friendships.  Below is my response to the post and its dialogue.

I think the blogging relationship between readers and writers follows similar patterns of friendships over a lifetime.  Some people are long time friends, some are casual friends, and some are work friends.  Some are neighbors or people you have met through a common interest, like going to the gym or taking an art class.  Some have that instant kinship or that feeling like you have been friends your whole life, and then a new chapter begins.  They will always be dear to your heart and you might miss them.  Some friendships ebb and flow where there are periods of closeness and periods of distance, but then closeness again.  People's lives change and we may go down separate paths.  The most fortunate of friendships are the ones that you can pick up right where you left off, no matter the time between.

For me, I feel like I am in a very small niche of the IF community.  When I started my blog, it was after the active TTCing and shortly after my marriage had ended.  It was and has been a way for me to process what I went through and the lingering shadows that follow me now.  I had made friends in the IF community from another source of support online before everything fell apart [in my marriage] and followed them here.  So, upon entering the blogging community, I started with a very low readership because I was not actively trying.  It has never been huge.  Who would read about "their worst nightmare?"  But, I keep writing for me and maybe, maybe it might be of help for someone out there.

And I've kept up in reading this blog [Stirrup Queens] because I enjoy what Mel has to say and because I have found some voices who have been through kind of what I am going through and are on the other side, the side without children.  It gives me a light in how to live right now as a childless person.  I may get another chance to try to be a mother, but not at the moment.  I find comfort in knowing if I have the opportunity to try to be a mother, I am connected to a place where others are actively trying.  But, it is also a space that if I remain childless, that there are women here to show me I'll be okay.

Thank you to all who read my blog!  Thank you to those who post comments, as well!  Thank you to the lovely ladies who have shared in their friendship with me beyond the online world and IRL!  Hugs!