The Journey to a Little One to Call Our Own

One gal's experiences dealing with IF, pregnancy, the birth of our first son, parenthood, and doing it all over again with our second son... here is our journey.

Monday, September 2, 2013

It's Time...

... to bid farewell to this little place I've called home: my sweet, personal blog.

I've been racking my brain about what to do with my blog for months now.  Should it continue with a different focus now that I'm at a different place than where I started?  Should I be done with it?  How do I say goodbye?

Two things happened recently that helped me realize that I need to feel confident about my decision to close this blog. 

The first is that I was exchanging emails with my very good friend, Katie.  In my very first post on this blog, I wrote about our friendship, which started at age 3.  Katie is getting ready to welcome her second child, and as I was smiling and thinking about our childhood friendship, I realized that what Katie and I used to talk about when playing Barbies has come to fruition... we are both mothers.  The dream I had for what my life would be like when I was 'all grown up' finally came true, and I am a mom.

The second thing that happened is that I've kept in touch via email with a friend, J, who I met through this blog.  She and I struggled through some tough times... and J was always there for me, sending me warm thoughts and amazing friendship.  Her dream of motherhood finally came true this summer when she welcomed twins to the world.

It feels SO wrong to just give up writing, but there's truly nothing left for me to write about with regards to the title of this blog.

The Journey to a Little One to Call Our Own is complete.  It's hard for me to believe I am typing that, and that it's actually true.  Three and a half years ago, when I started this blog after years of infertility frustration, I questioned where this journey would lead us.

And now, the word 'blessed' can't even sum it up.  Medical bills, failed cycles, surgeries, ovulation tests, betas, HPT after HPT... you gals have been here for me through it all.  Mr. D and I were given three beautiful pregnancies - one far too short, and the other two resulting in the most wonderful gifts I could have imagined.  Max and Mason are my everything, and our family is complete.

Which is why it finally feels appropriate for me to finally close this blog... the journey to children and building our family is over.  Never will I forget what it took for us to bring these children to our lives... infertility has left a permanent scar on my heart.  Thinking of those of you still working through your journeys and sending you lots of hugs.

So, what's next for Mrs. D?!  Who knows :)  What I do know is that I will be focusing on learning more about motherhood, raising my children, being healthy, being the best wife I can be, and continuing my part-time career.  It's a good life :)

As I wrap up my 200th post today (wow!!) and bid farewell to this little spot, ladies, I want to thank you.  Truly, thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I have loved every moment of the camaraderie I experienced because of our connections.  I would love to stay in touch and will be checking on your blogs; if you're interested, please leave me a comment with your email and I'll send you a note.

Farewell and best wishes to you all :)

Mrs. D
aka: Angela

Sunday, May 26, 2013

One Year Ago Today...

... we learned that our little Mason would be joining us.

I woke up at 6:30 this morning to hear my little monkey crying from his room for his morning bottle.  As I was snuggling him in the glider, trying to keep my eyes open to keep the bottle nipple in his mouth, I remembered that one year ago today, everything changed.  I peed on 3 HPTs, all to reveal the most beautiful news... we were expecting again.

And our lives were changed forever.

We are beyond blessed.

Friday, May 17, 2013

My Soon-to-Be New Best Friend: Lysol

Disclaimer: This post talks about puke.  A lot of puke.  You've been warned :)

We have been so blessed... in his 21 months of life, Max has never really gotten sick.  Sure, he's gotten a cold here and there, and a mild temp a couple of times, and got pink eye once, but he's never threw up and really felt sick.

Until last Saturday.

Mr. D, Max, Mason, and I were just finishing up a round of "Peace be with you" with fellow families in the crying room at church, when Max started coughing.  Moments later, projectile vomit flew out of his mouth.  I mean, the puke shot straight out of his mouth and landed on the floor, reaching about 5 feet in front of us (thank goodness we were in the front pew in the crying room with a huge running area ahead of us).

Mr. D and I looked at each other, and with huge eyes, bursted out laughing.  It was the most inappropriate response ever - especially in church as all of these families around us snapped their heads to see what the hell just happened - but we'd never seen anything like it.  Barf.  Everywhere.  And it came from our kid.  Max started screaming, Mr. D took him out of the crying room to get cleaned up, and I scrambled into Mason's diaper bag to see what could help clean up this situation.  

**Note to self: If this ever happens again in public, and I hope it does not... USE BABY WIPES.  I was using a thin blanket and some burp cloths to try and scoop up the puke, and another mom came over to me and suggested baby wipes... they worked way better.

Okay, so back to last Saturday.

Mr. D came back with Max and proceeded to tell me that Max threw up on the way to the bathroom and again in the sink in the bathroom.  We chalked it up to us giving him too many treats during church and headed for home.

Five minutes later, puke ALL over his carseat.  Mr. D and I heard him start coughing as we were in the car, I jumped in the backseat (I am sure that was a sight to see... me climbing over seats, bags and whatever-else to get in the backseat of our minivan), grabbed Mason's burp cloth, and proceeded to catch as much puke as I possibly could.

We got him home, into his high chair, and PUKE.  All over his high chair.

At this point, we were starting to think this wasn't just too many treats... maybe he was sick?

He threw up two more times - once in his crib ALL over his sheets, but then was fine.  

**Another note to self: It is heartbreaking to watch your kid throw up.  My poor, sweet little boy looked like he saw a ghost each time he started to throw up, and there was absolutely nothing I could do to make him feel better except to cheer him on and tell him what a great job he was doing.

So, the puking seemed to be over as of Saturday night.  That is, until 2:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.  I woke up, immediately ran to the bathroom, and threw up.  That was followed by a temporary relocation to the couch downstairs for the night and 18 more episodes of throwing up.  It was awful.  I was sore, tired, and out of anything else to throw up by 8:00 a.m.

I chalked it up to eating something bad on Monday night, until Mr. D came home from work yesterday and said he felt woozy.  Starting at 6:00 p.m., he was hung over the porcelain throne, puking.

What is it with illness?  How does it just spread from person to person?  Where does it come from?  And when is it finally going to leave?

Our house is currently a petri dish of germs.  Once Mr. D is over this nasty bug, the Lysol can and I are going to become best friends.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

T Minus 5 Days

Thanks for your comments on my last post, ladies.  After re-reading it, I think I was a bit fired up... maybe for all good reasons, but maybe I shouldn't let it bother me like I do.  Regardless, I am happy to call this little place on the internet my home.

Next Tuesday, I return to work after 12 weeks of maternity leave.  In some ways, it feels like a lot longer since I've been at work, and in other ways, the time absolutely flew by.

After having Max, I absolutely cringed thinking about going back to work.  I was pretty emotional - after spending a ton of blissful, new mother time with my first little baby, it absolutely killed me to hand him over to his daycare provider (who we love) and jump in the car and go back to my stressful, 40-50 hour a week career.  December 2011 was when Max started daycare, and during the first day I went back to work, I vowed to do two things ASAP:

1. Figure out how to spend more time with my kid during the week, and allow him to have more time with his mama

2. Keep a career that I love, but figure out a different way to do it

Financially, I can not quit my job.  We need at least a portion of my salary.  I wouldn't want to quit because I truly love my role, and we have seen SO many benefits to Max attending daycare and making friends... I would never want him not to have that experience.

However, I did figure out a solution that will work best for me, my kids, and our lives.  I am working Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays at 60% of my salary, with Thursdays and Fridays to spend with my kids.  I know I will need to be planful with my Thursdays and Fridays... I am starting to put together our routine of things the boys and I will do.  Both days each week will include activities for the three of us to do together, and time for me to get some basics done around the house so that we don't have to spend precious family weekend time to get things done (laundry, cleaning, etc.).

Although Mr. D is supportive, I can tell he's a bit skeptical about how this is going to work.  He keeps asking me if I am ready to have both of the kids by myself two days per week, and if, from a budget perspective, we are SURE that we are in a good spot.  I am trying my best to calm his concerns, but the truth is, I am willing to give up just about anything to make this work.  I am sure I will have more learnings/thoughts about it as we transition to our new routine.

This new arrangement is making the idea of going back to work much more digestible this time around.  I am actually looking forward to going back, not dreading the crazy hours and never seeing my children during the week.

T minus 5 days left of maternity leave, and it's not feeling like an end.  It's feeling more like a transition, and I love it.

Monday, April 22, 2013

When You're Not Sure How You Fit

Okay, so it's likely no surprise to anyone reading my blog that I'm having a struggle with myself and this blog.  I post 1-4 times per month, when I used to post much more frequently.  I think I am struggling with what I've heard from a lot of my blogger friends who are parenting after IF... I'm just not sure where I fit in.  I absolutely still relate to IF bloggers, but now also relate to other types of bloggers.  For awhile, I brushed my not-sure-where-I-fit thoughts aside, thinking, even though I started this blog when I was focused on one thing - conceiving - I knew that I would continue if we were ever fortunate enough to have children.

Take the title of my blog: The Journey to a Little One to Call Our Own.  I picked this title very deliberately when I started by blog 3 years ago.  I wanted to document the journey Mr. D and I would take as we attempted to have a child/children.  I remember thinking, "Gosh, if I am fortunate enough to have a baby, does this title still work?"  For me, the answer was yes.

So, while I've been thinking about what's next for my blog, I read a post yesterday from a fellow blogger I've been following for at least a year.  I just removed her blog from my list of blogs I follow because, frankly, of how upset it made me.  I commented on her blog several times - during the time I've followed her, she's been through IUIs, IVFs, a miscarriage, and is now expecting her first child.  I don't recall her ever commenting on my blog, which is absolutely fine.  I don't follow blogs only if they follow me... I always enjoyed her writing style, and I truly, truly was interested in supporting her journey - through all the ups and downs.

She posted something to the effect of feeling betrayed by commenters on her blog if they were in a different place than she was.  She mentioned that when she was TTC, she didn't like getting comments on her blog from people who were pregnant or parenting... even if the comment was nice (which, she acknowledged that the comments were very kind).

It kind of pissed me off, and I'm not entirely sure why.  This community is so diverse with different people dealing with all different struggles - some have achieved what they set out for, and some have not.  And some have picked up additional struggles along the way that they didn't foresee when they started blogging.  We're all here for the support of whomever is interested in following along.

I feel that I still belong here in the community, but this blogger really made me question HOW I fit.  I certainly don't want to be making anyone feel badly about when I reach out to support them... but, even as I type that, I question it.  I mean, does it even matter where support comes from if you open yourself up on a blog that is available for all to see?

I don't know... I don't like having to define where, how, and why my blog fits in.  I guess I don't fit in into a specific, certain place.

I'm not sure where I am going with all of this babbling.  I think I just needed to get my feelings out there.

For now, this blog is my home, wherever it fits.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Choice of a Different Life

When I was pregnant with Max, I remember hearing, over and over, from multiple family members and friends, in so many words, something to the effect of:

"You'll never be able to prepare yourself."

Never be able to prepare yourself to have a child, that is.  People say there's nothing that can prepare you, there's no way to mentally situate yourself for the journey that is parenthood.

I don't really believe that.  I think there is a lot that can be done.  

Of course, for those fortunate enough to have the basics situated - clothing, food, a stable home, love - getting everything prepared for a child to join a family can happen more easily.  If a child is wanted - truly wanted - I think it's pretty easy to make the argument that the child will be loved and welcomed into the home. 

But what I've been thinking about lately is how to prepare for the complete personal life-shift that occurs when a child is brought into the world.

It's a choice: to attempt to create a family with a child or children.  And for those of us who are successful in building their family with a child, we are choosing a completely different life than what we've known to this point.

For Mr. D and me, it was a choice of being open to change a lifestyle that we knew and were comfortable with.  When we found out we were expecting Max, of course we prepared... we did everything we could to prepare what we could so that we felt we were giving our son the best we possibly could.  And, truly, we did a pretty good job.  We had all of the necessities Max required, our hearts were prepared to love our son and raise him to the best of our abilities, and we knew our routines would alter to accommodate the new person in our lives.

But what we couldn't prepare for is the completely different life that we were embarking upon.  No longer were we able to do basic things that we used to - run to the store to pick up groceries, stay at work late to finish up a project, talk on the phone with a friend for an hour, figure out dinner plans last-minute, decide to grab a drink after work with co-workers... and the list goes on.

Of course, these are things Mr. D and I happily gave up when we welcomed our little guy... we knew parenthood would change our routines.

But what we still talk about is how much our core lives have shifted.  We care about different things, we talk about different things... different things are important to us now.  It's almost like we lived a life before our first born that was 100% different than the life we started after our child was born.  We are wholeheartedly happy with the choice we made to shift our lives in this way, but this would be my advice to those thinking about having a child:

Be ready to completely give up what is important to you now in order to start a life as a parent.

Okay, so I know that sounds harsh.  And I know that some parents keep a very similar lifestyle to the one they had before their child was born... and that's awesome.  I am all about maintaining consistency, and if something is important to someone, by all means, they should continue to engage in that activity.  But knowing that parenting could shift priorities in a way that non-parents may not have experienced... that would be the advice I would offer.

Mr. D's friend/co-worker told him that he and his fiancĂ© are going to try and conceive as soon as they are married in August.  This is the type of couple that goes out for dinner every night, stays out late, spends a ton of money, and overall... lives a pretty carefree lifestyle.  While I think it's fantastic that they want to have children, I can't help but think about the incredible life shift they are going to experience if and when a child joins their lives.  Mr. D was talking to his friend about how much our lives have changed since our kids were born, and his friend seemed totally confused.  He couldn't seem to grasp why things are so different... why wouldn't we just get a babysitter when we want to go out for dinner?  And why can't we just pack up the kids and run errands all weekend?  Of course we could do these things... and sometimes we do.  But our core lives are so incredibly different now, that all of these things require pre-planning, intentional conversation about what we are doing, etc.

The choice of a different life is one Mr. D and I made wholeheartedly with eyes wide open.  For those determining if parenthood is a choice they want to make, I recommend determining if they are ready to give up a life they've known to embark upon a new journey.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Second Born, But Not Second Thought

I finally can grasp the reality of non-first-born children kind of getting the shaft.  I saw it happen in my own family: I was first-born, and my sister, who is 6 years younger than me, kind of took a backseat.  Not that my parents didn't love my sister - they absolutely did and still do - but the older sibling required more attention.  And I see myself following the exact same pattern.

Here's what I mean.  People keep asking me how the baby is doing, which is so kind of them.

Is he a good eater?  Does he sleep well?  What developmental milestones has he reached?  Is he a good baby?

Here is what my response has sounded like: "Thank you for asking.  The baby's good.  He eats, he sleeps, and he's growing well."

Now, I am 100% positive I was asked these same questions with Max.  The difference is, my response then was similar to: "Oh, thank you so much for asking and taking an interest in my baby!  He is doing so well.  He loves to eat... can you believe he eats 4 ounces every couple of hours?  He's such a big boy.  He just loves to eat.  And he is an amazing sleeper - he sleeps in his chair or bassinet for naps, and in his own crib overnight.  Ever since he was 6 weeks, he has pretty much slept through the night, which has been so awesome.  He is 98% for weight, and 99% for height.  You can see that he has a big head... he's just overall a big baby!  At least he's proportionate.  He tends to get fussy at night around 5pm and cries until about 8pm.  I think it might be gas.  His pediatrician thinks he is growing beautifully.  Did I tell you about the sensitive formula we started him on?  Let me tell you...."  And on and on and on.

I don't mean to paint the picture that I was an annoying, think-my-baby-is-perfect mom.  I don't think I was.  I truly didn't brag about Max - although he really was an awesome baby.  I'd been through too much IF shit to know better... I never wanted to be that person who started raving about her perfect little baby in front of someone who really didn't want to hear all the details.  I've always been pretty sensitive about that - so much, in fact, that some of my friends and family have asked me why I seem so reserved when talking about my kids.  I just remember what it feels like to not need to hear about every single detail about a kid... there are some things that, frankly, can stay private.

It's just... Max was my first born.  Everything was an adventure.  Everything was a learning.  And if people really wanted to know details, there was a lot I could share.

This time around is so different.  I couldn't tell you how much Mason weighs right now... I know he's healthy, per his last pediatrician visit last week.  I'm not really sure how many ounces of formula and breast milk he eats every day... we just feed him when he's hungry.  And his fussy time?  Well, not too sure about that, either... I think it's in the evenings, but we are so busy dealing with Max (getting him dinner, brushing teeth, off to bed) that I only realize Mason is crying when I pick him up to bounce him on my shoulder around the house.

My point of all this rambling is: I now know how second children (or third, fourth, whatever) are pretty much along for the ride.  Max was the center of our universe, and frankly, he still is... he's a toddler.  He's needy.  He talks and runs and throws tantrums... all of which demand our attention.  Mason also is needy, but in a different way.  We've been through this before, so he kind of tags along with whatever we are doing as a family.  I don't mean to imply that we aren't paying attention to Mason... we most certainly are.  There are many newborn/infant needs that simply can't go unnoticed - the frequent feedings, diaper changes, etc.  But all of that is now taken as a grain of salt as we focus more of our attention on our toddler.  After we had Max, every feeding, every diaper change, every new milestone... it was our whole world.

Mason may be my second born, but he was never a second thought in my mind.  He might just be along for the ride for awhile.