A mindful lesson in being present

Tonight, I held my baby and I cried.

You see, I’ve been resentful lately.

I’ve been angry when he won’t take a nap.

I’ve been annoyed when he wants to sit on my lap while I’m trying to work on the computer.

I’ve been aggravated that he gets into E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.

I’ve wished that he would go back to the smaller, less mobile version of himself.

I struggle with his independence.

I always thought watching a little human – my little human – grow up would be fascinating, but my son is strong-willed and curious.

He doesn’t want to sit idly in front of the TV.

He’d rather cruise around the furniture testing how far he can reach items that he isn’t supposed to have or explore his toy box by taking each and every toy out of it.

Once his adventures have curbed his curiosity, he crawls back over to me and insists on being my sidekick. Even though he’s independent, he craves human contact. He likes being close.

And me, I’ve been needing space.

My mind is caught up in a million other places. I feel like time is of the essence, yet it seems like there’s never enough…. especially when your mini-me is constantly distracting you.

We’ve had a rough week. Wyatt was sick with a cold and decided that a sleep strike would be his medicine of choice. He spent a few days home with me being extra snuggley and extra cranky.

Today, he went to daycare. The daycare says he’s handling the transition really well, but I see it in his eyes that’s he’s upset with us. He’d rather be home with Mom or Dad where he always gets cuddles whenever he wants. Attachment parenting has gotten the best of us.

Tonight, my little man fought bedtime hard. I can’t get angry at him for being a nighthawk like me. He takes after me so much sometimes that it scares me. In fact, I worry what I will face as his personality seems so much more powerful than my own.

As I rocked my son to sleep, his tear stained cheek rested against my shoulder. I could feel his tiny breaths begin to get shallower as he gave in and drifted off to sleep. He felt so warm against me – so soft, so gentle. He’s little still – even if it seems like he’s getting so big.

Tonight, I cried.

Because each and every day, my son shows me what really matters. His refusal to go to bed forced me to slow down and clear my mind. I allowed myself to give in and feel the depths of the present moment.

Then, I felt guilt – for all of the anger, resentment, annoyance and struggles I’ve been facing. Because if I would just take a few more minutes to pause, take a deep breath and pay attention to my son, I wouldn’t be feeling so disconnected.

His needs actually mirror my needs. Isn’t that a fascinating concept?

And then I broke my ankle…

Sometimes the universe smacks you with a sign you can’t ignore. Last week, Wyatt and I had lunch with a friend. I told her that I needed to slow down – to take all of life in, to not force decisions, to go with a natural flow.

The next morning, I broke my ankle.

I was on my way out the front door with the diaper bag over my left shoulder, Wyatt on my left hip and our 2 chihuahuas in their crate in my right hand. I’m not 100% sure what happened. I think the dogs shifted in their crate as I stepped off our last step onto the lawn. My left ankle gave out. I heard a loud pop and went down. The Mom in me was focused on making sure Wyatt didn’t fall. He was fine. I sat up and knew that my ankle wasn’t. I called my husband and we sat on the lawn until he got home to rescue us.

I didn’t want to be doing what I was headed out to do that day. Wyatt was supposed to spend his 2nd time at daycare while I ran the dogs to the vet. I had asked my husband to take the time off to take the dogs, but he couldn’t get it off. Isn’t it ironic that he ended up home anyway? 

It’s only a small fracture. I joke that it hurts way less than my major sprain from 4 years ago. The physical pain isn’t what’s getting to me though. It’s the guilt from not being able to 100% take care of my son.

Until I got my walking boot the next day, I had to be completely off my ankle. That first day my husband did everything for Wyatt and handed him to me when it was time to nurse. We dropped him at daycare when we went to the hospital to get the walking cast. Wyatt had an absolute meltdown when we picked him up. It was a combo of being up way earlier than he usually is and a case of missing Mom. We normally do everything together and now he has to get used to being with Dad way more.

It’s been 3 days since I broke it. I’m getting around much better today, but I’m still not stable enough to walk on the boot while holding my son. We live in a 4-level split home with 6 stairs between the main floor and the bedrooms. I’m worried about how to get Wyatt downstairs in the mornings once Mike returns to work on Tuesday (we have a holiday here in Canada tomorrow). I’m thinking it may be easiest to go down on my bum with him on my lap. Right now, it seems like it would have been much easier if he wasn’t mobile or was walking on his own. Crawling has it’s limitations.

Mom guilt is totally taking over. I wanted to enjoy the rest of my maternity leave. Now, I’m going to spend it hobbling around unable to do all of the activities that Wyatt and I had been enjoying so far this summer – swimming, spray parks and our daily walks. I’m just going to have to find a way to be more present in a slower pace. I have had friends tell me that I should have a better idea of what I can accomplish with the boot on at the one-week post injury mark.

My husband deserves a gold star. He finally gets what it’s like to have the baby full-time… except now he needs to stop bitching about it.

I miss my boy though. I mean I still get him. I’m still here. But, my husband has taken over many of my Mom duties and it’s making me sad. I can’t get to him as fast. I can’t hold him on that knee for as long. I can’t take him for a stroller walk. But, I can still make the most of it. Tonight, we sat on the floor playing together. I have a feeling this incident will encourage me to get down to Wyatt’s level and enjoy life from his perspective a bit more.


 

 

 

The unspoken feelings on Father’s Day

We’re in Ontario visiting my parents. I just listened to them go on and on about what gender the babies will be for my sister-in-law and my sister (because surprise! She’s almost 5 months pregnant but hasn’t officially told my brother or I).

Back in February, my parents had an intuitive reading done. This woman said they would have one more boy and one girl grandchild.

Finding out my sister is pregnant left me feeling gutted as my Dad keeps referencing this psychic prediction. Each time he does, it’s like the dagger of infertility digs a little deeper. He doesn’t get how painful it is to think what we might have to go through to try for another child and that we may never get the chance to have another.

If we can’t, I’ll need to process another round of failure and grief to find acceptance in our situation. Still, the uncertainty is scary.

I know that intuition can be off. This woman may not have seen what the future holds for my husband and I. Life is moldable. Energy changes each instant.

It doesn’t help that it’s Father’s Day. Any occasion associated with parenthood stirs up all the emotions inside me related to infertility and loss.

It doesn’t help that my Dad referenced my husband’s ”First Father’s Day”, forgetting about our Emme and the fact that Mike has been an amazing father to get our fur babies for years before that.

It doesn’t help that as my Dad went on and on, a close friend of mine who is living a child free life posted about their infertility struggles on Facebook. We get their pain.

So for today, I’m going to accept that they still don’t ”get it”.  I’m going to enjoy my last day at the beach by taking in the warm sun, feeling the cool breeze off the lake, and sending love and light to all the Fathers out there.

Whether you hold your children in your arms or only your heart, I see you. I honour you. I feel with you. ❤

Happy Father’s Day to my husband Michael. Wyatt, Emme and our brood of fur babies are so blessed to have you.

Parenting your son doesn’t put you on a pedestal

I just stumbled upon this article and sent it to my husband to read, “Just Because I Get Up in the Night Doesn’t Mean I Deserve Praise“.

The irony is the story that husband describes is exactly how our day went.

I’m sick again with a cold and dealing with an out of sorts/cranky baby. I’m not sure if it’s teething, a cold or a combo of the two. His schedule and his normally cheery personality have left the building.

You know how it goes when you are sick. Mom life doesn’t get put on hold. Your symptoms keep you awake at night, then just when you have finally passed out from exhaustion, the baby decides to wake up to nurse/pee/just because it’s midnight party time.

Last night I couldn’t take it any more. Wyatt had been up multiple times before midnight. When he was wide awake at 1:30 am, I told Mike it was his turn. OK, fine. I may have yelled I’m fucking exhausted and I’m not going to get better if you don’t take a damn turn! But… that was after he simply told Wyatt to go back to sleep and then ignored him. 

Well, he took his turn and stayed up with the little man til 3:30 am. I later learned that Wyatt did go back to sleep as Mike rocked him downstairs. Mike just didn’t go to sleep himself until Wyatt woke at 3:30 am and he decided to take him back to our bedroom.

When Mike left for work this morning, I thanked him for getting up and told him I was already starting to feel better. He replied with, “Well I’m tired now, so I better be getting an extra long nap this evening!“.

My response, “You are fucking kidding me right?”

As the story goes, a husband does not deserve extra breaks, extra credit or extra ass kissing for simply being a parent. A Mom deserves to be spelled off at times especially if she is sick.  I told my husband at supper time that I don’t feel like he’s on our team lately. He’s been all “Team Mike”.

Honestly, he’s had it really easy for being a father with a newborn son. He hasn’t curbed any of his social activities. In fact, he actually took on one more activity this winter. He currently goes out 2x a week for bowling and curling, not including other random social activities like wing nights with the boys.

My Mom tried to tell me it’s my fault for “letting him“, but I don’t feel like our relationship is based on one controlling the other like that. My issue has to do with his sense of entitlement. When I was sick the last time, I asked Mike to cancel one of his bowling games. Then, I heard all about it for the next few weeks.

Mike tells me to go out more. He thinks I need more time for myself,  but I’m not interested in that. I want to spend time with my son. I want to spend time together as a family. I’m ok with how my social life is. The issue has more to do with communication and respect within parenting roles than a division of social activity.

I want to feel comfortable acknowledging my needs and not feel guilty when I ask for them to be met. I just want my husband to listen, sympathize and understand when I ask for help. And when he does follow through with his role as a parent, I want him to drop the sense of entitlement.

Right now, the resentment is building (especially since he crawled into bed at 9pm tonight after watching the ball game this evening) and resentment leads to anger. I need to nip this one in the butt before it festers.

My best friend keeps telling me we are just still working things out. She experienced similar situations with her partner. Their daughter is 9 months old and for them, it’s much better now.

Is this true? Is this just typical new Dad brain? Will we come to a common understanding before I go crazy?

A never-ending battle

 

Today, I’m struggling with infertility.

I am looking at my son who is so contently playing in his exersaucer. I know he can sense when Momma is upset. He is my miracle. He is my greatest blessing.

But, he can’t take away the emotions.

Last week, a friend lost her first baby off her first IVF cycle. It was the only embryo to make it, but it only made it so far. ❤

Yesterday, another friend told me she just experienced another loss. It’s her second pregnancy and her second loss since 2016 began. ❤

Today, another friend found out her 3rd baby has also become an Angel. It was her 3rd pregnancy, the one we thought was THE ONE. This pregnancy was the farthest she has ever gotten. ❤

My God. Why is it so hard?

Each time, my heart just breaks.

It’s

NOT

fair.

With each blink of your eyes – whether there’s tears streaming from them or not – you are surviving. And some days, surviving is all you can do.

brokenhearts

What does beating infertility mean to you? Read this post about Beating Infertility from my friend Sondra at a Calm Persistence. 

 

 

Hello… Mom? Dad? Are you there?

There’s been something on my mind lately.

My parents don’t seem to really embrace their role as grandparents.

Or maybe it’s that they don’t act like typical grandparents?

Or maybe I need to adjust my expectations of them as grandparents?

Either way, it’s weird.

My parents live in Ontario. We live in Saskatchewan.  I recently asked both my parents if we could do video calls. They have iPhones. My sister has an iPhone. My brother, his wife, my husband and I have Android phones. The best options would be Skype or Google Hangouts since my brother and I can’t Facetime. It’s really not difficult to set one or the other up especially since everyone already has Gmail accounts.

My Mom has yet to respond to any of the messages I’ve sent in regards to video calling (and I’ve sent multiple). My Dad initially told me to just upload videos and email them. Then, he told me if I want to video chat I’ll need to get an iPhone.

It hurts to know that they won’t take 5 minutes to download an app and set it up so that they could actually see their Grandson on a regular basis.

It’s not a matter of being tech savvy. They both know how to use their phones and the laptop very well. I could blame it on my Dad being lazy or my Mom being too busy, but really are those valid excuses?

Just to drive it in a little deeper, my Mom does Facetime with my sister. Of course she would. 

My brother and I talked a lot about it when he visited last week. He only lives 3.5 hours away from my parents, but they haven’t seen them in 8 months (that’s a whole other can of worms though).

They just seem really disengaged as Grandparents and with today’s technology, I don’t really think that location is a limitation.

I’m not really sure what to do about it. It hurts each time they don’t respond to or refute my request. And we all know there’s no logic in repeating something and expecting a different response each time.

I’m not sure opening up about my feelings will get me anywhere. I’ve opened up multiple times on our infertility/pregnancy loss journey and it just seems to push they away further.

I used to joke that my relationship with my Mother-in-law was solely based on what she saw on my social media accounts, but I’m beginning to feel the same way about my own Mother. My Mom commented on my Instagram that she can’t wait to see Wyatt when we visit in June… yes, I said on my Instagram. I haven’t spoken to her on the phone in weeks and I’ve tried to call multiple times.

I’m feeling like I’m holding a tin can with a burnt up string and no one on the other end.

Is this a wake up call? What lesson do I need to learn here?

Hey Universe, I’m ready for the answer. 

 

 

 

Big brother

Triggers.

Just when you think you are in a happy place…

that your emotions are under control…

that infertility doesn’t have a hold on you right now…

It happens.

Best brother ever” written on a toddler’s t-shirt.

An innocent gesture meant to celebrate their joy.

My nephew is about to become a big brother. My SIL is due in July with Baby #2. They conceived on a trip to Barbados. It was their first month trying again. Because for fertiles, it’s THAT easy. 

I have my joy. I have my miracle boy.

But…

Will Wyatt ever get to be a big brother?

I don’t know what the road ahead looks like. I don’t even when I’ll be ready to entertain which route to take.

My wounded heart longs to (one day) give him a sibling, but opening myself back up to the trials and tribulations of infertility is fucking frightening.

 

 

WARNING: Mommy stress

I’m having a rough 2 days.

Worry.

Anxiety.

Stress.

Arguments with my husband.

I’m feeling disconnected from myself.

I escaped 3x in the past week for some much needed Mommy time – without feeling guilty or worrying – as Wyatt was with my husband. One night was a girl’s night at a friends. I didn’t even have one drink, but probably should have! Another night, I got my hair cut and coloured as I hadn’t had a colour since the summer. And Saturday morning, I went to yoga class and had lunch with a friend.

Now as I write this, little man is crying for me. I snuck away from our bed to write on my laptop in the rocking chair in the nursery (because you know – the nursery is used for folding laundry since we cosleep – HA!).

I’m feeling torn between his new found independence and his dependence on me. It’s a weird place to be as a Mother. Some days your little one seems so gr….

Fast forward 6 hours…

And I’m back. It’s 4:30 a.m. I started this post at 10:30 pm.

As I was saying, some days your little one seems so grown up and other days they still want you, still need you.

With an increased sense of independence comes less tolerance. During the newborn phase, you could easily pack them up while they were sleeping and do what you needed to do. Wyatt is not much of a napper. I laugh at all of the suggested hours of sleep/day. I’m lucky if I get 1-2 hours from the time we wake until my husband gets home. Some days are better than others, but I just can’t depend on it.  We have established a definite afternoon nap though. Meltdown mode will begin by 3pm if he hasn’t had a nap.

Maybe that’s it? I’ve always said I’m not much of a routine person, but with baby dictating the schedule, I’ve got even less control over my life than ever before. Whenever I get stressed, it usually boils down to control.

My husband and I got in a HUGE fight on Sunday which led to me locking myself in the bathroom with the baby. I thought a nice relaxing bath might make me feel better, but then Wyatt decided to poop in the tub. Another moment of hilarity in which I was shown I have no control over mom life.

I’m still processing what it is that triggered me this weekend, but it’s a combo of the following:

  • Husband messing up the very organized storage room that I neatly put together prior to baby’s arrival
  • Husband misplacing the rain cover from our stroller which I wanted to use to get out of the house and block the wind from baby’s face
  • Feeling like NO ONE listens to me – and I mean TRULY listens to me
  • The distance between my Mom and I, along with her closer relationship to my sister these days
  • Attempting to plan a trip to visit my family knowing that a lot of what we have to do is unreasonable, but it is what it is (i.e. having to rent a car for a week because they refuse to drive from the cottage to the airport to get us)
  • Getting a slight taste of my own independence back only to realize its a facade. Mom’s don’t really have independence.
  • My vagina. My pelvic floor and scar tissue are tight and sore. And you know, I’ve got a ton of solo time to work on self massage as recommended by my new physiotherapist. 
  • Guilt over self care. I haven’t been to acupuncture, chiro or massage in a few weeks.
  • My back is sore.
  • Feeling like I’m missing an in-person support network.
  • Fear
  • Anger
  • The lack of intimacy in our marriage – and I don’t mean just sexual.
  • My constant nagging before my husband gets anything done
  • Too much time on my cell phone. Sometimes I find myself lost in the baby wearing groups, browsing cloth diaper B/S/T groups and browsing our local online classifieds. Productive? Hell no. Enriching my life? Definitely not.
  • Money – who really has money on maternity leave? I’m feeling grumpy as I know I need to curb my spending even more to ensure we don’t go into debt until I’m back at work.
  • Sleep training?!?!? Is this shit for real?
  • Lack of routine? Am I a weirdo for not sleep training my kid?
  • Relatives who ask ridiculous questions like, “Oh is he eating food yet?” He just turned 3 months. Fuck off! 
  • The fact that I’ve asked for a date night for 2 months now – a real date night – not an “I’m starving and don’t feel like cooking so let’s go out” night. My expectations are reasonable. I just want to do my hair, wear make up, put on some decent clothes, bring the baby with and enjoy a nice meal without our cell phones in our hands. BUT… my husband thinks it’s more important to plan wing nights with his boys 😐
  • The neglected fur-babies. And the fact that Max just had 8 teeth extracted from his tiny, rotted chihuahua mouth last Tuesday. He’s just genetically got bad teeth. Our other chi has perfect teeth. 
  • That my son witnessed my husband and I yelling at each other. I always said I did not want him to grow up seeing his parents fight like I did, yet maybe it’s healthier to be honest about the frustration, rather than hide it and let it boil? Fuck me. Parenting decisions are tough. 
  • COMMUNICATION. Why do men SUCK at it?
  • Resistance. Why does my husband resist the things that would make our relationship so much easier? (Namely: communication and organization)

I just get so frustrated that it typically takes a break down from me before my husband WAKES UP. He is a great father. He loves playing with our son. I’m so happy with his relationship with Wyatt. But, being a great father and being a great husband are two different categories.  I didn’t expect our marriage to be the same post-baby, but I do feel like we are on different pages many days now.  My Mom always says that my expectations of my husband are too high, but I say fuck that. I believe that a relationship requires effort from both partners. Just because you have a dick doesn’t mean that you get an easy pass.

My best friend, who lives two provinces away, has been an amazing support the past few weeks. She shares in my frustration with man brain. It’s reassuring to know she’s only a phone call away. She makes me feel connected even if we can’t be together in person. I’m so grateful for her.

As for my husband, I hope he schedules his counselling appointment like he’s promised me. I know he doesn’t want to see me stressed and unhappy. He just needs a quick check in to get back on track.

As for me, I don’t want to feel this way. When I’m centred and balanced, I’m a better wife and a better Mom. I vow to take more deep breaths this week, put on some happy music and have a dance party with my little man. I know I need to refocus and find more time for self care – journalling, blogging, meditating, yoga, and walks outside. Even if the Canadian winter makes me want to hibernate, fresh air is good for the soul.

As for all my frustrations, I don’t need to figure them out. It’s ok to feel off balance every now and again. I just need to prioritize what really matters, let go of what I can’t control and move forward with my life.

/endrant

Time for me to crawl back into bed before my big man and my little man wake up. ❤

 

Today I cried

My baby was in my arms nursing and I cried. He looked up at me and gave a confused grimace. I told him I loved him and it wasn’t because of him.

It started out as a few tears silently cascading down my face and transformed into full blown sobs.

My son kept his little hand on mine, peaceful and asleep.

Today I cried.

I cried because of..

The burden of infertility. The heaviness still weighs me down. I long for another child. I want to be a mother of two.

The missed chance of conception without treatment. I’m down one tube. Our odds are even lower than when we started.

The pain and heartache.

The scars and surgeries.

The Angel watching down on us.

The birth that wasn’t what I desired, how my son was forced to enter this world – even if we agreed to the approach.

My completely transformed vagina. Learning to unfold yourself as a sexual goddess and a new mother is a challenging feat. I’m not ready yet.

The resentment within me that has boiled up and over many times on this journey.

The wondering and questioning.

The struggle to balance between masculine and feminine energies.

The fact that this era allows women so much freedom, yet so much constraint.

When my husband just doesn’t get it,  even though he does. He just doesn’t like to show it.

PTSD.

Every other woman longing for a child or facing the decision to have another.

Labels. Blame. Misrepresentation.

Unnecessary silence. Unsaid thoughts.

Gratefulness. I know we are blessed.

Tears of joy washed away what felt like soot stains from grief, anger, jealousy, and sadness.

Relief.

Sometimes I just need to cry.

I still remember

I changed my Facebook profile photo today. I got new glasses, so most people will assume that’s the reason why.

But really,  I changed it because I couldn’t bear to think that it was hurting someone else.

You see I’m an admin on our local infertility support Facebook group. A few weeks ago,  I changed my photo to one of Wyatt and I. In the moment, it seemed like the right thing to do. I was having a good hair day and a cuddle with my son.

image

Since then, I cringe every time I post in the group and see my little profile icon with that image of me as a mother. I know there are so many other women in that group longing for what I have.

I just can’t do it. I can’t flaunt my transition beyond infertility even if some think my story may inspire and give hope. I know all too well that photos like that poke at the emptiness in your heart when you are longing for your own baby to cuddle.

I love my son beyond words, but that doesn’t take away the past. I know how much it used to hurt, how much it can still hurt reflecting back on where we’ve been and how far we’ve come. I know exactly how it feels for every woman in that group still waiting for their babies. And I don’t want to inflict any more suffering on them… even if a profile photo is such a subtle gesture.

For now, I’ll limit my profile photo to be a solo shot of me.  I’ll use my cover photo for the family or baby pics as it’s not so in your face.

And I’ll keep hoping and praying that each and every one of those women find joy and happiness no matter where their journey leads them. ❤