What the world needs more of

Today I went for lunch with a former coworker. He was literally passing through my city as we only got to catch up for an hour. Much to my surprise, he showed up with a hitchhiker! (Yes, it’s still 2016.) My friend was making a solo trip from Calgary to Winnipeg. He is that kind of guy who didn’t mind picking up a kid who looked decent enough to keep him company on the drive home.

The hitchhiker was a British student who was in Canada for the past year for a study abroad program. He was working his way from BC to Toronto to fly home to the UK. He shared his hitchhiking tips and a few humourous moments from his journey so far.

I told him that as a woman I would have never dreamed of hitchhiking. It just isn’t an option for me. I’ve had too much fear driven into me about why NOT to hitchhike to ever consider it. My closest experience was catching a ride home from the bar with a friend of a friend.

As a mother, I’d be petrified to hear my son was attempting to cross half of Canada based on the good will of random strangers. But isn’t that what the world needs more of?

Both of these guys have many qualities – determination, honesty, trust, compassion – that I admire and hope that my son will also have.

Today’s experience reminded me that we have a long ways to go as a society. There’s been so much tragedy lately. Honestly, I have been disengaged from it on purpose. As an empath, there’s just too much energy floating around for me. We need to away from hate and violence. We need to focus on love.

When Wyatt grows up, I want him to see our beautiful country and not be afraid of what he may find on that journey.

I just hope that we can get there. ❤

 

 

 

 

 

Unspoken thoughts on why I choose to parent

I can hold him. Mom can have a break”. 

What if this Mom doesn’t want a break?

Not wanting a break must sound weird to you. I mean it’s not that I don’t need a break sometimes. It’s just that I want it on my own terms.

Nothing about our journey through infertility and pregnancy loss was on our terms. We waited and hoped and prayed for our children to join us, but the timing was beyond our control.

I long to hold my daughter, the one I only held in my womb. So, I hold my son a little longer, a little closer, a little tighter to make up for it… even if nothing can ever make up for never getting to hold your child.

I’m not sure you get how much being with my son means to me. Nothing satisfies me more than cuddles, snuggles, balancing him on one hip, and carrying him close in the Lenny. The arrival of our son is a dream come true. When you’ve spent years wishing and wanting, you don’t always need an escape.

I appreciate every minute of every day I get with him – even the ones when I’m tired or he’s cranky. Especially because I know there’s another woman out there longing and waiting for the same experiences.

Thank you for the offer, but today I don’t need a break. I need to take care of him. I need him close.

Some may call me selfish, but I know how lucky I am. I also know how uncertain life is. So today, I’m taking full advantage of being a mother. Because I can. Because I want to. Because I deserve it.

 

 

Learning to slow down

It’s 2:07pm. Wyatt just fell asleep on me… Again!

I’m done with attempting to move him to his bassinet. Why bother when he wakes 5 minutes later crying for me?

I’m embracing that my little man is trying to teach his Momma to appreciate the downtime; to enjoy the stillness.

We spent 4 busy years trying to bring him into this world. Running from appointment to appointment. Working extra hard to make extra money to pay for the treatments, the appointments, the supplements, the gazillion pregnancy tests…

I deserve the break.

Who can really complain if every afternoon entails a cozy nap by the fireplace with Wyatt snuggled into my chest?

I’ve already folded 3 loads of laundry, put another load of diapers in the wash, gone to an acupuncture appointment and managed to eat breakfast and lunch today. That’s enough.

Now is the time to be still, to feel the love and enjoy the comfort.

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Rising up through fear during a pregnancy after loss

At our first hypnobirthing class, the instructor asked what your biggest fear about pregnancy/delivery was.

My answer: “That we will lose this baby”.

Yes, I was THAT weirdo. No one else even mentioned pregnancy loss but me.

Fear happens after you endure infertility and loss. It’s inevitable.

I’ve been feeling good lately. I’m balanced and ready. Fear doesn’t overwhelm me which has made me ponder what I did to rise up out of my fear during this pregnancy after loss.

Take it in small milestones

From Day 1, I approached this pregnancy by focusing on the small milestones – first beta, second beta, first ultrasound, etc. My goal was to make it to the next milestone without enduring intense anxiety and fear.

Did I always succeed? Not every day.

But, I always knew that I could start fresh the next day.

Reaching the 20 week mark and having our anatomy scan was the biggest milestone for me. It validated my intuition about us having a boy and ensured us that he was growing and healthy. It also marked the halfway point. If we had made it that far, we could and would keep going.

Remember your blessings, honour your grief

Passing the estimated due date of our Angel was another huge step for me. I dreaded this day from the minute we lost her. I’m still unsure how I will react as we pass the 1st anniversary of her leaving us, but I know we have so much more joy now – knowing that her brother is on his way and she is watching over us.

Be grateful (even if it sucks)

Has pregnancy been easy on me? Hardly. Puking daily even while taking anti-nausea meds isn’t an enjoyable experience. Each negative symptom was a sign that my body was pregnant. And if puking my guts out was the only reassurance I could get that my baby was alive and well, then I was willing to take it.

The past few weeks have seemed more real. As my belly grows bigger each day and my little man kicks up a storm (because since his last growth spurt, he boots me constantly), I have those visual reminders that he’s here with me. He’s growing. I’m growing. We are doing this together.

I couldn’t be more grateful for all the symptoms and pregnancy side effects.

Trust
This one is the hardest step to accomplish. Trust in the process. Trust in the timing. Trust in your body’s ability. Trust that your baby will arrive safely into this world.

One of the easiest ways to build your trust is to surround yourself with positivity and support.

Get off those crazy Mommy boards. Only Google if your gut tells you something is legit wrong. Ditch the nay-sayers and negative Nancy’s.

Use affirmations if it helps. Hypnobirthing offers many great ones. You can even purchase the book/CD without attending the class.

I don’t focus on what could go wrong anymore. I have educated myself on my birth options and am leaving them open enough to protect myself and my baby. For me, it’s been easier to trust knowing that I don’t have any complications right now. It’s also been reassuring to have a calm and confident OB.

Building trust in your body, in your baby, in your doctor, in God, the Universe – whatever works for you – is key to making through each day during a pregnancy after loss.

Enjoy each moment you have

We have loved our baby from the start – from when we simply thought about having him, through all of the treatments, up until we first saw him on the screen at our transfer, right up until now at 30 weeks pregnant. We only have an estimated 10 weeks left until we get to meet him face to face. I just want to make the most of it.

We talk to him. We joke about him. We daydream about what he will be like. We track his growth and progress using pregnancy apps. We share in his movements which is one of my favourite times of the day. My husband loves feeling him move.

Seeing the joy and excitement in my husband has sparked my own joy and excitement.

We deserve to feel happy now.

If there’s anything that pregnancy loss has taught me, it’s that we can’t control the outcome no matter how hard we try. Instead of worrying about it, my husband and I are embracing each moment we have with our son.

Now that I’m in the 3rd trimester, this list doesn’t look much different than the one I created in my 1st trimester. Pregnancy after loss is a journey no matter what stage you are at. What matters is that you rise up through the fear and into love. ❤

Refer to my favourite pregnancy after loss articles for more tips, advice and reassurance from other Angel Mommas. ❤ You aren’t alone on this journey. XO

Embrace the change

It’s Friday – a lovely, warm, surprisingly humid on the normally dry Prairies day. I’m struggling with motivation today. If I ruled the world, everyone would have every Friday off in the summer.

I woke up this morning at 6:30 am and had trouble falling back asleep because my little man kept kicking me. I think when I’m hungry the little man is also hungry as he tends to be more active then.

This week must have been a growth spurt for me. I’ve been SO HUNGRY and tired. I eat about 5-6 small meals a day and I’m exhausted by 7-8pm every night.

I’ve also been REALLY struggling with eating meat. My one intuitive friend laughed and told me she isn’t surprised as my little man is quite the “hippie”. It will be interesting to see if her prediction is right.

As the days go on, I get more and more excited to welcome our son into the world. My husband said the other night that he’s most excited to see what he looks like and I can’t agree more!

I also has my first showing of the dreaded red stretch marks. Overnight, a few red speckles made an appearance on my stomach proving that the lines are slowly surfacing. I went through the stretch mark phase during puberty and with any significant weight gain, so it’s not a surprise I got them during pregnancy. I’m going to embrace them. They actually make my ectopic scars stand out less which is an interesting concept. Reminders of our 1st baby blend with signs of our 2nd and work together to create a natural piece of art over the sacred space that nourished my babies. I’ve always believed that each mark on our body tells our story. Now, the stories of both of my children are woven together. ❤

Early tomorrow morning, we are off for our baby shopping weekend. I booked us into a hotel that I often stay at for business trips that has an outdoor pool that overlooks the downtown area. I’m so looking forward to laying on my back in the water and looking up at the sky. I’m also looking forward to making a decision on the crib (I honestly don’t know why this has been so difficult for me!) and finally getting started on the nursery once we are home. Can’t wait to fill you in.

For now, embrace your partners, hug your bellies, and kiss your children. After today’s US Supreme Court ruling in favour of gay marriage, we all need to share the love. Even though there will always been challenges and struggles, we are on the way to a more accepting society – a better place for our children.

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A state of loving non-attachment

My intentions for this weekend were:

  • to distract my mind from Monday’s beta results
  • to be gentle with myself and do what my mind/body needs
  • to feel peace and love

It’s been fairly easy to stay in neutral territory this weekend. We’ve kept ourselves busy and I’ve stayed off the internet as much as possible.

Friday night, my husband called his Aunt and asked if we could come for supper. Whenever we are both anxious or stressed (especially after waiting all day to receive Beta #1), we don’t feel like cooking. Rather than getting take out, we went for a home-cooked meal with people who support us. We didn’t stay out too late as I’ve been exhausted lately. I was in bed by 9pm which is very unlike me. I clearly needed it, so I went with it.

We had a funeral yesterday for my husband’s best friend’s dad. I seriously contemplated not going as I wasn’t sure I wanted to be around sorrow. I decided that I should go to support my husband. It also was a good opportunity to practice love and forgiveness. I made sure to protect myself before I left and brought a few crystals along to help. Throughout the ceremony, I sent reiki to those that seemed to be suffering the most. I honestly didn’t feel much sorrow (thank goodness!) until we went to the grave site. My mother-in-law and father-in-law were both crying. It was a very enlightening moment to see them express such emotion (as my husband comes from a family that rarely shows emotion). Overall, I had a decent day visiting with friends and family. It really made the value of family obvious to me. A man died who left behind the legacy of his family. I hope that one day I have children and grand-children who have such fond memories of me.

Today, I had a chick flick marathon since cable TV is crawling with them leading up to Valentine’s Day. I also played a game on my phone that I downloaded after so many of you suggested it would be a good distraction. Boy were you right! I’m currently building a butterfly colony. Figured it would maybe give me good vibes since the butterfly is a symbol of fertility. 🙂 

I haven’t let myself get excited, but I continue to acknowledge my baby(ies?). I’ve been connecting my heart to my womb and sending my babies love. Over the past few weeks, I’ve realized I can be connected to my babies without being as emotionally attached as I was before we lost our little girl.

This whole process has really given me an opportunity feel how different it is when you take thing as them come.

One of my best friends said to me, “It’s out of your control now“.

She’s undoubtedly right.

What will be will be.

Tomorrow will give us a better idea.

I’m glad I’ve been able to find a sense of calm this weekend as we move through our wait. One day at a time…

Remembering the past to redefine the future

I want every woman out there going through infertility to know that I remember. I know how strong you are and what you’re going through. I hope you are surrounded by love and support as you fight for your BFP or “big fat positive.” Until then, let’s continue to lean on each other.” – Bobbie Thomas from Bobbie Thomas on pregnancy after IVF

I remember.

Those words stuck in my head.

As someone who has faced infertility and pregnancy loss, I will always remember the BFNs (big fat NEGATIVES), pills, injections, surgeries, tears, grief and sorrow.

You don’t ever forget what you have been through.

You may lessen the depth of your feelings associated with the struggle of your journey. You may even completely let go of those feelings, but you never forget.

It becomes a part of your story – your journey to now.

My mantra for this FET cycle is: One day at a time.

I’ve been feeling quiet, yet centred lately. I’m grounded and going with the flow of my current FET routine (Three pills in the am, two pills in the pm, healthy eats, lots of sleep, pending ultrasound and blood work Monday next week…)

You do what you gotta do.

But, you also remember.

The hardest part of our fresh IVF cycle was the 2WW and beta limbo.

My biggest goal for this FET cycle is to make it through the 2WW without (or with minimal) anxiety. Going through the meds and the transfer seems like second nature now. It’s the waiting that builds the anticipation and fear.

This time, I’m recognizing where I lacked support or self-care during previous cycles to ensure I feel supported and well-cared for in this cycle.

During any fertility treatment cycle, you need to surround yourself with love and support as YOU define love and support.

Know who you can lean on.

Don’t be afraid to ask when you need help or set boundaries when you need space.

Recognize when your mind is entering crazy territory and know how to bring yourself back.

Find peace amid the chaos; find calm within the storm.

Remember who you are and how far you have come.

Sending much love & light to all of my other cycle buddies, recently prego infertility sisters, new Mommas, and especially those who are patiently waiting for the next phase of their journey to begin. XO