I don't know how to tell you all just how crazy this life feels

Archive for August, 2012

And so it begins…

The announcements for second kids have started in my moms’ group. And the talk of wanting seconds and planning to have seconds, etc.

And while I’m not 100% certain that I’m fully ready for #2 yet (though are you ever, really?), I can’t help but feel a twinge that all these people are going to have their seconds years before I have mine (if I ever do) and I will get stuck in the whole envious of other people who easily get what I want and can’t seem to get myself thing. I’m not really there yet and I can feel happy for them, but I still feel like I need to start protecting my heart again and wonder if I’ll ever be making that announcement.

I suppose I should be grateful that it’s even a remote possibility for me without needing to get our finances in order, but at the same time I wonder if in some ways it’s easier to take away that hope every month so you can focus on cycling but not hold out the hope for every single time. I guess there are always good and bad things to everything if you think hard enough.

We’ve had the discussion several times since FrostedBaby was born about whether we were open to a surprise pregnancy, even though the possibility was remote because of my lack of period. We discussed it when we resumed our Relations, we discussed it when he started sleeping longer through the night so the possibility of my period returning was higher, we discussed it again when my period arrived last month. This last time was the first time that we had a definite “yes! que sera sera!” attitude as opposed to, “I’m not really sure how I’d feel…. but why would we bother to protect? But I’m not sure I’m ready…” one.

Of course that would mean we’d have to have sex at the right time, which is not as likely as before to just happen every month. Not that doing it at the right time worked all that well 😉

I was reflecting before that at this point, if someone were to come up and offer us a baby to have, I’d take it with no reservations. I wouldn’t be sad not to be pregnant again, I’d be kind of glad in some ways. While I look forward to hopefully doing it again (mostly so I can see similarities and differences), I don’t feel that it’s as much of the focus anymore. Before, I wanted to get pregnant, be pregnant, experience what it was like to grow, carry, and deliver a baby. Now, I’ve done that. Now, I want a second baby but I don’t need a second pregnancy. And I don’t need a second delivery especially! 😉 I’ll do them, and I am excited to feel the movements and all that great stuff, and I would love to have another biological child just because I’m a genetics geek and I love to see how that lottery plays out and if they’ll be like FrostedBaby (oh, I hope so!). There are even aspects of the labour and delivery that I’d like to do again so I can try different things and just to see how it differs from my first. But I would not have to go through the same mourning process I would have had to go through if we had adopted the first time.

And there are other days when I’m pretty sure I’m happy with one kid and don’t want to add more stress to our lives, but that’s usually when I’m having a rough go of it and passes. I think based on the fact that I am feeling like I did when we first started trying for FrostedBaby that I am ready for a second. I still have intellectual doubts as I did before, but my heart is pretty set on having another and hopefully in the not too distant future.

12 months, 5 days

I’ve had a post sitting there for a few days but never got around to completing it. I wanted to write something special to commemorate FrostedBaby’s first year, but I never seem to have the time or energy or concentration to do it. I wanted to write him a note to somehow convey to him how amazing this past year has been, but I can’t seem to come up with the words to be able to express it. Though I never think I sound terribly profound or interesting, but when I come back and read what I’ve written a while later, it sounds a lot better than I thought it did. I wonder if all writers feel that way about their work.

I’ve decided that I’ll never write that letter unless I start it, so here goes:

Dear FrostedBaby,  (ooh, off to a good start!)

I cannot believe how fast this year went by. I look at the pictures of me when I was pregnant and I feel like it was a different me. I can remember looking like that and I can remember how I felt – uncomfortable but so thrilled to be so, nervous and excited with anticipation of your arrival and how my life would change. Little did I know that while it would change, it was more like I was finally able to live the life I’d been meant to live, and the years before it when I felt your absence so acutely were the ones that didn’t belong. I didn’t feel that there was much of a learning curve to getting used to you. You finally arrived and it was the way it was supposed to be instantly.

I was and still am so overwhelmed by how strongly I feel about you. I couldn’t say “I love you” for the first six or more weeks of your life because those words are just so inadequate for the depth of what I feel. I love you so much that if it were a physical thing, the universe would not be large enough to contain it. Nana says that you always feel this way about your kids no matter how old you are and that is a bit terrifying because how am I supposed to let you grow up and go away from me?

You have changed so much, it’s incredible. I look at the pictures of you when you were minutes old and I look at the pictures of you now and I can’t believe that just 366 days (it was a leap year) ago you were that tiny helpless thing. There has been nothing more amazing than watching you develop your skills and your personality and seeing you turn more and more into a person. I know there’s lots more of that to come and I am so excited to see what you will become.

Every stage along the way I’ve thought that you were perfect and that you could stop growing and be like that forever. And then you’d learn something new and I would decide that *now* you’re perfect and you can stop. I hope that continues to be the case because you are so much fun and it just gets better and better. I guess we’ll see if I’m still singing the same tune when the tantrums start!

I feel so lucky to have you. Sometimes I look at you and I can’t believe you’re here and you’re mine. You make all the years of waiting for you worth every second. Although if I had known you were going to be so amazing and wonderful, it would have been so much harder to wait all that time.

I am so proud of you – proud of how sweet you are and how sensitive you are and how cute you are. I love that I see parts of me in you and parts of Daddy in you. So far you seem to be a perfect blend of the two of us and I can’t wait to see how much more you are like us.

I know all parents think that they got the very best baby in the whole world, but in my case it’s true. This year has been the absolute best year of my life, starting with the very best day of my life. I think back on the day you were born frequently and how the moment they put you on my chest and you stopped crying the second our skin met and we looked at each other, all the pain and struggle that came before that moment were suddenly all worth it. I looked at you and thought, “There you are!” as if our souls recognized each other and I’d been specifically waiting for you without knowing it. You complete me in a way that no one else can and I am so grateful every day that you are here.

I love you.

Mommy

11 months, 3 weeks, 5 days

Alright. Quick update on FrostedBaby because it’s been a while, apparently. I’ll hit on a few key topics to keep my thoughts organized. I should be going to bed.

Sleep: It has mostly improved. He’s going down later, but easily so it’s okay. He sometimes wakes up in the early evening an hour or two after he goes down, crying, but it’s back to his usual I’ll go up there and snuggle him and he goes right back to sleep and is fine with me leaving him even if he’s still awake a bit. He’s waking up a few times a night (or several times when he went through a growth spurt, which was confirmed by the fact that his clothes are getting small on him again. That’s okay since he was still in 9 months and he’s almost 12 :P), but then last night he went down at 7ish (it was actually before, but close enough) and I didn’t hear a peep from him until almost 5:30 in the morning. I woke up several times wondering if he was okay, and while I wasn’t sore in the boobal area, they were more full than they’ve been in a while. I really don’t mind getting up with him if he’s hungry or needs to be snuggled and he goes right back down easily, though I prefer to keep it to once or twice if possible just because I do have trouble getting to sleep myself.

Crawling: Still not properly crawling, but he’s getting up on his knees a lot and he can take one or two “steps” with his knees or his hands and he sometimes does both before he either falls down or decides he doesn’t have the patience and zooms off on his tummy. He’s not pulling up on things yet, but he is very good at climbing on me and Husband and the cat, so I suspect that if he figures out the proper crawling thing, the pulling up is going to be right behind. He can get down onto his tummy from a sitting position by himself fairly gracefully now – he does the lean forward on his hands and does the splits as he rolls forward, then brings them behind him, but he hasn’t figured out how to sit from a laying down position. I’m not sure if he lacks the motor control or if it just hasn’t occurred to him. Why would I want to sit when I can crawl around?

Birthday: FrostedBaby turns one year old on Tuesday, I can hardly believe it. That’s a whole other post, but we celebrated it on Saturday the 11th since the 18th didn’t work for everyone. We just did a family thing. Everyone was supposed to come here but my mom hurt her back and couldn’t do the hour drive to here so we went to their place instead. It was nice, but dinner ended up being later than planned so we were out later than we would have wanted. FrostedBaby was really good though and although he was tired and that made him clingy, he wasn’t too whiney and didn’t have a meltdown. He also didn’t fall asleep in the car, which shocked me. He did sleep in until 9 the next morning, which I guess actually isn’t that great since he was up in the night and he usually sleeps until 8 these days. We had fajitas for dinner, which were amazing, and we got him a custom made cake with a frog on it and it was really yummy. We got money from everyone, since right now he’s not really into much beyond toys he can pick up and throw and crawl after them, so rather than ask for stuff we’ll buy things as he grows into them or whatever. I tend to buy stuff at the second hand stores since it’s so much cheaper so we can get more for the money. I did go to a store that’s closing down and has almost everything on sale and grabbed one of those ball poppers that I’ve been looking for used but can never find (especially with all the balls) and another toy. He’s enjoying those, although he keeps taking the balls and throwing them and crawling after them. And purposely throwing them under the dresser. But he has figured out that he can press the button and it plays music and the balls pop out, and he will occasionally put them back in but that’s less fun than flinging them to all corners of the room. We’ve decided that that toy will stay in his room for now, since that will minimize the chances of losing all of them.

I got interrupted in writing that last paragraph by FrostedBaby waking up and it’s now late so I’m going to head to bed.

 

Aside

soap box

I belong to a few groups of parenting-related things: my moms’ group, a breastfeeding group, a cloth diapering group. In general I’m pretty impressed that they tend to get along really well and are good at the whole, “do what’s best for your kid and I’ll do what’s best for mine and there’s no judgements”, especially in the moms group where I actually know people as opposed to others that are strictly online and are much larger.

Anyway, someone asked a question about a complication related to circumcision (which she stated was done because of a medical reason) and the best way to address it. She got some helpful answers, and then naturally she got one person who had to speak out that there is no medical evidence that circumcising is needed, she just needed to tell everyone that. And then of course the person got offended and said there were specific reasons why they had to get it done, to which the person said that she should have said that in the first place, blah blah blah.

Why do we always assume that other people have not put the same research we have into our decisions? Why do we think that other moms are not making the best decisions for their own children based on their own experience? Why do we feel that we need to feel superior that we’re the only ones who are capable of making a good decision?

One thing I hate about many of the choices that I make is that it seems that a lot of people choose it because they want to feel superior to other people. Or maybe that’s not why they choose it, but that ends up happening.

Am I happy with my decisions to do what I do? Yes, otherwise I wouldn’t do them. Does it make me more awesome than you? No! Do I think everyone should do as I do? Definitely not! I understand why others don’t choose to do them and I don’t think it makes me a better parent that I do or others worse parents that they don’t (or vice versa). I really hate the divides that open up between moms in particular because of this need to preach to others about things that are a personal choice. I don’t think any mom sets out to make bad decisions for their kids.

In particular I hate the whole breastfeeding vs formula divide. Okay, so breastfeeding is best, that’s fine. But that doesn’t mean formula is bad, and we certainly don’t need to go around making people feel bad for using it. Breastfeeding is stressful and hard even for people who really really want to do it. Do we really want to force a choice on someone who either doesn’t want to or can’t? I know a few moms who really feel trapped when they can’t get out and do things on their own without their babies and really miss having a social life. I realize I’m an extreme case since FrostedBaby won’t take a bottle and is severely attached to me currently, but can you imagine how awful it would be if someone like the above were in my situation? I don’t care most of the time and I’m boring and like staying home anyway, but I find it suffocating sometimes.

I wonder if lawyers and other people who are members of a group that gets a bad name because of certain individuals who get attention feel the same way, that while they enjoy doing what they do, that in some ways they’re ashamed to be in the same group as the “bad” ones. I breastfeed, but I’m not a “boob nazi”, I made my choice about whether or not to circumcise my son and I’m happy with my choice but I don’t feel that others need to do what I do just because I felt it was right for us and I certainly don’t need to throw my beliefs in other people’s faces, as if that validates my decisions.

I have confidence in my decisions and I offer my reasoning to anyone who asks, but I don’t feel that others need to do the same in order for me to know I made the right choice for us. And I’m not perfect, I do judge others sometimes for doing things that I think I wouldn’t do, but I try really hard to remember that just because I don’t know why someone does something the way they do doesn’t mean they don’t have good reasons for doing it.

I started this a few days ago and have come back a few times to add to it. I’m not sure how the tone comes across, but I just wanted to express frustration at this innocent question for advice turned into a tirade about how awful this woman’s choice was and it just wasn’t the time or place for it.