Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Happy New Year!

A Happy New Year to everybody here!  What a year, so full, so good.  The best year of my life without a doubt.  This little thing that graced me with her presence, Emma, is the best present that life could give me, and the highest honour that I could receive at the same time.  I vow to spend my next year and the one after that and so on perfecting the art of mothering her, working on striking a balance between work and time spent with her, working on myself in order to be a worthy role model, and continuing to enjoy every moment with her, just like I have so far.

Equally important, being now a mother and hence starting to direct a whole family in the emotional direction that I see fit, I realize what a huge responsibility this is.  A father provides safety and security, but I get the distinct feeling that in my family I provide the emotional temperature.  Hence a happy mother equals a happy daughter and a happy husband.  Just like I was writing earlier, if I feel celebratory around a holiday, the whole family celebrates.  If I don't, well nobody else notices Christmas either.  And many other such things.  I am the thermostat.

Ultimately, an even bigger goal is to start integrating myself even more in society.  I have been a recluse (other than the bit about my job being very social, where I could not escape being integrated into my own societal slot), but overall once I had Emma (and stopped looking at everybody else with children as if they were from another planet), I now feel like a rightful member of society as well.  I swear I didn't before.  However strange this might sound, but being denied children made me feel as if the world did not want me to be here, and definitely not to reproduce, and hence I felt like I did not want to belong either, or even less so to give back to anybody anything.  Now, I feel so full and blessed that I am spilling... without wanting to I talk to strangers, I am kinder to people, I am animated and full of life, and I consequently have no problem meeting new persons and making friends.  As such, with gradually more time and as soon as I recover from the financial disaster called being off work for almost a year, I want to give more to society, more of myself, more in the form of donations, more in the form of emotional availability aka giving more of a rat's a$$.

That being said, I sign off for 2011 thanking everybody who ever commented on my blog:  Thank you for making me feel heard.  And a thank you to everybody who read my blog:  you made this blog possible with your presence.  All my readers so far have been kind, well intentioned people who either care about me or struggle with the same issues, and I feel a great deal of love for you guys.  May the New Year be kind to all of us!

Monday, December 26, 2011

First Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!  This is the first Christmas spent with a baby in the family, and hence I was told that it should be special and treated as such.  Not that Emma cares about anything other than having a boob in her mouth at all times... but in the end I felt appropriately guilty and decided that we did need a Christmas tree after all, since with a new baby we should join the rest of the Normals and behave accordingly.

We don't always have a Christmas tree.  At my mom and dad's, we always had a real tree, because my dad loves the smell, and anything else felt fake to them.  Here, in my married home, we usually have a fake one that somebody donated to us years ago.  We keep it in the garage, in a large box, together with some decorations that I picked up on the first year I moved to SmallTown.  We are lazy about putting it up, but we are even more lazy about taking it down.  For example, in the year that we lost Adrian, we kept the tree up until March or April.  I don't think it even registered with me that we should take it down.  And I felt too tired to do it.  We always work long hours, but at that time with the depression and the loss, I was utterly exhausted and could not see a thing around me.

After that year, we did not have a tree again.  I was worried that I would have to put up with people asking me again why we still have the tree up in March.  However, on Dec 24, a friend who came to visit asked me where the tree was, and looked horrified that I did not have one up despite the fact that we had a small baby in the house, so I asked my husband to bring it out of the garage.  He set it up, and I decorated it.  The only problem is that the lights on the top half of the tree burned out, so it looks quite schizophrenic with lights only on the bottom.  But hey, we have a tree.

I guess I feel guilty that we are not more into the spirit of the holidays.  Since we have no money, we did not make any gifts to each other either.  I know that the woman of the house (aka me) is the one that dictates whether we celebrate a holiday or not, and the enthusiasm level associated with it, but for some reason this year I just felt like lying in bed with Emma and tickling her, singing carols to her, and doing nothing at all.  And we enjoyed it a lot.  Despite this, I think my next year's resolutions is to celebrate holidays with a bit more style, to decorate a bit more, to save money ahead of time for gifts, and to be more disciplined about living the spirit of each holiday as it comes.  In particular I am thinking of our birthdays, Valentine's day, Easter, our wedding day (which I'd better find out if it was on May 15 or 17 'cause I forgot) and Christmas.  This is so embarrassing to admit, but I am really lazy about holidays.  But that will change.  My new year's resolution.  Is anybody else out there lazy about holidays?

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Don't expect some brilliant writing here, I am just going to ramble.

I apologize for my extended absence off this blog, I was away in Vancouver taking a course in aesthetic medicine.  That means Botox and fillers (the stuff that you use to make lips bigger, and to fill in lines on the face).  This was a lot of fun!  I wanted to take the Botox course for years, but never had the time, and now with my mom babysitting Emma, I was able to do it.  I have used Botox injections for over ten years now for my TMJ pain and migraines, and I love the fact that my frown lines have also disappeared.  However, it is expensive when I go to someone else to get it done, and after taking the course I now can inject myself at cost (ho ho ho) and anybody else who crosses my path.  Like my mom.  Or my husband.  And all my friends.  And the cat.  The parrots are safe although tempting.

Emma is doing really well.  Growing, growing...she is now four and a half months old, and is wearing six month outfits which are beginning to get a little tight.  She can roll front to back, and sit with support.  She babbles a lot, and makes sounds that show a lot of enthusiasm with life (yehee, and yahooo).  She is a mountain of joy and fun for me.  I cannot believe how much happiness she has brought into my life.  Although I firmly believe that infertility can be resolved with peace and resignation, and filling one's life with other pursuits, I cannot see myself equally happy doing something else without her.  I just can't.

I think very often of Adrian, of what he has missed in life, of how he is my little guardian angel, and Emma's too, and MrH's as well.  I think of what he has done for us in his little life:  made Emma's birth possible (thorough him I found out about the incompetent cervix and had the cerclage), made me want to live more fully, with more courage, and a more fulfilling life, in order to somehow fill out his empty shoes.  I think about how his body was limp and I could see his long, fine, soft neck that I like to kiss on Emma, that I would have kissed on him.  Then I remember that I have Emma to hug and I do it for both of them.  I don't feel empty anymore, just sad at times, but never empty.

Emma scratched her cornea yesterday by poking her eye with her thumb in an overly enthusiastic movement.  She was grumpy and cranky the whole day.  The day before she touched a hot pot and burned a bit, but did not blister.  Because she is older, she gets upset more easily and cries angrily, and it takes a lot more effort to distract her.  Both times, seeing her in pain made me nauseous and weak at the knees.  I hate it that pain has to be part of her life, but thinking of the opposite, the children who cannot feel pain and end up with limb amputations because of injuries that they do not feel, that lead to infections as deep as the bone that also go unnoticed, I can only thank God for her ability to feel pain.  I still hate it and wish I could feel it instead of her.

As for the weight and fitness part:  I have lost a further 5 lb since my last blog post, I am now 169 lb (started at 190 lb and end goal 155 lb).  In another five lb I will be able to fit in all of my pre-pregnancy clothes, and then it will be time to evaluate whether I want to keep losing or whether it is enough.  The scales are different, remember how I broke my previous scale when I stood on it at the height of my third trimester (yep, the scale CRACKED!) and I know for a fact that this scale shows more weight, probably by 3-5 lb, so 155 lb on the old scale would be 160 lb on this one.  That is why 160 lb might be enough.  I don't want to be too skinny for my old clothes, although probably the too skinny look only happens when one is more than 10 lb below usual weight.  The clothes are the actual goal, since I have a nice wardrobe and would like to keep it.  I also happen to be poor since I have been on mat leave for so long, so no money for another wardrobe anytime soon.

I am starting work Jan 23.  I am not excited about it.  I feel like it is too soon, but at the same time I feel that I need to make some money pronto, and go back to my practice.  It has to be done.  Four hours per day will be ok.

Friday, December 2, 2011

fear of SIDS

Every day I am afraid that Emma might die.  Every single day.  I try to reason with myself, but there are not arguments that help:  yes, SIDS is relatively rare, but so was the incompetent cervix that killed Adrian.  Yes, two bad things are less likely to happen than just one bad thing, but I thought that after having infertility and having to do IVF I had enough of the bad thing.  Then the incompetent cervix happened, and  I lost Adrian, and I was convinced that I should be safe from harm for a long time.  And then I nearly died from the delayed post partum hemorrhage, another bloody rare complication that happened to us.  So why not more?  Is there an end?

I sleep next to her, with my face right next to her face, so that I can feel her breathing at all times.  If she takes a nap, I usually like to be next to her as well.  I don't let her be by herself almost at all, although there are times when I rely on the baby monitor to tell me when she wakes up and I go downstairs, make myself a cup of coffee, and write on my blog.  Like now.  Without her.  All the while hoping that I won't go upstairs when I am finished to find her blue and lifeless.

MrH is fairly certain that it won't happen, that she is a strong baby that has no health issues.  But I have read enough blogs to know that it happens to strong healthy babies.  I should stop reading SIDS blogs, but it is part of my blogging community, and I feel that in supporting each other we get better at handling grief, and hence I am not going to stop.  Besides, the fear is my issue and mine alone, it is not caused by reading other people's stories, quite the opposite:  I read other people's stories because of my fear.

Lately I have started wondering about the purpose of this fear.  Could it be that in finding her alive and well every single day, multiple times a day, I get a jolt of happiness and relief?  Could that be the contrast that my mind is seeking?  Am I geared towards living life on a rollercoaster, and hence a period of relative calmness and well-being is too boring, too predictable, and I need to create some drama with my mind? ... you get the picture...  The one thing that is for sure in my wild ride so far:  the things that have happened to me have, without exception, been UNEXPECTED.  I could not have predicted or thought out a single one of them.  So is it that thinking about SIDS keeps it away?  of course not.  But my subconscious is a bovine place that does not know these things, hence it will do what it does best: illogical things.

Anyway, I was wondering if you guys also worry about SIDS, mainly those of you who had your babies after a long struggle, those of you who lost babies before.  Even those of you who lost babies to SIDS, do you realize that the likelihood of it happening again is extremely low, and despite that do you worry anyway?  How do you cope with the worry?  Do you worry about the worry changing your relationship with your child, making you more protective, more paranoid?