Monday, January 30, 2012

sleep issues

I think Beth has made a very interesting and insightful comment to my previous post:  Emma might not be sleeping because of the fact that she wants to make sure I am still there.  The previous time when my mom had to look after her for a few days was when I was transferred to Edmonton and was in ICU with the massive post partum hemorrhage.  When I got her back we had similar issues:  she would wake up to make sure I am still there.  I think subconsciously she is worried that I might be gone for a long time again just because my mother is her caregiver for four hours per day.  Unfortunately, there is no solution for this except for time to pass and for her to become accustomed to my still being here despite her fears.

With work come other issues, like having to normalize her sleep:  she needs to nap 11-12:30 in the morning, because at 12:45 we leave for work.  She also needs to take her afternoon nap at 14:16:30 or so.  I am working hard to get her used to these times to sleep, as before we would simply nap together when she was tired.  Now I cannot really nap with her :( except maybe in the mornings for a bit.  It is definitely an adaption period for both of us.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I survived the first week!

I am logging in to report that I have survived my first week at work!!!

Don't ask me how.  On the one hand, my actual work was very much the same old thing, like riding a bicycle.  So that wasn't hard.  What was hard though was that:
1.  the password to log into the computer wasn't working
2.  we called IT, and they reset it, but it still wasn't working
3.  the third time it worked.
4.  the password to get into the software program wasn't working
5.  we reset it as well.
6.  once in there, the password to get into the clients' files wasn't working either
7.  also another call to IT, who by now started to worry if we weren't calling them every five minutes and they were calling us just to check that I am still alive.
8.  once all the stuff in the clinic was working, I realized that the software that connects us to the hospital imaging department was totally new, so my old password...DIDN'T WORK
9.  call the hospital IT department, who asked who I was, and said they would reset my password.
10.  then they called me again to confirm that I really was who I was, and asked me a whole bunch of verifying questions.
11.  then they called my receptionist to double check that I really exist and am not a loser who wants to look at other people's xrays over breakfast.
12.  by this time I was ready to go home and crawl under the bed for a week with a good book.
13.  all this activity took place while I was seeing clients one after another.  
14.  all these passwords were supposed to have already been reset last week, when I have called IT and my workplace to remind them of it.

In the meantime, Emma did very well with my mom, who is absolutely wonderful with her.  She did decide however to stop sleeping through the night, and she suddenly has a new wakeup schedule:  1 am, 3 am, 5 am, 7 am, 8 am totally awake with no hope in he!! of me ever sleeping again.  And now I cannot nap during lunch time either, because I am working.  So I am totally exhausted.  And irritable.  And I seem to only be able to write in short sentences.

Despite this, I have been able to do a fair amount of work, and to even go running twice, albeit only 5-7 km instead of 8-10 km like before.  And I have put on two pounds because of the stress.  Hopefully the next week will be easier and the weight will continue to go down, not up, as my goal is still to lose 10 lb more and I will keep on with it until it's done.

Friday, January 20, 2012

starting work

I am going back to work on Monday.  Emma is five and a half months old, and I think she is ready to stay with a caregiver for three to four hours a day, so that I can do half a day's work in the afternoons.  My mom is coming up from Vancouver to help look after her for a month and a half, and then she will be with my friend's mom.  All good in the world of wonderland.

That being said, I feel very sad about leaving her, even if it is not for long.  She is becoming such a sweet, loving child, and I adore laying next to her for the afternoon nap, smelling her head, tracing the outline of her nose with my finger, breathing next to her little breath and letting her hand rest on my face.  We are like a perfect unit, after so long we have become the perfect unit, and I hate to leave my place in the relationship, even for a very little while, to be filled by a substitute.

I do think it will be good for both of us though:  for me, because I am a professional woman who needs to bring in some dough and exert her evil ways on people other than my own husband, for her because she belongs in society, and as much as I would like to keep her tied to my hip forever, I know that eventually she needs to form relationships with others, and take her place in society as an individual.  Within limits, this starts early, and why not now?

I am toying with the idea of bringing her and the caregiver to my office where I have a spare room.  I am fairly certain that I will do it, at least to try, and if it is too small a space, too stifling, then I will abandon the plan.  But having her close to me will be such a wonderful experience.

She is a little girl now, no longer a baby.  She still sucks on my boobs with aplomb, but now she can grab them and put them in her mouth as I am asleep. (Assuming that she is awake enough, most of the time she just starts making crying sounds with her eyes closed, and searching for the boob by just opening her mouth, as we all know that boobs just fly above our heads and will land in our mouths if we simply ask for them.  She is too lazy to even open her mouth fully!)  She tugs on my clothes when she wants me near (always, that is) and puts out her arms when she wants to be picked up (again almost always).  My biceps are getting a daily workout, and it shows.

I did get back to my prepregnant weight, and fit into my clothes (yay! 166lb).  I still have some more weight to loose in order to look very very good.  And I will.  Life is short.  And going through infertility-childbearing successfully made me feel like I could do anything.  Even though I know that it was not really that much me, and more God's will, nature's play, and the way the die were cast, I think the part that was a bit more me was the persistence.  Surprisingly, it is the same tool used in weight loss!  I lost 30 lb as of now with persistence, and will go on to lose a further ten or twenty, depending on how I feel and look.  I am now venturing into territory in which I have not been since my earlier 20's, except for briefly after being medivac'd and NPO (nothing per mouth) for three days (that was when I got pneumomediastinum after a laparoscopy...for infertility.  Gee, this infertility does help one lose weight, doesn't it...tongue-in-cheek).

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

minimalist? or not...

I have always envied minimalists.  They are disciplined people who can do without or make do with very little, and in the process have space, avoid clutter, and save money.  I go through minimalist stages, at times quite successfully, but inevitably I slip, and end up cluttering again.  Somehow I ended up in a cluttered stage this time too, although I was quite certain that I had plastered the less-is-more mindset over my frontal cortex in the past couple of years.

My family of origin is the same way:  we try and try to declutter, but end up buying more stuff or amassing more stuff somehow (if we don't buy, we are given gifts, or find stuff or somehow attract stuff like magnets), and the previously empty surfaces, spacious drawers and closets, and breathing room that we had is gone, filled once again to the point where I begin to get uncomfortable.  I laugh at my dad when he says that his dream house is a small apartment in a chic building, with a minimalist decor where a beautiful long legged architect woman arranges two forks and two plates on a black granite countertop in the kitchen and that is all you can see around.  I love his vision.  It's so not him, but you can see how we all have a penchant towards what we are not, trying to balance ourselves somehow so that we continuously refine our tastes.

For me, I know that I get uncomfortable when I can no longer open a drawer and see everything at once with one glance.  That typically requires objects to be arranged in a single layer, nothing over anything else.  That goes for socks, underwear, bras, and definitely makeup.  If I have too much stuff, I need to "pile it" over preexisting stuff, and that is not good for my mental sanity.  With the recent pregnancy and having gone from 153lb before pregnancy to 220 lb at the height of the 39th week to 165 lb now, I went through a lot of sizes, each requiring clothing space in the closet.  In addition, Emma goes through clothes like the wind, changing sizes every second week almost, and hence we have boxes and boxes of stuff to store.  I hate that.  My dream closet would have two pairs of Lululemon pants, two running/exercise bras, two fitted exercise T-shirts, four bras with eight matching pants (some thong, some boy short style), three layering tops with lacy patterns, a lovely skirt suit (Chanel would be just fine :), a leather skirt with some ruffles or detail, an A-line skirt, two pairs of dark denim jeans, one slim fit and one straight cut, two light coloured cashmere sweaters from Brunello Cucinelli or Loro Piana, one long elegant cardigan for layering, one black or brown turtleneck sweater, and one pair of trousers in brown or purple with a nice pattern to the fabric.  Then for shoes, two ankle boots in funky colours that match the trousers, three long boots (white, black and brown), two pairs of elegant shoes with kitten heel or a mid heel (black and brown), one pair of elegant sandals, one pair of runners, and one pair of flip flops.  And two fabulous bathing suits, one for the pool and one two-piece for the beach.  As for coats, I think an elegant one (like fur, hm), a leather jacket, a camel coloured wool and cashmere blend, and a trench coat.

I have quite a bit more than that, and each time I try to streamline to exactly what I have described above, I get so bored after about one month that I go stir crazy and start buying or acquiring again.  I need A LOT of discipline to stay within the confines of a narrow wardrobe, but I am starting to realize that it is the same principle as dieting:  it is for a lifetime, so one has to allow splurges within limits, and one has to have a bit of fun and flexibility, but at the same time not forgetting the original goal.  I did stray quite far, but will get back to the principles, and work on it again and again, until I create my own comfortable definition of minimalism.  Then, eventually, hopefully I will learn to discipline myself enough to stray less and less each time.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

alright then

I was so touched to see that people actually like reading my blog.  In fact, I really was impressed that anybody at all would be entertained by my blabbering here.  You guys have definitely encouraged me to continue, thank you!

Remember my belt obsession?  I had to return the previously bought belt because it was the wrong size (I had bought it on the internet).  But I finally think I have come to an endpoint of peace.  I have been tortured by this belt story for one whole week. ( MrH is certain that I need to go back to work, since I seem to put too much energy into endeavours without purpose.  But I digress).  I have been very very obsessed with the Hermes H belt.  I saw one in fuchsia colour at the Vancouver Hermes store (yes, feel free to ask what on Earth I am doing there in the first place).  Sometimes I like to feel, touch and smell great craftsmanship, fabulous materials, and undeniable quality, and so I put a nice outfit and go browse luxury stores in Vancouver like I have some business being there.   Occasionally I am very tempted, although if I really like an item, I will hunt for it on ebay and usually buy it used in nice condition, when it is out of season and all the japanese tai-tai's (ladies who lunch while hubby is working at well paid endeavour) need to refresh their wardrobe.  By wise bidding, I have come to possess a Bottega Veneta purse, a Chanel purse and two Prada purses, one of which I have to sell because my conscience says so.  Just not yet :)

Anyway, I digress.  I tried on this fuchsia Hermes H belt, and I died and went to heaven.  It was thin, buttery soft, flexible, gorgeous rich colour with extremely beautiful patent finish. LOVE.  LOVE.  LOVE.  700 $ before tax.  MrH would divorce me if I spent that much money on a belt at this point in my life.  I mean c'mon, I have a child, and I am working part time starting next week, having just ended a ten month pregnancy/maternity leave.  Not wise.  Don't do it.  Don't go there.  But it would be such a lovely accessory... it would immediately step up any outfit, etc, etc.  Don't.  But it is so lovely and well done and it would certainly last until I die. (Since we all know that a fuchsia belt is something that an old lady wants to wear).  So my mind went into a state of obsession with this belt.  I wanted it so badly I was ruminating a subprogram in my brain that analyzed the cost effectiveness of such a purchase.

In the end, Math is golden.  This is how Fashion Math works:  you calculate the price per wear for each item.  A reasonable price per wear for a fabulous item is 1 $ for each time you wear it.  It is the same price that I pay for my stockings, which tend to break in two to three wears, and cost 18$ for six pairs at Costco.  So, since I pay that much for stockings, I figure the same price balance should be applied for other stuff too.  So I would have had to wear this belt 800 times after tax to get the right price per wear.  Since nobody in their right mind wears a fuchsia belt daily, unless it is their trademark (and I don't want that to be my trademark), say I would wear it once or twice a week.  In about 10-12 years I would get my price per wear to be around 1 dollar.  It is a bit much I think.

So I went to browse for another belt at Holt Renfrew, and as luck would have it, I stumbled upon a lovely, buttery soft charcoal Prada belt in the right length, on sale for 270$ (300 after tax).  It was half price.  I laughed when I told the saleswoman that we must be out of our minds if we feel that 300 $ for a belt is a bargain.  But, here is the catch:  the charcoal belt can be worn twice to three times a week easily, giving a nice glamorous accent to so many outfits.  I only have one other nice leather belt, so twice a week is very likely.  This means that in three years I got my price per wear.  Knowing Prada leather like I know Prada leather, I am quite certain that this belt will live much longer than three years, likely ten or more.  So it is a reasonable purchase.

And so I finally lay the belt story to rest.  I would very much like to add to my collection, but I will not.  The Prada belt is a nice all purpose belt, and I will be buried with it on at the ripe old age of 100.  Amen.

Monday, January 9, 2012

should I pause this blog?

I am toying with the idea of stopping this blog until I do another IVF.  Part of me wants to continue writing about everyday life, and about Emma, and I am sure that I will continue, but I don't know whether to continue publishing or simply to keep the posts private, as drafts.  Lately I have been mostly writing about stuff that is happening in daily life, and not so much about fertility issues.  I have a feeling that is not very interesting for people to read.  I haven't had any comments for the past few weeks, which is why I am not very inspired to continue sharing.  I will have to make it out for myself why exactly I am blogging.  I started out wanting to reach out and help, and at the same time wanting to be part of a community of people with similar issues.  I am not of much help at the moment, given that I am mothering and not battling with fertility issues, and my own life is not that interesting to anybody other than myself.

So, having said that, I think I will stop here.  I am going to restart when I am preparing for my next IVF, probably this year.  I will post occasionally, mostly if I encounter anything that I find useful for the infertility issues that we face, or if I feel like writing about my stillborn son.  Otherwise, I don't think I should bore people with my mundane life.

I wish everybody all the best, and thank you for the love.

milk, milk, milk...wish i had more

I am still struggling with low milk production, but I thought I had made peace with the fact, and moved on. Today I realized that I might not be quite as "over it" as I had initially thought.

I fed Emma some pureed chicken soup, and because she ate half a bowl (she has a very hearty appetite!) she did not want to breastfeed much before falling asleep for her afternoon nap.  My breasts felt engorged, and because I am still trying to increase the milk production, every time I feel that they get hard, I try to express the milk, rather than letting it sit there.  (I am also afraid of engorgement left alone, as I have unfortunately had two bouts of mastitis so far).  So I expressed the milk manually, since I don't have a pump here in Vancouver.  After about 15 minutes of squeezing my breasts, hunched over a baby bottle at the kitchen table, I got a total of 1.5 oz, which is about the usual amount that I can express, by any given means, including by electrical pump.  My mom was cooking in the kitchen, and I was expressing milk right next to her.  Food all around.

Just as I was done, Emma woke up from her nap and started crying.  I went over to check on her, and by the time I got back, the milk had disappeared!  I looked for it everywhere, thinking that I must be hallucinating, and in the end I realized that my mom had dumped it down the sink and washed the bottle!!!  I nearly had a stroke.  That milk was so precious, given that Emma gets so little of it, that I wanted to cry.  I did cry actually when my mom told me that it was no big deal, in fact she looked at the bottle and the bit that I had expressed was such a little that she thought the bottle was merely dirty and washed it out, not realizing that it was milk.  She never once apologized.  It clearly was not a big deal to her if she did not even think about the bottle that I was expressing into right next to her in the kitchen.  I mean, it's not as if I had done it somewhere else and brought the bottle in, I was doing it right in front of her and it did not even register!

I felt like precious gold was wasted, and she did not think anything of the event.  The truth must be in the middle.  I got upset by the waste, but also by the lack of respect for the "little bit" of milk, that little bit of milk is my effort, it is all that my body is capable of producing, and it is no small matter to me that Emma get every last drop of that.  It is my gift to my daughter and I am working bloody hard to make it.  It is not insignificant.  And my mom treated it as unimportant, which is why I got so upset.

I know that she won't understand, even if I try to explain these things.  How can anybody understand the frustration of having a body that does not work properly in just about any aspect of baby-making, the struggle to do every simple little thing, from falling pregnant, to staying pregnant, to delivering, to breast feeding.  The sadness of hearing Emma cry at my breast because the milk is finished, the frenzied hurry in the middle of the night to prepare yet another bottle while she is screaming, because I just did not have  enough to feed her like I thought I would.  The importance of this little bit of milk is that it is my triumph over not having had any (after all my milk had dried up).  To make this bit of milk, I have to take nine tablets of domperidone daily, not to mention the hours and hours spent pumping in useless frustration with nothing coming out.  This is THE BEST I CAN DO, so damn well I expect some respect for it.  Like the respect shown by apologizing for dumping it down the drain, as opposed to dismissing it because it was so little.

I am certain that my upset stems from much more than this event, that it is the pinnacle of years of frustration and struggle against a body that won't nurture a baby, in direct contradiction with my huge desire to do exactly that:  feed and nurture and protect.  So tonight I cried, and Emma got formula.  I guess I have not made complete peace with the milk issue after all.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Shop much?

I have gone through a bout of shopohoic behaviour this past week.  I don't normally win the prize for the most restrained shopping behaviour in the world, but at the same time I am inherently careful with money.  I never buy on debt, pay my visa in full once every three days (yes, I am that sick!) and try to save enough for three months' living expenses in case something happens to me and I can't work.  All this qualifies as not overspending.  I do, however, occasionally overbuy.  And this is what happened this past week.

I have tried to behave myself well throughout the holidays, and succeeded, but during this past week I have been overcome by some sort of buying frenzy.  I felt anxious and almost like I would never be able to ever shop again, I spent almost to the limit of what I felt comfortable doing, (i.e. any more and I would not have enough money for another IVF this year - yes, we are thinking, but this is material for another post).  I bought a Tiffany's key pendant at a large discount, the mink coat from the previous post, and two cashmere sweaters, plus one leather belt.  It might not seem like a lot, but it was all in one week, which actually is a lot for someone who is trying not to spend.  Also, when I buy, I usually choose garments that are rather long lasting and good quality, and although they were all discounted except for the belt, they were expensive.

All in all, not so worrisome, but what worried me the most was the unbearable urge to buy ANOTHER belt after buying the first one.  In fact, I wanted to buy TWO more, in different shades and different thicknesses.  And I don't ever wear belts, it's just that I decided to upgrade my look and to start tucking in my shirts and tops, hence the need for a belt.  ONE BELT.  Not three.  When I felt the unbearable obsession, urge, tension, and so on, I knew that I had to stop the hunting and the behaviour right then and there.  Nothing good will ever come out of needing to shop with such an intensity.  It was similar to a smoker's need for a cigarette I think, (I never smoked, but that is what they describe it as).

So I decided no more buying anything clothing or appearance-related for the next four months.  Perhaps it is not long, but it is enough to get me out of this immediate frenzy and back into my wise mind, the mind that decides and carefully weighs whether something is needed, whether it would fit, whether it is a good addition to my wardrobe, whether I can afford it.  I have done stints of four-months-no-buying before, and they have always been good for me.  I have tried longer, but then I started needing too many things, and had to buy too much at once when I did eventually allow myself to buy, and it felt too much like a binge.  Buying binges are not good for me I think.  I have shopoholic tendencies, who would have thought!  not me, not when I moved from Romania living on 50 dollars a day with my mom, dad and sibling.

In any case, knowing that buying anything would reinforce this behaviour, and not buying would cause discomfort but is the only way out of the obsession, I have kept myself in check today, but it was not easy.  I had so much tension, that I was plotting ways to escape the house, to leave Emma with my mom, and to drive downtown to get the above-mentioned belt.  I even had a plan in mind, to do it while picking up sushi take out and to say that it took longer for them to make it.  How very weird!  All at the same time wondering what exactly is going on with me?  I DON'T EVEN WEAR BELTS!!!!! it is simply an inexplicable obsession.

In the end I told my mom and MrH about the problem, and about my resolution, and also I described in great detail the belts that I had in mind, so that I can not buy them and wear them without anybody else knowing.  Namely MrH, who told me that the belts would end up in the garbage if he saw them on me.  (And I would let him :).  I think if in four months I still need a belt, I will buy ONE, not two.  Then, four months later, a second one if I really really need a whole collection.

I now have an audience that knows my secret, and will write honestly about my struggles.  I am sure that in today's society lots of the people reading this blog have the same buying frenzy/binging behaviour/tension/conflict/urge problem as me right now.  If anybody wants to describe their struggles, feel free to comment.  Also, if anybody wants to do the four month shopping free with me, let me know.

I have to go run on the treadmill now, hopefully letting out some steam, but I will write again perhaps tomorrow trying to explore what has brought this on.

PS.  I just took a shopping addiction quiz online, and here are the results (suffice it to say, I did not get to run tonight, amid so much self examination, but will do it tomorrow).
Results : Not a Shopping Addict!

Based on your test results, you do not appear to be a 'compulsive shopper'. However some of your answers show that shopping may have a tendency to take control. If you are concerned about your shopping behaviour, it may be worth seeking advice!

mink coat controversy

I did a very controversial thing today, and I could use some public advice, although if I might ask it is very controversial and I would appreciate it if the opinions could come in a gentle, kind way.

I live in Northern Canada, and as many people know it is cold here.  Not as cold recently, with the general climate change, but still very cold.  Canada has a long history of fur garment production, from farming to processing to designing and executing beautiful fur items.  I bought a lovely red coat today that contains mink fur in its composition.  It is not my first fur coat, it is my second one.  The first one, my mom bought when she was young, and passed it on to me.  It was made in Romania, from farmed sheep, and is still in use, as good as it was back in the days when I was born.  It has kept us warm for three generations now, if we consider that it is the only coat I wear when I take Emma out at -20 C in the baby Bjorn.  When I saw this coat, I thought that it would be my legacy to Emma.  It is short and light, and made for a warmer climate than the one I have from my mom, although generally suitable for winter.   However, once I brought it home, I got some hard questions from my husband about the ethics behind the whole thing, and I had to think and make it out to myself what my position on this topic is.

The company I bought this coat from is involved only in ethical farming of animals.  I have asked before buying where the fur comes from, to ensure it is not from any endangered species or cruelty-linked.  The mink was not trapped, but raised in cages on mink farms.  The mink are solitary animals, hence they have to have their own space, which is why they have to be raised each in a separate cage, and not allowed to mix in packs of twenty.  They are killed according to humane euthanasia methods, using carbon monoxide, a method that is much kinder than what is used to kill the chicken and the cows that we eat from the local grocery store.  The whole animal is used, both for meat that is then fed to fish on fish farms, and for the fat that is used for leather shoe maintenance and other stuff.  There is no waste.  Even the bonemeal is used.

I don't eat meat or eggs or milk from the normal grocery store, and rather opt for the local farmer produced foods from animals that are raised free range and even known by name by their owners, in the case of beef (the name of the animal is often on the package).  Or hunting meat, from deer and elk.  None of them are endangered species, and none is hunted for trophies only, the meat is all used up.

That being said, the question of whether I should have or not remains.  I did not really need a new coat, which makes the whole discussion sway towards the fact that I probably should not have bought it.  But assuming that I did need one, should I have rather bought a non biodegradable plastic/synthetic garment that is sure to stay in the landfill for 300 years, and that my daughter will have no respect for or interest in?  Or should I rather teach her the importance of using a coat as a family heirloom, the way I was taught, for as long as it is possible, and then know that it will degrade into the environment with ease and cleanliness?  The fur is greener than the synthetics, and the appreciation of an item in theory should discourage overconsumption, which is a bigger problem at this point for all of us than any other problem.

All in all, in the end the fact that the coat makes my husband feel uncomfortable about the issue makes me regret buying it.  (I don't know really how uncomfortable I should feel about the issue when we both wear leather without a second thought).  However, now that I did, I plan on wearing it with respect for the animals that died. As in, I don't plan on discarding it in five years, the way people do with synthetic coats.  And I plan on spending the money on alterations if needed, the way I usually do with all my garments.  It is my way, I buy expensive durable things and alter/repair them just about forever.   The last option, that of returning the coat to the store, is the most shameful of all.  I think I made a decision, I should live with it and its consequences.

The controversy in my mind at the moment makes the whole purchase non-enjoyable, but I think there is no harm in thinking about a topic and making it out for myself, even if it will take a while to decide what the right way is for me in this context.  Any help on making it clearer in my own head is appreciated.  But please be kind.  Don't call me names.  I might not have made the best decision for lack of enlightened thinking, but I am not a cruel or mean person.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Adrian's day

On January 2 of this year I contemplated the fact that it has now been two years since I lost my precious baby Adrian.  I am staying at my parents' house, and do not have much privacy, my husband is away, and I spent my private time thinking about Adrian without really sharing it with anybody.  I thought about his little body, how sweet it was, even in death, even limp and without movement, how his skin was so soft and still warm from my body.  I think about that often.  Over the past two days, I started wondering if maybe it was not him that saved me when I nearly died.  I wonder if our babies in heaven do not become our guardian angels, and perhaps somehow intervene on our behalf when things get rough.  I feel like after losing him I have had a lot of points in my life where things could have gone badly, but they did not, leaving me wondering if it wasn't that somehow Adrian had something to do with it.  Like nearly dying but at the last moment stopping bleeding and recovering so fast from the brink of death.

Is it possible that he is now my guardian angel?  do any of you guys think this way about your babies?

On a second note, I gave my blog page to a childhood friend from Europe and she told me that she is not interested in reading it because she does not understand how people can write such private things on such a public space.  I have had this particular criticism often, especially initially when I first started writing.  I thought I had worked through my own doubts, but sometimes comments like this still get to me.  I don't write anything here that I do not feel ok sharing with the world.  My struggles, although private, are very much the same as other women's struggles, and I feel that in writing about my thoughts and how I deal (or not deal) with my issues can help others feel less alone, maybe even get ideas.  I also write for myself, as if it were not for this blog, a lot of events would go undocumented.  I would simply not write a private diary, I am too lazy to do that.  I have had nothing but pleasure from sharing with you ladies, and have felt a part of this online community for years now.  I have never regretted it.  Why do you, my childhood friend, now criticize me and try to make me feel inadequate and wrong?  Is it rather that you are not reading my blog because it bores you, given that you have never been interested in having children and cannot relate to my struggles, and rather than admitting the truth you think this other reason will make me feel better?  Is it that it is too hard to read in English and rather than cracking open a dictionary you found this excuse?  Who knows.  Why don't people mind their own business and stop telling everyone else how they should live is beyond me.

Back to the good news:  I have lost another two pounds (that I had gained over the holidays) and I am shooting for 145 lb, which is quite skinny for me.  That means another 24 lb to go.  21 lb down so far.  I will be thin in by March.  I am so psyched up that I am running daily now, and not deviating much from my healthy diet anymore.  I feel like if I could make Emma happen, I can do this too.  Yepeeee!