TTC

The Best Part….

I know I owe so many blog posts about a variety of topics – I have so many passages started and not completed. Not only for sheer lack of time and energy which is real but also my feelings tend to mutate on these fragile topics with the wind!!

For now, one thing I know for absolute certain is I’ve figured out my favorite part. Of the whole entire thing, and it’s not what you think. Motherhood, is amazing. Incredibly challenging and even taxing at times. My daughter is an angel, she has her moments, but honestly she’s a great baby.

Motherhood, and all that comes with it had been quite a rollercoaster. Today, my daughter is 2 months old, officially and it’s just been a blurry amazing WHIZ of a moment in my life. The speed at which time travels now is insane. Not at all fair, but I’m soaking up every coo, cuddle, snuggle, and everything in between.

Oh yes – the point let’s get back to it shall we?? I figured out the best part. My favorite part about my daughter. While I’m obsessed with her gorgeous eyes, jelly rolls, the adorable mohawk she’s has since she was born, her “taquito” toes, and every single other detail about her…. I have to say the single best part is her left cheek.

I find myself paying special attention to that little left cheek. It’s always the one I kiss every time I pick her up, it’s the one that snuggles right into my own left cheek when we cuddle and when she feels extra clingy and just needs her mama…. that little left cheek, who knew. Sometimes I worry I’m gonna wear that one side down cause i can’t help myself it’s just THE BEST PART!

*pause to kiss left cheek as I rock and type this passage as she sleeps on my chest*

While I’m sure it does, I just can’t help but think it does not ever get better than moments like this… and this is all there is right now!! Thanks to a global pandemic, this is basically the entirety of my existence right now… I mean… there’s a lot of moving cogs to motherhood starting around 3:30 am this morning with our first feed of the day leading back into bed for her and an hour long pumping session for me, my day basically starts at 3:30 now but honesty…. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. A single brush against that left cheek fixes everything…. everything.

For now, that’s it. I gotta get back to that cheek. I haven’t kissed or rubbed my face on it for at least a minute so we’re due here, but I wanted to update you on this beautiful life…..❤️

AngelMom

The things they will… and won’t tell you!

Author’s note: I wrote most of this about 3 weeks post partum…. I filled in and updated but it’s worth sharing!!

I can’t even believe this gets to be my life. My daughter is absolute perfection. I find myself just staring at her… in shock, disbelief, adoration and pure love.

That being said, the last few weeks have been so much harder than I could have ever imagined. The world, and whatever peanut gallery that follows you delights in (low-key judging as well as) reminding you that whatever woes or feelings you have are just part of motherhood now and that you basically will never sleep again – which in my experience is not untrue… but becoming a mom and riding out this very jerky rollercoaster is a whole thing unto itself.

Our journey here was a long, and painful one and I’m lucky enough that my pregnancy as well as labor and delivery went rather text book! I was able to rock the natural/vaginal delivery I wanted even with induction – only needing a small nudge to get things started and was able to deliver my 8lb 9oz baby girl without an epidural (now, me laboring at 9+cm was definitely rethinking that one, but I do feel like a badass being able to say that I did it now that it’s over!!)

Considering ALLLLLL of that, this next phase the 4th trimester as it’s call it, is just one of those things you can’t prepare for. All the great advice in the world – as well as all of the less great and mostly unsolicited advice can’t account for what your specific baby will need and want during this stage.

That…. and the constant doubt pressing down on my shoulders makes it really tough for this mama to clear the fog and feel like I’m doing a good enough job at this. Being someone who strives for a standard I can’t possibly attain I have a hard time with this phase. The one where I just grab on tight and hope I don’t fuck any of this up!!!!

A few things for anyone looking for some insight to the 4th trimester…

Sleep… yah that whole sleep when the baby sleeps thing is bullshit. My baby only wants to be held—- so sleeping while she does is somewhat of an issue. I’ve managed to prop myself up on the couch and catch a few winks that felt safe but in reality I’m having major stress over trying to get her to accept laying down anywhere so that we are compliant with safe sleeping practice. It’s a work in progress and that has to be ok….

(Note from future me: we are making great progress with the sleeping! I made it back to my own bed at about 4 weeks and we’ve worked up to about 6 hours in the bassinet followed by a quick no-nonsense feed then back for a few hours!! Huzzah!! Truly you just have to be patient and keep trying at whatever the thing is!!!!)

When the things you hope will come naturally … don’t. For me, that thing is breastfeeding. The hospital suggested we supplement with formula early on because she was showing signs of jaundice… and I kind of feel like that one speed bump derailed us on the breastfeeding. Over time I’ve given up ground little by little, and I’ve chosen to exclusively pump to produce milk for her and fill in with formula where my supply falls short. It’s certainly not the journey I thought we’d be on, but it’s reality. In the end my baby is fed, happy and I can’t feel guilty about any of it because it’s HARD and I’m doing my very best for her- and for me. At some point my mental heath is a factor too and whatever choice I make has to take that part to account as well!

And that’s just it…. forever now, my best is what I can do and will always be ok. Motherhood is amazing, exhausting, terrifying and wonderful… I live for every memory I get to make with this girl.

Taken around the time I wrote this… 😍😴
AngelMom, pregnancy

A dream within a dream

The other night I woke from a dead sleep. Bolted awake by the strangest and most heart wrenching dream. I have nightmares quite a bit, always have… sometimes hubby wakes me yelling and crying in my sleep, but this one my eyes just snapped open and I laid there frozen, trying to catch my breath.

In this dream… it had all been a dream.

Let me explain.

It was a very strange web of make believe. It started with a very pregnant me, being in a fatal car accident. When the impact struck, instead of waking up like I normally would during a car accident dream, it only lead me into another dream. Still peering in as it all played out, I watched myself wake up horrified to discover that thought of me being killed in a car accident wasn’t even the worst part. In the first layer I was pregnant, and the second I was not. Watching myself realize that and that gut punch feeling … it had all just been a dream…..

I woke unable to breathe and grabbed my big pregnant belly and immediately felt her, kicking and squirming as if to say “it’s ok Mom, I’m still here”… thank god. Thank god for her!

I laid in bed clutching on to my belly, feeling relieved and grateful and also sad for the old me. The me that had to wake up to dreams like that. Wondering what the heck my life would even look like if it wasn’t for her!?? She’s not even here yet and my whole universe already revolves around her. Waiting, and anticipating whatever the world will look like once she’s here!!!

Today, I am 28 weeks pregnant and entering my 3rd trimester!! The anxiety I felt in the early stages of pregnancy is shifting. Still there a bit but it’s muffled by excitement, and also by the list of things I need to accomplish in the next three months. Moments like this jolt me back into it and I’m forced to spend a lot of quiet time with my meditation app. Time for quiet. Time for deep breaths and gratefulness.

Countdown to HER continues. It’s more than a dream, it’s my dream and this time it’s real. She’s real.

pregnancy, TTC, Weight Loss

Sliding into a New Year

It usually takes me about a week to really figure out any New Year… between the last of the holiday commitments, chores, cleaning and resetting plus all the work holidays thrown in I literally can’t even find my feet until that first week of January is over.

This year is no exception, and it seems more scattered and chaotic than it normally is- perhaps cause there’s two of us here now trying to figure out the New Years grove??

I’ve felt very chemically edgy lately, which is new. I’ve seen some emotional spurts and a few random mood swings with pregnancy but honestly it’s been a pretty smooth road so far. Lately though, it’s been building…. Very small things, and even some unexpected large things have really thrown me emotionally and I’ve had quite a time sliding into the new year with all of that gurgling inside.

I’ve amped my meditation time up, at the urging of my heath advocate and like it always does (and I’m always skeptical somehow) it helped tremendously. I don’t know why I resist that tactic so much, maybe because it seems like something so simple like ones breathing and inner monologue shouldn’t be so powerful… but it totally is.

Today I woke with a clear head, and laced up my shoes for a treadmill session. I haven’t been completely absent with my fitness since I got pregnant, but between the holidays, feeling physically trained and now emotionally drained I just haven’t had it in me. It felt great. A little annoying how all that lovely stamina you build up when you’re in it goes away if you “fall off the wagon” but it was more about taking that time to reboot and just get a check mark on the day for me.

I don’t typically care for New Years Resolutions – usually because they’ve been the same for me for years! Lose Weight, and Get Pregnant…. And this year… well?? I did it right!? I’m probably always going to be one of those people who has to think about and constantly work toward keeping their weight in check, but at least I know how to do it now.

My main goal is just to be a good human. Be a good example of what I want my daughter to see in the world, and be better. Be better than I was the day before.

So far, today I’ve done that.

Typically in my life I care too much and devote too much energy into stuff that DOES NOT MATTER or serve me…. I’d like to do less of that…

While searching for an inspiring quote… I found this and it made me laugh out loud!! I mean aren’t most of us???? I relate to this so hard!! 😂😂😂

TTC

The WHY I write…

Three years ago…. I wrote from a hospital bed. I wrote because I was broken. I wrote because I didn’t know what else to do. I couldn’t bare to keep it in anymore. I decided that to suffer silently wasn’t only too much for me to carry, but it’s not fair to every other woman, man, couple that struggles with infertility who feels like their voice doesn’t matter. That their struggle should be kept silent.

The first time I ever opened up about our struggle:

I truly don’t know why it feels like we should keep our struggles to ourselves. Maybe because a lot of it deals with sex? Your personal life? Being vulnerable? Expressing feelings, feelings of failure?? Not wanting to bring down the mood??

So many of us who have walked a difficult road- whether it’s infertility, cancer, depression, anxiety, whatever the case may be — I bet you know this feeling. We keep quiet for a variety of reasons — some real, some imposed upon us by society. I didn’t know then the impact my writing would have, I just knew I needed to get it out. These feelings, this fight was a toxin in my system and I needed it OUT!!!

I began to write publicly about our struggles with conception, and loss and have for the last 3 years. It is hard. Just going through it is hard. There is so much you just have to figure out by trial and error, by failure, and by hoping others are sharing their experiences so that you can learn from their pain and failure without having to put yourself through that too!!! That’s why. That’s why I write.

A lot of it is self serving, the whole getting the icky thoughts out thing is real. But, for me every time I read something relatable I feel less crazy and I wanted to be able to give a little bit of that back to others that may need that level of comfort too!

Today, the life I’m living seems more like a dream than a nightmare. I mean, don’t get me wrong, even in infertility there’s a lot to be proud of, thankful and excited about in my life – I designed it that way! Spending a whole year with a Disneyland Annual pass sure made that particular year of healing palatable! But it doesn’t negate the fact that a lot of those years were spent struggling, worrying, crying and just generally being frustrated that I was locked in a phase I couldn’t seem to escape. Sound familiar??? So many struggle with some THING that makes you feel like you can’t move forward!! It’s a horrible feeling.

Looking back on it all now, where the view is sweet… it just takes my breath away. All those times I hoped and prayed that it really would all be worth it … not knowing if it truly would…. that, that is the real nightmare. I feel lucky to have survived it all, and to be able to provide any kind of comfort, insight or hope to anyone else is the real service.

For anyone fighting.

I see you. I hear you, even if your voice is quiet. I say keep fighting!! And if you can– turn that volume up. Whatever you’re fighting, you’re not alone. Someone else is clawing against the same demons, and sees themselves in YOU I guarantee it….

pregnancy, TTC

Somebody Pinch Me

Lately life seems way too good to be true. I catch myself just looking around in wonderment, just stunned that this gets to be my life.

For so long, I split my time wishing, hoping and praying that this fate was possible… and trying to convince myself that I would be ok if it wasn’t. It’s a funny thing when your dreams come true.

Pregnancy is not easy, by any means – but mine??? I really don’t know how I got so lucky. The inconveniences I’ve experienced really don’t measure against the pain and discomfort I experienced getting here. Currently I’m 17 weeks, nearly half way and it’s a mix of excitement, fear, joy and amazement.

I’m constantly researching, asking questions, and wondering to myself how does anyone not just mess it all up!! I want so badly to be a good mom. I just hope that whatever preparation I take now will be enough to get me through all the things you CAN’T prepare for….. I’m sure it won’t, but a girl can dream, it’s worked before! 😂

My first child, my dog Leo…. seems to be finally adjusting to all of this. It’s been a rough month for him and this bump and all the change it’s brought. Animals are very intuitive. When I first got pregnant, even before I knew he became extremely clingy. Then, right around the time we found out we were having a girl his entire demeanor changed!! (Guess he was hoping for a brother!!) He started acting out, being distant and just not really himself. As I said, a lot of change and who knows some sort of pheromone change maybe set him off. Lately though he’s starting to act a little more like himself. He’s even started this thing where he comes up to me, bonks my bump a few times then walks away… as if to say, “hi sis….just checking on you”. Melts my heart.

And this is life. Little moments like this. Moments I’ve only dreamt of. Every bump rub…. every time I see the faces of my husband, and our parents light up with absolute joy as they think about our little one…. every time I pause life and look up, and remember “I’m pregnant!!” …. it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever experienced.

I’m somehow grateful, grateful for those years of struggle and pain. Grateful for having lost something so precious that my eyes are fully opened and able to accept and appreciate the beautiful gift that I’ve been given. I’d never choose that life if I had seen it in a lineup, but I’m grateful to have lived through it so that I could experience this one…. be grateful friends!

TTC

Darling, you’re a shooting star!

I’ve been sitting out here for about a hour now. In my very own piece of the world… my quiet backyard. Feeling the wind ruffle through my hair and hands. Listening to the soundtrack of my life as played by the rustling trees….. I do this often.

I spend my time gazing up at the stars. Watching them, following them… and of course wishing on them. Light years away, I wonder if they’re looking down on me as I struggle and as I conquer…

A tear gleans down my cheek…. for almost no reason at all. It’s just so beautiful, and tragic … I plead up at them for a sign, any sign … close my eyes take a long deep breath with the current and feel a full stream of tears fall.

I open my eyes to bid them goodnight, as I always do … and just then… the perfect moment for the universe to acknowledge me…. a shooting star! I mean, what are the chances anyone else was watching at that exact moment in space time…. no, I have no doubt– it was for me. A wink and a smile from the kind and generous universe to keep going. Keep looking up, keep making wishes darling….

Please let this be a sign that my miracle is on its way, spinning all the star stuff together to send a precious miracle my way.

Goodnight planet Earth….

Weight Loss

If things are tough…. keep GROWING!

Today’s random rant is sponsored by a crippling diet plateau!! For the record, my last Weigh-In SUCKED!!! As did the one before that! Normally I weigh in every two weeks and the expected number is between minus 2-4lbs per week… I lost a grand total of 1b in 3 weeks and it is just the pits!!!

Here’s the thing… please hold all your “oh, but 1lbs is great!” – “at least you didn’t gain” comments cause they’re rubbish right now. Just don’t! Damnit shit is hard at this stage of the game!! I’m so near the end and truly, it’s my own fault the weight hasn’t been coming off. Truth be told I have stolen “bites” of forbidden food from my finished-with-the-diet-husband thinking a bite couldn’t possibly matter… well I’m here to tell you- IT DOES!!! It does matter, because I’m not just casually trying to lose weight! This program is brutal – brutal to be on for a stretch this long and the longer I allow forbidden food in my face -even at nominal amounts the longer it’s gonna take!!

It’s a vicious cycle, and goes something like this:

Me: Gets frustrated and/or jealous of [husband’s] non diet food contraband, steals a bite.

    Bite throws me out of Ketosis – yes even A BITE!!!!
    Ketosis takes up to 4 days to achieve
    After bite of contraband I play by the rules for several days — we’ll say 4 of them….
    Gets back into Ketosis – yay!
    Steals a bite of forbidden food
    DAMNIT!!!!!!!!!!!

And so it goes…. and yet even with all the frustration– I’m so proud of how far I’ve come!! Which makes it even harder!! I’m told by at least one person every single day how great I look or some other such raving about my changing figure! It feels great – but with each compliment it seems less and less dire for me to continue losing weight!! Ain’t that a bitch!!! 😂

The positive take away from my weigh in, was that I was according to the doc I’m in the largest Ketosis there is… and I intend to keep it that way!!!! I do feel suddenly more motivated to push away from off-program food, just knowing I AM in full Ketosis and I do know how to get and keep it. I just have to be more disciplined.

Today my Facebook reminded me of this old memory, from about 10 years ago. This is my lowest of the low before photo. I don’t ever remember looking this way, and I sure don’t ever want to again. I’ve come so far, and I didn’t come THIS far just to come this far!!!

This journey is one of transformation in every sense of the word. I’m healing, my body and my soul too! Learning how to process feelings in a more constructive way, not translating my feelings into food is a big part of that. I’m learning how to speak, finding my voice and the volume of that voice too! I’m learning to protect my energy, and what it takes to do that. I’ve had to let go of a lot of things to live in the skin I have now– including people that no longer serve a positive purpose. Growth is HARD, exhausting, painful and wonderful…..

And lastly, finding out that YES… I can do this. All of it.

For anyone struggling, for anyone fighting, for anyone hustling to grow into their new future self … I see you. Keep going.

TTC

My Love/Hate Relationship with the Universe

Sometimes I have a very complicated relationship with the universe.

I’m not terribly religious. I grew up Christian, but I have issues balancing the math when I see how some Christians behave. I just scratch my head and I can’t quite get all the way on board. I subscribe to a more universal spirituality always trying to shift my own energy to a positive place, be nice to people and let the universe sort out the judgement part. I believe, that the universe understands what I need and is making a way to provide it to me…. most days.

But days like today, it’s hard. Day 13 of 14 in the very first two week wait as we start trying to get pregnant again…. I’ve felt very certain that everything had finally aligned (not unlike every other time we do this mind you) and there were symptoms and signs pointing toward finally attaining this miracle only to wake today and have all signs pointing the other way.

I don’t know.

There’s a lot to be thankful for.

There’s so much good here, and luckily we have the opportunity to keep at it. It was certainly the most “fun” I’ve had while TTC in a really long time! Felt less like a “job” or a chore than it had during all the months of treatments we’ve done in the past….

But damnit. Again with the hard math. Sometimes I just really wanna FIGHT with the universe and shake it!!! Screaming and crying and asking WHYYYYYY!??? But the it doesn’t work like that. That’s not the energy I want flowing, I don’t want to feel robbed or mislead… or like the universe keeps breaking their promise to me! How does one keep the negative thoughts at bay??? My daily struggle.

For now… I just ask for peace and calm in light of more waiting which I am lousy at. Bring patience and faith because I seem to be running low all of a sudden. Help me let go…..

TTC

My Mother’s Day Wish

Every year, on this day… for the last decade I’ve made the same wish. Please, let this be the last year. The last year I have to hide from the internet, smile when I don’t want to, and act like I’m not being torn apart from the inside out. Please let this be the last year that I have to spend Mother’s Day with an honorary title…. not that I don’t love being a “Dog Mom” or Auntie– it’s just not enough for me. It’s not. So like the ones before it here I am this Mother’s Day, with tears in my eyes making the same wish.

Man. Shit is complicated these days!!! There isn’t a word for how I feel… and I feel like there should be and THAT makes me feel things! I’ve tried several times today to catalog the feels, to write them out and failed. Tried again and failed harder. This draft… might see the light of day, but I’m still debating. All day long I’ve tried to gift wrap this… these feelings. At one point I just thought…nope it’s not gonna happen. Just maybe, don’t acknowledge it at all. Who says I have to?? But that feels disingenuous too…. so here I am. Trying to scotch tape these feelings into something I can explain to the world….

I dunno… lonely. Lonely is a thing I feel. But not like, how you normally think of it. My oldest and best fertility friend is now pregnant. I can not express how wonderful that is, and how freeking excited I am for her– she DESERVES THIS!!!!!! But…. I’m alone now. And it’s hard…

We are going to start trying again… soon! Finally…. it’s exciting. And terrifying. There are a million questions racing through my brain at any given point … none of which I should be asking. Not the least of which goes something like…. “wonder if this is gonna work”… And the only answer I can muster I boosted from Captain America….

I’m doing my best to be positive and to say nice things, but if I’m really honest I’m terrified. Terrified of all the questions I can’t ask, and can’t answer. I’m terrified that I’ve come all this way only to have the door slammed in my face – or worse – opened for an instant and then slammed with the explosion of a failed pregnancy–again! I lived through the horror once I don’t know if I could make it out a second time and OF COURSE I’M SCARED OF THAT!!!! But I have to try!!!! Even with all that fear how could I not TRY!?!!!

*internally screaming … and sobbing real tears* this is what I mean… there’s no word for this. Truly…. I’m Hopefully Terrified Confused Apprehensive…. and just a little bit Numb. I need that word… whatever it is.

So today… as usual, I made my wish. I pictured the life I want so the universe can send it to me. I promised myself and the universe I would believe that what is meant for me will always find a way… and really yearn to trust that my most perfect life is somehow on its way.

To every manner of woman who is or desires motherhood… I see you. I appreciate all the tiny sacrifices that make a Mom no matter how that looks in your world.