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A Love Beyond Measure

My adventures as a mom.

Goodbye 2012

It’s already that time again. Time for some reflection on the year that is nearly behind us.

I started the year out on a mission to be inspired. I planned to find meaning in the work I do and really make a difference, but 2012 had other plans for me.

In reality, this has been a year of learning. I haven’t achieved what I set out to do and I was starting to feel a bit miserable about it. That is until I actually sat down and took stock of what has ACTUALLY happened this year. That made me feel a little less like a failure. ūüôā

Parenthood

I experienced my first year as a mom this year. Jayden arrived in our lives at the end of 2011, but we only really started to settle into parenthood in 2012. I have to admit that it has been challenging even though we wouldn’t change a thing. Becoming a parent makes you re-evaluate everything in your lives. Friendships have changed and new¬†friendships¬†have formed. I am very excited about the new friendships and I have had to learn that some friends were really¬†acquaintances¬†in disguise. Its okay though, our lives are filled with different things now. I’m loving going to kids parties and spending time with other mommy friends, JUST-LOVING-IT!!

 Finding me.

I know I have said this before, but I¬†truly¬†truly never¬†realized¬†how broken I was before Jayden. I knew I was sad, but I never¬†realized¬†how deeply hurt I was. I have only recently able to take a good hard look at the past and START to make some decisions as to how I will move forward. I have lost a bit of weight and I’m starting to feel really good about my body and I truly believe that I will continue my feel good mission in the new year. I went shopping the other day and bought some jeans and shorts that were one size down, a 14! -YAY. I know its only one size so far but it means so much more to me. It means that I can do this and I am ok with slow steady weigh loss. It’s all part of finding me. ūüôā

The world of work and money

Our finances have been a disaster this year, but we have had a lot of new things to get used to. Babies are expensive and I have really had to learn to juggle my time being a working-from-home mom. I have had to refocus and decide what I really want and I have¬†realized¬†how awesome it is to be a working-from-home mom. As a result I have¬†realized¬†that I now know how important it is that I make this work. It allows me to be able pick up Jayden from school at midday and play with him in the afternoons. If I had an 8-5pm office job I wouldn’t be able to do that.

2012………………… you have been a little bit of a bitch, haven’t you? But you have taught me some¬†valuable¬†lessons and I have undergone a big change as a result. I have learnt to be a mom and wife as¬†opposed¬†to a sad infertile wife. I have¬†realized¬†my try potential as a business woman and how important my business is to me. I have learnt about friendships; what I want in my life and what I don’t want. Its been a bit of a wild ride!

2013……..you better watch out……I’m coming for ya!!!!

 

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Thanks bloggers.

Thanks so much for your comments on my last post ladies. It really put things into perspective for me. I tend to get tunnel vision when I am too close to a problem and your comments really opened up my thinking.

G is a really good person and looks after Jayden very well. He likes her and she likes him which is very important. I trust her too and I never had that with our previous domestic. I supose that I need to look at her as more of a nanny and be thankful that my boy is so well looked after.

There are a few things that need to change next year; and I am sure that it will be possible for her to make those changes, as J will be at school three mornings a week. I think I will have a nice talk with her when she comes back from leave and clarify my expectations.

For now, we have ten working days to get through.

After that we can all take a deep breathe, relax and look forward to 2013.

High expectations?

There are two reasons for this post….

1.I want to write my frustrations down so I can organize them in my head.

2. I want a little advice, your honest opinion please.

Just a short note: I know that it is the end of the year and everyone is tired and moody. I know I am! I need a break badly and I have a very short fuse at the moment. This may contribute to the way I am feeling now, but I still think that I have some valid concerns.

If you have been reading for a while you will know that we had some drama with our nanny/domestic earlier this year. Basically I very wrongly assumed that our domestic could graduate to nanny very easily and I was sadly mistaken. We had to let her go and finally found someone to look after our fluffington during the day.

G, has been with us since July and I really cannot fault her care with Jayden. She plays with him, takes him for walks and they really get along very well. You can see she knows what she is doing, she is experienced and has worked as a nanny for over ten years. I really do trust her with J.

Now after what I have just said I may sound really pathetic in my next statement. I mean I have found someone really awesome and my son is safe and looked after……BUT, my house does not get cleaned, and I am growing more and more resentful of that fact.

I do know that you need to choose your battles with this type of thing, but I am really talking about the basics here. I could handle my house not being super clean. I could handle a little dust on the top of a cupboard, but I can’t handle the fact that there is dirt in plain sight that I end up cleaning on a weekend.

Here is an example of what I cleaned yesterday,

  • I¬†vacuumed¬†the carpet in our lounge and cleaned the laminate flooring.
  • I wiped down some of the window sills.
  • I wiped down our TV cabinet, coffee tables and dining room table.
  • I swept and mopped our outside braai area and wiped down all the tables and surfaces.
  • I cleaned all the surfaces¬†in the¬†study.

And these things seem to have to be attended to every weekend. It irritates me! Sure things do get done. Our clothes are washed and  ironed and the floors are mopped. The toilets and the kitchen get cleaned everyday and sometimes I hear a vacuum cleaning in the background, but I must admit, I expect more from someone who is here five days a week.

I know that J is a lot of work at the moment, and with that in mind I could make my peace with all of this, but I pay G very well, and it really grinds me that these things aren’t done.

So my first question is, are my expectations too high? What do you expect from a nanny/domestic looking after one child.

I know that things will change slightly next year as J will be starting playschool three mornings a week. This means that there will be more time to get things done, but I’ll then have an extremely well paid domestic worker.

So there is my vent! I’m still confused, am I being unrealistic? Is this what I should expect?

Your advice please ladies.

 

Adoption reactions.

Before Jayden arrived, we never really talked about adoption outside of our close friends and family and when we did the reactions were always positive. It was never a secret that we were waiting to adopt, but I didn’t ¬†feet the need to tell every Tom, Dick and Harry. I guess it’s just not something that comes up in conversation. Its only really been after Jayden’s placement that I have really been exposed to the honest reactions and opinions of others and I have found it to be quite interesting.

In the back of my mind, I know that people have all sorts of views when it comes to adoption, but I have always expected a positive¬†response¬†from people (yes I know it is very naive). I haven’t been hurt by these opinions……YET, and I try my best to educate others when they make misguided assumptions about adoption. The only time I feel that I may scratch your eyes out is if you insult my son directly. That is unacceptable.

The most ridiculous response I got from someone was, “oh, so is adoption popular these days?” Um, ja……my reaction, “no, it’s not! It’s a big decision that you get to when it is right for you.”

But the comments that have¬†surprised¬†me most are the ones directed at our BM. I have had……..

“Will she ever forgive herself for what she has done?”

“How can anyone do that?”

” I could never do that?”

Last week I was driving our nanny to the bus stop and as we drove past the Light House Baby Shelter I told her about the Moses basket they have there and how they look after abandoned children. She couldn’t understand it, and her solution to the problem was to either have an abortion or use protection so you don’t have an unwanted pregnancy in the first place. I tried to explain that sometimes life¬†doesn’t¬†go according to plan and you have no other option, but she could not understand how a person could ever get to that place. In her mind there is always support. Her friend’s daughter is thirty and has just given birth to her fifth child. She doesn’t use contraception and loves ‘sleeping around’. When she told me about the women she commented on how dirty and undisciplined these kids were, and so I used that scenario to try to explain how adoption may have been a better solution for the children and mother, but still she didn’t understand.

This reaction isn’t limited to a certain culture, and I actually find that people are really uneducated when it comes to adoption. I¬†suppose¬†that is par for the course if you haven’t been personally touched by the experience. It’s the same with infertility and depression. We never stop learning about life. The only time that I get really irritated is when someone isn’t open to learning something new.

The reactions and comments directed at a birth mother really highlight her immense braver and selflessness. If you ‘can’t imagine ever doing that’¬†it just confirms how dam difficult it must be. By making the comment people seem to imply that the BM doesn’t care, which is so far from the truth.

So, at the end of the day, my reaction to these comments is not to be offended, but to educate in the best way that I can. Saying nothing is the worst thing that I could do.

Flashbacks and reflections.

I was looking for something backed up on an old computer this morning and I came across a baby picture. It would be easy to mistake the baby for me, but the truth is that its not. Its the picture of one one my awesome donors. I remember choosing her based on her picture alone and I couldn’t help feeling that little ‘what if’ feeling. That donor gave me my one and only BFP and I found myself momentarily transported back to that time in my life. The joy and then the pain…………

 

There have been a lot of pregnancy¬†announcements¬†lately, two of them from people who are very special to me and two from old¬†high school¬†friends on FB. My reactions have been very different to each one and I find myself reflecting on THE question, “Have I gotten past the fact that I will never be pregnant?’

I do believe that I will never be pregnant and I don’t believe that it is possible for me to fall pregnant. I know that miracles happen, but I simply don’t believe that a pregnancy can get past my damaged insides and my crap eggs. This is a fact and it just has to be accepted. I know that pregnancy is only for nine months and being a parent is forever, but sometimes I still feel that little longing inside me. Its not anything big enough for me to wallow or get depressed about, its more of a wondering of what it would be like to be pregnant and give birth.

Two very special people are pregnant at the moment. My cousins fiance and one of my closest IF friends. When I heard that my friend was pregnant I was overjoyed and scared for her at the same time. I prayed hard and I still pray for her. Its always great when an IF sista gets good news.

My cousin phoned me personally to tell me and I was so touched that they thought about me. On reflection I¬†realized¬†that people are still sensitive to my infertility history, which made me feel a little odd. I haven’t thought about that part of me for a long time (properly) and it made me realized¬†what an impact it has made on others. Some may still see me as the sensitive, hurt, fragile women that I was. Whereas I don’t see myself like that anymore. My son has healed me in so many ways. I just don’t feel that deep hurt anymore.

So lets get back to that question, ” Have I gotten past the fact that I will never be pregnant?” My answer is YES! Even though I may wonder what it would have been like and even though I worked hard to achieve it in the past.

Jayden is more than any pregnancy!!! My precious boy.

 

Notes from Nigeria

I arrived back from my first business trip as a mom on Sunday morning. I was away from my family for five sleeps and I missed them very much. My hubby looked after our boy while I was away and I am so proud of the brilliant job he did. He says it was tiring, but he enjoyed the bonding time with our boy. He is just such a sweet thing.

This trip was a huge first for me. A new experience that came with a few insights;

  • I really love being in the training room. It is so much nicer than being stuck behind a computer. I love the interaction and I love the learning exchange. Its so rewarding especially when you have given someone a great life skill to use in¬†their¬†jobs.
  • I still have a love hate relationship with travel. I love to experience new cultures and new places, but I would love to do more leisure travel (wouldn’t we all) because I only ever experience the inside of the hotel.
  • My diet went out the window and my body felt it. Its almost impossible to stay in a hotel and follow a diet. There were way too many carbs and fat consumed and I felt so bloated. The saying really IS true, you are what you eat.
  • I used to feel exhausted after a day in the training room, and I am still tired at the end of the day………but I was a lot less exhausted compared to a day running after a toddler. So my¬†realization¬†is that babies/toddlers/children are way more work than a day on your feet in the training room. I really have respect for stay at home moms.
  • My husband is a super star!!! He had everything under control; supper-bath-story-bed! No problem. I knew that he could do it, but I am so proud of him and so thankful to have him.
  • My family is awesome. Even though he was coping he got a call every night from someone to ask how he was doing; and on Saturday he had the support of my wonderful mom who took J off his hands for a couple of hours so he could watch the footie.
  • And lastly………….There is NO place like home.

 

 

Weird dreams.

I have been a bit stressed with work lately Рto put it lightly!!!!! And when I am stressed I have the weirdest dreams!

Last night I dreamt that we were driving around and somehow we ended up at Vitalab. We went into this huge lab and for some reason they had a sample of my husbands sperm. I was sitting in a chair and someone put a scanner on my tummy and started to scan my ovaries. Then someone say, “look you have two follicles” and before I knew it there was a big needle going into my abdomen to¬†retrieve¬†the eggs. They took them out and mixed them with the sperm¬†immediately.

I remember having mixed feelings about just having been forced into an egg retrieval. ¬†It just shows….my brain goes straight infertility when I am stressed. Urgh.

Bring on December already!!!!!

 

A little bit about the sleep training and what it has taught me.

It would be a lie for me to say that I don’t know why I delayed sleep training until Jayden was a year old. The process has taught me quite a lot about me as a parent.

Firstly, I’m happy to report that the sleep training is officially complete! It was really complete last Friday, but this week I have let our nanny put down for his afternoon naps, which I was doing last week. Thankfully there was no crying at all from about day three onwards and on day two it was minimal. He is now sleeping straight through the night, every night and it is fantastic for everyone.

And secondly, I have learnt a lot about myself during the process. You see, I have realised that I never want Jayden to cry or to be upset EVER. I want to be there by his side always and I never want him to feel alone or stressed. I am sure that every parent feels this way, its definately not only me, but the truth is that this is an unrealistic expectation. Our parents will always try to protect us from the hurt in the world, but they can’t protect us from everything; and this has been a difficult lesson for me to learn.

I found the crying involved in sleep training very difficult. My instinct is to go straight back and calm our son, but I have had to stop myself and remember why we are doing this. We aren’t letting him cry to be cruel, we are doing it so he can learn to self soothe, which is a very valuable tool for Jayden to have. There will be lots of things in life that he isn’t going to like, but that is life. Of course I will be there for him, but I also have to let him learn for himself. I feel that if I protect him to much he won’t learn these things and it will be to his detrement.

Of course I do realise that¬† lessons are age apprporiate and I don’t want Jayden to grow up too soon. A balanced aproach is the best really, which in itself is really difficult.

Last week there were quite a few posts on Toddlers and Tiarras, the tragic suicide of Amanda Todd, the use of social media and what we expose our children to and its left me with a lot to think about when it comes to how we will parent. There is so much out there that we need to protect our children from and of course we will do our best, but we simply can’t protect them from everything and that is a scary thought for me.

I leave you with this picture of Stephany from Lazy Town and I ask……..WHY??? Why is this picture even out there?

Knowing what I know now.

I consider the difficult part of my infertility journey to be over since Jayden arrived, and I have realised that I only recently started to deal with all the hurt and the darkness. I am still working through some things and there is no doubt that this experience will be with me forever. I know that I can’t go back, but I have been thinking about how I would have done things differently knowing what I know now.

Since it has all been over I have been so much kinder to my body. I calculated the other day that I have actually lost 7kgs since Jayden arrived (3.5kgs since weigh less). I never felt the same motivation to be kind to myself during the ‘IVF days’. Sure, I would be ‘good’ in preparation for an IVF but not in between. I was too broken to look after myself. It was simply easier to eat and drink wine and numb myself. What I know now is how important it was to nurture myself in those times. I wish I had been kinder to my body and my mind.

The anger was overwhelming and very damaging. I wish that there had been a way for me to let go of that, but I realise that I wasn’t capable of it. I was in a dark dark hole and simply couldn’t get out.

I wish I hadn’t blamed myself so much. The more I think about it the more I realise that ‘it is what it is’. I know that this is cold comfort or no comfort at all to those still in the trenches; but what can you really do! You can’t change it and it’s not your fault.

There are also things that I don’t regret. Things that helped and things that needed to be done.

All the treatment: Each IVF brought me closer to Jayden. And again I will say that he is not the REASON, but the journey certainly lead me to him. I have never regretted an IVF. It was all a process.

Blogging and Fertilicare: What would I do without you? Yes I am talking to you readers! The support through comments on my blog and replies to threads on FC were just so valuable. They lifted me, made me laugh and supported me when I needed it most.

The friends I have made: There are a few that I would still LOVE to meet and I treasure the ones that are in my life now. It’s just priceless to have a conversation about motherhood with people who GET you. There are things that change you during the IF journey. I have mom friends that haven’t struggled that I relate to wonderfully, but there is some infertility mommy related stuff that they just won’t get. It’s not a deal breaker for the friendship and I treasure these friendships too; but sometimes it ‘lekker’ to have a bit of a laugh and a cry and a chat with a friend that has shared the IF journey with you.

Telling people about my infertility: Sometimes this was a source of anger because people made stupid comments, but can I really blame them. When you know better you do better. Hopefully, I have taught someone something that will affect the way they react to someone else in the future. It’s the same with adoption and the stupid comments people make. I hope that in educating people I make a difference to the way they see things.

The learning that I got from the experience: I am the person I am today because I experienced this, and in a weird way I am thankful for the hurt that shaped me. Maybe I would be the one making the stupid comment if I hadn’t had the experience. It’s really taught me to stop and think. And most importantly it has shown me that the learning never stops. We can always learn from others.

Lastly, there are more things in this post that I DONT REGRET than I do…….. ūüôā

I would love to know what you think?

We know that we can’t go back, but would you change anything if you could? What are your regrets and what are your gains?

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