An ode

Note: I wrote this entire post a few days ago and thought it was published. It was neither published nor saved under drafts so I am a bit frustrated. Will try to recreate all my thoughts.

A few days ago, someone had a conversation that sparked a memory of a few months ago when I was talking to my husband. He asked me if I would really call my Twitter buds my friends? (we are both introverts, we dont let people into our lives easily, we dont make friends easily).

I was surprised at this thought and said, “Well yeah, if they arent my friends then I dont know who I would call friends.”

A few days ago, I also sat in the RE’s office waiting anxiously and being a little envious of those people whose partners make it to even blood tests. We had crazy schedules, and he couldnt make it to a lot of appointments last time around and this time he is watching A. I told him its okay, but I wondered at the time, did I really get through this all alone?

No I didnt, you know why? Because my friends (yep those ones from twitter) are always a text or a tweet away in my pocket.

This community embraced me after my third miscarriage, they picked me up when I was at my lowest. They endured my crazy rants and hormonal ups and downs when I was on clomid. They helped answer my questions when I was confused about test results. They reminded me that it only takes one when I was upset about the follicles not maturing on my last clomid cycle (sounds like a cliche but it did only take one, that was the cycle that gave me A).

It didnt stop there, they were there when I bled at 13w pregnant. Guess who played Cards with humanity on my phone to distract me from a terrible appointment making me nauseous? Yep you guessed it, it was them. They held my hand through pregnancy, and they stayed for the terrible anxiety and sleep deprived haze that followed. They were there when I struggled with A’s colitis, development delays, mischief that led to a bloody nose.

They are still there at the end of every day when I am tired and want to scream at the world.

They are still there every morning when I wake up and look for the courage to declare battle (Lets face it, each day is a battle. You battle yourself, your child and the world all while trying to keep a spotless home and the delicious smell of dinner wafting frm the kitchen – Yeah most of that never happens).

They have known me at my worst in recent years, and they are still there.

They have brought out the best in me, and they are still there.

They encourage me to grow, they hold my hand (or text and tweet) as I step outside of my comfort zone.

They remind me of the parent I want to be, and they remind me it is okay when I fail to be that parent.

They are Team Whatever Works.

How could they be anything less than a friend for me?

I havent met most of them but I know for me they are my tribe. The good thing about having a tribe is that when the days are long and weary, there is always someone who can send a hug your way or listen to your diatribe. You try to return the favor when you can but they understand on days when you cant, and even join you in your blanket fort.

This isnt quite what I wrote the first time around, but the sentiment still stands. I am grateful for them and I am so glad that I found them.

 

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Dusting off cobwebs

I havent written/blogged in a long time. It has been really difficult for some reason to write coherent blogs lately. Initially it was because infertility is such an emotional subject, I couldnt really write without tears and being overwhelmed. Parenting came with sleep deprivation and self doubts, airing those doubts, those mistakes while brave was also very difficult for me.

I am trying again, I am dusting off cobwebs and trying to blog coherent thoughts again. I understand that to tell a story that makes sense, I first need to start small and have thoughts that make sense again.

People often ask or did anyway  about my weird username on twitter, its misstomrstomom. When I first created my twitter account in 2012 or 2013, I was trying desperately to find a place that was mine. I was trying to find myself again. I was lost after 2 miscarriages, I was confused and shattered.

I have always struggled with self confidence, self esteem and self care all my life. There are years where I am really good at it or faking it, and there are years where well I am not. Between marriage (my in laws are very different than my own family, very formal, very rigid and that was an adjustment in itself) and compromises (the one thing I hold against my grandma who I loved dearly was her abhorrent advice to keep giving up things as compromise in a marriage and someday it will all work out) then infertility and miscarriages, I was bruised, battered and barely recognized myself in the mirror.

That is what my screen name represented to me at the time (slightly cheesy I know) – the attempt to find myself through the life changes of getting married and trying to be a mom.

It is really long though and I tried so hard over the last few weeks to think of a way to shorten it but I cant.

Maybe as I dust off the cobwebs in my head, maybe as I learn to think again through the chaos, the noise and (now the whine of my toddler who I love so dearly and am so grateful for) I can write shorter sentences again. Maybe with practice, I can stop thinking in runon fragments and learn to “focus” again.

It is going to be slightly painful(for my readers probably) and I will write here more for myself then anyone else, but here I am trying to dust off the cobwebs. Wish me luck!!

I wasnt enough

I have felt a myriad of emotions since Tuesday night. That sinking abysmal feeling as results kept pouring in. Disappointment, anger, resentment as the next morning rolled around. I felt buoyant hope as students poured out of classrooms to protest and learning that the bulk of the 18-25 vote throughout the country went to Clinton. I felt fear as rising incidents of racism happened around the country. I felt shame every time I looked at my child.I felt paranoia when talking to my husband about how we should prepare for the racist days ahead.

Most of all though, the feeling I have experienced the most, the one that weighs me down is helplessness and knowing I was not enough. I voted. I did my civic duty and that was not enough. I pled on social media that everyone should vote. I harassed my family to go vote and that was not enough. All those nasty women that proudly voted, All those stickers on suffragettes, all of us, we were not enough.

Where do we go from here? We take deep breaths, we fight for our liberties and equality. We stand up for those around us that are being bullied. We do more, We be More, because what I did, who I was, it was not enough.

My husband honestly believes that in a few weeks the violence, the outrage, the protests will die down and America will return to life as usual. He believes that with it everything I am feeling will dull down. I keep explaining to him that maybe in the past that might have been true. However, Everytime my child looks at me, I hold myself to more. This isnt about my fear, my rights, this is about hers. This is about the future I want her to have. No it wont die down. No it wont change, I wont let it and if you believe for a single second that America is for all Americans, for every community to live in equality and peace, you shouldnt either.

Our Voting wasnt enough, the bigots outmaneuvered us due to the Electoral College.

Taking the High road wasnt enough, they cut our legs out from under us when they went Low by spreading lies, bigotry and stoking people’s fear. We expected people to do the right thing, but America went into the polling booths and did no such thing.

We need to do more, we need to do better and we need to hold ourselves to more. They will fight dirty, we have to be willing to give people the means to sift through the mud that is being flung in all directions. I need to do more, I am not sure how, I am not sure where to start but I need to do more.

The next few years arent just going to be about explaining to my child why our President’s policies are against her as a woman or as a minority. It might even be about keeping her from bodily harm. I might have to protect her from those that want to hurt her for the color of her skin, for her gender and to hold her back. She will have to fight twice as hard as a girl and one of color. Therefore I have to fight harder for her to give her the equal playing field that our government no longer will.

It was not enough to vote, I have to do more. I was not enough this time and I failed my child, I failed me and I failed so many other children, women. I am not sure what, but I have to do more.

Note: to trolls comments are moderated so dont even bother trying.

 

Sleep Battles

A was born a strong-willed baby. She refused to be swaddled and didn’t want to lie down flat (we knew it was reflux and her colitis). She has always fought naps, always fought sleep.

Somewhere around when she was 4 months old, I was so determined to get her to sleep that I put her on a tight routine watching every minute like a hawk. It worked a little bit but not much.

She continued to be a light sleeper, up at the slightest sound and even when she did nap soundly it was never for more than 30 minutes.

It wasnt till after her 1 Year Birthday that I discovered the relief you might feel when a baby naps for say 2 hours at a time (She was also doing only one solid nap at a time). It was joyous but short-lived. Around 14 months she went back to sleeping for less than an hour, twice a day and 8 hours at night.

She has never slept what the websites say babies her age should be sleeping. 14-15 hours a day HAH! Believe me, I have tried everything. She still nurses several times a night too but that is a different story.

I knew I was overwhelmed last week, with DH’s work schedule accelerating, with me working from home and taking care of a toddler that didn’t sleep much etc. I knew I was not really doing a bang up job but I was managing and that was good enough for me. I was okay knowing that for the next few weeks, she would watch some tv while I cooked and got a handle on things. I knew that for the next few weeks, I would work less than usual and let a few things slide and I was okay with that. I knew for the next few weeks it would be about survival and I was okay with that. What I was not okay with was not knowing what was causing her to thrash and cry in her sleep like that.

I just thought I wanted to get ahead of the one thing that was stressing me to breaking point, the reasons for her restless night. I didn’t know if it was something she ate, something I ate, her molar that is threatening to emerge for a few weeks but not doing so, whether it was night terrors, a growth spurt or what. I thought it would be perfect timing to talk to my Dr about it at her 15 month appointment.

Maybe it was that A kept screaming from the moment we entered the exam room, she turned red and then purple, screeching and crying and kicking and punching. Maybe it was trying to have a conversation with the Dr while holding on to a thrashing and wailing baby. Maybe it was the sleep deprivation that caught up to me. His words felt like an accusation, here we were not communicating. He kept saying I needed to force her to stay awake and work harder at giving her a routine. I kept trying to ask reason after reason that she might be thrashing in her sleep at night.

I came out of the appointment (after holding my baby through vaccines and a blood draw with more thrashing and screaming) depleted, worn out and defeated. I tried calling my DH but he had some mtg or the other, he wasn’t available.  I vented on twitter but mostly I just sat at home that day and cried.

SideNote: I never really express how much the support all you tweetbuddies give me. I really do appreciate it. I think on some days it is the only thing tethering me to my sanity.

Well Saturday Morning I decided to go back to trying harder to give her a routine. I forced her awake at 8 am, and stuck to one nap. She slept 8 hours Friday night and 2 hour nap during day on Saturday. She went to sleep by 9 pm Sat night and stayed asleep (mostly).

She still cried a few times (nightmares?). Around 3:30 am had her long feed as she tends to do every night. Around 4:30 there was a lot of thrashing, she wouldn’t get comfortable and I finally realized her diaper had leaked, wet clothes, wet crib sheet. We changed diaper and clothes and I kept her in my mattress, because I wanted her to go back to sleep as soon as possible.

Sunday Morning: I accidentally overslept and let her sleep till 9 AM. ** Internal Screaming because the plan was to wake her up at 8 everyday**

Well its almost 4 pm and she has refused every attempt to nap today.  She will be going straight to bed now around 8 pm. (I am not holding my breath at winning this battle though).

We are just not that lucky

Disclaimer: sorry if it triggers and no we aren’t actually trying.

I have been feeling off the last few days, car sick, nauseous just off. My period was due soon and as usual my inner self took a flight of fancy.

There was that one time when you know there was unprotected sex. It was possible. Why not.

Dh finally caught on to my flight of fancy when I postponed booking vacation and said “we just aren’t that lucky”

Well why not I wanted to scream. People are fertile sometimes after a baby. It could happen, it could happen to me.

Well it didn’t, AF is here today and this roller coaster I stupidly put myself through is exactly the reason why I m postponing the conversation on TTC again.

To recap, we are out of infertility coverage under most insurance plans in most states cuz apparently United will still count it as used even if BCBS paid for it. And we just aren’t that lucky that we might get pg and keep it without medical help.

Maybe it’s time to rethink things.

I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, I am incredibly grateful that I have my one baby. I just….I guess am not sure about the point of this post except a big whine.

The Box is Half Full

There are two parts to this post.

The obvious one, the literal one. The box is half full. Whether it is A’s toy chest or book shelf, it is finally half full. Because for every 5 things she removes, she now puts one or two back. She has been obsessed with removing things for a few months now, whether it is her toys from the box, her books from her bookshelves, or laundry from the laundry basket, pots and pans from cabinets, spoons from dishwasher, you get the endless idea here. Yes, I have been waiting fervently for the time where she just as obsessively starts putting things back (in the hopes that some of it is where it belongs and less clean up for me). So Yay!! We are kinda there.

The other one may also be kind of obvious, the box is half full as in the glass is half full. It is not half empty. I am trying very hard to look at positive things in life, to focus on the happy thoughts. For A’s sake, and a little bit for my own sake. It is very hard for me to admit, very difficult and I dont know how or where to begin but I know I have reached a point where I have to. I have to admit it to myself and maybe to more than myself that I need help.

For years now I have flirted with anxiety and touched depression. Infertility does to you right? Being in the Infertility Closet and not admitting the extent of the issues to anyone IRL does a number to you too. I didnt really find the Inferility Community on Twitter till the last year or so of my journey, before that I felt very alone and very wrong. It makes sense that my wake up call comes when I find myself withdrawing from that same community. It is not intentional but I find myself withdrawing anyway. I check my feed less and less and I convince myself it is because I am busy.

After the move, I dont really have friends or family around. I love my husband and I know he loves me but I know he doesnt really see or maybe I just hide it well. I tried telling him I need help but I dont think I said it well enough. He is a problem solver, and I am not ready to be a “problem” that needs solving.

I cant help think of the questionnaire that my OB-Gyn asked 6 weeks after C-section. Was I depressed? I laughed in my head and maybe out loud. I was too sleep deprived to be depressed. A’s new pediatrician had a similar questionnaire and I asked myself again, but I told myself it was the move. Am I depressed? I feel like if I am not sure than I must not be.I keep telling myself, it is hormones, it is the lack of sleep, it is the move, it is where I am in my monthly cycle because Progesterone makes me crazy. I tell myself that I have always hated dressing up and make up, I have always hated shopping. However, outside of my child I dont think I have an identity anymore, I dont think I have a thought about anything outside of her anymore, which is fine. I am not ungrateful, I know how hard I worked to have her and I am happy that my world revolves around her. To be honest, I even want to be better for her.

I come from a culture that believes in being stoic, a stiff upper lip, chin up… you get the idea (Different post different day). I was raised to soldier on, my husband often tells me we soldier on, I believe I should soldier on but I cant help thinking on some days I am too tired to soldier on, to fight alone because I am not sure I am worth fighting for.

No matter how many ways I explain it, I know that in the end it doesnt change that I need help.

I am always surprised if people actually read my blog, so I write here for me. This is my secret place where I think no one is listening, no one is reading, no one is really judging. So I am going to say it here first,  to myself mostly. I need help.

I am going to start by trying to focus on the positives in life. I am going to pretend that maybe it is my Vitamin D level that is wonky and take my vitamins more diligently. I am going to hope that I can fake it till I make it, because I dont want A to remember anything but smiles from her childhood. I am going to make more of an effort to reconnect on Twitter and hope to start from there.

Maybe eventually I wont wince in pain when my phone rings and find excuses not to answer, maybe eventually I will have more than a “hey!!” with IRL friends that are too far away to see the facade in those emojis. Maybe eventually I will look in the mirror and smile at my reflection. Eventually the joy I feel around A will feel real and not just masking fear.

The box is half full and I am just going to cling to that thought and go watch netflix now.

Haunts of allergies past

I know A has supposedly outgrown her dairy allergy. However there has always been one allergy I haven’t figured out. It gives her an instant rash.
Something she ate two days ago gave her a terrible rash and diarrhea. Dh says I worry, I try to look for things where there aren’t any and I am transposing my hypochondriac ways on to her. But I can’t help seeing a co relation.
She had a rash, she had a bit of diarrhea, and she refused to sleep. Horrible barely napping and staying up till 1am and nursing frequently for last 2 days.

I didn’t tell him but I instantly cut 2 things out of her diet, the lentils I know she ate before but not frequently and tomatoes. 

I will be honest they are my new prime suspects. This was the first time she ate tomatoes directly but there was also those lentils. I will never know what caused it, (well till I do some trial and error) I still have the standing order of getting her stools tested if I need to.

She has been napping soundly for 2 hours and counting today. I take it as a good sign that she is willing to lie down without a fight (maybe reflux again)?

I wish I was more confident in knowing what was wrong or even believing my own gut that something is wrong. I think like infertility, these allergies will haunt us for a while at least till she can talk and hopefully tell me when something is bothering her.

I wish she cried so I knew. Instead even when she was a baby, she would just fight sleep. I remember this time last year there were entire nights when she absolutely refused to sleep. I am guessing I was consuming large amounts of dairy and her colitis was really flaring up. The sleepless nights just left me unable to think and it took me months to realize there was a real problem.

My inability to figure out her problems faster left me crippled with guilt and doubt. Mom’s intuition is a thing and I failed my baby that was relying on me to understand her and help her.

I really hope I connect the dots faster this time to wherever they lead.