Saturday, July 23, 2011

Hi, hi, hi! (As Ninja would say!)

Hi, I'm still here. A little shame-faced for being away so long, but still around.

Since I last posted, life ran away on me. Mostly in a good way. I'm teaching full-time – I have the summer off but have been working harder at home than I do at school! - and I have a gorgeous and brilliant toddler. Hence, no time. By the time I get everything done, check FB and maybe my e-mails, it's time for bed. Add renewed sleep disorders to that list, plus a grouchy DH, plus a laptop that crashes periodically, and ... well ... not so much time for blogging. I feel bad about this because I missed my bloggy friends.

Fast update because who knows when I'll get back on here:

DH and I are starting to get along better - thanks to you all VERY much for your concern and advice, particularly the advice to just ride it out. DH is essentially grouchy as all get-out because he's got no work right now and he takes it out on me. I'm trying to be patient with that which is hard because my skin is thin.

Plus he wants a super-clean house and homemade desserts which I don't have time for.

Plus I have a manuscript I REALLY want to edit and revise this summer which I don't have time for and that makes me sad.

So we're doing our best to get along. It’s getting better. He’s not the ogre I made him out to be in my last post – he really is a wonderful guy. And, fortunately, we have Ninja who is our amazing super-glue.

Ninja is groovy and great. She weighs almost 27 pounds and she's around 33 inches tall. She is 18 months old now and on-target or ahead of her age on everything, according to the public health nurse. She says at least 30 words and she's starting to use two-word sentences. Both her gross and fine motor skills are good. She's ultra-curious, very observant, and loves to play and laugh and dance and tease. She adores other babies and kids and she's known for hugging random children on the street. If another kid cries, Ninja does, too. Animals and my mother make her scream for joy!

Let's see, what else? Her appetite is insane. She can eat a whole canteloupe within a few hours. She enjoys eating meat, fruit, beans, cheese, bread, and crackers. She doesn't like trying anything new until I pretty much force the issue (licking whipped cream off the beaters, anyone?). She hates vegetables.

Sleep time has gotten much, much better. She naps far better at daycare than she does at home, actually. At daycare she takes one long afternoon nap (like 3 or 4 hours long). At home she sleeps in the morning for 45 minutes and then in the afternoon for around 90 minutes, hit or miss, and that's MUCH better than what it was. At night she sleeps for 10 hours and the 500000 wake-ups every night have dwindled to once or twice. We did have one 3-week stretch of 10-hour-straight nights and OH BOY did I enjoy that! I do not mind night-time parenting - if she needs me, she needs me - but life is easier on a sleep-disordered person to get some good shut-eye.

I have her in swimming lessons this summer and that's going well. She is becoming fearless on both land and water!

Hm, what else?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

things are not good between ninja's mom and dad

A typical evening around here starts off well and we're in good spirits. I pick up Ninja from daycare. We figure out what to make for dinner. We eat. DH bolts his food, clears most of the table, then settles in with his laptop and his TV for the evening.

Ninja and I finish eating, we finish clearing the table, and I start cleaning the kitchen but then I stop because there's too much to do. I have to pack my lunch, pack Ninja's milk and water, find clean outfits, pack clean diapers and covers, and run a load of laundry. Besides, I want to play with my baby so that's what we do for a while. Then I nurse Ninja for 20-30 minutes. Then I brush her teeth, change her diaper, put on her clean jammies, put her toys away, read a few stories to her, ensure that she has her stuffed animals and a drink of water and her portable heater turned on, sing a song, hug her for a few minutes, and put her to bed (which is in of itself a heroic attempt every night), and DH comes in to say prayers with her.

By then DH and I have usually had an argument, usually involving the state of the house (and then the fight drags on after Ninja is in bed) and who does what and who does not as much.

Tonight it was the fact that I wouldn't go buy him chocolate ice cream. I'm philosophically opposed to buying conventional chocolate because a lot of it is produced by slave children in the Ivory Coast. I buy fair-trade and he knows that. I don't tell him he can't buy it. But I won't buy it.

H stormed out to buy his damned ice cream. He accused me of not wanting to do anything for him (which was a total lie because I had planned to go out and had offered to buy him a snack) and told me to get out of his face. I asked if he wanted me to leave and that, if that were the case, Ninja would be coming with me. After he went off on a few tangents, he finally said no.

Why would he want me to do something that he knows is against my conscience?

I don't know him anymore and he sure as hell doesn't know me.

We've had sex twice since Ninja was born.

I spend every evening holed up in my bedroom (like right now).

I'm afraid to say anything to him because everything I do or don't do rubs him the wrong way.

After my miscarriage - for which my EDD is fast approaching - we were on the verge of splitting up. If Ninja hadn't come, I'm sure we would have separated already. Our relationship could not handle prolonged infertility.

Ninja's arrival seemed to bring a new chapter. DH is such a good dad (notwithstanding his addiction to TV and internet) and I fell in love with him all over again.

Now we just fight. There are so many stressors in our lives: prolonged and heavy-duty renovations that I never wanted, new jobs (including his fledgling business that isn't doing so well right now), and a dozen other things. We both want different things and we can never agree on anything anymore.

We'd planned to do FET in April, then in summer, but now it's postponed indefinitely.

Besides the fact that my laptop was broken until yesterday, my reason for not blogging is because things are not good at home.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

computer woes

I'm still here! My laptop crashed a few weeks ago and so I'm using DH's computer which I HATE because the mouse and keyboard don't function well. Be back soon!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Day 13: Goals

Ok, I'm being lax about this list. Not intentionally, though. DH and Ninja and I are on a working vacation and loving it. Ninja travelled really well and everyone ogles her because she's adorable and she's wearing fabulous shoes. :)

Goals. The big topic.

I'm at a weird place in my life, I think. Oddly, I've met most of my goals already, at the ripe old age of 31 - and I don't know what else to aim for. I got an honours degree in English literature, followed by a B.Ed. I got a master's degree. I've travelled a lot. I have my sought-after daughter and a great husband. Those were the things I wanted.

I don't really know what to want next. I kinda wish that I'd followed a different career path - as much as I do love teaching, it's a love-hate relationship, but c'est la vie. (If I could live life over again, FWIW, I think I would have gone into fashion marketing, publishing, or naturopathic medicine.)

-visit the Middle East
-learn French or Spanish
-teach my daughter my native tongue (my mother is helping with this)
-teach abroad and enroll my daughter in a foreign preschool for at least a year
-start a real retirement plan
-deck out my house - I would like to live in a stylish space, not outdated traditional country like most of the homes in our area
-have one more baby
-get a permanent half-time contract
-either move into curriculum development or start a Ph.D.
-get laser surgery on my eyes

Can't think of anything more to add. Nothing, other than having another baby (and retiring comfortably and travelling more...), really lights a fire in me. I need new goals but I can't think of what ... what a strange 'problem' to have.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Day 12: What I believe in

Love. God (or at least something bigger than all of us although I'm fuzzy on details). Really great hole-in-the-wall restaurants. The intense bond between Ninja and me. I believe and know that there is nothing my daughter will be unable to do. Spring. High heels that are impossible to wear but that look great on the shelf. Not wearing socks. Unusual and beautiful singing voices (e.g., Norah Jones, Adele). The right to bare arms in the summer. ;) Dancing although I've never really done this. Red. Growing older and wiser. Eating local and organic. Extended breastfeeding. VOTING. Women's rights. Feminism. Children's rights. I believe that bereaved mothers ARE MOTHERS. My professional autonomy. Greatgreatgreat novels like Angela's Ashes. I am growing to believe in myself, much to my own astonishment. What do you believe in?

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Today we celebrated Easter with my family. This is what I think happened. DH and I were sitting on the floor with Ninja and suddenly she took 2 or 3 steps to me which was the most she'd ever done. My bro and SIL missed it but the rest of us cheered her achievement.

This is what I know happened. Suddenly she just started running between DH and me! No walking for this girl! We all applauded and she was beyond thrilled.

I cried; I was so proud of her. I wasn't in a hurry for her to learn how to walk - she will be into EVERYTHING and our house is a disaster from home renovations - but I really wanted it for her because she has been so desperate to walk. She collapses into a tearful heap if we don't 'walk' with her - holding her hands - when she wants to go.

I'm glad the first real steps happened with DH and me and not at daycare. I was nervous that I'd miss it.

She doesn't yet know how to get herself to standing from sitting (without a prop) but, man, when she does...!

This is my best recollection of what happened. My memory is fuzzy on the first few steps because I was so excited.

Funny how memory works: what we forget and what we don't.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Day 11: Favourite TV shows

Well, Stephen Colbert wants to marry me; he just doesn't know it yet. In terms of political satire, I also like Rick Mercer and Jon Stewart.

Other shows: The Bachelor, Desperate Housewives, The Soup, and The Office.

Currently, I'm watching season 3 of Mad Men on Netflix.

Other all-time favourites: M*A*S*H, Titus (most underrated show of all time), All in the Family, Sex and the City, and The Sopranos.

TV is a great escape. I leaned on it a lot to help me fall asleep when the infertility got really bad, especially during IVF #2.

My TV viewing has fallen to the wayside since Ninja arrived in my life and that's fine with me. Research indicates that kids under the age of 2 shouldn't be exposed to TV and so I try to keep the set off when she's around. I don't tune in to kids' shows at all. I'm not some kind of stickler parent (i.e., 'my kid is not allowed in front of the TV!'); it just doesn't occur to me to turn it on for her. I don't think she's missing out on anything. It's better for her to play. Especially with me.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day 10: Something I'm afraid of

My #1 fear now is living in poverty when I retire. DH is not a saver and so we live paycheque-to-paycheque. We're not hurting right now - we're both working full-time for the time being - but we don't save. I wish we did. DH's mother is below the poverty line - she's ok but there's no $ for extras - and I don't ever want to live like that.

The old fear (does it even need to be stated?) was never having a child. That anxiety is like nothing else I've ever felt and I don't expect anything else to ever match it.

Except, perhaps, for my fear that something bad will happen to Ninja. I can't live without her.

Or (maybe worse), that something bad will happen to me because how could my dear Ninja ever go on without me? She and I are attached at the soul and she can't even stand it when her daddy picks her up from daycare and she comes home and sees I'm not there yet. She sits by the door and cries until I walk in.

Please, God, don't let anything happen to me.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day 9: A pic of my friends.

Not to write a boo-hoo post but I don't have many friends and that's been pretty standard in my life. When I was a kid/teen I was too nerdy. Big glasses, dorky clothes, nose in a book ... no one was exactly beating down the door for friendship! I'm still a geek although my style has improved considerably.

The friends I do have are fantastic and I wouldn't trade them for anything. One of my best friends is a guy who is considerably older than I am but we link up on a deep level. Another dear friend is a woman my age - we met while travelling and we've always had a deep connection. I have a few 'mommy' friends - great people and my daughter loves hanging out with their kids. Another good friend is a woman my husband has been friends with for most of his life.

Problem is, no one lives in my area (and I'm not a phone person). :( I spend most of my time with my DH and my daughter which is great and wonderful but I'd love to have some close girlfriends who live in this town. I need some more estrogen in the people around me!

Sometimes I watch reruns of Sex and the City and wonder what it would be like to be so tightly woven into a group of women friends.

Btw: I'm a cross between Charlotte (although I've become less prude-ish, if that's a word) and Carrie (although I'm less clingy than Carrie, I think). Which SATC character are you?

Anyway, thanks for reading, my bloggy friends! :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Day 8: A place I've travelled to

Can't write today. If I do - and I did try - it'll just turns into a b!tchfest. DH and I aren't getting along plus I had a bad day at work and only got to see Ninja for 2 hours tonight. That's the short of it. Blah.

All I want to do is snuggle up with Ninja and go to sleep but she won't co-sleep: if I'm in the room she just roams around the bed for hours and, if she does fall asleep, she wakes up and screams because she doesn't want to be in bed. Sigh.

A place I've travelled to? Bonker-ville.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Day 7: Favourite movies

I didn't grow up watching movies. Where I lived, there was no cinema and people didn't generally rent movies like they do now.

My parents never rented movies. I recall one instance when my mom did and it was The Princess Bride (of which I am fond). My dad says that he and my mom took me to see The Lady and the Tramp when I was a toddler but I don't remember that.

The first movie I saw in a theatre was Clueless. I LOVE that movie: it's clever and funny.

Other movies I enjoy: Amelie, The Red Violin, Happy Gilmore, Spider-Man, The Piano, Ever After, Lars and the Real Girl, Dan in Real Life, Some Like it Hot, Ocean's 11.

I'm not into movies, though. For the most part, I think films are boring and predictable. A movie's gotta be great in order to hold my attention. And by now, with a 14-month-old, we've started (well, I have, anyway) to tune out the screens. Ninja doesn't need to watch TV; I'd prefer her to play.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Day 6: A picture of something that makes me happy

I've shown this picture before, I believe, for Mel's weekly show & tell. (It's not the exact same pic but you get the idea.) It's worth sharing again. 'Tis the season.

The climate where I live is worse than Siberia (literally - I know people from Siberia and they say our weather is colder and snowier than what they're used to in their homeland!).

We all look forward to spring. When the weather finally eases up, as is happening while I write these words, the tulips begin their annual ritual of bursting through the soil. The green shoots don't push aside last year's dead leaves: they grow right through them.

At first, the tender shoots appear choked by the brown leaves. As the green unfurls, the yesterday's leaf shatters into frail bits and returns to the soil. The tulip's stem and leaves bear pale green marks: reminders of their former ensnared status. For a while, the flower is free.

I don't believe in hope anymore but, when I see these flowers, I can't help but feel joyful.

Friday, April 8, 2011

great post

I came across a great post on the Stirrup Queen's blog.

These lines re: infertility were terrific: "Sticks and stones never hurt my bones. Words did, a little. But taking away my womanhood ruined me."

Day 5: My siblings

I don't want to spend too much time on this topic. Primarily because my youngest brother causes my parents nothing but heartaches. He and his wife are estranged from the family - we weren't invited to their wedding - and we've never met his daughter (who's a toddler already). I think of her every day and I've happened across pictures of her. She looks like me.

My 'middle' brother is a good guy. Married with a precious little girl. We don't see them much, though. They're always so busy. I haven't seen my niece since January which is hard.

Both siblings do not have fertility issues. The youngest bro said at one point that his girlfriend, now wife, had a miscarriage when she was still a teenager. That upset me partly because DH and I were already a year or 2 into infertility. My middle brother's wife had 'trouble' conceiving but, as I've gathered, it took them 6 or 7 months to get pregnant. Um, ok. That doesn't count as 'trouble' to me but whatever.

Every day I try to remember to remind myself that both of my siblings will continue to procreate and that I likely will not. I don't want to be surprised anymore.

Yeah, that's about as far as I want to get into that right now.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day 4: My parents

My parents are good people. My dad is a teacher and my mom works in retail. They live in the country and go to church and they like it that way.

I had an overly-strict (to put it mildly) upbringing - which affects me to this day, to be honest - but I realize that my mom and dad were doing the best with the knowledge they had at the time.

They were raised even stricter than I was - no books, no movies/TV, no dancing, just work - plus both families were definitely on the impoverished side of things. My mom's family moved around a lot, so she never got a chance to make friends, plus she had ten other siblings and an angry and detached father. And not a lot to eat in the house. My dad's family farmed - they started out with less than nothing. My dad was in charge of a lot of things and he had to grow up very quickly. My dad's father was a very angry man (I'll leave it at that).

Both my mom and dad's families were into corporal punishment (and that's, um, putting it lightly, from what I've heard). I did get spanked growing up but that was already better than what had happened to, for instance, my dad.

Fear and guilt have become genetic in our family, I think...

I don't believe in spanking, and I've said that before. I believe that spanking damaged me as a person: it made me fearful. It made me feel rebellious. It made me determined not to get caught. Whereas, if anyone had ever bothered to take the time to reason with me, I would never have done the naughty-thing-du-jour again.

My parents did the best they could with the knowledge they had at hand. I don't criticize them.

Now I am a mother. I'm also going to parent with the knowledge I hold. I think there's an even better way. I'm committed to parenting peacefully and I do not want to spank: when needed, I will find other ways to help my daughter manage her behaviour.

I'm going to do the best I can. I will screw up along the way. I accept that.

And, if my daughter ever has a child, I know she'll likely say this: "My parents are good people. I had a problem with XYZ but I realize that my mom and dad were doing the best with the knowledge they had at the time. Now I am a mother. I'm also going to parent with the knowledge I hold. "

And I'm at peace with that.

(Whoa, I didn't start this post intending to write all this ... but that's the magic of writing-to-discover...)


Oh, PETA, you suck.

Everyone in the IF community - and those who love them - please sign this.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Day 3: My first love

Reading. Long before I started kindergarten, I taught myself how to read. Curled up around a book - that's always been my favourite thing to do.

A few of my favourite books: Angela's Ashes, Beloved, the Georgia Nicolson confessions, You Are My I Love You (picture book), Book Talk (Aidan Chambers), Bitter Milk (Madeleine Grumet), The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, questions i asked my mother, Anne of Green Gables.

I love poetry, newspapers, magazines, and my E-reader. I read my computer screen, people's t-shirts, and street signs. I read words and they read me.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day 2: Meaning of Your Blog Name

I'm an English major and I love Charles Dickens. Great Expectations is one of my favourite novels. To name an infertility (aka: IF) blog, it seemed natural to marry a Dickens title to IF, no?

I dunno. I wanted a clever title - every other IF blog has a neat moniker. Great and yet IF'fy Expectations was the first thing that popped into my head when I was starting a new post-baby blog. That's it. The End.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Day 1

Hi, I'm One Hit Wonder. My name started as a joke - I heard on the radio the comment that being a one hit wonder would be a great job: write one terrific song, make a ton of money, then fade into obscurity while sitting in a pile of $$. Sounds good to me! Now my name really means something: after years of infertility, I have a gorgeous daughter. I'm truly a one hit wonder.

No recent pic, sorry. I must maintain my anonymous superhero status! However, some of you are on my Facebook and you folks know what I look like.

15 interesting facts:

1) I like bungee jumping
2) I used to have straight hair and then it turned curly
3) I'm a hippie at heart although you probably wouldn't guess so from my appearance
4) I can come off as an airhead/flake but ...
5) ... I have 3 degrees, I am well-read, and I'm politically aware
6) I've never really danced before
7) I am a proponent of gardening but, after the seedlings are in and the ground has been watered, I gradually forget about it all ... and then the weeds set in ...
8) I don't have many girlfriends in real life (and the ones I do have live far away)
9) I live in the buttcrack of Canada where it's cold and snowy 75% of the time
10) I love beautiful clothing and jewelry - especially thrifted!
11) I could live without eating meat
12) Until DH and I decided to start 'trying,' I never really wanted kids and I'm still not a huge fan of babies (although the cliche is true: I adore my own child and obviously I fought hard - and had luck help me out for once - to get her)
13)I am a coffee aficionado
14) I'm so absent-minded that ...
15) ... I nearly forgot to include #15! :)

30-day blog challenge

Okay, I need to get back into the habit of blogging regularly.

I saw the 30-Day blog challenge somewhere and I'm going to do it this month. I promise.

Here's the list:

Day 1-Introduce, recent picture, 15 interesting facts
Day 2-Meaning behind your blog name
Day 3-Your first love
Day 4-Your parents
Day 5-Your siblings
Day 6-A picture of something that makes you happy
Day 7-Favorite movies
Day 8-A place you've traveled to
Day 9-A picture of your friends
Day 10-Something you're afraid of
Day 11-Favorite TV shows
Day 12-What you believe
Day 13-Goals
Day 14-A picture you love
Day 15-Bible verse
Day 16-Dream house
Day 17-Something you're looking forward to
Day 18-Something you regret
Day 19-Something you miss
Day 20-Nicknames
Day 21-Picture of yourself
Day 22-Favorite city
Day 23-Favorite vacation
Day 24-Something you've learned
Day 25-Put your i-Pod on shuffle, first 10 songs
Day 26-Picture of your family
Day 27-Pets
Day 28-Something that stresses you out
Day 29-3 Wishes
Day 30-a picture

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

good acting

The actor Elizabeth Banks (Avery on 30 Rock) just had a baby. Baby was born via surrogate.

I can't imagine playing a pregnant woman on TV - which she did (a hilariously bitchy one) - while simultaneously IRL enduring treatments, searching for a surrogate, going through IVF with said surrogate, and then waiting to see if the pregnancy will work and if a baby is actually going home with her.

There's a good actor.

Obsessing over FET

An FET is not a 'fet' accompli, given the 15% chance of success with which our RE tagged us. I'm not counting on success - I'm assuming it won't work because I don't want to be heartsick again - although DH is urging me to 'hope.'

Still, there are so many things to consider beforehand. A lot of changes for a faint chance of success.

Really, we have to do it this summer. I'm a teacher and that's the only time I get to do things like that. If not now, we'd have to wait until summer 2012. Plus we're not getting any younger.

This means that I should resume daily prenatals and extra folic acid. Guess I'll have to hit the health food store soon.

And I have to wean Ninja by the end of May. (I need one cycle without nursing, then tests, then FET.)

My poor girl. She only nurses 2 or 3 times a day (early morning, before bed, and once more when I go to bed) and she is very attached to her milk. I don't want to wean her completely before she's ready - it's such great pain relief (especially for teething which is in full force) and reassurance for her, plus the great health benefits - and especially not for a baby who likely won't happen. Nursing is our cuddle time - other than that, she doesn't have time for hugs or sitting in my lap anymore - and I am reluctant to give it up. Plus it helps me sleep and I'm all in favour of that.

And DH and I need to get along better. Our relationship has been improving and that's good. Infertility took a sledgehammer to our marriage and, honestly, a baby was unexpectedly hard on us. That's not something I like to admit - you'd think that a baby would be the sole answer to an infertile couple's problems - but it is the truth. It has taken a while for our relationship to adjust to another person in the house. I hear that this is normal so that's reassuring to me.

And then there are finances to consider. I don't have a job lined up yet for fall and I probably won't be on a permanent contract if/when I do get a position. DH makes enough for us to get by. I'm ok with a tight budget but DH does not like to live that way. Hm. We'll get by, though, so this is not one of my main concerns.

Ninja also still hates sleep although things have improved in the last 3 months. Let's say I do miraculously have another baby. When would I sleep? I know this sounds trivial in Infertilityland but, as it turns out, it's not. It is hard to parent in a mental fog. I haven't been in a deep sleep in 2 years. This is not a complaint, please note: I am a committed night-time parent and the sleeplessness is worth it for my girl. But in all practicality (is that a word?), bone-wearying fatigue is tough: it makes me a very grouchy, indecisive, and unfunloving wife and mom. Again, though, this isn't my hugest concern: I'd get by.

Lots to consider. In terms of my nursing relationship with Ninja ... well, I guess this is my main worry. I wonder, if the FET doesn't work, could I re-lactate? Maybe I should talk to a LLL leader about it.

Really, I should cut the 10:30 pm feeding. Start there. Offer water. Hug her until she stops crying. Get DH to put her back to bed. I should do it this week while I'm still on spring break.

Then, in a month, drop the morning feeding. She'll be upset for the first few minutes every morning but I can distract her with fruit and cheese.

Then, by the end of May, stop the bedtime nursing. That's going to be the hardest. It's our wind-down time together and it makes her happy. There will be no way to explain to her why she can't have milk anymore. :(

This is hard. I'm past the point of commenting on the unfairness of infertility - we all know that this is unfair but what are we going to do about it? - but maaaaan, I'm choked that other women in my life don't have to stop nursing prematurely just to get pregnant again.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Odds 'n' ends

-Ninja is wonderful. Today she learned to climb off of my bed. She does stairs. She has 12 teeth and at least 2 more on the way - she seems to get 3 or 4 at once, poor thing. She's starting to sleep better at night - we're no longer co-sleeping which makes me sad, though - and she actually has real naps at daycare (though not at home). She has the best smile in the world. She lives to tease her dad. She loves animals. We're still nursing 3 times/day. And still cloth diapering. No walking yet although she's beginning to stand alone for a few seconds at a time. She adores reading. She is a carnivore: it's all about meat and not so much (ok, not at all) about vegetables. Except for mushrooms. Huh?

-Ah, I forgot to blog her birthday. I'm a bad mom (I say this facetiously, of course - I think I'm a good mom!). It was ridiculously over-the-top and I loved every second of it. A ridiculous cake, ridiculous party dress, ridiculous decorations. I spent an absurd amount of time on it all; the party was, of course, more about me than about my daughter. But it was her first birthday and I didn't know if I'd get to throw another party like that ever again. I'm glad I did it.

-Work is going well. The transition was not as difficult as I had envisioned. I 'feel' different, though. I'm not the young teacher anymore - the motherhood status means that things have changed. I'm okay with this but I must admit that it was fun to be the new and hot teacher. Ah, well. Everyone at work looks surprised when I say my age. A ten-years-younger guy at work started to seem interested - before I mentioned my age and marital status - and he looked disappointed. A good thing!

-Today was the first day I spent alone at home since before Ninja was born. I confess to feeling very relaxed.

-DH will kill me if he ever finds out I blogged about this, but he no longer produces ejaculate. Huh? I thought this happened to older guys, not him. Sayonara to my (vair vair) distant dream of ever having a surprise pregnancy. It's just not going to happen. I must get this through my head.

-Diva Cup. Awesome. If I must get my period, at least this is a comfortable, eco-friendly, and more convenient way to have it.

- Speaking of Miss Auntie Flo, my cycle is really different now. I'm pretty regular, for one thing, which is odd. Ovulating hurts like an SOB whereas I'm used to just twinges. And I get it on both sides (weird because the right side was anovulatory). AF herself, however, brings zero cramps. None. And no mood swings. Odd!!!

-FET is tentatively scheduled for summer. Depends on my nursing schedule (Ninja is NOT a fan of the idea of weaning and I'd have to stop by the end of May at the latest), my relationship with DH (we were not getting along for a while but now we're beginning to fix what ails us), and our financial status (my position ends in summer). We'll see how it goes.

-My jealousy of other pregnant women had started to wane. That is, until a friend (who had her first baby just before mine) announced her pregnancy. Oh, right. Other women in my life have just had babies and will continue to have more babies. I must remind myself of this so that I'm not surprised and pissed off about more pregnancy announcements. I remind myself, in particular, that my brothers' wives will continue to have more babies without issue. I don't want to be blindsided.

-Again, speaking of reminders, Ninja is great. Fabulous. She's not perfect but she is perfect for us.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

a love letter in the early spring

My dear baby,

As I waited for you to come into my life, I always thought that I would cherish the moments to come more than regular fertile people. I thought their regrets would come later in life when they'd realize that time had come and gone. I thought I wouldn't have regrets because I'd live in the moment.

Right now I'm living the last days with a baby. Every day you stand alone for a few seconds at a time and I know that any day will bring your entry into toddlerhood. In the meantime, I walk with you.

It is a sweet thing. I don't think I'm nostalgic about babyhood - at least, not too much - but ... I do wish I could somehow preserve this precious time. I wish I could store it in a jar downstairs - in the cool, dark air - and, later in life, when my hair is increasingly grey and your life extends further and further away from my own, I wish I could descend to the basement, select a dusty and golden jar, bring it into the light, and taste its fruit once more. Not as good as fresh but the memory of summer would remain.

As it turns out, living in the moment - savouring each day - might make things harder down the road. I live with a constant, beautiful ache because I know these days won't last forever.


Your mother

Thursday, February 10, 2011

yummy gym guy

Two days ago at the gym I got hit on. By a smokin' hot weightlifter guy. Who was at least 4 or 5 years younger than I am. Checked me out head to toe and tried to get me to laugh. When I realized what was going on I made a flippant remark and walked off.


I aged quite a bit after Ninja was born. Hair went 20% white, teeth turned brown from coffee, gained 10+ pounds, etc. That's all part of not being in my twenties anymore, I guess.

In December-January, I changed as much as possible. Dyed my hair, bleached my teeth, and lost 10 pounds.

I still look older - I mean, I am a year older and I never sleep - but I'm starting to feel good about myself again and it was nice to get some validation from a Really Hot Young Guy. :D)

i love this quotation

Miscarriages are labor, miscarriages are birth. To consider them less dishonors the woman whose womb has held life, however briefly.
–Kathryn Miller Ridiman

Thank you, Michele, from My Life After Loss, for this great quotation. It validates my first pregnancy which was NOT just a 'chemical.'

Friday, February 4, 2011


In the last 5 weeks I've lost almost 13 pounds. Yeah! Halfway to my goal of shedding 25 pounds. I'm under my pre-pregnancy weight and the poundage keeps coming off. String bikini, here I come!

Week 1: Done

First week back at work wasn't too bad!

Ninja adjusted surprisingly well. She loves her caregivers (an old friend of mine and my mom) and she played and played. Apparently she eats as much as the 3- and 4-year-olds do! Plus she's spent time with a boy who's a month older than she is and who can walk already - she crawled after him all day - now she's even more obsessed with learning to walk.

She did get a bad case of diaper rash from disposables (back to cloth it is) and she won't drink during the day(therefore she wants to nurse all night). Last night she was up at least 6 times screaming because she didn't want to be in bed. But if that's the worst it gets, it's all good. I'm a little bleary-eyed but I can still see.

The job itself is a very good position. Good admin and staff and the students have, overall, been pleasant. I still have my love-hate relationship with teaching but I doubt that will ever go away. Most importantly to me, my English classes are going swimmingly well and that's a real morale booster.

I didn't have to pump at all during the day and that surprised me. I can go from 7 in the morning until 5 or 6 at night without nursing or pumping and I feel fine.

DH has been gone all week on a business trip and N and I both missed him but it was still ok.

I do wish Ninja would drink during the day. She did start using a sippy cup a few weeks ago but she doesn't use it enough.

Anyway, I can see already that returning to work full-time on a permanent basis will be too much for me, so it's good to know that. For fall I will look for a half-time position and, if that doesn't come along, I guess I will substitute teach.

A job posting came up in another field - the arts/history - something in which I'm very interested, plus it's part-time. But it starts in April and I'm on contract until the end of June. Hm. Perhaps they'll hold the spot if I'm the right candidate?

Lots to consider.

In the meantime, it's been good to pay off the last of the IVF debt. Now Ninja is really and truly ours.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

missing baby

My lost baby from the IVF cycle before Ninja.

Today I miss him so much I can hardly stand it. I haven't let myself think about him since I got pregnant with Ninja.

I don't know what it is about today - maybe thinking about Michele's babies or about Wiseguy's Lola - but oh, baby, I miss you hard. You'd be 19 months old, running around and driving me crazy. I wish you would, babe.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

worry for my gal

I feel guilty for going back to work.

I didn't HAVE to go back. We could have made it on DH's salary although it would've been very tight. It was do-able.

But we had upcoming expenses, plus DH has holes in his pockets, so to speak. And I was itching to get out of the house - out of a frozen still prairie landscape.

I have my job. It lasts until the end of June.

It's crazy-busy to teach full-time and to mother full-time. Ninja misses me but she's doing well at daycare.

But she won't drink during the day and that worries me endlessly. And she's got a diaper rash so I have to tell the caregiver to change more frequently. And I know I'm missing thousands of precious moments.

Am I doing the right thing? After the hell I went through to get Ninja, how come I don't need to be with her 24/7? You'd think I'd never want to leave her side.

But I need my own thing to do, too. Sigh.

I worry so much. I love her desperately.

It's too late now to change my mind. I don't think I would, even if I could. I will just live with all the conflicting feelings.

And I'll pop an Ativan tonight.

Sunday, January 30, 2011



Are you going to be okay tomorrow?

Will you miss nursing during the day?

Will you miss pulling yourself up on my legs and patting my thigh?

Will you wonder where I am?

Will you be able to sleep and eat without me?

Will you miss me too much?

I miss you already.



Saturday, January 29, 2011

One year

My baby turned one year old.

We had a smashing good time. Literally. I made a fancy cupcake and she smashed it. A tender moment between the three of us - DH and I sitting on the floor with our arms around each other while we watched our Ninja pick daintily at the frosting on her cake.

Hired a photographer to follow her around for a few hours. That was fun.

Had a big birthday party with a ridiculous cake and decorations that took me a full day to put up. Party dress, cookies, punch, the works. We declined presents, though; how many toys does a baby need, really? My parents contribute to her RESP (savings for university or college) and I think that's a great idea.

I don't really feel mushy and sentimental about my baby emerging into toddlerhood. Yes, having 7 pounds of her in my arms was gorgeous and inspirational. But it was hard, especially with DH gone all the time. And I prefer this stage now: when Ninja is starting to talk and to understand. And she's so damn funny. I love that about her; I love everything about her and I take her as she is.

Found mahself a job ... and misplaced 10 pounds

Teaching high school. I start this week. Eek!

Planning, stocking up on easy-to-cook meals, laundry, trying to take the edge off the house-disaster, getting Ninja ready to be without me during the day. That's what's up.

Ninja loves her caregivers - they are people I know well, including my mom - but we're still nursing and I don't know how she'll deal with going without me.

I need to get out of the house, though. The 24/7 at-home gig was not for me. I think returning to work full-time at a highly demanding job will be overdoing it, for sure, but if it's really bad I can quit in summer and never return.

What I hope will never return - how's this for a smooth segue? - are the 10 pounds I lost this month.

In December I stepped on the scale and realized I had just hit 170 pounds (and I'm around 5'5 or 5'6 in height). The heaviest I've ever been and I'm not accustomed to dealing with weight issues. SIGH! I was still 10 pounds over my ideal weight when I got pregnant but I didn't mind - I was fit and active.

I was too sedentary in 2010 and having a baby made me crave junk food like mad. Even chocolate and I don't normally even like that stuff!

Yep, at 170 pounds, something had to give.

I rejoined the gym (finally got time to do this). Trying to work out 3-5 times/week. I like gymming so I don't require motivation to go.

The main change I made, though, was to actually track what I ate every day. Guess what? WAY too many calories. I chopped that down, cut out junk food, and reduced carbs. Am never hungry and my cravings have gone away, hallelujah.

Feels so good to get my stamina back, to see my abdominal muscles return, to see my posture straighten, and to see the emerging muffin-top disappear. I've lost the pudge - 5.5 inches gone from my chest, waist, and hips, and now I'm just curvy. ;)

Gotta lose at least 15 more pounds to be back in my healthy BMI. My plan is to wear a hot fire-engine-red bikini during our March hot holiday. I'm gonna make it, too. YESSSSSSS...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Wiseguy and Lola and Birdman (reposted from a comment I left on IF Optimist's blog)

I just can't believe this happened.

I've stopped asking 'why' about anything regarding babies, fertility, miscarriage, etc.

But then I don't know what to think.

All I can do is feel.

And I feel devastated for her.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Wiseguy and Lola

Please stop by Kristen's blog and participate in a remembrance for Lola.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Please send love

Lola didn't make it.

Please hug Wiseguy if you haven't already.

This is unimaginable and yet so real.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My baby is turning ONE

Oh my.

I'm still digesting this bit of info. Will post more later.

AF, old friend, old pal...

On Monday I got my period. It was the second postpartum af and the first normal one (ovulation - a twistingly painful one from both sides - then a 14-day luteal phase).

No cramping, no zits, no hormotional behaviour. I am wondering if that relatively pain- (but not mess-)free period coincides with my New Year's Resolution (capital R on purpose) to get back to a healthy diet and exercise. I have lost five pounds.

Most blood ever. Wowzers. But I feel fine.

Anyway, we did not have sex - so there was no even remotely miniscule chance of pregnancy - but I'm okay. That's the first time in a long time that I can say this and it feels good.

But ... with such a 'textbook' cycle (minus the fact that I don't know which CD I ovulated), it's a pity to waste it on infertility, no?

Anyway, moving right along...

Also, DH and I cleared up all our misunderstandings. He is a wonderful guy - I'm sorry for making him sound like a big ogre because really he's a big floppy teddy bear - but he's the first to admit that he hates housework - and is colossally lazy about it - and that that's where the problem begins. We're working on it. Thanks for the listening ear.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Ok, comments are working, I promise! Mwah!

A real Ninja update

I've hedged on reporting on Ninja for reasons disclosed on my first post on my new blog. But now I want to talk about her.

She's great. Really great. Looks mostly like DH but she has my mom's eyes. She's almost one year old (!) and she's around 32 inches long and weighs 23 or 24 pounds. She's not gonna blow away anytime soon.

Baby-led weaning went great and she is really starting to pick up steam on eating solids. Sometimes she eats as much as 3/4 of an adult portion of dinner!!!

We're still nursing and I'm beginning to think about when I want to start weaning. (I guess, if I weren't considering FET, I'd probably nurse for another year but I want to stop by summer, hopefully, in case we decide to try a frostie by autumn.) Breastfeeding got a LOT easier 2 or 3 months ago. Ninja stopped her months-long nursing strike - and she stopped being so easily distracted, plus my oversupply evened out at the 6-month mark - so I don't mind doing it at all.

As for motor skills, she's crawling, pulling herself up, and has taken a few tentative steps. When she sees other kids her age walking, she contorts herself into yoga moves to try getting up. Her fine motor skills are excellent (I think baby-led weaning, with its emphasis on picking up bits of food, helped with that).

She talks. At 7 months she could say 'mama' and 'dada' and use them discriminately. She can also say 'book,' 'done,' and 'hi.' I think she can say a few others but I'm not sure yet.

She understands tons of sign language - and she responds with her own gestures - but she doesn't sign back, really, which disappoints me, to be honest.

As for personality, she is a hoot. Bubbly, smart, and funny. Loves to cuddle and also loves to play independently. When she's tired or sick, though - like any other kid - she just wants her mom.

She hates to sleep. Sleep has been the number 1 challenge for us. After half a year of trying to put her down, I could finally get her to take 1-3 10-40 minute naps/day. Yep, that's it. We're down to two 40-minute naps daily but I try to stretch out the second one otherwise she's exhausted and crabby by 5 p.m. (Add to this the trains that constantly blare and screech and you've got a crabby One-Hit_Wonder, too.) And she doesn't sleep well at night. It takes hours to get her down - although that is starting to improve - and she wakes up every 45-120 minutes. Co-sleeping has come to an end as of this weekend because she just won't fall asleep if she's next to me. I miss her. :(

Quirks: hates clothing, loves baths, doesn't care if she's wet or dirty, has become a bookworm, gasps for joy when she sees other babies, and french-kisses me out of the blue if I've just eaten something that she likes, too.

Comments are enabled

Sorry, didn't realize that comments were disabled. Problem fixed.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

paradise lost? found? misplaced?

Well, surviving infertility and crossing the proverbial finish line did not make for paradise. Nothing to do with Ninja, really, and everything to do with too many changes (i.e., new house, new business, me as a SAHM for now, etc.) all at once.

DH and I are fighting. A lot. We can't seem to be in the same room together without an explosion.

We fight about:
-house renovations - unbeknownst to me, the house we bought 18 months ago needed a completely new basement - DH has gutted it and is redoing it himself - all the while with a new baby, starting a new business, and being away for his job most of the time - I never see him, the house is always a disaster (dust, wood chips, nails everywhere), his apprentices and their girlfriends are in and out, we don't have money for a complete refit, and on top of that he's pissed that I don't offer to help him in that department - he doesn't 'get' that I have my hands full with Ninja and with essential household tasks.
-related to above - the house is always a mess - plus this is my fault apparently because MY JOB should involve all housework plus all baby care (don't get me wrong, he spends tons of time with Ninja but he doesn't do diapers, cutting nails, feeding, etc) - I DO NOT HAVE TIME for anything but making meals, keeping bathroom and kitchen somewhat sanitary, and
washing diapers - I asked him tonight to help me straighten up the disastrous kitchen and he was livid.
-sex - a non-occurrence.
-parenting methods - I'm into attachment- and research-based parenting - he's of the mindset 'my parents did xyz and that's what I'm gonna do, too' - he is into spanking and cry-it-out and I AM NOT - I did not endure infertility and miscarriage and IVF just to hit my baby and ignore her!
-communication (or lack thereof) - he's so into TV that he tunes me out, even when I'm talking about something innocuous like whatever cute thing Ninja did that day - he rarely answers me - grunts - or he changes the subject - I HATE IT.

We are at an impasse. I'm at the point where I've threatened to leave because I feel unwanted, unappreciated, and even unloved.

He says that I'm picking fights with him and that he can't say anything without me freaking out about it.

I say that he's picking fights with me and that I can't say anything without him freaking out about it.

He says we need to sleep in the same bed again. Uh, no. We've been in separate rooms for years because he snores and it keeps me up all night. Plus he hogs the bed so much that I nearly fall out on my side. After a solid year of Ninja being up all night, every night, she's finally sleeping a bit at night and I think I deserve some shut-eye, too.

And I was honest about not wanting to have sex with him. I wanted to all throughout my pregnancy and he didn't - he was afraid of hurting the baby. Now, either he wants to and I don't; or I do and he doesn't. On top of that, I feel so useless, helpless, and unwanted by him that I don't exactly feel sexy.

He'll never finish this kind of discussion, either. He always shuts down and then we have to fight about it again the next day ... and the next ... and the next...

He doesn't realize how our marriage is being harmed. I'm on the verge of losing my feelings for him because I'm so weary of feeling as though I'm not good enough. I've tried to express this to him - gently - but he just shuts down.

I've suggested seeing a counsellor and today, finally, he agreed.

I know he loves me but I think he has forgotten about it.

sperm + egg = not always a baby

I love this post!

Ah, the wisdom of Natalie Portman! Beautiful and smart!

Friday, January 14, 2011


I realize that motherhood is the surprise flip side of my particular infertility coin and that, consequently, I should be able to continue discussing parenthood on a 'barren' blog. However, I'm not comfortable posting baby details and my moans 'n' groans about motherhood - infertility and loss do not make for a complaint-free parenting experience - on the other blog which is frequented by a few women (and at least one guy that I know of) who are still in the TTC battle. I have no desire to make anyone hurt.

That's why I really didn't post much during the first year of Ninja's life. I didn't know what to say and what not to say.

So here I am, in a new location. I'm still on Blogger as the tool of choice and I'm still linking my two blogs although I don't think I'll post anymore on Misconceptions and Great Expectations.

I'm not going to write just about my Ninja, though. I need a place to write and so random things might appear on these pages. I want to talk about motherhood after IF and loss, my beloved Ninja, attachment parenting, marriage after a baby, new research into infertility (particularly male factor), and life in general. And from that platform I want to continue supporting my friends who are in various stages of the TTC battle, those who've decided to live childfree, and those who have their dearly wanted children.

If you wanna stick around, I'm glad, and if not, I understand completely!