Exhausted, happy, whole

I’ve never worked so hard in my whole life. I have completed two degrees (and a half), and all of the work, essays, exams and studying that goes along with that. I have had full time jobs, part time jobs, and multiple different jobs while also in school full time. But nothing has been as much work or as tiring as being a full time mom and a full time nurse.¬†Switching shifts from days to nights. Daycare for the boy some days, home with me on my days off. Sleeping whenever I can.

I have never been so tired, and I have never worked so hard. But, I have never been so happy. Being home with Noah is some kind of magic. He is so smart and funny, constantly making me laugh and keeping me on my toes anticipating his next move. He tends to be a little clingy, which I secretly love because I know one day the snuggles will end. I look forward to picking him up from daycare on the days I am sleeping, the look on his face when I come to get him is something I can’t even describe. He really is all the joy I even wanted (cue the tears as I write this).

This season of life is busy, all encompassing, physically demanding, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Our little family is whole and sweet and full of sticky jam kisses. I’m so grateful for this life we’ve created and can’t wait for whatever’s next!

Overwhelmed

The boy is 18 months and the time has gone so quickly. He’s a whirlwind of energy, always moving, climbing up, climbing down, running. He rarely stops while he’s awake and those brief moments when he chooses to sit on a lap are precious and magical.

He’s also teething, something no one really warned me about. Or not enough. The newborn days were hard. Really hard. No sleep. Breastfeeding on demand. No life except meeting his needs. But teething is possibly the hardest thing we’ve faced.

My normally manageable child is an angry, lashing out, screaming all the time changeling. Medications given around the clock, snacks at his beck and call, the same tv episode on loop. Anything to bide our time until these molars are through and we wait for the next set.

Some days are better than others. Some days are very very hard. Some days I feel my patience waning and have to remind myself this isn’t his personality, he’s in pain. It’s seems so unfair that he has to manage all this without the vocabulary to ask for what he needs.

I know this is a phase of life. In a few months (I hope), teeth with be behind us and onto the next challenge. But right now, this place feels overwhelming. There’s a tiny piece of me that feels lost because the harder this phase is the further I feel from having another baby. And I still think that’s something I want.

I love that boy with all my being. He’s the greatest gift and the best thing I’ve ever done. Just wishing for strength, patience and love until we get to 20 teeth!

Over So Soon…

11 months…I’ve been home every day with my boy for 11 months. I have spent the majority of my time every single day for 11 months with him. Sure, I went to the gym, and I got my nails done, I’ve gotten groceries and for one night Omi took him so I could sleep. But for most of those 11 months, it was me and him.

In 1 month I go back to work. I will be away from him for days at a time in some cases because of how my shifts fall. I will have to hope that he is happy and cared for in someone else’s home. It doesn’t make the transition easier that currently if I leave him with anyone other than Omi he has a fit. He got kicked out of the gym daycare last week because he cried too much. I know it will be a tough time for us both (maybe all three of us), but I hope so much that he gets used to it quickly.

This is my last month of maternity leave and I want it to be great. That doesn’t necessarily mean we have to do big amazing things every day but maybe just appreciating the little things more. More snuggles, more laughing, being more present when he’s awake.

That little boy has my whole heart and I can’t even imagine walking away from him while he cries with someone else for a whole day, but thats the reality. We will adjust, we will adapt, and hopefully we will be better for it.

Maybe its time to get knocked up again so I can take another year off. Ha

-K

Obsessed

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a mom. Having a baby was always something I wanted when I grew up. I mothered my dolls, my stuffed animals, my sister and I babysat at every possible opportunity. I took a weird path, but life even lead me to a career of mothering in a sense, being a pediatric nurse. I have loved littles many along that journey, one special patient in particular stole some of my heart and took it with him when he passed. I became a mom when I found out I was pregnant 2 days before that sweet boy became an angel, and I built a wall to protect me and my nugget from the grief I would have swam in if I hadn’t been pregnant.

I became a mom officially in August when little Noah made his entrance, faster and much more drug-free than my plan would have suggested. I became a mom when they put him on my chest and I saw his face and felt like I’d known him forever. I became a mom when I made decisions based on my own knowledge, and opinions instead of what other people told me worked for them. I became a mom when I felt annoyed at people for telling me what I SHOULD do because it worked for them.

Recently I feel more and more obsessed with this boy. At the start I felt love, of course, but it was almost from a distance. It was as if there was a fog around me, first priority was to keep him alive, second priority to love him. His everything depending on me. His nutrition 100% from my body (something I’m still amazed and grateful for), his sleep and my sleep some intertwined and dependent on each other.

We’re almost 7 months in and now the priority has shifted slightly. Of course I still have to keep him alive, but that feels a little bit easier. He sleeps more consistently (except last night), he eats real food so I am not his only life source. He can sometimes, occasionally play independently which is lovely. But lately, I feel like I am obsessed with him. I miss him when he sleeps, I miss him when I leave the house, even though I so so so need that time to myself. I already miss him when I think about going back to work and that is months away. I know this little boy so well, but theres so much to learn still. He grows and learns and changes daily and its just amazing to watch.

I never thought I’d want to be a stay at home mom, and I worked damn hard to have the career I do. But now that he is here, I’m kinda wishing I was a 50’s housewife and the pressure to work wasn’t so great. I want to work I think, I need to work, but it would be nice if I could do that less and see him more. The idea of spending my entire day with him for a whole year and then poof, August, I see him for minutes a day or not at all (I work 12 hour shifts) makes my heart so heavy. I hope I can find a balance. I hope as a family we can find a way to make it all work, so we can have some family time and still afford some nice things. Or maybe I just need to get knocked up again so that I can take another year off, ha. Not a simple task when you’re married to a lady and there’s only one fertility clinic in your city of 1 million people!

For now, I cherish our moments (not all of them obviously, sometimes he’s a jerk like all babies are), and try to forget that August approaches quicker than I’d like. I will kiss on him every chance I get and snuggle him when he lets me. Im grateful he’s here, I’m grateful I got pregnant semi-easily and that my journey had few blips.

I am obsessed with my son.

-K

What’s in a name?

Labels are important in our society. It’s hard to avoid them sometimes. Some of mine are wife, daughter, sister, nurse, friend, woman, lesbian and most recently, mommy.

When you are a “non-traditional” family people ask a lot of questions, way more questions than they would ask a heterosexual couple. Who will get pregnant, how will you decide, where do you get sperm, do you get to choose the sperm, will you take turns, what will the baby call you?

What will the baby call you. This one is tricky. I always pictured myself as a mommy (mom) and that was easy. That’s me, that’s who I am, and who I want to be for him. But for Naomi it wasn’t so easy. She never imagined she’d have kids because she didn’t want to experience the joys (?) of pregnancy like I did. She never imagined she’d have a new label. It wasn’t organic for her to take on a new name like it was for myself. But people ask all the time and aren’t ok with her not having a label right away. How do we know what he will call us though? I can call myself mommy but maybe he won’t, maybe he’ll call me something else. Why is it so important for both of us to have a set “name” for him to call us. We came to a starting point, Momo will be her name for now. If it sticks, great, but if he comes up with his own name for her, thats fine too. It’s not so important in the day to day for an infant that both his parents have an easily distinguished name. He doesn’t care what you’re called, and honestly right now he only cares if theres boobs (which although we both have, only mine are useful to him!). As he grows he will have to navigate his own labels and being the kid of two moms.

The other label that people seem to find tricky is “the dad”. In my mind a dad is the person who tucks you in at night, throws a ball with you outside, kisses your scrapes and dances with you on his feet. A dad is a label you have to earn. So when people (generally well-meaning people too) call the sperm donor “the dad” I find it hard not to correct them. We are obviously grateful for the donor because without him Noah wouldn’t be here. Without him we may not have had a child or we’d have a different one, and I can’t imagine that world. But to call him “the dad” isn’t right, he will never tuck him in, or throw a ball. He won’t be there for the important moments like Naomi and I will. He is a part of Noah’s story and his genetics, but that doesn’t make someone a dad.

-K

Times Flies

The last time I wrote a blog post I was 5 days postpartum. I am now 5 months postpartum…time flies. People always say to cherish the early days and really hold on to them because they go so fast and that couldn’t be truer. I feel though, like those days were not as joyful as I had hoped.

At this point I feel like I am through the worst of it, I hope. I had a month or two of bumps at the start. Figuring out how to breastfeed (which thankfully was easy and amazing and has always come naturally to both of us, so grateful), navigating new motherhood, trying to still be a good wife to someone who never really wanted to be a mother and now found herself with a baby and a very emotional, leaky, sore human being in her bed. I flew across the country and back, alone, with a 6 week old baby, which wasn’t as hard as people seem to think it should be. Much easier at 6 weeks than it would be now!

I think it was around 3 months that the feelings started to seem out of place. I should know what I’m doing by now, I should have thinks more figured out, I should be better at this. My child never slept. For close to 2 months he (we) woke every hour or two throughout the night and his naps during the day were never consistent or long enough for me to nap regularly. I felt like I was falling apart, and I was probably legally intoxicated with sleeplessness on a regular basis. I started to resent my child because he just never wanted to do what I wanted him to do. People told me, he’ll sleep eventually (with some magic poof at 4 months, or 5 months or 6 months). People said to try formula (bleh), cereal, sleep training, crying it out, a swaddle, a swing, etc etc etc. People mean well, I know this, I know my friends and family are just being helpful and kind, but if one more person told me to nap when the baby naps or looked at my with sadness when I said “no he doesn’t sleep through the night”, I may have exploded.

One January 1 we put him to bed around 7 as had been our attempts for months. At 830 he started to cry, as had been his routine for months. No sleep longer than 1-2 hours. That night we said no more. Omi put her foot down and said, we can keep doing this. Tonight we let him cry a bit. He cried for 45 minutes while we can up with a plan for sleeping. He fell asleep after that and slept until 3am (I fed him a bottle of pumped milk around 11 and he didn’t wake up). I fed him at 3 and he slept until 7am. Since January 1 he has been in his crib from 7-7 every night, fed every 3-4 hours and if he cries when he shouldn’t be hungry yet, we let him cry a bit. So far he never cries more than 15-20 minutes. He is learning to self soothe. He has napped almost every nap in his crib since January 2 other than a couple poorly timed car trips (the kid can’t resist the lull of the carseat).

I feel like a human again. I’m tired of course. He still wakes 1-2 times a night to eat, but thats normal for his age. We’re slowly cutting out the early morning (5am) feed so that he sleeps more and eats more during the day. I have 3 hours during the day when he naps and I can do things. I can nap! I can read or watch tv. Today I made 6 different baby food purees! If you asked me a month ago if I wanted another child ever, I’d have said no. Now, I’m already thinking it wouldn’t be so bad.

I enjoy my son so much more now. I like spending time with him because I don’t have as much of it anymore. I miss him and look forward to getting him in the mornings. Sleep training was scary and sad, but life changing. I am so glad we made this change and grateful to Omi for pushing it.

I am excited for the next 6 months and looking forward to enjoying the rest of my time off with Noah. I can’t wait to see him grow and change. I love this little boy so hard and so deep.

-K

Forever changed

And just like that, I’m a mom. 

Five days ago I was 39 weeks pregnant and wishing to anyone listening to help the baby come. I was uncomfortable and sore, waddling around the biggest mall in the country trying to help him out. Twelve hours later he was here. 

August 5th at 4:18am my world and my heart grew. Our gorgeous baby boy came into the world like a wrecking ball after only 4.5 hours of labour. I’ve known I wanted to be a mom since I was old enough to understand the concept and now I was one. 

This little boy has taken over our lives in a good way. He gives me perspective and just watching him sleep is amazing. The journey to get to him wasn’t as long as for some, but there were obstacles along the way. I wouldn’t change it for anything. Everything happens for a reason and November 2016 one egg and one sperm found a way to give me a miracle.

A year goes by…

A year ago today we nervously, excitedly went to our very first fertility clinic consultation. We started the journey to baby Smiley not knowing how long or short it would take. How expensive it would get. How it would change us, individually and as a couple. 

Now, a year later I sit on the cusp of 19 weeks pregnant. Everyone remarks how quickly it all happened. During the struggle months in the summer I didn’t agree with that, I want it right then. But now, I can’t help but be amazed at how fast time really goes. 

Grateful for a healthy baby. Grateful for my own return to somewhat normal. Grateful for a wife who is the most perfect support system and knows just what I need. 

Looking forward to the next 21 weeks and feeling nugget move, finding out the gender (if baby cooperates) and meeting our baby in August. 

A year in itself seems like a long time but it was definitely worth the wait. 

-K

7 weeks

Today I am 7 weeks (or so). Although I haven’t seen an ultrasound or gotten any proof other than the 2 betas (and one pee stick) I am feeling super pregnant this week. 

The nausea has started and is serious business. I am on night shift this weekend and it’s been really hard to eat in order to avoid nausea. I feel like I have to eat constantly all night to keep it at bay. Then I have to have a big breakfast when I get home. But I still wake up so hungry I’m sick. Sucks but I am grateful for it all of it means nugget is growing and healthy! 

Tomorrow we get to see this baby at last and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve waited for this for so long. I hope it’s good news. 

-K 

It’s real but it’s not

Still in limbo, sort of. 

December 2 was my beta and somehow it was positive. I was shocked to say the least because it just seems improbable that the first try could actually work for us. I had been having some symptoms but trying to ignore it to avoid being let down. I didn’t test early because I wanted to let the feeling of maybe last longer. 

December 4 my second beta. Doubled. Things are going smooth. Officially discharged from my RE into my GPs capable hands. 

December 6 I tell the first person, my doctor that “I’m pregnant”. It feels crazy and surreal and scary. 

Today, December 12 I’m having more and more symptoms. Sore boobs. Really emotional. Nausea at times. I don’t get an ultrasound until the 20th so it feels like another limbo, this time the feeling is maybe I’m pregnant but is it going to last. Will it be healthy and happy? Also, is it one baby or more?

I’m excited and happy. I’m scary and worried. I’m nervous and I want to tell the whole world even though I know it’s early.