Jealous of what I already have?

More and more often these days, I find myself thinking about having another baby. Wouldn’t it be amazing?, I think. Then I remember how little our house is. And how often I’m alone with my kids while my husband works nights or weekends. And, the real kicker, how expensive childcare is.

I know you’re probably thinking, you’ve said this all before. What’s changed?

On the one hand, nothing has changed. If we could afford a bigger house in our neighbourhood and childcare expenses, then, yes, we may be more seriously considering a third child.

On the other hand, I’m so super lucky to have what I always wanted: two amazing kids.

I just found out that one my friends (who is also my next door neighbour) is pregnant with her second baby. Her first is just a few weeks older than Bo. When she first told me (last night, by text) I felt the familiar kick-in-the-gut stab of jealousy. What?  Why do I feel this way?  She’s getting exactly what I already have and, yet, I’m feeling jealous of her?

I saw a girl at work yesterday who is due to give birth to her first baby later this month. She is huge and feels uncomfortable. And I was jealous.

My husband showed me a picture of his buddy’s brand new daughter last night. She was still a little bloody, and naked, and perfect. And I was jealous.

After a semi-decent night’s sleep and a chance to reflect on all of yesterday’s baby-related revelations (we won’t even discuss Kim and Kanye), I’m starting to wonder if what I’m really jealous of is the fact that these people are just starting their family building journeys. They still have all the craziness and unknowns and excitement of pregnancy/childbirth/life with a newborn ahead of them.  Is that it?  Perhaps.

I have to remind myself that I hated trying to get pregnant and I didn’t really enjoy pregnancy. But seeing two pink lines on that test (ok, who am kidding, those 20 tests!) is so freaking amazing.

And actual labour and childbirth was not my favourite (nor was recovery) but those sweet new babies are the best.

Plus, there is that wonderful year of maternity leave.  There was nothing better than having a year at home to focus on my family and spending time with my sweet baby.  But that also means returning to work, which has been significantly harder the second time around and I imagine would bet even tougher if I had to do it again.

I know that it’s time for me to start focusing on the next stage of life – helping my babies grow into successful people.  It appears that it just may take me a while to come to terms with the fact that our family is complete.  In the meantime, I will do my best to smile and wish my friends well as they continue to grow their own families.

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Heartstrings

I sat in the waiting room of my OB’s office this morning with a bit of a lump in my throat. I wasn’t there for anything exciting. Just a post-IUD-insertion check-up. Nevertheless, I felt a strange sadness as I sat there.

You see, that hospital is where I experienced the best and worst days of my life. It’s where I lived out some of my scariest and most joyous moments. It’s where I found out I had miscarried baby #2. It’s where I learned that Bo was still ok in there, despite my heavy bleeding. It’s where I felt the worst pain I’ve ever endured. And it’s where I met the two most incredible little boys in the world (in my humble opinion).

I guess that’s why the knowledge that this could be my last visit to this doctor’s office made me a little emotional.

I realize that I have some things to work through with respect to the end of our family building. I never thought I wanted more than two kids but now that the baby is almost one year old, I find myself struggling to accept that we are done having kids. Logically, I know a lot of my feelings stem from the fact that I’m about to go back to work. My emotions are all over the place (I cried during Bo’s first haircut this afternoon!) and I’m sure (at least, I hope!) that I’ll feel differently once we’re settled into our new life as a family of four with a working mom.

While part of me worries that I’ll always wish that we had another child, I know that I need to focus on our current family right now. Things are about to get a lot tougher for all of us as my time at home ends.

My doctor’s appointment ended up being quick and painless. The doc wants to see me again in six months, which means this wasn’t, in fact, my last time there. (More to come about my IUD experience in a future post). I felt a bit lighter as I walked out of there, knowing that I’ll be returning again. Hopefully by then I’ll feel a bit less emotional and be ready to walk away with no regrets.

Bodily frustrations

I find women’s bodies to be both fascinating and infuriating.

On one hand, it’s pretty amazing what our bodies are (sometimes) capable of doing.  Pregnancy, as frustrating and challenging as it can be, totally blows my mind.  I somehow managed to grow two humans.  Then, if that wasn’t enough, my body allowed me to feed these tiny humans.  Crazy!

On the other hand, though, is the uncertainty that comes along with having this miraculous body.

I got an IUD inserted two weeks ago at 10 months postpartum.  I am still breastfeeding and, until that moment, I had not had any bleeding or even any menstrual symptoms since before getting pregnant.  I had a bit of spotting for two days after the IUD was put in, which I’m told is normal.  Then it stopped.  Five days later it started again, but this time I had the familiar cramping that always comes along with my periods.  WTF?  Can it really be back?  Nonononononoooooo!  It’s now a week later and I’m still bleeding.  Argh!

I had an ultrasound a couple of days ago to confirm that the IUD is in the correct position.  It is.  Everything is normal.  So, it appears that my period has miraculously returned.  What irks me is that one of the selling features of this IUD is that periods can be lighter than normal or disappear altogether.  That sounded pretty great to me but apparently I’m the exception to that rule.  So far, mine is twice as long as normal!

I hope this is just a fluke or my body is just sorting itself out after all that time being pregnant and nursing.  Because what the hell’s the point of having this stupid IUD if I’m feeling too gross to have sex?  I know some people don’t mind getting down to business while having their period but I’m not one of those people.

Testing, testing, 1-2-3

I took a pregnancy test yesterday.

I woke up at 7am, needing to pee, and stumbled into the bathroom.  As I’ve done countless other times, I reached into the cupboard and fumbled around in the dark for my (dollar store – no sense in wasting big bucks) test and the empty cup that I’d stashed there the night before.  I peed in the cup and used the dropper to add the required amount of urine to the test.  And then I waited.

No, I didn’t think I was pregnant.  In fact, I knew the chances were slim to none.  But, my OB required me to take one before he would insert my new IUD.

Over the past six years, I’ve done the whole pee-on-a-stick routine a lot.  Each and every time, my heart pounded in my chest as I waited with hope for the second line to appear.  I’ve never taken a pregnancy test hoping that it was negative.  And, crazily enough, this time was no exception.  I knew, for practical reasons, that it wouldn’t be good if I was pregnant again.  Financially, it would be bad for us.  Work wise, it would be bad for me.  But knowing I was about to take measures to prevent pregnancy for the forseeable future, I had a brief moment of wanting to be pregnant again.  The test, of course, was negative.

The logical side of me was relieved.  Of course I couldn’t be pregnant.  We don’t have enough space!  We don’t make enough money!  I wouldn’t be back at work long enough to be eligible for a mat leave top-up again!  The emotional side of me felt a bit disappointed, though.  My baby is getting so big!  He’s going to be going off to daycare soon!  He’ll wean from the breast before I know it!

As planned, my OB inserted the IUD that afternoon.  It hurt like a mofo and I bled a little bit afterwards.  I have to get an ultrasound in a couple of weeks to confirm that it’s in the proper place.  And then, after that, we won’t have to worry about birth control anymore.

I know this is a good thing.  Although I’m not totally ready to accept it, I know we don’t plan to have more children.  I don’t expect that our family plans will change but at least I can take some comfort in knowing that we haven’t done anything permanent.  Maybe one day our situation will be different and we will try to have another child.  Likely not.  But, either way, that option is open to us.  For now.

Triggering memories

I can’t remember the last time I had a chance to sit down at the computer and write.   I know I always complain that time is flying by, but it seems to be a moving at warp speed right now.  I just can’t keep up.

Both boys have been sick, which hasn’t helped.  Littleman developed a cold last weekend and had to stay home last Monday.  He’s gotten pretty good at wiping his own nose (and not even on his shirt – mostly!) but he doesn’t realize that he can use the tissue for more than one quick swipe.  I’d leave for a quick moment to feed his brother and return to find him buried in a pile of barely used tissues.

Then, a few days later, Bo woke up from an afternoon nap with super raspy breathing.  Poor little guy.  We cranked up the humidifier and (thankfully) he slept like a champ for a couple of days and it definitely on the mend now.  There’s nothing I hate more than seeing my babies sick!

D was busy with work and other commitments through most of the week so I was on my own a lot with the kids.  Not feeling well, partnered with shitty weather (and just being three, probably) made Littleman into a bit of a monster.  I thought we were getting past the worst of the threenage angst, but good lord, this week has been a challenge.

I’ve been reading a lot of novels on my phone these days during nursing.  It’s one of the few quiet times I have during the day and, after catching up on blog reading, I really enjoy getting lost in a good book.  The last couple of books I’ve read, though – all unrelated to each other – have included characters who suffered from miscarriage, infertility or stillbirth.  None of those things were the central theme of the books and so I didn’t see it coming when I started reading.  And still, after all the time that’s gone by, it hits me hard to read about it.  I felt the lump in my throat this morning when a woman had to call her husband to tell him about her miscarriage at 16 weeks.  I could so clearly remember the moment I called D to tell him.  And when I read about her waking from her D&C, all I could picture was the room I was in…the nurse sitting at a desk nearby, me asking what time it was, wanting a glass of water, wanting it all to be not real.

So now that Christmas season is upon us, I think I need to find myself some jollier reading material.  Any suggestions?

Implantation Bleeding: fact or fiction?

I’ve always been a spotter.  At least, I’ve spotted ever since I went off birth control in 2009.   I can’t remember if I spotted much prior to going on birth control many, many years ago.   I guess it wasn’t really something I would have cared about back then.

When we first started trying to conceive Littleman in 2009, I experienced some light brown spotting before my period was due.  I remember googling something like “spotting before period while trying to conceive.”  The results were my first introduction to the phenomenon known as implantation bleeding.  I remember thinking to myself, “this is it!  We did it!  I’m pregnant for sure!”

Of course, a couple of days later, my period showed up.  This went on for months and months.  And, although I knew the spotting was likely just that – spotting – I never really gave up on the hope that it would turn out to mean implantation had occurred.

When we hit our fourteenth month of TTC, I spent my two week wait in the usual way.  Waiting, hoping, googling.  All of a sudden, I realized that I hadn’t spotted.    When I finally gave in and took a test around 14dpo, I think I already kind of knew.  I didn’t have one speck of spotting and I got my BFP!  So, at that point, I decided that this whole implantation bleeding thing was a myth.

Fast forward to 2012 and TTC baby #2.  As usual, the spotting occurred regularly before my periods.  During some cycles it even happened for as many as 6-8 days before my period arrived.   The spotting was always such a disappointment.  It dashed my hopes each month because I knew right away that it meant I wasn’t pregnant.  On the positive side, it saved me some money on HPTs.  No point in testing early when I was spotting.

In December 2012, I wasn’t taking my temperature or using OPKs.  But I did monitor my CM and mark down my period.  I had some light spotting in the second half of my cycle.  I remember it being light pinky mucus and it happened a couple of times when I wiped over a span of two days.  Since I was pretty certain we had missed most of my fertile window due to holidays, sickness and D’s work schedule, I figured this was my usual pre-period spotting.

Turns out, I was wrong.  The spotting disappeared all together so I gave into my temptation to test.  BFP!  Looking back, based on our intercourse timing, I can guess that the spotting happened around 8-9dpo.  Implantation bleeding?  Perhaps.  Something else?  Maybe.

Now that I’m well into the TWW, I’m trying to mentally prepare myself for the inevitable internal debate: implantation bleeding vs. pre-period spotting. UGH.

I hate this stuff

I forgot how much I hate charting.  I hate when my alarm goes off in the morning and I feel like I’m going to pee my pants but I can’t get out of bed until my thermometer beeps to tell me it’s finished recording my temperature.  I hate when I drink too much water during the day so I worry that my pee is too diluted for the OPK to detect anything.  Or when I don’t have to pee at all and then I worry that I’m going to miss my surge. (And, why does all this stuff somehow always relate back to peeing??)

tests

Stupid stash of OPKs and HPTs

Before we started trying to conceive Littleman back in 2009, I went to see my family doctor for advice.  Once we were ready for kids, I wanted to be prepared and make sure that we maximized our chances of conceiving.  She told me to just relax and enjoy it.  She told me not to make it too clinical.  But really, what did she know?  She was all of 15 years old!  (OK, maybe she was 20…25 max.)  Being the planner and worrier that I am, I decided to do some research on my own, just to make sure I had all the information I needed.

I had read about charting but, in the beginning, aside from marking down when each period started, I didn’t bother tracking anything else.  My cycles were a bit wacky after going off the pill but I still figured that unprotected sex would lead to pregnancy.  That’s what they teach you when you’re a teenager, right?

After six months (and a lot of reading about fertility) I decided to start tracking things more seriously.  I bought myself a basal thermometer and started tracking my cervical mucus (which, coincidentally, is not something I ever imagined thinking about let alone writing about!)  Of course, this was all back in the dark ages (i.e. before I owned an iPhone) so I would print out a hard copy of a fertility chart and mark it up by hand.

Three years later, when we started trying for #2, I already knew what to do. By this point, I had my Fertility Friend app all ready to go.  I started tracking my cycles as soon as my period returned after stopping breastfeeding, just so that we’d be ready.  I ordered a new stash of OPKs online so that I could start testing.

When I got pregnant with #2 in December 2012 after eight months (ironically, I got pregnant during the one month that I didn’t chart my cycle) I felt so relieved that I could officially stop all this charting nonsense.  We didn’t plan on having more than two kids, so this should have been when I could ditch all the TTC equipment for good.

As it turns out, things don’t always go as planned (much to the dismay of my plan-aholic self) so here we are again.  Back to taking my temperature in the morning.  Back to peeing on command.  And back to waiting for an iPhone app to add a stupid line to my chart, proving that I ovulated.

In the past few weeks, I was finally starting to feel a bit better about what happened to me.  I was having some good days and I think it was because I knew that there was nothing I could do about my situation.  But now that we’ve got the “all clear” to start trying and the time is upon us to “get busy,” I’m starting to feel sad again.  I guess all of this stuff is just a reminder of how much we want another baby and how excited we were that we were going to have one.  I know (and fully expect) that this may take a while so the fact that we are starting over again – pretty much exactly where we were a year ago – feels shitty.