Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Closing a Window

Image courtesy of Betsssssy on Flickr
I had a dream last night that I was talking with my sister about having a baby.  She asked me if we were going to try again.  In my dream, I told her that we "closed that window". There was even imagery of a big window with a beautiful meadow on the other side.  I found it odd....I didn't say closed the door, but closed the window. I woke up and was really curious....what was that about? What is my subconscious trying to say?

The more I thought about it, the more it makes sense to me. Daniel and I recently made the decision that I'll be getting back on birth control soon. We are very happy with a family of 3 and I don't want to do anymore fertility treatments. So essentially, we have closed the door on having a biological child.

But really, like in my dream, it's more like closing a window. I will forever wonder and envision what my life would have been like if things had turned out differently. I will always wonder what our child would have looked like, if Daniel and I were able to conceive.  If our ability to have children was as simple as stating "let's get pregnant!" Unfortunately it was never that simple.

But, I've been thinking about this for a while now, even if its just to manage my endo symptoms. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. I'm still a little unsure how it will feel to start taking birth control pills after 6 years of being off of them. And what it will feel like to take a pill every day to "prevent" something that my body prevents just fine on it's own. But I guess in that sense, it won't be that different.

Here's what I'm looking forward to:

  • Less acne! I'm an adult and so sick of this, lol
  • No more spotting! Two weeks every month? I'm so done.
  • Lighter periods! Maybe I can actually use my Diva Cup on my heavy days now!
  • No glimmer of hope every month wondering "could it be?" (Yes, this still happens.)

So, that's where I'm at. Does this mean I'm no longer an "infertile"? I think not! That is so ingrained in me now, and I love this community so much, I don't think I will ever ditch that label. After all, this is my tribe, and no matter what I will continue to advocate and support those in the trenches. This is still very much a large part of who I am, and that will never change.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Co-sleeping....

Photo courtesy of Cascadian Farm on Flickr
So...we're co-sleeping.

I don't know why but I feel a little embarrassed or ashamed about this.  I never really judged anyone else for doing it, we just never planned on co-sleeping with our baby.  I imagined ourselves as the parents that would have no trouble with sleep training, that we would have our baby in her crib at an early age, and that we could easily teach our baby to "self-soothe"....

But as it turned out, co-sleeping has been a life saver for us (or should I say sleep saver?).

Every baby is different, and every parenting situation and style may be different.  So what works for us may not work for you and vice versa.  And that's okay!  Honestly, I hope we don't co-sleep for a long time because I do still want Aria to learn how to sleep by herself in her own room.  But now is just not the time for her and that's okay.

Around 7-8 months we started to transition Aria to her crib from the bassinet in our room. She had not been co-sleeping with us before that, although I would usually rock her to sleep and sometimes I would pull her into bed with us in the mornings. But overall she would sleep the whole night by herself in the bassinet next to our bed with one night waking for a bottle. Then, she started to outgrow her bassinet, and we figured it was a good time to move her to the nursery.

We tried the Ferber Method, or the gentle cry-it-out (there are so many names for this!).  So basically we would lay her down in her crib when she was drowsy and fed, and then leave the room.  If she started to cry, we would check on her in 5 minutes, then 10 minutes, then at 20 minutes, and so forth.
The problem was that she would not stop crying....for hours.  And it seemed that the longer we tried this method, the worse it got.  She would start screaming the second we went to lay her down in the crib.  She would cry and scream at the top of her lungs, and it would take 2-3 hours before she would become so exhausted that she finally went to sleep.  But then, she would wake up an hour or maybe a few hours later, and start screaming again, unable to put herself back to sleep.

So, out of frustration and sleep-deprivation, we pulled her into bed with us one night. And it was such a stark contrast!

She fell asleep within minutes.  If she woke up in the middle of the night, she wouldn't cry, she would drift back to sleep without us holding or cuddling her.

And she started sleeping for 11-12 hours straight.

That's when we made the decision to continue co-sleeping with her.  Every baby is unique and this situation works very well for her.  And honestly it works out so much better for us too. She is asleep by 7:30 without any tears.  So that gives us time to do whatever we want to do, read, watch tv, or spend time together.  It just works for us.

This isn't a permanent situation of course, and we will continue co-sleeping for as long as Aria needs us to or as long as she's unable to self-soothe.

At first I really felt like we were doing something wrong because we gave up on sleep training, but the more I researched on the issue and read other parent's testimonies, I realized that it's okay to do whatever we need to do so that our child can get deep, restorative sleep that they need to grow and be healthy.  That's the most important thing for us.

One of the resources that I read that was very insightful and made me feel a lot better about this decision was The Gentle Sleep Book by Sarah Ockwell-Smith.  You can also read her blog about this topic here.

What are your thoughts on co-sleeping?

Saturday, November 26, 2016

My One and Only

I've been gone a while, and I apologize. I've missed this space and I keep wanting to turn back to it, but I have so much going on at the moment and it's difficult to find time. But here I am! I've been thinking about this post for a while and now it's finally time to get it out of my head and into the blogosphere.

I've been receiving a lot of questions lately along the lines of "Will you adopt again?" And my answer has been, "I don't think so." After all, the situation with Aria kinda fell into my lap. We weren't planning on pursing adoption, but when the opportunity came up we couldn't turn it down. And it's been the best choice we've ever made.

I'm not opposed to adopting another baby. I think it would be wonderful and we would be so grateful to share our home and our love with another precious little one. But to be honest, at this moment, my heart is full and we are happy with a family of three.  All we ever wanted was to share our hearts with a child we could call our own, and now that we have that, I feel complete. That's not to say that I won't ever want another one, but for now we are fulfilled and happy.

With that in mind, I'm constantly thinking about how this will be the last time for everything. The last time our baby learns to rollover, or crawl, or gets her first tooth. Right now is the youngest that she'll ever be, and it's very bittersweet. I cannot take this for granted, because these moments will soon pass and my baby will grow up. Each new stage is exciting, but I'll miss the newborn stage, and soon I will miss this stage, and every one thereafter.

So I'm living in the moment, and enjoying every little bit of her at this age. Because she's growing so fast! It makes me sad sometimes; I would stop time in this moment if I could, just to hold her and feel her little body pressed against my chest. To smell her hair and listen to her coo. It's the best feeling in the entire world, and I'm so lucky that I get to experience this after all we've gone through.

Of course we can't know what the future holds, and in a year's time my mind and my heart may want to pursue adoption or further infertility treatments. But right now I'm not thinking about it. I'm so happy with my baby girl and our little family, and all of the experiences that I've been blessed with that were once nothing but a dream.