Speaks Through Music

My husband is a very quiet man.  My family, after 13 years, still believes that he absolutely wants nothing to do with them.  I mean, in a way, they are out of their frigging minds and we both have issues with them, but the main reason is that my husband is quiet.  I talk to his own parents more than he does.  He probably talks to me more than anyone, and I still sit here and say he’s a quiet man, so you know our conversations are brief.

But, aside from being quiet, my husband is an absolute music junky.  He loves it.  It’s probably his first love, although I’d hate to have his actual answer on “who comes first, the music or the wife?”  And from this observation about his deep love of music, I have come to the conclusion that he says what’s truly in his heart by giving me music that says what he is unable to put into his own words.

Today he gave me a mix CD (something he’s been doing since we first starting dating) for my birthday.  He also gave me the day off from responsibilities.  He sees me struggle and does all he can to help.  I took off today to drive around town doing a few things for me, and popped in my CD.  I cried through the entire thing.  I feel like every song meant something. Something he was trying to say to me.  Most things were about life changing, and how it’s just something that happens, but how it also means you have to try harder to pull yourself up.  Some songs were to the point, some sounded pleading, some were there to tell me that he loves me, and always will.

He may not see it like this, but I know better.  Whether it was consciously or not, he was telling me things are hard, things are different, but things are still good, and things will get better…. and he’s going to be there with me to figure it all out.

 

“Wish I could have been there when you were driving away
For California
If you’ve got to go somewhere
Then you better go somewhere far
Did you really think I could ever go on without you?
I’m not a genius
I imagine myself being cool
In the backseat of your car

[Chorus]
Return to the moon, I’m dying
Return to the moon, please
Return to the moon, I’m dying
Return to the moon, please

[Outro]
Don’t make me wait for you at the corner of Eden Park
Don’t make me wait for you at the Serpentine Wall”

EL VY – Return to the Moon

Oh, To Be A Mother…

When I was growing up, I knew I didn’t want to have kids.  I knew I wasn’t cut out for it.  I didn’t enjoy having to take care of someone else, as I learned when I would have to watch my sister.  I didn’t like playing make believe for ten hours, as I learned when my cousin was growing up.  I didn’t like the responsibility of taking care of a living being.  I didn’t even like having a pet dog, which my parents always decided was a good idea, but left me to take care of.

I dated in high school and college, a little. Nothing more than a couple weeks.  Nothing serious.  No thoughts of babies.  I knew I wanted to be married someday though.  That I knew for sure, but no kids.  I met my husband, and fell instantly in love.  I am not exaggerating.  I knew the instant I saw him.  Within a few weeks, or months, we talked to each other about our hopes for the future.  Not involving each other, per say, but just our general hopes.  Did I want kids? No.  Did he?  Yes.  How many?  Two.  Crap, well, now I want to have this mans babies.  Crap.

So, along we went. Dating for three years, marriage, infertility.  Suddenly, after IVF, a baby!  A beautiful baby girl.  I was happy, for a while. Until I wasn’t.  She required so much from me.  I felt drained, I felt like I would never have any part of myself back.  I was just a mom now, with a little wife on the side.  But me?  I was gone.

The depression started when my daughter was about 14 months old.  This is when I knew for sure that there would not be anymore babies.  My husband agreed.  Our daughter was perfect, but more babies wasn’t the right move for us.  Although there was one month when I was in, what I suppose would be referred to as a “manic episode” when we decided to go talk to the RE about doing an FET.  I was ready.  Until a few days later, when i realized I absolutely was not ready.  Never would be.  What was I thinking?  Had I completely lost my mind?

That was April.  July 16th I learned I was pregnant.  I was devastated.  I wanted to be happy, I really did, but I wasn’t.  I was scared.  I was so unhappy all the time. The depression had been so critical that I had to have my in-laws take care of my daughter on multiple occasions because I just couldn’t do it.  I’d sit in my bed and cry about how much I hated my life, how horrible of a mother I was, how I was letting my husband down.  Now we were going to have another one?  How?  Why?

A long time has passed since then.  My son is now 11 months old.  I love him, more than I can possibly say, but to say that I’m happy would be wrong.  I am constantly battling these inner demons that seem to be whispering “you’ll never do anything ever again except take care of kids and clean.” That’s it.  That’s my life.  I spend my days waiting for nap time.  Then i hold my breath until my son is asleep.  My daughter will read books for two hours if she doesn’t sleep, so she’s no problem at all.  If he doesn’t nap, I lose it.  All the sudden the walls close in on me, and I feel like I’m going to drown. I just need that time to decompress.  To sit in quiet.  To stare at the wall.  Not to hear someone yelling or crying.  I don’t want to have to pick up more toys, fetch more snack, change more diapers, watch more cartoons.

I know it will get easier.  This baby stage is so hard, so constant.  He needs me, and I understand that.  I’m glad to be there for him, most of the time, but there comes a point in every day where I just can’t muster up the desire to be a mom anymore.  When I wish I was anywhere else at that moment.  When I wish with all my heart that my husband was home with me, that we could parent together, so that I wouldn’t feel trapped and outnumbered.

It will get easier.  It will get easier.  It will get easier.

Maybe tomorrow I will do better.  Maybe tomorrow I will love harder.  Maybe tomorrow I won’t cry.  Maybe tomorrow it will get easier.

32 Weeks Tomorrow

Tomorrow I will be 32 weeks pregnant with my little guy.  I’m in that stage of being confused by whether I want time to speed up or slow down.  My body wants to be done, but my mind is all like “you want to have two kids to take care of right now? Huh? HUH?!”  The majority of the time, my mind is still winning and my body is staying silent… ish.

So far we’ve got most of his room done.  I find myself wanting to mimic our daughters room in a way.  I don’t want him to have more things than her, or less things than her.  I want them to both feel that their spaces are happy and have had a lot of love put into them.  I made my daughter most of her decorations.  I painted three animal paintings, painted letters spelling out her first name for her wall, and painted a three picture frame to hang her ultrasound pictures on the wall.  So far, for our little guy, I’ve got one animal picture painting done and his name craft done, which we have to hide until he’s born because it’s a secret. Shhhhhh….  Anyway, I’m getting closer, but my body is revolting in my free time and making me sleep instead of craft.  Maybe I’ll have all his crafts done by the time he starts kindergarten!

I’m still freaking out a little.  Especially since my daughter is currently fighting naps.  *sob sob sob*  She’s 2.5, and not taking it well at all.  She still needs naps, but for some reason she just isn’t most days.  I feel like she knows something is about the change.  Something big….. (and not just my belly, which is huge).  I’m just hoping she goes back to napping more frequently so that I can nap more frequently too!  I’d pay her money, but she doesn’t understand bribes yet.  Too bad too… I’d definitely pay $50 for a nap.  She doesn’t know what she’s missing!

My Little Man

Well, everyone, I’m not sure why it’s taken me this long to post about this, I could probably come up with a few good excuses, and a couple bad ones, but instead I’ll just say that it took me too long and I apologize.  I am pregnant.

That’s right!  For anyone who’s been with me since the beginning of this blog, you know that we struggled for three years to conceive our daughter.  We tried naturally, we tried Clomid, then we went to a Reproductive Endocrinologist and finally got a diagnosis of PCOS for me, and some wonky (not the medical term) sperm from my husband.  After that we tried four medicated rounds of IUI, with only three being viable for the actual insemination part, and after a chemical pregnancy with the first IUI try, and two failed IUI’s after that, we took nine months off, regrouped physically and mentally, and then went back for IVF.  FINALLY, we had success!  Little E was conceived, carried, and born in June of 2013.  Phew… long ride… but we had made it.  Now, with a little lady on my hands, I wondered at the prospect of more.  Was I willing to go through fertility treatments again? I mean, after all, my husband and I were still considered infertile so it would take more medication, more money, more time, to conceive again, and I just wasn’t ready.  My heart wasn’t in it.  I was content, happy, finding my new balance in life with E.  *heartfelt sigh* But then…..

So, remember this post I wrote on July 13th of last year?  It was all about how I wasn’t sure a second kid was for me.  Well, three days later I took a pregnancy test and found out I was pregnant.  Go figure!  To say I was shocked is putting it very, very mildly.  In fact, it was until recently that I think I actually kind of accepted what was happening, and I’m already 31 weeks along.  I am now elated, but at first I was scared and upset.  I didn’t know if this was something I wanted, or could even handle.  I’m still not sure I can handle it, but I know it’s something I want now.  HE is something I want.

That’s right, I have a little man on the way!

I’m hoping to post one day about how this is a wonderful thing for people who have suffered through infertility and can now have hope of a natural second, but I feel like I would need more than two minutes, and sadly, that’s all the time I have left this morning.

Until next time, lovelies!

-E

Raising Girls and Raising Boys

I’m sure you’ve all seen the latest story about the frat guys who hung signs up basically insinuating that they’d be having all the sex with all the freshman girls.  It happens year after year, time and time again, across every campus in America… and maybe other countries too, although I feel in my gut that America is the worst.  Anyone know for sure?

Anyway, every time I see these things I roll my eyes.  I don’t get angry and scared for the girls, which I know many people do, which is why news anchors say idiotic things like “I’ll put my daughter in a convent” or “I’ll keep mine home in the kitchen.”  Instead, I say, women are intelligent.  Did you know most of us can read now and everything??  Why not put a little faith into the women to make a good decision.  Why do we assume that the freshman girls will be lining up to let these guys have their way with them.  Like we are helpless and find ourselves drawn to their sexy signs about banging us and our moms. Oh, I’m turned on just thinking about it.  *This is the part where I roll my eyes*

Do you know where this world is going wrong with raising girls and boys?  We treat them differently.  We treat boys like they are supposed to brag about their conquests.  We treat girls to be embarrassed or ashamed about theirs, and it begins in infancy.

Whaaaaaat?? You say, confused by conquests in infancy, but let me explain….

When E was a little, tiny, baby girl, we went to a friends house who had a little, tiny, baby boy.  They rolled on the floor together (as neither of them could crawl or talk or do much of anything but roll), and they eventually got near each other and grabbed each others hands.  It was one of the most adorable things I’ve ever seen.  What wasn’t so cute, however, was my husband growling and the boys father saying “that’s my boy!”

And that’s where it starts.  You don’t notice it, because you think it’s funny, or cute, or whatever, but that’s where it starts.  We automatically think about daughters and sons as totally different beings.  We buy boys blue and girls pink, even though those are just colors and mean absolutely nothing.  We make boys play with Legos and make girls play with dolls.  We buy girls kitchen sets and brooms, we buy boys toy trucks and building sets.  I met a girl at a nail salon who said she wanted a boy because she wanted a child that could play soccer and watch sports.  My daughter has two soccer balls, which she loves to kick around, and she loves to watch football.  I know, she’s two, but she loves it. She even does the touchdown sign.

Girls and boys aren’t different beings because they have different sex organs.  They are different beings because we make them believe they are.  Women struggle to be heard, and men struggle to show emotion, both because they are told these are not important things for them, just to realize later in life that they are, but it’s too late, we’ve already been raised to believe that we are different and have rolls based on what’s hiding in our pants.

Women are more than a vagina, men are more than a penis.  Teach your children from the start that they are no different from one another and maybe, maybe, one day we can have the kind of world where we don’t see gender as being a defining criteria for life. Maybe women won’t think that their sexuality is a powerful tool, and the only tool, to get ahead in life, and maybe men won’t think they have the right to do and say whatever they want just because they are told they are the dominant sex.

Let’s remember that we are all human.  One species, not two separate species.  Let’s teach our children to love and respect one another, to hold hands, to play soccer, to watch football, and pretend to cook together.  Let’s start now, before the cycle repeats itself.

Why Do I Want To Quit?

I’ve been wrestling with the thought of quitting Facebook for quite sometime now.  I find myself on it during the day while I’m supposed to be playing with my daughter, and that bothers me.  It isn’t guilt that I’m being a bad mother, it’s that I do actually want to be spending that time with her, but I’m not.  I find myself on it when we are playing with Legos, or eating lunch, or playing princess.  Why?  Why am I on it?  I can’t even tell you.  Sometimes I’m not even sure how I got to my phone.  Didn’t I tell her I was going to get a drink of water?  Why is she finding me hunched over my phone, silently yelling at strangers under my breath for saying stupid things about stupid things?  How can I stop this behavior?

Well, it seems simple, right?  Quit Facebook!  It wouldn’t be hard.  I’d still have text for friends, or the actual phone.  I’d keep pinterest, because honestly I only play on that at night when I can really get in there and search for something to cook, or crochet, or paint.  Instagram is lovely, but takes little to no time to look through.  Facebook is the only thing that really has it’s claws in me, and I hate it for that, and I hate myself that I am somehow that interested in who is eating where, who is voting for who, and who hates x, y, and z.

So, what do I do?  I tell myself that I have Facebook to keep family up to date on our daughter.  I guess that’s true.  I do like sharing pictures and funny things she does on there, but then I wonder if that’s even fair to her?  Should I share these things?  Is this something she would ultimately want?  What will we learn about privacy and ownership of these pictures and videos we post in the next ten years?  Is it worth it to find out?

I’m struggling with thinking that I might be giving something up that keeps me going, that keeps me linked to the world while I’m inside my house with a two year old all day, but honestly, I find that I am happier and less anxious on days when I delete Facebook from my phone and pretend it doesn’t exist (I do this often, if that’s not a sign of my true desire, I don’t know what is).  Sometimes I sneak on through my phones web browser…. that’s when I really worry about myself.  I can’t wait just five hours to get on Facebook and find out who likes The Daily Shows latest clip?  Why?  I honestly can’t answer that.

So, here I am, wondering what to do.  I can deactivate for a week and see how it goes, apparently Facebook keeps everything right where it is, in case you decide to come back.  There is an option to delete, but I’m not there yet.  I’m not ready to give it up.  If I deactivate, I have to explain to family friends why I’m no longer available for tagging and messenger.  They’ll ask what’s wrong, and tell me I’m crazy.  “It’s good to have this outlet, this window into the world while you’re at home all day.  You’ll go crazy without it!  How will we get in touch with you?  How will we see little E?”  Well, they could call or visit, right?  Should I worry about what they think?  Should I worry I might be losing a connection, or should I rejoice in the deeper connection I will ultimately have with my daughter?  Can I become the person I truly want to be?  Can I be the mom who isn’t hunched over her phone all day?  I hate seeing my husband on his all day, I can only assume that’s how my daughter sees me.  That’s why she pulls on me, yells at me, whines for my attention while I’m reading a story about someone else’s child.  She needs me, and I need her.  This is for her.

I think I’ve made my decision.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Sometimes Lost

Sometimes I feel lost.  Truly lost in life.  I don’t know who I am, or where I am, or what I’m doing.  I don’t know which way to walk, or think, or if this is a good thing or a bad thing.  I’m still getting used to being a mom, and even though I’ve been a wife for almost eight years, I find that becoming a mother makes being a wife a lot harder.  You now have to balance being a whole new person, working in glimpses of your old self so others can recognize you.

But how?  How do you not yearn to be that person you once were, that person you feel your husband still is?  Does he even understand what it’s like to be a new person with new priorities and a new life-long job?  Why is it that being a dad isn’t even close to as hard as being a mother?  I guess it’s a good thing and a bad thing, because this deep down love and overwhelming desire to be the best at something you have no training for, is what keeps me going in this new life.  If it weren’t for that sweet face that smiles at me, and that tiny hand that needs mine, I’m not sure I’d ever feel like I was part of this earth anymore. Was I even a part of it before her?  Sometimes I wonder if I was just floating through life, thinking I was this person I’d always been, when really I was just waiting to be a mommy. Waiting to become something that is impossible to understand or perfect.  Something that makes you realize that being a wife is nothing compared to being a mother.  The love is just as real, but so different in every way.

Will I ever feel like I understand myself?  Will I ever be completely happy with who I have become?  Will I continue to change and find my stride?  I hope so, because I still feel lost, and lonely, and confused in this new role.  Maybe that’s what motherhood is… a sense of being lost in another person.  Giving most of yourself up so that you can make this tiny person as happy, as healthy, and as loved as you can.  It is exhausting, this love, but it is everything.  It lights my lonely path, as I wander to find myself… Oh where could I be?