M and I have been married four years. There has been a lot of change in those four years, but I am always glad that I have someone like M by my side. I've seen friends deal with some major issues this year, and it made me realize how important it is to have a partner who is truly your partner. I know that having children has added another dimension to our relationship. We aren't just smug marrieds, we're survivors of 3am feedings, stomach flu and diaper disasters.
I don't know how it will be with two children, but I hope we can always remember who we were on May 20, 2005. It seems like a lifetime ago, but I can't wait to experience the lifetime we have ahead of us. I love you so much, sweetie!
I always feel a little bit conflicted about Mother's Day. It's not something that sprang from infertility. It started much earlier than that. I have a distinct memory from my childhood of my mother angrily doing dishes and saying to us, "Well, Happy Mother's Day to me!" I didn't understand why she wasn't happy with the cards that my brother and I made for her and I still don't understand why my father didn't make more of an effort to make her feel special so that her young children didn't have to feel guilty about not doing enough. Of course, I'm not sure anything could have made my mother happy.
These are the memories that come to me when M asks me what I want for Mother's Day. I would be happy with just a card or a nice day together as a family. I'm happy to be a mom every day. M really does make an effort to let me know I'm appreciated and not just once a year. I guess that's my beef with"greeting card holidays". Why can't we make the effort to appreciate each other all of the time?
That being said, maybe Mother's Day should be used as a day of reflection. I read an article online that really made me think. I freely admit that I have fallen victim to the worrying mom syndrome. I look at Luke and instead of seeing a beautiful boy, I see a slow teether who is almost 15 months and still won't pick up and eat anything that isn't a cracker-type thing or a cheerio and still eats a lot of jarred food. Worry, worry, worry. Why can't I focus on the fact that he's perfectly healthy, speaks a hand full of words, loves books and loves to run? Not only are we afraid of how others will judge us, but we are our own worst critics. It's natural to want to protect your kids from everything, but have we gone too far? If you have time, read this commentary. I don't agree 100% with the philosophy, but I do think that she has a point. We judge other moms and dads too much. I'm not talking about the decisions that can cause real harm to a child, but the ones about diet and TV and toys. If, with all of the information that's out there, a parent makes a decision that's different than the one you would have made, then so be it. I am just as bad as anyone when it comes to this kind of thing, but I am going to try to be better.
Motherhood has changed a lot in the last 50 years. We are older, we struggle more to conceive, more of us work outside the home and all of us feel the pressure to be superwoman. I propose that this Mother's Day, whether you are currently a mom, trying to be one, or will soon be one, take this day to appreciate yourself. Take Sunday as a day to forgive yourself and others for decisions that you may have questioned. Look around you and appreciate what you have and hope that it will get even better!
I have become involved with a wonderful organization through a blog that I, and many of you out there, read. It has been a wonderful and challenging experience to see a non-profit go from just an idea to a full-fledged organization. (BTW, if any of you would like to help out with organizing future fundraisers or if you just have a good idea, let me know). A few weeks ago I started getting packages in the mail from some of these lovely ladies (and one man) with the instruction to wait until the 25th to open. It turns out, they planned a surprise virtual shower for me and the baby girl! Luke was more than happy to help me open gifts.
He tolerated modeling the cute outfits for a while....
....but had more fun inspecting the clothes and stealing the bows.
I was so touched by everyone's kindness. It has been an honor and a blessing getting to know all of you!
Yesterday, I had my 32 week OB appointment. Yes, already 32 weeks. The bonus was that we got a 3D ultrasound. Baby Girl was snuggled into the placenta and chewing on the cord, which freaks me out a little bit. We really couldn't get a great shot of her face, but managed to get one pretty good picture:
Everything is going well and my blood pressure continues to be good, so I am hoping it stays that way! None of my issues cropped up until 36 weeks with Luke, so that will be the next hurdle.
Now, the frustrating. Many of you gave really good advice about house hunting when I wrote my last post. We actually found a house that we really liked. At least, I thought "we" did. The house itself was in excellent condition, had the floor plan we wanted, and a HUGE kitchen. I was in love. The only drawback was that it was on a corner, but it was in the neighborhood and the corner had a four-way stop. We made a second visit, M took photos, we got our financing in order and then later that night M said he didn't want to put in an offer. He was too afraid to live on a corner. I have to admit, I was crushed. If he had just said that the corner location was a deal killer from the beginning, we would have moved on. It isn't that he didn't want the house, it's that he acted like he did and I got my hopes up. I thought for sure we had an excellent chance of getting into a great house before the baby comes. We are at a stand still. Limited by our many requirements, there are no houses on the market for us to see. That's it. I know that others will eventually come up, at least I hope so. In the mean time, I have that overwhelming feeling that I am drowning in worries.
When I open up cabinets, things fall out. (Yes, I have reorganized and given things away. Lots of things.) We have a very full storage room that costs us an insane amount of money each month. What's in there? Well, among other things, wedding gifts from almost FOUR FUCKING YEARS AGO that we were never able to unpack because we didn't have room, even then. My mother-in-law is coming in to help and I have no idea where she is going to stay when I get out of the hospital. I guess we'll be on the pull-out with the baby in the living room.
People tell me not to worry and that we will survive. Yes, we will survive. Yes, there are worse problems to have, for sure. We are healthy, we are employed and we are ok. I am trying really hard not to be a crybaby about this. This isn't a Disney movie, though, and as much as I would like to believe that the field mice will come in and help me try to organize everything, it isn't going to happen. Certain things will have to be worked out and it's really overwhelming. I just wish I wasn't dreading my maternity leave because of this. I think I am going have to get out of the house hunting business, for now. It's too hard and too disappointing. I am trying to focus on the positive, although I admit I am kind of sucking at it right now. Every day will get better, though, and something will come up. I hope.