Thursday, April 17, 2014

emerging, maybe.

Although, really, it's still a feeling of submersion I hold inside.

Your comments on my last post were very much appreciated. It still amazes me that you read my blog and write me the most generous comments, texts or emails. You are big-hearted women, and I am so lucky and blessed to know you.

We are swimming in a weird status quo as far as child care goes. Gummy Girl continues to attend Mediocre Child Care Centre. She continues to struggle with separation, although she is getting used to the drill. Her father and I continue to feel dissatisfied with this situation, although we both recognize that emotions aside, this is not horrible. Or even bad. It's a good enough child care placement. But word, good enough feels far short of what a mother wants for her precious girl.

My frantic nanny search was, as is true for so many things in life, require a ton of effort for little return. Lots of sifting through potential candidates, some of which made it to Augusta's Gate #1 (phone call) and were quickly dismissed. Mostly on grounds of availability. At least one on grounds of my gut saying I couldn't trust her (and I listened to said gut this time, you'll be happy to note).

We interviewed a young woman last weekend. She sounded like a winner on the phone, but having her in our home confirmed it. Gummy smiled at her, waved at her and gestured to be picked up by her soon after she arrived. This is Gummy at her most comfortable. As for Mr. A and I, we both felt like we could trust this young woman and that she loves children.

It took a few days to hear back from her about her references, but she came through, and I started calling them last night. One mom told me she left her 10-month-old with this young woman for the weekend. I think that speaks volumes.

So, it's not finalized yet, but it looks like we might have a nanny. It will eat up a rather large percentage of my income, but at least my mind and heart will be much more at peace. And I feel like I will be giving my girl more than just good enough.  

Thursday, April 3, 2014

theory and practice

In theory, Gummy started at the daycare centre yesterday. In practice, she went for 2 hours and Mr. A picked her up. 

In theory, this daycare centre is the right fit for us. It's close to our home, it's a licensed child care centre, it had a space available for Gummy starting in April. We have friends who sent their son there between ages 1 and 2, and they were very happy with it. In practice, I'm not sure it's the right fit at all.

In theory, she would go to this daycare centre 3 days per week. In practice, I never want her to go back there again.

In theory, she is miserable at the daycare centre because of her secure attachment to her parents, and her distress is a healthy sign. I wholeheartedly believe that's why it's been hard for her to go to the daycare centre. BUT in theory, that should be the extent of what makes ME miserable: the fact that my baby is struggling with being left in the care of others. In practice, I cry every time I think of having to leave her in that awful place and thank her father for taking it on himself because it would break me in half. I am unsettled about the physical space (the room she's been assigned to looks like a storage closet); some of the other kids in the room (a few very rambunctious boys, one of which I will probably see in my practice in a few years); and the quality of the caregivers (nice and nurturing enough, but somehow flat in their affect and interpersonal skills).

In theory, I should give this a chance. In practice, I am interviewing nannies and pulling her out of there.   

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A month's worth of transitions

That's what it's all felt like since the end of February. One big transition, with a thousand little transitions nesting within the big one. Ask me if my frontal lobes are tired.

I'm at work right now, and this seems to be the only time I can write. Which is to say, I suck as an employee. But I suck more as a blogger these days, so I'll preempt my good-worker conscience.

Status updates, in no particular order:

1) I really like soy lattes. It's a struggle not to stop by the coffee shop that makes good ones everyday.  I'm having one right now. Ah-mmmmm (as Gummy would say)

2) Work is going well so far. I am thankful for this job. I am thankful for my great co-workers. I am thankful to work in a place where my work is valued, and where I value others' work. This job doesn't have everything I need, but it has a lot of what I need.

3) The commute is killing me. Physically. Psychologically. One day last week I spent 3.5 hours in the car. Typically, it's closer to 2.25-2.5 hours, which is still way the heck too much. When I was in my early 20s, I promised myself that no matter what, I would never spend hours in the car commuting once I became a grown up for reals. I am disconcertingly breaking that promise.

4) In the car, I think of all the emails, thank you cards, books, household chores, and most importantly, TIME WITH GUMMY that I am not writing/reading/doing/spending. See third sentence of point 3.  

5) Because of 3, I look at the job postings everyday for something even marginally closer.

6) Because of 2, I continue to feel ambivalent, and I keep telling myself to find my peace with the commute and with the few things missing from this job.

7) Gummy had a very rough first day when I went back to work (as you read in my last post), and continued to be iffy for the week. The following two weeks, she treated me like I was a stranger. She displayed stranger anxiety with her own mother. Luckily, given what I know professionally, I was ok with it. Knowing that she needed a reliable caregiver, and that this caregiver was now dad, I was reassured to see her count on him to meet her needs. Personally, it hurt. A lot.

8) Interestingly, having children means you get to work on your conditioned patterns. A big one I got to revisit with Gummy's new way of relating to me was: At the slightest whiff of rejection, I walk away. And by walk away, I mean I am out of there emotionally, mentally, and sometimes physically. That's worked fine in my life so far. Except, it quickly became clear that this strategy wasn't going to work with my own child. She wasn't actually rejecting me and she sure needs me to check IN, not check out right now. So, while I didn't have the time for a long, reflective journaling session at the local coffee shop to ponder the depths of this awful, previously useful pattern, I've given it a lot of thought (yes. in the car). My work is to stay connected to her no matter how she feels; Love her, no matter what she is doing; Support her, no matter who she is favouring as her primary caregiver. I need to be steady in my love and support, so that she can learn to feel steady inside. Small task.

9) I had booked off all the Fridays in March as a means to transition from being at home full time to working full time. I have asked and been granted an extension on that. I looked at how much I was struggling with what was happening, and decided that the responsible thing to do was to ask for more time.

10) Gummy goes for accompanied visits to the day care this week, and starts in earnest next week. Now that she's used to being at home with dad, we'll rock her world a little more.

11) To protest the impending change, she contracted a stomach virus and puked all over me last night (and was up from 2:30 to 5am. Poor peanut was feeling awful).

12) My dear friend Veronica just sustained miscarriage #4, with an added bonus of a hemorrhage for this one. Please spare any good thoughts you have for her.

13) After one too many night of stretching leftovers and eating toast for supper, I bought a slow cooker. Hoping this helps with our 6pm unhappy hour. If that fails, I'll just up my alcohol consumption.

14) Fuck, I'm turning 40. In less than a month.       

Monday, March 3, 2014

out of sorts

Today was the day, after 54 weeks* at home, that I was expected to returned to work. And so, that's what I did. I was looking forward to it, in all honesty. I needed a break. Adult conversations. Psychology conversations. Case conversations. All things I get to have at work.

The day was off to a good start. Getting ready, playing with Gummy, having breakfast together. The goodbye went well.

People at work were sweet. There were flowers waiting for me on my desk, with cards signed by my colleagues, chocolates, tea. Oh, my colleagues are great! What a way to welcome me back.

It was mentioned that I looked very relaxed, and when I said that Gummy was with her dad, they understood why. I wasn't stressing about a rough transition to daycare because that's not happening right now.

I drove home feeling like my first day had been a success. Very much unlike me, I hadn't cried once.

Then I got home. I was told Gummy cried on and off all day. That she had a hard time eating. She seemed exhausted, but still ate her supper and had her bath, however cranky she was at various stages of the evening routine (including one random and very intense burst of wailing and tears while eating supper).

It seemed clear that I would be the one putting her to bed tonight, which is usually something Mr. A and I discuss or coin toss (because we both want to). But she would not have it. She was so out of sorts, the poor thing. She wailed and thrashed in my arms and insisted that dad put her to bed. That was a first.

It was hard, but I know she's just out of sorts. Of course, I cried a little after that. It's really hard on her and what is hard is my absence. An absence I even enjoyed.

So, yeah. Let's just say I was ready to throw away this career in a heartbeat. But I went out for a walk in the %&# cold night, and it helped cool off my thoughts.

She's just out of sorts.

How can she learn distress tolerance without distress. How can she learn to regulate her emotions without being faced with emotion-producing situations (beyond 'the cat won't let me pull her ears off').

still, I learned something deeper about mother guilt tonight.

* 52 weeks of parental week + 2 weeks short-term disability last February

Friday, February 28, 2014


Gummy is one today. She is a miracle. Our miracle. 

We are having mamas and babies (ahem, Toddlers) over to celebrate today. 

Thank you, dear women for holding my hand through this magnificent* journey. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The state of the U

The state of my uterus, that is. Not the Union (because we don't have a state of the union here in the great north, and because I don't want to talk about politics, I want to talk about my uterus. I majored in Infertility, and not political science).

I went back to the fertility clinic a few weeks ago. Same waiting room. Except that this time I was all alone. No Mr. A. No Gummy. Nobody else, in fact. My appointment for the sonohysterogram was at 10:15, after the morning blood work and u/s rush.

The last sono I had at my clinic was on the painful side of uncomfortable. It felt like about 6 litres of saline was inserted inside my tiny, pre-baby, never stimulated uterus, causing a shitload of pressure. I had another sono at the US clinic, and that one was more like going to the spa. My uterus was soaked ever so gently with a small amount of green tea and lemongrass infused saline while I reclined and watched it all on my personal screen. Oh, the beautiful mild arcuate.

Since this was at my north of the border clinic, I was expecting the 6-litre treatment. However, I think they've revised their practices OR my uterus can now handle its liquor, so to speak, because it wasn't so bad. But of course, I was anticipating PAIN and so had the accompanying mucho anxiety.

Dr. RE somehow didn't get the message that I was in with the nurse and so we waited for him for a while, me in my bedlinen skirt, she in her scrubs, busying herself with tasks. We chit chatted. And then she asked about the birth. "WELL, you might want to sit down for this". Turns out she had been an ER nurse before starting at the Fertility Clinic and found my whole story quite fascinating. Because we were talking about a different hospital, she was at (greater) liberty to say what she thought. She agreed that errors had been made and encouraged me to write to the hospital* She also thought this should be a teaching case because the retained products should have been suspected given that my blood pressure kept climbing after the birth. But when you show up at the ER in hypertensive crisis and the OB on call is an asshole, that gets missed. I appreciated being able to debrief this story with her, and appreciated her encouragement to do something about it.

Interesting outcomes of the sono included:

  • My uterus is in excellent shape**. Dr. RE actually admitted that he was expecting I had Asherman's Syndrome, hence why he mentioned I probably would need a couple hysteroscopies during my last appointment. But no, that won't be necessary. Augusta's uterus takes a bow.
  • There was a tiny bit of what he called 'debris' and he cleared it all out with the saline. 

I asked him the same question I asked my OB at 6 weeks postpartum: what's the likelihood I would die if I have another baby? He basically told me what I knew already, but it was comforting to hear from someone who actually knows:

  • I'm at risk for experiencing placental disorder with any subsequent pregnancy. 
  • (I actually have multiple risk factors: previous D&Cs, IVF, previous placental disorder, c-section scar. 
  • I know this and so would be alerting any medical professional following me during pregnancy to the facts. 
  • Hence, if the placenta is burrowing into my uterus (or beyond), this could potentially be diagnosed before the birth (although Dr. RE didn't express any confidence in diagnostic tests for placental disorders). 
  • Regardless of pre-birth diagnosis, this would be an expected possibility, and I would most likely deliver at Large University Hospital instead of Pleasantville General Hospital. 
  • Dr. RE paid me a huge compliment and said that because I am who I am, this could not get missed*** 
  • Death would most likely occur if the placental disorder came as a surprise, and our small regional hospital was suddenly unprepared deal with a post-partum hemorrhage (and the need for an emergency hysterectomy) 
  • While he seemed to think death was unlikely, I gathered that a hysterectomy was much more likely. Fun. 
Aside from that lighthearted line of conversation, we also talked about HRT. He's been highlighting that he doesn't want me to take extra.ce orally as a long term strategy. The effects on the liver is concerning. So, he's trying to sell me on patches. Mmmmm, estrogen patches. What fun. Not only do I have to shove prometrium up my hooha for 11 days per month every month, now I will also need to stick patches on fleshy parts of my rump and backside. Looking forward. He also expressed the worry that too much estra.ce could negatively impact my cardiovascular system. I told him that my blood pressure problems were unique to my pregnant state, and that I normally have normal to low bp. "take it right now," I said "you'll see." 

Famous last words

My blood pressure was HIGH. 

Except that OF COURSE my blood pressure was high: I had just talked at length about Gummy's birth and ensuing circus, which, as you know, REALLY rattles me. And then I had a procedure which made me anxious. All that on a tiny breakfast (as per instructions) and without pain meds (contrary to instructions). So, this made Dr. RE nervous. I took my bp later that day and it was back to normal.  

The two conclusions from that appointment are:  

1) I'll have a follow-up appointment in March to finalize our long term HRT plan. The plan will include patches. Bleurgh. 

2) The ball is officially in our court in terms of transferring the second blastocyst from our DE cycle in June 2012. My uterus is ready to host and grow another embryo/fetus. 

The only thing with point number 2 is that I cannot begin to fathom having another child. And that would be another post altogether. 


*I've started that letter, but it's a hard one to write.

** Considering what its been through. 

*** I think he said "You're a psychologist, so you can judge character. If an OB is not taking you seriously, you would go to someone else." 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

faits d'hivers

In no particular order:

1) I am fucking exhausted. Night #4 of teething hell. It's hard to imagine this going on while I have to be at a work meeting the next morning, a hypothetical work meeting that I'm leading and in which being coherent is a prerequisite. But what I gather from some of your experiences, that of other mamas, and what I've been through so far is: even exhausted, one can function.

2) I love winter. This winter has been amazing.

3) Gummy will be 1 year old in a week and a half

4) Veronica is going through SCH/inter-clinic politics HELL. But she is pregnant. She is awaiting her first ultrasound and hoping the bleeding will stop.

5) We went on a family vacation up north (see point 2). Here are pictures of Gummy and I cross-country skiing.
Yes, that is Gummy Girl in the trailer!


6) I have been working on a post about the WHYs

7) I also have returned to the fertility clinic for a sono, and have started writing about it.

8) I also have big plans to continue the Who Needs It challenges.

9) For an explanation as to why points 6 through 8 haven't happened, see points 1 and 5.

10) marriage = hard

11) A dear friend who struggled with infertility for years has just experienced a stillbirth with her second child. Still can't quite believe this has happened to her.

12) I'm turning 40 in a few months.

13) Yesterday was Family Day (a stat holiday), and we celebrated by having the other Augusta, her husband and her little Gummy Girl over for brunch. I made a frittata, we chatted, drank coffee, played with the girls and celebrated their almost first birthday. We had a great time.

14) I want to comment more on your blogs, but I can't stop watching 'the good wife' while drooling semi-consciously on the couch every night (see point 1).