Thursday, December 18, 2014

sick day

That's what it took to get me to write a blog post. Technically, I'm on my third sick day in a row. Some nasty stomach virus has gotten hold of me and is not letting go. It's not great to miss so much work, but frankly, I'm not that surprised I'm this sick. I've been exhausted. I'm grated down to my apple core. There aren't many defences left. Viruses are opportunistic little creatures, and I looked like a sure bet.

The somewhat hilarious past is that I was at work when this all started. I had to excuse myself during a session with a family to rush to the bathroom and hurl. Splashed water on my face, went right back in there and finished the session. I did ask them to wash their hands when they left my office.

The Christmas preps are more or less done. Presents, cards, tree, meal prep (not done, but planned), cookies, etc. You know it. You do it too. It's hard to fit in to the regular jam packed routines of regular life, a life in which as a working mother, I do so much. You know it. You do it too (whether you have a paying job or not). It all easily seems like a chore to me. Christmas is not an easy time, in my experience. I don't have a good relationship with my family. My relationship with my in-laws has broken down. And there were many years of hoping for a pregnancy and a baby when Christmas was just another thing to endure.

None of those layers of stuff have gone anywhere, except for the childlessness. However, this year, I am approaching it with new eyes. My daughter is almost 22 months. She will awaken to magic, if I but foster this awakening. This gives me a new sense of purpose approaching the holidays. I'm usually such a crank, walking backwards into December, ready for January by the 2nd of the month. But this year, beyond my regular crankiness, I am doing the things that Christmas requires. I took GG out to buy a Christmas tree. I decorated it with safe ornaments for her. I have put up the christmas cards. I have invited her grandparents, the ones who barely talk to me, for Christmas dinner. I am doing the things. It is important to her, and to me.

On boxing day, I'll have to fly with my toddler to Montreal to visit my family. Let's deconstruct that. First of all, flying with a toddler sounds horrifying*. At least the flight is only about an hour. And then there is flying. I have never been a happy air passenger, but my fear of flying became established when I traveled with GG as an infant. Exposure is the best thing I can do to manage this fear, and so I will make myself board that plane. I can see it from here: GG will be happy as pie, and I will be crying with my face stamped on the window, begging all deities to let us land safely (which was the scenario last time, except she was 4 months old and slept on both flights). I'm glad Mr. A loves to fly, because he can show our girl that it isn't so bad. All of this is important. I need to see my parents, my dad especially. My family needs to see GG and be part of her life somehow. I am doing the things. It is important to her, and to me.

To summarize, this year, there is still a generous amount of 'must get through the holidays', but with a dash of heightened sense of parental responsibility to create a wonderful experience for my child. Sounds promising.

Happy Holidays to you, dear women.


* All advice on this topic is welcomed in the comment section. 

20 comments:

  1. I know it's stressful, but I have reached a point at which I have decided I don't have to create a wonderful/magical/other-stress-inducing-adjective experience for my son; what he really wants is for me to be with him, not worrying about whether I've created enough magic. Good enough is good enough. And I will say that it has changed more than I expected about my holiday experience; I have kept it very simple, but have really enjoyed what I've chosen to do (and have said no to lots of things I didn't really want to do). I hope your holiday is better than you anticipate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks for this, Paula. Good enough IS good enough, isn't it.

      Delete
  2. Oh dear, so sorry to hear you're ill! That sounds absolutely dreadful. Healing wishes and hugs to you. And bravo for getting into the holiday spirit on top of everything else you're managing! So much love, xo

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hope you're feeling better soon. Stomach bugs are the WORST.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. I think this might even be influenza. which I don't have a ton of experience with, but I'm getting to know more intimately than I would like. Hope you and your kids remain virus free for the Holidays.

      Delete
  4. I hope you feel better soon and that your travels go smoothly.

    Happy Holidays to you, too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks S. Hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season.

      Delete
  5. Snacks and maybe an ipad and very low expectations and I'm sure your travels will be fine. (All my nightmarish-with-toddler trips have been of the five-hours-of-delays-getting-in-at-9pm kind, so an hour sound completely reasonable.) Hoping for good health coming your way soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. those do not sound like fun experiences, Jenny. Thank you for the tips.

      Delete
  6. Ouch! I hear you on having a baby karate-chopping your immune defenses, I have had two nasty 2-week colds in the past 8 months, after nearly 4 years of never falling sick. Btw, I just slug down a dose of BioGaia, when I see an infection approach, and it actually seems to help. Will definitely help you get over your stomach bug, since it goes right there and starts making its own antibiotic that zaps both bacteria and viruses.

    About air travel with a baby, I've done that, and it was only okay because our adult to baby ratio was 3:1. Gauri got super excitable, and she does not believe in sitting still anyway. I did that plane ride completely unprepared, but if I repeat the experience (20-hour plane ride looming in about 7 months time, If I am lucky), I plan to go armed with books, one of these doodle things that they can draw on (break out a new toy on the plane? seems like a good idea), or come out with the really big guns (iPad loaded with kid friendly apps--been living screen time free, but guess I may have to cave a little some time in the future).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know I'm a fan of BioGaia! (feed it religiously to GG, along with vitamin D and virgin coconut oil, thanks to your recommendations).
      Thanks for the traveling tips. I think new books will be busted out a few minutes after we take off.

      Delete
  7. Noooooooooo! Stomach shit it THE WORST. Literally, stomach shit.

    No advice on flying with a toddler, other than never ever do it. I am so helpful! Jokes. When I did it, I flew Porter so there was no TV and I don't have an iPad. That would be one of those times I would recommend paralyzing them with a screen with no qualms whatsoever. But hey man, driving to Montreal sounds waaaaaay worse to me, so good for you.

    Great job doing All The Xmas Things, lady. She's going to love whatever you do, because it is what you do. Happy Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. we don't have an iPad either. we are flying AC, so I'm guessing there will be screens. But yeah, I would rather she run amok terminal 1 at Pearson, rather than trying to keeping her strapped in her car seat for 8+ hours while she screams and wails.
      Happy Christmas to you, dear woman. And I can hardly wait for what comes after Christmas and New Years on Jan 2. Brunch cocktails INDEED.

      Delete
  8. I was just sobbing my little heart out because I feel so overwhelmed and drained and depressed. I know part of it is STOMACH FLU (we just did our stint in vomit and diarrhea land), so I'm literally drained, and part of it is being sad because I like Christmas but I hate my mother and sister in law, but honestly, what is my problem? So I have some things I need to do! So I'm feeling stressed about work because I'm too exhausted to function! So what? The more I roll around on the floor whining like a toddler, the worse I'm going to feel.

    This does NOT apply to you, however. You are facing some tough challenges. And, speaking frankly, even at the risk of making you mad, it sounds like you're putting a loooooot of pressure on yourself. A LOT. Particularly given that you're already a brown and dried out apple husk. This fall has been insane for you. I see all the wonderful reasons for doing this, I DO. I just hope you can find a corner of the next week and a half where you can put yourself first. And I agree that Christmas magic is really about being together and appreciating each other. I really LOVE the way Paula puts it. A few tiny things done with real love and enthusiasm will have a lot more impact than a laundry list of must-do traditions.

    About flying. We've flown a fair bit now and it's really FINE. For us, the flight is often the best part, it's the other parts of the travel that suck... We don't have an ipad and never will. Just think of whatever GG likes best. The Buns like books and raisins, so we get a few new books (but not too many! too many new things just means they don't appreciate any of them), and we very slowly dispense raisins and cheerios. We keep a special treat that they never get (like some chocolate chips) in case we need an emergency bribe. I can't tell whether it's just you and GG or whether Mr. A will be there too. If yes, just give yourself permission to make it entirely his problem. If no, just give yourself permission to have a hellish time, knowing that it will end with you guys safely on the ground, alive, maybe a bit damp, but fine. Other people are mostly kind and those that aren't just don't have compassion about this particular thing. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Expect to be embarrassed and just give up on worrying what others think. Get a copy of the book "Airport" by Barton so GG knows what to expect. Talk a lot about all the steps a lot going into it and maybe make up some cover narrative for your state. And now that I've buried you under advice, here's the only thing anyone ever told ME that I actually found useful: Airports and planes are disgusting, but give up entirely on keeping things sanitary. If she wants to lick the floor, LET her. It's all about survival.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. aaand this mammoth comment shows you just how unable to work I am.

      Delete
  9. putting pants on seems like a lot to ask when you have THE SICK. I'm so sorry you all had a trip on the vomiting and shitting carousel. Awful.
    And I'm sorry your mother and sister in law are coming over and shitting all over your holidays (to keep within the theme).
    I have been told in the past that I do tend to be too hard on myself. Reminders don't make me mad; they give me pause. So thank you.
    And Thank you for the travel tips. It has actually helped me start planning the trip a little more (and take out of the 'christmas present box' to put over in the 'plane ride box'. We also don't have an iPad, so it helps to know parents who manage without (yes, Mr. A will be there).
    And, it's a good reminder about surrendering the hygiene piece. There will be germs. She will lick them. She will likely get sick(er). Just deal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. p.s. I love mammoth comments, Bunny.

      Delete
  10. If you're looking for beautiful breastfeeding clothes then My Tummy designs some really nice things in Europe. There are maternity dresses which are very flattering to the bump and also breastfeeding tops too. It can be hard to find skirts which flatter a pregnant figure but My Tummy has some lovely designs which can be worn with almost anything. All the designed are created with pregnancy safe dyes and the dresses double up for breastfeeding after the birth.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I like your blog! My congrats with your successful de ivf. Your daughter is super cute) I think every mom has such thoughts) I'm not an exception!) But we should control ourselves. To be honest, at first I was completely against de ivf. I thought it’s unnatural and I won’t be able to love a baby of another woman. How stupid I was! This procedure was my only chance to become a mother so I persuaded myself to do it. Now I have no regrets. I look at Sammy and I consider him as my son and no one else's. We had an opportunity to give our doctor list of features we want to see in our donor. We mentioned hair color, nose and face shape, eyes, lips, etc. I should say everyone tells me my son looks like me! We told everyone, even our family, that we had simple ivf. No one can ever tell we used egg donor. Of course I’m grateful to our doctor and that girl, who donated her eggs. I will never forget what they’ve done for us! But I really have no feelings like my son is not genetically related to me or I feel differently toward him. Absolutely no! I love him with my whole heart! As soon as I knew I’m pregnant all my doubts faded away. I carried him, I felt him inside my stomach, I had toxicosis, I sang for him and read fairytales for him, I gave birth to him! He’s my son and only my! We decided we’ll not tell Sammy about egg donor. I think he doesn’t need to know that. I’m his mom and I’ll do everything for him so there will be no need for him to look for donor. We had de ivf in Ukrainian BioTexCom. We had 2 attempts in general. I’ve got pregnant from the first one. The clinic also offers «packages» with 1 or 5 attempts. So we’ve just chosen «package», which suited us the most. Hun, I wish you and your little princes all the best!

    ReplyDelete