Tuesday, March 3, 2015

I'm No Fertile Myrtle...

Looking at our family, certain assumptions may be made.

The thing with assumptions is that they are almost always wrong.

Assuming I must get pregnant really easily is one of those cases.

Yes, we have four kids, but it was not because my husband can get me pregnant "by just looking at me."

I'm no fertile myrtle. It took a lot of patience, a lot of waiting, a lot of tears, a lot of appointments, medications, tests and procedures to finally get pregnant with our sweet Mermaid Girl.

I will never forget the day I got a positive pregnancy test: I was ecstatic and terrified all at once. I had waited for this day for a very long time and now that I had a little life growing inside me, I didn't want
anything to ever happen to make it stop growing.

Her pregnancy was wonderful, but always tainted with moments of panic, moments that I would lose it all.

Each pregnancy after that came after many months of trying. Each time using more natural and holistic ways to boost my fertility and to nurture and nourish my body and the new life growing within. Each time bringing more acceptance and peace and trusting that whatever needed to happen, would.

It's kind of sad to admit it, but as much as I absolutely LOVED being pregnant each time, in the back of my mind there was always a little tiny bit of knowing that all it would take would be a moment, and that sweet little baby growing inside me could be no more.

Having experienced infertility, two early pregnancy losses and all the emotions that come with that, made me humbled, made me really respect and be in awe of the miracle and fragility of life. I became beyond grateful because I know I am blessed to be able to hold each of my darling babies in my arms, warm and wiggling and to watch them grow.

Despite the painful and arduous journey of bringing my four beautiful babies Earthside, I would not change it for anything because it has made me the person I am today...and I like being me. I have gained so much more than I ever lost. I became more connected to my body and learned to trust its cues and signs. This in turn, helped me strengthen my intuition, which was amazing for childbirth and has served me well during motherhood. My journey made me realize that I wanted to be a very mindfully present parent (and person), to really connect with my babies and this in turn, made me the mother I am today...and I hope my kids think I'm a good one.

I'm sharing this because I know how isolating infertility and pregnancy loss can feel. I know the emotional roller coaster ride that you just wish you could get off of, but know that if you do, it means you're giving up. I know how it feels to give up. Sometimes...and for a while...and then get back
to trying again. I know the feelings of guilt, confusion and despair that come from simply seeing a family with their baby or children. Of feeling anguish (but not wanting to feel this way) when people in your life announce their happy news and not really having anyone to talk to about it. Or even worse, to know how to talk about it. I know the hope that builds up as you anticipate and wait, and then the crushing devastation that comes when you see those red streaks instead of those two pink lines. Of not being able to understand why it's all happening, or not happening and wanting so much to just find the right thing that's going to make it work. And, I also know I am so blessed to know the joy that fills every cell in your body when the dream finally comes true.

I know that it's necessary to feel everything we need to feel, it's essential to validate our feelings and emotions, but maybe we don't have to do it alone. Infertility doesn't need to be a sentence to lonelyville because there are many of us around who know what it's like, and maybe talking and just having someone to hold the space for us while we vent is all we need to help us get back to feeling hopeful.

If I could say just one thing to encourage someone going through something similar, it would be to be to find your Zen. This doesn't mean you are all calm and speak in hushed tones and have all the wise answers. No, it means that despite the difficulties, you feel loved and secure. Despite turmoil and a big unknown path ahead of you, you feel courageous to walk ahead. I'd say "don't give up," but sometimes that doesn't work. Sometimes we need to be totally vulnerable to find our strength. So it's OK to give up if that's what you need to do. There is no weakness in surrendering. Just remember that surrender doesn't mean the end. It means you are open to a new beginning. And sometimes that's how we find the answers we need to get back on our feet. It all may not turn out exactly how we had thought it would, but somehow dreams can and do come true.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

So Ready For Spring...

I am so tired of winter. The snow and, in particular, the snow banks have reached such high altitudes it's like my kids are training to climb Everest. I am so ready for this to be over.

Not to mention I am getting jealous of the shovels 'cause they are demanding so much of my hubby's time and getting more action than I am.

Yesterday I heard birds chirping in the morning. Today the air feels warmer somehow. Spring may very well be around the corner. And it can't come soon enough!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Inside My Messy Mind

And here's a peek inside my messy mind and how I look like spaz doing stuff around the house, but on the inside everything is making sense, somehow.

(I think that's why I need clutter-free areas and things to be tidy, to compensate for the mess inside!).

This afternoon the the areas of mess were many. Just imagine (I'm sure you won't find it hard, especially if you're a parent) mess spread out almost everywhere.

Food chunks on, under, and around the table, messy placemats, wetness and boot crud by the front door, snack bag bulging with water bottles, half eaten snacks and gloves and hats that somehow ended up in there, highchair splattered and smeared with chicken, carrots and baby saliva, food colouring splotches on the cabinet doors and utensil drawer from this morning's kid creation of homemade mouthwash (don't ask)...

So I started cleaning.

First I put away the food and leftovers.

When I opened the fridge I saw the chicken thighs I bought at Costco (meaning it's a HUGE package) two days ago.

Oh, I should probably divvy it up and freeze it.

So I opened the package up. Put some thighs in the wok (hey, I might as well cook the portion for supper now). Then I had one hand covered in raw chicken so I needed to finagle a bit to get the freezer bags out from the cupboard. Got them out without touching anything with the chicken hand. But then I couldn't open the bags, so I had to get help doing that (thanks Mermaid Girl).

OK. Chicken is put away and the rest is cooking.

I should wash the dishes. But I just used the sponge to wash my chicken nails and threw it out because it looked gross anyways and was starting to fall apart.

So with clean hands, I go to the laundry room to get a new sponge.

Oh crap, while in here I realize the laundry needs switching. I put the clothes in the dryer and start the next load in the washer. Luckily, I had already got the sponge out, or else I would have forgotten that.

Back at the sink I start washing dishes, but then when I have to throw food scraps out, I realize I forgot to put a bag in the garbage can after I took out the trash with the raw chicken container. So back to the laundry room I go. And on my way I step on a million pieces of food and so I think I might as well vacuum.

I get the vacuum out (it's easy because it's a central vac and it's already plugged in). I vacuum up the food crumbs around one side of the table...and then realize there are darn pieces of popcorn in a little trail towards the playroom (the 3 year old!!!)...so I follow the trail and vacuum it up.

OK, I can get back to the dishes now.

Oh wait. I need to to do the other side of the table. So I vacuum there. Then I vacuum the booster seat and the highchair.

Now the dishes.

Oh wait, I need to wipe down the mats otherwise there will be new crumbs on the floor.

So I wipe off the table and inevitably more crumbs end up on the floor and I think, I should have just waited and vacuumed after I cleaned the table.

So I vacuum again.

Then on my way back to the sink to do the dishes I realize there's a mess on the kitchen floor and around the island and by the fridge. So I vacuum there.

Then I think I should check the front door, I'm pretty sure there's a mess there too.

Yep, there is.

So I get paper towel and wipe up the boot sludge. Then when it's dry, I vacuum the teeny tiny rocks and whatever bits of dirt where left behind.

Now, I can do the dishes.

Oh shit! The chicken has been cooking and yep, it's all stuck to the bottom of the pan.

So flip it over and add the butter chicken sauce I'm going to use.

Now I can do the dishes.

Oh, but I should get the snack bag cleared out first as I'm sure there will be stuff in there to wash.

I set out the gloves and hats to dry (that somehow ended up in the snack bag from our outing). Put away the stuff that wasn't eaten. Put all the water bottles in the sink.

Now, the dishes.

Oh geez, look at all these green food colouring specks on all the drawers. Looks like the purple-people-eater sneezed all over them.

Thankfully they wipe up easily.

I rinse out the cloth and then start washing a fork.

But now I'm getting summoned by one of the kids because "Momeee, I need a snack."

Seriously. Didn't they just eat lunch?

So I cut up an apple and plink some cashews into a plastic bowl.

I think I can do the dishes now.

Oh, the chicken is cooked now so I should put it in the fridge first (ever since the bad chicken episode I don't trust chicken that much).

And then I add the wok to the pile of dishes still waiting.

Which I will do now.

But then another kid is yelling from the bathroom, another poopy butt to wipe.

OK, now I'm just tired. I've been cleaning up for an hour. Back and forth, forth and back. Not to mention the thoughts going on inside my mind (Phew, that's a whole other story).

{And a big disclaimer, I actually have a great nanny/ mother's helper, whatever "title" you want to use. I personally prefer to call her "my sanity saver", who during this time has been helping by keeping the one year old toddler-in-the making, out of trouble and has also changed his poopy diaper and I'm sure she's intervened and halted several more imminent messes. Without her I would surely have given up a long time ago...}

Maybe I'll sit down and check my email.

Oh, look O-Bear has crawled over to say hello. Cutie.

This is when I laugh at my messy mind. And I wonder if anyone out there can relate....maybe...anyone?

Which leads to me getting the urge to write about this.

"Is Momeee a bit cuckoo, O -Bear?"

Nothing. He's busy opening and closing cupboard doors.

I put on a music video for a bit of musical accompaniment while I write.

Well, I better get to doing those darn dishes once and for all.

Oh wait....while I was typing this, and jiving to Ella Henderson the baby emptied out the marker drawer and are now all over the floor.

True Story.

Guess I'll do the dishes after I clean those up....

P.S. The dishes got done and the main level was clean and calm for all of ten minutes. Ten very satisfying minutes.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Beach Birthday!

Celebrating On The Beach
Little one, today you are one year old.

In some ways this is exciting and splendid. You are growing bigger and more independent, you are healthy and strong and soon you will be walking and talking and sleeping through the night (maybe? please!!!). But in other ways, I feel a bit sad. You see, you are my last baby. Every time you do something new, that is the last time I'll experience one of my babies doing something new. Every milestone you meet and move on, that is the last time I'll see one of my little ones progressing and leaving behind a wee bit of their baby-ness.

And that is why I am enjoying you so very much!

You are such a joy! You are an intensely happy boy. In whatever you're doing you give it your all. You are full of character and make us laugh our heads off! You are so very determined (not unlike your brother
and sisters!). You are so expressive and loud! I suppose you need to use your voice to be heard in a house full of kids!

Looking back on this past year I can't believe how far we've come...how far you've come, little one. You beat all the odds and have surprised and surpassed everyone who dared put expectations or limitations on you or how or what you'd do. Not a day goes by when I don't think about the day you were born...about how you were born. It is a memory I hold deep in my heart...wrapped in the most intense
love. You came into my life at the very right time. You came into this world to teach me the most important lesson I needed to learn: in order to love, to truly love, I needed to learn to let go. The moment you were born I was plunged into crazy uncertainty and you helped me to understand that sometimes the way things happen may not be clear or make sense at the time, maybe they will later, maybe they won't...but at the risk of sounding totally simplistic, all that matters is love. It was my
love for you and your love for me that kept us going during those days when you were in the NICU, during those days when we didn't know what was
going to happen...and all I could do was love you
with every cell in my body, with every beating of my heart. And in that place of love I had a connection to you where you were sending me love too. And with that love, your sweet, pure and full-of-light-love I was able to keep going, to hope, to trust that you would stay warm and wiggling in my arms and that I would see you grow into the little boy you are. Thank you for choosing me as your mother. Thank you for these past 12 months of joy and laughter. I'm so excited to see what you will do next!

Even though I'm exhausted most days, I wouldn't
trade it for anything. Every moment that I get to
smell your sweaty baby head, your sweet, milky breath, the way you lay your little head on my shoulder and wrap your arms around my neck...it makes every hard moment worth it.

My wish for you, little one, is for you to continue to be full of joy. To live your life to the fullest and to give every moment your full presence and to use your amazing determination to never give up on your dreams.

We love you beyond what words can can describe...and always will.

Happy First Birthday O-Bear!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Versions Of Me...

In another dimension there is a version of me that...

Finishes her to-do list with ease. She never forgets anything when grocery shopping so gets it done quickly and effectively and never has to make multiple trips. She finds organizing simple and the fact that she has four children does not hinder her from getting tasks done. Her children, as a matter of fact, are so well behaved and listen to her requests the first time she makes them. She never has to repeat herself. She never ever has to utter the words "if you choose not to do this, then this will happen" because her children just know exactly what to do and when to do it. In fact, they don't do much and are agreeable to have their daily activities planned for them. Her husband brings her flowers every other day and is usually quiet. He never leaves the toilet seat up or the bath mat sopping wet. Her baby eats meticulously and hardly ever needs a bib or a change of clothes after meals. He plays nicely alone and very rarely needs to be constantly entertained. But the most attractive quality of this little chap is that he sleeps long naps during the day and sleeps all through the night. Her house is organized and everything is put away exactly where it goes and is easy to find when needed next. Her windows are clear and smudge and hand-print free so she can overlook her garden as she relaxes and sips her tea, which she finds herself doing often as there isn't much else to do. Her minivan is shockingly clean because her children never leave food in their car seats or in the compartments beside their seats. There are zero crumbs or dirt because everyone is careful to not track stuff on their shoes when they get in. Plus, she always remembers to have a bag handy to collect the trash. She never worries about the past or the future. And she certainly doesn't dread having to stay up all night with sick, coughing, vomiting, feverish children all requiring her attention at once. She seems to always know just what to cook and her children eat up what she serves. She's always cheerful and hardly tired despite her full days because she's well rested, of course.

Obviously, this other woman has nothing to complain about. And yet...

She wishes sometimes spontaneity happened. She wonders what it would be like if her children were a bit more wild, louder, took risks, asked a million questions and were more creative. She wonders if her baby didn't sleep so much what it would be like to snuggle and breathe in his sweet smelling head in the wee hours of the night. She sometimes gets frustrated with the almost robotic way her husband talks with her and wonders what it would be like if he sometimes let loose, was passionate and gave her ways she could take care of him to make her feel more useful.

She looks around at her house and, while it is pristine and perfect, she often feels bored and wishes she had more to do. She wishes her baby needed her more because he is just growing up too fast and she wants to enjoy him more.

She just wishes she had a challenge, you know, something to overcome, to accomplish so she could feel proud. She wants to feel a range of emotions...feeling cheerful all the time gets boring. And after all, it's not true bone-deep happiness. She wants that. She wants to feel it all...happy, angry, sad, excited, scared, worried and she imagines this would add a sense of feeling alive.

Then one day, something pretty amazing happened and for a brief second both of these women got a glimpse of each other's lives within and without.

Then the me I am realized that my life, my reality, my every day, is what the other woman wanted.

All that was left for me to do then was say: "Thank You."

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year's Eve: My Intentions

Ah, the last day of 2014.

While I am not one to make a big deal about New Year's Eve, resolutions and all that jazz... I do feel pulled toward a sense of needing change for the coming year. I've learned over the years that changing is mostly a personal, internal thing. I mean, you just really can't change others. So, I know this need for change means I need to change things within me.

This past year has been a mesh and rollercoaster ride of awesome-ness and heartache. But thankfully the highs have balanced out the lows and I can gratefully say I am blessed.

So very blessed.

My reason for wanting to be a happy, grateful, better human is simply that I want to live and be freaking happy. Don't get me wrong, I know I am and have so much to be grateful for. But even then, I find the tricky mind going down the path of the "why me" lane.

I also want to be a pretty great example for my kids. You know all that "be the change" deal. I really do believe it has great merit.

I do not know what the future holds. I do know that intentions are powerful. So instead of resolutions, I am making intentions this year on what I want to change about myself and my life:

  • I intend to speak from the heart because when I don't I feel shitty and unauthentic.
  • I intend to reduce the bitchy lash-outs that my dear husband gets...and work on getting more sleep and taking care of myself so I don't get bitchy in the first place.
  • I intend to live life to the fullest and not hold myself back by unnecessary guilt or fear. Gosh, I have to remind myself it's OK to want to do things alone once in a while. Or do whatever. Just live to the fullest in whatever I need to do.
  • I intend to live and be myself and not be bothered by what those who do not love me think about me or about what I should do. This means, I will continue to be my clean freak self (among other things) and to hell with it.
  • I intend to be kind and forgiving to myself as, while I am this way to others, I do not usually do the same for me. Yeah, it's true.
  • I intend to ensure my husband knows he is loved unconditionally, even when I get upset he's playing his computer game, again. We all need alone time after all. 
  • I intend to say out loud those compliments I may think that would make people smile and not hold back on account of being awkward.
  • I intend to be openly grateful for what I am blessed with.
  • I intend to fill my beautiful children with love and joy and to know that at least one person in this big world loves them unconditionally. 
And with that, I welcome in the New Year! 

<3 Happy 2015 to all <3