Thursday, June 30, 2005

Sometimes I think pregnancy is the easy part

Do you ever wonder what exactly is it that made you want children in the first place?
They way we were brought up as little girls?
Always told one day we would have kids because that's what we're supposed to do?
Or is it something that came in our X chromosome, along with our hair and eye color and pre-dispositon to certain things?

Personally I think its a combination of all of those, that made me wanna have kids ever since I was about 30 inches tall. What stopped me from having them sooner than 27, was logic (and a two year battle with infertility)...
The knowledge I couldnt' possibly bring a child into the world at the age of 17 or 19 or 21, or at least before I put a roof over our heads and before I learned how to stand on my own two feet and fend for myself.

I think I managed that and found a father for them, when I got married at 23... so when we started trying, my sole drive had been ... motherhood!!
I was finally close to my dream.
As fate would have it, it took a while and more than the two of us but hey, we managed and all that is behind us now.

Don't get me wrong, I love being pregnant most of the time. Ok I do have my nagging times when my pelvis hurts, or when I can't sleep... when morning (all day long) sickness comes, when I have to pee every hour or so while watching a movie at the cinema but hey, my choice, right? I mean, I wanted this.

Have you really ever thought past pregnancy? I mean really thought about what happens when that child is no longer inside of you but becomes an individual?
Sure you might say... I am thinking newborns, diapers, first Christmas, first birthday... pink bows and cute tiny baseball outfits. Playgrounds, kindergarten... Sure I have thought about it.

I have too. Only most of the times my dreams venture elsewhere. I think about sleepless nights when I can't soothe my children and I feel like a terrible, terrible person because a) I can't take their crying away and make them happy again and b) because inspite all my love and devotion for my children there are times I wished them gone, even for a few hours so I could ... just... get... some... sleep!!!

I dream about twins crawling... in different directions, both equally dangerous, and me all alone smack dab in the middle trying to figure out who is crawling the fastest so I can grab him first.
I'm thinking no more movies with friends, no more staying up, dancing all night... I will be a mom and do mommy stuff... and sometimes, just sometimes, the thought terrifies me.
What if I screw up? What if my kids grow up to be villains? What if they hate me!? How will I keep them safe from the worries and the harms of this world?

But then, my pregnant, hormonal brain quiets down and I think that most of my mommy friends seem happy in their new roles. They hook up with more mommies and they become a happy mommy group. They enjoy their children and still love them after a sleepless night. And if they can do it, heck, maybe just maybe, I will manage too!!

Then a new thought pops in my head and its even more convincing. God, choose me to carry these babies and be their mommy and surely He knows better and sees further than lowly me. So surely, He wouldn't put this upon my shoulders if He didn't know they were strong enough.
But was it really God who chose me, or did He too got tired of my constant praying for a child that He decided much as I will do in the future, to just get me what I want so I would quit this insesant nagging?

And in case you are wondering, you are a mommy since the time you conceive. You show all the mommy characteristics anyway.
Suddenly yourself means nothing as long as your child is alright.
You provide for him by taking care of his environment (your body).
You worry about him, you sing to him, you buy him stuff, you want only the best for him and you love, love, love, love him with all the power of your little heart. You would give your own life just to make sure his has spared and you try to build an environment where he will live comfortably and happy for a long, long time...
And hey... this love is blind 'cause you haven't even met the kid yet... but your love and your bond is so strong that nothing, ever will break it...

My doctor recently told me that motherhood is a blank check and he is so right...
I even told my husband that if something would go wrong during delivery they should choose the babies over me... period!!

Yeah motherhood frightens me at times.. but somehow, I am sure... almost... that I will manage. All I need now, is a good nanny!! (and a lasting prescription for Valium... and some earplugs and...)

Sweet dreams boys!

Saturday, June 25, 2005

OMG! My husband is pregnant!!

I have been having "husband" and household problems for a while now... in fact, since I became pregnant! You probably have noticed, reading some of my rants about my husband earlier...

I have been trying really, really hard to understand him. WHY is he acting like this all of a sudden?
WHY will he sleep and sleep and sleep, when there's work to be done and NO money (unless the job is done!)??
Why all of a sudden he is this changed person that seems to care about NOTHING, worries about everything but really does nothing about it?

And then I figured it out!
My husband is PREGNANT!!

I heard it once or twice, about husbands "acting" pregnant while their wives really were pregnant but I thought of it as something of an urban myth.
Not so!!

He was so hard working, so full of energy before I got pregnant and now all of a sudden, I can't work as much as I did, so we suffer financially and instead of him picking up the slack, he quits now of all times, his second job, comes home and sleeps the day away and refuses to do any paying job but prefers to sit at the computer the rest of the day, just surfing the net or constantly being involved with a free computer forum someone dumped on him.

I had tried long and hard to understand his point of view. But as the months roll by and our financial situation is becoming worse, my tummy bigger and our unpaid bills more and more, my anger is also inflating...

I keep asking him how will we manage, how are we going to find $$$ to buy at least the very basics for the babies (at this point let me say that all my fancy dreams about getting them the "best" have flown out the window.. I will be happy with the "cheapest") and he just shrugs it away! So I came to the conclusion that he thinks being pregnant is something that happens to the father too... only he got it all wrong. Pregnancy happens first in the father's wallet... but it seems to him its happening in his head!!

Its like he suddenly became pregnant and even has my symptoms. He sleeps all day, only has time for the "fun" stuff, avoids the telephones because he has unfinished projects and people actually chase after him to get what they are paying for... sometimes its just too much.

Even his own mother does not recognize him!!
I said, ok its phase he will grow out it.. but the months roll by and no change.
And all this time this worry builds up inside of me as the unpaid bills pile up and I wonder how I will find the money... I work little by little but I am just NOT making enough and I can't work more hours!! I need his financial input too!

The funny thing is, the guy that dumped the computer forum that takes up all his free time, on his lap, did so because he had to find a 9-5 job because his wife is pregnant and can't work anymore!!!!!

I mean, COME ON!!!

The unpaid bills and the sudden deflation of my "best of everything for my babies" dreams, have lead me to believe its all my fault. I am not working enough and now its the time I should be working more and more to cover the needs of the kiddos. I feel guilty when I have no energy or when my pelvis hurts so much I can't sit in a chair for another minute, and I don't work. I feel like I should be working and working and working... When what I really should be doing is enjoying this pregnancy.

I don't mind not buying the "best" for my kids. Right now the cheapest will do and I know some of my family will chip in and get most of the stuff we need. If I have to, I will buy second hand or get hand me downs... Not really what I had in mind for my boys, not really how I had this pregnancy all planned in my head but hey... I am a flexible person.. Plans change and in the end it doesn't matter where the kids will sleep or if they get matching outfits or if their diapers are Pampers or no-name from the bulk store, as long as they get some type of bed, something to wear and something to keep them mostly dry at night.
I will manage...

However I can't help it but to be choked up in tears sometimes when I see my dreams of a matching everything baby room or the wonderful twin stroller I wanted to buy or those wonderfully painted cribs, wash away. Its probably pregnancy hormones and besides I will need that money to pay the hospital anyway (praying that my babies don't need to stay in the NICU!!) and in the end what's more important? My babies' health or the matching quilt and bumper set from Carter's John Lennon collection?

Yeah... we'll be alright, just the boys and me. We'll be a team, they'll understand and I really don't need more than the 2 maternity pants I have, the 3 maternity bras, the two pairs of comfy underwear and the 4 t-shirts, right? Its wash one, wear the other anyway. Two is enough.
And ok, I don't really need new shoes just because my feet are swollen and bigger, I can just wear my flip flops all summer. Who will notice?
Heck! I don't even need to repair the car brakes my husband broke. They are squeaky but they work... more often than not. And I CERTAINLY don't need to go to a movie once a week either or fill up the super market cart with crap like, flavored corn flakes and extra fruit. The regular no name brand will do just fine. Besides, I am fat, I could use to loose some weight..

And I will get to pay my bills and my insurance this month somehow... and heck, if they cut the electricity, maybe my husband will have to leave the house and actually get someplace with electricity and get some work done and bring home some $$$.

And lastly, we don't really need to convert the one room we have in our tiny appartment into a baby room! Hubby's computers can stay... we can put the babies's cribs by the patio door in our living room (which is connected to the kitchen, its one big room actually). They will get plenty of sun and they will learn to live with the TV or radio on and sleep through anything. And when they grow up we can send them to live with my mother in law. She has a spare room in her house... or will have once my sister in law moves out!!

The important thing is that I have my health and my sanity.... right? RIGHT??

Friday, June 24, 2005

A letter to one still trying...

"My dear friend,

I saw you the other day as we both waited in the waiting room and I recognized you immediately though I had never seen you before.
You were looking at my round belly which I was stroking absent-mindedly and your eyes shone with a mix of emotions of longing and disappointment.
I wanted to say something but I couldn't. Did you even want to hear from me? Would you think "how can she possibly know, all blissful and pregnant, what I am going through?"
So I stayed quiet and tried to send some of my positive result vibes your way.

I wanted to tell you that I recognized you because not so long ago, I was you.
I too struggled with IF, I too looked with mixed emotions at pregnant bellies and newborn photos, not quiet able to believe one day this would be me.
And as we both sat in the waiting room, me waiting to see my babies again in ultrasound, you waiting for yet another treatment to begin, I wanted to reach out and talk to you, and say "It will happen!! Just have faith" but I felt out of place.

So, I am writing you this letter to let you know that you can beat infertility and you can have children!! Its a long war most times and some times you will loose battles, even more than the ones you will win, but even if it feels the road is never ending, its not true.
It does happen to women like you and like me. We too can become mothers; it only takes a little more effort, a little different means but it does happen everyday, all around the world.
Just because it didn't work the first time, it doesn't mean it never will.

I wish I could reach out and hold you but I felt like I might be invading and my round belly might get in the way. Not physically but mentally.
Besides, I am happily pregnant, what can I possibly know about how you feel?

So read my letter and I hope you draw some strength, because you looked so worn out, so ready to give up. Please don't... somewhere out there there is a baby picked out just for you, waiting for you, encouraging you "don't give up just now mommy... just a little more and soon we'll be together forever!"

To one still trying... don't give up! It will happen, you just have to believe in it and then at least part of the battle will be won...

From a former IFer"

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Broken Dreams

I found this poem somewhere and thought I would share. It made me go all teary eyed!

Broken Dreams
As children bring their broken toys
with tears for us to mend.
I brought my broken dreams to God
because He was my Friend.

But then instead of leaving Him
in peace to work alone,
I hung around and tried to help
with ways that were my own.

At last I snatched them back and cried,
"How can you be so slow--"
"My child," He said,
"What could I do?"
You never did let go."

~ Author Unknown

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Yes, you CAN whine...

... and no you are not being ungrateful! Pregnancy, I have learned is, nothing like what we see in the movies or what our mothers usually make it out to be; this wonderful, 9 month, blissful period of no worries, baby shopping and nursery decorating... and I have a sneaking suspicion, I will look less than divine when delivering my babies and even if I do put mascara on, it will soon be dripping down my cheeks, making me look like something out of a horror movie!! And why do I believe that it will hurt a lot more than when the Hollywood starlets giving birth, I wonder? Must be my imagination!! But back to the point: I am still in the pregnancy phase here! As I was saying, pregnancy is not, no matter how hard Dr. Stoppard has tried to make us believe, a trouble free 9 month period where you grow a nice round, cute belly, you eat like a horse (and still not gain a pound anywhere but your belly!) and you go shopping every day for that special little trinket you absolutely must have to complete the nursery. I will admit that for some women, pregnancy is exactly what I described... but not for me and if you are like me (plain, old, boring and normal) its not like that for you either. If you, like me, have struggled with infertility for some time, you might have often promised God or the Universe (hey, whatever suits you!), "Please let this happen and I promise, I will never complain about any pregnancy symptoms!!"
And that’s when God (or the Universe) giggles benevolently and send down all the worrying, all the "this can go wrong" situations, all the morning sickness, moodiness, crankiness and upheavals they can muster... and then guess what? You do whine... and then you feel totally guilty about it. Pregnancy after infertility can throw you in for a loop! First you are worried you are never getting pregnant, then you worry you will miscarry, then the 1st trimester is over and then things calm down for a while and then you stop and think... Wait a minute! What happened? I don't feel pregnant anymore!! I feel better!! Something must be wrong!
Those middle 3 months of pregnancy for most women are like the calm before a storm. Your morning sickness has subsided, you feel more energetic and also, certainly less pregnant. If not for your belly growing or your baby starting to kick this trimester, you might have thought you dreamt of it all! But its ok... the 3rd trimester will begin at which point all Hell will break loose and you will have to deal with it... with a few added pounds around your middle and probably, the inability to run very fast... or better yet, not run at all!! While in the 1st trimester, I was too miserable to complain. One minute I thought I would most certainly die and the next I felt good that I was miserable. It meant I was pregnant. When I entered my 2nd trimester, I started feeling so much better, I actually found the time to whine!! And with whining came a scarier thought... I was breaking my pact with God!! (or the Universe) The more things started going South (not pregnancy-wise), the more I complained. I have no money and no real energy to work to earn money. I have no materials with which to work and no money to buy more. Hubby is not bringing home any money because he decided now of all times to commit to charity work... and most of all, I whine about this pregnancy! Is everything going well? How do I know everything is going well? I mean, really, do I go by faith alone? But I want to know if something is up? Why oh why are ultrasound machines so darn expensive!? My feet are so swollen! I hate getting up to pee every hour! Why can’t I have a beer? And why, can’t I sleep a whole, blissful night any more?!And the more I whine, the more miserable I am feeling.
I am so ungrateful, I thought; here I am pregnant with twins, and instead of praising God (or the Universe), I am worrying my mind off. If I keep this up, surely, something will go wrong!! (As if enough things in my life are not down the drain already but hey... as long as those two in there are healthy, I really don’t care about anything else!!) I can't believe I am whining!! I mean, I wanted this, I worked hard for this, I was Graced with this and I am throwing it away? Yes, infertility will throw you in for a loop. Every time something happens, now you are pregnant or later as a parent, as a human being, you will whine just a tad, or be mad at the children and then you will spend a whole lot of your time feeling miserable just because you acted normal. You feel like for you its a privilege derived by the Pure Grace of God (or the Universe), that those children (or that child) has grown inside of you and is now a little human... and who are you to throw that privilege away by whining? You might also feel that if you do not thank God (or... the Universe!) 200 times a day, you will become less than worthy in His eyes and your privileges will be revoked and something terrible will happen. Well let me tell you that even though it took a lot of time, effort and $$$, yes you still can whine about your morning sickness. Yes you can whine about your colicky baby, your overactive toddler, your spoiled rotten child... and no, God (or the Universe) will not punish you in some uncanny way because you forgot to say "Thank you!" after every single minute of your life with your child. You are grateful and you are showing it with the best way possible. By being a loving, caring parent for that little soul that was trusted to you. Besides, wouldn't you like a little normal in your life after all the "ab-normal" things you had to do to get this far? Wouldn't you like for a while, just a little while, to forget you dealt with Infertility and just be a normal parent? Infertility will only have won over you, if you let it dictate and overshadow the rest of your pregnancy and later your life. You can beat infertility in more levels than one. Getting pregnant is only level one, because infertility lives inside of your heart and mind, not just your ovaries or uterus. So whine away! Worry away! Its healthy, it’s normal, it’s what everybody else in the world (Or Galaxy) in your situation is doing right now. And you know what? My mother got it all wrong! From the moment you get those two pink lines to show on a pregnancy test, until the day you die, you will worry about your child's well-being and whoever told you that worrying ends with the delivery (and confirmation) of a healthy baby, is wearing pink glasses. If you think you are worrying now, wait until the first time your baby gets sick, or goes to school, or has his first date, or drives a car... or goes to College ... or gets married... or has children of his own... or.... I mean.. at least you can control your baby right now, still in the womb. Wait until he or she is an individual that will occasionally be away from you or be in situations you cannot (albeit your desire to do so) control!But I promise you. There will be good times and the good times will far outweigh the bad! If you don't believe me, then why do we keep having children? There must be something good about it, don't you think? (or it could be a Universal plot of some kind, so that the human race does not go extinct... hmmmm)

Until next time.. Live long and prosper!! Whatever!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Is this really happening to me?

Pregnancy is one of the things most little girls and young women assume will eventually happen to them. Most of them await the blessed event with little trepidation and a whole lot of wishful thinking, daydreaming and anticipation.
I was one of them... never mind the amount of time and gargantuan effort it took to actually get me pregnant (and no I don't mean on hubby's part!!), I am finally pregnant and I am enjoying it.
But was it what I assumed it would be like?
Heck no!!!

It all started with the extraordinary measures that had to be taken in order for this body to finally work and conceive.
It continued with a 2 week wait from Hell, where every improbably scenario just happened to happen to me... and it escalated to one single, life changing, I-will-never-forget-moment... my Big Fat Positive (BFP).

I cannot describe in words the feeling I had when my test showed two, yes two, pink lines!
Apparently I couldn't back then either because I started crying hysterically, then I wailed and wailed and then I went around the house like a mad woman, thanking the Virgin Mary for Her Grace...

I suppose happiness comes in little leaps because the next bout happened when for the first time I saw my little peanut's heartbeat on an ultrasound. I felt something so strong for that lima bean with the flickering heart, that words cannot describe... but it got even stronger when we heard we had two in there and then the weeks passed and it was time for us to see the little ones just at the end of my 1st trimester.

Those weren't lima beans anymore on the screen... Those were real, human looking little people in there, with arms and legs and eyes and they were moving and kicking and stretching and one was sucking a thumb!!
Right there and then, the twins stopped being something abstract, something that would happen someday, something that would grow into a human and became my children... my two baby sons!!!

So as I hit the 15 week mark and well into my 2nd trimester, I feel less worried, more confident and more eager to meet my babies.
I lay awake at night thinking about my children. What will they look like? What will they grow up to be? What will they smell like? Will they be quiet or fussy?
I keep playing the scene of my delivery day over and over in my head, trying out scenarios. I try to picture myself holding my (bloody) babies for the first time, still warm from the womb and I cannot believe this is really happening to me... To me!!
Its at times like those that I say out loud "Sweet Lord, this is really happening to me!!!"
And yet because the babies just barely started kicking strong enough to feel and because my physical symptoms are now settling down, I often wake up thinking this could have all been a dream... but a pat on my round belly helps remind me that no.... this is really happening to me!!
I am pregnant... with twins... boys... 15 weeks and pretty soon I will go shopping and decorate their room...

I just can't wait to meet them... wish I could sleep and wake up in November. I was never good with the waiting though and sometimes its hard to find the patience... which is why I now daydream about meeting them, holding them, singing to them... and may God in His infinite Grace, grant me my dream of two healthy, happy babies...

Good night and to all who are pregnant... baby dreams!!

Friday, June 03, 2005

The crying game...

Its so funny how some times I am so distraut I can't even think straight... and sometimes its just a nasty headache that gets in the way, and scrambles all "the wise things" I want to write...
Tonight I had both...

I love my husband.
I am lucky to have married a nice guy...
Sometimes I really, really, really dislike him to say the least.
He came in tonight with an attitude. We have no money right now...
He asked for money for gas and all I had was a measly $4.
Yesterday my Visa called to let me know I need to pay NOW or they will "pursue other matters". I told them that I haven't been paid in months, I am PG and that please give me some time. They agreed to let me pay $150 the same day and the rest soon. The banks went on strike and won't be open until Wednesday which means any money I was expecting so I can pay bills, will be delayed...

George was in a foul mood. He hasn't been working much and the permanent excuse is "because I want to stay home with you". Funny thing is that either I am ungrateful or I haven't exactly figured out what "staying home with you" means.
In George's terms it means, sleeping (most of the time), watching TV, surfing the Net, going out for coffee with friends and generally vegging out.
What it does not mean according to George: Doing any kind of chore. Taking me out for a coffee. Making any kind of baby plans with me or paying me any kind of significant attention except the occassional pat on the head or asking me what's for dinner.

Stupid me, I miss him, so when tonight he asked me for money for gas to go for a coffee with a buddy of his, I broke down in tears. Tomorrow he is on duty and I won't see him all day.
He got very pissed off and when he came back he was even worse.
I can tell when a storm is brewing the minute he walks through the front door.
The result I knew... he told me what he wanted to tell and then kept asking me "what's wrong" and "why won't you talk to me".
I knew he was basically asking me to say something, anything, so that he could let the steam out... and stupid me, I opened my mouth... and as usual all Hell broke loose.

From the first half-sentence I uttered (he didn't really need a full sentence, just me saying something), until he stopped talking 3 hours later, I sat there, wanting to bawl, scream at the injustice and scared shitless that I was harming my babies, tears and snot rolling down my face.
Of course the "conversation" was about how stupid I am, how messy, how I can't keep my house clean and neat, how I forget to pay bills or other important things now that I am pregnant, how I will ever manage with two kids because I am so "used to sleeping and being lazy all the time" I have not realized that I will need to get up every two hours to feed them and change them...

And I just sat there while he screamed and yelled and threatened (even the throw the cat down the balcony because he was crying) and cried until my eyes were red and I couldn't stop the gasps as I tried to breathe and not cry at the same time. I dared not touch my belly and I so wanted to. I wanted to show the kids it would be alright, but I feared his anger would escalate so I didn't dare.

So I am a moron because:
I can't even keep a measly house clean and tidy
Even though I have put half the things in this house, I pay all bills and groceries, the stuff he wants (i.e. the cool gadgets for his phone), I work, I cook, he drives my car because he never bought one, apparently I am lazy and incompetent because the house is a mess.
True! It is a mess because there is SO much stuff in it. He keeps everything, he takes his clothes off in the living room, he needs new clothes every day so the laundry basket is always filled to capacity and we have zero storage capacity so the house is overcrowded and as a result it looks messy!

So here I am, really wanting to cry but having already developed a killer migraine, I dare not.
I fear for my babies and I pray one domestic fight won't kill them...

Then after all that and after I got up at eleven in the night to clean up and do laundry, as I was ironing his shirts he asked me "how are we going to pay for the babies' items?"
I just about wanted to kill him!!!
I will tell you how!! I will work my ass off to make dolls, to sell dolls, to pay up our bills, so I can save up enough to buy the cheapest cribs and carriage and car seats I can find... thats how!!

God!! I know you told me to count my blessings but sometimes I wish... I really wish, I hadn't married him...