Thursday, April 29, 2010

Consumed

For the past 6 months, my posting here has been spotty at best. It's not really that I am so busy that I forget that I have a blog. And it's definitely not that I don't care. I want to write but the moment I sit down in front of the blank white box, the words escape me. I remember years ago how my thoughts would just pour out of me onto the page. I could succinctly express myself in some profound, poetic way without even really trying. But that was when I was struggling. When I'm in pain, it's so easy for me to write. Subtracting infertility from the equation has seemingly deducted my writing skills.

I've debated putting an end to this blog. Moving on. Telling myself that I just don't have the time or the talent anymore. But my heart won't let me give up. I don't want to just accept my current state as fact. So, here I am, in the midst of Infertility Awareness Week, committing myself to Bloggy Rehab so I can get back my groove back. I may have lost my way but I'm going to dig deep for that compass so I can get back on track.
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The best word I can use to describe my current state of mind is: consumed.

Not so much with our day-to-day routine. After our first year of mass confusion, we finally have that down pat. Wake up at 7am. Breakfast at 8am. Morning Snack at 11am. Nap at noon. Lunch at 2pm. Playtime/errands until 6pm. Dinner at 7pm. Bath at 7:30pm. Bedtime at 8pm. (Betcha wanted to know all about our monotony, am I right?!) There is little deviation from this schedule. No surprises. Moreso, I'm consumed with a sense of tremendous guilt.

I know I'm not the only mom on the planet who feels this emotion and I realize it is normal to an extent. I've always been one to hold myself to a high standard. And it was okay because if I failed, I was only affecting myself. With parenting, I have so much more at stake. My screw-ups now could affect my son for the rest of his life. So, I am acutely more aware of my mistakes. And well, those are aplenty.

At 21 months, Nate is still pretty much a mute. Don't get me wrong - he babbles incessantly. But it's a foreign language that only he seems to be able to comprehend. He's only said about 15-20 "real" words. And even those aren't consistent. He's perfectly content to point and grunt rather than enunciate his wants and needs. MIL assures me that DH was a late talker and that Nate will eventually gain vocabulary - probably after the age of 2. But naturally, I am concerned for his development. His comprehension is perfectly fine and he can follow simple commands like "brush your teeth", "brush your hair", "grab your shoes", "where's the ball?", etc. That's the only reason I haven't yet consulted a speech therapist. However, children younger than him are speaking in 2-3 word sentences. I'm trying not to do the whole comparison thing because I know there is a HUGE range of "normal" amongst toddlers. But I can't help but feel as if this is somehow my fault. Have I not communicated with him enough? Is he watching too much TV? Is he not socialized enough since he is an only child and I'm a SAHM? Guilt, guilt and more guilt.

And then there's the issue of TTC #2. We've been trying nonchalantly for almost 8 months now. Of course, I haven't ovulated once in that time. Par for the course. I didn't start charting until January but I've yet to see anything close to a temp shift during my 70+ day cycles. I can't say I was surprised but my OB/GYN wanted me to come in for some bloodwork, just to make sure my thyroid wasn't to blame. Come to find out, I do indeed have PCOS. As in polycystic ovaries. Why my RE didn't catch or disclose this in the year that I was her patient, I haven't the foggiest. I suspect I've had this problem all along, even though I am not technically overweight and I don't display all of the symptoms (unfortunately, skin tags and facial hair are ones that I happen to exhibit. Jackpot!) But this pretty much means I am unlikely to get - and stay - pregnant without some sort of medical intervention. So, here I am, back on wonder-drug, Clomid. Yesterday was my last pill and I'm hoping to release a magic eggie in the next week. There is hope. But I am still plagued by the what-ifs.

I am excited at the prospect of another baby. I feel ready to add to our family. But yet I question myself. Is this really the best timing? Do I really want to push my luck again and risk miscarriage? How in the hell would I deal with a loss when I have to care for a toddler? What if I have a high-risk pregnancy? There's no way I could do bedrest. Are we just being greedy? Shouldn't we just be thankful for what we have? After struggling with primary infertility, I feel guilty admitting that my family doesn't feel complete with just one child.

Last but not least, there's the SAHM guilt. I felt guilty working through the first 8 months of Nate's life, walking in the door as the clock ticked to witching hour. I thought putting my career in the backseat to invest my time in raising my son would mean zero guilt. Not the case. DH is working much longer hours (almost 80 hours a week between his 9-5 and running his business). He's under more stress. All because he's the sole provider now. I'm no spendthrift but I feel bad if I spend so much as $4 on a latte. I purchase toys and clothes from consignment and outlet sales. I knew that choosing this lifestyle would mean sacrifices. And luckily, we haven't had to give up much. I don't regret the transition. But I'd be lying if I said I never longed for a time when I could whip out my credit card and spend $150 on a salon visit. Or have the means to afford Mommy groups and summer camps and swim lessons.

I'm bombarded with so many decisions on a daily basis. I just hope I'm making the right ones.

7 comments:

infertility just sucks said...

Oh, I totally hear you and I'm with you. I wish people woudl stop framing being a parent as picking working over not working. BOTH ARE HARD. It's just different kinds of hard and unless you're a billionaire, it's not easy for anyone.

E. Phantzi said...

so glad you are back to blogging - missed you!

I hear you on all fronts. My 23-month-old still gets by with a mere handful of words while younger kids rattle on and on... yeah, there are no easy answers. I think you're doing an awesome job :-)

Melissa said...

I'm thrilled to see you blogging again - I missed your updates!

My daughter is 16-1/2 months and she says nothing yet. I've heard her babble the basics (mama, dada, baba) but she has never said any real words.

Like you, I've been trying to accept the fact that there's a HUGE range of "normal" in terms of a toddler's speaking skills and I assume that words will come in time, but I understand the worry. She understand a ton, follows commands, knows all of her body parts, shapes, colors, animals and everyday objects - but she just won't speak.

I'm also a SAHM and I've had the same guilt that you described - maybe I don't talk to her enough, maybe she's not socialized enough, etc. I've accepted the fact that I'm doing the best I can and things will fall into place over time.

Anyway, good luck with your upcoming cycle. I hope Clomid works its magic. Keep us posted!

Amanda said...

You are soooo not alone in all your guilts!!!! Soooooo not alone.

Melissa's comment literally could have come from my own head. The boys are 16 months and only have a few words in the vocab and will NOT use those consistently. I'm honestly not 100% sure you can really count them as words.

I'm glad you're back!

Roadblocks and Roller Coasters said...

First I want to say that I'm so glad you're back--I've missed you!

Second, I think that feeling of guilt is a constant in motherhood and that all good mothers feel it, often times for different reasons. For instance, I felt guilty for wanting to try for a second, then I felt guilty that I was pregnant, then I felt guilty that I wasn't dividing up my time evenly between the two girls, and now thar I have to go back to work I feel guilty that they're both going to get the shaft in terms of time.

You are not alone and wanting another child doesn't make you greedy or wrong, it makes you a woman with a vision of and for her family.

Hoping and praying that the Clomid does the trick and that your road to #2 is much easier. ((many hugs))

Katie said...

Glad to see you are back! And I guess I am glad they found a reason for the lack of ovulation? I mean, PCOS is not a great diagnosis, so I am NOT glad about that, but at least if gives you a place to start.

As for the language thing. . . I will say Will is a talker, BUT he isn't nearly as physical as Nate is. I have heard that some are more physical and some more verbal. I think it all evens out in the long run. I worry sometimes because Will doesn't do as much physically as many of his friends. And also, I have known MANY, MANY friends who's kiddos didn't start talking until well after two, and then they went into full on sentences and never farted around with the one to two word thing :). The babbling is a good sign that he is trying to communicate AND that he is going the right direction.

And for the spending. . . yeah, I get that, too. Can you work out a spending budget (how much is OKAY to spend)? M and I each have $15 cash a week to spend on whatever. It fits into our budget and I really try not to feel guilty spending it on myself or something fun for Will. I also sometimes don't spend anything in a week, so I actually have about a hundred dollars saved up, so when I need a splurge, I don't feel too guilty.

Hugs.

K77 said...

They are all so different with speech. TTG is the same age (21 months today) and really doesn't talk much. TBB was very advanced in speech, and would have been holding complete adult conversations at this age. My nephew (genetic link to TTG but not TBB) is also slow to talk. He's 2 1/2 and about as clear as TTG is. They're both very expressive and they understand everything, and they overall do communicate well. I'm not one to agree with MILs as a rule ;) but I do agree with yours.

Just because your contribution to the household isn't one that brings in $ doesn't mean that it isn't worth a LOT.