Infertility: Round 2

Last time we were dealing with infertility there were a lot of unknowns and a lot of tests to get to the bottom of them.  This time around we have a pretty clear picture of what’s going on, but it doesn’t make the situation any less bleak or frustrating. 

In case you are just tuning in, here’s the Cliffs Notes version of what I’m workin with;

1. Stage 3 of 4 Endometriosis (which I just learned may be less after having River, hooray for small victories!)

2.  A heart-shaped uterus (I’ve had the septum resected twice as these suckers (with a capital F) grow back!)

3.  An “advanced age” for pregnancy, I was 34 the first time around, now I’m 37

4.  I have only 1 Fallopian tube due to a ruptured ectopic pregnancy last year

5.  A traveling husband who is gone about 60-70% of the time

6.  A hormonal imbalance causing hot flashes and night sweats that my doctor is trying to figure out

Here’s what I have actually GOING for me;

1.  My ovaries are in good condition and I have a pretty good reserve for my “advanced age”

2.  A super patient and wonderful husband who’s on board with whatever it takes 

Since a year of “trying” has passed, to no avail, I’m back with a fertility specialist.  This time a new one since we moved out of state.  So far I really like her.  

My first appointment was Monday where we did blood work and an ultrasound.  She said my ovaries looked great, this month I had at least 7 eggs on the right and 6 on the left “wake up” which is right where it should be I guess.  She saw what could be a polyp or blood clot in my uterus and possibly some fluid in my remaining tube.  I still don’t have the results of the blood work.  

This morning I’m going in for another HSG test.  I’d have to say these are one of the most unpleasant things I’ve been through.  Last time I had to go through it several times because I had a couple doctors retire in the middle of my treatment and the new docs always wanted fresh info, that meant putting me through things time and again.  

On the plus side, HSGs could possibly boost your fertility for a few months.  Unfortunately my husband is also touring heavily at this time, damn it. 

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the upside to infertility 

River is now 22 months, which means 2 is just around the corner.  Problably one of the most reverberated phrases in parenthood is “it goes by so fast!”  I’m guilty of it, at least agreeing with it, but I don’t actually feel that way.  When someone says to me “I can’t believe he’s already (insert age here)!” I say, “I know” because I feel like my true answer of “I can!” sounds like I’m complaining.  

The truth is that I’m not shocked at his age or pace of the advancements he’s making because I’m so present.  I’ve never been more present for anything in my life.  I don’t mean because I’m a SAHM and am physically with him every minute.  I mean because I sop up every moment I have with him like a biscuit in a bowl of soup. (Sorry, I’m hungry)  And I attribute every bit of this to my years battling with infertility and having to accept that I may never be a mother. 

I’m certainly not saying that someone can’t relish every minute with their child without going through infertility, but I know in my case it was a necessary ingredient.  I’m a planner and a worrier, my mind is typically on the future at all times rather than the present.  Living in the moment does not come naturally to me and I constantly have had to work on that in my life.  But as a mother now it’s coming so naturally to me.  I feel like a sponge just soaking it all in and it’s wonderful.  This is how life should be lived. 

I’ve had a total love/hate relationship with the saying “everything happens for a reason.”  As a Buddhist this is the crux of my beliefs, but it if you said it to me while I was going through fertility issues I may have stabbed you with a pencil.  There were times I felt very bitter about what I was going through, and resentful of the fact that there could be no silver lining.  Even on the better days when I held on to hope I would someday get pregnant, my focus was on how every day that passed without getting pregnant was one less day I would get to spend with my child.  What a bummer way to feel.  

If I could rewrite my own story now and get pregnant right when we started trying, I don’t think I would.  In fact, I know I wouldn’t!  Everything I went through in order to have him has made me the mom I am, and I’m really proud of that person.  She’s so different from all the other people I’ve been in my life, and far cooler.  I’m so much more laid back (for me) and find humor in the really crumby parts, like at 2 am when he projectile vomits in a 4 ft radius around himself, the bed, me, the dog, as his head spun around a la The Exorcist.  Or when he threw my entire makeup bag in the toilet.  ­čśČ MOMMY LOVES YOU. ­čśČ  Even these moments feel like a gift, and I find myself almost giddy about them rather than upset. 

I do feel like the people that have to wait and work hard to finally get their child are just different as parents.  I’m not going to say “better” because that’s RUDE. ­čśë  But I think we have an easier time finding joy in even the shitty parts.  Some may call us insufferable as we post every burp and toot on instagram, but that’s ok because those people just don’t get it.  It’s ALL exciting when you’ve stared down the barrel of a life without children. 

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Coaster Mesa, California 

I needed coasters, bad.  Seriously the set I had came from my first roommate (circa 1998) and were made of rubber and sadness.  So I made some new ones and it was fun and easy and I think they’re cute!

1. Start with Sculpy in a bunch of colors, I love neon anything, and I also used a few peices of white to keep them bright and to keep the colors from getting too muddy. 

2. Roll the pieces into long, skinny worms. This part was ultra exciting to my toddler. 

3. Bunch the worms together and start to twist. 

4. Roll this new mega warm with your hands along a smooth table or bar.  When it gets double the length, food in half and twist and roll again. 

5.  Keep repeating this process for as long as you like.  I think the more you twist and fold the better the colors look at the end but that’s a preference thing.  When you reach your desired color squish, roll the worm into a ball. 

6. Flatten your worm ball on a smooth surface with a rolling pin until it’s about 1/4-1/2″ thick.  If the clay is sticking to the surface, do this on aluminum foil instead so you can transfer to a baking sheet without making it look like sheet. 

6. Take an extra large cookie cutter if you have one, or use the rim of a big cup to cut out a perfect circle. 

7. Transfer your circles (with the foil if need be) to a baking sheet and bake per the instructions on the package (this is your lazy tutorial).  Wait to cool, and voila!  You can gold leaf the edges to make them super cool but I’m not that fancy. 


Sleep Training!

I’m pretty sure I stumbled upon the trick to sleep training.  It may even be the key to parenting, period.  When I say “stumbled upon” I mean my mom told me.  And not only that, I’ve probably been told these things both by my mom and many others for a long time but never listened.  But it got to the point where I was dreading bedtime with my 18 month old and desperate times call for desperate measures (such as taking the good advice you’ve been given repeatedly).  And I’m SO glad I finally listened because this recipe has really worked for us!  

To be clear, we are not sleep training in the sense that River is being moved to his own bed, he still sleeps with me.  But I have no doubt that this method would work for moving a baby into their own bed, or just getting them to bed no matter what you guys do at your house.

Every night it would take me up to 2 hours to get River to sleep after we were already in bed.  He would settle for a little bit and just as I was tricked into thinking he was nodding off, suddenly it was party time.  He would go from laying down taking his bottle to immediately standing on the bed practicing his trust falls and the high-stepping jog in place move from Flashdance.  If I told him to lay down or actually pull him down he thought it was hysterical and this would turn into a game for him. His next move was to climb out of bed to go find my make up, which is his favorite thing to play with.  (I realize as I’m typing this there may be some signs here that one day I’ll look back on and think, hmm, we should have known all along)  Anyway bedtime was always an ordeal and I hated it. 

I would call my mom during the day and have desperate, long talks with her and finally the stuff she had been telling me all along sunk in and IT WORKS.  Not only has it made putting River to bed a breeze, but I feel like a better mom all together and now I’m going to share it with YOU.

Basically there are 3 pieces to this and they are all equally important, they are; schedule, repetition and will.

Now, I know what you’re thinking; That’s it?  That’s your amazing information? Those aren’t tricks!  I hate you!

Just believe me when I tell you doing it this way will give you the result you’re after far quicker than you think, so bare with me.  

Schedule: This refers not only to putting your child to bed at the same time each night, but creating a full regimen before bedtime.  These will be your child’s subconscious signals that not only is bedtime coming, but that it’s time to get sleepy.  These are things like baths and stories, putting on PJs, brushing teeth, etc.  For River and me it starts off with taking the dog outside and looking for the moon, which he is obsessed with.  Also about an hour before bed I start making it dimmer/calmer in the house.  My house is typically lit up like Las Vegas, so I turn off about 42 lights and just keep on 1 or 2.  I also turn down the volume on the TV if it’s on (who am I kidding?) and don’t roughhouse with River, only quiet playing or reading.  This last part is easier said than done when dad’s home, we’re still working on sleep training him.  

Repetition:  As a hypnotherapist I have a fair amount of knowledge about habits, both breaking them and creating them.  Good sleep behavior is a habit, so anyone can get there (even babies), it just takes time and effort.  They say practice makes perfect and there’s a reason for that.  

Neural pathways are the little roads that neurons (nerve cells) travel on.  These are how nerve signals travel to and from the brain.  Like real dirt roads, every time a path is traveled down, it gets deeper, wider, easier to pass through, and we know that energy will take the path of least resistance.  Therefore, doing something repeatedly makes it easier and easier to do until it just becomes “habit” or subconsciously driven.  Meaning you no longer have to “try” it’s just automatic. 

But here’s the best news of all, somehow the lucky number seems to be 7.  For some reason our brains really like this number and if we can push ourselves to do something 7 times, our subconscious seems to be more likely to accept it and absorb it after reaching this milestone. 

So couple this with your schedule and bedtime regimen and remember to stick with it and don’t take a day off.  Keep in mind that every night you don’t stick with your bedtime plan, you are actually reinforcing the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve.  

Will:  This is the step that I really feel unlocked a new level for me as a mom.  All babies and kids test limits, it’s what they do.  It’s how they get to know the world around them, and it’s up to us as parents to makes sure the perception of the world we are helping them create not only works for them/us immediately, but in the long run as well.  It’s far too easy to give in and I did it all the time.  But now I realize it’s my absolute duty to follow through, if I say no, I have to keep correcting him until he listens, even if it means prying my fat ass off the couch to go stop him. (Being a mom is hard)

In some ways it’s made me choose my battles, some things I don’t love I’m just going to let fly.  But in those times I have to remember not to say no even once, because if I do, I have to follow through whether I want to or not.  

When putting River to bed, it was always a battle of wills because somewhere down the line he learned he could break me.  I was so annoyed and tired that I’d say f*ck it and just let him get out of bed and go play in his “salon” so that I’d get a break from fighting him.

In order to break this habit, I had to show him that my will is always stronger than his.  If I lay him down and he stands up, I lay him down again.  If he stands up 184 times, I have to correct him 187 times, because if I stop at 186, I’m only reinforcing that he can always get his way if only he keeps trying.  This builds up HIS will and next time he’ll be prepared to stand up 200 times if that’s what it takes.  

So I’m going to tell you now, the first night of this new “sleep training” is going to suck.  If you’re trying to get your baby to lay in their crib, or a child in their own bed, it’s the same thing.  You have to keep correcting them until they finally lay down and stay there and you can’t give up.  Ever. 

I told this to myself the first night, I knew it was going to suck so I mentally prepared to be up until 3 that night.  Fortunately it took way less time than I thought, about 45 minutes until he finally gave up and just laid there.  I sat there next to him kind of in disbelief as he just stared up at the ceiling, and then his blinks got heavier and heavier and he fell asleep about 20 minutes later.  That was HUGE for us.  I’ve literally never seen him do that. 

The second night also sucked, but just a liiiiittle bit less than the first.  I had to lay him back down over and over for about a half hour this time, and then same thing, he laid there for about 20 minutes, blinking, until he fell asleep.  

I should also mention that will is not just about laying him down.  I also don’t engage him at all.  I don’t speak to him, not even to say “no” or “lay down.”  I don’t cuddle him or kiss him or sing to him or pat him on the butt.  Once the lights are out, that’s it.  This is also really not easy to do, but it’s important. 

So every night got a little bit easier.  I was worried when we had a family emergency about 5 days into this and we needed to travel, but I stuck with my 3 rules as much as possible while we were away and it didn’t seem to set him back too much.

Now I honestly can’t believe how great bedtime is!  I lay him down with his bottle (we’re still working on getting rid of that, at this point it’s mostly water but I’d like to get rid of it as a crutch) and he drinks the whole thing quietly and without trying to get up.  When he’s finished he literally hands it to me (which makes me laugh, idk why), then rolls over on his tummy and makes a few little baby babbles and lays there until he falls asleep!  I would not believe it if I didn’t see it with my own eyes!  Actually, the past 4 nights in a row he has finished his bottle, handed it to me, then found my lips in the dark to give me a kiss, then rolled over for bed like we are a married couple.  It’s the funniest thing ever.

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Cement to be?

I hate the waiting game.  Especially when you know you have a lot of work to do but can’t get started yet.  I have so many design ideas for the new house but can’t do a thing about them until we move in!  We need a ton of new furniture, etc., but my hands are tied for another couple months.  All I can do is fantasize and imagine what the space will look like, which is difficult because our design choices are very different from the ones in the model home, which is my only point of reference. 

So you can imagine my delight when I came across this photo online of just about EXACTLY what our kitchen will look like!!  The photo is from Style Me Pretty and the house must be from the same builder because everything in it is exact!  And lucky for me, these are pretty uncanny for the choices I made on finishes!  Literally the only differences are that instead of another cupboard, our hood goes all the way up, and we will have black hardware on the cabinets. That’s it.  So I finally get to see what the kitchen will look like finished!

The original plan was to have a white subway tile backsplash, as this kitchen does.  But then in my escapades on Pinterest I absolutely fell in love with cement tile!  If it wasn’t so expensive the whole goddamned house would be cement tile and we would sleep on a cement tile bed and eat cement tile for breakfast.  I think I must have pinned every black, gray and white cement tile pattern the world has to offer.  

So I photoshopped one of the patterns (very crappily, I might add) into the photo of the kitchen and to my dismay (maybe), I’m not loving it. Could it possibly just be my terrible photoshop skills?  I can’t tell.  But now I’m doubting myself and I have only a couple options.  I could make a choice in the next couple days and have the builder install it for me and run the risk of not loving it, or I can wait until we’re in the house so I can play with it in person, but then I have to install it myself.  

The subway tile is a lot less expensive and I know I won’t ever hate it because it’s so basic, but I worry about the kitchen looking too white or sterile. Every other thing will be white (including possibly the floors) except for the island, cupboard hardware and light fixtures. 

The cement tile is so chic and will really stylize the whole house!  There’s a bit of a Spanish feel in the rest of the house, which I love.  But it’s costly and I’ve never seen it in person.  I would love input!  What would you do?

Here are a bunch of my favorite patterns.

Friday Favorites

  1. Dr. G Brightening Peeling Gel: The girls in my beauty group turned me on to this and it’s the absolute holy grail of exfoliating!  It’s super gentle, you could actually use this once or twice a week, but I wouldn’t suggest any more.  I had zero redness and my face felt so soft immediately after I could have cried.  It’s a chemical exfoliator, not a manual one, which is much better.  Basically you apply a quarter sized amount and rub it around until you feel the dead skin balling up under your fingers!
  2. I don’t even know if these things have an official name or manufacturer. I’ve been using them forever since I found them at Daiso years ago but have been seeing them all over the place lately.  They’re super soft and squishy so you wrap your hair around them before bed to keep your hair from flattening out and getting glued to your head while you sleep.  I think they were like $2 for 6 and I use anywhere from 6-10 at a time and I have a good amount of hair but it’s not super long.  If you have a lot of levels no hair you may want to use 2 full sets or more. 
  3. I thought everyone knew about this site but apparently not.  It’s a great site for prints, both framed and unframed, but they also make really awesome home stuff!  Basically it’s a site where hundreds of artists offer their art and the company prints it on a ton of different items; shower curtains, duvet covers, rugs, pillows, clocks, phone and computer cases, and on and on.  I have soooo much cute stuff from society 6 in my house!  I will say, the quality is nothing to write home about, but for cute little novelty things around the house, it serves it’s purpose.  I didn’t love the rug I ordered for this reason, it was pretty crappy and had no backing so it was slippery af.  But I’m tickled pink with every other thing I’ve ordered from them!  The best part is there are literally thousands of designs.  It would be impossible not to find something you love.  You could search for the most random item, like goats, pickles, Or Patrick Swayze, and you’ll find a ton of different designs.  This makes it really cool for, say, a kid’s room where you’re designing with a particular theme. 
  4. Sammy’s Milk:  There’s actually been a bit of controversy surrounding this stuff as of late, but I still love it. It was recently recalled for fear it “may” contain cronobacter bacteria, cronobacter can cause serious blood infections or meningitis.  Really there was no reason to think Sammy’s formula contained it, nor were there any reports of illness or any any of the cans containing it.  The problem was that in order to label something “infant formula” you have to manufacture your product under compliance with certain regulations, which this mom and pop owned business, who’s actually local right here in Newport Beach, was not doing.  That being sad, River was on this stuff and he did so well on it!  I loved it for him.  He doesn’t have a regular milk sensitivity per se, but he was obviously digesting the goat’s milk so much more easily.  It was also a great transition for him into regular goat’s milk which honestly I cannot stand but wish I could.  It’s a lot easier for our bodies to break down goat’s milk.  Another thing to mention though, is that goat’s milk and therefore some goat’s milk formulas, contains less iron and folic acid than cow’s milk so you’ll want to supplement.  

2 Shades of Gray 

When we decided to look for a house to buy, I don’t think it even crossed our minds to consider building.  That seemed like something only real life grown up adults do and, although we’re damn near middle aged (not really, but close), we still don’t feel like adults.  In my fantasies we would fine a great fixer-upper, with solid bones so that we could really make the place our own. I looked at lots of houses from about 15-30 years old that all needed a lot of work.  “A lot of work” was actually one of my criteria.  I’m pretty handy, and I tend to hate what most people love, or at least what they do to houses when they flip or “update” them.  Mosaic tile, for example, makes me sad.  I found a house that was damn near perfect!  Large, great neighborhood, high ceilings, tons of windows/natural light, a good deal below our budget and best of all, everything in the house needed to be resurfaced!  It needed new floors, cabinets, appliances, light fixtures, landscaping, you name it.  I was set on this house and already knew exactly how we would redesign it.  

My mom, who was my house shopping partner since my husband is always gone and told me to “just pick whatever,” and I stopped into a model home we passed really just to get design ideas.  This house was huge and immaculate and gorgeous.  When I found out the price, I was baffled.  It wasn’t much more that the fixer-upper.  What’s the catch?  Why can we afford this?  Is this built on a sinkhole?

The “catch” is that the base price (which is what they show you) is essentially like $100-200k less than the model you’re actually standing in, that has every upgrade and amenity possible.  When you buy a new build, what comes “standard” is prettttty crappy, and everything is an upgrade.  You have 3 choices in color for dirt flooring and everything else is an upgrade.  Would you like these lights that may or may not catch fire when you turn them on, or would you like to upgrade to lighting installed by an actual electrician? Oh, you want running water?  That’s an upgrade.  

But I was curious so I sat down with the sales woman and we went over the prices of everything I knew I would want to upgrade.  I seriously shot for the moon with the add-ons because I knew this house wasn’t possible for us and when the total ended up being $47 million it would be a lot easier to walk away and never look back.  

But it wasn’t $47 million. With my entire wishlist of ridiculous upgrades it was barely higher than the fixer-upper would be after we did all of our renovations.  Only this house would be brand new and wouldn’t be a ticking time bomb of things that needed to be replaced.  Even a solid house needs a lot of upkeep.  Rooves need to be replaced like every 20 or so years, ac units, water heaters, appliances, plumbing, etc. With the new build, not only were we starting from day 1 with all of these things, but a lot of them are under warranty for up to 10 years.  And best of all, instead of living in a construction site with a baby, the house would be DONE.

Well, sort of.  There are still a few projects that I’m going to do myself because either the builder didn’t offer exactly what we wanted, or they upcharged way too much for it, or both.  I’m going with their basic, crappy floors and we’ll install our own when we take possession.  There will be no backslash in the kitchen because I really want to do a fun cement tile!  And we still have to put in a pool and landscape the yard.  Oh, and window treatments!  Those effers are expensive!

But I will say that going to the design center and choosing all of the finishes was one of the most fun days of my life!  The girl helping me kept remarking about how fast we were going, it takes most people forever, but I knew exactly what I wanted.  I only went back and changed a couple things after the appointment. And I kept going back and forth on our wall color!  Wait until you hear this, it’s so dumb. 

Originally Jordan and I both wanted white walls.  Light is very important to both of us and we love the look of bright white walls paired with big windows and natural light.  But they didn’t offer white walls, at least not in what was standard.  And it was an outrageously expensive upgrade, which made me mad because it costs them $0 extra to stick a different shade of paint in their sprayer.  They’re painting it anyway and it’s the same amount of work.  So I just couldn’t upgrade the paint on principle alone.  They did offer a “white” if that’s what you want to call it.  But it had way too much yellow in it and I’d rather have chartreuse walls than diluted piss water.  So the 2 that they DID offer that I really liked were both gray (Anew Gray and Agreeable Gray) and, get this, literally ONE shade apart from each other.  Really.  If you look at their shade numbers they are 1 digit apart.  

Since the original idea was to go light light light I chose the lighter of the 2.  (by 1 shade, remember?)  But then I started googling pictures of these colors in actual rooms and tended to like the darker (by 1 stupid shade) a lot better.  So I kept going back and forth and back and forth.  It seems so silly, it’s just paint, but to regret the choice once we got into the house would be a BIG deal.  It would be on every wall in the entire house.  That’s a LOT walls and a lot of painting and money if we wanted to change it.  

So I went with the darker, Anew Gray, and I think I’m happy with the choice!  Of course we won’t know until the house is finished.  But my thinking is that the Anew Gray reads as gray and the Agreeable looks more like just muddy off-white.  And I love the contrast against the white base boards and cupboards.  Fingers crossed! 

Not My Problem

Ok I take it back.  I realized I still totally have days where the depression/anxiety come back, but it’s only for a little and way, WAY better than it was before.  I was tempted to keep this to myself because I don’t want to take hope away from those of you still in the thick of it.  Seriously, life is gooOOOooOOOood.  But the malfunction going on in my brain is still there in some small capacity.  It really is manageable, and I’m a woman so I’m used to dealing with major swings in my emotions, but I wanted to mention it so anyone still dealing with it wondering what’s wrong that theirs isn’t completely gone can see that they’re not alone. Nope!  Still nuts over here. 

But I did find another thing that helps emensly and I know this won’t fit into everyone’s life but I’m going to share it anyway in case it can help someone.  I got a gym membership!  I know, first week of the year, how cleesh.  I honestly don’t know why it took me so long to do this, it helps on like 9 different levels.  First, exercise is KEY to a healthy mood, at least for me.  Taking River out for our walks just wasn’t enough.  I’m a runner and I need to sweat and get my heart pumping, it’s the most therapeutic thing to me.  

I went and looked at about 5 different local gyms that I knew had child care.  Truthfully I barely even looked at the gym portion of any of them, I just looked at the day care areas because that was the most important to me.  I wanted to make sure that not only was it safe and clean, but that it looked fun for River!  I couldn’t just dump him off somewhere and feel ok about that, I needed to make sure he would look forward to this time every day as much as I do.  I was actually shocked at a couple upscale gyms that had really depressing day care areas.  Some were tucked back in an area with no windows.  I wasn’t cool with that.  Some had zero kids in them even though the gym was busy.  So I wanted to find one that had a lot of moms with kids who frequented the gym and day care.  River loves other kids and that was going to be part of the fun of this, so busy day cares we’re a must.  

I’m not a big class taker or weight lifter.  I run on the treadmill and use the elliptical from time to time if I’m feeling exotic, and that’s pretty much it.  But I ended up joining a gym with a shit ton of amenities just because of the kid’s club.  

For SAHMs I think this kind of thing is imperative.  At least if you’re like me and your husband is gone most of the time and you have no family near by.  We have the BEST part time nanny, but I’m not going to have her come all the way over just for 2 hours every day.  But to get out of the house and away from River for an hour or 2 on most days makes such a huge difference. 

Obviously being a working mom is hard in it’s own way, but there are studies that prove working mothers actually heal faster from PPD and PPA because they actually do get away.  Of course whenever we’re away we miss them terribly and they are always on our minds so it doesn’t really feel like we’re “away,” but there is something chemical that happens when we are not in the same vicinity as our children.  I’ve even told a few girls I chat with to leave the baby with their dad and go sit in the car for an hour.  You may sit there and bawl and hate each second of it, but you are actually healing yourself.  

River was really excited the first couple times I dropped him off, but the 3rd time he was not having me leave him.  He instantly started crying and it gutted me to leave him in this tiny Disneyland.  The girl working there promised me that they do much better if you just go rather than hang out and wait for them to feel better.  So of course I stood just outside the door for the first 15 minutes peaking in to make sure he was alright, even though he had quit crying within the first minute.  

He was happy as a clam the next time I dropped him off so I was glad to see he had not been traumatized by the last experience.  But the time after that he had a full on tantrum meltdown.  Again I just walked out and peeked in on him and he was fine again as soon as he couldn’t see me and walked straight over to jump up and down to cheer on a bigger kid playing ski ball.  I instantly went from having a broken heart for him to thinking “faker!”  Well fine, if it’s going to be like that I’ll go sit in the steam room, he’s someone else’s problem now. 

Here are some things to look into if you’re thinking about joining a gym with day care (DO IT)

  • What is the check in/out process? You want one that is lengthy and involved to the point of being meticulous and annoying.  It just  means they’re safer.  Mine requires a finger print, etc. 
  • Are there windows?  This might not matter as much to you, but I just think daylight is so important that it was one of my requirements. 
  • Are all the doors locked?  Seriously this seems like a no-brainer but some had unlocked doors!  One of the kids club gyms backed up to a courtyard where a bunch of men on their breaks stood and smoked and it was nothing but window back there with a door that “must remain unlocked during business hours.”  I’m sure it was locked from the outside, but I still didn’t like how all the kids were basically on display there.
  • Check their policies on food and diaper changes.  Most places don’t change diapers, which I actually prefer.  So they just text you when your kid poops if they’re still in diapers so you can come change them quickly. 
  • Make sure everyone who works there has had a background check and is at least CPR certified.
  • Ask about their cleaning system, find out how often the toys are washed.  The place we go to disinfects the toys twice a shift if that helps you gage what you should expect. 
  • Most places don’t allow for snacks which makes total sense, so just be sure to drop your child off with a full tummy.  
  • Check their hours, most gym child care closes for a major chunk of the day, from about noon-5 or something and has very short hours on the weekends.  Make sure they are open enough in the times you can go to make it worth your while. 
  • Ask them when they are at their busiest and how many employees they will have per child per their policy.  
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We Got Wood!

We bought a house!  ­čÖé  It’s currently being built and it’s in Arizona.  This is probably the most excited I’ve ever been other than when I found out I was pregnant with River.  So this is a design blog now.  K?  Not really but these are the things I’m obsessed with currently so I’m sure I’ll be posting a lot about it. 

Postpartum Update; 18 Months

I remember feeling totally defeated in my ppd support group looking around the room at moms whose babies were 1 year+ and mine was only a few weeks.  I could not imagine feeling the way I was feeling for another week, let alone a year. I really didn’t think it was possible to survive that.  And when other women reach out to me with their own ppd struggle I want so badly to be able to say to them “oh your baby is 6 months?!  Great, this will all be over in a week and a half!”

I know that every person is different and there’s no time stamp on these awful feelings that will tell you how long they’ll last.  I don’t even have a great gage on my own ppd time table because I had that bonus ectopic pregnancy in May, so my hormones took even longer to regulate.  Lucky me.  

But even with that pregnancy and loss, things did just get easier and easier every month.  Babies are shape shifters that become new beings every few weeks and they get more fun and a little easier each time.  

I can say that since around 16 months pp I’ve really felt like myself again!  Granted I’m still on antidepressants, but truthfully I probably should have been on them before I even had my baby.  I know for a fact for myself I couldn’t have made it without the meds.  They quite literally saved me.  A lot of the women I talk to have a hard time I think with the stigma of antidepressants.  I get a lot of “I’m really trying to do this without meds” and I always have to ask, why?

Unless you have a medical reason that you can’t take them, GET THE DRUGS.  You may have to play around for a little to get the right one and the correct dosage for you, but when you find it, it can help you in a way that no positive mental attitude, nap, cry session or any of that can.  Sorry to be the drug pusher in your blog feed, but if you’re dealing with ppd and have the option to go on antidepressants, then BABY, GET LIFTED, ALL THE COOL KIDS ARE DOING IT!

I feel like the anxiety that comes with ppd lies to us and tells us we’re doing everything wrong and at the same time tells us we have to be perfect and the declining of meds is the spawn of that.  It’s hard to accept help of any kind without feeling like a loser.  Ain’t that just the fucker of it all?  Postpartum Depression is a cunning liar on top of everything else. 

But now that the fog has lifted, the intense love I feel for River is blissful instead of terrifying like it once was.  I kept wondering what was wrong with me that I wasn’t on cloud 9 like every other mother?  I just needed time, and that’s just who I am I guess.  I’ve never been a “love at first sight” swept up, lose myself individual.  I’ve always needed time to get to know someone and really explore my feelings and take my time with each precious step, and having a baby didn’t change that about me.  

I’m glad I didn’t skip over any of the shitty feelings because the contrast makes my happiness that much sweeter. The pain is what grounded me and getting over it makes me feel more prepared for the ups and downs motherhood will throw at me.  You’ll get there, too. 

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