So, I don’t know what changed in the last few weeks (well, actually, I probably can indeed pinpoint a number of little things that all together has helped) but I’m really starting to feel like the old, pre-IF Sunshine. Let me tell you, it’s a little weird getting to know that person again. Weird, but oh so liberating. Oh how it is! It’s been incremental and slow, this little rumble of completeness, good feelings and all sorts of things like that. But most importantly, it’s a familiar feeling. I kind of feel like yelling…”I’m baaaaaccckkk!!!” I really didn’t expect this or ever think some of my old personality would ever come back after being decimated, but here it is. Again, just another example of things no one ever told you.
It’s not so much the kids that make me feel complete, it’s more of no longer being in a constant struggle and war against an invisible and completely unknown enemy. The last few days I’ve had the occasion to speak to three separate women currently undergoing IVF for various reasons, two of which are using carriers. I’m happy to do this, always willing to speak to a friend of a friend of a friend if I can help. So I’ve been back in that world for a bit and I suppose it’s allowed me some breathing room to really step back and see how far I’ve come mentally.
I don’t think I could have felt this way before the babies turned one. Their birthday was a bigger mental milestone for me than I had realized. I’m finding it easier to take care of them now that they are a little more independent, and I just enjoy and like them more. I’m happy to finally have enough baby experience under my belt that I can clearly state that I enjoy X stage much better than Y stage. I never understood how people could make those statements, but here I am, making one myself. For sure, I’m not a baby-baby person. I’m sure all of you would agree if you read my blog those first months after they were born. Even if I hadn’t experienced IF I still would have felt that way.
It’s really exhausting have a child, let alone two. I have no problems admitting that one of my favorite parts of the day is when I close the door to the last one’s bedroom after putting them down for the night. It’s like- ahhhhh, four hours all to myself. Actually, it’s more like three after I finish cleaning up from dinner, getting everything packed and ready for the next day, making the bottles for the morning so they are all ready to go, and then doing whatever else needs to get done around the house or in prep for the next day. And every day is so much like the previous day, it’s crazy. I make a point of absolutely not staying home, so these kids are schlepped all over the place. They have no problems with it and are great car riders and stroller riders. Even if it’s just going to Target after their afternoon nap, it’s an outside activity and I plan at least a week in advance for these trips as well as play dates. I keep meeting people (or, as one new friend said, “picking other moms up”) so I’ll send a mass email to everyone asking about plans the next week. So far it’s a good system.
I’m really starting to get more involved with my community and I have all these ideas for little odd jobs. In other words, I’m coming back to life. I talk to everyone, I make friends left and right, I’m helping people in need when I see I can do something, lots of things. I care about what I look like again, not in a narcissitic way, but in a normal way, even treating myself to manicures now and then. (I may do it more often though, as Princess loves to play with fingernails when they are painted.) This is who I am. And like I said above, damn it’s nice to be back.
So, in a comment from my last blog post I was asked about the babies, how they are doing, etc. I don’t really talk about them here, I feel like this blog is more of a forum for me to express the always evolving thoughts and feelings on motherhood after severe IF. In addition, I used to skip over the parts about kids on other blogs I read once their situation was resolved. I mean, who really cares what milestones they have achieved, if you really get down to it? (I mean in terms of random internet blog readers of course, not my family and friends!) But, here is a quick update: They both started walking this week, which is adorable but also downright scary and crazy. I have a feeling it’s going to get a lot harder very quickly. Thankfully they are just about on track for their adjusted age, but we still do a bit of physical therapy. I’ll say that I am so thankful and appreciative of how healthy and normal developing these two children are. We are so so SO god damn lucky.
A random question for you readers: I’ve had so many people tell me I should write a book about my experiences and to help other women and couples going through unexplained IF, surrogacy, donor egg, donor sperm- I mean, you name it, we did it. How does one go about this? Do you write a draft and literally just mail them out to publishing houses like you see people do in the movies? Any thoughts, or does anyone work in this field or know someone who does?
And finally, here’s a picture of the babies for you!