Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The wedding I'm not excited for

My BIL's wedding is coming up on the 10th. Way back when they got engaged, I'd thought I'd be really excited for this wedding when it finally came around. But frankly, I'm not. I wouldn't even consider not going - but there's a part of me that sort of wishes I could just skip it. I'm feeling less and less like the bride would even give a crap if I were there anyway.

Bitter, much? Perhaps. Hormonal? Most certainly.

My BIL finally decided to ask my husband to be a groomsman in the wedding. This is after months of NOT asking, and us hearing twice that he'd asked someone who for one reason or another couldn't do it. So what, his big brother is the last resort? Apparently it has more to do with his fiance. He told my husband, and I quote, "I wanted to ask you from the beginning, but A said I could only have a select few in the wedding." Select few? A select few that apparently included his younger brother and loser drinking buddies, but not his older brother. Why A would not want him in the wedding, I can't fathom. Unless she's secretly mad at us from a conversation we had with her OVER A YEAR AGO where we talked her down from declaring she'll never go to my IL's again, especially for the holidays. That's the only thing I can think of that she'd be holding a grudge over. Of course, every time we've seen her or hung out with her since then, she's been fine. We've hung out, they've stayed weekends at our house, we've played games, watched movies, stayed up all hours of the night talking. But clearly there is something there that we're unaware of, because she clearly didn't want my husband in her wedding. That fact alone is sending my mama-bear instinct into overdrive.

This weekend is the bachelor and bachelorette parties. Apparently they are both in the town where my ILs live (and why my BIL and his fiance's social life is all centered around a little, podunk and rather redneck town where neither of them actually live, I don't know - but that's another story); the girls are doing their thing on Friday, the boys on Saturday. My husband is going down for the bachelor party. Guess who is not invited to the bachelorette party? That would be me. Apparently the future sister-in-law isn't cool enough for an invite. My SIL (my husband and BIL's sister) IS invited, of course - and that's partially how I know I am in fact not invited. She has all the details, and has for a couple of weeks. I've heard nothing, even though I have talked to A at least twice since they set up the party. I even asked her about it last time I saw her, and admittedly I was fishing to see if she was going to invite me. I asked her what she was planning and she said something about hanging out and having a girls night. But that's the last I've heard of it, except through my SIL.

Think that rubs me wrong? You bet it does.

So my future SIL didn't (or perhaps still doesn't) want my husband in her wedding and she didn't bother to invite me, her future SIL, to her bachelorette party. Of course I was cool enough to be invited to her bridal shower, but that meant I was bringing a gift.

I realize I'm hormonal right now. I got cut off in a parking lot the other day and went from gripping the steering wheel so as not to fly out of my car and launch myself at the person, to almost balling my eyes out in the space of about 15 seconds. But still. I'm really insulted by everything. She doesn't seem to give a crap whether she's a part of this family or not. For a time, I'd assumed that she and I had become friends; that despite the fact that she's 9 years younger and in a very different stage of her life, that we could be friends. Heck, even sisterly. But this feels like a slap in the face.

I will admit that even were I invited to the party, i couldn't go. But that's not the point. A courtesy invite would have been appropriate, I think. So much for being family.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Tired already

I suffered from pretty extreme fatigue in my first pregnancy. I got a really bad cold at about 5 1/2 weeks and from then until about 11 or 12 weeks, I was barely functional. I'd get up late, drag myself to work, do my best not to fall asleep at my desk, leave early, come home and fall asleep on the couch, wake up to eat dinner, then go to bed.

Second pregnancy was much better. I attribute it to an easier pregnancy overall, as well as not being put on a mega-dose of progesterone supplements. I needed progesterone both times, but with my second pregnancy the dose was about 1/3 of what my old doctor had put me on, and I think it made a big difference in the severity of the side effects.

I'm approximately 4 1/2 weeks right now, and I'm feeling extra tired already. I really hope that doesn't mean I'm in for a rough couple of months (although I'll take fatigue over morning sickness any day!). G is at such a tough age right now and I don't know how I'll keep up with him if I get too fatigued, not to mention my slightly high-maintenance 4 year old. Obviously, I'll manage, but I'm hoping the fact that the first trimester tiredness is setting in early (for me) isn't a bad sign.

I think I'm in for a couple months of extra early bedtimes! Or at least I will if I'm smart. Sometimes getting to bed early is so much easier said than done.

Friday, December 26, 2008

I'm not crazy.

Nope, not crazy. I'm pregnant.

After several days of living in crazy-land, wondering if the mild cramping, the achiness, the full sensation was all in my head, I caved under the pressure and took an HPT. My husband and I had talked about waiting until Christmas morning (and that certainly would have been cool), but Tuesday night we agreed that Christmas Eve morning would do, given how anxious I was getting. However, just minutes after having that conversation, I ran to the bathroom and ripped into the box of First Response. I felt like I'd never be able to sleep, waiting to test in the morning and although I might regret testing at 11:00 at night (since I wasn't using trusty FMU), I couldn't take the suspense any longer.

As I sat there waiting for the results, I felt more and more like I was about to be disappointed. Maybe it was my defense mechanism against the sadness I knew I'd feel if there had been just one line. I'd been trying to protect myself from it, telling myself there was no way it could turn out this perfect - to get pregnant the first cycle trying (again!) AND find out at Christmas... No one is that lucky, right?

Apparently we are.

The two lines were dark pink, leaving no room to wonder if I was seeing things, if I was crazy. Not crazy - pregnant! Well, perhaps pregnant and crazy go hand in hand, but it was such a vindicating feeling to know that all the things I'd been feeling were real; not only real, but indications that I am in fact pregnant. For days I'd been wanting to say, "I feel pregnant," but fear of being wrong kept me from saying it out loud and fear of disappointment kept me from saying it even to myself.

So I'm pregnant! I'm over the moon. Something about this feels so right. I never thought I'd have three kids quite this close together; three years always seemed like a nice age gap, whereas D and G are 2 1/2 years apart and G and this baby will be closer still. Even so, this feels perfect. We've wanted three, we're certain we're done after this and it feels good to have things in motion. I can stop wondering, stop worrying and just enjoy what should be my last pregnancy.

I feel so blessed. I know how lucky we are and I'm SO grateful.

Monday, December 22, 2008

She would have known

As I sat down at the computer just now, it occurred to me for apparently no rational reason, that my mother-in-law Marilyn would have known if I was pregnant. Marilyn isn't with us anymore; she died right after Thanksgiving in 1997. But she was one of those people with a really big personality; the mark she left on those around her was pretty intense. More time than I have on this earth would have to pass before I could forget her.

She had one of those crazy radars that seemed to pick up on everything; especially things you want to keep secret. For example, she was impossible to surprise at Christmas. Every year my poor husband would try, and every year she somehow knew what he'd gotten her. One year he got her a bottle of Chanel #5, wrapped the little box, then placed that box in a much larger box filled with several old books for added weight. He tried to let slip hints that he'd gotten her something that would explain the size and weight of the box (I can't remember what he was trying to convince her it was, but he had a plan). Still, she knew exactly what was in there.

I will never forget the first time we saw her after we had slept together for the first time. He wasn't living with her then (he'd moved out at about age 16), but for some reason we'd gone to her house. She instantly knew. She got this huge smile on her face, the one we always knew meant trouble, and she said something to the affect of, "You guys had sex, didn't you!" She wasn't mad, and maybe not even surprised. We'd been dating for over two years at that point and amongst most of the people we knew then, we seemed like long time hold outs in the virginity department. How she knew, I have no idea. Maybe she saw something in her son; maybe she saw it in me. Maybe both. But she had a tendency to know those kinds of things, especially when you didn't want her to.

I think that if she were alive today, we'd have a hard time putting anything past her. If I was pregnant, she'd take one look at me and know. And she wouldn't hesitate to ask, probably in front of other people. And it would be impossible to lie to her; she'd know that too.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Two week wait, take one

And here we are, the dreaded two-week-wait.

This is certainly not my favorite part of TTC. I've done well this time to stay calm, keep from obsessing too much, let thoughts of "am I pregnant?" dominate my mind. Mostly. I'm not even 100% sure that I ovulated at all, yet as the days go by, the anxiety mounts and I start to wonder - did we strike gold again?

I can't shake the notion that I feel *something* going on in there. What that something is, could be a variety of things. It could be that after spending the last several years either pregnant or on birth control for the most part, I'm simply feeling the sensations of having an actual cycle (which in and of itself would be a good thing, pregnant or not). It could be that I'm a little constipated and it's leaving me a bit bloated and uncomfortable. Or it could be that it's all in my head and my mind is making me believe that I'm feeling a fullness in my pelvic region, a little bit of cramping, and an overall awareness of my uterine area that I just can't explain. And of course I can't forget how constipation was the first symptom I had when I was pregnant with G.

But then logic kicks in and I feel sort of sheepish. How could I feel something so early? Even if I ovulated on CD14, I'm days from when I'd even be able to test with any reasonable accuracy, and I'm not certain of if/when I ovulated. And I've been down this road many, many times; thinking the little cramps and twinges I convince myself I'm feeling might be the first signs of pregnancy. And many, many times, I've been wrong.

In fact, the two times I've been pregnant, I had no idea until the day I actually tested. With D, we hadn't been actively trying for many months and didn't really think we'd get pregnant without medical intervention; I tested on a whim, thinking my period should have shown up by then. With G, I was totally convinced that I wasn't pregnant that month, since I felt too "normal" (except for the constipation, but I brushed that off as being unrelated) and only tested when I knew my period should have started, and hadn't. How could I know so early this time, when my pregnancy radar is so clearly unreliable?

And come later this week if my period shows, or if I break down and take a test that comes up negative, I'll sure feel silly for thinking what I'm thinking right now. There you go again, convincing yourself of something that wasn't there. It seems so impossible that we'd get pregnant on the first try yet again. That just isn't fair, really. How could one couple hit the jackpot twice? And when we decided to start trying this month, it certainly didn't escape me that we'd likely be finding out one way or another right around Christmas. That would just be too much, to find out at Christmas that our third baby is coming. How could that be possible? We couldn't be THAT lucky.

Could we?

I don't know. Right now, I don't know if it's all in my head, if I'm feeling something genuine that isn't pregnancy, or if we're just plain lucky. Really lucky.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Understanding Santa

I love that D really "gets" Santa this year. He knows the stories and the songs; he gets the naughty/nice idea and loves the idea that this mysterious, magical man will be bringing presents to our house on Christmas. Last year he sort of got it, and definitely understood the Christmas = presents connection. But this year there is so much more magic to it - it's fun!

All on his own he decided we need to make cookies to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve, and asks daily if we can make them. He very willingly sat on Santa's lap, which is a HUGE first. And he's been rather concerned, since he asked Santa for a big Hulk toy and he got one for his birthday shortly after we saw Santa; so now he's worried that Santa won't know what to bring him. I've assured him that Santa is a pretty smart guy and he probably has a good idea of what he wants for Christmas.

He also asked if it's ok for him to come in our room and let us know if he hears a "clatter" or a "racket" on the roof Christmas Eve. He likes using those words and I think he assumes they're only associated with the noise of Santa landing on the roof.

However, some of his questions about Santa have been a little harder to answer. He's asked several times how Santa will get in, since we don't have a regular fireplace and big chimney. We do have a gas fireplace, but as he insightfully pointed out, it has a glass door on the front. We've told him Santa is magic and can get around those kinds of things really easily. He's only partially convinced.

I can't wait for his eyes to light up Christmas morning when he comes down and sees all the presents under the tree! We usually don't put all the presents under there until late Christmas Eve, so when the boys get up it looks really magical. And he'll see some bites taken out of the cookies we'll make and the carrots we leave out for the reigndeer will be gone too. He's going to freak!

I love Christmas and it takes on a whole new dimension of fun when you have kids!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Held hostage by the gift exchange

I love Christmas. LOVE it. It's my favorite time of year, and I actually really like all the shopping and wrapping and such. I love buying presents for everyone; the only bummer every year is that we don't have more money. Back when we were DINKs (double income, no kids) we'd go to each family gathering with armloads of presents and it was AWESOME.

Anyway, even though we can't get loads of gifts these days, it's still fun to pick things out for people and see their faces when they open them. I love that part. I think that's part of why the "plan" with my in-laws this year is bugging me so much.

They decided, and by "they" I mean my step-MIL Maria and her daughter Amy, that instead of everyone buying gifts for everyone else, we'd do a gift exchange. Each adult is supposed to bring a gift that is, "something you'd want," whatever that means. We draw numbers, and pick gifts in order. Each person can either pick a gift from under the tree or "steal" a gift from someone who has already picked. We've played this type of game before and it can be really fun - and granted, it might be really fun when we do it this year.

The problem is, this means that we're not "supposed" to buy gifts for my in-laws, nor my SIL who lives with us, my BIL or his fiance. So instead of taking the time to pick something we think they'd really like, we just buy two random gifts and we don't even know who will end up with them. No strolling the aisles thinking, "Sam would love this!" And speaking of Sam, my SIL really gets the shaft. She's a single college student. Usually it's her parents, my ILs, who buy her a bunch of Christmas presents - you know, how parents do. She doesn't have a boyfriend, fiance or husband to spoil her on Christmas. This year, because of this gift exchange, instead of getting a bunch of cool stuff from her parents, all she's getting is some generic, random gift that she ends up with at the end of the game. Now, it isn't all about the gifts and she's the least selfish person I know in the whole world, seriously. But even she is really bummed.

The purpose, I'm sure, is to allow everyone to save money, and that is totally fine with me. Our budget is tight this year too and I can totally appreciate that. But it's annoying that we weren't even consulted on this decision. In fact, we were only told as an afterthought. During Thanksgiving dinner, Sam asked Amy about it and asked if Amy had told us yet. It was obvious from the look on her face that it hadn't even occurred to Amy that we should know about it. Gee, thanks, glad to feel a part of the family.

The real kicker is, instead of saving us money, this is going to cost us more. My husband said screw it to the not buying other gifts part, so we're still buying something for my ILs, my SIL, and my BIL and fiance - which we would have done already - plus the two gifts for the gift exchange. So that kind of sucks. Obviously we don't have to, but he's adamant about it. So instead of saving us money, it really means we have to buy two extra gifts.

Not only that, but because Sam isn't getting any "real" presents from her parents, we're trying to squeeze the budget a bit more and buy her some extra stuff so she has more presents to open. I'm happy to do it; goodness knows I love her dearly and she deserves it. But ouch. I'm trying to keep track of the Christmas spending and I want to throw my hands in the air, pull out the credit card and say screw it.

So I guess the bottom line is, I'm annoyed that two people got to dictate what the rest of us do for Christmas without consulting any of us, I feel bad for my SIL because she's pretty disappointed about it all, and I'm frustrated that this is going to actually end up costing us more money, not less.

And I have no clue what to do for the gifts... Sigh.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Happy birthday to my little man

You are four today. How it has come to be four years since you were born, I almost can't imagine. And yet so much has changed in that time, it feels like so long ago.

You are such a fun, smart, silly, rambunctious boy. You love school and the teachers tell me you are friends with everybody. That doesn't surprise me much; you don't have a shy bone in your body. You recently discovered you have some pretty sweet dance moves and you love to sing. Right now your favorite things are skeletons, dinosaurs, and superhero action figures. You love to build things, play with playdough and do art projects. You're learning and growing so much, it's amazing to watch. You recently wrote your name by yourself and you're right on the cusp of learning to read a little.

You take my breath away with your sensitivity and love. You tell me and your dad how much you love us at least twenty times a day. Today you called me beautiful. It was hard not to cry. You love your brother and insist on giving him about thirty hugs before bedtime every night. He loves you back and tries to do everything just like you. I don't think you appreciate that much right now, but someday you'll look back and realize how cool it is to have a little brother who looks up to you.

You make the silliest faces and your stories are wonderful. You tell me stories about skeleton monsters fighting fires in big houses, of superheros fighting bad guys and sending them to "big giant time outs". Your imagination is limitless. The living room floor is often hot lava, or the ocean. We chase each other around pretending to be sharks and your brother follows along behind, laughing.

It is such an honor to be your mommy. I love you so much it almost hurts. There was such a long time when we didn't know if we'd ever have you and I have to say, you were worth the wait. Ten times over, you were worth it. Every day that you have been with us has been an enormous blessing from God. I'm thankful for every moment we have with you, even the hard ones. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Hard as it is to believe you are four, it's a wonder and a blessing to watch you grow up. Parenting is such a bittersweet endeavor; we have this short period of time when our children are ours, when they are here in our home, dependent on us. And we love them so much, we can't stand the thought of them leaving. Yet every day, that is what we are preparing them to do. The goal is to have to let them go, release them into the world and hope we did a good enough job.

I pray to our Father in Heaven that I have the strength, courage, wisdom, patience and understanding to be a good mother to you. I pray for your health, safety and well being as you grow. And I pray that He will give us many more years of laughter, fun, games, and love.

I'm so proud of you and I love you so much. Happy birthday my sweet little man.

Monday, December 1, 2008

I guess this is it

I'm officially not taking birth control. Yikes!

I think I'm over the "am I crazy?" worry. Obviously the answer is yes; however, that isn't deterring either of us from going down this road again. It is what it is - we both believe we're meant to have three. Yes, I'll have to get fat, and yes, I'll have to give up my freedom, my body, my boobs, my time, my schedule, my sleep.

Ah, sleep. I remember sleep.

But I digress... I'm sick of thinking and worrying and talking about my weight - the relevance here being whether or not I'll even be able to get pregnant at this weight, which might be a no. And the fact that I'm still holding onto half of the weight I gained with G and am going to try to get pregnant again and gain more weight... well, ick. But like I said, I'm sick of talking about it. I feel like all year I've been worrying about my weight almost to the point of obsession, yet I haven't actually done anything constructive about it for long enough to make a difference. So I'm over it. I'm doing what I have to do about it now and I guess better late than never. But I don't want to prattle on about it endlessly here; I already cringe looking back at some of my posts this year on the subject. So that's that. I'm heavier than I should be but I'm hopefully going to take care of some of that - in other words, I'm going to diet like crazy until I actually get pregnant and hope that will be good enough for my f'ed up hormones. (and when I say diet like crazy, I don't mean crash diet or something unhealthy - I don't do "diets". But I am keeping my food intake to a target number of calories, reducing my carbs and food logging everything I put in my mouth - basically what worked for me before and what I should have done months ago...).

So here we go again, hopping on the TTC train for what should be the last time. I hope it isn't a long ride; I don't know that I have it in me to go through the infertility nightmare again. But I don't really know what to expect from my body right now. Time will tell, I suppose. I'll try not to obsess and worry a whole lot, but let's be honest, that probably isn't going to happen.

Wish me luck, I guess!