MOMMA’S TO BE

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Gulp…it’s that time of year again…Mother’s Day. A holiday loved or loathed. Celebrated by mother’s. Dreaded by “waiting to be” mother’s experiencing infertility.

I’m an overcomer of infertility. I found my path to becoming a mother. At times though, I still bear the scars. Three years ago on Mother’s Day, I was where you are. I was happy for all those mother’s who deserve a day to be pampered, spoiled, and put on a pedastal!! BUT– I was still so painfully aware of my own void without children. I loved all my friends and family who deserved to be celebrated, but I loathed the day.

My transfer is a week from Mother’s Day, Sunday May 18th. I find myself in a different place this year. I am now a mother to an adopted child, that I carried and delivered, but I am still taking infertility medications for a second adopted child.

I can rejoice with the mom’s out there who tirelessly give to their children, and I can weep for the waiting “momma to be”. I celebrate all YOU whose arms and hearts are empty, for your tireless efforts to keep fighting, persevering, and to not give up, until you too, hear the words you long to hear, “Happy Mother’s Day.”

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PARENTING CLASS: WEEK FOUR

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Summarization from the final week of parenting classes based on ‘The Principles of Love and Logic’ by authors Jim Fay and Charles Fay, Phd.

TEN TRAITS OF HEALTHY HAPPY FAMILIES:

1) Parents are the center of the family (Solar system analogy).

2) Parents are in charge, but allow children more and more freedom with choices and decisions as they grow. Children are given choices early.

3) Parents value input from children, but have the final word. They are authoritative, not authoritarian or permissive.

4) Parents are consultants, not helicopter parents or drill sergeants.

5) Family values are established from birth. Faith is modeled and shared. Parents are the most important role models in children’s lives.

6) Manners and respect within family unit are taught and expected.

7) Love for each other is expressed in words, actions, hugs and kisses.

8) Family spends quality time together, sharing family stories, opinions and ideas, and laughing. (Eat together as much as possible)

9) Children have chores from age two or three.

10) Parents show love for each other and take time away from children to nurture their marital relationship.

Some additional notes from the class:

*Secure parents give kids security.

*Set limits once and follow through with empathy and loving actions instead of repeated warnings. Teach them how to make wise decisions the first time.

*Let kids learn from their mistakes and take consequences of their own behaviors/choices. Let them do this early when the price is small.

*It’s okay to “blow it” from time to time. We are human. Don’t dwell on it. Just get back to consistent parenting.

 

FAMILY TIME

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Last week was fun filled with Easter Egg hunting and family time down in Alabama. We took a five day visit “down south” to see Josh’s parents and brother, his brother’s wife and four kids. Their Uncle John even came by for a visit.

John Luke had fun riding four wheelers and watching his older cousins play. He wanted to do everything they were doing. Emma is 9, Anna Kate 7, Spencer, 5, and Zachary 3. I’m glad the youngest of the cousins are boys. Zachary took John Luke under his wing and wanted to show him everything.

We went to the Good Friday and Easter Services at church and had our fair share of home cooked goodies. Josh’s mom did a great job of planning. As she would tell ya, “And no one got in a snit”. It’s always good to get together. We live too far and I wish we had more times like these.

Josh, John Luke and I weren’t ready to say goodbye, but it was time to head home. I had my doctors appointment in Knoxville on Wednesday for an ultrasound and bloodwork. The appointment went well and I received a call from the NEDC the next morning to start the Estrace. It’s hard to believe I have only three weeks until my transfer.

I got a text on my way to Knoxville from my sister-n-law saying the kids couldn’t stop talking about John Luke. What sweet memories they will have growing up together.

The good Lord willing maybe we can add another Foster cousin to this crazy brood.

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MIXED EMOTIONS

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I received my medical protocol this week for our upcoming transfer in May! Relieved my test came back negative, Josh and I are happy to be pressing on for a sibling.

Recently, I had some mixed emotions. When I was told to come off the hormones during the needle biopsy ordeal, I expected my cycle would start within 5-10 days. After almost 3 weeks of no menses, I got concerned and called the IVF coordinator.

She said that if I hadn’t started by the 10th of April to take a pregnancy test. If it was negative, to start the birth control. Pregnancy test? I was just a tinge excited at the thought of being spontaneously pregnant on our own. Hey, it could happen!

Then I started getting mixed emotions. Of course, I would love to be miraculously pregnant with a biological child. Isn’t that what everyone who’s been down the road of infertility wants?

Along with the excitement came hesitations. What would happen to my six frozen babies who are the biological blood link to John Luke? I can’t imagine loving John Luke more if he were my own flesh and blood. Would he be jealous that we were genetically related to the child? Would he feel we loved the genetic child more?

So many questions.

I never would have dreamed I would be saying this…I was a little relieved when I took the pregnancy test and it was negative. In reality, we would’ve been over the moon with excitement (and shock)!

But…a part of me would’ve been sad over how this would impact John Luke and the future of our frozen babies.

I no longer wish for a biological child for myself, but want a blood relative for John Luke. Don’t get me wrong, blended families are amazing. They are just as loving and sometimes even more functional as biological families.

We couldn’t love John Luke more if he were our own. We just want more like him!!

We have 6 embryos in waiting, suspended and frozen, until its their time to shine. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them. I hope its bright.

PARENTING CLASS: WEEK THREE

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Notes from week three of parenting class.

1)Kids coming in to bed with you at night: Gently lead or carry them back to their bed. Stay outside the door until they are quiet. Open the door if asleep, and cover them. May have to repeat until child will stay in their own bed. Parents may have to take shifts.

2)Misbehavior in public: Take charge in loving way. May have to sit child in a safe place for “time out” until fit is over. If child doesn’t calm down, may have to hold child until calm, no matter how many people show disapproval.

3)Use enforceable statements: Use enforceable words. “If you don’t stop picking on your sister, you will go to your room”. Say what you mean and mean what you say. The only thing parents can control is how they react to a situation, cannot always control the child’s behavior. Must always follow through with the enforceable statement initiated.

4)Model behaviors you want kids to learn: Use excitement and joy when wanting kids to learn a behavior or act a certain way. You have to model that behavior. Kids copy things and learn more when not being preached to. Use this for everything from brushing teeth, to buckling seatbelt, to having fun with chores.

5)Potty training: Make it fun. Say things like, “Bye bye pee pee, you’re out of here!” when flushing the toilet. Let them flush the toilet.

6)Start kids helping with chores: Start them with chores as soon as they can walk. Model silly ways to have fun with chores. Example, “Die germs, die.” Get them to help take clothes out of dryer. Teach them to see how fast they can get the clothes out. Make a game out of it.

7)Explain morning routine on Sunday afternoon:   This is helpful at the start of a new school year or with a change in routine. For example, “The car leaves for school at 7:20 in the morning. This is what the clock will look like when it is time to leave.” Give them a 5 minute warning in the morning that it is almost that time.

 

 

WEEKEND AT GRANDMA’S

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John Luke and I came home for the weekend to see my mom “Babo” and step-dad “Papa” or “Poppy”.  I love going home, but there are always challenges.  Their house is on the Hiwasaee River with a 30 ft drop in the back yard, and they have a Koi fish pond in the front yard.  And nothing is baby proofed!

Saturday we went to a campaign breakfast for the local mayoral candidate in town (my family is very interested in politics).  We came home and let John Luke ride his four wheeler around the yard.  The neighbors dog “River” paid frequent visits, and at one point, took off with John Luke’s pacifier Ducky.   Having already lost his other pacifier Froggy, I had to run after River to fetch it.  John Luke thought we were chasing each other, and thought the whole thing was hilarious.

We took a drive Sunday along the Ocoee River, and watched some Kayaking and White Water Rafting.  We stopped at the Ocoee Dam Diner for lunch.  They had a pet rooster that paroled outside the restaurant for crumbs.  I asked the waitress if it just hung around all the time.  She said it was the owners and they hand fed him.

We are leaving tomorrow.  Josh said Maggie, our Lab, has been pouty and wondering around the house like she’s lost.  He thinks she’s missing the baby.

It’s been a good weekend at Grandma’s.  Then, it’s always good to get home and sleep in my own bed.