Category Archives: Uncategorized

I only have two hands.

There are days that life is perfect and there are days where I want to crawl into a hole and just disappear. When Elliott is a challenge, when he fights me with every single grain in his body, I absolutely shrink into a shell of a human. I never planned on being a single mom. Yeah, he has his father in his life…but when he is here, I am alone. I only have two hands.

Life is chaos. Three dogs. A house. A two year old. Work. A basement remodel that doesn’t seem to ever end. And now I have a two year old who has to wear a hearing aid. If anyone has ever tried to put a hearing aid into the ear of a stubborn, strong willed two year old, then you know what I am talking about. The screaming. The fighting. The hitting. I only have two hands.

I feel like sometimes no matter what I do, in work or life, I am expected to be more than me. I am expected to do more. Be more. People often forgetting that I am one person. Part of that is my fault. I don’t like letting people down. I don’t like coming across like I don’t have it all under control.  Thats how I have always gotten through life. Don’t let them see you sweat. Don’t let them know that you have a weakness under all of the strength.

At the end of the day, I am never going to be able to pull it all off. So when I am sitting on my couch, struggling with flailing two year old arms, tears running down his (and my) face…I just have to remind myself that I only have two hands.

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I make my bed now…

Making my bed is something I have never really done.  I was never the decorative pillow girl, and my parents were never the parents that made us make our beds. If we wanted to live in a mess, then we lived in a mess.  That is, until it got so bad that we got into a huge fight and I would spend a whole weekend cleaning. Making my bed is not something that has ever been important to me.  It kind of made me feel like I was trying too hard to be an adult. Having a messy bed was almost like my way of telling the world that I wasn’t growing up.

Honestly, I don’t think I was really full time “adulting” until Elliott was born.  Life was spent doing whatever I wanted, when I wanted and spending money however I wanted. Now, I did go through a spell of adulting after my first divorce. I bought my condo, decorated and embraced this new phase in my life. I made good decisions, took control of my health and was in a really good place. But then I started dating J, and my life became all about fun again. No real responsibility other than work and living. I found myself falling into the exact same cycle as I did as a child…my house/life would become such a mess that it would lead to a huge fight, and I would spend the weekend (or week(s)) cleaning it up. The messes were bigger now as I was an adult in age, but I was always able to stuff it into the metaphorical closet and they would go away for periods of time.

When J got sick, I adulted for a bit.  Getting hundreds of thousands of dollars of medical bills makes anyone grow up, but even in that instance, I would turn it off and on. I handled it all.  Yeah, he was sick, but I still shouldered all of the pre-auth fighting, the document chasing, the insurance claims. I remember sitting there trying to figure out if I was really able to do all of it.  I worked full-time, traveled a lot, and was having to balance being a partner. I never once asked for a thank you. I never once shut him out. I didn’t find personal refuge in anyone else. I just kept it in. For two years, I remained the partner that I felt I should be. When he started feeling better, I didn’t take a break, I fell right back into the role of supporting him in his dreams of owning a fight school.  Because I am sure this will be read by someone and then reported back to J, as I have previously stated, I am not saying any of this to be a martyr.  This blog is about how I felt and how I perceived our relationship.  And for anyone who thinks I didn’t share this with him, you are sadly mistaken. But the reality of my life was it was better to have him healthy and happy, than depressed and sick….so I did what I thought was right.

When I got pregnant, I realized that life was going to change and it was no longer just going to be about the two of us. We had another person who was going to be depending on us, and we needed to adjust accordingly. I became a quasi-adult and changed how I lived, but still enabled poor behavior. I thought I was doing the right thing. But I was miserable. Allowing someone to come home from their day job, take their clothes off in the middle of the room, leave them there, and then go off to their evening “fun” business until 8:00/8:30 pm wasn’t the right decision. Living a life where you expected them to choose being an adult versus going to a virtual playground every night was not a fair proposal to give anyone. I don’t fault J.  I would choose to do my hobbies over cleaning and dealing with a 16 month old every night too. Don’t get me wrong, when he was present, J was a great dad.  But towards the end, I was so unhappy.  I was unhappy that I had given up everything and I just didn’t see what he was giving up. I still don’t.

So now I am adulting on my own terms, but I still find myself falling back into the pattern of handling everything.  I don’t blame anyone for that, except myself. It has become abundantly clear that its because I like to control as many factors as I can.

So, even today, I am still the one primarily dealing with the insurance, the preschool, the childcare, etc. But I am also making my bed. There is something about the calmness that it provides. It makes me feel like no matter what, there is something that is in order. Something that has many layers and in a perfect order. (My dogs also like it). I am officially an adult…and one that I am proud of.
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Let’s go back…back…back to August

August 2016. Seems like such a long time ago. And yet its not even been a year. That month went in slow motion for me. So slow that I can remember every action and reaction like it was yesterday. August was full of lies. A lot of yelling. A lot of crying. A lot of begging. A lot of betrayal. But most importantly a lot of change. Within 15 days, my life went from one end of the spectrum to another. Its taken me awhile to realize that the writing was on the wall. In hindsight, I should have seen it coming. I should have realized that I was being replaced by someone else.

Its hard to accept that you are no longer what your partner wants, or feels like they need. A person who you decided to build a family with, suddenly becomes a stranger within your own home. But thats what happened. Everyone on the outside thought we were the perfect team.  Hell…I thought we were the perfect team. But teammates doesn’t equate to life partners. Think about it, nobody is on a team for their whole life. Teams change as you get older. As you get better (or worse). Yes, some people stay on a team longer than others, but nobody is there forever.  I think thats where it all went wrong.

I would be lying if I didn’t say that I feel like a failure. Not looking for anyone to tell me I am not, its just the truth. I didn’t want to be 39, divorced (twice), raising a two-year old and basically starting all over again. It’s not the most stellar feeling. However, what has been interesting, is that I don’t wake up missing him. I don’t yearn to be back together and living the life we were. I kind of feel like I was living a lie. A really good and elaborate lie. So when I say I feel like a failure, its not because my marriage didn’t work…its more because I feel like I failed myself. I let myself become someone I wasn’t. I lost who I was, and spent 10 years enabling someone else to be a better version of themselves…all the while sacrificing me.  No…no I am not saying I am a martyr. I made decisions that I thought were the best for me at the time. Looking back, I can now say, that I am not sure those were the right decisions. I got Elliott from making some questionable decisions, so there was some good that came from it.

The crying ,yelling and begging in August haunts me to this day.  Not because of what happened at the end of it, but because I have finally come to understand the motivation behind it.  I was yelling and fighting against failure. I was yelling and fighting against the fear of having to start a new life. I was not yelling, fighting and begging to save my marriage…..I didn’t want to.

Life changes…fast.

Years ago, when I made this blog, it was to chronical my struggles with weight loss. Then I transitioned into infertility. Then a short stint into new parenting. However, almost a year and a half after my last post…Life in the Rear view Mirror has taken a sharp left, as we are now looking at life as a newly divorced mom. 

I never knew when I titled this, that it would literally be like a journey down so many different roads, and I would be in the drivers seat (and sometimes the passenger seat) looking in that rear view mirror and seeing life unfold behind me.

I have a lot to say about what has happened over the past year. I’ve kept a lot of it bottled up inside, Bc I was trying to protect everyone. But in doing that, I have slowly poisoned myself. So as I lie in bed tonight, I am recommitting myself to the rear view mirror. I’m bringing you on this journey with me, as I work thru betrayal, hurt, anger, resentment, forgiveness, hope and so many other things. I promise this won’t be about bashing anyone. But more about how you can go through life, and see so many things…and at the end of the day, even if it’s plain as day for others, what you see is always going to be shaped by what you want to see. 


(This is my life now…and I love it)

Please sir, I want some….more?

Apparently having one child is only the beginning when it comes to people asking about your family planning. 

Before you have children, you always get the…”sooo, when are you going to have kids?” This is usually asked in a sing-song manner and normally coupled with “it will change your life!”. For women with infertility the former is the most loaded question in the world, but I honestly don’t think anyone ever asks that with any negative intentions. You start getting used to that question when you are 37 and you haven’t conceived your first child. But now I’m a grown up! I’m 38…I have a little human who depends on me! However the questions keep coming, just veiled in a different way. 
“Are you going to have another?” Ahhhh!! That question is so much harder than the ones BEFORE I had Elliott. During the afterglow of delivery and seeing that tiny little being, I was ready to have another embryo transfer immediately. I wanted all the babies. Baby feet are the cutest and a newborn baby cry is the best sound I have ever heard. 

But folks–I’m now knee deep into this parenting stuff, and this is a young mans game. At 28, I could handle the sleepless nights. The crying that seems to only happen at the most inopportune times. The lack of free time (after 6 am) that seems to prevent you from taking a real shower where you can shave your legs. But now I am here dealing with a reality that those are things I won’t have until this one is off and married!

Everyone says that two makes it easier. I’ve seen that happen with dogs…but can I get a guarantee that it happens with humans? Can someone promise me that I will gain some level of sanity back by adding another set of 2 legs to this crazy house? I’m not convinced. 

So when people ask me “sooooo….are you going to have another?” I reply with the best answer I know at this point: “Well–Elliott has 5 embryo-mates hanging out in a swanky, paid for cryogenic freezer apartment in Atlanta ready to go….but we haven’t decided yet.”

I’m BAAAAACCCCKKKK….

Well hello there!  Seems kind of weird to be back behind a keyboard and writing about our life.  My last post was on the morning of the birth of our son, Elliott. If you know me, you know the sith lord is here on earth. He was a whopping 8 lbs 5 ounces and 21 inches long.  I will forever post his height and weight status in this way. I can’t wait to have a 16 year old on the table with a measuring tape so I can record how long he is.

Anyways…a lot has transpired over the past few months, so I figured I would use this as an opportunity to bring everyone up to speed.  Most of you know the particulars, but many of you don’t, so it may answer a lot of the questions that so many people have had about where Jesse and I are today.

OK…so two months before Elliott was born, Jesse and I were plodding along and planning for the birth of the year.  February 26th, the company I was working for was facing some substantial financial pressures and I made the decision to go part time.  My decision enabled people to keep their jobs and Jesse and I weren’t worried about anything, bc he still had a great job. However, less than 24 hours later Jesse was laid off due to a restructuring.  Don’t get me started on that company, that CEO or how things were handled, but needless to say it was exactly what needed to happen….we just didn’t know it yet.  So there we were, two months from having a child and neither one of us were gainfully employed full-time.  I am not going to lie….We were stressed. I was scared. But we both knew that we weren’t going to be homeless and hungry…so we tightened our belts and hunkered down to figure out what we needed to do.

Elliott’s birth was pretty uneventful. As you know, he flipped breach at 38 1/2 weeks and I delivered via c-section. Being unemployed had its perks… and Jesse was able to be home with us those first few weeks, which turned out to be a huge help.  This is going to SHOCK our loyal readers, bc I developed two really rare conditions: Postpartum high blood pressure AND postpartum PUPPS. Needless to say it was AWESOME having an itchy rash all over my body and being readmitted for an overnight stay at the hospital 5 days after giving birth. Let’s also not forget that there was an issue with my insurance and the hospital kept sending the Medicaid representative up to my room because they were saying I was uninsured.  That was a mess in itself, and was really one of the driving reasons I knew I needed to leave where I had been working.  Coming out of pretty intense surgery and having a new baby and being told your insurance was cancelled caused a tremendous amount of stress on our already stressed family.

Jesse found contractor work at an agency in Atlanta pretty quickly, but deep down we knew we didn’t want to be there.  Once Elliott was born, we longed for time with our family. We wanted our parents, Elliott’s grandparents, to see him regularly. We wanted our brothers and sisters to be able to see him without making special trips to Atlanta…so our plan was hatched to make the move to Louisville.

There aren’t a plethora of UX jobs available in Louisville…but there was an interesting opportunity at Humana and I reached out to a friend, Stephanie, for help in getting his resume in the right hands. Everything worked out and he was eventually hired on. I was lucky to have secured a sales position with a company that allowed me to work remotely, and we made the move.

All sounds perfect, right?  Not by a long shot. Having a child changes you.  Despite how much I knew it wasn’t going to change me, it did. The girl who would hop on a plane at the slightest thought and travel for sometimes 9 days in a row for business, was now the girl who didn’t want to leave her son for 5 hours, let alone 24, 48 or more!  Plus, after selling for my entire professional career, I realized I didn’t have it in me anymore. The “close” sickened me, and the anxiety of having to convince someone to buy something became overwhelming. I would lay awake for hours dreading the idea of having to do a sales call…and if it went so far as for me to meet with someone, I would cry at the prospect of having to be a road warrior again.  So ultimately, I had to make the decision to walk away. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the organization and the people within it, and it wasn’t fair to have a salesperson who just didn’t want to sell.

I have been lucky enough to have people who actually want me to consult for them, and who knows what else is on the horizon.  However, I can promise you this….for the first time since I was 21 years old, my professional self worth will not be based on how much I sell and how many deals I have closed. Those days are behind me and I am looking forward to seeing where else I excel.

So that brings me to today. We are settled back in Louisville. We have opened up a Fit to Fight affiliate school here (River City Self Defense) and are thrilled to be reconnecting with old friends, making new ones, and having our family around as much as possible. We recently returned from our first family vacation, and it really was the first time Jesse and I were able to breathe since all of this has happened.

I plan on reconnecting with my writing and making this blog part of my life on the regular. People were so invested in the story of Elliott being made, I can only pay you back by allowing you to see how this child has already begun to shape our lives and make them better.

So hop back on…the car is going forward…passengers are always welcome, hopefully you have enough room back there with the carseat 🙂

Happy to be back my friends!!!

 

Hold your breath….close your eyes….hope for the best

When I titled this blog a couple of years ago, it was about my journey to get healthy. Let’s be honest, it wasn’t about a journey to get healthy…it was about a journey to lose weight. That’s my idea of “healthy”. When I re-purposed it as our infertility blog, it gained new meaning. Regardless of what you have going on in your life, you have to always keep looking ahead. So despite what events are happening , you have to keep trudging forward and put everything behind you. The good news is, you don’t have to forget them. You can look back and reflect on how they changed you, how they made you better or worse, and ultimately how they are impacting the road in front of you.

We have had a pretty insane last couple of months. I don’t want to get into particulars now, because there really isn’t anything I can say that will make me feel better about what has happened. There isn’t anything I can say that makes the rearview version positive….yet. There WILL be….just not yet.

All of this brings me to the point of today. My rearview mirror over the last 12 months has been filled with so many ups, downs, twists and turns. Today, the road in front of us will forever be changed. Our son, whom we worked so hard to have will be coming into this world whether he likes it or not. I can’t change that road…not that I would want to….and I can’t change what has happened to get us here. All I can do is hold my breath, close my eyes and hope for the best.

April 16, 2015 …… the day our road becomes a bit more crowded, scary, unpredictable and filled with so much uncertainty. While I am looking forward to our rearview mirror, because it’s not a bad thing to see how you allow life to change you, I am more looking forward to looking at our now.  See you soon baby Walker. You are already my now.

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Where is this “glow” everyone talks about?

So I am almost four months pregnant, and I have yet to get the “glow” so many people talk about.  The following, however, is what I have gotten/learned:

1) I have learned that either the people all over the internet lie about everything, or I am just a weird case.

2) I have learned that once you have a child, you are apparently given a button that makes you an expert.

3) I have learned that no babies sleep in cribs, and yet I see thousands of pictures of babies sleeping in them.

4) I have learned that I don’t need to buy anything at all for the baby, because all they will do is hang out in a bouncy thing.

5) Morning sickness is not actually morning sickness. It is all day sickness, that in my case, gets worse at night.

Don’t get me wrong, I have loved being pregnant.  We fought so hard to have this baby, and this baby fought so hard to make sure we knew it was there.  But being pregnant is not easy.  Aside from the physical demands, it has opened the door for so many opinions that, to be honest, are often times unsolicited…and yet people feel it is necessary for me to hear.

Newsflash….Jesse and I want to make the same mistakes that everyone else makes. Its what makes having a baby real. Every child is different, just like every parent is different….and while I appreciate people’s attempts to help us save money, what seems practical for you, may not be for us. As I am writing this, it makes me sad that some people may read into this and think it is me being ungrateful, or even worse, directing it at them specifically, but in reality its not directed at anyone. Jesse and I want to do this. And if you know either of us very well, you know that we are going to do what we want anyways 🙂

I still have so many friends that are still on their fertility journey.  Every day I think about them, and remind myself that the annoyances that I feel today pail in comparison to what they are dealing with.  I have gotten GREAT news from one of my first infertility friends, H. She had a successful IUI after several tries. And then one of my newer friends got pregnant without science, after two failed IVFs. Life is funny, and never a guarantee.

Off to go make some terrible decisions…I think this time on clothes.

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Baby prisons….pregnancy guilt…and trying to be normal

We are almost 12 weeks now, so we are in the throws of researching all of the things we absolutely “need” for #theclaw. Stores like Babies R Us totally stress me out with their shelves of stuff.  Don’t get me wrong, I am sure most of it is helpful and some of it is necessary, but it seems a bit like over-kill to me. The search for the perfect stroller, crib, car seat, swing, etc is enough to make a type-A google-aholic go crazy.  I find myself in a blur when I am comparing everything…and I have to keep telling myself that at the end of the day I can probably put a diaper on the kid, give it a wooden spoon and a boob and it will be fine 🙂 However, that doesn’t eliminate my anxiety over building the best environment we can for #theclaw.

Furniture is causing me one of the biggest headaches yet. Cribs are hideous.  They either look like giant headboards with rails (b/c 75% are “convertible” beds) or monstrous wooden prisons. For such a necessary piece of furniture to be so ugly and cheap looking is beyond me.  I am not going to spend thousands of dollars for one that looks just like a cheaper one…only with more elaborate railings and end pieces. I have an amazing company that makes solid wood gorgeous furniture for me (You’re Unique–based in Georgia http://www.youreunique.net/, btw) but they won’t make me a crib for liability reasons.  I get it…but I am just so used to having quality furniture from them, that I am comparing everything to what they made me. We found one at Pottery Barn Kids, but I don’t like the color. I found an iron one, but I am afraid it will be too girly…and well we aren’t finding out what we are having….and well, after typing that, I realized I really don’t care.  So we will continue to search…eventually we will find something, and if not, COSTCO makes really nice dog beds and I am thinking the baby will be fine in that for a few months…right?

Pregnancy guilt.  Over the last 8 months I have become part of several infertility groups. I have seen, on many occasions, women in these groups get angry when someone announces they are pregnant.  It gets worse when their pregnant friends complain about things like morning sickness, or being uncomfortable. Because of their reactions, I have been very quiet in the groups that I once found supportive. But this blog is MY safe haven. I am going to be honest…being pregnant has not been easy on me. I have not had morning sickness…I have had all day sickness, that tends to get worse at night.  I have come down with a stomach virus and sinus infection (and now cold) that I can’t take anything for, because I am pregnant.  You are basically forced to suffer.  Don’t get me wrong…I am thrilled that #theclaw is growing healthy inside my belly, and I wouldn’t change any of it….but being pregnant is something that I was not prepared for, and I am only in my first trimester.

I don’t know that I will be what I consider “normal” ever again. In 7 months, #theclaw will actually be here, and my normal today is me, Jesse and our 5 fur-kids.  Right now something else has more control over my body than I do. In the past two weeks I have been more exhausted than I thought a person could be. I have been sicker than I have been in probably 10 years (except when I had food poisoning). I am trying to stay engaged with my day to day life, but I would be lying if I didn’t say it was a struggle. They say that you start feeling more “pregnant normal” in the second trimester.  Here’s to hoping that “they” are correct. Also…here’s to hoping I can wear maternity clothes soon…jeans with sweatpants on top? YES PLEASE!

Oh…and here is the last pic of #theclaw for 4 weeks…(please note, this was taken a couple days shy of 12 weeks, bc someone thought burrowing into my uterus was fun — FYI, it causes cramping and some bleeding..so it’s not fun for mom):

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So….yeah….we are pregnant.

IMG_7336Yeah, I know…I know. I already posted in August that we WEREN’T pregnant, and then there was the maybe we were, and then I went silent.  Well, I went silent because the roller coaster got to be too much. It felt like my heart-rate was never going down, and I was constantly on edge from one ultrasound to another.  But then today happened.

Today was my first appointment with my regular OBGYN, Alliance OBGYN. Today was amazing. We are officially 10 weeks pregnant. The baby was moving it’s little nubby arms and legs around like crazy, and its heartbeat was really strong. As of today, we have less than a 5% rate of miscarriage, which makes me feel a lot better.  Not 100% out of the woods, but I don’t think you ever are until the baby is born.

I honestly can say that I had no idea that we would be here today.  There were so many things working against this little baby, and it just kept hanging on (which is why we will now be referencing baby Walker as “The Claw”).  From one appointment to the next, the baby grew and the heartbeat got stronger.  We are so thankful for all of the support we have gotten and I am thrilled to finally be sharing the results of the last few months.

I know some people may feel like I am sharing too early, but at this point, the baby will do what the baby will do…and we are excited to be celebrating all we have accomplished at this point.  We would have never gotten here without the tremendous support from our friends, family and the amazing staff at Georgia Reproductive Specialists. If you are in Atlanta and are in need of fertility assistance, I can assure you, there is NO better practice out there.  You will always be treated with respect and they care more about their patients than they do about having a Saturday off.

So I guess my posts from here on will be documenting our pregnancy.  Glad to be off the roller coaster, and getting on a less crazy ride….especially since my “morning sickness” is ALL day sickness!  The Claw is due April 2015!!!

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