Sunday 10 November 2019

Another milestone

We celebrated AJ’s 5th birthday on the 9th (a bit after her actual birthday as she has friends with similar birthdays and had other parties to attend. Lucky girl.) 

At her party AJ had a dance lesson with her friends. Her theme was unicorns. I enjoyed the fanciful nature of the event and appreciated the distraction of organizing it. AJ and Dani wore unicorn dresses and I bought myself unicorn leggings to match. All the kids had a good time.

AJ has been saying she’s an artist for the past few months. And she has expanded her creativity exponentially since starting school.  Many of her presents involve making different crafts (which is great but  I am only going to let her open more as they are completed as I get twitchy at the thought of multiple incomplete projects: got too many of my own likely.). I bought her two sketchbooks and a book on how to draw animals.

AJ drew this picture of herself feeling happy on the day of her party.

Anyway, I have kind of a thing about fives and it occurred to me today that we have now been a family with children longer than we have been a family without children.  Counting from the year of our wedding, it was Mr Turtle and I from 2010 to 2014 and  then a family of three, later four from 2014 to 2019. Four years without kids, five years with kids. Since infertility was such a major issue in our lives I feel like I should acknowledge that. And barring some tragedy, the number of years with kids will continue to accumulate  while the years without will never change and will become the tinier part of the ratio. Kinda puts it in perspective.

It’s interesting; the year I started the blog, 2013, feels longer in a way than all the years since AJ was born. And I suppose I could count the early agonizing weeks of the first pregnancy in there. But when I look at AJ now the song lyric goes through my head: “Time started moving on the day we met.” So hold on, hold on the chorus continues. I try. Precious hugs and kisses and conversations.

Sunday 3 November 2019

Maximum responsibility revisited

So, a couple of months ago I wrote about anticipating a return to work while keeping a bunch of other balls in the air....I mean trying remember what the balls are and periodically fishing the ones I dropped out from among the dust bunnies under the how's that going you might ask?

The answer is not particularly smoothly. I have certainly been pushed to the limit the past few weeks. I won't go through it all, but I'm still at my job, and it's been about a month since the first time I seriously questioned if I was losing it and had made the wrong decision. The family is well. AJ has the "best day ever" at kindergarten, like, every day. Dani seems to have adjusted to daycare and just graduated to the toddler room.  I have counseling and mental health through work and I'm using it.

A few snapshot details:

  • During my first appointment with my counselor, I said at one point: "I feel like I've been through this it's my old demons all over again" (words to that effect.) I meant it felt like other times in my life where anxiety led to feelings of overwhelm and depression. But she asked me to clarify and then went through the oh, 5 or 6 major stressors I'd told her about and said "Actually, it sounds like you are dealing with A LOT you've never dealt with before. There is a lot of new stuff." Oh. Yes. She is right. Admitting that took a lot of angst and self-blame off, oddly enough.
  • I'm working hard at coming out of my shell and talking through the various challenges with colleagues and other people to turn them into things we can deal with, not a dozen problems that I can't solve on my own before the next dozen hit. It's an ongoing process. But when I manage this I feel more optimistic and clear in my head.
  • I saw the doctor earlier this month because I was overtired and anxious and had most of the depression symptoms. And because I was waking up hot and with racing heart and hadn't had a period since July. He gave me a few days off work, directed me to counseling, and took some bloodwork. The results were fine, but my FSH levels (over 100) confirm early menopause. (I turn 40 in December). So yeeeeeeaaaaah....there's that. Even more thankful for our two miracle kids. I don't know how I feel about this. I haven't really processed it. It's not a surprise: fertility doctor told me I was in periomenopause at age 33 after all. And we weren't planning on having any more children so it's not the devastating news it would have been three years ago. Still, knowing that early menopause is likely is different from it happening in real time.  I did recently have something resembling a period finally (very light though) so I'm not in full menopause yet.....but there's little doubt in my mind I'm leaving my (semi) fertile years permanently behind. This blog had documented many beginnings and endings....and here's another one.
  • One bright side: Remember all the anxiety I had about planning birthday parties in previous years? (Well I do.) I totally am not stressed about AJ's 5th birthday party. (Coming up next weekend).  I'm cool with it: I hired a facility, personally designed the invitations, hunted down RSVP's more or less successfully, found deals on goodie bag not stressed (so far). AJ is very much into art the past few months. She wants to be an artist. (I can't help telling her it's totally OK to have a job on the side, too.) I found a arts centre that would do a party based on visual art, clay or dance. I expected her to pick a project....but she opted for a dance class party. With a unicorn theme. So that's what we are doing. She and her guests get a unicorn themed dance party. We bring the cake and food and other stuff. Sounds awesome. And I'm glad that money I'm spending is supporting artists in our community....I think we could do worse.

Anyway, I have finished my work assignment for the day and have the rest of the weekend to enjoy, so I am going to go enjoy my imperfect, complicated, often hard to deal with but still precious life. And I wish the same for anyone reading.