A friend of mine has told me repeatedly based on her current experience as a mother of 2 teenage girls, Plan A – don’t have children. Plan B – if you choose to disregard the sound advice of Plan A, make sure they have some sort of skill they can exchange for money in their teenage years. Pretty good advice.
The alternate title to this post is “The Elephant in the Room: Let’s talk about why I stopped blogging.” While it goes a while back, to post wedding writers block and new job writing overload, the most recent reason I haven’t been blogging is I’ve come off about 10 months of lethargy. I have been hibernating. Lazy. Exhausted. Those words would work too.
I new it was happening, but in the weeks following the completion of Mom’s chemo, I have really realized how much of my time and brain power was going to pretending that everything was normal. This makes sense, your brain won’t let you live in a constant state of panic – well, mine won’t anyway. When people would ask me how she’s doing, I would answer with “Great! She’s doing really really well.” Because it was true, she did do really really well. But doing well with Cancer, doing well with the complete loss of your stomach, and doing well with a slow drip of “Drano” being constantly pumped into you is not the same as “Everything is completely normal, nothing to worry about or preoccupy ourselves with here.” It’s doing really really well compared to the really really bad alternative. And given the choice, I think we all could have done without it, which is not something you would say under normal “really really great” situtions.
The other thing that’s been preoccupying me is, and I’m sure this comes as no surprise, The Boy and I decided shortly before this whole mess started that we were ready to try and make a little person. When Mom got sick, the Boy said (probably wisely) “So… should we just put this whole idea on the backburner for a while?” to which I emphatically answered “NO! Are you crazy?!”
Turns out, Mother Nature seems to have agreed with the Boy. We have spent the last year feeling pretty friggin’ frustrated that two healthy people in the prime of their baby making years can’t seem to get it together. Since I’m putting all cards on the table with this post – it never even occurred to me we would have any challenge in this area. Not once. If not right away, then DEFINITELY within 3 months. The thought that it would be a year later and still nothing, didn’t even cross my mind. Frustrating.
And when I’m frustrated, or upset, or generally need to work things out – I write. But when I thought of writing it down I immediately thought – if I write it down it will make things true, and that seemed far too confrontational for this little introvert – better to pretend everything is just fine. Besides, what good would it do? It wouldn’t change anything, and at worst it may garner 10 comments with the sound advice of “just relax” (which FYI is pretty much the most frustrating thing anyone can say to me ever regardless of the circumstances), or “just stop trying” (which from where I’m sitting right now, seems like an option that’s available to people that are either undergoing some kind of hormone support, or already have littles, or were on the fence about the whole idea to begin with, or are going to start pursuing other options for increasing the size of their family – and at this point we’re not in any of those categories).
So instead, I hibernated. The combination of acting like my mom being as sick and that try as we might things don’t seem to be going our way in our other life plans, throw a crazy hectic job with insane deadline after insane deadline… well, overwhelming would be a good place to start.
But the last few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to exhale. At work, my temporary secondment is coming to an end, and while I would love to stay, there are exciting changes happening in my old job, and I have recently decided that I have time to wait for the right opportunity to come up for my next move, besides I’m good with giving up doing 2 jobs and working overtime on Friday night. Mom is doing incredible – and that’s not just relatively speaking. There’s a huge difference in her energy and her ability to manage this new life without a stomach in the last couple of weeks. And as for Project Little Person, we’re seeing a fertility specialist who is running the appropriate tests to make sure everything is fine, but has assured us that on paper – things look good. We are in fact otherwise healthy, and there is nothing that jumps out to say “this couple can’t do this”
So I made a decision this weekend. As an alternative to trying to “just relax” I have decided to instead take on a new project. I’m calling it Plan Me. We can all agree the winter has been brutal, and I’m really noticing the itch to get outside and enjoy any hint at spring weather I can get. So I’m focusing my attention on all the things that the Boy and I will find harder to do when we (hopefully) become 3 (well, 4 with Gordon). The Boy and I have talked about a weekly Nine and Dine date as soon as weather permits. My birthday present this year is a new bike to go with the one I got the Boy last year. We’re walking the dog. I’m meal-planning and getting our food situation back on track. I’m finding new motivation to start working out again. I’m looking at vacation plans for the summer, and having just learned that we have a 4 day weekend for Canada Day, I’ve started thinking about what I can do to celebrate Plan Me then.
Maybe this is what people mean by “just relax” but for me, this isn’t an attempt at distraction – Plan Me still involves taking my temperature every morning, and following up with the fertility doctor. Instead, I’m reminding myself that the hope is littles or no littles, in the end it’s just me and the Boy (who, BTW deserves a shout out for how awesome he’s been through all of this). So maybe I should take some time to be a little bit selfish, and get back in touch with the things I really like to do… like knit, and sew and walk the dog, and ride my bike and cook and bake and read, and watch terrible 90s television on Netflix and write for fun… not just for work.
And that’s where I’ve been.