Sunday, June 19, 2011

Practically Perfect

It was one of those weekends where (almost) everything comes together well-- time with Elle, time to myself, time with good friends. The few bumps in the road were minor and not really a problem.

I even got out the invites for Elle's first birthday bash.

Yup. Her first birthday. I'm not entirely sure when that happened. It's amazing to me how quickly it has gone, and continues to go. It is also, to be honest, terrifying-- if the next 17 years go this quickly, she's going to be in college (hopefully) in about a week and a half. Or at least it will feel that way.

When we're having a rough patch, I remind myself of this. It won't last. It isn't forever. I have her with me for such a very short time, in the scheme of things; I need to savor every moment. Even the rough ones.

Here. Have a baby foot picture. I'm not exactly a great photographer, but baby feet are darling no matter what. And they fit right in with "No way am I showing my daughter's face in public, thanks" mantra.

From one

She's pretty cute, for an old almost one-year-old. I think I'll keep her.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Go ahead. You can tell me I'm crazy.

One of the things I try hard not to regret is that I waited so long to start trying to become a mom. It doesn't do any good to regret it-- I wasn't ready for a hundred reasons. And if I'd started earlier, I wouldn't have Elle, and clearly Elle was meant to be here.

But sometimes, regret breaks through. It's doing so now because, had I done this sooner (and presumably had similar luck in terms of conception), there would be some chance of being able to have another child.

I know! The very thought is crazy. Insane. But with Elle nearly a year old, the knowledge that she is an only child with a practically nonexistent family feels like a weight on my chest. It's not news, of course, but I can still wish it was different.

Of course, it's impossible. At my next birthday I'll be 45; conceiving Elle at 43 was a miracle in itself. Even if I wanted to give it a shot, I no longer have the insurance coverage that made my IVF possible. And if by some miracle I had another child, the daycare costs would kill me. (Not to mention I have no desire to ever be pregnant again.)

If I had embryos on ice, I just might say what the hell and give it a shot-- why not try a FET, if you've got them? But I don't. I was on massive quantities of drugs and only produced five eggs, and all four that fertilized were transferred. One of them is my beautiful Elle; there were no spares. That's probably a good indication that now, getting on to two years later, the likelihood of viable eggs is pretty low.

So I have all these rational reasons why it's just not possible. Right now, though, there's a part of me that doesn't care.

I guess I'm just mourning the possibilities.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Why the hell am I still subscribed to anything from (And no, I'm not mangling the name, because if anyone wants to find this post through Google, they're welcome to do so.)

Seriously, why?

Last Friday's email header was something like "Are other parents just like you?"

Let me parse that one. In detail.

1. Jeebus, I hope not.
2. What?
3. Are all parents supposed to be exactly alike?
4. If all parents are supposed to be exactly alike, why didn't anyone tell me this before now? Man, I'm way behind.
5. If I'm "different," what does that mean? Is my daughter doomed to be a serial ax murderer, rampaging through the country slaughtering innocents?

Seriously. "Are other parents just like you?" Are they kidding? Are they morons? I'm guessing the answers to those questions are "No" and "Yes."

This is not the first e-mail I've gotten from them that has a subject line that makes me scratch my head. And I know perfectly well the e-mails are crafted to get you to click through to their website, where they can count you as a visit and sell more ads.

But trying to generate ad revenue through parental competition is crazy. Why not generate visits through interesting, thought-provoking topics? I'm far more likely to click through to find out something new, interesting, or informative than I am to click through to find ways to worry that I'm screwing up at mothering my child.

Isn't there enough competition already? It seems never-ending, sometimes. My baby did thus-and-so at X months. I only feed organic, and I make every bite of food my baby consumes. I even grind the wheat myself! I read to my baby for seven hours a day. I have thrown out all the televisions in my home. I sew all my baby's clothes from sustainably grown organic cotton fabric that I hand-loomed and wove. I've never even thought about using crib bumpers/letting my child sleep in a swing/using a binky/insert whatever here.

Seriously, we don't need help from Most of us beat ourselves up quite enough already, thanks.

I am a judgmental person, no doubt about it. But I have become much less judgmental since becoming a mom, because when it boils down to it, whatever is legal and safe and works for you and your family is absolutely fine by me. Binkys? Go for it, if that's what works for your baby. Your 16-month-old still wants her bottle? I am not going to lecture you on that one.

It all works itself out in the end, most of the time.

Until then, shut up.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

You can't really say "Happy Memorial Day," so I'll just say that if you're a US-ian, I hope you had a good holiday, and spent at least a moment remembering those who have died in our defense.


So many new things lately-- we have clapping, a couple of (inconsistently used) words, feeding herself (as long as it's not cold, wet, slimy, or any combination thereof), and she will now pull herself up to a sitting position by holding on to your hand(s). It's just a matter of time until she figures out she can pull herself up on inanimate objects.

Still no crawling or walking, and little interest in standing, but I did get her evaluated (yeah, I'm paranoid) and the therapist wasn't particularly worried. She thinks it's more a function of lack of interest than it is a physical issue. Given that Elle is a little late on every curve, no one's particularly concerned yet. I keep working with her, and am pretty sure I'll soon regret the day I wished she was mobile.


We went to our first parade on Memorial Day. It was a gorgeous day, and we found a spot of shade to settle in on a beach towel, with sippy cups and Cheeri0s.

It was a big, big hit. Anything with lots of people and music and noise? Sign Elle right up. I was a little worried about the sirens from the police and fire vehicles, but she didn't even blink. She adored the marching bands (she booty-danced along with them), clapped occasionally, chewed on a paper fan that one of the floats threw out, and waved a little flag with more skill and enthusiasm than I expected. (And she didn't try to eat the flag, so that's a definite win.) She's so social and, frankly, nosy that this was an event practically tailored to her interests.

When you think of it, parades are really meant for the kids, and my kid was a happy target audience.


My parents were in town for the holiday, which was nice for a number of reasons. Elle loves the company, and I like the flexibility to be able to do things without having to worry quite as much about what I'll do with the baby. I even got to go to a barbecue-- which was fun, but honestly? I missed Elle.

I know! Time to do grown-up stuff like drink delicious gin and tonics and munch on spicy guac, and I kind of wished I could go home and play with Elle instead. (I did get home in time to take her for a nice walk.)

There's been a bit of a dust-up on one of my single mom discussion lists relative to messages on how tiring it is to be a single parent. And it is. It's exhausting. It's terrifying most of the time, too, even if you have a baby without any major sleeping/feeding issues. I'm sure it's terrifying in entirely different ways as the child(ren) get older. (The dust-up, FYI, is someone essentially accusing someone else of lying because she sounds remarkably productive. I don't think the productive person is a liar; I am just flat-out envious.)

Women who are considering becoming single parents ("thinkers") will often analyze information with great intensity. I was one of those women-- I went through the numbers and the information and read, carefully, information on women who'd become single moms and how they were handling it. I don't think anyone (at least not anyone that I paid attention to) said anything other than how it is hard.

They also said that it was the hardest, best thing they'd ever done.

I don't know. Regardless of your status (single or partnered), there's just no way to know how it is to be a parent until you're actually a parent. No amount of research can possibly help you understand how it feels to be up at three in the morning with an infant who has been screaming since, seemingly, the dawn of time. No Excel spreadsheet can quantify how it feels the first time your child presses an open-mouthed kiss on your cheek.

To some degree, you just have to do it or not do it. Leap or not. Yeah, it's going to suck sometimes. It IS tiring. It's scary as hell. Regardless of what you choose, you'll probably have second thoughts, and that's fine too.

If you become a parent, one day you'll realize you don't really remember what your life looked like before that child entered your world. And your gin and tonic will be delicious, but you'll want to be somewhere else. And that? That's your life, now.