My kids have been in their bedroom for about an hour. I am sitting in the dining room doing my own things. After about 30 minutes of silence, Bunny calls Okra’s name. He does not respond. She then begins to sing a song loudly. He starts talking to her. She responds. And then she continues to sing a song. He talks some more. And now there is a full blown conversation going on.
I have been guarding their nap time carefully. These hours are necessary to break up the day and for me to recuperate from the chaos of the morning. This time also serves as my exercise time, or time to make a phone call, or time to read a few pages of my own books (not a pictured children’s book). I have such fear that these kiddos will give up their nap time and this is the end of my sanity. I know that compared to some other parents with three year olds, we are blessed in a sense that my kids still nap majority of the time. But as the number of times they don’t nap is increasing, I get increasingly nervous. I can’t imagine not having down time, but I also have to acknowledge that my kids are not babies, they are growing, and I can’t stop them from becoming bigger kids, not that I want to. Maybe I get to be the lucky one whose kids nap until 4 or 5 years old? Only time will tell.
I have been feeling kind of meh lately. I think the monotony of the pandemic has started to get to me. Every single day feels the same. During pre-COVID time, there would always be something to look forward to, such as social activities on the weekend, trips that we have planned, or meeting up with my girlfriends. We have not done any of this in the last many months. I don’t know if the situation is going to change for us in the near future since we are still trying to be very careful with our activities. My mom did get her first dose of the vaccine so at least that provides her some protection. Bob and I casually talked about going somewhere nearby renting a place to ourselves just for a change of scenery. We may or may not do that. One change we did make was to start taking the kids to playgrounds. I hadn’t been doing that because the playgrounds weren’t open for a long time. Plus I was still a bit leery of unmasked kids and adults, and my kids putting their dirty hands in their mouths. Last week we passed by one playground and saw that it was empty. I decided to let the kids go play. I am so happy that I made that choice. You should have seen the fun that the kids had. They were giggling, running, climbing, sliding, and genuinely having a lot of fun. When a boy climbed onto the play structure, my kids knew to stop their movements and allow a lot of space for the boy. Unfortunately, the boy wasn’t giving my kids space and was coming closely behind them. It is just sad that in these pandemic times my kids have to learn to make room for others, and that they have to worry about other kids being too close to them. I hate that kids can’t play with one another like they used to be able to. Anyhow, after the one day of fun, I took them to various playgrounds four more times this past week. The outdoor physical activities really paid off. I think the kids rested better because of them. Since going to the playground has been mostly successful, I am happy that we at least get to give the kids some physical activities and I get to be outdoors with them. Maybe we will really make a trip somewhere nearby for a few days just to break up the monotony a little bit. That may help me with my mental and emotional health.
My therapist told me that everybody has an inner critic. This inner critic tells us things that we may not want to hear, like “You are an inadequate mother” or “You should have done better”. You may want your inner critic to be gone but he/she is here to stay. My therapist asked me to create an image for this inner critic, give her a name, and even think about what she may look like. She wants me to befriend my inner critic because that will help with working on my anxiety. She also asked me to thank my inner critic in my gratitude meditation exercises so that I can move towards living peacefully with her. I have named my inner critic “Ursula”. A long time ago when I was still trying to make some embryos to transfer into myself, I had recurring ovarian cysts. My dear friend Jane Allen named one of my cysts “Ursula”. When my therapist asked for a name, the name “Ursula” immediately popped in my head. Her assignment for me this week was to create an image for Ursula. Since I like drawing (but haven’t even done any since the babies were born), I decided to draw her. This is the final product:
Doesn’t she look like a mean school teacher?
It was fun for me to draw her. Now I have an image to look at, I wonder how that is going to help me on my journey to live with inner peace and harmony.
A friend of mine who made her embryos with donor eggs back in January 2018 had had one obstacle after another trying to find a gestational carrier that would work with her. She had to switch a few agencies in a few states and several gestational carriers who failed the screening. After three whole years having those embryos, she finally found a gestational carrier who passed her medical screening. Fortunately, the gestational carrier lives in our state so she was allowed to transfer in my friend’s clinic (vs. those from other states who would not be approved by many clinics due to the pandemic). The beta is scheduled for today, but her GC already did a home pregnancy test which was positive! I am so excited for her and am very hopeful that she will be able to hold her baby in October.
My cousin who has an 18 month old that she conceived with donor eggs is currently 14 weeks pregnant with her second. I am so so glad that she doesn’t have my kind of crappy uterus. Even though her eggs didn’t help her become a mom, her uterus is winning at being a great home for her babies.
Remember I went on a sort of babymoon in Honolulu a couple of months before the babies were born? I was going to go on a food tour after I published that post. I did go on a food tour and met this couple who sat behind me on the bus. We hung out all day long, and hit it off really well. We bumped into one another that evening buying ice cream. We discovered that we were going to fly out on the exact same flight. So on the day of departure, the wife came over to sit next to me at the gate once she spotted me. We started chatting. she asked me where my next adventure was going to be. I told her honestly that this would probably be my last trip for a while because my babies were going to be born via gestational surrogacy. Once that piece of information was shared, it was like a flood gate had opened and she shared about her journey of trying for a baby. It turned out that she and her husband had been trying for a baby for a few years, went to the same clinic that I went to (with Dr. No Nonsense), had a miscarriage and few other disappointments, and were taking a break and trying to recuperate from all the losses. We exchanged contact information and promised to speak with one another again when we got home. A chance meeting in Hawaii brought the two of us together as friends. We met up a few times for lunch. I eventually introduced her to Dr. E, my reproductive endocrinologist that helped bring our babies home. She and her husband had been with Dr. E for the last three years. They even got together with me and Bob prior to the pandemic to speak about the possibility of working with a gestational carrier. They were going to try once more time with transferring into her, and she did this past year after clinics were allowed to do IVF again. Guess what? She is 31 weeks pregnant and everything is going well. I am so happy for her and I am so honored to be part of her story. On that day when I picked that particular food tour to book and later chose that particular seat on the tour bus to sit, I never would have imagined these seemingly inconsequential choices would make an impact in someone’s reproductive endeavor. God is amazing.