New Kid on The Block

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

"Do you think we did it?" he asked, his eyes wide.

We were sitting in the Phoenix airport, sharing a basket of chicken strips and sweet potato fries.

"I don't know," I replied. And I didn't. Every cycle I knew it could go either way. I honestly didn't know if my body could even make babies. "Maybe?" It was another week and a half before three pregnancy tests answered his question. Strongly. +++.

Up until then, I'd been to the doctor. Many times. We were in a relationship, the doctors and me. It was basically a weekly coffee klatch only not nearly as fun and kind of invasive. And I'd been doing my research, wayyy more research than was probably healthy for any human, let alone a soon-to-be-30-year-old who was recently laid off and in a dark "Who am I and what is my purpose?" life place. In my most melodramatic moments, I'd call my mom and tell her I was unemployed and barren. She would Pollyanna me and I would tell her to let me feel how I wanted to feel. Then we'd move on to family gossip and she'd invite me to come visit her and I'd try to remember there's more to life than being employed and fertile. Right then, though, it felt like there wasn't.

I was starting to try things they recommended, the doctors, but I had learned from my dad's cancer that YOU are in control, not them. I wasn't going to jump to the drugs and extreme measures just yet. It'd only been a year. A long year. You may feel like they are omnipotent beings who know lots more things than you do, but they are not and do not. YOU know your body. YOU know what's best. Even when I had a little bit of imposter syndrome, I reminded myself of that. They are not in charge. I am. If I want to figure out how to make a baby, that's mostly on me. Besides, it's not like they spent much time with my chart anyway.

So, this is what I'll tell you, because I don't really want to give my whole "how we figured out how to make a kid despite how easy they say it is in high school health class" story to the internet. When it comes down to it, unless you're doing IVF, we pretty much know how this whole thing works:

  • I did not relax, and if anyone is telling you to, I hope you take a deep breath and forgive them for what they don't understand.
 
  • I started going to acupuncture, at first for seasonal allergies I couldn't shake, but also to see if there was any merit to it helping with fertility. It was holistic, and if anything, it was a 45 minute nap. I had nothing to lose. And, if you think acupuncture is expensive, you're ill-informed: there is a community acupuncture place right down the street from my house that has a sliding scale of $20-$40/session, dependent on what YOU feel comfortable paying that day.
  • I focused on fulfillment versus achievement. I was unemployed for much of the spring and summer, and it was the first time I really had a moment to take a step back and start thinking about how I defined myself and my worth. I've always been a financial contributor and a straight up anal-retentive perfectionist achiever. I had to let that go, and I had to really work hard to shift my mindset from cashing checks and looking cool online to what really mattered: taking care of my family, making life a little easier on my husbro while he carried the financial load, and investing time and energy into things that filled my soul.
  • I took my vitamins. Prenatals. Fish oil. Sunny walks.
  • I paid close attention to my body. My bff gave me those smiley face OPKs. I figured out how my cycles worked off of BC (it took a long time to adjust) and then I used them strategically. 
  • I tested different ways of answering "So when are you two going to have kids?" The worst question. The most ignorant, insensitive question, always with a smile and good intentions. "We're working on it," I'd tell them, with a wan smile right back. I found that answer to be the most effective. It usually got them to quit bugging me. "Ohhhhhhh," they'd say. No one wants to know those details. ;)

I wanted to keep it as simple as I could. Actually deciding to try to make a baby is such a strange experience, and it can get to you quickly if it's not working the way you want it to the first few months. But when the tests said I was normal--above average, even--I found it easier to work to have faith that it would happen when it was supposed to, which we all know is the most frustrating and annoying statement.

And yet.

It's always right, isn't it?

Let's also not forget all those melodramatic phone calls to my mom.


Some people don't have to try very hard. Others do. Looking back, I'm glad I got to really figure out my body, learn to trust it, and to truly appreciate this little dude we're bringing into the world.

We're stoked!

And this is just the beginning.

 
If you want to know more, or have specific questions for me, I'm happy to answer them. My goal is always to share as much as I'm comfortable with publicly and to open my experiences to you so you can be better and know more because of them. If you're interested in getting on the baby train and feel some type of way about anything at all, hit me up: whitneytbnd@gmail.com. All I can really offer is the way things worked for me, along with some good old fashioned "yep, it sucks, but it's probably not forever." And sometimes that's enough.
 
Big thanks to Sullivan & Sullivan Photography for capturing these special memories

Home

Friday, January 6, 2017

I'm not a huge "Let me tell you about this quote I read the other day that spoke to my soul" person, but let me tell you about this quote I read the other day that spoke to my soul.

I found it on Tumblr:

The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned. -Maya Angelou

Aren't all of the best quotes attributed to her? GF gets it.

I think a lot about home...the home I am creating with my husbro and my felines, the homes I grew up in, the open land where I know I can always find my family, and how important it is to me that I stay in harmony with the people and places that make me (us) feel completely whole.

Since most of my life we existed as three humans + a circus of animals, my mom and dad made sure to remind me often and always that "home" was wherever we were together. I didn't always find that to be true in terms of physical space (example: hi I'm 13 and don't want to share a hotel room with my parents), but I did always appreciate it in terms of our bond and our togetherness.

In my "emerging adulthood" years, "home" has been harder to define. I do find that I'm finally in that life place where when I walk in our front door every evening and there are two fluffy little monsters circling our feet, I feel absolutely safe and whole again. I've also found that following my mom around the world the past few years has felt pretty zen to me, too.

And whenever I am here, there is no question that I am completely, absolutely where I came from and where I'll always feel, well, free.



It was blanketed in snow on Christmas when I was there, but the sense of peace I have when I am in it never changes. Admittedly, those holiday years in between being and kid and having kids are really strange. I have a hard time figuring out where I fit. Here, in North Central Washington, though, no matter how old I am, I don't feel like I need to throw myself against the walls, even if I'm visiting solo.

It's the place I've been coming to since before I was born, so even in those years when "home" was hard to define, it was always a place I could run to safety.

What I've learned throughout my rambles and grappling with what "home" is or should be is that it doesn't have to be one place or one person. Waterville is home. Raz is home. My mom is home. Sitting on my best friend's couch and watching YouTube videos on her SmartTV is home. It's the feeeeeeling.

And the older I get, the more I create it, the more I chase it, and the more I hope I can represent it for someone else. If it's just for my little family, that's enough.

What is home for you?

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