Wednesday 20 December 2017


Exactly one week ago today, I gave birth to this little dude!

Meet baby I

The weird thing about a scheduled c-section is just how normal the whole process feels, despite the fact that you're about to be sliced open and have another human being hoisted out of your innards.  

While my first c-section wasn't strictly an emergency, there was enough urgency to it that things passed in a bit of a blur.  This time around, I got to have nice leisurely chit-chats with my anesthesiologist and the OB who would be performing the surgery (since my own had to bail at the last minute for a high-risk delivery).  I surprised myself at how calm I was about the whole thing, right up until the point that the anesthesiologist was about to put in my spinal block.  I was hooked up to a heart rate monitor at that point, and he asked if I was nervous and commented that he could see my heart rate going up a little bit.  I replied something to the effect of "Well, you ARE about to cut me open, so there's that" which the nurses agreed seemed pretty reasonable.

The surgery went off without a hitch and at 3:24pm baby I entered the world at 8 pounds 4 ounces.  The biggest difference this time around was that, while Q had a few breathing difficulties that necessitated a quick visit to the respiratory unit, M and I were able to hold baby I pretty much straight away, which was a lovely distraction from the stitching up process.

So here we are, a family of four!  Right now we're smack in the middle of the transition process, which has been both amazing and challenging.  Amazing in that Q was absolutely thrilled to meet his baby brother and has been beyond gentle with him, asking to hold him and then gently touching his tiny features with a huge smile on his face.  Challenging in that Q was a MUCH better sleeper/eater right off the bat, whereas I has been going through some pretty fierce day/night confusion and cluster feeding so that's been putting us through our paces.  I knew we had gotten off easy the first time, but maybe not exactly HOW easy.  But with a little help from M's mom, who stayed with us until yesterday, we've been muddling through and I'm confident we'll find our feet soon.  

Who would ever have thought when I started this blog five (5?!?!?!) years ago that this would be where we'd end up?  But here we are.  Me and my boys.  


Monday 16 October 2017

Pregnant Pause

OK, so that was definitely longer than I planned to go since my last post.  There's suspense, then there's just being a jerk about it.

I don't blame you.

I know there are still a few of you out there, so for those that have been wondering, yes in fact we got lucky again the second time around.  I'm currently 30 (30!) weeks pregnant with baby #2.  To answer some of the most frequently asked questions:
  • How are you feeling? - Pretty good, although overall I've definitely been finding this pregnancy a bit rougher than my first.  I think I can mostly chalk that up to the fact that on top of dealing with the usual pregnancy fatigue / aches and pains, this time I can't just lie down when I feel like it and instead have to chase a very active 2.5 year old around.  Hence the reason why I've started to write this blog post about a million times and never finished it.  Sleep is just so much more enticing.
  • When are you due? - Official due date is December 21, but apparently because I'm really really old (and an IVF patient with a previous C-section under my belt) they won't let me go past 39 weeks this time.  If I don't go into labour on my own, I'm scheduled for a C-section on December 13th.  I'm OK with this, and if I'm being completely honest I think I'd prefer it that way.  I got enough of a taste of (induced) labour last time to feel like I'm not really missing out on anything, and I've already got the C-section scar going for me so I kind of feel like we should keep the rest of the downtown core in its original condition if at all possible.
  • Finding out the sex? - Done and done.  It's another boy!  I was a bit surprised to actually find myself hoping for a second boy, but watching how physical Q is with his male playmates I really started to think that he needed a little brother.  It's totally stereotypical and maybe this second kiddo won't be anything like him, but it also makes life generally easier in terms of passing on clothes, toys, etc.  So yeah, no little girl in our future, but I have my niece for that and I'm OK with it.
  • Does Q understand what's going on? - Yes and no.  He understands there's a baby in mommy's belly (he even outed me to his daycare before I told them) and knows it's going to be a baby brother.  Whether he appreciates that in a few short months there'll be another baby in the house that he can't get rid of is another story.  He is super cute and affectionate with his 9-month old baby cousin, however, so I'm really hoping that continues for the new baby.
  • Going to try for any more?  FUCK NO.  What are you, nuts?  Why do people EVER have more than two children?  At that point you're outmanned and outgunned.  Half the time the two of us can barely handle Q, and I start to wonder if we were insane to even consider another one, but that's kind of shutting the barn door after the horses are long gone.
And there you have it.  My long overdue update!  Thanks to everyone who's reached out and wondered what's been going on with me.  I can't promise I'm going to start blogging with any more regularity (as a matter of fact, I can pretty much assure you I won't) but I will definitely update once little man #2 makes his appearance. 

Tuesday 4 April 2017


Tomorrow, our little man will be two!

How are we celebrating, you ask?

Err...well...we're world class parents.  We left him with his grandparents and flew to Prague to try to make him a sibling.

This morning we did a frozen embryo transfer of one hatching 5AB blastocyst.  So yeah, I'm PUPO again!  The timing sucks, but after the delay caused by my never-ending miscarriage this summer, this was just how things worked out.  Everything went smoothly.  The only tiny hiccup was that our embryos had been frozen in pairs, and the Czech clinic seemed really against refreezing the one we didn't want to transfer.  But I honestly don't know how I would manage twins with Q around, so we initially agreed to discard the unused embryo.  Then we had second thoughts because it's a 4AA and who in their right mind discards a 4AA??  So we went back and told them we changed our minds and wanted the leftover one revitrified, even though it basically doubled our cost.  Everything online tells me that the chances are still good on a second thaw, despite the Czech clinic insisting it stresses the embryo too much, so there you go.  

In the meantime, updates from Grandma indicate that Q is holding up well.  Which is nice, because the howl he let out when we said bye bye nearly made me want to turn around and cancel everything. Missing his birthday makes me feel exceptionally shitty, but I know he won't remember and it means nothing to him right now.  We'll have a party when we're back and all will be right with the world.

So, what can I say about our little guy so that you can understand just how truly awesome he is?  Stats don't do it justice, and I don't have any anyway.  Unless you count his words, which I stopped tracking after he passed 200.  The "language explosion" DEFINITELY happened in our house between 18 and 24 months, and he pretty much surprises us on the daily with a new word we had no idea he knew.  All those worries about his speech development were quite obviously unfounded.

Personality wise, he is fun-loving and exceptionally easy going.  His daycare providers have also noticed his ease with transitions, and at home this means that most (though certainly not all) tantrums can be nipped in the bud with a distraction like a squirrel outside or a tractor video on YouTube.  

TRACTORS.  I know more about fucking tractors than I ever wanted.  A few months ago our neighbours were redoing their front steps and had a small Kubota rented to lift the stone.  Q fell in love with the damn thing, so one day to quell a rising storm I Googled "tractor videos for kids" and our world hasn't been the same since.  Now he'll bring us the iPad asking for "tactor" when he wants to watch, which we try not to do too often.  But yeah, the no screen time under two rule doesn't work in our house.  If I had a kid who would sit and play with a toy for 15 minutes while I make dinner, sure, but instead I have one who jumps on the couch so rather than letting him kill himself I pick the lesser of two evils which is YouTube tractors and a bowl of goldfish crackers.

Other loves include basketball ("backieball") and garbage cans.  Yes, I have a delightfully weird kid.  He has his own made-up word for garbage ("argo") and when we take the dog for walks he chatters non-stop about "argo cans".  "Argo cans!" he shouts and points from his stroller.  "Anonna (another) Argo cans!  Boo (blue) argo cans! Geen (green) argo cans!"  The other day when we got home from daycare he literally ran up the driveway and HUGGED our garbage bin.  He loves finding random trash in the park and putting it in the garbage can.  He'll have a brilliant future in sanitation management, I'm sure.  

What else? He's a pretty good eater and still loves all fruit, although he also now loves typical kid stuff like pizza and "i keem" (ice cream).  He's also still a ball of energy, and I'm confident now that he's outside the norm there given that every single caregiver at his daycare has at come point commented on how busy he is compared to the other kids.  Here's hoping this isn't an early indicator of ADHD or something!  But he has learned to slow down a little, and will sit and cuddle with us and read books.  His hugs are the best thing ever, although he's also working on saying "I love you" (I you you, Mommy) so that's pretty damn awesome too.

I could keep writing about all the cute little things he does and how I've started using little Q-isms in my own conversations with M, but I'm realizing that none of it will ever do him justice so you're just gonna have to take my word for the fact that he is the best kid ever.  And that's completely unbiased and objective, of course.

Anyway, happy birthday Q!  Hopefully when you're older we'll be able to tell you how we went to get you a baby brother or sister for your second birthday.  We love you!!

Tuesday 1 November 2016

18 (well OK...19) months

You know what sucks about not blogging for a really long time?  You end up with this gigantic list of things you have to blog about, which makes the concept of actually sitting down to write said blog post way more intimidating than it would have been if you'd just been blogging in bits and pieces all along.

Let's just make this easier on everyone.  Bullet points!!

  • Q turned 18 months at the beginning of October.  I've been pretty excited about the 18 month milestone because everything I read told me that it would be around this age that we could finally expect a "language explosion" and he'd finally get more verbal.  Boy howdy, has he!  It's incredible!  It seems like every day he's got a new word and although it's sometimes frustrating to know that he's trying to tell me something I can't understand, more often than not it's incredibly gratifying to KNOW what he wants and be able to give it to him!  
  • More on language: For a long time both M and I were "Dada", but in the last month or so he's started using "Mama" on the regular and it's pretty damn awesome.  He can do a whole zoo's worth of animal sounds (although he doesn't actually know the words for a lot of them yet), on top of the basics like hi, bye bye, car, down, apple, go, hot, more, no, and all done.  Some words I don't even know he knows until he pulls them out of nowhere, like the day he pooped and then turned around and pointed at his own butt and declared "dih-tee"!  Or the day he pointed at my amethyst necklace and matter-of-factly stated "puh-ple".  He also has his own made-up word for water ("ati") which I'm glad I figured out since one of his newest obsessions is asking for water in an open cup.
  • Speaking of obsessions, Q is definitely fitting all the boy stereotypes.  He absolutely loves all things that go, including cars, trains ("coo coo!") and airplanes.  He has a pile of toy cars and the first thing he does in the morning after has something to eat is go grab a few and drive them around the coffee table.  Animals are also a big hit.  We took him to a petting zoo a couple of weekends ago and he took off at a dead run towards the miniature horses, alternately screaming at them with excitement and repeating "Hi! Hi! Hi!" at them.  
  • Q is still a VERY busy kid.  As in, that's the single most common adjective that absolutely everyone uses when describing him.  If we have a weekend where it rains the whole time and we can't get in at least a little bit of outdoor time, I know it's going to be a long weekend because he just gets bored inside despite all the different activities I try to engage him in.  He loves the playground, and is very adept at climbing up the stairs and going down slides.  He's even (cue minor heart attack) started trying to climb up some of the other features like ladders and rock walls, although obviously we're always close behind spotting him.
  • As much as he loves moving, he's also started to really enjoy books again.  He'll go pick one out and then kind of back into you so that he can sit on your lap and you can read to him.  Lately he's started cracking up when we read "Goodnight Gorilla" and get to the page where the zookeeper's wife turns on the light to find the gorilla in her bed.  I can't tell if he really understands that it's funny or if he's just reacting to how we read it, but it's hilarious.
All in all, I'm absolutely loving this age and how much fun we have together.  I know the terrible twos are soon to be upon us, but right now he still doesn't really get too upset if we stop him from doing something or tell him no as long as we can distract him with something fun, so I don't know how I'm going to handle it when tantrums start to become a factor.  He's just a good natured kid who loves being around people and brings a genuine smile to peoples' faces when they meet him.  I love that about him!

A quick update on my personal uterine situation: after my miscarriage in July, I basically bled for two solid months.  Some days it was barely spotting, and others it was heavier.  I kept hoping with each day that I was passing all the retained products, but with each weekly check they kept telling me I had HCG in my system and they could see a small area where it looked like I hadn't cleared everything out.  Unfortunately by that point the remnants were so small the doctors didn't recommend a D&C anymore, saying it was likely they'd miss it anyway.  They finally told me to just wait until I finally had a period, which was good because I was getting really fucking sick of taking time off work to go to the clinic every week for follow-ups.  Finally in September I had a GIGANTOR period (I seriously leaked through my grey pants at work, despite wearing a tampon AND heavy pad.  Horrors!) and after that went back for a final follow-up where they at long last told me everything was gone.  I haven't had a period since, and it's been about 6 weeks but I'm pretty sure I ovulated about 2 weeks ago so it should be any day now.  We won't even think about going back to Prague for an FET until I've regulated a bit more so right now that doesn't seem like it will happen until the spring.

Finally, since you may be wondering why there are no pics to accompany this update, I've decided that the time has come to stop posting Q's photo on the blog for his own privacy.  I do update Facebook once in a while, so if you're not already friends with me on there then please send me an email and we can set that up. 

Wednesday 10 August 2016

Just a horse

A couple of months ago M and I started talking about having a second child.  We'd always hoped for two kids, and with four good quality frozen embryos waiting for us in the Czech Republic the decision to go back is a no-brainer.  Even so, talking about it and actually doing something to get the ball rolling are two totally different things.  Knowing all of the problems and hurdles I encountered the last time around (my RE promising to help and then backing out, finding a particular type of BCP that no one in Canada uses on short notice, trying to find someone to do a Day 10 lining check and give me the results same day as opposed to sending them to my GP a week later)...the thought of dealing with all of that again was just exhausting and discouraging.  So although we talked about it, that was about all we did.  I just wasn't ready to face the logistics of organizing a foreign FET just yet.

In the meantime, though, I suggested to M that maybe we could try naturally.  Ever since my period came back post-baby, I'd noticed that it had been a lot more normal and regular.  Gone were the 25 day cycles and week of pre-period spotting that I'd had before Q.  Now I was having what I'd call normal 28 day cycles, and although I wasn't deluding myself into thinking I was a normal fertile person, I'd seen one too many "unicorn" bloggers with spontaneous accidental post-infertility BFPs to discount the idea entirely.  You know, the mythical ones that get spontaneously pregnant after years of failure or after having a successful IVF pregnancy.  Maybe I could be a unicorn too!  So we started trying, the old fashioned way.

And it worked.  But only briefly.  This story doesn't have a happy ending, for those who would otherwise stop reading now.

In early June, my period was four days late when I finally decided that it wouldn't be totally crazy to take a test.  I peed on a stick, and wasn't completely shocked when it came back positive.  And while we were both happy, any excitement we had was tempered with an awful lot of realism.  After all, I'm 40 years old.  Even if I didn't have demonstrably crappy eggs, my risk of miscarriage would be upwards of 30%.  With  my infertility history?  It had to be higher.  Not to mention the risk of chromosomal abnormalities or other pregnancy complications.  

On top of the worry, another feeling that didn't completely surprise me was a healthy dose of guilt.  I'd always told people who knew about Q's donor egg origins that I had no intention of trying for another baby with anything other than our frozen embryos.  Since Q's donor is anonymous, something that I think about a lot is how he's going to feel about not being able to find out much information about his genetic maternal side.  Will it bother him, or will he not care?  If it does become something that's an issue for him, I always thought it would be better for him to have a sibling who is just like him to share those feelings with.  But now, I was potentially bringing a new baby into our family who would be genetically mine.  Would he resent this in the future?  Would he feel different?  Would he feel somehow like he was "less than", or that he hadn't been enough for us?  Those questions pricked uncomfortably at the back of my mind at night when I was lying in bed.

In the meantime, we didn't let ourselves get too excited about things.  We didn't tell anyone, and we talked about it only rarely.  No plans, no names, just a vague reference to a February due date and the occasional "how are we gonna manage with two?" when Q was being particularly rambunctious. 

Because of my infertility history, my GP agreed to send me for an "early" ultrasound at 8 weeks.  I'd been starting to feel pretty nauseous, so I was actually fairly optimistic going into it.  But when the technician didn't offer to show me the heartbeat, I figured something was off.  My GP called later to confirm: there was no heartbeat.  Everything was measuring on track, though, so it must have stopped not long before.  Which was somehow even sadder.

I decided to take misoprostol to move things along, since we were heading to our annual beach vacation in Maine in a week's time and I really didn't want to be miscarrying while I was down there.  It wasn't fun, but it seemed to work as advertised.  I had plenty of nasty cramps, passed a ton of huge clots and then the worst of it was over.  

Mentally, I felt surprisingly ok.  I guess it's hard to wallow when you have a 16-month old demanding your time and attention, and obviously having Q already in our lives has helped to soften the blow.  If we don't ever manage to have another baby, we have him and that's more than we ever thought we'd have in the first place.  Plus the guilt I felt over him being the only donor baby was gone, too.  If we do manage to get pregnant again, it will be with the frozen embryos from our egg donor.  He won't be different. 

Unfortunately, though, when exactly a new transfer can happen is up in the air.  I haven't informed my Czech clinic about any of this yet, because it's still not over.  I found out at a follow up appointment today that my beta is still 952 and there is tissue left in my uterus that is being fed by blood vessels.  I was offered a D&C, but M's parents are still in Maine so we have no babysitter which means I can't have a surgery under anesthetic since M can't be there to take me home.  They gave me misoprostol again, but warned me that the likelihood of it working the second time around is pretty low if it failed the first time.  I can wait a bit longer but if nothing happens in the next two weeks, I should have surgery to avoid any risk of infection and preserve my ability to carry another baby.

Strangely, after everything that's happened over the past month, hearing that the misoprostol hadn't worked and that I might need a D&C was the straw that broke the camel's back.  I cried for the first time since this all happened.  And I cried a lot.  I'm not sure how much of it is for the baby we lost, and how much of it is for the baby we want that is now put on hold.  We had originally hoped to do a FET in Prague in the fall, but that's obviously not going to happen now.  So unless we want to go in the middle of winter, we're probably looking at spring at the earliest.  I feel completely and utterly stupid for even thinking that we should try naturally.  That I could be one of those unicorn bloggers.  We won't be trying again.  It's not worth it.  If we hadn't, we wouldn't be in this position and I'd be planning a trip to Europe right now.

Because I'm no unicorn.  I was just pretending.  All along, I've always been just a horse.

Monday 25 April 2016

One year old

So yeah, I'm almost a full month late with Q's one year update.  For excuses, choose any of the following: a) both he and I have been sick pretty much non-stop since he started daycare, b) I've been back to work for three weeks and am finding the transition to being a working mom super hectic, c) due to a) and b) I've been in bed by 9 o'clock most nights and blogging has definitely not been a priority.  Whatever.  Now, on to the good stuff!

Stats:  At his one year checkup he was 20.5 pounds and 30 inches.  He's grown quite a bit height-wise, but has gained only about a pound or so since his last checkup.  The pediatrician didn't say a word about it, and I'm chalking it up to the fact that he learned to walk at 10.5 months and has literally not stopped moving since.  I gotta get a Fitbit for this kid.  I figure he logs more steps than I do most days!

Taking a brief rest in the dog bed.

Eating:  Right now I'm still breastfeeding first thing in the morning and last thing before bed.  I never had any firm plans about when I would stop, although I'm definitely not in the extended breastfeeding camp.  I'm surprised I'm still doing it at all, actually, but I've learned that when you have a kid that wakes at 5:30am and your alarm doesn't go off until 6, it's kind of handy to be able to bring him to bed and stuff a boob in his mouth for a little while before starting the day.  As for bedtime, nursing is part of our nightly routine but I'm sure I could cut it out any time.  I was out one day last week and M managed just fine without ta-tas, so this will probably be the next feeding to go.  Although I do like my cuddles at the end of the day, since it's one of the only times Q is happy to lie still in my arms and be snuggled.

Regular food wise, we're still doing well.  He's taken to cow's milk really easily and will drink either that or water with meals or snacks no problem.  Q isn't generally picky, although I've discovered that he can be unpredictable about when he'll eat something.  For instance, pasta with chicken can be amazing one night, but if we have leftovers of the same thing a night or two later it ends up being thrown on the floor to the dog.  He feeds himself pretty much everything now except for stuff that has to be eaten with a spoon (i.e. yogurt), in which case two spoons are a necessity because he's constantly grabbing for the one you're trying to feed him with.  He also really really wants to eat whatever it is the adults are eating, or he throws a mini-tantrum.  M's mom was passing around appetizers one evening before dinner at their place and Q seemed interested.  I tried to break him off a piece of my cracker but NO SIREE he was not having it.  We couldn't figure out why he was losing his mind until M's brother helpfully suggested that maybe he wanted to take his own cracker off the plate.  Which turned out to be exactly what he wanted to do.  This kid definitely has a determined streak, that's for sure!

Your phone.  GIVE IT TO MEEEEEE!

Sleeping:  Sleep is actually a ton better now that Q is in daycare.  They ended up transitioning him to one midday nap, which means I don't have to deal with fighting to put him down anymore since on weekends he's zonked enough by noon to go down without a fight.  Although as I've learned from many parents, he still sleeps better/longer for them that he's ever done for me.  This past Friday he took a three hour nap at daycare.  I can literally count on one hand the number of times he's done that for me.  Actually, no hands.  Because it's zero.  Regardless, he comes home happy and rested and then goes to bed happily at 7pm and sleeps through.  If he wakes and fusses we know there's something wrong (i.e. teething, getting sick) because he does it so rarely.  I'd still love to sleep past 5:30am sometime in the next year or so, but hey let's not be greedy.

Clothes:  He's still in mostly 6-12 month stuff at this point, although anything that has a crotch snap is starting to look a little tight.  He's probably going to be in mostly separates from this point out, since he's way bigger on top than on bottom.  He can wear 12-18 month tops but his little skinny waist and short legs mean that he's still wearing some 9 month bottoms.  So much for all those cute matching outfits people gave us!

Diapers:  Still Pampers Baby Dry size 3.  Although he's had a couple of blowout poops at daycare in the last week or two, so the next time I pick up a box I may try size 4 and see how we do.

Likes: Bathtime, every possible kind of fruit, playing with all kinds of things that aren't toys (remotes, phones, keys, the entire contents of the kitchen drawers and cupboards), climbing stairs, general mayhem

What?  I fit.

Dislikes: Sitting still, being stopped from doing something that will inevitably result in injury (like standing on the seat of his push toy)

Milestones:  Q has been on the move pretty much non-stop since he started walking.  Before I went back to work, I felt like 87% of my day was spent trying to stop him from accidentally killing himself, and the other 13% went to essentials like feeding and changing him.  He's an incredibly physical kid, and people regularly express surprise at how well he's charging around for his age.  On the flip side, I feel like his communication skills are lagging a little.  He still doesn't have any words (not even mama or dada), and trying to engage him in activities like reading or singing songs is pretty much an exercise in futility, as he'd much rather be emptying the spice rack or pushing the dining room chairs all over the house.  For a short while I scared myself thinking that he was showing signs of autism (since he regularly does things like ignore me when I call to him and he prefers playing with household items over soft toys or stuffed animals), but thankfully Isabelle talked some sense into me.  He's definitely communicating in other ways, such as lifting his arms to he picked up and waving bye-bye, and he understands a ton.  For instance, one day he took off his own sock and when I told him to put it back on, he just kind of draped it over the top of his foot and looked at me like, "What?  This is the best I can do."  He also loves to roar when you ask him what sound a dinosaur makes, which is so cute I can't even stand it.  His pediatrician would like to hear him babbling more, but honestly we talk to him all the time so I don't know that there's much more we can do at this point.  I'm keeping an eye on things, but he's so social and interactive I keep telling myself I have no reason to worry.  He warms up to people pretty quickly and loves being out and about where he can give big grins to everyone (just ask Gypsy Mama, who got a few snuggles when we met up for lunch a couple of weeks ago).

Illnesses:  After having made it all the way to 11 months with Q never having a fever, he made up for it by catching every bug known to man after he started daycare.  He's been sent home from there at least three times in the past 6 weeks (including on my very first day of work) with fevers, and we've made two emergency room visits for inconsolable crying which of course always seems to happen on the weekend.  The worst part is that Q actually ended up missing his own birthday party because he was getting sick again.  It wasn't going to be a huge affair, but my parents were coming for a visit so we were having some family and a couple of close friends over for an early dinner and cake.  A friend of mine who has done some cake decorating classes offered to make him a smash cake, and I made a big crockpot of chili and had games planned for the three other kids who were going to be there.  

Look at this piece of art!

Instead, M and I ended up taking turns trying to soothe Q (who had refused to nap that afternoon and went into full meltdown mode by the time people started arriving) and my mom and MIL basically made sure everyone got fed and were entertained for an hour before they went home.  It was an unmitigated disaster!  We ended up in the ER later that night with a feverish baby, while the beautiful unsmashed cake went into the freezer and the gifts went unopened.  The following weekend we had just the grandparents over for round two, so Q finally got to smash his cake and open his gifts.  It sucked at the time but I guess it'll make a good story to tell at some point down the road!

Tastes just as good a week later.

Looking forward to: Finding our new normal.  It's been challenging trying to balance everything now that I've returned to work.  The two hours between 5 and 7pm are filled with so much stuff (commuting, day care pickup, dog walking, dinner prep, cleanup, playtime, bathtime, bed) that we're still figuring out how to manage it all.  The crockpot (which I used a lot before anyway) is becoming even more of a staple, and certain favorite meals are going to have to be put to the side or saved for weekends only because anything that takes longer than a half hour to put together just isn't going to happen on a weeknight anymore.  I honestly don't know how single moms or people with more than one kid manage to do it all!

Tuesday 22 March 2016


It seems insane to me to think that this time last year, I had just started my maternity leave.  I was ginormous, uncomfortable, excited and impatient.  I left work shortly before Q's due date so I could get a few things done around the house in the event he decided to show up early.  Unbeknownst to me, he was on the extended stay plan.  Once I packed the freezer full of pre-made meals and finished cleaning everything that stood still, I spent the next two weeks alternating my time between sitting on my butt and walking trudging waddling around my neighbourhood, hoping to shake him loose.  We all know how that ended.

In preparation for my return to work, we've started transitioning Q into daycare.  We were very lucky to find a center near us that came highly recommended by M's cousin, who sent both her boys there.  Child care is at a premium in Toronto, so much so that more than a few women I work with have been forced to take a couple of extra months of unpaid leave to bridge the gap between the end of their paid leave and the date they could get their kids into daycare.  On the first day, to familiarize him with the environment, we spent an hour there together as if it was a sort of play group.  The next day I left him alone for an hour.  The next day he stayed until just after lunch.  By the end of the week he spent the better part of a whole day there.

So far he seems to be doing really well.  Every day his caregivers tell me how good he's been, how great he ate and napped (!?!), and how happy he is.  Drop-offs are a little rough, but what's surprised me the most has been my own reaction to this whole thing.  We started transitioning him a little bit before my leave ended both so that he'd have plenty of time to adjust, and also so that I could get a bunch of things done (spring cleaning, closet overhaul, etc) before going back to work.  I thought I'd feel a huge sense of freedom, but instead I've felt more than a little lost.  The first day I left him for an hour, I went grocery shopping without him for the first time in a year.  When he was smaller he would just sleep in his stroller, but ever since he was old enough to sit strapped into the cart, our weekly grocery trip has been a fun excursion.  I'd talk to him and tell him about everything that we were buying.  He'd chew on my grocery list or keys or anything else besides the three toys I'd brought for him.  He'd grin at strangers and charm the pants off of anyone who took the time to greet him.  Without him riding along, I felt lonely.  There was a tiny ache in my chest.  I missed my shopping buddy.  And while I've gotten a few things done around the house this past week, I haven't been nearly as productive as I thought I'd be.  I've spent more than a little bit of time thumbing through my phone, looking at his pictures and giggling at his videos.  Or I've just stared off into space, enjoying a little bit of peace and quiet while simultaneously counting down the minutes until I go pick him up.

I guess maybe this transition period is just as necessary for me as it is for him.