Friday, October 13, 2017

Do genes matter?



These recent photos of my son MJ and me were taken during our annual family photo session (the second photo was taken when we didn't know that the photographer was shooting). I love them because I think that they really show the love and strong bond between us. (Side note: AJ was in a mood during our session and refused to pose for any photos with me.)

Although someone studying these photos would search in vain for a physical resemblance between the two of us (MJ looks very similar to my MIL as a child), despite this lack of similarity in looks, I think that anyone would recognize that these are photos of a mother and son.

I am still active in a group for parents via egg donation, and a fair number of members of the group are either TTC with DE or still pregnant. Understandably, many of those folks wonder about how their children will feel about being DE-conceived. Some also wonder if they will feel the same toward their DE-conceived child as they would toward a child conceived with their own eggs. I happened to read one of those posts expressing doubt around the same time that I received these photos from our photographer.

I suppose individual experiences may vary, and of course, I have no basis for comparison, having no children who were conceived with my own eggs. . . but I don't think there is a way that I could love my sons more -- or vice versa -- had they been conceived with my own eggs. In fact, in a weird way, I think that the fact that I share no genes with my sons frees me to know them without preconceived notions about how they will be like me.

So, at least for me, no, genes do not matter in my relationship with my sons.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Days Are Long but the Years Are Short

With my sons starting kindergarten and after seeing photos over the past two weeks of so many children of my friends who are going off to college, or starting high school, I was thinking tonight that I should really be cherishing this time with my sons. They still tell me that they love me multiple times a day, love to give me hugs and kisses, tell me I'm "the best mommy in the world," and say that the weekend days are their favorite days because they get to spend all day with Mommy and Daddy.

It won't be long before they are embarrassed by me and prefer the company of their friends to that of their parents. Before they start thinking I am uncool or can't possibly understand them, instead of thinking that I know everything and coming to me with all their questions. Before they take a bigger step along the path of the inevitable separation from me. 

I need to remember that I won't always have Alex wanting to blow me 30 kisses before I leave his room at bedtime and that they won't always be getting up asking for "one more hug." Even on the nights when I am tired and long for them to sleep so that I can have a quiet moment with my husband, or go to sleep myself, I need to dig deep and give them the best I have to give.


Because there will come a day, not too far distant, when they won't want so much of me. And that will be harder, in a way, than being wanted all the time. 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Anyone out there?

It has been nearly a year since my last post here. Although I wrote in my last post about whether I should abandon the blog or continue to post here, I don't know that I necessarily made a conscious decision to completely quit the blog. It was more that it had begun to feel like one more task that I couldn't quite stay on top of and that I felt I had moved far from my original reason for beginning to write here: infertility.

There have been a handful of occasions during the past year when I have had thoughts that I would have liked to share with. . . someone. . . but those thoughts didn't seem appropriate for this space. They were either musings about current events, the challenges of motherhood, or other topics that have nothing to do with infertility. And while I know that plenty of other infertility bloggers write about these topics (and I have, too, on occasion), I just didn't feel right doing so.

I consider my infertility "resolved." I am nearing 46 years of age, and we do not intend to have more children, for several good reasons. I have talked with my sons in a rudimentary way about the means of their conception, and they get it. . . as much as two not-quite-5-year-olds can.

Our sons are doing great. They will be 5 next month, and they bring us so much joy (and frustration, at times). Their personalities are night-and-day different, and they don't even look like twins these days. Being their mom is fun, most of the time.

[PHOTOS REMOVED AS OF 12/31/2016]

I know several of my former followers have found me on Fac.ebo.ok (where I post photos of my sons engaged in various activities on a pretty regular basis). If you are reading this post and would like to connect, email me at the email address in my profile.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2015 Recap

In looking back over 2015, I see that this post is only my 37th of the year. That's less than a post a week and the lowest yearly total I've had since starting this blog back in 2009.

I sometimes think that I should just shut this blog down entirely, as I seem to post here only sporadically and the posts I do share are hardly a true (or at least complete) reflection of my life or my feelings. In looking back at my posts over the past year, it appears that I only occasionally post about my sons and/or motherhood and most often just post random updates about what is going on in my life.

Plus, the reason I started the blog -- infertility -- is no longer an issue in my life. I have been a mother to my sons for nearly four years, and for a variety of reasons, we do not intend to have any more children. I will be 45 on my next birthday. So while I am technically probably still infertile, I am far from being in the trenches anymore.

So as I recap 2015, I am giving some consideration to whether I should even continue to post here. Most of the time this blog just feels like one more thing I can't keep up with these days. . . .

1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?
I rode the Polar Express with my sons.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't make any new year's resolutions for 2015 and don't intend to make any for next year.  I've come to believe that, for me, all resolutions do is set me up to fail.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Hmm. Not anyone close to me, but a couple of friends had babies, and a couple more are due next month.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
No.
5. What countries did you visit?
None.
6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?
Same answer as the last two years: I need to exercise more so I can have more energy and better health
7. What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
No particular date stands out.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I seem to have finally found a job where my skills and abilities are appreciated (and compensated financially). That's a first for me.
9. What was your biggest failure?
I'm not sure.  I feel like I am failing at *something* nearly every day. . . .
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Yes. I was hospitalized in late April/early March due to sepsis and have also had several less serious illnesses throughout the year, including some nasty colds, a GI virus, bronchitis and an eye infection.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Adele's new CD, 25.
12. Where did most of your money go?
Once again, to child care expenses (almost as much as to our mortgage)
13. What did you get really excited about?
Taking the boys to the Polar Express
14. What song will always remind you of 2015?
Bad Blood (which MJ calls "the fighting song")
15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
– happier or sadder? about the same
– thinner or fatter?  ever so slightly thinner
– richer or poorer? slightly richer, thanks to a raise and an unexpected bonus
16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Slept
17. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Procrastinating
18. How did you spend Christmas?
At home with my family: husband, kids, mother and inlaws.
19. What was your favorite TV program?
I don't have one.
20. What were your favorite books of the year?
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (spoiler: it didn't change my life), The Girl on the Train, The Giver (surprisingly, I had never read it) and Bel Canto
21. What was your favorite music from this year?
Adele's new CD
22. What was your favorite film of the year?
Hmm. Probably Spy
23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Husband took me out to dinner and (inadvertently) spoiled my evening (I blogged about this here). I turned 44.
24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A two-week spa retreat.
25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?
Basic
26. What kept you sane?
Chatting with other mothers of small children who work outside the home. It's nice to know that there are other friends dealing with the same challenges as I am.
27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.
I can't do it all. It's foolish to even try.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Happy Holidays!

[PHOTOS REMOVED AS OF 12/28/2015. IF YOU MISSED THE POST AND WOULD LIKE TO SEE THEM, EMAIL ME AT THE ADDRESS IN MY PROFILE.]


THIS YEAR'S HOLIDAY CARD


THROWBACK TO TWO YEARS AGO--OUR BIGGEST FAILED VISIT TO SANTA

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

I think I'm ahead

I'm so far behind at present, I think I'm ahead. Work has been exceptionally busy for the past 6 weeks or so, with no end in sight. Add in my sons and the holidays, and I am feeling quite swamped.

Here are the main things going on in my life of late apart from work:


  • Traveled to Mi.ami Be.ach for work and got one glorious night of uninterrupted sleep in a hotel right on the beach
  • Had a good Thanksgiving with my mother and my inlaws (I only prepared one minor side dish!)
  • Celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary the Saturday after Than.ksgiv.ing
  • AJ insisted we put up our Ch.rist.mas tree on Monday, so now it's on display
  • Took the boys to a local reptile sanctuary over Thanksgiving weekend, and they loved it. (MJ held a king snake, and AJ actually LICKED a green anaconda after petting him for a while.)
  • Taking the boys on the Po.lar Ex.press this coming Saturday
  • A dear friend is pregnant with her third, and I'm attending a sprinkle/lunch in her honor Saturday before we leave for the northern part of the state
  • Have done some shopping for the boys' presents but none for anyone else. At least I have an idea of what I'll buy. . . .
  • Sent out my holiday cards. I used to love doing a family Ch.ris.tmas letter, but I simply don't have the time these days, so folks just get a photo card from us
  • Have been working on organizing my digital photos in anticipation of printing them all (I crazily signed up for the "Embrace Your Phone" course which targets this issue in early November)
  • Started the 21 Day Fix on Monday, and so far, so good. Long overdue to eat more healthfully and exercise more regularly! I need to do something to have more energy
If I make it to February 1 with my sanity intact, I will be very grateful!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Little Boys of Three

Look tenderly on little boys of three;
Their softness is as fleeting as a flower,
The cheeks like petals such a little hour,
The deepest dimple, theirs so transiently.

Even tomorrow softness may be hard;
The little cotton cushions on the knees,
Turned into bony knobs for climbing trees,
The fists, so like a rose, grow lean and scarred.

His full moon cheeks will narrow to a line,
The silken hair becomes the brush of bristle,
As mother's little flower turns to thistle,
And there will linger not one little sign

To prove the cuddly cupid that was he;
Look tenderly on little boys of three!

~AUTHOR: Isabelle Bryans Longfellow 

[THIS POST ORIGINALLY HAD TWO PHOTOS OF MY SONS TOGETHER, BUT I HAVE REMOVED THEM AS OF 11/30/2015.]