I started writ a fall update weeks ago, when it was still fall. Now there is snow on the ground and we are days from December so I’d better get on with it and be brief or I’ll never reach “The End” of my fall update before winter starts. Sigh. Such is life, right? Well, such is my life, anyway.
Fall…hmm. Let’s see. There was raking and playing in the leaves. The baby loves leaves. He wants to eat them, knows he’s not supposed to, wants to comply, but also sometimes just reeeeaaaaaly wants to eat them. Just a nibble. He’s a goofball. We love him.
There was pumpkins and baby’s first Halloween. The neighbor thought the baby was dressed as a penguin. Now, we’re biologists and stuff and didn’t want to get all indignant about it but, seriously, a penguin? I know pot is legal around here, but really….a penguin?
Fall was full of transitions, which seems appropriate for fall. I got my braces off. Total joy. I am so glad to be done with that phase of life, again. And this time I wear my retainers like its going out of style. People have been asking how long it took and did it feel like forever and you know, it took 18 months and I found out the week after I got them that I was pregnant–a totally shock and surprise having just wrapped up the first half of IVF (where they harvest your eggs–lots of needles and raging hormones)–so I spent the entire time being pregnant, birthing a child, and navigating our new life with a baby. Oh, and my entire immediate family moved here and took root and my best friend of 13 years died. It was a bit of a blur, to say the least. And looking back to a time when I had no baby to now when I do, it seems like it went by very fast. So, for all you adult women of child-bearing age with teeth in need of correction, do it that way–get braces and knocked up all at the same time. The hormones that make you forget it all really do work and one day you just have a nice smile and a bigger family. In a blink.
The last transition I’ll mention is that, with sorrow and with hope, Ben and I stopped breastfeeding. It wasn’t the mutual decision I’d imagined. He was still pretty into it and there were a couple of moments in the first few days when he wanted to nurse and I wouldn’t let him and had to just hand him off to someone (my mom, Ted) to hold while we found a distraction (bottle or piece of apple or favorite toy). “I’m sad too,” I would tell him. He didn’t get it, but I don’t think he’ll remember much, if any, of it. We had a good, long run. He was a good eater and I made enough milk. Even in the days and weeks when I thought my supply was absolutely tanking and I was mainlining oatmeal and fenugreek, Friday would roll around and there would be 3-4 extra ounces in my fridge to prove me wrong, to assure me that we weren’t failing. Breastfeeding was the easiest thing–because it was free and convenient–and the hardest thing–because of the self-doubt and worrying. We could have done it for a lot longer. I wanted to. He wanted to. But I had to make an impossible choice between the baby I have now and the baby I want to have next and so there you go. I’m not going to try to explain my decision; its too personal for that. For us, it was time and, for us, it was the best decision to return to our kidcicles (as we affectionately call them) and give them a shot at being our kids. Infertility was a dark, hollow place the first time. Now that we have a child, it’s different, to be sure. Not all rainbows and unicorns, but not so dark either. Our family is not complete, that much I can tell you. And so we persist. What else can we do? (You don’t have to answer that, m’kay?).
That’s all for now. Hopefully the next seasonal installment will happen before daffodils are blooming in the yard.