Anyone who has even a passing acquaintance with us (and this includes people in airport queues, subways, the tube, buses, trains, waiting rooms, restaurants, and even on a few occasions elevators) will know that we ‘s been trying to conceive a girl as our final bite at the breeding apple.
We’ve used the Shettles method. This relies heavily on timing, and meant that our militant observance of the methodology resulted in 18 months coming *snicker* and going with only a couple of chemical positives to show for our herculean efforts.
We finally succeeded in planting fourth and final Hobbit human in August and are due to be welcoming the arrival on my 36th birthday on April 28th 2014.
Nearly halfway through the arduous task of growing a person, today is the day of the scan to find out the gender of our baby.
I’ve been in bed, genuinely unable to move, all day yesterday after being on the go for a solid 18 hours Saturday, organizing a Thanksgiving fundraiser that was enjoyable, if not actually very successful.
Saturday, yesterday and today I’ve fielded over a dozen apology texts, emails and private messages of people who had RSVP’d and were unable to make it. Tis the season to have to much on for many people, so I am not upset, but the level of effort involved did not correlate on any level to the financial or social success of the event. I did have a lovely time catching up with friends I had not seen for a far too long, and with only 30 or so people attending, I was able to talk to everyone and I even got some fantastic newborn cuddles from some dear friends’ 6-week old daughter.
Yesterday, and this entire pregnancy, has taught me a number of things:
1) If you think you can “do it all” and do anything justice; you are wrong.
After a very rocky and abysmally financially unsuccessful first 6 months establishing a boutique PR firm, things have just recently started to show real promise.
The strategy is simple: manage a portfolio of ethical, socially responsible and environmentally sustainable clients. As fate would have it, the only real traction and light at the end of the tunnel (working with clients who meet the criteria, and also pay their bills) has come since forging a new relationship with a new business partner a few months ago. About the same time I found out I was pregnant.
Then there are the other matters of trying to plan a very large renewal of vows party, run a household, manage geographically challenging properties, volunteer for several charities, spread the word on numerous causes (particularly the uptake of clean energy and Electric Vehicle Technology), assist various friends and family with everyday issues they may ask for help with, maintain social contact with an equally busy bunch of people, AND gestate.
I fear I am not doing many (if any) of these things justice, and the gargantuan effort to even keep all of these proverbial balls in flight has depleted me beyond recognition. I am sad to report – the world continues to both turn and have countless issues and injustices – despite my attempts to “do what I can with what I have.” So something has to give, and soon, or this Hobbit may be heading for a nice quiet padded cell somewhere.
2) Family first.
I’ve been so busy and tired, that I’ve missed out on the stuff that sets the foundation for family. I cook maybe once a week, miss out on the children’s events, arrange precious few play-dates, and haven’t been making time for them as individuals. Bringing another person into the fold, I seriously need to re-assess things. I’m trying to strike a balance between a sense of personal achievement, pondering my own morality, setting a good example for the children, and being at least an adequate wife and mother.
Now this may sound painfully cliché, but I am going to tell you anyway. Of all the things I have ever, or will ever do, our children are the most amazing, rewarding, fulfilling, frustrating, heartbreaking and important. Letting them know that, and being available to them is the biggest honor and responsibility imaginable. I needed to write that down, and I’ll be reminding myself of it a frequently.
3) What will be will be.
There are things we can control, there are things we cannot. Understanding the difference between these things is something that occasionally escapes me.
I make bad decisions, trust people, take people at their word, embark on projects, often without effectively weighing up the risks or potential rewards. I sometimes think, if I want something to be true strongly enough, work hard enough, hope with enough earnest… that I can somehow affect the outcome. Sometimes this works. Sometimes it does not.
4) Appreciate the things that are.
Like everyone, I waste time thinking about what could have been or what will be, at the expense of enjoying all the wonder of what really makes my world a very special place.
One never has to look very hard to find things that they are lacking. I have three (and hopefully eventually four) healthy, cheeky, intelligent, empathetic, generous, funny and loving children and a husband who adores and supports me in good times and in bad. These things do not come without sacrifice and daily effort, but they are realities and I am thankful for them every single day. That’s to true. Most days. I am genuinely thankful MOST days.
5) Grass seems greener – it really isn’t. Enjoy wherever you are and whatever you are doing for what it is without pining for what has been or will be.
I envy so many people, in reality as well as in principle. I envy those without children for the freedom and disposable income that having children has taken away from us. I envy working mothers who managed to balance their careers throughout the childbearing and rearing years and are now amazing and respected career women. I envy the stay at home mothers who are content and engaged in their community (people scare me, and even school drop off is a traumatic and gut wrenching activity) and keep a tidy house and bake from time to time. Most of all, I envy people who seem to attract support and who seem to have things come terribly easy. I give until it (as of today and yesterday quite literally) hurts. I try to do what is right and good and ethical at every chance. It is frustrating beating myself up over falling short on perfection on every measure, and watching other people dance quite happily through life with their own pleasure and needs being met as an absolute priority.
You know what.
What other people do and how they live their lives is not any of my business unless their lives are obviously intertwined with mine somehow.
I am going to spend more time enjoying my own yard, and not peeking over the fence into others people’s.
6) Pregnancy is magic, and difficult, and kind of gross.
When I am not up the duff, I miss it. I stare longingly at women and their preggy bumps and pine for the kicks and rolls of the second and third trimesters.
I swore this time I would enjoy every moment. Document it all even. Lots of belly-bump pictures, lots of enjoying the process. Managing my diet and exercise better than in all the other pregnancies.
I am rolling from day to day and week to week, and barely remembering to take my pre-natal vitamins. During the first trimester, I was lucky to be able to keep anything down for more than 20 minutes.
Now I have a little bit more energy, and I can feel the little person rolling around in my belly every day. I wonder what they will be like, how they will fit into the chaos that is this family. I am completely terrified, nervous, anxious and feel utterly ill-prepared on every level for this child.
I don’t get a chance to do this ever again, and understand that there are people in the world who have tried for years and in so many ways to conceive their own children without success. I can’t speak to how that must feel, and thinking of them and their plight makes me hate myself for complaining.
This particular baby is a very unique experience indeed. I was just starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and could almost taste the freedom that comes from having the children be more independent and self-sufficient. Now, I am battling through all the physical and emotional changes of being pregnant, and dreading starting over again from scratch.
I wonder if I will look back and read this in a few years time and be upset that I could not appreciate it for what it was.
So I’m just heading into the shower now to get ready for the scan that will reveal the gender of this child.
I’ll keep you posted.
And whatever the outcome, I know… I really, actually totally understand, that I am blessed beyond words to have this opportunity again and if this child is healthy and content, it is worth celebrating every single day.
Thanks for reading.