Sleep Training is a B***h

I love to cuddle. I love to hold my babies and watch them breathe. I love the peaceful look on their faces as they lay next to me sound asleep. I love being a mommy.

These are the best times, however, I also love being married. I love my husband and I love to be in his arms at night and falling asleep with his arm around me. This is something that has not happened in a long time because our baby girl has been sleeping between us for almost a year. Turkey two only sleeps through the night once in a blue moon. She sufferers from, “I want to cuddle next to mommy and daddy all night syndrome.” So, she ends up in our bed every night. We wake up with her kicking our heads or crying for our pillow….

This was fine until…well until it wasn’t. She stopped going to sleep easily, we would have to lay with her for hours until she fell asleep. Her nap time consisted of the two of us taking a nap in my bed everyday. I had to lay next to her for her to stay asleep. This sounds wonderful until I realized that I was getting no time for myself and zero alone time and that was leading to depression.

Also, I was never seeing my husband. One of us would go to bed with her around 8:30-9:00 in the evening.

So…after much thought I decided…we decided…that she needed to be made to sleep in her own bed, by herself, every night….

WOW!!!!!! This is hard….

  1. Every night for a least an hour we are fighting her to get her to stay in her bed and she screams like she is being beaten. She gets out of bed and stands at the top of the stairs screaming.  I walk up, put her to bed, get her to calm down and start to leave. When I leave she follows me or lays there and screams…. This goes on until she wears herself out.
  2. She will fall asleep around 10:00 and she is up at 2:00 am. She cries and comes out of her room. I go put her back, calm her down, and leave her room.
  3. At 3:00, she is still getting out of her room and screaming. By this time I spank her and put her back to bed. An hour is all I can take…
  4. At 3:30, I am about ready to lose it and she finally falls asleep.
  5. At 5:00, she does the same time again…same routine…
  6. 7:30, we are up for the day!

I feel like a total failure as a parent. I feel like a horrible, mean person who is neglecting her child…

Some people in my family keep saying…they are only little once…let her sleep with you…what is the big deal…

The big deal is that to keep a happy marriage, I need time with my husband. I need to see him and talk with him and that is just not happening with our current situation.

Yesterday and today she refused to lay down for a nap and I again had to spank her to keep her in her bed…this sucks!

What should I do? How can I help her?

We tried the all natural sleep medicine…did not help.

The doctor recommended turning the knob around and locking her in her room….just do not know if I can do that to her….

Feeling like a loser of a mother…

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Valentine’s Day

Love is in the air! Can you feel it?

I love Valentine’s Day and always have. I have spent the past 18 Valentine’s Days with my man. I have memories of a lot of Valentines days. There were the early years when just the thought of the special day gave me butterflies. We have always celebrated. Then there were the poor college kid years where was always managed to celebrate. The time Charles has a chemistry test on Valentine’s Day,  who does that to college kids? The years apart…I hated those.

When we got married and lived in the same house, Valentine’s Day lost a little shock factor. I got ready in the same room as him and we went to the same old restaurants and  ate the same old things, but I still loved every minute of it.

Now, here we are. 18 years and two kids later and we still try to celebrate one of my favorite holidays. With both kids sick this year we had to stay in and you guessed it…no sitter…no date… However, I was determined to have a good day.

So, the kids and I made cakes that were complete with spittle and snot. Yuck I know…but where you are a mommy you worry about that stuff less. We also decorated the kitchen and we went shopping for some special food.

Oysters, lobster, bison steaks, crispy potatoes with rosemary, and roasted asparagus was on the menu. I was so excited to surprise my husband with a good dinner.

However, as soon as he walks in the door it happens…mass chaos. The kids run to him and beg him to open presents. I stop dinner cooking for a bit and we open presents and cards from family. The kids are so happy. We try to open our presents to one another and then the kids cry because they thought the other wrapped gifts were theirs. So, my husband lets them open his. I open my card and my husband says to me, “I thought the kids would love it.”

We are done and back to dinner I go. I ask my husband if he wants to help me. However, Turkey One starts to throw a fit about the movie that we are not watching and continues to until my husband gives in. I, of course, tell him to not give in to the fit and we of course start to argue. We kiss and make up but Turkey One is still screaming and pouting.

We struggle to cook with demands of something to drink, I need your attention, and so forth. My head is about to explode because I just want to see my husband on Valentine’s Day…a little anyway.

We finally sit down. I have candles on the table, place-mats, a table cover and a cocktail waiting for me. We sit down, say grace, and then it all comes unraveled. Turkey One does not want to eat and Turkey Two spills her drink everywhere. My lobster is not done and his steak is under cooked and both have to go back to the grill.

My husband keeps getting up and down, I am begging kids to eat, and they are not having it. Finally, I give up. I eat, drink, and ignore the chaos around me. We finish up, eat our cakes and then dinner is done. I clean up the kids and then look at a very messy kitchen. I start to clean it up as my husband leaves the kitchen. I am there cleaning alone…as always.

My perfect Valentine’s dinner was mass chaos. I was devastated and now I have a mess to clean. My husband and my kids are just as happy as can be. The fits have stopped. There is paper and boxes in the living room for me to clean up. I do so…like always.

I finally get my house in order and it is time to get the kids in bed. I lay in bed with Turkey Two for over an hour waiting for her to go to sleep. I come downstairs and my husband is still on cloud nine and in the garage. He comes in and wants to know if I want to watch a movie. We do and then go to bed with Turkey Two laying between us fast asleep.

I have to ask myself…what happened?  What just happened?

One day my kids will be gone and it will just be the two of us and then we will miss them. However, now, right now….I miss my husband…

 

 

 

 

Here We Go Again…

I am sitting here in front of a rainy window. I have on my favorite pair of pj pants and my husband’s old shirt. The house feels a little drafty and I am considering going to get a blanket to wrap around my arms. The house is completely quiet and I can hear a mixture of cars and the random police car going down the interstate. My house is net to an interstate and it is kinda loud, but you get used to the noise after a while and start to welcome it like an old friend. It brings you comfort.

It is day 9 post a 3 day transfer and the pregnancy test I took this morning was a negative as negative can be. No hope that a faint line was even possible. I sight of one line is stuck in my head like a bad country song that you happened to hear someone sing in the grocery store.

I am totally heartbroken. My heart hurts so bad because I have to tell my husband again of a failed IVF cycle and he is going to be even more crushed than I am. One of the things that I love about Charles is his positive nature and how he grasps at hope. I am the opposite. My thoughts tend to be negative and I hate false hope. I want things given to me straight! Getting my hopes crushed hurts, so plan for the worst to happen is kinda how I roll.

He did not me to take a test he wanted me to wait for the BETA on the 10th. However, I was so sure it would be positive that I could not wait. I had planned to send him a picture and say, “Surprise!” and pretend that he did not know it was possible.

So, I have to tell everyone I know that knows that we did a round of IVF that it did not work. I have to get all of the sympathy hugs, and hear all of the, “I am so sorry,” and I will be praying for you.

This is why we should not have told anyone. I do not want to have to answer the questions of, “so why,” or “do they know what happened” or “what are you going to do now.”

A sad thing is that I really, really, really thought it would work. I was positive. Things had lined up to work. New doctor, new surgery for Charles that went great, new meds, we only had a few eggs so no OHSS, wonderful retrieval and transfer. This doctor tried every trick in the book and nothing…

I am so used to the words biochemical pregnancy that a negative cycle is foreign to me. What happened to that beautiful little embryo in my uterus. Why did it not implant and why did this not work for us? Why does this never work for us? Why does God not allow me to be pregnant and carry at least one child?

 

Just one time….just one child…is it really that hard Lord????

 

The Two Week Wait

We made it! We made it to egg retrieval, embryo transfer and now to the two-week wait. I am so thankful to have made it this far. Our cycle was pretty painless. My estrogen and follicles grew at a nice pace, I did not have any OHSS issues. I did not knock out of my husband or cause my children to hate me.

My only regret is that we did not make it to a five-day transfer and that we do not have any embryos to freeze.

So, I keep thinking about all the positives and they are as follows:

  1. Since we implanted at day 3 I feel like I get to have my embryos in my belly longer. So, more mommy time with my babies.
  2. I have prayed and read my Bible more than I have in a very long time.
  3. I have gained a closer relationship with Jesus. I have learned more through my reading and I am re-learning what true trust is. Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so! And I am in love with Jesus.
  4. I have two babies right now! My two toddlers make me laugh, keep me busy, and give me a lot of snuggles just when I need them.
  5. I believe that God knew that 6 embryos was super overwhelming to me. We implanted two and my husband and friends are sure I will be having twins. I always loved the idea of twins.
  6. My egg retrieval was super smooth and I as in little pain the day of and after.
  7. I got to watch the embryos be implanted on the ultrasound machine. It was so neat to see my little babies come home to momma.
  8. We have the prettiest little embryos that we have ever implanted! That is a huge miracle already!!
  9. I feel at peace most of the time…I am only an emotional mess 10% of the time.
  10. THE FIRST WEEK OF WAITING IS ALMOST OVER!!!! Just 8 more days until BETA number 1!

 

 

IVF Life

Here we are in the midst of an IVF cycle. I never thought I would be here again. I really did think that this chapter of my life was over, but I am strangely grateful that it is not. This cycle is different in so many ways and I am grateful. It is still emotionally taxing, but so much better than in the past and here is why:

  1. I am a mommy.
    • I have two beautiful girls and a very loving husband that are my world. They keep me busy, give me hugs, and love. However, this was not true for the first five times that we tried IVF. I remember sitting and crying and hoping and praying to be a mommy, but never truly believing that it was going to happen for us. Now that I am a mommy, so much of the pressure is off.
  2. My Faith!
    • I love Jesus! I can sit and think of a million reasons why I love Jesus. I do not get angry that Jesus put this trial in our path. The trials and failures that we have had with IVF led us to adopt two girls. I would not change that.
    • I believe that I will get pregnant. I have so much faith that this is going to work. I feel it in my bones and every part of me. I just need to love and trust that in God’s timing it will happen.
    • If it does not happen, then that is okay. God gave me two little ladies and made me a mommy and if that is His only plan for me than that is okay.
  3. I am not doing it alone.
    • I have struggled with this one a little. Just how much do I share with people about what we are doing right now. I do not want to upset people or to ask for sympathy, however I will take all of the prayers I can get.  To get prayers, people have to know, so therefore I must let people into my world more than before.
  4. I know that not everyone will be on my side when it comes to how I feel.
    • Some people may not want me to do this. Some might not understand and I have to just accept that and move on.
  5. I made the choice to be positive…and will try everyday to stay that way.

 

So, the new IVF me is having an easier experience and that makes me happy!

The Monster I call Me

December 12th 2015…I had done more damage to myself, my husband, and loved ones than I wanted to admit. I had lived in severe depression for a year and enough was enough. I was sad, angry and mean. The weekend of the 12th, my mother-in-law and step father-in-law came to our house for a visit. During this time, I had a doctor’s visit scheduled to go talk about my depression. I had recently lost 18 pounds from not eating and being depressed and my family was starting to worry.

I checked in at the doctor, they called me back and I sat in another waiting room. The entire time I was struggling to not cry. I did not want to be there and I hated myself for being the mess that I was. The doctor that I would see was a friend of my husband and that made it all the more awkward. The nurse called me back and said, “Oh ____, how are you. You poor thing. I know that holidays can be hard. How are you holding up?” Forget about the stink eye, I am pretty sure I gave her the look of death. She looked down and started typing after I responded, “How do you think I am?”. All I could think was; why in the world is this woman talking to me in such a tone. I felt like I was being treated like a crazy woman. This was probably because I had felt like a crazy woman for a least three months and I was more than embarrassed at the moment.

The doctor came in and said, “Oh ____, you are here for depression. How are you? Are you holding on? I know how hard it can be?” In a matter of 10 minutes two women helped me feel worse about myself. They managed in talk to me in a gentle tone, almost a whisper, and treated me like cracked crystal. I just wanted to shout from the top of my lungs, “I am fine…just your typical depressed stay-at-home mom! I am home alone all day with two babies, my husband works all of the time, I have no friends anymore because I do not work, and I am exhausted from lack of sleep.”

I left that appointment feeling worse about myself. I left the doctor’s office, drove 5 minutes to my husband’s office, walked in his office, sat in his lap and cried like a baby for 10 minutes from the humiliation of having to admit to someone that I was depressed. I was embarrassed, angry, sad and I felt very alone.

I filled my prescription, took the medicine on an empty stomach, drove home and a few hours later I felt like I may vomit. My MIL and STIL were there and were watching the kids. I was grateful for a break. I was upstairs sewing and started to feel horrible from the medicine and taking it incorrectly. I texted  my husband that I felt bad and he confirmed why. I then laid on the couch and waited for him to come home. I needed him so bad. He was my rock…my comfort…and I had relied on him way to much in the last few weeks. He was then and still is an amazing husband.

My husband came home and gave me something for the nausea and handed me beer. he walked in the kitchen and got something for himself. At this time, my MIL stood next to my husband and said, “You know she is putting on, right?” I wanted to crawl up in a ball and cry. He looked at her and simply said, “No, she is not.”

So, skip ahead a year and here I am…. I have been on my medicine for a year and we had a pretty awesome year. I was happy, nice and we had a lot of fun. It probably was the best year that we have had in a long time. Our kids were amazing and we constantly were out making memories. Of course, we had our bad days, but everyone has those. If I forgot my meds for a day or two I would feel myself start to slip back, but I would take them and it would all turn around. Life has been good…

However, this past week and a half I have been weaning off of my medicine and what happens…I am starting to turn back into a monster. I am extremely irritable, I am getting sad, and I do not find joy in the small things like I normally do. Worst of all, my family that I love and adore more than anything is taking my abuse. I am here, typing, crying, and hating myself for that fact that I just released THE MONSTER OF ME on my husband. MY HUSBAND that I love with all of my heart.

I am currently sitting in the office and I can see him working outside and putting up Christmas lights. All I want to do is run outside and tell him that I am sorry, that I love him… But I did this last Sunday as well and I know he does not want to hear another…sorry I suck speech!!!!

Why am I doing this? Why am I coming off my meds? It is simple…so I can do a round of IVF. The medicine is not one that I can take while pregnant. It is that simple…

So, the next time I feel the monster start to swell inside me I know I need to:

  1. take a breath
  2. assess the situation
  3. remember how much love everyone around me and how much I do not want to hurt them
  4. leave the room and cry it out
  5. hide the monster and move on

WISH ME LUCK!

 

 

 

 

 

Birthday Month

November is a big month for my family. We all have birthdays 12 days apart from each other. This is crazy! It seems like the month of November is just one big party for us…and a lot of cake. However, as much fun as we have it is also an emotional time for me. Why? Well let me explain…

God blessed us by allowing us to be the parents of two turkeys that I love very much. These little girls bring us so much love and joy. Being a mommy has been the greatest and most challenging blessing in my life. I sit and watch these two little girls play and I am in awe of how amazing they are. These are the easy moments. We go on day-to-day and I totally forget about the fact that they are adopted. It does not even enter my thoughts. They are our girls and world. They act just like us. Turkey one is all girl just like her mommy. She is kind, creative, knows what she wants, and loves with her whole heart…just like her mommy. Turkey two is a jokester, easy-going and has a little temper…just like her daddy. They are us…so why would I even think about them being adopted….

However, when their birthdays come around I think about the day they were born. I think about the call that their birth moms’ were in labor, I remember the long drive to the hospital (8 hours), I recall meeting the families of the birth mom, I remember the fear that I felt, I remember praying nonstop, I remember laying eyes on my babies for the first time, I remember watching them through the nursery glass and crying like a baby, I remember it all just like it was yesterday.

Birthdays also always remind me of the sacrifice that two women made that allowed me to be a mother. Two women carried my girls for 40 weeks. They felt my babies move in their bellies. Turkey one had a lot of hiccups that kept her birth mom awake. Turkey two gave her birth mom horrible heart burn and indigestion. These birth mom’s gained baby weight, got stretch marks, had cravings, endured sleepless nights, and swelling feet. They probably had morning sickness and back pain. They felt labor pains and went through childbirth. Two women did all of this for two little ladies that they love so much. After the delivery, they went home broken and sad. Their bodies were a constant reminder of what had just happened and I know their hearts ached.  I cannot imagine how they felt…

I often wonder what November brings to these women. Do they replay the events in their minds?  Do they think about the drive to the hospital, the labor pains, how they felt when they met us for the first time, how they felt when they saw the girls for the first time? Do they think about how sad they were or how happy they were? Do they try to skip this month every year or do they sit and look at pictures and take in the moments? I do not know the answer to these questions.

I have so many emotions and thoughts this time of year. I cannot put into words how I feel. I have tried so many times and fail. There is a side of me that does not want to share my children with their birth family. They are my girls. I am their mom. We are a family. Then there is a part of me that feels so guilty for feeling this way. I have a need to share my girls with their birth family because I am so grateful for their sacrifice and I want to honor them. I know that there are two women out there that love my girls just as much as I do and that is a challenging feeling.

So my prayer for these two women is that they have peace in their hearts. To know that we love our babies so much and do whatever we can for them. I pray that they know just how grateful we are for our children. I pray that they know how grateful we are for them (the birth moms).