Category Archives: Kids

New beginnings & old brains

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So here we be. 37 weeks and counting down the days. How did I even get here?

After months of worrying that maybe I couldn’t get pregnant (well years in reality, but months of rolling the dice and crossing our hearts) followed by the act of really, truly, biologically, scientifically trying…to the fears of making it to 7 weeks, 12 weeks, 20 weeks, 24, then that magical number of 32, and better yet, here we are at 37.  Full term, safe and sound, made it through the wilderness to the other side….or did we?

The hard part about this soon-to-be parenthood thing is there are so many pitfalls and booby traps, so many hurdles and instances of jumping over quicksand, you can hardly stay on your feet, or (as you get more pregnant) catch your breath. The oodles of testing, the hours of worry, the nights of unrest, the vomit, aches, pains, fears, the thunder-stealing, heart-wrenching covid… and the worst part….this is just the beginning.  Now I’m faced with labour. This is an eventuality that I have barely begun to fathom because there was so much to tackle and attempt to control on the way to this very moment.

We have an almost packed hospital bag, the car seat installed, the stroller and playpen built, crib and bassinet all ready and waiting…but what about me?  Am I ready, or am I waiting?  This whole thing has been such a mindfuck, such a rollercoaster of emotions and physical strain, I just tried to make it to this space and time. But here I stand, still, uncomfortable and unsure – so now what?

Work was awful, covid awful, the pregnancy has been (I don’t want to say awful, it might be the right word but we will rename it to “challenging”) and me, I’m just ready for a week or two of downtime.

But, I am so big. So very, unbelievably, in my belly, ridiculously round that I don’t know what’s right anymore – finish off the pregnancy and hope for an early labour or earlier inducement, or wait it out to have a week to myself. A week of naps and snacks and TV. A week without so much worry or so much work. But, in that week I will be horribly uncomfortable and infinitely irritable. I don’t know the answer, because you know what – nothing will ever be the same again. To alleviate the uncomfortable is to rush the next phase.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg…..9 days from now, well we have a baby girl, one whom I don’t want to bend, break or fail…and that’s an entirely new kettle of fish. One that I have no recipe for, one extremely large pot that I have no idea how to boil.

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” 

The Ginga Ninja

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The hard side of being up and the soft side of being down

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Precursor to this post. I haven’t written in a while. Well, untrue, I haven’t posted in awhile. I’ve been going through a wealth of wiley emotions, even before quarantine hit. So though we are isolated now, I was feeling isolated even before this began. Welcome my friends, to the unremarkable journey. My unremarkable journey.

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Have a little faith. Think positive thoughts. Only worry about what you can control.

That..is..so..hard. Over and over as the years go by, I’ve tried to look on the bright side of life. TRIED being the operative word. I’ve tried to be positive about my new friends, old friends, future loves, hopeful jobs and slowly growing finances. Through every breakup, makeup, change, hurdle, ailment, broken promise, I just… tried. Hell, I try. But, things aren’t always my way, things are seldom my way, even when I try.

There are so many moments of unlucky. The trains missed, the loves lost, the doors closed, the quittings, the firings, the debt, the taxes, the broken bones and broken hearts. Not to mention the health scares, the family dramas, the lonelies, and loseries and the general feelings of envy and FOMO, isolation and introversion. That dark fear of failure and worry, the sinking great unknown and the aching void.

But, every once in awhile, every once in a small while…I have these moments of lucky. Just made the elevator, got my purse back, found my phone, free parking, free coffee, good song, cute guy, fluked a raise and wrangled a promotion. The mystery that is my life gives me little signs that maybe just maybe the universe isn’t out to fuck me after all.

And things you dared not say out loud start to happen. Things like paying off debt, falling in love, buying a house, keeping a job, building a partnership, living your vision, hoping for a future. Some of these things start to happen. More so, things like coming off the pill, tracking apps, testing with strips, peeing on sticks…things like seeing two solid lines and knowing that nothing will ever be the same again happen. Things you never thought that YOU, unlucky old you could have, well those things start to happen.

Well, turns out life isn’t fair. And all that worry you put into friends and sports, health dynamiteand school, careers, finances, getting houses and splitting couches….well that was nothing. From the moment those double lines show up on that small white stick, every worry you ever had feels like it never existed. I’m not saying that life only means something if you have kids, or experience pregnancy…do not get me wrong. What I am saying is that the journey is a difficult, unfair sequence of events and emotions. Nobody should have to go through it, let alone almost everybody.

Timing out sex was hard. Tracking in an app is hard. Peeing on sticks and trying to get it down to one day..is hard. Waiting to test is hard. Spotting at 6 weeks is hard. Spotting at 7 weeks is hard. Getting not one but two rounds of emergency ultrasounds and bloods is hard. Nausea is hard. Migraines are hard. Insomnia…well, that is really hard (even when the bed is soft).

And guess what – that is just the beginning. Getting your nuchal ultrasound is hard, especially when you have to get it twice. Waiting for your chromosome testing to come back…well, you guessed it…hard. Particularly if you are over 35, because in terms of childbirth, you are a geriatric dinosaur. I repeat, geriatric dinosaur, so I also repeat…hard.

But what’s even harder you ask? Getting a bad reading. Getting a very bad 1 in 9 high-risk, panic-inducing reading. And being told not to google. But, not googling is hard. And when you do, well you read about people with 1 in 11 and 1 and 5 who were okay, people like you. So you think, maybe it doesn’t have to be so hard. Maybe I’m them, maybe they’re me, maybe it can be okay. Maybe I can be okay.

But, want to know what gets hard again?  Not thinking about it until you go for that next round of bloods. Not knowing what those bloods will say. Hearing  some people getting better odds and for others, well they rule out all risk. But not all. And guess what, not knowing if you need amniotic testing – that is hard. Trying to decide whether to complete this potentially miscarriage-inducing procedure or going into the unknown with a big fat 11% chance of a positive outcome…is hard.

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And that my friends is where I am. I am researching my odds. And trying my best not to freak out. While of course freaking out. I didn’t know if I would meet someone, if I could or would get pregnant, if I would make it through the spotting, the first heartbeat, the first trimester. Right as I cleared the miscarriage hurdle I came smack up to the chromosome one. And even if I clear that too, well then there is gestational diabetes, prechlamsia, early labour, c-sections, epidurals and breach births to think about. And all of this before you even have a newborn to deal with.

Just one damn hurdle after another. A mental, physical and emotional mindfuck of the trickiest kind. And there was nothing I did, or can do to fix it. And that my friends is the hardest kind of hard. 

The Ginga Ninja

 

Mr. Right Was Always Right Here

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Daddy's Little Girl, Fred Flintstone & PebblesSo, I debated just reblogging last year’s Father’s Day post for anybody who missed it.  Good and bad, right and wrong, I sure do love my Daddy.

But, I stumbled across this great article earlier this week.  It was about a father who wrote a letter to his young daughter.  He wanted her to know that in her future she should have worth, she should have standards and she should be willing to wait for somebody who had been willing to wait for her.  She was more than a toy, she was more than a fling for a boy, she didn’t need to meet Mr. Right, just Mr. Right For Her.

http://mobile.news.com.au/lifestyle/relationships/dads-heartwarming-letter-to-daughter-about-mr-right-gets-internet-love/story-fnet0he2-1226638398797

It got me thinking.  In all of the years I have dated; the ups, the downs, the makeups, the breakups…I don’t really remember my dad ever telling me what I should or should not be doing (at least not in regards to boys).  When he liked a boy, he vocalized that he may be a good husband and if I chose to partner with him, he could be a good match.  But, the important thing here was that he always specified…IF I CHOSE.

He didn’t say much about the boys that were no good for me, he never called anybody a bum, or a good for nothing or an over my dead body….but, he always sat by quietly just waiting to see what I would do and who I would choose.  Sometimes, after the fact he had an opinion or two, but he was very careful not to say anything that would make my mind up for me when I was deep in the heart of it.  When a tough decision came last year over a good guy…he simply told me to do right for me and reinforced that I had to question what could make me feel any less than the best version of myself.

In all of these 31 years, I don’t remember him ever telling me I had to get married, I had to have kids, I had to have a partner, or even that I had to have a concrete life direction.  He has never asked me for grandkids or ever mentioned how much money I’ve wasted despite what I owe him.  He has watched me through many adventures and many changes and each and every time he seems to have a positive outlook on the “rest of my life”, what I deserve and who I will be.  I don’t ever remember him telling me to grow up, to get real, or to lower my expectations.  In many ways my dad has always been my best friend and I don’t think he has ever worried whether I had a man to “take care of me” once he is gone….because I think he raised me well enough to take care of myself.

So, like the father from the letter; I think that my Dad hopes that I meet Mr. Good Enough.  But, let’s be specific here… not Mr. Good Enough to Settle For, but Mr. Good Enough for Me.

 …But Whatever Road You Choose, I’m Right Behind You Win Or Lose. – Rod Stewart

The Ginga Ninja

Life is the Messy Bits

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This past weekend was Family Day weekend.  That actually makes no sense, as Family Day is a day and I just referenced it as a weekend…however, we had the Monday off as it was Family Day.  In essence, this created a long weekend.  Phew, thank god I clarified that.

I, for one, actually spent the entire weekend with my actual family.  The whole lot of them.  A night with my brother, his kids, my other brother and his common-law lady, both their dogs and two cats.  I then proceeded to drive another 2 hours to visit my parents and third brother’s homes.  I saw my mom, my dad, my brother’s new wife, his kids, his step-kids, his ex-wife, her boyfriend, three dogs and even my new sister-in-law’s father and step-mother. Finally, I finished the night off texting with good friends and cuddling with my cats.

Family is a big, messy, complication nowadays.  There is rarely such a thing as the nuclear family and there are few expectations of happily ever after.  Hell, I have friends who only went to see other friends and probably count them closer to family then they do their own siblings.  Like Modern Family, there is no one way to have a family now.  Like The New Normal, there is no normal anymore.

I know for me – well, my sister-in-law, my common-law sister-in-law, my new sister-in-law and even my ex-sister-in-law are all important people in my life.  The ex is the closest thing that I’ve ever had to a sister and in a weird way her boyfriend is like my brother-in-law.  And the new additions to my brother’s family?  Well, those would now be my niece and nephew.

There is no wrong way to have a family.  At least not in my books.  So, go out and appreciate yours, whatever version that may be.  Don’t feel guilty for enjoying time with them and don’t feel guilty for not enjoying time with them…just remember there is no real expectation anymore and you shouldn’t feel bad for who you love…or are forced to tolerate.

So, embarassingly enough, like Erma Bombeck says,  “I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage.”

The Ginga Ninja

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They Shoot Single People, Don’t They?

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I remember watching an episode of Sex and the City where Carrie discusses the things that change when you have kids.  Is there really a divide between the childless and those with children?

Just the other day I mentioned to my mom, “I know I’m not married and I know I don’t have kids, so I know I don’t count”, because the moment grandkids came into the picture, the singles lost their say.

But, are there things that we without children find funny that a parent would gasp in horror and shock about?  Probably.  But, I still find them funny.  I hope that when my turn comes, I still will.

Being a parent shouldn’t mean you lose your sense of humour; hopefully you gain it to be honest.  The reason I say this is because the things that parents must endure – temper tantrums, poo disasters, spit-up, vomit, broken limbs, and the most outrageous things coming out of a four-year old’s mouth can only make them laugh.  If it didn’t make them laugh, it would make them crazy…and nowadays there is only so much room at the funny farm.

Maybe the humour was lost on all but us two single gals when our friends new baby had a cut on his hand and when asked why I sarcastically answered, “He’s cutting.  He’s really depressed about all of his indigestion” (in all fairness he really did do it to himself with his very long nails), or my girlfriend expressed her disappointment in his bulimia problem when he spit more out than he kept in, but c’mon…those things should be a little funny whether single, married, with children, or not…right?

Anyways, is there a divide in how you feel when you have kids and when you don’t…or is it really about the individual and how they handle those little bundles of disast…joy and whether they can love their single friends despite their ridiculously inappropriate funny bones.  I mean, we’ll have our time too…and then they can exact their revenge.

“Having a child is liking getting a tattoo…on your face. You better be committed.” ~ Eat Pray Love

The Ginga Ninja