Very, very well stated. Even though I do miss the early years kind of work sometimes. (I'll take diapers over eye rolling any day of the week.)
My "baby" seems to get taller and taller every day, and I sometimes find myself looking down at her sweet head and wondering what our relationship will be five years from now, ten years from now, twenty years from now . . . God willing.
I hope it's good. With all my heart, I hope it's good.
One of the biggest fears that I have is that we will echo the relationship that my mom and I had. It started and ended well, but it went terribly wrong in the middle - a very, very long middle. It wasn't her fault; it was mine. I pushed her away. She was only ever about love.
Unfortunately, my mom and I are different in a very significant way. She may have been an "older mom" for her time, but she still had 12 years on me. If my daughter follows in my footsteps, I won't last that long. Yikes.
Here's hoping the bean grows up to be nothing like me. (Except for the good stuff, that is.)
Each spring, my elementary school would have a "spring festival." My school had two sets of grades K-6, and each of the classes would work jointly work on a special program to be performed outside on the basketball court. There were bleachers on the edges of the blacktop where the parents would sit as they watched our brief performances.
I remember that my kindergarten program had something to do with a shoemaker ("pull that thread, pull that thread, see my shoes so nice and clean, come my partner skip with me"). I wore a large paper sole hanging on a string around my neck. One year, my class performance had something to do with tulips. The teacher brought in several sets of some real wooden shoes, and oh, how I really, really wanted to be one of the girls who got to stand in front of the class and dance in them. But, since I couldn't seem to remember which direction I was supposed to spin when we practiced, even though I did have one of the better scuff/kicks, I didn't get that role (damn). I still remember the tulip song, but alas, I probably would still spin the wrong way. One year, we had a May pole, weaving in and out to make a multicolor design. Still another, our teachers had our class carry picket signs protesting pollution. (Eh. That wasn't one of the better programs, but I suppose that creativity runs dry when it's drawn on year after year after year.)
My mom always came. After my brother was born, he came too. I remember really wanting my father to come, but he said that he would have had to take a sick day and just couldn't afford to do that. He never came, and that was just how it was. But, when the time came to retire, my father had eight months of sick leave banked. Eight months! (Those were the days.) But he couldn't spare even one day for me. In fairness, he always came to our evening music concerts, but I never forgot his absence at those spring festivals.
My dad has been retired for a long time now. He can't believe that I still remember this. It makes him chuckle. He tells me to lighten up. I suppose I should.
Now I'm the parent. And I'm the one who is working. And working. And working. The last ten months have been a bit of hell on earth. Too much to do. Not enough time to do it. And no one is happy, no matter what I do, because there aren't enough hours in the day and it's just been too much for one person. I've been to the doctor several times now for different issues, only to be told that the very real physical symptoms I've been feeling are "just" stress. Which is actually kind of funny, since I'm one of those people who has always said (and really believed) that stress is for wimps. Except, well, I guess it's not apparently, because I'm certainly not a wimp.
More importantly, I've been missing out on spending time with my daughter. My precious daughter, who has been saying things like "mommy, please, let's spend the night together tonight, please? Please?" Meaning please-spend-every-second-with-me-from-the-time-you-walk-in-the-door-until-I-close-my-eyes-to-go-to-sleep-even-if-it's-not-much-time-because-I-don't-feel-that-I-matter-to-you-anymore. Go me. I totally s*ck.
So, in recognition of what is actually important in my life, I have declared tomorrow to be (trumpets please) . . . "DD and Mommy" day. I will be sick (cough cough cough). And we are going to spend the day recuperating . . . er . . . doing whatever we want. Manicure. Movie. Painting a ceramic whatever. Going to lunch. Doesn't matter. It's our day. I've already secretly calendared one day in July, and one in August, which will also be designated as "DD and Mommy" days. And I intend to keep those appointments.
Because after I'm gone, I hope that she remembers that I called in sick, just for her. Because it's important. Because she's important. More important that any of the cr*p that I might do at work. Frankly, don't we all know deep down that no matter what we do at work, we are ultimately replaceable? And isn't it strange that we spend so much energy and time on things that don't matter in the end, at the expense of what is really important? How backward is that?
So, think of us tomorrow as we celebrate. (And you have our permission to take the day off too. Pass it on.)
I had my little girl at 44 too, and I haven't had second thoughts. Not one time. Dealing with any other human being can be frustrating, and life is never perfect, so yes, my daughter and I have had our bad days. But my husband and I have those days too, and I wouldn't ever give a "thumbs down" to marriage or say that marriage is "not a good idea." Those comments were premeditated statements.
I know it's unfair to judge, but there are lots of us who would give anything -- anything -- for two beautiful babies. My dear, perhaps you should have considered a puppy first.
So, you may have been wondering why I haven't been here much. You may think that it's because of my miscarriage. And in a way, it is. But it's more than that.
It's hard to believe that it's been a year since I lost my baby, though I haven't had a year of healing. I've been waiting to write this post, thinking that I've gotten it wrong, that there aren't people out there who could be so amazingly insensitive, uncaring, and cruel. Ah, but I would be wrong!
While my grief was sharp and my eyes raw, someone that I've communicated with once in awhile over the years reached out to me. She has always been nice. And funny. And I used to like to read her blog. She read my blog as well. She commented. I commented. She is a DE mom, just like me. And she says she is Christian, just like me.
I mentioned that someone had offered us the opportunity to adopt her embryos last year, and yes, it was this person. I was surprised when she approached me, because I remember her writing about giving her embryos to another couple a few years ago. Apparently, that didn't happen.
At first, I didn't think I could do it. I was still in a lot of pain. And, honestly, I was angry about what happened too. But, while I was completely prepared for a negative pregnancy test that morning last August, I admit I was emotionally weak. I couldn't understand why we lost the baby. If it wasn't intended for us, then why did it happen? So, while in that state, I convinced my husband to try again. To give these embryos a chance to be raised in a loving family. (With a rock star big sister, I might add!)
He wasn't immediately on board with this. After all, it's a big step. He had no idea who this person and her husband were. And honestly, neither did I, because how much can you really know someone through brief exchanges on the Internet? But, once again, he agreed to support me. So, I said we would love to accept the unbelievable offer.
I tried to do everything that was asked. Phone calls when she asked for them. Long emails that discussed feelings and expectations. Working with my clinic to find out what was necessary. After she signed a release, having my clinic call her clinic to find out about whether the embryos were properly labeled and asking questions about how they'd been frozen. Hiring an attorney and going back and forth through no less than four versions of the agreement to try to make sure that everything that she said was important to her was in there before it was ever sent to her. And making the one minor change that she requested.
There were little clues, I suppose. After our long telephone discussion toward the end of last year, during which she said she knew that I wanted to wrap things up quickly, she didn't answer my emails in January. Or in February. With my husband's encouragement, I called her. The first time, she said she was too busy to talk and that she'd call back. Except she didn't. I called again. This time she could talk. Emails? Nope, hadn't gotten those. Must have been caught in the spam filter. Are you sure you haven't changed your mind? No, we haven't changed our mind, and you can always call me at this number. If I can't answer, I'll will always call back. We've talked about this, and it's the right thing to do. Would you please tell us if you change your mind? Of course, but we are certain.
I sent the agreement and heard nothing. Inquired. Maybe it was the spam filter? Sent it again. No response. After two weeks of nothing, all of a sudden, I'm told they are fine with the agreement. Honestly, it sounded as though this was the first time that she and her husband had discussed some of the more significant issues relating to embryo donation (or at least that was my interpretation based on some of the things she shared). But OK, I was glad they'd reached an understanding with each other, and I was glad that they shared it with me so that we could respect their wishes. We were moving forward. Contract would be placed in the mail the next day. I went for blood work and a hysterosonography, which was an additional out of pocket expense. Her husband was going to go for blood work the next day.
Except he didn't go for blood work. (Actually, I think this was the third time he was supposed to go "right away" for blood work and didn't.) And the contract didn't arrive in the mail. I called and asked about it, and she acted surprised, because she said that they'd had it notarized the very next day after she emailed me, and then they'd put it in the mail. I asked if she could forward another copy. Of course!
Except it never came. I followed up by email. Then through a Facebook message. And then I called. Went to voice mail. I left a message and said that I was just following up, since we'd not received anything in the mail - was everything OK? No return call. I called again a few days later and said that I wasn't trying to be a pest, but could she please tell me where we were? And, if she'd changed her mind, would she please tell me so that I wouldn't need to keep calling? Nothing. Not even an email to tell me to f*ck off and quit bothering them.
It's been well over a month now since my last call to her. In fairness, when we first started talking about going forward, I learned that she'd had a really terrible family loss. I would have understood if she didn't want to go through with it. But she insisted that this was important, she wanted to give the embryos a chance, and it just seemed right to her. And a few months ago, she had a health scare herself, but she also told me that she was adjusting well, things were fine, and we were moving forward. So, frankly, I don't know what her issue is because she hasn't bothered to tell me. She did confide that they were disputing the amount of storage fees that their clinic wanted to charge them, and in one of my last voice mails, I said that we would help with that if that is what the issue was.
It hurts. It hurts. I'm back to crying when I see a baby. Why wouldn't I? I never had a chance to work through that because we've been strung along for almost a year now. And each of the times when she wouldn't return my emails or my calls, the tears were always right there, just under the surface, breaking through without warning.
What's even worse is how to talk about the finality with DD. She really wanted that baby we lost. She has been asking still about having a brother or sister. I want to be a big sister mommy. Will I ever be a big sister? Because I believed we were going forward with the embryo adoption, I hedged my bets with her, telling her that you never know. If God is willing, then it will be. But, apparently, she will not ever be a big sister. And she would be a good one. And it s*cks that she will not be a big sister. And it s*cks that I wasted a year of my life dealing with this person at the expense of any other option.
I guess you really can't trust people that you meet on the internet. And you should never, ever trust them in matters of the heart.
(Kudos to the first person to guess where the title came from. No money, just kudos.)
I'm embarrassed to say that I'm just as bad at visiting my own blog (have you noticed?) as I am looking at blog stats. But today, I just noticed referrals from two sites, one that I'm aware of, and one that's new:
I've never heard of the first site, because it is geared toward nursing, but I am certainly going back to explore the links. I have the Boomer Chronicles on my own blog list, but it is more broad in scope, linking to and discussing all things boomer - which yes, includes moms like me, though that's really just one small facet of being a boomer.Thought I'd share, because these blogs might be of interest to you too.
I just love the fact that there are more and more midlife mom blogs. I started writing because I didn't know any "older" moms (still don't, really), and I didn't have anyone that I was really close to who was going through infertility treatments. Now, it seems as though I have a lot of company, and to that I say the more the merrier!
(Updated to add - I meant to say I'm happy to share my older mom status, not the infertility stuff, because well, that part really s*cks.)