Sunday, September 27, 2015

Walk of Hope Week!!!!

Holy crap it's already Walk Week!!!! A week from today at this exact time I will have my feet up and I might actually have a glass of wine to celebrate the completion of the first ever Resolve Chicagoland Walk of Hope. 

In just a few short months I have managed to put together a pretty darn respectable event (well, hopefully) if I do say so myself. I think we will hit 350 walkers and we are making a huge push to get us to the $50,000 raised mark. If you feel so inclined....donate away! Any amount is needed and appreciated. Believe me - it is greatly appreciated!!!

The rest of this week will be spent with me in a daze with K down in Milwaukee like normal and us girls hanging out at the house together. I pray we get an offer on the house soon. We are going on week four of us living like this and it's getting old. I'm exhausted. Mentally and physically. The stress of everything is eating away at me. I would love to splurge on another massage for myself but I'm trying to behave and not spend frivolously while supporting two households. Unless K's signing bonus is on this first check. Then all bets are off. 

Anyway, here is the link to the main page for our walk. Check us out and if you can help monetarily or if you would like to be a day-of volunteer, please feel free to contact me!

 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Ch-ch-ch-changes

So many things have been happening in this house! Not all of them baby related either! Now that's the shocker, lol.

Back in March K had an interview with his dream employer down in Milwaukee. He was offered the position but the details of the position (contractor, health insurance through the staffing firm that was crappy coverage, etc) caused us to turn it down. In the backof his head he hoped that because the four people he interviewed with were so impressed with him, that they would come back to him in the future with a direct hire. Well, they did. So we are moving to Milwaukee. We've actually known for a while - the interviewing process started back in early July for him. He started last week after Labor Day weekend! I'm staying behind M-F with Bunny until our house sells.

And that brings me to, omg our house is on the market!!! I'm exhausted from all the work and cleaning we've been doing. It's so funny how everyone gets their house into the most perfect shape they can...right before they sell it and move. I've done a good job purging things so far. Back in July we rented a big dumpster and busted our butts getting rid of things - mostly a bunch of construction materials that have been accumulating over the last 5 years of projects around this place. We do finally have the laundry room complete, LOL. I promise to take some pictures and post them on here since I blogged back in the day when we started the project. We've done a ton of work to this house. I can only hope it sells quickly. I'm not worried about profit but I'd love to maximize it as much as we can so that we can put a nice down payment down on the new house. 

What else...Bunny continues to be an amazing, smart, joyous little girl. She's so mobile now. I'm still waiting on those first steps but they really can't be that far away now. I guess we will see. She is sleeping in her crib now. I finally bought a book and it made me ok to try her in her own room and it turns out all she was craving was a schedule and her own sleeping space. I was trying to be the breezy mom who let her go to bed when she felt like it and to cuddle with her as much as she allowed. Go figure that she wanted/needed the structure. Hey - whatever works! I'm no expert and I take all the advice I can get when I'm struggling. I just wasn't ready subconsciously to let her go. I miss looking over at any point in the night and seeing her sleeping in her rnp. I miss the middle of the night cuddles. I still get some in the morning when she wakes up and I bring her into my bed to feed so at least there's that. 

We are still going strong with breastfeeding. I am shocked beyond words on that one. I find myself thinking about how sad I will be when this is over too. I want to make it to a year. That is my goal. The only thing I'm ever so slightly worried about is that she's not gaining weight at all the last few months. She's so active that I'm sure that everything she is taking in, she's burning off but it still gives me pause. She also seems to not be growing in height - or in her feet! I was so frustrated that none of the shoe sizes I have for her stay on. So out of curiosity while in Carters the other day, I put a 0-3 high top on her foot - and it fit. I did have small feet growing up and into my late, late teens so I guess she gets that from me! ;)

Well, it's late and I have to be up early to get prepped and out the door by 9 am for our second showing on the house. Wish us luck!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Dear Bunny - Happy 8 Months!

Don't feel as though I haven't been writing you every month. I have...I just haven't had time to publish them. And some are just overly sappy so I might just keep them for you and me some day. 

Oh how I love you. I know every mom is proud of their baby and they think that s/he is the most special thing in the world. The way I feel about you is no exception. I've never been around such an intelligent, beautiful, and strong willed baby in my life. I'm constantly amazed at how analytical and headstrong you are. You rest at nothing to figure new tricks/activities out. It's awe-inspiring. I can't believe I get to spend every day with you and watch all of these happy little milestones. 

You are so mobile now. It won't be long before you are walking. You took yourself over to the stairs for the sunken living room and on your first try, got right up those two stairs like they were nothing. You pull yourself on anything. Standing and walking down the hallway stomping like a baby elephant while only barely holding our fingers is your favorite. When you smile I see these little two teeth in that wonderful smile of yours and I melt.

I miss you so incredibly much in mommy and daddy's bedroom. I cried myself to sleep that first night of you alone in your crib. Every day since you were born, I have slept right next to you. Looking over at the empty rock n play without you in it was such a depressing sight. You took to your bed right away so I know it was the right move. I love when you get your diaper changed in the morning before daddy leaves for work and he brings you to me in bed and I get to have a cuddle session with you for a bit. That's the best part of my day - just you and me snuggling. 

In the next few weeks it will be incredibly busy and stressful. We are moving you closer to mommy and daddy's home. Closer to all your family. It will make things so much easier on all of us to be close to your grandparents. Daddy is getting to go work at his dream job and that means we get to give you even more of everything you deserve. 

I simply will never be able to tell you how much I love you baby girl. You are my everything. 

Forever and always. 

I love you with every breath I take, with every smile I make, and every tear that falls. 
Love, 
Mommy

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Teething

So teething blows. Like hard core.

Bunny had her first tooth pop up last Friday, the 17th. We were on our way into the campsite with family and I had my finger in her mouth and she chomped down and it HURT! I pulled it out and exclaimed, "omg you have a tooth!!!"

She is still on her not sleeping through the night kick. It's been two months. I'm tired and exhausted and grouchy a lot of the time. I don't mean to be, but I am. I feel like I'm up every hour on the hour from about midnight to six am. We are still breastfeeding away and I know some of those sessions are comfort nursing. She's getting so much more mobile that I know we have to start the transition to her crib asap but I really get sad thinking about that idea. I enjoy looking over at her, knowing she is right by my side. My little angel.

My baby is growing up.

And it realllllllly sucks.

Some days I have such a hard time with how fast it's going. She's everything. She's all that matters. I just love that little girl so darn much.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Leadership

New week, almost new month, new start. I'm organizing a few things right now. One of them is pretty major. 

About a month ago I was named co-chair of the Resol.ve Chicago.land Walk of Hope!! I'm so freaking excited and honored to be bringing this amazing event and fundraiser to my hometown. The best part is that I get to do this with a very awesome friend. We met through an online IF message board 7 years ago and have become very good friends. She and her husband are still in the trenches so I am happy that we get to do this together - another great way to say FUIF!

The other is me creating a group for some of my IF girls so that we can organize and clean our houses. A challenge group, lol. To say I have a lot of work on my hands around the house is an understatement. I feel like since Bunny came along I have been just getting by on that front. She's not the type of baby I can just put down on the ground and she will amuse herself for hours. I really want to get rid of all the massive piles of clutter we have in this house. I want to have a garage sale and sell what I can and then donate or toss the rest. I actually feel like the walls are closing in some days. With my dad and stepmom selling their house and moving, they had all us kids come over and take what is ours. I now also have my childhood (wooden, antique?) highchair, bassinet, and rocking horse. You know, not like I am not already swimming in baby. ;) 

So lots going on. Lots on every front. I'm exhausted. Bunny has had a rough buncha weeks. Mommy has too. But I suppose that's a post for another day.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Dear Bunny (Happy 6 Months!)

My goodness how I love thee. I am absolutely captivated by your spirit and your sparkle. I cannot believe that it has been 6 months since you came into our lives. How is that even remotely possible? I still feel like I should be baking you in my belly for another few months. Instead, in only a few short minutes, you will be closer to your first birthday than you will the day you were born. You are one half away from no longer being an infant. Seriously, how is this possible? 

My life does revolve around you and I wouldn't have it any other way. Neither would your daddy. The choice to be home with you has been amazing. I get to see you grow and develop each and every day. In the last month you have learned how to sit unassisted for long periods. You have tried carrots and love them like a good little bunny should. You went swimming for the first time and you were mommy's little fish. Thank goodness because mommy loves the water herself. You also made my heart melt only just yesterday when you said "mama" - calling out for me from your swing. Oh how that made me feel. It's indescribable. Your voice is the sweetest thing I have ever heard in my life. 

You are precious. You are amazing. You are intelligent. You are beautiful.

Oh my dear bunny, the last six months of being your mom have been the most incredible months of my life. You changed me. In every way possible. You complete your daddy and me. From the tips of our toes to the top of our heads, we love you. Forever and always my dear sweet bunny. 


Monday, June 8, 2015

Exposed & Catch Up

Hello again.

Yes I've been absent - and it's only partially due to being busy with a baby. 

This used to be the place I knew I could come to and put it all out on the page. I can say, vent, cry, ramble on about whatever I wanted. Now I really don't have that option anymore. I am contemplating taking this private. Which sucks because I enjoy having the feedback. And I really want to leave our IF struggle public so that when someone who is in the trenches stumbles upon this blog they can read all they want. 

Anyway...

Being home with Bunny is amazing. It's stressful and exhausting but in the very best ways. I do miss working at times though. I enjoyed that "adult" portion of my life so it's weird to not have that anymore. I also thought that I would have all the time in the world to get things done around the house now that I'm home. Ha! Hahahaha. I'm hoping that almost 6 month olds are all this needy because if not, Bunny is attached to my hip. And who am I kidding? I am quite happy to have her love her momma like that. 

I have taken a couple longer trips down to Chicago so far - once for Mother's Day/her Baptism and once to help cheer up my grandma who is recovering from knee replacement surgery. Her baptism was wonderful and my grandparents from Texas were able to make the trip up to meet her. We stayed out at my dad's house and it was a fabulous time. While there my dad and step-mom did confirm that they are going to be making the move to Texas sooner rather than later. Sooner meaning as soon as their house sells. Of course I am happy that they will now be down there for my grandparents but after all the fighting we did a few years back, I'm sad to see them go. We are all in a great place with each other right now and I'm going to miss it. I honestly love spending time with that side of my family as much as I can. I miss my grandparents so much again. I am thinking about taking Bunny down to Texas this summer or early fall to visit and then we are planning on driving down for Thanksgiving. 

What else? Oh yeah, I'm so incredibly homesick. We've been having serious discussions about moving home again. We have a lead on a house we might want and K has been applying to some jobs. If something works out awesome. If not, well maybe in the future. 

Bunny continues to grow and amaze me every single day. She turns 6 months old next week and I just can't believe that. 

Some more recent pics to share :) 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

NIAW 2015

Why hello National Infertility Awareness Week 2015. You've come quickly this year. For the first time I am posting all of my statuses and facts having a four month old baby in my arms. What an incredible difference a year makes. Last year NIAW began on Easter Sunday...and that was also the day we found out Bunny was on her way. I was scared shitless last year. I was waiting for the other shoe to fall. My ass was so incredibly pained from the PIO shots that I could hardly stand to put clothes on. 

This year is so very different. But yet it's exactly the same. As a slight joke (?) my body decided to give me my first postpartum period to kick off NIAW. Is it a true ppp? Not sure. But it is a sure sign I am not one of those women who gets pregnant immediately after giving birth. Shocker I know. Lord knows we tried. 

I have to be honest and disclose that I'm sitting here typing this in tears. 

Tears that I have a baby. I am a mother. I'm somehow on the other side. But it's still not over.

Tears that I am still an infertile. I always will be. Bunny doesn't erase those 6.5 years. God knows she is worth all of it. But they still happened. I can't forget them. I can't gloss over them. They are still who I am. Who I've been. In a large part, they shaped my identity. Hi, I'm Rachael. I'm infertile. Nice to meet you. Laugh if you must but what is one of the first questions you are asked when you meet someone new? Do you have any kids. And my answer was always the brutally honest truth. No. I'm infertile. 

I didn't always handle myself with grace, tact, confidence, strength. I fell apart time after time. 

But I'm here with a baby and yet I still battle the demons. Who am I? What is my identity? I no longer work outside the home. So I lost that professional title I worked my ass off to get. I lost the infertile title to those who don't get the IF world.

A new sadness happens all too frequently. I grieve Bunny getting older and hitting milestones. This might sound completely ridiculous to the non-IF world. I reached out to my IF community and told them how I was feeling and a resounding majority felt the exact same way. About 5 of us in particular gave birth within a month of each other and we found we all are going through this same sadness. 

You see, to someone who gets pregnant accidentally or someone who gets pregnant on the first try, they have trouble understanding how an infertile can watch that miracle baby (or babies) reach a new milestone and have it make them sad. For me, it's having a loud booming voice in my head telling me that this might be the last size 3 piece of clothing I put on her. Or the last time I hold her bottle for her. Or the last time she falls asleep with her perfect, tiny hand grasping only one finger. She could very well be my last four month old baby I ever hold. Every second is timeless. Every moment is priceless. Every single morning I wake up thinking about how much I love that miracle sleeping in her rock n play next to us. Our love for her and our fierce understanding of how incredibly lucky we are has no bounds. 

Infertility doesn't end if and when you get a baby to keep. It is a haunting foe that never really loosens its grip. Some are able to ignore it better than others. For me I can't ignore it. That's not who I am. I battle the IF demons and I also battle other personal issues almost on a daily basis now. But that is for another day, another post (which who knows when I will have time to write, apologies in advance). Just know it is nothing to do with my marriage. That is one area that is happily solid. 

To all of my infertile friends - you are still my family. I am still one of you and always will be here by your side. I will never forget the battle, the scars, the pain. I will never stop fighting nor will I ever leave you to suffer in silence. You are not alone. As I said in one fb status: 
 1 in 8, Mother or not, I'm still 1 in 8. 


Friday, March 27, 2015

The time I went back to work and got into an accident...in front of my boss

Seriously

But for real - it happened. 

That was how epically bad my first day back from maternity leave was. 

The whole entire morning was so messed up from the moment I got up. Shockingly Bunny wasn't the issue. she ate, went back to sleep, I pumped, got ready, all perfectly normal. Then I noticed two stray dogs in the backyard about to set my dog off on a barking/growling spree. The dogs were cute little white fluffy types and so I went outside to see if I could corral them and to listen to see if their owner was calling for them.

Now mind you we live in a rural area and the houses on our street are lake homes for the most part so we aren't right on top of each other. I couldn't hear anyone looking for the dogs and by this point one ran off while the other became my buddy. I was able to look at his tag and see his rabies tag and notice that they go to the same vet we do so I made the decision I would just drop the dog off at the vet on my way to work so they could contact the owners (no owner id tag). As I was pulling out, a truck came slowly down the street and when it approached I saw the owner was calling for the dog. Woo hoo! Issue number 1 of the morning done. 

Five minutes later I was trying to leave my neighborhood and the one way out was blocked due to a horrible three car crash. Again, I live outside city limits and there was terrible fog that morning. I called my mom as I waited for the road to clear for me to get through and told her to be careful if she ran out for coffee for her and my grandma as the fog had visibility down to almost nothing. I text K and told him about the crash and he told me that he had almost hit a deer that morning due to the fog. Issue number 2 done. 

Then I drove my 30 miles to work and looked for a parking space in the lot adjacent to my building. No dice. I immediately missed my next to the door expectant mother parking space. I waited for traffic to clear (or so I thought) and went to cross the road into our overflow lot....and t-boned a car. I didn't see her. Like, at all. I have no idea what happened. I know I was looking both ways because my boss was one of the cars I was waiting for to clear - and he saw the whole thing happen. My only (logical) explanations are; I had on my new glasses that I have been complaining don't seem right (I had been complaining for a couple weeks and had already sent them back to the eye doctor once by that point), it was still foggy and the car was silver, and my head was obviously not in the right state as I had just left my baby for the first time to go to work. 

Sigh. Only me, right? I felt (and still feel) like a giant toolbag for doing that. I know accidents happen but still. 

The rest of the day was a fog, like the weather. A good friend/co-worker took me to lunch that day to help cheer me up and I even indulged in a giant slice of greasy gooey pizza. Oh how I miss pizza. I love you bunny but damn, I miss my favorite foods. ;)

So that was day one back to work. I'll fill you in on the next phase shortly...

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The time I played catch up

Did you know I have about 3 or 4 different posts just sitting here in drafts?

Well I do. 

I have my monthly letter to bunny post, a went back to work post, a quitting my job post, and a maybe we will move post. 

Yup....all of that. Well the last one isn't a for sure deal but we are working on it in more ways than one. 

My goal is to get them all posted this week...and I will probably back date my letter to bunny (as an fyi). 

So stick with me, I'll try to get this old blog updated soon - Promise!!