Tuesday, July 12, 2011

It's all about the shit.

If you noticed in my top ten things I didn't think I'd say post, I had a lot to say about potty training.

Sabrina still isn't potty trained. She'll be three next month. Honestly, I'm surprised she's not trained. She was ready and willing to use the potty. The first day she decided to use the potty? Was her first day of preschool! Yay! Oh, wait? What else happened that day? Travis was admitted to the hospital with suspected meningitis and I was just a tad distracted.

Over the next several months, she'd show interest here and there but I really wasn't interested in pushing it. Then - the regression happened. Where she had no interest in the potty at all. Because? She's a baby. Babies wear diapers. Babies also (in her mind) get more attention so she became totally fixated on that.

Eventually she became willing to sit on the potty again. And our luck, the two times in a row she sat on there she unexpectedly pooped. Now she's scared of the potty. Scared she's going to poop.

Oh, and in the meantime, she's decided she's a big girl and does not wear diapers. Only pull-ups. Which are about $0.50 each. Great.

Now I'm struggling to figure out how to cure her of the fear of poop. I have books on order. Once Upon a Potty, Everyone Poops, It's hurts when I poop (really hoping my employer doesn't track our google searches, that could be an awkward situation), oops I crapped my pants - I'm desperate.

Potty Watch? Check, does nothing. Except go off when it's not supposed to and irritate the fuck out of us. Rewards? Yup, she gets her M&M's. Crazy dance and cheering if she indeed pees on the potty? Yup. Big girl undies she's picked out herself? Sure.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Dear Travis: I am so sorry.

I wrote this back in November of last year. Right before I finally got help for my post partum depression with Travis.

I sat in the dark watching an episode of 16 and pregnant, remarking to myself what a good mother this little girl was.

A much better mother than me. To my son. Because I've been in a very dark place.

I have been making excuse after excuse.

I just need him to sleep better.
I just need him to stop crying.
I just need a minute to myself.
I just need to be able to run once in a while.
I just need the screaming to stop.
I just need him to smile.
I just need him to be older.
I just need to go back to work.

I just need help.

I only have a few weeks of maternity leave left. I couldn't think of a single picture I wanted to have printed to bring to work with me, to put up in my cube so I can see his smiling face all day. Because there aren't any pictures of smiling faces. There aren't many pictures, period.
There are no pictures of the two of us.

I've never made any apologies about not liking the newborn stage. I've never been particularly interested in anyone elses infant. It takes me a bit of time to fall in love, even with my own children. But this was taking far too long.

I worried about his development. How he doesn't seem to interact much.

I'm not interacting much.

Post partum depression is suffocating and it's isolating. Even though I know all the warning signs, even though I knew early on I was dealing with a whopper of PPD, even though I've been to therapy for other reasons and think therapy is the bomb, even though I've been on antidepressants before, even though I firmly think people should seek help when they need it and not be embarrassed at all, even though I know all of that...I still couldn't make the step. I don't know why. I have no idea why. I have no idea why I have robbed my son of the mother I know I am by not getting help sooner. I have no idea why I've put myself through weeks of depression, frustration, anger and enormous irritation at the slightest provocation. I have no idea why I've put my husband and daughter through this. I have no idea why it was so bad this time. No idea why I let this cloud get darker and darker and big enough to strangle me and take all of the life out of me.

Then I realized. I had an idea why. Why I didn't get help when I knew I needed it.

What if? What if the anti depressants don't work? What if therapy doesn't work? What if I really am just that unhappy with the live I wanted, needed, desired, worked for. What if? What if this can't be fixed? It's much like infertility treatment. It's difficult to take that last step, because it is the last step. If IVF doesn't work, we have nowhere to go. So you postpone doing IVF. Because you're not ready to not have any more options. I wasn't ready to consider the alternatives to meds and treatment not taking me out of this depression. So instead of giving them the chance to fail, I did nothing.

I was only able to write that because at that point I had started taking anti depressants. Which helped immensely. It was a night and day difference and I stayed on them for several months after.

I truly still cannot put into words the black hole I found myself in after Travis was born. I have never, ever been so unhappy, depressed, alone...honestly it felt like a constant state of utter despair.

But enough about me. I went through what hundreds of thousands of women go through after having a child, finally got help and am myself again. But I do still struggle with the fact that I didn't get help sooner, because I completely robbed Travis of any sort of a mother for 3 months. I was useless. I couldn't tell him I loved him without it being completely forced. I went through the motions and did what I had to without interacting with him. I didn't hurt him, but I didn't care for him the way he should have been. I didn't cuddle him. I didn't take pictures. I didn't sing. I didn't smother him with kisses. I was in such a state of depression that I was a terrible, terrible mother and I think I will always feel incredibly guilty for that. I find myself trying to steal a minute or two alone with him each day just so I can kiss his adorable cheeks and make him giggle, as if that's making up for me not being there for him when he was an infant. I know he won't ever really remember that. But I do. And I always will. And for that Travis, I am so sorry.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Ten things I never thought I'd say

1. Did you poop? Come here, let me smell your butt.

2. You'll eat it and you'll like it.

3. Wait, you really did poop on the floor? Why?

4. Caillou uses the potty. Don't you want to be like Caillou?

5. Hi, I was calling to get some more information on your special education pre-school program.

6. I can't change your diaper if you don't stop playing with your penis. I've heard it's fun, but really, you have a lifetime to do that. Please, I just need to get your diaper on.

7. If we watch that movie it won't be over until after 9pm!

8. Hi, I'd like to make a reservation for dinner...yes, 5:30 would be great.

9. If you use the potty, we'll get a dog. But you have to be potty trained. We can't be outnumbered by those that don't use the toilet. It's my rule.

10. Hey, I joined Facebook. You should totally friend me!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pay it Forward

I was recently contacted by a person who found my blog via the Stirrup Queens - which is an insanely organized (and for ME to commend someone on their organization is huge as I'm obsessed with organization myself) list of infertility blogs, as well as life after infertility blogs. The Stirrup Queens were a fantastic resource for me when I was in the thick of infertility, because I could easily find blogs that related to our situation and suddenly, here was a whole other group of people just like me! Since infertility is incredibly isolating in real life, the online community is a life saver.

As such I've been very involved with online communities of women dealing or that have dealt with infertility, as well as just fellow moms who share the same every day struggles, humor and well, their life with us. I've found myself donating money here and there to people I have never met in real life, and likely never will. Women who have suffered terrible losses in some way. Some have lost their children. Some have lost their children before they were born. Some have lost their parents. Some have found themselves in dire straits of some sort, and their online communities were a place for them to vent and get support. And in turn, sometimes we help out financially where we can. I am insanely proud to be part of these communities. I have seen first hand trees planted in honor of babies lost, and those trees and the land they were planted on were purchased by women who were touched somehow by their online friend. I have watched repeatedly a call to action by one person receive numerous replies within minutes. We're talking hundreds of dollars of donations to one person. Just to help them get by. Because we can. Because we care. It's extraordinarily touching. There are some good people out there.

That said, one of these good people contacted me about an online silent auction she has created to help a couple raise money for their second IVF attempt. I don't know this woman, nor was I familiar with her blog. I don't know the couple, although I did look at their infertility blog and saw within the first few posts the word endometriosis, and know first hand what this couple is dealing with. Not that the type of infertility matters, but I know the pain she deals with daily. I know the frustration. It sucks. A lot.

I will post below the post Kristen sent me regarding the auction, and if you can help in any way, please do. But first, I want to say how much it pisses me off that they have to do this. It's just not fair. I don't know how else to say it. It's not fair that insurance doesn't cover infertility treatments. It's not right, it's so fucking wrong it's not even funny. I'm sick of watching people in my community panic as their early treatments fail and they think their only option is IVF and how they will never be able to afford it. And therefore never get to be a parent. We were extremely fortunate that we had the money in savings to cover our IVF cycle, and even more fortunate that it worked the first time. Most don't. And we only had the money thanks to an inheritance. We also knew by using that savings that we were giving up on our dream to buy a house. We were living in an 800 sq foot 2-bedroom house. It was tiny. It was old. But we were more than willing to stay there, where the rent was cheap, if it meant we could be parents. Not long after Sabrina was born the market completely tanked and we were able to buy a house. But we had to make a decision most couples don't. Use your savings to try to become a parent, or use it for a down payment. It's wrong.

I'll step off my soap box long enough to get the information out about Team Witt. Thank you for reading.

In the world of infertility, it is often a rare occurrence to be able to help someone conquer this trial, but this weekend, you have the opportunity to do just that!

Jill and her husband have already been through one cycle, the money to make their dream of parenthood a reality is hard to come by. THIS WEEKEND on goteamwitt.blogspot.com there is an online silent auction in their honor. They are still accepting donations until midnight on Thursday MST. Donation information can be found on the auction blog.

Here's how you can help:
1. If you are a business owner (or know someone) and would like to donate an item to be auctioned off, please click here for more information. We are also interested in finding a business that would be willing to match our total donation goal....!

2. Bid on our online auctions starting June 24th!

3. If you are uninterested in either of these options, you can always go directly to http://goteamwitt.blogspot.com and click the donate button to make a monetary donation.

4. Spread the word on your blog, facebook, or twitter! This will be a huge help.

If you have any questions, contact goteamwitt [at] gmail.com

Let's make a miracle happen!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Stinky Bitch

Sabrina's new favorite book is "I Love You Stinky Face". I happen to love it, too and constantly tell her "I love you, Stinky Face!" She repeats everything these days, but due to her speech delay and issues with pronunciation and articulation, it comes out as "I love you stinky bitch" when she says it. Because she uses B sounds instead of F sounds, and "ch" sounds instead of "s" sounds. I probably shouldn't laugh, but I do. Because it's funny.

She had her end of program evaluation and unfortunately, she didn't graduate because the child is still terribly difficult to understand. She scores well above her age group in WHAT she says - she uses full sentences, uses tenses properly, pronouns, everything is way above her age level except that pesky issue of putting the right sound with the right letter.

I'm extremely thankful for the program Early Intervention has offered, but now she'll have to receive services from the school district because she'll be 3 years old in August. Which means she will have to attend a special preschool for 45 minutes a couple mornings a week. And? Cue mom guilt: I'm not sure how I'm going to pull that off. Chris and I both work full time, and attending her speech therapy sessions once a week is hard for me. I do it, I leave work after being there for only an hour and half, go spend an hour sitting there to make sure Sabrina doesn't hit anyone or have a complete meltdown, then go back to work. Then pick up kids a few hours later. Which means my day gets all choppy, I have to schedule meetings around the therapy which isn't always easy, and just miss a chunk of work that I really need. I go to work early, far earlier than any preschool will be open and the one she would go to is near our house, not my work. I'm just waiting on the information to see how the schedule would look, but I'm not sure we'll even be able to take advantage of the services because of our work schedules. Which admittedly, my employer has been and will continue to be flexible, but there is only so far I can push it.


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Oh, uh hey there neglected blog.

Sooooo neglected blog.

So here's what happened. I had another baby. My position at work changed and I got incredibly busy. Then it changed again and I got busier. Then my baby turned into more than a lump and my toddler became even more high maintenance. Then the plaque hit our house and the kids were sick for about three months straight, I had about 4 major colds, a sinus infection and a stomach flu that made me want to throw myself into traffic.

And now? I've missed about 3 months of documenting the kid's lives, my online diary of sorts, my opportunity to vent. I can't promise I'll be able to blog with any regularity but now (fingers crossed) that the kids seem to be allowed in public again, I'll give it a shot.

What's happened in the past few months? Hmmmm....a lot, and not much. Travis turns 9 months old on the 2nd. 9 months! He's still my high maintenance guy, but he's so stinking cute that it's hard to hold that against him. He's very, very happy as long as we are right in his face playing with him. We being myself, Chris or Sabrina. Although he is kind of a mama's boy, and I kind of love it.

Proof of cuteness:
Even though he kind of looks like he's trying to get away from me, he really can't stand to be apart from me. Really. I swear. It's not just in my head.

Travis has two teeth, eats like a maniac (really, it might be a problem), yells, screams or cries if he has a hang nail and is incredibly lovey - he is actually cuddles at times, which Sabrina never did. He prefers to be touching you somewhere and to be touched at all times. Even if that means sticking his finger up your nose, he's happy with that. He is still Mr.Inconsistent in pretty much every aspect of his life, especially sleep. He finally got the hang of sleeping through the night, but still wakes up most nights to party a bit in his crib. And then, he'll roll onto his face and somehow forget how to roll off of his face and panic ensues.

Sabrina went through some serious regression a couple months ago but the observant parent I am, I didn't realize what was happening for way too long. She wanted to be the baby. Which is why she suddenly had no interest in potty training (because babies wear diapers and she's a baby). Travis got more attention because he is a baby (this is actually fundamentally untrue, but it's difficult to prove that to a 2 year old.). Speaking of which, she's almost 3. THREE. She's beautiful, still kind of an asshole, doesn't listen and pushes the limits as often as she possibly can, drives me nuts and fills me with more love than I thought possible. I love her spunkiness and determination. As much as I hate her fighting me controling her, and as much as that's really, really going to suck when she's a teenager and screaming I hate you, I admire her determination and spunk.

Some day she'll be more interested in me than her bubbles, right? Nevermind.

She's still in speech therapy, talks up a storm but is hard as hell to understand half the time. She makes the typical mistakes like subsituting the b sound for the f sound (so she says boot instead of foot) but occasionally she just speaks in gibber jabber that makes no sense at all. I've chosen to pretend those occasions don't happen so she can hopefully graduate from speech therapy this summer because Mama is having a hard time making all of her therapy appointments. I do it, but it's a struggle. After nearly a year of physical therapy, a year of speech therapy...it's draining. Travis isn't setting any records in the development department, and I really worry we're going to have to start the whole therapy thing with him.

Travis adores Sabrina, and when she's in a good mood she's a great sister - when she's tired or not feeling well, let's just say she shouldn't be alone with him. But occasionally we get a good picture and can say, despite all of the craziness, not having a minute to ourselves, not having a moment of peace and quiet or a day where someone hasn't shit or pissed on us...we are still very grateful for our kids and the life we have.

Then again, I'm still on Zoloft.

Monday, February 28, 2011

February? You can suck it.

Sabrina turned 2 1/2 almost 2 weeks ago. I don't normally celebrate half birthdays but for some reason this one seemed significant. I had planned to take a bunch of pictures, write an eloquent blog post about how much she has grown and changed, and how much I adore watching her become her own wonderful (albeit fiesty) person. But that didn't happen.

Why? Because the plague invaded our household.

Sabrina was first. Cold symptoms. Fine. Fever. Fine. Oh, really high fever. Hmmm. Not fine. Oh, really high fever for several days? Not fine. Why hello there double ear infection! How's it going probable pneumonia?? Haven't seen you around these parts before!

Just for shits and giggles, the plague then decided to attack me.

Then Travis. Who is now in the midst of it. Which may or may not be just a cold, or a cold and ear infection or a cold, ear infection and pneumonia. Stay tuned on that one.

Which means Chris and I are about to lose our minds. Sick kids in our house equal asshole kids, and it's been nearly two weeks of screaming and crying. The kids aren't being quiet, either. They don't feel good, it's frustrating that we can't help them, and they aren't sleeping. Sabrina was up constantly with her high temp, and as soon as she went back to sleeping through the night, Travis started waking up. Literally the same exact time. And I can't sleep because of my cold. And neither Chris or I can sleep anyway because we both have major work stress on the brain.

We need some motherfucking Calgon. STAT.