Thursday, June 23, 2011

Its a....

We had our 20 plus weeks scan last Thursday. Everything went well, although I felt like the ultrasound was over too soon. I could have watched the little one forever!

Our tech was nice, but she was so quick. She went from "this is the heart" to "these are the kidneys" in to time. All I could see was a blur. But we did get to see the little hands and legs, and fingers, and the four chambers of the heart, and the face etc. When it was time for the gender, the little one became shy and had crossed legs! The tech poked my tummy a bit - and told us its a girl!! We are beyond excited. It wouldn't have mattered whether it was a boy or a girl, but now that we know, I can start dreaming accordingly!

The baby was pretty quiet through the scan, she just moved and stretched a bit, that's all. No somersaults or big movements. Maybe that's why the measurements could be taken easily? At one point though, I became dizzy. It could have been because of lying on my back for too long, or just the anxiety and excitement of it all.

So now that we know the gender, suggestions for names have started pouring in. Its interesting, trying to act like you like a name suggestion (when you don't really care for it), without hurting the person giving you the suggestion. I've started compiling a list, but there is no name yet that we both absolutely love. Well we do have time! I can't believe we get to name our own little munchkin.

I am about 21 plus weeks now, and have started feeling some pokes and kicks. Its pretty random, but assuming its not gas, there is definitely something. Sometimes, I can feel it from the outside. Friends tell me that now I will be obsessing about how often she moves, and why she didn't move etc.

Symptom-wise, I have been feeling very normal, but fortunately I have felt normal all through this pregnancy. I have started eliminating clothes that I don't fit into anymore, so now I am down to a few loose ones. Its a challenge, getting dressed for work in the morning. Luckily, since I work in a university, jeans and a t-shirt work fine too. I'll see how long I can go without having to buy maternity clothes. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Why is it so easy for them?

Oh how I hate all these facebook updates. I know I know, I should stop complaining about others getting pregnant, at least now. But I think the last two years of pain are so deeply ingrained in my soul, that I can't stop thinking these thoughts.

Almost every day, when I open facebook, I get updates about some friend who just had a baby. Most of the time, they do not post any pregnancy updates (thank God for that), so I usually have no idea they are pregnant. So it comes as sort of a surprise.

Of course, I then do the right thing - which is go to their profile and congratulate them. And then I check their albums. And realize that the previous big vacation they took to some beautiful destination somewhere in Europe or Asia was exactly 10 months ago. Which means they decided to take this expensive, long vacation before having a baby, then came home and tried once, and bam, nine months later they have their baby. I know this is how things work for most people. But it still irks me so much!

My husband always wanted to take a vacation to Europe (back in 2009), but I told him we had to start trying for a baby, that if we kept waiting, who knows how long it could take. Well turns out I was right, and we didn't get pregnant the first month, or the next, or the next. We didn't take our Europe vacation, and we didn't have our baby either.

I wish I could overcome these feelings, and become a nice person again. I wish I could be more like hubby, who just doesn't care about these things...who lives and lets live. I wish I could erase away this bitterness and cleanse my soul, and get ready to be a good parent. I will get there, some day, right?

In other news, I am 20 weeks along, we are half way there! We have our next U/S in 4 days, and I am so excited to see the little one. Its been 11 long weeks since we last saw him/her. And hopefully we'll get to find out if its a boy or a girl!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Extreme parenting

One of the upsides of being an infertile (surprise surprise, there actually are upsides!) is that you get the opportunity to watch your friends bring up their child/children. We have been using this as an chance to make a mental list of "what to do" and "what not to do" that we can refer to when its finally our turn for parenting. Most of my friends' kids are in the 1 - 2 yr range, an interesting time in the life of a child when their personalities are forming. We have come to the conclusion that the child's basic nature contributes to 30 % of his personality formation, while 70 % depends on his/her parents.I'd like to compare 2 of my close friends who had kids in 2010. I believe they are on extreme ends of the parenting spectrum.

We had the opportunity to spend almost two weeks with one couple (lets call them the cool couple) and their cool kid, since they stayed with us for 2 weeks when cool kid was around 6 months. We had already predicted that this couple would make great parents, because they are both calm composed people. And it turned out to be just as we predicted. I loved the way cool mother took care of cool kid. She would feed the baby only once in 4 hrs or so, and the baby was really good with eating/drinking. He would gurgle down the entire amount of milk given and get a little upset when the bottle was taken away (its not that he didn't get enough, I think he didn't know when to stop, he would probably have drunk double the amount, given a chance). She would never run to him with a bottle of formula as soon as he got fussy. Actually he rarely ever did get fussy. She co-slept with the baby. But she never walked around with the baby trying to put him to sleep. She would just lie next to the baby, turn the lights off and give him the pacifier. He would sleep on his own, no fuss, no wailing etc. And he usually slept at night for at least 6 hrs, waking up in the morning only when he was hungry. I've never seen a child wake up with such a huge smile on his face. He is the happiest cutest baby I have seen in a long time. And I think that has a lot to do with how his parents take care of him. They also came and stayed with us for a few days when he was almost 1. He had grown up into this adorable little kiddo, unsteadily walking around the house, trying to open cabinets, eat leaves off our indoor plants, and put everything in sight into his mouth. He would eat on only while seated at his designated chair (since we didn't have a high chair) and his mom would feed him only at that place, and only once in 4 - 5 hrs. No intermittent snacking on junk. At meal time, he was sufficiently hungry, and would eat up all the yuck stuff his mom would feed him - including pureed carrots, spinach, broccoli or peas. Once again, his sleep routine was as before, his parents would lie down with him, lights off (and now he's almost off his pacifier) and he would fall asleep, waking up happy in the morning after a good long nights sleep. His routine meant that we got enough time with his parents to talk to them, go out with them and generally spend time with them. The child did not dictate the rules. Happy parents and happy child. We have mentally taken notes about "what to do" from this couple.

On to the couple 2, whom we will refer to as anxious couple. Now their basic nature is to be anxious about everything, and exaggerate every situation (this was true even before they had their child). Don't get me wrong, they are very close friends whom we love very much, but they are what they are! They spent 2 days with us recently, with their son who is around 13 months old. They traveled to our place with almost a house full of stuff, everything from bedding to toys to bottles and enough clothes for a month. They are obsessive about their child, to say the least. Most of their day is spent trying to feed this child. Now as far as we could make out, this child is as healthy as any 13 month old. Anxious mom and anxious dad take turns to try and feed their child. We noticed that the child was getting his fill. He is supposed to eat like a 13 month old, and is not expected to eat like an adult, correct? And as soon as he had his fill, he would start throwing his food around, bat away his mother's hand, or retrieve stuff from his mouth and throw it at his mother. It appeared like this was his signal that he was done. But they would continue to try and force feed him, trying to push stuff into his mouth, which he would promptly spit out (all the while, I was having panic attacks looking at all the stuff that was ending up on our couch and carpet and walls). Then they would walk after him, as he went from room to room, trying to coax him to eat a little more. After 2 hrs of this ordeal, they would set about making his next meal, which they would again start feeding him in 2 hrs. I mean, shouldn't the child be given at least enough time to digest his previous meal? Add to that, they try and give him snacks every 15 min or so. Both hubby and I were getting increasingly surprised at their parenting methods. As for sleep time, I remember we went to their home when their baby was about 5 months. They would walk around with him, rocking him, for at least an hour before he finally fell asleep. Then he would wake up every 2 -3 hrs through the night. These days, they continue to take at least 2 hours trying to put him to sleep. They even use soothing music all night long to try and keep him asleep. Now I understand that some babies are more fussy, take longer to sleep, and are harder to feed. But this baby's antics seemed more because of his parents reinforcing his behavior. For example, if the child falls (which is normal I think when they are learning to walk), they go into overdrive ooohhhing and OMGing, so the child now knows to cry and wail every time he falls, even though its obvious that the fall was harmless. I could go on and on about this couple and their child. We barely got to spend any time with them, because most of their time, they were too anxious that their child hadn't eaten enough. They seemed tensed all the time. We have definitely made a long list of "what not to do" from this couple.

We have a few months before we begin to test our own parenting skills. I know that a lot of my comments may come back to haunt me. Who knows if I will turn out to another Indian mother complaining about how her child never eats (I think 90 % of Indian parents have this complaint), or doesn't sleep. I know hubby definitely won't be that way, and I tell him often to reprimand me if I turn out to be another obsessive crazy mother. I know its probably wrong for me to judge people and their parenting skills, but I think that its one of the perks of having kids late. We get to judge others for a long time, till we finally get to be parents. Shouldn't we at least be able to enjoy the perks of being an infertile?

Have you encountered such extreme parenting methods? I'd love to hear some stories about crazy fertile parents!