Once baby’s heartbeat was confirmed at our 8 week ultrasound, I decided to sign up for baby samples. It was an emotional moment for me when they arrived in the mail yesterday. Let me tell you why…
2 years ago, we had recently purchased our first house and I was excited to settle into it with my husband, 2 dogs and of course – our baby who would surely be on its way in no time. With all the naivety and confidence of my 26 years, I decided to sign up for free baby samples despite the fact that we had already been trying to conceive for a few months without success. Sure enough, a few months later the samples began to arrive. Free baby formula and bottles, baby wash and diapers. And of course, there was no baby.
I saved the first few samples that arrived, confident that I would be able to use them soon. Eventually I had to throw out a full size tin of formula because it had expired (depressing!) As the samples continued to arrive, our baby was getting further and further away (or so it seemed). Adoption programs we liked closed, infertility treatments failed, and yet the samples continued to arrive every few months, congratulating my non-existent baby on beginning solid food and taking its first steps. It was pure torture every time I opened the mail box and found a sample of baby stuff. It was a reminder that if we had conceived within our first year of trying (as most couples do) we’d have a rambunctious toddler by now! Heck, we might even have baby #2 on the way!
The final sample arrived (snacks & coupons for older toddlers) on a summer day when I was shopping for a baby shower gift with my very pregnant friend. (Lord knows shopping at baby stores as an infertile is hard enough, let alone when you bring your pregnant friend with you!) We left work early to shop at the baby store together and I wanted to swing by my house to change out of my work clothes first. I ran inside to change and on the way out I checked the mail. The baby samples package was there and I didn’t even bother to open it, I just gave the package to my friend. I remember sitting in my car and cursing the day I was stupid enough to sign up for baby samples when I was not pregnant!
I know a lot of people choke up when they see their baby moving around on the ultrasound, or hear the heartbeat for the first time, but Andino and I are not criers. We didn’t choke up at our wedding or during the ultrasounds – we were too excited and grinning from ear to ear! But let me tell you… when I opened my mail box yesterday and found a package of baby samples for newborns – I choked up. Finally the day had come when I received baby samples for my baby who is on the way!! Somehow everything we have been through and everything we have to look forward to really hit me in that moment.
I don’t have much to write about these days. When I was still trying to conceive I was anxious and I felt like I wanted to talk/write about it all the time. Now that I am pregnant, I realize I am going back to my old self. I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about all the other things I love and am interested in outside of having children. Of course I still talk and think about my pregnancy and becoming a Mom, but it doesn’t consume me. Not that infertility consumed me either, but it definitely took up more space in my head than being pregnant does. Now that I don’t have to worry about when and how I am going to have a family, I can finally just relax and let things unfold as they will. It’s something I constantly tried to remind myself to do while I was still trying to conceive, but it comes much easier now.
At the very beginning of my pregnancy I was excited to talk about labour & delivery, breastfeeding and diaper changes, but I don’t want that to be all I talk and think about. Last week I met my best friend (who I call my sister) at Chapters for a coffee and a girl chat. We busted our guts laughing about things you can only laugh about with your girlfriends. We talked Christmas recipes, good documentaries on Netflix and our travel plans. It was great. Andino and I love to talk about travelling, his music and our big dreams for the future. Now that we don’t have to stress about how much of our savings will be poured into how we will create our family, we can be excited about other things the future may hold. I used to say things like “we might be able to go to Hard Rock next year… depending on how the adoption expenses go…” now we don’t have to worry about that!
Don’t get me wrong. I still had lots of fun over the past couple years. I still spent lots of time thinking about and doing things I enjoy, but it’s different now. There’s not an underlying river of stress. The girls at work have noticed the change in me, and it makes me happy. I always felt like I was doing a good job dealing with the stress, and I suppose I was. But dealing with it and getting rid of it are two completely different things.
I’ve been so relaxed about being pregnant and preparing for the baby. It has been a very pleasant surprise. If you had asked me a couple years ago what I thought I would be like once I became pregnant, I would have told you that I’d be spending hours looking at nursery designs on Pinterest (which I did in the beginning, but quickly lost interest). I thought I’d be buying lots of baby stuff and reading every baby book I could get my hands on. But it’s not been that way. I am not consumed by all things baby. Now that a baby is finally on the way, my stress levels are at the lowest they have been in years. It is so much easier to live in the now.
To just be me again.
I’m sure you have heard of the evil eye, or mal de ojo as it is called in Spanish. Many different cultures around the world believe in the evil eye and although the causes & cures vary somewhat, one thing is quite common among all of the superstitions – pregnant women and newborn babies are most susceptible to its effects.
My closest friend in Mozambique was pregnant while I was there. (She was due a month or so after I left and we’ve not been able to keep in touch due to the fact that there was hardly any access to internet in the village.) She always told me that a pregnant woman should try to be nice to everyone. One should avoid getting into arguments or boasting while pregnant, for fear of the evil eye. She believes (and I believe) that envy and negative feelings are not healthy during pregnancy.
I really believe that negative emotions can have an effect on things. Just look at this experiment on water:
So, I am trying my best to be humble and kind these days. Not that I ever tried to be cranky before, but I guess it is on my mind more now!
So what about you? Are you superstitious?
I am excited about the new journey to parenthood that Andino and I are on, and I created this blog to share our new journey. Some of the posts I write here will be private, meaning you will need a password to read them. I’ve decided to make the change from an entirely public blog to a blog that offers some privacy because I love writing about our journey, but since I’ve become pregnant I’ve felt the need for more privacy. I want to share my personal photos with my family and friends but I don’t feel comfortable having them on the world wide web for just anyone to see. I plan to share my bump photos as my pregnancy progresses, ultrasound photos and photos of our baby here.
I’m glad I had the public blog over the last few years. I met so many women who were going through the same thing as I was, and just being able to connect with them made a world of difference in my ability to cope with the hard times we faced trying to reach where we are today. I also received emails over the years from people who said they appreciated my blog because I helped them in some way. Many were considering IVF in Mexico, some liked the posts I wrote about natural supplements and a few people wrote to ask questions about the adoption process. (Incidentally, 3 of the people Andino and I referred to Mexico had success on their first or second tries!) I’m so glad I had the chance to connect with those people and I wouldn’t change my experience to get to where I am today.
That being said, the path we are on now is different. It feels more personal and private, so I’ve decided to move my blog in that direction as well. I considered stopping blogging altogether, but I know I would miss writing and I also want to document this journey for my own sake. I hope the bother of typing in passwords sometimes doesn’t deter you from reading. Everyone I’ve decided to share my blog with has helped me immensely over the past few years. I have always felt so blessed to have such supportive friends and family – I don’t know what I’d do without you all!