As more time has passed since I’ve blogged, I’ve become more and more overwhelmed by catching up and writing. So I’m just going to be scattershot here, do bullet points, and hope that by breaking the seal on this blog I’ll get to writing more.
- Max makes every day better.
- Max is over 7 months old! He’s such a happy little guy. I can’t believe I get to say that – when he was two months old the words I would use to describe Max after “cute” would have been “suspicious” and “grumpy.” Now he’s just so pleased by so many things. Likes: jumping, sitting, tummy time, his mailbox toy, chewing on things, doing an impression of a motorboat, when I take toys and tease him by keeping them just out of reach, sleeping through the night, fruit purees, plain Greek yogurt, his dad, the weatherman Lee Goldberg, splashing in the bath, being carried facing outward in his carrier. Dislikes: napping, mashed avocado. Mixed bag: diaper changes, vegetable purees, cuddling with Mom, riding in the car (likes it just fine for a couple of hours, then haaates it).
- I started introducing Max to solid food at 6 months. I thought he was going to love it. He…. didn’t. In fact, he really, really hated it at first. Even bananas! I thought all babies loved bananas! After a couple of weeks, I discovered that he really did like plain Greek yogurt, so I started just mixing purees into that. Now he’ll eat the plain purees too. I’ve tried giving him some Cheerios, a piece of bread, stuff like that. He doesn’t really get it yet. He’ll get there with time. But he’s turned into a very good little eater of purees. Except for the aforementioned avocado which he spits out and glares at me when I try to feed it to him.
- Work is fine. Nothing especially exciting to report there. I think about switching jobs, trying to get a job in a library, but it’s hard to leave something comfortable and flexible. I’ll get there eventually.
- The estate and the house. I agreed to let my sister take the house as part of an early disbursement of the estate. She was getting a deal – I agreed to her “as is” price and she told me that she and her husband were going to do a whole bunch of work on it, including widening the driveway and adding on another bathroom. In mid-December I signed the deed over to them and they started ripping out carpet… and to make an interminably long story short, my sister told me a week after I signed the deed over (on Christmas Eve) that they had changed their minds about doing any work other than ripping out the carpet and painting and they were just going to sell it. It’s still a little hard for me to talk about because I feel like my sister cheated me out of a large amount of money. Obviously she was not required to do any of that work under contract, but I do feel like they took advantage of me in order to make more money. I eventually calmed down when Wendy reminded me of all the reasons I wanted to walk away from the house and that there’s a big difference between Sissy saying she’s selling the house and actually being able to sell the house (at least for whatever price she wants). As for the rest of the estate, it’s stressful and annoying and it moves very slowly, but it is moving. I’m going to drink a bottle of champagne by myself when it’s all done.
- We spent New Years down at the Delaware shore with Kate and Bart and their little girl. It was lovely, except that Jeeves had a lot of work to do while there. I brought some of my mom and dad’s ashes with me – they loved it there, and actually my mom died down there. I scattered them on the beach on New Year’s Day. It was hard.
- I've been struggling since I gave birth with my body image. I know that may seem silly or ungrateful. I’m very happy that I got to give birth and I would do it again in a heartbeat. But I look very different than I did before I got pregnant and it’s been a little hard. I gained about 30 pounds with my pregnancy, which is a normal and healthy amount. When I came home from the hospital, I was down only 12 pounds. Over time, I lost a little more, and I’m about 10 or 11 pounds away from where I was when I got pregnant. I know that’s not bad. But my body is so different now – everything is thicker, saggier, etc. My boobs are still enormous. I had to buy new pants because I didn’t want to wear maternity pants anymore and I’m too big for my own pants. I tend to just cover everything up and hide. I’ve totally lost any sense of style. My face looks pudgy. I had to buy a new dress for a wedding we’re going to and figuring out what would look good on this new body…. Ugh. So I decided to start exercising again and be really careful about what I ate, but without counting calories. My goal was to lose the last 10 pounds by Max’s first birthday in June. My milk supply immediately plummeted. I started eating more and my supply went back to normal. I am attempting to eat healthy, whole foods, but I’m not limiting myself at all. Also, it’s really hard to exercise. Max does nap, but his naps are short and I have a bajillion things I need to do when he’s napping. I could try and wait to exercise after he goes to bed at 7:30, but by then I’m exhausted and I have to cook dinner. I haven’t given up, I’m just still trying to figure out where to fit it in.
- Jeeves and I are starting to talk about maybe not leaving Brooklyn. For years we had always planned to move to the suburbs once we had a kid. It’s still a work in progress, but now we’re not so sure we want to do that. Even though the inheritance I’ll get from my dad’s estate is not a crazy amount of money, it’s enough that we could buy a place here and not have a huge mortgage. There are a lot of reasons to stay, and only a couple of reasons to go. But we'll see.
- I've been thinking a lot about how being Max's mom has changed me, is changing me. I've never for a second believed that you have to have children to understand true love or to have a purpose in life. I have many friends who don't have children, won't have children, and they have wonderful, full, meaningful lives and they are deeply loving people. But Max has changed me. He's sent me back to a time when I was more idealistic and less selfish. Please note that I do not for a second believe child-free people are selfish. My friend Meg spends every day advocating for the poor. She's one of the least selfish people I know. She doesn't ever plan to have children. I'm only speaking for myself. Max makes me want to be a better person. He makes me want to get involved in changing the world. He makes me want to learn more and talk more and listen more. But I'll write about that more another time.
- I haven't been a good blog commenter. I do still read. Commenting requires that I be on my computer instead of reading it on my phone and usually these days I'm on my phone. So many of the women I follow are pregnant or parents now. A few are still in the trenches. Sometimes I feel very removed from my infertile life. But then something will happen that snaps me back - I wonder if we'll have another kid. Unlike a regular ol' fertile girl, I don't just think "well, if and when we want another kid, we'll just start trying and that will be that." Instead I wonder about trying and what tests I'll have to do again and whether IUI would even work again and how we'd coordinate morning monitoring and whether we'd have to do IVF and blahblahblah. That's when I'm like, "oh yeah, still an infertile." The one difference is that being infertile doesn't leave me bereft the way it once did. Because of Max. If I only have Max, that will be okay. I may hope that we have another child someday, but I really will be okay if I only have Max. And I didn't feel like that before him.
- I'm trying to get back into the things that define me outside of Jeeves and Max. I'm making a concerted effort to actually finish a book that's not about babies. And Jeeves and I are watching TV and movies again (since Max goes to bed at 7:30 we have a lot more opportunities to watch stuff again). We actually saw a movie in a theater even! Crazy, I know.
I guess that's it for now. I will close by once again saying that I really do hope to be better about blogging. Writing is one of those things that makes me feel like me and I should make a more concerted effort to do it. In parting, here is my dearest darling, sitting up: