Just Us Girls

Just Us Girls

...one SMC's adventures in single motherhood.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The good, the bad, and the...really good.

The Good:

  • Small Good Thing #1: K and I ventured out to our local library tonight, and it's awesome! What a fabulous children's area. Her favorite part was being able to stand and play at a long, low table with tons of new-to-her toys. It was the first time she saw toy dinosaurs, that's for sure. She also loved doing puzzles with Mom and reading a few books together (lots of other things to see and do). But that was okay, since I checked out five good ones that I plan to return next Wednesday when we attend...Toddler Time! We just moved to this part of town in November, and truth be told, we just hadn't gotten around to checking it out yet. But now that K and I get to spend tons of time together this summer, it was the perfect opportunity. Personally, I love the fact that she might get the opportunity to spend at least a little time with other small people like she does during the school year at daycare. She met a three-year-old-ish boy named Cullen this evening who shared very nicely with her. Good times.
  • Small Good Thing #2: I was wanting to get rid of the really beat-up and useless grill in our backyard (back postage stamp) that had stayed there, unused, by the previous tenant for the entire two years she lived there. So I dragged the wretched thing (well, lifted it, actually) through the house and out the front door, and I put a "FREE" sign on it, hoping that someone, ANYone, would swing by and take it off my hands. And lo and behold, someone actually did! And the propane tank, too! No more nasty grill! Yes, I admit it, I did do a happy dance. Now if I can just get the grass seed to take...attempt number two.
  • Small Good Thing #3: I went to war with a particularly nasty computer virus, and I won! Or so it seems, anyway. I won't be overconfident about it, and now I know what to do should it rear its ugly head again. It was so insidious...it completely incapacitated my computer for two days, and I almost wasn't even able to boot up in safe mode, something I really needed to do in order to get rid of it. I was convinced I was gonna have to spend a bunch of money I didn't have to take it in somewhere and have someone look at it. It was one of these rogue FRAUDULENT! anti-virus programs called XP Sec.urity 2012, and it came complete with a firewall override, anti-virus override, and ability to very rapidly self-replicate before my eyes. Seriously nasty. So what I had to do was head over to my school and do an Internet search on how to get rid of it, and basically take copious notes. Which I did. And it worked! I'm still cleaning up the body parts strewn around my desk. So gross.
  • Small Good Thing #4: I've been eating a lot healthier lately. Lots of good protein, and yummy summer fruits and vegetables. Kinda proud of myself.
The Bad:

  • The really bad. My sister-in-law had a miscarriage last weekend. This was her first pregnancy, and she and my brother had known for about a month or so. She had seen her midwife, and possibly gotten an ultrasound already. After she miscarried, she apparently had a few more ultrasounds to confirm that the baby was gone. So heartbreaking for the two of them...I believe they had been trying for quite a while. My parents are sad too, of course. They received the good news about a month ago, and neither I nor my other brother even knew that Samantha was pregnant since apparently our brother wanted to tell us about it first, before my parents did. But neither of us had yet returned Ben's phone message, lousy sibs that we are. Samantha took the full week off from work, and both she and Ben are in my prayers for healing and peace and hope for another (successful) pregnancy. I feel quite sure that they'll be parents yet.
  • Still on the fence about whether or not to try for baby number two. But leaning strongly towards going for it.

The Really Good:

  • K saw her pediatric ophthalmologist, the Fabulous Dr. Lee, on Tuesday, and much to my surprise, not only will her prescription stay the same for the next SIX MONTHS!, but we also won't need to do any patching! For now, anyway. He did say that he can't guarantee that we won't have to patch ever, but I'm just so glad that we won't have to start patching anytime soon. Dr. Lee said he was very happy with how her glasses are helping her vision, her prescription is dead-on, and it's nothing but good that at this point, she doesn't need to patch and she doesn't need to have surgery. I'm still holding out hope that her farsightedness will improve as she grows...typically this is what happens with children's eyesight as the eyes mature, and she may end up only needing glasses for reading. Six months is longer than the typical next-appointment...no complaints here. And I'm super glad that I won't have to replace her basically-new lenses with a different prescription. I will need to invest in a (cute) back-up pair before school starts in August, but for now we're good with one pair of glasses. I need to post a pic of K in her new frames! I'll get right on that...AFTER I finish celebrating.

  • My cousin and her husband will be traveling to China in late August/early September to meet and take home their new 10-year-old daughter! They've been working on this adoption for literally years now, waiting far too long and working through all of the restrictions etcetera that China has seemed to arbitrarily set up for American adopting couples. I don't know all of the specifics, but I do know that the wait has been eternal. They just finished painting her room in her favorite color, green! Yes, I know that this news definitely ranks above the previous bullet, but you gotta remember, K is my absolute favorite person in the entire world, and the sun rises and sets with her. So there's that. So...please pray that Jen and Chris can maintain their stamina and bring their new daughter home to join their 10-year-old son, Kyle. I couldn't be more excited for them as they complete their family.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

These boots were made for walkin'

The past 48 hours have been absolutely magical! (Yeah, 'bout time I blogged about something other than Big Decision 2011.) Talk about rapid changes! K took her first steps on Mother's Day (May 8th), about three shaky steps into my outstretched arms. She's been cruising along the furniture since I-don't-know-when, and she's continued to do so. She'd take more steps towards me if I encouraged her to, but she was still pretty comfortable cruising around, holding onto something at all times. She loooooves her push toy that she pushes around all over the place. She got up to seven steps towards me about a week, week and a half ago, which was great. Little did I know her confidence would soar a mere week later!

A few days ago she started really working hard at standing up from all fours in the middle of the room, without anything to hold onto, and she's gotten so good at that! Her first attempts reminded me so strongly of a gymnast trying to stick the landing after a vault: knees bent, arms outstretched, trying so hard to balance without toppling over. And she's mostly conquered it! She still topples over now and then as she's trying so hard to stand up, but once she figured out how to stand up in the middle of the room, the logical next step (no pun intended) was to take steps forward without anything near her to hold onto! What really helped, much to my surprise, was taking out my large exercise ball, purportedly to start doing situps every night (yeah, riiiight). But she loves that ball, and she would pull herself up on it, push it away from her, and stand, balanced, with nowhere else to go but take steps towards the ball. That really seemed to be the turning point for her.

Over the last 48 hours she's been walking everywhere, toddling around like a drunk sailor. Still falling over, but she pops right back up again, ready to try again. Talk about teaching me some serious life lessons! No matter how many times you fall down, you just gotta get right back up again and give it another shot. The pride on her face and her ear-to-ear grin as she walks across the room warm my heart like nothing else. And she just goes as far as her little legs will carry her until she falls down, then she pops right back up again. Talk about magical days! I think school ended just in time, because I wouldn't have wanted to miss this for anything. The next week should be even more fun, as her confidence grows and she gets better and better at this walking gig. Now my job is to try to capture it on video and in photos. Thank goodness I found the charger for my camera's battery, which I'd been looking for for a while now. I will definitely post pictures as soon as I get a few good ones. (I'm not thrilled with the layout of the header for this blog, since my current favorite picture isn't oriented well for it. But we were on our way to the pool for the first time this season, and she just looked so cute sitting there! So much more a little girl rather than a baby.) This summer is off to an exciting start!!

Monday, June 6, 2011

What would I do without you?!

I'm not sure how I would have made it this far in my decision-making process without all of the incredibly helpful comments I've received...seriously, you choice moms are amazing, and I thank you from the bottom of my indecisive heart!!! Lara (This May Be a Dream Come True) is absolutely right that emotional support during this time is critical, and I have to say, except for you wonderful ladies, I don't really have the kind that I need. The kind of emotional supporters that I need tend to "get it" in the ways that my friends who are moms (friends with supportive partners) just don't. No fault of their own, only that they're not in the same position that choice moms are, so they don't know our unique challenges. Challenges, I suppose, that other single moms face, but many other single moms by circumstance still receive financial support, for example. I still have this feeling that because I am consciously choosing this path, I'm "asking for it", including "asking for" all of the challenges that come along with raising two children on my own. Why am I not content with one? People automatically understand that there is a "pull" for some women to become a mom, so they understand the strong desire to follow this path and have A child. But I succeeded in having my child, so that should be enough, right? I achieved that goal. Why do I want to make my life that much harder by having two? Which is one of the questions I keep asking myself. THANK YOU ALL for listening to my waffling and for commenting with such thoughtful, caring, thought-provoking comments. Seriously, thank you. Your comments mean more and are helping far more than you know.

Extra-special thanks goes out to Navigating the Rapids (we'll barrel through this decision-making process together, somehow) who seems to be at the same place as I am. It is SO helpful to know that I am not the only person at this crossroads. Extra-special thanks also goes out to Lara at This May Be a Dream Come True, who is my hero because she's doing--and making it look easy--exactly what I would like to try to do: raising two vibrant, healthy, happy boys (in my case, though, one of them is a girl!) who do keep her on her toes! I love ALL of your comments, and they've been so helpful! Huge thanks also go out to Meg, Genkicat, MeAndBaby, hopefulcc, Shannon and SingularDesire for your thoughtful comments!! I admit it--I'm a bad, terrible, no-good commenter (I do comment in my head all the time, but obviously that doesn't count!!) so I especially appreciate the fact that you DO comment even though I don't reciprocate very well. I know I can do better, and I need to make more effort to do so. Please don't give up on me! I am SOO grateful that you all are out there, listening to me ramble, and helping me through this crazy journey of figuring it all out!!!


Well, I did it. I called our sperm bank today. I was really curious about the status of K's donor, and I wanted to see what they could tell me regarding how many units there are left, what I would need to do to purchase units again, and so on. As I was already aware, K's donor is no longer making donations. As of today he has 33 units left, and there doesn't seem to be that much demand. He's been around for a long time now. But as the woman who answered the phone told me, you never can tell...someone could easily come along and purchase ten units. She suggested checking in every few months to see how many units there still were. When I mentioned that I was thinking about starting up again as soon as August, she said she thought I had nothing to worry about. So I have to download and fill out four forms, including one that needs to be signed by my RE. Which means...I need to make that appointment with my RE, and soon.

So yeah, as this post seems to indicate, I guess I'm back to wanting to go forward with number two, or at least give him/her a fair try. A lot of the time I still have this sick feeling in my stomach, wondering whether I'm making the right decision, wondering whether I might have regrets after I become pregnant. What if I do achieve pregnancy a second time and then figure out, after the fact, I can only handle/afford/manage life with one child and not two? Half of me is beyond excited to envision another baby and the other half is still questioning whether it's the right thing to do.

I spent some time last night searching out daycare options just to see what else is out there...one of the best results of my search was discovering another large church-based daycare center in my town that offers preschool starting at age two and a half, for a VERY reasonable cost, more than $50 less per week than our current daycare. That's, like, next school year (after the upcoming one), right after I would deliver this prospective baby. So I guess I'm back to thinking that the daycare behemoth is--gasp--almost doable. If I were to have K attend this other daycare as soon as next year, it would be $10 less per week than where she goes now, which to me is not much of a difference. I did reserve a spot for her for next year at our current daycare for a $90 deposit. Sure beats paying each week throughout the summer, something so many of the home-based daycares demand. I'm left thinking that there are options out there that might just work for us.

Sometimes I wish I had a partner just so I could have someone to help me make this difficult decision!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011


Yes. WaffleGirl, that's me.

Now (this week, anyway) I find myself thinking that maybe it's best for me to try to be content with my one amazing girl and not try for number two. I've been thinking lately about how much more stressful life will be, most likely worrying about making ends meet for three of us each month. Paying for daycare for two is probably my biggest fear right now. I still don't feel entirely comfortable with the idea of a home-based daycare, yet I doubt I'll be able to afford two children at the daycare center K currently attends. Both children would receive a 10% discount off of their tuition, but still, that's not very much. Originally I was told that K's tuition would go down each year she was there, but now I've been told by the director that since tuition goes up each year (cost of living increase?!) , it would actually stay the same next year. Which is fine for next year, but in my mind I was counting on paying a little less. Disappointing.

Other concerns include paying co-pays for both kids when they're sick...definitely a concern considering how much K and I were sick this year. I only get a small number of days off per school year, so most likely another child equals having to take more days off. This year I ran out of days, which decreased my paycheck this month since I ended up taking one or two days without pay. I'm also having a hard time imagining getting two small kids and myself out the door each morning. It's not my biggest worry, but it's in there nonetheless. There are a ton of pregnancy concerns as well--affording copays for the OB, caring for K while I'm potentially sick, exhausted, not feeling well, etc., the potential of bedrest, and even my mental state during pregnancy while trying to be the best mom to K that I can. I had a hard time emotionally during my last pregnancy. Basically nine months of PMS. NOT looking forward to that, and how would it affect the way I interact with K? I'm having a hard time imagining what it would be like to have to divide my attention between two children. Would each child get enough attention, and feel loved enough? Not to mention the realities of sibling rivalry, competing for attention, fighting, and so forth and so on... Is it worth it in the end? Is it worth all the stress over finances? Is it worth changing the dynamics of my little family by adding another family member? These are the questions I struggle with.

I really wanted a sibling for K so she wouldn't feel quite so alone in having such a special, unique conception/birth story. I always pictured us as a family of three. I wanted her to have that special relationship with her sibling, and someone to play with. I'm really torn as far as whether I want to go through the whole pregnancy and birth experience again. I felt so relieved once I got past the 12-week mark in pregnancy, then into the second trimester, and then finally the third trimester...I'm still so painfully aware of how much a successful pregnancy is a gamble. Anything can go wrong at any time, all the way through. And just because you get to 40 weeks, it doesn't guarantee you a living baby at the end. Do I really want to go through all that fear again?? And then once your baby is here, there's the risk of SIDS...every month older that K became, I felt that much more relieved that the SIDS risk was lower. Would I really do it all again? I have no idea. I know this post makes me sound like an absolute scaredy cat, but I know I'm not the only single mother--or mother, period--who's had these thoughts and fears.

I could postpone trying again for another year, but it's a huge risk that my donor won't be available one year from this August. If I do decide to store his sperm for a future child, how many vials do I purchase and store? What if I change my mind in the meantime? What if by chance it took on the first try, and I spent all this money on extra vials that I won't end up using? I really don't know which path I'm going to take. A lot more soul searching is in my near future, I guess. I can much more easily envision a life with just K and me going along like we have been than I can envision adding another child to the mix. Things are good for us right now. Things are comfortable for us financially. I can afford to buy nice things for her. Do I really want to screw all that up? Perhaps the reality of me having no partner and no extra income from him will absolutely determine that I can only have one child. It sucks, but maybe that's the reality for us. It kinda breaks my heart. In my heart I really do want to have another child, but I'm not sure the risks outweigh the (massive) benefits. Any thoughts would really be appreciated...thank you in advance.