Independence

I am in a cab en route to the airport. I will be gone for three nights. I have scheduled approximately 3x more work than is reasonable for the flight times. I am looking forward to two days of science excellence and the chance to wave hello to the ocean between sessions.

Notably, I do not have Spud OR the pump with me. I haven’t taken a solo overnight since I weaned Spud. It feels odd to have so much space in my bag, to not be strategizing pumping locations. It feels wonderful and free, but I know I will miss Spud and Pea all the days I am gone.

A truth that is not going to stop me from revelling in this current freedom!

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a certain glow

Very good scientist friend: Hey, you look fit. Healthy.

Me: I am not! But thank you!

VGSF: Well, you look great.

Me: You know what it is? I’m ovulating. So I’m all dewey faced and alluring. “How you doin?'” mock leer

VGSF: I wasn’t going to say it, but your boobs are on point today

Me: thanks hormones!

All: laughs

 

Lab book update:

I ovulated yesterday, on day 13!!! Like a normal person?! This despite only weakly restricting dairy because Hallowe’en chocolate is my undoing. I only caught it because I really know what ovulation and my cycle look like, but I very nearly dismissed it as my usual paranoid “it might be happening!!!!” state. I bought ovulation test strips last cycle because I was annoyed by the paranoia, and my cycle was going in fits and starts. It was Saturday when I eventually admitted my insomnia, taut abdomen, and ever-increasing waterfalls of EWCM over the past three days might be genuine, and sure enough – a smiley on the test.

This is the first cycle where I have ovulated unmedicated within the “normal” window. It is the first cycle where Pea and I have had truly great timing. I am so pleased to finally be in the “25% at best” chance pool, because that’s a sight better odds than I’m used to.

My tiny village

On Wednesday, I got home to relieve our nanny, and Spud started demanding to “talk Grandpa, talk Gramma, talk Grandmama”. He climbed into my lap and looked at my phone expectantly until I rustled up a grandparent to talk to (two, Pea’s mom and my dad). Spud was very pleased. His grandparents were tickled pink.

Last night my mother came over. Spud immediately started demanding the call and answer game that they had been playing in Hilly Quirky, as he pulled out his truck sticker book to show her his progress.

This morning, our nanny C mentioned she and Spud might paint that day. Spud overheard, piled ALL the paints onto the kitchen counter, and manfully tried to drag the high chair into the kitchen single-handedly. C mentioned she wanted to try something new, so I pulled a tarp out of the basement. A few hours later she sent a video of Spud painting with his feet and looking very determined not to fall over as he slid the paint around. Also a picture of Spud in the tub post-foot-painting, looking very pleased with himself.

I got my hair cut today, and arrived home to find a pile of bowls and big spoons on the counter, with a chair pulled up to the counter. It turned out Pea and Spud had been making salad together – a delicious green salad for Pea and my dinner, and a “cucumber and Cheerios salad” that Spud had eaten over the course of its many transfers from bowl to bowl. Which sounds disgusting to me, but I hear it was a big hit.

It makes me really happy that Spud has so many people who play and teach and love and encourage him. I’d love for his village to be bigger, closer, more village-like, but he is a lucky kid even so.

News in brief, part the next

In light of the ever-lengthening stretches between my posts, here is an attempt to get back up to speed.

  • September was nutty and October has been, while certainly much more manageable, more of a death-by-a-thousand-cuts scenario of administrivia
  • I feel like I am spinning my wheels endlessly at work, and yet I will have submitted two papers this week and two of my students are getting started on other drafts because research is somehow progressing
  • One of the papers this week is going somewhere rather fancy and has a good shot at acceptance (driven by a collaborator but I’ve been heavily involved)
  • The other paper is 55 days late for its original deadline. It will be 7 days early for the hard deadline when “we will be closing the submission portal”. Good enough
  • Submitted an hour before the deadline was my previous worst submission, so 55 days stings a bit
  • I am not pregnant
  • Two of my best friends are pregnant, both due in April
  • April would be a nice time to have a baby, so I’m cranky
  • Also cranky because our current babies are all within four months of each other, so I’m not going to be on that train this round
  • Also cranky because my postpartum periods are more like waterfall bloodbaths, to the point where I worked from home today because I couldn’t figure out what to do with my flood in a professional setting
  • Also cranky because I have to go see my doctor about this and I hate my doctor
  • Also cranky because my last cycle was a bit longer pre-o and a bit shorter post-o than the one before so I’m worried my PCOS is quietly scheming again
  • Spud is teething some molars, learning how to jump, and has been sleeping in til 8 or 9 for the past ten days, but up at 3 am each night because his face hurts
  • Sleeping in til 9 is amazing, but also wreaks havoc on one’s work schedule
  • Neither Pea nor I care enough to set an alarm to mitigate this, the sleep is too wonderful
  • I think I’m not blogging because I’m trying not to obsess about fertility yet, but I miss blogging so may try to consciously skew more academia/time management/etc for the next while
  • Pea and I have plans to go on two dates in November! This should not be such a rare and strange occurrence
  • Despite all the cranky bullets, I’m in a pretty good spot right now

All quiet

I find myself in a strange blog spot (and I’m not even on BlogSpot, heyyyo!). When I started this blog, I found a dozen or so interesting fellow bloggers who were in similar spots to me, either in life, or fertility pursuits, or some other connection. There are a few professional blogs I’ve followed for years. Over the time of this blog, I’ve added a few new voices to my reader.

My reader is near silent these days. Even of my professional blogs, only one is really still active. In part this is happy, because many of my infertility friends are now overwhelmed in the glee of parenting, several with newborns.

I still have things to say, and I have new voices reading what I write (judging from comments), but I do not see blogs associated with many of my readers! So, if you are out there, and you’re writing somewhere for the world to see, hit me up with your link, I’d love to follow along with your journey. If you have blogs that you love, please share!

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In general news here, September was so insanely busy that it took me a week of October to get my head on straight again. Spud is freaking hilarious all the time lately, but may be teething his 2-year old molars characteristically early. We leave on Wednesday for Hilly Quirky (yay!!). I thought I was going to ovulate and set Pea and I on a marathon that we are deeply unsuited for. I have actually ovulated again, this time on day 26 (up from day 21, despite limiting dairy to see if I could speed things up). We had reasonable timing this time despite my over-eager anticipation of ovulation. I think I have endometriosis based on general pain all the time, and I bought a diva cup for my next day 1 because disposable options were just not cutting it.

Anyone else using a menstrual cup? Tips and tricks for a newbie?

Lullabies

Spud has gotten less interested in lullabies, squirming and preferring to waddle around the room in his sleepsack. He’d rather we read him “more books!”, endlessly through to dawn. Because his lullabies have become rather more of a wrestling match, I have cut them to one in the past two weeks.

Tonight, Spud was unusually clingy and grumpy. I was on bath-and-bed, so we read our standard two books, and then I offered him “Hush Little Baby or Blackbird?”

“Baby!”

I sang him his lullaby while he (uncharacteristically, now) snuggled on my shoulder. As he was relaxed and sleepy, I put him in his crib.

“No Mama! Too huan! Too huan!”

“Are you too hot? No. Too what, love?”

Spud: *cries*

Me: Goodnight…..

Spud: continues to whine-cry in his “but this is all wrong” way

Me: he was saying “Too huan”. Do you know what huan is?

Pea: I think it was “two songs”

Me: Ah, shoot!! That’s exactly what it was. Drat, of course he can have two songs.

Me: hello little love. Would you like Blackbird or All my loving?

Spud: ah ny muvvin!

Me: sings guiltily

and… Action!

Spud has learned verbs. All in a burst, we went from colours and objects in phrases to proper (if short) sentences.

Dig Mama! Dig Dada! (accompanied by furious digging on our knees with a plastic shovel)

No dig Mama! No eat Mama! (accompanied by shovel-waving, mock toe-nibbling, and giggles)

Watch cars! (“wak car!”) as Spud belines out the front door to sit, plonk!, on the front step so he can count blue cars going by on the busy road the block over. “ONE blue car! ONE red car! TWO black truck! No blue car! NO BLUE CAR! …. ONE blue car!” (ONE is always SHOUTED)

Getting ready for bed comes with demands to “Park cars! Park green yellow mixer! pick books! read books! read more books!”

He’s memorized a book of opposites, and now demands “In out! In out!” to be put in or taken out of high chairs, cribs, and other baby containment devices.

Spud has matched this new action-packed vocabulary with an equally action-packed mentality. He is suddenly very very busy. He’s much less interested in snuggles unless there are new library books, and he’s a constant ball of motion if not constrained in one of the aforementioned containment options.

It’s fun. He’s fun.