Labour Day of the Heart: #IVF

School Supplies

Labour day means so many things to different people. It began as a day off for front-line workers. It merged into the last long weekend of the summer before kids started school. To spend lazy afternoons camping with the kids or having friends over for a BBQ is the norm these days. When I think of kids I think of the birthing day (aka THE Labour Day.) When you become pregnant, the Birthing/Labour day is the finish line. For some women, they just want to start the journey to motherhood.
Back-To-School campaigns can make some people sad. They cry on Labour Day. As kids go back to school, government returns to session. Now that the election is completed, I wonder if the government is considering in adding to the health care policy to include funding for IVF treatments.
Currently, many women transfer multiple embryos during IVF, in hopes that one will grow into a baby. Often, twins, triplets and quads end up with families that were trying to just have one baby. Multiple births can be costly over the lifetime of the children and the mother. There are many maternal health risks and health care challenges for multiples, like lifetime illnesses, disabilities and more.

As it says in this article: it can help all of us as taxpayers.There are many people trying to help moms be moms by supporting the initiative to have IVF publicly funded for them. If you are suffering from infertility, check out the site for information and support.

As I pack up for my own young daughters to get ready for school, I see how Labour Day can be hard for many women wanting to be in my shoes. I hope our province can join the many other places like Quebec and Australia who help families be born.

Do you know anyone who is suffering from infertility and trying to save up for treatments? Are they foregoing many things to help fund it? Please send them here for more information.

Back to School can mean back to Families First in this Province this fall.

Disclosure: I am a valued member of the #IVF4BC blog team. As such, I received compensation, but my opinion on this blog is my own.

Grief is like Another Child

20130205-092247.jpgHearing the cars outside just highlights that I need to get to sleep. The moonlight peeks through the blinds in our bedroom. I need to sleep. I do not know when she will wake me up. My four-year-old has a horrible sleep track record. Most nights I take the midnight shifts to let my hubby be rested for work.

Today was one of the bad days in our world of autism. She did not sleep last night so the morning ABA session did not go well. She screamed to leave. When I took her to preschool, I did not expect it to go well. An hour later I had got the call from her aide that she was inconsolable. I went to get her early. For the rest of the afternoon and into the evening she wailed. I had no idea how to help her. She does not speak so it makes it even more heart breaking. I hate myself for saying how much Autism can suck.

At that moment I said it in my head, the tears rolled fast. I turned away from my husband to try not to wake him. I balled my fist into my mouth to muffle my sobs. It took several minutes for the tears to stop. It is like I lost someone I never knew. Only we do not have a funeral. Grieving about it gives power to the feeling that it is like another child. She is my daughter and I will do anything for her. Right now I accepted the grief so I can move forward and be the mom she needs in me.

What to Say and Not to an Autism Warrior Parent

I know I should have thicker skin when it comes to snide remarks. I know I should let it roll off my back. I know I shall expect it again. It makes my brain go into what people should say. They are:

5 things Not to Say to an Autism Parent

  1. Everything happens for a reason.
  2. At least the child is healthy.
  3. That must be tough.
  4. Can’t you control your kid? ( or the nasty glances.)
  5. I don’t know how you do it.
  6. This kid is born to you because you are strong and can handle it all.

5 things to say to an Autism Parent

  1. How are you?
  2. Can I babysit sometime?
  3. Your kid is wonderful/smart/delightful.
  4. The world is a better place with your kid in it.
  5. _______________________________________

I wish to put this on a laminated card to hand out when people approach me . I wonder what the fifth thing that should be on that list.

What would you say to a parent with a child on the spectrum that is positive?

An IVF Confession #ivf4bc

shutterstock_88446694Watching *Cathy console her little boy, *Bryan, you would think they are just like any other mother and child at the playground. She sends him off after a few sips of water and goldfish. He races off to meet his friends. Cathy watches him go with a look that beams of pride. Only, their story is so much more than pride.

We chat a bit and she slowly opens up about her story. Her and her husband tried for years to get pregnant. When the traditional calendar watching and other means did not work they wondered what to do next. Due to their cultural values and family, they did not know if they could go through in vitro fertilization or adoption. For a long time, both of their parents would ask when would the couple make them grandparents. At family holiday gatherings, as they saw their nieces and nephews race around the home, there was always a needling relative asking when is it their time.

People mean well when they ask what they think is an innocent question. Only it feels like an arrow through their heart. They want to be a family so badly. They have great jobs and a beautiful home. One day Cathy was at her doctor’s for the latest test results on her egg count when she spied an IVF brochure on the table in the waiting room. She slipped it into her purse to look at it in private.

Later that night she talked it over with her husband. They agreed to start the procedure in private. They would cash in their Savings account to pay for the treatments. After three attempts and one miscarriage, they got pregnant with Bryan.

Their family does not know. You can imagine how happy they are along with their families to have a beautiful happy son.

I watch them pack up and leave. Their hands joined together as they walk home. I can’t help but think of them and other families who may hold a similar story. Every holiday that a couple goes childless opens up the heartache. Not everyone is like Cathy who had the financial means to have the IVF treatments.

With all the benefits to get public funding for IVF treatments, I wonder if this year will be BC’s year to get it?

Personally, I believe the parents who want to be parents by any and every means are the best kind. With some provinces and countries world-wide providing public funding for IVF, will more BC families get help too?

Follow them on Twitter: @ivf4bc

Like them on Facebook to get the latest information.

*Names have been changed to protect their privacy.

Disclosure: I am a valued member of the #IVF4BC blog team. As such, I received compensation, but my opinion is my own.

ThinkitOVER Mom #MillionMoments

I am so grateful to be a mom in the era of smartphones. In a blink of an eye, while you are digging for your camera, the sweet kid moment could be gone. There are hundreds of snaps of my kids on my phone. For the many times that I forget to bring the video camera, I have utilized the video option on my smartphone.

I have caught pre-school songs, sister moments when they think I am not watching, self-portraits with my girls and so much more. I always have my phone near me. You never know when a moment comes as fast as it goes.

My girls share a room because of space in our townhome. Our room is located just across the hallway, with the ensuite right between the two rooms. One day, I climbed out of the shower to the sound of giggles. I quickly got dressed and snuck over to their door.

I spied my oldest in her toddler bed doing prat falls much to the delight of her baby sister who was standing in her crib.

I whip out my phone and start taking pictures. I am candidly caught and they slowly wind down. I ask my baby to smile and this is what I got in return.

It is now 4 years later from when I took that priceless picture. My girls are growing too fast. As they get older there are always new moments captured on camera but I find myself taking less and less now. I used to snap all the milestone pictures and write a story for each. Now, I am in the moments instead of being behind the camera. It is a very beautiful place to be.

Have you felt OVERstretched in the world of motherhood? You will be happy to know that you are not alone. Fisher Price is launching the Million Moments of Joy campaign, which celebrates the REAL joys of motherhood.

The contest has now launched. For the next 8 weeks. (8 prizes in total. Each worth approx.. $200.00 CAD) check it out on their contest site: www.fisherprice.ca/momentsofjoy.

What can you win in the prize packs?

– My Little Snugabunny Bouncer ($89.99)

– Laugh &Learn Dance and Play Puppy ($59.99)

– Ocean Wonders Aquarium ($54.99)

Disclosure: I am participating in the Million Moments of Joy Blogger Campaign by Mom Central Canada on behalf of Fisher-Price. I received compensation as a thank you for participating and for sharing my honest opinion. The opinions on this blog are my own.

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Home alone and being domestic.

I run through house and take the stairs two by two. Dropping my purse on the kitchen table, I turn to the the kitchen sink.
I load the sink to wash the lunch dishes. As it fills, I run back down the stairs to the laundry room to switch a load from washer to dryer.
I wash and rinse the dishes in a flurry and place to dry. My thoughts run everywhere as I stare out the window. I see a mom crossing the street with her child in a stroller.
I am flooded with memories of the past few years. I recall back then when I wondered how I would I feel when both of my girls would be in school. It is been two years since my youngest was in the stroller. I remember that ‘burden’ of trying to get everything done with the kids in tow. It is at that moment I realize how the silence of the house engulfed me.
I laugh. It is the moment that both kids are in school, I dreamt of this moment back in the stroller days, and what do I do? Housework. I swore in the past I would spend the first few quiet hours doing something for me. I put on the kettle to make tea. Once it’s brewed, I head through the kitchen and walk into the living room. I grab the remote and sit down. Putting my feet up, I turn on the TV to watch something for me.

MH900423099Bliss.

What would you do with a free morning?

Autumn Gratitude

For years I fought with the overwhelming rollercoaster of depression, anxiety and mixed emotions. I give out as much as I can for my family and friends. I know I could always do more. I do not ask for much in return. Feelings of “I am not worth it” invade me when the dark times hit me hard.

On October 10th of this year I turned 39 years old. The age that my mother did not make it to see. It is the fact that I felt guilty about for a long time on why am I still living and she is not. Days before my impending birthday I walked into my house to a surprise party. When I opened my eyes on the 10th I felt a little lighter. The day was a regular day in momville. However, that I was the recipient of kindness, and that warmed my heart. A song, a scrapbook and more gifts left me humbled and grateful.

Ten days later, my youngest turned 4. With all her challenges, one the sweetest gifts she got was to meet her idols, The Wiggles. We were all privileged to meet the troupe and see the show from the floor, all because of the kindness of their organization. Our oldest cannot stop talking about The Wiggles and drawing creative pictures. Our youngest loves looking at the pictures with her and her boys.

This past Sunday, I was asked to speak on a blogging panel. The topics were varied from starting, getting paid and finding inspiration to pen a blog. I was honored to talk about my passion to write alongside of my boss at The Momoir Project, publisher of West Coast Families and Kerry of Crunchy Carpets.

Well I made it to 39. I will seek to learn from this fall to keep paying it forward. I am still here for a reason. For that, I am so grateful.

What are you grateful for today?

My Motherless Birthday Wish

;

My heart has stopped, and then starts again full throttle. The music is filling the room with memories and dreams of the future. The words mix with the music notes from the guitar flooding my eyes with tears. The happy kind.

I am in the middle of my living room that is brimming with family and friends. They just gave me a surprise party. The icing on the cake is the gentleman who is singing the song. Chris and I only just met today, yet I know his stories as he knows mine through Social Media. He and my husband have long since connected the same way.

Only, this song came from the collaboration of the two of them for my surprise birthday party. What really made me weep is that the song is titled A Million Oceans. The very words that my own mother would say, “I love you more than a million oceans. “ My heart and soul is filled with the compassion and kindness that is bursting from my home. I am turning 39, the age my mom did not make it to. My dear husband knew this and made me a surprise like no other. That is not easy since we have been together over 22 years now. Next month we celebrate 20 years of marriage. This is one of the top romantic things he has ever done for me.

I look at the faces of my friends and family who took the time during their Thanksgiving weekend to come here to celebrate – for me. My sweet sister-in-law came from Calgary for this weekend! I am stunned and humbled all at the same time. Just when life stops surprising me, this happens, a million oceans over.

The one thing that struck me in why Chris came out was about paying it forward. It is so true. As parents, we hope that our kids’ future is at least 50% better than the way we had it at their age. I always mourned the fact that I was cheated out of having my mother as I grew up, and that my kids do not have their grandmother. I also dreaded turning 39 because my mom didn’t.

There is one thing I know today, my 39th birthday, is that she did leave a world for me that included kind-hearted people that remind me of her. My birthday wish is that you do pay it forward for someone today, for them, you and our children.

Thank you to all of you for the love and light you have brought back to my heart.

Please feel free to share here how you paid it forward today.

Here is the song:
https://t.co/9ZJVgHjI

An Angry Letter to my Mom

Dear Mom,

I am so sad, mad and upset at you.

After years of being scared to have kids, in fear of them inheriting genetic baggage, my deepest fear has come true. Since my youngest daughter was born, her delays have been obvious. Then the diagnosis of Autism arrived. All this time I have been riddled with the guilt that I am at fault for her delays and diagnosis.  I have second guessed everything that happened from the morning sickness to having to be put out for her birth.

Then earlier this year my sister, your youngest, was found to have a rare chromosome that was linked to her cancers. Because of that, my baby and I have been tested due to that connection.  Today I got the call that we tested positive with links to my health problems, and my sweet baby who has autism and a big head. All this time I blamed myself that it was my fault for her social and development delays.

All her and I did was be born. It does not ease my pain that it might not be my fault. She inherited from me, and I from you. We were born. End of story. I know that if you were here today we would find out if you had the same mutation of the gene. Statistically it had to be from you. But who did you get it from? I have a million questions for you. Life has thrown my small family too many curveballs. Why are we the ones with the genetic baggage, and not the rest of the family?

It is so not fair. Cancer is a bitch.  I can never imagine life without both my babies. Autism has had its hard days. It has given us moments that remind us with what is really important.

Family.

I wish you were here.

Love, Me