Another baby? It’s complicated.

It’s my “blog-aversary” I guess. So says WordPress. Four years ago I started this baby….and wow does time fly. Four years ago I started this blog as a rant of the struggles of first-time motherhood. And now that little baby I was talking about is four. He knows how to write his name. He knows the alphabet and he can count to 100. That little baby is also a fantastic big brother and says the funniest and craziest things. It’s nuts how life works out and flies by all at once.

I’ve been in kind of a funk these days. I know I talk about my miscarriages often, and many of you who read this blog may be tired of hearing about it. I apologize, and want to kindly remind you that you don’t have to read what I write, it doesn’t bother me one way or another. But be warned, this blog does touch on my unborn babies.

I have begun the process of writing a book I once dreamed about. Both my husband and the readers of this blog have encouraged me to push forward and make that dream a reality. Though it won’t be remotely written for many years, it is in the works.  Writing on this topic has been something I have been passionate about. Miscarriage and the loss with it has been so taboo in our culture and I’m tired of it, and so are the other mothers out there who have experienced it. It’s just time to talk about it and not in a “everything-works-out” kind of way. It’s time that miscarriage is recognized as the anger and grief inducing tragedy that it is. It should be called out for what it is: a life altering, never the same again, event.

But, that is only part of what is on my mind today. Really, what my mind is mulling over is whether or not to have another baby. I want another baby. I crave it. I hated being pregnant with Lennon, but in the long run, it’s so worth it. But honestly, I am petrified. The condition I have, which presumably caused my previous miscarriages, only worsens with age, so each day that passes, each moment, increases my chance of miscarrying all the more. And honestly, I don’t know if I can mentally and emotionally handle the possibility of losing another baby.

Recently, my husband and I have started a small group within our church dedicated to the common bond of miscarriage. Because of this and the start of this book, I have been dwelling on and reliving my experiences more graphically than  usual on a daily basis. It does a number on one’s emotional state. I typically think of my lost children at least once a day, but lately, I have been graphically re-living every detail of their loss.

I have been trying so hard to soak in the moments with my four year old and treasure the fleeting moments of babyhood with my sweet Lennon. But always in the back of my mind is the craving of another child, and the reminder of those I have lost. It’s a tough place to find myself.

I tried to fool myself into saying I was done after two living babies. I have a beautiful boy and the most awesome girl. Perfect, right? But I crave another. A few weeks ago, I held a friend’s sweet newborn baby and was so happy to give her back once she cried, but now–now I long for that moment when you hold a new baby for the first time. I want to hear those sweet and unforgettable newborn cries. I want that first look into each other’s eyes. I want to mother another child. But I’m scared of the journey to get there. My heart cannot take another loss. My heart can hardly manage another pregnancy. The mere thought makes my stomach churn and my eyes tear up.

Pregnancy is a complete crap-shoot. You don’t ever know until the moment that beautiful, pink, screaming baby is placed in your arms, that everything will be okay. And there in lies the risk.

This is where I am, folks. Truly caught between a rock and a hard place. And seriously hoping time will tell.

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Potty Training Woes.

I want to encourage you parents who have potty-training aged children to do one of two things. One, if you’ve had success and a relatively swift potty training experience, give yourself a high five and smother your kiddo in kisses and please give them extra dessert today. Two, if you’re working with a difficult potty trainer, hang in there, and drink at least two glasses of wine–one for you and one for me cause I can’t have any until January.

Mmmmkay….We’ve been on the potty training bus for far too long and I’m about to take the wheel and crash it into a freaking tree just to be done with it. “Bethany, you are being so dramatic,” you say. Talk to me when you’ve been potty training for six months. Six months. That’s HALF A YEAR.

I know what you’re thinking. Boys are harder to potty train than girls are. Yes, I’m aware. We tried it when I thought Judah was ready at a much younger age. He had recently turned two and developed a high curiosity about all things toilet. I wanted to jump on that as fast as I could, but we had visitors in town and the proper attention to it just couldn’t be paid, so we continued to keep him in diapers. Fast forward two weeks and I tried an intense method that had worked for a very trusted mom friend of mine, and he was clearly just stressed and the interest had passed. Having a good read on the situation, and knowing that boys are often late bloomers in the potty department, I was happy to resign my efforts and allow him to continue on in diapers until that interest once again peaked.

After a few months, we tried again. He was totally on board with getting rid of his diapers. Only, he hated underwear, like full out tantrum every time they were brought out, but was okay with pull ups, so we adapted and used those. It was a slow go, and I figured out that we just kind of had to let Judah lead the charge. After six months, I am proud to say that Judah is finally in underwear full-time, minus nights, where he still uses a pull-up.

However….I cannot for the life of me get this kid to freaking poop in the toilet! Before you offer up your solid (no pun intended, but that’d be a pretty good one) parenting advice, let me stop you. I have no doubts that whatever you did with your child worked wonders. Chances are, I have tried it. I have read every blog, every Pinterest post, and consulted every opinion I deem worthy. Plus, I’m not asking, I’m venting. There is a time and place for everything.

We have had three successful poop endeavors. The first one, you’d think Judah just got elected for President, and made Kanye his VP. Boo-ya. I seriously almost cried, pictures were sent to family, and he was allowed to go to ToysRUs and pick out something of his choice, which NEVER happens for obvious reasons. He was SO proud of himself and Kyle and I were floating on cloud nine, thinking this potty thing was almost in the bag. Why did we not remember that the kids always get the last laugh?

Proudly sporting his

Proudly sporting his “big boy” underwear.

Since then, Judah has developed an irrational compulsion of pooping at the park or at our friend’s house (sorry Geers). I’m not kidding you, every time we go to the park, not five minutes into our time there, he’s pooped his pants. We warn him that we will need to come home, we coach him about telling us when he has to go, we encourage him to try before we leave, and now we’ve completely taken the park off the table (which also totally sucks for me…btw) until he consistently poops in the potty. Can I just remind you that it’s been six months? Just wanted to get that out there again.

So it happened again today. The kid had been stinky-farting for like three hours. We talked to him about going, encouraged him to try, he’s peed like a champ all day long, and we gave him the park ultimatum. Before we left, we told him to try going. We warned him that if he pooped up at the park, we would come home immediately. We made sure this was understood before we left. He also understands there is a bathroom there that he can use. Like clockwork, five minutes into the trip we see the poop face. We check his undies and sure enough, there’s a number two sitting in there. We head home as promised and once again beat our heads against the door.

“Where are you supposed to poop, Judah?”  I ask my son.

“In the potty.” He replies as usual.

“How come you didn’t go in the potty this time?” I ask. (But seriously, child…why the heck not???)

“Because I said yes then no.” He says, which is his typical I-know-I-did-something-I-shouldn’t response.

SIX MONTHS. Potty training is like that hemorrhoid you get after giving birth that just never goes away. It’s nagging, it’s ironically persistent, and no matter how much PreparationH you put on that sucker, it’s always there.

We have a new ultimatum now. We are in process of redoing Judah’s room in anticipation of our newest baby. And now, not only is the park on hold, but Judah does not get his bunk beds constructed for his new room until he starts pooping in his potty. He has been asking about his bunk beds every day since they have been delivered a few weeks ago. I am crossing my fingers and hoping with all hope that this will be the motivator that is needed.

For now, I’m just going to eat my feelings in chocolate because that’s all I’ve got while pregnant. And did I mention, I loathe potty training. Absolutely loathe it.