Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Did I Waste the Last 8 Months?!?

So I went back to work yesterday. A full time job. 8-430, Monday to Friday. Then on Saturdays I take the boys to Nanaimo to visit with their dad. So I'm pretty much gone 6 days a week. I have been home for 8 months. I have had a few random jobs here and there, but nothing full time like this since the end of February. In that 8 months I feel like I should have developed a solid relationship with Jove. I feel like I was given an opportunity, albeit it came from poor mental health, to do something that not all NGP's or working parents are given the opportunity to do.

And I feel like I wasted it.

Jove doesn't look to me. He doesn't come to me. Not saying he doesn't like me, I know he likes me. But I don't feel I've gained anything in this 8 months that I was home with him every day. Instead I feel like I have just realized how much he doesn't need or even want me. Maybe that's just the type of kid he is. Maybe he is just a really big mama's boy. But when Craig comes home from work, or Dave comes over on weekends - he launches to them to see them and go up with them. He doesn't do that with me. I feel a distant third or fourth - and I know, I know, it's not about favourites or ranking or any of that stuff - but it's still hard. It's so hard to realize how not needed or wanted you are by your own child. He is supposed to be my child too, and I feel I am constantly fighting for him to even feel a tiny bit like it.

Sometimes I think we went about this all wrong. I've now read several other lesbian baby blogs or NGP blogs and they have all given tips - and we didn't follow or do any of them. We didn't have anything that just I did (bath time, a special song, etc), we never set up comfort routines that I was a part of, we never really pushed for me to do any of that stuff. What we did was have a baby and I think Andrea did what she was used to doing when she had kids in a hetero relationship, and I did what I thought the 'other' parent was supposed to do and figured that I would just grow into the role like most dads must grow into it. Except it's been a year and I still haven't grown into it. I feel like Craig and Dave are more of an 'other' parent than I am to Jove. It hurts - to be honest. It's the prime reason that I don't think I can have any more kids. I don't know that I can go through this again. I wanted to have Jove so badly, and I wanted a baby with Andrea so desperately - I wanted to share that with her, and I'm doing something wrong, and can't seem to right it after a year. I don't even know how to go about fixing it now. I think this is just going to be one of those relationships that maybe doesn't blossom or bloom until he is much older. If that's the way he wants it, then that's the way it has to be.

I wish we had done so many things differently. I wish I had done so many things differently. I wish I had fought for a role more. I wish I hadn't assumed that it would just happen on it's own. Now I sit fourth in line.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Happy Birth Day

Jove is 1. Holy crap he is one.

I can't believe a whole year has gone by since that infamous birth where nothing worked like it was supposed to. Where I was terrified because the birth pool couldn't be set up. Where the midwives made me feel those feelings I still can't put my finger on.

A whole year of this little person. He has grown so much! Though not much in the way of hair - he is still quite bald!

Our donor is half Polish, born in Poland actually - so Jove is first generation Canadian. Part of the first year traditions for Polish children on their first birthday is to set three items in front of them: a shot glass (symbolizing social behaviour), Rosary Beads (symbolizing spirituality), and a coin (symbolizing financial interest). They say that whichever item the child gravitates to indicates their interests as they get older. Our donor on his first birthday chose the coin, and weirdly enough he works in finances and economics. Jove immediately went to the shot glass. Like, right away! It makes sense for him, at least right now, because when we are out in public he is so social and just absolutely loves other people. He kind of played with the coin, but cared nothing for the beads and just threw them away. I guess spirituality isn't at the top of his list of priorities.

Andrea's parents came out for his birthday, and we enjoyed his favourite meal (chilli), and had muffins instead of cake - a tradition in our house. He got some socks, balls, a push toy, a giant tiger, and of course his very own baby that was specially made for him. All of our kids received one on their first birthdays.

Andrea spent the day quietly, deep in thought I would imagine. I also spent the day in thought. This past year I have experienced what it's like to be an NGP. I have grown in ways I have never imagined. It has been challenging in ways I never anticipated, and I am still learning how to be in this role, still learning how to be a proper parent to Jove. Given that I have children of all sorts: step, bio, NGP - I don't think I will ever stop learning how to be a parent. Maybe no matter what kind of parent you are you never stop learning - who knows.

Here are some pictures of my boy :)

All of my gorgeous kidlets




Jove in his birthday crown

Monday, 22 September 2014

Progress?

He actually slept near me last night, and held my hand while he slept. He never does that - ever. He usually won't even come near me at night except by complete accident and then he swiftly rolls back to Andrea. Baby Steps.

Tiny Baby Sized Steps....

Monday, 8 September 2014

Making Eight??!

No one is pregnant! Worry not!

But Andrea is talking about having another one because she doesn't feel done yet. I don't feel done yet either, but I am not so sure that I can handle having another - emotionally speaking that is.

I've read all the blogs and articles and everything out there that I could get my  hands on about being a non gestational parent. I've read that it gets easier as they get older, I've read that it doesn't matter who is pregnant and gives birth in terms of loving a child (which I agree with, given my love for Roman and Matteo). I am still waiting for it to get easier. He goes to and plays with me as much as he does any stranger. I'm not in any way denying that he is fond of me, I know he is. I just need to be shown that it isn't going to matter to him that I didn't gestate him, or nurse him, or stay home with him (as I went back to work after a month). There is a difference between how the boys see me and how the girls see Andrea. Yes, both 'sets' love the other parent, but there is a clear difference in terms of biology. I had always held on to the hope that this was the case because Andrea and I blended families when they were older - so they didn't have the other one of us right from birth. I am now concerned that there will be that same divide with Jove.

My other reservation is in the fact that when we were planning/pregnant with Jove we had said this was going to be our last. So I had prepped myself for those jealous and everything feelings. But now we are talking about doing it all again. With Jove, it was technically Andrea's turn. I had had the last baby, Remy. It was easier to embrace that I wouldn't be the one being pregnant/giving birth/nursing. Knowing that it wasn't my turn, and that it would be our last is what I clung to any time I felt negative feelings that began to be overwhelming. Now we are talking about another, when it should now be my turn. Only it can't be my turn. Between my mental illness, and the meds I'm on for it - I shouldn't carry another child. It isn't fair to the child to be put at risk again - especially when we have a completely healthy body/person in Andrea. This pains me to my core. I so want to be pregnant again.

I always used to say that when it comes to kids you should err on the side of the person who wants another one - because you will love that child, whereas the resentment from not being able to have a baby can ruin a relationship. But that opinion was born during a heterosexual relationship. When both parties would have a link to the child. When both would have a role to play. And both would be loved. As it stands, I am a poor stand in for Andrea. And yes, I hear it gets better as they get older. But I need to see it, need to feel it before I can put myself through all that again, especially when this time is going to be a hell of a lot harder than the first time.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Clingy Baby

I haven't updated here in so long - I haven't updated any of my blogs really. I've been busy living in my own head.

Jove is growing so much and so quickly. He crawls around the floor at amazing speeds, and pulls him self up to standing to cruise along furniture. I feel walking isn't that far off, but I have most certainly been wrong before.

The other kids are still so dedicated to him, and they each have their own special way of relating to him. Roman loves putting on this silly voice and making him laugh hysterically. Kahlan wants to be a third mother. Teo is the most neutral of the kids, but I think that's because Teo is so busy all the time, that he doesn't have the time to slow down and interact with a baby. I'm sure as soon as Jove is able to build roads and play cars that Teo will magically find the time. Remy, I feel, is still trying to find her place as no longer the youngest. She has asked to nurse again several time (she stopped when she was 3, and has just turned 5), and has asked to go back into my belly.

I'm having both an easier and harder time with my role. Not just as an NGP to a child in general, but also as mother to Jove specifically. He is very much a mama's boy. He will only sit with or be calmed by me for a few short moments, and god help if Andrea comes into eyesight while I have him - it's all over then. He is most content with me when I wrap him, which I am getting better at thankfully, but he still resists sleep with me in any way. Lately, the clingyness to Andrea has been so much worse. It's like he is not feeling well. He is sad or miserable for most of the day (which is so unlike him, he is the smiliest happiest baby either of us have come across), nurses pretty much every half an hour it seems, and is even more dependent on Andrea.

It's hard to feel like such a distant second. When Craig or even Dave (family friends) come over, I sometimes even feel like third or fourth. Jove is so in love and fascinated by men, that those two guys can entertain him for so much longer than I can. I'm hopeful that as he gets older we will develop a closer relationship. I have accepted my current role, and I am no longer fighting it. I am in love with this little guy with my whole heart, and yet I am waiting for an opportunity to actually get to know him as a mother, instead of just mama's stand in.

We have been talking about bringing Jove over to meet his donor. Andrea has left it up to me, and I am a little nervous. I don't know where my nerves stem from though, which is why I have delayed going so far. I want to figure out the root cause of my emotions so that I can deal with them in an appropriate way.

I would post some pictures here, but I keep updating from the public library, and, well, there are no pictures of Jove on this computer.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Headway

So, yesterday and today - Jove fell asleep on my back! Granted it was only for a very shirt period of time, but the fact still remains that he fell asleep with me! Last night I went to bed after Andrea and Jove and she had finished nursing him for the moment and they were both asleep, I settled myself in and then grabbed Jove and brought him next to me to snuggle. I miss snuggling at night. I always slept all night with the girls right next to me - it's another thing that makes me feel like a mother that I am lacking.

I'm hating that I am the stand in. If he gets upset or something than she has to come in and save the day. I'm starting to both feel more and less like an actual parent. On the one hand he sleeps on me now, on the other hand - other than play I can't do much parenting stuff with him. 

Him and Andrea are adorable together - you can see the mother/child relationship; they ooze it. I wonder if I ooze it with him, or if it still look like as much of a struggle as it feels. 

Today, I'm wondering what more I could be doing, or what it is I am doing wrong. It must be something, I don't think I feel the way I should be feeling. I love him with every ounce of my being, but I still don't feel like his mother. This eats at me - every moment. 

I'm wearing him more which is good, that is helping a lot. It feels right to have him on my back. I would take him for a walk every evening if I could. I enjoy that time alone with him; I sing or just talk to him. Sometimes I just walk I'm silence, feeling his weight on my back. It's 'us' time, and I want more of it. I need to actively work to get it.

I need to become more comfortable with taking and asking for what I want with hi . Just because she birthed him doesn't mean that she outranks me. 

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Caretaker

So Jove is in 12-18month clothing now. He is 5 months old! Seriously! 5 months. I've never had a baby so big, it is overwhelming and new for me. I keep expecting him to be able to do things. I know this is so very wrong of me, and I have to stop myself from thinking it all the time.

Andrea has baby fever - in some weird way. She doesn't *want* another baby right now, as we still have quite a young one, but so many people she knows are having babies. In fact, one person is due in November, right around Jove's birthday! The fact that that date is already coming up is so shocking, even to me.

He loves to stare, smile, and laugh at me while Andrea holds him. He keeps his eye on me while he nurses sometimes too. It's a nice feeling to have that I am somewhat important to him. Andrea is the only one who can get him to sleep. They sleep together all night because of the nursing, and he generally prefers to be with her. I know this is a phase, or so everyone keeps telling me, so I am being as patient as I can be. I am hopeful that one day I can settle and comfort him when he is crying. It's those types of things that make me feel like a mother, and it has been a hard adjustment for me to not have any of those things with Jove. I feel more like a caretaker oftentimes than his mother. It makes me sad, and some days I cry about it - but I am thankful for the moments I do get.


I wonder if other NGP's feel similarly to how I feel or if I'm just an odd ball? I wonder if they have to fight and struggle to feel like a mother to a non gestated baby. I know I feel more like the boys' mother, I actively get to parent them. I feed them. I can comfort them when they are sad. I can tuck them in at night. Even if they prefer Andrea, they will still allow me to do it and hug me back. Jove just screams if I try to do something he wants Andrea for. That's what babies do. I thought I was prepared for this journey, but I am realizing that I wasn't. I made assumptions that haven't come to fruition, and I had expectations that were unrealistic. I am adjusting. I think it's getting better. I am slowly becoming more comfortable with him, even if I am the fun one for now.