Saturday, 12 April 2014

Relieved

So I am both bipolar and have borderline personality disorder. I have been on many different medications and am trying ECT now. ECT has caused me to become a different, happier person. In that, however, things are changing in our lives. We are wanting to move, have a more agrarian lifestyle, and spend more time as a family then we did before. We are growing some of our own food now, making our own rice milk, as well as bread, and trying to find a place that will work for us. I have come to the realization though, that I whether or not we have any more kids, I don't feel done, and I do want one more. Moreover, I want to carry it. Not because I don't love Jove, because ECT has also enabled me to fall even more in love with this little creature, but because I just don't feel done. Yes, there is an increased risk of passing on mental illness to a genetic offspring, but there is also an increased risk for my non-genetic offpsring for it as well simply being raised by a parent with a mental illness. But it has nothing to do with genetics - honestly. I love all the boys as if I had birthed them. It's that I just feel I am meant to carry one more time. I feel there is one small person still missing from our family. I don't know if we will actually have another as that would mean a new vehicle for us, among other things, but I feel settled in knowing how I feel and what I want. I'm no longer trying to convince myself that I am done, and that I can't carry. For now, I am sitting with this knowledge. Andrea knows, though she didn't really say much when I confessed my secret. I'm sure she is overwhelmed. It feels....relieving to know this, and to have shared it.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Update

The kids are all sick. The big 4 have the stomach flu (all the puking!), and little Jove has the sniffles and a cough. Me? I'm stuck in Nanaimo for the day. I'm the sick mom. Puke doesn't bother me (Except Remy's the other night, it smelt awful). I like being there for snuggles and love while they are sick. I mean, I hate when they are sick, but I love the extra love that goes on. So far, Andrea and I are safe, and I'm hoping we don't get sick - because there is no one to take care of us. Though, I do like when Andrea is sick too, because she gets all whiny and pathetic, and let's me love on her lots.

I am feeling, emotionally, in a better place than I have been for the past while, so that has enabled me to spend more time with Jove in a meaningful way. I still wish that parenting him was more equal between us, but I am not sure if that's possible. I made mistakes, as I talked about last time, and I can't go back and change history. I do *want* to wear him more, so there is at least that, now I just need to act on those feelings. He is pretty much held all day by one of us, so finding time to do that shouldn't be too difficult. I want to snuggle with him more at night as well. We bed share and I find myself moving over to give him and Andrea more room to do their thing. I need to stop doing that.

I have continued to think about it since the last time I wrote, and I realized that I don't think I feel done having kids yet. I haven't approached this subject with Andrea yet, and I am not in any way saying that I want to try any time soon - Jove is only 5 months old, but I'm not done. I know the risk of passing on a mental illness is there if I carry again, but I don't think I have written myself off. I don't think I feel ready to give that up yet. I understand if Andrea doesn't want to take that risk, and would respect that. But I don't think I am done with 5, I think there is a 6th in our future - somewhere in our future. I am not sure how that child will come to us, but I think it will.

I am also starting to think more and more about going over to visit our donor. Andrea left it up to me for when we went. I like Adam, he is a great guy, it was my feelings I was worried about, and still am. I want to feel confident in my role as Jove's Mii Mii, before I introduce him to his donor. I am getting there. I am making steps, and the time is coming closer I think. I'm hopeful for a summer meeting between the two of them.

I feel like we are at a changing point in our lives. I feel like the decisions we make now are ones that we are going to have to live with for quite some time. I'm cautiously excited about this. I do hope we make the right decisions. The last big decision we made, buying the Wharncliffe House, was made during a depression of mine, and was a mistake. I'm in a clearer head space now. I hope we make the right decisions going forward.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Committed

Jove is 4 months old. I can count on my hand the number of times I have worn him, and this pains me. I look at other NGP blogs and I see the love they have for their non genetic offspring, the attachment they have - and I wonder what the f*ck is wrong with me. I don't know how to feel closer to him, I honestly don't. I was never one to babywear when I didn't need to, it was always when I went out or something, and I always used to go out with Andrea - so now I don't really go anywhere. And if/when I do, it's usually without Andrea and thus, without Jove. Until the nursing relationship is less dependent where she goes, he goes - I don't feel comfortable separating the two of them just in case a nursing need arises. We seldom go out anywhere all of us, and I am such a clumsy wrapper, and he hates so desperately to be wrapped that I just don't even want to try when we do.

Part of me is excited for when he is no longer dependent on the boob for pretty much everything. It's not that I want Andrea to wean early or anything, it's that I want to be able to offer him something that comforts him. I'm the fun one. When he is no hungry or tired I can make him laugh and smile - but I want to be the one he comes to for comfort, I want to be there for snuggles, for kisses. I don't just want to be the fun Mii Mii.

I've been thinking more and more about whether we are done having kids or not. Part of me says it would be wrong to have another one because I'm screwing Jove up by not being bonded to him the way an actual parent would, so why on earth would I bring another child into this world. Another part of me just feels in my core that I am not done. But I am not sure if that means *I* don't feel done, in terms of me being pregnant, or if I don't feel our family is complete. However, I am not rushing myself in the slightest to come to a final decision on this. Whether or not our family is complete is not determined yet, and that's okay, it doesn't need to be.

Right now as I look over to the other side of the couch where Andrea is sitting with Jove on her lap, looking at me, smiling (not sleeping). I love them. I love him, even if I can't comfort him. I do wish I had found a way to comfort nurse him, I do wish I had done skin to skin when he was born more. I wish I had made those things a priority. I made mistakes, and I know that now. All I can do is keep trying as he grows older. And I will. I am committed to being this little guy's parent, in whatever form that ends up taking.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Not only because I didn't birth him

I haven't posted in a while, again. You see, that depression I had - never really went away, and it still hasn't. I ended up suicidal and in the psychiatric ward of the hospital for a week, the day after I got out I lost my job. Things haven't been so great around here lately. I realize(d) in the midst of my depression that one of the reasons I was struggling to bond with Jove was because I have always believed I am destined to die, not meant to live for very long - so I didn't want to get close to him. I even felt that I had served my purpose, in giving Andrea Jove - because he makes her so damn happy. I am aware of how deluded this all seems to those of sane mind. I have tried 17 different medications, and none of them worked (only recently realized its also because I have Borderline Personality Disorder as well as Bipolar, and meds don't touch the former). So, I am going to be trying Electro Convulsive Therapy. I am  scared.

I have been home now since the 24th of February. I have gotten closer with Jove, as I have spent more time with him. But it's still hard. I still see Andrea as the primary parent, and me as merely secondary (or third when Craig is around, funnily enough; Jove seems to adore men!). I still miss nursing, still miss the snuggles of cosleeping. I don't think I am going to be able to healthily respond to those feelings until I get my mental health issues under some semblance of control. I think most of what I thought my NGP struggles were are actually struggles of someone with an unwell mind. I'm not sure if this makes me feel better or worse about the whole situation.

Jove at four months has two teeth (holy crap!), and weighs 16lbs 14oz and is 26.75" long. He's a big kid. He will not sit, but loves to be held in the standing position. He can roll both ways now. He is still in love with lights, and thinks our dog is absolutely the most hilarious thing he has ever seen. He loathes having a dirty diaper, so I am hopeful this means he will potty train at a more reasonable time than our other boys did.

Right now he is swaddled sleeping beside me, eyes fluttering in dreamland. I stare at him and wonder just who he will be, and how we will fit together.

Andrea has left it up to me as to when we take Jove to meet his donor. I'm  not sure how I feel. Sometimes it breaks my heart into tiny little pieces to know that he has nothing of mine. Not just genetics, but I had girls so all of my clothing is girly and small (he is the size now that Kahlan was at a year), my cloth diapers got ruined, my old wraps/slings don't fit. I don't make his milk to nourish him. He literally has nothing of me, and I am intimidated at going over to meet his donor. He looks so much like his donor, and has half his genes. He is supposed to be my son, and I am afraid that when they meet, or when he holds Jove that I will feel like Jove is more his son than my own. It has to happen eventually, I just need to find some security and comfort in my own place in his life before it can in a healthy way.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Am I Waiting?

Andrea asked me the other day if I was waiting until Jove was 2 to actively start bonding with him. I don't think I am waiting until he is 2 or some other set age, I think I am waiting until he is less dependent on Andrea. Right now, his main concern and need is the boobs. Andrea asked me on Sunday if I wanted to take him grocery shopping with me. It takes me about an hour to grocery shop. That's an hour of me and him alone in a public place. I have only really been left completely alone with him twice - and on both of those occasions he ended up screaming his little head off until Andrea came home to retrieve him. The last thing I wanted was for him to do that in public where there would be nothing I could to really console him. So I declined her offer - I think that frustrated her.

Yes, I am scared to be alone with him. It is not my imagination, he is more comfortable with her. And I do know that this will not change unless I spend more time with him, so I take my time where I can get it. Even if it's 5 minutes here or 5 minutes there. Sometimes I just let him lay naked on the change table (where he is always happy, he hates pants), for as long as he will let me just so I can talk to him and tickle him. These 5 minutes here and there are what we are both comfortable with right now. Sometimes he does stay with me longer, and that's great, I love it.

She tells me I need to wrap him more, and I should. But it's weird to wear him just for the sake of wearing him. I'm used to wearing my babies with a purpose in mind, like going out or something. I feel bad for owning a wrap that never gets used. Andrea uses it, but its way to big for her, I want her to cut it so that it fits her. Someone should use it, or we should sell it. She has so many wraps she wants to buy, and she wears him several times a day.

I feel like I am making some progress in my feelings. I am not sad as much anymore. But I do find myself feeling jealous and sometimes angry. Not with Andrea, just with the whole situation. Working is so hard this time around, I feel like an absentee parent. Someone else is raising my kids, even though it is their other mom, it's still not me - and that's so hard. How am I supposed to be a mom when I hardly ever get to see any of them?

Jove and Me snuggling on the couch when we were both not feeling well. 

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Today I made him smile

I posted a query on my NGP group in Facebook and started quite drama. Drama that is still continuing about 4 days later. I was lamenting about the fact that I hardly ever get to see Jove, and how when I do he nearly always cries with me. He was already showing a preference to Andrea.

I mean it makes sense. He sees her all day and night and she nurses him. Of course his attachment to her would grow early and grow strong whereas mine would take more time. 

The advice I got was what I expected. I either need to spend more time with him, some suggested I go so far as to let him scream, so Andrea needs to be out of the room, so he learns he can be soothed by me. Other suggested I just needed to accept my place for now, and trust that it will change.

I am not one to subject others to misery. So I will not be letting him scream until he learns that I am a safe place. That's not fair to him, I want him to learn that organically. Instead I shall attemp to accept that this is my role right now. I am secondary. Not necessarily lesser than, but definitely secondary to Andrea. This will not be a simple thing for me to do. 

However, Jove has been having really cranky inconsolable days the past two days, and today when I got home, I took him from an exhausted Andrea and say on the couch and played with him and he was all smiles for me. I won't go so far as to say I was the one he wanted, but maybe, just maybe, there are times that I too can give him what he needs.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Those Three Little Words

Progress! On Sunday I took Jove upstairs to have some alone time with him. It was nice. We played and he smiled and I sang to him. Then he abruptly fell asleep - so I lay down next to him and fell asleep with him. That night I brought him to Andrea, who was already in bed, and went downstairs to get ready myself. When I was done, Jove was done nursing so I took him and snuggles him up against me and there he stayed for three hours. Three hours of blissful nighttime snuggling. It was glorious.

Yesterday I hardly got to see him because I was in the hospital most of the day having knee surgery, but in being off work today I got to see him and be near him all day. I was playing with him this evening and holding him, I was kissing his cheeks, and it just came out. "I love you." I was completely caught off guard. This was the first time I have said it. I hadn't even thought it and just not said it out loud. It was do weird.

I'm not reading anything into it. I'm just counting it as progress, wonderful, beautiful progress.