During my last 2ww after FET, I was anything but optimistic. I had just suffered a miscarriage following a roller coaster IVF and my heart was still raw and couldn't fathom anything good happening for me. Chad and I both spent most of those two weeks bracing ourselves for disappointment and heartbreak. We truly had very little hope that this FET had really worked. Finally we realized we needed to escape and just be us, if only for a moment. So we sailed off for a short island getaway to take a breath and release some anxiety the day before beta. While we were there we took a moment to make a wish in a little fountain tucked into a hidden courtyard. My beta was less than 24 hours away so we held hands, tossed our penny in and felt our very first ray of hope. That short 2 day trip was the first time I felt really like the me I was before infertility. If only for a moment, I could just be.
Two years later we journeyed to that island again this time with the amazing little girl that was born as a result of the very same FET we had been so worried would fail. And of course we revisited that hopeful fountain. It was so amazing to experience that mini vacation again but this time with her there to enjoy it with us. She delighted in all of the new sights and sounds and we delighted in seeing them again through her eyes. And having so much traveling with her already under our belts and so much more to come, we are excited about the many opportunities to see old places become new again as we experience them as parents for the first time.
Next week though, we are taking a truly groundbreaking trip: the first since Snow Pea was born for which she won't be joining us. I am kinda, sorta freaking out about being away from my baby girl for the first time since she was born. But I am also kinda looking forward to the break from parenting. Don't get me wrong, I love being a stay at home mom and wouldn't change that for anything right now, but it gets exhausting. Really exhausting. And the idea of a having few days to not worry about why my child is whining and whether I am a terrible mother for giving in to said whines sounds pretty nice right now.
I feel so incredibly conflicted for even thinking I need a break and not just for the reasons you might think. Yes of course, part of it is because I want to be with my daughter and I know that I will without a doubt miss her immensely. I can't imagine missing 4 entire days of her life. But I also feel like I somehow don't deserve to feel tired or worn out. I mean what do I really do to warrant the need for a "break"? Yeah, I'm a stay at home mom, but I'm no heroine. I rarely cook, my house is always a mess and as much as I adore my girl I also find myself occasionally overwhelmed with the demands that come with full-time caregiving. I feel like there are so many more women and men out there giving more, doing more- moms and dads who work and still have the same responsibilities I do when it comes to grocery shopping, laundry washing and dinner making. There are moms who meal plan and have their crock pots set up, ready for the night's meal as they put together homemade, educational activities for their tots, while I rely on a day full of the same store bought toys, trips to the library for storytime and puzzling over what to make for dinner about 5 minutes before we should be eating it. I try to convince myself that the "pinterest" world of crafts, homemade meals, perfect exercise schedules and cleaning schedules isn't really an accurate picture of what happens in other people's homes, but it is hard to believe I'm not the only slacker sometimes. If I can't even keep up with my own to-do list, what exactly do I need a break from?
Then of course there is the infertility thing. I wanted this more than anything in the entire world. I still do. I truly do love being a parent and not in a passive way. The thought is consciously in my head at least once a day. Every time I try to do something that used to be easy that is now instead a struggle to keep my toddler from running into traffic or throwing a tantrum, I can't help but realize how much more I enjoy having a demanding baby making it impossible for me to eat my dinner while it's hot than I ever did actually eating said dinner. But that doesn't mean I don't ever want to eat a hot meal again. And maybe even have a glass of wine to go with it once in a while and some uninterrupted adult conversation while I'm at it. It's this crazy internal debate that I go through constantly. I have so much fun being a mom and I am so grateful for it but I also just want to be me sometimes without having to think for two people. I love it but no matter how great it is, it can be draining. That thinking for two people thing is what gets really hard. My brain feels like complete mush by the end of the day.
I miss "me" stuff. I need more of it. I realized I am kind of losing myself to the toddler routine. I get out every day, I have tons of friends to interact with- both parents and not, I am not shutting myself away by any means but I still feel like I often lose sight of what makes me, me. My 30th birthday is coming up and since I was 23 I have been planning to throw an epic 80s Prom to celebrate. But in the past few months, it has started to sound like too much work and I have lost excitement for it. Part of it I think is that I really do have a lot of other things to plan and prepare for and this party really will take some work, but I also realized I haven't been excited because I haven't been in touch with the part of me that wanted this in the first place. I haven't listened to own music in ages because my CD player and pandora station is always blasting The Wiggles or Laurie Berkner. As much as I love the kids tunes Eliana and I jam out to, I need to rock out to my music again too. That used to be a huge part of me. I spent my entire pregnancy and Snow Pea's 1st year belting Journey, REO Speedwagon and Depeche Mode into a hairbrush to get psyched up for planning my birthday bash, but now that she has reached toddlerhood I've caved to playing "Shake My Sillies Out" a thousand times a day to keep her happy.
I know it is probably selfish and that I probably don't actually need or deserve it, but I still really want a break. I want to spend time with my husband without us both having to divide our attention. I want to be able to put all of my energy into something that I really want to do. Of course, I'm sure I will barely remember any of these feelings this time next week when I'm missing my baby and counting the moments until I can with her again. But hopefully, just like that 2ww escape trip, I will find that moment that will snap my brain out of whatever funk it might be in and I will come home feeling refreshed and recharged and ready to be the best mom and the best me that I can be.