Friday, December 18, 2009

Good Morning

Leah keeps telling me I should post more pics.

Here is LB sitting on my knees on our front porch this morning. We just returned from feeding the neighborhood pig some overripe tomatoes. I was thankful for this little girl's hand to hold while we walked down the street, the warmer weather, no snow and not having to work until 10:00 am.

Earlier in the walk. I was trying to take a candid photo with my cell phone, but then she saw it and reached for it.

For the sake of personal motivation, I am going to put out a couple of teasers for future posts:
  • Some of the ups and downs of parenting
  • Who am I? Now that I am a mother, what happened to my hobbies?
  • The day I horrified a fertile with my infertility experience and how much I enjoyed it.
  • Learning to say no: LB, that is, not me
Finally a quick question. For those with blogs and kid(s), why do you choose to post or not post pics of your little ones?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Power Of Genes

I have had a post brewing in my head for weeks if not months on how our genes shape who we are and then today* I read this article about fraternal twin girls separated at birth in China and adopted by separate American families. I recommend reading the article but the summary is that children expressed a desire for a sister as soon as they could talk and connected with each other immediately after meeting for the first time - at age 4.

Is it their shared gestation that makes them long for and bond with each other or is it something rooted in their DNA? Either way, it is interesting for those of us choosing alternate means to parenthood.

The reason I have been thinking about genetics is because of LB's emerging personality. She is a tidy girl. I am her primary care giver and outside of working 20 hours / week and one evening to myself (not regularly, but trying to get there), I am with her. I am not tidy. Brad is and so is her donor. She is so tidy that one of her first words was "back" as in put it where it goes, not necessarily where it was. If she finds a piece of paper on the floor at Costco, she picks it up and says, "Back!" and we throw it away. The cat is on the kitchen counter? "Back!" We get the cat off. I leave a towel on the bed? "Back!" I joke to Brad that she follows me around, picking up after me or at least telling me to pick up after myself.

I believe this is (nearly?) entirely her genetic programming. Certainly she is not modeling her behavior after me. Not a big deal really . . . she could have the exact same tendencies if even if she shared my DNA. But she doesn't and that is the rub.

Perhaps I just will never be one of those people who believes "it just doesn't matter at all!". It matters because my perception is different. When I first saw this emerging, I didn't talk about it. To be honest, I was a bit hurt. While I was enjoying seeing her personality evolve and unfold, I was feeling sorry for myself. Instead of immediately joking sarcastically to Brad, "Oh no! She has your tidiness gene!" it took me several weeks to come to terms with it.

One night I broke down and cried. Not because LB was not like me, which is a thought that sometimes come to mind, but because I was sad when I should be celebrating. It was a turning point on this particular issue and since I have become more relaxed about the whole thing. I joke about it now - sometimes mouthing "O - C - D" to Brad and generally feeling close to how I think I would feel if she had been our mutually genetic child.

I will freely admit that it is a personality flaw that I really wanted my genetic child. I mean really. I continue to feel that loss. Not just the loss for any genetic child (although that too) but that I don't have that connection with LB. It is not something that weighs me down or crosses my mind overly often, but it is there and I am occasionally triggered.

And to offer some balance: I am a mom. I am the mom to the most amazing little girl. I get all the ups and downs of parenting and I am 100% convinced I enjoy it more than many, if not most, parents because of the struggle to get here (I may be biased - I also think LB is the most special kid to be born since the dawn of mankind. Could I be wrong?). Sometimes by the end of the day I am worn out by cuteness. I kid you not. I feel the need to come down emotionally a few notches because I have spent the whole day in a high energy cute-fest: laughs, tickles, new words, hugs, funny sounds, new skills and new adventures.

Which is why I haven't been blogging as often. On top of chasing around a toddler who is tolerant of me cleaning (she helps, of course . . . BACK!) or cooking or other active non-baby centered activities, but not so much when I am at the pc; I struggle with what to write and not to write. The posts that go through my head are usually downers about infertility or oh-my-gosh-guess-what-LB-did-today! gushing posts (which I have pretty much avoided). Neither one seems like a great choice. Nearly everything about infertility is negative and most of my readers know first hand what it is like. Besides Brad, no one cares like I do about the daily life of a particular 17 month old - especially those still ttc #1.

Not a new struggle nor topic for those of us parenting after infertility, but there is my take. I am still planning on keeping this blog and will just see how it goes. Perhaps I should branch out into the rest of my life - like the fact that I read science fiction and would really love to find a new author. If you have a favorite, please share.

*I just realized I started this post 6 days ago so "today" was actually December 4th.