Dear husband…

I am 28 weeks pregnant today and I feel like I have been pregnant forever! This week we had a scare that sent us running to the hospital, luckily all was well and this bun is still cooking as he or she should be.

While I was laying in that bed stressed right out and fearing the worst, I looked over and there you were. Your eyes were full of concern and you instinctively knew exactly what I needed from you. I felt so much love and gratitude in that moment and feel as though I need to share it with the world.

I feel so incredibly grateful and blessed to have you with me on this journey. You have always seen me and all my broken parts as perfect and so worthy of love and I could never fully express to you the positive changes that kind love has brought forth in me.

I grew up in a house of a different generation, where there was not that kind of support and expression of love. My father loved my mother certainly but she largely had to go it alone when it came to pregnancy and raising kids. She did an amazing job and my father made sure we never went without but I always dreamed of having a different dynamic in my marriage and you have made that dream come true.

I worry sometimes that I don’t always express my love for you as well, that I don’t always make you feel special and if so I am sorry. You take such amazing care of me and I never ever want to take that for granted.

You are always there when I need you. To take out the garbage or change the laundry when I forget. You always pay attention to my interests and the things that I need and you give me the best surprises. You always make me laugh and know when I just need a good cry, your shoulder is always there for my tears and occasionally your shirt when the snot is too much. You never judge me when I have an emotional breakdown and you never invalidate my feelings. You always try to see my side of things when we disagree on something and you are the very best role model to our son.

I dearly wish that all women and mommas could experience the safety and wholeness that I experience with you, I am truly fortunate.

This pregnancy is all I ever hoped for. I am completely surrounded by friends and family that are equally joyful about our new addition. Our son as you may know from previous posts is my step son, and he is so excited to have a brother or sister. His amazing mother gives me so much love and support and I am very lucky to be able to say that I have her in my corner, having her as a co-parent and friend helps gives me so much confidence in my ability to do this.

Our friend circle is incredibly strong and I know that I will never ever be without the support that I need.

This momma is counting the days and counting her blessings for each and everyone of her people. None more than her loving partner. I love you to the everything. ❤

Pregnancy

Finally at 33 years of age I am expecting a baby! For those of you who know me well you know this has been a long and arduous journey rife with patience, heart break, timing (good and bad) and faith. Not faith in god, although I know religion brings comfort and peace to many people, it is not my thing. I have faith in myself and faith in the knowledge that I am largely a good person so I have to believe that eventually what I seek the most will come to fruition.

When I was a young woman I was in a very unhealthy relationship and I got pregnant twice. Once when I was 18 and then again the following year at 19. Despite the fact that I knew I really wanted to have children I chose to have both of those pregnancies terminated. The first one was a no brainer for me, I was 18 years old and did not want to become a mother at that point in my life, the second one however I agonized over, I wanted that baby so badly I could taste it, but my partner at the time convinced me it was a bad idea and I went forward with the abortion. I would love to blame him for that decision, but at the end of the day I was the one who had to consent to it. I could have chosen that moment to break free from the control and stand up for my choice but it took me 8 more years to reach that breaking point.

Terminating that pregnancy was both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it has haunted me ever since. I still have nightmares about it and cry ever so often when I think of the person that embryo could have turned out to be, but on the other hand I am enormously grateful that I did not give birth to him/her because I would likely have never broken free of the dysfunctional and traumatizing relationship I was in and a child would have also had to live with that.

Fast forward to now, I am 14 weeks pregnant and happily married to the most wonderful man. I have an amazing son (step) who is eleven and is very much looking forward to being a big brother.

We knew we wanted a planned pregnancy so we waited until the time was right and started trying. Eleven months later we got our two pink lines and have been on cloud nine ever since. When I think back to my thoughts and feelings the last time I was pregnant I can say for certain that I never thought in a million years that I would ever have what I have now. I didn’t think I even deserved it. Boy was I wrong!

I have a husband who is always looking out for me, always makes me feel beautiful and special and who is genuinely excited about the birth of our little boy or girl. It honestly took me way longer than I would like to admit to convince myself that his love and devotion and goodness was real. After being dragged through hell and back for eleven years I had/have a really hard time accepting love and trusting. But I know it is worth it and I will show up to fight for it every day because I deserve it and so does he.

I am fourteen weeks pregnant as I write this and I am starting to show a little bit more everyday. It is such a wonder and privilege to finally be able to experience this without all of the anxiety and fear. To work  hard to preserve a pregnancy and to be grateful for it everyday. I was afraid that because of my two abortions something had gone wrong and perhaps I could no longer get pregnant but obviously that fear was in vain. The nausea is awful but thankfully in Canada we have a drug called Diclectin which has safely been in use for thirty years, this has mostly alleviated my vomiting though I do still experience some nausea. I have experienced some of the common side effects such as drowsiness (as if I wasn’t tired enough already), headaches and dry mouth but they are a worthy trade off for not throwing up all day.

We are waiting on the results of our genetic testing but are confident that all will be well, and in late September we get our next ultrasound. This would be when we could find out the gender of the baby if we wish but we have chosen to keep it a surprise, which I am really excited about. I can’t imagine a better way to find out then right after we have fought the biggest battle of our lives to bring this little warrior into the world. Most people have their money on a girl but I am not so sure. None of my siblings have had girls yet so I would be the first.

I am so eternally grateful to have this opportunity and I can’t wait to see what the rest of this journey will look like. I am entering this chapter surrounded by family and friends who love me and support me and it truly is a dream come true.

I want to end this post by acknowledging that not all women have yet been given this gift that we have.

My heart absolutely breaks for the women out there who are unable or are struggling to conceive, just the eleven short months we waited was absolute torture for me. I experienced feelings of guilt and fear and inadequacy, I thought there was something wrong with me and that it must be my fault. It wasn’t true for me and it isn’t for you either. I am with you sister and I am thinking of all of you and hoping everyday that you get the gift you are longing for. Somewhere in this big universe there is a soul waiting to be united with you and when that day comes it will be worth all of the days that came before.

KK

Growing up

Anybody who knows me knows how much I love my little sister. She is my best friend, my twin flame. That same little sister who has been my constant companion for the last 26 years is going through a transformation. Up until this point she has been a sister, a daughter, a confidant, a friend and a wife. But one day very, very soon she will become a mother.

Never have I ever been so proud of her. I recently had a realization that each day that passes brings me closer to the day that she will be forever changed. Never again will she be the same person that she is right now. She will be so much more. Watching her grow into the woman she is has been one of the greatest honours of my life and I absolutely cannot wait to walk beside her as she enters this new amazing chapter of her life.

She will experience all of the extreme joys and sorrows that comes with creating life. She will get to be that little man’s entire universe wrapped up in loving kisses, warm hugs and unconditional love. She is going to be such an amazing mother and it is wonderful gift to have the chance to watch it unfold.

All the hard roads she has taken has molded her into the fierce warrior that she is and I know that there is no better place in the world for her little boy then in her arms.

I’m proud of you little sister. You got this!

To the people along the way

Life is a journey; we all know that saying. The reason we know it and it continues to be passed along is that it is true.

Everybody is on a unique, beautiful, painful, joyous, journey that we know nothing about. We don’t know their struggles, their triumphs, their internal conversations, their private conversations, their love, their pain, their hopes, or their fears. Their journey is for them and them alone, but that doesn’t mean that other people aren’t affected by it.

We encounter so many people in our walk through this life and we leave an impression on each and every one of them. I would like to think that my impressions have always been good ones, but that is completely unrealistic. In my life I have had so many struggles and demons to deal with and I haven’t always handled them with grace.

In high school, I had a really, really, hard time. I was unhappy in my home and my insecurities made me endlessly seek approval from peers, resulting in a lot of destructive behavior. I was also bullied terribly which added to my inability to socialize properly, and I sought my acceptance in the worst ways.

I was never into drugs or partying, my destruction came from myself. My lack of a sense of self and self worth led me to become involved with somebody who fed off of my insecurities and made them one hundred times worse. I allowed that person to control every aspect of my life and to make me feel like I didn’t deserve anything different. We were two young and unevolved humans who went with each other down a long and painful road.

I allowed this relationship to consume my whole life. I walked away from my entire support group, I lost best friends, I lost my connection with my family, and I never developed a connection with myself.

I allowed my identity to become the relationship, the people around us always commented on how “neat” it was that we had been together for so long, and that they wished they had something like that. But it was all a lie. Underneath that sunny façade of success and team work was a broken home. Two people coexisting but not partners. It was two people who were just too afraid of what life would look like on their own, so they chugged along in a dysfunctional co-dependent dynamic that eventually fell apart when they couldn’t maintain the illusion anymore.

When the day finally came that we accepted the fact that it was time for our next chapters, we parted in a way that was respectful of our time spent together and we plowed forward into our futures without one another. Now I am getting married to the most thoughtful, loving, kind and loyal man I could have ever imagined. He brought a son into my life as well who brightens my day every time I think of him and I am so thankful to be here.

You see, without the journey that I went on, without the heartache, the struggles, the sleepless nights and the experiences, I would not be the person that I am today, and I LOVE the person that I am today.

This post is about recognition and apologies, so I will start here.

I want to apologize to that person I met in high school. Ours was a long journey full of difficulties and heartache and they were not only caused by one of us. I hope you can find all the happiness you desire and that you will learn as much from our time together as I have.

I want to apologize to the people that I pushed away over all those years. You only ever wanted the best for me but I was so wrapped up in the stress of my life that I allowed you to slip away and I have to live with that.

I want to apologize to my family; I am so sorry that I spent so many years not being a part of your amazing lives. I am so grateful for the unwavering support and love that you offered me even when I was unwilling or unable to accept it. Even when I was being the biggest asshole I could be, I still always knew that you would be there for me no matter what, and I am so glad that you get to share this beautiful glorious part my journey now.

I want to apologize to the people who I have neglected since the new chapter in my life has begun. Making this transition wasn’t easy and my desire for change left me fearing anything from the past. It is not your fault that this happened and I am sorry for my disappearing act.

I want to apologize to my fiancé. I try really hard to not let my past experiences color the way that I live my life. But sometimes it leaks through and it can be hard for me to process and move on. Thank you for being endlessly patient with me and for reminding me everyday that I am worthy of your amazing love. You have helped me in my healing process so much and I am grateful to be able to share the rest of my life with you.

Last but certainly not least, I want to apologize to myself. I am so sorry that I allowed so many things to take precedence over my own happiness. I am sorry for all the negative conversations I have with myself about how I am no successful enough, not skinny enough, not pretty enough, not parenting well enough, and the list goes on and on. Those thoughts are all bullshit. Nobody, not even you yourself, has the right to make you feel those things. I am working every day to change the conversations I have with myself. I spent too many years allowing other people to tell me those things and it stops here.

Ladies and gentlemen, you are enough, never forget that.
So to the people along the way of my journey. Thank you and I am sorry.

Each and everyone of you has left an impression on my life as I have on yours, whether it be big or small.

I am so excited to see what the future has in store for all of us, and I promise to continue working towards be the best person I can be and to no longer needing to apologize to the people in my path.

K.

Step Mom

I am 30 years old and I am a step mother. I am the middle child of five children and my two older brothers were from our father’s previous marriage. We never have nor will we ever refer to them as “half brothers” they are just simply our brothers. Further to that, they never referred to my mother as their “step-mom”, just mom. So, when I started dating my partner who had a six year old son (“J”), I was really excited. I also had a really hard time managing my expectations as to the role I would play in his life. It has been an amazing adventure so far, and the first lesson I learned – very quickly I might add – was that there is no place for expectations in a blended household. The only way to manage is to just be kind and patient and go with the flow. Now I refer to this amazing little boy as my son, I may not be his biological mother but that doesn’t mean I don’t love him just as much. Here is some of the story of how I got to where I am.

I knew going into this relationship that it meant not just dating one person but two because my partner has a son who was six at the time. This didn’t concern me one bit, in fact I was thrilled by the prospect. I always wanted children, but it hadn’t happened for me with my previous boyfriend of 11 years and I couldn’t wait to have this little person in my life. I thought I was prepared, but let me tell you this, I was not.

After a year of being together I stopped to do some reflecting on how I felt about having this amazing little boy in my life and all of the things that I had thought and felt during the last year and this is what I came up with.

There was really no way to prepare myself for going from having no children to having a six year old. I can honestly say it is the most rewarding and terrifying thing I have ever done.

Here is my list of things I was prepared for:

  1. I was never going to be number one, his son would always come first. This was something that I understood going into to and it was totally ok with me. He still has always made me feel important, special, loved and appreciated. He understands that this was a big change for me and is very supportive of me taking my time and doing things at my pace, however fast or slow that may be;
  2. My life was going to change dramatically. I have always been able to run my life according to my plan, but now there is a little person who takes priority over everything. This is not a negative thing, it gives me a sense of purpose and accomplishment seeing my son thriving and happy. My own needs seem much less important now;
  3. I was going to have to get up to speed fast. On things like which foods J likes and dislikes, his friends at school, his schedules and habits, and his personality in general;
  4. I was going to have his mother in my life. I knew that this was a fact, but I knew very little about her. Aside from the basics, she is J’s biological mom, my partner’s ex, and that she has another little boy from a different relationship, J’s brother. I was terrified of meeting her, and not knowing how she would react to me being in her son’s life; and
  5. I was going to have to let J set the pace in our relationship. I couldn’t force him to like me or to love me, I would have to wait for him to come to me. Thankfully, he warmed to me almost immediately and we have an amazing bond.

Now there is a lot more that I am leaving out, but for sake of condensing this post I will move on. That brings me to my list of things that I was not prepared for.

  1. How nervous and terrified I was going to be when I first started spending time with J. My partner and I had known one another for a long time, and we were both fully committed to this relationship before it even started. But I had not fully realized before hand how much depended on J. If he absolutely hated me then what chance did I have making things work with his dad. He wouldn’t want to subject his son to having a parent in his life that he couldn’t stand. There was no need to worry though, we hit it off perfectly and have had an incredible bond ever since;
  2. How much love I was going to have for my partner after seeing him be a father. It makes me so happy and proud to be able to be his co-parent;
  3. How I would feel when J said I love you for the first time. I told him I loved him probably a hundred times before he said it back (I would never force him to say it). But when he said it to me first, for the first time, I literally melted. My heart felt like it was going to explode and I barely stopped myself from doing a happy dance on the spot.
  4. How confusing it would be when people ask me whether I have children or not. In my heart and mind, I have a beautiful son, so that usually how I answer. But in the beginning, it made me uncomfortable because I felt like was lying or somehow betraying his mom by saying so. Now however I don’t have those feelings because I am more comfortable in my role.
  5. How dismissive some people can be to non-biological parents. These types of people look down on me like I didn’t earn the right to be called a mother, or like I am just playing house and needn’t be taken seriously. Every time this happens it makes me feel so demeaned and sad. The first few times it happened I had to go and hide in the bathroom because I was crying and upset. I have grown a tougher skin than that now thankfully, but once in a while it still gets to me;
  6. I didn’t realize before this that mother jealousy was a thing. Sometimes I get overwhelmed with this unreasonable jealousy that I am not his biological mother. I get so sad that I missed the first five years of his life. I wasn’t there when he came into the world, or when he took his first steps, or said his first word. It isn’t fair to myself or anybody else to feel that way but I do anyway. I wish with all my heart that I could have been there from the beginning. That being said, he did just fine before me, his mom and dad love him so much, and I am so thankful for the time that I do get with him.
  7. How hard it was going to be sometimes to take a back seat in the parenting. My partner and J’s mom are very supportive of me having an opinion and being involved, but at the end of the day they always have the final say and I have to support that, even if I sometimes don’t agree.
  8. How much love I was capable of. This little human has invaded every corner of heart and soul and it is amazing, but also terrifying. I know it sounds cliché but it is literally like your heart is wandering around outside of your body. Parenthood makes you more vulnerable then you have ever been.
  9. How much I was going to enjoy watching his amazing mind grow and learn. He amazes me daily with his witty sense of humor and his inquisitive questions. He is so smart and I am in awe constantly at how fast he is growing and learning.
  10. Mothers day. I did not know what to expect on my first mothers day, I knew I wanted to be included but we had only been together for about seven months and I didn’t expect to be. But when the day came, I received a beautiful bracelet from J which of course abruptly put me in ugly snotty tears. I also got a lovely Happy Mothers day from J’s mom which made the day even more special.
  11. Which brings me to J’s biological mom. I said before that I was terrified of meeting her and how she was going to react to me. I shouldn’t have been. Sure, she was a bit hesitant at first, as any mother would be, but it didn’t take long before she warmed up to me. I can honestly say that I am so blessed to have her as a co-parent. She is a fierce and loving mother, she is a friend, she is a force of nature. We have created a parenting relationship based on support, friendship and respect. With J in the middle as the most important thing. I couldn’t ask for a better person to share motherhood with.

Being a step parent is a wonderful adventure that will take you on many highs and many lows and it is a decision that I wouldn’t reverse for anything. I am so completely in love with my little family and I hope one day we can make it even bigger and full of love. I am so grateful for my partner. He has been so supportive and loving and appreciative through this journey. He always makes time for just us and he loves the bond between our son and I so much, he is my hero in so many ways. My heart is full and I cannot wait to see what comes next.

If you are a person reading this that is currently a step parent, I salute you. You have taken a step that will irreversibly change you forever, and you are making a difference in so many lives.

If you are a person who is thinking of dating somebody with children, here are my words for you. It is not for the feint of heart, however, if you are willing to take this dive, go big or go home. Because you can’t just come and go when there are kids involved, they will love you and you will become one of the most important and influential people in their lives. That being said, if you do decide to take the plunge, I can promise you that it will be worth it. Loving your partner and his/her/your children will be the most fulfilling journey of your life, and I wish you the best!

Katy.

Christmas tree 2018