Friday, July 26, 2013

On My Own

It's a big day for my little Bubbaloo today at the kinderkrippe (daycare). Today is the first time they will try and get him to take a nap there (I'm trying to wean myself off the phrase 'put him to sleep'). I fear the results of this... But he has been very happy there during the last two introductory weeks and he seems very comfortable with Mäggie, his carer, so there is hope!

I've distracted myself by taking the train into the city and spending the morning being The Old Me. That is, going to Babus Bakery and Cafe, ordering a mittel michkaffee and a heisse oatmeal, sitting at the green table up the back in the corner, pulling out my laptop and my notebook and attempting to type and scribble simultaneously.

It is so incredibly strange to be without my boy. I feel like an amputee with phantom limb pains. Every time I see a bus, I say "bus!" in my head in a very excited manner, knowing how his eyes would light up when he hears this, how his head would be frantically turning left and right in search of this treasure, how he'd giggle and say 'Bah?', looking to me for confirmation. The same goes for every single bird and every puppy that I see. And I didn't realise how many there were... Every time I see another little toddler, I imagine them and my bean looking at each other, talking to each other in their own special language, him giggling (he's always giggling!).

Birdies! Everywhere!
(and yes the water is so clear! And deep!)

Being without him this morning and travelling into the big smoke has made me realise how much I have had to learn. I actively chose to take the train into Zurich that does not have a roll-on carriage for 'bikes and wheelchairs' (though of course it's always chockas full of prams with not a bike of wheelchair to be seen). I stood at the far end of the platform as I waited, instead of right next to the heated waiting-room (what the hell are those called in English? Do we have a word?), where I know those disabled doors will magically roll up in front of us. I then, to continue the adrenalin rush, took the stairs (gasp!) to the top of the carriage and put in my headphones, listening to Sufjan Stevens's 'Chicago' as I watched the lake roll on by. After arriving in town, I luxuriated as I jumped on the tram anywhere I chose and didn't have to ask anyone for help in lifting us in. I thrilled a little in my criminality as I jaywalked across to my very crowded little cafe, choosing the smallest, most pram-unfriendly table (strangely enough, the one that I always used to sit at, pre-bean). 

The view from the top of the carriage

Now though, I'm back in Horgen, just in case they call me and say he's beside himself. I can hear the church bells strike twelve times. It's nap time. There is something so magical about holding a tired little bubbaloo in my arms, his big blue eyes locking with mine, knowing that he is safe, that I am there, laying him in his bed and watching him turn to the side, cock his head back to that ever-uncomfortable-looking angle, placing my enormous hand on his back as his breathing slows, kissing his head and creeping out the door. And then, of course, popping back in five minutes later to stare at him for a moment, smile, and suck in the wonder.

I'm sitting on the banks of the lake right now, typing this out just before I head to Hotel Schwann to buy myself a lovely, quiet, long lunch by the fountain while I read my book (presuming I don't get that phone call). The old paddle-steamer has just rolled up and given a long TOOOOT, which I know my boy would go nuts over. Perhaps, right now, he's dreaming of being a paddle-steamer captain and tooting that horn whenever he likes.

' your dream boat, down to Blanket Bay.'

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Taking a Break... or Failing to.

It seems that, from the moment I gave birth, I lost my ability to relax. I used to be renowned for being able to take an hours-long bath, refilling it where necessary with hot water, taking with me tea and snacks and a book, napping in there, reading in there, relaxing in there. I used to thrive on spending hours at cafes, reading a novel or working on my own, listening to music in my headphones and being entirely enveloped in my own luxurious world. 

Right now, my husband has taken my boy for a walk in order to give me a break. You know what I did? I went to the supermarket to buy some things for dinner. Then I started to make dinner... then realised what a pig-stye this joint is, and did a bit of cleaning. Then I reprimanded myself and had a bath, bringing with me the book 'Brain Rules for Baby', and also my phone, in case my husband called. I lasted about three minutes in the bath before I realised that it wasn't possible for me to relax knowing that I had to make dinner, clean, deal with the wet laundry still in the machine, steam him a few fruits and veggies so I don't have to reply on the jars of food for him all week (the over-achieving parent's idea of failure...), etc etc etc etc etc etc. 

My little boy is not a relaxer himself. The five minutes at the end of baby swimming where all the other babies lay on their backs with their head against their mum or dad's shoulder, relaxing and floating while listening to some lovely music... Ruben just wouldn't do it. He'd try to sit, roll, push, yank, splash and squirm until I gave up and we left the lesson early. He struggles to sleep and is not much of a cuddler. He is active active active! I wonder how much of this, if any, has to do with the fact that I had a solid six weeks of terrible anxiety when I was pregnant, made all the worse by knowing that all those anxiety hormones were being pumped into my baby... 

A few days ago, a girl on a facebook mother's group I belong to posted an article about the stay-at-home mother's need for a break , and while I disagree with some of the sentiments, particularly those that pretend to understand exactly what it means to be a father, it also really hits the nail on the proverbial sleep-deprived head. "From the moment I open my eyes in the morning, there isn't a single second of my day where I'm not engaged and on call. There isn't a single moment where I am alone with my thoughts."

I'm sure that if I got more than four hours of cumulative sleep for more than one random night, I'd be able to keep some semblance of order in my life. But, as I have heard from all-but-one Mummy friend, we are all just floundering about attempting to keep it together as best we can! 

I can't wait to be in Australia in one and a half weeks, where my mum will eagerly take this little boy in the early morning, and perhaps my husband and I can BOTH sleep until 9am. Insanity! Of course, all of this doesn't mean that I wish for my life pre-boy. He amazes me every day, makes me laugh and makes me appreciate life in a whole new way. I just wish that I was still able to relax when the opportunity presents itself!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

My Sick Boy

My little boy has been really really sick since my last post about the sleep training. Before I go any further, I want to thank all you lovely people out there that have offered such brothers-in-arms support over the sleep thing. It seems we are most definitely not alone!

So I am going to give a blow-by-blow account of the last week so I can just move on. I'll do it unemotionally, but know that there is supreme turmoil. You know it. In other news, I feel like I use this blog to vent. Scrap that. In other news, it is apparent that I use this blog to vent. I do, however, have so many things to be happy about. So I have a 'happy' blog where I am writing letters to my little boy about the new discoveries he makes in the day, and the ways that he brings me joy. If you want to read happy things, go over there.

Poor little sick boy at the doctor on Saturday morning
- Thursday night - attempted the sleep training. Resulted in a lot of vomit and a sad sad clingy boy.

- Friday - didn't eat much and just didn't seem himself throughout the day. The night greeted us with exorcist-style vomiting non-stop for an hour, fever, and a little boy who was very very poorly.

- Saturday morning - Doctor says gastro-enteritis and throat infection. Bean stops eating and drinking, and we battle battle battle to get some water into him with a spoon.

- All weekend - Doesn't eat or drink. Battles with the spoon. Wakes up every ten minutes in hunger and thirst all night, but really struggles to take anything in. Stops weeing throughout the night... waking up with a completely dry nappy.

- Monday - Keep calling the doctor, but it is engaged all day. ALL DAY. Small pimples break out around his mouth, what I think are a reaction to the vomit. At 5.30pm we call the emergency children's doctor, who says that we need to go in that evening urgently. She diagnoses Stomatitis, a viral infection which was causing enormous ulcers all through his mouth - gums, cheeks, tongue, throat, the whole shebang. We got anti-inflammatory meds, more pain-killers and a numbing spray for his mouth. She says to use Bepanthan on his spots around his mouth.
Those sores around his mouth are growing...

- Tuesday - After five days of not eating, my skinny boy (we both very much noticed how different he felt when we held him) began to eat a tiny bit of very cold yoghurt and some very very runny cereal. Seemed to be a bit happier.

- Wednesday - Still eating better and seeming much happier. Still a little dehydrated as can't have a bottle. Pimples around his mouth get bigger and begin to ulcerate.

- Thursday - HAD A BOTTLE! Yahreepa! Eating is almost back to normal. But those pimples are spreading...

- Friday - A tiny spot on his thumb has become an enormous pussy wound with tiny pustules all around it. The 'pimples' around his mouth are oozing and continuing to spread. Straight to the doctor, who now says it has become infected bacterially, and gave us an antibiotic cream to apply five times a day.

- Saturday - Thumb is looking absolutely horrific (I have a photo but won't make you vomit by showing it), and the infection has spread to two other fingers. Hitting it hard with the cream. Face is looking a little bit better... at least no worse. The boy is happy though, and is eating and drinking.

Let's see what tomorrow will bring. Still waiting for him to sleep longer than thirty minutes at a time at night...

Why do I still feel like this is connected to sleep training? Well, he vomited from stress during the torture - I'm sure of that. He was not remotely sick or unhappy throughout the day beforehand and he went to bed as usual, so I don't think it was the gastro then. The next day he was very clingy, understandably, and didn't eat very much. Perhaps the tummy bug got in because he was so exhausted from the night before, and the vomiting then had left him vulnerable... And from then on, one thing has led to another. Please please please make this the last thing my little boy has to deal with for a while...

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Adventures in Sleep Training. AKA: Torture.

Traumatised, waiting the designated minute.
What else is there to do but document how I feel?

The Sargeant household is traumatised by our first evening's attempt at sleep training. I wish, right now, that I could just pop my little boy right back into my belly where he knows that everything he needs will be there on demand, where he is just all comfortable and warm, where he never has to struggle. My poor baby. This is without a doubt the most horrific thing I've experienced since having my little boy. And to know that we chose to do that to him? That it was a conscious decision we made? Ugh. I hope he will forgive me. Experiment over. .

I've always been opposed to sleep training, figuring that Ruben was waking for a legitimate reason, whether that be that he is hungry or just needs me to feel safe or just wants to sleep next to his Daddy... But something inside me cracked a few days ago, and I decided enough was enough. I think it was when he decided to stop eating so much in the day, and upped his milk consumption in the night. I know what you're thinking: Just feed him more in the day, right? When I give him a bottle, he pulls away and thrashes about in a fit until I take it away. He spits out any food I give him.
This is what happens lately when I give him food. No
matter what it is, it doesn't even make it into the mouth.
Now, in hindsight, I'm thinking there must be a reason for this. Maybe MORE teeth, yet again. Molars are next... maybe having anything in his mouth in this way is causing him pain. We should have just let him be, sat it out with him, comforted him through it. There are no adults I know that don't eat anything in the day and then get up every hour to eat throughout the night. It was surely going to end at some point.

So we tried the SleepEasy Solution. Amongst many other things, it discussed this problem and talked about night weaning, where you slowly lessen the amount in the bottles at night until they stop waking for it and learn not to rely on it. The big thing was to set an alarm in the night an hour before he would usually wake for a feed, and feed him before he wakes up for it. That was the plan. We didn't get that far.

We've never had a problem with Ruben going to bed. We have a very set bedtime routine that seems to work perfectly:
- Dinner
Bath time!
- Daddy comes home and they feed the fish and look at the cars
- We play five songs from play school while he sits in Duncan's lap
- Bath time (no idea what happens there... that's Dunc's thing)
- Pjs, sleeping bag
- Book (always 'Time for Bed') and bottle
- Lullabye and bed.
He is totally capable of falling asleep in his bed on his own at the beginning of the night, and for that I am thankful.

Here is what happened last night:
We put him to bed, as usual, with no problems at all. He had a smaller bottle than usual but fell asleep no problem. Yay! So far so good! And then about an hour and a half later he woke up. Cue plan. We had already put a bunch of dummies all around him so that he had the timer ready, the pen and paper, the book ready for go-to advice... this was going to work.

Writing things down minute for
minute at the 'sleep station'
We waited a minute and then went in. We spoke to him about what a beautiful boy he was and how much we loved him, how he was so big now and learning to sleep by himself, we consoled him, but didn't pick him up - I know that when I pick him up he falls to sleep, and the whole point was to get him to learn to do this on his own. For the next half hour, he would cry, then we'd go in, he'd cry some more, then he would be quiet for a minute or two and we'd think he'd done it. Then he'd cry again...

At some point, he did a little spit up from crying so hard. I had read about this in the book, and it says to just calmly say, 'Oh, Ruben, you had a little spew. It's okay, we'll clean you up.' That's what we did, and I held him until he was totally calm and relaxed. He started crying again as soon as I made any movement towards the bed, though, so I let him fall asleep in my arms (*gasp*). One minute later he was crying again and had done the most enormous spew I've ever seen.

All three of us were total wrecks, I was sobbing, Ruben was sobbing, Duncan was so angry at the people that wrote that book and made us believe it might work... It took around half an hour or forty-five minutes of me holding a spew-covered boy until he was simply breathing normally again. And then I had to put him down to get him changed and wipe him down... and the hysteria began again. Dear god it was all just so horrible!

So I am done. That's it for us. Experiment over. No more sleep training. Our little Bean has always been really sensitive, and now I have proof that he is a cuddler. I just want him to be happy, and if snuggling to sleep every night is the way to go, then so be it. What could be nicer in life than having the person you love most in the world cuddle you to sleep every night?

Oh how I love my little boy. Stay smiling, little one!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Integration: Facing the Language Battle

Often we are asked when or if we plan on returning to Australia. My response usually amounts to something along the lines of, "Well, we are happy here right now, and that's all that we know. If one of us wakes up tomorrow and wants to go back to Australia, then we deal with that then."

My first German: Cafe speak! 
A few weeks ago, I had the big light-bulb moment that maybe I wouldn't actually ever go back. We really are just so happy here... but the one thing standing in my way is the language. I will never assimilate if I am not fluent in German, and not only that, but in (insert a full-body shudder of fear) Swiss German. My German is currently okay. It's not great... I have a very limited vocabulary and my grammar is positively shocking, but I seem to have the ability to fool everybody into thinking it is better than it is. I think that my training as an English teacher has given me the ability to think on my feet when trying to come up with a strange way of explaining something. For example, when waiting today at the Mütterberatung (the place I go to get Ruben weighed and measured occasionally and to ask questions to a midwife), I was speaking to another mother. I didn't know the word for 'crawl', so without a pause I explained that in the last week, Ruben has managed to move forwards using the opposite hand and foot. And then I asked her what that is called in German. Most people are okay with me slipping in the occasional English word if I'm at a loss.

So... I thought she said lift our babies now?
I can't go to intensive German lessons anymore, and while I always have grand plans of how I will actively improve my skills, the only one that I am currently employing (and well, I might add) is to have no shame. Ruben and I go to a local play-group on Monday mornings where I speak my bad German to anyone who will listen. I do the same at our babyswimming classes. When we are at the playground or on the train with other children, I speak. I not only answer questions, but I ask them too, and attempt a real conversation. I do the same with all the people that approach us to coo over what an incredibly good-looking baby I have. Haha. I have stopped being embarrassed (okay, not totally... but I am getting much better!) and have started speaking. My Swiss German, or more specifically, my Züri Deutsch, is also getting better, but only when it comes to conversations regarding babies. All of this in mind, I don't think that I will ever feel comfortable speaking German on the telephone.

Making the decision to take Ruben to the local playgroup here was a very difficult one for me, as I knew I would be an outsider. But Ruben needs baby-interaction and getting out of the house on a Monday morning is good for us. I am so glad that I put on my brave hat and went that first time, because now I often wave at other mothers I see at the shops, on the street or waiting for the train. I feel like I am a real member of the Horgen community now, and that makes me a little bit proud. And I'm learning all those Swiss German songs, which I'm loving.

Having and raising a child in a foreign country certainly has its challenges. I often wonder how different this experience would be if we had done it in Australia, and perhaps if it really would have been so much easier.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Learning to ski! Yes, really!

I've always wanted to ski. It's probably just my fascination with snow, to be honest, more than the idea of actually exercising in it. But really, the concept of standing at the top of a mountain and being able to swing your body side to side and just zoom down to the bottom (with very little effort, right?) has always been so enticing to an Aussie like me!

My first chance came when I was studying in Nova Scotia, Canada, when I was twenty-two. Some friends organised a ski trip for the Saturday, and then the Wednesday before, I fell down some stairs
Looks like I won't be learning to ski in Canada then...
  and broke my foot. I was in a boot-walker for the remainder of the winter, and thus began my endless stream of foot and ankle problems.

And then there was the winter that we first moved to Switzerland, in 2010. I was excited but also scared about the prospect, as any discussion with any member of the public about skiing ultimately turns into something equalling the likes of some exotic disease: that is, it always ends in paralysis, coma and death. I had one chance, it turned out, and I made the stupid mistake to actually attempt snow-boarding, as all of my friends here at the time were snowboarders. I booked a lesson in the morning and the afternoon, and two hours of repeatedly falling on my butt with extreme force, of catching myself with my hands, of never being able to throw my centre-of-gravity forward enough to be able to get up myself... well, I ended up having to cancel my afternoon lesson. The next six weeks saw me having to cancel my yoga lessons due to a hyperextended elbow.
Paris in a wheelchair... not pretty

But I still had the rest of the winter, right? No need for me to worry, though, as I broke my ankle again (yes, the same one... actually, I crushed a bunch of bones, but let's not get finicky) in a netball tournament in Paris, and that ruled out the winter of 2010.

The next winter, last winter, I was busy building a baby, and repeatedly falling over was probably not a good idea.

Preamble over.

Along came the winter of 2012/2013. And suddenly I had no excuses anymore. In July, I began to feel anxious about potentially learning to ski. As the air grew colder, my anxiety worsened... it seemed, you see, that I had become a very accident prone lady. Broken feet, crushed bones in my ankle, a hyperextended elbow, and later a broken elbow... all of this exacerbated by a very poor sense of proprioception thanks to my fibromyalgia... Obviously I was going to die. Or worse: Have an horrific injury that causes brain damage and leaves my husband and my little boy with a burden to carry as they care for me the rest of my life.

Catastrophising much?

A breeze of relief washed over me when my sister agreed to visit us at the same time that we would be staying in the mountains, and she agreed to learn to ski with me. At least there would be someone there to call the rescue chopper! When she arrived, though, she knew that something was amiss. She can read me like a book... and only after prodding and probing did I admit how scared I was, and how worried I was about being seriously injured now that I have a baby. She went about organising us private lessons and ensuring our instructor knew about my fears, and then off we went.

Monday... not the best of views! And what am I doing with those poles?
We had three morning lessons of two hours each -- Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Monday, I 'faced my fears' (my most hated phrase in the world... I like my comfort bubble!) and, although I repeatedly fell, I managed to actually ski a bunny slope and returned home injury free. I learnt to do some turns and managed some controlled stops. I still had a way to go with getting out of the way quickly enough at the top of the travellator though...

Wednesday, and it was as if I had learnt nothing on Monday. The snow was completely different thanks to the incredible sunshine, and every subtle move I was making on Monday did nothing. I fell and fell and fell, I nearly took out a young child, and it seemed that our instructor was really having to pull at straws to find something to tell me that might fix it... if it wasn't for my amazing sister making fun of me and laughing all of the time, I would have called it quits and left crying.
Wednesday -- Sun! The one looking uncomfortable? That's me :)

Friday came and the first thirty minutes was a repeat of Wednesday. I was gutted. I was so good on the Monday! The beginners area had three different slopes, with one very steep slope at the end (our instructor said it was the equivalent of a red run). I was yet to make it down the steep slope without falling dramatically. But it seemed that Merlin, our instructor, had had enough and wanted us to actually give it a shot at skiing down the mountain. For real. Oh my god, I was really to poo my pants.

And here we are, skiing down the mountain. Yes, I fell. Of course. But I did it!!! And wow it was just spectacular. By the end, I actually had the hang of this skiing business! We got down the mountain in a bit under an hour (ha. Yes, really), and then took the chairlift up for another shot, Merlin making sure that we were okay if we were late (what a nice guy). I skied down to where the run veers off to the bunny slopes, and fell just once but quite dramatically. I then realised how exhausted I was, and it took literally five minutes for me to find the strength to stand up. I sent my sister and Merlin off down the mountain (she says that she didn't fall once! What a superstar!) and I went back to the nemesis of the steep bunny slope. I'm so glad I did -- I went down the slope perhaps a dozen times, all different ways, with different turns, and I nailed it every time! The last time, I even threw out some snow when I turned at the end, and managed to ski right onto the travellator to make my way back to the top. I was on such a high!

My sister says that the great thing about learning to ski for her was just the concept of being able to learn a completely new skill, from being unable to even walk while holding onto our skis, to actually skiing down a real live mountain. For me, it was the fact that I returned injury free, having finally achieved what I deemed as my next badge of assimilation into the world that is life in Switzerland.

Now to get up the guts to try again...

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Myths of Motherhood

In relation to my New Year's resolution of trusting myself and my instincts more, I've decided to explore this idea of what I am coining 'Myths of Motherhood'. When I had Ruben, I had so many ideas of what it would be like and what kind of mother I would be, but -- as everybody warns you -- you can never be prepared. These are some ideas that were continuously reinforced during my life pre-Ruben, that I have found to be entirely false. In saying this, perhaps they are wholly true for other mums, but certainly not for me.

Baby out, placenta still in...
Myth #1: You will see your baby for the first time and instantly forget every moment of pain that led you to that point. 
Oh how untrue this is. Firstly, you still have an enormous placenta to give birth to, so you can't just drift away into your little new-born love bubble (in my case, this was another hour-long battle that required a bunch of midwives and their different techniques and tips. The thing that eventually worked for me was blowing up a balloon... weird!), and then there might be a few other medical procedures (stitches, for instance). I won't ever forget my labor, and the prospect of perhaps doing it again someday scares the pants off me. Of course I love Ruben more than I could have ever imagined, but I certainly won't forget what I had to go through for him to get here! I'll try not to remind him of this at every birthday though...

Is something wrong, little boy?
 #2: You will learn to differentiate your baby's cries and respond to them accordingly. 
I think it was probably about six months before it really became clear that Ruben was crying because he was tired / bored / hungry / uncomfortable / in pain / wanting cuddles. Before that, I just had to work my way down the list until something worked. Even now, at seven and a half months, it's not always clear. This doesn't mean I'm a bad mum and haven't bonded enough with my baby in order to effectively read his cues (as some books led me to believe)! I believe that even he had no idea what the problem was, just that there was something not right. And now, I know that cry - the one where he's at a bit of a loss. You aren't a bad mum for not knowing this. This was a very hard lesson for me to learn.

IQ test: Is this baby hungry or tired?
Myth #3: You instinctively know what is best for your baby and what your baby needs. 
Those 'instincts' that people rant on about have a lot to answer for. I remember when he was about six weeks old, I actually put him in the pram (!) and took him out for a walk. I had just fed him (breastfeeding), and he was probably going to go to sleep. He just screamed and screamed the entire time, and I had three older women separately approach me while I was holding back tears, telling me that I needed to feed my baby, that he was hungry. I was so defensive, saying that I had just fed him, and he was just tired. Eventually I took him home, and he ate the biggest bottle he had had to that date. I had no freaking clue. I think these 'instincts' that people talk about aren't instincts at all, but are just experience. Now I know my boy, what he needs, what he wants, and how he responds (most of the time). That's all there is to it.

A previously private photo that I think
really shows me struggling.
This was my 'smile'.  
Myth #4: If you really want to breastfeed, you can. 
This was my belief. This is what was broadcast everywhere. Although I strive so hard to be a non-judgemental person, I was judgemental of those who said they had 'tried', and of this I am so very sorry. But all the DVDs I watched about breastfeeding, all the experts I spoke to, all the websites dedicated to the subject, all the books I read... they all said that if you stick with it, it will happen. So obviously those who gave up just gave up too early and didn't want it bad enough. I wanted to breastfeed like my life depended on it, and I believed, in my own way, that Ruben's life depended on it. It turns out that sometimes the thing you want the most in life just doesn't happen. My beautiful friend Cadi said to me once that when it comes to babies, you can't be totally non-negotiable about anything; that if there is one thing that you really won't budge on, that's the thing that will f*** up. What a wise woman she is (and oh how I miss her). (Edit: I eventually, around a year later, managed to write about our failed breastfeeding journey, if you want to have a read.)

Myth #5: Newborns are the best.
I pick this one! This smiley, fun, learning, loving baby!
I believed that the innocence and extreme vulnerability of newborns (along with the cute froggy-legs and floppiness) would make that phase of babyhood the best. Beep - wrong. This phase is the best! A baby that laughs at you when you wiggle your tongue, a baby that smiles so broadly when you come back from the toilet, as if you have been away a month, a baby that obviously loves your company and just wants to play and cuddle all day long - as I do, a baby that giggles at all other children he sees, a baby that makes the cutest noises during bath-time with his daddy, a baby that learns before your very eyes... this is the best. Though, I did think that when he was six months old too, but now it is better. Maybe it will just get better and better and better!

* * *

I imagine there are many more myths that will spring to mind as soon as I post this... have you come across any? Or do you have any expectations of parenthood that you fear might be thwarted in the future?