Sunday, December 23, 2012

Happy Holidays to all!

I know this time of year can be really hard and rough for those still in the trenches. Heck, 2 Christmases ago, we were told that we had a better chance at winning the lottery than conceiving without IVF and ICSI. That was a sad, sad holiday season for me. All I wanted was a baby.

Last year, the only thing I wanted for the holidays was the same, except I was 38w and that dream rainbow baby could have come at any moment. I just wanted a healthy baby born.

This year, I can't really think of much I want for Christmas. Not something that can be purchased for or gifted to me. I can't wait to see Christmas through the eyes of a child, and this year, it's going to be my child. I love the fascination Emma has for the twinkling lights, brightly wrapped presents under the tree, and playing with the (child-safe) ornaments on the tree.

Christmas is a time for family and friends. Those by blood, by marriage. Old and new. Near, far. Those IRL, and those only a mouse click away. I'd like to say that you are all part of my blogging family and internet friends.

From my little family to you, Blogosphere: Merry Christmas, Happy, Hanukkah and the very happiest of New Years. May your dreams come true in 2013!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Crank it to 11!

Wow.


Last month as an "infant", but she'll always be my baby.

things have just been crazy between work, home, holidays and chasing after Em. I went on a work related day trip to DC to give a presentation on some work/research we did in conjunction with another institution there with my boss and the other PhD/mini-boss (from last post). It went alright, but man, is it a pain in the keister to fly with a cooler and breast milk! Between prep and traveling for that presentation and holiday prep, time has just slipped through my fingers!

We had Thanksgiving at Boy's brother's house. It was delicious food (BIL is a chef) and good times with the family. Lots of babies though. Em, her 2 cousins there, and 3 cousins from the baby-crazed SIL that just had her boy in September.

So where are we at since last monthly update?

- Walking. Well, really it's mostly attempts to run, but this girl can cross a room upright these days! Crawling is still the fastest mode of self-propulsion around the house.

-  Climbing. She has learned that she can stand on things and crawl into them. his is great for the high chair, any other chair, and her play seat. Not so great for pretty much everything else.



- She speaks! Sorta. "Daat" means either Dad, dog, that or cat. It really depends on what she's pointing at for that moment. But she loves to point at things that she finds interesting.

- Blowing kisses. Completely precious. She even makes the "mwah" sound!

- "Blowing" her nose. As of yesterday, she pretend sneezes into a tissue or cloth or does so in response to us sneezing. Super timely as we are both dealing with the cold from daycare.

She is spending a few days each week in the toddlers room at daycare. It's to get her use to the other kids, teachers, and routine. She does well in there according to the teachers and enjoys the more frequent outside time. And the snack times. Girl loves to eat!

Emma seems to understand what to do with presents. Ribbons, bows, and wrapping paper corners are just not safe in this house. She didn't care too much about the Christmas tree until this past week or so. Now, she likes to play with the ornaments on the lower branches. On, off, on, off, repeat until something moves elsewhere or there is a noise.

Let's talk holiday shopping. We initially only planned to get Em a few things and to start her college fund. I'll just say it is so easy to get swept up buying for your child. She has a gift under the tree from each of us, items in her stocking, and I'm having to keep myself from buying her a cute holiday outfit or toy or what have you. I can't wait to see how she reacts to opening gifts come Christmas.

I still can't believe my next monthly update will be her 1st birthday. We are planning a rather small, casual get-together for the event. I found a party supply theme of Little Golden Books that I think will be awesome for a kid's party.

What a year this has been...

My happy little girl!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Infertility - The Gift that keeps on giving, and giving, and giving..

Here I am, practically 11m out from being "cured" of my IF with the glorious birth of my baby girl.

And yet, why does a pregnancy announcement still gut me?

Truth be told, it's not just a PG announcement, but a "surprise pregnancy/oopsie" announcement.

I found out on Friday from a friend/co-worker that the co-worker that irritates the daylights out of me on a regular basis had posted on FB that she was expecting a baby boy.

If we rewind to about 1.5-2m ago, I had suspicions that she was pregnant based off behavior and belly shape. I went to check out her FB page as we were friends on there. Or so I thought. De-friended. Oh well, and I shoved it to the back of my mind. Fast forward to a few weeks ago, and I was practically positive she was due to behavior, belly shape, and wardrobe choices. Hubs convinced me that I'm just trying to see babies where there aren't any as I'm "baby-crazy". Besides, Not but a few months before when she was complaining that her BF hadn't popped the question and they'd been together for X yrs, she explicitly stated that she wants kids with him, but much much farther down the line.

Guess that line was much shorter than she thought.

It was also relayed to me that she didn't know she was pregnant until she was about 3m along. How in the World?!?! I thought she was pregnant at that point; how come she was just finding out then? And shockingly, that timing coincided well with them getting engaged.

How on earth is it fair for her to get pregnant on super accident and then to skip out on teh the worry, anxiety and fear of the 1st trimester?

I tried to be the bigger person and sent her a message over the weekend to congratulate them with no response. Monday morning, I sent her a health and safety form that needed to be filled out updating her "status" that really should have been done around the 12-16w mark, not at 5m along. From that stand point though, she really should have told me sooner. If you've told other people in the lab (students, etc), then maybe it would be behoove you to also inform the lab/safety manager so that things can be put into process and your unborn fetus can be protected from potential hazards that you may not be aware of in a laboratory setting?

I tried to suck it all up yesterday and be nice, polite and attempt interactivity. This morning, I knew that was going to be a failure. I couldn't stand being around her and her blase attitude regarding something so many people would give anything to have. I was blinking back tears every time I saw her and her no longer concealed bulging belly.

Each time, it was as if all the fear and hurt and anger from loss and IF came slamming back to me. I kept feeling on the verge of breaking down. I had to do something about it, so I had a little "chat" with her supervisor/my co-worker. I had to fill her in that we went through a lot to have Emma and as such, being around her the last 2 days of it being "official", I just am not handling it well. When it was just my hunch and all, I could just play it off as "She's just fatter now" or that I was seeing things like the Boy said. But with it being really real, I just can't deal with her at the moment. I hated having to have that talk. I had hoped that I could be really professional about it and just bite it back, but alas, IF wins again. Thankfully, she understood and is going to help as best she can to minimize our interactions for a while.

It was still awkward, but at least I wasn't in tears the rest of the day. I hate this so much. I wish there was a cure for IF and the damage it does was easily repaired...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

My Perfect Ten

She just keeps getting cuter, doesn't she?! (Why, no; I'm not at all biased.)

I wish I had posted before now, but this last month has been crazy. The weather can't make up it's mind. The wee one is all over the place, getting into things. There's also the sleep deprivation that I've been battling. I understand, but really wish I didn't have to have.

If you remember from last post, she had just broke her 1st tooth. Well, since October 2nd, she's added 5 more teeth. That's 6 teeth in 30 days. Rough. The good and bad news is that she's learned how to use them. Ouch! Thankfully, she's a quick study and has learned that biting means no nursing.

Halloween was a low key affair here. We sorta dressed her up, took a few pics, and handed out a tiny bit of candy to a few trick-or-treaters.

What? No candy for me?
So the rundown for the last month(ish) of happenings around here:

- 6 teeth. 2 bottom, 4 top. The upper right canine is starting to come down, and we can see the lump of the tooth in her gums. Let the fun begin again...

- Free standing. She's letting go of things more and more these days and just -standing- there. Baby girl is getting more and more confidence. Speaking of letting go...

- Baby steps. Yup. This weekend, Em took a few toddling steps a time or two. When she's not thinking about it, she just does it. My heart skipped beats. I was dumbfounded.

- Silly noises. She can do "waabbaa, waabaa" with her hand on her mouth (back of her hand) and blows raspberries like a pro. She'll fake cough and do this half laugh "Hee, hee, hee."

She's getting so big and more grown-up everyday it seems. I can't even begin to grasp the idea that she'll be ONE YEAR old in just a few more weeks. I fear it's just going to fly by with all the holidays and happenings. It is totally cliche, but my precious little newborn has almost turned into a toddler in just a few blinks of an eye.

It doesn't think even seem possible that this time last year, I was having my shower and Emma was just a jumble in my belly...


To those still in the trenches, I want to tell you that it is a good fight and worth every tear and heartache for the littlest moments that your child gives you.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Primetime, Month 9

Wow.

Three quarters of a year. Done and dusted. Insane.


My Lil' Miss is a little one. Just 15lbs 5oz (6th percentile), but 27.5" (45th percentile) and a head circumference of 42.3cm (13th percentile). So her weight and HC switched percentiles and she hasn't gained any additional weight since her sick baby visit last month. This will make sense after reading what she's been up to these last few weeks!

So what is new from last monthly update?

- Honest to goodness crawling. The Commando-crawl has upgraded to full-on hands and knees action, 95% of the time at least. Boy, is she getting fast!

- "Dancing"  Baby girl has some groove. Unfortunately, her moves are more akin to her daddy's at the moment. Leg giggles and bouncing. Swaying. And the funniest is this new head wiggle and roll thing she does, a la Stevie Wonder.

video

- Standing for a few seconds on her own. Plus, she's trying to get to standing from crawling and sitting, all by herself, in the middle of the floor. 

- Big girl foods. We've been doing Baby Led Solids for months, but she's been eating the "school food" at daycare for breakfast, lunch and snack; impressing all the ladies with how she packs it away. She impresses me and others as well. Girl can eat!

- New sounds and noises. Em likes to hoot and holler to hear her own voice a lot. Common sounds include "Dadada," "Bababa," "Tata," "Hhaa!" "Aaah!" "Huuhn," "Uhh" and clucking her tongue.

- Super pincer action! Puffs and Cheer.ios don't stand a chance! Neither does Daddy's nipples or chest hair.

- Waving Hi. Her's is a bit of Miss America/parade style. Dainty and all in turning the wrist.

- Copy-catting.  She tries to copy some things we do like facial expressions, sounds, and toy play. Some times, it just takes 1 or 2 times before she has it down.

And one of the most exciting and saddening things: her 1st tooth! My baby is no longer a gummy-smile little thing. Her bottom, left broke through on the 2nd after I noticed it red and swollen that morning. I was checking it that afternoon, after feeding her at daycare, and BAM! I felt it on my finger! Now, she has the right, bottom tooth and both top teeth looking either swollen or showing a white line at the tip/edge. I'm waiting for her to start biting things rather than just gnawing on them...

I'm thinking I may be adding walking on next month's update as she loves edging and walking around holding our hands or fingers. She's getting so good that sometimes it just 1 hand.

She also attended the 1st bday of our good friends' little girl. She was quite the hit, smiling and flirting with all the people, and the older women there couldn't get enough of her. I also got a sneak-peek at her cake reaction. We were going to share a slice of the Dr. Seuss cake, but before I got a bite in, she had sunk her hands into all and was shoving pieces in as fast as she could chew it. She was a blue, happy, mess.

Awesome shot of her during the 5min she kept the hat on!
We'll be visiting the in-laws this coming weekend and hanging with Boy's brother that lives in Cali but is visiting for several days. It will be the 1st he's met Em, as well as for other relative's that will be attending  the surprise 40th anniversary party for the in-laws that's being thrown.

Until next time, here is some more Em-love, in case you, like me, can't get enough!


Greek yogurt is fun AND tasty. Goes great with peaches.
Daddy love to tease her with small tastes of candy
It's exhausting being this cute!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A common infertile path

It's been a while since I mentioned my friend, and infertile mentoree, E. Quick refresher: She saw my FB posts for NIAW last year and asked if we were trying. I told her yes but we encountered some issues, and she confided that so were they! We scheduled to meet up for dinner and talk all things IF. She was going to be turning 35 in a few months, has a thyroid issue and was very eager to hear about what we've tried and planned. The day before our dinner, I got the positive pee stick that would evolve into Emma.

Unfortunately for her, they are still at the grindstone. After several clomid cycles, she was referred to the same fertility clinic we did, but had a different doctor. They went through the usual IF barrage of tests. Blood work, semen analysis, (attempted) HSG, etc. Come to find out she had scar tissue on ther cervix from a prior biopsy that restricted it's opening. A surgical dilation later and they revisited the HSG with success, but very painful.

Turns out she also had some good sized fibroids. Surgery was done to remove most of the bigger ones, some of which were located in "prime implantation" regions. She continued with ov stims going between clomid and letrozole. Her RE pressured them to move onto injections as she was of advanced maternal age and her AMH levels were "worryingly" low. The 2 cycles they did with the injectibles were busts and way too expensive to continue. They've continued TTC without aids from this past May and on.

We were over last night for a fall cookout, and I was checking in on their "progress" as it were. She had stopped seeing the RE, was just going through her GYN and started seeing a new homeopathic type doc. She also had a change up in her thyroid meds. All in all, a bit along the "same stuff, different day" line. Except the next part. It broke my heart.

She was pregnant and didn't know it. She had all but given up. Wasn't tracking anything but her periods and started having late-cycle bleeding last month. She chalked it up to the new thyroid meds. Even though it continued on for almost 3 weeks. It turned into very heavy bleeding with strong cramping. Of to her doc she went. They informed her was was pregnant, and rather very much so, but weren't sure which way it was heading. Her beta was in the 600's. While waiting for the next draw, she started to physically feel better, so knew the answer before they confirmed it had gone down. That follow up, they did an u/s which showed things were "handling" themselves.

Over 2 years of trying and she finds out she was pregnant just as she was losing it... I hate how cruel IF is!!

If anyone has some good mojo and positive, pregnancy promoting thoughts, I'd greatly appreciate it if you could direct some her way so she can get that forever BFP in the next few cycles.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Can I just run away and hide?

I am so overwhelmed by life these days. The only thing that makes any sense to me and I enjoy is spending time with Emma. Even when she's super cranky, over-tired, and doesn't want to be put down or changed.

I am sick of 1/2 the people at work and all the drama that goes with them.

I'm exhausted and sleep deprived.

My house is a complete disaster.

Our bank account is a hot mess.

I just can't seem to keep anything together these days. They only thing I feel like I'm doing right is Emma.

I can't keep track of my days or hours and before I know it, a week or month has gone by. And I've forgotten to do something or pay a bill. I will sometimes even wonder if delayed post-postpartum depression is possible and maybe I need a med re-evaluation. *Sigh*

My evenings and weekends are a reprieve from the rest of life. Even if I am practically chained to the couch with a baby hanging off my chest the whole night. But I'm there with her. Doing my best to play and talk with her, trying to make her feel better from her mean, mean un-budging teeth. Some times she cries unless I nurse her. Some times she just wants to play. And some times, she just wants to me hold her while she sleeps.

Weekday mornings suck. Weekdays in general suck. I pretty much live my days waiting for that afternoon "break" to see her, and then, pass the time at work until I can go home. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Meh. I'm working for the weekends.

And I live for Sunday mornings. Just Emma and I in bed. We sleep in. We spend over half and hour just playing in bed. Laughing. Giggling. Rolling around. Cuddling. I wish that is how all day and everyday could be. It's one of the few time I feel truly happy and content these days. For that 30min or so, everything feels right. I feel like I have to be doing something correct to have a happy child that smiles for me and wants to be with me.

And in the end, I guess that's more important than what my co-workers think or what my credit score is...

So I think I'm just going to run away and hide in bed with my Emma-nem.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Crazy Eights

Ok. I promise at some point I'll make more than just these monthly(ish) posts on Em. I honestly don't know where the hours and days (and weeks and months!) go these days. I always seem to think up things to say when I have no way to put them to paper or type. One day though...

Speaking of time flying by, Em is a freaking 8m old now! When did this happen? I mean other than "on Sept 8th".
New things going on:
- Commando-style crawling, that I think resembles a seal on land. Boy, is she quick though!
- As of Thursday, lowering herself to sitting from standing, intentionally and controlled. It sound simple and mundane, but is a pretty big deal in babyland.
- Sitting to hands & knees and attempts to stand from there. It really just ends up looking like downward-facing dog.
- Fishy/kissy faces and playing with her tongue. She makes noises that sound like a pig grunting.
- Pinching. This one is not so fun while feeding or holding her...
- Moving or "cruising" from couch to ottoman to what ever else is within reach around the room.
- Waving bye-bye or signing "milk." I'm not entirely sure which...
- Separation Anxiety. Mommy is the end-all-be-all and, at times,heaven-forbid if I set her down to do things or leave the room/turn the corner. Thank you, babywearing!
- Out of the infant car seat/carrier; hello big girl convertible car seat!
- She's officially been moved over to the mobile/ "big kid" side of the infant's room at daycare.
- Continued teething, but no teeth yet. They look like they are coming (hopefully) soon!

Chasing after Mommy. Can't believe she'd just set me down here!

Mommy is my favorite gym!
Em also had her 1st sick baby visit to the ped. She started having this spotty, pimply rash on her legs, chest, and back. There had been a couple of cases of Hand, foot & mouth (coxsackie virus) at the center, so I took her into check. Not anything to worry about as it was just a reaction to a common little virus that will need to run it's course. She didn't have any fever or diarrhea, just eye gook.

Em shared her 8m birthday with her new cousin. The previously and now PG again SIL had her boy that afternoon. 7lbs, 20in at 37.5w = a big boy; . It's odd to think that Em was smaller than that not too too long ago...

Still not much going on with me these days. I've been dealing with De Quervain tensynovitis or "mommy thumb"  in my right and dominant hand and having to wear a stabilizer brace off and on for the last several weeks. I'd also like to thank babywearing again as it let's me carry her without strain on my wrist or awkwardness in using my left side.

Just another sign that my body sucks at hormones.

An additional, more obvious sign is the unwelcomed return of acne. I was super lucky that pregnancy actually improved my complexion. It was soft, supple, and practically pimple free! Now, it's back to being (and possibly worse than before) dry, oily, and just break-outs galore. I've tried mild soaps, acne washes, toner, just water, moisturizers, oils - I'm not sure what else to do. I've been trying to drink extra fluids as I've heard hydration is the best thing for your skin, but no such luck here.

I know it's a common complaint among IFs, but it still pisses me off. I know it's possible for me to have fantastic skin as I was blessed with it for ~9m. I mean, I already miss being pregnant. This is just one more thing that make me miss it even more. Mind you, I'm not looking to start on #2 yet or for a while. I just want to have the pregnancy experience without the labor and all at the end. Oh and I could do without the nausea of it as well. I feel kinda weird admitting that as it seems sacrilegious to say after IF and to those going through it. "I want everything about being pregnant, except the baby at the end." I absolutely loved being pregnant, but as for another baby, I really just want to focus on Em and enjoy her for another year or so before adding to our family.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Heads up! Seven up!

Wow. Sorry it's been a month since my last update. Other than Em, not much else is going on in my life. Work is the same. There isn't much else to talk about other than this little girl at the moment.



Em is doing great with solids. She loves eating and will eat just about anything we give her. Bananas, frozen canned pumpkin, sweet potatoes, applesauce, pear and peach slices, yoghurt melts, baby puffs, pretzel sticks, zucchini, squash, chicken breast... the list goes on and on. The only pureed food she gets is at daycare, but that's only because they provide it at no additional cost. She can easily pack away a whole jar of food or 1/2 a fruit/veggie in one sitting.

Other things my eating machine does these days:
Sit on her own
360 turn while sitting
Bend all the way over and get back up to sitting
Pull herself to something
Roll and roll and roll
Blow really loud, wet raspberries
Pull herself to stand (but can't always get her feet under her the right way)

and most recently, hands and knees action. No formal crawling yet, but I fear it is soon. She just has to realize she can move her knees to go forward, and she'll be gone!

In order to try and spend more time with her during this ever changing stage/age, I've started going to the daycare on my 2nd pump break and feeding her there. Since they filled the room we were using as a lactation room on my floor to the 1st floor on the building across the street, it actually takes the same amount of time for me to go there, pump for 20ish minutes and get back as it does for me to go to the center, nurse, and drive back. It's unreal, but I love the extra 20min with my little girl.

Speaking of nursing, on Aug 4th, we partook in a nursing photoshoot. Here is the teaser link on the photog's blog/site. It was a special session at a special rate to celebrate World breastfeeding week. I am so glad we did it. It might seem so weird to many to have *that* photographed, but I'm comfortable with nursing in public (NIP, coincidentally) and I love the idea of preserving the memory of this special time and that intimate bond that just the 2 of us have. I don't know how long our breastfeeding relationship will last, so I'm super glad to have that essence captured forever. And like I told the Boy, they aren't pictures that I plan on hanging over the mantle or dead center in the living room. They are selfishly for me!

Hopefully, I'll get back here before another month has passed for the next post!



Sunday, July 15, 2012

Halfway There, Baby!

Wow. Just Wow. How did this happen? I have a 6m old?! It just seems like the other day that we decided to start trying, then started treatments. Now, we are coasting to that big ONE year!

Happy 1/2 Birthday!
So, where are we at with everything here at 0.5yrs old?
  • Rolling from back to belly, belly to back, and several rolls strung together
  • Can do belly spins and go a full 360 deg to get a toy or see something
  • Sitting up unassisted for long spurts of time without toppling!
  • "Dadadada", "Babababa", and singing/shrieking at various volumes
  • Popping/sucking her bottom lip
  • Blowing spit bubbles and raspberries.
  • Started solids - semi-Baby Led Solids as she gets some purees at daycare, my mom's and applesauce or pumpkin at home. Hasn't meet a food yet that she doesn't like
  • Reaching out to people to be picked up or held
  • Leaning back or to the side in our arms
I would love to add crawling, but she hasn't quite put the arms and legs together. It is one or the other, or a face-plant.


She is still a ridiculously happy baby, quick with the smiles and babblings. She is a very vocal baby. She's laughing at a few more things, mostly when I'm changing her diaper on the changing table. Em and Maz are BFFs, but she like pretty much any furry critter that comes up to her.

Em is the belle of the daycare and has a fan club of several of the caretakers, many not even assigned to her age group. Even though they have the extra work of the cloth diapers and glass bottles, we haven't had a complaint!

She is definitely the cutest and sweetest little girl. And I do mean little. At her 6m well visit, she topped the scales at 13lbs 5oz, 25.75 inches long. She's consistently been in the 10% for weight. The pediatrician isn't concerned as she's easily meeting all her milestones, is still gaining, and is overall super healthy. Plus, this girl loves, loves, loves to eat. She has no problem nursing, eating a jar of food or 1/2 banana 30 minutes later, and topping off with another nursing. She's seems to have a high metabolism as she is constantly on the go, unless sleeping.

Speaking of sleeping, she's not so perfect in that department. She takes about 2 naps at daycare, of variable lengths. Sometimes it's just a 20 minute power nap while others, it is a 3hr snooze-fest! She'll nap once in the evening, maybe. At night, she was only semi-waking twice to eat. Now, thanks to sleep regression, a 3x waking night is doing great. *Yawn*

We hit the beach the 1st weekend of July. Em loves the sand, seemed confused by the waves coming and then going, but had a good time. She definitely prefers the pool and bathtime to fulfill her aquatic desires.

Baby swimsuit model?

All in all. life is going well here. And at neck-breaking speeds. It is so cliche, but unfortunately true. They grow so fast. I'm trying my darnest to enjoy every moment of her!


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Life is a treadmill

Right now, that's how things feel. I keep moving, but not really going anywhere. Same old, same old.

Nothing too exciting going on here. Just Emma growing and getting bigger.

The only other thing going on is I'm thinking of changing jobs. I love what I do currently and think my boss is great. What I don't like is the hours and several of my co-workers. Before Em, a 9-11hr day was no big deal. Now, that would mean an extra pumping session and possibly not seeing her awake that evening. I'm feeling a lot like Alex in terms of who gets the most quality and interactive time with my daughter. I really want a 9-5 type job now. I don't want to have to think about or do work things while home with her or on the weekends.

As for the co-workers, I'm just tired of people doing things incorrectly, teaching others how to do them wrong, and having to clean up after their ignorance and arrogance. I'm not the only one feeling this about these same 2-3 people. It's been raised to boss man and the other PI, but with the amount of work the lab has to do right now, we can't afford to lose the bodies. Also, the project I've been heading is wrapping up so I'm kinda doing odds and ends and random other projects. The funding for my position is up when that project officially ends, but my boss has some "back-up" money to keep me on for a good while longer until another project starts. I'm pretty torn what to do in this situation, though. Love my job and boss, but want what my current position can't provide.

Sigh...

But next week- I'll be posting the munchkin's 1/2 birthday pics. Crazy that it's been 6m since she was born, and even crazier that it's been 15m since we learned I was pregnant.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Do Clocks have Wings?

Because time just keeps flying by me! I can't believe it's been so long since my last post! I don't have any real excuse other than life has just been super busy and I've been trying to spend as much time with Em in the evenings after work as I can!

Here's what we've been up to lately:

I turned 29 back at the end of May. Strangely, I'm actually looking forward to the big 3-0. We were visiting the Boy's folks for the weekend. They were blown away by how happy and active Em is!  Unfortunately, I caught pink eye because of his grandmother. It was just and only me, thank goodness!

We went to re-PG SIL's parent's for Em's cousin's 1st bday "mermaid" party. Em was the only kid under 2 that didn't hate being in the pool. In fact, she loved it! It must have seemed just like a big tub for her.

Em turned 5m on Friday. She is quite the character and becoming more and more her own little person! She's getting too long in the torso for most of her 3-6m onesies. She's rolling around and spinning circles. She even pushes up on her arms and will push off of one of her legs, just not at the same time. Yet. She loves her feet and hands. My hands. Boy's hands. Oh and eating our faces! She's blowing spit bubbles and making "ba" sounds.

Cheeky Monkey!
We are sorta starting Baby led solids. Em has really taken an interest in our food and insists on "eating" when we have food. She's tried bananas (love), apples, carrots, rice, grapes (skinless, love), teriyaki noodles, green beans, and mash potatoes + gravy (love). No teeth yet, but she can work those gums!

It's getting harder almost each morning to leave her at daycare and head to work. Sometimes, I even contemplate finding a different job that is strictly 40hrs or allows me to work from home some. Sigh... I love how my priorities have shifted

Friday, May 18, 2012

4 months

Wow, just realized I never did a 4m update on Em, 10d ago. Oops?

So, yeah, 4 months... It's been pretty surreal. While I was pregnant (as well as before) and during my maternity leave, I knew that I just didn't have what it takes to be a SAHM. I am not "Mom Enough" for all that it requires day in and day out. But that doesn't mean that I don't spend almost all my day at work thinking about coming home to this:


If we could swing it financially, I'd only work part-time in a heartbeat! Or if we were rolling in the dough, I'd not work and spend my days doing mommy&me yoga, play groups, and the whole housewife glamor lifestyle.Sigh... Bills and debt bite the big one.

But back to her update! Little Miss's stats at 4m were 11lbs 11oz, 24.75in long, and ~39cm head circumference. Those fall in the 10%, 70%, and 5%. In other words, I have a long and lean, boob-sucking machine! The pediatrician we saw this time called her "small" even those she was about the same percentiles at her 2m where that Dr said she was just fine. I'm in no particular rush to jump to solids to get her to "gain more weight" at the moment as she is consistent in her percentiles and her growth curves are smooth and increasing. Besides, cereals are just baby gruel and don't provide that much in the way of nutrients other than calories for the most part.

In other growth and developmental news, she is also a rolling machine! She flips from back to belly *like a boss* these days and had been great with belly to back for over a month now (she really hated tummy time back then). She puts weight on her feet and legs when stood up and tries her hardest to pull herself to sitting if reclined. She is quick with the smiles still and giggles are starting to be just as frequent. Her hands, toys, and yes, even her feet are always on their way to or from her mouth. Em-n-m has not only found her voice but exercises it in various pitches and volumes. She is a huge fan of her fur-siblings, but only the pups reciprocate the love.

More than anything else, she continues to win my heart each and every day. I couldn't hide it if I tried - I love this kiddo to pieces!


Father's Day can Suck for Men, too.

I generally don't do this, but I just had to write this post. It was prompted by an email I received completely out of the blue.


This is a part of the ALI community that is seldom heard from, because they have to be "strong." One particular statement got to me and made me feel a bit sad that the Boy felt he had to remain strong and support me through the miscarriage. I don't truly know if he wanted to grieve, but felt like he couldn't.

"During this time, I discovered that these “silent grievers” actually
hungered to share their stories, to speak their children’s names aloud and
describe what had happened."

They are trying to raise funding to publish and promote this book on their own as major publishers "mentioned that this is an honorable book, but men typically do not buy these types of books. Basically, they were saying that this book couldn’t be profitable enough for them to invest in it."

I'm sure I'm not the only one that disagrees with this and feel it just another barrier that the rest of the world puts up to prevent IF and loss from receiving the attention and support that other medical conditions do as it is "uncomfortable." I would have loved to have been able to purchase this book for Hubs after our loss. My heart breaks to know that a book like this does need to and actually does exist and that the authors had to suffer such tragic losses (after IF) themselves. It helps though to know that I can take part in making this resource available for others that undeserving find themselves in that position and situations.

I would really appreciate it if you would take just a few moments to go to the site and read about the project as well as contribute to it, either financially or with your own story.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mother's Day...

I don't know how I feel about it this year...

This morning on the radio, driving in the parking deck at work, a commercial almost had me sobbing behind the wheel. One of the local fertility clinics runs commercials, more frequently it seems, surrounding family-themed holidays. Currently, this one is about wanting to change your name. To "Mom." In that instance, all the pain and longing I felt while TTC and dealing with IF came flooding back. At the same time, I was overcome with sadness for those still feeling those same emotions everyday. And how beyond blessed I am to be able to have that title now, myself.

I'm overjoyed that I'm actually* a Mother for it this year. But maybe I have my expectations of how significant this day actually is too high. Maybe, like my views on Valentine's, it's just a commercially over-rated day to celebrate something that should be celebrated everyday. All I know is that I'm expecting this May 13th to be unlike any I've ever had.


That being said, I don't feel that this upcoming holiday only belongs to maternal parental units. I truly feel that one becomes a mother when they accept a child into their heart. It has nothing to do with pushing one out your wazoo. The moment you decide to share your life with a child, you are a Mom. To some, this may happen at the child's birth. Some, when they get that gender or 1st ultrasound. Others at that 2nd line. And I think for most reading this post, it happened the instant you decided to TTC.

It may be almost a week early, but I want to wish all you women a happy Mother's day. You are a wonderful mother to you child, be it in your arms, belly, heart or dreams.


*As defined by other people.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

One year ago today...

April 28th, 2011

I was feeling like complete crap. Headache, nausea, exhaustion. It must have been a bug.

But as I was (am) an infertile, I had to poas. You know, just in - it will never happen, but hey, who really needs an excuse to pee on a hpt - case. I didn't even watch it. When I did look, I saw this:
The faintest of actual lines!

I didn't know then that it was the start of the best year of my life. And somehow that ghost of a line turned into this:






I do think it is quite fitting that I got my "Rainbow Baby" BFP at the close of NIAW. I had decided to participate and posted something IF related on my FB page everyday. It's like Kharma rewarded me for putting myself out there. I didn't know at the time that things would turn out perfect. I was a mess of fear, uncertainty, and a timid little bit of hope.

This year, as NIAW draws to a close, I put myself out there again. I feel amazingly blessed to have had the experiences that started one year ago. I truly wish this joy and love to every single one of you out there reading this, however you may find that joy. While my current happiness doesn't erase all the pain and fear that hovered during our struggle to conceive, I do appreciate it more and wouldn't be who I am today without having gone through the hell of IF. I want everyone of you out there to know that you are amazing and just that much stronger, braver, and awesomer for having to go through it as well. It completely sucks, but makes you value the sunshine a bit more when the clouds break.


**************

ps- I found this earlier this week and had to share it with you all. I know this was true for me (add in anxious as well) and that many of you feel the same.

Monday, April 23, 2012

IUD is DONE

Just a quick update to my last post.

I rescheduled my IUD re-placement appt with my fave and previous practitioner at the OB/GYN. She's the nurse-prac. that got us started on our IF/treatment journey 3m into TTC. It was quite the to-do with the appt making lady on the phone that day. She made a big stink about it needing to be with the "referring/prescribing" Dr. and the time slots had to coincide with u/s tech availability for the placement. I eventually got it such that I could see my NP at 30min after the initially scheduled appt, without the u/s I was told.

Other than running late to the appt without knowing it, things couldn't have gone better. I had been scheduled for the u/s, unbeknownst to me, for just before my time with the NP. Good thing I called to double check my appt confirmation! It was all so completely different than the previous appt. The office was slow and quiet (hence the available u/s slot). The IUD team was pretty much prepped and ready by they time I got in the room. The actual placement was as different as night and day from the previous attempt. She was able to get me situated and the IUD placed with almost ZERO discomfort. I don't know why the other Dr had such a hard time with it all. She did have 1 minor hiccup. She was unable to figure out how to lower the stool in that particular room so we had to play around with the lamp placement and she was hunched over my business, which she apologized for several times in case it was awkward, etc for me. (Yay, right... With as many people have been in that area with various pieces of equipment in the last 18 months, I didn't even understand what she was apologizing for, to be honest.)

Plus, the NP was so excited to see me back on her roster for the day and had me fill her all in on how my birth was, if it was a boy or girl, and how things were going. Have I mentioned how much I love this lady? She is honestly interested and cares about her patients. She always makes me feel at ease about things.

It does seem a bit silly when I think about it, but I'm not taking any chances. The likelihood of us conceiving on our own is pretty slim, more so without any form of treatment for either of us and practically impossible without certain interactions. But like I've said before, I'm an over-acheiver. I'm not comfortable leaving much up to chance! Besides, the IUD pretty much makes my period non-existent. After the disappointment of her consistent arrival all those months in a row, I'm happy to give "Aunt Flo" the boot for a good while longer!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Medication-induced Mumblings

North Carolina in Springtime-

Very beautiful, but horrid if you suffer from seasonal allergies even in the slightest.

I'm up at 5am, unable to sleep or stay asleep due to a wonderful case of allergic sinusitis thanks to the pretty flowering trees and plants. My general practitioner has given me some steroids, nasal spray and recommendations of rest and fluids. Since the meds are BFing-friendly, no problem there and I'm trying to make sure I drink more so I don't have a drop in supply. The rest part is going to be the most difficult because what mom of a 3m old gets lots of rest? Plus, the meds wear off by bed time and leave me feeling like poo and unable to sleep. So what better time to write a update post!? (Hope it is coherent!)

1st off - Holy moly! I have a 3m old baby! How did that happen? Em is doing great and melts my heart frequently. Just over this past weekend she's erupted into babbling and is starting to have coordinated movement. She how reaches for things and actually can grab them and hold on! As tummy time was generally a bust for us, we've done lots of sitting up "practice." She likes to see everything and take it all in, all the time. It has apparently been paying off in spades as Em is now trying to pull herself into a sitting position frequently when propped lounging. My little genius is also trying to roll over from back to belly and almost has it. Just needs to figure out how to throw her shoulder into it. She's a whiz at going from belly to back though! The daycare ladies say they are really impressed with her development here as most babies aren't trying to do these things until closer to 5m! Go Em!


Work is getting a bit more normal feeling. I almost think I have a daily routine down. Almost, but not quite. I'm able to pump just enough each workday for the next day's daycare bottles, and use a few extra sessions on the weekend to give me a cushion of bottles in the fridge for when Hubs has her in the evenings until I get home. I'm still figuring out timing things for work and pumping to reliably get the max amount of milk, but without waiting too long and it being painful and mostly foremilk. Most days, I can find that balance, but not all the time.

Lastly, I'd like to discuss the debacle that was my IUD "placement" appt at the end of March. Seriously, it was ridiculous, ended up not getting done, and rescheduled for April 23rd. First off, the office calls the day before to check to see if I was scheduled for an IUD placement the next day and at what time. Hello! Thought they were suppose to know that and remind me! They also wanted to know if I would be able to come in earlier for that appt as apparently they double booked the time slot. Sorry, but I have to request the time off a bit more in advance than the afternoon before. So once I get there, they make me collect a urine sample, just to make sure I'm not PG. While I didn't mind complying, I'm pretty sure I know that it was pretty much an impossibility. Well, I mean it could have been immaculate conception, but I don't think I'm quite pious or righteous enough for that to happen. Plus, there's that whole "infertility" issue that would have hampered things if they had actually occurred. Not surprisingly, the test was negative.

Now for the fun part. I had to schedule the appt with the Dr who did my post-partum check, who was the Dr that "delivered" me. Not my fave Dr of the practice, but not my least fave. Until now. I've had an IUD placed before. Given that I was "null parous" (ie- no prior births), my favorite NP had me insert a cyto.tec pill to help soften up the ol' cervix and to schedule during my monthly visit. Since I don't think I've technically resumed that wonderful monthly occurrence and have actual given birth (to the most perfect baby, I might add), it should have been a walk in the park for us both. Right?

Wrong! The whole time, the speculum felt like it was on the verge of falling out, the assisting nurse didn't seem to have a clue what she was doing, and the Dr didn't have much more insight, or so it seemed to me. After the initial u/s to check my uterine size and position, the 1st bit wasn't much more than some discomfort. But then she had difficulty getting the catheter through my cervix and needed to use a dilator (which wasn't in that exam room so we had to wait for one to be brought over). Ouch. But still not too too bad. Then, the real fun came when she inserted the cath. Super cramping and OUCH! Just to see where she was in my uterus, the clueless nurse attempted to u/s as the Dr tried to get correct placement. Epic fail. She had actually already perforated my uterus with the cath. Placement was a no-go at this point. If she put the IUD in, it could have migrated out of the puncture. Second, my risk of infection just jumped up. Third, my body would now likely reject the IUD anyways. So out all the equipment came. OUCH. The Dr had apparently also clamped my cervix to "hold it in place" which actually caused some damage and bleeding. Several application of silver nitrate followed. Ouch. Ouch.

I was then re-scheduled for placement, this time with real-time u/s monitoring, in 1 month to allow my injuries to heal, given a Rx for antibiotics, and directions to take pain killers as needed and to expect spotting that might be ashy in color due to the silver nitrate. I had already per-emeptively taken some ibuprofen. The spotting ended up being quite heavy and more akin to bleeding with serious cramps. I have no clue why she had such a hard time with it. The NP that did my 1st IUD was in and out with only minor discomfort and had perfect placement. This time, the Dr blamed it on my "too small" uterus and cervix. I highly doubt that my uterus and cervix ended up shrinking to smaller than pre-Emma status after birth. I am shocked that they were so resilient and snapped back to practically pre-PG size, but highly dubious that they were "too small" for the procedure to go smoothly.

The whole ordeal has left a bitter-taste in my mouth, so to speak. I don't want any form BCP for contraception, but I also don't want to just go the barrier only method. I really like the ease and convenience of the IUD, plus I didn't have any crazy side effects and practically non-existent periods. Is it a sign that maybe I should look into alternative options of pregnancy prevention? I know the likelihood of us actually conceiving without some form of medical intervention is super slim, but right now, I'm not ready to take any chances. I loved being PG and truly miss it, but I'm not at all ready to jump back into that and have another little one, just yet.

With the rescheduled appt coming up, I'd like to get the blog world's input. Would you keep it with the same Dr? I'm not sure if it is an absolute requirement that it HAS to be with delivering Dr or if they just prefer it for consistency or if it is like commissions. Also, I mentioned about getting an Rx for the cyto.tec again, but she seemed to poo-poo that idea. Is it something I should press for in this case?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Drained (and not from pumping)

The last few weeks have been crazy.

Work.
Home.
Emma.

And I think I've got it pretty easy since she's such an easy and good baby. I get almost 6hrs of sleep a night. Sure, it's actually broken into 2-3hr chunks, but we are up, eat, and go right back to sleep. I don't think it is a lack of sleep that makes it all feel so hectic, though.

I'm THE primary care-giver to all living things in our house. I oversee the pets are fed, watered, pottied; Hubs may do the grunt work for some of it, but generally at my "request". I pay the bills, do the shopping, etc. Add onto all that working no less than 40hrs/wk, feeding a darling daughter, keeping on top of her clothes and diaper laundry as well as our own, trying to make sure there will be something for dinner, and trying to keep up our stock of expressed milk.


My typical day goes as follows:
- Wake up for the day when the Boy leaves for work at 6:30a and feed the babe
- Get dressed while she's still milk drunk and sleepy
- Put her bottles for daycare in a cooler (her diapers and wetbag were re-stocked in her daycare bag the night before)
- Eat something, make a lunch and pack snacks, pump and accessories
- Feed, water, and corral the pets for the day while we are gone
- Feed and change Em one last time and load her daycare bag, my pump bag, purse and carseat all into the car.
- Drop baby off and head to work.
- Work 8-10hrs, work in 2 pump breaks/snack/lunch into my unpredictable schedule.
- Head home and feed the pipsqueak upon my arrival.
- Possibly make, but at least eat dinner
- The next 2 hours are spent doing bills, email, prepping bottles and diapers for the next day, pumping again, cleaning bottles and pump parts, (a bit of computer free time), dessert/snack
- Get ready for bed, last evening feed, and turn in until our 2a-ish meal, followed by the 5a meal


Lather. Rinse. Repeat.


I don't know how women with multiple little ones are even remotely able to function. I don't have a clue as to how women that have twins, triplets, etc survive it.


I love the time I get to spend with Em, but the evenings after work seem too short and her too sleepy. Mornings are just too hectic for real quality time, which is probably why we stay in bed until the last minute! Returning to work definitely has made me more appreciative of the time we do have together. Those 8 weeks home had me yearning for a "break" and me time. Now, I seem to be watching the clock at work, counting down the minutes until I'm able to leave and snuggle my munchkin!

Friday, March 9, 2012

2m & the Working Dead

Emma is 2m old, as of yesterday. Also, I've returned to work this week, hence the parody title (The Walk.ing Dead is an awesome show!).

These last 8 weeks I've been able to stay at home with my baby girl have been pretty good. There were a few rough patches and a couple of times things were on the verge of chaos, complete breakdown, or both, but overall, it's been great. I did manage to solidly confirm that, much like assumed, I am not SAHM material. I hated the lack of time distinction. Not knowing the date, day of the week, or really even the time of day unless I was staring directly at a calendar or clock. Heck, I only knew night vs day because a) it was dark outside and b) the Hubs would suggest going to bed. And as much as I love my daughter, I just can't deal with anyone for 24hrs straight, every single day of the week. We'd gotten into a loose routine though and kinda knew what to expect from each other and when. 

Of course, this only happens shortly before things are all changed around with returning to work and daycare. Yes, thankfully, the center we wanted and applied to came through for us at the 11th hour. Last Wednesday evening, I received the call that a space had opened if we were still interested. We were, and she was set to start Monday. Bonus, we qualified for a tuition reduction AND a 10% discount because I work for the university. This ends up saving us $250+ a month in child care!

Work has been alright this past week. I'm a good bit rusty on science-y things and protocols, not to mention missing my afternoon nap.and staying in bed until 9 or 10am. Thankfully, my boss has let me come back at part-time this week, and even next if I'd like. He's been super awesome about everything these last 10m or so. Working 4-5hrs a day is so exhausting right now! I've never been so thankful for the "gift" of 4hrs on continuous as I am these days! It felt like a miracle when Em slept 5hrs Wednesday night. I'm not sure how productive I've really been this past week. People like to talk to ya when you've been out for 2m, even more-so when you've had a baby, and especially so when 90% of the people around you are women! I'm constantly being asked about her, my labor and for pictures. Between all the small chat, brain fog, and pumping every 3hrs, not a ton of real work-work got done each day.

Em's 1st week of daycare has been much smoother than my transition back to the living and working. The daycare ladies in her Infants' room are lovely, don't mind cloth diapering, and let us use our glass bottles (with protective rubber wraps). I didn't cry once dropping her off in the morning, but am always overjoyed to pick her up! Today, she was even awake when I arrived, and got excited by the sound of my voice when I entered the room! I'm not sure if I should feel guilty over my lack of guilt in "leaving her with strangers", but I'm ok with someone else taking care of her as she's in good (and way more experienced!) hands during the day. I'm only really sad to think they might get to experience more of her "1st's" than me. My heart would have broke if someone else had got her 1st smile, coo, or laugh!

But at 2m, my baby girl is up to 9lbs, 5oz and almost 23in long. She's on the small side of the growth charts for weight and head circumference, but on the opposite end for height. Between her long and lean physique and the fact that everyone is saying that she is completely gorgeous and has such great features (and them swearing they aren't just saying that to be nice), maybe we have a potential model on our hands?


Em-n-m: I love that you are growing and learning so much these days, but really not wanting you to grow up. Can't you grow and develop, but stay this small forever?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Given the Doctor's "A-Ok"

Today was my postpartum visit with the Ob. According to her, I've got the green light to resume life as normal. My stitches have healed and dissolved. No more "lochia" as it is awesomely called. I still have the beautiful linea nigra down my belly and some equally gorgeous stretch marks on one cheek and both upper thighs. Not too shabby, all things considered.

Since everything is looking good down there, I am cleared for return of sexual intercourse with the Hubs. This leads to the BC question. To prevent back to back pregnancies, we need to use protection. It is mind-blowing to think that after all the trying and trying to get pregnant, we are now having to prevent it! I have a hard time wrapping my brain around that one. While it would be unlikely for us to conceive on our own since I'm not taking anything and neither is he, we'd rather be safe (although I'm slightly curious to know what it would be like to have an "oopsie!" pregnancy).

We've discussed the next addition to the clan is going to be a few years away, at least 2 if not 3. We worked so hard for this munchkin, we'd like to enjoy her as much as we can! As such, I've decided to have an IUD put back in. There is no way I'm going on any of the Pills or rings or shots. The IUD has been the only contraceptive that hasn't given me huge side effects. Sure, there is also the barrier method, but come on, nothing kills the mood like having to pause to "shimmy on a jimmy." There isn't enough mood these days for any to be killed. So, IUD it is.

In other news, I'll be going back to work March 5th. I'm both glad and sad about it. I'll be happy to have some delineation between days back in my life, but I'm not looking forward to leaving my little girl to be cared for my strangers at daycare nor to working 50hrs/wk and the hassle of some of my co-workers. I wish I could work from home, but there isn't much in my job description that I can do outside the lab. Finances are not such that either of us can stay at home, even though day care is going to be a huge, HUGE hit to our bank account each month.

Well, at least it will be once we get her enrolled somewhere. Thank you IF for making me scared and paranoid to do an enrollment/wait-listing while pregnant. I had to make sure that I actually had a baby and was able to take it home and keep it before I considered or thought of worrying about daycare! That really has bit me in the rear. Hopefully, the center that is our main choice should be having a few spots in their infants program shortly. Just waiting on a few of the moms to have their next baby, which is any day now for 2 of them. Otherwise, we'll have to fall back to our Plan B and see about having her go to the daycare that the (PG again) SIL's mom runs in her house. We'll just have to see how this next week goes... Hopefully better than this last one has...

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Cruelty of Infertility

I just read 2 posts that just completely broke my heart (1 by Courtney @ Bodega Bliss and 1 by Elphie @ Alice in Diaperland, formerly Yolk).

Mo of Mommy Odyssey had her water break at 22w. She is being monitored in the hope that it will replenish, otherwise her little boy is likely not ot make it.

She has gone through so much to get a viable pregnancy and even with her current. How can life be so cruel as to have someone go through RPL, loss of a tube, and everything else she's had to endure, then give her so much hope and joy only to rip it from her?

I don't even know what else to say... Please, go and give her some love and support as her,  Shmerson and their little Shmaby deal with this unfortunate turn of events. And if you happen to be one of the lucky ones, like I am, hold your child close and appreciate them for the miracles they are.

Monday, February 13, 2012

1 Month

I just can't seem to do things "On Time" these days... Here's where things stand at 1 month(ish) of Emma.

Emma had her 1m Well Baby appt on the 9th. She got her 2nd Hep B shot (only cried for a min or two) and is up to 8lbs 2oz and grew 1 inch! She's too long now for about 80% of her Newborn (NB) clothing. We've given some of them to my fertile friend whose little girl is 12d younger than Em. Some of them, I just can't seem to part with... So she's growing well and is over all a healthy baby!

I'm doing well for the most part. I have my postpartum checkup coming up. Not entirely sure exactly when as I have to try and reschedule it as I just haven't been able to master being in 2 places at once, yet. It's easier to get in with the OB than to find a new time and day that work with the dentist/hygienist. I think I've healed back up well and all, but we'll see. I'm also thinking of getting an IUD placed again as birth control as it is going to be quite a while before we discuss siblings.

I'm not going to lie, there are some aspects of life that aren't going so well. I would love to be getting more sleep, but the lack there of is expected. It doesn't make the sleep deprivation easier, but I've been told that it should start improving as Em will be sleeping longer at night soon. We'll see about that... While she's a good baby most days, there are days that completely make up for her good behavior. Days where she's cranky, fussy, gassy, spit-uppy, and just wants to cry and holler, or eat constantly, or be held but squirm the whole time and needs to be in constant motion. Those are very.  hard. days. Very. Those days, I just want to cry right alongside her and often times I do. While the hubs does help out from time to time, often all she wants is me- either for comfort nursing or just because I'm more familiar (I'm assuming). I feel a bit guilty, but those days, I really miss being pregnant. I miss having an inside baby a lot of the time as it is. I truly enjoyed being pregnant, and even though there were so many mental and emotional difficulties (Thank you, IF!), it was definitely easier than being a mom!

Honestly, there is not one thing about being a parent that is easy. Not one. I'm not saying it's not enjoyable. It definitely is, but it's incredibly hard! It also makes every other part of your life even harder, too. Financially, things are tighter (hello, daycare!- which in itself has been another problem and ordeal of its own). I feel like I barely have time for myself, let alone the Boy. I'm dreading going back to work in 2.5 weeks. I know things are only going to be more difficult then. If I wasn't so exhausted, I would probably be more ashamed of the state of my house than I am right now, not to mention my personal hygiene. And then there is the guilt of feeling this way knowing there are so many couples that would give everything to be right where I am. I was one of them not too long ago.

I love my daughter with all that my being. Her birth was one of the most incredible days of my life. However, looking back, getting pregnant now seems like the easy part. But I wouldn't trade any of the fear, frustration or worries of parenthood.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Another less than Super Sunday

There wasn't anything wrong with the actual day. I wasn't disappointed by the game as I didn't care if the Pats or the Giants won. All in all, it was a really average day.

But the daggers of IF struck again. I've already been dealing with the anniversary of the miscarriage this week. The last thing I wanted was to deal with a pregnancy announcement. But guess what?

My SIL, the one that was previously referred to as PG-SIL and threw the shower for me, is 7 or 8w pregnant. They have their 1st ultrasound for this pregnancy on Valentine's day. They were planning on telling us while we were over to watch the Big Game last night, but I happened to see "Ultrasound" written on their calendar.

I'm happy for them and glad it only took them the 2 treatment cycles of Clomid this time (although I don't think the clomid is specifically needed in their case as she ovulates fine and only seems to need a bit of progesterone support). But I didn't want to find out about it this week! The previous week would have been perfectly OK; next week would have worked, too. I just wanted to cry the rest of the evening.

WTF, Infertility!? It's been a year, and yet, the emotions seem just as strong and raw as they were then. Should they have lessened drastically by now, given time and the fact that I now have a beautiful, little daughter? Why does every pregnancy announcement still hurt? Why do I get angry and resentful when I hear people talk about how easy it was for them or how quickly it happened?

Thanks, Infertility and Loss for embittering me to happy news like this and for not letting me fully move on from it all...

Saturday, February 4, 2012

This time last year...

This time last year was so starkly different from this time this year.

This time last year, I was miscarrying my 1st ever and highly improbable pregnancy. My heart was heavy and hurting, but I was coming to terms with it and starting the healing process. I didn't know if it was possible for us to conceive again. I was feeling a bit worn down with the whole TTC ordeal. Almost thinking that it was pointless and if all the trouble and disappointment was even worth it.

This year, I know it all was worth it and then some. While I haven't forgotten the loss and heartache of last year, having Emma here this year makes it easier to bear. I now know that all the medications, appts, negative pregnancy tests, and everything has paid off, in spades. This year, I am not living in my pj's, swollen and puffy eyes, and dulling the pain with alcohol. This year, I'm living in my pj's, dark circles under my eyes, and joy in my heart. And today, while writing this post up, I was treated to the wonder of Emma's 1st intentional smile at me. In that instance, all the grief and hardship of TTC and loss melted away (at least for a while).

This year, I'm happy.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

3 Week In

The 3 of us have been home for 3 weeks now. I'm not sure if it feels like it's been shorter, longer, or right on for the length of time. It really depends on when I'm asked. Regardless, it's been something else...

It's not completely fluffy sunshine and shiny roses, but I'm happy with it all. I'm pretty happy with Emma's sleeping/eating pattern. It's pretty much every 2-2.5hr that she wants to eat, and she sleeps for a good chunk of that time. It's about the same at night except those 2-3hrs are 90% sleeping and half sleeping/eating. Of course, that just the "average" and there can be a good amount of variety depending on the day.

We're cloth diapering, and I have to say that I quite like it. We used disposables while we were still in teh hospital and the other weekend when we were visiting the in-laws. While they fit in the newborn clothes better, Emma wanted to be changed more frequently, which is the opposite of what I've been lead to believe. The cloth diapers don't seem to bother her, and even with a bit longer between changes, we've had no signs of rash or irritation at all. Besides, the diapers and diaper covers for cloth are A-freaking-DORABLE!!

Right now we are primarily using newborn sized pre-folds and covers, I'm excited to start using more of the all-in-ones and pocket diapers. Emma is just a bit to tiny in the waist for most of them at the moment.

Speaking of her size, that little miss can grow! She was 6lbs 13oz at birth, 6lbs 9oz before we left the hospital, 6lbs 14oz at her 1st pediatrician appt, and 7lbs 4oz at the next one the following week. I'm not sure exactly how much she weighs right now, but she's getting too long for quite a number of her sleepers. My newborn isn't going to be a tiny little newborn for too much longer...

I'll try and keep up some semi-regular posting. I just can't even seem to keep up with what day it is lately, so it might be a total flop. But here's to trying!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

My 1yr Blog-iversary

Wow.

I am 2 days late to my own 1 yr celebration (?) of my blog. What a slacker! I guess that's bound to happen when you live your life in 2hr blocks- the days all blur together!

If you had told me when I started this blog a year ago, that I'd be typing my 1st blog-iversary with my very own baby in my lap, I probably would have laughed in your face. Or maybe cried because that couldn't be true. I'm not sure which. And yet, that is exactly where I am. Crazy.

A lot more has changed in the past year than just my parental status. While not all good things, they all played a part in where and who I am today. Here are a few of the highlights:

- The Boy and I have grown closer than we were ever before. Stronger as a couple and more in love with one another. One of the few things I can be thankful for infertility.

- The miscarriage. Definitely a low point, but it opened my eyes to so much and was truly an experience that I came though the other side stronger, more compassionate and far more appreciative than I was.

- I learned to just let things happen. Take things day by day. Not plan and structure everything. While it didn't apply to my whole life, for the 1 or 2 aspects that it did cover, I was able to really enjoy the little things.

- Not sure if it''s been because of the hormones in the fertility meds and pregnancy, but my depression and anxiety are under the best control they've been for ages!

- I've become comfortable enough with our struggle to become parents that I talk with practically anyone about it, just with less details unless it's someone closer. I want people to know that we had to fight to get where we are, and maybe, it might help someone that is going through IF to know they aren't alone and it is something that can be talked about.

- I discovered a place with more support and understanding than I could have imagined. The ALI community may be full of such sad stories and hard choices, the women (and men) that make it up are incredibly strong, courageous, and caring.

Happy 1st birthday, Two's company. Three's a family! I'm beyond happy that I worked up the courage last January to write and publish those 1st posts. I hope you all have at least enjoyed some of my posts and thoughts and possibly found something to help make the journey a little bit easier, if only for a few moments.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Birth Story

AKA - The fast and the furious (and slightly fuzzy)

***This is going to be a LONG post***
(I've contemplated posting this whole thing as I have it written vs condensing it down... I just don't know what all to cut out without making it sound like "contractions, labor, baby." If you make it all the way through, ROCK ON with your bad self!!)


** I hope this is semi-coherent as it’s been written in bits and pieces when I have 2 free hands (I’ve not yet mastered 1-handed typing just yet) and a free moment not filled with visitors, sleep, or attempts to eat. **


 Wowwee! It’s been a crazy, hectic, and absolutely wonderful 5 days… As the previous post said, we celebrated the arrival of our baby GIRL Emma Parker this past Sunday. But to fully appreciate her birth story, I think I need to start back at Christmas.

Christmas day – I began losing my mucus plug and baby had dropped some already. I was being told by people left and right “Any day now!” When I became unplugged, I started to believe them!

Things were only amplified at my next Ob appt 4 days later when the Dr did an internal check and I was 2cm! When I had checked my self the day prior, it felt like just a tiny gap the size of my fingertip! Woo hoo progress! Any day now! The more frequent Braxton Hick contractions didn’t help either.

We waited. And waited. And waited a bit more. The next week at my 39w appt, things were pretty much status quo. Still just 2cm dilated. 50% effaced and baby was at about +2/+1 station. Things could change at any time, or stay right there for 2 more weeks. It was weird talking with OB nurse practitioner that has been with me from the start. We were looking at possibility of things come 41 and 42w- Induction and the like. I had resigned myself that baby wasn’t in any hurry to come out, and just wanted to play mind games with me. Might as well just go about regular business

We went out for dinners with friends a time or 2 and just had life as normal. No planning on “what if labor this that or the other.” Previously-PG SIL (the baby crazed one) invited us over for dinner. She was making chili, because, wouldn’t you know it, that’s what a friend made for her the day before she went into labor. I wasn’t buying that as a labor starter as I had my own chili the week before, it was spicier than hers, and nothing happened. But hey, a free meal is a free meal and even better that I didn’t have to do anything. Her son had a friend over for the night and they were just cutting jokes left and right! I laughed so much and so hard, my belly was actually sore that night!

On the ride home, I was really uncomfortable. Actually, I was fairly uncomfortable for most of the day. I just thought it was from all the laughing and how I had been sitting at their place as well as just the usual BHs. We headed to bed, life as usual. Except, I couldn’t stay comfortable. I was able to maybe sleep 45min over the next hour and an half. Stupid back ache! And man, I just felt like I needed a good trip to the restroom. Regardless, at 1am, there was no way I was able to go back to bed.

I sat around and surfed the internet, and started noticing a pattern. Backache, tightening around the front, and relax. Hmmm, maybe I should time these? They felt slightly different than the Braxton Hicks I had been having, thanks to the backache. Well, well, well! Wouldn’t you know it; they were about 5-6min apart, 30-45sec long. I continue monitoring them until about 2am, when I return to the bedroom to let the Boy know that I “think I might be in labor.” I told him he could go back to sleep if he wanted as I was just going to keep tracking things for a while. I gave my OB office a call and spoke to the on-call Dr, who notified the hospital that I may be checking in later. Not surprisingly, he wasn’t able to sleep alone with this knowledge for much longer. We played games in the living room as I snacked, hydrated, and worked through the increasing in strength contractions.

I suddenly dawned on me that the contractions were more like 4min apart and lasting at least 1 full minute. Man, did that gotta go feeling get stronger, too! I finally decided at that point we should probably get our things together and head to the hospital! It was getting a bit difficult to carry a convo through them, let alone walk. They didn’t exactly hurt, but just kinda stole my breath and “froze” my midsection. We called the parents and made arrangements for mine to pick up the puppy dogs later in the morning.

A short but long, uncomfortable car ride later, I was changing from my super frumpy pjs to a sheet from the 80’s with some snaps on the shoulders and ties in the back and began the baseline monitoring. Baby’s heart rate was good through the contractions, which they most definitely were and coming about every 3min at this point. Some how in 2 days I went from 2cm and 50% to 5cm dilated and 100% effaced. The baby was fully engaged in the pelvis and my membranes were “bulging.” The boy filled out all the paperwork and remembered to pass along my “Birth Plan” (which was pretty much a list of natural labor related items, as long as baby and I were doing well).

 After about 20-30 min of read outs, I was transferred to my labor and delivery room. I was able to keep drinking, walking around (ha!), sit on the birth ball, and use the bathroom as/if needed. At some point, I was actually about to “go” and finally had the show that all the sites are talking about leading up to labor. It only took me to be in active labor and 7-8cm dilated to have what most women have a few days before labor! And yes, I went from 5 to 8cm in 30min. My IV port was put in at 5:10a and blood was drawn for tests that I don’t remember now. The only way I know the time is it was written on the info sticker the nurse put on it after placing.

By this time, the contractions were so strong that I could only try to breathe through them and pat either my own or Boy’s leg until they started to subside. Apparently, I was completely my normal self between contractions though! Along with each of the crazy strong contractions was this equally strong feeling like I had to push. I told the nurse this and we agreed to do a check in a few more minutes.

“So you are at 10cm, fully dilated. This is transition and the hardest part. Try not to push as the Dr isn’t here yet.” Holy Cow! That was a) super fast, b) scary to think the Dr wasn’t at the hospital yet, and c) sounding impossible to NOT push! Heck, the contractions were coming so hard and fast that I wasn’t able to leave the bed after the check! I was informed that I should “breathe out” and “blow” through the pushing urge. Easier said than done! I lost focus on one contraction and pushed just slightly… launching my water “a good 2ft” according to the Boy. Now, the real fun starts!

A stand-in Dr arrives as we are still waiting for mine to arrive. Everything is such a frenzy and blur, but I remember her repeatedly telling me not to push at all until she was scrubbed in! Somehow, I was able to meet that request this time I think it was all due to the coaching from the main nurse and the constant reassurance that I was doing great coming from Hubs. The next bit is a bit vague and furious and all I recall is them removing my soaked gown so I was buck-naked on the bed, being intensely hot to the point of roasting, and my nurse instructing me to grab behind my own knees. I was now allowed to push when the feeling struck me! Hallelujah! Unfortunately, I also screamed, groaned and cried out, regardless of being told to steadily breathe through them. It probably sounded a lot like an exorcism going horribly wrong to anyone outside!

Next thing I know, there is a head, some crazy, unexplainable sensations down there, my Dr arrived, 2-3 pushes and a set of shoulders later there was this wet, sticky, completely perfect baby laying on my chest, crying.  My normal, semi-reserved self degenerated into the stereotypical, blubbering, overly-sappy, Hollywood-stylized woman who just gave birth. It was ridiculous. And wonderful. I had never before felt as overwhelmed with emotion as I did at that moment. I laughed. I cried. I trembled uncontrollably. Cried some more. I loved this new little person with every single ounce of my being and fell head over heels in love with my husband, again. Best 5:42am of my life.

I was beyond happy that pretty much all of my birth preferences were met. We didn’t get to have the delayed cord cutting like I would have wanted, but the Boy still did the big snip. I was able to breastfeed right off the bat, and keep her on me for at least 5 minutes. It was a completely natural birth as there was no time for any form of pain meds whether I wanted them or not! Same goes for any episiotomy. To be honest, there was definitely a point where I wanted to just have the epidural as the contractions were pretty hard, long, and painful. I couldn’t imagine holding out and not getting one if my labor had gone on for hours and hours longer. Kudos to any woman that has done so!

 There was just one small thing that I keep getting hung up on, looking back. After placing Emma on my chest, they asked if she had a name. I immediately blurted out “Emma Parker.” Not even a second’s pause to perhaps confer with her father on what we were going to call her. Oops! Good thing Emma was our front-runner and she fits the name quite well! It is a derivative of a Germanic word meaning “whole, universal.” With Emma finally here, I can honestly say that my heart does feel more whole. She has pretty much become my whole world in just a few short days (hours really).

So there you have it, my 4.5hrs of labor. My labor bag was useless as I only used the rice sock and only for a little bit. The birth ed classes were almost pointless as when it came down to the wire, all reason and cognition flew right out the window and everything was pretty much overcome with primal and instinctual urges and reactions. My concluding thoughts on the whole birthing ordeal – There is no such thing as the “perfect” or “ideal” birth. At least, from a planning stand point or how it is commonly thought. Whether X, Y, and Z happen or not and things having gone a certain way. Rubbish.

The mother and child come through the labor healthy and together – Now that is the best, most perfect labor and birth possible.