Sunday, December 30, 2012

Birthday Bash-

I made cupcakes, a "snow owl" cake (although if it really looks like an owl is debatable ha), cookies'n'cream owl lollies, I made a lot of the decorations myself with clipart, plus assembling them (I made that cupcake stand with stuff from the dollar store), we had balloons and good food... it all came together pretty well!

The weather was not the best though, so a lot of people didn't make
it (holiday illnesses didn't help), but a lot of people made it anyway.
It was awesome being able to celebrate V's birthday with great friends
and family.
I feel so fortunate that I was able to plan this out and throw this party to celebrate the life of my son. I'm so glad that we did this, even if I am exhausted today from shoveling the snow, setting up, disassembling, and all that... it was still awesome, and I'm glad we'll have this day to look back on.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A year later-

So, V turns one today! It's still hard to reconcile that much time has passed. This year he's taught me to smile again with my whole heart, without reserve. Yes, there's still pain, there's still grief, still moments of despair, but it doesn't echo in every second of every day. He didn't heal me, that's not his responsibility, he didn't mend all the hurts or replace what I've lost- but he gave me a new reason to smile. He taught me to hope again.

Last year, hearing his first cry was the most amazing sound in the world. It didn't really hit me, until that very moment, that we were actually going to have a baby this time. I mean, I knew, I prepared, I hoped, but part of me never fully believed he'd be coming home with us. It wasn't an intentional blocking or self preservation, I just couldn't bring myself to believe with all my heart. Hearing him cry, after the silence in the operating room, shook something inside me.

Today I'm going to make his cupcakes, let him open some of his presents, and have a small intimate celebration with just A, myself, and V.  I'll make his cake, finish all the little touches for his decorations, all his treats, and the shopping, tomorrow. Then, this weekend we'll have a party for family.

Then we'll welcome in the New Year. I'll go see the neurologist for the EMG of my leg. Then we'll say goodbye to Dr. J, and figure out what's next.

But that all comes later. Today, today I'm just thankful that he's here and we survived the first year. It's been amazing watching him grow, watching him take off and learn something new each week, holding him close and soaking him up. Here's to many more years or such joy.

Happy birthday V.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Be kind to yourself-

My heart goes out to everyone still struggling this year, who's going through losses, unanswered questions, or just remembering. It's a hard road when nothing goes right, when your body fails you, and when the odds are stacked against you. The holidays are especially hard, centered around babies and fertility. I spent my fair share of Christmases crying my eyes out. If there's anything I can say to my friends who are in such a place this year, it's this: Be kind to yourself. There's nothing wrong with self preservation. You can be happy, and be sad, at the same time... and there's nothing wrong with that. Take care of yourself, know your limits, and don't feel guilty if you can't handle going to that gathering. Sometimes you have to put your own emotional well being as your first priority.

Thinking of you all, and wishing you peace and strength this holiday season.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Annnnddd...

The holiday isn't complete without an unexpected pregnancy announcement in the middle of a family Christmas gathering.

I called it earlier this year. I told my husband that I knew my brother and his new girlfriend would have one underway before this year was out. I told him that I just knew they'd end up announcing at Christmas too.

Well, I guess I nailed it.

Yes, I have a precious child after all these years. Yes, I'm enjoying my holiday season and look forward to his birthday next week. And all of that is wonderful. This doesn't hurt like it would have during the years of infertility and loss before V, but it still stings. Especially in the wake of losing my doctor and facing so many unknowns, as I approach this consult, and as I face what happened with all the ones I lost and the one I kissed tonight.

It serves as another reminder of how starkly polar our realities are.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Unfinished

It's been a week since I got the letter from my reproductive clinic, and I was choking on a decision about to call or not to call. I froze, unable to decide if I should pay the money for one last conversation with my current doctor (who has been amazing- a real godsend to us) or to wait until February and schedule an appointment with our new doctor instead. I hate making decisions like that. I know it shouldn't be such a big deal, but it felt so heavy.

Ultimately I knew I needed this last appointment. I won't get a second chance to talk to her, to pick her mind, to listen to her recommendations. I brought the number up on my screen, and promptly closed it. I brought it up again, and managed to press send. My stomach has been in knots ever since. I have the appointment (January 4th) but I feel so anxious now. I don't know if it's more because I'll have to rehash what went wrong, think about the possibility of it happening again, or because I'll have to say goodbye. Maybe it's all of that, and more.

There's a lot of emotional trauma tied into my reproductive clinic. There's also a lot of wonderful memories. There were times when we were able to laugh hysterically while I waited in the stirrups, and times where all I could do was hold in the tears until I could reach my car. There was a time when they confirmed another miscarriage, and a time when they confirmed there was finally a heart beat. There was that look in Dr. J's eyes when she told us that it was just a matter of time as she urged us not to give up, and the day she said good luck and good bye.

I never really said good bye to any of it though; for me it was always on hold. Even when I didn't know if I was ever going back, I took comfort in the fact that if I did- they would still be there. My clinic has 4 branches across my state now, it seemed pretty certain. And while I knew my doctor might move on at some point, I liked to delude myself that she wouldn't. It was such a shock for me, although it really shouldn't have been.

I've never really said good bye to her because she was still within reach. I mean, I just sent her a greeting card/letter earlier this month. When we planned on trying this coming year, it was with the assumption that she would be there. We thought, "Well, in February or March we'll just schedule an appointment and it'll be no big deal."

Now, I feel full of so many unknowns. I don't know who can help me through the first trimester (assuming I can even get pregnant at all.) I don't know if they're going to give me the same emotional support, or the same understanding. I don't know if they'll be able to handle (or even understand) my neurosis of "oh my god, did I lose another one?" My utter panic at the object of my desire- another pregnancy.

I feel nervous about the appointment, because it means going back. Because it might not offer any answers. Because I'm not sure where we'll go from here. Because it means facing the fact that I am losing the most amazing doctor I've ever had in my life- the woman that never gave up on me, who helped me realize my dream.

Because it means saying good bye.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

December weigh in-

I weighed in this week at 179.2 lbs. I was a pound lighter, but I guess I gained it back. I have a lot of stress right now, so I haven't been eating well. I also have a cold, thanks to baby sitting my nephew last week and dealing with the back pain and foot issues. Then I got that letter from my reproductive clinic, and I think I just went over the edge of "I don't want to deal with this right now." Hence, regaining the pound. It doesn't help that this cold has diminished my lung capacity, so I'm having difficultly walking 2mph, let alone jogging at my normal 3.5mph. I struggled through it the other night, but I don't know if I'll be able to Wednesday.

However, back to the positives- I've lost another inch off my hips and an inch off my waist. I'm down 6 lbs from last month, which is great. So I'm hoping that for the rest of the month, sickness be damned, I at least maintain my weight loss and don't backslide.

Since March 17, 2012:
Weight lost: 47.8 lbs
Inches off hips: 10.5
Inches off waist: 10.5

Total weight lost: 70.8 lbs. I've lost about 18.5 inches total off of my waist now too. I wish I had a before picture from when I was 250 lbs. I mean I have pictures from the front, but I don't have any from the side. I do still have my pants from back then- the ones that were starting to get too tight. They're a size 24, and I'm in a size 16 now. So I guess that'll have to work.

Not too shabby.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Constricting-

We got a letter in the mail today from our reproductive clinic. My husband said, "I wonder what this could be?" I told him I had sent them a card and a short letter of appreciation to our fertility doctor, Dr. J, but I didn't think they would send anything back in response to that. It couldn't be a bill, because I paid our account off months and months ago.

He opened it while I was making dinner, and said, "Oh no!" I stopped stirring the rice and looked over at him, wondering what it could be about. He said, "Dr. J accepted a position in Texas. She's leaving in January."

I'm devastated. I kept saying, "Oh no." Randomly while cooking dinner, as it hit me again and again.

I know that she has to do what's best for her career and herself, I can appreciate that, but right now all I can see is my own loss. We switched to her after seeing our first RE for a year (he was a terrible fit). With Dr. J, we had a wonderful relationship. She always believed in us, went above and beyond, and did everything she could for us. She was wonderful, and I'd hoped to see her next year to discuss our options once more. Now, I don't know if I'll get to see her before she leaves.

I believe that the other doctors at the clinic are competent and I'm sure they are wonderful- I've met them briefly when Dr. J was on vacation or at a conference. But they were never what Dr. J was to us, they didn't know us or understand where we've been. I don't know if they're of the same mind as her, if they'll handle my loss issues as well as she did. I don't trust them like I trust her.

Honestly, I'm scared about seeing someone else. Dr. J was my safety net of understanding. I don't trust my OB like I did Dr. J. I've never had a doctor so personal, who took an interest in us, who made it a point to know us by appearance and not by chart. Yeah, I know we went there for two years, but she's known us by sight since our first appointment. She knew I always came in with research articles, that I was going to take notes and research everything she told me, and she was okay with that! She encouraged it.

I've been feeling nostalgic lately, with V's first birthday coming up. That last consult keeps running through my mind. She told me that she believed we could carry to term, but she couldn't give us any odds. There were no guarantees, because despite all that testing we still didn't know exactly what was going on. She urged us to keep trying. She said she was sure she could get us pregnant again, and that she believed it was only a matter of time until we carried to term. You could tell she cared by the look in her eye and the sound in her voice.

We told her that we wanted to stop treatments, that we wanted to pursue donor embryos or adoption because we couldn't rationalize paying $2-4k out of pocket just to have another miscarriage. We were coming up on 4 years of trying, and we were just done. I was beginning to seriously contemplate living child-free because I just couldn't take any more heart break. She asked me if I would try, just one more time, if she could get me the medicine I needed. I hesitated, and talked it over with A. I think ultimately we decided, "What could it hurt? What's one last try?" It seemed right, one last try on our 4 year anniversary of trying. One last go before saying goodbye. We never imagined it would work.

Yet, here's my son. This perfect, unimaginable being. This precious child I had given up all hope of, teaching me to believe in the impossible. And it's all thanks to Dr. J. She's the one who never gave up. She's the one who performed my surgery, did all the testing my first RE refused to do, recommended the course of action that ultimately helped us. She's the one who told me that we could survive the sub-chorionic hematoma, and that she's seen babies survive worse than mine. She's the one who found that beautiful heart beat, reassuring me over and over that he's still alive.

And now she's leaving. Just as we decided we should schedule an appointment in mid-Jaurary to early February, we're finding out that she'll be gone by then. I don't know if they'll squeeze me in before she leaves. I don't know if we'll get the aggressive help we need. I don't know if my new RE will listen to me the way she did. I don't know if I'll have the same help, the same level of care, the same ear to talk to. I don't know. And I don't want to scale that mountain all over again in order to get the level of care I need.

I don't think I have it in me to go through that all over again.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Feeling off

I'm making a lot more progress with my weight loss. Just this past week I've crossed over below 180lbs, which is great! So I had that going for me, I was sore but feeling pretty triumphant. My next weigh in is in 6 days, and I'm hoping it reflects all my hard work. I'm starting to think that reaching 175 by the new year might be attainable after all.

I find myself hurting a lot today though. I didn't even work out yesterday, I ended up watching one of our nephews all day while his mother was at the hospital with her other sister-in-law who having a baby. Said nephew is only 3 months older than V, so they kept me on my toes. I don't think that caused the issue though. It's my back, in the area where my hunch back is (from my scoliosis) and it feels like I need to crack it but it also keeps randomly feeling like ice (to me internally, not to the surface) and tingling, and it's numb... it's kind of hard to explain. It just comes on suddenly, last for a little bit, then mostly dissipates. It started last night, and it hasn't stopped into today. I guess if it keeps up I'll call my doctor tomorrow- maybe I have more nerve inflammation? It kind of sucks. I took some anti-inflammatory medication for now, but that doesn't usually do much. My wrists haven't been the best today either, and it feels reminiscent of my carpal tunnel but it would be awful early for that to be coming back since I just had surgery on both wrists in 2010.

Other than that, I've been feeling kind of nostalgic and my thoughts are running in circles. I'd write a post, but my thoughts keep slipping away from me. Maybe once I can actually pin down my thoughts I'll have something more to write.

Thanks for all the support and understanding on the last post. I really appreciate it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Ignorance is... ignorance.

The other day a family member posted about how she was buying presents for her nephews, and how she thought it would be more fun if there were nieces. She proceeded to say that we should have girls next time, in all capital letters, and tagged A and his other siblings in it.

I don't know if there are adequate words for how this affected me. I know it might not seem like much, but this is just another drop in an already full bucket of gender-biased/taken-for-granted crap.

In all fairness, she is younger than us. However, she's not completely ignorant. She knows, just like all of our family, exactly what we went through. They might not all know the specifics, but they know that we had several miscarriages. They know that we had to utilize fertility treatments. They know it took us four years. They also know I was on bed rest for months and there was a serious risk of losing him.

But hey, whatev's. Apparently a vagina makes a baby more fun.

I get that there is a lot more adorable girly things you can buy. I often find myself cursing the stores for having this huge section of dresses and shoes, accessories and other goodies, then the boy section is... limited. I like buying cute things for my little man, especially an assortment of cute hats, but I don't like having to hunt them down across various stores and the internet. I get that there is a marketing bias. Really.

But this isn't just about a marketing bias. This is a bias that our families have had since before we even conceived V. This is about a blatant disregard for what we went through, a willful ignorance and insensitivity. Furthermore, every single time they bring this up it's like a punch to the gut because I was pregnant four times... who's to say I haven't already had a daughter, and lost her? Who's to say I'll ever be able to have more children? Having one may prove it's possible, but it is not a guarantee. Every time they bring this up, it's a reminder of how different our reality is from their own.

It hurt my husband, having such willful ignorance coming from so close to home. He ignored the tag, rather than have that show up on his profile. I ignored her and didn't comment, preferring to seethe and talk to my friends about it. I needed an outlet, because honestly I've begun to give up correcting our families. No matter how many times we try to explain what we went through, they choose to ignore it. Or rather, conveniently "forget." I'm tired of fighting, tired of explaining, tired of having to constantly remind... but most of all? I'm tired of being ignored.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

11 months!


Well, we only have one more month until he's a year old! It still amazes me, every single day, how much he's grown. We went ahead and did holiday photos the other day, so I could order our cards. That was crazy: the cats kept photo-bombing us, he wouldn't hold still, and he wasn't feeling well in general! If you'll notice the cat under the tree in this one... ahem. Anyway, I'll probably get those mailed around the same time I get his birthday party invites sent out.

As for the not feeling well, he's been pretty upset since Friday. I don't know if it's because he has a tooth ready to cut through, or something else. It's really hard to see him like this though. And cleaning up the mess is... awful. I'll just say he's having digestive issues. I'm trying to keep him hydrated and soothed as best I can. If he isn't better by Thursday the pediatrician's office said to bring him in, so hopefully he'll be better before it comes to that.

When he isn't feeling well he gets super clingy, so I've been cuddling him a lot. It really breaks my heart when he's like this though, he'll only go to sleep snuggling me, while crying/whimpering. Even then it's usually an uneasy sleep. Poor kid.

Otherwise he's doing good. He's taken a few steps; I wouldn't say he's walking yet, but he's definitely experimenting with letting go and taking a step here and there. We're at two consecutive steps in a row before he tumbles down. He's also getting good at letting go and slowly getting down, instead of holding on for stability as he lowers himself from standing. So, gravity... he's learning.

He's interested in the tree, but he's not as interested as the cats. Yet. He mostly ignores it, but he's started trying to touch it. Of course, when he tries to grab it I sternly say, "No. Don't touch." and he promptly cries. Sigh. He has a very strong reaction to me telling him not to go somewhere or touch something, but it does mean he's learned what the words mean. I'd say he listens over half the time. The rest of the time he stops, looks over at me, grins really big, and crawls even faster into disobedience as if to say, "Catch me if you can, mommy!" So, I laugh as I chase him. Which probably sends mixed signals, but it is pretty hilarious.

He waves hello and bye-bye now... sometimes. Usually only to his daddy. I'd say 98% of the time. He's been on a daddy kick lately. He still clings to me a lot, cries when I leave his sight, but his face just lights up when he sees A. Sometimes he excitedly starts babbling and crawls after him as fast as he can. It's adorable.

We still haven't figured out sippy cups... but we'll get there eventually. He can sort of use his sippy, but he's more interested in playing with it. We tried the straw ones but that was even worse. I'm going to buy a couple different brands and experiment around. He's figured out how to use his bath toys to scoop up water and drink the tub water like a cup (sigh) but can't figure out a sippy... maybe I should just try a regular cup? Heh.

Oh, and the cats figured out he's a human. He catches them sometimes, and promptly tries to lick them. He's obsessed with licking the cats. It's. hilarious. Some of the cats are dumb enough to let him get them... I have to run interference (did I use that term right? I am not a sports person!). I do my best to discourage cat licking in this house. Anyway, he certainly keeps me on my toes

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Settling plans

My best friend got engaged the other day, and I am so happy for her. Truly. I've never heard so much happiness in her voice. Of course that means I get to be a bridesmaid. I've never done that before; I'm actually very honored.

Of course, that brings with it considerations for next year, when we were planning on trying to conceive another child. There's a few things to consider, since her wedding will be in late September. And unfortunately it requires a lot of fore-thinking. We have to consider each month we want to try and the possible ramifications for it being successful... or not being successful. I wouldn't want to be due (or too heavily pregnant) at the wedding because of my dress. I also can't be in the first trimester because of my risk for another subchorionic hematoma, and subsequent bed rest. So, that leaves us with TTC mid-March to June, then resuming in early October.

No idea about treatments right now; we're thinking of trying on our own for a couple months. With any luck I'll get a couple post-birth-control-pill rebound cycles. We still need to talk to my reproductive doctor regardless, but that's the plan for now.

I'm okay with this. Waiting is a good idea for a lot of reasons, and I'd already been pushing A to wait. Having to stop and resume, while not ideal, is also probably for the best. Putting it off gives us more time to prepare, for me to lose more weight, for us to do more things that we both want and need to. Maybe I'll get my tattoo for my birthday this year, the rose tattoo for the second loss. Who knows.

I'm good though. I'm happy with this plan. I guess I have a more laid back attitude this time around (either that or it's just because we're not in the thick of it yet). I don't want to let trying swallow me whole again though; I want to accept that whatever happens, happens. Time will tell. I might start singing another tune when things get more real, but for now I have months ahead of me where I can try to focus on other things: like working out more, eating better, a wedding (squee), and spoiling my son rotten.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Novemeber weigh in-

This month I weighed in at 185.2 lbs... I only lost 2.2 lbs. A half inch off my hips and neck, but nothing off my waist. (*sigh*) I have only myself to blame. I will try better to stay within my calories this coming month... I need too. I'm doing pretty good though. I've lost 64.8 lbs total; 41.8 lbs of that is since March of this year. I've went from a size 22 in March, to a size 16 today. Which is amazing. But I'm not going to meet 175 by the end of the year like I'd hoped. Not a chance.

But I think that's okay. I've done really well. I've lost a lot of weight. I'm so much healthier. But I need to buckle down all the same.

 Since March 17, 2012:
Weight lost: 41.8
Inches off hips: 9.5
Inches off waist: 9.5

Saturday, November 10, 2012

This and that-

I haven't been feeling well lately. I'm constantly exhausted, even on the nights where I get enough sleep. I think part of it is that I've been slacking on taking my vitamins. That wouldn't be a big problem, except my diet isn't the most well rounded. I hardly ever get enough protein... or iron, consequently. I try my best to round out my diet, but this is the same problem I had when I was a vegetarian. I'm just not good at eating the things I need... like protein/iron rich foods.

The multivitamins I bought were making me nauseous, so I've bought new ones and started taking all my other good stuff too (extra folic acid for my MTHFR, Inositol for my PCOS) I'm still taking all my regular goodies though, like my Vit D, low dose aspirin, and Metformin. Hopefully taking the multivitamin will help out with feeling so fatigued. I'm going to call my doctor if it keeps up.

I'm still working out like crazy. I do my jog 3x's a week (I increased my speed by half a mile per hour for the last half of my jog), which consists of 2 miles jogging and half a mile walking; then I do a post-run yoga workout to loosen my muscles. I recently increased my plank pose by another 30 seconds, and my arms are feeling it today, ugh. I walk one mile 4 days a week on top of that. I'm eating as many calories as I need to with my workout, with the goal of losing weight. So that should all be good. I have no idea how my weight loss is going this month though because my scale broke... I'll buy a new one before my next weigh in. I don't know if I really want to know. I've been eating pretty bad lately.

I'm still having trouble with my BCPs. These new ones give me a bleed every other week, versus the last few brands that just gave me a 2-2.5wk long bleed. I think I prefer these ones, but a brand that actually worked without breakthrough bleeding would be ideal. I'm so done with these things, they are driving me nuts.

It's going to be a busy next few weeks. The holidays are coming up fast, I still can't believe it's nearly Thanksgiving (less than 2 weeks, yikes). I have a lot of planning/prep to do for Christmas week. I have no idea where the time has gone, but it's really flying by now.

Speaking of which, I made this wreath today because I couldn't help myself. I'm not sure if I'm going to leave it as is or add a bow to it. I kind of like it the way it is. I have a few little projects planned, and a bunch of recipes to try out for my gifts (I always make a box of fudge with other goodies for our siblings/parents). So much to do though.

I've planned out V's birthday party (It's going to be a "Look whoo's turning one!" owl themed), but we still haven't figured out where we're having it. Our house isn't the best location, it's not really big enough for both our families and parking is awful. So we're calling around and trying to see what our options are... we had called around a couple months ago, and thought we found a place, only to learn we wouldn't be able to rent it after all. It was disappointing. So, on with our search.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

No man's land?

I've been thinking about my status in the infertility community lately. I'll be honest, I don't even really know where I stand these days. I guess I'm "parenting after infertility and loss," but that doesn't seem to fit. I don't feel finished. Once we start trying again, what that will make me? Am I just "infertile," where I was once suffering "primary infertility?" According to the definition of secondary infertility, I'll never be that: it requires that your first child was conceived naturally. Definitely not me then. What about my loss issues? Regardless of my PCOS, my loss issues still lump me in the infertility category. Even if I manage to conceive on a natural cycle, it's going to require medical intervention to help me carry to term (if I'm even able to do that again)... so again, I am infertile. There's a lot out there on how it feels to suffer from primary infertility, and secondary infertility, parenting afterward, and even about the decision to live child free. I don't see a lot about the in between. It feels a bit like no man's land.

I spent four years with one major focus: to become a mother. Since I've had V, my thoughts have mostly been centered on parenting and healing. Parenting V "should" be the light at the end of the tunnel, and while it's very rewarding, it's not the end of my journey. At least, I hope so, because I had hoped to parent more children. Infertility might not be a major focus in my life, but it's laid it's roots deep, and it isn't going anywhere.

Now I know, infertility doesn't define me. It doesn't consume every aspect of my life, it doesn't force my hand in every decision, it doesn't determine who I am. But in a lot of ways, it does. How I react to entertainment (whether it's books, television, movies) is influenced by my experiences with infertility and loss. Maybe I would have been upset when the main character finds out she can't have kids, maybe the opening scene to "Up" would have always moved me; but because of my experience, being moved, well, it turns into ugly crying at times. Emotionally I have become both very jaded, and very fragile; it's a weird combination. How we make life decisions is heavily influenced by infertility and my miscarriage factors. We spent a lot of money to have V. That financial setback will take years to recover from. Our finances influence so many aspect of our lives, from career to transport, to the hows and whens of future family building. Even if we managed to get pregnant for "free," we would still be faced with all the expenses and unknowns that come with my miscarriage issues. How we have chosen to parent is influenced by how we grew up, and in some ways by what we went through to become parent in the first place. Maybe it isn't a large part, but there's no way going through what we did wouldn't affect our parenting at all.

So, it's true that infertility doesn't define me; but it did help create me.

As we get closer to the new year, we're left waffling back and forth about what we want to do next. We want to, and plan to, try again in the next year. When exactly is less certain. Do we try in January, do we wait until we've replaced our car, after we file taxes, do we wait until I reach my goal weight, do we wait until after the local shelter's 5K, do we keep putting it off and putting it off until next year... saying, "Maybe next month," but never committing? We want to wait and talk to my RE first, but when do we do that? I'm left hemming and hawing, wanting to move forward and take a risk, but also wanting to stay in this moment where everything feels safe.

It's funny how infertility shouldn't be a big part of my life right now, since I'm "parenting after infertility and loss," but it sure seems to be molding my life regardless.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Alls well that ends well!

V's surgery went well. It was hard to pass him off to the nurse, the wait was a little nerve wrecking  (but manageable), and I had him back in my arms a half hour later. He was really distraught at first, it was kind of heartbreaking how upset the poor guy was! But some mommy cuddles, food, and Tylenol soon soothed him to sleep in my arms. I cuddled him until they did their checks and we were cleared to leave.

They were able to pass the probe through the tear duct with no issues. They were also able to pass the colored saline solution out his duct and through his nose, confirming that the duct is now open. Hopefully it will stay that way, and we won't have to keep worrying about these constant eye infections! He has to have eye antibiotic 3x a day for a week though, and nasal spray 3x a day for 2 days... that will be fun... but after that, we should be in the clear! He goes back for a post-op check-up in about two weeks.

After we got home we all had a long nap, and I'm happy to report we all feel a little more human again. Two hours of sleep does not a functional person make! V got a bit upset as his Tylenol wore off, but I've given him another dose and he should be good now. So today there will be lots of cuddles and dosing of meds, but the doctor said that by tomorrow he should be back to his normal self. I sure hope so anyway!

Thanks for the well wishes everyone. We really appreciated them!

10 months... almost-

We're in for a long night. V's surgery is tomorrow morning, and the poor guy can't have anything after midnight. THE HORROR! It's one thing for an older child or an adult, because we realize we won't be eating after a certain time... but this is V, and all he knows is that mommy usually gives him a bottle between 1-2am. Yeah. We're kind of horrible night owls over here (*hangs head*) In my defense, V and I get up at 8-9am when A leaves for work. We cuddle, he eats, we say good bye to daddy, and then we go back to sleep. Until noon. Heh. I am not a morning person. At all.

So, this is how it comes to bite me in the rear.

(*SIGH*) Poor kid. I stuffed him as full as I could before the clock struck twelve, but I know it wasn't enough. He is NOT going to sleep anytime soon. It's going to be long night. We have to be at the hospital in 6 hours.

I might as well do his 10 month update while we're killing time. He's playing quietly... for now. So, 10 months. WOW. In two months it'll be Christmas, and his birthday, and I should probably get my act together on preparing for all that. Whew.

He is getting very quick at crawling. His monthly photo shoot has turned into a wrangling nightmare. Even with two people, trying to corral that kid is incredibly difficult. I take maybe 100 photos, and only 10 turn out decent. It's still worth it though! I love this kid so much, and I love documenting every milestone.

The one I posted isn't the best by far, but I thought it was adorable anyway. If you can't tell, he's a little raccoon for Halloween this year. We are not going trick-or-treating because he doesn't eat candy or understand the concept, but I did dress him up for a holiday zoo event. I wanted to mark the date somehow!

He pulls himself up on objects very well now. A little too well. He still hasn't discovered balance though, so we're okay. No standing alone or walking yet, haha. I'm sure it's going to happen before we know it though. This kid is determined! He cruises all around stuff all the time now too.

I should probably try to get him to sleep. I don't see it happening, but I might as well dive into the fight now rather than later. I really hope that his surgery goes well. I'm anxious about it, but I'm also not anxious about it. It's a really simple procedure, honestly. BUT since they're knocking him out, and he'll be away from me for a bit, it makes me anxious. He hasn't been away from me (with someone other than A, I mean) since we left the hospital, umm 10 months ago. I'm sure it'll be fine.

I foresee tomorrow being a really rough day though, overall.

Wish us luck.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A stitch in time-

The end of October is a little loaded for me. On one hand, I love Halloween and I have a lot of wonderful nieces and nephews with birthday all thrown together from the 17th until the 28th. Three of them actually; my sister's second son was born that week, my brother's daughter, and my cousin's oldest daughter (we consider her kids to be our nieces too).

I was due that week, once upon a time. It was my second pregnancy. Conceived with Clomid. On my birthday. The one that my body refused to give up, despite the fact that the baby was already gone. That's the one that my old RE treated so callously, telling me that while a pregnancy had occurred he couldn't confirm there was a baby. The one I induced with Cytotec and had to visit several pharmacies before I could find someone to fill it, because the first two thought I was using it for an abortion and treated me as such (I'm looking at you RiteAide. I still haven't forgotten your dopey bitch of an employee.) So, yes, the one that I induced after waiting weeks for my body to do it on it's own. The one where I indured 6 hours of contractions, screaming on my bathroom floor. The one that left me hallow, throbbing, and empty. The one where I saw a gestational sac pass intact but empty.

As far as my old RE was concerned there was no baby. His words, which set the beginning of our failing doctor-patient relationship.

And maybe there wasn't, at least not technically. But there was the start of one, the possibility of one, the hope, the dream that this time, maybe, just maybe, we'd get lucky.

So here's this date, October 22, that rolls around every year surrounded in birthday cards and presents, parties packed with kids. It used to be very heavy. Sometimes it felt like I was suffocating in what could have beens. It never stopped me from attending family gatherings or the children that already existed, but I always took a moment to remember everything that wasn't. I guess this year isn't any exception.

This year, I sat with my mother and talked about V's upcoming birthday, surrounded by screaming kids and beautiful chaos. Yet still, within me, even then was the knowledge of how things should have been otherwise. It's not something that goes away. I'm very bitter about how everything went down, that we didn't know what we do now, that there was nothing we could do with the knowledge we had at the time. I'm bitter about how long it took, how much pain I went through, how much grief the pharmacies put me through. I'm bitter about stuff that happened with my job when I was walking around in a detached daze because I felt so intensely defeated. I'm bitter about the lies my old RE told me, the medicine he gave me instead of the D&E, the pamphlet of bull shit he gave me telling me there was no testing or treatment for first trimester miscarriages. I'm bitter, still, about having to be ushered into the world of recurrent miscarriages, as if infertility wasn't enough somehow.

I'm bitter about losing my baby.

I'm also in love with the life I have been given. I love my son. I love being a stay-at-home mother. If I'd had the other children, I don't know how things would be. I can't reason with their deaths as some people do. I can't say, "Well, if they were here, he wouldn't be," because I don't know that. And even if it was true, it wouldn't make me any less bitter about what happened, or any less sad for what we lost.

My only outlet for my grief anymore is my blog. I hope you don't think I'm depressed or not grateful for what I have, because I'm more grateful because of it (if that's even possible), and while I do still have my depressive funks I am very happy with my life. Sometimes I just need to spit it out though; I need to write through my grief, acknowledge it, and let it go. I find that while my bitterness is less hostile now, it's tame but persistent. My grief is tepid, but still prevalent. It is very much alive. Most of the time it just sleeps with a whimper, but every now and then it howls to remind me what made me who I am today.

I am not the same person that was pregnant all those years ago. Parts of me have been ripped away, stolen, replaced. I feel like a bit of a rag doll, truth be told. Like I spend my days carefully placing stitches and putting myself back together. I'm more or less whole now, but I've still got some healing to do. Writing about what I've been through, letting myself relive it and be angry, or be sad, all of it is just another stitch in the healing process.

So here I am, balling it up, and letting it go again this year.

It's a process.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

October weigh in!

This morning I weighed in at 187.4 lbs; that means since March I've lost 39.6 lbs! Not bad. I lost two inches off my waist this month, one inch off my hips, and 5.6 lbs. I've lost about 16 inches total from my waist since January 2011, and 62.6 lbs.

I've been walking on my non-jogging days, just 30 minutes at 2mph. I've found that the time passes really quickly if I have my headphones in and I've got my Kindle set to an interesting book. On my jogging days I just have my headphones on, I try to find something rhythmic, and I let my mind wander. Sometimes I visualize myself losing the weight, fitting into my goal top, or I let it wander like a kid in a candy store: I plan holiday stuff, birthday parties, reorganization of my house, how I want to refinish something... it's my me time; I take advantage of it! After my run I do yoga to cool down and stretch my muscles, it really helps to stop them from cramping up on me. It feels amazing.

I've been trying to play with my recipes and to try new things. Like for lunch today I made Manicotti, except instead of noodle shells I wrapped it in zucchini. It was lower in calories and carbs than it would have been, and I thought it tasted pretty good. I need to tweak it more, but I think I did alright considering I winged almost all of it.

Since March 17, 2012:
Weight lost: 39.6
Inches off hips: 9
Inches off waist: 9.5
Now I just need to keep going!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

Tonight I'll be lighting a candle at 7pm in honor of the children I've lost, my niece who was still born, and in honor of the children lost by my friends and strangers alike. There are no words to capture the pain and loneliness that comes with losing a child. Tonight, I want you to know that you're not alone. That your children will be remembered.

It's been three years since my last miscarriage, and four and a half since my first... I do have a child now, playing on the floor at my feet. He doesn't erase all that was, or those that were lost. He gives me new hope and strength, but there were three children that came before him and I won't ever forget their presence.

When I went through my miscarriages, I didn't just lose my children. I lost so much more. I lost hope, joy, naivety, friends, family, an entire future of possibilities. When I found out I was pregnant the first time, I smiled. The last time, I cried and cursed, despite going through fertility treatments and knowing that was the goal. The thought of going through another loss was unbearable. Neither my husband or myself could bring ourselves to believe in anything anymore.


I looked out the window today. It's overcast, chilly; the season is turning. The rose bush I planted in honor of my second loss holds it's last bloom of the season. One single, beautiful white rose, trying to hold it's own against the inevitable cold.

I can never get them back. I'll never know who they were destined to be. All I can do is remember them and hold them in my heart. Until the day I die.

Friday, October 12, 2012

"Remember to make time for you"

Many family members have uttered these sentiments to us. They hear that we don't go anywhere without V and their instant platitude is that we should make time for us. I know they mean well, but it only reminds me that they really don't understand us at all. Just because I don't leave the house without my son, doesn't mean that I don't make time for me.

I understand that some people need date nights without their children. I imagine someday we might be one of them. For now, we like staying in and having a quiet night at home. If we go out, we enjoy going to family friendly places, like the bookstore, the mall, restaurants, or the drive-in movies. I do go out on my own every now and then with my friend, but I'm perfectly happy to go everywhere with V.

I think that a lot of them just don't understand since they've never been in the type of situation we have. I'm not just talking about with infertility and the miscarriages, because that's obvious, but I mean in relation to the longevity of a relationship sans-children. My mother and mother-in-law are the ones who most often bring this up, telling me that I need to take time for me, or A and I need to take time for us... and see, both of these women got into relationships and before the first year was out they were pregnant. My mother had her first at 16. My mother-in-law had her first at 18. When I had V, I was already almost 27. A and I had already been together for over 8 years. We had eight years to enjoy each others company. Eight years to go to concerts, movies, have a date night whenever we wanted, to stay out late, to be spontaneous, to do whatever we wanted whenever we wanted. And four of those years the only thing we wanted was to have a baby. We spent half our relationship trying desperately to bring life into this world.

So, you'll have to forgive me if I don't jump on the idea of going out for an evening without my son. I already rode that ride, and quite frankly I wanted off of it a long time ago. My early twenties were hard: we went through infertility and miscarriages while I earned my bachelor's degree, while working part/full-time and doing an internship! I also made time to enjoy my life though, I went out and I did my thing. I have no regrets. I've moved on to the next stage in my life.

For me, I'd rather enjoy my "me time" in the form of a hot bath, a jog on the treadmill with my headphones, playing a video game, or some downtime with a good book. I've always been a bit of a recluse anyway. I chose to be a stay at home mom for a lot of reasons though, and being able to wake up with my son and tackle the day together was one of them.

I understand that a lot of people do want, and even need, date nights though. Just like I totally understand that some women either chose to be, or have to be, working moms. What works for one person doesn't work for every person. My best friend is a single mother, she is very career oriented- it's both a choice, and not a choice. She has to work, but she also takes great pride in her work, she has plans to go places with her career. That works for her. I never did have any career ambition- I just wanted to be a stay at home mother. Neither of us ever questions the others life ambitions; she completely understands me not wanting to go anywhere without the baby. I've only left him to walk a 5K, go to the movies, and maybe a lunch... and I'm okay with that.

Honestly.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Exhaustion at it's finest-

V got the sniffles and seems to have passed them to me. My brain hurts. I think it's more of a head cold, but I don't know. I'm slightly congested, I've had major headaches, and I'm achy. Fatigued.

That's it.

Vincent is cranky, runny nose, coughing a bit... this is the first time he's been sick. Poor kid.

He keeps randomly waking up at 6am... some days he does, some days he doesn't. After only 3 hours of sleep, I really struggle with getting out of bed. Especially when he refuses to go back to sleep, won't eat, doesn't want cuddles, and won't stop screaming (I let him cry for a bit, but when I realized it wasn't going to work and he was coughing, I gave up). He just wanted to play and watch his penguin show. For hours.

I. am. so. exhausted. The other day he settled for watching from me, and then fell asleep on me... of course, as soon as I laid him down all hell broke loose. (*sigh*) Last night, I think we went back to bed and I caught up on most of my sleep, but it's all a blur and I certainly don't feel rested. I wish my husband would help out more when he comes home, especially when he knows I got up with the baby and took him downstairs so that he could sleep since he had to work... but I know he's busy.

I finished my active pills this weekend and got the joys of bad cramps on top of everything. I'm really hoping that next month goes better with them. I have a little more hope for this brand, because I stopped bleeding for a couple days before I started the inactive pills. The other brands I tried didn't even do that much. So, I'm hoping.

I still have to jog tonight. Ugh.

We met with an eye doctor about V's blocked tear duct and they recommended we get the procedure done to fix it. Normally a baby will grow out of the blocked duct, but if they haven't by now the likelihood of it happening is pretty slim. They will put him under general anesthesia, which makes me a little nervous, but the procedure should be very simple and quick. They'll just go in with a prob and clear the passageway, from my understanding. The doctor said the procedure itself just takes a couple minutes.

I've had a lot of serious surgeries in my life, so I know this is actually pretty tame... still, it makes me nervous. I'll be relieved if this works, because he does keep getting eye infections and it does keep getting irritated, but still... there's that worry eating at me. Maybe it's just the helplessness of the situation. I'm not worried, but at the same time this is my baby and the worry is gnawing at me in subtle ways. We go back for the pre-op appointment on the 19th to sign consent papers, then the procedure should be scheduled for the 26th. I'll keep everyone posted on that.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

9 months-

V is getting even more mobile. He spends a lot of time crawling around now, and climbing to stand on furniture. His favorite thing is while in his pack'n'play- he'll pull himself to stand in there, and cruise all around the sides. He's taking steps while holding both our hands now, instead of just standing still.

He's determined to stand on his own, without assistance, but he's really not there yet. He still hasn't figured out how to balance I'm afraid! Which is kind of lucky for me... Taking him places is getting more, umm, interesting because he gets antsy sitting still now and wants to crawl. That doesn't exactly work in a restaurant or the store! I think that's contributed to his hardcore determination to stand, ha.

He's not really interested in feeding himself or gnawing on finger foods still. He has started to get a little better at putting his puffs in his mouth, but that's it. Eh. We'll get there!

He cracks me up so much, always pointing at things and he's always been very vocal while he's concentrating and pointing. He's a very serious baby. Except when mommy tickles him so much that he goes into hysterics. That is one of my favorite duties as a mother.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Another flop-

We decided to try a higher estrogen birth control pill to see if maybe that would prevent the early periods and break through bleeding. I started the new pills 1.5 wks ago... and I'm bleeding again. 1.5wks early. I got to go a whole week without bleeding.

Yay me.

I am beyond frustrated at this point. I really want need to stay on birth control until we're ready to try again. I need to have have a method of prevention I feel comfortable with. I need to prevent cysts and control my PCOS. I want to know when/if I'm going to get a bleed. I want how BCPs are supposed to work, how they used to work for me when I was younger, and not... whatever this is.

I'm stuck with this brand for 3 months, unless I chose to go off it completely. My ob/gyn has been making me stick it out for 3 months since it can take time for someone to adjust to the pill. I really don't think I'm going to adjust, with how things have been going... I guess we'll see. I'll probably give it at least another month.

(*sigh*)

eta: I forgot to add... I've considered calling my RE about it, but it's cheaper to go through my ob/gyn right now. I don't want to pay the big bucks for my RE when I'm just trying to manage my PCOS and prevent pregnancy. So, I'm just going to stick it out for now. I'll probably be seeing my RE in January/February anyway.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Allowing myself to be happy-

Saturday was the first day of autumn, yet I spent a good half hour looking at Christmas pins on Pinterest. Yeah. I admitted it.

Whenever we go to the store, part of me says, "Geeze, this is way too early for this marketing crap! It gets worse every year!" But then part of me is like, "SQUEAL! Let's go look! I just want to look, honest, please humor me?"

I can't remember the last time I was this excited about the yuletide. I mean, I love it and all it's glory. I love the warm fuzzys it brings. But I really grew to hate the get-togethers, the awkward conversations, the babies and constant barrage of fertility, just the IN YOUR FACEness of it all. I really hated the comments and ignorance over our situation.

I remember a month after our third miscarriage, we were dropping off presents to one of A's sisters. She said, "It's too bad you guys don't have kids yet." Which was her attempt to segue into her own plans to try (or geeze, I just realized she was probably already pregnant then). She didn't get that far though due to the awkward silence and sudden tension; she was too excited to notice, but thank goodness her husband did. He changed the subject and shut her down.

Her comment was made out of ignorance, but I still cried my eyes out in a public restaurant directly afterward.

I have mixed emotions about the holidays overall; I'm a very jaded and weathered person now. But the yuletide has sucked me in hardcore this year despite all that. It doesn't help that I'm eagerly planning V's birthday party for the weekend after either. It feels like it's too much awesomeness at times. Like it's too good to be true. I'll actually get to start new family traditions this year. After years and years of waiting, trying, struggling, I actually have a child... it's still surreal.

I still have a lot of sadness. Infertility has made me hard, bitter, and I carry a lot of grief with me- but it doesn't weigh me down anymore. It's not slowly pulling me under and suffocating me.

Parenting after infertility is amazing, and at times it's difficult. I'm supposed to be fixed now, if you didn't get the memo from all my friends and family. I'm not supposed to ever try again, my son is all I'll ever need, and all the years, the lack of support, all the children I lost, shouldn't matter.

Except everything still matters. It all still hurts.

I feel torn in so many directions sometimes. I am so flippantly excited, it doesn't make the pain go away... but damn it, for the first time in years I'm allowing myself to be happy. I'm allowing myself to look forward to tomorrow. I'm allowing myself to picture what it will be like and all the things we're going to do. It feels wonderful. Like I've finally came up for air.

That's not to say I don't still worry about things, or stress. It doesn't mean I don't take a moment to shed a tear over a loss, to take a long look at all the flora we've planted for our lost ones, or to light a candle in remembrance. Sometimes I feel that hallow ache in my chest over what we went through. But, I'm letting myself enjoy today and all it's glory. I cuddled my son to sleep while watching Doctor Who. I sat on the floor with him as he crawled to me. I watched him smile at me as he took my hand. Life continues, with both the bitter and the sweet.

Monday, September 17, 2012

September 17 Weigh In-

Current weight is 193lbs. Total weight lost this month: 4.2lbs. I also lost an inch off both my hips and my waist.

I really could have done better. I ate horrible this month, many days I went over my calories. Heck, I even gained back a pound one week so I had to go ahead and re-lose that! I know I only have myself to blame, but I also know that some progress is better than no progress. There's no use beating myself over it, all I can do is reclaim my motivation and get back on the proverbial horse.

I had a few setbacks related to sweets. The festival came to town and I got my once a year funnel cakes- if it helps, the walk to the festival and back to my house is around 2 miles. So I worked for that funnel cake. I almost burned as many calories getting there and back as were in the actual funnel cake. Which really isn't bad. But then my husband's birthday came up, and now I'm eating cake for breakfast until that's all gone. I refuse to waste good food. Especially something I worked hours and hours on. Besides, I only have cake less than a handful of times a year. You have to live a little, right?

Without all so many distractions, I'm confident that next month will go so much better.

I can't really tell a difference between last month's photo and this months, probably since I didn't lose much, but that's okay. Hopefully next month will show a bigger difference!

Since March 17, 2012: 
Weight lost: 34
Inches off hips: 8
Inches off waist: 7.5

This month puts my total weight lost at around 57lbs, and inches off my waist at around 12-13. Which is really amazing, but I have so much further to go yet!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Another day, another brand-

I ovulated again this last cycle; on cycle day 21. As such I just started a new cycle, and a new brand of birth control pills. I'm really hoping that this brand works better, without 2-3 week bleeds. This brand has a bit higher estrogen, so we'll see.

I'm wasn't counting on ovulating, since my body doesn't really like to do that. It's been almost three months since I stopped the pill, and I could definitely tell that my body was getting more dysfunctional. The first cycle I ovulated earlier (cycle day 16), I had all the signs leading up to it (cervical mucous and ovulation pains), my basal body temperature was nice and high, and stayed sustained quite well. This time, not so much. It took awhile, I didn't have any signs, and while my temperature went up it was shady and didn't stay as raised as it usually would.

I've also felt like crap. I'm sure it's not all the hormones fault though, as my diet has taken a hit and I've been dealing with dizziness among other issues. Regardless, I am very glad to be back on the pill... one less thing to worry about. I fully intend to stay on it until we're ready to try again this time. Whenever that is.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Feeling crafty-

It's my husband's birthday today. He's 8 months younger than me, so I get to gloat my age over him as the year goes by. You know, because I'm older and I know better than him. Heh. We joke about it a lot. So, he finally caught up today!

I spent most of yesterday making his cake. It turned out pretty well, considering that I have no clue what I'm doing when it comes to baking, or cake decorating. It's really not my strong suit. Most of the time I try to make him a cake, it really doesn't work out well. Almost everything I've learned has came from TV cooking shows and the internet. Thank you Google!

Here's his cake this year:

It's from Min.ecraf.t. He plays that game a lot, so I figured I would show him a little love with a themed cake.

It's all edible. Even the Cre.eper on top. I discovered modeling chocolate... and it's amazing! I see more of that in my future. It's incredibly easy to make, and so much fun.

V is wearing his Cre.eper onsie, in keeping with the theme. He's adorable, of course. Not that I'm biased or anything.

I'm sure the cake isn't going to help me meet my weight loss goal this month. I feel like it's kind of shot anyway. I mean, I have lost weight, but it's not as much as I could have lost. It'll be okay though.

It's been so nice to wake up this morning, to say Happy Birthday to my husband, and to have V crawling around while we got ready. I know, it sounds pretty tame, but for anyone that's went through infertility/loss knows... this morning was anything but tame. It filled my heart with joy.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

An Open Book-

I've always been very open about everything I'd been through. From telling close family and friends, blogging about it, sharing on an internet forum, and even talking to strangers when the time is right. Sometimes this has brought further understanding, sometimes I meet someone new who knows what I've went through, often enough I just get comments that relay a lack of understanding. Most of the time, the other person hears me but they never truly listen to what I'm saying. It's hard to keep advocating when every word you say seems to go in one ear and out the other.

This past weekend, I did take a moment and remember that for all the asinine comments I get in return, it's still worth it for those few I reach. I got my hair cut on Saturday and I spent the time talking to my stylist about PCOS and the options out there. She herself had been dealing with it; she actually brought it up. It seemed like she needed someone to talk to, so we passed the time sharing stories about doctors not taking you seriously, and even about our miscarriages. I don't think she's really ever talked to anyone whose been through the infertility ringer. I'm glad I had the chance to let her know she wasn't alone after all.

After that, I woke up the next morning to a message in my inbox from an old co-worker. She had recently been diagnosed with anovulation and needed someone to talk to, she asked for advice. Once again, I was more than happy to share what I know. I haven't heard back from her, but I hope I was able to help.

These are certainly not the first, or I'm sure the last, times that someone has reached out to me. My sister asked for recurrent miscarriage advice for a friend of hers who wasn't getting the help she needed. An old friend from college talked to me about her infertility and how scared she was. I've always shared on the internet, hitting forums and posting on this blog. I like to think in some small way I've given back.

In the beginning I was so lost, and if it wasn't for so many wonderful and patient veterans, I honestly don't know if my son would be here. I don't know if I'd ever have asked the right questions, if I'd ever sought another doctor, I know I wouldn't have heard about my current clinic if I wasn't hitting the forums for references... I'd never even heard of them back then, they were so new!

Neither of those women might have talked to me, or anyone, if I wasn't so open with everything I've went through. If I wasn't posting on FB about the latest articles, sharing my story, openly talking about how my son is my dream come true, maybe people wouldn't reach out to me.

 Infertility is hard to deal with by itself, but so much worse when you feel alone. I'm glad I could help, in my own small way.

Monday, August 27, 2012

8 months-

V is 8 months old today. It's been a crazy month. In the last week alone he's started crawling, trying to crawl up stuff to stand, he got his first tooth, and his second tooth. He also had his first allergic reaction to something he ate; I'm still trying to figure out if it was the blueberries or his peach yogurt melts. He got a rash on his arms and legs from it, so there's that. Ugh. He also got a diaper rash this week, and his eye seems to have gotten irritated/infected again from his clogged duct.

I wish that would clear up already, if it still hasn't by his 9 month appointment we're getting referred to an eye doctor for evaluation. They may have to do a procedure to fix it. It's very frustrating. Every time he needs eye antibiotic he fights us like crazy, so I have the hardest time giving him the ointment.

So, that was just the last week, if that gives you any indication for how things have been! We have our hands full.

He's definitely gotten the hang of sitting on his own, and army crawling. He just started actual crawling, so he's doing a combination of real crawling and scooting right now.

He loves books. He really loves mommy and daddy's books, he really wants to figure out how they work. He's just fascinated by them. He likes his books too, but it's chunky cardboard pages aren't as cool as regular paper pages. Well, the love of books has to start somewhere. Ha.

I still haven't moved him to his crib yet. I'm really in no hurry. I like having him in the room with us, it's easier when he wakes up in the wee hours of the morning (which, with how he's been feeling this past week has been ongoing). I probably should move him sometime in the next couple months... but it'll happen when it happens.

We tried some finger foods... that hasn't gone well. He's not very interested in them, he prefers his purees. When I gave him Puffs or some toast, he generally makes yucky faces and tried to push it out. Eh. He did go to town on some banana when I offered it to him, which was weird because he won't eat mashed banana. He's just not ready for the finger foods, I guess. He still can't figure out sippy cups either, I think we may try a different type.

Regardless, he's growing great and I'm not worried.

I don't know how my baby has gotten so big. He's in 9 months clothes right now, but fits some 12 month clothes too. December feels like it's going to be here before we know it too, which with all the holidays coming up fast it probably will. The end of the year always feels like it just flies by. How is it already the end of August?!

Friday, August 17, 2012

August 17 Weigh in

This month I finally made it below 200lbs... I am so proud of myself!

I've been jogging 2 miles 3-4 times a week, at 3mph. I then walk a half mile to cool down. In the last two weeks I started doing yoga and using my exercise ball on my non-jogging days. It feels good. I always forget how much I enjoy yoga, I mean I remember that it felt nice but I always forget just how much I love it. After my first day of that my arms and chest were killing me, but in a good way. I've worked out the soreness since then, and as long as I don't miss a day I should be good. I like that it's not as intense as the jogging it, it's more relaxing and uses muscles I rarely have occasion to stretch or work otherwise. The ball exercises are simple for now, just crunches squats, and push-ups. Eventually I might add my old extensive workout, but for now this works. It only takes 15-20 minutes, I can do it while V is napping, and it helps clear my tensions.

At my weigh in this morning the scale said 197.2lbs! That is a 29.8lb loss since March, or a 52.8lb loss since January 2011. I lost 7.4lbs this month... so, a little better progress than the last few months even.

Since March 17, 2012:
Weight lost: 29.8lbs
Inches off hips: 7
Inches off waist: 6.5

Since February 7, 2011 I've lost a total of 10.5 inches off my waist. Sometimes I don't feel like I'm getting anywhere, but I definitely am. I just need to keep reminding myself of that.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Minor updates-

- V rediscovered squealing, again, and has been doing it for days now. It's cute, but it's also ear piercingly loud. He just scrreeeeaaammmss... then smiles. He is so silly sometimes. He's also army crawling now, and he figured out how to sit on his own. He's getting so mobile, it's crazy. I have my hands full, in the most awesome way.


- We've been doing a lot of home repairs/cleaning, I'm decluttering and it's exhausting. I can only get so much done while I'm taking care of Mr. Squeally-Pants though. But we're making progress

- The issue with the numbness in my toes resolved with the Prednisone. Thank goodness. I guess if it starts up again, I'll be headed back to the doctor for more. It's very frustrating, but not surprising. My lower back is starting to hurt really bad again, so I might end up going back sooner rather than later. Let's hope not though.

- If you recall, I was taking a month off of birth control pills this month because my body has been acting insane. Not having to worry about them, or a long lasting unexpected bleed, has been pretty nice. I apparently ovulated this past month, I was charting my basal body temperature (we're preventing right now, but I wanted to be aware of what my body was doing)- I think it was around cycle day 16, or it could have been 18. Regardless, I started a new cycle today on cycle day 30.

- It's nice to know that I can function correctly, on occasion.

- I go back to my gynecologist on the 29th, so hopefully I'll be restarting birth control pills then. And hopefully I'll find one that works better for me. I really would like to stay on them until we decide to try to conceive again. I think it will be for the best, as far as keeping my PCOS in check and preventing until then. The fact that I managed to ovulate this month just confirms that for me. I always have better results after being on them for a few months. I might as well stay on them until we're ready in that case. However, if I have issues with every single brand I try... ugh. I'll deal with that if it happens.

- If I keep losing 7lbs a month, I could meet my goal weight by March. How awesome would that be?! Yeah, I'm thinking too far ahead, but darn it- I'm excited. You know whose under 200lbs now? THIS GIRL. Oh yeah! I'll most more details about my weight loss progress on the 17th though, when I give my monthly update. Needless to say, I'm pleased with myself. For the moment. Heh.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Novelty-

Last weekend we went to a birthday party for one of my nieces. While we were there we saw my brother and his family. We went thinking he wouldn't show, because he never does for their birthday parties. We were wrong.

My oldest brother and I have a difficult relationship. There were a lot of things that happened in the past that I'm going to leave there. In the present though, he's said things to me during our struggle with infertility that hurt very badly. After the first miscarriage and our induction to fertility treatments, he told me that he wishes he was infertile. Him and his ex-girlfriend often joked about how we should take their children, then we wouldn't want kids. This was always at family gatherings, Christmas or Thanksgiving... because that's honestly the only time we ever saw them.

So, he came to us as we were leaving and chatted with us. He asked how I was enjoying motherhood, and I said something about how it was wonderful. He proceeded to tell me that the novelty wears off after awhile.

My brother has no clue.

He has two older sisters, one who just adopted, one who suffered a still birth, and then he has me, his little sister... yet he still doesn't grasp that some of us would do anything for our children. He never actually stopped to consider how we might feel. Or maybe he's just projecting his own feelings about his experience, his children were not planned, and came at a bad time in his relationship both times. I know he loves his children, but it makes me wonder if he's harboring some resentment.

See, I don't believe that the novelty of having children ever wears off. I look forward to having another child, god willing, because I would love to do this all over again. I'm excited and planning on things to come, thinking about all the things I want to share with V, places I want to take him, things I want to do with him, experiences I want to share. I didn't go through what I did just because I wanted a baby, I did it because I wanted to be a parent. Yes, I wanted the experience of having a baby, but the things I look forward to the most is experiencing life with him, taking him on trips with us, snuggling while having a movie night, playing board games, camping, building forts, going for bike rides, hiking... getting to know him, and growing with him. To me, this is an amazing time, but there is still so much more to come.

So, no, I don't believe that the novelty is going to wear off. Motherhood isn't perfect, we have our bad days, and it's hard- but I never expected it to be easy. I knew what I was getting into, and I did it anyway, because it's worth it. This is the life I wanted, and I know how close I came to never having it. My son is my dream come true. I know we'll have hardships ahead, that things aren't always going to be so simple, we'll have bad days, and good days... but they'll be our days, and that's all I could ask for.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Unexpected grief-

I was snuggling with V on the couch yesterday. He's getting so big, and with it so mobile. The snuggling doesn't happen often. I was looking at him, and marveling again (like I do everyday) at how perfect he is. From his cute little nose, his mischievous grin, to that glint he gets in his eyes when he chuckles. I thought, "My god, we are so lucky."

And just like that, I got hit with a sudden wave of grief. I just started sobbing. It's the first time I've cried tears of grief in such a long time now. He's so amazing; I can't help but wonder... what would the others have been like?

Most days I don't even think about the miscarriages, except in fleeting thoughts. I don't break down about them anymore. I don't sob hysterically for everything we lost, could still lose, or might never be. Most days, I spend wrapped in the world of V- changing him, feeding him, bathing him, playing with him, keeping him amused, cuddled, close. The rare moments when he naps, I find myself scouring the house. Then, when midnight hits us, we all tumble into bed exhausted. It feels like grief doesn't fit into our new life... but assuredly it does.

Sometimes I feel like I've been neglecting it. Like it's something I should be tending, another pet begging for attention, and getting ignored. Except, it isn't as demanding as it used to be. It asks for less and less of me. It's still there though. Most people can't see it anymore. As if my grief is a specter, living in the chambers of my heart. Hidden within me.

Who would they have been? Did I ever have a daughter, no matter how briefly? What is there left for me to hold on to?

Where else can they exist, if not in my heart.

I cried for a minute, maybe two. V grabbed my face and tried to snatch my glasses. I wiped my eyes, smiled at him, and said, "No."

He giggled.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The talk-

So, A and I had the talk already. We had already decided that waiting 5 years would be too long, I really didn't want to wait that long to decide our next course of action. If we were going to try biologically again, I wanted to plan for that. If we wanted to move on to adoption, I wanted to start planning and saving for that sooner than that. So we said we'd talk about it in the next year or two, and we were like, "Okay, that's cool." Then we both had insomnia the other night, and started talking about it again. We discussed the possibility of another biological child. I said that it might be better to try again in a year or two if we wanted to go that route. I was leaning more toward two years from now, he was thinking more of trying again next year.

It surprised me how enthusiastic he was about trying again. He was really excited about the possibility of having another child, talking about how it would be a friend for V and how awesome it would be. We talked about the benefits of trying again sooner, and the drawbacks. In the back of my head, I was thinking how if things worked out easier this time, it would be nice... but what if it didn't?

Then the next night he held me tight and said, "I really hope we're able to have a baby next year." And things were more sombre.

Having V is wonderful. He is the highlight of my day. But, having more children is something I always wanted too. A and I always said we wanted two children, although I used to try and coax him into the idea of three. That was before infertility and the losses. I still want more children though, I just worry about how everything might affect V: the cost of treatments, the cost of pregnancy, my physical state, and my emotional well-being.

Before we had him, it was easy for us to risk everything. Now, it's not so simple.

The other problem here is that I feel like we've deluded ourselves into thinking it will happen. I mean, we know it could happen, V is proof of that. But the four years we struggled, not to mention the three miscarriages we went through, are proof that the odds are not in our favor. We don't really know what worked this time, when nothing worked the first three times. We don't know if it was the Thyroid medication, the Lovenox, the Progesterone, the cycle itself, or what exactly! We don't know why the SCH developed with such vengeance, but we do know I have a high chance of it happening again. The first half of my pregnancy with V was hell. The last half lulled me into a false sense of security, it was so normal.

If we're totally honest here, it was my successful pregnancy that was the fluke- not my miscarriages or failed cycles. I only carried 25% of my pregnancies to term. For most women, that statistic works the other way around. And I know that. I know it so well. But now I know that it's possible. I know I can carry a baby to term. I've done it once, but.. that by no way guarantees that I can do it again.

That's where the rational part of my brain sits. I'm afraid that it might not be possible. I'm afraid that if we wait too long, we could lose our window. I'm afraid that it could take years and years all over again.

I really want another child though. It isn't the same as our need was before.The thought of failing hurts, but it's not like it was before. The need for immediate success isn't as powerful. But it's there in my heart, the desire to do this again despite the fear and hardships.

So, we talked. And we tentatively decided that sometime next year, we'll try again. We won't do as many cycles, we won't be as wrapped up in trying, but we want to try again.

Friday, July 27, 2012

7 months-

Well, my little guy is 7 months today. It's amazing how fast he's growing. We're having eating/sleep issues, issues with him pinching and kicking me too, but we also have cuddles and laughter... there's really nothing better.

He gets on his hands and knees now, mostly he just rocks back and forth when he does that. He's trying to figure out how to move forward, and I have a feeling it won't be much longer... then he'll be crawling and I'll be chasing him everywhere. Oh, and he discovered the joys of hitting his toys on surfaces for that nice "bang" sound.

He LOVES petting the cats. I think that his biggest motivator towards crawling is his desire to catch them. Toys? Pfft. Oh look, there's a kitty! Only one of the cats likes him though, poor kid!

I'm still making his baby food, that seems to be going well. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen preparing healthy meals for us and for him, and it feels good. It's definitely cheaper to make his food this way. Of course, he'll be moving on to thicker stuff soon, and things to chew. Yikes.

I held him today and it just hit me how large he is now. He's so much heavier, and longer... a huge difference from that small baby I brought home. I have to put away his 6 month clothes tonight because they're getting too snug... the 9 month stuff fits him perfect. His swing is getting packed up too, since he's outgrown it. He uses his Jumparoo a lot now anyway. He's going to outgrow his infant car seat soon too, so we we're on the hunt for a convertible one. It's just as well, he's getting heavy and he's started sitting up in the grocery cart and using high chairs in restaurants anyway.

He rolls over all the time in his sleep. He likes sleeping face down or on his side, and it scares the hell out of me. I know there's nothing I can do about it, and the risk of SIDS is lower now, but it still scares me. I flip him back, then he flips back... repeat. Hopeless. The side sleeping I can deal with, but when he lays on his belly he likes to lay face down (like his father, I might add). I don't like it. (*sigh*)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Saying good bye to an era-

For a very long time, I've had dogs. Specifically, two special dogs in my life. When I was young, we were given Babies by my grandmother, he was already a year or two old. When I was 14, my mother got me a wonderful black lab puppy, and I named her Pokey. She was my girl. On December 28 last year, she turned 13. In February, we had to say goodbye.

Today we said goodbye to our other dog, the old grumpy man. He was 16. We often joked about him living forever, because despite the years nothing seemed to slow him down. It's true that his face has turned white with age, but his spirit was still that of a pup (a very disobedient and ornery pup, albeit). But, despite his spirit, his body was slowly failing him. He was 16 after all.

Having senior dogs hasn't been easy. I missed the days when they were young, when they could get around with ease, when they weren't in pain, when they weren't incontinent, when they still played chase with us. I loved the docile nature that age brought with it, the sleeping at my feet, or resting their heads on my lap at peace, staying near me just to be near me. It was different, but it was nice too. If it wasn't for their bodies failing them.

In some ways, losing them hasn't been as hard as it could have been. I take comfort in the fact that they lived long and wonderful lives. They chased horses and squirrels. They swam in lakes and ponds. They ran in fields and woodlands. They ate pig ears and cookies, snuck into the trash, and chewed up their fair share of children's toy! They lived the stereotype of what a dog should do. They lived their lives to the fullest. And for that, I am so thankful.

It's weird coming home to a house devoid of barking. To see the food bowl sitting, with food still in it that will probably never be eaten (the cats have taken a liking to dog food, so we won't count that out). But what I'm saying is, to a bowl that he will never eat from again. That she will never fight with him about again. That will never be used by our dogs again. It's been such a huge era of my life, and now it's gone.

It's true, I could get another dog. But I don't want another dog. I want my dogs, I want them how they were when they were young and full of spunk. I want them when they were at the height of their youth, bursting with excitement and love. I want them when they weren't in pain. When they weren't suffering the effects of old age. I want them from when getting up and down wasn't a chore, but a given. I want them back the way they used to be.

Someday we will get another dog, but not now or anytime soon. The last few years have been so hard. It's one of those things you don't really think of when you get a puppy. You don't imagine how hard it's going to be when they can't get around anymore, when they can't control themselves anymore, or how hard it's going to be to say goodbye.



Rest well my sweet puppies.
I'll always miss you.

Blurbs-

Since I stopped the birth control pills it didn't take long for the bleeding to stop. Funny how that works. When I stay on them I keep bleeding for as long as the pack is, but I stop them and BAM it's okay. Thank goodness for small favors.

I'm getting really close to 200lbs, just a couple of pounds to go. I'm really excited about this... which sounds ridiculous, I mean how off is it to be excited to be 200lbs? Well, it is for me. And I'm going to jump for joy when I get to 199lbs too. It might not seem like big milestones, but they mean a lot to me. When I reach 200lbs that will mean I've lost 50lbs total, and I'm halfway to my goal of 150lbs. I am counting down the days!

I've been thinking of starting another blog for focusing solely on weight loss stuff. I'm trying a Wordpress blog for now, but I'm not sure I'm going to stick with it. I don't like the format as much as Blogger, and it doesn't always do what I want it to for some reason. It's just kind of frustrating me. I wanted something separate though, because I wanted to post more personal stuff and photos. I'm afraid to post stuff on here sometimes because I want this is private from my family, it's always allowed me to really vent and work out my emotions/reactions in an open space and get feedback. During the heart of my journey that was really important, and it still is. But for my weight loss blog I wanted more freedom, I wanted it to be in the open. Anyway, I'm over here (for now) if anyone wants to check it out.

I'll still be posting some stuff on here, like my monthly updates, and little things here and there, especially as it pertains to my PCOS. But the new blog will allow me to post about more health related topics, updates, stuff to keep me motivated.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

July weigh in-

Last week I slacked off pretty badly from my workout and calorie restrictions. A was on vacation and we were running around a lot, so I feel bloated and out of shape. The scale hasn't shown a huge setback for my slip up though (so far) so I need to just get back on the horse. Especially with the jogging, because I paid for my slacking when I got back on there Sunday. I only missed one jog last week, but it was enough to make that jog feel like an impossible feat. Ugh.

I finally bought new shorts. First of all, a little rant. I had to shop at 4 different stores before I found a single pair of shorts in my size. They all told me they got their summer clothes in March, and that they start getting fall clothing in June. Okay, but that's just ridiculous. They stop carrying summer clothes before summer even begins! Seriously, we have two months left of summer and shorts are a rare commidity. The heat index today is supposed to be 104, and we've had this same weather for the last month (drought, extreme high temperature and humidity) and it doesn't have an end in sight! But, no, we totally need to start buying winter boots RIGHT NOW.

They told me I should have bought them in March... I did buy some in March, but I lost weight since then and they don't fit anymore. So, argument fail?

Anyway, I was lucky and found a couple pairs on clearance, that were actually in my size. I felt pretty good in the dressing room. I started in a size 22 in March, and now I'm in a size 18. WOOT! It was a pretty nice ego boost. It's been a hell of a long time since I've fit into a size 18... a good 7 years. I'm smaller than I was on my wedding day now. Not bad! Now if I can just keep going.

I weighed 211 last month, this morning I weighed in at 204.6lbs. So that makes a 6.4lb loss this month.

Since March 17, 2012:
Weight loss: 22.4lbs
Inches off hips: 5
Inches off waist: 4.5