Monday, January 30, 2012

Birthday rambling-

So today's my birthday, and baby boy turned one month on the 27th. It's been a crazy year. It was really trying at times, but it ended on such a happy note.

It's strange how insignificant my birthday is this year. Past years, I tried to blot out the pain of infertility and loss by packing it full of plans. I made sure to fill it with people and places that would make me smile, because I knew that by the end of the night I'd probably cry. This year, I've known it was coming up but there are no plans. I'm content with letting my birthday pass unacknowledged.

Past years, it was very difficult. I spent four birthdays with infertility. Three years ago on my birthday I ovulated, which resulted in a pregnancy that ended in a miscarriage. I've thought of that baby on my birthday every year since then. That was the farthest I'd made it before V. That one was the most traumatizing.

This year, I definitely count my good fortune. V is here, alive and well, and he gave me the most beautiful smiles this morning. I think the most I could ask for today is some more sleep, especially since he's been cluster feeding all weekend. But on the list of things to want, that's pretty awesome from where I'm sitting.

Friday, January 20, 2012


I don't have much downtime right now- we're still trying to orchestrate some sort of a balance. We're getting there though.

Next week is going to be super busy: I have my post-op appointment with the OB, we're going to visit my RE (Dr. J) so she can meet V, and V has his one month appointment. Yeah, I can not believe it's already been almost a month now since we had him.

I am very excited about visiting Dr. J, and her nurse L. L called me after they got the birth announcement in the mail and wanted us to stop in; she was so sweet. We owe Dr. J so much. I mean, most doctors just do their thing and it's really just business, but she really went above and beyond for us. There aren't words enough to express how grateful we are for her.

As for my OB appointment... I am really hoping things are finally healing well. I finished my antibiotics, and I think my Cellulitus has cleared up (but maybe not all of it, some skin near the incision seems iffy to me). I haven't had a fever for awhile though, and my Mastitis is cleared up. As of yesterday I'm no longer oozing yellow liquid from my incision, so I suppose that's good. Swelling has went down too, so that's great. The clothes that fit me directly after the c-section hardly fit anymore because of the swelling from the Cellulitus... it was pretty bad. My incision is pretty uncomfortable, I'm still really sore, and I still can't get around very well. Which, as everyone keeps reminding me, is to be expected since I did have major abdominal surgery. But, I'm healing. It's a process.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Everyone has little rituals they perform. Little things that carry huge weight for ourselves, but might not for others.

I have had a pregnancy ritual. Each pregnancy I took my pregnancy tests, and then I tucked them away in the bathroom. I kept them, staring at them sometimes for confirmation, or to compare them to the next test I'd taken.

When I lost my pregnancies, the ritual continued with me tossing all those tests in the trash. My heart heavy with loss, and feeling empty; I kept photos of the tests, but I needed to physically throw the tests out. It was a part of my grieving process.

This last pregnancy, I kept the tests. When things started going well, I considered throwing the tests out. But I couldn't. It wasn't exactly superstition, but I just could not get past the mental block of throwing them out. Throwing them out meant the pregnancy was over. And it wasn't over, not yet. I was only on the foothills of a mountain, and I still had miles to climb.

Today, I remembered that those tests are still in there. And I'm going to throw them out finally. It's still sad to toss them, because that means that this pregnancy really is over. And probably all pregnancies for me, since we don't plan on trying again (even if we change our mind, it won't be for years)- so it feels very final. But at the same time, so uplifting because I have a child now. I actually have a son. This leg of my journey is over- I stand at the top of the mountain, and I can look down and see all the land I've covered, obstacles I've overcame, and I can let part of that go now.

But only part.

Infertility is always going to be a part of who I am. I will always be infertile, from my PCOS to my miscarriage risks. I will always be a mother who has four children, but only one living. The other three left unspoken, hanging in the air between conversations, etched forever into my soul. I will be the mother with the tattoos for those that have gone before me, mementos scattered throughout my house, and the knowledge that nothing will ever be the same. I went through hell, and I kept going. That leaves a mark upon a person, invisible to the naked eye. As much as I just want to live, I have my own demons to deal with, grief that begs me to tend it's needs, and memories that haunt me. I am not saint, I am not as strong as some, and my battle has not been as hard as others- but it has weight, and I've had to incorporate it into my daily life.

It will always be a part of me.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Still healing-

Well, I got my fever down Saturday finally. I kept it down with my fever reducing medications, and still felt like someone ran me over with a truck. Okay, that may be a bit dramatic. Maybe a small truck... or an El Camino.

Point is, I feel like crap still. But my fever is down now (even without meds!). It hasn't went above 99.4F all day. A big section of my incision started oozing yellow crap yesterday. Yuck. I'm told this is probably normal, and may be a good thing? My clothes got soaked through, and it was disgusting. Then today, two new spots on my incision started oozing as well. Bring on the nastiness.

So, I'm going back to my OB on Wednesday to access my oozing. I just find it odd that almost 2 weeks out from my surgery, it just now starts oozing. I mean, they told me that oozing could be normal as it heals... but at this point my steri-stip things should be falling off and it should be healed (well, at least closed). So I'm a bit confused. The nurse did say it could be because of the infection, which is why it could be good, since that means it's getting the nasty stuff out from the infection. I don't know. I do know I'll feel better if I have my OB look at it just the same.

The skin affected by my Cellulitus is still very red, very painful, hot, and starting to peel some. I personally don't see any improvement there so far. It's still early, but I would hope for some progress.

My Mastitis seems to have cleared up some. The right side of my breast isn't bright red, swollen, or painful anymore. Hooray for small victories!

V- is doing well. He had his appointment the other day, and he's gained back his birth weight already... so he's almost 9lbs again. His umbilical cord fell off last night, and he's 2 weeks old tomorrow.

I really don't know how that happened... I blame the sleepless, restless, and often pain reliever induced daze I've been in. It makes me sad that time is passing so quickly. I feel like I'm missing out because of my extended recovery. A- has been on vacation, so he's been here helping out. I wish I didn't have to rely on him so much because I want to do so much more for V-, but physically am unable to. I hate being so helpless. It's like being on bed rest all over again. But, at the same time I'm glad he's gotten this time with V- before returning to work. He's a great father, and I love watching him cuddle our son. Unfortunately, A- has to go back to work tomorrow... I have a sad. I'm going to miss him around here, and all the help he gives me.

And to my followers, I just want to let you know I understand if you feel the need to unfollow now that my blog is changing. I know that sometimes it gets too difficult to keep following sometimes because of the transition of "infertile blogger" to "parenting after infertility blogger". I want you to know that I have enjoyed your comments, your support, and I wish you luck and all the best in life.

I still haven't figured out how I'm going to transition, right now I'm just going with it. Infertility is still very much a part of my life, as well as our losses- especially since we have decided we are not likely ever to try for another child biologically (we'll revisit in 5 years, but for now our consensus is no- I guess more on that later). So where does that leave us... I don't know. Right now, we want to enjoy our son. Maybe someday we will brave the storm of fertility treatments and the risk of loss again, or maybe we'll go for adoption as we'd planned... but for now, we just want to enjoy this moment.

Now, since V- is still fast asleep in his bassinet, I'm going to sneak a moment to grab a snack (or rather, send A- to fetch me something). I should probably take some pain meds too, I'm starting to get really sore again... ugh.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Quick update becaues I feel like crap-

I went to see my OB today. Apparently I've developed Cellulitus (a bacterial skin infection) above my incision. I started antibiotics today, but it will take time for them to start working. Meanwhile, I've been battling a fever of 103F all day. I feel like crap.

I may also have Mastitis (an infection of the breast). Luckily, if I do, the same antibiotic I'm on for the Cellulitus should cover it as well.

I feel like I'm falling apart. I can't function. I feel like throwing up. I'm getting bad chills, then too hot, then shaking uncontrollably. If my fever doesn't go down by tomorrow, they told me to call the on-call doctor for evaluation, and that I'd definitely have to come back in Monday. We're hoping the antibiotics kick in soon though, she said it may take 48 hours.

It's going to be a long weekend :(

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Appointments and such-

V- has his first appointment today. We'll see how that goes. I can't believe he's over a week old; I have no clue where the time has gone.

I don't even know what day it is half the time, I feel like I'm always half in/half out of the world- I'm sort of in my own little bubble right now. I am so behind on my blog reader, and I do apologize. I will get caught up one of these days :(

I have to go back to the OB's tomorrow to get checked out. We just want to make sure my incision isn't infected, due to the fever and it being a bit swollen/red/warm to the touch. It's probably fine, but I'd rather have it checked out just the same.

I think we've figured out the issue with breastfeeding. I seem to have an overactive letdown, so we're trying to work on that. We're giving pumped bottles a lot, and I don't want to set a trend, but right now it's just so much easier on my breasts and we aren't as frustrated. It's a continuing work in progress. I thought it might be challenging, so I was prepared for that, but I guess I didn't expect just how challenging it would be. Thank goodness for online forums and websites, because that breastfeeding 101 class I took was completely useless. I have the option to contact the lactation consultants at the hospital, and they have a free phone consultation line, so I may be hitting them up again sometime here soon if my changes don't work out. So far they seem to be helping though.

So far none of our siblings have came out to see the baby. Or even asked about it. FIL asked when we were going to stop out and see them so they could meet V-, and I was like "Ha, as if." Sorry, but I just had a c-section, I feel like total crap, I'm trying to establish breast feeding, and after they had their children we stopped out at all their houses to visit with them... soooo, if they can't spare the time to come out and visit us, that's their loss. Why would you seriously expect me to go out and visit all 4 of his siblings so they could meet our baby? I am baffled, honestly.

My sister is upset about not being able to visit, but she lives on the other side of the country and is unable to visit right now for a variety of reasons. She does keep up with me on the phone though, and through FB; she's rather enjoying all the photos I keep posting/sending her. Sometimes my sister and I don't get along, but I love her and sometimes I really miss her. We talked for a bit the other night how how it felt to finally bring him home alive, after such a long wait, and it's a feeling we both share. It was nice to be able to talk to her about everything.

I finally started filling out the baby book the other night. I had bought it at 24 weeks when we went out shopping to celebrate. I hadn't touched it since then though; I was too afraid too. Some of the questions were hard to answer, because we had to decide how we wanted to word things. We didn't want to glaze over the truth about how scared we were, and how tough things were, but we also didn't want it to be brutally honest. We have many truths to our stories, and depending on how we tell them... they're all true, but they can be interpreted differently I guess.

For instance, when it asked how we felt when we found out that we were pregnant... it asked about our first reaction. Honestly, the first thing I did was say, "Oh shit. Here we go again," because I was already spotting/starting to bleed and I'd already had three miscarriages. I was terrified, I wanted him so badly but I was so so scared of losing him. But I didn't want to put that in his baby book, I put something like, "We were excited but terrified. We'd tried for so long, and been through so much, that we were scared of losing you." Both statements are true, but obviously one sounds better in the context of a child's memory book. I don't think there's any right or wrong way to fill them out, but that's how we wanted to do things. We didn't want him to think it was all sadness and terror, because it wasn't (although they were prevailing emotions) but those emotions, everything we felt, all stemmed from how much we wanted him, and how much we loved him already- all the fear, the excitement, the anxiousness, the apprehension, and the joy, was because of our love for him. But it's hard to put that across in answers to one liner questions.

It also brought up a lot of memories and emotions. But it was good. I'm glad I've started working on it. I've found so much joy in finally filling out such a little book.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Frustrating, but hilarious-

As we continue with our struggle to breast feed, V- has decided to be picky about when he'll take it. The middle of the night? Usually no issues just giving him the breast. During the day? He prefers I pump and give him a bottle. Now that I'm healing a bit, so it hurts less to nurse, I'm trying to give him the breast all the time. He is so not having it. I do not understand how he can take it with so little fuss at times, but at other times throw a giant fit. I mean, hysterics, flailing his arms, wailing, grabbing at me when I try to get it near him, blocking it from going in his mouth, smacking it away, full blown tantrum. He gets hungry and frustrated, I get that. But he knows that there's food in there... I'm guessing he's just too lazy to want it from there when he's like that, since he knows he can get it from the bottle so much easier. Just a guess, since I'm obviously new to this.

Well, tonight he did not want the breast. Again. But I tried diligently to get him to take it... apparently I really needed to empty them because I accidentally started squirting milk everywhere when I tried to aim it at his mouth. So milk was flying through the air an inch from his face, a couple of times it flew straight into his mouth... the tantrum continued. I proceeded to leek milk all over the bed, and on the other side I leaked through my breast pad and all down the entire front of my nursing tank. Awesome. That's all I've got to say. There was milk everywhere, all over both of us. And he still didn't want to take the breast, even though he was showing all the signs of being hungry, it was time to feed again, and he was rooting like crazy. He eventually took it... but man, what a mess!!!

Meanwhile I had a slight fever, so we were combating that. I was not feeling good, and was trying to keep an eye on things because due to the c-section if I have a fever of 101 or higher I need to see a doctor, but my temperature stayed at 100.5 and it's normal now... so I don't know what was going on, but I was NOT feeling well. I'm going to keep taking my temperature, but hopefully it was just a fluke thing?

Baby boy has his first appointment on Thursday, I'm anxious for that. I worry about him eating enough, since we're struggling with breast feeding and pumping. Speaking of which, I should probably get off here to pump again. V-'s fussing in his bassinet, he was fighting sleep but now he's got the hiccups... poor little guy. He's never going to go to sleep at this rate. And neither will I, now that I think of it :/

Still... I wouldn't trade this for the world.