Monday, January 24, 2011

And...the Infertility Dance Begins Again...

So I had THE moment. The moment I haven't had in over a year and a half. The moment I thought I wouldn't have, now that we have a child. Well, I was wrong.

So this is how it went. Last weekend, Dan, Alex and I went to our friends' son's second birthday party. I was sitting with two women and we were all talking. Nothing too serious or big-just comparing stories and "war wounds", talking about being pregnant and giving birth. Talking about kids that love eating, kids that won't eat (like mine), tantrums, time-outs. Basically, just discussing kids. Now, both women have two kids. So one turns to me and says something like, "Oh, so is number two on the horizon for you guys anytime soon"? 

Now, this is a question I am prepared for, one that doesn't bug me as I give the standard reply, which is, "Oh, maybe some time soon...we aren't sure". I have become very good at this response, as it was the same one that I gave when talking about having a first child. However, back then, once alone, the question usually had me careening into tears. Fortunately, that has changed since having a baby-thank you Alexandra!

So yes, I was prepared for that conversation. What I was not prepared for was for one of the women to ask, "Oh, well how long did it take you for Alex? Because if you want them close in age, you may want to start soon". Ok. Thanks for putting the pressure on. Oh, and thanks for also putting into words one of my fears-that I either won't get pregnant or that my kids will be super far apart. Thanks for that. What light-hearted conversation to have at a two year old's birthday party.

But seriously, who asks that question? I mean, if there ever was a loaded question, that would have to be it. So I, usually so quick with a good line or comeback, stood there gaping-completely uncomfortable that a woman that I didn't know well actually asked the big "No No" question of..."how long did it take". I mean, really, who does that? So I answered truthfully. In part because I was thrown for a loop, and also because I am trying to be more honest about my experiences.

Well, what did I get in return....THE look! Any infertile woman knows what I'm talking about. That look on someone else's face-usually a fertile woman-that is a cross between pity and absolute elation that they are, in fact, fertile and not in the same crappy position. Then, invariably, they want to hear your story and fix looks of intense concentration on your story. Which wouldn't be so bad, except the pity always seems to stay there. And if there's anything I hate, is that pity.

I hope I don't sound bitter. Because I have no reason to be. I have a wonderful husband, a beautiful child, a great job, a house, a loving family. Seriously...we have a great life. Yes, I have had struggles, but everyone does. Everyone has a different story, a cross to bare. This is my struggle, my story. I guess I was just surprised at how the moment brought all those old feelings back, the feelings of inadequacy. The shame at having fertility issues, the secrecy, the worry that people would feel sorry for me. The "what ifs".

And it makes me wonder about the day, again, when (God willing) our family is complete. When I don't have to plan everything around medications and procedures. When I don't have to wonder how and/or if we will have another child. When infertility will be something I DEALT with (past tense), but not be a part of our new story, our family story. What will that feel like when infertility is no longer a *real* part of our lives? I truly hope that I will get to find out....

Alexandra's Birthday, Party Deux!

So we had birthday party number two for our lucky little girl! It was c.h.a.o.s. But fun chaos! I suppose any kid party will be like that-especially when all the kids attending are 3 1/2 and under! Seriously though-it was a great time. I loved how loud and random and crazy the whole thing was, complete with intermittent melt-downs and scuffles over toys. Alex received some great presents: a bunch of beautiful books-including the 50th anniversary book of "Harry the Dirty Dog" (which was one of MY favorites as a young child)-some clothes, a pink swing for the spring and summer, a tea set and a beautiful wooden doll-house type of storage thingy, to name a few. What a great time!

 Some of the kids...chowing down!

 Alexandra playing with her cousin, Reese

 My little monkey...scratched herself earlier that day :(

 Daddy throwing her in the air...look at her tutu <3

 Playing with her cousin, Rylee. What a good sharer!

 Present time!

 More pressies...momma and the other kids trying to help open the big gift

 Loooove this cake!

 She had fun...until she wiped it all over here face!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Best Day of My Life....

Hands down, the best day of my life was a year ago today...the day Alexandra came into this world. My long awaited, long prayed for, long toiled for child. That whole day feels so surreal now. It was a long induction. I went into the hospital on Friday-they started the Cervidil and we waited. On Saturday, they began the Pitocin. And we waited. And waited. It became evident that Alex was not going to be born that day. The Pitocin was not doing its job-no matter how high the dose! Dan and my parents tried to distract me as much as possible. We watched movies, read books, played on our laptops. I updated JM and Facebook, we had visitors.

The doctor came in that night and told me that, one way or another, we would be having a baby the next day. I think reality hit me then and I began to get nervous (and excited). This was really happening!!! This day, which I feared would never come, was coming! All the tears and heartache and anger...and we were finally getting our baby. It was almost too good to be true. I prayed that everything would go well, that Alex would be delivered safe and sound. Then the nurse gave me some very mild sleeping pills-because heck-there was no way I was sleeping after getting that bit of news-and I zonked out.

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

I woke up pretty early. Dan had spent the night on the pull out sofa/chair thing. I couldn't have any breakfast until after the doctor checked me. If I had not dilated at all during the night (I was at zero despite a whole day of Pitocin), then they would do a C-section (at this point I didn't care how she came out-as long as she did come out!). If I was dilated even a little bit, they would try to break my water to trigger labor. Well....after 24 hour of Pitocin....I was at 1 centimeter! I still have to laugh, only 1cm after all that time. Alexandra was stubborn that's for sure.

Around noon, the doctor broke my water and announced that it was clear, good sign. Almost immediately after breaking it, I had super intense contractions. I felt like my pelvis was going to break apart into pieces. I was SO not prepared for the pain. Especially because there was no build up...the contractions started out very intense. My parents were there and I remember my dad looking more and more uncomfortable as I really began having a hard time. Poor guy-no one wants to see their kids in pain...even if they are 29 and having their own child.

I begged for an epidural once I hit 2cm. It took the anesthesiologist THREE tries to get it in!!! And the whole time, I was having incredible contractions-which made staying still while the needle went in super hard. After the epi, it was just a haze for hours. I really don't remember much, though I know I was awake. I remember feeling a lot of pressure as Alexandra descended. I remember the nurse coming into the room to have me move onto my side because they could tell from her heart rate that her cord was getting compressed in the birth canal. Thankfully, it went back up to normal upon changing positions.

And then it was time. It took me 5 hours to go from 1cm to 10cm. It took a half hour of pushing, with Dan and my mom in the room. And at 5:55 pm on January 17, 2010, Alexandra took her first breath of air. I remember just wanting to hear her, to really hear her for the first time. To know she was ok. And I can't describe the experience. It was just a miracle. The whole day, that moment. I had no idea what it would feel like. And I still cannot describe it. It changed me, gave me a whole new purpose in life. We fell in love with the little person we created, and I can't imagine there is anything in the world that we wouldn't do for her. I can only hope and pray that we are blessed to be able to go through the experience again and that we have two happy and healthy children! Happy First Birthday, Alexandra Eva!!!!

 Alexandra first time seeing her!

 Proud daddy

Proud grandparents

One year later...walking with her dino. Amazing how fast things change!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Alexandra's Birthday Party (Party 1)

Yesterday, we had Alex's first birthday party (even though she isn't technically one until tomorrow). I know it sounds so cliched, but I just don't know where the time has gone?! I'll be honest, it didn't always go so fast. You know, the first few months, when Dan and I had NO sleep...that part definitely DID NOT fly by. But it seems like once she hit four or so months-it took off!

Anyway, here are some of the pics from yesterday's festivities. Alex had a GREAT time, despite being cranky earlier in the day from massive amounts of teething. This was party number was small: my parents, my Godmother and God father, aunt and uncle. Next week will be the bigger party. Lol...two parties for a one year old...craziness! But, as I mentioned earlier, we had to do it this way because my parents are leaving for Florida today for a few months, and Dan's parents don't fly in from Australia until Wednesday. Given the fact that they miss a lot, we didn't want them to miss this too. Ok...picture time.... birthday girl

She LOVED her Mega Bloks pirate ship!

Cake time!

Pretty much drugged off of frosting here!

Birthday girl in her Hello Kitty princess dress

The girl loves her clothes!

Thanks to my mom...who made homemade sauce to go with the stuffed shells, and homemade meatballs

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Updates Updates Updates

Went back to work this past week-and boy am I glad that tomorrow is Friday! I hated leaving Alex again after having a whole week off with her. In fact, I basically had a melt-down the night before. Ugh, I hate leaving her. The perfect scenario would be if I could work my job part-time (3 days/week) and still get all the school holidays and summers off. That would just be awesome. I would still get to spend the majority of my days with Alex, but still be able to get that adult interaction. Oh well, it's a moot point. My bosses/supervisors would laugh me out of the building if I brought it up! I guess I just need to be grateful that I work basically half a year and get GREAT benefits for infertility. That is definitely one HUGE upside!!! But let the craziness begin. From now until April/May, my days at work will consist of evaluations and counseling-pretty much back-to-back. Oh, and throw in a few crisis interventions too. Guess the rest of the year will go fast though!

So other cousin (I believe I mentioned her in this blog) lost one of her triplets :( She did IVF, which is how she ended up with trips (she has pcos and her hubby has severe male factor issues). She found out at her 13 week appointment that baby A stopped developing at about 10 weeks. Apparently, this is a common time for miscarriage to occur. We all feel very bad for her. I think the idea of triplets originally shocked her, but then she saw the heartbeats and the ultrasounds...I'm sure she really wanted and loved that baby-despite how risky carrying triplets could be. I'm praying she is able to carry the remaining two to full-term and that they are healthy.

In other fertility news...Veronica, Dan's sister, is now 10 weeks pregnant and just had an ultrasound. Her little bean is looking great and is measuring right on! Yay for Alex getting a first cousin (God willing). I know I've mentioned Veronica in this blog. She and her husband had went through 5 rounds of IVF and 4 years of ttc-and never saw a positive test. This baby was a total surprise because s/he came from a canceled IVF cycle. Gotta love those happy endings to keep the hope and keep you going!

And in Alexandra news....she will be one years old in 11 days :o I can't believe it! I don't know if I should be happy or sad??!! I have to get going on the party planning. We are having two: one family party that my parents will be at (then they leave for Florida) and one for our friends and Dan's parents, who are coming from Australia for 6 weeks. I'm glad that they will be here to participate in a party....unfortunately, they have to miss so many of the milestones due to being so far away :( It should be fun but-man-planning two parties, having his parents here and working will be a lot of craziness around here for awhile!!!