Friday, November 22, 2013

Our Aussie Christmas...20 Days!

You read it right! We are heading to Australia for Christmas this year! How pumped am I?


It will be cold here at home...but hot hot hot in Australia. Because it's summer over there. And Australia in the summer is HOT.

I will get to see green again...and birds...and sun...and flowers...and go to the beach...and swim...

So yeah. I'm just a little bit stoked.

And I'm happy for Dan because this is his first Christmas with his family since leaving Australia 10 1/2 years ago. My maternity leave has actually made this possible. Usually I only have 1-2 weeks off at Christmas, which if you are going to pay for ridiculously expensive airfare, does not really make it worth it for a week or two. Especially given the length of the flights. So we will be doing a month. A month of-hopefully-sun. Although it is their rainy season. But we'll just gloss right over that. Oh...and we'll also have to gloss over the fact that all the really big, size of your head spiders come out in the summer. And I am absolutely stupidly terrified of spiders. Yeah. So there's that. The family better be spraying is all I have to say.

We leave the second week of December so we will be doing a pseudo Christmas with my family the week before. This means I really need to crank up the shopping. It also means Alex is super happy because she gets two Christmases. Lol...three year olds.

It WILL be very strange to celebrate Christmas in a warm, tropical environment though, when for 33 years, my Christmases have been snowy or at least in the 30's. But whatever...I'll go with it! Not really too much of a hardship.

AND...we are also taking an awesome vacation in Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast. Look it looks freaking sweet! Swim-up bar here I come!

We have Hayden's passport, which is adorable. This will obviously be her first trip. This is Alex's fourth trip and Dan and I have been back countless times. I'm actually, actually thinking that this might be our *easiest* trip in regard to actually getting there, even with two kids. I know...I'm nuts. I hope I'm not setting myself up for disappointment. But I think it could be good. Knock on wood. I'll tell ya why in another post.

Anyway...I just wanna say...woohoo!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Fun is....

Fun is different these days.

Yes, Dan and I went to the Macklemore concert last week-which was ah-mae-zing. Yes....we went without kids (duh) for some adult fun. And it was great. Awesome. And very needed. Because adult fun is still needed. Alone time with your spouse is still needed.

But there are few things that compare to seeing your kid's face light up because her mind has completely been blown by seeing the "real life" Jake and the real life Sofia and the real life Cinderella and Doc.

Oh. My. God. You should have seen my child. I thought she was going to lose it. I thought she might just combust into a cloud of confetti. Seriously. She was THAT excited. And that's a hard thing to beat-seeing your child so overwhelmed. I mean, the kid was on the edge of her seat with a look of concentration on her face for a good 90 minutes. She was yelling "Go Izzy" and "Go away Captain Hook" as loud as her little lungs would let her. It was just priceless, seeing her that way.

Oh yes...and we went the full nine yards. We dressed up as Sofia for the show, we went with my good friend and her two little girls...who also dressed up like Sofia. We bought three cotton candies (for 36 bucks!!! What what???), a stuffed Izzy toy, a snow cone in a Jake cup and a Sofia light-up twirly thing. We spent a small fortune. But damn was worth it just for the experience alone.

However, note to others who are going to go the any Disney Live! production...bring your own snacks and drinks unless you want to leave having consumed 12 dollar cotton candy, along with a 12 dollar snow cone. Forget popcorn...that will run you at least 15. Those Disney bastards...

But was awesome!

 Random one of Hayden

 Ready to see Sofia!

 It's impossible to get a good picture of two three year olds and one six year old...

Hyped up on junk food!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Concerts...10 years later.

The last concert that Dan and I went to was either a Dave Matthews' Band concert or the Fall's Festival (big music fest in Australia). I don't really remember which was last. But they were roughly nine or ten years ago. Man, concerts were different back then. Done differently. By us.

Both concerts involved copious amounts of alcohol. With DMB, we met with a whole group of friends and tailgated for, I don't know, seven or eight hours? We drank and ate and hung out in the parking lot...nothing to do, nowhere to be. With the Falls' Fest, we slept in a van and camped and tailgated for pretty much a whole weekend. Concerts back then, they were not A single event, they were a whole day-or a whole weekend.

Fast forward ten years later. Ha. Different story. Not bad. Just completely different. There was no pre-gaming or tailgating. There was no alcohol involved at all for this concert. Which, ten years ago...would be like what the h%ll??? Oh, and we had actual seats for this concert. No standing in the pit. No getting crashed into when "Crash" or "Crush" came on. No...we had actual seats. And we actually SAT in them, at least for the pre-show performances. And 90 minutes before the performance...what were we doing? Not partying...we were eating Asian noodles and tofu, trying to shovel some food into the three year old's mouth, feeding the bub a MumMum, wiping down kitchen counters and stepping on princess Barbie shoes. So yeah. Concerts now do NOT equal whole day events. More like-lets try to fit this in wherever we can!

Anyway, we went to see Macklemore the other night. It was a fan-freaking-tastic concert. Seriously. He was amazing in person. And he was very engaged with the audience, which was awesome. It really was a stellar performance. I'm so glad that we went, that we got tickets...even if everyone around us was about ten years younger and probably in college. Seriously, I've never seen so many skinny jeans, Uggs, and midriff tops in my life. Are midriffs even in now? Because they shouldn't be. I don't care how awesome your body is.

And since when are leggings passable as pants? I mean...wear them under a dress..ok. Wear them under a long tunic...ok. But dammit, people. They are NOT pants, nor should they be thought of as pant substitutes.

So Dan and I enjoyed our concert, completely sober, drinking coke (needed the caffeine, because two kids tend to suck you dry) and eating Skittles. We bemoaned the uncomfortable seats and rubbed our backs. We checked our phones frequently to make sure the kids were ok at home. We laughed at the stupid drunk woman a few seats down from us who's dancing was akin to a seizure. And we had a great time. Different this time around. Just different. But not less fun. And the best part: I can actually remember the concert this time. Do I sometimes wish to go back to my early twenties? Actually. No. I like thinking about those times. I like wishing for a day or two here or there, a day where I can be totally self-focused and self-involved. But to go back? Heck no. No desire. Things are good. Different...but good...great. And I don't have a nasty hangover to contend with either.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cleaning Out and Decisions

I can already tell you that this post will probably be a hodge-podge of thoughts and feelings. Probably not organized at all. That's just kind of the mood I'm in.

So where to begin. Well, I guess first I can say that I have been packing up all the baby clothes that Hayden has grown out of. Doing it, of course, is bitter sweet because I'm fully aware that none of MY babies will most likely be wearing those clothes again. When I was packing up Alex's clothes, it was bittersweet *then* because I wasn't sure if I'd be able to have another baby to put in those clothes. So yeah. Same feeling...different situation.

Some stuff I gave to Good Will, but most of it is packed away in little tubs. I keep telling my friends who aren't done yet that they MUST have a girl next so the clothes can be used again. Because really...if there is one thing I splurge on, it's my kids' clothes. They have some sweet duds. Buying them is a guilty pleasure in which I in indulge way too much. But what the heck...I waited several years to be able to buy teeny tiny clothes...I figure I'm due, lol. I did send the tiny itty bitty stuff (nb and 0-3 months) to my friend from graduate school who is expecting a girl next month. I'm glad they'll be used again. I also sent all of our nb and 0-3 month sleepers and gowns to the NICU, as Hayden was there for 4 days and they were beyond awesome.

Anyway. I'm torn between wanting to hang onto this stuff "just in case" and wanting to clean house and get rid of clutter and to simplify. It's a weird feeling. But it's probably due to my indecision over having more kids. I'm about 95% sure that we are done. I'm even contemplating getting an IUD, because certainly right now, I just want to enjoy the two I have. So maybe a five year IUD, but I'm definitely not ready to do something permanent like a tubal or having Dan get the big V.

It's more difficult than I thought to move past the "trying" phase in my life. With all of Alex's milestones, it was bittersweet because I was never sure I would be able to have another. This time, it's bittersweet because Hayden is likely to be my last. I want to savor everything, but I'm excited for the next steps too. I always used to say that I couldn't wait to put infertility behind have my two kids and forget about my fertility status, to never have to again worry and wonder and fear. To be at a point in time where my fertility was inconsequential to my life. And I should be there, but I don't necessarily feel like I am there. I'm confused as to whether I even want a third child. Some times I think so. And some times I don't.

And I'm still jealous of the people who have babies and it "just happens". I wonder when that will go away? Surely I won't feel that way when I am 45? I wonder if part of me wants a third to see if I can "do it on my own"? And that's not a reason to have a third child. 

So I guess we are at the point where I'm considering the IUD for 5 years. If, during that five years, we decide to try again, I can have it removed. But in five years, I will be 38. If, at the end of the five years, I'm not preggo and we decided not to be-we are done. Hubs will get the snip snip. But there's this: I don't think I want to go through fertility treatments again. I think I *am* done with that part of my life. So if a baby were to happen, it would have to be on our own. Which is unlikely anyway. But who knows? I may wake up in two years and be ready and rearing to go with another IVF cycle. I don't know. It's all up in the air. And I'm a planner, so for me this is just weird. I guess I just have to plan to not know what we are doing for a little bit. I know, that in time, things will be made clearer to us. And I think our actual wants will become more evident as life marches on.

I just didn't expect it to be so difficult to get past the "trying" phase of our life. It took up so much of our lives. Now there's this strange vacuum, in a good way though. It just feels weird. Like I have so much more energy to invest in other things, and NOT in worrying about treatments and if my body will work this month. It's hard to get used to....but pretty nice too. Just. Different.

 My little blue eyes...first time in the Jumperoo

 Alex's Cinderella pumpkin...she was stoked!!!

 Hayden's hands and feet!

Ta Da!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sometimes Things Just Dont Work.

Given my past issues with infertility, this is probably surprising...but sometimes I forget that some people remain childless (biologically speaking) no matter what they do, no matter how hard they try, how much money they spend on the most aggressive treatments.

The thing is, fertility treatments have become more main-streamed, more talked about...and there's so much more available now than ever before (although lets face it...infertility is still not talked about enough). There's more options, more protocols, more everything. There's payment plans now and fertility "deals" and "packages". At my specialist's office, there are even holiday specials. More insurance plans are at least partially covering some sort of fertility care. Hell, I was one of the lucky ones. My insurance covered three IVF's. It covered the meds, the appointments, blood work, ultrasounds. The only thing we had to pay for was the freezing of our last little (Hayden) embryo. Yes. I was **very** lucky.

And all these things are wonderful. More and more women are fulfilling their dreams of having children, of carrying their babies. Out of all my infertile friends (and I have collected quite a few...well actually, it's really that the more you talk about infertility, the more common you realize it is), all of them (ALL!!!!!) have at least one child or are pregnant.

What an amazing thing. What a beautiful thing. It's breathtaking to think about all the children who wouldn't be here, but for medicine, science and the by the grace of God. All these beautiful souls...

But with so many success stories all around, it's hard to remember that sometimes, once in awhile, specialists cannot heal every life, cannot give a couple (or person) what they have been dreaming of for possibly their whole life.

Gonal-F does not fix all problems. Progesterone doesn't help save all pregnancies. Eating a low carb diet does not make PCOS go away. IVF is not a sure-fire guarantee.

Sometimes treatments fail. Over and over again. And sometimes people keep persevering-like my sister-in-law, who went through four or five rounds of IVF before getting her miracle baby.

But sometimes perseverance isn't enough. And I forget this. I forget that some things just can't be fixed. And that trying over and over again still doesn't make it happen. And I guess I'm just acknowledging this...even though I don't know why.

My dad had a knee replacement two weeks ago. I went to visit him in the hospital and there was a very nice nurse there who was about 45. She showed us pictured of her dogs and my mom asked if she had any children (a question I tend to stay away from). She replied no, that she and her husband had never been able to conceive. My mom asked if she had went to Dr. K (my specialist; mom! zip it!). The nurse responded that they had gone and tried for a long time, but in the end there wasn't much Dr. K could do for them. And then she said, "I'm ok with it...I'm not even mad at God anymore".

And that was my wake-up call. I knew I was lucky before. But I lost sight of how lucky. Because not everything can be fixed. Going through the hells of treatment does not guarantee you a baby, even if you are more than deserving.

So I guess she just resonated so much with me that I wanted to acknowledge that struggle. I don't know how she came to a place of peace, because I don't know how I would have done it. I can only hope that there's less and less women who seek treatment to no avail, who purge their wallets and time and put their bodies through a hormonal wind storm and end up with empty arms. These women deserve to be acknowledged. Because they did all they could. They tried and tried. They wept and prayed. And it didn't happen. And how do they swallow such a bitter pill. How do they move on? How do they let go of the bitterness? I just don't know. Maybe it's because they know they did all they could. I hope there is some peace in that...

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Watch Out For Those Couches, Kids... sweet little Alex. She is a typical 3+ year old. She likes climbing, running, playing tag and....gymnastics. She LOVES gymnastics. Of course it doesn't hurt that we go to the play place right next door after gymnastics with some of her little gymnastics friends. It also doesn't hurt that she gets some Munchkins from DD after. But regardless, she loves gymnastics.

She also likes practicing gymnastics, being the little perfectionist that she is (not so happy about this part, trying to rub out a few of the perfectionist tendencies in both of us-tends to get in the way of happiness). So she practices at home...does front and back rolls on the carpet, on our big bed and has decided the couch is a trampoline (no matter how many times I tell her that it is not, in fact, a trampoline). Apparently on Thursday, while I was in the kitchen cooking, she decided the arm of the couch was also a balance beam. It's a tall, largish couch. She was pretty high up. Well, I guess her balance still needs work because she fell off of the arm and right onto HER arm :(

Screaming ensued.

At first, I thought maybe she was being over dramatic. Because we ARE at the stage where screaming occurs if a dog brushes up against her. A dramatic phase. But soon my mama instinct kicked in and a I realized that something was really wrong.

It wasn't too swollen or bruised, but she did not want to move it and held her right arm at a right degree angle. And so this went on four an hour with her crying off and on. We tried ice for awhile. It didn't do much.

At this point, I pretty much insisted that the hubs take her to urgent care (it was now about 7pm). I would stay home with the baby. After all, we didn't really think it was broken-maybe just badly bruised. It was kind of one of those "lets just take her to be sure, but I'm sure everything's fine" moments.

Fortunately, the urgent care near our house rocks and Dan and Alex were seen immediately.

The verdict: a fracture of the proximal ulna :( Which means, her ulna broke right near the elbow. And it was a strange break because, rather than going across the bone, it split going UP the bone. A splint was made and she was sent home with an appointment with the orthopedist for the next day.

This time, we both went. Sure enough...they confirmed it was a funky break, but did not think surgery would be necessary (thank God). She ended up with a blue (her choice) cast on her right arm-for pretty much the whole arm.

But Alex has been a trooper. She is basically in no pain anymore, and seems to be adapting to using her left arm/hand.  Looks like we'll be reviewing some house safety rules though...

 Well, at least her cast matches her Cinderella Halloween costume...which she is wearing for a Halloween birthday party

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Hayden's Christening

We had a great day...a busy, crazy, hectic, great day!

The baptism itself went really well. Hayden was smiling and cooing and didn't even blink an eye when they put the water on her. In fact, she smiled even bigger. She wore the same Christening gown that had been worn by at least three generations and is God knows how many years old. We do know that my father and all his siblings wore it, my sister and I and our cousins, Alex and now Hayden. But I think it's older than even the late 1940's. It's very fragile right now and we handle it as little as possible. But it's still very beautiful.

After the baptism, we prepared for the party at our house. It was in the low 70's and cloudy, but fortunately, the rain held off...and all the little kids actually went in the pool! Crazy kids! They were freezing when they got out, but had a blast! We had about 55 people over for the after-party and MAN! Were they prepared to eat! We had the party partially catered and they went through 2 pans of meatballs, 2 pans of pasta, pretty much a whole meat tray, 3/4 of a sheet cake and 4 pounds of Italian cookies. Oh, not to mention devouring the snacks and side dishes. I'm glad we had enough! Also glad that there weren't many leftovers.

Highlight of the day: Alex (unknowingly) flashing the church while she was standing at the altar waving her dress around. Oh yeah...everyone got to see her panties, lol...three year olds!

 The trifle I made for the party (I'm so proud)...gingerbread and pumpkin

 Hayden with her Christening gown and her bonnet-that doubles as a handkerchief for her wedding

 Alex waiting for things to begin

 Hayden's God-parents: my sister and one of Dan's good friends

 Us with my parents

 Crazy kids!

Man...that trampoline got a work out that day!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Busy Busy Busy! Welcome to September!

We had a decently busy summer, between going to camp every other weekend, having a big pool party, going on play dates and just doing the general, menial, every day things...summer flew!

And now that September is here, we have a lot going on.

First of all...I'm not going back to work until February :) Woohoo! But, in a strange way, I kind of miss working. Odd. I would have never thought that. God knows I complain enough about **going** to work. I miss my coworkers, the comradeship. I miss problem solving with them. I miss coffee in the mornings, our little group. BUT...I love being here with my girls. I love that I have this time with them. They are both growing up so quickly. If I could go to work for like an hour and have coffee with my coworkers and then come  home to my girls-that...THAT would be perfect.

Alex and Hayden are both growing up so so quickly! Hayden is awake much more during the day now and is rolling over and **trying** to sit up on her own. Girl has a solid set of stomach muscles! She has graduated from the swaddle, which is great-except that her hands wake her up and she ends up battling with them from about 4:30am until about 8. Which means I'm up too. But she's a happy happy HAPPY baby. She's very quick to smile and coo and shriek. Here eyes are still very blue and I don't think that they will be changing. Hayden is now wearing 3-6 month clothing, but still *kind of* fits into 0-3 months. I've packed away the first of her itty bitty baby clothes. A very bittersweet task, as we most likely are done having babies. But, you have to be done some time, right??? Some things we will donate, some sell on Craig's List and some-save for friends or family that have little girls. These 4 1/2 months have flown. Again...very bittersweet.

Alex is 3 1/2 now. She is so smart and so fun and has a real sweet (and sassy, per the three year old part) side. She also thinks she knows everything, lol. Alex is taking gymnastics class now and wants to take soccer...I just need to fine a league for her. While I'm not working, she goes to daycare/preschool two full days per week...that way she can stay in the loop. Those are usually the days that I try to run most of my errands and do the housework, laundry. The big thing though-is we are fully potty trained!!! Alex has been peeing on the potty for over a year now and learned in one day, but has been afraid to poop on the potty. We finally finally got her to do it. It may have taken a whole bunch of bribery but hey...whatever works! She also sleeps in her undies and has not had any accidents in a long long time. Knock on wood-we are completely trained! Alex currently loves princesses (especially Cinderella), Doc McStuffins, playing doctor, Sophia the First, playing with princesses, and gymnastics. She's always "practicing" gymnastics at home. Her best friend at school is Daniel. Alex is a talker and will talk incessantly. I love it. She loves big words and likes to say "cantankerous" when referring to someone being grumpy at school. She is currently wearing 4T-5T clothes, because she is so tall and skinny. She's not a big eater-of anything. But that's ok. She'll eat when she's hungry. Alex is such a good big sister, and I'm so proud of how much care she takes with Hayden.

September is a busy month. We have Hayden's Christening next weekend...which means a big party (about 50-55 people) after, which I need to prepare for. We also have gymnastics and a few birthday parties to attend. My dad is having knee replacement surgery at the end of this month, so that will also keep us busy. Alex already picked her Halloween costume--Cinderella; Hayden is being a cute, pink owl.

I'm telling you...this staying home thing is no joke! I give a lot of credit to you mommies out there who stay home indefinitely. It is hard work and you are pretty darn busy :)

 A day at the zoo with cousins

 My little blue eyes

 A day at the fair

 Lol...look at the sneer!


New Tattoo for Baby Girl

I'm completely late in posting this. I've been kind of slack with this blogging thing. Anyway, I got my new tattoo for Hayden. I have a blog entry about Alex's tattoo...on my left foot...a seeded dandelion with her name...because when I was struggling to get pregnant, I always made a wish on a seeded dandelion.

Anyway. My sister and I went to get new tattoos in early August. I decided to get Hayden's name tattooed on the inside of my right wrist. It's her name with a small heart and infinity sign. I love love love it! was A LOT less painful than the tattoo on the foot. These were taken the day I had the tattoo done...

Btw-The guy who did it (calls himself Captain Ron, for real) was very nice, if not a bit gruff. But he did a great job. Also had a very dry sense of humor, which I appreciated. When I first met him, I said "I suck at getting tattoos" (meaning, I'm a big baby) and he easily responded back "I suck at giving tattoos". Now I know that this should have made me nervous, but I enjoy mock humbleness.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

FET Anniversary

Saturday was our one year FET anniversary. It was also the day of our big pool party, so I didn't have a chance to blog about it. But I thought about it all day. I thought about how Hayden was put back in me, just a tiny little blastocyst-cryopreserved for six months. I look at her now and I can't believe she's here. I can't believe that I can hold her, touch her, hear her laugh and squeal. She's such a happy baby, always smiling.

She's a fighter and it still amazes me how she went through so much just to get here. She was conceived in a petrie dish (more or less), had to survive being frozen and thawed and then there was my bleeding for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. And my initial beta numbers...they were so so so very low. Only 25.5 at 10dp5dt (or 15 dpo). That alone convinced me that it was a chemical pregnancy. I was so sure that she wouldn't survive. But the numbers kept going huge jumps, just slowly and surely...consistently. At one appointment with my RE, her growth was a little behind and the nurse prepared me for the possibility of a miscarriage. This was at about 8 weeks (her growth was about 4-5 days behind). I was so scared, and also a little bit resigned. But Hayden kept growing...kept catching up. Her heart beat was always strong and steady. Then there was her birth, the scary 4 day NICU stay.

Thinking about it all, I just can't believe she's here and (knock on wood) healthy. She is such a joy and sometimes when I look at her, I just ache with fullness. That's really the only way to describe it. I ache. Her tentative beginnings still scare me if I think too long about it.

Both my girls are fighters. And I look at them both today and to me they are so perfect...perfectly formed, beautiful. And I can't believe I, we, made them. I don't know how we made anything so perfect. I can't wrap my head around it. They both went through so much to get here, that it blows my mind. And then I'm proud of myself, of us. We fought for our girls, every inch, every second. So I guess that makes us fighters too. Childbirth is empowering. But so is fighting every step of the way for what you want, for what you don't think you can live without. There's something special about my girls someday knowing how wanted they were, how much we fought to bring them into the world. There's a beauty in that. I'm just so thankful...


 My beautiful girls

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Four Names.

No, I'm not talking about the "royal trend" of naming your kid four names. Btw, speaking of the royal baby, I couldn't help myself. I actually wondered if she did IVF to conceive a boy. I have no reason to think that, just an idle thought. I mean, surely they are aware that it can be pretty much assured. Oh well, now I'm starting to sound like a conspiracy theorist. But it **could** have happened. Isn't that the basis for a good conspiracy theory?

Anyway...we've had a lot of "things" to go to this summer. We've had birthdays to go to, my good friend's son's christening over the weekend, wedding showers, etc etc. And you know how there are just some random moments that startle you? They kind of show you how far you have come, where you have come from...I had one of those moments when I was writing out a birthday card for our nephew. At the end, it said "Love Always, Auntie Amanda, Uncle Dan, Alexandra and Hayden". Four names. It was crazy putting four names on that card. For so long, it had just been two names. Two names on all sorts of cards for all sorts of events. And I never knew if I would ever have three names to write. Now we have four. FOUR. We are a family of four.

Now, obviously I knew this. I was kind of there when both kids were birthed. But it just kind of slapped me upside the head-in a good way. We have kids. Two kids. It was just one of "those" moments. A moment that is really hard to describe or write about. We were two, now we're four. We worked so hard to be four. Since 2008, making babies has consumed us off and on. Now it doesn't. And it's a strange and wonderful feeling.

So I'm sure that I'll have other moments like that...where what we've done, what we've been through to get what we have, comes rushing back. Like buying another stocking for Christmas, maybe. Having four stocking hanging from the mantle when there had been two for a long time. And driving in the car. Going home from the hospital altogether that first time was emotional for me. Seeing our two kids in the back seat of the car. It's the stuff like that, which most people don't really think about....

And buying FOUR plane tickets. We just bought four for our month long trip to Australia for Christmas this year. Now, I won't even go into how much is costs to buy four tickets to Australia because I don't want to vomit. Let's just was ugly. But four tickets-all four of us in a row. Now I just have to renew my passport and get Hayden's first one!

I wonder if I will always get a chill when writing all of our names on a card? I wonder if I'll always think back to all of our struggles, all the work and heartache that went into making our family. In lots of ways, I hope I don't lose that perspective.

Anyway...time for some pics :)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

I've Come Out Of The (Infertility) Closet.

I did it. It was really kind of scary and awkward. I came out of the closet. And on Facebook no less. Am I freaking out of my mind? Why would I want people knowing my bid-ness?

So it started because a friend who sees the same specialist I did called and told me that Dr. K put my fertility story on the front "page" of his website as "Featured Fertility Success Story-July 2013". Go me.

It was a short article I wrote shortly after Hayden was born about some of my struggles, and how I was sure my FET was going to be a failure. But lo and behold...I had/have a fighter on my hands and she is currently in her swing drooling quietly :)

Anyway, it's on the opening page of his website. Which is pretty cool. I hope some women, searching for hope, read it and feel good about proceeding with a FET...because I really had thought it was going to be a dead end.

So after thinking about things and being really nervous and awkward feeling....I posted a link to the story on my Facebook for all friends/acquaintances/frenemies to see. And then I kicked myself about a second after. WTF? What was I thinking? No one wants to read about this. Now I'm going to be that "over-sharing" girl. But whatever. If it helps anyone on my friend list, it will be worth it, right? Right? Infertility is such a damn lonely road to travel. That's the hardest part. The isolation. The feeling that everyone is moving on with their lives without you. And you're stuck. You can't move forward with everyone else, but you can't go backward to the young and crazy years. It's so hard. And it's such a taboo subject.

But I understand why people don't talk about it. I can't blame them at all. It took every ounce of gumption for me to post the article. Because it contained my raw feelings. Written for my specialist's website, where people would understand. It was not an article I "sanitized" for Facebook. It's hard being vulnerable. So people don't talk about it and I get it. I didn't talk about it then. I didn't talk about it when I was going through it because the last thing I wanted to see on people's faces was pity. That's what I couldn't handle. I didn't want to be the family gossip (all well intentioned, of course)-where people whisper behind their hands "Oh yeah...I've heard that Amanda is having 'trouble'".

Beating infertility, having both my girls is what finally made it ok to talk about my struggles. And it's still hard. I still feel shame, despite knowing that I should never be ashamed. And my struggles brought me my girls.

So I hope it helps someone...or someone that someone knows. I've already have had a few private messages from friends who went through similar things. And I just had no idea. But why would I? It's still so surprising to hear of your acquaintances and friends going through treatments, even though I know that it is a much more common problem than people realize.

I've really had a lot of support stemming from that post. But it's so funny, people's perspectives. I've had a few refer to how "brave" I am. While that's a nice comment....there's really nothing brave about going through treatments. You do what you have to do when it's the only choice you have. You just do what you have to do.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

I Was Kind of an A-Hole.

So on Friday, my friend, Karen, had a Tastefully Simple Party. They are always a lot of fun and a small group of us always end up staying late, finishing off the food and drinking the wine.

Anyway, have you ever gone to a party and there's that one person who's just kind of obnoxious about their beliefs? They think they are right and get all up on their soap box during what should be a fun, leisurely get-together? I hate those people. Those people that make parties serious and kill the mood. Ugh. I usually stay far away. Hell, I don't get to parties very often these days-last thing I want to do is get all serious.

Well. I became that person. The mood killer. I was kind of an obnoxious asshole. I know...who would have thunk it. The thing is, I don't really care because I still think I'm right...making me even more of an asshole.

I just couldn't ignore this conversation-a conversation had between two young women (like 22-24'ish) who have never tried getting pregnant (that I know of), never had a pregnancy loss and, in all likelihood, will not have problems conceiving.

They were talking about "someday" when they have kids. About all the great, wholesome things they will do (never drink Diet Coke while pregnant, kid will never watch TV, water birth, etc.). Then the one starts in on home birth and the fact that it has such a bad rap and that she'd really like to try it and (of course) without pain meds.

So I'm listening, listening, listening...drinking some wine. This is clearly some Utopian thing that they have envisioned without truly researching. I mean, "of course" they will have a mid-wife...and apparently that would be enough to make sure everything goes as planned.

So finally, I couldn't hold back. I tell them about my two vaginal (medicated) BOTH times, there were heart rate decelerations because of the cord being somewhat compressed while the babies were going through the birth canal. I told them how the nurses came in and made me turn from side to side to alleviate some of that pressure on the cord. How it fixed things with Alex just fine....but with Hayden, they were seriously considering an emergency C-section when I was finally able to push her out. She's healthy now, developing perfectly normally (knock on wood)-but she was in the NICU for four days for "transitioning issues". No one knows why? It could have been because she was in distress during labor...who knows?

So I concluded-what if I had been at home and needed an emergency C-section right at that moment? I wouldn't have gotten one, mid-wife there or not. What if I hadn't been monitored during labor? What if I didn't know to change positions? Hayden's cord was wrapped around her body-something could have happened and it's only by the grace of God that everything turned out ok. But she was in distress-I was where I needed to be-in the hospital!

These girls were so full of themselves without doing any research. Home birth sounded good to them, is the "in" thing....trendy. They've never carried a baby though, and worried everyday about the health of that baby. They've never lost a baby, miscarried a baby. They have never loved something as much as they will when they are pregnant. They just have no idea. At least be informed before spouting your views.

Well...the girls then started spouting about how women have had babies for thousands of years and that they had them in their homes or in the middle of fields. Of course, they glossed over the fact that the infant/mother mortality rate was sky high as well.

And I did it then. I was the jerk who used another's tragedy to make my point. I've still been so shaken up about my friend T and her lost baby girl that I lost it myself. I told them about my friend having to deliver a dead baby. About how she will never, *never* be the same. How she's lost her child, she's a mother without her baby. That's a grief that will never, ever leave her. And WHY would they want to risk anything happening to their future babies because they want as little medical assistance as possible???? Fine-don't have medical assistance-just be in a hospital in case you need it! So it's there! So your baby will have every chance of making it. Because the tragic fact is-not all babies make it.

Of course, the mood was killed for awhile. And I hated being the cause of it. I'm so not that person. A party is really not the place to be discussing such things. But dang-I wanted to bitch slap those women.

I certainly don't mean to be disrespectful to women who chose home birth. I just don't believe it is safe. So much can go wrong. And seeing T's pain of having lost her precious baby...why would anyone want to risk anything going wrong if they can possibly prevent it???? I'm sure some women want to home birth for good reasons (though I still don't think it's safe) but some women do it because they feel they have something to prove, part of the mompetition. To them...I say....get the hell over yourselves.

So I guess it's angry post day today...sorry....but I still think I'm right ;)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Most Babies Make It....

Most babies make it...but the reality of the situation is...some babies do not :(

I've been putting off this post for a few days. If  you're currently pregnant, you may not want to continue reading. No reason to make yourself more paranoid than you probably already are (not criticizing. I was the MOST paranoid pregnant woman ever).

My good friend "T" is 42. She has never been married. She has wanted a child desperately for years now. She would be such an amazing mother. She tried going the adoption route, only to have the baby boy she had from 6 weeks old to one year old taken away and put back with his scum bag biological family. Because the current trend is to put babies back with their biological families whenever possible. And from what I see, a lot of times it's not a good choice. But anyway. She suffered heartbreak there.
She lost a baby.

I convinced her to see my fertility specialist, to see Dr. K. We both knew she was up against steep odds with her age. But what the hell-why not try. She went through three rounds of IVF with donor sperm. Nothing took. She was on her last round this past fall, and decided that this would be it if nothing happened. She got pregnant. She was so cautious for so long, given her age. But gradually, she became more and more excited.

I'd see T at work every Wednesday and we would talk about our pregnancies for hours. We would text each other after OB appointments-she ended up going to the same doctor I see.

T made it to 37 weeks. Full term. A healthy, beautiful baby that she was going to name Addison Catherine. Her nickname would be Addie.

T  had stopped feeling the baby moving this past Saturday. She went into the doctor's office and they could not find the heart beat via doppler. The ultrasound confirmed fetal death. At 37 weeks. T had to be induced and had to do the unthinkable-deliver a dead infant. The official cause of death was placental abruption caused by blood clots in a section of the placenta.

I can't imagine. I feel sick. I feel guilty (despite knowing this has nothing to do with me and is not about me). This was pretty much her last chance at parenthood. I physically ache for T.

We went through our pregnancies together. We were going to have time off together and our daughters were going to grow up together. We live in the same school district-they were going to be in kindergarten together.

We went through the IVF experience together. We went through infertility together. We talked about our fears and cried when we got negative tests.

How did this happen?

The worst part is...they were going to take the baby out via emergency C-section three weeks ago because they lost her heart beat when T was being monitored. They assumed she had been wrapped in the cord and that, when she became untangled, her heart beat started again. Now I'm thinking it was the start of the placental issue. Why the hell didn't they take her? She would have maybe spent a month in the NICU-but would have been alive. T was literally stripped down and being wheeled into the operating room when Addie's heart beat came back. Obviously there was something wrong. Why didn't they just take her?????

I'm just devastated for her. She's lost two babies. How can anyone come back from that?

Say a little prayer for my friend...she needs it right now.

And please God, protect my babies and our whole family. Life is precious.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Whoa...its been awhile since I was last on here! I've been meaning to blog, but at the end of the day I'm just too darned drained (or lazy) to work up the motivation to write anything. I'm pretty much speaking in tongues by 9pm anyway. Just kidding. Things have actually been going really well (knock on wood). Hayden has been sleeping like a champ. She'll usually take her last feeding between 10-11 and then go down until 6-8am. I really can't complain about that at 7 1/2 weeks old!

Hayden has quite the little character. She's a little love...has been smiling for about three weeks now and is coo'ing and making other noises. I even got a little giggle out of her. She's also working on batting at her toys and grasping. Alex is loving the fact that "her baby" can now smile and "talk" to her. I love seeing them together. Sometimes I still can't believe that they are ours. That we made them.

The other day I was driving around a neighborhood near our old house. I was looking at landscaping, trying to get ideas for our new house (every house is pretty much professionally landscaped there). Anyway, it is the development that I always used to run in, trying to get myself as fit as possible to carry a pregnancy. And the memories came flooding back. Of pushing myself, thinking if I could just get fitter, that my pcos would "go away" and I would get pregnant on my own. I remember going on a run through that development, pretty much wailing, because I found out a girl that I knew just had her baby (an old "friend" who rubbed her pregnancy in my face when she knew I was having trouble). I remember going on walks through there, trying to clear my head, and seeing all these "family" houses with toys outside and swing sets. Sometimes I felt like I was torturing myself, running through that development-filled with young families.

I still remember all of it. All of those feelings. All that hurt. And I still think that infertility will always be a part of who I am (although I'm sure to a different extent as life moves on). I wonder if I will ever hear a story about someone getting pregnant after a month or by accident, and be completely unaffected by it? Or will some tiny, miniscule part always be jealous? It's almost like a knee-jerk reaction now, a habit to feel that way. And I certainly don't want any more kids right now, but there's still a part of me that hears those stories and a little twinge of longing fills me. Maybe it's because I know that the option to "just have" another child is really not open to us. Having another baby would involve medical assistance. And with two healthy (knock on wood) little girls, I'm pretty certain that part of my life is finished.  I don't even know that we want to try the natural way for a third. I'm thinking we are happy with two. But the point is-most people have the option to "just see what happens".

But this longing is becoming less and less. In some big ways, infertility was a gift. I have the two girls I have because of it! I'm stronger because of it! I don't take parenthood for granted because we fought every step of the way for it. And I think that I'm that much more patient and "present" because of it. And I know I've helped other women going through it. And that gives me SO much satisfaction. So really, things have worked out the way they were supposed to. I cannot imagine having different children, and I would have if it weren't for PCOS.

Sunday, May 12, 2013


Apparently, Firefox is not letting me add pics to this blog, but Internet Explorer will. Weird. I hate IE, but oh well. So here's so pics of our little Hayden Charlotte!

 But first, my new "mommy" vehicle, lol

 Just second old...

Big sister has come to visit!
Going to see Hayden in the NICU-happy about her "big sister" stickers
First time meeting Hayden

Finally home!