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 ;)