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 me...to 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...

Ahhhhh...my 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!