Monday, December 5, 2011

1 Month!

Note to self: if you intend to do monthly posts, and complete it anytime close to her monthly birthday, make sure you start a few days early... It can get crazy around here at a moment's notice!

Alex at one month (a few days ago, but still!):
She's doing well. Her favorite times are definitely in the morning, when she's alert, and interested in things around here. She naps great during the day, and at night... Well she's not that great at going to sleep. Last night for example, we started her last main feeding at around 8:45 pm, and she was up, still eating occasionally or crying, until about 2:30. Finally at 2:30, she fell asleep in her bouncy seat set up next to my bed, and slept until 5:00 am, at which time I brought her into bed and she nursed for about five minutes, fell asleep for about 20, nursed for 5, etc. until we got up for the day at 7:30, at which time she started her day with a good feeding, with a good nap afterwards. So we're working on getting some awake time during the day so hopefully she'll figure out how to go to sleep in the evening...

She loves tummy time, or at least what we call it: tummy time on Daddy's belly. She doesn't love true tummy time on the floor or couch by herself, but she'll handle it for about 3-4 minutes before she gets angry.

I think Alex may be flirting with smiling - I think it will happen for real here very quickly. We can see certain expressions that might be smiles, but it's hard to tell. She's gone to a few restaurants, and shopping, and to the grocery store - and she behaved very well (slept the whole time...).

I just made an appointment for the doc this afternoon to talk about potential reflux. She get real fussy in the late afternoon/evening when eating. When she has to burp or spit up, she screams and arches her back, throws up, and then feels better. And she hiccups and sneezes after eating, which I've read can also be symptoms. She eats peacefully in the morning, with minimal spit-up, so I wonder if it's really reflux, but I still hate to see her in pain or uncomfortable in the evenings, so it may be worth a visit to the doc to investigate.

Breastfeeding is still going. I'm currently feeding Alex more than half her total intake with breastmilk. Obviously it's hard to judge, but one day last week I did a 24 hour test, and didn't breastfeed at all, only pumped, and I pumped 16.5 ounces in 24 hours, and she ate 21.5 ounces of breastmilk/formula. So I was 5 ounces short for the day. I think that was a low intake day on Alex's part, as yesterday I had to give her about 8 ounces total formula, but it's still pretty good. I'm taking fenugreek and blessed thistle, and with the hope of making more milk, I just ordered some Breastea and some Mother's Milk Plus. We'll see if these help at all. Some days I think of quitting breastfeeding about five times during the day, and yet I still continue. That year I originally wanted to do seems a very long time from now...

This post is supposed to be about my baby's progress during the first month, but I figure I should at least mention the recovery from the c-section. For the first time in a month, I haven't had any painkillers in the last 48 hours. The lasting pain has been the most surprising for me, as it got better after about two weeks, I had a few days reprieve, and then it got worse - really bad in fact. I keep reminding myself that it was major surgery, and I should give myself time to recover, but I wish I felt 100% again. I'm happy to report that I only have three pounds to lose until I get to my pre-pregnancy weight, but I would love to lose a lot more as I was very heavy from all the fertility treatments, and let's face it, all the eating... And I do not love my post-pregnancy belly. I much preferred my huge pregnancy belly, at least then I looked pregnant instead of simply fat!

This first month of my baby's life has been amazing. It's been more fun than I expected, and more exhausting. I sometimes wonder if I can do it all, and I definitely worry about going back to work. But then I look at my baby girl's face, and my heart just melts. All the years of pain, all the treatments, money, and heartbreak, it was all worth it. I now have my little girl, and if I had to go through all of what I did to hold her in my arms, I would do it all again.

Now here are some pics, which were actually taken on her 1-month birthday!





Monday, November 28, 2011

Coming out of the fog

And I'm not really sure I'm out of it... Little Alex is almost four weeks old, and I can't believe how quickly time has passed. I seem to have no time to do anything, and unfortunately blogging, both posting and reading, has dropped to the bottom of the list. It turns out that I really did need to have a job to find time to blog! I miss it, and will try to include this as part of my routine going forward.

Alex and I have good days and bad, and I could write many posts about all of it. During the day, she will sleep and sleep. I wake her every three hours to feed her, which seems to take about 1 1/2 hours each time. So then we have about 1 1/2 hours of downtime to sleep, take a walk (which seems to help my spirits), do a little laundry, or feed myself (which for the first time in my life I seem to forget). And during the night, she won't sleep for longer than 1-2 hours, so we're doing the feeding thing about every 2-3 hours, and it's more often 2 hours than 3. I try to take naps during the day, which I can do most days, but some days it doesn't happen, which screws everything up for another day or two. Breastfeeding is still going. I really appreciate all the people who gave me such thoughtful and helpful comments and emails! Such good advice and support from all my bloggy folks - thanks! Some days are good - she only wants about 4 ounces of formula in a 24 hour period, and some days aren't that good - up to about 12 ounces of formula in 24 hours. I am not being as good as I should regarding pumping and trying to stimulate my breasts more than what Alex does. I haven't pumped at night in weeks - too tiring. And whole days go by without pumping. Right now my MIL and grandmother-in-law are staying with us, and I don't really feel like pumping in front of them - I'm barely comfortable whipping one boob out in front of them and then covering it with my baby! But they leave on Tuesday, and I'm going to try to commit to one full week of everything I can do to increase milk production, including lots of pumping!

In three weeks, we are leaving to go to Denver and stay with the in-laws for three weeks, and I'm very nervous about the trip. Not necessarily the trip, but living there for three weeks. Right now, I have all my stuff set up between three rooms: my bedroom, living room and kitchen. This includes a bouncy chair set in the pack n play, a swing (which is just the best invention ever), a fabulous rocking chair, two changing stations (day-time in my bedroom, night-time in the living room), and a bottle cleaning station in the kitchen. None of that is going with me to Denver, except my MIL keeps telling me that she bought a pack n play. That's nice, except for the fact that Alex is not a big fan of sleeping flat on her back - she's most content propped up in a swing or the bouncy chair. Or her favorite place, my arms! And the only thing that is going with us to Denver is my arms... Before giving birth, I read so many books and talked to a bunch of people about sleep routines, and raising babies, and I was convinced I knew what I was going to do. I really liked the idea of Babywise, and I was going to follow it perfectly! And then I had a baby... In the middle of the night, when all I want to do is sleep, and all baby wants to do is fuss and cry if you set her down, I am ashamed to admit how many times I fall asleep in bed with Alex sleeping on my chest, something I swore I would never do. It's amazing what we will resort to doing when desperate for sleep! I've nursed her in bed, and fallen asleep while nursing (something I didn't want to do), kept her in my Moby wrap for hours, fed her to sleep, and other things that my sleep-deprived mind can't remember now that I swore I wouldn't do in this way. I really wanted to have a schedule, and get her to sleep through the night quickly, and it seems I have turned into a bit of an attachment-style parent - something that is fine for others but I really didn't want to do myself. I like the ideas, but knowing I am going back to work 12 weeks after birth makes me very nervous about keeping up the ways of attachment parenting. I worry sometimes about undoing the bad habits that we've clearly started, but I keep telling myself that you can't spoil a newborn. But at what point does it get better? I keep thinking about the time I go back to work. Granted I have eight more weeks left, but in the four weeks so far it hasn't exactly gotten better as far as the night feedings. Well I guess during the first week it was constant because she was starving, so that's better. I know I'm rambling, but I just really hope that it will get better here soon because I can't imagine trying to function at a job after the nights I have if her current schedule continues!

Besides worrying about sleeping when we go to Denver and when I return to work, things are getting better. I'm getting the hang of this mommy thing, and I'm having the time of my life. When things are rough, all I have to do is look at her precious face, and my heart melts, and everything seems better. My dad came to town for Thanksgiving, and it was amazing seeing him with Alex. I love how smitten he seems with his new granddaughter. It's moments like those that make everything else in the world disappear, and I couldn't be happier.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Breastfeeding Woes

During my pregnancy, I read two books on breastfeeding, plus all the sections in the many pregnancy and baby books I've read. I took a class about breastfeeding. I spent countless hours researching different breastfeeding issues online, and I asked lots of questions of my friends who have gone through it. And I bought all the supplies I would need. I was prepared. But I wasn't prepared for the one issue I didn't expect: no milk! Here we are, one week after giving birth, and I don't really think my milk has "come in". Engorgement? Hasn't happened. People talk about having super huge full and hard breasts. Yeah, not so much. I'm still soft and floppy.

It all started so well. I had a c-section, so hubs took the baby back to our room without me while my doc was sewing me up. One of my concerns about having a c-section was being able to nurse quickly - within that magical one hour window after birth. So I was happy to get back to my room pretty quickly - within about 20 minutes after birth. But then the nurse told me to wait to nurse until the lactation consultant came to help me with my first feeding. I consented for about 10 minutes, and then I insisted on feeding my baby - she was my baby, I was going to try myself! Why did I have to wait? And it was a success. Baby Alex latched on immediately, and she suckled like a champ. I think we had about a 30 minute session that first time, about 15 minutes each side. I was so proud.

For the next couple days, everything was looking so good. The nurses wanted to see one poop in the first 24 hours - we gave them 7! She was latching great, and we were feeding every 2 hours. Alex was born Tuesday evening, and on Thursday I had a friend come by and visit, and she asked how everything was going, and I responded that it's much easier than I thought it would be - everything's great! How wrong I was.

That night at our 1:00 am feeding, Alex took one boob just fine. But she wouldn't take the other - she absolutely refused. But I just chalked it up to being full or sleepy or something - no big deal. Then at the next feeding at 3:00 am, she refused both boobs. I struggled for an hour and a half by myself, and finally the nurse stopped by, hearing the crying. She would have been a great drug dealer. The night before, she convinced me that Alex needed to suck a lot, and perhaps we should try a pacifier to calm Alex between feedings. It didn't occur to me that she was fussy between feedings because she was hungry! Of course Alex loved the pacifier, and so I thought it was a success, even though it went against what I had read about breastfeeding and nipple confusion. Well then Thursday night she said that Alex was refusing to nurse because I didn't have any milk to entice her as my milk had not yet come in, and now she was confused by the pacifier, and she didn't want to latch on anymore. So then she convinced me that I needed a nipple shield to help her latch - something I had seen cause much difficulty with a couple of my friends. So with the help of a nipple shield and a bit of sugar water sprayed on the nipple shield to entice her, Alex finally latched at around 4:30 am after crying since 3:00. But then about an hour later, she was fussy again, and wouldn't latch even with the nipple shield, and my drug dealer nurse convinced me that Alex was hungry, and was refusing to latch because nothing was coming out. Finally through tears, I agreed to give her formula as I felt like I was starving my baby. For the first time in days, I saw my baby swallow and voraciously drink. She was finally full.

On Friday, we met with the pediatrician before leaving the hospital, and she said we should do the following: Every 2 1/2 to 3 hours, I should nurse Alex for 10-15 minutes on each side, then pump for 15 minutes. While I pump, I should feed Alex 1-2 ounces of formula, as much as she'll take. This should help increase my milk production as I'm telling my body that the nursing isn't enough by the use of the pump. The whole process takes about 1 1/2 hours when you include bottle and pump set up and washing, and then we get 1 1/2 hours off to sleep or for me to eat. Repeat - 8+ times per day. Needless to say, I'm exhausted.

I can see improvement over the weekend. I went from barely getting a drip of milk in my 15 minute pumping session to getting enough to almost cover the bottom of the pump bottles. But it's pitiful. We went to the pediatrician yesterday, and she asked how much I was getting. It's not even measurable - you could tell she wasn't that impressed. And so then we went to the vitamin store, and I loaded up on fenugreek and blessed thistle - herbs that are supposed to help with production.

I'm once again disappointed by my body. My baby is doing her part - she has a great suck, and that was part of the reason why the pediatrician said she wasn't worried about me supplementing - as her suck is so strong, she should be able to go from breast to bottle easily. And this has proven true. I have even been able to wean her off the nipple shield in the last couple days, so that is a success. And my nipples went from sore to not too bad. Another success and evidence of a good latch. But my body is not cooperating. It's been a week, and everything I've read says that my milk should be "in" by now. Yes I have some milk, but I don't think this is what they're talking about when they say milk should be in. People have been having babies for thousands of years, and this should all be natural, right? But I can't help but think that if this was in the time before formula, my baby would not be thriving and I would be starving my baby. But then again, I wouldn't have a baby at all if it weren't for science, right? Once again, my body refuses to do what it was designed to do, and I'm forcing it to behave, or at least hoping it will.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Alex is here!

This is a little belated, but I'm finally getting the chance and the motivation (at 2 am) to log in and announce the arrival of our little girl, Miss Alexandra Louise! Born on 11/1/11, at 5:03 pm, 7 lbs, 3 oz, 19 inches long. With the cutest and biggest cheeks ever. As they were pulling her out of my belly (yes, ended up with a c-section - birth story to come), they saw her face and cheeks and figured she would be a huge baby. But no, not huge, just huge cheeks. That and a fabulous double chin. Here are a couple pics, one right after she was born, and one when she was first meeting one of her brothers Kodiak.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Best Laid Plans

My hubs cannot keep a secret, at least not from me. I find this one of his most endearing qualities, even if it has ruined a few surprises over the years. He can rarely wait until Christmas or my birthday to show me my gifts. He bought my engagement ring while out of town visiting friends, and was planning to do something big and romantic for a proposal, but instead as soon as he saw me, he bent down on one knee and proposed – the ring was burning a hole in his pocket. I love this quality of him, as it’s further evidence that I can trust him completely and he could never keep a secret from me, but it sometimes has a drawback – we often celebrate holidays with me giving him presents, but there’s nothing for me that I don’t know about already!

Last night, the hubs did it again. A package came in the mail, and he asked me if I wanted a gift. C’mon, what girl doesn’t want a gift? But then he explained that it was a “push present” and maybe I should wait until after I pushed to get it. First of all, I think push presents are silly, and I had told him this, but don’t mind getting a gift for any reason, especially if it’s to celebrate being a mom! Also, I was kind of bummed after my doctor’s appointment yesterday when I found out I wasn’t dilated at all and the doctor expects the induction to be difficult, and maybe result in a c-section. So I thought that opening a gift might cheer me up… And when someone is holding a gift excitedly and asks if I want to open it, of course the answer will be yes! So I said yes, and he told me the gift was from Blue Nile – could I guess what it is?

I got excited. For those of you that have been my bloggy friend for awhile, you might recall that I bought myself a charm bracelet last year for myself from Blue Nile. Here’s the post and picture. I bought two charms for the two babies I lost – hearts with the birth stones for the months that I lost my little ones. And I got some happy charms – a dog and one to commemorate our wedding. Upon request, hubs got me a cat one for Christmas. And I knew that someday, when I got my baby, I would get a charm to represent my baby. I really wanted the baby shoe here. I was planning on asking for it for Christmas.

So when I saw the Blue Nile box, I was very excited. I was getting my charm! But then I opened the box. And it was a heart with a November birth stone, with the letter A engraved for Alexandra. And I burst into tears. Hubs was so confused, he didn’t understand. “What’s wrong? I thought you liked the charms.” I sobbed, “I do, but it’s a heart.” “But I thought you like hearts – you have two on your bracelet!” “Yes, but they’re for the dead babies. I want Alex to be alive, to be different, and not be a dead baby.”

I feel so bad. Hubs really thought he was doing such a good job by getting me a charm to represent Alex, and he really did. I should have told him, been more clear when I picked out the charms, that for the live baby, I wanted something other than the hearts. I told hubs that I wanted something different, and he pointed out that this one had an A engraved for her name. Which caused me to sob even more – the dead babies didn’t get names! I felt so bad last night crying like that over a gift, but I couldn’t help it. For over a year, I’ve looked down at my charm bracelet, and touched those two little hearts, thinking of my dead babies, and looking forward to the time when I have something different to touch for my live baby. But last night I got very scared that somehow he jinxed us, that giving me a charm that was similar to my dead baby charms would cause Alex to be dead too. I know this isn’t rational, but I’m a nine-month pregnant woman about to be induced on Tuesday! I’m the first person to admit that I’m not at my most rational right now!

I finally calmed down, apologized for reacting so poorly, and suggested that maybe we should hold off on putting the charm on the bracelet until after Alex is born, and she’s healthy. Perhaps we should wait until after the pushing to use the push present…

So then in desperation to make me feel better, he ruined my Christmas surprise and showed me online the gift he plans on getting me: a beautiful Tiffany necklace with Alex’s birthstone!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Graduation

Two years ago, I decided that I had tried to get pregnant naturally for long enough and needed professional assistance, and so I hired an RE to help me. At the same time, I decided that I had tried to manage my mental health on my own for long enough and needed professional assistance, and so I hired a therapist to help me. After about 18 months with the RE, I graduated from his care, but it was easy to tell when it was time – I had a baby in my ute that appeared to be viable. But it’s harder to tell when to graduate from a therapist.

I’ve been seeing B (my therapist) regularly for two years – weekly up until about three months ago, and then every other week. She’s been asking at the end of our sessions if I still want to keep going on, and I’ve always said yes. But last night she kicked me out – she said I don’t need to come back anymore! She had been hinting around it for awhile, and two weeks ago she asked if I wanted to do one more session, so I knew it was coming, but it was still weird walking out of there without an appointment scheduled. She said that I can come back for tune-ups, and I can come back after Alex is born if I think I’m having problems with depression, but she thinks that I now have all the tools that I need to deal with my life. Weird…

I’m a little nervous, being out here in the world without B behind me, helping me figure things out, asking me how I could have handled things differently. She’s a bit of a security blanket for me, and being without her is somewhat scary. I wonder if I really am ready to be without therapy. Because not everything is easy, there are still a lot of hard things that I deal with, and the thoughts that go through my head are not good!

But then I remember a couple nights ago when I was up at 3:00 am, and I couldn’t sleep. Baby Alex wasn’t moving, and my thoughts immediately started racing – what if she’s dead? When was the last time I felt her move? What if I’ve gone through all this and I won’t bring home a baby? But within just a few minutes, I was able to stop myself, and remind myself that the likelihood is very slim that I won’t be bringing home a baby, and that I just felt her move a few hours before, and everything was ok. And sure enough, I got up, drank a glass of milk, and little Alex started moving around.

I also remember a few weeks ago when I found out that my mother was not coming to see me, even though she said she promised to buy a plane ticket to come see me before Alex was born. In the past, I would have been very upset, but this time when she told me she was coming, I told her that I was very excited to see her, but I told myself that it was likely not going to happen. And I shouldn’t expect too much. And when she said that she was too busy to come, I told her I was disappointed, but I didn’t get upset. I didn’t even cry or anything, I just told myself that it was her loss, and it was ok. Sure, I wish my mom was different, but I can’t make her into someone she is not, I can only manage my own expectations, and choose to treat myself well when others don’t.

Maybe all these things mean that I really am ready to be on my own without B. The bad things will continue to happen, my mother will probably drive me nuts until one of us is gone, and my husband will frustrate me to no end after Alex is born, I'm sure! But maybe I know how to deal with this stuff better than I used to. I will probably always have awful thoughts go through my head, but the difference between now and two years ago is I used to allow them to stay, and I couldn't move on. Now I acknowledge the thoughts, and turn it around, bring it back to reality, so much quicker than I ever have before.

I know that I can go back to see B if I feel like I need to, but I feel ready to take on this next chapter in my life, motherhood, with all the tools she has given me. I’m so much stronger than I was two years ago, and I’m very proud of myself for continuing to go to her and talk through things in my life. Sure it would be easy to keep seeing her, but we all must grow up and move on to the next place in our lives, without our security blanket. I guess it’s now my time.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Final Two Week Wait

Throughout it all – the TTC naturally, the IUI’s, the IVFs, the miscarriages, it seemed like our lives were split into little two week periods. Waiting for ovulation, waiting for AF, waiting for that elusive BFP, waiting for an ultrasound, waiting to miscarry, waiting, waiting, waiting. And after it all, I am finally in the last two week wait for my baby.

I went to the doc this morning, and he scheduled me for an induction on November 1 – two weeks from today. At that point I’ll be 38 weeks, 3 days, and he doesn’t want me to go any longer for fear of going into labor naturally without being able to control the timing of Lovenox. I also had my first ultrasound since 20 weeks, which was cool. Little Alex was head down, and it looks like she’ll be a little small. She is weighing 5 lbs, 13 oz, and is in the 28th percentile. But everything looked good, and I can’t wait to meet her!

I can’t believe I’m giving birth two weeks from today (assuming of course my body doesn’t decide to do something differently). Of course my mind goes to my To Do list, trying to figure out what needs to happen before she comes. But there really is very little. Sure I’d love to organize some more at home, but after working all day, I’m completely exhausted, and I don’t get anything done in the evenings. I’ll be working until next Friday (woohoo! So excited to take time off!) so I really will only have one day off of work prior to induction date. This weekend we have infant CPR and infant care classes, so that should be fun. At least it will be very relevant, and the hubs won’t complain about not needing to know the information! Other than that, there’s really very little to do. The bag is packed with the exception of last minute items like cell phone chargers, the room is done, or at least as much as we’re going to do, and everything is ready.

I have good news about the Lovenox & aspirin while breastfeeding thing. I talked with my OB about it, and he thinks I should just stop taking both drugs at birth. Yes, I have a clotting issue, but I’ve never actually had clots that have been diagnosed, only a gene mutation. So he tells his patients with this situation to just stop the drugs at birth, no weaning required, and he’s never seen an issue. So that makes the decision very easy!

It’s so strange to admit, but I’m having a little anxiety about being a mom. The time is finally almost here, and I hate to admit that I’m nervous about being able to handle it. I hear from others about how hard the first few weeks and months can be, and I’m getting nervous about it. I honestly think it will be fine, but I also wonder how na├»ve I am being – what if it’s not fine? I don’t spend much time with these thoughts, but sometimes at 3:00 in the morning when I can’t sleep the fear races through my mind…

I must get back to work as I have a huge list of things that I need to get done prior to leaving work. But as I complete these tasks, the words “Two more weeks, two more weeks!” keep going through my mind. Two more weeks – can you believe it???

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Medical Confusion

First I want to state for the record that I apologize to my bloggy friends – I am WAY behind on reading blogs! I’ve been working so hard lately, as there are so many projects that need to get done before I go on maternity leave, that I haven’t had any time at work to blog. And let’s face it, work is my primary place for blogging… Usually when I go home, the last thing I want to do is get on the computer. But I promise to get better and get caught up!

I have had a whirlwind of doctor appointments over the last two days: my regular weekly OB appointment, my asthma doctor to update my scripts so I could have fresh meds for labor, and a pediatrician. My OB appointment was fine, except there was a bit of a scare – the nurse took my blood pressure and it was 148/102, which is very high for me, at the beginning of my appointment. Then I did the NST for about 30 minutes, and the doc came in. He took my BP again, using what I call the fat person cuff, and it was 122/82, which is more typical for me. So I worried a bunch while getting my NST for nothing… The nurse had told me that there wasn’t protein in my urine, but still! Pretty concerning to have high BP and just sit there and think about it for 30 minutes! At my asthma appointment today (which went fine), my BP was 120/78. So I think it was a fluke and a result of using a too-small cuff, like my doc said.

The doctor visit that threw me for a loop is the pediatrician. I went to a doc that was recommended by some ladies at work, and I expected to like her, and I did. But it was very interesting, and is causing me to do a lot of googling, so I figured I’d come to the best source – my infertile sisters!

As a brief medical history, I’ve been treated or at least consulted with 3 docs: Dr. Sher in Vegas, Local RE, and OB. Local RE ran a bunch of tests at my request after my miscarriage last summer, and I was diagnosed with compound heterozygous MTHFR – two mutations. He recommended taking Folgard 2.2 twice per day, and low-dose aspirin. My understanding is that these are meds for the rest of my life, now that we know I have the MTHFR mutation. Then I had a consult and testing with Dr. Sher, when he diagnosed me with elevated NK cells, and recommended intralipids for that, and in addition to the Folgard for MTHFR, recommended Lovenox during pregnancy and for 6 weeks after birth. I ended up going with Local RE for IVF and a subsequent FET, which resulted in a baby in my belly, but only because Local RE agreed to follow Sher’s intralipid and Lovenox protocols. But even though Sher didn’t think aspirin was necessary, Local RE recommended it, and so therefore I’ve been taking Folgard, low-dose aspirin and Lovenox, every day, throughout my pregnancy.

Meanwhile, after getting pregnant, I went to see my OB, who is fine with me taking baby aspirin and Lovenox, and is now the prescribing doc for Lovenox. He is not a fan of switching people to heparin prior to birth, and instead prefers to induce labor prior to me going into labor on my own, so we can control the timing of labor with the shots of Lovenox. So I will get an ultrasound next week at 36 weeks (can you believe it?!?!?!) and based on that, we’ll schedule an induction somewhere around 38 weeks (so excited – she’s almost here!!!). Nobody has really mentioned what will happen after birth, except I always knew that Sher’s protocol said Lovenox until 6 weeks post-birth.

So I go see the pediatrician yesterday for a “new mom” visit, and I don’t really know what I’m doing. Sure I’ve downloaded some questions to ask from the internet, but really I just want to see if I think I’ll get along with her, and like her style. She asks me at the beginning if there have been any complications with my pregnancy, and I give her the brief run-down: “No not really after getting pregnant. Trouble conceiving, miscarriages, IVF. Diagnosed with clotting disorder so taking Lovenox, so OB wants to induce around 38 weeks so he can control the timing.” Ped doc said that sounds like a good plan, and moves on. At some point, I ask her about her feelings of breastmilk vs. formula feeding.

Now as a side note, I feel very prepared to breastfeed, or at least as prepared as I can. I’ve read a couple books, including Jack Newman’s book, The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers, which I highly recommend. I’ve done a bunch of research online. I even dragged the hubs to a breastfeeding class. Bought a pump, nipple cream, breast pads and bras. In short, I really want to breastfeed, and I will do anything to make that possible.

I’ve read in the books about how to tell if a doctor/hospital is breastfeeding-friendly. And this new pediatrician, or at least her nurse, broke the number one rule. As soon as I checked in and was brought back to an office, the nurse happily exclaimed that she had all kinds of new mom gifts for me! Lots and lots of formula samples… But giving the office and the doc the benefit of the doubt, maybe they just want to get rid of the stuff that I’m sure the formula companies give them…

Anyway, I asked the ped doc about breastmilk vs. formula feeding, and she said that breast is best. She firmly believes in breastfeeding. But she’s supportive of situations that require formula. “Like for you, if you need to take Lovenox after birth.” I’m sorry, what? She said that Lovenox is a bad drug to take if you’re breastfeeding, so if I’m taking that, I’ll need to feed my baby formula. I responded that I read that Lovenox has a high molecular weight, and will therefore not pass into breast milk. So she got out her meds for breastfeeding book, and we went to Enoxaparin (generic name for Lovenox) and like she said, it’s listed as a Level 3 drug. Level 1 – great. Level 2 – just fine. Level 3 – no studies have been done to prove anything either way. Level 4 & 5 – bad. (At least that’s how I interpret the levels – some of you science types could refute me…) And she explained, which I wasn’t really aware of, although it makes sense, that the levels for breastfeeding are different than the classifications for pregnancy. I knew Lovenox was Class B for pregnancy, so I figured it would be fine for breastfeeding. But she said it was Level 3 – no studies have been done, so she doesn’t like me taking it and breastfeeding. Yes, the book mentioned the high molecular weight and that it’s unlikely that it could pass through to breast milk, but she wasn’t buying it – it was a Level 3, and that’s it. But it’s a judgment call and it’s up to me. Also, aspirin is classified as Level 3, and it has been linked to Reyes syndrome, but not in low doses. So that is up to me as well!

I’ve read a bunch of stuff online, and most things that I read say that both Lovenox and low-dose aspirin are just fine, but it is concerning to have a pediatrician disagree with you… I consulted Jack Newman’s book, and he mentioned low molecular weight heparins (like Lovenox, but not specifically addressing Lovenox) and that it has too high of a weight to get into breast milk. He doesn’t address aspirin at all.

Yes, I’ll talk to my OB about it, but I doubt he’ll have any kind of opinion as he’s just following the recommendations of other docs. Part of me just wants to stop both Lovenox and aspirin when I give birth. Yes, I know there’s a risk of me developing clots, but I’ve never had any kind of issues in my life until trying to get pregnant. I would have never even known about this if I hadn’t miscarried! And using Lovenox and baby aspirin is somewhat controversial for compound heterozygous MTHFR folks, so maybe I don’t even need it… I hate that once again, there is no clear-cut answer when it comes to infertility and the things we do to combat it.

All I know is I want to breastfeed my little Alex, and just be a normal mom. Is that too much to ask???

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Lightbulb Moment

We were at the childbirth class for the best of the four, the one that includes the hospital tour and the discussion of all the “interventions”. You know, all the stuff I plan to use in my upcoming birth process. So all of us were crammed into a birthing suite, which is actually pretty nice, and there were comments about husbands sleeping on the couch, and the night nursery which is available from 11:00 pm to 6:00 am (which I informed the hubs that we were not using), and changes of clothes, gowns and stuff. Someone then asked a question about how long after birth you can go home, and the instructor said minimum of 24 hours for vaginal birth, 48 hours for C-section, and plan on a day for labor, so plan on staying at least two nights. And that the nurses are available to help, but you really should plan on having a support person there during your whole stay. As we were leaving the room to go to the next spot on the tour, I asked the hubs, “So are you ready to make this a home for a few days?” He has this shocked expression on his face, and he responded, “My mom needs to come here and take care of the dogs!” Um what??? We talked about this months ago! I had asked if he feels very strongly about having her here for the birth, he said no, and I told him that my preference is to not have anyone fly in for the birth, because if his mom were to come, then my mom would need to be invited as well. And both of moms, or either of them, would stress me out to no end.

I told hubs that I already asked our dog-sitter to be on call, and she will be able to come stay at our house while we’re in the hospital, or at the minimum, stop by a few times each day. And that I agreed to have his mom come down a few weeks after the baby is born, but not prior. I think by then my stress level may be a little lower, and I will be able to handle being nice to his mom. I don’t think I could be trusted to be nice to anyone while I’m in the hospital, especially for long periods of time. Because she wouldn’t be content staying at our house, she would have to be with us in that room ALL DAY LONG!!!

Well it turns out that hubs finally figured out, for the first time this pregnancy, that giving birth is a multi-day process. Apparently his mother told him that she went into labor with him in the morning, went into the hospital, pushed for 15 minutes, and was home by the afternoon. And I guess that’s what hubs expects now! I let him know that either his mom has been telling him lies his entire life, or she’s highly abnormal. And this will not be happening with me. How did he not know this would take multiple days? Oh and then he said that it would be good to have her at our home when we got back from the hospital because we would be tired, and would want to rest. I informed him that resting is not really part of it – I plan to breastfeed, and I will need to be feeding her every 2-3 hours! He thought that I could just pump a bunch and fill up some bottles for the baby. On day 2.

OK, so now it becomes very evident why we’re going to all these silly classes. He has no clue! I have bought him books, and tried to talk to him about stuff, but he won’t read the books, as he only likes to read stuff online. So I’ve tried to send him articles about Dad’s role and such, but apparently it didn’t all click until this week. Suddenly he’s realizing that this might actually be hard! That there’s a lot of stuff to do to take care of a baby! That he won’t get as much sleep as he’s used to!

I have to laugh, and I’m glad we’re finally having these conversations. I knew he was pretty clueless, but wow. We have one more childbirth class, and then there’s a breastfeeding class, infant CPR, and infant care class. I’m so happy I’ve signed up for these – because it’s becoming more and more evident that they are very useful, if only to spark conversations!

On another note, hubs works for the best company ever when it comes to benefits. First, his insurance paid for most of the costs of this little IVF baby, and now we just found out that he can take 12 weeks of FMLA leave, and they will pay him 100% pay! No disability, no PTO, no nothing. Meanwhile I’m scraping together my PTO, disability and some part-time work at home to maximize my pay while I take time off, but he can take 12 paid weeks sometime in the first 12 months, as long as they’re in minimum 1 week increments! Have you ever heard of a company in the US doing this? And even better, his direct boss has two children, and he took off the 12 weeks for each of his kids, so he’s very supportive. So hubs is planning on taking a couple weeks off when Alex is born, and then a few weeks around Christmas, and then a month off when I return to work in January. I’m thrilled, as this is a month that I don’t have to put my baby in daycare when I go back to work! And we’re considering packing up the baby, our two dogs, and going to Colorado for a few weeks at Christmas. We could visit family and friends, and have help with Alex for awhile.

But my question to all the moms out there is: Am I crazy for putting two big dogs (who have handled the trip very well many times before, and are great, but are terrible in a hotel so we refuse to stay in a hotel with them) and a baby who will be about 6 weeks old into a van with all our stuff and making a trip that normally takes 16 hours? And how long will it take when you incorporate the additional stops that a baby requires???

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Heartbreak and Control

My BFF, the one that I wrote about here (41 years old, recently had an FET and found out she was pregnant with rising numbers and everything…) Well, it’s all over. She went in for more betas, and her numbers weren’t rising appropriately. Then finally she went in this weekend for an ultrasound, and there is nothing there. She stopped all the progesterone, and now she’s bleeding. My heart breaks for her.

But then, on top of it all, right after she found out she was pregnant, and right before she found out her numbers weren’t increasing appropriately, her husband went to the doctor due to pain in his testicles and they determined he has testicular cancer. So he had one of his testicles removed on Friday, and they find out later this week how bad it is based on the pathology report. I finally got to talk with her on Sunday, and she’s in shock – still processing it all. I can’t even imagine – going through all this at the same time. My heart goes out to her, and I wish I could take away the pain. But I know I can’t. I only did what I knew to do – talk to her, and I sent them flowers.

She sent me an email today, her first day back at work after taking most of last week off: “I’m back at work and I can’t decide if it’s good to be back in familiar territory that I can control or if it sucks to be back to work.” This is so very true. I remember going back to work after my miscarriages, and I found it strangely comforting going to a place where I was competent, where I could have a direct relationship between hard work and results. In school and in work, I’ve been very successful. And so has my friend – ever since we met in grad school we’ve been successful at our studies and our jobs. We’ve worked our way up our own corporate ladders, and our hard work has been recognized and rewarded. It’s only when we try to do something in our personal life like try to start a family that we can’t control the outcome. I find this statement very common in our online IF community. So many of us have been successful professionally, and are then shocked when our plan for family-building doesn’t go as expected.

My friend has tried to get pregnant for over two years, and finally succeeded after two IVF’s and an FET. She had a couple days of happy wonderful times, when she told her family and her close friends, and she started planning for her future baby. And then her world started crumbling around her – her husband was diagnosed with testicular cancer, and then she lost her baby. She, and for that matter all of us, has absolutely no control over what happens to her in her personal life. And this sucks, it really does.

The only thing we can try to control is our reaction to the events around us. And so I can try to be there for my friend, send her flowers as a token of my love, hug my husband a little tighter while being grateful that he’s healthy, and appreciate even more that my baby girl is doing well in my belly. But I’m continually reminded that this is all fleeting – we never know when our worlds can crash - none of us have any control.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Childbirth Class

Hubs and I took our first childbirth class last night. It is a 12 hour class, split into four nights over four weeks. It’s put on by the hospital where I’ll give birth, and includes a tour of the facilities, so that will be helpful. I didn’t really give Hubs an option to attend – I just told him he had to, and I’m glad we’re going. But I doubt we’ll use much of the info we’ll learn.

I would love to think that I won’t use drugs to give birth, but I doubt that will happen. In a perfect world, maybe I would try to have a natural birth, but I would have hired a doula and relied on someone other than Hubs to get me through it. But as we all know, we’re not in a perfect world. I’m taking Lovenox daily to decrease the risk that I’ll lose my baby, and therefore I don’t get to wait until the baby decides she’s ready to be born, as the instructor last night described as ideal. Instead I will go into the doctor’s office at 36 weeks, see what the ultrasound looks like, and then coordinate with my doctor my induction date sometime between 37 and 39 weeks. She will be born slightly early, the meds that I’m on will be strictly scheduled, and my body will be ripped from not-ready-for-labor to induction-by-meds-who-cares-if-you’re-body-is-ready very quickly. Based on what I’ve read, induction involves more intense contractions, IV’s and other medical interventions which will impair my abilities to move around, and an increased chance of C-section. And this is if everything goes according to plan!

And I’m ok with this. I’m ok with handing everything over to the doctor, and allowing him to direct my birth. Because all I care about is having my baby, and I want her to be healthy. I know this decreases my chances of breastfeeding going well because of the meds that will be in my body, and I know that it’s not ideal to deliver before 40 weeks if not necessary, but it’s ok. It’s ok, because it is necessary to make sure that I have this baby! I guess it’s your standard risk vs. reward analysis. Sure, in a perfect world, I might have planned something differently, but this is what I’m doing with the hand I’ve been dealt, and I’m focusing on the good part – the baby that I get at the end. Like I’ve said before, my birth plan consists of three points: in a hospital, healthy baby, healthy mommy. Everything else is just details.

The class last night does NOT agree with my plan – at all. It’s a certified Lamaze class even though it covers other areas, including meds. But its main focus is natural childbirth. Hubs kept leaning over to me last night, saying things are ridiculous, we’re never going to use this, this class is dumb, etc. But that’s ok. I actually had a really good time.

Hubs and I have not been connecting very well lately. We haven’t had fun in awhile together, and it’s starting to wear on our relationship. Prior to getting pregnant, we used to go out a lot with other people, and I don’t do this much anymore. Most of Hubs’ socializing involves bars and drinking. I really don’t mind going to most bars, as long as they’re not smoky, and I have made an effort to go with him for a lot of these outings, but it’s getting harder and harder to hang out with him. I’m not only physically uncomfortable just sitting in a chair for hours on end, but also I’m feeling a bit awkward being the big huge pregnant woman in the bar. It just seems odd! Not as odd as the baby in a bar, but still a bit weird, no? So I’ve cut most of this out of my life, but Hubs still meets our friends quite often – at least twice each week, sometimes more.

Last week we got into a fight on Thursday night when I made dinner for us (which is a huge feat – my back is usually very sore after working, so standing up in the kitchen to make dinner is miserable) and he didn’t call me until 7:45 to tell me that instead of coming home (even when I told him that morning that I was making dinner) he was going to a bar to watch football with some friends. He got a ride home (he had left his car at the bus stop, it’s not like he was drunk) with a friend at 10:00, and invited the friend in to hang out and drink more. I was reading in bed, so I asked him to come talk to me, and I told him that I was very upset that he didn’t come home that night. See, he had gone out Wednesday night with friends to the normal trivia night, and he was leaving for Colorado on Friday to go to a wedding (which I couldn’t go to because the wedding was in the mountains and my doc thinks that I shouldn’t fly and go to high altitudes now). So the only night that he would be around was Thursday, and I made dinner, and he went to the bar. I told him I was upset, and he told me I was unreasonable. He left on Friday, sent me a few texts over the weekend, and then came back Sunday. I tried to talk to him about it on Sunday, and he told me again that I was unreasonable. This didn’t get resolved, I could only drop it.

I’m sure this is common, but I worry about if it will be any different when Alex comes. He is rarely at home, and when he is, he’s on the computer playing some online game. I wonder if he will step up when he has a daughter. He’s been doing better lately – as he sees that I can’t do as much physically as I used to, he really is pitching in quite a bit. I told him that I wasn’t going to make dinner anymore, as it hurts too much and I can’t rely on him to come home, and he said ok. Monday night he came home and made grilled cheese sandwiches and soup – which was perfect. And he’s done a lot of other things. But my mind keeps going to the list of household projects that he starts and doesn’t complete (you should see my backyard – deck was removed, rock was ordered, and only partially placed – for the last few months, and Alex’s room has been partially painted for weeks). I’m trying to be patient, I really am, but he’s driving me nuts!

So last night at birth class was really good for us. Hubs says he was miserable and it was a waste of time, but we had a great time sitting in the back making snide comments about the instructor and what she was suggesting (Hubs told me that there’s no way I was going to lay down on the bed with my pants off and cough so he could watch to see if my amniotic fluid was dripping out!), or the other class members (you know you’re in Texas when a guy is asking if he can go hunting during his wife’s pregnancy – it’s duck season, and their deer lease is three hours away!). It was three hours when Hubs and I were on the same team again, having fun together, and acting like it was us against the world. Maybe we’re not getting as much as we can out of the class when Hubs keeps leaning over to me and whispering “Brainwashing!” But it made me laugh every time. We’re having fun together, which we really need. And that’s definitely worth it!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Woohoo!!!

I’ve talked in the past about my BFF. She’s the one who declared me an IF mentor in April 2010, after she had been TTC for almost a year and finally went to the RE. Since April 2010, she did Clomid for a few months, had two IVF’s and an FET. She skipped IUI’s because her doctor doesn’t recommend them for anyone over 40. During her first IVF, which was around the same time as mine, she had a chemical pregnancy – very low numbers, not doubling, took a long time for her numbers to go to zero so she could try again. Her second IVF didn’t work at all, but she had two frozen embryos from that cycle. This was going to be her last try – she felt like she had to use her frozen embryos before she gave up. But she wasn’t hopeful. When they thawed her two embryos, one of them didn’t make it – it didn’t start growing. So her doctor who normally recommends transferring three embryos for women over 40 gave her a choice: go through with the transfer of the one not-so-good looking embryo, or save the money and try again. She knew that she was done with fertility treatments – she hated the whole process – so she figured that even though the doc wasn’t very hopeful, he may as well transfer the one embryo so she could be done.

Everything was against her – she’s 41, her sole embryo didn’t look good, she had no symptoms, she was done with treatments. I talked with her on Sunday, the day before the results came back from her 2nd blood test (her clinic doesn’t tell patients anything after the first blood test, only after the second blood test shows that it’s increasing appropriately) and she wasn’t hopeful. I asked her to text me the results on Monday, and she said she would, in between beers and cigarettes…

I didn’t hear from her on Monday, and I didn’t call her either. I figured I would give her some time to grieve – I really didn’t think it would work! On Tuesday, I emailed her, but no response. I was trying to be respectful of her grieving process… But Tuesday night, I got a phone call, and she said, “Does Alex want a cousin?” Holy shit! It worked! Just goes to show all you ladies – you never know. All signs could be pointing to things not working, and it can turn out positive!

She’s over the moon excited, and I am too. Not only so that she can have her baby after everything she has gone through, but I’m also very excited for our friendship. There were times in the last few months that I knew that it was hard for her to talk to me. We would go weeks without her returning my calls, which would never happen in the years that we’ve known each other and been friends. She would apologize, claiming that she’s busy, but I know that it was sometimes hard to talk to me. In our conversations, I would never bring up my pregnancy, and only talk about it if she asked me questions, which she did quite a bit. I always tried to steer the conversation back to her, to work, to something else, but it was hard. After her last failed IVF, she said, “I really hope we can continue to be friends even if IVF never works for me.” And I told her I hoped so. I don’t think it ever would have come to that, but it still was concerning, as things between us were harder.

On Tuesday after she told me she was pregnant, it was just like it used to be. Both of us couldn’t stop talking, and it was fabulous. She asked me lots of questions about early pregnancy, and dates and such, and then told me that she was going to be high-maintenance. She would need me for all kinds of support during her pregnancy. This couldn’t have made me happier!

And yet… I can’t stop thinking that she’s too excited, that she’s naively assuming there’s going to be a baby at the end. I just want her to get to the second trimester so the risk of miscarriage is lower. She knows that there’s a chance – she saw what I’ve gone through, her sister has had two miscarriages in between her successful pregnancies, and her doctor told her that the risk of miscarriage is higher for older women, but she’s not thinking of this. All she can think about is that in May, she’s going to have a baby! Which is what she should do – I’m certainly not going to bring this up (thank goodness for not telling anyone my blog address!), and I’m going to try to be as positive as possible when I speak with her. But I’m scared. Because I don’t want anything to ruin this happiness for her.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to be happy for her, and talk about raising our babies together (long-distance, of course – we haven’t lived in the same state since 1997!). I have been hoping for a pregnancy for her for so long, and now it finally happened. Like she said, we both will have our babies from frozen embryos – how perfect is that!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Weekly Visits

Today was the first of many (hopefully) weekly visits with the doc. As I’m taking Lovenox for clotting issues, my doc wanted to start weekly non-stress tests at around 29 weeks, to make sure that my placenta is working, and Alex is getting enough blood, and there are no clotting problems. So I went in today, had the machine strapped to my belly, and listed to her heartbeat for about 20 minutes, while pressing a button every time I felt her move. What a wonderful way to start my morning. Although it took the nurse a few minutes to find her heartbeat, which was a little stressful. I kept telling myself, I just felt her move, I just felt her move, it will be ok. And of course it was ok. Alex performed very well, as her heartbeat increased when she moved, so the doctor called her “reactive”, which apparently is a good thing!

The doc and I talked about the plan for the last part of my pregnancy. Weekly appointments with NST’s. An ultrasound at 36 weeks to check her growth, unless there’s any indication that her growth is off before that. And induction at 37-38 weeks. I asked about switching from Lovenox to Heparin, and he said no. He said there is a lot of discussion as to whether this is important, but he doesn’t think it is. He said that I could go into labor at any time, and with the weekly appointments and constant attention, they will try to control the timing of induction, but we really can’t control it. He plans to have me off of Lovenox for 24 hours prior to induction, but if I go into labor on my own, then it will be fine. He said that worst case, if I have to do a C-section, I won’t be able to do a spinal block and instead will need to have general anesthesia, but he thinks the chance of this is rare. So we’ll just continue to monitor the situation and see what happens.

I’m fine with this approach. I talked a lot with people at my baby shower last week about birth plans and such. I have a friend who did all these hypno-birthing classes, and was so disappointed when she ended up having a C-section. She grieved for a long time, and had a hard time getting over it. In fact, I don’t think she really got over it until she had a successful VBAC with her second pregnancy, with no meds. I completely respect those that place a lot of importance in how the birth takes place, but at this point, I really don’t care. Infertility has taught me that there is very little I can control in my reproductive plans, and it’s OK. I handed the conception of my child over to the doctors, and now I’m handing the birth of my child over to the doctors as well. So my birth plan consists of three things: at a hospital, healthy baby, healthy me. All I care about is being able to take my baby home, and I’d like to be alive to do it.

Moving to weekly appointments, and starting to talk about induction, makes it seem so very close! I’ll be at 30 weeks on Saturday! Which means that I’ll have a baby 7-8 weeks after that! Wow, I can’t believe it’s so close. We have so much to do – classes, her room, another baby shower – but none of it matters. I’m so excited to be able to meet her, and I’m thrilled that I’m getting even closer to that day.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Missing Colorado

We had such a wonderful weekend in Colorado. We spent Thursday through Monday spending time with all our friends and family in Colorado, and we are truly blessed with the people that have stayed in touch with us, and continue to support us and come out to see us when we go back to Denver.

I find myself telling everyone how this little one was conceived. I wasn’t super secretive about my infertility before – I would tell anyone if they asked, or if it seemed natural. But now that I’m pregnant, I feel even more compelled to tell people that this baby was not an accident, and she wasn’t easy, and I worked really hard to get her! I found myself at my baby shower talking to five women in the kitchen all about IUI’s, and IVF’s, and frozen embryos, and any other questions they had for me. And it was great. Maybe this will help get the word out. I don’t have a lot of ambition to be an infertility advocate, or anything like that. But if we could all be more open about our own experiences, maybe it could help infertility have less of a stigma than it does already.

And it doesn’t have to be super serious and educational. We were at a happy hour after the shower so the guys could celebrate too, and after a few drinks, someone started taking a bunch of pictures. Somehow the hubs and I got into some weird poses, with him grabbing my belly and I guess it looked a little sexual, and someone yelled out, “That’s how she got that way!” And the hubs said, “Not exactly. I wasn’t really involved at all!” And I said, “No honey, you were involved – you had your nice alone time with the cup!” And everyone laughed. Not sure if it was awkward for those who didn’t know all the details, but I don’t really care. At that moment, I was proud of us for being easy and up-front about our infertility, even if it was in front of 15 or so random friends and a bunch of strangers around us.

The night before we left, I had a two-hour conversation with the hubs’ grandmother. She’s the only grandparent that we have left between the two of us, and she’s amazing. She’s 92 years old, and she still goes to work every day as a bookkeeper. She keeps the books for about 20 different investment companies and trusts, all on green ledger paper and with a pencil. She decided when she turned 80 that she wasn’t going to worry about things like drinking and dieting anymore, so she will definitely have a cocktail or two if given the opportunity! She and I sat there for two hours, she with her glasses of champagne, and me with my water, and I listened to her talk. She told me all about the birth of her first child.

It was 1944, and she and her husband were living in Oklahoma on an army base. She was about to give birth. In fact, she had been told by her doctor to come into the hospital the next day to give birth (not exactly sure why – I think she was supposed to check into the hospital even though she wasn’t yet in labor). Well, her husband told her that his unit just got orders to go to Europe to fight in World War II. She hadn’t been away from her husband prior to this, but they knew that it was probably coming. So the next morning, instead of checking into the hospital to deliver her baby, she packed up her car. She decided she didn’t want to have a baby in Oklahoma where she didn’t know anyone; instead she wanted to be in Ohio where she grew up and where her mother could help her raise the baby. She had a foot locker that held all her clothes, dishes, and other personal items, and a dog. She drove for two days, without going over 40 miles per hour per the war-time restrictions, and using gas stamps, and she made it to Ohio by herself. She didn’t go into labor for another eight days.

When she went into labor, her mother told her to take a cab to the hospital, but when she got into the cab, she discovered it was full with two other passengers. The cab driver told her that he was going to drop off the other passengers first, as they were defense workers, and they were more of a priority than a laboring woman. She finally got to the hospital, and they discovered the baby was breech. She still delivered vaginally, but only after “the doctor took his knife and cut me, all the way to my bowels!” She hadn’t heard of the term “episiotomy” when I said it. She then told me that for the next ten days while she was in the hospital, the doctor would come by, put a sheet over her face, and show all the students “her bottom” with the cut and all the stitches. She was so embarrassed, having to show her “bottom” to strangers. She stayed in the hospital for ten days with her baby girl, and by the time she went home, they were in a good routine.

I loved hearing her stories of giving birth, and raising babies. She is such an amazing woman. I hope she lives for at least a few more years, as I hope that baby Alex will be able to remember her. She can’t drive as her vision isn’t great, and she has a few medical problems, but overall she’s in really good health. We’ve been talking a lot about death lately, as she recently changed the executor of her estate to the hubs, so she wanted to go over all the details and paperwork with both the hubs and me. I’ve only been with the hubs for eight years of my life, but she is such a huge part of my family, and I don’t ever want to see her go. She’s so excited to meet baby Alex, and I can’t wait to see them together. We’ve decided on a middle name for Alex – Louise. This is the hubs grandmother’s middle name, and I can’t think of a better name for my baby girl.

This trip made us long even more for Colorado. We have to get back there – and soon. Right now we have a two-year plan. At the end of the next two years, we will be back in Denver. Our jobs don’t really support this, but there are more important things than jobs. We want to raise our children in Colorado, near our family, and that is much more important than where we work.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Today is my shower!

This afternoon I am having my first baby shower. I have travelled to Denver for this, and all my Denver family and friends will be there. My mother-in-law and friend have put so much effort into planning and today will be cooking up a storm for this party. I am so grateful for all their hard work, I can hardly put it into words.

I’m amazed I’m here. 28 weeks today, in the third trimester, feeling my little girl kick every day, and having a baby shower. The emotions that well up are overwhelming. The hubs doesn’t understand why it seems I cry every day. I try to hide most of the crying, but when I walk into my friend’s house today and see what they’ve done for the shower, and see people I haven’t seen in a long time coming together to see me and bring a gift for my little girl, I don’t know if I will be able to keep it together.

I cried so much on the phone with my mother yesterday. I really screwed something up. When we’re in town for a long weekend, and we both grew up here and have lots of people that we love here, it’s very hard to fit everyone in. I had made plans to see my mother for lunch yesterday, and it didn’t work out. I won’t go into all of it, but we weren’t able to have lunch yesterday, and she’s not free any time the rest of the time I’m here. As she says, “I have a life too.” She’s coming to the shower this afternoon, but I won’t be able to have any quality time with her at an event like that. I was just so disappointed, as she won’t come to Texas to visit, now or even after baby Alex’s birth, and I rarely get to see her. I should have made sure lunch happened yesterday, and I feel so guilty for this, but I don’t know what to do about it now. I hope she’s nice today at the shower – it could go either way.

Besides the issue with my mother, everything’s been wonderful. We’re staying with the in-laws, and they’ve been so nice. All of our friends have dropped whatever they were doing to spend time with us, and we are getting some very special attention as we’re bringing the first baby of the generation to this crazy group. It’s so sweet, but all the attention gets somewhat overwhelming at times too.

I just can’t believe I’m here. After all the infertility treatments, and the losses, and the sadness and longing that took over my life for a couple years, I’m in my third trimester, and I’m celebrating the pending birth of my little girl with all the people I love in my life. I’m so very lucky, and I remember it daily. I have quite a few friends having fertility struggles of their own, and I wish I could take their pain from them. There are two of those ladies coming to the shower this afternoon, and I sent them each messages telling them if it was too much to come to the shower, I certainly understand, but they are planning on coming. I hope it’s not too painful for them. I don’t understand why some of us have to bear the infertility burden, but I know that having gone through it gives me such an appreciation of what I have, that I don’t know if I would have had without infertility. We were at a bar last night with our friends, and after a few hours of sitting on a bar stool, my back was killing me. I stood up and was leaning over the stool, trying to stretch it out, feeling pretty miserable. But then Alex kicked me, telling me she was still alive and doing well, and somehow the pain in my back seemed tolerable. I can deal with physical pain – it’s nothing like the emotional pain of not having my little girl.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Daycare

I spent two years trying to have a baby, and now I’m spending time trying to find someone to hire to take care of my baby. I can’t believe I’m doing this, and every time I think of actually leaving my baby girl at a daycare center, I get a little nauseous. But it is what it is. I’m going back to work when Alex is three months old, and there’s no going around it. And I’ve looked into nannies (too expensive, and I don’t know anyone personally that would do it that I would trust, so no) and au pairs (not too expensive, but unless I knew someone personally, I wouldn’t do it) and home day care centers (no – definitely not. Unless I knew someone personally who ran the daycare, I wouldn’t trust someone with a home daycare, I’ve heard way too many awful stories). So we’ve decided that a daycare center is the way to go. It took me a few months to come to this conclusion, and I’m definitely better than how I was awhile ago. About two months ago, I started doing research and saw some videos of a local daycare, and they were showing the fabulous shots of the infant room. All I saw was the row of cribs and I burst into tears, thinking it looks like an orphanage… So I’ve emotionally progressed beyond that point, but it’s still hard.

I finally started calling around to local daycares, and determined that although many places have spots available for February, the spots are limited and are filling up, so we definitely need to make a decision soon! So for the last two weeks, I’ve been touring daycares around my area during my lunch hour. Then I’m supposed to narrow it down to three places, and the hubs and I will take off an afternoon and go check out the three top places. He works an hour away from our home, and my commute is 7 minutes, so I definitely have an advantage for looking at all these places. Plus as he told me yesterday, “You know I don’t really like talking to people, and lots of babies make me nervous!” So for him to agree to go to three daycares is pretty good. When I first started this process, I thought he would want to go to the one that I picked, and that’s it! One nice thing is there’s a woman at work who is due three weeks after me, and she has a four-year old that has gone through daycare, so she has been going with me and asking good questions. Her boy is in a preschool that doesn’t accept infants, and she didn’t love the daycares that she used when he was younger, so she’s also looking. So it’s been nice to have her along for the tours. (Although if I have to hear again how getting pregnant must be in the water at your company or some other bullshit line, I might scream. She got pregnant with her new boyfriend accidentally, while on the pill…)

After going to five daycares, which are the only ones that aren’t too far out of my way (which isn’t saying too much - I really like my 7 minute commute) and take infants, I’ve narrowed it down to three.

Daycare A: Franchise of a national chain.
Cost: $260 per week
Infant room: In room until walking, and then will graduate to higher room. Some daycares have babies all the way up to 12-13 months together, so crawlers/walkers are going all over 6 weekers!
Ratio of teachers to infants: 1 teacher: 4 infants, up to 8 in the room.
Location: best location – on the way to work, no increase in commute.
Curriculum: Nationally set curriculum, teach baby sign language, structured days as kids get older. Most curriculum-based of the three.
Pros: Location; very professional company; curriculum-based education; very efficiently run company, which appeals to me as a business woman, not sure as a mom.
Cons: Smallest infant room (very small); rumors of high turnover of staff, but the infant teacher has been there 1 ½ years, and seems very good; don’t know anyone personally that uses center.

Daycare B: Church daycare.
Cost: $225 per week
Infant room: In room until crawling, and then will graduate to higher room until walking, and then will graduate to walking room.
Ratio of teachers to infants: 1 teacher: 3.5 infants, up to 7 in the room.
Location: good. Adds about 5-10 minutes to commute.
Curriculum: Teacher-set curriculum. For babies, no real curriculum, not very structured days. For older kids, have schedule, but doesn’t seem to be a main focus.
Pros: Not-for-profit, which is a huge decision-maker for the hubs, and I’m not sure (he believes that in not-for-profits, more money goes to the babies as they’re not trying to make money, which I can see his point, but isn’t always true); Church-based, which isn’t a huge deal as we’re not super religious, but I like the idea of kids being taught right from wrong from others outside of parents; Most home-like environment (the infant room reminded me of a big living room as opposed to a school); really liked the teacher, who has been there over five years; have very good recommendations from people I know, including people who have their babies there now.
Cons: Not a big focus on curriculum, so as kids get older may not learn as much as in other preschools; can’t really think of any others.

Daycare C: Only location, for-profit.
Cost: $220 per week
Infant room: In room until crawling, and then will graduate to higher room until walking, and then will graduate to walking room.
Ratio of teachers to infants: 1 teacher: 4 infants, up to 8 in the room.
Location: furthest away. Adds about 20 minutes to commute.
Curriculum: They use a national curriculum that they purchase from a curriculum provider (not sure exactly, but this is my impression). Very structured. Teach baby sign language, and every class has Spanish lessons. Teach some using DVD’s – every classroom has a TV, which is a bit odd – different than any other daycares I toured. But they said the TV is on a program maximum an hour each day, the rest of the time it’s on music only.
Pros: I really liked the director, who seemed very good; it’s small but very structured, which appeals to me as I like the curriculum focus; I know one person who gave a glowing recommendation about this place.
Cons: Location, but that’s probably about it.

This is a hard decision. I think I’m leaning towards Daycare B or C, and it really depends on what things I want to focus on. No, the curriculum isn’t very important for my 3-month old when she first starts daycare, but what about my 3-year old? Won’t I want her to get more of an education at that age? I’m sure Daycare B won’t give her a bad education, but if I’m paying almost $1,000 per month, shouldn’t we get something more out of it than safety and well-being? I don’t know – I’m hoping hubs can help me decide, but he’s completely prejudiced about picking the church-based one, I don’t think he’ll listen to anything else. Do any of you have advice for other things I should be asking? Or things I should be considering other than the items above? This is so hard, and I feel like it’s such a big decision.

And I would really appreciate it if you would not question my decision to go back to work. I’m having a hard enough time with it myself… Thanks!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Viability!

I surpassed the elusive 24 week mark this weekend, and I can’t believe it. I’ve looked up viability a bit, and this is when the chance of life starts to become greater than 50/50. This is when the NICU docs will fight for my baby to live, because she has a fighting chance. This is when she might be able to come out and live. But I’d rather not. She needs to stay in there for quite a bit longer, keep cooking and growing, for a few more months.

I went to the doctor for a nice boring appointment this morning. My fundal height is right on – 24 cm. Baby Alex’s heartbeat is a nice strong 140, and my blood pressure is 122/78, all good. He approved me to fly to Denver in a few weeks, and gave me a note to carry my shots, so I should be ready to go.

I’ve been reflecting on my pregnancy, and it really has been so easy. Besides the anxiety, which I think I’ve been managing fairly well, everything is good. I don’t feel too awful (besides the minor symptoms), and there have been very little scares after the beginning progesterone and bleeding issues. I’m so very lucky to have made it this far, and I’m just thrilled to be able to carry little Alex around for the next few months. And I really hope this “easy” pregnancy thing continues.

After the doc left my room and I was waiting for the note to be able to fly with shots, I could hear him go into the next room for a patient that was around 24 weeks as well, and everything was fine with her. But then I heard the ultrasound tech tell a nurse in the hallway, “I have a 10-weeker with no fetal heartbeat. Need the doc.” And they all just waited until he was done with the patient, and grabbed the doc to go help the 10-weeker with no fetal heartbeat. That poor woman, sitting in that ultrasound room, waiting for the doctor to come and confirm her baby has no heartbeat, and talk about what to do next. I remember that wait, sitting in the ultrasound room crying and hoping for some miracle, something the doctor would be able to see when the tech couldn’t. I closed my eyes, and wished for that miracle for that unseen patient, or at the very least, some peace. I was thankful though that she was going to have the talk with my doc, he was really good with me when it was my time, and he was great at the D&C.

I made it out of the office after paying and making my next appointment, but when I got to my car, I burst into tears. I cried for that women whose heart is breaking, I cried for my baby that I lost last year in the same way, and I cried with joy that my Alex is alive, and her heart is still beating. I’m so very lucky to be 24 weeks pregnant, and although I didn’t necessarily need a reminder, I certainly got one today.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Budgeting

First, I wanted to say thank you to everyone for their amazing comments on my last post about my body, weight and self-image. I never talk about my weight, especially the specifics, to anyone – not even the hubs – and I felt very vulnerable putting it all out there for everyone to see and comment on, as this was very out of character for me. But everyone was so nice, and it was interesting to see how many people have had similar experiences as I have. Once again, this community has shown me how accepting and wonderful everyone is!

So now I’m bringing another topic up that I normally don’t talk with others about: personal finance. I’m ashamed to admit that this is not my forte, and both my husband and I are terrible at it – and we’re accountants! We can handle the finances of multi-million dollar companies, but not our own. Those who can’t do teach, right? Now our personal situation isn’t awful – we don’t have huge debt, and we have some savings, but the overriding theme is we spend way too much. We have both worked very hard at school, and then our careers, so we both have good, well-paying jobs, but that means we have more money to spend. I know, I sound ridiculous talking about this. We’ve never really budgeted ourselves. We pay our bills, we put some money in savings, but really only the stuff we’ve pre-designated, and the rest it seems we spend, without any thought. There were months when we would tell ourselves to cut back, especially when we were going through fertility treatments, and especially before our new insurance became effective which covered most of the treatments, but we never budgeted. This year I finally started tracking our spending, and which categories we have spent on, but we never controlled ourselves, and it’s obscene! We’d talk every once in awhile about it, lament about how awful we were, and just go back to it. I’d suggest something, then he would suggest something, but we’d never really budget anything.

But we have some things changing in our lives. There’s a baby coming. And although I plan to go back to work after having little Alex, I know there will be big expenses. And more than anything I want to feel like we’re not spending everything we have, and I want to build up some more savings. I’m feeling nervous about not having a large accessible savings. Yes, we have decent 401(k)’s, and some other investments, and equity in our house, so we’re doing better than most, but I want to have money sitting there – just in case! And I don’t feel like it’s there and ready for an emergency, which makes me feel insecure. We’re about to start spending around $1,000 per month on daycare (wow!), and we’re about to buy a new car (whole other post, but we’re seriously considering a minivan – never thought I would do this, but even with one baby, it makes a lot of sense for a baby and 2 dogs that combined weigh 210 pounds). And I have a not-so-secret dream of going part-time with my job. Hubs has definitely not agreed to that, and it would be hard financially, especially considering I make more than hubs, but it might be possible. Maybe after Baby #2…

So all this led to some serious conversations about spending. I finally proposed an idea, which hubs agreed to, that may change all this. Starting a week ago, we each have a certain amount of cash that has to last us one month. This cash covers all meals, groceries, gas, clothes, everything that we individually spend. I get a little more cash because I buy all the groceries, but if we can stick to these cash amounts, we will save SO MUCH MONEY! We’ll probably spend about a third of what we were spending before, excluding the fixed costs like mortgage and insurance.

I’m really excited about this cash project of ours. So far, it’s going great. I’ve started clipping coupons, and planning meals using items that are in the freezer and pantry, and the like. But I wanted to see if y’all have any good ideas. Where do you find your coupons, for those that use them? I got a Sunday paper last week, and there were no coupons! WTF? Turns out they are in the Wednesday paper in Houston, or maybe Thursday, online discussions disagree… That was $2 wasted. I’ve started to find some websites, but any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. And what else are your save-money suggestions? So far I think I’m doing a great job with money-spending, or rather saving, but it will be interesting to see how this goes after the initial excitement wears off. It’s only been a week…

Also I’d love to hear how your family budgets, and anything you have found works well. It’s amazing, I’m 36 years old and I’m finally trying to grow up and be more responsible…

Friday, July 15, 2011

Making up with my body

I’ve never really liked my body. From being teased at about 11 years old for my gorilla legs (my mother wouldn’t let me shave), to being teased for not having breasts (I developed a little late, but the real issue is I was younger than everyone in my class, as I skipped a grade and had a June birthday), to hating my fat thighs and arms, which started around 11 as well, it has always been a battle. I look back at pictures of myself in high school, when I thought I was fat, and I want to shake that girl – she looked great! I graduated high school at 5’4’’, and weighed 120 pounds. I wanted to lose weight.

In college and grad school, I gained and lost some weight, but it wasn’t too bad. I wasn’t happy with my weight, and wanted to lose, but never seemed to be able to do that. I remember telling my grad school roommate that at least I was stable, and I didn’t think I would ever gain any more. I was 130 pounds.

When I started working, I worked in a public accounting firm, and would work up to 80 hours a week. In public accounting, the joke was that in the same week, we would eat a 5-course meal at a fancy restaurant and a meal from a vending machine, and this was very true. We went out to eat all the time, and brought in meals when working late. I had no time for exercise, and didn’t take care of myself. And getting married and divorced, and having serious depression did not help. About six years after starting work, I was up to 170 pounds. I went on Weight Watchers, lost about 15 pounds, started dating the hubs, and quit public accounting. We were both at our skinniest in awhile when we started dating. But then we started going out to restaurants, and we’re awful influences on each other. We both gained a bunch of weight, and I got up to about 175. Then we got engaged, and both working on being healthier.

For our wedding in 2009, I got down to 160. I would have loved to be skinnier, but I think I looked good. With a good pair of Spanx, I had a flat belly. And even the hubs wore a tank top that held him in a bit at the wedding! We got ready together, and we laughed as both of us struggled to get into our undergarments – we were meant for each other! I had been tanning, so my skin glowed. I felt very pretty, and comfortable in my own skin. But on the honeymoon, I threw away the diet pills that I had been taking, and said I didn’t want to take those anymore. Hubs teased me that I was a stereotype: throwing away the diet pills while pulling out the prenatal vitamins.

Over the next two years, as we tried to have a baby, and did fertility treatments, and got pregnant, and had an ectopic, and then got pregnant, and then miscarried at 8.5 weeks, my weight increased and fluctuated quite a bit. My heaviest was 185 pounds, which was shortly after the D&C. I was disgusted with myself, so I started a “Couch to 5K” program, and promptly sprained my ankle. I hated my body. Not only for the weight, but even more because my body killed my baby. And was completely broken. I felt the worst about myself that I ever have last summer after the miscarriage. I couldn’t get pregnant, and when I did, my body killed the baby, I was fat, and I couldn’t even exercise because of the sprained ankle.

Throughout my life, I have always hated my body. I would feel fat, and unhappy with myself. I hated shopping for clothes, hating how everything looked on me, and waiting until I lost weight to buy clothes, which never seemed to happen. And all this was made worse by my infertility.

I always wanted to become pregnant at a low weight, as I wanted to be one of those cute skinny women with the bowling ball bellies. Skinny arms, skinny legs, big beautiful belly. I am definitely not that woman. But as my belly increases, I’m starting to like my body again. Yes, I have big thighs, big arms, chubby face, etc., but I also have this big beautiful belly that is housing my baby. And my body is nourishing and growing my baby girl, and everything is on track. I am one of the very lucky ones whose skin looks better while pregnant. After about 10 weeks, I have had very minimal blemishes, I don’t have any stretch marks (yet) or linea nigra (yet – I know these can come), and everything is looking good so far! Every morning I lather on some oil over my growing belly, and I love the way it looks, even while naked! (Except for the Lovenox bruises – those are never pretty.) Everything looks so bizarre and funny, and my eyes go to my belly and breasts, instead of the rest of my body. My breasts are big with protruding veins and my nipples look weird, but I know all this is in preparation to feed my baby girl, and I’m so excited that I get to continue to provide nourishment to her even after she’s born. (I hope this goes well!!!)

I’ve received some not-so-lovely comments from people, from my friend telling me I’m really big for 5 months, and it’s going to get a lot worse, to a couple people telling me I’m growing across and they can tell my hips have spread, even from behind! And the hubs doesn’t help – I put something on the other day and asked if it looked ok, and he shrugged his shoulders. I then said I feel like a huge pregnant woman, and he agreed, saying "well that's what you are!" I haven’t seen my mom yet during this pregnancy, but she just told me all about some woman at her gym who was farther along than me and was barely showing at all! So I probably shouldn’t be showing much, right?

But for some reason, for the first time in my life, I don’t care what people are saying. And yes, I still feel fat, but more than that I feel pregnant. And I like that. My body is doing exactly what it’s supposed to do, and I love it. When I look in the mirror, I see my belly, and I’m happy to look like a pregnant woman. I started this pregnancy at 178.4 pounds, and this morning on the scale I was 187.4, so I’ve gained 9 pounds at 23 weeks. Yes, it might be a little much for someone who started out with a BMI classification of “Obese” (but just barely!), but I’m fine with it. My weight gain is not out of control, and it’s been steady after an initial weight loss of a few pounds due to morning sickness, and my doc does not seem concerned. I’m reading a book called Big, Beautiful and Pregnant: Expert Advice and Comforting Wisdom for the Expecting Plus-Size Woman, and I like it. There’s nothing ground-breaking in there, but I like the emphasis on being healthy and enjoying your body, rather than being super restrictive and mean, like a lot of the normal books are regarding bigger pregnant women. And I really like the advice on embracing your body with maternity clothes, and the stories from women who finally like their body.

That’s how I feel – for the first time in my life, I’m feeling good about myself and my body. Sure, it would be nice to be skinnier, but right now, I’m happy with my size. I love my belly and my breasts, and all that it means. I guess I’m feeling very confident considering I’m sharing all the weight details on my blog! And I wanted to write this down so later in my pregnancy, when I’m feeling huge (because let’s face it, the time will come), I could re-read this and remind myself to love my body for what it’s doing – it’s making a baby!!! So in honor of my new good feelings about myself, today I took my first pregnancy photos, and I’m sharing them with you. Check out Jackson in the background…



Thursday, July 14, 2011

I Cheated!

I’ve been so good in this pregnancy, watching everything that goes into my mouth. I haven’t had any raw fish (I miss you sushi!), or soft cheeses, and no caffeine, well almost no caffeine… Up until a few weeks ago, I hadn’t had one drop of caffeine, which I miss terribly. Prior to TTC, I loved getting up in the morning and making myself a cup of coffee, and enjoying it over the news, which I would do every day. Then later at work, I would often get a small latte in the mid-morning. While TTC, I would stop for awhile, go to decaf for awhile, cycle back and forth, never really giving it up. I finally gave it up completely in November last year, preparing for my first IVF cycle. When my IVF failed, I had a couple cups of coffee for a few days, but I quickly abstained, knowing the FET cycle would be coming, and I didn’t want to get addicted again.

So I haven’t had any coffee – ALL YEAR!!! Up until a few weeks ago… I’m sure you all remember how I went to the doc for a 20 week ultrasound, and they couldn’t tell if my baby was a boy or a girl. Well the doc told me to drink some caffeine before I came in for the next ultrasound so the baby would be up and moving around. I was so excited. It almost seemed worth it – I didn’t know the sex of my baby, but I got coffee! And a few days later when I counted down the minutes until I went and got that mini-latte, I definitely thought it was worth it. I was pretty excited about finding out the sex, but I also got a latte! Oh wow – what a great day!

But just like any good addict, one taste, and that’s all I can think about. Since that doctor-recommended latte, I catch myself thinking back to that time when I felt so good drinking it. It’s not only the flavor (which of course is fabulous), but it’s the feeling that everything is so right with the world! Most days I’m pretty tired throughout the day, and I’m functioning, but with coffee I’m SO MUCH BETTER! But I held off, telling myself that I shouldn’t drink any. Granted, my doc said I can have two cups each day, but I’m better than that, right? I don’t need silly crutches like caffeine – I’m a good pregnant woman – no coffee necessary! Or at least that’s what I told myself until yesterday…

Monday night I was up late, as hubs got home late and we stayed up talking. So I was tired on Tuesday, but I was fine, I’m used to being tired. Tuesday night we spent four hours in the ER, waiting for the hubs to be seen, and finally giving up at 11:00. (Long story short: he has a huge welt on his arm, he went to his work clinic during the day, who told him it is a brown recluse spider bite, and he needed to go to ER that night, apparently the ER disagreed since they wouldn’t see him, but wouldn't tell us that, they just kept us waiting until we gave up. Then he went to another clinic during the day yesterday, and they think it’s a MSRA staph infection, not a spider bite. They sent a sample away for testing, so we’re not sure what it is, but either way it could be very bad if left untreated, but he’s on some serious antibiotics and ointment, and I’m hoping it’s not a contagious staph infection…) So anyway, back to me – I was tired. So very tired yesterday afternoon at work, I could barely keep my eyes open. And I was about to have to lead a meeting, which does not allow napping for some reason. And so I did it, I went and got a latte.

And it was wonderful. Throughout the meeting, I sipped on my latte. I was planning on drinking only half of my small cup, but somehow all of it disappeared. I could feel Lil’ Alex waking up, and she was kicking like crazy, which was fun. And my brain was clicking like it never does! I started talking faster, and thinking faster, and everything was fantastic! I was happy, and it spread throughout the rest of my day. I got a bunch of work done in the hour remaining after the meeting, ran a few errands, then went to my therapist appointment and talked about my mom without crying or anything! Then I called my mom and told her what I had practiced with my therapist (“You have an open invitation to come visit, I’d really like you to come, but I’m not going to ask anymore, so please let me know when you’re ready to come visit.”) and went home. I cleaned up a little, and then worked on a new cross-stitch project (can’t believe I started another one, especially with Alex coming, but I missed doing it!), and stayed up WAY TOO LATE! I forced myself to go to bed at 10, but read a book until about 11 when the hubs came home. Then I got up and talked to him for awhile. I finally got to sleep around 12:30, and didn’t sleep well at all. And now, I’m exhausted…

Moral of the story is don’t drink caffeine in the afternoon. Or really ever, as it obviously does a number on me as my tolerance is so low now. But I can’t wait until I get to go back to my little habit – it will be wonderful!!! But when? I probably shouldn’t while breastfeeding, which I plan to do for a year, and then I’ll be weaning right when I will probably want to start TTC again. Ugh – when do I get coffee??? Yes, my name is Alex (kinda), and I'm an addict…