Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Hello strangers!  I haven’t pulled up my blog or my blog reader in so long, it’s been weird not being a part of this world for the last month.  I just wanted to say a quick hello, let you guys know I’m ok, and apologize for falling off the map.

On November 1, I went part-time.  I went from working 40+ hours per week, to working about 16-25 hours per week, depending on the week.  Two days in the office, and the rest from home.  I dreamed about this day, and it’s been wonderful, but it came with some struggles that I didn’t anticipate.  Namely, I feel like I had less time to get stuff done than I did before!  Back when I worked full-time, I didn’t feel bad about taking lunch hours and even work hours to go to doctor appointments, do research of personal stuff online or on the phone, and write and read blogs.  Sure, it was spending work time on personal stuff, but it was very common, and there were certain weeks that I spent a lot more time than 40 hours per week doing work, so I felt like it made up for it.  My boss was happy with my work – no problems.  I spent the weekends doing household chores: laundry and cleaning.  And felt like I rarely spent time with Alex.  This was the problem, and why I changed my schedule.

Now, with my part-time schedule, I spend a lot of time with Alex.  And I love it.  We play and read books, and hang out just fine.  We’re closer than ever.  In fact, she no longer loves daycare.  For the first time in her short life, she occasionally cries when I drop her off at daycare.  And she follows me around the house, whining for me to pick her up.  I know some of it has to do with her age (13 months!) but also I think a lot of it has to do with spending more time with her, and getting even more attached to me.  I love it, but I also feel awful when I have to walk away from daycare in the mornings when she’s crying.  Crushes my heart to walk away…

But when do I do other stuff?  When do I take care of the house?  Here’s the problem.  The change in my job coordinated with the #1 worst symptom of my current pregnancy: EXHAUSTION!!!  I have never been so tired in my life.  From the moment I pull my nauseous self out of bed, shove food and a zofran pill in my face to make it better, to the moment I stumble into bed at the end of the day, I’m completely exhausted.  And so, instead of getting things done like household chores and paying bills during Alex’s naps, I find myself passed out in my own bed… 

And the other thing that has come up is we’re no longer talking about moving – we’re actually moving!  We’re scheduled to close on a house on 12/31.  So for the last week or so, there are no more naps for me, only packing like a frantic woman.  I’m trying to pace myself, and definitely not lift anything, but oh my god there is so much to do.  It doesn’t help (well I guess it will help a little) that we’re going on vacation next week, and then coming back and immediately moving so we can be in Colorado for Christmas, staying at the in-laws.  So everything must be done now, and I’m just exhausted. 

So on that note, I must go, as it’s the end of the work day, and I need to go pick up my baby girl.  She’s doing well (love watching her figure out so many things – she’s taken a few steps, and has a few “words” that she uses consistently).  My babies in my belly are doing well (11 weeks!  Holy cow – where has the time gone?  No problems except lots of nausea and I’m FUCKING TIRED!!!).  I’m excited about the new house, but I wish I could just wake up there, with all the stuff moved and unpacked.  Going through the process might just kill me.  And the hubs and I are doing well, except the financial thing is going to be tough.  (Among other things, I just found out that under his insurance, which I just moved over to now that I lost my full-time benefits, the Lovenox that I’m on for the pregnancy is $863 per month instead of the $7 I used to pay…)  Oh that, and the fact that he hasn’t yet found a job in Colorado yet.  I’m going to move there with Alex and the dogs, and be a single mom while he continues working in Texas and sells the house there.  Once he finds a job, he’ll move in with me, and I’m just hoping this happens before the twins get here or I go on bed rest or something, whatever happens first.  Oh, and I’m going to not only work part-time from home for my employer in TX but I also got the affiliate faculty job!  I won’t be teaching until fall, but I have to do a mentorship where I attend another faculty’s class and help him out.  All for a lovely stipend of $200….  So on top of working part-time at home (haven’t yet found a daycare that has availability), and taking care of Alex and the house by myself as well as unpacking, I will be attending classes every Wednesday night.  And did I mention I’m SO FUCKING TIRED???

I miss you guys – I’m hoping that at some point once I move I’ll be able to bring blogging back into my life.  But at this point, it’s just not happening.  Thinking of you all…

Friday, November 9, 2012

A Tribute to TBD

Can't wait to meet you, little TBD!  Your mom, SRB, is one of the coolest chics I know.  Love reading her words - all about you and your big bro, HGB, who is one of the coolest boys I know!  

To honor this special occasion, I thought I'd send you some workout/lounge wear....   Everyone needs to be comfy while kickin' it!  Enjoy!!!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Two Heartbeats!!!!

It's official, there are two little hearts beating inside me!  I went this morning, chanting "Please God, two heartbeats."  And there was!  Two little ones, beating away.

The nurse told me this morning that I would remember this day.  She was dressed as a cat for Halloween, and she positioned the ultrasound so the two babies would look like little cat eyes.  Absolutely incredible.  I'm just over the moon excited - there really are two in there!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Weekend with my Mom

I just got back from spending three nights with my mother, and boy I’m happy to be home.  This was the most amount of time I have spent with her in years, probably since I was 18 or so.  She has two homes: one in CO, and one in SC.  She has been trying to sell her house in SC for awhile, but she’s having a hard time.  Her family is in SC, so it was very convenient to meet her in SC and go to the family reunion this weekend.  Alex and I flew there on Friday, and returned on Monday.  The reunion was really fun, and Alex was a champ.  Such a charmer, smiling at everyone.  She really enjoyed the hayride and playing with pumpkins.  I wish I was only there for the reunion…

I have to say, my mom and I got along better this weekend than any other time recently.  I think we both made an effort to be nice to each other, and only had a few rough moments.  But I had some major realizations about her.  First, she is one of the most negative people I know.  My whole life, I have hated how negative she is about me, never having anything nice to say, and questioning every decision I’ve made.  Making snide comments, and just being unpleasant.  But for the first time I realized – it’s not me!  Sure, she made comments about my stuff, but she also spent the entire weekend making negative comments about everything: her husband, her house in CO, her house in SC, my step-brother and his family, my step-brother’s kids (who are age 2-7: not exactly awful people!), her family, the neighbors, the grocery store, EVERYTHING!!!!  I tried to hold my tongue and not say anything, but oh my goodness it was so hard.  Finally on Sunday night, I asked if I could use a bathroom that was different than the one I had been using to give Alex a bath since it had a tub in it, and she started on a 10 minute rant about how she hates all the bathrooms in her house, and she hates the water, and they have to filter it, and still can’t drink it, and she would have never bought this house, but her husband wanted to live here, but then he changed his mind…  Blah, blah, blah.  Well, I could no longer hold back.  I tried to be really nice, but I told her that she didn’t seem happy, and I’m worried about her because she’s so negative.  That she has a really nice life, but it doesn’t seem like she likes her life very much because she complains about it all the time.  Well, that started a rant about me, about how I don’t know much about her life because I’ve chosen to spend time apart from her for the last 20 years, and how dare I say anything about her life, blah, blah, blah.  I told her that yes, I haven’t spent much time with her, but I’m working on our relationship right now, and it doesn’t help to bring up the past, as we just need to focus on right now.  And right now she seems unhappy and I’m worried about me.  Well she told me I didn’t need to worry about her – everything’s great.  So I gave up.

She’s the most miserably unhappy person I’ve seen, and I hate it.  She is doing this to herself, and it was so enlightening to see it this weekend.  As my therapist would tell me time and again, these are her problems, not mine.  For once, I was able to observe it and not take it personally, and it felt so good.  I choose to live my life with positivity, at least most of the time, and I know that I will be happy anywhere.  I’ve watched her move about every three years, and change different things in her life.  I think this is because she’s never happy!  She’s so judgmental about everybody as well – it’s just exhausting being around her!

The other thing that was interesting, and certainly disappointing, is how unhelpful she was with Alex.  I’m used to dealing with my MIL, who flies to Houston once every few months to stay a week so she can have time with Alex.  She realizes that Alex is little, and if she doesn’t spend time with her, then Alex won’t know her.  Plus my MIL really likes spending time with Alex – when she was really tiny, it was all I could do to pry her from my MIL’s arms!  This couldn’t be farther from the truth with my mom.  She hasn’t spent much time with Alex, but really that’s because I haven’t spent much time with my mom in the last year.  I figured that since we were staying at my mom’s house for four days, that they would spend time with each other.  Not once did Mom try to play with her, or try to help me with taking care of her.  Alex would be on the floor crying, and I couldn’t pick her up because I was making a bottle or something, and Mom would just say “why is she crying?”  I would tell her that she could pick her up and it would help, so she would.  But then I asked if she wanted to hold Alex while she drank her bottle, and she said, “No way – she wants to be with you, not me!”  Not once did she offer to help with anything.  I told her that my fertility doc didn’t want me to pick up anything that weighed more than half a gallon of milk, and that I try to limit picking up Alex, but of course I have to pick her up.  She just agreed – yes, I must pick her up – not once did she offer to hold her.  She didn’t help with anything at all the entire weekend.  Once I was playing with Alex on the floor, and I had to go to the bathroom.  I came back to my mom reading a book, and she told me that Alex disappeared.  Um… thanks?  Alex was fine, but could she not get up and at least watch her as she crawled off? 

This woman does not have a maternal bone in her body.  I hate saying this, but since I was an early teenager, I’ve often thought that my mom should have never been a mother.  She adopted me when I was four years old, and this was after she was turned down by the adoption agencies when she asked to adopt a baby.  I often thought while growing up that she was a terrible mother, and that God, and then later the adoption agencies, knew what they were doing when they denied her wishes to be a mother.  This is an awful statement – I feel guilty even saying it, and I had a hard time reconciling this statement in my head with my own infertility struggles.  I talked about this at long length with my therapist, and I’ve realized that perhaps it has nothing to do with infertility or God’s wishes, but I still believe that my mom should never have been a mother.  She was a bad mother to me (even she will admit that sometimes), but I had hoped that she would try to be a good grandmother.  In front of other people, like at the family reunion, she says wonderful things like “Look at my sweet angel.”  But if she doesn’t have an audience, she doesn’t act with affection at all!  She instead seems annoyed most of the time – annoyed that Alex is so needy and loud!  She even got mad when I was showing Alex the piano: I would play a few notes, and Alex would play (or rather bang on the keys a bit, but never that hard).  Sure, it didn’t sound great, but it didn’t warrant the statement, “That sounds awful!”  What do you expect?  She’s a baby!

The worst was I finally psyched myself up to ask my mom for some help, but I had a feeling I would know the answer.  I told her about my upcoming work situation when I move to Denver.  I will have daycare either three half-days or two full-days per week, and between that and naps, I should be able to get most of my work done from home in my new part-time schedule.  But every three months for about a week, I will be very busy, and I will need additional help.  I asked her if she could commit to spending one day, every three months, at my house where I will be, and I could even change diapers.  All I need her to do is come over and play with and feed Alex for one day each three months.  She said no, she couldn’t commit to that.  I asked why, and she said that she travels, and takes care of her husband, and she just couldn’t commit to something so confining.  I said okay, but if she wants to spend time with Alex and get to know her as she grows up, please let me know.

The other worst thing is how she reacted when I told her I was having twins: “That sounds awful.” “I can’t believe you did that to yourself.” “So-and-so said one kid was easy, two kids were really hard, and three kids were impossible.” Not once did she say she was happy for me, or that she knew we would figure it out, or anything positive. 

The amazing thing is I’m really okay with all this.  I’ve struggled for years with her, trying to figure out how to have a relationship with her.  She always brings up the past, angry at me for things I did starting at around age 11 (yep – I’m still in trouble for stuff I did then), and I’ve never understood why it’s so difficult with her.  My therapist would tell me these are her problems, not mine.  I mostly got this, but it really sunk in this weekend.  She is just a miserable person.  For the first time in my life, I feel bad for her.  How awful it must be to feel all this negativity, all this bad stuff going on that she blames other people for.  But really it’s her own twisted perception.  She has a great life – they have money for retirement, they get to travel some, she has a very nice husband who adores her, she works out every day, is in excellent health and has a great body (complaining about how her size 4 and 6 clothes no longer fit – she has to buy 2’s!), she has good friends that pay attention to her, she has a great family (not even including me!), and fabulous pets.  She has a daughter that really wants to be in her life, but is not willing to spend much time in all that negativity.  Most of all, she has the most beautiful little granddaughter with whom she could choose to start over and create a good and solid relationship, but she is choosing to not do so.  This makes me sad for my daughter, but it’s probably a good thing for Alex to spend time away from that negativity as well.  For the first time in my life, I feel okay with all this.  This weekend has helped me accept that my mother is who she is, and probably nothing will change this.  It’s okay that she’s like this, but I don’t have to spend my life trying to make her into something she is not.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

My Little Weebles

Weebles wobble, but they don't fall down!  This has been in my head all day.  On Monday, the nurse said that sometimes with twins the beta numbers wobble, but they recover.  Frankly, I didn't believe her.  I kept telling myself that the ultrasound looked good, that both embryos had a gestational sac that was measuring great - a day ahead!  But in the back of my head, I kept thinking of that 39% rise over 3 days, and it's just not good. 

Today I went in for another ultrasound and blood work, and the twins are still kicking!  Well not yet exactly, but it all looks good - mostly.  The ultrasound looks decent.  The nurse said they look good.  Both measured about 5 weeks, 3 days.  I'm 5 weeks, 4 days today.  They could see a yolk sac in both embryos.  And the beta came back, and it's high enough.  At my clinic, they stop telling you the number over 5,000.  It was 2,014 on Monday, and today (Thursday) it's over 5,000.  So I'm going to assume this is good - that it's high enough, and now we don't have to worry about the numbers!  I go back in on Wednesday, and hopefully I should see heartbeats then.

Once I started thinking about it, I am a little concerned about the growth rate of the embryos.  On Monday, they were measuring 5wk2d, and now they're measuring 5wk3d.  Not good that they had 1 day worth of growth in 3 days.  But there were two different nurses doing the ultrasounds, and I know we're talking millimeters here in difference.  Perhaps one nurse draws just inside the lines, and the other draws just outside?  I'm choosing to feel positive, and hopeful.  If I'm smoking crack (well not really of course...) please don't tell me.  I want to have this weekend of happiness. 

Speaking of this weekend, I'm just about as busy as I've ever been in my life, and I'm not sure how it will all get done.  I'm still in my full-time job until the end of next week, I have my sweet Alex, I'm leaving tomorrow to go to a family reunion, returning on Monday (flying with just Alex by myself - should be interesting.  Also I'm spending 3 nights with my mom - first time in YEARS - we don't have a great track record of getting along...), and to top it all off, I'm taking a faculty prep class that started on Monday and goes till next Friday.  This thing is KICKING MY ASS!  Every morning, I get up around 5 am (if I don't wake up at 3:00 - pregnancy insomnia has started) and work on the class until 6:30.  Then get ready, wake up Alex, get her ready and take her to school, then go to work at 8:00.  Leave that around 5:30, pick up Alex, give her dinner and put her to bed around 7, then eat something and work on my class till about 9, at which point I CRASH.  I'm exhausted.  I just don't know how I can keep going.  I have a huge essay that's due Sunday night, and somehow I'm going to have to figure out how to get this thing done while I'm at my mom's house and family reunion and taking care of Alex!  And I should probably stop writing this so I can go pack and go to BED!

But before I went to bed I wanted to let all of you know, all of you wonderfully supporting people that I'm so lucky to have in my life, that my little weebles wobbled, but they haven't fallen down!  When I found out that I was pregnant with twins on Monday morning, I have to admit, I was a little scared.  Three kids under two, I kept repeating to myself.  I didn't know how I was going to manage it all.  Yes, I was excited, but mostly overwhelmed.  But when I got the scary beta news Monday afternoon, all of that changed.  That is the one gift that infertility keeps giving us.  We realize just how precious this gift of children are.  One bad blood test, and the thought of losing my little gifts, my little scientific miracles, threw me into a tailspin when thinking about losing even one of them.  So although it was a scary few days, and I don't know if I will have scary days in my future, I am grateful for this experience.  Because now instead of thinking about how I will manage three kids under two, I am hoping beyond hope to have three kids under two.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Rollercoaster of Infertility

This was all going too well.  My first FET after pregnancy, it worked like a charm.  Almost too much of a charm – twins!  I’m overwhelmed, scared, and yet very VERY excited.  The ultrasound looked great: 2 sacs, measuring a day ahead.  And then, I got my blood results, and it all came crashing down – maybe…  Why oh why do we measure everything so specifically???  And so often, and so early?  I know that’s what all the fertility docs do, but ugh – this sucks. 

Here are my numbers:
HCG Friday 10/19: 1,453
HCG Monday 10/22: 2,014 (rise of 39% in 3 days)

Estradiol Friday 10/19: over 2,000 (they don’t give the number over 2,000)
Estradiol Monday 10/22: 656 (at least a drop of 67%)

Progesterone Friday 10/19: over 40 (they don’t give the number over 40)
Progesterone Monday 10/22: 38.1 (at least drop of 5%)

The estradiol and progesterone numbers aren’t that concerning, but why are they dropping?  The big thing is why aren't my HCG levels rising appropriately???  I spoke with the nurse, and she said with twin pregnancies, HCG levels can wobble a bit.  And no, it’s not rising like they would expect, but sometimes this happens.  Either (a) both are fine and we’ll see the numbers take off soon, (b) one pregnancy isn’t doing well but the other is fine, or (c) both aren’t fine.  Um yeah, I could have probably figured out those different scenarios myself.  So now we wait, and see what Thursday’s blood work and ultrasound say.  She did stress that the most important thing is the ultrasound showed two sacs that are measuring great, but still, I can’t help but worry about those HCG levels… 

I hate the rollercoaster of infertility.  

Double Trouble

I went to the RE for blood work and ultrasound, and guess what – there are two in there!  This beta thing is so weird.  My numbers are less than what they were when I was pregnant with Alex, and yet this time, there are two!  My nurse was so confident there were two in there that before I even got undressed she switched the setting to allow her to measure two babies.  They both are measuring great.  The sacs are both measuring 5wk2d, and I’m 5wk1d.  There might be a hint of a yolk sac in one, but in the other they couldn’t tell.  Still awaiting the results of the blood work, but based on the ultrasound, it all looks good!

Unfortunately my husband wasn’t able to come with me, so I called him right after the appointment and he immediately started talking logistics.  How do you get 3 kids around?  How do you travel?  We need a big house.  I told him we’ll figure it out, and it will all be fine, but yes, he’s freaking out a bit.  And so am I.  Three kids under 2 years old???  I know I shouldn’t be surprised, as we transferred two embryos, but this was my third transfer.  And we had IUI’s.  And months of timed sex.  I’m not fertile!  But it will certainly look like it when we pile out of our minivan (thank goodness we bought one right before we had Alex – it used to be for the dogs…). 

Yes, I’m in a bit of a shock and freak-out mode.  But I am excited.  How special it will be to have two more babies in our life.  Wow – just wow.

OK, now I need to figure this out.  Is there anything different I need to do in this twin pregnancy to make sure they’re healthy?  Twin mamas, do you have any good resources for me?  There I go again – anything that comes my way results in reading another book!  

Friday, October 19, 2012

Beta #1

My first beta, at 14 days past 5 day transfer, or approximately 19 dpo, was 1,453!  Pretty high, compared to the averages.  But it's not as high as it was with Alex at this point: 1,763.  So I refuse to think twins at this point, I'm waiting to see the ultrasound for that one...  But speaking of the ultrasound, they scheduled me for another beta and an ultrasound on Monday.  Doesn't this seem early?  I know all they'll be hoping to see is a gestational sac, but will that even be big enough to show up on an ultrasound?  I'm trying not to get my hopes up for Monday - just for rising beta numbers.

I'm so happy with today's result.  I tested a week ago, got the positive result, and never tested again.  I only had the one pregnancy test, and with my new budget (going part-time on November 1!!!) I refused to buy another test.  But after so many days, it started to feel less real.  I would look at that test, and assume it was a fake.  And the line wasn't super dark, so I thought that by now I would have lost the baby.  Ugh - I hate all the fear and thoughts that come into my head, after going through everything...

But today I'm celebrating.  I'm pregnant!!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Bring it on!

I feel like shit. I woke up this morning with the sniffles and it got worse from there. Headache, sneezing like crazy. I had to come home from work early because little Alex has been sick with a stomach virus. Thank goodness my MIL has been here since I have been crazy busy at work! She seemed better this morning but she woke up after sleeping for 13.5 hours with a completely dry diaper. Scared the crap out of me, as I've read the warnings about dehydration - if they don't pee for 8-10 hours, go to the ER where they will give the baby an IV! So I'm scared, except she seems fine, although still a little sick. But I go to work and call the doc as soon as they open. Long story short, she's fine - not dehydrated. Peeing up a storm later today, and definitely on the mend - no diarrhea since early afternoon, which is a huge improvement. Thank goodness!!!

Anyway, back to me. I progressively feel worse throughout the day, and as we deal with all the stuff with Alex, my MIL keeps telling me to take cold meds. We haven't told her about the FET, so I would vaguely nod and change the subject, sneezing every 10 seconds with snot dripping out of my nose. Finally Alex goes to take a nap, so I do the same. But I'm pissed. Grumbling about not being able to take meds, probably for nothing because the FET probably didn't work, this sucks. So I rip the pregnancy test out of the wrapper and pee on it. One week before the beta - 7 days after 5 day transfer (although let's be honest - my clinic is crazy in requiring 2 weeks after transfer for a beta) so probably too early. I'm stomping around the bathroom, getting ready to lay down, keep glancing at the test but nothing. Finally I'm about to give up and I turn on the bright light and look closer and holy shit - there's a second line!!! A decent one that darkened up a little more with a little patience!

So I guess it's worth it, feeling like crap, not able to take any meds. Oh, but to make matters much worse, this afternoon I started having diarrhea and throwing up! And so did my MIL! Apparently we picked up whatever Alex had. We're both in misery - thank goodness the hubs feels ok and can take care of all of us. I really hope I don't spend another weekend in bed - I just did that last weekend with bedrest! Oh well, we'll get past this mess. And then really get to celebrate!

I'm pregnant - can you believe it? I can't believe I'm so lucky to have this first FET for baby #2 work! Now grow, little one(s), grow! Mama loves you so much already.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Greetings from Bedrest

First, I want to say thank you so much for the amazing ideas and assurances from everyone in my last post. It's so foreign for me to become a PT SAHM, but I'm thrilled that I have the opportunity. And I'm already planning our new schedule in my head. I just need to make it through October, which will require a ton of work unfortunately.

Well, it's done! Two beautiful embryos (in the words of the doc and the embryologist) were transferred into my ute with a huge fluffy lining on Friday morning. Now all that is left is waiting. In my clinic's tortuous way, my beta isn't until 10/19, two weeks after transfer, but I will likely test before. The goal will be to hold off as long as possible, but we'll see. My MIL is coming to visit for a week starting Wednesday so that will be a distraction. She wanted to come at a time that worked for us, and I chose this week as I'll be working a ton, and we can pull Alex out of daycare and she can take care of her, which will be nice. Plus it will be good to have a distraction. We're not planning on telling her about the FET, but my husband is terrible about keeping secrets so I imagine it might slip out. But I don't want to test while she's here, so that will help push it out. I had suggested to hubs that it might help to have his MIL here while I'm on bedrest. He said no, he didn't want to involve her. I was worried about him handling it all - taking care of me and Alex. But I'm happy to report that he's been doing great!!! I'm eating well, and he fetches anything I need, but most importantly he's taking care of Alex almost as good as I do! :) She spends a lot of time on the bed with me, but he'll hang out with us too so if she tries to commit suicide by going head first off the bed, he's there to grab her. No fear, this child!

He's actually being much more tender and nice with me than he ever was during fertility treatments before. He's super careful with me, and handling the entire PIO thing (the last 2 times he would just do the injections, not preparing the syringe or anything). He's completely positive that this FET will be successful, which is nice. I tend to be a little more pessimistic, perhaps trying to guard my heart.

I'm happy to report that I'm feeling less ambivalent about this FET. Up until the transfer, I felt like I was going through the motions. I wasn't that excited, and frankly the idea of having kids so close together scared me. I was really doing it to get it done. And to hopefully do it before we move, requiring another doctor. But now, after I saw the pics of those two little embryos, and I've been listening to my circle + bloom meditations, I'm really excited about the possibility of being pregnant and having another baby (or even babies)! I really hope this works, and I have a nice boring pregnancy!!! Ah, the dreams of infertiles everywhere...

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Identity Crisis

I've always been very career oriented.  Starting with college, then straight to graduate school, I knew I wanted to be a professional woman, with a great job.  I wanted to make my own money, and never let that go.  I watched my mother struggle with money after divorcing my father, and I swore that would never be me.  She relied on my father for everything financial, and when we moved out and she got a job, our lifestyles changed dramatically, even with the alimony and child support.  She made me promise to never rely on a man, to always have my own money.  I promised and crossed my heart…

I just won the lottery of a working mother: I received approval to go part-time (20 hours) effective November 1.  Initially I will work 8-16 hours of this in the office, but when we move to Colorado, I’ll work the 20 hours at home, remotely.  I’m so excited to spend more time with Alex, and especially excited to not have her in daycare all day, every day.  She will still be in daycare for 2 full days per week while we’re in Texas, and then 3 half days when we move to Colorado (the rest of the 20 hours will be done during naps or after bedtime), but that’s so much better than being there from 8-5:30 five days a week like she is now.  Plus if this FET works (tomorrow is the transfer – holy crap!), it will be nice to be a little more relaxed during the pregnancy, especially after the next baby comes along.  I can’t wait until the end of this month when my part-time schedule starts.

BUT…  Occasionally I wonder if I’m doing the right thing.  I’m cutting my salary in half, and so the budget is getting super tight.  I currently make a little more than my husband, so when I go part-time, it’s a huge change in our family income.  I've implemented a new budget effective October 1, and I have to say, it’s tough.  Not that this is a bad thing, but I’m constantly questioning every purchase – do I need this, can I go without?  And I feel bad about restricting my husband’s spending.  Going part-time has not exactly been a family decision.  He didn't say no, but he really doesn't see the value in it, so he wasn't super supportive.  I told him that I really appreciate the opportunity to do this, and I think it will be very good for our family, but he didn't really respond.  I told him that I understand this puts a lot of pressure on him, as he’s searching for a job right now, and having to turn down certain opportunities as he’s the primary breadwinner now, and he needs things out of a job like stability and insurance.  He’s getting phone calls about contract opportunities, and although these could be very exciting, it may be too risky considering I’m not bringing in my full salary and insurance. 

And then there’s the identity thing.  Who am I?  I've always defined myself with my career, with my accomplishments.  Now, I’m stepping down at my company, giving up my management role, and becoming a contributor instead of a manager.  Sure, I’m still contributing in a significant way, but my title will be the same as it was at my former company – five years ago.  It won’t look good on my resume.  I know I shouldn't care about that kind of thing, as I’m doing something really important – taking care of Alex – but it still feels weird.  I’m not moving up, I’m moving down.  And there’s no opportunity for promotion, or anything really.  Just keep on contributing is the most I can hope for.  The hubs seems to think this is a temporary thing, but I can’t imagine wanting to spend less time away from Alex.  Even when she goes to school, I’ll want to be there every day when she gets home from school – I don’t want to send her to an after-school program, which would be necessary if I go back to work full-time.  Is this really a permanent decision?  The thought scares me.

The other thing is I’m nervous about is providing enriching activities for Alex, and a future baby if I’m so lucky.  I’m an accountant, not a teacher.  I don’t know much about early childhood education, and how to best stimulate them.  Currently on the weekends, during Alex’s wake-time, we take walks and she swings in the playground or I take her to the grocery store or we hang out in my living room and play with her toys.  We can’t keep doing just this – I’ll need to figure out some projects or something.  I know she’s just 11 months right now, so there aren't a lot of “projects” that work for her right now, but the time is quickly approaching where we can do stuff, more than just playing on the floor with her toys.  But what exactly????  Do any of you have websites or books or something that will help me with this?  I found out the local library does toddler story time on a day that I’ll have off, so I’ll plan on doing that.  What else?  I really want to look at this like a new job, and do it well!  I need to learn more about how children learn, and figure this stuff out…  And preferably in ways that don’t cost much money (see earlier discussion on tightening the purse strings). 

I know I need to chill out and just go with it.  For the most part, I’m very excited about going part-time.  It’s just that I never in a million years thought I would want to do this.  I always could hear my mother in my head, telling me to not rely on a man, to have a career.  Sure, I always wanted kids, but I always planned on working at the same time.  But when it took so long to have Alex, and we struggled so much, and then when I had her and started spending time with her, and then I took her to daycare and cried, and every night I pick her up and she’s utterly exhausted, and then I spend one hour per night with her, I now want to spend more.  One hour per night, and 20-30 minutes in the morning, is not enough time to spend with this child that I wanted so much.  The other night she woke up at midnight for the first time in months, and she needed attention for about an hour.  It was wonderful.  If I’m desperately cherishing these cries and requests for cuddles in the middle of the night, we have a problem.  But hopefully now I’m fixing it.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Happy Birthday Grayson!!!

Today is a very special boy's 2nd birthday!  Grayson Baker turns 2 today, and deserves a big celebration!  His mama Elizabeth blogs about her boy over here, and I've really enjoyed getting to know Elizabeth and Grayson through our blogs.  Grayson is an amazing little kid, and he has no idea how many lives he has touched all over the world, including mine.  He loves to play, listen to Veggie Tales, and eat Mexican food.  His smile is so infectious - just look at these pictures, and try not to smile...   :)  And he and his incredible mother Elizabeth inspire us all to live well, love completely, and appreciate all the moments we have with our children.  Oh, and you should see the comments Grayson's dad Ryan makes on Elizabeth's blog.  Amazing man!  I'm so happy to send a shout out to Grayson on his birthday - I hope he and his family have a wonderful day today!!!

Monday, September 17, 2012


You know when you have so much going on in your life, that it’s just a whirlwind?  This is my life.  I’m so excited about it, this is what I want, and yet it’s exhausting.  I’ve reached the point where I just observe, watching my life unfold.  I have no idea what will happen in the next few months, but it’s all so exciting.  I wanted to take this moment and write down where we are, right now.

Alex: fabulous as always.  Actually the easiest part of my life.  She eats well, she sleeps well, she is happy and healthy.  The only bad part is her lack of naps at daycare.  She moved to the Infant 2 class about a month ago, and instead of allowing them to sleep whenever, and encouraging her to get two naps per day, she’s now on a schedule that allows for only one nap per day.  At 9 months old, I was told that she was old enough to have only one nap per day.  I completely disagree.  On the weekends, she takes two naps that are 1.5-2 hours each.  But during the week, she takes 1 nap, and usually wakes up about 45 minutes in.  She will do that at home, but in a room by herself, she’ll look around and go back to sleep.  In a room full of other babies, she wants to get up and party.  So at most she gets an hour of sleep during the day.  So by the time I get her in the evenings, it’s rough.  Now at 10.5 months, it’s getting a little better, and I know it will get better with time, but I hate it.  The only thing that keeps me going is knowing that we only have 1.5 months left of full-time daycare.

Job:  Speaking of no more full-time daycare, I’m working with my current job to go part-time: 20 hours per week.  It’s about 90% definite: we’re moving from Texas to Colorado.  And no matter what, I’m not working full-time after November 1.  The plan is to work remotely from home, and fit in 20 hours per week.  This will be with 3 half days at daycare, plus naps, plus grandma/aunt help or weekend work if necessary.  I’m so excited about this.  My job transition has been approved by almost all levels at my company, and only needs to be approved by the CEO, but I don’t think he will have a problem with it.  My hubs does not love it, but he’s not objecting.  I keep telling him we’ll figure out the money.  Which I know we will.  But he really likes having plenty of money…  Also I’m talking with the university I mentioned earlier about being an adjunct professor – teach 1-2 classes, primarily at night.  I’m so excited about this!  I think it will be the perfect schedule.

Move:  We’re very active in trying to move in November.  Hubs is trying to find a job, which I know he will find, but it might take some time to find the perfect job.  I feel like he feels pressure to find something really soon, so I’m trying to convey that it will be fine if he doesn’t, but I think he feels the responsibility of primary breadwinner and insurance provider.  He is currently in Denver, and had an interview today that he was really excited about, and the company loved him, but doesn’t want to pay him even his current salary.  It’s a job that he may have been able to go for if I made more money, but now that I’m going part-time…  I don’t know, maybe I’m taking on too much of this.  He’s not telling me any of this, but maybe I’m trying to read too much into it.  I know it will work out fine, but there are so many balls in the air right now – finding a job for Hubs, buying a house, selling a house, figuring out where to live prior to buying the house, moving, cleaning…  What else?

Baby #2:  Oh right, almost forgot about that.  Started a FET cycle today…  Well really I’ve been taking birth control for awhile, but I stopped those and went in for CD3 blood work and ultrasound today and got clearance to start estrogen pills and patches.  Need to schedule the home nurse to do the intralipid infusion, get the rest of the meds, and the transfer is scheduled for October 5.  Holy crap, I can’t believe I’m doing this in the midst of everything else.  I really want to get it done as (a) I want another baby and want to get it done and (b) I don’t want to have to find a new RE when we move, and figure out shipping my embryos and everything.  But this cycle is so weird.  I find myself forgetting about it.  Like this morning I shaved my legs (something that doesn’t happen that often) because my husband was coming home from Denver tonight, and then realized at the doctor’s office that it was a good thing I had shaved my legs!  I hadn’t even thought about it in the shower – so unlike me!  But on the flip side, I feel so positive about this cycle.  Like October 5 is the day I’ll get knocked up.  And usually I don’t even throw a “maybe” at the end.  In my mind it’s something else to do – pack some boxes, pick up Alex from daycare, and get knocked up.  Like it’s a foregone conclusion!  I’m sure some doubt will creep in there at some point, but now it just seems so reasonable.  It’s like I’ve forgotten how tenuous this whole thing is.

Boot camp:  I’m very proud to report that I successfully made it through 8 weeks of boot camp!  I’m now 15 pounds below pre-pregnancy weight, and in the best shape of my adult life.  My plan was to get through the 8 weeks, and then stop as it was time for the FET cycle.  But I spoke with my RE, and he said I could continue exercising as long as it was no longer than 30 minutes per day, and my heart rate didn’t get over 140 beats per minute.  So I signed up for another boot camp!  Besides the two days of bed rest, I fully intend on doing boot camp, as they are 30 minute videos, six days per week!  I will need to modify the workouts, as my heart rate definitely gets over 140 at times, but I’m very excited to have a fit and healthy pregnancy, instead of the sedentary one I had last time.  I’m really hoping that I can maintain some level of fitness during this next pregnancy, as this has done wonders for my energy, my mood, and my sense of pride.  I’m so excited that for the first time in my life, I really feel in control of my health.  Yes, I’m still overweight, but I’m happy and feel good in my skin.  I’m a little disappointed that I have to stop this weight-loss trajectory with pregnancy, but I know that once I have my next baby, I can lose the weight, and become fit again.  Forever!!!

Overall, I’m doing really well.  So many things are unknown right now, which usually freaks me out.  But somehow I’m making it work.  I’m controlling the things I can.  I’m doing a good job at work, and trying to make every moment I have with Alex count.  I’m trying to be supportive with my husband as he figures out our future.  I’m very relaxed about where we’re going to live (unlike anyone I’ve asked, I’m willing to let hubs pick out our next house – can you imagine? He looked at 17 houses this weekend, and I’m very interested yet calm about it.  I know he’ll do a good job picking something out).  I’m going through our house and decluttering and cleaning, trying to minimize our stuff to move.  And I’m doing what we need to do to have another baby.  Occasionally I have minor freak out moments, but overall, things are good.  As long as I have my To Do list!

Oh, and one more thing!  At 10.5 months, we’re going to start transitioning to cloth diapers!  I really wanted to earlier, but no daycares around here would take them.  The daycares in Colorado are much more willing to do it.  So with more time at home to do laundry, and daycares that are willing, I just ordered 6 diapers to start trying for weekends and nights, with the plan to transition to full-time in November.  After lots of research, I’m starting with Thirsties Duo Diapers, which are pocket diapers.  I really like the convenience of all-in-ones or pockets, but pockets seem to dry faster according to reviews online.  I couldn’t decide on which pocket to go with, until I found that Thirsties is made in the USA, and it’s even a Colorado company!  Perfect!  I got 6 diapers, a few extra hemp inserts, a wet bag, some laundry detergent, and some flushable liners.  Can’t wait to get them and start!!!  Stay tuned…

Monday, August 27, 2012

Time for Change

A week ago, we went to Denver to visit family and friends.  Alex and I stayed for just the weekend, and Hubs stayed for a week.  Boy, things have changed in the last week.  We’ve talked about moving back to Colorado for a long time.  Five years ago, we moved to Texas with the intention of living here for three years - max.  We moved for Hubs’ job, but since then, he quit and got a new job, I’m still working for the same employer I found when we moved here, we got engaged, married, went through infertility, and had a child.  And we’re working on the next one.  We went from a place of debt to paying off most of our debt and we’re in great shape financially.  Our relationship is stronger than ever, and things are really good.  So why not shake everything up?

In the last week, I applied for a dream job in Denver (faculty at a private university – not really qualified, it’s a long shot, but I have some kick-ass recommendations and intro letters – a big wig I know is meeting with the president of the university today to recommend me), Hubs applied for a bunch of jobs and contacted recruiters, Hubs toured some houses in an area that we want to live, and I sat down with my boss, told him we were thinking of moving to Denver and asked if he would be interested in me working for him remotely, on a part-time basis.  And guess what!  He said yes!  We have tentatively agreed on a plan of working about 20 hours per week remotely, although he needs to get it cleared by executive management and HR.  But he won’t do that until I hear about the university thing, because like I told him, if I got the dream job, I would take it.

Although later it occurred to me that since I’m probably not qualified to be an assistant professor (dream job – PhD is preferred, but not required, I have a masters, and little teaching experience) but I bet I could get hired as adjunct faculty and teach a class or two here and there.  That would give me teaching experience, and maybe one day I could get a more full-time position.  So the current plan is to work for my current job 20 hours per week from home and hopefully teach a class at the university.  My MIL told me while we were in Denver that if we moved back, she would like to cut back her hours at her job and take care of Alex for two days per week.  So if all this worked out, I think I could get my 20 hours mostly in while my MIL took care of Alex, plus during a nap or two or weekend work if necessary, and teach a night class or something.  So in my little dream world, we could get rid of daycare!!!  I’ve been fighting with them lately – my little almost-10 month old is only taking one nap per day, which ranges from 40 minutes to 1.5 hours at the most.  She’s apparently lovely during the day, but by the time I get her, total meltdown!!!

All of this is so exciting, and yet so scary.  When I think about all this, I get tight in my chest, thinking of everything that needs to be done.  Put the house up for sale, clean it up first, move with 2 dogs and a baby, ugh!  Hubs sent me an email today asking what we need to do to finish our remodeling and get the house in Texas ready to sell by October.  This is what I said:
-Tile the floors
-Finish baseboards in living room
-Paint guest room
-Declutter everywhere
-Find a realtor
-Make a baby

Oh yeah, I forgot.  Amongst all this – gotta make a baby!  Only 3 more weeks of BCP’s, then the FET is upon us!  All this – so much freaking change!!!  It’s exciting, but terrifying too. 

And I’m not even ready to think through all this, but if my grand plan works out and I’m able to work from home for 20 hours per week, and be a SAHM for the rest of the week, will I be happy?  I like my job – the social parts, the people.  I like people!  Will I be happy being at home working, and then being at home as a mom?  I know I’ll need to do things like playgroups and such, both for Alex’s socialization and my own, but will this be enough?  And will I be good at it?  I’ve figured out most of this working mom thing.  Frantically running around, but still getting it all done.  Will I figure out the part-time SAHM thing?  How about the work from home thing?  I’ve spent the last fifteen years as a career woman, progressively moving my career up the ladder.  Will I be happy taking a step off the ladder?  I know I’m not the first woman to ask myself these questions, but wow – when it is actually a possibility that it could happen, it’s such a big deal!

I guess I need to take a deep breath, and think about what I really want.  For the last few months, I’ve had as my computer password some derivation of “priority” as a reminder to remember what is important.  Alex.  My health.  My marriage.  Our family.  Who knows how this will all play out – maybe it will take Hubs a long time to find a job, maybe it won’t.  Yes, change is scary, but also exciting.  It’s going to be a rough few months as all this stuff gets worked out, but hopefully a year from now, I will look up, and life will be fabulous.  What am I saying?  No matter how it works out, life will be fabulous.  The best thing is I truly believe this.  I guess I have nothing to worry about.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

9 Months!

Alexandra is nine months old!  I can’t believe it – more time out of the womb than in it!  She’s doing great, just thriving like crazy. 

CRAWLING!  Everywhere – loves crawling, and pulls herself up to her knees.  This new-found freedom makes her so happy.  She’s pulling up to her knees, and is so close to pulling herself up to her feet.  If we help her, she loves to hang out standing, and will even shuffle here and there a bit.  We took an online test about her personality (like the old Cosmo quizzes, but somehow different…) and the quiz classified her as ACTIVE!  For sure.  No cuddling, unless she’s drinking out of a bottle, and even then she wants to look around.  Always wiggling around, trying to move.  She loves chasing me and the dogs from room to room, always wanting to be around us.  If she sees one of the dogs lying down, she’ll go up to its side and crawl up onto it, but keeping her knees on the ground.  Then she grabs on, and jumps up and down, but on her knees.  It looks a bit like she’s trying to hump the dog!  Such huge grins, always!

EATING:  such a good eater.  She usually has 5 bottles per day, with 6-7 ounces in each bottle.  Plus she has 3 meals per day, two with purees or chunky baby food, but at dinner I now give her table food.  It’s actually quite handy – she eats all our leftovers!  Last night she had grilled chicken, steamed broccoli and plums.  I just cut them up into little pieces, and she feeds herself.  Served with a sippy cup of water, which she loves.  She has also figured out how to drink out of a regular straw, which is quite handy at restaurants.  And she likes to try to drink out of my glass, but that usually involves lots of water down the front.  So we usually practice that in the bathtub when I take a bath with her on the weekends, which she LOVES!  Also, she has her first tooth – finally!  It’s so cute, and I’m happy to report that teething wasn’t too bad.  A little grumpier than normal, but it didn’t interrupt sleep or anything. 

SLEEPING:  Great sleeper, as always.  Sleeps all night, just about every night.  We are down to about one wake-up at night per month or so.  During the day, on weekends, she takes great naps.  She’ll have two naps each day, for about 1.5-2 hours each nap.  But during the week at daycare, she barely sleeps at all!!!  I hate it, and I’ve talked with the daycare people about it, but they don’t know what to do either.  She will hang out in her crib just fine, but the problem is she’ll spend the entire time jabbering with her friend Abby.  That’s right, she has a best buddy already.  The nice thing is I work with Abby’s mom, so we compare notes all the time.  I’ve even suggested splitting up their cribs so they can get more sleep, but the daycare people said I was being mean – they like spending time together.  Plus if she sleeps next to another child she’ll just jabber with them too…  The problem is they don’t really see it as a problem.  She’s in a great mood, all day long, with or without naps.  Most days she only sleeps for 30-45 minutes at school.  And yesterday she didn’t have a nap at all!  But she’s happy!  The problem is she falls asleep on the way home from daycare, I transfer her into her crib, she sleeps for an hour or so, wakes up, has dinner and then a bottle, and goes back to sleep.  So besides a 45 minute total waketime for dinner, a little play, and then a bottle, she is essentially sleeping from 5:30 pm when I pick her up to about 7:00 am the next morning!  I guess I should just accept this, as she seems happy.  But I never get to see her!  It’s like I don’t have a baby at all – I just have a baby who sleeps and eats a little at my house!  I miss her terribly, and it makes this working thing even harder…

I live for the weekends with my baby girl, as we have so much fun.  She’s started to make fabulously high pitched squeals!  This drives some people crazy, but I love it as it usually comes with huge smiles.  But my favorite thing that she has just started doing is waving and clapping.  If she sees someone new, she’ll wave with both hands – huge full-arm waves.  And then start clapping.  I love it!  It’s her first social greeting!!!

We leave on Friday for a weekend trip to Denver to see family, and I’m very excited.  I can’t wait to see the family and our friends interact with Alex, and see how much she’s grown.  Plus I’m very excited to spend some good time with her since I have a 4-day weekend.  But I may have to fight her grandma for time…  But the good news is we have a babysitter for some evenings of fun!  We already have two evenings planned for after bedtime.  I may be tired this weekend from staying up late and getting up early with Alex, but I think it will be a great time.  I only hope Alex sleeps well and is ok on the flight!  Wish us luck!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Hysteroscopy from Hell

I don’t remember the first one as all that bad.  It was scary, but I remember getting over it in a day, and not having the emotional reaction.  This one did not go very well.

It started a few days earlier.  I do not like anesthesia, and am always afraid I will not wake up.  In fact, I’ve only had general anesthesia three times prior to this hysteroscopy:  a D&C when I lost my baby at 9 weeks, the first hysteroscopy, and the egg retrieval.  Wow – what a wonderful gift infertility has given me – lots of horrible medical procedures.  Last week I worked myself into a frenzy, worrying about the procedure and specifically if I would wake up from the procedure.  I realize this is slightly irrational, that the chance of death is very small, but it is a chance!  And now, with baby Alex, the price is so much higher.  That is what really got me – is it worth it to go through all this for the possibility of baby #2, when the risk is that Alex could lose her mother?  I know I’m being dramatic, but these are the things that were going through my head. 

The day before the procedure as I left work and said goodbye to my friend that knows all the gory details of my infertile life, I told her to watch over Alex, and help the hubs navigate my death.  The morning of the procedure, I squeezed Alex a little longer, and told her a few extra times I loved her always as I dropped her off at daycare.  And during the drive to the procedure, I kept giving instructions to the hubs: tell her I love her, I want to be cremated, take the life insurance money and hire a live-in nanny, you need to date so you can find another mom for Alex.  (this is the one that always made my breath catch.)  I held it together very well, giving these instructions to the hubs in light humor.  I really wasn’t as morbid as it sounds, I just felt like I needed to be very clear in my instructions.   He laughed and joked with me, but didn’t tell me I was being stupid which I appreciated. 

We got to the clinic at 12:30 as instructed, with the procedure scheduled at 1:30.  During that hour, I was supposed to get an IV, sign all the consent forms, change into a gown, etc.  Well, I didn’t get called back until 1:20.  Finally I had signed everything, changed clothes and talked to the doctors by 2:00, at which time the doc said we would get started in about 10 minutes.  I was in a decent mood until about 2:15, at which time I started to get really nervous.  I was so hungry and thirsty (nothing to eat or drink since midnight), I had a headache from caffeine withdrawal, and I was pissed it was taking so long.  Plus the hubs stopped being supportive, and was visibly annoyed with me.  At 2:30 I started to cry.  One of the nurses came in and tried to talk to me, and I could not stop crying!  I had psyched myself up to do this, just get it over with, and now it was delayed.  I tried to hold myself together, but it didn’t work very well.  Finally they called me into the operating room at 2:50.  I was exhausted, and shaky, and a mess.  The surgical nurse tried to calm me down, saying the mood I was in when I went under would affect the mood I would be in when I woke up.  Ugh – that didn’t help.  But they put me under, which was probably a good thing.

I woke up in a frenzy, listening to them telling me to take deep breaths, scared because I was having a hard time doing so, and I just wanted to get out of there.  They handed me my clothes and I tried to put them on while my IV was still in, with shaky hands.  I wanted to be out of that stupid place and never come back.  At some point the doctor came by and told me she found a bunch of polyps and cut them out, so I would be bleeding and in some pain.  I left as soon as possible.

This was on Friday, and I’m still struggling to feel normal.  I went home on Friday and slept all night.  Then I tried to get up on Saturday and take care of Alex, but I didn’t do very well.  Off and on, I would sleep for an hour, get up and play with her, then go back to bed.  Thankfully the hubs took care of her more than normal this weekend.  I took two days off of the boot camp routine – Friday and Saturday.  But Sunday morning I woke early and wanted to get back on track.  I went outside and walked my intervals instead of running.  I felt ok, but exhausted.  I took 3 naps yesterday – before Alex woke up, and then during each of her naps.  This morning I got up and tried to run my intervals, but could only do half of them.  My muscles are so sore!  I’m pissed that my fitness routine got derailed from this stupid procedure, but I’m trying to remind myself that this is normal, and I need to take it easy. 

This eight weeks of boot camp is so important to me.  It’s my time to get my body back, and get my life back.  I’m mad I did this hysteroscopy in the middle of it, but at least it’s done.  I know I need to ease back into the exercise a bit more, as I’m now exhausted.  Hopefully that was the very last time I will ever need to go under general anesthesia.  No more hysteroscopies, no more egg retrievals, and definitely no more D&C’s.  

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Having my cake and eating it too

Well not really – trying to avoid desserts during boot camp.  BUT – I get to finish boot camp AND start my FET with this cycle!  I went to the doc today for my day 3 blood work and ultrasound, and got one of my favorite nurses.  I have to say, it’s nice having years of experience with these ladies.  They’re definitely more willing to work with me than they were when I first walked through that door!  As the doc said during my consult, everyone in the office works well with those that have been patients for a long time – it’s like having frequent flier status.  Glad to know the fortunes I have sunk into that office have been worth something.  You know, in addition to my baby…

Anyway, the doc had originally told me that I would be on BCP for three weeks prior to the actual FET cycle, but the nurse told me today that this is flexible: minimum of 2 weeks, max of 6.  When I run out of the active pills in the first batch (after starting them today), just start another batch!  Woohoo!  So now I can perfectly tailor my FET cycle to start after the end of boot camp, and even schedule the transfer on a Friday so I can minimize the days off work for bed rest.  How much does a FET cycle rock compared to a fresh IVF cycle!  I’m so lucky to have these embryos, I’m so thankful for them.  

Boot camp is going very well.  I didn’t lose weight during the 2nd week, and instead increased by 0.4 pounds.  But everything is fitting better – I retired my size 14 pants and pulled out the 12’s.  And my body fat percentage went from 34.7% last week to 32.4% this week.  So I guess I really am building muscle.  Last week I didn’t focus very much on my nutrition, but I’m trying to step that part up – eating lots of healthy snacks, minimizing the bad stuff.  I have a feeling that next week the scale will go down again.

I’m so proud of myself for committing to boot camp, and for doing this.  I’m running, and actually enjoying it.  I’m seeing results in being able to run farther and faster.  Every Saturday, I’m going on a “long run” which consists of a 5 minute walking warm-up, then a “long run” with distances increasing every week, and then a cool down and stretch.  I run around this pond in a nearby park, and it’s almost exactly 0.5 mile per lap.  The first Saturday of boot camp, I ran one lap, and it was hard, but I did it.  Half a mile in 8 minutes.  Then last Saturday (one week later), I ran two laps, nonstop.  The last hundred yards or so was really hard, but I did it.  One mile in 13 minutes.  I haven’t run a mile since freshman year in high school.  23 years ago!  I can’t believe I did this, and I’m looking forward to Saturday when I attempt (crush!) 1.5 miles.  More than anything, I’m shocked that I’m actually looking forward to running!

You guys are going to have to forgive me if this comes across like bragging a bit.  My husband has been giving me weird reactions to comments I make about boot camp.  The first week, I would tell him when I worked out, and when I lost weight.  He would say “good job.”  But he would be kind of sarcastic, and he wouldn’t say anything else.  He definitely wasn’t enthusiastic like I wanted him to be.  So I stopped telling him about what I was doing.  I realized I’m not doing this for him; I’m only doing this for me.  Maybe he’s jealous because he doesn’t exercise and is overweight as well.  Maybe he sees me getting in shape and feels bad that he’s not.  I’m trying to give him the benefit of the doubt, because if it were him doing this, I would be a huge cheerleader.  I kind of want a cheerleader, but I realized I’m going to have to be my own cheerleader.

Every time I work out, I put a star on my calendar in my kitchen.  I love looking at all the stars adding up.  Six days per week, finishing before 6:30 in the morning so I can be done and showered before Alex wakes up, and I haven’t missed one.  (Well, I missed one morning, but I exercised that evening to make up for it, so I haven’t missed a workout.)  I have my hysteroscopy this Friday so I’m going to have to skip a workout but I’ll make up for it on Sunday, my normal rest day.  I really want to be able to say that no matter what the scale looks like, I did my absolute best for these eight weeks.  I’m over 2 weeks in, and I’m doing great.  Finally, I’m doing something for myself, for my body, and my body is doing exactly what I’m asking it to do.  It’s getting up early every morning, going outside in the dark, and running.  One foot after the other, I’m getting my self-confidence, my spirit, my energy back.  Yes, at the end of this boot camp, I will have to quit this intensity of working out in order to move on to the FET.  But I will know that I can do it again.  I will know that I accomplished something huge – something that I questioned if it was possible at the beginning.  I will know it’s possible to be fit, because I did it already.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Planning for #2

With mixed feelings, we went to the fertility doc on Friday.  I told hubs that I would go, hear what he has to say, with no promises on timing.  I don’t know why, I’m just not super excited about doing all this again.  I’m loving my life right now, and I’m afraid of screwing anything up…

Anyway, we met with the doc, which was actually a new doc.  Apparently the guy that runs the practice that treated me for the 3 IUI’s, a fresh IVF and a FET is taking a step back in the practice, and only doing surgeries.  So I now have a younger doc, which is fine.  I’m hoping that this should be an easy process.  Hopefully…  In the words of my new doc, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.”  We’re going to follow the same protocol that we followed in the successful FET:

-When AF comes, go in for day 3 baseline.  If all goes well, then start BCPs.  Take these for about 3 weeks.  During those weeks, get a hysteroscopy and biopsy.  He said that both hysteroscopies and biopsies have been shown to increase pregnancy rates for IVF. 
-Stop BCP’s, and then AF will show up again.  Day 3 baseline, then start estrogen pills and patches to build up my lining.  Start baby aspirin and Folgard at the same time as estrogen (for MTHFR). 
-About 7-10 days prior to transfer, get intralipid infusion (for NK cells.  Now that I’m thinking about it, it would be smart to get this tested again, considering pregnancy can affect NK cells.  Ugh.  Probably won’t unless this FET fails…).  I will need to have this done at home using a home nurse since the office won’t give me an IV infusion.
-Transfer 2 embryos.  Start Lovenox (for MTHFR) upon transfer.  We talked a lot about the possibility of twins, and how their office is encouraging everyone to do a single transfer, but given our history (1st IVF with 2 embryos didn’t work, and 1st FET with 2 embryos made a singleton) we’re going to try with two embryos.  To be honest, I’m petrified of twins.  I used to want twins, back when I didn’t have any babies.  And I still would have loved to have twins.  But now that we’ll have a toddler when the next one(s) comes along, I can’t imagine going through the newborn phase with two babies and a toddler.  Oh well, if it happens, we’ll just deal with it.  My marriage may not survive it (only half-joking) but we’ll figure it out.  Right?
-Upon a positive beta, get a 2nd intralipid infusion.  Take Lovenox, baby aspirin and folgard until the end of pregnancy.
-Whole thing is about $5K.

Currently the plan is to start this whole process when AF comes next.  Which considering it’s now day 25…  Ugh.

To say my heart is not in it is an understatement.  It’s not that I don’t want another child – I do.  And although it seems a little quick, and some people think it will be too much to handle to have two babies under two years old, that’s not really the issue either.  (Although three babies under two terrifies me…)  The real thing is I just don’t want to go through all this again.  The trying part.  The hysteroscopy, and going to the doctor, and all that crap.  Taking precious days off from work to have the procedures done.  The coordination.  The wondering, the waiting.  And then when/if I actually get pregnant, the fear.   What if I lose another baby?  And going through all of this while being the best mother possible to Alex.  How do I do that? 

The other thing that’s distracting me, thank goodness, from all this fertility stuff, is I’m super into exercising right now.  I can’t believe I actually just said that – this is definitely not normal for me.  But about a month ago, I started the couch to 5K program, but would sputter around and start and stop for a few weeks.  But then I signed up for an online boot camp run by this program.  It started a week ago, and holy cow!  It’s incredible.  I work out six days per week, for about 30 minutes a day, but it’s intense.  My goodness it’s intense.  It’s all about interval training and strength training, but using only your body weight as resistance.  There are daily missions, videos to watch, and written assignments to do.  Because the boot camp is more about the mental issues of weight loss than it is about nutrition and exercise.  One of the early missions asked us to put percentages by each area that is causing us to not reach our fitness and weight loss goals: (1) lack of fitness knowledge, (2) lack of nutrition knowledge, and (3) lack of mental muscles (your negative voice is constantly feeding you excuses to use to blow off workouts and eating correctly).  Um yeah, that last one there.  About 100%...  So that’s what the boot camp attacks – my negative voice.  There are checklists, and online community support and all that.  I’m so committed, and loving it.  Something about this time is different – I’m finally addressing the cause of my weight issues – my negative voice.

So one week down for boot camp, and I had my first weigh-in this morning.  Unlike any other week in my whole life (with the exception of the week I gave birth to my little one of course…) I lost 4.8 pounds.  In one week!  I’m not starving myself – in fact, I think I’m eating more than ever by following the guideline of eating every 2-3 hours.  But I’m making better nutrition choices.  The biggest thing is I’m dragging myself out of bed every morning at 5:00 am and really working out!  It’s the only time of day that I can really commit to have the time to myself.  Alex is still sleeping, and I know I can get a wonderful workout in before doing anything else.  It’s hard – so freakin’ hard.  But like the coach of the boot camp says, if this wasn’t hard, over half of America wouldn’t be overweight. 

This program lasts 8 weeks, and I would really like to finish it.  Or at least get most of it done.  I talked with the doc about exercise, and I liked how specific he was.  My old doc would say something like “you can moderately exercise.”  What is that exactly?  This new doc said the exercise restrictions start when I start the estrogen pills and patches and “You can exercise for no more than 30 minutes per day, and your heart rate shouldn’t be over 140 beats per minute.”  During the workout sessions, I’m topping out at 170ish, but with those guidelines, I could tailor a moderate workout within the bootcamp instructions.  But do I want to?

Depending on when the next cycle comes, I may or may not push off the FET.  Hubs thinks we should start right away, and we probably will.  But if AF shows up in the next few days, or anytime this week, I don’t know if I’ll be ready to give up this boot camp three weeks from now.  I know I won’t be able to sustain an almost 5 pound per week weight loss going forward, but this is about more than weight loss.  It’s about being healthy.  It’s about taking back my body after years of fertility treatments, and pregnancy, and the incredibly frustrating process of breast feeding.  I want to have this time where I control my body.  Every day, my muscles hurt in different ways, but it makes me so happy.  Every painful step reminds me of the time I spent outside in the dark, running.  Or jumping around in my living room, following an online video.  Or forcing myself to do yet another push up.  I’m so proud of myself for getting myself out of bed and doing this – every day.  It gives me a sense of pride, of accomplishment, that dragging myself to the doctor for another test, another procedure, never did.  I know I’m only a week in, but I’m so excited, so shocked by the results, that I can’t wait until the next week to see what happens.  What new muscle will I discover?  How much longer will I be able to run?  (I ran for 8 minutes nonstop on Saturday – this is HUGE for me!) 

Yes, I want another baby.  But right now, I want to do this.  I want a better me.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Why Not Now?

The hubs, Alex and I were sitting having dinner last night – all three of us!  This rarely happens, as usually hubs gets home from work right before bedtime.  And usually we eat on the couch, watching TV.  But last night he was home early, and dinner was actually ready at the same time Alex usually eats, so all of us sat down to eat – it was fabulous.  We did something that normally happens over family dinners, but doesn’t happen that often in our house – we talked.  And he brought up the next baby…

The plan was simple.  Wait until Alex was a year old, then head to the doctor’s office for a FET.  We are so lucky to have five embryos on ice, waiting for us.  We have absolutely no interest in trying naturally for any extended time.  I don’t want to take my temps or pee on ovulation sticks or anything like that.  I don’t think my sanity can handle that part…  So we had been operating under the plan to do a FET around November, I guess.  But we never really discussed it.  And then we booked a cruise for December.  I started doing the math in my head about timing of cycles, and not really wanting to be pregnant while on a cruise.  And really enjoying my time off of treatments, and pregnancy, and breastfeeding.  And really enjoying my super easy baby, who rarely gets up at night, and doesn’t make me exhausted.  And I’ve been working hard at exercising, and just signed up for an online boot camp program that starts Monday and lasts 8 weeks.  (So far I’m 6 pounds under pre-pregnancy weight, which was 18 pounds above wedding weight!)  So I had decided that I wasn’t going to bring it up.  I know, super communicative, huh?

But then the Hubs said last night that he thinks we should try to do a transfer in August or September.  Um, what???  He said it was obviously up to me as it was my body, but he talked about wanting to just get it done – move beyond this part of our life, which I completely understand.  And we’re talking about moving to Colorado, and it would be easier to not have to worry about doing a FET in Denver, transferring the embryos and all that.  We talked about it, and I told him I would think about it.

I have really liked having my break.  Yes, we’ve been half-heartedly trying naturally, but I would only have a couple days of anxiety each month, wondering if I was pregnant.  If I go back to the clinic, and go through a FET, then it will be a huge deal again – all the anxiety and worrying and stress.  But I know I have to do it at some point – I have lost all hope of conceiving naturally.  It would be nice to get it over with.  Because the next baby will be it.  No more, not going through this again.  In fact, I think I’ll get my tubes tied during the c-section, if I’m so lucky to actually get pregnant.  Not that I think I’ll ever get pregnant naturally, but I want to eliminate the possibility so I don’t wonder every month if it could happen. 

I think it’s hilarious that hubs and I are planning this out.  Like we can just order it up at a store, assuming the FET will work.  “If we do the FET in August or September, we could have a June baby!”  It’s like we think we’re fertile, like we can simply plan it out and it will happen.  How arrogant is this!  How quickly we forget that it may not work, and I might miscarry again.  I told hubs that I would be much more willing if we could just get a 5 month old baby, and not have to go through the pregnancy and the early months of newborn again.  Those were a bear!  I actually really liked the pregnancy part, except for the anxiety.  I hated worrying about my baby.  I hope it will be easier next time, if only because I’ll have the distraction of baby Alex.  But who knows…

It seems quick, jumping back into this when Alex will be 9 or 10 months old, but I just want to be done.  I don’t want to do this anymore – this baby making thing.  It would be nice to close this chapter, and call our family complete.  Because it’s not yet.  I love Alex, and if we had to make it work, she would be enough.  But I really want a sibling for her.  More than anything, that is what is driving me – creating a sibling for Alex.  I don’t know if there is an ideal time for it, but it would be nice to just get it done.  And so, I think I’ll make that phone call to set up an appointment with the doc…

Monday, July 16, 2012

I WON!!!

I’m so excited, I recently won a very cool blog contest, just by commenting.  My kind of contest… I was super excited to win – really anything.  But when I realized what I was getting, I was even more excited.  I just received the cutest T-shirt from Betty, custom made for my little girl Alex.  Check it out:

The pic isn't great - she wasn't really into sitting still.  And the shirt is a little big on her, I asked for an 18 month onesie so she could wear it a long time, and she's only 8 months old...  But it looks great on her, and is good with jeans as well.  It’s super cute, and very well made.  And if you like, she’ll make one for you too.  It’s $15 plus shipping of $3, and all you have to do is email Betty at bettyrubble74@gmail.com.  Tell her the shirt or onesie size of child, if it is a boy or girl, and what color (white, color or blue) shirt you want.  And the name of the child.  And if you have a special request like an airplane or dinosaur or something, she will do her best to meet that request.  She'll email you back with the Paypal info so you can pay for the shirt.

This shirt is definitely worth $15 plus shipping!  And you can know that your money is going to a great woman who is raising her pretty cool little son, Rocky.

Thanks so much Betty!!!

Oh, and Alex didn’t want to continue with her photo shoot – she’s CRAWLING!!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Do you remember the feelings of falling in love?  Feeling like you can’t get enough of the other person.  Lying in bed, staring into the other person’s eyes, feeling like the whole world doesn’t matter, nothing matters but the two of you.  Wanting to touch the other person, kiss as much as possible.  You just can’t get enough of them, just want to lie there forever, talking and holding the other person. 

This is how I feel with my little Alex.  Most days after I pick her up from daycare, we go home, and for about thirty minutes we hang out on my bed.  We play with toys, and I read books to her.  I hope we can continue to do this even as she gets older.  I hope one day she’ll tell me about her day, and we can reconnect at the end of the day, by taking a few moments of time together.  Last night we were lying down facing each other on our sides, and I had my hands on her side or her legs, and she kept putting her little hands on my face.  We stared into each other’s eyes, holding hands or stroking each other’s faces, for a long time.  I kept kissing her cute little cheeks, and she’s learning to kiss me back – wide mouth, drooling, and adorable.  (Hubs has commented, “Are you making out with her again?”)  And it occurred to me that I haven't felt this way in a long time – not since falling in love.  But I guess that’s what we’re doing.  We’re falling in love with each other.

Over time, relationships get more comfortable, the feeling of butterflies and romance start to fade.  Sure, I still love my husband, but the days of wanting to stare endlessly into his eyes are sadly long gone.  Our days are filled with chores, and what did you do todays, and what do you want for dinners.  We don’t take much time to simply express how much we love each other while staring into each other’s eyes.  Maybe we should…  But with Alex, it feels so simple.  Everything she does is perfect.  I can’t spend enough time with her – she never annoys me.  And I know she’s in love with me too.  When I walk into daycare, she’s usually sitting on the floor, playing with her toys.  She will look up, get a huge grin on her face, and start flapping her little arms like a bird.  So excited, so happy to see me!  I know these days are numbered, that one day she’ll be annoyed by my words.  And that I may get tired of hearing her whiny voice.  But right now, these days are wonderful.  No disappointment, no annoyance.  Just pure and perfect love.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


After work yesterday, I went to daycare to pick up Alex.  I signed in, and went to her class.  It has a split door, so I opened the top quietly and looked around the classroom.  I immediately spotted Alex, and waited a bit to see what she was doing prior to going in the class.  She was having a great time.  One of the teachers was playing with her, bouncing Alex up and down on her knee, going up and down, up and down.  And Alex was giggling so loud, over and over.  It made me smile – my little girl was having a great time!  And then it made me sad.  I have never heard Alex laugh like that. 

Alex is a very happy baby, always quick to smile, and rarely ever fussy unless tired or hungry.  But she rarely laughs.  My husband and I can occasionally get her to laugh by giving her raspberries on her belly, but she has never laughed, or even giggled, without being tickled.  We can very easily get her to smile – huge smiles – but she holds her laughter close to her chest.  Apparently not at daycare…

I know I should be happy that she’s happy at daycare.  And I am.  I want her to like her teachers, and I want her teachers to like her.  I feel very comfortable with the ladies that watch her.  I’m just so incredibly jealous.  Most days it feels very manageable.  I drop Alex off at a place that is good, and I go to work that I enjoy.  But yesterday, I received a reminder that I’m missing out on so much.  Then I start counting the hours she’s awake during a week, and thinking about other women spending more time with my daughter than me.  It didn’t help that Alex was particularly fussy and tired last night, and I kept thinking about her laughing with the daycare lady, and crying with me.

I told the hubs about this last night, and he didn’t understand why it bothered me at all.  He just saw it as a good thing – it’s good that she’s happy at daycare.  But he doesn’t understand.  Yesterday he saw Alex for about 2 minutes in the morning as he walked out the door.  He doesn’t get up with her in the morning, feed her or get her ready.  And last night he went to trivia (bar) after work with friends and came home after bedtime.  Even if he comes home after work, he sees her for about 20 minutes each night before bedtime, and he's not involved at all in her care during that time.  He’s perfectly fine with this arrangement – he knows that I’m here to take care of Alex.  Which I love doing!  But when I try to explain why I want to spend more time with Alex he doesn’t understand. 

This is the hardest thing.  I think I could convince my boss to rearrange my job to allow me to work only three days per week.  In fact, he brought it up when I was pregnant, that if I wanted to quit to please talk to him first to see if we can work something out.  But I can’t convince the hubs.  He likes the money I bring home too much.  And he’s even said that he likes sending Alex to daycare “where they know more about childhood development, more than we do.”  I hate that he thinks that the daycare folks are better qualified to raise our daughter than me.  Yes, I’m an accountant by training, but I am figuring stuff out!  I read books, I’m learning about how children learn!  And I’m her mother – doesn’t that count for something?

We’re still talking about moving back to Colorado.  If we do this, I’m going to insist that I don’t work full time.  But I don’t know how the conversation will go.  I don’t know how to convince the hubs that Alex needs more of me.  Especially if she laughs more with other people than me...