Tuesday, December 31, 2013

13 Weeks: The growth spurt is over! Happy New Year!

Since Christmas, Kaiden has been going through a growth spurt. It finally came to an end today, thank God. It was horrible and one of the most challenging ones we've had.

No one ever told me about growth spurts going into motherhood. I mean, I know what they are, but I didn't know babies went through them at certain times, and that they would be freaking miserable during that time. Oh, and kiss whatever plans you had goodbye as well.

This growth spurt, Kaiden was needy as heck. He wanted to nurse every hour or less, and if he wasn't nursing, then he was crying and restless because he refused to sleep as well. Our bedtime went out the window. Kaiden wanted to stay up until midnight, and stay up he did.

The nursing took a toll on my poor boobies and my sanity. I don't like feeling like I have done absolutely nothing with my day, and when I am actually doing absolutely nothing with my day, it makes me depressed. So, by last night, my nerves were frazzled, my anxiety was up, and I was feeling very, very down. On top of this, Kaiden wouldn't go to bed, so I eventually just gave in and realized I wasn't going to get any time to myself, and I nursed him to sleep, then fell asleep with him.

When I woke up this morning, I said to my husband, "At work, we always tell the students 'Today is a new day.' So, today is a new day." And that's the attitude I went with. Thankfully, it seems the growth spurt has passed. My happy, busy baby is back, he's not nursing every hour, and I got him down to bed before 9pm (for now).

So, tomorrow is a new year. A week ago, I was looking back through this blog at these weeks just to see where I was, so to speak. I can't believe how much change a year can bring. This past year has been very hard on my career, it's been a challenge through my pregnancy, but it has been wonderful. My family has grown this year, and I look forward to seeing my son grow through the next year.

I hope you all have a happy new year as well. If you didn't get your baby yet, just know that he or she is coming. Remember, as hard as it is, that every failed cycle is bringing you closer to the baby that was meant to be yours. I couldn't imagine having any other baby but my Kaiden. <3

Saturday, December 28, 2013

12 Weeks: Kaiden's come so far!

Last Tuesday was Kaiden's 12 week birthday, and I can't believe how far he's come and how much he's grown. Every time he learns something knew, I am amazed by it. These are some things he started doing this past week:

-Refusing to recline -- he wants to sit up straight and will pull himself up to sit up straight, even if he can't keep himself up.
-Plays with my shirt or pets me while nursing
- Said "ho ho ho." For realz.
-Said "uh-oh" yesterday. I'm not lying. Haha.
- Grabs objects with two hands
- Puts his hand in my mouth so I nibble his fingers
- grabs his feet
- purposefully moves his feet to hit very specific toys
- bounces in his jumperoo
- sits up in a bumbo

I love this kid, I really, really do.

Friday, December 13, 2013

10 Weeks: A little person!

We had a rough 9th week filled with lots of reflux and doctor's visits. It was really stressful, but thankfully, after adjusting Kaiden's medicine and feeding him more rice cereal bottles, he seems to be doing much better. I realized that I was putting my own, selfish desires in front of Kaiden's health. I wanted so badly to nurse him all the time and not give him formula...but what he really needed was more formula and rice cereal to help settle his tummy. I did that, and now he's back to being a happy dude and is, once again, nursing more than anything else.

I feel like Kaiden has turned into a little man this past week. He has been discovering things with his hands now, including smacking his toys, touching everything, playing with mommy's hands, touching his hair, grabbing his ears, grabbing his feet, stroking his tummy...I could go on and on. He is rolling from his tummy to his back more often and with purpose (he's been doing this since around 6 weeks old), and can even push his feet and scoot around when on his tummy. He loves to sit up (with assistance), and prefers this at all times of the day. He also complains and grumps at us if we do something he doesn't like, and this goes on for a good five minutes of him just going on and on and on. It's so funny.

The doctor said that Kaiden is very strong and ahead of the game, which is awesome. He's just so smart, and I love watching him grow and discover something new every day. We are waiting for him to laugh, since he tries so hard to laugh, and then some strange noise comes out instead. It's great.

Breastfeeding is going great. I still have some vasospasm issues and overactive let down, but Kaiden is handling it pretty well!

Here's a pic of him before I had to go back to work for the first time. He new he had to make my day first:

Friday, December 6, 2013

9 Weeks: Two month check up

Kaiden went to his two month appointment today. I have been sort of stressing about it all week, but it went really well. He now weighs a whopping twelve pounds! I missed his other measurements, but whatever. He's pretty long, and his head is not gigantic...that's good, right? Right.

This week, Kaiden has been working on trying to figure out how to laugh and blow raspberries. He has learned how to squeal, which is stupid cute and makes me love him all the more. I can't wait until he learns to laugh, though. I'm waiting for that little giggle.

This week, he's been sleeping a *little* bit longer though the night. He went from every 2-3 hours to every 3-4. Problem is, he wakes up at around 6 or 7 am and then will eat, fall asleep for a half hour, wake up and eat, fall asleep for a half hour, wake up and eat...and this goes on until around 10 am. It is not exhausting for him, but it's very exhausting for me, especially when he goes on refusing to take naps for more than thirty minutes after that. Tired mommy. Very tired mommy.

Breastfeeding has been going swimmingly. We haven't had any issues, and that feels so great to say. I no longer take bottles out with me when we go places, and sometimes, he even refuses to take his bottle at home and wants a boobie instead.

The reflux and gas is still an issue. The gas seems to be getting better, but the reflux is still there. The doctor really seems to want me to thicken ALL of his meals with rice cereal, but I am not ready to give up breastfeeding and go back to pumping. That, and rice cereal doesn't even thicken breastmilk. He isn't pushing the issue, though, since he knows how much I want to breastfeed. We are going to up the dose of Zantac to see if that helps more than it is now. I asked about something stronger he can take, but the doctor said that the next thing is Prilosec, and it's hard to find a pharmacy that will mix it or whatever for a baby. News to me!

Here's your picture for the week! I tried to catch him giving "the lip."

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Two Months!

Kaiden is two months old today! He has certainly come a long way. Take a look at his lists!

Things I've Known How to Do

Make eye contact and follow objects
Support my head (mostly!)
Know Mommy and Daddy's voices

New Things That I Do

Suck on my hands (I finally found them!)
Self soothe when going to bed
Cry because I know it gets me attention, even if nothing is wrong (And you can really tell it's a fake cry)
Kick at my toys
Reach toward my toys with closed fists

I am probably leaving some things out, but as you can see, things are going well! He has breastfeeding down to an art now (thank God), and we don't have any more issues with it besides coping with my overactive let down.

We are dealing with a newish obstacle, though. Kaiden was diagnosed with reflux last week, though...we've suspected it all along. It's been getting worse, and he has been in more pain because of it. So, now Kaiden is back on Zantac twice a day, and he is given a rice cereal bottle twice a day as well. We've seen a difference and the reflux is less now...but he still has moments when it sucks and I feel horrible. Last night, he was trying to talk to me, but the reflux kept coming up into his mouth instead, and he made the saddest little face and started to cry in frustration. I started to cry too, and my husband had to calm everyone down.

We go back to the doctor the first week of December for his two month check up, his vaccinations, and a follow-up to our reflux regimen. I am hoping that there is some improvement, but not much has happened since Friday. It's only been a few days, so maybe it will clear up by the end of the week.

His first Thanksgiving is coming up, and he will be meeting his daddy's side of the family for the first time. We are super excited about it! I plan on making a feathered headband for him to wear, that is, if I can get to the craft store tomorrow!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone! Remember what it is you are thankful for, not the things you do not have. This time, last year, I was coming up on my embryo transfer, which took place on Thanksgiving. That embryo didn't take, but I am thankful that it didn't, or I wouldn't have my precious Kaiden.

Monday, November 18, 2013

7 Weeks!: We are chugging along...

I know it's been a little while since I've posted last. I've had lots I've wanted to post about, but I hardly ever have the time to surface for air these days, and when I do, I have to decide if I want to take a shower or spend some time on the computer.

Kaiden is doing very well. He is now 10 lbs 1 oz according to last week's weigh in with the lactation consultant. He is still having lots of gas issues that we can't quite figure out. I thought it was the formula, so the pediatrician told me to stop all formula and to feed him only breastmilk. I did that for over a week, and it was very exhausting because Kaiden still isn't exclusively breastfed. So, not only was I having to get him to nurse more, but I had to find time to pump during the day as well so my supply didn't go down.

Kaiden was also going through a growth spurt at the end of week five, so he was constantly eating. The result? Sore, sore nipples. So sore. I was in so much pain that I was in tears, and just when I thought things were getting better (since Kaiden was now breastfeeding more than he was bottle feeding), my pain was getting in the way. I spent the better part of week six going back and forth between a nipple shield, ice, heat packs, lanolin and sheer willpower to only give my son breastmilk. Eventually, all of the pain and stress caught up to me, and I had a meltdown. My mother in law came down to spend the day with me and give me a break.

It was then that I made the executive decision to use the formula again when I needed to. This took the pressure off me to pump enough for Kaiden during the day when he would refuse to nurse. In turn, I stopped stressing out and Kaiden came back to the breast. Now, I am happy to say that he breastfeeds all through the day and usually only gets a bottle at night. There are times he wants to play at the breast and not eat, which results in Kaiden pulling and biting my nipples. So, I give him a bottle then to help my boobies out.

We still don't know what is causing all the gas issues. The mainly breastmilk diet has definitely improved things, but he still has very bad days when he's in pain. It bothers me to see him like that, since there's nothing I can do beside giving him gas drops and gripe water. I will be calling the doctor again to talk about the possibility of him having reflux issues that the Zantac just wasn't taking care of.

Developmentally, Kaiden is still a little a head of the game. He's "talking" much more, smiling brightly back at people, especially those he knows. He has discovered his hands and puts them in his mouth to self-soothe more often. He kicks at his toys when he's in his bouncy chair. He's great. :) Always so alert and attentive. I love spending time with him and watching him figure out how to make a noise back at me when I talk to him. I think he has it down now, though. When he first started "talking" he'd usually hiccup, sneeze and spit up before a voluntary sound came out. There's less of that now. :P

Here's a picture from six weeks. This is his "Mom, I don't want to eat anymore" face:

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Week 5: A Letter to Kaiden

Dear Kaiden,

Yesterday, you turned five weeks old. Right now, you are asleep in your rock and play right beside me, and smiling in your dreams.

Last year on this day, I was taking stimulation drugs to kick my ovaries in gear and get them producing eggs. Thirteen days later, you were created. You were one of nine kick ass embryos that made it to day five, and then to freeze a day later. Although I was sad that the embryo we put back didn't make it, I am glad that it meant that I'd get you instead. I couldn't imagine not having you.

In this past week, you've started to "talk" more and smile. You track objects with your eyes and reach for them when you really want to. You are awake more often than you are asleep, and you always want people to pay attention to you and talk to you.

How you went from being a little embryo in a petri dish to being the tiny human you are today is a miracle...and I am so glad that you were given to me after such a long road of failures and pain.

I love you.


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Week Four: My Little Pain in the Butt

I will break this post down into sections, since lots has happened in a week.

My Son

Kaiden is doing really well. For the most part. He is only four weeks old, but this week he's started to "talk" or coo back at you when you talk to him. He also has socially smiled a few times, but he talks more than he socially smiles. He is really good at tracking with his eyes, holding up his head (and his upper half), throwing himself around, and generally being a little wiggle worm.

We have taken to calling him "Bug" or "Buggy" after the fact that he's a cuddle bug and can never get enough cuddles. My favorite part of the day is when I can bring him into bed with me, cuddle and nap. When he is in his co-sleeper, he wiggles to the edge closest to me and complains if he wants cuddle time. This usually happens after his 6 am feeding. If we cuddle with him, he'll sleep until around 10 am, when he gets hungry again. I love this boy more and more every day. And how could you not love a face like this?


First off, thank you for all of your support. I really appreciated all of you reaching out to me in some way or another.

Breastfeeding got better...and then we had another set back. Last weekend, Kaiden started to refuse the breast again, this time differently than before. He'd latch perfectly without the shield, suck a few times, then tug backwards with my nipple still in his mouth, then shove his face into my boob full force. Then, he'd let go and start screaming, refusing to get even close to my boob after this point. Needless to say, this was very distressing and annoying. Two steps forward and a billion steps backward. No matter what I did, he wouldn't come back to the breast.

After doing a lot of reading and speaking to my lactation consultant, I have come to the conclusion that I probably over an overactive/forceful letdown and an oversupply of milk. This has created a few issues, all which run into one another, like a domino effect.

The biggest issues is that it hurts Kaiden. When my milk lets down, it is spraying him in the back of the mouth. One site compared it to turning on a fire hose and hitting a person with it. This would explain why Kaiden pulls backwards and arches his back to get away from it. It also explains why he refuses to go back to the breast if it is literally hurting him.

The other is a nutritional issue, which I will get into in a moment.

Yesterday, I read that going back to the nipple shield helps with forceful let down because it slows down the flow of milk before it gets to the baby's mouth. So, begrudgingly, after all my hard work to get him OFF the shield, I put it back on...and he came back to the breast. There are other things I have to do to try and help this issue for the long term, which I will discuss with my LCs and report back on here. I have read pretty much everything out there on overproduction and overactive let down, so if you are thinking of something in particular to suggest, I probably already know about it. The problem is, we still have to determine if I am suffering from oversupply as well, and I don't want to mess with my routine right now if I'm not, then throw my supply off.

This leads to pumping. I have been really working on my pumping routine, because I simply couldn't keep up with Kaiden's demands. As of last Saturday, I was only pumping around 8 ounces a day. So, since my son has started to eat 3-4 ounces in one sitting...that meant I couldn't feed him all breastmilk all day long. I had to use more formula (which became an issue that I will get to later).

As Kaiden was nursing, then stopped, my supply was all messed up. So, I rented a hospital grade pump to help empty my breasts and get my supply back up. I've been religiously pumping at least eight times a day. This means I get up twice in the middle of the night, sometimes three times, to get those sessions in, and then pump throughout the day. This is a lot of work. Just as much work as breastfeeding is. But, I cherish my pumping sessions because they are quiet, and I can think and recenter myself when I am getting frustrated. As of yesterday, I pumped 15 ounces. This is almost double my output from last weekend, but it still is sort of low. So, I must keep on pumping and get my supply established.

Today, I've been able to keep up with Kaiden's feedings, at least in the morning. He usually gets formula at night.

Health Issues

Kaiden's been having some digestive issues. We wrote them off as being normal at first, but yesterday, I called the pediatrician, and I had to bring the baby in immediately to be checked out.

Mostly, he's been very, very gassy and uncomfortable. He's been spitting up more frequently, and sometimes even projectile vomiting. His bowel movements have been very loose and explosive. He was in pain every day, and no matter how many gas drops or gripe water we gave him, it wouldn't give him any relief. This would keep him up at night, and he'd be hungry often because he was either spitting up his food, or it was going right through him and out the other end.

The ENT put him on Zantac for reflux on Tuesday, thinking this might be the cause of his congestion that he's been struggling with as well. But, as of yesterday, I wasn't seeing any difference. I know it can take up to two weeks to work, but I thought it should have at least been easing his symptoms a little bit.

So, yesterday, after he had two explosive episodes, one episode of projectile vomiting, and was spitting up after every meal, I called his doctor. When I took him into the office, he had another explosive diaper, which was good timing, because I could show the doctor what I meant then. He said this was all not normal at all, and he listened to Kaiden's tummy, which was very rumbly and unsettled.

The pediatrician suspects Kaiden has a lactose sensitivity right now. I am to severely limit or cut dairy from my diet, and Kaiden has been switched to a lactose-free formula...which is very expensive. Thankfully, he gave us nine cans to sample for free, which should last us some time. He also gave us a paper to send to the company to get some more free samples as well. So, I should have enough to last until I can keep up with Kaiden's demands in breastmilk. We should see a difference by Tuesday, but I am already seeing a difference in Kaiden today.

The thing is, oversupply can also cause this lactose issue, and digestive issues as well. When a woman suffers from oversupply, the baby drinks most of her "foremilk" which is milk that is heavy in lactose, but not in fat. Because there's so much foremilk, the baby has a hard time reaching the hindmilk, which has all the fat. In turn, the baby is drinking lots of lactose that his digestive track can't quite handle just yet. This causes gas and fussiness and digestive issues. So, I may be contributing to these issues doubly so...which sucks.

Needless to say, we're still going through some stuff, but it is getting better. One day at a time. That's all we take, is one day at a time.

Every smile and coo is worth the rest of it. :)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Week Three: The Breastfeeding Guilt

While everyone is quick to tell you how hard breastfeeding is, no one ever quite comes out to explain the numbing guilt that comes along with realizing you are failing at it.

I have been having issues breastfeeding since day one, as noted in my previous post. The previous post ended on a positive note. I didn't know then that the very next day, K would go right back to refusing the breast. I also didn't know how much it would rip my very soul apart and send me into a spiraling sadness. By the end of Monday night, I was convinced that he must hate me if he doesn't want me to touch him or feed him. I know now, looking back at that moment, that it's a ridiculous thought. But, I was so distraught then, that I really thought he hated me, and my husband had to sit beside me and console me as I resorted to a bottle and formula in tears.

And why was I in tears?

There's been a renewed push for mothers to breastfeed. The "breast is best" campaign, as it is frequently referred to. It's all you hear about during your pregnancy, all you hear about in the hospital, and when you get home and are struggling, it's all you think about. Breast is best. Breast is best.

But, not all mothers can breastfeed. Some for physiological reasons, some because their babies just refuse to nurse, and some due to schedules or babies being in the NICU or whatever it may be. These mothers? I am sure these mothers carry a weight of guilt on their shoulders because of factors they cannot control...and it's not fair.

I am one of those mothers. And it kills me when I think about how I may not be one of the lucky mothers who gets to hold their babies to the breast and watch them suckle and be nourished. All of that Monday, I cried and cried and cried. It didn't help that Monday night into Tuesday morning, Kaiden decided it was time to clusterfeed every hour or less, and I didn't get any sleep at all. Finally, at around four in the morning on Tuesday, I woke my husband up, sobbing and begging him not to go to work and leave me alone. We ended up calling his mom, who hit the road at five in the morning to drive an hour and a half down here to help me out.

It took all of Tuesday for me to realize that this was beyond ridiculous. Sure, I can feel sad about this not working the way I thought it would, but to feel devastated the way that I was was beyond irrational. I spoke to the lactation consultant who very plainly said to me, "What matters is that you are feeding your baby. Period. It doesn't matter if it is from the breast. It doesn't matter if it is from a bottle. It doesn't matter if it is formula. What matters is that he is growing and healthy, and that you are healthy as well." It really helped me to hear her say this, even if I had been trying to convince myself of this truth for the last couple of days.

I had no choice but to resort to bottles and formula since Kaiden was still cluster feeding, and I couldn't keep up pumping with how much he was eating. Over the days, it became a lot less stressful for me and him. I followed the LC's advice, to offer the breast for every feeding, give it five minutes and five minutes only, and then move to a bottle so we aren't both stressed out. That was my routine. Offer the breast, and don't feel bad if he doesn't take it.

On Thursday, I got him to latch twice, once with a shield, and once without. The time without, I just let him lay in front of me on a pillow, my breast out for him to take, only if he wanted it. I waited for him to root and move for the breast. I didn't bring it to him. That worked out really well. Today, I offered the breast some more, and he did a one-sided feeding in the afternoon (without a shield), and two, two-sided feedings this evening, almost back-to-back since he's still acting insatiable. I am so proud of him, and when I look down and see him nursing, I am happy that I didn't quit, but I am also proud of myself for knowing that it was perfectly okay to have to put breastfeeding aside too.

So, for those mothers out here who are struggling like I am, just know that as much pressure that is put on you to breastfeed, it is okay to let it all go if it isn't working out. Another mother at my new mother's group told me, "You want to look back at these days as being precious to you. You don't want to look back at them and regret being miserable the whole time because you wanted to live up to someone else's standards."

I am going to keep going with this with the mind that if I can't get him to ever breastfeed exclusively, there's nothing wrong with it. My baby will be healthy, even if I supplement with formula, and even if I am using a bottle. Hell, I was raised on formula and a bottle, and I'm not a complete wreck, right? :)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

2 Weeks Old: Motherhood and Breastfeeding

I have been debating starting a new blog to take over from here, but I don't know. Part of me thinks that it would be most considerate, but the other part of me wants to keep it all together. My journey has not ended, not by any means. If you thought PCOS stopped at getting pregnant, you're sorely misinformed.

Motherhood has been wonderful so far. I love it. I love it because I love my little man, and I love when my husband shows his love for our son. Everyone is right: The pain and frustration and rejection that you feel to get to this point? You forget all of it. When I don't get any consecutive sleep through the night, I don't wake up angry or cranky. I wake up next to my baby, totally and utterly in love.

The most difficult process of motherhood so far has been breastfeeding for me. I've been through some breastfeeding drama in the past two weeks, and it runs an emotional toll on me. Everything that I've ever read and have been told has said that breastfeeding is going to be hard, especially in the first two weeks. "Hard" is an understatement.

The difficulty started in the hospital. Kaiden wouldn't latch, and as much as I tried to point this out to people, they kept telling me that he is learning and I am learning and it will take some time. So, four days later, just before I was about to be discharged, I asked to talk to another lactation consultant. She came in and said that the baby's weight loss was not acceptable (as I was being told) and that we had to get him eating right away, since he was dehydrated and lethargic. We fed him a bottle of formula, then she taught us how to use a nipple shield and a SNS system. My discharge was delayed another few hours so we could get the hang of the new nursing routine.

Despite the SNS system and the formula supplementing, Kaiden lost more weight in a few days, and was down a whole pound from his birth weight. The pediatrician told us to up the formula supplementation and come back at the end of the week. I went back to the lactation consultant, who worked with me to get Kaiden to latch and mentioned that he might have a minor case of rear tongue tie. She referred us to an ENT, then taught us some more tricks of the trade to help with nursing. Of course, everything she did worked while we were there, but when I got back home, the fight continued to get Kaiden to latch.

So, I decided to give him bottles of formula because his weight was dropping, and we needed to get him fattened up. I did breastfeeding a few times a day, then formula bottles a few times a day, and pumping in between. Ultimately, this got him back to his birth weight, but I couldn't help but to feel like a failure because I couldn't just breastfeed him alone and make sure he was healthy.

I remembered I bought Breastflow bottles, which are supposed to mimic the latch and flow of a baby at the beast, and I broke them out. I used them for a little bit to help Kaiden learn to better latch and to suck stronger, and by the end of a couple of days, he was really good at it. Then, I started to tease him with the bottle, giving him a few sucks and then putting him to the breast. His latch got stronger, and his suck was definitely better! Eventually, I phased the bottle out during the daytime all together, and I got him to breastfeed for 45 minutes to an hour at a time each session.

Then, I took him to his ENT appointment. The ENT agreed that he had minor rear tongue tie and wanted to do a frenectomy, where they cut under the tongue to "free" it up a little bit. This is a minor procedure that is done in the office under a numbing gel. It took all of five minutes, and my baby was miserable afterward. Not to mention, he wouldn't latch or suck at all in the office. The doctor said it might be because he's still hurting and to give it some time.

But, I got home, and he wouldn't latch or suck the whole day. When I woke up the next morning, he still wouldn't latch or suck. I broke down in tears and called the lactation consultant back, afraid that I had ruined my baby somehow. She had me come in right away, and we got Kaiden back to the breast, but not without some struggling. The LC told me that he was probably associating opening his mouth wide with the pain from the procedure, a minor case of PTSD, if you would. We just had to re-teach him that the breast was a safe place, and it wasn't going to hurt him.

Since I've gotten home from her today, Kaiden's been nursing almost every hour on the hour. He is also just wanting to comfort suck at the breast and fall asleep. I'm feeling much better now, and less like I "broke" my baby, but it still sucks. All of this strife just to be able to feed my kid.

I am going to keep with it. I am also going to keep using bottles for night time feedings, since that's much easier on my husband and I. I have to keep reminding myself that I had major surgery done, and that I need my rest when I can get it. Oftentimes, I forget until I've pushed myself to hard and am in pain. I have to choose my battles, and fighting a baby to breastfeed at night is one that I can easily avoid.

Anyway. That's my breastfeeding saga so far.

If any of you are reading this and can let me know if you'd like me to start a new blog for my mommy adventures, I'd love your opinions!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Infertile to Mother - Birth Story (Graphic)

It all began on early Tuesday morning, October 1st.

I woke up at three in the morning for no reason. I was having dreams of being in labor all night, and suddenly, I was awake. So, I rolled out of bed and went to the restroom, where I hung out sitting on the edge of the bathtub, checking facebook since I couldn't go back to sleep. I had all of this energy and nothing to do with it on a Tuesday morning. So, I convinced myself to go back to bed, since I had to work in a few hours, and I would be more miserable than I would have been the day before if I was running on crap sleep. And so, I went back to bed at around four in the morning.

At six, my husband woke up and got ready for work. When he was done, I got out of bed again to use the restroom, since when one is nine months pregnant, you pee CONSTANTLY. When I sat down on the potty, I was peeing...except...I wasn't peeing. This didn't click until I actually started peeing. I thought my mind was playing tricks on me, and there was no way to figure it out, since I was on the toilet. When I got up, nothing else came out, so I went back to bed.

Five minutes later, I had to go to the bathroom again. This time, I went into the restroom, sat down, waited, and sure enough, there was another gush. This time, I managed to "catch" some on toilet paper. Amniotic fluid doesn't smell like urine. It sometimes smells sweet or like nothing at all. So, I smelled it, which is gross, but whatever. It didn't smell like urine. I got up off the toilet and realized that there were white specks in it, which was curious. So, I did the final test. I stood and squatted. Squat. More fluid. Everywhere. Well, that explained that.

Just as my husband was packing up to leave for work, I called down to him that my water broke, and he's not going anywhere today. He was very calm about this. I then called my OB, who told me that I couldn't labor at home, and that I had to go to the hospital right away since I tested positive for group B strep. This is an infection that does nothing to people who have it. Most of the time, they don't even know they have it. It sticks around in the bowels and vaginal area and does nothing. But, when you are going to have a baby, and you have group B, the infection can pass on to the baby and make the baby sick. So, to combat this, you have to be given antibiotics round the clock, every four hours during labor. The longer I waited, the more of a risk there was that the baby would get sick.

So, I made some eggs, bacon and toast knowing that once I got into the hospital, I'd not be allowed to eat. Then, I packed up the rest of the hospital bag, got our stuff together and we went to the hospital. So long for laboring at home. Also, this is when I begin to realize that my birthing plan was going to go right out the window. I wasn't have any contractions at all. Maybe just some cramping on the way to the hospital, but no contractions.

Cut the boring stuff, I got there, they confirmed that my water had broken, they checked baby's position then moved me to labor and delivery. Contractions still hadn't started, and the doctor told me that because it's been four hours since my water broke, she wanted to start me on pitocin to avoid infection and get labor going. I tried my best to convince her otherwise, and she let me have another hour bouncing on my birthing ball and laboring before I had to bite the bullet and start the pitocin. I was a little disappointed by this, knowing that it opens the doors to a crap ton of other interventions, but I was only 2.5 cm dilated, and I was getting no where quickly.

After a couple of hours on pitocin with back-to-back double and triple peak contractions, they checked me again. I was still only 2.5 cm, but 100% effaced. As much as I was told that it was the effacement that counted, I was upset and tired. They upped my pitocin dosage and things got real then. I asked for an IV drug to help with the pain. It was called Saldal (sp?), and it was sort of like a twilight drug. I was conscious, I could feel the pain of the contractions, but I just didn't care. I went into nappy land for about a half hour and then the drug started to wear off. It took another fifteen more minutes and the medicine was pretty much completely out of my system. It was supposed to last an hour and a half to two hours, but my body metabolized it quicker than they thought. I realized then that I didn't want to keep asking for Saldal because I was so disconnected from the experience that I didn't feel apart of it.

So, I asked for the epidural, since all of my contractions at this point where triple peak. I am not mad at myself for asking for it either. I had been laboring from about 7:30 to 2:30 at this point, most of it without medication, and most of it double and triple peak contractions. The epidural gave me a break from all that. The doctors were impressed that I didn't even wince at the pain of getting the epidural either, and the doctor assured me that I had been very brave so far, and she was impressed with my composure.

Two hours after the epidural was placed, I went from 2 cm to 9 cm. So, it was around 4:30 or 5:30 in the evening at this time. I had to wait to push because my doctor was with the woman next door, who was pushing and having some issues. So, I lazily waited around another hour or so before the doctor returned to check me and confirm that I could start pushing.

And this is where my story takes an unexpected turn.

I was pushing and pushing, but nothing was happening. They kept asking if I felt the urge to push, but I didn't. I felt pressure, and I felt something happening, but I didn't ever feel a distinct urge to push. I did feel a pain in my left side, despite the epidural, and it was a consistent pain, it didn't come and go like the contractions. They turned my epidural down to help me with pushing, but despite that, I still couldn't manage. I asked for the mirror to see if I could watch my progress to help me know if I was pushing correctly, but all I saw was swollen lady bits. No crowning. Nothing. I started to get discouraged then, and the pain was unbearable and never-ending due to whatever was happening on my side. Everyone was encouraging me and telling me that I was "doing it" when I was pushing and to "get mad" but...I knew I wasn't doing anything.

This is when the doctor told me that the baby had his head tilted and it was stuck on the lip of my cervix. She suggested I try pushing through it for a little while, because if I could get him over, then he'd come quickly. “A little while” turned into two hours of back-to-back pushing and unmedicated contractions. At the end of two hours, I’ve still not made any progress, and I was broken, tired and feeling defeated. I was upset, my husband was upset, and the doctor didn’t look too happy about the matter either. I started to beg for them to turn my epidural back on, that I couldn’t take any more and was too tired to push. I needed a break. I needed my son, and he just wasn’t coming on his own.

I asked for a c-section. I couldn’t believe I was asking for one, when all I wanted to do was avoid it. But, I knew from the moment they started me on pitocin that there was a chance that it would happen. And, at this point, I just couldn’t bear to push anymore when nothing was happening. The doctor was very patient. I knew she wanted to suggest the c-section an hour ago, but she held off because she knew how much having a vaginal birth meant to me. But, my heart rate was going through the roof, and typically, what follows next would be fetal distress. A c-section would be best, before it was too late and became an emergency.

They turned my epidural back on, and the contractions faded away. I took this time to assure my husband that I was feeling better now that I couldn’t feel the pain anymore. He was not-so-happy that now I had to have surgery, but being a former EMT, he knew that it was the next rational step when my heart rate was sky-rocketing. Luckily, they were able to get us into the OR right away, and before I knew it, we were off.

They gave me the “c-section dose” of the epidural and my body went numb. I was prepped as my husband got into his scrubs in some other room. They poked me to make sure the epidural was working correctly, then hooked me up to all sorts of machines. B returned and sat by my side as the operation took place. There was a moment when I puked all over the place, emptying my already empty stomach. That was not glorious at all.

In less than twenty minutes, my son was born. He didn’t cry at first. He didn’t cry for a good minute or so. They had to stimulate him to breathe, and when he did, and I heart those wails of life, my heart lurched in my chest. In that single moment, I knew that my whole infertility journey was worth all the pain, suffering and angst. In each one of my son’s cries, with each new breath of life that he sucked in, my whole world changed and was given a whole new meaning. I listened to that crying with a smile on my face, ignoring the fact that I was covered in vomit, exhausted, and went through seventeen hours of laboring for this one moment.

It wasn’t long until they called B over to take pictures and get a good look at his son. When they got the baby’s breathing under control, they brought me over to me so I could see him. I saw my heart in the hands of that nurse, who lowered his little face to mine so I could kiss him and tell him I loved him. He was no longer crying at this time, just staring at the world in wonder, looking me right in my eyes as I called him by his name for the first time: Kaiden.

Though my bean journey was long, painful, depressing, angering, annoying, defeating, and exhausting, I wouldn’t change any of it for the world. All of my failures along the way are exactly what lead me to my son. My Kaiden. My whole world. My whole heart. My everything.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Welcome to the World, Baby Kaiden!

Kaiden was born October 1st at 7lbs 13oz! I will write up his birth story later, when I've had a chance to catch my breath. Today is our first day home, and already life is quite different.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

38 Weeks: Hello in There?

Still no baby! He's a stubborn boy, this one.

I've been finding out how annoying people can be in these last weeks. I know that most of them mean the best, but you'd be surprised.

Every day I go into work, I am asked about a dozen times, "You're still here?" Yes.  Yes, I am still here. I'm right in front of you, actually! And I am as tired and uncomfortable as I look to you as well. But, I like going to work, because it gives me something else to concentrate on, and also, they've been very accommodating toward me, and the most of my worries on any given day is getting hall duty done. So, while I could go out early, I have no reason to right now, unless my midwife encourages it.

There is also the group of people who insist and sincerely hope I go later than sooner. It's like they really, really want me to be overdue just to prove a point. This is also annoying. I've had a great pregnancy. It's been easy. But, as anyone who has been through the final month of pregnancy, you realize just how cumbersome it is. It gets old not being able to get around comfortably, or to do every day things without running out of breath and feeling like you are going to collapse and die. So, I find it to be really rude when people point out, "You know, you might not go until 42 weeks." Yes, I do know this. I'm not stupid. I know quite a lot about pregnancy.

Aside from these small annoyances, all is well. I thought, on Saturday night, I was really in labor. I woke up at 12:30 with contractions that were strong enough to get me up out of bed. I wanted to walk around, because BH tend to go away when you switch positions, so it was a good sign when I got up and walked to the bathroom and back that the contractions were still there. They came every 5-10 minutes, mostly sticking closer to every five minutes. This went on until around 2:30 in the morning. I remembered my doula telling me that even if I get contractions at night to try and sleep or rest through them, because I'm going to need my energy for later.

With that on my mind, I curled up in bed, did some tossing and turning, and eventually fell asleep. When I woke up in the morning, the contractions were gone, and I was sort of bummed. Hopefully, those contractions combined with the ones I had all of Friday have been enough to progress my cervix some, even if I know that doesn't mean jack shit at the end of the day.

I also wanted to share a funny story from last night. The baby has been rather quiet lately, since he's preparing to exit the building. His hiccups have come back full force, though. I was sitting on the couch yesterday and told my husband that I was afraid he is going to turn breech the last moment, and that maybe he already did. I was poking at lumps in my tummy, trying to figure out if a lump was his back or butt or head. An hour later, the baby got the hiccups, and I laughed and turned to B and said, "He's definitely still head down." He asked how I knew, and I kept laughing and replied, "Because, I can feel his hiccups in my butt. My BUTT is hiccuping right now."

Butt hiccups.

Something new every day. :)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

37 Week Appointment

Had my appointment this morning. I was having trouble breathing since I woke up, and it didn't get any better during the hour that I spent in the office waiting to be seen. By the time the nurse called me back, she took one look at me and said I looked "pink and pale" and was concerned. I told her I was having trouble breathing and didn't feel well.

The doppler showed that baby was doing well, or at least his heart rate was on target. When the midwife came in, she asked me what was wrong, and I told her about the breathing, and how the baby hasn't been active lately. She measured my tummy, which was still on track, then checked the sonogram report for the baby from last Friday. He is measuring 6 lbs 5 oz (-/+ a pound) and everything looks good according to the report. She also did a cervical check. From the 0 cm I was at the last time I was checked (two weeks ago), I am now at 1.5 cm. Midwife was happy with this. She wasn't happy with my sugar levels, which were high again. She blamed the Coco Puffs and told me not to eat cereal before my next appointment. :P

She was also not happy with my breathing concerns and that the baby has been quieter. She told me that it is nervous for his activity to be lower now, but she thinks that my worrying about it is causing anxiety that may be causing the breathing issues. So, she sent me to the hospital to have a NST done and have my oxygenation checked.

The hospital visit wasn't so bad. Baby and I were hooked up to the monitors to watch his heart rate and if I was having any contractions. I told the nurse I haven't felt any in a few days. She told me that they'd watch the monitor for a little bit and then the doctor would come in to talk to me. About fifteen minutes later, she came back and told me that they are going to give me some juice to wake the baby up, then looked at my read-out and asked if I was feeling the contractions I was getting. I had no idea I was getting them, but lo-and-behold, they were showing up on the monitor every five minutes or so. Here's a picture of the monitor:

The top line is the baby's heartbeat. The bottom one is the contraction monitor. As you can see, I had a couple within about five minutes. That continued the whole time I was there, but I didn't feel any of it.

The OB resident came in with the ultrasound machine and said she'd do the ultrasound next, just to double check his fluid levels and activity. I was excited about this, since my sonogram on Friday was crap. Baby was more awake now that I drank down some apple juice, but he still wasn't moving as much as he usually does. At least, I didn't think he was. But, when she started the ultrasound, he was wiggling all over the place. I got to see his little hands opening and closing, and his butt wiggling around. He's very squished up in there, but he's still active. The fluid levels looked good too, so they decided to send me home. I went home, ate lunch, and took a nap.

Another eventful appointment. Hopefully, next week, it's not as eventful. I feel bad when I have to call out of work, even if I know they understand. Truth is, it is getting harder as the days go on, since I feel so uncomfortable most of the time. I've been trying to take more walks before or after work to help ease the discomfort, but some days I wake up and know it's not going to be a good day.

Tomorrow is the Harvest Moon. Maybe my son will decide to be a full moon baby. :) One can only hope!

Me with a pulse-ox on my toe

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

37w2d: Full Term

Full Term. This means that if I were to go into labor from this point on, no doctor would try to stop it, and my baby would be born, thriving.

Full Term.

This also means that literally 37 weeks ago, I was wondering if I would finally have the opportunity to be a mom. I wondered if my body would finally get pregnant, and if after that, it would actually be able to grow a baby.

And now, I am simply waiting to meet my son.

I can't describe the feelings that have been building up inside of me. Am I afraid? Yes. Am I nervous? Yes. Am I excited? Yes. Am I happy? Yes. Am I sad? Yes. And why would I be sad? I'm both sad that this beautiful experience of pregnancy will soon be over, and I am sad that when it is over, my whole life won't ever be the same again. Don't get me wrong, I am also elated that my whole life won't ever be the same again...but it is natural for a first time mom to stand on this precipice and realize that there won't ever be a time when I can just drop everything I am doing and go out with my friends again. Soon, very soon, my whole life will revolve around this little man. This beautiful little man.

I can't wait to meet him. I convinced my midwife to let me have one more ultrasound last week. My appointment was on Friday morning, and it wasn't very exciting. It was on a really crappy machine, and I didn't even have a monitor I could watch, I had to share the monitor the tech was using, so I only got some skewed perspectives of what my son was up to in there.

I am pretty sure he was sleeping, since he was being very quiet. Actually, this is his MO lately, to be very quiet and freak me out. Anyway, I believe everything is okay in there, since the radiologist and my midwife didn't give me any frantic phone calls on Friday or  yesterday. It was hard to see his face, since he's dropped so far down in my pelvis. The tech really struggled to get a good shot to measure his head, but she was able to get him to turn his face at one point, and I got to see his squishy little nose and cheeks. He was sucking on his hand -- his whole hand -- and the tech said she was pretty sure he was sleeping because of how rhythmically he was sucking and practice breathing.

She printed out some pretty shitty pictures, but I'll share the best one anyway. It's a really bad side profile (since he is so low). So, you can see his nose, then a big lump where his mouth should be. This is because he has his whole hand in his mouth, and he didn't care one bit that we were trying to get a good picture of him. That's my son for you...

I have been feeling pretty slow and groggy lately. Yesterday, I was very uncomfortable. There was just so much pressure that it made walking or standing nearly impossible. I had cramping-type contractions in the morning, and then they went away all together. I have been pushing on pressure points that are supposed to induce labor/start contractions, but I only get a little bit of cramping that doesn't last, so I guess my body isn't quite ready yet. I am certainly ready for this pregnancy to be over, though. Trust everyone when they say that the last month is the most frustrating and uncomfortable...because it is. I have told myself this whole pregnancy that I would take all of the negatives gracefully and gratefully...but I'm running out of patience now. Haha. It's hard to be graceful and grateful when you are wondering if you peed yourself or not. Yeah. I went there.

Thursday is the full moon, though. My doula warned me about the full moon, since last night, three or four of her mothers went into labor on the full moon, and it was a doula catastrophe! So, maybe the tides will change (literally), and my little man will finally come out to meet us. Hopefully. :)

My next appointment is tomorrow. Will update with more when I know more. Hopefully, I'm dilated, if only just a little bit, but I sort of doubt it, since I've not been having any real contractions to move anything along. We'll see!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

35 Weeks: Why I want to attempt a natural birth...

Firstly, it isn't to prove anything to anyone. I don't really care how someone else might have done it, I don't care if someone else used drugs or not...it's a personal choice for everyone. But, women who have gone through medicated cycles tend to look down on women who want to attempt a natural birth and wait for the moment that the mother admits to breaking down and asking for an epidural, just so they can feel smug about it. I don't understand why women do this to other women, but it happens all the time.

When people ask me if I am planning to go natural or not (which is a rather strange question to be asked in the first place), it is as if they are waiting for me to say that I am, just so they can tell me things like, "Medicine is there for a reason! Why wouldn't you use it?" or "Are you crazy? Just get the epidural, then you won't feel anything!" And variations of those remarks, not all of which are so nicely phrased.

So, I wanted to make a post explaining my reasons, and maybe people will read it and be more reluctant to ask such personal questions of mothers.

#1: As I already stated: It's not to prove anything to you. I don't have anything to prove to you, nor do I really care. I feel like I have to emphasize the word "TRY" when referring to my want to have a natural birth, but at the same time, I shouldn't have to. I shouldn't have to be prepared to say, "I had an epidural" and for people to respond with, "HAHA! TOLD YOU!" If you are going to be one of these people, be prepared for my bitchiness to come shining through night and bright.

#2: Why wouldn't I use the medicine that is there? Well, let me tell you...if anyone has taken more advantage of medicine in this process, it's me. I used all sorts of medicine to get my son, and I am grateful for all of it. With that said, the process of making my baby was a very UNNATURAL thing to have to go through. It was not romantic. It was not easy. Babies aren't supposed to be made in petry dishes. This is not something I can just forget. Sometimes, it stings just a little bit that I couldn't experience the beauty of getting pregnant the natural way.

Because of this, I want to try and have the most natural experience I can when birthing my baby into this world. Try. I am not putting myself above meds, but I am saying that I rather go at it naturally. It's the least I can do for my son and for myself. I want to feel the pain. I want to know that this is all real. That my fight was real, that this journey was real, and that my end prize is real too.

#3: I want to feel the rush. The natural high. I want to know that my body is doing what it is supposed to be doing, after 27 months of hating it for not doing what it was supposed to be doing.

#4: I am confident. I have no reason to go into that labor and delivery room and think that I can't do it. I am also humble, though, and if I can't handle it, I won't hesitate to ask for help. I am trying to avoid an epidural for other reasons (such as migraines), but there are plenty of other options for me to take advantage of, and if I need them, I will pursue them.

I guess, my reason for writing this entry is simple: Don't be quick to say "I told you so." I will be just as quick to tell you to go F yourself. This isn't about you. It's about me and my baby, and if I want to go into it with the expectation that I'm going to have a natural birth, then you should be nothing but supportive of it.  And that goes for all expectant mothers, especially first timers. It doesn't matter how your birth went; my birth will be my own, and it will go the way it goes for me. Let it be my own. Let it be mine.

That the end of my semi-rant for today. :)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

34 Weeks: Six weeks to go!

The last week or so has been a reminder of just how pregnant I am. From shitty doctor appointments to realizing that as a new mom, I'm going to have a lot of sticking up for myself to do, it's becoming more apparent that I am at the end of the journey. So, what's been going on with me?


It is, for the most part, finished. We are still waiting on a couple of showers, so there are a few items that aren't in place yet, since we don't yet have them. My lovely friends came over to help me paint the room, since the husband had lots of homework to get done and could only help out every now-and-then. It was so much fun, and now that the nursery is more together than it was before, I feel like I can properly nest. :) Here are some pictures:

Monsters on the Wall

The Door

Crib in Place

Diaper Cart



School is back in session as of yesterday! I have loved being back at work, but it is also reminding me that I will be leaving sooner than it feels. Unless some other reason comes up, I can't leave until my due date, so I am glad that my schedule is lending me some down time to rest. I really have to make sure I am taking care of myself in the next six weeks and limit how much I am taking on. 

Yesterday was the first day students were back, and though I don't have many, I still left work feeling absolutely exhausted. I had some back contractions during the day, and when I got home, they came back. The head cold is still persisting into a second week, which is making me think that it might be a sinus issue and not a true head cold. It is keeping me from breathing well, and this little boy cramming his butt against my ribs doesn't help out either. I gave up after an appointment last night and came home and got into bed. I couldn't take not feeling like I couldn't breathe, and sitting up was getting to be too much. 

Here is hoping that the weather stays nice (since my classroom is not air conditioned) and all goes well for the next month!


The baby is doing well! He's growing right on schedule. My last appointment was at 33w3d, and I was measuring at 34 weeks, so that is good. He is super active, some days more than others, and those hiccups are still going strong! He's been head down for the past couple of months and was still head down as of last Thursday, so here's hoping he doesn't flip last minute or anything. 

I had a horrible OB appointment on Thursday with an OB I've never seen before. Long story short, she basically called me fat a couple of times, then violated my HIPPA. Needless to say, I was not happy. At all. I'm in the process of filing complaints, which I never do, but I felt so violated that I can't just let this go.

All in all, I can't believe there's only six weeks left. This little guy can come at any time, which is crazy to think about. I am so happy that my body has been growing my baby without any issues at all. After twenty-seven months of wanting to give up on it, and hating it for not doing what it was supposed to be doing, the last nine months have been a blessing and a reminder that there's nothing wrong with my body at all...it just needed a little bit of help. 

Oh! Shady Grove also invited me to share my journey with them for their new e-book, so if any of you new readers are here from Shady Grove, welcome! :) I hope my story can inspire you to keep strong. 

Here's a bonus bump picture. It's not great, but it's what I could manage on my own:

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

33w2d: The Day in the Life of my Unborn Son

It is said that unborn babies develop "schedules" that their mother's can tune into at around five to six months. By the seventh and eighth month, it's easier to tell what the baby is doing, because he is much bigger, and so periods of sleep don't go by unnoticed.

I would like to share with you my son's daily schedule:

When Mommy Wakes Up (Between 6-9 am): Time to start rolling around, and then get the hiccups.
9-10 am: Kick as much as I possibly can.
11-3 pm-ish: Sleep. Zzzz. With hiccups.
4-7 pm: Usually sleeping, but wakes when mommy starts eating dinner. Then hiccups.
8-Mommy's Bedtime: Mostly quiet with periods of rolling around and being strange.
Mommy's Bedtime: Hiccups. A lot of them. I make sure they are super annoying too, so she can't fall asleep. Also, if she turns onto her left side, I throw a tantrum until she turns back on her right side.
Through the night: Mostly sleeping, but I have kicking fits around 2 am.

I believe that at least 75% of his day is spent hiccuping. :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

32 Weeks: 8 Months and GD Free!

Sunday marked the beginning of my 8th month of pregnancy. I am so excited! One more month of baking to go, and my little man will be out and in this world!

I am also happy to report that after having gone in to get my three hour gestational diabetes test THREE TIMES (because they messed up the second time, and the office was closed for no reason the first time) that I passed it and DO NOT have gestational diabetes. Hooray!

I'm so blessed that my pregnancy has gone so well so far. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers. <3

Sunday, August 4, 2013

31 Weeks: Baby Shower!

I am 31 weeks today! Six more weeks until I am full term, and nine more weeks until my due date! Wow. Time surely is flying by. It's amazing.

So, what has been happening in the past week? It was the last week of summer school, which I am so grateful for having the chance to teach it. Not only did it make me feel more secure about our financial situation (teachers here don't get paid over the summer), but it was really nice to interact with high schoolers again. They were a wonderful class, and I couldn't have asked for better.

Baby-wise, nothing new has been going on. My son is still very, very active and bouncing around in there. He still puts up a fuss when I sleep on my left side or put anything on my stomach. He is very active at night, too, which sometimes wakes me up.

No new symptoms as of now! I was feeling a little run down last week, so maybe the baby was going through a growth spurt! I treated myself to a prenatal massage today at a new healing center advertised on the Maryland Birth Network. It was a very lovely massage with a very wonderful massage therapist who listened to my needs and tended to the areas I was having issues with, which is mostly my neck and migraines.

Yesterday was my baby shower! My sister threw me a surprise shower under the guise of a graduation party for my other little sister. I kind of caught on when my mom didn't know the graduation party story, and I can tell when my husband is lying from a mile away. But, I made a going away college box for my sister and brought it anyway. When I got there, I saw everyone on the porch with green and blue balloons, and everyone yelled "SURPRISE!"

It was very surreal to me, but not overwhelming. I was afraid that I'd have a hard time being the center of attention, but it was just small enough that I didn't feel that way. Everything was perfect, absolutely perfect. We got most of what we asked for off our registry, and then some.

 I spent tonight putting away all the clothes and trying to organize the presents. There's not much I can do, since we still have to paint the nursery, but at least I can get the little things organized! While I was folding little, tiny newborn clothes, I had a moment when it all hit me, and I started to cry. This time, last year, I was cursing my luck and wondering when I'd ever get to have my baby. Today, I am holding newborn clothes in my hands while my son kicks the heck out of me.

This past week, a friend of mine announced her pregnancy to me after her own infertility struggle. She said that my words in this blog helped her through, and it really touched me. It also made me realize that God works in his own time, and sometimes it's hard to be complacent with that...but it's always worth it in the end. I'm not a very religious person, I consider myself more of a spiritual person, and it's when things like this happen that I understand that everything happens for a reason. Everything. Even the shitty things we don't want to happen.

All the shitty things that have happened to me in my infertility journey happened so I can have the baby that is inside of me now. If they didn't happen, I wouldn't have him, and even if I haven't met him yet, I couldn't imagine it any other way.

Enjoy a shower picture!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

30 Weeks: Survivor's Guilt...but not really.

So, there's this phenomenon that happens with women who have gone through the infertility battle, and I like to compare it to survivor's guilt, because it's the only thing I can think of that resembles it.

After we fight and win our battle, we become content, and then we become...guilty. Guilty that we have our babies while other women are continuing to struggle through their journey. I've read other women's stories about how they'd feel so bad, they'd cover up their pregnancies. I'm no where near that, but there are times when I just...feel bad about it.

I try to keep myself humble by reading back through my blog. There are nights when I read through a whole cycle in tears because of how I felt then, and how horrible it was. But, it also reminds me that the pain was only temporary, and eventually, it was worth it.

 I only wish I could impress that upon women who are still in their battle, without feeling like a jackass for saying it now that I am pregnant myself.

I am thirty weeks today. I made it to the thirties. I am excited, anxious and afraid all at once. I want to meet my baby, who has been such a blessing to me, and I can't imagine not having him inside of me in just a couple of months. I also can't imagine him in my arms either. It's so surreal. I want him here! Here's hoping the next ten weeks fly by quickly...but not too quickly.

The baby has been doing well. He's been hiccuping a lot lately, which is cute. He definitely has a mind of his own, as well, and he lets me know it. My OB appointments are now at every two weeks. I have to do a three hour glucose test because I failed my one hour screening, but I'm not too worried about that. For the most part, I've been eating really well.

I had my hospital visit tomorrow, and that really psyched me up. I stood in the labor and delivery room and couldn't believe that in a short while, I would be in that bed, bringing my son into the world.

I won't get another ultrasound until 36 weeks, which is a bit maddening, because I want to see him so badly! I'm thankful and I am blessed that I've had no complications, and I pray that it continues to go that way.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

29 Weeks: Know Thy Limits

Twenty-nine weeks today, and it's been an interesting last week filled with lots of pregnancy experiences. I named my post what I did because I am learning very quickly that I need to respect my body telling me that I'm pushing it too hard.

I decided to take on summer school to pick up some extra money before the baby gets here. This involves me being on my feet a lot, and dealing with cranky 10th graders who don't want to be there. I actually enjoy it, but my body doesn't.

I usually drink a lot of water, but now that I am teaching, I haven't been, mostly because it's a pain to get someone to watch my class, so I can run to the restroom. I have to send a student down to the office to get someone to come all the way back to my room just so I can run around the corner to the restroom. So, I stopped drinking as much water, because I don't want to be a bother to others multiple times in five hours. And, drinking less is not good for me or baby.

The results of this are as follows:

- I am much more tired. I am exhausted by the time I get home, around two in the afternoon, and I nap for a couple of hours, so I can function for the rest of the day. I have also been going to bed earlier, because I just can't stay up very late anymore.

- Contractions. They suck. They especially suck when they become something different than the ones that I am used to. On Friday, I had contractions that started in my back and then wrapped around my stomach -- exactly the kind that my OB told me to call if I had. Well, I hate calling doctors. Hate it. Also, she told me that whenever I have contractions that don't seem to go away, to drink lots of water and lay on my left side. So, I dragged myself up the stairs, chugged some water, laid on my left side, and took a two hour nap. When I woke up, they were gone, thankfully. But still...scary. I will have to bring it up at my appointment tomorrow, but I know she's going to tell me to keep drinking my water. Ugh. And I will...when I have a bathroom that's easily accessible to me. :P

Peeing constantly has been my thing. My baby is still nestled down low, so he loves to kick away at my bladder. I still think his whole goal in life is to make me pee myself, which I haven't done...yet. I'm sure it's coming. One day, it will happen. His feet have also been finding their way under my hips, which is a bit of a pain. I use my prenatal yoga moves to help get him to scoot out of there, and that works, mostly.

Yoga has been the best. I am glad I chose to take the classes. I love them because they are not only relaxing and helpful, but because I'm with other women who are around the same amount of pregnant that I am. So, we can talk about things like sneezing and peeing ourselves (which...I don't do either), and not feel like we are messed up because of it.

My mood has still been great, so that's wonderful. I visited with the baby's pediatrician this past week too, and he's awesome. He doesn't seem thrilled with the idea of my wanting to breastfeed while on my medicine, but we are going to discuss it again later. I've had to rethink my breastfeeding plans, though, and I've thought of another option, if there has to be one. I am not against formula at all, and I rather my baby be healthy in whatever way it has to be.

Hrm, what else? I have another OB/Midwife appointment tomorrow, and I have to do another one hour gestational diabetes test. I had one at the very beginning of my pregnancy, just because I'm overweight, but now is the "normal" one that all women have. I think I'll be fine! I also have to pick up my prescription for a breast pump, and ask about when my next ultrasound will be. I miss seeing my baby. I want to see him again!

And, because I am horrible at keeping up with bump pictures, here is my 29 week one (well, 28w6d):

Sunday, July 7, 2013

27 Weeks: Third Trimester!

Crazzzzzy! I'm in my third trimester now! I have less than one hundred days before my baby arrives. I am so blessed. So very, very blessed. <3

Friday, July 5, 2013

4th of July

Last year, I went to watch fireworks with my good friend, Jen. I had to bring my lupron shot with me and administer it in the hot, gross, sticky bathroom. I remember standing in the stall, staring at my stomach and wondering why I am putting myself through that torture.

This year, not only did I get to go back to the same place with Jen, but I got to spend the holiday with my husband, who hasn't had an Independence Day off for many years (since he was an EMT/Firefighter and Fire Marshal). Oh, and I got to feel my son wiggling about inside of me, just as annoyed at my moving all around to find a comfortable place to sit than I was.

I thought back to that moment in the bathroom stall, and I knew then why it was I put myself through the torture of IVF. Because, if I had given up, I wouldn't have this squirmy baby that I have now.

Every day that passes is a day closer to meeting him. I am nervous, and sometimes it hits me just how much my life is about to change, and I get scared. But, when I put my hand on my stomach and feel my sassy son kicking in defiance, I smile and know it will be okay.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Prenatal Yoga

I signed up for prenatal yoga classes through my hospital. Yesterday was the first class, and I am so glad that I signed up for it. The last yoga class that I went to was at the Y a couple of years ago. There was a pregnant woman in the class, and it made me feel so hollow and sad being there with her. I went to one of the classes and didn't return.

I used to do yoga before then through a gym I belonged to. I loved that class, since it was a mix of yoga, tai-chi and pilates. I went every week, and it helped keep my mood stable. I love holistic methods of keeping my mood, mind and body balanced, and so, when I finally found a prenatal class that was close by, not expensive, and not held in the middle of the damned day, I signed up.

There are only five other women in the class and the instructor, who is awesome. She's a doula, a child-birth instructor, an assistant midwife and a lactation consultant. She has this aura about her that is so comforting and grounded. The other women in the class are either a week before or a week behind me, so we are all pretty much on the same page, except for the one who is at 20 weeks. They are all different levels, shapes and sizes, so I don't feel intimated by any "yogis" which...if you've ever been around them...they can be pretty intimidating.

The class is focused on opening up our joints to prepare for birth, as well as to learn breathing techniques and positions that are ideal for birth as well.

I didn't realize how much my center of gravity changed either. It was funny, because we all did better balancing on our right sides rather than our left. The instructor said that it will probably change every week as our babies move around, and we get bigger. I was the crappiest tree in my tree pose that required me to balance on my left leg, but I nailed it when we shifted to my right leg.

I get five more weeks of this class, which will take me to the middle of my third trimester. I can't believe that time is flying by so quickly.

I am doing horribly at taking weekly pictures, but here's one from last week (24w5d). I forget if I posted it or not.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Week at the Beach: 25w6d and TMI

Last year, when I went on my family vacation, it was just after my first, failed IVF cycle, and at the beginning of my next cycle. I remember sitting on the beach, staring at other babies and asking myself why I didn't have mine yet. Hell, I thought that I'd be nice and plump and pregnant at that time...to no avail. I wasn't. I was empty. I told myself "maybe next year" and trudged on.

This year, I got to be the girl in my daydreams. I got to sit on the beach and show off my little belly. I got to touch it and feel my baby move and know that all I went through was worth it, even if the failure hurt so much the year before.

The pregnancy has been doing really well. This past week was a challenge for me, since it involved walking up and down a boardwalk, which was about three miles a day, and sitting out in the sun, which I don't normally do. I had a few lapses of BH contractions that slowed me down, and my husband kept reminding me to drink water and rest. I know I missed out on some things because I was napping, but it was all a strain, even if others maybe didn't understand it.

The baby was super active this week too. He was kicking and rolling all around, enough that other people could FINALLY feel him. Every time I let someone feel him kick, he goes still, as if knowing that he's being difficult. One morning, I put my husband's hand on the side of my stomach (where the baby has been hanging out lately), and the baby kicked him and rolled around in rapid succession. My husband pulled his hand away and said, "Okay, that was weird. It's like an alien in there!" Because the baby is moving up, I feel his little kicks up higher...and they aren't so little anymore. Yesterday, I could see his whole body roll over in my stomach...that was very strange to witness. I am glad he is moving up, though, because usually he sits WAY down low and kicks me in my bladder, or drops lower after I empty my bladder. It's so uncomfortable, and it causes me to have to pee a million times a day. On the way to the shore, in the span of forty-five minutes, I had to have my husband stop to let me use the restroom three times. Haha.

Now for the TMI...

Toward the end of the week at the shore, though, I became sick. Everything I ate immediately came back out the other end. This eventually caused some really, really bad hemorrhoids. Bad to the point where I was in tears, couldn't walk, and couldn't sleep without excruciating pain. I tried everything in my arsenal, had my brother-in-law run out and get some suppositories for me (totally embarrassing, btw), then decided to call the OB after hours line. It was either that, or go to the ER at that point, since I couldn't handle the pain anymore, and I rarely get to that point. I also have a hard time getting to the point where I know I need help, and then actually going to GET the help. I never think what I am going through is enough to warrant going to the hospital.

The OB called me back pretty much right away. He told me that he was concerned about the diarrhea, since I had it for two days straight, and I wasn't retaining the food I ate. He told me to stop drinking water, start drinking Gatorade, and find some fiber supplements to try and...uh...firm things up. As for the hemorrhoids, he told me to keep up with the OTC remedies and warm baths, but if it continues to be this bad in a couple of days, I might have to to go the hospital to get them lanced, since they might have thrombosed, or clotted.

Uh, no thanks.

 The husband ran out and got me some Gatorade, which I chugged down, and brought me some Fiber One granola bars...because that's how my husband rolls. That didn't help the pain any, though. Eventually, I gave up and tried to go to bed.

This didn't work. At all.

I stayed up all night long due to the pain. I cried, I tossed and turned, the baby tossed and turned, I shook from the pain, I walked around and tried to sleep again...and eventually I fell into a fitful sleep at around 3 a.m. and woke back up at about 6 a.m.. It was still very hard to move or walk, and we had to pack up the beach house to get ready to go home. I was still having the runs as of the morning, but I went out to breakfast and ate, because I knew I had to get some nutrients in me. After a short walk on the boardwalk, my husband and I decided to drive home, since I hurt too much to do anything else.

I stopped at the Rite Aid and bought a donut pillow to sit on for the ride home, some Tucks spray, and a sitz bath for when I got home. Thankfully, by the time we got to the first rest stop about an hour and a half in, I was feeling a little better in the bottom area. I was very, very bloated, but this was nothing in comparison to how I felt the night before. When I went to the bathroom, I saw that the hemorrhoids had started to bleed, which is good, because that meant they probably weren't thrombosed after all.

Long story short, after a sitz bath and some more donut pillow, they are mostly gone now, thank God. I am still having some issues with my bowels, and I ended up going to urgent care to get some tests done. Nothing is standing out but maybe a budding infection, which will be re-tested on Monday.

Oh, the joys of pregnancy. I love every moment...just not the hemmies.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day!

Today is my husband's first father's day. I am taking him to his all-time, favorite restaurant, Fogo de Chao, since we've not been there in a few years.

Last night, he came home late from hanging out with his work friends. I tried to be patient knowing that he only has a few more months to spend his nights out until ass-early in the morning before we have a baby keeping us up. We spent time time just laying in bed and watching TV. The baby was kicking all over the place, so I put his hand on my tummy and let him feel for a little while.

In that moment, I just knew that my husband is going to be the best father. As much as I wanted a girl first, I am glad that I am able to give my husband a son to bond with. B did not have his father growing up, because he passed away before he was born. I think this experience is going to be life-changing for him in many different ways. I can't wait to watch him grow in this way.

I love my husband for sticking by me through the hardest years of our lives. This July marks our 9th anniversary, and I pointed out to B that I've been in his life for almost 1/3 of the time he's been alive. That's amazing, and so is he. :)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Moving on up?

Well, I thought that our baby was moving on up in this world. Earlier on in the week, he was settled up higher than he usually is, so much so, that when he booted me from the inside, I could see it from the outside. You know, you'd think that it'd stop being amazing from when you start to feel the baby flutter around, but then there's being able to feel it from the outside...and then it gets better! You can *SEE* it from the outside too!

He stayed up for a couple of days, then decided to settle back down in my pelvis again, so I can't see him kick anymore. I can certainly feel him kicking, though. When he is so down low, he kicks my bladder, and I know that one of these times, it's going to end up with me wetting myself. The woes of pregnancy, I suppose. :P

I like to sing louder now when I'm in the car, because I know that he can definitely hear me now. Sometimes, when he is being fussy, I like to scold him by name. Strangely enough, it seems like it works. :P He also likes to dictate which side I get to sleep on when it's time for bed. So far, he is most fussy when I sleep on my left side, go figure. Last night, I went to sleep, and he immediately started to act up, kicking me really hard. I put my hand on my stomach and pressed a little bit, just to let him know that I'm there, and he stopped. Obviously, I am there. He's inside of me. But, I think it comforts him. Or annoys him. Haha.

He also loves when I pee. I think my bladder gets so full sometimes that when I relieve it, he flails around in celebration that he has more room to be a baby.

This is my silly son. I love him to pieces. <3

Monday, June 3, 2013

22 Week Update

It's been a little while since I've updated, I know. I try to update at milestones or when something interesting happens, and turns out, I am having a rather easy-going pregnancy so far (knock on wood), so most things are boring.

Today, I had both an OB appointment and another ultrasound at the hospital to check on baby's heart since he was too wiggly last time.

I went to the appointment early hoping that they'd get me in earlier, since one appointment was at 9:30, and then I had to drive to the hospital to go to the 10:00 appointment. When I made the ultrasound appointment, the receptionist told me that if I was running late from my OB, it wouldn't be a problem, just to have the OB office call before I leave.

So, I got to the OB at around 9:10. They didn't see me until 9:45. I had the nurse call ahead, and she was told by the fetal assessment center that I only had until 10:15 to get there, or they'd reschedule. Great. Not only is that a pain in the ass for me, but my mom and my sister came down from Philadelphia to go to the ultrasound appointment with me.

The OB told me that everything is looking great. My uterus is growing on track, which means that my baby is  growing on track too. I asked the midwife (who was much more amicable this time around) about my weight gain, or lack there of. I have not gained any weight yet in my pregnancy. In fact, I think I weighed less this time than I did my last appointment. The midwife said that she's not concerned just as long as I am eating healthy and getting all three meals in.

That's all I asked about, since I had to run out of there like a bat out of hell and get to the hospital by 10:15.

I got to the hospital at 10:15 exactly. Thank goodness that they didn't reschedule me. They wouldn't let my mom and my sister back with me, so my mom went back. We got to look at baby's heart for a long, long time, since they didn't get any measurements the last time. I told the tech that the baby was very active this morning, but she had no idea just how active. Everytime she'd move the doppler around, the baby would kick her. At one point, she stopped, laughed and said, "You weren't joking when you said he was moving. I can feel him!"

At the end, she let us watch him squirm around on the ultrasound for a little bit. He was touching his face, then he put his hand in his mouth. Then, he grabbed hold of his little, kicking feet. It was so cute, and so amazing to see that even at this point in his life, he's a little human being doing little baby things.

I spent the rest of the day with my mom and my sister. My mom brought me some maternity clothes from the thirft shop, and they are super cute. She also got me two shirts from Motherhood Maternity. Love my mommy. And my sister took me into Sephora for the first time, since I'm too intimidated by the store to ever go in by myself. That was fun too!

Overall, it was a great day. My boy is very healthy and very active. Some nights, he won't let me sleep on a certain side, and he kicks at me until I roll over and get my act together.

He's going to be a little brat, that's for sure. And I'll love him all the same. <3

Friday, May 17, 2013

19 Weeks: Anatomy Scan and Baby Kicks

Since I've decided to wake up for no reason at 4:45 in the morning today, I figured I'd write my blog post for this week.

On Monday, we had our genetic counseling and anatomy scan. I was super excited to get to see the baby again, since every time I can see him, I feel like it is becoming realer and realer.

First, we had genetic counseling, due to the anti-depressant medication that I am on. The counselor assured me that at my hospital, they have yet to have a baby born with complications due to a mother taking this medicine, and that in general, scientific studies don't show any complications either. It was very reassuring to hear this, especially since OBs are quick to jump down one's throat about continuing anti-depressants through pregnancy, mostly because they don't really know the background of the medication, just the class of the medication. While I have been assured by my psychiatrist and my RE that it wouldn't be a problem, it was nice to hear it from another medical professional.

Next, we had the actual scan. This is the scan where they look at all of the baby's major parts and organs to assure they are growing correctly. It is also usually when gender is revealed. For the most part, the baby was cooperative, except for the fact that he was VERY wiggly and was moving around everywhere, so the sonographer had to chase him down with the doppler to keep up with him. Everything looked okay, and he is still very much a boy. They couldn't get a good look at his heart because he wouldn't stay still long enough, so we have to go back again in three weeks to get another scan done to check on his heart.

Here's a picture of the boy sticking his tongue out because he's already a brat. <3

Speaking of moving around a lot, I've been trying to get my husband to feel the baby moving, since I started to feel him from the outside a week or so ago. This is not as easy as it sounds. First off, the baby is still small (he's 8 ounces according to the last scan!), so you sort of have to press down on my abdomen to be able to feel him from the outside. Pressing on my stomach freaks my husband out, so the first few times I tried to get him to feel, he'd freak out after about thirty seconds and give up. And anyone who has ever been pregnant or around a pregnant woman at this stage knows that that the baby doesn't move around all the time, so you have to keep your hand there for a little bit and wait.

I explained this to the husband and told him to be more patient, but my husband is not a patient man. I so desperately wanted him to feel the baby and be a part of this. I feel so selfish being the only one who can experience the baby rolling about and kicking me. So, I tried again last night while we were watching TV, but, as soon as I sat next to him to get him to feel, the baby stopped moving again. That, or  he moves up too far in my uterus so I can't feel him as much since I'm a fluffy girl. :P For the most part, he stays down low in my pelvis, which is when I can feel him from the outside. Sometimes, I can even feel where his little body is from the outside, and last night, I put B's hand on the left side of my pelvis, where baby usually hangs out and had him press down because you can feel the hard little bump of a baby. That freaked him out. Of course, he says something ridiculous like, "I can't tell if that's the baby or your guts."

As we were going to bed last night, I started to feel the baby getting ready to roll over. The rolling sensation is the strangest sensation of them all. So, I grabbed B's hand and pressed it down on my pelvis and told him to wait. We waited for about a minute before the baby firmly gave a kick or two, and I know that my husband felt it that time because I could feel it with my hand being on his, and because of the shocked, lingering silence to follow.

I laughed and asked him if it is not the coolest thing ever. And the first thing he says from this shocked silence? "Well, that could have been gas or something."


I assured him that it wasn't gas. I think, though, that the half a second of a moment was just so surreal that my emotionless husband didn't know how to process the emotion. I am glad that the baby cooperated with me, for once, and was able to let his daddy feel him for the first time. This experience just keeps getting better and better. :)