Friday, November 27, 2015

Why I Want You to Stop Asking Me When I Am Having Baby #2

Do you see those lines? You know, the second line on each of those tests? However faint they are? The line that means "you are pregnant?" The ones that you yearn to see when you have sank thousands of dollars into treatment? The ones you cling to and immediately envision a little baby at the end of the nine months to come?

Those are my tests. My lines. My baby (or babies). I cried in happiness over those lines.

Those were our last two frozen embryos. The last of the batch from Kaiden.

Do you also see how I am using past tense in that sentence?

Because over the next few days, those lines got fainter, and eventually, they went away all together. Just as soon as I was happy to be pregnant, I was devastated to not be pregnant any longer. I don't know how someone falls in love with a line...but I did, because that is all I had of that baby. That was all I had of those embryos, aside from the picture of them given to me by the clinic. I can't even bring myself to throw the tests out. I feel like I am throwing them away...

I went home after my transfer and waited until the end of the day so I could lay in bed, hold that picture of the embryos and ask them to please stay.

When I saw Kaiden's positive test, I posted to facebook some Taylor Swift lyrics, "Stay, stay, stay. I'll be loving you for quite some time, time, time."

I didn't know that time would be a few days.

This is why I don't want you to ask me when I am having baby #2. It's not any of your fucking business. You have no fucking clue what we are doing with our family. And now that we have zero embryos left, *we* don't even know what we are doing with our family. So, it is not your place to ask us. It's not your place to say, "Oh, well we didn't know!" Because guess what? You don't have to know. You don't have to know because it's NOT YOUR BUSINESS IN THE FIRST PLACE.


For God's sake...please, please stop asking me.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Kaiden is 2!

I haven't updated in awhile, mostly because Kaiden is growing so quickly that I can't keep up. He is two now, and he manages to meet every expectation of a two year old. Strong-willed, stubborn, sweet and sassy. Love this kid.

Today, we had our first dentist appointment. Actually, it was his second one, but his first cleaning. It was hell. I knew he wasn't going to do well, so I tried to prepare myself, but no one likes to pin down their child while they scream and thrash and cry. That appointment was two hours ago, and he is still stressed out. I'm letting him sit on his couch and watch Big Block Sing Song because I feel like a horrible mommy.

Speaking of feeling horrible, yesterday, he managed to fall down half a flight of stairs from the top. I kept replaying the moment through my head, and I still do because I have no idea how he just walked away from it without any injury to himself. I thank God he didn't get hurt. He must have an angel watching over him or something. I thankfully caught him after he cartwheeled down a few steps. If I didn't get there, it'd be a whole other story.

Boy toddlers sure do know how to cause their mother's heart attacks every two seconds. He is always falling and getting scrapes or bruises. He never stops running (I am not exaggerating about this), and it's inevitable at some point he's going to take a tumble. The grandmas all stress about it, and I've learned to sit back and let it happen (within reason). There's no other way I can teach him to slow down at this point!

Learning to sit back and watch is a parent lesson within itself. It's not easy to stop hovering. I often find myself in a mental argument about whether I should help or not. More often than not, I steel myself to where I'm sitting and let him handle things on his own. He's getting better at sticking up for himself and expressing himself to others, but still tends to just let other kids walk all over him.

He's so smart, though. He knows all his letters and has known them since 17 months. He can count to 20. He's mastered puzzles, which was a big frustration for him before. He loves to sing and picks up on songs VERY quickly. He can tell the difference between a guitar and violin (haha). He has memorized books and can "read" them to you almost word-for-word.

I am so blessed to have this little guy in my life!

Monday, August 3, 2015

And then there was potty training...kind of.

Kaiden is 22 months old now! I can't believe he's almost two. It is amazing how much he says and does now, I simply can't keep up (which is why I stopped my monthly updates).

The major things are that he knows his alphabet (capital letters) by sight. He learned that at 20 months rather out of the blue. We've just been fostering it since then. He is really keen on letters, just like his Mama. :)

He is putting together two and sometimes three word sentences. It's another language that only I can understand sometimes, but that's because I'm around him the most, so I know his little nuances.

And finally, the potty.

Everyone will say not to push it until they are ready, and they would be right. So, when I mention that Kaiden is using the potty here and there, that's the first reaction that I get. I know he is young, and I know they mean well.

I don't look at it as potty training, though. I am kind of just going along with his curiosity and his cues. He doesn't mind sitting on his potty. We bought it when he was 13 months old, just because he liked to follow us into the bathroom and watch us go to potty. We put the little potty chair in the bathroom so he could sit down and go when we were going. It worked out great, and he loved to flush it and say "Bye bye, potty!"

Between 14 months and 21 months, he pooped on the potty twice, and that was just because I took his diaper off and sat with him. He didn't quite understand what was going on. The first time, he screamed and cried when I wouldn't let him touch the poop and took it away to go in the big potty. The second time, he was in awe that there was poop in the potty, but quickly lost interest.

Over the last week, he was bringing me his changing pad and wipes and telling me, "Diaper." He was expressing that he wanted to be changed -- a great sign!

So, I went along with it and asked him during his "poop times" if he wanted to sit on the potty. He'd happily go to his potty, and after I took off his diaper and sat him down, we'd read some books, and he'd poop and pee on the potty. After much celebration, letting him help flush it down the big potty and awarding him with a cookie (I've decided not to do this anymore, though, and set up sticker and Matchbox car incentives instead), we let him call his grandparents and daddy so he could tell them.

Positive reinforcements go a long way. Now, he is so excited to sit and go on the potty. If he doesn't want to, I don't press him. That's not what matters to me right now. What matters is that he is communicating (he has identified the difference between poop and pee now), such as grabbing his boy parts and saying "pee pee" or, today, he looked at me and said "uh oh" before we gleefully hurried to the potty and he pooped. I want him to continue to communicate and learn what is happening with his body. The rest will follow.

I also bought him some pull-ups, in hopes that he will learn how to pull his pants up and down, because he has NO IDEA how to do that right now. Haha.

It's a care-free approach, and I am hoping it works out in the end. I don't expect him to be fully trained anytime soon. My goal here is to foster and support his curiosity and learning his body. So far, it's working out.

Now, to get that coveted picture of him sitting on his potty, so I can show it to his girlfriend 15 years from now!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

IVF PTSD: Not ready yet

I was planning on starting all my diagnostic tests and procedures during the summer, just to have them done for the year. Unfortunately, every time I look at the paperwork, I break down into sobbing and tears. I'm referring to this as my IVF PTSD.

You see, the very thought of having to go through all the tests, the blood draws the injections, the surgeries, the transfers and the waiting scares the living hell out of me. I don't know why I thought I'd not have to go through this again. As my RE stated, it would be a waste of time to do anything else, since all of the "everything else" failed.

But there's that little part of me that wants to cling to the hope that I will never, ever have to do IVF again.

Now, I have the added stress of not having my insurance cover 100% of it, since we switched insurance companies. I also have to deal with the ever-so-stupid stipulation of the insurance only covering an amount for three attempts per live birth. This means I only have three IVF/FET attempts to get a baby before it's done...forever. Unless I want to pay for EVERYTHING out of pocket...and that isn't an option.

So, I've decided that I am not ready to do IVF again yet. My parents are pushing when we will have another one (which, Kaiden is only 19 months old -- I don't understand why the pressure is on), and people are always asking me when we will have baby #2 (which, by the way, if you do this, you are a real a-hole. It's not your business, and it's not a polite question to ask). I just keep smiling, and I don't say anything, and when I do need to say something, I've been not-so-kindly telling people that it isn't their business. I

Ugh. How do IVF parents do IVF again?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

18 Months: My Strong-Willed Child

Kaiden is halfway between one and two, and it's so hard to believe! Well, I mean, it's so hard to believe all that time has passed, but not hard to believe he is nearing those terrible twos. I'm certain he is already in them.

My baby is very strong-willed, and sometimes that can be super frustrating. My husband and I keep each other in check when we are getting run down by all day temper-tantrum-a-thons. I try to remind him that we can't project our adult conceptions on Kaiden, and that he doesn't know any better half the time. Our mantra is: He has so many feelings, and he doesn't know what to do with them.

I've been hoarding advice from every mommy I know, and trying out everything and anything to see what works. I don't expect him to "cure" him, but I do want to learn how to help him best.

His language is coming along. They say there are "bursts" of language between now and two years old, and I was skeptical of how quickly some parents said this happened until Kaiden went through a "burst" himself. He's a chatterbox, and even if he only knows a handful of words, he is getting better at learning new ones and repeating them back to us. He's excited to parrot us, when before he could care less.

We went to Disneyworld for Spring Break, and Kaiden got to meet his idol, the mouse himself. He ran right up to him with open arms and gave him a big hug. It was the sweetest thing ever, and my heart almost burst with love. We had a great time as a family, my husband, MIL, Kaiden and I.

The biggest thing to happen between last month and this month is that I quit my teaching job and switched to a part time teaching position instead. I wanted to be home with Kaiden more, and the stress from work was affecting my health. From the abnormal bleeding to the pneumonia and the stress...I had to consider what would be best for me and my family. Luckily, my supportive husband was on board, and now I stay home with Kaiden for most of the week. When I work, he goes to daycare a few times a week too, which means he keeps his routine and his play friends.

So, good things are happening, and I hope they continue that way. I'll have to come back and post his stats!

Monday, March 9, 2015

17 Months Old and Changes

My little guy is 17 months old now. What a big man!

Kaiden loves climbing. He is starting to explore his boundaries with climbing, which means there has been lots of incidents of falling too. I don't get too concerned, since that is how toddlers have to learn, but my husband tends to be a little more protective when it comes to Kaiden's explorations.

We've been working a lot on Kaiden's speech, since he still likes to mimic sounds of words (like the sing-song quality of words) instead of the actual letter sounds. He uses a "D" sound for almost everything, even if he knows how to make other letter sounds. I'm not too concerned about this yet, but it does get to be frustrating since there are a lot of breakdowns over communication. He also likes to pick and choose when he wants to use his signs, and that gets frustrating too.

My baby has completely weaned. Unfortunately, with the extended bleeding mentioned in the previous post, my supply changed too much for his liking. This was pretty heartbreaking for me, and I took it pretty hard, mostly because I was mad at my body for ruining this relationship. But, Kaiden compensates in other ways.

For example, he loves to pull on my shirt until I lift it up and he can rest his head against my boobs and snuggle. He puts his thumb in his mouth and lays his hand against his boobie and listens to me breathe. There are times he will remember, "Oh, these are for milkies!" and he will try to nurse again, but he suckles for a few seconds, tastes the milk, and then pulls off right away. To be honest, I'm surprised that there is still milk there after a week of no nursing at all.

There's is the possibility that he will pick it back up again, but I'm not holding my breath or getting my hopes up. I'm happy with our snuggle time, and I am glad it serves the same purpose of keeping close to mommy.

I just love this little boy.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Why am I so sad after weaning?

Those are the words I typed into google when my husband couldn't figure out why I would be bawling my eyes out over my son having self-weaned. That night, my son didn't ask to nurse before bed, which was getting to be routine, but what wasn't routine was that it was his first day without nursing at all, despite all of my attempts, all the times I offered.

The next day, he nursed a couple of times, but I was pretty sure he wasn't actually getting anything. Yesterday, it was the same way, except he only tried to nurse in the morning, and didn't once ask for mikies the rest of the day. Not even when I tried on bras for fifteen minutes in a dressing room. Normally, if boobs are out, then he wants them. He stares at them and grabs for them and WANTS them. But yesterday, he just went on bumbling about the dressing room, not once asking for his boobies.

And that is when I realized it was over. He has weaned. At 17 months, he has decided to stop, and while I am so proud of this accomplishment, I am also sad because I wasn't ready to stop. I didn't want to stop yet. This wasn't my goal. But Kaiden doesn't know I have a goal. Or had a goal.

I think I am a little sad because this has come about in a rather jarring way. For the whole month of February, I've been bleeding. I've been to the ER once, I've been downing birth control pills (a few a day) like they are candy...and I knew that this was wreaking havoc on my supply and the quality of the milk Kaiden was getting. The last I tasted it (to see if it was the milk he couldn't stand), it was very salty, and that was at the start of the month.

I started to notice that he wasn't swallowing when nursing, which was a sign that he wasn't getting anything, and he was just using me for comfort. I didn't want to believe it, though. I didn't want to admit that my dysfunctional body is what was ending my breastfeeding journey short. I see it now, though, and I don't blame Kaiden. Who wants salty milk anyway?

I am writing this at 5:30. Normally, at this time, I am finishing nursing Kaiden and hurrying to get dressed for work and out the door. It has been a hectic morning schedule since my work schedule changed this year, mostly because I never knew how long Kaiden would want to nurse, or if he'd wake up earlier to nurse and then I'd be stuck awake since 4 am since my alarm goes off at 5.

Instead of nursing, though, I got dressed for work instead. I didn't go in to ask Kaiden if he wanted any milkies, or take him from his crib to the rocking chair where he nursed. I've decided to not go into his room to wake him.

He didn't have an easy night last night, for some reason, and kept waking up. Each time that I went in there to hold him, he never asked to nurse. That is what he'd normally want to calm him down, but last night, he just wanted to fall asleep in my arms, against my chest, with his thumb in his mouth.

And I realized that it was okay. I realized that I didn't have to ask him if he wanted to nurse this morning. I realized that today is the day my son has weaned. It's the day I won't offer it to him. If he wants it, I'll offer, but otherwise, we will go about our day as mommy and baby, just without the boobie inbetween.

Here is a picture I snapped a week ago, knowing that my time breastfeeding Kaiden was running out. It's not the best picture, but it is precious to me to have captured the moment.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

PCOS, Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding and Weaning

It has been hellish the past three weeks. PCOS has reared its head in a new way with me, and we've been at a loss as to what to do. Basically, without getting into all the details, I had a few periods that were only ten days apart from each other, and the bleeding went on for over two weeks. The last cycle, the bleeding was really heavy, and I was supposed to go to the ER, but I didn't because it sounded stupid. The bleeding stopped on its own, and I was put on birth control to help level out my hormones.

Ten days after that, the bleeding returned. It was medium flow for two weeks, and then all of the sudden got really, really bad. It scared me, and I did end up going to the ER. Now, I am taking a bunch of birth control pills at once to try and stop the bleeding, but it's not working. If there is no change by tomorrow, I have to go back to the hospital. I suspect the next step is a D&C, which I am terrified of, but my friends assure me that it's not so bad. We will see what they decide to do next. All of the blood loss is exhausting, and all of the birth control pills are making me feel sick on top of it.

And then there is the weaning. My baby is weaning. I didn't want to believe it at first, but it makes sense. When a breastfeeding mom gets her period, the milk becomes a bit salty, and some babies don't like that. Normally, though, the milk goes back to normal when the period is over. But, I've been on my period for nearly two months now, and with all the birth control I have to take on top of that, my supply is probably non-existent, and the milk tastes very salty.

I noticed he was nursing less than he normally does. He usually nurses in the morning and at night, but instead, Kaiden would latch on and not suckle, he'd just "talk" to me. He just wants to be close. But this morning, I asked him if he wanted milkies, and he very clearly shook his head and said "no." So, I tried to sit down and offer anyway, since this concept of saying "no" and meaning "no" is new to him, and he doesn't always get it right. Even when offered, he didn't want to nurse. He just kissed my boob, stuck his thumb in his mouth, and snuggled up against it. Again, he just wanted to be close.

And that is when I realized that it is probably over.

Yesterday, I was okay with this notion. I accepted it. I patted myself on the back and said, "I didn't even think I could make it a week, let alone sixteen months."

But today, I keep blaming myself for our nursing relationship coming to an end. Again, my messed up body and PCOS has managed to take something away from me.

My mother-in-law warned me that it would be sad when it ends. My husband weaned when he was fifteen months old, and it was very sudden. She said she cried for days because she just wasn't ready for it to happen.

I wasn't ready for it to happen either.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

15 Months: Toddlers are Interesting

My boy is now 15 months old, and boy has the last month really brought about some fun changes.

Kaiden is becoming more independent, and more aware of his ability to choose. On some days, he chooses to eat a great dinner, and on other days he chooses to only eat cheese sticks. One some days, he chooses to hang on to my legs when I walk and not let me out of his sight, and on other days, he wants to sit quietly and read to himself. It's just amazing how dynamic Kaiden can be.

His 15 month appointment went very well. Between appointments, we had to bring him to urgent care a few times because he got Roseola, which is a viral bug that causes a high fever and then a rash when the fever goes away. It was a rough week, since Kaiden didn't want to do anything, was very lethargic and only wanted to be snuggled. It also meant that I had to stay home from work, which work wasn't very thrilled about, but my family comes first...and I couldn't send Kaiden to daycare with a fever.

Anyway! Here are his stats for 15 months:

Weight: 21 lbs even. This is only an eight ounce gain from the last appointment, and it puts him around the 17th percentile for weight. The doctor is not concerned because he eats well and is very active. She told me to expect him to always be on the low end of the percentiles until he's two.

Height: 31 inches. This is around the 25th percentile.

I forget his head circumference, but it was in the 51th percentile. All is well there.

Kaiden still has a big issue with his frustration and anger level. He gets frustrated very quickly when he cannot figure something out or communicate effectively, and he'll throw a tantrum because of it. We are still using sign language, but he's peculiar about the use of his hands and when he actually wants to use sign to tell us something. For example, he knows how to sign "eat" and "more" and knows when to sign it, but sometimes, instead of signing "eat" he will go over to his high chair and whine, or he will go into the kitchen and sit in front of the stove (he's strange). Instead of saying "more" he will hold his cup out to one of us and whine. It is hard for us not to reinforce this behavior, because ultimately he IS communicating, just not in the way we'd like. So, we just keep on signing.

Now, when we ask him if he is tired or if his diaper needs to be changed, he will walk to the stairs and wait for us to open the gate so we can go upstairs and take care of his needs. He follows simple directions/requests well -- when he wants to. Such a stubborn little guy!

As far as any new words, it is hard to say because he cycles through the ones he wants to use, and sometimes he uses sounds instead of words, even when he can very well say the word. He also chooses when to use certain words with intent and then will seemingly forget about them for a little bit. So, here we go:

Thank you

...and I will think of more later. Like I said, he uses a lot of noises for words, so it's so hard to write those down. Haha.

He will respond to the following:

Go get your __________.
Take off your socks.
Come here.
Sit first (when going down a step).
Where is your ___________.
Are you hungry?
Are you tired?
Do you want more?
Do you want a snack?
Give me a kiss/hug.
Say night-night.

We will be working more on communication and signing this month. I also want to start using flashcards with him. He plays with them, but we don't really review them very often. He does know the letter "C" and the "cat" card, though. That's his favorite!

Kaiden has been going to Gymboree Gym every Sunday too. Since going there, he's gotten much better at going up the stairs, has been going down the stairs, going down the slide by himself, throwing balls, and climbing. I can see, every time we go there, that he is becoming more and more curious and brave when it comes to new things. He will crawl/walk through tunnels now, when before he wouldn't even go near them. He does not like circle time, though, that's for sure.

As far as nursing goes, we are still nursing, but it has definitely changed. He usually only nurses twice a day, once in the morning and once before bedtime. Sometimes this is less, and sometimes it is more. I am okay with this. At first, I was sad when he started to drop feedings, but now I feel a little more liberated that I don't always have to be there for him to nurse every three or four hours. I don't have to ask myself when was the last time he had milkies, or if I have to pump. I don't get uncomfortable, or feel "full" like some other women do. Sometimes, if I wear a normal bra during the workday, my boobies will hurt when I get home because they were bound too tightly, but other than that, it's not a big deal! My next goal is 18 months, then 2 years!

Here he is, out playing in the snow for the first time on our snow day home together!