Thursday, December 31, 2009

Looking to the New Year

I have had some time to think about this year and the new one quickly approaching. This past year had some great times, but it was also a hard year.

This year, we started out optimistic that we would get pregnant again when we did our second IVF cycle. As we all know, that didn't happen, and it was devastating at the time. We had new hope with the prospect of adoption, but trying to scrape together $20K by saving when you're already tight proved to be impossible. Fundraising wasn't easy, and while we probably would have kept trying to hold more, we really felt that saving money to have them, and then essentially gambling that money away hoping that a fundraiser would be successful was just not something we could afford to continue. That was really hard to deal with as well. My grandfather hasn't been well for a while now, and my grandmother on the other side of my family landed herself in a nursing home after a stroke. None of these have been easy things to deal with.

We have been lucky enough to be able to really enjoy our son this year. He makes everyday one that I look forward to, if for nothing more than his hugs and kisses, and to see what new phrase he'll have that day. Usually we have lots of laughs with him (unfortunately today was one of those days with a 3 year old where it was lots of frustration instead!!!). We've been able to go to his preschool parties for the different celebrations, go on field trips, see his class sing at church, and watch them put on their Christmas program. All of these things were very special moments for us, and we made a lot of great memories.

My cousin who lost her son last year, is pregnant with his little sister this year, and is due next year! Both she and the baby seem to be in great health, and we're so excited to meet the new little one. We also had a few friends who had new babies this year, and a friend who has had a hard time with losses is pregnant again, and thankfully everything seems to be going as it should at this point. We're hopeful that Eliana arrives in March healthy as can be, and that our friend who is pregnant again brings home a healthy child next year as well.

We are going on a cruise with my mom and sister in mid-January, and that may very well be our vacation of the year. Usually we go to the Outer Banks, NC in the summer, but with needing house repairs, and then money for either another IVF treatment or to put towards adoption, it is more likely that we will go camping in the summer or fall instead, unless some of our friends and their kids want to go in on a rental at the beach with us. Anyway, Jack is very excited about the "big cruise ship!!!" that we'll be going on, and we are all looking forward to making fun memories with him in the carribbean. After that none of us know what will happen.

I am a planner and I always feel like I need to have a plan. At the moment, the plan is to wait and see what our taxes look like, get our roof repaired, perhaps set some money aside for any other emergencies that may creep up (all of our appliances like our heat pump are as old as the house and we're on borrowed time!), and then see where that takes us. I will be doing my urine test for my urologist so we can discuss whether it would be safe for me to go off of my medication and try IVF again, and if so, I'll be making an appointment to see Dr. M. If not, we'll just keep living life as best we can, taking things as they come along.

My prayer for the new year is for my family and friends to be healthy, happy and loved. I could say that I pray for another child, but so does everyone else with IF. Sure, I want another child, but I also want to do what's best for my family as it is now. I want to not take my family for granted, and to make many fun memories for our son. I also pray for more of my sweet boy to show through than the devilish one that has taken over his little body for the last week or so!!! Ha, in all seriousness, I pray we figure out how to better manage the normal 3 year old moodiness.

God bless, and I wish you all a happy and safe new year!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

December ICLW

Happy ICLW to others in the blog world who are stopping by. I did a nice little intro to us last month which you can see here.

Not much has gone on in this past month. No decisions have been made, although we did receive our paperwork (which we did not request-I feel bad for others who received it and all it did for sure served as a bitter reminder of IF) for the fertility clinic our fertility doc is now joining. We would have requested it eventually if my urologist decided it wouldn't be too risky for us to try it again, but I guess we were saved the trouble of calling to request it.

We celebrated Jack's 3rd birthday and I did some reflective posts about that time in my life 3 years ago while we were awaiting his arrival.

I have testing to do for my urologist and endocrinologist, and then perhaps I will have more to write about, and perhaps at that time we will have made a decision on doing one last IVF cycle vs. domestic adoption or as I've been considering lately, just living life with the one child we have, and thanking God for the best blessing.

Happy December ICLW!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Jack's 3rd Birthday

So I did some posts to reflect on that time 3 years ago where we were anxiously awaiting Jack's arrival on this earth. I thought it was only fitting then that I post about his birthday this year.

Friday was his birthday, and when I called him at my mom's house that morning, he made me burst out with laughter. He had spent the night with her as he does when both Archie and I are working. I called to tell him "Happy Birthday" and usually when I call to talk to him, he answers "Hi Mommy". So, I was fully expecting that little voice to say the norm to me, but when he answered he said, "It's my birthday party!!!!". I couldn't help but laugh. That little boy is always surprising me. I told him that the next day was his party, but that it was definitely his birthday! He got to open one present from my mom before they rode into work, it was a blue flashlight. His best friend has a blue flashlight, and Jack kept telling us that he "needed" a blue flashlight. He was rather pleased. We had a pretty quiet day at home, and in the evening had my mom, and my mother-in-law over for cake and ice cream. Then we got into the car and went to Symphony of Lights where it is larger than life light displays that you drive by and through. Jack really seemed to enjoy that as well.

Saturday morning my mom picked up Jack and took him to a Christmas festival of sorts. They had crafts for the kids to do, as well as gifts for them to buy for their parents. My mom brought home a gingerbread house that they made, many other little crafts, and two gifts that Jack went in and picked out himself with the help of the teachers at the school where it was held. Then we went to pick up his birthday cake (Lightning McQueen as requested), and went to his pool party. Archie was sick and didn't want to get in the pool with Jack, and I needed to set up the party room, but my father-in-law took Jack into the pool with his friends. They all had a good time. All of his friends wanted to help him open his gifts (and play with them no less), and he didn't seem to get too upset about that which was good. Needless to say, but when we got home, I had to unpack all of the toys he got at his party so he could check out and play with each and every one of them.

I will leave you with some pictures.

Friday, December 11, 2009

December 11, 2006-3 years ago

I was still at work, minding my own business, reading a book. My next OB appointment was to be on the morning of the 12th. I felt like I was a little wet, so I went to the bathroom to see what was going on. It was just a quarter size spot on my panties, but it was clear. I thought perhaps my water was leaking, and I wasn't sure how they checked to see if in fact that was the case. I heard all the time about how the docs will check only to say that it wasn't amniotic fluid when in fact it was. How could one be sure? So I called upstairs to our Labor and Delivery unit to ask. I asked if it was something that could be checked with nitrate paper (pH paper), or how exactly they determined if the fluid was amniotic fluid. Come to find out, it requires a full speculum exam. I told them nevermind, and decided that I wasn't going home unless my water flat out broke so that it was obvious, and that I was going to call my OB when the office opened to see if I could have my appointment moved up a day.

At 6:30am, I had a tiny bit more fluid in my panties, otherwise, nothing else to write home about. I got off of work at 7:30, and called Archie to tell him that I was going to call Dr. A's office when they opened to see about rescheduling my appointment and being seen today instead. He told me that he'd never be done at work if I kept calling him...Fine. I went home, took out the dog, and decided I would finish packing that hospital bag. I had put this off because I figured if it was packed, I would be the one to deliver late, and I was ready to meet my baby. So I got some laundry from the table and started up the stairs. I made it up 4 stairs before I had a lot of fluid rushing down my leg. It took me a split second to realize that my bladder hadn't been capable of holding that much urine in months, and decided that my water had broken.

I called Archie, said I was sorry, but that my water had just broken for real. All I heard on the other end was a click, and when I looked down at the phone, I realized he'd hung up on me. I hoped he heard me. Next, I called Dr. A and much to my dismay found out that she was now post call, she'd gotten off at 8am, so she would not be delivering my baby! I was so upset, but her partner would be delivering me and that was fine. She told me I had time to take a shower and wait for Archie to get home since I was only 1cm last week. I expected Archie to be home in about 40 minutes, but he was there in 20. Evidently he'd completely lost it and was running around mumbling things about water breaking incoherently as he rushed out of work to head home. I took a shower and it was really quite uneventful, no real contractions to write home about. We took the dog out again and then headed to the hospital.

On the way to the hospital I was having really bad back pain. It was rather consistent in how often I felt it which made me think it was back labor. But then I didn't think it was because the contractions were about 3 minutes apart. By the time we got to the hospital and got checked in, it was 10:30am and my contractions were coming every minute and a half. So, one would think I'd be really dilated right? Nope, 2cm. I was not impressed. By noon I was begging for my epidural. The back labor was the pits, and I was not the nicest person to my poor husband who also lacked sleep and was at a loss for how to help me. They warned me that I could have the epidural (still at only 2cm), but that it might slow my labor. I informed them that I did not care, I just didn't like feeling so mean, and being in so much pain. I got my epidural, and it worked beautifully so long as I made sure to turn on my sides every so often so it worked on both sides instead of just one. And sure enough, my labor slowed, so I bought myself a pitocin drip.

In the meantime, my mother called me every hour it seemed to see how things were going, should she leave now to come to the hospital, how was I doing...she loves me, and she was so excited to meet her grandson. She also had her office's holiday lunch that day. They had just finished placing their yummy orders when I told her that my nurse had said she could probably leave now to head to the hospital. I think I was only about 5cm dilated at that point, but they said it started to move more quickly from there on out. The plan was not for anyone to be in the room with us when Jack arrived except for the necessary doctor and nurse. My mom came, as well as my mother-in-law and father-in-law while we were in labor. My father-in-law stayed in the waiting room, hoping for news, since he was sick with the flu. My mother-in-law and mom tried to comfort me. I had the most horrendous charlie horse from my left hip to my left knee, and no matter how much I begged for more drugs, they said that they wouldn't work. They thought that Jack was pressing on a nerve, and until he was delivered, it wouldn't get better. I thought I could kill someone, seriously. I remember my mother-in-law raking her heel of her hand up and down my leg trying to give me some relief. Nothing. Misery.

I remember Dr. M coming into the room and telling me that if Jack wasn't born by 6pm, Dr. H would be delivering me. I asked who in the world that was (I had chosen my OB's office based on the fact that there were only two physicians and I thought that meant I had a guarantee one of them would deliver me), and she told me it was her sister-in-law, that she was very good. That didn't matter to me. At 5:30pm I was 10cm dilated. I asked if I could labor down for a bit (I didn't want to have to push forever). At 6:20pm, my mom and mother-in-law went into the waiting room, Dr. H was running late, and Dr. M garbed up to help us bring our little boy into the world. I remember she put a mirror so I could see how I was pushing, and I remember freaking out telling her, my nurse and Archie that I couldn't do this, I had changed my mind. I insisted that I wanted to go home. I was exhausted, and quite frankly, totally scared that I would watch myself tear from one end to the other with that stupid mirror there. I closed my eyes and pushed like they told me to. In 35 minutes, at 6:55pm, Dr. M told me to stop pushing, Jack was here, but had the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck, and it was a short cord. Archie wouldn't be able to cut it as it was too close to the birth canal. He also had some meconium (this happens when the baby gets stressed in utero and stools) at the end. They called the NICU team to check him out and make sure he was ok. He was.

His puffy little face was so bruised because he'd come out the wrong way, unable to turn due to the cord around his neck. He looked like most newborns, with their puffy, splotchy bodies for the first few hours. I shook so bad from the hormone shift. He was beautiful though in that puffy sort of way, well, sort of. I was exhausted. Our moms came in and held him, began to bond with him. I felt so bad for my father-in-law who wouldn't meet his grandson until the following week when he was no longer sick, but who had nonetheless, held vigil in the waiting room during my labor and delivery. I remember rather little of the rest of that first night. The next day we checked him over, thought about who he looked like (dead ringer for my husband). We thought he definitely had Archie's Asian appearance, his nose, and definitely my lips. He was the most beautiful baby I'd ever seen, and that is saying alot considering babies are my job. I am a bit biased however.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

December 10, 2006-3 years ago

My contractions continued to get closer together. At 4:30AM my charge nurse sent me home, my contractions were 7 minutes apart. I went home and laid down on the couch with Archie and he was timing my contractions. Imagine my sincere disappointment when those contractions started to get irregular and spread out as far apart as 12 minutes again. I was not a happy camper for sure.

I was due to go back into work that night, and figuring that it could still be a few days before Jack arrived, I went back. I was having irregular contractions at that point. My coworkers were rather surprised when I showed up at 7pm ready to work. Nothing else happens that day. I bide my time, waiting for my appointment on Tuesday with my OB to see if I've made any more progress. The previous week I was only dilated 1cm.

More to come later!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

December 9, 2006-3 years ago

On December 9, 2006 I was scheduled to work. I have worked nights since before Archie and I got married because he worked nights, and being on the same schedule just worked better for us. So, I was to work the nightshift for both Saturday and Sunday. I didn't have enough time as it was to take a full 12 weeks with pay (pay being short term disability supplemented with the vacation and sick time I'd worked to accrue over the years), so the plan was to work until I went into labor.

I woke up at 2:30pm with contractions. They were 20 minutes apart, and I figured running around chasing beeps from monitors and taking care of other people's babies would push things along. So I went into work Saturday night. By midnight I was about 12 minutes apart. I still wasn't going home. I figured when they got to be close together, then I'd go home. I'm pretty stubborn. I was a little uncomfortable, but not anything horrendous, just noticeable contractions that bothered me more than my normal Braxton-Hicks I'd been having since 19 weeks. At this point, I was 37 weeks and 4 days into my pregnancy.

Nothing else happened on Saturday, so you'll have to tune into tomorrow's post to see what happens next...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

December 8th, 3 years ago

This time 3 years ago, Archie and I went with some friends from the NICU where I work, to the Reproductive Services/OBGYN Holiday party hosted by one of the high-risk OB's at a local hotel. We had a great time, saw our fertility doctor (of course, I had to make a comment about thanks for getting me pregnant, now can you tell me how to get him out?), and did some dancing. As a matter of fact, one of my other coworkers was pregnant as well, about 35 weeks along, and we were both dancing to Cha-Cha Slide, Booty Call, etc., trying to throw ourselves into labor. We both were having contractions and for her sake at least, decided to sit our butts down for a bit. I don't recall our NICU team getting an invitation to the party the last two years, perhaps because we threatened to make them work when they were supposed to be having fun? This year they've invited us, but thankfully, I have a little boy's Christmas program to attend the night of the party this year. :)

I did not go into labor this night 3 years ago, but I most certainly was trying to bring it on. I'd spent the earlier part of that week walking around with my girlfriend's 11 pound baby on top of my belly in an attempt to push Jack out. I walked around with her there for 3 hours, around the mall, just hoping things would happen soon, picturing myself holding my own baby soon enough. No go. They really do come on their own time.

I'll have more posts in the next few days while I reflect back on this time 3 years ago.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

That Christmas-y Time of Year

We had our first snow of the season yesterday. I love snow, and I love winter. I particularly love Christmastime. I love the songs, the food, the decorations, and the story of Jesus' birth.

I got up early for work, and took Jack outside to play in the snow with his friend across the street. The snow was perfect for snowballs (really hard ones at that when you packed them into tight balls), and thus perfect for a snowman. We had about 3 inches, so we were leaving patches of open grass/mud as we gathered our snow for our creation. As I'm making the bottom part of the snowman, Jack says to me, "Mommy, how about we make um, Rudolph the reindeer?" You see, the other night I recorded the 1964 version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. It is an hour long, and Jack has requested to watch "the reindeer movie" at least 5 times everyday since it aired. I told him we didn't have enough snow to make Rudolph this time in an effort to bail myself out so I could get ready for work.

One unofficial tradition we have is to watch the normal Christmas movies. Not just the typical Christmas Story (don't get me wrong, I love it), but even as an adult, I've made a point to watch the animated ones we grew up watching. I've seen previews for a new program coming out this Tuesday on ABC called Prep & Landing by Disney. It is about an elite unit of elves that prep for Santa's landing. It just looks cute and funny, and I think Jack will like it. You can check out the trailer for it here. I'll be recording that as well as the usual holiday favorites like Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and The Polar Express. Hopefully that will give Jack more of a variety to watch.

I can't wait until he is old enough to go and sit through The Nutcracker with me. I remember my mom taking me and my sister to see it at Goucher College when we were younger. I debated taking Jack this year, but I'm not sure it would hold his interest long enough for him to sit through it. My mom and I are going to take him either this weekend or next to see A Christmas Carol. I'm also not sure if he'll get that or even really be interested, but my mom thinks he will.

The next few weeks will prove to be busy with things like Jack and his preschool class having a Christmas program at school where they will sing, family parties, wrapping gifts, figuring out what the menu will be for Christmas dinner, and hopefully somewhere in there, we will make time to light a fire, and all snuggle together to watch some of the Christmas classics on TV. With any luck, maybe we'll have a white Christmas!!!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

We Have Decorated-sort of!!

We went on Saturday to a new Christmas tree farm (not new to everyone, just to us), and picked out our Christmas tree, and I decided I was going to attempt to tackle garland this year, real garland... Well, I've zip tied it in strategic places to get it to droop without sprigs of whatever those brances are, sticking out everywhere. It's up, and I have to say it looks pretty good. It swoops down our railing coming downstairs. Our beautiful Fraser Fir (Gawd they are expensive!) is up, lights on, and decorated with ornaments. My little collection of Santas are going across the mantle, and our stockings are hung at the fireplace.

There are quite a few less ornaments on the tree this year. Last year I came home quite a few times to either find broken ornaments, compliments of Chance, or some of the more special ones (can someone say one of Jack's footprint from 2008) chewed up. Yeah, I wasn't very impressed. So, this year, special ones are strategically placed up high, and breakables put far back on the branch. So far, no casualties, but there are about 3-4 more weeks of this tree being up, so...

My intentions were to put up the outside lights on our two little trees that flank either side of our porch, and to hang garland around the door with bows, but that has yet to be done. It is on my list though. Maybe Friday morning.

I love the Christmas season. I loved it always, I love the music, I love the nativities, I love hearing the story of Jesus's birth at church. I just love Christmastime. Then almost 4 years ago, we found out that we were pregnant, and our baby would be due the day after Christmas. I was very psyched for Christmas that year. The running joke was that with my luck, I'd spend Christmas in labor, I said, "bring it on!!!". He ended up arriving in this world exactly two weeks before Christmas. That was my best Christmas yet.

I could write about what led up to his birth, how hard I worked to get him out (37 weeks of nausea and vomiting, you'd be trying hard too!), etc., but that sweet boys birthday is in 9 days, so I'll save it for then.

Happy Holidays!!!