Sunday, July 31, 2011

30 Day Infertility Blog Challenge: Day 30

First of all, I haven't posted this much since LAST July!  

Second, it is fitting that today is the last of the Infertility Blog Challenge posts, as today marks one year from the day of my ER and P's conception.  How is that possible?  How do I have this little man sleeping on my chest?  Where did the time go?  I am kind of in a daze, honestly.  

26 eggs, 20 embryos, 7 blasts, 1 baby (so far, fingers crossed!!!).  In one year I have become an Aunt (biologically speaking...already have 5 nieces and nephew on Hubby's side) and a Mother, and not just in spirit.  

I am really starting to have a hard time seeing January 1st as the new year, when so many milestones in my life occur at other times of the year.  So many other dates that mark a change in my life.  So many other dates that really were new beginnings...

July 31 will be forever etched in my mind...

May you all find your July 31 just around the corner.

30.After a month of infertility talk, we need a distraction. Give us a link to one of your favorite non-infertility-sites, or tell us about your favorite distraction activity/book/feel-good movie.

If I get into movies, activities, or books, we'll be here until NEXT July 31.  So, instead, I give you my favorite online site, which I unfortunately forget to visit every Friday and end up catching up on months at a time.  

Are you a photography fan?  Then it is FOR YOU!

Are you a comic strip fan?  Then it is FOR YOU!

Are you a zombie fan?  Then it is FOR YOU!!!  (oh, you know who you are!)

Are you a fan of sarcasm and irony?  Then it is FOR YOU!

Are you a fan of random thoughts?  Then it is FOR YOU! 

Basically, you all should go there now!  I hope you enjoy.  

A Softer World was introduced to me by LilSis.  And I fell instantly in love.  I scoured the archives.  Let's just say my favorite strip (that always sticks with me) is the one about lesbian dinosaurs.  Of course, as I mentioned, I am waaaaay behind (note to self: set reminder to read on Fridays).  I bet there are many more that I would want printed.  Because you can do that!

What, you want t-shirts?  Oh, they've got shirts.  And prints.  And books.  And other stuff.  We have the glow-in-the-dark zombie attack shirt.  Unfortunately they don't make it in a onesie or P would have one, too.  (Note to self: email them and see if they can do it!)  We actually saw the shirt on someone else, and asked where he got it...and when he told me I nearly died.  HOLY SMALL WORLD, BATMAN! lalala.  I shall stop gushing.  




Saturday, July 30, 2011

30 Day Infertility Blog Challenge: Day 29

29.Tell us about a friendship you lost or a relationship that changed for the worse because of infertility.

Just one?  

No, that's not fair.  I have several relationships that became rocky and have since recovered.  With a lot of apologies and recognition that I was, ummm, imbalanced shall we say, at the time.  But none that have been permanently damaged or come out worse for the wear.  Although, it was dicey for a while with Frog and Pixie...but there was a lot going on there.  And not just because of my IF.  We really have been blessed to have a lot of very understanding people in our lives. And I feel so blessed by them. 

Friday, July 29, 2011

30 Day Infertility Blog Challenge: Day 28

28.Have you ever done something “non-traditional” in order to help you conceive?

Umm, define non-traditional!  We have a baby conceived through IVF using DS.  LOL.  

Before?  When we were trying on our own?  Nah.  Sex, OPK, BBT.  The usual.  Really.  Oh, sure, there were the suggestions for getting drunk and doggy style and legs in the air or staying on your back for 30 minutes...but otherwise, nothing goofy.  

Not even any trysts in bathrooms because I was ovulating.  We are a boring lot.  

What does this even mean???  Seriously...what non-traditional methods are there????  Now I'm curious.  And not a little bit frightened.  Please, share, because I NEED TO KNOW.  

Thursday, July 28, 2011

30 Day Infertility Blog Challenge: Day 27

27.If you had known that you would have trouble conceiving, what would you have done differently in life? If you already knew, did that knowledge affect your other life choices?

Honestly, nothing.  Except that we wouldn't have spent a year and a half charting temperatures, peeing on sticks, and hoping.  We could have gone straight to an RE.  We could have planned better, I think.  For Hubby it would have meant an explanation for a lot of things a lot sooner, maybe more peace of mind.  Because he would have known before he wanted kids, and he could have dealt with it earlier.  Then again, maybe we wouldn't have ended up together...I think he would have felt guilty coming into the relationship with the knowledge that he couldn't have kids.  

Who knows, really?  Things ended up the way they did.  Can't go back, can't change them.  We can only move forward.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

30 Day Infertility Blog Challenge: Day 26

26.What do you use the “nursery” for right now? If you already had a baby, what did you use it for before pregnancy?

Before P came, the nursery was a guest room...a very well-used guest room.  It was a guest room even in the weeks leading up to P's birth.  It was not completed until 2 days before he was born!  The funny thing is now that we are very rarely in there as he is still sleeping in our bedroom.  We do 2 diaper changes a day in there, and grab his clothes, LOL.  Occasionally we are in there when I am putting clothes away.  It will eventually get more use :-)

4 Months!

I am a week late for this post.  Sorry gang.  I was waiting until his 4 month checkup on Monday for stats...and then...well, you know how it goes.  

No wonder I can't keep up with his food needs!  Here are his stats:

W: 10lb 13oz (up just over 2lbs from last month!)
H: 23" (that's 6" longer than when he was born!!!)
Head: 15.5" (no big change there)

He is damn near on track for 4 months, even.  Only just a bit behind.  Which is AWESOME.

We do NOT sleep through the night.  EVER.  Oh, well.  Some nights I get nearly 5 hours straight though, so that is NOT BAD.  He will not go down without either boob or bottle.  Again, oh, well.  

He smiles like crazy, coos like a pigeon on speed.  He does most of his talking at inanimate objects.  But he always has a smile for us.  For anyone.  He's not exactly shy, LOL.  

He can hold up his head quite a bit!  Which is awesome.  No rolling yet, not beyond getting to his side, anyway.  Solidly into 0-3 month clothes.  Not starting solids until 6 months.  

He gets bored with playing.  So then we have to walk him around or put him in the swing for a change of scenery.  He LOVES to be walked around to look at things.  And mirrors and his fingers are amazing to him :-)  

Enjoy some of the photos from the month!  And remember, my other blog has (nearly) daily photos!  Happy Birthday, Peanut!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

30 Day Infertility Blog Challenge: Day 25

25.Talk about a time when you made someone in your life understand more about infertility.

I honestly am not sure I ever really tried to explain this.  I just...was super-emotional.  I never tried to explain that it is grief, that I didn't feel like a real woman.  I was blessed with fairly understanding people in my life. 

During our IVF cycle, I did explain why my sister's baby shower would be fairly impossible to attend.  I pointed out that I was going to be hugely swollen, nervous, and in pain.  And that seeing joy over her belly was going to be too much for me.  And that I needed to focus on making OUR baby happen.  But I was a bit more graphic about it.  

I also sent out an email early on about ways to help an infertile friend/relative that I got from the Resolve website, though I never heard from anyone who received it.  Not specifically regarding that, anyway.  

Baring It All

Breastfeeding in public has become a very hot topic recently.  A couple breastfeeding things, actually.  But specifically, the blogosphere is battling it out regarding this topic.  So it got me thinking.

And in case you are wondering, my views on this have not changed since becoming a BF mom, they have become more deeply rooted.  Just want to put that out there.

Many, many, MANY people, men and women alike, are put off by breastfeeding in public.  Specifically, breastfeeding in public without covering up.  There are a myriad of reasons for this.  And, everyone is entitled to their opinion.  I want to share some posts with you:

This is a post about why we should cover up: Because my husband likes boobs. 

This post talks very rationally about the hangup: Breastfeeding in public makes me uncomfortable.  *I loved this post.

I wanted to hop on my soap box and shout to the world just how ridiculous I thought some of the
reasoning was.
But I remembered that A: I am uber-liberal and should remember that others aren't always as open.
B: I have seen things that many have not, and very little makes me uncomfortable.
So, I won't lecture, rant, or rave. But I will ask you to consider the following things:
  • It takes a lot of courage to BF in public in our society with its myriad of hangups about the female body.  
  • Like Julia Roberts says in "Notting Hill", "They're just breasts.  Every 2nd person in the world has them.  Your mother has them."  In many cultures breasts aren't sex objects, thighs are.  Breasts are biologically functional, with sexuality being a side benefit.
  • Do we ask people in uber-revealing clothing to cover up?  Generally not.  
  • What do you do if you are at the beach and women are wearing thong bikinis?  You ignore them.  Or you stare.  But you don't tell them to cover up.
  • If someone in a restaurant has horrid table manners and the way he/she eats makes you want to give up food, do you ask them to eat elsewhere?  Nope.
  • Have you ever tried to nurse under a cover?  It's not easy.  Even the ones designed specifically for such a task still cause difficulties.  And my baby at least, grabs at it, making it that much more difficult.  Plus, I end up fumbling, which frustrates an already hungry babe.  Covers are really designed for the comfort of mom, not others.
  • Would you want to eat separate from others in some little room you need a map to get to?  Or worse, on a public toilet?  Probably not.  It works for some.  But not everyone.  
  • Think about WHY it really bothers you.  What is the trigger?  If it is the "modesty" imposed by our media and society, take a look around you at what little girls and teenagers are wearing and ask yourself which is more modest: discreetly breastfeeding where very little shows, or the clothes we wear. 
  • Yes, nursing is an intimate act, but so is holding hands or kissing your significant other in public.  I think those acts are more intimate.  But that's just me.
  • Breastfeeding has been happening since before we stopped using our knuckles to walk.  It is one of the most natural things out there.  And one of the healthiest for babe.  Not everyone can do it. But for those that tread that road, remember bullet point #1.
I shall leave you to consider these things.  Maybe if you are one of the people discomfited by public BF, you can consider these things before you turn your head in embarrassment or disgust.  

As for me, I'm going to nurse wherever necessary.  And that's just me.  It's what works for me.  

Monday, July 25, 2011

30 Day Infertility Blog Challenge: Day 24

24.How has your financial situation affected your infertility journey?

Good question!  If it weren't for insurance coverage and good luck with a first IVF, we would not be parents.  We definitely would have had to look into foster adoption.  For sure.  

And right now, baby #2 is completely up in the air, dependent on a number of things, but the biggest, of course being MONEY.  Sigh. 

As it is, we still put out nearly $10k of our own money so far...I have no idea how we'll do it again.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

30 Day Infertility Blog Challenge: Day 23

23.Does your religion (or lack of) help/hurt/affect your infertility journey? Have you found religion? Lost it? Does it affect what treatments you do?

I recently wrote a post that covered quite a bit of my religious beliefs, but suffice it to say that religion wasn't an issue.  

HOWEVER, I really do believe that there are reasons for things, and perhaps we weren't meant to procreate.  As recently as 30 years ago we wouldn't have been able to.  Looking at Darwinism, that means we are weaker genetically and need to be culled.  Hubby has been.  So it was more of an ethical thing for me, I think.  I had a lot of doubts as we entered into IVF...back in the beginning we had said we wouldn't pursue treatment for those reasons.  Things change when faced with truths that hurt, though, and we did it.  And I don't regret it, though I will always wonder about that "we weren't meant to" thing.  It felt like we went against nature.  Literally against biology.  Not against God/Buddha/Allah/whathaveyou.  Does that make sense?

Helen Keller

Did any of you ever read Helen Keller when you were a child?  It was one of my favorite books.  I read and read and read. I learned the ASL alphabet, and then read it again. 
I have been thinking a lot of Helen Keller lately as I watch my son develop at speeds that amaze me. This first year is chock full of more changes and growth than can really be fathomed. And then I think, wouldn't it be amazing if we could remember the wonder that goes along with childhood development? 
We don't.  We forget it.  Our long-term memory does not hold onto it.  We can't remember the amazing
feeling of finding our fingers and shoving them into our mouths. Or how hysterical it is when Dad blew raspberries at you.  The feel of cold water.  The thrill of figuring out how to put the binky BACK in. How amazing it must be! 
The reason I think of Helen Keller is I always remember the part of the tale where she makes the connection between the motions Annie makes in her hand with the water running over it.  And all of a sudden the world comes alive!  Like being a baby all over again.  But conscious of it.  Aware.  Able to remember the excitement, the wonder.
Now, I'm not wishing blindness, deafness, and muteness on my child! Or any child for that matter. I just wish...I wish he could remember these experiences. 
I think it must be like when as a child or adult we figure out something.  That EUREKA! feeling. That excitement, the joy.  But for a baby, it happens nearly every day for months! I want to know what it's like to be in that brain. What he feels, what he dreams about.  I want in. 
I want him to feel like Helen Keller.
And I'm not going to lie.  I want to feel like her, too.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

30 Day Infertility Blog Challenge: Day 22

22.Were you the product of infertility? Was anyone you know the product of infertility? How do you know? Or do you just suspect based on circumstances like age differences between siblings, time between marriage and conception, etc.

I was family is uber-fertile.  

However, I do have a very close friend, Bird, who is adopted as a result of IF.  A few years ago, thanks to the good ol' interwebs, she found her birth mom, and shortly thereafter, her birth father.  Now, here's where it gets fun.  

Her wife was telling her uncle about finding the mother, and where she was from.  The thing they thought was cool was that she was from the same town as wifey's family in Long Island.  He asked her name...turns out he knew her birth parents.  They had been good friends in high school, and he's fairly certain he was present during Bird's conception.  They all used to hang out at BD's house, and the two of them would regularly sneak off!  It was a giant reunion.  When they got married the next year, her BD attended, as did her BM.  She met him for the first time at her wedding.  Giant high school reunion, LOL.  

Talk about a small world, right???

Friday, July 22, 2011

30 Day Infertility Blog Challenge: Day 21

21.What is your favorite infertility-related quote? It doesn’t have to be explicitly related to infertility, but one that means something to your personal journey.

I mentioned this a few posts ago.  Hubby and I have a plaque we bought on our honeymoon.  It has a bear with a lightning bolt through it (we lived in Big Bear at the time, plus LOVE the Native American symbology), and it says:

All your dreams come true if you have the courage to pursue them.

Every time I got discouraged, every time I couldn't believe we would ever be parents, Hubby would point at it and yell at me.  "Why do we have that hanging?  Do you want me to take it down?  I guess we should take it down if you can't believe in it."

Man did that work.  It was like a slap in the face every time.  Which, as a hysterical hormonal mama-wannabe, worked for me.  After transfer when we had the photo of Itsy and Bitsy, we framed it, along with my id bracelets from retrieval and transfer, and hung it under that plaque.

It's not a great frame job, and one day it will be framed in a more special manner.  But it's there.  And will always be hung together.  Because we found the courage, and got our dream.

Friday Night Leftovers: TMI Edition

You have been warned.  I'm just sayin'.

I am posting this pic as my first one so as not to terrify you right away.  And also to give you the opportunity to realize work is not where you should read this post. 

I determined long ago that my issue is NOT the actual BF - it is the pumping.  And I wouldn't have to pump if I wasn't working and if maternity leave in this country wasn't so damn lousy. 

I am more thankful than you shall know that my dear friend and cycle buddy Nicole is sending me her smaller flanges from PumpinPal.  I am PRAYING they help.  I have had to stop pumping at home at all, and the right side I don't do every session at work.  I just CAN'T.  This is NOT helping my supply.  Booo.

I completely understand why people give this up.  Seriously.  Not that I EVER knock anyone for their choice, but let's just say my understanding has reached new levels.  
Alright, I spent a lot of time on Dr. Google attempting to find photos of others with DESTROYED nipples from pumping.  I couldn't find ANY.  None. Nada. Zilch.  I know I am not
alone in these struggles, but apparently no one wants to share their misery. I did find a few of cracked nipples from actual BF.  It is sooooo not the same. 
However, I need to know that I am not being a big baby.  And so...I am posting nip pics.  Because if I can get other BF women to see this and tell me that yes, it's terrible, I will feel better.  My mom cringed.  And she breastfed 3 of us.  My neighbor cringed.  They are ball-shrinking bad (if you are a man).  Women, your nips may invert in fear...
                                                                                        This is the good side.  Pumping with Medela is                                                                          not horrid...just scarring, some skin peeling.  I had to give up on the Avent for now.  It made it worse.   I can now nurse on this side without wanting to die or nearly break Hubby's hand squeezing from the pain.

This is Righty.  She is ANGRY as you can see by the color.  There is no part of my body that has EVER been this color unless operated upon and
scarred. Peanut can barely latch the tissue is so thick.  You can see some of the cracking, but not all, and not the scabs. This is looking damn good, actually.  A week ago I was bleeding so badly I was in tears.  Every time I pump I get ugly looking bruises.  This is what ill-fitting pumps do.  Take note.  Get fitted.  In the hospital.  No lie.

Do scabs and skin bits count as solid food?  Because if so, P is now on solids and has been for weeks. 

Also, I am embarrassed to say that I have injured my left thumb.  And I refuse to go to the doctor.  Because then I have to tell him that I injured myself from repeated boob squeezing in the attempt to get as much milk out as possible.  I can't do it.  I am just going to go pick up a thumb brace.  I keep hoping it will get's not.  Oh, well.  What's one more injury?

Sorry for the TMI.  I just need support on this.  You all have given me soooo many tips, resources, etc, and I am ever so thankful.  I just need some validation of my misery.  Thanks for reading (and looking).

Thursday, July 21, 2011

30 Day Infertility Blog Challenge: Day 20

20.Have you ever bonded with someone IRL over infertility, even just for a few minutes? It could be a family member, friend, neighbor, or even the clerk at the grocery store who noticed your OPK and vitamin purchase. Tell the story.

Oh, many many times once we began experiencing difficulties.  It is how we got the name of the clinic we use!  

But the person with whom I bonded the most was Stephanie.  She hadn't tried and done one treatment and then woohoo!  She has so many plumbing problems it makes me feel so lucky.  And it made me feel so good that I could give her advice.  That she would let me cry.  That I had someone in person with whom I could bitch about the lucky fertiles who don't know they are lucky.  

And it is ongoing.  I will be there for her every step of the way.  And if we try for #2, she will be there for me.  We will weep, celebrate, drink, mope...whatever we need to together.  

I am so thankful for her presence in my life.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

30 Day Infertility Blog Challenge: Day 19

19.What tv show/movie/commercial/print ad has bothered you the most since you began trying to conceive? If possible, post it here. Tell us why it bothered you so much.

Honestly, it wasn't necessarily about TTC.  It was more to do with parenting in general.  And I don't remember what it was for.  I think it was a jewelry Christmas commercial.  The mother is in the living room feeding/rocking/whatever the new baby (looking unfairly rested, I might add), and out comes Dad. She says to him, "What are you doing up? It's 2 am!"  He also, btw, looks insanely rested.  

My thought was: Why shouldn't he be up!  Especially if he can help, rock baby, whatever!  Took 2 of you to create that baby (you know, in the fertile way), takes 2 to raise her, too!  LOL.  I got all worked up about it EVERY TIME IT CAME ON.  This was just this past year.  While pregnant.  

I can't remember what would have gotten to me prior to that, as we didn't have cable pretty much the whole time we were TTC, LOL.  

I do remember a Sears commercial (yes, Sears) years ago that was about Father's Day.  Cue woman entering room where her partner is sitting at the table.  She hands him a box and says, "Happy Fathers Day."  And he says, "What???"  Yeah, that's how she told him she was pregnant.  Sigh...Always made me weep.

PYHO: Being The Bigger Person

It's Wednesday, time to Pour Your Heart Out with Shell at Things I Can't Say.  Got something you really need to say, but have felt you can't?  Now is the time.  Link up, and read what others are talking about, too!

As some of you may know, our house has regularly been the refuge for those with no other place to go.  You know, like America used to be.  We have had roommates since P was born.  There was an agreement regarding how rent was to be handled.  We rent, so they were not on the lease, meaning our asses were on the line should something go wrong.  

It was a bad decision to let them move in.  I can admit that.  We tried.  We really, really tried.  But about a month ago, we hit our limit, and let them know they had to move out by the end of July. We weren't getting our money, always cleaning up after them, lots of yelling as a basic means of communication.   The guy got sooooo pissed he didn't speak to us for days.  Wouldn't even look at us.  And then he was fine.  

Then the stuff that happened a few weeks ago happened, and we moved up the timeline - out by the 15th.  Because she was working, we extended until the 16th.  This was just shy of 3 weeks notice.  Plenty of time, especially since they had somewhere to go.  They understood.  

Between then and now, our basement, where they were staying, flooded.  For the 2nd time.  After the first time, we said, hey, move some of your stuff up into the spare room or your son's room for the time being.  Didn't do it.  The 2nd flood was worse, and a lot of their things got ruined.  This became OUR fault.  Sigh.  But still, things were fairly okay after another blow up by him and the usual 2 day cool-down.

But during that 3 weeks, not one thing got packed.  Not one.  Packing, in fact, did not begin until 1pm on the 16th.  And all was not out that night, but we refused to let them spend the night, and told them the rest HAD to be out the next day.  We want to clean!  Again, not done.  That night we told them anything left was going out to the curb trash night (Monday).  Apparently they didn't believe us.  

Monday rolled around, and still nothing was being done.  So we said again, it's going out with the trash unless you get it.  NOW we have gotten through.  So, he came up and was screaming and yelling and name name it.  Punching things.  We stayed cool.  Well, I did.  Hubby hit a point where he yelled back when I got called a bitch.  

Anyway, so, the stuff gets taken out.  Phew.  But he couldn't let it drop.  And so spent the next day telling all of our mutual friends that I have genital herpes.  Yup.  Not kidding.  So then Hubby had to go do damage control.  Now, I do have Type 1 - the cold sore variety that 80% of the population carry.  Either way, no one else's business.  And their friends posted horrid things about us on FB.    

Sigh.  Yes, he was a huge help to us around the house for a while, especially when I was on bed rest.  But we were a help to him, as well.  It went both ways.  That fact seems to have been lost.  

Which brings me to my point.  Never, at any point, did we want things to go down like this.  At all.  We just wanted to have our house to ourselves, have our family, and not be stressed out.  When he was screaming at us, we tried to be rational.  Explain why this was happening.  About choices they made leading to this happening. But it didn't matter.  It was all our fault.  

Did I want to yell back?  Hell yeah! Did I want some acknowledgement for how we had been taken advantage of?  Yup.  But hey, Hubby and I are adults, and we act like it.  And at that time in particular it was very necessary.  Rationality had been thrown out the window.  So we accepted being the "bad ones," taking the blame.  Because someone has to be the bigger person sometimes.  

We apologized to neighbors who he dragged into it.  We apologized for the drama.  We apologized for his behavior.  Because we felt guilty.  We felt guilty for any of it getting this bad.  We apologized because sometimes, you have to be the bigger person and let things slide.  Even when you want to scream back to get out months worth of frustration and irritations and truths.  

This is being an adult.  


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

30 Day Infertility Blog Challenge: Day 18

18.Tell us about a pre-ttc pregnancy “scare.” With your current partner, or with an ex.

Oh, how I laugh about those scares now...seeing as it turns out there was NO WAY I could have been pregnant.  Well, I don't know about the first one, as I was only 17, but the rest I am fairly certain were impossible.

The biggest one was honestly when I first started seeing Hubby.  I had just split with my ex-wife, and, no lies here, had been living it up.  For the first time in years I was with men, and I got around for a few weeks.  I honestly hadn't tracked my cycle much while I was with her, so hadn't realized that I was not a 28-day kinda girl.  

What happened is that I was dating one guy, but we were not theoretically committed (that is a LONG story).  Had a drunk incident with another, then split with guy #1 and was dating Hubby.  I was late.  Not knowing when I O'd or ANYTHING, I was late, and had been feeling under the weather.  This is actually what triggered the TTC discussion with Hubby (see the first post of this, I think).  So here I was, all Mama Mia - 3 possible dads!  

Wow, did I feel like a slut!  I took a couple tests when I was 5 days late (assuming 28 days) - all negative.  But it sure made me think.  And it's when I realized I really wanted to have a baby.  But what a mess that would have been!  

*Shudder*.  Sure taught me a lesson!  

Monday, July 18, 2011

30 Day Infertility Blog Challenge: Day 17

17.Tell us your funniest Clomid/Femara/Injectibles mood-swing story. If you don’t have one, tell us your funniest general infertility drug story.

At one point, during my stims (Gonal-F) last year...well, every day, really, I cried.  Not upset.  Just cried.

The one day in particular that I remember I was at work.  And for half an hour straight I had been weeping.  On the phone.  While talking to customers.  AND IT WOULDN'T STOP.  I just sat there while tears poured down my face.

My coach eventually came over and asked if she could do anything, if I was alright.  Everyone I worked with was well aware of what I was going through, and she told me she wasn't sure she should ask or let it slide.  And all I could do was laugh.  And cry.  Totally irrational.  But completely out of control.  

I felt sooooo badly for the guy who sat next to me during that time (and the beginning of my pregnancy).  Hi, my name is Genevieve and I am a hormonal and anxiety-ridden basket case.  Poor guy.  I cried ALLLLLL THE TIME.  But that day was out of control.  

Oddly, instead of being frightened, he was totally chill, and spent the time available between calls trying to make me smile :-)  I am very grateful for that!  (Not to mention for the times he rubbed my back while I was dry-heaving on phone calls, between phone calls, while he was on phone calls.  OMG, could you ask for a better teammate????)

My other favorite part of injections was my poor friend who had to do my PIO shots every Saturday for me as my Hubby was working.  Poor thing...the first time I had my head craned over my shoulder, holding her hand to point the syringe and needle in the right direction, LOL. 

30 Day Infertility Blog Challenge: Day 16

I missed a day with being at Nana's and P being sick!

16.If you are not yet a parent: What are you MOST looking forward to about parenthood? If you are a parent: What is the most surprising thing about being a parent? If you have taken the childfree path: What is the most surprising part of living childfree after infertility?

So far, the most amazing thing is how utterly inept I feel on a regular basis.  I grew up with younger sisters.  I can't even remember the first diaper I changed.  I was holding babies when I was a baby.  And then they sent me home from the hospital after major surgery, barely able to walk, with a preemie!  What the hell were they thinking????

Some of it comes so naturally.  And some of it...some of it is like I have never seen a baby before.  

But the most surprising part?  It's how utterly P has changed me.  How connected I feel to him.  How his smile can fix a horrid day.  How much I would rather spend the day in bed with him nursing and cuddling than any other thing.  How much the sound of his cry can break my heart.  (Case in point, he cried for the last 20 minutes of our drive home last night, and I was in tears) 

I have heard countless parents tell me that they have never loved anyone so much as their child.  It's hard to comprehend.  I thought, right, of course.  And then P came.  And I finally understood.  Down to the core of my being, he is why I live.  He is the reason I work my shitty job.  He is the reason for EVERYTHING some days.  I have never known a feeling like this.  

My entire world shifted.  I really wasn't expecting that.  I didn't expect to flip out over little things...once I know those things are okay, I am fine.  But to call my husband in a panic because of something miniscule, rush to the doctor, only to have that thing now gone?  LOL.  I have to be PERSUADED to go to the doctor myself, but for him, the world ends, time stops, until I can make it better.

So that's the thing that takes my breath away.  The love.  How deeply it runs.  I really had no idea.  I blew it off, and then became THAT mom...the one who gushes every day about her little boy.  Who takes thousands of pictures.  Who thinks the world revolves around making him smile.  I try to reign it in, but I can't seem to do it.  

Who knew love could be like this?  Apparently, not me.  I will never scoff at someone again when they say that everything changes.  They were all right.  And I was blown away.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

30 Day Infertility Blog Challenge: Day 15

15.If you are not yet pregnant/a parent: What are you MOST and LEAST looking forward to after that first beta? If you are already pregnant/a parent: What was the most pleasant/unpleasant thing about pregnancy? If you have taken the childfree path: What pregnancy symptom are you happy to have avoided, and which one do you wish you’d experienced?

Hahahahahaha.  Snort.  Gasp. Wipe tears from eyes.  


If any of you remember my pregnancy (which wasn't that long ago, though it really seems like it!), you will remember that if there was a horrid symptom, I had it at one point or another.  I was a walking pregnancy nightmare, LOL.  The most unpleasant?  Ummm, I didn't so much enjoy dry-heaving for 6 months straight, all day every day and the pump I got to wear to "ease" the symptoms.  Though I did get used to it and became amused by it at one point.  Wasn't such a fan of heartburn, either (which, btw, has not entirely dissipated...WTF???).  

The most pleasant thing?  Being pregnant.  Growing a life.  Feeling him move.  I am not sure there is anything more intimate than that feeling, and it is what I miss the most.  It made everything worth it.  I loved being round and fat and it was okay to be that way.  I loved every miserable minute of the above stuff because of it being a miracle.  I wanted to feel that amazing forever.  But...babies have to come out at some point.  Maybe I will get the opportunity again.  Maybe I won't.  I will never take having had the pleasure for granted.  

Friday, July 15, 2011

30 Day Infertility Blog Challenge: Day 14

14.If a very observant stranger were to walk into your house, what clues could lead them to believe that you have struggled with infertility?

Hanging in our living room is a framed copy of the photo of our embryos, along with my id bracelets from both the day of retrieval and the day of transfer.  Above it is a sign we bought on our honeymoon that says, "All your dreams come true if you have the courage to pursue them."  

I would say that it doesn't get more obvious than that :-)  

Friday Night Leftovers:

  • I have determined that the strangeness of my dreams is inversely proportional to the amount of sleep I get.  
  • Peanut is going through an INSANE growth spurt!  Thus, less sleep the last few nights and ridiculous dreams.
  • Daycare did a skills assessment, and he is actually pretty on track!  Preemie, my ass!  LOL. 
  • My nipples are so, so destroyed.  Seriously, pumping is KILLING me.  It makes feeding horridly painful.  And I am fairly certain it is actually making my production worse because of the stress from the pain.  I am going to make myself and appointment with the OB really soon so as to figure this shit out.
  • I now have a lovely boot to wear!  It's heavy, makes me waddle and my ankle ache. But it's better than the stupid shoe and crutches.  Plus, I am totally using all of this as an excuse to not shave :-)
  • As for the could be a stress fracture or soft tissue damage.  The MRI results weren't in when I went to the drop dead sexy podiatrist.
  • Hubby should be starting a huge paper route soon.  It's better than nothing, right?  I hate being back in financial hell :-(
  • Thoughts on Zantac, cod liver oil, and brewer's yeast for milk production?  These are the latest and greatest ideas...Guess I need to go shopping!
  • Guess who still has no sex drive????  That would be me!!!  Hello libido?  Where are you?  Oh, right, being sucked out of me every couple of hours by a ravenous little boy and a pirahna-like pump.  
  • Neighbor Shorte tattooed "Phelan" on Hubby, plus one other thing.  It will be on me Monday :-)  FREE.  I take my ink when I can get it.  I will show you once complete...I am adding onto an existing tattoo.
  • I can't wait to clean my house!!!  No, really, I can't!  Soon it shall be manageable again.  

Later!  Growing boy needs more boob.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

30 Day Infertility Blog Challenge: Day 13

13.Post the list of potential baby names that you seriously considered, but can no longer use because someone stole it/it became too popular/whatever reason.

LOL.  No one is using our names, let me assure you of that.  We choose pretty unique names.  

Unique to the point that I have been shot down by more than one partner with regard to my dream name: Tjiandjeua.  It's Herero.  And it was my favorite name I came across while there (Namibia) It means "gift" and I have always thought that it couldn't be more apropos.

I understand.  No one can say it.  No one can spell it.  Then again, it turns out the same is true for the very simple "Phelan" that we chose, LOL.  

I still hold out hope that I will be able to use that name in some way, some day.  

Oh, you say it She-ahn-jay-wa.  Basically.  I won't try to explain the "dj" diphthong.  LOL.  

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

30 Day Infertility Blog Challenge: Day 12

12.Talk about how you chose your RE.

Easy.  A friend at work knew we were struggling, and introduced me to Frog.  He and his wife had some trouble conceiving. They had not seen an RE yet, but had been referred to one.  He gave us the number, and a week later...there we were!  

We liked the doctor, we liked the staff.  And later found out they are #1 in PA, and I believe the East Coast for success rates!  I highly recommend them :-) 

RMA of PA...go check 'em out!

PYHO: The Changes In Me

I am joining up this week for Shell's PYHO.

I look in the mirror sometimes these days, and I wonder who the person looking back at me is.  There is a stranger in my mirror.  I am trying to figure out who the hell she is.

It's actually possible that she is the old me.  I haven't seen her in a few years, so I can't be too sure.

But...that's not quite right...maybe the old me, with some salt and pepper?  Not in my my hair.  I have had that salt and pepper for years...but I used to cover it up.  Now I don't care.  During treatment I got cute every day.  Contacts, light makeup, that fit.  That was my way of coping.

Now I have nice clothes...but only so I don't go to work in sweatpants every day.  And only if they are comfortable.  Discomfort can eat me these days.  The old me grabbed clothes off the floor, and if they didn't match, so what.  If they were so dirty they could walk out the door on their own, I generally wore them once more and THEN did laundry.  And now I have a twist on that...spitup, formula, and, yes, even pee are acceptable accessories.  No, really, I got peed on today and didn't have time to change.  So I didn't.

But still...there is some new identity emerging.  My piercings have slowly been vacating my body, for one reason or another, and I simply don't care enough to put them back in.  I have found some peace I haven't had in a long time.

I am not oogling for attention.  Which is what I did throughout treatment.  I needed someone else to find me attractive, make me feel alive.

I still want to help people, but I will no longer be walked over in the pursuit of kindness.

So when I look in the mirror, I don't recognize myself.  But I also don't see a stranger. I see bits and pieces of an older me...and pieces of a new me I am still growing to know.

Is this what motherhood has done to me?  Is this the me I was meant to grow into?  I am still learning myself.  I learn myself through my son, through my husband.  I still have dreams, but once those dreams were ideas that possessed me.  Dreams whose incompletion made me feel...lost.  Now I see them as something I would like to do, but in the sense that I want to show things to my son.  I want to make HIS dreams come true.  And if I get to make some of mine come true along the way, awesome.

But I think this new person will no longer mourn the things I may never do, not like I have in the past. My world changed...not the day I got pregnant.  The day I held my newborn son in my arms.

And that was the day the person in the mirror began changing.  I am still learning her...and perhaps someday, she will be familiar to me once again...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

30 Day Infertility Blog Challenge: Day 11

11.Post your favorite pre-ttc picture of yourself. Why is it your favorite? If possible, talk about that day/moment.

Ack...pre-TTC?  Really?  Ummm...yeah, this required a lot of digging.  We lost a lot of our photos when our computer kicked the bucket last year. Plus, I usually take the photos, especially back then...

This is actually NOT my favorite, but I couldn't find the one I wanted.  Not without a hunt, then scanning...etc.  You know the drill.

Okay, so this was taken near the end of my road trip from WI to CA when I moved there in the fall of '03.  I was happy.  Thrilled to be on the road, seeing new things, and not giving a rat's ass how I looked...ever.  I miss that confidence in my body.  Right now I rather miss that body, too, LOL.  That was one of my last days on the road, at this great place on the coast where the waves cause great big splashes as they come into this little inlet.  It is both quiet and forceful.  

It was before anyone made me self-conscious about my clothes.  Before my heart was broken by someone.  Before I got sucked back into corporate America.  I was on my way to do good.  To live outside and to make a difference.  I liked myself at this time for the most part.  I accepted who I was, and had found peace with myself.  It had been a very long time in coming.

Rockin' The Baby

I didn't do Rockin' the Bump...but I couldn't resist posting pics of my little Peanut!!!

He's 16 weeks now!  Wow!  And he has gotten soooo much bigger!

Improptu nap spot!

This is still in the hospital...our wee little one was adorable from day one!

And he has been making goofy faces forever!  

This just cracks me up EVERY time. 
I adore when he curls up like this for a nap or bedtime.

No words necessary, LOL.

He loves his dangly things!

The smiles we are coming to plan on...big grins for all!

To see more adorable baby pics, link up HERE!