Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks

We have so much to be thankful for this year.

So. Very. Much.

Happy Thanksgiving, dearest friends. I hope your holiday is filled with love, laughter, and hope for the future.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Will Update

It's been awhile since I posted on what we are up to with sweet Will.

Well, this weekend, we went to see Santa Claus! It was a fun family outing which resulted in one highly overpriced but still worth every penny picture of Little Man. . .

Will also has discovered his laugh. It is still rare, but when it happens. . .
A typical first-time mom, I am stressing over milestones that he hasn't yet reached, such as lifting his head or rolling over. To be quite honest, I have been really bad about tummy time, so it's no wonder that he is not even close to doing these things. Any suggestions to make tummy time more fun would be appreciated!

His naps are getting more predictable and he goes down really easily, usually with little to no fussing - in his crib. Our challenge remains getting him to sleep longer than an hour. I still have to take him to bed sometimes and finish his nap together as he is still really grumpy and obviously tired when he wakes. I love it and it's a good excuse for me to get a nap in, but I worry that he'll always be dependent on me for a nap, which might not always work if we were to have another child or (gasp) I didn't have time to lay down for an hour in the morning and afternoon.

Nighttime sleep has made some drastic improvements over the past few weeks. We even had one night were he slept from 9 to 7! I went to bed at 10, so I even got a lot of sleep, though I still woke up a couple of times to check him on the monitor and change my breast pads. He still has a rough night here and there, with multiple wake ups, but those are becoming more rare. Our challenge with nighttime sleep remains getting him down at a decent time. He just won't stay down before 9 PM, no matter what I do. Again, advice appreciated.

Although I wouldn't say we are anywhere close to a schedule or routine, but life is still more enjoyable. I feel as if we are working towards more predictability, but I don't want to lose ourselves in trying to get this too strictly regimented. Really, I am loving every minute, even if I sometimes worry that I am not doing the right thing. Then again, would someone please give me the definitive answer on what the "right" thing is?!?

I will leave you with one of my all-time favorite pictures . . .

Monday, November 24, 2008

Memorial Monday

This e-mail broke my heart, for so many reasons. Here it is in it's entirety.

Dear Katie,

When I first saw that you were doing memorials for babies, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. Thank you for doing this. I would like to write my story myself, if you don't mind, because I don't think I have ever written it down all at once and it might help. You can check it for spelling and grammar and change anything that you want.

My husband and I got married in December 2002. We started trying for a baby the following October. I was so naive and hoped to have a positive pregnancy test by Christmas so that we could surprise our families with the news that we were expecting.

Not only did we not have that positive test by Christmas, but we didn't have one by the next Christmas, which is when I went to my OB/GYN. She didn't seem that concerned, but wrote me a prescription for clomid and told me to just start taking it and that it couldn't hurt.

But by the two year mark, even she had to admit that something wasn't right. I just knew that it was me that was the problem. We went to our first RE appointment in January 2005.

I had the full work up and nothing really seemed wrong besides a slightly elevated FSH, and even that was still in the normal range, just high-normal. So, the next obvious thing was to test my husband. Imagine our complete suprise to find that he was making no sperm.

It took another six months of extensive testing and visiting specialists to discover that due to a genetic abnormality, we will never have our own biological child - well, at least my husband's biological child. After some soul-searching and time off, we decided to move forward with donor sperm.

We had our first donor sperm/iui cycle in February 2007. It failed. We did our second cycle in March 2007. We got a positive pregnancy test, but the betas were low and never doubled, a chemical pregnancy. We did a couple more IUIs and nothing happened. Because we were using donor sperm, our insurance wouldn't pay for a lot of the procedures, so we were going through our savings pretty quickly. Because of that, and because I was starting to suffer emotionally, our RE agreed to move us to IVF.

I started reading your blog last November when we were both starting our IVF cycles. I was searching for information on self-injections and that is how I found you. From the beginning, I almost felt a strange sisterhood towards you, even though we never met, I felt that we thought about things the same way and that if we did know each other in real life, I knew we would be friends.

It seemed more than coincidence that we ended up having our egg retrievals and embryo transfers done on the same day. I remember being drugged up with my valium and repeatedly refreshing your page for an update on your transfer. I thought how cool it would be if we were both pregnant and due on the same day!

My ultrasound was the week before yours and I remember being glad that I didn't have to wait so long. We had transferred three embryos and were so pleased to see two beautifully beating hearts. Finally, at long last, we were pregnant! With twins!

I remember completely understanding your sadness when you found out that you had just one baby and not twins. I felt sad that the third embryo had not made it, too, even though I was also a little relieved because triplets scared me to death. I have been haunted by that feeling of relief more than you can know.

It was nice to follow along with your blog. All of my friends and sisters had babies already, so I felt as if I was sharing my pregnancy with you. I loved comparing symptoms.

At seven weeks, we were released from our RE after another ultrasound showed all was well with the twins. I started spotting a day after that. It was a Saturday, so we went into the ER and an ultrasound showed that one of the twins had died. We were sad, but everything looked so great with the remaining baby that we decided to remain hopeful.

After that, everything seemed good. At thirteen weeks, we heard the heartbeat of our baby and that's when I started to really believe that we were finally having a baby. At 19 weeks, we had our high-level ultrasond and found out that we were having a little boy. The ultrasound tech laughed and told us that she had never seen such an active baby! He was flipping and turning during the whole exam. I had been feeling little "fish bubbles" for the past week, and now I knew that I was really feeling him kick.

We named our little boy Benjamin Tyler - Ben. We painted the nursery in red with a firetruck theme - my husband is a fire fighter. We ordered our crib and changing table. My sister-in-law asked to host a shower in my husband's hometown, my best friend offered to throw one where we live now.

Ben continued to be a really active baby, which was really comforting. I loved feeling him move so much, even though sometimes, I wished that he would sleep better at night - his kicks kept me awake!

I continued to read your journey, feeling so many of the same hopes, fears, and dreams for our futures as mothers. I felt as if fate had brought us to the same place at the same time. We were both finally pregnant with healthy baby boys after losing so much.

On August 19, two weeks before my due date, I woke up and felt strange. I couldn't figure out what was wrong until after I had breakfast and realized that I couldn't remember the last time Ben had moved. His movements had definitely been slowing down for the past couple of weeks, but my OB had told me that was due to his cramped quarters. I remember reading your blog entry where you had the same fears and then had a non-stress test and all was okay. I tried to calm myself down as I waited for 9 AM and my doctor's office to open so that I could call in.

The nurse that I talked to was very nice and said that I should come in right away. I went directly to the triage area of L&D. My husband was working a 48-hour shift, so I didn't want to call and worry him for nothing. I figured that I would soon see that everything was okay and be sent home.

At triage, they hooked me up to the monitors. The nurse kept adjusting and readjusting the second belt to get Ben's heartbeat. I was holding my breath, waiting to hear the familiar sound. Finally, she got out a doppler wand like they use at every appointment. She smiled as she ran the doppler over my belly as we both heard a racing heartbeat of 130 BPM. Tears of relief slid down my face as she put the doppler down and got the belts out again.

But again, she couldn't find a heartbeat with the belt. She assured me not to worry and told me that she would be right back with an ultrasound machine. A few minutes passed - it seemed like hours, but I was watching the clock and knew it wasn't more than five minutes - a doctor came in with the machine. He introduced himself and cheerfully said, "Let's take a peek at this baby."

He kept the screen turned away, so I could only watch his face. But that said everything. He kept moving the paddle over my stomach again and again, in slower and slower circles. He looked so sad and I knew what he was going to say before he even said it.

He told me that Ben had no heartbeat (the heartbeat we had heard on the doppler was my own racing pulse) and that my fluid was really low. He asked me if there was anyone that they could call for me and that is when the horror really sunk in. I had to tell my husband. Luckily, he was also not far from the hospital and was able to get there pretty quickly. We had a few choices to make. Since I wasn't in labor, we could go home for awhile and rest before coming back to be induced. Or, I could be admitted right then for an induction.

I did not want to go home to where we had a stroller in the front hall, a swing in the living room, and a nursery filled with firetrucks. We decided that I should be admitted right away and they started cervadil and then pitocin. Nothing happened. Even breaking my water didn't seem to help, my body would not dilate. Finally, my OB said that it was time to do a c-section. I honestly didn't care at that point and we signed the consent forms.

At 7:35 PM on Wednesday, August 20th, Benjamin Tyler was born still into this world. It was at once the most beautiful and horrible moment of my life.

Ben was perfect in every way. When they placed him in my arms, it was hard to believe that he wasn't just sleeping. My husband and I were able to spend several hours with him before we finally had to say goodbye. Two days later, we left the hospital. Without our baby.

It was a few weeks later when I finally had the strength to check your blog. It was early September and I was pretty sure that Little Man had been born. I gasped out loud when I saw that he had been born 1 minute after Will. It seemed fitting somehow and I was very happy for you and your husband.

People say horrible things after a baby dies. They tell you that you should move on and that you can have another baby. Well, it isn't that easy. Even if I could just snap my fingers and get pregnant again, that wouldn't replace what we lost when we lost Ben. And getting pregnant for us is no easy thing. We are not sure when, if ever, we will be ready to try again.

We have talked about adoption, about making the decision to live child-free. Nothing feels right yet. All I know is that I am a mother, but no one really recognizes that. Even my husband seems to have moved on and I feel stuck in place. I don't want to get back to real life, but everyone expects me to. No one asks me about Ben, no one wants to see the pictures or go through his memory box with me. They are afraid to say his name, afraid to make me cry, afraid to say the wrong thing, but they hurt me the most by not saying anything.

That's why this is such a good idea. It will mean the world to me to know my son is remembered by someone other than me.



To be featured in upcoming Memorial Mondays, please contact me by clicking on my profile link and then by clicking on my e-mail link. You can either write your story yourself or provide me with the details and I will do it for you. You may include pictures, poetry, whatever feels right. This is your memorial for your loss.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Why I Am Here

On January 30, 2006, the phone rang in my otherwise silent house. It was 11:07 AM.

Just the night before, at six weeks pregnant, I had started bleeding.

Bright. Red. Blood.

The pregnancy hadn't been planned. Not yet, anyway. I was on the pill. But we were thrilled regardless and eagerly awaiting the arrival of our first baby. We had named our little one "Piglet," at least until we knew what sex the baby was. We were planning for this baby, loving this baby, and then, our world turned upside down.

After the bleeding started, we had called my OB. As the pregnancy was so very early, we hadn't even met the doctor yet. He matter-of-factly told me that I was most likely miscarrying, but had asked me to come in for a beta blood test anyway. I had gone that morning, crying so hard that the phlebotomist hadn't been able to take my blood, she was so rattled. Her supervisor had to come and do it for her.

So, when the phone rang, I answered, with tears in my eyes and a dying hope in my heart.

The nurse on the other end of the line told me that my beta was a dismal 26. I was miscarrying. There would be no baby on October 2, 2006.

When I asked for help, for resources to assist parents that had lost babies, the nurse told me that I "hadn't really even been pregnant" and that those resources were for women that had lost pregnancies much farther along.

I hung up, confused. What did she mean, "Not really pregnant"? The five positive HPTs sitting in our bathroom couldn't have been wrong, could they? Could I want a baby so much that I could make a test turn positive? It was only later that I would learn what a chemical pregnancy was and I would only learn that information from doing my own research.

I was sad. I was alone. I was confused. I didn't know what to do, or where to turn next.

Over the course of the next year, my husband and I would lose five more angels. I did run into very sympathetic medical professionals along the way, but a lot of the time, I was on my own. And sometimes, the utter lack of respect for what we were going through was stunning.

After my fourth miscarriage, before the D&C, I told my husband that there should be people to help those like me. There should be a brochure to hand someone, with resources like The Stirrup Queen's Blogroll, a link to local support groups, etc. There should be someone to tell you that a heating pad would really help those miscarriage cramps, that you would feel the passing of your seven-week-old embryo, and, most importantly, that you are not alone. Others have travelled this sad, lonely path. And survived.

No one should have to hear that their baby has died and then walk out of their doctor's office feeling so alone. No one.

And yet. So very many women do. Whether it comes after a phone call like mine, or following an ultrasound where there is no heartbeat, thousands of mothers and fathers have to go home to a silent house. They have to pack away ultrasound pictures, tiny onesies, and all of their hopes and dreams, because there is no baby coming. Not anymore. Perhaps not ever.

There might be a prescription to take, or a D&C to scrape away, what is left of the hopes and dreams of what will never be. But other than those sterile pills or cold operating rooms, there is little guidance from the medical beings.

That's why I am here. That's why I keep blogging. Because I remember how much it hurts. I know that pain. And I want to help.

And I will.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Update on Joy

For those of you following Joy's story, I am afraid it was not good news at today's ultrasound. The embryo has passed away and she has already started bleeding.

She has posted the details from the appointment here, so please click over to her blog and leave her some love.

Just the Beginning

First of all, lots of bloggy love to all of you that left comments for Joy. I know the beta hell that she is living right now is not an easy place to be, and I hope that the support from our community offers her a tiny bit of comfort as she waits.

I have already had many requests for future Memorial Mondays. To that end, I am organizing them right now. Some people have special dates coming up (birthdays, due dates, etc.), so I am trying my best to honor those and might not necessarily go in the order that I receive them. As long as you received a reply from me, rest assured that I did receive your request and will post it as soon as possible.

I am working on a Memorial Monday Logo to post here and also, for those willing to do so, post on others' blogs so that we can spread the word around. I'll post more on that when I have finished the logo.

I also have added a new link to the left. The SHARE Link has been up for awhile now, but I also found the Healing Hearts website and thought it would be helpful to those that are grieving or would like to help someone who is. I will continue to look for similar resource sites so that if people cannot find what they are looking for here, they can have an idea of where to look next. If you know of good websites for dealing with infertility/loss, please e-mail me so that I can add it in the future.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Memorial Monday is just the first of several ideas that have been brewing for awhile. After my third loss, I vowed that my angel babies would not die in vain. I truly feel a calling to help others navigate the rough waters of loss. I was fortunate to have a loving husband, supportive friends, and the financial resources to get the help that I needed. I know that not all grieving parents are so fortunate. I truly believe that by being a resource to others, I can create a living tribute to my lost little angels.

So, stay tuned.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Inaugural Memorial Monday

For those of you who missed this post explaining what will be happening here on Mondays, here is the brief rundown: Each week, I will feature someone who has experienced loss through infertility. This is a way to recognize loss in a more tangible way and provide support to those to need it most.

My one request: please comment in some way. The whole point is to provide recognition of loss, for the grieving to know that they are not alone. I allow anonymous comments, so you do not have to have a blog or be registered with blogger to comment.

Today's Memorial is in honor of Joy. For those of you that do not currently follow either of her blogs, Joy is one of those people who has the perfect name. She is always filled with happiness for others and joy in her own life. Always one of the first to comment or pass along a blog award, Joy is someone that I wish that I could meet in real life. Her original blog doesn't talk about her miscarriage, so I had no idea that Joy had lost a pregnancy in 2006. Not only has Joy already suffered a loss, but she is also currently pregnant with falling progesterone and HCG numbers.

Here is her story in her own words:

I got pregnant with my first daughter in the fall of 2004. Getting pregnant was not a problem (two months is all it took), staying pregnant was not a problem, and the pregnancy was pure perfection including labor and delivery. So I was thinking, "I like this baby-making business! It's easy!!!" Well... keep reading.

My second pregnancy came as a surprise but we were elated. Elaina was 9 months old and I made her a "BIG SISTER 2006" t-shirt to wear to her grandparents' house. We bought a mini-van, we went house shopping, then I miscarried. I was broken-hearted. I screamed, ranted, raved, shook my fist at God, blamed myself.

We started trying again immediately. We continued house shopping but without as much vigor. Then I found the perfect house (didn't even have a FOR SALE sign up but we called our realtor to look it up). I got my first cycle after the miscarriage (it took EIGHT weeks) while we were packing and moving. I conceived our second daughter our first morning in our new house.

Thinking that we were just baby-making machines we started trying again recently. I noticed things were different with my body. I went to see my doctor and they found cysts on my ovaries and crazy hormone levels. I got the diagnosis of PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). We tried and tried and got negative after negative.

For 13 months I felt the devastation of not getting pregnant. Two rounds of Clomid before I said, "ENOUGH!" I finally decided to move on with my life. To continue to take medication and exercise and hopefully reverse this diagnosis. On Halloween of this year, just a couple of weeks ago, I got my positive.

But that pregnancy is being threatened. Possibly because of the Clomid I had only taken just the month before (it thins out the lining of the uterus). My progesterone started to drop. I began to bleed in the evening. The on-call doctor was so sweet and gave me a prescription as I hyperventilated over the phone. I TRIED TOO HARD to just give up.

Now that my progesterone shot up to 175 my HCG has dropped from almost 7000 to 3000 last we checked. I'm going in for a blood test today to see if the levels are rising or declining. Depending on those results we have a scheduled ultrasound for Wednesday afternoon.

I'm a Christian and I believe in my Miracle Maker (great song, by the way) and I know that he can make this little heart beat and cause those HCG levels to rise. If you are also a believer, please add me to your prayer list! I am very desperate for this little one to live, especially for the sake of their big sisters who will be crushed. If you're not a believer, send me some sticky dust and your good thoughts! I want to see and hear a heartbeat on Wednesday. I want good news!

To continue to follow Joy's story and to further offer support, you can find her at Sunny Side Up.

To be featured in upcoming Memorial Mondays, please contact me by clicking on my profile link and then by clicking on my e-mail link. You can either write your story yourself or provide me with the details and I will do it for you. You may include pictures, poetry, whatever feels right. This is your memorial for your loss.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Memorial Monday

Okay, so this is my first attempt at making this blog a little more about infertility, loss, and support.

Allow me to sound really conceited for a minute. . . bear with me, the good is coming.

A lot of people follow my blog. Not a gazillion or anything crazy like some of the more famous bloggers get, but I have a decent audience. And you, my dear readers, are the best cheerleaders a girl can ask for! From the darkest days of my IVF cycle to the joyous day that Little Man entered the world, I had you all along for the ride.

An example of the support that I received is this anonymous comment posted when Will was born:

"Congratulations! I have followed your journey for so long now, and as I sit here with tear streaming down my cheeks, I am so happy for you, as I have waited so long to read and enjoy this amazing occasion with you! I am so happy for you all. God Bless your new family."

Can I just tell you how much it means to me that a complete and utter stranger cared so much about my struggles that they had tears? For me? For my lost angels? For our new beginning?

Sure, now that Will is here and healthy, I get a lot of nice comments in real life, even from strangers on the street. But where was all that when I really needed it - when I was miscarrying or going through a bad cycle?

When my angels died, the very hardest thing for me to suffer was the lack of recognition from society in general. In my case, with such early losses, there was no funeral, no memorial service, no obituary. But even having those things doesn't guarantee support. So many people avoid talking about loss. Even close friends and family can fail you. This post from Kathy talks about just this very thing, so I know that it's not just me that has felt it.

What I would like to do is use my blog as a memorial to the lost angels, babies, and dreams that are out there. Even if you have your own blog, this is a way for me to direct traffic your way. And it's not just for those that have lost a baby. Having gone through just a few ART cycles that didn't work and only one IVF cycle that did, I can't imagine how hard it must be for those that have multiple cycles fail. That's a loss, too. Every negative cycle is a loss, in my not-so-humble-opinion.

So, here is where you come in. My e-mail is linked through my profile. Send me your story. You can include whatever you'd like - pictures even! You can write your own entry, or just send me the bare bones and I will write it for you. Or it can even just be a poem, a couple of sentences, a flicker slide, whatever you would like to do to honor your story. If you want people to e-mail you directly, let me know to post your e-mail with the story.

Every Monday, Memorial Monday, I will post one persons' story. This will hopefully help give some tribute to the loss(es) that you have suffered. Even if you already have your own blog, this should help direct more traffice (and more support) to your site. If you are a lurker without your own blog, then this will allow you to get the support that you need without having to set up a site.

And for the rest of you - comment, comment, comment! Let the person know, the same way that you always let me know, that you are there for them! Give them as*vice, give them hope, give them what you gave me - your unfailing love and support!

It might be a total flop, or it might just work. So, starting tomorrow, look for my Memorial Monday post. This is just the first of some ideas that I have brewing. But don't worry, there will still be plenty of updates about Will and mommyhood after recurrent loss!

And don't forget to comment!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Giving Back

First, let me reassure those of you that left comments or sent e-mails. I am not going away - not entirely! First of all, there are too many of you that have seen me through my pregnancy and I want to see you through yours as well! And for those of you still waiting for your miracle, I am here to celebrate with you when those double lines appear or the adoption goes through!

I just want to return a bit to the original intention of this blog - to find others suffering from infertility and to help them, and also as a way of healing myself. Although I have come a long, long way in my healing now that Will is in our lives, there is still no replacing all of the angels that we lost along the way. I once vowed that I would do something to honor my sweet babies and I think using this site would be a good way to do that.

I am playing around with a few ideas on what to do and how to do it, so stay tuned for further information on that! And if you have any ideas that you aren't going to use on your own blog, or need help with, just let me know!

And of course, in my own not-so-humble-opinion, it would be downright cruel to never update you on this sweet little boy and all of his cuteness. So you definitely haven't heard the last of me!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Blog That's Too Small . . . A Blog At All?

First off, thanks to Chili for hosting me on her blog and by honoring me with her post here.

Actually, I found it kind of freeing to be on someone else's blog. I have found mine feeling rather strange lately, almost as if it's a piece of clothing that doesn't quite fit - like so many of my prepregnancy clothes, it's seems snug in some places and loose in others.

You see, I started writing here for a reason. And that reason, for the time being, isn't a reason anymore. Not that I don't still have faint rumblings of infertility that echo in my mind, but it's a quiet thump in the back of my head, rather than the constant roar that it once was.

I started this blog for a dual purpose. The first was, at my therapist's suggestion, so that I would have a non-judgmental outlet, a place where I could pour my heart out and possibly even get affirmation from others. Boy, oh boy, did I get that and more! You, my dear readers, my commentators, my friends, got me through some of my darkest days and celebrated with me when I had my happiest days, too.

The second purpose, however, was truly so that I could find others and possibly help them. I remember reading so many stories of recurrent loss on the internet, but so few had happy endings. It seemed that after a certain number of losses, especially unexplained losses, most women either gave up and decided to remain child free, or adopted. While adoption was definitely an option for us, I really wanted the experience of carrying a baby to term, a chance for my body to "redeem" itself for all of the failures. Once I got pregnant and it seemed to be our RLB after all, I felt that possibly my success story could show others that there are happy endings out there after so many losses.

However, I wonder how many of those that stumble across the site see all the pictures of Will and think (as I once did about former-infertiles-now-with-babies), "Well, she couldn't possibly understand how I feel now."

And it's true. Because you do start to forget a bit, how awful it all really was. Or maybe forget is the wrong word. I never forget. But I shove those darkest of days back to the deepest recesses of my mind, because they truly were so awful.

Yesterday, I was on the phone with a good friend, a fellow former-infertile-now-with-baby (someone really needs to think up a better term for it than that), who also has a miracle IVF baby. We were laughing as we relived some of our experiences, but after I got off the phone with her, I started to cry. Those days aren't far enough behind me now to laugh . . . not yet, and possibly not ever. The feelings of infertility aren't as far below the surface as I try to push them. You barely scratch me, and I still bleed.

All of this to say that I am not sure what direction to take this little blog anymore. I can't see walking away from it altogether, but I am not sure what purpose, what shape it should have. So, if you don't hear from me as often, that is the reason.

That, and a certain Little Man. . . Who is the purpose of everything.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Guest Post Brought To You By the Great Cross Pollination

The following is a guest post brought to you by the Second Annual Blog Cross Pollination. If you didn't want to click the link to find out what it's all about, basically, I have the great honor of having an amazing guest blogger posting today. Your mission is to: Read the post. Guess the author and post your guess in the comments section. Then, click the link at the end of the post to see if you are right. Even if you weren't right, you are still a winner, because you'll have stumbled upon a great new blog to read - Oh, and MY post for the day! Thanks for playing!

Losing My Mind: Life after Secondary Infertility

Parenting after infertility is more intense than I could possibly have imagined.

With First I was often worried, but never terrified. First's place in the world seemed certain, while Second's feels much more precarious. When First did new things, I was excited, but never so happy I cried. First's milestones I had waited months for, Second's I've waited years for.

And then there's the guilt...

With First, when I felt tired or overwhelmed, I just took a nap or asked for help. With Second, I feel guilty for not enjoying every solitary second of his day.

With First, I didn't enjoy going back to work because I wished I could spend more time at home with her, but it was just what I had to do and I was at peace with that. With Second, I feel guilty that we worked so very hard to get him here and now I'm going to give him to someone else to care for on a daily basis.

We're already talking about trying again in a couple of years, and that brings guilt as well. When we decided to try for Second, we felt like we would be adding to First's life by giving her a sibling. In retrospect, the time we spent trying to conceive Second was hard on First even though she was blissfully unaware of what was going on. I was so consumed in our infertility that I'm sure there were times that I wasn't there for her enough. Times that I didn't listen enough. Times that I didn't talk enough. In the end, I think she's better off for having a sibling, but I wonder if having a Third is worth risking putting Second through that, and putting First through it again.

My challenge now is to find a way to turn these feelings into something positive. Use them to become a better person and a better parent, instead of becoming crippled by them. If you have any thoughts on this, I'd love to hear them. Thoughts, suggestions, commiseration, and even (constructive) criticism if that's what comes to mind. And feel free to tell me to relax. Relax was a dirty word in this house before we conceived Second, but I think it's about time to bring it back into daily use!

Did you guess? Did you post your guess in the comments section . . . no cheating! Now, click here to see if you were right!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Too Much of A Good Thing!

When I had my c-section, the doctor had to do a pretty heavy-duty spinal, as I could still feel my stomach even after he turned up the juice on my epidural. Then, the initial spinal didn't take, and he had to add even more drugs to the mix.

That's why I wasn't too surprised when my lower back/upper buttock area remained numb after the rest of me regained feeling. Even a few weeks later, I still wasn't that worried about it. I figured that it was a small price to pay for not feeling someone cut through the layers of my stomach fat and uterus!

At my six week check, I asked my OB if it was normal, and he said it wasn't and that he would have the anesthesiologist call me for a follow up. I never heard anything and, as the numbness wasn't keeping me from my regular activities, and was only mildly annoying, I kind of just let it go.

Over the past two weeks, however, I have had these little shooting/electrical little pains radiating from the numb area in my back down to my left leg. It kind of reminds me of the feeling right after they administered the initial epidural, that little flash of electrical current that didn't hurt more than startle. But it seems strange that it would be getting worse instead of staying the same or getting better. I have noticed that the shooting pains only happen when I am sitting down, or especially when I am driving. Sometimes, when I get out of the car, even after a short drive, my left leg feels numb until I walk around for a few minutes.

So, I called the OB office today, to see if there was anything else that I needed to do for a follow up. The anesthesiologist called me back and I have an appointment for next week. I don't think that it's anything too serious, and kind of wonder if the shooting little pains are the nerves coming back alive?

If anyone has had anything similar happen to them, I'd love to hear your experience.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Nap Time

Right now, Will is taking his third consecutive nap in his crib. We have a little "nap routine" now, which includes a diaper change, brief massage with lotion, two books, and then a few minutes of quiet rocking. Then, I am able to put him down awake, and he goes to sleep in the crib. Yesterday, there was a bit of fussing/crying involved as he settled down to sleep, but I went back in after about five minutes and patted his tummy and he drifted off.

This morning, there was some cooing and then about two pathetic little waahs and he was off to dreamland. He did partially wake up ten minutes later, but with a few more half-hearted cries, he was back to sleep.

Of course, now the key is getting his naps to stay longer. He only sleeps about forty-five minutes to maybe an hour. And he wakes up crying, so I am pretty sure he is still tired. Usually, when he is well-rested, the crying stops when I pick him up and I can put him down on the changing table and he is all smiles. If his nap has been too short, the crying starts again when I set him down.

As I started typing this, he woke up. I went in, patted his tummy for a few minutes. When that didn't work, I picked him up and patted his back, and he fell asleep on my shoulder. When I put him back down, he instantly started crying again. These cries are more insistent and not the "I'm just fussing" variety, more of the "I mean business" kind. I am not ready to do "crying it out" yet, so when the cries go beyond the fussy to the really upset, I go in. As recommended by our pediatrician, we are waiting until the four to five month mark to even think about letting him cry it out. Even then, I have a hard time imagining it. We will see when the time comes.

Right now, Will has started sleeping better at night. We had a few really good nights last week, with seven hour stretches. But we usually get at least one five hour stretch now, which is wonderful for everyone.

So, any suggestions on how to lengthen naps without crying it out would be appreciated. Also, Will has not moved to an earlier bedtime and still is staying up until about 10 PM. We do a longer version of the naptime routine at 8 PM, but he won't stay down. Any ideas for moving bedtime a bit earlier would also be welcome!