Sunday, September 23, 2012

Thank you.

Hello bloggy friends.  While Ian is down for a nap, I just wanted to take a chance to thank everyone who wrote me words of support while I was "down."  I'm happy to say the clouds seem to have lifted...though I'm not sure why.  Probably a combination of hormones and remembering to be grateful.  I think about where I was at one year ago...pregnant and sick out of my mind.  And then I think about where I was two years ago...quite certain that my dream of motherhood was never coming true.  And then I think about Ian...and I cry tears of joy.  I have been so blessed and I need to remember that.  I may not always be able to fend of the "blues" that creep in, especially in the face of really difficult situations, but knowing how blessed I am may be the light at the end of the tunnel that leads me out of the dark.  Your support meant the world to me over the last few weeks and you all helped me remember that I am not alone and I have a lot to be thankful for.  Thank you for being a part of my recovery.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

You Don't Need to Waste Your Time Reading This

I probably shouldn't write this post.  I think it is never good to just write (and post) off the cuff when I am really upset.  I end up looking back at what I said and doing a "Doh!"  But still...I'm going to write tonight anyways.

I'm writing because I am depressed and I have no one to talk to about it tonight.  The beauty of going through infertility treatments with everyone is that you get to see all of your friends dreams come true around the same time (or at least over the course of a few years).  The down side of having almost exclusively IF friends is that there is no one to call about problems when things pop up...because they have little kids/babies, too.  That is not to say that any of my friends wouldn't find a way to drop what they were doing and listen to me if they could.  Some of them have done just that in the past.  But knowing how hard it is to juggle friendship time and baby time, I don't want to put them in that position. I am...on my blog...talking to no one in particular.

I should probably get the answer to the big question out first.  I am NOT suicidal at all.  I've been depressed on and off throughout my life and I am pretty sure this is the product of hormones and life's circumstances hitting me at the same time.  I don't think this is going to turn into a clinical, chronic thing (or at least I hope not).  I see a psychologist to deal with my issues with food, in preparation for my upcoming weight loss surgery, so I am "seeing a professional" who is aware of how blue I started feeling last week.  I'm trying to work out what is causing me to feel so blue, so crabby and so fatigued.  Here are my ideas:

1.  THE BIG ONE - My dog who has cancer (and was diagnosed while I was pregnant last summer) is nearing the end.  But she is one of those stoic dogs that won't just stop eating, or stop playing, so you know it is "time."  No...she wags her little tail and gets into stuff like normal.  But she won't walk outside anymore, she goes to the bathroom on the floor randomly without even bothering to squat and she pants constantly.  She can't eat regular dog food because of the golf-ball sized tumor in her mouth, so we switched her to wet food.  She eats it voraciously, then promptly throws up some clear slime substance a half hour later.  I've given her pain meds, but they don't seem to be helping.  I'm struggling horribly with the "when" choice.  Do I wait until I'm sure her quality life is bad enough that putting her to sleep is a kindness?  Or do I put her to sleep while she is still happy, before she gets to the quitting point?  This weighs on me day and night.  I've talked to two vets, my husband, my friends...everyone who will listen.  But ultimately, she is my dog and it is my decision.  And it sucks.

2.  My family is a train wreck.  As usual.  Not much that needs to be said here for anyone who has followed my blog.  My sister's children are currently in Belize and I have to say that I don't think that is the worst place for them.  Nice, huh?  I prefer them to be with complete strangers in a poor country where I will likely never see them again as opposed to having them live with my sister.  I've just written them all off.  My husband and I can't fight everyone all the time to give the kids a normal life and, as selfish as this will sound, my sister and her friends are dangerous and I have to think about Ian's safety above all else...even above the welfare of my niece and nephew.  I can't even hear about what is going on because it causes me physical pain.  My mom is just enabling the whole situation and so I've had to tell her we can't talk about anything other than how Ian is doing, the weather, etc.  In short, I have made the decision to almost completely cut my family out of my life...and that sucks too.  I want them to be something they can't be and they want me to stop expecting more from them.  I'm just done with it all.

3.  My weight loss is a slow and tortuous journey.  I needed to lose 13 pounds by October 15th in order to get the surgery date I want.  I'm currently down 8.5 pounds...but I've been working on this for months now.  How am I going to lose another 4.5 pounds in a month?  I walk my entire lunch hour at work, despite my sore knees, hips, feet etc.  I eat what I am supposed to eat and avoid what I am supposed to avoid.  Why the heck can't I get this weight off?  And why do I have to lose weight on my own to get weight loss surgery (which you get because you can't keep weight off on your own)?  I actually know the answer to that question but still the situation is frustrating.  I try not to beat myself up too much, but really?!?  How did I let myself get this big?  I try to focus on the fact that I'm doing something to change it now...and that's what is important.  But when I can hardly walk because my feet are so sore from carrying all my weight around, or when I have to stop and rest between each flight of stairs I walk up, it is really hard to be positive.

4. My husband hasn't touched me in a remotely romantic way since I got pregnant.  Granted, we weren't probably having enough sex to get pregnant on our own before my pregnancy.  But now...nothing.  During the pregnancy he used the excuse that he didn't want to hurt me or the baby.  In hindsight, given my preterm labor, I'm glad we didn't go there.  But since the baby was born...still nothing.  All of my advances are rebuffed.  He watched the childbirth process...from the baby-coming-out view.  Did it gross him out so bad he can't stand the idea of that body part being sexual again?  Does he see me just as a mommy and not as a lover anymore?  Is he so grossed out by the weight and stretch marks that he just can't make himself do it?  I've asked him and he says no to all of these above...but then we still don't "do it."  It makes me think...I wouldn't really want to have sex with me either at this point, so how can I get upset about him not wanting to.  But still...this situation is a bit depressing.  Every wife wants to feel wanted.  I should add, in fairness to him though, our marriage is about the strongest it has ever been.  We are a great team when it comes to raising Ian and what my husband is lacking in the bedroom department, he is more than making up for in the "being an awesome Dad" department. sex sucks.

5. I can't get anything accomplished.  I like order.  I like knowledge.  I like things to be clean and tidy.  My life is a constant state of chaos.  If when Ian goes to bed he doesn't have food stuck in his eyebrow or on his ears, I've had a good day.  That's how low the bar is set now.  Forget cooking.  That happens maybe three times a week (probably part of #3's issues).  Forget housecleaning.  My husband and I tag team clean, handing off the baby in between chores.  I have to grit my teeth and appreciate my husband doing a crappy job at his chores, and I have to prioritize mine and find ways to let things go.  For kitchen stove top has not been thoroughly washed in three weeks (guess it's a good thing I'm not cooking more, huh?).  Before Saturday...our floors had not been mopped or even swept in two weeks (unless you count bleaching all of the spots where our dog with cancer "went" on the floors).  Ian's playroom and my bedroom are the only sacred rooms that gets cleaned thoroughly during the week.  Unfortunately, we can't live in those rooms...or we'd turn them into chaos, too.  I think this is going to have to be the new normal standard..."Good enough."  But I am having a very tough time adjusting.

6.  The chronic pain associated with the endometriosis sent me reeling.  I feel better now, but I forgot how awful that pain really is.  I forgot how my whole system would just revolt, making every movement painful.  I forgot how it felt to be so tired I couldn't even get out of matter how badly I needed to.  I am terrified of the disease progressing again.  It will happen.  no amount of happy thinking will fix that.  But it may happen slowly, and that is all I can hope for.  But right now...I am really sad to know that more pain is coming.

There is probably even more going on than all of this, but this is what is rolling off the tip of my tongue.  Whatever is causing my "blues," I need to get over it.  I don't have the time or energy to be at less than tip top shape.  Maybe this is just like a second wave of baby blues related to that first post-pregnancy period.  Who knows.  At least I got all of this crap out of my system.  Sorry for such a crap post.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Endometriosis is a Dirty B-Word!!!

My husband and I work hard not to curse around Ian.  But sometimes a curse word is warranted, so we say something like “B-word” or “S-word” or “F-word.”  We can always tell from the context what was meant.  Well I have to say, ENDOMETRIOSIS IS A BIG FAT ”B-WORD”!

I thought that after pregnancy I would get a bit of a reprieve from my endometriosis symptoms.  Many women do.  In fact, some are “cured” of their symptoms after giving birth.  I’ve really tried to keep a positive attitude that I would be one of the lucky ones.  Apparently I have yet again disproved the power of positive thinking.

It has been approximately nine months since I gave birth.  Once the after-pregnancy bleeding stopped, I had nothing.   But, I was breastfeeding, so I assumed AF would come back after I weaned Ian.  Three months ago I weaned him, and for three months…no AF.  I had sort of resigned myself to the fact that my female cycle was just dead.  My body was in menopause, just as it had been before I got pregnant.  Then, yesterday, I woke up with a nasty surprise.  Apparently AF decided to sneak back into my life like a thief in the night…literally in the night.

I should back up a little.  I’ve felt twinges and aches for months that felt like endometriosis pain, but I kept trying to tell myself it is just my uterus still shrinking or my body adjusting after delivering a baby.  The last week or so, I had the old intense ache in my low back, non-stop need to urinate regardless of how little urine I had to give up, and the cramping that rivals food poisoning.  Trying to be a Positive Polly, I told myself that these things could be a result of my new healthy lifestyle – high protein diet, greatly increased physical activity level, and increased water intake.  Somewhere inside I knew it was endo pain…but I didn’t want to believe I could have endo so soon.

Anyways…back to the thief in the night.  So, I woke up and cleaned up the colossal mess that anyone with endometriosis is all too familiar with.  I felt an insane amount of pain and nausea, but I sucked it up and went to work with as much Ibuprofen in my system as my stomach could handle.  I did the obligatory super tampon /overnight pad combo routine all day at work.  And when I can home, I was greeted with the unpleasant surprise that somehow I had failed to notice that I had leaked onto my pants anyways (at least they were black pants).  Humiliation on top of frustration and pain.  Great.

I pulled out the old heating pad from its storage spot and prayed for some relief.  I forgot how exhausted endometriosis makes you.  Maybe all periods cause fatigue.  I’m not sure.  I was diagnosed with severe endometriosis at age 14/15, so I don’t know if I ever got to have endo-free periods.  But I couldn’t keep my eyes open yesterday.  Maybe it was the pain that was draining me.  I’m not sure.  But whatever the cause, anyone who says that endometriosis isn’t a chronic, debilitating illness hasn’t been through it.

Today, things have only gotten worse.  I’m exhausted, cranky, sick of spending as much time in the bathroom as out.  I don’t feel like eating.  I don’t feel like sitting on the stupid towel I have to put down on the furniture “just in case.”  I have a million thoughts swirling through my mind like…”Do I really want to endure this for a few more years while my husband comes around to the decision that I am already comfortable with…that our family is complete with Ian?”  or “What if I decide to have a hysterectomy and end up getting cancer (having a hysterectomy at a young age increases your risk for some cancers without hormone replacement therapy…which you can’t take if you want to keep the endo at bay)?”  or “How can I have worked so hard to get pregnant and now be so willing to let my ability to do that in the future go away?  Am I making too hasty a decision?”

There are no good answers to these questions.  In fact, there is really no good in even asking the questions at all.  I know they are just a product of pain and frustration and that once this bout has passed my concern about those issues will pass as well.  But, as endometriosis always does, it will continue to slowly progress, interfering with my life more and more until, eventually, the questions have to be answered.  Until then, I know I need to just bite the bullet, take comfort in the fact that I am not alone and that there some of my friends in “the real world” and in “blog world” get what I am experiencing right now.  It is hard to expect any empathy from someone who just hasn’t experienced this (i.e.- my husband).  Endometriosis sucks!  It’s unfair.  And it’s a B-word!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

WARNING! There are baby photos at the bottom of this post.

I’m back.  So sorry about my insanely extended absence.  I’ve missed you all terribly.  I am still finding it difficult to find “me time” since Ian’s birth.  I adore him so much, I happily spend every free waking moment with him.  Unfortunately, that means no time for blogging, hair appointments, visiting with friends (well…a little time for that) or much else I used to do.  I am also preparing for weight loss surgery in January and the preparations are a lot more energy-zapping and time-consuming than you might think.  Balancing taking care of myself and feeling like I am doing a good job as a mother is currently my greatest struggle.  But I figure I have a lot of time to work on it.

Since my last substantive post, I have returned to work.  I was very scared about going back to work and how it would affect me emotionally.  Everyone told me, it will suck for awhile…take tissues.  But I (guiltily) have to say…I love being back at work.  I trust that Ian is having fun with the nanny all day (she is soooooo great with him) and I’m not worried about him.  I get time for a shower every day (okay…almost every day) and get to go have conversations with adults about things other than what Ian’s poop habits are, or the extent of his reflux (which he is FINALLY starting to outgrow).  I enjoy my rides to and from work, when it is just me, my blaring music and my thoughts.  I know I should want to spend every moment with Ian, but I feel like I enjoy my time with him so much more now that there isn’t quite so much of it.  I hope that doesn't make me a bad IF mommy.

As for Ian, he is doing awesome.  I’ll attach some pictures to this post (and hope I’m not offending anyone going through a rough time.  I want him to be an inspiration, not a source of pain).  He is fabulously happy almost all of the time.  He is a big eater (which is funny given the time he spent in the NICU because he wouldn’t/couldn’t eat).  We joke (perhaps crudely) that our premie now looks like he ate a premie.  He is a serious chunk!  He just started throwing fits about things he doesn’t like (he’s not even 9 months old yet…boy are we in for it).  He spits/does raspberries and gets all red in the face until he gets what he wants...or gives up.  It’s so funny, it is hard to say “no” and keep a straight face.  He’s going to get picked on a lot when he hits school if he doesn’t find a new way to show his displeasure.  He’s still not crawling…at least not forward.  He goes backwards really well which only frustrates him more.  All-in-all, he is a happy and healthy (and spoiled) little guy.

A commentor who was new to the donor egg journey had asked me on an earlier post if I could comment on my feelings about using a donor, now that I have my baby.  I am not even sure where to start, so I’ll try to just hit the big points.  Anyone should feel free to ask me questions you might have, and I am MORE than happy to answer them.  It will give me incentive to get back on here quickly.

Okay.  First and most importantly, I NEVER see him as anything other than 100% mine.  I think about the donor or the fact that we used a donor to conceive him for a few seconds, every few days.  Usually it is when I am analyzing some feature of his.  But there is no sadness connected with those thoughts.  It is just a matter of fact and, if anything, he feels that much more special because he was truly a gift.  I can’t imagine that it is possible to feel more connected to Ian than I do.  DNA makes zero difference when your baby is in your arms.   

Next, I would say that your baby may look (and act) a lot more like you than you would think.  Ian is almost a spitting image of me (no pun intended with the "spitting" thing).  The donor did not look a lot like me, but somehow Ian got my features.  He has his daddy’s eye color and ears (poor guy with those ears), but in every other way, he looks like me.  A couple of people who know we used a donor have said to me, “Are you sure it’s not possible that you accidentally got pregnant with your own egg?”  I smile and say no, but secretly inside, I love that no one questions whose baby he is.

The only downside I’ve found about our use of an egg donor…or perhaps more so our decision to tell people we used an egg donor…is that you must educate, and re-educate, and re-educate people over and over.  Stupid comments will be made…not out of malice, but out of ignorance.  We are still convinced that our decision to make Ian’s conception story not a secret was the right one, but that decision does come with consequences.  I worry about those stupid comments when Ian gets old enough to understand them.  A large number of the comments come from my mother, who says things like “What if you run into the mother at some point, what will you do?”  A.  She’s not his “mother.”  B.  Even with pictures of her, I’m not going to recognize her if I see her on the street.  C. The chances of me running into the donor are amazingly minute given that we don’t live near each other.  D.  What the f@%^# kind of a question is that?   

Another one of my favorites is “What will you do when he wants to track down the donor when he gets older?”  A. He may not have any interest in “tracking down the donor.” B. If he does, we will have a conversation about respecting the privacy she requested when she donated eggs.  C.  This isn’t really the same thing as adoption.  The gift she gave us was amazing and resulted in our son…but it isn’t like she gave birth to her son and then gave him to us.  There is a difference in the analysis.   D.  We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.  I don’t really have to worry about that when he’s 9 months old and his only words are DADADADADBABAOOOHHHHH!

When confronted with these “concerns,” I just remind myself of how ignorant I was at the start of infertility.  Who knew what the different types of cervical mucous were or what they meant, until they had a reason to find out and pay attention to that issue?  People need to be educated with patience…not made to feel stupid or mean (even if their comments seem stupid or mean to us).  That’s how I feel about it at least.

I’m not sure if that answers “anonymous’s” question, but I hope it helped.  I’m really looking forward to writing more soon.  But for now…here’s my little miracle: 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I've been away form this blog for a long time.  I've had lots to talk about and even some time to write.  Unfortunately, I had a bad experience after my last blog and I've been sort of fearful to write...second-guessing choices I've made about sharing my son's name, his pictures, his milestones.  I shared him with all of you because my blog has always felt like a safe place to me.  A place to be open and honest, to receive love, support and occasionally some gently-worded tough love.  But after my last post, my feelings changed.

In the course of a few hours, I received multiple abusive comments on various posts.  Some went back to early posts I had written.  Some were on newer posts.  Most of them made very little sense, but they did address issues in my posts and, thus, they felt very personal.  It scared me that someone would spend the time and energy spreading cruelty on an infertility blog.  That made me think...if there's someone out there willing to spread such hatred in my direction, what will happen when my son comes across those people.  I wasn't going to even acknowledge what happened, as I was concerned that it would be encouraging the behavior...but I wonder how other women dealing with infertility (especially those with their own blogs) would deal with this situation.  Should I erase every picture of my son?  Go back through and try to remove every mention of his name?  Erase everything?  Go private?  I want to just continue my blog the way it has been...the way that made me happy.  I want to believe that the barrage of horrid messages was just a stupid prank and was a one time ordeal.  I'm just not sure.

On a lighter note, my son is doing really well.  He is 7 months old, has two teeth, is loving hanging out with the nanny everyday, is laughing at EVERYTHING, and is sleeping 10-12 hours a night.  I seriously could not be any luckier.  I returned to work last week, and even though it wasn't easy, it wasn't nearly as hard as I had anticipated it would be.  Seven months of maternity leave was perfect.  I was ready to go back to work...and my son was ready to be without me during the day.  He has developed a milk-protein and soy-protein allergy, so he is on unbelievably expensive formula.  Still...if it helps him keep his formula down, it is worth it.  He weighs about 21 pounds now...but is still super-short.  He's mostly bald, but the hair is starting to fill in on top.  We still can't tell what color his hair is going to be.  It is red in the sunlight but medium brown in indoor lighting.  I'm still at that stage where everything is exciting to me.  He spills a glass of ice tea off the coffee table for the first time and I'm running to the baby book to record his "first destructive gesture."  I'm ridiculous really...but I'm enjoying myself.

I hope to write soon about the things that I actually want to talk about, but I need to ease back into this.  In the meantime, I am trying to catch-up on everyone else's posts. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Missing You

I know it has been way too long since I've written a post.  I think about my blog a lot, but I never seem to find free time to write.  I miss it.


We found a great nanny!  She is a few years younger than The Prince and I, but she is incredibly responsible.  She will watch Ian at our house and will bring her son (two weeks younger than Ian) with her.  I like the idea of Ian having a little buddy to grow and play with.  I have no concerns about the nanny being able to handle both guys (even though I couldn't do it), as she used to run an infant room in a daycare (8 infants being cared for by just her and one other adult).  She also watched her friend's son (three days younger than Ian) for a couple of months shortly after her son was born.  If she can handle two one-month old boys, she can handle two seven-month old boys.  We are currently rearranging and improving our house to prepare play areas for the boys.  I've ordered one inch thick foam mats for the floors of the two designated play rooms, we've put baby gates around all things breakable and dangerous, and we are working on getting rid of non-essentials to make room for baby things.  (If only we had a nursery...but alas, The Prince still hasn't even started that room.  Someday).


On a more negative note, my endometriosis is back.  I'm sure it never actually left, but I didn't feel it during the pregnancy or after delivery.  I wasn't sure if it was endo yesterday, when the cramping and sharp pains started.  I am in the process of weaning Ian and I thought maybe my "monthly cycle" was just starting up again.  Nope.  Today I felt the tell-tale sharp pains in my left pelvic region and the back ache that comes with it.  I know a lot of women have SERIOUS periods when they stop breastfeeding, but I am certain this is not that.  Unfortunately, I know my endo well...and it is back.  I am just hoping that a hormone fluctuation is to blame for this little endo surge.  I don't have space in my life right now for the debilitating chronic pain that goes along with endometriosis.  I'm not sure that endometriosis cares.


I am really struggling to let go of my guilt over giving up breastfeeding at 6 months.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no less than one year of breastfeeding.  The World Health Organization recommends no less than 2 years.  I have lots of friends who weren't able to breastfeed their babies, and I had no problem with that.  I fully supported them and I would be furious if anyone suggested that they should feel guilty.  I know they have healthy, happy little bundles of joy that suck their formula right down.  But for some reason, when it comes to my decision to switch Ian to formula at 6 months, I feel like crap about it.  So why am I making the switch?  Well, for one thing, I go back to work in a couple of weeks.  Right now, I am having to use (and rent) a hospital grade pump to get any milk.  I can't cart that thing back and forth to work and just pumping two or three times a day isn't going to keep my supply up.  So, pumping isn't going to work.  Plus, once I am back at work, I don't want to spend what little time I will have with Ian pumping.  The alternative is to give up sleep...and I don't want that either.

Also, I have had to take increasing doses of Reglan to try to keep up my milk supply.  It is starting to make me sick.  When the dose gets too high, that medicine causes a "dumping syndrome."  Basically, I feel shaky and sick, get cramps and have digestive upset.  My prescription runs out in 3 weeks...I don't want to get a new one.  I'm fighting my body to keep getting milk for Ian and the fight is just taking a lot out of me - physically and emotionally.  I cannot keep up with his intake needs anyway.  The issue is just whether he is going to get formula only, or whether I am going to continue torturing myself so that he can have formula AND breast milk. 

Ian had a serious dislike for formula at first.  He would just spit it and refuse to drink it.  After a few days, I got him to drink a couple of formula bottles as long as he was getting breast milk the rest of the day.  Then we went to half and half.  Now, he drinks formula all day and gets about 5 ounces of breast milk at night.  He clearly prefers the breast milk, but he doesn't hesitate when given formula.  He refused to nurse for all of May and most of April, but the last few days, when I started truly cutting my supply by only pumping once a day, he's decided he wants to nurse. 

The Prince makes my decision to stop breastfeeding more difficult by saying things like "He's nursing...clearly he's not ready to give up breast milk."  Or "Look at how much more he likes your milk.  Too bad you aren't sticking with it."  The Prince clearly can't understand the joys and hardships of breastfeeding, so I try to be patient with him...but really, his inability to understand should be motivation for him to keep his trap shut.  Ian is "making me feel guilty" by grabbing at my shirt all day and wanting the breast in his mouth at night, even if he doesn't actually suck.  The Prince is making me feel guilty by confirming my fears that Ian isn't ready to be weaned.  Maybe I should be feeling guilty...and that's why I am.  I don't know.  I just wish Ian had made the decision to actually nurse (as opposed to only eating breast milk bottles) prior to me making the decision to stop breastfeeding...or that he had stuck with his breast-boycott altogether.  I can't stand this second-guessing and guilt.


This post has been really random and all over the place.  Sorry about that.  I guess that's what happens when I stay away too long.  I do know how I want to wrap this up though...I want to say thank you to all of my friends.  I try to read your blogs whenever I can and the power of your words and experiences keep me feeling connected to the world.  Some people have just had some disappointments, some have just had births of their long-awaited children, some are adjusting to mommyhood, and some are still trudging through the IF trenches.  All of you are amazing.  It has been amazing to watch the IF journeys of so many women (including those in my personal life).  I had a dream the other night (no kidding), that I was sitting in a garden, watching flowers bloom as one at a time.  I realized that a new flower bloomed every time one of my IF friends had a baby.  There were different types of flowers, different sizes, and different colors because each woman's dreams about becoming a mom were different.  I know that's super corny, but I woke with a smile on my face and carried a good feeling with me that whole morning.  I know not all of the buds have opened yet, but I have faith they are going to.  

Ian and his mommy (my little bloom).

Friday, May 18, 2012

Nanny Needed

I haven't had much time to write lately.  It seems the older Ian gets, the more time I spend with him.  I rarely want to do anything else, but I must take some time for myself to.  Luckily, The Prince recognizes this fact and, today, he decided to take Ian to visit my in-laws, so I could have a few hours to myself.

This last week has been especially stressful.  First, there was more drama with my family (can't even get into it because it makes me sick to my stomach to think about it).  Then, there was my first daycare tour.  I'll be returning to week the first week in July.  We placed Ian on the waiting lists for two daycares when I was 12 weeks pregnant.  He has just now made it to the top of the list (just in time).  I knew it would be hard for me to accept that I am going to be leaving Ian in the care of strangers, but I had no idea just how hard it would be.

We (The Prince, Ian and I) went to the first daycare last Thursday.  It is for state employees and we had heard good things.  UGH!!!  The carpeting was dirty and frayed.  There were dirty and broken toys everywhere.  Way too many kids were crammed into way too small of a space...and none of the 50 or so kids were smiling.  In one room, a little girl came over and hugged my legs and begged me to be their new teacher because the teacher they had was mean.  Seriously!  The infant room had 10 infants at the time of our tour...usually there are 16.  There were 3 adults in the room.  Most of the infants were crying and the teachers were paying no attention to the crying.  Two were getting breakfast ready for the older infants and one was changing a diaper of a younger infant.  Babies were just sitting and laying around.  I didn't even make it out of the room before I started bawling.

New York state requires that daycares have one adult for every 4 infants under the age of 2.  So that's what daycares do...a 4 to 1 ratio.  It's too much.  I have friends whose children go to daycares and they are perfectly happy with the care their babies receive with the 4:1, but I can't do it.  Ian is used to my constant care and attention.  We've practiced attachment parenting, so he has never been left to just cry it out (not that he has never been allowed to just cry for a few minutes to blow off steam...but he knows I'm there and I love him while he does it).  Putting him in the daycare environment would be traumatic for him...and I say that with certainty.  Even The Prince, who is all about saving money (and daycare is cheaper than any other childcare option) walked out of that first tour saying...NO WAY!

After the first tour, I placed an add for a nanny.  The Prince and I decided that, even though it will likely cost about half of my take-home pay, it is worth it while Ian is still an infant.  His well-being and our peace-of-mind needs to come before financial concerns. 

We took a second tour, yesterday, of the daycare on the campus where The Prince is a professor.  It was sooooo much better, and we feel really comfortable sending Ian there...when he's a toddler.  The infant room was, once again, depressing.  I watched one teacher put a crying baby in a crib, say "take a nap," and walk away to write in a notebook.  Another teacher in the infant room was talking about how her son would be starting at the daycare now that he is 2.  I said "He didn't come here with you to the infant room?"  She said "Oh no...he's with people I trust."  Really?!?  Glowing recommendation.

So, we've put ourselves on the waiting list for an opening in the toddler room next year, and will hire a nanny to get us through until then.  There are a lot of candidates.  I received 30 responses to our ad.  I reviewed references and background checks, read profiles and started my stupid grading system.  I narrowed the candidates down to the 7 best (although it is really difficult to say who is "better" than someone else when the criteria is so subjective).  What I'm doing now reminds me a lot of what I did to find the right egg donor for us.  At noon today, I wrote to the 7 top candidates, explaining what we are willing to pay and what we expect in return.  I assumed that this would weed-out the people who are not on the same page as us, so we don't waste anyone's time.  So far, 5 have responded that they would like an interview.  It looks like next Saturday is going to be spent conducting interviews. 

I'm excited, but scared.  This is one of those things that you have to get right.  Ian's safety and happiness depends on this decision.  I can't stay with him everyday for the next year, so I need to make sure that the person who is spending time with him is going to be able to care about him...not as much as I do...but close.  Who knew, a year ago, that finding a nanny would be on my to-do list.  I know you are probably sick of hearing me say "what a difference a year makes," but I can't help it.  It's just surreal.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Transfer Update - Take Two

One year ago today, I was providing an update of my first donor egg cycle embryo transfer.  Little did I know that one of the two embryos being transferred would stick for the long haul.  Little did I know that the tiny 10-cell being in the picture below was going to become the little boy I am holding in my arms today.

Ian's first photo

Ian turned five months old today.  He has his own little personality.  He has very clear opinions about EVERYTHING and he will let you know what they are by yelling his babble at you when you misstep.  I have to pinch myself to remind myself that this is my new reality.  No more failed IVF cycle after failed IVF cycle.  Now my days are spent changing diapers, working hard to elicit the most beautiful little smile in the world, and loving life.  I can't believe how much has changed in my life in one year.  I know I've said that before, but it is true everyday.  I can't believe this is my life. 

In my post from last year, I talked about the doctor making me chant "I believe."  I found it ridiculous at the time, but I chose to actually believe in that cycle...and for once, I hadn't set myself up for the fall.  My dream came true and I couldn't be more grateful for the blessing I've been given.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Please Send Some Love

One of our IF sisters is having a rough time right now.  I'm not going to go into details because I think it is for her to share what she is comfortable sharing whenever she is ready.  But I know she could really use some love and encouragement right now and the blog world support system is one of the best.  So, I am asking all of you to take a second to head over to Krystyn's blog at and give her some bloggy love.

Thank you so much for your help.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Saying Thank You and Goodbye

Today, Ian and I went to Mommy and Me yoga.  The class is held in the upper floor of the building where my fertility clinic resides.  I took Ian downstairs, after class, during the office's lunch time, to show him to all of the men and women who were so instrumental in getting him into my arms.  I loved it and hated it at the same time.

You see, when I walked into the fertility center doors, I realized immediately that there are still many painful memories haunting me there.  There was one woman sitting in the waiting room when I walked through the lobby and I could read the pain and frustration in her face.  I wanted to say to her..."I know.  It does get better.  I promise."  But that's not a promise I can make...and a woman holding a baby is probably the last person she wants offering her advice right now.  I can only pray that the glimpse she caught of my infant carrier didn't make her day any harder.

When I saw the doctor and nurses, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of gratitude.  I ended up chattering like a middle school girl talking to the boy she's been crushing on.  I was trying to be impressive and struggling to find something witty to say.  I kept randomly saying "Thank you" in the middle of conversations because I couldn't keep the words in my mouth.  The gratitude I feel towards those people is overwhelming.  Having Ian sitting there, in the midst of the clinic just made the "homecoming" all the more intense.  And although I know there is a remote possibility that we will be back there someday, trying again with one of our felt like goodbye today.  A real goodbye.  Not the surreal experience I had on the day I was discharged from the clinic.  This visit brought a sense of closure.  And with that closure... I experienced sadness for what I lost in the past, peace about where I am at in the present, and hope for where I will be in the future.  I cried on the way home from the visit with the clinic, but I'm not crying anymore.  I am able to move forward, with gratitude in my heart.

Friday, April 27, 2012

I'm "That" Mom.

I'm that mom who...

1) ...called the pediatrician twice in the last two days.  The first time because one of Ian's cheeks seemed "too red" to me.  The second time because he had cried all day and wasn't drinking as much as usual.  The "cheek" issue resolved before I was even off the phone with the doctor (apparently teething can cause redness in the baby's cheeks).  The second call resulted in my giving Ian Tylenol...which resolved what turned out to be just another teething issue in 15 minutes.  The pediatrician must LOVE me.

2) ...shows everyone pictures of her baby.  I mean EVERYONE!  Receptionists, people in elevators, doctors, nurses, grocery store clerks.  I, of all people, should know better.  You never know what that person is going through and if looking at your baby is going to ruin their day.  But I can't help myself.  I waited so long to have a baby to show off...I just can't seem to stop.

3) ...posts pictures of my baby on Facebook everyday (or almost every day).  I have read IF post after IF post about the daft, inconsiderate women who think their stupid babies are so magical and so amazing that they shove pictures and updates about their babies down everyone's throats.  Guilty as charged.  I am now daft and inconsiderate.  And I do think that everything Ian does is adorable and worthy of being shared with the world.  I know that's stupid...I don't care.  Love makes you do stupid things.

4) ...can't stand the idea of my son going to daycare in a couple of months and yet... I start counting down the hours (and minutes) until his bedtime before I've even had breakfast some days.  I adore spending my days with Ian.  But all day, every day, for almost five months, is starting to be a bit much.  And the feeling is mutual.  There are times that Ian gives me a look in the morning as if to say "Ugh!  Not you again."  I think I will need to try to find a babysitter so that I can have a couple of hours here and there to myself during the week.

5) ...still thinks about IF almost everyday.  Isn't that strange?  Some days it is because people tell me that Ian looks just like me.  Some days it is because I will feel a pang in my remaining ovary.  Some days it is because I am talking to or thinking about my best friends...almost all of whom I met in my IF support group.  I guess when you spend years defining yourself by a condition that you have been forced to isn't easy to drop that label and forget about what you've been through.

6) ...sings songs about EVERYTHING to amuse the baby.  We have a "Poopy in the Pants" song, a "First We Do the Diapey Change And Then We Get a Baa" song, personal favorite... a "We Don't Bite The Booby" song.  If anyone bugged my house, I would likely be committed.

7) to my baby in the car...while I'm driving.  The people next to me must think I'm a crazy person as I talk, sing, make faces and do all kinds of other things to try to ease the crankiness of a baby that can't even see me...because he's facing the back of the car and I am looking out the windshield.

8) ...takes my son for hour long rides in the car just to get him to stop crying.  Not a great option given gas prices...but some days it's just necessary.  He LOVES going for rides and will fall asleep within 30 seconds of hitting the highway.  Gas could cost $10 a gallon...and it would still be worth every penny on his "bad" days.

9) ...cringes when my mother or mother-in-law gives me antiquated parenting advice.  I'm mouthy by nature and it is really difficult for me to bite my tongue and not just blurt out "That's wrong...research showed it was wrong a decade ago!"  So far, I've behaved and focused on the love behind the advice.

10)...loves my life.  Changing poopy diapers (and poopy clothes) five times a day.  Wearing puke-caked shirts (and pants and hair) more often than not.  Sleeping less than I did when I was pregnant (which I didn't think was possible when I was pregnant).  I love it all because it means I have Ian.  It means I'm a mom...even if I am "that" mom.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Thank you

I just wanted to send a quick thank you to all of you who commented on my last post.  I had chest pains last night and this morning because I was so stressed out about the situation with my family.  Every few hours, another email would pop up and it was more words of encouragement from all of you.  Slowly, I felt more at peace with the choices I made and I felt so much better.  I really can't thank you enough for being the family that my "real" family just can't seem to be for me.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Too Mad to Come Up With A Title

I received a call at 9:00 p.m. tonight from my mother.  Naturally, I assumed someone was hurt or dying because why else would she call me when she knows for sure that Ian is sleeping?  She opened the conversation with "I need a loan of $20 or more from you.  There's a family health issue and the person with the family health issue asked me for the money.  I don't have it, so I need to borrow it from you.  It will be my loan though."  I said "Let's cut the crap.  What is wrong with [my sister] now?"  Then my mom launched into a huge story about how my sister (who is 26 years old, mind you) took my 6 year old niece to the hospital and found out she has bilateral ear infections.  My sister supposedly needs $14 to get my niece's medication.  My mom wanted me to wire transfer her $20 (which costs $5-$7 to do) and she would then use $5 of that money to wire the remaining $15 to my sister.  My mom told me that not helping would mean my niece could lose her hearing in both ears.

I explained to my mom that Medicaid would cover my niece's prescription costs.  Apparently, my sister doesn't have Medicaid for my niece because they wanted her to take two classes before getting Medicaid, and the classes would interfere with her (20 hour a week fast food) work schedule.  I told my mom that there are loads of free clinics in the city where my sister lives.  My mom said that my sister told her there wasn't and my sister had already been to the hospital and no one would help get the prescriptions.  At that point...I called BULLSHIT.  No hospital is going to send an uninsured child home without medications that she desperately needs.  Hospitals have pharmacies and frequently provide prescriptions to children late on a Saturday night, when normal pharmacies might not be open.  Even if everything my mother was saying was true, there are dozens of charitable organizations that could provide an emergency "gift" for the cost of the prescriptions.  In fact, one such charitable organization just bought my sister a refrigerator and stove last month because child welfare workers had found out that my sister didn't have any appliances and my niece had no home cooked meals, milk, fruits or vegetables, etc. for months (except for the meals provided at school).  (Every time I think child protective services is finally going to step in and do something for my niece, they find a new way to bandage the bullet my sister time to find new ways to F-up as a parent and giving my niece more time to learn that madness is normal....GRRRRR!)

My mother got furious with me and said that she couldn't believe I could be so heartless.  She kept repeating that if I refused to help, I would be responsible for my niece's suffering.  Finally, I said "You know that [my sister] is on drugs.  She's admitted it to you.  There are clearly ways for [my niece] to get her medicine without $14.  Do you truly believe that this money is for a prescription?  And even if it you really think you are helping [my sister], by enabling her to not avail herself of the resources she has available to her?  Is that really what is best for [my niece] in the long run?  And did it occur to you that the reason she doesn't call me directly to ask for the money is because she knows I'll call her out on the fact that her story doesn't add up, while you are so eager for her love and approval that you will ignore the obvious?"  (I know...not my finest hour, but my family can push my buttons in a way that no one else can).

My mother told me that my sister wouldn't ask me directly because I had told my sister the last time she borrowed money from me that she was never getting another F'ing cent from me.

In fairness, that's not exactly what I said.    Almost exactly a year ago, my sister called me crying, begging me for $50.  She explained that her electricity had been turned off and they had no food in the house, so she and my niece would starve for two days, until she could get to the food pantry, if I didn't wire money to them.  (This was the 100th call of its type over the last few years).  I told my sister that, at 25, she needed to get her shit together.  She was a mother...and she needed to act like it.  Her husband was getting deported so she had a real chance at a fresh start.  I explained to her that she was welcome to move closer to us (as she lives over 4 hours away) or even move in with us, so we could help her out.  But I was not going to continue to enable her to live her life the way she was living it by sending her small amounts of money over and over and over.  There was a lot of crying, and she was clearly not happy with me, but I wired the money and she never overtly asked me for money after that.  She didn't get her shit together either, but at least I could sleep knowing that I wasn't actually making things worse.  Apparently that wasn't exactly how my sister remembers that conversation.

Anyhow...back to tonight's conversation with my mom.  She kept repeating how I should send the money to her.  I said "No.  I'm not spending $5 to send $20 to you."  She said "Well how the hell are you going to get the money to her?"  I said, "I'm not."  She said "What do you mean your not?  You have to.  It is for [your niece].  Don't you love her at all?"  I said "I sure do.  I'm not sending the money."  I was promptly hung up on.

I started crying at that point and haven't fully stopped yet.  I'm so angry.  Angry for being put in this position by my family.  Angry that my niece is being used this way.  Angry that she might actually have bilateral ear infections that aren't being treated because my sister can't even be bothered to get herself on welfare!  Angry that my mother thinks it's okay to make me feel like shit so that she can keep enabling my sister to act like an idiot. 

Oh...and I almost forgot to add...My sister also needed money to go to court next week because her landlord is attempting to evict her.  My mom told me my sister needs $244 to pay late rent.  Here's the problem with that.  First...I know how much her rent is each month and $244 doesn't make any sense.  No one pays $106 of rent when they don't have the rest. don't get taken to housing court after one month of missed rent.  It takes about three months from the first missed rent date to the time of the court date, assuming the landlord immediately instituted eviction proceedings (which almost never happens in the type of establishment you can rent for $350 a month).  So she hasn't paid her rent for at least three months.  Third...this is the eighth eviction my sister has gone through in the last 6 years...that I know about.  I'm not counting the homeless shelters she and my niece have lived in, as those places never actually kicked her out. (Can you sense my sarcasm there?)  So I'm angry that my sister is a habitual liar and can pay for pot and other drugs, but can't be bothered to keep a roof over my niece's head.

I'm just so pissed!!!  I keep waiting for my sister to hit "rock bottom" so she can start to rise up.  I want to believe that one of these days she is going to wake up and realize that she's got to change.  I'm pissed that I might be wrong...this may just be who she is...forever.

And then...there's the other emotions.  My heart is breaking for my niece.  There's not much I can do for her.  Child protective is already involved.  I'm not going to go into full out war with my sister to try to take custody of my niece away from her (a VERY hard thing to do in NY).  Sometimes I just wish I could forget that I have a sister or a niece.  How awful is that?  My poor helpless niece...and I'm trying to forget she's there because it hurts too much to think about how she is being forced to live.  And adding to that old friend Guilt.

I feel guilty for making my mother mad.  Guilty that my niece may be sleeping (or not sleeping) with terrible ear pain and illness, and I'm not sending money to help her.  Guilty that I am having to force myself to love my sister (and mother) at this point.  Guilty that I can't fix their problems.  Guilty that I spend more on two weeks worth of Ian's fancy diapers than what I am being asked to send to my sister...and I still won't send it.  Guilty that Ian probably has more clothes and toys at 4 months old than my niece has at 6 years old.  Guilty that, even though we take my niece out to the store to get her clothes, shoes, toys and school supplies when we visit, we only visit once a year.  Guilty because my family truly sees me as the selfish brat in this situation.  In their minds I have more money than I know what to do with and I am too selfish to help them with their basic necessities.  It's not that simple...but I understand why it looks that way to them.  And for that, I feel guilty.

My husband says I need to let this go.  He says I can't fix the problem and I did the right thing, so I need to just get some sleep and focus on the fact that I am being a good mom to Ian...screw the rest of my family.  It's easier said than done.  My head is pretty sure I did the right thing.  My heart isn't.  That's why this is bothering me so much.  That's why I'm venting onto my blog.  That's why I'm still crying.