Tuesday, September 7, 2010

103 - Twas the day before school...

My school, that is. Back to work tomorrow. I did go back to work last semester, but was only teaching two classes - this semester, I will be teaching four classes with a lot of additional responsibilities...including an increasingly mobile baby. I'm excited and nervous. I have this feeling, though, that life is going to feel a little more balanced this way. And that, folks, could easily be denial. "Denial" - it ain't just a river. That's one of Alex's favorite phrases.

We had a socially-packed Labor Day weekend, and Emmeline thrived. She loves being on the move and with people. She is not one of those babies that get overly stimulated by a lot of action...in fact, she is quite the opposite. I find that her crankiest days are the ones where we just chill around the house all day. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree ;-).

Her 9-month well visit went, well. 18lbs 3ounces and 27 1/2 inches...right around the 50% for both. Her head still hovers around the 25%, which is fine as long as we don't see any large increases/decreases. The doc expressed a little concern about the lack of babbling, but not urgent concern. The plan is to give it another month and then do a hearing test. She is getting noisier every day...just not with those pesky little consonant sounds.

In other breaking news, she is getting really good at finger food. I never knew I could find so much enjoyment in watching someone feed themselves a Cheerio.

B comes in an hour or two and Emmeline is still sleeping. Time to cram in important things - like going to the bathroom by myself ;-).

Thursday, August 26, 2010

102- I beleive in cloning

Of myself, that is. In one circumstance - to watch my Sweet E while I'm gone.

We started with a babysitter. 10 hours a week. Today was her third day, and for the most part, we're pleased. B was selected after 8 resumes, 5 interviews, and 2 on-the-job interviews. Emmeline seems to like her. B takes "constructive suggestions" well and seems happy to be here. Today, E even made a sad face and leaned towards the door when she left. I trust E is safe. I trust that B is doing her best. But how could anyone love her as much as we do? Then I ran into a mom at the park near our house and shared my mommy guilt experiences with her. She's an elementary teacher. She reminded me - "I'm not their mom, but I still genuinely care for and love my students and try to do what's best for them.". Yes, B will be great once I get over my own stuff.

We celebrated her 9-month day today by a trip to the Chelsea Community Fair. She was quite interested in all the animals and especially liked the horses. She was pretty wiped by the time we made it to the carousel, but was a trooper nonetheless. It was fun, family day. Alex and I agreed that we need more of these. Often, when he is just home for a day or two, we spend most of that time running errands and "getting stuff done" - some of it necessary, some of it a waste when we take the time to look at the big picture of what's important.

E continues to progress fast in the gross motor skills area. Today, she started standing by herself for short periods of time. I bet she walks by ten months. Verbal skills, on the other hand....man, this kid is Q-U-I-E-T. I have no concerns about her cognition, social, or emotional development, but I am starting to get a little concerned about her lack of babbling. We are going to set up a hearing test in the next couple of weeks. I absolutely know she hears big sounds; it's the softer ones that concern me. When B came yesterday, she also commented how quiet E is and how unusual quiet our dog, Kharma, is for a shit-tzu. It's true - both are unusually quiet. Maybe our house is so peaceful and calm that we just raise peaceful, calm, and in these cases, quiet sentient beings? I like that explanation much better than a possible hearing problem.

I hear a little fussing on the monitor...and so the day begins.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

101- Life with Little Miss E

Little Miss E - Her name is Emmeline Addison, and she is 9 months this week and....she is amazing.

The quick summary - She's crawling and cruising. She attempted to bail out of her crib a couple of weeks ago, so we moved the mattress down to the lowest setting. She's on the quiet side, but her favorite way of communicating is through laughter...and that makes me smile. She's just starting to understand "no" and evident today when I said "no" as she reached for our dog's food...and then that bottom lip began to quiver ever so lightly and I felt a bad mommy moment.

I continue to breastfeed, and I don't know how long we'll go for. I've stopped trying to set absolutes in regards to her, because if I've learned one thing in these past nine months, it is that there are no absolutes. Our night/napping schedule is finally down after several months of sneaking into the guest bedroom with her for her 2AM feeding then remaining nuzzled in there with her until the morning. I realized the need for a change when DH asked "Am I ever going to get to sleep with you again?". So she now not only sleeps in her crib, but will put herself to sleep (for the most part). Although this is now the right choice for us, looking back, I have to admit...I don't regret those precious nights nuzzled with her.

We have been doing cloth diapers. If you are interested in doing so, give it a try. Really, piece of cake.

As for DH and I, we are slowly but surely finding our balance as a couple and as parents. I will go back teaching in the fall. I will be gone about 18 hours a week...and I would be lying if I didn't tell you that I am looking forward to it. For me, it is the perfect job for raising kids. I'm technically "full-time" this semester in pay and in title. But "full-time" at a university is roughly 20 hours a week away from home. Then I will get a month off around the holidays and have off from April 14th - Sept. 8th. I'm grateful for it. I think with our lifestyle, Alex away 16 or so days a month, the away time for me is necessary. I find myself being a better parent even when I just get a couple hours away a day. When I go 3-4 days without anyone else to hold her even for a minute, I find myself burnt out and sometimes only taking care of basic needs...not the type of parent I had hoped to be.

So what next for the blog? I think I will start blogging about parenting Little Miss Emmeline. I miss blogging. I miss my blog world friends...and I so look forward to catching up with you all in the upcoming days.

I leave you with a 7 month pic...more to follow.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

100 - Our 25/38 baby

The significance of the title? 25 was my first beta on a Wednesday; 38 was the second beta on a Friday. I was given the option to stay on my meds through the weekend, but we had to retest on Monday either way to make sure it wasn't an ectopic. I reluctantly stayed on the meds while simultaneously digging out our adoption folder.

May I introduce to you our 25/38 baby GIRL! Oh my gosh - we didn't find out the sex during the pregnancy, but had strong boy feelings. Our ob consistently messed with us...always using the "he" pronoun, telling me to go with my "motherly instinct". He took it to the next level when he called our room to tell us good luck and that he was sorry he couldn't be there. His parting words? - "I can't wait to meet your beautiful baby boy". It was truly a surprise when DH announced "It's a girl!".

The birth story: We went in to the ob on Nov. 24th for an appointment. The induction was scheduled for Dec. 1st, and we were looking forward to celebrating DH's b-day and Thanksgiving and getting the last minute things done that weekend. However, I noticed that my blood pressure had begun to creep up on Nov. 22nd/23rd. In the office on the 24th, my blood pressure was 145/95 and there was an increase of protein in my urine, but our doc said that he was still comfortable pushing until Dec. 1st. We were just about to walk out the door when he said "Hold on - your platelets were 78,000 yesterday". This is pretty low - 100,000 is the cut off for an epideral and to be awake during a c-section. It was also an indication that my condition was getting much worse. He told us to go home, get our bags, and go to the hospital...that they would start the induction that night. And they did - along with a healthy dose of Mag Sulfate because my blood pressure was around 160s/100s by the time we got to the hospital. And by 10AM the next morning, there was no progress. When the doc came in to tell me that they thought a C-section would be the best option given my declining condition, I promptly asked "Where do I sign?". Anyone have experience with Mag Sulfate? I would have done almost anything to get off that Devil Drug sooner rather than later.

The C-section was a non-event. Seriously - if it wasn't for that Mag Sulfate, the whole experience would have been a lot less painful than I anticipated. Because of my blood pressure (it didn't go down right away), I spent 5 days in the hospital. It was fine, though. It gave us a lot of extra time to get adjusted and work with the lactation consultant.

Life at home is good - content. I have tired days - don't get me wrong - but the overall experience/transition has been easier than I anticipated. We are very in love.

I've tried to really think about why it has taken me so long to post the birth story. I think it is a combination of not wanting to do much of anything besides lay with the baby on my chest and gaze into her eyes and a little bit of survivor's guilt. I remember after our fresh cycle failed in summer of 2008 - shortly thereafter a few blog world friends had success. I would visit their sites, write "I'm so happy for you!", and then, while a piece of me was happy for them, I would feel immense amounts of pain and jealousy. And then that cycle of emotion would take place again after they posted their birth story. I know I'm not alone in those emotions. I know someone out there experienced them with my positive FET and will experience them again with the posting of my birth story. In some twisted way (I'm aware it's twisted), I feel like I should apologize.

But then a few friends and family convinced me that I should post - I owe to myself, I owe it to my baby, and I owe it to the people who read this blog. It's closure. Yes, we had to do IVF, yes we tried to conceive for 4 years, yes we've had our struggles. But I also realize that we are very lucky.

So what next? A sibling? Those of you who have read our blog know that we were planning to adopt if this FET was not a success. We had no intentions of going through more treatment, even though this was our first cycle. One of the comments/questions that is asked is now that our beautiful daughter has is here "Doesn't the pain and trials of it all (infertility) fade away?". My answer is no. I very strongly remember the emotions felt when our first attempt failed. I very strongly remember how all consuming going through an IVF cycle is. I very strongly remember how four years seemed lost as we were trying to conceive. And I am so grateful we made the decision to do it once, and now that she is here, I cannot imagine life without our daughter. But even as I gaze into her eyes, I can't say that we are going back for a second round. We'll probably make our "sibling" decision sometime in the fall.

May I introduce to you our beautiful Honey Bunny. That's what I find myself calling her.

I know I am beautiful, but please, no more pictures folks!