Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Juggling Act...

Well, I got my first taste today of what it is like to be a working mom. I had to go into work today to do some curriculum writing with my colleagues. At first I was dreading going, more so because I am absolutely exhausted, and was not quite sure how I was going to function.

What I hated:
D was still sleeping when I left. As he was precariously sleeping on R on the glider in the nursery, I only gave him a light kiss on the head. Seeing my two boys sitting there tugged at the old heart strings and made me want to say "screw it" and stay home with my new little family. I hate that I was not there when he got up. I hate that I did not get to play with him at all in the morning.

I felt really guilty leaving R "on duty" for most of the day. That sounds so silly as R is more than capable and willing and is such a great dad... but I could not shake the guilt. Now, when R goes back to school in September, I will be on duty all the time until I go back in October... but , I don't know... this just made me feel guilty for some reason.

Being away from my boy all day. It was so weird. This little creature only really came into my life a mere 4 weeks ago... but, it is hard to remember a time when he was not here and the center of the universe!

R went to MIL's house to catch a nap, which was good as it gave MIL some alone time with D. They were there when I was leaving work, so MIL encouraged me to go home and rest for a bit. I did go home rather than stop by there, just so that I could get things prepared for the night and do the little work I needed to do for tomorrow ( Ihave to go to work again). I HATED how quiet the house was! When D and R finally came home, I was waiting at the door like a puppy!

What I loved:

Honestly, getting out of the house. I am not going to lie, being tied to the house for so many hours a day can get a bit maddening. Our Pedi is pretty old school and does not want D in public places until he has had his month shots, so that really limits our outings Also, with poor D's tummy troubles affecting his temperament , I am not really confident enough yet to venture far anyway.

Thinking about something other than baby "stuff". I really love my job. I love teaching. We have taken on an initiative where we are really overhauling the curriculum, and it felt great to take on a different type of challenge today . I love my co- workers and it was great to see them.

Feeling confident. I will readily admit that when it comes to D and being a mom, most moments I don't know what the Hell I am doing. It is all a series of trial and error. Sure, some things have gotten easier, but I am 36 years old and pretty established in my life. I am not used to feeling so lost. It has been quite the humbling experience to admit that I am completely clueless and that I have so much to learn. It was nice to be in a place where I felt like I "knew what I was doing."

But, the getting to work today was quite the juggling act. I can only imagine how hard it is going to be when both R and I are back to work. But emotionally, it was really a juggling act. How do you do it all? How do you have a career and still be a great mom? I was exhausted by the time the evening rolled around. I do not want to be "that parent" who has no energy for her kid at the end of the day... so how will I do it? How will I maintain balance? How will I get my schoolwork done in the evening as I always have take home work? How will R and I find time together? How will I carve out a few moments for myself?

I don't know... I don't know if there are even any answers to these questions. I also suspect I am not the only one asking them. How do you keep all of the balls in the air?, so to speak...


Sunday, August 1, 2010


I think underestimating is probably my new favorite word. Or, at the very least , it is what I have been doing the most of over the course of the last few weeks.

I am not sure if every new mom feels this way, or that after suffering from years of infertility, I romanticized the idea of pregnancy and motherhood so much, that when things got bumpy, I was wholly unprepared. I felt this way when saddled with hyperemesis. I am feeling this way now as I am finding my way as a new mom.

When D first came home from the hospital, he was a happy, sleepy boy ( as I suspect most newborns are). We were home for exactly 5 days until all hell broke loose. It was a Friday ( which we still refer to as "that Friday" as we shudder in remembrance) We had been at MIL's house. We got home, D woke up in his car seat. It was 7:00. He started crying , nope scratch that, he started SCREAMING, and he did not stop until 2:30 Saturday morning. We tried everything. EVERYTHING. This type of screaming went on for the next several days. Even though my baby was a mere week old, I knew these were screams of pain. In that moment I also knew that I had completely underestimated just how hard motherhood really is. He would cry and I would cry. To see my boy in pain brought me the worst pain I have ever known. By Tuesday, we were off to the pediatrician. We added Mylicon, reflux meds, and made a switch to soy. These changes seem to be helping a bit, but now D is constipated, so I fear another switch may be in the future. I long so very much to just make things right and comfortable for him. I suspect this is the first of many times that I will wish that I could take on his pain for him.

I am no stranger to having "extra" hormones running through my body. I have shot up with so much "stuff" over the years that I thought I would be able to better handle the post-partum hormonal phase. Truth be told, as I battled some depression during my pregnancy ( due to being so sick) I was a little nervous about PPD, but again, I completely underestimated the range of emotions I would feel. After about three days, I started to get a bit weepy, but what I did not expect was the gripping anxiety I would feel. Now, I am a worrier by nature, I am anal, I am a planner and admittedly I get uptight when things do not go according to plan. However, I have never been an anxious person, and oh my, I became riddled with it. I think I went over a week and a half with out ever really sleeping. I could not eat, I could not sit still, being in the house and hearing D cry made me anxious, leaving for a little while made me even more so. There were points when I truly felt as if a 100 pound weight was sitting on my chest; I simply could not breathe. I am still terribly anxious, but it is not nearly as severe as it had been. To say I felt like I had been blind-sided is a huge understatement.

This next thought may seem awful, but did not expect to have fleeting moments of missing my old life. Infertility, and the pain associated with it aside, R and I have led a pretty charmed life. We are pretty financially stable, we are both teachers used to having our summers off where we would vacation, float around the pool and have cocktails pool-side when we felt like it. There were many lazy summer afternoon naps in the shade, dinners out, and if I had the urge to treat myself to a pedicure, well... I just went and got one. Now, don't get me wrong. I would not trade motherhood for anything in the world. NEVER. I just did not expect to even momentarily feel like I was missing out. Come to find out, in many conversations with friends, pretty much everyone has had those moments of "what the hell did we do to our life?" It just seems that no one ever talks about it. Well, I am talking about it and it makes me feel guilty as hell, but it is the truth.

My final underestimation is love. And using the word love in itself is an underestimation. We all love our children- that I was prepared for. But what I feel for D when I peer over him as he peacefully sleeps in his crib, or when he looks up at my face while I am feeding him, or I pick him up and he turns his head to the sound of my voice- love is just a fraction of what I feel. When I see my husband rock , sing, and read to our boy, what I feel towards my husband and our new family- love does not even begin to cut it. I did not expect to feel such powerful, all encompassing emotions. My two men- one big and one very small truly mean everything to me.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Welcome to the World, Daniel Patrick!

It has been a little over three weeks, so I thought I would finally post the little man's birth story! :)

On Wednesday, July 7th, we arrived at the hospital at around 9:00. We checked in, I got changed and hooked up to the IV and the monitors- it was always a relief to hear the baby's heart beating away. R and I just kind of hung out and watched a little TV and it was such a weird feeling as we both knew these were our last moments together as just the two of us and it was my last few moments of having my little guy all to myself - without having to share him with the world. As rough as my pregnancy was, and as happy as I was to meet my man, it was very bittersweet.
The anesthesiologist came in to explain the spinal block they would give me, and how it would affect me, etc. Around 10:30, my doctor came in to see me. Rick changed into his scrubs and we were getting ready to go!
They wheeled me into the OR- I have had surgery plenty of times, but for some reason, this seemed so completely overwhelming. They set me up and gave me the spinal block- it pinched going in, but was not really a very big deal. Then, of course, just one last time... I puked! It actually made me laugh... I seriously was sick right up to the bitter end!
I felt myself start to go numb, that was actually a bit surreal. They then allowed R in and he came and sat by me and held my hand. I knew the procedure started as I could feel pressure and tugging, but I felt no pain. That was also a bit wild.
Finally I heard my doctor say, " I see an ear!" and then I heard the most beautiful sound ... my sweet boy's cries. They held him up for me to see and R and I both just started to cry. Then, every single person in the room commented on how big my boy was... it was hysterical! R went over with them as they weighed and cleaned the baby and I must have asked him a million times if the baby was okay. And he was... he is absolutely perfect.

At exactly 11:19 am on Wednesday, July 7th, 9lbs and 8 ounces of joy forever changed the way I will look at this world. I am a mother, R is a father. We are a family of three. I have all I've waited for, and I could not ask for more.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end..


A little over 4 years ago, my husband and I decided to start a family. We approached, I think like most couples, with nervous excitement and anticipation. We had the name conversations, wondered who are future child would look like, figured out what the due date would be each month that we tried....

In our minds, it was a new beginning. We were ready to leave behind our carefree days and start the family both of us have always wanted. We had finally found each other, we were blissfully in love... it was time.

It sounds like such a cliche, but if I only knew then what I would learn about life, about my faith, about my marriage, and myself.

The months of anticipation and excitement soon turned into months filled with angst, and worry, and sheer frustration. R and I were never much for fighting, but when the stress of not getting pregnant month after month really hit, we were at each other's throats.
After much discussion, and us finally being on the same page, we sought the help of a fertility specialist, and found a renewed sense of hope and once again felt that nervous anticipation and excitement.

It sounds like such a cliche, but if I only knew then what I would learn about life, about my faith, about my marriage, and myself.

Over the course of the next 2 1/2 years, I swallowed countless pills. I saw the look of sheer terror and sadness on my husband's face as he stuck me with more needles than I can even count at this point. I 've seen such protective sadness on his face after countless failed procedures. I've seen almost child-like sheer joy on his face when I told him he was going to be a father- only to have that look turn to horror when two weeks later, in the middle of the night, they wheeled me away from him as I was rushed into emergency surgery for my ectopic. Two weeks later, I saw fear and defeat on his face as , after we lost the 2nd baby, they wheeled me away from him for my D&C.

I, myself, have questioned my God and my faith. I questioned my strength. In some ways I questioned my marriage as I would often wonder, if R married someone else, would he be a dad right now? I've looked in the mirror at my own face and wondered who is this person who looks so tired and worn out and sad? What happened? How did something so joyous, like starting a family, turn into such heartache? Did I even ever know it was possible to cry so many tears?

So, here I sit, over 4 years later... and in a few short hours , I will leave for the hospital, but this time for a different reason. I am going to meet my son. These past 4 years have taught me so very much. I really know what true love is. R and I have such a bond, such a special type of closeness, that only such tragedy can forge. I suspect that later on today, I am going to learn a new, very special type of love.

I know the days, and the months, and the years ahead will present their own type of new challenges. But I now know how strong we both are-individually and as a unit. And I know for sure, I have a deeper faith than I thought possible.

I am scared as I sit and write this. I pray that all goes well and we have a healthy baby. I pray that I make it through delivery okay. I feel a tinge of sadness to know that the secret language of kicks and pokes will be no more. But mostly, I feel amazed that today, there is an end and a beginning. Hopefully an end to the years of waiting and sadness and a new beginning as we start our life as a family of three.

I am not sure of the name of the emotion I will see on R's face today as the doctor hands us our son, but I can tell you that I can't wait to see it. Because in that moment, I will know that every needle stick, every tear, every doubt, every crushing blow, every fear, every doctor visit, every moment of longing.... it will all have been worth it as today, two things I have wanted so very badly will happen: I will make my beautiful, sweet husband a father, and I will be a mom.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Almost 37 weeks and a nursery update!


Went to the doctor today. My little guy is in the right postition, but I have made no progress yet. And, he apparently is HUGE, which is kinda funny since I have barely been able to eat this pregnant!

We have made some nice progress on the nursery. I still need to order wall letter for over the crib and am waiting for my curtain panels to come in.

Here are some pics!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

29w5d - Shower day! :)

I was a bit of a blog slacker this week. It was a busy week at school and the exhaustion is really starting to set in, big time! I have had to take a nap every day when I got home from school. It hasn't even felt like: "oh... I think I'll lay down." It has been like: "If I don't lay down, I am going to die!" I know part of it is getting bigger and further along in my pregnancy and part of it is the anemia, so I am just trying as best as I can to listen to my body when I feel like that. I have also found that when I let myself get over-tired, the nausea is even worse. Like last night- last night was not a good night at all. I was up all night :(

But, onto happy things.... I took this pic on Tuesday, at 29 weeks, but I did not have a chance to post, so here goes- the ever growing belly!

And onto even happier things... today is my shower! :) I still am in awe that I am going to walk into my shower today and people will be there for my little guy! I swear, sometimes I will be at work and I will look down, or I will walk past a mirror and catch a glimpse of my belly, and I still can't believe that this is real. For so many years, I hoped and prayed for the miracle of carrying a child and I just feel so incredibly lucky and blessed. I honestly could sit here and cry when I think about it... woops, and now I am! I have a feeling that there will be a few break- downs today! I will say, the one thing that will be missing today is my mom. She would be just SO thrilled to be celebrating our little guy. I miss her everyday, but as I get closer to having the baby, and on special days like today, the sadness is just so close to the surface. I know she is here- but I would give anything for her to be there to give me a hug and say congratulations.

So, it is bound to be an emotional day... but an absolutely beautiful one as well. I am a lucky, lucky girl.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The nursery- kinda! ;)

Well... we've made some progress! The nursery is officially cleaned out! (save for the box with the stroller and some other small items!) We have spent WEEKS trying to get this house in shape and really purge all of the stuff we do not need. R and I both came to this marriage each having had out own places and we really never properly purged before combining. Well, we've taken care of that! We are having a huge multi-family yard sale in 2 weeks, so hopefully not only will our house be less cluttered, we will have some extra spending money! Yeah, right, I am starting to realize with a baby on the way, there is no such thing as extra money!

So, for the nursery. The first pic is not a great one, I'll have to take another in the daylight as my purpose in this pic was to capture the color. It is a blue ( obviously), but not a baby blue, which I really liked. It is called spa... maybe that color alone will help the baby sleep through the night? ;)

The second pic is of the valance that matches our bedding. It is just kind of "stuck up there" at the moment; I just wanted to see how it looked with the paint. I love the pattern... the trains and the animals are so cute! R painted the crown molding, so that is set to go up next weekend. Our furniture is going to be delivered on Tuesday, so it is finally starting to come together. My shower is next weekend, and we really wanted to have the room almost done so we could at least put things away as we get them.

I am pretty excited! Still seems a bit surreal at times. And there is a huge part of me that hopes that we are not jinxing ourselves by finishing the nursery. But, you can't live in fear, right?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

28 weeks!

Woo-hoo! 28 weeks! :)
I actually had an OB appointment today. First, the good news: we heard the little guy's heartbeat- which is always awesome! :) I have put on some weight, so that is good news as well!

Now, for the not so great: We got the results from our 1 hour glucose test and it turns out my sugar is actually low. Additionally, my iron and vitamin D are really low. This explains why I am completely EXHAUSTED. My Dr. said unfortunately, that is only going to get worse as the baby is going to keep taking from me. Ideally, I would need to take iron pills, but given my situation, we all know there is no way I am going to keep those down. :( I will try to experiment with some foods this weekend to see if there is anyway I can supplement.
I know this is not the worst news, but I just feel sad that I can't eat the way my body and baby need me to. I just want us both to be healthy!

Obviously, I have included a pic... I am happy that I am starting to get big! I even had a stranger comment on it today! :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Well, Hello Third Trimester! :)


Today I am officially in the third trimester! This is just such a huge milestone for us. To think back to the beta hell we were in for awhile with this pregnancy, the bleeding scare, the uncertainty of our first ultrasounds. I just can't believe I am finally here! I am happy that I am really starting to look pregnant! I actually made our first clothes purchase today. Up until this point, I was just too scared or feeling superstitious. I feel like I can relax a little.

The baby is very active lately. R finally felt him kick and I was able to see on of his little pokes the other day. I think that feeling is just so incredible. It is amazing how much you can love someone that you have never even met.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hyperemesis gravidarum

Well, today I am 26w5d pregnant, and I figured it was time for an update about how this pregnancy has really been going. Time to fess up as to why I have been such a blog slacker during such an important time.

Back in December, I was diagnosed with Hyperemesis gravidarum. This is basically "morning" sickness that is beyond control. I truly use the term "morning" VERY loosely. Every second of every day is truly more accurate. I am going to share my story, but I am going to include this link that is an amazing resource. If you think you may suffer from this in your own pregnancy, or you have a friend or a loved one who may be suffering ( or you are just curious), I urge you to check this out:

I also really want to be sensitive to any readers are are still TTTC. Many of you know that my journey to pregnancy was not an easy one, and as it turns out, my pregnancy has followed suit. I am going to share some really honest thoughts here about my pregnancy, and for those of you still struggling, despite the fact that you know I struggled, too- this may be hard for you to read. I know when I was in the trenches, under NO circumstances did I want to hear anyone complaining about her pregnancy. I would never want to cause any of you any additional pain and sadness....

So, here goes...
At about 6 and a half weeks, the queasiness really set in. Now, during this time, I was still in limbo as my u/s showed "something" , but given my history, no one was ready to call this a viable pregnancy yet. The only thing that was encouraging me was the fact that I felt like crap (I have to laugh, in hindsight... If I knew what was to come... I would have thought that I felt great.) At 7w 5d, I had a bleeding scare- it was a Sunday, I called the RE, and he said to come in the next day. At 7w6d, I got out of bed, sad about what I thought was ahead ( an u/s to confirm yet another m/c) and I made my way to the shower. Somewhere between the bedroom and bathroom, I felt like a truck had hit me. No sooner did I get to the bathroom, did I start throwing up- uncontrollably. I had to wake up R to help me to get ready to go to work. I was going in for a half day before my u/s. The short version of this is that I started throwing up that day... and NEVER stopped.

I made it through 4 days of work that week, and wound up having to take Friday off and Monday of the following week. While attempting to go to work, I threw up before work, on the way to work ( yes, I drove with a plastic bag on my lap), at work ( as a teacher, this was awful as mid-sentence, I would simply have to run out of the room). While at home, it honestly got to the point that it was just easier to curl up on the bathroom floor than to go back to bed. I knew it was usually a matter of a 15-30 minute time span before I would be back again anyway. Nothing helped, crackers, sea bands, ginger, ginger-ale, preggie pops, you name it, I tried it. I wound up missing Thanksgiving, and my OB put me on Zofran, an anti nausea drug. At first, the Zofran helped in the sense that I was not throwing up as much. The constant nausea was still there, but I was throwing up less. I was still trying to tell myself "at least you are pregnant, this is awful right now, but at least you are pregnant". I even went as far as to prop my tiny little u/s picture on the back to the toilet to remind myself that this was all worth it.

After about a week and a half, the Zofran started to lose its effectiveness and I was pretty much back to constantly throwing up, missing work, and feeling ( and this is not even me being dramatic) like I was going to die.

On December 14th, I went to work, but got so violently ill, I had to leave. I went home and for the next 24 hours, I literally threw up every 15 minutes. I could not even keep sips of gingerale down. By about 1:00 the next day, after such violent illness that I was pretty sure I had pulled some muscles in my side from retching, I called R at work and told him to come home- that I needed to get to the hospital. We called my OB, she said to get to the ER immediately, and off we went.
2 bags of anti-nausea meds , 4 bags of IV fluids ,and about 4 hours later... I was still no better off. I remember looking down at myself while laying there thinking how awful I looked. My skin was sallow with no elasticity and I was skin and bones- thanks to all of this I had officially lost 15 pounds. I remember starting to cry and feeling like I was never going to stop. They had me try to drink some gingerale, and when I still could not keep that down, they admitted me. At 12 weeks, I was already going to spend a night on the L&D floor.

They hydrated the heck out of me all night and the next day when my Dr. came to see me, I was officially diagnosed with Hyperemesis. She explained to me that there were things we could try to try to get me some relief and to keep me from constantly dehydrating. So, what wound up happening is I was put on a Zofran pump, that constantly pumped me full of anti-nausea meds. It was like a fanny pack I wore that either went into my leg or belly ( I had to change the infusion site each night- thanks to infertility, at least we were already used to sticking me with needles) and I spent the next 10 days on IV therapy at home- yes, I had an authentic IV pole in my bedroom.
Beyond not being able to eat or drink, oh and the constant puking, HG has some other fun side effects. I could not even really watch TV. The flashing of the lights on the TV would instantly induce nausea. To this day, I still have have to watch TV with all of the lights on or the contrast of darkness and flashing lights will have me running to the bathroom. I could barely get on the computer for more than a few minutes ( same concept) and I could not read. I laid in bed in a dark cocoon of misery. I missed Christmas, I missed everything, I was missing out on a pregnancy that I worked my ass off to achieve.

So, allow me to describe my emotions during this time. I felt robbed, I felt cheated, I felt guilty that I was harming my baby-I was downright depressed. For days on end, I would lay in bed, stare at the celling and think the unthinkable- that I wished I had never gotten pregnant. Yes, I will admit it- a woman who it took 3 1/2 years to conceive , countless procedures, and pure and genuine heartbreak- I wished that I had never gotten pregnant. I felt so guilty as I had not eaten, taken a pre-natal vitamin, done anything that I knew my baby needed me to do- I felt like a big fat failure. I simply cannot describe to you what it feels like to have such debilitating illness- to not be able to get out of bed- to constantly live in a state of nausea and vomiting, to have n0 contact with the outside world- during the holidays- after all I have been through- these were the absolute darkest days of my life. And I would spend my days beating myself up for feeling that way when I finally had the little miracle that I had prayed so hard for.

So... I went back to work in January after break- me and my big pump. I struggled through each day and fell into bed at about 6:00 each night. I still could barely eat- but I was doing it. Somewhere around 19 weeks, the weaned me off the pump and started me on oral anti-nausea meds again, and we hoped for the best.

So, now I have almost completed my 26th week, and while I have to say that I am in a MUCH better place than I was in December and January, this is all still very hard. I still get sick, I still have a very limited diet- I have about 5 things that I can eat and about 2 things I can drink that I can usually keep down. I have started to gain a little of my weight back and I finally look pregnant- but I still get sick. I still have days where I feel like I have been run over by a train, I can't ever make plans because I truly never know how I am going to feel when I get out of bed each day. I do have more good days- but make no mistake- a good day means that I did not puke- the constant nausea is always present. I am limited in my wardrobe, anything around my neck- instant sickness. Anything tight at the top of my ribcage ( this makes wearing a bra a challenge)- instant nausea. Anything tight on my belly- instant nausea. I now have terrible acid reflux- so when I do vomit, it is like vomiting fire. Unfortunately, this is going to be my fate until the day I deliver. And some days- I still get really pissed. I hear of women who loved being pregnant, who look great, who glow, who got that 2nd trimester burst of energy, who got to go on babymoons - and I feel angry and robbed. Getting pregnant was so damn ridiculously hard- I can't help but feel I should have been given a free pass on this. I know that some of this probably makes me seem so awful- but I am just being honest. I really do urge you to check out the above site as it will truly give you some insight into what it is like living with this condition.

But, despite all this... the little embryo that could... has grown into my beautiful little boy. And despite how hard this all has been... just typing those words... "my little boy", is enough to bring tears to my eyes. He is doing okay. He is measuring on track and all appears to be well- despite the fact that I feel like I have been the worst mother so far. But, he reassures me with his little pokes and his little kicks. So, as I crawl into bed each night, exhausted from just getting through the day, I love to lay there and feel him squirm around. He reminds me that all of this will have been worth it, and come June... my life will finally be complete.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

It's been awhile...

So, I have been a blog slacker.... in a big way. I have had good reason... but I will save that for another post.

But, for today.... I am 21w1d pregnant and we are expecting a little boy! :) We had our 20 w u/s last week and the baby looks great!

We feel overjoyed, blessed and constantly wonder how we got so lucky. It has been quite a ride.