Just Us Girls

Just Us Girls

...one SMC's adventures in single motherhood.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Hello, Stranger

Jeez, has it really been this long since I last posted?!

Life has kept both K and me quite busy. But thankfully, as of yesterday at 3:41 pm, we are now ON VACATION! For a blessed two and a half weeks.

We fly out to upstate New York on Tuesday to spend Christmas with my parents. We leave from Denver, about an hour's drive, at 4 pm, which is nice since it gives us enough time to get up there and get our ducks in a row without having to get up at the crack of dawn. One layover in each direction, which is definitely better than two, but our layovers are VERY short, only an hour for each one. So I have every finger and toe crossed that we won't have any weather delays that could throw a wrench into the strategic plan. We arrive late, at about midnight, and I'm glad that for most of the trip, K will potentially be sleeping. One thing I have to do on Monday is to see if I can pick up her birth certificate, something I've been planning to do for a long time now but just didn't get around to it. Why the hospital doesn't just provide it to a new parent after the birth is beyond me. But anyway, travel with a toddler is always...interesting. K has always been a great traveler, but that was when she was quite a bit younger. The last time she flew on a plane was at nine months old. Like I said, I'm SO glad she will potentially be sleeping for most of the trip... Wish us luck!

We both very recently got over (well, K is still getting over it) what I think might have been norovirus. It was a naaaasty stomach virus that K got first and then so generously passed on to me a couple of days later. Definitely hit both of us like a ton of bricks. I had to miss the first three days of the last week before Christmas break, which is a pretty hellish week in the typical American middle school. But my subs seemed to survive pretty well, thank goodness. K is still getting over it, though I'm so glad she's no longer throwing up. It's been going around our city like wildfire, and the pediatrician was not surprised at all to hear of another report of it.

Otherwise...life has pretty much been going along as usual. This little girl has been learning new words each day, and can imitate words that I say, quite well. She has a brand-new pair of very cute glasses on order, so I will definitely post a picture once they come in. We see her PO (pediatric ophthalmologist) in early January to see how her vision is doing...I'm very curious to get the latest. Overall she's a very sweet-tempered, active, inquisitive little girl, though lately we've been struggling with her wanting to throw toys across the room (ain't happening, sweetheart, sorry) and sometimes trying to pinch me or smack me with her hand. Nothing serious in the grand scheme of things, most likely typical for toddlers her age, and par for the course. Not too many tantrums either, thank goodness. She has her moments, though. She's been willing to sit on the potty now and then, though I haven't been pushing it whatsoever. She's been telling me after she's peed or pooped in her diaper, which I know is a sign of readiness, but she's not always accurate about which one. :) I think I might get a bit more involved in potty training after the holidays, though she doesn't even turn two until March, so I know it's still a bit early. Early also according to her daycare providers.

Still no news on the whether-to-try-again-for-another-child front. Things are so nice, so comfortable, with just the two of us. And I'm having serious doubts about whether or not I could handle two. Being sick like we were kind of drove it home to me...not to mention how I had to ask my aunt last Friday to pick up K from daycare and keep her at her house for a few more hours until I could pick her up. I was scheduled to be observed by my principal that afternoon, something that happens only once per year, and it would have been very difficult to reschedule. My aunt and uncle also watched K yesterday and Thursday because she was not permitted to return to daycare until Monday at the earliest. I can't imagine asking them to watch two kids, especially when I'm not so sure they'd be supportive of me having a second child in the first place. So many question marks. Not enough answers. So I will bide my time until I have a better idea of what, if anything, I want to do next.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful and very, very blessed

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my cyber-pals! It's been a wonderful week with my parents, who traveled out here to Colorado from New York. They came out last Thursday and will leave next Tuesday. They've really enjoyed all of the quality time with little miss K...we have spent so much time just sitting back and watching her! I swear, this little girl has picked up new words every single DAY. She's changed so much just since last Friday! It makes my head spin. Her words are getting more and more clear and easy to understand, and she's imitating our speech like crazy. Not to mention all of the running around and climbing on all sorts of stuff. Her favorite place to play is on the stairs (!!!) but she's really navigating them well, and her favorite way of coming down is by sliding all the way down on her tummy as fast as she can, bumpbumpbumpbumpbump...feet first, thank goodness. We're working on counting, colors, numbers, letters, and naming everything in sight. Not that she's ready for ALL of it yet, but she'll learn it all eventually.

This is the BEST age!! She is SO much fun, she's like this little sponge that soaks everything in, and she's so incredibly funny! Such a jokester...totally has my family's sense of humor. I know it's going to be so hard to bring her back to daycare on Monday...we've spent such wonderful time together this week! I guess the secret is to savor every moment.

I for one am incredibly grateful for a wonderful little girl who is my everything, for (so far) good health, for two terrific parents who are also incredible and doting grandparents, for a good place to live in which I feel completely at home and comfortable, for a dependable job (even though it can be such an uphill struggle sometimes), and for all of the wonderful people I am blessed to have in my life. Lots to be thankful for, indeed!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Have to.

I just have to have two.

...sweetbeautifulfunnyamazinglovingwonderful little ones.

I just have to.

That is all.

(Hey, gimme a break. This is the only space in which I can actually speak/write/say these words out loud. I tried to do so in real life, told my parents that I did another insemination in early October, and let's just say they were less than supportive. It's hard because like it or not, in my heart of hearts I do care what they think.)

I so hope I can give it another shot in January. Happy new year to me?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ten Ways NOT to Raise a Toddler!

Okay, so I LOVED this, I had a crappy day at work today, and I just had to share:

***********************************************************************************

Ten Ways NOT to Raise a Toddler

-Mira Jacob

I am a parenting editor and a mom. This means that all day, every day, I read about how to raise better children, and then go home and mess with my own. You know, it's all fun and games until the therapy bill arrives! In full acknowledgment of how little my advice will help any parent out there, I've decided to stick to letting the wonderful experts on this site tell you what to do, and give you this handy picture guide on what to DON'T:

1. DON'T ask, "Why did you do that?" Why did you bite that boy? Why did you hit your sister? Why is there spaghetti in your ear? Why am I asking you a question you can't possibly answer in any way that will make me feel better? Oh yes, because it's easier than accepting the idea that I am in charge of a tiny lunatic.

2. DON'T be surprised by the number of things that can end up in your toilet. This includes shoes, spatulas, cell phones, small animals, keys, and a whole eggplant that looks an awful lot like a human head to your middle-of-the-night eyes.

3. DON'T be surprised by the number of things that can NOT end up in your toilet. Number two, for example, can occasionally end up in your purse.

4. DON'T assume that repeating directions increases their likelihood of being followed. DON'T assume that repeating directions increases their likelihood of being followed

5. DON'T over-explain adult situations. "Sorry, honey. Mommy is just in a bad mood because she doesn't understand why she chose to make a living on the Internets. And taking out a second mortgage to fund your preschool appears not to have been the prudent thing to do. And wow, your sitter is expensive! That noise? Oh, that's just Daddy weeping through the wall."

6. DON'T say, "Let's wash your hair!" This is akin to saying, "Let's put this large needle in your eyeball." If you really feel like you have to warn your toddler about the upcoming sudsing, consider something relatively benign and tangentially related, like, "Let's put this large needle in your eyeball."

7. DON'T wear a short skirt to a toddler birthday party. You know that fantasy you have about being unintentionally violated by giddy elves? Yeah, me neither.

8. DON'T let a boy shorter than the toilet try to pee standing up. Too late for that? Try not yelling helpful tips like, "Point your penis up!" Too late for that? Wipe your chin.

9. DON'T ask if your toddler if he wants to do something you need him to do. This includes Do You Want To Wear A Jacket? Do You Want To Eat Something? Do You Want To Hug Grandma? Do You Want To Wash Your Hair? and Do You Want to Keep Me From Running Out The Door To Jamaica?

10. DON'T try to catch vomit in your hands. A) It doesn't work. B) You don't get points for trying. C) You get vomit in your hands.

- Mira Jacob


...a tiny lunatic indeed! :)

(I still haven't found my cell phone. Thanks, sweetie.)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Regrouping...and still unsure

Ever since the dreaded BFN, I've found myself wondering whether two kids is truly doable for me. Still not sure. REALLY not sure. Enough so that I know it's a good move to wait on trying again until I have a better grasp on what I want to do next. Seriously, I really have NO idea. I don't know whether I can handle the additional stress that a second child would bring into my life.

I keep trying to envision my little family with just K and me. And some days, I can easily envision us as just a family of two. Other days it's a *lot* harder. A lot harder to accept that possibility. Especially when my cousin just gave birth to her second child two weeks ago, and they live only an hour away, and right now I am NOT in a good enough frame of mind to actually look forward to visiting. We are supposed to travel to a birthday party for the new baby's cousin, my cousin Will who is turning six, on Sunday. I think I'm secretly glad that K has the sniffles, which is enough to cancel this plan since she can't really be around a newborn or my 88 year old grandmother (who is on oxygen) right now. I know we'll meet the little guy, named Miles (Dean is his middle name), at some point, but right now in my mind there is absolutely no hurry. At least not until I'm in a better frame of mind. It's been a very rough week.

(...and you know what's really been ticking me off lately? Thinking about women like my cousin--whom I love dearly, don't get me wrong--who haven't really had to work hard at much at all. Things just seem to fall easily into her lap. Great husband? Check. Gorgeous house? Check. Lawyer husband with an income that allows her to stay at home and also work part-time from home and not have to pay for daycare? Check. Two beautiful kids? Check. Peaceful home VBAC birth in a birthing tub? Check. Close enough to restaurants, shops and any other destination one might need that they can just walk or ride a bike around town? Check. Yeah, it does make me vaguely nauseous. Happy for her, yes, but still vaguely nauseous. A charmed life for sure.)

One thing I do know is that my emotions are very raw right now for a variety of reasons, not just the BFN. I know for sure that I very much WANT a second child...but I am just not sure whether I can handle it, both emotionally and financially.

I am on the hunt for another (better) daycare for K. Which does break my heart somewhat because I do feel quite comfortable with her current daycare. Sadly, my wallet does not. It's a lot more expensive than other smaller daycares (home daycares, mainly) in my area, and quite honestly, even though I feel very comfortable with it, I don't feel like I'm getting the bang for my buck that I should be getting, considering how much I'm currently paying. I have a few phone numbers of home daycares that friends of mine have been raving about, so I know it's worth a look. Plus (and this is not the main reason, but it's still on my mind) K's current daycare now has two 21-ish men on their payroll, and I do NOT like the idea of either of these two very young men changing K's diaper. Ever. The more I think about it, the more uncomfortable I feel. They only fill in around pick-up time, so it's entirely possible they've never had to change her diaper, but I still don't like it at all. And one day when I picked her up and one of the men was the only one in her classroom, her shoes were on backwards. Not confusing shoes, either. I know, such a little thing, but hey, if you're working with new walkers, you have no business putting on their shoes backwards. To me it's such an obvious thing. Just sayin'.

So needless to say I have a lot on my plate and a lot on my mind these days. I'm just praying for a little clarity...in a lot of different areas. Wish me luck.

Monday, October 24, 2011

BFN

...and I'm sad.

Not unexpected, really, but I'm still sad nonetheless.

Frustrated because I can't afford to try again in November. December, maybe, but now I've missed my summer window (for a summer delivery), and that's frustrating too. And now I'm starting to question being able to handle (and afford) two kids in the first place. I *really* don't feel like my family will be complete without two siblings. But I'm not sure I can make it happen, and not shortchange K, both financially and emotionally. This is SO frustrating. I wish there were a "right" answer out there somewhere.

I've gotta snap out of this funk.
I don't feel like myself.
I don't like it.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Bad Mommy Moment UPDATED

Yes, I know I'm not a bad mom. It was just the hindsight talking. I was wishing that I'd thought to suspect strep, and I was worried that K would catch it because I didn't treat it nearly as soon as I should have. Thank you, everyone, for your comments!

We saw the doctor this morning, and thankfully she does not have strep. She does, however, have sounds in her left lung that the doctor characterized as possible "walking pneumonia". I'm not frantic at all about that, and I suspected it because I kept hearing "rasping" noises as she breathed in and out. I'm SO glad I had it checked out. Turns out amoxicillin won't touch walking pneumonia, but Azithromax does, and I'm happy that I only have to give it to her once a day for five days. Hopefully we'll both be on the mend soon!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Bad Mommy Moment #329

I can't even believe it. Shortly before lunchtime today I had to call my doctor's office (family practice) for an unexpected yet pretty urgent appointment because I glanced down at my arms during a morning meeting, and was shocked by the angry red rash that had suddenly appeared out of the blue. Seriously shocked, especially since I have NO allergies to speak of. At first the receptionist said, "Nope, sorry, we're all booked up today. No way, no how." (Well, she didn't say the last sentence I just wrote, but that was her tone.) But fate was on my side because she then said, "Oh, wait...nope, we have a cancellation. We can get you in at 1:15." And I nearly shouted, "I'll take it!" My colleagues told me today that they were convinced I had bronchitis, so I definitely had to get in to see someone anyhow. Peer pressure! Thank goodness today was a teacher work day, so I could take off for the doctor when I needed to without calling in an absence. I ended up being gone for only just over an hour.

So I went in, and when my doc told me what she suspected based on the rash, I nearly fell over. I seriously feel like the world's worst mom because I did not suspect this at all and I can't believe I exposed my precious child to it.

My four-day flu bug at the end of September, complete with fever, chills, achiness, sore throat (but not a bad one at all), congestion? Strep.

My repeat four-day flu bug this week that laid me out flat with fever, chills, achiness, and cough (NO sore throat)? Strep.

Angry red rash that showed up out of nowhere? Strep.

All of this attributed to strep. She did one of the rapid strep tests, and it came back confirming what she had suspected, strep. I had NO idea that fever, chills, and achiness can be due to strep. Didn't know a rash could also be due to strep. My mom tells me it's scarlet fever, which to me sounds as serious as smallpox. Craziness! And to think I left it unchecked since the end of September. AND I exposed my sweet girl to it, too. I feel like the world's worst mother. But I guess it could be worse. And now I know for the future.

So I couldn't get her in to be checked at all today, but we do have an appointment first thing tomorrow. I pray that her test comes back negative. But I wonder whether they might just put her back on amoxicillin just in case. I will be back on amoxicillin as of tonight, plus an inhaler (in-office sample! love it!) of albuterol for my cough.

I'm amazed that I have the audacity to try to get pregnant right now, in the middle of all these germs and this sickness! If this works amidst all the chaos of both of us being so sick, it'll be a miracle.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Waiting...and more waiting...

Part of me wants to NOT! BLOG! ANYTHING! until I *know* for sure whether my iui last Thursday worked. I'm on pins and needles, to tell the truth. One week down, roughly one week to go. If I were to say that I have NO symptoms, I'd be lying. But then again, I don't totally trust any potential symptoms because in the past I've been convinced I was pregnant only to find out I wasn't. My brain sometimes seems to trick my body into conjuring up false symptoms. I just want to know for SURE.

The hard part of the past few days is that the flu bug that I'd been fighting before has reared its ugly head yet again. I had to take yesterday off from work because I had some nasty chills, achiness, fever, and a cough I can't seem to get rid of. I felt horrible on Monday, too, but I did manage to drag myself through my school day. I do feel somewhat better today, thank goodness, but I'm still coughing up a storm. And of course, being "PUPO", I can't take hardly anything. NOT a fan of Tylenol, but at least it did make a dent in the chills, fever, and achiness of yesterday. And today it's been all about the cough drops that were given to me by my colleague next door. Sometimes I find myself thinking that I'm just gonna be sick like this for the rest of the school year without reprieve. K stayed home with me yesterday, too, which was probably a good thing since she's still recovering as well.

I'm typing this on my planning period...two more classes to go! I can do this!!!
Please think healthy thoughts for us. :)
And big thank-you's to all of the wonderful, supportive people who commented on my last post...your support and encouragement mean more than you know. :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

PUPO!

Wow, it's fun to be able to write that! I have a feeling, though, that it's going to be a looooooong two weeks.

The only glitch was the fact that I discovered that my insurance ompany has rejected covering the diagnostic work I had done prior to the iui, which they definitely covered 100 percent two years ago. My RE's office is sending it through again, but if it doesn't go through, I will owe over $600. That really sucks. I plan to fight my insurance company on that one.

But other than that, I'm so glad I got to do my iui today!!! And I didn't even have to take any portion of today's workday off. My coworker was willing to cover my first period class, and I was back right in the middle of my second hour planning period. It would have been nice to be able to take a half day and go home and lie down for a bit, but I doubt that it will affect possible implantation or anything like that. I did sit down as often as possible, and I'm glad I did since I felt pretty blech for the rest of the day. I had forgotten how much an iui affects your body...I tend to forget how much of an invasion it really is. But I'm sure I'll feel a bit better tomorrow.

Yay for PUPO!!! So excited!!!
THANK YOU everyone for your support and encouragement!!!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow, you're only a day away...

Yup. Tomorrow is my first iui since the birth of my daughter. What a mix of emotions: hope, excitement, nervousness, cynicism, and even a touch of downright fear. What if it doesn't work? What if it DOES work? How will my life change? How will K's life change? How will I handle the disappointment if it doesn't work? What if the unexpected happens and I can't do the iui after all? Just take all of the above and mix it into a ball and put it right into the pit of my stomach. I followed my RE's instructions to the letter and gave myself the trigger shot last night at 8:50 pm, exactly 36 hours before my scheduled iui. My appointment is at 8:50 am tomorrow. I'm heading back to school right after, no time to relax, unfortunately, except for the 15-20 minutes of resting on the table right after. But regardless I'm going to try to relax a bit at school and stay off my feet as often as possible. It's going to be SOOO hard to not get my hopes up. I have to confess that I'm already hoping, hard.

Wish me luck!!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Getting close!

...closer to my first iui in two years, and I am sooo excited! Monday is CD13, and I go in for an ultrasound--and hopefully to also pick up my trigger shot. I need to make sure to ask about pricing for this iui...I'm a bit nervous about the cost potentially having gone up since the last time two years ago. Especially since it's not covered whatsoever by my insurance. But still, I am all set to go, and I'm really excited to get things a-movin' along. :)

I was recently reminded of the hardest part of being an SMC, at least for me: being sick and having a sick toddler at the same time. I woke up on Wednesday morning barely able to see...my eyes were all gooped shut (sorry, TMI) and once I was able to get them unstuck, they were so swollen my eyes looked like slits. Very concerning. But since I hadn't called in for a sub and it was basically too late to do so, I went in to school and asked whether there was a sub who was just there for the morning, and who might be willing to stay for the afternoon for me. Lucky for me, there was. I got in to see my doctor at 3:30, and she took one look at my eyes and said, "Impressive!" It was quite a severe case of what I thought at first to be pink eye, but she suspected it was part of a sinus infection instead, especially since I had been sick for the past week before that. So she prescribed antibiotic eye drops and amoxicillin, and sent me on my way. Little did I know the worst was yet to come. I managed to come down with a flu bug the next day, complete with chills, fever, achiness, sore throat, congestion, headache, and general I-feel-like-I've-been-hit-by-a-truck-ness. Thankfully, now, three days later, I am feeling much better and I'm planning on heading back to school on Monday. The one thing I KNEW I had to do was to get K to daycare on Thursday and Friday, even though I had taken those days off from school. I did manage to keep her from catching any kind of pink eye (if that's even what it was), thank goodness. She's still coughing from her sick days last week. I really don't want her to catch this flu-thing. The hardest thing by far was getting both of us ready i.e. presentable and out the door when I felt SO awful (and you always feel worst in the morning), and then of course picking her up at the end of the day. But the chance to just sleep as much as I needed to without having to worry about a toddler? Priceless. I seriously spent two whole days just parked on the couch. And it worked out perfectly, because now that I have K all weekend, I'm now feeling better and able to take care of her like usual.

The one thing that makes me frantic is the idea of burning up all these leave days at the beginning of the year. I only get eleven days off to last me the entire school year, and I have now used up four and a half of them. Plus another half day on Monday for this ultrasound. It really sucks. I can still take days off after I've used up my eleven, but I do so at no pay, which is a huge chunk of change to lose out of my paycheck. And here I am, trying to get pregnant. It's very scary. Thank goodness my last pregnancy was very uneventful, with no morning sickness to speak of, so I may get lucky again. VERY lucky, but still. There's at least one appointment per month, but if I remember correctly, my OB's office had pretty good office hours, so I might be able to get appointments after 4:00. Of course, the (fabulous) ultrasound tech only has morning hours, so that might be a problem. I'll have to cross those bridges when I get to them. With a second pregnancy, I now know what to expect, so I find myself thinking (way) ahead and trying to hash it all out now. I'm just excited to get back in the game and give it a shot this month. Hopefully October will be my lucky month. :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Great news

So. It turns out...

...that I have ovaries that are pretty much equivalent to those of a twenty year old. (um...what?)

My RE told me today in no uncertain terms that he's not able to say this very often, but I fall into a very small demographic of 40-somethings who are quite...um...gifted, reproductively-speaking. He said he'd be thrilled if someone my age showed four follicles in each ovary, and I am currently showing six to seven in one and way more than that, apparently, in the other. He measured the volume of each ovary, and where most women my age measure about three (not sure what the units are, cc's? no clue), I am measuring nine, which apparently is awesome. So things are looking very, very good. Based on what he saw today, he said, I can almost count on a pregnancy. Egg quality, obviously, is still in question, and there's nothing I can do about that, but besides that, everything else looks really good. I'm kind of amazed, actually.

My heart went out to another woman who came in today--the only other woman today besides me who wasn't doing IVF--whose OPK's didn't show a surge at all. She had an ultrasound a few days ago that showed a follicle of 16mm, and her ultrasound today showed that she'd already ovulated. So she missed it, and she had no inkling from her OPK's. I now know from experience how frustrating it is to miss a cycle altogether. I can only imagine how frustrated she must have felt.

Such an odd experience, sitting in the waiting room today with about four other couples who I was pretty sure were there for IVF. Everyone sitting there so somberly, very few couples even exchanging words with one another. It's serious business, that IVF stuff. Not for the faint of heart, for sure. I saw a couple of the women leave with what looked to be armfuls of boxes of meds. Unreal. I found myself feeling very thankful that IUI is still an option for me, and this was before my RE told me about these young-acting ovaries of mine. I also felt a bit bummed that unlike them, I'm going through this without a partner, but you do what you have to do, I guess.

I also couldn't help thinking today about the fact that I would LOVE to lose at least forty pounds, and that like a lot of other women, I am not happy with the way my body looks right now. But when it comes down to what my body is able to do, namely to grow a baby all the way from conception to birth and possibly do it again at age almost-forty two, I honestly have no room to complain. I'm so blessed, truly, and I don't want to forget that.

So the rest of the plan for this month is to start my letrozole this evening and continue for the next five days, followed by an ultrasound on October third to check the state of things. So it's entirely feasible that I might have an insemination on my forty-second birthday, October eighth. On this upcoming birthday two years ago, I had my anatomy scan, and was told that I'd be giving birth to a baby girl...who is the absolute light and treasure of my life. Blessed, indeed!

Friday, September 23, 2011

There is a method to the madness after all

Well, I feel much better. Got some clarification from the RE himself. NOW I get it! He's absolutely right that when I conceived my daughter back in 2009, I didn't do back-to-back iui's, and specifically, back-to-back meds. Now that I am trying to do so, their policy is to rule out ovarian cysts beforehand, because the meds can exacerbate any cysts, and cysts can definitely reduce pregnancy rates. Much less cause all sorts of pain and delays in trying again. He left the decision up to me, though he definitely advises against going right into another medicated cycle without ruling out cysts. Sunday is CD5, and he doesn't buy into some people's fears about the risk of birth defects from using Femara after CD3...it's often used day 5 through 9. So now I have an ultrasound appointment at 8:50 am on Sunday to rule out any ovarian cysts and to give me a prescription for the Femara. He has a few IVF patients coming in on Sunday--when the office is technically closed--so there's a little bit of time for me as well. Now that I understand the madness, this "requirement" makes much more sense to me. I was offered an ultrasound appointment today, but since K is still under the weather, it's not the best idea, plus their office does close at noon today, which would mean too much of a hustle for us. So it's looking like Sunday is our best bet. And I think I'm okay with it, now that I understand why.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I need anger management therapy

...because I seriously just beat the living shit out of my curling iron by banging it against the top of the bathroom sink. Don't ask.

I got a message from my (ridiculous) RE today that he won't call in my prescription for letrozole (Femara) until I come in for an ultrasound. (Why??????) He's never required this before, and that's another fifty bucks down the drain. Tomorrow is CD3, and they have NO openings because every Friday they close at noon. Of course.

So...it looks like my choice this month is to either do an unmedicated cycle--if he'll even DO an insemination--or don't inseminate at all. I had no intentions of doing an unmedicated cycle, but if it's that or don't do it at all...

I was home with K today because she's fighting an ear infection, and her fever was over 103 at times yesterday and today. She's now on antibiotics, but so far they haven't seemed to kick in yet, at least as far as her fever is concerned. Right now her temp is 102, and I just gave her some infants' acetaminophen because she can't take more ibuprofen until at least 10:00. Needless to say, since I certainly wasn't expecting a call from my RE about some unnecessary mandatory ultrasound, I didn't check my messages until after their office had closed for the day (3:30). They can definitely expect a call from me tomorrow morning. And not a pleasant one, either.

This really sucks.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Here we go again

Yes, it's on. Tomorrow is CD1, with today being a sort of pseudo CD1. And wouldn't you know it, because my cycle is now starting again, I felt all sorts of hope today. It was just...a good day. I am bound and determined to move forward with T42, and as they say, pull out all the stops. I feel more grateful that I am able to do this at all. I will be dusting off my OvaCue fertility monitor tonight, and finding my basal thermometer (who knows where that's been hiding). I'm not convinced that OPK's will be reliable, so I am going to back them up with other ways to monitor how things are progressing. I have to put a call in to my RE tomorrow to ask him to call in my prescription for Femara, and also to make sure we're all systems go for another try. I kind of dread talking to him after last month's disappointment, but I do feel confident that I won't end up in that same situation this month or next. I will not settle for NOT having a trigger shot, that's for sure. I can't wait to get back in the game.

In other interesting news, my friend Lisa's friend Deidra had a big day today, and unfortunately it's too late to call tonight to find out how things went. Deidra and her husband had been foster parents to a little boy since very shortly after his birth, and they were in line to adopt him after fostering him for the past year and a half (if memory serves). Well, this past June they ended up having to return him to his biological mother. So devastating. They did take him for a couple of weekends this summer, and he was inconsolable every time they had to give him back to his bio mom. Just this past week, however, bio mom went back to jail. Now they have several agencies pushing for them to be allowed to legally adopt him, saying that it's in the little boy's best interest, and today was the court date that might just change the rest of their lives. I'm dying to find out what happened today! And I have every finger and toe crossed that this couple is supposed to add this little boy to their family. I still have faith that sometimes, things happen just the way they are supposed to happen. I truly hope that this is one of those times.

My heart goes out to my friend J, who has to make the very difficult decision whether to go for (adopt I guess is the correct term) two grade B frozen embryos now, or wait quite a few months and take the chance that perhaps more viable embryos might come available at that point. These two grade B embryos come from a couple with two failed IVF's behind them, followed by a successful natural (surprise) pregnancy. Apparently they've been dealing with male factor infertility. She feels very apprehensive about the fact that they did two unsuccessful IVF's, and she's unsure about their grade B status. I don't have any other specifics about the condition of the embryos. If anyone has any thoughts or advice about this situation, I'd sure love to hear them.

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Wishing all of you lots of green lights and great songs on the radio during your morning commute tomorrow. :) (which I actually have had for two days in a row now, lucky me!)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

New arrival!


Welcome to the world, Abigail Kate! Her happy parents are my cousin Matthew and his wife Emily. Abby was born at 8:00 this morning at 7 lbs, 8 oz.

The cool thing about it is that Abby is the second baby girl--indeed, the second baby, period--of her generation (besides my girl K) who has my last name. And I love the idea of a second little girl with this same last name...maybe just the idea of carrying it along into the future. I know that our (Matthew's and mine) late grandparents, Irv and Naomi, are watching over us and enjoying our little girls. I just wish they could have met them in person. I love how Abby is clutching her mommy's finger in her tiny fist! I can't wait for both K and I to meet her!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Disappointment.

I just have to get this out. Because right now it's pretty much simmering inside my brain, and I'm sad, and I'm alone (except for my little one, who is sound asleep, and this time she doesn't count since she's not an adult who might "get it"). I'm not really open to very many people about my T42 status, either, so here I sit, feeling very sad. Since it's my blog, I'm going to get it all down "on paper" and hopefully I'll feel a little better.

I just want to get into the game. I want to get into the game and see what happens. And now I have to wait another looooong month till I can try again. My RE told me last Thursday that unfortunately they're closed over the long Labor Day weekend, yet I discovered that his website specifically states that someone is always available on weekends and holidays for scheduled needs such as inseminations. So why don't I qualify? Is it because I'm single? Because I'm "only" doing iui and not IVF, a much more expensive procedure? An iui is such a quick thing, too...after the thaw, which usually only takes twenty minutes or so, it's only a few minutes and it's done. Not like my RE would have to give up an afternoon or something. So I did my OPK's this weekend and I'm quite sure I've completely missed the window. Not even a second line today, and based on my follicle measurements last Thursday, one follicle was probably 24mm today and the other 19mm. Unless they grew faster because of the Fem.ara. So most likely I've ovulated by now. And I'm not thrilled about paying my RE another fifty bucks tomorrow just to have him tell me "Sorry, it's too late." So I don't think I will. Up until now I'd considered calling in the morning to make an appointment for an ultrasound, but now I don't think so.

I fully realize that my feelings and reaction to this turn of events are purely emotional. Truth be told, I'm both angry and hurt that they wouldn't consider doing an iui for me over the weekend. I'm especially angry about missing out on the good timing this try might have afforded me, a delivery in early summer that would have allowed me to stay home with a prospective baby for most of the summer without maternity leave considerations. I can and will try again next month, this I know. But missing this cycle was so completely avoidable, not my fault at all, and the truth is, I didn't get at all what I wanted this month from my fertility clinic: I wanted to do a trigger shot and I especially wanted--obviously--to do an insemination. I took my meds faithfully between days 3 and 7, to no avail. Luckily they cost almost nothing thanks to my insurance. I seriously considered all weekend switching RE's, and I might still do that. I just feel like he wasn't there when I needed him, like any other TTC'ing SMC, and who's to say it won't happen again? My cycles won't coincide with any other holidays over the next few months, thankfully. But what if I need to inseminate on a weekend and he won't do it? I just think it's really crappy. Today I decided, just so I feel at least a little proactive about this whole thing, to call around and see who else in my town does iui's. I know I'll get over this disappointment, but right now it just...hurts.

To my surprise, I'm sadder than I expected. I just really want to get pregnant again. I just want to at least get into the damn game and not be sitting on the sidelines. I guess there's one silver lining, at least--I now know that I truly want to have another baby. I'm not sitting on the fence anymore. And just writing all this out, I do feel a little bit better. As my mom always likes to say, tomorrow is another day. And I'd add, October is another month. Less than a full month away. I kind of want to tell my RE a little about how frustrated I feel about the discrepancy between the availability stated on his website and how it played out for me, but I'm not sure how I would phrase it. Right now I'm pretty angry with him. I guess time will tell.

New big girl bed!




Thursday, September 1, 2011

It's all in the timing

[sigh]

Well, things are really up in the air regarding this iui cycle. It looks like I might surge over the long weekend, and my RE does NOT do iui's over Labor Day weekend. Soooo... I will try my best not to stew about it and feel anxious about potentially throwing my hard-earned money away on a doomed cycle.

I currently have two follicles measuring 11 mm and 16 mm. My RE won't trigger until 20 mm, and iui's are usually done around 24 mm. I have NO idea how fast a typical woman's follicles mature. Maybe it varies from woman to woman. Today is CD11, and in the past my OvaCue fertility monitor has pinpointed day 15 for my most fertile day. CD15 falls on Monday. BUT I also just read about Fem.ara delaying ovulation by a couple of days, so that might work in my favor. My plan as of right now is to buy a bunch of OPK's and use them starting tomorrow, just to see what they show. Right now it looks like an iui on Tuesday might just be the ticket, depending on what my OPK's look like. I've never had a whole lot of success with OPK's...on the cycle that worked, my RE triggered on CD13 and (I think) he did the iui two days later.

I just really don't want to miss my window, since the timing this month for a summer delivery would be perfect.

I am on the fence over whether or not to cancel this cycle and wait till next month...

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I LOVE this SMC community!!!!

Seriously, I love you all for your very supportive comments on my last post!!! It completely warms my heart to know that we're all on the same page, and it's not just me who feels that way. I've often questioned my choice of moderated comments, since up until yesterday I hadn't received any even remotely angry comments. But it's kind of nice to be able to process a particular comment for a bit and frame my response accordingly.

You all made my month, I can't even tell you! (also possibly because I only have one SMC friend IRL, and being a single mom can often feel so isolating.) I sure don't feel quite so isolated after reading your heartwarming comments!

Seriously! I love you all!!! You rock, sisters!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Dear Anonymous Commenter,

This was an anonymous comment left in response to yesterday's post:

"I'm curious as to why a comment such as "I'm a single mom this weekend" gets you all so riled up? You CHOSE to be a single mom. I CHOSE to get married and have kids and not be a single mother. I respect your choice completely, but it was YOUR choice. My husband is a very present father but there are times when he is traveling that I complain "I'm tired of being a single mom" or "This single mom gig is tough." I complain, because I didn't choose to be a single mom and when I am one for a few days not by choice, I feel the pressure. I appreciate having my hubby as my co-parent. And while there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a single parent, I think you are being way over-sensitive and judgmental toward those of us who are not single parents. We still get exhausted by parenthood too - especially when we are used to having a partner to help and he's not around for a few days."


So here is my response:

First of all, why are you anonymous? Why don't you own your comments and sign your name to them? I'll never understand why some people choose to comment anonymously. To me it's a sign of...at best, insecurity, at worst, cowardice.

Dear Anonymous,

You are absolutely right that I CHOSE (your capital letters) to be a single mom. I don't regret my choice for a single moment, especially when I look at my much-loved, amazing daughter and I feel proud that I made my dream come true. But the point of my last post--one of very few vent posts I have written, by the way, in the nearly three years I've been blogging--was not about the choices you and I have made. As you stated, you respect my choice, and I definitely respect yours. With no judgment or hostility about it whatsoever. Unlike you, I know that it's not an "us versus them" kind of situation. Our goal is exactly the same: to raise happy, healthy, thriving children.

You claim that I am "being way oversensitive and judgmental" towards people who are not single parents, which could not be further from the truth. I have many, many friends and family members who are happily married and are fantastic parents, and yes, they do feel exhausted at times, just as single parents do. Every parent, regardless of how he or she became a parent, has the right to feel exhausted. I wouldn't dream of saying otherwise.

But there are also some core differences between being a married parent and being a single parent--not just exhaustion--which was the point of my post and apparently the part that you missed. For you to flippantly refer to yourself as a "single" parent just because your partner wasn't around for a few days (oh! the horror!) does a disservice to every single parent out there, whether by choice or by circumstance, who is living the reality of not having a partner indefinitely, not just for a few days. You are absolutely right that I CHOSE to be a single mom, but don't equate your reality with mine, choice or not. It's simply not the same. As I said in my post, you still have emotional support from a partner, financial support and resources, input for making important parenting decisions, and even just simple company after the kids are in bed. These are HUGE differences. And just because I chose to be a single parent doesn't mean that I don't have the right to miss those things. Given the choice between having a child and never becoming a parent, yes, it's still completely worth it to me, no question. I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat. But even though we share the same goal of raising happy, healthy kids, our day-to-day reality is not the same. This doesn't mean that I resent married parents, because I don't. It just means that flippantly referring to yourself as a "single mom" just because your partner is away for a few days is patently untrue and offensive.

The other aspect of my frustration with my FB friend, which my post may not have made clear and which has been building up a bit over time, is the intensity and duration of her complaining about her pregnancy. I feel a strong affinity towards those in the infertility community, and I don't have much patience with someone who doesn't seem to appreciate the fact that she's able to easily get pregnant in the first place. Does that mean that I am "being way oversensitive and judgmental" towards all pregnant women? Not even close.

Is this a big deal, in the grand scheme of things? Nope, not at all. It was just a vent post, about one person on Face.book. Best case scenario, Anonymous, you'll understand a little more about how many single moms--not just me--feel about privileged married moms casually tossing around the phrase "Oh, I'm a single mom!" at the least provocation. Just read the other comments--written by people who actually signed their names--and perhaps you'll understand a bit better.

Best,

Heather



Sunday, August 28, 2011

"Single" moms [vent]

I admit it. I don't have much patience or sympathy for a happily married, financially secure woman--in this case, a Face.book "friend"--who claims to be a "single" mom while her husband is out of town. I am very sure that it must be hard to be pregnant, missing your husband, who is currently deployed, and running the show on your own with three young boys to care for, but all that being said, she still has many more advantages than truly single moms like myself, such as...oh, I don't know, emotional support, financial resources, input for important parenting decisions, simple company after the kids are in bed...I could go on and on. She still has all that (well, maybe not the company part), even while her husband is deployed.

I am feeling quite ticked off right now, and I needed someplace to vent, so here I am. And it's more about her ridiculously privileged FB friends who chimed in and said, "Oh yes, you are definitely a single mom!" This is after I commented, agreeing with another commenter who remarked that she is lucky that she's not a single mom: "Yup. You have a lot more advantages than single moms like myself. Hang in there." These are women without a clue, who don't realize how good they got it.

This woman has been whining incessantly since her husband left...about all things pregnancy (she's 13 weeks along) and missing her husband and how hot it is in Louisiana and being frustrated with her three boys and not wanting to eat and not being able to sleep and not having enough energy to live her life and...well, you get the idea. Regarding the pregnancy thing, I have NO sympathy when it comes right down to it. She's been pregnant three times before so she knows the drill. No surprise there. And she's downright lucky to be able to get pregnant in the first place and to be able to bring her babies to term. And regarding missing her husband? Hell, at least she has a husband in the first place.

I really think she just needs to put on her big girl panties and deal with her temporarily-difficult situation...oh, and she needs to count her blessings as well. And I need to figure out how to hide her posts for a while until this desire to unfriend her isn't quite so strong.

Thanks for letting me vent.
/end of rant

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The countdown begins [UPDATED]

I've finally realized that my stress level is rising, and it's not (just)because school is back in session. Today (Tuesday) is CD2, so it's time to think about meds (Fem.ara) and timing for my trigger shot and so forth. The little swimmers are ready, happily ensconced in the deep freeze at my RE's office, and I'm starting to get nervous...mainly because I still have to have one last hoop to jump through, one final round of bloodwork consisting of testing for a few STD's. (which I find very funny...sex life? What sex life?!) I'm getting very nervous because I'm worried about not having enough time to get the results back to my RE before showtime. I put a call in to his office yesterday about calling in my script for Fem.ara and...an embarrassing admission. I got the STD cultures done, but somehow managed to misplace the order he gave me for the bloodwork, so now I need him to rewrite it for me so I can stop by his office and pick it up. I mean, seriously, how irresponsible. But hey, it's a small piece of paper! [sigh] The trick tomorrow is going to be being available to take his call when he calls back...I can't exactly talk with him if I'm in the middle of class with 25 middle school kids, and I only have two planning periods--one taken up by a parent conference--plus a half hour lunch break. And he's a very busy doctor too. We'll see how it pans out.

...breathe...must breathe...

If today is CD2, my iui will probably take place around Monday, September 5th. Yikes!

UPDATE: Things seem to be working out in my favor, though now there are a few extra hoops to jump through. I do have to get the bloodwork done in an outpatient lab, and I have to get that done ASAP. I was finally able to take my RE's call as I was out running a quick errand during my morning planning period, though I actually had to step out of the office I was at in order to take the call in private. He called back a second time and I was able to answer that call in private as well. He called in my script today, so I'll need to pick it up tomorrow. I also have to actually pick up the results of the STD cultures *in person* from my OBGYN's office and hand-deliver them to my RE, which will be a huge pain in the butt...but I guess if it leads to a baby it's worth it! So lots of legwork just to make this whole thing happen. I was under the impression at first that I would have to have several appointments for bloodwork and monitoring, at $50 a pop, but now it's just next Thursday to check the status of my follies and decide about triggering, so that helps me save at least a little money. This monitoring stuff really adds up, but I continue to be convinced that it's what made the difference for me in the iui that worked. One baby step at a time, no pun intended. :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Words cannot even describe how beautiful this is...

My cousin Jen (along with her husband Chris and her fabulous son Kyle) has a brand-new daughter! My heart is so full right now that I can't even put it all into words. AnXiang--her American name will be Lorelei--is their newly adopted beautiful Chinese daughter, and the pictures of their new family of four are simply spectacular! AnXiang is the answer to many, many prayers, and she is equally thrilled to be joining their family. Just check out her beautiful smile:

I can hardly believe their dream has finally come to fruition! Check out Jen's blog with their complete story here. Even though they don't speak the same language, I love how AnXiang and Kyle are "two peas in a pod" (in Jen's words):


I love happy endings (and beginnings!)!! Sending so much love to this incredible new family!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Born with a Broken Heart

My cousin David's band, David Wax Museum! They're based out of Boston, and they performed at a house concert at my cousin Beth's house in Denver tonight. David and Suz are two of the sweetest people I think I've ever met, and we all had a blast! This song is my favorite, and I LOVELOVELOVE the video! Simply put, despite the title, this song just makes me happy.

"Born With A Broken Heart" from Anthem Multimedia on Vimeo.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Onward!

Onward in so many ways. I am now back in school (just teacher stuff, kids show up next Wednesday) and K is back in daycare...with her first cold, it appears. She's only been back for two and a half days! Sheesh. I'm hoping it's just the sniffles. I'm feeling a little scratchy this morning, so it's off to find the Cold Eeze.

So far things have been going well in the new Toddler Room...she's had good days ever since we started this past Wednesday. She's been sleeping well on her cot, she's been eating fairly well, and she's already found toys she loves. I really think she enjoys playing with the other kids, and the outside toddler playground is *fabulous*. That's one of the best selling points of this daycare for me...wood chips all around and SO much great playground "equipment" sized just right for toddlers! The neighborhood parks don't even compare for someone her size. Oh, and I really like her new teachers...I wasn't so sure about one of them at first, but now I know what she's really like, and she's terrific.

I am off to Denver on Tuesday morning to pick up some...um...frozen genetic material! :) What's really great about my sperm bank is the fact that if I can show up in person with my own cooler plus dry ice, the handling fee is only $20. Shipping is over $100 more than that. I live less than an hour from Denver, so I think it's going to work really well. My sperm bank is actually located in Loveland, an hour and a half away, but they have a satellite office in Denver, which is SO much more convenient. I'll drive from Denver right back to my RE's office so they can put the little swimmers in their deep freeze until early September. I still have to get a little bit of bloodwork done, hopefully today at an outpatient lab, but everything else is done and ready for my next cycle. It may sound a little nonsensical, but I plan to buy the sperm only one vial at a time instead of buying several and storing them. This will be my last baby, so I see no reason to buy ahead...I don't want to have any leftovers, so I'm going to take it one cycle at a time. Plus, with daycare, I'm a girl on a budget! Fortunately our donor hasn't sold *any* units over the past month and a half, so there is still a good supply. I'm feeling cautiously optimistic about the whole endeavor.

K and I are off to Denver tonight with my aunt, uncle, and grandmother to see my cousin's band, David Wax Museum, give a house concert at my cousin Beth's house! I am beyond excited...David's band has been performing across the country and internationally to rave reviews, and I can't believe I get to see them play in my cousin's living room!! They're in Denver to film a music video, and my cousins offered to host this house concert--they jumped at the opportunity. I'll let you know how it goes. :) Can't wait!

Very sad news in SMCland...baby Finn and baby Carys have some challenges ahead of them, and their mamas are needing some serious support...my heart hurts for them. Please stop by and give them some love when you get a chance.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

First haircut!


The official "before" picture...I can't believe how long her hair had grown in the back!
(Does this count as a baby mullet?!)


"I'm not so sure about this, Mom..."


"Well, maybe it's okay, as long as I can watch this here TV..."



So far, so good!


"All done! Now get this pink cape offa me!"


The finished product, along with a little pink bow we got to pick out!


She wasn't keen on actually sitting in the car chair for the haircut itself (she sat on my lap instead), but once it was all over, she was fine with the photo op!


"So what's everyone else doing? And more importantly, can they see my little pink bow?!"


"I give this haircut experience five stars!"


"Mom, I really like this car thing! Can I drive us both home?"

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Eleven days. And counting, but trying not to...

Eleven days until I have to report [gulp] back to school for a brand-new school year! I must admit, as much as I've loved spending the summer with my girl--much like a SAHM's life would be, I imagine--I'm ready for more adult interaction! I do like the "break" that daycare provides for me, but it's still hard to be away from her for a full eight-plus hours per day. And there's just not that much time before and after school until she goes to bed. There are always the weekends, for sure, but it never quite feels like enough time together. And K is changing so much every single day!

She started walking full-time in early June, and now it's all about learning and saying new words. I started an official chronological list of the words she's started saying, and I hope I can keep up with it! She does babble all the time, and so much of it I don't understand, but more and more I am recognizing the words she is saying. She's starting to sign more, too, which is a lot of fun. I know that this school year will bring so many more dramatic changes as well.

I'm debating switching her daycare, though I don't have much time left in which to do so. She has a guaranteed spot at her daycare from last year, but I can't help wanting to investigate all my options. Thank goodness we're never locked in for the full year. If things don't "click", we can go elsewhere. I'm very nervous about her moving up to the toddler room...so many more expectations, I guess. Sometimes it seems like there just isn't much wiggle room for kids who don't necessarily follow the same routines as all the other kids. K still needs two naps per day, and I'm pretty sure they only make time for one daily nap. She'll be expected to be able to drink out of an open cup, which we're working on every day, and use a spoon, which she's getting better at. But I still consider her a fairly picky eater, and what happens when she decides she doesn't like what they're serving? Will she go hungry? I have no idea! I really need to stop by and talk with the toddler teachers, as well as have K spend at least a little time there so it won't be so new and possibly scary on her first day. Hard to believe I'm starting to think about preschool options...I swear she was just six months old a few weeks ago, lol. I'm sure it will all work out, but I'm still kinda nervous about all these changes.

Got my bloodwork results back from my RE, and things look really good. He sees no reason why I can't go forward with my plans. Good FSH levels, lots of follicles, all systems go. So my next DI will take place in early September. I have NO plans to say anything about this to anyone, friends or family, except one SMC friend who has twin boys, and she's been encouraging "round two" from the beginning. So we'll see what happens.

I'll leave you with a few pics of my parents' visit in early July...

Hangin' with Grandpa (gotta love that deer-in-the-headlights look!):

Monday, July 25, 2011

Auspicious!

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all.

~Emily Dickinson

This quote is framed in one of the ultrasound rooms at my RE's office. I sat there, as I waited for my RE, and wondered how many other women before me had gazed at the very same quote...and pondered. Did they feel hopeful? Did it make them feel sad? Did they feel inspired to keep going? I have to say, reading that quote made me smile. It made me feel as though whoever put the quote there was truly thinking about what it might be like for their patients. Yes, I did feel hopeful.

And it turns out that I might just have reason to feel hopeful. Even though we have no idea about the quality of my eggs, much to my surprise, I did show four or five follicles on the right side and seven to ten follicles on my left side. Seven to ten! During the cycle in which I conceived my sweet K, I apparently only had one follicle. So how was this possible? I even took Femara to boost things along. I love the analogy that my RE popped off with: "Well, as you know, just because you're yelling at your children doesn't mean they'll listen!" I'm a rookie at this ovulation stuff, but apparently the number of follicles can vary--or really vary--during each cycle. Oooookay. But my RE looked at me and grinned and said that so far, things look really good! I won't get the results back from my day-three bloodwork for several days yet, but as of right now, it's all systems go for T42. Still not sure whether a second child is a wise idea, but for right now anyway, I'm very excited about the possibilities...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

And so it begins...

I had a very positive appointment with my RE yesterday, and it's starting to feel real that I'm going to go forward with this three-month stint of "trying". The three months are early September, October, and November, and this is my (short) window because I really want to time a pregnancy for a summer delivery while I'm out of school. If it doesn't happen during those three months, I'll reevaluate and see what I want to do next. It's definitely not an all-or-nothing deal. When I conceived K, it was on my third medicated iui. So I think it's possible. A slim chance, but still possible.

So The Plan will involve Fem.ara, pre-insemination ultrasounds to check the state of my follicles, trigger shots, and something new this time: injectibles. He also mentioned that if I so desired, I *could* do another HSG test, which apparently does increase fertility for a short period of time. That may have helped my previous success, apparently. Plus my RE did mention that his office now has new payment plans for those of us paying cash. My insurance plan does cover all diagnostic treatment, but nothing related to the inseminations themselves. But I'm prepared for that reality. And it's kinda nice to know that my financial stress related to this "try" won't last much beyond November. It was interesting to find out that during the cycle in which I conceived K, I only had one good follicle. Which I guess I knew at the time, but to hear it again from my RE really drove it home. But it was a really good follicle, apparently. All it takes is one, right? Something else I'm considering is acupuncture. I have NO idea how to find a good acupuncturist here, since as far as I know, no one I know has ever had acupuncture. It's worth asking about, I suppose. Falls into the can't-hurt-might-help category.

One surprising detail my RE mentioned is the statistic that in women my age (41), 90 percent of their eggs are chromosomally abnormal. What a depressing statistic! And a little hard to believe, considering how many pregnancies in 40+-year-old women I've read about. Successful pregnancies that result in real live take-home babies. Maybe it's true, I don't know. My goal is to put that out of my mind (or attempt to do so, anyway) and give September through November my all. I've concluded that even though I still go back and forth about the wisdom of having a second child, I'm happy I'm going forward with this and at least giving another pregnancy a try. Even if it doesn't succeed. Maybe God has other plans for us. :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Weird dreams.

Last night I had the most vivid dream...and it wasn't the first time for this particular topic. I dreamt that I delivered my own baby after going into labor unexpectedly in my bedroom late at night. Yes, by myself, since no one else was around, and basically I had to do what I had to do. I've always believed that what I felt during a dream is the most important aspect of it all--in other words, what my subconscious is trying to tell me through the dream--and in this one, there was no fear, no pain, no panic whatsoever. I wound up holding this incredibly cute, incredibly tiny newborn girl (who didn't look anything like K, by the way) wrapped in a soft blanket. All I felt was absolute happiness and contentment that she was mine. I looked at her features more carefully, especially her eyes, and realized that I thought she had Down Syndrome, which suddenly and completely changed my mental picture of her future. I knew it would be okay, though*, and later it turned out that she didn't have Downs after all, I was mistaken. I remember feeling relieved.

Sometimes, after having had a vivid dream like this one (the specific details and feelings have stayed crisp in my mind all day), if I curl up in bed the next night in the same position I was in while I was dreaming, I can almost revisit the dream and recall it more clearly. Something about muscle memory, I guess. This is one of a recent series of dreams over the past few weeks about having a newborn that isn't K...and in these dreams I'm happy. Next week is my RE appointment, and even though I'm scared to death to actually make this all real by going through with it, I'm more at peace with the idea of a second child than I was before.

* I'm a huge fan of Kelle Hampton's blog, Enjoying the Small Things, and I read it on a regular basis. As a result, I now feel that it would truly be okay if I ever had a child with Downs, a blessing, even. Kelle is a true inspiration. If you've never checked out her blog, you should.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Terrified.

I did it.

I called my RE's office and made a consultation appointment for July 12th. A hard phone call to make, believe it or not.

And I'm seriously terrified. Maybe because now I know what a BFP actually means...and yet I have no idea what it would be like to be a mom to two sweet babies.

They have a new policy of charging a $100 deposit to all new patients since they've had so many no-shows and cancellations just an hour before...but fortunately, after I told her I wasn't a new patient, I wasn't charged. My iui's aren't covered by insurance, but I do get to pay a co-pay for the initial appointment. So the plan is to talk with the RE and figure out which hoops I have to jump through (again) in order to proceed.

All day yesterday (when I made the phone call) I was surprisingly happy, kind of an I-have-a-secret feeling, and perhaps feeling like it might just be the right decision. I felt actual excitement about proceeding. Like maybe I can do this.

And if nothing else, if it doesn't work, it's a way to prove to myself and to K that I gave a second sibling a full-fledged try. No regrets, you know? Time will tell. :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

The good, the bad, and the...really good.

The Good:

  • Small Good Thing #1: K and I ventured out to our local library tonight, and it's awesome! What a fabulous children's area. Her favorite part was being able to stand and play at a long, low table with tons of new-to-her toys. It was the first time she saw toy dinosaurs, that's for sure. She also loved doing puzzles with Mom and reading a few books together (lots of other things to see and do). But that was okay, since I checked out five good ones that I plan to return next Wednesday when we attend...Toddler Time! We just moved to this part of town in November, and truth be told, we just hadn't gotten around to checking it out yet. But now that K and I get to spend tons of time together this summer, it was the perfect opportunity. Personally, I love the fact that she might get the opportunity to spend at least a little time with other small people like she does during the school year at daycare. She met a three-year-old-ish boy named Cullen this evening who shared very nicely with her. Good times.
  • Small Good Thing #2: I was wanting to get rid of the really beat-up and useless grill in our backyard (back postage stamp) that had stayed there, unused, by the previous tenant for the entire two years she lived there. So I dragged the wretched thing (well, lifted it, actually) through the house and out the front door, and I put a "FREE" sign on it, hoping that someone, ANYone, would swing by and take it off my hands. And lo and behold, someone actually did! And the propane tank, too! No more nasty grill! Yes, I admit it, I did do a happy dance. Now if I can just get the grass seed to take...attempt number two.
  • Small Good Thing #3: I went to war with a particularly nasty computer virus, and I won! Or so it seems, anyway. I won't be overconfident about it, and now I know what to do should it rear its ugly head again. It was so insidious...it completely incapacitated my computer for two days, and I almost wasn't even able to boot up in safe mode, something I really needed to do in order to get rid of it. I was convinced I was gonna have to spend a bunch of money I didn't have to take it in somewhere and have someone look at it. It was one of these rogue FRAUDULENT! anti-virus programs called XP Sec.urity 2012, and it came complete with a firewall override, anti-virus override, and ability to very rapidly self-replicate before my eyes. Seriously nasty. So what I had to do was head over to my school and do an Internet search on how to get rid of it, and basically take copious notes. Which I did. And it worked! I'm still cleaning up the body parts strewn around my desk. So gross.
  • Small Good Thing #4: I've been eating a lot healthier lately. Lots of good protein, and yummy summer fruits and vegetables. Kinda proud of myself.
The Bad:

  • The really bad. My sister-in-law had a miscarriage last weekend. This was her first pregnancy, and she and my brother had known for about a month or so. She had seen her midwife, and possibly gotten an ultrasound already. After she miscarried, she apparently had a few more ultrasounds to confirm that the baby was gone. So heartbreaking for the two of them...I believe they had been trying for quite a while. My parents are sad too, of course. They received the good news about a month ago, and neither I nor my other brother even knew that Samantha was pregnant since apparently our brother wanted to tell us about it first, before my parents did. But neither of us had yet returned Ben's phone message, lousy sibs that we are. Samantha took the full week off from work, and both she and Ben are in my prayers for healing and peace and hope for another (successful) pregnancy. I feel quite sure that they'll be parents yet.
  • Still on the fence about whether or not to try for baby number two. But leaning strongly towards going for it.

The Really Good:

  • K saw her pediatric ophthalmologist, the Fabulous Dr. Lee, on Tuesday, and much to my surprise, not only will her prescription stay the same for the next SIX MONTHS!, but we also won't need to do any patching! For now, anyway. He did say that he can't guarantee that we won't have to patch ever, but I'm just so glad that we won't have to start patching anytime soon. Dr. Lee said he was very happy with how her glasses are helping her vision, her prescription is dead-on, and it's nothing but good that at this point, she doesn't need to patch and she doesn't need to have surgery. I'm still holding out hope that her farsightedness will improve as she grows...typically this is what happens with children's eyesight as the eyes mature, and she may end up only needing glasses for reading. Six months is longer than the typical next-appointment...no complaints here. And I'm super glad that I won't have to replace her basically-new lenses with a different prescription. I will need to invest in a (cute) back-up pair before school starts in August, but for now we're good with one pair of glasses. I need to post a pic of K in her new frames! I'll get right on that...AFTER I finish celebrating.

  • My cousin and her husband will be traveling to China in late August/early September to meet and take home their new 10-year-old daughter! They've been working on this adoption for literally years now, waiting far too long and working through all of the restrictions etcetera that China has seemed to arbitrarily set up for American adopting couples. I don't know all of the specifics, but I do know that the wait has been eternal. They just finished painting her room in her favorite color, green! Yes, I know that this news definitely ranks above the previous bullet, but you gotta remember, K is my absolute favorite person in the entire world, and the sun rises and sets with her. So there's that. So...please pray that Jen and Chris can maintain their stamina and bring their new daughter home to join their 10-year-old son, Kyle. I couldn't be more excited for them as they complete their family.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

These boots were made for walkin'

The past 48 hours have been absolutely magical! (Yeah, 'bout time I blogged about something other than Big Decision 2011.) Talk about rapid changes! K took her first steps on Mother's Day (May 8th), about three shaky steps into my outstretched arms. She's been cruising along the furniture since I-don't-know-when, and she's continued to do so. She'd take more steps towards me if I encouraged her to, but she was still pretty comfortable cruising around, holding onto something at all times. She loooooves her push toy that she pushes around all over the place. She got up to seven steps towards me about a week, week and a half ago, which was great. Little did I know her confidence would soar a mere week later!

A few days ago she started really working hard at standing up from all fours in the middle of the room, without anything to hold onto, and she's gotten so good at that! Her first attempts reminded me so strongly of a gymnast trying to stick the landing after a vault: knees bent, arms outstretched, trying so hard to balance without toppling over. And she's mostly conquered it! She still topples over now and then as she's trying so hard to stand up, but once she figured out how to stand up in the middle of the room, the logical next step (no pun intended) was to take steps forward without anything near her to hold onto! What really helped, much to my surprise, was taking out my large exercise ball, purportedly to start doing situps every night (yeah, riiiight). But she loves that ball, and she would pull herself up on it, push it away from her, and stand, balanced, with nowhere else to go but take steps towards the ball. That really seemed to be the turning point for her.

Over the last 48 hours she's been walking everywhere, toddling around like a drunk sailor. Still falling over, but she pops right back up again, ready to try again. Talk about teaching me some serious life lessons! No matter how many times you fall down, you just gotta get right back up again and give it another shot. The pride on her face and her ear-to-ear grin as she walks across the room warm my heart like nothing else. And she just goes as far as her little legs will carry her until she falls down, then she pops right back up again. Talk about magical days! I think school ended just in time, because I wouldn't have wanted to miss this for anything. The next week should be even more fun, as her confidence grows and she gets better and better at this walking gig. Now my job is to try to capture it on video and in photos. Thank goodness I found the charger for my camera's battery, which I'd been looking for for a while now. I will definitely post pictures as soon as I get a few good ones. (I'm not thrilled with the layout of the header for this blog, since my current favorite picture isn't oriented well for it. But we were on our way to the pool for the first time this season, and she just looked so cute sitting there! So much more a little girl rather than a baby.) This summer is off to an exciting start!!

Monday, June 6, 2011

What would I do without you?!

I'm not sure how I would have made it this far in my decision-making process without all of the incredibly helpful comments I've received...seriously, you choice moms are amazing, and I thank you from the bottom of my indecisive heart!!! Lara (This May Be a Dream Come True) is absolutely right that emotional support during this time is critical, and I have to say, except for you wonderful ladies, I don't really have the kind that I need. The kind of emotional supporters that I need tend to "get it" in the ways that my friends who are moms (friends with supportive partners) just don't. No fault of their own, only that they're not in the same position that choice moms are, so they don't know our unique challenges. Challenges, I suppose, that other single moms face, but many other single moms by circumstance still receive financial support, for example. I still have this feeling that because I am consciously choosing this path, I'm "asking for it", including "asking for" all of the challenges that come along with raising two children on my own. Why am I not content with one? People automatically understand that there is a "pull" for some women to become a mom, so they understand the strong desire to follow this path and have A child. But I succeeded in having my child, so that should be enough, right? I achieved that goal. Why do I want to make my life that much harder by having two? Which is one of the questions I keep asking myself. THANK YOU ALL for listening to my waffling and for commenting with such thoughtful, caring, thought-provoking comments. Seriously, thank you. Your comments mean more and are helping far more than you know.

Extra-special thanks goes out to Navigating the Rapids (we'll barrel through this decision-making process together, somehow) who seems to be at the same place as I am. It is SO helpful to know that I am not the only person at this crossroads. Extra-special thanks also goes out to Lara at This May Be a Dream Come True, who is my hero because she's doing--and making it look easy--exactly what I would like to try to do: raising two vibrant, healthy, happy boys (in my case, though, one of them is a girl!) who do keep her on her toes! I love ALL of your comments, and they've been so helpful! Huge thanks also go out to Meg, Genkicat, MeAndBaby, hopefulcc, Shannon and SingularDesire for your thoughtful comments!! I admit it--I'm a bad, terrible, no-good commenter (I do comment in my head all the time, but obviously that doesn't count!!) so I especially appreciate the fact that you DO comment even though I don't reciprocate very well. I know I can do better, and I need to make more effort to do so. Please don't give up on me! I am SOO grateful that you all are out there, listening to me ramble, and helping me through this crazy journey of figuring it all out!!!

Hopeful

Well, I did it. I called our sperm bank today. I was really curious about the status of K's donor, and I wanted to see what they could tell me regarding how many units there are left, what I would need to do to purchase units again, and so on. As I was already aware, K's donor is no longer making donations. As of today he has 33 units left, and there doesn't seem to be that much demand. He's been around for a long time now. But as the woman who answered the phone told me, you never can tell...someone could easily come along and purchase ten units. She suggested checking in every few months to see how many units there still were. When I mentioned that I was thinking about starting up again as soon as August, she said she thought I had nothing to worry about. So I have to download and fill out four forms, including one that needs to be signed by my RE. Which means...I need to make that appointment with my RE, and soon.

So yeah, as this post seems to indicate, I guess I'm back to wanting to go forward with number two, or at least give him/her a fair try. A lot of the time I still have this sick feeling in my stomach, wondering whether I'm making the right decision, wondering whether I might have regrets after I become pregnant. What if I do achieve pregnancy a second time and then figure out, after the fact, I can only handle/afford/manage life with one child and not two? Half of me is beyond excited to envision another baby and the other half is still questioning whether it's the right thing to do.

I spent some time last night searching out daycare options just to see what else is out there...one of the best results of my search was discovering another large church-based daycare center in my town that offers preschool starting at age two and a half, for a VERY reasonable cost, more than $50 less per week than our current daycare. That's, like, next school year (after the upcoming one), right after I would deliver this prospective baby. So I guess I'm back to thinking that the daycare behemoth is--gasp--almost doable. If I were to have K attend this other daycare as soon as next year, it would be $10 less per week than where she goes now, which to me is not much of a difference. I did reserve a spot for her for next year at our current daycare for a $90 deposit. Sure beats paying each week throughout the summer, something so many of the home-based daycares demand. I'm left thinking that there are options out there that might just work for us.

Sometimes I wish I had a partner just so I could have someone to help me make this difficult decision!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

WaffleGirl

Yes. WaffleGirl, that's me.

Now (this week, anyway) I find myself thinking that maybe it's best for me to try to be content with my one amazing girl and not try for number two. I've been thinking lately about how much more stressful life will be, most likely worrying about making ends meet for three of us each month. Paying for daycare for two is probably my biggest fear right now. I still don't feel entirely comfortable with the idea of a home-based daycare, yet I doubt I'll be able to afford two children at the daycare center K currently attends. Both children would receive a 10% discount off of their tuition, but still, that's not very much. Originally I was told that K's tuition would go down each year she was there, but now I've been told by the director that since tuition goes up each year (cost of living increase?!) , it would actually stay the same next year. Which is fine for next year, but in my mind I was counting on paying a little less. Disappointing.

Other concerns include paying co-pays for both kids when they're sick...definitely a concern considering how much K and I were sick this year. I only get a small number of days off per school year, so most likely another child equals having to take more days off. This year I ran out of days, which decreased my paycheck this month since I ended up taking one or two days without pay. I'm also having a hard time imagining getting two small kids and myself out the door each morning. It's not my biggest worry, but it's in there nonetheless. There are a ton of pregnancy concerns as well--affording copays for the OB, caring for K while I'm potentially sick, exhausted, not feeling well, etc., the potential of bedrest, and even my mental state during pregnancy while trying to be the best mom to K that I can. I had a hard time emotionally during my last pregnancy. Basically nine months of PMS. NOT looking forward to that, and how would it affect the way I interact with K? I'm having a hard time imagining what it would be like to have to divide my attention between two children. Would each child get enough attention, and feel loved enough? Not to mention the realities of sibling rivalry, competing for attention, fighting, and so forth and so on... Is it worth it in the end? Is it worth all the stress over finances? Is it worth changing the dynamics of my little family by adding another family member? These are the questions I struggle with.

I really wanted a sibling for K so she wouldn't feel quite so alone in having such a special, unique conception/birth story. I always pictured us as a family of three. I wanted her to have that special relationship with her sibling, and someone to play with. I'm really torn as far as whether I want to go through the whole pregnancy and birth experience again. I felt so relieved once I got past the 12-week mark in pregnancy, then into the second trimester, and then finally the third trimester...I'm still so painfully aware of how much a successful pregnancy is a gamble. Anything can go wrong at any time, all the way through. And just because you get to 40 weeks, it doesn't guarantee you a living baby at the end. Do I really want to go through all that fear again?? And then once your baby is here, there's the risk of SIDS...every month older that K became, I felt that much more relieved that the SIDS risk was lower. Would I really do it all again? I have no idea. I know this post makes me sound like an absolute scaredy cat, but I know I'm not the only single mother--or mother, period--who's had these thoughts and fears.

I could postpone trying again for another year, but it's a huge risk that my donor won't be available one year from this August. If I do decide to store his sperm for a future child, how many vials do I purchase and store? What if I change my mind in the meantime? What if by chance it took on the first try, and I spent all this money on extra vials that I won't end up using? I really don't know which path I'm going to take. A lot more soul searching is in my near future, I guess. I can much more easily envision a life with just K and me going along like we have been than I can envision adding another child to the mix. Things are good for us right now. Things are comfortable for us financially. I can afford to buy nice things for her. Do I really want to screw all that up? Perhaps the reality of me having no partner and no extra income from him will absolutely determine that I can only have one child. It sucks, but maybe that's the reality for us. It kinda breaks my heart. In my heart I really do want to have another child, but I'm not sure the risks outweigh the (massive) benefits. Any thoughts would really be appreciated...thank you in advance.