Monday, December 29, 2008

IUI#2, Cycle day 20--Semen Analysis results

The nurse called with our numbers today. A little worse than last time.

Count: 28 million

Motility: 41% rapid, 21% slow Total: 62%

Morphology-Normal 0%, Slightly abnormal 6%

Overall, not too great. It is still possible of course, but we doubt it. Especially since my PMS symptoms have started. :( It sucks.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

IUI #2, Cycle day 15

I'm back!

Our IUI went really well. As we were leaving, I felt some ovulation pains! I am thinking that we couldn't have timed everything better!

We are busy today with wrapping and stuff.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

IUI #2, Cycle day 14--Oh my goodness!!!


So, God really was listening!!!


I decided to keep on testing just to be sure that I didn't see a positive OPK. And I got one today!!!!! Here is a picture! :) This is just perfect news!


Our IUI is scheduled for tomorrow morning at 9:00am!


YAY!! I am so thrilled and in shock!! :)


Let's make a Christmas baby!

Monday, December 22, 2008

IUI#2- Cycle day 13--IUI cancelled

So my prayers weren't answered (go figure).

This morning I got a high reading on my monitor again (which is fine). However my OPK was even lighter than yesterday, which means that I missed the ovulation surge. Must have happened sometime last night.

So this means that my monitor won't ever show a peak reading. Which I expected because I knew that the Clomid would mess with it. However, it also means that we will not be doing an IUI this month because we missed the positive OPK.

I'm pretty depressed about it. I took the Clomid for nothing.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Remembering Noel




Isn't that amazing? I wrote to a woman that has a blog set up to remember our lost little ones. She lives in Australia and goes out at sunset to write their names in the sand.


I cried when I saw it. We are going to print out an 8x10 and hang it on our wall. http://namesinthesand.blogspot.com/2008/12/noel.html Here is the actual blog post.

IUI#2, Cycle day 12

Still reading high on the monitor. I got a negative OPK, but it looks close to being positive. Crap. I just know that tomorrow morning is going to be the day. UGH! If we can make it through tomorrow then we are homefree. But if we can't, well then our IUI this month will be cancelled. Feeling really crappy today.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I heart nursing




19 months and still going strong!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

IUI #2, Cycle day 10

So after consulting my monitor's manual, I decided to get some ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) to "assist". I am just worried that the Clomid will cause my monitor to freak out and I won't get an accurate date. By using the OPKs and the monitor, hopefully I can be really precise about this. Overkill? Um...yeah.

OPKs are pretty basic. It is either positive or negative. This morning I was still on high fertility and had a negative OPK.

Last night, I actually prayed that I would ovulate on Christmas Eve. Can you imagine someone praying for their egg to pop out at a certain time?! Like God has nothing better to do than to ensure that my egg is released. What, with poverty and famine the world over, I am sitting here praying for ovulation. Insane? Um...yeah. Pathetic? Um...probably.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

IUI #2, Cycle day 9--Last Clomid and High Fertility

Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. I got a high reading on my monitor today. One step closer to peak and one step closer to this entire cycle going up in flames. Ugh. I can NOT ovulate before the 24th or on the 25th. I just can't. And a high reading now makes me suspect that I will be getting a peak reading soon.

Basically the only good thing about today is the fact that I took my last Clomid this morning. Glad that part is over. Now hopefully I begin to feel like my old self again soon.

Edit: I consulted my fertility monitor's manual and it says that if I am taking Clomid, I may see a high reading earlier than what I would expect because of the high estrogen levels. It also said that I may see more days of a high reading because of this. I am really hoping that is the case!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

IUI #2, Cycle day 8--Fourth Clomid and Low Fertility

Fourth day of Clomid today! Almost there. Last night I was feeling really crummy. Started crying for no reason and then got really depressed. I hate feeling like that. Anyway, tomorrow is my last day of Clomid. Hopefully the effects disappear soon after I stop taking it. I think that my milk supply is doing ok so far. Nathan hasn't really complained.

My monitor also prompted me to test this morning and I got a low fertility reading. Exactly what I would expect at this time in my cycle.

Mentally, I am doing ok. I am sorta starting to panic about the ovulation timing with the holidays and Brandon's job. I am just hoping that everything works out ok.

In other news, I called my midwife and set up a pre-conception appointment! It is January 7th at 9:30. I am really looking forward to that. Gives me a chance to talk about all this and really dicuss my future pregnancy and birthing plans. I'm excited. :)

Now, if only I could get this headache to go away...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

IUI #2, Cycle day 7--Third Clomid

So, I really hate this stuff. I feel so jittery and shaky. I just feel really crappy. I can't wait until I don't have to take this anymore.

Monday, December 15, 2008

IUI #2, Cycle day 6--Second Clomid

2 down, 3 to go.

Overall, I am feeling ok. Had lots of hot flashes last night. That wasn't fun at all because I would wake up an hour later freezing because I kicked off the blankets. I am also having some breast pain. Hopefully that lets up soon. My milk supply is still just fine. Nathan is enjoying the extra nursing sessions. :)

I can't wait until this part is over.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

IUI #2, Cycle day 5--First Clomid

Today is the first day of taking Clomid. I didn't realize that I would be so nervous about it.

Since the arrival of Nathan, it is no secret that I am a much more natural person. I have changed a lot. I am more hesitant to put things into my body now. I like being natural and not taking drugs. And now, here I am. Putting something chemical in my body, yet again.

The side effects of Clomid include: enlargement of the ovaries, hot flashes, pelvic pain, nausea, vomiting, breast pains, headaches, mood swings, etc.

In addition, I will probably have some loss of my milk supply. Some women do and some women don't. I am hoping that I am one of the women that don't. I am doing all I can to maitain it. Nursing lots, drinking insane amounts of water, taking some fenugreek, and hoping for the best. Regardless, I am sure that Nathan will keep right on nursing. I don't think it matters to him if there is milk or not. :) He likes the bonding time.

So here it goes, one down, four to go.

Friday, December 12, 2008

In memory of...

Noel. Today was your due date, my darling. You would be two years old today.

I love you so much.

Letter to my nineteen month old boy...

Dear Nathan,

December is here! This is one of my favorite months. I love being all cozy in the house and looking at our Christmas tree. I am looking forward to the holidays this year. I can't wait to give you your gifts on Christmas morning.

All in all, not much has changed since last month. You are still a really rowdy toddler! You love climbing and throwing things. You love playing with the dog on the floor. You have learned one new trick. You can scoot the chairs over the table and climb up there! You really scare me when you do that! You are up so high and I'm nervous that you will fall down. It has happened a couple of times and it is not so much fun. You cry and cry and then go right back to it! You are still really cranky most of the time. You have a lot of teeth coming in now and you are really in pain. Every night around bedtime you just start crying. It makes us so sad to hear you upset. I am really hoping that these teeth come in quickly. I can't figure out exactly how many you have coming in because you won't let me look in there. My last count was 6, but it could be more. Poor little guy. I do want to tell you that you have been such a great support to me this past month. Mama and Daddy are trying to have a little brother or sister for you, and it isn't going so well right now. Mama is upset and cries a lot and you always comfort me. You know when I am feeling sad and you try to make it all better. My little hero.

I love you so much Nathan. You mean the world to me. You always have. And you always will.

Love,

Mama

Thursday, December 11, 2008

IUI #2, Cycle day 2--Ultrasound update.

Everything went just fine this morning. I did have a small cyst on my left ovary, but they are assuming that it is just from where I ovulated last month.

I got my prescription filled and I start taking the Clomid on Sunday, December 14th. I take that for 5 days then just call when I see a "peak" reading on my monitor.

All in all, very similar to last month, except adding Clomid in the mix.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

No time to sulk...

One of the bad things (of the many) about infertility is that the moment your period arrives, you really don't have time to sulk and be sad about it. Because it is the start of a new cycle and plans and decisions need to be made.

I have to tell the office by 4:00 pm today if we want to do another cycle this month. This time, Dr. B wants us to use Clomid. I will talk more about Clomid later, but basically it is a fertility drug that increases the number of eggs produced. I will be like a freaking hen house over here...

Anyway, the only downside to doing a cycle this month is the timing. It has to be very, very precise. I can not ovulate on December 23rd (or before) because Brandon can NOT take off any more days this year. I can not ovulate on December 25th because Dr. B's office is closed. Basically that leaves me Christmas Eve. Eek. Talk about pressure. Christmas Eve is CD 14 for me so IF I follow my pattern I will ovulate on that day. However, Murphy's law (and the fact that this kind of crap ALWAYS happens to me) tells me that I am going to pop out those eggs on Christmas Day. Ugh.

I don't really know what to do. The thing with Clomid is, that I have to have one ultrasound (costing $180) on CD2 to make sure that I have no cysts on my ovaries.

So, worst case scenario: We go ahead with the cycle, then I end up ovulating on Christmas Day. Well then we would just try the "old fashioned" way and possibly be out the $180.

Thankfully, Clomid isn't that expensive. It is on the $4-9 list at all the pharmacies.

I think that we are probably going to go for it. So, I ovulate on Christmas, big deal. We don't do the IUI, but we have two or three eggs to shoot for.

Wish us luck....my ultrasound is scheduled for tomorrow morning at 10:00. I will update after that.

11

I am nothing if not predictable....

Cycle number 11 has arrived. It sucks. I knew it was coming and it still sucks. Not really sure about the plan for this month. We may be doing another IUI cycle because Brandon has two weeks off work around Christmas time. This way he wouldn't have to take off work at all. I left a message for Dr. B asking if we should be trying some Clomid or something. Clomid is a pill that works to increase the number of eggs that are released, thus giving us more "targets" to shoot for. We will see what he says about that.

All in all, it is a pretty craptastic day.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I had a great night last night!

So I have been feeling really down the past couple of days because of the IUI cycle and the fact that it didn't work this time. Last night was my monthly homebirth support group meeting and I wasn't sure that I was really up to going. I mean, it is hard to be around pregnant women and brand new babies. But I decided that I really did want to go. It was the "Meet a midwife" day and I was super excited to see my "future" midwife. I had met her a couple of times before during the meetings and I just love her. Out of all the midwives there, we had such a great connection and I instantly felt close to her.

Anyway, so last night we had a really great group and a nice dynamic. We were able to talk about homebirthing and why we were choosing that path. The midwives answered all sorts of questions and really did a great job of presenting their practices to the group. "My" midwife was really sweet, answered all the questions that I had, and made me so excited to have our next baby.

So eventually, the topic changed from our future birth wishes to our birthing past. Several of us had really traumatic experiences in the hospital setting. It was so nice to be able to talk about Nathan's birth in a safe place and really process through what happened to me. By the end of it, we were all crying. I just really finally started to grieve for what was lost in Nathan's birth. I lost my confidence as a mother and a woman that day, and it was so helpful to be able to talk about that. No one said "but the most important thing is a healthy baby." I often hear that when I talk about Nathan's birth. And while the health of the baby is so important, my mental and physical health is also very important too.

My midwife came over and gave me a big hug. She said that I have something great in store for me. She asked me to go ahead and set up a pre-conception appointment so that we could get to know each other better and so that I could meet the other midwife in her practice. I just really love her. She is so calm and such a bright presence. I am just really looking forward to having our next baby at home. I just can't wait!

Someday soon, I will post Nathan's birth story here. It is long and drawn out and really emotional for me. Maybe I will be ready to share it with the world soon.

Friday, December 5, 2008

IUI #1, Cycle day 23

Thought I would just give an update. Well not really an update per se, as I have no major news or anything.

I am currently 9 DPO/ Post IUI. Overall I am feeling pretty crappy. I am positive that this month was not successful. :( I just have this feeling and I know now to honor that. 7PDO and 8 DPO I had some cramping, which is slightly unusual for me because I normally don't cramp until I start my period. The cramping went away, but I am now getting some strong PMS signs. :( I won't go into details here, but suffice it to say, that I am sure that this month wasn't the month for us.

It sucks. Basically I am feeling really sad, angry, hurt, disappointed, and every emotion in between. Brandon says to not give up hope, but I know my body. It's just really hard. I hate that we have to go through this. I am trying to remain positive for future cycles, because we got such great semen analysis numbers, but at the same time, it hit me. If we can't get pregnant with the best numbers that we have ever had, then what makes me think that we could possibly get pregnant this way at all?

Blah...obviously I have around 5 more days until I will know for certain, but I am slowly trying to tell everyone not to expect good news.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Nathan and Lucy


Nathan and Lucy really are best buddies. She is so good to him. Here he is laying on the dog while watching Seseme Street. :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

IUI #1, Cycle day 20: Semen Analysis Results!

Ok, so I am freaking out right now!!!

The nurse called with our count numbers from IUI day!

Post wash:

count: 48 million (this is really really great)

motility: 28% rapid, 44% slow Total motility: 72%!! (this is awesome!, they want it above 50%).

morphology: 4% 4% (slightly abnormal)!!!!!!! That is freaking awesome for us! We have never seen a number above 0-1%

Dr. B said that he is confident in this numbers. Even if I don't get pregnant this cycle, with numbers like these, IUIs will most likely be successful for us. I am on cloud 9 right now. Even if this isn't the month, I know that this will work in the future!!!!!!!! I can't believe it! Granted, these numbers aren't a guarantee for next time, but we now know how long to abstain before IUI day. :)

Monday, December 1, 2008

The waiting game

I can't believe that December is here. November went by really quickly!

Although I am sure that the next week is going to go sooooo slow. I am currently 5DPO (days post ovulation/IUI) and it seems like time has suddenly stopped.

I will know a week from today if our IUI was successful. But sadly, I am already preparing myself for failure. My lovely PMS symptoms are starting to appear and it makes me so sad. I always have a stuffy nose (don't ask me why) before a new cycle begins and last night I could hardly breathe! I have also noticed that I am really moody. I snapped at Brandon this morning for no good reason. My face also breaks out before a new cycle. I don't have that yet, but I know that it is coming.

It just makes me so sad, that we have to go through this. It is really just not fair. :( And I know what you are thinking. You are thinking "Man, she is being so pessimistic! It is impossible to know what will happen." I know, I know. The sad thing about infertility is that it draws all the optimism out of those who have to go through it. I have to mentally prepare myself for disappointment because I want to protect myself from being surprised. Don't get me wrong though, a tiny voice in the back of my head is still hoping that this is the month. Because without hope, why do we even go through this?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

My two sweeties...

This was taken a couple of weeks ago, but I realized that I never posted it. I love this picture of the two of them. So sweet. Makes my heart smile.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Have a wonderful day everyone! Enjoy the time you spend with your families!

I am so thankful for:
Brandon and Nathan- We have such a strong love between us. They light up my whole world.
My mom- She is so amazing. I don't know what I would do without her.
My family- We are loud and crazy sometimes, but I am so thankful that I have them in my life.
Our house- It is so nice to have a place to call our own. I love waking up here each day. I am looking forward to decorating for Christmas tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

IUI #1, Cycle Day 14, IUI update

We are back!

Everything went just great. No problems and very smooth.

Nurse said that the initial counts looked good. Although we won't know the actual numbers until Monday because they take a couple of days to count up. But she did say that they wouldn't do the IUI if they didn't think that the counts were good enough. So that is good news. Anyway, I am resting on the couch today. Hanging out at home, my mom is watching Nathan and is going to bring him back this afternoon. Brandon went in to work for a couple of hours but he is bringing back some Mexican food tonight. He was really sweet in the IUI room. Held on to my belly and said "Let's make a baby!" It was nice to have him there with me and holding my hand.

Several people have asked me if an IUI hurts. Not really no. They place a speculum, similar to a pap smear. I felt a slight pinching when the catheter passed through my cervix and some mild cramping afterwards. Now I feel normal.

So we will know in 12-14 days! :)

IUI #1, Cycle Day 14, IUI today!

Well we are off to have our IUI! :) I'm feeling really good this morning. Ready to get the show on the road. I will update when I get back.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

IUI #1, Cycle day 13

I got a peak reading on my monitor this morning!! So I have been on the phone for an hour trying to coordinate schedules. Had to call hubby, my mom, and the fertility office. Back and forth...

Anyway, Brandon's appointment is tomorrow at 9:30 and mine is at 11:00. They have to have time to wash and prepare the sperm so that is why there is a gap in timing.

Hopefully, everything goes well. My mom is keeping Nathan tomorrow. And I plan on resting the rest of the day. Dr. B doen't really require bedrest per se but I figure that it can't hurt. Don't want the little swimmers to be caught in gravity and fall out. Am I paranoid? Um...yeah.

The timing actually isn't what we were hoping for as Brandon will have to take off work to be there. But, it is what it is.

So tomorrow is the big day! I'm excited and nervous. Feeling good some moments and not so good the next.

I will update after our appointment tomorrow. Wish us luck!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

IUI #1, Cycle Day 11

I got a high reading on my monitor today. One step closer to peak! It set in this morning that this is actually happening. I'm really excited but so nervous at the same time.

In a moment of panic, I almost thought about not doing the IUI this month. I'm scared about having another child. How on Earth could I possibly love another child as much as I love Nathan? Would that child not mean as much to me as he does? How can I divide my love and time between two? The love I have for Nathan is like nothing I have ever felt before. Will I be able to experience that same feeling again?

I was told by my mom that it is a common fear that all mothers have. She said that no matter how many children you have you love them all. Hearts just keep growing. :) That made me feel a little better, so for now, the panic has subsided and we are all set to go!

Some months I have two/three days of high before a peak reading and some months I have six/seven days of high before a peak reading. It just all depends. :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

IUI #1, Cycle Day 9

My monitor prompted me to test this morning. And today is CD9 and I am at Low fertility. Exactly what I would expect at this time in my cycle. If you aren't sure what I mean by monitor. I will explain. I use a Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor.


This little contraption is genius. It detects rises in TWO hormones during the menstrual cycle. Luteinizing hormone and estrogen. Estrogen increases the closer that a woman gets to ovulation. When a high level of estrogen is detected the monitor will switch from saying "low" to "high" fertility. LH increases when ovulation is imminent. When a high level of LH is detected, the monitor will switch from "high" to "peak" fertility. When I see peak fertility, I will call the office and have my IUI the next day.


The monitor also has a built-in computer. It keeps track of your cycles over months or years and will prompt you to test whenever it thinks that you are getting close. For example, earlier on in my monitor usage, it had me test on CD7. Now that it knows that I am a late ovulator, it waits until CD 9 to have me start testing.


The monitor is kinda pricey, however, worth it! It takes all the guesswork out of the equation. No more going blind from trying to read ovulation sticks. :) Plus it lasts forever! I have been using this since we were trying to get pregnant the first time.

Granted, I pretty much know when I am ovulating anyway. I am a pro at this, afterall. I feel a twinge and know that I just popped out an egg. When you have been trying a long time, you just learn to look for these things. :) However, the monitor is nice because we really have to be precise in our TTC efforts. It is comforting to have outside assurance.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Going back to work, for real this time!

So I have talked about going back to work in some past posts. But nothing has really called to me, and no position really fit my needs.

Before I had Nathan, I worked as a RN at a freestanding birth center (I say freestanding because some hospitals are calling their OB units 'birth centers' and it can get confusing). Anyway, this place is basically like an old house that midwives have converted into a birthing center. It is a really nice place and I loved working there. I was actually the head RN there and really enjoyed my job. The one drawback to working there was the fact that toward the end (and one of the main reasons that I stopped working there) I started to disagree with one of the midwives. We just had a lot of friction between us and I would have handled some clients a little differently. Incidentally, she was also my midwife and the person that was present at Nathan's birth. So that had a lot to do with it. If you aren't aware, my birth with Nathan was very traumatic for me and one of the main reasons that I will never step foot in a hospital to give birth again. Anyway, so we didn't really get along well. However, I loved the other midwives in the practice. They were and are amazing women and I really enjoy working with them. I loved the office ladies. Super cool and easy going.

Well, low and behold, last week. The office manager, who I absolutely adore, called and said that the midwife that I had issues with has decided to leave the practice. The office manager asks me if I would be willing to come back! And of course, I said yes!

Being a birthing center, the hours will be very sporadic. I will "take call" on the weekends. And if someone happens to go into labor on my call shift, I will go in. The great thing about this is that I can still be a SAHM through the week. I don't have to give up time spent with Nathan. And if I do need to go in, Brandon will be here with Nathan, so we don't have to worry about any sort of day care situation.

It is also great because I love working with laboring mamas and their families. I love making sure that they get the birth that they have dreamed of. I love seeing babies come into this world naturally and the way that they are meant to arrive. I love the spirit in the birthing rooms. So calm and peaceful, yet so full of love and life force.

So I am pretty excited about going back. The office manager sent me some tax paperwork and I got that all filled out. I should start taking call in December!

Monday, November 17, 2008

So this is love...a story of a feminist who happens to be a romantic


My blog title "So this is love" comes from the movie Cinderella. Cheesy, right? Yeah, yeah, read on....


So Cinderella had a rough go of it. She was stuck in this house with three hags who ran her life. Poor Cindy. Left alone by her dad and now nothing but a maid (Granted a blonde, super-skinny maid with freakishly small feet, but I digress.) So the feminist in me thinks that Cindy should have pulled herself up by her bootstraps, got the hell out of there, put herself through college, and moved on. I mean, why on Earth was she just waiting around for a proverbial prince to come and take her away? What kind of message does this send young girls? That they need some man or even just someone else in general to save them. But the romantic in me, still cries every time I see that movie.

So Cindy and I have nothing in common. I'm a brunette with "more to love" for one thing. ("More to love" is my code name for plump.) I am not generally sweet or good-natured, as I can be downright sarcastic. I wasn't really oppressed growing up. I had what I now call, the "typical American" upbringing. Sure, we had lots of money issues and my parents divorced and remarried, thus bringing on the explosion of siblings. But honestly, who doesn't have a story like this anymore? I mean, the divorce rate in this country is out of control, but there I go on a tangent again. Anyhoo, my childhood was ok. Thankfully, I had an amazing Mama who is my best friend and generally the coolest person I know. And as a bonus, she never forced me to clean the cinders.

So in the beginning of the movie I always feel so sorry for Cinderella. I mean, clearly all the oppression has caused the poor girl to go nutso. She is talking to birds and mice and must be on some sort of mood elevator because no one can be that happy all the time. Anyway, the part that always brings me to tears isn't the end of the movie when we know that happily ever after has arrived. It is the part when she goes to the ball and has met the love of her life. Her world changes in an instant and her view of it is somehow even rosier than before. She sings that song, "So this is love". She never knew love like that existed and it chokes me up every time.

So where do my two sides meet? On one hand I am a feminist in that Cindy should do for herself and be her own person. But on the other, I am a romantic who adores Cindy's happiness over her prince.

For anyone that has known me for awhile, you know that I had never met my romantic side before I met Brandon. The feminist in me laughed at Cindy and her stupidity. Then, as cliche as it may sound, Brandon turned on the light switch and overnight, the romantic in me set up camp. How else would the raging feminist turn into a housewife? As a side note, Bitch and Animal have a song called "Feminist housewives" and it rules.

So this is love

So this is love, Mmmmmm
So this is love
So this is what makes life divine
I'm all aglow, Mmmmmm
And now I know
The key to all heaven is mine
My heart has wings, Mmmmmm
And I can fly
I'll touch every star in the sky
So this is the miracle that I've been dreaming of
MmmmmmMmmmmm
So this is love

Friday, November 14, 2008

The verdict

Well, we are going to go for it!

I realized that it is my fear of the unknown that made me hesitate. And fear is never a good reason not to do anything.

I think that my cycle was long this month for a reason. I think that it was meant to work out that way so that we could go ahead and get started.

So away we go!

CD 2 today. The plan is to call when I see a peak reading on my monitor. Then the very next day I go in for my IUI. We are going tonight to pick up some more test strips for my monitor and some more prenatal vitamins, just in case.

Tick, tock

So I have to let Dr. B's office know by today at 12. They like to know on cycle day 1 or 2 if an IUI needs to be planned.

Brandon and I talked about it all last night.

Something is holding me back. My gut is telling me that it isn't my time yet. And the last time I didn't listen to my gut, it was the biggest mistake of my life. But why is my gut telling me that? It seems weird. Or is it my gut at all? Is it my fear talking?


If it doesn't work:

-Then we will know that several cycles are going to be needed.

-I could lose my faith in the fact that I could actually get pregnant this way.

-Will it dampen my spririt for the Christmas holidays? I'm not sure. Part of me isn't even expecting it to work. Is that the right attitude to have?! No. Although, I can't be too positive because I would crush me if it weren't successful.

-Will it make me regret not waiting until January?

-Will it make me dread January and trying another cycle?

-Will I scold myself for being impatient? Probably. This is how I work. :)



If it does work:

-I can deal with having an August baby. I can deal with being big and pregnant in the heat. We can add another holiday to my birthday and our anniversary month.

-Can I let go of the vision of a winter baby? Probably. I would be pregnant on the Christmas holiday. I remember that time with Nathan. It was so special.



As you can see there are a lot of things going through my head right now. It kept me up last night (go figure) and it helps to write all my thoughts down. I will let you know what I decide. Brandon gave me the go ahead to make the call. However I was feeling today is what I should go with, he said. Thankfully, he is on board either way.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Talk me into it...

Brandon is trying to talk me into doing an IUI cycle this month!!! Eek...

We orginally wanted to wait until January mainly because we didn't want to have to deal with the holidays and organizing my cycle around it. Well, with my long cycle this month, it puts me ovulating after Thanksgiving.

Pros:
- This actually times out perfectly. Brandon wouldn't have to take a day off work because most likely I would ovulate that weekend after Thanksgiving (if I continue to go along the same rate I have been).
-Allows us to go ahead and get started.

Cons:
-Can I get myself in the right frame of mind in the next 14 days?! Seems so sudden. But then again, we have been trying for 9 cycles, so what are we waiting for?!
-If this cycle is successful, I would be due in late August. I have always envisioned a winter baby this time around, but as Brandon put it, "beggers can't be choosers." LOL! And air-conditioning is a wonderful invention!

Ugh. Can't decide.

10

Cycle 10 has begun. Ugh. I just don't know why we even bother anymore?! Why don't we just save our sanity and not try until we do our IUIs. I mean, clearly, what we are doing isn't working. As you can see I am a tad bitter this morning. Had a really long 34 day cycle last month. Overall feeling really craptastic.

Such a short blog post. Oh well. These posts about my cycle are more for my record keeping anyway.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Letter to my eighteen month old boy....

Dear Nathan,

November is here and today you are 18 months old!!! A year and a half has gone by so quickly. It seems like just last week was your birthday party! You are just growing up so fast, I see parts of the sweet little baby changing into the fun toddler every day.

You are around 32 inches tall and 27lbs. You are so active and rambunctious. You love to climb. You have learned to pull your car over to the table so that you can climb up. You really enjoy climbing up to the light switches. You think that it is hilarious too see the lights go on and off. You are a very picky eater. Sometimes you like certain foods and the other days you don't. You throw anything that you don't like. It can get pretty messy around here. Thankfully, you are still nursing! 18 months was Mama's original goal and we made it! I am so happy that I could do this for you! Something new this month is your use of a fork. You have really mastered that skill and you now prefer the fork over using your hands. You haven't quite figured out the spoon just yet. Now that colder weather has arrived, you are beginning to go stir-crazy from being in the house. You really love being outside and it is hard to tell you that we can't go. We have been doing other things like going to the KidsZone here in town. It has bounce houses that you really like. You love to jump around and fall down. You still aren't very verbal with us yet. You are constantly talking in your own language and you get frustrated when we don't understand you. You really understand us though. We say "Let's go get Lucy!" and you run back to her crate. We say "Are you thirsty?" and you run over to the fridge. I can't wait until you can tell us what you are wanting. Hopefully soon. Speaking of Lucy, you love her. You have some of your best moments of the day playing with her. You crack up every time she chases you around. This past month was Halloween. You went trick-or-treating for the first time! You were a punk rocker. So cute!

I can't believe that you are 1 and a half! We have such a good time together, you and me. I love playing with you during the day. I love watching you learn new things and be a rough and tumble boy. You are such a cool kid!

Love You,

Mama

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Honey!

This is me....eating all your yummy cake because you are gone!! :) Love you so much! --PB

Monday, November 10, 2008

Looks like we made it...


In two days, I will have been nursing Nathan for 18 months. When he was first born, I set lots of short-term goals and one long-term goal for our breastfeeding journey. My first small goal was 6 weeks because that is the time that "they" say that nursing gets a lot easier. Those first six weeks were filled with ups and downs. I had sore nipples and there was definitely a learning curve for both of us. Thankfully, we didn't have any major issues and we made it to six weeks. My next short-term goal was 6 months. 6 months was the time that I could begin solids and I knew that nursing would get easier after that. 6 months came and went and Nathan preferred nursing to solids anyway. My next goal was 1 year. I felt that if I gave my child a year of breastmilk I would be setting him up with the healthiest start possible. And we made it to one year easily.


Through all of that, my long-term goal has been 18 months. Babies and toddlers rarely wean themselves before the age of 18 months. Nursing strikes are common but can usually be resolved with patience and persistence. True gradual self-weaning normally happens between the ages of 18 months and 4 years. I knew that I would not be ok with him weaning before the age of 18 months. So my goal has been a year and a half of nursing. AND WE DID IT!!!!


Thankfully I have really enjoyed our nursing relationship over this time. I have really grown as a person and am much more confident in my mothering abilities. I just feel amazing that I did it. I pushed past the sore nipples, latch issues, teething, all-night nurse-a-thons, nursing through illness and injury, a nursing strike, nursing in public and the dirty looks from not-so-nice people, educating family and friends about why I was nursing this long, etc. The list goes on.


But I am not wonder-woman. I don't deserve a medal or any recognition at all for this. I am a mother. And this is what mothers do. I'm happy today because I could do this. I had the support that I needed from my husband. I had the support I needed from my family. The picture above is the platinum symbol for nursing for 18 months.


And I did it. Because I was so dedicated to this. I put my heart and soul into this and I did it. I can do anything! This feeling of strength and confidence is so amazing.


And for those wondering...My next and last goal is 2 years. If we make it to two years, then awesome! But if he decides to wean himself over the next 6 months, then I will still be proud.


Feel free to leave comments about nursing your little ones...best moments, biggest triumphs. Or if you don't want to post, just think about your nursing relationship today. Even if it lasted a few days, look back on that with fond memories. :)

Happy nursing to all! :)

Friday, November 7, 2008

It is a sad, sad day


Last summer, I was really trying to build up my freezer supply of breastmilk so that I could leave Nathan with a bottle of pumped milk. Little did I know then that my darling boy wanted nothing to do with a bottle. We kept trying and trying, but he would rather wait for Mama to return than use one!

So I had all this milk in my freezer. I worked really hard to get this. I can only pump around 1-2 oz at a time. So I had to pump multiple times a day just to fill one bag.


And now the time has come to throw it all away. :( I never thought that it would be this sad to see it go. This is liquid gold. I so wish that I would have found someone to donate this too before it "expired". Now this beautiful stuff is just going to get thrown out. :( Next time I have a child, I hope to be able to donate this a baby in need.


Sniff...sniff...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I loathe/ detest/ hate

Daylight Savings time. The person that thought this idea up should be publically scorned.

Since the grand arrival of this trickery with time, Nathan has been getting up at 6:30. Why me?!! That was the one great thing about this child's sleep pattern! He could stay in bed until around 8:30 and I would get that little extra sleep. But Noooooooooo, now Mr. Coley Pants (what I call him for some reason) decides that the sun is up so he should be too!

Grrrrrrrr....

Not to mention the fact that this crap isn't saving us any daylight??!!! It gets pitch-black dark ardound 5:30 now!! 5:30?!!! Are they freaking serious?!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Our appointment update

This will most likely be a long post. I apologize in advance but I want to talk about everything so...

The Buildup:

Well, I was extremely nervous going in. I have no idea why I was so nervous, I mean, we already know what we are up against. Anyway, I was super snappy with Brandon in the car. Sorry honey!

So we go in, and all those old feelings rush back in. It felt like we were back at square one again. I didn't like that feeling! Thankfully I brought a book to read to keep my mind occupied. A woman came in and I knew right away that she was an IVF-er. She just had that frazzled look about her. She goes up to the window and I hear her make an appointment for her pregnancy test. I silently wished her luck. Hope that it is positive.

It begins:

So back to us. I hear our name called and Dr. B is there to greet us. He gives me a great big hug and says how much he missed us and how good it is to see us. I seriously love that man. As we are walking back to the room he says "So I had to search for your chart, our administrator had it, so that as soon as we get a RN opening, you will be the first one to call." Then he said "So are you ready to go again?!"

We sit down and he asks about Nathan. Looks at a picture and marvels at how big he has gotten. Then he gets down to business.

Asks me first if I have been having normal cycles. I tell him that I got my period back at two months postpartum and have been ovulating very regularly since then. I tell him I was still breastfeeding and he says "Great!" Again, I love that man.

The Results:

Next up was Brandon's semen analysis results. I hear Brandon start to breathe heavy.

Results:
Count: 136 million ***This is an excellent number!! Dr. B wants to see this count above 40 million. So clearly Brandon is in the excellent range!

Motility: 50% motile ***Dr. B wants it above 50. So we are fine in that aspect.

Morphology (Brandon's issue): 1% normally shaped. ***Obviously not great, but exactly what we were expecting.

Overall the results were very reassuring. Brandon's issues are clearly not getting worse. In fact, his count and motility have improved over the results from 2 years ago.

The discussion:

We discussed the fact that we would not be doing IVF again. We stated our reasons as somewhat financial in nature, but also the fact that we didn't really want to go through it again. We told him that we were very lucky last time because our cycle really didn't go that well on paper. Dr. B agreed and said that Nathan was meant to be here. That got me a little teary. Thankfully Dr. B is used to that from me. :)

So we brought up the fact that IUI seems like it will be a good option for us. And Dr. B agreed!! He said that looking at our analysis results and the fact that Brandon had such high numbers allows us to believe that IUI will be successful. He remarked that 1% of 136 million is 1.36 million. That is more than enough good sperm. We only need one.

He really is optimistic about our chances. He said that he wouldn't do it, if he didn't have faith.

The plan:

He basically said that we can choose to begin whenever we want. We agreed to wait until after the Christmas holidays so that we can travel to see family without worry. So January will be our first cycle. He knows that I am healthy and have a very stable cycle, so we will NOT be using fertility medications right away. He wants us to call when I see a peak reading on my monitor. The following day, we will come in to the office and have our IUI. It is that simple. He wants to help us keep our cost down and avoid unnecessary testing and appointments. Have I mentioned how much I love Dr. B?!

If our first couple cycles aren't successful, we will re-evaluate our plan and decide if I should begin taking some fertility medications to increase the number of eggs that I produce to increase our odds at success.

Overall:

I feel really good. I feel like this our best chances at having another child. Dr. B is very positive. Hugged me on our way out and made me feel so at peace with it.

So, in January, we will begin! I hope that you all with join me on that journey. I am looking forward to enjoying Christmas with Nathan and my family. Then we can focus on expanding that family.

The day is finally here...

Today at 3:00 is our appointment with our fertility specialist! I am feeling nervous and excited this morning.

My last minute thoughts of panic have set in. Am I really ready for another child? I can hardly handle the one I have now when he is in his tantrumy (is that a word?) mood. How would I take care of a newborn and a toddler?! Etc....etc...

Those are just my usual moments of panic. I have those all the time.

I am really nervous about Brandon's semen analysis results. We aren't expecting them to improve. What we are hoping for is consistency. We are hoping that his results are along the same lines as his results two years ago. Consistency in the numbers means that his morphology issue is not degenerative (doesn't get worse over time). So that is what we are hoping for today.

I will be sure to post after my appointment.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Tears of Joy...

Barack Obama is our new President. Words cannot describe my happiness. I am just overcome with joy. This is such a healing moment for our country. I am so proud to be an American today. I have never been prouder. I just am sitting here balling like a baby because I wanted this so badly. I worked for it, volunteered for the campaign and I truly believed that it could happen. Coming from someone who was a Hilary supported, I believe in Barack Obama. I believe in the USA.

I just saw a shot of Reverend Jesse Jackson crying. This is so amazing.

McCain is on now: Almost feel sad for the guy....almost. At least he is being kind. He is being polite and honest. It is nice. Although his supporters could have used a lesson in manners.

The beauty of this is, is that it was a landslide. America is ready for change.

I can't believe Indiana is too close to call!! WOW! :)

As an aside, I understand that McCain supporters are sad. I would be sad had my candidate not won. Hoping that you all find peace in this historical moment.

Rock the vote!!!


Today is the day! At last! Don't forget to vote today! No matter who you are voting for, your vote counts.
Plans for today:
-Playdate with a Republican mom. Not sure how this one will go today!
-Vote!
-I will not be watching TV at all today. I do not want to see anything on the election. Frankly, my nerves can't take it! I am mentally preparing myself for McCain to win. Only because I have to prepare myself for the absolute worst. But in my heart, I feel like Obama just might do it! What a glorious moment in history that will be. I am just happy to be apart of it! GO OBAMA!!
-I will also not be checking my usual boards today. I post on several boards with other moms but I will not be looking at those at all. Can't handle the nerves. Although I may not be returning to one of those boards. I just didn't agree with some posts there and find it hard to be associated with it. :(
Anyhoo, so Mandie is in her own little world today. Watching movies with Nathan and avoiding the news.
GO OBAMA!!!!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Pictures from Halloween!

Nathan was technically a "punk rocker" this Halloween! We tried to go for a mohawk but Nathan got a tad cranky with all the hair stuff. Not to mention that it was super windy out and his hair wouldn't hold up. So we went with two ponytails instead. Punky bruster meets pirate meets punk rocker. :)
My favorite part of the outfit!

So cute!


He really hates having his picture taken! But here is the whole outfit.



Ready to go trick-or-treating! We used the hood of his car to hold the candy! The candy was more for Brandon and I, but Nathan had a lot of fun!


And we're off!


We went trick-or-treating with my brothers and my mom. They went as Pirate football players! Mom and I were dressed for the game that night.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Back in time

Visiting Dr. B's office today was seriously like a time-warp. We went in for Brandon's semen analysis today. Nathan and I hung out outside because we didn't want to take a child in there. I would always get really depressed when I used to go in there for fertility appointments and there would be children in there. It was kinda like a punch to the gut. So out of respect for the current patients Nathan and I waited outside in the lobby of the building (there are numerous doctor's offices in one building). Anyway, as Nathan and I were waiting, it seemed so surreal. I mean, here I was, watching my toddler run around while sitting outside of the place where he was conceived. I remember that I used to sit in that waiting room and imagine what it would be like to have a child. Hoping and dreaming that someday I could 'graduate' from this place.

As I watched the couples and women walk in and out of the office doors, I felt myself feeling so sorry for them. I knew that place that they are in. I was there once too. It really sucks to be in a office waiting room like that. Everyone is there for the same reason and everyone else knows it. It kinda feels like an invasion of privacy. You catch yourself looking and each person that walks in and wondering what they are "in for" that day. Would they be getting bloodwork and an ultrasound? Were they here to find out if they were finally pregnant? Or were they first-timers and just beginning on their journey to parenthood? Whatever the reason, in the waiting room you could always feel a sense of solidarity. You were all in this fight together.

So as I waiting just outside this waiting room where I spent so much of my time, I wondered if I was truly ready to go through it all again? Could I handle the ups and downs? Could I handle the disappointment and pain? And at that moment Nathan came running over, giggling, and smiling. And I knew that I could handle anything, as long as this was my reward.

We find out the results of the semen analysis on Wednesday at our appointment.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!


I feel much better, whew...I had that running through my mind all night last night! Anyhoo, Happy Halloween!
Isn't this pumpkin cool?! I found it here. We did a pumpkin as well, however I couldn't get a good picture of it. :)

It is in my head and I have to get it out.

I removed this post. But I will leave this here. EQUAL RIGHTS FOR EVERYONE!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sleep Max-PM, How I love thee...

Seriously, I am in love with this stuff! It really works!! It is completely natural, so no drugs! It contains Chamomile, Valerian Root, and Melatonin (1.5 mg). It also has some Calcium and Magnesium.

Last night went really well. I feel asleep quickly. Nathan woke up a lot, but I was able to fall right back asleep. Feeling really good this morning.

I am still going to make an appointment with the doctor to ask him about if I have a melatonin deficiency or not. I have so many of the symptoms, so I am wondering if this has been my problem since I was little.

Here are the symptoms of melatonin deficiency. I have starred the ones that I have.

insomnia**
difficulty getting to sleep**
difficulty falling back to sleep when awaken during the night**
light sleeper/easy waking during the night** I am a serious light sleeper.
early morning awakening**
un-refreshing sleep**
lack of dreaming** Hard to dream when you don't get sleep.
family history of insomnia**
personal or family history of breast cancer**My aunt
personal or family history of prostate cancer
prostate enlargement
fatigue**
depression** I struggled with this a lot in high school and college.
irregular menstrual cycle
unusual menstrual flow (light or heavy)
PMS**Just ask Brandon
scoliosis
poor sleeping prior to menses** My insomnia gets worse before my cycle.
anxiety** I have really bad anxiety and panic attacks.
sensitivity to stress**
cataracts
neurodegerative disorder (MS, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, ALS, etc)
elevated cholesterol
high blood pressure
blood clots
heart attack
heart arrhythmias** Noticed this in college. Diagnosed with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia

So I have 16 out of 27. That is 60%. And most of the ones that I don't have are related to older individuals. Melatonin deficiency is common in later life.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sleepy time


This was me last night------->


My herb and supplement combination finally worked. I am kinda in shock this morning. Granted it wasn't as fast as it could have been, but I will take a couple hours over 4-5! It made me drowsy, but alert for Nathan. It was nice. I felt ok when I woke up this morning. In fact, I could have slept for a few more hours. I hope that it wasn't a fluke! I am going to try again tonight.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Herbal/ natural remedies for sleep

Um, I've tried them all. :( And none of them work for me.

I've tried:
Rescue Remedy for sleep
Valerian Root
Calm's Forte
Magnesium
Honey
And different combinations of all the above.

I honestly think that it is a physical problem as well as a mental one. I spoke with an herbalist today and he said that Melatonin (around 1 mg) is safe for breastfeeding moms. I am going to try that tonight. Hopefully I will have good news to report. If this doesn't help me, I am going to call tomorrow and make an appointment with my doctor (you know it's serious if I am willing to seek medical help). Hopefully he can recommend a course of treatment or refer me to a specialist. Tired of being tired and going to finally do something about it.

Wish me luck with the Melatonin. :)

Friday, October 24, 2008

My sweet hubby...


...brought me flowers today! In pretty fall colors.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bumper stickers!

Here are the bumper stickers I am ordering!! This one is basically to promote intactivism in the circ-happy midwest. If you would like more information on my stance on circumcision, please read this post by me. If one person sees this and wonders what I mean by it, then goes home and does some research, then it will all be worth it! Or maybe one mama, who like me, regrets doing this to her son, and she saves her future sons from it. Or a man, who had this done as a child and he can reach out to help himself or others. I am trying to turn my severe guilt and regret into something worthwhile. I am really trying to save others from this heartache.
I love this one! I think it really gets people to think about it. I mean why is the human species using another mammal's milk?! --Insert normal disclaimer here about how I really do understand when a small percentage of women cannot breastfeed and I am sorry for their loss of that relationship. I am saving this one. When I finally do get pregnant and begin planning my homebirth, I will slap this one on there. Can't wait for that!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Night, night...


Nathan is saying "night, night" now! It is adorable! I say "Nathan it is time to go night, night." And he says it right back and runs over to the bed. Cutie, cute, cute!


In other nighttime news, I am really not sleeping well. Thinking about just going back to some Benadryl or something....am I a failure or what?! I just wish I didn't have to deal with this. I really think that the root of the problem lies in the fact that I am honestly a night owl. I would prefer to stay up late and get up late. But alas, the cutie pie mentioned previously makes that impossible.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Some hope...

Brandon and I are feeling really great about our new fertility plan. See a couple posts down for more details.

We are feeling better about choosing to do IUI rather than IVF. And it all comes from reading a blog from an infertility doctor. He really puts things into perspective and makes us feel like we are really making the right choice. Most of the following comes from his blog. My comments are in bold.

Why IUI?

During intercourse, 1% of the sperm make it to the uterus, and another 1% make it to the tube; the place fertilization takes place. So most of the sperm doesn’t make it. Some get stuck, some die, some get lost (we’ve all heard jokes about that). In a fertile couple a small number of sperm in the tube is all that’s needed. By doing insemination (intrauterine insemination that is), we are playing a numbers game. More sperm are getting to the tube, so if one doesn’t do it, maybe the next one will.

This makes a lot of sense for us. Brandon has a great count and motility rates. The shape aren't great but that doesn't mean that they can't penetrate the egg (see below). Our issue (I think) is that the 1% that do make it aren't the greatest quality. But if we increase the number of sperm that actually make it to the uterus our odds of a good quality sperm making it are higher.

If we have a man with good counts, good motility and low morphology, we do not recommend IVF with ICSI. We will treat him as if there is not a problem (because we don’t think there is one) and allow the couple to do insemination. If they do go on to IVF, we do not perform ICSI, and the eggs fertilize just fine. Of course, we would not follow this plan if the counts or motility were very low. And we at times have exceptions. Other clinics do things differently. Sometimes its because other places have found that they need to do ICSI to get good fertilization rates in their patients with low morphology. I can’t speak for the techniques of other offices, but you should know things are done differently in different places. As with all of my entries, don’t change any of your treatment plans without speaking to your doctor first.

The Sperm morphology myth

This week I saw a couple who were told the reason they were not getting pregnant was “bad morphology”. The sperm, they were told, could not penetrate the egg because of the abnormal shape of the sperm. Because of this, they would need to go directly to in vitro fertilization with ICSI. This was in spite of the fact that they were young, had normal hormone levels and open tubes (sound familiar??!).

I’ll tell you what I told them.When we test sperm (the semen analysis) we look at a few different parameters. First is the volume, which should be 2cc or higher (Brandon's is perfect). Second is the count. This is the number of sperm per cc, so it’s technically a measure of the sperm concentration. This should be 20 million per cc or higher. The average is around 35 million (Brandon's was above that). Next is the motility: the percentage of sperm moving. Should be 50%, most normal samples are not much higher (Brandon's was normal) . And then there is the morphology: the percentage of sperm normally shaped. This should be 14% or higher. The average is 2-6%, but why? The original guidelines for sperm parameters, from the WHO, stated normal morphology should be 30%. Then about 20 years ago, Dr. Kruger came out and said we really need to be looking more carefully at sperm shapes. If we are really careful we will see that there are more abnormal sperm than we think, and the cutoff should be 14%. He called his classification "strict criteria". He also said that by being more careful we could better identify the men who are infertile due to badly shaped sperm. This all sounded well so the andrologists (the people who do your sperm test) started looking harder, and harder, and harder. They now deduct for every sperm that does not look perfect. So over the past 20 years, the andrologists have been getting pickier and pickier, and now a man is lucky if his morphology is over 5%, and almost everyone is less than 14%.Obviously this has all gone too far. We are telling almost all men that their sperm is abnormal, and that just can’t be. The fact is we do not know what a normal sperm looks like.

So all in all, IUI is not an unreasonable option for us! Feeling much better about it! 17 days until our appointment with Dr. B. And Brandon goes in on November 1st to do another semen analysis (11:00-reminder to me). So we will know more about what we are dealing with then! :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Nathan's first haircut!

A before picture of the front. Taken a couple weeks ago.
A before picture of the back.
Getting ready for the haircut! We tried to sit him in a booster seat but he wasn't having it! Grandma ended up holding him.
Here he is saying "Pick me up, please."
First snips!
After picture of the front! So cute! He looks so much older now. I cried. :(
After picture of the back.

We took my little brothers and Nathan to Chuck E. Cheese afterwards.
Hello?!

Such a little ham!
He had fun with this game.


Playing back at home. A good side-view of his hair.
He has learned to open the gates.
Getting so tall!
Can I come in, Mom?
All in all it went well. Nathan did great and didn't cry at all. I cried mostly because it was just sad to see him looking so grown-up. But it is done now and I think he looks cute. Can't wait for Brandon to see it!



Sunday, October 12, 2008

Letter to my seventeen month old boy..

Dear Nathan,

October has arrived! Nights are slowly getting cooler. The days are still warm though. October is one of my favorite times of year. Leaves are just starting to change. Such pretty colors already!

You are such a toddler now! You have learned to climb on everything! You are now able to climb on the couch by yourself. You climb from the couch to the table to scare Mama! You love being outside. We go to the park a lot and you enjoy going down the slides. You love it when Mama pushes you in the swing. You have learned to say "cookie". Although it comes out as "cook". It is cute. You go to the pantry and scream "cook". Speaking of screaming, you are truly testing our patience lately. Anything that you don't like, you scream your head off. Crying and throwing yourself on the ground happens at least 100 times a day. This week it has multiplied by a million because you are teething. You are getting three or four of your back molars in. Very stressful around here. I love you all the same though! On to more positive things, you really like spending time with Grandma! You light up when she walks through the door. You are so sweet. Halloween is coming up! We probably won't go trick or treating because you really don't understand that process yet. We have decided to have you go as a "punk rocker". Mama got you a cool shirt and we are going to put your hair in a mohawk! Speaking of hair, Mama and Grandma are taking you to get it cut this week! I am really nervous but I realized that it is probably time. It is getting in your eyes and you hate for Mama to fix it.

And so sweet boy, you are almost one and a half! Where does the time go?! We are looking forward to spending the holidays with you this year. And even though you are throwing yet another tantrum as I type this, I still love you with all my being.

Hugs and kisses,

Mama

Saturday, October 11, 2008

9

Cycle 9 is upon us. Overall feeling kinda crappy about it today. But it will all be ok.

We have a plan. We have a plan. We have a plan. I just keep repeating that to myself over and over. It helps.

Thanks for all your support!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Our (ever-changing) fertility plan...

It seems as though we change our path every couple of months. I promise that we aren't indecisive! It just seems that way...

Brandon and I sat down a couple of nights ago and really took a hard look at our current and future financial status. While I won't really go into details here, we are finally to a point where we are able to save a little money and pay our current bills. The problem is, we have accrued some debt. We both have student loans to pay off. We have the loan for our first IVF cycle that we have to pay. We have a brand new mortage and a couple of credit cards from awhile ago. Thankfully, we own both of our cars but to be honest they are both getting older (sorry to say it Betty!---Betty is my car's name--don't laugh!). So we aren't sure about whether or not they will hold out. We have a son that we need to start saving for college for. And as new homeowners, we really have to save for repairs that could spring up on our house.

So we finally got realistic with ourselves. There is no IVF in our future. It is a hard pill to swallow and obviously we are upset about it. The way that we are going now, it will take years and years for us to save up that much money (and handle everything mentioned above). And while you are probably thinking, why doesn't she just go back to work?! While that is a good idea, we both agreed that we wouldn't sacrifice the way we want to raise our first child in order to have a second. It isn't fair to Nathan. He deserves to have his mother at home with him. And I do plan on going back to work eventually, but I am sure by then we will have more bills (like new car loans) so it will all even out. Granted we could just wait until we do have the money. But when Brandon and I picture our family, we really want our children spaced closer than that. We want to be able to do things as a family and having an 8 year old and a newborn just isn't practical for us. And you are probably thinking, well just deal with it, if you want another child that bad! Well, while that line of thinking is nice, we just aren't willing to sacrifice our hopes and dreams yet.

So after much discussion, we have decided to meet with Dr. B (our fertility doctor) to discuss our options with IUI. If you aren't sure what IUI is, click here. The basic jist is that Brandon's sperm is washed and the best ones are picked out. They are then placed back at the top of my uterus so that they are closer to the egg. I may or may not be on some super-ovulation meds to up the number of eggs I release. Dr. B will tell us all about that.

So I took the brave step and called his office this morning. That was like a time-warp (I still have the number in my phone). We are now on a waitlist for a Saturday appointment because Brandon can't take off any time right now. Other than that, we will have to wait until January to see him due to Brandon's schedule. Ugh...or we could see him at the end of December at his other office (2 hours away). I will have to talk to Brandon about it when he calls for lunch. I may have to go the the appointment alone and report back. ****Edit- Our appointment is for November 5th at 3:00pm!!! :) Brandon said that he could take a half-day off work to go! Not nearly as far away as I thought.

Anyway, there you have it. The new plan. We aren't talking about what will happen if the IUIs don't work. We will cross that bridge when we come to it.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Fun at the Park

Mama's little cutie pie!
He loves swinging!

Vrooom.
He wasn't quite sure about the merry-go-round.

Daddy being silly.
He loves the slides!


Happy boy!


The geese are out of control there!
So pretty. This is where we buried Noel.
We had a nice day at the park. :)