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.

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
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
poor sleeping prior to menses** My insomnia gets worse before my cycle.
anxiety** I have really bad anxiety and panic attacks.
sensitivity to stress**
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
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 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.

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,


Saturday, October 11, 2008


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!

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. :)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sleep update

Or lackthereof...

It is NOT going well folks. At. All. I have never been so tired in my life. For the past four nights I have had 4 hours or less of broken sleep. No matter how tired I am, I lie awake until 3 or 4 in the morning. It is awful. Clearly the magnesium and honey aren't working.

I am going to try to order another herb that is "supposed" to help with sleep. I will give that a really good effort. But after that, I am going to make an appointment with The Sleep Center in Indy. I honestly think that something is wrong. I, clearly, don't know what that may be, but humans are not supposed to be like this.

I will update after getting the "magic" herb.