Happy New Year!

I hope this year is as good to us as 2013 was.  I feel so lucky to be where I am.  We are moving from our cute little old city house to a cute little old suburb house.  We are going to be living in such a fantastic neighborhood, the houses are all full of character, and in a great school district.  When we moved into our current house, having children and the concept of school districts for our potential children wasn’t a real concern.  Five years later, it matters.  So off we go.  In the process of moving, everything’s been packed for a month or so, especially books, and C’s baby book.  So I thought I’d post a little update here, before I delete the note by accident.

(Baby C is 7 months old as of December 23rd.  Here’s a loose list of milestones I’ve been keeping track of on my phone for the last couple months)

October- starts rolling really well  (5 months)

November 10th- officially a supported sitter, and 1st real tooth on bottom left

November 23rd- 1st real bite of banana chunk (not pureed)

Also November 23rd-ish- As of her 6 month checkup, we began CIO.  After 2 months of exasperation at bedtime- literally nothing we tried would consistently get her down, the doctor said it was time, and we were finally on board. (We had tried at 4 months and it failed miserably, I wasn’t ready and neither was the baby.)  I put her on a real feeding (bottle and food) schedule for myself and my sitter to follow everyday, and it made such a huge difference.  Even over a month later, she still cries about 75% of the time she goes down, but it doesn’t last, and we finally have some consistency in our lives.  Also, at her 6 month checkup she was 22 lbs and 27 inches long!  Off the charts for weight, and 90%ile for height.  No joke, she is a huge baby.  She’s as big (or bigger) than most of my friends kids who are a little over 1 year old, and she’s the youngest by far. Oh boy.  I also stop nursing around this time completely and stick with bottles. 

December 4th- sitting up totally independently.  Can lean over on 1 arm and maneuver well.  Also, her 2nd bottom right tooth coming through. She loves pears, sweet potatoes, bananas, and apples.  Still no consonant sounds being produced with any consistency.  Around December 7th, speech begins to sound more conversational, with more prosody and less simple high pitched squeals.  Occasional consonant sounds emerge, “hi” is heard.

December 11th- Very efficient hands only “Lieutenant Dan” crawl.  And she pulled herself up from sitting to standing at a big armchair all by herself- in the same day!  Truly amazing.

December 14th- Pulls herself to standing in the crib while holding the railing- trouble!

December 16th- real crawling, arms and legs moving.  That didn’t take long for her to figure out.

December 23rd (7 months old)- observe that she’s making lip smacking sounds and chewing motion, really moving the jaw up and down.  So we introduce “Puffs” to her.  At first she chokes a little bit but within a couple days she’s mashing them with her 2 little bottom teeth no problem.  I start to give her small banana chunks more often too, in addition to her stage 2 purees and cereal.

Christmas-  Tries real mashed up hash browns at Christmas brunch! She loves to climb. She climbs on me and my husband.  Climbs on the coffee and side tables all day long.  She let’s go fearlessly and plops to her butt.  She also stands on the outside of her bouncer and plays with the toys.  Talk about a great abdominal workout!  She’s really building up those stabilizer muscles.

January 1st- Lets go and stands unsupported for about 5 seconds before plopping to her butt!  Also, as we were standing at her bouncer she looked at me and said “OhYeahh”.  Ha!  My husband and I freaked. Does that count as her first word?!

And that’s what we have witnessed so far…  We are still eagerly awaiting those “mama dada’s”, but for now we can’t believe our eyes.  We got together with my husband’s friends a few days ago, and of the 6 guys, there’s 8 babies between the ages of 6 months and 2.  And our little lady seems really advanced for her age.  She’s doing the things our friend’s 15 month old is still working on.  It’s unreal.  I feel so lucky.  We joked that she’s superior because she’s a genetically-modified, high-tech IVF baby.  😉

Happy New Year everyone!

 

 

 

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4 months old

Is anybody still out there?  I haven’t blogged in ages but I’ve been lurking, still popping on every once in awhile to read and catch up on everyone’s lives. 

We’re in the 5th month with our wonderful IVF baby and so far, so good.  There have definitely been some difficulties and adjustments, but we’re learning as we go. 

Baby C is about 4.5 months old, and just about 19 lbs, comfortably wearing 9 month clothes.  She’s off the charts in weight and head circumference and at 95th percentile for height.  Needless to say she loves to eat.  I’m still nursing when I’m home, pumping when I’m at work, and she does get mostly formula on the 3 days a week I go to work.  She hated it at first, and it’s still not her favorite, but she’ll take it. 

At her 4 month checkup a couple weeks ago the doctor suggested we try rice cereal.  That’s been interesting.  The spoon makes her gag, she makes a lot of faces, and she might swallow about 1/10th of a baby spoon’s worth in the whole process.  It still doesn’t seem like she’s quite interested yet, so we aren’t pushing it.  Maybe we’ll try it again in a couple weeks.

The biggest crisis we’ve had in the last month has been with bedtime.  At just about 4 months old, she was still going to bed when we did, around 11, nursing, and being put in her rock n play sleeper in our room.  Then suddenly, she decided not to sleep anymore.  After a few nights of her staying up and crying until 2 am, we were getting pretty desperate.  Then at her 4 month checkup, the doctor said she should really be in her own room by this age, and her bassinet wasn’t working anymore, so we thought we’d give the crib a shot. 

We tried a bedtime routine: take a bath, nurse, go down in the crib.  The doc gave us an article with some guidelines, basically saying the baby should be put down to bed while drowsy, but not totally asleep.  We decided to try this new routine the night of her appointment.  What a rookie mistake.  She’d received her 4 month shots that day, and while she seemed fine during the day, it was not the best time to introduce something totally foreign.  We let her cry it out for about 30 minutes, going in every 5 minutes to soothe her.  She was getting increasingly sweaty and upset (and so was I).  Finally she made herself spit up, I heard her gagging, and I ran in there to pick her up.  We took her temperature and she had a fever of 103!  Called the doctor, talked to an on-call nurse who said to give her some baby Tylenol, and monitor it.  Fortunately she was knocked out, the fever subsided, and we let her sleep in our room that night. I still haven’t recovered from the guilt.  Her first fever and we let her cry! WTF. 

A couple more unsuccessful nights of letting her kinda cry it out, and I had had it.  Several of my friends swear by the method, but my baby appeared traumatized, and so was I.  I’m sure a few nights of letting her cry for 30 minutes to an hour didn’t cause any long-term psychological damage (hopefully), but it was awful, and it did not work for us.

So, we’ve switched to a more gentle way of doing things.  Starting at 9:30, I take her to my bed to nurse, like she’s used to.  She usually falls asleep, and once she’s out, I carry her to her room and plop her in her crib.  Sometimes she wakes up and cries, and wants a few more minutes with the boobs, but now she’ll even fall asleep in the crib even if she wakes up.  She stares longingly at her baby Einstein aquarium, I rub her belly, and she drifts off to sleep, for the most part.  We also bought a D’ohm white noise machine at Buy Buy Baby, which has been amazing.  This baby loves her white noise. 

As far as her demeanor and personality, she is a delight.  She is all smiles and happy babbles from the minute she wakes up, until she goes to sleep.  She is so aware and alert; her head is on a swivel.   She isn’t rolling over, which she should be by this point, but she’s close.  The doc said she might just be too big.  She practically does sit-ups on her own, and her legs are so strong.  This week, she discovered her feet at her changing table, and has successfully gotten them into her mouth.  Everything goes in the mouth.  She grasps with both hands and in it goes.  I’m also losing hair in chunks, which can all be found in her sticky little hands.  She’s had some big belly laughs this week, and starting sticking out her tongue in imitation of her weird parents.  She’s amazing. 

That’s all for now.  I’ll try not to disappear for such long stretches. XOXO. 

 

Appreciation for my new life

I’m feeling very appreciative this morning.  

I just read a couple articles and blogs that I was linked to through PAIL bloggers, about the effect of infertility on men when MFI is a factor.  It brought me back to the dark emotions that took over my life in February 2012.  I still remember the voicemail from my RE when he said not to start taking my Femara prescription, as my husband’s sperm was a factor, and “actually quite poor”.  We were in such disbelief.  Everything changed. 

But here I am now, only 16 months later, staring at my baby girl in her lamby Fisher-Price swing.  She is perfect.  I can’t even believe how lucky we are to have a baby, let alone a healthy baby, let alone a gorgeous baby.  It’s hard to believe the despair I was feeling just last year at this time.  Not knowing if we’d ever get to experience this.  

Often I feel somewhat removed from the pain of infertility.  I am so grateful to have her, but now I’m just like any new mom: overwhelmed, overtired, wondering if I’ll ever have a social life again, wondering how I’m going to shower that day.  I don’t think about the lengths we went to get here.  I’m just living minute to minute, trying to keep her fed, healthy, and happy.  

Then there are times like today when I am reminded of the pain.  And my eyes well up with happy and sad tears, and I’m extra grateful.  And I hope I always remember.  It makes the sleepless nights a little easier, it makes me stare at her a little longer, and give her a few extra dozen kisses a day.  Our road to this wasn’t an easy one.  

I dread having to go through IVF again.  I dread the needles, and the anxiety, and the fear. But I’m lucky in that I know it can work.  I know that I just as easily could have been someone who had to endure round after round of IVF, or a miscarriage, or something worse.  

And when I look at her sweet little face, I know I can go through it again.  And I’ll be okay.  

12dp2dt- Beta Day

Today was the day.  I woke up, tried to keep it together after last night’s massive spotting scare, and went in to the docs.  

I know I wrote about my spotting in the early evening, but as the night went on it got worse for a couple hours, it was bright pinkish red, almost watered down blood.  It terrified me.  It still worries me, and I’ve been having a little bit of it on and off today. 

My beta was 155 at 12dp2dt!  I think that’s pretty normal, not suuuper high to guarantee multiples or anything, from what I know.  If anyone has any insight feel free to comment.

I was very relieved to hear the news, and it was fun to hear the “Congratulations, you’re pregnant!” from the nurse. It was surreal, hearing someone refer to me as pregnant.  I still have my concerns, obviously.  I told her about the spotting, and she said it could be perfectly fine, and unless it becomes heavy red blood, try not to worry.  So that’s what I’m doing.  She also said it might be due to the Endometrin, which can be quite the irritant for some people, so I’m hoping that’s where this red blood is coming from- my scratched up hoohah, of course.  But that’s wishful thinking. 

I’ve been experiencing a bit of cramping throughout the day, occasional boob twinges, but that’s about it.  I reeeeally hope that this brightly colored spotting will subside.  That would make me happy. 

Tuesday I go back for another beta.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed! 

PS- I want to thank everyone for the kind and encouraging words.  It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions the past few days, and I’m glad I’m not alone for this ride.  

7dp2dt

Hmmmm.  So I’m not sure how I feel at this point.  I have had only very minor and infrequent twinges and pulls in the last few days.  Nothing lasting or consistent.  Maybe all those pains on 4dp2dt were my right ovary after all (or super early implantation?!)

According to my sources, if my guys made it to blast stage, yesterday would have been the start of implantation, continuing into today.  I just don’t think I’m feeling anything happening though.  Although, yesterday I did have a tiny tinge of brown spotting mid-day.  That brightened my mood for awhile. Implantation spotting?!  Who knows.

I think I’ll probably POAS Wednesday, and then Thursday.  Beta is Friday.  I’m trying to brace myself for the worst.  If it’s positive, I’d almost be shocked.

Transfer day!

Today was my transfer!  I popped awake at 6 am, after having a weird transfer-related dream.  I felt like a kid on Christmas, way too psyched to sleep.  So I sat and played Scramble with Friends for about 30 minutes (whoever plays, hit me up, I’ll find you!) until my husband woke up.

When we got to the office the RE said we still had 2 high quality, normally growing 4-celled embryos.  They’re so littttle!   Apparently our 3rd embryo stopped growing, but he wasn’t planning on using that one anyway.  The valium made me feel a bit loopy, and I definitely had the urge to empty my bladder, but overall everything was fine.  It was pretty damn cool to see the embryos go in.  We could see 2 tiny little white bubbles at the top of my uterus, where hopefully they’ll continue to do their thing and grow!

He didn’t have to see any patients after me so I got to ask all my questions.  We discussed blastocysts, and 2 vs 3 vs 5 day transfers.  What it comes down to was this 2-day transfer will give us the highest rate of success.  And it made me feel much better.

I’m feeling very hopeful!  I have attached pictures of our future children.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you embryos #2 and #6!

Fertilization report

Well, I’m not thrilled with the fert report but I’m trying to be optimistic. 

Out of the 8 eggs, 7 were able to be injected, 4 fertilized, although 1 was abnormal.  So that leaves us with 3 total, and 2 are high quality with the 3rd being not so good.  

The RE said he wants to do a 2-day transfer of the 2 high quality embryos, so that means tomorrow, Sunday.  I get that it’s really a numbers game, and that they normally wait those extra days to weed out the good ones.  It seems as though these are our good ones, so there’s no weeding out to do.  I understand that my body is the best incubator, but I can’t help but be slightly worried.  I rarely hear of 2-day transfers being done. 

I hope it works.