4

If There’s Ever A Next Time

If there’s ever a next time, as far as having a baby goes, we definitely experienced some things first hand we’ll do differently next time.

For starters, the visitors. Before I had Eli I’ll admit I may have raised my eyebrow a bit when I saw other moms & articles written by parents saying they didn’t want visitors while in the hospital. I remember thinking to myself, “Hum, that’s strange! Aren’t you so excited to show your baby to the world????”

Yes, everyone is excited-excited isn’t the word actually-more like overjoyed. But you are also EXHAUSTED in the full sense of the word. My labor started at 2:30 am & Eli was born at almost noon that day. We’d been up since 2:00 when I’d noticed bleeding & grabbed our bag in a rush to get to the hospital. I didn’t get an epidural so there was no sleeping. Natural childbirth, while it was absolutely worth it, takes effort. A lot of freaking effort. We walked the halls a lot early on as I started having contractions because I wanted to keep the labor going & didn’t want it to stall out. Later, our amazing doula helped us try more things/positions to cope with the pain. In other words, we didn’t just hangout in bed all those hours binging Netflix.

AD7A9887

Also…if you are not immediate family, or close friends I talk with on a weekly basis, the time for your to make an appearance is certainly not after my crotch was, literally, ripped open, is bleeding, & hurting like a mother. Did I mention I’m sporting mesh, “underwear,” & sitting on an ice pack?

To add to the fun, I’m trying to figure out how on earth to get a tiny human to breastfeed so the bra has went out the window. Breastfeeding…IE my boobs need to be out when said baby is hungry. Which become a little difficult to do when someone I’ve seen a handful of times is making an appearance. Reserve those visits for when we get home.

Second, the announcing. I had someone else announce via Facebook I was in labor &, as I’ve seen many other moms say, I feel like that is something reserved for the parents to do unless they otherwise specify.

Lastly, if Eli ever becomes a big brother, I’m kicking everyone out of the delivery room. All I want is my husband & my doula 😀 My mom freaked out because she said she couldn’t stand to see me in pain-which I can sympathize with since I can imagine that would be difficult. She was also traumatized for months by the amount of blood courtesy of the blood thinners I was on during pregnancy. So there’s that. Alongside her, my poor sister was about to legit pass out & was, I kid you not, biting her nails in the corner…my photographer friend has photographic evidence of this LOL I love em but I just need some people who can keep me calm 😀

If there’s ever a next time around, I think we’ll probably just have the baby & then tell everyone 😀

AD7A0225copy

Advertisements
0

Let Us Be More

It’s a New Year. With that, as we all know, comes resolutions. An ever popular one of those being, to lose weight. Scrolling through social media, I can’t tell you how many people I’ve came across so far striving to attain that in this next 365 day chapter. I can’t tell you how many truly beautiful women, inside & out, I’ve seen state this as their goal.

As someone who struggled with an eating disorder for over a decade, I can tell you that no amount of satisfaction will ever come from obsessing over your outward appearance. Nothing you gain from it will ever be worth it. In a world constantly telling us to be less, let us be more. Let us make those goals as goals to grow instead of shrink. To do more in the realm of experiences, or community. To be more present in our daily moments & truly enjoy them to their fullest, because the little moments we have every day are everything in the end.

Today has been, mostly, a terrible day for me. I lost my keys. I spilled a box of dog bones. Those pesky tiny ones. They scattered the floor of my pantry. To make matters worse, when I grabbed a handful to put back into the box, the lid was up & they all fell right back out again. I could go on lol So I stepped back from my disastrous morning & thought you know what? I’m gonna treat myself. I need to do something nice for me to make this day okay. So I grabbed a Hershey’s with almonds (my favorite candy bar!) & a hot cup of tea & sank into the couch to write, something I hadn’t had an opportunity to do in quite a while. & I thought….had weight loss been my goal this year, or something I was still obsessed with, I wouldn’t have done that. Who knows, I may have overworked out & then missed the opportunity to step back & take care of myself & acknowledge the morning was just plain hard.

To all the beautiful women I’ve seen post weight loss as a goal, please know that you are truly beautiful & perfect just as you are. The people in your lives love you just as you are. You don’t ever need to be more, or less than the perfect you God created. I love you. Happy New Year!

1

Our Frozen Embryo & Family Growing

When I finally gave birth to Eli, I’d came to a decision on our frozen embryo…or at least I thought I had. After all the heartache & uncertainty surrounding whether we’d ever have a child of our own, & alllllll of the anxiety over my pregnancy with him, I was at a place, & still am, that I got what I prayed for & was content. If we never have another biological child, we will still be infinitely blessed. It was & has been everything I ever wanted & could have dreamed.

Now, on our frozen embryo, my feelings were initially that I never wanted to put my body through any more fertility drugs ever again. They’re a bitch & effect you fiercely. They also increase your chances of certain cancers & that, to me, as well as my husband who is in the field of cancer treatment, is scary.

At the same time, when I saw our last two embryos, one of whom is still frozen, on my Timehop yesterday from 2 years ago, I couldn’t help but feel something for them…it’s OUR baby…or could be if it survives the thaw & the stars align…nevertheless, it’s very hard to come to terms with the concept of giving away our child….or leaving them frozen forever…or, worse yet, throwing them away.

Also, oddly, someone I went to school with yesterday contacted me asking me about fertility treatment. She shared that she had went through a lot to have her first child, also had endometriosis, was struggling to get pregnant again, & was told by her OB that, while the laparoscopy helped increase pregnancy odds the first time, it did not subsequence times…which makes me a bit nervous.

Before infertility, I wanted 5 children…& then dropped to 3 lol If it weren’t for infertility now, I’d want all the babies 😀 & we do still want to adopt. Strangely, after having Elijah I want to adopt now more than ever. When I’d hold him & take care of him in the early days, I remember one time in particular I just cried when thinking of all the babies who are left to cry & not cared for in this world. That to me is heartbreaking. I am so glad he will always know love & never have to wonder if his parents will follow through for him. I want to give that to another child who may never know that same fierce love.

For the moment, like I wrote about earlier, we have decided to actively TTC again as my OB recommended. I’ve already bought an ovulation kit & plan on using two STORK OTCs again this cycle. We’ll see where it takes us.

Again, sorry the blog is a bit slower nowadays & a heartfelt thank you, to all of those who continue following along on this crazy ride with us. We love & appreciate each of you! ❤

9

Mom Life: An Update

Wow, I cannot believe it has been a MONTH since my last post!! &, at the same time, I am laughing at myself for being half shocked at this. Since it has been a hot second since my last post, I wanted to give a bit of an update before I, hopefully, get back to posting more frequently.

Mom life is a busy life, to say the least & put it ever so lightly. We’re, at the end of this month, HALF WAY THROUGH OUR FIRST YEAR, & I am just now getting to the point where I can sneak in a shower…this shower looks like me sitting one of E’s activity chairs outside the shower beside me while I, more frequently than I’d like to admit, rip back the curtain to make sure he’s still doing just fine. Yeah, I’m a crazy person lol

Eli has also newly started entertaining himself for a few bits of time & babbling away. He cries for people & puts his little arms up when he wants to go to them (which is pretty intelligent, if I do say so myself lol), & loves Peppa Pig. He had his first cold starting last week & it has been the saddest thing to watch because I just want to fix it & make him better in an instant…& not give him the breathing treatments he so hates with a passion. Unfortunately, we are still not sleeping through the night yet. We sleep quite terribly actually. lol Feel free to bring me all the coffee!!!

We are still living in Eastern, KY & also still hate it. We’ve came to the conclusion, a few months ago actually, that this just isn’t where we are suppose to be. Our old town felt like our home, despite the fact that we are actually both from here originally, & we’ve been homesick in the worst way. Because of this, we’ve never gotten settled into the new place, are tired of feeling unsettled, & want to go home. We are both  looking for jobs there & hope to get moved back ASAP. We know we will be much happier there, as we were never dissatisfied living there before, & saying Eli will have so much more to do is an understatement. There is literally nothing for children to do here….they have a Gatti Land, for older kiddos, & A FEW parks that hail in comparison to the ones in Lexington….that’s it! No Gymbroee classes, no baby swim classes, no mom/baby groups, no family days, nothing! If I want to run now, I literally have to drive 35 minutes to get to a place to do that. It takes about 20 minutes to get to a grocery store. It’s insane when we were both accustom to being 5 minutes away from everything we needed, or wanted on any given day.

Other than that, I feel like I’m still trying to find some balance in this whole mom thing to find some time for myself. As a social worker, I know self-care is so important but, as a parent, those moments are few & far between. Even so, I think we need to prioritize ourselves sometimes, too. For me, I think going out to dinner with a friend, date night, & a girl day on occasion (&, lets be honest, going to Target because who doesn’t love that? LOL)  will be my go to self-care days. We shall see how that goes since I also never want to leave my tiny human.

To my followers: How have you been?? What’s new??? I know I’m so behind on your posts & feel out of touch with my WordPress fam. Sending love to all of you! Xo

Also, does anyone have any tips on how to sneak in some self-care as a parent, or on improving baby sleep? I’d LOVE to hear it! 

Until then, I’ll leave you with a few pictures of little man 🙂  

2

Pregnancy & Infant Loss 5K

Y’all, I-along with Scott & Eli-did my FIRST 5K this past Saturday!!! & the cause couldn’t have been more fitting. It was a Pregnancy & Infant Loss 5K &, if you’ve followed this blog even a little, you know  it’s a cause that will always be very close to our hearts. Even though infertility seems to be becoming less taboo, I still feel like it’s something that isn’t discussed near enough. 1 in 4 pregnancies will end in miscarriage, yet, it’s still something that isn’t talked about near enough. When I had my miscarriages, I couldn’t believe how many other women that were aware they happened  had a me, too story. It was mind blowing for me, especially with my first.

This month is also Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness month! While I know not everyone wants to share their story, I do like to to take the time to share ours. I want anyone who has, is, or will experience a miscarriage to know they are not alone &, if they so choose, it is okay to talk about it. I saw a post just last night from a girl disclosing she & her husband miscarried over the weekend. In the same post, she’d written, “even though I was only five weeks along,” as if she had to let the world know she was aware of that or that it, somehow, wasn’t suppose to be as painful had she been further along & it absolutely broke my heart that she felt she needed to justify her pain. I’m sure anyone who has also had a miscarriage knows that, no matter when you lost your baby, it will hurt…a whole awful lot. It will rip you to your core. &, it is my hope, that, as time goes on, no person ever feels that they have to justify their pain over such a HUGE horrible loss. As the book The Fault In Our Stars reads, “It hurts because it matters.”

Your pain mattered & will always matter. It is real. & you don’t need to justify that to anybody.

On a lighter note, here are some pictures from our first 5K. While we weren’t the fastest, our goal was just to finish. & we did! &, to our surprise, weren’t even last 😀 We hadn’t trained since we live somewhere that isn’t close to a place to run so didn’t have high hopes but we did it!!!

22308624_1929533233951632_3105468924160553735_n

6

“When Are You Going To Have Another One?”

It’s a question we got, almost immediately to my surprise, after Elijah was born.

“Well, when are you going to have another one??”

It shocked me for a few reasons, the biggest being our infertility has never been any secret to the public eye. I shared our struggles from the beginning of infertility treatments to the very end. So, being that everyone knew just how much of a miracle Eli was, I never expected to be questioned about the possibility of a second child. Especially IMMEDIATELY following his birth.

I am still reeling in the magnitude of the blessing God has given us & in awe of him every single day. I’ve said it before & will say again that, if we are blessed with another baby somewhere down the line, then GREAT! If not, it is still great. Because God has been more  than great to us in giving us what we never dreamed we’d have.

Going back to the question, it is still, nonetheless, a question that still haunts me a bit. Scott & I have talked more about other children lately. I think this has been sparked in part by his upcoming Birthday, calling attention to the fact that he is getting older. A unique element for our specific infertility feat is that he is quite a bit older than I am. One thing that means is, as he’s shared with me recently, is that he doesn’t want to be fifty years old & still growing our family. If possible, he’d like to be done, meaning he’d like to have another sooner rather than later.

For me, with my endometriosis & my own fertility issues, I also worry the longer we wait the harder it may be for me to get pregnant again. My eggs were not the best when we did our IVFs, which may have been because of the endometriosis our fertility Dr failed to ever test & diagnose (that’s another story/rant), we aren’t sure.

He’s ready to try to have another now but I guess I’m the one that’s conflicted. While I do acknowledge I have my own fertility issues & my endo is likely still clear since I had the laparoscopy, followed by two pregnancies, I also want to be able to be completely present in enjoying the miracle we have. I think my biggest worry is, again, pregnancy loss. I was sooo stressed my entire pregnancy that something was going to go wrong & I don’t want to be in a constant state of anxiety when I can enjoy my rainbow now. On another hand, I’m getting older too & nearing 30. The fact that, as women get older specifically, certain abnormalities become more common as well is something that has also been on my mind lately.

Basically, we are conflicted on the decision currently. There are a lot of factors at play & infertility is a tough beast, even if you’ve slayed it once before.

P.S. Maybe you shouldn’t ask someone when they’re going to have another baby-esp if it was hella hard to have the first. Just a thought 😛

 

2

I Had To Stop Breastfeeding During Breastfeeding Month & This Is How It Made Me Feel

Like a failure. At first, anyway.

During the month where breastfeeding selfies & statistics were everywhere, my milk decided to dry up. To make matters worse, this happened just after little guy & I were at a good place in our breastfeeding journey.

Our journey, a lot like our journey to parenthood, was never easy. From the start, he had difficulty maintaining a latch. I was also told I may have flat nipples. After seeing a lactation specialist, she determined I did not, in fact, have flat nipples & felt our LO could nurse just fine if he went to suck training. So we did. & he did! But right as we started doing soooo good, bam! Or lack thereof? Nothing. When I was usually able to pump 19 ounces a day at the end, it kept reducing. Firs down to 16, then 15, then 13, & then 10. Ten whole ounces out of EIGHT sessions of pumping. Eight!

My supply was never up to par with where it should be. It had reduced & raised one other time when I took an antibiotic & then stopped but not this time.

I drank more water. I ate oatmeal (every damned morning). I took my vitamins. I sipped Mother’s Milk Tea & threw back lactation vitamins, along with my lactation cookies. Still, no dice. For whatever reason, breastfeeding longer just wasn’t in the cards for us. I was greatly disappointed at first after we’d overcome so much to get to where we were & felt this was made worse by the glorification of breastfeeding. Not to say that breastfeeding should not be glorified, I’m just explaining it was an extra sting when I sooooo wanted to breastfeed little man for at least a year.

Once the initial sadness wore off, however, I’m now at a place where I can say all of this:

-I’m proud of both of us for sticking with breastfeeding for the 2.5 we did

-& even prouder of all each of us overcame in order to do so. From working to ditch the nipple shield to driving 3 hours to suck training biweekly, we did it! &, even though the speech therapist said E prob burned more calories to eat because he wasn’t eating effectively, it never stopped him from getting more & more adorable rolls

-I’m so thankful we got to experience breastfeeding. Through out infertility journey, along with mourning potentially never being able to carry a child, mourning the breastfeeding relationship I wanted was also something I was really sad about. Little did I know, that wasn’t out of the cards for us so all I can be now is thankful that I was able to experience it at all

-I’m glad that, if miracles strike twice & we ever have another child, I’ll be more equipt in knowing what to do next time

Something else I have to say is I am more thankful than words for our sweet donors who have donated breastmilk to us! & to the women who told me about the FB page for KY & Indianna breastfeeding mamas. They have sweetly given me milk that our baby is use to so his tummy doesn’t get all messed up. As someone who was also strapped to a machine, for hoursssss in a day, I full well know these sweet ladies also put A LOTTTT of time into this donation & we are so, so thankful for that. Something else I have to say is I am more thankful than words for our sweet donors who have donated breastmilk to us! & to the women who told me about the FB page for KY & Indianna breastfeeding mamas.

Breastfeeding is beautiful! It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done & I am forever thankful I worked hard to get to have that experience.

I would also like to say if, for whatever reason, breastfeeding just isn’t in the cards for you, it’s okay! FED IS BEST! Say it louder for the people in the back.

Sending love & wishing a beautiful weekend to all!