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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! ❤

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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 🙂  

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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!!!

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“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 😛

 

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Postpartum Vultures

Ever since I’ve had Elijah I’ve been approached by several individuals who found me on some form of social media one way or another. Individuals who are either wanting to sell me a product, or enlist me in whatever fitness program they’re selling. I can only guess these people found me through hashtags relating to babies & the like (since some noted that they’d noticed I was a new mom). When looking further into the issue, it became clear that I am not alone in this sick phenomena.

For one, I think it’s very sad that people are using motherhood to prey upon people & take advantage of new moms who may be vulnerable in their new bodies & fluctuating hormones in order to make a profit for themselves.

After struggling with an eating disorder for years, I’m finally in a place where I love my body & truly appreciate all it has done for me. Watching it grow & change in pregnancy, birth, & then, somehow, snap back from it all is astonishing to me. But I know too well I didn’t arrive at that mindset overnight & worry about the woman who haven’t arrived in this mindset that are being hunted by these people. Women who, for the first time in their lives, may see numbers on a scale they’ve never seen before. Women who think they’ll never, “get their body back,” & are self-conscious about the body motherhood has given them.

For me personally, it also took me four years to be immeasurably blessed with my sweet boy that my body grew & even longer for me to learn to love my body. Yes, it has scars. Yes, it has a few stretch marks. But I’m finally at a place where all of that is okay & I’m in awe on what my body is capable of. 

 I want to use my body to enjoy the sweet boy I thought I’d never get to have. I want to use it to continue meeting my goals, one being working up to a 5K because running is fun & it’s something we do together-not because I want to lose weight or,”get rid of,” my body.  I want to use it to enjoy life & live it to the fullest, not to count calories, eat, “meal replacements,” or obsess about covering it with creams. I’ve lived that life for far too long & know too well it’s not a life.

If you’re someone preying upon new mothers, or anyone, in order to make a profit for yourself, shame on you.

If you’re being targeted by these individuals, know it isn’t about you & your body is absolutely amazing just the way it is. ❤

3

Breastfeeding Woes

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A virtual friend of mine penned this quote on a post about the frustrations of breastfeeding yesterday: “Never give up on a bad day.”

I’ve had a few of those, with our good days being far & between.

In the beginning, little man could latch like a rockstar but couldn’t maintain it. The lactation consultants at the hospital told me I may need a nipple shield & deemed him a, “lazy eater.” He almost lost too much weight in the hospital so we started supplementing with formula. My milk also took practically a week to come in, which didn’t help matters. A friend of mine suggested I start pumping to speed it up a little so I did, getting tiny bits of colostrum in those first days. Once my milk finally came in, things went great for a few days. We laid around the house & did skin to skin all day in his first days while he ate off & on.

I’m not sure where things turned but this blissful state of nursing didn’t last for us. When we tried breastfeeding, not too long after we’d started, he got really frustrated & started to cry, working himself up & making it impossible for him to feed. Along with that, even when he does nurse now, he doesn’t eat long enough to fill himself up via nursing alone. He’ll go 5-10 minutes tops & want nothing else to do with it.

When we saw a lactation consultant for these reasons, she didn’t think he had a tongue or lip tie but did feel like he needed suck training-something I’d never heard of before that moment. She noticed, on both the breast & bottle, he didn’t use his tongue correctly & sucked with his lips instead. In doing so, he was exerting more energy, burning more calories, &, likely, wearing himself out in the process-in addition to losing a lot of milk either way. The lactation consultant also said she didn’t think I needed the nipple shield & hoped we could work toward getting rid of it.

She referred us to suck training with a speech therapist, who also agreed he definitely needed it & he is already doing better with the exercises she gave us to do with him at home.

Fast forward to now: since it has been more difficult for E to nurse than eat a bottle until his suck training is complete, I’ve been pretty much exclusively pumping. Six times a day, without fail. For about the past week, for whatever reason, my milk supply has dropped. It was never fully there, I produced about half of what he needed I think the lactation consultant had said. I was averaging 17 ounces a day & now I’m down to averaging 13. I eat the lactation cookies, drink Mother’s Milk Tea, drink water, eat oatmeal as often as possible, & this is still is happening. It is beyond frustrating to say the least. I feel like I’m trying to do everything right to up the supply & spending a good amount of my time strapped to a machine for absolutely nothing. Not to mention I spend a great amount of time doing this:

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I want to quit.

But I don’t want to do it on a bad day either & then be full of regret later. A friend of mine suggested, before I’d even started breastfeeding, to make small goals. I.E. don’t go into it saying we’ll do it a year, or two. Start with I’ll do it a week, a month, etc, etc. Against all odds, we’re coming up on the two month mark in 11 days. My game plan is to give it until at least then to see if things turn around. In addition to everything else I’m doing, I ordered some nursing supplements so we’ll see if those help.

Have you ran into bumps in the road with nursing?? How did you overcome then?? What advice would you give someone who is struggling with breastfeeding?

0

You Know You’ve Been Infertile When…..

You Know You’ve Been Infertile When…..

-When at your 6 week check up, you keep wanting to refer to the UTI’s you’ve had as IUIs.

-When opening up the discussion of birth control, your OB says, “I’m sure you don’t think you need it since it took you so long to get here.”

As I’m sure some of you are thinking, even if you’ve struggled with infertility before, it doesn’t mean you won’t miraculously get pregnant again. We know, she knows. After that opening statement she also added, “Even if you did get pregnant, I’m sure you wouldn’t mind,”

& it’s true. After all of the heartache & struggle we’ve had to get to this place, we wouldn’t mind at all. Ideally, that wouldn’t be RIGHT away.

SO-my options for birth control right now are limited as it is, as we’re still breastfeeding. I have a choice of the depo shot (which I would never do because I’ve read & heard horrible things) & a low dose birth control pill. Right away, I declined those as I already knew I didn’t want any prevention in the form of medications.

After being on some sort of hormonal medications for the past four years, I don’t want anything else to do with that sort of thing right now. I’m sick & tired of medications that come with side effects. Even before we began our infertility journey & long before I met my husband, birth control pills always made me sick to be honest. I always had bouts of nausea with them. Also, as mundane as this may sound to those who don’t understand, I’m just really tired of having my life revolve around having to remember taking a medication. Eli is 6 & a half weeks old as of today & I am JUST NOW not going into a panic wondering if I’ve forgotten to do an injection (that I haven’t done since 36 weeks pregnant), or take my Aspirin. Just now.

Since I don’t want anything to do with medications right now, our game plan is to use condoms & spermicide for at least 6 months. After that, if we were to get pregnant on our own, then great. If not, that’s okay too. Before infertility, I always thought I wanted at least three kids. In the trenches of it, I always said that, if I could have at least one child, I’d be happy & I am. I know, coming from a 1-2% chance of ever having biological children, we are PHENOMENALLY BLESSED to have Elijah. So blessed! If we go the rest of our lives never having another biological child, we’ll still be happy.

Regardless of whether or not we are able to have more biological children, we’d like to adopt at least one child a few years down the road. I’ve always wanted to adopt &, after going through the fostering classes, both of our eyes were even more opened to the great need for foster & adoptive parents. Likewise, I think there’s also a need for strictly adoptive parents through other avenues (other than through the state).

It’s definitely been a rocky road with lots of twists & turns to get to where we are. We aren’t sure whether or not we’ve left infertility behind as far as battling it again but we do now what are plans are as far as family building goes….what we don’t know is what God’s plans are. & He has some pretty big plans so I guess all we can do is sit back, wait, & see. No matter, we are happy with whatever that is.

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