Just another mom blog…

For this child, I have prayed. (Samuel 1:27)

Archive for the month “December, 2011”

2 week wait

I have one more week left until I will know for sure if this fertility cycle worked or not. I honestly have no clue if I am or am not preggo. I’m really nervous that the cycle didn’t work, so I am trying to keep my mind off of it.  The only “symptom” I have is that I feel like I am starving all the time. However, part of my fertility medication for this cycle is one “trigger” injection of HCG pregnancy hormone which triggered ovulation to occur. For about a week after the shot or so, the pregnancy hormone stays in the body. Taking an early pregnancy test doesn’t work because it may be giving a false positive from the leftover hormones from this shot. (Darnit). So I am left to wonder for almost the entire two weeks if our dreams are going to come true or not.

The usual signs that I usually develop during week three is pretty much useless due to the artificial conditions during treatment. Just about the only somewhat reliable sign is the spotting that sometimes occurs during implantation. I have not had any symptoms, so I honestly do not have a clue.

I am trying to prepare myself to not be sad if it doesn’t work. I won’t be as sad if it doesn’t work after fertility treatment because at least I can reassure myself that I truly gave it my best shot for potential success. It is just hard because it kills me to think of my son being an only child or my children being too far apart in age to be super-close. Plus, C’s heart is not open to adopting a child. Its also hard because I’ve waited my whole life to be a mommy and I always wanted to have a lot of children.  I never thought that life would deal me the cruel blow of infertility. Everyone plans on the perfect time to have children, but no one gives a second thought to the possibility of infertility.  Couples do not discuss what they want to do if they are infertile, and lots of hearts and dreams are broken because of it.

It is also hard when people tell me to just give it time. I don’t feel like I have time to give. One more bowel surgery, emergency or planned, or decline in health and I will likely not be able to carry a pregnancy regardless of how badly I want to.  A chance to carry a child is just too precious for me to risk gambling away.

Oh well. No need to dwell on things I cannot change. In the meantime, I am going to keep my fingers crossed and cherish each moment with Nathan. This may be the child I get see through childhood, and I am so blessed to have this sweet little boy.

Half way there

I wish I could post a funny, upbeat post about how my fertility cycle is going, but serious discomfort is like a mountain between me and this wish. I am half way through the cycle. The hideous migraines went away not long after my previous post. I had a few days or so of nothing really happening except for a few great ultrasound reports on my -ahem- girls.  (You know…like guys call their offspring producers their “boys”?) Anyhow, my girls are IUI Rock Stars when it comes to responding well to minimal doses of fertility medication. (Claps self on belly. Way to go, girls!)

With this cycle, as you may recall, they wanted to control my cycle so that I would make more than one follicle to help boost my chances of conceiving. Three to six follicles (grows the eggs) is ideal, I ended up producing eight.

Before you choke or start thinking about John and Kate plus 8, let me add that there’s no way will end up as the next octomom. For starters, the follicles are divided between each of the two ovaries, and I have a low chance of being able to conceive from one side thanks to numerous abdominal surgeries. Add to the fact that half of all fertilized eggs fail to develop or implant and the fact that my body tends to miscarry and the nightmare of higher-order multiples like Octomom fades into the realm of impossibility. (Whew).

BUT…

I am at a slightly higher risk of twins compared to the rest of fertility ladies. Aside from hyperventilating at the thought of double trouble, I am okay with this. I know that a twin pregnancy is high-risk, especially for yours truly, but I am prepared to do whatever it takes to give both babies the longest possible time to “cook” in the hypothetical oven.

BUT…

This is only if I have successfully conceived. My doctor gave me a guessimate that I have about a 25%-50% chance of conceiving.  I asked about my risk of multiples. He scratched his head, licked his finger, and selected a random figure out of the sky and declared me to be in the “slightly higher” risk group.

Anyhow…my girls have left me feeling incredibly sore in a way that super-enlarged ovaries tend to cause. For the guys, if you’ve actually managed to keep reading to this point, imagine your boys suddenly swelling to 4-5 times their size, throw in a couple of random kicks from a toddler in the midst of a tantrum, and you’ll understand.

Oh…and throw in some shoes generously covered in dog doodoo on the feet of this particular tantruming toddler. You know, since toddler boys love squashing those soft brown piles in the back yard, especially when they are in their good (read, unwashable) brown leather boots. Sighs. I guess I better go and scrub some stinking little shoes.

Ay-yi-yi

My massive treatment-induced headache has toned down for a moment, so I thought I would make a quick post.  I totally forgot how bad of a eye-crossing headache the fertility medication can give me. I woke up at 4am this morning feeling about as miserable as I could be. I could not go back to sleep for several hours due the cotton-picking headache. I tried Advil (made me nauseous), Tylenol (is there even medicine in that?), coffee (made the pounding worse), tea with cardamom (yummy, no good though), peppermint tea (actually seemed to help), and hylands migraine remedy.

I stumbled through the morning and finally called the nurse about my head killing me, especially because I know that this will get worse before it improves.  I feel like such a wuss for not just sucking it up. If I didn’t have a son and other responsibilities, I could probably deal with hours of being laid up with a headache. I can only deal with so many hours of misery before I start feeling like I want to cry and just be over it already. Anyhow, my doc is going to call in a stronger headache medicine so I am going to drag the two of us out into the rain to go pick up the medicine and hope it works. I’m ready to get over this already. Got to run…feeling another one come on. Sighs.

A Fertility Journey Oopsy

Technology can be a lifesaver for scatterbrained folks like myself.  Take the iPhone calendar for example. With the calendar I can set up all the information I need for my fertility journey. I can set up reminders and alerts for the medication protocol an appointments. Yesterday my handy-dandy calendar alerted me to start phase II of my fertility protocol Gonal-F injections. I saw the “Start Gonal-F” message and immediately took my shot. Later last night, I went to view my calendar to see how many days of injections I had to do when I realized I made a huge mistake. The “start Gonal-F” message was supposed to have been set up to alert me on the date of event, but I had accidentally set it up to send me the message one day too soon.

I tried not to panic as I emailed my doc about my mistake.  I was terrified that my mistake would mean that this cycle attempt would be cancelled.  She replied and told me to finish the tablet protocol and to not take any more Gonal-F injections.  It was pretty late to be emailing so no further explanations were offered. I was just happy to have been given some instructions.

Today I am trying to find out more information as to what to expect this cycle. As for how I have been feeling, I actually feel ok. I am very tired most of the time because one side effect of the tablets is insomnia. Then of course I feel lazy during the day and anxious and frustrated because I am not doing as well with keeping the house up to par. I also have some headaches but I recall having the same thing with Nathan’s IVF cycle.

Anyhow…I shall update soon with more information. Keeping my fingers crossed!

As for Nathan (26m)- he is doing so well. Homeschooling efforts are still going on. He is focusing on shapes and numbers now. He likes to play a game where he has to cards with numbers 0-10 in order. He also likes to play a game where he says “One, two, three- GO!” and he runs accross the room as fast as he can. I switched it up a little and changed the language to Japanese. So now we say, “Ichi, Ni, Son- Hajime!”  I sign to him without voicing as well. He loves playing!

He is learning his shapes. So far he knows circle, triangle, square, diamond, rectangle, heart, star, oval, hexagon, sphere, and parallelogram.  I haven’t really worked with him on this. Instead, he plays this ap on the iPad where he reviews his shapes.  He then started coming up to me and pointing to every possible shape that he could find in his environment and telling me what shape it is. For example, he’ll grab his ball and tell me, “Green ball sphere right there.”

I’m really glad that he likes the iPad and playing the educational games. He likes a few of the entertainment games as well. I proud of him for being good with technology, though I don’t like being beat at the game Angry Birds by a newly-minted 2 year old. 🙂

 

Law, Have Mercy!

Yesterday was a no-good very bad day.  I woke up after only four hours of sleep and got busy tidying up the house. I am not a morning person, so I figured that it makes more sense to do unpleasant things while already grumpy than to do it later when I’m not so grumpy. Anyhow, I cleaned away and was a total machine of efficiency machine I tell you! Knowing that we had to leave for an event in Cincinnati around five, and that I would need a nap before then, efficiency was necessary to make the day a success. Shortly before noon, I decided to go ahead and put our lunch in the oven before sitting down to make a quick (quick!) call to my insurance company’s pharmacy to find out where in the world my fertility medications are. I thought ahead of the call to gather every piece of information that they may ask for and be off the phone in time for lunch. I gathered half a dozen cards and documents and sat down at my computer to make the relay call. My stomach growled.

I entered the number and the relay placed the call. I watched as the relay operator (RO) typed out endless options push options. Finally, a real live person picked up on the receiving end and asked how they could help me. The RO explained in detail how to talk to me using the relay service. She explained that she needed to say “Go Ahead” (GA) at the end of her statements to let me know that it was my turn to talk. Yet throughout the whole conversation, the speed-talking lady omitted the polite little “GA.”  The result is that I had to waste tons of precious time “listening” to her as she went through her usual insurance checklists when I could have just told her what we needed to know. It went something like this (with the relay operator typing whatever the insurance tech said):

*Speed-talking insurance tech (IT): Tell me your full name, date of birth, insurance member number, SS number of primary holder, and size of your big toe in mm, not inches.

(I told her)

*Hyper IT: Great! I see you here on my screen. Looks like you have three medications for the fertility cycle ordered for you. So next I’ll search to see which ones are covered and give you the prices of them…. (no “GA” inserted sighs)

*(I know which cotton-picking ones are covered lady! But alas, I had to remain silent)

*5 minutes later, the IT says: Ok so it says here that x, y, are not covered and z is…so (blablablabla- she continues for 10    minutes)

Anyhow….I am not going to bore you to death with the details of an hour long conversation with numerous, unbearable minutes being placed on hold, tethered to the computer and unable to go anywhere in fear of missing the end of the hold and being hung up on. I ended up having to learn all sorts of joyous insurance terms and processes, including appeals, terminations, and so forth. I had moments of panic as they informed me that one of the medications was already in the mail and scheduled to be delivered a week after I am supposed to start taking it for this cycle. It all ended up sorted out, and I am currently waiting for the medications to be delivered any minute now.

Due to being on the phone with insurance and emailing people to get things straightened out, I did not get to take a nap before it was time to get us both ready for the event. I got Nathan dressed after my shower, and then he promptly plopped his finely dressed rear on some spilled milk. I wrestled him into another outfit, and rushed to get myself ready. I couldn’t find the key to my car. I thought that I had left it in my car, and so I went outside to peek in my car windows to see if I could fine it.

Did I mention that it was pouring down rain monsoon style? Or that my city declared itself flooded under a flood warning?

Nathan followed me outside, without a jacket, in the cold pouring rain. I had to chase him back inside before I could resume my window search for my car keys. I got even more wet. I ran back inside and recalled my remote start key for my car. The car can be cranked with this remote and I thought I recalled reading that it can also unlock the car as well as a few other nifty tricks. The remote as only one button, and so the various features are directed by pushing the one button in various patterns. I held the button down and the car started. Shoot, I thought, that’s not it. Leaning out the front door, while trying to block a protesting toddler from running outside with my leg blocking the door, I tried again. I pushed the button twice and nothing visable happened. Finally! I thought, I must have unlocked the door. I started to trot off to my car and remembered that Nathan would follow, so I retraced my steps in order to lock the door behind me. In the rain.

My car was still locked. Not only that, but I had accidentally opened the sun roof. In the rain. I panicked and push the button again, the car turned off with the sunroof still open. I wrestled a few more minutes with it and managed to get the car cranked again and the sunroof closed. I went back inside and saw that we were way too late to make it to the event. I still had to find my key, dry my soaked car interior and myself, and go pick up Chris who was stranded at work waiting for me.

Sighs

It was a bad day indeed, but the evening was rescued when we decided to treat ourselves to some beloved Indian food at our favorite restaurant. We returned home with full, content bellies and went to bed in good spirits. 🙂

 

His Noggin, Part II

A friend of mine recently posted a great post about how parents are so competitive with their kids in preschool and how they just need to chill the heck out about it.  I agree totally with this article, but would also like to add a few things. 

I think there is something very off about feeling like I am doing something wrong with sharing my son’s ‘successes’ with people.  It makes me paranoid that people are going to accuse me of being one of those pushy parents because I provide access to early education.  I am worried that they see the word “flashcards” and some weird image pops into their minds of me standing over my child and beating knowledge in to him, or something along those lines. People are quick to make assumptions like these, and it’s not fair.

How much better would things be if they would gather facts first, instead of making assumptions? For example, what if they knew that the whole reason I started with alphabet/number flashcards so early was to utilize the pictures on the back of the cards to teach him sign language?  As a deaf parent, it’s pretty important that their kids know how to communicate with them. It was only later that he grew interested in the letters/numbers, and I am not going to deny him a chance to learn because of the general anti-successfulness that tends to be going around these days. What if they knew that he showed an early interest in intellectual types of games and I want to encourage him to develop whatever strengths he has? Would they judge me differently then? For the stubbornly unconvinced, I ask only this: If you know a secret to getting an infant or 2 year old to sit through anything they don’t want to do, please, do tell, if only for curiosity’s stake.

My son has his strengths and weaknesses just like everyone.  I don’t think it is appropriate to discuss my child’s “weaknesses” for lots of reasons that I explain below. As for strengths, I believe these are to be celebrated in everyone’s life regardless of age. I post them here on my blog and also post videos to share with friends and family on social networking sites. In addition to wanting to share new developments, I don’t think people want to see a video of him playing with his trucks or picking his nose and proudly declaring that he found a boogie. (Although now that I think about it, the boogie video would be pretty cute. I’ll put it on my to-do list).  I just hope that no one is using these posts as a measuring stick of their own child, mine, or myself as a parent.

Competitiveness has no place in parenting.  Parents believe that their kids are extensions of themselves, and therefore claim their kid’s successes as their own. Or something like that.  The truth is that sometimes ‘uneducated’ parents who could care less about education can and do produce PhD candidates. Parents with MD/PhD can and do produce ‘uneducated’ people who  about education.  Preachers and other religious clergy can end up with rebellious or even atheistic children, and some of the most loving, devoted parents around still lose their kids to drugs and other addictions. Clearly, kids are their own unique people who have their own strengths and weaknesses.

Competitiveness has led us to being an anti-failure, yet anti-success society. Allow me to explain by giving examples. Recently, three very wealthy bankers won a 200 and something plus million dollar lottery jackpot.  People were outraged that the three already wealthy people won.  Somewhere else, a mother and her very beautiful daughter has to deal with all kinds of negativity from folks because the daughter was pretty much voted Miss Everything in the yearbook. I can go on and on with examples as to why we seem to be anti-success.

Yet by the same hypocritical token, we are an anti-failure society.  Succumb to the disease of addiction and you’re written off as a loser. The same goes for being uneducated, not living up to materialistic standards, or even choosing to be a stay-at-home parent instead of pursing the big career.  The fact is that people constantly judge and compare based on those around them: If a person is more successful than them, they are jealous, and jealousy is a form of anti-sucessfulness. Or if they are not as successful as them, then their sense of pride is temporarily inflated, and pride is a form of anti-failureness, so to speak. Jealousy and pride, in this case at least, are opposite extremes of each other. Somewhere in between these two is a healthier approach to life.

What if we could be genuinely happy for people who are successful? When someone buys a beautiful boat or has a brilliant kid- can we not just celebrate the person’s new boat and the kid’s talents with our whole hearts?  If someone chooses a lifestyle that most people very much look down on, can we not still greet these people as the equally special human beings they are?

I can, and I hope to instill this in my son.  I do this by focusing 100% on finding and celebrating each person’s strengths and ignoring the bad stuff for the time being.  For example: I once sat and talked (in a safe place) to a homeless man who ended up being one of the most brilliant people I have ever met.  In another case, while doing portraiture for a group of ex-prostitutes for a ministry, I sat among these ladies and talked to them as the special humans they are.  I found amazing things with each one of them: One young lady was fluent in two languages and sent money home to help support her family whenever she could. Another older lady was one of the sweetest Grandmotherly figures around, and yet another was actually a very skilled artist.

On the opposite side of things, I am totally comfortable with very successful people. I been in amazing homes/vacation homes and conversed with extremely successful and highly educated folks. I do not feel jealousy toward those who are deemed successful. Instead, I feel honored to be invited to celebrate their successes with them.

Getting back on the topic of Nathan’s noggin, I truly hope that folks will stop being anti-success or anti-failure when it comes to each other’s kids.  If someone is celebrating precociousness (intellectual, physical, emotional, otherwise) lets stop using this as a measuring stick and be happy for said child.  Celebrate these kids as they grow regardless of how “early” or “late” they accomplish each milestone.  Then maybe, just maybe, we can shape the next generation into a less competitive and more compassionate society.

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