Thursday, August 14, 2014

The One with the Fifteen Month Update

Yes, I'm way late on this.  No excuse other than raising a human.

Liam Michael you are


Summer vacation has been tons of fun around here and Mama is loving all the time she gets to spend with you.

What are your stats and what does the doctor say?
We visited Dr. G. earlier this week and you weighed in at 31 pounds, 1 ounce.  You are 32 inches tall.  You are above average in both height and weight, but your giant head size has started to level off! Dr. G. was happy with everything that's been going on with you and said you seem like a great kid (Mommy and Daddy agreed!).  Mommy talked to him a little about your speech (or lack thereof) and he didn't seem concerned at this point.  We are going to wait it out for a bit and see how things go in the next few months.  

What are you eating?
Eating continues to be one of your favorite things to do (see your stats above!).  You haven't tried anything new this month, but still enjoy all your staples - fruit, macaroni, chicken, yogurt, and cheese.  You are using a spoon and fork with a little more independence, although it does make meals even messier!  You are still drinking whole milk, but everything is now in a straw more bottles in this house!  You haven't been too interested in much milk before bed, so we are thinking it won't be long before you are going to bed without any. 

We bribe you with apples at the grocery store to keep you from causing a ruckus!

 And then there was that day you ate a whole tomato.  Weirdo!

When do you sleep and eat?
Things have changed a little with your sleep this month, mostly to try to get you ready for daycare (more on that later).  You are awake most mornings by 6:30, although when Daddy was on vacation you were sleeping until at least 7:00.  Once your diaper is changed, you get your cup of milk and roam the house while Daddy gets ready for work and Mommy gets organized for the day.  We usually do breakfast around 7:30.  If we are out and about in the morning (errands, swim class, etc.), you don't take a morning nap.  Lunch is a little earlier on those days because you are ready to go down for a nap by 12:30ish.  On a good day, you sleep for about two hours.  If you do take a morning nap, you nap later in the afternoon and those naps tend to be an hour to an hour and a half each.  Dinner is around 5:30 and you are still asleep by 7:30 most nights.

What size clothes and diapers are you wearing?
You are still in 18 month and 18-24 month clothes, but you are wearing 24 month pajamas and a few summer outfits in that size too.  You are still in size 4 Pampers Cruisers during the day and size 5 Huggies Overnites with a liner at night.

What are some things you love?
You are still a huge fan of being outside.  You will stand at the slider and bang until we put your shoes on and take you out (and you get mighty mad when you can't go outside).  You love going in your swing that Daddy finally put up.  You love pushing your Fisher Price Puppy Walker around and have learned to back it up when you crash it into something.  You are taking more of an interest in cars and trucks and have played with your big Legos more this month.  You still love walks in your stroller and wagon and Mommy even got brave enough to take Max with us on our wagon walks (it's a hot mess but you both enjoy it!).  You like to snuggle with your giant stuffed bear and will tackle it on the floor.  You love looking at pictures and videos of yourself and have been "playing" with your reflection in the mirror.  You also love anything with a straw and Mommy and Daddy can't leave their drinks around unless they want them to get swiped!  You are a huge fan of lawn mowers and big construction vehicles.

What are your favorite books and toys?
You are still loving books and will pick out ones for us to read together every night.  At the moment, you love Good Dog, CarlGoodnight MoonSheep in a Jeep, and Can You Find Colors?.  You love your Bubble Mower and Cozy Coupe.  You also love anything you can't have - the pill bottles, the sugar bowl, the glass dishes.  You love playing with the phones and remotes.

What are some things you don't love?
You, like every other toddler in the world, do not like it when things don't go your way or you can't have something you want.  You are a pretty happy boy, but you can definitely get angry when life isn't going the way you want it to.  Hence, the next category...

What is your behavior like?
Living with a toddler is kinda like living with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  One minute, life is fabulous and wonderful and the next, there is a full blown meltdown for no apparent reason.  You are certainly in the throes of toddler-dom, my friend.  You have taken to minor tantrums and will definitely cry and kick if you are upset.  You are also a hitter and attempt to bite.  A lot of this has to do with inability to verbally communicate what you want.  You try to tell us something with pointing or noises, we don't understand, you get frustrated and then do a split onto the floor while you scream.  You are usually able to be redirected pretty easily ("Liam, let's go find Max."  "Liam let's go play with the bowls and spoons.") and are still a sweet and happy kid for the most part.

Letting you dig into the makeup or tear up magazines in the only way Mommy gets a chance to pee during the day!

What can you do?
This month, you learned to blow kisses (well half blow kisses - you put your hand up to your mouth).  You also can now do the signs for open and timer (we made this one up to show when you wanted the oven timer on).  You have half of the sign for thank you as well.  You are learning about "nice boy hands" - for you this means gently scratching someone.  Let Mommy explain this one...several weeks ago when you were hitting Max, we showed you how to scratch his back and "do nice" to him.  Now, anytime we tell you to use "nice boy hands" to us, you "scratch" us like you would do to Max!  It's better than hitting!  You have also learned to stick your finger up your nose and you think it's pretty funny when you do it.  You put your hands up in the air when someone asks you a question you don't know the answer to as if you are saying "I don't know."

What are you saying?
You still don't have any words and as mentioned above, the doctor isn't concerned yet.  Mommy and Daddy aren't either, but it helps to hear it from the doctor too.  Your receptive vocabulary is awesome and you understand so much of what we say.  We are encouraging you to say something anytime you want something, instead of only pointing and making noises.  So, when Mommy tells you to say "phone" and you come out with an eight syllable "word", at least you are realizing you need to say something!  

How many teeth do you have?
You officially have 16 teeth and will go to the dentist for the first time in October.

What is Mommy and Daddy's Parents of the Year moment this month?
This one is all Mommy.  You were playing in Mommy and Daddy's bedroom with Mommy one afternoon.  With Mommy standing right there, you tripped over your own feet and your mouth hit the side rail of the bed.  You instantly started screaming and all Mommy saw was blood.  You had managed to hit just under your lip against the bed and there was a pretty big cut.  It didn't take you too long to settle down, but the bleeding would not stop.  We were very close to taking you to the hospital to see if you needed stitches.  The bleeding finally stopped after what felt like hours and you were completely fine by that evening.  Mommy is still recovering!

Yes, that is blood all over the towel and a swollen and cut lip as a result of the fall.

What are some firsts from this month?
This month has been a busy one for firsts.  You went swimming in the pond for the first time with Daddy.  You also started swim classes at the YMCA.  You were not pleased for the first 10 minutes or so of the first class (the water was a little chilly), but now you absolutely love it.  You splash and kick and don't want to leave when class is over.   You went blueberry picking at the farm.  You took your first ride on an airplane to North Carolina.  You did very well, although being confined on Mommy's lap got old real fast.  You went to your first wedding while we were down there, but you were home in bed before the real fun started.  You also helped Daddy mow the lawn and rode on a turtle's back.

"You mean you want me to jump into that big bathtub?"

It was very Blueberries for Sal - you ate way more than went into your bucket!

 Cutest little wedding guest ever.

Benjamin Franklin - the 60 year old, 350 pound turtle on the side of the road in North Carolina...only in the South.

What are we looking forward to in the next month?
While Mommy is most definitely not looking forward to this, you start "school" at the end of the month.  You are going to be there two days a week when Mommy goes back to work and Nana will watch you the other three days.  We will be going to visit your "girlfriends" in CT for a playdate.  We are also planning to take you to your first baseball game.

While you can certainly be a handful at times, you are so very fun and full of personality and we love you so much!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The One with OAD NBC

Or alternatively titled: The One with the Very Long Acronym.

Side note - Liam's 15 month post is coming.  We go for his check-up on Monday, so I am waiting for official stats before I publish the monthly update.

Okay, back to the acronym.

OAD = One And Done

NBC = Not By Choice

So, in essence, it means only having one child but not because that's how you want it to be.

In case you didn't pick up the news yet, frobaby did not implant.  It did not think my uterus was a fun place to hang out for nine (ten) months and I am therefore completely and totally not pregnant.

My beta was yesterday morning (huge bruise from the blood draw obviously) and the nurse called in the afternoon with the news.  It was not a shocker to be honest.

I had been spotting since late last week and had that "my period is coming any second now" feeling (despite the fact that the huge needles were supposed to stop that from happening).  I didn't feel the "twinges" I had with Liam and something in me really just knew I wasn't pregnant.  Didn't make hearing the "unfortunately, you are not pregnant" news any easier, just expected.

Hubs and I agreed before this FET that if it didn't work, we weren't going to do another fresh cycle.  We are getting to the point where we are paying off some large debts that we have incurred over the years and while our insurance covers a whole lot of the costs with IVF, we still have a large co-pay.  Plus, the emotional and physical tolls associated with another fresh cycle are huge and I'm just not sure I can handle it.  On top of that, there's no guarantee it would work.  We were ridiculously lucky to get pregnant on our first IVF cycle and I don't know if it would happen on the first try again.

So, we are a one child family.  I would be completely full of shit if I said I wasn't disappointed about that.  I want Liam to have a (non furry) sibling.  I want him to grow up with another kid around.  I want him to have someone after we are gone (I know that's morbid but it's one of my thoughts).

I am still dealing with the emotional repercussions of this.  I never get to be pregnant again.  I never get to watch a baby dance inside me on an ultrasound machine again.  I never get to feel those amazing kicks and jabs again.  I never get to feel like freaking Super Woman for giving birth to a baby with no meds again.  I never get to experience the newborn smell again.  I never get to use all those teeny tiny clothes again.

I love Liam with every ounce of my being and as I sit here typing with the video monitor next to me watching him toss and turn in his crib because another damn tooth is coming in and tears streaming down my cheeks, I know in my heart that he (and Hubs and Max) are enough.  I know that we are a happy family with an exorbitant amount of blessings.  I know that God made me that little boy's mother to teach me about unconditional love and how infinite that love can be.

But right now, I also know that I am sad and this completely sucks.

Friday, July 25, 2014

The One with the Latest

So it's been a little while but I just wanted to update on what's been going on with Project Make a Baby #2.

I got my period very shortly after the last post and started Estrace that day.  It did cause some headaches, but not as bad as the tap dancing leprechauns.  I took it twice a day for 12 days.

While I was on that, my PIO meds and super stabby needles arrived.  There are two bags of needles here, one with the syringe and one with just needles.  I draw up the med from the vial using a thicker needle and inject with a thinner one (both 1 1/2 inches long though!).

Baby sharps container is back for round two!

Close up of the big ass mo-fo needles.

On the 18th, I increased the Estrace to three times a day.

On the morning of the 19th, I went in for my baseline ultrasound to check on my fabulous uterus and see how things were looking in there.  The nurse was kinda cranky that day but she did say that everything looked great and my stripe was perfect.  She told me I'd get a call from one of the nurses later that day with my instructions.

When the nurse called, she told me I was going to start PIO that night and continue taking the Estrace.  I had to call the lab on Wednesday and they would let me know how frobaby was doing and schedule my transfer for Thursday the 24th if all looked good.

I will do a separate post about the PIO, but it really hasn't been that bad.  Hubs has been amazing and even though he gets super nervous beforehand, he has been doing my shots each night like a champ.

When I called the lab on Wednesday afternoon, the embryologist told me everything looked good and that I was to come in on Thursday at 9:30 for my transfer.

So, yesterday morning, Hubs took Liam to swim class (so sad I missed seeing them in the pool together) and I sat in massive amounts of traffic to get to the center.  If you remember from Thing 1 and Thing 2's transfer, I need a full bladder for this procedure.  So that was awesome sitting in traffic having to pee.

Things went well during the actual transfer.  The embryologist showed me a picture of frobaby and said it looked great.  One of the other doctors in the practice that I hadn't met yet did the actual procedure and he was extremely calm and peaceful during the whole thing.  Frobaby got loaded up in the catheter and even though I wasn't able to see a great picture on the ultrasound screen this time (the machine was being wonky), the doctor said he put frobaby in a great spot up in there.

I came home and rested for a bit (really for about 3 minutes before L needed something) and now we just wait.  I have a beta blood test scheduled for a couple of weeks from now when I get back from vacation and hopefully it will be good news.  We know there is such a small chance of this leading to a viable pregnancy, but it is completely out of our hands now.

I leave you with one more picture that has my hospital bracelet and the top of frobaby's former home.  We saved everything from the procedures that got us L and will do the same with this little one.

Thanks for all the good thoughts and prayers.  Keep 'em coming!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The One with the Project Update

Long post, no pictures coming...warning given.

As most "normal" (read: not reproductively challenged) people will eventually do, Hubs and I began the discussion of a second baby over the past few months.  It seems we have amnesia about the sleepless nights and the breastfeeding fiasco and the explosive poops of newborn baby-ness.  Nevertheless, we started to talk about frobaby.

If you have been reading for a while, you may remember that we had one embryo viable for freezing at the end of our fresh IVF cycle in August 2012.  This frobaby has been chillin' (literally) at our clinic waiting for us to make a decision about him/her.

Little background on my vag, ute, and ovaries lately before I get to what the plan is...

I went for my yearly gynecologist appointment in April and talked to Dr. B. about my weird periods.  In the last six months or so, my periods have had a mind of their own.  There's spotting, there's bleeding like a freakin' open wound, and there's waaaay too many days of it every month.  My gyno took a biopsy of the cells in my ute to check for the scary stuff (cancer, etc.) and the only thing he found was some inflammation which could have been a possible infection.  So, he put me on an antibiotic and said we would most likely need to do a saline sonohysterogram to further investigate my lady bits.

Fast forward 10 days...

I called and requested the SIS because I wouldn't really know if the antibiotic worked until my next period and I didn't want to wait that long.  I went in for my SIS in late May and Dr. B. told me my uterus looked "textbook perfect."  In fact, he mentioned wishing he had med students in the office so he could show them my "perfect" ute.  I'm adding that to my resume by the way - "awesome freaking uterus."  So no real answer for the screwy periods, but he mentioned the possibility of small polyps that he couldn't see and said I could have a D&C to scrape out my uterus (sounds pleasant huh).  I mentioned that Hubs and I had been talking about a possible second kiddo and he said to talk to Dr. Bow Tie about the situation and go from there.

Fast forward a month later...

I go in for my consult with Dr. Bow Tie about a FET (frozen embryo transfer).  I mention the recent SIS to him (he wanted to do one before the transfer anyway to check things out) and he says if all looks good once he gets the images from Dr. B., I can start the process with my next cycle.  Hubs and I would both need routine blood work first to check for STDs and the such, but there really wasn't much prep before we started moving on things.  Holy goodness, I guess this is really happening!

I met with my nurse and she went over the whole process and med protocol with me.  It is ridiculously "easy" compared to a fresh cycle with way less meds and much less monitoring and probing.

Once my period started, I would begin taking Estrace twice a day.  This is an estrogen pill that, in combination with my other med, helps to thicken the lining of my ute in preparation for transfer.  I take this for 12 days and then increase to three times a day on day 13.  On day 14, I go in for an ultrasound to check my lining.  If things look good (meaning it's lush and gorgeous looking), I start my second med.

And then she dropped the sucky bomb...

My second med was progesterone in oil (PIO) instead of a vag pill.  They have found more success with frozen cycles by using the PIO.  Well that is good news.  The bad news is that this med is an intramuscular shot with a huge needle.  Remember when I stressed out about subcutaneous shots? Awww that girl was cute with her worry.  This is gonna suck way more.  I will inject this med once a day (actually Hubs will most likely do it because it's in my ass and I won't be able to reach) and do it through the first 10ish weeks of pregnancy if this transfer is successful.

The transfer will be scheduled for 5 days after the ultrasound if my lining is cooperative.  Then we do the dreaded two week wait again, get my blood drawn for a beta pregnancy test, and pray like hell it worked.

When I left the office that day, the nurse instructed me to call the insurance and pharmacy companies and make sure everything looked okay on that end, talk to the financial lady at the center so she could go over what our co-pay would be, and then call when my period started.

Soooo, the short story is...we are crazy enough to be trying for a second little one (who technically would be L's fraternal twin) and once again praying and hoping like crazy the whole process goes smoothly and gives us another baby.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The One with the Fourteen Month Update

Liam Michael you are


Max has been feeling awfully left out lately.

Mama is officially on summer vacation and it has been non-stop around here!  We are soaking up every minute of summer and enjoying lots of time outside.

What are your stats and what does the doctor say?
No new reports from the doctor (we go back next month), but you are probably somewhere around 28 pounds and have definitely grown in height.  You can now reach things on the edges of the kitchen counters so we are constantly making sure everything is pushed back.  

What are you eating?
You continue to eat well and enjoy your meals.  You still love fruit of all kinds, but are especially fond of berries.  This month, you tried rice and a bison burger for the first time.  You continue to love your whole milk and get one 6-ounce bottle in the morning when you first wake up and one 6-ounce bottle before bed.  We are hoping to cut out the morning bottle in the next month or so and just give you milk in a cup in the morning with your breakfast.  You have sippy or straw cups of milk with your meals and water in between.

When do you sleep and eat?
Your sleeping and eating habits have remained pretty consistent this month, although Mommy and Daddy have messed with them a little because of some weekend happenings (you took it all in stride though!).  Most mornings, you are ready to start your day by around 6:30 and enjoy a bottle of whole milk in your room.  We do breakfast by 7:30ish and you are ready for a morning nap between 9:30 and 10:00.  You usually nap for an hour to an hour and a half in the morning.  Lunch is around noontime and you are down for an afternoon nap by 2:30ish.  This one is also usually an hour to an hour and a half.  We have dinner between 5:30 and 6:00 and you are still asleep by 7:30 most nights.

What size clothes and diapers are you wearing?
Mommy packed up all your 12 months clothes last week and you are wearing 18 month and 18-24 month clothes.  You are still in size 4 Pampers Cruisers during the day.  You wear size 5 Huggies Overnites with an extra absorbency pad at night.

What are some things you love?
You are happy anytime you can be stand at the sliders and sign "please" while pointing outside multiple times a day.  You have so much fun playing with your water table and dumping all the water onto yourself.  This month, you have shown a much greater interest in books (more on that below) and will bring them over to us and sign "please" for us to read them to you.  You like to push buttons (phones, remotes, etc.) and have discovered you can climb on things.  You love the app Peekaboo Barn and get so excited when the music comes on at the beginning.  Walks in your stroller are a daily occurrence and it's a way to keep you amused and contained!

What are your favorite books and toys?
You love books lately little man, which makes Mommy's heart so happy!  You will bring books to us and snuggle up for a few short minutes so we can read together.  We have always read to you, especially before you go to sleep, but you didn't seem overly interested during the day until recently.  Right now, you love Heads, Each Peach Pear PlumTrucks, and Tumble Bumble.  You are enjoying playing with your bubble machine outside and any and all kitchen utensils.  You still love the dog toys and find any opportunity to put them in your mouth.  You also think the vacuum is super fun and will go over and "tell" me you want me to vacuum.  In fact, you love all cleaning tools, especially Mommy's mops.

What are some things you don't love?
You have definitely shown more frustration lately when you are trying to communicate something and we don't understand.  You don't like having things taken away and diaper changes are still a battle of who is stronger!

What can you do?
This month, you learned to stand from sitting and it's pretty cute to watch you stick your bum up in the air when you are trying to stand up.  You are able to follow more and more commands each day - "Liam, give that to Mommy.  Liam, let's go to your room for a rest.  Liam, take Max's toy out of your mouth!"  You can identify body parts on both yourself and others.  You are now smelling everything, including food before it goes in your mouth.  You hold phones up to your ears and are getting better at throwing balls and things out of your playpen or laundry basket in the tub.  You also recognize people in pictures and associate the names to the pictures.  You are signing "all done" and we are working on several others.

What are you saying?
Still no actual words yet, but there are a lot of beginning sounds.  Mommy thinks you say "whoa" with meaning behind it pretty consistently, but I'm not sure we can count that as your first word!  You recognize school busses and will say /b/ whenever you see one.  You also say the /r/ sound when you see a truck.  

How many teeth do you have?
So remember how last month Mommy was convinced that you held the record for the most teeth coming in at once?  No sooner had that post been put up, then we discovered 3 more teeth coming in! You now have 15 teeth and number 16 isn't far behind.  So all we have left are your 2 year molars!

What are some firsts from this month?
You stayed up much later than your bedtime this month when we went to CT for Uncle R.J.'s graduation party, but you handled it very well.  You also went to the beach for the first time.  You weren't too sure about the sand, but we had fun.

What are we looking forward to in the next month?
We will be starting swim lessons very soon.  We are also going to pick strawberries and blueberries and visit the farmer's market.  Later this month, you will be going on your first airplane ride to North Carolina for a family wedding.   

You continue to amaze us every day with all you are learning and how much you are growing.  We love you so much!