28 September, 2011


well, after all these weeks of shooting myself up and taking pills, i got a call today from the nurse at the fertility center. my estrogen is lower than they would like so now we have to push the embryo transfer back a week. i am super bummed right now and i don't know if i want to punch someone in the face or if i want to cry. so many things were aligned to go along with this october 4 date, and now i have to make sure i can realign everything. i don't even feel like writing right now. i don't feel like doing anything. maybe i will just go eat that bag of ghirardelli chocolate chips in the cabinet. so keep sending those positive vibes, but especially send them on the 11th for me instead of the 4th. blah.

23 September, 2011

the acronym entry

for those of you who get pregnant by "just looking at him", FET stands for frozen embryo transfer. you might also not know that TTC means trying to conceive...you likely don't know that because you never had to spend much time on any message boards about infertility.

so here it is. a recap for those of you who have only read my post-mason blog entries.

josh and i TTC for about seven months after we started to TTC again after losing cooper. with cooper we TTC for three months. it was easy. average. no worries.

but the next time around things had changed. and after seven long months of timing it perfectly and checking cervical fluid and the softness of my cervix (yes, you can and should check out your cervix every now and then)and using ovulation predictor sticks and charting my temperature and all the other ridiculous things one has to do when TTC, i was feeling like something just was not right.

turns out it wasn't right. and after a couple of months of testing and after trying two months of IUI (basically what you all know of as artificial insemination -- or trying to become pregnant with a turkey baster) we decided to take our shot with IVF (in vitro fertilization).

i did everything to facilitate a successful transfer. visualization. meditation. yoga. fertility massage. acupuncture. eating for fertility. taking herbs. drinking nasty chinese herbal teas. it's been so long i don't even remember what else. but whatever could be done, i did.

and it worked. mason is an ART (artificial reproductive therapy) baby. he was the only embryo of five that we decided to transfer that day back in january of 2009. the doc said it was of such high quality that if we put two in, i would likely have twins. at the time that scared the shit out of me because i was terrified that my water would break again. after all, we were warned by the doctors that i had a 30% chance of being a pPROM queen in any subsequent pregnancies. (that's preterm premature rupture of the membranes and that is a cute little term we PROM queens use on the message boards).

so anyway, we transferred that one tiny embryo on its fifth day of existence (this is called a blastocyst and itss the most ideal situation for a successful transfer) and he became our mason.

so here we are. ready for more. this time it's easy. less meds. less doctor's appointments. i am still doing all of the things i did in order to prepare, which is harder this time around because i have a two year old to play with all day long, but i am fitting it all in. and i am not stressed about it. or worried. i am confident that it will work again.

i was told by the RE (reproductive endocrinologist) to wean mason before i could start the FET cycle. but i did some research and i talked to people and it turns out that none of the meds will get to him and that since all they need is timing of my cycle, which they manipulate with drugs, there is no reason to wean. so we are still nursing through this and no one has any idea except for us and now all of you. i couldn't see weaning him. i didn't want him to have to suffer because of my need for another baby. the worst thing that could happen was that one of the meds could have caused my milk to dry up, but that hasn't happened. i was okay with that risk because pregnancy could to that, too.

we had three embryos survive until the day after mason's transfer. they are all frozen in liquid nitrogen waiting to be placed gently into my womb someday. i have five babies right now. one is my precious tiny cooper. one is my vibrant and growing mason. and those three little frozen pops. that's how i see it.

it's amazing to watch as this tiny little embryo travels in a bubble into your womb. and then to have it grow in your belly and then to hold it on the outside. and then to watch it grow up. it's just amazing.

of course it would have been nice to have this all done naturally, but i am really fascinated by the way i was able to watch mason grow from the very beginning. and i am so thankful that this technology exists. and that my insurance pays for it. because otherwise, i would likely still be a mom of just one little angel baby. i do not regret not having conceived mason naturally. nor do i regret trying to give these other little babies a chance at life.

so people keep asking me if we tried again naturally this time. or wishing for me that i didn't have to go through all of this. but honestly, we didn't try that hard. i want to give these babies a shot. and if someday, we have no more embryos, then we will try again the natural way. but for now. i have to try to give these little ones life in the same way that i was able to give mason life. they are his siblings.

and according to a 40 week pregnancy calendar, today i am about week pregnant. how's that for optimism?

we are scheduled for FET (frozen embryo transfer) on october 4. that or those embryo(s) are six days old already. they have the same conception date as mason, which i have always thought was so interesting. so since they are six days old, i count back six days from october 4, which for me is transfer day and for you fertile myrtles is the day of implantation, and that gives me the conception date and two weeks before that is week one, the start of the menstrual cycle for those of you who do this naturally. if this is confusing, count yourself lucky. if not, my heart goes out to you sister.

so here i am, a week pregnant. the question is, am i pregnant with one or two babies? the embies are frozen in two vials. one embryo is all alone in one vial and the other two are together. we are thawing the sole embryo first. but there is a 2/3% survival rate for thawed embryos, which means likely two of our three babies will survive the thaw in the end. (i am not convinced that this will be true for us. neither is josh. we both think they will all survive. just gut feelings for both of us.)so anyway. if this one guy doesn't survive, then we are left to decide -- do we transfer one or two. if we transfer one, then we have to refreeze the other and then risk going through all the meds and prep work next time and showing up for another FET and having them tell us that we have no embryo to transfer. but if we put two in, i run the risk of having twins, which would be challenging but wonderful. but the problem is that i am planning a home birth. and in new jersey, you have to search far and wide to find a midwife who will agree to attend a twin home birth -- let alone a twin VBAC home birth (vaginal birth after cesarean).

so i have two midwives lined up as my just in case plan. i cannot and will not ever mention their names online because they will be taking a huge risk in attending my possible vbac twin home birth. they have agreed to attend my twin hbac (home birth after cesarean). and i am super psyched about that. and not afraid.

so there it is. in a nutshell. keep us in your thoughts and send out the positive vibes. and we will especially need those positive vibes on october 4. i contemplated not blogging about this and about keeping the date to myself. and about keeping the transfer quiet except for my closest friends. but this is me. this is how i live my life -- out loud. the more people who know about it just means more positive energy. and in the event that it is unsuccessful or if something sad were to happen along the way, i will have more people to turn to for support. that's how i survived losing my cooper. i asked for help. i accepted help. and i let people know how badly it hurt. so this is how it will be again. when i become pregnant, you will all know. and you will all know how happy i am. and if i don't you will all know. and you will all know how sad i am. that's just the way it is. that's just the way i am.

so if you enjoy reading my blog, you are along for the ride. welcome. and thank you.

18 September, 2011

sleeping baby boy

this is the story of one of the two things i feel guilty about with you.

when you were eight months old i am ashamed to say that i let you cry in your crib.

i remember deciding to try it. you were asleep on my lap, where you had napped your entire life. i was in a bad frame of mind and feeling frustrated, i couldn't move if you were sleeping. or talk. or anything. i had to hold my pee. i couldn't eat. and it had been like that for eight months. i was sick of it.

so this one day you were asleep and i attempted to read a book. i turned a page and you woke up. i was so tired of not being able to do anything that i started to ask around if people had let their kids cry in order to learn to sleep. many people told me they had. and lots of moms who i respected told me they had.

everyone i knew was telling me for months that i needed to do it. your grandparents. my grandmother. friends of your grandparents. my uncle. friends of mine. people we worked with.

and i was at my wits end.

so i tried it.

i did it at nap time. i put you in your crib once you were asleep in my arms. you woke up crying. i patted your butt and shhhhhed you as you cried and rolled over and reached your arms up for me to pick you up.

i thought i was doing the right thing. but it felt so wrong. it was awful. and i still feel like shit about doing it.

you fell asleep after about six minutes. and slept for about fifteen.

i tried it three days in a row. for one nap each day. and each day i felt nauseated in anticipation of it and during it and after it.

on the second day you cried less about four minutes and slept about twenty minutes.

you usually drifted off to sleep so peacefully and slept for a long time.

everyone said that i was doing the right thing. that it was good for you. that i just had to do it. that i had no choice.

but it felt wrong. it was wrong. it was no good for you. or for me. i did not have to do it and i did have a choice.

on the third day you cried for about two minutes. i said to myself, "f this. what the fuck is wrong with me?" and i scooped you up, said how sorry i was, tucked you into the moby wrap and held you tight. and i took a picture of us. and i never let you cry to sleep like that again.

so we went back to our lap naps. and sometimes i wrapped you up in the moby or tucked you in the ergo. and that was it. i felt so much better about me and about you and about sleep.

soon after this you started to sleep in the car. and the with the vacuum. and then i could nurse you to sleep in bed. and then i could sneak away. you used to wake up crying. now you just say, "mommy up!" and that's after you sleep for three hours nearly every day. all by yourself.

at night was always a different story. you usually fell asleep easily after your bath. i would get ready for bed and we would snuggle in on the couch together. daddy would bring me food and hold you while i ran to the bathroom. he would do everything for me that i couldn't do because i was holding you.

i sometimes forget how helpful he was. and i always want you to know that i couldn't be this type of mommy for you without a daddy like yours.

so anyway at night you usually woke a lot but you never cried at night. you never had to.

and these days, a couple of weeks shy of two, you are still usually up a lot. i mean every hour or two. but you are in bed with us so it's not as terrible as some might imagine. it would be terrible if i had to get up out of bed and go to you. but i don't. and maybe you would be sleeping through by now if you were in another bed, but for us and for now, this is just fine.

but here's the cool part. over the past few weeks, you've been sleeping longer stretches. you have only been waking up twice.it's glorious. these nights are still not the norm, but at least i know you are getting there. all by yourself.

i didn't have to let you cry.

i'm sure that lots of people who read this will have strong opinions about it -- and i would enjoy hearing them -- but i will disagree with them, for sure. because i know there is an option. we don't have to let our babies cry. and we do not have to teach them how to sleep alone.

today it's two pm and you are asleep on my lap. you've been asleep since eight last night. you are obviously fighting something off. but it's a day like this that makes me wonder how i ever got tired of sitting on the couch with the tv on and a sleeping baby boy on my lap.

those days were easy.

14 September, 2011

milky other side

your uncle chris has you conditioned to ask for "milky other side" instead of just "milky" or just "other side".

before you could talk you would sometimes start crying "milky" while you were nursing. i figured out that you meant you wanted to switch sides so i taught you to say "other side". so eventually, your uncle thought it was funny and every time you would start to nurse he would say real loud, "other side" and you would then switch sides. now you do it all. the. time. you nurse on one side for a few seconds and then say, "milky other side!" you come up to me and ask for "milky other side". at night you roll over in your sleep and cry out, "MILKY OTHER SIDE!"

it's funny -- most of the time.

and these are the joys of nursing a toddler. that along with the putting your hand down my shirt while i carry you through target. or trying to eat a meal out at PJs and having you climb from your booster onto my lap and nurse underneath my attempts to finish my sandwich and beer.

but the craziest thing is what goes on in my mind about the future. your dad and i have decided that we are ready to try for another baby. and for us that means that i have to take lots of meds and shoot shots into my leg and have one (or two) of your frozen embryo siblings transferred into my womb. i am excited and afraid at the same time. but what i think about the most is the way that a new baby or babies will change you and me.

i love you and me.

i am finally really understanding you and i have finally become really patient you and you are finally becoming patient with me. we are in such a groovy groove. i am terrified of shaking your life up. of shaking our lives up. things are so good right now. they are getting easier every day. and even though i sometimes hate nursing you, i can't imagine that part of our relationship going away.

we have friends who have just been through this. watching them introduce new babies into their little toddlers lives has been so terrifying for me. i have seen them grimace through the pain of sore nipple throughout pregnancy. i have watched and listened as they have become so frustrated with their giant nursing kids while the little babies are latched on peacefully. why would i want to do this to you? to me? to us?

i know that you will get so much out of having a little baby around. you love babies. you will love having a sibling in the long run. and i know that the benefits outweigh all of the inconveniences or even the stress that it will cause you. me. us.

but still, i can't help but mourn the loss of you and me. i am already mourning it. and i am not even pregnant yet.

i love you so much. i love us. and i am sorry for the way your world might be rocked in the future. but for now, i will just keep on smiling and laughing -- and yes most times i even smile at four AM -- when you ask for, "milky other side!"