March for Babies

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

We Made Some Serious Lemonaid

Christmas Eve we always get together with my father's side of the family for dinner, singing and presents. Everyone was excited to see Azure for her First Christmas of course. We arrived with zero ornaments which proclaimed "Baby's First Christmas" and left with four or five of them. She made out like a bandit! The most memorable time that night however was when she met my Cousin M for the first time. He has been away at grad school and this was the first family function that both he and she have attended together since she came home from the hospital. My aunt who saw her for a split second in the hospital when she was about 3 weeks old leaned over to M and said, "Now remember, the first time I saw her, her head was the size of a lemon!"
It shocked me. I look at my daughter who is now over 13 pounds and I have trouble reconciling the idea that she is the same teeny tiny baby that was in the hospital for a quarter of this year. How is that possible? She is so big and healthy and happy. How can this be the same kid who was hanging onto life by the thinnest threads of hope? This girl, who was giving out belly laughs as I alternated tickling her toes and her belly yesterday was at one point muted by tubes and too sensitive to be touched.
My Cousin A made a digital photo montage using pictures of Azure set to music for a school project. At the end it said "Elephant Family Miracle". She said it made her teacher cry and she received an A.
I think I have reached a point where I do not like looking back at where we were. We are moving on, focusing on her new developments and skills, like blowing spit bubbles with a mouth full of carrots! Life handed us a pretty big lemon at the beginning of the year, it was sour too, but we squeezed the shit out of it and I think that Azure is now the sweetest lemonaid ever to have touched my puckered lips.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Be Careful What You Wish For...

I asked for it. I did. Remind me why again, exactly. Oh right, because I felt like crap and had nothing to show for it. Now, I have plenty to show, a bit too much perhaps.

I took the progesterone last week. Today is CD3. It is also day three on the progesterone-only "mini-pill". So far the cramps have been only teasers, nothing much to speak of, not even requiring painkillers. The bleeding and clots however have gotten a bit out of hand. You know the feeling when you are snuggled into your covers and the morning alarm has not yet gone off and you turn over only to be horrified by the feeling that should you pull back that downy flannel comforter you would find something only fit for CSI: Ute Division or possibly Nightmare on Menstrual Street? Well, yeah. That has been my start to the day the past TWO mornings. I am running to the ladies room hourly to keep things under control. Happy Holidays!

Of course I have been slightly distracted by the new pimples that are erupting around my nose every hour or so. Rudolph ain’t got nothin’ on me yo! We are not talking tiny whiteheads but the big red puffy painful suckers.

The worst part is the appetite. I have been participating in a weight loss competition at work. So far, I have done very well. Until yesterday when I ate not one, not two, not even three but FOUR pieces of pizza for lunch. All together now, H-O-R-M-O-N-A-L. This morning I had a Cinnamon Crunch bagel with hazelnut cream cheese for breakfast. Mmmmmm. We have a weigh in tomorrow. I may just be voted off the Red Team this week. *sigh*

All kidding aside, I think this is good for me. All the blood, all the huge, enormous, voluminous amounts of blood have been bright red. Not a single brown spot in sight. If I can do this every month (hopefully on a slightly lesser scale), I might actually function like a normal human! Wow!

T has been great. He even went out and bought my favorite citrus flavored vodka. I enjoyed a couple glasses on the rocks last night while holding up the Christmas tree so he could secure it into the stand. It actually looks pretty straight considering. We shall attempt to decorate it tonight. I cannot wait to see Azure’s face when she sees those lights start blinking!

I still have a ton of shopping to do and must prepare the house for the first of three family parties which we are hosting Saturday afternoon. (That is, we are hosting the first party on Saturday the next two are at other people’s houses Sunday night and Monday night.) There are also family birthdays to be celebrated and my girlfriend’s 10-year wedding anniversary coming up. (How can she have been married for ten years when we have just gotten out of college? Yes we have! It has only been, um, *gulp*, nine years, but it feels like only yesterday! No really, I am not getting old, I swear!)

I think I need some more vodka.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The One That Got Away

A long time ago I wrote about how T and I were sponsoring a child in an orphanage in the Ukraine. I originally signed us up to do it back before we even started TTC on our own. I wanted to get our names in at the adoption agency through which my niece was adopted from China and a nephew (different sibling) was adopted from Guatemala. I figured if they were used to our involvement through their international programs when it came time for us to adopt we would be a shoe in. Not to mention that we obviously have an adoption friendly family. (I have since decided that should we adopt we would go through a different agency, but we kept up the sponsorship through the original agency.)

We received the first update on our boy O on his fourth birthday back in 2001. He was SO cute with white blond hair and big blue eyes and a great smile. His mother was a drug abuser and unable to take care of him but she visited him in the orphanage. He was diagnosed with "moronity" and showed several delays. I keep the most recent update with picture up on our fridge so that we, and everyone else, can see it. Through the years we have received updates and new pictures and have watched O grow and learn. His delays are becoming less and less of a problem as he is participating in play therapy and working with teachers. He was progressing very well. Last Christmas we received a card from him and a picture of the new playground at the orphanage. It was beautiful, it too went up on the fridge.

In the back of my mind, I kept thinking that someday, eventually, we might be able to adopt him. Every update ended with the same line. They were working on beginning the process to deny his mother’s parental rights, which would allow him to be placed for adoption. Every single update for the last five years has said the same thing. They were working on beginning the process.

This fall I was excited to see the large envelope from the adoption agency, knowing it would be another update on O. Instead, I found a letter explaining that O had reached an appropriate age to be transferred to a boarding school and was no longer under the supervision of the adoption agency. We would no longer be able to get information about him. While this was good news for him, he had advanced enough to go to school, I felt like he had been taken from us. Our boy was gone and we could not do anything about it. So sorry, here is a new boy for you to sponsor. While the new boy, V is adorable and certainly deserving. (He lives with his father and grandparents, not in an institution.) He is not O. We have lost him forever.

Wherever O is, whatever he may be doing, whoever is loving him now, I wish him the best.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Hold On, Let's Back Up a Minute

I touched on a couple things in my last post but didn't develop them properly.  I wrote it in a rush and posted it without doing a thorough proof reading.  Let me see if I can elaborate a bit.
#1) My neck/shoulder/wrist.  It is easy enough to look at my job, sitting in a chair typing all day, lots of numbers so the right hand gets used more than the left, and say that my posture and repeated use can cause this type of muscle fatigue and aches.  I have been doing the same thing for the past nine years.  I have a very difficult time believing that all of a sudden last Friday things started to hurt this way.  I have always had tight muscles in my neck and shoulders.  I stretch them when I feel them tightening up and before Azure was born I was getting regular massages to help relax them a bit.  I no longer have the time or money to get those massages, and my massage therapist just had a baby of her own a couple weeks ago. (She has also endo and has been a great support and friend for the past few years.)  T thinks that I hurt myself lifting Azure's car seat out of the base.  I suppose this is possible, but it is not like I felt a twinge at the time of injury or anything.  I may be sleeping on it funny, but why all of a sudden?  Maybe it is Azure getting heavier but wouldn't my muscles gain in strength as she gains weight?  It is not like she was 5 pounds yesterday and 12 pounds today, that happened slowly over the past six months.  For now I am using stretches, a heated neck wrap and the occasional pain reliever to try to ease it a bit.
#2) The Rx of progesterone to jump-start my period should only be taken if I am certain I am not pregnant.  I had to take not one but two tests to prove my low hcg in order to get the Rx in the first place.  My thought was that I would take it ASAP but then my life went and got in the way again.  Normally, T and I take a bit of a vacation Thanksgiving weekend.  We go up north and enjoy ourselves gambling, bowling, playing pool, eating food we brought from home to keep the cost down and romping in the hotel swimming pool.  Of course there is always the added bonus of Vacation Sex.  Who doesn't like Vacation Sex, right?  Well, this year we stayed home.  To be honest, we didn't have the money at the time and bringing Azure with us this year would mean no gambling, and probably no bowling or pool playing.  Our trade off is spending the night in the hotel this Saturday for T's company Christmas party.  We get the pool, a good time with good food and, hopefully, the Vacation Sex.  If I had taken the progesterone when I got it on Monday I would bet cold hard cash that AF would be in full force just in time to ruin this weekend for us (what with the bleeding and cramping and snarking).  I couldn't do that to T.  I decided to put my marriage ahead of my uterus for a few days.  But, it isn't just a few days, is it?  If we enjoy ourselves this weekend I have to wait another two weeks (during which we will need to either abstain or use a reliable form of birth control), test again and then take the progesterone.  Don't get me wrong.  The irony of needing to take a medication so that I have a cycle at all but not being able to take the medication until I prove my body is still defective is just laughable. HA!  And yet, here we are.  I suppose a few more weeks doesn't matter.  Maybe I'll take the progesterone on Christmas, just in time to fuck up New Years! HoHoHo. 
Ok, I think I did a better job of explaining myself this time. 
One more thing to add.  T and I have basically agreed that we would like to adopt another child preferably within the next 4-5 years.  What is standing in our way is money.  We don't have any.  So, our plan of action at this point is to straighten out our financial fiasco and then we will investigate our options from that fresh point of view.  I can deal with this.  This gives me something to work on, even if it isn't directly related to bringing another child into our family it is a step in that direction.  I can feel good about paying bills and pinching pennies because in the end Azure will have a sibling. *sigh of relief*

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Ramdom Stuff

I find myself in that weird position of a previously infertile person wanting to send out Christmas cards which include a current (and extremely adorable) picture of my daughter. I know this can be an extremely emotional time of year and having one’s face rubbed into other people’s success makes it that much harder. I know of one couple in particular who will receive a different card from us, sans picture. Now that I write it out this way I guess there is no real question involved. It is just something I have been thinking about a lot today. I guess I still do not feel completely comfortable with the idea, and yet, last night I took the pictures and today I designed the cards. All I have to do is print them, address them and send them out. That all may or may not happen in the next three weeks. With all of my "freetime" lately, we’ll see how it goes. They may end up as Happy Valentine’s Day cards.

My neck, right shoulder and right wrist have been quite painful this week. The wrist I can pass off as typing too much at work. While this makes most people nod their heads in acceptance, I do not believe it myself. The shoulder hurts while I am sitting at my desk, driving my car and holding my increasingly heavy little girl. How is it that my arms were empty for so long and now I am in pain holding that which I coveted? Just doesn’t seem right.

Another strange thing. So I have the Rx for the progesterone to start my period so that I can start the bcps. However, this Saturday is T’s company Christmas party. They always have a dinner at a hotel with a bar and encourage people to wine, dine, do a couple rounds of taquila shots, a little more wine, etc. and then spend the night in the hotel. It is a really fun time if you do it right. We are taking Azure and spending the night. Don’t get all up in my grill just yet. There is more to the story. We have hired a dog sitter to take care of Maggie whilst we are away. The nanny and her sister will be watching Azure for us in our room while we take part in the festivities. The sister has wanted to meet Azure and this is her chance. It also takes a bit of the creepy out of the married couple inviting the nanny to join them at a hotel room in town. *wink, wink* We plan to take Azure’s bassinet, a few select toys and a blanket large enough for her to lay/play on without having to come into contact with the hotel bedspread. Blehck! Once the party is over we will go back to our room and send the nanny and her sister home. Everyone wins! If you can see any flaws in this plan, please tell me. I am one of those go with the flow parents but if you see any HUGE RED FLAGS that I am missing I would love to hear about them.

Sunday we will be celebrating the second birthday of a girl who would be my godchild if it weren’t for the whole me being an atheist thing. She is smiles and sunshine walking around with big eyes and curly hair. I am very much looking forward to the party. This will also be the first time that some friends will see Azure in person and I am looking forward to that too.

One last item. Azure turned 6 months adjusted yesterday and so we celebrated by giving her oatmeal for the very first time. *GASP!* Not rice cereal? She will never eat again and develop speech delays! Well, bite me, she’ll be fine. If you are really that worried about it would you feel better if I told you that it was organic oatmeal? What if I said she had a ball playing with the spoon but turned her head away from the actual "eating". We ended up putting the remainder of her bowl in a bottle and she drank it that way. If at first you don’t succeed…

Monday, December 04, 2006

Cervix Insufficiency

It has been measured and has been found wanting.
The nurse I spoke to today declared that in the 13th week of any future pregnancy my doctor would want to do a cervical cerclage.  Fun stuff. 
I now find myself wanting to cross my legs just in case something falls out!
I did prove I am not currently pregnant and obtained the Rx for the progesterone to start a period.  I also have an Rx for progesterone only bcps.  I hardly think it is worth it now.  I might as well just get the copper IUD and call it quits.  I do not see us TTC #2.  An adoption will have to wait until we get some bills paid, the house refinanced and make arrangements for me to quit my job to stay home with both kids.  In other words, it will be a while.

Friday, December 01, 2006

So Many Topics, So Little Time

#1 - A while ago I wrote about the huge scar on Azure’s left upper arm and how her plastic surgeon, Dr. RightNow, wanted to schedule her for surgery sooner-rather-than-later to fix it. Well, his time estimate of 4-5 months turned into a surgery scheduled for this week. I postponed this until after the first of the year. My goodness, we needed to get the all clear from her Ped, the cardiologist and get a second opinion. SLOW DOWN! We now have two out of the three and I need to call tomorrow to make the appointment with the cardiologist. The second opinion was wonderful! I loved this guy! He was much more conservative and told us that we could do absolutely nothing and Azure would grow up to be a completely healthy and normal child, though, literally scarred for life. He said there was absolutely no reason to rush into things and that we should most definitely make sure her other health issues are resolved before worrying about this. He also stated that if she were his daughter he would have the surgery done, preferably before she is so mobile that she could rip out stitches on her own, etc. We are thinking next summer maybe. Now I just have to cancel the surgery with Dr. RightNow and convince the insurance company that we want the other surgeon to do it a few months down the road. How hard can that be? …um, hello?

#2 - I am still living sans period. I have been waiting for this type of life-style since the fifth grade! However, now that I have it, I do not want it, at least not this way. I feel pain and pressure in my abdomen like PMS but never get anything out of it. At least if I had a period something would eventually relieve that pressure. History tells me that once I do get a period all Hell will break loose. So, I am considering the mini-pill. A progesterone only bcp. I used to take Provera (oral progesterone sup.) in order to stay on a regular cycle. One pill every day CD16-26. If I did not take the pills, I did not get a period. My body does not like that; it is better to be cyclical. I tried the take the bcp all the time so I did not have a period and my body revolted with seven straight weeks of breakthrough bleeding. Fun times. So, we are looking into our options. We still have to figure out what to do about #2. I am all in favor of adoption, but as we all know, it is not just up to me. I think we are a few months away from making any decisions and I cannot lose complete control of my body in the meantime. I called my GYN today to see if I could get an Rx for a megadose of Provera to kickstart a period and then start the mini-pill. I had some bloodwork done a couple weeks ago, which included a pregnancy test (negative). Unfortunately since it was two weeks ago they are now requiring that I stop into the office again to prove to them I have not fallen pregnant in that time and THEN they will give me the scripts. *eyes rolling*

#3 - New Years is coming up in about a month. We have traditionally spent New Years Eve with some college friends who have a bunch of people over to fondue, drink, watch the ball drop and spend the night followed by breakfast the next morning. It is a great time and we all have a blast. This year we have some things to consider. I am sure you are thinking child-care would be tops on that list. Not so much. I am sure my parents would watch her overnight without any question. My main concern is that I know they have been trying to conceive since well before last New Year’s. "Our room" at their place is actually a futon in their home office. I happened to spy a copy of "Fertility for Dummies" on the bookcase last year but they claimed they were not trying but not preventing. It does not take an infertile genius to put two and two together does it? Now, last year I was pregnant and not drinking but was not showing much yet and so we did not make a big deal out of things. They knew about our fertility treatments and I think they genuinely wished us well. We saw this couple over the summer and they inquired about Azure and how she was doing. I have always answered their questions and then tried to change the subject so as not to dwell on the fact that we have a child and they do not. I am concerned things might be more difficult at the party this year. We have gotten to know the other regular guests but the only time we see them is once a year, at this party. I am sure they will ask about Azure. I do not want to make our hosts uncomfortable. Maybe they will conveniently forget to invite us this year but I would really miss it a lot. Any suggestions?

#4 - Has anyone switched over to the "new" Blogger Beta version? If so, do you like it? I am afraid to switch and then not be able to switch back. I would like to know what you think of it after using it. Is it worth the switch?

#5 - Holy Cow with the snow! My entire city is covered in a sheet of ice which is now being covered with snow at a high rate of speed. I'm dreaming of a white Christmas indeed!