Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Confusion and Chaos - Updated

Our time at Total Confusion was pretty good this year. Michael enjoyed Clay Wars.



This one is Michael's creation.


Kids create their clay figure, and then they attack each other. The hand is the measurement of movement. Each person is given a special power (Michael got booger bombs; some got the "claw" which was tongs that you could attack the other creations with--smooshing them).


Michael's creation, dubbed Deathtron "aka Bob", was sliced with a ruler.




Michael also won a prize ticket for playing Dork Tower. I learned a new board game—and was part of the finals in that game. Our friend John won the finals on that game.

John and I with his prize for winning the final.


And my husband was voted (unanimously) Best Role Player in the one of the Role Playing games he played. We relaxed, ate food both good and bad for us, and enjoyed the long weekend. One of my favorite things—one of the organizers for another gaming convention that we usually go to in July told me to not to even think about not going because of the baby—she was like “More than ½ my volunteers are women—we would LOVE to take care of the baby for a few hours while you gamed or slept or whatever!!” So…um…we shall see—I was not going to go this year, but I am a bit more encouraged. (Maybe Willow might be a star attraction!)

Everything went well, except for Michael seeming to be a bit sluggish at the end of the weekend, but we thought maybe the vacation week/birthday/gaming convention excitement and the staying up later etc. was the problem. Or was it his increased dosage of his ADHD medication (?!) or what--but we got home on Sunday---and he totally crashed. He was sick with a low grade temp, but definitely not himself (and some up-chuckage in the night cemented it).

Well, he has been sick for the last couple days, and today the doctor says he has an upper respitory infection and cannot go to school tomorrow either. Not only missing going back to school after winter break, but also causing the usual 2 working parents (who stays with the sick-kid) chaos. I stayed home with him on Monday and husband stayed home today (and took him to the doc). Luckily we can both work remotely—unfortunately, that only works to limited success. Despite everything, I am actually proud how we handle these types of things. We have it down to a science. I am also lucky I have a pretty sympathetic boss and both of us are even able to bring Michael into work on those occasions that we really NEED to be in (like for a school holiday we don’t get off, etc.).

Our household is pretty well divided in the parenting department---I would say it’s sometimes 70/30 (me taking the 70%) but husband does more than his share a lot of the time, and he often sacrifices more than a lot of fathers have in the past. (Now when it comes to the domestic chores, etc. well, that doesn’t work so well—hence our maid service).

Adding to the chaos is a re-scheduled IEP meeting tomorrow (at 2 p.m.—not very convenient for a working parent). Not to mention the school work brought home today...

and then there was the ultrasound this morning.

The ultrasound went well (when I can get off the laptop and onto the computer, I will scan the pics). Technician couldn’t 100% confirm it’s a girl (her legs were closed)but she was pretty certain and its unlikely that the earlier conclusion was wrong—so, I am going to stick with her being Willow. (Despite the fact that every so often that, after being asked for the sex and me telling them, people say--well, are you sure, cuz you never know for CERTAIN--yeah, thanks for that).

These are different views of her face, sometimes with her hand in front of her mouth.




I saw her heart beating, which very amazing as I could see the four chambers and everything. I saw her tiny feet, I saw her arms and hands waving about. The tech was really helpful and pointed out that she has some hair on her head already. Also saw her stomach (like I could really tell—but the tech pointed it out). I saw her thigh bone, her head, etc. I got some nice ultrasounds of her face. At one point she had her hand up to her mouth--probably sucking her hand. At another point she looked as though she was smiling. She measured a little over 3 lbs., in the 38% range, which is totally normal. Her head was pointed down, her feet near my navel—so I definitely can say she is kicking me when I feel those bumps! She did not like being poked...and mommy did not either--an hour later, it still kinda hurt.

UPDATE: I was home again today with Michael, but he is starting to seem more normal. Hopefully a good night's sleep tonight will get him to be feeling good enough for school tomorrow. It is so hard when your son is not acting his normal self. It reminds me of all the other times he has been sick, and you just worry so much. Luckily, this time it wasn't too bad, but it is so nice to see him being so much more "Michael". :-)

Husband went to the IEP meeting yesterday, since this was the annual review it was not too complicated. Again we hear our son is brilliant (!) and a pleasure to work with (except not with his teacher, who we think is just not really in sync with him) and we hear that he is making progress, especially in his frustration issues and keeping on task. Recommendations for having him given a laptop for 4th grade (one of his issues is that he takes a long time to write things--he is perfectionist to the point of taking longer than others) and the hope is that if he can type out his papers he will be quicker. I guess some of those computer games that we have for him to learn the keyboard are going to be pulled out this summer...Luckily dad is a computer geek and Michael is pretty comfortable with computers.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Nine

Nine years ago I was in the hospital, doped up on morphine drip, occasionally breastfeeding my son who had been born at 1:23 a.m.

In a little over Nine weeks from today, I will hopefully be repeating this experience with my daughter.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

OB Appointment and Nursery Progress III

Appointment went well. We talked about the scheduled C-Section and two weeks from now I will have my check up with the Dr. in the practice who will be performing the surgery. Its sometime the week of April 21st--hopefully by my next check up I will have a firm date. One of the other things I discussed with them is having another Ultrasound--I was curious if I was going to have one (being an IF Ultrasound junkie and all--its been since 18 weeks!!--I need a fix!!). The Nurse Practitioner who saw me said they actually don't do anymore ultrasounds--except if there is a problem. And as she said this (and I explained my small anxiety about not having an ultrasound), she said "Gee, I can't really tell how big she is..." [wink wink] (She really winked!) So, we have a [legit] reason for an ultrasound next Tuesday! SQUEEE! Funny, because when she explained it to me, I was all set for dealing with no more ultrasounds--and then she let me squeek on by... :-)

Here are some photos of the Nursery. It still needs a few things (like, oh, CURTAINS) but otherwise, its pretty much set. We have a friend's computer that my husband is fixing stored there right now (I tried not to get photos of it, but its there peeking out) and Ana is still finishing details on the mural (so her paints are still there too). Once I got the finishing touches in and the garbage out--I will take some final pictures of the WHOLE room.



On the shelf: A bear from a friend; and Elmo Bank and small gumball machine given by Michael; a temperature gauge (Peter Rabbit) from Michael's baby stuff;a Valentine's Day Card from my husband to Willow (saying extremely touching words about even though she is not here yet he loves her--I am keeping that FOREVER).
Left over baby books from Michael and and a few soft books I just bought.










The Rainforest Bouncer--that's from Valerie @ Adventures in Parenting (THANK YOU!)




Inside this are tons of clothes. On top--Ana's paints...


Michael picked this toy out for Willow.


This is the toy I bought for her.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

B-Day Party

Michael's party was yesterday and was great fun. We had 90% attendance and while exhausting for the adults, I think everyone had a great time.
Below are some pictures...

The birthday cake. Chocolate cake with chocolate fudge on inside. (Picture of a Wii Game System on the cake)



My attempt at video remote control sugar cookies.



We had two Wii's set up. One in the kitchen. In the background you can see we had our living room coffee table moved with Make your Own Mii's (cloth figures that they could make to take home).





One in the living room...





We had pizza and fruit and cake and cookies.



Michael blowing out the candles.



The kids got to play bowling, tennis, carnival games, and Ram*page (which seemed to be a hit with the BOYS).

Hardly any meltdowns, and with the 2 systems and many controllers, most everyone was able to play at the same time.

And for once, I had hardly any food left over--except my husband ordered the cake and its HUGE!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Michael with unrelated Update

My feelings for you I cannot describe. My words fail to encompass the wholeness I feel when I watch you sleep or concentrate on a book or writing a journal entry or play board games.

Words cannot describe you my son, but I will try.

You are funny even when you are not;
you are intelligent, sometimes too much for your own good;
you are squirmy, especially when being tickled or hugged;
you are irreverent, you are cute, lovable, impish, frustrating and lively;
you are becoming someone I am proud of;
you are my everything;
you are why I wished for another one;
you are my first
you are my son.

I love you more than I can ever be able to tell!!

Happy Birthday, Kiddo!

(2/21/08)

Update: Just wanted to point out a great post by Leah. She talks about the many feelings/fears that a lot of secondary infertiles have once we do get that BFP.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Hormonal Pregnant Woman OutBurst # 2 – Or Leggo My Eggo, Dammit!

Husband is in charge of getting Michael to school in the morning. Which means he also has to do breakfast. To help him (and save myself the mess when I get home) Michael usually has his choice of oatmeal or some type of frozen Waffle/Pancake/Toaster Sticks. Usually the Lego Eggos or Mini Pancakes. Sometimes I get him the really bad stuff—cinnamon buns. Something fun, but not too decandent. My husband usually foregoes breakfast (even though it’s the most important meal of the day!)

Since I lost weight and even with the pregnancy, I try not to have pancakes/waffles, etc. as they are too many carbs. But, occasionally I will have some. About a month ago I got a craving for Eggo Blueberry Waffles. I bought a box, and had some while we were watching a movie (Notes on a Scandal---great movie). I remember telling my husband how much this was unlike me, but I really was craving them.

So, last week, I bought another box of them. I had another craving for them. Had 2 for breakfast on the weekend. Michael was with me, and he decided he wanted one too. Not a problem.

Then: this morning, there was a 2 hour snow delay for Michael’s school. Since everyone got a little extra (really needed) sleep, I figured I would be slow in leaving for work. While I did the morning routines, in my mind I could picture two wonderful blueberry waffles slathered with butter and (sugar free) syrup. My mouth watered. I was looking forward to them.

I came down. And the box was not in the freezer. And, crying, I asked where my blueberry waffles were. (You guessed it, despite there being PLENTY of alternatives—my HUSBAND and son ate them). My husband assumed they were not mine, even after I reminded him of the Notes on the Scandal incident (which he claims to not remember).

They were gone. ☹ Only the lingering of their smell in the air. And me crying, because I so craved them….

LEGGO MY EGGOS!!!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Musings on the Second Time Around...

Gearing up for Michael’s 9th birthday party (I am crazy again—we are going to do it at our home---Wii themed party), got me to thinking about the many differences and similarities there have been between when I was pregnant with Michael and now.

The most obvious difference is the fact that I was nine years younger, totally naïve and innocent. I was definitely the stereotype of the first time pregnant woman/mother. I did not know what in the hell I was doing. I took for granted the fact that we got pregnant and that it would “stick”.

We decided to have a family after 5 years of marriage. It was time. We moved out of our apartment, moved into a home with every intention of having a child within it within a year or two. We moved into our house May 7. By May 31st, I knew I was pregnant. I was excited and scared—but more scared of the pain of labor, of the unknowns of pregnancy, child birth and child rearing. Miscarriage was a vague something. There was no doubt that I would have this child. I had no complications until the last month. Then the worry about viability happened. But only vaguely. I was young, I put my trust in doctors, nurses and my own youth. Everything, despite some tense moments, despite things not going the way my naïve self thought it would, went well. And I came home with my son.

We decided to space our children out. There was never a doubt about having one more. I grew up with a sibling after 8 years. I had been an only child for some time and did not want that for our son. My husband grew up with 2 siblings. We decided two children would be great. We waited until Michael was 3 years old. Then we started. And then we kept trying. Michael was 4 years old. Michael was 5 years old. At first, I just innocently felt that we just did not have the time, were not making the time. Who could blame us? A toddler/pre-schooler running around? Both of us working…yes, that can happen. There was a time when we stopped trying for a few months because both of us were stressing out too much about it. (You know--RELAX and it will happen!--HA!)

Only when Michael turned 6 years old did I finally realize that there was a problem. Only then did we seek outside help. Part of me regrets that we waited so long. Part of the reason we took so long to seek help was that between the time Michael started kindergarten and then 1st grade, I started to question whether all this depression and baby-lust was worth it for me. We had one wonderful son. Maybe that was all we were supposed to have?

Once we found out the problem, we did what we always do—read up on the topic. We read about IVF/ICSI. We read about adoption. We went to an adoption seminar. We sent in the paperwork for the cycle. I went on line and found the IF community that I did not even perceive before. We got our education in infertility.

My pregnancy now. It’s a wonder to me, and yet not for the “normal” reasons. Pregnancy when I now know that there are people who struggle for many years and through many more trails than we had to go through. Pregnancy after all that work and pain and suffering. I am proud of myself and my family! To be pregnant the “natural” way---heck, lots of people do that. But, we worked for this, dammit! We REALLY want this child! We deserve it!

This pregnancy I am more alert of the dangers. Anxiety, especially the first two trimesters, gripped me. Every little sign I could take and twist it to mean I was going to lose this precious, hard won child. Even now, part of me doesn’t want to believe that finally, finally we will have another child. That Michael will have a sister. My husband and I will have a daughter. It seems so unreal. And I am acutely aware of how lucky we are.

I skimmed “What to Expect when your Expecting”. I knew about the “easy” stuff. How about dealing with miscarriage and being an older woman having a child? What about dealing with siblings and your older child? Finding literature about secondary infertility was a joke. Finding out books that would explain to my 8 year old about what was going on without patronizing him because they were made for toddlers—few and far between.

And dealing with the look on people’s faces when I tell them I am expecting my second child and they ask how old my other one is. “He’ll be nine years old.” I say. And they look at me as if I have two heads—and mutter “Pretty far apart, huh?” or something similar. Sometimes I proudly say “Yes, but we have been trying for many years and finally used science to help us on this one.” or say “Yes, but he’ll be such a help with his little sister!”

Or I say nothing. I was once naïve like they are.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Third TriMester All Over Again...

So, here we are. Seven months. The last tri-mester. The big "easy". The time when I start to wish it was all over already. I am not one of those who relish being pregnant. Its not that its been awful...thankfully I have never had morning sickness, etc. Its just that I find it as more a means to an end. I want the child, but don't really care about the experience of pregnancy itself. (Perhaps its because I have done it before--but I recall I wasn't one of those "into" being pregnant then either--although I was a bit more naive and excited instead of anxiety ridden like this time.) Its all wonderful until you are totally uncomfortable and can't breathe and are scared to death and....okay, so the point being--I am ready for ya, Willow! (And you might notice, mommy ain't the most patient person, so lets get these three months done already).

Today I had my last monthly OB appointment. Everything checking out, heard the heartbeat (140-150). According to them I have gained 15 lbs. so far (by my count its 20 lbs., but I will go with them). So, from here on in, they want me to watch it--which, during the third trimester, should be interesting...I will be happy if I get out of this gaining only 25 lbs. (1/2 of what I gained with Michael).

My blood sugar is fine, my pregnancy hypertension watch has turned up negative so far, and everything is on track.

So, of course, there has to be some type of complication.

Luckily, this one is minor--but still...it can't be just "easy". I talked to my OB about when were we going to schedule my C-Section/Tubal Ligation. My EDD is April 27th. The week of the 21st would normally be when they would schedule the C-Section--but guess what? That is school vacation week. So what, you ask? Well, that means she is taking that off to be with her children and would not be able to do the surgery, and it would have to be one of the other Doctors in the practice (none of which I have met yet). So, my options are: (1) go for the C in week 38, which would involve having an Amnio to check on her lungs (as a precaution) and then the surgery the next day; (2) do it with another doctor or (3) wait until the 28th and hope I don't go into labor before then.

Talking it over with husband, we agree we are going with #2. Its not that I don't like my OB, but I am also not that committed to her. I like the practice, but I have not met with her exclusively since I have been pregnant and since this pregnancy--other than the getting pregnant part--has had no complications, I really don't see any difference in having her or having someone else from the practice (provided I get to meet with them before hand). Considering that during my last pregnancy, my OB was SKIING while I was having major complications and an emergency induction and C-Section (ON my due date--so not like he shouldn't have known), its not like I haven't had this happen before. And frankly, if Michael is not in school that week, it will be easier to take him out of the Vacation Day Camp that he will be going to (less of a distraction/disruption, which, considering my son--that is way important). Not to mention my brother (who will be taking care of Michael while we are at the hospital) is a teacher and probably will have that week off too...its kinda ideal.

So, I guess when I meet with them again (Feb. 20th) I will let them know--the week of April 21st it is.

So, please no other complications, okay, Willow?

Friday, February 01, 2008

Friday Fun - Our Cat

Cute pictures of my kid and my cat:





Gabrielle thinks the crib is her new bed...she can often be found in it. Pictures taken the first time we discovered her in there...






Things I haven't done yet...

Things I haven't had the chance of doing yet or been prevented from doing: See my son's presentation on Rabies for his biology ...