Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Confession

I have something to confess. I feel like I'm pregnant. It's so stupid. Unless my husband magically fixed his sperm, it's highly unlikely that I'm pregnant. Except that I got my period on March 8th and we had unprotected sex 14 days later on the 21st. And now, 9 days later, I'm getting strange cramps and uterine pinches. And if I'm remembering correctly, this is how very early pregnancy felt. I know it can't be true. And I'm trying so hard not to get my hopes up. But what if?!?! Stupid hope. I bet I'll get my period and feel really stupid. But what if???!?

And I have something more to confess. While part of me would be over the freakin' moon if I am indeed pregnant from old-fashioned sex, part of me would be bummed because we planned a scuba diving trip to St. Croix in May. I can't dive if I'm pregnant, but it would still be a really nice beach/pool trip. So now the question is whether I even POAS. I don't think I will because getting those negative results is way too depressing. I'll just wait to get my period, which all logic says is inevitable.


First Birthday Cake

video

Although Ian turned one on the 16th, we had his first birthday party this past weekend. We had about 25 adults over to our house and 3 other one year olds (who belonged to mommies that I met at my mommy group when I was on maternity leave). And it was SO much fun. I made Ian's birthday cake, which is basically death-by-chocolate, and Ian loved it! He dove right into the big piece of cake we put in front of him and made an awful mess. By the time he was done, he had cake in his hair and it was all over the floor. I had to strip him and put him in the bathtub during his party! I'm so happy that we decided to have a big birthday bash for him (and us).

In other news, I was playing with Ian the other night and was tipping him upside down and I saw MOLARS coming through his upper gum. The left molar is almost completely through and the right molar is peeking through. I'm hoping that these teeth are the reasons why Ian has had so much trouble staying asleep lately.

In final news, we have decided to go pacifier-free for the following reasons:

1. Daycare lost the one paci they had for Ian.
2. Ian no longer seems to be as soothed by the paci as he used to and even chucks it out when we are changing his diaper.
3. We've been giving Ian the paci when he wakes up in the middle of the night and he's been waking up earlier and earlier and we wanted to stop the trend.

Today was the first day without any pacifier. Ian woke up screaming at 1:45 am, 3 am, 4 am and 5 am. It wasn't a fun night. But daycare said he did fine. I'm crossing my fingers for tonight.

Ian's First Word is...

Hello!!!

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Ian has said "mama" and "dada" for a while now, but there is never any meaning or intent behind those sounds. But when he says "hello" he clearly understands that it is something you say when you put a phone to your ear. I realized that he was actually saying his first word when he went to his bedroom on his own, got the toy cell phone and walked down the hall holding the cell phone to his ear saying "hello...hello...hello." And I was lucky enough to capture video evidence! According to the daycare gals, it is a very unusual first word. :-) I just think it is perfect given how social my little boy seems to be. He really loves being around people. He hasn't ever shown stranger anxiety and at his birthday party this past weekend, he didn't have any problem being in a large crowd. Ian also seems to like to repeat "vroom vroom" except it comes out "oom oom" from him.

I can't believe how much I love my son. My love for him grows every day and while hard to believe, I love him more now than the day he was born.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Cold Turkey

I'm no longer nursing Ian. Yesterday morning at 5 am was the last time Ian nursed from me. As of today, I have gone cold turkey. My right boob (the only one I've been using for the last 2 months) is a bit full and achy, but I've taken some Advil and think I'll be able to get through the day. Just like when I dropped the nighttime nurse 1 week ago, Ian didn't seem to care much that he wasn't nursing. My husband got up with him this morning around 5:15 am and gave him a sippy cup full of 3 ounces of 100% breast milk. He sucked that down and then drank some more cow milk. So he's doing okay. I'm going to keep sending Ian to daycare with a mix of breast milk and cow milk until I run out of breast milk, but I already know that Ian will drink 100% cow milk, so that's a relief. I'm sad that we are at the end of our nursing relationship but happy to see that my son is still thriving and happy. And I can take the next 2 months or so to just have my body back before we head into a FET cycle!

We just booked a trip to St. Croix at the end of May and I look forward to scuba diving while on vacation. One of the benefits of not being pregnant is that I will be able to dive worry-free! We are traveling with my in-laws and so it will be nice to have 2 extra sets of eyes on Ian. When 2 of us our diving, the other 2 can stay and play with Ian on the beach. We were also able to use the points we have accumulated on our credit card to buy our 3 roundtrip plane tickets. So that saved us over $1500, which is super awesome! It makes me feel better about all of the credit card spending we have done lately. :-)

***Update***
I just called my RE's office to let them know that I stopped breastfeeding. I now have to wait 4 weeks for my prolactin levels to drop and allow us to move forward with a FET. The bloodletting is already in my calendar for April 22. :-)

***Update***
Have I mentioned that my right breast is full and sore? It could definitely be worse, but ow! I am looking totally lopsided. I stopped using my left breast to nurse Ian months ago and my right boob is as big as it could be right now! I hope no one at work notices!

Monday, March 22, 2010

1 year Pediatrician Visit

Ian had his 12 month pediatrician's visit today. Here are his stats:

Height - 30.5 inches - 70th percentile
Weight - 21 pounds, 15 ounces - 40th percentile
Head Circumference - 47.5 cm - 80th percentile

He's doing great! He now has all 4 bottom teeth and all 4 top teeth (the last one just start poking through very recently).

Thursday, March 18, 2010

New Job in my Future?

I had my second interview today at the medical device company and was finally able to meet the General Counsel, who would be my boss. She seemed very nice, but direct and without any of those passive/aggressive tendencies that I hate. I think that we would communicate very well and get along just fine. So phew - that's a nice hurdle to be past. And she must have liked me well enough because she wants me to come back on Monday to meet with the commercial/business guys, who would be my internal "clients". The job itself sounds interesting. The GC is interested in hiring me for my expertise in drafting and negotiating commercial contracts and along the way, I could learn how to handle labor/employment issues, medicare reimbursement, compliance and labeling review. I hope to avoid securities work, but I could do that if necessary. The pay would be about 70% of what I'm making now, but there would be much more regular hours and no weekend work. And I wouldn't have to keep track of every fifteen minutes of my life in order to bill clients! What is also awesome is that this GC truly understands the importance of work/life balance and is all about her kids. She will leave work at 3 pm sometimes to make sure she sees her sons play hockey and thinks that as long as I get my work done, she's cool with that.

On a totally separate topic, last year, about 3 weeks after Ian was born, my father noticed this tiny little Japanese maple tree growing like a weed right next to our front steps. It was adorable and we decided to all it "Ian's tree" because it was basically the same age as Ian. It kept growing throughout the spring and summer, but by late fall, we were worried that it wouldn't make it through the winter. In any event, it certainly couldn't grow into a big tree right next to our steps in about 2 inches of soil! So we took pity on it, potted it and put it in our sunroom over the winter. Every now and then I remembered to water it. And today, I went into the sunroom because it was just so beautiful outside and saw that it was starting to grow its leaves! It's doing this much earlier than the trees outside because it's so nice and cuddly in our sun room. Here's it is.

No More Nighttime Nurse

Now that Ian is 1 year old, I'm following through on my plan. I didn't nurse him before bed last night. We did our same pre-bedtime routine which involves dinner, changing into PJs and reading 3 bedtime stories. I then took Ian onto my nursing chair and cradled him while offering a sippy cup full of breastmilk. He pushed the cup away a couple of times but then finally drank a quarter of an ounce before completely refusing it. I put him in his crib and bam, he was asleep! So the lack of nursing did not seem to affect his ability to go to bed, which was GREAT! And my right boob (the only one I've been using lately) also made it through the night without too much discomfort.

The only crappy thing about last night is that Ian woke up at 3:45 am. I got up to give him the pacifier and something smelled really bad in his room. So I went to pick him up so that I could sniff his bum (to check for poop) and I realized he was soaked and that the smell was puke and not poop. Gross. This is only the second time that Ian has puked. So I woke my husband and we proceeded to take off all of Ian's clothes, wash him up a bit and change the sheets in his crib. I then gave him a little water and he went back to sleep until 5:30 am. He nursed and then slept until 7:15 am. I was kind of hoping he puked because he ate SO much that night, but he had a little temp (99.2) in the morning. Putting that together with him sleeping-in, I decided he was sick. So I told daycare to watch him, but he was fine all day. Of course, right before bed tonight, he had a little diarrhea. So now I have some proof that he has a little stomach bug. Sigh. He just got over a stomach bug! But he seems happy and isn't acting sick, which counts for a lot.

And we had a lot of success again tonight. After completely refusing the sippy cup with breastmilk, Ian went right to bed without a fuss. I miss the nursing, but I'm doing okay and I'm happy to be able to successfully follow through on my plan.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY IAN!

My baby is one today. ONE! ONE! ONE!

I am extremely elated to have gotten to this point. My baby is thriving, strong, growing, walking, independent and happy. I have made it to the one-year mark and my baby has NEVER had one drop of formula. I am extremely proud of that. But I'm also feeling quite sad. If I try to dissect the sadness, I think it's because I miss the baby that Ian was. I know that he still needs me. But he needs me in such different ways now. I'm also going to start the weaning process so that I can try to have baby #2 and that is really bringing me down. Breastfeeding was the one thing that no one else could do for my child. He seems to prefer the company of my husband and the daycare providers care for him all week. But only I could nurse. I know that I could keep nursing and focus on Ian and not worry about baby #2. But I know I want another child and I think it will be really great for Ian to have a sibling. And I'm going to be 36 soon and who knows how long it might take to conceive baby #2. So I just don't want to play around here, but man, it makes me really really really sad to stop nursing. I'm in tears as I write this. My only comforts are knowing that I got this far with Ian and I will not have to artificially stop breast-feeding baby #2 ('cause there won't be a baby #3!)

But onto more happy notes, here is my 1 year old! And yes, he has a boo-boo on his chin. Yesterday, he decided to throw a fit at daycare when they weren't spoon-feeding him fast enough. Table 1, Chin 0.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

One Week of Walking

I'm so proud of my baby and he is SO proud of himself for walking! The following video shows 2 things - one week of video clips of him learning to walk and his absolute addiction to binkies. Without further ado, here is Ian, 3 days shy of his 1st birthday.


video

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Appointment with RE

I'm back from our appointment with the RE. She was much more pleasant this time around and actually seemed to have a personality. :-) Here are the facts. She highly recommends trying the 3 frozen embryos before doing a fresh IVF round. They are embryos made from 2 years ago and so have a better chance of having good genetics. Given my age, blood work results and prior IVF success, she isn't worried that we are wasting precious time doing FETs. She has no doubt that I will respond well to the next IVF (if we have to do one) and even said that the only reason we had only 4 eggs last time is because she purposely had me on extremely conservative doses of the stimulating hormones. I'm okay with this plan. I like the idea of using up the frozen embies so that we don't have to make the decision of whether or not to keep paying the storage fees!

There is a 50-50 chance of each of the embryos being viable after the thaw. Each of the embryos is frozen in its own straw and the lab will thaw them sequentially. So they will thaw one, wait to see if its viable (i.e., more than half the cells are still alive) and if it's not, move on to the next one. That way, they won't waste any if more than one is viable. Apparently, if an embryo survives the thaw, it has the same chance of becoming a baby as an embryo from a fresh cycle. And transferring more than one does not increase the chances of a round working. So the plan is to thaw one-by-one and transfer back the first one that is viable (if any are viable). I want to stick to my guns and not transfer more than one each time because I really don't want to risk having multiples. I'll have to remind myself of this if we start having multiple failures.

Each FET will take up 2 months of time. So if all 3 embryos are viable (unlikely) and each FET with one of the embryos fails, we're looking at "wasting" 6 months of time before moving on to IVF. I'm okay with this timeline. I want to have another baby 2-3 years younger than my son. If the first FET works, we're looking at the 2 year timeline. If we move on to IVF, we're looking at closer to the 2.5 to 3 year timeline.

So the next step is that I have to get a uterine ultrasound tomorrow (on day 5 of my cycle). This is a requirement for insurance approval (as is the CD3 blood work). They need to make sure that my uterus is still good post-pregnancy and there isn't anything wrong. Then I have to stop breastfeeding and wait 4 weeks for my prolactin levels to fall. They won't do a cycle on someone who is breastfeeding because (a) the hormones/steroids aren't good for the baby and (b) high levels of prolactin can interfere with implantation. I plan on stopping when Ian turns one, which is in only 5 more days! Then after my next period, I can test my prolactin levels and hopefully they'll be low enough so that after the next period, we can start the FET cycle. So this puts us on target to do a FET in mid-May, early June. Wow!!

I think it is very fortuitous that I got my period back this past Monday. It was perfect timing. I was able to get my CD3 bloodwork done the day before my appointment with the RE (which appointment I made months and months ago) and I'm even able to get the uterine ultrasound done tomorrow! I am full of hope right now!

**** Update - My uterus looked just fine.

Results of CD3 Bloodwork

This is what I wrote on March 8, 2008, just over 2 years ago:

"I took my day 3 blood panel, which revealed that my FSH level was 6.4 and my LH level was 6.0. This was very good news indeed, as a fertile woman should have an FSH level below 10 and the ratio of FSH to LH should be as close to 1:1 as possible (to rule out hormone disorders like PCOS)."

Here are the results of my blood tests from yesterday, March 10, 2010:

My FSH level was 7.5 and my LH level was 3.5. I guess it's great that my FSH level is still pretty low. According to this website, my FSH level is still in the "good" category of 6 to 9. And although my FSH to LH ratio is no longer 1:1, it's an LH that is higher than FSH that is one indication of PCOS. So that's not me (despite my polycystic ovaries).

It looks like my thyroid is okay since my TSH level was 1.84 with a normal range of .28 to 3.89. My estradiol level was 25.93. I'm pretty sure that low number means I'm not close to ovulating, which makes sense given that I was tested 3 days after getting my period. The website says that estradiol levels on the lower end tend to be better for stimulating. So woo-hoo! I guess if I have to do another round of IVF (which I hope not to do), I'm still in good shape (which makes me feel good considering I'll be 36 in 2 more months).

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

CD3 Bloodwork

Since I got my period yesterday (for the first time in almost 21 months!), I decided I might as well call my RE to see if I should get my CD3 bloodwork done for our attempts to have Baby #2. I was surprised to find out that the doctor said that I SHOULD do it. They won't test my prolactin levels because I'm still nursing Ian, but they said they could go ahead and check everything else (and apparently it doesn't matter that it's my first period in a really long time). So that's tomorrow! I know that a FET (or IVF cycle depending on what we decide with the doctor on Thursday) is a couple of months away at the very least, but it feels good to take steps towards that goal. So tomorrow I'll head over to the lab and get my blood drawn. And then on Thursday, we have the appointment with the RE to come up with a roadmap to Baby #2.

Part of me is SO excited to be starting this again. Part of me is absolutely dreading the mind games that I inflict upon myself. I have such mixed feelings because in order to take the next steps, Ian has to stop breastfeeding. They won't give me any drugs or do any kind of cycling while I'm still breastfeeding. So I need to make the conscious decision to stop that and wean my son. I also kind of want to have my body back for a little while - some time when I'm not injecting myself with hormones, not getting wanded up the wazoo, not pregnant, not recovering from a C-section and not breastfeeding. I just want to be me, if just for a month or so. So I may work that into the plan.

Monday, March 8, 2010

8 days left!

There are only 8 days left before my little baby is 1 year old!  I can't believe it.  It's very exciting!  Lots of good things happened today!  

Good thing #1:  While at work today, I got my period!  I *knew* that all of that goo 2 weeks ago was cervical mucous and that I was ovulating!  This is now proof.  I was getting so worried that I wouldn't get my period back, but here I am, almost 1 year after birth, and I'm happy to be using a tampon!  This means that I can plan our FET without asking the doctor for drugs to get my period back.  

Good thing #2:  Ian is taking steps on his own!!!  My husband e-mailed me while I was on the train home tonight and said "i just saw him take steps voluntarily!!!"  And sure enough, when I came home, Ian showed off for me.  I'm sure he'll be running around soon enough!  

video

Good thing #3:  Ian is no longer drinking breast  milk from a bottle.  We are now only giving it to him in sippy cups.  He wasn't drinking a ton from the bottle and so I figured it wouldn't hurt to make the switch now rather than prolonging it.  And daycare said he did great today! Sorry for all of the exclamation points, but it was an exciting day!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Early Morning Demons

Some demon is whispering in my child's ear and telling him to get up anywhere between 4:20 am and 4:45 am.  Over the past months, when this has happened, we have tried to let him cry it out and settle himself back to sleep, but it hasn't worked.  So I've gotten into a routine where I nurse him at this time and then he will fall back asleep until around 6:15 am.  Except lately, he's not gone back to sleep!  Yesterday, he fed at 5:00 am and was awake for good.  I made my husband get up with him.  This morning, I fed him at 4:45 am and put him back in his crib where I hoped he would fall back asleep.  Except he didn't, but instead of screaming (a good thing!) he's been talking softly and quietly cooing off and on for over 1 hour now.  I'm hoping there may also be some sleep time in there too.  Either way, I got up at 5:30 am and started working since I have an agreement to finish drafting by the end of the weekend.  My son may be able to sleep in between his coos, but I certainly can't and I guess I decided it was better to be productive than to toss and turn in bed.  I do hope that my son will eventually grow out of this phase and learn to sleep a little bit later.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Fun at Feeding Time

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Ian, at 11.5 months old, no longer wants to eat with his bib on.  He snatches it off every single time I put it on him.  It makes feeding him quite a mess.  As you can see from the video, he has also learned to stick out his tongue!

The other day, Ian reached out his hands for me and said "mama" but I'm still not ready to believe it's his first word.  He tends to make the "mamamama" when he's upset and he was upset when he was reaching for me.

Ian has been sick lately.  He had a stomach bug that was circulating at daycare and after 4 days, finally got over that just to have a fever for the last 2 days.  And I've been suffering from some sort of stomach ailment too - nothing too major - but I've had a stomach ache for the last 5 days.  It feels like I've eaten a 5 course meal of beans every day, which is quite unpleasant.  I'm hoping that I'll feel better soon since work is really picking up.