Tuesday, December 15, 2009

what can i say? i'm a crier.

for sure. i'm not feeling especially emotional about anything in particular, but recently - dang! i need to stop reading sad stories and drowning my non-existance sorrows!

last night i was reading the blog of the wife of a guy i went to high school with (i'm a facebook stalker) - and i learned that she miscarried at 37 weeks. oh my god. she just stopped feeling the baby moving, they couldn't find a heart beat, and that was it. c-section delivery of a still-born, full-term baby. i was sobbing reading the blog and looking the photos of the couple with the baby girl they would never know. ugh.

tonight, reading the blog of the mom of a girl who suffered a brain injury in a car accident, and just recently came out of a coma. (this girl is a HS friend of my co-worker.) amazing to read about her progress, but so sad, because she was to be married this past saturday...

just read about the newest baby duggar, born last thursday, at 1 lb, 6oz. breaks my heart, because that baby is bound to have some serious developmental problems, and i've long felt the duggars were pressing their luck with so many kids and continuing to have kids into her 40s, when the odds of complications go up.

noah had surgery last friday - it went so well, and he has been amazing. the doctor said the cyst was larger than he'd anticipated but that it was most certainly benign (though it was still sent for testing). i don't miss the nub the way i thought i would - thinking about it makes me a little sad, but tonight at dinner, noah reached for it, and it did hurt my heart. i leaned toward him and he threw his arms around my neck, and i told him that i loved him with or without the nub, and that i knew he would have been a strong enough, confident enough boy to live with it, but that it would hurt mommy if kids said mean things because he looked a little different. i told him that someday he would understand.

i get emotional about commercials and tv shows (like - ones i probably shouldn't cry at). i get emotional about other peoples struggles and pain - if one more friend has to go through dealing with fertility issues, i'm going to go crazy on somebody. who? totally not sure, but seriously? WTF. and then a coworker (who's a lesbian) told me she and her GF of forever wanted to do international adoption, but basically no one will adopt to a same sex couple anymore. what the hell is the world coming to?

vent over. :) happy holidays!!!

(it's late and i'm over worked and sleep deprived of late... at least that's my excuse.)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

vacation and surgery for noah

There's been a lot going on lately. Our office moved at the end of October, so it's been a crazy month at the CFC. I think I've adjusted to life in a cubicle, but the holidays are always a little hectic because scheduling meetings can be a challenge... I've been insanely busy for the last two weeks, but hopefully will be slowing down as we get closer to Christmas.

Noah and I are flying to Arizona on December 2nd for a long weekend visiting Amanda, Robert, and the kids. I'm looking so forward to seeing them and getting a break from the craziness of work! I know I'm very spoiled that I'm able to take as many vacations as we do, but I think you have to get away occasionally for your sanity!! It will be a challenge traveling alone with Noah. I'm trying not to think too much about it yet, because I know I'm going to be freaking out when I start preparing to go and when reality sets in when I'm getting on the plane.... wish me luck!!

The other big event on the horizon is surgery for Noah, another thing I'm not to think too much about for now, as it's still a few weeks off... Noah has had this lump on the back of his head since July. Initially, we thought it was a pimple, ingrown hair, or maybe a mole. The pediatrician didn't really know what it was either, and initially, it had a head and bled a little bit, so we did a round of antibiotics, and it seemed to get a bit better. Then we treated it with warm compresses and neosporin. It didn't seem to improve much, and then started to get bigger. At our 12 month check up, the doctor suggested we see an ENT and see what he had to say.

A few weeks ago we saw the ENT, and right away he knew what it was and said we would need to do surgery to remove it. "It" is called a pilomatrixoma, which is basically a benign cyst or tumor in the hair follicle. (At least that's how I understand it.) We talked with the ped and amongst ourselves, and decided to go ahead with surgery. If we don't, it could become infected, and in the very slight chance it is not benign, we could never forgive ourselves if we didn't act now. (The chance of it being malignant is something like 2%, and we're told that the majority of these tumors will not grow back.) Once they remove it, they'll run tests to confirm it is benign and in fact a pilomatrixoma. The ENT will also remove the skin tag (aka. "the nub") on Noah's ear at the same time. I'm very sad about this, but I know it's in Noah's best interest for the future. At least that's what I'm telling myself... I know it may seem silly, but it's a part of him, and I'll be sad when part of him is gone. :(

On a happier note, Noah has a lot of new "tricks" lately. When asked "where's the balloon?" and "where's the light?", he looks at both. He loves to dance, and when he's not too tired, he'll start bouncing when we say "can you dance, Noah?". When I ask him, "where's mama's belly button?", he'll put up my shirt and poke his finger in my belly button. He's babbling a lot more these days, and is more frequently imitating what we say. The other day he imitated a tune Ben was humming, and this morning he imitated some silly sounds and "words" I was making. He's so awesome!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

i am the mommy of a one year old!!

it seems kind of cliched to say the year went by so fast. everybody seems to say that when their little one turns the big numero uno!

some days it feels like noah's been a part of our family forever, and it's hard to remember life before baby. but truthfully, this year has gone by so quickly. it's been a busy year, for sure, but it's been the most amazing ride.

i've learned so much about what i'm capable of. i've learned what it feels like to be so proud that it feels as though your heart might burst our of your chest. i've also learned the pain of a mother's guilt and how easy self-blame can be.

ultimately, i've learned that being a parent is a lot of work. i can hear all of my fellow parents saying "duh", and my friend's who are not yet parents echoing "duh", but not fully grasping the gravity...

there is something truthfully indescribably about knowing the everything you do - every action, every word, every single thing - is likely shaping your child into the person he will become. that's a freaking amazing and incredible thing. it also scares the shit out of me.

my life has changed in the most amazing ways over the last few years. i went through two years of utter hell, and i wish that no one ever had to endure the kind of emotional and mental anguish that infertility causes. but like i told a dear friend who recently underwent her 4th IVF cycle: i would do it all again in a heartbeat if i knew that out the pain would come the most amazing being that i could have ever wished for. i waited two long, horrible years, but the end result was my precious boy, and if i had to go back, i wouldn't change a thing because now i'm noah's mommy, and for that i will be forever grateful.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Welcome to the world cousin Grant, and other updates on us...

I've been a bad, bad blogger, and my goal for the coming year (since year two for Noah starts this week), is to blog on a weekly or bi-weekly basis...

First and foremost, we want to welcome baby Grant to the world!! He came into the world late on Saturday, September 19th after his mommy's water broke at BuyBuyBaby. Needless to say, that shopping trip was cut short...

9/19/09 11:34pm, 7lb 3oz, 19in (I think - my memory sucks...)

A couple of weeks ago, we went apple picking with Julie, Scott, & Grant, and our friends Amy and Mike and their little girl, Anna. It was a gorgeous day, and we all had a great time.

Last weekend was SUPER busy with TWO out of town weddings, if you can believe that!? We headed out I-88 to my cousin Laura's wedding near Dixon, IL, and from there kept driving west to my dear friend, Kari's wedding in Rock Island, IL. It was a long day, but we were so happy we were able to make it to both weddings. We're so happy for both sets of newlyweds!

The fam at Laura's wedding

Noah and Mommy at Kari's wedding

This Thursday is Noah's first birthday! We are so super excited, and on Sunday, we're having a HUGE party, with all of our family and friends! It's going to be so much fun!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Embry- uh oh!

Noah is changing all the time, and I wish I were better about blogging more regularly so I could keep you all up-to-date on the latest with him!! I told my sister (who's due in less than three weeks!) that I sort of regret not documenting all the little milestones better. You know, first smile, laugh, etc. I feel like I can ballpark those things, but looking back I just wish I would have jotted down something like "Today I think Noah smiled for the first time". We've documented everything in pictures though, so at least I have a generally reference point...

Noah has exploded with his gross motor skills!! He's like a different kid. After being so worried about this area of his development for so long, he's finally taking off! He started getting himself into sitting while we were on vacation. He crawls so fast when he's motivated to get something, like a cat or a favorite toy. He probably started getting really good at it about 2-3 weeks ago (see, again with not really having a precise date...) - I know it was right after our vacation, so probably the 2nd or 3rd week of August.

He started pulling up in the crib awhile ago, probably the end of July, and now that he's really good with crawling, he's pulling up on the coffee table. We put the padding on the outside half of the table (that's not along the couches) a few weeks ago, and he loves to pull up, squat down, pull up, squat down... He's even starting to cruise a little bit. :)

A few weeks ago (maybe mid-August), he started stepping while he was standing at the table or in the crib, and in the last week or so, he's walking with his hands held! It's crazy to think he's going to be walking in the next few months - where has the time gone!

Yesterday, tooth number 8 finally broke through! Now he has 4 on top and 4 on bottom, and none except the first two really gave us any trouble. Thank goodness for that!

So now that his gross motor skills are well on their way, my newest concern (because I'm neurotic, apparently) is feeding, hence the title of this post.

Noah DOES NOT like anything solid or chunky. Stage 3s are a no-go - he spits out anything solid, such as pasta or veggie pieces. Typical baby finger foods - such as Gerber puffs, wagon wheels, yogurt melts, crackers, cookies, cheerios, etc - go straight on the floor. Table foods - fruits, veggies, chicken, pasta - also go straight on the floor. Early in the process (like around 7-8 mo) he would put a cracker or cheerio to his mouth. He even bit off pieces of a Ritz cracker, but twice he "choked" on a cheerio, and I don't know if maybe that turned him off to food.

I told Noah that I don't know how he can be mommy and daddy's baby if he doesn't like to eat food. Mommy and Daddy LOVE to eat food. That when I told him that maybe the doctor mixed up the embryos, and daddy said "Embry- uh oh!". Obviously, Noah is our combined mini-me, so there's just the little matter of figuring out how the hell to get this kid to eat!

So many people have said "maybe he's just not hungry". Oh. my. god. That to me is like when people used to say "it'll happen" when we were trying to get pregnant. It's condescending. Trust me, I've tried every trick I can think of, PLUS I've been chatting with a speech therapist who's given me MORE ideas. I'm hoping maybe the dropping things is a phase. I mean, I know it is, but he can drop toys until the end of time, just PLEASE stop dropping the food!!! I don't even care about the mess. I just want him to bite into something and realize, "oh my god, this is so delicious!" I keep telling him he'll like it, and when has mommy ever lied to you??

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Noey at 10 months

it has been SUCH a hectic summer, and i apologize to my loyal readers who have probably wondering why the hiatus!!! everything's just fine, just SUPER busy!!!

i spent most of the summer keeping busy with ball games, concerts, pre-wedding and wedding festivities, baby shower planning, and vacation (thankfully), not to mention trying to keep up with a busy baby!

noah turned 10 months on saturday, and now that julie's baby shower is said and done, i'm starting to think about planning noah's birthday party!! we're tossing around ideas for themes, talking about cakes, and getting excited (on his behalf, of course).

noah's still not *officially* crawling, but he definitely gets around. when he's motivated, he will get on all fours and move forward, but usually it's more of a butt-pivot sort of thing... he started getting himself into sitting about two weeks ago. we were on vacation, and woke up to him on his butt in the pack and play. we were in shock!! it's so funny to watch him do it, because most times he puts his head on the floor for leverage...

he has six of the cutest teeth i've ever seen - four on top, two on bottom - and he loves to show them off by doing what we call his "crunchy" face, where he scrunches up his nose, squints his eyes, and gives a big ole sh*t eating grin... he's super ticklish and his little chuckle makes he laugh so hard i cry every time. he's SUCH a ham!

my biggest stressor right now is feeding. he eats stage 2s like a champ. we feed him mainly earth's best, with the occasional gerber organics, and the rare regular gerber (for flavor variations). he eats cereal begrudgingly - usually EB oatmeal or mixed grains with stage 2 fruit and/or yogurt mixed it. he usually gags and spits out the first bite but is okay from there. he seems to have a thing with pasta in the stage 3s. he eats the fruits no problem but the meals (pasta primavera and lasagne for example) don't go over so well. he is getting good at filtering the stuff he doesn't like, and spitting out just the chunks... finger foods are a huge issue too. he won't even attempt to put things in his mouth when he's in the highchair. he just picks them up, looks at them, leans over, and drops them on the floor... twice, he's "accidentally" put a cheerio in his mouth and not been able to push it right back out, so he's gagged to the point of throwing up. i've been chatting up one of my speech therapists, but i'm getting nervous that it's a sensory issue... (which is just me being a paranoid early interventionist...)

health wise, things are good. we go back to both the neurosurgeon and hematologist on 9/10. the neuro ordered another head u/s to monitor his head growth and the fluid and the hemo is going to run some tests to *officially* diagnose him with my blood disorder (hereditary spherocytosis, or HS) that caused his jaundice at birth and severe anemia that resulted in a transfusion at one month. he in on antibiotics right now because he had a pimple or something (not sure) on the back of his head that got infected and developed an absess. i thought it was a zit or ingrown hair, and when it didn't get better, i thought maybe a mole. when it kept getting harder and darker, i decided to take him to the ped. she said if it's not better by friday, to bring him back and they'd have to open it to drain it. yuck.

i'll try to post some more pictures soon- i have SOOO many good ones from the summer and from vacation- but for now, he's just one from our Piatt Lake vaca two weeks ago.

hope everyone had and continues to have a great summer!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Getting on my soapbox for a minute

A few things that you need to care about...

**HEALTH CARE REFORM - contact your senators and representatives and encourage them to support health care for all Americans.

-Sign a petition: http://ga3.org/campaign/healthpetition?source=hc_durbin

-The Arthritis Foundation's stance: http://www.arthritis.org/health-care-reform.php

**THE FAMILY CORD BLOOD BANKING ACT - this would allow the costs for cord blood banking to be paid using pre-tax health savings plans

-House Bill 1718: http://www.viacord.com/Collateral/Documents/Viacord-English-US/hr_1718.pdf

-Sample letter to send your state rep: http://www.viacord.com/sample-email-hr-1718.htm

-Find your state representative: https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml


The Illinois state buget is out of control, but to solve the problem the people we voted to send to Springfield are talking about cutting funding to programs that provide services and housing for people with developmental disabilities and the mentally ill. They will cut child care subsidies that allow parents to go to school and/or work. Cuts will be made in funding for Early Childhood (3-5 year old) programs and at-risk programing. There will be cuts in the number of Department of Human Services offices and DCFS caseworkers (making their caseloads go from 15 to 50). Teen pregnancy prevention services will be cut. Services for seniors and veterans will be cut.

Illinoisians MUST contact Governor Quinn and your local legislators to let them know you WILL NOT SUPPORT CUTS TO SOCIAL SERVICE PROGRAMS. It is our duty as Americans to take care of our fellow Americans. We must support those who are too young, too old, or too ill to care for themselves. We must support working parents and people who are trying to better themselves. We must not take what we have for granted.

-Email Governor Quinn: http://www.illinois.gov/gov/contactthegovernor.cfm

-Email your state legislator: https://secure2.convio.net/opf/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=190

Don't be ignorant. Get educated!!

Summer = CRAZY busy

How do you know that summer has arrived??? It's when your weekends are booked through August!!! Oh my god, summer was busy enough without a baby, but now my load seems to have doubled! Things that I would feel the pressure on it the past are even more burdensome now that you add Noah on top of it.

SOOO many things going on this summer, including Marilyn's bachelorette party, Laura's bridal shower, 4th of July/anniversary weekend, Cubs games, DMB at Alpine, Amanda in town, Mar & Chris's wedding, VACATION, Julie's baby shower, Julie's BABY, Laura's wedding, Kari's wedding, Noah's birthday party ... There's something every single weekend into August, and then the baby coming in September, and then a busy October. And that's not to even mention work and helping start up the Music & Developmental Therapy program at the American Music Institute... It never ends!!


As for Noah, he *finally* started swimming yesterday, and Noah loved the water! Not that I was at all surprised - he loves playing in the bathtub. We eased into it, by first getting his feet wet and then sitting together in the shallowest part of the pool. Then we went all the way in and he loved floating! We splashed and sang songs. Toward the end of class, he was getting really tired, so we actually wound up leaving a few minutes early.

Noah has been working on his top teeth for awhile, and one finally popped through two days ago. The top middle two are working their way out too. He's doing okay, and baby tylenol DEFINITELY helps.

Noah has started trying to pull up in his crib. I'll sit him in there to put away laundry or get stuff ready for bedtime, and he'll scoot to the side of the crib to chew on the top rail and will pull onto his knees. Once we lower the mattress, I think he'll be able to pull all the way to his feet.

He's still not interested in crawling and still hates being on his tummy. He'll play on his tummy for a minute, but ultimately rolls over to his back. He spends most of his time playing in sitting though, and is really good at reaching for toys.

We're still working on sippy cups and table foods. It's going to take sometime, but he's getting better. He loves the pureed jar foods (stage 2 - we use Earth's Best), and actually put a Ritz cracker in his mouth the other day, but anything else, he's not interested. He's doing okay with the sippy cup - he'll bring it to his mouth but is inconsistent about tipping it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Just the *thought* of dieting is hard...

I'm not the most motivated person with regard to diet and exercise. My home life revolves around Noah and maybe I am just making excuses, but my free time is very limited. Since I have to work, my time with Noah during the week is precious, and by the time he's in bed, it's time for dinner, and exercise is the furthest thing from my mind.

I got a reality check a week or so ago, when I had a follow up appointment with the rheumatologist for the first time since one week post-partum. I stepped on the scale and it said 157. 157. I've completely stagnated and on top of that, I've gained a few pounds since I stopped pumping. UGH. I think I got so used to eating everything I wanted during my pregnancy and while I was pumping, and now it's time to reel it back in and re-learn better eating habits.

I've gotten back into going to yoga one night a week, but that's not going to do the trick. Noah and I start his swim class this week, and hopefully now that the weather's nicer, we'll get out for walks more. The main thing is that I need to eat better - less crap and smaller portions. My goal is to get to 140 which is what I weighed pre-fertility treatment when we went to Europe in 2006. We shall see...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Hello my name is Mindy...

...and I'm a caffeine addict. :(

When I was in college, I was SUPER addicted to Pepsi. I can't tell you how many I'd have per day. It was embarrassing. Right before I got married, I switched to Diet Pepsi, and still had probably 6-8 a day. SO, when we started trying to get pregnant, I realize I had to kick my caffeine addiction. Addiction is totally the word because I would get headaches when I didn't have it. A can of pop would knock it right out and I'd be on with my day.

I went cold turkey, and within a week, no more headaches. I switched to caffeine-free Diet Pepsi, as I still had a soda addiction and couldn't give it up COMPLETELY.

So fast forward to the birth of baby Noah. Before Noah, I enjoyed my caffeine free pop and decaf White Chocolate Mochas or frappucinos at Starbucks, and the *occasional* caffeine spiked beverage. But once he was here and we were getting 2, 3, maybe 4 hours of sleep at night, I became a regular morning coffee drinker. I would feed the baby while Ben made the morning brew before leaving for work. I became dependent on that morning coffee, and on the days I didn't get it (and even sometimes when I did), Noah and I would take a trip to Target to shop and hit the Starbucks... (By the way, Target carts *really* need cup holders...)

Again, fast forward to the present. I've been back to work and the daily grind for awhile. Most mornings, Ben makes coffee but if he doesn't or if I need to leave before he makes coffee, I find myself NEEDING it. I was going the grande route for awhile, but now I need a venti for it to do the trick! UGH!

On the upswing, my addiciton now is different than three years ago. I don't get the headaches, and I don't need it throughout the day. I still only drink caffeine free pop, unless of course I'm out and can't get it. But anyways, the moral of this story is that my maternity leave caused a readdiction to caffeine...


On the Noah front, his cold has finally subsided. Still the occasional cough or sneeze, but we did go to the doctor on Monday and he confirmed it was just a cold - no ear or sinus infection, thank goodness. We ran the humidifier and propped up the mattress and it seemed to do the trick.

Noah LOVES being outside. Now that the weather's nice, I'm so excited to get out more with him for walking and outings. I got home early from work yesterday and took him for a long walk and then we played in the grass while waiting for daddy to come home.

Speaking of daddy, his 33rd birthday was this week. We had a low key day, but will probably do something fun to celebrate on this LONG weekend. Yay for Memorial Day - I get a three-day weekend AND get to spend two of those days with both my boys!

We are going to go look at flooring this weekend. We got a quote for labor to put hardwood in our main level of the house (through the kitchen, dining room, living room, and entryway). Now we just need to get the flooring and rip up the carpet and we'll be good to go! The house has been in royal disarray since Ben painted back in mid-April, so I'm eager to get the new floors in and get things back to normal around here!! It's going to be beautiful when it's done... but until then...

Check out this video of Noah. He's teething pretty bad, and I think his goofy tongue made it feel better... I don't really know because there's no rhyme or reason to when he does this...

It cracks me up every time!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

**Happy 7 months Noah!!**

It is incredible how time flies!! I can't believe my little man is seven months old already! Sometimes it feels like yesterday he was born, and other days it feels like he's been with us forever!!

May is already half over, and it's been quite a busy month for us!

Since around the beginning of the month, Noah has taken to rolling onto his tummy to sleep, and usually there are no problems. However, one morning (I think Weds the 6th), he woke up with his eye almost completely swollen shut. I wish I had a picture of it, because he just looked so pitiful! It wasn't bothering him at all, and definitely improved as the morning wore on, but just to be safe I called the doctor. Turns out it was nothing. The doctor that it was probably a collection of fluid from sleeping on his face, and it was nothing to be concerned about. Later that day, we also had a follow up head ultrasound. It went well, and the doctor called later that day and said everything pretty much looks the same.

Last week, Ben, Noah, and I went down to Bloomington for two days for Katie's regional softball tournament. Noah did so good in the car, at the hotel, and at the ball park. It was on this trip that we started the transition to formula. Now he gets two formula bottles and two breast milk bottles per day, and he's doing great with that. On top of that, we've moved on to Stage 2 baby foods, and he loves everything so far! He enjoys mealtimes so much, I can't feed him fast enough.

Daddy & Noah at Katie's game

Anyways, the weather was great for the first day of the tournament. We sat right in front of the press box, so we were totally in the shade the entire day. The second day was overcast, and we sat in the same spot. I guess I thought we'd be "shaded" again, even though there was no sun. WRONG. Poor Noah got his first sunburn, which left mommy feeling BEYOND guilty. That Friday night back at home, he had a mild fever and slept *terribly*. He woke up in the middle of the night (very unlike him) and just seemed so uncomfortable. I gave him a bottle of water to help rehydrate, and he fell back to sleep, poor baby.

Sunday was my first Mother's Day, and I truly could not have asked for a better day!! First of all, mommy got to sleep in a bit, and while I showered, Ben got Noah ready for the day. We had breakfast with my mom & Jeff, and Julie & Scott, and it was worth the 45 minute wait. Delicious. After breakfast, Ben & I went home to feed Noah and from there headed out to enjoy the beautiful weather. We first went to Cosley's and saw all the animals. There were some brand new baby goats (like a week old) that I think Noah enjoyed watching... they were about his size. I had told Ben that all I wanted for Mother's Day were photos of Noah and I together, so after Cosley's, we went to Adams Park for a "photo shoot". I am SO happy with how the pictures turned out. I can't wait for Ben to edit them so I can post some and have prints made.

After the photo shoot, Ben took me to Dairy Queen (yum!), and we headed home so Noah could finally get a good nap. Ben & Noah got mommy some pretty plants with pink flowers (azaleas? I can't remember now), and Ben has since planted them in the yard, continuing the "fence" of shrubs. Pictures to come!

Once Noah woke up, we all headed to dinner at Ted's Montana Grill, and it was fantastic. I had an amazing cocktail, awesome Cobb salad with a Crab cake on top, and a delicious dessert. After we got home and got Noah to bed, Ben gave me a massage to cap a great day. I'm such a lucky girl!!

Monday night, baby Noah came down with his first cold, hacking cough, runny nose and all... I openly blame my sister, who was coughing all over and blowing in his face on Mother's Day. Monday night was rough. He woke up three times, and we could just tell he was out-of-sorts. He couldn't breathe and sounded like he was snoring all night. I contemplated calling the doctor, but decided to wait it out. It's been a few days now, and while he's still coughing and boogery, it has gotten MUCH better. Throughout the course of it (with the exception of the first night), he's been his pretty happy-go-lucky, typical self, so I'm not too worried. I do find it interesting that just days after cutting his breastmilk intake in half, he gets his very first cold... coincidence or correlation????

Noah has finally started sitting independently! I can even walk away for a few minutes and he'll just be chilling, playing with his toys. Here's a picture from Steph's graduation party at the beginning of the month.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The luckiest.

It just came to my attention that it's National Infertility Awareness Week. Happy NIA week...? Sort of an oxymoron, but whatever.

Today I had an intake meeting for a newborn with down syndrome. After three years of trying and five IVF cycles, they get a child with down syndrome, heart defects, and an assortment of other issues. Something about their situation just really struck a cord with me. I've worked with other families who've discussed their IVF experiences - and I generally share mine with them when it comes up - but none have had children with such extensive special needs.

My heart broke for them. They tried so hard for so long. One woman had three unsuccessful cycles, and the other woman had one unsucessful cycle and one successful. If you can call it that...

I left the meeting feeling glad that the mom seemed to be coping well. It sounded like they have a really great support system. I also left the meeting wanting to hug my little boy. We've had our own "issues" to deal with, but today's meeting put things in perspective for me.

I always feel kid of bad acting like my situation is special or more important than other peoples, but there is sort of a sense of entitlement from having gone through infertility treatment. We feel like our bodies have failed us, but if medicine can make things happen, then so be it. But what happens when medicine fails too? Life isn't fair, sure, but that is REALLY not fair. Plus, to top it off, people are cruel, so you can imagine what people might say about a lesbian couple with a son with down syndrome...

Am I making sense?... SIGH.


I cuddled Noah extra special tonight. His skin and hair are so soft, and he smells so good. I love feeling the warmth of his body and hearing his breath (and the snot in his nose). I adore his smile, and the way his eyes crinkle when he smiles. SIGH. I have to be the luckiest mommy in the world. No, I AM the luckiest mommy in the world.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Happy 6 months Noah Taylor!!

I can't believe my little man is already six months old. It is mind-boggling that half a year has gone by since he was born! It's been an eventful six months, and I am so grateful to have survived it! Noah is the best little boy. Such an easy boy and a real trooper when it comes to the not-so-fun stuff in life, like doctors and teeth. Yes! I said teeth! The first one popped through three days ago on Easter and the second one popped yesterday! His sleep and naps have been a little screwy because of it, but he's still his typical, happy self.

We've tried almost all the stage one veggies - peas, carrots, squash, and sweet potatoes. I still have green beans in the pantry, but in honor of his 6mo birthday today, we skipped the beans, and opted for bananas! He loved it! He is such a piggie. He doesn't turn away anything, even those nasty cereals - rice, oatmeal, mixed grains. He eats them all!

It's kind of fun to look back and see how he has changed each month. Time has really flown right by...

Monday, March 30, 2009


I've been thinking about posting for about a week, but everytime I think of it, I'm either too tired or totally go blank on what I was going to write about... I've got a little of both going on right now, but let me try and do a Noah update (in absolutely no particular order):

*We have been feeding him cereal for about a month and a half, and he's doing great. We've done rice, oatmeal, and mixed grain cereal. Just yesterday we introduced his first veggies, peas - not my favorite - but he seems to enjoy them.

*He is rolling over inconsistently. I think I've only seen him go back to tummy once, but he has definitely found his feet, and I see more movement in our future.

*We met with the neurosurgeon at Children's last week, and he said everything's just fine. He said that Noah will probably grow into his head between 9 and 12mo. He'll never be ON the growth chart, but he'll make his own nice little curve parallel to it...

*The day we went to Children's was insane. They were TWO HOURS behind, so it turned into a loooooooooong day, but poor Noah was a trooper. We got home that night, he ate, and went to bed at 7pm and didn't wake until morning. Usually he would go to bed between 9 and 10, but I've been reading that he should be going down between 6 and 8. We've upped his bottles to 7 and 5oz each (depending on if he gets it with cereal), and now he only gets four bottles a day (and solids twice a day). He's gone to bed before 8:00 and slept the entire night for four nights in a row now. Fingers crossed it sticks...

*TMI alert: I am weaning from the pump. I've been pumping 4x/week since I went back to work in late-January. My goal was to make it to 6 months, and I think I will. It's been a slow process, but I now pump 3x/day and have dropped about 8oz. I have about two months worth frozen, so hopefully I can draw it out a bit and give Noah breastmilk until he's 9 months old.

*Noah loves to talk and laugh. He's a screamer too! Sometimes he'll just be laying there (usually on the changing table), and he'll screech! There have been times that it's definitely scared the crap out of me!

*He's in size three diapers now and has been since we went to Arizona. He's starting to bust out of his 6mo clothes, and I had to order a few pair of 9mo pants because most of his 6mo ones are too tight in the belly.

*Speaking of - he weighed in at 19lb, 3oz last week at Children's!!!

I'll post more pictures soon. He's getting so big! It's truly amazing how quickly babies change. He's such an awesome kid. We are the luckiest people in the world!!

Coming soon in the month of April:
*Julie and I are going to Champaign this weekend to see New Kids on the Block at Assembly Hall!!!
*Easter with the fam - just wait until you see Noah's Easter outfit!
*Katie GRADUATES!!!!!
*Alma softball at Wheaton College - represent.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

a striking resemblance...

I just recently noticed the amazing resemblance of 3D ultrasound Noah to newborn baby Noah...

Life, of late

Again with my lack of updates!! My sincerest apologies - life has been so hectic, but I feel like we finally have somewhat of a normal routine.

Noah will be five months old tomorrow, and he is the easiest, most portable kid. His body clock is my best friend, because he's so easy to read. He eats every three hours like clockwork and is usually asleep within two hours of waking (thank you Dr. Weissbluth!). He's been eating cereal for over a month. It was slow going at first, but we recently figured out that feeding him cereal after a slightly smaller bottle makes all the difference! Now he's gobbling it up, save for when he's too sleepy (like this morning). We started the oatmeal cereal a few days ago, and he really seems to like it. He started imitating me by opening big and screeching "AHH!"

Our trip to Arizona was fantastic. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, as was the newest love in our lives, baby Laine. We are so happy for Amanda, Robert, & Isaac, who, by the way, is Noah's new best friend. Noah would light up and laugh hystericallly for Isaac! Noah enjoyed playing on Laine's pink playmat - his favorite toy here at home too (his isn't pink though...) He "enjoyed" two Cubs games, including one where they beat the Sox 13-0!! He was very overwhelmed by the experience, to say the least. The Cubs/Sox game was a very exciting game - lots of hits, including a grand slam - so when people would get loud and cheer, he would dissolve into a full on cry. His eyes would crunch, and he'd do the whole "eh, eh, eh, eh, EHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!" I just kept clapping and whispering "yay" in his ear when good things happened, since that's how we applaud him at home. The second game was not as exciting (the Cubs lost, and the average age of the crowd was probably about 30 years older than the previous game), so he did much better. He even got a souvenir! He got a "Spring Training 2009" baseball cap, that's child size, but fits his huge noggin!

Speaking of his nog, at his four month appointment, Noah's head was in the 99th percentile, and had grown over an inch in one month. The percent and growth were a little disconcerting to me, so I asked the pediatrician if we should be concerned. He said probably not, especially if big heads run in the family (they do), but said he wanted to consult with a neurosurgeon from Children's to be safe. The neuro suggested a cranial ultrasound through his soft spot to check for extra fluid. Turns out, little man does have some extra fluid outside of his brain, but the ped said he's not concerned. The neuro, however, wants to see Noah for a consultation. I think they're just being cautious, and I'm less worried now than I initially was, but I just feel bad for the poor kid getting toted from doctor to doctor, and getting test after test... We go back to Children's in two weeks for that appt, and we go back to the ped this Monday to get another measurement of his head. My biggest concern at this point is how his head size is impeding his development. I feel like his huge head is making it hard for him push up onto his arms and hands and to roll over. He does these things, but not as frequently as I think I'd like. Technically he's still getting PT once a month, but we're sort of on the fence if he really needs it... I guess it's sort of a crutch for me. Not that he really needs to be getting therapy for me to talk to his therapist about things.... :)

As for the hematology piece, he's doing great. We went to Children's this past Thursday for a follow up, and his hemoglobin is up to 10.5, which is great for him! The doc told us he'd see us back in 6 months! Yay! At that time, Noah will be almost a year, so they'll be able to do the testing to officially diagnose him with spherocytosis. The doc said that since I have such a mind case of it, Noah's will probably be mild as well. Thanks goodness! I'm anticipating no more transfusions in his future!!

I've been back to work now for a while. I'm starting to get back into the routine, but I can't seem to catch up. I think in a couple more months I'll feel a lot better, but right now I have good days and bad days. I feel like I might be hitting the wall... I've never felt as burned out as I do lately, and I don't feel like I'm doing my best, which is really hard for me, since I'm sort of a perfectionist. The thought of changing jobs terrifies me on so many levels. After doing something for five years, it's hard to imagine a change. But comfort is no reason to stay at a job... however, in this economy, job security is, so I'm kind of torn. I don't even know what I'd want to do if I made a change. Would I stay in the field or is it time to branch out? I wonder about it every day...

Time to jump through the shower before Noah wakes up. I'll post some new pics and videos soon!

Monday, February 16, 2009

My funny valentine

*Noah is four months old.*

Sorry for the long break in posting. Life is so super busy these days, and what little time I have for myself is usually spent cleaning or doing laundry. Or just vegging out in front of the TV (some things never change).

Noah continues to be an incredible little man. He turned four months yesterday and got his first taste of rice cereal. He was super cranky at first, but he was really hungry, so we started with the bottle and then did some spoonfuls of cereal. By the end, he was opening his mouth in anticipaiton of the spoon!

Noah also rolled over last night for the first time! He did it three times, tummy to back, and of course, no more, so I couldn't get a video. He was pushing up on his forearms and looking up at me, and I think the weight of his giant head just tipped him right over!

Saturday was Noah's first Valentine's day. It was pretty low key - mommy and Noah ran some errands during the day. In the evening, we stayed in and daddy made a steak dinner. Noah bought valentines for mommy and daddy, and got a bunch of his own from the fam.

I've been back to work for close to a month now, and it's been going well. My days are so busy, but they fly right by. I love getting home to Noah at the end of the day. I think the fact that Ben's parents are watching Noah has made the transition easier. I never really struggled with going back. I think part of me was ready to have "me time" again and get back to my old routine, but I've also never had to worry about who's watching him and if they're doing what I would want done. The beauty of family! We are so greatful for their help, and I know Noah loves spending his days with them.

I apologize for the lack of blogging, but my time is so precious these days! I feel like there is so much more to write about, but that's it for now. Gotta get ready for work!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Some new pictures!

I was just sitting on the couch with Noah one day, a few days before Christmas, and he starts shooting me these KILLER smiles. Thankfully the camera was sitting right next to me!

Noah went to see Santa at Stratford Square Mall. Not the cutest Santa I've ever seen, but we couldn't NOT take Noah to see Santa for his first Christmas!

Christmas morning, we had breakfast and did gifts with mom, Julie, & Scott at our house. Noah, of course, was spoiled!

Christmas afternoon was spent at Noah's great-grandma's house. Here he is with his great-grandma. Of course, his tongue's hanging out...

My new favorite picture of Noah! We were getting ready to head to my aunt and uncle's house for the holiday celebration with my mom's family, and Noah was hamming it up in his carseat! What a doll!