Wednesday, November 10, 2010

new noah words

in recent weeks - daddy (as opposed to dada), zoo ("e-yoo"), limo ("yih-mow"), boo!, hello ("hay-yo"), and hi. he reads LOTS of digger books, and can identify the difference between a grater ("guh"), bulldozer ("buh"), tractor ("truh"), trailer ("truh"), dump truck ("dip truh"). he repeats "i" and when i ask him to say "love" he usually says "mama" (meaning "I love mama"). he says joe a lot which either means semi-truck (from one of his favorite books about big joe) or miss jo, his speech therapist.

i can usually understand what he's saying in context, but a lot sounds (ie. "buh" "guh" or "muh") mean multiple different thing - for example: buh is boat, back, boots, and ball (though he'll say ball if we prompt him) to name a few.

he LOVES dora and diego. love. he begs me everyday when we get home to watch them. he says "dih" (dora), "day-go" (diego) and dances to dora's "we did it" dance every time.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Two years, IF & more babies

i've not been so good about blogging lately. life has been busy and my mind has been busy. the thought to blog came to me today when i happened on a show on channel 11 where paula zahn was taking infertility with some of her guests.

anytime the topic of IF or IVF comes up, i have mixed feelings. part of me feels sad and that ache of wanting another baby creeps in. but then i feel overwhelming joy and pride, and the look on the face of my angel child almost brings tears to my eyes (despite the terrible twos creeping in). i feel so lucky to have my noah, who will be two on friday. i've said it before and i'll say it again - infertility sucks, but had i not walked that road, i know i would not be the mother that i am now. however unfair it might be to say, i know that i wanted this boy so desperately that i love him more than i would have if he'd come easily to us.

this week, one of the pioneers of IVF, dr. robert edwards, was awarded the nobel prize for medicine. i agree with melissa over at stirrup queens that the nobel prize doesn't really mean a whole lot in this day and age, especially with dr. edwards' award coming over 30 years AFTER the fact, but i am grateful for some positive press for IVF (aside from the vatican's denouncement of the honor). after the whole octomom debacle of two years ago, it's nice for someone to publicly say something good about IVF. and truly, i am grateful to dr. edwards (and his colleague, the late dr patrick steptoe) for their discovery. without their research and hard work, i do not believe that my noah would be here today.

we've come so far from our IF journey. it feels like forever ago, and sometimes it's hard to believe noah's only turning two. i feel like he's been a part of my life forever, and it's exciting to think about him being around for the rest of my life. i want him to have a sibling or two, and i hope that my mind and body will allow that to happen. preferably sooner than later, though that is a huge decision on the horizon... part of me thinks we need to go before the end of the year, since my deductible's been met, but part of me thinks that i'm not quite ready to go down that road. it will be our last IVF cycle covered by insurance, and i cannot really put into words how daunting that is for me.

it can be hard though, day to day, when i am surrounded by people dealing with IF and the last person you'd expect announces she's pregnant. a girl at work announced last week that she is pregnant. i hate that that situation still gives me mixed feelings. i want to be happy for her. i really feel that children are life's greatest joy and i want that happiness for everyone who wants it, without the pain and frustration of IF because i wouldn't wish that on anyone. but there's still the lingering resentment and jealousy because i want to be the one making that announcement or for one of the four other girls at the office who've been trying to be the one.

of course, the day i found out that K was pregnant, i also found out that an acquaintance from high school was pregnant. later in the week, i got word that one of my IF friends was expecting, and a few days later, another dear friend announced her pregnancy... i want to take this mish-mosh of babies as a sign for things to come....

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

the latest adventures of noah

let's see...

one of noah's newest words is "um". oh my god, are mommy's communication skills so bad that UM is word that noah hears often enough to add it to his limited vocabulary?? apparently so.

on monday, i came home from work to find out that noah had removed his own diaper during nap for the first time. he had pooped in his diaper, and then proceeded to pee in the bed.

on tuesday night i asked noah to smile, and he did. it's the sweetest little bashful smile, but FINALLY he smiles on command. hopefully that will make for some super cute two year old shots!

today we officially signed noey up for "preschool". he's going to be going to a parent day out program two days per week, 2.5 hours a day at one of the churches in town. i think it will be so perfect for him in terms of giving him more social opportunities with peers, and hopefully having some good language models to help move his speech along! they do a snack time too, so maybe we'll get lucky and decide he likes to eat crackers because the other kids eat crackers!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

finally feeling better

oh thank god the drugs are working!!! i've been a new person this month. i was so afraid the damage was done, but the prednisone did the trick. now, if i can just figure out what to do next with the baby making..... insurance pays for one more IVF cycle, and beyond that, we're on our own. i'm trying to stay positive and just take it one step at a time, but i cannot help but think big picture...

but that is a thought for another day -

Monday, August 9, 2010

contemplating a nervous breakdown

i have had a LOT on my mind lately. a lot. i don't even know if i have the time or energy to recap it all right now, but i'm sad i haven't been better about blogging, since lord knows poor noah's baby book is empty, save for a handful of the "easy" pages.

2010 has been a struggle. i didn't expect this to be such a challenging year. my goal for 2010 was to get pregnant with baby number two. you'd think after two years of infertility and two rounds of IVF i would have known it wasn't that easy. but i would have never guessed all the twists and turns the year would take and the emotional toll that the sadness of others would wear on me.

long story short, my arthritis has been flaring up since around february, and i have felt the worst these past few months as i have entire my entire adult life. i have struggled to take care of myself, let alone noah, and unforuntately, when i'm in pain, my temper surfaces and i am easily angered and frustrated.

i thought doing an IVF cycle in june was a good decision. in my mind, we would do it, it would work, and i would be pregnant and therefore, feel better. when i was pregnancy and nursing, i felt fantastic, and i thought - man, if i could just be pregnant... on the contrary, the IVF hormones made me feel worse, and the failed cycle pushed me to move on changing some things in my life.

i switched rheumatologists. same clinic, different doctor. i switched from a ho-hum, laid back, wait-and-see doctor, to a young, female, osteopathic doc who i hoped would embrace my concerns and tell me she had so many ideas to help me feel better. let's just say, she didn't embrace me. don't get me wrong. she has responsive to my concerns, and i feel like just making the change is a psychological fix, if only for the short term. she put my on some meds - namely prednisone, a steroid, which is meant to be a quick fix in the short term. it is helping a lot, but i no it won't last because i can't stay on it indefiniely. we talked about possible other drug options, but she didn't want to try anything if i am considering getting pregnant anytime soon. she said she would want the drugs she had in mind to be out of my system for six months - my eff-ing clock is ticking lady! i don't have six months! i may run out of eggs and options in six months! *deep breathe* she ran some tests, and determined that i was significantly anemia - moreso than usual. i did follow up bloodwork which confirmed that it is an iron-deficiency anemia, and she referred me to my primary.

now i don't have a primary... i'm always just used my rheumy as a primary, and gone to the clinic to see whomever when i've had a cold. so i went to my mom's primary. mom highly recommended her, and i thought, if i can just find someone who will hear my concerns, and tell me it is something more, and they know what will help. nope. she referred me to a GI doctor, put me on iron supplements, and something to protect my stomach from the meds the rheum put me on. she said the anemia could be caused by internal bleeding, a possible side-effect of a med i'd previously been on, and the GI may want to do an endoscopy.

now let's back up a minute. on top of physically feeling like shit since february, having been on an emotional rollercoaster with stacy's loss of her twins, other friend's and acquaintances losing their babies, and my own BFN from my IVF cycle, we had our open enrollment meeting at work in mid-july, where i found out that my premium is going from $500/mo (blue cross PPO for the entire fam) to $740/mo, and my specialist co-pays are going from $20 to $40, which is fucking fantastic since practically every doctor noah and i see are specialists..... seriously? they offered a secondary PPO option, that was $600/mo but has fewer in-network providers, one of which is missing is noah's pediatric group. EHHHHHH! big no. not switching. not when i ***LOVE*** the pediatrician. ***LOVING*** a doctor is a huge deal to me, and i am not willing to switch.

anyways, so i saw the rheum, i saw the primary, i have an appt with the hemotologist, which i may cancel because i'm so FUCKING busy this month, and the doctors have assured me my anemia is of the iron-deficiency sort, not the hereditary spherocytosis, you-need-a-transfusion-and-your-spleen's-about-to-burst kind.

i also saw the reproductive immunologist, dr. coulam. she is one of the best known RIs in the world, and totally acknowleges the (obvious to me) correlation between auto-immune diseases and infertility. i went to her basically knowing that given my medical and fertility history, she would want to run a battery of tests, bloodwork that i was 100% prepared to do that day. however...

the lab they use does not work with insurance, the doctor and nurse tell me. insurance might pay a portion of it, but you have to contact them to find out, submit the claim, and so forth, they say. oh and the testing costs $1350, plus $50 shipping and handling, and you have to pay up-front, cash, check, or credit TODAY.

wait, what?

i can't ask that many questions, i suppose. RIs are NOT a dime a dozen, and i'm on my last leg if i want another baby. but shit! $1400 up-front that insurance MAY cover a PERCENTAGE of??? yikes.

i haven't done the bloodwork yet, though i know ultimately i probably will, and should do it soon. i called the insurance company today, and they told me what info they'd need to have to tell me whether or not they would pay the claim. i am waiting to hear back from the billing department at the RIs clinic.

so that said, i am finally feeling better this week, thanks to the prednisone. for the first time in months, i can make fists with both hands. i don't cry because of the pain when i get out of bed in the morning. but my mind still races with the thoughts of what to do next. i do not know what my next move should be, and the primary made a comment that i can't get out of my mind.

she said it's hard to live with arthritis, and it's hard to care for a small child, but both of those things together are very hard. she said do you work? yes. full time? yes. if possible, you might think about going down to part time. (choking back tears) okay.

i say okay, but i really mean, well my job can be stressful, but it's very different from most jobs. i can come and go as i please, and i don't necessarily always work 40 hours.

but still. she's probably right. am i burning the candle at both ends? am i wearing myself down to the point that i'm causing more harm?

i worry constantly about getting old, not because i'm worried about wrinkles or saggy boobs, but because i'm afraid of what arthritis will do to me. i have had this disease for 30 years, and i am only 31 years old. most people who've had arthritis for 30 years have a foot in the grave. i want to live at least another 30 years, but i don't think longer is asking too much. but what kind of life will it be when i'm 61 and have had arthritis for 60 years? if this is the state of my body now, i'm terrified, T.E.R.R.I.F.I.E.D. of what it will be like when i'm older.

it's something above and beyond what most people can begin to comprehend, which is why, with what feels like the entire freaking deck stacked again me right now, i am contemplating a nervous breakdown.

but not until after i get back from vacation. :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

big talker

so noah's talking more and more everyday - today he was HELL BENT on "go"ing somewhere. he stood by the door to the garage, pulling the handle and saying "go" "go" "go".

he's saying "more" pretty consistently to ask for things. he says yo-yo for yogurt. dig-ger is pretty clear now, and every yellow construction truck is a digger to noah. he says "hee haw" for donkey. he says "yeah" and "no" meaningfully. last week on monday, i got a text from ben saying that noah was saying "mo jjj" for more jello on numerous occasions. i have yet to hear a two-word phrase myself, but i've been trying to encourage it.

it's just great to hear his voice and his wants, and i can't wait to hear his thoughts and stories...

Monday, July 5, 2010

miscellaneous thoughts

today is ben & my 7 year wedding anniversary. where has the time gone? so much has happened that i have to be greatful for. i know i talk about about IF and my dream for more babies, and i'm still working on the next steps, but in so many ways i am so greatful for noah and for ben and the life we have. there are so many good things, and sometimes i have to remind myself to take a step back and soak it all up.

i think of where we've come from in the last 14 (yes, fourteen) years that we've been together, and the mostly ups and some downs, and while the downs have been painful and heartwrenching, the ups are worth it all.

i look at noah and am amazed every single day, with everything he does and every word he says. we worked so hard for him, and wanted him so badly, that i think it makes every small thing that much greater.

a friend of mine who was about to head down the road of IF treatment, diagnosis in hand, called me a few weeks back and said "it's a faint line, but i think i'm pregnant". i burst into tears! she wanted it so bad, and ached for that baby too, and i hope hope hope everything turns out perfectly, because i'm so greatful she didn't have to make the long journey.

but i read stories, and blogs, and know people who are still aching for a baby. i hear their stories, and i feel their stories. i remember hating holidays and announcements of "oops" babies. i remember hating every pregnant woman or woman with a newborn that i saw - for all i know, they had taken the same journey, but i hated them nonetheless for achieving the ultimate goal.

i want another baby of my own. i want to experience it all again with the experience of having done it this time. maybe a VBAC? and what kind of older brother will noah be? but i have moments of being okay with this life as it is now, because i'm greatful for what i have. for noah and for ben. for my family and friends, house, cars, job, things... the ability to live a comfortable suburban life. i don't think it's wrong for me to want more, but for now (for today) i'm okay and so happy.

Fourth of July parade

other than that, some real, concrete info. no more mommy musings....

noah's been getting speech therapy since early june (i think). he's not a big talker, but understands everything we say and ask of him. his vocabulary is booming though - mama, dada, juice, ball, moon, jeep, no, door, dirt, go, yeah, uh oh, oh no, shh - sounds: woof woof, meow, moo, baa, elephant sound, horse sound, firetruck/ambulance, helicopter, toot toot (train) - i'm sure there are more, but those are the most common at this point.

i got my wallet and GPS stolen out of my car (doors locked, but windows cracked) at freaking Cosley Zoo in wheaton about two weeks ago. who does that?? well, some skinny white kid who went to the Northlake walmart and bought a fricking Wii on my dime, that's who. twist of the knife, with the Wii, by the way, since ben would love to have one... lesson learned, i suppose.

happy 4th of july weekend - hope everyone's having a great summer!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

a new hope?

over the last week or so, i've been doing a lot of reading - mostly blogs and websites - but i've come across a glimmer of hope. i'm in the midst of changing my rheumatologist to an osteopathic doctor, investigating acupuncture for both RA & IF, and looking into my discovery - the field of reproductive immunology!

most doctors i've talked to don't really acknowledge a correlation between my medical history and my struggles with IF, but i cannot see how they are NOT related. between my RA and HS, reproductive immunology seems to be the next logical step. from what i've read, there are other immunological tests that can be done and different IVF protocols that can be used when there are abnormalities of the immune system.

From a number of websites (including

The indications for testing are:

1) Two miscarriages or two IVF or GIFT failures after age 35 or three miscarriages or IVF or GIFT failure before age 35 - i've only had two failed IVFs to date, but close enough.
2) Poor egg production from a stimulated cycle (less than 6 eggs) - ding, ding, ding - i'm the definition of a poor responder
3) One blighted ovum - n/a
4) Unexplained infertility - ding, ding, ding - again, i have no specific IF diagnosis.
5) Previous immune problems (ANA positive, rheumatoid arthritis, and/or lupus) - ding, ding, ding - RA folks.
5) Previous pregnancies that have shown retarded fetal growth - n/a
6) One living child and repeat miscarriages while attempting to have a second child - n/a

so 4 out of 6 - i think it's time for some immune testing.

now, i don't want to jump to conclusions. since noah was born, we've really only tried to conceive once, which was the failed IVF cycle. we'll try again this summer the old fashioned way, but because of the concern with the possibility of premature ovarian failure or reduced ovarian reserve, i don't want to put all my eggs in that basket - cue the snare and cymbal!

of course, with that said, i really think the IVF cycle failed because my RA flare. the more i read, the more i'm convinced. hopefully i'll get that in check quickly with the help of the OD and acu and maybe Humira, and then everything else will fall into place.

did i mention, i want another baby? --- on a side note, after a year full of bad news and sadness, a dear friend did get some amazing and miraculous news this week. i won't elaborate because i'm not sure who all reads this blog, but let's just say i still believe in miracles, and this time, without medical intervention! :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

my 100th post ... and what a post.

so my follow up consult with fertility doctor (or RE, reproductive endocrinologist) was this morning, and i think i'm even more confused! i asked why it didn't work and he said it was likely due to poor quality embryos. i asked why the embryo quality was bad, and he said likely because of egg quality. i asked about the decision to do a day 5 rather than a day 3 (which we did with noah), and he said there were more embryos (than we'd ever had before) and they wanted to make sure to transfer the best. unfortunately, what looked good on day 3 looked bad on day 5 and at that point, we'd already "used" our cycle, so we had no choice but to transfer what we had. he said next time, he would strongly consider transferring 3 on day 3.

i asked about taking a few months off to regroup and get my RA in check, and he said a few months definitely wouldn't hurt, and getting my RA in check is huge. there is so little research on RA and fertility, but we did talk about a medication that he feels (based on the FDA rating) is safe to be on during IVF treatment and is known to be effective. i promptly made an appt with my rheumatologist after my RE appt - i see the new doctor on july 1st. :)

as for moving forward, he said we can go ahead on try on our own for the months we're off, and there's no need for additional testing or medications. when we're ready, we have one more IVF cycle covered by insurance - if we're lucky, we'll get some extra embryros to freeze. but here's the catch... (and my source of confustion)

we talked about donor eggs. i asked how to improve the quality of my eggs and/or embryos, and he said that i likely have a limited number of good quality eggs left and we might consider using a donor. despite having a reasonable FSH level (i think he said 4 point something), the quality is fleeting - not shocking to me since my mom went through early menopause, and maybe the RA and drugs over the years DID have an impact on my eggs... i asked about how that all works, and the costs, and he explained it is cheaper to use a known donor (which 20% of their patients who use donors do).

i have so many thoughts about donor eggs, and i can't wrap my head around the concept. just like years ago, i never though I would need to do IVF... i also never thought i'd need a donor. i'm only 31, for christ sake!

i've never even really given thought to using donor eggs or going the route of adoption, but now i'm in a weird spot. do we try our one more IVF cycle with my own eggs? do we get insurance to pay the majority and use a donor, only paying the donor costs? do we start saving for the possibility of fresh IVF #5 (or beyond - my eggs or donor) or more of a "sure thing" - consider adoption?

ugh. i was hoping for some guidance, but now i just have more questions.

i almost forgot how much infertility sucks. but at the end of the day, i keep reminding myself, thank god i have my precious little noey.

Friday, June 18, 2010

next steps

well, i'm not pregnant. ivf 3 was a colossal failure. i somewhat feel like we wasted it. i don't know. it is what it is, i guess, and hopefully we'll get some guidance on monday when we have our follow up with the doctor.

i feel like we have to proceed with caution because our insurance only covers one more ivf cycle. one more. that's it, and after that - what? do we decide to remain a family of three, and continue to cherish noah as the most precious boy in our lives? is that so terrible? well no, and for a minute i thought i was okay with only having one child, but on second thought, i want to be selfish for myself and i want noah to have a sibling or siblings to grow old with and to have with him after ben and i are gone.

or maybe, we think about adoption, which i think is a very respectable and generous route, but has never really been in the forefront of my mind. it's never even really been in the back of my mind. again, i'm selfish. i want to be pregnant again. i want to try a vaginal delivery. i want to try to breast feed. i want my own biological child, and noah's biological sibling.

and while the process of adoption is length and stressful, it's almost more of a sure thing than scrounging up the money to pay for ivf #5 (or beyond) which is NOT a sure thing. i'm getting older. my eggs are getting older. i don't have the luxury of time.

but maybe i do. maybe we need to take a minute and see if things "changed" after my being pregnant and delivering noah. the doctor's like to say things can "change" after infertility. i don't really believe them. they also said my infertility is not linked to my medical history, which i also don't really believe...

i'm kind of numb right now, which is maybe good, but probably bad. i actually had a long conversation yesterday with my friend stacy about the fact that ivf #3 failed and that i wasn't sure what to do next. after losing her twins at 2- i just have to stop and say i kind of hate myself at this moment for just forgetting how many weeks stacy was...... she lost the twins at 23 weeks, and she is doing remarkably well. she is able to acknowledge the pain of the loss, and the reality that the end goal has not changed, but the path has. and still i feel selfish and watch my words when we talk, though we are dear friends and i know i don't have to, but i have noah, and she has two angels who she never got to know. BUT the point is, she is already talking about doing ivf #6 (with a frozen embryo) in the fall. she wants to understandably get passed her due date before doing so, which unfortunately happens to be the same day as her 31st birthday. happy fucking birthday.

i feel like i have so many questions for my doctor, but i can't get them all out of my head. it's all just swirling, and i keep thinking now is just not the time. maybe i need to get myself in a better place physically first and then it will happen. but like i said, my clock is ticking at like warp speed, and i don't know how much longer we can wait.

i need to make an appointment with my new rheumatologist. i got really motivated after news came of my negative pregnancy test, and finally decided to call and ask to switch doctors. i also decided i need to look into starting acupuncture and massage ASAP - i 100% plan on doing acu during my next ivf cycle, whenever that may be.

so - okay, that's enough from me for tonight, if any of that even made sense. i'm too tired to focus right now, and hopefully i'll have some clarity this weekend so ben and i can have a long convo about what to do and questions to ask. ultimately, i kind of think i have my mind (or my heart?) made up that we need to find a way to have another baby, if it means paying for ivf beyond what insurance covers. but god, i hope it doesn't have to come to that.

Monday, May 31, 2010

...with mixed emotions...

God, as if the hormones haven't been enough of an emotional roller coaster in recent weeks, I hear MORE bad news. What. The. Fuck.

Saturday was one month since Stacy's sweet boys were born and died. I later learned that a friend of a friend lost her baby at 8.5 months gestation, the same week Stacy lost her boys. And it was the day before the girl's friggin birthday. I also learned that April 29th was the first birthday/anniversary of a similiar situation, in which the baby of a guy I went to high school with died in utero. April 29th was the day Stacy's boys came into and left this world.

Saturday was also the day that I learned that a dear friend's 16 week old son died from SIDS. Sam was a girl who I went through the IVF process with the first time around. Her son Caden was due the day after Noah, but her water broke at 29 weeks and he was born at 35 weeks. Sam went back to do IVF the spring after our boys were born, and on the first attempt became pregnant with twins. Will & Mason were born in February, and although I've never met Sam and her family (or any of the other girls on my iVillage IVF message boards), there is a unique bond between all of us. The news that Mason had passed away on Friday was as devastating to me as if it had happened to one of my dear IRL ("in real life") friends.

The sadness of losing a child, whether in-utero or in their first weeks or months of life, is just unimaginable. I can't imagine, nor do I even want to try to imagine what Sam and her husband (and their two remaining boys, and even the dog) are going through. I think I would rather die than go on living without Noah. Again with trying to understand WHY these things happen. WHY do good people have to suffer though so much pain?

And yet, I need to bury my current sadness and anger at the world, and focus on my own life and my own goals at this moment in our lives.

We are in the midst of IVF for "Baby K 2.0". My egg retrival was yesterday, and very successful. We retrieved 12 eggs, 9 of which were mature, and 6 of which fertilized. Looking back on IVF#1 (Oct 07), I had 6 eggs, 2 were mature, and 2 were fertilized and transferred. IVF#2 (Jan 08 resulting in Noah) retrieved 5 eggs, and just 1 was fertilized and transferred. There is no guarantee that all 6 will continue to thrive, but our hope is that the majority do so we can have a few embryos to freeze and keep as a back-up plan. We are feeling very optimistic about this cycle, and fortunately, Noah has been a happy distraction.

I just hope the bad news and negative karma can cease and desist for a while so that more good and happy news can take the reigns for awhile....

Friday, May 28, 2010

a quick thought...

i was very a very active blogger when i was pregnant with noah, and i'm a very very bad blogger now. i'm also bad at photo albums, the baby book, my journal, and these types of things. don't even THINK about using my name and scrapbooking in the same sentence...

anyways, i was just thinking about how focused i was on everything TTC and baby back then, and how distracted and busy i am these days!

i've been keeping it on the DL, but IVF to make Noah a big brother is underway. Just keep us in your thought and send all the positive vibes you can spare. We're hoping for a quick and easy road, and that my RA will go into remission again during another pregnancy as it did with Noah. I'm having a LOT of joint problems (pain, swelling, stiffness, etc.) with the hormone protocol this go-round, and i'm hoping the end of the pain is in sight. it's been an emotional couple of months with everything my dear friend went through, but i have an amazing support system with my family and co-workers and their support makes a world of difference.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


this morning, stacy's husband sent me a message on facebook saying that stacy would give birth to the twins today. they removed the cerclage, and stopped the medications. at 8:30am she had dialated to 2cm, and the doctor's said the boys would not live more than a few hours.

at 11:15, stacy texted me that she would be induced shortly, and once born, the boys would receive "comfort care". she was not sure whether they would see the boys or not.

i am so at a loss for words today. i am sick, sad, angry and just all around devastated by what my dear friend is going through today. and i have a million and one questions, none of which i can get answers to, and the answers to which probably don't matter.

i try to imagine myself in stacy's shoes. what would i do? would i beg the doctors to save my babies, or would i have to rationalize quality of life? i am quite pro-choice, but when the woman deciding is me, i don't know what i would do. i've always struggled with my stance on viability vs quality of life, perhaps because of the job i do, or because of the desparation to be a parent that i experience through my journey with infertility.

i am sick and angry thinking about how unfair the situation is. how so many people conceive without a second thought, or have children that they don't want or are unable to care for. how people say "it's in god's hands" or "god has a plan" and that's somehow supposed to make you feel better. if god has a plan, it's a pretty fucked up one, and i'd like to tell him to his face that he sucks.

i can kind of equate the surreal-ness of what i'm feeling today to a couple things, neither of which are truly comparable. one instance that comes to mind, and was moreso how i felt when this started with stacy three weeks ago, is when my dear friend anne had a stroke a year ago at 29 years old and it knocked myself and my coworkers off our feet. the other thing, which i know sound completely irrational, is to how i felt on september 11th. i know that's insane to say, but it's been a completely sick feeling, and hypotheticals and images keep running through my head. i feel almost like i'm having an out of body experience, and this isn't my life. maybe it's a bad dream, and we'll all wake up. and this isn't even about me.

this is stacy and doug's reality and i hope upon hope that they can survive this experience, and in some bizarre way, grow from it. there is the tiniest glimmer of hope in the back of my mind, because i don't know if the decision for "comfort care" was their choice or their doctors. i keep wondering if the boys will be bigger or better developed than everyone expects. what if they are fighters and stacy and doug look at them and beg the doctors to save them? should they? could they?

it's 11:30 at night. 12 hours after stacy texted she was being induced. have they been born? has stacy seen and held her babies? are they in NICU having drastic measures taken? when will i hear something? what do i say? what do i DO when stacy texts, calls, or i see her next? how the hell can she ever come back to working at a place where we work with babies and children everyday, many of whom are preemies? will she try again to have more children?

i want to do something, anything to make stacy feel better. i want to know what to say when i see her. i want to imagine that a miracle has happened.

but still i fear the worst. and if this is the case, i wish only for it to be a swift and peaceful process.

i always say that i believe that things happen for a reason, but i cannot bring myself to find any reason in this.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


i am at a loss for words right now. my dear friend and coworker is 23 weeks pregnant today, and i learned just a few hours ago that her water broke earlier today.

23 weeks is just far too early for any baby. but stacy is pregnant with twin boys, once of which has been diagnosed with a severe heart defect called hyperplastic left heart syndrome. stacy underwent five rounds of in-vitro and when to hell and back to become pregnant with these boys. and now she might lose them both.

i'm so sick about this. i know only to an extent what stacy had to go through, and i know first hand the desparation of infertility and IVF, the self blame, the guilt, and the emotional toll it can take.

i don't discount anyone's love for their child, but there is something very unique about the way one feels about the child or children they struggled so hard for. stacy and i talked about this shortly before she was put on bedrest. it's really hard to put into words, and i know that sounds unfair to those of you who have babies that did not have infertility - so please forgive my inability to express it. it's just that when pregnancy comes easily, you don't have to go though the months or years of self blame, anguish, and guilt, anger, sadness, and desparation...... after two (plus) years of struggling, stacy's pregnancy seemed like a miracle, and although she is not an emotional person, i know she is madly in love with those boys.

i often say that i know that noah was the baby i was meant to have. i could have been pregnant however many times in the months leading up to becoming pregnant, but the baby i had would not have been my sweet noey. when someone's in the midst of IVF or other treatments, it's really hard to wrap your brain around that idea, but i was talking with another coworker who experience multiple miscarriages, and now that her little girl is a few months old, she acknowleges the same concept. i think stacy was coming to understand our feelings on the topic, but now - - -

is it really better to, as they say, have loved and lost?

why is it that people's resillience is continually tested? why do "strong" people have to continue to be "strong"? when does stacy just catch a fucking break?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

the last few months...


Surgery - 12/11/09

Meeting Santa - 12/17/09



Sedona, AZ - 2/12/10

Amanda & Robert's Wedding - 2/13/10

That's not Noah! Love this picture of my nephew Grant - he's 5 1/2 months here!

Friday, March 19, 2010

17 months

I'm so amazed every day by Noah and how freaking cool he is. At 17 months old, he has become such a cool little person. He understands so many things. He can identify all kinds of body parts, people, clothing, toys, vehicles... He thinks it's hilarious to point at mommy, then daddy, then mommy, then daddy, and then swing his arm back and forth while we try to keep up mommydaddymommydaddymommydaddy...

He has finally started making some progress with food! It's taken FOR-EVVVVERRRR, but he is finally feeding himself some snacks, including pieces of fruit, yogurt puffs, and cheese. He's still not really interested in trying anything crunchy or hard, but likes to try to feed himself with the spoon and to stab food with his fork. He LOVES yogurt, applesauce, and pudding, but don't dare mention them OR juice if you want him to eat his main course first! We've done away with baby foods all together. No more baby cereal - he's moved onto regular oatmeal. No more jars - now we eat lots of pasta. Spaghettios, ravioli, mac & cheese, beefaroni... We discovered he likes bleu cheese dressing after I tried to get him to dip his veggies in it, but instead leaned forward and started licking his tray. We had a family dinner for St. Patrick's day, and Noah shared in it, having potatoes and carrots with a teeny bit of corned beef. He had it with salt and sour cream, which he reallllly liked!

I can't wait for spring! The last few days have been in the 60s and SUCH a tease!! Noah has spent a lot of time outside with grandma and grandpa during the day, and I even got out of work early on Wednesday and took him to the park! I'm looking into getting some kind of swing set or playground type thing for the yard, because I have a feeling we're going to be spending a LOT of time outside this summer!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

jumping those hurdles

slowly but surely, noah is growing up.

i'm so SO behind in blogging - BAD BLOGGER!! - but i want to get a few things down before i forget.

the friday before xmas, noah's first molar broke though. he never seems horribly bothered by his teeth coming in, thankfully. i'm also not above giving him tylenol to make him more comfortable...

on xmas eve, we were having dinner at the koechling's and i gave noah a green olive (sans pimento) just to see what he'd do with it, and he ATE IT! well, not really. he ripped it apart, put the small pieces in his mouth, chewed them, and spit them out. but it's definite progress!

xmas was so fun. noah really got into it, and was all about opening presents. his presents, grant's presents, my presents... he didn't discriminate! santa brought a kid laptop, some puzzles, fridge phonics, and a sled. noah was definitely on the *good* list.

on new years day, noah - started - WALKING!!!! he's still inconsistent and does it only on his terms, but he can and will do it when he wants! that morning, he and i were watching the Rose Parade (which he *loved*) and during the parade he took three steps from near the coffee table to the couch, which he'd sort of done before. usually two step from table to couch, and a dramatic flop face first into the couch... (his VERY first indepdendent steps came when he took two steps while we were in AZ.) but anyways, i was at the mall and got a text from my mom: "noah just took 6 steps". and another: "took another 9". i hurriedly finished up my errands and went home, and lo-and-behold, he did it for me! he was so so proud of himself, especially given my reaction!! we try to practice every day and i'm hoping that by the time we go to arizona on feb 8th, he'd been pretty stable on his feet.

noah's fully recovered from surgery - had a follow up with the ENT last weekend, and he told me i could pick the scab off noah's neck. ew! and okay! (i started but then stopped myself...)

over the weekend, we took noah for his first haircut. we both just decided he was starting to look pretty raggedy. serious borderline mullet was happening, and he was starting to look kind of like a hobo. we went to a local chain place called kidsnips where they specialize in cutting kids' hair. noah loved all the colors on the walls, the toys, the kids, the mirror, the taxi cab seat he sat in during his haircut, the elmo video he got to watch during his haircut... he looks like such a big kid now. it's crazy how a haircut can change him so much. just looks so grown up. :)

last night, i gave him a piece of muenster cheese, and just like the olive on xmas eve, he tore it up, put the pieces in his mouth, chewed, and spit... again - progress. i'll take what i can get at this point...

in general, he's just talking a lot more and understanding even more than that! still no real words (beyond maybe mama and dada - and maybe look?), but lots of babbling and always making noises and silly faces. he FINALLY has started letting me brush his teeth (as of about a week ago), and tonight i said "noah, say ah!" - he opened wide and said ah. i said "noah, show me your teeth - say eee!" he smiled a toothy smile and scrunched his eyes the way i had demonstrated. when i started laughing, he crunched his eyes all the way shut and started chuckling. he and i crack each other up every night while he's getting ready for bed. he's so tickling and loves it! he just laughs and laughs... ah, the coolest kid ever!! pictures soon!