Friday, April 21, 2017

I never really expected this day to come...

Many of you reading my blog know that my husband and I struggled with infertility issues before going through IVF to have our first child.  After our marriage in 2009 we threw out the birth control and thought lets start our family.  Fast forward to mid 2011 and still no baby and a trip to the OB starting with small doses of femara, moving right along to a fertility specialist in January 2012 and a year including 3 failed IUI's and heartbreak.  Ready to start IVF in early 2013 our first month was cancelled due to an ovarian cyst.  The very next month we produced some high quality embryos and SUCCESS.  Pregnant with one healthy baby leaving 7 embryos frozen, still no diagnosis.

Fast forward again, healthy baby boy in December and surprise a natural pregnancy later in 2014 resulting in healthy baby girl!  Decided to go on mirena for a year and then off then hoping for a 3rd child we were excited to be pregnant again naturally in fall 2016 (expected due date June 5 of this year).  We have decided our hearts and our home is full as a family of 5.  We get our annual embryo donation storage letter and payment due April.  I often get very emotional about it and this year is no different knowing it is decision time.  There has never been a doubt about what we want to do when the time came, we will donate but I'm having a much harder time with it than I expected.  Then again I never expected to become pregnant naturally after struggling so much the first time around.

Every time I look at the letter or think about calling I burst into a bucket of tears.  I remember all the pain, frustration, heart break, worry and think about how I never expected this day to come.  Mom of soon to be 3.  I do realize that as part of our embryo donation we will hopefully be helping another families dreams come true and I feel blessed to be able to offer it, but it doesn't make it any less emotional.  Our DNA child/ren could possibly be out there someday and we will never know.  That will be with me every single day of my life.

Anyways, decision is made.  We are truly very lucky and I am so happy that we can help someone else.  I pray and I try to let go as I let God watch over my 7 embabies and their future.  I look at my 2 soon 3 beautiful children and thank God because there was a time I didn't know if I would ever become a Mom.

Julie

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Beating Winter Blues

Winter's in Wisconsin tend to be a little ... well... horrible.  This one has been no different.  We have had a few days of relief 40 degree weather and we definitely took advantage when we could.

We had a Zoo Day in January!  Much need relief from our cabin fever. 

Started this post last week so this was my 22 weeks picture.

 This week 23 weeks and morning sickness is pretty well gone...now acid reflux has kicked in.  I'm not sure which is worse.  I wake up to the crackling in my throat and it shows up on and off throughout the day.  This pattern is mirroring pregnancy number #2.  The good news is that the second tri has me feeling much better and with a little more energy.  I think if it wasn't the middle of winter and perhaps we had a little more sun I could say I was feeling good!  I felt my first kicks "on the outside" on my belly and can't wait to hopefully have Dick feel it too.  In February I'm looking forward to hopefully less weight gain, more energy and hopefully thinking about new room arrangements. 

I bought this to start inspiration for G#3's room! 
I'm excited to dig through old clothing totes and maybe a couple new things here and there.

Other exciting news is this week Leela (we call her our naked protester) has started potty training.  I'm going to be honest I really didn't want to, but after days/week maybe of stripping all her clothes off every time she had pee pee in her diaper I thought...heck why not!  She will be 21 months 2/9.  Very advanced I say!

Starting to make plans for March and a Mommy Weekend Away in Chicago.  Its been awhile and honestly I'm going a little stir crazy.

That's all for now!

Julie

Monday, January 23, 2017

Boy or Girl?



We are so excited to announce we are expecting another little boy!  Wow!  My gut feeling was boy, but to be honest I didn't have a clue.  I am weirdly super giddy about it.  Maybe the chance to go through all the old outfits or I have this feeling like, hey maybe I won't be totally clueless this time around? (Lie) Who knows but either way we have another little boy ready to steal our hearts due June 5th 2017.  The name you ask...you will have to wait :). 

Our last appointment with my current doctors office was the ultra sound last week and this week I will make my first visit with my new OB.  I decided to make the change due to the fact that the hospital in town where my OB delivers does not allow the opportunity for VBAC and the new one does.  Will I have one?  Who knows, do I want the option if it is a possibility?  YES!  After experiencing both I have to say the recovery from a vaginal was still painful, but being able to get up out of bed after delivery and no catheter is definitely worth a shot.  I guess we will wait and see how this baby wants to enter the world.

Richie was a little upset since he was sure he had another little sister on the way.  "I don't want a brother!"  Sorry honey, you don't have a choice.  Once I showed him the ultrasound pictures and we talked it over he was onboard.  Not sure Leela really understands what is going on yet.  When she does I don't think she is going to like it.

Tomorrow night we have a parent informational meeting for 3K.  What!?  Not possible!?  However, I think it is a good choice for our smart little man and the right decision for us.  He will start this fall after I am back to work.  Life will be pure insanity, but I'm sure we will figure out our stride as we always do.  Cheers to having a 3.5yr old, 2yr old and a newborn this summer!  Bite me infertility, I kicked your ass.

Julie

Monday, January 9, 2017

Life in 2017...soon arriving Party of 5

It seems as time goes on I have less and less time to blog.  Hm... I wonder why...lol.  I crack up that I was able to post almost weekly when I was pregnant with Richie.  Now...how many weeks am I with number 3?  *consults cell phone chart* Ah yes, 19 weeks today of course.  Actually we have our 20 week ultrasound next week so that should not be so hard to remember.  R & L tell me it is a girl.  I'm thinking boy.  We will see.

A few topics I'd like to discuss:
...goals: Amidst the winter blues I am excited to start a new year 2017 with high hopes and high goals (at least before June, then all chaos will begin).  Each year we sit and discuss the goals of the upcoming year labeling it 20XX the YEAR OF SAVINGS.  Then that never happens!  Obviously from previous posts you can see we did some major renovations last year.  We were able to sit down and discuss real plans to pay down the home equity loan we used to pay for it setting aside a weekly amount at least until June.  I'm excited, its ambitious but doable. 

...where do we put all these babies?  We have a little rearranging to do before #3 arrives including moving our bedroom downstairs into the room now labeled "toy room", moving L our of her current room "the nursery" and making adjustments to "the nursery" depending on if we are having a little boy or girl.

conversations from the potty... we have made definite strides with potty training our 3 year old.  He started at about age 2.75 ... hm you know what I mean.  He has his ups and downs but here is the part that has me laughing and questioning my parenting skills.  We aren't modest in front of our kids.  Often times when nature calls an adult will be using the bathroom at the same time as R or if one of us is in there he will yell out "I HAVE TO GO POTTY TOO"!  Okay get in here!  Now he has started noticing things like never before... Momma are you pushing "it" down?  We always have to remind him to push it down to keep it from spraying every where. Ummmm  eek oh um no honey, Momma doesn't have to push it down.  As immature as it sounds we have settled on calling "it" a wiener ...um is that bad?  I know I should be saying penis but I just can't.   Anyways, sigh...um honey Moms don't have wieners.  "OH does Grandma have a wiener?" No honey.  Only boys like you and Daddy.  ...more thinking... "where does the pee come from then?"  Ohhhhh sheesh...so many questions.  Yup I said it..."girls have vaginas".  Blank stare.  Conversation to be continued at a later date...  Even more entertaining is our 20 month old girl being super interested in potty training being in the bathroom when Daddy is going potty.  *Mind blown*

Anyways, here we sit in 2017 ready to become a family of 5...if you told me in 2012 that was my future... "Julie in 2017 you will have a family of 5" I would have probably had some choice words for you because it sounds almost as unbelievable as it is.  R will be 3.5, L will be 2 and we will have a newborn.  Unbelievable and crazy!  As always I move forward trusting my gut instincts, working hard for what I want and putting my faith in God that he is right there next to me as we navigate this crazy life!

Julie

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Leela's 18 Month, Richie is ALMOST 3 and ...

Let's start out with a couple stats for Leela's 18 month visit:

Weight: 25 lbs
Height: 33 in
Head Cir: 18.5 in

Everything is going just fine with her growth!  It was for the most part a fairly simple appointment until they asked her to get on the scale.  Bring on the Leela stink face scowl.  A little bit of a change for us being a new doctor.  We opted to change doctors to be closer and also a family doctor rather than a pediatrician. 

She is a walking talking maniac who loves to copy her brother.  She puts on her own boots, can pull on a pair of pants and is ever increasingly independent.  Favorite word right now....NOOOOOOO.

She often has "yes" "no" "yes" "no" arguments with her big brother in which she usually wins because she is relentless.  What she is saying no to, I believe she doesn't know or care but let me tell you her answer is NO.  We are still battling the car CRY.  Any ride past about 15 minutes she goes into this horrible howl that really doesn't stop until we reach our destination.  I can distract her for a couple minutes and then the howl begins.  We even thought when we bought our new van with DVD player she might be distracted by the movie playing...nope.  Record howl to date: 1.5 hour.  S-T-R-E-S-S-F-U-L.  Please tell me she will grow out of it...please tell me...

Richie...my little Scooper.  I can't believe my baby is almost 3 (Dec 1st).  This year we opted for going to a Jumpy House rather than our traditional at home party.  Things are just too busy and to be honest I didn't want to bring on the stress of cooking and cleaning.  We are going this Sunday. 

What a smart, funny little man.  He can count to 10 and tries to go beyond...11, 12, 14, 16, 17, 20.  Starting to learn ABC's and about halfway he gets himself mixed up.  We have conversations after daycare about his day.  He tells me when I'm being a "bad boy" and Momma is the boss and his b"r"est Friend.  I see him growing each day and he is always willing to test my patience.  Potty training is still ongoing.  Every time we think we've got it we take a couple steps back.  His favorite show is DINOTRUX and he loves playing with his construction equipment toys. 

Anyways, I am out of time and thought I would get to the ...AND... part...
..
..
..
..
..
..
..


 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Time for an update!

It is definitely time for an update!  Life has been absolutely crazy busy wonderful lately.  Lets see... I started at a new location for my job (same company) in June, we changed daycare providers to have someone watch them in town and these 2 little people keep us on our toes all the time.

I don't remember my last update but I am just going to write about these two little people as they are right now. 

Richie will be 3 in December and he is an outgoing, stubborn, loves routine little boy.  He LOVES all shows on PBS, being outside with Daddy, Grandma, helping in the house unloading dishes, making messes in the toy room, reading, putting on band aids, playing games, playing in the sandbox and pushing his sister in her stroller.  He likes to be a puppy in which he will crawl on all fours and walk up and lick your leg or face.  Puppy will also pick up toys with his mouth to put them away.  Sister Leela also becomes puppy whenever he does.  He will walk up to other little kids and ask "will you play with me" which usually intimidates them and they run away.  He does not like, the dark, being told what to do, getting outside our normal day to day routine unless it is something he's interested in, watching "news" (anything outside of his favorite shows are "news").  He isn't shy but he is cautious when it comes to dangerous situations very much unlike his sister who I am pretty sure would go skydiving if we would let her.  He loves his Momma but really loves his Daddy and is not shy about telling you he loves his daddy more.  He wears 3T or 4T for tops and can wear 2T shorts or 3T and 3T pants and weighs around 34 pounds.  He has been working on potty training and now wears big boy undies all day and still diapers at night.  In the picture he is wearing his favorite foot apparel a pair of rain boots that he loves stomping in puddles.  He fights with his sister a lot, but will tell you he loves Leela.  At dinner he will say the prayer in which he tells you to "not to pray and don't fold your hands" and will continue "I love Daddy and Momma and Leela"  then I convince him to also say "AND I love Jesus...Amen."  He is harder to get to bed, but sleeps well once he is asleep usually around 8:14 at night.

Leela... oh my Leela.  She is at a wonderful fun age of 16.5 months old.  It amazes me how different each kid has been at these stages.  She is shy but a risk taker.  She falls off things often but is tough and rarely cries when she hurts herself.  She is continuing to talk and expand her vocabulary!  Momma...Momma. Daddy, then will repeat other words after you say them.  She likes reading books.  She loves her puppy Lady and also plays puppy with Richie  "woof"!  She refuses to hold her brothers hand or sit close to him for fear she will get pushed or hit.  She isn't afraid to take a swing herself.  She is by all means a mommas girl.  She LOVES her momma and her momma loves it too!  Last we checked she was around 23 pounds but has grown since then.  She is wearing 18 months clothing.  At night time she will walk herself upstairs into the bathroom where we brush her teeth.  She also likes coming in and sitting on the little potty next to you when you are in there.  She likes to snuggle and read books before bed.

Leela also enjoys picking flowers, eating rocks, and she giggles with glee on the swing outside.  She started walking at 13 months old and gets around really well.  She loves climbing up on things and has had her share of falls.

Both love dancing, picking apples, helping in the garden and with dishes, being close to Momma while she is cooking dinner and spending time outside in the sandbox. 

We had a wonderful busy summer and I am looking forward to enjoying fall and the holidays with them.  I am hoping to visit a pumpkin patch, go on a hayride, trick or treat with cousins, jump into leaf piles and clean up the garden with them.  We have our day to day struggles, but I am so happy with where we are at in life and I enjoy spending time with my two precious miracles.

Julie

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Infertility - Does the pain ever end?

Its been a little while since I've touched on anything infertility related, but it has been on my mind recently and I thought it was time to circle back and reflect on a resounding theme that ran through my head while in the thick of things with infertility.  I often sat and wondered when it was all done, when we had our resolution would the pain go away? 

I am so happy to say our infertility resolution has come to us in the form of 2 of the most amazing miracles.  THEY make me so happy every day and to be honest sometimes its hard to even remember the pain and sadness of infertility.  Like it was some horrible dream and mostly I try to keep it that way not because it wasn't significant or real but because it was one of the most horrible things I have ever gone through.  We are so lucky that after having our son through IVF we were blessed with a miracle baby #2 naturally.  I know that isn't the case for everyone.  I am thankful for that blessing every single day.

So what is the real aftermath.  One of the most difficult things about infertility is how isolating it can be.  Relationships are strained.  Things like attending baby showers, and being involved in the lives of friends/family who are newly pregnant or new mothers becomes impossible.  Sometimes in order to function as a human being you have to protect your sanity and say, I need to step back, I need to protect myself.  I know it came to a point for me when I thought I might lose every single one of my friends.  I think I came close.  I wasn't myself, I wasn't able to function as a normal human being because my mind could only focus on one thing alone and that was figuring out my next step, waiting on another 2 week wait, hoping, crying and the truth is I was socially paralyzed by infertility.

A couple years in I started going to therapy and started on an anti depressant and while it helped it only made me numb to all the emotions I was feeling.  Then in early 2013 we underwent IVF and got our miracle.  I was pregnant!  All of a sudden everyone wanted to be there for me again because being pregnant is normal.  I didn't have time to process everything that happened because over halfway through my pregnancy my dad passed away suddenly.  A whole new train of emotion, sadness and coping.  Then our son was born and honestly I believe something you are never truly prepared for is having a newborn.  Something you wanted so badly is suddenly so much harder than you could have ever imagined and all you want to do is be happy but you are so tired and while I didn't realize it until having my second child I believe I struggled with post partum depression. 
9 months later I was pregnant again with our second and the hormones and emotional roller coaster continues.  It is different, it isn't sadness but I still feel there wasn't much time to process how I was really feeling "post infertility". 

So here I am.  My second baby is 15 months and while I could have written this post about a year ago I didn't know how things might shake out.  One of my strongest friendships I had through out my struggle with infertility came to a grinding halt.  While I knew it was happening with the above craziness going on I didn't have time to stop and think about it.  In the end I was told it was my selfishness and jealousy that ended it.  Sigh, was I selfish and jealous and probably a million things, yea I probably was.  Did I have a pretty darn good reason for the way I acted.  Yes I think I did.  It makes you question every thing that happened, every deep emotion that was shared to that trusted friend.  Why wasn't something said.  Could it have been worked out?  I don't know the answer.

Life happens and people change.  I have reconnected with many of the people I thought would be lost forever by the strains infertility put on our relationship.  Many are now stronger on the other side and I couldn't be happier.  I realize now and can see from their perspective that as much as I had to self preserve they did too.  Infertility is confusing and emotional.  Sometimes even I struggle to find the right things to say to friends that I have who have/are struggling with infertility now.  I guess the answer to my original question of "does the pain of infertility ever end" my answer is no it only changes.  The only thing you can do is communicate and be open to the perspective of those you want to keep close.  You may not always agree with them and they may not always agree with you, but if you truly do care about someone keep the door open that though you may not be able to be close right now it doesn't have to mean you won't be close again in the future and you may need that relationship in the future.

Julie