November 1, 2012
So. I’ve been breastfeeding E since she was born—she’ll be 20 months next week. My period came back once in July, just a normal one. Then, at the beginning of October, I fell down our front stairs. The next day, I got my period. By the next day it was so heavy that I was completely bleeding through a super tampon every 60-90 minutes. I had NEVER had a period like that. But I didn’t go to the doctor because I was sure it would stop soon and I figured that my fall down the stairs had just pulled off lining too quickly. The spiral arteries would clamp off soon. That night, when I finally realized that I was bleeding more than I did postpartum, I agreed to go to the doctor the next day. Plus I was starting to feel dizzy on occasion. But by the next morning it had slowed to not-quite-normal levels, and so I decided not to go. It got back to normal by that afternoon. I’d been told that the first one postpartum was always wickedly bad, so I thought “Well, maybe the July one was just the warm-up. It won’t be that bad again.”
Now pre-E, with my PCOS and all, I had periods every 6-7 weeks. Here it is, 4 weeks and 1 day later, and I have my period again. I’m even pretty sure I ovulated (though at the time, I thought “There’s no way I’m ovulating—it’s too soon!”). And I bled through one normal tampon in 2 hours this morning. It seems to be getting heavier even since then.
Ironic, isn’t it, that now that we’re done trying to conceive I’m getting a regular cycle? I just hope I have enough tampons to last through my day. I have 5 hours of straight teaching today. I’m going to have to duck out every hour to change.
I’ve long suspected that I have endometriosis. This is strengthening my belief. *sigh*
April 28, 2012
This isn’t a happy “back”. This is a “I need a place to write, and suspect I may REALLY need a place to write soon.”
Anyone see this article? This family traveled with us. They were in our group. They used the same agency. They met their daughter the same day. They came home the same day. We spent a week with them while we got to know K and they got to know their new daughter. P and their older son, who traveled with them, bonded. We have a picture of P and their son in the boys’ bedroom.
I am freaking out, primarily because this is something I’ve long wondered about. I think I’ve posted about the video we have of K with his firstmom, which is a precious thing to us. But I’ve long wondered how they got that video. How could they know she was going to relinquish him before she did? I asked the day we first saw it if they had brought K back to do the video. At the time, that idea horrified me—that they might do that to a confused, scared, grieving child and then take him away again. It wasn’t until we left Ethiopia that I wondered about how they could have gotten the video. Then I consoled myself with the idea that maybe she brought K to the orphanage and they asked her if she could keep him so that they could take a video for him to have, but that there was no complicity beyond that. Even having talked myself into believing that scenario, a part of me wondered. It always has.
We put off doing a search because J has been out of work for so long. We had already planned to start one this summer if we could afford it. Having read this article, I will go hat-in-hand to my IL’s and beg them to lend us the money if we need to. Clearly, we need this story. We need to know K’s truth.
May 4, 2011
Forgive me for not updating in…well, forever! (I’m flattered that I have lurkers who care enough to check in on me!) Things have been busy here, to say the least. On March 7, our third Family Day (the anniversary of the day we brought K home) and two days past my due date, our family grew by 8 lb 14 oz as we welcomed our new DAUGHTER! She was born perfectly safely and healthy at home in the water. E is a wonderfully sweet baby who never leaves us bored—she has a very strong personality and will let you know right away if she needs something! J and I are terrified of her as a teenager. She may be me x 10, and “me” was tough enough! I’ve decided that I will employ constant reverse psychology and tell her she can’t dye her hair, can’t get more than one ear piercing, etc. so that she will rebel by doing those things…and then I can secretly snicker because I really don’t care about those things. *sigh* If only it were going to be that easy.
E is now almost 2 months old and we have fully settled into life as a family of five. That sounds so big somehow, even though I grew up in a family of five. P and K, love their little sister to pieces. P holds her hand and sings songs to her anytime she cries. K loves to hold her and be around her. Yesterday as I was nursing her, he put his hand on her head and said “My baby is so pretty!” And he’s right—she is just beautiful, with a fringe of brown hair and her daddy’s blue/gray eyes. I hope they stay that way. At 6 weeks old she weighed 11 lb 10 oz, so I’m sure she’s now over 12 lbs at 8 weeks old. She’s also very long and is already stretching the toes of some of her 3-6 month clothes.
We are incredibly thrilled to have her as our daughter. She has just made the love and happiness in our home increase tremendously. Not a day goes by when I don’t hug her tight and tell her how much I love her, as I do with my boys. I can’t believe I’m a mama of three amazing kids!
I didn’t blog here a lot during the end of my pregnancy because it was pretty miserable, and I’ve found that if I write about things, I remember them more. I don’t need to remember that part of it in any more detail. I had said all along that if I got lucky enough to give birth to a second biological child, I was completely done with fertility treatments, and my entire being is at peace with that decision. My body didn’t respond well to a second full-term pregnancy and I’m pretty sure that even if I wasn’t done having children biologically, it simply wouldn’t be a good idea health-wise to try it again anyway. I actually feel even luckier that I was OK with that decision anyway before I was forced to make it. I’m getting an IUD put in very soon.
On another note, I don’t know where this blog will go, if anywhere. I started this blog before P was 2 years old to have a place to write about the journey to building our family. He’s now 7 1/2 years old and we have our third child. We still plan to adopt a fourth child (and I would still adopt siblings if it were up to me, but I don’t think J will go for it—it’s several years away though, so who knows) and I may have more to write in the future but I think for now, postings to this blog will be extremely few and far between.
I’ve always been really touched by your comments. The blogging community kept me going and kept me supported when I really, really needed it as we were trying so hard to get to this point. It’s hard for me to believe that we did get here. It’s surreal but I feel so peaceful about the way things have turned out.
If you’re interested in keeping up with me, I do keep a family blog (but please, please, don’t mention this one on there) that I update more often. I even talk about adoption and infertility on there sometimes. Or I’m on Fa.cecbook. Just e-mail me at pcosbaby at gmail dot com and I’ll send you my name—if you do send a friend request, please include that you know me from here because I’m kind of careful about only taking people that I “know” from somewhere.
Thank you all for keeping me company on this journey.
December 3, 2010
It’s been 6+ weeks since I’ve written. There just doesn’t seem to be a whole lot to write. I’m about to run smack into the third trimester, which is staggering—I’ll be 27 weeks tomorrow with a VERY active baby. There are some things much easier about this pregnancy than P’s, and some that are much harder. The contractions multiple times a day are more irritating than anything else, although they’re definitely more frequent than last time. I’m not anywhere near as swollen as I was while pregnant with P, which means I can still wear my wedding ring at 27 weeks pregnant—I had to take it off by 21 weeks pregnant last time. It’s also making it easier to get around and I know I’m more comfortable than I was last time. I’m pretty sure I’d already entered Miserable-land by this point last time.
I’m just feeling overwhelmed right now. I probably have gestational diabetes and have to do the 3-hour glucose test, which means I have to make time to do the 3-hour glucose test (thankfully my wonderful hospital-based midwife is having me do it at home and report the results to her). I worry that the reason the baby’s so strong is because he/she is big and that my tiny ute won’t be able to grow him/her to full-term, so we’ll have a preemie with all the associated and scary health problems. When the contractions get frequent and start to get painful, they make me worry about that more. I’m stressed about how work is going to go in the spring semester, because there are factors that I think I’ve partially brought on myself that were stupid and will impact my maternity leave. It’s finals for this semester, which is always stressful—and student complaints are not making it easier (and they’re not even all directed towards me, but I still need to listen to them and direct them to the right people). We’re having a lot of behavioral issues with P and are getting him evaluated for both speech and occupational therapy. All in all, it’s just a lot at one time.
I really have no right to complain about anything. The worries are mostly in my own head—no one has told me the baby is bigger than normal, I’m measuring right-on, and none of my midwives are concerned about the contractions—so I’m bringing that on myself. I’m bringing most of the work stress on myself. I did NaBloPoMo on my family blog and that was more that, you guessed it, I brought on myself. If I could just overcome myself, I’d be in really good shape
October 14, 2010
After I posted, I asked J if we could talk about this whole situation. I said I really wasn’t comfortable with his parents coming out early and just being “on hand”, because when Grandma and Grandpa are here, things are in chaos with the kids. Happy chaos, as they love their grandparents and vice versa, but chaos nonetheless. The idea of several weeks of that chaos before the baby is born does NOT wash with me. His suggestion was to tell them to come out on March 7 (I’m officially due March 5) and if the baby is early, then we’ll get some time before they show up. I pointed out that if the baby is late, the last few days before he/she comes will be filled with that chaos—and we hardly need additional stress when expecting a new baby. I really want the kids to stay in their normal routines until the baby comes, and then return to them as soon afterwards as possible. That means school at normal times, Mama and Daddy picking them up, dinner and family time each night. Not craziness because grandparents are around frequently and throwing everything off.
I said that my best offer was to tell them that we’d love to have them come after the baby comes, and stay for 7-10 days. It really doesn’t feel right to treat the grandparents differently and to say “My parents can come but yours can’t,” even though I know that there will be issues with having both families here. I don’t want my parents to get shafted in this deal, though. I don’t want them to end up hosting my ILs, since I’m not about to do it, and never getting to hold the baby because my MIL won’t let her go unless she needs to nurse. And I think we’ll set strict times we would like private family time guidelines. When the older kids go to bed (at 7:30/8 p.m.), everyone else leaves also.
I’m hoping that seeing my parents doing things will rub off on my ILs and perhaps they’ll take the initiative to do some things to help us out. Either way, I’m no longer afraid to ask if I don’t see things happening. I think I was too shy/inexperienced as a mom when P was a baby—this time, I’ve got 7 years experience with a child and 3 years with two kids—I somehow sense that having a third will make it even more important for me to speak up for what I need. And quite frankly, that’s going to be spelled out before we get here.
No one is staying with us, though. We have a 3-bedroom house: one is J’s and mine, one is P and K’s (they’ve shared a room since K came home, so this is not new), and one has been our playroom/guestroom—that one’s getting converted back into the nursery. J said something about setting it up while we were having this conversation and I pointed out that it would have to wait* because his parents are coming at Christmas and we’d already said they could stay with us. And then, foolish me, said “But really, do we need to do it anytime soon? The baby will be in with us for the first couple of months anyway.” Thankfully, my husband is a smart man and said “Yes, the bed needs to be out of there before the baby comes so no one can stay with us.” That J is a smart, smart guy—I knew there was a reason I married him
J thinks his parents will be upset if we ask them to leave after a week or so. I said that’s my best offer—I’m giving nothing else. The first few weeks after P was born were so tough, both emotionally and physically, and I was hardly at my best. My ILs and I get along reasonably well…when I’m at my best. I already don’t know how this is going to work but without them at our house constantly and with my parents around to help even things out, I’m hoping I can make it.
October 11, 2010
Not about the baby, thankfully, but related to the baby’s arrival (which I am starting to get comfortable in assuming its going to happen as it should). Quick update about that is that I’m 19w2d today, baby moves frequently and I can usually get it to move if I’m getting concerned (ha, she’s kicking my lapdesk as I type). J and the kids have all felt her move, which is awesome. P told me this morning “Wow Mama, your tummy’s out so much!” I told him it had a lot farther to go and he looked so impressed I’m officially more than halfway as long as I made it with him and the contractions aren’t any worse than normal. I’m seeing a chiropractor and that’s helping somewhat with the sciatica and migraines.
I was talking to my ILs tonight and said something about how we didn’t know if J would have time off when the baby comes because they’re required to use up their vacation time by the end of the calendar year or lose it. That means he’ll have earned at most 3 days vacation time when the baby comes. My MIL said “We’re thinking about driving out in the motorhome and just staying out there, if you’ll give us an idea of when to be there.” I tried to play off my panic by saying “Well, I know my due date but P was 2 1/2 weeks early so we just don’t know.” She said they’d just come early and stay in a campground, and take short trips so that they could be back quickly if we needed them.
It kills me. I truly believe her heart’s in the right place but how do I tell her that what I most remember about their visit 3 weeks after P was born was crying because they wouldn’t let me hold my newborn baby? How do I explain that I remember having to cook for them and my BIL when I was 3 weeks postpartum because she walked in and said “Oh, I don’t cook.” How do I explain that it was incredibly intrusive when my son was crying in the middle of the night, wanting nothing more than to nurse, and she opened our bedroom door without knocking (where I was opening my nightgown to feed him) and asked if I wanted her to take him? And how do I tell her that those same behaviors were repeated when they came down 2 weeks after K came home? J’s parents see their role as guests who’ve come to visit, and we’re expected to host them.
J and I are going to have to sit down and talk this one through. My gut reaction is hell no, come down in a month. I want my mom and dad to come down when the baby is born. When they came down after P’s birth, my dad walked in and started doing laundry. My mom cooked enough for an army and froze many meals for us. They did all the prep work for P’s bris other than calling the mohel. They grocery shopped and made my favorite foods. My mom nursed all three of us kids, so she helped me figure out what I was doing (whereas J’s mom didn’t nurse her children and not only doesn’t know how to help but doesn’t see the point in trying when there is formula available). My parents see their role as helping us get back on our feet and figure out our new routine, and would probably yell at me if I expended effort trying to host them while they were here.
But unfortunately, I can’t just go with my gut reaction. Family matters are so complicated and I have a feeling that while they accepted it when P was born, they’d be far more insulted that I want my family and not them this time around. I’m not about to have both families here at the same time time—talk about your cases of insanity! And honestly, I’d rather have no family here even when J has to go right back to work than to have them here immediately after I’ve given birth. I was just barely physically recovered when they were here 3 weeks after P was born. There’s no way I can or even want to attempt to host them immediately after giving birth, when the new baby and I are trying to figure each other out and nursing and all of that. And that’s assuming that I have a birth that’s no more complicated than last time! The idea of them being so close while I’m trying to give birth is wretched, because they’d show up as soon as we called them after the baby is born.
I hadn’t considered this. I’d accepted that they’d want to be here soon after the baby came, and I was thinking that what we’d done last time would be OK. After all, this time I know what to expect with their behavior. I’m not about to cook for them if they’re here less than a month after the baby comes, but I’m also no longer afraid to send them out to pick up dinner for everyone. I figured that if they were so insistent upon holding the baby continuously, it would suck but I’d take that opportunity to get some special time with my older kids. And I figured that they might be more willing to spend some time doting on the older kids, who are excited about the baby but sure to need some special attention. Last time, I was spoiled by my parents’ visit (and my sister, who stayed for several days after my parents left and took equally good care of us when she was here)—and my ILs visit was such a stark contrast that I was shocked. This time, I would expect it and it wouldn’t be so hard.
The idea that they’d like to come and stay close by for a month even before my due date (and who knows how long after the baby comes) is…I don’t have words. Thoughts? Compromises? Has anyone dealt with this before?
September 22, 2010
I’m still around. Can I say that it’s actually a relief not to feel quite so scared on a day-to-day basis? I’ve finally stopped ending every sentence about the baby with “I hope” or “if it all works out” (at least out loud—they still pop into my head often). I’m at 16w4d and getting kicked and poked all the time. It’s the best feeling in the world. I’m savoring every one, knowing for sure that this will be the last time that we do this. When I was pregnant with P, I just assumed that we’d get to do it again. This time, I know we won’t be doing it again and so I’m treasuring every little kick and punch. I always get this goofy grin on my face and when I’m not in class, I usually say “Hi baby!”
I’m actually going to return the doppler within the next few days. The baby moves frequently during the day. There’s almost always some between 1 and 3 p.m., and then usually at least one more series in the evening. In the last day or two, there’s more movement in the mornings as well. I can pinpoint where the baby is in my uterus (it’s easily big enough to feel it as a hard lump under my hand when I press on it—right now it’s on the top right side of my uterus), and it changes location frequently even when I don’t feel it. So I’m feeling more confident now, at least enough to return the doppler. I’m pretty sure this baby decided that I was neurotic enough as it is and would put my mind at ease in at least one way. Thanks, baby!
The kids are incredibly adorable about it. K likes to know where the baby is so that he can tickle it, and he tells me that there’s a baby in his tummy that’s doing the same things mine is doing. This morning I got kicked right when I woke up and said so to P, who had come in for a cuddle. He said “Maybe the baby is hungry!” Then he kept following me around while I got dressed, saying “Mama, you need to go feed the baby!”
J is coming around to the idea of homebirth. He said he’s read up on it a lot and wants to talk to some more people who’ve done it. The midwife that we would use gave us several references, several of my Bradley students have homebirthed with this midwife, and I told him I can get other references from people if he wants some sources who aren’t connected to me and didn’t come from the midwife herself. He said he doesn’t think he’ll need those. I’ve told him that I’ll continue to do shadow-care with my current midwives, and I think that’s helping him make the decision—he knows that if I need to transfer to the hospital at any point, I’ll have full medical records and a birth team already in place. I’ve been surprised at my own ability to step back from this one and NOT try to constantly push him on it, which I think is also helping. I’m sure I could push him into it and he’d agree, but that would be a terrible idea in the long-run.
Mind you, if we do decide to do a homebirth, and a home waterbirth at that, the reactions from our families will surely be interesting…
September 9, 2010
I did announce on FB the other day, and was shocked at how many people were so nice—and how few asked if we are hoping for a girl! It was a lovely change since I’ve decided that P’s drama over losing his second tooth was as much as I can handle, and I hear girls are much more dramatic than boys. It seriously amazes me how many people really seem to think that we’re just kidding when we say we’d be happy with either gender…and how many people are already being driven crazy that we’re not planning to find out.
It’s also been so nice to hear from several of my friends who are expecting, including the one who’s due only a couple of weeks before me and yet announced before I’d even done the IUI! A friend from high school is due a few days before I am, and she shared that she and her husband had to have medical help to get pregnant. She wants to get together and take pictures of our bellies if I’m up there, which I thought was very sweet. I think I’ll only be up there for one weekend before the baby comes, so it might not work, but it’s been so nice to reconnect with her.
I expect that we’ll talk about making the appt for the “big” u/s at my next midwives’ appt on Monday. I’ll be 15w2d, which floors me. Seriously, it’s going to be time to schedule that scan. I can hardly believe it.
I know that one thing I need to discuss with my midwife is the Braxton-Hicks contractions that have definitely started. I absolutely love feeling this baby move—and it’s extremely active (I feel it multiple times a day), thank goodness—but like last time, it came part-and-parcel with having Braxton-Hicks contractions. They don’t hurt but they’re definitely noticeable. I was hoping they’d hold off longer this time. Last time, I started having them at 15 1/2 weeks, about 2 weeks after going off the Metformin. This time, it was right around 14 weeks, just a bare week after stopping it. *sigh* Like I’ve said, my body barely tolerates pregnancy. I’ll just keep hoping it tolerates this one for another 5 months or so. I know there’s nothing to be done, besides making sure I’m drinking enough and taking it a little easier (at this rate, I’ll be a slug in no time), and I know they didn’t hurt P, but it still makes me worry. If things are happening 1-2 weeks earlier in this pregnancy than they did with his, and he was already born 2 1/2 weeks early, I’m looking at a 36-weeker. I’d really rather give this little one some more time to cook than that.
J gets freaked out by my using the doppler (he’s worried the baby will be born deaf because of the sound waves—I know, I know, but I love him anyway), so I’ve promised not to use it any day that I feel the baby move. He so rarely worries about things like that that I had to concede. I haven’t used it since Saturday. The baby’s been moving all over the place, especially yesterday and today. It’s such a bizarre and wonderful sensation.
I’m still in shock half the time that this is me, that I get to do this again. I’ve spent so long not being pregnant and yet wanting so hard to be that it’s still tough to wrap my mind around it. There are times when I’ll try to put something on and when it doesn’t fit, I start to wonder why before I remember. How could we possibly be this lucky? I don’t know, but I will not take this forgranted.
August 31, 2010
J to Erin tonight: “My calves are so sore. After all the stairs (while we were hiking) the other day and then mowing the lawn last night (our lawn is on a tremendous slope), they really hurt.”
Erin to J: “I’m growing another person. I win!”
I plan on using that for the next 6 months
I got a great night’s sleep last night—9 hours and I’m not even sure I woke up to go to the bathroom. I sleep rather deeply under normal circumstances, so it’s entirely possible that I did at some point and just have no recollection of it. In an ironic twist of fate, my snoring kept J awake. I don’t normally snore but it seems like poetic justice since his has kept me awake for several nights in the last week. Perhaps tonight we can both get a good night’s sleep.
The baby’s been moving a ton this afternoon and evening. It’s mostly just random spots of light pressure inside my uterus, but she’s all over the place. I love that. I’ve never felt her move this much before—this is probably more than I’ve felt her move during every day of the last week combined. She just feels so strong and robust, and it gives me so much hope.
What a great way to enter the second trimester.