Friday, September 5, 2014

TTC... Again. Well, sort of.

A lot of people have asked me when we will try to get pregnant again and how we will go about doing it. So I thought I'd write a blog about it.

Yes, we are trying to get pregnant again... well, sort of. I am breast feeding and I have not gotten my period back yet. So are we trying? Well, we are having unprotected sex and we'd LOVE to be timing things and giving it a real go but I'm definitely not ovulating yet. So we are #tryingbutnottrying. But not for lack of want.

Some people get their period back while breast feeding. Some get it back when babies start eating food. Others don't get it back til after weaning. I'm sure I'll be one of the *lucky* ones who doesn't start ovulating until after I wean completely. My PCOS body would never cooperate with me when I wanted her to. Why start now?! Also, I'm still about 5 pounds over what I was prepregnancy and when I weighed this much before I've had trouble ovulating. I'm not overweight but my body is really sensitive. So my chance of ovulating any time soon are pretty slim.

I plan to breast feed for at least a year and well, I really don't have a choice at this point since little stinker won't take a bottle anyway. I don't have a weaning plan. I don't know how I feel about weaning- if I want to wean right at a year or if I want to wait and let J decide when he wants to wean (which seriously, with how much he loves breast feeding I have trouble believing he will ever want to wean.) I honestly haven't thought about it and probably won't know how I feel til we get to that point. I know a lot of people are frustrated and want their body's back. I get that. Others are frustrated by pumping constantly- which is not really an issue for me as I'm with J more often than not. M is anxious for me to get my period back so he'll probably pressure me to wean around a year but we'll see how J and I feel about that when we get there. :)

I feel like M and I are ready for another baby- or at least nervous enough about our age and how hard it was to get pregnant with J so we are ready to jump on the wagon and get to baby #2. I turn 37 in a couple of weeks. M is 42. It took us almost four years to get pregnant with J- and three tries at IVF (plus a million other failures.) I'm older now and it will be all that much harder. So no, we don't want to wait. Despite the fact that many people look at me like I'm crazy when I tell them I'd love to be pregnant again. I had an easy, pleasant pregnancy. I've had a relatively easy baby. Yea, I could do them both again. In a heartbeat. :)

I'm frustrated though that I feel like I will have to wean even if I don't want to in order to even try to get pregnant. I'm frustrated that it probably won't work anyway. I'm frustrated that we are old and I feel like the clock is ticking and I can't wait as long as I'd like to wait. I'm frustrated that I know our chances of even being able to conceive again are not super high. It's not impossible but it's certainly not a given. I feel like it was a long shot to get pregnant with one baby. Dare I hope for another? I'm frustrated that we are paying a hefty sum to store our future embryos (although incredibly grateful that we have some frostbabies.) I'm incredibly sad to know that I may never be pregnant again or get to go through that newborn stage again. And I'm terrified of jumping back on the trying to get pregnant cycle... it was so awful. All the disappointment. All the frustration. All the failure. Sigh. And we'll just go through it all over again.

But I'm nowhere near as sad as I was when I thought I might never get to experience it at all. I would love to give J a sibling. I have two siblings. So does M. We will be very sad if J has to grow up an only child because we can't get pregnant again but I want to be clear that this in NO WAY compares to primary infertility and what women go through when trying to get pregnant with the first.

As far as how long we will try naturally and what we will do to get pregnant- the plan is try naturally for about 6 months once I get my period back, then straight to IVF. We have three frosties too so we may try those first before a fresh cycle- it will depend on insurance situations.  One of those is not great quality- leftover from failed IVF 2. It's actually the lowest quality that they would consider for a freeze. The other two are pretty good quality and from the third and successful IVF. So the question remains how to put them back? If money and time was no object I'd probably put the best one back alone, then the second best and not so great third one together. But money is an object. And insurance wise it might make more sense to do a fresh cycle first and save the frosties.

While there are more reasons to try to get pregnant now, there are reasons that make me want to wait a little- or not mind that my body is deciding for me that I will wait. I think I can graduate with my PhD spring of 2016. Which means that if we wait a bit, I can just gut it out and finish my PhD with one baby, which is daunting enough. I'm scheduled to graduate in 2017 (the year I turn 40) but I think I am on track to graduate a year early- or at least maybe a semester early.

I also think my body heals slowly from surgery and waiting a bit longer to let my body heal from the c section seems like a good idea. I'm finally not sore as much and I feel like if I got pregnant now that my body wouldn't quite be ready.

I'm also dragging my feet getting back on the horse because I swear I have ttc PTSD. I'm so, so not looking forward to all the disappointment all over again.

So, there you go. We are trying to get pregnant. Well #tryingbutnottrying. But I wish my body would let us try right now. For now, we'll just hang with this guy. :) He's a blast and we are loving life as J's parents.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

6 months!

My sweet boy is 6 months old! I can't believe it. He's so much fun and I'm having a blast maneuvering mommyhood with this sweet guy. We've recently done some sleep training and WOW what a difference it made!

I go back to school/work full time starting next week so I hope to blog more but who knows- I've taken on a lot this fall and it's going to be crazy. And although I've been back to work/school (with no breaks, grr...) since J was 6 weeks old (and truth be told, I had to do some work when he was 10 days old), this is the first time he will be watched regularly by someone other than me, M, or our mothers. I'm going to try 10 hours of care a week and I'm hoping that is enough- I want him to be with me primarily. 

Here's his 6 month progression of pics:

Photo: Happy 6 month birthday to the sweetest boy a mama could ask for. :)                                              

Here we are at the beach right before his 6 month birthday:

I just love those blue eyes! And his super serious look (truth, it was way past bedtime and he was not his super smiley self.)

We are doing baby led weaning in addition to purees. Little love here doesn't do bottles so purees and rice cereal or oatmeal with breast milk get him by when I have to leave him (and this has worked GREAT so far!) But J really prefers to feed himself. Here he is eating pancakes and scrambled eggs:

And here he is eating watermelon. Watermelon is his absolute FAVORITE!!! He could eat this all day long. He gets upset when I eventually take the rinds away. And of course this is home grown watermelon. :)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

5 and a half months. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?!?!

Ok blogging world, I've had many requests to blog and so I'm carving out the time to make it happen. Life here is GOOD but just so, so busy... I've gotten behind! I will try to be better, I promise. :) I managed to finish the semester- while having a baby midsemester- which was a feat! And now I'm into summer work- teaching, conference proposals, preparing to deliver PD to teachers in August and it's so busy! Plus my garden overfloweth. I feel like I'm 10 steps behind in everything.

So J is now 5 and a half months old- how in the world we got here I have no idea! Mama life is amazing (and tiring). I feel like every week I have a new baby! People tell us we got "lucky" and have an "easy" baby. Easy baby sounds like an oxymoron to me- but J does seem to have a pretty easy going personality and responds well to things that books and articles suggests, making him pretty much a textbook baby. He's a BIG guy too- at his four month appointment he was in the 99th percentile for height and 93rd for weight. He's over 21 pounds now and wears clothes for a 12 month old baby. Literally he is growing too fast. And he's exclusively breast fed- no formula here!

We started solids a month ago... J doesn't like bottles (sigh) so our pediatrician suggested starting purees so that I could leave him with someone and he could eat. I've been making my own purees and I use breast milk so I feel like he's getting some breast milk if I have to leave him. I just give him a little once a day- next week will be his first day being left all day and he's been taking well to food so I'm hoping he'll not be too unhappy (or make my poor mother in law unhappy by crying all day because he's hungry).

Here he is with sweet potatoes. :)

How can you not love that adorable face?!

J started sitting up- well, trying to- around 4.5 months. He seems to have mastered it now! He falls over a lot but he no longer face plants and doesn't need to tripod sit anymore. 

Here he is on the fourth of July, practicing sitting up:

Sitting up has opened up a whole new world of toys and playing. He loooves his toys! His favorite toys right now are a jack in the box, this horrible zoo toy that plays these god awful songs (M wants to hire a hit man to eliminate the woman who sings these songs), and one of those stacking toys with colorful rings. Oh, and he loves Sophie the giraffe and a ball that he can grab easily. Although he'll also play with tupperware or pretty much anything he can grab and put in his mouth. :)

Here he is on the deck playing with the horrible zoo toy last week:

And here he is at my alma mater sitting up for real earlier this week:

J had his first vacation at the beach this past month and he loved eating sand.  He tolerated standing in the water and letting the waves hit his feet.  And of course M bought him a cowboy hat to wear at the beach:
Photo: Ride 'em cowboy

And I'll end this post with a promise to post again soon- and a picture of our little family at the beach two weeks ago. This was M and I's 5 year anniversary and J's five month birthday. :)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Mama Life at 6.5 weeks

6.5 weeks post partum and I feel like I'm finally settling into mama life. It's a transition. There is nothing like giving birth and becoming a mom. It's amazing and completely overwhelming all at the same time, every single moment. It's taken me this long to finally feel like I can catch a breath.

I feel like we've settled into a routine where I'm getting enough sleep although I don't feel like I have any extra energy. I feel more confident in my "mom" abilities. I no longer can say I don't know anything about babies- I feel like I actually know something now.  I'm starting to get a little bit of work done. Not nearly enough- and I'm behind in all my classes but I'm not worried about it yet. I'm loving my time with my boy and it's worth it to put off all this work.

I can't believe how much he's changing so quickly. He's getting bigger and smiley and starting to get interested in us.

This is how we spend a large part of our day. I love this snugly baby. I hate putting him down but alas, I have to get things done sometimes. :)

My little chubby guy likes to lift weights, ha ha. Or play with his favorite rattle. :)

 Here Jacob is fascinated by a light fixture. He couldn't be cuter though. :)

All swaddled up and snoozing on my bed. :) He loves to free at least one arm from the swaddle. I find this adorable.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Five weeks!

I can't believe my sweet son is five weeks old. Every day feels like a second and a year, all at the same time. Little Jake is such a good baby- I think we got lucky. I jokingly told someone that he's going to trick us into having another baby soon. :)

My sweet friend (who is also a professional photographer) came over to visit and took some wonderful newborn pictures of Jacob and our family.

This was one of my favorites:

As was this one:
Photo: Our little pea in a pod. :)

She went all Anne Gedes (sp?) on us:

I love this one of my dog photobombing the picture:
Photo: We haven't forgotten about the dogs either. Rosco won't let us forget him. :) #dogphotobomb

Jacob had a great one month appointment. Apparently this guy is quite the eater and getting chunky (in a good, baby-fat sort of way.) At 29 days told, he had surpassed his birth weight by over 3 pounds and had grown 2.5 inches. Here's a picture to illustrate how much he's grown:

Photo: We grow them good on the farm. :) This little guy has gained over three pounds and grown 2.5 inches this month!

I've started working again and I'm managing to get a little bit of work done (all from home, of course.) As long as this little guy stays cooperative I will be able to finish out the semester with some grace.
Photo: Trying to get back into the groove of schoolwork. This PhD will truly be a team effort from this point forward. At least today I have a cooperative (tired) teammate. :)

It's been an amazing month and I can't wait to see what month two brings our way. :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Jacob is two weeks old!

It's hard to believe. It's passing by so quickly and this baby is changing so fast. Here are some pics of the past couple of weeks.

At the hospital. What a tiny baby!

Coming home from the hospital:

 Introducing Jacob to the dogs:

 My sweet boy:

One week old!


 More to come! Including a picture of him at two weeks old. I'm a little behind on uploading pics! Forgive this sleep deprived constantly nursing momma. :)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Jacob Wyatt's birth story 2/18/14

Photo: Best. Day. Ever. Meet Jacob Wyatt Lupo, born at 8:50 this morning, weighs 7 lbs, 4 oz, and is absolutely perfect.  He couldn't wait to meet us and we have never been happier. :)

Meet our beautiful son, Jacob Wyatt! He was born two days before my scheduled c section at 39 weeks and 3 days and weighed 7 lbs, 4.5 oz and was 20 inches long. What a story of his birth- not at all the planned, simple c section I had scheduled for February 20th. It was an amazing journey and this week has been just the most overwhelming, awesome, tiring, and fantastic week of my life. I will share it all! I know most won't read it and that's fine- this is my therapy to get it all out and my way of remembering the details of his birth. :)

Jacob's Birth Story

This story actually started on Saturday February 15th. Everyone always told me that I would wake up and feel "different" one day if I was going into labor. I definitely felt that on Saturday at exactly 39 weeks. I had a very easy, comfortable pregnancy. I woke up Saturday and felt so uncomfortable. My lower back was killing me- kind of like I had my period. I had pains in my lady parts and it hurt to walk. I had been hiking daily during my pregnancy so this was all very unusual- and I had zero pains or discomfort. Then I felt like I had period cramping. M and I spent the day finishing the nursery (see my last blog post!) and I really couldn't even help- I just sat in the rocker and watched him, providing moral support. My friend and M made me call the doctor who said I was just 39 weeks and now uncomfortable. He said unless I was having regular contractions that I was fine. Ok, great. That night contractions started. Nothing regular but some were very painful. This went on all night. I barely slept.

I woke up Sunday convinced I might be having a baby. I decided to get up and do some of the things I had not yet done to prepare and then I'd call the doctor. I paid all my bills. I cleaned out my desk and organized papers. I packed up the bag to bring to the hospital (yup, hadn't finished that) and the dog's bag for when they'd go to the dog sitter. And then all the contractions had stopped. I felt crampy and my low back still hurt but nothing else.  I had some mucousy spotting (probably started losing my mucuous plug) but felt fine. I felt really dumb but decided to call the doctor again- to tell him what, that I had contractions but wasn't now? Well, yes. He said I was likely in the "early labor" stage and that I could either come in, they could check me, and if I was dilated they'd likely just do the c section then and there. Or he said I could wait at home to see if things progressed. He said it was still possible to make it to Thursday. Since everything had stopped I decided to wait at least for now.

I took a nap and some light contractions started back up again. I went to dinner with friends- it was our last big hurrah before the baby was born- and contracted the first half of dinner. My friends, of course, thought I was insane but we carried on and had a blast.

Here we are: 

That night I contracted some during the night but got some decent sleep- not as bad as the previous night and then the next day, Monday, I had a big, long stretch of no contractions. This was of course just as I was about to call the doctor too- but since things had not progressed I decided not to call the doctor.

Instead, I took advantage of feeling- even the low back pain had subsided finally- and took my dogs on a long hike. My back pain had eased, my period like cramps gone and I felt like I had the first 39 weeks- pretty great. I cleaned the house. Ate dinner. Then during dinner the contractions came back- and with a vengeance.

Tuesday February 18th 
I went to sleep Monday night and barely slept with horrible contractions. As I contemplating waking up my husband (who basically had asked every 10 minutes since Saturday if it was time to go to the hospital) my water broke around 3 or 4am Tuesday morning. I had pink liquid dripping down my leg, then gushing out everywhere. I went downstairs, drank a glass of milk, and called the doctor at 4:30am. It was go time. He said come in, they'd examine me and if that was indeed my water breaking that I'd be having a baby that morning. Gulp!

Surprisingly I didn't wake my husband up right away. I went into my email, canceled everything for the week, packed up a few last minute items, activated our plan for arrangements for the dogs, and then woke up M. The doctor said we didn't have to rush so we took showers, savored the moment, and arrived at the hospital around 6:30am.

The Hospital

Ironically after my water broke my contractions stopped but by the time we were at the hospital they were back and much worse and closer together than they had been for the past few days. I was having fairly intense contractions every 2-3 minutes.  We got there right before a shift change so it took a little while to get going, which was painful since I was contracting but couldn't take any pain medicine for it. The nurse checked me right away and told me that my water had indeed broken and that today would be the day I'd be having a baby. I started crying. I couldn't believe we'd be meeting our son so soon.

My birth plan included general anesthesia and a c section because of my chiari malformation. General anesthesia procedures work a little differently than most c sections with epidurals or spinals which is the norm. To ensure the baby doesn't get any of the medicine, all preparation for the c section are done while I'm awake before I have had any anesthesia. I walked (contracted, stumbled) into the OR which was scary. I was prepped for surgery- while awake- which is terrifying and extremely uncomfortable and all the while contracting heavily which didn't make it easier. Laying on a cold table while your lady parts are washed and exposed while nurses and doctors run around preparing is well, unpleasant. I was so overcome with emotion I just sat there crying and contracting. The anesthesiologist, who couldn't give me anything kept whispering in my ear that I was doing great and that we were almost ready. He was so sweet it just made me cry more. He was providing, what I think, was a different kind of anesthesia- kindness- and it made all the difference. When the doctor was standing over me with a scalpel and all the nurses were in place he told me I'd be going under and that my son would be out in just a few short minutes and in my husbands arms almost immediately.

My husband wasn't allowed in the OR (this only allowed if the patient is awake during surgery, as in an epidural or a spinal) but he was literally right next door waiting to do skin to skin with Jacob as soon as he was born. As I would miss my husband meeting Jacob for the first time- which made me sad- the nurse had been instructed to photograph M meeting Jacob and doing skin to skin. I promised M I wouldn't share these photos as they were just for me but they are the sweetest ever and just make me tear up thinking about them.

The birth

It took the doctor 90 seconds to pull the baby out (they do it extra fast with general so the baby doesn't get any medicine) and Jacob Wyatt was officially born at 8:50am. Then it took 30-40 minutes to stitch me up and about 10-15 minutes to wake me. When I woke up I was in horrific pain. It took a long time to get the pain under control- much longer than they had hoped or anticipated- so M had about 1.5 hours with our son before I was able to meet him. I remember them asking me, while I was in mortal pain, what the baby's name was going to be. I was shocked my husband hadn't yet shared it! But we hadn't talked about when to share so he hadn't felt comfortable. I wouldn't give it up easily but eventually through my pain I shared as they were relentlessly asking. Jacob Wyatt had a name. :)

Meeting Jacob Wyatt
Once my pain was under control- which happened eventually and then I didn't have any further issues- M and the baby were brought in to see me. I teared up, of course and couldn't believe I was meeting my son for the first time. The nurse put the baby in my arms and my husband and I just stared at each other and kissed the baby and then each other, and then the baby, and then each other again. It was all a dream after that- the entire rest of the day.

The next few days were a blur. Too many visitors. Not enough sleep. I figured some things out- like to stop taking narcotics and tell people to stop visiting so I could sleep more and things got better and easier. Here are a few pics from day 2 and day 3:

And this is day four, all dolled up to go home. Those eyes, they just make me melt. :) I'm absolutely in love! I won't say it's all easy and fun- but it's all worth it. I have a lot of emotions- and I'm sure I'll be blogging about them over the next few weeks/months. It's just so crazy to be on this side of infertility. I mean all the way on this side. Everything is still so new, so different, so unreal. It's hard and wonderful and I'll keep blogging about how M, Jacob, and I maneuver this journey.