Monday, July 25, 2016

one year + seven months

It amazes me that time has flown by like it has. One year ago we were in Texas spending every moment possible in the NICU just waiting to take our little boys home. Here we are, celebrating the first year of their life.

And what a year it's been.

It's been crazy, hectic and exhausting. It's been amazing, surreal and the best moments of my life.

These boys have changed me in so many ways. I feel happy and complete. (Even when I can barely keep my eyes open)

Since the moment I laid eyes on them they stole my heart. But seeing the little people they are becoming has been a dream. Their laughs and their personalities can brighten even the hardest of days.

As far as an update, here goes:

Casey is 24 pounds 2 ounces and 29 inches long, though he was pretty squirmy so that could be off slightly. The pediatrician wants the poor guy on 2% instead of whole milk. Speaking of which. He likes everything. I really haven't found any foods that he won't eat. And lets not be late on serving this guy...when it's time to eat, he is ready! This kid is the tidest eater ever. Mainly because he prefers that all food actually make it into his belly. He also is not a Still no walking, but he's a speed crawler. And he walks really well holding onto things, so we're getting there. He has the best laugh ever. It comes from deep in his belly. There is nothing better than hearing my Casey laugh. He's also such a snuggler, but is also very independent. He's the less needy of the three, he's really good at just waiting his turn (unless we're talking food...obviously) He says mamamamamamamamamamamama...and he knows how to clap. But no real talking yet, except for their own language, which I can't quite decipher yet.

Nickname is Casey Bear still. Cause...his bear hugs are amazing. We also like to say "Casey Smash" cause he kinda just barrels through everything. There is nothing delicate about this guy. I love it.

Britton is 22 pounds 8 ounces and 29 1/8 inches. He gets whole milk now.  He also likes pretty much everything but is WAY messier about it. You can bet your tush he's gonna have half his meal in the seat of his high chair or on the floor. Still no walking, he and Casey pretty much are neck and neck with their abilities. He's a little needier and wants to be held a lot still. When it comes to separation anxiety, this guy definitely shows more of that than his brother. But he's also more likely to snuggle in your lap and let you read a book than Casey is. He likes his downtime a little more and definitely has a bubble...that Casey likes to be in. They either love laughing at each other or are horse collaring and pulling each others hair, making one another cry. Guess I better be ready for many years of that! He knows the difference between Mama and Dada. And this guy...is a daddy's boy. He loves, loves, loves his Daddy. He is all about me until his Dad walks through the door. Then I'm pretty much chop liver. Luckily we have 3 babies.

Speaking of three. Liddy turned 7 months. And watch out, there is no stopping this girl. She's 17 pounds 8 ounces and has been scooting/crawling for a month now. She's also standing. The boys were MONTHS behind this little chickadee. And she loves them! She wants to be near them. Even if it means getting toys ripped out of her hands, pushed over, crawled on top of, for the most part, she doesn't care. She's slowly eating more foods. But it's SLOW. About 60% of the time she just refuses. She likes rice cereal or oatmeal (probably because it's soaked in breastmilk. Anything else, it's a gamble. She still nurses regularly. Like every 3-5 hours. Even at night. So she's still sleeping with me. And, if you want to talk about separation anxiety...this one has it bad. I can't even get up to pee at night without her losing it because I left the room. So maybe this is for another day, but would love to get some feedback on how often she's nursing at night and the fact that she is a little magnet to me. Is that okay? My husband wants to put her in her crib and just let her cry. (Uh...yeah, I'm not thinking I can go to that extreme.) But, I am tired. And after a year of waking up nonstop every night...the lack of sleep is starting to get to me a little.

The boys also had to get tubes last week. We've just had too many ear infections. I was super nervous but the procedures went great and were super fast. So here's hoping we're officially on the road to some happier little boys!!

I feel like this post is a giant ramble. But...I posted and these days that's a major accomplishment. I'll leave this with some of the pictures from the boys birthday party.



 
  
   
  

  

  






Thursday, June 23, 2016

11 Month + 6 Month Update

I never wanted to stop blogging. And I guess I technically haven't, as obviously, I haven't, completely. But when I notice my posts getting further and further apart, my heart aches. I want to write about so much. There really is so much to share about my experience, my life, my new normal. But...here I am, a month since my last post, and there is still no free time to speak of.

I never understood how parents could take DAYS to respond to a simple text. I mean, your phone is always with you. It takes like 2 seconds, right? Well not only are my responses sometimes delayed. I feel like I've fallen off the face of the earth to many of my dear friends that I used to text with on a daily (some hourly) basis.

My post my be all over the place. It may ramble. But...it's a post and it's the best I've got right now in this 15 minute window that I sit at work (in the bathroom pumping). Really, that's the only me time I get, and many times I literally tilt my head back and doze. In a bathroom.

And you know what? I'm deliriously happy. We are crazy busy. There are a lot of things that have gone right out the window that we used to do. Our priority now? Eating, feeding, sleeping, holding, working, playing...rinse and repeat. So...an update:

Britton + Casey


Turned 11 months. I cannot even believe it's been that long since they literally stole my heart. And every day, I love them more and more and wonder how that's even possible.

Casey is my little chunk of love. He's knocking on the door of 25 pounds. Literally only a few ounces away. He finally started crawling a few weeks ago. And once he did that, he immediately started standing...and cruising. It's like there is no stopping him. And he's not dainty (obviously). He just barrels right through anything and everything. Casey, smash....that's him...in a nutshell. But he's so loving. If I would hold him in my arms all night long, he would be in pure heaven. He wraps his arms around me and squeezes tight. So we call him Casey Bear still...because there is nothing better than a Casey Bear Hug.

Britton has been crawling for a few months now. And he's been standing the past several weeks. And cruising. He's my little spider monkey. He just clings with all 4 limbs when you pick him up. And he's a little needier. When he's upset or tired, you know, because all he wants it to just sit in your lap. He's started to have a little separation anxiety when we leave a room. His sweet face when he yells "ma ma ma ma ma ma ma" (to Trevor or myself) can break me in two. He's been pretty stable at around 22 pounds. No question he's the slimmer of the two!

Together they are either the best of friends or completely angry at each other...usually over a toy or a pacifier. They are such paci snatchers! Right out of each others mouth. It's hilarious. They love to just smile and laugh at each other which warms my heart. May they always, always have such love for each other. Love, respect and kindness. And I will have done my job.

Liddy 


Oh Liddy Rose. She's 6 months going on a year. (16 pounds, 8 ounces) She watches everything they do and is leaps and bounds ahead of where they were at her age. She's army crawling, sitting up on her own and getting on her hands and knees and rocking. I know it's their prematurity that has them behind, but holy moly, she's determined to do what they do. They crawl all over her and she isn't phased in the least. It's just a normal day in her life to have one brother trying to sit on her and the other one eating/sucking on her leg, butt or arm. She loves them though. And they love her. They stand up on her apparatuses and just laugh and talk to her. I finally started giving her a little bit of oatmeal the week she turned 6 months. Even though the pediatrician pushed for 4 months. I wanted her EBF for a solid 6 months, and she was. She's a big comfort nurser at night. I'd say it's something we're working on, but we aren't. I don't mind. And I kinda love it. So, we're co-sleeping at the moment.

She is without a doubt a mama's girl. No question, no doubts, it is what it is. And you get no complaints out of me! Maybe a few out of Casey and Britton when they also want their mama's lap, but we always make room. She's still my super happy baby. She's content about 98% of the day. She wakes up smiling and goes to sleep smiling. I can't ask for much more than that.

We're planning the boys 1st birthday party. I'd say I hope to write again before that, but lets be realistic. That will be my next post. So until then...
















Thursday, May 12, 2016

A time for decisions

It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone to hear that our family is complete. We have two boys and a girl. We're a family of FIVE! I always teetered on the edge of wanting either two or three children. Then of course...along came infertility, and I just wanted to have one. Please, God...give me one.

My prayers were answered in the most unbelievable way. We're content with our family. Our lives are crazy hectic. We barely sleep. There is always someone that wakes up night after night. There is little down time. And that's okay. I wouldn't have it any other way.

But...at almost 39 years old. We don't see trying again in our future. My husband is a little more clear on that point. Don't get me wrong. I'm also clear. But I have the tug of how much I love these little nuggets that it's hard to be so final.

But it is. My husband had a vasectomy in late March. Something I would have laughed hysterically about just a short time ago. It wasn't a big deal. He went in on a Friday afternoon, was in the office less than 15 minutes getting it done (yes, I watched). And by Sunday was back to normal. I'd say even on Saturday he was up and around and lifting babies.

But still...that was the final end of our family. There are still three to consider. The three remaining embryos that are in storage at CCRM. Three high quality blasts. What do we do with them?

Do we save them? Just in case? Knowing the answer to that already. We don't even believe it's fair to our current children to have more. They deserve every bit of the attention they can get from us!

Do we donate them to science? Destroy them? I can barely type that word without cringing. I just can't imagine it.

Unfortunately, CCRM doesn't have the best options for what my preference would be. They do have an option to donate anonymously. Unlike our egg donor whose information is available to our boys when they turn 18...any children that come from these embryos would not have that benefit. CCRM would never give them any information about us at all. They would never know they have two full siblings. One half sibling through their egg donor. That makes me sad for those babies.

CCRM refuses to do known donations, which would be our preference. So there isn't an easy way to gift our embryos to someone to use. The only way this is allowed is for the embryos to be moved to another clinic.

But doesn't the chance of life still outweigh the unfortunate guidelines that CCRM imposes?

It's a long process. A year actually for it to be a done deal. So right now, we're just considering it. Trying to decide if we are ready to wish them well, hope they can help another family have truly amazing babies that Casey and Britton are to us, and let them go.

Friday, April 29, 2016

My Story.

I'm just going to start with, my story has a happy ending. There were many days, months and years that I wasn't sure it would.

My story truly began 15 years ago when I met my husband. Because my happy ending wouldn't have been possible without him. We've been married for 5 years, and we spent 4 of those 5 years battling infertility. We're one in eight.

In 2011 shortly after we were married, we began trying to conceive. We had recently had an ectopic pregnancy while on an IUD, so surely, getting pregnant would happen to us. And it did. Three months after trying, we got those infamous pink lines that we were hoping for. The happiness didn't last. Just a few short weeks later at our first ultrasound, there was no heartbeat. No baby. What they call a blighted ovum.

It took 2 separate D&C's to resolve the pregnancy as I wasn't miscarrying on my own. All of 2012 we tried. Tried with meds, tried with medicated IUI's. Tried with my OBGyn and with my first of five fertility doctors. By the end of 2012, I was finally diagnosed with diminished ovarian reserve. I was told the only way I'd ever conceive would be by using donor eggs.

I was devasted. The doctor we were seeing at the time wasn't even willing to try IVF or any treatments using my eggs. From here we saw more doctors, two more in Indianapolis and finally one in Chicago that preformed our one and only round of IVF. Which was devastatingly unsuccessful. By this point we were already talking with CCRM. One of the most renowned clinics in the country. We traveled to Denver, Colorado and made the decision to use donor eggs. It seemed crystal clear and after all, what we wanted was a baby to complete us and our family. The DNA didn't matter.

We had another surprise though. A few weeks later we found ourselves naturally pregnant again. Unfortunately, we knew rather quickly that this pregnant was not viable. What I never expected was the drastic consequences that would come from this pregnancy. The D&C that was preformed damaged my uterus. Before we knew this...our egg donor was already cycling for us. We were thrilled when we found out we had SIX embryos. They were ours. Just waiting for my body to heal from the D&C and then we could finally transfer one of those precious embryos into me. However, my body wouldn't heal. I had significant scar tissue from the D&C, maybe from the multiple D&C's over the years.

For months we tried with specialists and treatments to correct the issue. We finally tried a transfer but with low chances of success. To no avail. We knew the only way our precious embryos would ever make a baby was by using another uterus. A healthy uterus.

And then we met K. Through the love and friendship of Dreaming of Dimples I met the woman that would carry our babies. TWINS. Twin boys! And that experience was such a blessing. She is our family. Her children and husband are our family. They always will be. What they gave us...is priceless in so many ways.

I truly believe that doctors can only know so much about our body. We were told we had less than 1% chance of conceiving even with medical treatments. I had been taken completely out of the equation. My eggs, my uterus. But somehow, half way through my surrogates pregnancy...we got the absolute shock of our lives.

We were pregnant. On our own, completely natural. My egg and my uterus...had a little left to give.

And thank god it did. Because our life maybe completely chaotic and night and day different than what it was like a year ago...but only in the best possible way. We stay home 95% of the time these days. We don't go out to restaurants...or at least it's pretty rare, and we rarely get date nights. But we are a family of 5. And while, I still struggle to believe that this is real. I know that I will always be infertile. I will always remember the days that infertility consumed me. The tears, the heartache, the hope and then the constant let downs. I know that we've "beat" infertility. Our family is complete. But what we went through will always be a piece of me.

I have friends that still struggle. And this community that I have been apart of for these past 5 years, I could have never put one foot in front of the other without them on my darkest days. I hope that the women that find my blog, that have similar issues, can find information, comfort and most importantly...hope in my story. Miracles do happen. 

So yes...my chaotic little family of 5, is more than I could have ever dreamed of.