Sunday, December 16, 2012


Do you remember your time in Kindergarten?

I do.

I remember my teacher, Mrs. D'Maio. She was blond and young. When I close my eyes and think about her now, I remember her as warm and with a big smile.

Did I feel safe, I'm sure I did. Or maybe it wasn't that I didn't feel safe but rather I wasn't scared.  I'm not sure I would have been able to verbalize the idea of safety as a 5 year old.

I remember two bad things that happened that year.

1. I didn't get to be Snow White in the school play. I was cast as the Mirror on the Wall. My mom and I always joked that it was because the little girl who was cast as snow white had a mother who could sew and I did not.

2. I once convinced the staff that I was allowed to walk home alone and didn't need to wait in the car line. I was so happy that the crossing guard picked me to push the button to change the light to green, I never noticed my mom racing to the intersection. You see, I wasn't allowed to walk home alone. I was supposed to be in the car line. My mom pulled up to school and I wasn't there, where I was supposed to be. 

This is what every child should take away from kindergarten. One or two blips on the radar or maybe a little separation anxiety in the beginning, perhaps an unfortunate bathroom miss after too much juice, even learning that in kindergarten, not everyone wins.

What no child should ever take away is fear. Fear of huddling in a closet or being led out of your safe haven with your eyes closed and your hands on your best friend's shoulders. No child should ever hear gun shot in their own school hallways or their parking lots end up like a staging area of a war zone.  

But that is exactly what happened to those children at Sandy Hook. As a parent, I can hardly look at the images without crying. I am struck by how young they are. Most still have a baby-ish face. Although, I'm sure if you told any one of them that, they'd promptly correct you and inform you that they are big kids, not babies. When I first read the story online, I was stunned. I continued to read the news on my computer while Toddler T watched The Cat in the Hat. I tried to fight back my tears as I didn't want to alarm him.  I wanted to hold him and hug him and promise out loud that I would never let him be hurt. Unfortunatly, he would have been annoyed to be interrupted from watching his show and the reality is, Is that a promise that I can make as a parent?

My brain was trying to take it all in while my heart was breaking right there. I could not imagine any worse thing for a parent to be forced to endure. I have found that these images invade my sleep and make my thoughts bounce around my head like a ping pong ball.

That is my reaction as a parent. 

My reaction as a social worker is much, much darker. I know the statistics, there will be an increase in divorce, substance abuse, nightmares, clear cases of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. There will be families that move away and those that stay. There will be siblings who, for the rest of their lives will feel guilty that they couldn't save their younger brother or sister. There will be parents who raced off to work with a quick kiss and will beg God for the chance for one more hug. 

This ripple effect will be so far reaching and so intense. 

The debates on gun control and reform to the mental health system are getting revved up again.  I have my own opinions on both, but am reluctant to put them out there. I'll wait until some more information becomes available about what the nature of the gunman's mental illness was or was not. 

In the meantime, my heart and prayers will be with the parents, siblings and families of those beautiful children, teachers and staff members as they walk through this unbelievable tragedy. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Making a list and checking it twice

Santa is coming and this little elf has been very organized this season. I'm proud to  say that I can check all but two items off my list. I have even wrapped sent presents home with my nieces at Thanksgiving. I'm almost done with the stocking stuffers and I even picked up a gift for Toddler T 'from' the baby. Our tree is decorated, stockings hung, Christmas cards have been sent and tomorrow we will go to get a picture with Santa.

I like a plan. I like to be organized. I had some panic that I would have this baby early and there would be no Christmas for Toddler T. It makes me feel much more relieved to know that regardless of what happens, he will wake up on Christmas morning with a plethora of presents from the hospital gift shop.

This is an example of when being an organized planner works for me.

The following is when being an organized planner blows up in my face.

36 week appointment and the signing of consent forms for my repeat c-section.

Toddler T and I went to my appointment and I went back to the scheduling office to sign off on my consent forms. It seems that there has been a big miscommunication for the past 18 weeks and I'm scheduled to have the c-section done by a doctor that up until 2:15pm today, didn't even know existed.  I'm meeting with Dr. MissesTheMark next week to try and figure out what we are doing. It seems that I'm having a change of heart in that I'd rather have a doctor that I know (regardless of the fact that we might not always mesh personality wise) than a total stranger.

The distress was written all over my face and the poor scheduler asked me if I was going to cry. To be honest, I thought I might. I have had this planned in my head for a loooong time. 12/31/12 - 6:30am with Dr. MissesTheMark. Done and Done.  I pulled it together and told the scheduler that it is what it is and I'm not going to become unglued over this... I just needed to rework this in my head.

Sometimes I wonder why I can't be more easy going. Its just so not in my nature.  At all.

Friday, December 7, 2012

35 weeks and not quite 35 days

35/35 - a big milestone in pregnancy. In plain English, it means that you are 35 weeks along in your pregnancy with only 35 days left to go. I realized this week, that I am 35 weeks, but due to my scheduled c-section... I have less than 35 days to go.


This time is flying by and, as with anything related to the infertility world, comes with mixed emotions. I struggle with even putting this out there, lest I seem ungrateful. But from my heart, this is what I am feeling. I am feeling a mix of emotions that range from excited to nervous to scared to happy to sad. The closer I get to meet my sweet boy, the more I mourn the idea of this being our last pregnancy. I had a conversation with my mom the other morning and talked to her about this.  I know that in life, we get no guarantees and that no one is 'owed' anything. But the very idea of adding to your family in a non-medical and intimate way just feels right.  Its what we were taught would happen (especially in a Catholic School) Procreating by way of a team of specialists is hard and it takes a toll on one's overall outlook on pregnancy and fertility. Ok, at least it took a toll on mine.

Where am I going with this.... It is so hard to articulate. I am blessed and grateful beyond all belief that our Hail Mary attempt at IVF worked. But as this pregnancy is coming to a close, I find myself thinking about my two ectopic pregnancies and 2 embryos that never made it.  I wonder when I will feel closure with this chapter of my life. Will it be with the birth of Tiny T? Or will I always have a heavy heart when I think about our journey through the world of secondary infertility. I often think about what will help me gain this elusive closure? Is it fair to put the pressure of my needs on the birth of a baby? Will I one day gain acceptance about the idea of completing our family with two children. And as I even type out those words, I realize how greedy that makes me sound. The goal of fertility treatments is to end treatment with the birth of a healthy baby. I'm so close to the finish line but still struggle with all that we have been through.

I do believe that time heals all wounds, to a degree. I do believe this will be the case for me. I only have to look back at entries I made this time last year to see how different of a place I am in.  I am no longer in that dark place of uncertainty and anger. I am embracing idea of the arrival of my second child  and working through the other emotions. 

As I sit here, I can feel the baby kick. And I know, that I will never lose sight of the fact that this tiny movement is nothing short of a miracle. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

So much to say....

Ok, I've been away. The days are flying by and I have all of these little stories collected in my head. But then, when Toddler T falls asleep, the thought of typing them out, exhausts me. Simply, exhausts me. But, do you know what? Too much has happened in these past few weeks. So, here goes, my very random update.

Hurricane Sandy:
She destroyed my precious shoreline and kept many of my friends and family without power and heat for more than a week. Through quick phone calls and text messages, you could hear the strain that is life without power. I am thankful that while it was a long two weeks for many that I love, the damage was minimal. It was surreal to watch so many people just lose everything on account of a storm surge. Here in Pennsylvania, we made a few storm preparations and waited to lose our power. We filled up the bathtub with water, bought lots of non-perishable snacks and went to about 5 stores to locate batteries. Luckily, the most we had was some flickering lights and a lot of sticks in our yard.  Very lucky, indeed.

The boy who did not cry wolf, AKA Toddler T:
Toddler T had a cough. It was pretty bad. It was also accompanied by a cold. Also, pretty bad and not quite going away. But, he is in nursery school and almost every other child was coughing and being sent home with tissues in their jacket pockets. We tried his humidifier, Benadryl, lots of tissues, OJ and very lengthy naps. We had hit about 3 weeks without much change and I just assumed that this was the case of one cold on top of another and nothing to be too concerned about. (For the record, I am currently writing my Mother of the Year speech). In the days leading up to Hurricane Sandy, Toddler T started waking up from his nap crying about his ear. Finally, with the weathermen talking non-stop about Frankenstorm, I made an appointment. I told the doctor that I was pretty convinced that this was nothing more than a cold, but was getting a little freaked out by the hurricane talk, so I just wanted him checked. For the record, over the last two winters, Toddler T has sounded exactly like this and we have had numerous checks at the doctor only to be told that he has a COLD.  Not this time, bronchitis and a double ear infection. I felt horrible. HORRIBLE. Two rounds of antibiotics later, he no longer sounds like he belongs on a TB ward.

Speaking of a TB-like cough:
I picked up the same cough as Toddler T. I kept telling myself it was a cold and it would go away. Even after Toddler T saw his doctor and was given antibiotics, I just assumed I'd get better on my own. But then I started getting short of breath. And couldn't really do anything without feeling like a 77 year old, 2 pack a day smoker for 50 years, carrying around an oxygen tank and clutching her chest due to heart palpitations. It was getting bad, but I attributed this all to a cold and being pregnant. I remembered feeling short of breath when I was pregnant with Toddler T and didn't want to make a fool of myself with an unnecessary visit to my primary care doctor. So, I mentioned it at my 31 week check up. OB's do what they do best, and all other medical needs are sent out (or so my OB told me).  So, I reluctantly made an appointment with my primary care doctor and hoped he didn't laugh at me for being nothing more than a short of breath pregnant lady.

Was I wrong.
Here is what's normal. Asthma getting worse during pregnancy. Feeling short of breath when pregnant and having an upper respiratory infection making everything worse. Here's what's not. Fighting to take a breath.  (Which is what I was doing by that point.)  My doctor explained that the reality was I having such a tough time breathing due to a combination of the first three normal things. But,  he was also concerned that I could be experiencing peri-natal congestive heart failure and or a pulmonary embolism.  He found the latter to be extremely unlikely, but felt it need to be explored. So, I got a nebulizer treatment, a prescription for an antibiotic, a new inhaler, and EKG and a referral for an echocardiogram to happen 'sooner rather than later'. I was also told to go straight to the ER if my breathing worsened at all and he then called me at home to check on me that night. His initial reaction was correct in that it was a combo or being pregnant, having asthma and bronchitis. I was not in peri-natal congestive heart failure. 

A day of remembrance and Two Birthdays:
October 28th would have been the day we would have celebrated a 1st birthday had I not had the first ectopic pregnancy. I only paused on this for a moment or two throughout the week. I could not imagine  my life with a 3 1/2 year old and a 1 year old. I think it would be crazy, but I did wonder what that little collection of cells might have grown to become. In the end, I decided that more than anything, I am happy and grateful to be where I am. I also had a birthday coming up and rang in the big 35 with Mr. T, dinner and a movie and two new camera lenses that I have been wanting for a long. long time.  We then kept up the celebrations as my nephew celebrated his 1st birthday. I ate a lot of cake in a 48 hour period.

And so we meet again:
I was minding my own business. I was running into Target to pick up Toddler T's vitamins and get a few birthday presents before we meeting friends for lunch at Chick Fil A. I was focused and I had a list. I did not plan on running into my old OB/GYN. The one who patted my hand after ectopic #1 and remarked that it should not have ruptured. The one who I trusted to hear my symptoms and point me in the right direction. The one who told me that I did not have a viable pregnancy with ectopic # 2.  Yes, her. She was leaving Target and I noticed that she had since had a 3rd baby since I last saw her. And I was struck by how mad I instantly got. Did she know? Did she have any idea what I went through to get to where I am today? Did she care? I knew that I did not want to be crazy pregnant lady in the parking lot, so I just kept on walking.  But, did she have to be at Chick Fil A thirty minutes later, sitting caddy-corner to my friend and I?  Did we all have to occupy the same damn place space? I wanted to say something. I wanted to let her know just what I've been up to. But then I realized, that day, she was a mom out with her kids. She wasn't in her scrubs and she was no longer my doctor. I moved on and drank the rest of Toddler T's oreo milkshake.

What' Next:
Well hopefully, a more timely post. Thanksgiving dinner here at the T household with my dad's side of the family (18 adults and 5 kids). We are frying two turkeys and I cannot wait to have the house full with my family. I'll see the doctor this week for my 33 week check up. I will again play dumb and say that I forgot the cup. I will also attempt to get some Christmas pictures of Toddler T and order our Christmas Cards.  

Wow, that was a lot to say... Oh, and Tiny T is great too!

Friday, October 19, 2012

One more thing...

So, In my haste to get out the last post about my appointment with Dr. MissesTheMark, I forgot one detail. 

This new OB group asks that you REUSE the specimen cup that is used to check for protein in urine.

Yes, you have read that correctly. At my last appointment, I was handed a new sterile cup and told to come in with a sample for the next check-up. I knew there was no way in hell I was driving around town with sample sloshing around. It just wasn't going to happen. So, I checked into the appointment and asked to use the restroom there. I thought it was win-win.

UNTIL, the tech met up with me later. She informed me that there was no trace of protein and then handed me back the SAME cup. She had simply emptied it out and told me to reuse it. I actually laughed out loud and made some crack about how much we spend on health care and I need to reuse a specimen cup. 

Let's think about this. I'm a mom to a three year old. Do you know what's in my purse? Snacks, sippy cups, the occasional pacifier (don't judge), chap stick and a whole host of things that I would NOT want coming in contact with a URINE COLLECTION CUP.

I kept my mouth shut, took the damn cup back and as soon as she was out of sight, I threw it away. I will play dumb at every appointment and say I forgot it.

Gross, right?

Am I a germaphobe? Is this normal? Am I not 'green' enough?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

When the left hand has no idea what the right hand is doing.

And neither one of those hands belongs to you, the patient. 
It sucks.

Let me explain.

I had my 28 week appointment yesterday and it started off less than stellar. My group has three offices and I went to a satellite office for the appointment. The one that was written down on my appointment card. I, for the life of me, could not figure out why the receptionist was staring at me like I had dog in a carrier and asking to see the vet. She then told me that I was in the wrong office and all of the OB's were in the other two offices that day.  OK, clearly there had been a mistake... but I could have done without the attitude that it was my fault because I'm pregnant and can't remember things. In any event, I asked if I could reschedule at the correct office and was told to just head over now. 

Thirty minutes later and coasting into the parking lot on fumes in my gas tank, I was sitting in the correct office waiting to see one of the group doctors. This doctor will be known as Dr. MissesTheMark from now on.  He is the doctor that was fantastically calm when I was in the ER after the ectopic rupture and was about to get a blood transfusion. He then confused me, when, 24 hours later, told me that I was fine to go back to work on Monday (48 hours post transfusion, 72 hours post emergency surgery).  But, I always remembered that he was to the point and someone I'd want around if things were to head south again. Remember, I'm not looking for best friends, just competent doctors.  OK, back to the appointment. Right now, Tiny T is set to arrive on 12/31 and for a myriad of reasons, I'd prefer 12/28. This is 1 day shy of the recommendation of scheduling repeat c-sections at 39 weeks. Dr. MissesTheMark, is the one on call that week. SO - my hope of some rule bending rests squarely with him.

The appointment started off surprisingly well. He said that I was looking great, the heart beat was fantastic and things looked good. He did not measure my stomach, which I thought odd.. but ignored. Then he asked about movement and for accuracy, I'm just going to quote the next few minutes of conversation. I'll admit, I will be sharing Tiny T's gender in a less than climatic way... but I just can't leave that part out.

Dr. MissesTheMark "So, strong kicks. Do you know if this is a boy or a girl."
Me, "Yes, we are having another little boy"
Dr. MTM, "Oh, really. Another boy. That's OK, your third will be a girl."
Me (almost fell off the table with a fiery red face), "Well, unless there is going to be sweeping reform to health insurance that guarantees IVF coverage for all. This will be our last child."
Dr. MTM, "Oh, don't say that. So many women think that they are done and then find themselves pregnant years later."
Me (furious and about to cry at the same moment), "Um, I'm not sure if you've had a chance to look at my chart. But, my remaining tube is to be removed at the time of delivery. So, I'm pretty sure we won't be having any unplanned, miracle babies."
Dr. MTM, "Oh, so you are having a tubal ligation."
Me, "No, removal of the tube. It is already scared over from the previous ectopic."
Dr. MTM, "Well, why would you do that."

OK, I'll spare you the rest of this interchange. I tried to summarize why the other doctor in the practice had suggested this and then just gave up. Our conversation finished with him saying that we had plenty of time to make decisions and nothing needed to be firmed up at that appointment.

I.almost.died. For many reasons. I've been pretty vocal about the idea that I am still adjusting to the idea that I would like more children and feel sad that this is the situation I find myself in. In the last few months, I have worked really hard to make my peace with this and had gotten to a really good place. I am grateful to even be having a second child. REGARDLESS of gender. I am excited to have my two boys and love that Toddler T will have a brother. I have been fielding 'sympathic' congratulations over the past 2 months regarding the idea that I'm having two boys. It stings, because most people have no idea what we went through to get to this point and again, people can be dumb. BUT, this was from my doctor and he had seen me at a time when I was very.very low.

Bedside manner aside, it was so frustrating to have one doctor suggest the removal of the tube (for my well being) and another doctor look at me like I had begun to speak in Yiddish.  

I go back in three weeks to see the doctor I like best. She'll be Dr. Sunshine. She is the one recommending the removal of the tube and I have no problems telling her my thoughts on Dr. MissesTheMark.

In other news. Hello Third Trimester... Thank you for causing an extreme amount of muscle pain in my lower left abdomen. Welcome Braxton Hicks Contractions, thanks for coming to the party and Feet, how nice of you to begin swelling. I am not joking, all of these things started to happen over night. I am out of breath and am truly realizing that I need to slow down (some). 

Mr. T and I are still miles apart on names, although Mr. T and my mom seem to agree on several.  I've started picking up baby gear as I'm out and about. Mr. T also painted the baby's room and assembled all of the nursery furniture last weekend. I bought some new pacifiers and Toddler T wanted to put them in the crib so that his baby brother would be able to find them. It was really sweet. 

I'm getting really excited that Mr. Tiny T is going to be here soon and I really can't wait to see Toddler T as a big brother.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Alligator wrestling, control and an eye opening email.

Four years ago, when I was a married girl, working full time who had lots of free time in my life, I often thought of all the ways I would handle conflict and tantrums with my yet unborn children. I assumed that because I had a Masters Degree in Social Work and had spent years working with children and families, I'd be able to 'handle' or 'redirect' a tantrum without becoming a crazy lady. I would never raise my voice. I would offer options to foster self independence. I would crouch down to remain at eye level and I would never ever make a 'threat' that I couldn't enforce.

Monday morning, reality crashed all over those obnoxious, child-free notions. It hit me in the form of a too-small, orange and white striped polo shirt.

Mr. T was out of town for a work function and it was Toddler T and I to face the Monday morning. We'd had a pretty busy weekend that involved a trip to Baltimore (for Mr. T and I) a sleepover at Mana and Grandaddy's (for Toddler T) and three days without a nap.  Toddler T woke up in a great mood and announced that he was "getting ready for the day" at 7am. He set about getting pants, underwear, socks and his shirt (the aforementioned orange and white, almost a half shirt, summer polo.) I thought I could outsmart him and didn't say a word. I was going to let history be my guide. Ninety-nine percent of all shirts that he wears during breakfast end up with syrup, yogurt, orange juice, cream cheese, whatever all over the front of his shirt. This is why we usually eat breakfast in our jammies. So, my thought was go ahead... eat breakfast in the seasonally and fashionable inappropriate shirt. Something will spill on it, I'll get you a new shirt and off to nursery school we go. 

I could not have been any more wrong if I planned it. 

Yes, syrup was down the front of the shirt. But, the idea of replacing this shirt sent my child into a dark, tantrum filled place. I offered him two replacement shirts. Turns out that on Monday morning, Toddler T HATED 'soft' shirts as they were for babies. He did not like football shirts, either. He was so beside himself that he didn't know which one to pick because he ONLY liked orange and white striped shirts. He would not put on his Clemson shirt that was orange because it had a white tiger paw on it and NOT stripes. I attempted to wrangle him into his Eagles shirt and reminded him that it was just like Daddy's.  But no, not having 

It got ugly. Reasoning wasn't working. My tone was getting a little louder. I was losing patience. He was hitting the point of no return. I walked out of his room and asked him to please pick any other shirt and come out. I informed him that he would need to call his teacher and tell her that he wasn't coming to Nursery School because he wouldn't pick out a shirt (empty threats anyone?). I may have pointed my finger. I may have said that the situation was ridiculous. He may have begun to scream and cry that much louder.

I then realized the situation was going to get uglier before it got better. 

Time to wrestle the alligator.

Clemson shirt on. Toddler T in tears. I noticed the my heart was racing. I carried him to the car. Buckled him and off we went. I know many of you will read this and have your thoughts about what could have been done better. Or that a parent's job is to always keep their cool. Or a million other things. Four years ago, I had my own laundry list of how I would be perfect. But.. life isn't. 

Two miles into our drive to school, I noticed that he was no longer crying and the lump in my throat was subsiding. I then took the opportunity to move forward. I told him that we got off to a bad start, but we were going to have a better day. I reminded him that I loved him very much, but was very disappointed in how he behaved. I then apologized for raising my voice and reminded him that we both need to remember that yelling isn't the way to go.

I carried him into school (20 minutes late) and explained to his teacher that we had a rough start to the morning but we were going to move past it and have a great day. She crouched down to Toddler T's level and said that she was sure he was going to have a great day.

I then left to run my errands, found myself in tears and called Mr. T.

This was all about control. I know that three year olds thrive on control and so does this mom. So many things were running through my mind.  Like:

  • Just let him wear the damn shirt. 
  • No, we don't wear t-shirts when its 47 degrees out. 
  • No, we don't wear dirty shirts out. 
  • I am the mother, I need to be listened too. 
  • Have him go to school without any shirt on.
  • We are not going to school and he can cry it out in his room.
  • and finally, Wow.. three days without a nap can do some awful things to this poor child.
Feeling so overwhelmed from this 25 minute tantrum, I decided it was time to implement a new routine here. I will select two shirts and two pants every night. Toddler T will get to pick from the selection and we will put the outfit on the other twin bed in his room. This is the second night doing it and I'm hopeful that we will have a better morning tomorrow. I will also admit it... I'm not sure I can do the whole "Yes, my child is wearing green pants, a too small t-shirt and snow boots. But its so great that he dressed himself and is expressing creativity."  I'm not saying that's right or wrong. I'm just saying I can't do it, totally.

Let's just hope that our outfit selection process becomes a win-win situation for us all. Let's just hope that we don't have three straight days without a nap along with a traveling Mr. T anytime soon. And please let's just hope that I didn't have any other outlandish parenting ideologies prior to actually becoming a parent.

As caught my breath from Monday morning's antics, I opened up an email that reminded me that I am currently in my 3rd Trimester.  Time for a whole new checklist.
  • Baby's room needs to be painted
  • Crib needs to be assembled
  • Changing table needs to be assembled
  • Nursery bedding needs to be purchased. (After a particularly rough patch last year, I examined Toddler T's set and declared that it was not clean enough - it was dingy, and I probably would not have use for a nursery bedding set again and promptly carted it off to Goodwill.)
Third trimester... wow.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Little Piece of Heaven

Was found in my coffee cup at Wegmans this afternoon.

Pumpkin Spice Latte


Since the first day of Fall, I have been looking high and low for the decaf variety. I love pumpkin spice coffee but choose not to drink a lot of caffeine when I'm pregnant. I know its safe in a recommended amount. But for me, I have limited it to medicinal purposes only.  It seems that a small can of Coke and 2 Tylenol are the only things that work to get rid of my headaches this go around.

After 2 weeks of serious Internet research, I figured hope was lost. And then today, I went grocery shopping, alone. I stopped by the coffee counter, giddy with the thought of strolling through the aisles of  the grocery store without having to entertain Toddler T. And there it was. Pumpkin Spice Coffee, Decaf.

Fall Festivities may now commence in the T household.

Mums are planted, Halloween and Fall decorations are out. And pumpkin spice decaf will be brewed most mornings.

Who's ready to carve pumpkins??

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Picking a BIRTHday

It's a very weird concept. 
Especially when you are asked for the date you've selected only to be told that that date is not an option.. based on 24 hours and a guideline.

Let me explain.

I went in for my 24 week checkup. Things are looking good. I passed the dreaded glucose tolerance test!! My weight gain remains -ok. Much better than with Toddler T, but probably not at at the pace my doctors would like. I've decided that as long as I know that I'm eating better and not gaining at the same rate, that's all I can worry about. My stomach is measuring 26 weeks, not too problematic as my 24 week appointment was actual at 25 weeks 3 days. 

I was so happy to be meeting with my favorite doctor of the group and she patiently answered my list of questions. In case you were wondering, the questions included topics on the flu shot, pertussis vaccine, lifting restrictions, checking in on my lower abdominal pain, what the new hospital's policy is regarding premature deliveries and transferring out and when we can think about a c-section date. The answers included the following. Everyone needs a flu shot. Mr. T and I will get them soon. Immediate family should be vaccinated for Pertussis, prior to the birth. I will get mine post-partum as the vaccine is a 'live' vaccine. I can carry Toddler T or anything else for that matter, but to stop if I feel pain. The doctor was pleased that I started physical therapy to deal with my lower back pain but said it was time to stop doing the abdominal strengthening exercises.  I was happy to hear that the hospital will keep babies as young as 32 weeks even 30 if they are doing well. The reality is, I am not too concerned about a premature delivery. Toddler T arrived 6 days past his due date. BUT, I was not so lucky. I was born at 28 weeks and my older brother at 30. I just needed to have an idea of a plan in terms of worst case scenario.

Finally, we discussed the big C-Section Date.  Once again, the doctor checked in on my plan for having my remaining fallopian tube removed. I've had about two months to process her recommendations and some long conversations with Mr. T. I've also had a chance to try and make peace with the idea that for all intents and purposes our family will be completed with with the baby. (Grateful beyond words, but, it took some time.) So, I confirmed that at the time of delivery, I will consent to remove the damaged tube. Again, she was compassionate but directly too the point. Keeping it in causes the potential for serious harm with a 3rd ectopic and that risk will be too high for a wife and a mother of two.  

Then she asked about my idea for a date. My due date is officially January 5, 2013. In my head, I have always thought about December 28, 2012. There are a few reasons... 
1. I wanted the date to be in the middle of the two big holidays. 
2. C- sections are usually scheduled no earlier than 39 weeks. 
3. 39 weeks exactly would be a Saturday, so I was hoping to just bump up one day and schedule at 38 weeks, 6 days.
4. Toddler T was big. I had some some difficulties following his delivery. 
5. Toddler T developed Congential Plagiocephaly and by 4 months was doing physical therapy 3 times a week to avoid wearing a helmet.  
4. I did not want this baby to be born in 2013 (since, people were asking my opinion!)

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has recommended that a scheduled inductions or cesarean section deliveries not occur prior to 39 weeks. There is a host of data as to why this has come to be. The most notable leans toward fetal lung development. This is nothing to shrug off and nothing to sail right over. 

I spoke at length with the doctor about my thoughts on the due date including Toddler T's size and my recovery. She was totally on board with the idea of a scheduled date of 38 weeks 6 days. BUT - she will not be on the schedule that week and ultimately the decision would fall to the doctor who is on.  I then met with the scheduler who told me that the date will be December 31, 2012. New Years Eve.  

This isn't sitting well with me.

I will bring my case to the doctor who is on the schedule for that week when I see him at my next appointment. I can't guarantee this will work. But it's my last attempt. In the end, there are worse things than having a baby on New Years Eve.. but since my opinion was asked, I formed one.

Now- I should really encourage Mr. T to get serious about a name. Tiny T only works well on the blog!!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Big things are happening in the T household.

Tomorrow, I will hit 24 weeks.

What has this done for me?

Caused me to kick everything into high gear.

Let me quickly recap some big changes that have occurred in the past week.

Toddler T started nursery school again. This year he will be going Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the mornings. Last year, he cried every single time I dropped him off until about APRIL.  His teacher always assured me that he was fine within 5 minutes. Regardless, drop offs were always tough on me. I had a fair amount of trepidation when the first day of school came this year. But my big boy, surprised me. During the mommy and me orientation hour, he asked me when I was leaving. I almost fell out of my three year old sized chair. I then figured that his initial excitement will be fleeting and geared up for an emotional drop off on his first solo day. Wrong. Again. He ran into the classroom and I actually had to call him back for my hug and kiss.   I'm guessing his excitement has to do with a few things. He's that much older. He's already got some friends in the class. Playing with friends is probably a little more excited than spending every waking moment with a Mommy dealing with a growing stomach and subsequent lower back pain. And let's be honest, he's a little boy and he now has access to a urinal.

Whatever is making him love it, I'm good with it. It truly is a win-win situation. I'm getting a few hours to myself every week and he is in a great environment to grow and learn.

Toddler T just moved into his new big boy room.  I started to get a little OCD with figuring out his bedroom situation. The options were dizzying. Bunk beds, two twin beds, full bed. Real furniture vs. something cheap that I'd be OK with it getting destroyed in a few years. Theme or no theme. I spent far too much time in stores and on the Internet. It was getting to the point that I was embarrassed at the amount of time the room switch was taking. I mean, let's be honest, there are more important things to worry about in the world than where your three year old sleeps. But, what can I say. I love things  to be all pulled together and organized.

The solution, I popped into a local furniture store on a whim last week. I saw a perfect bunk bed set with a dresser and nightstand. The bunk bed converted into two twins (perfect). AND it was cheaper than anything else I saw. AND, I could buy the floor model. Fantastic. I then raced home and told Mr. T.  He, of course was happy with the price but felt he could go back to the store and be the bottom line, bargain seeking husband to compliment my, "Oh, I love the color. It's so nice. Let's just buy it." wife. H is tactics paid off and we ended up with an even bigger discount.

So, a huge thanks to my father in law, who helped us with the furniture pick up and then my dad who helped assemble everything today. As a result, Toddler T's room is about 90% done. His toddler bed is getting dismantled and put up later today... No need to have him debating two options at bedtime. And right now, he is fast asleep in his new room.

This was a huge item on my "Preparing for Tiny T checklist" and I am sooooo relieved to have it checked off.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Redemption in the Dentist's Chair.

Dental Hygienist.. I won.

I survived your well meaning but disastrous attempts at checking in my fertility status at our last meeting. Asking if I was pregnant within weeks of a failed IVF attempt was a special sort of hurt that I wasn't prepared for.

I'm a whole new girl this checkup. Go ahead, stare at my stomach. Yep, its rounder.  I'm more than halfway through my pregnancy, if you must know.

I checked into my appointment and realized that I had my purse across my stomach. I sat down and wondered what should I do. Should I be a little catty and watch as Dental Hygienist really tried to figure out if I was pregnant and whether or not she should mention it. Part of me wanted to be somewhat rude.  But, deep down, that's just not my nature. I did however, wait until I got all the way back to the chair to spill the beans. Dental Hygienist was warm and gave me a heartfelt congratulations.

It was a big victory.

I scheduled my next check-up for March. I asked if I could bring company. The girls all said that they hoped I'd bring Tiny T.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

On the other side of the curve.

This morning, I had my 20 week checkup. I also brought with me a special guest. He's about 37 inches tall and was fascinated with the buttons on the exam table and wanted to get his blood pressure checked.  Yes, Toddler T made his first appearance at a doctor's appointment. He walked right up to the front desk and loudly announced, "My mommy has a baby in her tummy and my baby is coming at Christmas-time." This made both myself and the receptionist laugh.  He then accompanied me to get weighed.. (ugh) and was very curious about the orange 'juice' that I got.  He didn't quite get that it was medicine, so when we returned from the appointment, I promptly put it on a high shelf. Little did he know, that that 'juice' was the key component of my glucose tolerance test. This time, the nurse told me NOT to skip breakfast and that the drink is best cold. I honestly don't remember it being too bad from the first time so I'm not too worried about it. 

The visit itself was FAST. Like in and out in about 7.5 minutes. Was this because the doctor was efficient or because Toddler T was rolling around the office on the doctor's stool? I'll never know. It was sort of an odd appointment for several reasons. First, the doctor was the one that was paged down to the ER when I was readmitted for blood loss. He was the doctor that I had my post-surgery follow up with and he was the one that assured me that A. my ectopic was a fluke and B. I would go on to have as many children as I wanted.  Our personalities don't exactly mesh, but I know he's a smart guy. He seemed to remember me or he quickly scanned my chart. He gave me a big congratulations and said he was happy to see me after coming through the ectopic. I almost wanted to ask him to scan a little further, because after he last saw me things got a little nutty. But, I didn't because he was being nice. He commented that Tiny T had a great heartbeat, strong and steady. He told me to take Tylenol for my back, visit a chiropractor if the pain was too unbearable and reviewed my recent blood work as perfect. 

Then we discussed delivery. The doctor commented that Toddler T was delivered via C-section because he was a big baby for my smaller frame and that we would monitor the size of this baby to determine whether or not I'd have a repeat c-section or VBAC.  I almost laughed right then and there and really wanted to ask him to keep flipping through my chart. Not only am I not on board with a VBAC, BUT the previous doctor suggested removing my remaining fallopian tube at the TIME OF MY REPEAT C-SECTION. It was a little annoying, but I feel confidant that I will not get talked into a  VBAC. 

You might wonder why I am adamant about having a second C-section.  Well, I will tell you. First, I am aware that it is major surgery and that recovery time can be longer. I am also aware of the fact that this country has a very high rate of C-sections. I also realize that it is very realistic that many women may choose and be successful at having a vaginal birth after Cesarean.  BUT, I have had a lot of surprises come my way this past year. I'm sort of over them. We have had to make quick decisions on where Toddler T was going to stay and who was going to watch him during the past two hospitalizations. Things did not go smoothly for a very long time and I'm too anxious for the unknown. I fear going into labor only to wind up with an unplanned c-section, which was exactly what happened with Toddler T. I This is why I needed to know if Tiny T was a Mr. or a Miss.  This is why I want to walk into a hospital and into an operating room instead of how I've gone in the last 4 times. Scared, weak, sick and sad. 

Hopefully, no one challenges me too much on this. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

We've gone public....

It took 20 weeks, seeing some of my extended family in person and waiting to have the anatomy scan to put our news out there for the world to know. It was really more of a formality, as most of the people I see on a regular basis were aware of my growing stomach. Nevertheless, it was nice to put out that Facebook announcement. I bought a shirt for Toddler T that said "BEST BIG BRO" and before dinner, I was able to get a really cute picture of him wearing it AND smiling. I posted it and it has been really sweet to read comments and well wishes. This IF thing can stick with a girl, because, as soon as I hit POST, I felt conflicted. While I couldn't be happier sharing our news, because I know the path we have taken, I felt such a heightened sense of loss for those still fighting the fight. I can remember scrolling through my news feed and feeling blindsided by announcements of friends or friends of friends. It felt like such a slap in the face even though I knew that no one was trying to hurt me with their news. Even tonight, I wonder if there is someone who is hearing of my news and feeling that same sense of dread or panic or sadness or outright anger.  I hope not, but I understand if they do. It makes me want to put an asterisk under my post with a note that explains what exactly we've been through in the last 18 months. 

I'm sensitive in a way that I have never known before and I am grateful in a way that I've never known before.  

I am also relieved to have had a fantastic anatomy scan. I was happy that the same doctor who preformed my CVS test was the one who would be reviewing my ultrasound. After the tech finished up her part, he came in to go over everything with us. The first thing he said was , "Don't worry, I'm not coming at your with a needle this time." It was nice to be so much more relaxed this time. I've always had a small fear of spina bifidia and I asked him if he would be able to detect any spinal deformities. He  very matter of factly responded, "Your baby does not have spina bifidia. Your baby looks perfectly healthy." He told me that he didn't expect to see me again and wished us well. Dr. CVS then printed out some 4D pics for us to take home. If you want my honest opinion, they aren't my favorite. In fact, we opted not to show them to Toddler T because they looked a little scary. My absolute favorite is the profile shot of the face. I have one from when Toddler T was 20 weeks and honest to God, he still has the same exact profile. We'll have to see if Tiny T's profile matches the ultrasound one day!

Oh, and before I forget..... we got further confirmation of our CVS testing results.

Gender guesses anyone?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Two Unplanned Doctor Visits in One Day.

For Toddler T and not me.

This little boy will be keeping me on my toes. Something has happened when he turned three. He has leapt out of toddler-hood and into full fledged, "I'm a big boy now."  Some of these new skills are adorable, trying to dress himself and some are frightening, "No mom, I CAN swim. Don't stand near me."

Today, it was just an accident. We had gone to the mall as it was pouring rain and going to the pool was out. We finished up our shopping and were eating pizza when he fell. I'm really not quite sure what happened. He was sitting across from me and was trying to get from one chair to the next. He lost his balance and couldn't get his hands out in front of him. A kind man attempted to help him out of the chairs as I was trying to get myself over to him. Unfortunately for this kind Samaritan, his act of kindness, freaked out poor Toddler T. I go over to him and sat him down on my lap in an attempt to survey the damage. The crying was loud and the teeth were bloody. 


A mom from the next table over handed me some napkins and I got a cup of ice. We packed up and headed to our car. I called his pediatrician's office and they sent us right to the pediatric dentist. Poor Toddler T, thought that we were going back to the emergency room and said it was scary there. He started to calm down and then started to fall asleep in the car.  This concerned me a tiny, tiny bit.

We were seen right away at the dentist. Dr. Jeff stopped his lunch break to see us and could not have been any sweeter to Toddler T. Next up was an x-ray.  Toddler T had not yet had his first set of dental x-rays and it was clear that I could not go with him.  I got a little nervous but my little boy walked off like a champ. He was exited to come back to see me and show me his new toy car from the prize box. The good news is that there was no major damage and we'll follow back up in a two weeks. The dentist asked if he showed any other symptoms of hitting his head and I did mention the sleepiness in the car.

That answer sent us straight over to the pediatricians. I felt a little silly as I really chalked up the sleepiness to it be somewhat close to nap time and a natural reaction to have cried his eyes out for a good ten minutes. But, a bloody mouth and sleepiness earns a small child a full once over. Once again, he was given a clean bill of health. I took him home and gave him Motrin and woke him up one hour into his nap.  Tonight we tried to get him to rinse with salt water... it wasn't great, but could have been worse.

Tomorrow we are headed to see his first movie and hope the day is much less eventful.

Monday, August 13, 2012

You're My Home

Five years ago, Mr. T and I danced that most perfect Billy Joel song and started off our wedding reception. We knew that in the short future we would be moving out of the city in which we met, lived, got engaged and married in and moving to his hometown. I can honestly say it was the best night of my life, because without Mr. T, there would be no Toddler T and no Tiny T on the way.

We were married on August 11, 2007 and two days later left for our honeymoon in Belize. Then Hurricane Dean came and we were forced to evacuate 5 days in.  Hanging out in a boarded up Belizian  airport in the midst of a hurricane, hoping that American Airlines does not leave you hanging, is the epitome of romance.

Several months later we moved of our row house rental and having been unsuccessful in finding a permanent home, moved in with my in laws. We transitioned to living in Mr. T's childhood bedroom and our dear cat, suffered a nervous breakdown. All in all, it was really a non-issue and 5 months later we moved into our home.

Once we were settled in our house, life fell into a routine. Toddler T arrived and well, if you've been reading my blog.... you know the rest.

Which brings me to the past few days.

Mr. T and I returned to our Charm City and celebrated our anniversary at the same restaurant where we went the night we got engaged. It was delicious and I left very full and teetering in my too high heels. How the pregnant celebs do it, I'll never know. (Walk in too high heels, not feeling full. I mean, we know that they never over-eat!) The next day we picked up a miniature version of our wedding cake and brought it back to my parents' house to continue the celebration. Toddler T thought he was a part of our 'Wedding Party', because he was eating wedding cake.

We had decided that it was time to tell Toddler T our news and planned to do it tonight after dinner. 

Six months ago, I would have that this night would never happen. 

After dinner, I sat down with Toddler T and Mr. T turned on our video camera. 

I told him that we had news and that he was going to be a big brother. I then went on the explain, that mommy had a baby in her tummy but that the baby wouldn't be big enough to come out until Christmas.  He then went on to list all the things he would do with his baby. In no particular order they are:  Dig, hold the baby, teach the baby to use the drill, teach the baby to climb the ladder, give the baby all of his old baby toys and so on.

I'm honestly not sure how much of this he retained or will sink in. I know it is very superficial to him. But we took one more step and tomorrow he will tell his friends his big news.

This coming weekend, he'll get to share the news with his cousins and the majority of my family. Mr. T and I will get to share if we are welcoming a Mr. or Miss T to the family.

Exciting times for all.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Jersey Girl

Today, Toddler T and I had a visitor.  My oldest friend, Matron of Honor and Toddler T's godmother came for a visit. We have known each other since the 4th grade and while pursing different colleges, career paths and geography, we have remained close.  We can tell stories about our siblings, parents and cousins and the other knows all the key players and 'get' all the dynamics. We both know that there is no shame in finishing an entire meal (french fry crumbs and all) and THEN stopping for desert. We can laugh at the same stories told thousands of times and cringe at reliving our adolescence together.  

What would we cringe over?  I'll share an example.

For the better part of our 8-9th grade years we both had a larger than life crush on the same boy. He was a few years older and we truly both believed that the sun rose and set because he was on this planet. He also lived in our side of town and whenever our parents would drive past his house, we would practically break our necks trying to catch a glimpse of him in house, yard, whatever.

We were shameless, but never thought we were so obvious.

Turns out, everyone was on to us.

Turns out, her dad had a trick up his sleeve.

While driving past HIS house. 
Her father stopped the car. 
Put it in park.
Got out.
Walked and faced HIS house.
Began to bow down in honor.


The shock. The Fear. The Horror. The DREAD

Please, Please get back in the car. We couldn't speak.

Then as if nothing had happened. Mr. Best Friend's Dad, walked back to the car.
Put his seatbelt back on.
Put the car in drive.
And drove us to Best Friend's House.

This is only one of a million stories that we share. And today, we got to hang out. She brought me cookies from an Italian Bakery, New Jersey Style. Sprinkles, dipped in chocolate and Heavenly. She and Toddler T got into a tickle-fight. We had a chance to go out to lunch (and eat every.single.thing on our plates) while Toddler T went to Nannie's house.  It made my heart happy to spend the day with someone who has been such a constant part in my life.

If only we didn't live two hours away from each other.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

I'll admit it, I was looking for a pat on the back.


I can't escape it. 

I've been pretty candid about it. I gained approximately 60 pounds with my first pregnancy. Sometimes, I felt devastated about this fact at my check-ups and other times, flippant. I only remember one truly obnoxious comment from a doctor. It went something like this, "You're not eating ice cream every night, are you?" It stung. It made me feel like one of those moms who pour grape soda into their 4 year old bottles.... not good. But whatever, I dealt with it. By Toddler T's first birthday I had lost all but 5 lbs. A long year of emotional hurdles led me to gain back about 10. But again, I dealt with it.

I was upfront with my new group. I stated my concerns. I asked for guidance about how best not to do that again. The nurse gave me a weight gain total of 15-25 pounds for the entire pregnancy. I almost wanted to laugh a little. But didn't and left her office armed with my list of NO foods. I will say, I have stuck to that list about 95% of the time. Last month, I had gained 4 pounds from the previous month. But, this was before I got THE LIST OF NO.  This month, I gained 1.5 lbs. I'll admit. I was happy. Very happy. 

Then the doctor came in. She is nice, she is upbeat, she is to the point. She commented on my tan. Said that the baby's heartbeat looked good and then asked if I had any questions. I asked if I seemed to be on track with the weight gain guidelines. She answered, "Well, You have gained more than I would like to see." 

What? What? That couldn't have been what she said. Right?

I suddenly felt like an outraged Honors student who had been denied an extra point on her extra credit question.  

How could she say this? Didn't she have my old flow sheet. Couldn't she see that by this time, with Toddler T, I had already gained 16+ pounds. Didn't she see that I always gained 4+ pounds in between appointments? Didn't she KNOW that I have been avoiding sugars, chips, and almost every food on THE LIST OF NO???

I guess not.

Perhaps my problem was asking. Perhaps I should just keep my mouth shut and let the next doctor mention it, if he is concerned. But I didn't, I guess I just wanted to hear, "Your weight is looking good. Keep up the good work."

I know this is trivial. Everything else is going fine, Tiny T has a strong heartbeat and I'm looking forward to the 20 week ultrasound. I left, scheduled my next appointment and declined ice cream for dessert tonight.

In funnier news, Toddler T has been watching the Olympics here and there. While swimming at my parent's pool, this past weekend, I told him that he was getting to be such a great swimmer that Michael Phelps better watch out. We then pointed out who Michael Phelps was and didn't give it much thought. Tonight, at my in-law's pool he learned to dunk himself and do a VERY rudimentary crawl. To be honest, he looks like he is half drowning. BUT, anyway.  After one dunk/crawl, he popped up and proudly announced, "Just like Michael Phelps." It was pretty funny.

I wish I could bottle his confidence. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

This heat will be the end of me.

I am sure of it. 
I am not the only one.
Something happens to Toddler T when the temperature reaches 95+.
He can't walk.
He can't play.
He can't stand to be outside.

It's true... He says, "Mommy, carry me. It's so hot my legs don't work."
He turns beet red and begins to sweat profusely.
He's even walked out of my friends' backyards and attempted to let himself in through their patio doors, exclaiming.. "It's too hot. I'm all done playing outside."

Want to know a secret?  I'm totally with him.

I am not a heatwave kind of girl. The exception to this is if I am in a sand chair, with my feet in the edge of the ocean with a nice drink in my hand. Then I can handle about 12+ hours of the sun. But, walking around and attempting to act like being at a park in the full sun is a good idea, is not for me.

(As a side note, the TV is on right now. The weather clip for the 11pm news just came on and our weatherman just warned of triple digit temperatures headed our way.) 


In other news (so as not to sound like an 88 year old grandmother). Toddler T had his 3 year old checkup last week. All was great, except the strangest interaction with the nurse. She brought us back to the exam room and I put Toddler T up on the table. Without warning or confirmation from me, the nurse looked right at him and in her best sing-songy, high-pitched voice asked Toddler T if he was so excited for his baby to come. I.almost.died.  He simply looked at her with a blank stare. I said "No." She looked at me like I was a crazy lady and I stammered.. "Yes, you are correct. But we haven't made him aware." She resumed looking at me like I was a crazy lady.

I get it. In most instances, siblings are told of a new baby around the time the the general public is made aware of this news. But our circumstances were different. I've already had two losses and spent 18 months caught up in the world of secondary infertility.  Not to mention, 9 months is a looooooong time.  I happen to have a very inquisitive child and I could not imagine him having to process a sibling for so long. To put it into perspective, on Wednesday, I told him we were going to a birthday party on Sunday. He woke up every morning and after every nap and asked me if it was time to go to the birthday party. I simply couldn't imagine dealing with that level of enthusiasm when I was slowly coming to terms with the fact that this might just work out.

So, no. He doesn't know. Our plan is to tell him around 20 weeks and give him the big picture.  I ran this by his doctor and he thought it was a fine idea. 

Pregnancy-wise, I will go for blood work tomorrow morning. This will be the blood work portion of the Nuchal Translucency Screening. Since I opted for the CVS and that did not rule out spina bifida, this blood work will help to tell us our odds. I am feeling confidant, since we had such a low risk with Toddler T and the CVS came back all clear.  Then back to the OB next week for my 16 week checkup at 17 weeks 4 days.  (I'm a little off on synching my appointments with my actual weeks.)

Until then, I will be hiding out in the air conditioning or at the kiddie pool of the YMCA. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Revisiting Accupuncture

So, after about two weeks of feeling like I had a post-migraine hangover, sore ankles and exhaustion, I realized it was time to address this overall feeling of exhausted-blah.  Last night after dinner, I went back to see Kelly, my acupuncturist. I gave a run down of my (in all reality, trivial) symptoms and off she went. It was 30 minutes of heaven and I forgot just how much I love lying there looking like a pin cushion. 

Ironically, she had to end my session a few minutes early, because the room needed to be turned over for the pre-natal yoga class. I never really paid much attention to exercise when pregnant with Toddler T, but I'm thinking I may rethink that approach this time around.

I can report that I slept better last night, than I did in two weeks. I'm not feeling blah today, but there is also no humidity.  I think, I may keep acupuncture in the rotation for a little while longer. It just feels good.

I even had enough energy to start making some baked goods for a party we are going to this weekend. Currently in the oven are; Chocolate Chip- Reese's Cup-Brownies.  Up next, are red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, vanilla cupcakes with chocolate butter cream frosting and these amazing pretzel, rolo, m&m things.  It feels good to be doing something I really enjoy, and I'm not even too upset that I really can't eat anything I make.

Although, the smell coming from my kitchen is pretty wonderful.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sending out and SOS

I need to find my energy level. And I need to find it now.

This is just getting ridiculous.
True, we just ended an 11 day streak of near 100 degree temperature with humidity at about 900%.
And, I am keeping up with Toddler T at the pool, park, whatever.
And, he is waking around 2am every night to tell me he has to go to the bathroom.

BUT, Seriously.

I cannot seem to function much past 9pm. I fall asleep on the couch every.single.night. I pray to God on a daily basis that of all the big boy things Toddler T wants to do, dropping his nap is not one of them.  Also, if I read in one more book, that by the second trimester, I'll be feeling a flood of energy... I might scream. 

I think I am getting an idea of what I might be like at 75. Shuffle around the house in the middle of the night. Nap at noon and Bed by 9.  

Well, that's it for now... I'm going to try and close my eyes for a little while until I hear the pitter patter of little feet that announce to my near comatose brain that nap time is over!

PS- my feet have begun to swell.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Ending one chapter.

Months ago, I was agonizing about the idea of having multiples. Mr. T and I had openly discussed our preference of being the parents to two healthy children. We would use man to man defense and just go on about our lives.   Little did I know, that about 2 weeks after I posted that entry, I would be practically on my knees begging to God for the opportunity to have another baby or babies. I didn't care and would take whatever I was given. My feelings on this haven't changed. In the end, we are so very lucky to be one step closer to fulfilling our dream of being a family of four. Which is why, the conversation I had with one of the doctors last week should NOT have caused me to get emotional. 

Let's backtrack. I had an appointment with the doctor that was recommended by Dr. Compassion. I've heard wonderful things about her and was excited to finally get to meet her. She was bubbly and warm and had great things to say about Dr. Compassion. I also felt like she 'got' some of my emotional roller coaster with going through IVF and the cancellations and the surgeries and all of it. Turns out, she did 'get' it. She is parent to two adopted girls. She travelled the same path of infertility and endured several unsuccessful IVF attempts. Just hearing her share that, meant a great deal to me.

She reviewed my history and asked if Dr. Compassion had ever discussed the idea of removing my left tube. I said no, because it was scarred over and we were doing IVF anyway. I have no idea why the next sentence poured out of my mouth, but it went a little something like this. "To be honest, we are complete with this pregnancy. But, I'd never rule anything out and who know, maybe we'd have the crazy-against-all-odds story and wind up with a third." And she looked at me and paused. I then blurted out, "I'm having a hard time with the finality of this all,"  

And I had put it out there. I have had this sense of finality over the past few weeks. Regardless of the facts that Mr. T and I had always planned on two children and that I am carrying the crazy-against-all-odds-baby, I feel a small, tiny bit of sadness. Please, do not read this as greed or as intentionally being insensitive to anyone still fighting tooth and nail for a baby. I mean neither. This past week has been bittersweet. I am sailing through milestones and could not be anymore elated. I am also realizing that the decision has been made for us. Even if Mr. T and I sat down and said, "Yes, we both agree. We are done." It would feel different. I guess, maybe I am just a control freak and I like to have the final word and not feel like crappy circumstances have made the decision for me.

Control and I have a very complex relationship. Almost like a love-hate one. And this lack of control over my reproductive system has been a major blow to my overall psyche. Then on the flip side, I felt overwhelmed by having too much control with deciding on an embryo transfer. It has been like walking on a tightrope for the past 18 or so months.

The emotional roller coaster of infertility doesn't just end or go away. I am learning that the emotions are different now but still intense. I say all this, but through it all, the biggest thing I am feeling is gratitude. 

We both paused and I mulled through all of these thoughts and feelings in about 10 seconds, only to come out of my thoughts to see the doctor looking at me. And very kindly she said, " I would never take away a woman's fertility. This is not a conversation I would have lightly and I am the biggest believer in miracles. Yes, the stories happen. But, you will be a mother of two and a spontaneous pregnancy with a very scarred tube is not likely to have a good outcome."  I told her that I felt confidant that in the end, I'd give consent to have the remaining tube removed, but last week, it felt too final. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A+ News and a Rite of Passage

When I started this blog, my goal was to document the challenges that came with dealing with my secondary infertility and raising a toddler. Well, I have overcome the infertility and my toddler is now a pre-schooler, but I still find myself balancing between the two. I guess I should look at this as good practice for balancing the needs of a 3 1/2 year old and a newborn. Where am I going with all of this?  

I'm not sure. I think that I'm coming to the realization that even though my treatment phase of infertility is over, it doesn't mean that my life will calm down.  Here is a rundown on the week, so far.

Monday afternoon, Mr. T and I made the very difficult decision to put our cat down. She had become agressive and had bitten twice. The final straw was when she bit Toddler T. Maddie-Cat (as Toddler T nicknamed her) developed a big problem with anxiety over the past few years. She became skittish, agressive and very anxious. We had her checked out by the vet (several times) and adopted the lifestyle of not letting her around our friends' kids or letting Toddler T be alone with her. Last, Friday morning we were both petting her and she reached over and bit him. No meow, no growl, no warning. Just a bite. We realized then, that a very anxious cat, prone to biting and terrified of most people and all animals would not be high on the adoption list at the shelter. We also realized that leaving her for months on end, in a cage, surrounded by animals seemed harsh and inhumane. With a very heavy heart, I surrendered her to the SPCA with a plan to be put down that afternoon. It was not pleasant and I felt my heart break as I passed her over to the tech. I felt even worse for Mr. T because regardless of all of her flaws, that cat loved him the most. Now, she is gone and if Toddler T asks, she is out exploring.  

Still feeling down, I answered the phone on Tuesday morning and saw LabCorp. on the caller ID. It was our genetic counselor and she was calling to review our CVS results. Tiny T has been given an A+ rating (genetically speaking). I felt an enormus weight lift from my shoulders and similar to other IF Bloggers, felt like I could really attach myself to the idea that this all may work out in the end.  I called both of our moms and passed on the good news.  

This morning at swim lessons, I even told one of the other moms that I was expecting. (I didn't just outright announce it, she asked if I had other children.) It felt normal and comfortable and easier to embrace the idea that I am going to be a mother to two children. 

With this renewed pep in my step, Toddler T and I left swim lessons and headed off to pick up lunch for our park play date. Toddler T picked a bagel with cream cheese and a larger than life cookie, I picked up a turkey wrap and headed to the register. While paying, I noticed that Toddler was showing a great amount of interest on a cabinet door, immediatly to my left. I signed my credit card receipt and told him that I was time to go. Then I heard, "Mommy, my finger is stuck." 

Ok, no need to panic. Let me check out the situation. I go and bend down and realize that he has gotten his finger stuck in the cabinet pull. It was stainless steel and looked like a very large and very tight ring around his left middle finger.  I draw apon my 7 years experience as a lifeguard and call up anything that I remember from first aid training. I try to wet his finger and shimmy it out. All this does, is cause him to scream and cry out. The clerk comes around and I ask her to get me ice and cream of any kind. His finger is swelling and I know that the ice will cause the swelling to come down and the cream should help me wiggle his finger out. I am still not panicked. I attempt both, while his cries are getting louder and more urgent. His finger begins to take on a blue-ish tint and I know that I need to step up my game. I then have visions of us going to the hospital with a cabinet door stuck to his finger, but A. I can't figure out how to get the door off the hinges and B. am not sure I'd be able to get him into a carseat with said cabinet attached. I had a vision of calling 911, but in the moment, that seemed too extreme. So, I called Mr. T.  The problem with this move was that he was 20 minutes away and couldn't quite hear me over Toddler T's crying. I handed the phone to a very nervous clerk and asked her to relay what had happened and ask him to head on over.

I then panicked (on the inside). I loudly said to the clerk, or anyone who would listen, that the door needed to come off immediatly because I needed to take my son to the hospital. All of the sudden, this young guy bends down and says, "The cabinet pull needs to come off." Yes, finally someone who seems to get it. He disappears and comes back with a drill. This was great because it was the same drill that Daddy has and it gave me the chance to talk to Toddler T about Handy Manny. This kind man, unscrewed the hinge while being super sweet to Toddler T. The clerk then disappeared and returned with an incident report and a camera. I'll admit, going over my info was the last thing I felt like doing. But I did want to get the construction worker's name.  I signed what I needed to. Called and told Mr. T to meet us at the hospital. Got some more ice, wrapped Toddler T's hand with and a towel and ice(cabinet pull still attached) and headed out to the hosptial.

The hardest part was driving and obeying traffic while Toddler T was crying in the back.  I just kept thinking, thank god this is nothing worse. We met Mr. T and quickly went back to a room. I could see that Toddler T was scared but just kept reminding him that his Mana is a nurse and this hospital is just like her hospital. Luckily, he was seen fast and with a fair amount of brute force, some tears and a firm hug from Mommy, the Physican's Assistant was able to manuver to steel ring off his finger.  The nurse came in, handed us our paperwork and said that this would be the first of many trips to the ER.  We left with an ice pack and went and got hamburgers and ice cream. 

Toddler T is now napping. The clerk just called to check on him and I was able to get the contact information for the construction worker. As far as first ER trips go, this one was fairly benign and I am most grateful for that. Seeing a perfect stranger step in and help my son, when I couldn't... that I don't even have words for.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

What a crazy week it has been!!

Two momentous events this week. 

1. I am officially 12 weeks!!!!
2. My Baby turned THREE!!!!!!

Let's recap the pregnancy week. 

I am officially wearing maternity shorts and jeans full-time. I wished I could have been one of those girls that made it to 7 months by just putting a rubber band through her button hole, but that is just not the case for me. I am much more comfortable, indeed. I also realize that full-time maternity gear encourages other people to openly ask if you are expecting. I am beginning to get comfortable with that fact too.  

I met with the nurse at my new group.  She was super nice and we spent a good part of the appointment talking about social work. Turns out, her daughter is thinking of pursuing her Master's in Social Work and was feeling torn between a state school and a private university. Since, I just finished paying off my loans last year (10 years post graduation), I encouraged the nurse to tell her daughter to find the most inexpensive, fully accredited program in the state. It's no secret that social workers aren't at the top of the pay grade. It was really nice to have an actual conversation with a health care providers about something besides infertility and lab reports. 

We then moved on to the most dreaded part of pregnancy...... weight gain. This past year has not been kind to me. Ashamed as I am, there were many a time where I had this thought... "Can't get pregnant, BUT, I can have this cookie/piece of cake/ice cream/extra serving" You get the point. I did make a push right before the last IVF cycle to lose weight, and I did. 11 pounds. Well, as soon as I lost them they came right back on. This then caused me to start this pregnancy at about 10-15 pounds heavier than with Toddler T. Because of this, the nurse recommended that I gain between 15-25 pounds. I.almost.died. I may have actually laughed a little bit. But this prompted me to go over my next concern, my previous weight gain. With Toddler T, I gained approximately 60 pounds. Maybe more. I stopped looking at the scale during the last month.  Before you all get the impression that I did nothing but, slurp big gulps and hit Taco Bell for my fourth meal. I didn't. I actually eat fairly well and have been on the petite side the majority of my life. This weight gain was real and it was hard to handle. I explained to the nurse, that while I didn't follow a perfect diet, it wasn't all due to gross negligence. 

Then we discussed Toddler T's birth weight 9lbs, 1 oz. Bigger than the average baby. Then we discussed the fact that perhaps I was missed by the glucose tolerance screening and that I should be more proactive this time. So, I will be following a no-concentrated sweets diet. It really is a common sense one, no canned fruit (Do people actually eat that outside of a school cafeteria), jelly, jam, sweetened drinks, cake, frosting, icing, ice cream or ice pops. I'll tell you right now, I'm not surviving the whole summer without the occasional ice cream or fruit pop. But I can try really hard to avoid the others.  I will also make an effort to look at what I'm eating, adding more protein and cutting back on carbs. I think between pintrest and, I'll be in a better place than last time.

I go back in two weeks for another check up and that's that. (Oh, and waiting for the CVS results next week, which may include GENDER!!!)

Now for the other event.

Toddler T is THREE!

Even though he's technically a 'pre-schooler', Toddler T is cuter and for the life of this blog, that is what he'll remain. My little boy was so excited for his birthday, it was infectious.  He would tell us all the things that he needed for a birthday party. They included, cake, a pinata, a sprinkler and presents, of course. My mom bought him the cutest shirt that said "Happy Birthday to ME!" To know Toddler T is to know that this shirt fit his personality to a T.  We had a John Deere themed party for his friends on Wednesday, his actual birthday. It was hot, but it was fun.  We included all of his requested elements, right down to a well supervised Pinata. Mr. T made fun of me for stuffing the pinata with goldfish, raisin boxes and Hershey kisses. He thought it was very underwhelming for the kids. Ok, maybe the raisins were a tad too healthy, but I balanced them out with kisses??? Right? When the party was over, Toddler T passed out and took an awesome 3 hour nap. I did not move from the couch!

You would think a party was all the excitement a 3 year old needed for one day. Mr. T and I had one more trick up our sleeves. When Mr. T came home from work there was one more present hidden under a tarp in the driveway. (It had been in hiding in Mr. T's office for the week). We called Toddler T out and told him to look under the tarp for one more surprise. Cautiously, with a nervous smile, he pulled back the tarp and stared in silence at his very own Ford F-150. Black, just like his daddy's. He has since taken to calling it his "monster truck" and asks to drive it the minute his eyes wake up in the morning. Going to bed that night, Toddler T told Mr. T that it was his best present ever. 

It seems we are all having a good week in the T household.

Monday, June 18, 2012


Today marked another important milestone for Mr. T, Tiny T and I. 

Today, I went through with the CVS testing.

I'll admit, I was nervous for the procedure and even more nervous at what the results might show. But if someone pressed me to say what was I most afraid about, Hands down, it was the through of a large needle going through my abdomen and or cervix. 

Scary, right?

Mr. T and I arrived at 1pm for our meeting with the genetic counselor. She was thorough and remarked that I had clearly done my homework on the pros and cons of the procedure. I wanted to respond that when a doctor may insert a needle through your cervix to retrieve a sample from your placenta, you start studying. But, I kept my mouth shut and smiled.  We then discussed doing a modified screening for neural tube defects. CVS will not detect spina bifidia or other neural tube defects and I was somewhat anxious that we would miss out on this screening. What we will be doing is an additional blood test at 16 weeks followed by the detailed anatomy scan at 18-20 weeks. 

We then left her office and were shown to an ultrasound room where I was NOT instructed to take everything off from the waist down. (It's the little things).  This was my first abdominal ultrasound in 15 months and it was HEAVEN.  Right before the tech began her exam, I experience a wave of full fledged, white knuckled panic. I envisioned looking up at the screen and seeing nothing. No flicker of a heartbeat, no waving of limbs, nothing. It was almost more than I could handle and I thought I might get sick. 

I exhaled as soon as I saw Tiny T, flipping around like the next member of Cirque Du Soleil.  It was a sight to see. This was also the first time that Tiny T looked more like a Tiny T and less like a bean. That was also amazing.  The tech began to spout off information, heart rate 170.  Measuring 12 weeks.  Needle will be through the abdomen. Placenta on top. I say spout, because this is exactly how it came out. Robotic. I asked if there was any concern that the baby was measuring one week ahead. Her response was "We are not changing your due date because you went through IVF." OK, so that wasn't exactly my question. I'm quite sure of the conception aspect of this pregnancy, just wanted reassurance if everything was OK. She then finished up and left. Mr. T agreed that she was frosty.

I waited for what seemed an eternity for the doctor to enter the room. The mix of anxiety, a full bladder, cold gel on my stomach and my shirt up above my ribcage started to get to me. I will say, the doctor was very warm and I felt comfortable telling him that I was getting really nervous. He promised I'd be fine. He also reassured me that there was no concern with the baby measuring a week ahead. That was good to hear. 

Now it was time to begin. I started at the popcorn ceiling and wished I was anywhere but that table. I just wanted the next 2-3 minutes to be over and fast. The tech found the placenta on the screen and the doctor poked around my stomach with his finger to pinpoint where the needle would be going in. I barely felt the needle going in, but I did feel the near immediate cramping as he pulled out the sample. Guess what? It hurt. He finished up, said that everything went perfect and to expect results in 8-10 days. The nurse then gave me my discharge instructions. No lifting. No Tylenol for 24 hrs and to call with anything concerns.

The cramping has been pretty steady throughout the day and I'm surprised by how knocked out I felt by this procedure. I can only hope and pray that Tiny T passes this first test with flying colors. 

Other than that, the beach was great and Toddler T will be 3 on Wednesday!