Changes

Hubby and I have been talking about having kids and having a family since we were only kids ourselves. 

My dream family was always big. Then came the diagnosis and the treatment. Then came F. And my dream family was satisfied at one. 

When we first began serious conversations and plannings for our family, Hubby had put his limit on 2. No mutiny as children outnumber parents. No issues of losing track, with two hands and two kids. 

Now comes 2.0. 

We have reached our limit, filled our quota. 

Pregnancy with F was a breeze. It was so joyous and magical and wonderful. Every moment of it. This one is different. It’s not hard by any means. This pregnancy alone wouldn’t be an issue. But I have a pregnancy with a toddler. No breaks, no downtime, no switching off. Because I’m already Mama; I can’t load around. F deserves her playful, loving, happy Mama. 

With this pregnancy, I was sicker. I’m more sore. I’m bigger. My hormonal drive is in the basement (where it never turned off with F).

But it’s still magical. Quiet nights lying in bed, feeling my son squirm. Quiet nights holding my belly and loving on him. My son. It’s beautiful. 

But it’s harder than before. 

At the end of this pregnancy, I will be having another cesarean. During the process, I will be having a tubal ligation. 

That’s it, the end. We are complete. 

I’ll never again feel the thump and bump of a growing baby. I’ll never again have “that glow”. I’ll never again have a heartbeat inside me other than my own. I’ll never again know the miracle of life. 

This morning I cried alone in the kitchen, as 2.0 thumped and bumped. 

This is the end. 

Because we’re done at two. 

Because I don’t think I can go through the hard parts again. 

Because I’ll have two little lives in the palms of my hands. 

Completeness?

Have you ever seen the baby type shows on TLC? Baby Story, Birthday…there were at least five in rotation when we still had cable. I, along with many of my friends, was obsessed with these shows through college. But something that was often mentioned in them never sat right with me.

Cut to the families who had at least two kids and we’re going for their “one more”. Cameras followed them to see their “life” before the new baby, was with them the whole step of the way in the hospital, and popped in again back home. After the baby came, they were interviewed to see how their lives had changed. Again and again, no matter how many kids they had, the last kid “finally made their family complete”.

For how long? Did you ever feel “complete” after 1, 2, 3… How many is enough? How many is too many?

Our family felt “complete” upon the birth of F. Not because we thought she would be our only. But because we had so much love to give and so much wholeness in each of us and together as one unit. We never felt like anything was “missing” and that we had to have another baby in order to fill that whole.

Yes, we’ve got 2.0 on the way. No, he isn’t filling an emptiness that only a baby can fill. No, he isn’t “completing” our family in the sense that having F wasn’t enough. He will bring more giggles and laughter and fun into our home. He will also bring more frustration, as with more kids comes less time, less money, and more discipline.

From the start, F was wanted and loved. As soon as I got a positive for 2.0, he was so wanted. I loved him immensely before I left the bathroom.

I’m not saying it’s going to be tough, because life with F has been anything but. I’m also not saying it’s going to be easy, because we are embarking on the complete unknown. Two kids under three. An infant and a toddler. But many parents have successfully completed this journey before us, and many will do so after us. What I’m saying is that while 2.0 has been wanted and loved as soon as he was a teeny spot, he wasn’t needed. Wanted, but not needed. F was needed. F completed our family. F made us whole. 2.0 is the splurge gift you get yourself that you know you don’t need, but are so excited to bring home and play with.

But there needs to be a balance. You can’t just buy splurge gifts until the cows come home.

Hubby and I are drawing the line at 2. He says two parents, two kids, no mutiny. I say two hands, two kids- given there will not always be two parents around.

So, I guess I maybe do understand what those families meant when they said their families were “complete” with the final addition.

Our family was whole when F entered the world. When 2.0 arrives, it will be complete.

Baby 2.0 is a…

I had been using OPKs to see if we would need birth control in the near future, and to see if there was any chance for us in the distant future.

I got negative in August and September. October 30 was positive (meaning ovulation happened on Halloween). November was negative.

We pulled the goalie for very selfish reasons between 12/21-12/26. I got a positive OPK on 12/30 meaning I ovulated 12/31. We’re both overly versed in how these things work after our treatment to have F. We knew our chances, even though we doubted it would ever happen with my lack of carb monitoring and my still erratic cycles.

But it did. And while we weren’t expecting a second baby, we feel oh so blessed to be having one.

Given the 5-10 day span between our selfish romps and my positive ovulation, thinking about Dr. Shuttles and his research, the whole time I have been 100% convinced that Baby 2.0 is a girl.

The ultrasound tech, after confirming we wanted to know gender, was able to find the right spot exposed (just like F, Baby 2.0 had feet in the mouth). 

“Any last guesses,” she asked. 

“Well,” I responded looking at the screen, “that’s a penis.”

“Yup! It’s a boy!”

Dr. Shuttles be dammed lol.

Hubby and I have already had some interesting conversations about our little guy.

It started at the same time from three places:

1) F and her love of Marvel heroes, thanks to me and my love of Marvel heroes.

2) This Billy Gardell bit:

3) A conversation I had with a friend about how we both encourage our girls to do “boy” stuff. (Her daughter is three days older than F). What would I do, if Baby turns out to be a boy, if he wants to do “girl” stuff.

My opinion is simple: let him.

Hubby is in agreement. If Baby Boy wants to wear a Ms. Marvel shirt, we’d let him, just like we let F pick out her own clothes, including Cap, Hulk, and Spidey. If he wants the pink ball, he can have it.

This morning, I jokingly said, “Best reason to have a boy- we’re only on the hook for one wedding.” His response, “Well…if this does come up…who pays for a gay wedding?” Both Hubby and I have semi-distant gay family members. We both thoroughly believe that to be gay is not something that is a choice, but is something that is genetic. If Baby Boy is going to be gay, he already is gay at 18 weeks pregnant. He’ll be gay a birth. No female character shirt, pink ball, or baby doll is going to “turn him gay” because that’s not how these things work.

So, while this is a completely hypothetical situation, what if Baby Boys hypothetical husband to be doesn’t come from a family that is as supportive as we are, we’re on the hook for two weddings.

In the end, two things matter to us about our children: that they are happy and healthy. And the only way to do that is to love them unconditionally no matter what.

No where near the same

My pregnancy symptoms with F were next to nothing. I had nausea every night from 4:30-8:30. Then I wanted nothing to eat but French fries and ice cream. Hubby made me smilers and vanilla frozen yogurt. Then I started getting bigger, and F started moving more and more. It was exciting and invigorating. I was never really tired and I was never really sick. I loved every moment of my pregnancy. 

Pregnancy really isn’t the same each time, even with the same mother. 

I was nauseated from weeks 5-7. Interspersed with the nausea was really bad sickness on and off for about a week. Nothing came up, but nothing stayed in either if you get my drift. Everything cleared up at once and we had smooth sailing from weeks 8-12. Week 12, the sickness came back. And really nothing stayed in. Up to five times a day. It was exhausting. But I was able to stay hydrated. I got frightened when, Sunday of week 13 (turnover day is Wednesday) my sickness looked like vomit- completely undigested. Called the doctor and went in to see what’s going on. Never had a fever, never felt sick, able to stay hydrated. Hormones. Transition from 1st to 2nd trimester. 

Today (3/20) I had a regular appointment. Doctor and I had a long discussion about the actual birth, the risks and benefits of VBAC vs repeat Caesarian. After discussing it with Hubby, we’re likely to go repeat Caesarian. 

We’re announcing to our families on Easter Sunday. Hubby and I celebrated Ostara today (3/20) and we will do Easter Bunny type stuff on Easter morning. Later, we will have a nice family dinner with both of our moms. I’ll give them each a frame that says “grandkids“. Inside will be a postcard that says “to be filled September 2015”. We will be sending a photo to family with F in a Thing 1 shirt sitting beside a Thing 2 onesie. The same pic will go on Facebook a few hours later. 

This week, we have to take the photo!

My next appointment is on 4/20, and it will be time for the aboriginal scan and gender reveal! 

Well beyond the “I” word

When I last wrote to this blog, it was with the elation that F was here.

That was over a year and a half ago. F is now 20 months old. She is everything wonderful and being a Mommy is everything wonderful!

Which is good because…here we go again!

Let me start at the beginning…

F was such an awesomely easy baby. She only cried when she was hungry. I was able to nurse her exclusively for the first 4 1/2 months; at that point she began getting really interested in food. We started her with mashed veggies. Potatoes, carrots, peas…then some fruits- apples, bananas, berries, and continued veggies- broccoli and cauliflower…she loved her foods.

She turned 1, and I was still able to nurse her, so I kept going. We started to introduce cow’s milk at 13 months, and she would have my milk in the morning and before bed with cow’s milk at lunch. Other times of the day, she had water or very lightly tinged with juice water. At 14 months, she started rejecting the morning nursing, preferring instead to be mobile with her cup. I provided her with some of my freezer stash and then pumped for the first morning, using that morning’s pump for the next day. This was a sign that she was also almost ready to ween off of breast milk, even if I wasn’t quite ready for her to yet. I mixed some cow’s milk with the pump to give her a slurry, then cow’s milk with lunch. She was still good with our nursing and cuddling at night.

Then it came time for me to go back to work. Since she was over a year old, I had no legal leg to stand on to pump and keep up my supply…plus she was doing a self-weening process. In the beginning of September, I stopped nursing and pumping. It took about 10 days for my supply, which was becoming backed up, but luckily never infected, to go back down to normal boobs. It was another two months with slurries of breast and cow’s milk to go through my freezer stash. (I worked really hard to get a very nice stash!)

Around this time, I also started using an ovulation kit (OPK). Not as a means to get pregnant, but rather as a means to see if we needed to use birth control. I was on hormonal birth control in the last year of high school through my first year teaching and I was not a fan. I would rather use barrier methods, and Hubby was ok with that. But maybe we didn’t have to continue. We were both very happy with F and we swore up and down we didn’t need to have any more, that our family was complete. Heck, we weren’t sure we wanted any more. We certainly we against treatment for another one.

So, to confirm my continued anovulatory status, OPKs (and a treat every night, two cookies or a scoop of ice cream…)

I started getting my period very regularly in January, which doctors said I was likely ovulating as well.

August was negative.

September was negative.

October was positive on the 30th, meaning I ovulated on the 31st.

November was negative.

I was thinking October was a fluke. Or, at the very least, that we could try the rhythm method and just avoid direct contact at the end of the month, when I was likely to ovulate.

Right around Yule (December 21), I told Hubby I wanted to love him like his 30 year old wife, not his high school girlfriend. In the heat of the moment, he, the logical one, agreed. Two more passionate nights followed closely there after.

I kept using the OPKs and I kept getting negative results until 12/30. Meaning I ovulated on 12/31.

But it had been at least six days since our moments of passion. And sperm only live for a short period of time.

Then I started spotting. I always spot before my period.

But my period never came.

I went to Target one Friday over lunch and got a pregnancy test. I had butterflies of both excitement and nerves. By the time the test area was wet, it was positive. I wasn’t maybe pregnant, I was very pregnant.

I then went to Babies R Us and got a “Big Sister” shirt for F to wear for when Daddy came home.

He read her shirt and a huge smile came over his face, and a wave of relief washed over me. He was happy and excited. He was going to be Daddy again and that’s a good thing and he thinks it’s a good thing too. His talk of we only need one and we’re only ever going to have one was more for me than it was for him. He didn’t want me to do treatment again either, and he didn’t want to say he wanted another kid when his wife may not be able to make it happen.

But his smile said it all.

It still amazes me how we had to try so hard for F, but then we didn’t try at all for 2.0. Yes, we technically stopped not trying. We pulled the goalie for selfish reasons. But the point wasn’t to get pregnant. We are over the moon, though, that another wonderment is going to join our little clan.

Today is March 5th and I am 11W1D. In honor of not spilling the beans until we are ready to announce it to the world, this post will be saved until after we announce to friends and family. All posts that I feel I need to write, as this blog is more of a journal for me than anything else, will all be posted on the same day with just a few hours between them (to keep chronological order).

She’s Here!!!!

I am out of the park, over the moon, out of this world in love with my daughter.

FTG 6/29/13 –> 39w4d 7lb4oz 21 in

My birth experience was not what I was ready for, was not what was planned. Of course, very few things in life go according to plan and this is no different.

Saturday, hubby and I had a blissful morning with a lovely breakfast followed not too long by some of the best love making we’ve had for weeks (no, we were not trying to induce…yes, I was 39w and interested…my drive never went away from the second trimester high). Also between breakfast and lunch, we went for a walk around our neighborhood. After our walk, we grabbed a bite for lunch and decided to take it easy and have a veg out day. The weather was meh and it seemed like a good place to rest. The majority of the day was spend upstairs in our den. I had my bean chair, the futon, and my office chair. I alternated one then the other for the afternoon but I got to a point where I couldn’t get comfortable and decided to go into the living room and put my feet up on the real couch.

I turned on the tv, set up my pillows, and I felt a leak. I went to the downstairs bathroom to pee and check. Blood. I looked in the toilet. Bright red blood. Then I passed something very large and very dark. It looked and felt like an extremely large menstrual clot. I shouted up to my husband that it was time to go to the hospital. He came down, sat on the stairs and we went over everything that happened. I kept leaking blood through our conversation, it kept being bright right. He got the pregnancy manual from the doctor and I found “when to call”, bleeding was there. I called. Very soon after the doctor called me back and we talked it through. I explained to him it wasn’t a tinged with blood plug but rather a large menstrual clot. He advised me to head to the hospital and he would examine me there.

The triage nurse did an examination but she didn’t say much. The doctor did one as well and they compared notes then filled me in: it looked like my placenta had started to detach from the uterine wall (that damned placenta…again…) and he recommended an unscheduled, non-emergency c-section as opposed to letting things see if they get better.

Hubby and I agreed. Luckily, I hadn’t eaten anything since lunch at 2 so we only had to wait half an hour to begin prep. My team was fabulous, the surgery was a lot easier than I imagined it would be, and it resulted in the beautiful little girl I now call my daughter.

Worth every step of the journey.