Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Catching up

I can't believe it has been a week since I posted last - especially since I have been mentally composing this post for the whole week thinking I would get to it each day. Let's see if I can get this done and actually posted (I didn't - it is now more than a week).

First of all, work has been exhausting. Not so much the working part of it, but the fact that I try to have LB napping while I am working so that means I don't usually get one. I wake her up earlier than she wants to be up, put her back to sleep about 9:00, wake her up at 11:30, play with her until 1:00 and then attempt to nurse her back to sleep. I hate her being on a schedule and not being able to sleep whenever she wants. What other time of life can you do that? She shouldn't have to grow up so early. It has also effected how well we EC because I am too tired to be fully in tune with her and she doesn't signal as much because I am not responding as well.

Speaking of EC'ing, I had a few people ask how she communicates that she has to go potty. Over the week, I have realized that I have used two main ways of predicting that: timing and her cues. If she seem just a bit agitated and it has been a bit (2o min or more?) I will offer her the potty first. If she goes I give her a big, "Yea! We went pee pee in the potty!" If she gets more upset and stays that way for more than a couple of seconds then I will go on to something else. If I catch her peeing when not on the potty, I will at least make a ssssss sound (I will make this sound as she goes in the potty too). Some of the ways she looks a bit agitated are: going from smiles to fussy sounds, pulling off the nipple while nursing, and not content to be in a sling. I am having a harder time catching her poops. She will sometimes signal me the same way she does when she needs to pee, but just as often my only clue is that she becomes quiet and looks off to one side. If I put her on the potty and say "pooooooop" (like a grunting sound) sometimes she goes and sometimes she will go . . . in a few to 20 minutes. I just don't have the patience for that. For now, I put her in what I have started calling her "favorite pooping chair". It is a little seat with a mobile arching over her. I think it is like reading a book for us adults - she looks at the mobiles, relaxes and out it comes. I will watch her and say "pooooop" as she goes. I'm not sure how I am going to transition her to a potty yet.

How is that for going on and on about bodily functions? Who would have thought?

On to other things . . .

Does anyone know anything about Great Wall adoption agency? I have a friend looking into it. What is one thing you would tell someone just starting to explore adoption? Thanks in advance for any thoughts / advice for my friend.


Some thoughts on my mind tonight:
  • It is an anniversary for Brad and I. Fourteen years ago today I realized we were great together. He is coming home tonight from Salt Lake City. I can't wait to go pick him up. I am smiling because I will be taking our daughter with me. This is another "this time next year" reminder - picking Brad up at the airport with a child.
  • Two years ago today, I miscarried at home. It was our second miscarriage and I thought it was better to let things happen naturally. That night, I changed my mind. A d&c is quick and easy. I will spare you the details, but that night I lost enough blood that I thought I was going to die. Seriously. The bleeding had stopped (thanks to some herbal remedy from my midwife - I should have called her sooner), but Brad had woken me up after a couple hours to make sure. I was light headed because of the blood loss and having just woken up. I told Brad that I was going to die and he didn't believe me. I remember thinking how sad it was that I was going to die and Brad would realize it too late. Of course, I was fine and Brad could clearly see that. Now I think it is funny. Especially when I called the hospital and woke up the OB on call who told me I was fine. I thanked him like he just saved my life. Lesson learned though. If I ever need to make that choice again (not to tempt the fertility gods here), I will choose the d&c - in and out in under 4 hours and feeling fine the next day. It took weeks to recover from the miscarriage. Proof that "natural" isn't always better. However, in my case at least, natural is much cheaper. The d&c cost us about $1500 out of pocket.
  • I'm tired, but I'm happy.


Lanie at Fertile Fantasy has nominated me for a Pink Rose award. She is another DE blogger who has just found out that her cycle resulted in a BFP and may even be twins. Take a moment, if you will, to pop over and congratulate her.

The idea behind Pink Rose award is to honor a person who has inspired someone (or needs to be inspired), or because they’ve encouraged someone in some way. I feel very honored to be chosen by Lanie.

I am going to pass this on to a couple of bloggers that have meant something special to me. Heck, I think I could pick at least 20, but time is short so I am going to nominate just two.

1) B at The Shifty Shadow. She also lost a child late in a pregnancy and like me it is taking her a long time to have that healthy baby. Not that having a healthy baby ever replaces the first one who was also much loved, but I believe - and it has been my personal experience - that having a living child to care for does help heal those wounds. My heart aches for her as she continues on this journey. She is also the most amazing writer. Everything she says is so eloquent - I can't even describe it. Pop over and read a few posts, but be prepared to need some kleenex and to leave feeling thoughtful.

2) Lori at Weebles Wbblog. I have nominated her before, but she still pops into my head pretty often. She has the most amazing relationship with her childs first mom (birth mom). Whenever I get nervous about raising a non genetically related child or maintaining a relationship with LB's donor, I think about her and know we will find out way.

If you would like to nominate someone for a Pink Rose award the details are below. Please note that you do not need to be nominated first. Of course, some of us take a little more prodding.

Here's what to do:
1. On your blog, copy and paste the award, these rules, a link back to the person who selected you, and a link to this post: http://smartone.typepad.com/smartone/2008/05/pink-is-my-favo.html. You will find the story behind the Pink Rose Award and other graphics to choose from there.
2. Select as many award recipients as you would like, link to their blogs (if they have one), and explain why you have chosen them.
3. Let them know that you have selected them for an award by commenting on one of their posts.
4. If you are selected, pass it on by giving the Pink Rose Award to others.
5. If you find that someone you want to nominate has already been selected by someone else, you can still honor them by posting a comment on their award post stating your reasons for wishing to grant them the award.
6. You do not have to wait until someone nominates you to nominate someone else.

Monday, August 18, 2008

We did it!

We survived the first day back at work. Thank you everyone for your thoughts on the matter. I had my BIL come and hang out for the first 2 hours and while it was a bit painful, I managed without him so I sent him home. During the two hour break, Brad came home with lunch (yummy smoked meatloaf sandwich) and a mocha! Ahh, sugar and caffeine blended with ice. Just what I needed. Seeing Brad was great too.

The first two hours were a bit stressful because she was awake and alert for most of it. She spent some time in a chair that rocks when she kicks her feet. When the toys are attached from a bar, she can make the toys rock. Just yesterday, she put this together so that kept her entertained for a bit. Some of the time I had her in a sling, happily sucking away although not really eating. She also spent some time laying on her back. I would talk to her while I could and the rest of the time she would just stare off into space. I hate that look. She looks depressed or that she has given up on me ever responding to her. I hope it is ok for her brain development. I keep thinking of the billions of connections being built right now.

The second two hours were easier. During the 2 hour break, she kept wanting to fall asleep. I would let her and then put her down. In about 10 minutes she would wake up (she hates to sleep alone) and we would have about 30 minutes of happy time before she would get fussy and we would repeat the process. When it came time to work, I kept her in the sling and was able to work while she slept.

The downside is that we have had record high temperatures and we don't have air conditioning. Here I am, trying to work in an 86 degree house with a baby strapped to my front. We were both dripping sweat. About 30 minutes before I was scheduled to get off, I couldn't take it anymore, so I put her down. She woke up about 20 minutes later and I still had to call a customer back - so back into my lap she goes. Fortunately, after an initial call, I was able to get off the phone and remote in.

All in all, I think it was a success. I am not looking forward to tomorrow because the first two hours were pretty stressful, but maybe we will keep getting better at it. I am still getting my new pc up and running as I like it and that added to the stress this morning.

Afterward, we did our best to get comfortable by cooling down with a wet washcloth.

The other success today is that even though I was working and not paying enough attention to her, I was still able to catch the majority of her eliminations. I am just loving doing the "elimination communication" stuff. It is just amazing to have her communicate her discomfort, put her on the potty and have her go. When I mess it up and misread her intentions, she straightens her legs and screams - so I know right away she didn't really need to go. When I get it right, she quiets right down and gets busy. Not to brag (yeah, I'm bragging), but a few days ago we caught 9 out of her first 9 eliminations. The funny thing is that she went 9 times in only four hours. We were out and about after that and I only caught one more, but I think it was a new record.

Well, enough for now. I am afraid I have become one of those people who can go on and on about pooping and peeing. Wait until I can post pics of our camping trip. She went potty in the woods!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Going back to work - again

It is that time to start earning money again. Fortunately, unlike the last time I went back to work, this time I do it as a mom. Wow. That feels so good to type . . . "as a mom". A mom of a living baby. Wow. Excuse me a moment while a bask in that thought . . .

Back to the point of this post. I am going back to work and I'm wondering how I am going to manage it. Here is the arrangement: I will work 4 hours per day, 5 days per week. I will be doing this from home at least 4 of the 5 days. The schedule is somewhat flexible - we are still working out which hours I will work, but I will need to be working the hours that are agreed upon. My manager would like me to work 10-2, but we are going to try 9:30-11:30 and 1:30 to 3:30 for now.

I work in technical support, but the set up is such that I usually don't receive calls directly from customers. They call a phone center person who logs the call or the customer logs the call via the internet. I have an online queue that I pull the calls from. This offers some flexibility, but if it is urgent, I am supposed to call right away. Some calls can be resolved in a few minutes and some take hours. Often for more complex issues, we hang up and I continue to work on the issue remotely.

My manager is in Philly - the other side of the country. I keep in touch with her and my coworkers via online chat.

The trick, as I see it, is trying to look like I am working during those four hours even if I am not. If my boss IM's me, I'd better be able to respond within a few minutes. If a customer needs a call or needs a quick resolution, I'd better be able to do that. If I can't actually work for a given period of time, but can look like I am - and then make up the time later - I think I will be ok.

Do you think I can do that or do you think I need to hire someone to watch LB while I am working?

The dilemma is the money, of course. My current job never paid that well, but I think that is one of the reasons they are willing to let me try this part time, from home. Not to brag, but most people with the company just aren't that great with customers - especially unhappy ones (the company's product insures a steady supply these). The good ones get better paying jobs. This company has hundreds of workers and my division has about 50. I am the first person they have allowed to work part time although many work from home.

So take a not-great-paying job and cut the salary in half. Then take half of that and pay someone else to hang out in my home just in case. I'm not sure if that is worth it. On the other hand, even $600-$800 / month is something. And by "something", I mean savings toward our next IVF w/ DE cycle.

I am convinced we could live off of Brad's income if needed, but I wouldn't be able to save money for a chance to give LB a sibling. That is going to cost around $25,000. With the savings we currently have and putting every cent I make (not paying a baby sitter) we could be more than half way there in a year which is when we want to try again. No, I haven't figured out how we are going to come up with the remaining portion, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it. **

Please weigh in with your thoughts . . . Should I try to do it on my own or pay someone to help watch LB while I am working? I guess one advantage of having someone here is that LB would get more attention. I hate that I won't be able to give her all my attention, but at least it is for only four hours per day.

** No, we are not wealthy, but we try to keep our costs down - such as sharing one car and living in a house the size of a typical 3-car garage. Sure - we have a master bath, guest bath, powder room and laundry room - they just all occupy the same space.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Flowers for LB

I love my flowers. I am so very late thanking Kate for them. She presents them in this post. Thank you Kate! You were my inspiration for a new header. I am going to ask Caliope to include a butterfly somewhere.

Sad news. I popped over to Kate's blog to get the links above and saw that she had a new post up today. She found out her best buddy (her cat), Olivia, has inoperable cancer. Please go over and offer her your support.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

These are the good times - in pictures

Warning: Nothing but gratuitous baby pictures follow. If you are not in a good space for them, close your browser now. Seriously. They will be here later if you want to look at another time. Since I have often looked when I shouldn't have, I will give you one more chance to pause, take a breath and really think about it. Do you really want to see someone gushing over a baby?

Ok. Here we go . . .

To start things off - a picture I have been aching to take for far too long. I am so fortunate to feel our baby's fist wrapped around my finger.

First nap with daddy (I am a bad mom and stripped her for the picture)

We are going for a walk in the nearby field. I thought it might be too hot to put her head under the sling so she is borrowing my hat.

Daddy can babysit too.

Especially when he is playing Eve

Happy baby!

Post nip bliss! (On the left is my baby blanket. We both use it now. On my right wrist is my infertility awareness bracelet.)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Bridges Blog

There is a new blog in town and it's goal is to bring together different blogging communities and not just those from the infertility and loss communities, but others as well. It is called Bridges and this post provides a good introduction. Not surprisingly, it is the brain child of Mel at Stirrup Queens.

To me, it is not only a "one stop shop" to stay in touch with a variety of issues in the infertility community, but a great way to learn about and understand people's journeys outside of infertility.

I am also excited and honored to be a contributing editor for the donor eggs category. I will be contributing some of my posts, but I also want to contribute a variety of views. If you have a post that will "educate, tell a story, bring awareness, and build community" regarding donor eggs (or donor embryos for the time being) or have read a post that resonated with you, please let me know. I will need the authors permission before posting.

Currently in my head is a post about a cycle with an anonymous donor. I think at some point I will post our retrieval story and I think something about a cycle with an unknown donor would be a nice compliment.

Now you might want to head over to Bridges because if you haven't been there already, you are already 2 days behind.