Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Two Week Wait

I have never been so relieved to be in a two week wait before. That is all it will take for LB to be sufficiently healed to get out of her split. She didn't even need a cast. She had wonderful care at Shriner's and everyone was very friendly. There was only one person - the resident - who was less than subtle about the "are these parents abusing their kid" questions. Everyone else was good enough that it almost seemed like normal conversation.

I would like to point out that Shriner's accepts no payment - not even insurance - and is completely funded by gifts. If you aren't sure where to put your charity money, you might think about Shriner's.

LB did wonderfully. She was holding court the entire time despite being very sleepy. Everyone loved her and kept going on and on about how cute she was. While she was being splinted there must have been more than 1/2 dozen people in the room (two doctors, two physical therapist, two 'care coordinators' or perhaps 'social workers in disguise' and maybe one or two others) and she was charming them all. They were very gentle too. She was pain free and happy the entire time.

We are so relieved. I know it is the same injury, but just knowing that she will be good as new in just two weeks and doesn't need a cast makes it seem so much less horrible. Still horrible, but much less so.

Thank you everyone for your words of support. I needed it as much after this incident (or perhaps more so) than anything else since I started blogging about a year and a half ago. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

We are doing well. LB is sitting - I kid you not - on a pad on the floor about 18 inches away from where I am (also on the floor). I have her boppy around her just in case. I think we will add a padded room onto the house and give her nothing but soft, organic toys to play with from here on out.

Here is a picture that is just so wrong. LB is kind of sleepy and it was taken with a cell phone, but I think it captures the moment ok. Poor little lamb!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A little drama

She's fine. She's fine, but we had a rather traumatic day yesterday. I hardly slept because of bad dreams. I thought about whether I should blog about it and if I did how I should start . . .

Our bad luck hasn't run out in terms of babies . . .

or

As she reached up to me from the x-ray table - her eyes pleading with me to make it all better - I wondered why she trusted me. Did she think I was her mother? I am nothing but a fraud.

or

Fraud, fake, failure . . .

or

"It's not about you." That's what Brad would say when I looked to him for comfort.

or

She is so brave. After 11 hours, no nap, 4 hours past her bed time, 3 painful trips in a car - crying out each time we went over a bump, waiting rooms and x-rays; she was still smiling occasionally and babbling.

or

I didn't realize I still felt so vulnerable in my role as a mother. It brought back so many feelings about my inability to keep Ernest safe. In my many bad dreams reliving the event, I kept mixing up their names. "I'm sorry LB." "I'm sorry Ernest.

or

"Maybe you will be more careful next time," were Brad's words to me while he tried (and failed) to comfort me.

or

She acted fine. She talked, she smiled. But then we would touch her just the wrong way or move her just so and she would cry out again and would be inconsolable for a few minutes. We couldn't figure out where she hurt. I was afraid to touch her.

or

In the end it was fairly trivial. I few moments inattention and I could have slipped on the ice while carrying her, ( at a later age) she could have walked out in the street and gotten hit by a car or been snatched by a pedophile or pulled a pot of boiling water on herself. I'm thankful for that. I just still feel so horrible. I know, it isn't about me.

or

I promised myself I wouldn't be over protective. I often felt stifled growing up. I want LB to feel safe in exploring the world. I wonder how this will change me.

or

Her pediatrician kept assuring me I did nothing wrong. That I had, in fact, did everything right. I trusted my instincts. I took her in. I took her back when we didn't find what was wrong the first time. "I can't tell you how many parents find out their children can roll over when they fall out of bed." It is just a fluke, it is really rare to fall only two feet onto carpet and break such a large bone.

or

LB broke her femur yesterday. We will be going to Shriner's Hospital some time today to get a pediatric orthopedist to cast her. I am assured she will heal quickly and with no long term consequences. She will catch up with her motor skills amazingly fast. It will be fine, I'm sure, but right now it feels horrible.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Living Small

There are times when I like living in a small house. It is easy to clean. I feel good about our carbon footprint. Brad and I are almost always in the same room. Even if we aren't in the same room, we might as well be. There is a spot in our house where you can stand, rotate 360 degrees and see the entire house. You can't see all of the bedrooms, but you can see into each one. Best of all, our house payment is small enough that even my part time salary (minus the cost of a babysitter) can cover it.

The downside is pretty apparent when there is three feet of snow outside. We have been mostly trapped in about 550 square feet of living space (excluding the bedrooms and bathroom) since the 17th. Our Prius has been able to get out and around exactly one day out of the last 10. Fortunately, we have a Land Cruiser (normally parked) that can get around just fine - I just don't trust it's 23 year old seat belts to secure LB's car seat so only one of us can leave at a time. Guess who gets to leave on a work day?

Add to that the fact that it gets dark by 4:30, getting outside to shovel the driveway is a treat. Having LB is the only thing that makes this survivable. If this absurd winter doesn't end soon I think I might just go insane.

How are you surviving the winter? For those of you in warmer climes or in the southern hemisphere - please share happy stories of sunshine and freedom.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Anonymous

Most of the time when I get a comment from Anonymous, it is just fine and I suspect someone is commenting who doesn't normally comment on blogs and so doesn't have an account and they don't realize they can leave a name.

Then there are the ones that leave zingers. It happens often enough that when I see an anonymous comment, I steal myself for a unsatisfying (at least) interaction.

Today was one of those days. On my post about using donor eggs before we conceived I got this:

It is not the OB's place to push anyone into seeing an RE. It is only their place to provide information but the patient must pay the price for how they proceed.

I am not sure why you would say that western medicine let you down. Eastern medicine did not create the baby you currently have. If you left it to eastern medicine you would never have a baby.

You should thank western medicine and the American doctors and state of the art modern technology that gave you this precious little girl. Had you decided to rely on them much sooner, instead of proceeding down the natural path, you may have had the genetic child you wanted.

My husband is an RE for a notable clinic in NYC and he hears the common thread of women who abhor western medicine and have insisted on natural means to become pregnant only to run to him when they turn 40. Then they are only too eager to inject themselves with the "toxic" medicine they refused for years to get their baby. They leave pregnant by their eggs or donor eggs but are usually still proponents of the eastern medicine that gave them no baby. It is ironic and so ungrateful.


It is so unsatisfying because there is no place to respond with a rebuttal. This comment isn't really that bad, but if this person read much of the rest of my blog she would know that:

  • This was a vent post.
  • I adore my RE and my OB - clearly I don't fault them that much
  • I was in denial about our chances of conceiving again after Ernest. My OB might have helped me move on more quickly precisely because I like and respect him so much.
  • Trying Eastern medicine did not keep me from going to an RE - fear did. I didn't go down a 'natural path'. I did IUI for a year. Not a good course for our situation, but again, I was in denial. I used Eastern medicine in conjunction with Western (IVF).
  • What is wrong with being disappointed / angry that Western medicine didn't have a better solution for me?
  • If this person was so bent out of shape that I was angry, why didn't she care that I was also angry at our dead son?
I haven't really talked about this - but I think there is a place for both Western and Eastern medicine. Just because their paradigms are different, doesn't mean one is true and one is false. Western medicine tries to link a single cause to a single solution. Eastern looks at the whole person which is much harder to test scientifically, but I think will prove to be beneficial in the long run.

Well, that feels a bit more satisfying. Thanks for listening.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Winter Solstice!

Thank goodness the days are at least getting longer. We still have 2 more months of pure survival for this summer-loving-winter-solstice-baby (I was born December 19th - 3 days from the solstice that year). After the end of February, there is at least hope I will make it until the 8 weeks of good weather around here.

Yes, I need to move South. Anyone know how the job market is in Arizona or New Mexico?

LB hit her 26th week birthday on my birthday and turned 6 months the next day. I can't believe she is so old already. She continues to be the light of our life. We are experimenting with new foods and she seems to be happy to eat whatever we give her. Her digestive tract is a bit more picky and maybe a little research would have told me before it was too late - but LB's tummy does NOT like spinach. Poor thing, two days of gas and when it finally made it through her system it was untouched. At least it was organic.

In other news, I have been just so frustrated that I haven't had more time to blog and comment. I don't know how people do it, but I suspect it has to do with my lack of organization. Geode - new mother to twins - posts daily. Not only that, but she manages to be funny in just about every post. My other excuse is that LB is not a fan of napping. She takes 20 minute power naps and thinks she has slept for hours. I would like to say she sleeps great at night, but 4 hours in a row is the most I get. Actually, I think LB does sleep great at night - waking just to eat - but I wake up then and every time she fusses because she needs to (ahem) blow bad air. Thank you, spinach.

Here is what I hope to blog about some day:

No More Happy Birthdays: I stopped enjoying my birthdays after Ernest was born. Before I liked getting older - I felt wiser and better able to make the most of the life that I had. Now they are just a reminder of decreasing infertility. 41. Bleh.

Views From The Other Side of Using DE: Yes, it still bugs me, but it is much more than that. It will be a long post when (if) I get to it.

Coming Out Party: Like Luna did. Someday, someday.

Ask The Crazy Lady: Where I invite readers to ask me questions so I can post about what you want to hear. My life really isn't a series of "poor me" posts punctuated by a few "everything is perfectly glorious" posts.

Amber: How I came to hang out with a 23 year old fertile and her 8 month old son. Hint: we met via Craig's List a few months before LB was conceived.

EC Update: How things are going on the "natural infant hygiene" front. What has worked and not worked and what I think about those wonderful nasty magic disposable diapers.

For now, a link to a timely story on This American Life (you can download it for free on itunes) about vaccines and social responsibility and a view of the last few days here in the Inland Northwest and our record snowfall:



Thursday, December 18, 2008

Kitty Cat Huntin'

LB has mastered rolling from back to front by, you guessed it, trying to catch a cat. They are smart enough to stay just out of reach or lose a fistful of fur. It makes great fun for the little one just the same. She has been rolling to her side easily for weeks - every time she thought I was going to lay down next to her to nurse, but she did realize what she was doing. Now she does. I'm sure they will teach her to crawl next.

In other news, it is snowing here in the Inland Northwest. We have 22 inches and it is still coming down. The previous record in 24 hours was 13 inches set in 1984. Most of us are trapped in our houses. Can I just say that I love summer? It's not all bad, I suppose. An excuse to rest, read books and bake / eat cookies.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Vaccines Part II

Wow! Now I now how to get people to comment on my blog. Thanks for all your input and views. I think some very good points were made. I recognize that I am scared of potential side effects compared to real issues if LB were to get one of the diseases. I wonder not only about short term side effects, but long term ones as well - the ones no one knows anything about and may not for decades.

I also worry about any long term side effects to doing ICSI, but I obviously decided that was worth the risk. I recognize that my concern over vaccines may not make sense in that context.

It is also interesting that whooping cough came up a lot in the comments, because that is the one shot that I think LB should get. I haven't done it yet because the aluminum (170 micrograms in one version of the shot and the FDA recommends less than 25 / day for adults) may cause brain / nerve damage. The short term effects may be paralysis - possibly from the tetanus portion of the shot. If there was a pertussis only shot without aluminum, she would have had it already. While pertussis is not usually life threatening after 6 months, it is far too common and uncomfortable for my liking. The question for me on pertussis is not if, but when. Bad for us that Brad and I haven't gotten the adult version of the shot.

As for some of the others:

HIB - Likely at some point - doing her part for the greater good. It is probably one of the safest vaccines out there too - been around for around 3 decades and nothing but inactivated vaccine.

Polio - Yes at some point, but maybe much later. Again, very uncommon, but too dangerous to mess with.

PCV - Still undecided. It can cause meningitis like HIB and like HIB the vaccinated versions are very uncommon (still a somewhat common disease for the versions not in the vaccine). Unlike HIB, however, it has some questionable (to me) ingredients and hasn't been around as long.

Hep B - No at this point.

MMR - Undecided. If we do it, it will likely be later than scheduled and each vaccine done as a separate shot. A couple of people commented that it would make sense to vaccinate to protect pregnant women. I think women should make sure they are immune before they get pregnant. Call me a bitter infertile, but I looked into these things before I tried to get pregnant and they should too.

That's my current thoughts in a nutshell. I don't think we are taking too big of a risk since she doesn't go to day car, she nurses exclusively (although that is now changing with the introduction of solid foods) and, of course, because most people immunize keeping the number of cases relatively low. I have also decided that if she does it a cold or the flu, I will take her in and get her tested because most of things can be treated with antibiotics, but usually by the time a caregiver realizes it isn't a common cold/flu the damage has been done.

Disclaimer: The details above are from memory - I have loaned out my copy of the Dr. Sears book and since I am massively sleep deprived, it may all be a work of unintentional fiction.

Thanks again for all the comments!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Vaccinations and Social Responsibility

I have been trying to figure out what to do in regards to vaccinations. I know, I am already behind. There was the Hep B at birth and the 2 and 4 month immunizations LB has already missed. We are already into cold and flu season so it is time to either get it done or decide not to.

I have been relying mostly on two different books for my research: The Vaccine Book by Dr. Sears and What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Children's Vaccinations by Stephanie Cave, MD. Neither book is an anti-vaccine book. They both talk about how vaccines have been a benefit to society, but they also look at the downsides to vaccinations.

I think the Dr. Sears book has a more balanced and up to date approach. He does a great job of summarizing the current research. He even has a website where he discusses research that was published after the most recent version of the book. I like the Dr. Cave book as a secondary resource because it points out some issues Dr. Sears leaves out. For example, Dr. Sears does a great job of summarizing the current research; but Dr. Cave points out that researchers haven't been able to get funding to actually research the safety of vaccinations. I don't like that she doesn't always support her conclusions and she can sound a bit alarmist. Again, I would describe both books as pro-vaccine.

I thought going into it, that we would be getting many vaccinations, I just didn't know which ones and if I would space them out differently than recommended. After reading most of each of the above books (focusing on the early childhood vaccines) I am leaning toward no vaccinations at all. There are four main reasons I am currently avoiding all vaccines: I either think the vaccine is not needed because it is very rare (such as the HIB) or the disease it is supposed to prevent isn't that bad (chickenpox, rubella) or the vaccine has potentially dangerous ingredients (DTaP) or because it is too new for my liking (rotavirus).

Here is my dilemma: Even if we decide not to vaccinate LB for her own health, should we have her vaccinated at a later time for the good of society?

What do you think about vaccinating? What do you think about vaccinating at a later age to protect the youngest of our society (according to the Dr. Sears book, most diseases are only very dangerous under 6 months of age)? Do you trust that the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) is looking out for our best interest? Do you trust that the pharmaceutical industry is giving good information to the AAP?

After you think about that last question, check out this article.

I would love to hear all thoughts, whether you are pro-vaccine, anti-vaccine or somewhere in between.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Big Mouths

I apologize for the few and far between posts lately. I feel guilty if I spend more time on the computer when my work day is done. I know there needs to be a balance between my needs and those of LB, but right now I feel like I should give her all the attention I can. Tonight, after a 'discussion' with Brad, he is entertaining the little princess while I get some computer time. She is already sounding close to "all done!" so I am straight to business.

Me over at We Are What We Repeatedly Do has given me the Speak Up, Speak Out award. I recommend checking the link out - she has some wonderful examples of what it means to live with infertility. Thank you, Me for this. For those of you who haven't been exposed to Me yet, please pop over and peruse. She has many thoughtful posts and some entertaining ones about (usually past) employees. I always enjoy catching up with her goings on.

As is the usually the case, I am going to pass this award on to a few folks. Ok, just two - I am running out of time. But really, you don't need to receive this award. You can give it to yourself. Don't believe me? Read the original post and you will see includes the following (you need to go there to read the funny bits):

If you meet the criteria above, or you'd like to submit your own, please post the following award on your blog. This is for all of the women who will no longer be silent about their infertility. This is to remind you that you need not be ashamed and you are definately not alone. This is to remind you to speak up the next time someone gives you fertility assvice.

Rules for posting award:

  1. Link back to this post so that others will read the original story behind the award
  2. Nominate 4 others who have not been "silent about their infertility"
  3. Enjoy speaking out and speaking up :D

So . . . to Katedaphne at It's Either Sadness or Euphoria who is so open about her fertility issues that she wrote a story about herselft for the St. Petersburg Times. I first met Kate online years ago and we started facing the DE solution at about the same time. We also both have younger sisters who looked like a good candidate to replace our genes - at least in the beginning. Kate is currently in her 2 week wait after an anonymous egg donation transfer. Good luck, Kate!

Also to Leah who has recently started blogging about her life with her daughter adopted from Guatemaula. She ran the IVF gauntlet at only 28 years old without success. Then just to show that the universe doesn't tire of messing with infertiles, it took her 17 months to bring home her daugter. When Maya was only 9 months old, she got tired of coming home without her and opted to move to Guatemaula for just the last couple of months . . . 8 months later she brought Maya home. She is not only open about IVF and "just adopt" but she continues to share the struggles of other ladies trapped in the Guatemaula adoption nightmare including Clair who has been sleeping on an ophanage floor for months with no end in sight.

Well, I am out of time. I apologize for any typos, misspellings, grammatical mistakes and especially to Kate and Leah if I messed up your stories.

Oh . . . and here is the actual award:


Can I just add one more little tidbit as Daddy is pottying LB? We went a record 19 hours without a soiled diaper today! from 6:30 yesterday to 1:30 this afternoon. I think we could have made it 24, but we went out and I think she has learned to associate a diaper with "go whenever" but if she is wearing underwear, she holds it if she can. Just to be clear - we only practice EC if we are having fun. If she or I or whoever is watching her, isn't up to it then we skip it.

Oh crap (pun intended)! Now it sounds like our lives are only about eliminations so one more tidbit: LB is becoming more adamant about eating solid foods so now I am figuring out what, how and when to feed her. Fun!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Everything I Need To Know I Learned From My Cat

First of all, thank you to everyone who commented on my last post. I am late getting to it, but I especially wanted to thank Geode and B who suggested that I could hold on to that happy memory of getting a positive on a home pregnancy test in spite of what happened afterword. When I first read the comments, I thought it was a good idea in theory, but didn't really know how to apply it because that memory leads to a cascade of bad memories. Then PJ said that she wishes she had a memory like that - even if it didn't eventually change her outcome (she is one of the involuntarily childless). Now I am grateful for that memory - for that chance to experience innocence in that moment. I still don't know how to think of it without thinking of all the bad, but I would not wish to erase it. I hope that makes some kind of sense.

I apologize for not linking to everyone. I am a bit pressed for time this morning and really should be working. I encourage you to go to the comments on my previous post and explore these lady's blogs. They are all remarkable and each is in a different place in their journey.

Now, about the cat. For my Perfect Moment Monday post I would like to share an experience from yesterday. LB first learned to roll over because one of the cats walked past her and she stretched and stretched to reach her. Just a little bit further . . . and she was over. Now she has, on a rudimentary level at least, learned about cause and effect.

She was playing with a plastic tape measure - the kind you use for sewing. She was shaking it and chewing on it. The cat started playing with the other end as cat's tend to do. LB was so excited! This is the first time I have seen her giggle without another human around. In fact, without another human working kind of hard to make her giggle. She chewed, the cat pounced, she laughed. She jiggled, the cat swatted, she laughed. It went on for about five minutes. At one point, she had gotten the cat's end of the string a bit too close (to her) for (my) comfort, but she survived unscathed.

I wonder what the cat will teach her next?

For more perfect moments on this fall (winter around here) morning, go visit Lori.