Monday, May 31, 2010

Fifteen Minute Drive By

It has been crazy busy in the Brad and Kami household. Between the two kids we get very little sleep and very little downtime.  On a whim we texted LB's favorite person in the world and asked if she could babysit.  She gave us a blessed couple of hours so with LBII sitting next to me I am going to give a quick update.

Resemblance Talk:
I have really enjoyed seeing how LB and LBII look similar.  For some reason, I find it more warm and fuzzy then seeing how they look like their dad.  It is as close as I am going to get to the feelings I may have had seeing me in them.  People tell me it is no big deal, but I think I would have enjoyed it.  I consider myself fortunate to get a matched pair.

Only Human:
My OB has fallen from his idealized position.  Based on chart notes and pictures, I am convinced my OB is not being honest with me about why he got me back into bed from pushing on the floor and decided to do a vacuum extraction and why he did the episiotomy.  I don't know why he couldn't tell me the truth.  I would have settled for "it was in my best judgement at the time."  Instead, I will have to wonder if it was "I panicked" or "On hands and knees on the floor without constant monitoring was just too far outside of my comfort zone" or "I deliver babies, I can't just let them be born!"

He may have forgotten that his notes indicated the baby went from a +2 to a +3 station when he told me a week later that I was making no progress on the floor, but 8 hours after the birth the nurse told me he charted - in detail - that I was tearing and he made 3 cuts (as in "tearing so I cut a first degree, tearing more so cut second degree . . .).  I have a picture showing my perineum was completely intact when he made the cut and multiple witnesses said he did it all at once.  No longer "Dr Wonderful", he is "Dr Better Than Most OB's"

I still want to like and trust him.  I guess it is good I won't be having any more babies so it really isn't an issue.

Donor Egg Grief:
I won't say I am 100% ok with how things turned out.  I think, given the chance, I would have a third kid if I knew I could have a healthy genetic baby.  But I love our two girls with all my heart, feel extremely fortunate to even have two kids and the DE thing rarely crosses my mind these days.  If I didn't have a kid's book about DE conception, I would be afraid I would forget to tell them.

Frenulum Surgery:
Pediatrician's tend not to think it helps, but we were struggling with breastfeeding for 6 weeks before we saw a lactation consultant who suggested it.  It made a huge difference.  LBII couldn't suck hard enough to keep my breast in her mouth, but that changed as soon as the surgery was over.  We were doing ok intake wise before, but I had to hold my breast in her mouth and she would be worn out by then end of the day so she would nurse/sleep/nurse/sleep multiple times in a very short time.  I recommend it if an experienced lactation consultant suggests it.

Times Up:
Baby crying, gotta go.  Hopefully my next post won't be two weeks away.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Love And Hate

I have spend a good part of the last nine years alternately loving and hating our dog Ender.  He has been mentioned in a few posts even though I would say I liked my cats better who I have never been mentioned.  I guess there is something about dogs and the way they interact with their humans.  My cats never ate freshly baked loves of bread off of the kitchen counter.  They wouldn't have been capable of eating 10 pounds of frozen hamburger in the 90 minutes we were gone.  Neither would they have been able to eat through a tupperware dish to get to my forgotten lunch in the time it takes to go around the block and run back in the house.  I have told Brad that I feel repeatedly victimized by him.  Of course, Brad's very good argument is that I should have had the foresight to keep these items out of Ender's reach.  We got in a few fights over it, I am sad to say.

I have also been frustrated by the amount of dog hair, the drool on the floor after he drinks, the barking that could wake up a sleeping baby, ruts in the lawn.  Normal dog behavior, but I am not much of a dog lover.

But he was also the dog who went for walks with me almost every day while were were trying to conceive.  There is a fenced field near our hours that is about 1.5 miles long.  I could take him off-leash and he would stay near without any effort from me.  He was a companion who I didn't have to talk to yet I didn't feel alone.  He was the kindest dog I have ever known.  I have seen him aggressive three times - all when he was attacked by another dog.  Each time he was on top of the dog in a matter of seconds.  As Brad has been fond of saying, "He was the hardest hitting dog in Schutzhund class."  He was the hardest hitting and he always did it with his tail wagging.  He was also gentle with LB and I felt safer knowing he would and could protect her if needed.

After seeming under the weather for a couple of days we took him to the vet last night.  He had a tender abdomen and very high white blood cell count.  They sent him home with antibiotics.  He seemed be getting better.  He died late this morning.

Good bye, Ender.  I'm sorry I wasn't more kind to you after LB was born.  I hope LB keeps saying "Back door Ender" (translation: Let's go out the back door with Ender) for a little while longer.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Good Friday

Thank you, thank you oh wise women of the blogosphere.  Such wonderful and thoughtful comments on my previous post.  I am taking them all to heart.  I plan on being especially appreciative and mindful of my good fortune to be a mother this Sunday. I may also take advantage of a warmer day to go for a bike ride - my first ride of the season if all goes well.

Now I want to back up a bit and give a little background to the previous post.  It is a subject I intended to blog about several weeks ago but never got around to it.  It started the day LBII was born and solidified a week later on Good Friday. (No, I haven't found God or anything, I just remember it being that day because I was going to blog about it for Perfect Moment Monday . . . "Perfect Moment Monday: Good Friday" . . . catchy, no? )

For better and worse, Brad and I knew without doubt that we were done trying to conceive as soon as LBII was born and apparently healthy.  I would be lying if I said it has never occurred to me to try for a third, but I think that is mostly from my desire to finally get it right and have a home birth.  Besides, two kids keep us plenty busy, I am already 42 years old (Brad 41) and it would cost us approximately $30,000 just for the chance.  Although Brad is completely supportive of trying for and having a third child (as in, "You and your next husband can go right ahead with that."), we know it isn't really in the cards.

That can be rather freeing.  Our lives are no longer on hold the way they can be while trying to conceive.  We no longer need to plan our entire lives around how much it will cost, when it will happen and what we will do if it does or doesn't work. We can (gasp!) make plans about other things.  Like our first trip to Disneyland or shopping for a new house, or finding a different job in a warmer climate or getting back in shape emotionally and physically.  In those first few days, Brad and I talked more than a few times about how it feels like our lives are unfolding and opening up again.  Brad bought a new bicycle and will start biking to work.  I imagined getting back to my pre-treatment body and enjoyed not feeling the weight of infertility on my shoulders.

I continued to let the possibilities percolate in the back of my mind.  Then a week after LBII was born, on Good Friday by chance, something happened.  We will all sitting on the couch.  LB was asleep on one end of the couch, I was holding LBII who was also sleeping and Brad was sitting next to me.  It was unusually quiet in the house and it was a rainy day.  We sat there for over two hours listening to the rain, occasionally talking, just sitting and dozing off for a bit.  It was just incredibly peaceful.  I looked out the window and watched the rain and enjoyed just being and appreciating all that we have.  Then it occurred to me that I could do it.  That now was the time.  I could let go of my negative, angry, bitter tendencies.  This is our new beginning and it is the time to create new habits.

It was like knowing you need to get into better shape and suddenly finding the motivation to actually start exercising more.  Since then, I would like to think that I have been continuing to move in a positive direction.  I am still in the early stages and time will tell whether I end up svelte or back on the couch.  I'm not taking big steps - no crash diets, just trying to create a lifestyle change I can live with long term.

Currently I am trying to notice when I felt that tension in my body and mind - whether it is about infertility or something as trivial as the dog tracking mud into the house.  That alone has been quite the revealing.  I spend a huge amount of time wishing things were just a little bit better. When I remember and am willing to practice, I try to let the tension go by acknowledging it and then countering it with something positive.  My mental thoughts might be something like this: "Dog.  Mud.  Frustrating. (breathe) Easy to clean. All is well."

Much to my surprise, it isn't that hard.  I mean it is, because I forget or am unwilling to try; but it isn't in that when I am willing to try it usually works. In an instant I am in a better mood.  And just like starting to trim up a bit gives you motivation to keep exercising and dreaming about the bikini you will wear, changing a moment from negative to positive keeps me going and dreaming of all the more time I will spend happy instead of sad.

That, dear readers, is why I asked for your advice.  I noticed all the negative energy surrounding the coming holiday, but couldn't figure out how to turn it positive.  Your collective advice was spot on.  I think, as funny as this sounds, I needed to hear it was ok to stop hating the day.  I also feel very good about marking the day in a personal way without "celebrating" the day.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

It Is May

Well, THAT holiday has come around again.  I am fortunate to have found a way to be a mother, but I know so many of you are still walking that path. First and foremost, I want to wish you all peace during this weekend as well as motherhood down the road - hopefully not a long road.  I know, As if it hasn't been a long road already.

To those of you still trying for that Someday Baby, I will you forgive me for asking, but I was hoping to get some ideas as to how I should pass this Sunday.  I still hate it.  I cringe whenever I hear an ad or the M-word gushing that seems ever present this time of year.  We need this holiday like Hallmark needs to sell more cards. Oh, wait.  That's the point isn't it?  If my family appreciates what I do for them then I hope it would be on any day not just this one day.  Why don't we change it to "Woman's Day" where we honor any woman who is important to us?  Why should we only be honored if we are able to reproduce?  Either that or just get rid of it all together.  I would be good with that.

My regular readers will not be surprised to hear that I am both still bitter and angry.  Oh, and negative as well.  I really think it is time to start letting this negative energy go and maybe finding a better way through this weekend is a good place to start - or at least practice.

But how to do it?  I can't see myself doing anything typical to mark the day.  That would seem like a betrayal to my infertile sisters who continue to feel the ache.  But doing what I did last year - trying to ignore it like so many previous years - only seemed to add another layer of tension since I was actually a mother.

Any thoughts?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Perfect Moment Monday: Falling In Love

It has been a bit chaotic in the Kami-Brad household.  I have been trying to keep up with everyone's blogs but haven't carved out the time to comment in most cases.  I apologize for that.

Having kid number two has been quite a different experience.  Some things are easier and some things harder.  I am very happy that I didn't need to recover from major surgery and I am getting about as much sleep as I have for the last couple of years - not enough but no painful transition either.  We also didn't really have to go through reorganizing our division of labor that is so hard on a marriage in the beginning.

The hardest part is feeling ok with the amount of time I have for LB and LBII.  They seemed to be surviving but I have been in tears over LBII being left to cry while I am tending to LB or LB monologuing about all the things she would rather be doing rather than play by herself.

From the moment of LBII's birth, I have struggled.  I know not everyone bonds with their baby on first sight and I have left space for those feelings to grow, but it comes with some guilt.  When LB was born we had waited 6 years to hold our Someday Baby.  I was beyond excited and then my time was all for her.  I was madly in love from the first moment.

By the time LBII was born on the third night of labor I was more relieved than excited.  I was happy to see her, but it wasn't the same.  Then we began our life as a family of four and my time and attention is divided.  There have been times I felt LBII was getting in the way from me spending time with the child I really loved - my nearly 2 year old toddler. We were closing in on 5 weeks with LBII and she still seemed distant to me.

Then a few days ago, I was changing LBII's diaper and I was making faces at her.  She gave me the biggest smile! And I realized something was going on and had been going on for days if not weeks.  I had just been to busy to notice.  I realized I was falling in love.

Thank you to Lori for reminding me to notice these perfect moments.