Monday, December 8, 2008

One Year

Wow! Jonah is a year old! This year has just flown by. It feels like just yesterday that we got the call and headed to San Antonio to meet our son, and yet a whole year has gone by. And it has been amazing. Jonah is truly the best thing we have ever done. Being a mother is everything I thought it would be and more. And different than I thought it would be and yet not. It is easier in some ways than I thought and harder in other ways than I could have imagined. I always knew that the love I would feel for my child would be like none other but I never knew I could love anyone this much. He is so so wonderful. And sweet. And fun. And beautiful. And funny. He makes me laugh which makes him laugh which makes me laugh...

We kept his birthday celebration small - just us and my parents. Jonah is an amazing eater so far so it was no surprise to us that he took right to his cake. There was no messing around. He knew just what to do with it and he ate bite after bite. In fact, we ended up taking away half of the piece to keep him from eating all of it!


Jonah is crawling and into everything. He's the kind of baby that goes straight for whatever is dangerous in any room you put him in. He loves electrical outlets and can sense an uncovered outlet from a mile away. Anything and everything goes into the mouth - sand, leaves, dirt, small pieces of plastic, dog food - if it's on the floor, it's fair game. He has just started pulling up to standing in the past few weeks and it's quickly becoming his new favorite trick. He particularly likes to try out all his new moves in the bathtub which is a somewhat hazardous affair. Needless to say, I make sure to get his hair clean and everything else is mostly just washed by the friction of the water (don't tell me if this isn't really possible) or a passing attempt at a crawl-by wash cloth.


We are doing great. I am happy in my job (not sure if I've ever been able to say that before). It's not really the job so much as my schedule and the people I work with. The organization I work for is still mostly run by self-important assholes but since I'm only part-time (can't say enough how much I LOVE this fact!), I don't have to interact with most of them very often. I'm in the office two days a week and work another day at home (split between two days and dependent upon Jonah's napping etc.). The people I interact with on a daily basis are great and I love being home with Jonah the rest of the time.


Now that Jonah is a year old, we are starting to think more and more seriously about the next child. To be honest, I think I had already started thinking about the next one the moment we got Jonah home (the downfalls of being a planner). I am definitely not ready for another baby right now, but I definitely want another one before too long. We have always said that we wanted two children and even though we've discussed the possibility of just having the one since he was so hard to come by, we are in agreement that we want two.

While in a way the thought of starting the whole process over again brings me stress, I can already tell that this will be a thousand times easier than the first time around. We still have four frozen embryos and plan to give a frozen transfer another shot. I don't have any real expectations of it working but it's worth a try since we have them. And if/when that doesn't work, we'll adopt again. I actually believe that if we gave it enough time, I could get pregnant. We know of know physical reason (other than the fact that my tubes are now tied!) that I can't get pregnant and I have technically been pregnant 3 times. But, I don't know how much work it would take - if it would require multiple attempts at IVF, donor eggs, etc. And for me, it's not worth it. So while there is still a part of me that will be sad to never have experienced pregnancy, I am also really excited about experiencing another adoption. I love thinking about the day we got the call about Jonah. It was so unbelievable and exciting and scary and wonderful. So although I'm not quite ready yet, I know I will be soon!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

6 months

It doesn’t seem possible that it has been six months since we first got Jonah. And yet, there it is. The time has just flown by and my 5 pound baby boy is pushing 20 pounds, smiling and laughing like crazy, rolling over (when he feels like it), sitting up (sort of), eating solids, and generally being totally and completely amazing. Our house is exploding in baby items – plastic gadgets and rechargeable batteries upstairs and down. I’ve changed countless poopy diapers, missed weeks of sleep and made endless bottles, and yet I often still find myself completely amazed and overwhelmed by the fact that I am actually a mother. I have a baby! Pushing the stroller in the park, I still feel like shouting to anyone I pass - Look at me! I'm pushing a stroller, and the baby is actually mine!

I was sitting tonight working on Jonah’s baby book and like every other time I have sat down to work on it, I end up in tears. I cannot believe how lucky we are. After everything we went through to become parents, we have made it. Life is good.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Doesn't take much

Well, it doesn't take much prodding to get me to post pictures of Jonah! Doesn't this look like he's been doing the walk of shame?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Limbo

I've thought a lot about this blog lately but haven't done anything about it. I guess I'm in an avoidance pattern. There is a part of me that wants to just let this go and quit blogging altogether. But there's another part that really likes writing this blog, having someplace to put my thoughts down and to reach out to others. And so I've thought about things I'd like to write about but haven't managed to get around to doing it at any of the times when I actually could. I actually did start the promised post on adopting but somehow it felt disingenuous and not at all what I had set out to do - so it is here, in draft form, and here it will stay until I can figure out what to do with it. And I guess I can say the same thing about this blog - here it is and here it will stay until I can figure out what to do with it.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Friday Evening Romance

Our dinner plans began with dreams of steak but by the time K was finally able to leave we had instead landed on just buying one of those store-made roasted chickens, some bread, hummus and maybe some carrots (so we could at least act like we were going to eat some vegetables). Oh, and of course a bottle of fine wine (he may spend $10!)

So, I'm sitting on the couch folding diapers as K is getting ready to leave to go to the store. He leans over and kisses me on the neck and says he wants to "make out" this weekend. I push him away. He says "You smell like urine."

Ah. Love is in the air.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Sick Baby

(Not Jonah)

Our first baby, our dog, Lucy, is sick. And we are feeling like really bad parents. For the most part I think Lucy has been doing really well with Jonah. She basically has zero interest in him or any of his stuff but has at least licked his face a couple of times and has ventured into his room once or twice to emerge with one of his stuffed animals in her mouth. Other than that they basically ignore each other. I haven't really felt like her life has changed that much either. She still basically gets to sleep wherever she wants -- which is usually in our bed or the guest bed (which we're trying, unsuccessfully, to break her from) or her couch (yes, she has her own couch in a little nook under the stairs which we refer to as the "Harry Potter suite) or her bed or one of our couches (where she is not supposed to be and knows it and so will jump off as soon as she hears us at the door as if we won't notice the tell-tale warm, hairy spot and drools marks she has left behind). Lucy is a rescue greyhound who I adopted right after I moved to Colorado. I met K soon after that and she quickly became as much his as mine. That was 6 1/2 years ago and Lucy is now 9 1/2. She's a little grey on her face but other than that you would never know she was that old. She is beautiful, if I do say so myself -- we get stopped all the time with people wanting to see her and tell us how pretty she is. She has been a huge part of our lives these past 6 years. She has more nicknames then I can even remember and we've written numerous songs about her.

Which is all a long way of saying how much I love her and how awful I feel that she is sick and that it took me a whole day to even really notice (Wednesday) and 3 days to take her to the vet. She always sleeps a lot (like most of the time) so it's a little funny to hear myself say that she has been lethargic (our standing joke is when asked how Lucy is we say "she's tired") but she has not even wanted to get up to go outside. She's also been completely uninterested in eating, even table scraps. And last night we finally took her temperature to discover that she was running a fever. So this morning I took her to the vet. And she is definitely sick. Running a fever and dehydrated. They kept her there to put her on an IV for the day and have done a whole variety of blood tests, urine tests, etc. It is looking like she has some type of kidney infection which should hopefully be cleared up with antibiotics. But the whole thing is just scary.

They were asking about her last vaccinations and I can't remember exactly what she had. The vets around here are so expensive (this visit is costing $550 so far) that this past year we kind of did a hodge-podge with her vaccinations -- rabies here, bordatella there, and I don't know if we missed something. It's entirely possible. And then they ask if she has gotten into anything lately. And whether she's been peeing more or if her poop looks funny. And I can't say. I have no idea. We just let her outside and let her do her thing and don't really pay attention. On a normal day, I would never think to feel guilty about any of this but now that she's sick and the vet is asking me all these questions that I can't seem to answer, I feel like a horrible pet owner. And going to the vet always reminds me that Lucy is getting old. And I hate that. I can't stand the thought of anything happening to her. I never wanted to be one of those people who loved their dog so much...until the baby came along. And we're not. Lucy is still a huge part of our life but I know that I should have noticed how bad she was feeling sooner. And that I didn't because I was distracted by caring for Jonah. Which is fine and normal, I know that. But it just makes me sad. Dogs are pretty much just as helpless when it comes to being ill as babies are. They can't tell you that they feel bad or tell you what is wrong. It is up to us, as their caregivers, to notice when something is wrong. And we didn't do a very good job of that this week.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

2 posts in progress

I've been thinking for awhile about two posts that I want to write, but I obviously haven't gotten around to doing either of them. But just to whet your appetite:

#1 -- I've already alluded to this. I plan to write a post regarding the financial impact of infertility treatment and adoption. It's something that we all deal with

--- PAUSE---
I just dropped a pacifier on the floor, picked it up wiped it off on my pants, handed it to K who dipped it into my beer and stuck it into Jonah's mouth. He sucked it eagerly. What does that say about us as parents?
---RESUME---

OK, where was I? Right. Finances. The financial aspects we all deal with differently but one thing I've noticed is that most of us are hesitant to be very specific about what we've actually spent and how we've come up with the money. So, I am going to lay it all out there and you can too if you choose.

#2 My 2 cents of wisdom on adoption. We have learned an awful lot through this process and I think it's worth sharing. We are lucky in that we know a lot of other people who have adopted (both of K's siblings and several friends) but most people don't know anyone who has been through the process. It can be an overwhelming process even when you have some experience or prior knowledge and so I thought I would at least try to sum up my little bit of wisdom.

Obviously, this post is neither of those but by putting it into words perhaps I will now get around to writing them. In the meantime, hope you are all doing well - I have actually been trying to keep up with your blogs but have been too lazy to comment, my apologies. We are doing great - still no particular word on my job front but I at least managed to talk to my boss. Hopefully I will know something more definitive soon. Jonah is awesome. He's getting really big. His 2 month doctor's appointment is Friday so we will know his exact weight then.

More soon.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Routine, what routine?

Someone decided to wake up at 3:00 this morning and not go back to sleep until right now (6:20). In fact, someone was really pretty much awake at 2:30 but I pretended not to notice until closer to 3:00. Someone acted like he was hungry around 3:oo and again at 5:00 but then only ate half his bottle. Someone appears to actually not really be asleep right now after all... I know what you're thinking - why would K want to be up so early?

We have gotten into somewhat of a pattern and Jonah has been sleeping at night for the most part. Not through the night, mind you. He still is up every 2 1/2 - 3 hours for a bottle, day and night. Considering that he is now up to 9 lbs you would think his ferocious appetite would have calmed down somewhat, but no, he is still on a 3 hour only stretch. I expect that at some point he will start being able to go longer. During the day, I can sometimes keep him happy for up to 3 1/2 or almost 4 hours but at night, I'm too tired to continue putting the pacifier back in or getting up to hold him, so I end up folding and just giving him a bottle.
The routine (ha ha) that had sort of been working is that I stay up with him until around 11:30 or 12:30, give him a bottle and then we both go to bed. He is sleeping in a co-sleeper right next to me. He generally wakes up again around 2:30 or 3:00 and I pull him into bed with me and give him a bottle. Then he wakes up again around 5:00 or 6:00 and K gets up with him. In theory, K is getting up with him and then going to work (he works out of our house) but I think a good part of the time he is actually laying down and sleeping with Jonah in the guest room. Anyway, it is a fairly decent arrangement except that I don't get quite enough sleep and since I have still yet to nap during the day (I know it's crazy but that's just the way it is), after a couple days in a row of this I get too tired and just go to bed early. Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to work very well for any of us. Last night I went to bed at 9:30 and took Jonah in with me. K came in around 11:30 and got him and didn't give him another bottle until around 1:00. He then came to bed and put Jonah back next to me. Jonah proceeded to be very noisy for the next 2 1/2 hours. I think we all slept a little but not great and by 2:45 or so I gave up and got up with him. Gave him the bottle that I thought he was asking for (he only ate half of it), changed his diaper, and then decided to give the guest room a go. We laid down together but sleep was not what he was interested in. I got up with him again, re-swaddled him and seemed to get him to settle. We went back to my bedroom and he slept for maybe 10 minutes? Then cried. K pulled him into bed with us, which usually works, but it was not to be. So, I got up. Changed another diaper. Gave another half bottle. And Mr. Jonah has still not gone to sleep. He is currently propped up in the boppy next to me sticking out his tongue (very very cute). I am on my third cup of coffee... I actually feel great but we'll see how I feel at 3:00 this afternoon. By the way, just to be clear, I'm not complaining. He is great. Better than great in fact. Did I mention that he's 9 lbs?? We no longer have a tiny little baby!


So there's an update on motherhood. Everything is going really great. We've been getting out a little bit more. It's very cold here at the moment and our streets and sidewalks still have some snow left from Christmas so walking outside is not as pleasant as it might be. We did, however, buy a very snazzy stroller so I'm anxious for it to warm up a little so we can really take it for a test drive. I'm starting to dread the thought of going back to work. My boss has yet to officially respond to my request to go part-time but from what I've heard through the grapevine I'm just assuming that it's a go. I do need to know from him which days he wants me in the office so that I can find some kind of childcare. I really don't want to think about that, much less do anything about it, but time is ticking by so I guess I better start doing that soon. Ok, I need another cup of coffee so I will go for now!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Adopting after infertility

I've actually been thinking about posting for awhile but 1) hadn't gotten around to it and 2) wasn't sure what to write about. This seems to be a universal dilemma with infertility blogs -- what to do once you finally have a baby. Is this still an "infertility" blog? Am I now a mom-blogger? Will I quit blogging altogether?

I'm not exactly sure what I want to do, and right now I honestly don't care. I think I'll just do whatever feels right. The fact of the matter is, I am still infertile. Adoption did not "cure" my infertility -- but it has allowed me to be a mother, to have a child, which for me/us was the most important thing.

As part of our preparation for adopting, our agency required quarterly readings where we would need to read a book and write up a short paragraph about it (obviously we didn't make it a full quarter but nonetheless...). I am an avid reader so had taken their list of book suggestions and checked out a bunch of them before we were even officially signed on. One of the books on their list is Adopting After Infertility by Patricia Irwin Johnston. I did not get through this entire book but I skimmed through a lot of it and thought it was a pretty good book to read for those considering adoption after infertility. Many of the issues that she discusses early in the book in terms of steps towards making the decision to adopt we had already discussed and resolved, but it was validating to read through them and to realize that we had in fact considered these things.

I do not have the book in front of me so unfortunately will not get this exactly right but one of the things that she addresses is the different aspects of grief/loss that infertile couples face in not being able to conceive a child together. I think she discusses 6 in total -- I can't remember them all for sure but in sum they are the losses of passing down your own genes, the experience of being pregnant, experiencing a shared pregnancy, creating a child together, and being parents. She asks that you think about which of these are most important to you. It is an interesting exercise because it can help you to think about your feelings about other treatment options (e.g., surrogacy, egg donor) as well as adoption. For us, the experience of being parents was the most important thing -- I'd bet that this is the case for most couples going through infertility; however, I think that the importance that different people place on the other factors varies dramatically and is ultimately at least one of the main driving factors in the decisions that people make. (The other important factor for many of us is the financial considerations -- this was certainly true for us and is something I want to explore more in another post.) Going through the list of losses and thinking about how I felt about each one was actually very helpful and thought-provoking even though we had already made the decision to move to adoption. In fact, as I write about it, I think it is something worth coming back to even now that we have a child.

K and I were both dealing with some strong emotions around these issues last weekend. We were actually on our way to do some baby shopping (one of our first big outings with Jonah). K shared with me that he had really been struggling with the feeling of wanting to try infertility treatment again and feeling this need to pass on his genes or something. It was a tough conversation in a lot of ways and it's difficult for me to write about, so for now, I am going to skip going through the details and just say that I believe (and K has confirmed this) that he really just needed to express these feelings out loud to me, to acknowledge them (to recognize that he felt guilty for having them) and to talk through some of the emotions surrounding them. This whole conversation took place in the car. We had finished the conversation by the time we got to Baby's R Us. K felt relieved to have gotten things off his chest and I was feeling good that I was not dealing with those emotions.

We returned some gifts and started looking around. K was pushing Jonah in the stroller while I was browsing baby clothes. In the same area as the boy's baby clothes were maternity clothes and breast feeding accessories. All around me were pregnant women. And I was all of a sudden struck by an overwhelming sense of insecurity mingled with sadness/loss. And it seemed so ridiculous -- here I was with my baby and yet I was still feeling this sense of loss. I had not gotten to shop and prepare before having my baby. I did not get to be pregnant with him. But even more than that, I was feeling so insecure. I felt as though everyone would look at me and not see me as a legitimate mom. That somehow it was obvious to everyone that I was not a "real" mom, that I did not know what I was doing and that I did not deserve to be a mother. It's weird, at home I do not feel insecure at all about my ability to care for Jonah and be a mother. But almost every time I have been out in public with him, I start feeling insecure and like an impostor. I think it's still part of that overall sense that this can't be real.

But it is real. And I do deserve it. And I am a "real" mother. Sometimes I guess I just need to remind myself of that.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Merry New Year!

We were talking to my SIL, J, last night and she said that while 2007 had been a big and good year for them, they were glad that it was over. They adopted their third child in July and a month or so ago B had a vasectomy. J said that she was glad to be moving into a new year where from now on they would not have to be thinking or worrying about getting a phone call about an adoptive situation and they would never have to worry about an unexpected pregnancy (not that it was likely to happen anyway). They could finally just move on with their lives, with their family complete and the difficult family-building process over.

Her comments really resonated with me and made me realize that 2008 will be the first year in 3 years that I won't be doing any kind of fertility treatment. 2005, 2006, and 2007 are defined in my mind in many ways by the various treatments and failures that we experienced. Memories of other events are remembered in relation to where we were in various treatment or failures -- "Oh, right. I remember that, it was right after I lost my second pregnancy..." I am really glad to know that 2008 holds no possibilities of more IF treatment! While K and I definitely want more children (we've already been talking about it which is kind of sad), and K in particular wants to try IF one more time (with our 4 remaining frozen embryos), it most certainly won't be this next year. And that feels really good.