Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hard times

This has been a hard month.

I can't stop thinking about those children and their families from Connecticut.  And when I think of them, I cry.  Doesn't matter if I am on the bus, at work, putting my precious child to bed -- I cry.  Because I could not put the pieces of my life back together if B was taken away from me, and I hate thinking about how these parents have to try to do just that.  Maybe because I did lose someone suddenly (my father died suddenly when I was 14), I know too well the true deep grief that one feels when the world changes in an instant.  But the loss of a child?  That is too much to bear -- it violates the very order of things in the universe.  And so I cry for those families, I cry in fear that something could happen to B, and I cry because I have known loss and it never really goes away.

I've signed every gun control petition that is out on the internet, I've written my congressman and senators, and signed up for the million kids march and I've hugged everyone tightly.  So not much more to actually DO.  Yet despite my action to try to repair the world, those families still lost children.

Other scary things in recent past?  Let's see -- there was the terrible terrible tragedy of a nanny having a breakdown and stabbing two young children to death in their apartment. 10 blocks from my house, and very much in my community. The mother was out with her middle child at swimming when it happened.  Where I take B to swimming.  I have a nanny that I love and trust with my child, but this was so, so close to home.  It scared everyone I know. It broke my heart and was completely terrifying.

Then there was the hurricane.  In which people we know lost everything they have, others died when trees suddenly fell on them, and two children got pulled out of their mother's arms by rising flood waters and drowned.  Also completely terrifying. Because I cannot imagine living as that mother with that loss and guilt and sadness.

And then most randomly, a mentally ill person pushed a passenger in front of a subway. And he died.  I'm afraid of very little in the city, but that actually happens to be my irrational fear, but it turns out to be not so irrational after all.

People die every day.  People die random, unplanned, tragic deaths every day.  And every one of those people should be mourned.  Yet somehow in my community, in my world, there seems to be just so much that is scary and sad and it makes me question if or how I can protect my family.  I guess I can't really keep B in a bubble, with me at all times in our home.  But there is just so much sadness and fear.

This is so damned depressing. But it's been a rough month with a lot of crying.  There is just so much sadness these days, I hope that we can all pull together to make things a bit brighter for us and our children.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

So as it turns out, I'm not dead

And nor have I given up on this whole "let's see if we can have a second kid before I am 45" dream.

It's been a while, so here's a brief summary of where I've been (and where my head has been, which to sum it up, has pretty much been all over the place).

- Start trying for baby number two in Feb 2012.  On second cycle get pregnant with low but normally rising betas.  After 7 weeks and a heartbeat, get kicked in the teeth when I develop a SCH and miscarry.  Cry.  Lots.  Feel that this was my one decent shot and that the stupid SCH f*cked it all up.  Have no data that actually proves that to be true, but I hold onto that like it is an article of faith.  Because I'm positive that way.

- After D&C and some healing, jump right back in. If I can get pregnant once, I can do it again.  And screw you for mucking up my life with a MC.  Manage to squeeze in a cycle before we go away for July.  Commute by car and train 4 hours for transfer to find that only embryos I've got kinda suck -- 6, 5 and 4 cell.  Hoo-f*ing-ray.  Enjoy the rest of vacation and then get a call with BFN on the way back home.

- Try another cycle. Because you know, I'm not going out on crappy embryos like that.  Crank out 15 eggs.  Exactly zero fertilize with ICSI.  They try to do IVM and some do fertilize after that, but none develop.  Nothing to transfer.  I hit the lowest of the low. Because what I've always believed is that if I am cranking out a fair number of eggs (always more than 10, up to 18), I should actually have *better* odds than my age group would predict.  But if nothing f*ing fertilizes because there is something else going on?  Well then my statistical chances of having a real live baby are pretty much also zero (which would be, for those of you following, *less* than the statistics at my advanced age.)  Rant and rail against the unfairness of it all and realized I probably made some piss poor choices that got me to where I am 42 years old and trying to have a kid.  Review my entire adult life and proclaim it a huge mistake and failure, except for the miracle of B. But frankly, he'd be happier with a younger mom and a sibling too.  So feel like sh*t.  Still do, most days.

Have long heart to heart with RE.  His view is that we need to do some research into what's going on with my eggs and DH's sperm.  After a long consult with the andrologist (who was one of the first to use ICSI, so I guess he knows what he is doing, their general belief is that there is something weird happening with maturity of my eggs, and while they appear mature, cytoplasmically, all is not well.  So a protocol change is recommended for what may be our very last try. Because if we can't get my eggs to fertilize, then we are done.

- Try again in October.  18 eggs, 16 mature, 11 fertilize. I breathe a huge sigh of relief that we have figured out how to get my fertilization rates higher (pretty much anything above 0% would be good, but now I am right up by the ICSI averages for the first time ever). Transfer 4 good looking embryos (8,7,7,7) and feel completely confident that we have figured out the problem and the cycle will work.  Except it doesn't.  Because despite knowing full well that the likelihood of a chromosomally normal embryo is pretty low, I still thought that I would get pregnant on this cycle.  Amazing how irrational hope is.  Don't even bother crying any more. Just angry.  Pretty much all the time.  Except at B.

- Try again in November (yeah, why take a break when I am careening into another birthday?).  10 eggs only 6 mature, but 5 fertilize.  But at 3 days they are only 8, 5, 4, 4 cells (and one at 2 that doesn't even count).  Thinking that they maybe triggered me a day too soon this go round, but I had a large discrepancy in follicle size for the first time, so who really knows any more.  Transfer was yesterday.  Feel pretty much like this is a loss already, since it's pretty unlikely that 5 or 4 celled embryos will become a baby.  So just annoyed, and sad, and would very much like a drink.  Right now, thanks very much.  But instead I will probably eat an organic cheese stick, since that's what's in the house right now and I don't really feel that I should poison these embryos.  At least not on the first day of the wait.

In other news, B is a real delight.  He makes jokes, speaks in sentences, and has started singing ALL the time.  Nothing better than waking up to the sound of him singing in his crib.  Makes the rest of this sh*t completely worthwhile.  He had a lovely halloween and we hosted a very nice thanksgiving with our families, and we are now trying to find 8 small presents for the upcoming hanukah marathon.  He informed me he wanted a piano. A big piano. In his room. And he wants a french horn.  And a tuba.  We will see about that.

Here's a photo, just so that you can feel confident that he is not as crabby as his mother is.  This was the afternoon after our first trip to the ER -- he fell over in his stroller (he was standing up, against strict instructions, before I buckled him in, and then tried to jump.  Bad idea.) and got a big ol' gash and large lump over his right eye, and then was very sleepy, so we took him in just to be sure he hadn't done too much damage. He was fine, and it was probably good to go to the ER when it wasn't a real crisis.  But it did make hard to get a good photo for the holiday card the next day when we went out to the pumpkin patch, as pretty much every shot showed either the gash or his black eye. But aside from the minor crisis detailed above, he is just better than I could hope for.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Giving up

How do you know when it is time to give up?  I may be nearing that time.

I had my most recent egg retrieval last week (Thursday) and while 13 eggs were retrieved, exactly zero fertilized with ICSI.  Actually, let me be more specific.  Eight were mature, and none fertilized, and then they attempted to mature and fertilize the other five, and while three did fertilize, none of them made it to a place where they were worth transferring.

I know I'm old.  I get that.  But because I always made loads of eggs and have managed to get pregnant twice I always thought that our issue was just age and not anything more complicated than that. And maybe that still is it (I guess really crappy eggs don't fertilize or divide properly, right?).  But we are waaay waaay below the norm for fertilization rates for ICSI for women in my age cohort (we've never been above 40% and now we've hit 0%) and so it's clear that something is not working at a molecular level.

I spoke with my RE before the immature ICSI results were back, and he agrees that it is time to look at a more scientific (vs. clinical) level at what is going on.  But I'm not sure that these shrinking odds are worth it.

I don't know where to go from here.  I am heartbroken.

Monday, August 27, 2012

How is it possible that my baby is almost 19 months old?

My little tiny 6-pound baby is a big boy.  Almost a grown-up, as I see it.  Not only is he the size of a 2.5 year old (over 3 feet tall and about 31 lbs, and most impressively wears a size 7 shoe), but we went away on vacation for two weeks and he came back both able to speak in sentences and very interested in playing independently.

We rented this awesome farmhouse in upstate NY for two weeks -- it was an old house that had been expanded and redone and was both very spacious and comfortable as well as super cozy.  And it had central air, which is huge for us city dwellers that live with window units all summer long.

Best of all, the house was on 200 acres and there were pastures with a herd of cows and a bard with three horses right across the road.  And since it was a pretty quiet dirt road, it was very easy to get to them every morning and say "hi cows" "good morning horsies."

It was a great trip -- we would take a walk in the morning, all eat breakfast together on the porch, and then have some sort of activity for the day -- whether it was driving into the nearby town (30 minutes away) and having lunch and going to the bookstore or going to the park with the lake for swimming, there was usually something new to do.  But honestly, there were probably a couple of days where we just hung out in the backyard and Ben played with dirt and sticks (can someone explain to me the whole little boy fascination with sticks?) and threw things into the small stream that ran behind the house.  And it was wonderful.

Maybe because we live in the city and there aren't as many clean places to play like that, I worry that Ben is missing out on a lot of unstructured play that is important to childhood.  Because while we are very lucky and live right on Central Park, I just don't get the same wholesome feeling from him playing in park dirt that I did when we were out in the country and the dirt was "clean."  So I think that this will be our last summer that we are not away most of the summer -- it's too nice to be outside and to have space and fresh air to restrict it to only two weeks.

We keep talking about buying a place upstate, but this, like so many other things, hinges upon whether we have another kid.  Like so much else, we really don't know what will make the most sense for our family until we know whether we will be three or four.

But while we are sorting that out, I still am in awe of what a big, grown-up boy I have.  Last week he told me "mommy put buckle through loops close it" which basically means I put my belt through the loops and then close the buckle. And every time he hears a plane he looks up and says "I see airplane! See it!" And he has, once or twice, spontaneously said "I love you mommy."  And honestly if that he is the only child we ever have, for that alone, he will be enough.

WIth that, I will leave you with some photos of my big, grown-up boy playing on the farm. It was really wonderful just to sit back and watch him play.  Now that he as (mostly) stopped shoving rocks and sticks in his mouth, we can give him a lot more room to roam!

Friday, August 24, 2012

It is 630 am and I have an IV -- Updated

I am having a hysteroscopy today. Sitting in pre op with this annoying and kinda painful IV waiting for my surgery at 730. And I'm terrified.

This is irrational. I have been under anesthesia before. I am being seen by my Very experienced Dr. But I am afraid I am going to die. I have no idea why. And now I am starting to get all teary.

DH is home with B, and they were both asleep when I left. I am just scared I won't see them again.

I think it's because  this is a new procedure for me and because I am in main hospital with all sorts of other people having ambulatory surgery.  So I am with sick people.  And that makes me feel sick. And like something is going to go wrong.  Which I know is irrational as noted above. But there you are.

So the hysteroscopy is to make sure that all looks ok after the miscarriage and d&c. You know, since the last cycle failed and if we are going too succeed we want to check out everything that is check out-able

And maybe I am scared because I know that we are kind of pulling out all the stops for this next cycle and I am afraid it is going to fail.

I want another child. I miss the baby-mess of B and would like him to have a sibling. And I know that  B has filled my heart with such joy and I feel that I have the capacity for more.

But first I must focus on today and not panicking. Or dying. Man I am a mess today. And my IV hurts.  I just want this to be done and to be 25 weeks pregnant. Like I would be if that miscarriage had not happened.

I need to calm down. Wish me luck.

clearly am still among the living. 
I clearly am also somewhat embarrassed about being sort of hysterical this morning.  Something about this really got me worked up - couldn't fall asleep last night, was fearful and teary today -- the whole thing was very unusual for me. Usually I head off to retrievals, transfers, etc by myself with no worries.  So something else is going on, beside the scary hospital context.

I sort of remember speaking to the dr after I woke. Apparently there was some scar tissue at the top of my uterus that they removed. And we will get all the path results next week. Hopefully those will be clear. In the meantime, i am monitoring ovulation in advance of a co-culture procedure on/ about the 6th, after which point my period should come and we should be cleared for another round.

But I think I hit it on the head this morning: I'm worried that the stakes are very high and that I am quickly running out of  runway on child number #2.

More on that later, as child #1 has just discovered I am home and I think we both need a hug. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Well that sucked

I got the results of my cycle this morning as we started homeward from our two week vacation -- negative.

I'm not that surprised since the embryos all kinda sucked -- 6,5, and 4 cells at three days, when usually mine go to 8, but I am wondering whether this relatively crappy cycle (11 retrieved but only 3 fertilized with icsi) is a sign of things to come and that my fertility has in fact fallen of a cliff.

Basically, I'm starting to think that this 42 year old is just too old for this bullshit and I should give up, strong desires for a second child notwithstanding.

I haven't spoken to my dr yet -- we are in the car and have a sleeping baby and only sketchy signal (and so sorry for typos, too).  I will try to connect with him tomorrow.

Anyway sorry for not commenting a lot recently -- I was trying to kind of checkout from this whole thing during the wait. I have been reading the last couple of days, and will re-engage soon.

Fuck. This pisses me off.  I kinda thought that after the last cycle miscarrige shitshow  I might catch a break.   Apparently my notions of "fairness" are not at play here.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Catching a bit of a break

Wow.  Much has gone on in the past month or so, and I have about 3-4 posts worth of stuff bouncing around in my brain, but I guess the big infertility related news is...
... IVF #5 is off and running.  (But holy Sh*t.  Five?  That is waay too many needles.)

It's actually pretty amazing that this is working out.  My d&c was May 29 and the OB/ RE both said my period should come back in 4-6 weeks.  My clinic was closed for cycle starts until July 11, so if it came back early, I'd be on bcp's until just before the 11th.. AND, the complicating part about that is we are going away on vacation for two weeks on the 27th.  We will be driving distance away, but it would be pretty much impossible to be mid cycle while I was on vacation (especially since my clinic does daily morning monitoring the second week of stims).  So if I had not been able to start on the 11th or 12th, we would have just bagged this month and waited to start until August. And I would have been pissed off, since I already resent that I had to delay so much for the pregnancy that wasn't.

But, despite my fears that I would never get my period again and that this whole miscarriage and d&c sh*tshow had ruined everything, my period arrived at 9pm on July 10.  Pretty much exactly perfect timing.  Everything looks normal (although thanks to the new Dr. wielding the wand, I was too uncomfortable to really look at the screen. I have much to say about how I'd prefer not to be a training ground for vaginal ultrasounds, but perhaps another time) and there appear to be 10 or so antral follicles. (Back to the training wheels on the ultrasound wand.  He had an awfully hard time finding my left ovary, so I thought, what better way to break this uncomfortable tension than with a joke "Oh -- looks like they took it out when they did my d&c in May."  That got his attention and perhaps communicated the point that I was not entirely amused with all of the poking.)

So I am doing it -- tonight is 3rd night of shots and it's just like riding a bike, except with sharp needles and no fancy bell to ring.  Actually not like riding a bike at all, except that I remember what to do.

I'd really really really like this to work.  Out of the 4 cycles I have done, I've gotten pregnant 2x.  We've put back in a total of  9 embryos over those 4 cycles.  It took 5 to get to the one that is probably having a nap right now and another 4 to where there was a visible heartbeat.  Not terrible percentages. Not fabulous, but neither is being 42 and trying to have a second child.  (Incidentally, can you all tell that I retreat to numbers and meaningless analysis when I am stressed? There are so many statistical errors in how I am thinking, it makes my head spin.  Yet somehow I find it comforting.)

Please please work.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Advice from other toddler moms

Two questions requiring advice, please.

1) For those of you in the NE, what do you do to make sure your kids are tick free after playing outside?  For my in-laws who have the house with the lawn, the solution is just to keep the kid indoors, but that seems absurd.

2) What have you done/ are you doing about teeth brushing?  B has 7 teeth and he uses a toothbrush every day or so, but it's not real "brush for 2 minutes" brushing.  Instead, he likes to hold it and chew on it and is not a fan at ALL of mommy brushing his teeth for him. Am I supposed to be doing something else?  (And no, I cannot use a finger brush.  He bites. Hard.)

Obviously I am not working very hard today.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I wish I had something to say

I'm still here.

D&E was fine.  Really.  Perhaps my assessment of this was made more positive by the large amount of sedating drugs I was given immediately beforehand, but I've had little cramping and limited spotting and it's been over a week, so I think I'm past the most of it.

Turned out that doctor to whom my RE refers for that procedure actually happened to be my OB, and so it was nice not to have to see a stranger for something so difficult.  She was really wonderful and made a difficult procedure as easy as it could be.

She also told me something that I keep repeating to myself: a healthy pregnancy can be sustained even in the most adverse circumstances. So that my pregnancy ended had nothing to do with me or lifting a heavy baby or not drinking quite enough water or any of the myriad things I feel that I did to screw this up.

Because we just wanted everything to be done with and to get some closure, we decided not to do genetic testing.  I think that if we had found out that the embryo was chromosomally normal, it would have been harder for me, so frankly I'd rather just not know.

Occasionally, I still think that I am pregnant.  Because for a month I was.  But I'm not.

Instead, I'm trying to get a plan in place by which we can squeeze in another cycle in July between some vacations.  Since I tend to stim for about 100 days (or 15, whatever), it's mighty tight, and involves about 5 hours of additional train or driving but I'm not really interested in waiting until mid-August.

So much for this being simple.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

If I think about other things...

...then perhaps the fact that I am going in for a d&c this afternoon will be less frightening and sad.

Instead, I will think about how B is practically a grown up boy, and is such a cute and funny baby.  He is talking nonstop now (favorites are Tunnel and Bicycle) and he has started putting two words together -- mostly  noun verb ("Mommy back" or my personal favorite "poop change") but every once in a while he pulls out an adjective noun combo ("yellow bucket") and the fact that he is actually able to put words together in a way that is logical and communicates just blows me away.

He loves LOVES music (which is, for reasons unclear to us, pronounced somewhat like "newcuk") and has expanded his dance moves from the bounce in place to a spinning move and to lifting one foot and then the other. This last requires great concentration and sometimes a death grip on the wall or some other support, but he's getting it done.  But mostly, when he wants to dance (which is another thing he asks for all the time, usually at inappropriate times like when we are out in his stroller or getting ready to go to sleep), he wants to be picked up and spun around.  That, for B, is the best type of dancing.

Other new developments?  When B is tired at nap time or bedtime, he just says "niy night" and puts his head on my chest.  And then looks at me and says "bye bye."  Seriously, we have the world's easiest baby.

So today, when I am feeling pretty scared and pretty sh*tty about this whole m/c debacle, I am trying to remember that we are so so lucky.  We are not lucky just because he sleeps and eats well, doesn't really (yet) have temper tantrums and is pretty smiley and fun most of the time, but because he exists and is our baby and loves us and lights up with a smile when he sees us.

Friday, May 25, 2012

For real, now

Heartbeat was gone.

 Embryo was measuring just 1mm more than on Monday and 2 weeks behind, so clearly all was not going as it should. For the first time, I didn't look at the screen, just the ceiling, while I held DH's hand. I didn't need to see. At one point I laughed at something he said and the very sensitive U/S tech asked me to stop as she was trying very hard to find a heartbeat. So I couldn't even pretend it wasn't happening.

 No bleeding and just a small amount of brown spotting since Sunday, so I don't know if the SCH is gone or not, but it really doesn't matter. My RE was gone for the day by the time this was over, but he's working this weekend so he will likely call so we can discuss next steps. My view? Get it out get it done and move on to a cycle after vacation in early July.

 I have to admit I am relieved. I didn't want to see a lower number still sputtering or a slightly higher one just jerking us around. Aside from a miracle resumption of normal growth and hb, this was the best outcome. But this process has been exhausting. It's been the whole month of May -- the first beta was April 30. I'm ready for it to be over and done and move on.

 But I am still so sad. There was a little flicker of life that was very very wanted and now it's gone.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I feel like sh*t

In case you all were thinking that I bounced back from the past two days and am now back to my normal, relatively chipper self, I'm not.

Talked to my RE yesterday afternoon.  His view is, this is very concerning and unlikely to end with a take-home baby, but let's wait and see what happens and go back next week (Tuesday) for another fancy ultrasound with the really unpleasant and not especially gentle with the wand tech.  So I'm back to waiting.

I feel like I am just walking around, going about my business, while this embryo -- this little tiny potential -- is dying.  And I cannot do a f*cking thing about it.  This is maddening, and terrifying, and sad all at the same time.

And I am at work and I am terrified that the scary bleeding will start again without any notice, just like it did before.

And I fear that this was my one statistical shot at pregnancy and I have blown it.  That somehow I did something wrong -- picking up B too many times, vacuuming the apartment, walking stairs -- that caused this bleed that is ending the pregnancy.

And I don't want to have to be cheerful with my 23 week pregnant coworker (remember her?  the "I told my family at a positive pee stick and I've got my crib set up at 9 weeks"?) nor do I want to have the conversation with my boss today about how I will have to do her job during her maternity leave.

I just want to curl up and hide and go back to Sunday at 5pm before the sh*tshow started.

Remember my post from about 2 weeks ago?  The one that laid out the options?  This is clearly the worst one.  The problem is that each time I made it over another hurdle, I grew more and more comfortable with the idea that this pregnancy would make it. And now, well now it's just gutting me to know it will not, and that we will have to wait until the end of the summer to try again.

Dear Universe: if you are going to be a d*ck, please do so quickly, instead of dragging it out and really allowing a false sense of hope to accumulate.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Gone -- Updated

Heartbeat is gone.

 I am sad. That's an understatement, as I'm sure you can guess. Just empty, really. Can't really muster crying. Going in hopefully later today for hi res u/s to confirm what we know. Then will decide what to do.

Update: It's worse than we thought. Per the fancy machine at the maternal and fetal medicine office, embryo only measuuring 5w5d but still has cardiac activity -- 71 bpm. So it's not dead but dying. And there is a big subchorionic hematoma there as well.

 This means I'm going to have to do the whole thing over in a few days.

 Fu*k me. This could not be any harder.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Oh no

Just started cramping and bleeding and there was a big clot of something that I think was this pregnancy. Going in tomorrow to confirm but think its over.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


I can take a deep breath.

There was a heartbeat, at about 140 bpm, and a perfectly round yolk sac, and a little peanut shaped embryo measuring 7.7mm, or exactly 6w5d.

My RE has given us 80 percent odds of coming home with a baby in 34 weeks.  I will take those odds.

My RE has also checked me out and sent me off to my OB, who I hope will let me come in next week and every week thereafter for u/s.  Frankly, I'm not ready to leave yet, but... I'll take this over the alternative.

I am pregnant and I am relieved and I am happy.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Today, I am a crazy person

I've managed to keep the crazy at bay for the most part for the last six days.  But today?  Today I can barely focus on a simple task because all I can think about is tomorrow's u/s.  Which, for those who want to tune in, is at 3.30 pm.

I've been having some brown spotting, which I know is nothing to be worried about (but of course it makes me anxious nonetheless), still having some pulling/ stretching feelings from down below, and am a bit tired and constantly starving, but otherwise... crickets.  No other symptoms. And frankly I'm probably tired because B gets up at 6am.

29 hours seems like a long time from now.  Maybe if I actually did some work (heaven forfend) the time would go faster?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Well, there is something in there

A gestational sac was seen today in my 42-year old uterus (yesterday was my birthday).

While I would have loved to see a fetal pole and maybe a little cardiac flickering, since I am only at 5w4d and we all suspect a late implanter, my RE said things all look good.

They took blood too to check on HCG, estrogen and progesterone, but those aren't back until tomorrow.
UPDATE:  They are back.  Beta is 2664 at 22dp3dt.  E2 is now at 75 and progesterone is 22.
Doubling has slowed a bit to 49 hours, but I guess that is supposed to happen after HCG hits 1500 or so?

Either way, I'm clinically pregnant. Crazy. And exciting.

Now just 7 days until the next ultrasound.  Wow that is far away.

Monday, May 7, 2012

One step forward.

Beta more than doubled again to 920.  Doubling time of 40 hours.  I'm (I can't believe I'm writing this) 5w1d.  Or 19dp3dt.

Per the smart people on the internet, my beta levels are still well within the normal range.  I just appear to be 1-2 days behind.

And estrogen, while still low, is on an upswing at 41.  Progesterone 23 (due to the 1 inch needle I jab into my ass nightly).

The nurse and RE seem very happy with where things are going.

I am still terrified, as this is just so much lower than my values last time.

Just for recap, because typing these numbers calms my brain, here's where things are:
12dp3dt   39
14dp3dt   104
16dp3dt   264
19dp3dt   920
u/s at 22dp3dt or 5w4d

My one other experience with pregnancy?
10dp5dt 254
13dp5dt 1326
u/s at 5w6d

Frankly, I'm still convinced that this is going to end badly.  Here's my options:
- Nothing in my uterus on Thursday.  I think this is not that likely because doubling has been normal, but it's a possibility.
- Empty sac.
- Sac and fetal pole but miscarriage sometime before 12 weeks.  Because I read research (thank you, google!) that indicates that beta levels lower than the median are indicators of increased miscarriage risk, especially in older women (happy birthday to me).  And I can't even think of how horrific this would be, but I know already that it would gut me.
- Sac and fetal pole and then heartbeat and other good stuff.  I can't yet wrap my head around this one.

So yeah, I am portending doom. Not because I want failure, but because I need to protect my tender soft parts that are trying to attach to the idea of something growing inside of me.  I want this to work quite badly, and I will be devastated if the little flicker of life goes out.

This is hard.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Am I just being set up for disaster?

Beta today is 264.  I'm 16dp3dt.  Doubling time is 35 hours.

On the chart from BabyMed I appear to be really quite close to their average (which I assume is a median) for 19 dpo, which is 303.  (And thanks for making it impossible to include my fancy chart.)

I go back for Beta #4 on Monday and then have an u/s (are you kidding me?) scheduled for Thursday.

But my E2 is still a bit low (no, I don't recall what it is), and this started so low that I can't get past the fear right now that this will go on for a bit and get me convinced it is going to work and then all come crashing down.  Last time I felt much more confident since my 10dp5dt beta was 254 and it was above 1300  3 days later.

Only time will tell, I guess. But sweet Jesus do I hate this part.

So, in summary, today, things look good-ish*, but I am scared sh*tless that this will all end badly.

*I have to qualify this because I don't want to jinx it.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

And in other news...

My darling, wonderful, light of my life baby boy had his 15 month check up today.

First words out of the pediatrician's mouth? "So, I see you aren't getting any smaller!"

Baby boy is HUGE: 34" and 29lbs (before breakfast)!

But he was charming and chatty and did all of his excellent trained monkey tricks (he says his name when asked, he quacked when I showed him a duck, he said please and thank you) and only howled a bit when he got his shots (he has to get them in his arm because his legs are too fat).

Here's a gratuitous picture of my very cute (yea, I'm biased) little boy on a carousel.  He wasn't entirely sure what to think of it, but mommy and daddy and gramma all had a great time. And he is wearing his (my) favorite shirt with a rooster on it (thank you, mini-Boden for making cute little boy clothes without trucks or skateboards or footballs).

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I'm still in the game

Beta is 104 at 14dp3dt.

Doubling time is slightly less than 34 hours.

Back in for another test on Friday (they initially said Monday but we decided that was unacceptably long!).


I have to admit I am surprised.  And pleased.

Monday, April 30, 2012

So this is kinda complicated

I'm pregnant-ish.

Beta at 12dp3dt was 39.

I had tested Saturday and got a negative result, despite me trying to convince my husband that there was a second line there.

And I am spotting a little bit of brown since yesterday. (Yeah, yuck.  Sorry.)

So I expected to get a negative result today and then plot timing for another cycle.

Instead, I guess I go back Wednesday to find out what's up.

But even if this goes south, as I sort of expect it will, I've already beaten the odds a bit.  Because in my age cohort there is only a 20% chance of pregnancy per cycle, and I managed to achieve that.

So maybe in this cycle or in some future one I can beat the odds again?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

I've convinced myself that this has worked

Which is basically a recipe for disaster.

Before we get into how my head is completely f*cking with me (because you know, its my *head* and I couldn't possibly control it), I think that it's important that we review the numbers:
- National SART stats for likelihood of live birth per cycle for women 41-42 (with previous ART cycle and prev. live birth): 14.5%
-My age: 41 years and 50 weeks
- Number of embryos I transferred: 3, all 8-celled
- Days post-transfer: 7
- Days remaining until test: 5

What I'd really like to know are the cumulative live birth rates for my age cohort, but I can't seem to find that.  If anyone has them, feel free to share!

So while several of the comments raise the possibility of triplets (and here I say Heaven forfend!), I think that I am much more likely to have zero babies than any number greater than zero.  Because I am old.  And my eggs? They are even older.

But instead of understanding these numbers and internalizing the very low probability of success this cycle, instead I am letting myself open the door to a bit of foolish optimism. It's absurd, and violates my belief in always assuming the worst and then being pleasantly surprised.  Because at heart, though I am cynical, and bitchy and dark, I am an optimist and I just can't really believe that 15% means just that -- a 1 in 6 shot.

So why have I let my head screw with me (see above for how my head is totally on its own here, and pretty much outside of my influence)?  Because I am crampy.  Not in a "I'm getting my period" sort of way, but in a "something is afoot down there, there are all sorts of pulling and twinge-y things occurring."  So that has me totally convinced that I am beating the odds and am actually going to get pregnant with a take home baby this cycle.  I know that's ridiculous, but there you go.

Also, because we've never put back nearly this many embryos before (we are usually eSET people, but at my age we decided after much discussion that it was a waste of time to take that approach), my head equates more embryos in with much higher chance of pregnancy.  In short, I believe that it now HAS to work.

I'm heading for a huge, tremendous disappointment.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

And now we wait

This cycle did a bit better in terms of yield:
15 retrieved
6 fertilized
6 still going on day 3 (although 2 were kinda cruddy looking and one was mediocre)

Transfer of three lovely 8-celled embryos was yesterday afternoon, and now it's time for waiting.

I hate the waiting. Really. (Yeah, we ALL hate the waiting but I hate it Right. Now.)

Plus, they told me not to lift heavy things, which means I can't pick up my baby for a few days. Sniff.

I'll know what's up by Monday the 30th. That is AGES from now. Thankfully, my mom is coming in for the weekend, so that should be a good distraction.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

On competition

I'm not that competitive. Well, let me strike that. With things I am good at, I like to to well and to win. With things that I am not yet that good at? I couldn't really care less. That train led me to become a rather good student and a rather mediocre athlete, because I never could muster up the energy to try to beat people who cared more and might actually have been better.

Case in point, I was at a friend's and they wanted to play with the Wii. Ive never used one and I don't especially like video games (and as it turns out have very little facility for them). All I wanted was for the annoying loud game to stop. I sucked, but I also didn't try because I didn't care.

But on Words With Friends, which I have just started playing (late adopter of the iPhone) where there is a good shot of me winning? I'm kind of crazed. And although Liz at Womb for Improvement just handed me my ass in a game, I really try.

So what's the point? The point is that I am now bound and determined to get pregnant and have a second baby because I ran into my friend (and here) in the waiting room at morning monitoring. Despite her adamant protestations that she was "one and done" since it took her many cycles the first go round, there she was at 7.30am. And even though she says "oh we are certainly not going to do that many rounds again" I don't really believe her. At all.

So I know that everyone has the right to share or not share what they are thinking about their family planning choices. I know that, and I do much the same thing. And I know that people change their minds about what they will and will not do. But still, I'd like to think that I would just not say anything about what we would do in the future instead of firmly stating a position. Especially to someone that I am supposed to have some sort of trusting relationship with and who may have shared some personal information or thoughts with me.

Either way, there she was.

And now, despite the fact that we went into this new IVF-athon with some boundaries set (we said we would do up to 5 embryo transfers, since that's what it took to get B), now I'm thinking all bets are off. Because I would really like to have two kids and I certainly don't see why she should get what she wants and I should set some sort of arbitrary limit on getting what I want.

OK. When I write that, it sounds ridiculous. And so perhaps I was more sanguine about the limits before I started up with the shots and the calendars and the daily monitoring again. Because now? On the eve of my second transfer? I want this sh*t to WORK.

It was funny, actually. As I was walking to the subway after I ran into my aforementioned friend, I said out loud to myself "Damn. Now I HAVE to make this work." I knew immediately that her trying for a second baby would make me feel differently about our attempts at the same. What I can't really understand is WHY her presence jolted me out of my more lackadaisical attitude. Could it just be competitiveness? That's crazy and stupid. I actually think that it is closer to the truth about how I feel and I've just been trying to be lower key about this attempt. At least I hope that's the truth. Because having a baby because someone else is is idiotic. Really, even I know that and I'm all hopped up on injectable hormones.

Maybe a little competitive streak isn't bad when it helps surface feelings that you were trying to hide because they were scary and could lead to disappointment. But the wanting is out there now -- I'm not as convinced about our limits on cycles and I'm not convinced about our eSET approach (more on that in another post). What I am convinced of is that I really want to have another baby.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I am having a no good very bad day.

I'm feeling very emotionally fragile and hypersensitive and I cannot for the life of me shake it. It started on Friday and I've just been on the brink of tears intermittently since then. I know I have a lot going on, but this feeling of just "I'm crabby and pissed off at the world and don't look at me funny or I will cry" hasn't come around in a while.

I wish I could blame the shots (which I just typed as "sh*its" in a Freudian slip of the fingers), but I can't as they started on Friday and I felt pretty ragged all day. I just feel as if I am doing a crap job at everything -- at being a mom, being a wife, being an employee, being a friend. I feel like I am sucking at all of them and still running ragged.

Friday several members of my team went out to lunch and didn't ask me. Happens more often than I'd like to admit (they are all younger, single, hang out after work, etc.), but it really has started to grate on me. I feel like I am in junior high school. And what's more annoying is that I care as much as I would if I were in junior high school, which is crazily stupid on my part, but I just can't stop from feeling bad.

On Saturday night we went to dinner with a friend from Chicago and her husband. At the last minute she invited along our mutual friend who lives near me but has been pretty much absentee as a friend, despite the fact that we are both moms of boys the same age after several years of IVF. And it was just awkward, because I couldn't get past the fact that I resent the woman who has essentially dumped me as a friend. There were some other details that are too boring to mention, but I need to just get over it and yet it has deepened my sour mood.

So basically, I feel as if everyone I come into contact with is being incredibly annoying. My tolerance for bullshit is about zero, and my ability to fake it and be nice is also somewhat impaired.

I walked in the door yesterday evening. Early! To spend an extra bit of time with the wee one! And he started to cry and asked his nanny to pick him up. So I took a deep breath, took the dog outside, and continued to take deep breaths until the desire to bawl my eyes out passed. And while B got over his crying by the time I got back with the dog, I felt even worse than I had before I came home. (Of course, it took only 3 minutes with him before I felt better, so coming home early turned out to be the right idea.)

I don't have the faintest idea what I am doing. Am I making the right decision to work? I kind of need the money and health insurance, so stopping is not really an option. Am I making the right decision to pursue a second child when I can barely keep my head above water with one? What is wrong with me that I feel so incredibly lonely right now and when I think of how much I love my little boy I can barely keep from crying?

I feel I need a nap. Or a cookie. Or a hug.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Houston, we have contact

In addition to pique over my colleague's pregnancy and some amount of sadness over my lack of one, we do have two exciting positive developments in casa Irrational: full on running has commenced. As has constant talking. Constant, effective talking, no less.

This morning, I was awakened by "up. Up. UP. UPUPUP. BABA. BABA." and when I stumbled in to B's room, baba in hand (yeah, don't ask about breaking up with the bottle), I was greeted with "Hi. Mommy."

Then later there was "book" "shoe" and "out" (that's "let's go outside for our walk already") and "cracker" about 100 times until someone got a bunny cracker.

I feel like the crazy "my child is talking even though no one can understand him" mom, but, really, I don't think I am making this up. Really. Even my husband agrees he is actually talking, and since he usually is the one who accuses me of making sh*t up, I am actually convinced that I am not just "that mom" and that we really do have communication.

What's awesome is that it makes it so much easier to avoid frustration and (newly-arrived and not very welcome, thank you very much) tantrums. Because when he gets frustrated or whiney, we either try to lead him with a word that might be what he wants, or tell him he can ask for things by saying "help please" instead of yelling or whining. And you know what? That works! (It comes out like "hep peas" and is beyond adorable.) It doesn't keep him from getting upset when I take something away that he wants (i.e., the plug to his humidifier, which is clearly more fascinating than his room full of toys) but I think it has already cut down the frustration by more than half.

And for me? Now it's like having a real person in the room. One that knows that he should say "eat" or "apple" when he's hungry and "cup" when he wants something to drink. And it's remarkable to see what he picks up every day. The pace of change is just astounding.

I think because the walking and the talking have both really kicked in at the same time, and because he is just so big (he wears size 2T already) I feel like we have a real toddler in our house. Of course, I am now totally nostalgic for the tiny baby with his little fists and snuffly noises, but this new phase is amazing to watch and it could not be more fun.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Stuff that bugs me

OK, this post is definitely all about being bitter, infertile, old and kind of pissed off that my IVF cycle didn't work. But with that out of the way...

My pregnant 33 y.o. coworker is bugging the living sh*t out of me. And not because she is pregnant, but because she is being ridiculous. Here's how:
- She told her whole family and some of her friends that she was pregnant right after a positive pregnancy test
- She told people in the office at 11 weeks (OK, this one isn't so bad...)
- She is fully in maternity clothes at this point. (Seriously? My view is that you get bored with your limited stock of maternity wear and so should hold off before you go all in...)
- She has stopped regular exercise and is going to prenatal yoga.
- We took the subway to a meeting and she asked someone for a seat
- Her mom bought her a crib and they set it up in the room that she now refers to as the nursery.

Yeah, yeah -- I know that I should just mind my own business and shut up, but she's 14 weeks pregnant for chrissakes. The crib is what really put me over the edge. It's just ridiculous that they already put it together. Absurd.

OK. That's all. I'm sure there will be more, but for right now that's all the cattiness I can muster.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Distraction of sorts

Monday morning I got the news that a months worth of shots and early-ass appointments were for naught.

Monday was also the year anniversary of my grandfather's death, and he and I were very very close.

Monday at 5pm our babysitter cancelled so I had to miss a dinner out (and was therefore home solo).

Monday at 550pm I get a text from our nanny that B's pooping has, well, increased markedly, and she is worried he is sick.

Monday at 7pm right before bedtime I get vomited on. Like something out of the movies, except that the vomiter is not a scary alien but a somewhat confused but still relatively cheerful 13 month old baby. Who knew a baby could hold so much stuff? After stripping us both down and taking a shower, baby goes to bed and I begin the process of cleaning up the wreckage.

Tuesday 8am back at work. Very very busy. B is totally fine, but on bland diet and no milk.

Wednesday 128am wake up nauseous. No, not pregnant. Oh shit, it's the stomach thing. Am up hourly until 5am. Really very unhappy. DH appears to sleep through it all.

Wednesday 630am B awake. Am shivering and covered in sweat and do not move for the remainder of the day.

Thursday 645am feel human. Get call from nanny that she has been felled by the disease. Email work again. Do my best to work from home, and B accommodates by taking 2 1.5 hour naps exactly when I have conference calls. Congratulate myself on being supermom. Then promptly let him smack his head on sandbox in playground. Rescind supermom award.

Thursday 7pm. Try eating some food. Poor idea. Stomach cramps for a couple of hours. Get period for good measure.

Friday 630am. Up and at 'em! Spend morning with B, who demands breakfast upon waking since he cannot have his baba (although he yells for it all the time) and then head to work.

Friday 9am. Try eating muffin. More stomach cramps. Perhaps more chamomile tea instead.

Friday 9.30am. Get "I am 3 months pregnant" email from coworker who was worried about how long it was taking in October. Feel like I have been punched in the chest.

Friday 10.40am Decide that this week has been a bit of a sh.itshow and wish it would end soon. No tears or hysterics on anyone's part (yet), but not an awesome week.

But starting BCPs tomorrow for another round.

Monday, March 5, 2012


I'm more unhappy about this than I thought I would be.

And just annoyed at how hard this is all the f**ing time.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

#2 7dp3dt

And here we are. Nothing much to report on the "am I pregnant or not" front, except to note that I far preferred the progesterone suppositories to the enormous needle I stick into my rear end every evening.

Seriously, though, no symptoms at all -- not from the HCG or from the 1cc of progesterone I take daily.

If I believed it mattered, I would say that the last cycle I did that resulted in a pregnancy I also was completely symptomless, so that this is a good sign. But I don't really put much stock in that. (Ok, my brain doesn't. But the heart? The heart wants to believe.)

Beta is on MONDAY, which is like aeons away (they don't do them on the weekends).

In other news, B is growing increasingly confident with his walking (can go 5-10 feet on his own, although he is like Frankenstein with his arms out and legs kind of stiff), and continues to astound me with his vocabulary. Saturday, he pointed at my watch and said "watch." To which I responded "holy shit!" which, retrospectively, was ill-advised since he is learning and repeating words very rapidly. And he can now say the dog's name, and Dada, and his nanny's name. Mama? Not so much. But despite his preference for everyone but me, his mommy loves him very much and thinks he is the most wonderful baby in the whole world.

Caption for the attached: "Give me that cake now! I don't want any low sugar banana bread bullshit. I want the chocolate cake."

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

So here we are...

I am lying in bed resting pos t transfer. There is one "very good looking, almost perfect" embryo nestled in, and one more not quite so handsome embryo hanging out in a dish for a few more days to see if it will make it to freeze at 5 days.

The numbers? Retrieved 14 eggs, 11 mature. But only 2 fertilized, which had me all sorts of freaked out this weekend, and of course it was a long weekend and no one knew anything and I spent all morning and most of Sunday and yesterday panicking that they both were gong to die off. But they didnt and my happy embryo is now back with me.

(side note and rant: I don't refer to embryos as "embies" nor do I think follicles are "follies.". For some reason the infantilization of the language of conception strikes me as demeaning and even slightly patriarchal, like "look at those little girls playing with their eggies and their dollies. " I feel we need to respect our own maturity and fortitude a little more than that. I'm sure I sound like a huge bore, but there you go. Been stewing about that for a bit.)

Anyway, more research to do about why only 2 fertilized, but still waiting for the embryology and andrology reports to get to my dr. But what he said this morning also resonates with me: that even with Icsi, which we used, fertilization numbers are on a bell curve and sometimes fewer fertilize. Usually it's 70 or so percent, but sometimes it is just less, and that is also normal. Anyway, since we were only going to put one back in anyway ( yep, still the crazy eSet couple), this worked out ok!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

And we are off!

Retrieval is this morning an so, while I intended to write a longer post while waiting, instead I have an IV needle in my hand and a. BP monitor on my right index finger, so I am a bit hampered by that.

There are at least 6 follicles ready to go and estrogen climbed appropriately. I am excited and hopeful, but feel somewhat disconnected emotionally because I don't have the same desperate feeling of want and need. Maybe it's not emotionally disconnected, but just that the emotions are not as heightened thus go round. But I will take that over the panic and fear. I'd realy like ths to work, but I guess am ok if it does not. Whereas last time? Not ok.

Anyhow, more when I have both hands!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

My life by the numbers

372 -- days my baby has been out in the world. How did that go by so fast?
11 -- people who came over to lunch on Sunday to celebrate the big day. (No, there was no pony, no clown and no face painting. Just family having lunch and cake.)
8 -- maximum number of steps B has taken by himself. It's been a steep curve starting from his first step on Friday. I think we have walking. Wow!
2 -- boxes of Kleenex I have gone through at the office since Thursday as I have a cold that will NOT go away
2 -- shots I have given myself every night for the last five days
1 -- big bruise so far from hitting a blood vessel
9 -- follicles found on my ovaries at monitoring this morning
1 -- random acquaintance I have seen at the clinic

Obviously there is a lot going on at casa Irrational, but I am slammed at work but just wanted to get out a short post. I'm kind of amazed I am keeping it all together -- much more to say, but running to a meeting.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Monday night I didn't get to sleep until 3.30 in the morning. No, it wasn't a horrible case of sleep regression (knock wood). Instead, I was participating in the NYC HOPE Count. It was enlightening and troubling at the same time.

I work for an organization that tries to improve the plight of those in poverty in NYC, and so understanding homelessness, to include street homelessness, is important. So despite the fact that I was at home and ready to go to bed at 10pm, instead I hopped a cab downtown and spent 6 hours canvassing the streets for our homeless neighbors.

Our team surveyed about 8 city blocks and a subway station. The team at the subway station just north or ours (same line) had this to share: "we went into the 23rd st subway station (A/C line) and saw two people underneath a blanket on a few cardboard pieces in the area outside the turnstiles. There were a few backpacks and scattered personal items, but it seemed at first like the two people were asleep. Then we heard some Spanish so tried to start a conversation. At first hesitant, the man under the blanket started speaking English. We learned that the couple had been together for a very long time and that the woman, Veronica, was pregnant. After being told about the possibility of staying in a shelter last night, he was nervous that they would be separated. We made some calls and figured out that they could and would be taken to a family shelter across town at 33rd and 1st at which they would stay together since they were a family and Veronica was expecting. We called the van service and after a short wait during which time we learned that they found the subway much better than sleeping by the river in East Harlem, we got them loaded into the van with all of their things and transported safely to a shelter."

So in case you all missed it, the woman sleeping on the street was pregnant. With a baby.

Now I know that, for those of us in the "not really all that fertile" camp, it can raise hackles when you hear of people who are clearly not well equipped to care for a child getting pregnant easily, but putting that aside for a moment, even though we may judge her for her choices and actions, we can in no way judge her child. No child asks to born to a homeless woman sleeping in the subway. None of the over 50% of children born in NYC who are born into poverty ask to be poor and to live with families that struggle. Yet because of that poverty, the experience of those children during their first, formative year(s) are likely quite different than what B has to date experienced. And that just breaks my heart.

I don't really have much of a point, and I'm not sure where this was all going, but it just catches me in the back of the throat every time I think of the thousands of kids in NYC in shelters every night or the mothers trying their hardest to keep their kids from being hungry. I wish I believed that these kids actually had a shot to emerge out of their modest beginnings and lead better lives, but right now, I'm just not sure they do. I know too much about how important a stable, loving environment is for babies, and how hard it is for very poor or homeless parents to provide that, to believe that these kids will actually develop as well as their wealthier and more stably raised peers. And the unfairness, and to some extent the randomness, is very hard for me to understand.

Monday, January 30, 2012


That's the group that B is in at his swimming class, which started yesterday. It turns out that starfish are better swimmers than most of the babies, and have more effective means of moving themselves through the water, but it still was unbelievably fun and very cute.

I have been ridiculously excited about these swim classes, and, because I live in NYC, I've had to spend a whole lot of my time getting him signed up for the classes near where we live because the weekend classes sell out. (And I can't even talk about how much it costs for the privilege of swimming at 8.30am on a Sunday.)

But mostly I have been just super excited about B learning to be comfortable in the water. Perhaps because I spent so much of my childhood in pools and lakes or perhaps because this is the first physical activity I can actually teach him, I just have been besides myself with anticipation.

Turns out B loves LOVES the water. I kind of knew that already, since he loves bathtime and we went in the pool in California over the Christmas break. But he did great -- went under with no problem, was able to kick and lie on his back with his ears in the water and basically just had a fabulous time. As did his mommy.

One huge takeaway -- I should have brought my husband along. The logistics of getting a wet, tired baby and his wet, tired mom rinsed and dried and dressed really requires an extra set of hands. By the time we got home we were both completely exhausted. Next week, daddy comes too.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


On Sunday evening, while Ben was eating some macaroni and making a unbelievable mess of his high chair tray, his face and his hair, he looked at the table, saw half a cheese stick and said "Shezzsh" which, as anyone can tell you, means cheese.

Holy shit.

Apparently, the kid not only repeats sounds, but appears to be able to match words with objects. Crazy.

And since then, he has correctly identified a car, a duck, a ball and his bottle. Without prompting.

I know that all babies do this, and I know that it is totally ridiculous to think that "ca" is actually car, but it is all amazing to me. That blob of cells that we almost left in the freezer can say "cheese." Un-freaking-believable.

Friday, January 20, 2012

So much to say, so little time to say it

I have about 6 different blog posts bouncing about in my head, and yet for some reason I never find the time to sit down and write. Maybe its the full-time work, desire to actually eat food that I cook in the evenings, or constant cold that has been bouncing around our household for the last 5 weeks, but I have been just super tired, and when I read posts at night on the ipad or bberry, i just can't muster the energy to type a post.

I'm going to take some advice from another blogger and try to make posts shorter and more frequent, for fear that I will never really find the time if I want to do a "real" post.

Big thing coming? B is turning 1. It's amazing and crazy and I am so happy that he is in my life -- that he IS my life -- that I weep just thinking about it (yep, all teary, here in my glass walled office. Nice.) My tiny little baby is not only not so tiny (he's enormous -- over 31 inches at last check and over 27 lbs), but he eats food with his hands that requires chewing and can go fetch a book off the shelf and open it to the picture of the duck and say "Duh" and can take the stick from the bottom of his xylophone and actually hit the part that makes music. When I come home he smiles so wide and crawls to me so fast that my heart could just split wide open with happiness.

Yet I miss the tiny little baby that would sleep on my shoulder; nowadays B either wants to be down on the floor doing his own thing or is standing on my lap yanking off my glasses or trying to remove the parts of my face that he thinks should be his to play with. Only because B has had a cold off and on since, oh, forever has he been a bit more snuggly -- when he had a fever he just wanted to be held and rocked, and even though I knew he was feeling bad I loved the cuddling.

DH and I were looking at newborn pictures of B the other day, and his smallness was just remarkable -- and I realize that I have forgotten some things. Like what he wore; someone who is pregnant asked me what she needed to buy and I didn't really remember. All of his newborn clothes are packed away, and there are pictures, but I know that there were onesies and gowns, and a footie with icecream cones and pink bows, but that I can't recall him actually in the clothes makes me sad, because that means I am losing details of the most transformative experience of my entire life.

But my baby is almost 1 and can climb onto things to reach other things that he MUST have, and stands on his tip toes to reach up to pretty much anything. And he can tell me when he is hungry by saying "puff" (I give him a few puffs to occupy him in the highchair while I get his food ready). All of which is completely amazing to me. So maybe the details of 11 months ago are fading, but every day there are new things that make my eyes tear up and my heart grow bigger with joy.

Ben in the hotel restaurant on Christmas Day. Good thing this picture doesn't include the floor under his high chair!