Category Archive : TTC

One Child. Only Choice?

Since 2006, I have blogged about my struggles with infertility, miscarriage and the miracle that is my baby boy Jackson.

Once we got pregnant with Jackson, there was never really any doubt about our desire to have a second baby. We got cocky in thinking that it would be easy to make it happen again. As Jack gets older, we have flip flopped on whether or not to keep trying. It has been at least a year and a half since we started (kind of half-assed) on baby #2 but as my age and my dwindling fertility looms, we have pretty much resigned to the fact that Jack may be our one and only.

Since Jack was born, I have had some issues with my body. Besides my weight (which of course CAN be changed and I am working on it no matter how many obstacles are thrown in my path), I had a uterine infection right after he was born (tons of fun to have with a newborn to care for), and a year later in 2009 my doctor discovered fibroids and a uterine polyp which had me in a boatload of pain and led to a hysteroscopy and D & C to have them removed. While I hoped that the polyps and fibroids would keep their distance, much to my dismay, they are back and wreaking havoc on my poor body. With the recurrence of this issue, I know my chances of successfully conceiving a baby are becoming minimal and I cannot even imagine having to endure another miscarriage.

While I was weighing the pros and cons of having a second child, I felt empowered that it was MY choice. I’m not liking the fact that the choice is being taken away from me. There is a part of me that wants to fight my age, my polyps, my fibroids and give infertility a swift kick in the rear; however, the other part of me is just tired of the fight after all these years. Is it time to permanently fix my issues and just move on?

I’ll never know for sure how we were able to conceive Jackson (well… I KNOW, but… well, you know what I mean). Divine intervention? Fluke? When I look at him, I know that he is and will forever be my miracle child. We will always make sure he knows that having only him will always be more than enough for us. We will see to it that he is surrounded by family and friends who will become his brothers and sisters. We will make sure that he has the best life ever.

Playing Catch Up

I confess that I haven’t been a great blogger. Well… here at least. So let’s catch up with the latest and greatest in life and rants.

1) I am on a major weight loss kick. As we tip toe back into the TTC world, I feel once again that the only way it is going to happen is if I lose weight and get serious about being healthy. Not to say that I wasn’t oh so careful when I was pregnant with Jack, but, I do feel that being overweight contributed to my unexplained infertility. Why else would I get pregnant after losing 15 pounds? Anyway, in order to do this, I have had to re-commit in a big way. I quit WeightWatchers which was only doing a couple things for me: jack and shit. I rejoined and have been seeing really great results as well as getting support through their amazing community. I have been keeping a weight loss blog there and it has really been great at keeping me honest and on track. Not an easy thing to do during the Halloween season of amazing chocolate at every turn. I really recommend SparkPeople and how their program works. I think it was just the kickstart I needed to get the weight loss moving.

2) Vaccine Rant:
With H1N1 messing up everyone’s world, the great vaccination debate is firing up again. Everyone knows that I am pro-vaccination. When Jack started daycare, our family has NEVER been so sick. We caught every little cold, stomach virus you name it. Our house should have had a big bubble around it. I simply CANNOT imagine my child getting sick with something worse. As with anything, you have to weigh the risks. I have always looked at it from the point of view that I would rather my son be autistic then dead. Another way I look at it is- when I get a medication for something whether it be pain pills or antibiotics, I’m always told by my doctor or Jack’s pediatrician that the benefits outweigh the side effects of the medication. I look at vaccinations the same way. I have also seen the horrors of meningitis and will do ANYthing to keep my son from getting that sick. I actually heard someone say “It’s not like they can die from the flu.” Unless you live in a bubble and never read or watch the news, you know that is NOT TRUE. There are plenty of VERY healthy kids dying from both H1N1 and the seasonal flu. Extremely ignorant to say that it could never happen to you. Fine if you are wearing your tin foil hat with your grass skirt drinking your tofu tea hanging out with your non-vaccinated children but keep them away from me and my family.

3) OH my god rant. I saw this posted on today and felt like I needed to rant: Article- Should Childless Children Get Maternity Leave?
Um. NO. Listen. When I was trying to get pregnant for 2.5 years and watching scores of women around me who were rubbing their perfect pregnant bellies and then leaving for 12 weeks on what I assumed was an extended vacation then coming back with a million excuses in the world for why they have to leave early to pick up little Ben from daycare or go to their holiday pageant it made me livid. Why do they get all this flexibility and I’m working my ass off until 5p? I sort of turned the other cheek and used it to my professional advantage. I’d steal projects, take all the glory. Then, I got my turn. Maternity leave is no treat. It is no vacation. There is nothing fun about maternity leave. Let’s see. The first 3 weeks are spent in a baby blues blur of non-stop crying for pretty much no reason at all. I spent at least the first 4 weeks in recovery alone- the bleeding, the pain from both postpartum contractions and my episiotomy and not to mention that I also came down with a uterine infection that put me on horrible antibiotics, pain pills and a week of bed rest while I recovered. I didn’t even bring up baby yet!!! There is no sleep. For Jack there was also no breastfeeding which just ADDED to my already on-edge baby blues issues and worry. Jack was jaundiced which meant a week on a bili bed and getting blood tests every two days to make sure that his bilirubin number was going down (which it wasn’t because he wasn’t eating) in which we then decided to switch to formula which brought on a firestorm of criticism from all corners. By 6 weeks (the normal maternity leave time off in the US that is actually paid for) Jack was still feeding at least twice overnight- the THOUGHT of going back to work that early gives me shivers. Through the glory of FMLA, I was able to take 12 weeks off and because of an amazing boss and CEO I was able to stretch that to 15 weeks. It was exactly the right amount of time that I needed to settle into an entirely new life, figure out a routine with the baby and completely recover from his birth.

So. Unless whoever these women are that want maternity leave for doing a whole lot of nothing want to go through EXACTLY this then they can kiss my ass. Hell yeah, I’d love 6 weeks off to do absolutely nothing, but IT DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY. Now… Giving leave time to someone undergoing infertility treatments? That is something I would be able to agree with. Infertility drugs and procedures are no cakewalk let alone the emotional aspect of it. I would think a woman should be well within their rights to have time allotted for that.

4) Breastfeeding Rant.
I will be the first to say that the benefits of breastfeeding are amazing. Those that were able to successfully do for a year? My heroes. HOWever… my rant isn’t about those people necessarily. It is about the selfish breastfeeders- you know the ones. The ones who do it for THEM and justify their behavior as being for their child. The ones who did it to lose all the baby weight and then some. The ones who are obsessed with feeding (you do get some pretty amazing hormone rushes from it). I saw a post today from someone who is still EBF and her kid is over the age of 1 now. When I say exclusive? I mean exclusive. As in no other form of nutrition other than breast milk. No Gerber Puffs, no purees, no fruits, no veggies, no table foods of any kind and she is surprised that her son hasn’t gained any weight in 3 months? It is time to LET GO of the breastfeeding- this is OBVIOUSLY telling you that his needs are changing! I was not a breastfeeder so I really shouldn’t even comment, but when the answer is so right in your face… ugh.

I can’t understand why some moms are so blind to their kids’ changing needs whether it be naps, bottles, food… I am sure there are plenty of things that I turn my head to when it comes to Jack, but I have also learned when it is time to let go, too. I thought giving up the swaddle would be terrible. Turned out to be a non-event. I thought I would never give him solids in the fear of his choking. He eats grilled cheese like a champ. I thought losing the nighttime bottle would be a tragedy- also a non-event. I thought he would never go to sleep without being rocked- also not true (and very hard for ME to give up- I loved my snuggle time with him!). Ask me about the pacifier in a few months… ha! My point is- you can’t hold onto these things forever and even though they can’t talk, they are showing you signs of how much they are changing all the time and you have to roll with it. No matter how much you fight it- they really aren’t babies for long. I, frankly, love my 1 year old. He is so much fun to be around now that he is interactive and dinner is a blast now that he can eat our food right along with us.

5) TTC #2 Rant
My DH and I have been TTC #2 pretty steadily now since about May. Sure, we should probably getting it on more often. A part of me just keeps thinking: WHY can’t we be that couple who only has to do it once and we’re pregnant? Those of you long time TTCers know what I’m talking about. It’s not that the lovin’ isn’t great, it is just… a lot and it is stressful and not a good kind of stress. I’ve been trying to connect with others who are TTC #2 and wanted to keep an open mind. I joined a buddy group with my October 08 mums and out of 5 of us, 3 are already pregnant. WTF? Once again, I am the last one standing. I then drifted off to try another group. I lurked around, thought about posting and saw: “I hope my journey for #2 isn’t as long as #1. It took us 4 months to TTC #1.” I thought, “4 WHOLE months??” WTF!!! Who makes a comment like that??? I hesitate to even mention 2 1/2 years being long as I know there are others out there who have been at the TTC game MUCH, much longer than that. Just. Stupid. It is safe to say that I ran far, far away from that group never to open up the thread again. For a long time, I was indifferent as to whether or not I wanted a 2nd child. I’m sure it was on one of those not so good days with Jack. However, those thoughts are long gone. I REALLY want a sibling for him. I don’t care if it is a boy or a girl (although a girl would be FABulous). We have a cutoff this time though- if we’re not pregnant by the end of 2010 the gig is up. I refuse to go through any more TTC stress, drugs, or losses (which I am at a higher risk for with uterine fibroids).

Catch up rants complete!

Fertility Testing Sucks

Since it has officially been a year since Mr. Joe and I started trying to have a baby (not counting the 3/28 miscarriage) we made the decision to have some fertility testing done. “Joe” did an SA (*whispers* semen analysis)- we’re still waiting on his results. As for me… let’s just say a woman’s testing is far more invasive than a man’s is BY FAR. My results so far have all been positive- I’m relieved that I have a normal functioning thyroid, and after undergoing an HSG (hystersolpingogram… i.e. an x-ray), I have no tube blockage and everything looks normal and good. Now, why do I complain? As I write I am doubled over in pain from this HSG. It was, in a word, horrible. Dye is injected through the cervix in order view and take pictures of the uterus and tubes and make sure that the dye runs through showing no blockage. I’ve posted photo (not me) to show what this x-ray looks like- this is very similar to what I saw today!
This procedure sucked rocks though. The dye they insert is incredibly painful. Was it worth it? Absolutely. To know that I have a healthy uterus and tubes and to know that there isn’t anything causing a fertility problem is worth the agony. The other incredibly horrible part of this process is the drugs. They currently have me on Clomid to see how I react to the drug and if it works to induce and strengthen my ovulation. The drug SUCKS. I spent the better part of the past 2 days incredibly nauseous (even vomited once), sore boobs, and the worst part of the side effects, the depression. I’ve been incredibly down and emotional since I’ve started taking it. So, basically, I’ve been trying to avoid people in general to spare my loved ones of my outbursts. Again, is it worth it? Absolutely. If this drug is going to help me have a much wanted baby then it is worth it to me. Starting on Monday, I will start a series of ultrasounds to ensure that my follicles and eggs are developing correctly. We should know within about a week, two at most, if a problem was pinpointed. If nothing on either side? Joe and I just keep baby dancing and praying that we will be blessed with one of these little miracles.

If all this sounds absolutely confusing, well, it is. I had hoped so much I would just be pregnant by now so I wouldn’t have to go through these things. I’ve done a lot of research on the subject of TTC, fertility, infertility, pregnancy… you name it. It has been a tough year for Joe and I. However, I am proud that I have stayed strong and and pushed forward. I’m proud that I tracked down a physician who agrees that it is MY choice to be tested for infertility- never questioning my early miscarriage and being forward in the fact that she’s going to “Get me a baby”. I hope my positive outlook and attitude will serve as some sort of inspiration and comfort to other women who are having trouble conceiving. I want them to know that I understand. I want them to know that I, too, get sick of people saying “Just relax, if you’re not thinking about it, it will happen.” When you’ve made this decision and you’ve been through so much, it is hard not to think about it. Sure, I get sad. My due date would’ve been Monday, November 27th had I carried my baby to term. Instead of having HSG’s I would be breastfeeding and enjoying a beautiful new life. This week has been a tough one. I think my peanut in heaven planned this out for us though. He wanted us to start this testing at this exact time to help us have our baby.

I’m still confident and I’m still hopeful. Let’s be honest though people… If this doesn’t work out for us- is a trip around the world with the man I love such a bad alternative?