Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sometimes You Just Have To Laugh...

Lately I feel like my days are not my own. A lot of it is my own doing, so I'm not complaining - just venting. This morning it was an ultrasound...then home just in time for Brian's therapy...then leaving with Ed to go to our IVF Orientation...then off to the pharmacy to get a script filled to treat my new condition (more on that later)...then home to say goodbye to Katja and wrangle the boys while I figure out what the heck to write about today that is remotely interesting when I have no motivation whatsoever....and soon off to the grocery store because we don't have a thing for our dinner. And that's that.

I have a lot coming up that needs to be tended to. TONS of paperwork for Gavin - benefit renewals, detailed medical history to fill out for a developmental pediatrician I want him to see, working on Gavin's birthday video before the 29th of September and keeping on top of the insurance company that is dragging out the payment for the bed that they approved for him. There's not enough hours in the day sometimes. And by the end of the day when the boys are in bed I can barely keep my eyes open. The last two days have been brutal since I saw Dr. Trish. It's like my body is detoxing all the crap that's been stored in there over the last year. Yesterday just about every inch of my body ached - down to my fingertips. Today I feel exhausted and nauseous. It's completely normal - especially since I haven't seen her in months. I feel better by picturing my body clearing itself of all the bad stuff that has been weighing me down.

This morning's ultrasound was quite disappointing but I'm trying not to let it get me down. It looks like I'll be going into my ovulation with only one follicle. And there's never a guarantee that a follicle is even carrying an egg...so this cycle could be a big waste of time. Part of me regrets putting off IVF this cycle...but I'm trying to hold onto the hope that this one follicle will be the only one we need. But, there's a glitch. The results from my Hysteroscopy came back. Turns out I have Endometritis. Endometritis is an inflammation of the uterus which women can get from multiple miscarriages, childbirth, testing...any way that an infection can enter pretty much and inflame the walls of the uterus. If you click on the link or google it it will also tell you it can be caused by STDs, but in my case that isn't the root cause. Unfortunately, I've had too many short term tenants in my uterus and the coming and going of these babies likely led to this. In my opinion, anyway. The treatment is a course of strong antibiotics which will hopefully smooth out the walls of my uterus and create a suitable home for a new baby. (Um, soon God?)

After that fun news, Ed and I headed to our orientation for IVF. If we don't get pregnant this month with my busted uterus and one follicle (but I'm not bitter) we will proceed with IVF. The visit was dramatically different than my last visit there. Last time I was alone and cried through the whole appointment. This time I brought comic relief and Ed and I laughed - almost inappropriately - through the whole hour.

This morning Brian had play therapy with Miss Christi and he did such a great job! I tried to stay away - his behavior definitely changes when I'm around. But I made Christi laugh when I stalked them like the Papparazzi...taking pictures around corners.
She remarked that his attention span was much better...he imitated words and colors and short sentences...and he even said "stop" when he didn't like what was going on. He's having a bit of a developmental explosion lately and I love it!!

Tomorrow I have a bittersweet announcement to make. I hope you'll come back for it!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Secure Your Own Oxygen Mask Before Assisting Others...

Gavin's final therapy break of the summer has ended and today was back to business...starting with feeding therapy. Miss Maggie came by with a feeding specialist, Caitlin, that did Gavin's initial evaluation a year ago.

Gavin has made some solid improvements over the last few months - and even the last couple weeks during the break. He's eating chunkier foods...he's lifting his sippy cup and navigating the straw into his mouth by himself...and yesterday and today I handed him a spoon filled with food and he fed himself!! Today we discussed with Caitlin what we've been doing, therapy-wise, and she had some great suggestions. She showed Maggie and I how to do facial massages while he's laying reclined on his vibrating chair (it's good to be Gavin!).
This is a strategy to encourage lip closure and also to give him the stimulation he longs for around his mouth.
This is what it looked like...

She also suggested that we crumble crunchy textures on the top of the bottom of his spoon when feeding him the purees. It will give him new flavors and textures without overwhelming him with a whole spoonful. I loved this idea.
Brian is also doing well with his therapy! Miss Jen came for his speech therapy today and they spent some time outside. Brian has definitely been communicating his wants and needs a lot more. Whether it is through gestures, sign language or even mini-sentences. Yesterday he took Miss Katja's hand, pointed to her palm, went and got the remote control, placed it in that palm and then pointed to the TV. Clearly he wanted to go for a walk. Oh wait...I think. So anyway, today he showed off those skills to Miss Jen. Like when they were on the swingset and he pointed at her and then pointed down the slide - she got him to say "down" and "Go!" and "up".
I love that he's starting to form sentences. He'll say things like "Mama, this one" while pointing to something he wants or "Mama, help?" And here when Miss Jen asked him if he wanted to give this little yellow flower to his Mommy, a tear formed in my eye when I heard: "What has she done for ME lately?" Ahhh...I'm so proud.

Today was a big day for me, too! I went for my first appointment in over six months (maybe more!) with Dr. Trish. I got out of the routine of seeing her (I used to see her three times a week!) when Gavin was in the middle of his medical crisis in the beginning of the year. Once I got out of the routine, it was hard to jump back in. There was always something keeping me from making that appointment - life kept getting in the way. But my body kept score - and it's been slowly falling apart. I find I'm tired a lot...my Rheumatoid Arthritis flares a lot more...I get the numbness and tinglies in my arms and legs more often...and I just feel *blah*.

I was so happy to see her again. She worked on me for quite a while. When we chatted afterward she said I was "full". Months of stuff piled up in my body - experiences, frustrations, sadness, anger, stress...the stuff of everyday life as a Mom. When my body gets too "full" - it starts to turn on me. It's classic - it might be happening to you right now! Unexplained symptoms that doctors prescribe things for - or you medicate yourself to feel better. I feel like I'm hearing from more and more friends who are struggling with symptoms - suffering through scary medical testing - and hearing possible scenarios that have them freaking out. I so wish that they - and EVERYONE! - could see Dr. Trish. She is so gifted and although it is very hard to describe what she does - the results speak for themselves. I should probably still be on toxic injectable medication for my arthritis - but when I see her, my symptoms go away. Literally go away. Not to mention she is just the nicest person. The kind of person that you end up spilling the goriest details of your life to during your first meeting. At least that's what I heard other people have done. Not me, no how.

I look forward to resuming my regular visits with her - and bringing Gavin back for his weekly visits - and bringing Brian in occasionally for a "tune up". I need to start taking care of myself again. I stopped and it's showing. Like any good flight attendant would tell you, "Secure your own oxygen mask before assisting others." And, of course, "Please don't take a major dump on a long flight with one working bathroom."

Monday, August 29, 2011

Trust Me!...

Today was a rough one for the biggest baby in the house. Me.

After a morning appointment getting probed at the Fertility doctor...and being told that I'll likely only have one, maybe two, decent egg follicles to work with this cycle...I left dejected. I cheered myself up by reminding myself that we really only need one - but it's still a bit of a let down. This Wednesday is our previously scheduled "IVF Orientation" - and hopefully it will all be a waste of time because I'll get pregnant on my own this month. I will be crushed if we need to move on to IVF. Fingers crossed.

I got in the car and nervously made my way to... ~insert horror movie music here~...the dentist. I absolutely, positively, 100% hate going to the dentist. And if I hadn't hated it enough growing up - an incident almost ten years ago pushed me over the edge to being a complete dental-phobe.

I was a brand new flight attendant and was sent to the Baltimore Washington International base. It was my first time living on my own (what can I say...I was a late bloomer) and I was so excited to have my own apartment. My first trip ever at my new job was St. Croix. I was living the dream! About a month or two after I started working, I came down with a toothache on a trip. New to the area and knowing no one, I went to a dentist that I passed every day on my way home to my apartment. The dentist's name was Gallagher - my name - how could I go wrong!

I could go really wrong is how wrong. Fearful and trusting, I believed this dentist when he told me I needed not one, not two, not three - but FOUR root canals. I spent nearly five hours in the chair while they performed these - often crying and motioning that I could feel the pain. They continued to give me novocaine, but it wasn't working. I think I even went back for more a day or so later. Afterward, I was in bad - bad shape. My parents had to drive down from Pennsylvania to take care of me. My Mom bought a blender and some straws and all I could do was sit and moan in pain. I had to take a leave from my new job. It was a nightmare. I found out that the root canals had been completely unnecessary. There was a lawsuit that amounted to nothing. I moved out of my apartment and switched my base from Baltimore to Philadelphia and tried to move on from the experience. But it definitely left some scars.

So when one of the crowns that this charlatan put on ten years ago broke off last week, I wanted to cry. Actually - I did. I knew it meant I'd have to spend some time in "the chair". I guess it's like someone who is afraid of flying - that's how I must appear at the dentist. I grip the arm rests until my knuckles are white...I tense up my entire body, sometimes lifting my legs up in the air when I feel anything...and at times I even start shaking. It's pretty pathetic. But today went fine - I made it through and have a temporary crown on for two weeks...when I'll have to go back to ~insert horror movie music here~ the dentist.

The experience was torturous - but more than that I hated that I was *taken*. I am such a trusting person by nature. I've been warned and told all my life that I'm too trusting. But I love that about myself! I trusted that this medical professional knew what he was doing - would never "lie" to me...especially just to make money. But he did - and some of my innocence was shattered.

Today I found myself in a unique position. I sell things on Craig's List quite often. Recently a woman who lives right around the corner from our neighborhood contacted me to set up an appointment to shop. We corresponded for about a week and she seemed very nice. Today she came over to shop - looking to buy 18-24 month boy clothes for her newly adopted son. She brought with her a 4 year old daughter and a 15 month old son - both from Korea. They were cute and she was nice and she started to shop and that's when it happened. "Kate, do you mind if I give you a check?" Ugh. I have a strict "no check" policy (and you should, too!) when I sell on Craig's List. I've been screwed before. (Remember? Kate = Too Trusting) I had a weak moment and said, "Well...since you live so close...that's fine." As she shopped...and shopped...and shopped...with her pile of clothes and toys getting bigger...and bigger...and bigger...I started to worry. I wanted to trust her - but I felt so nervous about it. Her bill came to $62.50. As she pulled out her checkbook, I mustered up the nerve to tell her I had changed my mind. Since she lived so close, perhaps she or her husband could run back with the cash. I'd bag everything up and put it aside for her. She said that was fine and left.

I felt so bad. I felt responsible for "putting her out" should she come back at all. I felt like I might have hurt her feelings by making her feel like I didn't trust her. That's how my mind works - and that's probably why I've been hurt many times in 41 years!!

About two hours later, the doorbell rang. It was her husband who was very kind and appreciative and holding the $62.50 in his hand.

It's a constant and repeating struggle in my life - to trust or not to trust. Generally, I trust. And then hold my breath.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Lessons In Humility...

Last night we experienced our first Hurricane.

And today, we are changed.

About to get in bed, I suddenly heard the front door open and lots of commotion downstairs. I hopped up to find Ed frantic - looking at the pool of water on our front walkway. There was water pouring in at the foundation, he told me. We both darted to the basement. Frantic is the best way to describe our initial reaction. The water just kept coming...the carpets were getting drenched...the stereo and TV equipment was in danger...we felt overwhelmed. For a short while tension was high as we grabbed things and threw them anywhere to get them out of the path of the never ending water. Ed continuously pulled up water into the shop vac while I used towels and ran them up and down from the dryer.

But then - something happened. A stillness between us that I can't explain. A moment when we both realized that this was out of our control. A realization that everything down there was just "stuff". We decided to bring the things that were most important to us upstairs. I was quick to grab our wedding and honeymoon photos and the LARGE collection of books I have put aside for the boys. We also carried up baby equipment that we're hoping to need. (Uh, soon God?) The rest - it would have to work itself out.

Ed stayed up all through the night keeping an eye on the water - sucking it up as much as he could. He was truly a hero. Around 3am I went to get some sleep so I could function when the kids woke up. Then at 6am I relieved Ed who deservedly went to sleep until the afternoon.

There was no damage to our "stuff"...but significant damage to the walls and carpet. Unfortunately our home insurance policy claims they don't cover water damage that comes in through the foundation. We'll have an interesting journey ahead of us as we repair the damage and make it safe in the basement.

During this experience I couldn't help but be humbled. Humbled by mother nature, yes, but also by something more. I was humbled by the lesson.

Just about a month ago Gavin's hearing teacher (and our good friend), Miss Carol, lost her home in a fire. Imagine. She lost most everything she owned. All through the night I thought about her - during my frantic "I MUST SAVE MY STUFF" moments, I felt what must have been only a millimeter of what she went through. I was so humbled. We will have to replace a carpet and a wall and insignificant things. Carol has to replace everything. I'm actually having a "virtual shower" and a Tupperware Party for her starting tonight to help her rebuild her home from the inside out. One spoon, one towel, one Tupperware container at a time.

Also through the night as we continued to soak up the water the smell was overwhelming. A smell of dusty, dirty water that stung our noses and attached itself to our clothes. It was awful. As I stood in front of the washer and dryer for the third or fourth time, I felt I could weep. I thought about the victims of hurricane Katrina. What they must have smelled - for days. Their "stuff" - their livelihood - their loved ones - all washed away. I have had sympathy for their experiences. But my very small experience with this rather minor hurricane has helped me have empathy.

Did we over react to our flood situation?
Perhaps.
Am I comparing our situation to bigger catastrophes?
Not at all.
Are we embarrassed that we panicked?
Never. Know why?

Every negative experience in life - big or small - comes with a lesson. Sometimes several lessons, if you're lucky. While many may look at my life as a series of difficult and trying circumstances and events - that is not how I see it at all. Every experience has changed me. Humbled me. Reminded me that it's all about keeping things in perspective. And reminding me that nothing is really in my control except my reaction to experiences.

The lessons that came out of this experience were humbling. It reminded us what is really important...and it's not our giant collection of dusty stuff. It reminded us that we're a great team. And it gave us some much needed perspective.

Yes, today we are changed. And I am glad.

Post note! If anyone is in need of Tupperware, please let me know! All of my hosting credit is going to be generously doubled by Tupperware and will go right to Carol so she can rebuild her collection. You can reach me at kmg41470@yahoo.com. Thanks!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Notes From A Girl Scout Dropout...

So I'm trying to move past the disappointment from our busted vacation. The preparation alone was exhausting...the waxing, the dieting, the bikini fittings, the tanning - it was all for nothing. And that was just Ed! Just kidding... but I did buy a new bathing suit and, man, was that a torturous process.

Now we are home and preparing for Hurricane Irene. Grateful that we never left for ANY destination by air...and grateful that we are all home together. Last night our preparations were in full force. I have to say, I'm feeling pretty proud - being a Girl Scout drop out and all.

Here's what we did.

We pulled the food from our upstairs freezers (we have two!) and packed everything into our basement freezer. I discovered online that packing a freezer full helps keep everything colder. Some people stuff newspaper, sleeping bags, bags of frozen water into the empty spaces. At this point - we have no empty spaces.
If we lose power - that freezer will remain closed the entire time. In the upstairs freezer I have all sizes of tupperware containers filled with water. It will take longer for frozen blocks of ice to melt - better than the little ice packs we generally use in our coolers.
Thanks to a neighbor's great suggestion, we bought a camping stove that we'll fuel by propane to heat up Gavin's food. Gavin is my greatest concern. I have extra Pediasure on hand if things get bad. I hope we won't have to use that camping stove - we are definitely not the outdoorsy type and wouldn't have much of a clue!! Ed and our friend, Drew, also pulled out gas grill into the garage so we can use that to cook during the storm.
It's only raining here now. The boys have had baths. The wash is done. We have more than enough batteries and flameless candles and flashlights and Oreos and Skittles and Diet Coke because, as always, we have our priorities straight. Did you expect less? For once I'm grateful for Ed's hoarding tendencies (which we joke about) - we could seriously live out of our pantry for three months. Love you, honey!

I just have one thing to say - if the earthquake a few days ago and this impending hurricane really do mean the end of the world I will not be happy. Can you imagine the dreadful lines waiting to get into Heaven - the whole world arriving at once except for some choice people? I hate waiting on line.

Oh, and if by chance the loss of internet, TV, and power helps us conceive this third child we've been waiting for - Irene is not on our list of names.

Stay safe, everyone! If you have updates from your town or other helpful tips for preparing for hurricanes, please send them this way!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Sight For Sore Eyes...

We decided to leave Maryland last night after dinner. By the time we got on the road it was 9pm and we instantly got stuck in traffic. For about forty minutes we sat in 'park' on a bridge out of the island which did wonders for our mood, oh boy. Fortunately (for us) it was an accident - once we passed by it was smooth sailing for three more hours.

It was after midnight when we got home - everyone was sleeping including Miss Katja. Ed and I grabbed some sleeping bags to continue the whole roughing it nature of this trip and parked ourselves on the floor in Darcy's room. (Yes, I still call it Darcy's room!) Katja got the boys up for us in the morning so we could leisurely make our way downstairs.

Gavin and Brian were a sight for sore eyes. I snuck down into the kitchen with my camera and could hear them playing in the playroom out of sight. I crouched down and went "Psst!" "Psst!" and soon I heard back Brian's little "Psst!" "Psst!" so I did it again and I think it registered. I heard a little voice say, "Mom?" and then I saw this...

...and I left the camera running to squeeze them some more...

We're so happy to be home. Even though we were barely gone, this experience made us feel like we'd been gone forever. I missed the boys a lot (as usual).
Although I'm a little concerned that leaving them with Miss Katja was a bad idea. This is the lovely lunch she made for Brian - fettucini with Basil.
The pressure!! Even Brian pointed it out - as if to say, "See this? This green fancy leafy thing? You better step it up, lady."
Great.

Ed and I went out to the MOBBED grocery store this afternoon to prepare for this storm. I hope wherever you are - especially if you're in the path of this hurricane - that you stay safe.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Little Piece of Happiness...

Not much to say today. Looks like we'll be coming home either tonight or tomorrow morning due to a mandatory evacuation of the entire town of Ocean City, Maryland. The evacuation begins at midnight and everyone needs to be gone by 5pm. My greatest wish is to try to beat the mass exodus - sitting in a parking lot all the way home does not sound fun.

What a freaking crazy week this has been.

I had a boat tour of Assateague planned for this morning, but received an email late last night telling me they had to cancel it because we were the only idiots that signed up. Of course we were.

So, let's end this with some lovely, relaxing photos from the highlight of this trip. Our visit to Assateague by car and on foot. No need for the Dramamine after all. It was definitely one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. I'll hold onto that piece of happiness when I look back at this nutso vacation.

Enjoy.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Making Lemonade...

You just never know what life is going to throw your way. Our much anticipated trip to the Bahamas with plans to swim with dolphins and jet ski and shop in town in their open market - has turned into a trip to Ocean City, Maryland. Ed really had his heart set on an ocean/beach experience. Late last night he booked us at the Hilton. This morning before 10am, we were on the road for a three hour drive.

When we got here it was too early to check in so we walked across the street to an all you can eat Crab restaurant called "Higgins". Using the mallet on the crabs was a pretty good stress reliever, by the way. Ed and I gave the crabs two thumbs up - and the corn on the cob was probably one of the best I've ever had.

When we got to our room, it was beautiful.
Ed booked us a corner suite with a deck that sits high above the beach.
We are sitting on the deck right now with a pretty decent view! I want to bottle this sound - ocean waves, kids playing, seagulls...I could sleep out here. It's actually pretty chilly - and the ocean is rough. I guess Hurricane Irene is on a mission to follow us!
Ed's on the iPad playing angry birds and I'm accepting photos from Miss Katja of Brian. It looks like he walked around the block without sitting in the stroller with Gavin. I am sure he was over the moon about that!! He LOVES to walk and explore. Seeing what a family friendly hotel and town this is, I kind of wish the boys were here!
We'll soon be off to the boardwalk for dinner and a stroll. Tomorrow we have a tour of Assateague island planned at 10:30 which I'm looking forward to. It's a short cruise that will take us to remote areas of the island...and it promises us views of the herds of wild ponies that have lived on Assateague for hundreds of years. We could also see bald eagles, dolphins and other wildlife. Hopefully it is equally as entertaining as the wildlife I'm used to in my own home. *wink*

It's definitely been an interesting two days for Ed and for me. We're trying our best to move on and enjoy this time away.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Let's Turn This Around...

We were all packed and ready to go. First it was the weather report on TV. "The Bahamas are batten down the hatches," she said. I swallowed hard and thought - well, we'll be stuck inside. There's still things to do inside! Driving down to the airport I started googling this storm they were talking about. Then it became a discussion. I was reading "please reconsider travel plans" on the Atlantis website...and "risk of airport shut downs"...and "some entire caribbean islands are without power." As we pulled into parking, we had already decided. We made a U-Turn.

We came home.

Ed is extremely disappointed. He was very excited for us to swim with dolphins and enjoy their amazing zero entry pools and even go jet-skiing. Me? I was bummed, for sure, but I tried to keep the spirits up as we planned our next move. I felt confident in our joint decision to cancel the trip - it wasn't worth the risk. We got the majority of our money back so that wasn't a burden. I just think there are worse things in life - and we've lived through many of those things already.

The rest of the day has been a back and forth volley of destination ideas. Problem is, we have opposing ideas so we've yet to come to a decision. I decided to call it off for the day - if we go anywhere, we can leave in the morning. This day turned out to be pretty stressful after all.

Not to mention...while Ed and I were sitting in our bedroom talking about our plans - the room shook. I mean the entire room - the walls, the floor, the bed - we stared at each other wide eyed. We thought our house was collapsing! I quickly got Brian out of his crib and ran downstairs with him. Everyone was fine...but we were spooked! We soon found out that we had an EARTHQUAKE! IN PENNSYLVANIA! (I thought for a few minutes we were being reached from the *other side* - our day was pretty strange at that point. Anything was possible in my eyes!!)

So, let's recap, shall we?

Cancelled trip due to Category 4 hurricane Irene in the Bahamas.

Came home to an earthquake.

I'm now waiting for the locusts - I know they're coming.

*sigh* Nothing's easy.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Leaving On A Jet Plane...

Last night I found myself growing more and more anxious. I was definitely anxious for the procedure today. Tons of things were flying through my head...all the "what ifs". I also started feeling anxious about our trip. Five days away from my boys is - *gulp* - hard to imagine. I literally stared at the ceiling or at my clock until close to 4am. This morning was rough.

As the morning went on I started getting into it. Packing, organizing, cooking, and even getting set up on Skype. Katja and I had a trial run - I talked to her all the way from my bedroom! I'm so happy that I'll be able to have video chats with the boys...it makes me feel so much better.

After lunch Ed and I made our way to the doctor's office. I was prescribed a Valium, but only took half. Half was enough - I was definitely a little loopy! The Hysteroscopy sucked - I won't get into the gory details of why. I think I broke Ed's hand squeezing it during the worst parts. But soon it was over and the doctor proclaimed that my "Uterus and Fallopian Tubes are Textbook Perfect!" I need to get that on a bumper sticker.

With that behind me, I'm feeling ready to leave. We are very excited...but I'm going to miss the boys so much. Gavin has been so sweet and cuddly lately - full of smiles and even random arms around my neck when I hug him, which is so rare!
I'm going to miss seeing him play all day in his very laid back way. For those of you who have been following since Gavin was a baby...isn't it amazing to see him so casually leaning on the coffee table to play with a toy? How far he has come...
And Brian. He makes me laugh every day. He's so happy and funny and, if I can say so, so darn cute!!
Lately, he has been requesting books that are from my childhood collection. My Mom saved my books and they are all in such wonderful condition! The one below is a recent favorite that he requests multiple times a day. It's a very old (like me) Dr. Seuss. I honestly could read to him all night if it weren't for him having to sleep and all. *wink*

I am bringing my computer mainly so I can check in at home. It's possible that I might write a blog post once or twice...but I'll probably update more on Facebook with photos and news from the boys at home. Feel free to send me a friend request if you'd like to follow along! My page can be found by clicking the Facebook button at the top right of the page.

Mommy and Daddy are going to come home soon, boys...and we're going to be better parents and even more in love when we do! A win for us - and a win for you!!

I will miss you, Bugaboo!
And you too, Monkey-doo!


Sunday, August 21, 2011

And That's All I Have To Say About That...

It's amazing what a few days, a nice haircut and color...and a massage can do for your mood. I hope the person who invented massage received a Nobel Peace Prize. It would have been very well deserved. On my days off I didn't take a single photo. I was barely even on Facebook. *GASP!* I think I needed to walk away for a bit.

But now I'm back!! Only to leave again...

Tuesday morning bright and early we are headed to the airport for Atlantis for five long days. Today has been busy getting geared up to go. We had some pretty wicked storms here in PA and a lot of people, including us, lost power. I was on my way to the grocery store to load up the house for Miss Katja while we're gone - and ended up shopping in the dark. It was quite the adventure. Thankfully I was at Wegman's - the best store EVER. When I walked outside with my basket and saw the torrential downpour, there was a nice volunteer there to hand me a loaner umbrella. Who does that? By the time I got home, there was still no power - it was going on three hours. I started to sweat, thinking of the enormous stash of food I have made in the freezer for Gavin. Luckily, close to an hour later, the power came back on. Whew!

Tomorrow morning I will be getting a Hysteroscopy done to examine my uterus. I'm hoping they don't find anything... anything wrong, that is... but it would be nice if they said "Ah...this is why you've lost so many babies!" Answers would be nice. I'm a little nervous for the procedure. Ed is taking me as I've been told I can't drive home. I'm hoping it doesn't keep me laid up for much if any of the day. There's too much to do!!

I've been going back and forth about bringing my computer to the Bahamas or not. Phone service is out of the question so we'll just turn them off. Our bill would be astronomical. But they do have WiFi in certain areas of the hotel - lobbies and pool area and their library. It's $15.00 for 24 hours. I've decided to bring it. I would NOT enjoy myself if I didn't keep updated on Facebook. Just kidding. I just can't imagine not getting updates from home. It would wreck me to feel unreachable. So - problem solved. It will be worth every penny. I may or may not be writing my blog while I'm gone. I'll play that by ear!

Thank you for the enormous amount of emails, Facebook comments, phone calls and text messages after the last post I wrote. It did cheer me up! And that's all I have to say about that...


Thursday, August 18, 2011

You've Got Mail...

If you came here today tiptoeing...wondering if I'm still a mess...I'm not. I bounce back pretty quickly from things. It's really hard not to, honestly. Every day there's something wonderful happening here...and today was no exception. Yesterday - I was distraught. That's the truth. Today - I am sad and nervous about our new "plan". But for most of the day I had to remind myself I was sad. I really am okay.

I am also feeling grateful. It always amazes me how many of you reach out to me - after dramatic posts like yesterday or even the run of the mill posts. People write to me with their personal stories, advice, prayers, motivation or just to be thoughtful. I appreciate every single email. I do try to respond to everyone, but it's getting harder! It means the world to me that anyone would take even two minutes out of their life to compose something to me. So, thank you.

Wonderful things really are happening around here. Brian is blossoming in many ways.
His language has improved - he has become a little parrot and mimics everything I say during the day. (Yikes - I better start watching what I say!) He also has begun pretending a LOT. He pretends he's a doggie...pretends to feed me or his stuffed animals...it's really fun to watch.

And Gavin - he's been blowing me away. He crawls up the stairs alone at warp speed!! We're working on crawling down backwards, but that's a lot more difficult. The most exciting news is in the feeding department. Over the last couple days, Gavin has been eating some UN-pureed foods! I made a batch of Lentils - and he ate them before they went in the food processor! Then I made a huge patch of Quinoa. I was a little more worried about this one. The texture is different...and it can be pasty which can be tough for Gavin.
I took a video of him eating it for the first time - mostly to show his feeding therapist, Miss Maggie. You can see it here - and notice how he eventually starts to chew it up after taking a while to process what it is that's in his mouth!

Quinoa is one of Gavin's favorite foods and I could tell he was quite proud of himself! At the end of the video you see him shaking his head back and forth. He does this a lot and people who don't know him often think he's saying "no". It's actually a sensory thing - he just likes how it feels to swing his head back and forth. At times he actually leans all the way forward and then throws his head back to bang it on the back of the chair.

Our little superhero is on a roll...surprising us with new skills every day. And suddenly he looks older to me. His face is fuller - his legs are longer - I can't believe that he'll soon be four.
As I said earlier, I receive a lot of emails. After yesterday's post I received more than normal. There were several emails and comments that I have let get to me. I tried to carefully word my post yesterday. I wanted to express my raw feelings (as I always do) and not hold back (which I rarely do) - but I wanted to be careful to not seem like I was chasing a baby at the expense of my boys. I received comments like, "Why would you say your dream may not come true to be a Mommy - you ARE one." "How could you say that when you have two beautiful boys." "I would feel it's ungrateful to say 'I have two - now I want one more'" And, my favorites - "I dare you to say that to Gavin and Brian's faces - that you HAD a dream". "You're selfish to keep asking God for more more more."

All I have to say to that is: sigh.

I'd ask you to all go back and read yesterday's post. I stand by every word I wrote as that is what I was feeling at the time. Anyone who would think that I don't love my boys clearly does not know me. Our reasons for having a third child are complex and even though they are none of anyone's business - I still write about why we are anxious for another. Actually - our desire to have a third is for our CHILDREN - not my OWN selfish desire. <*cursing under my breath*> Gavin may be disabled and dependent his entire life. We want a sibling for Brian for various reasons - so he has a brother or sister he can relate to...and for the day when Ed and I are gone. It would be a heavy burden for one brother. And we want a sibling for Gavin for the same exact reasons. We just want another. I really don't let much get to me - but this did. I felt kicked while I was down. I felt judged. I feel annoyed.

I'm taking off from this journal for a few days. I'll be back on Sunday.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day...

Last night was rough. After dinner, Ed and I sat down to go over the paperwork for the IVF process. All kinds of initials were needed from both of us - all kinds of agreements had to be made between us - things you'd never imagine you'd have to think of were thought of. I needed to complete the paperwork to hand in this morning at my appointment. After we were done, Ed went to the basement to get some work done...and I went upstairs to go to bed. But sleep didn't come. All I could do was cry.

And cry.

And cry.

I would say, in general, I'm pretty tough. I would say, for the most part, I hold it together much of the time. I would say that I'm not a big crier.
But when I do cry - it's BIG.

I cried because I just can't believe we're *here*.
I cried because I had a dream of being a Mom my whole life and having a family that included more than two...and I'm fearing that my dream won't ever come true.
I cried because I feel like a failure.
Failure to maintain pregnancies.
Failure to become pregnant.
I cried over Darcy and all the other babies - the lost lives. The wasted chances.
I cried because I feel so out of control now. Like it's up to science as opposed to me.
I cried because - after a while I just started making up reasons. It just felt so good to cry. Until the morning when I could barely recognize myself. My eyes were nearly swollen shut.

I left the house early (with the biggest sunglasses I owned) to head to the fertility clinic - paperwork in hand. Filled out completely...except for the section that asked "how many pregnancies...what was the outcome." I hadn't had the courage to write that out yet.

I cried all the way to the office.

When I got there, I sat in the waiting room and pulled out that sheet. I figured writing it out in a public waiting room filled with people would help me hold it together. I was wrong. I started to worry - why was I getting THIS emotional??

I was called back and met with a very nice nurse. She asked me some basic questions before she got to the heavy hitters - like "how many pregnancies...?" I started to list them out and watched her face fall. When I got to Darcy she thought she heard me wrong...so I had to say it again and watch her face turn away. She didn't know what to say. Neither did I. So I cried.

She started explaining to me how it would all work - the birth control pills would be started today and taken for 21 days. They would supress my body so they could eventually take over and make my body and my ovaries and my everything do what they wanted it to do. She told me I needed to schedule a procedure called a "Hysteroscopy" within ten days of today. She explained the box of meds and syringes and vials and tubes that would be delivered to my house - how to mix everything and store everything and inject everything. After a while, quite honestly, I stopped listening and watched her lips move in what seemed like slow motion. I was overwhelmed...and started to cry. "Move on," I said as I waved my hand for her to continue. "I'll be okay..." So she did...

She went on to explain the schedule - I'd need to come back in on this date for an ultrasound...this date for bloodwork and ultrasound...and then this date for the egg retrieval which is done under anesthesia. She saw me turn white. The date conflicts with a very important event that I just can't miss.

I cried.

I made my way back into the reception area to check out and to make my next appointment. I had to figure out when in the world between now and Tuesday - when we leave for the Bahamas - I could schedule that procedure. I would need someone to take me to and from so I had to coordinate that with Ed's work schedule, too. My nerves at that point were shot. They were able to make it for Monday afternoon at 2 - whew.

I cried all the way home.

Ed called from work to see how it went. I cried into the phone. I told him how overwhelmed I felt. How I couldn't believe the schedule and the conflicts and what am I going to do?!?!? He, as usual, was so supportive and sympathetic. He suggested that maybe we just wait a month. I wanted to hang up on him. WAIT A MONTH? Wait is a four letter word to me. One month to me would feel like one year. Does he not remember how OLD I am? We ended the conversation with me still upset and...you guessed it...crying.

I left to go pick up the birth control pills at the pharmacy. In the car...by myself...I realized it. All the tears - the enormous anxiety - the conflicts - the intense emotion. Perhaps it was my intuition. Maybe Ed was right. Right then I made my decision. We're holding off.

We are holding off.

I called the doctor just to be sure I was doing the right thing. If he told me I had, like, a 1% chance of getting pregnant this month on our own - with no intervention - I might have reconsidered. But he didn't. Of course my chances are much lower - but it's not impossible. As a matter of fact - he thought the vacation and giving my body a rest for the month - might be good for me. It was a relief. But not entirely.

I am stressed about being "on our own" this month. If it doesn't work, will I blame myself for making this decision? If it doesn't work, it will be a whole month wasted! The "ifs" really are driving me crazy. But I'm also exhausted from a night of no sleep and lots of crying. This has been an extremely emotional journey.

But, thanks to Ed, I feel like we're on the right path. At least for this month. Perhaps just focusing on each other when we go to the Bahamas and then on the boys when we're home...perhaps that is just where we need to be.

And if it does turn out that I don't get my dream fulfilled for more children...it won't be too hard to recover when I realize that my happily ever afters are right here in front of me every day...


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