Sixteen Going on Seventeen

This year was not my best. It was stressful, and disappointing, and scary and heartbreaking from time to time. But we laughed a lot, and had a lot of fun too (when I wasn’t sobbing).

It sort of reminds me of these photos, which are some of my favorites from this year. They look good, but really, each one was taken in the midst of a disaster.

In the first one, our trip to the train museum was a makeup trip from the week before when Gus threw up on everything (and everyone) in our car.

The second one was taken in the middle of a full-on meltdown/refusal to participate in a class I’d already paid for, and that – up until that very second – he used to love.

The third was taken after I spent the morning packing a cooler, and a beach bag, and slathering lotion on everyone, and hauling 25 pounds of stuff down to the beach, and 15 minutes later he was like, let’s go to the pool, I hate it here.

So I try to remember that sometimes annoying things happen, and you’ll be stressed and frustrated and tired, but something good can still come out of it. (At least as long as you’re willing to let your toddler wander fairly far away from you, and you happen to be holding a camera).

I hope that everyone has a happy(ier) and healthy(ier) 2017


A Sudden and Unexpected End of an Era

I just came home from another 10 days in the hospital. Collectively, I spent nearly half of November in a hospital bed.

I missed Thanksgiving.
I missed Gus’ first trip to the dentist.
I missed my cousin-in-law’s entire trip out for Thanksgiving weekend.

I got out of the hospital (my 1st trip) after three days, feeling like my old self, just taking the occasional tylenol and ready to get on with our planned embryo transfer, which was pushed back a few days to give me time to heal.

And I did heal, and we had our transfer, and I was feeling really optimistic and got a few positive pregnancy tests starting six days after transfer. A little darker on day 7. I never got to test on day 8 — the hospital took over at that point.

A week after my embryo transfer, and 16 days after my first hospital stay, my body exploded from the inside, and I genuinely believed I was dying.

Dying in the car on the way to the emergency room. Almost fainting from pain, until someone caught me in a wheelchair (so cliché!).

Dying in the emergency room, when there were no beds and I willingly, joyfully laid down on the waiting room floor, and enthusiastically emptied my stomach into charming little plastic bins.

Dying in a small room, begging for drugs, or for someone to just Looney Toons-style knock my ass out with a frying pan to the head. Anything.

“It’s pancreatitis!” I shouted at everyone. “I need an IV! And morphine! And another CT scan! And I’m pretty sure I’m pregnant!”

They all agreed, and they tried to help me. They did help me, but nothing was helping.

I just kept comparing it to last time. Last time, I felt better by now. Last time morphine worked quickly and consistently.

This time the pain was 1,000 times worse, and nothing was managing it for the first four days. The first moment of relief I felt was several days later — After feeling like something exploded in my chest, when I couldn’t breathe, screaming at Mike that I love him, make sure Gus knows how much I love him if something happens to me, while a rapid response team doubled my meds and rushed me sobbing to a CT scan.

So, what happened?

Apparently labs came back after the first hospitalization, that showed I had elevated triglycerides. This means nothing to me, but a doctor assures me they shouldn’t be higher than 200, and mine were more than 800. That was what they were when I left the hospital the first time, but since I’d been discharged already, no one gave us the results. (I have strong opinions about this as a policy)

Do you know what can make triglycerides really high?


Guess what I was taking a crapload of, for even longer than originally planned?

Want to guess what my triglycerides were when they tested them the day I went back to the ER?

More than 5,000.

Also, I was pregnant.

But you can’t take estrogen and lower triglycerides at the same time, so all my meds stopped immediately. I was also insanely dehydrated, and wasn’t allowed to eat or drink for 90 hours, so none of us were surprised when on top of everything else I started bleeding.

What happens now?

Literally right this second all I can do is sip clear fluids, and eat a few teaspoons of food a day and hope it stays in my body and that they didn’t send me home too early.

I feel horrendous, and am trying to remind myself that recovery is going to be more severe, because this time my illness was much more so as well.

I’ve been advised by multiple doctors that I should never, ever, undergo another round of fertility treatment again. That if I take any estrogen therapies in the future, it could kill me.

And so just like that, I’ll never get pregnant again. I’ll never give birth to my own child again. And, maybe it’s because I don’t have a say in the matter, but it’s a bit of a relief to step away from all the needles, and the anxiety and the worry and the fear that comes along with trying again.

I have seven healthy embryos left. Maybe someone will show up at my door and offer to grow one of them for me (I’ll name them after you!). Maybe I’ll win the lottery, and I can pay for a gestational carrier. Maybe we’ll adopt. Maybe we’ll do all those things.

Mike and his parents, and his cousin, and my parents have been so amazing, taking care of Gus and of me. I’ve gotten so many texts and calls and emails, and I literally can’t talk about it without getting winded — I’m not ignoring you, I literally can’t talk, or stop crying, but thank you, and I love you all.

I’ve been home for a day, and we’re all settling into our new temporary normal. I can’t wait to feel normal again. I miss normal.

Mike told me tonight, after the 15th time I was crying on his shoulder, to think about karma. I asked him if I was being punished, and he told me that something wonderful would happen soon.

Maybe he was talking about the painkillers? Only time will tell I guess.

Happy Halloween!

Today I noticed one of our pumpkins was getting squishy, and on my way to dumping it in the forest, I dropped it and it exploded five feet in front of my door. #wompwomp 

Tonight we trick-or-treated with neighborhood friends, and the kids (all 2-3ish) were the most adorable things I’ve ever seen.

Gus/Mr. Incredible held hands with all the girls, tripped over a hose and face planted, but quickly recovered when promised more candy.


This is it!

I’ve been talking about it for years, and I’m finally going to make it happen.

THIS is the year I finnnalllly learn how to use my sewing machine (that I got in 2012).

The first year, I was finally pregnant (and busy and sick), the next year I had a newborn, and last year we were busy packing and moving.

But now I’m finally gonna do it. I’m registered for a beginners class in February.

Now I just have to find my sewing machine in the boxes in the basement.

(Also in February? Hopefully an attempt for baby #2, if all my consultations with my doctors go well in the next few weeks. Fingers crossed, friends!)

Christmas Recap

Gus had an overwhelming Christmas Eve, with lots of family, and NO nap, which meant a long whiny night for all of us, and a late start this morning.

But when we did finally get up, oh man, was this kid SO EXCITED (complete with a little toe-tapping shimmy over to the tree!) to see what Santa brought him while he slept.

His initial favorite (and by bedtime we’d circled back to them again) were the play mop, broom, and dust pan I technically bought him for his birthday, and then forgot about.

We eventually moved on to his Shiny new shopping cart, and all his new play food, which he took out one. at. a. time. and pretended to eat.

Then all of that was thrown aside when the trains were unwrapped. 

The trains were top dog for a while too, until, well, the dogs and other various animals showed up.

Then we loaded all our new animal BFFs up, and took a ride in his new wagon (courtesy of his grandparents) still in his PJs, (courtesy of the gross, humid heatwave we’re having).

Family brunch, home for a nap, and then back out for family dinner, and we’re all ready for bed (and Gus is finally asleep) … with the air conditioning on. 

Holiday Traditions

Last year my family got all the kids together and we decorated Gingerbread Houses. This year, we did it again over the weekend.

Last year Gus wasn’t interested, and this year it was 70 degrees out and all he wanted to do was run around and eat candy, so those masterpieces are all mine.

Last year, after we made Gingerbread Houses, we all had dinner and ice cream sundaes. This year my cousin and I just skipped straight to the good stuff.

And last year, Gus was not a fan of Santa. This year — you guessed it! — was no exception.

“Many Chris Chris!”

We’re all getting into the holiday spirit over here.

The house is decorated (so pretty!), I’ve been wrapping gifts during naptime (so productive!), and I took Gus to see Santa (so terrified!).

Gus is mostly leaving the Christmas tree alone, possibly because I bought him his own tiny tree to play with (“Chris Tree!”), OR because I started giving him timeouts when he started slapping the ornaments off the tree.

He’s also obsessed with Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas, and the Curious George Christmas special, and has taken to randomly singing Jingle Bells and it is ADORABLE. 

Here come super cute Christmas pictures!