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

Back in the Saddle.

As we get ready to start another FET cycle, I’m trying to get as healthy as possible.

And along with that comes (or goes?) all the usual suspects.

Caffeine.
Sugar.
Artificial sweeteners.
Alcohol.
Refined Grains.
Good ole’ gluten.

Goodbye old friends. We had a good run, didn’t we?

And, unfortunately for me, since our last loss I have just been eating my feelings (they taste like pizza and ice cream!) for months. Then, that rolled into vacation eating.

And so all that had to stop.

And then I did something unthinkable.

I started going to the gym again. On purpose! Repeatedly! It’s not as often as I’d like, and I can’t work out as hard as I used to (who remembers when I was thin?!) but it’s better than never, ever going to the gym, which is what I’ve been doing for, ohhhhhhhh, six years?

And after all these years of infertility treatments, and pregnancies, and breastfeeding, and going dairy-free, and then eating ALL THE DAIRY, I honestly cannot tell you what my pre-pregnancy weight was.

The good news is, I’m not focused on being a certain weight, or a certain size. This body of mine will never be perfect, but it gave me Gus, and that’s a body worth celebrating as far as I’m concerned, even if it doesn’t look perfect in a bathing suit. But leggings and tunics seem like they’re here to stay awhile, so amen and hallelujah for stretchy pants!

My goal is to lose as much weight as I can (healthily) between now and our FET, while getting stronger and eating these things called “vegetables” I’ve been hearing so much about.

So far, so good.

Next Steps

After our last (failed) IVF attempt, we’ve been talking about what our next steps are.

I’m definitely planning to try again, but the more I think about it, the more I’d like to take a few months off before starting again.

For starters, we’ve decided to have our remaining embryos genetically tested. While it doesn’t guarantee success, it certainly increases our odds (and the odds have not been in my favor). And despite the extra cost, the price is significantly less than it was four years ago when we started this process, so that was a pleasant surprise.

Then we have our annual family vacation coming up, and I would love to run, and jump and play in the ocean with Gus. I’d also like to take him on rides, and to splash parks, and eat (and drink) at all my favorite restaurants and bars.

After that, we have a destination wedding coming up in September, and making either 1) a long car ride, or 2) a plane ride with a toddler while pregnant and taking blood thinners was not something I was looking forward to. Now I just have to deal with the joys of toddler traveling, and I can drink away my feelings if that’s what it comes down to.

After THAT, my oldest, and dearest friend is getting married in the spring, and her bachelorette party is possibly happening in Vegas, in the fall, and now I can go and not be the sober party mom, and instead I’ll be the least drunk party mom. (Once the party mom, always the party mom.)

I don’t actually drink that much — despite my last three points being mostly alcohol related — I swear.

Our new house is pretty great, on the inside. But the outside? Needs some work. Like chopping down trees, and clearing overgrowth, and horrible gross outdoorsy-type work. Work I despise, but would like to do as cheaply as possible, and that means getting out there and doing most of it ourselves. I can’t really whack things with an axe on my best day, let alone when I’m super high-risk and pregnant.

And can we talk about Zika for a minute? Because it scares the bejesus out of me. I live in an area they’ve classified as low-risk, but those little bloodsuckers are nearby, and guess who has two thumbs and a giant reservoir in her back yard? This girl. So I’m ok with waiting for mosquito season to end.

And, maybe most importantly, I’m excited to spend a little more time with Gus —  just us. We’ve got a lot of things on the horizon for our little man in the next few months, and I had a lot of anxiety about how a new baby would change things for him.

We just started potty training. He’s starting preschool at the end of August. He’ll be a threenager, and probably transitioning to a big-boy bed in the fall. That’s not so much for you and me, but it’s a lot in a few months when you’re under the age of three. Add all that together, I’m ok with waiting a few more months.

Physically, waiting gives me more time to keep getting healthy. Selfishly, it lets me go on vacation and drink. Financially, it lets us save for the next cycle. And mentally, it’ll be nice to take a break from needles, and medicine reminders, and worrying about all the what ifs.

Uncle Donald

Gus occasionally sings to himself before he falls asleep (adorable! I know!) and until today that really just consisted of him singing “jingle bells” to himself over, and over, and over again.

This afternoon, after a few bars of jingle bells, he started singing “Uncle Donald has a farm, E-O-O-O-O!” before making a few animal sounds and passing out.

He also thinks that everyone is a Mister.

His TMNT bath toy is, “Mr. Guy.” (Who loves to turn the TV on? On his boat? I have no idea.)

His pediatrician is Mr. Doctor.

The guy building my mom’s addition is Mr. Ron, which really isn’t funny or inaccurate – but sometimes he’ll say something about Mr. Ron’s hole, and that’s obviously hilarious.

And few weeks ago, we went to the library with our friends, Jess and Clio. After we split up, Gus looked around and asked, “Where did Mr. Jess go?!”

And, in additional adorable news, last night he told us goodnight and then ran down the hall to his room screaming, “Take sweet dreams!”

Transfer-versary 

Three years ago, we transferred these two embryos, and today we have the most beautiful, hilarious, crazy smart two-year-old.

I didn’t really talk about it at the time, because after two losses I was pretty tight-lipped about the whole cycle. And I didn’t talk much about it last year or the year after, because babies are hard.

It was our third embryo transfer in under a year. The first two were very sterile and formal, and while they were briefly successful, this was the one that finally stuck.

It was also the funniest, and most relaxed.

I guess they were overbooked that day, because instead of being taken to the usual procedure room, all gowned up, we were sent to a regular old exam room one floor down, and no one needed gowns or booties. 

I was obviously horrified and convinced we were destined for failure, because this wasn’t right! This isn’t how we did it before!

But the doctor we had that day was really funny, and had to keep telling me to stop laughing (the first two times the doctors were sort of friendly, but it was very impersonal). This was the time Mike likes to remind me about – how he sat there and watched some other guy get me pregnant. #fertilityjokes

As we get ready to try again for baby #2, I’m excited to try again. And I’m trying to remind myself that staying relaxed and laughing a little bit, can’t hurt. 

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. 

Mom

A few days ago, all of a sudden, Gus stopped calling me “Mama,” and started calling me “Mom.”

At first, I thought (hoped?) it was just a fluke, but he’s showing no signs of stopping.

All day it’s, “Mom, juice.” and “Mom, help.” or (my personal favorite) “NO MOM!”

I knew it would happen eventually, but I sort of figured he’d be older.

Like, I don’t know, 10. Or 5.

I’d have settled for 3.