For Those of You Just Joining Us

Alternatively known as: Filling in Everyone From Facebook

It’s no secret we’ve struggled over the years to build our family. Various torturous medicated cycles, and then three rounds of IVF and two losses were under our belts (literally) before we had Gus.

Last year we decided to try again, and I rather optimistically thought it would be a walk in the park, now that we’d found a protocol that finally worked.

Boy, was I an idiot.

This time last year, we found out we’d lost another pregnancy. After a few months off and some extra embryo testing, we tried again in the fall, and it honest to god almost killed me.

After that, we decided to explore other options. Adoption. Fostering. People reached out to us about being gestational carriers. We found out more IVF was a possibility, if we eliminated certain medications.

We had a lot of possibilities to consider. But one thing we knew, for absolutely sure, was we were going to wait at least six months so I could recover physically (pancreatitis is no joke, friends).

And then like eight weeks later, clouds parted, and angels sang, and my boobs hurt, and I took the last pregnancy test in my possession on a whim, because why the hell not — they’re always negative — and all hell broke loose.

I got to surprise Mike. Technically I got to surprise EVERYONE, which I never thought would be possible. But I suddenly found myself in the position to surprise my husband with a pregnancy like a REGULAR PERSON, and I was so excited, I told him five minutes before a dozen neighbors and their kids came over for a pizza party, and then was like, “ok, that was the doorbell, lets go act totally normal for a few hours!”

(That’s the flabbergasted face of a man who has had zero time to process what I’m telling him.)

Also, I just want to point out how close I came to being one of those women you see on TLC who gives birth at home on the toilet, because they had no idea they were pregnant. I never got my period after the last loss. I have an anterior placenta, and a breech baby who likes to face my spine, so five months in and I still feel nada in the movement department. Now, maybe the nine weeks of dry heaving would have tipped me off eventually, but we’ll never know for sure. Anyway…

I’m 19 weeks along now, so I’m halfway there. I’m due in early October, but thanks to all my fancy high-risk factors, I’ll deliver by the end of September.

So far, everything looks good. I still have to take blood thinner everyday, and they tested me early for gestational diabetes, which of course, I failed (again.) The good news is, it’s mostly diet controlled at this point, so I’ve only gained three pounds total (to the shock and horror of pregnant women, everywhere). My blood pressure has been great (which was not the case with Gus at all) and more importantly — so far my pancreas seems fine (knocking on all the wood).

After last fall, I genuinely believed we would never have any more children, so just to have the possibility is such a miracle and we’re so excited, and still a little shocked. Thank you, everyone for all the heartfelt congratulations and well wishes!

Another (Good) Surprise 

When I was pregnant with Gus, I was sure he would be a girl.

I’m a girl. My mom is a girl. Her sisters — all girls. My cousins, overwhelmingly girls. All their kids (you guessed it) even more girls.

But at 16 weeks, we found out he was, well, a he. The first boy in my immediate family, in more than two decades. 

And all the old wives’ tales were true. I wanted salty foods. I looked preeeeetty good, glowing and all that. Whatever his heartbeat averaged, meant he was a boy. That old Chinese gender chart (while technically not applicable thanks to IVF) said he’d be a boy.

This time?

I want sweet things. And salty things. Basically I want all the things that aren’t vegetables. But last time, sweet just seemed gross, and this time it seems like a good idea.

And I’m less pretty. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still super cute, as long as you’re not put off by all these pimples and this beard I’m slowly growing.

I don’t know why, but my intuition has been screaming GIRL GIRL GIRRRLLLLL at me for weeks.

My intuition, it seems, is crap.



Little Brother, coming in September.

(The anatomy scan went very well, and baby was measuring on schedule with all of his (HIS!) bits and bobs right where they should be.)

A Teeny Tiny Update with Little to No Information.

I’m still here.

Still (miraculously, amazingly, unexpectedly) (18 weeks!) pregnant.

We’ve told our families (shock!) and our friends (awe!) and all my new various doctors (confusion!) and I’ve technically told the internet full of strangers (hello!) but we haven’t made anything Facebook official.

Why?

Eh, I don’t know. Probably because every time I tell one new person my first thought is, “WHAT HAVE I DONE?!” and every time I purchase a new baby outfit (twice) I immediately think, “YOU MONSTER, YOU’VE RUINED EVERYTHING.”

So, I guess you could say I’m dealing with a little bit of anxiety.

Despite having four or five ultrasounds now, and doctors repeatedly finding the heartbeat on the doppler, and maybe feeling something kick me sometimes, I’m still finding it a little bit difficult to believe this is happening. That it’s happened at all. That it will continue to happen.

Someone asked me a few weeks ago when I felt confident in my pregnancy with Gus, and I told them, completely honestly, when I was walking into Labor & Delivery and my contractions we’re two minutes apart.

And yet, I am surprisingly less anxious than I was back then. Maybe it’s the fact that now I no longer feel the pressure of being barren forever. Maybe my cold agnostic heart has been touched by a freaking angel, and I can’t help but feel like this is something that is supposed to happen.

Time will tell, I guess.

So far, so good.

 

Twenty-Three Months

Will I really have a two-year-old in a month?! It doesn’t seem possible. But then I look at all the things this kid can do, and his rapidly expanding vocabulary, and he’s SO BIG, he’ll be driving soon.

Likes: Gus loves to count anything – toys, steps down the stairs, you name it. He’s pretty good from 1–3. After that things get a little fuzzy (1, 2, 3, 9, dog, 4, 9, George!) He’s also really interested in colors – only he says that everything is blue. Like, to the point I was wondering if he was colorblind. But when you give him things and ask him to sort them by color, he can do it – even if every pile is “blue.”

Dislikes: For the most part, Gus is pretty agreeable. But if he wants something done a certain way, or only wants a specific person to come with him or help him, nothing else will do.

Sleep: We finally moved Gus into his own room, and he’s been sleeping in his crib for naps, and at night. We’ve even had a few nights where he’s slept straight through, it’s been amazing. He still nurses to sleep for naps and bedtime, but lately he’s been waking up (and screaming NOOO!, haha) as soon as I start to lay him down in the crib. After realizing he calmed down sooner if I wasn’t in the room, I’ve been leaving and he’s been putting himself back to sleep on his own in a few minutes, sometimes in like 30 seconds or less. I’m sooo proud of him (I honestly never thought we’d get here).

Eating: Eating, schmeating. He eats when he wants, I’m officially over worrying about it. When he DOES, he’s doing really well using his fork and spoon.

Clothes: 24 months/2T, even though his 18m stuff still fits his waist. I recently discovered OshKosh jeans have sizable waistbands, which might be the greatest invention, ever.

New Tricks: If you ask him a question, he says, “hmmmmm,” and taps his finger on his chin. He likes sorting things by color, and he recently started hopping around like a frog saying, “froggy, leap! leap!” We have no idea where that came from.

Teeth: Those last four molars are definitely taking their time, but they don’t seem to be really bothering him. Tooth Tally: 16

Vocab:
Mama/Dada
Nan
Woof!
Daisy
Jake
No
Night night
Yay!
Toot-toot!
Gus Gus
Yes!
Up!
Down!
Elmo
Nose
Uh-Oh!
Quack
Meow
Moo
Whoa
OH!
Daisy, no!
Cheese
Shoes
Juice
Roar
Monkey sounds
This
That
Bubbles
Hello
Wow!
You
More
Please
Hi
Bye
Boat
Boo!
Fish
Go
Do
oink-oink
snake sounds
Owl sounds
Baby
Me
Aaaachooooo!
The Letters: H & O & T
Beep-beep!
Bath
Hot
Cracker (now applies to chips, cookies, granola bars, actual crackers, and Cookie Monster)
Yuck
Hush
Book
Box
Hat
Help
Oh no!
Butt
Toot
Eww
Ouch
Apple
Rock
Run
Burp
Arm
Hand
All done / All gone
Elephant (Appa)
Wet
Bike
Mike
Knock-knock
Trash
Bug
Nemo
Big
Sad
Whale
Blue
Hair
Airplane
Fork
Spoon (foon)
*Thanks (“Tay, Mom!”)
*Sun
*Toe
*Egg
*Rain
*Pee-pee
*Poop
*Black
*Move
*Fly
*Bone
*Hair
*Fruit
*Tall
*Kite
*Three
*Piggy
*Duck
*Ding-dong
*Boom
*Hanger
*Button
*George
*Mouse
*Tickle
*Fall
*Beach
*Seagull
*Cake
*Hug
*Frog
*Towel
*Set, Go!
*Me Try
*Phone
*Banana (banna)
*Oh Toot Toot! (Toodles)
*Me House (aka the playroom)

*new this month

Twenty-Two Months

I can’t speak for Gus, but I’m ready for fall. Actually this summer hasn’t been too unbearable, but moving, bad vacations and sick babies have me ready for October. Speaking of October — Second Birthday planning is in full effect (already?!) And speaking of second birthdays, that’s when I plan to stop writing these monthly updates. Mainly because I’m more and more likely to forget them lately, but also because I think they’re getting a little repetitive, and two seems like a nice place to stop.

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Likes: The love affair with Curious George has ousted Elmo from his top spot. Thankfully we’re past the phase of full on meltdowns when it’s time to turn off the tv. We bought a radio flyer tricycle that Gus loves to ride around on or push through the neighborhood while we walk the dogs.

Dislikes: Diaper changes still top the list but he’s more agreeable once we get the process started.

Sleep: I’m getting ready to move Gus to his own room. We’ve been talking a lot about his big boy bed (which is just his crib) and I got him a little toddler pillow in an attempt to bribe him to sleep. I’m nervous and dreading it, but it has to happen. I’m hoping if I’m consistent it’ll be ok.

Eating: For 10 long months I gave up dairy for this precious baby, and now the only thing he wants to eat is cheese. Sure, he’ll ask for an apple, but then he just throws it on the floor before demanding more cheese.

Clothes: My stringbean baby can still wear all of his 18-24m stuff, but then I have some 2T pjs that are highwaters all of a sudden. So I don’t know.

New Tricks: If we’re playing and I shush him, he’ll reach up and smush my lips together, which he thinks is hysterical. Now if you ask him where something is, he’ll immediately give you one of these: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, which I think is hysterical. He’s also taken to wagging his finger at you (or more likely at the dogs) when he says “no,” and all of a sudden he’s yelling “HI-YAH!” whenever he throws something (we have no idea where that came from).

Teeth: Those second molars are stalled, right under the gums, but they don’t see to be bothering him quite as much. Tooth Talley: 16.

Vocab:
Mama/Dada
Nan
Woof!
Daisy
Jake
No
Night night
Yay!
Toot-toot!
Gus Gus
Yes!
Up!
Down!
Elmo
Nose
Uh-Oh!
Quack
Meow
Moo
Whoa
OH!
Daisy, no!
Cheese
Shoes
Juice
Roar
Monkey sounds
This
That
Bubbles
Hello
Wow!
You
More
Please
Hi
Bye
Boat
Boo!
Fish
Go
Do
oink-oink
snake sounds
Owl sounds
Baby
Me
Aaaachooooo!
The Letters: H & O & T
Beep-beep!
Bath
Hot
Cracker (now applies to chips, cookies, granola bars, actual crackers, and Cookie Monster)
Yuck
Hush
Book
Box
Hat
Help
Oh no!
Butt
Toot
Eww
Ouch
Apple
Rock
Run
Burp
Arm
Hand
All done / All gone
Elephant (Appa)
*Wet
*Bike
*Mike
*Knock-knock
*Trash
*Bug
*Nemo
*Big
*Sad
*Whale
*Blue
*Hair
*Airplane
*Fork/Spoon (foon)

*new this month

Twenty-One Months

Technically, Twenty-One Months and six days, but who’s counting.

If I had to sum up the last month in as few words as possible, I would have to say: explosion.

His language is exploding. His independence is exploding.

His temper is absolutely exploding.

image

Likes: He loves his new-ish Elmo slippers, he mastered sliding in about five minutes (also: he calls it, “Weeeeeee?!” So adorable.) He’s obsessed with bubbles, and water, and rocks. Did I mention we’re the only occupied house on our new street? We’re surrounded by construction sites, so it’s rocks rocks rocks all day around here.

Dislikes: Turning the TV off (more specifically Curious George or Sesame Street) is a big tantrum trigger. Thankfully we’re living without TV (and internet, the horror!) for a few weeks so it’s been easy to avoid. When I do need to turn on some cartoons to get some unpacking done, I’m relying on a lot of smoke and mirrors, and a general out of sight out of mind approach to keep things civil around here, once it’s time to turn them off. I’m not looking forward to his attention span improving.

Sleep: I don’t know if it’s his last four molars, nightmares, or a month away from our bed and our regular routine, but sleep has been iffy lately. Not terrible, but not great, but there’s definitely been a lot more midnight screaming. We’re all very excited to have our bed back.

Eating: Apple juice, goldfish crackers, cheese and (obviously) cookies are the only things I can reliably get this kid to eat. He does like fruit and beans, but some days he eats it all, but really most days he just wants to graze and keep playing.

Clothes: 24 months

New Tricks: Jumping (or nearly jumping most of the time) is a new development. He also wipes his hands together and says, “Phewww!” every time he says he’s all done with something.

Teeth: Second molars are on the horizon. Tooth tally: 16

Vocab:
Mama/Dada
Nan
Woof!
Daisy
Jake
No
Night night
Yay!
Toot-toot
Gus Gus
Yes
Up
Down
Elmo
Nose
Uh-Oh!
Quack (Mmmmmmaaaaaaa!)
Meow
Moo
Whoa
OH!
Daisy, no!
Cheese
Shoes
Juice
Roar
Monkey sounds
This/That (dat)
Bubbles (babas)
Hello
Wow!
You
More
Please (peas)
Hi/Bye
Boat (bo)
Boo!
Fish (vish)
Go (go-go!)
Do
oink-oink
snake sounds
Whooooooo (like an owl)
Baby
Me
*Aaaachooooo!
*The Letters: H & O
*Beep-beep (applies to cars, trucks, bikes, etc.)
*Bath
*Hot
*Cracker (now applies to chips, cookies, granola bars, actual crackers, and Cookie Monster)
*Yuck
*Hush
*Book
*Box
*Hat
*Help
*Oh no!
*Butt
*Toot
*Eww
*Ouch
*Apple
*Rock
*Run
*Burp
*Arm
*Hand
*All done / All gone
*Elephant (Appa)

*new this month

 

Terrible Twos

When you’re pregnant, everyone with kids is all, “Oh, you’ll never sleep again.”

And you hear it SO much, you’re like, OMGGG I GET IT, thaaaaanks!

But you don’t. You definitely DO NOT get it, until it’s three weeks in, and it’s 4 a.m., and you can’t remember the last time you slept more than two hours.

Then you’re like, holy shit, they were right.

The terrible twos is a lot like that, I imagine.

Everyone knows toddlers are irrational, and tantrums are awful, and that the terrible twos are a thing. And maybe if you work at a daycare, or a preschool (god bless you, by the way), you’re prepared for what it’s like to have a two-year-old.

The rest of us? It’s trial by screaming, stomping, fire. And by the time you figure out that’s your new reality — just like life with a newborn — well, it’s too late.

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In the last few weeks, we’ve seen our fair share of legit tantrums. I think there are a lot of contributing factors, aside from it’s just that time, developmentally. We’re still staying with Mike’s parents while our house is finished (only a few more days!) and our routine is a little off. We’re sleeping in a bed that’s not ours, and Gus is starting to cut his second molars, so he’s not sleeping well. He’s recently become OBSESSED with cartoons — specifically Curious George — and turning off the TV without a compelling distraction is a big trigger. And despite learning new words at a rapid pace, he still has a hard time explaining what he wants all the time.

And so, he throws himself on the floor, and screams in my face. And if I try to touch him, or comfort him, he loses his goddamn mind.

Thankfully, the majority of the time, he’s still super sweet, and funny and affectionate. And I take comfort in the fact that it has to get better (just like that newborn phase!) or no one would ever have more than one child (…right?)