Mountains of Baby Clothes, The Power of Oxyclean, and Viability

The best part of the second trimester is a tie, between finally feeling some baby movement (in your FACE, anterior placenta!) and no longer feeling like a train hit me.

With my newfound energy levels came a desire to clean and organize all of Gus’ baby clothes.

I figured, everything was clean when I packed it away, and it’s mostly organized by size already, how long could it possibly take?

Short answer: It takes like two weeks.

So many of the teeny tiny wittle baby clothes were covered in milk stains (which is apparently super common over time, even if they look clean when you pack them) and the sheer volume of four years worth of clothes (no matter how tiny) was overwhelming.

I separated out all the things worth keeping, and then anything with terrible staining. The internet assured me that a long soak in some Oxyclean would get rid of the majority of the yellow spots, so I gave it a try.

Oxyclean is everything Billy Mays promised us it would be, and then some.

Also, my god, baby clothes are adorable.

Another fun fact: apparently I packed my fancy, moderately expensive, diaper bag away, full of snacks and a sippy cup full of water, and after two years in an airtight bag, instead of very convincing fake leather, it turned into a giant bag of fuzzy mold. 

And, just as exciting for those of us riddled with pregnancy anxiety, today marks my 24th week, and with it comes the magic word: viability.

15 weeks to go. 

Checkups and Confirmations

Today we had another appointment with our high-risk team, to check on Baby [Name Redacted] Little Brother’s heart.

As far as we knew, there was nothing wrong with his heart, but a Fetal Heart Echo is standard for 1) IVF pregnancies (which this was not, but I guess history counts for something?) and 2) anyone who has gestational/good ole’ regular diabetes.

His little heart looked perfect, and so did his itty bitty wittle face (pardon me, I’m biased).

I also had them confirm for me that he is, for sure, a he, since I finally broke down and started buying things I need (but also mostly DO NOT need, namely: tiny baby clothes).

While I was there, they also did a quick growth scan, and he’s currently measuring right on target for his gestational age, and is weighing in at a hefty 1 lb, 1 oz. Gus’ growth didn’t start to slow down until around 28 weeks, so I’m scheduled for another checkup with them next month to keep an eye on things.

And, speaking of Gus, I think we have a little clone coming our way (which, again, totally biased, but it’s going to be adorable in here).


(big brother/little brother)

17 weeks to go!

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.

 

Dear Gus: Three

Dear Gus,

The details are starting to get a little bit fuzzy, but here’s what I remember about the day you were born: the drive to the hospital was excruciating, the nurses were lovely, the anesthesiologist was eating a sandwich while I was demanding some drugs, and then the next thing I knew it was 3:57 AM and you were here — and we were parents.

You looked like this:

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Now, you look like this:

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In the last year, you have changed so much. You use the potty, like a big boy. You can walk up and down the stairs (all by yourself!) giving me a small heart-attack every time. You can sort of swim. You can do somersaults, and walk on a balance beam, and bounce all the way down a trampoline. You can run, and you jump on EVERYTHING.

You go to school now, and you LOVE it. You have friends from your classes, and in our neighborhood, and you ask to play with them all the time. You love your cousins, and you talk about them all time.

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You’d still rather play than eat (a choice I’ll never understand) but when you do want some food, you prefer pretzels, French fries, more pretzels, and cheese.

You never. stop. talking. You are so imaginative, and hilarious — the things that come out of your mouth are unbelievable, including:

“Mom? What happens if the moon pops?”

“Surprise! I’m in your birthday cake!”

“We have an emergency! I saw an ant!”

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And let’s get this out of the way: The Terrible Twos have a well deserved reputation, for being, well — terrible. And you sir, can be terrible with the best (worst?) of them. Usually, it was because you were sick, or teething (molars are the devil’s teeth) or we had just spent large sums of money on fertility treatments trying to make you a sibling, and God just has a sense of humor. Thankfully, those moments were few and far between, because when all those unfortunate things aren’t happening, you’re really a pleasure to be around.

Your counting skills, which used to include the occasional letter and color, are legit now, and you know your fair share of letters too. You also know your full name, and our names (this year you went through a “what’s your name?” phase, in which you asked everyone their names, including total strangers at the grocery store.)

You have names for all of your grandparents now: Nan, and Pop, and Grandma & Pacha. We have no idea what Pacha means, or how you came up with it, but it suits him.

You still LOVE Curious George, and now we can add The Incredibles, the Lion Guard, the PJ Masks, Daniel Tiger & Co., and the Paw Patrol pups to that list. You love to build planes, and towers, and animals with our blocks and duplos, and you love to sit at your train table and play with trains and cranes and cars.

You still adore all animals, and our nighttime routine now consists of pretending to be dogs, or sharks, or gorillas, or tigers, or elephants, or various members of the Lion Guard. If we’re not animals, than we’re race cars and a tow truck, or a train, or we practice gymnastics.

You’re still sleeping in your own room (thank you baby Jesus) unless you’re super sick, only now your menagerie of animals has grown to include: George, Duck, Mickey, Little Appa (the elephant), Cornelius the crocodile, Cow, and Big Appa (another elephant) — not to mention whatever little toy you ask to bring upstairs every night.

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You are not shy, at all. You talk to anyone and everyone, and the second anyone sets foot in our house, to ask them if they want to see your room, or play with your trains. You continue to charm older ladies whenever you get the opportunity to do so.

We finally found a place that can give you a decent haircut, without any screaming, or thrashing, or crying. I think the 1) pretty ladies who work there, and 2) lollipops and toy cars they give you help tremendously.

You are super affectionate. You hug all of your friends and cousins goodbye. You smother us with body slam-esque hugs, and huge sloppy kisses. Sometimes you’ll just take a break from jumping on the sofa, to hug us and say I love you, or lay with us to watch something.

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I swear we just planned your second birthday party, like three months ago. Time is flying, and I’m sure it’s only going to get worse.

You’re so sweet, and so funny, and so smart. You’ve learned so much in the past year, and we’re so proud of you.

Love, Mom and Dad

First Day of Preschool

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His shark bag is all packed, and my baby is off to preschool!

Classes technically started before Labor Day, but today was his first time going solo, the entire time, and with the whole class. He loved it.

Other kids cry when their moms drop them off — mine runs into class without so much as a glance over his shoulder in my direction, and sobs uncontrollably when I show up two hours later to take him home.

And I went *TO THE GYM* (what?! I know!) for the first time in, ummm, what year is it? At least five years? Holy crap, maybe longer. It felt good to get back on an elliptical and listen to bad pop music for an hour. I’m looking forward to doing it more regularly.

After our last loss, I’ve been eating my feelings — because they taste like pizza and ice cream. I’ve been trying to get back on track the last few weeks so I can get as healthy as possible before our next FET in a few weeks.

I’m so happy and relieved that Gus is enjoying school. And I’m excited to have a few hours to myself every week. And now THIRD birthday planning is in full effect!