Sunday, June 01, 2008

Hanging Up The Keyboard

For anyone who continues to check on my blog (I know my readership has steadily declined in direct proportion to the [in]frequency in which I've been posting), I've decided to stop this blog for now. I may post updates here and there, but the desire, and mostly the time, is no longer there for me to devote to this area of my life.

I'll continue to keep it online for newly crowned azoospermiacs who may decide to venture down the DI route, and would like a success story to reference. And will check email and reply to it as I'm able as well.

I'll continue to check in on my blog friends and keep up with how you're all doing. Perhaps I'll pick this up again if and when I decide to embark down this path again if we decide to go for baby #2.

Best wishes to all of my *virtual* friends!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

It's Been Awhile

Wow, can't believe the last time I posted was in February.

I find myself having a rare moment of calm...hubby's off doing some fun stuff with buddies, baby K is having her afternoon nap (the dog must be off snoozing somewhere too), and the

Things have been pretty "normal" as of late. Work continues to be really busy, and I get tons of stuff dumped on me by my boss. I really can't complain, though. I generally have a true fondness for many of the people I work with (including said boss), the stuff that gets dumped on me is intellectually stimulating, and I take home a pretty good paycheck. Ditto with hubby's situation.

K continues to grow every day, and she changes by leaps and bounds.

She's almost eight months old now, and eating solids like a champ. She's on stage 2 foods, and I have begun the weaning process. I was hoping to nurse for a year, but I have officially given myself permission to let go of the guilt! My work schedule is nuts, and I often have back-to-back meetings from 8-5. It's hard enough to get away to grab any food, let alone run to the bathroom and pump. This juggling act was making me absolutely BATTY, so this week I went down to pumping just once per day, and next week I will not pump at all. This equates to sending formula to daycare along with the solids, and I'll continue to nurse in the morning/evening as long as it feels right or when my milk supply dimishes, whichever comes first. As soon as my husband and I discussed this and decided we'd start weaning, I felt this incredible weight lift off my shoulders. I have truly loved nursing my baby, and feeling the unique emotions that come from having the ability to feed and nourish her. But along with nursing comes an incredible amount of responsibility and work. Now that she's taking in a lot of food, her milk intake is decreasing as well. Considering all of the above, it just feels right, and I'm excited to reclaim my body and indulge in an occasional glass of wine again!

K is turning out to be quite the chatty patty. She's constantly practicing new sounds, and her voice is absolutely adorable. It seems like she's enjoying this new part of herself so much that she even mumbles in her sleep, almost like she's still practicing. We've taken many, many videos of her jabbering away, and it'll be so precious to show her these videos when she gets a little older. And I'm sure mom and dad will get a kick out of it, too.

We're about to spend a ton of money...we owe several thousand dollars to Uncle S@m this year (ugh), an unexpected expense came up that will also cost several thousand dollars, and we need to buy K 2 convertible car seats. She has finally outgrown her infant carrier, and I really do consider us lucky that she's lasted in it this long. But since hubby and I both have cars and take her to daycare, we need to buy 2 car seats, which will probably run us close to 700 smackeroos. Will probably go buy them today or tomorrow. On the upside, I've been wanting to graduate to this next step for awhile now, as the baby is getting really heavy carrying her in the infant carseat. And I haven't really seen more shapely biceps develop as a result ;)

Speaking of biceps, I'm finally starting to embark on a workout routine again. I never thought it'd take me this long post-delivery to get on a regular routine, but I also never knew how much busier our lives would become, especially juggling work and a family. But alas, that is the plight of all working families...I'm excited to get active and rediscover the joys of a fit and trim bod. I'm actually 10 pounds lighter than I was before I got pregnant, but my stomach pooches so much I still look about 4 months pregnant. I can hide it pretty well by wearing the right kinds of tops, but I'm sick of having the majority of my wardrobe not look good on me. I have purchased some new clothes so I wouldn't be completely depressed (you've gotta have SOME stuff that looks good on you), but I think it'll be a lot cheaper if I just re-sculpt my baby pooch...

We'll that's a pretty good summary of how life is these days. I'm gonna go browse some of your blogs now and comment where I can - my ability to hit up all blogs and comment will be a function of how long the baby sleeps ;) Hope everyone enjoys the Spring - it's always been such a season of hope and renewal for me; perhaps it is for you as well.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A Bit Worried

"I want it all...I want it all...I want it all...I want it now!" I don't know who sings that song, but the lyrics are running through my head as I fret at the latest development in my dIUI-driven life.

I don't know what made me do it, but I thought I'd check today on the availability of sperm from the donor we used to get pregnant with K. There I went back to the website, dutifully entering the donor number that has been forever etched into my memory. To my horror, I saw big, red, bold text that practically shouted the message at me - NO MORE VIALS AVAILABLE. CALL FOR MORE INFORMATION!! Crap, crap, crap...what the hell do we do now???

After I took a few moments to calm my heart-rate down, I phoned and spoke to a woman who ended up being pretty cool. Here's the deal: they actually have about 20 vials available, but they're in quarantine because the donor hasn't come in for his 3-month blood tests. He's been overdue since October 2007, and although they've tried to reach him, no dice so far. She reassured me that they'd call me as soon as this is resolved so I can purchase more vials. I plan on buying more as soon as I hear from them and will just pay the storage fee to keep them at my RE's office. I actually have 1 vial in storage with them already, as I purchased 6 vials from the first round of TTC and it took me 5 to get pregnant.

So I'm a bit worried about this whole situation. Although it's technically possible to get pregnant with the 1 vial, that is just way too much pressure and hope to put on 1 little vial of swimmers (and on me). Shit, this is freaking me out. Need to calm down. Don't call hubby, just inform him on this latest development in a calm and deliberate manner at an opportune moment in the next day or so. Lest he sees the sheer panic in my eyes.

One thing that I hope works in my favor is the human element. Before I hung up with the lady from the sperm bank, I thanked her for investigating all this for me, and ended the call with "...our daughter is absolutely beautiful, and although my husband was uneasy with utilizing donor sperm, he could not imagine his life without her now...we really want a second child who will be her true sibling..." I think the lady took pause, and I could hear her voice soften. Perhaps this will help her take that extra step to hunt down this donor and make him give some blood just to release the current inventory of vials. Even if he doesn't want to become an active donor again, I hope he's willing to take the time to get cleared and open up the supply on stuff he's already contributed. If only I could get to him myself, I'm sure I could craft a message that has the right balance of emotion, pleading, and charm that would give him the drive to just do this one thing...


In other news, K is 6 months old already! I report this with a certain degree of nostalgia, as I can not believe that she is halfway to the 1-year mark. My little girl has fascinated me in so many ways, and just charms the pants off everyone who meets her! My husband now proclaims that he would like another girl as he is so in love with the one we have been fortunate enough to be blessed with. She just makes him absolutely giddy and goofy at the same time, and the things he does for her...well, it just makes my heart melt.

Sorry I haven't posted in a while - life has been going at 100mph and it doesn't appear as if things will let up in the foreseeable future. In the meantime I will try to visit and comment on blogs today, but if I don't get to yours - I promise I will! You are all in my thoughts, as always...

Friday, January 25, 2008

Two Things - 1 Serious, 1 Not

Now that I'm back to work, I'm back to my old routine of listening to the radio while I get ready for my day. This is, of course, only on the days when hubby takes K to daycare and allows me to get in a full shower and primp. Those days are'll never realize how prized showers are until you become a mother!

So anyway, there are a couple topics that have been discussed on the radio lately that I've been chewing on. One topic is serious, and the other is just fun. Let's start with the serious one.

I'm sure everyone has heard by now about Heath Ledger's death. I'm the type of gal who is so-so into celebrity news. I don't follow it religiously, but do enjoy thumbing through a Pe0ple magazine if I have a long flight and want some light entertainment. I was saddened about the news just as I'd be saddened to hear about anyone's death, and perhaps mildly more interested in this case because of his celebrity status. What stunned me was that people are actually planning on protesting at his funeral because of his portrayal of a gay man in Br0keb@ck M0ut@in. You can read an article about this here. WTF? Is this for real?? I'm not going to get into a long dissertation on how acinine this is, but seriously folks, get over it and leave it alone so his family and friends can properly honor and remember him. Enough said.

On a lighter note...another topic recently discussed on the radio is what has now been dubbed a "dream grudge". It's when someone you know wrongs you in your dream (your spouse cheats on you, your best friends lies to you, etc.), and you end up getting mad at them for it in real life! I thought this was flippin' hysterical because I've been known to hold a dream grudge against poor hubby for cheating on me - several times! Of course I know he didn't do it for real, so my grudge is completely unfair. But the dream seemed so REAL that my resulting hurt feelings are real as well. Makes me laugh again just thinking about it.

So to end a Friday post - what are your thoughts on either of the above topics?

Monday, January 07, 2008

Two Years Later

This post has been a long time coming. The thoughts I'm about to share have been swirling around in my head for quite some time, but they weren't ready to put on paper yet. I hadn't yet had enough of the experiences, felt enough of the emotions, witnessed what I have. But I feel like I'm at a point where I would like to share, and what better a circle than to share it with all of you, my blog buddies.

My husband and I found out about his azoospermia over two years ago. When we found out, we'd been TTC for over a year. We figured we should get some tests done, and I actually thought we'd find an issue on my side. While we did find that I had a blocked fallopian tube, everything else was a-ok.

I can still remember when my husband told me the news. There we were, standing in our master bathroom. I'd just come home, and walked into the room to see my husband hunched over his sink, shoulders looking so very defeated. I had no idea what was wrong, and the silence was killing me. Once he told me, I was speechless. How can you have no sperm? Nada? Zip? WTF??? What does this even mean?

We spent the next year dealing with our grief. After much research and doctor's visits, we had now faced the grim reality that we'd never have a biological child together. While I was all for the donor sperm route, hubby was less than thrilled about the idea. Because he didn't have a lot of experience with babies and children, it took him a long time to even agree to start a family. Now that we knew a child born from donor sperm would not be his to claim biologically, he had huge concerns that he'd be able to love such a child as his own. To him, it was different loving a child born out of DI than loving a child that was adopted. At least an adopted one had neither of our genes, and you could be completely open about it with very little social stigma.

Finally, he agreed to utilize donor sperm. He wanted the child to have my genes even though he couldn't contribute his own. But he still had some very real fears about his ability to love a child that wasn't biologically his. I didn't push him, but I knew he had these thoughts. We went to a counseling session before we started down the path, as the RE's office required it. The session did not help as much as I'd hoped, but at least we had a good dialogue about it all. So we continued down the path; him, nervously hoping for the best and fearing the worst, and me, just hoping for the best.

Then I got pregnant! He was truly happy for the news when we received it, I really believe that. Throughout my pregnancy, we'd have occasional talks about how he was feeling. And although he still had some anxiety and fear, he was in it to win it. And I continued to hope for the best.

Then, I had the baby. And she was absolutely beautiful. People commented on how much she looked like hubby, and we'd just smile at each other. And I continued to hope for the best, because I knew this was just the beginning, that my husband still had a lot to get past. And then a wonderful thing happened.

I'd had a scheduled c-section due to placenta previa, so had to leave much of the baby care in the hospital to hubby. I just focused on resting and learning how to breastfeed, and hubby did everything else. In a period of 3 days, he got countless lessons on diapering, swaddling, and soothing our baby girl. And a bond began to appear, right before my eyes. Then we brought her home, and it continued. My husband began to marvel at how beautiful she was, and would delight in his ability to soothe her like only he could.

Our baby is almost five months old now, and I can honestly say that she is the apple of my husband's eye. He absolutely swoons over her in an adorable, sheepish kind of way. Yet he is not embarrassed about it. As a matter of fact, he is the picture of the adoring father who can not have enough photos of his baby girl to show off to whomever will take the time to look.

We still get comments from people that she looks like him or like me. He takes it all in stride, and jokes that he's glad she looks so much like her mom. I think it'll always bother him to a certain extent that he does not have a biological connection; this I cannot deny. But what I can say with absolute certainty is that he loves our child with all his heart, more deeply than he could have ever imagined. All those questions of whether he'd be able to bond with her are questions no more. He would do anything for her, and she is daddy's little girl.

Two years later, many questions have been answered. And I'm so looking forward to seeing what comes next.

Friday, January 04, 2008

A New Year

Let me start off my first post of 2008 with some happy news - April at Life is Beautiful is the proud mommy of twins! And Nina at stella and/or ben is the proud mommy of a baby girl! Yeah!!!

Lots been going on with me. First off, the holidays were great. This was baby's first Christmas, and very special for us. Our families just ate her up, and were rewarded by all the smiles and chuckles she bestowed upon them.

I went back to work this week, and along with that came baby's introduction to daycare. I was actually ready to return to work and re-enter the adult world that isn't consumed by babies 100% of the time. I was feeling really confident in my dual decision to return to work and put K (I'll now refer to the baby as K from here on out) in daycare, right up until the night before. Hubby and I were getting her things together, labeling her clothes, getting bottles ready, etc....when it just hit me. Was I being a horrible Mom? Should I feel guilty that I wanted to go back to work? Was K going to be ok in daycare? Would she be able to take naps? She's a light sleeper at home, how would she do in this new, noisy environment? Would she take the bottle from them? She's been exclusively breastfed since birth, and has been very on-again, off-again with the bottle as of late. It doesn't help that she got her first cold last week, so the congestion made her REALLY upset at even the sight of the bottle. With all these thoughts swirling around in my head, I looked at her sweet, smiling face, and broke down. Through the sobs, my rock of a husband was wonderful, and talked me down, so to speak. He said all the comforting words I needed to hear, and we got over it and finished our preparations.

I had one more crying jag in the shower the next morning, when hubby brought K over to say hi to me through the shower doors. She just looked so warm and content in his loving arms, and I felt like I was sending her out into a cold, lonely world.

We all went to the daycare center together, and once I got there, I remembered how much I truly liked this center when we decided on it some months back. The center director greeted us at the reception desk and personally attended to all the little details to get us settled in. I was both grateful and impressed at this personal attention she gave us, especially since the office and the infant room was super-chaotic. She even called me at lunchtime (I was going to call for an update after lunch) just to let us know how wonderfully K was doing! She'd already taken a nap and a full bottle, woo hoo! Yesterday she slept even better, and continued to do well, taking all of her bottles. She really enjoyed the nursery rhymes, and laughed while they were singing. Ah, my baby K. She is just so cool.

So this week couldn't have gone much better than it has, really. I think 2008 is going to be a really good year.