Tuesday, October 5, 2010

And So It Grows

So, here I am on the cusp of 11 weeks and still *gulp* pregnant. It feels surreal to even say the word aloud. I'm almost afraid I will somehow jinx it and wake up sans baby. But the unrelenting nausea reminds me that there is indeed a little human growing somewhere in my pelvis.

On Friday, I got another little sneak peek into my uterus to see Dewdrop. To my delight, the heartbeat was still beating away. I was so amazed at how much he/she has grown in just three short weeks. He/She actually looks like a baby instead of a prehistoric sea creature. There is a distinct head, body, arms and legs. He/She kept putting his/her hands near his/her face, which reminded me of Nate in utero. And best of all, he/she flashed a little smile for the camera, as if to say "see, I'm fine in here Mommy!".

The doctor didn't measure the CRL, which was actually fine since I had been obsessing about being 3 days behind at the last scan. I am just choosing to trust her word that the baby has grown significantly and that all looks perfect. The yolk sac is being absorbed and the placenta should be taking over soon, which means I can stop the progesterone supplements in 8 days. Wow, what will I do without all that panty goo?

The first trimester always seems to be the most agonizingly slow one but when I consider that I'll hit the second trimester in just 15 days, it really seems like it has gone by speedily. I'm not actually rushing it away this time. Sure, I'd like not to have to sip ginger ale every time I wake up. But I want to soak in each and every moment. This time, I'd like to have no regrets.

As for my firstborn, we had him evaluated for speech therapy over the course of the last month and a half. Last week, we learned that he has a 50% delay in expressive language and a 25% delay in receptive language (which is most likely the result of the expressive delay). He will begin therapy later this month. A teacher will come to the house weekly and do specific exercises with him, which I will repeat during the week and report the results. After 6 months, he will be reevaluated to see if he needs more intense therapy.

It's always disappointing to hear that your child has a developmental problem, but I was not surprised. I had been expecting to hear this so I was as prepared as I could be. It breaks my heart that he is unable to communicate effectively, as social as he is by nature. I just hope he gets the help he needs.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday: Meet "Dewdrop"

Before my appointment Friday, I was so intensely nervous that I thought I might spew all over the waiting room. I had convinced myself that I was going to see an empty sac. But lo and behold, there actually is a little baby growing in my belly. And he or she has a beautiful heartbeat. I was so amazed at the sight of that flicker that it didn't even occur to me to ask for the rate. But it was going pretty fast so I don't think there is anything to worry about in that department.

"Dewdrop" measured 6w6d and by ovulation I should've been 7w2d. 3 days off is really no big deal, as dating is not an exact science, but because of my history (i.e. paranoia), my OB kindly booked another scan for October 1st. Just for peace of mind. I'm eager to get another glimpse of this little bean and pray that he or she hangs in there for the long haul.

I said I wouldn't get attached but how could you not? I'm totally in love already so I won't bother denying it.

As far as symptoms go, I must say that this pregnancy has been surprisingly, vastly different from my first. I hardly felt "pregnant" at all with Nate. I had no morning sickness, my face was vibrant and looked better than ever, and aside from some serious bouts of constipation and my slowly burgeoning belly, he never really made his presence known until he was too big to be ignored.

This time around, I'm not exactly running to the toilet, but I have an increasingly present yucky feeling. The kind of feeling where you think you may need to eat something but you're afraid that if you do, you might regret it. I snack every hour or two but some meals just seem to sit in my stomach and leave me queasy. I also gag if I'm not careful brushing my teeth, which is new. My face looks like a minefield. I have pinchy, pully round ligament pains if I get up too fast, sneeze or roll over quickly. And I also get dizzy occasionally - I'm assuming from the increased blood flow. The great thing is, as a SAHM, I can nap during the day when Nate naps so most days, I do get an hour or two of rest that helps.

DH is convinced Dewdrop is a girl. I have a feeling it's a girl too but if it's anything like with Nate, I will probably flip flop back and forth up until the big reveal. So much for motherly instinct!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sigh of Relief

Second beta (14dpo) : 163
Doubling Time: 36.19 hours

Music to my ears. Maybe now I can finally put the HPTs away.

Next up is the first ultrasound on 9/10. I'm just praying for a healthy heartbeat.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Shock Factor

Hopeful EDD: 4/27/11

First Beta @ 12dpo = 65
Progesterone = 11.6 (starting 200mg Prometrium nightly)
Second Beta @ 14dpo = ? (we'll find out tomorrow)

In. Shock.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Nate turned 2 on Monday. Can you believe it?! My baby...TWO?!

Where on earth does the time go? I'm getting whiplash from the speed of the clock passing me by. It feels like I was just holding him in my arms for the first time. Just when I think I can't possibly love him more, my heart swells just a little bit more. It's amazing how that happens.

Man, am I blessed.

It's been an eventful couple of months over here at Chez Sticky. DH was laid off unexpectedly in late June. Seeing as though he is the sole financial provider, this was a scary time for us. But he found another - better paying - job in just two weeks. That whole saying, when God closes one door he opens another? Totally true. His commute is longer since he has to take the train into D.C. but he bought a new iPad to make it more "tolerable". What a nerd.

I was planning to have a huge party for Nate's birthday but with the timing of the layoff, we decided to delay it a few weeks. So, the big celebration is now scheduled for August 15th. We're doing a Yo Gabba Gabba theme, considering that is his all-time favorite show. I'm going domestic and plan to bake cupcakes and decorate them to look like the characters' faces. It's promising to be super cute. I can't wait.

Then there comes the strep throat that DH and I caught. Nate was spared somehow from the pure hell. Thank goodness for Penicillin. That's all I have to say about that.

I'm currently waiting to O in my fourth Clomid cycle. That means no BFP yet. I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't getting anxious. We're now in month 11 of TTC #2. You'd think that having been there, done that, I would feel a sense of comfort with all this business. But it still feels like new territory. With each day that passes, and as Nate grows older by the minute, my desire for his sibling burns brighter.

I find myself wondering what we'll do if Clomid doesn't work this time. Is IUI in our future? IVF? DH just got a new job and can't take huge chunks of time off so I'm just not sure where we're headed.

My mantra: I won't stop until the pain of disappointment becomes greater than the pain of longing.

All I know is no matter how down I get, I'm not quite there yet. So I just keep on keepin' on.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


12dpo. BFN.

I treated the pee stick like a pot that refused to boil should I stare. I would walk away, pace the hall anxiously and come back to analyze the results. After ten minutes of obsessive-compulsive behavior, I accepted the harsh reality that a line just wasn't going to magically appear where I hoped it would.

Disappointment initially hit me like a ton of bricks. My EDD would have been 1/25. Exactly the same as my dear "Snowflake" we lost three years ago. I had convinced myself we were destined for success this cycle. That it was meant to be so I could turn that day into a happy memory.

But I realized that, in a way, I am glad that "Snowflake" has that date all to herself. I wasn't able to give her life but at least I can give her that day. A proper commemoration of the short 11+ weeks we shared.

I didn't have time to shed a tear before Nate started beckoning me from his crib. I picked up his limp body and and rocked him gently in the glider as he fought to wake up. I swept his white blonde bangs from his tear-stained eyes and kissed his forehead. The light formed a comforting shadow in our little corner of the world. And just like that, I was at peace.

I'm still hopeful that we'll conceive a sibling someday. But I must remain thankful for the blessings that soften the blow.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Put On A Happy Face

I love when I wake up in the morning to a smiling face, don't you?

This was the beautiful, surprising sight I saw on Monday - and again on Tuesday. It had been so long since I'd seen a positive OPK (on day 14 no less!) that I thought I was dreaming. I had to rub the crust from the corners of my eyes and turn on the bathroom light to be sure that there were indeed eyes and a mouth in that digital circle.

As of today, I've gotten my crosshairs and am officially 3dpo. Our timing was impeccable. We're now just sitting pretty until test day: May 15.

I'm amazed that the 50mg worked this time. Last time, pre-Nate, the 50mg did nothing but give me a monster cyst. Even 100mg had trouble releasing a golden egg. I'm shocked - and stoked - that my ovaries got the memo this time around, and on the lowest dosage. Funnily enough, my side effects have been much more potent this cycle. My past Clomid cycles incurred a week of hot flashes that were annoying but manageable. I remember sitting in business meetings, sweating like a prostitute in church. Well, this time, I had one minor hot flash that lasted all of sixty seconds but cramps, nausea and dizziness galore. You'd think the lower dose would mean less side effects. Not so in my case.

Today, as I was folding t-shirts and putting them away in his drawers, I told Nate that he could be a big brother in as soon as 8 months. I know he doesn't quite understand the magnitude of that statement. It's even hard for me to believe it is an actual possibility.

Right now it just seems like an illusion.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


For the past 6 months, my posting here has been spotty at best. It's not really that I am so busy that I forget that I have a blog. And it's definitely not that I don't care. I want to write but the moment I sit down in front of the blank white box, the words escape me. I remember years ago how my thoughts would just pour out of me onto the page. I could succinctly express myself in some profound, poetic way without even really trying. But that was when I was struggling. When I'm in pain, it's so easy for me to write. Subtracting infertility from the equation has seemingly deducted my writing skills.

I've debated putting an end to this blog. Moving on. Telling myself that I just don't have the time or the talent anymore. But my heart won't let me give up. I don't want to just accept my current state as fact. So, here I am, in the midst of Infertility Awareness Week, committing myself to Bloggy Rehab so I can get back my groove back. I may have lost my way but I'm going to dig deep for that compass so I can get back on track.

The best word I can use to describe my current state of mind is: consumed.

Not so much with our day-to-day routine. After our first year of mass confusion, we finally have that down pat. Wake up at 7am. Breakfast at 8am. Morning Snack at 11am. Nap at noon. Lunch at 2pm. Playtime/errands until 6pm. Dinner at 7pm. Bath at 7:30pm. Bedtime at 8pm. (Betcha wanted to know all about our monotony, am I right?!) There is little deviation from this schedule. No surprises. Moreso, I'm consumed with a sense of tremendous guilt.

I know I'm not the only mom on the planet who feels this emotion and I realize it is normal to an extent. I've always been one to hold myself to a high standard. And it was okay because if I failed, I was only affecting myself. With parenting, I have so much more at stake. My screw-ups now could affect my son for the rest of his life. So, I am acutely more aware of my mistakes. And well, those are aplenty.

At 21 months, Nate is still pretty much a mute. Don't get me wrong - he babbles incessantly. But it's a foreign language that only he seems to be able to comprehend. He's only said about 15-20 "real" words. And even those aren't consistent. He's perfectly content to point and grunt rather than enunciate his wants and needs. MIL assures me that DH was a late talker and that Nate will eventually gain vocabulary - probably after the age of 2. But naturally, I am concerned for his development. His comprehension is perfectly fine and he can follow simple commands like "brush your teeth", "brush your hair", "grab your shoes", "where's the ball?", etc. That's the only reason I haven't yet consulted a speech therapist. However, children younger than him are speaking in 2-3 word sentences. I'm trying not to do the whole comparison thing because I know there is a HUGE range of "normal" amongst toddlers. But I can't help but feel as if this is somehow my fault. Have I not communicated with him enough? Is he watching too much TV? Is he not socialized enough since he is an only child and I'm a SAHM? Guilt, guilt and more guilt.

And then there's the issue of TTC #2. We've been trying nonchalantly for almost 8 months now. Of course, I haven't ovulated once in that time. Par for the course. I didn't start charting until January but I've yet to see anything close to a temp shift during my 70+ day cycles. I can't say I was surprised but my OB/GYN wanted me to come in for some bloodwork, just to make sure my thyroid wasn't to blame. Come to find out, I do indeed have PCOS. As in polycystic ovaries. Why my RE didn't catch or disclose this in the year that I was her patient, I haven't the foggiest. I suspect I've had this problem all along, even though I am not technically overweight and I don't display all of the symptoms (unfortunately, skin tags and facial hair are ones that I happen to exhibit. Jackpot!) But this pretty much means I am unlikely to get - and stay - pregnant without some sort of medical intervention. So, here I am, back on wonder-drug, Clomid. Yesterday was my last pill and I'm hoping to release a magic eggie in the next week. There is hope. But I am still plagued by the what-ifs.

I am excited at the prospect of another baby. I feel ready to add to our family. But yet I question myself. Is this really the best timing? Do I really want to push my luck again and risk miscarriage? How in the hell would I deal with a loss when I have to care for a toddler? What if I have a high-risk pregnancy? There's no way I could do bedrest. Are we just being greedy? Shouldn't we just be thankful for what we have? After struggling with primary infertility, I feel guilty admitting that my family doesn't feel complete with just one child.

Last but not least, there's the SAHM guilt. I felt guilty working through the first 8 months of Nate's life, walking in the door as the clock ticked to witching hour. I thought putting my career in the backseat to invest my time in raising my son would mean zero guilt. Not the case. DH is working much longer hours (almost 80 hours a week between his 9-5 and running his business). He's under more stress. All because he's the sole provider now. I'm no spendthrift but I feel bad if I spend so much as $4 on a latte. I purchase toys and clothes from consignment and outlet sales. I knew that choosing this lifestyle would mean sacrifices. And luckily, we haven't had to give up much. I don't regret the transition. But I'd be lying if I said I never longed for a time when I could whip out my credit card and spend $150 on a salon visit. Or have the means to afford Mommy groups and summer camps and swim lessons.

I'm bombarded with so many decisions on a daily basis. I just hope I'm making the right ones.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Cautionary Tale

Valentine's Day is typically a day of taking comfort in the arms of the ones you love. And this year, that proved true but for extraordinary reasons.

On Saturday, the day before V-Day, my husband's cell phone suffered a casualty that rendered it useless. We decided to take a trip to the local mall to get a suitable replacement. There was a long wait at the kiosk and Nate grew restless with impatience as we waited for assistance. I thought it would be a good idea to take him to the kids' play area so he could release some of his pent-up energy.

As usual, he had a blast running about with the other toddlers and preschoolers. Unlike the other parents who sat by idly as their children played, I stalked Nate as he ran from post to post. He was spinning large wooden wheels, watching the enclosed beads tumble to the bottom of a transparent well. I watched him climb into a large plastic boat and crouch down as if he had found a hideout. He weaved his way in and out of a dragon maze. He even slid down the slide all by himself. We smiled and laughed as he toddled wildly through the playhouse, dodging the other youngsters like a wide receiver. As I watched him proceed into a small tunnel beneath the slide, a young boy (I'm guessing he was about 4 or 5) approached me with a worried look upon his face. He asked me if there was a nurse around. I scoured him over for signs of injury and asked him if he was hurt, to which he responded no. Thankful, I asked him if he was lost. Maybe he was looking for his mother or caregiver, who happens to be a nurse? Before he could answer, he ran off to his family on the sidelines. Whew, I thought. Crisis averted.

I looked up and glanced around. No sign of Nate. I walked over to the tunnel he had crawled into just 5 seconds prior. Empty. Panic set in as I ran laps around the playground, searching relentlessly for my blonde-haired boy. He had vanished.

That fast, in what felt like a split second, I had lost sight of my son. He was gone. I wasn't sure if I should piss my pants or vomit. Perhaps both. I had a wretched knot in my stomach and my heart had risen to my throat. I was so incredibly scared. This was not happening. I was living a nightmare at that moment.

I stood still, trembling, as I tried to gather my wits and develop of a plan of action. But all that flashed through my mind were images of someone abducting my precious son. Or him running off into a busy crowd to be trampled. Tears welled up in my eyes as I darted out of the play area and into the mall to search for a security guard - or anyone - who could help me put out an APB. Blonde-haired, blue-eyed 18-month old boy named Nathaniel. Nickname Nate. 26 pounds. 32.5 inches tall. I imagined the looks of disgust being shot my way as I explained the situation to law enforcement. Guilt washed over me as I thought about how I had allowed my son to be put in a dangerous scenario. I vowed from the moment I saw those two pink lines that I would do everything in my power to protect him. And here I was. I had let him down. I should not have let him out of my sight. Not for one second. I should have ignored that little boy. Or should I have? I thought I was doing the right thing. That I was helping. But now I'm here. What kind of mother does this...?

Suddenly, someone yanked me out of my internal monologue. A man, who had noticed the look of fear plastered across my face, asked if I was missing a little blonde-haired boy. Rather excitedly, I told him yes, I was. He said he and his wife had noticed him running out into the mall and his wife had gone chasing after him. I aimlessly ran in the direction of his pointed finger and sure enough, a young woman was walking toward me with Nate in her arms. He was smiling, blissfully unaware of what had just transpired. She told me that he was running full-speed ahead toward a Victoria's Secret. (Let's not even go there)

I don't think I have ever felt more relieved in my life, as I swooped him up and squeezed him so tight that I thought I might take the life out of him. I profusely and tearfully thanked the woman but I think I was still in a state of shock and disbelief. I smothered him in kisses, pressing my cheeks against his soft, white wisps of hair. I kept whispering, I am so sorry. I am so sorry. Even though I knew he couldn't grasp the weight of my words, I had to say it aloud. I knew it wouldn't absolve me but I wanted - I needed - him to know how missed he was. The two minutes that he had disappeared seemed like an eternity. And by the grace of God, the world stopped long enough for him to come back to me. The color could now return to my face.

On the way home, we passed an Amber Alert sign and I couldn't help but sob. That could've been my son's description on that billboard. My son could've been a news story. A statistic. Someone else wasn't as lucky to have a good samaritan step in and save the day. I cried myself to sleep that night. Thank God, I could spend the next day, Valentine's Day, with my family and try to forget this horrible incident. The hubby was very supportive and assured me that despite how I felt about myself, I was still a great mother and that I did everything right.

I keep replaying the scene over in my head, wondering how I could've prevented it. I couldn't in good conscience ignore the little boy that approached me. Try as I might, I won't be able to weed out distraction 100% of the time. So what do I do? Do I avoid play areas that aren't completely contained until Nate is older? I've never really cared for those harnesses. You know, the ones placed on a kids' wrist or around their body. I always thought it looked as though the child was a dog, and said I'd never use "one of those things". Save for the airport or something. But I'm seriously considering purchasing one now that I've been faced with the gravity of having my toddler run off. Not that I plan to ever look away from him for a second again. But for peace of mind.

Sharing this story is a bit therapeutic but it's also a PSA for something we all know but maybe don't always take as seriously as we should. All it takes is a second. Literally. Our babies are faster than we think. Don't take your eyes off of them.