All the Sun For You

A mom, two boys, a husband, and a whole lot of adventure!


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Crazy Talented – I am NOT

Do you know what is like crack to me?

Other people’s crazy talents.

I just spent over an hour on Et.sy looking at felted animal creations simply because I didn’t know what “Waldorf inspired” meant.  I bing-ed it (because my SIL posted a photo to FB mentioning it and I’ve always wondered what it meant) and all of these wonderful things popped up in the image results – all pointing to Et.sy.

I now want one – from one specific gal.  She is crazy talented, and I’m so jealous of her crazy talent that I emailed her just to tell her how insanely talented she is.

I’m like that – I just can’t keep it to myself.  I feel like I must tell these people how gifted they are, and how envious I am of their talent (in a good way, of course!).  I must thank them for sharing their talent with the rest of us.

I am the same way with watching people sing (I’ve touched on this in the past when talking about my love of Glee).  I cannot get enough of people who can belt out a song or two with perfect pitch and tone.  I am in awe of these people, and I must go up to them and tell them if I get the chance (I do this in hopes that they’ll sing again so I can revel in their talent once again).

Same thing with dancing.  I cannot dance to save my life, but my husband can!  I love watching him dance with other people who are wonderful dancers.  I sometimes think that’s weird of me – but I figure that I’m not a good dance partner and the man just has to dance sometimes.  I LOVE watching him dance, especially with one of my friends who is also a crazy-good dancer!  Of course, I must know the gal before I offer him up to dance with her  😉

Same thing with the violin.  Man alive – that instrument takes talent!  This instrument will likely be forced on Matthew in the near future just because it’s an instrument I so wish I could play myself.

That is all.  I needed to admit my addiction before I could go to bed.


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Especially Thankful

I’ve never been one to reflect much on what I’m thankful for on Thanksgiving because, well, I think that’s something you should do regularly and not specifically on one day.  I was always annoyed as a child and young adult when we had to go around the table to state what we were thankful for, because in my mind, the list was endless and how was I supposed to pick just a few things to focus on?  Once infertility entered our lives, I began to resent that table-talk even more as everyone would talk about how thankful they were for their multiple children, as we sat there wishing that we could have just one.  It was awful.  I think that I’ll always resent that conversation because of those 2 Thanksgivings of wishing for the opportunity to be thankful for a baby.

With that said, I do have one thing that I am especially thankful for this year.

Of course I’m thankful that we have Matthew.  I am thankful of that every single day – multiple times a day.  When he gets to be a little difficult at times (few and far between), I still always catch myself thinking, “I’m so thankful for this little boy.”  He may get away with a little too much because of this.

Of course I’m thankful for my husband.  I never thought I’d meet someone like him – and I certainly never thought someone like him would want to marry me.  I thank my lucky stars all the time for him being a permanent fixture in my life.  B has brought so many wonderful things to my life (babies, fitness, happiness, challenges, love) and I will always be thankful for him!

Of course I’m thankful for my family.  Sure, they can be crazy, but without them, I wouldn’t have my best friend (my little sister) or my big sister who has helped me navigate some of the hardest moments in our family.  My sisters keep me sane – and I am so lucky to have them.  They are the reason that we really want a sibling for Matthew, because we know how much love and fun can come from sibling relationships.

Of course I’m thankful for my pregnancy.  We had our 8w ultrasound today and all is just great!  I still can’t believe that we’re here – that it worked the first time.  I don’t think it’s sunk in yet and I find it hard to be excited  because it just doesn’t feel real.  But I’m very thankful for it.  I’m thankful that we finally had an easy road when it came to TTC.  I’m thankful that Matthew will have his own little friend in seven short months.

Of course I’m thankful for my friends – online and offline.  I love them (you) all and I know that I’ve hit the jackpot when it comes to friendships.  I have so many people I can count on for fun, support, idle chit-chat, gossip (gasp!), lunches out, and play dates for our kids.  Because of my strong, wonderful friendships, Matthew is making strong friendships already at the age of 17 months.  I could not be more thankful for this!

Of course I’m thankful for the life we live.  B and I worked very hard, together, to get to where we are and we know that individually, we would not have gotten to where we are together.  This is just a fact – we are a strong unit that makes great things happen when we work hard and focus on our goals.  I know that we are fortunate, but I also know that we’re fortunate by hard work and not by luck.  I am so thankful that we’ve made our life wonderful together!

So what I am particularly thankful for this Thanksgiving?

I’m thankful that I am done with IVF.  I am thankful that I am done doing fresh cycles.  I am thankful that I am done with the fear.

One of my latest posts talked about the cycle in which we flat-out failed.  I was surprised by the support I got in the comments not because I wasn’t expecting support, but because what we endured was just part of the deal.  It was what it was.  It was hard, but we survived it.  It still makes me sad, but it’s over and done and I’ve had a great outcome.

What makes my past failure so hard for me to think about now, though, is the many people still going through it for their first baby.  So many commenters said that they couldn’t imagine going through IVF and the truth is – they’re right.  Until you’re there, until you’re told that this is the end of the line for a biological child – you just don’t know what that’s like.

We didn’t know what it was like until it happened to us.

This is what it was like from our perspective (I just added these last two sentences because they should have been in my original post to clarify my intentions.  This is the only edited part of my original post).

Many people get to start out with clomid, natural IUI’s, medicated IUI’s, stimmed IUI’s, etc. before moving onto IVF.  We were not so lucky – our diagnosis landed us with trying one IUI as to “not waste the clomid needed for pre-IVF testing.”  After that one attempt, we were told to move straight to IVF.  We tried one more IUI because of the clomid challenge test but they wouldn’t even let us go through with it because it was a waste of time.  We went in for the IUI, and we were benched that day.  No surprise really.

So no – we didn’t get to move through the phases of IF treatment.  We went from trying naturally to being told that we had one shot at having a biological child – and that one shot was IVF (in all fairness, we were told that we would try it up to 3 times but after 3 times, there’s no point).  All of our eggs were in the IVF basket.

When we went to the RE, I thought we’d start with clomid, then IUI, etc. and I found peace in that.  There was always something else to try if the first, second thing didn’t work.  That peace was ripped away from us after a few tests, before our first IUI.  We were never just put on medication and told to go home and try.  Our diagnosis was straightforward and all we could hope for was success with IVF with ICSI.

That was it.

We were told that if it didn’t work in 3 tries, that it wouldn’t work.

Period.

Scary stuff.

After our first failure, I started to worry.  What if the next one fails and we only have one try left?  What then?

Stimming for IVF is hard.  It’s hard work for all involved, but super hard on the female partner.  Your ovaries get to be the size of grapefruits and they hurt.  In my case, I had some OHSS which was not fun – it landed me in the ER because I couldn’t breathe.  After retrieval, things got worse when I thought they’d get better.  All I wanted was to feel normal again.  And then we failed.  There was no longer “normal” in our lives.

I know that many couples are limited in IF treatments because of finances or religious reasons.  I get that.  But honestly, it’s not the same thing.  You can always try to find an IF grant (I’ve seen many gals get these), you can join an IF trial, you can take out a second mortgage on your house, you can save the money the old-fashioned way, you can borrow the money from family (if possible), you can change jobs to one that covers IF coverage (a friend of mine did this), you can move to a state where IF coverage is mandated, you can finance your IVF, you can join a shared risk program.  THERE ARE FINANCIAL OPTIONS to extend your family.

But when you do IVF – you are at the end of the biological line.  If it does not work – you are done.  You can’t wish to win the lottery to pay for more treatments, you can’t borrow the money for another type of treatment, you can’t mortgage your house for the next option.

You are done.

And that is scary stuff.  There will always be the person who can’t get to IVF because they don’t have the money – but it’s just not the same thing.

It isn’t.

I have a child now, and one on the way.  I am so far away from that fear of, “what if this does not work?”  But that fear still creeps in.  I feel it now for others.  I feel it for my online friends who are still trying for their first baby.

It makes me feel cold.

It makes me feel helpless for my friends.

It makes me sad.

And it makes me thankful that I am done with that phase of my life.


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The Monday Snapshot(s) – CG Cures All

It’s no secret – we’ve had a rough week.  That rough week led into an even rougher weekend and today was the worst so far for our sick little guy.  This cold, whatever the hell it is, is a bad one!  Matthew’s been stuffy for a couple weeks at a time, but not like this – not with a fever too.

As everyone knows, we watch a little “Curi.ous Geo.rge” every morning together as a family.  Matthew usually dances to the opening credits, drinks his milk, and then gets off the bed to cruise around and play with his toys in our bedroom.  Today – he snuggled.  Today – he watched an entire episode (consists of two short stories) like this:

Heaven!

This is part of PAIL’s Monday Snapshot… go on over and check out all the others!

** Quick update – we went to the doctor today.  Matthew has a double ear infection with his right ear drum near rupturing.  He smiled and played with the doctor the entire time – he is showing no signs of pain aside from last night when he couldn’t sleep.  The doctor said that he’s in heaps of pain and that he’s had this for days.  I feel terrible.  He is such a good “sick baby” that he gave us no signs until last night that things were (really) bad.  😦


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One More Sleep

I have just one more sleep as a solo parent.  B has been out-of-town since Monday morning and this week has been hard.

So very hard.

Every time B leaves town for work, Matthew gets sick.  That’s just how it is and I’m used to it.  This week is no surprise, especially given that we spent a weekend with my sister who had sick kids, and when we weren’t with her, we were with 8 other bloggers whose kids all seemed to get sick right before or after returning home.  I was just bracing myself for the snot, cough, and fever.

We got it.

Matthew has only had one fever prior to this week.  The one he has today is low-grade – never above 101.3.  No biggie, but it’s making him a tired boy.  He woke up this morning at 2:15 and I brought him into bed with me.  He slept off and on until 8:06 and that was nice… even if I didn’t sleep much.  There’s something very peaceful about looking to your right, or left, or just below your chin (because your child insists on sleeping on you at times) and seeing your child’s sleeping face.  I went to bed last night lonely and woke up completely fulfilled, even though I probably only slept an hour or two.

Matthew is a great “sick kid.”  If you didn’t see the snot coming out of his nose or hear the cough that’s bothering him, you just wouldn’t know he’s sick.  This is the sickest he’s been in a very long time, but he didn’t miss a beat.  He was just as happy, playful, and joyful as he always is until just after dinner when all he wanted to do was snuggle.  The unsolicited snuggles made my night.

Matthew is not a good eater when he’s sick – that’s the one thing that suffers badly when he’s not feeling well.  To anyone watching him, they’d think he’s a normal kid who is just picky – but for him – it’s a total 180.  Just yesterday, he ate everything I put in front of him for breakfast and lunch but by dinner time, he wanted nothing of substance and just wanted moist things.  Today has been much of the same (aside from his banana and string cheese) and he wouldn’t even eat an avocado.  So sad when my boy won’t even eat his favorite food in the whole wide world.  We went to Chipotle thinking that maybe he wanted guacamole but all he would eat was baby yogurt.  Good thing I brought yogurt with me!

We’ve been very busy this week with play dates, but nothing else besides that and his gymnastics class.  We’ve hung low with B gone and it’s been nice.  I’m ready to get back to our regular schedule, but I think the down time has been nice for Matthew, especially since he’s sick.  Vera came over again this morning to play (she and her brother are both sick so we all figured it’s no big deal to mix the kids together) and Matthew enjoyed that almost as much as yesterday (he was pretty tired this morning and just wanted to watch her play).

But me?  I’m exhausted.  Being the only person in the house to do everything 24/7 is hard.  I texted B tonight that laundry is washed, but I just can’t get myself to fold it.  I’m just so tired.  I just want to sit here.  Well… I really just want to go to bed.  But what do you bet I watch another episode of L&O SVU?  It’s not like I can sleep well anyway since I’m worried about my sick boy down the hall.

Any bets on whether or not I’ll be sleeping alone tonight?  It’s crazy to say it, but I sort of hope my little buddy comes into bed with me again 🙂

 


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(Almost) Wordless Wednesday – Playdate with Vera!

My neighbor asked me to watch one of her kids today – of course I said, “OF COURSE!”  Matthew LOVES Vera and Weston.  We only had Vera today because Weston had a doctor’s appointment, but Matthew and Vera had the best time (as always).  Matthew plays so well with other kids and he’s as gentle with Vera as she is with him – so it’s fun to watch them play and love on each other  🙂  Just watching them play together, you can tell they’re great friends and not just two kids that get thrown together because of their moms (Matthew has another friend like this, H, who he got to play with on Monday).

There was a fit and tears when Vera left this morning.  I’m not surprised – there always is!

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Staring down the infertility train

I’m having a very reflective week for some reason or another, and feel the need to share this post from one of my favorite bloggers. Read it – it is worth your time.

IVF male

The challenge for this week is to write about a moment when our lives changed in an instant. Couples struggling with infertility are all too familiar with these life changing moments. For the infertility journey isn’t a single instance, but a series of life changing instances.

We start with a dream, built into our instinctual biological fiber, to procreate so a form of our DNA will live on. To have a family of offspring to raise and guide into adulthood hoping they too will continue the process. Thus allowing our DNA to survive our own mortality. A need shared by all living creatures.

After a year of attempting to naturally fulfill this dream, I was asked to submit a semen sample for analysis. The results started the train of life changing moments. Finding out I have a “very low” sperm count and I was the reason behind our struggle to…

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