All the Sun For You

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


The Monday Snapshot – Cat Potty Training

Um, how do I even explain this?

B showed Matthew last week how the toilet works (why, God, why?) and now he wants to “look in tank” every time he pees (or every time I pee). I limit it to once in the AM (I use the tank to get him out of his diaper), after his nap (again, to ditch the diaper), and at bath time. I’ve had to use the tank as bait to get him to pee in public restrooms (gross) before getting in the car and it’s just ridiculous.

Last night at bath time, Jack the cat learned all about the tank, the red flappy thing, and the “black ball, it floats.” The toddler and the cat now know more about how the toilet works than I do.

I’m okay with that.

On a side-note, preschool fun totally effed up potty training today. I knew it would. I’m not upset. It took an accident then at home to get back at it, but he’s in real undies now so that’s good. He can hold it for hours, but when he announces his intentions, you must drop everything, including the baby (poor Bryson).


Who Knew?

I am not one of those mothers who pushes her kids towards milestones.  I sometimes wish I was more like that (like with speech for Matthew – good lord we had no idea how to encourage good speech skills early on), but I’m just not.  Matthew hit all of his physical milestones on time or early – he was sitting up unassisted at 4.5 months, truly crawling before 8 months, and walking at 11 months and 1 week (I only know this because he walked while we were on a vacation and I know the date of that hotel stay – May 31).  I have documented his milestones on scraps of paper here and there that I take photos of in case I ever lose them, but there is no baby book, no formal list in sequential order, etc.  All of the things he’s done, he’s done on his own without us trying to get him to do them.  Sitting, for example, was just something I tried because another mother told me I should, and he sat straight up that night with no help for us or him – he just sat there with perfect posture.  Who knew?  If you read about RIE parenting at all, you know that kids just naturally hit these milestones on their own – and that’s what we’ve seen with Matthew.

Now, with Bryson, I have pushed him a little more.  For family photos, we sat him up in the grass when he was 4 months old and he did it – just like his big brother did before him with no assistance.  Neither of our kids were rollers, and Bryson was never given the opportunity since his brother was always running around him on the floor and it freaked me out.  At some point in January or February, we just said to heck with it and let him loose – and he rolls all over the house to get to where he wants to go.  Matthew NEVER did that.  I think he rolled from his back to tummy maybe 5 times in his whole babyhood.  Not Bryson – he’s a crazy man who uses rolling as his main mode of transportation.  Matthew was crawling by this time (Feb 22, and I know that because I just looked it up a couple of weeks ago for reference) and Bryson is just now army crawling – another thing that Matthew never did.  I am telling you – these kids are all so different.  But yeah, with Bryson, we know that he needs more opportunities to try things since he doesn’t have the freedom his brother had (due to safety concerns with a toddler running around), so we do work with him on certain things while Matthew is napping.  We have worked with him on his speech for months now and he is a very verbal baby – and I do think he may be saying “Mama” with purpose – but how would I know given my past experience?

So anyway, here we are with Matthew, our oldest baby, and he was showing signs that he was ready to think about potty training.  I didn’t read into it because, come on, he’s a BOY!  Boys don’t potty train early (early to me is before 3 years old) unless you want a true fight, or at least that’s what I’d been told.  And I don’t push my kids to do anything.  I ignored the signs (telling me when he pooped, or saying “ooh ooh” before peeing, or showing lots of interest when I used the bathroom) and went on my merry way.  I didn’t understand these people who said they hated diapers, because I loved them!  And my kid has the softest, stinkiest poop on the planet (due to his no-grains diet).  I just liked knowing that I had the freedom to do what I needed and wanted to do and I could change his diaper when needed, and after the fact, versus rushing to the bathroom whenever I heard the word, “pee.”  I also wasn’t sure we were ready to start given Matthew’s speech delays – I wasn’t sure that we would understand each other.  So – we just didn’t do it.  B mentioned a few times that he thought Matthew was ready, and I agreed but said I wasn’t ready.  B finally told me to order the potty chair so that Matthew could get used to seeing it.

Once the potty chair arrived (February 12th), Matthew was INTERESTED.  Which meant that I needed to get myself ready.  It didn’t matter anymore that I wasn’t ready – he was seeming ready.  So I got ready, psyched myself up, and let him start using the potty before his bath each night.  He caught onto that super quickly, so we moved onto just setting him on it off and on.  Almost every time we set him on it, he’d pee.  It took a few days and then he was truly peeing every time we set him on the potty, and he was proud of himself.  He moved up to the big toilet (with the little seat on top) pretty quickly and all but abandoned the potty chair.

OK.  It was time to get serious.

We were letting Matthew wear diapers whenever we weren’t putting him on the potty, and I thought that was OK.  But then I read Gemini Momma’s post on potty training and realized that I am the only mother on the planet who has not read a thing about potty training, but was thinking about potty training.  I decided to do some digging based on the things she mentioned (when is too early to train, when is it too late, what’s the best way, once you start training – no more diapers,  etc).  I learned that we may be confusing him with using the potty, but also having him wear diapers, and I decided it was time to train him or stop using the potty altogether.

We decided to potty train Matthew.  During spring break.  Because we’re stupid.

But actually, we aren’t stupid.  It went amazingly well!  I thought maybe we could try to train without doing it naked, but I was so wrong.  On day 1, Matthew went through 3 pair of undies in 20 minutes and I decided that naked was the way to go.  He didn’t have a single accident naked, but would also go 3 times within 10 minutes because he wouldn’t empty his bladder.  By the end of the first evening, he was telling us when he had to go and would go by himself.  I did some very quick reading that said that he was ready to wear loose pants – so I decided to try that on Tuesday.

Big mistake.  Matthew did not understand that pants weren’t diapers and he peed in them immediately.  Off came the pants and we were back to naked time, which was fine with me since I had originally planned to do that for at least 3 days.  Lots of people on FB said to do naked time for a week, so I was all for that and cool as a cucumber.

All week there was not one accident until Thursday, when Matthew insisted on wearing his sweat pants after going to lunch.  (At lunch, he actually told me he needed to pee while in his first pull-up – but someone was in the bathroom so he used his pull-up.  Talk about confusing a kid!)  We came home from a great lunch out and he begged me to let him wear his pants with no diaper/pull-up/undies.  I was cool with that since going to loose pants was the next step, so I said sure thing.  Within minutes, he had pooped.  Gah.  I did get him to the toilet and he finished his business there (which was a huge relief as I was worried he’d be afraid of doing a #2 on the toilet since my nephews both were).  I got him and the bathroom all cleaned up and once again he wanted pants.  Fine.  Well, he wasn’t done pooping and pooped in those pants like mad.  He tried so hard to tell me before it happened, but I was busy disinfecting things.  Shoot.  Once that was cleaned up, it was off with the pants again.  HA!

As long as there were no pants, there were no accidents.  I was worried he’d never wear pants again.

On Friday, I let him wear a pull-up to lunch and he came home dry after being out for more than an hour.  And by Friday, we were getting him to empty his bladder each time he peed.  Things were looking up.  At dinner, he took off on us for the bathroom, saying, “pee pee pee!” and came back out (he closed the door and did not want help) talking about Pip and a puddle (Pip and Posy book).  We asked, “did you make a puddle?”  “Yep!”  We asked him to show us where and he turned around to head toward the bathroom and B said, “his butt is covered in poop!”  Well, he’d tried to get on the big potty to poop and couldn’t get there in time, so sat on the potty chair instead and then tried to dump that into the big potty.  Needless to say, the bathroom was a WRECK and I was once again cleaning up poop.  It was everywhere – and in the carpet right by the bathroom.  And then B found some on Matthew’s foot.  It was epic!  But no one lost their cool.  Not once.  Because come on – he KNEW to poop on the potty.  HOORAY!

Today, we had to go out of town to see B’s grandma.  She lives 1.25 hours away and we went to breakfast before heading up.  We had Matthew pee once we got to breakfast, once during breakfast (his idea), and then before leaving and getting into the car.  An hour and 20 minutes later, we were at the nursing home and we went to the potty and his pull-up was DRY.  I was in shock.  The entire time there, he held it until we made him go, and he did great going once again before getting in the car to come home.  Once home, he was still dry so we kept him dressed.  There was not a single drop in that pull-up before, during, or after our long dinner either.  There have been no pee accidents since going naked and then into pull-ups and regular clothes (jeans even!), and the poop issues are simply due to him insisting on doing it on his own without any help from us.

We are keeping him in pull-ups through Wednesday since he has school on Monday and Wednesday and I want to get him better at pooping before letting him loose at school in undies (he usually poops at school – lucky teachers!).  We only use diapers for naps and bed time.  We’re done with diapers for the most part and I’m hoping the pull-ups are a thing of the past by next weekend, but honestly, I could care less if they aren’t.  They’re easy and they’re working for him.  But it would be nice to get him into his cute undies, which he is actually excited about!

So yeah – spring break, baby!  I can honestly say that this has been the most productive spring break of my life.  For a mom who didn’t expect to even try this until her kid turned 3, I’m sort of in shock that we’re at the tail end of potty training at just 33 months.  I wasn’t signing Matthew up for summer camps until the end of July so that we could get him potty trained in time, but I’m now registering him for one the week of his birthday.

I guess he was ready.  Who knew (besides B)?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.



What We’ll Do…

I posted last week about my chat with our embryologist about being able to pick the sex for our third child if we have a male-female mix of normal embryos.  Honestly, I’m hoping that the normal ones all come back the same sex so that there’s no wondering what was left unused.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I looked into it quickly and PGD testing is covered by our insurance, so I’m assuming they’ll cover PGS as well.  If it’s not covered, I’ll see if they can just do PGD testing on them, but I’m not sure they do that.  But I bet they do.  But I don’t really know.  Anyway, because it’s looking like this testing is covered by our insurance, and we’re quickly burning through our deductible and OOP max with Matthew’s weekly speech therapy appointments, we’ll for sure do the testing.

There are a few things to really, really think about here:

  • Do we really want to know what the sexes are of the normal embryos?
  • Do we want to pick which sex to transfer first, second, and so on until we’re successfully pregnant or out of embryos?
  • If we choose the sex at time of transfer, do we want to tell anyone that we did so?
  • If we choose not to select sex, when do we want to find out what the sex is of the one they transferred?
  • If we hit the jackpot again on the first transfer, and there are more normal embryos remaining, do we want to know their sexes?
  • When would we tell people the sex of the baby?

So starting at the top (Do we really want to know what the sexes are of the normal embryos?), we don’t think we want to know the sexes of the normal embryos unless they’re all the same sex.  We just don’t want to go in knowing that, say, there are two girls and a boy, and then start thinking about them as little people who may, or may not, be lost in the whole game of implantation, embryo development, miscarriage, etc.  Like I said, if all of the normal embryos (and I use “all” loosely because we could have none, we could have one, we could have a few, but we won’t have 5!) are the same sex, sure, tell us ahead of time.  But if they’re not all the same sex, I don’t want to think about the ones that may be left in the freezer or wonder if we should have chosen which sex to transfer.  In this situation, I don’t want choices.  I don’t know why I would want to know if they’re all the same sex, but I do.  I think when they’re all the same, it’s not as easy to view them individually.  I’m not sure that makes sense.

Do we want to pick which sex to transfer first, second, and so on until we’re successfully pregnant or out of embryos?  I guess the answer to the first question answers this question.  We knew, from the beginning of this discussion hours before I blogged about it, that we would NOT choose the sex of the embryo to transfer.  There are MANY reasons for this.

First and foremost, had we had the option with Matthew, we probably would have chosen to transfer a girl – and look at what a mistake that would have been!  I mean, yes, we would have loved that girl as much as we love our boys, but I believe I was truly destined to be the mother of one, then two boys.  Fate knows me better than I know myself, and she knew that boys were right for me.  If we’re meant to have another boy, then fate will tell us that.  If it’s our turn to have a girl, she’ll tell us that instead.  I believe we truly get what we’re supposed to have, so we’re leaving this up to a higher power (including the embryologists!).

Another reason we’re not selecting the sex is because we just want them to transfer the best embryo on transfer day.  I am sort of over this whole IVF bullshit, in all honesty, and the idea of the anxiety of it just rattles my brain and my heart.  I say, give us the best one from the get-go so hopefully I can be done with this process.  I’m getting too old, and too hardened, to keep going through it (but I will keep going until the normal ones are used up in our quest for Baby #3).  Now, there is a flip-side to this working the first time and that’s having normal embryos left over.  Without PGS, I could have convinced myself that the remaining embryos probably weren’t viable anyway, but with PGS, we’ll know if we have normal, viable embryos left.  So maybe I don’t want it to work the first time.  I don’t know.  My feelings on that will change, I’m sure, once we know how many normals we have.

If we choose the sex at time of transfer, do we want to tell anyone that we did so?  Hell no!  Well, maybe we’d tell someone, but definitely not many people.  We for sure would not tell my family, or B’s family, or friends who have already expressed their opinions that choosing the sex is a bad idea.  I’ve actually felt out a few people on this topic just to see what they would say, knowing full well that we weren’t going to pick the sex, and the responses have been dramatically different from person to person.  I still stand by my thought that, ‘hey, someone is picking the sex (the embryologist) so why shouldn’t it be us if we want to?’ – but we don’t want to.  Not everyone sees it the way we see it, and that’s OK.  But knowing that, there’s no way we’d tell most people that we did pick the sex if we decided to (which we decided not to do).

Now for the questions that do apply to us since we won’t be picking the sex on transfer day.

If we choose not to select sex, when do we want to find out what the sex is of the one they transferred?  This is tough.  Really, really tough.  Part of me thinks I won’t be able to control myself and will ask right after transfer – like seconds after they put him or her in (see what just happened there – it’s no longer an “it” and now is a “him or her”).  The logical me says to wait until we see a strong, solid heartbeat at the 6 week scan.  Then the crazy me pipes in and says, “at transfer, and no later than at the rising beta.”  B would like to wait until the ultrasound, and I think he’s being sound and logical.  Therefore, our goal is to wait until the first or second ultrasound.  I can’t stand the thought of knowing what was transferred, and thinking of it as “him or her,” and then getting a BFN.  I think the loss would feel compounded if I knew I lost a boy or girl, rather than a mass of cells.  Those blasts are so full of hope, but to view them as pink or blue just adds even more hope to them, and consequently more disappointment if they don’t implant.  So yes, at the 6 week scan.  Please remind me of that in November.

If we hit the jackpot again on the first transfer, and there are more normal embryos remaining, do we want to know their sexes?  No.  No, no, no.  We already view those embryos as babies, even though we know that statistically, only 40-50% of them are even normal (so 2-3 of our 5, if we’re lucky).  Here’s the thing that gets me.  Bryson was frozen – he was in the freezer for exactly 2 years to the day.  Gazing at him, I know what that freezer may be holding.  I know the babies that they could become.  Because this will be our last baby for good medical safety reasons, I can’t know what we won’t be using.  I can’t view them as boys or girls.  I can only view them as the gifts they are to us in the state they’re in.  They are the potential for life, and if they remain after we successfully deliver our third child, they will be transferred into me, off-cycle, where they can live out their remaining time where they truly belong.  I can’t spend those hours and days thinking of them as more than the gift of hope and promise that they were and will always be to us.  (Just writing this makes me tear up.)

When would we tell people the sex of the baby?  Well, this one is easy.  Because I can’t keep my mouth shut, as soon as we know, we’ll tell people.  It will actually be fun to be able to tell people at 6 weeks what we’re having.  I’ll even tell people that we had the option of selecting gender, but that we didn’t do it for the reasons above.  I’m an open book, and I have no problems sharing how this whole IVF thing works.

Honestly, if I could pick the perfect situation for us, I’d hope for just one normal embryo that will transfer well, implant nicely, and develop into a perfect, healthy baby.  But we all know how IVF works – there are no guarantees even when the embryos are perfect (we’ve now lost 6 “perfect” embryos) and having embryos in reserve is the insurance policy we all want.  Because we’ll be done building our family with Baby #3, I truly hope we have no embryos left when we’re all done with this.  If we have more than one normal embryo when we start, I almost hope we fail the first time so that we can get to the one(s) that remain.  I truly believe that things happen for a reason, and if we would fail with all of them, as much as that would break my heart, at least I’d know we gave them all a chance.  Not giving a perfect, normal embryo a fighting chance has to be an awful feeling that I ‘m not interested in feeling.  But I may have to.  But I may not.

So there you go.  The answers to many complicated questions that surround this whole thing.  It’s wild to think about.  But fun too.  But scary at the same time.




What Would You Do?

I just spoke with our embryologist about how we’re going to handle trying for baby #3. Because I can only transfer one at a time because of my uterine situation, she thinks our doctor will want to do PGS testing on our frosties so that we’re only transferring normal embryos. Makes sense to me.

So she said, “and we’ll know the genders of each one if you want to know.” Whoa! Game changer! We can request genders for transfer, or let them just work down the list of normals.

We’ve already decided what we’re going to do, but what would YOU do?

By no means is this being asked to start an ethics debate with one another, I’m just curious what you would do if you could choose gender, and only transfer one at a time. Would you pick? It changes everything when SOMEONE (you, or the embryologist) has to pick one. (If we could transfer 2, I would request one of each if we had them. Easy decision!)

Also, I got good news from them about doing a “compassionate transfer” if we do end up with baby #3, and remaining normal embryos. HUGE weight lifted!

(I would setup a poll but I’m typing on my phone.)

And a follow-up question: she said if they choose for us, that we could find out at any point after transfer (even moments after) what the sex is. Would you ask, and when in the process would you ask and why?

Okay – GO!