Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | November 8, 2019

Update 2019

Somehow I got to looking at old blogs and wondering what happened to people I used to follow. Blogs seem to be declining as more and more people use Instagram and Facebook to share their stories, but for things like this, I prefer the relative anonymity that a blog can give you. I wouldn’t want to be posting infertility stuff on my personal Instagram or Facebook accounts! Anyhow, that made me think a little about posting an update, 4 years after my last post.

Birdie is in 4th grade, J is in 1st and the little surprise is 4 years old and in preschool. Things are good. We are crazy busy with school, swimming, piano lessons, girls scouts and other stuff. The kids are growing so fast and getting so big. Birdie will be ten(!) In December. It’s scary how quickly the years have gone by.  I am acutely aware of how lucky we are to have surprise child (I will call her G). I’m trying to soak up every moment with her.

I’m not going to lie though. She was a very high needs baby. She was an absurdly terrible sleeper and cried so much. She’s 4 now and much easier though still intense. But I’m still twitchy and exhausted from a decade of sleep deprivation. But, she is funny, creative, dramatic and adds so much to our family.

I’m also struggling with chronic migraines. I get 10-16 migraines per month, and it has been miserable. I have tried so many things. Elimination diets to find triggers, chiropractor, acupuncture, preventive meds, physical therapy, triptans, vitamins and supplements, ice packs, caffeine, you name it. I’m seeing a neurologist and in a more stable place currently, but it sucks to be barely functional at least a third of the month. Then over the summer, the one medication that used to help stop a migraine once it started, began to give me scary side effects. Chest heaviness and tightness. I had taken it for at least ten years with only mild, annoying side effects, but now I can’t take it at all because it makes me feel like I’m having a heart attack. It just sucks. My house is cluttered, I’m barely keeping up with  things, and I feel like I’m failing as a mom. On days that I’m really feeling awful, I can’t do much besides rest with ice packs on my head and neck. It sucks for my kids and husband. I’m going to keep trying different things, but it is incredibly frustrating. 

It feels very odd to have three kids after infertility in a very fertile Midwestern town. I try to be very open about our struggles, because it’s hard here. People here tend to marry young and start popping out babies. Many families here are 3, 4, even 5+ kids. I share our story because who knows what struggles someone is going through.

I found so much support in the blogging community while going through fertility treatments. I owe a huge thank you to Mel from Stirrup Queens for facilitating a wonderful community of bloggers! 

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Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | October 28, 2015

long overdue and surprising update

20151025_102357It’s been a loooong time since I’ve come here to write. A year and a half? Two years? I don’t know if anyone follows anymore, but I know that I like to read updates on blogs, so here goes.

J turned 3 in June. Birdie started kindergarten in September. And I had baby #3 on September 1st. A girl. This was an extremely surprising pregnancy, and it felt way too good to be true, and I kept thinking that of course it couldn’t work out. But, she is here, after many, many mfm appointments, nsts and ultrasounds, and a difficult c section recovery. She just turned 8 weeks old yesterday. It still feels impossible. We had decided that our family was complete with two. It feels incredible to me that it took a year of fertility treatments to have Birdie, yet J was a surprise bonus, and somehow, while on birth control and at age 40, I got pregnant and had a living baby a few months before turning 41. She is an intense one, this baby. Doesn’t sleep, breastfeeding issues, hates the car. But she’s here, and for that I am incredibly thankful. Birdie and J adore her, and I know that things will get easier. And she’s pretty cute.

I miss blogging here, but I’ve got another blog of the kids that I update daily for family and friends that takes up a lot of time. If any long time readers want, email me and I’ll give you the new blog address. This blog and the whole stirrup queens community got me through the worst part of our fertility journey and kept me sane. I will keep this blog up and try to update it occasionally.

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Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | January 20, 2014

Pictures

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Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | January 20, 2014

4 years, 18 months

I can’t believe I haven’t posted in 9 months. Things are going pretty well here. Birdie just turned 4 right before Christmas. Baby J isn’t a baby anymore. He had his 18 month well child visit today. How did they get so big?

J is such a different kid than Birdie. He is calmer, more easy going, and generally very happy. He still doesn’t sleep great, but whatever. His infancy was so much easier than Birdie’s. I feel bad saying that but it’s true. I didn’t realize how hard things were with her until I had him. And it’s not just the “second kid is easier because you know what you are doing” factor. It’s all personality and temperament differences. He weaned suddenly at 16 months. One day he just started biting me and I said “no bite!” and put him down in the crib and after that he refused to nurse ever again. So, I’ve had my body back to myself for two months now. It was really hard at first, because I had to pump to reduce my supply so I wouldn’t get mastitis again. I was super emotional. The hormone shifts hit me really hard, but here I am a couple months out and I’m doing much better. I was so sad about being done with breastfeeding forever. I wasn’t emotionally ready, and I really thought it was just a nursing strike. He went from nursing 4-5 times a day to nothing, so it was very sudden.

He started walking at 15 months. He say so many words. He sings, he dances, he feeds himself quite neatly, and he runs and climbs. He is not a baby anymore! It makes me a little sad, but we are done with the baby phase. No more babies. It seems like everyone around me is pregnant with #3, and sometimes I feel a little wishful, but I think I’m ok with being done. If we were younger (I’m 39), if we had family nearby, if finances weren’t an issue, then another might have been doable. But we have our hands full already, and I think another would kill S.

Birdie is so fun, so smart, and so challenging. I love her to bits, and she is delightful, but things have not been easy for her. She has been diagnosed with sensory processing disorder. It totally makes sense, the over sensitivity to sounds, smells, texture. We saw a great occupational therapist over the summer and she helped me a lot to figure out things to do to help Birdie cope with the world. Our insurance coverage is done though, and we are having a very difficult time lately with her, and I am trying to find a private OT to go to. Before the sessions we had with the OT last summer, she had a lot of trouble with coordination and balance. She would fall off chairs randomly. She didn’t seem to know where her body was in space. She fell down the stairs to the basement last spring. Thankfully she wasn’t hurt. I would take her to the playground and have to follow her constantly to make sure she didn’t fall, because she would. Other moms looked at me like a was this crazy hovering parent, but the reality was, she would be climbing up a small ladder and fall right off. Hard to to with a baby along. After the therapy she had this summer, she gained a lot of strength and balance, she learned to ride her tricycle (pedaling was hard for her before), and we got some orthotics to put in her shoes which have really helped with her tripping constantly.

I have read every book out there on SPD. I have been trying to do things with her at home, but it’s not enough. Since her birthday a few weeks ago, her behavior has been getting worse. Part of it is that this winter has sucked. Sucked and sucked and sucked, and we are no where near the end. We haven’t been able to get out and do all the things we normally do. Ice storms, the polar vortex, more snow than normal. Yuck. Also, she still is very attached to her pacifiers. She only gets them at night, but they stopped making her kind of binky and hers are starting to fall apart and break and get holes in the nipple, so we are down to just a few left. We have tried to get her to use a similar kind, but she refuses. She has been so upset about her binkies “leaving”. I have no problem with her continuing to use them at certain times, and I’ve told her she doesn’t need to stop, but she says she doesn’t like the new binkies, that they are “for babies”. We need to get her working with another occupational therapist. It is expensive and completely out of pocket, but we need to do something.

So, overall things are good. I’ve missed blogging here. I didn’t mean to drop off the face of the earth, but it has been a little crazy!

Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | January 20, 2014

one year (six months late)

I’m not sure why I never published this post from July. Anyway, here it is…

 

Baby J is one year old already. I’m a terrible blogger. Terrible.

Things are going better. I’m still breastfeeding him, but it is slowing down to maybe 4 times a day as he eats more food. He is sleeping better except when teething, which seems like all the time lately. It is just not very consistent. One night he will sleep straight through from 10pm to 4 or 5 am. Other nights he is up every 3 hours still. He almost always wakes up about an hour after we put him down for bed. It is much better than it was though. I’m a little embarrassed to say that he didn’t start consistently sleeping in his crib until 9-10 months old. He slept with me in the bed or in the rock n play sleeper, or sometimes the swing. It took forever to get him to sleep in the crib all night. I thought it would never end, but it did, and here we are several months later and I barely remember those days. He does not nap well though. Maybe half an hour in the morning and if I’m lucky an hour in the afternoon. Birdie gave up naps altogether about 3 months ago. The days are looonnnnnnnnnnnnnng.

I’m still having issues with depression and anxiety. I’m still on antidepressants. My doctor is nice, but says oh well when you start sleeping more you will probably feel a lot better. I did get some blood work done and my vitamin D level was pretty low, so I have started supplements.

We are having a lot of challenges with Birdie. I don’t have the energy to go into them right now, but will say that we are starting occupational therapy for some sensory processing issues. If anyone has any experience with this, please share! She has always been sensitive to sounds, smells, clothes, etc, but it was really beginning to interfere with activities. Our insurance coverage sucks and basically we only get 6 sessions with the OT to get some ideas how to help her.

Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | March 14, 2013

7 months

Wow it has been a while since I last posted. Baby J is 8 months old now and is in so many ways a great baby. He is very good natured, sweet and smiley, he adores Birdie, and he is a little bundle of cute. However, he doesn’t sleep. Many days, he might only nap for 45 minutes during the day. At night lately he has been sleeping 2 to 2.5 hour stretches. The good thing is that when he is awake, he is generally pleasant and cute, so it is hard to be frustrated with him. But I’m TIRED! Birdie hasn’t napped in weeks, and I am afraid that she never will again.

He is much much better in the car now, thank goodness! For the first 5 or so months it was awful, horrible crying nearly every time we were in the car. It made it very difficult to go places. Then slowly after 6 months it got better and better, and now it is maybe 1/10 times he will cry in the car seat. Sometimes I forget how awful it was.

The holidays were so fun. Birdie really got excited about Christmas and her birthday. She has been so much fun lately, but potty training has stalled. I’ll save that for another post.

Breastfeeding has been difficult. He weaned off the nipple shields back in October over about a week. Around then, he also stopped taking the occasional bottle of supplemental formula. So it is all nursing all the time, and he is on the small side, 40th percentile for height, 15% for weight. I was taking fenugreek to boost my supply but then I kept getting blocked ducts (on the left side especially) and last week I got mastitis. It has been hard. He is eating more solids though, so I hope that we can manage to fatten him up a little.

Post partum depression wise, I am doing much better. Some days are still rough, but I found a new doctor (mostly good but not perfect) and he upped my dosage of wellbutrin to 450mg, which is the maximum. Winter has been long and rough and I am ready for spring so we can be outside again.

I miss blogging and have been reading blogs on my phone this whole time, but I just never have a moment to sit down at the computer and actually comment or write posts. At the beginning of the year I started a 365 day photo/blog project, and I have kept up with that only because I can take pictures and post from my phone. The whole point was to force myself to use my good camera and get better at photography, but I only end up taking pictures with my phone! Oh well. At the end of the year, I will hopefully be able to make a book with that blog. My family back home love it because they get to see our day to day life in the pictures and stories.

Pictures to come soon…

 

Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | October 17, 2012

3 months old

Well, 3.5 months. Baby J is getting so big now. He is growing and changing so quickly. He is smiling and laughing and grasping things, holding his head up better and is usually so happy. A few weeks ago, we stopped using the nipple shield. The first week or two was pretty rough and painful, and honestly I kind of wished to go back, but now his latch is better and I don’t have to wash those damn things and keep track of them anymore. I never realized how much milk leaked out of his mouth because of the shield until we weren’t using them anymore. I used to have to put a waterproof pad down when I would nurse him side lying, because there would always be a giant wet spot where the milk leaked out from his mouth or the shield. Now I keep a larger pad under him, but that’s mostly in case of pee or poo leakage. He still doesn’t like the car. He cries probably 75% of the time in the car. I do not understand that. Most babies like the car. Is the car seat no longer comfortable? I am re-using Birdie’s Chicco keyfit infant car seat. It seems fine. I hope that as he gets older he will be more amused with toys or his mirror.

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Birdie is so much more grown up than just a few months ago when he was born. She is far easier to take places, is generally more agreeable, and is so damn smart. She is completely not interested in potty training, which is stressing me out. She will be 3 at Christmas, and I know she could do it, but pushing her, even gently, was only ending up in resistance, so I am totally backing off for the time being. She first went pee on the potty over a year ago! I have video of it on my phone and she loves to watch it, where we dump the pee into the toilet. She has several books about the potty (Potty, Big Girls Use the Potty, My Big Girl Potty), she loves to watch the Signing Time dvd about potty training, called Potty Time. Before J was born, she would sit on the potty before or after bath every night (of her own choice) and often she would go. As more and more of her friends are potty trained, I am getting more anxious about it. There are classes she can start at 3 (gymnastics, swim, preschool…), but only if she is potty trained. She is not the kind of kid you can force to do anything, so I am just hoping that she will decide soon enough that she is done with diapers.

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She is still ridiculously tall. Last time we measured on her growth chart, she was 41.5 inches, and 37 pounds. She is almost too big for 5T clothes. 5T shirts are a little short on her (she has a long torso). 5T pants will be fine once she is not wearing diapers I think.

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I have been having some issues with postpartum depression. I am on antidepressants, but my primary care doctor is a bitch and I need to find a new one. The last time I went to see her a few weeks ago to follow up on the ppd, she snapped at me for questioning her about something and she actually said “YOU AREN’T LISTENING TO ME.” Really? Because I think it was the other way around. She is a fucking bitch and the only reason I stayed with her this long is because she didn’t have a problem with prescribing metformin for pcos. I mostly saw my RE or OB the last few years anyway, but I have had it. I left the appointment in tears and will not go back. Way to treat your depressed patient! Make her cry more!

I requested help from a local organization that pairs up families with new babies and a volunteer that helps with the baby or housework or older siblings. It is really an awesome idea, but they had been overwhelmed with requests this summer and didn’t have a volunteer to match me up with, so that didn’t work out. I feel like things are getting better as he gets older and a little easier and I am getting a little more sleep, but I feel overwhelmed a lot, and then I feel like a shitty parent and that I don’t deserve to be a mom.

S had to travel again for work for the first time since J was born, and he was gone for nearly two weeks. My mom came to visit for the first week, but then got the flu and that ended up stressing me out more than being alone would have. My aunt came the second week, and that was much better.

It is hard because they rarely nap at the same time. This is the first time that has happened in weeks, so I am taking advantage of it to catch up on blogging. I really miss this place, and I need to take time to do things for me once in a while. I feel so sad that this babyhood is flying by so fast, because I will never have  another tiny baby to hold. I am so, so thankful that he is here though.

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Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | August 8, 2012

6 weeks

I can’t believe how quickly these past weeks have gone. The first 10 days of recovery after the c section were a little rough, but after that the swelling went down and the pain decreased. S took 3 weeks off, which was great. My aunt was here for the first two weeks which was so helpful. Now, at nearly 6 weeks, I feel normal again.

Baby J is a very good baby. He rarely cries – just when he is hungry or wet or poopy. It is a completely different experience that with Birdie, who cried A LOT. ALL THE TIME. While he is easier in many ways, it has still been difficult, because I am nursing him all the time (or so it seems) and Birdie is missing having time with me. She has been so good with him, but having more tantrums in general. S puts her to bed now. I miss that time with her, but it  is so good for them to have that connection. Breastfeeding has gone much better this time around. I got lactation consultants to help right away, but ended up using a nipple shield again. My milk supply is apparently good because he is gaining weight, and so far, things are going well. I am so thankful!

Here are some pictures:

Birdie meeting Baby J, just a few hours old

1 week old

Birdie, 2.5 years old

Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | June 29, 2012

He’s here!

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Baby J arrived today at 2:07pm. He is healthy, I am doing well, and things went great, except for the nurse needing three tries to get the IV in. So far he is calm and sleeping a lot. We have so much to be thankful for.

Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | June 27, 2012

one more day (warning: belly picture)

I am scheduled for a c-section on Thursday afternoon. Just one more day with this miracle baby kicking me. I am getting sad for this pregnancy to be over, but I am excited to meet him. I have been feeling pretty good for the most part – no real swelling (despite the heat), my sacroiliac pain is minimal as long as I do my stretches every day. I have gained 33 pounds as of my last doctor appointment. I am just really tired and have very little energy to chase Birdie around these days.

The only real issue lately is that S and I haven’t been getting along well. He is sleep deprived and cranky, and I am emotional and teary. Birdie has been having problems falling asleep. Tonight it was nearly 11 by the time she was sound asleep. She generally sleeps through the night fine, but just takes hours to fall asleep, no matter what time we start bedtime, or what we have done in the day. I took her swimming today at the outdoor gym pool and thought I thoroughly tired her out. Nope.

I wanted the last few days to be peaceful and relaxed, instead of us snipping at each other and me feeling sad. I think I am probably just too sensitive and overreacting. I am sad for Birdie that our days of focusing on just her are coming to an end. She has been so much fun lately, but also has been throwing epic tantrums once in a while.

Of course there are the fears too, that this is too good to be true. That something will go wrong, that there will be something wrong with the baby that the anatomy scan and screening tests didn’t pick up on. Please be healthy, little baby. Please.

Here I am the other day, at 38.5 weeks…

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