Thursday, March 22, 2012

Five Months!

My beautiful Grace and handsome Caleb,

You two are five months old today! I spent a little extra time watching each of you play today, breathing in your quickly fading "smallness" and admiring your ever growing personalities and energy!  On your five month birthday, I still can't believe that you're here in my arms, that I could be so lucky to be called your Mommy.

Precious Gracie,

You, my dear, are our tiny little princess.  As your brother sky rockets to the top (and off) of all of the growth charts, you have steadily maintained your spot as little baby girl, hanging out below the 50th percent for all of your measurements.  And I just couldn't love it more!  I adore your tinyness, how light you feel in my arms as I rock you down for your naps, how easy it is to hold you over my head for our new fun game of rocket ship, and how small your little hands feel as they hold my fingers while you eat.  I still catch myself treating you like a newborn, trying to just snuggle with you when you wake up from a nap or asking you to fall asleep on my chest. The smallness has worked to our advantage in that we're getting some good use out of all the clothes we bought you because you aren't growing out of them all too fast.  You're also using all of the smaller sized diapers that we bought when your brother was wearing them but grew out of them extremely fast! You're in size 2 diapers, but they're still a little big on you.  And you're in size 6 month clothes (but honestly, you could still fit into size 3 month and probably some newborn stuff if I really wanted to try...) While you still feel so small to me, you're anything but a newborn these days!

You've taken off this month in your ability to move around and "play"!  You love tummy time and will gladly hang out on your stomach for nearly the entire playtime if you have some of your favorite toys to reach for and chew on.  I put your favorite rattle (all kinds of colors and loops to hang onto! how fun!) just out of your reach while you were doing some tummy time today and you squirmed and grunted your way closer and closer until you lunged for it and won your prize! I can't believe my little girl is already moving around like that. You're rolling over all the time so I can let you just hang on the mat and do whatever it is that you'd like! It's so fun to watch you play now with your determination, giggles, and sometimes frustration (when you can't figure out how to get to something...or can't get the entire toy in your mouth like you want to). You're just this tiny little person, growing up so fast!
You've started to recognize that any object can be your toy and love grabbing for whatever it is that I'm holding.  You love playing with empty water bottles and trying to get my phone into your mouth.  Pretty much anything that you come into contact with needs to see the inside of your mouth before deemed acceptable as your play thing.  I have so much fun watching you explore anything and everything.

I will say that while I love watching you play, I'll always miss those days of snuggling while you were awake.  You want to be moving and shaking now as you learn about the world around you. But part of that new growth comes one of my favorite things about you- your giggle! The giggles have really started to come out now,  you're not holding them back anymore.  We get you to laugh by blowing raspberries on your neck and tummy, making big surprised faces and noises at you, tickling and kissing your feet, and holding you up over our heads to fly you around.  You make a cute little laugh and snort in between each chuckle! It lights up my day every single time.

You're eating pretty well right now.  You went through a short period where you weren't eating much at all, but you're pretty regularly taking about 4-5  ounces per bottle 4 times per day, and then two larger bottles of about 6-7 ounces (right before bed and then when you wake up to eat in the early AM).  You're sleeping pretty well recently, waking up for a binky replacement around midnight sometimes and around 3am, but not acting hungry until around 5 or so most days.  Sometimes even later.  Then you fall back to sleep until around 8am.  You just recently figured out this whole napping thing and most days you'll take at least one  longer nap of over an hour.  You will also throw in one shorter nap before bedtime, which now is SO early at about 6:30pm.  I wish you two would stay up a bit later, but if we wait any longer you fall asleep in the living room! You are still addicted to your binky, but you've been a little more vocal about not wanting it each time I think you do, so you'll purse your lips and push it away- you're getting quite the little attitude at times, but it's great that you're showing us what you want and don't want! And honestly, I think your diva-ways are way too cute. :)

Speaking of Diva,  you've recently taken to "stranger danger" and have cried when someone else tries to hold you other than Mommy or Daddy.  While I love the attention, I'm worried about you starting daycare in a couple of weeks when Mommy goes back to work.  You were resisting even your Papa holding you last weekend, but luckily when he came to watch you yesterday you were all smiles and VERY willing to let him hold you and rock you to sleep! :)

Grace, I never want to forget how cute you are when you try to stick an entire toy in your mouth and get mad when it's just not possible.  I love how vibrant you are and how your personality is standing you more and more each day.  Please don't stop giving me those beautiful wide open mouth grins! I absolutely melt when I see your cute gummy smile, which is so often nowadays. You're such a happy little girl!

I also never want to forget how adorable your hair is right now! It's so fuzzy and it sticks straight up.  Especially right after you get a bath! You've become very fond of bath time and you rarely ever cry afterwards anymore.  You like to splash around so much that I decided it was time for your first adventure to the big swimming pool! We took you to an infant swim class and you did so well.  You didn't love floating on your back too much, but you still did it for a long time.  You looked adorable in your red and white polka dot bikini!  You also looked so cute staring in the mirror on the side of the pool. Your Daddy and I traded off who was holding who in the pool, and you had fun with both of us.  But I think you're still a Daddy's girl at heart.

Your eczema seems to be getting a lot better, and I'm hoping that the chlorine from the pool will help like it always did for mine. We put lotion all over you after every bath and before bedtime each night. I think that's helping a lot!  I've also cut out all dairy foods which seems to help both you and your brother. You're both less fussy and you have pretty much stopped spitting up completely! I think it might be helping with your eczema, too.  You're now taking two bottles of formula a day and the rest is still breastmilk.  I'm weaning you  off of breastmilk slowly so you can have formula at daycare when I go back to work.

Little lady, my sweet sweet baby girl, I can't fathom how I even lived so long without you.  You and your brother are my entire world and I love every minute of looking into those beautiful big blue eyes.  I can't wait to see just what amazing thing you'll do next! I love you with all of my heart.

Caleb, my big boy!

You, little guy, are not so little anymore.  You're over 19 pounds now, and you're already in size 9 month clothes!  You've just grown out of your size 3 diapers, so we had to rush out for some size 4's to avoid any more leaks...  I think we're in denial about how big you're getting so fast. But I'm loving every inch of squishy, chubby cuteness!

I think my favorite part of how big you're getting is the huge cheeks you get when you give me one of your famous open mouth Caleb smiles!  All of those chins and your adorable dimple come out with each of your smiles and they make me giddy with joy. You smile all.the.time, when I smile at you, talk to you, tickle your tummy or chest, pinch your cheeks, hold you over my head, or bounce you up and down.  You love all of it! It's so much fun to hang out with you because you're just so happy!

You pretty much love everybody. You'll flash those gummy grins to anyone who smiles back at you. But you save the best ones for me, I think.  You're very cuddly and when you're tired you just collapse into my arms and give me a huge bear hug.  I love rocking you before your naps because you get so quiet and calm and breathe into my ear this enormously peaceful sigh.  That's when I know you're ready for your nap, and it makes me so happy you feel so calm in my arms.

You are napping for about 40 minutes at a time max at this point, and your sleeping at night has been pretty rough lately. Sometimes you wake up every hour or more at night just for a binky.  I don't know if it's that you're hungry or restless, but I know you are having a lot of trouble falling to sleep most nights.  You will slam your legs down in your crib when you startle yourself as you try to doze off, I can tell you're frustrated and just want to sleep! Poor baby.

You're also still having some trouble eating a lot of the time. You eat a good amount still, about 5-6 ounces in 4 bottles and 7-8 ounces in the other two.  But you will pull off of the bottle like you're full, but then want more soon after.  And sometimes you pull off of the bottle screaming like you're in pain.  Sometimes it takes an hour to feed you your bottle because you're pulling away and then asking for more over and over again. We went to the doctor a few days ago but they're not sure what it is.  We'll keep trying, though buddy!  Although, sometimes you're perfectly fine and take your bottle without a hitch. Usually you're sleepy at those times, so we think you might just be really distracted...

There's so much to look at and explore now that you're growing up!  You haven't rolled over yet, but you're getting a lot stronger every day.  You can bear weight on your legs more now, so we practice standing up every day.  You started going crazy on your play mat trying to swing at the toys.  You get into destructive mode and swing like you really mean it! You've ripped down all of the rings on both mats, you've got quite the arm little dude!

You also started splashing around a lot more in the bath.  You used to just sit in there very relaxed. But recently you've discovered it's a lot more fun to try and kill the water with your powerful swinging and kicking.  We took you to the pool last week and you LOVED it! You especially loved when Daddy was blowing bubbles in your face.  You just kept smiling and giggling. You didn't really like it when he poured water over your head...we might have jumped the gun on that one. Sorry buddy.

Your favorite toy is this stuffed monkey that honestly looks a little "off", but you love when we tickle your tummy with it.  Of course you love the hanging toys on your playmat, and your starting to try to put toys in your mouth, too!

Little man, I never want to forget the conversations we have as you practice your "GOOO"s and your "MMMM"s!! You will talk and talk all day long. And you absolutely love it when I talk back to you and mimick the noises you're making.  You start smiling so big that it's hard for you to talk anymore! :)

I can't tell you how much fun I'm having watching you learn and grow every day.  I love when we stare at each other and just smile for a while.  I could look at those beautiful hazel eyes all day, they're looking more and more like your Daddy's every time I look at you. I hope you know how in love with you I am, bubba.  You're such a sweet and funny little guy, I just adore you!

Luckies, my precious littles.  I have had the most amazing five months at home with you.  It has been such a beautiful experience spending my days holding you, comforting you, feeding you, watching you play, talking to you, singing for you, and smiling with you. I will never forget how lucky I am to have you both and to be your Mommy.  I'm going back to work next month and it's going to be harder for me than you'll ever know.  I'm going to miss having so much time to just stare at you and learn all about your precious little personalities.  I hope you know how wonderful it has been for me. And how sorry I am that I can't do it forever.

I'm sure that you'll love daycare, but know that each and every moment that you're away from me, I'm thinking of you. I'm wishing I was with you, holding you, or just being near you. Thank you for changing my life in such an amazing and brilliant way.  You have made me a better person in just the five months that you've been here. 

I love you with every piece of me. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

WWW and 4 Month Photos!

Yes, my babies will be turning five months tomorrow, but we just got our four month photos back so I had to post them today! I'll be doing my five month post tomorrow, so I guess you'll get a nice little comparison :)

As for the Weekly Weigh-In...well, I suck at this.  Honestly, I think it's that I don't want the accountability...which is exactly why I need the accountability.  So no matter how badly I just want to quit the weekly weigh-in so I don't have to think about it (or fess up, mainly), I'm gonna keep on truckin.

Ugh. I had a PHENOMENAL time this week eating my life away and really enjoying some serious vino. It showed up, of course, on the scale...but I gotta say, I'm not all that mad. ;)

1. Reiterate my goal and where I stand in reference to this goal:

Starting Weight: 205# (since 2-3wks pp, 250# @ 35weeks with Twins,was approximately 200# at time of BFP, before the hyperemesis kicked in, was up to 250# by 35 weeks pregnant)
Last Week's Weight: 204.8# (two weeks ago)
Current Weight: 201.8#
Goal Weight: 180# (normal would be 144-189)

Starting BMI: 27 (I'm 6'1" by the way)
Last Week's BMI: 27.0 (two weeks ago)
Current BMI: 26.6
Goal BMI: 23.7 ("normal" is 18.5-24.9)

2. Discuss what I am going to do to achieve my goals/progress:

- Drink 16oz of water every time I pump: I haven't been drinking enough water and therefore I'm snacking a whole lot more.  Whenever I think I'm hungry, I'm almost always truly just thirsty...

- Eat some form of protein four times per day, working up to eating protein with every snack and meal: Haha, can you say "dessert"?  I'm REALLY looking forward to eating dairy again when I'm finished weaning off of pumping.  I'm down to three pumps per day most days, so I'm thinking probably another month before I'm down to no more pumps needed! As of late, I've been eating a ton of fruit and not much protein.

- Walk 1 mile 3x per week, working up to jogging 2-3x per week using the Couch-to-5k program: I've cut out exercising for the last week or so because the babies have been up almost every hour at night (one and then the other) so I don't want to push my body to exhaustion when I'm getting hardly any sleep at all. I really don't want to get sick!

- Limit to one "treat" per day!! : For the most part I'm doing this. I have some slip up days though where I stuff my face with chocolate and potato chips...

Activities for this coming week:

-If the babies start sleeping again, finish week 7 of C25k!

-Walk with the babies if not jogging -- I can do this no matter how tired I am, and it's good for the babies. We went out once last week.  I can do more.

3. Post a (reasonably healthy) recipe that I've tried, a cooking tip, a new idea for working out for people to try, a photo update of my weight loss, or anything else I feel like sharing.

GET OUTSIDE!!! Almost everywhere in the States is seeing pretty good weather right now, so go outside, it will get you some great Vitamin D, but it might also stir up a desire to do a little more activity.

And here are our luckies at 4 months old! (Photos by Babyshots Photography...LOVE!)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Infertile Mommy

What does being an infertile mommy mean to me?

1. I'm eating my words.  I spent the last ten years knowing that it would be difficult for me to have children.  I spent the last two years knowing that trying to get pregnant for me meant a lot of work, a lot of heart ache, and a lot of lack of romance.  I spent this time on complete defense from any mommy out there who had it "easy".  Any mommy who got knocked up the good ol' fashioned way, two months after deciding to try. I listened intently for any smidgen of ungratefulness, any tone of dissatisfaction with their role as a mother, their amazing gift.  I figuratively pounced on each of these oblivious, selft-centered mommies, they didn't know how good they had it!  I knew I would never, not for one second, forget how grateful and lucky I was if I ever became a mommy, however that happened. 

I'm eating my words. I'm an infertile mommy.

I do NOT forget how lucky I am.  I do, however, know exactly what any mom out there felt who complained about their kid, was irritated by their lack of sleep, was tired of the non-stop morning sickness or ridiculous back aches.  I know how lucky I am, but I also know how incredibly hard this is.  I know that you can never fully know how much your life will change when you become a mommy.  I know how blessed I am for being able to write that statement. And I know how tired I am for being able to write that statement. I'm an infertile mommy.

2. I know mommy guilt on so many levels.  I feel guilt for having to let one baby cry while I tend to the other.  I feel guilt for forgetting to put diaper rash cream on the baby prone to diaper rashes.  I feel guilt for my inevitable return to work in three weeks, leaving my babies with someone other than mommy.  But I also feel guilt for complaining about my hyperemesis.  I feel guilt for wanting to be done with my pregnancy at 34 weeks because I just couldn't handle the itching, the incessant itching, anymore. I feel guilt for looking back at those days when I could sit and watch tv on full volume for hours at a time without a care in the world...and missing them.  But mostly, I feel guilt for bringing my babies home. I feel guilty that I got the prize, and that I know others who haven't, who might not.  I feel guilt for only having one loss, for not spending four years trying to conceive, but rather bringing home our babies after only two rounds of IVF.  I feel guilt. I'm an infertile mommy.

3. I am so incredibly lucky that we had twins, not because "twins are cute", or because "twins are so much fun" (which a lot of the time, they are).  I'm lucky we had twins because I always hoped to have two children, and I don't have to wonder if we will be able to have a sibling for our only child.  I don't have to plan for our next FET, wonder if our blasts will thaw properly, wonder if they'll stick. I don't have to continue budgeting for fertility treatments and start trying earlier than I would really like to. I'm so incredibly lucky. I'm an infertile mommy.

4. I am five months post-partum, still pumping for my babies, but I'm trying to find the right birth control pills to suppress my endometriosis while not completely depleting my supply.  I am working with doctors to figure out what the best plan is to treat my thyroid problems while still feeding my babies.  I'm having to find babysitters so I can go get one more blood test done to figure out why my liver enzymes are still off.  I don't know if I'll ever truly be "healthy". And I fear that I will pass these problems onto my beautiful children.  I worry every day that my sweet baby girl will face the same demons I've been battling for fifteen years. Will she be able to have her own beautiful children one day? I worry. I am an infertile mommy.

5. I wonder whether my children will ask why I have pictures of them before they were even inside of my tummy.  I wonder whether they will feel "different" or confused about their beginnings.  I wonder if my children will ask if they will have to do the same thing to have babies of their own.  I hope that they have the courage to ask, the spirit to feel special, and the wisdom to know how loved they are. I hope.  I am an infertile mommy.

I am an infertile mommy.  I'm like every other mommy out there; every mommy who looks at their children with absolute wonder, absolute admiration and mystifying gratefulness.  I'm like every other mommy out there who longs for their care free days, their late mornings, their spontaneous date nights. I'm like every other mommy who wonders what the hell I've done to my life, and then wonders how the hell I could have lived so long without them, all in one moment.  I'm like every other mommy, except I know infertility.  I know that kind of pain, in my own way, and in my own heart.  I know my kind of loss.  I know my story.  And I know my happy ending, thank God. 

And because I blog, I have seen true strength.  I know some of the most powerful women and men on the face of the planet.  Some of the most enduring, able, and grateful people I have ever met are writing about their journeys through infertility right along with me.  I know support, I know defeat, I know unimaginable heartache, and indescribable joy, all because I am a part of this ALI community.  I am an infertile.  And I am a mommy.  And I am so proud to be here with all of you, in the trenches, out of the trenches, and everywhere in between.  Thank you for letting me write, for letting me vent, for letting me scream and cry and gnash my teeth.  And for letting me smile through my words to you. You have inspired me all along my path. I hope I have inspired you and continue to do so. We are a family built on hope, courage, and support. Don't ever stop writing, wherever you are in your journey.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Weekly Wednesday Weigh-In 19 weeks PP

Ugh.  I had a PHENOMENAL time this week eating my life away and really enjoying some serious vino.  It showed up, of course, on the scale...but I gotta say, I'm not all that mad. ;)

1. Reiterate my goal and where I stand in reference to this goal:

Starting Weight: 205# (since 2-3wks pp, 250# @ 35weeks with Twins)
Last Week's Weight: 202.6# (was approximately 200# at time of BFP, before the hyperemesis kicked in, was up to 250# by 35 weeks pregnant)
Current Weight: 204.8#
Goal Weight: 180# (normal would be 144-189)

Starting BMI: 27 (I'm 6'1" by the way)
Last Week's BMI: 26.7
Current BMI: 27.0
Goal BMI: 23.7 ("normal" is 18.5-24.9)

2. Discuss what I am going to do to achieve my goals/progress:

- Drink 16oz of water every time I pump: Eh, it's hit or miss on this one.  I need to focus focus focus.

- Eat some form of protein four times per day, working up to eating protein with every snack and meal: Haha, can you say "dessert"?  Yeah, I went crazy on the desserts on Saturday night/Sunday afternoon...and then just kinda kept doing it. Didn't really eat a turkey slice or some eggs with each of those cookies...

- Walk 1 mile 3x per week, working up to jogging 2-3x per week using the Couch-to-5k program: I only did two days of running this past week instead of three.  I also had to stop and walk yesterday during Week 6 Day 2, which is 2x 10 min run with 3 min walk in between.  That second 10 min run got to me and I stopped after about 4 minutes, started again a minute later, and stopped again about 30 seconds later when I said "F you 10 minute run". I did this run outside for the first time in a while, which is much different than running on a treadmill. I think that put me over the edge.  And I'm wicked sleep deprived right now- Grace is waking up grunting and growling two or three times each night.  I think I rocked out 3 hours of sleep last night... SLEEP CHILD, SLEEP! ugh.

- Limit to one "treat" per day!! : Why is this such a damn hangup for me? I'm addicted to sweets.

Activities for this coming week:

-Couch to 5k finish week 6 and run two days of week 7!

-Walk with the babies if not jogging -- B and I decided we are taking the babies out for a walk this weekend NO MATTER WHAT.  It's so nice out right now, we need to take advantage.

3. Post a (reasonably healthy) recipe that I've tried, a cooking tip, a new idea for working out for people to try, a photo update of my weight loss, or anything else I feel like sharing.

Hmmm, oh- maybe a tip? I used to use to help me track my fitness and meals everyday. I didn't have the discipline to keep up with it, but it was really great while I was using it and it's FREE.  There are forums for questions, exercise and meal suggestions, a fun little competitive point program, and a place to create your own profile with pictures, goals, and stuff that inspires you.  If you're needing a little extra motivation or something to get you a bit more excited, this might be a great place to start.

Here are a few pics of the little luckies while I'm here...cuz I just can't help myself! :)