Monday, September 10, 2012

Post Baby Date Night (or afternoon)

We finally did it!  We went on our very first date since the baby was born. She's almost 6 months old, and we've gone literally everywhere with her in tow since she was born.  Yesterday she got dropped off at grandma's house and we went to a late lunch and movie.  We dined al fresco sharing flatbread pizza and salads with a lovely glass of Chardonnay.   It was nice to spend sometime together.  We saw a movie too (Bourne Legacy). 

2 hours into the movie I started to get anxious about BabyG's bedtime.  We got out of the movie around 6:40 and headed to grandma's house to pick her up.  Now - my mom watches her 3 days a week, so I wasn't nervous about her watching her yesterday.  Yet, of course - there was an incident.  BabyG started throwing up about an hour before we picked her up.  So, when we walked in, she was crying, rubbing her eyes and looked so sad.  But once she saw us, she calmed down and started smiling and laughing. 

I guess it's to be expected.  Babies just seem to know when you are taking time for yourself and pick that moment to have a meltdown.   Everyone must have that story of their kid getting sick on date night right?

However, we've realized that in order to keep our relationship strong it really is important to take the time together without her.  Time together to be a couple instead of a very tired mommy and overwhelmed daddy.  So, we are going to try again in a few weeks.  We aren't quite ready for the weekly date night, but we are getting there.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Does Infertility Make You A Different Parent?

"I brought you into this world, and I can take you out".  Ah, that famously funny quote from Bill Cosby.

It's one that my husband and I joked about for years.  We talked about how tough and strict parents we were going to be.  We joked about how we would tell our kids that we could just "make another one" if they acted up.   All in jest and joking of course, but at it's core there was the feeling that we would have fun getting pregnant, and that of course it wouldn't be hard at all.   And, that those little buggers better act right, because we were going to raise them old school.

Well, that was before our battle with infertility.  Now, when I look at her the first thing I think is that she is a miracle.  Yes, every baby is a miracle  - but our natural pregnancy after 2 years of infertility truly felt like a miracle.

And it makes me wonder, do parents who have been blessed to bring a baby into this world after struggling with infertility parent differently?  I try to stay balanced. I don't worry too much about germs - I don't wash everything in triplicate in super hot water and when she drops a toy on the ground I give it back without disinfecting them.  But then I let her sleep with me when she cries in the middle of the night, something I swore I'd never do.

So - I'd love to know what you think - does infertility make you a different type of parent?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Suck it Science - my infertility journey

When I told my husband that one day we would tell our daughter about how much money and time we spent trying to have her, he told me not to.  He said that it wasn't something she needed to know about.

I wholeheartedly disagree, and it got me thinking.  Why is it that infertility something we are supposed to be quiet about?  Either people are too embarrassed to talk about it because it involves sex (GASP!) or they are afraid that people will be unsympathetic.  After all, I had my moments during our journey where I heard the nasty stereotypes, comments and general crap from insensitive family members, friends and even strangers.  I've read nasty comments on any online story about infertility.

The harshest things insensitive people say?

1) Infertile women were too selfish and career obsessed to get pregnant younger and now are using the medical intervention to turn back the clock.
2) That infertility is natures way of saying you shouldn't have kids
3) That any couple struggling should "just adopt" as there are millions of orphans in the world.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: until you are faced with infertility, you have absolutely no right to judge.  It is literally one of the most heartbreaking things any person could go through.  And yet, in the infertility journey, you end up reading the most inspiring stories.  Yes, inspiring. 

These women (and men) are strong and unrelenting in their desire to have a baby.  Stories of surrogates, those amazing women who are willing to go through 9 months of pregnancy to give that beautiful baby to another couple.  Stories about men who agreed to donor sperm in order to have a family with their wives, and women who did the same with donor eggs. 

I'm not embarrassed. I'm willing to talk to anyone about our infertility journey.  Why?  Because when I was in the middle of it, despondent and feeling all alone, I unknowingly had two or three people in my life who had a similar struggle. Some were even in our extended family.  But, as is typical with infertility - nobody talked about it.  So how was I to know?

So, yeah, I'm not embarrassed.  My name is Natalie - and I was diagnosed with "unexplained infertility".  I was ovulating a little late, but that was it.  My husband's sperm count was perfect. 

My treatment plans included Laproscopy, Clomid and timed intercourse, Clomid and Interuterine Insemination (IUI), Injectionables + IUI, and finally IVF and FET (frozen embroyo transfer). 

All along at every stage - the doctors told me, everything looked perfect.  That this was "it" for sure.   After our IVF failed, and our FET resulted in chemical pregnancy, we decided to take a break.  We had been trying for over 2 years.   And, while looking for a house and not "trying" - we got pregnant all on our own.

Of course, that's the simple story.  Mistakes were absolutely made along the way.  In the beginning of all of our testing the tech that did my hysterosalpingogram (an X-ray test that examines the inside of uterus and fallopian tubes and the surrounding area) told me that my tubes were blocked.   Cue freak out.  My husband practically had to carry my hysterical ass to the car after that appointment.  That moved us to a laproscopic surgery where they were going to 'look around" and see if that was actually the case and if they were blocked, they were going give me a tubal ligation so that we could successfully do IVF down the road.  The 2 hour surgery ended up taking 45 minutes because there was absolutely nothing blocking my tubes.  It wasn't until later that I read online that fallopian tubes can "spasm" during the HSG test and that will look like a blocked tube on the X-ray. 

So - like I said, it's a complicated journey.  And I have a lot of advice on the topic.   So stay tuned.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Dreams come true.

My whole life I have dreamed about meeting the perfect man and watching him play in my yard with me kids. Last night and again this morning - that dream actually came true. With the weather perfect at 75 degrees, we laid out a blanket in our backyard and spent the evening playing with our little girl. Laying there watching my husband blow bubbles for her and play with her toes - I couldn't quite believe it. After all, we struggled for 2 years to get pregnant. And the first 5 months of her life have felt like a whirlwind of diapers, feedings and far to little sleep.

Now, it seems possible to relax for a few minutes together as a family. And to have fun. So this morning as I sit on our back patio, drinking coffee and watching my little girl sway in her swing, I realize that not only do dreams come true, but reality is way sweeter!