Being a Stay at Home Mom

So today I officially resigned from my position teaching 3rd grade. I am technically on a medical leave until May 1st, however I figured if I have no intentions of returning then I might as well resign now. Let my administrator find someone sooner than later to replace me permanently.  Im no longer receiving pay or benefits of any sort, so its not like I would be missing out in that department. 

Side note-I just posted about breastfeeding, and now I am posting about being a stay at home mom. Both hot topics amongst mothers I am quickly finding out. Insert sigh here. It would be nice if more moms supported each other instead of judging each other if you ask me but that is a whole other post-

Anyways, back to today…I decided to take LO with me up to my school to resign, might make things a little easier hey? Plus, I know all of my co-workers who have supported me on this journey really wanted to see him. Initially I was a little hesitant to take him to such a germ infested place, but then again I made a point to keep him away from any students and I took hand sanitizer with me to lather him up should anyone touch his hands without cleaning theirs first. He also kept his paci in his mouth so his hands could not go in it. 

It was great to see everyone & it made me feel human to get out of the house dressed and ready (not in a milk stained tank top with unbrushed teeth, just sayin).  This is one of my fears staying home, that I will miss the adult social time. Im sure I will, but after weighing out the pros and cons of it all, I am positive there is no place I would rather be than home with him his first few years. Thankfully my administrator was very supportive, and we left it hoping our paths cross again some day.  

Speaking of some day, I do eventually plan to go back to teaching. It is the perfect career to have once my little one is in school. I have always had a passion for it & am blessed to have made connections along the way that will hopefully help me back into the field down the road. As for now, I feel extremely grateful to my husband that I have the opportunity to stay home with our son. He is such an amazing husband and father who would do anything to provide for us. If you are reading this, I love you! 

While staying at home, I will continue teaching college courses online. My first one picks back up next month. I am not sure how ready I am for this, but will make it work. I want to contribute something, and every little bit helps. 

This morning when I pulled up my Timehop, I saw this image from exactly one year ago today-


Crazy how things change in a year. I deeply questioned then if I would ever be a mother here on Earth. Now my son is here in my arms as I type this. And who knows, this time next year we might be sitting here with our LAST little frostie in our arms as a family of 4 (well, 6 if you count the furbabies). Since I am staying home, we have decided that is part of the future plan. My RE wants us to wait until at least December 2017 to do the FET. We figure we will aim for a January or February transfer if all goes well. Hubby and I do not really see the sense in spacing out the FET much further than that. In all honesty, we are ready to completely close the “IVF” chapter of our lives out. We have spent about 5 years on it (that does not include TTC on our own).  If that little embryo is meant to come home with us, we will be thrilled. If it isnt, we will be beyond content with the miracle we have been given right here in front of us. We will not be doing another IVF cycle should that one fail. 

In the meantime, I have every intention of enjoying every moment here at home with my little rainbow 🌈💙

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Old Stomping Grounds

Hubby took a day off this week & we ventured back down south to the ritzy area where Isaac lived for 2 years before he was transferred back to my uterus & we finally brought him home. It is really crazy to think he was frozen in a lab for that long. Mind boggling modern science is. Anyways, we headed this way to visit our RE & her staff. We promised at our last visit back in May of 2016 (when we graduated) that we would return with him once he entered this world. 
We did not call ahead, instead we crossed our fingers & hoped our doc would be in. I chose to stop in around lunch time as I know they dont schedule patients then. One of the things I hated most (speaking as a recurrent pregnancy loss patient right now not an infertile patient) was seeing pregnant people or ones with infants come in. Perhaps if I had only been infertile and not suffered so much loss it wouldnt bother me as much. Maybe I would look at it as hope instead of heartbreak. Instead the loss made me resentful when I saw it. 

Thankfully the waiting area had not a soul and we were greeted by the receptionists we know all too well. They immediately came around the counter & let us know they received baby boy’s birth announcement in the mail. They ooed and awed at him. I should have prefaced this by saying how nervous I was as we drove to the office. Weird right? What was there to be nervous about? Its not like I was headed in for a blood draw, ultrasound, or procedure. For once I was on the other side. I had made it! But still the anxiety lurked. I couldnt help but think of all the times I had made that dreaded drive and all the various feelings that accompanied it. Im happy to say that once we arrived it faded away and I felt more like a conqueror than anything else. 

Soon after arriving, our nurse and phlebotomist came out. Lots of happy squeals and “after all you went through” statements followed. Hubby held baby while I gave hugs. Finally our RE came out with the biggest smile you ever did see. We embraced and then she quickly stole little one away from us. I was able to capture a photo for the baby book of the 2 of them (we plan to be very open with our son about what we went through). What a feeling standing there with the whole staff, everyone full of joy for once. I cant explain it, but it was so surreal. 

We had a canvas with us that we had picked up from our newborn photographer just prior to our visit at our RE. Our photographer was actually referred to us by our RE originally. Well, the photographer loved our baby boy so much that she offered to do a complimentary canvas for our RE’s office. Truly a compliment. My RE was thrilled. 

I cant tell you how many years I sat in that office staring at the beautiful baby canvases and daydreaming. Now our baby was on a canvas and would be going up on one of those walls. Feelings of being incredibly blessed & content overwhelmed me. Again, we made it I thought. I am well aware so many dont get to the other side. Motherhood after loss and infertility that is. It could have turned out differently than it did. And I thank God everyday it didnt. 

Later that day, after we left, my RE sent me a message via FB. It was short & sweet-“thank you for stopping by, it made my day” and my response was “likewise.” As a teacher I used to live for the days when my previous students would come back & visit. It let me know I did something right. I would like to think this is how she felt when we stopped in. 

Grief

I have been thinking about writing this post all week, but really dont know how to put my grief into words. No, this isnt about our new bundle of joy that means the world to us. He is doing great. 

This is about the struggle that stays with you after you become a mom…dealing with loss and infertility after motherhood.

Two years ago today, I underwent my last d & c at 10 weeks pregnant. It was our 3rd Frozen Embryo Transfer, and we thought we were almost out of the woods (or first trimester). I wont rehash all of the awful details with our loss, you can read about them in our archives back in March of 2015 if you are in a place where you need to relate. If you are, my prayers go out to you. However, I will say that this February day back in 2015 still haunts, or hurts me deeply. 

I sat in the bathtub last night, when I should have been relaxing after a long day filled with cluster feeds, dirty diapers, cries and sweet rainbow baby coos, only to find myself grieving deeply. 

You see, having a baby doesnt replace losing one. Having a miracle in your arms actually makes you wonder even more about what your other child would have been. All the moments you are enjoying now that you lost with them. There is even a smidge of guilt mixed in with the grief. 

We will never know why we lost Isaacs brother that winter day a few years ago, or why we lost all 5 of his other siblings before that. All we can do is thank God for what we have and cherish it even more. Pray for peace for all the babies taken too soon, and for all the moms that became moms the second those embryos were placed inside of them…regardless of the outcome. You are a mother even though many might not recognize it. The love starts way before the baby arrives. Losing many and now having one has made me realize it even more. 

Rest in peace Isaiah William with all the other angels gone too soon 💙 today we think of you 💙

How 1 Year Can Change So Much

This time last year we were waking up in northern Ohio, feeling the chill of the holiday and drinks wearing off from the night before. We were surrounded by close & extended family on both sides, friends, and gatherings. I had just began taking my anti-anxiety medication, and was still trying to cope with the idea that we may never have kids here on Earth, while juggling how to handle meeting all of my friends newborn babies. 

It had been over a year since our last (and 3rd) IVF cycle and loss, and we were treating my pesky, reappearing fibroid with monthly Lupron Depot injections. It seemed like a transfer was so far out from us. We had no idea what our future held. We decided to get professional photos taken while on our Ohio trip, to honor our family, & purchased a little Buckeye onesie in faith. 


It is hard to fathom this was just a year ago. As all infertiles do, I still recall the usual holiday talk with hubby of “I wonder what this time next year will be like…will we be pregnant? Have our baby finally?” 

We had those discussions many, many holidays before. I know the frustration and feel the pain. It sucks, and after awhile, you might even stop having these conversations. Its okay, keep the faith inside of you even if you dont have the strength to show it externally. 

I know not every story ends the same, but I also know you create your own happy ending to your story. If you dont feel the story is over yet, dont close the chapter out. 

We knew our story wasnt complete yet and thus, we kept going. And here we are now, 1 Thanksgiving later, 36 weeks pregnant. 9 months along…waking up in at our home in sunny, south Florida. 

What a difference 1 year makes. 

Within a month, we will be putting that onesie on our sweet baby boy. 

Thinking of everyone today, and sending lots of love. There is always so much to be grateful for no matter the obstacle(s) ahead. 

I Will Never Forget 

Although we have finally made it to a point in our pregnancy where we are very hopeful we will bring our rainbow baby home, it doesnt mean I will ever forget. 

I’ll never forget the sleepless nights dreaming of what it would be like to become pregnant and watch my belly grow. To feel life inside of me. 

I’ll never forget the desperation every month to see 2 pink lines. The timed intercourse over & over again, the old wives tales I held on to, organic foods I stuffed myself with, and the vitamins I overdosed with time & time again. 

I’ll never forget the disappointment and heartache month after month when it never happened on its own. Ever. 

I’ll never forget how scary every single treatment I had was. Every shot, ultrasound, IV of anesthesia, blood draw, d & c, egg retrieval, fibroid removal, hysteroscopy, HSG, tube removal, MRI, SIS, and transfer.

The various emotions I felt monthly, if not daily…bitterness, denial, hope, sadness, excitement, fear, anger, love, jealousy, peace, rage, the list goes on. 

I’ll never forget all the 2 week waits and the bargains I tried to make with God. If you….then I’ll…

I’ll never forget all the arguments and money spent trying to have a baby, something that should be so easy. 

I’ll never forget how I had to put my career on hold to be able to carry our baby. Something most women can do without a problem. Why couldnt I be normal too? 

I’ll never forget all the tears shed every pregnancy that was stolen from us.

I’ll never forget what it was like to hold my breath everytime I went to the bathroom pregnant, praying for no blood. 

I’ll never forget all the family and friend gatherings I avoided over the years to remain somewhat sane. 

I’ll never forget the anger and why’s I yelled out to God. 

I’ll never forget all of the endless trips to the doctor and psychologist. The anxiety attacks, nightmares, and medications that followed. 

I’ll never forget all the nights I tried to self numb my pain and distract myself but it never worked. Shopping trips, yoga, girls nights, drinks, date nights, you name it. 

I’ll never forget all of those pregnancy announcements that seemed to come so easy for some. The endless bump shots and ultrasound photos I couldnt bare to see at times. 

I’ll never forget what it feels like to be left behind or misunderstood. Gut wrenching. 

I’ll never forget the conversations based solely around kids and being the only one in the group without one. Trying to find an excuse to get away before bursting into tears. 

I’ll never forget what it was like to fake a smile just to get through the days without having to explain. 

I’ll never forget the support of those who picked me up when I needed it the most. 

I’ll never forget all of the people in this community who helped me realize I wasnt alone. Oh the gratitude. 

I’ll never forget all the babies we lost. Every date is forever in my heart. 

I’ll never forget that we are in fact infertiles and suffer from recurrent pregnancy loss. 

And I’ll never truly feel we “beat infertility” as it will always be a part of us. Always. 

Happy Birthday 

Today baby Isaiah and his twin, who we lost on February 6, 2015, would be celebrating their 1st birthday’s. 

Its hard to believe they would already be 1. Which means our babies lost from IVF cycles 1 & 2 would be even older than that. Gulp. 

Although they were only with us for a short time, we miss them. We miss all the “could have been’s” that we will never experience here on Earth with them. And we look forward to the day we all meet again.

Happy Birthday babies. We know you are celebrating up above. Sending our love. 

Viability 

Not only are the best months of the year finally here (the ‘ber months), but so is viability. We made it. 6 months pregnant. God is good! 

Our 24 week ultrasound today showed that baby is growing on track, now just over 1 and 1/2 lbs., my fluid level is good, and my cervix is still closed & long, measuring over 4. We are so thankful. 

I know I have said it before, but this is truly a day we did not think was possible after years of trying to conceive on our own, 2 failed IUIs, several major surgeries, 4 IVF cycles, & 4 consecutive losses. But here we are, one day closer to bringing our miracle baby boy home. I promised myself I would relax more once we got to this point, so I am really going to *try* my best to do so. 

Our goal is to make it to 28 weeks now. I have a feeling it will come rather quickly, as we have a growth scan at the MFM and my glucose test during the few weeks until then. Also coming up in a month is our baby shower for which the invites got mailed this week. I really cant believe all these things are so close! 

Today I got my hair cut and I scheduled an appointment for both my make-up and my hair to be done for our maternity photo session. It takes some pressure off of me, as I am lousy at doing both of these. In addition, I made a mani/pedi appt for the shower and the shoot. I think I am all set in this department!

Symptoms? 

Still having some BH contractions here & there but have found drinking water totally helps. That said, my new routine is to get up and drink 64 ounces before noon each day. I make sure I get the suggested amount out of the way and then I just sip the rest of the day. Thank God I am off work, or I wouldnt be doing this because basically I am in the bathroom peeing all morning long! Seriously. Ive never been a big drinker either so sticking to a schedule is really helping out.

In the middle of the night, my hands and arms have been going numb here & there. I guess this could be a sign of carpal tunnel? At least thats what my Ovia pregnancy app had pop up as a common thing this week. Im not too worried about it, I just shake them out and it goes away.

Im getting picky about food again. Things arent sounding as great as Id like them to. Ugh. Eating as healthy as possible though, trying to incorporate in each of the food groups everyday. Thankfully I havent wanted sweets much at all, hoping this will help me pass my sugar test! 

Other news? 

We got everything we need to create the closet system in miracle’s room. Now that we have the materials, we plan to work on it over the long weekend. Im excited because I have lots of clothes and items to organize in there! Hubby pointed out how we are going to be jealous of the baby’s closet…how is it that he has a better one than us already? Lol. I might as well get used to it, part of being a parent I know!