- help those with IF find morally acceptable means toward healing
- give encouragement and hope by my story to those on the path to healing because it can be long
- help those new to Dr. Hilgers and his methods navigate that world as easily as possible,
- support mothers after IF since that comes with its own mix of emotions and
- share things of interest to my Catholic and/or pro life sisters.
That being said, I do have a few updates.
In the area of fertility, I have not yet gotten my period back. There have been several times I thought it was coming due to crampiness, but nothing yet. I have had some interesting symptoms come back, as well, that I think relate but in a not so obvious way. For example, the stomach problems I have are totally cycle related. Mostly grease or rich chocolate send me dying a slow death and eventually running for the bathroom after my intestines have been turned inside out. I didn't miss that! And my itchy spots have come back-the base of my scalp and mostly the little "corners" of my nose. Nikki, I want to talk to you about the bumps from elbow to shoulder on my arms! Its all so interesting to me how it relates. I have had several instances of peak type mucus (10C/K Lx1, 1") but nothing sticks around. I am not doing the best charting, I regretfully admit, but am resolving to get on it better. With Charlie, I was mostly dry after his birth and then my period didn't return until a month or so after he was completely and totally weaned. This was surprising to me because of how slow he was weaned (due to repeated mastitis). I literally nursed him about a minute his last time, I believe a few days after or before his first birthday (sorry, no time to look up, but the post is there if you are interested). I know every child can be different, but it looks like it might be the same. AJ is over 9 months and, as of now, I don't plan on nursing past a year (4 times mastitis so far, at this point I had had 5 with Charlie-its a recurrent problem with me that Dr. Toth said is probably related to the chronic infection that plays a big part in our infertility). I will say my infection cleared up on its own because I pumped as soon as I realized that was why I was sore and I don't think it progressed very far. I was grateful to avoid the antibiotics.
WARNING-IF YOU ARE FEELING FRAGILE TODAY, THE FOLLOWING MAY NOT BE FOR YOU. IT MAY COME ACROSS CALLOUS, WHEN THAT IS NOT HOW I AM MEANING IT AT ALL. When people ask me if I want another child (non-IFers of course!), I say absolutely yes! We were so blessed to have the 2 we have and I do not feel that I can personally shut the door on that. I want to be a witness for life and let them know how precious children are! When I met my dh, I always told him I wanted a big family. I did/do, but I would exaggerate beyond what is likely possible given my age because my dh tends to negotiate (is that terrible?!). He would say he wanted 2 to 3 and I would say 5 or 6 :) Since then trying to have 3 children has become a given around here, so I'd say it worked at least somewhat. I tell him if we are lucky, I could have 4 biological given my age and then we can adopt! My dh is one that needs to get used to the idea of something. I don't shove adoption down his throat, but I have been clear from day one that I desire this. (He also doesn't like surprises). I, actually, would be really surprised if he would agree to this, but the other day he said something that was matter of fact about it and I silently giggled with delight that it was still a possibility! So, trying for #3 remains something we both want to do, but I have purposely not mentioned when we would actively try to conceive. I have done this because, with my period not back yet, I figured it would give him some time to not feel pressured. We have both been hit hard with the lack of sleep and I have been harder to live with, for sure. I think he is scared to dive right back in. I, of course, am scared not to. So I give him space on it and I hope that when the time comes he will feel better about things. I figure if my period comes back in 3 months or so, then (if the protocol is the same), I will have blood work on the 2nd cycle, medicate the 3rd and repeat peak plus 7 blood work, and then try on the 4th. Even if we got pregnant right away, it would still be another 9 months and we (hopefully) would be well rested by then and ready to parent! I, honestly, can't believe it still that we got pregnant with AJ on the first cycle trying and have no idea what to expect this time. I am perfectly aware that something could have changed and we may never be able to get pregnant, so that is always on my mind and I am grateful for what we do have.
Speaking of, Mr. AJ has had a fabulous week of sleeping through the night, which is going a LONG way for me and my ability to parent a teething two year old! For those interested, I feed him 2 oz of cereal and 2 oz of fruit/yogurt for breakfast (after nursing). For lunch, he nurses and then (half hour to hour after) solids consist of 2 oz fruit/yog and 2oz of vegetable. He has a "snack" around 2 or 3 (after 2nd nap) of nursing and some finger foods like cereal (just starting) and then he has dinner around 5 (4oz veg and 1oz protein-meat or edamame, etc). He sometimes nurses before dinner, but mostly after (about an hr, before bed). If he is too full to nurse before bed, I will nurse him if he wakes up an hour or so later and then right back to bed. If he doesn't wake on his own between 10pm and 11pm, I will wake him and nurse him. He then sleeps until about 7, sometimes 8 (about 12 hrs total). He is such a sweet, fun baby. He smiles anytime you look at him and is very very easy going. He is thrilled to be mobile. Funny how it was a late start to sitting up (7 1/2 months), but how quickly he went to rocking on all fours, and crawling, then pulling to a stand. He now is trying to let go and/or stand in the middle of the living room. The latter isn't successful, but he really tries! He only really was fussy when the top two teeth broke through last week. He now has four!
Charlie only had 2 teeth at one, so he was a slow painful teether. In fact, he is still teething! He is almost done, finally!, getting in the top two incisors. I just found out last week at the dentist that his 2 yr molars are finally coming in on the bottom (no top ones yet). I told you he was slow! The teething explains a lot related to nap time, which has many factors making it hard. First, teething, then the fact that if he sleeps at night 13 hrs then he is not tired for nap. Then you add how he gets hyper and resists sleep if he is overtired. Then add potty training (he uses it as excuse to leave room, plus he holds bms sometimes-though much better this week-so that makes it hard to sleep and he starts streaking his pullup that he wears at naptime only...) It's quite the process. But, if he is truly tired and has teeth medicine on board, then I can usually get him to sleep now if I can get him to be calm in bed for 20 min or so. That involves praising him for following our three rules-laying down, pants on (haha!), talking quietly. He gets to watch MM Clubhouse if he does and then I feel better about "giving up" on a nap if he has done those things. Since he loves attn and me going in the room, I try to do it only to praise him-at 1 min, 5 min and then 20-25 min. The clock starts over if I walk in and he isn't following the rules. This utilizes my education in positiv.e behavi.or support. Before, I was tired and cranky and regrettfully spanked, which was not effective and made me feel awful as a parent and a professional. For those struggling with challenging behavior, I highly recommend a book I was reading for work called Optim.istic Par.enting. It is wonderful therapy and help and I, embarrasingly, needed it! However, I am doing much better knowing this experience will make me a better professional and using the serenity prayer as my guide!
Charlie is such an awesome big brother. He seems to have mostly moved past the constant rough love and really likes to engage AJ in play. And AJ is happy to cooperate so that is really awesome to see. I included some pics of them playing together.
One more update for fun, I asked dh for a deck remodel as a little oasis for me as my graduation gift. This summer has been so hot and I really don't want the cooler weather to pass without me taking advantage and the winter coming in. He happily obliged and I was able to get a new porch swing (old cushion molded bad and new swing was cheaper than new cushions-plus is reclines!), new chairs for our table outside (ours broke through), an umbrella, seat cushions, chairs for the boys, a new swing for AJ, and new pillows for the swing (yay for end of the season clearance!). It looks so great and we have been enjoying both coffee in the morning out there and dinner at night. I love it! It is definitely making me feel more refreshed! And, the icing on the cake, was when Jenny was so kind as to mail me this great mug as a prayer buddy follow up gift! It makes me smile so much to look at it. Thank you, Jenny!