Saturday, December 17, 2016

I'm still alive

And doing well! We're back in New Hampshire for the holidays. I am SO glad we were able to keep our house here (for now anyway - who knows how long that will be able to last) as I was able to fly back with Jack with just a backpack for the two of us. The flight itself ended up being a horrid experience; he did awesome on the flight on the way out to San Francisco with me and Hubs so I foolishly thought it would be no biggie to fly with him alone back to Boston while Hubs was on a business trip. I thought wrong. As it turns out, the poor guy had an ear infection.  The flight must have been excruciating!  I ended up holding and rocking him for 5.5 hours straight, singing and trying to get him to sleep and stop crying. It was hell and I honestly thought my arms were going to fall off and my back was going to break. I will never do that again if I can possibly avoid it.  I had to beg the woman across the aisle from me just to help me unscrew the cap on my water so I could drink something...ugh. My complaining is not even doing this justice. Suffice to say: It was a completely awful experience. I am already dreading the return flight.

Besides that though, things in general are good!  I have been loving living in CA. There is so much to do. We explore new places multiple times every week and I still have a bucket list a mile long.  We found a good nanny and Jack loves her.  She does a nanny-share so there are other kids there when he goes which is a really good thing because it's getting him socialization too!  And I take him to a gymboree play class every Wed morning which he LOOOOVES.  Bubbles, balls, songs, things to play and bounce on, AND other kids?! Yes!  He is in heaven.  When we get back after the holidays I plan to sign him up for swim lessons too.  Besides that, I should probably attempt to make some playdates or something too.  So far though, that has not been high on my TO DO list. We were in CA for just over 2 months before flying back here at the very end of November so I really just took that time to get my bearings and find ways to feel comfortable in this brand new place.  It's been good though!  The weather is SO good for me with my whole prone-to-depression thing so that's huge.  And I've been getting tons of exercise with all the walking.  I am super spoiled now with being able to just throw Jack in the stroller and walk out the door to anything we could want or need. The location is truly perfect.  I have to wonder though, if it's just that the novelty hasn't worn off for me yet, especially since some of that time was spent preparing to come back HERE, and if things will change once we go back in January. Then, we truly LIVE there...  I wasn't there long enough to miss anyone yet.  (Besides my sister, but that's to be expected.)  But when I go back, that will be the real test.

Things with Hubs are not fantastic. We were in couples counseling together here before we moved but nothing has really come of it.  I think I understand a bit more why he has certain issues and where they come from, but that doesn't really help in day-to-day life.  This is probably a whole separate post since that is really the base of any sort of unhappiness I'm experiencing in my life right now. But I'm just feeling some disappointment. I feel like we're really disconnected and I don't feel motivated to try to change that.  He also travels a TON for this new job and so it's just me and Jack more than 50% of the time. Really, probably more like ~75% of the time. I often sort of feel like a single mom. (A single mom with a great sugar daddy haha.)

Jack is doing great. We came back to NH when we did since he had lots of doctor appts but unfortunately, his ENT and orthopedics appts had to be rescheduled due to his ear infection. That was a bummer. But we've seen the Pedi and Geneticist so far and things are good. He's healthy!  On Monday we'll learn if he needs to have adenoids removed asap. (I assume the answer will be yes.)

Little guy is waking up from his nap now so I have to run, but there's the quick check in and a smattering of pics. Been loving doing all the Christmas things with him!! Merry Christmas!!

Jack loved Santa.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Quick update: ChickinSF

Sooooo...we moved to California.  We've been here about three weeks now and we're loving it so far!  We're in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is expensive and it is beautiful. We can walk to everything we need and if we drive 5 mins in one direction we're at the Bay, 20 mins in the other direction we're at the ocean. There's hills and mountains and water and hiking and biking and anything you can think of. Everyone is healthy and active and there is just so much to do. And as you have probably noticed, the novelty has not worn off for me yet :-)

Jack handled the move like a champ. No issues with a new place, no issues with a 3 hour time-change, no confusion upon waking up in a new room...the kid is amazing.  So far, so good.

My back has held up too!  I was concerned because obviously I'm not in PT anymore and with all the unpacking, etc. I wasn't sure how I'd do.  I've also been walking a ton every day because the weather is so perfect and there's so many places to walk to. Luckily that has not had a negative impact on my back and I've actually lost a few pounds already just due to the increased exercise. I got a new fitbit the other day and am interested to see how many miles I'm doing now.

Other big news: Jack started walking yesterday :-D  We're soooo proud of him!!!  Need to post some pics. In the meantime, he recently turned one and half!  My baby is no longer a baby.  Wah.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

2 years.

Yesterday was the 2 year mark of when Petey should have been born. His EDD was 8/15/14. It's crazy to me to think that if everything had gone "according to plan" and Petey had been born, we'd have a two-year-old now... and it wouldn't be Jack.  I cannot picture that.  I don't even want to picture it. It was such a tough thing to go through and I still feel sadness, but we wouldn't be where we are now if that hadn't happened. We wouldn't have our Jack. And I cannot picture life without Jack so it makes me grateful.

I did have a bit of a cathartic moment yesterday though... One of my best friends decided to play hooky from work and came over for a pool day. While Jack was down for his nap, she and I were just floating in the pool talking and the subject of Petey came up. I talked to her about it. About all of it: the diagnosis, the procedure, the loss, the pain, the feelings I have now about Petey, even just his name. I've never shared his name with anyone in my "real life" before; just here on my blog, and with all my internet friends. I also told her about seeing "my rainbow" and knowing everything was going to be ok (blog post about that here if you have no idea what I'm talking about) and then finding out I was PG with Jack.  It was really cathartic and pretty ironic that this discussion happened to be on the anniversary of his EDD. I have never talked to anyone IRL about it to this extent, except for my therapist, ha. The fact that I could thoughtfully share without feeling overwhelming emotions or having it spin me into a downward spiral afterwards was huge. It's a turning point for me.  It says to me that I've made healthy progress and am in a good place now when it comes to grieving Petey.

I'm still sad.  I still miss him and what could have been. But I am okay. And I feel confident that he is okay. 

I love you my PN <3

(Still appreciate this pic so much JayTee and Cici <3 )

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Weight-loss Wednesday (Week 4)

Only a day late this week :-)  I'm not sure how much longer these weekly check in posts will last. Things are pretty busy around here. I might have to change to once a month.

Weight loss this week: 1.5 lbs

Total weight loss so far: 4.5 lbs

Highlights this week:

  • Weight is back to where it was a couple weeks ago! I'm thinking maybe that weight "gain" last week was just a bad weigh-in and I'm more just maintaining instead of losing lately.
  • The consistent back pain has mostly disappeared and now it's more just soreness and tiredness. I'm pretty sure I've officially healed from my latest back injury and am now just working on strengthening during PT. That's a very good thing.

Challenges this week:
  • Very very busy!
  • Still lots of people around, sometimes hard to plan healthy meals. (But I try when I can.)

Thoughts:  Looking forward to going out to CA tomorrow with Hubs for an extra long weekend! Gonna walk all over the city and get acquainted with my new stomping grounds. Exercise will be good!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Weight-loss Wednesday (Week 3)

...or Friday.

Oh right, I'm supposed to be losing weight. Forgot about that... Ugh, life just gets in the way! I don't know if other people are like this but for me, when I'm trying to lose weight I have to be almost obsessive about it. I have to be obsessed with food and thinking and planning all the time. When I can devote that amount of energy to it I can do well! And when I can't? Well...

Weight "loss" this week: +1.5 lbs

Weight loss so far: 3 lbs

Highlights this week: Ummm...made some better choices than I could have.

Challenges this week: Life. This has totally gone on the backburner. There is so much going on! So many people wanting to squeeze in lunches and visits and brunches and pool days before we move. Making good choices consistently has been hard.

Thoughts: We officially have a townhome in the San Francisco Bay Area. It's real now! Getting excited for this big change and I'm hopeful since we'll be in a new place I can avoid restarting bad eating habits.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Thoughts on still being infertile even after baby

I have a friend who writes for an infertility website. She recently asked for "some thoughts on still being infertile after having your first baby".  I sent her some.  I figured I'd share those thoughts here too:
I have a one year old son but I am still infertile. That's a hard realization for me to come to terms with. My husband and I would still like to add to our family but there are just so many unknowns. It feels like we'd be setting out on yet another monumental journey (but this time while carrying a child with special needs, emotional baggage from years of IF, and lasting sorrow from a prior late-term loss) and I honestly just don't know if we have it in us. We are both a bit beaten down now. We don't know how much treatment we'd need to endure before we *may* be able to have another. We don't know if we are able to conceive a genetically healthy child. We don't know if we are "tempting fate" by trying again. We don't know if we are strong enough to handle it if we get pregnant and then receive bad news again or have another loss... We just don't know. I don't want to be one-and-done. But I also don't want to go through hell again. At this point I am not sure which option scares me more.

When I got pregnant the first time, I remember celebrating finally "beating" infertility. I didn't realize then that IF was something that stays with you and may never truly disappear. I do feel like it's become part of my identity and is not (yet?) just my past; it's still very much a part of both my present and my future.

I have so many more thoughts but this is what I chose to share.  And now I have thoughts about those thoughts. And the overwhelming thought is this:  Wow, that's kind of depressing.


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Weight-loss Wednesday (Week 2)

Weight loss this week: 0.5 lbs

Total weight loss so far: 4.5 lbs

Highlights this week:
  • Cravings are going away
  • I'm already noticing the spare tire around my belly is shrinking

Challenges this week:
  • My back sucks and hasn't gotten any better. The only "exercise" I can get is being in the pool. And even then I have to take it really easy. I'm still in PT three times a week.
  • We had a lot of company this week that made meal planning harder than usual. I am good about planning dinners in advance for the week, ensuring I have leftovers for Jack and for lunches, and then doing my food shopping according to my weekly plan. But with people popping in a lot, that kinda went to shit this week. Honestly, that's how most of the summer tends to go though so maybe I need to focus on just making the best choices I can when I have the opportunity to make them.

Thoughts: A half pound weight loss is not super motivating but my overall in just 2 weeks is almost 5 pounds which is pretty great. I think I just need to focus on that.
Also, it's kind of neat that the last time I focused on losing weight (before I got PG with Jack), my biggest challenge was planning meals in advance and then cooking them. Now, that is no longer a challenge!  Once Jack came along I HAD to do that whether I wanted to or not and now I'm quite good at it! That should likely make my weight loss even easier this time around.

Week 2 is in the books!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Weight-loss Wednesday (Week 1)

Alrighty. I'm on board the weight loss train again.  And it's been a very successful first week!  More about that in a minute. First, some accountability:
Starting weight: 203 lbs (ugh)
First goal: 180 lbs
Final goal (maybe someday?): 155 lbs
I hate that I got over 200 again. I hate to say it but something about that number makes me feel bad about myself. Unfortunately it wasn't even seeing the scale hit my magical "you are fat" number that motivated me to start caring again: It's the fact that my back went out on me. Again.

It went out on me on the last day of June. My parents were already on their way up from Florida for the summer so luckily they arrived the very next day and could take care of Jack. I was OUT. As in: needed a walker/laying all day in bed/could barely wipe myself after using the bathroom kind of out. I was so thankful my parents were here and could take care of Jack as I slowly got better over the next week and a half and was able to do more things bit by bit. I was feeling better so I "released" my parents and just sort of assumed it was a fluke. But the following week it started getting bad on me again and one afternoon I was sitting on the floor playing with Jack and went to get up and I couldn't. I could barely move and I could tell (because I'd felt that feeling before) that if I DID move my back would go out on me again. It was SO SCARY. I was stuck there just praying that I would be able to keep Jack beside me and occupied long enough until my sister was able to come over after work to help me. I was scared to death he would crawl too far away from me and get into something or try to climb the stairs and I wouldn't be able to help him. THAT is the straw that broke the camel's back (or rather, my back, heh) and convinced me it's past time to do something about my weight.

Because the thing is, I was surprised to be having this back pain again. I hadn't had issues the last 3 months since I "graduated" from physical therapy, I was feeling pretty good physically, I was even back into zumba every week again!  BUT, I was also eating like crap again. I did not care what went into my mouth and I had gained about 5 lbs over the last few months.  If it wasn't the weight gain that caused my back to go out, I don't know what it was.  And I can NOT chance feeling so scared and vulnerable like that again if I have the power to stop it. Since apparently, I haven't felt like I am a good enough reason for me to take better care of myself physically, I have to do it for Jack. He needs a mom who can take care of him and run around and play with him without having to worry her body is going to give out on her.  And since we're moving soon to a place where I won't have a sister or a mother in law or a friend I can just call up and say "I need you to come over right now", it is even more important for me to do everything within my power to keep that from ever happening again.

SO, here we go with check in #1!


Weight loss this week: 4 lbs!

Total weight loss so far: 4 lbs

Highlights this week:
  • Highly motivated. 
  • Joined MyFitnessPal again and am back to tracking everything I eat. Goals are keeping calories at 1500 per day, sugar and sodium intake low, and eating enough fiber and protein.
  • Back under 200 lbs again already :-)
Challenges this week:
  • Sugar detox.  That's never fun.  
  • My back really limits any kind of physical activity right now beyond normal daily movement. The physical therapist told me I have a herniated disc and also one of my legs/hips was out of alignment which shifted all my vertebrae. She was able to put me back in alignment but I'll still have to nurse this herniated disc for a while through PT twice a week for the forseeable future. Once my back is stronger again I'll be able to add exercise in veeeery slowly. That's frustrating.

Thoughts: I realize that 4 lbs in a week is a fluke because it's likely more water weight than anything but I don't care; it's good motivation. Seeing that scale back into the 190s so quickly is very helpful for me. I'm looking forward to this next week too and seeing that total weight loss number grow.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Little dude is 15 months!

Since I just wrote a huge update the other day I will spare you and just post the update pic :-)

I decided that once Jack turned a year I'd keep up the official update pics every 3 months until he turns two.

Oh, I lied: One thing I didn't update on last time is my hubby.  He did have his back surgery in April and while recovery was tough (for both of us) for a couple months he is doing SO MUCH BETTER now.  It is a HUGE relief.  He still has limitations but he can actively help care for Jack now which has made a huge difference in our lives.  I seriously want to cry, it's such a big deal for us. Yay.

And I am actively losing weight! It's only been less than a week but I'm already down a few pounds and am heading in the right direction. I think I'll post "weight-loss wednesday" check ins starting this week. :-)

Thursday, July 7, 2016

San Francisco bound!

Well, it's happening. This east coast gal is going to become a west coast gal in the next couple months.  Does this mean I need to retire the "ChickinNH" name? "ChickinSF" just doesn't look right...

Hubs and I officially decided he should take this promotion (it's a BIG step in his career) and so to San Francisco we go!  I'm choosing to look at it as a new adventure and maybe (hopefully) as a fresh new start.  It's no secret I've fought depression for the last few years and it was certainly a battle after Jack was born with the PPD/PPA but things are pretty decent overall these days.  I'm still on Lexapro and occasionally still see my therapist but things feel under control now.  What is NOT under control is my weight. I'm 10 lbs heavier than I was when I got PG with Jack and I've decided it's time to do something about it. I'm hopeful that this move will help me with weight loss.  I've developed bad habits that I need to break and this big life change can help me start fresh with good habits. The sun, the water, the hiking, the proximity to fresh produce and walking trails... all of it should be good for me.  And what's also good is that this will likely only be a 2 year move (tops).  The new initiative my hubby is undertaking should be completed within 2 years so if we want to move back to the Boston area then, we can. And I assume we will since we both grew up here and all our family and many friends are here. Another good thing is that we will still be able to keep a residence here in NH during that time as well since we will be back and forth quite a bit, mainly for Jack's dr. appts.  It's taken a full year to find the right specialists for him so I do not plan to move all his care to CA just to (likely) move it back to Boston again. Barring any issues arising during the next couple years, we should only need check ups once per year with most of his doctors so I will try to lump those visits together when I can and just come back east here and there over the next couple years.

Speaking of Jack medical news; he is doing great.  He FINALLY had his MRI and overall it was good news.  No compression at the base of his spine, so no surgery needed at this time. Also, no hydrocephalus found in his brain. Huge relief! They did find a potential issue with swelling of the sheaths surrounding his optic nerves though so we were referred to an Ophthalmologist for some testing.  Luckily they didn't find evidence of damage to the optic nerves themselves (that would cause irreparable blindness) but they weren't sure if this was an issue that was getting worse or if he was born with the swelling due to intracranial pressure and it's actually getting better. So we went back to the specialist a month later for repeat testing and found there as been no change.  Overall, good news. We'll need to go back again in 3 months, and Jack's Neurosurgeon also ordered a repeat MRI for 2 months from now to ensure everything is still okay as they did find ventriculomegaly (enlarged ventricles of the brain, common with Achon), and though his nerves aren't currently being compressed, one of the vertebrae in his neck juts out at a funny angle so they need to keep an eye on it. Hopefully everything will be fine.

He's doing awesome though. Within the last month he started sitting on his own and pulling to stand and we are just so proud of him. He is so happy and smiley and I am just totally in love. His new challenge as of today is trying to climb up the stairs. Uh oh.

Here are some pics of him doing his favorite things:

Pool time
Playing with balloons

Being naked (probably his most favorite thing).

He has such a personality and is totally a toddler now (complete with attitude).  He'll be 15 months in a couple days and I'll post the update when I have it.

We also were lucky enough to go to the Annual LPA (Little People of America) Convention this past weekend as it just happened to be here in Boston this year!  It was a really wonderful and unique experience to be able to see so many little people of all sizes, shapes, and abilities, and to truly understand that we are part of something so much bigger than just our little world. Pun intended :-P
We plan to go again in future years but likely not until Jack is old enough to start to get something out of it.  Many little people meet their best friends and future spouses through LPA so we definitely want it to be a part of our and Jack's lives. Here's a pic! Final attendance was more than 2,200 from all across the US and Canada!

In case you are wondering, we did not make it into the picture due to a certain cranky baby who shall remain nameless.

So there's my update!  In a nutshell: Jack is doing good, Hubs and I are doing good, we're about to start planning/packing for our big move, and I'm going to start focusing again on losing weight. Don't be surprised if you start to see some diet/exercise check in posts again soon!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Jack is One :-)

My baby is no longer a baby.  He turned one last weekend! 

I really should have taken more pictures during the party but here are a few.  He had an awesome time and was such a ham. He loooooved all the attention. I think I'm in trouble.

The week before we had his cake smash photoshoot and it was adorable.  He is such a cutie.


I can't believe my little muffin is one. It had been quite a year. A life-changing, eye-opening, challenging, amazing whirlwind of a year. I love this little guy more than I know how to express. My life has changed so so much in one short year.

And Jack really is doing great. He's so active now and is starting to try to pull up on things (not quite there yet though). He's such a happy and loving little guy and is just a little ray of sunshine.

In medical related news, Jack has his first ear infection (poor guy) so the MRI that was re-re-re-scheduled for this week had to be postponed YET again until the end of May. This whole situation with the MRI is almost comical now.  Hopefully someday it will actually happen, haha, and all will go well there.  And we have about a billion dr appts lined up because almost all his specialists like to see him around a year to ensure everything's still looking good.  I don't anticipate any new issues with anything so I hope I'm right. It's just that pesky MRI I still have some anxiety about since it has been pushed off SO many times. I'm just hoping he hasn't had spinal compression this whole time and we haven't known it...  The MRI will also examine his brain to make sure everything's good there and he's not dealing with any major hydrocephalus (very common with Achon kids) or any other issues.  Overall though he seems healthy and happy so I'm feeling positive in regards to all his medical stuff.

In general I'm feeling pretty good/positive. I think the change to my birth control pills has really helped to even me out. Finding the right BCP plus the Lexapro seems to be doing the trick!  That is a big relief.  I've only been going to therapy every other week or so now, and my very last physical therapy session is next week! Hoorah!!  My back is SO MUCH BETTER now. It's incredible.  I still get tired and have some soreness but I no longer have pain. It's amazing.

Hubs, on the other hand, is scheduled for his second back surgery next week. I am REALLY hoping it helps to alleviate some of his pain. I honestly don't know how the poor guy gets through every day. He needs to get some relief. Recovery should be about 1-2 weeks in bed, then 1-2 weeks of taking it very easy, and then at least another month of picking up nothing heavier than a gallon of milk. Then he'll have 2 months of physical therapy.  I'm sure the surgery and recovery will go fine, it will just be a bit harder on me since I have Jack and now will need to care for Hubs.  Once he's better we're still planning to put the house on the market too (just in case life wasn't crazy enough already).  We're actually not sure where we're going yet though... We needed to sell this house to move closer to Boston so he doesn't have such an awful commute, but now things have potentially changed.  He got a big promotion. One that he has been working towards for years and years. I'm very very proud of him but at the same time it means we may be picking up and moving to San Francisco.  Yeah.  Sooooo, there's a lot going on. We're hoping to know for sure by the end of next week what our future will be. Or at least, where this future will take place.  Thanks to the last few years I am no stranger to being in limbo and not knowing which way my life will go so I feel like this is just one more potential shift in this crazy life of ours. We'll see!

Friday, March 18, 2016

On this day...

On this day 1 year ago: We found out Jack had dwarfism. I was 36 weeks pregnant.
On this day 2 years ago: We found out Petey had so many birth defects he likely would not make it. I was 19 weeks pregnant.

Two years in a row we were at MFM on this day, learning the fate of the child I was carrying. Crying, wondering how this could be our reality.

March 17 & 18 are loaded days for me. Last year was so surreal to be in the same place with the same doctors as the previous year. It was a huge relief to hear that there was a low chance of Jack's dwarfism being lethal but I'm not sure it eased much of the anxiety and the overall sense of doom and deja vu.  I've been dreading the days leading up to today and yesterday. I wonder how many years it will take for me to NOT have my past be my prevailing thought leading up to these days. I wonder if that will ever fully go away.

I feel ashamed when I think back to one year ago. When the OB told me the ultrasound revealed that he had dwarfism I was in shock. I was scared, I was confused, I felt cursed, I felt...disappointed. I didn't want it to be true. I didn't want to be carrying a little person. I barely even knew what dwarfism was. I just knew it wasn't "NORMAL".  And ALL I wanted was to be normal. After being "special" due to years of infertility, after being "special" due to IVF, after being "special" due to loss, and due to choosing TFMR...I was in too many categories outside the norm. I just wanted to be normal. I wanted one thing to go right. I wanted to put all of these hardships in my past and be able to say to the world, "yes I overcame challenges and it was hard but it didn't break me, and look at me now, I'm just like you - just a mom with a son".  But receiving his dwarfism diagnosis confirmed that I, and my family, would never be "normal". I could have hid my past from the world if I chose to but I can't hide this.  My son is a dwarf. A year later I still haven't sorted out all of my feelings related to that. I know that I'm afraid for what the future holds for him. I didn't want him to be different but he is. And will always be. We will need to figure out how that looks and what that means for him. But what I do know is that I love him. More than I ever even thought possible.  And I just want for him to be happy. There are so many unknowns when it comes to his (and our) future but I just want him to be happy in life.

Our lives changed forever on this day last year. And it changed forever on this day two years ago. But I'm glad to report that so far, today has been a rather ordinary day :-)

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Jack: 11 Months

Eleven!  (Less than) One month to go until my baby is a YEAR old!  How in the hell did that happen?!

He is doing awesome as usual. He was supposed to have his MRI (the one that has already been rescheduled twice) yesterday but we had to reschedule AGAIN because Jack's getting over a cold and he had a high fever. Apparently no anesthesia within two weeks of a fever. I'm beginning to get anxiety about the whole thing now.  It's been pushed off for so long that I feel like my brain is now becoming convinced that either it's a really bad idea so fate keeps intercepting, or that it's becoming dire for him to get it since it's been pushed off so long!  Ugh.  Post partum hormones are still making me a crazy person.

Speaking of; I'm still on Lexapro and it's helped.  Still not sure if I need to either up my dose or change meds but I saw my PCP last month and mentioned my crazy mood swings and depressive states and so on and so on, and we decided I should try a new birth control pill - one that has increasing levels of hormones each of the three weeks instead of the same amount of hormone throughout the month. I just finished the first pack and I do think it helped me stay a little more even this month!  Yay. I'm hoping that all I needed was a BCP change. We'll see how this next month goes.

In other med-related news, I stopped Metformin about 4 months ago.  When I started it about 3 years ago it was to help me ovulate (it didn't, if you recall).  Then I stayed on it because it helped me feel a little more even with my moods, THEN I stayed on it through pregnancy because there are studies showing that it can help women with PCOS produce more milk with breastfeeding (Yep, didn't do that either).  Finally, I was afraid to get off of it because I had been on it so long and didn't know if I'd developed insulin resistance during that time OR if I'd have even worse mood swings since I was already experiencing PPD/PPA.  However, one day I was just like, "why the F am I still on this?!" So with my PCP's approval, I stopped. And I've had no problems. We checked my A1C and it's been totally normal, I don't have insulin resistance, I don't have any added crazy mood swings, and, bonus: I finally poop like a normal human again!! Looks like I was on a med for the last three years that did absolutely nothing for me.  Humph.

Oh, and did I also mention that I'm now apparently allergic to Penicillin?  And now also having reactions to eating eggs. Awesome. Apparently this is a thing: After pregnancy, a woman can develop allergies to things to which she was not previously allergic. That's some bullshit right there.

Nothing else really going on.  I'm planning Jack's bday party. I cannot WAIT for his smash cake photosession :-D  And we're flying my parents in for about a week so they can be here for it too. They miss him SO MUCH. I don't blame them. He is pretty much awesome and irresistibly cute. We're also starting to prep the house to put it on the market and starting to look at houses closer to Boston so Hubs' commute can be shorter.  He's going to need another back surgery very soon so we'll probably do all the house stuff after he recovers. I think we're looking at late April/early May.

Anywho, that's what's going on over here! Here are a bunch of Jack pics because I can't resist:

Hi! (trying to make an escape)

Loves to feed himself!

My phone is his favorite thing

This is how he plays with toys since he can't sit on his own yet.


I don't think he could be cuter.

Had a playdate and he LOVED this car. We're getting it for him in blue for his bday (minus the wine).

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Jack: 10 Months

He is such a little lovebug. This is the first month that he wouldn't sit still for his picture which is a very good thing :-)  He's gaining more and more core strength and is now able to hold himself in the sitting position for a handful of seconds at a time.  This is a HUGE milestone.  He's always on the move and is generally just such a happy little guy.  Argh I love him.

I'm doing okay. Still in therapy, still in physical therapy. Currently reading a book called "Keys to Unlocking Depression", written by my therapist's apparent mentor. I like him though. I've also done some hypnosis sessions with him and I like his positive point of view. I'm trying not to hibernate as much as I want to this winter and have been making a point to get out of the house and see friends and have playdates with other moms so that I have a reason to put on pants and hopefully don't forget how to speak English. I'm looking forward to spring.

Hubs isn't great. We learned he's definitely going to need another back surgery. This time a spinal fusion. He's in immense pain and most days I need to help him put on socks and pants... it's become a major part of our lives. He is honestly one step away from disabled at this point and I am both amazed and grateful that he's still able to go into work every day.  He works in Boston though which means he's spending at least 3 hours driving every day which I'm sure is not helping the back situation. This spring we're still planning to put the house on the market and move closer to the city.  We're at the point where we'll do anything to alleviate some of this pain for him. We're even considering renting an apartment down there so that he doesn't have to drive EVERY day.  Sigh. It's no good right now.

Besides that, I'm starting to plan Jack's birthday party! I honestly cannot believe he'll be turning one before long. This has been the fastest almost-year and also the longest and the hardest and the most wonderful and the most challenging...  This year I have learned that what I pictured life to be like with a child is drastically different in real life.  I had a LOT of time to think about it and prepare and hope and pray and never did I think it would be like this. It's both amazing and the hardest job in the world. I'm thankful every minute of the day and I'm exhausted every minute of the day.  I don't doubt that it is likely very different for me than most other moms since I have a son with some special needs and a more-or-less disabled husband so things are much more challenging than I thought they would be but they are also wonderful.

We're very up in the air about what will happen regarding future family. We always wanted multiple children - Hubs always said 2 or 3, I always said 3 or 4 - but now, after what we've been through, what we're both going through physically (AND mentally), and with all of Jack's issues, we just don't know anymore.  We might be one and done. We might adopt. We might try again. I really don't know. Due to significant genetic conditions with my pregnancies with both Jack and Petey, Hubs and I will definitely need to have some genetic testing done to determine our risks with another pregnancy and if we choose to use our frosties, will need PGD.  I am so not ready to face all of that. Months ago I told myself I would start to focus on that after the first of the year. Then January came and went and I still wasn't ready.  Once into February I made myself call and make an appointment to see a genetic counselor. I told myself the hardest part was just making the call. It wasn't.  I made the call. I set up the appointment. I made arrangements for medical records from both pregnancies and from Jack's diagnostic testing to be sent. And every single day I had anxiety about it.  One day last week I had a full blown panic attack. I went in to talk to my therapist and realized that although I was telling myself to be ready, I'm just not.  I called and cancelled the appointment. It was supposed to be today. I'm so relieved it wasn't.  Maybe I'll revisit it in a month or two. Maybe not. I'll have to see how I feel. I just need SOMETHING besides family matters to be my project. I need to try to find myself again and what *I* like to do and what *I* want to do... The last 4 years have been devoted to TTC, to pregnancies, to grief, to navigating this new world as a mom and this unknown world of dwarfism.  I have to do something for ME again before I can be okay devoting myself to the TTC rollercoaster again.

Anywho, that's what's going on with me.  Baby's waking up so I have to go. I will leave you with some sweet pictures of my favorite guy :-)

My little bookworm
Crawling away

The kid loves to eat!


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Jack: 9 Months

I fall more in love with this kid every single day.  He is amazing. He's fun and happy and just loves life.

This is him with haircut #3 (already)!  I think he may start army crawling any day now. It's so fun to watch him grow and learn and experience new things.

And I am hangin' in there.

Jack had his ear tube surgery last week and did well. It took him a bit to wake up from the anesthesia and there was a lot of crying but thankfully, everything went smoothly :-)

Friday, January 1, 2016

It's a New Year

2016. I've been blogging for 3 years.  Things have changed a LOT in 3 years. I have changed a lot in 3 years.

Life is different now.  Jack will be 9 months old soon. That blows my mind.  Welcoming him into our lives has been amazing. It has changed everything.  He is my life now, there's no way around that. Before Jack I always kind of hated it when people said this but it's true: Until he came along I honestly did not know I could love someone this much. Or in this way. I truly live my life for him right now. Everything is for him; to give him new experiences, to teach him things (teach him EVERYthing), to make his life the best it can be.  I find myself viewing the world through his eyes now: the wonderment, the excitement. This is the best thing I have ever done.  We've had a tough few years but everything we've been through has led up to this. And I am so grateful. I am lucky to be his mom. I am so lucky to be able to witness every single change and growth. He is simply amazing and I honestly love him more and more every single day.

[I should have put a "warning: mushy" caution on that last paragraph.]

It's not without it's difficulties though. Hubs and I have come out of (what I hope is) the worst of the haze. The depression and anxiety... We're both on meds that seems to be working well enough for us and we're both still seeing therapists weekly. Soon we'll be joining one another at each others therapy sessions too. We both have a lot of shit to deal with and we also need to work on our marriage. I told my therapist that I was upset because our relationship felt like it was changing and she made a good point, saying: "Well, it's not just the two of you anymore. You've added another person into your relationship - why wouldn't it change?" She's right. It's really unrealistic of me to think that things would be the same between us when everything else in our lives has changed so much.

Which brings me to the next big topic which I honestly don't even know how broach so I'm just gonna say it: We put our dog down the week before Christmas.  I am heartbroken about it. Honestly I feel numb. He went after Jack. As in, tried to attack him :-( He has always had an aggressive temperament, even as a tiny pup, and has bitten people before.  He got much much worse after Jack came. We were living with gates and crates and separation through most of the house and had worked with multiple trainers and behavioral specialists over the years. And every single one of them (including his Vet) said it was in his DNA and wasn't trainable. We didn't want to believe them.  Then a few weeks ago he went after Jack.  I thank God that I was right there. I was on the floor between them and saw him start to bare his teeth in the way I've seen before, right before he's about to attack, and I pushed him out of the way to cover Jack with my body.  My dog attacked me instead. It was violent. It was scary. And it felt like it lasted a long time as I just allowed myself to be attacked as I laid over my son, protecting him. The doctor said if I hadn't been wearing so many layers for him to rip through (bra, t-shirt and sweatshirt) he could have very easily punctured a lung.  I have healed now but I will have scars.  In a way I am happy for the scars because despite what happened we loved that dog. And in a weird twisted way, it's something to remember him by. I miss him. I'm sad that it came to this. I'm sad he wasn't adoptable. I'm sad the aggression wasn't trainable. I'm sad we had to say goodbye.  But I also look at Jack and am so unbelievably grateful that he is safe and there's no option for an accident like that to happen again. It was like keeping a loaded gun in the house - there was no way to tell when he would go off. It was too dangerous.  I miss him though. And choosing to euthanize him brought back a whole flood of emotions and memories from when we had to choose to end our first baby's life. Sigh. It was all too similar. It's too much power. I hate the feeling.

Honestly it's hard for me to believe our pup is gone. It's been two weeks and I still feel like he's just not here right now and we're going to go pick him up later from the vet or groomer or wherever. It's surreal to see your beloved dog go from strong and healthy one moment to then have to remember that he's no longer living.  He was our first dog. A corgi.  We did a lot of research and got him specifically because corgis are known for being great family dogs, especially with small children.  Unfortunately, we got one who wasn't. We loved him though. He always had issues and we made accommodations so his life was as good as it could be despite his problems. But once Jack came it couldn't be all about him anymore. And I could no longer eliminate all the situations that made him anxious and nervous. How do you tell an 8 month old baby that you can't touch the dog, that you can't look directly into his eyes because it will make him so nervous he'll attack you? Sigh. I'm just sad.  That pup got me through a lot of hard times; through the years of infertility, through saying goodbye to Petey, through Jack's dwarfism diagnosis, through depression and loneliness...  He was always here. For 4.5 years. I worked from home for much of that time and he was my constant companion.  I miss him.  Things are lonelier around here. Now it's just me and Jack and I feel it.

Besides that things are okay.  I'm concerned about winter because I have always had Seasonal Affective Disorder and now I will be mostly stuck indoors with a baby for the next few months. I'm still battling my PPD and PPA so I'm worried with SAD added in I may have a rough winter.  Now that the holidays are over I'm thinking of looking into volunteering one or two days a week somewhere.  Quite honestly I feel sort of useless now that I'm a SAHM. I know I am raising my child and that is so significant and important to me, and I am so grateful we are able to swing it financially so I don't have to work too, but in the monotony of everyday life I get bored. And lonely. And depressed. I need to do something with myself and have a reason to put on real pants everyday and maybe even some makeup, ha.

It's a new year. It feels kind of like a new life for me now. And I don't know where this blog will go from here. It has been an important part of my past few years but I don't know if it has a place in my future or not.

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Happy New Year!