Sunday, July 25, 2010

A year ago today

This weekend last year was spent in bed praying that the red spotting would not lead to more. This Sunday last year we went to the ER. As I stepped into the dressing gown I lost my pregnancy on the cold tiled floor. This time last year I passed out from the pain medications. My husband thought I died since it took some time to revive me. This time last year my parents drove up to comfort me as I endured my second miscarriage in nearly as many months.

If I had not had that second pregnancy I would not have had this third. The second miscarriage gave me my first normal ovulation. Two weeks from today, one year ago, I ovulated the egg that became the child sleeping in the Moses basket next to my bed.

I ponder the what ifs on days like today: What if I had listened to my OB and waited a few cycles before trying again. What if I couldn't convince Jack to try that night when ovulation was certain. What if I didn't have lovoenox. Or extra folic acid. Or baby aspirin. What if. What if. What if. The what if's take my breath away. The idea that he could so easily, just by Jack saying no, just by one small twist of fate, this baby would not be here. This living breathing reality that I feel I've known all my life. That I feel was meant to be here from the beginning with such certainty I can't fully comprehend how it almost could possibly not have been. But these are the good kind of what ifs. Not the kind of what ifs that haunted my life this time last year.

I look at my life just one year ago. I read my old blogs at what was and how I felt. I can't believe how much life can change in the course of one year. One year ago I was leaving an ER empty, and now life is more beautiful than words can give justice to.

Thank you to all the powers that be. I hope I will always remember how fortunate I am.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My New Look

I've always liked my anonymity here. I have another blog which is less anonymous where I wear my race and faith on my sleeve. I'm used to the 'burden of the minority' which is when you are part of a minority your actions can often be taken to represent the beliefs and views of all of your particular minority. I handle this well for the most part. I strive to break the negative stereotypes but when I began a blog about IF and loss I wanted to not have to go into that part of myself. I wanted a place where no one would see my name or the color of my skin and begin to make assumptions. I could write about family politics, or anger or sadness without worrying that anyone would accidentally make a sweeping generalization of my faith or race as a whole. I liked that. I kind of didn't mind keeping it that way. And then came Faisal Shahzad. The seemingly nice and normal assimilated Muslim-American who decided to try and plant a bomb in Times Square. Stupid. Idiotic. Deplorable. And then I read Zeitoun. The heroic man who stayed behind in Katrina to help and was thrown into a Gitmo like prison system without any regard for his rights. And I decided that though I'm not comfortable going completely unanonymous- maybe its good to share a little of who I am beyond the IF and the loss. Maybe its good that you see my faith and my race. So you know that there are Pakistani-Americans, Muslims, who struggled like you. Who are good. Who are hard working contributing members of society. I'm just one of billions. And I'm more interested in the color of my baby's poo or the buzz on the movie Inception. I'm the norm. But people like me don't make headlines. We don't make news stories. So in my little corner of this huge internet sea- I'm going to tell you who I am. And hope that it doesn't matter to you at all.

What she said she said

Just read this post from CeCe about how sometimes loss makes you fully cherish what you have. I don't presume to compare my miscarriages to the loss of a child you've held properly in your arms but I began to wonder, do my losses change the way I mother? I think the answer is unequivocally yes. There is hardly a day that passes where Speck or Bug don't cross my mind. Not formally. I don't sit and stare at the ultrasound pictures. Or journal about them. Or cry. But I think of them when I see the child of a friend whose son would have been the same age as Bug. Or I look at the calendar to figure out when we'll start solids and realize Speck would be chomping down rice cereal by now. That they would have names by now, real ones, not cute pet names. It's there. It's subtle but its there. It is always there. And as time passes I think this is not an entirely bad thing.

I know without what I lost I would not know how much I gain in sleepless nights, mysterious crying spells, spit ups, poopy diapers, and frustrating percentile growth charts. I know that because I had to face the reality that I might never be a mother I kiss him more and hold him longer and never forget the blessing that is him. While I wont say the dreaded it happened for a reason, it did happen and I am a different, and arguably better parent because of it.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Losing the baby weight

The first six weeks post-bebe I allowed myself to eat whatever I wanted. I ate pizza, icecream, cupcakes and cookies. It was beautiful. More beautiful was the fact that I was eating like I was prepping for a sumo wrestling competition and yet was gaining nary a pound. Nada. Zip. Imagine when I actually start eating right and working out? I thought. I'll be a skinny minnie in no time!


Once the six weeks was up and I got the go ahead to exercise I began working out one hour daily on my Wii Fit. I started cutting out all sweets and stopped eating after dinner. I figured the weight would drop like its hot but that didn't happen. Just like before, my weight did not go up, nor did it go down. For ten days I did this and I got increasingly fed up until I just went and ate a bunch of fries. The next day I dropped a pound.

I haven't had to think about weight loss for years while I struggled to get and stay pregnant. Now its time again and the old frustrations rear their ugly heads. I thought nursing would help the pounds fall but I've since learned this is untrue. I read scientific journals stating that there is no conclusive evidence that breastfeeding causes weight loss. My OB said for some it does, and for some BFing can actually make you hang on to weight as your body ensures you have enough fat to continue breastfeed. Body- I HAVE ENOUGH FAT you need not worry!

I have PCOS. Before I got on Metformin I could never lose weight. On Met by following a reasonable diet and exercersing my weight began regulating. But my doc wont prescribe it while I nurse.

I started weight watchers last Wednesday. In the past it was the only thing that worked for me. This week I lost 2 pounds, but I'm not going to be convinced until I see continual droppage since I fluctuate with those two pounds anyways. My hope is that weight watchers will help me realize if I'm eating more than I think I am, and if I am doing everything and sticking to the WW guidelines and still not losing weight at least I'll have some proof to show my OB and perhaps convince her to give me my Met again.

I am refusing to buy new clothes for this new looking me. I need to get back to where I was. And how sad since where I was is not where I ultimately want to be. In the meantime I wear stretchy skirts galore and hope that sooner or later this weight will come off!

Monday, July 12, 2010

How To Travel With A Newborn

Susan asked me to share how it was to travel with a baby so I felt it only right to oblige with some words of wisdom on the art of airflight with a newborn:

1) Bring copious amounts of pacifiers. Seriously, stock up. Never know where they'll spit it out and you'd hate to be without it when they most need it.
2) Nursing covers at least two
3) Or bottles, maybe twelve, for take off and landing
4) Board books incase child needs distraction of the visual sort
5) And rattles if that fails to interest
6) Parenting books dog eared to "traveling with newborns"

Watch as people request seats not next to you. Feel hurt that they find you so unlikeable. Realize its because you are with a baby who holds within him the potential to reach untold decibels in a closed space. Settle down nervously waiting to discover said baby's lung capacity and then proceed to watch as he sleeps the entire duration of the flight take off to touch down and all the way home.

He makes it look so easy but I'm convinced that when ultra-prepared for worst-case scenarios Murphy's Law works in reverse.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Damned Percentiles

Ofcourse you didn't hear me complaining about percentiles before. That is because at his last doctor visit his percentiles were great. 75th for height. 50th for weight and 25th for head. Well, the head worried me a bit but the doctor said we did not have particularly gigantic heads ourselves so no biggie. Yesterday we had our two month checkup and:

Height: 23 1/4 up from 22 1/2 but fell from 75th to 50th percentile
Weight: 10 lb 10oz up from 9lb 10oz but fell from 50th to 25th percentile.

I tried suppressing it but anxiety did creep up. Am I not making enough milk? Is he starving? Is this the reason? I asked the doc and he said that they'll check him again in a month and see if he continues to decline in percentiles they'll talk but they're not too worried. Well, I am. They also asked how much he eats. About 9 times a day on average. They said this is too frequent for this stage and he should be down to 6-8 times. Again I wonder: Is my milk quantity weak?

I'm not freaking out but I am worried. I know breastfed babies tend to show up lower on percentiles for weight but he's on the low end on even breastfed baby charts. When I pump I get out between 3oz in the afternoon and 5-6oz in the mornings. . . I don't pump that much but I'm hoping that means I've got stuff in there.

Heading to Florida (with a baby. on a plane. and the flight is booked. and I was told I picked a seat that is not baby compatible. UGH). So will try to push the worries out of my head.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Happy Two Month Birthday

Dear W,

You are two months old. The differences between you today and just four weeks earlier astound me. Its been a busy month. You met aunts, cousins, and grandparents and future friends. Your favorite way to interact is to lie flat on a playmat and kick your hands and wiggle your legs while chatting up a storm with us. You also discovered your hands this month though you do not seem yet aware that they are yours.

This is the month of your smile. It blows me away every single time because it is so pure and innocent and without guile. Your smile immobilizes me. It erases the sleep from my eyes. It is daffodils and marigolds. Your smile makes the world brighter.

You rolled over this month! You stared at us with a triumphant grin each time. We took tons of video and then suddenly just a few days ago you stopped. You lift your head up now and start grunting as you seem to want to crawl forward. On to bigger and better already baby?

You also made your first friend, the dining room chandelier. When we lay you down on your changing area [formerly known as the dining room table] you stare at Chandy and hold lengthy conversations. What they are about we can only imagine, peace in the middle east? the world cup? I think we could leave you there all day and you would be perfectly content.

I hold you, kiss you and cuddle you as much as my heart desires. Some say it creates a habit where the child always wants to be held. Always? Will you want me to hold you and kiss your fingers and toes ten years from now? Even a year from now? Doubtful. So I let myself take in your sweet baby smell and cuddle that sweet soft baby skin. This newborn time is a precious time, it will be gone within a blink of an eye.

Your legs used to stay curled in fetal position despite the open space around you. I joked that you thought yourself still inside me. But just today I see your legs no longer curl, they stretch into space you now realize you have. I was surprised by my reaction to this development: tears. Children grow up and we wonder where the time went, or how they grew up so fast, I look at your legs that now straighten instead of fold and I realize it happens subtle moment by subtle moment. You will always be a part of me but bit by bit the distance between us begins to stretch.

Grow up baby, but don't grow up too fast.

Your Mama

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Because THIS is why women go to sperm banks

Watching a rerun of Law and Order SVU "Design" while I breastfeed Sunflower and there is a scene with a well dressed woman in a sperm bank as her daughter bangs on the piano in front of the owner. She's furious. Why? You see, she paid 20k for the sperm of a musician to ensure her daughter would be the next Mozart. I want my money back! she screams. She can't even play chopsticks all she does is bang on the damn keys! The owner says you did get sperm from a super musician! She responds then why did I get stuck with her? All while the child is sits there.

OK I get that Law and Order is not a prototype of reality. If so all crimes would be solved within a week like jigsaw puzzles and law professors would not bemoan the show for the incorrect way they handle the law giving laypeople horribly misguided expectations. But is this really what sends a woman to a sperm bank? It's like those horrid articles discussing donor egg and sperm in this very vein, like people prefer this method to create their family as opposed to their own DNA or having a partner for the sole purpose of raising super-geniuses. Granted, maybe there is someone out there who did this like the fictional Jan on The Office did, getting pregnant with donor sperm while dating Michael Scott because she didn't want his DNA in her baby. . . [and I let it go on shows like the Office since they are supposed to be humorous and not necessarily grounded in reality] but such people would be a very small minority.

As a minority I'm used to the media taking the actions of one and speculating the motives of all. Maybe if I wasn't part of the IF and loss community I'd not notice the generalizations that are created by episodes such as this, but I see it, and I guess when you're in the minority you are always at risk for the actions of few and media sensationalizing setting the judgmental tone towards many.