Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My Heart Is Weary...

I haven't written much because there are too many conflicting thoughts in my head.

I believe fully that God puts desires on our heart.
I also pray daily that my wants/desires/will is that of God's.

So logically, I hope that the desire for another child to raise and love is from God and therefore God will be faithful, but logic doesn't get me too many places.

I also don't like the fact that people feel like I am being greedy by doing another cycle.  Greedy for more when I already have so much with Luke.  I wrestle with those emotions regularly.  I don't need them rubbed in my face.

In the interest of not saying anything because I can't say much nice at all, I just remain quiet.

But, my heart is weary.  This world is so miserable sometimes.

My uncle died a few hours ago.  He'd been sick.  Cancer.  Complications.  Withered away.  Didn't even get to see him before he died.  I hate cancer.  I hate death.  I hate irony.  This came in an email less than an hour after he died:

Hi Lori,
By now, you may have heard from a smiling, happy someone who received your recent gift(s) (order #98977341) to Gerald "Butch" Mullins arrived. It was delivered on Wednesday, 08/29
Recipient(s) Information:
No, no...I didn't hear from a smiling, happy someone.  He was already dead.

My sister is very, very sick.  Her lupus should have killed her 10 years ago, according to her doctors.  She just started what her doctors are considering her last-ditch effort to continue living.

She's 36.

I'm 6 weeks away from what should have been a very joyous day.  Another baby boy in our lives.  Pictures of Luke and a sweet baby brother that I would cherish forever.  Instead, I'm in the middle of another cycle.  And being judged for it, to boot.  So over judging.

Today, this came in the mail.

I have always been a big supporter of St. Jude's, and one of the reasons I fell in love with my sorority in college was because our philanthropy was Childhood Cancer.  But seeing this, today, made my eyes sting with tears and my throat choke up.

I loved that little girl we never got to adopt.  I loved her before I knew her.  Knew who she was.  What she looked like.  I lovingly lingered over just the perfect name for her. (Funny, this post was written 4 years ago, and yet...nearly the same things going on in the political arena...)

I mothered her the best I could...and mourn that to some, it was just a failed adoption.  To me...loss of an entire lifetime I was planning.

And here's this little Emma Grace, fighting cancer.

Have I mentioned I hate cancer?

I hate that people in this world (including me, I'm not judging) take SO MUCH FOR GRANTED while others literally wither away to the point of death simply because they had no food or water.

I hate that my biggest worry sometimes is what on EARTH I am going to try to feed that picky eater of mine and yet, and my heart aches to think of other mothers like me who would give anything just to have crumbs for their babies to eat.

I hate that babies are fighting for their lives every single minute...innocent little souls who have been long prayed for and loved...and I hate knowing all too well that any minute, the little white coffin may be needed.

I am beyond grateful for the things I have and the life I live.  I know very well how blessed I am.

But my heart is weary because that knowledge also has the flip side--Knowing how hard life is for so, so many others.  The weight of the suffering in this world, even though not all mine, just seems crushing.

This is not where I belong.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Cry Of My Heart....

This morning's church service was very powerful.  We talked about James 4, and specifically how we need to give God control and want the wants HE wants for us, not the wants WE want for ourselves.


So, how to know?

Obviously, He doesn't want me chasing another relationship, or making bad career choices based only on poor motivations, or a myriad of other, seemingly 'no-brainers' like our pastor talked about this morning.

Of course God doesn't want that for us, and if we pursue those things, we are bound to miss out on His best for us.

But what about the not-so-easy things?

What about children?  Gifts from the Lord, right?  Where does begging Him for children fall? He puts desire on our hearts, right?  What about having children?

For some people, it's super easy.  Blink, look at the opposite gender, and ta-da!  Pregnant.

For others, longer roads.

For me?  What seems like eternity. And so many opinions on what to do!

"Do this!"
"Do that!"
"Don't do this!"
"Don't do that!"
"Just adopt!"
"Just do IVF!"
"Don't adopt!"
"Don't do IVF!"

"Wait on God."
"In His time."
"According to His will."

How long does one wait?  How long does one pray?  To what lengths does one go?

One would tell me that IVF is circumventing God and I'll suffer the consequences. (Yes, that explanation of why Matthew died was given to me.  Not very well-received, let me tell you.)

Another would tell me that I should have done IVF sooner.

Another would say that I just need to wait for God to make it happen.

Another would tell me that God wants us to take responsibility and use people and technology He's given.

We started trying to bring a child in our family over 12 years ago.  We didn't do IVF until three years ago.  I waited.  And waited.  And waited some more.

How long should I have waited?  What kept me going?  What kept driving me after that long?  There's no doubt IVF was the best choice for our family, and so many kept pushing us to 'never give up.'

So now, in light of losing Trey in April and the FET not working last month and this cycle being canceled, I'm getting the impression that a lot of people feel I should "cut my losses," and just be grateful for what I have.  Stop pushing.  Stop trying to force it.  Take all this as God's way of saying we are done and that's that.

What if I'd believed that after our several failed IUIs?  Or when the country from which we were adopting closed?  We'd never have attempted IVF.

Someone very close to me told me, "You say Luke is enough, but going through all of this, you don't act like it."

That stung.

But, it was someone who loves me, so I took it as a valid talking point and thought about it.

Is he enough?  If he was, why would we keep doing this?  Why am I continuing all this??  Why put all this time and money and physical and emotional toll in our lives when I am so, so, so, so completely in love with and content with that precious little boy?

People think these are such easy, black and white situations.

They are so.not.

Then, this morning, listening to how we need to submit to God and then singing, "My heart and my soul, I give You control," again, I questioned.

Of course, I know I am not in control.  In fact, I think people who have dead children know more than ANY body that we are SO not in control!

But, what if every failed attempt just stopped me altogether before I got to IVF?  No Matthew.  No Luke.  No Trey.  No one.

So I don't understand why people feel like I'm taking control away from God now and pushing something I shouldn't be pushing just because I want to do one more cycle with no regret.

(Seriously, I will never again, in public, say "Never" or "Last" again.  After this sentence, ha ha!)

Actually, I do understand.  I don't agree, but I understand.

And while Luke is absolutely what our worlds revolve around, it is because he is so amazing and we know it that I push.  When we lost Matthew, we only imagined what we lost.

Luke shows us in very clear, tangible ways how amazing it is to parent, but his every smile is a reminder of so much we've lost.

So again, I say, sue us for wanting more joy like Luke.  Sue us for loving him so much that we want more of the amazing that is being parents to living children.

Sue me for feeling like this was NOT the cycle to end on...that there may be something waiting for, two more maybe?

Things aren't as easy as they seem.  Decisions are not as clear-cut as some might think.

And the people who feel I should just call it quits now are the same ones who constantly told me, "Be positive.  Keep thinking positive.  Just keep trying.  Don't give up..."  before AND after Matthew died.  After Luke was born and when we were thinking about doing one more shared risk cycle....

Now is not the time to change that tune.  I'm already having enough of a hard time.

I wonder how many people realize that every day I take a shower, I look at my stomach and think about where I should be?  What 32 weeks with Matthew looked like on me?  How different it was than 32 weeks with Luke?  What it would be like now?

That Luke still lifts my shirt and says, "Baby?  Baby?"

That I trace the outline of Matthew's eyes and nose on his pictures every time I go up and down the stairs?

That when he falls asleep in my arms, and he's really out, his mouth opens up just a bit and still, at nearly 20 months, Luke looks exactly like Matthew did in the pictures the nurses took after he died?

But still, I smile.
I laugh.
I'm happy.
I adore my little boy.

I grin and bear more than I sometimes feel is my fair share.

So, I truly, truly mean it when I say that the cry of my heart is to give God glory and praise...whether it's with more children we get to raise in our lives or not...that's my prayer.

I'm just waiting to find out which way it will be.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

It's Ok.


I am very, very, very thankful for so many messages and nice comments today.  Truly, we are blessed.

We canceled this morning.  I went in and saw Dr. Greenhouse (I love him!) and it was just not great.  Still.

In fact, with all the heavy-duty medicine I've been taking, things were just about the same.  Those same three, measly follicles were the leaders and there was nothing else.

Oh, some fluid in my lining, meaning probably some lower estrogen levels still.

As I cried, and another Fair Oaks favorite friend Lori gave me tissues and rubbed my back, Dr. Greenhouse said just what I was thinking...

"If you were looking for a cycle to say we did the best we could and accepted the outcome with no regret, I don't think this is it for you."


Crying still, Dr. K called me.  I love that man too.  He was honest and open and sweet.  He told me he felt badly that what happened was what I was worried was going to happen, and he said he was sorry he was wrong and I was right.

Can I just say how.freaking.refreshing it is that a doctor is willing to validate me like that?????????

And because he was so honest and kind with me, I reminded him that this was very similar to Luke's cycle and "in hindsight," I'd not change a single thing!!!  He was SO right about that cycle and there was just really no way to know about this cycle.

Except my gut told me so.

Good old gut.  Well, my gut and that ultrasonographer last week, ha ha.

So here I am.  With God laughing at me and saying, "Never say never...or last."

I can't, can't, can't spend the rest of my life wondering if we'd just done what we did with Trey's cycle, would we get to have living siblings for Luke?

Dr. K agreed.  He said if I was willing to do another cycle (with this program, we actually have five more cycles...this was cancelled, so it doesn't really count), we'd do exactly what we did last cycle and I'd be able to accept that outcome as the best we could do...and have no regret.

I already have too much regret in my life. I can't choose to have more.

Which means, another cycle it is.  I start provera tonight, and hope to start birth control within the next two weeks for two or so weeks. Then, 7 days of lupron, just like last time, and then the heavy duty fsh drugs and monitoring for 11-12 days.  Which, if you add all that up, means another transfer would probably be around October 6th or so.

Does that date sound familiar?

As in, around the time I'd be giving birth to my third son?

Yeah, the irony is not lost on me.

But I am ok.  Really.  I feel more at peace today than I have in almost two weeks and I am so glad we didn't drag this all out to wasted retrieval.  We considered converting to IUI, but honestly, with John's military schedules, we just don't have the luxury of time.

So, starting asap.  And I'm ok.  I feel validated.  I feel like I am not completely inept at reading my body.  I feel like I want to scream at that other doctor, "I TOLD YOU SO!" and that would make me feel better. (It wouldn't. I am really, really, really trying to watch my tongue so that would just leave me with regret.)

Mostly, I feel like doing exactly what we are doing as we did with my best cycle ever is what I wanted to do in the first place, and now that we are, I truly can say this is the last one and we will accept the outcome.

With no regret.

Thanks for all the love today.  I felt it.  I was able to remember how unfortunate so, so many people in this world are and how very, very, very fortunate this girl is.

How fluffy my pillow is at night.  How easy it is for me to go get a glass of water.  How my child will never have to go hungry because we are so blessed.

I'm grateful, and in the big picture of so much awful in this world, this is not a big deal.

It's not.

And I'm ok.

Really, I am better than ok.  Seriously, how could I not be when this boy calls me "Mama!"?

Monday, August 13, 2012

It Just Keeps Dragging....

It's times like this that I realize though I am blessed to have lots and lots of people who love and care for me and my family, and who want to be involved in our lives and know what to pray for regarding our needs....sometimes, I just want to ship us out to a small, deserted island and drop out of society.

I just want to hermit up.  I just don't have anything fabulous to say and don't feel like it anyway.

The last few visits have not been super.  Today was not much better, and frankly, I was not loving the doctor.  I want to be as respectful as I can, and won't say more than that, but honestly, a bad appointment was way worse because of her.

The follicles I have are still small.  Not doing much, even with the super-juiced meds.  My nurse is back from vacation, thank God, and told me that I was just sort of following Matthew's and Luke's cycle and we were still doing would depend on my estrogen level.  She was hoping for 300-400.

So, when she called the first thing she said was, "Don't read into this."

Great start, huh?

My estrogen was 294.  I don't remember what it was on this day with Trey's cycle, but it was crazy high.  Worrisome to them high.

Matthew's on this day was 321 and Luke's on this day was 400.

Now, aside from the fact that both of those cycles produced beautiful, beautiful little boys who went full-term and felt like Heaven in their daddy's arms (so he tells me), those were CRAPPY cycles!

I know, that's almost ridiculous to say.  But true.  In fact, with Luke's cycle, we were talking about canceling because it stunk and I was responding JUST.LIKE.THIS.

So, on one hand, I think..."Those were perfect, even though they stunk."

On the other, I think, "I was younger.  Those eggs were younger.  This cycle COULD have been like last cycle and instead and comparatively, it STINKS!"

And obviously, I'm just bleh.  I hate the dragging.  I hate the regret.  Wishing we'd not have as much lupron.  Wishing we just scrapped it the other day.  Just bleh.

I hate it.

I am still on the mega-drugs, and have to have lots more.  Of course.  Odds are this will go on to day 13, rather than the anticipated day 11.  Matthew's cycle was a Day 11 Trigger, Luke's was Day 13 and Trey's was Day 12.  Dragging.



I don't mind dragging.  I just hate a crappy end to the dragging.
I saw something on FB this week and SO.FELT.IT:

Can't lie.  Ready for the long groove to be over.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

It Was Not Great.

Not much else to say, and honestly, too discouraged to really write too much anyway.

I had 3 follicles on one side, 4 on the other.  They averaged 8-10 mm, mostly on the 8 mm side and who knows if they'll keep going?


My estrogen was 101.

It should have been that 4 days ago.

They upped my medicine to as high as it can go for both the Bravelle and the Menopur.  Want to keep watching and seeing...they feel somewhat optimistic that 4 more follicles popped up and are hoping that  this could happen still, but I know...

The big(gest) guns are out.

They won't consider canceling until Monday to see how tomorrow and Monday morning are.

I just keep thinking back to this post...and praying that though this is even more drastic than I thought that was, Day 8 will strike again.

But really, it's not great.  Today was not great.  I cannot, cannot, cannot believe my estrogen.  That Lupron sure did do a great job of suppression.

Stupid Lupron.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I Hate This.

I feel terrible saying that.

I know there are a ton of people who would give their eye-teeth just to have the opportunity to do as many IUI and IVF cycles as we have done.

I know we are very, very blessed in the opportunities we've had.



I hate it.  I very much dislike the word 'hate'.  Luke adores Mama Llama books, and one of them has a line, "Llama Llama HATES that book," and we read it, "Llama Llama doesn't like that book," because I don't like the word "hate".

So I don't use it lightly when I say I hate this whole process.

I was aggravated enough this morning at my appointment because I was scheduled for 8 and got there at 7:45.  Someone else was already signed in...had gotten there a few minutes before I was for an 8:30 appointment.

She was called back first.

WHY MAKE AN APPOINTMENT?  This happens all.the.time.  Drives me nuts.

Anyway, my regular sonographer here in NC wasn't there, but the fill-in was awesome.  She works in the MFM office that I would be going to if pregnant here and she herself is an IUI/IVF patient.  She does it for a living and lives it for a life.

When she started to scan, I knew it wasn't great off the bat.  She was quiet, where she'd been sooooooooo chatty up until the wand went in.  Then she said, "Girl, you've only got one follicle here."


I had five antral follicles on that ovary the other day.  Only one was responding to pretty heavy medication.

She then said, "Let's hope there are 20 on the other side."

Yeah, right.  Two.

There were seven on Monday.

Two were responding.

She said, "I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but girlfriend, if it was me, I'd quit wasting the drugs, have sex, cross your fingers and go for another cycle next month if that didn't work."


I have been really very much anticipating this cycle—mainly because either I get pregnant and HOPEFULLY bring a sibling home, or I don't, but feel like we have done all we really should have done to do so and we just have to accept that we only get to raise Luke.

Which would bring its own grief in acceptance, but still...taking me out of this limbo of "Will we or won't we have more?"

I did NOT anticipate sort of having that decision made for me...crappy cycle not giving me even the vote.

I could not see pumping my body with drugs that basically killed my mother (her breast cancer was estrogen-induced), not to mention throwing several thousand dollars away for 3 crappy little follicles...especially with my horrible egg quality issue.

And I was ready to scrap it.  Scrap it, save the meds we have left for next month and pray for less suppression at the beginning. (I was suppressed with lupron a few more days this cycle to hopefully prevent my estrogen from being CRAZY high like it normally is and not putting us in the situation where we may have to cancel because it was too high.)

Well, well, worries there.  My estrogen on Monday was 51.  Today?  46.4.  Yeah, that's not great.

My lining was still showing some fluid.

My gut was screaming, "STOP!!!! STOP!!!! STOP!!!  STOP!!! STOP!!!!!"

But John said we needed to wait until we talked to Dr. K.

Of course, when he called, I bawled and bawled.  He had not yet seen my reports yet, and was basically going on what I told him.  He, true to his nature, said, "LORI....I have told you a million times 90% of what we worry about doesn't happen...."

And then, as he does every time he tells me that, he said, "I'm sorry...I know you fall in that 10% often. You've had a lot of experiences that have negatively impacted your thinking and I understand that.  But, without being disrespectful to the ultrasonographer, she is not an endocrinologist.  You pay me to worry about how to make your ovaries respond and whether or not you should cancel a cycle and it is far, far, far too early.  I am as optimistic as I was a few days ago that I'm going to be able to give you a pregnancy this cycle."

I cried some more and said, "But only three follicles?????????  Three measly little follicles??????"

He then reviewed my cycles...Matthew's started with low estrogen and I had 12.  Luke's started with low estrogen and I had 13.  Trey's started with low estrogen and I had 17.  All three were pregnancies.  Two of which were lovely full-term pregnancies.  This, apparently, is just how I roll.  He said, "Do you honestly think that based on your track record, you'll only have three this time?????"

Yes.  I honestly do.

This is different.  Very different.  At this point in Trey's cycle, I had estrogen of 182 and 18 follicles.  EIGHTEEN.  I don't know about Matthew's or Luke's, but I know that I wasn't stressed about how many I had.  I didn't stress about those cycles until later, ha ha.

I reviewed blog posts from the last cycle and apparently, I was freaking out on day 6 and Jackie reminded me I was a Day 8 kind of girl...that's when things came on and came on strong—that's what happened in both Matthew's and Luke's cycles, and darned if she wasn't right and that very thing happened in Trey's cycle too.

Regardless....I hate this.  I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate this.  Since Matthew died, I have tried to live making decisions I would not regret.  Living in a way that should the worst happen, I'd be able to look back and say I'd not make a single different decision.

I was praying that this cycle would leave me with no regrets—not regretting giving one more shot after we lost Trey...feeling like I could truly accept this cycle not being successful would be the end of our reproductive efforts because I felt like I'd really given it my all these past 13 years.

Now, I am in a sea of regret.  Regret I had too much lupron.  Regret that we are going to go ahead and what if it stinks and we should have stopped and started over?  Regret that we DO get to retrieval with a few more than 3, but not as many as we could have if we'd started over anyway.


I hate it.  I hate it. I hate it.

I just hate it.

And I hate that I am feeling so hateful right now.

I'm heading to Virginia tomorrow.  Luke keeps saying, "Grandma?  Grandma?  Grandma?" so I think he's going to enjoy it, and regardless of the cycle, it will be nice to visit.  He is at a crazy fun stage and I  know our family will love it.

I'll also know more Saturday.  That's when Dr. K said he'll consider where we go from here.

So until then...I just have to give these ovaries a pep talk.

Super fun.

And by the way, for anyone who has ever wondered why infertile women don't "just do IVF,"...THIS is why.  It's not like you just walk in not pregnant and walk out pregnant.

IVF is NEVER a guarantee.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Weekend Winner!

Knowing how scientifically minded I am (not!), it should not surprise anyone that the method to choose the photography workshop winner I used was...well, rudimentary.  And, pretty dependent upon a cooperative little boy.

Which is hit or miss these days!

So, I labeled lollipops with the names of people interested in the workshop, stuck them in a very secure (ahem) bag, and allowed him to pick a lollipop.  He could not WAIT to get in the bag.  So much so, that when he pulled the pop out (minus the label, so I had to go in the bag and see whose label had fallen off and who had won), he was NOT thrilled with me taking time from opening the pop to get the label.

He threw a fit.

And continued to as I tried to take pictures of him with the lollipop.

"Be-bop!  Be-bop!  Beeeeeeeeeeee———booooooooooooop!!!!"

So, Julie, do not take it personally that he was throwing your name paper away as he was desperately trying to get me to open the lollipop!  He is excited you won, and so am I!

Sunday will be a blast!!!

I think that all the people who entered and I need to get together and see if we can get Krissy's next one too...I would love to meet/see you ALL and that would be so much fun!!!

Hmmmm...perhaps an idea!

Congrats, Julie!  See you Sunday!
"Lemme at those 'Be-bops!'"
"I want THIS one!"

"I don't care who won!!!  Just open the Be-pop!"

"I don't want this paper!  I want the Be-pop!"

"There, Mommy...there's a picture.  Sort of."

A MILLION times happier now that he has the Be-bop!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Nineteen Months of Amazing...

My boy turned 19 months yesterday.

Nineteen months.

I just don't know how it's gone by so quickly.  Seriously, I feel like he was just six months and we just moved to North Carolina.

He's closer to two than one (sigh) and we've been here over a year.

He is something else, I'll tell you.  He is really sweet...just starting to get into wanting to give us unsolicited kisses and allowing us to snuggle without insisting on "Doooooowwww—uhn" repeatedly. In fact, he is really, really free with his kisses and I love it.  When he blows kisses, he always ends it with, "Muah!" like Mommy does and it's hilarious!  Every morning, we walk downstairs and we say, "Good Morning, Matthew," )"M-ing Ma-Mew," and he blows a kiss.

Every night, after his bath, we wrap him in his towel and give him snuggles.  We call this "Snuggle Baby," and it's very special to us! He loves it and just lets us hold him all snugly wrapped in his towel as we read to him or just hug and love on him.  Today, at the pool, after we got out, he was cold.  I gave him a towel and he somewhat tried to wrap it around himself and said, "Baby, Baby?"
He was cold and wanted us to do Snuggle Baby with him.

True love.

Additionally, he's very salty!  (Which I love.  Honestly, I love his spunk.  He's got enough of it to remind me he is a little boy who is trying to make his way in this world, wanting what he wants just like the rest of us, while at the same time, is pretty easily distracted and fairly compliant most of the time.)  He is into screeching these days, which is so funny because it's so a picture of how some things are just innate in us.  He surely does not hear screeching from me or John.  When he screeches, we call him our "Howler Monkey."

We also call him T-Rex, because if he doesn't screech when he is unhappy, he'll sort of rear himself back and kind of small-roar like a baby T-Rex.  Either way, when he does it, it's usually pretty easy to direct him to something else and as somewhat irritating as the screeching for no good reason is, I know it could be SO much worse—his 'fits' are so benign compared to so many I've seen, so I don't complain!

He's not fond of sharing some things, and then other times, he is fine with it.  John wants me to get him into 'school' or Mother's Day Out for some socialization, and I guess I will, but honestly, I just want him with me.  All the time.  I *do* like having an hour or two here or there where I can just have a cup of coffee and read the paper, but I truly just love having him with me and near me all the time.  I don't want to miss a thing.

He talks a lot.

A lot.

He talks or sings himself to sleep.  He talks to himself and sings to himself when he wakes up.  He talks to himself in the car.  He talks to himself in the bathtub.  He talks to Dixie.  He talks to me.  He talks to the television.

He talks.  I love it.  We prayed that he'd have John's math/science skills and my language abilities.  So far, we might be on track with that!  All I have to say is he'd be up a creek if reversed!  He parrots the end of every single thing we say...whatever the last word is, he attempts it.  His new favorites are every night after I sing to him, I ask if he's ready to go Night-Night.  "Night Night?"

"Yes, honey."


"Oh, you are my sweet, sweet boy."


"Yes, Mama's Baby."


It's so sweet...he's curled into me and our faces are super close...I snuggle him and he snuggles me and I kiss his eyes and cheeks and he plays with my teeth and lips and giggles.

I know that bedtime won't always be this precious, and I cherish every second of it.

Still not eating much.  Stinker.  Tonight, I gave him a small bowl of mixed vegetables.  He put a spoon with two kernels of corn and a pea in his mouth.  I nearly had a heart attack.  He didn't spit them out, but promptly gave the bowl to me.  "Thank ye."

That's what he does...when he gives us anything, he hands it to us and says, "Thank ye."  As in, "Thank you," but he says "Ye."  He actually is saying "Please" and "Thank You" more and more without prompting, so I am pleased.

I want that boy to have manners!

Anyway, he pretty much eats just about anything in a pouch—thank God for Plum Organics pouches!  He calls them all "Ah-uhl-auce" (applesauce) and he'll eat them all day long and twice on Sundays.

But real food?  Hit or miss.

He's also on a water strike lately.  Not sure why; he usually drinks milk or water only during the day, and I've had to revert to some juice just so he's not dehydrated.  I'm not anti-juice by any means, but he has such a sweet tooth, I'm trying to limit it as much as I can when I can.  I hope it's just a phase because I've tried to be good about not worrying about him eating too much as long as he's always been well hydrated.  I don't want that to be an issue!

He has a bit of his Mama's OCD.  He does not like to have stuff on his hands, or on his mouth.  He very readily asks us to wipe his hands (holds them in the air and says, "ands, ands?" and he easily lets us clean him up during and after meals.  The problem is convincing him that it's OK to get messy with art supplies!  The only cure?  Immersion!  So, we are doing more and more art projects.  There is some mild protest, usually, but also some enjoyment, so I'll keep at it.  It's much like swim lessons—he wants to do what he wants to do, and as long as he is, life's great.  Try and get him to do something else?  Howler Monkey! (He's doing great in the water, though, and my goal was safe water play, so I guess it's ok that I'm spending mega-bucks for playing in a big bath-tub!)

There's so much.  It's a fun and wonderful time and I just adore him.

I have always loved the Edwin McCain song, "Could Not Ask For More..."

"These are the moments I'll remember all my life..."  They are.  They are all I dreamed of and what sends me to sleep with a smile on my face.  Other lyrics in the song are, "These are the moments I thank God that I'm alive...I have all I've waited for, and I could not ask for more."

I do thank God I am alive.  There were many, many days I didn't.

I don't have all I've waited for, but will one day.  One day.

And, starting our last round of stims tomorrow because I *am* asking for more.

Because he is just too much Heaven on this earth to not give it one more try...

This is him saying, "Thank Ye!"  He was not initially interested in painting!

He really, really wanted me to open the paint container.  I gave in!

"Oh, fine.  Here.  I'm touching my hands with paint on them.  Happy?!"

"What?  Is there something on my face?"

I can't believe how grown-up he is looking.  I can see my Mom here.  And what he will look like as a young man.   Sigh.....

Friday, August 3, 2012

My Middle, Only Child....

There's lots out there on birth order research...character traits and such associated with each based on the order in which a child is born.

Only children are like X

First-born children are like Y.

Middle children are like Z.

Youngest children are the babies.


Luke gets to sort of claim all of the above.  He is being raised as my first and only.  He is the middle child, no doubt, yet our baby, and quite possibly the only baby we will get to raise.

Where does he fall in with those character traits?

He certainly is like an Only child.  Not terribly fond of others wanting to share his tricycle.

He certainly is like a First-born...he likes order and routine and structure and things that have places and places for things.

He certainly is a Middle child...doing silly things to get attention, and sometimes acting pretty impatient—as if he doesn't expect what he wants to happen is going to happen. (Wonder from where he gets that?)

And boy, oh boy does he act like the youngest...the baby...He knows how to play his mama like a fiddle.  Sweet smiles as he purposely stands in the chair, fully knowing I've told him a million times to sit on his bottom.  Cute little eye rolls up as if he's questioning whether or not I'm going to stop him when he is blowing bubbles in his milk.

Yesterday, he was throwing a fit.  No reason.  Just a full-on FIT because he was in his high-chair and didn't want to eat.  He is still not eating like I'd like him to, and he'd hardly had ANYTHING to eat all day.  So, I just walked away.  I sat on the stairs where he couldn't see me and let him cry for about 4-5 minutes.  I kept watching to see what he was doing; he didn't know I was watching him, but he'd cry, then stop, look around play with his toys on his tray, then look around again and repeat.  As if he was crying for principle's sake but had really forgotten why he was crying in the first place.  When he stopped completely, I walked around the corner again as if nothing was going on, smiled, bounced around happily and let him get out of his chair.  He had an enormous grin...reached for me, hugged me and kissed me as if he was SO happy to see me and then pulled out all his tricks to get me to grin...showing me my nose and his nose; my teeth and his teeth.  Giggling like a goofy little boy who figured he'd better be sure to get back in the good graces of his mama.

So clever already.

Throwing a FIT because we would not let him get into Daddy's Truck.  He LOVES pretending to drive this truck!!!
I am without a doubt a First-born, Oldest child.  Anyone who knows me pretty much can attest to that.

I'm very curious to see how he turns out...and especially if he stays my Middle, Only child.

I start stims on Monday.  Am in the middle of all the lupron shots now.  Will be going up to VA on the 10th to start the monitoring at Shady Grove with a tentative retrieval of the 18th and tentative transfer of the 21st or 23rd.

And then, we wait and see.