Saturday, 21 December 2013

11 months - Weaned

There have been a number of changes lately, and the biggest one is that I have fully weaned Joseph.  Also, he is sleeping in his own room, in his crib, and mostly sleeps through the night now.  We have introduced whole milk and formula (well, I have been trying to get him to take formula for a while, without much interest on his part).  I went to the doctor at 11 months and he reassured me that even though his weight is in the lower percentiles (he is 19 pounds 7 oz... and 2 months ago he was 19 1/2 pounds, so about the same weight!) he is doing well developmentally, is active and happy, so he is not concerned.  He says Joseph is a slim, "athletic" baby (his words) who has lost his baby fat from his increased activity, and as for weaning off breast milk, he said just to go straight to whole milk and skip formula, and just to give him more table foods.  Well, that was reassuring, since he would not take any formula anyway.  However, I really feel like he is not eating enough table food (he refuses a lot), so like magic one day he suddenly decided formula was ok and drank some.  He does not take a lot, but at least he is getting a bit more nutrients until I can get him to eat more real food.  He drinks about 2 - 6 oz. 4 times a day.  So I feel kind of sad that I am no longer breastfeeding him, since it was going so well and it instantly soothed him.  But we are sticking to our plan of returning to fertility treatments, and our RE said we had to stop BFing before doing anything.  I am very nervous about going back to the clinic and that whole world of fertility treatments.  I want so badly to have a sibling for Joseph, but I am afraid to even have hope, because it makes the disappointment hurt so much.  I don't even know what our chances exactly are, but IVF usually has a 30% chance, so that is already pretty crappy, and with my age it would probably be even worse, although we plan to do PGS.  What if we end up with no healthy embryos at all?  I am scared of that possibility.  I hate rolling the dice when it means probably wasting tens of thousands of dollars, hours of our time, and the pain of all those needles and blood draws, plus having weaned my baby for this possibility.  What if it doesn't work, and I have then weaned Joseph early essentially for nothing?  Plus, I have basically extended my leave from work to focus on these fertility treatments.  I have a sick feeling that it will all be for nothing, and I will return to work not pregnant, just poorer from having extended the leave.  It just sucks, I hate that we can't have a natural pregnancy like most people.  So now that he is weaned, we should go to the clinic right away, but since it is almost Christmas I'm not sure if the doctor will be on holiday.  We are supposed to go during cycle monitoring in the morning, so we can drop in any day and talk to her for a few minutes (probably wait an hour or more for that privilege). 
Meanwhile, my friend who got pregnant while breastfeeding her 9 month old, continues to progress and it just boggles my mind.  I just can't even compute how to fall pregnant in that way, with me I have to plot months and weeks ahead, with a minimal chance of success.  Even though I stopped breastfeeding completely a few weeks ago, I STILL don't have my period yet...  I can't even get to bat, and she has hit herself a home run and made it look easy.  It makes me feel like such a loser.  She keeps saying idiotic things too, like "oh, you never know, it could happen to you too!  Apparently you are super fertile after having a baby"  and I'm like, yeah, I have not had my period once yet.  Anyway, she kind of irks me, though she is a very nice person.  Also, she has a very keen interest in knowing about my bullshit IVF journey.  She keeps asking me if I've gone to the clinic yet, am I going to start acupuncture, when am I going to do a cycle, etc.  I just don't want to share my 10 million step journey to get pregnant with her, especially since her journey was super short.  Step one, get pregnant, done! I just feel on some irrational level that it is bad luck to discuss and share with her, just like telling people your wish and then it won't come true.  Of course it will not matter if I share with her or not, in terms of our outcome, but I just hate "reporting" to people (in real life) about my fertility outcomes, especially when it is a failure or a setback. (and it usually is)  It's bad enough when your IVF doesn't work, and then you have to call up 20 people and tell them each the news?  No thanks.
Joseph is doing great, aside from me worrying that he doesn't eat everything I offer him.  He mainly likes bread and other carbs the best.  Fruits and veggies, not so much.  He likes yogourt, usually.  He is a fussy guy, but he certainly pees and poops a lot, so I know he is eating more than I think he is.  And he has a lot of energy to scoot around.  He crawls fast and cruises (walks while holding furniture).  I love him to bits!  His smile lifts me up like nothing else can.  What a miracle he is!
We took him to see Santa.  We are looking forward to his first Christmas (I can't believe last year he wasn't even here yet!) and his first birthday is in January.  We have not planned his party yet, I am stressing about that.  We will do something simple anyway.  Happy 11 months, Joseph!

Wednesday, 13 November 2013


Seriously, I have no right to feel jealous of anyone since I have my beautiful baby, which is more than many people could hope for.  However, yesterday it hit me like a punch in the face.  My friend called, (she has a son born one week after my son), and half way through our conversation told me that she was pregnant.  That's not all: It was a total surprise, they were not trying at all, she is still breastfeeding (!!) - her child is 10 months old-, plus she mentioned that she has only had sex twice in the last 4 months.  Although she has been getting her period, (I have not, by the way) she has not been keeping track of her cycles and has no idea when this possible conception happened, but one day she just thought, hmm... it has been a while since I had my period, I think I'll do a pregnancy test.  And VOILA: pregnant.  Did I mention that she is 43?  We both had our babies by IVF, so this is an extra special miracle.  I am very happy for her, it is wonderful that it is possible to get pregnant naturally after an IVF and at an advanced maternal age.  It gives HOPE that anyone can really get pregnant!  BUT,... a part of me is also very pissed!  I guess I forgot that people can and do usually get pregnant in this way, but it just made me upset that I have never been able to conceive naturally and experience that joy and excitement.  Imagine getting pregnant after having sex twice, instead of going through a hellish gauntlet of needles and doctor appointments, and procedures that fail.  She has a frozen embryo, and now she is excited that she will never have to use it.  She is due in July and her family will be complete.  Holy crap!  I just feel like for me it will be such a HUGE struggle, and very expensive, to MAYBE have a second child, which I want so much, and here she is gleefully telling me about how she is already passed the finish line, while I am not even at the starting line yet (I have not even had my period yet since giving birth, for goodness sakes!).  I just can't believe it.  And you would think that she would be a little more cautious, especially because of her age.  She is 7 weeks along now...  anything could happen.  After my experience, I would not be so sure of myself at 7 weeks...  Maybe I am jealous of her attitude as well.  It is an ugly feeling, but I am just being honest.  For whatever reason, this whole situation just made me feel BAD.  In an irrational way, I felt like since she had conceived easily that for me it will never happen.  Why would this be so?  It is TOTALLY irrational of me to think this.  Just because she is having a baby, it does not mean that I won't have one!  Why am I so crazy??  Of course I told her I'm so happy for her, which I am.  It is her dream come true.  It will be amazing if I also get pregnant in a few months and then we can have both babies close in age.  Or even if they are not close in age, it does not matter...  Having another child at any time would be AMAZING.  There is no rush (except for my age!!)  But even if I never have another child, with Joseph, I already have my prayers answered to be a MOTHER.  It is an amazing miracle.  It would only be better with a sibling for Joseph.  But if I don't have one, I will still consider myself so blessed and lucky to have one child.  I think what annoys me is that she had ZERO struggle to have this second child.  After more than 8 years of infertility I just can't wrap my head around that.  It makes me mad that she didn't even so much as do timed intercourse, it was just completely random, and she told me this so PROUDLY.  Like "look at me, I wasn't even trying AT ALL, and I just got pregnant, tee hee!"  Meanwhile, I am also VERY afraid that she is going to miscarry.  It happens.  It especially happens to 43 year olds.  Anyway, just thought I would share these nasty feelings and this is the only place I can vent this.  DH's opinion is that we should be happy for them, it has nothing to do with our situation, case closed.  Of course he is right, and that makes complete sense.

Perhaps a part of this nastiness is that we have been very close since our sons are basically the same age, and we visit each other a lot.  I feel like now we will not have much in common since she will be excited about her pregnancy from now on, and I will be just wondering if I will ever get pregnant.  Also, she wants to know all about my upcoming IVF, to be supportive, of course, but I don't really want to share the details with her, since it is just so incredibly stressful.  I just want to be left alone to do things in my own time.  Like I need time to wean my current baby off of BFing...  and here she is, not even having done that and she obviously didn't need to.  For me, everything is harder.  I will need to prepare my body, take a few months of DHEA and CoQ10, acupuncture, no BFing, dragging my baby and husband into the clinic, etc.  It kind of pisses me off that she doesn't have to do any of that.

On a separate note, my friend/ former friend who never got back to me after I told her all about my IVF with PGS experience... well, she finally did just get back to me.  She wrote a brief message that she is going to do an IVF retrieval this Friday, and will have the embryos tested.  I really hope she finally does get pregnant, because she really has been through a lot, with multiple miscarriages, and she has gone through a whole adoption work up, and now she is back doing fertility treatments.  Perhaps I deem her more "deserving" of a pregnancy, after all that.

I think my issue with my pregnant friend is coming from my IF history, it just irks me when people get pregnant "by accident" because for many of us it is just so friggin' HARD.  Of course, we think, "why her, why couldn't it be me?"  I would love to have a happy accident too, but it just NEVER happens.  Bleh!

Ok, that felt good to get out.  I know this all doesn't make total sense since I have a child already.  I guess I have struggled with IF for much longer than I have been a mommy, so those feelings resurface quickly.  I'm sorry if I come across as ungrateful for what I have.  I wish I could be happier about my friend, and maybe I will be after I get over feeling upset about my own uncertain situation.  I have a lot of worries about my plans to do IVF:  like it will be a huge waste of money, it won't work, I will have stopped BFing my child for nothing, wasted money I could have spent on my current child for a child that doesn't even exist yet, I will feel foolish and will have regretted trying it after it didn't work.  I just hope my IVF works, because if it doesn't I'm not sure of my plan of action.  Waste more money on another IVF?  Go for donor eggs?  (at a huge expense)  What if the donor eggs don't work?  Or if it does work, do I tell others about using donor eggs?  I would want to keep that private, but on the other hand how will I get through something like that without some support from friends?  So many questions...  I wish I could know what is going to happen, now.  Thank you for listening!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

10 months

Well, somehow I missed writing about 8 months and 9 months.  Time passes so quickly!  Joseph has been doing great and is now standing with support, and cruising around.  He also crawls around with ease now. 

He currently has a cold that has been lingering for over a week, which has been a bit troubling, but it is just a virus and needs to run its course.  We went on vacation and took Joseph to the doctor for a fever while there, and got it under control with a Tylenol suppository (he kept spitting out the liquid Tylenol we tried to give him).  He now has some pink bumps on his face and feet, so we are going to go to the doctor again to check on that.  I've been breastfeeding him often and I think he needs it with his sickness, so I've put off my plans to wean him.  I would like to wean him, though, so I can start back with fertility treatments.  I never thought it would be such an issue to stop breastfeeding, but Joseph is quite a fan of breastmilk, and I can't imagine soothing him without nursing him. 

Our vacation was in the Dominican Republic, and aside from Joseph being sick, it was a good trip.  Most of the time he was fine, after we got the fever down.  He has not had much of an appetite for solids, though.  Just lots of breastfeeding, which was fine with me. 

He had his first Hallowe'en also.  We had a little pumpkin costume for him, and also my friend got him a Batman shirt, so he had 2 costumes for the night.  We handed out candy, and then the next day we went on our trip. 

I've decided to extend my leave until September.  I went in and told my VP, and she was fine with it, but said to hand in my official papers later, so she can hire someone she has in mind.  Apparently if I hand in my notice too early it goes through a different process and it will be out of her hands who to hire.  The lady currently in for me can't stay on past January, unfortunately. 

I love how my life has changed since Joseph came along.  I am so much more social now than I was before, and I have made new friends with moms that have babies around the same age.  It has been ages since I made a new friend!  People just get set in their groups of friends, but with a new baby there is a window that opens up socially and people are looking to make connections.  I have made an effort to nurture the new mommy friendships I have made, and to meet up once a month or so with each one, to keep things going.  It is a huge contrast to the loneliness I felt during my infertility battle and grieving and loss time, which seems to have gone on forever.  It is just amazing how much better I feel these days. 

I have a friend who suffers from post-partum depression, and she goes to a support group for it.  I know it must be hard for her, and I feel bad that I can't really understand how she feels.  I understand how it feels to be really low, depressed, grieving, etc. but that is just not how I feel right now (thank goodness).  I find that I don't know what to say to her to lift her spirits.  I wish I knew what might be helpful for her, but I guess the best thing for her is to go to that support group and talk to others going through the same thing. 

On a similar vein, I have a friend, or perhaps I should say former friend, who has suffered losses and is now going through fertility treatments (IVF), and I know she struggles with me having a child now, while she is still waiting.  I really don't know what to say to her, and I know after being in her shoes it is just hard to face friends with babies when you are grieving your own babies and going through IF.  To be honest, she was never that close a friend, but we were brought together by facing a loss at the exact same time.  Inevitably, one of us would move out of that dark place before the other and in this case it was me, because I had Joseph.  I hope that she will also find her way out of that dark room that is IF.  But for now we are on opposite sides of a wall, it is unfortunate but I know trying to reach out to her will just be painful for her now, or at best will make her angry.  I just wait and hope for her, and offer her any help if she asks.  She did ask me some details about my IVF with PGS- what it was, why I did it, etc. so I told her.  I haven't heard from her since, so I'm not sure what that means.  But I heard that she is planning to do an IVF, and I know when I was going through it I wanted to keep it mostly to myself, because it was so stressful to have others waiting on your happy or disappointing news, I would rather just keep them in the dark until I felt ready to share.

Pretty soon Joseph will be 1!  I am looking forward to the next few months and watching Joseph develop and grow even more.  He makes sounds like "Ma-ma-mah", and other babbles.  He so desperately wants to walk.  His first steps will be an exciting time for us and for him.  He is so thrilled with standing and he is able to let go and stand on his own for 10-15 seconds. 

Here are some pictures!


Monday, 12 August 2013

7 months - first tooth

Joseph is 7 months old now.  He is a happy little guy but he has been teething for quite a while and just on Friday he finally got his first tooth.  That is, I can feel it with my finger, there is not much to look at but a white tip poking through.  We have had visitors the last 2 weeks (my brother and his family staying with us) and we have been up at the cottage most of the time.  Summer is a strange time because since I am a teacher I would normally have this time off anyway.  So it somehow doesn't feel like I'm on leave anymore.  But my friend who is also a teacher on leave says that on the first day of school we will go to Starbucks, and it will be the best first day ever.  No class to prepare for, just our sweet babies!  Joseph still doesn't crawl but loves trying to walk, if you hold him up he will scamper across the floor in a very amusing little trot. 

Friday, 19 July 2013

6 months - & our 9 year wedding anniversary

Joseph is now 6 month old!  He started sitting up on his own just last Friday.  We have started him on solid foods and he really loves it.  So far he has tried rice cereal, sweet potato, squash, carrots, and green beans (all pureed).  We have taken him swimming a few times and he has started swimming lessons (parent and tot).  He is doing really well, though a bit on the light side at only 16 and a half pounds.  We will have to work on fattening him up a bit more. 
Yesterday was also our 9 year wedding anniversary.  We went out to a restaurant with Joseph to celebrate.  It is hard to believe that after so many years of trying we finally have a baby.  It took a while for it to sink in that all those years of taking birth control were actually totally unnecessary!  But after 8 years of unprotected sex and zero pregnancies it became clear to us that we really were infertile!  That's what makes Joseph so special and unbelievable to us.  We thought it would be easy to have kids and that we would have had a few by now.  It is amazing how different reality can be from your best laid plans.  That's what makes me afraid, although I am thrilled with Joseph and our happy outcome, I am troubled by the randomness of misfortune and the terrifying things I read in the paper each day.  Examples:  20 schoolchildren in India die after eating tainted school lunch, 2 year old dies of heat stroke when grandmother forgets him in the back of a hot car, 5 year old run over and killed by a garbage truck when walking home from school, Unmanned freight train full of oil rolls into small town in Quebec and explodes, demolishing the town in a fiery ball.  These things are random and you cannot protect yourself from these freakish accidents.  I pray that Joseph will be safe from these and other unthinkable horrors.  Do I worry too much?  I think of the anguish these parents / loved ones are going through right now.  They may or may not have been worried and no one could have anticipated these kinds of accidents/ human error, but now they are grieving, and I feel for them.  It could have been anyone, I am glad it is not me and I wish no one ever had to suffer like that.
Here are some pictures of our sweetie.


Monday, 1 July 2013

5 months - Father's Day

Baby is doing great!  I'm behind with writing about him and he is actually almost 6 months old now, but I'll write about this past month.  We got him an exersaucer this month ("Baby Einstein Musical Jumper"), despite our lack of space for one (the thing is friggin' huge!), and he enjoys sitting/ standing in it and playing with the toys attached all around.  It is getting more cluttered in our house with the baby paraphernalia.  Joseph is a happy baby and he smiles and giggles a lot.  He loves being held up in the air and waved around.  He gets scared by loud noises (hand dryer in public washrooms, sudden applause or laughter, construction noise).  We are still just feeding him breast milk, but will start on solids when he is 6 months.  He watches us when we are eating and seems interested in our food.  We tried giving him water to drink from a cup last week and he lapped some up with his tongue.  He grabs pretty much anything in his reach and tries to put it in his mouth.  He especially likes grabbing plants/ flowers and ripping them off.  We've been getting out a lot to a variety of baby and mommy classes and to visit other friends with babies.  Joseph likes looking at the other babies and observes how the older babies are sitting up and crawling around.  He has done a roll from his tummy onto his back on his own, but can't go the other way by himself yet, and still does not crawl.  He gets frustrated on his tummy, wriggles around without really getting anywhere, and cries to be rescued.  For Father's Day we went up to the cottage and spent the weekend with my mother there. 
His crib is in our room right now, though it is pretty cramped for space it just barely fit.  At 6 months we can move him into to his own room I guess, but I like having him close to us.  I will have to read up a bit more about that and see if we can keep him with us a bit longer without creating a long term problem.  I'm kind of nervous about starting him on solids soon, but excited to try it.  Baby is growing up!  It 'is amazing to see his development and I'm excited to think that some day he will be walking around and talking to us.  It all seems like such a miracle!  We wonder what his voice is going to sound like and what he is going to say to us.  We are thankful every single day that he is in our life.  Love you, Joseph!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

4 months - Mother's Day



My little Joseph is 4 months old now (on May 6th), and I still find myself not fully believing that he is really here!  (I know, that is ridiculous.)  When will this feeling of disbelief go away, I'm not sure.  The long wait to get him has really made it a different experience than probably most people, I think.  Now that we have a better camera, I am taking so many pictures of him, to treasure for years to come.  If I were to give any advice at all to new expecting moms, it is get a great camera and use it from day 1.  We got a digital SLR with a very good lens, to replace our point and shoot that did not do well in low light (indoors) and with a moving subject (like a wiggly baby).  I am so annoyed that we had a pretty bad camera for the first few months.  It only takes good pictures outside in bright daylight, which is not where we were in January!  Many of the newborn indoor shots were all blurry, and obviously you can't go back and get more pictures of those days. 
I don't even know what to write these days.  There is really nothing to complain about, with my life now.  This blog used to be about working through my pain and frustration, now things are calm and I guess rather boring.  I have a mild fear that something bad will happen to our baby, like I will drop him or a car will hit the stroller, or he will not wake up from his sleep.  I keep checking that he is breathing every time he sleeps.  But I wouldn't say that it is a major fear that has a grip on me.  I just hope I will not be the "one" that these terrible, rare things happen to.  After my previous bad luck, I just hope that my luck will be better from now on. 
Mother's Day used to be such a painful holiday for me.  I used to just hate it, and each year it got worse.  Would I ever be a mother?  This holiday just threw it up in my face that I was missing out on the greatest goal that I had in my life, to be a mother.  Everyone else is out celebrating what came naturally for them, and all I could do was cry.  So after so many years of bitterness, I still can't say that I embrace this holiday as I should.  I celebrated very quietly this year, and without much fuss.  DH got me flowers and a card, we visited my mom and his mom, and watched the hockey game.

Next week is my birthday.  I will be 41 years old, ugh!!  I'm actually celebrating this year, with a barbecue.  Last year, turning 40 was too depressing for me to even invite anyone over.  Although it was a milestone, I just wanted to slither under a rock.  The baby was on the way, but I was terrified something bad would happen... and what if it happened on my birthday?  That would be the worst.  And why wouldn't it?  I got my BFN from my 3rd IVF on Valentine's Day.  Holidays are not sacred or safe.  What if I miscarried my baby on my 40th birthday, and all my friends were coming over that day?  I could not invite anyone over.  It was too early in the pregnancy, I was too nervous.  This year is actually better, although I am older, totally ancient now, I at least have my little baby with me.  Most of my friends have school age children now, but that is besides the point.  I am on my way to "catching up" with the life that I wanted for myself, that nearly slipped away from me.  I am thankful every single day, and as I said at the beginning of the post, I still feel like it is a dream and I'm afraid to wake up and find out the baby is not really here.

I keep thinking about how to complete my fantasy of having a "normal" family, and having a second child.  Dare I wish for so much happiness?  Can an infertile person like me have a second child at 41 years old???  I wonder if I will have to use donor eggs for the second child, and how I will feel about that.  I wonder how my infertile friends who have not had their first child, and may never have one, will feel about me trying and/or succeeding at having a second child.  Am I crazy for even wanting this? 

If all I have is Joseph, I will still be so incredibly happy.  He is amazing and there are not even words to describe how great it is that he is here.  It would be nice for HIM to have a sibling, I think.  I grew up with a much older brother (10 years older) and that was almost like being an only child.  I felt kind of lonely and wished I had a sibling closer in age.  Now that we are older, age does not matter as much (though there is still quite a generation gap, we grew up in different times) but I am glad that I have a sibling at all.  It would be nice for Joseph, or any child for that matter, to have at least one sibling. 

Ok, I just went to check his breathing again (he is asleep).  He looks so corpse-like when he is sleeping, it is scary!  That is all that I have to complain about.  When he is awake and alert, he could not be more alive.  He is adorable and just a pure delight.  I love him so much!

So I guess, this was my best Mother's Day, though I didn't get into it that much.  I like just every regular non-holiday day with baby just as much!  I wonder what Christmas will be like this year.  As an infertile, childless person, that was just the worst!!  It is hard for those feelings to just switch off, and to start loving all the things that used to make me so sad.  I still feel sad for others, too, so I can't imagine that I will ever really love these holidays.  But I have to admit, it is really a LOT better now, with Joseph.  Thank you, baby!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

3 months- baptism

Not much is new...  Joseph is doing great and we are still amazed every day that he is here.  Sometimes he scares us when he is very quiet, and we check that he is breathing.  He is a very good baby and he is smiling a lot, and has just started to laugh a bit.  We had him baptized on April 14th.  We are not that religious, but wanted him baptized anyway.  He looked very cute in his little outfit, and we found a frilly bonnet for him.  I have signed him up for a lot of mom and baby type classes - singing, baby yoga, library program, French drop-in sing-a-long...  I feel like he is already overprogrammed and he is only 3 months old!  But other times when we are just at home, he seems to be bored because he cries even after I fed him and changed him...  He enjoys the programs and looking at the other babies, and they are mostly just 45 min or 1 hour long anyway.  In July I will sign him up for swimming class (parent and tot).  As I said, this all hardly seems real, I am just so glad to have this chance to do stuff with him.  For Easter we got together with the inlaws and ate at a cafĂ© together. 
We are thinking about going back to the clinic to see our RE.  We were going to go last weekend, but DH had a stomach flu.  Maybe this week we will go.  Specifically, I'm wondering what this medication I'm on to help me lactate (Domperidone 40mg x 4 times a day) and the Lecithin are doing to my fertility, in general.  I must have a very high prolactin level from the meds.  I will have to be completely off that before trying another cycle, eventually.  I will be turning 41 next month, so I'm feeling a bit crunched between my desire to breastfeed for a year, and try another cycle asap.  I will ask the RE about the timing and what she recommends.  If I'm doing donor egg there is no rush, but I'd like one more try with my eggs, if she agrees that it is worth it. 
Here are a few more photos of my little sweetie.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

2 months old - and 1 year anniversary of EDD

I have not been keeping up with updates, but basically things have been going great with the baby.  Joseph is healthy and a true joy.  Now 2 months later I still find I can't believe he is here.  It seems too good, after so many setbacks with conceiving him.  DH and I marvel at him, and repeat over and over... "He's so CUTE!  I can't believe he's really here!"  Joseph seems to know he is cute, he smiles now and I even find him cute when he is crying.  He's a pretty loud cryer, too.  Since the weather has been crappy, we have mostly stayed indoors, rarely leaving the house.  That suits me fine, there is no place I'd rather be than cuddled up with baby, watching TV.  Work seems like a distant memory.  Sometimes I get an email from the teacher replacing me, asking a question about where to find something in the class, etc., and I think "oh, yeah, they are still there at school!"  In my mind, I could not be further away.  I left in mid-December, but it feels like longer ago, and my life is quite different now.  I love it!  I guess I didn't like my job as much as a I thought.  I have always been obsessed by my classroom, and constantly thinking of my students and buying things for the class/ for them.  Now the focus is totally on baby, and it is refreshing to be on a learning curve, figuring out something new and finding out that for the most part I CAN do it.  I can be a mom, and maybe I will regret saying this, but it is not as hard as some people would have you believe.  Let me qualify that by saying I have got an amazing support system, DH is totally involved, his mother and my mother are ready to help and take over at any moment, and I have a friend who is currently unemployed who has decided she wants to help, and she comes over a few times a week.  So with all this help, it has been great and I have just focussed on breast feeding Joseph, which is another story.  That has not been easy, and about everything that could go wrong has.  I got mastitis the first week, and went on antibiotics.  The antibiotics caused a yeast infection, so I had horrible nipple pain, and when he fed it felt like razor blades and broken glass crunching around the end of the nipple.  I have been on non-stop painkillers and visited the breastfeeding clinic every week since his birth, getting new suggestions and techniques each time.  I also had perenial pain and especially when I went pee it burned each time.  It hurt to use the spray bottle, so I ended up using a sitz bath and epsom salts to get some relief.  After 3 weeks that pain miraculously just went away (the open wound at the end of my stitches finally healed).  I was convinced that it was infected, so I went back to the hospital to have them check it, and also went to my GP a few days later when it was feeling even worse.  Both times they said it was "normal", and gave me nothing other than more pain medication.  They said not to put ointment or anything on it.  Meanwhile, with the breast feeding, I was referred to a specialist, Dr. Jack Newman to solve that ongoing problem.  To my surprise, his treatment was to give me drugs and herbs to increase my milk supply (drug: Domperidone 40mg 3x /day,  herbs: Fenugreek 3 capsules 3x/ day, Blessed Thistle 3 capsules 3x / day), nipple ointment (All purpose Nipple Ointment) that had to be compounded at the pharmacy, and he said Joseph had a slight tongue tie that he could snip if I liked.  We decided to wait on the snipping and see if the nipple pain goes away with the other things.  The theory is that with more milk, he will spend less time sucking and not damage the nipples so much.  At the hospital breastfeeding clinic they had already given me tons of other suggestions, like soaking nipples in salt water, putting olive oil on them, polysporin, cortisone cream, etc. Anyway, the result now is a lot less pain, and I am completely off the Advil and Tylenols I had been taking 4 times a day. 
Joseph is growing well and last week he was 11 pounds 5 ounces.  He is at the 50th percentile for weight gain, so that is great.  With all the breast feeding difficulties, he never lost any weight, it was just me in pain that was the issue.  I hope to continue breast feeding for about a year.  I might need to stop a bit earlier if we want to try our next fertility treatment.  I think we are going to try at least one more IVF to try for a sibling, though the chances are VERY slim, we are aware, with my age now 40.  I am about to turn 41 in May, so we'll see if we are going to get a second miracle.  If not, we are considering donor eggs.  I guess if nothing works by the time I'm 42 we will do that.  We'll see, if there's one thing I have learned, is you can not plan the future when it comes to stuff like this.  The best laid plans can go very, very awry, and you never know what else might happen in a month or a year, that could change everything.
My EDD passed yesterday uneventfully.  We are so preoccupied with Joseph that we did not have time to be sad.  Last year we went and got balloons, attached a message, and released them in the park, in memory of Lily.  I still miss her, but with the new baby no one talks about her any more (not that they ever did). 
Tomorrow Joseph will be 2 months old.  Happy mini birthday Joseph!!
Here are some pictures.  (I finally figured out how to load them!)


Here is our file :  It was becoming ridiculous... 

 ^ The fertility clinic waiting room, where it all began.  The fish tanks, where we saw multiple generations of fish come and go. (Nov 2006 - June 2012)
  < Joseph 1 day old!

< Joseph 3 weeks old

Joseph 6 weeks old ^
Joseph 2 months old ^
                                                 Remembering Lily...