Monday, February 20, 2012

Blast From the Past - Disney Style

I feel like I don't have anything awesome to blog about now that the holidays and birthdays are done for a bit. I will say that I have been feeling pretty great about life the last few weeks. I am just really content with life. I can hardly believe we are truly done with fertility treatments. It has been so freeing to finally, finally put all of that behind us. I am no longer chained to any of it, and I am really enjoying life without it.

Since I don't have anything new to blog about, I thought I would write up a post I've had up my sleeve for some time (well, one of many). While I was home on leave for my surgery, I was able to take the time to scan in some old photos from my past. This is something I have been wanting to do for a long time, but it was always way at the bottom of my priorities list. Since blogs are really like live diaries, sometimes it is fun to throw in a story here and there from The Good Ole Days. Gosh, it is so hard to pick which theme I want to start with first! Let's go with a Brother Favorite.

As I have said about a million times before on my blog, my little brother and I have always been very close. We're so goofy when we're together, and our thoughts are never far from the same brain wave. We have been known to say the exact same things at the exact same time a lot.

When I graduated from high school, I heeded the words of my sister who told me to live life selfishly before getting married. She had gotten married at 20 and wished that she had spent some more time finding herself and enjoying life before settling down. Not that she doesn't love her husband. She just wishes they were a bit older before tying the knot. Taking her words to heart, my goal was to graduate from college unmarried, and then spend a few years doing whatever I wanted whenever I wanted and spending my money however I wanted without answering to anyone and focusing 100% on ME. Sewing my wild oats, if you will.

It was during these years when money was plentiful that my little brother and I opted to make frequent trips to Disney Land. Let me tell you, Disney Land is fun and all on its own, but going with my little brother seriously made it the greatest place on earth. We had so much fun and were so goofy. We bought whatever souvenirs we wanted, whatever food we wanted, and threw around money like it was rain. Those were some of the best days of my life for sure.

This picture is very typical of us. We rarely took life seriously. I only wish we had shelled out for some of the pictures that were taken on rides because we made sure we always made those memorable. Like the ones where we would pretend to be asleep on Space Mountain when the picture was snapped. The funniest thing about that one was seeing how many people copied us.

If this picture doesn't make you at least chuckle on the inside, then you have no sense of humor. At all. You need to go take classes on how to laugh. For real.

This picture isn't as silly, but we also loved to go to Disney Land with our older brother and his wife.

Who can take life seriously in front of a castle?

Winnie the Pooh is one of my all-time favorite characters. This is me on the Winnie the Pooh ride almost a year before I met my husband.

My lovely sister-in-law and I. She is one of the sweetest, most caring, loving people I have ever met. She is awesome beyond words.

 What a suave, suave man... standing next to a garbage can... in front of the Matterhorn...

But it gets better when you add a sister... who points at her suave brother... to tell the world, "He's the man."

Want to know where we get our sense of humor? Well here you go, our pappy. Don't be alarmed, he wasn't harmed when this picture was taken.

 This picture was taken when my niece, who is now 12, was my daughter's age (they are 7 days shy of being exactly 9 years apart). CRAZY!

And last, but not least, this was a favorite picture of an old friend and co-worker of mine. He actually framed this picture and hung it in his house, he liked it that much.

You know what I love most about looking at these pictures? Looking forward to taking more in the same places with my daughter. Disney Land is such a special place for my family because of all of the memories we have made there, and because of the memories we will make there in the coming years. The only thing that makes a good thing better, is having my brother there. Baby Bean and my brother with me in Disney Land? It just doesn't get any better!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Finally, the Birthday Recap!

It has taken me almost a week to get to this post because let's face it, I have a million things to do every night between getting home from work and going to bed, and because I had to make a slideshow for the grandparents first. :) But let's get on with the recap!

The night before Baby Bean's birthday her dad and I had made a deal, if she came to sleep with me in the middle of the night, she would get to sleep in (because I was still on leave for my surgery). But if she stayed in her own room, he would get her up and take her to school. Much to my pleasure, she came and slept with me, which meant I had her to myself all day.

First we went to her daycare for her "Celebration of Life." We took in a poster showcasing her 3 years on the planet. They had a little performance where Baby Bean walked around "the sun" (a candle in the middle of a circle) three times. Around the sun were the names of every month. Each time she went around, the other kids would sing a special song, and then she had to stop next to her birth month. Each time she stopped, her teacher read a fun fact about that year of BB's life that I had written up. Afterward the kids got to look at her poster after she picked them to go wash their hands, and then she got to hand out her treats.

For lunch I took her to one of our favorite Italian restaurants that is next to this really cool fountain she loves. It was a nice day, so we were able to sit outside where we could see said fountain.

After lunch we went and picked up her bouquet of Princess balloons and a birthday crown.

The only part of the day that made me cry came next: her first official hair cut. We have managed to make it 3 years without cutting her hair. It never fell out after birth, and I can prove it by a colored patch at the ends of her hair, so everything on the ends was what grew in the womb. BB did a great job. Actually, she could care less. They popped in a D.ora video and BB was gone. As the lady took the first snip, to my surprise, big crocodile tears streamed down my face.

After the haircut it was nap time, and when we got up, I had just enough time to clean the house before grandma came. BB opened presents from her grandparents, great aunts, and us (it was like Christmas again with all the gifts), and then we took her to dinner at her favorite restaurant, R.ain F.orest C.afe where we had a big dinner that could not compare to the volcano brownie we had for dessert.

The following Saturday was BB's birthday party. We spent much of the day getting ready for it on top of doing our regular Saturday activities. The cake turned out so awesome. Just in case you don't want to watch the slide show, here is a picture.

Her birthday party was a success. Almost everyone who had been invited came. Each child who was old enough to paint got their own 8X10 canvas to paint with acrylic paints. They were supposed to paint cupcakes according to the directions given to them by the instructor. She did her best to make sure each child painted the way they were supposed to by only giving them the colors they needed as they needed them, and walking around and helping each child. My baby, however, has always marched to the beat of her own drum, and so her cupcake turned out a little more abstract.

I actually think it looks pretty cool, and intend to have it framed. Yes, I am a proud, proud mama.

The kids had a great time. They rough housed a little, ate pizza and cake, and had just plain had fun. After that night, however, I have vowed to never have a birthday party at my house! I just don't do well in such chaotic situations, so it was good that the art center had so many things to keep the little ones occupied. I can't imagine having all of those kids running around my house and trying to keep them all corralled. This is one of those cases where I am willing to shell out to have the birthday party somewhere else so that everyone, including me, can really enjoy it.

My little girl is one very loved little bean. She got some very thoughtful presents from everyone, and it meant so much to me because of the struggles I went through for my baby. Not only will she always know how much she is loved and wanted by mom and dad, but by our families and friends as well. Each present warmed my heart. Some of the things she got were:
  • A Sn.ow White dress from my parents along with a dress-up doll, church coloring book and crayons, a magnetic Noah's Ark set (also for church), and a little bear that blows kisses and says, "I love you."
  • From my husband's mother she got a Ru.punzel-like dress and wooden princess puzzles. But the best gift from this grandma was that she flew in just for BB's birthday. We were so glad she came and spent the evening with us. It made it so special for BB.
  • My husband's aunts gave BB all kinds of sports toys, a S.noopy golf set, a bowling set, and a football.
  • My sister sent her a wooden paper doll set with magnetic clothes that is absolutely adorable.
  • From my friends and BB's she got 4 Barbies, coloring books, a couple more wood paper dolls with magnetic clothes (I love these things!), a chocolate-scented dog (that I have claimed as my own), some wooden boxes to paint and decorate, a couple of story books, and a few other things.
All of that was in addition to what we gave her which was, a Ra.punzel baby doll, cradle, high chair, her own suitcase for all of the traveling we are going to be doing, a big floor puzzle, a Star Wars Exploding Death Start that projects the stars on the ceiling, and a few other things.

It was a great birthday, and oddly, I was just as excited for all of it as Baby Bean was. Even though I am sad she is growing up so fast, there is nothing that makes me happier than seeing my baby so excited and happy.

If you want, here is the slideshow I created of the two days of festivities, set to some really fun music (because I'm awesome like that).

Sunday, February 5, 2012

We're Breaking Up

I originally wanted to save this post until after I had done BB's b-day recap, cause let's be honest, her b-day and party ROCKED!  I can't wait to show it off, but it is going to take some work to put everything together for the post, so it will be along in the next few days.

In the meantime, I have something I need to get off my chest.

My RE and I are breaking up.

I'm not sure if it is a good or a bad thing because he is the closest RE to where I live/work. The next closest is a 45 min drive away, one way. I just don't have that kind of time to devote to multi-weekly cycle monitoring. So being done with Dr. D means we are done with treatments. The surgery was the end of the road for us.

On Tuesday I had my post op appointment with Dr D. Remember how he told my husband that he had found scar tissue attached to my right ovary and tube, and how that could mean that anytime I ovulated off that side, it probably didn't work? And remember how he told my husband he found a patch of endo that he removed? Well, when I went in on Tuesday he looked at his chart and said, "I found some scar tissue. I didn't find anything else." The end. He was honestly going to leave it at that.

Here is how our conversation went then:
Me: My husband said the scar tissue was attached to the right ovary.
Dr. D: Yes, it was.
Me: He also said you told him it was attached to the fallopian tube too.
Dr. D: Yes, fortunately the ovary took the tube with it, so I don't think it affected anything.

Hang on, didn't he tell my husband that because of the scar tissue it probably meant those cycles didn't work? He was telling me the exact opposite now!

Me: Where did the scar tissue come from?
Dr. D: Probably from some intestinal irritation.

Intestinal irritations cause scar tissue? Since when?! Tell me the truth, you don't want to admit it came from my surgery last year.

Me: Do you think the scar tissue is what was lowering my estrogen?
Dr. D: No, I don't think so.
Me: So why are my estrogen levels low?
Dr. D: We can fix that with injections.

That isn't what I asked!!! I was PISSED! If you don't know, just say you don't friggin' know!

Dr. D: When does your husband next go for an analysis?
Me: In about a month.
"Well let's wait until we get those results back, and then we will start up treatments again.

No, no we will NOT! We're DONE!

It was like pulling teeth trying to get any information out of him, and then he was telling me things that were the opposite of what he told my husband, and addition to not telling me as much as he told my husband. He didn't even mention the endo to me.

I left his office fuming, and then started thinking over the years that we have been going to him and how he seems to be so inconsistent with me, or how other doctors have said the opposite of what he said. The most recent being that he told me my husband was infertile and we would have to go straight to IVF. Hubs then went and saw a specialist who said his numbers were off the charts. He has above normal counts. He is definitely fertile.

Let us not forget that when we met him he told me I could never get pregnant again because of where the rupture was, and that if I did get pregnant, I would most likely rupture and bleed out during pregnancy. My baby would be born early and would be blind, deaf, and retarded, and we could both die. We then went to Mayo, the second best fertility clinic in the country, and they said he was smoking something because there was no reason that site couldn't be fixed and we could go on to have more pregnancies. We followed up with a high risk OB here, who confirmed what the doctors at Mayo said.

But on top of all the conflicting information between him and other doctors, he is so hot and cold with me. Some days I feel like he is really on my side, and others I feel like he doesn't want anything to do with me because I'm not an IVF patient. I feel like he is telling me I don't have problems compared to his IVF patients, so I should be grateful. Then one month he will be all gung ho and doling out prescriptions like its no big deal, and the next he will ask why I'm in his office. I kid you not, he has straight up asked me one time why I was in his office. My reply was, "Because you told me my estrogen was low." He's even asked me if I had considered taking a break before. My reply to that one was, "We did." "You did? When?" "We took off the months of May through August."

People ask why I kept going to him after that, and it really had to do with proximity. I should have walked, but I didn't. Maybe it is because he has been voted one of the best doctors in the area for the last 6 years. Maybe it is because my OB, whom I love very much, referred me to him. Its a mixture of things, really. The biggest one was probably the hope that he would help us achieve the dream of another pregnancy. I felt like I needed him to get us where we wanted to go.

But you know what? I'm done. I've been saying since last May that I'm good where I'm at, and I've been saying for months that this surgery was our last step. My post-op appointment sealed the deal. Now I get to move on with my life and put all of this behind me. In some ways it is freeing, in others is makes me angry. I've wasted so much time and money, for nothing. With a doctor who might or might not know what he is doing.None of that matter now though, cause we're officially done with treatments.

Giving up on treatments doesn't mean we're done trying. We'll always keep doing our thing in hopes that it works out one day. But we're done seeking medical intervention. Its time to live the life I have, and I am so glad we're finally here.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!

Dear Baby Bean,

I can't believe that you are already three years old! Three years ago today, I was given the best gift God has ever given me. I still remember hugging my tummy just before your daddy took us to the hospital so you could be born. That day was the most incredible day of my life, and one I fought very hard to get to. I will always remember how you looked when I got to see you for the first time, and how you snuggled up against me and slept while we were in the hospital. One of my favorite memories of those first few days is when I was so tired and trying to sleep, I heard a baby come crying down the hallway, and I just knew it was my baby. Sure enough, my room door opened, and you were wheeled in, crying for your mama.

The past three years have just flown by. It has been amazing to watch you grow and learn. You are a very intelligent little girl, and your teachers often tell me so. Sometimes you say things that just astound me because I can't believe such a young little girl can understand so much and be so profound.

You are a generous, very giving little girl. You love to share. You are a tender little soul and are very chatty. You say hello to everyone we meet, and you always ask people their names. One day a few weeks ago we went to lunch, and a gentleman came in wearing his best biker gear and do rag. He sat down to eat his lunch at a table near us and you proclaimed, "He's eating it!" and laughed. The guy laughed back and replied, "I'm only human." You then asked him what his name was. There are times that mom can't help but laugh at the things you say and do because you are so adorable.

You love Sadie dog very much. She even comes when you call her. You love to give the dogs treats, and you get upset if I give it to them because you wanted to.

One thing that I love most is when you come crawl into bed with me at odd hours of the night. You always make two trips from your room to mine so that you can grab your two princess blankies, Bedtime Puppy, and your pillow. You then hoist yourself into my bed and ask me to cover you up with your princess blankies. They must be upside down because you like to hold the tags while you suck your thumb. It is hilarious because you have to have both blankie tags and Bedtime Puppy's tag in your hand at the same time.

I bought Bedtime Puppy for you when you were only a couple of month old. I wasn't sure you would even like him, and almost didn't get him. Little did I know he would turn into your favorite toy, and the one you can't live without. He goes everywhere with you. If we go on vacation, he goes on vacation too. I bought about six other puppies just like him, but you know they aren't Bedtime Puppy because he is the only one with a rattle in his head. No other puppy will do at bedtime.

You are into Disney movies BIG TIME. Your all-time favorite is Bolt. In fact, you love that movie so much we named one of Maggie's puppies after him. Luckily, Bolt now lives with grandma, so we will get to see him for many years to come. He was your favorite of the two puppies. You would carry him all over the house and back yard. Most of the time he was a good boy about it. I had to put him in his place a couple of times though.

Your other favorite movies are the Toy Story series. You call Woody, "Boody." It makes me laugh. You always get so excited when you see "Boody" anywhere. I hope you will get to meet him later this year. You also like to watch Tinker Bell movies.

Your favorite TV shows are Avatar, Shaun the Sheep, and Dora.

Your favorite princess is Snow White.

You call buttons "bunts." And you often get opposites confused. When we put on your jacket, you will ask us to please unzip it. When you go into the bathroom, you ask us to please turn off the light. You make me smile.

One thing that drives mama crazy is your inability to make up your mind. Just last night I took you shopping for a new pair of princess sparkle shoes to replace your worn out ones. The second I put them on your feet you said you wanted them. But after I took them off, you said you didn't want them anymore, and to put them back. Earlier this week daddy and I took you to the party store to buy stuff for your Princess party on Saturday, and we tried to get you to pick a princess tiara. You refused every single one we offered. As we were walking out of the store, you were upset because we didn't buy you a crown. Ahhh child, I do love you!

Whenever daddy and I ask you what you want to eat for dinner, you always tell us, "pasta." The other night you made me laugh when you said you wanted "macaroni." You always order your own drinks when we eat out. Usually you get Sprite, but you used to always get lemonade. One thing you don't do well is sandwiches. You always pull them apart and eat the pieces separately. The other night you tried to eat all the jelly off a PB&J. It made me laugh. You like to eat turkey sandwiches without the bread.

You love to go to the pet store with me, and we can't leave until we have looked at all of the animals. You usually get mad when I say it is time to go because you want to go look at all of the animals again. The last couple of years I have given you a new pet for your birthday. For your first birthday you got a goldfish, who is still very happy in his tank in the kitchen. Last year I bought both of us a gerbil, you told me you wanted the brown one and named him Louis, and I got the white one named Dizzy. You enjoy feeding them cheerios and helping me put new aspen shavings in their cage every week when I clean it out.

You are mama's big helper lately. Whenever I make cookies, you want to turn on the mixer. When I make scrambled eggs for breakfast, you like to whisk the eggs. You help me clean up the house too. You love it when I tell you that you are my big helper. It makes you just as happy as it makes me.

I put you to bed every night and our routine always consists of me laying down with you and snuggling while we listen to and watch your bedtime aquarium play music. Sometimes we sit their quietly, and other times we goof around singing songs or tickling. You never like it when I get up to leave so you can go to sleep. Over the past couple years, I have pushed your bed time back further and further, just so I can spend a little extra time with you.

You are a very snuggly little girl, and your daddy and I love that, as we are also snugglers. Your daddy and I like to cuddle with you while we watch movies. There are days where you tell me you want to sit on my bed and snuggle while we watch some TV. I love nothing more than to hold you, and I am going to do everything I can to make sure you always want to snuggle with me, even when you're a teenager.

Right now you are the only baby on your dad's side, and you are the fourth baby on mom's side. Both families love you very, very much. In fact, Grandma CC is coming just for your birthday. Grandma and Grandpa W came out for your first birthday. Your aunties and uncles love you very much too. Both of mom's brothers asked me to make a calendar with pictures of you for their Christmas gifts this past year. Its something I have done since your first Christmas, and my family wants me to keep them coming.

I love you so much you have me wrapped around your little finger. You know when you are in trouble all you have to do is give me your sly little smile and I will laugh. Most times I can't stay mad at you for more than a few seconds. You are my light and my joy. I will never forget how hard I fought to get you here, and I know that shows every day of your life. I never take you for granted. Your dad says I spoil you, and as much as I like to tell him I don't, we all know I do. I just can't help myself. I love to make you happy. I love to see you smile. Above all, I love to hear you laugh. I get through the worst days by looking forward to coming and getting you from school. Some days it takes all I have to stay at work and not go get you to take you home and snuggle.

When I was pregnant with you people always asked what was the one thing I wanted most for you. I always told them it was to be smarter than me. On top of that, I wish that you and I will always have a close relationship. I hope that you will always come to me when you need help with life's problems. I hope you always know that I am always here for you, and that I love you more than anything. I thank God all day long, every day for blessing my life with you.

I love you sweet baby girl. I look forward to watching you continue to grow this next year. To sharing new adventures with you that you will talk about for the rest of your life. To taking pictures of more amazing and wonderful moments. You are worth it all.

Will all my love,
Your mama