Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Day 7 - Cramps suck

I have cramps.  Bad ones.  Took a 800 mg motrin and then 3 hours later took a half vicodin.  And I'm still in pain.  The weird thing is - no blood.  Sorry if that's gross.  But since no one reads this anyways, I guess its okay ; )  I feel like I am full blown on my period except for the bleeding.  Is it possible my uterus is now completely shut?  My periods have been light since having Finn.  Which, after only two years, we figured out was because the scarring in my uterus is really bad.  They have been even lighter since my hysteroscopy - which is how I knew that the surgery did not work. But now nothing?

I have fears about the hysterectomy.  I have very complicated feelings about not having a uterus.  But I really look forward to the possibility of being without this pain.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Day 5 (a day late) - 8's my lucky number

"What are your thoughts about tomorrow's election?"

The above sentence is as far as I got yesterday.  Dammit.  Well, I posted for 4 days in a row.  A new record.  But here I am before 8am the next day, making up for yesterday's missed post.  That's still pretty good.

Instead of writing about how I feel about THIS election (which to sum up is NERVOUS), I want to write about 2008.  2008 was supposed to be my year.  Why?  8 is my favorite and lucky number.  Its the number I always pick if I use "I'm thinking of a number between 1 and 10."  I always use 8 for the lottery.  I even like getting eights when I play poker or blackjack (which is also irrational and stupid unless you get 3 or 4 of them in poker).  So 2008 would be MY YEAR.  Great things would happen.  In other words, I would SURELY get pregnant and give birth to a real live baby.  These are the types of things crazy people who have trouble getting pregnant think.

We lost our baby in March of 2007.  2007 was the worst year of my life.  SO bad, I don't even really remember anything that happened after March.  But I do remember that on New Year's Eve night my husband and I hugged with tears in our eyes, and I was thinking "Thank God that year is over.  Let this next one be better."  And a part of me believed that it would be.  Things just had to turn around.  Right?

Yeah right.  2008 proved to be pretty tough as well.  We started trying to get pregnant again in the summer of 2007 and it didn't happen month after month.  By 2008, we were concerned and went in to see a fertility doctor.  We discovered that I had "old ass eggs" for my age and they recommended that we do fertility treatments.  We were about to start those treatments in April when I got pregnant.  And to make a long story short - I had a miscarriage.  Which turned out to be a pretty long and drawn out process and tough on me physically (I think the fact that it was also tough emotionally goes without saying).  Meanwhile everyone and their mother was getting pregnant and having babies.  2008 was turning out to NOT be my year.

I also started a new teaching job in the fall that was incredibly difficult, stressful and time-consuming.  So we decided that baby-making via fertility treatments would have to wait until 2009.  So no baby in 2008.  So much for my lucky number.

But election night 2008 was amazing.  A friend of mine had a party (I made Barack-li salad).  Greg and I wore our Obama shirts.  We brought champagne.  If I remember correctly, they called the election soon after the west coast polls closed.  And I was VERY happy about that.  We cheered and danced and popped open our champagne bottles.  It was great.  To be honest, I voted for Hillary Clinton in the primary but I fully supported Obama in the general.  After 8 looooonnnnnngggg years of President Bush I was ready for a change.  DESPERATE for a change.  And the thought of Sarah Palin being next in line to the presidency was truly terrifying.

But what I remember most is watching Obama give his acceptance speech.  We all stood there, silent, tears in our eyes.  It wasn't just that "my guy" had won.  It was so much bigger than that.  This was history happening right before my eyes.  I voted for the first black president.  And he won.  Wow.  I thought of what this meant for our country and for so many people, in ways that I could never understand.  I thought of many of my students and so many little children seeing this happen.  It was wonderful.  It may sound cliche, but I felt so hopeful.

It was the highlight of an otherwise shitty year.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Day 4 - Fall Back Sucks

I used to love fall back.  I got to sleep late.  And it got dark earlier and it felt all cozy and autumnal.  And it was lighter earlier in the morning making it easier to wake up and get to work.

Now I'm a parent.  Let me state the obvious - I did NOT get to sleep in.  And getting darker earlier means less time outside and more time inside entertaining an active, easily bored almost three year old.  And lighter earlier means up earlier and less sleep.  At least until we all get used to losing that very important hour.

Me too tired to write more.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Day 3 - We have a date....

....for my hysterectomy.  Woo hoo!

Let's do this by the numbers.  Maybe that will help me focus and be able to finish this post before Finn wakes up from his nap.

18: the date in December that I will have my uterus removed

5000: dollars, that is.  That's my medical insurance out-of-pocket max for the year which I have already reached.  If the surgery had not been scheduled in 2012, I would have had to shell out another $5000 for the hysterectomy.  But my doctor, who is fucking awesome, agreed to do the surgery on the 18th even though she originally told me that December 17th was her absolute last day of availability for the year.

2:  the number of doctors who will perform the surgery.  One is my regular OB.  She did my hysteroscopy in May.  When the topic of MORE surgery came up, I asked her about a second opinion and someone who is more of a specialist.  She referred me to a urogynecologist.  The two of them are going to do robotic laparoscopic surgery on me.

6:  the number of weeks that it will take for me to fully recover.  My doctor doesn't want me to do any heavy lifting during this time.  Gah.  Does picking up an almost three year old count?

6: this is also the number of weeks I have to train my son to sleep in a big boy bed and to get in and out of the car by himself.  I am NOT forcing the potty training thing.  I figure if it happens, it happens.  And if it doesn't, I'll change him on his new bed (that we need to buy).  We can potty train him after I heal.

137:  the number of doctors who have seen my vagina.  Okay, I made this number up.  But between infertility and all the problems I've had in the last 3 years, it feels like a conservative estimate.  I really hope that after this procedure I can go back to being more normal - one doctor, once a year gets to see my hoohaw and that's it.  Its kinda funny though.  I've become totally desensitized to it.  I'll go see a new doctor or ultrasound tech and they'll be so kind and careful and I'm ripping off my tearaway sweats and putting my legs up in the stirrups, saying "Alrighty, let's go doc."

4 or 5: the number of months pregnant I currently look.  And I am obviously NOT pregnant or I'm pretty sure they would not perform a hysterectomy on me next month.  But man am I bloated and in pain again.  This is the worst I've felt in over a year.  Maybe my body or the Universe is trying to tell me - "Do it!  Have the surgery!  You've tried so many other things that haven't worked!  Now its time to try this."  PLEASE let this hysterectomy help me feel better.

Alright, that's all I have time for.  There's more to write and more to process another day.  For example, how I feel about absolutely never being able to get pregnant again.  I already pretty much knew this, but this sure makes it FOR SURE.  And I would imagine that when I'm laying around feeling like shit, it will be really easy to feel very sad about it.  Or how I'm pretty terrified of having surgery again.  What if something bad happens?  What if it doesn't work?  What if it makes things worse?

But maybe it will help me feel better.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Day Two and I'm still Writing!

I don't have much time, but I'm determined to write so I'm going with the prompt of the day:

"If you could live anywhere, where would it be?"

I like this prompt and its actually relevant to me because we short saled our house this year and are currently living in a rental.  Not that there's anything wrong with renting, but the circumstances under which we find ourselves here are less than satisfactory.  And while I really like the house we are renting and I enjoy the neighborhood so far, this is not where we want to live forever.

So I have three answers.

#1 Where I ACTUALLY want to live (and can afford buy) when our credit recovers and we can buy again:  Benicia.  Or Martinez.  But the hubs says no to Benicia - he doesn't want to cross two bridges to get to work,which I totally understand.  So it will probably (hopefully) be Martinez.  Its a nice little town.

#2 Where I would live in my real life, if we had tons of money:  Probably still Martinez.  Just in a nicer, bigger house with land.  Or maybe Lafayette or Orinda.  If we had lots of money I would definitely want a house with a little bit of land for a huge garden and some chickens.

#3 My fantasy/dream answer: Somewhere in Europe.  Probably in France.  I'd have a house in the Provincial countryside and an apartment in Paris.  And eat good food and drink wine and see beautiful buildings and art all the time and be just a train ride away from so many amazing places.

I pray that #1 comes to pass.  If win the lottery, it'll be #2.  If I win some crazy multi-state, biggest jackpot in history lottery, I'll add on #3.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


I have a lot going on.  2012 has been quite a year.  Wonderful and difficult, exciting and sad.  Of course, one would never know this by reading my blog.  Since I don't actually WRITE any posts.  I mean, I think about blogging and writing all the time.  I have things I want to remember.  I have things I need to get off my chest.  I feel I should do something to keep my poor, tired, "stay-at-home mom" brain in better shape.  But my last blog post was in August.  Gah.

I need to get in the habit of writing and processing and figuring shit out that needs to be figured out.  I need to stop watching 2 or 3 hours of TV every night after I put my son to bed.  I need to stop falling asleep watching the news (and by news, I mean Real Housewives of New Jersey). Blogging, reading, unpacking those last pesky 10 or 12 boxes, learning to knit again - these are things I should do.

Since organizing my closet and knitting seem totally unlikely, I signed up for NaBloPoMo.  I'm number 1261 on the blogroll.  I like my number - I've got a good feeling about this.  Thank God Melissa provides a list of prompts or I'd be in trouble.  Although I can't think of a good quote for the life of me, so I'm just writing about how I never write but really want to.  Fascinating stuff.  But its a start.

Hmmm, well, that's all I've got for today.  My husband is actually home early tonight so we're gonna catch up on The Amazing Race.  And I don't feel bad about watching TV after writing that I should watch less TV.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Not sure

Its taken me a while to sit down and start to write this.  Sometimes I don't write because I feel fine and I don't NEED to write.  Lots of times I have things I COULD write about, but after a long day with my little guy, tivo and the couch win me over.  I think I have not written about this yet because, when I 'm really honest with myself, I am having a VERY hard time processing this.  I haven't been sure what to even write.  I'm not sure exactly HOW I feel about this or WHY I feel the things I do.  But I decided that my feelings don't need to be summed up neatly in one post.  I'll just start writing and see if it helps me.

I will not ever get pregnant again.

I didn't say "CAN'T" ever get pregnant again, because there is actually some incredibly small chance that I could get pregnant.  I say "WILL NOT" because my doctor told me that if I (miraculously) did get pregnant again, she would be very concerned about my health.  I am at high risk of very serious complications.  The kind you die from.  Oh and I probably would never even get pregnant again anyway - assisted or otherwise.  So, yeah....I will not ever get pregnant again.

My hysteroscopy was at the beginning of May.  I could have written a whole post about that experience but I think I was in a state of depression for a few days afterwards and just laid in bed recovering - also known as eating gluten free cookies and watching "The West Wing" dvds.  I'll just cut to the chase - the scarring inside my uterus was the worst my doctor has ever seen.  Which, after thinking about for a week or so, prompted me to ask her - how many of these has she done?  Am I the worst out 5?  Or 500?  She never gave the me the exact number, but she's said she's done more than 5.  But, she had a technician with her in surgery who came with one of the machines or tools or whatever she used on me and this person has been in on hundreds of these surgeries all over the Bay Area.  She said this was the SECOND worst she's ever seen.

Both my doctor and the internets tell me that women with severe intrauterine scarring have a small chance of actually getting pregnant again (need I mention that I already had a small chance of getting pregnant agin?).  And those that get pregnant are at high risk for complications - miscarriage, placenta previa, preeclampsia, and on and on and on.

Awesome.  And by awesome, I mean fuckity fuck fuck.

The practical, realistic side of me feels pretty okay about this.  It is what it is right?  And there are things about it that are actually positive.  I mean, let's break it down:

1.  I'm 39.  I had trouble getting pregnant before.  I've got old ass eggs.  The only thing I had going for me before was my uterus.  And now that's all fucked up.

2.  For over a year after having my son, I was convinced that I did not even WANT to get pregnant again and felt okay about it.  Then when I decided that what was holding me back from trying was fear, I faced it down and went for it.  We tried.  Well, we started to try.  And we got some seriously bad news.  I was afraid of something bad happening and it did.  And I'm sad.  But I'm going to be okay.  And I'm proud of myself for facing my fears.

3.  I do not have to inject myself with hormones and have people poke and prod me and stick stuff up my vagina.

4.  The bad news came before we spent half our savings.

5.  We have a definitive answer.  We  cannot try to get pregnant.  Its over and done.  It sucks.  But at least now we know.  We can deal with it and move on.

6.  I am blessed with a beautiful and healthy son.  He makes me happy every single day.  I experienced pregnancy.  I gave birth.  I am SO blessed.

Those are the things the rational Leah tells herself.  And those are the things I focused on and said out loud to my family and friends in the first couple weeks after the surgery.  And its all true.

But there is a part of me that is having a very hard time coming to terms with this.  There is a part of me that feels a very deep sadness.  With a little pissed off thrown in there too.  Here's what the other side of Leah thinks:

1.  Seriously?  Anencephaly, miscarriage, fertility treatments, c-section, chronic pain and digestive issues and now this?  I guess, it just doesn't get to be easy.  And it wasn't even going to EASY.  It was going to be expensive and hard and uncomfortable and scary.  But we don't even get to do that.  Well, that's fucking bullshit.

2.  I wanted to be pregnant again.  I. want. to. be. pregnant. again.  Its not just that I want another baby.  I believe I could still have another baby.  But I feel like I want a do-over on the pregnancy thing.  Well, not a do-OVER, but a do-BETTER.  I want to not be terrified all the time.  I want to enjoy more moments.  I want to go in for my c-section with my toes done, my makeup on, feeling well-rested and ready to have an uneventful and calm surgery.  I realize all this is irrational.  But its how I feel.  So many women get to have wonderful pregnancies and beautiful births.  Why can't I?

3.  Its weird that its over.  We've been on the whole "trying to get pregnant" journey for 6 years.  And now we're done.  6 years is a long time.  Change can be hard.  This is a big change.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Moving Day

Today is moving day and I am feeling a little blue.  Relieved, excited, only mildly stressed and blue.  Actually, I'm a jumbled mess of emotions about this whole thing but I don't have much time before its time to make a pot of coffee and madly finish packing before the guys get here to load the truck so....I'll focus on one set of emotions related to leaving this house.

This is the house where I was pregnant with my baby.  Not Finn.  My other baby.  This is the house where we felt joy and excitement over the positive pregnancy test and painted little blocks of color on the wall and talked about names and talked about names.  And its also the house we came home to after receiving the worst news of our lives.  Where we sat on the couch and didn't know what to do next.  Couldn't believe it was happening.  Didn't know how to move onto what would be the "after."  This is where we cried and cried and cried.  Where friends brought us food and flowers and our beautiful tree. This is where we fell to the depths and struggled to get out.  This is where I changed.

We don't have much.  No pictures, no grave.  We have our tree (which is coming with us) and the memories, most of which were in this house.  And I feel sad to leave.  I know I have her in in my heart.  And the memories are painfully burned in my memory.  And maybe it sounds weird, but I feel like this was her house too.  She is everywhere here.  And I feel like I'm losing a little of her by leaving this place.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Facebook posts in my head

When something funny or awkward or shitty happens, I sometimes compose a Facebook post about it in my head. "Just got finished with vagina-therapy with a hilarious and very unattractive woman named Zelda." (when I was doing physical therapy FOR MY VAGINA) "Couldn't leave the house this morning because I was afraid I would poop my pants." (when my IBS symptoms were particularly bad) "Husband broke the toilet last night - its a bad flu." (I think this one needs no explanation)

Today's Facebook post in my head is "Just backed into a pole and crushed my tail light.  Fuck.  Oh and the inside of my uterus is stuck together and we're going to lose our house."

The thing is, I haven't been feeling very upset about my uterus or the house.  But the broken tail light seems to have put me over the edge.  I feel a little dumb for backing into a pole.  But mostly I feel crazy because, after I parked, I got out and checked the back of my car and was amazed to see that there was no damage.  I even checked AGAIN when I got back in my car after my haircut because I couldn't believe that there was no damage.  Then tonight my husband come in the bathroom while I'm giving Finn a bath and asks me if I backed into something.  And I say "Uhhhh yeah."  And what I'm thinking is "The only way he could know that is because he saw that something is wrong with my car.  How the fuck did I miss that?!"  So I go check it out and see that my tail light is mashed.  Not sure how I could have missed that TWICE.  Gah.

Now on to my uterus:  I had a saline sonogram two weeks ago. Its part of the required pre-testing at our fertility clinic. I've had one before. So I went in not feeling stressed AT ALL. I knew what to expect from the procedure and I was almost certain that the test would show my uterus is fine (its my old ass eggs that are the problem). I was just feeling irritated that I had to spend $800 to find out that everything was fine. Well, shit.  Turns out everything is not fine.

It started off quite well actually. She told me my cervical mucus looked great, I had an egg getting ready to ovulate on the right side, and the lining was "three stripes" which apparently is good for implantation. After she tells me all this good news, I actually started thinking that I would probably get pregnant this month the old-fashioned way (yeah, um no). Then she puts the saline in and starts taking a bunch of ultrasound pictures. She puts more saline in and takes a bunch more. After she's done, she says I can sit up and asks me if I had been paying attention. Which I guess is what you ask someone when you are about to tell them bad news? Was I supposed to stop her and say, you don't need to explain. I was watching carefully and I know EXACTLY what's going on.  Anyway, she tells me that it appears that I have significant adhesions inside my uterus. I'm like, INSIDE? I didn't even know you could get them inside. Several doctors have told me they are almost certain that I have significant adhesions outside of my uterus - my OB thinks my uterus is stuck to my bladder. And I have had pain and IBS issues since the C-section. So, regardless of how confident I felt prior to the test, I guess I am not really THAT surprised.

So now what? I need to have a hysteroscopy.  I went in to see my OB/GYN last week to consult her about it. I want her to do it so that its covered by insurance.  Its scheduled for next Friday.  Best case scenario:  She goes in, cuts the adhesions, bing bang boom, we pursue treatment in a month or two.  Worst case scenario:  I'm paraphrasing here, but I think its possible that the doctor who did my c-section sewed my uterus together.  I forget exactly how my doctor worded it.  She said the ultrasound image was strange.  She said that usually the adhesions look thin and wispy but that, in my case, there appears the be a thick band across the middle.  Awesome.  She said that she doesn't know what happened during the c-section because she wasn't there.  She just needs to "get in there and see what she can see."

I have joked many times over the last two years of recovery and pain and IBS that I got the "Christmas Night C-section."  And I have worked very hard at figuring out on my own how to feel better and accept that I didn't heal easily and deal with the fact that I still have about a week a month of pain and IBS troubles and just be grateful that I have Finn and that he is healthy.  But if that fucking doctor sewed my uterus together, I'm going to be pissed.

Inhale.  Exhale.

And I'm pretty nervous about the surgery.  I mean, I guess its not really that big of a deal.  Its outpatient.    They don't have to cut into me - they use existing holes....But my poor little tipped (and now scarred) uterus has been through so much!  A D&E, a D&C, a c-section.  I mean, enough already.  The idea of cutting in there gives me the willies.  It just makes me feel uncomfortable.  Surgery is what CAUSED these problems and now I'm having more surgery.

But what really scares me is the worst case scenario.  What if things are REALLY fucked up in there?  What if she tells me that I can't get pregnant.  Not, you PROBABLY won't get pregnant.  Or its UNLIKELY you will get pregnant.  But you CANNOT get pregnant.

I know that worrying about it now does me no good.  We'll know more in a week in a half.  And thank God I have a wonderful two year old distraction to make the time fly (and I am SO grateful for that amazing little distraction).  But here is where I vent and worry and get stuff off my chest.  So I did. Now I have a Grey's Anatomy calling my name....

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Needles are no big deal....

These are words that would NEVER have crossed my lips before trying to have a baby.

I used to have serious needle-phobia. I mean I was TERRIFIED of them. When I was a kid, I worried for DAYS when I knew I had a doctor's appointment coming. I once had a pretty badly infected spider bite that needed draining. My doctor wanted to numb it before cutting it open and squeezing the puss out. Barf. After explaining this to me, it took two nurses and my mother to hold me down while they did the procedure. Summer after my freshman year in college, a friend was exposed to Hepatitis (the restaurant and toilet seat kind, not the STD) so the four of us who worked closely with her had to get vaccinated just to be safe. I was so pissed at her. FURIOUS. Summer before my senior year in college I took classes at UC Davis and had a weird skin rash. The doctor wanted to do a blood test. I sat in the waiting area SOBBING because I was alone and so scared. I also left the building two times and almost got in my car and just drove away because I was by myself and no one could stop me (I didn't actually leave by the way. I hiked up my skirt and did the blood test. And cried the whole time.).

I grew a little tougher as an adult. I was still terrified but I could control and deal with it like a fairly normal person. I even got a couple of tattoos. But not until fertility treatments did they become no big deal. Now I'm a CHAMP. I pull up my sleeve, ball up my fist and don't even flinch when the needle goes in. I know that its easier to find a good vein in my left arm. I compliment a good phlebotomist (and there are bad ones, we all know it). Its kind of like a girlie exam. They were neither ENJOYABLE nor terrifying, but it was something I did not look forward to. Now, I'm like "Undress from the waist down? Sure! You're like one of 5 doctors left in the area who HASN'T seen my vagina, so have at it."

Back to the needles. I'm starting acupuncture again. I am so NOT needle-phobic anymore that I am willing to pay someone to stick like 15-20 needles all over my body (go back in time and tell that to College Leah and she would squirt keg beer out her nose and laugh her ass off.) I figure if we are going to spend all this friggin money, let's do everything we can to improve our chances right? So I went to my new acupuncturist yesterday. I liked her. She's going to make it so I can get pregnant again. And eat gluten again. Its going to be so awesome. Except for the herbs. The herbs are NOT awesome. They taste like shit.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Back in the Stirrups Again

So we went to our consultation appointment on Monday. I really liked the doctor we met with. And I guess the news was as good as we could hope for.

We went over our history with her. She talked about how being an old lady like me is not good for eggs (no duh). She said my husband's sperm counts (from 2008) looked very good. Which means the trouble really is all me and my old ass eggs. But she said my FSH has stayed basically the same from 2008 to now. So all that was good news.

Some things that surprised me: I had gone in thinking we were definitely looking at IVF, but based on what she said, IUI may be our best option. Because our only issue appears to be maternal age, our odds of getting pregnant are about the same if we do a few rounds of IUI as they are if we did one round of IVF. She said IVF increases the odds of pregnancy in younger women and women who have tubal issues and for couples dealing with male factor and those sorts of things. But apparently old ladies like me just don't have good odds when using their own eggs. Now I did actually know this (again, no duh), but I didn't realize that IUI could possibly give us just as good a chance. As anyone who has gone down the infertility road knows, IUI IS HELLA CHEAPER THAN IVF. She also told me that going with an IVF package (2 fresh, 2 frozen cycles at a discounted price) is no good for us because I would most likely not have any embryos to freeze. She said that with women my age, they are just HOPING to get 2 or 3 good embryos and that they usually use all 3 in a fresh cycle and hope that just one sticks.

So we then moved on to the examination room where it was time to hop back in the stirrups. When the doctor left us so I could get undressed, my husband just looked around and said "here we are again." Of course, I have been in many a stirrup since we last did fertility treatments, in the quest to figure out what the hell was wrong with me, but he wasn't with me at those appointments. And they weren't technically related to babymaking. But I could see he was feeling a little like "oh shit, I did not miss this." I was actually feeling pretty okay. I've had so many trans-v ultrasounds, it ain't no thang. And I type "trans-v" in honor of those assholes in Virginia, especially the man who sponsored the bill, but can't even SAY the word "vagina." I forget his name at the moment, but I saw footage of him saying "trans-V ultrasound" over and over. Its trans-VAGINAL fella. If you can't even SAY the word vagina, maybe you should think long and hard about legislating what women have do with theirs. Kthanx bye. Now back to me.

My antral follicle count was 2 or 3 on the left and 3 or 4 on the right which she said was about what she expected - not great, not horrible. On day 3 of my next cycle, which should start any second now, I'll get my FSH, estradiol and AMH tested. I've had FSH and estradiol done recently, but I've never had the AMH. Apparently it wasn't even available way back in 2008. Its another indicator of ovarian reserve and helps the doctor estimate our chances of success. So if that comes back in a not horrible range, it sounds like she's going to tell us we have a reasonable chance of success. What's reasonable? I believe she said they don't like to do IVF on women who have a less than 25% of success and that we should decide what percentage is acceptable to us. 25%?! Is 25% reasonable?! Oh and I think the percentage is even smaller for any given round of IUI. Awesome.

So anyways, now we wait for my period to make its arrival. Of course, this month when we are waiting for it to come to get started on possibly trying, its not coming. And not because I'm pregnant (I already POAS and it was negative - who pees on a stick on day 25 of their cycle? Me.) I guess its good that I'm actually having a normal-length cycle? Oh, who knows. So now its day 28 and I haven't had a 28 day cycle in who knows how long. Oh well. I feel relatively relaxed about the waiting. My new focus on "one day at a time" appears to be working so far AND I have a delightful little two year old to keep me quite busy.

The only other thing worth noting is that the day of our appointment was the 5 year anniversary of finding out the terrible news about our first baby. February 27, 2007 . I can't believe its been five years. I wore the bracelet my husband got me as a remembrance of her. For good luck? To remind myself and her and all the world that she will always be my first baby in my heart? I don't know. i just felt like wearing it.

So we shall day a at time.

The Two's Are Not So Terrible

As I start typing this post, my little man is sitting on the couch, yelling the names of all the Thomas engines as he watches his show - "Thomas! James! Gordon!" (actually he says "dordon") That little boy voice and his not-quite-right pronunciations make me smile. I'm in here typing while he watches because, sometimes, I just can't watch Thomas. The stories are boring, the trains with their rolling eyes and odd faces are creepy, and the songs are terrible. The episodes narrated by Alec Baldwin are bearable because I find everything he does to be a little bit funny (and his James voice makes James sound like a prissy queen and that just kills me because it is SO right). Most days I'll gladly sit through a terrible kid's show to snuggle with Finn on the couch, knowing that someday snuggles will be few are far between, but every now and again, I use that 20-30 minutes to do something for myself (like pay bills online or empty the dishwasher or do the taxes - indulgent stuff like that).

So about those "Terrible Two's." So far, not so terrible in our house. Don't get me wrong, we have our moments. There are fits. There is crying for no apparent reason. And when all the "terrible two" typical behaviors started, I felt quite frustrated and irritated. I felt like I was saying "no" ALL day. I felt like he would NEVER play by himself or let me cook dinner or even go to the bathroom by myself. I felt tired and crabby and not sure what to do. And I think I was taking some of his behavior personally. But then I read a couple of blog posts, a couple of those Babycenter "My Toddler at Two" emails came at just the right moment, and I saw that lady who wrote a book about parenting like the French on TV. And I was reminded that this is totally normal and taking a two year old's behavior personally is ridiculous. And what I took away from the French parenting book lady, was PATIENCE. So I tell myself every day (okay, 10 times a day, or 25, whatever) to be patient and calm. And the two's are a lot less terrible.

The wonderful things about two?
* He doesn't fall as much - I don't have to worry every second that he's going to fall down or try to climb something he's not ready for. Stairs are still tricky. We don;t have stairs at house so he doesn't get much practice. Going up, he's good. Down? He would just barrel forward and fall right down if I let him. But other than stairs, we're all good.

* He can talk!!! Granted, I can't understand all of what he says and most people can't understand MOST of it, but he's talking and communicating and its adorable and helpful. I remember when my friends' kids were little and they would talk to me and I'd think "what the hell did that kid just say?" and the mom would be like "he said he went to the park and had fun on the slide" and I'd be like "there is no way in hell that's what he said." But now I totally get it. I am Finn's interpreter. Finn will tell my mom "Gramma Danet, da dabage duck tame and dot my geen dabage" and she'll look at me like "WTF?" And I explain "Grandma Janet, the garbage truck came and got my green garbage." But he can tell me when he's full and when he wants his sippy cup and when he has poo and what toy he wants to play with and which book he wants to read. Woo hoo!! The frustration level for both of us has gone down considerably. And that little voice is just too much.

* He can play by himself. Not all the time and not for long of course, but he is getting more independent. I can flip through a magazine while he plays cars. I can get dinner ready while he plays in his kitchen. I can chat with a friend while he plays with their kids on a play date.

* He gets silly. He loves to laugh and run around, chase me or Greg and be chased. He loves it when we make funny faces at him. He'll point to a picture of Thomas the Train and say "That's Percy" and laugh and laugh and then go through the whole book calling every train Percy and laughing the whole time. He'll put on my shoes and walk around in them to make me laugh. God, there is no better sound then his laughter. I have always loved hearing babies and toddlers laugh, but when its your child doing it? Oh man.

But best of all?
* He is a little lover. He likes to snuggle and watch a show or snuggle and read books. He says "I wuv you Mama." And sometimes when I say "I love you too Finn" he says "I wuv you too" and I say "I love you too" and he says "I wuv you too" and it makes me smile and want to cry at the same time. He hugs people and gives kisses. He tells his grandparents that he loves them. Its the absolute best.

Having an infant is wonderful and awful at the same time. I was sleep deprived and new at staying home and in pain 24 hours a day. But now I get to sleep, I'm better at being a "stay at home mom," the pain is better, and I'm the healthiest I've ever been. And I have a healthy, mostly happy, son who is becoming this amazing little person. I don't know if what we went through makes me appreciate what I have more. But I am painfully aware how lucky we are to have him. Which isn't to say that I run around blowing rainbows out my ass and acting like everything is perfect all of the time. We have our moments (like this morning when I started this post - I stopped to feed Finn breakfast. He had a meltdown for seemingly no reason. Eventually I figured out it was because he wanted his pancake folded in half so he could hold it like a burrito). And there are days when I am like, get me out of this house and please let some intelligent adult talk to me. But I think losing a baby and having trouble getting pregnant help me put the tough days in perspective. The twos aren't terrible. Before we had him was terrible.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Fear Factor

We're thinking of doing IVF. I even made a consultation appointment that's gonna cost us $275 whether we decide to go through with it or not. Which reminds me, I need to play the lottery tomorrow......

So why this change of heart? A year ago, even two months ago, if you had asked me if we were going to do fertility treatments again, I would have said HELL NO. Too expensive, too stressful and scary, not likely to work, no thank you. But now I'm feeling like we should give it a shot. Why? I mean, this is a major change in my thinking. Am I crazy? Am I going to change my mind again in a month? I am not PMSing so it can't be blamed on that.

Here's some of my thinking:

1) I think the hubs wants to try for another biological child. We've been talking about adoption and I just don't think he is ready for that. He has not pushed me in ANY way to do fertility again. And I love him so much for that. He has said from the beginning that I am the one that has to go through the most physical discomfort and stress and if I don't want to do it, that is okay. He totally gets what it means to go down that road - it will be a lot for me to deal with, physically and mentally. Not that he gets through it scott free, but its different and he really knows that. Thank God. But I think that if I am willing to do it, that would make him happy. I think he'd be happiest if we just had lots of sex and got pregnant the old-fashioned way, but that doesn't seem likely....

2) Turns out my fertility may not be as bad as I was thinking. For some reason, I thought that when I first went through all the fertility testing, that my FSH was 14. I went back and looked at my info and saw that it was 6.9. Quite a big difference. I recently went to a new OB/GYN and she tested my FSH mid-cycle and it was 20. She started to think that maybe I was in early menopause based on my previous FSH of 14 (which I now know wasn't REALLY 14 and now I am so embarrassed to tell her I was wrong, it was actually half that), my shorter menstrual cycles and the FSH of 20. Apparently 20 can be normal-ish or really high - it depends on the stage of your cycle I have only been keeping track of when I started my period, not ovulation so its hard to know exactly what that number meant. So before I resigned myself to shriveling up at the ripe ole age of 38, I asked her if we could do a day 3 test. That test came back at 11.3. High but not astronomical. My doctor said it indicates "decreased ovarian reserve but not infertility" and she said we should consult a fertility doctor if we want to get pregnant again.

Also, she finally explained to me in a clear and concise way what the hell is wrong with me. I won't get into that now, but let's just say that getting pregnant again and having another c-section where they can get in there and clean up some things MAY be the best option for fixing my problem.

3) When I think about trying again, I don't feel as scared. And I think when I am really honest with myself, the biggest thing that was holding me back was my fear. I would have told you it was the cost. I mean cost is a HUGE consideration because the cost is HUGE. But I think when I would say before "The cost combined with the thought of the physical toll and the stress makes it not worth it" what I really meant was "I cannot stomach spending all that money to go through the pain again." And I don't mean the speculums or the ultrasound wands or the needles, I mean the pain of disappointment and loss. Why spend all that money when it probably won't work and even if a miracle occurs and I actually get pregnant, something bad will probably happen. I was just assuming it would be all disappointment and hurt. Because if that's what you tell yourself and that's what you prepare yourself for, it won't hurt as much right? Yeah right.

But here's the thing: I don't want to base my decision on fear. The fear is understandable. Practical even. And it IS a consideration. Everyone has a point at which they can't do it anymore. Can't do it emotionally. Can't do it financially. But I don't want fear to hold me back from doing something I want to do and can, in fact, handle. I think I have lived a good portion of my life that way - basing choices, from small day to day things to big life-changing decisions, on the fear of getting hurt. Doing whatever it took to avoid being hurt.

At the end of the IVF road, there may not be a baby. And this may be naive but, I feel like at the end of the adoption road, there will be a baby. Which isn't to say that it would be easy, but I feel like if that was really what we both wanted to do and we were willing to put in the time and open our hearts and find the right birth mother, it would happen. And I think that's why I was ready to move on to adoption. It feels less risky. Less scary. There are things about it that scare me of course - Would anyone ever choose us? Would the birth mother change her mind? Would our adopted child feel strange or second best because we have a biological child? But these are fears I don't really KNOW because I haven't personally experienced them. They are abstract, theoretical fears and that makes them seems easier to face.

The things that scare me about IVF and trying to get pregnant again are fears I KNOW all too well. I know the disappointment of not being pregnant after trying and trying and hoping and hoping and spending thousands of dollars and making endless long trips to the doctor. I know the pain of losing a baby. I know the pain of having a miscarriage. I know and vividly remember the fear I tried so hard to keep at bay when I was pregnant with Finn. The fear that was always right under the surface, that made me look at the toilet paper every time I wiped, that made my heart stop for a moment at every ultrasound while they looked for the heartbeat, that made me wonder at my baby shower what I would do with all the gifts if something happened to the baby, that made me start to LOSE IT during labor when his heart rate dropped and I felt like I had made it all that way and yet I would still lose him. I could go on and on.

After we lost the baby, my journey trying to get pregnant was filled with pain and fear. And when we started to talk about another baby,my knee-jerk reaction was, I am not going through all that again. The thought of continuing that journey, of getting back on that road was not an option for me. Because I was afraid. I had made it through my pregnancy, I was feeling happy and whole again and I did not want to risk going back.

But here's how I feel right now, today. I do not have to get back on that road. The road that was ruled by pain and fear. And the truth is, I literally CAN'T get back on that road. It CAN'T be the same road. Because things are not the same. I am not the same person. I am not in the same place. My marriage is not the same. Our family is now made up of three. Things are different. Better in so many ways. And not better in others. So it just simply will not be the same. It will be a different road.

Is it possible, even likely, that there will be stress and disappointment? Yes. Is it possible that I will get hurt and feel pain? Yes. And does that scare me? Yes.

But not enough to not do it.

Because here's the thing. I accept all the disappointment and pain and hurt and loss that we experienced. Its a part of my story and our experience together. It is a part of me. It shaped who I am today. It brought me to my son. It showed me over and over again that I married a wonderful man. And those years weren't ONLY filled with pain and hurt. They were also filled with love and supportive family and friends and hope and growth.

Wow, this sounds a little too.......I don't know, hippie-dippie. So why don't I switch gears.

Fuck fear.

I can do this. Or not do this. But I cannot let fear be the deciding factor.

Monday, January 30, 2012

A Half Initiation

I am "half" initiated into the throw up club. Only half becauseit did not happen on me, in fact, I didn't even witness the event. Finn threw up in his crib sometime in the night or early morning. And that kind of freaks me out.

I heard him calling me this morning at about 6:40 (so he sort of slept in). And it didn't occur to me until after, but his voice sounded different. Quieter than usual. Most mornings he wakes up and start singing and talking to himself or shouting. He's in there either having a good ol' time or is totally pissed that we haven't immediately rushed in to sweep him out of bed. This morning it was a more subdued Mama, mama. Anyways, I poke my head in and tell him I have to go pee and I'll be right back. Nice. 5 more minutes hanging out in his own puke. But I didn't know! At least I got up right away. Usually I let him talk to himself for a bit while I sleep for 10 more minutes.

So I go in and turn on the light and his crib is covered in last night's dinner (taco casserole - totally gross). And he's telling me he "pooped" and "its messy." Poor guy. It was all over the crib and all over the front of him. I think he did it in his sleep? Is that even possible? And if so, isn't that dangerous?! I find this all very disturbing.

But we got him up and out of his PJ's, gave him a bath and he was good as new. He isn't horribly sick today, but I can tell he doesn't feel well and he's hardly eating - which is not normal for him. And when I went in to get him up after his nap, he told me "its nice and clean in here." Cutie patootie.

** The next day: I am now FULLY intitiated. He puked again during dinner. And we cannot blame the new recipe I tried because he didn't even eat any of it. Poor cutie patootie.... Actually he's feeling better today. Guess it was a 24 hour thing. But now the hubs has it. And let's be honest, that is worse in many ways. "Sick baby" is cute on a baby, not a grown man. He HATES being sick and is just not very good at it. But he's usually a cutie patootie too, so I'll type him a "poor cutie patootie" too. And I assume that at this time tomorrow I will be the one with my head in the toilet : (

** A few days later: What a week. Let's just say that the little man had it the easiest, the big man had it the worst and I had it pretty rough too. The hubs was so sick I could not even believe it. I was sure we would end up in the ER. Poor guy. A few highlights - Finn yelling from his crib "Mama okay? Mama? Mama?" while I am almost passed out, naked on the bathroom floor; the husband breaking the toilet seat and then said broken seat being very hard for me to navigate when it was my turn to spend lots of quality time sitting on it (we have one bathroom); both of us literally MOANING and almost crying in pain (at different times of course - my sickness was about 18 hours behind his). But we survived and are mostly healthy again. It was a god-awful but short flu. And we weathered it together as a family. Awwwwww. Maybe the best moment? When, after caring for Finn all by himself for almost 24 hours, my husband tells me "I don't know how you do this."

Friday, January 27, 2012

Hide the Poo

So my husband and I have been playing a game that I will call "Hide the Poo." Its not nearly as disgusting as it sounds, but it is probably more immature than either of us would like to think about. He got this little plastic piece of poo from one of his work friends as part of their Christmas card. Don't ask. These are the kind of work friends he has.

So one day, I happened to be a little irritated with him for some reason - I don't remember why. I have a feeling it had to with him never putting away his laundry and/or leaving his giant size twelves on our bedroom floor. I mean, two of his shoes cover like half of the available floor space in our small ass room. And the hall closet where we keep our shoes is no more than 3 feet from where he leaves them...but I digress. Its also possible we had bickered before he left for work. Who knows. Anyway, after he leaves for work, I'm in our room tidying up, feeling pissed, when I find the piece of poo hidden in my book. And it totally makes me smile and remember once again why I love him. And I proceed to hide the poo on top of his toothbrush in the medicine cabinet.

And the poo has gone back and forth several times since - my underwear drawer, on top of his cell phone. It hadn't moved for about two weeks because the last spot I put it in was inside HIS book. Unbeknownst to me, he was already done reading it so he didn't even notice it until I asked him if I could borrow the book when he was done. In fact, I had forgotten I had even put it there because I get dumber by the minute and can't remember anything that I don't write down. After he left for work this evening, I go out to change a load of laundry and its in the door handle of the dryer. It scared the shit out of me (pun intended). Well played G$, well played. I have now put the poo in a GREAT spot (which I will not write because he might read this).

So what's the big deal with this stupid plastic poo and the hiding it game? Because its funny. And stupid. Its the kind of thing we would have done to each other when we first started dating. Back when we made each other laugh nonstop. Before "for better or for WORSE" (and the worse came quick for us dammit). Before we became parents who are totally wrapped up and in love with their son, which is wonderful but also makes for A LOT less time for us to love on each other. Before G$ became our sole provider and some weeks works so many hours we hardly even see each other. Before I became a stay at home mom who gets crabby when her husband comes home from work and messes up the house she tried to clean and keep tidy all day.

We get so few moments that are for just US or about just US. And I'm not complaining. The reason for that is our son and the choices we have made about me staying at home. I wouldn't change the way things are for the world. But I can see now how parents can lose themselves and how staying connected gets harder or things get stale or whatever. Being "Mom" and "Dad" eat up so much of the pie graph of who you are that "Wife" and "Husband" can get the shaft. I don't think we're THERE, I don't think our relationship is in any trouble, but I can SEE how it happens to people.

"Hide the Poo" is OURS. Not that anybody else would want it..... but its a stupid little thing WE do. Even if it only takes 30 seconds to find a good hiding spot, that was 30 seconds we spent trying to make the other person laugh.

What kept things fresh? Kept us laughing? What kept us out of marriage counseling? A plastic piece of poo. Awesome.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New Year's Resolutions Update

So how are my 125 resolutions going? Let's review:

1. Blog/journal more. I give myself a B minus. This is only my third post in 2 weeks. And I have started but not finished 2 others. Not bad. Not great. I continue to find it hard to sit down for long enough to write. My little sidekick does not allow it during his waking hours. And he only naps for an hour and half and the list of things to accomplish during that time is long. After he goes to bed for the night, the couch, tivo, words with friends and my own bed are just calling my name.....I just need to be happy with some short and sweet posts. Describe Finn's amazing and cute antics of the day (or vent about the terrible twos) and get back to Grey's Anatomy (watch less TV was not an OFFICIAL resolution so I don't feel bad about this. I have been watching less by the way - I am reading before bed instead of falling asleep to the TV).

2. Spend more quality time with my husband. We have gone on one date and are going on another on Thursday. If I get a babysitter. Shit. We have had two "serious" conversations that went quite well - one about adoption, which relates to another resolution. But we've only done it once in two weeks. I cannot give myself higher than a C+ because of this. But dammit, I pulled a groin muscle a couple of weeks ago and its only recently not killing me. So really I should give myself a B minus.

3. Come to a decision about adopting a baby. I have decided. The husband needs some more time to process. No grade for this one - its too big.

4. Live in the moment. Be present. I give myself an A minus for this one. I have really been making an effort and I think I am doing pretty well.

Those were my main four. An A and a couple of B minuses. Not TOO shabby. Of course if this were this my 9th grade report card, my dad would have had to sit down and talk to me about "working up to my potential" and explain that "B's are okay for some people and only if you really tried your hardest, but...." Since one of my lower grades has to do with lack of "quality" time with the husband (wink, wink), the thought of my dad telling me that its not acceptable is a tad disturbing.

Short and sweet. Now I'm off to watch Grey's.

Oh wait. Cute Finn story of the day? He is starting to sing "Wheels on the Bus" with me. And its just about the cutest thing you ever did hear. And I hate to sound like one of THOSE parents, but he sings pretty well. He's on key and seems to have some rhythm. Oh and he made up his own verse. "The Daddys on the bus go poo poo and pee pee." There's a lot of poo and pee talk lately. I'm just glad its the Daddys doing it on the bus and not the Mamas.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


So I started my period today. Which explains why I have been combing adoptions websites for the past week. I had one agency send me an info packet. And I found a baby we should TOTALLY adopt on the website of the adoption facilitator that my friends used when adopting their son. The baby is due in February. I'm sure we are mentally, financially and legally ready to add to our family in the next 6 weeks right? And by ready I mean, we haven't officially decided to start the process, haven't chosen an agency or had a homestudy or any of those silly little details.

The day before my period started last month, I spent the whole night online researching IVF costs. Which is strange because I have spent A LOT of time thinking about going down the fertility treatment road again and have decided again and again, I repeat, after MUCH thought, soul-searching and discussion with the husband, that we are not going to do it. If it was cheaper we would. If the odds were better we would. But the combination of the cost, the odds and the emotional and physical toll it takes on both of us (but especially me), makes it very unattractive. I blame PMS for making me think "$15,000 isn't THAT expensive, we could totally give this a try!" ($15,000 was the absolute cheapest I could find - I thought it would be more like 25 - 30 grand, so 15 grand started to sound like a good deal. And I love a good deal.).

Apparently, in the days leading up to my period I start wanting another baby REALLY BAD.

Which brings two major questions to mind:
#1 Why is life so goddamned unfair and why do I have such a hard time getting pregnant? That's my "boo hoo, woe is me" question. I usually get over it pretty fast because....ummm, life's NOT fair - get over it. And I am oh so blessed to have one healthy beautiful living baby - so get over it.
#2 Why do I want another baby so badly? This is the bigger question. I don't think I can blame it all on PMS. I am currently on my period and not PMSing and I still want another baby. Yet almost a year ago, I wrote a post on my other blog about how I would be okay with just having one. Now I'm not so sure. Is it because Finn is no longer a baby? Is it because I have always planned on having at least two kids and I just can't let go of the plan? Or is it because I will never be happy with what I've got, I'll always want more and more? Or is it because being a mother is so fulfilling, it feels so right, it is SO a huge part of who I am supposed to be, that I want to do again?

I could write and write and write about this, but I don't have the time. And it can't be figured out in a day anyways. I'll keep wanting. And trust that the answer will come. And I'll be ready for a PMS fueled how-to-get-a-baby web search next month (or actually in about 20 days because my cycles are ridiculously short lately). But I do want to say that I am SURE that if we adopted a child, I would want to have sex with my husband all the time. And no, I did not add that last sentence because I found out he snuck a read the other day. I swear.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A new year and a new blog

My first post on my new blog. Woo hoo! Let's hope its not my last. I'm not usually big on New Year's Resolutions, but for some reason, this year I have like 30 and "Blog more" is one of them. So here we go.

Why a new blog? I already have a blog that I rarely post to anymore - Plan B(aby). I started it when I was dealing with the loss of my baby and trying oh so hard to get pregnant with another. I needed to write about what I was going through. I've never been much of a journal writer, but for the first time, I literally HAD TO write. I had to get out some of the pain and frustration and sadness. It helped me get through it. And while I am not completely "through that" or "over that," it IS different now. Plan B worked. We have a son (who is the cutest, most smartest and adorable 2 year old EVAH) and while I still grieve the loss of our baby and recently feel very infertile again, I am also generally happy and having a (mostly) wonderful time being a stay-at-home mom. Plus I also decided that I hate the other blog's name. I thought it was so clever at the time - I'm a huge planner, things didn't go as a I planned in the babymaking department, so we moved onto Plan B, blah, blah, blah. But now it just makes think of the morning after pill. Which doesn't seem right when my main blogging topic was pregnancy loss and fertiliity issues.

Alright enough about that. I'll save why I chose "The Years are Getting Shorter" for another day (as I pretend that its not totally obvious and horribly cliche)....

I saw this "Yearly Recap" on another blog and decided that doing one for myself would help me jumpstart the whole new blog/more posts thing. Like I said before, I'm not usually a resolution gal, but this year I feel so ready for a new year and some new changes that I am embracing it wholeheartedly. I'm a little afraid that its because I am bored and in need of some changes and excitement, but whatever.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
Went gluten free. And it has improved my health SO MUCH. It was really hard at first and there are moments when it still sucks SO BAD, but its worth it to feel better. And I do feel better.
Starting taking Zumba classes. Which is only worth mentioning because historically, I HATE to exercise and have pretty much avoided doing it until this, my 38th year of life. But I was in such bad shape at the beginning of last year (not just out of shape, but really not well - its for another post) that I had to try something - which is also why I went gluten free. One of my best friends starting teaching classes at her sister's dance studio which is a minute and a half from my house, so I gave it a shot. And I LOVE Zumba! Its fun, I see my friends, I get out of the house BY MYSELF and, it turns out, exercise does in fact make you feel better. Who knew?
Invested in a business. G$ and I put money into my brother's new bar. We happen to think its a good investment, but I also love that we are supporting him in this way. He is quite successful in his other two ventures, but this one is pretty much on his own (with his girlfriend). And I am so proud of him. I was a huge asshole to him for most of our childhood so I'm hoping this makes up for it. And I love talking to him about "OUR bar." I know he hates it.

*After reading this back, I decided that I am a boring person and I need to do more exciting new things in 2012.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Well, I didn't make any last year, so I guess the fact I am making ANY makes it more. And, for the record, I'm aware that going from 0 to 30 may not bode well for actually keeping them, but you have to admire my enthusiasm.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Three of my friends. All boys. All adorable. And they all make me want another one so bad.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No. Thank God.

5. What countries did you visit?
Mexico. G$, Finn and I went to our timeshare in Cabo and had our first family vacation. It was great.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
A renewed connection with my husband. I don't think 2011 was BAD for us, but I think that the trauma and stress of losing a baby and dealing with infertility and then the stress of having a newborn sort of put our relationship on the back burner for the last few years. And now that we are both feeling better and getting some sleep, we need to make sure that we are paying attention to US every now and again. The truth is that most days, I am just so damn tired by the time Finn goes to bed that I just want to veg on the couch in front of the TV or read a book. From what my girlfriends tell me I am not alone in feeling this way. But I need to find the time and energy to devote to my husband sometimes too. We need to go on more dates. We need to have sex more. We need to find more TV shows that we can watch together (he has terrible taste in TV shows - and would say the same thing about me). And we need to get away for a night!!!! We have been away together for ONE NIGHT since Finn was born and it was for our 20th high school reunion (yes, we went to high school together) that I helped plan. He didn't eat dinner and got hammered off 4 beers and had to go back to the hotel early and I had to stay and help clean up. So it was not an incredibly romantic night away.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I can't think of any dates that really stick out. It was a year of overall contentment and lack of drama or trauma. Thank God.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I think I have two. Learning how to eat gluten free is one - it wasn't easy and it has totally changed the way I shop and cook. I cook more and better now. And I think its healthier for all three of us. And my second would be just learning how to do this whole stay at home mom thing. I mean I'm not perfect, but I have got it so much more figured out this year. The first year with Finn was pure survival. I was so sleep deprived and new at it and it turns out I was not very healthy to top it off. But last year I feel like I got into more a of a routine.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I don't think I had any HUGE failures. I'm sure I'm screwing Finn up in some way that I have yet to realize, but mostly I think I'm a pretty good mom. And again, I wish I had done more to be connected and intimate with G$, but I think that I am mostly doing the best I can. And I guess I could be nicer to the dog. I'll have to work on bigger failures this year. Or the ability to honestly recognize them in my life.

*Okay, after further thought, I figured out a failure. Or maybe its more of a personality flaw. I have a hard time "living in the moment" or "being present." Both of those phrases have always sounded sort of obnoxious and made me want to roll my eyes until lately. But since having Finn, it seems that time is really flying (or the years are getting shorter....). I'm almost 40, he's already 2, G$ and I have been married for 6 years - WTF?! And I just want to savor some moments, big and small. Like I said earlier, I am a huge planner - short term, long term, I like to have a plan and know where I am headed and what is going on. I also am a big multi-tasker. Now, I happen to think that both of these qualities are not always a negative. But it can also mean that I am always thinking one step ahead or trying to cross two things off my list rather than really DOING what I'm doing at any given moment. Or that I play with Finn in a half assed distracted way while I try to tidy up the living room. Or that I don't have a glass of wine with a fabulous lunch out with a girlfriend because it might make me feel tired or bother my stomach and I have to get home and watch Finn and figure out dinner. Or that I only half listen to G$ while he tells me about his day because I am worried that the dinner dishes are not washed. If I'm going to tidy the living room I should do THAT. If I going to play with Finn I should do THAT. And if I get to go out with a friend once every three months I should allow myself a glass of wine and just be a little tired for the rest of the day. And I should make G$ do the dishes....

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Specifically, no. I was actually pretty healthy. I had like one really bad cold and one really bad hangover (does that count?). Having said that, I still don't know "what is wrong with me." Going gluten free improved my symptoms by like 75% but I still have pelvic pain, abdominal pain and IBS and we don't know why. But I have an appointment with a new OB/GYN and I'm sure she will figure it all out by the end of the month. K? Thanks.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My new car - its mom car (not a minivan for God's sake, a Chevy Equinox) and I love it. Our bed. It was HELLA expensive but totally worth it. Unfortunately, G$'s back still hurts every morning. But mine is better. So, yay for me! And I admit that I love my new iPhone. I had the same old flip cell phone for like 5 or 6 years and didn't want to spend the money on an iphone for myself (G$ really wanted one and I thought he should have it, but I said I would be happy with whatever was free). But now that I have it, I really love it.

12. Where did most of your money go?
The mortgage

13. What did you get really excited about?
The holidays. I love the holidays, from Thanksgiving to New Year's is my favorite time of the year. Ever since I was a kid, I have just loved it - the food, the traditions, the presents. But after we lost the baby, it was not so fun for a few years. In many ways, it fucking sucked. Last year was back to being good, but I was still SO TIRED (my darling son never slept through the night until I weaned him at 13 months) that I barely remember it. This was the first year since having Finn that I really, really enjoyed. And watching him have so much fun with our family and opening presents and start to sing parts of Christmas carols and wear his Christmas pj's and be scared of was just so wonderful.

14. What song will always remind you of 2011?
You Are My Sunshine. My mom used to sing it to me and my brother and I've been singing it to Finn since he was born, but this year he KNOWS it and likes it and I feel like its our song. Oh and that Adele song that they play twice an hour on every radio station. Its a great song but I mean, come on.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

– happier or sadder? Hmmm, probably about the same.
– thinner or fatter? Thinner. I am back to being a skinny bitch as Joy Behar says. Don't be mad. I dropped the rest of the baby weight when I weaned Finn and went off the gluten. And then I lost more a few months ago for no apparent reason. I was pretty sure it was because I had lung cancer but my doctor says I don't.
– richer or poorer? A little poorer because we dipped into savings to do a few house projects. But mostly, the same.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

More writing, more sex, more dates with G$

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Watched less TV, worried less about things that are out of my control

18. How did you spend Christmas?
I talked about it a little in #13, but specifically we did Christmas Eve with my family and G$'s mom at our house. We had crab and prime rib and it was so frigging delicious. We always do breakfast on Christmas morning at G$'s mom's house with his brothers, sister in law and two nephews. And then we had an impromptu Christmas dinner of leftover crab and prime rib with my family at our house.

19. What was your favorite TV program?
Hmmm. I have more than I would like to admit. I started watching Friday Night Lights on Netflix. I love every season of The Amazing Race. And I really like Parenthood and The Good Wife. Oh and there are other reality shows - Top Chef, Project my defense, my husband works lots of nights and so I watch TV and play words with friends and its very nice and relaxing. But in 2012 I am going to blog more, so I won't watch as much TV.

20. What were your favorite books of the year?
I started reading the new Ken Follett, Fall of Giants, in 2011, but I'm not quite finished. And Cutting for Stone was SO GOOD. And I loved the whole Dragon Tattoo series.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?

Hmmmm. I guess I'll say the music we listen to in Zumba. Some of it is like top 40 dance music and some of it Zumba-latin type stuff. It makes me think of dancing and feeling good.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?
I honestly don't think I watched a single movie last year. I watched my shows on tivo and I watched a couple of TV shows on netflix. I'm too tired to stay awake for a whole movie at home and if we get a night out I don't want to spend it watching a movie. I'd rather do dinner and/or see friends.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
G$ had to work on my actual birthday, so my best friend came over and made me a delicious gluten free meal and a GF cake
and my parents babysat Finn so I could go to Zumba. Boring and wonderful!

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
This is tough because 2011 was incredibly satisfying for me. I think the only thing that could have made it better was if I had gotten pregnant at the end of the year.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Trying not to wear sweats every day. And, when I did wear sweats, trying to have them match my shoes and shirt.

26. What kept you sane?
G$, Finn's 7:30 bedtime, my book club, my parents watching Finn pretty much whenever I need it

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.

Eating right and exercise makes you feel good - physically and mentally. And the phrase "the days are long, but the years are short" has really hit home with me this year. I hope the lesson I take from that is to live in the now, try to be very present and savor and enjoy moments, both big and small, while they are happening.