Wednesday, October 28, 2009

yup, I did it again

...and probably will do it several more times because, apparently, I'm really bad at this. Feel free to take me off your reader for the next few days while I finish my little project. Or keep me on there and laugh as I make the same mistake over and over and over again. Up to you. :-)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

umm... oops

For any of you who read this blog via reader and just saw a bizarre post about us being on try #9, please disregard. That is wrong. Sooooo very wrong. :-)

RTS is currently experiencing technical difficulties (read: user error).

I'm doing some housekeeping and separating out old posts that were C&Ped in a chunk and I put the wrong date (2009 instead of 2007) on one of the posts I was copying over.

Sorry for any confusion!

Friday, October 23, 2009

island hopping

I’ve been participating in Blogger Bingo all week (which is good times, by the way, and you should totally participate in the next round) and this has led me to many blogs I would not otherwise have clicked on. The women who write them are dramatically different than me in so many ways. Even on the one thing we all have in common – our experiences with infertility and/or loss – our stories come from every far-flung corner of the map. Beyond that, the differences only become more pronounced. Most of the blogs on the list are written by heterosexual women – no surprise there – and I’ve learned quite a bit about male factor infertility this week. :-) Many of the blogs are written by people who list their religious affiliation (usually Chris.tian or Cath.olic) within the first dozen words of their “about me” section. I’ll admit that when these blogs open on my monitor, I feel a pinch of… something. I don’t know what, really. Resistance? Discomfort? Ultimately, it’s a form of paranoia because the thought that accompanies the feeling is “I bet these people hate me.”

Slight tangent: My travels have made me realize what a tiny, sheltered corner of the infertility blogosphere I hang out in. I’ve been at this infertility blogging thing for years and I thought I pretty much knew my way around. It turns out, I’ve merely been traipsing (pirouetting? pride marching?) around my own little rainbow-colored island, and as it turns out, I'm on a tiny island in comparison to the rest of the chain. I knew it was out there, I guess I just didn't realize how vast it actually was. Perhaps the rest of you rainbow island bloggers are already hip to this scene.

So back to the religious bloggers I mentioned: I’ll admit to having a twinge-y “Wow, this person is SO different from me!” reaction as I survey their blogs, but beyond that, I really don’t have a hard-wired feeling toward them either way. I feel empathy for their TTC journeys and I respect the love they have for their families. I’m fairly sure we’d mutually decide not to be BFFs if we knew each other in real life, but my judgment of them stops there. HOWEVER, I don’t subscribe to a philosophical framework that says they are immoral, evil or otherwise objectionable, and I know that some of them do, about me. I also know that they have been clicking on my blog this week too, and I wonder what their reaction is when they arrive here. I know what I hope. I hope that they will read my words, as I have theirs, and realize that maybe we’re not that different when it really comes down to the things that matter. I hope they’ll see pictures of my happy, healthy son and understand how fiercely I love him and think for just a second that maybe lesbians can also be good parents. And if all of that is too much to hope for, then I guess I hope they leave my blog as quickly as they came and keep their sentiments to themselves, because this is my island, and I was respectful on my visit to theirs. So far, so good, but I do wonder what they think.

I have another post brewing about my participation in Blogger Bingo thus far, but it’s really different and I don’t want to take this post in that direction, so I’ll save it for another day.

Updates? I got 'em.

Here are a few updates from our neck of the woods, in no particular order:

The diaper rash I mentioned in my last post turned into a yeast infection and it looks unbelievably terrible. It took us entirely too long to figure out what was going on and I feel so guilty that he was suffering with it all that time while we kept smearing useless diaper rash cream on it like the dummies we are. M had to keep reassuring me that we're first-time parents - this is just how it has to go sometimes as we find our way. I still feel awful. AWFUL. We started an antifungal cream last night and I am really hopeful that this will finally bring him some relief. I really miss his cloth diapers and can't wait to get him back into 'em.

M has to leave town on business for almost a week! I'm about to get our almost-crawler through six bedtimes, five weekday morning routines, and everything in between all by myself. Send good thoughts. And chocolate.

I'm hanging with inlocoparentis this weekend. I'm gonna feel her baby kick. She'll probably feel my baby kick too, because he's a wild man who will not be contained. I'm pretty excited about the whole affair.

I made a killing at one of those giant garage sale events last weekend. I got something like 4 or 5 long-sleeve onesies, 2 button-down shirts, 4 or 5 pairs of pants and 3 PJ sets - all for $14.00 and all high-quality brands in great condition. Keeping up with this kid's revolving wardrobe is quite the challenge. He's firmly into the 12-18 month sizes now (at 7 months) and starting to wear a few 18-24s here and there. I feel like his closet is decently stocked for the moment, but I know it won't last long.

When I dropped Elliot at daycare this morning, I sat him down on the floor and two other little guys promptly wandered/crawled over to sit with him. The three of them sat in a tiny circle, silently playing with the toys in the center. The eldest (all of about 20 months old) reached down and gently moved a toy closer to Elliot so he could reach it. As I was leaving, I called out Elliot's name (which he seems to have learned over the past few days) to say goodbye and he looked up at me and smiled the sweetest, most contented smile. The whole scene was so adorable it made me ache. It's funny, there are many parts of being a mom that I looked forward to, but it's often the things I didn't even know to anticipate that are the most surprisingly, amazingly wonderful.

Monday, October 19, 2009


I quit breastfeeding over the weekend. I thought I'd want to share more during my process of reaching this point. I composed a couple of posts in my head last week as I tried to understand and make peace with the coming change, but it ended up being something I wanted to do quietly and on my own. The preparing to quit was much harder than the quitting. I felt some pangs during my final pumping session and again during our final feeding, but overall, the transition has been relatively easy. Perhaps I didn't need to go through so much angst getting here, or maybe it was the experiencing of the angst beforehand that allowed me to pass over the threshold itself without much fanfare.

I felt really sad last week, knowing the end was near. I was (and always have been) pumping multiple times a day and taking herbal supplements but my supply was (and always has been) slowly declining despite my efforts. I think with the c-section and being separated from Elliot for the first week, and then with all of the latch/pain difficulties we had in the early weeks, my supply never really got that initial jump start it needed to get off the ground. Then, when I couldn't keep up with his growing appetite, we needed more and more supplementation which caused my supply to dwindle all the more. For the last two weeks, I was pumping 2-3 times per day and yielding less than four ounces total. It became apparent that I'd fallen into the zone where the ends no longer justified the means. My only decision was whether I was going to wait for it to zero out completely or determine that I was close enough to call it. Pumping was a time-consuming activity that significantly disrupted my work day. It was worth it when I was generating a tangible amount of breast milk, but four ounces isn't even enough to provide Elliot with one full bottle the next day, and I wasn't even getting that some days. The exercise had become an assault on my self-esteem, as well. Watching my body defy my wishes on a daily basis was so depleting. The last thing my infertile soul needs is one more reminder that I can't make my body do anything it doesn't want to. Our evening feeds weren't going well either. Elliot had become so impatient with my low supply that he simply refused to nurse once the initial surge passed and we were resorting to bottles at night for the first time.

I wasn't sure when or how I would stop - only that I didn't want to rush the process. Then at the end of last week, it finally felt like the right time, and Elliot and I quietly segued into a new phase in our relationship.

I have been terribly sad to feel that I failed at something I wanted to do (breastfeeding him for the first year) and embarrassed that my body wasn't able to perform such a basic, innate task. I am still sad now to think that I no longer have any lingering physical connection to Elliot. Breastfeeding was the last biological echo of my having carried him for nine months. I am happy that this change puts M and I on more equal ground, but selfishly, I'm sad to close the door on the special connection he and I have had since his conception. It's like the final severing of the umbilical cord or something.

All of that said, I'm actually enjoying NOT nursing him more than I expected. I love not wearing nursing bras every day; I love choosing outfits based upon criteria other than ease of breast access. I have completely overloaded myself with dairy over the last couple of days (no really, overloaded) and I'm loving eating cheese and milk and yogurt and yes, ice cream again. I'm enjoying not battling Elliot to nurse. It's a relief to spare both of us his frustration and disappointment with what I had to offer. In short, I think stopping was a very good decision. I'm trying to embrace that and take pride in the fact that I persevered through seven challenging months. I gave him the best start I could and I stopped when it made sense for us. I wish we could have kept it up longer but I'm learning to be flexible. :-)

Things are going really well in all other areas. Over the last couple of months, it feels as though the balance has shifted to less work and more pleasure. I suspect this is a combination of several factors including Elliot's temperament mellowing as he matures, our parenting skills sharpening with time and practice, and all of us getting to know each other and finding our new normal as a family of three. We're in a neat stage, sandwiched between the unrelenting demands of the newborn period and the awe-inspiring defiance of the toddler era. Right now we have a sweet, easy-going, inquisitive little boy on our hands and life is pretty darn good.

Elliot had his first tooth break through over the weekend. He also took his first few crawling "steps" with several instances of coordinated hand and knee movement, each one followed by a dramatic collapse, of course. Honest-to-goodness crawling can't be far off (Lord help us). We lowered his crib mattress to the lowest setting after he started using the bars to pull himself upward. We also experienced our first diaper rash this weekend. Poor little guy had some wicked red welts and had to spend several days in ointment and disposables. You could say it was kind of a big weekend. ;-)

Also this weekend, we had more professional pictures taken. And to leave it on that note...

Hope everyone is enjoying their Fall!