Saturday, February 27, 2010

Happy Half Birthday Petite!

Today is February 27, 2010. Petite is exactly six months old today.

Where did that time go? Seriously, how did we get from there...

to here...?

Colour me grateful. Always.

Petite had a doctor's appointment earlier this week to check on the reflux. She still experiences it now and then, but it doesn't seem as severe as it was when she was younger. I guess she's getting better at getting rid of the gas and now that she's had some solid food, her tummy is able to keep the acids down.

The stats:
She's 15lbs 11oz, and 26" long. And yes, her eyes are still grey... exactly like my mom's. I expect they will stay that way now. I think it's beautiful on her.

She is sitting fairly well in the tripod position (with a wobble here and there). She transfers toys from one hand to another. She is making consonant sounds (ma, ba, pppp, those sorts of things), she scooches all around the floor backwards, and once or twice, has managed to inch forwards. She's starting to raise her hips and figure out the crawling position, though honestly, she much prefers to be up on her feet. Her legs are awfully strong; she just may walk before she ever crawls! She still has some eczema on her arms and legs and although we had tried a doctor-recommended over-the-counter cream, it wasn't working so we have a mild cream to treat it properly now. In three or four days, I already see a difference.

She has had rice cereal, oat cereal (she prefers the rice so far), butternut squash, carrots, peas (I made homemade peas the other night and she took to those really well), grapes and bananas (both in the baby feeder) and she launched herself at my plum the other day.

And her sleeping habits are improving. We are getting her to bed at approximately 7:30, we get her at midnight for a feed, and most nights she goes down again til about 7 a.m. A few nights, she's wanted to play in her crib at around 4 a.m. (!) but she's getting the hang of it. Let's hope it continues to go well.

For now, we celebrate her half-birthday! In a mere six more months, she'll be one year old. I can't believe it!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Of Dreamland and Dreams

We have a growing baby girl in our house, and it never ceases to amaze me. I continue to thank, the powers that be (and all the REs, testing, urologists, and you other IFers and friends, etc.) for such a blessing in our lives. Though I confess, not every day is full of "happy happy, joy joy," it is all definitely worth it.

One of the things that is making our days difficult (and our nights too really) is Petite's lack of a schedule. Yes my dear Internet friends, Petite STILL doesn't sleep more than 3-4 hours at a time on a regular basis. There's the odd night when she's down for 6 hours or so, but they're few and far between, making Mommy and Daddy very tired indeed. And really, by now, most babies are on some sort of a schedule, right? So I've taken matters in hand and we're starting a new routine. We tried it for the first time last night, and it worked relatively well.

The whole crux of our problem is this: Petite still doesn't drink more than 4.5 oz per feeding. She refuses to eat more and of course, you can't force children to eat (nor do I ever want to). So naturally, she wakes up partway through the night with an empty, growling belly, wanting to be fed. And we oblige her.

Last night, the schedule looked a bit like this:
5:45 p.m. cereal in her high chair, followed by playtime while Mommy and Daddy ate, etc.
6:45 bath time, put on jammies, quiet time, playtime on her playmat with quiet toys
7:30 storytime with Mommy (I'm a big believer in reading to children)
7:45 bottle & burp

Just before 8 p.m., she started to doze off in my arms and I put her down in her crib, sleepy yet still semi-awake. She hated that, lemme tell you! She woke and started to screech. I went to her every 5 minutes, talking lowly but not engaging her, putting her soother in her mouth, gently touching her tummy or her head, and letting her know I was there. She would settle, I'd creep out and before I was back to the kitchen, the howl would go out again. She kept that up for about 20 minutes (I went in three times, the last time I sat on the bed til I knew she was settled for good) and by 8:30, she was asleep. However, she only had 4.5 oz as usual. So I knew she would wake for food somewhere along the way.

To circumvent that, at 11:45, I prepared another bottle and gently lifted her out of her crib, and tried to feed her. She took about 2 oz before refusing any more and she turned into my arm, snuggling down again. I laid her back in bed, hoping to get through the rest of the night and I put the rest of the bottle in the fridge.

Alas... 1:45 a.m. and I heard her stirring. I got up before she was fully awake, grabbed the remainder of the bottle in the fridge (about 2.5 oz), heated it and fed her while she stayed in her crib. She polished it off, turned over and drifted back to the Land of Nod. And that was that. I climbed back into bed, happy to not need an hour or more to get her back to sleep.

This morning, she stirred once at 6:45 (when Hubby left for school), but she never really woke til 7:50 a.m. Fair enough. I can handle that I think. With time and practise, I expect she'll get the hang of it. But it was certainly a whole lot better than being up with her from 2 a.m. to 3:30 as she writhes in my arms! Until she takes more ounces during a feed, I don't expect it'll change all that much. But as long as she's growing and developping on track, I can't find fault with her eating habits at all!

By the way, so far she's enjoyed rice cereal, oatmeal cereal, butternut squash and a little pear juice (diluted). But she definitely prefers a bottle!

And this week, we celebrated Valentine's Day! Hubby and I traditionally don't plan anything special; for as sure as we do, it blows up in our faces and we've had some hella blow-up fights on Valentine's Day in the past! So we don't mark it with much. A card, a token gift, something little. Nothing major. I got a cute card, and some chocolates. I gave Hubby a card, some chocolates and some winter Olympic gear, including the famous red mittens that are so hard to find!

I happened to be in Zellers last week when they were getting some out on the racks and I snapped up a pair. In hindsight, I would have liked to have a pair for myself. Oh well. Nevermind. One thing that pisses me off about those mittens is that for all the Canadian Olympic pride that they're supposed to represent, the damn things are made in freakin' China! Don't get me wrong, I have lots of things in my house that are made in China but it'd be nice to support Canadians by buying Canadian... yanno? Oh well. They're still cool mittens. And Hubby's been stopped by stranges who ask about them and where he got them, etc. They're hard to come by now! So if you see them (in adult sizes; kids sizes are still easy to find), grab em! If nothing else, you can sell them on E-bay for about double the price!

Ah yes, a token pic of Petite in her Valentine's Day outfit from Nana. We had Hubby's kids for the weekend and her big brother was making her laugh!

And this week, one of my hopes has finally come to fruition. Pancake Day. With OUR baby girl. Here she is being a true Canadian, sucking on the syrup bottle (don't worry; the cover's on!).

Pancake Day traditions where I come from are very particular indeed. Yes, you have pancakes and all that good stuff. But you must follow the tradition of putting trinkets in the batter. I've written about this before, and I remember lamenting that I probably wouldn't ever have the opportunity to share our family's (or our provincial) tradition of putting trinkets in the batter with any child of mine. I vividly remember Mel (our resident Stirrup Queen) telling me in a comment how I may not be able to pass the tradition vertically, but that I had just passed the tradition horizontally by sharing it with you, my readers. A few of you wrote to let me know that you would commence that tradition in your own families as you thought it was lovely. I like to think that somewhere out there, someone is putting a ring, a thimble, a button, money, etc. in their pancake batter to partake in the tradition. And this year, I am blessed. Because I do have a baby girl who got to enjoy her very first Pancake Day with our family and our tradition. Fine, she didn't eat any pancakes herself... that'll come next year. But she saw Mommy and Daddy enjoy the tradition and with luck, one day, she'll carry it on, passing it vertically to her own family.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Am I Getting Greedy?

Welcome to February. And Petite is now five months old. I can hardly believe it. Where did that go? Nevertheless, time marches on and a few things have arisen to shake me up a bit.

Actually, the first thing that shook me up was the reappearance of dear ol' Aunt Flo. Oh yeah. She didn't waste a moment showing up on my doorstep in early January in fact. I stopped pumping milk for Petite near the end of November and let my milk dry up around about the time we travelled home for Christmas. Exactly one month later, on January 3, the carpet-bag-carrying, haggard, wrinkly old wench knocked on my door. Okay, she busted down the door and marched on in, making herself right at home after a long absence. Such fun.
And just like clockwork, 29 days later, she reappeared again. Bless her bitchy soul. At least I'm regular; there's no denying that anyway!

When I returned home from our trip, I found a letter from the Reproductive Centre at McGill in my pile of letters to tend to. Lo and behold, I opened it to find a bill for the storage of our last vial of donor sperm. There arises the conundrum... to pay, or not to pay? Do we want to keep this vial of donor sperm for any possible future use? I mean, if perchance we decide to go for another IVF + ICSI attempt, and we cannot find any of hubby's viable sperm a second time around, we'll need that vial of donor sperm, right? Or would we opt not to go through with it? Or what if someone else needs that vial to make a full biological sibling for an existing child somewhere in the world? All the scenarios started running through my head.

And the one that comes to mind first is: do we want another child? Do I want to hedge my bets and attempt to give Petite a full sibling? At my age (I'll be 40 this year)? And if we want to do that, when do we do it? Soon I guess, given my age!!

Hubby and I took a drive yesterday to upstate NY to do some shopping and get a little something for my brother-in-law for his upcoming birthday. Along the way, we discussed our plans and where are thoughts are at the moment. Hubby is in school, and will (hopefully!) be finished at the end of April, 2012 and thus starting a new job/career in May, 2012. If we want another child, our timeline would look something like this:
July/August 2010 - try another IVF in the hopes of success
September 2010 - Gil goes back to work; Hubby in school; Petite in daycare
May/June 2011 - sibling for Petite? Gil takes another year off to care for both children
May/June 2012 - Gil goes back to work; Hubby starts career; Petite in junior kindergarten; sibling in daycare

And that, my dear friends, means that I'd need to call McGill now, like right now NOW to start trying to book appointments. But like the title of this post says, am I getting greedy? After 6+ years of TTC, we got lucky. VERY lucky. We know and recognize this and we are immensely grateful to everyone who has helped us, cheered for us, held our hands, and cried with us along the way. Are we getting greedy to want another child? Are we asking the powers that be for too much? Are we doing the wrong thing for our family or is it the right thing? How do we know? Can we know at all? These are some of the questions I'm grappling with at the moment. I'm open to hearing your opinions though. So by all means, hit the comment button and weigh in. I'm listening!

I got another e-mail from Conceivable Dreams the other day. On February 15 (Family Day... appropriately) there will be a Rally at Queen's Park in Toronto, Ontario to show the government just how many people are out there that are waiting and hoping for the government to help them build their families based on the recommendations of the Expert Panel on Infertility and Adoption. (If you recall, I was interviewed by the Panel for my input.) If you can attend, please do. Information can be found at

On a personal note...
Thank you all for the good wishes following the death of Snowpoke. We still miss him. But it does get easier, I know.

And before this month is done, we will have Shrove Tuesday (aka Pancake Day). I'm looking forward to sharing our tradition with Petite for the very first time.