Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Did you know...

Well colour me shocked!

I was surprised yesterday when we went to the doctor's office for Petite's 15-month innoculations. She got two shots. One was the standard MMR stuff. But the other?

Chicken pox.

Did you even know that there is a vaccine for that now? I guarantee you, I had NO idea. I looked at the doc like she had ten heads, I'm sure! I said, "Chicken pox? You're kidding." She said, "No. Not at all. We've had a vaccine for chicken pox since about 2004."

YAY! With a little luck, Petite will never have to deal with chicken pox! How wonderful is that?! I'm pleased.

One more childhood illness that I can cross off the list. Whew.

As for her stats, she's not quite 25 lbs, she's 33 inches and in perfect health, developing normally. Her morning naps are pretty much done with, and thus so is that mid-morning bottle. She isn't eating as much when she gets up in the morning either, so we're able to cut down on the milk consumption and bump up her water intake a little. She still isn't all that keen on juices. Now and then she'll have a taste, but it doesn't thrill her. She's eating everything that we are and really enjoying trying new foods. I'm sure there'll be more of that during the holidays.

This past weekend, we took her to the Santa Claus Parade and I decorated the exterior of the house with the Christmas lights and garlands and things. One or two finishing touches to put on all that before we flip the switch. And this coming weekend, we are putting up the tree and decorating the interior of the house, making room for my parents to come visit in about two weeks and rearranging furniture to accommodate. Wish us luck; I expect I'm going to have to tie on the Christmas tree so Petite doesn't pull it over on herself!

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Monkey on our Hands

I'm at work today; as mentioned in my earlier post today (wow, two posts in one day!), Petite is still ill but it's Hubby's turn at home with her today.

He just called me. With a new development.

Petite climbed out of her crib.

Now, it's not quite like last time. Back in October, in this post, I mentioned that she wasn't yet 14 months old and had figured out how to climb out of her crib. At that time, we lowered the mattress as far as it could go, thinking that it would buy us a few months' worth of time.

Yeeeaaaah. Ummmmm, not so much. She's going to be 15 months tomorrow, and by God, she ain't stunned (as we say at home).

Because she's been ill, we had used a pillow to raise up one end of her crib, hoping that it would help her breathe easier and thus sleep better at night. This afternoon, it was time for her nap, so Hubby gave her a bottle, set her down for a nap, covered her, turned on the monitor and went to the kitchen to tidy up.

A few moments later, he heard a "thump" and went to investigate. There she was, happy as ever, playing with her toys on the floor. He was shocked. He called me and told me and I suggested that he remove the pillow and see what happened.

Then I got an e-mail. "That didn't work." Apparently, he removed the pillow, thus returning the mattress to its lowest level. He put her back in her crib, covered her again, and left the room, pulling the door almost closed behind him. Quietly, he watched her.

She promptly got up, went to the corner of her crib, threw one leg up and pulled herself up to the top of the rail. Rolling over the edge, she hung on for a moment before letting go and dropping herself down to the floor.

It's inevitable. We're going to have to change her bed to a pure 'toddler bed' now with a half railing on one side. I can't believe it. Fifteen months and she's done with her crib. It's gone so fast. I yearned for more than six years to have a baby in my arms. I am blessed that I got her of course. But much like I wished my pregnancy would last, I wish her infancy and childhood would last too. It is flying by. And my little baby is becoming a real little girl.

I'm saddened by that. In so many ways, I wish I could stop time and hold her close and tight. Keep her 'my baby' per se. But then again, I have to smile and like every other parent before me, I must be grateful and thankful that Petite is a happy, healthy (relatively! Even with croup!), normal little sweetheart.

Counting each and every blessing I have. Trust me. Every single day.

Happy 15 months baby girl. Mommy and Daddy love you with all our heart.

Sickness Hits Us Again

Petite is still not well. It's been a week filled with keeping her occupied. Playing games (peekabo, chase), playing with her toys (she laughed so hard when I showed her that the Pri.ce Daddy could actually go through the front door of the play house!) and reading lots and lots of books. All of the preceeding interspersed with pauses here and there to wipe her runny nose. You know... before she can lick it. (*shudder*)

Anyway, for the past two nights, Petite has stirred around 11 p.m. and starts coughing. And coughing. And coughing. Both nights, she coughed so hard, she made herself throw up. On me. Oh joy. I adore the scent of baby barf at midnight.


What worried us though wasn't so much the whole 'cough-til-you-vomit' thing. Lots of children do that.

Nope. What worried us was the sound of the cough.

I'd never heard it before, but you can be certain that it was unmistakable. And as parents of young children and adults have told me, it was spot on. It sounded EXACTLY like a baby seal.


Petite was diagnosed this morning with a very mild case of croup. The doctor prescribed only one dose of medication, expecting that is all that she'll need. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he's right.

He advised us not to take her to her swimming class on Saturday morning, indicating that the warmth and steam may provoke a cough. However, he said that we could take her to the Santa Claus Parade on Saturday evening, as long as the cold didn't aggravate her cough. If it does, I'll head home with her immediately.

All this assuming she's doing fairly well tomorrow when we get up. I hate it when she's ill. But I am fully aware that croup is common among young children. And besides, I know I'll have to get through chicken pox, measles and heavens knows what other childhood illnesses with Petite yet.

One day at a time.

Poor baby girl. :(

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Plan has Changed

Last night, as we were eating dinner, our phone rang. Usually, we ignore it because telemarketers are prone to interrupting our evening meal, and frankly, at that hour, I refuse to speak to them. But something told me to grab the call. When I picked up the handset, I saw on the screen that it was my local RE's office calling.

Lo and behold, it was the RE himself. He had just recently received a fax from my OB's office. The OB doesn't think he can work with a cyst as small as mine (about 4 x 5 cms). To be fair, the OB isn't usually required to do that sort of thing. I mean, aspiration of a cyst is pretty much the same technique as egg retrieval during an IVF cycle and it certainly isn't the OB that does that. The last time I had a cyst like this, I had it aspirated in Montreal at our clinic there. The time before that, it was the OB who did a laparoscopy to remove it. He's comfortable with doing the lap, but not with aspiration. Not really his area of specialty. I can understand that.

But the question remains: who can do the aspiration? There's the local fertility centre who, technically, COULD do it for me. But wouldn't they be pissed at doing that when I'm not even cycling there? I certainly wouldn't be a priority for them. The folks in Montreal can do it. Sure. But it means travel time, etc. And Lord knows when they can work me in. I asked my local RE if he could possibly contact Montreal and ask if perhaps that procedure can be squeezed into our appointment day in mid-December.

The local RE said that they'd ponder possible options and they'd contact me soon with something. I hope they come up with an idea soon though. The pain was so bad last night, it woke me from my sleep. That's not fun. I've said it before and I'll say it again; you can be damn sure that if it was a man suffering from a 4 x 5 cm growth in his abdomen that could easily be rectified, it would be fixed in the blink of an eye. Why do women have to suffer so? It's terrible. It's just not acceptable in my view.

On another note, I was home unexpectedly yesterday. Petite is ill and while she could have probably gone to daycare, I got a phone call just after 7 a.m. yesterday from our caregiver to let us know that her own son was violently ill so she was going to have to cancel care for the day. C'est la vie. I stayed home and cuddled Petite, trying to relieve her symptoms as much as possible. Poor girl. She is having a tough time breathing. That continued into last night. Every time she stirred, her breathing difficulties woke her and she'd cry. Sitting in her crib, just feeling miserable; she looked terribly forlorn. My poor baby girl. It's hard to know I can't do much for her. I must look into some natural remedies that come highly recommended, at least to relieve her symptoms a little. We've tried a few things already: saline in her nose, suctioning out the junk, raising her mattress on one end, keeping a running humidifier with liquid Vicks going, having a steaming hot bathroom when she takes her bath, etc. I hope this cold runs its course soon. I hate to see her ill. She was so uncomfortable last night, I was up until almost 2 a.m. trying to rock her to sleep on my chest, semi-upright so she could breathe. She was miserable though.

Something that's amazing to me though, is Petite's absolute LOVE of books. At not quite 15 months, she spent all day yesterday running back and forth to me with book after book after book. At last count last night, I'd read "Guess Who?" (one of her Halloween, lift-the-flap books) a total of 18 times. EIGHTEEN, folks. And that's just one of her books! She has about a dozen or so piled in the living room and she loves to have us read them to her. I am very, very happy about that. She is beginning to recognize her books too. I've read "Goodnight Moon" so many times, I've memorized it. The other evening, I started to recite it from memory when it was bedtime and we wanted her to settle down a little and have quiet time. As I was reciting it, she stopped her frenetic spinning, and immediately went to her stack of books, plucked out "Goodnight Moon" and brought it to me, climbing into my lap. We read it cover to cover three times before she was satisfied.

I am so glad she loves books. It's important to me that I read to her every day and instill a love of the written word and show her that books are wonderful. It will serve her in good stead as she gets older. That's for certain. But oh dear heavens, how many times do I have to read them over and over and over? It makes me laugh, but I cannot despair. It's a wonderful thing and I am deliriously thrilled that she enjoys books as much as she does.

Sending out lots of love to my fellow bloggers. And wishing all Americans (and my sister who lives in the States, along with her husband and his family) a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. Enjoy.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Plan of Sorts

Again, a warning for those gentlemen and ladies who are sensitive to bodily fluids and functions. This post deals with how my doctors plan to treat extremely severe bleeding during my periods. Click away now if you'd prefer not to read or know this information.

So I thought I'd write a quick update for those who have been wondering what I've done to address the whole "bleeding like a stuck pig" issue.

Plan A.

Monday and Tuesday saw me trying to get appointments at my GP's office. My GP is out of town, but any of the others at the office could have seen me... if their 'emergency' appointment slots hadn't been taken. But they were, so I struck out there.

On to Plan B.

Tuesday night, enough was enough. I went to an urgent care clinic near our house. The nurse was amazed that I was still standing and able to function! She took the details down, and then took my BP which was pretty decent at 140/80. After that, I saw the doctor. He too was amazed. And somewhat perplexed. He ordered some bloodwork to be done to check hemoglobin levels and CBC details. He indicated that if the hemoglobin was low, he was going to send me to emergency to be assessed and treated.

About 45 minutes later, we learned that hemoglobin levels (and everything else they tested) was completely normal. So the doctor was at a loss as to what to do. He suggested that I contact my RE first thing Wednesday morning to get an appointment. That lead to...

Plan C

Wednesday morning, it looked like the bleeding was subsiding. It wasn't as copious as it had been and seemed to be tapering off. I figured I'd let it sit.

Overnight Wednesday into Thursday, almost nothing! WOW! First time in weeks! Alas, it was short-lived; as soon as I was done my morning shower, the bleeding returned. Not fast and furious, but it certainly did return.

So from my office this morning, I called my RE, who immediately booked me for a 10:30 appointment today. I left my office and headed there. They took my details and a copy of the blood work that was done on Tuesday night at the urgent care clinic. Next, my RE ordered a high level ultrasound elsewhere, which was booked for noon today (man, they were on the ball!). After that, I sat with my RE and chatted a bit about the whole situation. Here's his take on it:

The cyst is likely still there (I can feel it, I KNOW it's still there!) and is producing estrogen. That's throwing off my hormone levels. My progesterone is way down, and my estrogen is way up. So if he prescribed me some progesterone, in the hopes that hormones may level off a bit. And the progesterone may help alleviate the pain and aching that I'm getting from the cyst. He prescribed 20 mg per day, to reduce if I feel depressed. I'll get that prescription filled later today.

Secondly, assuming the cyst is still there, and it hasn't shrunk at all, that means the b/c pills for the past month aren't having any noticeable effect. I figured this much; we've done this before with no noticeable results on my cysts. And according to my RE, the cyst is likely causing a lot of this bleeding so it really needs to be removed.

He quickly put in a call to my OB. If you recall, my OB during my pregnancy is the same doctor who did a lap for me way back when to remove yet another cyst. However, this time, my RE asked the OB if I can be worked into the schedule in the coming few days to have the cyst aspirated. Aspiration is the same procedure I had done in Montreal right before our IVF cycle in the fall of 2008. Basically they use the same type of needle that's used in egg collection during IVF and using ultrasound, they locate the cyst, go in through the vaginal wall, and aspirate it. Poof, gone. Painful, sure. No doubt about that; there's no meds given for the procedure. But boy, it sure works like a charm!

So right now I'm waiting on a call from the RE or the OB's office to tell me when I'm scheduled. They figured by Monday or Tuesday, they can work me in for the aspiration.

At the moment, I'm just keeping fingers crossed that I don't start bleeding profusely between now and then. I'm getting tired of it all at this point. Time to just get it over and done with. Ugh. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Where to turn for a severe case of menorrhagia?

Gentlemen, and those ladies more sensitive to bodily functions:

This post concerns severe blood loss during a woman's monthly cycle. I really don't think you want to read it. Feel free to do so, but don't say you haven't been duly warned.

I have to figure out what's causing all this bleeding.

For the past four days, I've had to change my super plus protection once every hour or hour and a half (at most). On the couple of occasions I couldn't change, such as driving from home to Petite's daycare and then to work (from 7:20 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.), I ended up bleeding through clothing and onto upholstery. I'm ruining all my pants. All the black ones anyway; I'm too afraid to wear anything else at the moment. I'll be doing extra washing this week, that's for sure.

This is crazy. In the last 31 days, I've had maybe seven days (not consecutive) of no bleeding at all. And on the days that I bleed, I can't actually do anything.

I have to interrupt choir rehearsal to go to the washroom.

I have to run to the washroom as soon as I arrive at the office.

I have to make sure I change protection right before I leave the office for the day, and even that's no guarantee.

I can't take time to go anywhere or do anything because I am watching the clock and figuring out when I'll need to excuse myself.

It's absolutely nuts.

My sleep is interrupted. My work is interrupted. My life is interrupted.

Every time I change, the toilet bowl looks like a massacre. I truly think some CSI dude is going to swab for blood and go "Whoa, this is our primary crime scene."

And I have clot, after clot, after clot. Not little ones. Large ones. HUGE ones. Toilet bowl staining ones. That was normal and expected after Petite's birth.

But it isn't normal for the entire 11 months that my period has been back. Not at all.

No wonder my iron levels are severely depleted. But why, oh why, aren't the iron supplements being absorbed? Im taking upwards of 300 mg per day for God's sake! And yes, I'm taking vitamin C with them, so the iron should be absorbed.

It's making me totally exhausted. I'm worn out and I'm not even doing anything! I was so tired yesterday, I didn't know if I'd make it home from work without passing out behind the wheel. That's not good.

For two days now, I've tried to get an appointment with a doc at my regular GP's office. My GP is out of town, but any of the others could take my file and see me. Problem is, they're booked and all their emergency appointments are booked too. I'm at the point where I think a walk-in clinic or emergency room may be what I need to do.

All I know is, this bleeding, this much, these clots, the pain I have and the lack of energy are indicative of something. What, I don't know. But definitely something.

Ideas, thoughts and suggestions are welcome.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Grief... yet again.

Shortly after I found out about Mo and Will's loss, I read about dear Serenity (Serenity Now) and her loss.

I am so, so very sorry to hear that sad news. I wish I could make things better for both Mo and Serenity. I wish I could take it all away and make everything right again. I wish they didn't have to deal with IF and the pain, sorrow and grief that it brings.

But to both of them, I want to say that we love you, we are praying for you and we have hope.

I continue to have hope.

I imagine hope like a candle, burning brightly and steadily, sheltered from wind and rain, and providing a beacon to those who seek it.

But when loss like Mo's or Serenity's happens, I envisage that flame flickering down... way down, to almost nothing. And then, right before it burns out, it finds a flicker of air and rises up again, strong and steady, lighting the way.

I have hope for them both.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Grief for a fellow blogger

I don't know where to start today.

After many weeks of promising betas, of good ultrasounds, of good news in general, Mo and Will (Life and Love in the Petri Dish) are experiencing another loss.

This isn't fair. My heart is breaking for them. This one was supposed to stick. This was their time dammit. This was the one that was going to work.

I believed it with all my heart, and I know many of us held great hopes and kept praying for them.

But today, at 7w3d, the ultrasound revealed that their baby's life is over, before they even had a chance.

Tears are being shed all around the blogosphere for them. I pray they get through this and find a way to move forward. Thoughts go out to them today as Mo is added to the surgery schedule. Go wish them love and prayers in the coming days.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Blood Work Results

(TMI incoming folks. Get ready.)

So here's the scoop:

Yes, I know I have a cyst on the right side. A lovely big (painful) thing measuring about 3.7 x 3.7 x 4.2 cms. How fun.

Yes, I know I have menorrhagia; as mentioned before in this blog. Technically, my RE wrote "Menorrhagia ++" on my form. How fun x2.


So even taking the iron supplements, my iron is still "depleted." No wonder I'm bleeding like a stuck pig every month. And in between too. Seriously. This month, if I didn't know that Hubby was azoospermic because of a vasectomy, I would have truly thought I miscarried, the clot was THAT big. No joke. Like large egg sized.

My LH is low, and probably affected by the cyst.

My E2 is high, and definitely affected by the cyst.

And my progesterone is unchanging from CD3 to CD21, sitting at 1.1 and 1.0 respectively. With luck, the PIO injections that I'll do with an IVF cycle will correct that.

Other than that, all is good. TSH is perfect at 1.9. Fasting glucose is great at 5.5 (Canadian values of course). FSH is 4.0 (YAY!) and prolactin, DHEAS, and all the rest are perfect.

And we move onward to our December 14 appointment in Montreal. It's approaching fast.

For those curious, I updated my earlier post with the numbers and normal values are in brackets.

News in the ALI Blogging World + RL Craziness

To say there's a LOT going on in the ALI blogging world would be making light of it, I think. Let's start at the beginning shall we?

Keiko (Hannah Wept and Sarah Laughed) and Melissa (Stirrup Queens) attended the RESOLVE of New England Annual Conference a few days ago. Mel was a keynote speaker and Keiko did a lot of volunteering and blogging on the fly. Kudos to them both for their continued involvement and bringing us the updates! Well done ladies! *cheers*

I'm keeping a very close eye on Kate (I Can't Whistle) who, at this moment, is hopefully in L&D and about to bring her little miracle into her world. It's so exciting to read a blogger's thoughts and hopes during her pregnancy and to wait and pray while eagerly expecting wonderful news announced on her blog. I remember my own moments of blogging while at the hospital delivering Petite and I must say, it's an experience that deeply touched me. Join me as we wait with Kate for her good news.

Halloween Babies!! YAY! In recent days, we've seen the birth of Tiger to Grizzly Eggs on October 31. Baby Interrupted finally had a baby interrupt! She welcomed her daughter on Saturday, October 30. Dawn (A New Dawn) has welcomed the early arrival of Ms. M; I'm so very happy for her as she brings home her second child!

I've learned of two bloggers that are thrilled to be p/g with number two. Ms. C (It Could Take 3 Months) and Serenity (Serenity Now) are cautious as they are in the early days, but so far, all seems to be going so well for them both! I'm thrilled for them! It would be great to be able to see Ms. C while we're in Montreal for our own consult in December. I'm sure she's got a lot going on though!

I'm holding out a lot of hope for Mo and Will (Life and Love in the Petri Dish). They've seen enough heartache to last them forever and right now, they're cautious and tentative as betas are rising and things look good. Mo's had some spotting, so of course that brings worries and fears; she's worrying about a possible subchorionic hemorrage right now. And she really could do without that to worry about! Many prayers and much love are coming her way.

And the bittersweet story of Beauty for Ashes as she is pregnant with her husband's child... after his death. I pray that things go smoothly for her.

Here at home, I got word from a friend who's been TTC for some time now. Earlier this year, I had a vivid dream that she would get lucky and I pictured visiting her in her home, in the spring, and she was visibly pregnant. As luck would have it, she did get pregnant this past spring; she's due in January. She's only now comfortable revealing that information. But I am so happy for her.

I also found out from a friend in Toronto that she is p/g with number 2, expected in the spring of 2011. I'm really pleased for her and her family.

I'm over the moon as well, because my sister is just about to enter week 13 of her own pregnancy. I get to be an Aunt! It was an IUI that did it for her and her husband. Although she is far from me, I try to chat with her every week to see how she's doing. So far, so good. She's always had trouble with low blood sugars so I'm hoping that all continues on the right path for her. No morning sickness to speak of either. And she's just trucking along with her work and her online courses (she's doing a Master's degree via correspondance). She's due next year in May, shortly before my birthday. I am really looking forward to seeing her on December 30. She'll be about 20 or 21 weeks along when I see her for the cruise we're all taking.

Ah yes, we'll be cruising with a 16-month old. This has been in the works for quite awhile. Since last year in fact. It's a gift graciously given by my parents to all of us. We're doing a one-week Western Carribean cruise early in January. There are logistical things to consider (Petite's sleeping arrangements, car seat storage, bringing all those diapers on board!) and there are other considerations, such as the fact that there's no in-cabin babysitting on the ship with this cruise line so hubby and/or I will be confined to the room after she crashes for the night. Also, there's no daytime activities for Petite given her age. She's too young to participate in the ship's daily stuff for children. However, she is welcome to partake in the activities as long as a parent joins with her. Things like that. We'll manage, I'm sure. I'm looking forward to it; I hope it is a lovely, relaxing holiday for all of us. I'm sure we need it!

I got an e-mail from a gentleman by the name of Kevin Martin who directed me to They just published an article entitled "10 Biggest Pregnancy Myths Debunked" and after reading it, I find it contains a great deal of useful advice... not the assvice that we frequently get as p/g women. Namely, YES, you CAN eat fish while pregnant! Seriously people... did you ever stop to consider what cultures like the Japanese do when they're pregnant?! They certainly don't stop eating a food that is a staple in their diet, that's for darn sure! A little common sense folks. That's all it takes. And yes, while pregnant with Petite, I ate one can of tuna (packed in water) per week. It didn't hurt me, and it won't hurt you either. I'll be linking the article from my sidebar as well. It's something that all of us can learn from.

Things just finished and things upcoming include:

  • stepdaughter's Sweet 16 party was last weekend (Red Carpet theme; it was a hit!)
  • extra choir rehearsals for upcoming Choirfest (300 member chorale event for Christmas)
  • my friend, K and her daughter K, heading west to the TaeKwon-Do National Championships
  • the annual Christmas parade
  • decorating for the holidays (weekend of November 27-28)
  • papers and bloodwork to be done for our December 14 appointment in Montreal
  • dealing with the pain of an ovarian cyst that will. not. give. up. Ugh.
  • trying to resolve the financial f*ck-ups that Hubby's file has been subjected to: in total, he's only received $1300 since early August and trust me, that ain't enough to live on
  • shopping for Christmas and doing stockings for my folks, Hubby's kids, Hubby and Petite
  • packing and flying out for the New Year and the cruise
  • trying to save enough to attend my cousin's wedding out west in June of next year; wish me luck!
  • somewhere in there... hopefully fitting in a cycle! Whew!
And honestly, that's enough on my plate at the moment. Never mind the "what if" the next IVF works and then we need to buy a new house?! One thing at a time, right? Right?

A few photos of Petite in her Halloween costume. She was a butterfly and I think she was awfully cute. (She's so very adventurous; the scratch on her forehead was a headfirst encounter with a chair at church, and the bruise on the side of her nose/cheek was a slip in our living room and she gracefully fell on top of the small stainless steel pot that Nana had given her this summer to play with.)

I just trimmed her bangs tonight. They were getting rather straggly for my liking and they need to be evened out and not hang in her eyes. And bumps, bruises and all, I think she's darn cute. But you know, I'm rather biaised. As a Mommy should be.


A Mommy.

That still shocks me, you know. I don't know if I'll ever get used to it.

I don't know if I want to; may it always strike me as something very special and very, very much wanted. May it never become banal or mundane. May it always remind me of our journey and may I always give thanks that our quest was fulfilled.