Posts Tagged ‘infertility’

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Breast friends- Baby, can you get enough?

BREAST FRIENDS. 

It’s been ages since I have written, and I am sorry. I’ve been meaning to write…but it’s been challenging just to get rest and food. I’m running on fumes, but trying to pretend I have a full tank.

I decided to try to breastfeed Baby Jacob for as long as I can. I gave myself a mini-goal of six months, after which I will reacess and see if I can get him to a year. He went in to the NICU when he was born and my supply has never caught up to his demand. I have spoken to doctors and lactation consultants and tried to catch up with him, but I’ve finally resigned myself to being his supplemental food source, rather than his exclusive or primary one.

After all the ego hits of IVF, hospital bedrest and the big stamp of “advanced maternal age,” not making enough milk for my  baby is up there on the ego smackdown. But here’s how I look at it. At least I can offer him quality, rather than quantity. Sure, I am still trying like hell to catch up, but if I can get him to 5-6 months, at least he’s had a constant supply of mother’s milk. And rather than feeling guilty for making less than I would hope to, I treasure the times that we do get to spend together when I feed him. He’s still my little miracle.

I have a dear friend at work who had her second baby girl a few weeks after Jacob. She is a lovely woman, full of vigor and zing. Every time I see her and ask about her kids, she tells my how much milk she’s producing in each pumping (8-10 oz each time!!!). I know she doesn’t mean anything by it, but it reminds me of a guy who brags about penis size, or how many girls he bedded last week. Part of me is filled with envy when I hear her reports, but I try to take it back to center and remember how lucky I am for having a healthy, gorgeous son, a great job, shelter, family, and a hubby who loves me. Milk shmilk! It’s all relative.

 

THE SUNDRESS GIRLS. 

There is always going to be someone who seems to have something you want. When I was on hospital bedrest (for six weeks!) they would wheel me on a gurney down to a daily non-stress test. They’d take me through the part of the hospital that was bustling with out-patient testing. It’s hard enough to be wheeled around in a wheelchair- but being pushed on a BED takes it to a whole other level! Once inside the testing area they would park me in the middle of the hallway. After a while I learned to bring something with me to distract myself, like a book or my blackberry, something that I could look at to avoid the glances of pregnant women who were visiting the hospital for a quick test before returning to the world outside the berm. Since I was not allowed outside, I could mark the passage of time (and weather) by their attire. June and July were “sundress time” in Boston and all the pretty ladies seem to sachet past with their florals and batiks mocking me. When they would look my way I would smile. I tried to wish them well with my eyes. “Don’t worry, I’m not contageous” I thought to myself. Most women, however, would do everything they could NOT to make eye contact, as if my baby and I had some disasterous affliction, and locking eyes would somehow curse them. I know that fear, I used to have a twinge of it every time I heard of a friend on bed rest. “Oh how awful,” I’d think. But here I was, in the hospital for six weeks. On my back. Immobile… At least I was smiling.

As much as I resented the sundress girls, with there billowy dresses and protruding bumps, I knew there was a long chain that linked us together. The grass is always greener somewhere else. What I needed to remember was that we ALL are of great value and beauty. We all MATTER. There is always going to be someone who has something you want. You can spend time consuming yourself with envy and grief, or you can treasure what you do have, and hope for what you want. I try to remember this. 

 

ACTS OF GRACE

It was the founder of Acts of Grace Foundation who send me a small care package while I was on hospital bed rest. She and I will never meet, but her kindness touched me deeply. In honor of one of her twins, Grace, who passed away, I will pay it forward this holiday. I will be making small care packages for the women on bedrest at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. My friends are coming over to help me, and it will also be a great closing of a chapter for me. I will never forget how much I have grown this year, and hope to channel some of that experience into something meaningful for others. (Acts of Grace foundation….http://www.actsofgracefoundation.com/5.html)

WISHING YOU JOY…..

Leave a comment and make a wish for the next person who reads it….

Welcome Baby Jacob!

It was 1:30 in the morning of July 25 when something tugged at me  from the inside out. It was my second week of home bed rest (after being on hospital confinement for six weeks!). I wobbled over to the bathroom and nearly slipped on the turn. My water had broken all over the second floor of our new house. If you have ever seen that moment in “Ghostbusters” where the guy says “I’ve been slimed!” you can imagine the trail I left behind. Still, I was in complete denial, as this was the one thing we had not prepared for. So much had transpired in the eight weeks prior, that the last thing I expected was the “Honey, my water broke!” scenario.

Half packed bags, Half dressed. Fumbling in the dark. The Bear and I looked like nervous teenagers. He paced back and forth, urging me to get out of the bathroom. Finally I complied.

We had never made the “hospital run” from our new house. Everything on the highway looked foreign and celestial. I felt like the car was floating. I sat on four towels and tried to do some mean yoga breathing.

We were rushed into the operating room I will never forget my husband’s eyes peering out from over his hospital mask. So expectant. So full of love. I think I will remember that face until the day I die.

At 5:46am, our son was born. He was a gorgeous, agile baby with a thick mane of golden brown hair, and a shocking cry. After so many wins and losses, so many trials. He was here!

Welcome, Baby Jacob!  Wow!

Club Bedd- Home at Last!

Bed Rest, week 6

I cannot believe that I have been on bed rest since before Memorial Day. It’s somewhat unreal.

When I got to the hospital after we thought my water broke, Baby Jake was just 28 weeks and a little over 3 lbs. Today he is 34 1/2 weeks and 5 lbs 13 oz. I feel so blessed to have been able to give him this precious time of sleeping and growing inside of me.

On Friday, they released me from the hospital after confirming that my rupture had sealed. It was quite an ordeal, but what a joyful moment to be released after 6 long weeks. I was overcome with so many emotions, joy….fear…confusion.

It was hard to say goodbye to the nurses and the patients I have met on the high-risk floor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Hard to leave people behind and not know where we will all be in a few months. I have learned so much on this journey. I hope that I can give something back.

We met our goal of getting him to 34 weeks. His lungs are not yet developed enough to breathe on his own, but he is so much stronger than he was when we were admitted to the hospital. Now, our new goal is to make it to 36 1/2 weeks without developing toxemia (preeclampsia) and deliver him by c-section. I am so glad that I did not know how critical the situation was when we first arrived. I am so happy we approached everything head-on with faith, love and as much good energy as we could muster.

It feels so good to wake up in my bed. To snuggle with my hubby. To have this precious time.

I would also like to say again that all of your comments and emails have really helped my family and me to feel so supported on this journey.

THANK YOU!

Club Bedd- Week 5- Love Beyond Measure

It’s hard to know what to wish for in moments like this. A healthy baby? Patience? Strength?

I am grateful that we have made it this far. Five weeks of bed rest on the high-risk floor of the hospital. Five weeks of nourishment and “natural” life support for our baby, before he enters the world. When I arrived, Jacob was just 28 weeks. Now he will be 33 on friday. We have passed many milestones, and welcome each new one as a little miracle.

Oh, Baby, you are loved beyond measure!

I never knew it was possible to love someone who is not even born yet. Someone who does not live amongst us. I guess it’s the closest thing to faith or G-d. Treasuring the unseen.

I have had such an amazing support system. My friends and family say that I have been so positive on this journey, and that it’s helping me and the baby, as well as my sweet husband. But, perhaps I have the room to be positive because I feel so supported and loved. I hope they know how grateful I am!

I also wanted to thank YOU, for reading this, for your prayers and emails to me. You have NO IDEA how much this has meant to me. I would like to write you all back personally when things quiet down here (and I will!) but for now, please accept my deepest gratitude.

We have been getting some pressure from the High Risk specialists to rush into an amnio to see if the rupture of my water has sealed up. Although it’s minimally risky, there is still some chance that the amnio could cause another rupture, or put me in pre-mature labor. Our birth plan with our Dr. was to do this test at 34 weeks, at which time they would deliver him (if my water is still broken) or send me home to go a few weeks more (if my water sealed) . We made a decision as a family to keep our original birth plan and test at 34 weeks, not before! The specialist was a pushy, cocky woman and I felt as if we needed to stand our ground. She cared little that there was any risk involved.

So I have opted to stay at Club Bedd for the additional time, rather than risk anything and test too early. Nine days of patience can mean boatloads to a baby who is growing every day inside me. We are doing this for HIM. It makes me happy to know that the Bear and I can whether these things together as a family.

Club Bedd- Week 4!

An update to friends and family, sent from my bed at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston (aka Club Bedd)

Greetings from Club Bedd, where the temperature is a steady 67 degrees and the food is white and pasty. 

It’s hard to believe that we are entering our 5th week here. I will take any little miracle we can get and feel blessed to have gotten to this point. Baby Jacob is doing wonderfully and seems as “happy as a clam” to quote one of the Docs. I am glad he has no idea that we are in here, or that my water broke and filled back up again. I bet he is happy that mama has had to set aside her workaholic tendencies for a wee bit!

Jacob is 32 weeks and 2 days today. He’s in a really good place as far as his development, and if he joined us today he would be well cared for by the team in the NICU. The Doctors are going to connect with the experts on the high risk OB team in a few weeks and run some tests on me to see if I should deliver at 34 or 36 weeks (the week of July 9 orJuly 23) which is unbelievable! He will soon be here !!!!

Papa Bear is doing well. He is working as head Contractor on our New Old House and packing, going to college and taking care of me and Jacob. He looks like HE could use some bed rest!

I’ve been trying to do something “meaningful” here (besides my new blessed full time job as incubator- which is pretty important). I’m reading some “deep” books, surfing the web on the best buys for king size sheets and outdoor furniture, and keeping up with the Kardashians. 

(Beware of  Jewish Princesses on bed rest with a laptop and a credit card!) 

The acupuncturist, and lady Rabbi, and social worker from the hospital pay me frequent visits, so I am now squared away with the Tao of Qi, G-d and my inner child. 

All I need is an aesthetician to rip off my very profound  mustache : ) and a constant supply of decaf iced lattes. Then, I will be balanced from the inside-out.

love,

me

Dream House- a love story

The Bear just called me to let me know that our Dream house is going back on the market MONDAY. Let me please explain that this house has become our pastoral obsession. We drive by it with forlorn looks, as if approaching an unobtainable lover. We have even stalked the owner and the realtor, sending letters of speculation when it was first taken off the market last year.

It seems that our dream house was purchased by someone at the height of the market several years ago. This man paid top dollar, as was the norm of the time. A few years later , he goes to sell only to find that the market has tanked (a familiar note, unfortunately). He aims high and lists it for far too much, trying to recoup some of his losses. The house sits empty for a year with no one to love it. Eventually the man lowers his price. Still no takers. He finally gives up and gets a renter, leaving the FOR SALE sign in the yard for a few days.

Meanwhile, a couple drives  down a winding road with grand houses and modest New England cottages which are separated from the street by an old stone wall. They spot a red sign about a half acre off the street. Eureka! Beyond it lies a rolling hill and a long driveway that leads to an old Victorian farmhouse. There is a huge old Oak tree out front that seems to be standing sentinel. It appears to be least 100 years old and has a tire swing attached to it. The husband swears that he can hear children playing tag football in the front yard, even though no one is present. The wife envisions sunny rooms, wide plank floors and fireplaces. Maybe even a sunlit nursery for the baby they long to have…one day.

No signs of occupancy, but the house sags longingly as if it wished that it were lived in. It reminds the wife of her vacant womb, waiting ….”It’s just a house” she tells herself. But then she looks over at her husband, who is smiling silently as if deep in thought. “It’s far from the road,” he says. “So kids could play and we wouldn’t have to worry.” KIDS! she thinks.

She loves his hopefulness.

They call the realtor, excited to learn more about this Dream house. They are told it is no longer on the market. That the seller has withdrawn and it will be a year before it is available. That’s when they begin stalking….

Six months pass. The wife tells her husband to move on. “There will be other houses,” she says. She is surprised by his attachment to this place. The pictures and stories he has created in his mind about the Dream house. “It’s only a house!” she tells him. But to the husband, it’s a future. Something once unattainable.

During the course of their house obsession, they discover they are expecting a baby. Ups and downs on the baby making rollercoaster, and this time- it sticks! They find out it’s a boy. They chose a name in honor of her great-grandfather, who came to America as a young man in 1901.(He probably had dreams of a house like this.)

They decide to stay in the city for another year. They work on their small apartment, in the hopes of one day putting it up for sale. They try to appreciate what they do have, and even though their baby will be sleeping in a large closet, they will make it the most lovely closet ever. The wife has dreams of hanging a tree limb above the crib. She has a thing for trees…

Then one day the husband calls the old realtor. He’s not ready to let go of his dream. The realtor says the house is being cleaned, and will be back on the market in FIVE DAYS. The husband calls the wife. The wife (being a type A and seeing too many Sex in the City Episodes) tells him to see if they can get in a few days early.”It’s all about timing!” she says.”And luck!”

Sometimes things happen in your life right out of the blue. One day your womb is empty, and then (after much heartbreak, laughter and tears) it is full. One day you are single, and the next, you have a partner who loves you. One day it can all be taken from you. But today….aaaaaaah today.

Wish us luck… you never know what tomorrow might bring….