Monday, December 9, 2013

tis the season

to be jolly... um yea, usually. this holiday season is super strange to me. i'm not going to lie, i've been half dreading it. i feel so conflicted with my emotions its crazy. its even hard for me to figure out which emotion "weighs" more in my mind, our first christmas without my MiL or Laila's 1st Christmas. fuck, i'm not even sure its going to feel like christmas without being full of amazing food, wine, and family joy at my MiL's apartment, which doesn't exist to our family anymore because she isn't here with us. it feels like we spent 2/3 of every holiday season at her apartment every year for the last 15 years of my life. there was/is nothing like her house at the holidays. always decorated with home made decorations from years past, always holiday cookies that only get baked once a year, always amazing aromas from the kitchen, always peace- just sitting around with family, stuffing our faces, laughing, watching movies, doing a big puzzle, in our pjs, for days. her house at the holidays is the physical/emotional representation of the "warm wishes" im sending to everyone at christmas time. what the fuck do we do now? have stuff here, yea, but its just not the same. we dont have the extra space that she did (at least not right now), we dont have her holiday humor (a box full of pine needles that had fallen off of the tree decorated with gifts cut out of magazines because she didn't get around to gift shopping one year), we dont have her.

and it fucking blows and im angry and sad about it. laila and my MiL did not get to spend a single birthday together, like in person, together. when laila was born my MiL was not feeling great so she didn't get to meet her until we came home from the hospital. she was in the room, watched and helped to bring Sofia into this world. my MiL's birthday passed last weekend, clearly no together time there. not one christmas, not one new years. there are so many things that laila won't have with her its atrocious. im so sad for all the gramma times laila did/will miss out on, but i am ever so grateful that they had the time that they did together. there were many times when my MiL would just hold Laila for hours while she slept in her arms. many times that that laila was a little fussy pants and only a belly down nap on gramma's lap was the only solution. they shared a lot of smiles and hugs and kisses and im so thankful for that. im just so mad that she was taken from us. so mad and so devastated. and so mad. not to mention watching lovedove grieve in new ways on different days all the time. my. heart. is. broken.

sooooooo, how the hell do i get excited for christmas? laila's first no less. ugh, i just feel like we're half assing it, but truly the kids won't remember. well sofia might because she's some kind of remarkable remember-er, but whatever. we decorated over the last week, incorporated my MiL's decorations and ornaments into our home. the dog was weird the whole time because of the smells of my MiL's house. i talked to Disa about losing her when it happened, but who knows what she understood. i just dont want her to feel like we're keeping her from getting to her gramma. maybe gramma will visit her in her puppy dreams. ugh even the dog is grieving, god help us.

this upcoming week is a busy one. last night was the P!nk concert with lovedove. p!nk is fucking amazing and beautiful and wonderful and the show was unbelievable. the show was at the Barcl.ays center in brooklyn, which is almost in our backyard. not even 30 minutes door to door, made going to a sunday night concert that much easier. weds is my company holiday party, thurs is the rehearsal dinner for my friend's wedding, saturday is the wedding in ct (which i'm in - and i dont even know if i've mentioned that on here bc i never post anymore. long story short, im thrilled to be a bridesmaid, feel like i didn't fulfill my bridal party duties that well due to everything that was going on, and i don't love my dress - but it doesn't matter because i would have walked down the isle in a lobster costume if she asked me to). since the wedding is in ct, we are staying in a hotel, the kids are going to be with my parents. we were thrilled and planning on checking out late, taking our time coming home and retrieving our kids, until we found out that sofia's first little dance recital is the next morning at 11:30am. god help me. the things we do for our kids. except my mom. i asked her to come and sleep here so that i dont have to pack up the two kids stuff, plus the dog stuff, plus recital stuff. no, she has to have the sleepover at her house. i begged her, twice, to just come here to make it easier..... nope. im thankful that shes watching the kids, yes, but my children are wonderful kids and generally not too challenging for any babysitter so im pretty sure that we could have found alternative caregivers. whatever, she'll learn when i start giving away opportunties to watch my kids to other people who are willing to work with me to make things as simple as possible for everyone involved.

anyway this is not a very festive post but i guess i needed to rant a bit. i hope we can make this christmas a happy one for the kids, and im sure it will be good enough for them. im just not sure what it will be like for us, the grown ups. on top of all of that im scared of getting christmas presents from others for the kids. our apt is busting at the seams since we took in a lot of my MiL's stuff and we haven't been able to get rid of baby toys yet bc laila is just starting to play with the large in size items (baby stroller/activity table/etc). lovedove inherited some money from her mom, we're going to try to buy a house in the neighborhood, so we might have some more room in the near future but that doesn't mean i want to fill up any and all new space. i cant wait until we can throw some stuff out.

anyway heres some stuff about the kids and then ill end this, apparently i was in need of some venting...
sofia.. now 3yrs3months old, loves making up little songs, dancing, being the boss and telling people what to do, making little jokes ("hey.. who turned out the lights??" every time i put a shirt over her head to un/dress her - that joke gets old reallllly fast), loves cooking with mommies, loves telling people what is going on or what happened just before they arrived or what the plan for what's next is. she loves "laila baby" and playing with her. oh and her attitude is a little crazy sometimes. sometimes you ask her why she did something and she will just shrug her shoulders. or test the boundaries like crazy, holy moly she gets me mad sometimes.
laila... now 11 months old loves smiling, "dancing", and snuggling. she loves musical (baby/toy) instruments, eating, and also trying to be the boss. her favorite thing to do is crawl over to the dog's bowl and try to get her hands in the food or water. i tell her no, she stops, gets herself into a sitting position, shakes her head "no", and then proceeds to the bowls. i get up, move her back to the living room carpet, and the process begins again and again. she cries, yells, and sometimes lays herself down on the floor to throw a pathetic angry tantrum at the end of 5 or 6 trips to the food/water bowls. yup, she's me in mini form.

all in all i love our family and i miss my second mom. i hope that we can carry on her traditions and feel her with us in the holiday season. we got through thanksgiving, better than expected in my opinion, maybe things won't be as bad as im fearing. but maybe they will.

Friday, November 1, 2013

here i am

well its been months since i've blogged. a lot has happened. we lost my MiL mid September, clearly atrocious but it was clear that she was suffering. the month that followed was so busy its unreal. after she died, we took her ashes to california to be spread where she wanted. we had the most amazing drive up highway one, and the highlight of the long drive was the amazing and perfect sunset we were able to see. our timing was perfect as we were on one of the straighter parts that doesn't require crazy attention to every second of driving, im certain she had a hand in that. we had her memorial. we spent nine days with her (side of) the family. i expected to do a lot more crying than we did. i think we were all doing our best to try to hold it in, and i think we still kind of are.

lovedove and her sister were faced with the task of clearing out her apartment and sorting through her belongings. lovedove found a way to incorporate many of her things into our home, it really has been amazing to see. the process was grueling for lovedove and her sister, and for the rest of us too, but to a much lesser degree. we had a yard sale that was mostly successful and the rest of the household items leftover are going to be donated. my SiL only left to go back to Portland, OR last sunday. wait, nope. this sunday. she's been back in portland for less than a week. wow thats crazy, it feels like so much longer.

lovedove and i had a bachelorette party to attend last weekend, 80s themed, which was amazing and a good reason to go out, drink a ton, and try to celebrate. its so weird to be living life and loving the moment, and then you remember that your heart, or a certain piece of your heart is still broken. yesterday's halloween festivities were fun, until the thought of gramma not seeing her grandbabies in their costumes comes into play. it was the first holiday without her and it felt rough, but thanksgiving is going to be hell. we'll find a way to make it through it, especially since we host, but my God. the thought of doing Thanksgiving without her... and as the first real eating-home-cooked-food holiday?? really life? really timing? ugh. every year she has been the captain of our thanksgiving voyage. she's the seasoned pro and lovedove is her first mate, and i guess im the first mate's sous chef... or something like that. overwhelmed isnt even the tip of the iceberg. whatever it will be fine, whatever it is it is.

on a happier note the girls are good. laila is fighting a little cold and diaper fungus, just a bad diaper rash that needs a prescription cream to clear up, but on the upside she started "dancing" this week. she rocks and bounces up and down when music is on and claps her hands. she's a super smiley baby and tons of fun. sofia is doing great in school, she loves it, and she loves her little friends. she's also back in dancing school and loves that too. her acting out has calmed down, but now she's just developing a little attitude. some days i'll ask her to do something simple, like go to the potty before she lays down for rest time, and im greeted with the response "NEVER!!". don't ask me where she gets it from. jayk.e and the nev.erland pira.tes maybe?? the funnies thing is that lately she will drop and F bomb here or there. purely imitation of language she sometimes hears in the apt or in the car. the other day we are stopped at a red light and she calls out from her car seat in the back "fuckin' go!" to the cars ahead of us. i explain its not nice to use that word and ask her not to use it again. she's generally pretty good about it. im actually surprised how many adult words she has not copied, compared to how many she hears and how smart she is. we've really begun curbing the language now. i dont want our little sailor to grow up to be a 5 year old sailor, that wouldn't be good.

im working on weaning laila. i stopped pumping when my MiL died bc i just couldn't anymore. i started to become less against formula (when i was breastfeeding exclusively i felt like it was like my enemy, just waiting to replace me, or something like that) and im ok with her having bottles when im not around. now i have to force myself to become ok with her having bottles when i am around. i really need to bc my friend's wedding is in 6 weeks and i have to be done by then, according to me. if i didn't have this wedding i might have breastfed her for her whole first year, bc i really love the bond it facilitates for us. but im also tired of being on call. its a mixed bag, like everything else. hopefully i dont lose my shit emotionally when i stop completely. i probably will, whatever.

anyway, life is as good as it can be right after your MiL dies. we are all doing ok, whatever that means. i dreamt of my MiL the other night and it was truly a wonderful thing. i was with sofia walking through some grassy area, when i noticed that sofia wasn't right next to me or right behind me. so i call her name a few times but she doesn't come running to catch up to me. i turn around to see where she is, and i see her laying in the grass a little ways back, with Gramma. i begin to walk towards them and Gramma stands up, says something to me bc i remember hearing her voice (probably her usual "hey ame") and gives me a big long hug. i tell her how good it is to hear her voice and hold her. and thats it. laila probably woke me up out of that dream but i was so happy that i had it, and so happy that i remembered it. i'm sure i'll remember it forever but i hope to see her again. its times like this that i wish i could return to my days where i was obsessed with lucid dreaming, even though i was completely unsuccessful in all of my attempts. i wish there was something anything i could do to get her back here with us, even if it was just once in a while. i miss her so badly, and i know im going to miss her more and more as the days go by and the girls grow.

they say when one door closes another door opens. im hoping for lots of open doors bc it totally sucks that that door closed. rest in peace CathyMom.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

my heart is so heavy

first, a thank you for the liebster nod, though my mind is not in a place of blogging recently. when my mind starts being my own again, ill jump on all of that good-ness.

Sofia and Laila are well, thank God, each of them growing/thriving/being more amazing every day.

our family is continuing to struggle through my MiL's battle with stage 4 small cell lung cancer. this week, on sofia's 3rd birthday, my MiL's doctors informed us all that they believe that the cancer is no longer responding to the treatments. she has been in extreme pain (even more extreme than her standard level of constant pain) in recent weeks, and continuing treatment has not been an option due to her lack of strength and constant discomfort. after reviewing the mri results from a scan late last week, there appears to be some new lesions on her bones, which clearly is not good. her doctors did not provide a prognosis, but when lovedove's father asked for an estimate of how much time they believe she has left, her doctor responded by saying that he believes we will lose her in the coming weeks, not more than a month. we are all kind of numb to this new information but i think we all knew it was coming. it is so painful to see her suffering. im clearly not looking forward to whatever comes next, but she needs her pain to end. id like to say that i wouldn't wish this type of suffering on my worst enemy, but i think i would. i am so angry. she is the kindest person with the purest heart, and this could not have been meant for her. there must have been some kind of mistake. i could go on for days about this, and im sure i will probably use this blog to grieve at some point, my brain is just mush currently. She should not be the person who's failing health requires me to start to teach my children about death. i'm not sure what effect losing her will have on our family. everything is so uncertain, except for one thing, and no one likes what is for certain.

ugh. needless to say sofia's birthday was a day that encompassed all emotions. it certainly was not the happiest birthday she'll ever have. i know she feels all of this, and all of the sadness and fear and anger, i hope she will forget it. she's been acting out a ton, which is to be expected i guess, but thats difficult to witness and handle. as much as i want her to forget this time, i want her to retain the memories she has made with her gramma. there have been so many wonderful times and for that i am grateful. we have plenty of pictures and videos, but i truly wish that she would be able to remember her gramma's heart, embrace, amazingly tasty cooking, and tiny crafty projects that they would do together. ugh my heart is just breaking.

not sure when i will write again. putting my uneventful happy healthy pregnancy energy out there for everyone trying and expecting.

Monday, July 15, 2013

6 months

life just gets in the way of blogging sometimes, you all know what i mean. life is just moving fast these days and baby laila is growing and changing just as fast. my MiL is still doing well, she battles through bad pain days, and makes the best of her regular days, though they are sadly still filled with discomfort. she's been spending lots of time with us and even came out to one of my softball games last week and i was so happy to have her there. we are heading to our NJ vacation with my parents, my sister and her bf, and lovedove's parents are planning on joining us for a couple of days as well. im hoping that all goes well, fingers crossed.

i think that other contributing factors to my non-blogging have been other people's life events, and my inability to cope with them, even from very distanced standpoints. my heart, love, and suppport go out to lex/aimee who was recently diagnosed with advanced stage cancer. we traveled our roads to pregnancy and became pregnant just a few days apart, i can barely wrap my mind around how different our roads have become just 6 months after our daughters were born. there isnt much i can do for my fellow blogger, but i feel that i can help to spread the outreach efforts to her and her family, and send good energy and prayers. so if anyone is in a position to make a financial contribution, her family has set up a donation page here. she has been strong through many of life's challenges, and i know she'll be strong through this as well. 

the other situation that is not mine that i am thinking about constantly, is the situation of a friend's best friend. she also traveled a long road to pregnancy, but happily gave birth to a healthy baby boy just about 3 months ago. two weeks ago, he stopped eating and went into the hospital to receive fluids to avoid dehydration. since being admitted, his condition has worsened and he has been in the icu for over a week. he is receiving tremendous amounts of medical assistance to get through this and is still not doing that great. the doctors have not been able to provide his mother+father with any concrete answers as to whats going on. there have been some positive points eeg and emg coming back clear, but they are waiting on results of many blood and genetic tests. i have no idea how they are getting through these scary days, my heart is breaking for them with every hour that passes.

i look at laila and i pretty much burst into tears at least once daily with these two moms' stories in my mind. no mom should be subjected to what they are going through, life is just not fair. so, when i have these moments of looking at my life and feeling like im already the luckiest mom in the world, i can barely think of anything that even seems worth blogging about in comparison to these crazy life situations these strong women are getting through. ugh i feel like ive been shaking my head more recently than at any past point in my life. 

on a positive note, lovedove turned 30, and we went away for a night. we had a lovely 24 hour trip complete with an amazing meal, great drinks, and a waterfront dining experience. we also had lovely couple time and lovely SLEEP. one of our best friends watched all three of our little ladies at our place (disa included) which helped us to really be able to relax. it was amazing.

a few days later i threw lovedove's 30th in our concrete backyard. i barbecued in the rain for almost 4 hours because we were banking on the weather not actually getting that bad. it was fine, we all drank a bunch and had a great time despite the weather. i drank more than i thought, i was not making my drinks a friend was, but i was ok. i feel a little embarrassed after the fact bc at one point i was the drunk crier at the party, i HATE a drunk crier, but i was crying bc i was trying to make sure that things were going smoothly and i just got overwhelmed, so my tears came from a "good"/selfless-ish place. i put myself to bed before the party was officially over, but only our closest friends were left, and they've seen me in much worse shape.

now its one week of work and then family vacation, and when we get back its just a few weeks until my SiL comes in for a visit. once she's gone the summer is almost over and it is simply amazing every summer how fast the time goes. sofia will be 3 (sept) before we know it, then its halloween, christmas, new years, and then laila turns 1. i hope with every fiber of my being that things are better then, than they are now. i'll just keep praying. life is so crazy.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

almost 5 months

little miss laila is doing great, rolled over (belly to back) a few times, and lost a bunch of hair. she now has a funny faux hawk. she's a little bruiser this kid, she's nice and solid. she loves to stand, grab things with her hands (like her feet) and put them in her mouth (not her feet), play in her exersaucer, smile, and drool. her hands are in her in her mouth a lot lately and im afraid that teeth are on their way shortly. i plan to breastfeed until thanksgiving, but im really afraid of breastfeeding a child with teeth. i'm sure i'll do it, but im definitely scared about it. she'll be 5 months old in 2 days. TIME. FLIES.

she's eating baby food now and loving it. so far sweet potatoes seem to be her favorite, no surprise there coming from this momma. she also really enjoys sweet peas. anyone see a pattern here? she didn't love bananas, which is fine by me, bc they really constipated sofia when she was little, so if we didnt balance her banana intake with prunes, she got pretty uncomfortable sometimes. anyway, laila eats really well, and a lot, which i think is awesome. speaking of 'awesome', its one of sofia's new favorite words. we're making most of the food she eats, so we'll make a decent sized batch and feed her that till its gone. we also just bought this bc we have a this and its the loudest fucking thing in the world. so loud that it scares the children. so loud that lovedove has to hold her ears when she uses it. so loud that we don't want to use it. so we bought a new one. it arrived today, im excited to use it.

sidenote, sofia is currently engaging in nap wars with me. i think part of the issue is that her "winding down" time is difficult for me to handle. when she does bed time with mommy monday through thursday while im at work, she typically gets up a few times to use the restroom, and comes out of her room a few times with lame excuses like getting a tissue, giving one or two more hugs and kisses, asking some random question, grabbing one more toy to take to bed with her bc shes a bedtime hoarder. thats their thing. lovedove is fine with it, the routine works for them. i on the other hand am far more confrontational and asinine about it. i have no patience for the stalling tactics. i said its nap/bed time, so stay the f in your bed. got it you little almost 3 year old? i get really frustrated because she is clearly tired and needs sleep on some days to function. today im not letting her out of her room again until she sleeps. she was up at 5:45am and definitely needs a nap. i'll allow one trip to the potty and thats it. i've implemented the "im not talking to you" strategy and i dont answer her yelled questions or requests. we'll see who wins this battle today. i really hope its me.

on a happier note, sofia is now able to put together a 24 piece puzzle all by herself. we the easter bunny got her a do.cmc.stuf.fins puzzle, and we've done it a lot together, so much so that she can now do it herself. she accomplished this for the first time over the weekend. a few hours later she accomplished something else big, drawing on her walls with a crayon. i hope that was the first and last time, cleaning that was tedious and annoying. we tried to make her do the clean up but she couldn't push hard enough with the mr cl.ean mag.ic that thing works miracles i swear.

laila's adoption date is set for the 19th, happy and excited to have this process be over so much faster than it was the first time around. our experience with a different lawyer for sofia's adoption briefly chronicled here. we recently met up with another lesbian couple who just had their first baby through our adoption social worker, and im hoping that their adoption is scheduled for the same day. we'll see. i have to email her.

im completely intrigued by baby boogers. their snot is just incredible. i feel like its the stickiest but also the slimiest sometmies. the biggest boogers come out of the smallest little nose. im amused by them, always.

my basketball season is almost over, if we win this saturday we've got one more week, if we lose we're done. its been so good to be back on the court. this was definitely not my strongest season by any means but i've loved it more than ever. i love being in the recreational division, no one wants to rip anyone's heads off, and the ladies i play with are actually friendly. i definitely made the right move for myself and im looking forward to coming seasons. i seriously need to do some practicing over the summer though. i haven't played a post position since high school, and i went like 5% from the free throw line this season. SAD.

first game of softball was last night and i played great, if i do say so myself. 3 for 4 with 2 RBIs and one nice catch in the outfield. i coached first base for my team a bunch of the time and i had fun doing that too. i was pleasantly surprised by my post pregnancy debut and cant wait to get on the field again. oh, plus, we won! surprise, we're very used to losing on that team, but we got some new youngins that look pretty good. i love softball.

hope all is well with everyone, keep feeling good shanna!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

4.5 months

laila is now four and a half months old and she's doing great. despite her incredible disinterest in rolling over, she's advancing nicely and developing new skills every day. she is a big time talker, squealer, giggler and smiler. She weighed in at 13lbs5ozs at her four month appointment, two weeks ago, and she is really chunking up quite nicely. shes grabbing things with her hands, drooling all over everything, and really enjoying her exersaucer. i don't have much to say right now so here's this...

top 10 public places i've breastfed laila (in no particular order)

1.  ikea's mini restaurant
2. denny's
3. the park
4. on a plane
5. in our moving car (when i leaned over the car seat bc she was inconsolable so i had lovedove drive and i just fed her right then and there)
6. on the bleachers at the gym where we play basketball immediately before and/or after one of my games
7. the auto body shop (while i waited for 3 hours for my car to have the window fixed)
8. the pediatrician's office
9. the beach
10. the Long Island Children's Museum, they had a lovely little nursing nook

i feel its necessary for me to note my breastfeeding accomplishments for several reasons. first because i had a pretty rough time at one point. next because it reminds me to feel proud of myself in an age where so many women choose to formula feed bc of whatever reason, i feel like im in an elite group of moms who choose to breastfeed. also because i feel like im part of a breastfeeding movement, and like im an activist/awareness raiser/supporter and i like that.

so if anyone reading this is struggling, just hang in there. it does get better, and easier. it is still the most rewarding thing ive ever done.

so happy to be reading lots of good news all around blogland about happy babies and tired mommies.

i dont have the time or mind to write much more right now, but will try to soon.

here's two recent pictures of my little meatball with accompanying text from a friend.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


4.30.12 is likely the most optimistic day of my life thusfar, it was the day of my single embryo transfer. i dont remember all of the day, but i remember being on the table for the transfer, and the doctor telling me the embryo was "a good one". i dont have a fancy schmancy picture of laila as an embryo (like everyone else in blogland seems to) but truly i dont need it. today, a year later, i have her. its almost completely unreal to me, that as i type this, she is thrown over my shoulder half passed out because i just breastfed her. biological motherhood is everything i thought it would be, and the pride of being her biological mother, knowing that i made this amazing little person, is boggling to me.

she was teeny tiny when she was born, and even tinier a few days later when she weighed in at 6lbs bc my milk wasn't fully in, and today people were telling me how big she looked for her age. she visited my dad's office for the first time and one of his coworkers said she looked like she was close to 6 months old bc she was so alert and so big. she's all i could ask for her to be at this age, a healthy smiley drooly meatball ham (i say ham bc when she gives you a smile, she really gives you a smile).

ill actually get to see how "big" she is at her 4 month appointment next friday, i'm looking forward to her measurements. 

actually, im looking forward to everything.

watching the nb.a playoffs with me <3

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

confessions + church

yes, my weirdo momma confessions. i've already divulged some of these things to friends who are non moms, and im pretty sure they think im a lunatic. even lovedove thinks some of these are totally nuts.

1. i kind of love the smell of (solely) breastfed baby poop. to me its just so sweet and not really stinky at all. clearly a very odd thing, but its the truth.

2. baby pee. also no big deal, i mean dont get me wrong i do my best not to get peed on, however, i feel like baby pee is similar to rainwater, like i could shower in it if i needed to. yes an extreme example, but im sure i could. rain comes through dirty air pollution and smoggy crap, and baby pee just goes through your baby, so really to me they are the same kind of thing. when i think about it like this, baby pee is less gross than rainwater. i think its an interesting theory.

3. lately ive noticed that im jealous of pregnant ladies, for being pregnant. it was one thing for me to realize that i would consider being pregnant again after being so "done" with it once i hit month number 9, but to see pregnant ladies and be jealous? im a lunatic, its official.

4. sometimes i sleep on the couch when sofia is watching sesame street at 7am.

5. sometimes im happy when sofia cries when she is refusing to nap, because it helps her to reach the point of exhaustion where she can't fight off heavy eyelids anymore. mean momma.

enough of that.

went on sunday to have laila baptized. we're not huge church go-ers by any means. we went a few times before we had sofia baptized, and then weren't back in there until this baptism a little over a year later, but i'm happy to have a church to go to as a family, when we choose to. the whole family was there, like 40 people, we're italian like that. pretty sure the deacon was drunk, ok maybe he wasn't but he could have fooled anyone. he was stumbly any time he took steps backwards, lost his train of thought a few times, rambled on and on, and had a very creative spin on a baptismal ceremony. my favorite part was after baptizing each baby, he would hold them in his arms (or by the hand if they were big enough to walk) and present them to the church by walking them up and down the aisle saying "this is laila" or whatever their first name was. it was funny and cute. we had her luncheon/dinner in a party room at a bar my sister used to work at. we did the food ourselves, my mother and our grandmas made food too. it was a beautiful day out so all of the cousins were able to run around outside and everything worked out as well as we could have hoped. laila opted out of the party. after being pretty close to perfect during the ceremony, she found herself completely exhausted at the party and slept through the entire thing, just like i did at my baptism (according to my mother). now both of our babies are baptized, and will be able to attend catholic nursery school and be a God parent if they're asked by anyone in the future. as wonderful of a day as it was, im so glad its over. we planned and prepped so much, im spent.

everything else on our end is going well, other than sofia refusing to nap almost every day. i dont want her to grow out of napping yet, because she still needs them. she does so much better when she's sleeping well in terms of listening, not getting hurt - she gets so clumsy, etc. shes currently been fighting off this nap for 90 minutes. i usually set her free after a max of 2 hrs bc im not going to have her sit in her dark room all day, but i also feel like im giving in to her refusal when that happens. she just plays and sings and "reads" and looks out her window and does everything she can to keep her little peepers open. i hope she gives in soon.

breastfeeding is going well, i'll feed her absolutely anywhere (if i have to, i usually wind up being significantly more uncomfortable throughout due to the absence of pillows) and my most interesting location thusfar has been at a floral consult for a friend's upcoming wedding. the florist worked out of her basement office in her home and was super nice and told me i didnt have to cover myself which was sweet, but i always do, unless im home and its just the 4 of us. my boobs are way too big not to cover up. sometimes, and this is one of only 2 situations where i am jealous of small breasted women, i wish my boobs were smaller so it wouldnt be such a project to feed her. the only other time im jealous of small breasted women is when im playing sports, hence wearing three bras. one for placement and support, and two for compression. trust me its necessary.

laila's poop face is hysterical, she scrunches up and turns super red, my little tomato. she talks more than sofia did, but sofia's speaking is now non stop. questions, declarative sentences, "reading" books, its wild. she also "lies" ("momma said i could have candy") and does a pretty great job at trying to play me and her mommy against each other when there is something she wants but has been told "no" for.

we are just so blessed with our two girls, im thankful every day. cant believe our baby is  3.5 months already, time is flying.

hope you are all well.

Monday, April 15, 2013


now im sure i wont have time to post again tomorrow, but a year ago tomorrow i started my stim meds, which led us to baby Laila. Tomorrow she will be exactly 13 weeks old and it truly is amazing how much change can happen in a year. i know how fortunate i am that we were successful with our first ivf attempt, and i am always thinking of women who have been ttc for long periods of time without success. what i'd like to say is that i hope that pieces of this post speak to women who are ttc, and remind them that so much can change so quickly. at the same time, i'm very aware of how devastating, scary, and assaulting the process can be. i pray for happy endings for every woman ttc, and i hope that each woman trying to get to biological motherhood has the support system she needs. i know im rambling, i just want to instill some hope for those in the process.

Laila is awesome, she's a great baby, we've been sooooo blessed. She's a chunky little monkey with big chubby cheeks and a few rolls on her arms and legs. She is a happy, smiley, talkative baby and she LOVES to lay on her play mat. her baptism is this coming sunday and we're really looking forward to it. we'll be doing most of the food ourselves so we'll be busy busy busy this weekend. I'm excited for more of the extended family to meet her, and im excited to all of my cousins' kids since we only see them a (very) few times a year. i'm hoping that everyone is feeling well that day. lovedove has been fighting off a cold, that sofia just got, but luckily they're both hanging in there. we skipped sofia's playgroup today in an effort to keep her somewhat still and rested, and to not get anyone else sick. my MiL will be receiving some radiation treatment for the next week and a half, so i hope she feels ok on sunday. she's been hanging in there but has been having some more discomfort lately, i'm hoping the radiation helps with the pain management and gives her some relief.

what else... OH. we registered our little baby Sofia for nursery school in the fall. what?! how in the world is she going to be 3 already? my God, time truly flies. she'll be going to school, 3 days a week, 3 hours a day starting the week after she turns 3. im excited for her and i really think she'll do great. i believe that she will enjoy school. i'm a little worried about the first day, with the first drop off, but we've already been talking to her about the fact that mommies can't stay with her at school, and that she'll have to listen to the teacher. im a little worried about me that day too, but i guess it will just be the beginning of 1 on 1 time with Laila, who will be 9 months old by then. crazy. the school she'll be going to is the least expensive school we were able to find in the neighborhood, because i feel like its crazy to pay for schooling in general, because i believe in the public school system* (disclaimer: i grew up in public schools and was in advanced placement classes. i feel this shaped my view and allowed me to have a positive experience with school. i believe in the teachers in the classroom today, but i also acknowledge that some public school programs are better than others. im not sure what my 2014 and forward thoughts of public school will be, but at this point in time i am a big believer in public schools). so we're paying approx $2500 for 9 hours a week september-june. im happy with that and that tuition is do-able for us. schooling can get crazy expensive, like in park slope brooklyn. this season our league is using the gym of a private school. i googled the tuition rates, for pre-k (purely out of curiosity) and saw this ----> $18,395. SHOOT ME. who the hell has that kind of money for their 4 year old to go to school? the rates go up (to almost 36,000 for grade 12 students) as the child gets older. im all for taxing the rich. call me a socialist, im find with that. why the hell does any 4 year old need an $18000 education? give me a break. that is almost the poverty line for a family of 4 (i think that line is around 25,000). my mind was blown. sorry for the crazy school/money tangent.

i need to get better at writing myself a note when i think of topics to write about, bc i feel like this post is just rambly, but i will try to be a more substantial blogger in coming posts.

anyway, following along with everyone's stories as usual and wishing everyone the best.

still waiting for spring over here in ny, hope its springtime by you already!

Friday, April 5, 2013

we're back

got home from vacation late tuesday night and we've been settling back into reality ever since. the trip was fantastic, we had a great time, and everything was almost perfect. the girls were great on the plane rides, no screaming or fussing, though Sofia does a heck of a job at fighting sleep on long flights. Sofia got to swim in the pool at the hotel, jump on her cousin's huge trampoline (everyday), go to the beach, go to Dis.neyland, have a ton of play time with cousins and family, and meet Cinderella. I thought she was going to lose her shit when she met Cinderella, well she was overjoyed, but i kind of lost my shit. i cried a bunch, but how could i not? my 2.5yr old got to meet her favorite princess. here's a piece of Dis.ney magic:
i could cry right now looking at that picture. i dont think ill ever forget that moment. i cant believe the 4 pictures i managed to take came out so well, i was fumbling over my camera like an idiot bc i was so excited for Sofia. anyway, we got great shots of the 2 of them and Cinderella was so sweet. Sofia ran right into her arms and she hugged her for a long time. i think sofia is trying to kiss her in this picture but who cares?! she loves her!

our day at dis.ney was great, we got kind of a slow start to the morning, but did a few rides before we went home (to cousin's house about 15 minutes away) for lunch and a nap. i had pumped several times a day in the days leading up to our trip so that we could leave Laila with her Gramma and other family and luckily there was plenty of milk for the day and night. we headed back to the park around 5pm and stayed until 11. it was a fantastic day.

we saw tons of family which was good, but highly emotional with the ending of visits. for easter we had a huge gathering at the cousin house and Laila got to meet almost the entire side of the family that is out in cali. she was really good the whole trip, smiling and cooing at almost everyone who held her. she's quite the little chatterbox, and she's also a ham. none of her hair has fallen out though it does appear more sparse because her head is growing. her eyes are still blue and im hoping they stay that way. she sleeps really well but requires a tight swaddle as her arm and leg movements often keep her up longer than she'd like to be up. she's been sleeping a bunch lately so im thinking she's growing. she's a lot of fun and an awesome happy healthy baby, thank God. shes still terrible at binkies but shes making slow progress.

after the frequent pumping of the first half of our trip, i took some days off. its been a little rough getting the results im used to seeing after the mini break so im back to pumping a bunch to try to get back into the swing of things.

i feel like im so out of the routine of blogging, but i just dont seem to have any time lately. im drowning in a crazy amount of paperwork at work, but i feel like im always rushing home to try to get to Laila in time for her next feeding. my mon-thurs time with lovedove is so scarce that i never want to blog at night, but the days seem to be so filled with child care. plus i feel like i barely have anything to blog about anymore, i mean im sure i would have stuff to write about, if i had more time.

signed Sofia up for nursery school in the fall. she'll go for 3 hours in the morning,  days a week. im looking forward to it, but im kind of nervous about it. how is my little baby girl ready for school already??

anyway Sofia just woke up from her nap.

oh, proud breastfeeding mom moment of the week: i fed laila while making & flipping pancakes in my kitchen  yesterday  morning. yea try to picture that lol

Thursday, March 14, 2013

who would have thought...

i've been missing being pregnant lately. don't ask me how this happened. i kind of miss being "huge" although i don't think i was that big compared to most pregnant ladies, and i miss my stretchmarks making me feel good about baby's growth. now they just make me feel mostly gross, only proud here and there. i think that i just felt majorly important when i was pregnant, you know? with all of the close care from medical professionals, the constant "how are you feeling"s from everyone friends/coworkers/family, and the mindfulness of the job i was doing, creating a baby every day. people are still asking me how i' feeling which is nice, it just feels obligatory at this point. i've felt a few of the phantom baby "kicks" lovedove used to tell me about, its soo strange when it happens. definitely just a weird gas bubble or some other shift of organs, but holy moly it takes me right back to when little laila was on the inside. i'm so glad she's here and im so glad that i dont have to freak out about my diabetes constantly anymore. don't get me wrong i'm still taking good care of myself, i just have a lot fewer freak outs when my sugar is high bc i know that i can't hurt (not that i ever did hurt her, luckily she came out perfect) the little one anymore. anyway, i do miss it, and the words "i would do it again" came out of my mouth earlier this week. i think i feel this way mostly because giving birth to laila was pretty much the best moment of my life. labor was rough, but giving birth is completely amazing. no more babies for us though, we donated our leftover embies to research which was hard to do, but i totally do not have it in me to donate potential full siblings of laila's to other couples. i would have loved to save them forever, just in case we ever change our minds, but its not do-able financially.

 i dont think that i have the baby blues, i'm pretty happy with life at this point, other than my MiL's cancer of course, but the fact that she's currently taking on chemo round #4 like a champ, yea - i'm happy. we are heading out to california for a family vacation in a week and a half. i cant wait. its going to be so wonderful to have everyone in one place. laila is going to meet all of her family out there and i can't wait to see everyone hold her and kiss her.

i feel like things feel totally different when you're the birth mom. with sofia i couldn't wait to share her with my family, but i think i just felt like the sidekick who had like, babynapped her and made her my own. i know that is completely ridiculous, but i felt so overjoyed to be a mom to this perfect little angel who i did none of the hard work to create. and with laila, i feel so proud to be the person/body who added another member to lovedove's family. i swear i feel like rafiki in the lion king, i'm just going to step out of the car when we arrive at our family's house and hold her above my head, and some amazing california sunbeam will shine down directly on her and our little cousins will cheer. i'm so looking forward to it. plus we're taking sofia to for the first time. i'm way too excited about that.

anyway i have 15 other things i should be doing. i'm reading along with everyone on days where i actually have a few minutes to sit down and turn the computer on, wishing everyone luck!!!

oh ps, thoughts on renaming this blog.. should i? shouldn't i? do i make a new blog since this isn't a ttc/pregnancy one anymore? i feel like everyone makes a different one, is that the way to go?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

7 weeks old

things are going well over here. this is way overdue, i keep wanting to post but free time is so scarce lately. plus i just went back to work this week, so the last thing i want to do when we have calm night-time time when the kids are resting is try to think clearly. i just want to veg out and watch tv with lovedove.

laila is getting bigger and bigger and i feel so proud. breastfeeding is the most rewarding thing i've ever done. every ounce that she gains, i know that i gave that to her, and my body didn't just do it automatically like it did while i was pregnant. this is a choice im making and its the right choice for me. i know im giving her the best nutrition possible and im proud of myself for taking on that responsibility. im hopeful that i'll be able to keep up with her needs when i start to have long evenings at work, but only time will tell, and i can only do my best. if i wind up having to supplement a little once in a while, so be it, and i'll just have to do my best not to flip out about it. we've been getting better as she's been getting stronger and more experienced, and i experience much less discomfort while feeding her.

i had a super proud mommy moment when i fed her in the mini restaurant at ikea last weekend. we sat in a corner and i nursed her under one of her muslin blankets. ps we LOVE these blankets and have heavily relied on them with both girls. they're great for everything (except for tight swaddles, i use receiving blankets for that bc they seem to hold tighter). these blankets are sofia's only "lovey" thing, and for her it doesnt matter which one it is. i'm so thankful for this, i was attached to my teddy bear "teddy" (creative name i know ::eyeroll::) and boy oh boy did he take a beating over the years. anyway, they're a bit pricey for blankets but i think they're worth every penny. then i nursed her when we were out to dinner last night whcih was more challenging and resulted in some soreness today but i still feel proud of myself for breastfeeding in public. i think its important. i feel like im part of some back to basics mom movement or something.

oh, its official. Laila is as bad at binkys as humanly possible, while still qualifying as a binky baby. She doesn't spit them out on purpose, and gets upset when she loses them, but omg she is the worst. She is so good at being a terrible binky sucker its actually pretty funny, but its also incredibly frustrating for us. She falls asleep best right after nursing (clearly) with a binky and sometimes without one, but she usually has a binky to go to sleep. You have no idea how many times,she has been in her cosleeper/swing/bouncer/carseat and we'vehad to givevher the binky back. Honestly I have no idea either, I probably can't count that high. We've tried several different types of binkies, we try to make it as easy as possible for her to keep a binky in her mouth, nothing has done the trick. I'm wondering when she will develop this skill, in the meantime ill keep replacing it.

The reason I care about her having a binky at all is bc I don't want her sucking her thumb. I did that until an embarrassing age (still in the single digits though) and I know it played a huge role in my teeth needing braces, so I would like to be able to take a binky away from her at an appropriate age as opposed to her favorite sucking aparatus being permanently attached to her hand.

hmm what else... we just got our new stroller. im really excited. its the joo.vy cabo.ose ultralight. the only thing i dont love about it is that sofia didn't like the extra seat that you can buy for the back, and the bench seat option on the back of the stroller does not give her a lot of room when the car seat is attached in the front. i'll love it more when laila is a few months older and we can just put her in the front seat. sofia will have a lot more room. luckily its still pretty cold out so we're not walking around too much, but we took it on its maiden voyage yesterday at target. its lovely to push, very smooth, and folds up to be just a little bigger than our original single snap and go.

work this week was fine, i honestly felt like i had never left. i didn't have much anxiety about going back, and though i jumped back into a full schedule, it wasn't too bad. im glad to be making money again and i will be a very happy camper when i get my first paycheck in a week and a half.

the money will definitely come in handy, even though we did really well living on the money we saved during my pregnancy, since we're heading to california to see family for a week. heading out there bc my MiL's chemo has been going well, as she is responding well. i can't imagine a person not needing a vacation after undergoing 3 rounds of chemo in 3 months. she still has more ahead, but im so glad she's handling everything so well. im sure it will be very emotional, but very good to be there. my SiL will also be joining us, along with lovedove's dad who rarely travels. cant wait, i also can't believe i'll only be back to work a month and taking time for vacation. whatever, we all need it. plus the family there will get to meet laila. cant wait. oh! and we're taking sofia to for the first time!! She is going to lose her mind, im so excited, there is nothing like a day at dis.ney.

sofia starts swim class this week, and laila has her 2 month check up on friday. at her one month check up she was 8lbs even, so im hoping for another big gain. shes smiling a lot more and cooing and stuff, so cute. she was getting up only once per night, but since going back to work its now two times, but im not complaining. she pretty much goes right back to sleep after a change and an eating session. thank goodness. she got really fussy two days this week. the first day i was kind of stumped, i had no idea what her problem was or how to help her, but by the second day i realized she was getting really overtired, and the lightbulb in my head went on and i realized she wanted to be swaddled to nap. i guess she's getting a little dependent on the swaddle, but i dont care. its a good thing in the winter bc it keeps them toasty, i'm hoping the dependence fades by summer.. we'll see.

anyway, im closely following all of the ladies stimming and getting ready for their transfers. wishing you all the best of luck!

will try to update again soon!

Monday, February 11, 2013

a long one

this post is going to start out very ranty in regards to our lgbt family and the hoops we have to jump through. you've been warned.

to start on a good note, our home visit with the social worker (Lori of NY Home Study) was last week and everything was fine. we worked with lori the first time around for sofia's adoption and she was lovely (and slightly socially awkward) then, and is still lovely now. it was a very quick visit, done in an hour, she had most of the needed information from the intake she did last time, and we just updated her on my journey to pregnancy and any changes in the last few years. she even did well with disa (she's not a dog person). i think she gives off a very calm and uninterested energy which works well around our pup. then she mentioned another mommy couple who live nearby who gave birth to a baby girl the day after laila was born. since then she's given us each other's emails and we've contacted each other, which is super lovely, as we only know one other lady couple with a baby. i'm glad that the home visit was as simple as it should be, even though its a hoop i wish we didn't have to jump through. PS i want to do that job one day, and what i really want to happen is for me to contact her in a few years when im ready to work FT again and i want her to say "sure i'll take you under my wing, i'm getting too busy anyway". boom. we'll see how i feel in 6 years.

next hoop, the birth certificate. with sofia it was no problem. she was technically born in queens, so thats in the city of ny. the birth certificate system at the hospital was equipped with the tools needed to give us the standard birth certificate with both mommies listed and this it what it pretty much looked like.

this time around, with laila being born in nassau county (long island NY) things are much different. i went to the office to retrieve her birth certificate bc they had taken so long to mail it, plus i wanted to double check that everything was correct. i get there and the woman hands me this.

my reaction: wtf is this? that doesnt look like an official birth record, it looks like something i created on my laptop at home. i don't want my kid going through life with a weird birth certificate that doesn't look legit.
she explains that this is her official copy of her birth certificate. their system is not equipped to put two mothers on a birth certificate with whatever system they use, or something like that i was only half listening bc i was angry. tells me i should complain, gives me a number to the office of vital records to call and they might be able to help get a copy on certificate/safety paper. i call the number, get transferred to a man named Jim. i explain the situation.he tells me he is going to look into it (calls the office i was just at) and calls me back. explains that its the village registrar's fault and i should complain to them as my daughter "deserves" a birth certificate that looks like everyone else's, thanks Jim. Jim is very understanding of why i feel this is an injustice to laila/our family, and explains there is a standard $35 fee to get a copy printed on the special (typical) paper. i ask if there is a way to waive that fee in this situation, he says he'll look into it. he calls me back (again - we spoke a total of 3 times which i think is amazing in a very good way) and says i can expect a phone call from a mr. higher-up-director-guy who should be "very accomodating". I thank Jim for his help and understanding. a few hours later i get a call from said director, who states he will be happy to waive the fee. he emails me the form, i'm to complete it and return it to him, and presto we'll have a pretty birth certificate for laila without incurring any kind of fee.

i could not believe how quickly the situation was handled and how understanding and efficient these gentlemen were. it was unbelievably simple. i didn't have to get angry, or yell at anyone to get something done. incredible. people doing their jobs well. very rare these days. so thankful. i'll prob complain to the registrar to be an advocate for future lgbt families, no family should have to "fight" for a regular birth certificate. that was all pretty silly that all of that was necessary.

here's my last rant. we got a bill from the hospital for a pediatrician that saw laila, presumably when she was in the nicu. the bill is for $550. my insurance company sent me $57 to cover the cost of this out of network provider. i'm not paying the remaining fee. why in the world would a hospital assign a dr to a child who did not take their insurance? when was i supposed to direct the hospital staff to only have my newborn be seen by a dr that takes my insurance? when i had 5 minutes with her before she was carted off? when i was strapped to the bed bc i had hemorrhaged and was receiving a blood transfusion that prevented me from getting to her in the nicu? maybe i should have pinned a note on the blanket that she was wrapped in that said "in network dr's only please". she did not need a specialist of any kind, she had no issues, all she needed was a pediatrician, and you give her a dr that is out of network. how does that make sense? and i do not want to hear that there was only one pediatrician on at that time. i dont buy that for a second. so i left a message for the billing office yesterday, of course no call back yet. they're either reducing that crap or waiving it. they expect me to pay nearly $500 for a visit with a dr that i did not even see tend to my daughter, or speak to in any way form or fashion? nope. not happening. i hope its not as ugly as im expecting.

onto happier things. i lovingly refer to laila as the poop shooter when changing her diaper, although she's more of a pee-r who strikes by surprise, i do enjoy the challenge of changing her without an incident. she starting to smile more often which is awesome, since she makes a bunch of crazy faces and not all of them are that cute. she had her one month check up yesterday and the dr says she is doing well. she gained 25 ozs in the last 21 days and is now 8 lbs. i feel really proud that i know that all of the weight she has put on is due to me/our breastfeeding. whenever i think about how my body created every little feature on her and functioning organs and every little hair on her head i start to cry. i know half of it is the hormones, but the other half is just how amazing babies are. she is the most amazing little person, and i cant wait for her to chub up some more and get even cuter.

next.. to celebrate my birthday we did dinner at a traditional tiny italian restaurant with my parents and grandma (wednesday),  and then we went out for dinner on friday with betsys parents, grandma, and sister. on friday night i had decided to take the night off from breastfeeding, and did, and i drank a bunch of wine. it was lovely, i got a little drunk, very relaxed and very happy. it was an early dinner considering sofia's bedtime is around 7:30, so we were home early, and i continued the wine party until i went to bed. before i went to bed my boobs were already getting engorged/painful. i had given laila 2 bottles of half formula/half (prepumped) breastmilk and things seemed fine on her end. she woke up 2 hours after we went to bed, my buzz was totally gone, i was already laying in a puddle of breastmilk, i was still in pain and i decided to feed her. it was fine but more painful than usual and my flow seemed pretty fast since she seemed to have a rough time keeping up and coughed more than usual while she ate. then she spit up like crazy. eventually we got back to bed. she woke up again a few hours later which is very atypical. she wakes up 1 time each night, usually around 4. when she woke up the second time, we had the same experience. leaky hurty boobs, aggressive eater baby, spit up. i'm assuming the massive spit up was due to some remaining formula in her belly, but the false feeling of being hungry bc thats her routine. who knows. it was fine, but i felt massively guilty in the morning. we all slept like crap, it was not an easy night feeding wise, and i just felt bad about it overall. i promised her i wouldn't do it again, though lovedove said i was making a much bigger deal than i needed to. as much as i miss and enjoy drinking a bunch, this experience did not make me want to take another night off any time soon. next time, whenever that is, i'll have to pump&dump, or shower and express some by hand before i go to bed, or do something to ease the discomfort for all involved. im learning.

i need to end this post bc its super long. i'll just write about my favorite thing about sofia this week and be done. again, her vocabulary is increasing like crazy and she said the word "appointment" last week. i was telling her that laila and i would be going to see the doctor, and she said "baby sissa have appointment?". i couldn't believe my ears. shes such a riot, and a little smart ass. today she said "actually momma thats me coat" when i was trying to fix the zipper that was stuck. who the hell is this kid  (and why does she think im going to steal her coat)? she's our kid, thats who. couldn't be more proud to be her momma.

man oh man i am one lucky lady.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

C is for community

i haven't followed this blog, partially bc i can't emotionally handle situations like this... but lovedove stalks several blogs off of the blogs i link to, and C is for Crocodile is one of them.

she's been reading along, and we've been praying, and we'll continue to pray for Caemon and his family. i can not ignore their family's loss.

i hate when heaven takes our angels much much too soon.

i pray that his mommies eventually find some peace, somehow. its just so unfathomable and horrible.

we're so very very sorry.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

anddddd im 29

tomorrow is my birthday and im 29. thats reallll close to 30. i used to be more freaked out about the numbers of aging, but i've gotten myself out of that. i'm thankful for every birthday and as much as its a very strange process to get older, where high school and college kids look like babies to me, i'm thankful to be getting older. i'm thankful to be 29 and happy with my career, completely in love with my family that is now complete, and blessed to have super supportive family and friends around me daily. end of my birthday rant.

as im sure you are all curious, breastfeeding is much more enjoyable when im not in toe curling pain (another mom's account of her breastfeeding struggles and how she overcame them) as shes latching on. it's not always the most comfortable at first, especially when my boobs are pretty full because its been a few hours since she last ate. we've been practicing the sandwich technique (how to)  and it has certainly been made the difference. when she's on the right way and has a deep enough latch its almost unnoticeable and just feels like  a weird tickle. i'm thankful that we're making progress in breaking our old/bad habits and moving forward. hysterical sidenote, the other day sofia was watching me feed laila on the couch. she unzips her footie pajama and is standing in front of me staring at laila. i ask her what's up. she replies "baby sissa eat me boobies too??" and she seemed completely ready to attempt to breastfeed her 3 week old sister. they seem to love each other so much already. i'm so happy about that, i hope that lasts.

onto my epic fail section of this post. i want to address two specific days basically to put it out there so i can look back and remember these days, as well as to share my mistakes in the land of supportive mommies, and share so other mommies know their bad/crazy/didn't go as planned days have some serious competition.

the first epic fail day was my first day home with the girls, when lovedove went back to work, and laila was a whopping 6 days old. laila had barely slept the night before (of course) and sofia was up early. by 8am i was completely exhausted and spent and then the 2 girls start crying in unison, i totally can't remember why. cue my phone ringing, its my mom. she asked me how my morning was going, and i struggle through the lump in my throat and explain how poorly laila and i had slept and she can hear my two daugthers crying. she tells me she'll be over at noon, and i start crying very quietly, as at that moment i had hoped that she would come sooner. she heard my desperation and said she'd skip the gym and get there sooner. i thank her, get off the phone, and feel like a failure of a mother on my first day home "alone". of course 20 minutes later, things were fine, i call my mom and tell her not to rush over, we're fine, but it was too late. she had already skipped her gym classes and would be coming earlier rather than later. it doesn't sound that terrible now as i write it, but for me it was a big deal. plus lovedove said that she feels like she remembers pretty much the same thing happening the first day i was home with sofia. isn't that crazy (if lovedove remembers correctly)? anyway fail #1.

fail #2 happened yesterday. sofia's monday playgroup session was cancelled bc the building's heat isn't working so i go to plan B and ask Gma if she'll come to long island with us to take sofia to the children's museum, while i run to pick up laila's birth certificate. she comes over around 10am, i had told her that i intended to leave around 11. i work on getting lunches packed, snacks, drinks, prepping the diaper bag, gathering the mail that has to go out, and dressing myself (not showered... i woke up today and realized that i forgot to shower even after we got home.. i hate that, it has definitely happened more than once). my mom dresses the girls, passes some comments about how its already 11:15, as if she had somewhere to be at any point in the day which she did not, and i start to really rush. we get in the car. fine. drive out to the museum. fine. i drop Gma and sofia at the door, realize that i forgot the bag of lunches i spent so much time on, tell them i'll be back in an hour, and park in the back corner of the parking lot to feed laila before i run any errands. my phone rings as soon as i park, its my mom, the museum is closed on mondays (no the parking lot was not empty as there is a community college right next door and that parking lot gets overflow on days the museum isn't open). on any other day i would turn the computer on and make sure the museum is open, that didn't happen and now this is happening. i tell my mom to walk to the back right corner of the parking lot and join me in the car bc im breastfeeding laila. 2 minutes later i call her to find out where she is, bc she is not in the car. she sounds panicked, as if im lying to her and have abandoned her in the cold with my hungry toddler. they finally find me and my mom shares her sandwich that she had brought from her house with the both of us. i finish feeding laila. i put the address of the village registrar in my phone. it says that its 20 minutes to get there. i kind of know its wrong but i start to follow the directions anyway. i pull over to double check the address a few minutes into my drive and it confirms the address im heading to. i get to the address, i know its wrong, its a park and a baseball field. i traveled to the address in another town. why my gps directed me to that address in another town, as opposed to the one i was in, i'll never know. why my phone did not list the multiple addresses in different towns the way it usually does, i dont know. why i didnt pay enough attention to what town i was driving to, no clue. epic fail. we went to's for lunch, we had a crazy mid 50's druggie for a waitress. it was comical enough to get us through the day. i was so embarrassed and irritated with myself. epic mom fail.

i have more to say, but im going to cut this post off here. another post will be up soon. ta ta ladies!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


breastfeeding. it has been rough. my nipples have been sore more than they've not been. not sure if we're having a latching issue.maybe she's not latching on exactly where she should be, like she's not hitting a bullseye?? or maybe she's not latching as deeply as she should be. but sometimes she gets so mad that i dont even care where/how she latches that im just glad she's not yelling at me anymore. i mean i never let her stay on if i'm experiencing discomfort for more than 30 seconds, but i think that first 30 second pain is something a friend recently referred to as "lightning boob". i'm not sure if this is something that a lot of nursing moms experience, or if it's something that moms-that-aren't-as-good-at-breastfeeding-as-they-think-they-are experience. yes i realize i might be in this group.

however, i'm confident that laila is getting what she needs from me. she eats well, is usually able to focus on the task at hand, and wants to eat often. sometimes its an hour between feedings, sometimes its 4.5 hours. i actually set an alarm every night to wake me up to wake her up to eat. i know its kind of a (grandma's) rule not to wake a sleeping baby, but i've never really paid attention to that one. with sofia i always took a you're-on-my-schedule approach, if i needed to go to a dr appt, meet someone for lunch, etc. i never seriously messed with her schedule, if she needed one of her needs met, hunger/diaper change/etc, i tended to her needs. however if it was a matter of her napping in her crib and i needed to get out, i would just transfer her to her car seat, were i was pretty confident she would continue napping, which she usually did. laila will most likely face the same fate. anyway, so i have to wake her up to eat in the middle of the night. i do not want to see how long she can actually go without eating. i'm too afraid she'd wake up crazy starving and literally ruin my breasts with her crazy eating. she gets kind of aggressive. she's tried several times to ferociously nurse on several female family members and friends much to their surprise. its always funny to me.

i think my milk is continuing to come in more and more with the frequency of her feedings. due to my sore nipples, pumping is scary for me right now, plus she hardly ever gives me any time to pump bc on some days she eats almost constantly. for example, this morning she ate at 7:30, 8:30, 9:30, and 10:30 before taking a long leisurely nap on the couch in the sunshine. at this moment it's 12:12 and i know my minutes are numbered until she's ready to eat again.

i've been concerned about starting to try to stockpile milk for her for when i return to work/have extended periods of time away from her/take a few hours off from feeding her to knock a couple drinks back (which im starting to really itch for). and since my nipples are scared of the pump when they're sore, i've ventured into the world of hand expressing milk. the woman who ran the breastfeeding class i attended in the hospital mentioned it and how to do it, but recently i looked into it via the world wide web. there are videos out there, but i have only read instructional articles at this point. i did some "expressing" yesterday, and then again today and i've gotten about 1.5 ozs so far. not a lot, but enough to be proud of, and enough for my nipples to be thankful that they didn't have to face the pump to get. i might not have gotten as much as i would have with the pump, but it was far more comfortable and didn't take any longer than a pumping session would. plus today i got a whole ounce after feeding laila all morning, so i felt really good about that. i feel like doing it by hand can help to get some of the hind milk from ducts further back in the breast that the pump just can't get to. plus its very rewarding when you find a good spot and your milk just flows(squirts) into the bottle. i've always been a fan of doing things with my hands, ie crafts,crocheting,attempting to fix things/car activities, so this is another thing to add to my activity list.

i keep hoping that my nipples will get less sore (during the latch) as time goes on, because once she's on things are fine. she's been on for the entire second half of this post and i haven't experience any discomfort, unless she tugs one way or another, little maniac. i guess ill just wait and see and if i continue to experience "lightning boob" during the latch, i might have to contact a lactation consultant. another thing on my to-do list that i would rather not address. 

anyway, we're only 3 weeks into breastfeeding, so i hope i can look back on this post later and say i've made progress in a few weeks. fingers crossed.....

Friday, January 25, 2013

2.5 weeks later

little laila has been with us for 17 days now, and our time together has been completely amazing. she's wonderful and adorable and does a heck of a lot of sleeping right now. she sleeps a bunch during the day, but she does sleep well at night too, just as long as she's got a very full belly. we did have a few challenging nights, where it seemed that a not-full-enough-belly seemed to be the issue, but i had reached my limit with breastfeeding at the moment. i should have just kept her attached to me and tried to sleep that way, but instead they were semi-sleepless nights. it's all part of the learning curve.

laila tends to cluster feed at night, so she's usually attached to me in the evenings. it makes me wonder what kind of transition we'll be facing once i go back to work in a little over a month. hopefully by that time i'll have a large supply of breastmilk frozen for her or freshly pumped in the fridge for lovedove to give her while im at work.

i keep feeling like i want to put my thoughts about certain things out there, as advice/expereince/etc. i guess its like the super honest truth stuff... we're in the trust tree right? um.. lets see what i think is important to know....
1. i'm sure having a birth plan is important for some people, but i'm glad i didn't have one. it would have went out the window anyway with all of the unexpected things that took place with my delivery. when i was in labor, almost nothing mattered. i didn't care who delivered laila, i still have no idea what the doctor's name is who actually delivered her. i'd like to know her name, just to be able to give her credit for her great work and care, but it doesn't matter.
2. i got a hemorrhoid(my first one ever), i guess from pushing, and for the first week after i delivered, that was half of my pain. dermop.last spray was a god send. the other half of my pain was the general soreness. itchiness from the stitches came later for me.
3. breastfeeding and/or pumping are definitely tough. nipple soreness after a few bad latches/slightly off center pumping attempts hurts crazy badly, i can totally understand why some women don't continue when things get rough. i believe it's so worth it, even with some discomfort. lanolin by med.ela is saving my life daily. i've successfully pumped 3x, and got a total of 4.5 ozs. i feel really proud of my self, but i can't go near the pump when my nipples are sore, which makes me feel guilty bc i want to stock pile milk for laila... all in due time i guess.
4. post partum hormones are insane.

i felt like i had so much more to say but i guess i dont. whatever.

now for some fun facts about laila. she has been able to lift her head with moderate head control since the day after she was born, it's very odd. she makes loads of funny faces, and smiles (what i think is) a lot for a newborn. lately she's become a "fresh air releaser", well at least that's how i'm referring to her. during diaper changes she now attempts to pee/projectile poop in the time that you remove a soiled diaper from her bottom, and place the new diaper. she got me with poop the other night, peed all over the changing table when my sister changed her for the first time yesterday. i think  its hysterical. i dont even really mind, i've just adapted and she hasn't gotten me again since! that little stinker. her belly button fell off 2 days ago and i think we're going to give her her first bath tonight. i might post a pic if it goes as well as sofia's first bath. we use the prince lio.nheart wash.pod. yes, it's essentially a baby in a bucket, with a rubber seat at the bottom to keep baby in place, but it has been absolutely wonderful in our experience. yes it requires very close supervision, but sofia LOVED it. hoping laila does too.

got a letter from our RE's office with the storage prices for our remaining embryos. we've decided that 2 babies is our limit, and we dont have any plans for family expansion past this point. the storage is nearly $100 a month, and that is really an additional expense that we can't afford to take on, and truly don't need to. its kind of hard for me to let these remaining embryos go. i'm not sure why. and then i kind of feel guilty that i'm not donating them to some infertile couple somewhere, but i dont think i would be able to do that. ug. its such a loaded issue.

i guess thats all. just wanted to check in and write some stuff down. enjoying reading everyone's birth announcements and stories, and still following all the ladies ttc.

sofia is coming down with a cold from the crazy cold we've been experiencing, and my challenge for the next week will be to keep laila healthy. that should be difficult.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

laila coral

Laila. arabic origin, means "night beauty", usually refers to dark hair or dark complexion. yes, yes, and yes. Laila Coral arrived at night, is absolutely beautiful - if i do say so myself, and has a load of dark hair. here's the whole spiel on how she arrived. like all birth stories, its long, so grab your glasses bc your eyes might get tired.
*********disclaimer: if you're super pregnant and are planning on having a vaginal birth, you might want to postpone reading this post. its certainly not the worst story ever, but there were a few unexpected turns for me, which i document pretty explicitly.  i will put a line of stars at the end of the story, if you want to skip the text and just get a peak at our newest addition. *********************************************

monday morning, Gma arrived on time to watch big sister to be Sofia, and lovedove and i were out the door on time. i had been instructed not to eat - in the event that they do induce, and in the event that i need a c-section, my stomach needs to be empty. for the record, the last thing i ate was chocolate chip cookies and milk at 9:30pm the night before. we arrived to my appointment on time and were greeted by a very comical labor and delivery nurse. i got into a fashionable hospital gown, and got on the uncomfortable labor and delivery triage table/recliner and started to wait. luckily there was a tv with some morning news show on to pass the time, and lovedove and i just chatted about whatever, our anxiety about the day, etc.

the waiting wasn't terrible, the next part was. i got "checked" aka fiste.d by a l&d pa named Jenna, sorry bitch, but there's a right way and a wrong way to "check" someone. however it does seem to be a rare skill that not many practitioners have learned to do well. i just dont understand. i mean as a lesbian, i can find a cervix. if that was part of my job, i dont think i'd be rushing through the task and being as forceful as many medical professionals seem to be. sorry to get sidelined, but its worth saying. so i get checked by Jenna, she confirms im about 1cm and says that my cervix is soft, i guess to give a silver lining to her aggressive exam, and then i recover for a while. i'm soon joined by a resident who is part of my dr's team, we do some medical history stuff, blah blah blah, my dr pops in to say good morning which i love, and gives me hope that she'll be present here and there throughout the day. (spoiler: she's not.).

a few more staff members roll in, a dr from anesthesiology, etc, jane the sono tech (meh) with debbie the sono tech (the pro who had given me the gummy bear sono pic of baby at 9ish weeks) bc they will be the sonographers guiding the amnio, and eventually one of my dr's colleages comes in with his team and goes through all of the risks. risk assessment is always fun, but i understand why they need to - not everyone is as google proficient and educated as we all are lol. anyway i was thrilled that there were so many familiar faces in the room, it really helped to keep my anxiety down about the procedure. it was not terrible, but certainly not fun, but it was moderately fast. the dr said that the amnio went as smoothly as it could have, and said that the amniotic fluid looked good/clear with a little cloudiness, which usually is a sign of lung maturity, or maturity overall, something like that. he tells us that if the results signal a strong positive that the lungs are mature we should know very quickly, within an hour or so. if they are questionable, the samples would need to be sent out to another lab for further testing, and we'd be contacted by phone after several hours with the results/instruction. well, about a half hour later the doctor returns with our good news, her lungs are mature, and they're going to admit me for induction. lovedove asks if i can eat, mr nice dr says yes, he expects "a lot of boring" for the most part, as this is my first delivery, i'm getting induced, etc.

i get to stroll through l&d in my gown, with my sexy IV pole, and i get into the huge labor/delivery/recovery room. my brain thinks about how many people could fit into that room. i have no idea of my brain's ironic foreshadowing. we wait around for a while, my dr pops in again, says we'll start the cyto.tec to try to ripen my cervix. fine. its 2:30, i get fiste.d to a lesser degree by another young medical professional, and she inserts the tiny quarter of a pill to get the ball rolling. i can't get up for 2 hours now, not easy for a very pregnant woman. oh, and i get my answer about food. its a no. i bitch about the answer and ask to speak to dr. noyoucanteat, but i only speak with a few nurses and other doctors who tell me that the hospitalists don't like to allow laboring moms to eat due to the possibility of food in the stomach if a c-section is needed. the first dr., who told me yet later came in to apologize, but since he's not there as a "delivering ob" and just a high risk, mfm dr there's not much he can do. i appreciated the conversation though. clearly i voice my gripes about being a diabetic, unable to eat, having not eaten, facing a difficult road to managing my blood sugar levels via a glucose drip in my IV in conjunction with my insulin pump. sidenote, i'm not going to go further into my diabetes management in this post, but i did go low twice in the boring/early stages of my labor, which is physically exhausting on its own and very frustrating when you can't just treat a low by drinking some juice. end sidenote. oh yea, and my general complaint about not allowing laboring women nourishment before the most amazing physical task of their lives. i lose the battle and start to ration ice chips so i don't have to pee in 5 minutes. ps, i love ice and chewing ice, and ice chips are awesome, so i'm only half complaining. so like i said, i cant get up for the first 2 hours, but the meds have the ability to be productive for up to 4 hours. so i lay in the bed, watch tv, watch my fetal monitors, the ones i've become so familiar with due to all of my non stress tests, and try not to watch the clock.

4 hours later, its about 6:30, and i've been having some mild contractions. i get checked again, am told im 1-2cm, 60% effaced, -3, which means that baby is still wayyyy up there and not really down in the birth canal at all. i'm a little discouraged, but i've been contacting a little so i try to stay positive. my body is reacting at least a little to the meds, so thats a good thing. they tell me they want to see if i continue to progress without a second dose for the next hour or two. fine. i continue with some little contractions, nothing major.

they give me the second dose of cyto.tec. it's 8:30. my contractions seem to start to pick up, im moderately uncomfortable but i'm not seeing my contractions on the monitor. i talk to my nurse, she says that its just an external monitor so sometimes the things just aren't placed right to pick everything up. i'm frustrated that i can't see them on the screen/print out bc i feel like now the signs of discomfort i'm beginning to exhibit seem phony/unwarranted. whatever. i start to have to breathe through the pain a bit during contractions and i begin to use the arms of the bed, by trying to break them off or pull myself up on them, to try to get through the beginning phases of my labor. the nurse had brought up stadol, which i took her up on around 9 or 10. i was thankfully able to sleep-ish for the two hours that it took effect. it made me really dizzy so i kept my eyes closed but it definitely helped me rest more than i had all day.

at 12:30, i get checked. the words i hear: 2, 70, -3. cue my emotional breakdown. im angry that i have been working through contractions that i have no visual proof of, and my body isn't giving the medical people any proof either. i'm angry because i haven't eaten in 27 hours. i'm devastated bc i feel like this is going to take forever. lovedove and my 7pm-7am nurse Belkis, yes she deserves to be named but for a positive reason, not like our friend Jenna, try to reassure me that it's a good thing that im contracting, remind me that inductions can take a really long time, and try to validate my feelings of frustration. i kind of just keep bitching to lovedove and my contractions keep getting worse. they wait on the 3rd dose bc im still contracting. emotional breakdown continues, so do contractions.

at 1:30 i'm starting to lose my shit from my pain, so they check me again. i'm now 4cm, and i dont remember the other details. a few minutes after i get checked, i feel something that seems like a punch to my cervix from baby, i say "ow" and the nurse and lovedove ask whats up. i think that my water just broke, but i don't say that, bc i dont feel any gush. i say that i think she punched me. 2 minutes later i do mention about my water, and now i feel my contractions start to kick into high gear. oh boy. lovedove gets the nurse to tell her about my water, and to tell the nurse to start tracking down whoever can get me an epidural.

the next hour is complete hell, i beg for an epidural, which i wanted since i was 2cm. i continue to try to dismantle the arms of the bed, which i kind of think i might be able to break off, but i'm unsuccessful, thankfully bc it gives me a challenge other than getting through the pain. supposedly the anestesiologist is busy with another laboring mom, and now i'm doing my best to stay calm and just get through the contractions. i know that i tried to control my vocalizations when they started to get bad, but eventually i'm pretty sure i was kind of yelling through them. lovedove says i began to curse a lot, and i told her that i was going to "fucking kill someone" if i didn't get the epidural soon. i have no memory of that statement, but she says she knew that shit was going down with words like that. every time i looked at her while i was having a contraction. she looked petrified of me. lovedove says she just didn't know what to do to help, there was nothing she could do. i didn't want to be touched by anyone at all, unless it was the anesthesiologist.

its now 2:30am and im losing my mind from the pain. i get checked, i'm 7cm dilated. my nurse can hardly believe how fast i'm progressing, as the typical cytote.c induction takes 4 doses/16ish hours before they introduce another drug to kick up the contractions. i know that 7 is often the cutoff for being able to get one and i beg to be given one before i lose my opportunity. for non-math wizards, let me remind you that i've gone from 4cm to 7cm in approximately 1 hour. yes, i had constant atrocious contractions. back to back to back, with very little resting time in between. my contractions continue to get worse and faster and more intense, and now at the end of the really bad contractions i feel my body start to bear down on it's own. i know this can't happen yet, at only 7cm, and i do what i can to fight it. i tell lovedove and my nurse what i'm feeling and my nurse knows how serious things are getting. the anesthesiologist finally get there, simultaneously goes over the risks, sets up, and gives me instructions. i tell her to please just do it, as i try not to lose my manners while i dig my fingers into my calves to get through a few contractions without moving. she completes the epidural and i begin to get some relief. i can still feel the contractions but i know that i'll need to when it comes to pushing time. i'm relieved and my contractions are manageable again.

as soon as the epidural is done, i get checked again, i'm at 10cm, and its time to push. no rest for the weary here. they tell me to do a "practice push". i half ass it, but they seem happy with it, so i think im on the right track and i get ready for the real deal and to exert a real full effort for the main event. 3 sets of pushes within 5 minutes and she's out. honestly, i think that delivering her was the easiest part of all of this. i guess it helped that she was actually only 6lbs and 11ozs, as opposed to being a whole lb larger as they were estimating. Laila Coral entered the world at 3:43am and they placed her on my chest. all i could do was cry. it was unbelievable. it feels like some weird dream. i know she has to go to the nicu to be monitored for 12 hours, and i do a pretty good job of keeping it together when they roll her away.

the hospitalist and one of the girls who checked me on her team stitch me up, i have no desire to know what grade of tear i had, or how many stitches they needed to give me. the end of the stitching is uncomfortable, i'm tired and starving. i eat an apple and nutte.r. butter.s. and i try to rest. you may think the story is over, oh no my friends, there's more to come.

at around 6am, approx 2 hours after i delivered Laila, my nurse asks if i would like to use the restroom, that way they can gauge how i'm doing, and see if they can get the ball rolling on me getting to the nicu to try to nurse our brand new baby. i do well getting to the bathroom in my huge room with assistance from my nurse who instructs me to try to pee, and i close the door and sit down on the toilet. i realize that something is wrong, i feel funny, and my vision is getting spotty. from my seat on the potty i open the door and try to speak loud enough to tell lovedove that i need to check my sugar. my eyes close. they open. i'm still on the toilet, i hear my name being said a few times, i smell something strong, and when i'm able to pick up head up and focus my eyes, i see what i think is the entire nursing staff of the labor and delivery floor. they help me get back to my bed, i'm very confused, i ask where lovedove is and if she's scared bc by now i know something is wrong. they're giving me oxygen, checking my sugar, and i don't even know what else. apparently i had lost a lot of blood during my actual labor, completely unbeknownst to me but lovedove says she knew from what the convo between the doctors and nurses when i was delivering Laila, and in the bathroom i had passed a huge blood clot, which caused me to pass out. the drs and nurses provide amazing care and i stabilize and continue to get monitored really closely. i apologize to all of them, especially my poor nurse, and to lovedove. for a second i think that i might die because she's holding my hand and crying, but i'm pretty sure i wont. my poor lovedove. i put her through the ringer.

my dr rolls around in the morning, and suggests i have a blood transfusion. to significantly decrease my recovery time from everything. she declares that she has made an "executive decision" and will order me 2 units of blood. fine. after the 2 unit i actually look at myself in the bathroom and i look like a fucking zombie. i'm thankful that i didn't see myself when the shit was hitting the fan, i can't imagine how bad i looked.


this story fortunately for us has a happy ending. we were discharged from the hospital around 2pm on thursday, like normal/healthy people and we got to go home and start our family's new normal. it's overwhelming, very emotional - these postpartum hormones are nuts, and i can not believe how happy i feel. i'm no longer a pregnant ball of anxiety and i feel like me again. i'm breastfeeding Laila, and i've finally got some milk, as being a diabetic can delay it's arrival. we're all doing great, getting used to each other, and adjusting day by day. this post has taken me all night to write, but i'm glad its done. im sure i'll have things that i forgot to say, and if they're important i'll do a post about them or amend this.

here's a few pics of our newest bundle of joy.

when they finally brought her to me after she was released from the nicu. needless to say,
i never got to the nicu to visit her

lovedove and laila

laila and her favorite part of my body during a late and lonely hospital night

laila in a crazy preemie hat from her gma that will only fit
 her tiny head through the end of this week

the little lady earlier today. we're not really headband people,
 but i wanted to throw one on for shits and giggles

i feel so happy with our family and so truly complete. i'm totally in love again. i love our life so much, and im proud of us, as we've planned and worked so hard to get to where we are today.

i'm so exhausted, and laila is squeaking like a little mouse and will most likely start yelling at me to feed her any second.

thank you all for your congratulatory wishes and your support through these crazy crazy months of my pregnancy and pregnancy planning.

she's calling me, and i love her for it.