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   Monday, November 27, 2006  

Mr. W just got an amazing promotion this afternoon. Things are looking pretty damned good in the W household right about now.

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(Belated) congrats to Mr. W! I love a good promotion and the benefits it reaps for the whole family :-)

   Thursday, November 23, 2006  

Gobble, gobble!

Baby W patiently waits for Turkey Time!

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Wow--he's gorgeous! Been a while since we'd seen a picture of him :-)

Hope y'all had a lovely turkey day!
I don't think you can call him "Baby W" anymore. He is all Big Boy now!

Congratulations to the Mister!

   Wednesday, November 22, 2006  

I haven't had a spare moment to write the promised post. Actually, if I'm honest, I haven't really had time to think about it much. The lowercase and I are still working on the sleep issues. We're going to Gymboree. We're preparing for Thanksgiving dinner and the grandparents' imminent arrival. We're wrapping Christmas gifts and planning how we'll decorate the house. (Alright...that's what I'm doing -- but he's there and making me smile through all of it)

And most of all I'm looking at my beautiful son and I'm being thankful. I have so many things to be thankful for this year. My wonderful parents. My husband who loves both me and his son with such intensity. The opportunities that lay ahead for us (some of you know what I'm talking about) and the choices that we have to make -- hard as they are to make, they are choices not something being thrust upon us against our will.

But of course that which I am most thankful for: My son. On this date last year he weighed just 2 lbs 14 oz. He was so very small and frail. He didn't yet cry. He wasn't even allowed to wear clothing yet. He still lived in his isolette, 22 days after his birth, with the temperature set at high levels in order for him to maintain his body temperature. When I held him, he curled up on my chest so that his head was tucked under my chin and his feet ended just below my breasts. I could pick him up easily in one hand and fully support his entire body.

This year, he has grown from 13 1/4 inches to 30 inches tall! His weight has balooned from his 2 lb 11 oz birth weight to a whopping 19 1/2 lbs! He crawls everywhere. He pulls himself up to stand. If he has something to hold onto (a couch, a parents' hand, the coffee table, his walk'n'ride toy) he can walk. He's had his first haircut. He smiles and laughs and talks. When asked, he'll make a turkey sound (ok, his version sounds nothing like a turkey but then, neither does mine!). He holds his hands up in the air when asked how tall he is (he is after all "Soooo big!"). He plays his own games. He looks at books and somehow knows to look at each page and turns his head from left to right several times per page before turning to the next. He can say mama and dada and grandpa (he just laughs when you ask him to say grandma -- one of his games...he doesn't like to do everything for everyone. Some things are secrets and that's the way he likes it). He likes to brush his teeth.

I could go on forever. In short, he is the light of my life. He is the reason I am here. I used to think my life had meaning -- that the work I did as a teacher was my calling. Now I know better. My "work" as his mother is. And I thank God every day for letting me have this child. For allowing him to survive when others born at his gestation, his size (or those born later and larger for that matter) did not. I can't remember my life before. And for that, I am truly thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving. (And to the Canadians [I'm talking to you Lala!] -- HAPPY THURSDAY!)

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And happy Thursday to you. I'm happy that Master W makes you so happy. You both deserve it.
luv, me
How far your boy has come! Congratulations! And what a cutie, in that photo. 19+ lbs, eh? You must be feeding him well. My guys are around 18+ lbs at 1 yr old, and they were 5+ lbs when born. Send me your recipes ;)

Seriously, I'm glad you are so happy, especially after all you've been through. Happy Thanksgiving to you three.

   Thursday, November 16, 2006  

Is it wrong?

Lately there has been a lot of talk among my friends and family about so-and-so's next baby and when they will have a second (or third). Because Mr. W and I have been through so much and were so adament in the beginning that we were done, we are never the topics of those conversations, which, you know, fine by me!

But I've been thinking about it. Those of you who have been reading for a while know that. I've always wanted at least two children, preferably more.

My lowercase was born 10.5 weeks prematurely. I knew it was a possibility that he would be, but I feel that I wasn't given all the facts regarding what that meant. I was told "30 weekers are just fine" by the RE who told me to give it another shot and that there was nothing he could do to assist me since the problem has always been maintaining a pregnancy.

During delivery and the appointments after, the perinatologist who did my C-section informed us that having held my uterus in his hands, he could assure us that I would not be able to carry a full-term baby. Any future pregnancies, he said, would end up in a premature delivery at roughly the same point (give or take a couple of weeks in either direction). My uterus simply isn't big enough and a 2 lb 11 oz baby was such a tight squeeze that the doctor had trouble getting his hands inside to pull him out -- such trouble that he used a vertical rather than horizontal incision into the uterus (read: labor will make my uterus rupture, absolutely ZERO chance of VBAC).

Knowing what I know now...what a 29.5-weeker really goes through, what the real risks are, how much care is required and how long the NICU stay is likely to be...assuming of course the best case scenario which God knows is rare and quite honestly, if we had it once I'm inclined to think we would *not* a second time. (Wow...run-on much?)

Knowing all of that, is it wrong to become pregnant again? (FYI, this is purely because I'm interested in your opinions. The Mr. and I are not considering this any time in the near future -- kind of hard to have the energy to even think about the activity involved in making one, which we do not given the current state of sleep in our home)

I just wonder...if you knew you would have a preemie...If you knew the risks that baby would face both for survival and then developmentally...what would you do? Is it morally right to attempt to have a child you know would be premature?

I will attempt to post my thoughts on the subject in a day or two -- once I figure out how to keep my son from throwing envelopes all over the floor and how to keep him from getting the scissors out of the box they are stored in in my desk.

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I have been thinking the same things lately. To me, there are just so many more factors involved in a possible second preemie vs. the first. Someone needs to tend to the firstborn while the parents are at the hospital. I know in my case we lucked out in SO MANY ways and I cannot expect that to happen again. The emotional and physical endurance it takes to care for a baby in the NICU much less one at home, plus working, plus keeping up the house. It is overwhelming.
I was able to deal with Azure's hospitalization by thinking that it was something that happened to her, like an accident victim. If I try again and have the same result I will have no one to blame but myself and I am not sure I can live with that guilt. I have enough of that already, thank you!
For me, in my mind, I am ready to adopt. T also wants a second child but is terrified of another premature outcome. He is not as convinced on adoption as I am just yet, but I think he is edging closer and closer the more he remembers what we went through at the beginning of the year. Either way, we would like to get the ball rolling sooner rather than later so we have some big decisions to make relatively soon.

I will be interested to see what your other readers have to say.
Having not had a preemie myself, I don't think I can't legitimately answer this question. What I know of experiences with preemies, I've learned from you, Blue, and Julie. And honestly, it must be so incredibly hard when your baby, that you fought for and went through so much to have, is in the NICU. I'm sure the emotions are more than I can comprehend and, I imagine, vacillate wildly between hope, despair, guilt, amazement, fear, and much much more.

Would I knowingly go into a second pregnancy knowing that the baby would be born prematurely? I can't say, it's a tough call and one that only you and the mister know in your hearts. I think Blue raises a good point in her comments that it would be even harder with #2, given that #1 would be at home and needs to be cared for as well. I imagine that would be even more stressful (if that's possible) for the three of you.

Good luck, whatever you decide. For me, even though J was born just over 37 weeks, I told myself that if we didn't/couldn't have another, she was more than I ever hoped and dreamed for. And my money's on the fact that you probably feel similarly about the lowercase.
My opinion is that it is not morally wrong. It comes down to what you think you can handle. Can you stand to go through what you did before (or worse) to have another child in your life? I think it is a very personal decision and all comes down to you. Honestly, after all the medical tests, surgery, and cancer scare of this past year with one of my twins, I just don't know if I could do it again. We were told that at 34 weeks he wouldn't be in the NICU for more than a few days. He was in for a month, and after 3 days home had to go stay in the PICU and then went on to scare the shit out of us for many more months. Was it due to prematurity? Is there some other overlying problem we haven't discovered yet? I think the fact that I don't know the answer is what scares me even more. How can I say okay to having another one when I don't know why things went the way they did with my son? If you feel well-informed about the reasons for your experience with the lowercase and understand the probable outcome(s) if you decided on a second child, then I think you can make a decision in clear conscience.
I want to preface my opinion by saying that I have not had any children. I have, however, had a pregnancy "scare" that resulted in a very late period and cried my heart out over it.

I don't know that I have an opinion about whether or not I think it's okay to try. I guess what I wonder about is the pontential heartbreak. I have friends who have had miscarriages and I have friends who are (unsucessfully) trying to have a baby.

If the odds aren't necessarily good that you'll be able to keep the pregnancy long enough to handle a viable preemie, how would you handle the loss of the second child with a first child to take care of? My cousin told me the hardest thing about having a miscarriage after her daughter was born was that she couldn't lay in her room for 3 days and mourn the way she did when she had a miscarriage before her daughter.

In the end, I think that you have every right to try for another child. You're a loving set of parents, and every kid deserves to have that. But on the flip side if you think that the risks are too high, then it's not a "bad" or "good" decision to not try again either.

What would I do? Sorry, it took me awhile to get there. I think I wouldn't try for a second child. If my first child was as hard won as the lowercase, I don't think I could do it again. But that has more to do with my own struggles and how I handle depression and such. I think that one child might prove to be enough even though my husband and I theoretically want two or three.
Being in the exact same position... I don't know how to answer. I don't think many people quite understand the situation either though. As one friend said, "but it's only 9 months (7 in my case) and a lifetime with your child". I couldn't get across the emotional turmoil the pregnancy and prematurity was. And the strong fact that another pregnancy would likely be similar, except further complicated with a toddler. I think about having my son being taken care of a nanny while I'm in the hospital - or asking to be picked up or played with - as I lay in bed. And I think about the NICU, and the roll of the dice and I just want to scream. But ultimately, I think we will try again for #2. Just not as hard. And the pain of not conceiving has a consolation prize of not being pregnant again. The post of others regarding how many to transfer is very interesting. But it is also academic to me since I don't have a choice in that. Good luck - there is not right or wrong decision here - just one that has to be made with lots of thought.
I've thought about this a lot. A friend of mine is at the point where they are deciding how many to transfer and was asking for opinions.

I could only answer based on my own experiences. As a mom who went through years of infertility, multiple losses at 8 & 19 weeks, weeks of bedrest at home and in the hospital and then having 24 week twins that spent 114 days in the NICU, the risk of prematurity weighs heavy on my mind.

I know that I would have to have another cerclage, be on bedrest, and more than likely, deliver early. It's just not something I want to go through again. Before, it was really just DH and I. Now I have two little girls who need me and honestly, I don't want to spend weeks on bedrest and months in the hospital away from them. I waited too long for them to miss even a moment.

But those are just my thoughts. I agree, it's a very personal decision. I'm not sure that I think it would be morally wrong. Whatever you decide for your family, I wish you the very best!
You pose a difficult question.

There are preemie issues, NICU, mother's health, the emotional part, the 1st child, and all that go with these things. Preemie before 30 weeks is really different from after 30 weeks; hell, preemie 24,25,26, 27,28,and 29 are all different.

I might talk to a few OB/Gyn's, neonatologists, nursery nurses, etc. to get more info before I could decide.

It sounds like your husband is not wanting to take these risks.
Well I am a mom to a premiee(he was born at 33weeks, 4pounds)& 5 angel babies due to miscarriage 6w to 19w) We new I would not have a full term pg (unicornuate uterus and other factors)) My cervix started to funnel at 29weeks, I then had the steroid shot for help his lungs and he hung in another 4w. I was told that I would never have a fullterm baby knowing this we are now pg with another baby (almost 18w)My Dr is following my pg like he did with my son I have an u/s every 3 to4w to check my cervix. But I am thinking that if this one comes earlier then when my son did I really am not to sure on #3.

I already have family members say they will watch my son when this one decides to make it's entrance (that was weighing big time on my shoulders)

With my type of uterus Dr have said the with every pg I have it makes it better for the next one. But I also have to consider that my body fights off my pg's aswell (I have to be on an IV treatment (IVIG) 3months prior to TTC and for once a month till 7months pg)

Best of luck to you.

   Monday, November 13, 2006  


Things have gone from wonderful, to bad, to OHMYGODMAKEITSTOP around here. I am exhausted. Mr. W is exhausted. And our son is the fucking energizer bunny.

The lowercase came home from the NICU and slept in a cradle beside my bed part-time. The rest of the time he slept in my arms or cuddled against me in our bed. Then we transitioned to the pack'n'play in our room for a bit (with the same part-time co-sleeping arrangement). And then I finally got the guts up to put him in his crib in his own room. For a few days I slept in the guest bed in his room to be sure he was alright. Things were wonderful. He slept well. He loved his bed. And then...

Like a month ago my son had a cold. He couldn't sleep lying flat, he cried, he was sick, it was bad. And so I slept propped up in the guest bed in his room holding and cuddling him. And then he had that damned sebaceous nevus removed. And so I brought him back down the hall to my room where he slept between me and Mr. W. Then we had guests staying with us for his birthday, so he continued to sleep with us.

Suddenly he became the kid who sprawls out and sleeps sideways in a bed -- something that doesn't work in a queen size bed when one of the adults is built like a linebacker (I'll leave it to you to figure out whether the linebacker is Mr. W or me). So we tried putting him back in the pack'n'play with moderate success. He'd sleep for an indeterminate amount of time and then wake up and cry. I'd pick him up, he'd stop crying. I'd sit down on my bed, he'd crawl out of my arms to his spot in the middle of the bed and instantly sleep. So that became routine -- get him to sleep, put him in the pack'n'play, at first peep pick him up and pull him into our bed to sleep through the rest of the night.

And then last week hit.

Near the end of last week, he began waking up and crawling all over whatever bed he was in anywhere between 4am and 6am. He was in full-on play mode. If he awoke before 6 am, the two of us would head to the living room where he would get put in his exersaucer, the tv would be turned to something child-friendly (generally Noggin...it actually got so bad that I recorded shows that he seemed to like on the DVR so they could play in a loop during this "playtime" -- and this from a child who has *never* watched TV beyond the occasional play and clap and sing with mommy while a baby einstein video is on) and I would curl up on the couch with one hand on the tray of the exersaucer and doze while he played. He would play for an hour or two and then cry for me. I would pick him up, curl up on the couch with him in my arms and we would both sleep for a couple more hours. (Wakings at 6am or after were counted as the start of the day and he would eat breakfast -- his normal waketime is 7 - 7:30.)

And then Saturday night happened. We had been out and he fell asleep in the car. We got home and at just before 10 I tried to change his diaper and get his pajamas on. He screamed and screamed and cried and cried and arched his back and threw a HUGE fit. It took me 45 minutes (with the last 10 being assisted by the Mr.) to change a damn diaper and put pajamas on. And then we got his bedtime bottles ready -- one ounce of prune juice, 5 ounces of milk. I fed him, he went to sleep before finishing the second bottle. I started carrying him down the hall...wide awake and screaming. I fed him another bottle and again...asleep. I laid him down in his bed and the screaming...oh...the screaming! At 1 am he was finally asleep and in his bed. At some point, and I'm not sure when, but Mr. W thinks it was around 2:30, he cried to be pulled into bed with us. Which of course I did. And he slept until 9am!

I managed somehow to get him back on his regular schedule for Sunday with the usual 2 naps of appropriate (for him) length. I thought things were good.

9:30 last night he's ready for bed, bottles made. I feed him, asleep before finishing milk. It's now 9:45. I let him sleep in my arms until I'm sure he's in a deep enough sleep that my movements won't wake him. At 10:15, we begin walking toward the bedroom. Two steps from the door, his eyes pop open and he's wide awake. I get another bottle, and he drinks another 5 ounces of milk, still wide awake. We get a third bottle of milk, he takes one ounce and is asleep. Until his body touches his bed. At which point he's standing up screaming "Mamamamamamamamamamamamamama" as he looks over the rail at me, not 2 feet away from him. I pick him up, bring him into my bed, where he is crawling and going nuts. I give him to Mr. W who is still up working on a project. He holds him a while and continues working until the lowercase tries to escape him. He then crawls around the floor playing for a while. I get up and try to rock him to sleep. It works. I put him in his crib, his body touches the bed, awake and screaming. I pick him up, I rock him, I sing to him, I do everything I can to get the kid to sleep and finally he does. At this point, I'm exhausted. I've been trying to put the baby to bed for THREE hours, so I just put him in bed beside me -- no waking up this time. He slept until 8:30 this morning in my bed...mostly sideways between the Mr. and I. As a result, the child is Mr. Activity today and the two adults in the house are zombies.


   [ posted  @ 9:36 AM ] [ Post a Comment ] [ View Comments (5) ]
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  Comments about my post, "Knxzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz":
Oy, I'm sorry to hear this is the current state of bedtime affairs in the W house. We went through a similar-sounding bout of this about a month or so ago. It was horrendous and I was running on fumes.

I don't know what started the episode or exactly how we resolved it. I can tell you that we did things that probably aren't recommended by the experts--namely, when we could take it no more, we put her in her crib, shut the door, turned the monitor off in our room, and shut the door. It took three nights of this approach--three of the longest, most guilt-riddled nights (Mama, Maa-Maa, Maaa-Maaa sobbed on and on) of my life but she's back on track now. I'm not recommending you try this method, I'm just saying it is what we did. We were at the end of our rope when everything else we had tried failed.

I hope you all get some rest soon and that the lowercase gets back on sleeping track real soon. Exhaustion simply stinks.
Oh, dear God. You have my deepest sympathies. I hope you get some rest and/or caffeine soon, and that the lowercase gets back to better sleeping. Yikes.
I'm so sorry you're going through a rough patch. Some days you probably want toothpicks just to prop your eyes open.

I'm glad that lowercase is obviously recovering well, but damn they can seem to go forever, can't they? Thank God for Jack's Big Music Show.
I can relate to sickness and medical procedures throwing a beautiful sleep schedule off. It's a nightmare! I don't have a lot of advice. I have done the cry-it-out thing to get them back on track once I'm sure they've recovered from sickness or surgery or what have you. Like Dee, I have found it's the only way, but it's extremely hard. You have to do what's best for you, of course. I hope things straighten out soon. Being sleep deprived makes life seem so much harder.
If I recall, you are opposed to the cry it out method, so I don't really have anything to say that would help here. I do know that he is testing you...it doesn't sound like he is sick, just interested in doing what he wants to do. Cute? Absolutely, but not good for either of you. Not sure what the solution is - but maybe the pick up put down method? Either way - hope you find something that works.

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