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fertility after 40

Two under two…

My two under two.

I’m no stranger to being a parent, having been one for 20 (almost 21) years. I’ve been a married parent, a single parent, a step parent, a surrogate parent… yeah, I know parenting.  Or, so I thought!

When I was nearing the end of my pregnancy my partner in crime, Scott, kept telling me, “You’re going to need help… Seriously, Sandy, you’re going to need help.” In my hormonal state, every  time he spouted that sentence at me, I wanted to slap him. I am an independent, fully capable, woman… help?! *SNORT*

I had a plan. A well laid plan. In my head, not on paper, because everyone knows everything looks easier on paper.  ANYway, about the plan: I would continue breastfeeding Dublin and perfect tandem nursing, thus achieving my goal of breastfeeding each of my kids until they turn two. I was going to get up every morning by eight. I was going to have a clean house.  My days would be filled with productivity… from playing structured games with my almost two year old, Dublin, all the while I would be baby wearing my newest addition, Juniper, in one of the many baby carrying devices I recently acquired.  We would go to the park, we would play on our patio, we would walk to get Starbucks… oh the fun we would have, the three musketeers!  And why shouldn’t I be able to achieve this, after all I’d been able to do it two times before!

Here is where the universe has a hearty laugh at my expense; as well as all the other moms who have more than one child under a certain age. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA…. And they laugh and laugh and laugh! This is where they say, “Sandy… it doesn’t really count when one child is 20 years old and the other is 20 months. That’s sorta like cheating.”

Two under two… it’s a new game, with new rules.

I know that there are wonder-moms out there; I’ve seen them in pictures. I’m pretty sure they exist. I, however, am not one of them….

On a good day I get up around 8. But on a bad day, it could be 4 a.m., 2 a.m., noon, 3pm, or any other random number that resides on a clock.  My new translation of a good day is when I get 4 hours of consecutive sleep, I don’t have many of those kind of good days.  A good day is when the family room floor is toy free for 2 hours (that usually happens during nap time). A good day is when the dishes are done and the laundry has made it out of the dryer and as far as a laundry basket. My bedroom floor currently has about 5 filled baskets. I think it’s time to buy more baskets.

Most days I feel like a cow… no, not in the traditional “I feel fat” sort of way, I’m too tired to care about THAT right now. No, I mean literally… I feel like a milk supply outlet. If I’m not feeding Juniper, I’m feeding Dublin. And sometimes, when I’m feeling adventurous and ambidextrous, I’ll feed both at the same time. Maybe I should say when I’m feeling adventurous and amBOOBextrous! Haha. ANYway,  I seem to constantly have a boob out. Don’t get me wrong… I’m a happy cow; I come from California after all! I’m a thrilled and happy cow, except when Dublin bites me. Then I’m not so happy. Or when he drags his teeth… oh my friggon lord, that HURTS!

**On  a side note: I’ve lost ALL of my Juniper weight!! Just don’t get me started about how much Dublin weight I still have to lose! Ugh! **

So, after all my firm and unequivocal “NO, I WILL NOT NEED HELP!!!” it is with a enormous relief that I hand off Dublin to Scotts mom when she arrives several mornings during the week to watch him while I run back to bed and try to catch a couple of hours more sleep, Juniper willing. Or, while I clean the bathroom… Or, while I try and catch up on any number of things I’m currently behind in!!

I have a new found respect for all women who have performed this juggling act before me, those who can do it with grace and style. I’m 5.5 weeks into this parenting two under two and have not found my groove yet, but when I do… I hope to join the ranks of those other fabulous mommy’s out there that actually make it beyond their front door with spawn in tow. (I have ventured out by myself for walks in the double stroller, but the thought of going to Target BY MYSELF accompanied by both kids has me breaking out in a cold sweat.) While I’ve not found my groove yet, I have to say this new chapter in life is a challenge that I am feeling so blessed to be venturing in to. Bring on the spit up, the poop, the crying, the tantrums… because at the end of the day, when I get a toddler hug or a newborn smile… my heart melts with joy.  Yup, I’m feeling very blessed to have the opportunity to do this two under two thing.

Bye-bye Baby Bump, HELLO BABY!

One night I couldn’t sleep because I couldn’t get comfortable, being huge as a tank and all, then the next night I couldn’t sleep because I needed to spend every second of the night watching my new baby girl breathe.

I feel as if I’m a sleepwalker, my hair is disheveled, my clothes a mixture of maternity and regular sizes, my eating erratic, and my sleep schedule is nonexistent. .. and I feel like every second of this discombobulated state of existence I find myself in is a miracle. I keep pinching myself and wondering how it could be that I am, after 20 years, doing this all again. How could it be that I had one child and in a blink of an eye, now I have THREE!

It seems as if this last pregnancy flew by without any pomp and circumstance. Where we were counting down the days that didn’t seem to budge with Dublin’s pregnancy, this last pregnancy flew by. The only part that seemed to drag was the last couple of weeks, during which time if felt as if I would never go into labor. But when I did… boy did I!

If deliveries had a theme, mine would have been Go Go Speed Racer.  More than one person in the room commented along the lines of,“OMG, this is happening so fast!”

 

Some of the memorable comments from the whirlwind birthing session:

The nurse- “Wow, this is you at 8 cm and no drugs?!?” (In response to my laughing at something).

Me- “Yes, this is me… but don’t worry, you’ll see me in pain soon enough. I can totally handle these contractions, but I know that the ones at the end hurt like nobody’s business… so yeah, you’ll see me in extreme pain soon enough….”

20 min’s later….I’m in extreme pain, hearing this:

Scott- “OMG… this is happening fast, this is really happening fast”

Scott- “There’s the head!”

(WATER BREAKS…)

Scott- “OMG… this is happening fast!!”

Midwife- “Get ready to push the body out”

Scott, Midwife, nurse– “OH WOW!!!”

Nurse- “Did you even push?”

Me- “I guess she road the wave out….”

 

While waiting for my little girl to make her arrival and send me into labor, I felt like such a hypochondriac. I have a history of fast labor, but always got the impression that I mentioned it to the doctors and nurses, they didn’t fully believe me.  So when it all happened so fast, like I had been suggesting it might… I felt a HUGE “BOOya!” moment! I felt like a bit of a celebrity, with the way every new nurse greeted me with a, “So, I hear you had a fast labor…”  Yes, I am legend! 😉

No drugs, one push, 6lbs 6 oz…. And we welcomed Juniper Audrey into our lives.  

Juniper

Holding Juniper in the hospital… Love at first sight!

Luck be a lady…

Me and my progeny...

Me and my progeny...

Sometimes it hits me – I have a toddler. AND I have a 20 year old. AND I’m in my 40’s. AND… if Luck be a Lady and I’m that lady… I’ll be knocked up again, soon.

That’s right, glutton for the punishment that those small packages of little humans can dish out, I’m not feeling “done” yet in the producing progeny department. I’m scared, because of all the statistics out there… yadda yadda yadda… I heard them all before during the last go around with pregnancy. I was scared then and I’m scared now, but regardless, with the support of my partner in crime (shout out to Scott) we’re going to try for another one. I feel incredibly blessed to have this 2nd chance at parenting younglings. I’d forgotten how much I love being a “mommy”. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a “MOMMMMMM!!!” (usually accompanied by an eye-roll.) And I take a lot of pride in the fact that I’ve been able to get one amazing daughter to the age of 18 without too many scrapes and bruises to her physical and mental self. In fact, I think getting her to that “finish line” gave me the courage to try it again. Sort of a, “I didn’t screw it up too bad the first time, maybe I’ll get even better with practice….”

All ready I see that I’m a different mom in my 40’s than I was in my 20’s. My 20 year old parental self would sanitize all that was within a three feet radius of my little Sonora-nora-bug. If another kid touched her toy, I’d discreetly place it in my diaper bag, segragate it from the “clean toys” and hand Sonora a new toy (from the clean toy section of the diaper bag, duh!). Sonora never touched the carpet in her early non-crawling months. She was always on a blanket. Only ONE SIDE of that blanket ever touched the floor… and I could go on and on like this. Oh, but I could… I will openly admit I was a bit of a freak.

Jump ahead 20 years and I am happy to report that with my 2nd child I am no longer a super freak, not super freaky. In fact, recently I was doubled over laughing having just witnessed Dublin offer the dog a baby biscuit and, after the dog already gummed it, reneged on the deal and stuck it right into his own mouth. Doggy germs and all. Also, if that’s not enough to point out how far I’ve come, I even allow Dublin to sit… in…a..grocery..basket… without putting him in a protective bubble first!

All of this makes me wonder where I’ll be in another 20 years, because there is no way I would have guessed 20 years ago that I’d be here!

B is for Baby…

Meet Dublin!

Meet Dublin!

I’ve been trying to write this blog for the last 9 weeks…but I’m finding it hard to write with just one hand! Why one hand?? Because the other arm is busy holding my new little man!

Yes, my beautiful bundle of joy has arrived. Packaged in a 7 pounds, 8 ounce, package. I’m too tired from every two hour feedings to process that I am now a parent again! No time to think, only time to do!!

My little bundle is taking a nap and I’m going to test the bounds of how fast I can type, in order to fill in the gaps of the past 9 weeks:

After hearing the statistics regarding “maternal advanced aged” placenta’s falling short on the job past the 40 week mark, I was going to take no chances and agreed to the advantages of being induced at 39 weeks. I set the date for October 28th, because it was a Friday and would be convenient for grand parents to visit. Though, I truly believed he’d show up before the scheduled date. He didn’t, I was induced.

October 27th I went to work, as usual, came home… and packed for the hospital. I went to bed early, but sleep eluded me. I couldn’t believe my journey was finally coming to the finale, that the finish line had arrived.

To recap the crazy journey that lead up to this date: I’m a sorta cougar. I met and fell in love with a man who is a decade younger than I. On our first date we discussed the fact that he wanted kids in his future and I had my tubes tied. After celebrating a year together, we decided to pursue starting a family together. We met with a doctor to discuss our options… IVF was touted as the best option, but a tubal reversal was also brought up. Tubal reversal was the cheapest option (though, by no means cheap!!) and though the statistics said that having a tubal at my age didn’t put the cards in our favor, we decided to roll the dice and go for it. I had the surgery and month after month we tested negative for a pregnancy. We heard about a study that offered “free” IVF (though it really was to cost around $4000, which compared to the normal $20,000 of IVF makes it feel sorta free) and decided to try for it. After having to go through several testing procedures, we were accepted into the program. I made arrangements with my work to take off the necessary time off and we were at the start line, just waiting for my cycle to start, when I ended up with a positive pregnancy test.

Every bit of the 9 months I was pregnant I didn’t take for granted the fragility of it all. Every day I worried that we wouldn’t make it to the finish line. And even once that wonderful day arrived, I was still nervous and feeling anxious.

It had been 19 years since the last time I was in the maternity ward. The last visit, I woke up in labor, my water broke at home and once I arrived at the hospital it was only about 3 hour before my daughter arrived. This go around I knew it wouldn’t be so fast. I arrived on schedule at 8 a.m. By 9:30 they gave me the little pill that was supposed to get things started. My doctor arrived at some point in the morning to let me know what to expect for the day. I was told that I was probably going to start feeling things in a few hours and could hopefully expect the arrival of my son sometime that night.

My daughter, Scott, his mom and his dad were my visitors for the day. I forbid food to be eaten in the room, because I wasn’t allowed to eat any solids (in case of C-secion). I spent my time walking in circles around the halls of the maternity ward and peeing (he was resting on my bladder until the very end).

Sometime around 6pm-ish my doctor walks into my room and after I smiled and said, “Hi”, he replied, “Tis isn’t what I wanted to see… “

I guess I didn’t seem like I was in pain. But I was, I just hide it well. In fact, the nurses didn’t believe that I was really in pain either. They said that even though my external monitors showed my levels being really high, the contractions were probably measuring less severe. They said they’d put an internal monitor to more accurately monitor my contraction levels. Once the internal monitor was put into place, they found that my contraction levels were actually measuring more intense than the external.

Ha-ha! Boo-YA!

After that… all hell broke loose! My contractions intensified and next thing I knew, they were scrambling saying that they didn’t know if the doctor would make it on time. He did. Though, in all the excitement, the room hadn’t been prepared.

All the while, I am busying myself with pushing. Pushing. Pushing.

While pushing. Pushing. Pushing. I felt EVERYTHING. The song “Ring of Fire” (Jonny Cash) played in my brain. And the thought “I’m NEVER doing this AGAIN” occurred to me more than once.

I pushed and pushed and pushed. Believing the doctor when he said, “you’re almost there… “ And he wasn’t lying, because I was almost there.

At 7:25p, on October 28th…. our son, Dublin, arrived. He weighed in at 7 lbs, 8oz, and was 20 inches long.

He’s wonderful and beautiful… and healthy. I feel like I have won the lottery. I’ve never been so tired in my entire life… but I’m also over the moon in love with him.

Life is a crazy journey. Who woulda thought I would try to have a baby at 40. Who woulda thought I would succeed!! YAY ME!

That was then. This is now….

I’m officially two weeks away from being full term. My doctor even said so, thus making it law. I’m so excited and petrified! I can’t help but think how they’re so much easier to take care of when they’re still neatly packaged within the womb! Soon there will be crying (or, let’s be more accurate, screaming!) accompanying his wiggles. Soon there will be feedings that don’t’ just involve me helping myself to a seconds at dinner. And soon there will be poopy diapers, in all their stinking glory, helping to bring the reality home….. We are not longer pregnant; we are zombie-tired parents at the beck and call of our little boy.

I feel like I’m in a state of limbo. I feel that I’ve read myself out. I can no longer read ahead in the “What to Expect While You’re Expecting” book, because I’m near the end stretch. I HAVE read it all, so much so that I can practically recite what I should be feeling during this week, as well as the next 5 weeks, or tell you that, “YES, peeing every 10 minutes is normal behavior at this stage of the game.” So instead of reading, now I just mainly stare at a calendar. I’m so ready to get to the finish line and exhale. …

I never worried while pregnant with Sonora. Probably it was because I was 21 and had that feeling of invincibility, not so in touch with the fragility of life. It never even occurred to me that I had anything to worry about. This time around …. GAH! I’ve been holding my breath the whole time. I would get to some milestone, like 12 weeks, only to hear of someone else sadly having a miscarriage. Then I would get to 20 weeks and again, hear of another of tragic loss. I would go online and read statistics of survival rates of micro-preemies, just to give myself some sort of comfort that my baby WAS viable if the worst case scenario would have happened. Someone should have seriously taken my internet access away!! I have been pretty masochistic in my surfing behavior.

Epiphany! The internet hadn’t been a household item when I was pregnant with Sonora, otherwise… I probably would have been holding my breath back then too!!



While the internet has been feeding into my worry-wart-ways, it has also been a blessing. Back when I was pregnant with Sonora, if I wanted to shop for baby items, I had to *gasp* go to the store! The only super highway I was traveling on, was the one leading south to a bigger city. And that highway was anything but super, seeing how it only had two lanes…



Yup, things have changed a lot in the past 19 years. When I gave my daughter her first bath, I pulled out the “What to Expect the First Year” book and propped it open by the sink. This go around, it will be my laptop with a Youtube video sitting just out of splashing distance from the sink.

The Big Exhale….

Hello?? Hello?? Anybody here??


I feel like I should be going to some writers confessional: Forgive me, for I have sinned… it’s been four months since my last blog entry….


My only explanation for my lack of writing is that I’m still holding my breath. I’m still so in awe of being pregnant, that a part of me still views it as fragile. It’s like I don’t want to move, for fear of jinxing it.


So far, everything is going great. My biggest pregnancy complaint? That would be regarding my emotional state of mind having been a bit volatile. You just don’t mess with a pregnant woman. Her hormones will smack you up and down!! I think there have been moments where Scott has been scared of me, very-VERY scared! I’m surprised he hasn’t got a stash of holy water to pull out and toss in my face when my hormones take possession of me…

I have 11 or 12 more weeks left, depending on who you believe. My level-2 ultrasound dated the pregnancy as being a week farther along, but my doctor’s sticking with his original due date and is convinced that I “just have big babies”. That’s not something a pregnant woman wants to hear… that I’m destined to have a big baby! AWK! I want to have a nice 8 pound baby boy… and a FAST delivery! Oh, and as long as I’m putting in an order, it’d be nice to walk out of the hospital in pre-pregnancy sized jeans! Hahahah….

Did I mention I’m having a boy?? Yup, it’s a boy!! :)


To be continued (I promise)…..