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tubal reversal success story

Life, PART TWO…

I can’t believe I skipped a year. A whole year without writing! How is that even possible? Life as I knew it in my 30’s, 20’s and childhood is gone. I feel as if I’m entering Part Two of my story. Part One was exciting and all… but I’m really looking forward to this next segment.  I feel it has much to offer.

I’ve used this blog to write about my dogs, my journey of trying to have more kids, an outlet… Somewhere along the line I struggled with writers block. I love writing. Despite my occasional grammar errors or misspelled word, I have written because it was something I found much joy in.  So here I am, recognizing my dry spell and thinking it’s time I put an end to it. I am not sure what “direction” I want to take my blog, but it’s going to be reorganized.

 

Me and Miss J

Me and Miss J

This is my life now:  I no longer have my chocolate labs. Sadly Lola passed from cancer and Lulu went back to live with my ex, where she is spoiled and receives all the attention and room to roam that she deserves.

I am no longer an office worker who longs to roam free… I now roam free daily. Well, as free as my two toddlers will let me! I am now a full time mom, who dabbles in social media management on the side.

My partner in crime, Scott, works from home as well. Though he is more nocturnal and spends his time working through the night and sleeping through the day.

I now have all my kids at home.  My oldest, an adult, and my youngest, TODDLERS!

To show respect for Scott’s veganism, we have a meatless household.  Though I am not a vegan, when you live with one it sort of takes on a life of its own and because it affects my life, I’ve been getting educated on the topics of food – nutrition, where it comes from, and how to make it tasty!

And speaking of eating, I’m still on a mission to lose my baby weight from my last pregnancy.

These are just a few of the things that I spend my days thinking about.  These are the things that have meaning to me. So, these are the things I will be writing about—what it’s like being this “older” mom of toddlers, all the interesting things I’m finding out about food and recipes, what it’s like to live as a cougar-ish woman, and pretty much anything that is going on in life.

So this is to be the ice breaker.  And now….  PART TWO of my blog!!

 

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!

Juggling Knives

“It’s because he was our first.
I mean, I think we were very tense when Kevin was little.
If he got a scratch, we were hysterical.
By the third kid, you know, you let them juggle knives.” – Parenthood (1989)

Dublin out and about visiting all the germs!

Dublin out and about visiting all the germs!

When I think back on the first year of Sonora’s life, it exhausts me. I was the epitome of a nervous mother. I worried over everything. Was she pooping too much. Was she pooping too little? Was her sleep schedule messed up? Everything I could worry about… I covered it. For the first two weeks of her life, every day during the noon hour I called the on-call advice nurse regarding one of my concerns. Worry, worry, worry… I was so certain I was going to break her.

Fast forward 20 years and here I am with a one year old and shockingly enough, I’ve not called an advice nurse once!

I find it supremely ironic that the 22 year old me, in my fertility prime – eggs all youthful and agile, was way too immature to handle baby making with ease. It freaked me all the hell out. Now at 42, past my fertile prime, I’m a calmer mom. If Dublin drops a fork on the ground, picks it up and puts it in his mouth… I’m not panicking that I didn’t get to put it through three types of disinfectant processes before it again touched his lips. If another kid grabs one of Dublin’s toys with food covered fingers and sticks it in his mouth, I do not go all bug-eyed and have to quarantine the toy for x amount of days. If Dublin coughs, I’m not having to phone a doctor for fear he might not make it through the hour.

Like I said, it’s exhausting thinking about how scared and paranoid I was during Sonora’s baby days! Now, instead of any fear and paranoia that I might break Dublin, it’s with awe that I acknowledge his fragile tiny self… and amazement to see him tumble and grow into a healthy little man.

I’m not saying that 22 is too young to start a family, some women seem to jump into the roll like they’ve been parenting for years, no matter what their age. I admire women like that. However, for me it didn’t come naturally. For me it was a learning process… one that took me 20 years. Sometimes I think that for some of us, our first child is (unfortunately for them) our practice child. The one that we make so many of the mistakes with. By our 2nd child, we’ve perfected a few more things, including our confidence. Poor, poor Sonora… I had quite the learning curve!

Now-a-days the internet has become my best friend. It’s so easy to look up any parenting topic and dissect it this way and that. Something I didn’t have when Sonora was a baby. Twenty years ago, if I wanted to research a baby topic (from sleep schedules to breast feeding), I had to old-school it and read a book! Or, ask a friend. And sometimes those old-school ways aren’t readily available at 2:30 in the morning!!

I’m so happy Sonora and I made it out of her childhood alive… and though it took me 20 years, I’m finally left the scaredy cat mothering behind.

Third Times a Charm

This is me and my little (almost) 15 month old D-Man.

Me and my little D-Man.

Tomorrow I’ll be 16 weeks. For the last few weeks, about once a week, I pull out my at-home Doppler and give a little listen to the newbies heartbeat. Once a week I’m all smiles to hear it thump thump thumpin’ away. Everything is going great and in 24 (omg-that’s-not-so-far-away!!) weeks, we’ll be welcoming the newbies arrival. This pregnancy seems to be flying by. Perhaps it’s my days spent chasing my little D-Man around the house that is making this all fly by so fast. Whatever the cause, the days are flying and it has me thinking about some big decisions I’ll be having to make soon enough.


When I had Dublin I wasn’t really nervous about the birth. I kept telling myself that I’d done it before, I can do it again. This time, however, I’m sort of freaking out. Perhaps it’s because instead of a nineteen year gap to cushion pains memory, I only have 14 months. I remember vividly my thinking, during the middle of it all, this HURTS. THIS REALLY F*#!ING HURTS!!!


Both of my previous deliveries were fast and furious– as in, the room isn’t even ready and I’m about to plop out a baby, F-A-S-T. With both of my previous deliveries I experienced the panic that comes when you see your baby’s heartbeat drop drastically with each contraction. With both of my previous deliveries, before the doctor arrived, the nurses dropped the “C” word (c-section) a few times. Both of my previous deliveries ended with lots of stitches to repair down there (ouch!). So this time around, when the doctor put the option of an elective c-section on the table, I’ve been giving it a lot of thought.


I love the idea of scheduling my due date. It would make arranging child care for Dublin sooo much easier. I love the idea of not feeling the pain of contractions. I love the idea of not having to see my baby’s heart rate show signs of distress. However, the thought of a needle in my back makes me want to hurl from fright. Also, the thought of being numb from my waste down and feeling the tugging as they pull the baby out of my stomach into the world… Fright. Hurling. AWK.. So any way I look at it, I’m a bit nervous and scared. BUT… not as nervous and scared as I am at the thought of being a mom to TWO children under TWO. Now that… THAT thought gives me night terrors! 😉

Pregnant at 42…

No, Im not psycho... just like to be sure. (7 tests)

Yes, you counted right-- that's SEVEN tests. I wanted to be sure!

If luck be a lady and I be that lady, then I am so knocked up right now! Despite the fact that we were on the look out for a double lined pregnancy test, it was still a shock to get one. Then to get another one and the one after that one… and 7 tests later, still seeing all the positive results lined up in a row, I’m in a state of disbelief. I feel so very lucky and oh-so-very scared at the same time.

Though I’m obviously beating out the statistics for a woman my age in the conception department, it’s still very scary- all those statistics running around in my head. I know it’s possible to beat the odds, I just did it with the fabulously healthy little one-year-old running around my house. But will I beat the odds again?? I truly hope so.

I’m 7 weeks along, or at least I think. Being me, things were not cut and dry. First off, I got an “inconclusive” blood test. Never even knew that “maybe pregnant” was an option for pregnancy blood tests! It did, after a few days and a retest, give me the positive I was hoping for. Our first ultrasound appointment, where we were supposed to see a heartbeat, showed that we were earlier than THEY thought. I’d have been freaking out, but I suspected with a certainty that I’d ovulated late. So now we’re waiting for our next ultrasound, which will be in a week.

Meanwhile, I hold my breath, look at my son and repeat, “Yes… I CAN do this!”

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!