Life Lately Vol. 2

Summer Plans

We are officially 20 days from summer break, and I am counting down the days. Being back at work this year has been quite a ride. I really doubted myself in the fall and wondered how I would juggle being a full-time working mom. But, here we are! 9 months back to teaching and navigating daycare life in all its germy glory. Everyone told me that we would just figure it out. I don’t know why I doubted that we would, but I guess I worried life would feel like survival mode most of the time. The truth is, we’ve been really happy and settled into living this usually chaotic and messy life we have. It feels like a dream-come-true. However, if I ran the world, school would end at 12:00pm each day.

This summer we will be in Newport for a week and have a few other fun trips planned; including one with my family. We are looking forward to a summer that is relatively low-key with lots of days spent at the pool and beach with our guy.

Our IVF Cycle

Before I share the details, I want to just say that I very much feel like we’re living some sort of double life. On one side, we are basking in each day enjoying time with Benny. We are having so much fun. As I look at some of these pictures, it feels like the couple going through IVF must be someone else. Again, here I am learning that feelings aren’t mutually exclusive. The best season of our life also happens to coincide with an obstacle. Fertility treatments are not easy despite how it appears. But, I know that it is a privilege.

As I write this post, we are exactly 12 hours away from our second retrieval. Three days ago, we weren’t sure I would mature enough follicles to have a retrieval, and we were discussing how we felt about converting to an IUI cycle if the opportunity were to present itself. Benny was conceived via IUI. On Saturday, we got great news. I had the minimum number of follicles our clinic requires to proceed. We’re always reminded it is quality, not quantity. I triggered this morning at 2am and went in at 7am for bloodwork. This afternoon we got a call from our doctor to personally deliver some not-so- ideal news. While my body absorbed the HCG shot, my estrogen level dropped significantly, and we’re not sure why. It is supposed to rise post-trigger. One explanation could be that one or more follicles crapped out. At the recommendation of our doctor, we have decided to proceed with the retrieval tomorrow and hope for the best. We are fully aware that the coming days could lend themselves to more tough news. But, we’re trying to take it step-by-step.

I’ll address the two questions I often get. I am an open book about much of the process, and I am rarely offended by questions or comments when it comes to our life choices. 1) What happened to your embryo from last summer? That embryo is tucked away in the freezer. I’ve learned a lot since being diagnosed with diminished ovarian reserve in my early 30’s. We have been advised to do our retrieving now based on my hormone levels. We are much more open to IVF than we were a few years ago. Also, we don’t want to completely close the door on having a third baby some day. (Which sounds INSANE to type out. But, a girl can dream!) It has been just about four years since we first started trying to have Benny. A lot has changed with my body, and therefore our plan is different. 2. Why don’t you just see what happens? My friend’s sister’s cousin’s hairdresser had trouble getting pregnant with her first and then conceived quadruplets naturally! (Please detect my sarcasm) We re-did all of our fertility testing last summer after I stopped breastfeeding. We found that my numbers had taken a steep decline. (We’re talking undetectable AMH and elevated FSH) This is why we decided to do a retrieval at that point. I focused on supplements, acupuncture, and diet in the last six months. We knew we would try on our own for awhile. And here we are. We will move forward with the advice of a doctor we trust.

Anything is possible, and we will hold onto that. Ready or not, we’re pushing forward.

Toddler Life

On a happier note, I cannot believe how much fun I am having with “Toddler Benny.” The last sixteen months have flown by. Our guy has all sorts of opinions and climbs on everything now. It is the most exhausting kind of fun I’ve ever had in my life. Seeing him with his buddies at daycare is the sweetest thing. I love riding in the car and listening to him sing or talk to me. We’re not quite sure what he is saying yet, but he sure loves to talk to us. My favorite thing is when he throws his hands up in the air as if to say, “Come on, Mom! Don’t you get what I’m trying to say?” While it is hard not having Ben home much during tennis season, I love all the special tuck-ins I get with Benny at night. He strokes my hair and sings to me while I rock with him.

You’d think as two teachers, we might have some innate sense when it comes to discipline. The reality is, we are more clueless than most first-time parents. We are currently navigating a “high chair revolt” and a boy who loves to gag himself to the point of puking when really, really ticked off. I have to keep a straight face when he throws himself on the ground and begins his fake cry. I know it won’t be funny when he’s bigger and louder while doing it. Thank God for family and friends who give us advice. We’re learning to trust our gut with the whole parenting thing.

I’m truly reveling in these moments that make our present. Wondering about the future is exciting and terrifying all at once.

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