Thursday, December 3, 2015

HSG Follow Up Appointment

I had my HSG follow up appointment on November 18. My RE started by saying that she had reviewed my HSG video and it looks like I had good filling and spillage from my left tube, and good filling, but undetermined spillage from my right. Any dye that spilled out of my right tube flowed behind my uterus, so it was difficult to see if the dye that we saw was from my left, or right tube.

She also noted that there was a mass in my uterus, that could be scar tissue from my c-section, or a polyp. She suggested doing an SIS to see if they could better figure out what, and where, the mass was. Thankfully, she was able to take time out of her schedule to do the SIS right away, which saved me from another 3 hour drive.

The plan was to insert a catheter into the uterus, fill the uterus with saline, and use an ultrasound probe to see the shape of the uterine cavity and whatever mass is in there. My RE had a student with her, so I gave the go ahead for the student to try to insert the catheter first. After a few unsuccessful and painful minutes, my RE decided to take over. There was lots of moving, scooting, repositioning and pain, but no matter how I laid, or how my RE tried to maneuver the catheter, she couldn't get it past my cervix.

She said she wasn't 100% sure why there seemed to be a blockage, but suggested we do surgery to explore what was blocking my cervix, and to see what the mass in my uterus is.  My hysteroscopy is scheduled for December 10, at an unknown time. I will be put under for the procedure so my RE can "maneuver things more without causing pain."

I won't know the time of my surgery until the day before, so I've been in another 2ish week wait (funny how infertility revolves around those!) Thankfully the ladies in a Facebook group have been able to calm my fears and answer any questions I have. I'll update after the procedure to tell you what they found!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

HSG Results

Tuesday November 3rd, I had an HSG to check for scar tissue left over from my c-section. Thankfully I had an all female staff this time around, so they could emphasize with how crappy the situation was. Once I was prepped, the radiology tech inserted the speculum, and catheter which the dye would go through, but then had to pause. The doctor who wanted to look at the results wasn't in yet, so we had to wait for him to arrive. I had to lie for 10 minutes with the tech's hand in my vagina while we waited, so the catheter wouldn't fall out. Most awkward 10 minutes of my life. There's only so much small talk you can make with another woman's hand up your ho-ha.

Finally the doctor arrived, and we got the procedure underway. When the dye was squirted into my uterus, it was clear that both tubes filled, but we could only see spillage from the left tube. The doctor suggested doing another round of dye to see if we could get the right to spill, but we weren't able to see if it did.

Thankfully both times weren't too painful, besides a few sharp twinges. I had some spotting that afternoon and evening, but it cleared up by the next morning.

Thursday, I received this message from my RE:

I have a follow up appointment on the 18th at which I'm assuming we'll talk about the HSG results, results from the ultrasound, and schedule surgery. I'm hoping it's something small which can be taken care of with a simple surgery. I'm assuming it will be suggested that we don't TTC during December, so our first medicated cycle will be in January. I'll update after my appointment on the 18th. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Test Results - TTC Baby #2

I'm happy to say that all of my tests came back negative. My glucose level was slightly high, but I wasn't told to fast before the test, so that may have been the cause. The hemoglobin a1c test shows that I do not have diabetes, which is great. My dad did send me a message, saying that both Lupus and APS are auto-immune diseases, so even though I don't have markers for them now, there is a chance I could still get it later in life. But for now, I'm good to try and conceive again!

My next step is an HSG whenever my cycle starts to check for scar tissue left over from my c-section. My cycle is due to start over the weekend, so the HSG will either be next Tuesday, or the Tuesday after, depending on when my clinic has an opening.

Monday, October 12, 2015

TTC Baby #2

Today Keegan and I drove the 2.5 hours to Alabama to meet with our RE to talk about trying for baby #2.

There has been a lot of talk about when to try again; if we want to try again, if we can handle it both emotionally and physically. I ended up calling in August, just to see if we could get in, and originally had an appointment in September. Unfortunately that was cancelled by my RE and moved to today. Over the past few weeks, I've simultaneously wanted the days to fly by, and to slow down. I'm excited about growing our family, but I'm not excited about the medications, the blood draws, and the disappointment. I tossed and turned all night, going between dreams of having multiples and waking up knowing in the pit of my stomach that this wouldn't work again.

The biggest worry that we have is that my father has antiphospholipid antibody syndrome, which makes his blood clot too easily. He also has Lupus and vitiligo. I noticed that I have vitiligo this summer, so I knew there was a chance that his other diseases could have been passed down to me as well. I was supposed to get tested when we were trying to conceive before, but our last ditch Clomid cycle worked before I could get tested. We decided that I needed to get tested before we have try to conceive again, because if I do have any of the diseases, we will seriously need to consider if we're going to have another biological child.

Dr. M agreed with my concerns, so I got 8 vials of blood drawn to test for all of that, along with diabetes. Dr. M was concerned about my chance of diabetes because I have PCOS, had gestational diabetes, and my c-section incision still isn't 100% healed, which can be an indicator of diabetes.

When my cycle starts in November, I will have an HSG done to see if there is any scar tissue left over from my c-section. If there is scar tissue in my uterus, I will need to have surgery to remove it so that it does not interfere with an embryo implanting. If I have scar tissue on one of my ovaries or fallopian tubes, then Dr. M said we can work with the other one. I'm not sure what will happen if there's tissue on both, we didn't discuss that.

If my blood work and HSG come back clean, then we will start cycles with Clomid. Clomid worked in the past, so we're hoping it'll work again. Dr. M said she's hoping to see me pregnant within the next 6 months, and while I appreciate her optimism, I'm not allowing myself to get my hopes up.

So for now, we wait. Wait on blood results, and then wait for my cycle to start so that I can do the HSG. Again, I'm anxious to get the ball rolling, but I'm also enjoying these last few weeks of freedom from needles and dildo cams.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Update - Kieran Is Almost A Year!

Not really sure where I should start this since it's been almost 2 months since I've written here.

Life's good. Busy, but good. Kieran will be a year on August 14th and is an amazing little boy. He's pulling up, and is so close to walking. He's also babbling up a storm and his favorite word is "dada." We've started thinking about his first birthday party. We're going to do a small backyard BBQ, mostly because he's going to be one and won't remember it, but also because we're going to be coming back from vacation two days before the party, and won't have time for anything elaborate.

We've started talking about trying for baby #2. We've been loosely trying since my period came back in late April when I was about 7.5 months postpartum. I say "loosely" because we're trying the "track ovulation and have sex" approach, except I haven't been able to confirm ovulation during any of my cycles.

Cycle 1 (35 days long) there was no ovulation detected.
Cycle 2 (36 days long) the most positive OPK was on CD29, but I wouldn't call it positive enough for ovulation.
I'm currently on cycle 3 which started unexpectedly with spotting on CDs 17, 18, 19 and 20, then full blown flow on what was supposed to be CD21. I know for a fact that I didn't ovulate because I had only stopped bleeding 7 days before I started spotting again.

My periods have been a lot longer and heavier postpartum, so I'm hoping they regulate and lighten up soon. I went back on Metformin through my general physician and am back up to 2000 mg per day. It's been making me sicker than I remember before I was pregnant, but that's most likely due to the fact that I'm not doing the low amylose diet like I was before.

I also recently realized that I have vitiligo, like my dad does. I suspected that I had it for a while, because white patches can be seen on my knees when I get some sun, but in June I realized it had spread to my hands. My dad said that his got worse in his mid-20s as well, so I suppose it's just a matter of waiting to see how bad it gets. Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease, so I'm going to bring it up to my RE when we go back to her and see if she thinks it has anything to do with my infertility.

We've decided to speak to my OB and see if she's willing to do anything treatments with us before going straight back to our RE. I love working with my RE, but she's 3 hours away and since Kieran is only in childcare 2 days a week, it makes planning trips over there difficult if both Keegan and I want to go. I go back for my yearly well woman check up some time in August, so I'm going to speak with my OB then about what the possibilities are.

Hope you all are well. I'm still reading, even if I'm not commenting much. Twitter and Facebook are better ways to keep in touch with me, so let me know if you want to be friends on either of those platforms.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

TMI Of A Different Sort

Stole this from Tracy at Just Stop Trying and It Will Happen. Thought these questions would be fun to answer so you can learn things about me that don't have to do with my lady bits. 
Four jobs I’ve had:
1. Lifeguard/swim coach/swim class instructor. My first "big girl" job that lasted me through high school and the majority of college. I was a lifeguard during the summers (and sometimes on the weekends during the school year,) a swim team coach during the summers, and a swim class instructor during the school years. Seeing 4 year olds overcome their fear of the water has been one of my proudest moments. 
2. Cashier at my college's art museum gift shop. Work study job that paid waaaaaaaaaay too little. :)
3. Cashier and key holder at Hot/Topic. Love the people I worked with, hated the (majority) of the spoiled teens that came in to shop. It was always fun to help Grandma pick out the long pants with chains for her sweet Johnny's Christmas present, though. 

4. Gallery Director at a non-profit art gallery. Was an art major in school and figured I would be living in a cardboard box while working at the above mentioned store the rest of my life. Very thankful that I found a job in my major. Kind of makes those thousands of dollars in debt worth it. 
Four movies I’ve watched more than once:
1. Pitch Perfect - me too Tracy! 
2. The Sound of Music - have all of the songs memorized 
3. Pretty much any Pixar movie 
4. Fast and Furious 1-3. Haven't seen any of them past the third movie. 
Four books I’d recommend:
1. The Harry Potter Series. Have read the entire series more times than I can count. 
2. The Help - both the book and the movie
3. The Hunger Games - I'll admit it, I like young adult books
4. I can't think of another. I used to read all the time, but I can't seem to remember any of the books I liked!
Four cities I’ve lived in:
1. Guelph, Ontario, Canada (born there!)
2. Columbia, Missouri 
3. Starkville, Mississippi 
4. Other small town in Mississippi that I'm not naming because I currently live there. I haven't lived many places!
Four places I’ve visited:
1. Toronto, Ontarion Canada. The majority of my extended family on my dad's side lives in and around Toronto. We used to visit twice a year when I was growing up, but that slowed down once I started working. Now that I'm an "adult" with "money," we've started trying to visit more often. 
2. Atlanta, Georgia - closest IKEA to us. We typically go once or twice a year to wander around the store and come back with furniture we don't really need. 
3. KC Kansas / KC Missouri. Went there for swim meets while I was growing up, now we visit at least once a year to see some of Keegan's extended family. 
4. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Mom's side of the family lives in and around there. We don't get over that way as often as Toronto, but we try once every 5 years or so. Baby boy and I are flying into Seattle and then driving over the border in June if anyone wants to meet up! 
Four Places I Could Visit Over and Over:
1. KC Kansas/KC Missouri. Family, booming art and culture scene, good food. 
2. Anywhere in Europe. Have never been, but want to go desperately. 
3. Peoria, Illinois. Just went there over Memorial Day to visit two of our best friends (and Kieran's godparents,) and I love the city. Big enough to have a Target, but small enough to have wonderful parks and a good homey feeling. Also close to Chicago for fun weekends. 
4. Saint Louis. I feel like the Lou has a bad rap, but it is a very interesting city with lots of fun (and free!) things to do. 
Four things I just won’t eat:
1. Mushrooms.  Can't get over the texture. 
2. Fish of any type. My dad works with fish for a living, and seeing jars and jars of fish in formaldehyde turned me off for life. 
3. Hot dogs. I was pretty much a vegetarian as a kid, and although I've started eating meat as an adult, hot dogs are just something I can't make myself try. 
4. Most types of meat. I'll eat chicken, beef and turkey on Thanksgiving, but lamb, fish, sausage, and pork (besides bacon,) turns me off. 
Four things I could eat every day:
1. Fruit of any kind. 
2. Chocolate, especially if it's paired with peanut butter. 
3. Cheese, hands down
4. Bread of any type. I can sit and eat bread and butter like no one else, which is sooooooooo bad for me. Currently working on my carb addiction. 
Four TV shows I used to watch and miss (and watch in reruns as much as I can): 
We don't have cable, so there are a lot of TV shows I miss. Think of most TLC and ABC Family shows. 
Four things I’m looking forward to this year:
1. Taking Kieran to visit my mom's side of the family. None of them have met him yet! 
2. Kieran's first birthday and Christmas. Seeing him ripping paper is going to be one of the highlights of this year.
3. Celebrating our anniversary 
4. Continuing to grow in my job 
Four things I need right now:
1. A maid, cook, and personal assistant. There are not enough hours in the day to do all of these adult things. 
2. A piece of chocolate cake. I've been craving cake for months now. 
3. More vacation days. Living so far away from friends and family sucks when you can only take 10 days off work. 
4. A restful night of sleep
Four dreams I have for our future:
1. To build new traditions as a family while continuing to celebrate the ones Keegan and I grew up with (totally stole this from Tracey.) 
2. To grow old with Keegan while setting an example of what a fun, healthy, loving relationship is. 
3. To always be the best mom and wife my family needs, so matter where that takes me
4. To stay close with our friends and family, even though we live so far away. So thankful for technology that allows us to connect with our loved ones. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Mother's Day On The Other Side

It's taken me longer than I wanted to get this post out due to a mix of emotions and an internal battle about if I wanted clog your readers with yet another Mother's Day post. Ultimately I decided to give it a shot. My emotions are still a jumbled mess, so this won't be the most eloquent thing you've ever read.

My first Mother's Day on the "other side" was a lot different that I expected. I'll admit that Mother's Day weekend was difficult for me. The hurtful feelings of past Mother's Days were softened by the smiling boy who brought me a present in bed on Sunday morning, but they were still there. I was in a funk all weekend, and I think it was a combination of happiness for myself, mixed with guilt, and sadness for others. I have a tendency to take on other's sadness and pain, and seeing so many of my IF friends struggling, really took a toll on me. I found it difficult to be happy and excited when I knew my excitement was causing other's pain.

All in all, I did have a good first Mother's Day. We went out to eat for lunch, did some grocery shopping, and splurged with some frozen yogurt. Keegan got me this figurine because he said that it remind him of how I often hold Kieran. I also got lots of snuggles, from both of my boys, which helped my mood.

I thought a lot about my IF friends over the weekend. Whether you had a wonderful Mother's Day, or you spent the day counting down the hours until it was over, I thought of you.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Microblog Monday: Taking A Moment

Kieran fell asleep on me when I was trying to get him down for his nap this morning. It's rare for him to fall asleep on me these days, so even though I had work to get done, I let him sleep. He stirred after about 20 minutes, so I transferred him to his crib, but those 20 minutes of staring at his sleeping face were perfect. 

I thought back to all those months of trying to get pregnant. The medications, the blood draws, the timed sex. The hope, and then the crushing disappointment when another month failed. I also thought of those of you who are still trying. I hope with all of my heart that your dreams come true, and you can also have a little one asleep on your lap someday soon. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Let's Talk About Breastfeeding

All throughout my pregnancy, I heard stories of how difficult labor is, how hard it is function on so little sleep in the newborn stage, how hard it is to not have any "me" time. Everyone failed to mention, however, how hard breastfeeding is, and I really wish someone had told me.

I don't want to scare anyone who is pregnant, or still trying, but breastfeeding, and eventually deciding to stop, is one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life.

Once my milk came in, Kieran had a pretty good latch, and was a good eater. He ate best in the football hold on the right side, but we were able to do the "normal" cradle hold on the left. My nipples were sore for a few days in the beginning, but they never cracked or bled.

From the outside, it looked like we had breastfeeding down. But internally, I was constantly worried about my supply. I started pumping almost from day one because I thought Kieran would be going to daycare one day, and I wanted to have an ample freezer stash built up. I could never get more than an ounce out of each side per session, but everyone told me not to worry because what you were able to pump wasn't an indicator of what baby was able to get.

At Kieran's one month appointment, he had only gained 12 ounces from birth and had dropped from the 92nd percentile to the 43rd. At his two month, he had only gained a pound and 7 ounces. At four months, he had only gained two pounds, 10 ounces and was up every 45 minutes throughout the night to eat. I knew then, that he wasn't getting the food that he needed.

Even though I was pumping multiple times a day, breastfeeding on demand, taking fenugreek, eating oatmeal, and drinking enough water to drown, my supply was still tiny. It was suggested that I start supplementing with formula to make sure Kieran was getting the nutrients he needed.

Breaking out that can of formula I had hid in his closet "just in case" was the hardest thing I ever did. I bawled when I gave Kieran his first bottle of formula because I felt like such a failure and a bad mother. Everyone told me that "breast is best" and no one complained about how difficult it was, so I figured I was doing something wrong.

Since starting formula, my supply continued to drop, and eventually pretty much disappeared. I decided last week to stop breastfeeding when I tried to feed Kieran and he screamed at the breast because nothing was coming out. I was only getting half an ounce after pumping both breasts for 30 minutes, so I knew my supply was next to nothing.

Deciding to stop breastfeeding has come with a lot of guilt. I had dreams of breastfeeding Kieran until he self weened, even if that meant he waited until he was two. My dream of a drug free vaginal birth was taken from me, so I was really hoping breastfeeding would work out, but it was just one more thing my body failed at. I am thankful that Kieran was exclusively breastfed for 4 months, and getting some breast milk up until 7 months, but I will forever wish it was longer.

Even thought I know I'm doing what's best for my son, there will always be a part of me that will feel guilty for not trying harder, for not trying one more supplement or pumping schedule that promised to increase my supply. Even though I talked to Kieran's pediatrician, and the hospital lactation consultant, both who told me to use formula, I wonder if I had searched for a more understanding expert, that things would have turned out differently.

I am lucky to have met a wonderful group of women on Twitter who have supported me throughout these tough decisions. Some of them exclusively breastfed, some exclusively pump, some do a mix of formula and breast milk, some use formula. All of them, however, have never judged me for my decisions, and have always been there with a kind word. I've also learned that I'm not the only one who has struggled with breastfeeding, or the guilt of not succeeding.

I wonder why women can swap stories of torn vaginas and multiple-day labors like they're nothing, but they can't discuss the difficulties of breastfeeding. Is it because breastfeeding is supposed to be so "natural" and admitting to anything else will be looked down upon? I, for one, vow to share my difficulties in hopes of letting expectant mothers know that breastfeeding is hard work. There are resources out there that can help, and I am always here if you have questions or need someone to talk to. Over my TTC and mothering journeys, I have met a lot of wonderful women, so if I don't know the answer, I'm sure I can find someone who does.

If I can offer any advice to expectant mothers, it is to have someone on your side who will support you in your breastfeeding journey. My husband always cheered me on while I tried to breastfeed, and was a wonderful shoulder to cry on when I decided enough was enough. I'm sure I would have given up a lot sooner if it wasn't for the support of my husband and Twitter friends.

Anyone else had breastfeeding difficulties? Have any amazing resources, tips or tricks to share?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Quick Life Update

I never wanted to be one of those bloggers that went weeks without updating, but here I am.

Life is busy with a baby, blah, blah, work, blah, blah, no sleep, blah blah blah.

You get the gist of it.

Here's a quick update is bullet points because I have maybe half an hour before Kieran wakes up from his nap.
  • In all seriousness, work is ridiculously busy. I have 4 coworkers, and they've all been out of the office lately for various reasons. On a regular basis, I'm doing the work of two full time positions, but with my coworkers being out, I'm also picking up their workload. For the past month, I've been having to bring work home with me, and it's starting to really drain me. Our biggest fundraiser is this week, so hopefully things will slow down after that. 
  • Along the same lines, Kieran still comes to work with me, but I'm starting to look for part-time daycare. He's getting to the age where he's not content just laying around and watching the world go by. He's wanting more one-on-one time and I unfortunately can't give it to him all the time at work, especially when I'm covering for my other coworkers. We've started looking for part time daycare (ideally, Tuesday/Thursday half day,) but there's a waiting list almost everywhere, so it may take a while. I have so many feelings on this topic, but that's for another post (hopefully.) 
  • Kieran is now breastfed, bottle fed, and eats solid food. I've posted a bit on our struggles with breastfeeding, but haven't posted the entire story because things keep changing. As of right now, he breastfeeds right after he wakes up for the day, as well as any time he wakes up overnight, but most of his nutrition comes from formula. He'll also get a bottle of pumped breast milk when I'm able to fill one (takes about 4 pumping sessions to get 5 ounces.) We've also started solid foods and he loves them. We're doing a mix of purees and baby led weaning. We give him purees to make sure he gets some more calories in him, but give him safe-sized pieces of food so that he can practice chewing and feeding himself. So far, we haven't found a food he doesn't love!
  • The topic of baby #2 has come up. We're pretty set on trying again after Kieran turns one, but adoption has also been discussed. Keegan and I both want to adopt someday, but I'm not sure if now is the right time. However, I also don't know if I'm yearning to be pregnant again. I had a fairly easy pregnancy (besides gestational diabetes) up until I went into preterm labor, and then had a pretty rough delivery. As much as I loved feeling Kieran kick inside me, I don't have this great desire to feel that again. However, I do want to give Kieran a sibling, if possible. Lots to think, and talk, about. 
  • I'm having body issues. About 2 weeks after delivery, I had lost all of my baby weight. I was so happy that my body finally seemed to do something right. Over the past 7 months, however, I have gained all of the weight back, plus some. I'm back at the weight I was before I lost about 40 pounds over the year and a half it took for us to conceive. I've been working out more and watching what I eat, but it's not putting a dent in the pounds. I know that Metformin is the key to me losing weight, but after talking with both Kieran's pediatrician and my own doctor, we've decided it's not safe for me to go on while breastfeeding. I really want to lose at least 40 pounds before I get pregnant again (if that's how we decide to grow our family,) but I also don't want to deprive Kieran of the small amount of breast milk he gets now. It's a decision I've been struggling with lately and I'm not sure if there's a "right" answer. 
So, there's a quick run down of life with a 7 month old, and it only took me 4 days to write! 

Monday, February 23, 2015

MicroBlog Monday: Flying With Baby

Want to know more about Microblog Mondays? Go here

My cousin is getting married in British Columbia in June, and I really want to go to the wedding. Unfortunately, Keegan has a prior commitment, so it will just be Kieran and myself with any other members of my family that decide to go. The current plan is for us to drive up to St. Louis so that I can meet up with my mom and have some help during the flight (flights out of St. Louis are also $300 cheaper than flying out of Memphis!)

I have obviously never flown with a baby, so I am clueless about everything. My biggest questions are about car seats and food. I've heard some parents decide to check their car seats while some decide to buy their baby a ticket and have them sit in their car seats next to them during the flight. I've also just recently read that some car rental places rent our car seats as well, so we wouldn't have to bother bringing one on the flight.

As for food, I'm assuming security is ok with parents bringing formula and baby food as long as it's packaged and hasn't been opened, right? We would only be gone for a weekend, so I would probably purchase the pre-portioned packets of formula for convince.

Don't even get me started on the fact that we're going to have to get Kieran a passport.

The more I think about it, the more overwhelmed I get, but I rarely see my extended family, so it's important to me that I try and be there.

If anyone has any travel tips and advice for flying with a baby, I'm all ears!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Kieran 6 Months

If you'd like to see this post with pictures of Kieran, let me know and I can send you the password to our family blog. 

Height: 25.5 inches
Weight: 16 pounds, 1 ounce
Head circumference: 18 inches
Clothing: We have officially put away his 0-3, 3 month, and short sleeved 3-6 month clothing. He can still fit in his long sleeved 3-6 month onesies, so we've kept those out until the weather warms up, then they'll be put away too. Depending on the brand, he can fit in 3-6, 6, and 9 month clothes (mainly pants.) Kieran is long and lean, so he needs to wear pants in the next age range to fit his legs and over his fluffy bum, but they're normally too big in the waist.
We increased the rise in all of his diapers this month. We purchased 20 BumGenius diapers from a lady off of Craigslist, so those are what we've been using the majority of the time. We use a soaker plus a doubler for daytime, and a prefold and doubler for night time.
We bought 20 BumGenius diapers, all of the inserts, about 300 liners, two wet bags, a bag of Rockin' Green detergent and some clothes pins for $180 off a lady I found on Craigslist!
Nicknames: Chubby Cheekers, Bubba, Bubster, Mister Man, Bubablub, Bubsy, Lovey Lou, Grumpy Gills when he’s super fussy.
Food: Kieran is still formula and breastfed. We've also added a "solid" food once or twice a day. He's had bananas, pears, apples, sweet potatoes and avocado. He wasn't the biggest fan of avocado, I think because it has a more slippery texture than the fruits. We will also give him small pieces of fruits and vegetables that we're eating. This next month, I want to start doing a more baby lead weaning approach and let him explore large pieces of foods, even if he doesn't digest much of them.
Sleep: Still have good and bad nights, but he's been sleeping through the night for the past week (around 8 pm til about 6:30 am.) We did have a few nights over the last month that I think he was teething, so we had to give him some children's pain reliever to calm him down enough that he would sleep.
Naps: Still on the same nap schedule. He'll fall asleep between 10 and 11, between 2 and 3, and then sometimes take a cat nap on the way home from work. Naps are difficult at home on the weekends because we have so much going on that he wants to be a part of that he doesn't want to sleep and miss out on anything.

Milestones & Tidbits:
- We think he has begun teething. He LOVES having anything and everything in his mouth, and he drools so much that he often has a spit bubble beard.
- His ability to sit up has really increased. He'll sit up for minutes at a time, but gets wobbly if he gets really excited. We always stay close, or put soft stuff around him in case he topples over.
-  Along with sitting up on the floor (or table...) he has also gotten steady enough to sit up in a shopping cart. We always hold onto him (or put blankets or soft shopping bags around him), but he's doing most of the work himself.
- He has become more interested in textures. I had a bandage on my finger one day, and he sat in my lap and played with it for at least 20 minutes
-  We purchased walker for him and he LOVES it! He loves being a part of things, and it's perfect for us to put him in when we're doing things in the kitchen. He hangs out in our dining room and watches us cook.
- He's found his tongue recently and loves to stick it out.

- He had his first Valentine's Day!

- He loves Keegan's glasses, we think because he can see himself in them. There have been many times when Kieran will reach up and grab Keegan's glasses right off his face.

Likes: people watching, watching cars go by, flirting with ladies, eating, blowing raspberries, sticking out his tongue, being tickled
Dislikes: being cold, being in the car seat for long periods of time, especially if it’s not moving, tummy time
Favorite Pictures:

Most of the time he crosses his legs when he nurses

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

My PCOS Is Out Of Control

When Kieran was 2 weeks old, I went in to check how my c-section scar was healing. I hopped up on the scale and was please to see that I had lost all of my baby weight, plus a few pounds. "For once," I thought, "my body is doing something right!"

Fast forward a few months and I've gained all of the weight back, plus some. The 40+ pounds I worked so hard to lose before getting pregnant are not-so-slowly creeping back around my midsection, and it's painfully obvious by how my clothes aren't fitting anymore. I'm also growing a beard faster than my husband, which results in him having to wax it every week.

My body is out of whack and I can feel it.

I know that Metformin and a low-carb diet (even going so far as a low-amylose diet) works wonders to get my hormones back in line, but I was told that I shouldn't be on Metformin while I'm breastfeeding. Truthfully, breastfeeding Kieran is more important to me right now than fitting back in my jeans, but I'm afraid of how letting my hormones run rampant right now will affect us trying to conceive baby #2.

It took me about a year to lose those 40 pounds, and that was on a fairly strict low amylose diet with exercise. Let's be honest, even if Kieran weaned himself tomorrow, I barely have time to throw some spaghetti in a pot, let alone try to make noodles out of carrots. Thankfully exercise isn't too difficult; Kieran loves to go on walks in his stroller, so I try to take him out when the weather is nice.

If we're lucky to have another child, we'd like to have them fairly close in age. The current plan is to start trying again when Kieran is about a year old. After three cycles au natural, we'll go back to our RE. I'm afraid that if I start back on the Metformin again when Kieran is a year, it'll take me another year to lose the weight and get my hormones in check enough to sustain a pregnancy. Who knows how long it'll take for us to get pregnant this time around. We could looking at the kids to be 3, 4, 5 years apart (obviously my mind is great at imagining the worst case scenario.) Of course we'll take another baby any time he or she decides to join us, but it would be nice for one aspect of our family making to go as planned.

I'm not ready to stop breastfeeding, but I'm wondering how long I should go before trying to get things ready to TTC again. It's a strange pull between wanting to do what's best for my outside baby, while also trying to prepare for the baby in my dreams.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Kieran 5 Months

Height: 25.25 inches
Weight: 12 pounds, 14 ounces 
Head circumference: 17 inches
Clothing: We're starting to put away his 0-3 month clothes, especially his pajamas with feet because he's too tall for them, even though he hasn't outgrown them in the waist. He only has a few 3-6 month PJs, so we may have to break out the 6 month size soon.
Still loving our cloth diapers. We've started having to increase the rise setting in his overnight diapers because we've had to add extra absorbency and it makes his diapers too bulky.
Nicknames: Chubby Cheekers, Bubba, Bubster, Mister Man, Grumpy Gills when he's super fussy.
Food: Kieran is officially a breastfed and formula fed baby. After battling last month with his weight gain, his doctor suggested we start supplementing with formula. I was really against it and asked if we could supplement with solid food instead, which she agreed to. However, after talking to a lactation consultant who told me that starting solids before 6 months could lead to food allergies, we decided to use formula. As of right now, he gets two 5 ounce bottles - around 11 am and 3 pm - and one bottle before bed. We have just started making his bedtime bottle a hefty 8 ounces and adding a bit of oatmeal to hopefully keep him full overnight. He gained 1lb, 3oz in two weeks once we started supplementing. 
Our feeding schedule looks roughly like this:
7-7:30 am - Kieran wakes up and nurses
10 ish - nurse at work
11-noon - bottle
1ish - nurse at work
2-3 - bottle
4:30-5 - nurse
6:30ish- nurse
7:30-8:30 - big bottle and nurse down for bed
8:30-7:30 - he'll wake up and nurse anywhere from once to four times overnight
Sleep: Sleep started getting better once we realized he was waking up so much because he was hungry. I still can't say that he's sleeping through the night because we have good and bad nights. He usually goes to bed between 7:30 and 8:30 and will wake up anywhere between one and 4 times a night. I always go in a nurse him, and he falls back asleep quickly.
Naps: I can confidently say that we have a nap schedule now. He'll fall asleep between 10 and noon, between 2 and 4, and usually on the drive home. We still struggle to get him to nap at home on the weekends, and we think it's because Keegan is home which is new and different to him. At work, he'll normally sleep at least an hour, but at home, we struggle to get longer than half an hour.
Milestones & Tidbits:
- K read Kieran "The Night Before Christmas" for the first time
- had his first Christmas and New Years! We spent Christmas morning with my side of the family and Kieran got passed around to each family member who helped him open a present. He was surprisingly good at ripping the paper, but often tried to eat it. We then drove down to K's parents and did Christmas night with them.
- Met his "uncle" Brendan for the first time (K's best friend) 
- he's noticing facial features more. When he's nursing, he'll reach up and try to touch my eyes which has resulted in a lot of eye pokes.
- He's also started playing with his feet while he nurses. It's cute until he looses grip and I get a foot to the chin.
- He's found my hair and LOVES to pull it.
- He's starting to notice our cats. He'll track them when they run across the house, watch them intently when they hop up on the couch to cuddle with us, and loves to pet them. We're already starting the "no, don't pull Mika's ear. Be gentle when you pet her" dialogue.
- He's babbling up a storm. I know his babbles don't mean anything, but I've definitely heard "mama" a few times. He's also found his love of shrieking.
- He has taken to pulling and putting the nursing cover in his mouth. Many times I've had to make a quick catch of the cover before I flash everyone around me.
- Kieran loves my dad's beard.
- Kieran "made" his grandparents and aunts artwork for Christmas
- Mizzou went to the Citrus Bowl on January 1, so we all dressed in our Tigers gear 
- He's using his pacifier less and less. He'll fall asleep with it in, but let it fall out within seconds. He'll also take it out and try to put it back in his mouth, but 9 times out of 10, he starts sucking on the side.
- We watched him take his pacifier out of his mouth and toss it across his crib one night, which meant I couldn't find it when I went in to console him, so we got a pacifier clip and attached it to his sleep sack.

Likes: eating, bath time, lights, people watching, sitting and looking at the world, LOVES his blanket.
Dislikes: being cold, being in the car seat for long periods of time, especially if it's not moving.
He fell asleep with his fingers in the sign language "I Love You"

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Kieran 4 Months

As always, you can see this post with pictures at our family blog, If you'd like the password, leave a comment below. Make sure I'm able to reply to you by either leaving your email, or making sure you're not a "no-reply blogger." If you need to figure our your reply status, follow these directions

This is about 3 weeks late, but better late than never, right?
Height: 25 inches
Weight: 11 pounds, 11 ounces
Head circumference: 17 inches
Clothing: I think he's finally growing out of his 0-3 month clothing. Not so much in the stomach area, but in the length. He's growing so tall, so quickly that he's going to outgrow his clothes in length before he's too chubby for them. He can also wear 3 month, and 3-6 month clothing.
Still loving our cloth diapers. He's still on the smallest waist and rise setting.
Nicknames: Chubby Cheekers, Bubba, Bubster, Mister Man, Grumpy Gills when he's super fussy.
Food: Overall, this was the most difficult month with Kieran. No matter what we did, he wasn't sleeping, so it was suggested that we either start him on solids or formula to see if he wasn't sleeping because he was hungry. We did a week of cereal and then did a few days of sweet potato, but ended up switching to formula. He's still breastfeeding about 6-10 times per 24 hours depending on how often he wakes up overnight.
Sleep: This was the month of pretty much no sleep. Starting at around 3.25 months, Kieran was waking up every 1.5 hours, and at times, every 45 minutes. I would nurse him every time, but no matter how long I would feed him, he would be up again shortly after. We thought it was because we had moved him from the swing to the pack n' play in preparation for taking the pack n' play up to Missouri for Christmas, but we found out that it was because he was hungry all the time. He wasn't getting enough calories during the day, so even though he would eat at every wake up, he was still starving.
Naps: I think our schedule of naps started getting better during this month. He'll still nap between 10 and noon, between 2 and 4, and then usually fall asleep on the way home / out to dinner after work. He'll sleep anywhere from 20 minutes to a few hours. Still sleeps really well in the Ergo. He's stopped falling sleep in my arms which makes me sad. I miss the baby cuddles, even though it meant I wasn't getting anything done.
Milestones & Tidbits:
- visited the car museum for the first time on November 15
- Had his first Thanksgiving!
- met his cousins, great-grandparents, Uncle D and Aunt B for the first time
- saw his first snow fall
- had his first time away from Mom and Dad staying with Grandpa N while we went to a Mizzou game (Keegan's first!)
- Met Santa for the first time...and a second
- Saw his first Christmas tree

Likes: eating, bath time, lights, people watching, sitting and looking at the world.
Dislikes: being cold, being in the car seat for long periods of time, especially if it's not moving. SLEEP.
Baby + Work Update: We have our good and bad days. I had an office to myself for about a week before circumstances made one of my semi co-workers move in with me. Working around another person with a bunch of baby gear, is always difficult, but thankfully she's also a mom so she understands. I've come up with a system that gives me 5-15 minutes of hands free time to work at my computer at a time. I try to get my desk work done while he's sleeping and do my gallery work while he's awake. He's pretty content in his stroller if he's able to look around and see what I'm doing.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

2014: A Pretty Kick Ass Year

One of my favorite Twitter ladies posted this image last week, and I thought it would be an interesting way to reflect on 2014 


1. Kieran's birth on August 14 (obviously)
2. Keegan and I going to a Mizzou Game
3. Our baby shower in May. We were so lucky to be able to share our pregnancy with our family and friends on that special day.
4. Checking an item off our bucket lists and seeing Alton Brown live in Atlanta
5. Meeting new friends and creating stronger friendships with existing ones.
6. Taking on new responsibilities at work
7. Keegan got a raise
8. Starting to furnish our house with "adult" furniture instead of mismatched WalMart pieces left over from college
9. Having Keegan's grandparents meet Kieran. We don't know how long they'll be with us, and it was really important for them to meet him.
10. Paid off one of my student loans!


1. I'll be completely honest and say Kieran's birth. While I'm over the moon in love with the end result, it didn't go as planned and set me up for most likely having a repeat c-section if we're lucky enough to get pregnant again.
2. Being so far away from friends and family.
3. Gestational diabetes.
4. Having to supplement with formula because I'm not able to sustain Kieran myself.
5. Many of our friends have moved because of Keegan's work being sold.

Game Changers
1. Keegan's work being sold and purchased by a new company.
2. Having a child....obviously

Things You Focused On
1. Family. Both building our own, and making sure our families are healthy. My dad and Keegan's mom both had major surgeries that were difficult to deal with being so far away.
2. Work. I've taken on new responsibilities which has allowed me to grow personally and professionally, but has also kept me there for many late nights.

Things You Forgot
1. I hate to admit this, but my house. A lot of the time, it's a mess. Not dirty, but it's cluttered. We started tackling this by cleaning out our closets and donating a bunch of clothes, but there's a lot more to be done.
2. My health. As much as I wanted to work out during pregnancy, that didn't happen, and it sure hasn't happened since Kieran was born. I really want to focus on moving in some way, every day, in the new year.
3. My relationship with Keegan. We were doing really well at the beginning of the year, but having a child changes things. We've only had one opportunity to go out just the two of us, and we were surrounded by thousands of people at the Mizzou game. I really want to focus on having some more "us" time, even if that means cuddling while watching a movie while the baby sleeps.

This year was one of the most amazing years of my life (hence why I couldn't only think of a few disappointments!) One of the biggest highlights was having a fairly easy pregnancy that resulted in my beautiful little boy, but there were so many other wonderful things that happened as well. While many of our friends have moved away due to Keegan's job changing hands, we've made some new friendships and strengthened the ones we already had. Our friends have become like family to us and they're a cherished part of our lives. I've also made many new friends through the blog world, and on Twitter. You ladies have kept me sane and have become some of my best friends.

Work has been going well for both Keegan and I. It keeps as busy and allows us to grow, both personally and professionally, but it's also stressful at times, more so for Keegan than myself. I'm so lucky to  be able to take Kieran to work with me. It allows me to continue working, while being there for my son during an important time in his life.

Our kitties are doing well, we have an amazing house and great jobs. We were so lucky to bring our son into the world. While there were some scares with the health of some of our family members, overall, this year was pretty great. Hopefully 2015 is just as amazing!