Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sibling love

Angus is now 7 months old. He is closer to being one than he is to being zero. Wowsers. And my dream baby is gone. Two weeks ago he got his first tooth. It came through pretty easily, apart from a bit of drooling. The next day he started working on more. And boy did he let us know it. Since then he has been waking any time of the night, often awake for the day from 4am, cries all day, wants cuddles, doesn't want milk unless it is at 2am. You get the picture. His routine is completely shot even though I am desperately trying to hold onto it. We are tired. Last weekend he ran a temperature for 24 hours. He was then so unsettled that I actually took him to the GP who couldn't find a thing wrong with him. I just don't know what to do anymore. But, this evening, I felt the second tooth almost through. I just hope that means that this run of teething is over.

I also worked out today that he might need more solids during the day. We have been doing 2 meals that were fairly small. Tonight I gave him twice as much and he ate it all and had a milk feed afterwards. So I will try adding another meal in tomorrow. I am struggling with finding things to give him. I don't remember it being this hard with Charlotte. But then, Angus is a little fussy. If there are any lumps at all in the food, he gags. And then he vomits everything back up. I know this is part of the reflux (having a sensitive gag reflex) but boy it is frustrating. Although today we were at Ikea (my heaven) and I gave him a chip to munch on (I know, I know, terrible parenting) and he loved just munching on it, and he didn't gag, so that is a big win.

Otherwise he is such a delight. He was sitting up properly for the first time just yesterday. Today he started commando crawling so I imagine it won't be long before he is properly crawling. He is definitely mobile - he rolls with intent. Once he sets his sights on an object he rolls straight to it! I have to keep telling Charlotte to keep all her toys out of the lounge room as he just seems to gravitate towards anything that shouldn't be in his mouth. I'm not quite sure how we handle that next phase when he is crawling and in her playroom with all the little bits and pieces everywhere!

But he certainly loves his sister. Today Charlotte brought her dolls house over to him and played for a little while with him and her toys. Such a delight to watch and I can't wait to see how they get on as they grow up.

A very sad Angus having cuddles with Daddy and Charlotte

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A difficult decision made

Last week we made the hardest decision I've ever made - we signed the paperwork to have our last embryo destroyed.

I think I've mentioned on here before how we had one last frostie and I was torn about what to do with it. When we got the last bill for storage James and I really sat down and talked it through. Neither of us want to keep on paying for storage - it is money that could be much better used on our children. I would have liked to have tried again, just one last time. James is adamant that we don't. I know in my head that he is right. The pregnancy with Angus took such a toll on me; I know I can't do it again, not just for my health but also for the family. It helps that the last few months I have felt nauseous every day with this dizziness. It helps to remind me how horrid it was and that I don't want to do it again.

As much as it pains me to say this, but we also decided not to donate it. I thought long and hard about this decision. I know that I would have been giving a wonderful gift to another couple who probably have been through more than us. However I believe that I would then spend the rest of my life wondering about this child that is out there. Would they look like us, are they good at music, or swimming like Charlotte. Are they being taken care of by their parents. And then I thought that if they ever made contact with me, I would embrace them into our lives, which isn't necessarily the right thing to do (I fear that I would want to mother them). James also felt uncomfortable about donating the embryo. Had he been really keen I may have explored it more but it is half his "genetic material" too and has a large say in what we do.

So after ignoring the bill for a while, we signed the paperwork (after getting a nasty "we're sending out the debt collectors" letter which I am very angry about but that's another story). I had a big cry that night. I was teary at dinner and Charlotte said "I make it all better", climbed onto my lap, gave me a hug and said "I made it better". I'm still not sure if we have made the right decision but it is done now. At least now we can move on. Infertility will always be a part of me, but for the first time in 6 years I am not thinking about getting pregnant. So bring on the next phase. I am absolutely looking forward to our first family holiday in a few weeks. I am starting to think about going back to work, and for that money to be used for exciting things like an outdoor kitchen, and a laundry renovation, not for IVF treatments. And it is nice to finally start to feel like we are complete as a family.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

One step ahead, two steps back

Once again it has been a long time since I posted. I have struggled to find the motivation to post. I did write a really long one about how I thought Charlotte's behaviour had improved, she was nearly toilet trained, how good a mummy I was etc. And then some other dramas have happened and she went backwards. I was actually really surprised at this. Her behaviour changes have been small, but to me, quite significant.

Just to fill you in, the last few months have looked like this - James gets kidney stones and needs an ambulance escort to hospital, Charlotte gets very sick with a UTI, James goes away, James comes home and has knee surgery on that darn injury from the last time he went away, James wakes up with chest pain a few days later and gets another ride in an ambulance, I have a minor car accident that has made me anxious about driving. And then this week, a close family member (I'm just keeping who quiet at this stage) has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. This is shocking news and has me reeling. They are optimistic about their prognosis, however my experiences with MS are with very sick clients in the community although they appear to be the minority. On a selfish note, I am very anxious about my health. I have been seeing the GP about the ongoing dizziness I had during the pregnancy. It is also one of the symptoms of MS (I have since found out). I'm not quite sure what to do next. I actually have to go and get a hearing test then go back to see my GP who will refer me to an ENT. I also have to see a cardiologist as my blood pressure is still going haywire. When I go back to my GP I will request an MRI - just in case.

But back to Charlotte. I thought we had protected her from much of the ongoing stress. When she was sick with the UTI she was very clingy (she again had temps of 40 degrees, it was a little bit funny at the time because she became delirious and was really cute if it hadn't of been so scary). That set her toilet training back. And then James went away. The day he left, she came home from daycare and asked where Daddy was, I said away on a plane. She then said "Daddy's gone away and is never coming back". My jaw dropped and I wiped away a tear. Where did she pick that up from? And then that day, she started wetting herself again. We had several days where she just refused to go to the toilet until I went back to the basic reinforcements that we used at the beginning. I am staggered at how relatively minor events in her life have affected her so deeply.

So we are now finally back to a manageable level with her behaviour. It does help that I have decided not to try to get her to have a day sleep anymore. I was getting so frustrated about it but now I just won't push it. She often falls asleep on the couch so does get some rest time although I don't which is frustrating since Angus has decided that waking up at 4am is the best thing in the world! I hope I can protect her from my stress levels although this latest news is shocking. Angus of course has remained oblivious to what has been going on which is a blessing. I hope that our resilience levels can remain high because I feel they are being sorely tested now.