Happiness is….

After my less than happy post the other day I thought I'd take a walk on the happy side and think about the past few days!

Happiness is…

…my 8 month old daughter having fits of laughter over the seemingly unobvious.

…the snuggles in bed with my husband, daughter and BOTH cats!

…seeing my daughter peer round a corner first thing in the morning and we when she sees me, grins from ear to ear as if I'm the best thing since Breastmilk.

…my husband getting deservedly promoted to director. And his nice pay rise with it.

…the sunshine after a few days of tropical storm related miserable rain.

…knowing that our newly laid (DIY) patio weathered the tropical storm rains!!!

…discovering that a graham cracker (or digestive biscuit) layered with lemon curd and Greek yoghurt on top is just as tasty as a lemon cheesecake without the hassle of making one, if not better. Seriously yum.

…watching my daughter eat a pickle spear for the first time. She loved it!!! (Weirdo)

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Infertility round 2

Caught between a rock and a hard place is what I would call planning for a second child after dealing with infertility the first time around. And we are not even at the stage of planning number two, we are still at the early stage of deciding whether we want a number two child.

Let's go back to times before we faced infertility. The times when we were naive to think getting pregnant was the easy, fun part, and it was the subsequent pregnancy and beyond that would be the more challenging part of growing our family. I'm pretty sure we would have said that our family would ideally consist of two children, a dog and a cat (or two). Today, if you asked us what our family would look like in several years time, I wouldn't be able to tell you because I just can't imagine it right now.

Today, I can't imagine Aviana playing with a sibling in the garden, showing them how to throw and catch a ball, or holding her baby brother or sister in hospital, asking THAT question 'where do babies come from?' or her poking my tummy and proudly saying to random people that mummy is having a baby. I can't see it. I don't want to see it. Because if I see it, I think it, I feel it and if it never happens, it will tear me up forever. But sometimes my mind does wonder there and I try not to cry over the fact that it is so distant and fuzzy. The future is so murky.

And yet, I am better prepared than I was before Aviana became part of our lives. Today I know I am infertile, I know what the chances of getting pregnant again are, I'm an infertility warrior, this isn't my first rodeo!

Somedays, I'm positive and hopeful….perhaps my hormones have 'reset' and I'll get pregnant without medical intervention, we have a frozen embryo I won't need to stimulate again, I now know all the IVF tricks of the trade, it would be a piece of cake!

And other days, I'm down and negative…I'm getting closer to 40 than 30, my eggs are even poorer quality than they were before, we only have ONE embryo in the freezer-it's got a 50% chance of surviving the thaw, there is a good chance I will have another IUGR pregnancy, we will be doing this with a toddler, I'm not sure I can cope with another IVF stimulation and suffer from OHSS. And then there is the risk of pregnancy loss, An ectopic pregnancy was a cruel experience.

And the negative is winning at the moment, infertility round two doesn't look good to me. I don't want to waste the precious time I have with Aviana whilst she is this small worrying about infertility. I'm not sure where this is going, but knowing I managed to survive that infertility journey the first time and looking back at that mountain, I'm not sure I can do it all over again.

What’s that hiding under there?

I went to pick up Aviana from daycare and she was one of three babies left. Her teacher was sat in the chair with Aviana and another baby in their bouncers being bounced up and down by her feet. The third baby was napping. The teacher looked like she was at the end of her tether and was about to burst into tears!

It was clear the teacher had zero energy, she looked at me and said in a serious voice, 'if you had gotten her 5 minutes earlier it was a sea of tears'. So I put on my 'hospital surgery slippers' to cover my shoes and went to pick up Aviana. It was clear Aviana was an unhappy bunny! She had not napped ALL day!!!! So it was unsurprising she was a grumpster!

The teacher told me Aviana had been pulling at her left ear all day, so I said she's probably teething! The teacher didn't seem to think so…so I thought nothing of it and thought I will watch out for possible ear infection symptoms.

Later that night throughout the night Aviana woke a couple of times crying out loud briefly before going back to sleep. Nothing that required us to get up and check on her.

Later after another day of crappy napping at daycare I noticed a little white bump!!! Was it a tooth hiding there???

Well what do you think??? Looks like one to me!

And there you have it, first tooth appearance. I feel bad that daycare took the brunt of her teething fussiness for this particular one because we didn't realise at home that anything was different, but I'm secretly glad!!!!

By the way, Aviana finds her new tooth funny to feel with her tongue so she has taken to sticking it out over the tooth a lot!! It's cute but makes her look a little silly!

Dear Mum…

Dear Mum,

Thank you for helping us in every way that you do with Aviana.

Thank you for not being judgemental in how we choose to parent and supporting us in all our decisions. Even if they don't always align with what you would choose.

Thank you for your well considered advice on becoming new parents. We know you have lots of experience raising me and my brothers over the past 34 years, yet you recognise that it's been 18 years since you raised a newborn baby and things in the medical world have changed since then. But babies are still babies and the way you love them and show that love hasn't changed over those years. So your experience and advice matters still.

Thank you for loving Aviana, and spoiling her too. She's only been in this world for eight months or so yet she is so loved. And distance doesn't matter as much as you think because she now can show you that she appreciates that love with an excited smile and coo at you on FaceTime. It's quite clear!

I'm grateful that you are not a baby boomer grandparent like what is described in this article…Here about grandparent baby boomers …I don't think you are loathe to give help, but rather the complete opposite!

It's hard living thousands of miles away from you, so thank you for offering to do all that you can despite the fact. We miss you greatly and hope distance doesn't stop the love from ever growing.

I wanted you to know, granny, that you are appreciated by all of us and are grateful to have you, lots of love Xxx

Even if you are a crazy plane spotter!!!

I need some answers!!!

Unexplained infertility, unexplained Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), unexplained bowel problems – aka Irritable Bowel Syndrome, the bucket for all unknown bowel problems. Now I'm potentially facing unexplained joint pain and stiffness…I really hope that doesn't become the case, because I'm going to be pissed if I don't get answers!

Today I went to the doctor's because I have been experiencing progressively worse joint pain and stiffness for the past 4 months or so. A couple of months ago at my annual medical exam I mentioned that I had been experiencing numbness and tingling in my hands and feet. My doc said it was probably carpal tunnel syndrome, it's not uncommon after pregnancy as the body changes shape to experience this. She told me to try ibuprofen and if that didn't make a difference to come back and see her. I tried the ibuprofen and it didn't work. Without any sign of improvement I decided it was time to go back.

I wake up in the mornings stiff and sore in my hands, feet and more recently, my knees. It's most painful in my hands and it takes about 10 minutes or so to warm my joints up to move properly. I get out of bed and hobble as if I'm an old person. It's not getting better, in fact I say it's just getting worse as I feel sore from it during the day now. This week my little finger on my left hand locked stiff after waking up, it only lasted a few moments. But still, that's pretty freaky. I don't dare pick up Aviana as soon as I've woken up in case I were to drop her, in fact I probably wouldn't be able to lift her anyway.

The doctor thinks it is probably postpartum related because I'm breastfeeding still and my periods haven't returned yet. She's running some tests to rule out other things like Rheumatoid Arthritis, but because I don't have other symptoms she doesn't think it will be that. That would suck a lot if I have that.

Whatever it is I really hope they figure out what's going on because I am BORED of doctors not being able to tell me why I get this crap!!

Things I didn’t know I could do until I had a baby

Things I didn't know I could do until I had a baby….

…Undress myself with one hand whilst holding my baby to go pee…

…Redress myself with one hand whilst holding my baby after peeing. MUCH HARDER!

…Eat a plate of food in 2 minutes (actually I learned this skill in the military but it was only 5 minutes then!)

…Have the patience of a saint – whilst my baby slaps me in the mouth, pokes my eye out and scratches my chest whilst she nurses (no she doesn't do this on purpose, she's just a baby!)

…Have the balancing skills of a world champion gymnast…because my baby is precious cargo and I don't want to walk up the stairs for the umpteenth time.

And so the list begins!! Everyday is a school day as a new parent!!! What are your new found skills? What new skills do I have to look forward to as my baby turns into a toddler?

The staycation

It's been a while because I have been on staycation! My mother is visiting so I took a week off work, and took Aviana out of daycare for the whole week. Chris still was working so it wasn't really a whole family staycation.

First of all the weather was awesome. We lucked out there! We were able to get out and about without being roasted by the sun because the previous few weeks we had weather in the over 100F climes. Eughhhh!

It was lovely to spend quality time with Aviana because sometimes at the weekend we just need to get admin stuff done and that quality time is shorter than I'd like it to be. She also 'recovers' from her lack of sleep during the week at daycare and naps for much longer at the weekend. This week of staycation we saw some amazing progress in Aviana's milestones, which was cool…..these are her new grooves…

  • Aviana has started to take steps walking whilst we hold her hands. Ummmm I'm not ready for this kind of movement just yet!
  • She has become more vocal and varied in her words, dada, mama, Gaga and haaaaaa….which she uses when she sees the cats. It's sooooo cute.
  • She can really chew now and does quite well with her solids including minced and steewed beef!! Show her a piece of bread and she'll be your best friend forever ☺️ this staycation enabled me to try new recipes from the baby cook book that adults eat too, giving me a whole bunch of food to freeze for lunches at daycare and dinners if we need something quick. She loves ice lollies, we found some fruit and veggie ones she will devour! A real treat for both her to eat and us to watch her eat!
  • No teeth yet, although when we look at her bottom gums it looks like two are just hanging out there waiting to pop!!! I wonder how she will deal with it when they do decide to make an appearance!

I nursed Aviana the whole week and at first her distracted nursing was getting on my nerves and my patience was wearing thin, but after a few days we both got back into the swing of it. Occasionally I had to nurse her in the car or go somewhere quiet whilst we were out and about. But apart from that overall I loved nursing her more often and has made me miss her more this week now I'm back at work 😔

We have taken advantage of granny staying with us and so started our big project of paving and graveling our vegetable garden!!!

We've also had a couple of nights out too for date nights. Woohooo!!!

This staycation has been fun! I need to do more of them. In fact because I get more annual leave than Chris generally I should plan to use it up seeing the sights and sounds of the local area! And so this is our new way of life with a baby…and I feel so lucky I get to have it that way ☺️