Monday, December 27, 2010

Sunshine's First Sleepover WITHOUT MOMMY! *Updated*

Daycare germs have struck again. Friday morning Sunshine threw up twice. Since she seemed fine after that, I attributed it to a night's worth of snot going down her throat instead of pouring out her nose. Then Saturday we hung out with a friend (who's in her 2ww!). We got home around 8:30. I was just able to get Sunshine in her highchair with some cheerios for distraction before I was hurling in the toilet. Got Sunshine to sleep by 9:20 and was puking again by 9:30. A little break until 11:30, then it was pretty much nonstop for HOURS. By 7am I was able to keep some fluids down, but was still very nauseous. Every muscle hurt, my throat was raw from retching, and of course, Sunshine was up bright and early. I called my mother for help. She could come, but it would be a while. I somehow managed to change the poopy (and leaky, naturally) diaper, and gave her a bottle. I put her in her crib with a bunch of toys to play with, and curled up in bed. (The crib is next to the bed.) I also called and left a message with a local babysitter. She was content for a while, then started crying/whining in earnest. I felt terribly guilty when I got her and realized that her snot was dripping all the way to her chin! Then, thankfully, the babysitter called back. She could be here in 5 minutes. YAY! When she got here, I handed Sunshine to her, showed her where the clothes were, got out some pureed peaches for her breakfast, and went back to my sickbed.

My mother arrived about 45 minutes later. Sunshine was dressed and fed, and just about ready for a nap in the car. They hit the road quickly, so as to miss the approaching storm. She's having a great time at her grandmother's. I still feel like crap, but I miss my baybeeee! Last night was the first night we've been apart since she was born. I know it was the right thing, as I spent yesterday and last night barely able to move, finding it hard to find the energy to even get up to get some water. But .... WAAAAAAH!!!! Today I still feel like crap, kind of like a bad hangover. Another night to recover is a good idea, besides, there's a bunch of snow in between us. I miss my Sunshine. :-(

*UPDATE: Relapse! 50 hours after the first puke, just threw up again. FUCK! Afraid to lay down, that it will just make it easier for the sick to come up. Blech, blech, blech!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Overdue Birthday Post

I have been struggling to find the time/energy to write a fabulous post about my amazing miracle baby turning one. Well, she came down with her first real sick 6 days after her first birthday. Frankly, that’s pretty good for a child who’s been in daycare since she was thirteen weeks old, and not unexpected, as several kids in her “class” were sick earlier that week. She had her first ever fever, and then threw up ALL OVER both of us. Not spit up, folks, honest to goodness puking. Her fever would go down with acetaminophen, but not go away completely. Took her to the pediatrician two days in, who diagnosed and ear infection. She’s now MUCH better, but still kind of restless at night, which may be lingering effects of the sick, or may be because we are weaning. I hate that we started weaning in earnest while she was sick, but she just would not learn to stop biting. And … OUCH! As of today, she has not had any mommy milk for over a week and a half. I know she wants it and misses it (she pulls on my shirts and kisses my chest), but she doing okay with it. Oh, and then she caught a new cold and promptly gave it to me.

Okay, the birthday post. Not very original, but a letter to my girl feels right.

My dear Sunshine,

My bright, shining star! It’s so hard to believe you’re one. It feels like just the other day you were doing high kicks in my belly. My sweet, sassy girl, I love you more than I thought possible.

I think back on the night you were born. Oh, Sunshine! How you howled when the doctor took you out. It took less than five minutes for them to hand you to me, but you cried loudly until you were in my arms. I called out to you, “Hi Baby, Mama’s right here.” I still say that to you when you’re in your exersaucer or high chair and I have to go to the next room to do something. You don’t like it when you can’t see me, so I reassure you. “Mama’s right here.” But that first night, as soon as I held you, you stopped crying. We looked at each other. It was perfect. I stroked your soft cheek with one finger, and marveled at my little miracle.

My little love, you were my Velcro baby. You wanted to be held close to me ALL THE TIME. I could not deny you that. I loved having you fall asleep on my chest. You still do it sometimes, and I still love it. You even let me know your preference for closeness in the hospital. You did not like the bassinet, you were quite clear about that.

As sleep deprived as I have been the last year, it has also flown by. You are just bursting with personality. From the time you were very small, it was obvious that you would beam with pride when you learned to do something new. I remember the first time you grabbed my arm when I was changing your diaper. You looked up at me with an expression that so clearly said, “Look what I can do!” Now if people ask you how old you are, you gleefully hold up one finger.

There are certainly difficult moments, like when you are overtired and fighting sleep as if it were the enemy. Sometimes I just don’t know what to do to soothe you then. I wish you were a better sleeper, but you are such a happy, healthy child, that I’m not sweating that. You’ll get there in your own time. And the poopy explosions. Oh, I do not like those! And they are even harder because you don’t like to lie still for diaper changes. Trying to flip over or stand up while Mommy is trying to clean the poop off you is not helpful, my dear. You absolutely HATE, HATE, HATE it when I go anywhere near your nose. Sorry, sweetheart, but screaming isn’t going to make me leave that snot bubble you’re blowing alone. I will stop wiping your nose when you learn to take care of a drippy nose yourself. I think it’s going to be a while.

You have a great sense of humor. But, sweetie, I know you think it’s funny to blow raspberries with a mouthful of food, but Mommy doesn’t like that one. It’s so hard to be stern and not laugh, but good table manners are important, and other people don’t want to be splattered with your spinach. On the other hand, your laugh is the most beautiful sound I have ever heard.

You are such a charmer. Everywhere we go people comment about how beautiful you are. Then you smile or wave or blow kisses. And they are completely wrapped around your chubby little finger. Your kisses, my Sunshine, oh, your kisses just slay me. Again, you are so proud of what you can do. You press your mouth against my cheek, then pull back saying, “Mwah!” Then you grin! Pleased as punch.

I am so lucky to be your mommy. I love learning about you. I watch you when you’re sleeping, and I’m overcome with emotion. Sometimes I can’t resist holding a hand or a foot while you sleep, and marveling over the perfection of your tiny palm or your sweet little toes. I look forward to seeing you master so many new things. I hate the thought of you ever being hurt, but I know that’s part of life. I can’t protect you from all the bumps and bruises to come. I particularly wish I could protect you from having your feelings hurt. I can’t. I can only do my best to help you be a confident little girl, and then a confident woman. It’s a great big, scary, wonderful world out there. Part of my job as your mommy is to give you the wings to fly. I don’t want to think about right now. Maybe next year. Right now I just want to hold you close. Give you lots of kisses as you giggle like crazy. I’m so happy to be your mommy. I love you to the moon and back and more.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

How Do You Do It?

HALP!! I can't keep up with my interwebz.

Between work, my almost toddler, and trying (unsuccessfully) to get enough sleep, I can't keep up with my peeps. I am woefully behind in reading dear friends' blogs. Much less commenting. Forget about Twitter. I don't think I've read a tweet in over a month. The long Thanksgiving weekend set me back even further. We were at my mother's, where I couldn't access a neighbor's unsecured network I usually use. I could generally "see" the network, but the signal was not strong enough to connect. So I got my mother a router at Staples on Black Friday, which I tried (unsuccessfully) to configure for the rest of the weekend. After a loooooooong time on the phone with tech support, it was determined that I need an extra ethernet cable to configure the network.

Anyway, this is a rather long winded way of saying, sorry I've been MIA. I want to write a birthday post for Sunshine. I can't believe she turned one on Monday!! In the meantime, here's her first "school" picture.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Heartbreakingly Awful

Mo and Will of Life and Love in the Petri Dish are dealing with the devastating loss of pregnancy number 6. I'm heartbroken for them. Mo's D&C is scheduled for today. Go give them some love and let them know you're thinking of them.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

No Nursery For Miss Sunshine

I’m a WINNER! I was thrilled to win a $45 gift card for CSN Stores from Kristin at The Dragondreamer’s Lair. If you don’t know about CSN, you should. CSN Stores has over 200 online stores where you can find everything from beautiful wallets (like the one Kristin reviewed), to modern extra tall bar stools, or great cookware! I’m planning to use it for a new toaster oven. I know, not exciting, but necessary. I’m debating between a Hamilton Beach and a Proctor-Silex. If anyone has one that they LOVE (or hate), please tell me.

When I was pregnant with Sunshine I got a lot of questions about nursery décor. Ummm, we live in a one bedroom apartment. No nursery. Happily, we will (hopefully) soon be moving into a two bedroom apartment. YAY for no more diaper changes in the living room! And I get to decorate a room for my daughter. I am hoping we will be in the new place by her first birthday, which is in a few weeks. My plan is not nursery décor, but a little girl’s room she can grow with. CSN has offered me the opportunity to review an item from their sites, which they will provide. I haven’t decided yet, but I’m leaning towards one of these.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Photo Friday: Orange

This outfit, discovered in a bag of hand me downs, was the perfect thing for Cali's Photo Friday. Can you stand the cuteness?!?! Click on over to Calliope's to see everyone else's orange pics.

Hat knitted by her grandmother.

She started to cruise last weekend. Hold me!

Oh, and did you see my spicy pumpkin seed recipe on Who Wants To Know?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Have you read the exciting news?!?!?! Mo (Life and Love in the Petri Dish) is pregnant! It's been a long, hard road for Mo and Will. The embryos transferred tested genetically normal, which is comforting to them. And as of yesterday's second beta, the doubling time was awesome. After many failed cycles and losses, they are cautiously hopeful. So stop by and give them some love, and hold them close in your thoughts.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Rock, Rock, Rock, Rock, Rock'n'Roll Daycare!

Too cool for school? Wanted to share the cuteness.

Monday, September 27, 2010

She Said WHAT?!?!

As my readers peeps are aware, although I gestated and got sliced open to have my daughter, she is not the product of my 40 something ovaries. I have zero shame about that. In fact, I’m kind of proud of the obstacles that were overcome to bring her into the world and make me a mom. I have every intention of being open with Sunshine about her conception. Even though she’s only 10 months old (on Wednesday!), I sometimes talk to her about all the people who helped me become her mom—Aunt Kathy (our embryo donor), a whole bunch of doctors in two countries, and all her internet aunties who were so supportive during the process. But still … I am sometimes at a loss as to what to say to random people who ask where she gets her red hair. Right now it’s not that important, but as she gets older and understands more, I want to be able to respond in a way that’s both truthful, but simple and not invasive. I would welcome and greatly appreciate suggestions.

A little over a week ago I had an encounter that still has me shaking my head in disbelief. We went to synagogue for Yom Kippur services. We were hanging out in a hallway, since Sunshine was being too noisy and wouldn’t sit still. Apparently lots of people couldn’t sit still, as there was quite a bit of foot traffic. One older woman walked by a few times. She was obviously captivated by my cute, social baby, and chatted with us. Then she leaned in to Sunshine and said, “You must look like your Daddy, since you don’t look at all like your Mommy.” WTF! But I took a deep breath, and since she didn’t say it with any malice, I explained about Sunshine’s conception. Her reaction to this was fine, and she told me she knew someone whose sister was a gestational carrier for her. (Of course she didn’t use that term. We can’t expect outsiders to know all the lingo.) THEN (and here’s what I really am having trouble letting go of) she looked at Sunshine and said, “She’s got a shiksa face.” Again, none of this was said with any malice, but what in the world would make her think this was in any way appropriate?

The thought of comments like this causing Sunshine any angst in the future is awful. She is my daughter. Period. As any donor conceived child is their parents’ child. Or any child who is adopted. We know that. MOST people know that. But how do we protect our children from that minority of ignorant or thoughtless people?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Two Years Ago

Two years ago today I wrote my first blog post. I was still trying to conceive with my own eggs. At that point I’d had three IVF cycles cancelled before even starting due to cysts on my ovaries. The monstrously huge box of IVF meds had been staring at me for over three months. I’d participated on message boards and read some blogs, but was only beginning to understand the magnitude and power of this online community.

For years prior, I had sworn I would never have a blog. Hard to believe, huh? Well, there’s a story behind that. Five years earlier I went out with this guy. We really connected. We talked and talked and talked, we held hands, we kissed … a lot. Then things progressed the way they usually do in these situations. And he appeared to drop off the face of the earth. TWO WEEKS later he emailed me apologizing and saying he realized he was “emotionally unavailable.” I have to say, I was rather proud of my response. I told him that I’d already figured that out, and that I thought it was bad form to break up via email after sleeping together. Then, and here’s where the blog aversion comes in, he proceeded to chew over his feelings about us, wavering back and forth about whether to contact me or not, for weeks. He knew I had his URL. It was awful. And it’s one of the reasons that I chose to blog under a pseudonym. I’m very picky about who I share my URLs with outside of our community. Many people in my life know I have a blog, know that it was very instrumental in becoming pregnant with my daughter, but do not have access to it.

Anyway, back to my blogoversary! I am so glad I got past my blog aversion. This community has been the rock I’ve leaned on during tough times. Through this community, my donor found me! You've been with me through cancelled and failed cycles, watched pee stick lines get darker, betas rise, belly grow, and the incredible birth of my little girl. I announced her birth right here just 3 hours and 20 minutes after she took her first breath. It was amazing, a couple of weeks ago, to meet so many bloggers I’ve gotten to know these last two years. To introduce them to my miracle baby. To hug them and to meet some of their miracle children.

Many of my ALI blogger friends are still struggling to build their families. My blogoversary wish is for their success. My heart swells with every ALI blogger BFP and birth announcement. What a joy to celebrate the arrival of these very, very wanted children.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Do You Want To Know? Pull Up A Chair, I’ll Tell You.

I am so pleased to be a part of Calliope’s new project. I’m honored to be among this awesome group of women. Have you heard about this? Well, Cali was inspired to start this after attending BlogHer. Everyone’s an expert on something. So she’s created this beautiful website ( for us to share our thoughts about various things. We’ll be reviewing things and sharing our personal expertise. Please let us know if you have any ideas and suggestions.

My first post is up now about one of my favorite little kitchen gadgets and the terrific customer service I received from the company that made them. I have some other posts brewing, but right now Sunshine is asleep, and I want to sleep, too!

Psssst: In other BIG news, check out Cali’s new web design venture, Plaid House! Rockin’!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sunshine On The Move!

Still have to go through my photos and do my post-BlogHer post. And another post I've been percolating. In the meantime, as of Friday the Thirteenth, I have a crawler! You might want to turn the sound down or off so you don't have to listen to my sister laugh and chatter.

ETA: Our home is a DEATHTRAP! The world is a DEATHTRAP! And, damn it, Child Protective Services frowns on wrapping children in bubble wrap.

Friday, August 6, 2010

300th (200th) Roundup CAKE! And Fun With Auntie Kristin!

To celebrate Mel's 300th (200th) Friday Blog Roundup, we decided to post pictures of cake. Because what's a celebration without cake?

Yesterday Sunshine and I had the pleasure of meeting Kristin! We had a great time.

Then we went to the famous Magnolia Bakery for cake.

Here's a closeup of my piece of cake. Banana with chocolate frosting. Mmmmmmm!

And as she posted, Auntie Kristin slipped Sunshine some whipped cream. She was eyeing my cake, but she didn't have any.

On the way home Sunshine entertained our fellow subway riders by blowing raspberries.

Off to meet some bloggers for lunch!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Meeting the Village! My Non-Attendee Pre-BlogHer Post. (P.S. Added)

Even though it is in my city, I am not attending the conference. It would have involved deciding to attend when I was pregnant, spending money I shouldn’t spend, and time off from work. It was so odd last year when people started blogging about purchasing their tickets and coming to NYC, and I thought, “I’ll have an 8 month old by then!” OMG! I really have an 8 month old! It’s still surreal to me.

But this is my town, and I’m so excited that some of the best friends I’ve never met are coming to town. Some of the amazing women who supported me through cancelled and failed cycles, and celebrated my success will be here! Does it sound strange that I’m imagining handing over my daughter to these women for cuddles?

We will, of course, be at the ALI bloggers’ meetup on Sunday. I will try to slip away from work on Friday for a long lunch if people are meeting at lunchtime. But since I know people will be busy with the conference and parties Friday and Saturday, I am taking tomorrow off from work. To make the most of the personal day, I am dropping Sunshine at daycare at the usual time and going to my internist for a checkup. (My mother has been nagging me to get my cholesterol checked.) Then I will go get Sunshine and head to midtown. I’m estimating about !2:30-1pm. I have some phone numbers, but if you want to get together tomorrow afternoon, email me and I’ll give you my cell number.


P.S. If you're attending and you see any good baby swag and don't need it yourself, I would love some. kthnxbai

Friday, July 30, 2010

Photo Friday: Play!

I have a thoughtful, possibly controversial post brewing. But in the meantime I'm participating in Cali's Photo Friday again. The theme this week is Play! As I said in my post about guilt, Sunshine's daycare is great. I love seeing her play with her little friends. She and her buddy (disguised in the photo) are always watching each other to see what the other is doing. They learned to clap hands within a week of each other. They were just so cute together this particular morning, I had to grab the camera.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Whatever You Can Spare

When I look at my happy, healthy daughter, sometimes my heart breaks for the children who are not healthy. And of course, for their parents. I read about Dominic Austin on another blog. Sometimes there is nothing we can do. Here is a case where every little bit can make a difference. Little Dominic's prognosis is not good (although, there is hope). Anything that can make this time a tiny bit less stressful for his parents is a good thing.

So please check out this link and give whatever you can. Whatever you spent on lunch yesterday, or maybe your last visit to Starbux. Thanks, peeps!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

On Guilt

Much to my Jewish mother’s chagrin, I’ve never really done guilt well. I think I just don’t have the guilt gene. Much has been written about Mom Guilt, but I really have to say, I don’t suffer from it. I hear about it so much, that I occasionally wonder if I should be feeling it. But generally, I think it’s a waste of energy. As a single, working mom, my energy is a precious commodity.

Of course I want to be the best mom I can be. To me, that means not driving myself into the ground to do so. I truly believe happy mom equals happy baby.

I don’t feel guilty for not exclusively breastfeeding. Sunshine is 7 1/2 months old, and I am still nursing. But she has been getting formula in addition to mommy milk for quite a while. I pumped for a couple of months at work. It was awful. I don’t have an office where I can close the door, so I was pumping in an overheated utility room. I was stressed about the time it took (I never got the hang of double pumping), and getting my work done. All that stress meant I often didn’t produce much milk. So I gradually cut back on the amount of time I pumped, then the number of times per day, until my supply adjusted so I could go through the work day without pumping and nurse Sunshine at home. She has never had any problem going back and forth between boob and bottle. She’s very healthy, so what is there to be guilty about. (BTW, I also use “generic” formula and disposable diapers without guilt. Target rocks.)

We live in an apartment without a washer and dryer. The washer and dryer are in the basement. I have to go out of the building and around to the back for the basement door. Did I mention I work full time? So no guilt for me about disposables. (FYI, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Target brand diapers. They provide better coverage than the name brand ones, and are half the price.)

I miss my daughter like crazy when I’m at work, but I have no guilt about daycare. I looked into other childcare options, and am very happy with her daycare. As a single mother by choice, I am obviously the sole source of income for our family. In this economy, I’m lucky to have a good job with excellent benefits. Sunshine has been in daycare since she was 13 weeks old. She has gotten exactly ONE cold. She caught it when she was 5 months old, and knocked it out in 4 days. She was a trooper. I caught it from her, and felt like crap for a week and a half. I love that I can put her down of the floor of the infant room at her daycare and she can safely roll and scoot all over. I can’t say that about our apartment. They have loads of toys, they read books and listen to music, and in nice weather they go out to their private playground. Sunshine has no stranger anxiety at all. She’s curious about everyone, but when she sees someone she recognizes, she lights up. Big smiles and laughter. I think she also enjoys the other kids at daycare. She’s a social one, my girl. The staff has also succumbed to her charm. Last Friday, when I picked her up and was about to put her in the stroller, the pre-school teacher came over and asked if she could hold her for a minute. She often helps out in the infant room, and said, “I haven’t had any time with her for the last few days. I’ve missed her.” Why should I feel guilty about more people loving her?

I recently read a post on a message board by a mom who was feeling guilty about getting rid of some of her kid’s toys, as the child had so many. Oh, please … give a kid a pot and a wooden spoon. Some paper and crayons. More stuff does not equal a better childhood. When I was pregnant, a few people asked me about the nursery. What nursery? It’s a one bedroom apartment! It’s tight, but we’re fine. We will soon be moving to a bigger apartment. It will be great for us. But Sunshine will probably continue to sleep with me for a while. Yes, we cosleep. Without guilt, of course.

Then there are the big issues. Donor conceived and no daddy. Oh yeah, and older mom. We’ll just have to deal with these things as they come up. No matter how families are formed, there’s always something. Feeling guilty about these things will not make them easier. I think it would make them harder. Children sense their parent’s feelings. I hope that since I am more than okay with how our family came about, I’m proud of it, that she’ll be proud, too.

People constantly comment about how much she smiles and laughs. I figure I must be doing something right.

Friday, July 9, 2010


Do infertiles cherish their children more than fertiles? Maybe. I don’t think anyone would disagree that baby-loss mamas have a particularly deep appreciation of their living children. Am I the only one who thinks about this when I check my daughter’s breathing at night? Or when I watch her sleep, in awe that she’s actually here?

I’ve been wanting to write a post about parenting after infertility for a while. I was spurred on by an incident I witnessed on the subway on my way home from work earlier this week. Now keep in mind that it has been about a gajillion degrees in NYC this week. A mother and her three children got on the train. Two girls, maybe twins, or maybe just very close in age. About 4-5 years old. And their big brother, who looked to be about 7. The mother looked irritated and distracted. She was on her cell phone. There were three seats available, so she sat down in one seat with one girl in her lap (who she ignored, even though she was holding her), and the boy sat next to her, with the other girl next to him. The girl on the end immediately cuddled up to her brother. He cuddled her back. She was all in his space, playing and grabbing and laughing. He was wonderful with her. Patient, loving and playful. My heart swelled watching this. Mom ignored it, continuing to talk on her phone. Seats opened up on the other side of her, so she put the other girl next to her. The children were energetic and not quiet. The mom snapped. She yelled at them and smacked the girl next to her. There were too many people between us for me to see exactly how and where she smacked the girl. It didn’t sound particularly hard, but still … there was no need for it. She started crying. Mom ignored her and continued her phone call. Her big brother went over and held her and comforted her.

It’s hard to know what, if anything, to say in these kind of situations. As I was about to get off the train I told the boy he was a great big brother and that I could tell his sisters loved him so much. I expect there will be times with Sunshine that I will lose my cool. My patience is not infinite. But I can not imagine behaving as this mother did. Yelling and hitting children because they were playing too loudly? That’s not discipline. That’s just fucked up.

Back to parenting after infertility. Well, I don’t have any other experience to compare it to. I just love her so much! Every day it seems like my heart expands a little more. She is such a happy baby, I want her to have the happiest childhood ever. I am always aware of what a miracle she is. There are still cycling reminders in my apartment. The last sharps container with the PIO needles in my linen closet that I can’t part with. The unused needles and syringes in my kitchen cabinet, next to the glasses. (I keep thinking I’ll use some of them one day to inject butter and drippings into a turkey breast, like I read in a NYT article about surrogacy, but I certainly don’t need to save as many as I have in there.) Then there’s Sunshine herself. As she gets older, it’s more and more obvious to others that she doesn’t look like me. (Except for the chubby thighs!) She really looks like her sibs, my donor’s children. Sometimes I explain her origins, and sometimes I don’t. For me, it’s cool that I get a bit of a preview of what she’ll look like as she gets older by looking at pictures of J and E. She’s gorgeous! When I come to get her after work, her face lights up when she sees me. I’m her mommy. The one who nurses her, who cuddles her, who wipes away her very occasional tears. I can only hope she won’t have any problems with the fact that we don’t look alike. I hope that she will be like this girl. Proud of who she is and how she came to be.

She is my precious gift. I wish all children were cherished that way.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Dear Mr. Jobs

Dear Mr. Jobs,

Saturday was my mommy’s birthday. We went to the Apple Store. We had fun! I wanted to buy mommy an iPad, but my dress didn’t have pockets, so I didn’t have any money. If you give my mommy an iPad, you can put my picture in a magazine. I’m also available for commercials, but mommy says I would need money for college. I could laugh at the funny PC man. He’s so silly!

Love and kisses,

P.S. Mommy says all her computers have been Macs, and they’ve never, ever gotten a computer virus. Whatever that is!

Friday, June 25, 2010

The BEST Birthday Present!

Tomorrow's my birthday. I'm going to be (GASP!) 47. I am so grateful for the medical advances that have enabled me to be a mother at my age. And the incredible gift of donor embryos that became my daughter. Waking up tomorrow with this joyful little person is the best birthday gift I can imagine. She slept through the night Wednesday night. It was divine! It was not repeated last night, so I'm not counting on it tonight. But regardless, she ALWAYS wakes up with a smile. She truly is my Sunshine.

So, because it pleases me, and I'm the birthday girl, here are a bunch of pictures from the past month.

Hahahahahaha! The world is just a funny place!

Cribs are for daycare, right? I love the blankie Aunt Kathy knitted for me. It's so soft.

Sometimes when mommy brings me to daycare she takes pictures.

She says I'm stylin' in these shorts.

Yeah, I'm tough! Whatcha got for me?

Peaches? Yup, I like 'em!

I like to chew on mommy's blankie. I don't know why she took a picture of it.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Photo Friday: Shoes

Since I have screwed up feet and wear ugly shoes and sandals most of the time, I thought I'd feature my little imp for Cali's Photo Friday. These shoes are one of the very few things I bought for her when I was pregnant. I put them on for the photo, then took them right off. They don't stay on very well, and I know they won't stay on at daycare. She doesn't manage to keep socks on while there. She's almost always barefoot when I pick her up. In my mind, one of the upsides of her being a donor embryo baby is that she will not inherit my bad feet (which I got from both parents).

Monday, June 7, 2010

Perfect Moment Monday — Can You Hear Me Now?

I Capture Perfect Moments.

Can you believe the little speck a doctor put inside me is now this six month old chunky monkey? Seeing her so happy is sheer mommy bliss.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Photo Friday: The Night

In the absence of time and energy to write a proper post, I thought I'd participate in Cali's Photo Friday. This week's theme is The Night. I browsed through my photo folders and and pulled out a bunch. The first is taken right in front of my apartment building. The rest are travel photos. The travel photos make me itch for a trip, but with the upcoming moving expenses and the scary thought of travelling alone with a baby, travel is just not in the cards right now. Anyway, enjoy the night.

 In front of my apartment.

 Jackson Square, New Orleans on a stormy night.

Spooky French Quarter churchyard.

A quiet night on Bourbon Street. Really!

Amsterdam canals.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Do You Know Nate? I Neeeeeeeed Him!

Nate Berkus, that is. Oprah’s favorite interior designer. He getting to own show, set to start airing in the Fall. I’ve been searching online for production info and can’t find any. So I thought I’d run it by the interwebz.

Sunshine and I would be so perfect for the show. It’s going to be based in NYC and Nate loves kids. (He did an episode of Oprah where he took care of a toddler for a day and rocked it. Although, he said he felt like he was hit by a truck afterwards.) Okay, let me explain why we need Nate. We are currently in my one bedroom apartment. It’s tight. It’s a three room apartment, no dining room, small kitchen with no room for a table. Sunshine's dresser and changing pad (and diaper pail of course) are in the living room. The four room apartment next door has become available. I mean RIGHT NEXT DOOR, as in we share a wall. The owner has accepted my offer. Now it’s a matter of formalities with the coop board and selling my apartment.

This apartment is PERFECT for us! It’s what’s referred to in NYC real estate terms as a junior four. A four room apartment where the dining room is usually used as a second bedroom. (There is already a small closet that was built in that room, although I want to have a bigger closet built all along that wall.) The kitchen is about three times as big as my current kitchen. Totally enough room to put a nice sized table and chairs. But boy, does it need work! And after dealing with the purchase price (minus the sale of my current one), there isn’t much money for fixing it up. Oh, but the potential!

So, Nate, are you out there????? Single mom, very photogenic baby, landmark NYC (Queens) apartment, with some wonderful original architectural details. Original doors and transoms, French doors, etc. And the interesting challenge of making it look great and baby proofing at the same time. Great TV!

Nate, we need you! Email me, okay?

Thursday, May 27, 2010


 Warning: Vomity TMI

At least that's how it felt. I've been sick since Sunday night. I thought it was food poisoning. We went to a Mexican restaurant Sunday evening with my sister and niece. Now as I hear from so many other people that have been hit, I think it's a bad stomach virus. I don't think I've ever been this sick. Still not feeling great, but making myself eat some plain food, because I think at this point some of my wobbly feeling is from not eating.

I truly felt as if someone had poisoned me. Was feeling queasy when I woke up to nurse Sunshine at 2:45am. Thankfully, she went back to sleep soundly after her late night snack. The hurling began at 3. Other end around 4:30. The weird part was the horrible hip pain. I was diagnosed with bursitis in both hips last week, and had cortisone shots in both. By Saturday it was kicking in and I was feeling better, but as soon as I started spewing, they started hurting. BAD! So I'm lying in bed, moaning in misery, unable to find a comfortable position. After the third run to the bathroom with my mouth filling, I stationed a bucket by the bed. Water would not stay down. But I kept drinking, trying to keep somewhat hydrated, and to avoid the dry heaves and vomiting bile.

When Sunshine woke at around 6, I felt so overwhelmed. Couldn't handle nursing, also probably didn't have much milk, since I was definitely dehydrated by then. Hallelujah, there was a premixed 3 oz bottle of formula and a disposable nipple in the diaper bag by the bed. Fed her this with her lying next to me, while I was flat on my back. Ran my options through my head. My mother and her husband were out of town for the weekend. Knew they were coming back that day, but were pretty far away. My next door neighbor adores Sunshine, but she's in her 80s (I think). Upstairs neighbor has offered to help, but I don't know her well. Ah! A friend in the neighborhood who has been so generous with hand me downs from her daughter. Not just clothes, but major baby equipment. She told me if I ever needed anything I should call. I didn't know what time she leaves for work, so a little after 6:30 I called, explained the situation, and asked if she could come by and bring Sunshine to daycare. She immediately said she could. What a lifesaver!

So Sunshine is babbling away next to me in bed, but I can tell she has a load in her diaper. The changing stuff is in the other room. Damn! I could have changed her right there with stuff from the diaper bag, but I had a feeling it was a major poopy load, and didn't want to risk getting anything on the bed. Carried her to the other room. Needed to sit down and rest first. Changed the loaded diaper. (Just the thing when you're nauseous. NOT!) Needed to sit down and rest again. Brought her clothes back to the bedroom, got the onesie she slept in off, but then I was spent. Lying in bed with a nakey baby in just a diaper. Her clothes on the bed next to us. I kept apologizing to her. My angel/friend arrived! I thanked her and apologized that I didn't have Sunshine ready. Not a problem. Her daughter is almost 13 months older, so I think she enjoyed dressing my little one. Then off they went.

The vomiting didn't let up until mid-afternoon. Still felt horrible. Very weak. Got hold of my mother. They were on their way back, but it would be a while. My friend had offered to pick up Sunshine as well, and either bring her to me or bring her to her place. I called and asked if she could pick her up and watch her until my mother arrived. I am so lucky! She and her husband and daughter enjoyed my smiley girl for a couple of hours. They brought her home about 10 minutes before my mother got there. And with a shopping bag full of hand me down clothes! (Sunshine rocks the hand me downs!) I missed my girl, but I still felt like crap.  My mother was a help, but of course she wanted to play with the baybeee. Said babe finally fell asleep 2 hours later than usual when my mother (AKA The Distraction) left the room for a few minutes. I had a piece of toast and a little bit of chicken soup.

Tuesday morning my mother took Sunshine to daycare and went home. I had actually been planning to take this day as a personal day for a follow up with the foot surgeon. Called their office as soon as it opened and changed the appt from 9am to 12:30. Dozed a little before I had to leave for the appt. (Surgeon said foot is healing on schedule (it still hurts), and that it should feel better in another 2-3 months.) Of course I had to wait for the dr. It was a little after 2pm that I was seen for my 12:30 appt. Rushed home so I could try to get more rest before picking up Sunshine. Passed out! Woke up 15 minutes before the daycare center closes. Oh, fuck! Threw on my clothes and ran the 10 minutes over there. All I ate Tuesday was some chicken soup.

Yesterday I made it to work. Only lasted until 11:45 before I told my boss I needed to go home. Had a decent nap before getting Sunshine. It was over 90° yesterday. That didn't help. What did help is that my delightful daughter slept 8 hours straight! All I ate yesterday was a plain roll and some more chicken soup.

Which brings us to today. At work. I'm eating, even though food is still very unappealing, as I think the lack of fuel is contributing to my feeling wonky.

There's got to be a better way to lose the IVF/baby weight!

So how's your week going?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

City Girl

Hi Everyone! It’s me, Squeaker. Mommy says since Elizabeth gets to blog, so can I! Oh, yeah, Mommy says I need a new nickname. She says I don’t squeak anymore, I squeal. For some reason, she says Squealer isn’t a good nickname. She tells me I am her Sunshine. So you can call me Sunshine, too.

We had such a fun time last weekend. On Saturday Mommy and I snuggled in bed for a while. I had some of the yummy milk Mommy has and we cuddled and went back to sleep. Then we got dressed and went to our music and dance class. It’s so much fun. We look at the other babies and go in circles and play music. Here’s a picture of me making music with sticks. Mommy says no one should buy me a drum set. Why not?

I was very tired after class, so I went to sleep while Mommy pushed me in the stroller. Then later we had a nice visit with Mommy’s friend and her big girl. It was a great day!

Sunday was even busier! We woke up earlier. I wanted to laugh and play, so we didn’t stay in bed. I had a bath. I love to splash with my feet. Mommy put my robe on me after my bath. She said she didn’t want me to get my clothes dirty before we went out. Huh? Then I had some milk and took a little nap. Mommy says I look like I’m having a spa day in my robe.

Then we took the subway to Manhattan. I like the subway! It moves fast, and all the people smile at me and talk to me.

We went to a restaurant with Mommy’s friend and her big boy. He can walk and eat food with a spoon. It looks like lots of fun. Can I have some please?

After the restaurant, we took a walk. It was very sunny, so I had to wear my sunhat. Do you like it?

It was such a busy and exciting day. When we got home Mommy said I was overtired. I don’t know what she means. I still wanted to play. I didn’t want to go to sleep. So Mommy gave me my favorite toy to play with.

I guess I was a little tired.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Celebratory Society

Please forgive my slacker blogging. I caught the baby's cold, and now my allergies are bothering me on top of the cold. Add in sleep deprivation and working full time, and it's hard to put my thoughts together for a coherent post. It's even hard to keep up with all my blog reading, but I try, and I try to leave comments when I can. So I thought Mel's latest project would be a good incentive for me to write more than quick, one sentence comments and a way for me to soak up some of the love from the most loving gang on the net.

Think of this as the most interesting delurking project you'll ever participate in. After giving back to others at the Celebratory Society, I have decided to participate in it myself. You can understand the project in full by clicking here, but in brief, the Celebratory Society is an online festschrift for a blogger--a way for you to tell me what my blog or actions mean to you. But this isn't about me--this is about you too. And I would love it if you returned to your own blog, started your own Celebratory Society post, added it to the main project list, and gave me the opportunity to tell you

Friday, May 7, 2010

I'm Such a Bad Blogger

I know, I know. I owe you all a major update. I'm tired. Really tired. Squeaker has bronchitis. Poor baby. First time she's been sick. It hurts my chest when she coughs. :-(

I will try to write a proper post soon. Really wanted to join Project IF. Might write a post anyway.

Here's some cuteness from last weekend to tide you over. Can you believe my girl is over 5 months old!?!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Truth, Lie, and Bounce (and other miscellaneous stuff)

Mel posted a fun game this week. We were to comment with either a truth or a lie, then post on our blogs whether we were telling the truth or not. Yup, my comment was the truth. And of course there was drama involved. I managed to stay out of most of the drama, and thankfully the wedding went off without a hitch. My main gripe (which I basically kept to myself so as not to be "difficult") was that the maid of honor decided on a date for the bridal shower without consulting anyone else in the bridal party. My ex (not an ex at the time) had gotten tickets to see Bonnie Raitt that night as my birthday gift. The tickets were sold and I attended the shower. But, DAMN!

Miscellaneous stuff: a few things I could use some mom advice on.

  1. Squeaker's got some irritation around her neck. I'm sure it's just from sweat, spit up, and drool getting in the folds of her adorable chub. Suggestions for combatting that?
  2. What baby sunscreen do you suggest for my fair skinned girl.
  3. When did you stop swaddling? My mother says it's dangerous to swaddle her now that she can roll over, but she still flails a lot in her sleep if she's not swaddled. I really think she sleeps better swaddled. I know I do, since she's not smacking and kicking me.
Oh, and regarding Mel's revelation that she's "deathly afraid of mayonnaise," she's not alone. I have a good friend who's also mayo-phobic. She refers to it as "M" or "the M word." We'll be out at a restaurant and I'll ask if she wants to share an appetizer and she'll say, "I think in has 'M' in it."

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

FINALLY! The Birth Story.

Oh, I’ve been meaning to write the birth story for so long. Don’t really have a great excuse, except the girl keeps me busy at home, and work has been busy. I have a little breather at work today, so let’s see how much I can get down. It’s a really good story … IMO. And lucky for me, my doula took notes at the hospital, so I can get the timing right.

Well, it started on Saturday, November 28th at about 10:30pm. Suddenly my underwear was wet. Not a big gush or anything, but not a few drops either. I wasn’t sure if my water had broken or I just peed myself. I mean, 38 week pg women do pee themselves. But I didn’t have that “gotta pee” feeling, so I had a suspicion it was amniotic fluid. I called my doula and told her. I said I felt fine otherwise. She thought I could call the dr or I could wait. I decided to wait. I didn’t relish the idea of taking a car service to the hospital ($40-50) only to have them send me home. I also called my mother. She said it was the same for her when her water broke with me. Just a trickle, no gush. I tried to relax and get some sleep, but began feeling crampy in my lower abdomen. This was where I’d been having painful round ligament pain for weeks, so I really didn’t think much of it at first. I expected my whole belly to tighten with contractions. (BTW, I never experienced that.)

I was crampy enough that I didn’t get much sleep. Kept going to the bathroom to check for anything happening, but nothing was. By morning, I was checking with Dr. Google. What do you know, it appeared this kind of cramping is an indication of early labor. I still wasn’t terribly concerned, as I really felt basically fine. Called the doula again and she said it was time to call the dr. I called and left a message, and the on call OB called me back. When I told him what was happening, he told me to come in to the hospital. He asked how long it would take me. I told him I could be there in about an hour. I truly thought they would be sending me home, but just in case I had to stay, I ate some Thanksgiving leftovers (in case they wouldn’t let me eat) and took a shower. I called my mother and told her I was going to the hospital. I had already decided and discussed with her that she should come after the birth. I complained about the cost of a car service to the hospital. (If I could get a metered cab in my neighborhood, it would be $20-25, but they are not available, so the car service is $40-50.) My mother said that if I felt okay, I should take the subway. I figured if I wound up staying, she could pick up my hospital bag on her way.

So, taking my sweet time, I headed out. I stopped at Starbux on my way to the subway. The nice young woman behind the counter, who’d been watching my belly grow for months, asked how I was feeling. “I’m okay. Actually, I’m on my way to the hospital. But I think they’re going to send me home, so give me a coffee and a blueberry scone.” I took the first train that arrived at my station going to Manhattan (I live near a hub). Sat down and sipped my coffee. Then the man next to me started coughing. Geez! I never got so much as a cold while pregnant, I didn’t want to get sick now. So I got up and moved to the other end of the subway car. When I got off the train, I took a taxi the 19 blocks to the hospital.

As I’m signing in at the L&D front desk, I can hear the OB on call talking about me down the hall, wondering where I was. It was now about 3 hours since I called. I was taken to an exam room and changed into a gown. The OB barged in before I was completely changed. Whatever. “So what took you so long?” I explained that I had something to eat and took a shower before leaving. He smiled and said he didn’t blame me for doing that. I got on the gurney, and he unceremoniously stuck what felt like his whole hand up me. “Your water has broken, but you’re only 50% effaced and less than a 1/2 cm dilated.” He said that since my water had broken over 12 hours ago, but I wasn’t progressing, we needed to move things along. I was staying, and they would start me on pitocin.

An IV was started and I was taken to a L&D room. The room was actually lovely. Nice big windows with a view of the city, and except for the monitors, the medical equipment was in a closet behind closed doors. Monitors were strapped on and the pitocin was started. I called my doula and she left to join me. I arrived at the hospital about 1pm and the pitocin was started around 1:30. I made a few other calls. Called my BFF who said she would come for a while. (She has her own donor baby who was nearly 14 months at that time.) The nurse was asking questions and charting everything. Of course, she had my age on the chart, so she said, “So you had an amnio?” The look of horror on her face when I said “no” was kind of amusing. Like she expected I would give birth to a 3-headed baby. “Not my old eggs,” I assured her.

I was very happy when my doula arrived. Even though I was still just feeling crampiness, Squeaker was not tolerating the contractions very well. With every contraction, her heart rate would drop. The nurse kept repositioning me, and occasionally had me on oxygen. My BFF arrived around 4. We all chatted. I was really feeling okay, and surprisingly relaxed. A little before 5pm the anesthesiologist came in to discuss the epidural and go over the consent forms. By now the contractions had become more painful, and I decided it was time for the epidural. It took about a half hour for them to be ready to administer it. They sent my doula and friend to the waiting room. BFF told my doula that she wished it would go quickly so she could be there for the birth. They were back in the room by 5:45, and I was soon feeling better. Shortly thereafter, the OB came in and did another internal exam. Nothing happening. Long and closed.

Around 7, the nurse inserted a catheter. Ick! 7:15 the OB came in and explained that they had lowered the pitocin because of Squeaker’s dipping heart rate, but it was better now, so they would increase it again. He said he would come to check my cervix again in a couple of hours. BFF had to go home to her babe and hubby. A new L&D nurse came on duty. I swear, she looked about 12, but she was great. I made some phone calls. Cancelled my acupuncture appt that I had scheduled to do some points to bring on labor. Obviously didn’t need that now! Left messages cancelling the chiro and the PT appt for my foot. Left a voice mail at my office informing them that I was officially on leave. They kept me on oxygen at this point to help keep Squeaker oxygenated, since they had increased the pitocin. Around 8:15 they turned it up more. An hour or so later the OB checked my cervix again. No progress at all. He estimated that it could easily take another 18-24 hours of pitocin to fully dilate. He also noted that I am narrow. (Something I’m well aware of, as I became accustomed to REs apologizing as they tried to insert the dildocam.) He said that even if I did fully dilate (which he wasn’t sure would happen), I might not be able to deliver vaginally due to this. Having discussed their c-section policy with my OB, I knew that the drs in this practice prefer vaginal deliveries. It’s a large group practice, so someone is always on call in L&D at the hospital. So there’s no rush to deliver before a shift is over. I asked the OB what he thought I should do. He recommended a c-section. I totally felt it was up to me. I was being monitored, and Squeaker was okay at the moment. But my priority was a healthy baby, not some mystical birth experience. I agreed to the c-section.

Suddenly I got nervous! Preparations began. Forms were signed. We had to wait for an OR to become available. I called my mother and told her she could start making her way to the hospital to meet her new granddaughter, but to please stop at my apartment and pick up my bag. I figured this would have her arriving shortly after the delivery. I joked with the OB that I was glad to have a dr who was older than me for a change. He laughed at that. (But as an aside, while prepping me in the OR, he asked why I waited so long to have a baby. “D’oh, I forgot!” Gee, does it take a rocket scientist to figure out why a single woman might wait before deciding to have a baby on her own?)

I was wheeled into the OR at 10:25. More anesthetic was administered through the epidural. Oh, my! A c-section feels weird! I think I felt everything but the incisions. It didn’t hurt, but I felt lots of tugging and pushing and pulling. At 10:40 my daughter entered the world and howled at her arrival. What an incredible sound! Of course, some tears were shed. As they toweled her off, the nurses told me how beautiful she was. They took her footprints and swaddled her, while she loudly announced her presence. I called out to her, “Hi baby. Mama’s right here.” Then she was in my arms. I was holding her within 5 minutes of her birth. On one side of the drape the OB was putting my insides back together, and on the other I was meeting my daughter. She stopped crying once she was in my arms. I stroked her perfect cheeks and told her how much I loved her.

Soon the epidural was removed and I was taken to recovery. I immediately felt like crap. Very nauseous. I felt like I needed to throw up, but when I tried to take a deep breath to retch, I discovered I couldn’t. The anesthetic went too high for me take a deep breath. This made me feel panicky. I knew it was from the epidural and would pass soon, but it still freaked me out. I retched a bit before the nausea passed, but didn’t actually throw up. Then the shaking started. I had heard of this reaction after an epidural is removed, but it’s still freaky. Shaking as if I was badly chilled, except I wasn’t cold. Just had to wait it out. Held Squeaker skin to skin. She nursed a bit, but was mostly content to snuggle. She was very alert. MY DAUGHTER! WOW!! My mom arrived to meet her. It was late, so she just stayed about an hour.

Then we were taken to the postpartum unit. They took Squeaker for about 20 minutes to clean her up a little more. I settled into my room and posted here (on my iTouch) that my girl had arrived.

There you have it. Our birth story. Better late than never.