Monday, November 28, 2011

While reading Cosmo...

While reading the December issue of Cosmo (Adele is on the cover!!)... I read the following:

"In 2012, your Rx birth control will be totally FREE! Under the Affordable Care Act, Insurance companies will be required to foot the bill."

Very interesting, very interesting indeed!

I haven't heard about this at all but it also reminded me that I need to call Dr. P's office and ask them if they want me on the pill for my lab work up. I'm assuming not. I have my post-partum appointment with the Lebanon Women's Center in two weeks and then I'll see Dr. P for a full pcos work up and exam (and pictures with Elliot!) on January 10th.

Adopting PCOS

It's 12:37am and I'm wide awake (thank you, Wild Cherry Pepsi) and chatting with a fellow cyster who is having the age ole PCOS debate/struggle.

You know... the "Why don't you just adopt?" struggle...

I think this is one of the most frustrating things to hear as a woman who has "been there" and as a woman with PCOS. I've written about this before (see tags)

When you say "Why don't you just adopt..." to a person with infertility you aren't being polite or wise. It's insulting because in a way you're kind of down playing the couples dream. That's one take on it.

For me - and for other cysters - the issue isn't ADOPTION. It's not. Adoption is freaking awesome. Seriously, now that I'm a mom, I give women who give up their children for adoption SOOOOO much credit. It takes a lot of courage to be able to do such a thing. But back to my point...

With PCOS ... adoption is NOT the answer to many cysters because there is still a problem. I'm trying to be as clear as possible for it being close to 1am. See, with PCOS, there are all sorts of problems with the body. Lots of things. Like metabolic issues, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, hirsutism, obesity, belly fat, thyroid issues, trouble losing weight, digestion issues, acne, thinning hair, missing periods, lack of ovulation, blocked tubes, ovarian cysts, weak cervex, fatigue, anxiety, skin tags, insulin resistance, alopecia.... the list goes ON... trust me... but INFERTILITY is on the list. So is miscarriage. So while infertility may be the thing a cyster is focusing on, chances are high that's not their only pcos issue ... so to say "why don't you just adopt" to a cyster is like saying, "Oh ok, just be sick forever and get a kid some other way."

It's very hard to explain this train of thought but think of it like this... would you tell someone to get a new car just because they have a flat tire?

I hope that explains/clears things up for those people who may be prone to saying such things. Now... this is where I throw in a twist.

I want to adopt. Not even kidding. I'd LOVE to do it. I've always wanted to be a mom and it took a lot for me to get Elliot.

God truly blessed me with an incredibly healthy and wonderful pregnancy. But the road to get to this pregnancy was bumpy and painful. If you know me (or if you've read from the beginning) you know exactly what I'm talking about. We've already been asked if we plan on trying for baby number two. ((PS: this is a rude question!!)) We've already been teased that we'll have "Irish Twins".... but for hubby and I... the thought of having another baby in the future is scary! Very scary!

Who is to say I would not have more miscarriages before we were to have our second? Who is to say I'd have as great a pregnancy with baby number two as I did with baby number one? I don't know if it's a risk I'd want to take. I also feel like it would be a bit selfish of me to go trying for number two when there are so many children in need of a good home.

I'm pro-adoption. Adoption is a wonderful thing. I have friends who have adopted and friends who are adopted. It's something I want to look into in the future and something I tend to google in my spare time. It's also a topic of discussion that comes up frequently with my social worker friends. The only thing that stops me from adopting is the $$$$ as we all know we teacher folk aren't exactly rolling in the dough.

And to add another twist to this already rambly post... who is to say I can even have a second baby of my own? I'm going in for a full pcos work-up in January and we're basically going to see how well my uterus held up during the pregnancy. We're going to take a detailed look to see if there is something "wrong" happening inside of me that we just didn't/couldn't see during the pregnancy. For some women, PCOS is completely reversed thanks to pregnancy. I know for me that is definitely NOT true. While I don't have as severe a case of pcos as some of my cysters (most of my issues are literally inside and not outside)... I still have a pretty strong case.

PCOS sucks. So the moral of this rant/rave is if a cyster is ranting about PCOS... just listen and love her. Hugs do help!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Powerful PCOS image

This photo may look silly, but it means a lot to me.

This is Elliot ((DUH)) with two letters on him.

The letter on the left is from January 2011 and it's from Dr. Pellegrini thanking me for the letter I sent him and telling me he hopes he can help me conceive and make progress with PCOS.

On the right is a second letter from Dr. Pellegrini which I received today. It's congratulating me on the arrival of Elliot and says "See you soon..."

I'm so thrilled to be able to introduce Elliot to the doctor who helped us make our dreams of Elliot a reality.

I'm going to be having labs drawn in 6-8 weeks and we're hoping to get ahead of pcos. The tests he drew aren't nearly as extensive as the rest of the ones I've had done in the past.

I am curious to see if I'll be given a time line for baby number two. We can't even think about baby number two and if we'd even want another child. I just know I'm feeling incredibly blessed and thankful these days.

Tests ordered:
2 hour glucose

alt [liver]

ast [liver]

bun/creat [kidney/renal]

dhea sulfate

ggt [hormones, full panel not just progesterone]

insulin resp

t4 free



I'm optimistic about our future regarding not just our family but my PCOS.

Time will tell... Ironically, I won't be able to do these tests until January....

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thanks, Amanda!

Genesis 32 = Wrestling With God in Prayer

• There are many reasons to pray
• Verses 22-32 in this chapter show us the importance of "praying boldly."
• These verses tell the story of Jacob wrestling with God. Jacob was not eager to "go home" to his brother Esau. Since he had robbed Esau's inheritence causing Esau to become angry and wanting to kill him, Jacob was not excited to approach him again.
• So when Jacob heard that he was going to meet up with Esau, he tried to prepare for the visit. He gathered gifts for Esau and referred to himself as Esau's "servant."
• While preparing for this visit, Jacob wanted to be alone...but he wasn't. A *man* wrestled with him, and neither one gave up.
• When wrestling Jacob refused to let go until the other man blessed him. The man gave Jacob the name Israel (meaning both "Prince of God" and "one who overcomes a struggle with God"). He also blessed him.

A question to ask is, who was this man? The man was never named, but can be assumed to be God in human form. So this passage shows Jacob wrestling with God, and him overcoming this struggle and being blessed in the end.

Some main ideas to be taken from these verses:
1. God intends to engage with people
→ He engaged with Jacob through being the other man wrestling with him
→ He reached down to humanity through Jesus Christ
→ He called Moses to action and to lead His people

2. What is our response? We engage on the basis of God's Grace and Promises
→ Gen. 32: 9-12 (Jacob's prayer begins with worshiping God, he then calls on God to help him because of His grace and because of the promise God had made to Jacob before)
→ Jacob understood that he was unworthy (he's facing consequences of actions that he had done 20 years ago.) He was desperate and called on God when he remembered that God had blessed him in the past.
→ We are also unworthy, but we need to wrestle with God to receive His blessings that He has promised us.
→ We tend to be self-sufficient in today's culture. We need to wrestle with God so that He can engage with us in our daily lives.

3. What do we wrestle about?
→ We need to wrestle with our fears, doubts and misunderstandings.
→ Wrestle with our understandings of who He is, and what He calls us to do.
→ We are challenged to test our faith, through prayer.
→ Do we believe all that God promises? (that He will always provide for us, that He listens to our prayer, etc.)
→ He tests us, and then shows us that He is faithful
→ We need to give Him our thoughts and let Him deal with them.

4. A Christian life is not passive
→ Gen. 32:26
→ Pray for blessings on us (ourselves, our families, our church, our community...)
→ He gives us the opportunity to engage with Him through prayer.

5. Move Forward by Faith
→ Gen. 32:31, 33:1
→ When challenges are overwhelming, pray, and then move forward

Thank you, Alyssa!

My dear friend Alyssa wrote Elliot a song! It's amazing! She even sang it via video and posted it on my fb. I love it!

Sleepy Eyes, Yawning Head, / Time for you to go to bed / And when you're dreaming in the night / We'll keep you safe, snug and tight / CHORUS Sweet baby boy you're a dream come true / We've been waiting years for you / It was worth the wai...t, now life is great / 'Cuz we've got you VERSE 2 Elliot, don't ever fear / Your mom and dad will always be near / Drift away now, rest your eyes / We'll be here to greet you when you rise CHORUS VERSE 3 When we're dozing cheek to cheek / My hearts so full, I can't speak / We'll always love you, love love you more / And then we'll love you a little more CHORUS x2

Sunday, November 13, 2011

"The best thing that happened this week..."

I can't even tell you how many people have told us that Elliot is the best thing that has happened to them this past week. Totally true. There are so many trials and tribulations going on in the lives of loved ones right now, not to mention with this whole Penn State Saga.

Elliot's arrival has been a joyful occassion (DUH!) but we've also had some heartache in our little family this week. My Uncle Spike died this week. He had cancer running all through his body. My husband said to me, "When I heard the news of Uncle Spike passing I immediately imagined your Mommom in heaven saying to Spike, 'Ugh! You just missed Elliot!'" I had to laugh because I could totally see that happening.

My grandfather is tremendously excited about Elliot's arrival and I can't wait for Elliot to meet his GG PopWalt. Elliot is named after my Nana and his middle name Walter is after my father and grandfather. I like to refer to Elliot in his Polish and American names.

I'm feeling better and better each day but know that healing will definitely take time. I'm so grateful to have mom here with us because she's been a huge help. Having a mom that's also a nurse is awesome! Mom has helped me decrease some of the swelling I have (and eventually in 5-8 weeks it should all be gone). She's also helped with well... everything! Apparently my incision looks GREAT and while I'm quite bruised it is looking good.

I think one of the weirdest things I've experienced physically with being "post partum" is when Elliot cries I leak. It's quite bizarre. And I know his cries already. I had visions of not knowing why he was crying but I really know the "hey, I'm wet cry" and the "being naked sucks" cry vs. the "Mmmm I'm really friggin hungry" cry.

Emotionally I'm doing fairly well. I look at him and I'm amazed. I'm having some issues with my pcos and thyroid already and I've just had to accept it because there's really nothing that can be done until I'm further along "post partum" because so many hormones are leaving my body. I'm curious to see if pregnancy will reverse my pcos but I'm fairly sure it won't --- which is fine. I just need to call Dr. P and talk to him about a few things and see what he recommends. I do cry from time to time which is totally expected and sometimes silly. Of course pain brings tears to my eyes, and sometimes I look at Elliot and I just cry these tears of joy. I'm so glad I never gave up. Oh, an I cried when my cat hissed at me and walked away, LOL. She's not so sure as to what to do with Elliot just yet but she hasn't done anything malicious towards us or him.

I've also learned that there is nothing a mother would not do for their child. Last night we took Elliot up to bed and my neighbor is now working an over-night shift. His alarm (we live in a twin home so there is another home attached to ours) was going nuts next door and it woke Elliot. So... I banged on the wall to see if that would wake him. NOPE. So then I picked Elliot up and brought him downstairs to be held by Nana and went outside in my bare feet (brrrr November) and rang their doorbell about 19 times. I then came back in the house and made it back up the stairs (which is painful post c-section) and banged on the wall really hard. Alarm was OFF and then bedtime resumed. :)

I'm pleased with how well things are going thus far and I'm curious to see what Elliot's first doctors appointment will be like tomorrow. I can't believe tomorrow will mark one week since his birth - time is flying by already!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Elliot's birth story

Elliot was born on 11-7-11 at 7:50am.
He weighed in at 7lbs 3 ounces.
He is 19.5 inches long.

We arrived at the hospital at 5am to get me prepped for surgery. Getting prepped really was not an issue at all. I got into my robe, signed a lot of paperwork, went over the procedure and met with my doctor. I ended up refusing my last ultrasound because after carrying this little man of mine for nine months, I knew he was still breached. I think the funniest part of pre-surgery was trying to get his heartbeat. Elliot was ALL over the place and it took the nurses TEN minutes to get his heart-rate. I guess he knew he was getting his eviction notice... and he wasn't the only person being evicted that day, either!

When they wheeled me down to the operating room we had some issues. The anesthesiologist I had was a complete jerk and he was horrible. Just AWFUL. Basically they had me sit on the metal table and I was hugging my doctor so that my spine was in the proper position. The anesthesiologist was becoming frustrated and making some very inappropriate comments and finally I gave my doctor a look and told her to get him the *bleep* out of there. He kept trying to numb me and he was hurting me. I let out a scream so loud and finally said, "You need to leave... NOW!" Then in about an instant the new anesthesiologist came in and he was PERFECTION! Thank you, Dr. DeAngelo! He ran his finger down my spine and boom! Found the spot, I felt a pinch and a burn and I was immediately numb and on the table ready for surgery to begin. I told him I loved him several times over. The funny thing was post-op so many nurses had come in and said something to me about what I went through with Dr. Merchant's unprofessionalism and I will be writing a strongly worded letter because he had upset me so much. However, his upsetting me was a blessing in disguise because it gave me something to tell Mark when he finally came in to sit with me.

The surgery went well! The worst part was when they were putting my uterus back into my body. I couldn't feel it of course but it gives you instant nausea. I also had my blood pressure and sugar drop big time so I had the shakes like you would not believe.

Elliot came out butt first, and hearing his cry was the most remarkable feeling and sound in the world. They took him and he scored a NINE on his first Apgar test! Then a perfect ten on his second! When Mark brought him over to me it was just amazing. AMAZING. I obviously couldn't hold Elliot as I was being put back together, but watching my son interact with my husband was amazing. Elliot knew in an instant who was holding him. He was and is perfect. Perfect!

After I was put back together I was pretty shaky still and went to recovery. Mark has a video of me holding/meeting Elliot for the first time which is really precious. I'm on a weird internet connection here at the hospital, but I can't wait to post the video once I get home.

Holding Elliot for the first time was magic. Pure magic. He coos a lot and has much to say. He told me all about his day in his own little way. And taking him to my breast for the first time... WOW. There are no words to describe the feelings I had that first day. And they've only gotten stronger since then.

I've had so much company coming in to meet him, he's a popular little man! I would definitely do this again of course. The c-section was not bad at all. The first twenty four hours were rough on me mainly because I was so "strapped"... I had compressors on my legs, an IV going, all sorts of medication in my system, a cath in, etc... and I literally could not get up to do anything. My sugars would drop and I'd become very shaky which scared me mainly because I didn't want to drop Elliot. Once the first 24 hours was up, I was offered a sponge bath but I really wanted to get back to normal. The nurses and doctors here are amazing. They have helped me get showered and dressed and my incision is looking GREAT! The one lesson I've learned is to NOT let the pain come on or else the medications aren't going to be as effective. Having my mother with us is also a huge huge help. She's not just my mom, but she is a nurse as well. I've decided I'm not going to discuss some parenting things online - mainly breastfeeding. Let's just say that Elliot is eating well, and doing great!

Elliot is just amazing. The love Mark and I feel for him truly is so strong. We are so in love. Seeing my husband with my son fills my heart with so much love and joy. I wish I could articulate it better. I am so in love with them. I never knew I could fall more in love with my husband, but it's true... it's like I've fallen in love with him all over again.

This morning was really cool. Elliot really loves skin-to-skin time and he told me all about himself this morning. He'd look in my eyes and coo and grab my hand and listen to my heartbeat, etc.

I'm feeling so very blessed and complete. Elliot truly is our miracle. The love I feel for him is the best feeling in the world.

To my husband:
Thank you for loving me all these years. For being by my side through the ups and downs of infertility. Thank you for encouraging me, for holding me, for wiping my tears and for believing in me. Thank you for loving me on the days I didn't love me. Thank you for never losing faith in the dream of parenthood. Thank you for never losing faith in me. Thank you for being my rock, my love, and my world. Thank you for making me a mom. I love you tremendously. And I thank you, for never giving up on me. I am so excited to be on this new journey with you.

Welcome to the World, ELLIOT!

Elliot Walter was born on 11-7-11 @ 7:50am. He weighed in at 7lbs and 3 ounces. He truly is a dream come true. Holding him for the first time was the most remarkable experience of my life. I am so very much so in love!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Christmas Food Court Flash Mob, Hallelujah Chorus - Must See!

10 reasons to pray

1. Prayer reminds us that we are not the solution to the challenges that grip our world but we have access to the one who transcends those challenges.

2. A prayerless nation has no hope beyond the headlines.

3. Prayer aligns us with God’s heart, purposes and blessings.

4. Prayer is an act of humility that precedes honor.

5. Prayer enlarges the heart beyond selfish motive.

6. Prayer provokes the heart to consider not only what is but what can be with God’s help.

7. Prayer is best prioritized when one asks God to change one’s own heart first.

8. No matters of eternal value will be accomplished outside of prayer.

9. Prayer is properly prioritized vigilance in a spiritually passive world.

10. Prayer at its best is an offering of one’s self to be used by God as a part of the answer.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My last OB appointment... and details for Monday!

I can't believe we are HERE! The end! Finally! We made it!

I can't even begin to describe what it is I am feeling. On one hand, I feel incredibly sad. I'm going to miss being pregnant. I've had an amazing pregnancy and I will miss having him safe inside me. Feeling his kicks. Knowing his little quirks. But then, I have to laugh at myself because finally... FINALLY... after nine months of carrying him in me ... after FIVE years of heartache and faith testing and loss and hurt... finally, my son will be here. In my arms.

It's quite overwhelming. It's starting to really hit me. Our son will be here MONDAY!

Tonight for supper we decided to treat ourselves to Chinese. My fortune cookie read as follows, "God will give you everything that you want." And truly, He has. I am incredibly blessed. We were on a long road/journey but we never gave up and finally... he will be here.

It's a lot to take in!

Today was my final OB appointment. My sweet boy had a heart rate of 144. And I teared up listening to that sound. That magically powerful sound. It's a good thing we're serving him an eviction notice because I'm not dilated at all. Not even a little bit.

I had a great chat with my OB who will be performing the surgery/birth/section on Monday and got a lot of questions answers. She is my favorite doctor in the practice so having her for the c-section is really quite wonderful. So here they are in no particular order...

  • Question: Can I take my thyroid meds the morning of the surgery?

  • Answer: Yes, but try to do it in no more than two swallows of water.

  • Question: Where will I be cut?

  • Answer: She's not sure yet because she wants to minimalize any chance of infection. It will probably be a pubic cut.

  • Question: Can hubs cut the cord?

  • Answer: Nope. It's a sterile environment (it's ok though because Mark wasn't really into that...)

  • Question: Where will Elliot be after he is born? What's the process there?

  • Answer: Elliot will be with Mark and I at all times. He will be taken from me and cleaned up and given a few shots as well as measured, tested, etc... Mark will get to hold him first and then Mark will bring Elliot to me where he will stay. Mark and Elliot stay in the operating room with me and the only reason for Elliot to be put elsewhere is if Mark's arms get tired holding him (which won't happen, LOL) After I am "cleaned up" and transferred to a recovery bed we will have two hours of uninterrupted family time where it will be specifically Elliot, me, and Mark only. No other family (including our moms) will be permitted to see any of us. This is hospital policy. This policy was set only two years ago, so it is new. Basically, we will both be flooded with emotion and we'll need time to just feel and experience and absorb and get used to our son and have us time. After that time period is up we will be transferred to our permanent room where then visitors who aren't sick will be permitted to visit. Anyone with a cough or sniffles are encouraged by staff to visit later or will be forced to wear a mask. During the recovery time they will also be giving me a flu shot and a pertussis vaccine. We will also do Elliot's first feeding and do our best to get a good latch. He will experience no other feeding or nipple other than mine.

  • Question: what kind of pain will I be in and what kind of medication will I be given? Answer: I'll be feeling sore but no real pain until about 12 hours after the c-section at which time I will be able to take tylenol or percoset.

  • Question: What about antibiotics before the c-section?

  • Answer: I'll go in at least 2 hours before surgery time to get the meds pumping in me.

  • Question: If Elliot decides to turn and get in the proper position, will the c-section still be a go?

  • Answer: completely up to me... if I'd like vaginal induction I can go for that route but because my pelvic pain is only becoming more and more intense, she doubts he will turn at all for me by Monday.

  • Question: Will I puke afterwards?

  • Answer: It's possible, but they will also give antinausea medication.

  • Question: When do I have my last RH negative shot?

  • Answer: only after Elliot is tested and only if he is positive

  • Question: What kind of medications/shots should I expect?

  • Answer: I'll be given the regular medications to numb me for the surgery, an anti-biotic as well as the pertussis vaccine and flu shot.

  • Question: Will I be swollen?

  • Answer: Yes, do not be alarmed when my body and face are swollen - it's natural. And don't even dare weigh myself until at least one week post partum as it is extremely common to have an actual weight gain even though you literally just got rid of 6-8lbs of human plus the blood loss, etc...

Thank you, Fitbit!

My Fitbit Charge HR broke.   I took it off and it just ... broke.    I got in contact with FitBit customer service and even though my...