Wednesday, 30 January 2013

So,,, Are You Going To Try For Another One?

To try for another baby, that is the question.

It's the question that The Hubby has been asking me since Frostina was a few months old. It's the question that friends and family are starting to ask now that Frostina is almost 8 months old. It's the question that I have been asking myself.

It's the question I don't know how to answer.

Would I like another living child? Of course I would. If they just walked around passing out healthy babies I'd grab one in a hot second. If The Hubby and I could just live our lives and "see what happens" and get pregnant with little or no effort, I'd probably take a chance.

If our firstborn son hadn't died in utero at 36 weeks and my subsequent pregnancy with Frostina hadn't been filled with panic and fear, I'd start trying again today.

But that's not how things work for us. Well actually, the first part doesn't happen for anyone... unless there is a place where they just knock on doors and give deserving families healthy babies... if so I'll move there tomorrow. The way things work for The Hubby and I is much more complicated.

Trying for another baby would be a very deliberate process. A process we would be walking into knowing exactly how it would work. Knowing exactly how hard it would be. Knowing exactly how it feels when things work out. And knowing exactly how it feels when things don't work out.

I know exactly how it feels when things don't work out. The tears when my period comes after a failed cycle. The extra hormones and severe cramping that come along with it. The feeling of failure and hopelessness. Having to work myself up to try another cycle, trying to stay positive, trying to imagine that it will work the next time.

I also know exactly how it feels when a cycle does work, and you get pregnant. When you buy baby things, pick out names, and have a baby shower. I know exactly how it feels to get to 36 weeks of pregnancy and have it all taken away with 6 little words, "I'm so sorry, there's no heartbeat." I know just how hard it is to pick up the pieces and move on after a blow like that.

And pick up the pieces we did. We took a chance and after jumping through a lot of hurdles, we now have our little baby Frostina. She is the joy in our hearts and we wouldn't have her if we hadn't been willing to take a huge risk and leap of faith. I can't imagine my life without her and I don't regret for one moment all that it took to get her here.

But to do it again? I don't know.

After over 10 years I'm finally a parent to a living baby. That emptiness and yearning and desperation that comes with wanting a living child and not having one has been filled. Yes, I'm still infertile,,, but for the first time in a very long time I'm not obsessing about it. My life isn't dictated by my cycles and medications and exams. I no longer worry about when my period comes or if CD-whatever falls on a Sunday when the clinic would be closed.

For the moment I am free of all that. Free. Freedom feels wonderful.

Do we want to try again? Do we owe it to Frostina to give her a living sibling? Or are we happy being a family of 3 plus an angel?

I don't have any issue with raising an only child. I am not one of those people who think that only children are somehow damaged by not having a living brother or sister. But in my pre-infertility and loss beginnings I always pictured myself parenting two children. Notice how I say parenting. I do view myself as a mother of two. It's just that I only get to parent one of my babies.

If The Hubby and I were younger I would take a few years and see how I feel. But we're not young, and even though we will use an egg donor again, we don't want to be too old when a future potential child is born. So there is a time constraint in place, a deadline of sorts. He wants to know by the time Frostina turns one.

So now I've got to decide if I'm ready to jump back on the infertility wagon. Ready for the injections and cycle dates. Ready for the chance of another living baby. Ready for the chance of another loss.

The chance of another loss is where I get stuck.

These are all the issues we had to deal with before getting pregnant with Frostina of course. Only this time things are different. This time there isn't as big of a hole to fill. This time we already have our rainbow baby. So maybe we should just enjoy her and cherish her. Maybe we should thank God for giving us Frostina and move on with our lives. Maybe we shouldn't risk it again, tempt fate again.

Should we try for another baby?? I have no idea at this point.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Traveling Internationally With Baby- 10 Thing I've Learned

Travelling with a baby can be a daunting and difficult task. Especially if you're travelling internationally. We are on our second trip to the US since having Frostina and I am learning more and more each time. Here's some of what I've learned this trip.
  1. Travelling with a 7 month old is harder than travelling with a 5 month old. I guess the more they can and want to move around, the harder it is.
  2. If you book a bassinet on the aeroplane and it is the kind that attaches to a shelf with straps, your baby will not sleep in it. Instead she will play with the straps for 7 hours or so and only sleep for 45 minutes (and only then because you rocked her to sleep in the aisle). 
  3. I have totally missed the USA and it's customer service. We checked into the hotel and because we had Frostina with us they offered us a fridge and microwave without us even having to ask. Not to mention the upgrade to a "pure" room which is basically a normal room with an air filter in it. But still, clean air is clean air.
  4. Frostina is a total trooper. She loves the buggy and loves being pushed around it in new places. 
  5. She is also great at restaurants, although we've yet to test her much past 5pm. To be fair, I take her to breakfast, coffee, and lunch all the time. But I've always avoided dinner time as I am worried about meltdowns. So tonight The Hubby convinced me to try a very early dinner. She was fine... but we got there at 5 and left by 5:30. So not exactly the kind of dinner's out we're used to.
  6. London isn't nearly as cold as I think it is. After a few days in NYC, London is starting to feel like Hawaii.
  7. Keeping a baby entertained in a hotel room can be a challenge.
  8. If you have a baby who is used to bathing in a small plastic tub, be prepared for screams when you attempt to place her in a full sized tub. Apparently they are super scary for 7 month olds.
  9. If you are lucky, there will be an older and even worse behaved child sitting near you on the plane. That way the dirty looks of your fellow air passengers will be focused their way instead of yours.
  10. My little girl is a total city baby. She can sleep through construction, car horns, and ambulance sirens. In fact, I think she sleeps better with all the noise than at home in her quiet bed.
I'm sure there is more to learn, but we're only half way through our vacation. If I learn anything else I will be sure to share it. 

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Sleep Training

A few weeks back I wrote about my confusion and unhappiness at Frostina's new sleeping patterns.

It all started when she dropped her night feed. She wasn't hungry in the middle of the night, but she still wanted to hang out with me. So she would get up and make noises which would eventually turn into crying. I would pop out of bed each time and rush to her aid.

After a couple weeks I figured out that she really didn't need anything... she just wanted me to come see her. One night I was sure she was teething and crying out in pain. But the second I picked her up to give her some medicine she started kicking and smiling. No teething pain, she just wanted her Mommy to come in and pick her up.

So I stopped picking her up and would only go in to replace the pacifier/dummy. Well she got wise to this little trick as well. One night she was screaming so I went in to see what was wrong. I was quite shocked to see her holding her pacifier/dummy in both hands directly above her face. She was crying until she saw me. Then she flashed me a huge smile and popped the pacifier/dummy right back into her mouth. She had gotten me again, that cheeky monkey!

So I decided that I needed to do some kind of sleep training because going back and forth from my room to hers 8 or 9 times a night just wasn't working for me. To be fair, it wasn't working for her either because she wasn't getting enough sleep. As a result, she started having trouble with her naps as well and was quickly becoming a cranky, overtired little baby.

The Hubby wasn't as keen on the sleep training idea. Not because he didn't think she needed it, but because he has a hard time listening to her cry. He also has to go to work every day and didn't like the idea that he would be up from 2-5am every night while we went through it. I explained to him that each night was getting worse and we needed to do something soon.

We finally agreed that I would do the sleep training when he was away on a work trip. He would be gone for a week and I could do it then. Sounds like a pretty cushy deal for him doesn't it?? He gets to sleep uninterrupted in a nice hotel room while I sleep train on my own. I can't say I was thrilled to be doing it all on my own, but sometimes we gotta do what we gotta do.

I chose a variation of Dr Ferber and Dr Weissbluth's methods. Basically I let her cry for 5 minutes then went in to check on her. Then I would increase the time by 5 minutes each time if she was still crying. Not going for longer than 15 minutes without checking on her.

The first night was of course the hardest. She was up from 3 until 4 crying in spurts with me checking on her at the designated intervals. She finally fell back to sleep a bit after 4 and slept until her normal wake up time. I was thinking that there was no way I would be able to last through a week of this and almost gave up after the first night.

The second night was so much better. She only got up once at 4am and immediately fell asleep after I went in to check on her after the first 5 minutes of crying. Back to sleep and then up at her normal wake up time.

The third and fourth nights I increased the first crying wait time to 10 minutes. On the 3rd night she got up two different times and cried for 10 minutes each time. On the 4th night she cried for a few minutes and then put herself back to sleep (success!!) and then got up one more time and cried for 10 minutes but went right back to sleep after I went in to reassure her.

On the fifth night she did a bit of crying in very short bursts but I didn't have to go into her room even once!!! And from there it's slowly getting better. She's not sleeping all the way through each night just yet but I'm not having to get up 8 or 9 times anymore.

We did have a bit of an issue when The Hubby got back though. You see, while I thought it was terrible that I had to sleep train by myself, it turns out that it was actually a good thing. You see, The Hubby and I have different levels of tolerance for Frostina's crying.

After a week of sleep training, mine has built up. But his is very low. I had wanted to let her cry for longer intervals as the days went on but he didn't agree with me. His first night back she was crying and I wanted to leave her a bit longer. He basically told me that I was letting her cry too long and if I didn't go check on her than he would.

So I did, and she fell right back to sleep. And we have compromised and agreed that I won't let her cry for longer than 15 minutes without checking on her. I just hope that won't teach her to just cry for 15 minutes and Mommy will come rushing in. I'm hoping that over the week of sleep training she's now able to put herself back to sleep and won't want anymore middle of the night playtime.

So while sleep training was absolutely horrible, it seems to have worked. I know it's controversial and not for everyone, but I'm happy I did it.