Wednesday, March 27, 2013

experimenting with cloth diapers...

A while back we were gifted a ton of cloth diapers from some friends who already have 4 kids.  Awesome!  Well we just got around to doing an inventory and figuring out the easiest diapers.  Many of the diapers are (wonderfully) home made, so I can't give you brand names or anything, but they were very easy to use.

Granted, we don't have a baby to try them out on yet, but this bear didn't seem too against the cloth diapering idea...

This is a handmade diaper under an adorable princess diaper liner.  There are 7 other diaper liners, but I think we'll be using this one the most!  With experience with Daughter, we'll see how quickly she soils the covers and whether or not we need more.

We aren't really "green" people.  We're cheap people.  This saves so much!  And then add to the savings of cloth diapering in general the fact that we got so many of them for free!  Thanks so much, friends :)

We will purchase a few disposables.  Primarily for when we visit other people or maybe for the first few days home from the hospital.  They are convenient, but so costly!

Monday, March 25, 2013

21 weeks! And bald eagles...

21 weeks!  Daughter is the length of a large banana
21 weeks!
 I get hot so easily!  I'm really starting to get nervous about the summer months...

I've been getting a lot of leg and foot cramps.  The constant cramp in my left foot has gotten a bit better.

I've found that eating beef jerky before bed helps me to make it through most of the night without waking to eat. 

On homestead news, Mat shot a raccoon that was living in our garage.  He threw the carcass out in hopes of attracting some coyotes to shoot.  They may have done some of the eating, but for the most part it was the bald eagles.  This was the closest we could get without them flying off.   They really are majestic creatures!

Below is what we call a bald eagle snow angle.  Mat has a theory that one of them lost the air fight to get first dibs on the carcass, fell to the ground here, and then just walked the rest of the way (the tracks lead to the carcass).  I found it pretty funny.
The most we saw out there were 3 at a time.  One was a youngster who hadn't "gone bald" yet.

It's awesome living out here!  This would never happen in the cities :)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Daughter kicks, foot cramps, and sickness...

Daughter kicks and wiggles a lot when I'm relaxing in a reclined position.  Tuesday night in bed I felt a kick and grabbed Mat's hand to have him feel.  Boy did she kick for daddy!  He was pretty excited.  He had felt her move before when I've been on my tummy (she's easier to feel then) but nothing so distinct.  She's more of a wiggler than a kicker.

I've had a bad cramp in my left foot since Saturday.  Totally unusual for's getting better- but it was pretty bad.

I've been sick since Monday.  I had to work Monday and Tuesday... I work from home so it wasn't that bad.  But sitting at a desk - even in your bathrobe and slippers- isn't easy when you're sick.  Yesterday I spent the day in bed an was able to recover a bit.  Today I'm feeling better, not normal, but better.

Monday, March 18, 2013

For Friends and Family of infertiles...

This was posted on a friends blog.  Very apropo.

For Friends & Family

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
 Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction.  
Philippians 4:13-14
If you are the one struggling with infertility, guess what?  Today’s Daily Double Portion is not for you!  Please print this copy out, hand it to the nearest friend or family member, turn your computer off and patiently wait until tomorrow for your next Daily Double Portion!
If you love someone who is carrying the heavy load of unplanned “un-pregnancy”,  you may find it difficult to know how to offer support for their struggle.  They definitely need your encouragement, but it is sometimes so difficult for friends and family to know how to offer the support.  As we struggle with infertility, our relationships with friends and family are undeniably touched.  Those who conceive easily may have difficulty truly understanding the struggle an infertile couple faces every single day.  In our effort to offer support for those who struggle, we submit these suggestions for ways that friends and family can offer their own support to those they love.  These are simple, practical ways to show your love and support.  If Sarah’s Laughter can help you in any way, please feel free to contact us at any time.
What to Say...
  • I’m so sorry.
  • I’m praying for you. (Only say this if you really will pray.)
  • How would you like me to pray for you? (Join in agreement with them in prayer.  Don’t assume you know what they’re praying for.  They may be praying for something that seems totally off the wall to you.  You don’t have to understand why certain things are important.  It may be important for your friend to not be invited to her cousin’s shower, or to be called into work on what should have been her due date.  When you validate their feelings by praying in agreement with them, it can be a beautifully healing thing.)
  • I’m here if you need to talk. (Then don’t be afraid of what they may say.  Don’t be offended if they don’t want to talk.  Being available to them as a sounding board is priceless.)
What NOT to say...
  • Relax, honey.  It will happen.  (This minimizes the hurt the couple is feeling.  Also, sometimes it doesn't happen.)
  • You’re so lucky not to be tied down with kids.  You can go on vacation any time you want.
  • At were only a few weeks along, At have one child.At have time with just the two of you.  (A good rule of thumb is--if you start a sentence with “at least” it’s probably the wrong thing to say!)
  • So whose fault is it--yours or his?  (Infertility is not an issue of fault.  It is a medical condition that carries a heavy emotional and spiritual burden.  This is an intensely personal battle.  If they want--or need--to share personal, medical information with you, let them.  It’s really quite an honor to be trusted with such vulnerable information. If they don’t want to share, please don’t ask.)
  • You can always have another baby.  (Unfortunately, many who experience infertility also experience loss.  Even if they are blessed with a houseful of other children, they still grieve the baby they've lost.  They love  this baby.  They want this baby.
  • I know how you feel.  (No, you don’t.  Even if you suffered with infertility or miscarriage, you cannot know exactly how this person feels.  You may have a good idea based on your own experience, but not the specifics of this situation.)   
  • Don’t cry.  It’ll be okay.  (Let them cry.  Let them cry with you or on you. Just let them cry.)
Be Sensitive...
  • Infertility and loss are excruciating experiences which tend to be extremely private.  If someone dares to trust in you and shares these experiences with you, take their hurt very seriously even if you cannot relate to their pain.  Maintain their confidence.  If someone else questions you about your friend’s childlessness, keep the information to yourself.  Even when others ask out of concern, remember the intimacy of this situation.  If and when your friend wants to share with others, she will--just as she shared with you.  
  • Don’t ask infertile women or mothers who have miscarried to pass out gifts on Mother’s Day, host baby showers, etc.  These are excruciating events for those who struggle.
  • Realize that the grief an infertile couple carries begins anew approximately every 28 days.
  • Don’t panic if the couple “emotionally vomits” on you.  Don’t cringe if they start talking about sperm counts or post-coital tests.  Your support can be life giving to someone who feels like they are going to collapse under the weight of an empty cradle.
  • Don’t be afraid of anger.  Hurting people tend to lash out.  If they are angry at their spouse, their doctor, their baby, their body or even at God, let them vent.
  • Give hurting couples an “out” on Mother’s Day/Father’s Day, on days when you have a baby dedication at church, for baby showers, children's birthday parties, etc.  Let them know about the dedication in advance if you are comfortable doing so, so that they can decide if they want to attend that Sunday.  These are hard events to attend.  Don’t criticize if they do not attend.  However, follow up with them if they miss more than just the difficult days or if they are pulling away too much.
  • Let them know you care.  However it works for you and those you care for, just let them know you care. 
As Philippians 4:13-14 says, we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength, but it is so good of you to share with your infertile friends/family in their trouble. Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you for caring for hurting people and making such a wonderful effort to ease the pain of unintentional childlessness.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

3rd OB appointment... Dr switch!

Went well!  I've officially gained 20 lbs at just under 20 weeks... so... yeah.  But, my OB says that's good and they expect me to gain more than average.  Daughter's HB was 147 (between 120 and 160 is normal).

She told me that our daughter was in the 42% at about 9 ounces last week at the ultrasound.  It's crazy to think that she's so small but moving around so much!  Today I let my mom and dad feel her.  They each had a hand on one side of my stomach.  At first, Daughter was wiggling on the right for my mom to feel, so then my dad switched sides so he could feel, and daughter switched to the left!  She's quite the little gymnast!  Playing hide and seek with grandpa already!

I got some of my questions answered...

Gardening is OK (woot woot!  Starting seeds soon!)

Protein is the best thing to eat before bed to make it through more of the night without waking up hungry.

We should never worry about too much movement.

I don't have to adjust my eating habits if Daughter moves more after I eat a certain food.

Laying on my stomach is fine as long as I'm comfortable.

An Active baby in the womb doesn't necessarily mean an active new born- just that she's healthy.

And ***TMI alert*** heavy discharge is normal and probably going to get worse.

At the last OB appt, I thought I may have noticed some maternity pants on my OB doctor as she bent over for something.  I told Mat about it, but didn't really think much of it.

Today, my mom took me to the appt in her all wheel drive (after getting stuck 3 times last week, we thought it would be safer!) and she was excited to meet my OB and hear the heart beat.  So I told her before we went to look to see if she thought the Dr was preggo.  At the end of the appointment, the Dr brought up that her due date had changed.  She had been due in mid August, but now her due date had been bumped up to July.  I said "Congrats!" and she told me my options...

I could either switch Dr's now, continue seeing this Dr until I absolutely had to change, or I could see them both.  I asked her if she would be offended at all if I switched now and she assured me that she would not and she completely understood.  She said that a few of her patients who were on their second, third, or fourth were sticking with her, but she completely understands that a first time mom who has been through everything we've been through to get Daughter would want to switch now.

The other doctor sounds great.  She is actually the Dr that the preggo Dr is going to for her OB care and will do the delivery.  I just confirmed that she was not of child bearing age... just to ensure that she wouldn't have pregnancy conflicts as well.  We'll have to find another appt that Mat can come with me for, because he wants to meet the Dr before the delivery.

And last night, one of Mat's friends offered us some baby girl clothes!  They have two daughters and want us to have some of the clothes :)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

19 week pics!

A bit late... but I couldn't find the camera cord.

19 weeks

19 weeks
I tried on my dresses Sunday to see what one I should wear to the First Choice Clinic fundraiser banquet last night.  I was told that dress pants would be appropriate, but I don't have any maternity dress pants that fit.  This isn't the dress I decided on, but it's cute. 

It was honestly the first time I felt like a "cute" pregnant lady.  It's a hand me down from my sister (as most of my dresses are, except for the ones I buy at thrift stores or garage sales) and it's perfect for maternity!  I had a cute sweater on over it and wore it most of the day.  

The dress I ended up wearing was actually a maternity dress I got from a G sale when I first found out I was pregnant with the twins.  I remember looking through the maternity clothes and another flat stomached woman joining me asking when I was due.  I was only 4 weeks, but she wasn't even pregnant yet.  They were just going to start trying.  She was so excited!  I wished her luck.  I wonder if she has a baby yet?  This was in June of 2011... so odds are good that she does.  I hope she does :)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Wiggler is a girl!

Perfectly healthy!  :)

I left very early for the ultrasound because the back roads were covered in snow drifts.  It was a good thing, because I ended up getting stuck about 2 miles from our house!  So close to the main road!  But I called AAA (life savers!) and about 40 minutes later a tow truck came and dug/ towed me out of the drift.  The license plate on the tow truck said "JOY" and then some numbers.  I thought that was very appropriate! 

While I was waiting I prayed, read, recited Psalm 23 a few times, and called the hospital to let them know that I would be late.  I ended up being about 20 minutes late (thank God I left so early!), which wasn't so bad.  Mat met me there and we went in together.  

The tech was the same one who had done my 6 week and 9 week US.  She remembered me (small town) and said our baby had Mat's nose.  Ha!  I said "That's funny, because she's adopted..." and giggled.  She said "oh I guess she has one of those noses!" or something along those lines.  She's a very nice lady.  She even warms up the US gel :)

Then I ran some errands in town... went to Walmart and picked out our daughters first onesie :)
And Dr Seuss books were also on sale, so I got Green Eggs and Ham.

I was just grinning like an idiot the whole time I was in the baby section!  We're so happy!

After my errands I went to hang out with my cousin and her daughters for a bit so that I could follow Mat home for the tire tracks. 

What an awesome day.  God rocks!

Another embryo adoption question came up today.  Do the people who donate embryos get paid?  No, they don't.  These are the embryos remaining after the bio. parents pay a boat load of money to do IVF.  Once they're done growing their family, often times they have remaining embryos which they can then donate to other couples for adoption.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Embryo Adoption Q&A

At the women's Bible study last night, the subject of embryo adoption came up and there were a lot of questions.  I welcome questions!

I'll just list a few...

What are the costs compared to an infant adoption?
Less expensive. There is an excellent blog post about it on Embryo Adoption Awareness
For us, it was the cheaper end of the $10,000-$15,000 spectrum.  But choosing open adoption adds to the expense.  In many cases it's actually less expensive than IVF.

How long can they be frozen?
A long time!  Wiggler is 15 this month.  He or she was frozen March of 1998!  Yep, that's right, there's a 15 year old in my womb.  In 2010 a baby made headlines being born from a  20 year old embryo

Two of our 14 year old embies were implanted in November

How many embryos are waiting for adoption?
I don't know an exact figure.  NEDC told us that they generally have around 100 sets at any given time (each set is from the same bio. parents, so all embryos in a given set are genetic siblings.  The 15 embies we adopted are one set).  About 50% of them are open adoption embies, and 50% closed.  We went closed and we had over 90 profiles to choose from!

NEDC was the agency we found with the most.  But there are many agencies, even a lot of local clinics, with donation/adoption programs. 

Can you choose the appearance closest to you?
Yes.  At least at NEDC, they give you a page listing hair and eye color, skin tone, height, weight, profession, heritage, etc.  Then you choose from those single page listings which sets of embies you want more info on.  We chose 5, I believe, and we got about 10 pages on each.  Listing health history, parents tastes, hobbies, and health histories of any babies born from this set.

We ended up choosing the parents who were the most like us, both in physical appearance and in hobbies and likes/dislikes.

There were other questions, and please feel free to ask any that you may have.  We are so excited about embryo adoption and our little Wiggler (and his siblings!) we want to share it with the world!  :)

Our adoption agency (Christian Family Life Services) told us that once we adopt, we become ambassadors for adoption.  So true!