Tuesday, May 10, 2011

You're invited...

To follow me on my new blog Abiding Andrew. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The anniversary

Today is the anniversary of the day that changed my life -- the day that three tiny embryos were thawed and the two that survived were transferred to my uterus. One of those embryos became my son, who is sleeping down the hall as I write this. He is dressed in a baby blue footed pajamas, he is lying on his back -- deep in sleep -- with his little chubby arms up over his head as if he has surrendered to sleep. He is making tiny little sleeping noises as he breathes in and out. He is the most beautiful, wonderful, magical little person I've ever met.
It is almost unfathomable to think that a small group of cells that were frozen for three months grew into this precious baby. It is nothing short of a miracle and I am reminded daily as I marvel at Andrew at just how close we came to never knowing him, to never being parents, to never living this life that we have now.
My memories of that day are now colored by the happy outcome. Still, I remember feeling less optimistic than in the past. I felt -- resigned. I was pretty sure we'd come to the end of the road as far as our infertility was concerned. We'd gambled three times on IVF and came up empty handed each time. The frozen embryo transfer was sort of like a formality. We had to give those three embryos a chance before we could decide to move on to embryo donation or adoption or, gasp, living child free. On the day of the transfer, I remember watching the ultrasound screen. In all my previous IVFs I had willed my body to welcome those tiny embryos, I would think "hello, my babies, I hope you'll stay. I love you very much." But during my FET, I didn't think these thoughts. I just thought about all the times I'd been there before and how I hoped I'd never be there again.
The most poignant memory of that day is when my husband quietly sang to me as we waited in our curtained room. "Here we go again on our own, going down the only road we've ever known." It struck me as insanely funny at the time. But, Greg was right. Heartbreak was all we'd known at that point. Now, we have such joy. There is joy in the middle of the night when Andrew wakes and I can hear him stirring in the next room. There is joy early in the morning before the sun is up and we lie in bed listening to Andrew "talking" his happy morning jabber. There is in taking care of his needs, joy in knowing that he is happy and healthy, joy in seeing him learn new things and unbelievable joy when he fixes his eyes on my face and smiles.
But, of course, I couldn't have dared imagine all this one year ago.
I was hopeful. Hope springs eternal for infertiles, it seems. Why else would we continue to put ourselves through such horrible procedures and treatments? Even so, I did not have the kind of hope I'd had during my third IVF, when it seemed everything was going right.
Little did I know that one year later, I would be a mother and my heart would forever be changed. Believe it or not, I now cry more easily than I did during those heartbreaking years of TTC. The difference is that now, most the time the tears are joyful. I cry when I listen to the radio. I cry when I think of how Andrew came to be. Sometimes, just looking at my baby's sweet face is enough to bring on the waterworks. I am just so swept away by this child. It's like falling in love -- only better. Even some of Andrew's books make me cry. Yesterday, I finally made it through "On The Night You Were Born" without crying. I still can't read "God Gave Us You." I told Greg that would have to be the book he reads to Andrew since Mommy is such a crybaby.
This is a birthday of sorts. It's sort of difficult to classify this day now that I think about it. It's not the anniversary of the day Andrew was conceived -- that was back in January. It's not the anniversary of the day I became pregnant, because as we all know, pregnancy doesn't begin immediately after transfer. Still, it is the anniversary of the day that changed my life -- the day that started this journey. I am so grateful -- eternally grateful -- for the precious gift that is my son.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A work in progress

So, the new blog is under construction. I'm actually having someone design it for me so that it will be exactly what I want. I'm so excited about it. And, yes, I will definitely let my readers know where to find me once it's ready.
Andrew is doing great. He is now three months old. I can hardly believe it. He smiles a lot, has laughed out loud a few times and has twice managed to roll from his tummy to his back unassisted. He is very motivated to roll this way because he HATES being on his tummy. We go for his three month appointment tomorrow. His reflux is under control most days and though he is a cat napper, he is sleeping well and letting mommy get a lot of rest most nights.
He is such a little wonder to me! I cannot believe how much he has grown and learned over the last three months. And, I cannot believe how much I have learned. I am becoming an expert on all things Andrew and it feels good to be able to interpret his little cries and motions. I feel more and more confident as a mother as each day passes. I love the fact that most of the time when he wakes up and I lean over his crib, he is smiling back at me. His smile is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life. I know that for as long as I live, that will remain true.
We are quickly approaching the anniversary of our embryo transfer and I hope that I can write a post that encompasses all the emotions I'm feeling about this special day. Until then, I'll be working on the new blog and playing with my miracle boy.

Friday, April 1, 2011

I've been thinking....

perhaps it's time to end this blog and start a new one. The support I found from my readers out there in blogland was very helpful to me during the last rounds of our infertility struggle and throughout my pregnancy. I am thankful to each one of you who ever offered me a word of encouragement or advice. I pray that you get the miracle you are waiting on. However, I find that I am not always being authentic in my writing on this blog for fear of hurting readers who still struggle. So, perhaps it's time for a new blog. I'm envisioning a blog that is blatantly and unequivocally dedicated to my precious baby and this new life we have as a family of three.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Show off

One of the problems with living so far away from family and friends when you have a new baby is you don't really have anyone to ooh and aah over him. Everyday, Andrew learns something new or accomplishes some new feat (yesterday he managed to get his fist in his mouth, which is not a new trick, but he was able to keep it there, which is new). And, of course, I have no one to witness this particularl little feat. Greg is working crazy hours -- leaving before Andrew wakes up and getting home after he's gone to bed. So I am left alone to revel in every smile, every movement, every dirty diaper.
I long to be closer to my family because they will make such a fuss over my boy that both Andrew and I might both be a little overwhelmed. After a lot of consideration, I decided to make the trek to NC without Greg. So it will be me and Andrew flying home next month.
I am a little nervous about flying with him for the first time without an extra set of hands, but I keep telling myself that it is only 6 hours travel time and we will get through it just fine, even if we have to ask a stranger to help us out.
I can't wait to get there. I can't wait for Andrew to meet his Aunt Renee' and all his cousins, to see my 92-year-old grandmother lay eyes on Andrew for the first time. I can't wait for Andrew and my great nephew Wyatt to meet -- they are only seven months apart and I predict they will be the best of friends for the rest of their lives.
I look forward to seeing my parents with Andrew again now that he has emerged from his state of newness to become this observant, interactive little wonder. I can't wait to see my Aunt Betty -- so sick, in Round 2 of her battle with breast cancer -- with Andrew in her arms. So many prayers she has prayed for this perfect little miracle. She has asked my mother when we will be home every day. When my mom told her April 21, she said "that is still a long time away." I suppose your perspective of time shifts when you are fighting for your life.
I anticipate so much joy in our homecoming. We'll be there for Easter and I plan to take Andrew to church -- the church of my childhood where every face is familiar and everyone who occupies a seat in the pew is linked either by blood or by friendship. My family still attends services regularly and this church has prayed for us to become parents for as many years as we've been trying. I can't wait to show them our answered prayer.
We'll be there for 19 days, plenty long enough for me to miss Greg and my home. Long enough for Greg to really miss us and wonder why I stayed so long. But it won't be long enough. I look forward to the day when I am surrounded by the people I love the most. I'm sure when we make our last move home and get settled I will ask myself why in the world we decided to move so close to all these crazy relatives, but then I will remember this isolation and this particular brand of lonliness and I will know that whatever my family does to get on my nerves is a small price to pay for having a whole host of folks who love you nearby.
Basically, I am looking forward to "showing off" my little guy. He is absolutely perfect, afterall!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Have you ever hurt your knee or your ankle and just when you least expect it that old injury will flare up and remind you of the pain you once endured?
Well, that's a little what parenting after infertility is like. There you are, moving right along with your day, happy as a pig in mud because you've finally got your little one in your arms and then -- that old familiar sting.
I experienced a flare up of that old injury of infertility yesterday. Andrew and I were out for our daily stroll -- I was hoping he'd slip into a little nap as he used to do everytime I'd put him in his stroller. But, there's just too much out there in the world to see! Now he spends his time in the stroller drooling, cooing, shaking his favorite rattle and taking in the big, big world.
We were only a few blocks from home when I saw a young girl standing near the street waiting for a friend who was walking on the opposite sidewalk. From the back, this girl looked a lot like my niece Emily, with her long red hair and her athletic build.
Emily is a rare girl -- unbelievably kind and smart and funny. Her laugh, her smile, well, it's just infectious. You cannot help but fall in love with my niece.
This girl was about the same age as my Emily -- the one that brings you to a state of flux -- not a child, not a woman, just stuck somewhere in between. I could sense her enthusiasm as she greeted her friend and the two locked arms and started chatting and went inside. I thought about all the girl drama they are bound to stir up and I felt a little catch in my throat. Why on earth was I about to cry?
Because I had one thought -- I will never have a daughter.
Damn you infertility. Even in these happiest days of my life, with my smiling, cooing, perfect little son finally here in my arms, you manage to bring me to tears.

Friday, March 18, 2011

St. Patty's Day fun

Here's a picture of me and my little guy in his silly St. Patty's Day socks.