Lovely Apidae

"It was the oldest sound in the world. Souls flying away." The Secret Life of Bees

Friday, July 25, 2014

Poppy fields

Ben, Hugo and I went on a hike last weekend at Silver Falls state park.  We met some friends there and spent the afternoon hiking and enjoying all of the waterfalls.  This was Hugo's first long-ish hike (around 5 miles) and he did great!  We stopped once to nurse and once for a quick diaper change.  Otherwise, he was in the carrier (ergo) and loved being outside.  On our way home,  we saw these gorgeous poppy fields on the side of the road near Mt. Angel, Oregon.  Of course we had to stop.  This was definitely one of the highlights of the day.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

New dress, new hair!

I picked this dress up at Union Rose a few months ago.  A local designer, Hubris Apparel, created this beautiful frock that I couldn't pass up. I was newly postpartum and looking for something flattering and breastfeeding friendly. This dress fit the bill so it came home with me.  It is definitely breastfeeding friendly, but not exactly pump friendly, so I haven't gotten as much wear out of it as I'd hoped.  

I have been letting the color grow out of my hair for the  past year.  When I was pregnant, I decided to not use hair dye and I continued that path after Hugo was born.  It is so nice to not have to worry about going in every 6 weeks and spending tons of $$$ to get it colored.  It has taken some adjusting, but I decided I'm just going to rock the gray for now:)  I just got it cut about a week ago and got bangs, so the gray is really 'out there' now, but I'm kind of digging it.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Hugo update: 5 1/2 months old

I started back to work last month.  Between that and being a mom, I'm finding it hard to make the time for blogging.  The transition back to work has been very hard.  Much harder than I anticipated.  It's hard to get back into the swing of things, it's hard logistically (pumping,  bottles, diapers, lunch, etc.), and it's oh so hard on me to leave Hugo at daycare.  We are slowly getting into a routine and some aspects of it are getting easier.

I am so thankful to be able to work from home 1 day a week and I just found out that I am going to be able to cut my hours down and work 4 days/week for the rest of the summer (3 days in office, 1 from home).  This arrangement is making it bearable and I could not be happier to have more time with Hugo!

Speaking of Hugo-  he is wonderful!  He  is growing like crazy and doing so many new things.  I love watching him discover the world!

*The Johnny Jump Up!  Our friend is letting us borrow an old school johnny jump up.  It hangs on a door frame and can bounce really high.  Hugo thinks it's the best thing ever!  He could spend hours in it if we let him.  He got the hang of it really quickly and LOVES to jump, jump, jump!

*The dogs.  Hugo is really noticing the dogs now.  He watches them very closely and reaches out to grab them when they walk by.  He grabbed onto Kya's tail a couple of days ago and didn't want to let go.  She is very patient with him.  

*Being outside.  He loves sitting in the back yard looking up at the sky, grabbing onto plants, watching the chickens, and discovering so many new and fun things:)  We found a pack'n play at a yard sale last weekend that we have set up in the back yard.  It's his new favorite hang out spot.  

*Hugo gets fussy when he is tired or too hot.  That's about it.  I can't really think of anything else to put here.  He is truly a very content and happy baby.

Sleeping is hit or miss these days.  Some nights he sleeps like  a rock, maybe waking up once for a quick meal.  Other nights he is up 5+ times to nurse.  I think the transition to daycare really impacted his sleeping.  He had a hard time taking a bottle at first and ended up doing a little reverse cycling (when they nurse more frequently at night), which was fine with me. We bed share, so it is very easy for me to just roll over and nurse him whenever he pleases.  I'm much better at sleeping through it for the most part now, so I really don't mind.

Hugo is still EBF and eats on demand when we are together.  I'm SO glad I stuck with breastfeeding.  It is so easy now and I absolutely love it.  I love the bond, I love being able to nurture my baby, I love when he gazes up at me so satisfied.  I pump 3 times per day at work to cover what he eats at daycare  (which is currently three 3 ounce bottles).  In about 2 more weeks we will start introducing solids.  We are planning on going with the baby led weaning method

Breastmilk popsicle!
Hugo loves tummy time, rolling, reading, and his playmat.  He has a handful of favorite toys that he likes to grab, twist, shake, roll, etc.  The mirror is still a hit and he is just now discovering other babies, so playdates are more fun now:)  

Rolled from back to tummy - 5/23/14 (4 months old)
Discovered his feet! - 5/28/14
First day at daycare (loved interacting with and watching the other kids and was "very vocal") - 6/3/14
Transitioned away from being swaddled and discovered belly sleeping- 6/7/14
First taste of "real" food (he had blueberries and LOVED them). - 6/13/14  This seemed to go well, but I'm waiting until Hugo is 6 months to proceed with solids/BLW.  
First canoe trip - 6/29/14 (5 months old)
Sat up on his own- 7/4/14


Isn't this the most adorable thing?  He was not a big fan of the life jacket, but we thought it was the cutest:)
On the river!  He slept for most of the trip.

Sitting up on his own!

A recent OOTD

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Hugo update: 3 months old

My little guy is 3 months old (just turned 14 weeks).  I'm sure every mother feels this way, but he is the most amazing baby.  He is growing and developing so rapidly.  I'm trying my best to soak up every moment.

* Being read to.  He sits so still, listens intently, and stares up at the pages.  We read every day and go to story time at the library and at a local bookstore (Green Bean Books) weekly.

* Music.  He loves any and all types of music.  Every day when Ben gets home, they sit in the kitchen and listen to music.  Hugo gets so excited and shakes his hands and kicks his feet!  We also sometimes use music to help Hugo calm down when it's time to sleep.  He still loves dancing to sleep.  Ben and I have had a few karaoke sessions in the living room to entertain Hugo (and ourselves - ha!).  He obviously hasn't developed the ability to distinguish good singing from bad just yet, thank goodness.

* People.  He loves people watching and has started smiling at strangers.

* Airplane pose.  He smiles and laughs the whole time Ben zooms him around the house.  It's the best!

*His car seat.  For some reason, he hates his car seat.  I think it must be uncomfortable somehow.  He cries and screams the majority of the time he's in it.  We just bought him a new one (a convertible seat).  I'm hoping he likes it better. 

Some patterns are starting to emerge, but sleep is mostly still hit or miss.  He has started going to bed consistently at 7:30pm every night.  Some nights, like last night, he sleeps really well, only waking up once to eat around 2:00 or 3:00am.  Other nights, he's up every few hours to eat.  We had a really rough one night before last.  He woke up every 1.5 to 2 hours and slept poorly in between.  I think his tummy must have been bothering him because he seemed uncomfortable.  He has started taking a morning nap in addition to his afternoon nap (and sometimes even takes a late afternoon nap as well).  Overall, I can't complain too much.

Breastfeeding is going so much better now.  It has gotten tremendously easier  I was able to get my supply up and Hugo has been gaining an average of 1+ ounces per day (which is great!).  He eats on demand, usually about 8 -10 times per day.  I also pump a couple times a day to keep my supply up and to build my freezer stash.  Hugo does have a sensitive tummy, so I've had to modify my diet quite a bit.  I am not eating gluten, diary, or nuts currently.  I'm hoping that once his gut matures, I will not have to be so strict.  

He is interacting with things so much more now.  He can reach and grab onto things. - he especially loves his toy robot.  He notices himself in mirrors now.  Ben held him up to the bathroom mirror one day recently and Hugo started cracking up!  He laughed and laughed and laughed at himself.  Cutest. Thing. Ever.  He has a toy mirror that he loves to look at during tummy time.

First hike (with his dad and a couple of friends in Forest Park) - 3/22/14 (2 months)
First "roll" (flipped from tummy to back) - 3/24/14
Discovered hands - 3/28/14
First real laugh - 4/6/14
First flight (all the way to NC to visit family) - 4/9/14 (10 weeks)
First cold - 4/20/14 (Easter)

First plane ride!  
Poor little guy
Favorite place to nap:)

My beautiful boy

Friday, April 25, 2014

one year ago today (my infertility journey)

One year ago today, I went in for for the IUI (intrauterine insemination) that resulted in Hugo's conception.  I remember the day like it was yesterday.  I was nervous, a little bit excited, and clinging to that little voice in my head that told me to be hopeful.  After 15 months of trying, a boatload of tests, many many doctors appointments, and  4 cycles of infertility meds which did not result in pregnancy, it was hard for me to feel hopeful.  After getting my hopes up time and time again to only be disappointed, I wondered why this cycle would be any different.  The ups and downs - clinging to hope while at the same time talking yourself down so that the disappointment is  bearable - is what I remember most about my infertility journey.

Ben and I decided that we wanted to start a family soon after our wedding in 2011.  We officially began "trying" in December of that year.  Being the researcher I am, I immediately started reading books, articles, websites, message boards, and everything I could get my hands on to learn as much as I could about TTC ("trying to conceive") and pregnancy.  We were so excited.......and so naive.  From my research, I knew that it may take my body a few months to regulate after stopping birth control pills.  I read that for a normal healthy couple, it can take up to a year to conceive.  No way will it take a year, I thought.  I honestly assumed it would take 2 or 3 months max.  It didn't help that I had recently gone out to dinner with a friend who told me after her and her husband decided to start a family, it literally took 1 try for her to get pregnant (as in she went off the pill, they had sex 1 time, she ended up knocked up).  I wanted to do everything possible to increase our chances right off the bat.  I bought "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" (GREAT book, by the way.  I highly recommend it if you are trying or thinking about starting a family soon) and immediately began tracking my temperature and peeing on OPK's (ovulation predictor kits) to track my cycles and pinpoint ovulation.

After the first couple of months, it was clear that I did not have the textbook 28-day cycles with ovulation occurring at day 14.  My cycles were longer and my luteal phase (the time between ovulation and your period) was shorter than normal.   Again, I thought it was no big deal and that my body was still regulating after stopping hormonal birth control.  I kept tracking everything and every time my data indicated ovulation, I would get so excited and hopeful!  I daydreamed about being pregnant.  As we planned our honeymoon to Paris, I wondered what maternity clothes I would wear and I envisioned taking a picture of my baby bump at the Eiffel tower.

Of course our honeymoon came and went and I still wasn't pregnant.  I started feeling discouraged and wondered if something was wrong.  I checked in with my doctor and she decided to run some labs.  Everything came back normal, so we continued on our TTC path.  After about 8 months, I reached out to a naturopath who specializes in women's health/fertility.  Ben and I followed all of her suggestions, including vitamins/herbs, a 2 week cleanse, maya fertility massage, accupuncture, etc.  My cycles did begin to regulate more and more, but I still wasn't pregnant. After 12 months of trying, it was time to move on and be evaluated by a reproductive endocrinologist.

I met with the RE and after collecting a very thorough history, she did an ultrasound of my ovaries and discovered the "string of pearls" effect that is common with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome).  She diagnosed me that day and we came up with a treatment plan.  I was surprised by the PCOS diagnosis because I don't have a lot of the symptoms of PCOS and my labs were normal just a few months prior.  She explained that there is a spectrum of PCOS diagnoses, and even though I don't have many of the common symptoms, my infertility and polycystic ovaries were enough for an official diagnosis.  I had labs drawn, Ben went in for a semen analysis, and I picked up my first round of fertility drugs from the pharmacy.  Even though I was upset about the PCOS diagnosis, I was so happy to know what the problem was and to have a treatment plan in place.  My RE told me that it was very likely I would get pregnant during the first 3 rounds of treatment.  I actually felt hopeful again!

Those 3 treatment cycles came and went and still no pregnancy.  They weren't easy either.  The fertility meds cause all sorts of side effects that are not easy to deal with physically or emotionally.  I am a pretty laid back person, but these meds made me feel a little bit crazy sometimes.  I also had to go in each cycle for an ultrasound to make sure the meds were working, but not over-stimulating my ovaries.  The ultrasounds showed that the meds were working - I was ovulating at the right time and my cycles were regulated, but they just did not result in pregnancy.  I met with the RE again as it was time for the next step.  I went in for an HSG (hysterosalpingogram) to make sure my fallopian tubes were open (btw, for anyone having this done, it was definitely uncomfortable for me, but not nearly as painful as I expected it to be).  The test showed no blockages or problems.  My doctor increased my meds, and I went through 1 more unsuccessful cycle.  I had another visit with the doctor who was kind of stumped as to why I wasn't pregnant yet.  We decided to add in a couple more meds to increase the odds and also do an IUI.  For that 5th cycle, I started metformin, did a round of femara, Ben and I went in for the IUI, then I started progesterone after ovulation.  By this point, I was so discouraged and frustrated.  I was clinging to what very little hope I had left.  After so many months of disappointment, I was fully expecting another negative pregnancy test and was already dreading future treatments.  Boy oh boy, was I in for a shock!

12 days after the procedure, I decided to take a pregnancy test.  I went in the bathroom and peed in a cup like I had done so many times before.  I watched the test and saw that it looked negative, once again.  I was standing in the bathroom, thinking about how I had to go out and tell Ben the disappointing news.  I dreaded having to tell him and see the look on his face.  As I worked up my courage, I picked up the test to throw it away and there it was.  The faintest line you have ever seen!  It was barely visible, but it was there!  I ran out of the bathroom saying, "do you see this line?  There is a line here, right?".  Ben agreed that there was a line and asked me what it meant (duh!).  We were both in shock.  I said, "I think it means I'm pregnant".  He did not want us to get our hopes up, so he kept saying that we would just wait until tomorrow to see if the line got darker.  I stood there shaking and we both just kept looking at it in disbelief.  We left for work and that ended up being the longest day ever.  Of course, all I could think about was the test.  I stopped and picked up many more pregnancy tests, including a digital one (that says either "pregnant" or "not pregnant" so that there wouldn't be any doubt).  I came home and peed on the digital one.  I stood in the bathroom, waiting for it to register and when the word "pregnant" popped up, I just started bawling.  Once Ben got home, I showed it to him,  along with all of the other tests I took, and the news finally started to sink in.  Wow, what a year it has been!            


This also happens to be national infertility awareness week.  Chances are, whether you know it or not, someone you know is dealing with infertility.  For various reasons, it's something that a lot of people don't feel comfortable talking about as they are going through it.  Be aware and be sensitive.  I can't tell you how hard it was for me when one day my aunt called me up and asked me if Ben and I were ever going to have children.  That just happened to be a day that I found out one of our treatment cycles was unsuccessful.  I was heartbroken and her phone call made it that much worse.  Here is a great page for infertility etiquette.  If you are dealing with infertility, you are not alone.  Feel free to contact me with any questions or if you just need to talk to someone who has been there.