TTC #2


I can hardly believe that my sweet baby’s second birthday is right around the corner.  We will be so busy with the holidays that the time will seem to pass even faster.  That being said, we have decided to try for another child.  We both want a few more children, but we will be perfectly happy and whole if J is our one and only.

We haven’t done anything to prevent having another child since J was born, but with extended breastfeeding, I didn’t have a cycle for a long time (about 16 months, I believe), and I haven’t taken any OPKs to see if I’m actually ovulating now.  We just felt like we would put the timing in God’s hands.

However, I feel like once you decide to try, there’s a whole new element of pressure and disappointment.  Each time your body doesn’t do what you want it to, you can’t help but feel a twinge of frustration.  I don’t know how the PCOS will come into play this go around, but I’m going to really try to not let it get me down.

I have just been praying that if it is God’s will, then we will have more kids.  If not, I’m so very blessed by the one I have already!

17 Month Update

It’s so funny to me, that even though it’s bittersweet watching him grow up, Jake is more fun to me at every new stage than he was at the one before.  His personality has grown so much in just a few short months.  And his vocabulary is quickly following.  He can now easily let you know yes or no by head shakes (and also a rather sassy face, sometimes accompanied by the word no), sign for food or milk, and point out just about anything he wants.  He knows lots of his body parts, as well as some animal sounds (woof! meow!).  He is so sweet and kind-hearted, and he loves other children (Aww! Baby!).

Breastfeeding is still awesome.  He’s definitely not nursing nearly as much, and he’s come a long way with using his sippy cups in the past month.  I am really trying to get him off of bottles, but am facing some resistance (from my MIL who watches him, not from him). I’m still pumping.  I’m officially back to having a menstual cycle, though, so we will probably start trying for baby #2 in about 6 months or so.  Overall, Jake is doing absolutely amazing, and he makes our life so joyful!

16 Month Breastfeeding Update

Sorry I’ve been MIA lately, but what better way to come back than with a breastfeeding update?!

16 months finds us still nursing fairly successfully.  Jake still doesn’t sleep 100% through the night, so nighttime is when we nurse most.  We still nurse a good bit during the day too, though, because someone doesn’t like to take more than about 3 sips from a cup… Needless to say, that means I’m still pumping so he can drink from a bottle when I’m at work.  You know how people tell you to never say never in parenthood?  Yeah.  I was that mom who was like MY baby will NOT be sucking a bottle after 12 months.  But I also thought I’d wean at 12 months, so now I know that I don’t know anything.  Parenthood.  So now that I’m down off my high horse, I’ve purchased literally 10 different cups, and he hates all of them.  Boo.  And I’m struggling with the pumping at this point, though, because it takes so much effort and I’m getting so little milk.  Double boo.
Also, possibly TMI here, but I think my menstrual cycle may be coming back after 2 full years, which isn’t helping the milk dilemma.  I had some light spotting for about 3 days, so we will see…  My hubby is really wanting another baby, but with my history of PCOS, who knows how that will turn out?  I’m cautiously optimistic because of how quickly Jake was conceived, but I’m not getting overly invested in the idea of another child just yet.  I don’t think I’m quite ready yet, anyway.

Thoughts on TTC

I went and saw a friend’s new baby this week. While it definitely did not give me baby fever, it got me thinking.

First of all, Jake isn’t ready to share his mommy yet. That’s okay. He loves other children, and even likes babies, as long as his mommy doesn’t hold them. Then, he gets a little jealous and wants to be held. I think he will deal with a sibling better when he’s old enough for us to try to explain it more.

Next, we still don’t sleep through the night. Again, that’s okay. I would just like to get J on a little better of a schedule before we turn our whole world upside down again. And maybe I could sleep for like 5 or 6 hours in a row first? Maybe.

Also? I would like a new job before getting pregnant again. My current one just isn’t family friendly with the crazy hours and next to non-existent vacation and sick time.

Buuuut, I do want another baby at some point. I worry with my PCOS how difficult it will be. We were fortunate with Jake; we tried for 9 months but that was only 6 cycles for me, so that wasn’t too bad. I have lost a ton of weight thanks to breastfeeding, so I’m about 23 pounds lighter than I was when I got pregnant with Jake. That is a huge deal, because with PCOS, even a small percentage of body weight lost can trigger ovulation. But I’m pretty sure I don’t ovulate right now anyway, because of breastfeeding; I haven’t had a menstrual cycle since April of 2013.

I am praying and praying that I will find a new job, and when that happens, I hope all the rest will fall into place. Ideally, it will be a job where I can work from home at least part-time, but almost anything would be an improvement. Just working normal hours would be a huge blessing for our family! However, I’m just praying about it all, and putting it in God’s hands, that He will lead our family where we need to be. The waiting is the hard part….

Welcome to the Club

Welcome to the club. It’s exclusive, just for women who are fierce. Women who work 24/7. Women who think of others before themselves. Women who would sacrifice everything, even their lives. Welcome to motherhood. To all the birth mamas, adoptive moms, step-mothers, and mothers-in-love, happy Mother’s Day. You are so loved and appreciated, even more than you know.

And to all the mamas out there who want a good cry today, here’s a great video about mothers.

National Infertility Awareness Week – Resolve

While I’m a little late getting on the bandwagon, I wanted to write a post for NIAW. Infertility is a real struggle for many couples, and I think raising awareness is a wonderful thing. Not only can we help encourage our healthcare system to treat infertility just like other diseases, we can also help couples who are struggling feel more hope and less alone.

The word resolve is both a noun and a verb. When I think back about the beginning of our journey to parenthood, I felt resolve in both senses – I was determined, and I had come to a definite decision – I wanted to have a child more than anything. We were incredibly fortunate that in spite of my known reproductive issues, we conceived in just 8 months. My older sister and my childhood best friend were both less fortunate. It took my sister 5 years and fertility treatments to get pregnant with my niece, who is now 10. She has never been able to get pregnant again. My very dear friend, who I’ve known since the fourth grade, discovered she was pregnant several weeks after me. She and her husband has been trying for about a year, but just a few weeks in, she miscarried. The heartache was so bad that she could hardly be around me through my pregnancy.

Although my pregnancy was sometimes difficult, I am acutely aware that at the end of the day, it was a miracle that I conceived at all, much less without treatment. We were some of the lucky ones. So, with that in mind, let’s all resolve ourselves to learning more, reaching out, and standing up so that we can give hope to the many couples who are struggling in silence.

For more information, please visit http://www.resolve.org.

Irony is a 4-Letter Word…

… And that word is “baby.” The Southern Mrs. is now also the Southern Mama.

For almost 2 weeks now, I have been trying to write this post. The words don’t come easily to me, at least not yet. But the long and short of the story is that God has a sense of humor. Because almost 2 weeks ago, I found out that I’m pregnant. Right after I wrote the post (in tears) about how badly I wanted a child.

I was so convinced it wouldn’t come easily for us. PCOS can be a cruel mistress, and I had been assured by the doctor who diagnosed me 5 years ago that I would not get pregnant on my own. When we heard the news that we were expecting, my gut reaction, of course, was shock and awe. How great our God is! How wonderful is the work of His hands! But even in its wonder, we are not yet in the clear. I found out I was pregnant because I had to go to the ER with severe abdominal pain and vomiting. I had a very bad UTI, but also, they couldn’t find the baby on the ultrasound. We were terrified. The ER doctor was cold and threw around words like “ectopic” and “chemical pregnancy” as if they weren’t daggers into our hearts. For this child, we have prayed…

So, here’s where we stand today. My beta HCG is rising appropriately for a viable pregnancy. My progesterone is a hair lower than we’d like. I have been poked and prodded for the last 2 weeks, but hopefully we will get to go in for an ultrasound within the next week or so to see our little bean, and hopefully see a heartbeat as well.

It is still so early, though. I am a scientist by profession, and the numbers are both a comfort and a curse. The rate of miscarriage in the first trimester is X and drops to Y after you’ve seen a heartbeat, but none of that matters when it might be your baby that’s lost. The pain that first sent me to the ER has not fully subsided, either. It is period cramps on steroids, plus a knife in my lower back. The pain wakes me up at night, and sometimes during the day, it incapacitates me. I have never been pregnant before, so everything is a reason for concern that the baby isn’t okay. So, I do what I can – I limit/avoid caffeine, I don’t lift anything heavy, I try to eat and rest enough. But mostly, I worry and I pray. Brian hates it; he doesn’t like the idea that he can’t help at all. He wants to do something, anything, to know we are going to be okay. So he does what he can – he helps me with chores, carries the groceries, and brings me a damp washcloth when morning sickness finds me. But mostly, he worries and he prays.

I am trying my best to find the joy and the excitement in this special time, and not allow the anxiety to dull the sparkle. Clearly, The Lord has a plan for us. We will just have to be patient and trusting in the meantime.

Baby Blues

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I’m a selfish person; I feel so envious of pregnant women or couples with children.  I have such a heavy heart because I want a baby so badly.  I worry about “my kids” all the time, but mostly, I worry that I’ll never get to meet them.  I’m in a strange position, because while we’ve only been trying to conceive for about 7 months, we are going into it knowing that I have some reproductive issues.  I have PCOS and a tilted uterus.  I have absolutely no regularity to my cycles – they range in length from 11 days to 65 within the past year.  I have been trying to chart and track, but honestly, there’s pretty much no pattern.  Also, my past 2 cycles have been very painful – much more so than any I’ve ever had before.  I’ve really been debating about getting it checked out by the doctor, but I’m so afraid that they will say that I can’t have children.  Also, my husband and I work really bizarre schedules, and don’t have any flexibility in that regard, so unfortunately, not great for baby making.

I know it’s probably silly, but every decision I make in life is for my family – my job, my car, the things I’m looking for in a house.  Without children, who would I be?  Why does every month that I’m not pregnant feel like some personal failure?

It’s something that I continually struggle with, because I’m a control freak.  My husband, who always tells me the right things (even when I don’t want to hear them), reminds me that it is not my timing or my will, but God’s.  One of my favorite verses lately is Proverbs 16:9 “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”  I hope that God will give me the child(ren) that I continually pray for, but I know that His plans for me are bigger and better than my own.  The waiting, though, is always the hardest part.

Come on in, y’all!

Welcome to our lives.  We are a Christian, conservative, Southern couple, trying to live a healthier lifestyle.  We are looking to buy our first home sometime within the next year, but will build it if necessary.  We are trying to conceive our first child, knowing ahead of time that I have PCOS.  It is sometimes frustrating, often crazy, and always Southern.