Thursday, December 23, 2010

Open Wounds

It is always at this time of year that I begin to evaluate my life and the year I have had. This time of year we not only celebrate the holidays, but the births of my three boys. It is impossible to not feel the thankfulness of these three gifts at such a humble, joyful and giving time of year.

Last night, by chance, I came across " and Bi.ll". I have always been a fan of Bill since his "" days and the one other time I saw this show I loved how this couple interacted together. The episode that I watched was her final IVF cycle where, at the end, she found out that she was not pregnant. Through the show they showed them going in for their transfer, with parents in tow for well-wishes and good luck, on bed rest after the transfer, them eating a romantic dinner with so many positive thoughts and hopes for this cycle and the phone call from their RE with the BFN news.

As I was watching this show, I got choked up several times. It is so hard to go back and see these emotions and feel all of the same emotions come surfacing to the top. My DH also was having some emotions surface and kept making comments like, "they are so naive", "they have no clue what is about to hit them". Not in a mean-spirited way about them, but rather reflections from our IF journey.

It was hard to shake the heavy heart and tears as the show closed with Bill giving a pep talk while she was reading a letter from a fan and trying to hold back her tears. After the show was done I felt such profound loss. Loss for them and their journey, and remembering our losses. It was like the scars from our IF journey came ripping open and I couldn't stop.

In that moment I realized that no matter that my family is now complete, I still have, and always will have, those IF wounds. Sure, having the Little Monkeys has helped (and, of course, I am so thankful to have them), but my journey is still a part of me, and my DH. It is shaped who we are today and I don't think that even though we have had success that would could ever forget where we have come from to where we are today.

It is with a heavy heart, that I extend to my fellow IFers a wish for peace, healing and joy this holiday season. Whether you have your baby in your arms, your baby in your hearts or your baby waiting to come home to you I am still "all in" this together, with you, rooting you on and wishing only the best for you.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Partner in Crime

With the recent snowfall here in Minnesota along came a change in our daily routine. We have a seasonal business wherein my husband doesn't work much, maybe 15-20 hours/week, in the winter months when the ground is frozen and there is 20" if snow on the ground. It makes it hard to dig/rip through the frost and unsafe to do so as underground utilities are hard to locate and navigate through properly. What this means for me is that I have a partner in crime to help me through my days.

This week has been so much fun! My DH has been around a ton to help me with the Little Monkeys during the day, including doing some Christmas shopping with us and going out to lunch with the Little Monkeys twice, and he even surprised Logan (and I) by picking him up from school one day so that they could go on a snowmobile ride together. I love that my husband has the opportunity to be so involved in our daily routine for 2-3 months out of the year because the rest of the year he is working 60-70 hours/week.

It is nice that we have our two businesses, but sometimes it really can cut into our family life. I am thankful, though, that this summer my DH made it a point to be home from work by 5:30 every evening to help out with our nighttime routine. I think there was only two nights this whole summer that he was home after the kids went to bed. This is a huge improvement from previous years and one that we both have struggled with knowing that he has to work when the work is available and knowing that the payoff is that he will have more time to be with the family in the winter months.

Lest you think any different, my husband is an AWESOME husband and an even better daddy. He will do whatever it takes to be there for us when we need him, even if he has a ton of work to do. A couple of months ago the power went out at our house in the morning right in the middle of me making coffee. When Logan woke up he was bummed that the power went out too. I called DH to tell him the power was out and he came home from work so that we could all go out for breakfast and wait for the power to come back on. And, last week when both babies woke up in the morning throwing up and I was trying to clean everything and get Logan out the door onto the school bus, my DH came home and gave me a hand giving the babies a bath and getting Logan off to school. It's the little things like this that make the winter months so much better and are able to help me through the long days of summer. Because just when I am struggling with my hands full- literally- he is right there ready to dig in and give me a hand.

So, yipee for me! My DH is around more for the next couple of months and it is just what I needed to get some much needed projects done uninterrupted. WOOOOHOOO!

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Rash, MinneSNOWta, and The UnTwins

The last week has brought sickness to our house. It started Wednesday morning when Caden woke up looking like this:

The little guy had thrown up in his crib overnight and never made a fuss! He had a rash from sleeping in his food that he had eaten for dinner the night before. Poor little honey looked so sad and cute at the same time. During breakfast Colton ended up throwing up and then they both began on huge blowout diarhea diapers for a few days. Add in Logan throwing up SIX times (now, that's impressive!) on Thursday night and a mommy not feeling good on Friday and let's just say that I am glad we are all feeling much better. And, rest assured that with many applications of lotion, Caden's rash was gone by the next morning.

Then, the SNOW began. We got 20" of snow between Friday night and Saturday morning! WOW, what a winter wonderland! DH and Logan were able to go on a little snowmobile ride on Saturday morning on the snowmobile trail across from our house, but got buried by the snowplow going by so they decided to turn aroound and come back home. I think they will wait until the groomer goes by and try again.

View from my front window

View out my front door

Colton, Logan and Caden


This last week of sickness and snow ended this morning with an odd conversation with a friend. She was telling me that she has a cousin who has twins from IVF. The grandmother of the twins was telling my friends mom that because they were "different" that they were not twins. As she started to imply that Caden and Colton were not twins I looked at her and said, "what are you talking about?" She explained that this is what her aunt had said. I said, "well did she say that because they are not identical?" She assumed that is why but then said something about them being from two different eggs and something about them having the same genetic material and that they didn't use donor egg or sperm. I explained that there were plenty of twins who were conceived naturally from two different eggs, ie, fraternal twins, and they are still considered twins. was the weirdest conversation I had ever had. After she left I was trying to figure out if her aunt thought that that her grandchildren were not twins because they were fraternal or because they came from an IVF cycle. Either way, they are still twins. If two babies are born from the same mom at the same time then they are TWINS for Heaven's sake!

Friday, December 3, 2010

All About Logan

Since it is his birthday week, I thought I would share some more things about my birthday boy.

A couple of weeks ago we went to his school conferences. I asked him before we went if his teacher was going to say anything bad about him. I just wanted him to be honest and feel like he could tell us if there were issues going on at school. He responded, "No, I don't think so". As we are going through the conference folder with his teacher she told us that he was the only student in the class that knew what each letter in the alphabet was and what sound it made. Then she flipped to the next page and showed us an evaluation on different parts of words, comprehension, spelling, etc (there were about 20 different areas on words and their structures). As she was going over each area with us she told us that he scored the highest in the class. WOW! We couldn't believe that he was doing so well. She also noted that she has six students on behavior charts in the class and that Logan was not one of them. He has also made friends and plays well with the other students in class. It was definitely a time where DH and I basked in the glow of our parenting success and gave ourselves a pat on the back! We couldn't wait to get home and love him up and tell him how proud we are of him and his accomplishments.

About a month ago Logan spent some time up at our shop (where we run our businesses out of) with my dad. My dad likes to ding around up there and have Logan join him and they bond over "guy stuff". Sitting on one of the shelves was a kid-size snowmobile that we bought used a couple of months ago. We bought it for our boys, but weren't decided on when to give it to Logan (and his brothers who will someday ride it as well), so it was just sitting at the shop. Logan saw it that day and asked my dad, "is that mine, Grandpa?" My dad told him that it was actually his (my dads). Logan told my dad that he was too big for it, so my dad made up a funny story to tell Logan about how it was his and how he, even though he seemed bigger than the snowmobile, rides it. My dad knew that we had not yet told Logan that it was his so he was doing his best to not let Logan know it was his.

A couple of days later Logan brought up the snowmobile to DH and I and how he saw it at the shop. He told us what my dad had told him and then he said, "...but I don't think it is grandpas because he is too big for it. Grandpa is as big as a Christmas tree so he can't fit on it". It was too funny! He is such a thinker! And we loved his Christmas tree analogy!

This week when we were at swimming lessons I had to tell Logan twice to get undressed and into his swimsuit. He likes to lolly gag at swimming lessons for some reason so the second time I asked him in a louder voice, not a yell, but louder to make sure he heard me, "Logan, please take off your boots, put them in the bottom of the stroller, put your clothes in the bag, go to the bathroom and put your swimsuit on!" He looked at me and with the cutest smile under his breath he said, "Your SO sassy". Just the way he said it made me turn my head and laugh. I asked him, "why do you think I am being sassy?" He explained, "well, you are mad at me". I told him, "I'm not mad at you at all. I just want you to get ready to go into the pool." As he turned away to get into his swimsuit DH and I started laughing so hard. It was one of those moments that just brings a smile to your face, not because of what he said, but how he said it.

Some days I just don't know how I got so lucky to have this child. He brings so much joy to our family. Even when the Brothers (aka Little Monkeys, aka Caden and Colton) are both screaming about something and needing our attention it doesn't bother him at all. He is so patient with the Brothers and does whatever he can to make them laugh and plays with them all of the time. He has a sense of what is right and what is wrong and we rarely have to discipline him for bad behavior. He is beginning to read simple sentences and loves learning at school. He finds friends wherever he goes and loves meeting new people. He is easy-going, but definitely is not afraid to share his opinions when they matter to him. And each day he gets on the bus to go to school, my heart melts just a little bit as I watch this little child, who is becoming a big boy, go into the world without me. Bittersweet.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Happy Birthday, Logan!

It is 6:28am. Six years ago. I am looking at a scrunched up face of my first born. My hands are strapped to the OR table. I am smiling. A huge smile. Looking at this new little creature and wondering who he is. Who he will be. Wanting to know everything about him. Wanting to hold him, but I will have to wait for that. I have just been through 36 hours of labor and an emergency c-section. But it doesn't matter. Because my baby is here, safely. Even after swallowing some meconium in utero during the long labor.

After going through recovery and then landing back in my room, I can't wait to hold my baby. But he is whisked away again, for a "boy" procedure. Another hour passes. I am finally able to hold my baby boy, Logan. My eyes well up. All I can do is stare at this child. Mine, all mine. Well, and DHs too. This little one who grew in my belly for nine months. And I am happy. Oh so happy. My heart is outside of my body and in this child. Looking at him, there is nothing I wouldn't do for him. Nothing.

Today that baby turns SIX! I feel like he was born just yesterday. My memory of his conception (hahah- memorable night!), the day I found I out I was pregnant with him and the day he was born are all still so vivid.

Our First Meeting :)

DH in the nursery with Logan while I am in recovery

The last six years of my life have been the best years. I can't even tell you how much I love that little boy, that is getting bigger by the moment. He puts a smile on my face and tears of joy in my eyes. My first born just melts my heart (his little brothers do too, but more on them on their birthday next month!).

We started off the day by having birthday cake and a banana for breakfast (I know, pretty healthy, but his birthday only comes one time a year). After breakfast he opened his birthday presents and DH helped him take everything out of the boxes and set everything up. The Little Monkeys joined in the fun by drinking their bottles and eating their breakfast in the dark whiile we sang happy birthday and Logan blew out his candles. They also spent a lot of time playing with the wrapping paper.

DH brought Logan to school today along with cupcakes for snack time. My dad, the Little Monkeys and I went up to school to have lunch with him and DH is picking him up from school today as well. For dinner, Logan wanted to go to one of his two favorite places for dinner-'s or Chip.otle :) I gave him so many other restaurant options for dinner and asked him if he wanted me to cook his special birthday meal. He still chose one of these two restaurants. Cracks me up that he didn't even pick Mc.Don.alds, which we hardly ever eat.

After dinner we have swimming lessons. Logan is in one class and DH, Caden, Colton and I are in another class right next to Logan in the pool.

On Saturday, Logan is having a pizza party at the local pizza place with 10 friends. Thankfully, my parents are coming over to hang out with Caden and Colton while DH and I tackle the 10 boys at the pizza party! :)

SIX YEARS OLD! I can't believe it. And neither can he. At lunch today he went up to my dad and said, "Grandpa, I can't believe I am SIX today!".

Two days old