Thursday, August 30, 2007

My tiny vampire

When the girls were undergoing the growth spurts that all tiny babies do, I called them my tiny vampires. It sure felt like they were sucking the life right out of me, on those days when they nursed ten or twelve times apiece, or for hours at a stretch. I watched the weight fall off me, and looked at my still-anemically-pale skin, and realized just how much energy it really takes to nourish two other human beings.

Those days are firmly in the past, now. The girls are still growing fast -- Claire is 17.10 and Katherine is 19.4 -- but we are down to morning/evening nursing only, and in two weeks or so, they'll be done. I haven't seen the tiny vampires in quite some time, and I didn't think I ever would have reason to call them that again.

Yesterday, Claire was having a very bad day indeed. She has a cold, as does Katherine, and is snotty and cranky and feverish. She wanted neither to be held or to be put down, or to do anything (as far as I could tell) other than sit in my lap, fling her head backward, and scream.

So, I happened to look down into her mouth one of those times, and got a good view of her top gums for the first time in a while. I then thought, hmmm, I wonder if she has thrush again, because look at those two white dots on her gums....

Of course she doesn't have thrush. She has two teeth, to be exact, coming in on the top rather than on the bottom as most babies' do. Better still, they don't appear to be her front two teeth. No, those little dots are definitely skewed off to the side.

Her canine teeth are going to come in before her front teeth do. My precious little baby isn't getting teeth, she's sprouting FANGS.

I guess I know what I'll be dressing her as for Halloween.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Monkeys and their uncles

Well, knock me over with a feather. The day after my last post, there was a line on the OPK -- faint, but visible without squinting. Yesterday and today, the line is darker; it's not necessarily as dark as the control line, but it isn't too much off.

(By the way, I intend to make my fortune by inventing OPKs that have some damn numbers on them, instead of forcing you to play the how-dark-is-it game.)

There is saliva ferning, there is EWCM, and there is some kind of crampy, twinge-y activity going on in there. Combine that with the positive-ish OPKs, and I can only conclude that this ovulation thing might actually be working. To say I'm pleased would be putting it mildly -- I'm totally stoked about it, y'all.

We don't intend to, y'know, *try* this month, since if we did conceive, it would put me at about four weeks pregnant precisely at the time of my knee surgery. That's a bad idea, because the surgery would be canceled if I had a positive test, or (worse) I might be too early to test positive.

I've always felt a little bit bad about subjecting Claire and Katherine to substantial doses of narcotics during the OHSS, and I'm not about to possibly put another embryo through that if I can avoid it. I'd really like to get the surgery accomplished before getting pregnant again, so that I can face pregnancy and the newborn stage without a knee that hurts on the time or randomly makes me fall down. So what with the surgery and the recovery, it's doubtful we'll actively attempt to get pregnant until later in the fall.

Nor is it a foregone conclusion that everything's going to be OK, just yet. I could ovulate irregularly, or have luteal phase issues, and sometimes it just plain takes people a while even when everything seems to be working OK. So I'm not about to book the OB/GYN now for a delivery sometime next summer, or spend the money I've mentally booked for IF on that Bernina sewing machine I covet.

Still, it is major, major progress. As far as we know, this may be the first time I've ever spontaneously ovulated in my life, and it's definitely a good thing!

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Over the last year or so, I've come to decide that Nico is my Period Twin. We both had HA, got pregnant within a month of each other, gave birth within a week of each other, and have recently been in the weaning process, wondering if and when our cycles might resume.

Warning: if you don't want to know anything more about my girly bits, stop reading now.

Lately, Nico has had some symptoms that indicated she might have an answer to that most interesting question, and in that last week, I've had cause to do the same. I don't temp, because I've found it to be unreliable as well as annoying, but I do keep half an eye out for some of the other fertility signs. To an extent, this feels like keeping an eye out for the sudden appearance of unicorns; even on the estrogen overdose cycle, and on the cycle in which I got pregnant, I never really had much in the way of CM, and nothing else except for random homicidal impulses.

Lately, though, there has been something that looks very much to my uneducated eye like EWCM. Of course, the very first thing I did was to drag out my ovulation microscope, and for the first time in my life, I actually saw some minor evidence of ferning. So I trotted myself down to Walgreens and bought a 20-pack of OPKs, excited by the possibility that my body might be working like a real live girl.

I think I shouldn't pee on any more sticks, of any kind, because it is bad for the soul. Five out of five days, I have managed to produce a line that's only visible with the assistance of an electron microscope. The CM dried up and went away, the crampy feelings I've been having disappeared completely, and there is nary a saliva fern to be seen.

Frankly, I'm not really sure what to think about all this. I can't help but conclude that there was some kind of ovarian activity taking place -- there was certainly some estrogen coming from somewhere, and that's encouraging. On the other hand, it seems to have fizzled right out, which argues that the hypothalamic-pituitary axis is not entirely with the program. I have progressed much farther toward weaning lately (we are nursing 2-3 times per day), so maybe completely weaning will make a difference. Alternately, maybe they are already weaned enough that this is as good as it's going to get.

This week's project is to drop the post-nap nurse, and get down to morning-night nursing only. After that, we'll probably take a couple more weeks to drop those two, at which point we'll see if I cycle naturally in the next three months. One of three things will happen: I'll start ovulating, in which case there will be puppies and rainbows and baby dust; I'll completely fail to do anything, in which case there will be wine and eventually a visit to the RE; or I'll cycle irregularly, in which case who knows.

Every time I don't ovulate, or have a negative pregnancy test, feels like a failure. I don't know how it feels to legitimately try for cycle after cycle, because I never got far enough on my own, but I can't imagine it's fun. Combining the two by waiting out a year of irregular cycles, well, that sounds rotten. I would like very much to get pregnant again, have another baby, go on hormone therapy, and forget about this entire chapter of my life. If we threw ourselves right back into treatment, that's just that much sooner we'd either be pregnant or be done, and either way there would be some relief.

G wants to be patient, and see if it happens naturally. That is easy for him to say, because he isn't the one who is broken. If I do cycle again on a quasi-regular basis, I think I'll be OK with trying to wait it out, because I do think that I have a reasonable chance at a pregnancy if I can just get the ovulation thing happening.

I wish I knew what was going to happen, and I wish I could just stop thinking about it until it does.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Today's milestone: TiVo

Claire just demonstrated her ability to properly work a remote control....

... by recording Deuce Bigalow, Male Gigolo.

I'm so proud.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Letters to my non-readers

Dear realtor who was supposed to show my house the other day,

Next time, cancel your showing as soon as your buyer cancels on you, instead of forgetting to tell me until I call you 10 minutes before the showing. By that point, I had already carted the babies out in the hundred-plus-degree heat, locked the dogs up in the very hot garage, and left the house, not to mention all the work of prepping the house for showing. That's a lot of unnecessary work you put me through.

Karma is a bitch, and I sincerely hope it comes back to bite you in the ass.


Dear client who canceled five minutes *after* the showing time,

That goes for you too. I won't say anything too rude, because I still want you to buy my house, but it's not the nicest thing you could have done to me. It's really hot outside, and I didn't particularly want to get the girls out. I also had other things to do during the day besides getting the house ready to show. I keep the house pretty clean on a daily basis, but I still have to spend an hour or two sweeping and mopping and picking up after the girls, and I'd have been just as happy to skip that.


Dear client-who-canceled-above, and then pulled a no-show for her rescheduled appointment,

Up yours.

If you have any trouble with that, let me know. I have a pair of pointy-toed boots at my disposal, and I'll be happy to assist you in any way I can.


Dear ACL in my left knee,

I know we've been together for thirty years now, but you just don't hold me together like you used to, and it's time for us to part ways. On September 11, I'll be trading you in for a new model. Well, OK, a used cadaver-graft model, but it is still going to work better than you do. You've changed, what with all the partial tears you've been through, and you're just not what I need any more. I wish you all the best, and hope you have a really nice trip to the medical waste incinerator.


Dear dogs,

Yes, I know it's very cute that the girls have learned to share food with you. I totally agree that you are all fairly thin and could use a little fattening-up, and I know that Cheerios and gently-used turkey burger taste better than kibble.

Nonetheless, do you think you could possibly refrain from swarming the high chairs like a school of sharks awaiting chum? And possibly, could you even wait until the food drops to the floor, rather than still being in the babies' hands?


Dear Molly the diaper-eating wonder poodle,

Please don't interpret the above to mean that it's OK to wait to eat the food until it has been digested and excreted by the babies.

I already have a poodle throw blanket in my living room. If you steal and destroy another poopy diaper in the middle of my bed, I will make myself a matching rug.


Dear air conditioner,

It is so hot here that the pavement on the roads is buckling, and people are literally dying from the heat. I know you thought it would be a really cute idea to leak out all your freon and stop working last week, but let me assure you, it was not cute at all. No, not even the tiniest little bit.


Dear fire ant nest outside the bedroom window,

Wondering where those missing worker ants were, the ones you sent out to forage for food or water? Well, they crawled into the house, and unbeknownst to me, up into one of the babies' damp towels hanging on the end of the changing table. When G gave Claire a towel to play with during a diaper change, she immediately started screaming. She has about ten fire ant bites all over her neck and chest, and we felt just awful. G smooshed all of the ants on Claire, and I vacuumed up the rest.

I hope you enjoyed the nice dose of fire ant poison I sprinkled all over your mound. Rot in hell, you stupid baby-biting fire ants.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Three steps

Tempted by her Nana's Coke can, Claire took three tentative steps across the floor tonight, sat down, then did it again, and again. I cried, we all clapped, and Claire just looked confused at all the hullabaloo.

She's been on the verge of walking for weeks now, and I'd told Greg only last night that I thought it would happen this week. Once she learned how to push up into a stand, we knew it couldn't be long. She had all the skills, and it was just a question of convincing her that she should start putting one foot in front of the other.

Tonight, it all came together, and my Claire-baby is now officially a toddler. *sniff* Katherine's not standing independently yet, so I'll have one baby for another few weeks, but they are growing up very fast indeed.

Oh, and it's official, Claire still didn't get her first tooth by the time she learned to walk. At 11.5 months, there's still no sign of teeth for either baby. This hasn't hurt my feelings too much, since it simplifies breastfeeding dramatically, but it's still a bit weird to have a toddler (!) with no teeth.