Bike to Work Day!

This is practically a national holiday at our house (and in Colorado). We put it on the calendar and look forward to it for weeks to come. Last year we missed out, because we were busy watching a brand new baby sleep in the NICU. This year, we were prepared.

After the devastating news that IUI #5 led to miscarriage #3, my wife wanted to lift her spirits through retail therapy by getting a new bike. This has been on our radar for awhile, so it wasn’t a complete impulse purchase. And we prepared by selling two older bikes, so much of the cost was absorbed and extra space was created. We are bike people, so when some folks might purchase new shoes or a new purse, we buy/sell some bikes for fun.

Monday night we went out to test ride a few bikes and have a beer at our local coffee shop/bike store/bar. I chose the new commuter (aka hybrid, or urban). Unfortunately they didn’t have the right size in their inventory, so they called some other local shops and found one a few miles away. Because le bebe was ready for dinner and bed, we headed home. Tuesday we went to retrieve the new bike (and several accessories that we don’t really need like neon pink cycling socks). This morning we were all up and early to ride around town and eat free breakfasts! We hauled the babe out in her seat, even though “work” for her meant staying at our home with her grandma for the day. Weather was great, the stops are plentiful, and for a moment we got to feel like we were in the Netherlands where bikes dominate the intersections.

I was about 45 minutes late to work, but it was worth it overall. This evening there will be “bike parties” at several local restaurants and bars for the evening bike commuters to stop for a drink or app. Do you celebrate bike to work day? Is this just a US thing, or does Canada do something similar?

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RPL

Per usual, I have a bunch of things I would like to blog about (our daughter’s first birthday, our trip to San Antonio/Austin, our upcoming trip to the California coast, etc.) but today’s topic is a bit of a downer.

We’re officially categorized as RPL, or Recurrent Pregnancy Loss. This cycle, IUI #5, we got the positive home test at 13DPO (CBE Digital), and then a beta of 11 on 16 DPO. A quick snapshot of the statistics thus far:

Unmedicated IUI#1 – Nada
Unmedicated IUI#2 – Faint positive HPT around 15 & 16 DPO, 33 day cycle, but we didn’t make it in for beta tests before AF showed up.
Unmedicated IUI#3 – Nada
Medicated IUI#4 – Positive HPT, Betas at 130ish and 80ish. Natural miscarriage at 7ish weeks
Medicated IUI#5 – Positive HPT, 16 DPO Beta at 11…looking like a 31 day cycle (TBD).

For those counting, that’s 3 positives in 5 cycles. What the heck is going wrong?! We did genetic testing and chromosomal testing. The lining improved a lot on this last cycle.

We will try one more IUI cycle, but sadly we are going to be traveling to California for the next week, so we’ll miss the requisite follicle check around CD10 and have to wait until the following cycle to try again. After the IUI, we’re open to doing IVF (ooofta to the cost), but it’s hard to know whether it would be worth it since the problem seems to be MAINTAINING a pregnancy, not getting pregnant.

If anyone has any experience or insight, I’d love to hear it.

And one photo from San Antonio this week, because posts without photos are no fun:

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First Birthday Denial

In just a few days, I’ll have a one year-old. For many reasons, that just does not seem real to me at all. This post will likely sound like a therapy session starting in a few moments one sentence ago, but I feel like I need to write it anyway.

First of all, the fact that she came early lingers as a tender wound in my heart. She was due toward the end of July, and she came June 20th. I still have to work hard to wrap my mind around her birthday being in June and her being a Gemini. I have absolutely no negative feelings about June or Geminis…it’s just not what I expected. I’ve learned that expectations around birth, parenting, and children are big, heavy things, and re-aligning them (even to equally lovely realities) can be really hard work. I don’t know why that is, but it’s true for me, at least.

I also feel a lot of guilt around her prematurity. I don’t know that there was anything I could have done to prevent it (my water broke spontaneously in the middle of the night after a completely healthy and uneventful pregnancy), but I still blame myself for all of the challenges she has faced after starting life outside the womb five weeks early.

The fact that she is TINY and still appears to be anywhere from 4-9 months old makes it harder to think of her as one. Twelve months. No longer a baby. At 15 pounds, we’re getting SO CLOSE to being on the growth chart (yay!), but when I see other 12 month-olds, I’m blown away by how bulky and sturdy they seem! She’s tall, her head is great, but she’s just a diminutive person.

Developmentally, she’s ahead with some things (she’s very smart, uses her pointer fingers and pincer grasp like a three year-old, communicates very well, and toilets like a pro), but she has gotten very delayed in gross motor skills, which makes her seem younger in a lot of ways. When I say “She’s almost one” to people when my daughter is not present, they respond “Oh, is she walking??” I cringe a little inside. She’s not walking. She’s standing while holding things all the time, but I know that she is months away from having the coordination to walk independently. She doesn’t crawl, and it’s not looking like she will (we have PT for this), and she’s able to roll but doesn’t really care to.

I should also mention the general denial most (all?) parents feel about their children aging – where did the time go? How are they already this old? Am I doing enough? Am I savoring enough? How can I get time to slow down?

So my denial is manifesting in a few ways. First of all, I don’t even think about where we were a year ago (getting excited to become parents, preparing for a baby shower that never happened, celebrating Father’s Day with my dad). Second of all, I don’t spend much time re-living the labor and first hours of her life. In fact, I completely forgot that we were sitting in the NICU for fourth of July fireworks last year, and this year in my mind I thought “This will be fun – her first fourth of July!”

My denial is also manifesting in the fact that we’re not planning a party. This is partly because I am philosophically opposed to huge birthday bashes for babies who don’t even understand what is happening. It’s also due to the fact that we have family in town this weekend and we’re traveling next weekend, so a party didn’t really fit into the schedule. Lastly, we don’t want any more stuff coming into our house, and parties equal gifts. But I would be lying if I said that my denial about reaching this milestone didn’t play a part in me ignoring how quickly this date has been approaching and not planning accordingly. Side note: we WILL celebrate her with our families when the schedules open up a little bit in mid-July, which will be close to her actual due date. Maybe that’s an unhealthy reinforcement of my expectations that didn’t materialize. (eye roll)

I don’t want this to sound too complain-y. I am SO, SO grateful for the last year. It has been a roller coaster, but it’s been great in so many ways. I will definitely write a positive and cheery “Yay for the first year” post within the next week – I just need to get some of this out of the way first. Also, I absolutely love my pip squeak, exactly as she is. I never anticipated having a somewhat frightening, early, and traumatic delivery, a tiny child with developmental delays, or a Gemini in our house, but I would not change her for a million bucks.

In conclusion, here are cute photos to reward you for reading my cathartic post about emotional birth and parenting baggage. Kisses!

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Chocolate “ice cream” face.

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Postpartum Periods

All right, mamas. I’m almost a YEAR postpartum. I have had 4-5 periods (starting at 8 weeks). I had quite a bit of damage to my vaginal wall during delivery with MANY, MANY stitches, but everything has pretty well healed up, according to the doctor.

Anyway, I come to you looking for recommendations. I seem to no longer be able to use tampons. They are extremely uncomfortable going in, I can’t seem to get them up far enough, they leak, they sometimes fall out, and it’s just a disaster.

I’ve used a Diva cup in the past, and I didn’t love it, but I would be willing to try again with a Dive Cup #2. My only other alternative seems to be pads. Boo.

Thoughts? Advice? Helpful hints?