Prolactin

Just got my blood test results for pre-conception screening and my Prolactin was only 10.5! Woohoooo! I’ve been really worried that this would be the hurdle that prevents us from moving forward with IUI in December, because I’m still nursing our daughter at night. I have read nearly every scholarly article about it to try and figure out what a normal number would be at 16 months postpartum. Most things told me that 25-50 could be a normal baseline, and that would simply be too high for our clinic (they have no grey area on things like this). I figured that if this reading came back high, I would have to wean her completely and re-test next month. I cannot say what a relief it is to know I can keep secretly breastfeeding our toddler and still move forward with IUI. Of course, I’m putting tons of calories and nutrients into my body, and my cycles are now normalized, so I’m hopeful that I’m “fully” fertile. I also know that pregnancy can stop the milk from flowing, and I’m resigned to that possibility (word on the street is about 4 months in), but by that point she’d be nearly two and I would feel more at ease about weaning.

I SOOO wish we weren’t traveling for Thanksgiving, because we could try next month if we were here. Since we’re not, it’s looking like the IUI is going to be around Christmas day. Ugh. I hope that there is someone in the office to do the IUI at that time!!

Minor victory on a Friday afternoon. 🙂

 

Advertisements

TTC#2, Take 2

Well, I feel like I’m fully on board with the whole pregnancy thing again. 4-5 months ago, I was still in the “No way, not yet” seat. Then 2ish months ago as we embarked on our last IUI with my wife, I wondered if I should start to wrap my head around it as a possibility. About a month ago, as we realized that IUI was simply not working on my wife, I realized I needed to get my shit together, and quick-ish.

I’m back on the vitamin train, taking fish oil, prenatals, CoQ10, and calcium/magnesium. I should probably be adding Vitamin D and maybe E. My weight is where I would like it to be (10 lbs lighter than before my last pregnancy…thanks breastfeeding) and I think my vagina is as healed as it will ever be (?).

One of my major hesitations was whether or not I needed to fully wean my daughter. I’m still not 100% clear on that, but I’m holding my breath hoping that our current system is good enough. She nurses at bedtime (between 7:30 and 8), once or twice in the night, and one full nurse at about 5:15 a.m. Then I don’t nurse or pump again until bedtime. My body is telling me that’s fine. I just had a 30-day cycle with EWCM and a reasonably-long luteal phase. Before this I had three cycles all around 35 days long. This tells me I’m probably ovulating, and I probably have enough progesterone to support an early pregnancy. I’m going to do OPKs this month to “confirm” ovulation (I can’t use temps because I’m still awake enough in the night with our daughter that the reading wouldn’t be accurate).

My clinic wants me to be “fully weaned” for three months before trying. The nurse, however, told me that if I weaned now-ish, did my testing this cycle, I could try next cycle. So, I sort of weaned (day-weaned?) and I’m heading in to do my preconception blood work sometime in the next two weeks. The only number I’m slightly concerned about is prolactin. After much google research, I have to think mine will be pretty low, especially if I test around 11am, a full five hours after nursing and before I get any kind of natural letdown, which usually happens in the early afternoon.

If the numbers are all fine, I could technically try next month (November cycle), but we’ll be traveling for Thanksgiving, so this will likely be a Christmas try. I’m fine with that. I like September birthdays. It also gives me enough time to “fix” anything that doesn’t look great in my blood work…i.e. prolactin. I would fully wean if I had to – she’s almost 16 months. It would be heartbreaking for both of us, but it will have to happen someday. I truly hope I can continue night nursing her until she is 2, though.

So, I’m just 2 cycles away from trying again, approximately 60 days from the CD3 ultrasound and blood work. I’m excited, slightly nervous, and also sad for my wife. She wants baby #2 as much as I do, but it’s really hard to not have her in the doctor’s chair doing these things. By no means have we ruled out her carrying babies in the future via IVF. We just want to get her thyroid sorted out and do a little more testing and research to figure out why none of the 7 IUI’s worked. Also, saving money.

Cute kid pics from our weekend trip to Beaver Creek last week to make this post more interesting:image1(2).JPGimage2(1).JPG

 

Walking

Well our daughter is now clearly, officially, walking at 15 months (14 adjusted). She didn’t crawl until 12 months, because her head was too heavy for her tiny body to leverage. In the last three months, however, she has really taken off physically (and mentally…emotionally is another story).

She has wanted to walk since about 10/11 months, but our physical therapist reprimanded us for even considering that option before she was confidently crawling. She has been pushing her walker toy around (while squealing with glee) and scaling all walls, furniture, etc. for at least six weeks now. She has been walking with just one-finger assistance for about two months, and it’s been clear to me that the assistance was more mental than physical, because you can basically give her a “limp noodle” finger and she keeps walking.

We’ve been playing the game of having her walk from one mom to the other while we sit on the floor (usually 3-5 steps) and it has required some strong encouragement through much goofy laughter. I typically put my hand on her back to stabilize her and she gets just a few steps in before crashing forward.

Last night, after playing that game for awhile, she was cruising about the house (into and out of her room, where she loves to slam the dog gate), and she surfed her way out to the dining room table. She was naked at the moment, because we were in the midst of halfheartedly preparing for bed. She got to a dining room chair and she bravely set off into the room toward me, on the couch. I said “Look! Look! Look! to my wife, who was washing dishes” and I think I alarmed the baby (toddler?). She made it about 8 steps (4ish feet) before tumbling down, but we were so, SO proud. It was the first time she initiated leaving the safety of a wall or furniture (or human) and set out to walk.

Of course she wanted to keep practicing her newfound freedom and before long she bonked her head on the wheel of the walker toy, but she recovered quickly and wanted to get back after it.

I’m eager (and nervous) to know if she shows off her new skill to my mom today, who is watching her.

Night Weaning: Night 1

I’ve been reading the No Cry Sleep Solution, and I really like the book. It elaborates a lot of the things I struggle with regarding co-sleeping, nursing, crying it out, sleep training, etc. I have always considered myself a middle-of-the-road attachment parent. I didn’t start with any agenda or dogma, but I knew I wanted a strong relationship with my kid(s) and was willing to prioritize that. As the past 15 months have passed, these are the things I have found to be comfortable for me as a parent:

Co-sleeping, in my bed. I read the sleep books before birth. We had a crib in our room. I tried putting her to sleep in her crib, getting up to nurse her in the night in a chair next to the crib, then getting back into my own bed. It was awful. I have never been so exhausted. Within 3-4 weeks, I plunked her down into our bed between our heads and that was that. She slept happily there for the next 14 months.

Baby-wearing when comfortable and convenient. I wear her at least once or twice a day to walk the dogs, walk to the grocery, or get things done. I like it. She seems to like it. We also use strollers regularly, and she’s fine with that too. I don’t usually wear her for naps unless we’re hiking.

Extended (?) Breastfeeding. I hoped to be able to breastfeed and I was thrilled to have a good supply. In fact, I had an oversupply and a kid who would not drink from a bottle, so I was able to donate a few thousand ounces. I hoped to make it to six months. I then hoped to make it to a year. Here I am at 15 months, and while I am going strong, it now looks like I’m going to be doing some weaning to hopefully jumpstart my fertility. I would like to keep breastfeeding, but I’m happy with what we accomplished and proud of our journey thus far. I’ve introduced Ripple pea milk as a hopeful supplement/replacement. The jury is out whether my daughter is willing to tolerate it. Other than milk from the boob, she has previously only accepted water (since 10ish months) so any additional calories and calcium would feel like a win.

Anywho, back to the point of night weaning. I don’t like Cry It Out. I know it can work, I know it works well for some people, but I also STRUGGLE to hear my kid cry. I can ignore whining and fussing with the best of them. But the second I hear her start to have fear or sadness in her tone, I break. So I am not yet at the point of trying this, though I know it’s another option. In the meantime, I have a kid who wants to nurse back to sleep whenever she stirs. She isn’t always eating, and she isn’t even always awake. She just wants the comfort of the nipple.

I’m attempting the method of removing my nipple when she’s sleepy, but not yet asleep. Over and over and over. As soon as it comes out, of course she stirs and whines. I put it back, count to ten(ish) and then try again.

Last night she fell happily asleep by 7:30 (after nursing). She cried at 9:00, and I waited a long time to see if she could put herself back to sleep. She could not. I let her nurse, then started the nipple removal method, and she was frustrated but back asleep in a few minutes. At 10:15 she was up again, so I did the same thing. This happened about two more times in the night (I’m not totally sure when, because I was half asleep). At 4:30 she woke up because she actually wanted to nurse, not just comfort suckle. I let her, and I did pull away, but she may have been too soundly asleep for it to matter.

In summary, about 5 total wake-ups, two to actually eat, three to comfort nurse. At each wake-up an average of about 4 removal, root, repeats. Slept from 7:30ish p.m. to 6:30ish a.m. Overall rating of 3 out of 5 stars, not the worst, and not the best. Hopefully she gets better at having the nipple leave her mouth and being able to fall asleep without it.

 

No Luck and a Change of Plans

Lucky IUI #7, inseminated on 9/9 (my lucky number) was not so lucky after all. My wife felt a lot of pregnancy symptoms: what appeared to be implantation cramping, nausea, exhaustion, etc. But the tests remained a stark white negative from 11DPO through 14DPO. Her period showed up just one day late, likely due to the progesterone.

This one was a blow, because everything seemed SO perfect. Two great follicles, an incredibly healthy vial of sperm, a thick lining, seemingly perfect timing, etc. We both had to work hard to get our heads around the idea that it had not worked, because I think we both convinced ourselves that it MUST work. A little bit of salt in the wound is that this was the last cycle that would give us 2-year spacing with the kids (our ideal).

My wife is struggling. She is feeling defeated, sad, frustrated, depressed. It’s really hard. She has done everything right. But, as so many people here know, this appears to be a game where effort and merit are not rewarded, but rather, luck and chance win the day.

We originally anticipated heading straight into IVF, but it is clear that my wife is just not quite ready for that. She needs a break, and that’s okay. She needs to find herself again, step back from all the vitamins, hormones, supplements, decaf coffee, moderate exercise, and charting. This is a familiar place for many – it’s so easy to be all-consumed by this project, one of the most important and monumental projects that many undertake. She is an elite endurance athlete, and it has been slowly killing her to be sitting on the sidelines. She wants to race (triathlon) and she had anticipated having crossed the birthing item off her life to-do list when she returned to the start line. Like so many of us have learned, there is often no point in setting concrete plans when it comes to parenting…you can plan and anticipate all you want, but the reality may be something totally out of your control. In good news, she’s only 30, so time is on her side.

Another task on her to-do list is getting more information about her thyroid. She’s been on Levothyroxine throughout this journey, after the RE found her TSH elevated. Not by much, but enough that they wanted it lowered. We’d like to get to the bottom of that problem, and not rely on the band-aid fix of a pill. We will likely check in with a naturopathic doctor to run some more tests and get some more information. If we could iron out that problem, we might feel a little more confident heading into IVF.

Lastly, but not of little importance: money. We are attempting to choose a more responsible route and save some money for IVF before the procedure rather than take a loan for the bulk of it now and pay that off with interest. If push came to shove, either would work, but it seems like a better idea to get ahead of the cost rather than play catch-up with 2+ little kids at home.

She has said she wants me to try again. This brings a flood of emotions to my heart and mind, many of which I cannot burden her with at this time. On one hand, I’m thrilled at the prospect of bearing another child. I have always hoped (known?) that I would have one more opportunity. I’m 35 now, and my blood work in the past has indicated that I’m still fertile. We have three remaining vials of our daughter’s donor, and it would be wonderful to have a sibling with one of those.

On the other hand, my stomach immediately tenses at the prospect of weaning my baby. She is 15 months. I know it’s fine. I know that this is far longer than vast majority of women breastfeed. I know she’s getting her nutrition from solids. I know that my daughter and I will connect in other ways. It’s just…

I love nursing her. Mostly, because she loves it. It is SO clearly apparent how much comfort and security she gets from curling into me, pinching my skin and patting my boob, deepening her breathing, eventually falling asleep against me or with her back to me, secure in the knowledge that her nipple is there for her should she stir. My heart aches at the thought of taking that from her before she is ready.

I am having regular cycles. Despite EBF, I had an obviously-anovulatory cycle just 8 weeks post-partum. Then I had another at 6 months. Since then I’ve had a handful of cycles, and the last three have been around 35 days long. I’ve always had long-ish cycles, so 35 isn’t totally outside my normal realm. I’m pretty sure I’m ovulating. I get EWCM at around the right time, and I “feel” like my hormones are swinging in that direction. However, our clinic won’t do an IUI while I’m lactating. I have a call in to the doctor to ask whether they would do an IUI if my prolactin levels are normal and if I’m only nursing once a day. The nurse was pretty sure the answer is no, because they require that you wean three months before an IUI, but she’s asking for me.

On top of that, I’ll probably need CD3 bloodwork and possibly a pap (I think I’m just due). I may also ask for the HSG, because it’s free and it can obviously rule out a lot. Another thing that has to happen (per our clinic) is that we’d need to have our communicable disease testing re-done. For a third time. We just got “re-upped” 9 months ago when we started trying for number two. And now we’d need to re-test again, since we’re switching back to me. It’s infuriating, but I’ve learned just to turn the other cheek.

What this means for me is that I am going to spend the next two weeks night weaning the baby, hanging on to the 3:00 p.m. pick-up nursing and bed-time nursing (just two a day) for now. We’ll see if that lowers my prolactin enough to shorten my cycle and ensure I’m ovulating. I may spend next cycle crossing off the above tests, and we could potentially try an IUI in the November or December cycle. If it needs to be January, I can live with that (October baby?).

In an ideal world, if I can put my wish out into the universe, I would be able to get pregnant in December or January and continue nursing once a day (bedtime) until my daughter turns 2 in June. At that point, I would commit to fully weaning her (if she had not self-weaned already) and prepare for a baby to start nursing in the 4,5,6 months after that. In a slightly frustrating way, if we had the luxury of being hetero, that would be a very realistic goal, because you just start having unprotected sex. In reality, the cost of procedures and use of our last vials prohibit us from just “going for it” and require a much more calculated and deliberate plan.

So here we are, a little stunned, a little wounded, spinning new images of what our life and family will look like in future years. Piecing together some plans, asking a lot of questions, and hoping for a change in luck soon. It’s a little hard going into the holidays knowing that likely neither of us will be pregnant, when we originally hoped to have another full-grown baby this year! But, I’m trying to be at peace, trusting the universe, knowing that we have one awesome kid already and someday we may be lucky enough to have more.

May the Luck be [Finally] in Our Favor?

We went for IUI #7 on Saturday morning. My wife’s lining was also thin on IUI #4 (around 6+ I think?) and afterward, we regretted using a vial on that cycle, because it seemed like the poor swimmers never had a chance. So, I scheduled a lining check the morning of the IUI this time. If the lining was under 7, we planned to give careful consideration to using the vial. Due to scheduling, the IUI was scheduled for 11 a.m. That meant the vial had to begin the thawing process at 9 a.m. That meant we needed to know before 9 whether it was a GO or a NO-GO. The only time they had for an ultrasound that early was 7:15 a.m. And because it was a weekend, our local office was closed and we had to drive to South Denver to visit the “main office.” It was an early morning, but we’re hoping it was worth it.

The lining was above 8. There was still one strong follicle on each side, and the ultrasound tech said the “walls were irregular” which meant “something was happening.” It just looked like the follicle was not a perfectly-lined circle, but more ragged around the edges. I took it to mean that she had not yet ovulated, but it was imminent. After consulting Lab Tech Google afterward, it appears as though ovulation can occur in under 20 minutes, and the follicle appears “collapsed” afterward. Given that this ultrasound was at 7:15, and the IUI was at 11:00, I’m thinking timing was pretty great.

The other good news was that the woman at the andrology lab (where they thaw and wash the vial) told us that she had never seen a donor vial like this – it had a higher count than many fresh samples. It had 180 million count pre-wash and something like 38 million afterward. I made my usual joke of “we only want one!” but I was secretly proud of our semi-anonymous donor who we’ve nicknamed Luke. High five, Luke!

Between the ultrasound and the IUI, we went to breakfast and then puttered around a mall. At breakfast, my wife said “well, I don’t know what I could do to encourage ovulation to happen now.” I winked at her and said, well, I’ve read one thing can help… Now, we had our daughter with us, and we’re about 50 miles from home, so that gave us few options. I said, “After breakfast, M and I will wait for you at Starbucks…the car is parked in a relatively private place…” And my wife, who is such a team player, willing to do anything for the collective effort, did her best to encourage the eggs to set sail in the parking lot of the breakfast joint. Hahaha, she’d kill me if she knew I was telling this to the internet, but it’ll be a great (private) story if this is the round that works…

And now were 2DPO. Trudging toward another round of everyone’s favorite game: should-we-test-or-should-we-wait. This truly will be our last IUI (for my wife), so my wallet is quivering nervously in my pocket, wondering if we’re about to take on IVF. Per the acupuncturist’s guidance, we’re not discussing future plans – only focusing on this round. Cross your fingers and toes for us, please!

In other news, our daughter’s newest obsession is chapstick…putting it on you, me, mama, even the dog. Take the cap off, dab on lips, put the cap on, take the cap off, dab on someone else lips, put the cap on. She regularly inventories her chapsticks, and if she does not find all four…she searches and whines until the missing treasure re-appears and she can clutch them all in her tiny fists.

image1(18).JPG

image2(13).JPG

 

Thin Lining

Well we’re 12 days into IUI #7. As I mentioned before, we anticipated doing 6 IUI’s, then moving onto IVF. Because my wife has to travel to China in October, quitting after six would have meant (1) an entire cycle off due to timing and travel, (2) a “re-set” cycle of birth control pills while she’s in China, and then (3) IVF in November-ish. That felt like an awfully long time to wait, so we decided to press forward with one more IUI.

I was feeling pretty optimistic at the beginning of this cycle, because why shouldn’t it work? She’s 30, has regular cycles, very healthy, ovulates regularly, and we’ve gotten three early positives on 6 previous cycles.

She had her follicle check yesterday. She’s got two strong follicles (18.5 and 16.5) plus two trailers at 13 and 8. So, basically it’s looking like two viable (they could both be over 21 by CD14). The lining, however, was only 4.6. That is thin. She’s on Estrace now, so we hope it thickens, but it felt like a big blow to me. Our clinic does not do an ultrasound before insem (unless we ask for it and pay for it) so we won’t ever really know whether the lining thickened up enough. We’re going to insem on Saturday, which is CD 14 (that’s typical for her). To me, it feels sort of like we had the perfect cycle last month and missed our opportunity, and this month we’re back where we started. Maybe acupuncture will help, since it’s our newest trick that we’re trying this month.

As most of you know, this process is so draining. Of course we’re loving being moms to our happy baby girl (when do I have to start saying toddler?), but we really wanted kids close in age, and it’s feeling like the gap just gets wider and wider. Maybe we’ll get lucky on this cycle and all the frustration and worry about IVF, spacing, and what to do will vanish. That would be nice!

Thanks for any good thoughts or stories of thin linings WORKING with IUI! Crossing my fingers to see some positives out there in blogland!

 

TTC#2 Update

Well our journey continues on the TTC#2 path, and we’re exhausted. We’ve now done 6 rounds of IUI on my wife, and we had three faint positives that resulted in early miscarriage.

Try #6 felt particularly insulting, because we basically threw the kitchen sink at it. She was on Estrace, baby aspirin, clomid, ovidrel, then progesterone, prednisone, claritin, and prevacid after ovulation. She had four beautiful follicles ripe, and not one of them stuck around. We were pretty optimistic. Honestly, I think we inseminated late. We normally inseminate around CD 14, but this time they had us wait until CD 16. She felt like she ovulated CD 15, and I think she was right.

We planned to turn to IVF next, hopefully just using one of our last four vials. However, my wife has to go to China for work in early October. This means that we would have to sit out the September cycle due to travel timing, then do a “priming” cycle in October, and then hopefully an egg retrieval in November. I have never heard of a priming cycle, but it sounds like it is a cycle to let your body rest and reset. They said that my wife would just take a round of birth control, because all of her hormone levels are normal, so they wouldn’t supplement/stimulate. I don’t know – this is obnoxious to me, because why would we waste a cycle to “rest,” but that’s why these guys are paid the big bucks, I guess.

We’re both disinclined to take a whole cycle off before the resting cycle. So, we’re pushing through one more IUI. This will leave one vial for IVF, and two vials for a desperate attempt at TTC#3 (me) if we decide we want to go that route. If those two vials don’t work, I can hopefully transfer one of her frozen embryos and reciprocal IVF for #3. If IVF doesn’t work for her, we will just switch back to me and hopefully end up with two kids.

If we had not been teased by the three early positives, I don’t think we’d try another IUI. But it feels like we’ve just gotten SO CLOSE to success that we can try one more time. If we run out of vials of our donor, we can always look at Plan B and choose another donor for #3, if we ultimately want a third.

Money is a whole nother story. We’ve been paying out of pocket for all of my wife’s IUI’s. My IUI’s (two years ago) were partially covered through my insurance, and we put her onto my insurance before #6, but it was just too late to get the referral and provide coverage for that round. IVF, however, is not covered, and we will need to finance it. The estimate we got from our clinic is $31,000, including meds. This is not surprising to me. We don’t have that kind of cash laying around, so we hope to get a short-term personal loan. Anyone have experience with this, or any advice?

So we trudge onward. We’re going to try the same things we tried last time – hoping for another four healthy follicles to crop up. If this cycle worked, we’d be looking at a June baby, putting the kids exactly two years apart. That would be absolutely ideal in my mind. Unfortunately we’re nearing the point where the kids could be three years apart in school, with a June birthday and a possible August/September birthday. I’m really hoping we can avoid that, but it doesn’t seem too likely. I know, this is a silly small thing to focus on, but it matters to me.

In other news, we enjoyed a music festival this weekend. Despite the photos, I swear that our daughter wore clothes most of the time! It was pretty hot, so she enjoyed having a personal “pool” at our blanket/tent. 🙂

image1(17).JPG

image3(4).JPG

image2(12).JPG

 

An update on Nudity at the Nanny’s

So, as it turns out, I did not need to address the nudity issue again, because our nanny wanted to address it. And she was MAD.

Friday afternoon I went to pick-up and my daughter was still asleep and the nanny’s son was playing in the basement (obviously planned). She said she wanted to talk to me about pick-up the preceding day and how I was obviously uncomfortable with her son being naked. This is nuanced, but I was not uncomfortable with him being naked. I was uncomfortable dropping my daughter off into an environment where he was touching himself, playing with the same toys, sitting on surfaces she crawls on, and about to eat breakfast. I told her that I completely understood that he enjoys being naked in his own home, and I fully support that, but for the reasons above, I do not want him to be naked while she is around. I told her we pay for her to care for our daughter, and we would like him to be clothed when she is there. I explained to her that I never instructed him he needed to be clothed in his home, I told him we were not going to play with his rubber stamps if he was not wearing pants. I told her I had the same standard for our daughter, and if there were people who are not immediately family in our home, she would be wearing, at the very least, pants.

It became clear to me that she thought I was body-shaming her son and telling him he should not be naked. She pointed out, not incorrectly, that I did not want to engage with him while he was naked. I tried to make clear that I said nothing about his body on purpose, and he can be as naked as he wants, but not while my daughter is there, on the floor, playing with toys, crawling around. She eventually accepted the hygiene aspect of the conversation, and she said that he does consider us family, which is why it is appropriate for him to be naked around us and why he thought it would be okay. I actually completely disagree that he thinks it’s okay to be naked around us and not others, I’m pretty positive he thinks he can be naked around anyone (because he has walked out onto the front porch down to the sidewalk without pants on at least once), but I didn’t say that.

At the end of the conversation, she obviously felt a lot better. The problem is, I don’t. I’m super annoyed that she thought she was going to push back against be about him not wearing pants. I’m super irritated that it would not occur to her in the first place that he should not be pants-less around my daughter in that way. Aside: I still know and am  comfortable with the fact that he’ll use the restroom, change into swim shorts, and occasionally need to change clothes in her presence. I’m irritated that she did not listen to my very intentional words to him – that we were not going to play until he was ready to play, or that we could wait outside until he was ready if we needed to. In my mind, it’s simple: playing with a friend (any friend) means having at least underwear on for hygiene reasons. Being comfortable and and naked in your own space with immediate family (or others who you trust and have consented to said nudity) is totally fine.

In the realm of childcare issues, this is relatively small. Our daughter loves her, she loves our daughter, and I do not fear for her immediate safety. In many ways, our childcare situation is ideal – she’s flexible, affordable, they do fun things, conveniently located, and we actually like that she has an older child to learn from. However, I’m a little stuck on this issue (and some small, irritating frictions that have come up over the past 6+ months). The last thing we need, or our daughter needs, is a big change in the routine, and I do NOT want to start interviewing new caretakers. But, should I? I wish I felt 100% great about the person my daughter spends 24-30ish hours a week with! But maybe I wouldn’t feel 100% great about anyone, because I could nit-pick anyone who is caring for my daughter. Any insight is appreciated.

Childhood Nudity

image2(11).JPG

I fear that I have fallen into a bad habit of greedily consuming all the wonderful blog posts and pictures you are all posting, but only contributing when I need advice! Forgive me. I WANT to post more, and I know you all feel the time constraints of parenting, but I’ve been (per usual) neglectful of my own space in the blogosphere.

So here’s my issue today. Our nanny has a son who is 4 (April birthday). He is with the nanny and our daughter off-and-on, because he is in some music classes, camps, preschool, etc. He’s with her more than he’s not.

We don’t align perfectly with our nanny’s parenting style (she jokes about infantilizing her only child…still a lot of carrying in the Boba, strollers, nursing, etc.). This isn’t a value judgment on her – to each their own. It’s just not our style. One of the ways this has manifested is that her son has started being naked a lot when we go to drop off our daughter. As a reminder, our daughter is now 13 months. She’s very alert and aware of her surroundings, so she knows exactly what and where boobs are, and she’s recently been curious about why there is hair in certain regions of one of her mothers’ bodies.

Now, as a general matter, we are VERY body positive and feel everyone should be proud and comfortable in their own skin. We let our daughter be naked at home too, because what is cuter than a naked baby? However, I’m really NOT comfortable with him actively tugging on his penis and simultaneously handing her toys or touching her. Maybe that’s silly of me, but ew. He also sits on the carpet, kitchen chairs, and sofa with a naked bum. We all know how stellar 4 year olds are about wiping their butts…

My wife normally does drop off, so if he’s naked, she freezes. She just isn’t the person to address it in the moment, so she panics and we both are silently angry that our daughter is hanging out with a naked kid (she relays the status to me via text).

I did drop off today, and he was naked. I immediately said, “uh oh! Did you forget to get ready for the day?” He ignored me as he danced around playing with rubber stamps. I said, “Should we wait outside for you to get ready? For you to put some pants on?” Again, he ignored me and asked if I wanted to play with his stamps. I said “No, I don’t want to play until you’re ready. As soon as you’re ready, we can play with you.” I didn’t put the baby on the floor, and the nanny silently gestured to her husband to take their son upstairs (presumably to get dressed).

Do I address it again with the nanny? Do I hope my very passive approach sent a clear message? Am I overstepping my bounds by insisting that this kid have pants (or even just underwear!) on in his own house? I personally wouldn’t let my four year old be naked around another child for whom I was being paid to care, because I think it’s important to set healthy boundaries around bodies and privacy. Also, this would never fly at any kind of daycare or preschool. However, I do NOT want to body-shame ANY little kid who is most comfortable naked. I handle sexual misconduct on a daily basis, so I know I’m more sensitive to it than others, but I am also VERY aware that kids start exploring their bodies and the boundaries with others’ bodies VERY young, and I don’t want my daughter to be any part of this kid’s personal exploration.

Ugh. Thoughts? Am I being overly sensitive when he’s just a little kid, or am I right to insist on some limitations, even though it’s his own house? I appreciate your ideas!

image1(16).JPG