Confessions of a Middleagedmom

surviving motherhood in the “middle ages”

Did I mention I have a pooch? April 9, 2009

Filed under: middleaged,moms,pregnancy — middleagedmom @ 3:24 pm
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No, not of the canine variety.

My pooch is of the lower abdominal variety! Unfortunately, I haven’t been blessed with the “skinny” gene so weight is always an issue for me. I mentioned before that I lost weight after I gave birth due to nursing but since I have almost stopped nursing the weight has come back. Not as much as I lost but enough to make a difference.

Also, being pregnant with Baby has left it’s mark on my body, let’s call in the pooch. Having such big babies does a number on your body! Princess was over 8 pounds so I did end up with a little pooch but since Baby was over 9 pounds that pooch has grown. Let’s face it…when your doctor comments about how big you’ve become when you’re over 33 weeks pregnant then you know you’re big!

Add to all that the fact them I’m middleaged, then you can really understand why I have a pooch! (Okay, maybe some of you can’t but I hope most of you can.) Supposedly, when you’re older you skin doesn’t have as much elasticity that’s why we don’t “bounce” back like we used to when we were younger.

Less elasticity(middleaged) + big babies + “fat” genes = pooch

So why is this on my mind?

Look around you…it’s almost summer! I’ve been bathing suit shopping. Actually, more like bathing suit searching. I think my perfect suit would emphasize my top half while minimizing my bottom half, esp. the pooch.  I seem to be only seeing suits made for teenagers with bottoms that are oh so skimpy! Yikes, that would scare off anyone.  Take into account that I don’t really want to spend tons of money on a bathing suit, it becomes a near impossible job to find one.

I happened upon the Land’s End catalog and saw some cute suits for people like me (code for tummycontrol mini swim skirt with built in good coverage bikini bottom). The major deterrant to getting things from Land’s End is the price and the shipping. ( I just missed the free shipping, boo hoo!)

Anyone have any recommendations? Land’s End or any other brands?

Are you having more success finding a bathing suit for summer than I am? If so, I’m sure you’ll be enjoying your days at the beach or pool way before I am! Happy Upcoming Summer!

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In the Desert of Infertility – Part 2 April 1, 2009

Filed under: baby,children,Christianity,dad,family,infertility,moms,pregnancy — middleagedmom @ 11:35 pm
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Sadly, I didn’t get pregnant even after 6+ more months…

I was finally referred to an Infertility Specialist. Looking back, I wish I had gone sooner. The initial appointment was just like a regular checkup. One of the curious questions was regarding how hairy I was. I remember the doctor commenting that people who are really hairy,  could indicate some kind of hormonal issue. Well, that wasn’t a problem for me. The consultation also included a talk about our history with infertility and some options.

We ended up doing a few tests. My husband did a test for sperm count which came up a little low but not substantial enough to explain the infertility. I also ended up doing a dye test to see if my fallopian tubes were blocked. I can’t remember the name of the test. I remember the nurse mentioning to me that a lot of women get pregnant after the dye test. Apparently, one of my tubes appeared to be at least partially blocked.  I actually know a few women who got pregnant with only 1 fallopian tube. Well, I still didn’t get pregnant.

The doctor recommended that we do three series of IUIs (interuterine insemination). I’m not sure if the insurance company makes them do the least evasive procedures first.  Along with the IUIs, I still had to take hormones. As part of the IUI process, you have to get ultrasounds around your period to check your ovaries and egg production. Then you get more ultrasounds when it gets closer to ovulation to see when you are ready to get the IUI. At that time they also give you  an injection to so called “ripen” your eggs so that they will have more chances of getting fertilized. Sadly after 3 cycles of IUI and another 6 months of so passed, we were still not pregnant.

The next step was IVF (in vitro fertilization). I was a little scared of this but I really wanted to give it a shot. If you’ve ever had the experience of going through  in vitro fertilization, then you understand when I say that it’s one of the most excruciatingly emotional experiences of your life. The process was long and painful. The number of shots is unbelievable. At first, I could not give myself the shots but eventually had to learn to do so. I gave myself shots in the stomach and in the thigh. Sometimes I would end up with huge bruises because I didn’t apply enough pressure or I mistakenly hit a vein or something.  Mr. MaD had to give me shots in the bum…yikes! Those were the most painful and the most tedious. Every time I got that shot, he would have to poke me then pull out the plunger a little to check for blood. If there was blood, he would have to pull out the needle and then re-poke me somewhere else. Whew!  With this process, you get numerous ultrasounds too.

Then comes the egg retrieval. That was scary for me too! At the same time as the egg retrieval, poor Mr. MaD had to donate sperm. Yes, it’s not a “pretty” picture of romance and love.  As it turns out they ended up retrieving about 6 or so eggs. Then the eggs were fertilized with sperm and “grown” in the lab. I think the eggs had to develop into 8 cells before they are transferred into you.

Well, we finally got our egg transfer day. I think they transferred approximately 5 eggs with the hope of having at least one implanting. After the transfer, you have to lie still for approximately 30 minutes. Then you are instructed to not do any heavy lifting when you return home.

Then we had to play the waiting game. I think it was approx. 2 weeks or so that you have to wait. They check your HCG levels based upon blood tests. Your HCG levels are supposed to rise exponentially if you’re pregnant. 

So after a couple of blood tests, we were officially pregnant! I can’t tell you how relieved we were to get the news. After all that we had been through, it was a miracle.

Of course we learned not to tell about our “good news” since it was so early.  We only told our immediate family and I had to let my workplace know because of all the upcoming doctor appointment and my “light work” requirement.

It was a couple of weeks later when I was at a meeting…the dreaded bleeding! I was in a panic and called the doctor right away. They told me that there was nothing I could do.  I’d have to wait and see if the bleeding continued. If it did, then I should call them and I would have to come in for a  blood test.  As it turned out, the bleeding continued. The blood test indicated that my HCG levels were dropping dramatically. The verdict…I was having a miscarriage! I was utterly devastated!

I can not tell you how depressed I was. I could barely funtion. It was a  blessing that I had 1 more day of work until I had a vacation. God’s perfect timing! That last day of work was so busy that it helped me take my mind off my impending loss.

After the miscarriage, I was in a daze. I kept questioning God, “Why is this happening?” “Why can’t we have children?” I tried to remember that God does not give us more than we can handle. Truthfully, in my weakness I couldn’t trust God with this.

If you’ve experienced miscarriage, you know that there is a waiting period to let your body rest and recuperate.  It was not only my body that needed rest and recuperation, it was my heart and soul. Frankly, I felt lost and that no on could understand. My OB/GYN tried to see if the fertility doctor offered some kind of support after the process fails but there was nothing. My family and friends offered their prayers and support.

After a few months passed, I was determined to try again. This time we decided to try a clinic out of state (SIRM- Las Vegas)  that we heard about. We knew they had good results. So we made the phone call and had our consultation over the phone. They were so helpful! We answered a bunch of questions and we sent off our medial files from the previous infertility specialist.

As God would have it…we didn’t need to see another doctor!

Lo and behold, during the intake process and planning for a visit to the clinic we found out that we were PREGNANT!

God the miracle worker had bigger plans for us! Yes, we were pregnant!  This time is was all natural! No infertility at all!

To make a very long story short, we are the proud parents of 2 wonderful miracle children! Both conceived naturally in God’s perfect timing! How awesome is HE! These girls have blessed our lives beyond measure!

I am so in awe (to this day) of God’s hand on our lives that every time I tell the story of Princess’s conception and birth, I still cry.

 

In the Desert of Infertility – Part 1 February 17, 2009

Filed under: baby,children,Christianity,dad,family,infertility,moms,pregnancy — middleagedmom @ 10:49 pm
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I was in the desert of infertility for what seemed like forty years or forever.

Here is my story of infertility to abundance…thanks to the blessings of the Lord.

As a single career-minded woman, I was not sure if I wanted to have children. Why? Well, because I guess I was selfish. I had grown accustomed to a lifestyle of great freedom. I had grown accustomed to traveling, shopping, dining out, vegging out, etc. all on my schedule. I had grown accustomed to spending money on myself for whaterver I wanted. You know, buying those cute pair of shoes or that adorable handbag, on a whim!

While dating Mr. MaD, I mentioned to him that I was not sure if I wanted to have chidlren. I was trying to give him advanced notice of what he might be getting into (aka – if you really want children then maybe this isn’t the right relationship for you).  Okay, if you’re trying to analyze me, you might be thinking that I was trying to test him or push him away. I wasn’t! I just wanted to be up front because I didnt’ want to waste his time or my time. I was too old for that stuff.

Fast forward a couple years later ( and after having premarital counseling) …we’re a married couple. From the start I have to say that we didn’t necessarily try to get pregnant but we didn’t stop it from happening either.  We had a lot of fun as a newly married couple…traveling, shopping, dining out, etc. We really were living an abundant life full of blessings.

Then it hit me…”I think I’d like to have children.” I somehow felt like it was time to start a family. Of course, it just so happened that everyone around us had children or started to have children. Maybe that kind of “in your face” reminder is enough to make anyone think about starting a family.  So, we really diligently started to try to get pregnant. 

Sadly, nothing really happened for a while. We were already married over 5 years by now and we weren’t getting pregnant. So my Ob/Gyn at the time decided that I should try to take clomid. So, I started taking clomid. I swear that infertility drug made me gain weight.  Clomid is supposed to make you produce/ripen more eggs so that it increases your chances of getting pregnant.  Well, after taking it for over 6 months, I got pregnant. Oh my gosh! I was totally ecstatic! As soon as I missed my period, I sent Mr. MaD out to buy a pregnancy test and of course, it came out positive. I immediately called my Ob/Gyn for an appointment. I got one a couple of weeks later. 

Mr. MaD and I both went to my appointment. I took to pregnancy test and it was positive. Whew, one more hurdle overcome. So the doctor said we would be doing an ultrsound. While doing the ultrasound, the doctor mentions that she doesn’t really see the pregnancy sac. At the time, I didn’t really know what that meant. She explained that there should be 2 sacs, the pregnancy sac and the egg sac. She said that it may be too early so I would need to come back in a couple of weeks.  I was sad but I was hopeful.  We prayed a lot for the viability of this pregnancy and we asked others to pray also. By the time we returned to the doctor, I was about 9 weeks along. The doctor asked if I had any pregnancy symptoms so I said I was feeling tired and a little quesy.  Again we did an ultrasound. Again, the doctor said she could only see 1 sac. Immediately, my heart sank! I was in despair! What did that mean? Yes, my body thought I was pregnant that’s why it was producing the hormones for a positive pregnancy test but I was not creating a life inside me. I was going to miscarry.

Rather than wait for a natural miscarriage, we decided that I should have a D& C procedure.  I was sad! I was depressed! My body had betrayed me! Frankly, I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t get pregnant. I recovered from the procedure/miscarriage over the next couple of months. When my body was recovered, I started clomid again. Since it “worked” once, it was recommended  that I should try again.  Sadly, I didn’t get pregnant even after 6+ more months.

 

My Thoughts on Octuplet Mother February 12, 2009

Filed under: baby,children,Christianity,family,infertility,moms,pregnancy — middleagedmom @ 2:57 pm
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I’m sure you’ve all heard about the single mother, Nadya Suleman, who gave birth to octuplets.

Like most people, at first I was shocked to hear the news that octuplets were born to a single mom. But after a little time to digest it and to reflect on my life as a mother, I am withholding judgement of her.

First, I am totally saddened by all those unnecessary comments about her physical appearance and her so-called obsession with Angelina Jolie.  Why are people even concerned with that? What does that have to do with her being a mother?

Of course I do understand what all the “hype” is about in terms of her and her finances. People are upset about her being a single mom of now 14 children. People are upset that she may not be able to support her children and may need public assistance. People are upset that she will probably not be able to pay for her very expensive hospital bill. I hope these same people are voicing their concerns about the California government who is now in debt and who probably didn’t spend their money wisely either.  That’s your taxpayer money used (proabably unwisely) by the government!

As a mother, I am actually feeling sympathetic toward her. Why? Well, because I too struggled for years with infertility. I, too, had to turn to infertility treatments. I TOTALLY understand why doctors implant multiple embryos into the mother. I know that the odds of getting pregnant successfully is slim. I know how it feels when you yearn to be a mother and you can’t. I know how it feels to have 1 child and want more children.  I know how it feels when your body “betrays” you. I know how it feels when you will do whatever it takes to have a family. I know how it feels to believe that every embryo is a life and you would never “destroy” them. I know how it feels to have those embryos inside you and believe that each is a life worth living and saving. I know how it feels to be afraid that your desire for 1 child may lead to multiple children. I know how it feels to decide that you will not have selective reduction should you have multiples.

I also know how it feels to go through multiple infertility treatments and not have a child after all. I truly believe that children are a gift from God. A truly blessed gift.

I know that each of us is not perfect. We all have our own insecurities and limitations. We all do things to make ourselves feel better. We all struggle with ourselves. We all have to live with decisions we have made whether right or wrong.  I am not in a position to judge her, especially since I believe that she did not do this with bad intentions. I do believe that she does love her children and did not intend to have octuplets. I have to applaud her courage for coming out and talking about her situation and her struggles.

In one of my past jobs, I had first-hand experience working with families living in poverty (living on public assistance in public housing). Some of these families were what we would call “well-deserving” of public assistance because they had encountered some kind of hardship that put them there. Other, we might say were just caught up in the cycle of poverty. Their families have lived for many years and still do live in public housing. They have family members in jail or prison. They struggle with illiteracy and getting/keeping a job. They have multiple children. Some with over 10 children with a single mom with a father in prison. Many drive nicer cars than me. Many have much more electronic equipment that I ever had or will have.

So, how much more can we judge Nadya?

I’m not sure how different my life would have been had I had multiples. I’m not sure how I would have felt if someone told me that I couldn’t have multiple embryos implanted when I did in-vitro, esp. knowing how slim my odds were of getting pregnant.

As of now, I am withholidng judgement. I only wish her and her children the best. I pray for her and her family…that God would bless them abundantly.

I thank God for my children. I am truly blessed with this life.

 

Being Middle-aged July 7, 2008

Filed under: baby,children,dad,family,moms,pregnancy — middleagedmom @ 11:30 pm
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Being middle-aged seems to be synonymous with health concerns…

Recently, Mr. MaD has been complaining about some stomach problems. So off to the doctor he went. At first I thought it might be celiac disease so I told him he should try to eat gluten-free products. So he tried it. As it turns out, his doctor checked for celiac disease and said that it wasn’t his problem. So then we thought it might be acid reflux so he was given some medication. That didn’t seem  to help yet. Mr. MaD had to take a bunch of tests…most of which I can’t remember the names of. I know one of those test involved drinking that “barium” solution. (Forgive me if I spelled it wrong.) As of now, we are still not sure what is going on. So, we are playing the waiting game. He is watching what kinds of foods he is eating and he is trying not too eat after 7pm.

As for my health, I recently visited my physician for a stomach bug and she thought that I had an enlarged thyroid. I had to get a blood test done and an ultrasound. Thank God all was well with my thyroid. The blood test also revealed that my glucose levels were under control. It was actually lower than my last blood test which was before I got pregnant the 2nd time. My OB thinks that if I control my weight I will probably not have to worry about diabetes. On the other hand, I had some high numbers for other things so I have to take another blood test in a couple of weeks. At least I don’t have to fast for this one.

Last week I visited my optometrist. I mentioned that I felt like my vision hadgotten worse since I gave birth. He said it is probably related to age more than my pregnancy. Yes, he’s mentioned it to be before that after 40 years old, your vision gets worse. Since, I already wear glasses for seeing distances I didn’t think my vision would still change. But now it seems that I’m having trouble seeing close-up! Yikes! Sometimes I find myself squinting when I’m clipping my children’s nails or when I’m trimming my cuticles. Then it hit! The dreaded word…bifocals! Boy, did I feel old! What comes to mind when I hear the word bifocals? Well, my grandmother of course. How could I need bifocals! I was in denial! After showing me his own bifocals ( the ones that don’t have the line across the glass), I gave in to getting a pair of reading glasses rather than bifocals. I think I’ll hold off on bifocals for a year or so more especially since I don’t wear my glasses all the time. So now I’ll need to carry 2 pairs of glasses around and put on the appropriate pair as needed. Then when I finally succumb to bifocals, I’ll just use my new frames and update the lens to bifocals.

Let’s face it…no matter how you look at it, being middle-aged, is always in your face!

P.S. I can’t wait until I’m done nursing baby so that I can finally color my hair…yes, I do have white hair!

 

Gestational Diabetes Update – post pregnancy February 15, 2008

Filed under: baby,children,family,food,moms,pregnancy — middleagedmom @ 9:59 pm
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Okay, so most of you know that Baby has arrived already! Yes, I am exhausted! If you read my earlier post you know that my baby was large, over 9 pounds.  My doctor said that I seem to just have large babies. He doesn’t think that my baby’s size was due to the gestational diabetes since I kept my blood sugar under control. This pregancy I gained less than 30 pounds.

Anyway, since the birth of Baby, I have lost all the pregnancy weight and a little more (approx. 35+ pounds total).  I recently had to take another glucose test to see if I had diabetic tendencies prior to pregnancy. This glucose test was a 2 hour test. I had to drink about 75 ml of that orange drink. My blood was drawn prior to the drink and 2 hours after. My doctor called to tell me that my 2 hour reading was borderline ( I don’t know the number and I forgot to ask). He said that he is not worried, esp. if I keep my weight under control. He thinks that I will continue to loose weight since I am nursing. He also encouraged me to exercise. I still need to talk to the g.d. nurse to see what she says. Right after the birth, she encouraged me to continue with the g.d. diet, esp. since my baby was so large.

Right now, I’m not really watching my diet. In fact, my doctor told me not to diet since I’m nursing. I’m sure he doesn’t want me to go overboard and eat everything. The funny thing is that I was telling Mr. MaD prior to giving birth that I really wanted to eat doughnuts after the birth of Baby…well, I haven’t had any doughnuts yet. I guess you just want to eat stuff when you can’t have them! I’ll let you know if I ever get those doughnuts!

 

Where Am I? February 6, 2008

Just a quick post to let you know that I’m still here…just out of commission since baby has arrived. Yes, baby duty! Whew! I couldn’t have imagined how much work a 2nd baby would be in addition to a toddler in the house. Not to mention the sleepless nights and the fussy cries of a newborn. I’m still searching for the “answer” to help baby sleep better and fuss less. Most of the time she is awake she is crying, even if her diaper is changed and she is well fed and burped. Hmmm….

By the way, I did have a c-section since baby was so big! Yes, big! A little over 9lbs! That’s bigger than Princess was when she was born. My doctor was surprised too since my gestational diabetes was well controlled. He thinks that I just have big babies. My c-section was a little harder this time around. I had lots of scar tissue from the last c-section so that made it more difficult to get baby out and I had more bleeding.

That’s the latest update! I don’t know when I’ll be back to post again. It may be a while. Mr. MaD goes back to work next week. I’m sad about that. I’m still trying to figure out how I’ll manage with baby and Princess.

 Keep me in your prayers! I sure need God’s strength and grace each and every day!