Wednesday, November 23, 2016

10 Months of Thanks

For the first time in 5 years, it is so easy to give thanks.  I've said it many times, but the holidays just grow weary as each year ticks away when you are dealing with infertility.  It's a road that gets lonelier and lonelier the longer you stay on it because less of your friends can relate as they turn their focus on their 1, 2, 3... children.

Holidays are about family, and I've always been blessed with wonderful in-laws and out-laws (my side).  But even with wonderful families, it's just been that elephant in the room.  A sulky, sad, and embittered elephant at that.  And it's never been about not appreciating what I had, because I have always tried. But when the one thing you want, that comes so easily and naturally for the majority of people totally eludes you, it's hard to swallow the bitterness and focus on your blessings. The hole in your heart is just too raw.

Last year, I was preoccupied with being pregnant, and it was blissful.  I was so very blessed and fortunate to have such an easy pregnancy after the mighty struggle it took to get there.  Now I'm just so incredibly thankful.

It's easy to say I'm thankful for Matthew, but that is just the tip of the iceberg.

I am thankful for the perspective that infertility gave me, both in life and as a parent.  I'm thankful for the ability to let the small stuff go, and just enjoy the miracle of Matt. 

I am thankful for my better half who fulfills me, completes me, cheers me and is just the best teammate to have as we tackle this parenting thing.

I am thankful for my parents and in-laws who supported us in every way imaginable as BJ and I continued on despite what seemed impossible.

I am thankful for my best friend and her ear as she has been with me through all of the thick and thin of my life and continues to be a constant source of knowledge and comfort.

I am thankful for the Fertility Center and every single person at that clinic.  When we were at our rock bottom, they were there with their hands out-stretched.

I am thankful for the honor of being James Matthew's mother.  It is such a privilege that I do not take lightly.  I love you, Matt-moo, more than words can ever express.  It is truly an honor to be the person you reach towards and say "Mama" (even if you call other women "mama" 😉). I hope after your teenage years, when you kinda start liking us again, that you'll be glad we got you, too.

In the midst of what has so far been a pretty awful week, it doesn't take much looking back to realize how truly blessed I am.

So tomorrow I look forward to Matt being the star of the show.  I've waited a long time to have a baby shoving mashed potatoes in his face. Hopefully his stomach will be over whatever has it so upset today, and he'll get to gum all the tasty foods.

Peace, Love, and Happy Food Hangovers!

Mary Katherine & Matt

Matt Facts:

Weight: 17lbs 2oz
Height: 2'4.5ish
Teeth: 0, but I believe we'll have at least 1 at our next update...
Favorite Comfort item:  Dada or Mama...he's really not too attached to any one thing just yet.
Favorite food:  Dog kibble, sweet potatoes, carrot cake and whatever he can feed himself.
Favorite toy:  His V-tech Sit-to-Stand Walker...unfortunately ours seems to have a short that makes it go off every 15 seconds whether he's near it or not.  Thank goodness for off-switches.
New skills:  Clapping, waving hi and bye,  cruisin-for-a-bruisin, stair-climbing, sticking the entire end of electronic devices in his mouth, and catching every bug that comes his way (yeah for breastfed babies...oh, wait), standing and stepping unassisted but with rapid failures, and falling.
Words:  Mama, Dada, Bah-bah (Bye-bye with a drawal), Hi, Lala and nanana (you know...just conversation filler)
Future Career:  Mechanical engineer.  He's all about wheels and gears and things that spin.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

9 Months...OR When the Miracle Eats Dog Kibble little ball of energy is 9 months old!!! He's been outside as long as he was on the inside (literally, since he was 3 weeks early plus had a bonus week on the outside in a petri dish...).   What a crazy 18 months it has been.

Matt is just funny.  His personality is really beginning to come out, and I think we scored in that department.  He's pensive and introspective.  He studies new things carefully.  Yet he loves to have fun and enjoys being silly.  He's not a pleaser.  He does things on his own time after much thought and consideration.  He seems to be a little introverted, which I totally get. He's also pretty chatty with us, but less so in public. In fact our babysitter asked me if he was talking yet, and I was floored, because he's not usually quiet for very long.  I asked him to tell her "Bye-Bye" and he immediately said bye-bye. She was just as shocked as I was when she asked me if he was talking yet...*sigh*  This does not bode well for school, I fear.

He FINALLY clapped yesterday for the first time.  We actually took a rare and ever elusive nap and he woke up before me because I found him lying on his back studying each of his hands.  They were approximately a body width apart and had assumed an appropriate pre-"pat-a-cake" position.  He carefully brought his hands together and pulled them apart, then tried a little faster and got a little sound. I'm so very proud.  He refuses to clap for BJ, however...

His other skills include finding toys hidden under a blanket. Chasing kitties and golden retrievers. French kissing golden doodles. Speed crawling, waving bye-bye and feeding himself are also much more precise than they were during his 8th month.  Precise but not always accurate...

I make most of Matt's baby food because it kinda skeeves me out to eat 3 year old bananas. So anyway, I'm happily buzzing around the kitchen steaming this and blending that into some concoction for my toothless miracle when I hear his palms happily slap across the kitchen in a speed crawl.  He loves to splash in Emma's water bowl, so I make my way over there and try to distract him with a toy before returning to blending.  I don't hear anything for a while, so I glance back to Emma's bowls to see my little miracle baby eating dog food while I'm making homemade, hippie-approved baby food because Gerber is poison...So anyway...Gerber's probably fine...

We've also enjoyed eliciting those baby belly laughs.  Matt is not a free laugher....

It actually takes work. And things he found funny a couple of days may barely muster a smirk today. So when we do find something that evokes those throw his head back baby giggles, IT.IS.AMAZING!  It's definitely one of those 'we could have missed this' moments.

The pain of infertility is erosive to your soul, yet having a child after going through infertility is truly inconceivable. After over 5 years, I had no idea I could not hurt this much, or be this happy, or have so much to look forward to in life.  So when Matt giggles, the heavens open up and my heart fills with a joy I had no idea could exist.  And then I become overwhelmed with the thought of 'Wow, we could have missed this.' It is entirely possible that all of this could have eluded us, and my heart fills again.

So when people say Matt was worth the wait, they honestly have no idea.  He's not just worth it, he exceeds all of that pain with a sense of peace.  A peace that soothes my soul, and helps me look back with a sense of understanding.  He's an answer to so many prayers, hopes, desires. He's simply a miracle.  I couldn't appreciate this as much as I do without having gone through such an arduous journey, and I would never want to have a child without that level of appreciation.

And that same miracle...well, he eats dog food sometimes, too. :)

Matt Facts:

Height:  2' 3 1/4" for 13th percentile
Weight:  16 lbs, 13 oz... 8th percentile
Teeth: 0
Fave Food:  Cheerios are amazing...and Lucifer the kitty likes them, too!
Fave Toy:  Wheels...or anything that spins: squeaky frog toy
Fave Word: Bah-Bah-Bah (Bye); dew-dew-dew (No translation), La-la (Yadda-yadda); din-din-din (no translation);
Fave Activity:  Playing in a water table, AKA Emma's elevated water bowl; readjusting the wine fridge settings; Petting the kitties; playing in his tunnel.
Favorite Comfort Item: Mama & Dada...Wubba Nubs be out (Matt's parenting credits to us)
Future Career:  Wine connoisseur. 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

I'm a $&^t Mom

I'm a ****ty mother, and I'm perfectly okay with it.  I own it, even.

My friend, who also struggled to conceive, and I were having a conversation about how we spent so much time and energy and studying on how to conceive, what should be happening to our bodies, what shouldn't....and then we finally became pregnant and we poured through every possible scenario, read every article, and second guessed everything we knew even as experienced women's health nurses...

So when we finally gave birth to our children, and they lived through the squishy not doing much stage we were completely burned out.  Well, I'm burned out...and over it.  I've done everything in my power to get Matt some point the whole thriving thing is going to have to be on him...cuz I just want to enjoy him.

This, for me has translated into having no clue what my baby is supposed to be doing when.  Hell if I know what milestones Matt is supposed to be achieving.  I'm not even sure if what he's doing sometimes is considered a skill.  Like is downward dog position a milestone?  It's not that I don't care...but honestly, I don't really care that much. I have thought about purchasing What to Expect the First Year, but then I don't buy it because....meh....  Matt is healthy, thriving, doing new things occasionally, and HAPPY. So he doesn't clap yet, but he gets excited and bounces up down and smiles when we clap at him and thinks he's just great.  That seems more important. But dammit, why can't he clap?

He really wants to eat, but he has no teeth, but he also hates thicker purees...but he screams at me when I eat and paws at the food within his reach, so he gets a little chunk.  Allergies be damned.  He even had she crab soup when we went to the beach a few weeks ago and he loved it...and he lived. So shellfish, dairy, and alcohol all in one shot...Mom of the year, right here!!!!  Most of the food we give him ends up in Emma's stomach, so it's win-win-win.  Matt scores "real people" food, Emma score's "real people food", and Mom and Dad score on the clean-up. #parentingtrifecta

I'll think Matt is developing fine, even maybe a little ahead, but then I get a questionnaire from our pediatrician that asks things like "Does Matt follow commands?"  Well, um, I don't know what kind of life other people lead, but I don't have very high expectations as far as my almost 9 month old performing tasks at my request. I just don't live that life.  Matt is precious, but I'd hardly call him reliable, so I don't plan my day thinking "What could I have Matt do?"  Along those lines, I've not asked him to do a lot.  I mean he has about a 50% chance of coming when I call his name...But seriously, 9 month olds are supposed to follow commands? Really?

Another of these "tasks" was "Will Matt play nursery games like Pat-a-cake or So-Big or Peek-a-boo at your prompting, but without you gesturing?" All I can picture is Matt staring at a blank wall playing peek-a-boo and thinking how creepy that would be.  I mean I'd be worried about him if he did...isn't that how Poltergeist started? Also, have you ever gone up to another human or even a dog and said "High Five" w/out extending your hand.  So why would Matt just spontaneously play Pat-a-cake?  Apparently Matt is woefully behind in communication skills, and it's my fault.  I've not asked him to fetch, clean his room, make dinner, plus I didn't even know So Big was a "nursery game", but then again, I am a shit mom...

I am kinda getting worried about Matt not being able to clap.  Or "pat-a-cake" as they call clapping in babyland.  It's super frustrating. We're in intense clapping training, but the closest we've gotten is waving both hands in a parallel fashion, thus never making contact with each other.  I'm not asking for perfection here, but honestly I'm starting to worry about his corpus callosum...

I say I'm not asking for perfection, but I really want Matt to get a perfect score on this questionnaire...It's a direct measure of my parenting skills.  And apparently anything less than perfection to me is basically shit, hence the clapping training camp.  But as my best friend, Matt's godmother, kindly reminded me...does Matt really need to be able to clap to be a Wal-Mart greeter?

No, no he does I guess even if he doesn't make a perfect score...he'll at least still have opportunities thanks to Sam Walton.  #Mericuh

Peace, Love and Wal-Mart Greetings from Matt,

Mary Katherine

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Belated Birthday Post

For 5 and a half years, this was my life.  More than the hurtful comments, the unhelpful suggestions, the pregnancy announcements from people who either weren't trying or tried for 2 seconds, the pregnancy announcements from same-age peers for their 2nd and 3rd babies, nothing can touch the feeling of failing your husband.

Even when male factor infertility is the issue, you as the woman cannot carry that baby.  You cannot bear your spouse's child.  It leaves you feeling empty, sad, and worthless. You are barren. It feels as sad and lonely as that word sounds.  It feels like failing, even when your husband doesn't see it that way.  You feel like you are failing at being a woman.

I would pretend to not notice BJ playing with our friend's kids while at the same time taking in every moment. Letting it sear itself into my soul.  I would tell myself this was why we needed to keep trying because he was just so wonderful with children.  So patient, kind, appropriately fun at whatever age he was thrown and just plain good.  He is the kind of guy you would meet for 5 minutes and not hesitate to leave your kid playing with him at the party while you went and fetched some food or something to drink.  It's just so easy for him.

Unlike me, I just felt so awkward.  I had no baby experience. When I held other people's babies I felt like I was being stared at, or worse, pitied.

Fast forward to this miracle:

I'll be honest, as amazing as BJ was with other people's children, I had no idea how it would translate into fatherhood.  He by far has exceeded all expectations, and he's got it harder than a lot of working dad's.  He works all day, and then comes home to be a single father when I work night shift.  When I work day shift he has to single dad it again, and get Matt ready himself, drops him off, and pick the kid up to be single dad for a few more hours until I get home.

And that's just what he has to do...  He continues to astonish me with just what a wonderful father he's become. His attention to Matt, his ability to soothe him leaves me jealous at times.  I love listening to BJ read to Matt. I love the baby giggles BJ generates.  He goes above and beyond for this kiddo.  He doesn't just love Matthew, he cherishes him.  And Matt's eyes light up when he comes home, and it melts my heart every.single.time.

BJ, Happy Birthday.  This kid loves you to the moon and back, and so does your wife.  I didn't think it would be possible to love you any more than I already did, but I do.  You are an outstanding father and a better husband than I deserve.  I hope your birthday was as happy as Matt is to see you.

Peace, Love, and Baby Daddies,

Mary Katherine. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

8 Months & Killing It!

Matt-moo, the miracle man is 8 months old now.  It is crazy how fast it has gone, and crazy how much more excitement there is to come!  BJ and I are still enamored with everything his little self does.  He seems to be turning into quite a playful little thing.  He seems to think he's 8 months going on 18.  He's pretty sure he should be doing whatever we are doing.  Whether that's drinking wine, eating the remote control, operating an iPad, or studying with a laptop for an online pharmacology  or community banking exam, he will attempt to duplicate your actions. I'm sad his parents are so boring, lol.

Grampa teaching Matt the lyrics to Rocky Top. 
He's had another healthy month.  No shots or exams or anything too exciting.  Well, he did have a 2nd flu shot, and he handled it like a champ.  He was more mad that he was being held down than anything.

His Grammy did say, that he's the worst diaper-change of all the babies she has ever cared for (which has been a few more than just Brother Matt and myself).  It truly is a wrestling match.  You put him on his back and he gets a message to turn over and crawl away, NOW.  He doesn't care if his full of poo diaper is halfway hanging off, he must exit the situation immediately.  We try laying toys, diapers, wipes, oversized coffee table books that weigh more than him (I'm kidding!) on his chest to distract him, and this has approximately a 17% success rate.  Mostly, I change his diapers with him standing as if he's about to get frisked and moderate success.

He is cruising pretty successfully now.  I hope he doesn't walk too soon, although, I don't really know what difference it will make as he's already into EVERYTHING.  He has turbo crawl speed which I can hear him go into anywhere in our house. His little palms go slap-slap-slap against the hardwood.  The cats are not very excited about his new-found speed.  But it's also amazing because he'll be at your feet. You'll look at the TV b/c Brangelina divorce news and all the sudden he's in the kitchen with both hands in Emma's water bowl, which happens to be one of his favorite past times.  Oh, and he's not picky...he'll happily stick his hands in your drinks, too.  So basically he's a beverage ruining Ninja.  As I'm typing this, he's figured out how to stand up and scoot his Sit to Stand walker thing...I don't think he's going to be like his Mama and not walk until he's 15 months old.  You're welcome, Grampa. (My dad is still embarrassed for me because of how old I was when I started walking.)

Matt's other favorite activities include toe-sucking, chit-chatting, and yoga...Well downward dog position while making strawberry noises...

Matt Facts
Height:  2'3" give or take. He won't be measured again until his 9 month appointment
Weight:  Just under 17 lbs according to our scale. So about 14th percentile.
Toofers:  0 and holding
Fave Food:  Boob juice, Bananas, Arrowroot cookies, and She-Crab soup (I know...BAD MOM)
Fave Toy: The one in his hands.  He's pretty sweet about it, actually. Ok so sometimes it's the one in your hands...even though he has another one...
Fave Comfort Item:  Mama and Dada - Wubbanubs are kinda out at the moment.
Sounds: Mama, Dada, Bah-bah, la-la, nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh, ha, blub-blub, Ah, Deeb-ah-deeb. 
They don't have meaning to us, yet, but the nuh-nuh-nuh is his fussing word. So he associates meaning to some I think. 
Mad Baby Skills: Cruising, Speed Crawling, Climbing stairs, Pincher grasp, splashing, 
Future Career:  Yogi - Maybe a comedic one. 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

7 Months of Gooberishness

Um, who stole my infant and replaced it with the cutest hob-goblin, ever? I have a legit crawling, cruising, thieving, jibber-jabbering, incontinent mini-adult. He's cute and he knows it.

So baby-proofing is happening. We may end up looking like Nerf sponsored our house, but everyday, Matt seems to have a new scratch or bump on him. He mostly seems to tolerate it well. He seems to cry out in frustration more than pain. He will fall and get upset, or it will sound like he had a skull crushing bop on his head, enough to make me jump, and just be like "what's the big deal?" I'm so blessed in so many ways, so to have a pretty even keel babester is just beyond what I ever deserved.

His favorite word of the moment is tongue clicking. I'm not sure where he learned Kiswahili, but he's very adept at it. He may be telling us very important things in tongue-clicking, strawberries, and La-la-la's. Although he kinda sounds like he's mocking us when he says it..."Hey, Matthew, how was your day?" "La-la-la click pffffffft." "Oh, really?" "Hee." So basically he's already pretty sure we're full of it.

I'm just unpacking this bowl for you, Mom, no big!

I love this little mischief maker. I'm just so happy this little soul ended up in our care. I'm loving all my moments with him, and I can't wait to see what he does next. 

Our animals are still petrified of this little tyrant. He wants to "love" them so bad, but they panic and run for the hills. Love to Matt is pulling your hair/fur, so I get where they are coming from, but it's still a little exaggerated. We are working on soft hands, but that grasp reflex is still so strong!!!!

We are still primarily breastfeeding and eating purées, except when he steals food out of my hand. 

He still spits out anything solid, and occasionally thicker purées, but ice cream is fine...OMG... I should probably be all upset about this, but as a "more mature parent" I'm like "meh". Plus just getting it away from him to take his shirt off ruptured the eardrums of everyone in a 10 foot radius...I'm gonna be such a bad, mom...*sigh*. 

Whatever...I could be worse. He still hasn't been to prison...yet...

Peace, love, and hobgoblins,

Mary Katherine & Matt

Height (Or lack of):  26" 10th percentile...He shrank...not really...but oops
Weight: 16 lbs. 5 oz  19th percentile..shrimpin' up.
Head: 16 7/8" 23rd-ish percentile...
Fave food: Boob juice, mangos and BANANA!
Fave Hobby:  Crack cocaine. We aren't sure who is supplier is, but when I find them, I will kill them.  Seriously...his favorite hobby is becoming wild man at 10:30 pm.  He laughs, giggles, rolls all over the place until he crashes.  I thought babies slept...
Fave sport: Graeco-Roman diaper changing. I need at least 4 hands to change his diaper...and we never do it on a raised surface anymore. But he is  super good at this sport. As soon as he hears the first Velcro tab, he's off!!! And he always wins points for riding time as he manages to spend more time above your hands. I've gotten pretty good at blind Velcro-ing diaper tabs. 
Fave Book: all the edible ones
Fave Toy: rattles and things that go bang when you whack them!
Fave comfort item: Mama or Dada
Predicted career: demolition specialist

Monday, August 1, 2016

6 Months of Matt-moo

*sigh* This kid...aside from being in that adorable, chatty, toe-sucking Gerber stage, he is just amazing.

How did he become 6 months old?  Six months was an eternity in fertility treatments and yet, it seems to be going so quickly now.  I love it, cherish it and hope that my Matt continues to allow me to snuggle him for a little while longer.  "They are only little once..." is pretty much the theme to my parenting.

He reaches for me now, and that my friends, has sealed the deal. Any doubts about how I was doing, who I was to him, and even genetics...GONE. *POOF*.  The only thing that matters to Matt is that I reach back for his outstretched arms, and believe me, I do every.single.time.

Seriously, I didn't think I was having any issues with the egg donation situation, but now I understand how it simply doesn't matter. I get it, now.  Those little hands pointed toward me make my world go around.  He reaches out to me not caring about the number of genes we do or don't share.  He just simply needs his Mama, and that person is Me.

I finally understand what my mother meant about not understanding how much she loved me until I had kids of my own.  But, I also had no idea what it felt like to be loved back. The way his eyes light up in the morning, just because I'm there.  The way he smiles those gummy little smiles. I am just smitten. Those things are the superglue that put my heart back together after so many disappointments.

Seriously, to think I could have missed out on this over my stupid ovaries, I cannot even imagine living out my life with never getting to experience this. It makes my heart hurt even more for my sisters in infertility.  I hope they know how hard I pray for them, and that I don't take any of this for granted.

We enjoyed having him with us at the beach.  He loved the sand and the water. I think I do have a little water bug, which is exciting to me, because I loved water as a child. He just kicks and bats his hands while smiling. Super cute! Maybe he'll be a swimmer?

It is serious work shoveling sand up your bathing suit!

The eating thing is going okay.  We are still super into puree's and not much for the baby lead weaning thing.  They need a lot more dexterity than Matt has at this point. I still hand him chunks of stuff to suck on or chew on, but he seems to choke when he manages to get it in his I'm like "NOPE".  So I continue to make his baby food purees and for the most part he seems to like it.  Especially bananas!

We are seeing glimmers of his personality.  For the most part, he's pretty chill about new things, places, people.  He is, however, busy. Very busy.  And he still makes up his schedule on the fly, and I don't understand.  Sometimes he'll take 15 to 20 minute naps and crash all night, other times he'll take a 2 hour nap and party like it's 1999 from 3 am on.  He's so much fun to play with now.  He loves to do whatever you are doing.  He finds new features on my phone everyday.  He loves books, especially their taste.

He also loves his pets. Unfortunately, the feelings aren't quite mutual yet.  Emma does like purees so when one goes splat, that is a help, but she doesn't really associate Matt with those yet.  Matt loves to "pet" aka grab with baby vice grip the kitties and Emma.  Emma just gets her feelings hurt and runs away looking at us like, "how dare you let it hurt me?" Lucifer is kinda like "oh, crap" but yet his curiosity keeps him coming back for more.  Gaius is actually the most "warm" or lazy...however you want to interpret it.  He just looks at me like "how dare you let this disgusting floor troll touch me. I will show both of you by standing my ground!" None of them have shown the slightest bit of aggression which is surprising because, you know, cats.  But Matt is just infatuated with everything they do...and the cats are a bit fascinated with him.  But until Matt can be trained to open a can, he's somewhat useless to them.  Emma licks Matt because she gets positive attention for it.  We know, Emma.  You aren't fooling us...

"I earned this vacation!" 

First time eating carrots.

Matt Facts:
Weight:  16lbs and some change on our scale
Height:  Itty (we couldn't get in to see his pediatrician until 8/8 for his 6 month appointment).
Fave Toy:  Sophie the Giraffe is taking a slight lead which is better than Tim the Lazy V-Tech Truck Driver who stops to make friends while on the job...Don't worry, we tell Matt that isn't realistic.
Fave Comfort Item:  Any of his WubbaNubs, and Mama
Fave Food:  Boob Juice and BANANA!!!
Fave Book:  The one in his mouth.
Least fave food:  Green Beans are Yuck!
Teeth: No teeth...I saw them on a 32ish weeks ultrasound, so I'm pretty sure they are there...
Future Occupation:  We've gone from teeth to an interest in noses as well, so I'm thinking otolaryngologist.

Peace, Love, and Sand Monsters,

Mary Katherine & Matt

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

5 Months and Some (BIG) Change

There is a huge picture window at the end of the hall I work on.  So every time I walked down the hall while I was pregnant and saw myself with an expansive belly I'd just smile like a goober.  So now, with everything except my boobs back to normal, I am still overwhelmed at my reflection...there was a baby and now there IS a REAL baby! And now my baby boy totally flashes these uber goober smiles at me all the time.  Nothing but gums, cheeks and squinty eyes.  And I am so in love...

I can't believe Matthew (Matt-moo) has been with us for 5 months.  It is still so completely surreal.  I would never wish infertility on anyone, but I wish you could see Matt through my eyes.  He's an absolute gift. I cherish him maybe a little bit differently.  I don't take any moment with him for granted because he shouldn't be here.  I am so blessed.  There is just a level of appreciation and gratitude that I know I would never have had if I'd "just gotten pregnant".  He is my miracle.  He's amazing.  He's MY son that I honestly never knew I would have.  I think that's the first time I've said that...'My son'...I have a son, and he is just the best thing that's happened to me since BJ.

But I do think it is different.  Like a second chance at life, only a deeper gratitude for the ability to parent.  So when he's screaming bloody murder, I ALWAYS, ALWAYS whisper "I love you" into his ear. I hate that I can't fix his problems, but I'll always be there for him.  And I feel so privileged to get to be the Mama that tries to soothe him. The level of adoration I have is intoxicating.  I can't wait for that next snuggle, that next tuck of his head beneath my chin, and that moment he lets his body relax in my arms.  I'm just love-drunk over this baby.

BJ had his first father's day with Matt, and it was awesome for me.  I think I liked it better than Mother's Day.  I don't have to feel like the reason BJ will never be a father anymore for one thing.  And Matt's a pretty sweet baby.  We went out to eat with BJ's parents and just enjoyed each others' company. It's nice to feel included in these parental unit celebration days!

Matt also stayed with his Mimi and Papaw for a weekend.  They did great with him, especially my niece Makayla...who probably has better baby skills than I do.  She is just devoted to His Royal Mattness, and I just love watching them.  Seriously, if it weren't for child labor laws, she'd by my #1 choice for live-in Nanny.

So Matt at 5 months wants to stand ALL of the time.  He's of course nowhere ready for that, and his feet still don't touch on the exer-saucer w/out pillows, but we do manage.  Meanwhile, I'm seeing some more definition in my biceps.  When he allows you to bend him at the waist, which seems less frequently than other babies of similar age, he can sit with minimal support. And he rolls all of the times. You put him down on his tummy, he's on his back, you put him down on his back and he's on his tummy. You put him on his side and he's confused for a few seconds before figuring out which way will be the way you least desire him.

He's also decided he is ready to eat.  I dropped a cracker and he went to town on it.  It was a saltine and it was the last thing I would have wanted him to have, but then I thought well, hell, baby-lead weaning and all that jazz.  So he ended up slobber-dissolving a 1/3 of it.  The goal had been 6 months of exclusive breast-feeding, but he had all of the physical milestones down if not super-ceded.  He's a pretty neat eater for a baby.  He doesn't spit stuff out, so I guess he was ready.  As of now he's had avocado and sweet potato prepared by me. I wish cooking for adults was this easy. Peel, Steam, puree, DONE... I still think it's fun to spoon feed a baby. Matt wishes I'd let him have the spoon, but he just gags himself on it...So while I can, I'm just gonna stick w/the puree's.  I'm sure we'll convert to more baby-lead weaning as his dexterity improves, but for now, I'm enjoying this...and I have nearly 70 servings of pureed baby foodsicles in my freezer...

So Matt Facts:

Height: Wee (Haven't measured him since 4 mos...)
Weight:  According my scale he's just over 16 lbs...
Fave Food: Boob Juice w/sweet potato a close second
Fave Toy:  Sophie the Giraffe has taken over...much to the disapproval of dogs EVERYWHERE. "Why is that bald puppy chewing my toy?" They say with their eyes while simultaneously expressing betrayal and hurt.
Fave Comfort Item:  Mama and the Wubbanubs are on equal ground right about now...
Teeth:  None, but I'm hoping I didn't create an infant Tylenol addict over nothing.  He's been fussy, drooly and finger chewing off and on for a week, but I can't feel anything....Isn't that teething?
Future Career:  Dentistry.  He's currently giving free dental screenings to whoever allows him to stick his fingers in your mouth.  *Please Note that this should not replace your biannual dental cleanings and exams at your preferred, licensed dentist.  Matt hasn't been to preschool, yet, nor does he have a firm grasp on English at this point...He will have a firm grasp on you lips, so do be prepared...

Peace, Love, and Gummy Smiles,

Mary Katherine & Matt

Sunday, May 29, 2016

That Phone Call...

A year ago, yesterday, I laid in bed quietly crying into BJ's shoulder awaiting "the call".  The same
one I get every single time.  The one every infertility patient dreads because you just know.  You know 'it's not meant to be', 'it just isn't your time', 'maybe you should look at other options.'  You sit there and let all the comments and "helpful advice" run through your head and you wait.  You wait painfully, tearfully, all the while simultaneously begging for just a little bit more time being the most pregnant you've ever been.

You've changed your diet, your lifestyle, given up your savings account, stabbed yourself with gargantuan needles and bargained with God to just help you get through the cycle no matter the outcome because you've convinced yourself you've given up on your miracle.  You tell your partner you just aren't ready to hear the bad news.  You wonder how many people the phlebotomist told about the crazy girl that sobbed through her venipuncture because you were "not ready to hear bad news".  

All this emotional, medicinal, financial and spiritual investment is pent up in this one phone call.  As you bury your face into your partner's shoulder your phone begins to go off.  You contemplate not answering it, because if you don't know just yet, you get a little more time with that precious embryo or two.  Just a few minutes more loving that should be baby you've poured your soul into.  Just a few minutes more pretending your miracle has come, and that you don't have to hurt like this anymore.

But you know.  Deep down, you know, so you answer that phone call.  "I'm so sorry, Mary Katherine..."  That's what you always hear....I can't tell you how the rest of those phone calls go because all the air is sucked out of your lungs, and you don't know how your shattered heart continues to beat. You look at your partner, your face scrunches in pain, the air is stolen from your lungs, yet you muster a "thank you" to whoever has the burden of telling you what you already knew.  Telling you your greatest fear has come to fruition.  You feel the searing pain of your heart breaking.  It feels like the air you manage to suck in is 1,000 degrees Celsius.  You hang up and you don't know whether to scream, curse God, or just let yourself waste away since it feels like all the important parts of you died with that embryo.  And that embryo was everything...

You know all of this pain is waiting for you as soon as you hit that green button on your phone.  But you do it.  You do it because you are brave.  You do it because you have to start the healing process.  And you do it because despite knowing the answer, there is a tiny, tiny voice in the back of your head that thinks 'just maybe'.  The one little part of your spirit that evades the protective wall you've convinced yourself you've built. The thing we call hope...

That wonderful part of your spirit that just can't be broken no matter the beatings it takes.  The hope that gives you the strength to endure another month of heartbreak.  Another month of telling all the people who knew what you were going through that it did not work.  Another month of convincing yourself it was worth it. Such a tiny, tiny voice, yet the one that gives you the drive to put yourself right back in the same position, waiting for the same phone call all over again. 

Because sometimes...miracles happen.

"Mary Katherine, have you gotten your lab results?" 
"Well, you're pregnant."
"No I'm not."
"Yes, you are pregnant..."

And your entire world changes with just 3 words...

James Matthew Roberts, thank you for being my miracle.  Thank you for being my little embryo that could.

Peace, Love, and Miracles,

Mary Katherine & Matt

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

4 Months!!!!

My little Goober is 4 months old!!!

He's such a sweet little guy, and I can't imagine life without him.  He's cute as a button, darling, smiley and very curious about what is going on just outside of his bubble. As in please move me so I can see what's going on over there, ok now back over there, ok I don't want to be here, either...I'm really just Matt's minion, but it's the best job in the world.

He laughs...this deep, almost can't tell he's not grumbling laugh, and it cracks me up. His hair seems to be blonding up and he's still got these gorgeous blue peepers...
He drools like a champ.  He smiles like a cherub...He's simply just the best.  I look back and cannot imagine not having him.  I am soooo lucky, so blessed, so thankful to be this baby's Mama!  I just want to drink in every precious thing about him all day, everyday, but alas...that doesn't put much food on the table.

Matt is thriving on the boob juice.  He's 14 lbs 7 oz at 4 mos and 2 days.  He's 24.75", rolls from front to back in either direction, and rolls from back to side if there is a chance that my boob is a magnet.  If i'm not there, there is no desire to roll in that direction...I mean why do more tummy time when that is the actual worst thing in his life, right now?  He can sit in his Bumbo seat, and LOVES to stand up.  He was a total champ at the doc's today.  Toe prick and he didn't even flinch, cried only a little bit when he got shots, and nursed right away.  He's meeting all his milestones, and we are pretty impressed with him. He's loving the 25th percentile.

I'm trying to learn how to balance motherhood, wifedom, working, and being a grind when it comes to studying.  I'm mostly flailing, but somehow (thanks mostly to BJ) things get fed, loved, we have clean clothes, and our house isn't in total least my definition of shambles...which means we don't count Emma Grace tumbleweeds...

BJ and I are starting to get questioned about what our family building plans are which I guess is always a natural curiosity.  We'd love to have more children, but we want to put our efforts into raising Matt at the moment, and maybe finish a graduate school program or 2...or 3.  I want to love on just Matt for a bit. We will never get to relive his babyhood, or toddler-hood again, and I'm not sure I want to miss any of it because I am jumping back into the vortex of infertility.  I can't imagine missing such important milestones because I'm crying myself to sleep over not giving him a sibling...which I'm pretty sure if I could explain the concept of sibling to Matt right now, he probably wouldn't be up for it, anyway...I'm not going to let infertility steal my time with the baby I do have right now.

Nothing is guaranteed for us, so we don't know that this will even work the next time.  That's another reason I want to relish every single moment of Matt.  Even if we go back for more children, doesn't necessarily mean we will get them.  So BJ and I have been asked "Why would you put yourself through all of it again?"  Well, we wouldn't be exactly.  We've gotten over the hurdle that tripped us up the most. We have 14 snow babies waiting on us to decide what to do, in fact we just paid their tuition for Freezer U.  Other people have commented on my/our age... Yes, I'm an older first-time mother, thanks for reminding me on the daily, but I'm not the oldest, and though I will most likely be over 35 the next time, I would technically not be an advanced maternal age patient because all our embryos are the same age as Matt. Anyway, I just love it when people ask me what our plans are then scoff at us.  If you ask and don't like what you hear...just remember they aren't your plans, they are mine!

Matt Facts:
Weight:  14 lbs 7 oz.
Length: 24.75 inches
Favorite food:  Boob Juice!!!
Favorite Toy:  We've moved on from Eric the Horse to this little Atom model looking thing with lots of tubes that he can stick in his mouth (Thanks, Mamaw Theresa!)
Favorite Comfort Item:  Any of his 3 Wubbanubs.
Favorite Activity:  Standing - nothing he can do by himself, of course :)
Favorite Pet:  Lucifer...even if he tries to kill Matt, he's the most interested in his ongoings and occasionally snuggles with him, if even on accident.
New Skills:  Standing (w/support), laughing, putting things in his mouth, sitting up w/support, mastered head control, and finally mastered only took 4 months!!!
Predicted Future Occupation:  Journalist...must know everything that's going on around him when we are in public.

Peace, Love, and Savoring all the moments,
Mary Katherine & Matt

Friday, May 6, 2016

Dear You Don't Think You Count, Mama

Dear You don't think you count, Mama,

First let me wish you a Happy Mother's Day.  Because indeed, you do count. You are a mother.

You know what it is to sacrifice everything for your child that you do not even have yet.  You know how to sacrifice financially, emotionally, and even spiritually.  You've sacrificed your body with large bore needles and drugs that cause bizarre side effects.  You've sacrificed your dignity with every other day transvaginal ultrasounds. You've sacrificed your sanity, because when everything is telling you it won't work, you have to try one.more.time.  And you know grief like no other.  You've grieved month after month for the child that will not be.  You've grieved the 2nd pink line that faded too quickly.  You've grieved the baby whose heart remained quiet.  You've given birth to a sleeping angel.  Or you've lost your baby way too soon. Yes, Mama, you've got grief covered better than most mothers.

You are nailing all the most difficult parts of motherhood, and yet have not received a single reward.  No tiny hand has gripped your finger.  No beady eyes have stared back at you.  No tiny lips have curled into that oh, so sweet smile.  No little bellies have quivered with baby giggles at your provoking. You are not even awarded for the amazing amount of fortitude you demonstrate when you get out of bed each morning. Yet you do and you keep going. And for that you deserve mother of the year!

I had a hard time accepting that I counted as a Mama before I had a living child.  But I tell you, the 5.5 years it took to get here are way harder than anything I've faced being Matt's Mama.  Even the witching hour when I cannot do anything to soothe Matthew is not nearly so hard as getting out of bed the day after you find out your last treatment cycle did not work. Yet people are eager to wish me a Happy Mother's Day now. With Matt, I know we'll live through the night and wake up to a smiling, cooing baby.  With fertility treatments there is so much investment with no guarantee of anything.

And yet, no one dares wish you a Happy Mother's Day.  Well, I do.  I wish you a Happy Mother's Day and pray that your healthy little one finds its way to you very soon.  I honor your journeys and think about you every single day, not just on Mother's Day.

So again, Happy Mother's Day to you, for you have given of yourself more than most parenting mothers. I send my love and strength as you continue on with the spirit cancer that is infertility. Battle on my friend.

Peace, Love, and Remembering ALL the Mothers, 

Mary Katherine

Friday, April 29, 2016

National Infertility Awareness Week 2016 #StartAsking

Nearly 6 years ago, BJ and I decided to throw our hats in the race to parenthood.  I had no clue, that it would be the beginning of the most tumultuous period of our lives.  I, probably like many young women, had no clue that getting pregnant would or could be difficult.  My mother conceived easily, so I assumed that I would, too.

But here I am over a half decade later with my first child who is not even 4 months yet. A child that took 4 IVF cycles including 2 donor egg cycles on top of multiple tests.  What happened?

What happened will probably never be totally figured out, but I should have been more aware that problems conceiving were not some rare curse reserved for career-driven women that put off having children into their forties.  In fact, I should have been aware that age was not the only risk factor for infertility.

I grew up in the south with mostly an abstinence-based sex-ed program.  My biology classes in my small hometown high school always skipped reproduction.  I think my health teacher spent 20 minutes glossing over a menstrual cycle sometime when I was in 8th grade.  By the time I started my period, I "knew" almost everyone had some cramping or discomfort with their period, but it shouldn't keep you from missing work or school - that's a little subjective, don't ya think?

So instead I spent month after month in high school gritting my teeth, sneaking ibuprofen in my back-pack, and tearfully praying that this would not be my life for the next 30 years.  When my mom caught me pacing while clutching my heating pad to my abdomen in the wee hours of the night did I finally land in my pediatrician's office.  His answer, was along the lines of "all girls cramp to some degree" just take ibuprofen right before you start your period.  He didn't ask how bad, how long, or even what I was doing to manage at that point...and neither did the next 4 health care providers...Including a Women's Health NP, and 3 OB/GYNs...NSAIDS and birth control. So by the time I saw my current OB/GYN, I just glossed over my cramps like all the other health care providers glossed over them.

Birth control did nothing, but taking ibuprofen helped if I started taking it before my cramps set in.  Problem being that while I had periods almost every month, they were very irregular (first of one month, 25th of the next, 15th the month after that...).  So my physical activity was blamed.  It wasn't for another 13 years, that I understood how important the hormone balance that creates regular cycles were to the whole conception process.  I just thanked God for sparing me that month from the ridiculously painful "normal cramps" I had.

It may have made no difference in the long-run, but I will always wonder if the lack of treatment I got for endometriosis lead to the demise of my ovaries, and therefore my ability to conceive my own child?  I didn't ask, and worse, I didn't even know what to ask.  At some point the not asking turned into not advocating for myself, either.

Fortunately, once I accepted that infertility was my plight in life through no fault of my own, I was able to #StartAsking.  I started tracking my cycles, researching, and figure out that I needed help if I wanted to have children.  I found a medical team and plan that ended in a healthy pregnancy and a beautiful bouncing boy.  He's just the best thing, ever.

Conceiving a child is supposed to be this simple process that you don't really talk about.  And that works just fine for 7 of 8 couples...but for 1/8th of us, it's a confusing, maddening, heartbreaking and lonely process.  And when it doesn't simply happen, it becomes super-complicated.  You need to #StartAsking, you need to advocate for yourself, and you need to know you are not alone.

Peace, Love, and #StartAsking,

Mary Katherine & Matt

Monday, April 25, 2016

3 Months - There will be blood.

Wow...we...BJ and I have a 3 month old baby.  He's just a treasure. He's a messy treasure, but he is OURS!!! It's still so much to take in and process that this little, giggling, smiling and cooing nugget is mine.  He might even call ME, Mama...for at least a while before my complete adoration of him drives him away from me.  *SIGH*

Did I mention I love him?

So anyway, the raising Matt saga continues... After no improvement on my second round of Diflucan I went back to a lactation consultant. She immediately said his tongue and lip were way too tight. She went through everything that it would cause, including Matt's pulling off behaviors, screaming at me, gassiness, restive behaviors at the boob...not to mention all my symptoms.  So I decided at nearly 3 months of age it was time to see a local oral surgeon that performs many frenulotomies.  She said that sooner we got it corrected the better.  I read where after 4 months the procedure is almost pointless as far as improvement for breastfeeding, because the babies become pretty set in their feeding habits.  So I made an appointment for the next day.

The next day also happened to be my first night back at work...I worried that I should wait, and I was torn about the doing it done as soon as possible. So with our future in mind, I went ahead with it even though I had some concerns about not being home with him.  When we saw the surgeon he completely agreed and said Matt would experience difficulty with speech as tied as he was and wanted to move forward with both his upper lip and tongue-tie. He explained it would be bloody but that it would stop within 4 minutes and even sooner if he nursed.  They handed me a surgical towel, a couple of 4x4's and tell me in not so many words to get my boob out.  I think the surgeon is just getting his placement when all of the sudden Matt is screaming bloody (literally) murder.  He absolutely could not and would not nurse for almost 10 minutes.  I pulled out a couple of pinky (my pinky)-sized clots.  They left me, but kept checking on us every couple of minutes. Matt was basically inconsolable and I just felt like total serious mom-scum.  When he finally latched, it wasn't any better than usual but I was getting major red-faced side-eye.  After about 20 minutes, the bleeding was down to a very slow ooze and way more drool than blood so I decided to pack his little self up and get him in the car.  The doctor said everything looked normal and really the total amount of blood didn't seem that horrible, but I had no clue how much he swallowed, so I just went with it.

By the time he got home, he was his pretty light-hearted self...even if he looked like a dhampir when he smiled...

He was a trooper.  So I left him with BJ and my mother as back-up support and headed to work that evening. The idea that BJ would do all the baby care but be able to rely on my mother for back-up and not text me so I could focus on work.  I was slightly concerned when by midnight I did not get any texts or a little after 2:00am I am admitting a patient to our floor when my Apple Watch goes off and it's my mother...*SIGH*..."Don't panic, but we are on our way to the emergency room with Matt."

Suffice it to say that after 3 cumulative hours of pressure, Matt was still actively bleeding, and we probably did need to know that he had enough blood left in his pipes.  So pretty much my first shift back ended up as a total bust, but Matt was a little trooper and fell asleep in the ED. So while no major baby milestones crossed...I guess we have the parenting milestone of taking your kid to the ED for the first time covered. *SIGH*

My parents took temporary custody (I'm joking) for 3 days, this past week, so I exclusively pumped and I was feeling pretty good.  But my little muncher in 2 sessions or less had my boobs pretty angry.  Oh, well...We followed up with Dr. Pickett and a lactation consultant today.  He already had a little re-growth on his tongue which Dr. Picket was able to stretch back out.  The lactation consultant was pleased with his latch except for the turned in upper lip.  He's just going to have to grow into it.  He's done great weight-wise, all things considered.  Her advice to me was keep pressure on the back of his head so he doesn't pull off and twist as much, and....use nipple shields - WTH... I'm throwing my hands up in the air with this one and just decided I'll use them when they're sore, but how funny.  I feel like if I'd just used them the whole time I could have saved myself a lot of time, frustration and money....doh! But those plump cheeks are SOOO worth it!

Speaking of milestones...We think Matt has the rolling front-to-back thing down pretty well, but we cannot be for sure.  Our Emma disGrace gets a little jelly and thwarts progress by lying down beside him on the side he's rolling toward.  She is utterly ridiculous...I mean it would be cute if she'd at least pretend to be concerned about him, but nay.  She just wants to make sure we know she can roll front to back, too. [Good job, Emma!] *SIGH*

Matt's spending a little time in his Bumpo...we got the wrong one...the one for 6 month-old babies, apparently.  But he seems to do fine as long as he's entertained.  He's tired of being on his back all the time, so I try to prop him up more.  He's a happy little fellow, we think...though his facial expressions when in public would have you believe he's pretty disgusted. I've told him he's way too young to be this skeptical of everyone.

Matt Facts:

Weight: 13 lbs, 9 oz.
Length:  ??
Favorite food:  Mama's Milk
Favorite Toy:  Drogo the Dragon and Eric the Horse
Favorite Comfort Item:  Wubba-nubs
Future Occupation Prediction:  Going by his judgemental/skeptical facial expressions, we think he's headed toward the seminary at this time.  Father Matt...


It's National Infertility Awareness Week.  If you have 8 friends chances are you know someone dealing with infertility.  Reach out if you know someone and tell them you are there for them.  Hug them, let them tell your what they are going through without offering advice, and be supportive.  In just those little things, you will do more for them than they could ever ask.  Prayers going up for everyone still in this battle.  BJ, Matt and I send all our love, prayers and good vibes.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

12 Weeks of Mattness

Oh, my gosh, I just keep falling more in love with my little guy.  He's such a blessing to wake up to every morning!  It's honestly a privilege to be his Mama.

I am just still so thrilled.  And the more smiles and giggles and milestones just make it that much sweeter.  He's so much fun to play with, love on, and listen to his stories.  He has big adventures, apparently and is very insistent on telling us about them.

Well, maternity leave has been wonderful, busy, and amazing.  I have missed my work family, however.  In fact, I haven't had the 'I can't leave my baby' panics until just these last couple of days.  I love that I work nights because I won't miss much of his days, but I hate that I'm going to miss those nights with him. Those nighttime feeds are the best when he just snuggles into my neck...*sigh* But, I'm sure he'll do fine.  I mean he spent nearly half the length of my shift at a babysitter's house, and survived. It is time to move on to my new normal.  Besides, I really don't think that I'd be happy as a SHM, either.  I think being in school has kind of masked how much I would miss adult contact and using my brain for science-y/nursey/medical things.  

Don't get me wrong...The nursing profession is amazing.  The people I work with are amazing. While only having to work 5 shifts in 14 days, seems amazing, but no matter how I slice it, it's always inconvenient.  I always schedule myself on a day BJ wants to be spontaneous or family wants to get together, etc.  So this last 12 weeks has been pretty wonderful for getting to visit our families whenever we wanted.    

Back in the milk barn, I'm on my second round of Diflucan and nipple ointment.  I finished the first round and had maybe 2 days where I thought, oh, this has the potential to not be soo awful. But by day three I was contemplating calling the lactation consultant back if I wasn't better in a couple of days and the next day I was so bad that I went ahead and called.  *SIGH*  I kinda hate my fire boobs right now...but even if I stopped breastfeeding, I'd still be yeasty, and engorged, so it's not worth it.  Matt on the other hand has absolutely no signs of thrush.  He does pull off my breast and seem gassy when I'm at my worst, so that fits in with thrush of the breast.  Fortunately, he's been spared the throat infection and diaper rash.  I have nystatin that I swab in his mouth a couple of times a day, just in case, but I hate treating him for something he doesn't have.  And his pediatrician, my pediatrician (Nicole, Matt's Godmother, LOL), and even my LC said he didn't need to be treated.  I just constantly feel like I ran a 10K w/out a bra in an itchy shirt.  Usually about a half hour after I nurse I have stabbing pains, and it sorta feels like I sprained my nipples.  

I wash everything in hot water, I change out my nursing pads frequently, I let my girls air dry as much as possible, but apparently fungii love me.  I tried starving myself and eating only vegetables to see if not feeding the infection any sugar would help.  The only thing I haven't tried is gentian violet because I can't afford to ruin the few clothes my boobs will fit in.  

But Matt is SOOOO worth it. Look at these tubby little legs and healthy glow.   

Peace, Love, and Embracing New Normals,

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Oh, Holy Day

Last Easter, I would never have dared dream that I would be spending the next Easter with my best friends and family as we celebrated the baptism of our precious little boy.  That seemed like such a pipe dream, yet it really happened.  It happened for our son, Matt!

What a perfect day!

It started a little early with Matt getting a little male-bonding in with the God-Pops.  Holding your god-child is simply an offer you can't refuse.

The God Parents

Matt slept through the entire service, baptism and christening, like a little angel.  He got so many compliments.  And everyone kept asking me what I gave him...  I kept thinking I brought the wrong baby!  Who's child is this?  Church seems to be a good place for him...

My two favorite Matt's and my SIL, Kim.  Meeting for the first time!  Baby Matt is still sleeping...

My other SIL, Tanya with Chris and Makayla...As you can see Tanya and Makayla who are attempting to share Matt. :)

Here are the proud grandparents with their beautiful grandchildren.  Not a bad set...and yes, Matt is still sleeping... It's apparently very tiring to get right with the Lord at age 2 months...

It has been such a long-awaited journey to get here.  My father graciously donated this new gospel cover (object he's holding) in honor of Matt's much-anticipated birth and baptism.  I was pretty awe-struck when Daddy first mentioned this.  It will be used every Sunday and holiday for hopefully a very long time.  Matt, your arrival...well, at least to us, was a pretty big deal.  

We've had so much love and support.  It melts my heart all over again to think of all the prayers, love, and kindness we've been shown over the past years to get to this moment.  We are truly blessed beyond measure with a beautiful baby boy.

The pain of infertility reaches far beyond the intended parents.  Everyone of our friends and family wanted and hoped for this day so badly for us.  And it did come, and it is better than I could have ever dreamed.

Matt is pretty smitten with this one...He did finally wake up, though!

The Matts...I look forward to Baby Matt getting to learn from the OG.  There is sooo much to learn! Just ask Kim...

You'd never guess who the focus was on...

So I cannot thank everyone in our family, extended family and friends enough for all their love and support.  We've truly been given an answered prayer.  I am so humbled at all the love and support.  Words will not let me express how truly grateful I am.

Peace, Love, and We Will, with God's Help,

Mary Katherine & Matt

...and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him. 1 Samuel 1:27

Thursday, March 24, 2016

2 Months/9 Weeks of Joy...and yoga...and breastfeeding...

Just the other day, I left Matt with BJ to run an errand.  As I pulled into our driveway I noticed that third window in our house that stayed shut for the better part of 5 years was open.  There are stripes painted on the wall, and that once blank, empty room is full of love, books and toys for my little boy.  It brought tears to my eyes once again.  Even when I thought I was getting used to this whole parenting thing, little things make me catch my breath and just grin like an idiot.  It's finally us!

*Sigh* We are just soooo in love with Matt. OK...back to it...

I tried a postpartum yoga class...otherwise known as 'Pay 10 dollars to breastfeed in front of people.' The class is scheduled during his morning siesta, so I thought 'perfect!' So I get in, and Matt is all cuddly and cute, and then another person shows up and Matt starts crying.  So we are supposed to start the class with a seated meditation, and I'm all busy bouncing, shushing, and walking Matt. Basically, Matt is no more cooperative during yoga than he was at my last attempt the week before I had him.  I had literally just fed him within the hour of starting this class, so I was like ok fine...I'll just breastfeed him quickly to remind him he's full.  This place is a yoga can't get much more granola... So he a pig..slurp, guzzle, slurp, snort...He really knows how to put it on. The yoga instructor was like "Wow, he's really hungry." Seriously, do eat...I promise you eat plenty!  So this went, on...and on...and on...and finally he started to act a little satiated...Meanswhile the other participants with their 5 month old boys were just having a swell time.  Baby coos, giggles, smiles and lots of yoga poses...FINALLY, I try to rejoin the posing, and Matt cranks up I'm just bouncing and trying to soothe him....I finally laid on the floor to do a pose against the wall and he settled.  Another mom looked at me and said, "It seems like all he [her sweetly smiling cherub] did was cry for the first 3 months."  *SIGH*  Our instructor asked us to change poses, but looked at me and said..."You can just stay there."  OK...So basically for 10 dollars, you can breastfeed in front of strangers between your baby's tantrums and lay down with your child on your chest while you pat his back with your legs propped up against a wall...Namaste, in bed next week, thank you.

On the breastfeeding day 8 or 9 of diflucan...I'm like 50% better.  I don't cry when Matt is latching 100% of the time, now, so I'm proud of myself for that.  However, Matt hates breastfeeding between the hours of 5pm and 10pm. He'll be hungry, I think, root, and scream at me when I offer to feed him. No clue...maybe an oversupply thing now? He seriously looks at me like I'm an imbecile and I'm like 'I have no clue, Matt."...and he's all like, "Who let you have children"...and I'm like 'I'm sorry"...and he's just saying "Don't be sorry, just fix it!" and I'm like "What?! Fix what!" and then I try a breast shield and he finally settles in and flips me off while he's eating...I may be projecting, somewhat. So anyway, breastshields have been unretired, unfortunately...But we're hanging in!!!

Matt is doing great.  He's nearly doubled his weight at 11 lbs. 7 oz., but is remaining in the 25th percentile for height and weight, so that's perfect. His egg head is between the 25th and 50th.  He smiles at us frequently, but you probably wouldn't know because as soon as we take him out or try to show him off he's back to Mr. Solemn face. He is very chatty in the mornings.  It's hard to get anything done because he has to tell me about everything, but I have no clue what he's talking about.  I just nod and agree...hopefully I've not agreed to anything too devious.

He survived his first round of vaccines. He was a champ.  I am so happy for him to be vaccinated as I am a big believer. We want all of the vaccines!!  I held his hand and talked to him, but BJ had to look away.  I did cry a little bit, however, but not so much for Matt.  I saw his little face...the pain, the fear, and I just thought 'how on earth could anyone purposefully hurt a child?'  It absolutely broke my heart.  So with a few snuggles (more for me) and some milk, Matt pretty quickly recuperated.  He slept most of the day, but it was well-deserved for being such a trooper.  We've got a couple months before we have to do that again.

We went home from our appointment, and I studiously read the paperwork our pediatrician gave us and was horrified.  Basically Matt is supposed to be sleeping through the night in his own room and filling out job applications during the day or something.  In small print, it did say "breastfed babies may not be sleeping through the night at this point, but should not wake up more than once."  Well, HELL's bells...First...define night when he goes to bed...or when I go to bed... I mean we are down to 2, because 5:00 am is definitely still night for me! And I could feed Matt at 10:00 pm or 1:30 am and he'd still wake up during the 2:00 o'clock hour.  And then it said to stop swaddling him and begin weaning him from his pacifier....Honestly...he just started using the damn thing...But really, other than the eating, sleeping, and applying to college, he's doing great with his other milestones. This is when I decided, the kid is growing, smiling, and thriving...We are going to do it "our" way.  I don't care what your literature says, anymore...So Matt is doing great.  He's meeting to a little ahead on all his motor skills, and we are very close to a there!

We took a little road trip to show Mr. Matt off to the Chattanooga office where our beloved embryologist Susan works.  I was so excited for her and the rest of the Chatt-town gang to see Matt in person.  A lot of love, sweat, prayers and tears went into making this kid.  As Susan, herself, said, she picked a good one. We just enjoyed all the gushing and love sent our way.  They really know how to make you feel special.  As much as I am thankful that I don't have to frequent the office regularly, I already miss seeing them.
The onesie says "My first babysitter was an embryologist." And, oh, how we love her!!!!
We have more big adventures awaiting Matt this weekend.  We're gonna chase the devil outta Matt. My father has graciously spearheaded having little James Matthew Roberts christened at our home church on Easter Sunday. That's kinda a big deal to us Whiskypalians. The Godparents are flying/driving in.  Little Matt gets to meet his namesake for the first time, as well...Big Matt! So, there might be picture overload if you follow BJ or I on Facebook.  My apologies, now.

Peace, Love, and Creating our Own Journey, 

Mary Katherine & Matt

Matt Facts:

Weight: 11 lbs 7 oz +
Height: 22.25 inches
Clothing size: 0-3 months with a couple newborn onesies still circulating.
Sleeps: 3.5 to 4 hours at one time during the night.
Fave food: Mama's milk
Fave comfort item: Wubba-nub 
Fave toy: Carl the horse
Possible occupational goal:  Attorney. He HATES traffic lights like his grandfather, and also according to his attorney grandfather enjoys watching cars wrecks on YouTube...*sigh* So I have a future ambulance chaser on my hands, apparently.