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Archive for May, 2008

There's a reason that I use real names on my blog, and I'm going to let you in on the secret. Are you ready? Are you really SURE you're ready? Are you sitting down?? Okay, here it is: I'm not witty. I am not good at coming up with aliases. I'm not creative or funny or interesting. I have a hard enough time coming up with real life things to say, let along making shit up.

I mean, come ON people, do you know how frickin' long it took us to come up with actual REAL names for our children? We had NO names for our children before they were born! The night before they were born we FINALLY came up with a list of about 20 girl names that we didn't hate, but no actual combinations of names, and it wasn't whittled down to, oh, you know the actual names we'd be using (in part because we didn't know if we'd be having 1, 2, or 3 girls). And hello? We had zero, count 'em, ZERO boy names picked out. Zilch. Zippo. Nada. Niente. Nuttin' Honey. We were blank slates praying that we didn't have three boys the next morning because we didn't have a single boy name, and I gotta tell you, when Baby A came out and Doc M said, "Baby Boy!" I was sweating BULLETS! Seriously! What if Baby Boy A was starting a trend! What if there were THREE of them!?

Whoops… getting off track here, and giving away the details of that elusive birth story I still haven't written for you. See, gotta keep you guessing so you don't stop reading. I swear I'm planning to write that someday…

Ahem. Back to the present.

The point is, I'm not witty. I'm not interesting. I'm not creative. I can't even come up with REAL frickin' names for my kids. I didn't even have a name for my son until he was a week old (and hell, he was called "Hey you" until he was nearly six weeks old… but that was because he didn't officially get his name until his bris, but AGAIN with me being off track!). So I never used aliases on this blog. I did for a while refer to Seth as "S" but I got lazy and started calling him Seth because, well, that's his name. I do pretty consistently refer to J as, um, J. I'm better about that because he's not legally mine… I'm his legal guardian, but not his custodial parent, so I try to be careful about that. But I get sloppy about initials, so I don't like sticking to initials. For the triplets, initials get hard because Seth has the same initial as Sam and well, again with I'm sloppy about initials.

Mel suggested that I go back through entries and remove names to make me more comfortable with the information I've got out there about me, and while it isn't the PERFECT solution, it's a start. But WHAT TO CALL MY FAMILY MEMBERS? I can't think of a favorite book that has FIVE FAVORITE CHARACTERS (one for Seth, and each of my four children). Same goes for a movie.

So, you, dear readers, are now charged with finding aliases for my kids and my husband. If I had twins, they could be frick and frack. But I don't. So go forth and be witty. Be creative! Be smarter than me!

Me personally? I think I'll stay Karen. Or maybe just Ms. Perky. But it's not like Karen isn't a pretty anonymous name. Do you know how many Karen's were in my elementary school? A frick-load, that's how many. And if you knew my middle name, you'd know there were a lot of Karen-plus-my-middle names floating around too. There were THREE of us in my graduating high school class. THREE. So I can live with my lack of anonymity with regards to my name. But as for the rest of my family? They need witty aliases. And you guys (girls?) are all WAY FUNNIER THAN ME.

So I know I've got lots of lurkers who rarely comment and this is your chance to shine. I don't block anonymous comments, so please feel free to be funny! Or even to be not funny. But post something!

EDIT: Just a reminder: There are FOUR children to think of, not just the triplets. Triplets, plus J, plus husband.

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There have been some things that I’ve wanted to write about recently… infertility related, and I haven’t because I almost don’t feel like this is the safe space it used to be. There are too many “real life” people who have popped into my blog unexpectedly (Julie and Diana, you don’t count, you were invited here, so you’re always welcome… for that matter, if you were invited, you’re welcome here, so it’s not you I’m talking about). But it’s weird, you know? I started this blog to write about infertility. I feel guilty sometimes that I don’t write about it so much anymore, and yet, here I am with a bunch of thoughts about infertility-related stuff and I’m not writing them because I don’t feel like I can write about them here anymore. I feel like I’ve just made some mistakes with this blog. Too much of the real me. I mean, I’ll always be the real me, but I mean, too many real names and pictures…it’s just too… searchable. I don’t mind that you all know our real names and all that. I just mind the searchability, I guess.

Anyway, I think I’m going to move my blog soon. I may change my mind and not bother, but that’s what’s on my mind right now. When I do it, I’ll let you know how to find it, most likely, I’ll just have you email me for the new URL and/or, I’ll have Mel post a note in the Lost and Found Connections. But I just wanted to put you on notice. I’m not trying to be all dramalicious about it. It’s just been on my mind. I’ve had this blog for a while and I don’t like leaving it and throwing my archives away along with it. That frustrates me. I don’t like losing the searchability for other people in terms of the topics people might be looking for help on. But … I think it might be the right thing in the long run.

Still, I reserve the right to change my mind. I’m in a bit of a funky place this week, so it might just be me being in a bad mood. Who knows. But it’s been on my mind for a bit now, so I think it might just be time. I don’t want to move to a private, password-protected blog, so that’s not the answer. I just think I’m going to move. For those of you who’ve done this before, have you been sorry you’ve done it? Have you lost readers? Have you found an easy way to do it? Should I not bother? Gah. I’m so indecisive.

Read Full Post »

There have been some things that I've wanted to write about recently… infertility related, and I haven't because I almost don't feel like this is the safe space it used to be. There are too many "real life" people who have popped into my blog unexpectedly (Julie and Diana, you don't count, you were invited here, so you're always welcome… for that matter, if you were invited, you're welcome here, so it's not you I'm talking about). But it's weird, you know? I started this blog to write about infertility. I feel guilty sometimes that I don't write about it so much anymore, and yet, here I am with a bunch of thoughts about infertility-related stuff and I'm not writing them because I don't feel like I can write about them here anymore. I feel like I've just made some mistakes with this blog. Too much of the real me. I mean, I'll always be the real me, but I mean, too many real names and pictures…it's just too… searchable. I don't mind that you all know our real names and all that. I just mind the searchability, I guess.

Anyway, I think I'm going to move my blog soon. I may change my mind and not bother, but that's what's on my mind right now. When I do it, I'll let you know how to find it, most likely, I'll just have you email me for the new URL and/or, I'll have Mel post a note in the Lost and Found Connections. But I just wanted to put you on notice. I'm not trying to be all dramalicious about it. It's just been on my mind. I've had this blog for a while and I don't like leaving it and throwing my archives away along with it. That frustrates me. I don't like losing the searchability for other people in terms of the topics people might be looking for help on. But … I think it might be the right thing in the long run.

Still, I reserve the right to change my mind. I'm in a bit of a funky place this week, so it might just be me being in a bad mood. Who knows. But it's been on my mind for a bit now, so I think it might just be time. I don't want to move to a private, password-protected blog, so that's not the answer. I just think I'm going to move. For those of you who've done this before, have you been sorry you've done it? Have you lost readers? Have you found an easy way to do it? Should I not bother? Gah. I'm so indecisive.

Read Full Post »

Setbacks

One of the great benefits of having an infertility-turned-pregnancy-turned-parenting-triplets-slash-still-infertile blog is that I “meet” a lot of people. Sometimes, it is also a great responsibility. People turn to me for advice, or assvice. People look to me because I’ve been there, done that, gotten to the other side. Sometimes I have answers, and sometimes, all I have are empathetic tears.

A little over a year ago, a lovely woman, who is blogless so I can’t link you to her, contacted me with many questions about infertility, treatments, etc. She’s a single woman who was trying to pursue her dream of motherhood while navigating the difficult medical care provided by our nation’s military medical system. We have maintained an email relationship since. My friend did eventually become pregnant, and I rejoiced with her. I loved to see her belly-shots. I loved reading her emails about impending baby showers. I loved hearing of her plans for when her baby would come home with her.

I was devastated in January when her beautiful baby girl was born at 24 weeks, but rejoiced that baby girl, B, survived and was making continuous improvement. B has had a rocky road in the NICU, though. She had to have one of her arms amputated below the elbow. She spent a long time on a ventilator. She was under 2 pounds when she was born. But the important thing was that she was improving.

Today, I received this email:

My daughter B is going through a major rough patch right now. Just as I was preparing to bring her home she had a set back. B has severe chronic lung disease because of being so premature and lungs not being mature enough to function normally. As a result she was put on steroids but the steroids caused her heart to thicken and she had to be placed back onto the ventilator.

I’m requesting special prayer for B as she travels down this difficult road. Please pray for strength & healing so that I may hold my Angel again one day soon.

I know you all have very busy lives, and I know many of you haven’t even been able to achieve motherhood yet, so it must be very difficult to think of someone else’s baby while going through such difficult times. I know some of you aren’t religious, and some of you are. If you have a moment when you read this, please say a prayer, or think a thought, for little B. She’s been in the NICU for so long already.

We have so many hopes and dreams for her future, but most importantly, right now, what I want is for my friend to be able to hold her baby girl in her arms again.

According to the March of Dimes, 500,000 babies are born prematurely each year. I was lucky with my three, but I’m painfully aware of HOW lucky we were. I sincerely hope that it is true that, as the MoD envisions, someday, all babies will be born healthy. Until then, please include B in your thoughts for a speedy recovery.

Read Full Post »

Setbacks

One of the great benefits of having an infertility-turned-pregnancy-turned-parenting-triplets-slash-still-infertile blog is that I "meet" a lot of people. Sometimes, it is also a great responsibility. People turn to me for advice, or assvice. People look to me because I've been there, done that, gotten to the other side. Sometimes I have answers, and sometimes, all I have are empathetic tears.

A little over a year ago, a lovely woman, who is blogless so I can't link you to her, contacted me with many questions about infertility, treatments, etc. She's a single woman who was trying to pursue her dream of motherhood while navigating the difficult medical care provided by our nation's military medical system. We have maintained an email relationship since. My friend did eventually become pregnant, and I rejoiced with her. I loved to see her belly-shots. I loved reading her emails about impending baby showers. I loved hearing of her plans for when her baby would come home with her.

I was devastated in January when her beautiful baby girl was born at 24 weeks, but rejoiced that baby girl, B, survived and was making continuous improvement. B has had a rocky road in the NICU, though. She had to have one of her arms amputated below the elbow. She spent a long time on a ventilator. She was under 2 pounds when she was born. But the important thing was that she was improving.

Today, I received this email:

My daughter B is going through a major rough patch right now. Just as I was preparing to bring her home she had a set back. B has severe chronic lung disease because of being so premature and lungs not being mature enough to function normally. As a result she was put on steroids but the steroids caused her heart to thicken and she had to be placed back onto the ventilator.

I'm requesting special prayer for B as she travels down this difficult road. Please pray for strength & healing so that I may hold my Angel again one day soon.

I know you all have very busy lives, and I know many of you haven't even been able to achieve motherhood yet, so it must be very difficult to think of someone else's baby while going through such difficult times. I know some of you aren't religious, and some of you are. If you have a moment when you read this, please say a prayer, or think a thought, for little B. She's been in the NICU for so long already.

We have so many hopes and dreams for her future, but most importantly, right now, what I want is for my friend to be able to hold her baby girl in her arms again.

According to the March of Dimes, 500,000 babies are born prematurely each year. I was lucky with my three, but I'm painfully aware of HOW lucky we were. I sincerely hope that it is true that, as the MoD envisions, someday, all babies will be born healthy. Until then, please include B in your thoughts for a speedy recovery.

Read Full Post »

So you’d think after nearly 8 months of breastfeeding triplets, I’d have this breastfeeding thing down pat, right? No problems, no issues… I’d be an old pro. But when you ask a question of a woman who has PhD, APRN, CPNP, and IBCLC next to her name and her answer is “Unfortunately, there is much we do not know about breastfeeding and some of the breast issues that can accompany it,” well, then you just know you’re out of luck, don’t you? And when you ask the same questions of your OB, and he also shrugs and says, “Unfortunately, there’s a lot we just don’t know about breastfeeding,” well, you know you’re totally screwed.

Let me back up. There is much you don’t know, and some you do, so let me review and fill in the blanks.

So to review, in the NICU all the babies had TPNs and then eventually gavage (NG Tube) feedings until eventually I was able to breastfeed them. When they left the hospital, they all freaked out and said, “This breastfeeding thing is hard work” and they all forgot how to do it. After many tears, Sam and Ellie became champion breastfeeders. Abby never figured it out again. She was my tiny baby and always had the hardest time forming an effective latch (let’s face it, her tiny mouth, my, um, not-so-tiny breast? It was destined to fail). I worked hard with her, but it never happened despite repeated efforts with various techniques, various tools (SNS, finger feeding, cup feeding, syringe feeding, etc.), multiple lactation consultations, and 7 months of trying. Now that she’s got two teeth, well, I’ve officially given up with her despite assurances from multiple sources that they’ve seen babies figure it out as late as 8 or 9 months. Nope, she causes me significant pain just biting down on my finger (she actually broke the skin on my finger tonight!) with those little teeth, no WAY am I subjecting my nipples to that abuse. So we’re done trying with her, end of story. So she gets pumped milk.

I call the pump, who’s name is Maggie Moo if you’ll recall, my fourth baby. That damn pump. I used to love pumping, because I’m a total freak. I got a weird satisfaction out of being able to SEE that my body was actually doing something it was supposed to be doing for once. Watching the bottles fill up with this strange white substance that nourished my babies made me feel like I was accomplishing a great miracle, and I absolutely loved it. But I’ve really come to hate pumping, which I admit makes me feel somewhat guilty, because what right do I have to hate something so crucial to my babies’ basic needs? But hate it, I do.

Breastfeeding itself is a strangely satisfying experience also. I love to watch my babies eating and going from frantically hungry to patiently satisfied in just seconds. I love to hold them so close and know that I’m nourishing them. I hated when Ellie was “failure to thrive” that I had to give her a certain number of bottles per day no matter what, because I really missed that time breastfeeding her, and I’m grateful to have that time back. I love the middle of the night and morning feeds that best, because we’re not in a rush… we lay in bed together and I let them nurse to their hearts’ content and switch of babies whenever the first one is done (for the morning, that is… Ellie never eats in the middle of the night… Sam does, and he’s very snuggly for those feeds).

And it’s that closeness and snugglyness and the knowledge that in this way my body has chosen not to betray me that makes the rest of it worth it. The rest of it? Oh yes, the rest of it. Let me tell you about the rest of it, because therein lies the mystery.

I remember while the babies were in the NICU I was running ragged one day and I’d been at the NICU so long that I’d missed one pumping session (I was still then pumping every 2 hours religiously, so they kind of ran one into the next back then). I came home to change and eat dinner during the NICU’s shift change before heading back over there and as I was pulling my shirt off over my head my arm brushed over my left breast and I screamed in pain. What the Hell Is That?? I cried out to my husband. Fortunately, Seth is smarter than me, and he immediately jumped up and said, “You must have a plugged duct. You need to pump and you need a heating pad.” How the friggin’ FRICK does my husband know this stuff??? Sure enough, he was exactly right. I will never forget the pain from that plugged duct, though, because it was really shocking how much a little milk backed up in a duct can hurt! I vowed never to allow that to happen again (hah!). Little did I know, that was just the first of the many times that I would experience breast pain over the course of my breastfeeding experience.

Oh yes, there were the two, possibly three, bouts of mastitis that I had. And I can’t begin to describe the JOY of mastitis. Hard, red, ouchy horrifying region on my breast, high fever (104+!), pain, pain, pain. The only thing you can do is breastfeed constantly (fortunately, I had lots of babies to help me out with that one, but who wants to breastfeed babies when you’re running a high fever?), use warm compresses, massage (OUCH) the area, and pray for death until it goes away. Oh, and take antibiotics. There’s that, too.

We had the standard latch issues which led to sore nipples (hey, this is my blog, if you don’t want to read about my nipples, go somewhere else!), but we eventually got past that. What no one told me was that when the babies got to be a certain age (oh, say, I don’t know, 7.5 months?) the babies would become somewhat distractible, to say the least, and they become big slackers when it comes to latching. This leads to lousy latches, and SERIOUSLY PAINFUL nipples.

And the thrush. OH, the thrush. Thrush is a yeast infection, but what they don’t tell you about thrush is that it’s a bitch to get rid of and it comes with sharp, knife-like stabbity pains that radiate through your breasts and make you want to DIE A MISERABLE DEATH because at least then it would be over! And when you’ve got three babies who keep passing it back and forth and back to you and then you give it back to them, and you keep sterilizing their pacifiers, but you can’t sterilize your own breasts, and it just goes on and on… Well, it’s a vicious cycle. I went through at least five separate incidents with thrush, and each was more miserable than the next. I was in tears every time I breastfed, but if I stopped breastfeeding, I got a plugged duct (and hey, if you keep doing that, you can end up with mastitis! See the vicious cycle here?), so suffice it to say, not breastfeeding and just pumping was not an option (and besides, pumping wasn’t so pleasant, either). So yeah, THRUSH SUCKS. Nothing really seemed to help thrush either, though two weeks on diflucan did finally wipe it mostly out and that combined with Nystatin and a lot of prayer, well, I don’t have it now, so clearly soemthing worked eventually. The pediatrician said eventually babies just seem to outgrow their propensity for developing thrush, so hopefully we’re done with it for good. Here’s hoping.

Then in March I had pain in my left breast that wouldn’t go away. The only way I can explain it is that it felt like a deep bruise in the breast tissue, but there was no external bruise. There was no hard, lumpy spot, so it definitely wasn’t a plugged duct (plus it lasted about 3 weeks). The LC I spoke with at the time thought it COULD be related to the thrush that I was battling (I doubt it), or COULD be low level mastitis (who knows), or COULD be oh who knows what. The bottom line is that it ultimately resolved itself.

And then about two weeks ago, the pain came back. And it’s pretty significant pain. IT HURTS. Like owie, owie, ouchy hurt. The pain was accompanied by fever… as one escalated, so did the other. And since the pain lasted for over a week, I finally gave up and called my OB/GYN’s office. They completely misunderstood my initial description and offered me a nipple cream and I reiterated that this is not nipple pain that this is pain IN the breast tissue and it hurts like HELL. The nurse recommended that I come in for a breast exam. Well, why the hell not? I mean, after all, I’ve had doctors poke and prod every other part of me… I may as well have some random doctor handle my breasts, too, right?

And, so, in I went. And basically? The doctor, who was rather nice (I’d never met this member of the practice before), shrugged and said, “Unfortunately there’s a lot we just don’t know about breastfeeding.” He said that producing this much milk for my little army for this long is probably putting a lot of strain on the breast tissue, and that hurts. He gave me a script for pain medicine and told me to treat the pain as needed when it happens, but couldn’t give me any other answers.

As a last ditch effort, I checked with the lactation consultant at the agency where I work. You know, the one with that LONG list of initials after her name? Yeah, her. And even she seriously just said, “Unfortunately, there is much we do not know about breastfeeding and some of the breast issues that can accompany it.” It astounds me that something that seems so basic – breastfeeding – can be such a mystery to doctors, nurses, lactation consultants, women, babies, everyone.

And THAT is the mystery of breastfeeding. For what it’s worth, the pain in my left breast cleared up on Monday. Today I’m in serious pain on the right side, and hey! Just for fun, we threw in a fever, too. I give up.

When all is said and done, though, I still think it’s worth it. I love feeding my babies. I love that I can. I love that I do. I love that my body didn’t betray me this time. I love that I’m the only one that can do this for them. I love the closeness that I have with them. Even with Abby – because even though she won’t latch… I’ll tell you one thing, that baby LOVES my milk. She seriously prefers my milk over formula. She HATES formula and LOVES my milk. And I love that about her. It’s really great. It’s totally worth it.

Read Full Post »

So you'd think after nearly 8 months of breastfeeding triplets, I'd have this breastfeeding thing down pat, right? No problems, no issues… I'd be an old pro. But when you ask a question of a woman who has PhD, APRN, CPNP, and IBCLC next to her name and her answer is "Unfortunately, there is much we do not know about breastfeeding and some of the breast issues that can accompany it," well, then you just know you're out of luck, don't you? And when you ask the same questions of your OB, and he also shrugs and says, "Unfortunately, there's a lot we just don't know about breastfeeding," well, you know you're totally screwed.

Let me back up. There is much you don't know, and some you do, so let me review and fill in the blanks.

So to review, in the NICU all the babies had TPNs and then eventually gavage (NG Tube) feedings until eventually I was able to breastfeed them. When they left the hospital, they all freaked out and said, "This breastfeeding thing is hard work" and they all forgot how to do it. After many tears, Sam and Ellie became champion breastfeeders. Abby never figured it out again. She was my tiny baby and always had the hardest time forming an effective latch (let's face it, her tiny mouth, my, um, not-so-tiny breast? It was destined to fail). I worked hard with her, but it never happened despite repeated efforts with various techniques, various tools (SNS, finger feeding, cup feeding, syringe feeding, etc.), multiple lactation consultations, and 7 months of trying. Now that she's got two teeth, well, I've officially given up with her despite assurances from multiple sources that they've seen babies figure it out as late as 8 or 9 months. Nope, she causes me significant pain just biting down on my finger (she actually broke the skin on my finger tonight!) with those little teeth, no WAY am I subjecting my nipples to that abuse. So we're done trying with her, end of story. So she gets pumped milk.

I call the pump, who's name is Maggie Moo if you'll recall, my fourth baby. That damn pump. I used to love pumping, because I'm a total freak. I got a weird satisfaction out of being able to SEE that my body was actually doing something it was supposed to be doing for once. Watching the bottles fill up with this strange white substance that nourished my babies made me feel like I was accomplishing a great miracle, and I absolutely loved it. But I've really come to hate pumping, which I admit makes me feel somewhat guilty, because what right do I have to hate something so crucial to my babies' basic needs? But hate it, I do.

Breastfeeding itself is a strangely satisfying experience also. I love to watch my babies eating and going from frantically hungry to patiently satisfied in just seconds. I love to hold them so close and know that I'm nourishing them. I hated when Ellie was "failure to thrive" that I had to give her a certain number of bottles per day no matter what, because I really missed that time breastfeeding her, and I'm grateful to have that time back. I love the middle of the night and morning feeds that best, because we're not in a rush… we lay in bed together and I let them nurse to their hearts' content and switch of babies whenever the first one is done (for the morning, that is… Ellie never eats in the middle of the night… Sam does, and he's very snuggly for those feeds).

And it's that closeness and snugglyness and the knowledge that in this way my body has chosen not to betray me that makes the rest of it worth it. The rest of it? Oh yes, the rest of it. Let me tell you about the rest of it, because therein lies the mystery.

I remember while the babies were in the NICU I was running ragged one day and I'd been at the NICU so long that I'd missed one pumping session (I was still then pumping every 2 hours religiously, so they kind of ran one into the next back then). I came home to change and eat dinner during the NICU's shift change before heading back over there and as I was pulling my shirt off over my head my arm brushed over my left breast and I screamed in pain. What the Hell Is That?? I cried out to my husband. Fortunately, Seth is smarter than me, and he immediately jumped up and said, "You must have a plugged duct. You need to pump and you need a heating pad." How the friggin' FRICK does my husband know this stuff??? Sure enough, he was exactly right. I will never forget the pain from that plugged duct, though, because it was really shocking how much a little milk backed up in a duct can hurt! I vowed never to allow that to happen again (hah!). Little did I know, that was just the first of the many times that I would experience breast pain over the course of my breastfeeding experience.

Oh yes, there were the two, possibly three, bouts of mastitis that I had. And I can't begin to describe the JOY of mastitis. Hard, red, ouchy horrifying region on my breast, high fever (104+!), pain, pain, pain. The only thing you can do is breastfeed constantly (fortunately, I had lots of babies to help me out with that one, but who wants to breastfeed babies when you're running a high fever?), use warm compresses, massage (OUCH) the area, and pray for death until it goes away. Oh, and take antibiotics. There's that, too.

We had the standard latch issues which led to sore nipples (hey, this is my blog, if you don't want to read about my nipples, go somewhere else!), but we eventually got past that. What no one told me was that when the babies got to be a certain age (oh, say, I don't know, 7.5 months?) the babies would become somewhat distractible, to say the least, and they become big slackers when it comes to latching. This leads to lousy latches, and SERIOUSLY PAINFUL nipples.

And the thrush. OH, the thrush. Thrush is a yeast infection, but what they don't tell you about thrush is that it's a bitch to get rid of and it comes with sharp, knife-like stabbity pains that radiate through your breasts and make you want to DIE A MISERABLE DEATH because at least then it would be over! And when you've got three babies who keep passing it back and forth and back to you and then you give it back to them, and you keep sterilizing their pacifiers, but you can't sterilize your own breasts, and it just goes on and on… Well, it's a vicious cycle. I went through at least five separate incidents with thrush, and each was more miserable than the next. I was in tears every time I breastfed, but if I stopped breastfeeding, I got a plugged duct (and hey, if you keep doing that, you can end up with mastitis! See the vicious cycle here?), so suffice it to say, not breastfeeding and just pumping was not an option (and besides, pumping wasn't so pleasant, either). So yeah, THRUSH SUCKS. Nothing really seemed to help thrush either, though two weeks on diflucan did finally wipe it mostly out and that combined with Nystatin and a lot of prayer, well, I don't have it now, so clearly soemthing worked eventually. The pediatrician said eventually babies just seem to outgrow their propensity for developing thrush, so hopefully we're done with it for good. Here's hoping.

Then in March I had pain in my left breast that wouldn't go away. The only way I can explain it is that it felt like a deep bruise in the breast tissue, but there was no external bruise. There was no hard, lumpy spot, so it definitely wasn't a plugged duct (plus it lasted about 3 weeks). The LC I spoke with at the time thought it COULD be related to the thrush that I was battling (I doubt it), or COULD be low level mastitis (who knows), or COULD be oh who knows what. The bottom line is that it ultimately resolved itself.

And then about two weeks ago, the pain came back. And it's pretty significant pain. IT HURTS. Like owie, owie, ouchy hurt. The pain was accompanied by fever… as one escalated, so did the other. And since the pain lasted for over a week, I finally gave up and called my OB/GYN's office. They completely misunderstood my initial description and offered me a nipple cream and I reiterated that this is not nipple pain that this is pain IN the breast tissue and it hurts like HELL. The nurse recommended that I come in for a breast exam. Well, why the hell not? I mean, after all, I've had doctors poke and prod every other part of me… I may as well have some random doctor handle my breasts, too, right?

And, so, in I went. And basically? The doctor, who was rather nice (I'd never met this member of the practice before), shrugged and said, "Unfortunately there's a lot we just don't know about breastfeeding." He said that producing this much milk for my little army for this long is probably putting a lot of strain on the breast tissue, and that hurts. He gave me a script for pain medicine and told me to treat the pain as needed when it happens, but couldn't give me any other answers.

As a last ditch effort, I checked with the lactation consultant at the agency where I work. You know, the one with that LONG list of initials after her name? Yeah, her. And even she seriously just said, "Unfortunately, there is much we do not know about breastfeeding and some of the breast issues that can accompany it." It astounds me that something that seems so basic – breastfeeding – can be such a mystery to doctors, nurses, lactation consultants, women, babies, everyone.

And THAT is the mystery of breastfeeding. For what it's worth, the pain in my left breast cleared up on Monday. Today I'm in serious pain on the right side, and hey! Just for fun, we threw in a fever, too. I give up.

When all is said and done, though, I still think it's worth it. I love feeding my babies. I love that I can. I love that I do. I love that my body didn't betray me this time. I love that I'm the only one that can do this for them. I love the closeness that I have with them. Even with Abby – because even though she won't latch… I'll tell you one thing, that baby LOVES my milk. She seriously prefers my milk over formula. She HATES formula and LOVES my milk. And I love that about her. It's really great. It's totally worth it.

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News Flashes

J
J is still all about the Dinosaurs. Everything dinos all the time. Can’t get enough of them. He’s also got his last soccer game coming up this Sunday and I’m not looking forward to the temper tantrums on the following Sunday! He holds amazingly mature and complex conversations and never ceases to amaze me with his logical mind. He LOVES the babies and loves to have company over so he can shout, “Look! We have triplets!” He gets very sad on Friday nights when we don’t have guests over (we used to have guests over EVERY Friday night but I haven’t had my act together every week lately), and says, “When can we have guestseses over again??” It’s been more than two years since we’ve heard a single word from his birth monster yet I still feel the leash that ties us here because she won’t let us adopt him. I know we’re still the winners in this situation because we have him, but I still feel sad about it.

Abby
Abby now has TWO teeth. She is also no longer sleeping through the night, which is less thrilling. We are hoping the two are related and therefore the whole sleeping through the night thing will return when she gets past this. Teething stops in, what, a year and a half or so, right? RIGHT?

Sam
No sign of teeth yet. THANK HEAVENS. He loves to be carried, so I just bought a new kind of carrier because the Baby Bjorn KILLS my back. I bought a Mei Tai Baby carrier:

It arrived today and I’ve carried Sam both on my back and on my front and he ADORES it both ways. So it’s definitely a winner and it doesn’t hurt my back either, so I’m happy.

Ellie
Ellie lost a full pound in five days. Clearly weaning her off 28 calorie/oz food isn’t a fully successful effort (she’s still partially on 28 cal/oz food, but less than before). I’m not sure how to handle this. She should still be gaining 1/2 – 1 oz per day. Losing 16 oz in five days is pretty significant, but I’ve decided not to be neurotic about it – yet. I’ll wait until next week to call the doctor about it. If the downward trent has continued, I’ll call him. Meanwhile, there’s nothing to do other than encourage her to eat as much as possible, so that’s what I’m doing.

That’s it for now. More when I get a chance.

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News Flashes

J
J is still all about the Dinosaurs. Everything dinos all the time. Can't get enough of them. He's also got his last soccer game coming up this Sunday and I'm not looking forward to the temper tantrums on the following Sunday! He holds amazingly mature and complex conversations and never ceases to amaze me with his logical mind. He LOVES the babies and loves to have company over so he can shout, "Look! We have triplets!" He gets very sad on Friday nights when we don't have guests over (we used to have guests over EVERY Friday night but I haven't had my act together every week lately), and says, "When can we have guestseses over again??" It's been more than two years since we've heard a single word from his birth monster yet I still feel the leash that ties us here because she won't let us adopt him. I know we're still the winners in this situation because we have him, but I still feel sad about it.

Abby
Abby now has TWO teeth. She is also no longer sleeping through the night, which is less thrilling. We are hoping the two are related and therefore the whole sleeping through the night thing will return when she gets past this. Teething stops in, what, a year and a half or so, right? RIGHT?

Sam
No sign of teeth yet. THANK HEAVENS. He loves to be carried, so I just bought a new kind of carrier because the Baby Bjorn KILLS my back. I bought a Mei Tai Baby carrier:

It arrived today and I've carried Sam both on my back and on my front and he ADORES it both ways. So it's definitely a winner and it doesn't hurt my back either, so I'm happy.

Ellie
Ellie lost a full pound in five days. Clearly weaning her off 28 calorie/oz food isn't a fully successful effort (she's still partially on 28 cal/oz food, but less than before). I'm not sure how to handle this. She should still be gaining 1/2 – 1 oz per day. Losing 16 oz in five days is pretty significant, but I've decided not to be neurotic about it – yet. I'll wait until next week to call the doctor about it. If the downward trent has continued, I'll call him. Meanwhile, there's nothing to do other than encourage her to eat as much as possible, so that's what I'm doing.

That's it for now. More when I get a chance.

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Bittersweet

Mother’s Day has always been a weird day for me. Well, I suppose not always. Maybe just since I started trying to have kids? Was there life before TTC? I can’t remember it. I’ve never been one to wallow on Mother’s Day and I know that for many infertile myrtles this day is an incredibly painful day. I didn’t find it painful before I became a mother, I just found it… uncomfortable. Like I didn’t really know my place in the world. Certainly I had my own mother to celebrate, and that was enough reason not to hide from the day, but there were pangs of emptiness in my heart for what I was missing, of course.

Then we got J. But even then, my first Mother’s Day with him was odd. I wasn’t quite a mother. I was a guardian. That first year with him, well, it was temporary. We were never supposed to have him permanently, and we knew that we only had another 6 months with him, at best, so Mother’s Day for me that year was excrutiating. It was all I could do to pick up the phone and acknowledge my own mother. Others were thoughtful enough to acknowledge that year as my first Mother’s Day, but I couldn’t think of it that way, knowing that it could all be ripped away from me. I was so emotionally guarded then, as I’m sure you can imagine. By the second year that we had J, when we still weren’t sure how long we would have him, I readily acknowleged my role as “mother”, but it was still an odd day. I wasn’t his “real” mother, of course, but I was his mother. But I’d sort of missed the opportunity to celebrate my “first” Mother’s Day, hadn’t I? And so it went. Now it seems likely that we’ll have him forever, and there isn’t a single piece of me that considers myself anything less than his “real” mother. I am the only mother he knows and I deserve that title in full.

Then in August 2006 I got pregnant, and I was due at the end of April, and I thought how nice it would be to be due just in time to have Mother’s Day shortly thereafter. Even I was shocked at the brazenness of such a thought, so I quickly followed the thought with, “You know, if I make it that far.” Of course, I didn’t make it that far. I made it three months and then miscarried. So much for that thought. Serves me right for thinking like that, right? But I suppose all things happen for a reason, because if I hadn’t had that miscarriage, I wouldn’t have been able to get pregnant the following February with these amazing triplets, right?

I frankly don’t remember last Mother’s Day. I’m sure I was throwing up or on bed rest or something. But most of last year is a blur, so that’s no surprise. But this year? This year was just… well, it was my fourth mother’s day, but also my FIRST mother’s day. And while I still feel the emptiness of infertility sometimes, today I held my children in my arms and told them how much I love them and I told them how long I’ve waited to hold my babies on Mother’s Day. And I told J that some children grow in mommies’ bellies, and some children grow in mommies’ hearts, and I’m so grateful that G*d chose me to take care of him.

For a long time I cried every day with emptiness and sorrow for the children I did not have. Today, like nearly every day since September 19th, I wiped away tears of joy and gratitude for the children I do have. Infertility still plagues me. I’m not done with this albatross that hangs around my neck and I know I want more children and I know I’ll be going through this purgatory again soon. But I know now, looking at my babies, that I have the strength to make it through infertility hell again. Because I know what the light at the end of the tunnel shines on.

I know for so many of you out there, your struggle is still going on, and this day is as painful as ever. I’m mindful of the fact that my blog is more of a mom-blog than an infertility blog these days, and I know that changes my readership to some extent, but I also know I’ve got some infertility-bloggers that are still reading. I pray for you every day that your struggle should come to an end soon and that you should experience that blessing of motherhood (or fatherhood) as soon as possible. I was lucky enough to experience motherhood before I got pregnant, so I had a glimpse into the joy that was ahead of me, but still… I know not everyone has the same experiences that I have. I hope that your journey through infertility is a short one, and if it’s already been a long journey (it’s always too long, of course), I hope that it ends soon.

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