Category Archives: (Pre)School Days

2.0 IVF Day Seven- Whoa there, eggies!

Hit the clinic super early this morning to make sure I could get my bloodwork and ultrasound finished before my intralipids infusion, which was scheduled for 8 a.m. The nurse in the IVF suite was just about to start my IV when I had a phone call from Q., who had an incredibly angry toddler on the other end who needed to speak to me, since apparently all the conversations we had the day before about me going in to see the doctor very early didn’t sink in. They’d just spent thirty minutes searching the house, with E. absolutely certain that Mummy was still in bed sleeping, even when Q. pulled all the covers off.

The intralipids infusion was finished by about 9:45. I ended up feeling like I was going to fall asleep again, just like last time. Maybe it has something to do with all that fat going in to my body- the nurse wondered if it was the equivalent to eating a big Thanksgiving dinner. There were a couple of other ladies in there at the same time- they were both pregnant. Nice to get reminders that things do work there.

Went back over to the main part of the clinic and managed to see my doctor really quickly. My follicles are zooming- the lead follicle was measuring 16 on one ovary and 15.5 on the other. This seemed a bit too fast to me, and I think my doctor thought the same, as he changed my meds to 150 iu Gonal-F and 225 iu Repronex for today and tomorrow. I’ll go back in on Friday and Saturday for sure. The retrieval is likely to be Monday or Tuesday of next week, so that is definitely faster than the August 2010 cycle, but I don’t think it’s too fast if we make that timeline, as my cycle in August 2010 was longer than expected. Obviously since it worked I would have been happy to repeat that pattern again here, but we can at least say with confidence that we’re not going to be dealing with an embryo transfer on Christmas Day.

Dr. L. repeated his advice to eat lots of salt and drink lots of Gatorade- minimum one litre per day to be exact.

I am feeling pretty miserable now. Really sore through the abdomen and just generally lacking any emotional fortitude. We had a terrible night last night where E. freaked out so much at Q. trying to put him to bed that Q. had to come downstairs and get me to take over because he was getting too angry, and then he was so angry he didn’t want to say goodnight to E., which upset me so much that after I had put E. to bed I ended up sitting in the bathroom crying. Then E. woke up at 9 p.m. vomiting all over his crib, at which point I deeply regretted letting him eat the entire punnet of raspberries that had been all he was interested in eating all day (along with rice crackers). Q. is so stressed about work- he is supposed to be writing a chapter for an edited volume this month, but E. being too sick to go to nursery school has completely blown a hole in his plans, so now he’ll have to take work with us when we travel after Christmas to see my family. Definitely a night where I found myself wondering why we’re putting ourselves through all of this to try to expand our family, given some days it seems we can’t even cope with one.

Deep breaths. One day at a time.

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Filed under (Pre)School Days, 2.0 IVF, Anxiety Overload, Butter scraped over too much bread (a.k.a. modern motherhood), Cycle Madness, E.- the third year, Emotions, Second Thoughts, The Sick, ttc

A few of his favourite things (Thirty Months)

E. is two and a half today. And I’ve been thinking for a while now that I miss writing his monthly letters. I don’t think I could keep up with them if I tried to keep doing them in that much detail, but I miss how observant they made me, how they made me stop and find a spare moment to write down what he was doing and saying from month to month. He is still growing and changing, even if it’s not quite as obvious as it was in the first or second year, and I feel like it is all starting to blur together. So I thought I’d start a new type of post to mark his months, one that helps me remember who he is in this particular moment in time.

What he’s doing:

E. is (probably because of what he gets up to at nursery school) quite interested in painting and stickers and drawing and other such activities. I’m trying to be better at making sure we have the right supplies on hand. He makes very definite colour choices, has started telling me that he’s drawing something in particular (like two airplanes or a bumblebee, even though it still looks like a page full of squiggles), and can draw a pretty good circle.  He absolutely loves asking me to write his name on his drawings- sometimes one drawing ends up with four or five signatures. He loves baking and has now mastered cracking eggs. When we make banana bread, I do the measuring and the final stirring when the batter is coming together, but he pretty much does everything else. He also still loves sweeping, although he’s less enamoured of the vacuum as he feels it’s “too yowd”. He loves music and asks me to sing him songs all day long. If it’s a song he almost has memorized he will mouth the words that he knows along with me. Nursery school has been fantastic from this perspective as Q. and I probably don’t sing with him often enough.

He finally showed me that he can jump, although he’s not very confident. He’s still very cautious physically: very slow to go up and down stairs (suits me as it means he’s being safe, and our stairs are very high and very steep and end on a hardwood floor), very worried about getting down from any sort of height, etc. He does love to balance on the angled stones at the edge of some of the properties we pass on our way to nursery school. We’ve really noticed a difference in his walking since starting at nursery school. The walk is about 800 metres, and he walks both ways, three times a week, absolutely no exceptions. When he first started he’d suddenly crouch down in the middle of the sidewalk, saying he needed a break, but now he just trundles along, and if we’re in a rush, he is able (although not particularly willing, which is fair enough) to run along next to me the whole route, which means we get there in less than fifteen minutes.

What he’s playing with:

I hit a snag this month with my long-standing policy of toy rotation when E. made it clear that he could remember toys that I’d put away and request to have them back again. So far we’ve been willing to negotiate where if he wants a particular truck back he has to choose a different vehicle to put away, as I’m stoutly resisting having all vehicles out, all the time. Toys that he really, truly wasn’t playing with at all (like his Schleich animals) he doesn’t seem to miss, but vehicles that had fallen out of favour for a week or so seem to still be tightly retained in the toddler memory.

This month E. has been into his Duplo and his Megabloks in a big way. He likes constructing vehicles out of the Megabloks and the Duplo, but he also loves feeding the Duplo piece by piece into his Bruder garbage truck. He will happily do this by himself for ages if I’m cooking dinner or upstairs having a shower. The other toy that gets a lot of independent play is his Brio train set. I’m so glad we didn’t go with the Thomas trains- I have a real problem with them because the vast majority of the engines are male, and the silly boxcars are female- but by this stage E. would have a problem with them too, as he doesn’t like vehicles with faces on them. He has a dumptruck with a face, and he complains about it, pointing out that it’s supposed to have lights. He’s happiest playing with the trains on the carpet without the constraints of the tracks (again, very glad we didn’t get one of those massive train tables), and will make up all sorts of adventures for them. One day recently the train was loading up crackers and bananas before it drove to the store made up Duplo to drop them off.

On his shelves this month:

In the living room: Duplo, his basket of small vehicles, his Megabloks, his wooden farm, his train set, and his Bruder garbage truck have been out all month. I’ve been rotating the Schleich animals, musical instruments, wooden blocks, his Haba block set with dowels, his wooden car that can be assembled several different ways, and his balls. He always has a few medium sized vehicles out (the Playmobil airport bus was a huge hit when it reemerged) and a puzzle. He still doesn’t spend much time in his bedroom, but he’s played with the M&D vehicle sound blocks as well as a set of little construction vehicles when he’s been up there.

What he’s reading:

E. isn’t as interested in sitting still for stories these days, except pre-nap and at bedtime. My mother found a book of trucks with flaps on each page that she gave to him at Thanksgiving. He’s been obsessed with it ever since, demanding it every night. Q. and I would dearly love for it to disappear. He also insists on reading I am a train and Counting with Miffy at bedtime, which are two more strong contenders for the title of “most obnoxious book he owns”. He loves being silly with Counting with Miffy and will insist that there are two or three of something on every page, except for the page where two (or three) would be the right answer, at which point he yells out another number. Llama Llama Misses Mama played a huge role in helping him adjust to nursery school. Cars and Trucks and Things that Go was probably the best book purchase I’ve made to date as he STILL loves it and gets it out a few times a week. Some days he will listen to a very long story (like Scrambled Eggs Super or Blueberries for Sal or The Library Lion) while on others he prefers That’s Not My Bunny and other such narrative giants.

What he’s saying:

Absolutely everything. This child never stops talking! We were watching videos from last Christmas the other day and I had forgotten all the little sounds he used to make, and how good he was at communicating with us when he didn’t really have any words at all. He is experimenting a lot with verb tenses and having trouble with irregular verbs (as you would expect). We hear a lot of “I broked the garbage truck”.

He’s picked up a few of my verbal habits. He’ll say, “Don’t worry! Don’t worry!” if he’s starting to get worked up about something, and he’ll often tell me that “We’re making progress!” on something. He also says “Oh my goodness!” exactly like my little sister does, which is hilarious.

He’s finally started saying “Yeah” for yes, rather than “Hmmm”. We have my Dad to thank for that one, as he spent a lot of time trying to encourage E. to say ‘yes’ when he was staying with us for a few days.

When he’s really upset and recognizes he’s lost control of his emotions, he’ll come over and say, “I need a cuddle!”, which is entirely because of Q. working so hard with him this summer on ways to calm down when he becomes overwrought. It is so helpful that he now recognizes when this is happening, and will seek out the comfort he needs to allow him to process his feelings.

In general E.’s speech is very clear and he has very few adorable toddler mispronunciations. He correctly says ‘animal’, which amazes Q. and I given we both said ‘aminal’ until we were four. His little voice is so sweet, especially when it is singing. It’s less sweet when he’s getting a bit overwrought and about to become whiny as it goes up in both volume and pitch.

What made me laugh the other day was when he was playing with his garbage truck, and he told me it was going to visit his wooden farm to “collect the poo”. He drove the truck up, parked it, and then said, “Someone needs to climb the ladder.” He went over to his basket where his cars are stored, pulled out one of the little construction figures he has, and then made him climb the ladder to the loft to “get all the poo”.

What I’ve noticed:

I realized this month that running errands with him is now actually fun. I’ve spent two and a half years trying to avoid shopping with him in tow, but this month we’ve gone in search of new mittens, bought bulbs, and searched out presents for new babies. He regularly does the grocery shop on Friday afternoons with Q. after nursery school is over. He walks to the grocery store, sits in the cart and holds the shopping list, and then carries some of the groceries home. If the store we need to visit is far enough away that we have to take the subway or a streetcar (or both!) to get there, than the journey really does become the highlight of the trip. Yesterday I braved going downtown to get him a pair of mittens from a particular store that I knew would fit and last and which I couldn’t buy online because they wanted too high a minimum purchase to get free shipping. It takes an hour to get there when you walk at toddler speed, and requires a streetcar, a subway and another streetcar. E. had an absolute blast.

The other thing that’s stood out this month is how good his memory is. I’ve lost count of how many nursery rhymes and classic children’s songs he has memorized. Ever since we came back to Canada Q. has sung “Morningtown Ride” to E. every night before he goes to sleep. At lunch last week E. spontaneously started singing it to us and did both verses and the chorus, letter-perfect, with only the tiniest of help from his father when he got a bit stuck on one line. Q. then went and looked up the song and realized he’d been singing a few lines incorrectly. He tried to switch, but E. just fell about laughing every time Q. changed a word, so I guess we’re now stuck with Q.’s version!

I bought him a new puzzle this week because I’ve suspected for a while he’s really bored with the ones that have the pegs and the allotted spaces for the shapes. It was twelve pieces. We did it together once, and then he did it all by himself another four times that day. Whoops. Guess I’d better go and find some larger ones!

He is very sensitive to other people’s emotions, and often comes home from nursery school with stories of why one of the other children ended up crying. If we’re out and we hear a baby crying he’ll comment on it and then speculate as to why the baby might be crying. He usually guesses that the baby is hungry or the baby doesn’t want to be in the stroller/on the streetcar. Going through the separation anxiety with nursery school has meant that he has the vocabulary to talk about his own feelings, so I’m often told that “it’s hard to say goodbye” to something, whether that be Mummy, the park, the pancake at breakfast, or his garbage truck when it’s time to go to nursery school.

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Filed under (Pre)School Days, E.- the third year, Letters to E.

Conversations with E. at twenty-nine months

At his grandparents’ house on the Thanksgiving weekend, as I’m putting him in his carseat.

E: “It’s hard to say goodbye.”
Me: “It IS hard to say goodbye. You had a lot of fun with Grannie and Grandpa.
E.: *thoughtful* “It’s hard to say goodbye to the trucks.”

His Grannie had found a used plastic Tonka dump truck. Clearly it had left quite the impression.

—-

At the dinner table.

E.: “Yummy yummy in my tummy! Food goes in my mouf!”
Me: “That’s right, E. The food goes in your mouth, and then it goes down your throat and into your tummy. Then your tummy digests the food and turns it into energy so you can jump and run and sing and laugh.”
E.: “Food goes down my throat and into my tummy! I eat pasta!” *chews and swallows, lifts up shirt to look* “Pasta in my tummy now! Pasta is yummy!”

Watching the roof repair man.

E.: “Man get ladder and climb up on roof. Maybe there’s a hole in the roof! Man look to see if there’s a hole! Man fix roof!”
*Roof repair man finishes up and puts his ladder away.*
E.: “Roof all better now!”

At lunch.

E.: “Annabel was sad yesterday.”
Me: “Annabel WAS sad yesterday. She was having a rough day.”
E.: “She was having a rough day. She no want to say goodbye to her Mummy and Daddy.”
Me: “That’s right. She missed her Mummy and Daddy. But she was ok. She seemed ok when I picked you up.”
E.: *thinks* “She cried a lot in the afternoon, too!”

Stream of consciousness while playing by himself as I cleaned the kitchen.

E: “Today is a Mummy and Ea-mon day! Today is Tuesday! Tomorrow is Wednesday. Wednesday is no Mummy’s duty day. Mummy’s duty day is Monday. Monday Mummy stay for the whole morning. Then Mummy go at lunchtime. It’s hard to say goodbye to Mummy. Mummy come back at three-thirty when I’m in the playground.” *starts singing the nursery school’s song about how Mummies and Daddies always come back* “Friday, Daddy takes Ea-mon to school. Then it’s the weekend! Llama llama didn’t want to eat. He missed his Mummy.” *starts reciting from Llama Llama Misses Mama* “Don’t be sad new little llama; it’s ok to miss your mama. But don’t forget when day is through, she will come right back to you! It’s hard to say goodbye to the trucks. The garbage truck says num num num! Humpty Dumpty!” *shifts into reciting random nursery rhymes, interspersed with the alphabet song on a repetitive feedback loop where he starts over as soon as he hits ‘V’, and the odd burst of counting to twenty*

At a toddler Hallowe’en party at the weekend, about twenty minutes after arriving.

E.: “I no yike it here. I want to go home now.”
Me: “We’re not going home yet. We’re going to stay for a while. We’ll go home a bit later.”
E.: “I no want to go home yater. I want to go home now and pay wif my garbage truck.”
Me: “I don’t want to go home yet. I’m having a nice time talking to my friends, so we’re going to stay for a bit longer.”
E.: “I no want Mummy to be happy!”

Yet strangely enough, when it was time to go, he wasn’t willing to leave.

Yesterday afternoon.

Me: “Did you have a good day at nursery school, E.?”
E: “Yah! In circle sang the train song!”
Me: “What did you eat at lunchtime?”
E.: “Egg! And bwead!”
Me: “Did you have a quiet time in the sleep room?”
E: “NO! Got up from my cot! I made noise!”

Turns out the nap last Monday with his sleepsack and his special bunny’s cousin was entirely due to novelty value. He’s been getting worse and worse in the sleep room ever since and yesterday had to be removed early because he was keeping the other children awake. As one of the teachers said to me, “If the other children don’t nap, you can always tell when they come out. They are a bit sleepy, a bit drowsy. They have a quiet afternoon. E. isn’t like that at all. He’s ready to go all afternoon!”

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Filed under (Pre)School Days, Blink and you'll miss it, Daily Life, E.- the third year

Hindsight

On Friday, when I got home from work, Q. told me that “there was a situation” at E’s nursery school. When he’d gone to pick E. up that afternoon, the staff had wanted to talk to him about E.’s behavior in the sleep room.

E. hasn’t ever slept while at nursery school, but he has at least been willing to lie on his little cot and be quiet and relax until it was time for him to get up.

Not so on Friday.

E. apparently spent the entire ‘nap/quiet time’ doing headstands, kicking his feet against a cupboard, and getting up and running around.

Not conducive to napping, obviously, for him, but whatever. He’s been coping fine with missing the nap on nursery school days and takes a big nap on the days he’s at home to make up for it. This gives me more time to work, so it’s been a good system.

The problem was E. was now keeping all of the other children from napping too. Plus the staff were ending up understandably frazzled.

“Does he have a toy or something that acts as a sleep cue?” his teacher asked Q.

Well, yes, Q. had to admit. He does. Of course he does. We worked our asses off for months to create a consistent routine with clear sleep cues: a sleep sack, and his special special bunny. I can still remember my mother visiting once when E. was still very little, and I was getting him dressed for bed after his bath, and as soon as I put him in the sleep sack he started yawning and rubbing his eyes. “Look at that!” Mum marvelled. “He knows he’s going to sleep.”

So Q. came home and we talked about it, and we agreed that we would send E.’s 0.5 tog sleep sack to nursery school since it was now too cold for it in our house, but it would be the right weight at nursery school given he stays in his clothes and the building is really warm.

E.’s special special bunny was another matter.

“We’re not sending her,” I said. “All it takes is one day where we forget to bring her home again, and we have the night from hell. What if we forget her on a Friday and we can’t get her back for the whole weekend?” (I will freely admit I was using ‘we’ to appear like a team player, when really I meant ‘you’. Q. isn’t great with remembering fine details and he does the Friday pickup.)

Q. agreed.

“What about 2.0?” I asked.

We have, you see, a second version of E.’s special special bunny. We purchased her quite some time ago, and then we hit an impasse. Q. wanted to introduce said bunny immediately so that E. got used to her as well, and we would just have both in rotation. I couldn’t shake the feeling that this was terribly dishonest, and that E. would be horrified if he eventually realized there were two bunnies and we were just always switching them around on him. So I stalled and prevaricated and after a while it became clear that the moment to secretly introduce 2.0 had well and truly passed as there was no way E. would mistake said pristine bunny (even after I had washed her a few times) for his special special bunny.

Nursery school, however, was a different matter.

This morning, while E. was eating breakfast, Q. and I said we had a surprise. We said that his bunny had heard that he was having trouble sleeping at nursery school, so she’d asked her cousin to come so that E. could have a bunny with him at nursery school, although not, of course, his special special bunny since she wanted to stay at home.

E. seemed intrigued by the idea, and didn’t lose his mind when I pulled out the second bunny. So I packed the bunny and the sleep sack into his backpack, Q. and I crossed our fingers, and off we went.

We have been assuming all along that E. was never going to nap at nursery school. It is a completely different environment: a little bed on the floor instead of a crib, lots of other kids, music, some lights, adults in the room, etc. Given he was such a bad sleeper for such a long time, and he remains very sensitive to changes in his sleep routine, we’d started nursery school with the expectation that he wouldn’t nap on those days.

Turns out we were wrong.

With his sleep sack on and his special bunny’s cousin by his side, E. not only napped at nursery school, he took the longest nap of any of the children. The teachers had to wake him up when it was time to start the afternoon program.

Whoops.

Maybe we should have tried that a bit earlier…

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Filed under (Pre)School Days, E.- the third year

Returning to normal

There were no tears at the nursery school drop off yesterday morning.

That’s the first tear-free Wednesday we’ve had.

And that makes three drop offs in a row without crying, and five days out of the last six, as the last two Mondays and Fridays have also been tear-free.

Yesterday morning we read Llama Llama Misses Mama three times while eating breakfast, and E. recited the key lines along with me. He told me that “It’s ok to be sad because it’s hard to say goodbye”. When we got to school, I told him I would stay for five minutes. He needed a diaper change, and once I’d done that he asked to go find his teacher. When we found her, he ran over and grabbed her hand. I gave him a kiss and told him I loved him, and he held on to his teacher’s hand and headed into the back room without a quivering lip or teary eyes.

We’re really getting there.

On Monday I had a reminder of just how good nursery school is for E. It was my duty day, so I was putting all of the (now dry) artwork from Friday into the folders where they’ll eventually be filed and put into individual children’s mailboxes. I realized there was a set of paintings hanging from the clothesline over the sand table. Then I realized that one of them was by E.

This painting is BEAUTIFUL. It fills the page. It experiments with colour and blending and brush strokes. It must have taken him a significant amount of time to make.

E. very rarely wants to do any sort of art or craft activity at home. It’s something I want to work on this fall: pick up some more supplies and find a way to make them more available to him.

At nursery school his work tends to be done in a hurry. He’ll wander over to the painting station and paint for thirty seconds, or a minute, before getting up again and wandering off.

This painting was so different from anything else he’d ever done before.

When I commented on it to his teacher, she remembered it immediately. “Isn’t it beautiful!” she said. “He did it on Friday afternoon. I saw him doing it and as soon as I saw the painting I made sure to hang it up so it wouldn’t get squashed or crumpled on the drying racks.”

He would never have had the chance to do something like this at home. I’m just not great at providing the materials for messy play. Arts and crafts don’t come naturally.

And this, even more than the songs that we catch him singing to himself, or his new ability to process and give voice to his feelings, convinced me that we’ve done the right thing. Nursery school is good for him. He’s happy there.

IMG_3098

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Love of llamas

I had such a lovely day with E. yesterday.

It didn’t start out all that promising. He’d slept well, but he woke up out of sorts, and breakfast was going to be a battle until I remembered we still had one pancake in the freezer (thank you bionic and catwoman for that suggestion- pure genius). He insisted on accompanying me to the bathroom, so while I showered he stood next to the shower, having pulled across the curtain so he could see me the entire time, and commented on what I was doing. “Mummy put in some shampoo! Mummy wash face!  Mummy all done!” (He has never before felt the need to stand in the bathroom while I shower.)

I needed to trim his fingernails, which was going to be another huge battle until I suggested we watch videos of garbage trucks on YouT.ube, at which point he was happy to sit still and didn’t even notice what I was doing. We had a minor meltdown when I shut the computer down, but it was short-lived.

Despite his protests I eventually got him out the door and the day just got better and better from that point on.

We went to the library to pick up some holds.

We went to the health food store where we restocked our Lara Bars (and E. picked the flavours he wanted).

We sat outside on our front steps and played “I Spy” for close to an hour. E. seriously impressed me with some of his guesses.

We went back inside and built buses and car transporters and rocket-ship-buses out of Duplo and Megabloks. E. built a racing car. “The green ones go in the middle. They’re the seats. Put blue ones on top. They’re the seatbelts. Mummy and Daddy buckle E. up.”

We made tuna salad and I had a sandwich while E. ate his tuna straight out of the bowl.

We read one of our new books from the library, Llama Llama Misses Mama, where Llama goes to school.

We then read Llama Llama Misses Mama another five times in a row.

E. took a three hour nap.

We read Llama Llama Misses Mama another four times.

We talked about Llama going to school and how he misses his mama but then she comes back. We talked about what one of our cats would do if she went to cat school: “Cat play wif garbage truck! Cat put recycling in truck!”

We packed a snack and set off to go to the park. On the way there we passed an ice cream truck and since it was sunny and warm and I knew we didn’t have very many of those days left, we stopped and got ice cream.

We played with the trucks at the park for an hour.

We came home and made dinner and E. stood on his chair and helped until Q. got home at which point he jumped down and ran over to him, shouting, “Daddy Monster! Daddy Monster!” So Q. growled and stomped around the living room with E. over his shoulder shrieking with laughter.

Then we ate dinner and Q. put E. to bed, and he went to sleep without a peep of protest.

It felt like we were finally getting our little guy back.

It was really interesting listening to E. process things yesterday. When he first asked what tomorrow was, and I told him it was Wednesday, so it was a school day, his first response was to start to cry and insist it was the weekend and not a school day. But in the afternoon, after the many (many) renditions of Llama Llama Misses Mama, he started to say (without any prompting from me) that tomorrow was a school day and that Mummy would “stay for a little bit” before going away and then coming back.

He didn’t quite hold on to that this morning. We had a few moments where he insisted that “Mummy stay a lot a lot a lot”, and there were tears when I did leave, but it was still a much more settled morning than has been the case, and we had no crying until the moment that I left (as opposed to the solid forty minutes to an hour of crying that has been the norm in the last few weeks, much of it before we even leave the house). He commented that “it was a bit hard to say bye-bye”, and I agreed.

Slowly but surely. We’re getting there.

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Filed under (Pre)School Days, Anxiety Overload, Books, E.- the third year

Progress (finally)

We had a much, much better weekend with E. this week.

Fewer meltdowns.

Less hysteria about where I was (although there were definitely still moments, particularly when he freaked out when I went into the kitchen to get him food that HE HAD REQUESTED, where we just had to shake our heads).

And a new set of recurrent feedback loops.

E. still says (about a billion times per day) “Was a bit sad when Mummy left”, but now if we then say, “And then what happened?”, he says, “Mummy came back!” and the loop finishes on a much happier note. He talked endlessly about how he didn’t like it when Mummy went to the university, but if we asked him why I went to the university on Fridays, he would tell us that I had to teach my class. And he loved telling us that the weekend meant it was an “E. and Mummy and Daddy and E. day!”.

Yesterday he asked what day it was tomorrow and when I told him it was Monday, he thought for a minute and then. “Monday is a school day. Mummy does her duty day! Mummy stay all morning! Mummy go home at lunch time!” To which I then asked, “And what time does Mummy pick you up after lunch”, and he said, “Three-thirty” with a big grin. Then we talked about how he’ll be in the playground when I come to pick him up, and we’ll walk home together and have a snack and watch the streetcars.

This morning when he woke up, he knew it was a school day and we didn’t have forty to sixty minutes of hysterical crying as a result. He did once try to decide not to go, but he was relatively easy to cajole out the door. All the way to school we kept repeating that it was my duty day, that I would go home at lunch, and that I would be back at three-thirty. At school he was settled all morning- he stuck close to me, but he wasn’t worried about me leaving.

When it was lunchtime, I stayed in the cloakroom, and he headed off to wash his hands with his teacher.

“Do you want to give me a kiss goodbye?” I asked him.

E. turned and looked at me. His lower lip wobbled. “No,” he managed, and then he turned and walked through the door WITHOUT CRYING.

I was so proud of him.

Far out. We are getting there.

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Filed under (Pre)School Days, Anxiety Overload, E.- the third year, Emotions

2.0 FET #1- 3dp5dt

More bullet points on what’s happening chez Turia

  • TWWs suck. This one especially sucks because they’ve told me to wait a full two weeks even though it was a blastocyst. I guess the whole “being frozen for three years” side of things can slow the little darlings down. Still. This is going to take FOREVER. (And no, I won’t POAS early.)
  • I’m sick. Apparently my body decided the absolute best time to get my annual ‘start of a new semester’ cold was yesterday. I’ve had a bit of a runny nose for the last couple of days, but yesterday I felt miserable all day and by the afternoon I’d lost my voice. No fever, thankfully, but I can’t say my general state of health led me to believe that an embryo would think my uterus was a good place in which to stick around. I went to bed at 9 p.m. and slept through until E. woke up, weeping (as he does every morning these days), “Mummy no go away! Mummy come back!”, at 6 a.m.
  • I had a whole lot of cramps in the ol’ uterus on Thursday afternoon, which is not surprising given what it had been subjected to that morning. Nothing to report since then.
  • I’m getting big hard lumps in my butt from the PIO shots, even with doing them in the morning so I can walk around and use the muscle all day. Sometimes they don’t hurt at all. Sometimes they’re pretty uncomfortable and I get dizzy and have to sit with my head between my knees as soon as Q. pulls the needle out. We manage.
  • E. has noticed my Fragmin bruises: “Mummy has dots on her tummy! Purple dots! Purple dot train!”
  • I’m back to having insomnia and waking up at 5 or 5:30 a.m. (with the exception of last night), so the extreme-sleepiness stage of the drugs seems to have ended.
  • E.’s Mummyitis shows absolutely no signs of abating and is far worse than it has ever been. Q. says he was starting to head in this direction in our last couple of weeks in the U.K., where he would get quite upset when I left and would be crabby most of the day, continually asking when I would be home again, but it’s at an entirely different level now. Fridays are the worst, as that’s the day I teach, so I need to leave early, and I don’t get home until it’s almost supper. E. is basically inconsolable from the moment I walk out the door until Q. gets him out the door to walk to nursery school thirty or so minutes later. This past Friday E. took his shoes off in protest while Q. was putting his own on (I am aware this would be normal toddler tantrum behaviour for some children- in E. this means he is unbelievably upset). He was ok walking to school, had an ok day at school, and then said, “Mummy come back!” every ten seconds or so from the moment Q. picked him up until I came in the door. Poor Aunty C. came home before I did, and E. obviously thought it was going to be me, and he was not pleased.
  • There is a family tale that when I was two and a half or so, my Aunt had been over for the day. She had played with me all day- ponies, drawing, stories, etc. I’d had a blast. And then my father came home from work, and I (as family lore records) said: “You go hone Aunt L. You not stay for supper my house, you haf supper your house. You not play wif my Daddy. You go hone.” On Friday, when E. had calmed down upon seeing it was Aunty C. coming in the door and not Mummy, he spent a happy thirty minutes or so with her, while she read him stories, drew him pictures, etc. Then I came in, and E. came out with the following monologue: “E. no yike Aunty C-. Aunty C- go back outside. Aunty C- no play wif E. E. yike playing wif Mummy.” It went on for a good while. We got it on video to show our aunt and our mother. E., it seems, truly is his mother’s son.
  • Another classic E. moment: Monday night, Aunty C. cooked dinner (it was delicious). I asked E. if he wanted some of the sauce for dipping (he loves dipping things at the moment). E. agreed with enthusiasm, dipped in his rice, took a big bite, and said, “E. no yike it. That’s a really bad one.” Q., Aunty C. and I just dissolved into laughter.
  • We’re all working really hard at telling E. what day it is. He understands that on Mondays Mummy comes to school for her duty day, and on Fridays Mummy goes to teach her class (“E. no yike Mummy teaching her class. E. no yike it when Mummy goes away.”), and we’ve talked a lot over the last two days about the weekend and how that means Mummy and Daddy and E. all get to stay at home, but it’s going to be a slow process. His teachers said he’d settle by the end of September, but I think all the chaos at the start of the month set that back. At this stage we’re hoping by the end of October we might be over the worst of the broken-hearted wailing.
  • The separation anxiety makes E. really hard to live with right now. And that is hard too because I know that he is acting out and pushing our buttons and resolutely refusing to comply with anything we ask and changing his mind every two seconds because of the separation anxiety. He is trying to process the changes in his life, trying to make sure that he can still depend on us, trying to make sure that we’re not going to abandon him, that we’re still going to love him, even if he’s tormenting the cats or throwing his toothbrush down the stairs. But it is hard to stay patient and calm and warm and loving when he is driving us crazy. And then every now and then he’ll do something – like yesterday when after he’d finished eating lunch (or, to be more accurate, shouting “No!” and refusing to sit at the table to eat lunch), he went into the living room and put away his Duplo and his Megabloks, sorting them into the appropriate containers, without being asked or prompted, in order to get ready for his nap – and we feel like maybe, just maybe, our sweet gentle son is still in there. And then he’ll have a good nap, and wake up properly rested (for lack of sleep is a huge part of this issue, as he’s staying up too late at night worrying “Mummy no go away”, and he’s waking up too early wanting “Mummy come back” and he’s not napping on the days he’s at nursery school) and he’ll be cheerful and loving and fun to be with again and we can all take a deep breath and reset. Yesterday afternoon I was really really unwell, and E. was happy to mostly amuse himself for close to two hours while I lay on the couch, occasionally putting together a rocket ship or helicopter out of Megabloks. At one point he climbed up on to the couch and lay next to me and we had a lovely cuddle while he said (and I repeated after him, every time he said it), “Mummy loves you very much. Daddy loves you very much. Aunty C. loves you very much.” He was stating it, affirming, confirming.
  • I hate what this is doing to him, our gentle, sensitive, soul. I wish I could stay at home with him. I have to finish my dissertation. I’m feeling ripped in half right now.

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Filed under (Pre)School Days, 2.0 FET#1, Anxiety Overload, E.- the third year, Medications, Second Thoughts, Symptoms

Transfer complete!

Everything went smoothly today. My f/s was only an hour later than the original appointment time (normally he is at least ninety minutes, so this was a nice surprise). The blastocyst survived the thaw and still looked great. We still have one frozen. My f/s had no problem seeing my uterus with the ultrasound to get the blastocyst where he wanted it to go.

They gave me my drug protocol- nothing changes except I need to start Fragmin this afternoon. I think I’ll do one this afternoon and then switch to doing them in the morning, along with the PIO shot. Might as well get all the jabbing done in one hit.

The only complicating factor is I’m not meant to lift anything heavier than 20 lb, which includes E., who, despite being WAAAY down the charts for weight, still weighs a bit over 25 lb.

I can’t put E. in the crib or pick him out of it.

I can’t lift him into the bath, or up onto the change table (that one at least won’t be a problem as it’s easy enough to change him on the floor).

I can’t carry the stroller down the stairs.

I can’t pick E. up for a cuddle. E., my son, who is so filled to the brim with separation anxiety right now that we have night wakings. E., who has said “NO!” to me more times in the last week than he has in his entire life combined. E., who is getting his final molar. E., who still isn’t sure every morning whether he is going to nursery school or not, although he knows that he “is a bit sad when Mummy goes away”.

This could get interesting.

I ended up a bit emotional in the bathroom after the transfer. It is just…different this time around. I KNOW what the result could be. I can’t be as emotionally detached from these blastocysts. They’re not just snowbabies.

This embryo once was in the same petri dish as the embryo that became our E.

When our f/s showed us the blastocyst before the transfer, I had a vision of that screen in August 2010, when we looked at two little blastocysts, one of which became our son.

We walked out at 1:20 p.m., with me officially pregnant.

Now I just have to stay that way.

Beta on the 3rd of October.

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Filed under (Pre)School Days, 2.0 FET#1, E.- the third year, Emotions, Medications, Second Thoughts

Running on empty

Bullet points on what’s happening chez Turia

  • Yesterday I started the PIO shots. I had a lot of anxiety leading up to the first injection, but Q., bless him, hasn’t lost his touch and I barely felt the needle. The castor oil does take much more effort to inject, and I’m already developing some soreness. We’re doing them first thing in the morning on the nurse’s recommendation so I have the day to walk around and move the muscle. This makes sense, but it is problematic getting them done while also getting E. breakfast before he starts shrieking. While we were doing the shot this morning and E. was wailing in his crib at the top of his lungs because he wouldn’t stay downstairs while we did it, and we needed to contain him, because the LAST thing he needs right now is to watch Daddy give Mummy a needle, I looked at Q. and said, “Remind me again why we want to have two of them?”
  • I had a dream last night that I was pregnant, and then in the dream I realized it had to be a dream because I hadn’t even had the transfer yet and had only done one PIO shot. And then I thought I was awake, until I woke up and realized I hadn’t been. A dream within a dream.
  • All the meds are starting to take a toll. I’m exhausted all the time, and it must be from one of the meds (or some combination) as I spent all summer needing barely any sleep. I’m also very short-tempered. This is not a good combination given E.’s current state of mind.
  • Holy separation anxiety, Batman! E. is a MESS. He has spent this entire weekend melting down at the drop of a hat. This morning he just yelled and cried non-stop from the moment I went in to get him out of the crib to when he went down for a nap (this is an exaggeration, but not by much). I had to give myself a time-out as I was about to start yelling myself. I think we are not going to make pancakes for the next few months. It’s too unpleasant dealing with E. having to wait for breakfast. At lunch today we asked him why he was so sad, and he replied, “I no want Mummy to go away when I’m at school.” That’s what is underlying ALL of his behaviour right now. He will be playing with his toys, or otherwise perfectly content, and then he’ll just stop, burst into tears, and cry out, “Mummy no go away!” We are trying to give him lots of extra love and support and comfort, but it is hard to stay patient when he is yelling at us ALL.THE.TIME.
  • I need to stop asking him things and just start doing them. Don’t ask if he wants fruit- cut it up and put it on a plate and put it out. He just says ‘no’ on principle to everything right now and works himself up into a tizzy.
  • He had his best day yet at nursery school on Friday and even took a nap there, despite him melting down when I went out the door to teach my first class of the semester (and he continued melting down for twenty minutes until it was time for him and Q. to walk to school). He liked eating lunch and playing outside, even though he was “a bit sad at school”.
  • I need to get my hands on a copy of Llama Llama Misses Mama. Stat.
  • I think my first class went well. I could have thirty, but only have twenty-two registered at the moment. If it stays like that, it will be amazing- so much less marking.
  • Q. arrived back home safe and sound (and even earlier than expected!) Thursday night. The only advantage to him being utterly and completely exhausted is he doesn’t seem to be experiencing any jet lag. In fact he’s less sleepy than I am. He has coped manfully with arriving into a household filled with a sister-in-law, an irate, anxious and overwrought toddler, and a stressed-out and over-medicated wife.
  • On that note, I wish I could say to people who get caught up in the vision of romance and true love presented to us in movies and what not: “That’s not real love. Real love isn’t chasing after someone in an airport. Real love is being willing to stick a needle in your wife’s ass when she needs you to, and making sure you learn how to do it well so you don’t hurt her.”

This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass.

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Filed under (Pre)School Days, 2.0 FET#1, Anxiety Overload, Butter scraped over too much bread (a.k.a. modern motherhood), E.- the third year, Emotions, Family, Medications, Second Thoughts