Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Hey, Pictures Are Part of It

Today is an interesting day. Supposedly I'm done with my kidney crap and ready to schedule, but apparently they aren't 100% sure. They said my kidneys are "borderline" and they may want to wait. Uhm.. WTF? You said under 20 could be listed for transplant. I've been at 16. How is that not low enough? Hopefully that's a false alarm, but I'm getting blood work done today. I will cry giant tears if they say no transplant. My brother just finished his testing, too. Let's do this. On a more positive note, I got new hair, so here's my face!

For some weird reason, I don't have a ton of pictures of Andrew the last few weeks. He's been motoring around and mostly reading his books.. he's holding one in this picture. He's still the happiest little dude. Big changes coming, though! We had his yearly meeting with Birth through 5, and they are recommending him for the autism school. That's what it's called, but you don't have to have autism to go, and we still don't know what's up with Andrew. They will take Global Developmental Delay as well. He's been getting a lot of evaluations, and folks have been asking us a LOT of questions. He still has to see the school psychologist and behavioral therapist, but we have a meeting on the 29th to make some decisions. Assuming he's approved, he can start in October. I'm so excited for this prospect because he's done very well in daycare. He's made so many improvements, particularly socially with tolerating other kids (he still loves adults). But at this school it's a very low teacher/student ratio (sometimes as low as 1:1) and they are qualified to deal with his particular needs. Evie's school is great for her, but it's not enough for Andrew. She needs help learning to sit still,  where he needs help with feeding, speech, etc. They do all of that, and it's an all day program, which is nice.

I hope the structure helps him to thrive, and the constant attention helps him with eating and such. And, of course, his speech. Lately I've noticed him babbling when I pick him up and restrict him in some way (high chair, or when I have to pull mulch out of his mouth... yeah.. hopefully they fix that) and it seems like there's some intent behind it. He babbles "no no no no" and it seems intentional, but I can't be sure. Leave it to my kid to make "no no no" the thing he starts to say consistently haha. Other than that, he's doing great. Still my snuggle bug, still sleeping well. The only real complaint I have is that he is eating books and mulch. Or at least chewing them. I've never seen him swallow, but I still feel bad having to pry his jaws open to get mulch out. This is something he does at daycare, and I'm half tempted to tell them to keep him inside if they can't watch him, but at the same time, they have other kids, and most 2.5 year olds aren't still chewing on dirt. Still, yesterday I pulled 4 pieced of mulch out. Like.. pay attention to my child... don't let him eat mulch.

Anyway... otherwise, good stuff. He's just such a good kid and he loves to be held and rocked, and we slow dance a lot :). Cause he loves his momma so much!

Evie is FINALLY mostly potty trained. She poops exclusively on the potty. She has not perfected pee, but she goes to school in big girl underwear, and she's doing pretty well. she also loves school. They sent me the picture below because she was so proud of her work in  her workbook. She's making such great progress. She has trouble waking up in the mornings, though, because she doesn't want to go to sleep at night, so it's basically like having a mini teenager. Complete with tantrums. She has been so emotional the last few weeks. Like... so dramatic. If I won't go get her juice cup it's whining. Daddy is working... whining. She's 4... 4 year olds don't like "no"... so it's fine and age appropriate. I will just be very happy when we're past whining. Or at least do it less haha. She's also hilarious. I'm having trouble thinking of a specific example, but she has me in stitches all day long. The other night she did start testing out her pillows, telling me she needed to find one that was "refreshing". She finally settled on one, and still talks about how refreshing it is.

Oh, and look at her in the bottom picture. She's such a big kid. I mean literally she's taller than any other 4yo I know, but she looks like such a kid and not a baby! It's going by way too fast. Next year she starts kindergarten.

Andy and I are trying to work things out with our schedules and be best team we can right now. It's hard with me so sick all the time, but we're doing our best. He's been my rock through all these questionable things with my kidneys. He works late most nights though, so Evie really misses him. On Thursday nights and weekends they spend most of their time together because she sees me all the time. But it works out because then I get some rest. I'm ready for this transplant to be done and to hopefully feel better and be able to do more with the kids.

Monday, September 12, 2016

A Sort-Of Sibling For Evie and Andrew

I think I have another journal to write later, but right now I want to post about something I don't talk much about.

Andy and I had 3 embryos left over from our IVF cycles. After Evie, we didn't know what would happen with my kidneys, but we planned to have another baby if it was possible. When Andrew came along, we realized there just would not be any other way we could work out a third baby (or fourth or fifth given 3 embryos). My kidneys wouldn't have it. So we decided to give them up for adoption. It was tough because Evie was being looked at for potential sensory processing disorder at the time (which we no longer thing she has) so some places wouldn't take them. We finally found a place that would, and they immediately had a couple ready, who I'll refer to as "T&N". T&N knew everything about us and our kids, from my cholesterol issues to Andrew's delays (still undiagnosed). They still wanted them and were so happy to have them.

Well, N is pregnant! They transferred the two embryos from E's cycle that were frozen together. Only one took, but at least one did! She's now coming up on 14 weeks, and I'm so excited. It's still so weird for me to think that if the doctor had let us put in two like we asked, I could've been having the baby instead... though I'm glad that didn't happen because my body couldn't handle it. It's weird that their baby could've been E's twin. That it was conceived at the same time. That Evie and Andrew and T&N's baby are full biological siblings. I'm so, so glad it worked. I don't pretend to know the whole process but I know they had to spend a good deal of money on embryo storage, transfer, and legal fees, and the idea of them doing that and not having a baby was so upsetting! So I'm just relieved that it worked, and I hope everything is ok with the baby. Neither E nor A have high cholesterol, so hopefully their baby won't either. E has ADHD, but otherwise is fine. She's super smart and sweet and imaginative. I hope their baby is all of those things. Andrew has those delays we're still figuring out, but he's also so cuddly and precocious. I hope their baby is those things, too. I hope that their baby doesn't have delays, but at the same time, I know if it does, they're going to love it so much anyway. Everyone, even non-family, falls in love with Andrew right away. Kids and adults alike. Delays or not, he's so freaking special. Of course if we ever find out what caused his delays, we'll let them know. But there are so many wonderful things about both of my kids that I hope T&N get to experience with theirs. Evie is so social and loves to make friends with anyone and everyone.  Andrew is reserved, but if he likes you he LOVES you haha. They're just so special and I'm so happy for T&N.. that they get to experience carrying and having a child, but also, a child with the potential to be as amazing as E and A are!

And they still have one embryo left from our first failed cycle if they want to try for a sibling. But even if it doesn't work, they have this baby, and I could not be happier.

So just for my own edification, I'm going to break down our IVF stuff by the numbers.

Combined info from two cycles:

Total Antral Follicles: 39
Total Eggs Retrieved: 18
Total Mature Eggs: 14
Total Fertilized Eggs: 10
Total Embryos That Grew to Blast: 5
Total Embryos Transferred: 4 (one as a day 3 embryo)
Total Embryos Resulting in Pregnancy: 2 (Evie, and T&N's baby)
Remaining Frozen Embryos: 1

So... Two IVF cycles and 40 follicles... 2 babies and 1 still on ice. Those are really crappy odds!! Look how many follicles were empty or had immature eggs, or the eggs didn't fertilize. That's so insane! And then Andrew we had naturally. Truly a miracle.. both of my kids!!