Monday, August 26, 2013

A Plan for Number Two

We had a nice visit with Dr. A on August 22nd. There was no one in the office, it was the end of their day and it was just us, Dr. A and a nurse.We sat and chatted with him about the end of my pregnancy with Grayson, about breastfeeding, about my cycles and how they have been regular {and how they returned around 3 months post-partum. Lucky me, ha!} and that we hadn't had a pregnancy even though we had stopped preventing five months ago.

Dr. A told us that whenever we are ready, we will go straight to what worked last time: Follistim + IUI. I breathed a sigh of relief at that moment. I had been so anxious all day because I didn't know what the plan would be. Once I knew, I was fine. I guess that's my control freak showing her ugly face. He did make a note to start with a lower dose of the Follistim since I responded so well last time, a little too well.

The only testing that we need to repeat is the infectious diseases. They are required every year. And also my TSH and prolactin levels. After that, the next step is to call Dr. A's office on cycle day one when we are ready for a treatment cycle. When that will be is something I have decided to keep between Nick and I this time around. We haven't had many surprises in this journey, so I would like to try and keep a few :)


Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Truth

I won't lie. I have been hoping and wishing, with all of my might, that we would be one of those couples that are surprised with pregnancy number two. You hear about it all of the time. Those who go through hell and back to get pregnant the first time and then, surprise! They are pregnant with no medical intervention, maybe not even planned, and for some reason it happens and it's wonderful. And of course, no doubt, I am thrilled for them! Honestly. This isn't about me being upset for those that this happens to. Not at all. I am just mourning the fact that this hasn't happened for us

My cycle returned around three months post-partum and we haven't been preventing for a while. Sure, we could wait longer and maybe it would happen on it's own at some point in time. But who am I kidding, we aren't getting any younger and because we have some unexplained reason for it not happening the first time, it scares us to wait too long. Plus we are excited for another baby. Very excited. 

We never did get the answer why it was so hard for us the first time. What's crazy is that it took seven, yes SEVEN, mature follicles for us to have one viable baby. I wonder all the time if that means anything. I have no clue, but I wonder.

We are heading back to the RE, Dr. A, on August 22nd. I am looking forward to seeing them again and talking to him about a plan for baby number two. I do feel a certain confidence that we can achieve another pregnancy with Dr. A's help. I hope we can. But it sure would be awesome if my body would work the way it's supposed to for once.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Babies and Dogs (and cats, tortoises, etc)

I haven't blogged about it, probably ever, but I am extremely passionate about dog behavior. It all began with the Mastiff forum I was a part of when we first brought Apollo home. He will be seven this year! There was a fantastic dog behaviorist who gave great advice on our forum and I began to read everything she wrote, and then did my own research as well. I realized how misunderstood dogs are. They speak their own language and we as humans are trying our best to communicate with them in our language. My dream {and goal?} is to make dog training my career. I love it and I love to teach and I love to help people, which is really more of what a dog trainer/behaviorist should be doing.

I wanted to talk a little about kids and dogs. It definitely takes effort and it's not always easy, but a child's relationship with their dog can be so amazing and worth it. The most important thing to remember: It's the parent's responsibility to keep the child and the dog safe! 

Here are a few things I feel are very important to maintaining a happy home for both the children and the dogs {and cats, tortoises, etc. It applies to all pets}

  • Dogs and kids should never, ever be left alone together. EVER. No matter how sweet your dog may be, you just never know.
  • From day one, children should be closely supervised and assisted when petting their pets. We use the word "gentle." Please do not allow tail grabbing, ear grabbing, fur ripping, hitting, climbing on them. That hurts! Start early and teach them to respect animals. Grayson already understands gentle because we have been reinforcing it from day one. We always praise G when he does gentle petting. Encourage your children to pet the dog under the chin or on their shoulder/back. Discourage hugging or reaching over the dog's head. It may seem sweet, but dogs do not like to be hugged. It's a threatening position. And while you are teaching your children how to treat their own dog, this carries over to meeting new dogs too. 
  • Create a safe place for your dog. Apollo has his own area in the house with his water bowl and bed, separated from the rest of the house by a baby fence. Don't wait until your dog is growling, or worse, biting, before putting him in his safe place. Apollo stays in his safe place unless we go outside together, on a walk or we are supervising a visit with him and G.
  • Stress signals. Dogs give calming signals well before they start growling or biting, we just need to learn what they are so that it does not escalate. These are warning signals that we should take seriously before the dog feels he must use a different warning with more severe consequences. Living with Kids & Dogs is one of my favorite resources, and she further explains the stress signals here.

I love to talk dog behavior, so if you have a question, I'd love to help!

Good resources for positive reinforcement training: