Friday, October 30, 2015

And Baby Makes 4!

If you have a flair for the dramatic, I was in labor for 14 hours.

"Pain", "a funny feeling", "something" started happening about 4:30am on Tuesday, October 27th but I'm not sure if it qualifies as labor. I had gotten my membrane swiped the day before so my doctor suggested "something" might happen in the next 48 hours but then again in might not. Such is the way of labor and delivery.

Needless to say, Tuesday we waited.
We played Lego Batman and waited.
We went for a walk around the block and waited.
We ate Tostitos and triple checked our suitcase and waited.
We waited and then waited some more.

Austin was at my parents most of the day and around 2:00 I had enough of my mom guilt and told them to bring him home. Wednesday the 28th was his birthday and I didn't want him to feel ditched. He arrived around 4:00, we ate dinner around 6:00, and then by 7:00 I was calling my parents to come back since "real things were happening".

The funny thing about contractions, I think, is they are inconsistent until they are consistent. I swiftly went from 20-30 minute intervals of "I think this is one" to 4-8 minute intervals of "here we go!".

Because it was a full moon, Labor and Delivery was full by time we arrived. Also because the situation was less dire than with Austin, we were able to calmly park the car as a couple, go through Admissions together, and have the luxury of waiting in the "waiting area (aka hallway) until a room was available.  We also had the (mis)fortune of catching the latest episode of Celebrity Wife Swap. I have never been more embarrassed to have been born in Staten Island, thank you Big Ang.

Dr. B showed up around 8:30 and waited with us. Contractions were at an even 4 minutes or so and the "do you want an epidural?" question was raised.

I never know.

By 9:30ish we were given a room and I was 6cm.
Do I want an epidural?

Ummm. No?

So we broke my water, I shot up to 8cm, things got REALLY real, and I immediately regretted my no epidural decision.

And then I pushed. Hard.
I said a bad word and then apologized for it. I tried taking 4 second rests and pushing on 5. I did a very sexy behind-the-thigh-heavy-ho kind of push and eventually.....

We welcomed Brendan Richard Lathroum into the world at 10:10pm on October 27, 2015 and the Mets lost to the Royals in 14 innings - the longest game in World Series history tied with 2005's  Game 3 Chicago White Sox 7 - Houston Astros 5.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Home Stretch - Literally

I have no foundation for this reasoning but I believe the Higher Powers of Baby Making allow for a nice first pregnancy in order to convince mothers that having a second baby isn't too bad of an idea.

Not that I had an awful pregnancy this time around. Google "pregnancy nightmares" and I am sure you will find women in much more precarious positions than me, but since Austin was SUCH smooth sailing and I was making it to the gym until the day before delivery, I admit I am/was a little surprised with Baby 2.

The first trimester was rough with nausea and exhaustion daily - in addition to the added responsibility of parenting Child #1 - which was obviously not in the picture back in 2011. I think the worst part of my nausea was it never resulted in vomiting. It was just living with "hang over stomach" throughout the day - which gets old after about 2 minutes.

Second semester - as for most women was bliss as was much of the third semester until Week 34 or so.

As of today, Week 38 and change, Baby 2's head is "very low" in my cervix and 3 cm dilated. Now until about 12 hours ago, 3 cms didn't mean anything to me but THEN I found this very helpful image.

As you can see, this measurement translates to a banana slice and "very low" means head is in such a position that nerve pain consistently shoots down my legs from my groin area resulting in 1) a gangster limp, 2) a squat walk, or 3) the walk two steps-then squat/stretch move. All of which are awesome if you are in public. I am also fortunate enough to pee every 2 hours.

What I find least comforting about this image is the bagel. That is as big as we are getting so if we are LUCKY a baby is coming out of a bagel. Awesome. Let's do this 10 more times!

I also would like to use this time to apologize to Baby 2 for poorly documenting his incubation period. With Austin, I was much more in tune with his sizes, what parts were developing when, and what fruit he was comparable to in size. Baby 2 - I am sorry but I promise to record your actually Delivery Day with the same detail and dedication as I did for your big brother.


Friday, May 22, 2015

Code Blue

Three years, minus 1 day to the date I received the call from IRMS telling me that I was pregnant with Austin (then known as Petry), I received the same call telling me I was pregnant again! Yay!

Although we have the same cautious optimism as we had the first time, it was a relief to hear the IUI process was a success and we overcame Hurdle One. As we enter phase 2, keeping baby, I have to say – I feel really good about things! Similar to my earliest weeks with Austin, I am still bloated from the fertility medication and, in my opinion, feel like I am showing already but that is mostly in my head.

A little history of how this came to be –
January 5th – Went in for my initial check up and turned out my uterus was ready to make moves.

January – February 6th – Varying doses of Menopur to ripen my follicles for pregnancy. This was SUCH a slow going process. Dr. K was concerned all my little ladies would jump on the ripening train quickly and I would overstimulate. This would mean everyone would be ready for insemination at once and I could be an Octo-mom. That would be bad for business. Airing on the side of caution, we moved slowly (maybe a little too slowly but that is just the opinion of the one receiving the injections)

February 7th– Final checks and measurements of my little ladies. Finally (!) three got the memo to grow and Dr. K had enough confidence to move forward with the trigger shot that had anxiously been waiting in my fridge for about a month now.

February 7th, 9:00pm – Take trigger shot

February 8th – Between 9pm the previous night and the end of the day, I should have ovulated. I woke up a little crampy so thought that may have been a sign things were moving in there.  We were instructed to “try” that night. (cue the candles!)

If this doesn't scream romance, I don't know what does! 
February 9th – The Lathroum clan rises early and heads to IRMS. This, again, broke my rule of bringing babies to fertility offices but I was hard pressed to find coverage at 5:30am and I was slightly comforted to see we weren't the only rule breakers.

DJ was called first to make his donation (~29 million) and then I followed soon after. I had to sign off that we were a match, ensuring I wouldn’t end up having the wrong baby daddy. 

February 9th to present: Wait. First there is the two week wait where one has to lay low and that is followed by the first trimester wait to ensure everything is growing happily and healthily. 

Brother from the Same Mother!

So I guess all that "first kid, second kid" stuff is true. With Austin, I was all about blogging and documenting every procedure, feeling, ache, and pain. With Baby 2 - I am totally failing but let's break it down!

We starting the IUI process in January and because I am a high risk of multiples (age, eggs, general plumbing), we started slow. I was on low doses of the IUI medication and went in every other day to check the growth of my eggs - or lack there of. For weeks (!) there was no change. I never got the true definition of "8 less than 10" but we were stagnant at that measurement forever. Even when we thought one little gal/guy grew, we learned it was a mismeasurement or false alarm.

Finally after a month or so of shots, we had some movement and it looked as though 3 decided to be good-to-go at the same time. Not that we were trying to avoid 3 big follicles at once, but that was the reason for the low dosage from the start. Long story short, I took my trigger shot on February 7th and my baby (babies?) were conceived on the 9th. This gave them more or less the same due date as Austin. Interesting.

Longer story short, we now have one little man incubating in my belly with an arrival date on November 1st. All involved parties are thrilled.

My second pregnancy hasn't been bad in the scheme of bad pregnancies but it certainly has not been as easy as my first. Morning sickness was a son of a bitch for the first 14 weeks. I never puked but remained in a sick belly/sweaty month/am-I-hungry-or-nauseous? state of limbo. I was super lethargic and headaches - holy moly Batman! (As the kids today say, "I can't even!").

Then - miraculously, graciously, by-the-grace-of-God - the morning of week 14, I awoke feeling mostly back to normal and ever so thankful. Since then, I am a much more functioning member of society and all is well from a personal and gynecological perspective.

Sunday, January 4, 2015


Today I went running and found myself reciting Railroad Toad by Susan Schade in my head. Railroad Toad my son's latest book obsession and we probably read it 3 or 4 times a day. Inspired by the book (I guess), I found myself dictating a poem along my route and then, because I am the coolest person I know - I recorded my brainstorm into my cell phone so I would remember by thoughts.

(To Ms. Schade, I apologize if this rhyme scheme or topic is an insult to your book)

I set my alarm for 6:15
Tomorrow, I'm off to see if my uterus is clean!

They'll check to see if there's a thick lining
Or, if all is clear and my uterus is shining

Depending in the results, we will see
If its IUI or a period for me. 

IUI uses meds to trigger my flow, 
so into my uterus my eggs will go!

For Round One, I will be inseminated, 
the shell of my egg - penetrated. 

If all goes well, I will be knocked up
and to our family we will add a new pup.

Lets cross our fingers for this new game play 
and we end the year with a new baby :)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Counting my Blessings

This post should have been written on November 20th but I wasn't emotionally prepared at that time.

I am not pregnant. 

On the afternoon of November 20th, I got a call from Dr. K. informing me that my pregnancy test from that morning was negative. In my heart of hearts, I think I knew before this call that I wasn't pregnant but of course you are going to be optimistic. At the low, low price of $4500, why wouldn't you be. 

Since all my other frozen embryos did not survive the "defrost" (I am sure there is a more technical name for it) - we are now back at square one. 

Kind of. 

If this call came back in February 2012 - we would be back at square one. 
If I had not had a successful pregnancy - we would be back at square one. 
If I had not given birth to a fabulous baby boy in October 2012 - we would be back at square one
And if that baby boy had not been readily available for millions of hugs and kisses after I hung up the phone - we would be back at square one. 

Austin didn't know it but he saved the day. He was a symbol of success, blessings, and all that is wonderful about motherhood. He was there for kisses, for hugs, and promise that is process does work even if it didn't this time. 

Are there any next steps? Of course there are but they will be taken slowly and with great thought. Like I did on the "worst day", I allowed myself an afternoon to wallow but with a toddler, it was much more productive. Since the 20th, I have had time to reflect and research and on December 18th I will meet again with Dr. K. to see what options are out there without having to do IVF again. 

As I mentioned several weeks ago, if the powers that be only want one child for me - then I thank those powers a million times over for making it Austin. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Tomorrow I'm off to get pregnant

Tomorrow at around 1:30pm - I should be pregnant.

Weird sentence, right?

Such is the option of someone going for their embryo transfer. DJ and I don't have to rely on my menstrual cycle, a rhythm method, or the phases of the moon to know when we can/will conceive - we simply have to start our lupron then progesterone shots (which were not missed at all) and then get a call with the date and time.

At this moment, I imagine Baby 2 is somewhere being defrosted. He/She has spent a little over 2 years frozen with his/her other little embryo buddies and like the little alien characters from Toy Story, a "clay" came down - plucked him/her out of their little embryo ice cube tray - and set him/her on the counter to defrost like a chicken breast from the freezer.

Although the pressure is still there to keep this baby in my uterus, the preamble is much less stressful. Shots in the butt are still not - nor will they ever be - glamorous but at least I know what to expect and as long as DJ keeps a steady hand - there are worse things in the world. Also after meeting with Dr. K in July, I wasn't surprised when we were told IVF would be our best bet so I was also able to skip the shock, the wallowing, and the self-pity stage. I think that was a win for everyone.

Also IVF worked for me once and we were blessed with the most amazing little boy (said every parent ever) and he is happy, healthy, and utterly fantastic. Should the powers-that-be decide we are "one and done" then so be it! I mean - just look at that face!