Helllloooooo blogging world!

Here’s hoping this is just like riding a bike, because it’s been a long time since I was last here! So much has happened in the past two and a half years since I unconsciously left this blog behind. Why did I stop blogging? Life had taken some unexpected turns and my focus turned to somewhere else as you’ll see below.

July 2015

We went on a second trip to Europe, this time to Austria and Germany!

Neuschwanstein Castle.jpg

I attended the Gluten Free and Allergen Friendly Expo that I had blogged about earlier.

We went through a round of IVF with ICSI after almost two years of the emotional roller coaster of unsuccessfully trying on our own to start a family (<-this is the reason).

IVF meds.jpg

August 2015

Our first round of IVF was successful!

IMAGE_4558.jpg

I’m diagnosed with ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) after a middle of the night emergency room visit for difficulty breathing and need to go on a high protein/high salt/low carb/electrolyte liquid only diet. Not exactly fun when all you’re craving is some simple carbs to settle the stomach, but I tell myself this is the price I have to pay to be pregnant, which I’m so, so grateful to be.

September 2015

OHSS continues. Another visit to the emergency room for vomit-inducing flank pain.

After meeting with an advisor, I decide to forego nursing school for the year. I would get an incomplete if I was unable to finish the year, and since I’m due at the beginning of May, that’s a very real possibility. I’m sad, but also less stressed knowing that I’ll be able to be more present for this pregnancy.

October 2015

OHSS continue. Two more visits to the emergency room for the flank pain.

I am finally diagnosed with ovarian torsion (twisted ovary) and am transported to Boston for emergency surgery. I end up losing both an ovary and fallopian tube, but not the baby!

Here I am a couple of days after the laparoscopy, with a belly full of air from the procedure, still feeling pretty awful, but so grateful that I am twelve weeks pregnant.

ovarian torsion surgery

November 2015

I’m feeling fabulous for the first time in my pregnancy. We’re able to announce to the world the news that we’ve been wanting to shout from the rooftops: that¬† we are finally going to be parents!

December 2015

I make it to the halfway point in my pregnancy and am finally showing after a lot of weight loss in the first trimester.

February 2016

We go on a local-ish babymoon to western Massachusetts.

Eric Carle Museum

April 2016

Our daughter shocks us by arriving a few days earlier (I was convinced I’d go late) and by being a GIRL (we didn’t find out the sex and we were thinking it might be a boy)! We have an amazing intervention-free Hypnobirth (aside for lot of blood loss requiring a transfusion the next day).

Hypnobirthing

 

May 2016

Holy $hit. This newborn/fourth trimester thing is not joke. Our daughter continues to lag behind in weight gain, necessitating constant, round-the clock breastfeeding and pumping to increase my supply. Cue mommy blues, stress, and, worst of all, mixed feelings about this parenting thing. I had my placenta encapsulated in the hopes of it increasing my milk supply and helping keep away postpartum depression. While it didn’t help my supply, and I did suffer the normal “baby blues,” I’m thankful that I didn’t experience any PPD or PPA.

Placenta encapsulation

June 2016

Breastfeeding and baby’s weight gain continue to be hella difficult. We have her tongue tie fixed, but it doesn’t help. Finally, at the urging of our amazing nurse practitioner, we start to heavily supplement with formula. She’s also diagnosed with silent reflux. It still pains me to look at pictures of her from this time because looking at them now, I can see how underweight she looks. I didn’t know any different at the time; all I knew is that I was trying my hardest to give her everything I had and thought that if only I tried harder, maybe I could make enough.

July 2016

Our daughter is finally thriving on the combo feeding and Zantac, just in time for me to go back to work. I join the ranks of working, pumping moms and discover a whole new sisterhood. The husband is still home on school break, thank goodness, or going back to work would have been even more challenging. Things are still hard, but we are all much happier.

Spilled milk

When your supply is low, there is crying over spilled milk.

August 2016-March 2017

So many firsts, so much stress, and so much joy. I won’t bore you with the details right now, but suffice it to say that the first year of parenthood is a whirlwind! We start to find a parenting style, almost by mistake, that aligns with the way we feel about our role as parents, and quickly adopt many of the principles (but not all–we still need to go with our gut!) of RIE parenting. Janet Lansbury has become our go-to for any issues that arise.

April 2017

WH Baby’s first birthday! We also made it a year of breastfeeding, a goal I never thought I’d reach in those first few tough months, and continue to breastfeed through the present time, something I never thought in a million years that I would do.

First birthday

Summer 2017

We take our fist official family vacation! It was just a quick-ish trip to North Conway, NH, but it’s still a break from everything and the mountains just do something to revive the spirit.

North Conway, NH

Cheers to vacation!

After finding out late at 11 months postpartum that I had a mild case diastasis recti, it is now nearly gone, with a small 1.5-2″ gap still around the umbilicus, which is in the normal range. A huge part of my recovery was using Lindsay Brin’s Postnatal Slimdown, especially the progressive core exercises.¬† She also has a lot of free resources right on her YouTube page.

April 2018

I can’t believe that WH Baby, now WH Toddler, is already two! This little one is my absolute joy and what started as a tough relationship in those newborn days has developed into one of the greatest loves of my life. I am so grateful for her every single day and I’d go through everything again to have her.

Spring 2018

Whew….and here we are!

You may have noticed that I don’t share pictures of my daughter’s face here or on social media. I’ve struggled with this, as of course I think she’s the cutest thing around and want to show her off, but decided to err on the side of caution to protect her privacy and her wishes. Maybe when she’s older she’ll give me the okay to share her beautiful face with the world. But I want it to be her decision (and no judgments made to those who show their kids, because I love seeing them!).

I’m not sure what the future holds for me with blogging, but just writing this was a lot of fun. I would like to share my struggles with infertility, OHSS, a bit of my pregnancy and fitness and nutrition during it, giving birth, as well as the early struggles of parenthood, breastfeeding, and finding myself as a mother. I know that so much of my pregnancy, postpartum, parenting, and general life has been helped by reading others’ stories and I would like to pay it forward and do the same, especially if I can warn someone about OHSS.

Did anything here resonate with you?