Premature Ovarian Failure, Hawaii, & Blogging blues

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It wasn’t until today, that I’ve started thinking seriously about the possibility of having another baby, of adding to our family of three.

I just found out a few hours ago that an older friend’s daughter, at just 20 years old, has been diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Failure. They’re already calling her “post-menopausal.” At 20 freaking years old.

Surprisingly, this friend got a referral to the same endocrinologist, Dr. Chang, who helped make motherhood a reality for me. While I’m sure they’ll be in good hands, I know that the journey into exploration and options has only just begun for them… I’ve offered to send them recommendations of blogs to follow of woman who also have POF and who have gone on to have children of their own, via their own eggs or through egg donation. Science my friends, is a beautiful thing. And blogs about making babies with science, are just as beautiful! That’s what I told her. That reproductive endocrinology has come a long way. That they’ll be working with the very best. That I’m here for them. That there’s a whole community of fertility and POF bloggers out there just waiting to connect with them .

And then I thought about us, and adding to our family.

When I talk about myself and another child, I always say “if.” If, we’re blessed with a second. If, it happens naturally we’ll welcome baby number two. If, it doesn’t happen, then maybe we’ll just let it be. Our daughter is perfect. Mission Motherhood a success! Motherhood has truly been the most rewarding and awe-inspiring experience of my adult life, and I wouldn’t change a thing about all that led us here, but loving something this much is hard work. It takes time and tears and sacrifices. I still fit in writing and blogging and workouts of course, but my baby girl is numero uno on the priority list. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

But despite still breastfeeding and co-sleeping, more on that later, it feels amazing to have my body back. To feel sexy again. To workout so hard I sweat, without worrying about my milk supply or a gestating fetus. To wear clothes without a stretchy waist band, you know, on the days I actually change out of yoga clothes. To sleep on my back. To drink as much caffeine as I want. To be past the newborn stage. To have a child that walks and talks and gives a little back with her hugs and kisses.

The thought of going through all of it again sounds, well, horrible. There were things I loved about being pregnant, like the fact that I was able to experience one of the greatest miracles of all time, carrying a life, but beyond the intellectual joys of pregnancy, it sucked for me. I was depressed. And I was sick.

But now, today, after discussing the dwindling fertility of a woman 15 years my junior, I begin seriously considering trying again. And once we graduate from “not preventing,” to “actually trying,” and all of the OPKs and thermometers and sacrifices that entails, how long will we wait until we begin the reproductive sciences rate race all over again?

The answer, I don’t know yet. We’ll see. In the meantime, I’ll vacillate between hoping it happens naturally and hoping it doesn’t happen just yet. Is it weird that I feel guilty for being apprehensive about being pregnant again?

In other news, there’s never a dull moment here in the land of blogs and babies and big issues. Here’s an update on everything else that’s been going on with me, in tidy little paragraphs with bold headings.

Breastfeeding. I swear it seems like my 14 month old nurses more than ever. She gulps down both boobs three times a day, then up to three times at night. I can’t imagine I’ll get pregnant any time soon when I’m breastfeeding this much! And sleeping this little. I suppose night weaning needs to happen first, but when I’ve tried, hours of crying ensue. Maybe she’s just not ready? I’m not going to lie, it’s just easier to give her the boob when she wants it. And besides, there’s a reason my toddler has only gotten mildly sick twice in 14 months, and I’m sure breast-feeding isn’t hurting.

Sleep. She starts the night off in the crib then makes her way into our room by 11 every night. The 11 PM waking habit? Fully created by me. On nights she skips the wake up, I sometimes move her. Isn’t that awful? I think I have an issue to overcome here. I just sleep so much better when she’s right next to me though. And walking down the hall to get her in the middle of the night is truly a painful process. I’ve tripped on dogs and suitcases more times than I can count. I even stepped in dog poo once, that was a freaking blast at 2 AM, believe me.

Daphne. She walks. She talks. She’s learning to sing. To dance. To jump. She adores books, in fact, she demands them. She’s affectionate and sweet. She’s a problem solver. I’m obsessed with her, of course.

Blogging. I’m 6 weeks in to blogging at CredibleFeast.com. Turns out people don’t care that much about what synthetic vitamins might be doing to them. The lack of enthusiasm from the general blog reading public disappoints me at times, but I won’t give up. I believe in Credible Feast’s mission of encouraging people to trade their supplements for healthy food, and encouraging them to think twice before buying in to the latest fad pills and potions. And when I’m feeling really discouraged I remind myself that Rome wasn’t built-in a day! These things take time and energy, both of which I don’t have much of these days. I also have a new project I’m launching. Re-branding FitnessWhore.com to Barre Honey. Am I nuts for taking on another project? Probably. But I thrive on it. Someday, somehow, one of these “projects” will yield some sort of income, I’m sure of it (she says with toes, fingers, and eyes crossed).

Novel writing. Editing continues. I’ve made it through 17 chapters of round 1. My first novel doesn’t completely suck, but there is serious revising and rewriting in my future. I know what’s good and Ghosts of Rodeo just isn’t there it, not even close. Enter thoughts on Rome here as well.

Hawaii. We were there for 12 days working on an investment property. Being back on the mainland is depressing. Oahu feels like my home. Someday I hope we can move there, but for now adjusting to PST with a toddler is challenging. Jet lag is real.

My brother. Is currently in federal jail awaiting trial. For sending threatening emails to a FBI agent after his sojourn to Egypt. The good news, he’s on meds. The bad news, he’s been in jail now for weeks, only allowed an hour out of his cell once a day. So much needs to be done to reform our care of the mentally ill, those in jail and on the streets, that I don’t even know where to begin. Stories for another time. Projects for the future.

My issues. Because of my childhood history, every person of the male gender is a potential predator. I trust no one. Even my poor husband falls prey to my suspicion at times. But thank God for him because he lets me talk it through. Still, I’m often paralyzed with anxiety. I’d truly give my own life to protect my child from suffering as I have.

My dog. Is miraculously still alive. Whether it’s not cancer or a slow-growing form, I feel so blessed that we’ve been given 5 more months with him. His incontinence is hard to deal with in a house that already smells like baby poop, but love means taking the good with the bad, ruined carpet and all.

Any tips for overcoming childhood pain? For night weaning? For pointing my friend’s daughter with POF in the right direction? Thanks ladies (and a few gents too) for always being there for me. You make my adventures in blog land so much more fun!

 

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7 comments

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  1. amommasview

    Hawaii feels like the home of my soul to me, so I totally get what you’re saying. I completely understand the joy of feeling sexy again and wearing normal clothes and I totally understand that you go get your baby at night to have her close. Mine are much older and I still enjoy when they sneak into our bed to cuddle up. It won’t do any damage. You offer her warmth and support and the knowledge that there is a welcoming and safe “nest”. In my books that’s the best thing you can give her: Security. I also agree with your opinion on supplements and healthy food. Loved this post heaps!

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    • Steph Mignon

      “The home of my soul!” describes Hawaii perfectly for me. I actually went to college there and have been vying to get back every since… And thank you for the insight on co-sleeping 🙂 Love hearing from mommas who have been through what I’m going through!

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  2. jebhow515

    Breastfeeding: I could have written that paragraph about my 13 month old. The kid just loves his boobie time! NO stopping anytime soon. And with co-sleeping….well I might get to sleep someday.
    About future babies: I had NO desire to do this….until this past week. Itty bitty babies are making my ovaries skip a beat. It scares the Ba-JEsus out of me!!
    Your brother: Ugh. I am a teacher and work in special ed. I see this all the time and I can’t wait until America finally takes this shit seriously. I am so sorry your family has to go thru this. I think about this story often.
    The dog: Another Ugh…My cat is 20. I am waiting for this to start happening in my house!! No bueno.

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    • Steph Mignon

      Can you move to Valencia so we can hang out? We clearly have lots in common and would have lots to talk about! Glad to hear that I am not the only one with a boob hungry, co sleeping cutie pie. My ovaries haven’t quite started barking yet, but they’re whimpering a bit. Also thank you for understanding about the brother thing… our hope is that they sentence him to a program. That’s what he needs. That’s what the world needs actually! More programs THAT WORK for the mentally ill. And your cat is 20? WOOOOW! May we all have pets that live so long!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. cassiedash

    What an update, but it was good to hear from you!

    I’m really sorry to hear about your brother, though. It makes me sad for all those suffering from mental illness. So often it seems like there are so little resources for those who need it the most.

    And that’s a whole lot of breastfeeding for a 14-month-old! But I wholeheartedly believe in doing what works for you. (Same is true for the co-sleeping.) Obviously, you’d probably prefer not to be waking so much in the night, but if the feeding is better than the crying for you, then why not? I imagine, at some point, you’ll realize it’s NOT working for you or her anymore and then you’ll be motivated to do something about it. Until then…just enjoy those midnight snuggles as much as you can. Those moments really are so fleeting.

    And as for the childhood trauma…I hear you. Like really, really hear you and when you said that sometimes you even turn your suspicions towards your husband, I breathed a sigh of relief, because I have worried that maybe *I* was the only abuse survivor who has done that. Not being able to fully trust any man sucks. And it sucks even more now that my oldest is getting older and I can’t (and don’t want to) keep her by my side every second of every day. Preschool, Sunday school, playdates…figuring out how to keep her safe without “overprotecting” her is a challenge. All of that to say…I have no great advice for dealing with this, except to keep talking about it and to face and embrace (rather than hide from) whatever you feel in any particular moment. Be honest with yourself and give yourself permission to do what needs to be done to give you peace and comfort when you need it. xo

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    • Steph Mignon

      Thank you so much for sharing that with me! It feels so good to know that I’m not the only abuse survivor who worries like this. It ebbs and flows, but it’s always there. And you’re right, D is nursing A LOT! I think the first step for us is night weaning. I dread the crying, but I think it’ll be good for her to get better sleep. Thanks again for sharing your fears about protecting your daughter – I can 100% relate.

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