Saturday, January 30, 2010

All of it...

If you haven't heard yet, we did not get pregnant. More about that later.

A couple of weeks ago I was sitting in the recliner watching the kids go to sleep. It was a partially sunny day with those perfect puffy clouds drifting by. The room would get dimmer then brighter as they passed, and I could hear the sound of the breeze in the trees. Days like this always stick in my mind. They are my idea of the perfect day no matter what the temperature. There is a sense of peace, happiness & love conveyed to my mind and body on these days. I hope my kids will feel these feelings and memory triggers as they go through life.

Blake has been in the 70-80 percentile whenever we go the doctors from about 4 months on. He is definitely big for his age, but not ginormous like Madison {generally 100%}. What he does have are massive hands! Thick chunky long fingers with a wide palm. It's like when you see a large breed puppy with his huge paws. I wonder if Blake will be quite tall despite his only slightly above average growth chart. For sure I'd say he'll be 6 foot. Other then looking so much like Guy in the face, he reminds me a lot of my mom's father. It's things like his head shape, those strange looking toes, and his build with a little of his crazy personality thrown in. My grandpa was the kind of guy who hung out in his boxer shorts on those hot Arizona summer days. He wouldn't care who was coming over they were welcome into his home while he lounged around in his boxers watching sports. He was always slim, funny & interesting. My grandma tells the story of how she first met him at Tempe beach park next to the Salt River standing near the road watching him careen around the corner on two wheels. He pursued my gorgeous 6' tall grandmother with all his energy. Blake seems to have his energy and thirst for life.

My January was spent with the single minded focus of becoming pregnant. We thought it would work along with pretty much everyone else. I think we thought by doing the exact same type of fertility cycle we did to get the twins we would be successful despite it having taken almost 5 years to get pregnant with the twins. I do know I probably would not have had any yearly exams or even insurance if it wasn't for us trying. Wednesday I'll be going in to check out the polyp to confirm its existence & set up a surgery date. All of this has also inspired me to get a physical too. When did I get so old my physical involves TWO appointments, x-rays, & an EKG in addition to blood work, pap & a physical exam? Wow, it is a bit crazy getting old enough for all of this. Once the surgery is complete and the physical goes perfectly I'll be all ready to drop my insurance that costs $50o per month {yes, just for me}, has a high deductible & large copays.

We decided prior to trying for another baby it would be our last attempt due to the cost and emotional aspect. Of course, I knew if it didn't work I'd be ready to change my mind and try again. Guy assured me he was definitely not going to change his mind if it didn't work. When we found out we weren't pregnant by the very definite start of my period we were both sad. I was glad to have some time alone as it was after the kids went to bed & guy hadn't returned from his trip. Everyone knows Guy is a 'Do it now' when you think of it kind of person, but I can also be this way from time to time. After having a day to process our failure it was time to clear out all the stuff we had been saving for our next child. Guy let me know he wasn't ready for me to do that. I don't know if this means he'll change his mind about trying after my surgery is complete or if he just needs more time to process our loss.

I do think of it as a loss. Our kids are each unique individuals who bring so much joy, mischief, love, interest, peace & anger {basically they add it all!} to our lives. We would have welcomed the opportunity to meet another of our Heavenly Father's children into our lives to experience all they had to offer. This is what I feel we have lost. This opportunity to meet another unique individual & be a part of his or her life on this earth. Ever since realizing I actually wanted children as an adult {definitely did not prior to being an adult} 3 felt like a perfect number. It still does, but I am also very happy with our 2. Being a mom has turned out to be way cooler then in my imagination.

I'm not sure if Blake has a mean streak or if he does these things our of exuberance. With Madison it is definitely out of anger. With other people & their kids I really think {hope} it is him not knowing his own strength. He does show signs of great compassion & loves to make people feel better when they are sad or upset. When he pets a dog it's pretty much like he's taking a swing at it in an attempt to pet. Whenever he has injured a fellow child/baby it is only when no one is watching. This frustrates me to no end. I certainly do not want to be the parent of 'The Bully'. Who does. Check out poor Riley's face below. She got her wounds the day before when we hung out at their house. The photos are at Marbles kids museum in Raleigh.
WH Jan30 10 2

On another note. Madison's hair is getting longer finally. The bangs are now about an inch from being easily tucked behind her ears. YAY! She will let me put her hair up or back, but only for about half of a day. So most of the time it's hanging in her eyes right now. And I actually like it that way. There is just something so impish & not so put together about it. Adorable. The mirrors were a lot of fun. The shot of me with the distorted face & the kids in the background all blurry & dreamy looking is so cool.
WH Jan30 10 1
Madison's face scratches are from Blake too. Sigh...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Join the fun!

Become a fan of my new Lifelong Impressions Facebook fan page. AND if 600 fans join by February 6th I'll be giving away a free session to one of the lucky fans by random drawing to take place by the end of February 2010. In the first 15 minutes of going live 8 fans already joined! I think we'll be able to make it! Spread the word. I can't wait to see you all over there.

9 Days after ovulation - Infertility SUCKS!!!

WH Jul22 09 1

Here's an oldie but goodie picture of Madison. It's a little like I feel right now.

I'm sure most of the reason I feel this way is the excess of hormones I'm taking for this fertility cycle. This morning I went to the doctor for possible over stimulation of my ovaries. My tummy is really swollen & I look 4 months pregnant. He took a look to find only a few small cysts in each ovary. No biggie. He said the swelling and discomfort was most likely from the excess progesterone hormone I am on. While doing the ultrasound he saw what looks like a polyp in my uterus. A polyp is a tree like growth that can do a great job of preventing an embryo from implanting. Not a good thing to see. He said it looks large too. His advice was to come in for a hydro sonogram if we don't get pregnant to confirm it then have it removed.

This new finding really decreases our chances even more. My hopefulness has gone bu-bye. Oh well. I'll be totally and completely shocked if this works for us. If it doesn't we'll just need to be happy with being a family of 4. How much more grateful I am right now we were able to have twins when we successfully got pregnant last time. It was a miracle and continues to bless our lives every day as we experience these two adorable children learning and growing in front of our eyes.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Quick blog update

My two week wait to see if our fertility treatment worked or not is going by very slowly. It is only day 5 of 14. I know we'll find out soon enough, but the suspense is not so fun. Then if we do get a positive {remember only a 20% chance} we'll have to wait a couple more weeks for an ultrasound to see a heartbeat. Mostly the ultrasound will be to see 'how' successful our cycle is if we get a positive result. Guy is pretty much convinced it didn't work. Maybe it's the fear of adding a third child into our very happy foursome. Four is great. We fit most places, people haven't turned us away from staying at their house on trips. We fit well into our cars & can borrow a normal car on trips. We have very much enjoyed being a foursome. I think most people panic a little when going for an extra kid & they can actually be pregnant with no turning back.

It's been lovely outside with super awesome temperatures. We had a spectacular sunset with a rainbow I couldn't even fit into my wide angle camera frame. The kids loved it. I started putting short sleeves on the last couple days. Once they go on I almost cry when having to put the long sleeve ones back on with the inevitable return of cold. The same cannot be said when fall brings out the long sleeves for the first time. It is always exciting for me to put the short sleeve ones back on. Oh, and I am dreaming of open toed shoes too!

I have about 5 pairs of good shoes to give away in size 9 1/2 to 10. Let me know if you are interested. My feet are pretty much officially a gargantuan 11 now. Poor me. At least I am tall with monster feet. There is always a positive to anything.

If anyone has some boy shoes in a 7 1/2 or 8 they would like to get rid of we are in need. Blake is now out of his 7's with only one pair of 7 1/2 tennis shoes to wear. No church shoes. I cannot get myself to lay out $17 for a new pair at Target. Hitting all the resale shops when the need is upon us is usually a waste of time. They never have them when I Need them, but they are always there when it's a size or two ahead. It's been a few months since we went to any resale shops.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sweet news!

Today I had my follow up u/s after starting the stimulation shots each night. I can't believe my old little ovaries have performed so well. I have 3-4 eggies ready to go! So today I gave myself the shot to make me ovulate. That is a few days faster then I thought it would be. Crazy. The follicles surrounding my eggs were nice and big too. There was a 21mm, 17.5mm, 17mm and a 'maybe' follie at 14mm. This means I will ovulate tomorrow sometime and begin the two week wait to test. Only two weeks until we find out if all this worked.

WH Jan13 09 1

Oh, and the coolest part about being ready so quickly. The $300 in meds I would have had to order today is not necessary!!! I also don't have to go back to the doctor unless I get a positive pregnancy test. Nice.

We still really only have about a 20% chance of this resulting in a pregnancy. Also, each of those 3-4 eggs only has a 20% chance of becoming a baby. We definitely still need those prayers right now that this will work for us.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Lifelong Impressions is alive and well!!! ha ha

S&G Photography is no longer a dual branded business. It is now Lifelong Impressions! Check out my new website and blog looks. Do you love the difference as much as I do? Let me know!!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Tonight was my 3rd night of shots. It's already seeming to fly by, but then we aren't at the two week wait to test yet either. Once we get there it will most likely be a different story. Guy and I will work on being 'friendly' with each other. I was thinking about the whole making an appointment basically. Most people say that it isn't a great experience when you have to make baby making an appointment. Really, what is a Honeymoon or Friday night date if not an appointment? People make appointments to get intimate all the time. My next appointment is on Wednesday for an u/s and bloodwork. The u/s will be to look at my ovaries to see what the stimulation drugs are doing to help the follicles develop maturing the eggs. We're hoping to see about 4 good sized ones that will make it to a mature state when we trigger ovulation {another shot for me}. With Blake & Madison we estimate there were 4 mature eggs released. Each egg has about a 20% chance of success which is why we are hoping for 4 to get one baby.

Our cute Blake on his tricycle for the first time Christmas morning.
WH Jan10 09 1

Products we love

I've decided to add a new section to this blog called products I love. We aren't like everyone else and make some not so common decisions. Everyone who has tried a product I recommend has LOVED it. This post will be updated often as I post stuff in my normal posts and copy the relevant bits to this post. It will also be linked directly from my top bar.

I'd like to start with two of my favorite products.


Babies 8 wks 167

Most people end up buying at least strollers before their child is done with them. Why? Because they go for what everyone else does. I really think that's it. If you get a very nice stroller the first time there will be no need to buy another one. Of course, there is buying a one seater then having a second child in a short enough time you need to buy a two seater. Luckily, a very nice stroller also has a very good resale value! Sell it and buy a two seater nice stroller when you are ready. I'm a fan of Baby Jogger. They have strollers with big wheels, great suspension, big covers, adjustable hand bars, easy handling {think 1 finger}, and are super solid. Most of their strollers also come with an add on to fit infant carriers {not sure about the doubles}.

Us May09 1831

For twins: My opinion is skip the stroller that fits the car seats. They aren't in them for that long & the money would be better spent on a one awesome stroller. Most of the strollers that fit two car seats are pretty flimsy overall and hard to push when the conditions are not perfect. We got the Baby Jogger City Series double and have been using it since the twins were born. It's been a dream. Most of the other twins moms I know have purchased at least one additional stroller after the first. We feel purchasing the City Double has been cost effective overall. We have used it in all weather conditions, all terrain & traveled with it extensively. It handles like a dream and glides along. LOVE IT! We got ours new on Ebay for $400. This side by side stroller also fits through all standard doorways.
Us Aug09_1574

High Chair:
Us May09 2028

We love the Fischer Price Space Saver. It fits anywhere, is sturdy & converts to a booster. We started using them when the babies were about 2-3 months for bottle feedings. It transitioned well to first foods with it's reclined positions. Most of the time we used the chairs on the floor. We took them with us to restaurants when they weren't big enough to fit into the high chairs provided. The kids felt like they were part of the group instead of an infant seat on the floor/sling or in the stroller. The two seats easily fit base to base with the handles making one handle making them easy to carry. We took them to friends houses & still do. Try Thanksgiving with no kids on your lap! Currently we have them converted to boosters on bar stools at the counter. The kids love to watch me make their food & snack on the healthy things I put in front of them they wouldn't eat if they were on a plate with the rest of their food {Thanks Jessica Sienfeld! I don't like many of the recipies, but that tip alone was worth it}.
Babies 7 months 1208
Babies 7 months 1639

Friday, January 8, 2010

Rushing, Hurting & Lost

That surely doesn't sound like a very positive title! Really it's not all that bad.

Tuesday night had a very long session of getting rid of Blake's most recent Charlie Horse around 11:00pm. Madison was also upset the entire 35 minutes I was massaging his leg trying to lay on my moving arms, lap or wherever she could get her whinny self onto me. As soon as the pain subsided Blake was ready to go to sleep. Madison was good and upset for the slight of not being able to properly cuddle her while tending to Blake. It wasn't until I lost my patience at 1:00 am and yelled at her that, I NEEDED her to get into her own bed and not make a peep because she was asleep. Madison took about 2 minutes while cuddling on my lap/shoulder to tell me, "Yes" she would do that. What not even two year old gets all that, makes up her mind & then does it? Strange girl.

I didn't sleep well the night before last. Even though I was all set and ready to head to bed at 10:30 it was somehow midnight when my head hit the pillow. At 4:00 am both kids were wide awake with Madison not so happy to be woken up with super chipper brother who knows how to turn the light on. It took about 30 minutes to get him back to sleep {she was out in 2-3}. However, I was still not really having my cycle begin like it should & started worrying my appointment was made too quickly. There went another 45 minutes of missed sleep over that. Poor Guy about lost his head when he got home at 5:00am and left the kids door open after checking on them. I wanted them happily playing in their room for a while since I didn't get enough sleep.

My cycle finally started a bit more just prior to my appointment. Enough that she didn't make me come back today for another ultra sound {from now on u/s}. My ovaries looked great with little atrial follicles starting to develop. Follicles are what grow around an egg to mature it in preparation for it to release upon ovulation. Most cycles a woman will have several follicles start to mature with only one released at ovulation. Fraternal twins which occur in about 1 out of 250 pregnancies occur when more then one egg is released. Recent studies are showing much higher rates of twin pregnancies then professionals ever suspected because more doctors offices are doing early pregnancy u/s between 7-10 weeks. Many twin pregnancies end up as one if one twin does not make it early on. Anyway, sorry about the side track. My uterine 'stripe' as Reproductive Endocrinologists {RE} call it looked pretty thick. Since I hadn't really gotten a good flow yet that was to be expected. She gave the go for my cycle.

Today I gave myself the first shot in the stomach. Since we are not doing the insemination at the RE's office I moved the shot time to 4pm instead of 6pm as the 6pm is so the insemination can be timed right. 4:00 pm works better for me as Guy will always be around to make sure I don't space giving myself a shot at exactly the right time.

My friend, Lisa, who so kindly agreed to come with me to the doctors was great company. She asked if it would be OK to stop by the home school store to buy Kailyn a new math workbook. Yep, no worries. We drove to find her nearest bank who had a monster line to get through. Then we decided to go by the company to pick up my order of PreSeed & a few cheap pregnancy tests. What happened next is pure funky. We called the office to get directions as neither of us knew the town of Morrisville very well. She was put on hold right away and mentioned the lady was not all there. After talking to her for the next five minutes to try and get directions she was put on hold for another 3-4 minutes. Lisa said the lady really didn't sound all there. "A dingbat?" I asked. "Yep!" Hmmmm, we should have tried another way right then. Instead we got some directions after another 5 minutes. We got on the road and started following them. Lisa realized looking at the directions she wrote down they was no way they were right. She called back only to get the dingbat again. She clarified the directions. Twenty minutes later we were almost exactly back where we started after making a giant circle. The last six miles back to origin we were stuck with no turn around! We called her husband, Travis, to find out she was trying to make us turn onto a street {name change} that was the same street in the opposite direction right where we turned onto the street we were on. He could not find our destination street in any of the mapping programs he looked at. Ughhh. So since she told us it was right off that street we headed all the way back and down the correctly named street. After leaving the town by a couple miles we decided that can't be right and called back. They told us it was off the other named side of the street. Well then why in the world did that dingbat even mention the other named side? This means we passed their location TWICE. Yes, twice. It also means it was only 10 minutes from our original location. It took 50 minutes from the start of the first phone call to the moment I walked in the door. They should have given me a $5 discount. Instead the very competent lady they had working there who just arrived {oh I wish she had come in early to give us directions} listened to my frustration nicely. She could have offered me a bit of a discount, but instead she nicely said, "Hmmmm, didn't get directions before you left." Well, no I had two rough nights & not enough time to do it before we left for my appointment. Next time I'll be sure to print directions or have the GPS with me. That's for sure!

By the way, PreSeed is a sperm friendly product to help with conception. Women have natural cervical fluid that supports sperm the most right at ovulation. With this product you can use it several days earlier since sperm life up to five days increasing the chances of pregnancy & a girl if you are so inclined. Am I repeating myself? It feels like I've said this before, but I often 'write' posts in my head that are never posted.

Tonight was my first shot. It didn't hurt at all going in. It didn't hurt administering it. The injection site did hurt a little later on though. I don't remember it hurting at all unless I hit a vein last time. Maybe it's my tiredness.

The light at the end of tunnel just might be a darling newborn like this! Our friends, Rich and Allison, welcomed this little sweetie into their family last week. I got to spend 3 hours with them on Tuesday photographing their family. There are too many great shots to pick a favorite. This one is showing off the newest prop I made which is called a stork pouch.
SG Jan06 09 3

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy New Year

Happy New Year, everyone!!!

I have a great post half finished. Part of the reason is so many things keep happening I'd like to add. The other part is any spare moment is dedicated to designing the new website, blog, shopping cart & attacking the redo of all our paperwork. Those cute design helps for great wall displays in your home will also be offered as packages in the shopping cart to make like really easy! Love it!

Our friends just had a baby boy I get to photograph tomorrow. It will be my youngest newborn session yet at only 5 days old. The younger the better! In honor of his birth I made a cool new stork pouch with a picture off the internet and a knitting ring. Give me a pattern and it will be a failure. Give me a photo, memory, idea or item in person and I can make it. How weird is that. I really don't even know how to knit and did it! OK, so it was finished off with crochet since I had no idea how to get it off the ring and finished.

It's now a waiting game for my cycle to start so we can begin our fertility treatment. The gamble on waiting to order my meds until today paid off. I ordered about 1/2 the drugs I need which set us back about $200. One drug they prescribe I've never had to use and our out of pocket cost alone is $300. I decided to hold off on it so we can get a better guess as the time gets closer. Then if they want me to take it I can get it the next day. You know, going at this a second time after being sucessful {having Blake & Madison}, I find the road much easier to navigate. There isn't this HUGE learning curve there was the first 5 years.

I've also lined up a friend for going to the doctor with me. Since my appointments will be me getting a vaginal ultra sound it would be hard {try almost impossible} for me to take them by myself. Yeah, I don't think they would appreciate me trying to take them into the room with me! Though really, if it came down to it, I would take them and darn those docs anyway if they didn't wanted to treat me with them in tow.


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