Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"Scoot down a little bit more...now one more little bit..."

Yep, so after delaying it for as long as possible, it's time for my annual exam. I cannot begin to tell you how much I DETEST having a pap smear. Ironic, right? Considering it's how I make a living? Somehow being on the other end of the speculum is a whole lot worse than performing the exam. Interesting how my first thoughts are," CRAP! I don't have time for a wax, I'm gonna have to shave my legs and paint my toenails." Quite honestly, the only thing we usually ask for is that the patient bathes. We could care less about hair, nails (well, unless they smell like corn chips) or what kind of socks you wear. But, here I am being all neurotic like a little teenager going to the "Clinic" for the first time.

I guess another issue is the fact that now my obstetrical history has changed. Last time I had a pap, my paperwork said G1P1, meaning I have been pregnant one time and have had one delivery. This year, I have to change the paperwork to reflect my second pregnancy which ended before it even had a chance. So, now and forevermore, I will at least be a G2P1A1...meaning I have been pregnant two times, delivered one baby, and have had one ectopic pregnancy (well call it "A" for abortion, which kinda encompasses all early pregnancy losses). Yet another deep reminder of the miserable year that Brad and I have had. I guess it doesn't help that I am on the last day of the Provera, which tends to make me a bit emotional.

On to Miss Libby...

Over the weekend Miss Libby, being the typical toddler that she is, had a few tantrums. Now, if you know me at all, you understand what a trying and difficult time that this has been for me. Libby's recent tantrums have caused me great distress and discouragement. My previously precious, most perfect little baby, has morphed into this little ball of toddler craziness. I know it will pass, I know she is two. However, it's still hard to handle as a mom. Especially when you have constant criticism all around. Even the people with the best intentions have a thought on her tantrums. It's true, but it's tough to hear criticism about your child. Especially from people who you think understnad what you are going through. Having said that, Libby has recently been called a variety of "labels". The toughest to swallow was the gift of "The most stubborn toddler" and "Little Bossy". I take it a bit personally. I know that I am also an independent, strong willed individual. But, to hear someone call my little princess "bossy" and "stubborn" in front of her, is a label that I am not ready to attach to her two year old self. I would rather like to look at this phase as her "strong willed, independent, power struggle phase". I know it will pass. It has too. And in the end, my little one will be a strong willed, independent, powerful woman who knows what she wants in life and will stop at nothing to achieve it! I know we have good days and bad days, but for goodness sakes, please be patient with me. I am a first time mom, and she didn't come with instructions!! Brad and I are doing the best we know how too. We are trying to follow James Dobson's plan for the "Strong Willed Child". Yes, we discipline her, yes, she is stubborn, but she is also only two! So, basically, if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything. Oh, and if you see a stressed out blonde in scrubs trying to wrestle a cute little brunette princess into her buggy at Publix, please don't just stare and talk about it, offer to help me!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Post Holiday Bloating...

Well, here we are on Cyber Monday. This weekend passed way too quickly for me! I absolutely love Thanksgiving, the food, the fun, the family "quality time". I especially enjoyed all of the extra time with my little cuddle bug. She provided a weekend of adorable cuddling and fun, sprinkled with tantrums, outbursts of whining and wailing, and a few spankings to boot! Perhaps the highlight of the weekend was during a particular "trying" tantrum, Brad took over and decided to give her a very serious daddy-daughter talk. Libby was sobbing hysterically when she stopped long enough to say, "Daddy, could you slow down talking please!" I had to leave the room because I was laughing so hard.

We decided to brave the mall on Saturday and take Libby to meet Santa. In the past, Libby has screamed at every Santa picture opportunity. I was a bit nervous, since Brad wasn't with us. However, this particular Santa was very mild and pleasant and Libby was in a particularly pleasant mood. It worked to our advantage and we finally got a picture of Libby with Santa! Libby told Santa in a very small whisper that she would like a "Belle doll and a Cinderella carriage". Santa nodded and smiled and handed her the obligatory Christmas coloring book from his big red bag. As soon as we sat Libby back in the stroller, she burst into tears! "Santa forgot to give me my Belle doll!" So, crisis adverted, we explained the Santa rules about being good and waiting until Christmas Eve. Saturday night, she had an early Christmas with Brad's parents. She must have been a very good girl, because she got a new Belle doll with a special pink horse for Belle to ride. Libby was all smiles. She later told me, "Santa made the Belle dolls, Nana just had to pay him!"

So, despite my hormonal rages (almost done with the Provera) and Libby's tantrums, we survived the holiday. Now, if my bank account can only survive the next month, we will be in business!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Full of Thanks...

So, here on this eve of Thanksgiving, I am reminded of the things that I am truly thankful for. I remember the holidays early in my marriage. Brad always worked in retail, so we were stuck in Nashville the first two years, unable to travel because of his work schedule. Those were tough years, lonely, sad, not the holidays I was used too. Now, here I am six years into my marriage and things are so much different. All because of a little princess with big brown eyes.

There is something so magical about the holidays when you are surrounded by children. Even if they aren't your own, nieces and nephews and cousins are wonderful! Children are just so innocent and precious, and the holidays are so new and fun for them. Holidays are so much better when you are surrounded by them. Before Libby, I was blessed to have Brad's precious little nieces, and then later, we were blessed to have Bethany's little boy. Now, our family is growing and it's so exciting to see the "next generation" of our family scampering about, squealing, laughing and running around.

So, I am thankful that before I became a mommy, I got to be an aunt and a cousin to some remarkable little ones. Every year with Libby seems to make the holidays a little better and better. Every year we add new traditions.

I am also thankful for a patient husband. This hormonal roller coaster I am on has wrecked havoc on my emotional well being. Provera is the devil. It will be over soon. It's like ten days of horrible PMS followed by the period from...well, you get the idea.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

My fancy pearly girls!


Okay, so on to my journey to make Libby a big sister. Dr Butler (my reproductive endocrinologist) doesn't want to see me again until February. After the ectopic pregnancy in September, he said I needed to give my little body a break from all of the shots, hormones and poking and prodding of fertility treatments. As much as I understand the science behind taking a "break", it's still no fun to have to put off a potential pregnancy for another several months. Each month that passes is another month that goes by that I am not pregnant. I realize that I am only 28, and according to the world's standards, that is still pretty darn young. However, according to the fertility world, 28 is a little bit closer to the magic age of 30. After 30, your fertility begins to decline. I don't need anymore declining in that department!! So, the past three months have been a waste of my precious fertile moments. After the D&C in September, I haven't had a period since. I tried three weeks of Progesterone supplements followed by a break, hoping that would initiate "things". No such luck. So, then I turned to the most dreaded of pills in the eyes of the infertile couple...I began birth control pills. YUCK! Now, as a Nurse Practitioner, my specialty is all things "womanly". I know all about pills and rings and everything else that can prevent you from getting pregnant. I also know all about telling other women how to get pregnant. Unfortunately, it's easier said than done. And of course, other women have ovaries and uteri that actually like to function properly.

So, here we are three months past the D&C, still no period. So, the RE suggested I have another ultrasound and draw some blood to check some hormones. Grr...after experiencing an ectopic pregnancy, my poor little blood vessels are sore and tired of being picked on! I do believe I have had more ultrasounds than the entire team of OBGYN surrogates that Vanderbilt's school of medicine employs (that's a LOT). So, after lunch I had said sono and routine blood work.

It would appear that after all of these years of medications, surgeries and testing, my sweet little ovaries have developed a very unsweet string of tiny cysts around the periphery. I have never had such dysfunctional ovaries in my entire life :(. So, on we go. I will now begin a ten day course of additional hormones and various medications in hope that at the end, I will finally have a period and we can finally proceed with whatever pills and shots are necessary. I really love pearls and all things girly, but really, this is a bit much!

I guess at the end of the day, I would go through all of this all over again if it meant that I got another sweet little one. My desire for a second child is just as strong, if not stronger, than it was when I was praying and patiently waiting for Libby. The only difference is that now I know how wonderful she is. I know how wonderful it is to have her. I know how wonderful it feels to have her kicking in my tummy, and then watching her sleep at night. I know how wonderful she smells fresh out of the bath, and how wonderful her sweet little mouth curls up when she is sleeping. I know how wonderful it feels to have her cuddled in my arms, and how wonderful it sounds to hear her call me "mommy". Before she was born, I could only imagine how it would be to have a baby. I could never truly comprehend how challenging, yet wonderful this journey has been.

When I was trying to get pregnant with Libby, I used to become so frustrated with women who had already given birth, who were complaining about having subsequent children. I used to think, "why can't they be happy with what they already have? Don't they understand I don't even have one baby?" Now I understand that it's just as hard the second and third time around.

I also realize and understand the God really does want me to have the desires of my heart. My desire is to have another child. However, if for some reason, it is not in  God's will for me to have more children, I will be content.It will be difficult, but I will take comfort in the one beautiful child I have and spoil her rotten. I will cherish every single moment with her. I will enjoy every single second of her life. I will enjoy having nieces and nephews, and  I will enjoy seeing my sisters become mothers. My life is going to be full no matter the number of "biological" children in my family.

My weekend of Libby

I love having Fridays off. Four day work weeks are tough, but the weekend is such a reward! Plus, I get invaluable Libby time during my three day weekends. Friday, I took Libby to Chickfila for an early lunch and playtime at the indoor playplace. I have learned something about Chickfila on Hwy 96. It is THE place for SAHM to gather with their children to play. Of course they all meet weekly, and therefore they all know each other and their little Playdates are a regular occurence. I have also learned that there exists this phenomenon of "Mommy-rivalry". I thought that after highschool, the "mean-girls" of society grew up and moved on with their lives. No such luck. Apparently, the "mean-girls" simply grew up, married well, and now meet weekly at Chickfila with their minivans, SUV's and precious little ones. Apparently, they still don't play well with others. They don't like outsiders and they don't welcome moms who are only able to come to "Mother's morning out" once a week. Libby and I played by ourselves and enjoyed a few precious moments of being together. We then went to pick out Aunt Amy's birthday present.

Libby was so excited to sit on the floor with me in the middle of The Lamb's well, picking out funky beads and colored stones to string together for Amy's bracelet. She giggled and wiggled and ran around trying to make the "most perfect" bauble bracelet she possibly could. I think we made a pretty good team. The bracelet turned out pretty well. Amy's birthday wasn't until Sunday, but apparently Libby couldn't contain her excitement for two more whole days. As soon as she saw Amy on Saturday she proudly exclaimed, "Aunt Mamie, we buyed you a bracelet yesterday!" Amy smiled and looked at me and said, "Oh, was that supposed to be a surprise for my birthday tomorrow?"  :)

After a weekend of Shopping, Christmas decorating and playing, Libby was tired by Sunday evening. Brad and I were getting ready for choir practice and she sat on our bed flipping through her photo album of baby pictures. I sat down next to her and said, "Libby, what are you doing?" She didn't look up from her pictures, but calmly replied, "Checkin out MY facebook." Priceless.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Libby Lou saying the Pledge

Some of my favorite Libbyisms...

Libby and I were at the pool this summer a LOT. One particular day, we were enjoying the sun in the shallow end. We were talking when she suddenly "passed gas"... she looked up at me to see what I would say. "Elizabeth Reece!" I cried," what are you supposed to say?" She looked up at me very sweetly and responded, " smell it?"

I was driving Libby home from school some time last year, and she was singing in the backseat. She was singing a new song..."It sucks to be me..." I was mortified and called Brad to inform him that our child was a cussing sailor. He laughed and told me that she had heard it on his morning radio show that day. He assured me he would talk to her about not using "potty words" that evening. Later that night (before her daddy-talk), she was sitting on the potty patiently waiting to "earn her piece of candy for going pee pee." She was having a very hard time actually going pee pee and was getting very frustrated. I told her that it would be okay to wait and try in the morning. She was determined to go and was very upset that she wasn't going to earn her candy. She sighed deeply, hung her head in her hands and sang,"It sucks to be me".....

Since I am a Women's Health NP, I am trying to teach Libby the anatomically appropriate words for her body parts, etc, this gets me into all types of trouble. Libby also has a bad habit of following me into the bathroom and watching my every move. One particular day, we were in Target shopping. I had to go to the bathroom, so of course she insisted on following me. While in the stall, I had to reach into my purse for my "supplies". Libby looked at me intently. She then spoke very loudly for the rest of the bathroom to hear, "Mommy, why you have to change your Coupon again?" I was so glad that my embarrassment was so hysterical for the other five women in the restroom that day.

Libby loves the Sesame Street songs that I have downloaded on my phone for her to listen to. She knew all the songs and liked to listen to them while I was driving. One night she was very frustrated because I wasn't playing the song she wanted to listen to. I was trying to figure out which song she wanted. She kept singing, " The Skateboard song mommy...the skateboard song!" Amanda and I both tried to figure out which song she wanted. Finally her little fingers pressed the right button. The song was, "We all sing with the same voice", but her sweet little voice began singing (what she thought it said) " we all be wiss a skate board, a skate board, a skate board"...Amanda and I were hysterical!

Don't worry, there are many more to come! My child is an endless source of amusement and joy!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Round Two

It's been quite some time since I have attempted a blog. I must admit that I miss putting my feelings into words. When I was trying to get pregnant with Libby and during my subsequent pregnancy, I found great comfort in writing down my thoughts, fears and dreams. One day, Libby will be able to read that blog (if she so desires) and understand how much she was wanted and loved. I want her to know how I longed for a baby, and how she was prayed for years before she was here. It was also very therapeutic to jot down my discouragement and pain as I experienced the infertility journey to motherhood.

Now that Miss Libby is here, she makes her presence very well known. She is the absolute love of my life and the most amazing gift God could have ever bestowed upon the Pullen family. She fills my life with some much joy and laughter. I would like to use this forum as a place to share her with the world. I also want to make sure that I keep track of all of the funny things that happen day to day while raising such a strong-willed child. She is two and a half, so the fun has only begun!!

Tuesday night, Brad and I were having dinner with Miss Libby. She was eating a cup of pudding and chatting with us about her "very busy day". I asked her if she had been a good girl. She put a spoonful of pudding in her mouth and replied, "No ma'am, I got put on the wall today"....she hung her head in shame. Brad and I were in shock. She NEVER gets in trouble at school. "Libby," I replied, "what did you do to get into trouble?" "I hit my friends. Brody, maybe even Efan (Ethan)." Brad and I were very stern and upset, Brad said, "Libby, we don't hit our friends, did he hit you back?" Her response was, " well, Brody hit me first, so then I hit him back"....

So Brad and I proceeded to explain to her that we don't hit friends, and we were very disappointed in her behavior, etc...she promised us that she wouldn't do it again and that she would be a good girl the next day.

When I brought her to school the next morning, I asked her teacher what had happened at the playground. Miss Charity laughed and said, "Libby, you know good and well you didn't get in trouble yesterday." She then told me that sometimes Libby will stay on the wall if some of her friends get into trouble and she wants to stay with them. She continued to tell me that in fact, Libby does NOT hit her friends and is a very good girl at school.

This greatly relieved me that my child is not going to be a bully. However, this brings up a whole new problem...Libby has learned to lie. And she's pretty good at it!