Hello, world. Like Episode VII, I have returned after an unknown lull for a new generation. Only I anticipate that my return will have slightly less hype. In fact, it may be more akin to Land Before Time XIV**.
I digress. An entire post is deserved about why I have returned, which I am still sorting out, but the short answer is that I have redefined the purpose of this blog. And by redefined, I mean that I remembered the purpose of creating this blog in the first place. This is the place where I tell my infertility story. As much as I would have liked my story to be ended, wrapped up in a nice little bow with a beautiful daughter, it continues on.
Please allow me to catch you up over the past year-and-a-half of my life. Since December, 2014:
C was hired as an RN in a bone-marrow transplant unit on the oncology building of the main hospital that competes with my employer. He began almost at the same time as I returned to work full-time from maternity leave, which made for a very chaotic time in retrospect. He loves his job but it can be very stressful.
I have returned and continued to be employed as a psychologist, full-time, after a wonderful 12-week maternity leave that I managed from all of my saved-up vacation. My work life has not gotten any less busy, probably the opposite in fact, but I have successfully gotten much better at maintaining my own work-life balance. I almost always leave the office by 5:30 or 6pm at the latest. I have only gone into the office to work on weekends once or twice since returning. I am more efficient at work. I love my job, but have started to consider if reducing my hours would be financially and professionally viable.
We bought a home last summer that I am absolutely in love with, but is requiring more work then I anticipated. This is probably me having been a naive first-time home buyer, telling myself the house was "move-in ready". Which it was, until it required a new septic system that resulted in the lawn being torn up (luckily, this was discovered before closing and thus largely funded by the previous home-owner). However, I think the biggest issue is that I didn't fully anticipate the amount of work it would take to make this house our home and the amount of time it would require to maintain this amount of square-footage and property. As we approach the one-year anniversary of our closing date, I still feel like we are moving in and getting settled.
We got a puppy. Another Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, although different coloring from Marv. This happened over this past winter, with what seemed like enough time to formally mourn our first puppy. As he was so perfect for us, we were torn for a very long time about getting another just dog just like him but not wanting the constant reminder and comparison. We settled on another Cavalier with different coloring. Fortunately, or unfortunately, Ivan has a very different personality. He is much more brave, more energetic, and not as well behaved. He is wonderful with our daughter and watching the two grow up together has been fantastic, although having a crawling baby and a puppy at the same time has not always been easy.
Our daughter is generally doing wonderful and brings us so much joy. She is not without her own challenges though. She was diagnosed with the same congenital heart condition that my husband has, the condition that was diagnosed after one of his cousins died suddenly from cardiac arrest, and is now followed closely by a cardiologist. She takes medication three times per day and otherwise has no restrictions or limitations. She was also diagnosed with Torticollis and was in physical therapy for about 9 months until this was successfully resolved. At her 18-month check-up she was not yet walking and this was discussed at length, but has since taken her first steps and is slowly becoming more brave with leaving the furniture. Her speech was also a concern with no words at 18 months, but she has great receptive language, social skills, and has picked up sign language very easily. I try, and am mostly successful, at focusing on her forward progress and daily feats instead of wondering and researching about what this may or may not mean for her future development.
We have begun talking about a second child. More then talking, actually, we met with the RE last week and have started scheduling pre-testing and nursing visits. We have 8 embryos frozen, all 5-day blastocysts frozen in pairs of two. There is still a lot of discussion and uncertainty about the future of my fertility and our family. How big do we ultimately want our family to be? How many embryos to thaw and implant this time around? What do we do with the remaining embryos? These are all questions that we have not settled on.
This brings us back to the return of blogging: My continued infertility story.
*After completing this entire post, I realized it's not as micro as I was anticipating. However, considering it's a summary of 1.5 years, I'm satisfied with the brevity.
** Yes, believe it or not, this series returned in 2016 for a 14th film after a hiatus since 2007. Who knew?! Personally, I think I stopped following after the second film.