Thursday, June 30, 2011

Out of Curiosity...

For my breastfeeding friends out there, out of curiosity, how long was it before your cycles came back?

Ella is nine months today, and I still haven't started a new cycle.  I don't know if this is because I'm been breastfeeding and pumping, or if it's related to PCOS.  I admit that I indulged in eating just about everything I wanted in the first couple of months, but I've been more conscientious about my diet from about six months on (recognizing that what I eat effects insulin levels which effect hormone levels, etc.).

My only comparison is my sister-in-law (who started her cycle exactly 28 days after my niece was born) and my very-dear friend who started just short of six months.  Back in the day, I may have rejoiced at going 18+ months without a cycle, but I no longer think of it as "the curse".  Rather, I recognize and appreciate the significance that it plays in this whole fertility game.  I'm trusting God's timing and plan for my life, but I can't help but wonder if/when it will show up again...

This morning's blessing was hearing the most precious squeals of delight coming from Ella as she played with my husband.  She definitely remembers her daddy, and is having so much fun getting reacquainted with him.  I am so blessed to have both of them in my life.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I swear Ella is sucking all the life right out of my breasts.  I thought they were supposed to get bigger from breastfeeding.  I guess that's just not the case with me.  I seem to have gone from a "cup half full" to a "cup half empty".  It's not so much that I mind the just would have been nice to lose a little from the belly, hips and thighs instead.

Today's blessing is that my husband returns tonight!  He's somewhere over the Pacific right now, and will arrive in San Francisco around noonish.  My grandparents live nearby, so he'll spend the afternoon with them and help them celebrate their anniversary.  I can't wait to see him tonight!

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Two simple little letters.  N-o.  Something tells me I'm going to be using them a lot from here on out. 

Ella is mobile.  Her preferred method of transportation is still the "lunge-wiggle-scoot" when she really wants to get somewhere, but she's crawling more and more on her hands and knees each day.  I'm still faster than her...but I know that won't last for long.

Ella is curious.  She wants to see what's inside anything--whether it's the laundry basket, pantry, or backpack.  It seems that anything and everything is a new toy for her.  Yesterday it was the V-8 cans on the bottom of the pantry, today it was the lids for some (unlit) decorative candles. 

The combination of the mobility and the curiosity is eliciting plenty of "no's" lately.  No to pulling on wires.  No to reaching for knives in the dishwasher.  No to trying to put rocks in her mouth.  It's definitely time to baby-proof the house.  But "no" isn't the only new word in our vocabulary--Ella's exploration is causing us to introduce all sorts of new words as we describe whatever it is she is discovering.  Gone are the days when I could just lay her on a blanket, looking up peacefully at the ceiling.  It's a good thing that my husband gets back later this week to help me keep an eye on her and do some baby-proofing around the house.

Yesterday's blessing was finally hearing from my husband after 26 hours without contact with which he went to the himself (well, as part of a tour, but without any of his colleagues).  He developed a sinus headache and had tried to email me to let me know he was just going to go to bed instead of calling, but the email never came through.  With the 16-hour time difference, it wasn't until 4:00 pm the next day (my time) that I heard from him.  Thank God he was safe, and thank God that he comes home late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning.

Monday, June 20, 2011

That's Not a Toy

Ella's first tooth broke through right around 8 months.  We're now approaching 9 months, and she still only has that one little tooth.  But let me tell you--that one little tooth is enough to inflict some serious pain when she bites down while nursing.  It's sharp!

And to make matters worse, when she's not biting me on one side...she's playing with--as in twisting and pulling--the other side!  She just started doing it in the last week or so.  I try to explain to her that it's not a toy, but she just smiles up at me and reaches for it again.  It's like she's marking her territory or claiming it for herself. 

And if it's not the nipple she's grabbing at, then it's my hair.  Gone are the days of a peaceful nursing baby.  It doesn't seem so long ago that I had to apply a cold washcloth to her forehead or pinch her toes to keep her awake, and now I'm just hoping that she'll relax long enough to get a couple of ounces into her tummy. 

Titty-twisters aside, I still love my nursing time with Ella.  I love starting me day with her, watching her wake up as she nurses; and then ending my day with her, watching her relax and drift off to sleep.  Some folks want coffee first thing in the morning--Ella just wants the breast.  She wakes up like my husband--a little on the grumpy side.  But after a couple of minutes at the breast, she's blowing raspberries (yes, sometimes while still at the breast) and smiling up at me.  What a way to start my day!

Today's blessing was having a colleague come back to work after her maternity leave.  She really brings a lot to our office, and I know that she was missed while she was gone. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Fathers Day!

Since my husband is Korea with a 16 hour time difference, it's already Sunday for him, and therefore already Father's Day.  I'll be honest--I'm a bit disappointed that he's not here to celebrate this first Father's Day with Ella.  I know that it's significant for him.

By Father's Day 2009, I had already experienced all three losses (the third being just weeks before).  But I felt like I was a mother to those three babies, and I felt that my husband was a father to them as well.  I bought him a gift, but he downplayed the day.  That day, he told me that until he holds a child in his arms, that he did not feel like a father.  That broke my heart.

I get that men are different than women, and I can understand how he would fail to feel a sense of connection to those three babies.  But I know that he's connected to Ella, and there's clearly no denying that she is his daughter.  Look at the resemblance!

My husband is becoming a really good father to Ella.  He still smiles at her the same way he did the very first time that he held her, and it warms my heart each time to see that sort of devotion and compassion show through on guy like him.  We got to Skype with him today, and her face totally lit up when she heard his voice and saw his face on the screen.  Likewise, his face lit up when he saw her crawl and say "da-da-da-da-da".  Even though he's not here for this first Fathers Day with Ella, I anticipate celebrating with him when he returns, and look forward to plenty of more celebrations in the future.

I also want to recognize my own dad and what an amazing role model I had in him.  I remember my dad volunteering in my classroom when I was little, and reading to my brothers and me each night.  He coached my teams, and actually continues to help coach my high school's girls soccer team, even though I graduated more than 10 years ago.  He has faithfully loved my mom for more than 30 years, and makes sure that my brothers and I know just how proud of us he is.  And now, he's spreading that love to Ella and my niece.  Here he is playing with Ella on his recent trip to visit us:

To both my husband and my dad, I love you both very much.  Thank you for loving the girls in your lives.

Today's blessing was finding out that my very-dear friend's little sister and dad made is safely back from their adventure on Denali.  It sounds like it was extremely treacherous at times, but God provided in bringing them down safely.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

So Proud

It started when she started rolling around like a little desert tumbleweed.  Then she developed into a little inchworm, and did the cutest little "lunge-wiggle-scoot" routine to get where she wanted to go.  And finally last night, Ella truly crawled, in the traditional sense of the word. 

It didn't last very long, and she didn't really get all that far, but she was definitely on her hands and knees, and was moving them with a purpose...and it surprised me just how excited I got for her.  I'm so proud of her for putting it all together, and it left me marveling that if I'm this proud over a few crawling inches, just imagine how proud I'll be of each of the new feats that she accomplishes in the weeks, months, and years to come.

Unfortunately, my husband isn't here to witness all of these little developments that Ella is accomplishing.  He's still in Korea for the rest of the month, so I'm really hoping that our schedules will line up so that we can Skype soon so that he can also witness all these new things that she's doing.

Today's blessing was getting into a "Mommy & Me" swim lesson through the city's lottery system.  I'm really hoping that Ella can be comfortable in the water, and I look forward to this new little adventure with her.  (It will also help the next two weeks fly by until my husband returns home).

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Boppy Time

No, not the nursing pillow (though I do use one every morning while I try to feed Ella, eat my breakfast, and do my Bible study all at the same time).  Rather, my dad is "Boppy" to Ella, just as his dad was for us, and he's here to visit, keep us company, and help out while my husband is in Korea.

My dad's flight arrived yesterday afternoon, and sadly, I made the mistake of suggesting that he sit in the back with Ella on the drive home.  Bad idea.  He's absolutely wonderful with children, but Ella hasn't seen him since January, so she was initially a little freaked out.  Since then, she has really warmed up to him and was totally flirting with him this afternoon.  Good thing--because she is staying home with him the rest of the week when I go back to work (I stayed home today).

It's such a blessing to have my dad here.  I really was blessed with a wonderful set of parents as role models, and I know that they love Ella as much as they love my brothers and me.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


I said two tough goodbyes this week.

First, I said goodbye to my very-dear friend who is moving to Florida to start her residency in pediatrics.  I am thoroughly convinced that God brought her into my life at the time when I needed a friend the most.  Her medical knowledge and understanding have been a huge bonus to the prayers and support that I received from her as I struggled through my third loss, grew through my time of waiting, cherished the experience of my pregnancy (she was two weeks behind us), and then learned what it takes to be a good mom in these first couple of months with Ella.  And now that I'm starting to get the hang of things, God is taking her away from me--at least geographically.  I asked her what I was going to do without her, and she assured me that she would now have a pager.  This might sound horrible--but I was surprised that it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be to say goodbye to her.  Aside from my mom, she is the person that I share just about everything with.  And yet, I only got misty-eyed when I actually said goodbye (I had a good cry over the weekend as I wrote her a goodbye note, and I guess I'm tearing up now as I write this).  But the actual hug and wave weren't so bad--I think it's because I know that God has big things in store for them in Florida.  Since they are traveling with an almost-eight-month old, they are taking it nice and slow, so please continue to pray for them on their travels and as they look forward to this new adventure.

The second goodbye was to my husband this morning as he heads out for the rest of the month in Korea.  He'll be gone for 24 days--which is longer than his usual trips, but shorter than his trip to Djibouti in Fall 2009.  Again--it wasn't so bad saying goodbye to him.  Don't get me wrong--I love him dearly and I'll definitely miss him, but I have Ella at home with me now, and she makes a world of difference.  In the past, the house was always so quiet when he was gone.  Now I have a babbling, laughing, and screeching companion.  In the past, I could let the house get as messy as I wanted when he was gone.  Now I have a curious almost-crawler who is getting into everything.  In the past, I could eat whatever I wanted, watch whatever I wanted, and pretty much do whatever I wanted when he was gone.  Now I have a routine and responsibilities...and one less set of hands with which to get them all done.  But my dad is coming out for a few days, and I know that he will be a huge help (not to mention that I would imagine that Ella will adore playing with him).  I will definitely look forward to seeing my husband at the end of the month, but I know that we'll be okay without him.

As I say these goodbyes, I'm blessed to have Ella filling my life with so much joy.  I know that God has given me a sense of peace, and she definitely helps fill the void of missing my friend and my husband.