Changes.

We have been crazy busy lately. Nothing has been too different in terms of our schedule, but for whatever reason, I can’t carve out any time for myself. Now that it’s after 10, and the twins have been sleeping for 3.5 hours already, I’m finally sitting down. It’s not that I enjoy chores, but yet, I do enjoy the feeling after they are completed. The feeling of productivity – that I’m doing what is needed for my house and for my babies and I have something to show for it. After dinner clean-up, two batches of baby food, one load of cloth diapers, eight washed bottles, one nalgene bottle of formula made and a mini cleaning spree of every room on the ground floor later, and I’m done. My husband does this with me – he started the baby food and I finished, and we each took certain rooms in the house to work on. Of course, we’re going further than we normally might on a Thursday night but we have interviews this weekend. More on that in a few.

Anyway, things have been changing in my house, and that has caused me to lose my own time, and therefore blogging and sorting through pictures has taken a back seat. I love to take pictures – I do not love to sort through the hundreds that are waiting for me. That’s why I don’t like to get backed up with pictures – it’s a daunting task.

The babies had their 9 month check-up on Monday. B is just about 24 pounds, with his weight in the 90th percentile, height in the 50th, and head size – 100+. Off the charts. C had almost the exact same percentiles, except that she is 20.5 pounds. My babies apparently have big heads. The doctor was not concerned with their lack of physical development in terms of crawling and rolling around. They were born 5 weeks early after all, and she just sort of eased my worries about it. I can (and do) help them to make those strides with more tummy time, more coaxing them to shift their bodies around, but they will learn. B got his first tooth almost a month ago, and since then, 4 more have popped up. I’ve heard that when babies get their teeth late, many come at once, so that may be the case here. C still has no teeth and none to be seen under the gums either. In her own time. Luckily, B’s teeth haven’t seemed to cause him great concern – I was prepared for an insane amount of drool and to be honest, it’s not there. No bibs required.

However, naps – naps are BAD. B now takes two half hour naps a day and that’s it. C used to take two hour and 15 minute naps a day, but in the last few days, she’s been copying her brother. This is part of the reason I have no time. Luckily, they both sleep through the night. Thank goodness.

We’re hiring a nanny. Finally. We were going to hire a nanny back in February, but after doing a search last November, I basically came up empty. No one stood out to me and I wasn’t at all ready to go back to work. The mere thought of leaving my infants was the most devastating thing. I had the opportunity to stay home the rest of the school year and I decided to take it. It was the best decision I made, and I wouldn’t change it. However – now I do have to go back to work. And this time when I think about it, I don’t feel panicked. I feel – almost ready. I have no doubt I’ll be upset and more importantly, slightly paranoid, but it feels like something I’m prepared to do. I’m going to be a teacher again, and someone else is going to stay at home with my kids. I’m not currently cringing at that thought, and I always used to. This time when I did my nanny search, I wanted to make sure I found the right one. I just can’t settle.

This weekend, we have three interviews. And these three people already feel comfortable to me. They have the qualities I’m looking for – they seem like people I could trust. Granted, I haven’t met them in person yet. But at the end of the weekend, I’m hoping to have myself a nanny.

In other news, I’m thinking about making a change to my nutrition. I guess this doesn’t count as a change yet because I’m still thinking about it, but it’s there. I seem to be pretty healthy from the outside, but there are things that I wish I could change.

I’m already gluten free and that will stay – I’ve tried incorporating gluten back into my diet a few times and had terrible, painful results. I do not have Celiac’s Disease, but my stomach is clearly bothered by gluten. Interestingly enough, in college I had bouts of stomach illness almost every other day. It always occurred after dinner, and I thought stress might have caused it. A doctor called it IBS and psyllium husks helped. However, looking back I now wonder if it was related to gluten. Even though I’ve been gluten free for a while, I’ve simply replaced the gluten with other carbs. Gluten free bread, pasta, cookies – those products have added sugar to compensate for the lack of gluten. And sugar, I think, is my real enemy here.

I have chronic hives and have for years. I do know that I have flare ups when I consume sugar. Not every time, but most of the time. Yet, I eat it anyway. Why? Because it’s just too good to pass up. Even with the thought of hives that itch and cause my lips to swell – I still eat sugar. My infertility – PCOS was the main cause, but when combined with these autoimmune issues, I feel like I have a real hormonal imbalance. I have no scientific proof to this, but I wonder if sugar has something to do with it. I’m a big believer in diet changes affecting health, but I can’t seem to make the changes myself. I happened to see this on TV recently – a doctor said that you know you’re addicted to sugar if you can’t bear the thought of cutting it out of your diet. And that’s where I am.

I have cut out sugar before, and being sugar and gluten free was really challenging. What do you do for parties? For dinners out? No one wants to be the boring one, the one who can’t eat what everyone else is eating. So I tried it for a while and then I patted myself on the back for doing it for a short time and sort of relapsed, consuming all the sugar I could.

But I think for me, with my sensitive system and infertility and chronic hives – I think removing sugar from my diet would only help my body. And going sugar and gluten free wouldn’t mean that I would replace those ingredients with sugar substitutes and other types of flour – I think I really need a clean diet. Not quite Paleo necessarily, because that’s really, really hard. But eating fresh fruits, veggies, potatoes and brown rice (not giving those up) and healthy meats and fats – I just feel like I’d feel better. I haven’t made this change yet, see, because I ate all the candy today. All of it. And I’m sluggish, and tired, and gaining weight because I eat like a teenager. So in this regard, there are some changes that need to be made. I just haven’t decided if I’m going to make them or not. If I have the mental strength on tough, exhausting days NOT to reach in the cabinet and eat something junky. With sugar. Ugh.

And here are some pics from our week that I have already sorted through!

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Stupid ovaries.

My ovaries and I aren’t getting along at all. As the days pass, I’m coming to the realization that my ovaries are lazy. Stagnant, unconscious. They don’t DO anything.

I should have already known this, since I was only able to ovulate on Clomid when I stair-stepped, and each cycle would be 60 days long. For some strange reason, I assumed that moving on to the big drugs, the real deal, would change all that. I was wrong!

Today will be my 14th day of follistim. I did 5 or 6 days of 50 IU, 5-6 days of 66 IU, and today is Day 3 of 75 IU. My last blood test a few days ago showed that my estrogen actually dropped a little bit, and the ultrasound didn’t have a single follicle on each side larger than 8 or 9 mm.

Is this normal?

Even though the labs don’t say it, I must have PCOS. There has yet to be a moment where my doctor confirms I have PCOS, but if you have 30 follicles on each side, just hanging out, isn’t that a strong indication? I understand that my doctor wants to take things very slowly, because of those 60 follicles. I imagine I’m at a high risk for multiples, if my ovaries ever decide to actually do anything! Right now, the only thing growing is my frustration level.

And I’m used to waiting, by now. I should expect that it takes forever for my follicles to grow. It’s just that I wonder if it’s worth it, to do follistim with an IUI, if it’s going to take months to get there.

I did a little googling and it seems others in my situation just say the hell with it, and go to IVF. I am willing to do that – next cycle. It’s not an option for this cycle, and I did check. So I need to wait this one out, again. Doesn’t mean it won’t happen, and I’m still holding out a little hope, but I wonder how many days of shots I will be doing before a doctor says, this isn’t working. On to the next thing.

It’s funny how that “woe is me” attitude creeps up on me. Once I started the shots, I was feeling pretty decent again. Now that nothing is happening in there, those thoughts just appear in my head again. They tell me it’s going to be a long time until I’m pregnant. They tell me I’m going to be doing IVF during the school year, which makes for a stressful time. And the scariest thought is this: what if my autoimmune problems, which are clearly still around, aren’t going to allow the 1) follicles to grow, 2) sperm to meet with egg, 3) BFP to stick, 4) baby to be carried to term. Seriously, the “woe is me” attitude brings about many worries, and they don’t help me in the slightest.

It’s the worrying right now that holds me back. I would’ve liked to join in on the diet and fitness challenges that Belle, Sunny, and Jenn (among others) are doing, but I can’t make the commitment. What if I need to eat rice krispies with almond milk in the middle of the day to make me feel better? And how can I find the right diet? The diet that feels best for autoimmune problems is not exactly the same as the PCOS diet, and I feel like I have too many health problems all at once to figure out what my body needs.

The one thought I’m trying to push away is the fear. If I could successfully completely cut out certain foods from my diet, would I get pregnant then? If I was just more dedicated to health and fitness, would it happen? Is the fact that I ate an ice cream the other day, with sprinkles, mind you, which had dairy and sugar (two things I usually don’t eat), and I had stomach issues the next day  – could that be why my ovaries aren’t functioning?

These are completely irrational thoughts, and I understand that. But I hate feeling so out of control with my own body. Naturally, I want to place the blame on myself, because when I do that, things make sense. If I just throw my hands up and say it’s not my fault, well then, it doesn’t make sense to me. But by doing this, I am adding so much extra pressure to myself that I don’t need, and it causes me to…overeat. I have always held myself to standards that are too high. I have always put on the pressure, the stress. Now is no exception. It’s very hard to let go. Ugh. I do want to get in on those challenges, girls. I just don’t know where to start.