17 December 2009

The Battle with Naptime

Is it normal that my toddler doesn't want to take a nap anymore?

When he was about 4 months old, I did sleep training with Coqui, so he would fall asleep on his own. And after about a month (or more) he finally succeeded. I also trained him NOT to fall asleep in the car, but to wait 'til we get home.... Well, that kind of backfired NOW, that he never falls asleep in the car, ever, no matter what time it is! Oh well....

But he used to take great naps. I mean, we would go out in the morning, come home, eat lunch, and go to sleep. No problem. Then, about 2 months ago, when it started....
He would lay in his bed, and would not fall asleep, even after an hour or so. But at least, he stayed where he was: in his bed! That changed though, after a month. Now he comes out every 5 minutes and asks when he his quiet time is over.... that is not relaxing to him, nor to me! So I tried to do quiet time with him, while the baby sleeps, kind of like a special treat, because now he has to share me with Peanut.... Well, that worked for about a week, until I got exhausted, because I did not get a break at all....

Any suggestions? Like on how to make him rest, so he is not falling over his dinner plate. And how I can rest, too.....

Other than that, Peanut takes great naps.... that does help though!

15 December 2009

Sick children

A sick hello from our family to yours....

Yes, the cold weather from last week has finally caught up with us: I have a runny nose and some congestion. Peanut was all stuffed up this morning when she woke up. And Coqui seems fine, BUT he just went to bed for naptime all by himself. I mean he undressed, got his PJs on, and jumped into bed, proclaiming that he did it all by himself..... if there is not something on its way....

Well, let's hope that this is just a quick cold we caught and that it is over very soon! The Hubby hasn't gotten anything yet, so let's keep it that way.
And also, we have more visitors coming, so we need to be in good shape...


09 December 2009


Yes, I know, my little girl is only 3 months old, but I DO think she is teething. Not only is she drooling like crazy, I mean she can wet a shirt in half hour, so badly, that I need to change her. So I thought, well maybe....
Then she started to fuzz much more than usual, and that is an indicator as well. For the fun of it, I finally stuck my finger in her tiny mouth to see if I can feel anything. And you know, you always think you imagine.... so I had a friend help me to check it out...
And there it is: we both felt something !?! But it is not in the spot most moms would expect it. NO, it seems that my little girl is on some fast track, or competition, because she is teething with a molar! I mean I feel things on three different spots... and molars? What is this? It can take weeks for them to come out, and if she keeps fuzzing and crying like this..... (*pull my hair*)
Well, so maybe we need some prayer here.... for a speedy exit of those huge things.

And then, I can start her on bread sometime next months?
Let's see...

08 December 2009


We have visitors!
It's the Carrier and her youngest son. It has been a while since she saw the baby, so for her, she grew a lot, of course - that's what babies do! Best. She seems happy to see our little Peanut....

It is only the first day, and it is raining, so we just went to Whole Foods and out to eat at Mother's Cafe - a Vegan place. The food was delicious as always.
Now I have to see how the weather is going to be over the week, so we can show her our town, maybe they'll decide to relocate....

Bye for now. Sorry for the short post.

24 November 2009

Check up time

I have not posted in a little while - please forgive me, little audience!

I have found the perfect pediatrician for me! About three years ago, in the Garden State! Unfortunately, we moved away, so I lost this wonderful angel of medicine!
Coming here also meant to find a new doctor for my firstborn! That was not so easy and I think, back in the day, I simply settle for convenience. Convenience of the location, about 15 min. from the house, central point, easy reachable from the house or my husband's work! I never liked the woman, nor the way she handled my son, or should I say the lack of interacting with him! Well, she did not agree with my way of really thinking about what immunization I want to give him, or how many at one visit! I am NOT anti-shots, not at all. There are too many evil illnesses out there, deathly and just cruel! No, I want him to get mostly all of them. I am just simply thinking about it and research it! So when there was a shot I didn't think he needed, she had me sign at least 3 different papers for my denial! Ridiculous!

So having a second child, I knew I didn't want to go back there. I have talked to friends, who seemed happy with their choice of pediatrician. So I called, set up an appointment, after my old pediatrician refused to see her at this, my chosen timing! I got in in a record time, and today was the day! Peanut had her 2-month check up at almost 3 months - oh well.... such is life! A hundred years ago, they didn't see doctor's unless they were sick.... today, we have a tendency of exaggeration! She looks beautiful, looks healthy, looks big.... of course, the measurements are a little off, in comparison with other 2 months old babies, but that is okay! She also got 2 shots, and is sleeping away..... Yeah for Mami who really has some time to herself today! Yippy....

Thanks for stopping by in your busy days. Appreciated.

05 November 2009

Diapers - cloth or disposable?

For my first child, it was not even a question: I WANTED to use disposable diapers. My mother always told me how much 'fun' it was back in the day, and that they didn't have an alternative. So I was not going to try the 'fun' part of cloth diapering but chose 'Huggies for Life'!
BUT I was determined that my child would be out of diapers by the age of 2.... yeah, and then came cancer and a time when I couldn't take care of my own child.... and then I just didn't care anymore WHEN he will be potty trained.... (Don't worry, he is 3 now and almost fully trained!)

Then I befriended my 'green' friend A. She used cloth diapers and proved to me how much faster a child would be potty trained with cloth. SO now that I do (!) have another chance, I was much more willing to try it. I had 3 big (!) boxes of diapers left from Coqui that I wanted to finish up. Surprisingly, that took me over five weeks! Wow. Now that they are all gone, I bought a disposable back-up and try to use cloth during the day. I tried to use it at night, but the one time I did, Peanut leaked at around 3 am and was completely drenched, with clothes and bed sheets and all. So I have decided that I will use the super-duper absorbent Huggies for night time, and leave the cloth for during the day.

Now some may argue about the costs of disposables versus cloth (that need washing and such). Well, I read about it of course. And I came to the conclusion that everyone has to make their own decisions about what is right for them. For me, I do like to be more 'green' and considerate of the environment. I also like the idea of having my child out of diapers by 18 months or so. And with all those fun options in cloth diapers, the kid even looks fashionable with the cute covers they have these days. The washing is not an issue for me at all. I like to do laundry, so I wash every other day, a small load of the diapers with even other stuff.... (oh, I do hand-wash the ones with number 2 in it!).

What does Peanut thinks of it? Well, the Huggies are so absorbent that she never feels wet, and she never tells me to change her! When I put the cloth on her, latest an hour later, she tells me that she wants to be changed! And that, to me, is a good sign that potty training will follow soon! Yeah... Can't wait.


Last time I posted something, I remembered that I needed to add something else... of course, now, having Mami-brain, I can't anymore..... What was it? It is so frustrating that we, as mothers, forget so many things. And I wonder why? I mean, I am sure there is some real scientific explanation out there, but I am too tired to look for it. In my own way, I say, it is because we have to think for ourselves a little and then mainly for our kids!!! For any outings, there are millions of questions, tiny but very long check lists we have to go down. Did we bring enough formula for the baby? Do I have a change of underwear for my toddler? Where are the keys? ... etc.
And once we are finally in the car, the engine roars, and we start going the first couple of feet, we wonder: "Where were we going again?"
Urrrrgh, it is soooo frustrating.

So maybe tomorrow I will remember what I wanted to write about in the first place....

02 November 2009

The smile of a baby

Today, I just want to share how blessed I feel.
It makes me feel so good that when my baby girl is crying and nobody can calm her down but me. Or when I can help her feel better in giving her a diaper change or feed her or give her what she needs. (I mean, yes, it is part of the job description but it still doesn't mean that everyone follows them).
But the best is when she just smiles at me for no reason..... or the reason that she recognizes me, says thank you, Mami, or just simply feels safe with me, knowing I will provide what she needs and protect her.....
That makes the best payment, with the bonus and commission, for the job as a Mami...

01 November 2009

soundmachine (or the sound to keep your kid asleep)

When Coqui was a little boy, I never thought of using a sound machine, or white noise machine. But he was such a lite sleeper that eventually I had to get one when he was about one year old. And it has worked wonders to his sleep (with noisy neighbors around!), that he sleeps now through mostly everything.
Of course, having a second child, you know better. But as strange as this may sound, I haven't gotten around to buy one for Peanut. As she is sleeping in our room (her room is not painted yet....) and her bed (the pack'n'play) stands right next to the bathroom door, I am using the fan in the bathroom as a sound machine. Hey, it works and she sleeps....
My friend did order me the noise machine, so tomorrow I should have the real deal. Now I just have to figure out which sound she'll like best: waterfall or rain forest. Personally, I could not sleep to the birds chirping, but.... I might use the rain.... Good night everyone.

30 October 2009


Lately, alot of people that congratulated me to the birth of Peanut, also asked me how badly I am sleep-deprived? Well, I have to say.... not at all. I am a good sleeper, meaning that I sleep deep and resting. I don't need many hours of sleep at night, and do very well when I have a very short night. Also, my daughter has been sleeping through (!) the night since week six, so for the last three weeks. If she did wake up - which happened twice I believe - it was easy to put her back to sleep within seconds (or minutes!) WITHOUT feeding. Yeah....
So I am good. I do know that there are some envious people out there that think I just want to brag and make them feel bad about feeding their kids until 24 months.... I am not! It is as the bible says it: "God only 'burdens' us with stuff that we can handle." I am not so good at waking up in the middle of the night and feed someone and then have to rock them back to sleep or such.... I am not a morning person, I am a night person. So if Peanut would have decided to be a night-owl (which I secretly nicknamed her when she was born!), then I would be fine with that....
So if you are one of those night-feeders and that works for you, great. I am having a hard time with it. And God is good. This is what this post is about, giving thanks to God to ALWAYS providing us with what we need. I need good sleepers at night. I need my evening open for stuff I (!) like to do. But I am also willing to get up at 5 am to play with the kids (reminder: I am not a morning person! - but I'll do it!).
God is Good.

26 October 2009

Being blessed

Hey there - I am blessed!

I am blessed because I have a wonderful family. I am blessed because I have friends that care for me. My friend Beth (hi there!) threw me a baby shower / welcome home baby party. She did it all, from organizing everything, getting the invitations out, getting people to help her, and preparing all the yummy (mostly Vegan) food. She spent hours and hours on it - I was standing right next to her. She is so awesome and I love her very much. I feel special that someone would do this for me, so I have special moment celebrating my daughters birth - a long journey with a happy ending!

Thank you. I feel so blessed all over.....

18 October 2009

Feeling pregnant?

Today's post goes back in time.... the symptoms of being pregnant.

When we were "pregnant" with our blessing, things were sometimes not that easy, so it was hard for me to write it down here.... that's why there are so many 'empty' months.... And now that everything is over, it is easier to talk about it, in perspective.

So today, I want to talk about being pregnant, or feeling pregnant, or the lack of it. As I was not the one carrying our blessing, I did not have to deal with any symptoms. That can be a good thing, or a bad one. When I was carrying our first born, it was an easy pregnancy, no complications. No nausea. So I wouldn't have expected any this time around.... unfortunately, I didn't even get a chance to prove that theory. And I have to say that it was quiet hard to get ready for the baby if it is not there with you all the time. I mean the nesting. I did some preparation, of course, but my hormones didn't!!! So once you get that bundle of joy handed over, you are very happy.... but still the hormones are not there. For them, it's just another day....
So the transformation from being pregnant-on-the-sideline to mother-first-hand was much harder than expected.... My brain had to tell my hormones that we are suppose to be up every three hours at night to feed that beautiful baby. It was my brain that told my hormones and heart that this crying bundle of joy needs all my love..... Today, I can say, that every single organ and hormone and cell of my body has caught up with the brain. I am in love, totally in love with my beautiful daughter.....

She IS that blessing that we prayed for, for such a long time.

16 October 2009

Too much?

This is going to be a short posting.....
As you know, we just came back home, from New Jersey, where Peanut was born. Well, it took me over one whole day to pack the car for the road trip - and it took my husband over an hour to unpack the same car. Now it was my duty to unpack all the luggage we had. And yes, within two and a half month away from home, you need a few things and a couple of clothes. As Coqui is a growing boy, that is still somewhat potty-training, I tend to over-pack for him.....
In anticipation of Peanut's arrival, I packed a few things for him/her (we didn't know the sex of the baby!). That was about one box of Coqui's old baby clothes, some leftover diapers and such. Well, let me tell you - we came back with more stuff for Coqui - Mema buys! But that is almost nothing compared to what I had to bring home for Peanut.... I piled it all up in her closet on the floor. It is insane!!! She has more clothes than she'll be able to wear!And we still have about six boxes with clothes from Coqui.... I might have the best dressed girl in the neighborhood.....

So I want to be thankful for all the gifts we received in the past six weeks. It is such a blessing to us. Makes us feel all loved and warm around the heart.... THANK YOU. God is good and always a provider! He gives and gives and gives.....

15 October 2009

Breast milk

We came home on Tuesday. On Wednesday, I started to defrost some of that 'gold' we had in the fridge from a wonderful woman from our church.....
Yesterday, I was still mixing it with the formula, just to get Peanut used to the different taste. She didn't seem to mind any way. But today, she got her first bottle exclusively with breastmilk. She drank it all.... Whoo hoo....
God is so awesome to put people you need in our paths. It just totally blows my mind. We have been so blessed all this way..... and even if the path was not always smooth, it was totally worth it. Not just for having Peanut in our lives, but also just to experience the beauty of family and friends. I never met people like this before... people that just drop everything to do something for you, without that they get something out of it.....

GOD IS GOOD, no, no, let me rephrase that: GOD IS AWESOME. And only God can give us that peace and comfort and help and support and all the good stuff.
I love my Lord and I want to serve Him with all that I have..... Amen.

14 October 2009

Home Sweet Home

After being up north for two and a half months, we finally made our way back to the more beautiful weather. It has been an interesting drive,.... for three full days. On the first day, Peanut was all antsy and never went into that deep sleep. Coqui was doing great. We checked into a nice hotel, got the kids settled, and then.... they were asleep within minutes of each other. Nice!
The next morning, I woke up and realized that I didn't get up in the middle of the night for a feeding.... Peanut had slept through the night for the first time! Yeah.... (it was a whole month earlier than Coqui!). So the second day was the opposite from the first, Peanut was quieter and slept more during driving times, and Coqui became more and more whinny and wanted to get out of his seat.... I don't blame him, but we needed to keep going....
The second night's hotel was terrible, but we needed a place to sleep. Again, Peanut slept through seven hours without feeding, until 5 am - I count that as sleeping through the night, as this was Coqui's regular getting-up time when he was smaller!
The third day looked pretty much like the second day - but we made it home by 3 pm. Coqui ran upstairs and played and played and played..... Peanut was not so happy about not sitting in that car seat any more. She was quite cranky for the rest of the day, until we 'strapped' her into that swaddle and she found some rest for the night.
Yes, for the third consecutive night, Peanut slept through the night for 10 hours!!! Whoo hoo....

06 October 2009


I am still amazed at how different two kids with the same (?) gens can be.... Seriously!
While I do remember that Coqui was pretty colicky, he never screamed for no reason! Either he was hungry, wet, or in pain. And it only lasted for about 2 months. Since then, he has been the sunshine of my life, brightens each and every day, and when I feel down I just have to look at my happy silly boy to feel better!!!
Now having a girl (and heard some stuff said about girls), I am not that enthusiastic. I mean I love her, and pray that this is just the beginning, and she needs to find her way in life.... but she seems to scream for no reason. I just fed her, changed her diaper, and she still screams. And it is NOT that pain scream. She doesn't burp alot, she doesn't poop alot, she doesn't do anything LIKE Coqui... it is amazing, and a bit frustrating. She also doesn't want to sleep anywhere else BUT my bed, preferably in my arms, or right next to me with our cheeks touching! It is great bonding time, and I do hope that she'll be a bigger hugger and cuddler than Coqui was and is.

I do like that they are different, it is just harder to adjust. I love them both. And I guess it is kind of cool to have a boy and a girl, so as a mom, you do it all! We never stop learning, right?

01 October 2009


I am a very natural person, green through and through.... So wanting to breastfeed my babies is normal. I was very determined to breastfeed my firstborn - but somehow, he was very reluctant with the whole latching-on.... so it never happened. Still I knew that breast milk is the best he could get, so I pumped the milk for him and gave it to him with the bottle. I pumped for nine months, pumped more than he ate a day, so froze the rest, so I could give him breast milk for ten entire months. It was hard at times, but definitely worth it. I know I tried and succeeded.

So of course, I wanted to do so for my second child, that was on the way in the womb of our carrier. There was some talk about her pumping for a little after birth, but I couldn't count on that. So I researched a little and some more.... there is a drug out there, but it is not FDA approved. So I tried to confirm with my oncologist, but she never got back to me. Talking to my husband, we kind of made the decision that it might not be for me. When I told my doctor, she seemed relieved. So I think this time around, it was better not to take the drug....

But it still left me with only one choice: the 'hated' formula. To me, it stinks, it stains, it is so unnatural. But I have no choice, my baby girl NEEDS to eat.
Well, there were a lot of women pregnant around the same time as we were.... and just another provision from God reveals itself in front of me: one of those lovely ladies offered to pump some milk for me, so I can give it to Peanut! Wow, that just blows me away, makes me feel so loved and so blessed! So now, when I get back home, there is a freezer full of 'gold' waiting for us to take home and thaw and give it to her. The best nutrition out there for babies. The gold that makes her grow healthy and strong!

God, thank you for providing for us always. I am so grateful for my friends and family. I am in total awe of what some of them sacrifice for the benefit of others. You blow me away.

Hungry hippo

"How much is too much?"

It is so true when people say" every child is different. Not that I didn't know that before, but seeing it now happening in front of my eyes with my two children - it is different.
First, one is definitely more relaxed with every additional child. At least, I am more relaxed and at ease, less worry and less trying to do it right - because there is no 'textbook-right'. Every mother (and father) will find their own way of doing things.
For example, with Coqui, I was, as the pediatrician told you to do, wrote down every diaper change, pee-pee and poos, every ounce of milk intake, and every other thing one could jot down....
This time: I don't do any of this. Unfortunately, I am not home, because there is one thing that I am curious about and can't remember: how much did Coqui eat??? Because my little darling girl here, she is eating ALL the time. Every two hours during the day, and every 3-4 hours at night (which is great). She is growing and getting stronger, holding her head and such.... but that eating pattern - it is a big change for me.
But all said and done, she is so beautiful and we rejoice in having her with us. All we wanted this long way along, that she'll be healthy! And I guess part of being healthy, is eating to get big and strong! So bon appetit, little Peanut!

20 September 2009

Walk To Beat The Clock

I did it! I walked to beat the clock. In New York City. Woo hoo.

Okay, now I can explain....

As some of you know, I am now a 2-year survivor of cervical cancer. To celebrate this occasion and to spread the word to beat that clock, I signed up to walk this year's race. And I did it! It is organized by Tamika & Friends, Inc., "a national non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about cervical cancer and its link to HPV (human papillomavirus)". It was founded in 2005 by cervical cancer survivor and advocate Tamika Felder. She got alot of support from her family and friends - hence the name!

Her message is that "every hour a woman in the US is diagnosed with cervical cancer, a preventable and treatable disease. The proceeds from these Walks go back into Tamika and Friends, Inc. to support the various programs they have in place to help those living with cervical cancer and cervical cancer survivors. The Walks have proven to be a great way to raise awareness, provide education and to give cervical cancer patients, survivors and their loved ones, as well as those who have lost loved ones to cervical cancer, a sense of community and friendship."

Being blessed with very generous friends, I made it to the top three donation list. And with that, I had to go up on stage! For those of you who know me personally, I do not like attention drawn to me, so that was very awkward. The person who gives me the present is Tamika Felder, the founder of the organization. She is now a friend of mine and I love her boldness in going out there and just spread the word any way she can! I admire her for that.

The Hubby said that we will make this an annual event, so I am looking forward to do this again next year. I mean, who needs a reason to come to the city??? I don't! But there is now a good cause involved that makes it even better.
We had a great day in the city. Walking in the morning and going out for lunch. Yes, we did leave the baby and its big brother with the grandparents for a few hours - dinner was just not going to happen this year! So maybe next year, we can make it a true full day in the city - just like our first date!!! (I haven't written about that yet, maybe I will do that in the near future!)

17 September 2009

It's a .......

Hi everyone,

it has been some time, but I want to share some great news: our little miracle happened about a month ago.

We got induced early because our carrier wanted it so. We were able to spend some time with her in the morning. But once she got the epidural, we had to leave. The baby was born about three hours after that. We had to wait outside the whole time. And it's a.... (*drum roll*) .... girl!!!! Yeah. Her name is 'Peanut', weighed just enough and is totally beautiful. Perfect.

So as I said, we had to wait outside the Labor and Delivery Section which really sucked. Sorry the word, but that is the only thing that I can think off to describe the feeling of waiting there and not knowing what is going on. Nobody came out to tell us. So we did not get to witness the birth. It was a 'little' disappointing, as I was very much looking forward to being the first one to see the baby, Daddy announcing the sex and so on. The nurses are just not qualified enough to handle a case like ours, because this is not what usually happens. I appreciate the time we had in the morning. But once we left for that late lunch, we never made it back into the room. And the not-knowing part really made it a disappointing experience. Eventually, three hours later, they finally called us back in, saying that the baby was born already. I was shocked, to say the least, and real mad. But I got madder when they wouldn't let us in the room to see her. It probably took only ten minutes, but it sure felt like a lifetime. And while waiting, I totally lost it. I remember hitting my head in the wall because I was real upset. The nurses tried to hush me into another room, but I would not budge. Then somebody told me that we have a beautiful girl and there are just some issues with the mother.... Mother? I am the mother! Don't they get it? I kept telling them that I am the mother and that I want to see my baby, I kept hitting that wall, and I guess finally, they just wanted me to be quiet and let us see her.

She was beautiful and so fragile. She cried and I was so mad that nobody would let me hold her and console her - because, you know, that's what mothers do best!!! Oh well. It took them an eternity to measure and wash and rub and take foot prints and give her her first shot..... but finally they said that we have a room to settle down and stop me from any outbreaks I guess. They cared us over to the Infant Section, into our room where I was finally able to hold her. What a feeling. I was happy, happy, happy.

They gave us that room to ourselves for the entire time. I guess after my outbreak they kind of realized what was going on. It's not an adoption where we separate mother and child. Our carrier did an awesome thing, but technically speaking, she was 'just' the oven. The way they treated us felt more like we are the bad guys. We also explained to somebody what happened, that this was our biological child, and that we just wanted to be with her.
Our Blessing stayed with us for the two nights we were there. They just wanted to keep her for 24 hours and as she was born so late in the afternoon, we had to stay that extra night. Daddy stayed with us the entire time, so it was great bonding time for all of us. He is a rock!

Once we got home, it was Coqui who needed some adjustment. (We are still working on it.) He loves his 'brother' Peanut, wants to hug her all the time or feed her or even change her diaper. He fed her a couple of times, even if he only lasts for about two minutes, declaring that she got too heavy..... It is so cute to see them together. This is what we have been waiting for for such a long time.

The Hubby is back home, but we are finally having a set day to follow him. I can not wait! I am constantly packing something, getting really excited.
At home, we have our whole church family waiting for us! I feel so blessed and excited about that. It makes leaving here easier, knowing that there are loving people waiting for us at home. I am looking forward to show off my baby girl to all our friends....

And I am looking forward to finding a new schedule for both kids. I want to spend real quality time with Coqui, and of course, bonding time with Peanut.

Thanks for reading,
Blessed Mami

24 August 2009

False Alarm - REVISED

We are in week 38, tomorrow starts week 39.... so close to the end!

But last night we had a 'scare' as we were told that we might be in labor. Three hours later, I guess it was decided by the doctors that we are not...... but since then, my stomach has not been the same! Feels like butterflies, just like when you fall in love....
I am so excited. And scared at the same time... When will it be the real deal? And what will happen? I know nobody knows but there is alot involved here. This is not my body and the hospital will put Our Carriers wishes first! That is kind of upsetting to me as this is MY child to be born.... and I want to be part of it as much as they allow me to be... and that part of the equation really scares me. Well, we will see how it goes....

Thanks for reading.

18 August 2009

About Me

This post is more like a 'Get to Know me' combined with 'why the name of the blog'.

So here we go:
My name is Ann..... and I feel blessed.
Blessed because I am married to the perfect man for me as God chose him for me. Blessed because I accepted Christ and that has brought me so much peace in my life, a peace I never knew even existed. Blessed because I am the mother of two beautiful children that both were miracles to me and to out family. Blessed because I am able to stay at home with them and watch them grow each and every day. Believe me it is not always easy, there are fun days and frustrating ones, exhausting ones and the ones that you are glad you made it through. But I am loving it anyway. Blessed to have been raised in Germany and be able to come and stay in this country - I truly believe that this was God's purpose for me. I love that I got the inside view from three totally different systems (I am from East Germany, so I lived through communism). It definitely adds some life experience! Good and bad. I speak three languages pretty fluently, and I am planning to learn at least one more, probably Spanish, as my lovely husband is Hispanic. And the kids should know where we came from. Blessed because I have a family that I love and love being around.
I feel blessed because I have many interests. I am a photographer - but recently I shoot my family only. I love reading - both German and English books. I enjoyed school, always, and that's why I want to home school my children. Also I want to make my and their and our dreams come true. I am green, meaning I want to make a difference for our environment. I am Vegan, mostly at least. I love doing projects, like scrap-booking or sewing or puzzling. I am also a cancer survivor and that kind of changed my world as I knew it before.
This blog is about our blessings, our family, our children, our life.

03 August 2009

it has been a long time

Hey everyone,
I still haven't decided yet, if I want to publish this blog.... I see my friends do it, but it still scares me a little to be that open. Being open also means being vulnerable.
But I do want to share what happened today. It is August 3rd, and we went to an ultrasound this morning. Our blessing got its name Peanut a while back. We are in week 36, so only a little bit more to go. So we got to see him/her (still don't know!).

Peanut weighs 5 lbs. 11 oz - woo hoo!!! I am so happy about that. As the carrier is still not gaining much weight. It is in the 40%, so we still have a little bit more weight to gain before it can come out. The baby's head is down. It is kicking like crazy - I love it. Fluids look great, placenta looks good, everything looks good. So I am relieved and happy.


09 January 2009

The pure medical side of it...

Today I want to talk about what they we went through for this surrogacy. Well right there, the term is quite wrong, as we did not have a surrogate but a gestational carrier. But I'll get to that later. I have to warn you, this is very technical...

Due to my radical hysterectomy, I don't have an uterus anymore. So naturally, I am no longer able to become pregnant or carry a child. Oh yes, that was very hard to digest when you are in the middle of your best years to become a family or have the existing one growing. But thank God to my very good oncologist, I still have my ovaries. And those are very important, as it is here where the eggs are situated and from where they decent to the uterus, either to create a baby or to have your monthly visitor coming. A woman, or baby girl, is born with ALL the eggs and those are inactive until puberty. So I still have some hundreds of eggs inside of me, so I am not that infertile as I first thought I might be. There was hope...

So we just had to use a carrier to carry our baby - kind of borrowing someone's 'oven' for 'only' about nine months. Anybody??? This person is called a Gestational Carrier, rather than a surrogate, as we are using our own eggs and sperm and not hers! They also call it sometimes host uterus, which is really what it is in our case - referring back to the borrowed 'oven'.

First, they had to find where my cycle is, because I don't have monthly menstruation anymore. Then they had to stimulate my egg production, to take out as many eggs as possible. Yes, I had to take some drugs to do so, fertility drugs, by injection, but to my surprise, it did not hurt as much as I anticipated it. (You have to know that I am terrified by needles, and usually have to be laid down when blood is drawn!) I had to go to the clinic multiple times, even daily, to get blood drawn and have ultrasounds to determine how many eggs there were and how big they are.

Here I want to stop the technicalities for a moment and share an incident that kind of made me mad at the time, but now I can smile about it. One time, I was laying on the table to have a technician do the ultrasound. This is a very good example of when the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing. Because this lady was looking and looking and starting to hurt me digging this instrument deeper inside me. Usually I am very quiet because you know those people have a degree for what they are doing, so I figured this person knows what she is looking for. But after a while I got concerned, so I asked her what was the matter. And in all sincerity, she said she is looking for my uterus. Can you believe that? So I told her that I don't have one anymore, and that's the reason why we are at a fertility clinic! Unbelievable.

So back to the real deal: by the size of the eggs, my day of retrieval was decided upon. At the same time, our carrier was taking her daily share of medications, both injections and oral ones, and had to be monitored as well, but not as often. For some reason, my eggs took two days longer than usual, but that was not a problem for the carrier. Retrieval of the eggs is done through a small one-hour-procedure, under narcoses.
Once they removed my eggs, they fertilized them with the partner's sperm and waited to see how many take on and how many don't. In my case, they removed nine eggs, four were lost in the process, five took the sperm. After a couple of days, only two more were left. On the day of the transfer, one of the fertilized eggs were put into our carrier. (It was her will to only use one egg, she was afraid of having to carry multiples.) And now we had to wait fourteen days that felt like forever!!!.......

That day, the carrier had to go to the clinic to have a pregnancy test done and some blood drawn. She had to go back home and waited with us until the end of the day.... Oh, we were all sitting like on fire. Finally, the call came and..... (drum roll)... we were pregnant!!! Yeah....

We have one fertilized egg, well an embryo, waiting in the freezer. We have to see what will happen to this little fellow....

First Appointment

So after we made contact with this awesome person, we started to get to know each other better. I mean we had known each other for four years, but more like 'hi' and 'bye', and not much else. It is sad, but that how life is sometimes.

She has two kids of her own, and the younger is only two months younger than Coqui - so they actually got to know each other as well.

She was willing to do the most awesome thing somebody can do for someone else! But we love her not just for that! At that point, none of us knew what to expect. So it was kind of scary, but at the same time, also exciting. It brought us closer together as a family, and with the extended family. So I hope it will be a blessing throughout the entire process...

As the first step, we made an appointment with the clinic - I won't mention its name. This appointment with the doctor was just pure information gathering from both sides. We wanted to know what is all involved in such a process. And the doctor, of course, wants to know our medical history. So it was set for mid-/ late September last year.

After the appointment, we felt we learned some stuff but not all.... it was a little disappointing. They asked us a lot of questions, especially us. By the way, we are considered 'donors' - ask how we feel about that!!! Well, not very good, as this is our child, and always will be our child. That is quite a bummer.... Also we learned, that our case is actually pretty 'easy' - as none of us have any abnormalities, medically spoken of course. Besides the fact, that I can not do this on my own. Which is sad for me... but I will get to my own feelings in a little while.

05 January 2009

New Hope

Today I want to talk about why there is new hope.

Not that there weren't any in between, but it was sad and frustrating at times. We know that God was always near us, but it didn't feel like it at times. So in August 2008, we came to New Jersey to celebrate my son's, Coqui, 2nd birthday with the entire family. Also every year - I mean there were only two so far - I write a letter to family and friends to update everyone about what is going on in Coqui's life. The first year's letter was full of all the firsts a newborn goes through. Last year's letter was like that, too. Unfortunately, we had to add the cancer story as well.
And as sad as we were, we always had some hope, and faith, I guess. In writing this letter, I think I got a message from God. As I know I couldn't have come up with that much faith and knowledge on my own. Somehow I knew that there will be a person sent by God to help us. I didn't know in which way, nor when it would happen.
So I sent the letter out, and got a couple of responses. Until one day..... that miracle that we had hoped for was about to become reality.... I mean, I remember our old Pastor saying once: "If you need a miracle, expect a miracle." And within a month of receiving this message, I got finally pregnant with Coqui. But I also know that it doesn't always work.... does it? well, the God I know works wonders and miracles, so.....

So back to this new hope miracle. My mother-in-law received a phone call from someone from the family. And when she told me afterwards what that person had proposed to us, I was absolutely in shock. She was willing to carry our baby for us..... WOW.
I hadn't expected that, especially that fast.... but my.... I didn't know what to say or what to think....

After the first contact was made - not that we didn't know each other, but it was very different circumstances this time - we sat down and talked for a loooong time. It was like so surreal... it was exciting and scary at the same time. But most of all, we felt soooo thankful for the Lord's answer to prayers. Because without Him, we wouldn't be where we are now...

Oh Lord, you always provide. You are so awesome! Even when we encounter life's trials, you never stop loving us - but we forget.... I am asking you to forgive me for ever doubting you. Because we should know that you only put us through trials we can handle... and those trials are there to show us the wonders of your hands. It is amazing that a cancer story turned out to be a blessing for two families - none of them could have ever expected to experience. We are so thankful for His work. Lord, I am in awe of you....