Until All The Pieces Fit

I haven’t blogged in quite a while… I clearly just use this as an outlet for things I can’t quite talk about publicly, or when i just need to be heard. This may be the hardest thing I’ve ever written, but I can’t keep it to myself any longer.

My son is 3.5 years old now, 42(ish) inches tall and a whopping 60 lbs. He is in the 99th percentile for height and off the chart for weight… built just like his 6’5″ daddy. Unfortunately, he has some developmental concerns that are just as incredible as his size. This has been a long time coming.

At his 1 year checkup, as the pediatrician went down the checklist of typical milestones I answered everything with an enthusiastic yes and a smile- until she began to ask about his vocabulary. At this time he was only saying ma ma and da da. I expressed my concerns and made it known that I felt he was behind with speech. His pediatrician chalked this up to him being a boy. She reassured me by saying “Girls his age may talk more, but I bet he can throw a ball better.” She was right, so I laughed and agreed, and tried not to stress.

Fast forward to his 2 year checkup. Still, the same concerns regarding his speech. By this time he was saying ma ma, da da, ball and turtle. Nowhere near where he should be. At all. I expressed my growing concern and was once again reassured that he was just a typical boy and would start talking in his own time. I left this appointment feeling less than satisfied. It was at this time I began putting other pieces of his personality together with his speech delay and started to suspect there may be a much bigger underlying issue. The more I researched the more I became convinced that my son had autism.

I made another appointment with his pediatrician when he was 2.5 years old and demanded a speech evaluation. I again asked his pediatrician if she agreed that he may be autistic. She disagreed, based on the fact that he is extremely affectionate and makes decent eye contact. I didn’t push the issue further, thinking “she is a doctor, I’m a hypochondriac. Let it go.” We went to the speech evaluation a few weeks later and to no one’s surprise, he was found to have a profound speech delay and started hospital based speech therapy right away. We also got involved with the first steps program and added weekly home visits with a developmental interventionist, school based speech therapy and occupational therapy. He has made some progress, but nothing extraordinary.

3 year checkup time. We still don’t have very many more words than we did at the 2 year checkup, or 2.5 year special appointment. His pediatrician finally agrees that there are some red flags and refers us to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to see a developmental pediatrician. After a few hours of discussion regarding my pregnancy, his delivery and infantile development, up to where he is today, the developmental pediatrician stated that she does have concerns for Autism Spectrum Disorder. We are scheduled for the ADOS in late August and anticipate a diagnosis of ASD.

I know, and have known in my heart that my son has autism since he was 2. It’s honestly a relief to finally be getting answers and explanations for his shortfalls, eccentricities and resistance to change. But as relieved as I am, I am just as heartbroken. I’m grieving for the possibilities that my child may not have in his future. I’m grieving for the friends my child may not be able to make. I am grieving for the isolation and bullying my child may be subjected to. Im grieving the words that he so desperately wants to say but just can’t. I’m grieving this diagnosis. Every second of every day I am grieving the things autism may take from my perfect, innocent son. And then, i feel guilty for grieving these things. I love him the same regardless and will be here for him every step of the way. But I cannot accept this without asking why him? Why my baby? We have no family history, no pregnancy complications, no clear “why”. It just happened.

I have told 3 friends, and of course my husband knows. I also joined an autism mom support group. Aside from these people, I haven’t spoken about this to anyone. I can’t. I don’t have the words, nor the explanation that I know will be expected when I tell people about our Autism journey. So for the sake of my sanity, I’m letting you in.


It’s been a while…

Well y’all… it’s been a minute. A lot has changed, but a lot is still the same. We’re still a party of 3 for now, but working on a sibling for P. We’ll start there.

We’ve been officially hardcore trying for baby #2 for 3 months now. One month naturally, one month on 150 mg of Clomid and this month we’re trying Femara for the very first time. If you’ve never had to deal with infertility and the hell meds that come with it, consider yourself blessed. It’s exhausting. Clomid made me a crazy person and Femara is making me pee every 3 minutes. I was relatively lucky with P and conceived on my first round of fertility meds so I’m kind of lost and shocked by the fact that we’ve had more significant trouble this time around. Hopefully this is the month, and I can start blogging about my pregnancy!! We’ll find out around February 20th.

My job. Good God. I’ve never loathed something so much in my life. I work in residential lending, where I process and close mortgage loans. If you’ve ever bought a house you know that this is a lengthy process and it doesn’t happen overnight. What you don’t know, is that the overworked and underpaid people behind the scenes are busting their asses and failing to meet the unrealistic timeframes that are set for the process. Recently my position was restructured. When I moved to the department I work in now I was hired as a mortgage processor. Moderately stressful, but manageable. However, they have combined my position with the closing position. Nobody wants to be a closer. Everyone wants their loan closed like yesterday, and when you have 25 loans to close it’s impossible to satisfy everyone. I pretty much close the loans for the people who are bitching the loudest. It’s terrible. I would have never applied for this job, but alas, I was given an entirely different job and a shit ton more responsibility on top of the job I was already doing- for no increase in pay. So, I want out. I’ve been in banking for a little over 5 years, started as a teller, moved to loan operations and then to residential lending. As I’ve moved up I’ve gained some pretty significant pay increases. I don’t make a lot of money by any means, but I live in an area where $10 an hour is considered “good” money and that fact that I make beyond that makes it practically impossible to find another job that doesn’t involve a pay cut. I have bills to pay and mouths to feed so for now I will continue to eat sleep and breathe mortgages.

Me, as a person. I’ve changed. I don’t know when or how it happened but I’ve grown some serious balls. I’ve become assertive and confident and at times, even confrontational. I’ve never been a person to stand up for myself, I would rather just keep my mouth shut and avoid confrontation. But I find myself speaking my mind a lot more these days, and I like it. I’m proud. I’ve distanced myself from friends from high school and become much closer with newer friends who I have more in common with and can better relate to. I think I can partially contribute my change in attitude to my bitches 🙂

And last, but certainly not least, P! He’s a big boy now. We celebrated his 2nd birthday in December with a Ninja Turtle party. Does he like Ninja Turtles? No. He’s still obsessed with Mickey Mouse, but I didn’t want a Mickey party 2 years in a row so I picked the cutest decorations. He had his 2 year checkup last month so I’ll give you the obligatory mom stats: he’s 35 inches tall, 35 lbs, has an entire mouth full of teeth, wears 2T/3T clothes, would eat rice and cheese for every meal if you let him, and watches Mickey Mouse every chance he gets. He still sleeps with me, with his hand wrapped in my hair all night long. He loves to cuddle, and he loves group hugs with me and his daddy. He also enjoys pushing our heads together and making us kiss, that’s a little disturbing and we’re trying to make him stop it… he tried to make my sister in laws kiss the other day. Awkward. He’s just a typical rambunctious little boy who loves running, climbing, picking his nose and doing gross boy stuff. I wouldn’t have it any other way! 

I always say I’ll try to blog more, but I get busy and it never happens. I’ll try to do better this time though, hopefully my eggo will get preggo so I’ll have more interesting things to tell you about!! Otherwise you’re gonna just have to listen to me bitch about my job… I apologize in advance. 

Let the Baby Dancing Commence

I can’t believe I’m back here already… It seems like just yesterday I was TTC for the first time. P is 13 months old, and if I’m going to be successful with my 2 year gap plan, it’s time to get back on the horse.

If you’ve not followed my journey, we tried unsuccessfully for 7 months for our first baby and got lucky on our 8th cycle. The 8th cycle was our 1st medicated cycle, 100 mg of Clomid gave me my sweet little P. I went back to my OB/GYN last month and got the all clear to get started on #2. She went ahead and prescribed 100 mg of Clomid and told me she had no problem with going straight to meds since I would probably need it anyway. Clomid made me a crazy bitch last time around. There’s no sugar coating it, it made me insane… I beat my dog and I will probably never forgive myself for that. So, naturally I’m not looking forward to taking Clomid again. I decided to try 1 unmedicated cycle before going back on fertility meds.

So that’s where we’re at. I’m on cycle day 8, and expect to ovulate on the 29th. We started bd’ing last night (and this morning :)) , and plan to continue every other day. AF should come on Feb. 12th… So hopefully I will get a precious little V-Day gift with a BFP! I’m very hopeful, but I don’t expect this month to be successful. It would be amazing if it were that easy, but I don’t expect it to work out that way. You will probably be hearing about my Clomid confessions next month! I’ve not taken an OPK since last time I was TTC so we are going on the assumption that I am still ovulating on my own. I will have blood work on cycle day 21 to confirm that! I’m going to do my best to keep you updated on this journey, but life with P gets pretty crazy!!!

Being a Mom Is…

My friends without kids often ask me what it’s like to be a mom… That isn’t a question I can answer with a quick reply. I usually give a generic response, but today I’m going to take the time to answer it to the best of my ability.

-Being a mom is everything.
-Being a mom is bittersweet.
-Being a mom is giving up the last bite of your favorite piece of cake because your beautiful little boy wants a “bite bite”
-Being a mom is watching your amazing creation take his first steps with so much pride you could bust, but wishing he wasn’t growing up so fast
-Being a mom is a full time job with no holidays or sick days
-Being a mom is spending more money than you have to make sure their 1st birthday is perfect
-Being a mom is amazing. Every single day.
-Being a mom is having a panic attack because their fever is 102.8 and their pedi is on vacation
-Being a mom is sacrifice
-Being a mom is a privilege
-Being a mom is watching Mickey Mouse for 6 straight hours because there’s nothing more precious than the way their eyes light up when Mickey walks over the little hill
-Being a mom is giving up your pillow because they sleep better in your spot
-Being a mom is seeing the world through different eyes
-Being a mom is growing a giant set of balls because you’re the only defense your child has in the world
-Being a mom is having a dishwasher full of coffee cups and bottles
-Being a mom is waking up early and wishing they were up so you could play in the bed
-Being a mom is crying at the end of a long weekend from work because you can’t imagine leaving them again
-Being a mom is leaving your comfort zone and taking scary chances for the sake of a better life for your family
-Being a mom is knowing there will never be a better feeling than being the only one that can stop their tears
-Being a mom is being heartbroken knowing there will be a day when you won’t be able to stop their tears
-Being a mom is hard as hell
-Being a mom is the single most rewarding thing I’ve ever done in my life
-Being a mom is tearing up when you see a new mommy holding her baby for the first time, because you know how quickly the time passes
-Being a mom is wanting to do the best you can in all aspects of your life to make sure you provide the best life you can for your child
-Being a mom is becoming selfless
-Being a mom is spending your last $20 on diapers and eating soup for lunch til payday so they don’t have to use the cheap emergency diapers
-Being a mom is putting them first, always.
-Being a mom is knowing your life will never be the same, and thanking God for allowing you to bring your perfect child into the world.
-Being a mom is taking too many pictures because you know you won’t ever live this moment again
-Being a mom is something you can’t describe in a few sentences. Its something you have to experience to understand.

The Plan

We have decided we definitely want to welcome a new baby sooner, rather than later. The company I work for gives all vacation/sick/personal time on January 1st. So, I would like to go on maternity leave as close to the end of the year, without going into the new year as possible… If that makes any sense. With P I was on maternity leave from December 1st to January 28th and lost all of my paid time off. That made the past year really difficult since I didn’t want to miss any of his first Dr appointments, or leave him when he was sick. Definitely not making that mistake again! The second factor in the plan is the Aflac policy I just took out, that goes into effect on January 1st. According to my Aflac rep, if I give birth after November 1st of 2016 I will be covered for the birth and hospital stay, and get a nice payout!

So, if I’m going to have a baby in 2016 it needs to be a November baby. Which makes February the month I will need to conceive. Since P was a 1st try Clomid baby I’m praying I will have the same luck this time around… I really want to get pregnant in February. P would be 23 months old when the new baby arrived, which is as close to perfect as you can get to the 2 year age gap I’ve always imagined my babies would have. I can’t believe I’m about to start this journey again already, but I’m thrilled about the possibility of baby #2!

Shit I Can’t Believe I have to Say: Part 1

I catch myself saying things to P (and my husband) on a daily basis that I literally can’t believe have to be said. You would think most of these things should go without saying, but not when you have a crazy baby boy and a husband like mine!!! There’s much more I could add to this list, and I’m sure there’s gonna be a lot more to add in the future!

-“Do NOT put her tail in your mouth!!!”

-“Get out of the dishwasher NOW!”

-“Please stop pulling on your bird!”

-“Get off of her head!”

-“Stop trying to eat the garbage!”

-“Please quit calling your mamaw!” (she’s on speed dial, he’s not a child genius…that I know of)

-“You know that’s not buttpaste around your mouth… You know not!”

To Hubby:

-“He can’t have chimichangas!”

-“No…we can’t just scoot him to the other side of the bed!” (he’s sexually deprived)

-“I’m on my way, don’t pee on his head!!!!”

-“In his 2nd drawer… Where they have been for 11 months!” (in response to “Where’s his pants, I can’t find them anywhere!”)

-and then there were 4… Or maybe not.

Hubby and I have been tossing around the idea of baby #2 for a couple of months. He wants a bunch of kids (3+) and I only want 2. After P was born we decided to go with a 4 year age gap, so P would be starting school when baby #2 came along. My mother in law keeps P and my niece while hubby and I and my brother and sister in law work. So out of respect for our free babysitter, I think it would be best to wait til the oldest are starting school to have another. Clearly that plan isn’t going to work out… We have both realized we want our kids to be closer in age. Just how close we want them has yet to be determined.

I always imagined I would just know when it was time to have another baby, like I would check the mail and get a little postcard that said “Its that time!” or something… Apparently that’s not how it works? I’m truly in limbo about it. One day I’m consumed by baby fever and cry just thinking about a sweet little newborn, or a baby bump. Other days, the reality of life with 2 kids and a full time job gets me overwhelmed and I wonder if I could even handle it. Then I realize how much older P would be once the new baby arrived and it all seems so simple. We can afford a second child, and could swing daycare or another babysitter if we had to, so there is really nothing holding us back.

So here we are… NTNP. (That’s not trying, not preventing for you TTC newbs!) I guess we will see where this takes us, and let God and chance make this decision. 🙂