Amber and Aaron

Amber and Aaron

The Fun We've Already Had...

  • Graham Tomas born July 31 at 5:04 P.M. weighing 8 lbs, 12 oz.
  • December 2, 2011: PREGNANT!!!
  • Paisley Kate arrived August 21 at 5:38 P.M. weighing 7 lbs, 9 oz
  • DUE DATE: August 25, 2010!!!
  • Dec. 14, 2009- PREGNANT!!!
  • Oct. 07,2009- Had elective D&C.
  • Sept 28, 2009- No embryo on ultrasound. :(
  • Sept 15th, 2009- We found out we're PREGNANT!!!
  • Sept '09- Aaron had varicocele repair.
  • July '09- IUI #1 with HCG shot= No such luck
  • April '09- Ovarian drilling surgery, followed by hospitalization for uterine infection
  • Jan-Mar '09- metformin + 3 rounds of clomid= no ovulation
  • Dec. 11, 2008- Hysterosalpingogram (Fancy word for shooting dye through the ovaries. OUCH)
  • Nov '08- Sent to RE. Tried metformin alone for two months (No ovulation)
  • Oct '08- Diagnosed with PCOS based on amenorrhea and crazy hormone levels.
  • June '08- Aaron convinced me to start trying.
  • June '04- Got Hitched!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Pulling UP!!!

I swear Paisley is changing so fast right now that it's almost crazy.

This week, she started pulling up to standing.  All I know is that she was playing on the living room floor with her toys, so I went to the kitchen to fill up my water bottle.  I walk back around the couch (like 30 seconds later) and she is on her knees with her hands on the couch.  Then she popped up to her feet.

She looked at me and realized how proud of herself she was, so she broke into a huge grin.  SUPER CUTE!  Now she pulls up on everything and even starting cruising around the furniture a lot.  She already loved walking around while holding onto our hands.    Early walker?  We'll see...

She doesn't like to be rocked to sleep at night.  Never really has.  So I started nursing her, "dancing" with her while listening to soothing music, and then laying her down in her crib.  And it works like a charm.  She goes right to sleep without all the fussing!  Who knew such a crazy thing would actually work???

And lastly, one of my favorite IF friends is having a baby shower tomorrow to celebrate her twin boys that she is pregnant with.  I'm so glad to be attending such an awesome event!!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My Fellow Animal Lovers

First of all, I want to start by saying how incredibly sweet you all are for feeling sorry for our unfortunate rat with the tumor.  I posted the pictures so you all might see how crazy my husband's job frequently is and because I'd never seen such a large tumor on something so tiny.  Of course, we were really sad that he didn't make it, especially after we'd tried so hard to save him.  And my husband spent over an hour on an intricate surgery to carefully remove the tumor.  :(

What surprised me about your reactions is that most people say "eewww" to the rodent pets.  And many say that it's not worth paying a vet bill for care on something that only cost a few dollars.  But the owners LOVE these pets just like their dogs or cats.  And we take their health care just as seriously.  My husband actually really enjoys treating the exotics, and many other vets in our area won't treat them.  So, I am excited that my readers have such a big heart for all living things!  :)

Working in a vet clinic has been incredibly fun 95% of the time.  But it is really difficult when we lose a patient.  I've come to realize that there are certainly times that euthanasia is the best choice for an animal who is suffering.  But we refuse to euthanize puppies or kittens just because someone doesn't want them.  And this week we took in both a cat and a pit bull because the owners just couldn't care for them and wanted them put down.  (We've already found the pit a home, and then cat is at our clinic for now).

Several weeks ago, we lost a really sweet dog (another pit-one of my favorite breeds) that had gotten attacked by a neighbor's dog.  His wounds ended up too infected to save him, despite countless hours of care we gave him.  We tried antibiotics, IV fluids, topical ointments, steroids, pain meds, a blood transfusion, and numerous injections.  But it was just too much.  So, that last night when he had really declined, we took him out into the grass behind our clinic and I sat with him in the sun.  And while I petted him and spoke to him, I cried.  I realized at that moment what an incredibly important job veterinary medicine really is.   We even took the big guy home with us that night so he wouldn't have to die alone.

We're with these pets from their first puppy check-ups (occasionally even their births if by c-section) and remain part of their lives until their last breath.  Often, we're the ones comforting them in their final moments.  And even though it hurts and we all cry from time to time, it's all worth it in the end.  If Paisley learns nothing else from us, I hope she feels the same devotion to animals that we feel. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

My Little Booby Baby

Paisley and I started off the nursing journey a bit rocky.  I was expressing colostrum onto a spoon in the hospital and forcing her to eat it because she just wasn't interested.  Then, we had a problem with her not latching onto lefty.  She just did not like that side, so I used a nipple shield.  (Mainly because I had this picture in my mind that my right breast was going to be ginormous and my left would shrivel up like a grape.)  My milk took WAY too long to come in- like 5 days.  Which seems like 5 years when you have a hungry baby that is keeping you up all night.  Those free samples of formula were taunting me.  Why in the world your body doesn't kick the milk-making into gear sooner is beyond me.

Then, it happened.  My milk came in full force, my baby learned to latch on and eat well, and it started to seem natural.  The nipple shield was no longer needed, I never used any lanolin because my nipples were painless, and I suddenly had the most amazing cleavage ever!  I realized that breastfeeding rocks when it works out for both participants!  :)

However, what we have 8 months down the nursing road is a baby who absolutely loves to nurse.  She's still never taken a bottle.  And even if she eats a huge meal of solid food, she still prefers to nurse afterwards.  The child has slowed down to about 4-5 nursing sessions a day, but she also eats a ton of other stuff.  So, my question is how will I get her to quit nursing?

I feel like I'd like to wean her around 9-10 months, just because she's got those huge teeth now and I'm pretty sure she's working on a complementary set up top now.  If she bites me with that pair, I'm going to pass out.  And it's not very often that she nibbles now, but it already hurts really bad!  So, I just want to hear how the weaning went for others out there.  I'm really going to miss this special time between us, but I really don't like it when she clamps down on my nipple and then pulls her head back like the poor thing is Stretch Armstrong.  And I also don't want to have to visit her in kindergarten to nurse her mid-day!  :)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Lowering of the Crib

I know many of you are thinking why in the world would this crazy girl be writing a post about lowering a crib.  Surely there can't be too much to say about something so simple, right?  I mean, she's a PA and he's a veterinarian.  They must be smart enough to conquer a task easy enough for a monkey.

Except that we aren't smart enough.  In our defense, the directions that came with the crib are like reading ancient hieroglyphics.  And I didn't take that course in college.  Nor was I born with freakishly tiny hands that can easily fit through the crib rails and then bend at a 90 degree angle in order to unscrew the stupid parts that adjust. 

I kept putting this off, until I knew the day was going to arrive that she figured out she could pull herself to standing in there.  It's amazing she hadn't done it already.  But now I wish I'd just built some sort of contraption to make the bed rails taller.  I realize that would have been simpler.  So, after about 2 hours of the two of us deliberating over how to get this done and Paisley watching us wondering why she was stuck with us as her parents, it was finally at the middle level.  And she slept on it last night without any incidents.   

Just makes me wonder why such an expensive piece of furniture has to be so confusing!  Maybe we should have went ahead and put in on the lowest setting to avoid doing this ever again...

Saturday, April 23, 2011

If Your Rat Looks Like This, You Have a Problem

A hairless rat, weird enough by itself, with a gigantic mammary tumor

Side view to further show how absolutely not normal this is

Putting "Buddy" under anesthesia to remove the tumor

The tumor in a bowl following removal.
These owners brought this rat in 6 months ago for this tumor, which at the time was MUCH smaller.  They chose not to operate at the time, so Aaron figured they probably just weren't going to.  WRONG.  This is what he looked like when they brought him in on Friday to have it removed. 

Aaron did a great job at removing the tumor from the poor rat.  It ended up being 25% of his body weight.  Good news:  he looked a TON better following the surgery.  Bad news:  he decided to go to Rat Heaven during his post-op period.  :(

If Only There Were 2 (maybe 3) of Me

Since becoming a mom, I have learned that there is NEVER enough time in a day to accomplish everything I want/need to do.  The hours fly by like they're minutes and before I know it, it's time for bed again.  I expected it to be hard to be a mom, but I think I actually underestimated how difficult it really is.   Of course I love it.  But finding balance has been a real struggle for me.

I'm an only child.  I enjoy my alone time.  After being around people for a large amount of time, I need time by myself to recoup.  But my new best friend is always with me.  Which is exactly where I want her to be.  I  just lack that time in "Amber Land" that used to refresh me.

One of the biggest issues here is that Paisley doesn't feel the need to sleep.  She gets 8-9 hours at night (usually straight through, sometimes she wakes once to nurse), but may only catnap once or twice during the day.   Every now and then, she'll take an hour nap.   The car frequently puts her to sleep but she wakes whenever we get to where we're going.  And she isn't cranky at all because of it.  It's like she simply doesn't require sleep.   So you might imagine my surprise/jealousy when I read the blogs talking about a baby sleeping 12 hours at night and taking 3 naps a day.  Seems impossible!!!

I take her to the gym nursery 2-3 times a week for an hour which is a great time for myself.  But often she decides to schedule her pooping at the same time.  And they don't change their diapers, so they come get me.  Usually when we're at the peak of our aerobics class and my heart is beating 170 beats per minute.  And I'm drenched in sweat...  And she's covered in poop.  :(

When we're home, she wants CONSTANT interaction.  This is not the type of baby you plop down in an exersaucer while you kick back and relax.  She wants you next to it, talking to her and playing with her toys.  Which I think is great except it is exhausting.   She does like to sit in her bumbo seat while I cook and clean, if I pile the tray with lots of finger foods she can feed herself. 

So, I'm still trying to figure out how to stretch myself in a million different directions without feeling too worn out.  And I've come to terms with the fact that I have a "difficult" baby.  She's happy as long as she's getting her way, but she requires a LOT from us.  Her beauty and hilarious personality more than make up for it though...  :)

Friday, April 22, 2011


Since it is ICLW, I figured a "cliff's note" view into my blog might be in order!  So, for those who are new or just stopping by- welcome!   Here's a little about me and my blog-

  • I'm 30 and graduated from physician assistant school.  I worked as a family-practice PA for 2 1/2 years until I had my sweet baby and couldn't leave her!
  • My husband is 31 and is a veterinarian.  We recently purchased the vet clinic where he works and I am now his office manager.  The best thing about this job is that I can take Paisley with us everyday. :)
  • We got married in 2004 after dating for 6 years.  We started trying for a baby in 2008 which quickly turned into disaster.
  • I have PCOS, he had a varicocele.  Together, we are a reproductive nightmare.
  • We suffered a miscarriage in October of 2009.  Thankfully, I got pregnant again 2 months later.
  • Thanks to a varicocelectomy, ovarian drilling, and metformin, we have a beautiful little 8-month-old girl!  
  • I am an open book.  Occasionally Usually I share more than enough info.  To the point that every now and then, my much more private husband makes me delete something from a post.  (LAME).
  • Our daughter is our world.  She is a curious, busy, sweet, demanding, little bundle of energy that doesn't much care to sleep, eats a ton but never gains weight, and constantly keeps me guessing.  Too bad these things don't come with manuals...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My Little Explorer

Meeting twin baby goats with her favorite human twins!

Her 1st donkey ride

Showing off her rockin' spike!

Typing at work with Morgan

Paisley's first pedicure with mama- we had to go for matching colors!  I know people are going to ask- I did them while she sat on my bathroom counter and I let her brush her teeth.  She didn't mind at all!

My happy baby's sweet smile!

Having a blast at play gym!

I love this one- it looks like she's being chased by someone.  :)

Exploring the tunnel at baby gym
Paisley is truly more fun every single month.  I'm definitely not one of those moms who gets sad when she gets bigger and I don't miss the newborn phase at all.  Personally, I thought it was WAY too much work and not nearly enough reward.  This is the fun time.  She can interact and she's getting her own personality.  (Even if it does mean she's starting to show her stubbornness more and more).

Friday, April 15, 2011

My Supermodel Baby

Paisley went in for a weight check-up on Wednesday, which for those of you who have chunky babies or even babies of normal size, is when the pediatrician makes you come in to see how your tiny child is now doing on the growth charts knowing good and well that they're still going to be smaller than most others their age.

Well, guess what...  She's still smaller than 75% of her peers (big woop-te-doo).  But she's taller than average!  She went from weighing 14 pounds, 4 ounces at her last appointment 6 weeks ago and is now 15 pounds, 9 ounces.  I was super ecstatic about her gaining 1.5 pounds that quickly!  Apparently, she's just playing catch-up with the others now. 

Thanks to all of you who have the jumbo babies that set the curve too high for my little petite gal to maintain...  :)     She's eating everything on the planet.  She loves table food the most, but eats baby yogurt, fruits, veggies, and still nurses every 3-4 hours.  Our pediatrician has recommended foods with lots of calories for her since she's such an active baby.

I say she's just going to be a supermodel- tall and skinny! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

First Word

My mom thought she heard Paisley say "mama" during baby gym class tonight, but I wasn't nearby so I didn't hear it.  I assumed she was being crazy and wishing she'd heard it.  But then, while Aaron, my mom and I ate dinner tonight, she clearly said, "mama".    In the sweetest little voice ever.

And it was the most beautiful thing I've ever heard.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Playing at the clinic with one of her best friends/other mommies

I'm finally back to my pre-pregnancy weight!!!

Swimming with her dad- she finished her swim classes a week ago.

Her 1st elephant ride with her mom, dad, and Grandma

Her 1st camel ride at the Medieval Fair
Everything is going great around here.  Paisley is just keeping me REALLY busy!  I know people always use their kids as excuses, but now I totally get it.  Life really does fly by with a little one around.  I feel like we wake up, and before I know it- it's time for bed!

Thanks for your comments on my last post.  It's just so hard to have something controlling your life and know that you can't always change the way things are going to go.  And please don't think I'm at all ungrateful for this precious little girl!  I just love her so much, that I'd kinda like another just like her!!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ovarian Drilling

The longer time goes on, the more I think about whether or not my baby-making factory is going to start working again or not.  Maybe this was just an incredible fluke or maybe my body will function as female again...

For readers who don't know, I had failed to ovulate on metformin and clomid after being diagnosed with PCOS in 2008.  I'd never had regular periods that I could remember, but without progesterone I wasn't having them at all.  My RE suggested either ovarian drilling or injectables and I chose the surgery which insurance would cover.

It was the best decision I ever made because it resulted in the birth of my beautiful baby girl.  Even worth the hospitalization afterwards for a nasty uterine infection...

But since it isn't a common treatment, there isn't a lot of research out there about it.  We were told that 75% ovulate after surgery, and pregnancy rates are 30-40%.  But what about subsequent pregnancies?  How long does the surgery last? 

I had three periods after my surgery and then got pregnant the 1st time.  I had one period in between the miscarriage and baby #2 (now known as Paisley).  So it didn't take long.  And I'm still breastfeeding now which interferes with cycles, so it's not surprising that I haven't started.  But my infertile mind can't help but wonder if the "shop" is closed for business.

When I used to go on a certain site about PCOS, the girls who'd had ovarian drilling mostly didn't get pregnant.  The very few who did only had 1 baby.  In fact, one of the girls got pregnant right after her surgery, but then had 4 miscarriages following that baby's birth.  Not too promising...

I guess the moral is that I'm incredibly lucky to have this sweet baby.  She's my miracle and will complete our family if I don't have another.  It's just hard to accept that we don't control how many babies we have or when...

Sometimes I pretend I'm "normal"  (I can hear some of my friends laughing) because I had this perfect baby and I want to do it again because I loved pregnancy and enjoy being her mama so much.  But I guess we'll just see what happens.  :)