Sunday, August 29, 2010

Return to Work

Tomorrow I will return to work after having been off with Liam & Silas for 7 months. I have been dreading this and have cried on and off all week anticipating the end of my maternity leave. Tonight while putting Silas to bed I rocked him and bawled because I I kept thinking about how I won't see my boys awake until 3:30pm tomorrow. It's not that I'm worried about the boys not being well cared for or that I dislike my job. I love teaching and feel confident that my boys will be in good hands. My mom will be with them here at our house two days a week and our wonderful nanny the other three days. I'm just sad that I won't be the one who's with them. I'm sad that I'm going to miss all the smiles, giggles, kisses, hugs, cuddling, and new milestones. This week is going to be tough, so wish me strength as I return to work.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Studio Photos

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

6 Months Old

The boys enjoying a stroller ride:

Liam got his first haircut:

Silas having fun with his daddy:

The boys playing:

Monday, August 9, 2010

Our personal contribution to stem cell research

**IMPORTANT NOTE: I know that there are people opposed to using embryonic stem cells and I respect your opinion/position on the issue. It is obvious from my post title that I am supportive of embryonic stem cell research. I hope that my position can be respected and that my blog doesn't become a battleground to debate the issue. We all have to do what feels right to us personally and really should try not to judge others when we haven't walked in their shoes. I appreciate your understanding and thank you in advance for not making my blog your personal debate forum.**

Today is a very bittersweet day for me. We signed the paperwork to donate our 3 frozen embryos to the Stem Cell Institute at the University of Minnesota. Both J and I thought it was important to hand-pick where our embryos were going. We both strongly support embryonic stem cell research and were pleased that we could give them to a local research institution. This particular facility is "evaluating new methods of isolating and culturing embryonic stem cells (ESC) from excess embryos obtained by IVF, so that large number of cells can be made available for patients in a reliable and reproducible manner. Additionally, all new ESC lines will be made available to researchers worldwide."

Although I feel a great sense of pride for doing my part to help advance stem cell research in an attempt to treat and/or cure diseases (e.g., Parkinson's, heart disease, diabetes), I do feel a little sad at the same time. I know our family is complete and that having more children isn't something that we ever plan to pursue, yet I feel attached to these embryos. Well technically I'm not attached to the blastocysts themselves per se, but rather to their potential for life. As I drove home from signing the papers and having them notarized I couldn't help but daydream about "who" was among them. My thoughts drifted to a little girl with curls and big blue eyes wearing an adorable pink floral dress and I became teary. The reality is that I'm a little sad I'll never have a daughter and I think I'll always wonder if there was a girl among those three embryos. I think there's even a piece of me that's still a little sad I'll never carry a baby and when I think of those embryos I wonder if one of them could've become a healthy, living baby by growing inside of me. I sometimes daydream about becoming unexpectedly pregnant on my own, which of course is highly unlikely and definitely not wise, yet I still think about it.

Clearly there's a multitude of issues coming together to create my mixed emotions today, but honestly the sadness is fleeting. I look at my precious boys and know that I am lucky. Actually I am very, very lucky! My life finally feels complete and I feel that I have finally defeated infertility. I know that there are so many women (and men) who would give so much to have what we have, so I hope I don't come off as sounding ungrateful. I am beyond grateful--more than you will ever know. Sometimes it just helps me to move past such emotions by putting a voice to them and it helps me to find peace with major decisions to discuss them (sometimes at great length much to my husband's dismay).

I am trying to look at our donation in the most positive light. We may not be giving these three embryos an opportunity of life, but we very well may be giving an opportunity of life (or a comfortable life) to hundreds if not thousands of people who are stricken with horrible diseases. I truly believe that this is our gift. We are giving back and paying it forward by donating our embryos to stem cell research. We are giving in a way that has huge potential to improve human life and for that I can feel good.