Sunday, June 17, 2012

So I see it's been awhile...

Or Life has continued moving forward...

It's been awhile since I posted last, almost 2 years in fact.  The last time I posted Che was almost 5 and the girls weren't even 1 yet.  Ooops, guess we got busy.

Che just finished his
Kindergarten year, and while we had some struggles, it was overall very well.  He can now read, and writes stories, and does double digit addition.  He's excited to be a 1st Grader next year, and is hoping that there is less homework.  Something about 15 + sheets a week didn't set well with him.  Che also just finished his 2nd season of hockey, and is gearing up for the fall when he gets to start up again!

Che is taking a good interest in his community, history and Science as well.   This Spring he submitted an idea for the Downtown South Bend's Pitch Your Plan contest, and was selected out of 88 applicants as a finalist.  We originally thought he was selected because he was the youngest entrant, but later found out that the selections were made blind, and no submitters information was provided, just the ideas.  We're excited to present our ideas to the public on Tuesday, June 19th!

Lucy is quite the talker and very opinionated.  She knows her letters, and consistently counts to 15 correctly.  Lucy can also write some of her letters and does so on magna doodles, and with sidewalk chalk.  With Lucy, you only have to tell her something one time, and she's got it.  Lucy is the clumsy one, always bumping into something, falling, and getting scraped up knees.   She's going to have a great scar on her chin already!

Zoe is quiet, yet smart and thoughtful, always the one to share when her sister asks, and willing to play whatever game Che wants her too.  Zoe also knows letters and numbers, but good luck getting her to tell you.  She stated just this evening that she too wants to play hockey like Che.  Zoe is much more physically able than Lucy, but she's much more cautious too.

We added a new member to our family earlier this year, a 5 year old Schnauzer, named Thunder.  He's fit in quite well and despite his name is petrified of storms, making sleeping interesting on those nights!

This year has also brought us time to spend on hobbies we have long since forgotten since becoming parents to three, and one of those things for me has been gardening.  I laugh when I think about the vegetable garden I let go back to grass, and the flower beds that we let go to grass when we moved into this house, that I've not brought back.  So far we have lettuce, some tomatoes, peas, cucumbers and pumpkins.  We're hoping to have broccoli and cauliflower as well.

Mike has been able to go back to the pool, and is now swimming for the Master's Team at Notre Dame 2 nights a week.

It's a busy life, but I love it!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


I was reading a fellow blogger's site, and she referenced this:

I've seen Sew Infertile comment on other blogs, and I think I'd even read some of her posts but didn't do so regularly. Her post entitled Abor.tion really just shocked me. I was raised Catholic and I don't agree with anything she says. I know, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but sometimes I just don't get people.

Friday, September 10, 2010

It's been awhile. Something about 3 small children doesn't leave you a lot of time for blogging. Don't know why.

To update, Che is fast approaching 5 years old, and wants to talk about his birthday quite often. At this point he's thinking he wants a chocolate cake with peanut butter filling, and a Star
Wars Birthday. Of course he wants to be Luke Skywalker for Halloween too. He's very excited that he got to choose Lucy and Zoe's costumes as well (Leia and Yoda) Due to my mom being ever generous with her time we were able to take Che to the Shedd in August. He had a great time, and his favorite thing to watch was the big sea turtle in the middle aquarium. He really liked the 4-D penguin movie too.

Check out his awesome shades. (The claws lift up for a larger viewing area if necessary)

The weekend we were in Chicago was also the weekend of the air and water show, so as we were enjoying the beautiful weather outside on the Shedd Patio Che got to see the Blue Angels fly over downtown several times. It was the greatest, and free!

Lucy and Zoe are 8 months old, almost 9. Lucy is crawling on her tummy and has been seen pulling up on her knees and rocking. She is very independent and likes to feed herself, biter biscuits and gerber puffs. Zoe has two teeth on the bottom both coming in within a week of one another. She is sitting up like a champ and is still very laid back and happy (unless the teeth are bugging her)
The weather here has been wonderfully cool, to the point that we had to put an extra blanket on our bed, and the girls wore fleece sleepers a couple of nights. I love this time of year. It also meant that we got to get out some of the girls' new clothes that people got us as gifts, like these adorable sweatshirts:

And we get to accessorize with shoes...

And of course since there's never a dull moment in our house, the girls have come down with Hand Foot and Mouth (or so we think) It's a really mild case of just a few spots on the girls' hands and feet, and Che hasn't had anything... here's to hoping he doesn't come down with it too.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


I should post more, but we've been a bit busy. Lucy has decided that she wants a new hairstyle:

Zoe decided that she's going to be a baker when she grows up and therefore needed a new hat:

Of course Che and Daddy are as silly as ever:
Seriously, it has been busy, but we're enjoying almost all of it, I can't say that we enjoy the lessened sleep but we know someday that will be over and then we won't be able to get them up in the morning!
The girls have started on some "solid" food. So far they've wrapped their taste buds around apples, peas, carrots, and sweet potatoes. I think the sweet potatoes didn't go over well, as Lucy got a rash in places unmentionable so we've backed off of that for a bit. Lucy can now roll from front to back, and Zoe is still marveling at that idea. Zoe does enjoy playing peek-a-boo much more than Lucy. Lucy's new trick is to scoot while she's on her back, putting her backside up into the air and pushing with her legs. One day when she was in the living room playing on a blanket she was able to push herself about 4 feet in about 5 minutes. We're definitely going to have to keep our eye on her!
Che is doing the summer program at his school which includes water and bike days as well as regular days, so he's enjoying himself greatly. For bike day he just got a new bike from Craigslist with training wheels, so no more tricycle! He's also excited about going to the pool in Grandma and Grandpa's neighboorhood but it's been a bit rainy here making the water a bit cold.
Other than that we've just been busy with normal life, which keeps us hopping till 10 or so every night, leaving little time for blogging and the like!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I really should post more often. Ooops.

I guess I owe some updates. The girls are now 4 1/2 months old and Che is 4. Eek, I can't believe it. The girls are sleeping mostly through the night, from about 10:30 to 5:30. They get up and fuss about for about an hour but then go back to sleep until about 8. They are drinking about 6 ounces a night, and we did give them rice cereal at 4 months 2 weeks. We tried it with a spoon, and Lucy did alright, but Zoe just keep spitting it out. We wanted to keep up with the cereal so we did the.worst. thing.ever. and put it in their bottles. Apparently you aren't supposed to do that, but we did anyway, and it's working fine. I think at 5 months we'll try some spoons again.

At four months Zoe weighed in at 10 lbs. 15 oz., and Lucy was 10 lbs. 9 oz. so they are growing well. Even though they are still small, they are growing with the curve that they have always been on, about the 10-15th percentile.

A few weeks ago we met up with a friend of Mike's from high school. She has twin boys who are adorable and we let the kids all play together. After all of that Che still said he'd like to have 10 babies at home! eek. That's a picture of all 4 twins up at the top!

Che is in preschool and enjoys it, although we think he's bored. We're considering sending him somewhere else, but we just don't know at this point. He doesn't bring home a lot of papers and doesn't ever have a lot to report, so we need to meet with the school and talk to the teachers for next year.

We've decided with Che that we're going to try and do something one-on-one with him each week. We're also going to try and put him to bed a half hour earlier. He's still really good with the girls, but he's had some acting out behaviors lately, that I think are from lack of attention.

I don't have any good pictures of him uploaded yet but I'll get some.

I know there's much more, but this will have to do for tonight!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Everything in the Brueseke household has been going really well. We’re approaching somewhat of a routine, and things are normalizing. It helps that the girls are really good. They are both fairly laid back, although Lucy requires more attention and Zoe is just pretty darn snuggly. The wackiest thing is that we put Zoe down in her crib the normal way, parallel with the long sides of the crib and she wakes up parallel with the short ends. I don't know how she does it.

Now, both girls are swaddled in the wraps, and don’t have their arms out so how she does this is a mystery, but it’s almost a nightly occurrence. Both girls are also batting at toys, and I’m on a mission to find a toy that spins when you hit it that doesn’t play music. Why does everything have to make music or annoying noises when you hit it or play with it? I did find some, but they were $10 for the pack of two. In hindsight I should have just bought them regardless of the price. Now I have to back track and search for them. If anyone has any ideas for spinny type toys, I’d be glad to welcome suggestions.

Both girls staring at the Ocean Wonder Aquarium. It’s in Zoe’s bed. I secretly think that Lucy is jealous because it has the rolling toy that you hit and it spins.
Both girls also love laying on their tummies and would happily sleep that way were it acceptable.
We do let them nap like that for short periods of time….shhh don’t tell anyone!

Che is doing really well as a big brother. He hasn’t asked for them to leave, and generally loves having Lucy and Zoe around. He is helpful and always willing to feed them, or stick a pacifier back in.
This is Che and his cousin feeding the girls on a Friday when my Mom comes and watches them.
Of course not all of Che’s time is spent on baby care…

These are Che’s roller skates that he got for Christmas. We’ve been waiting that long to try them out. He was a pro. He even let go of my hand and skated on his own with no help. He only fell one time, after making it all the way from the back door to the mailbox across the street and then back.

Monday, March 8, 2010

I don't agree

"It's very different from adopting," Paulson agreed. "Everyone would rather have a baby from their own egg and their husband's sperm, but if that's not possible, the next best thing after that is that you get pregnant with donor egg."

"With adoption you get to be a parent once the baby is born but with donor egg, you get to be a parent from the moment of conception," he added.

The mother bonds with the child by carrying it for nine months, said Silber, "and whatever question marks she may have had by it not having her DNA are erased by this bonding process."
Taken from this article:

I think you are a parent of an adopted child the first time you "meet" that child, be it through pictures, through a surrogate ultrasound, or in person. I know that with Ché we bonded with his picture, the reports that came telling us how he was doing, and progressing.

DNA and pregnancy do not make you a parent by any means.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Finally getting around to this SITM post. It's been rattling around in my head for quite some time now, just haven't had a minute to sit down and type it out.

The SITM topic for Winter 2010 is to reflect on the ways that the blogging community provided support for us personally in regards to infertility in 2009.

Here's our long story:

In 2001, when I was 19 years old, on my way home from a wedding in Philadelphia I had severe abdominal pain on my right side. Thinking it was appendicitis our whole two car caravan stopped in Ohio somewhere about 5 hours from home at an emergency room. After many hours in the ER we found out that I had an ovarian cyst on my right ovary and they sent me on my way with pain meds and orders to see a gynecologist at home. I had never been to an OB/GYN before, so it was a scary ordeal. I remember vividly thinking that my then boyfriend would hightail it out of the relationship as soon as he dropped us off at home. As I found out later, my mom even talked to him about this and that no one would think any worse of him if he didn’t want to continue the relationship. Of course this is the last thing Mike would have done.

After I finished my spring semester of college, I had surgery, to remove the cyst. Before going under the OB/GYN told me that it was going to be laparoscopic, quick and easy. When I woke up I had searing pain across my whole abdomen. Come to find out the cyst, which was the size of a coke can had wrapped itself around my fallopian tube so doing a small surgery wasn’t possible. I walked out of the hospital with a nice c-section size scar, 1 less fallopian tube, and low risk malignancy spots. Even though I was only 20 at the time of the surgery I made sure I asked the OB/GYN if this would cause problems later on when I wanted to have children. The answer I received was absolutely not. Being so trusting of doctors like I always have been, I believed her. By this time Mike and I were engaged and planning a 2004 wedding.

That summer we talked a lot about having kids, and wedding things, etc. We had three years until we were going to get married, it would give me time to finish school, and get my student teaching done. Mike is 4 years older than me so he would be 26 when we got married, and I would be 22. It seemed like a sensible idea. The surgery really changed things, and we decided to move the wedding up a year, giving us a jump start on having children, and make it so I was a year younger when trying to have children. We got married in October 2003, in the midst of my student teaching.

We waited until summer of the next year if I remember correctly to try getting pregnant. Knowing that I only have one tube that it could take a little longer, but we had our spirits up. Naïve and unknowing we tried for a few months. Around September, 2 years after the surgery we went back to the OB/GYN (the same one) and started talking about ways to help us get pregnant. We started on clomid in December which coincided with my first ever airplane trip with my in-laws to California. It was an interesting trip to say the least, being sick on the Clomid, timing sex in the hotel room next to my in-laws and trying to be up-beat at the wedding that we were attending and dealing with my father-in-laws erratic driving on the California highways.

We did this for a few months, and then moved on to Femara. Each time I produced several eggs, but never any big enough. The triggering injections, U/S’s, and blood work were awful to a person like me that almost threw up every time she saw a needle. At the time I trusted the doctor completely, didn’t do any of my own research and followed everything she said. We also did the HSG and found that I didn’t have any blockages.In February of 2005 the OB/GYN told us that she felt our only chance of success was to do IVF. She went on to say that it normally only works the 2nd time, and that IUI’s weren’t going to do it for us. My husband who had been doing research on his own asked about PCOS. The OB/GYN very quickly brushed us off, saying that she didn’t believe that to be the case for us, and didn’t even give us any chance to talk about it. We told her we would think about the IVF and let her know. I was 23 years old, and the prospect of that big of a voluntary medical procedure really scared me.

Both Mike and I talked a little about it, but it wasn’t something we were willing to spend the money on. It was around $10,000 a try, and 2 tries meant $20,000. We decided at that time that we would rather take the money and adopt. We both have cousins in our families that are adopted, and it was something that we had talked about early in our journey through infertility.
We set down the path of adoption in 2005, researching agencies, and types of adoptions. We decided on international adoption because we weren’t comfortable with an open adoption, and I wasn’t old enough to adopt locally given the international adoption age was 25. We chose Guatemala for a few reasons including that they would accept us because I was young, that they had private foster care for the children, and had babies as young as five months coming home. One of the parts of an international adoption is the huge amount of paperwork including a full physical. I hadn’t been to a regular doctor in quite a few years, so I switched to Mike’s doctor. He did a full workup including blood work, EKG, etc. After the results came back he called and talked to us, saying that he believed that I had PCOS, and prescribed glucophage, a cholesterol medicine and talked with us about losing some weight. Of course I was really upset at the OB/GYN, knowing that we asked and were dismissed. I never went back to her again.
We continued forward with our adoption, turning in all of our paperwork in February and in March received a referral for our son, then 5 months old. He came home to us in December 2006, 18 months after signing up with our agency. It was the best decision we ever made, and we couldn’t have been happier.

Two years later, we thought again about expanding our family, not wanting our then nearly 3 year old son to grow up being an only child.

I chose a different OB/GYN and went in for a consult, and annual exam. Coincidentally the new OB/GYN had just started a partnership with Dr. Jarrett, an RE in Indianapolis. No one in South Bend does infertility treatment beyond clomid type stuff because there isn’t a market for it. We met with Dr. Jarrett in Jan. 2008. He told me to lose 30 lbs., and come to see him in 3 months when that was done. We found that Dr. Jarrett had a strange bedside matter but he was at least willing to talk to us and help. After we told him about the history he was shocked that the previous OB/GYN dismissed the PCOS, and that she even attempted clomid.

I thought it was pretty much a lost cause, 30 lbs in 3 months. I knew it was going to be awful, but I stopped cold turkey on the carbs like he said and the weight flew off. In March I remember being extremely nervous to talk to him again because I had only lost 26 lbs. He was happy with that and we started again, on pills that I don’t even remember at this point. I again responded find with the number of eggs, but not the size. In the late summer or fall of that year we started on injectible drugs, which was a big deal given my deep hatred towards needles. I did better on the injectible drugs, but still never achieved a pregnancy.

On May 18, 2008, I lost my Dad to liver cancer and so Mike and I took some time off. I just knew I couldn’t go through with things at that point given the stress, etc.

In September 2008, I had laparoscopic surgery in to remove scar tissue from the first surgery I had, and to make sure there were no blockages, etc.

In December 2008, we drove to Indy, about 3 hours from us to talk to Dr. Jarret about our prospects and the probability of us actually achieving a pregnancy. He suggested also doing IVF. I said No right away, but Mike didn’t. He wanted to try it. Dr. Jarrett agreed to give us as much of the meds as he could, and to discount the surgeries as much as he could. I still said No. His advice to us was to think it over and call him when we had both come to the same decision. He also told us that he believed our chances to be over 65% on the first try, give that I was only 27 at the time. I knew that I couldn’t take much more disappointment, let alone the financial burden it was going to put on us. It wasn’t until March of 2009 that we called him back, agreeing to do the IVF. I’m not sure what changed my mind, knowing the amount of money we were going to spend and the amount of heartache that we could be facing. My mom agreed to help us financially with some of the money my Dad had left from insurance policies. She said it was exactly what he would have wanted the money going for, so she gladly helped us out. We refinanced, found another loan, and added to our already little mountain of debt to try IVF. Mike and I both agreed we would do it one time, and if things didn’t work out, we’d be done, and enjoy our life as a family of three.

We didn't agree to IVF until 2009, which is when I really started reading through IVF/Infertility blogs. I stumbled across this blog: She really became inspirational for me in many ways. Reading about her IVF success, and the subsequently about the birth of the boys, and following and getting advice for our twins, born on 12/18/09.

We began the process, had a retrieval in April, and the transfer on May 5, a Sunday. We had 7 eggs removed from one side, and because the other ovary just hangs out from not being connected, they couldn’t get to it to pull any from that side. Over the course of the 5 days that we waited, 5 fertilized, and only 2 made it to the proper size to be transferred. The transfer on May 5th, was a bit anticlimactic, and I had the gut feeling that things did not work on the way home. I was convinced that we were going to be a family of three and was working on making peace with that decision.

The day before our HCG check Mike left for a conference, so I decided to do a home pregnancy test, even though it was a bit early. It came up positive and I remember so carefully carrying it to our bedroom because I had done it without Mike knowing, in case it was negative because then I wouldn’t have to tell him. He was cautiously optimistic and we told no one.The next day was the HCG and also the one year anniversary of my Dad’s passing. Needless to say it was bittersweet when the lab called with our results, a positive HCG, with a reading of over 200. I thought it was a bit high, but no one else did. The repeat number showed over 500 so the numbers were more than doubling.

A 6 week ultrasound was scheduled and so we just waited some more. In June, we found out that I was carrying twins. Both eggs had taken and both embryos showed good heartbeats and were measuring ahead. I was scared out of my mind and so was Mike. I was convinced that something would happen that we would lose one or both of the twins.

Fortunately nothing went wrong until October when I was put on leave early because of high blood pressure and swelling. The girls decided to come early, on December 18, 2009.
It’s been an emotional roller coaster, lasting nearly 8 years, and even though I had success, and have three beautiful children now, I will always consider myself infertile and I know I will never forget the pain that comes along with it.

During the process I read through many blogs related to IVF/Infertility, but one that I really started paying a lot of attention to was: Soo See
I read with fascination throughout her pregnancy, later comparing it to mine, and now read through as a guide to what to expect out of our own twins!

Having a community of people to go to and ask questions, or just read through success or failure really helped get me through an extended leave, and now I still keep track, rooting for people who I have no idea who they are. It's become a way for me to connect to others that have issues like me, without having to shout from the rooftops, or wear a sign saying "I'm infertile!" Hopefully someday, we'll all be able to get past the idea that infertility means something is wrong with us, but for now, at least we all have one another to get through it!

The one thing I learned to prepare for next year is to start knitting the socks early. There was no way I could get the socks done for my buddy, so I had to buy some handmade ones instead.

My SITM buddy for 2010 is Ali She recently lost her dad, so go give her some support! (I can't tell you how excited I was to receive a package all the way from the UK)

I will post my sock pictures soon!

Friday, February 26, 2010


Ok, I'm a slacker, but I've been really busy. I promise I'll get that post up soon!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

2 months

Happy Valentine's Day a little late...

At two months old, both girls can lift their heads, and spend much of their awake time watching everything that is going on. Zoe is particularly smitten with Ché. She smiles for him, and calms down when he plays with her (this is especially helpful during diaper changes)
Both girls are drinking more than 4 ounces at a setting normally, and sleeping more than four hours at a time, Hooray! Last night we even had a 7 hour. It was heavenly.
Zoe has started to pick herself up at the waist if you're holding her, or if she's sitting in the highchair/bouncy seat. It's quite disturbing to think she's doing that this early. She doesn't hold it long, but she can bend and get herself into a more upright position if she wants.
Ché is the greatest big brother, a little too handsy at times, but doing well. He always wants to make sure the girls are alright, and tells anyone else what they are doing wrong/right when caring for the girls. It is a bit bossy though so we're trying to curtail that behavior. He loves them dearly, has to say good-bye to them when he leaves, goodnight at bedtime, and good morning everyday. It's so nice to have this large gap between our kids, because he is capable of helping and understanding what's going on, and that sometimes we can't drop everything to give into his desires.

We're definitly working on the balance between baby care and preschooler play.