In Memoriam

There are many different opinions about when a life really begins.  For us, it began each time we got confirmation that Angelique was pregnant via blood test results.  Actually, it began before that as we had embryos that were transferred back into her, and those embryos were a symbol of our union and commitment to creating life.  Those embryos had the potential to become a baby.

I wanted to take a moment to remember the embryos that we lost over the course of our 7.5 year journey to have children.  They don’t have names, but their impact on our lives has been profound.  The simple fact of the matter is that we will never forget them.  When our time on this planet is done, one day we will meet them all – they are very much a part of the Cave Family.

As I look at the pics of them, I’m reminded of each attempt.  Yesterday, I went in to the blood lab at Kaiser to have some blood work done, and I was instantly reminded of our time at the clinic as the automatic doors whisked open and I breathed in that familiar hospital smell.  You see, Angelique had to have A LOT of blood drawn.  Whether it was checking her estrogen or progesterone levels, or giving a blood sample to determine if she was pregnant or not, we were there quite often.  The lab technicians knew our faces, and we developed a relationship with a few of them.  They were genuinely concerned about the outcome of each of our attempts.

I don’t know how many boys and girls there would have been out of all of the embryos pictured above. I do know that most of them took initially and all of them tried to continue on, but for reasons unknown to us didn’t, or couldn’t.  We would usually transfer two embryos at a time to give ourselves decent odds at having at least one baby.  In the one picture above where there are 3 embryos in the same image, we actually put all three in, but one had stopped growing prior to transfer.  We threw it in because we didn’t want the embryo to feel left out of the process 🙂

No, we did not plant a rose bush in our back yard commemorating each loss.  I tucked these pictures away and tried my hardest not to look at them.  You do what you have to do to cope with a loss.  After we found success, it wasn’t a problem for me to pull them out and reflect on what could have been.  Apparently it just wasn’t the right time.  But that’s all behind us now, and we’ve got 3 miracles keeping us busy now.

I just wanted to carve out a space on this blog for Michaela, Emma and Christopher’s brothers and sisters – after all, they played a huge role in helping us achieve our dreams of having a family.


Mom and Dad

Sleep Transitions

We’ve gone from living out of the Family Room the first few months, to three cribs jumbled together in what used to be the dining room, to relocating the cribs into bedrooms to be, opting to have 3 pack and play cribs in the dining room.  For the last 3 weeks or so, we’ve changed things up yet again.

I’m taking Emma upstairs with me now once she’s asleep.  Before that, she had her own routine, where she’d get up between 11pm – 1pm and mump in her crib or coo while the others slept.   It was like clockwork, too.  Usually she just wanted to be held, or needed a bottle to go back to sleep.  Now that I’m taking her upstairs with me, I stick her in the pack and play, and 50% of the time she ends up mumping, at which time I co-sleep with her.  Some nights, I don’t pick her up at all.  A simple patting of her bottom does the trick paired with the binkie.

Michaela and Christopher remain downstairs for the time being.  They all have the ability to wake each other up, which is why we distribute them the way we do.  Michaela and Christopher have remarkably loud cries when they’ve woken up from sleeping.  Making it upstairs with all three is a nice goal to have, but still might be a little bit into the future for us.  We’ve battled regressions as their brains develop further and their sleeping patterns adjust accordingly, but generally they sleep from between 6pm and 7pm until between 3:30am and 5:30am.  We had a recent week long spell where all three took turns getting up between 1:30am and 2pm…emphasis on between, and they each hair their time in that time slot.

Christopher still only has two teeth, so I’m sure he’s saving his best evening performances for last.  I remember the witching hours, where 2 of 3 would be crying at the same time each evening for what appeared to be no particular reason.  They have a routine now (dinner, faces washed, bottle, nighttime diapers, rocked to sleep and bed), and while it will change, it’s good for them as they like predictability.  Soon it will feature story time and mandatory teeth brushing.

They are rapidly approaching 15 months and before you know it they will be two…and talking.  We never did official nurseries for any of them – it just wasn’t a priority.  We have Michaela and Emma’s crib in the same room for now, but we’ll give Emma her own room. She seems to like her me time with just her.  When she’s up first, she’s totally cool with it – no competition for the toys!  Nothing wrong with that.

I usually sleep from around 7 or 7:30pm until 3:00 or 3:30am.  Angelique sleeps from about 5:30pm until 11:00pm, but then she usually gets to go back to sleep if the babies cooperate.  Usually that entails her taking one or more to bed with her if Michaela or Christopher mump.  Christopher must be removed from the premises before he gets his cry going.  It always wakes up the others.  And he’s a violent sleeper, with his limbs flailing everywhere.  That noggin of his is a weapon.  Watch your lips!  Lately he and Michaela have enjoyed snuggling with their mother in bed.  Those two are pretty close.  They play hard, and are the trouble makers of the equation.

I remember the first night we had Christopher home with us I took him upstairs with me.  I believe I brought him back downstairs about 30 minutes later.  The days of feeding, burping, swaddling and putting them back in their swings are long gone.  Those swings were life savers, though 😀





Three Walkers

Having all three walking now is something else.  Now they are even more eager to explore their new world.  It’s been weird having to walk around them as they are right on our heels now.  When the refrigerator door opens, at least one of them is right there, ready to pull something out.

For now, we still have them confined to the family room and kitchen area where we can keep an eye on them.  The rest of the house presents too many opportunities for them to get into to something they shouldn’t.  We try our best to include them in whatever we are doing.  They haven’t figured out how to climb on things yet, but that’s only a matter of time.

They aren’t quite used to shoes yet.  As we get out more, we will make that a priority.  The first time we tried them on with Christopher, he collapsed to the ground and went boneless.  You’d think someone chopped off his feet the way he was behaving.

Michaela is a fast walker and has mastered all of her moves, so she gets where she wants to go with ease.  Emma is just starting to prefer to walk from place to place, and her pace is faster.  Christopher is all over the place.  He storms around like a truck that lost its breaks.  He doesn’t care much who is in his way, as he’ll barrel through until he reaches his destination.  He doesn’t bend his knees yet, which makes it funny.

It’ll be interesting when they each want to go in three different directions when we are out and about.

Michaela and Christopher