An overdue update

I was catching up on a parenting blog I like and realized – it’s National Infertility Awareness Week again…which means it has been an entire year since I updated this blog!



C. Samuel was born on Memorial Day, May 26, 2014. (I’ve omitted his first name as a part of my half-assed attempt at anonymity, but I mention his middle name because it has significance from our infertility journey.*)

Here are some pics of my little miracle…

photo 4(2)coming home from the hospital

carlton samuel

the future chemist


Tigger for Halloween

Maui 2014 (11 of 16)(1)

Thanksgiving in Napili, Maui


Christmas in San Jose


Vietnamese New Year


playing with his periodic table blocks


his own private Easter egg hunt


last Sunday at the neighborhood park

The last 11 months have been a wonderful whirlwind of sleep deprivation, giggles and raspberries; poop, puke and snot (so much snot!); long days and manic weeks; work and pumping and crying over spilled milk…

Some highlights:

  • C arrived right on time. I went into labor at 1:30 am on his due date, and he was born via unplanned C-section about 34 hours later. (This caused me no small amount of grief when the obstetrician told me…then I couldn’t have cared less about 20 minutes later! I have some choice words for all the fearmongers who go on about the horrors of caesarean sections…but that’s a topic for another post.)
  • I had a nice long maternity leave. Since C was born after classes ended, I had the summer “off”, which is to say that I just had to advise a couple of summer research students periodically via Skype. My maternity leave officially “started” in September, but I chose to teach one day per week in the fall (a glorious break from the monotony of laundry, pumping, feeding, diapering, and more laundry), which meant I got a lighter load in the Spring.
  • Childcare arrangements have gone pretty well. ‘Big C’s parents flew down to SoCal a lot to help us with ‘Little C’ right after he was born, and again right when I returned to work, and he (we) was (were) able to ease into daycare, starting 2 days/week in January (when C was 7 months old), and moving to 4 days/week in March (when C was 9 months old). We (both Cs and I) are all happy with his daycare; our only complaint is that he is ALWAYS sick!
  • We took advantage of my time off with a fair bit of traveling, including to Pinecrest Lake, El Paso, Virginia, Maui, Tacoma, San Jose and Denver.
  • Our house is under major renovation, so we’ve been living across the street for the last 13 months. Hoping to move in just before C’s first birthday, but we’ll see…
  • Work is going very well. Several projects over the last year-plus came to fruition recently, and we got a big (almost $600K) grant from the NSF to pay for scholarships for science majors at my university, and I published my first paper as a professor with student coauthors. Yay me!

One thing I haven’t been doing over the past year is writing in this blog – in part, because I’ve never been so exhausted busy uncreative spent in real life. (I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve shaved my legs in the past year!) And in part, because…well, this is an infertility blog, and I didn’t feel like I had much to contribute in that department.

But now, I’m finished pumping.

And, I’m not getting any younger.

And, the semester is almost over.

And, I miss you awesome ladies.


I think I’m ready to get back on this roller coaster!


*In the Book of Samuel, Hannah struggled for years with infertility (while her sister-wife Penin’nah kept popping out babies and taunting her for being barren…Grr!) Anyway, Hannah prayed for a son, whom she promised to dedicate to God (read: hand him over at age 3 to be raised by priests!) Her prayers were granted and she named her son Samuel, meaning “heard by God”. Unlike some accounts of other barren women in the Bible (e.g. Elizabeth, Sarah), it’s clear that Hannah went on to have more kids (three more sons and two daughters), which made the name particular appealing – you know, apart from the whole giving up her son part… If you’re interested in Biblical references to infertility, Logan at With Great Expectation put together a nice post a couple of years back.