Tuesday, December 11, 2012

20 weeks...and ALL over the place

Everytime I get ready to blog, I stop.  I don't know why.  None of this has happened the way I pictured and I guess I am still having a hard time swallowing it. 

Three days after we had our High Risk ultrasound I had a follow-up with my OB.  I expected nothing but good news because the ultrasound looked so great.  Then she used words that took a while to sink in with me: "There is a link between unexplained high AFP and fetal death."

I didn't quite grasp what she was saying at the appt.  Of course I was alone.  And then I got in the car and the fear hit me like a ton of bricks.  Did she just say there is an increased chance that the baby might die? 

Because of this, beginning around 26 weeks, which will be early February, I will be going in twice a week, every week for non stress tests, until I deliver.  That means I will be hooked up to a monitor for anywhere between 30-60 minutes and they will monitor baby's heartrate, activity, as well as check for contractions.  I will also need serial growth ultrasounds at 28, 32, and 36 weeks.  Chances are everything will be fine, and if it isn't I am being monitored so closely, that they will most likely get the baby out if things do start to go wrong.

Since hearing this a few weeks ago, my emotions have been all over the place.  I am half way through this pregnancy, and just in the last few days I feel like I have for sure felt movement from the baby.  Before then , I was scared to death.  Physically, this pregnancy has been super easy, no morning sickness, exhaustion is gone, and besides this cute little belly, everything seems normal.  That would be great, if we weren't dealing with all the what ifs.  I am praying I continue to feel the baby moving and it continues to grow stronger.

The best part of everything that has happened over this last month, is we found out the sex.  No, we didn't have one of those fun anatomy scans that everyone talks about.  We didn't get one of those.  We didn't get an ultrasound where the doctor explained eveything he/she was seeing and showed us the baby waving or sucking its thumb.  Instead we found out in a dark room, by a strange doctor, who was performing a high risk ultrasound on my baby, looking to see if something was wrong, telling us absolutely nothing.  I decided right before the appt. that I needed to know then if it was a boy or girl.  Screw the stupid Christmas idea, it didn't mean anything anymore. 

For those few days between my high risk ultrasound and follow up appt. with my OB we rejoiced in knowing we are having a GIRL.  Since then, we are still so happy, but I can't help but feel like we have missed out on so many "happy" moments throughout this process.  I am still so sad that we never got to get pregnant the "normal" way.  Every once in a while I get sad over the other embryo that didn't make it, even though not one ounce of me wanted twins.  And I am so very sad that the anatomy scan we had looked forward to and the Christmas surprise we had planned (finally, we would get to do something a normal pregnant woman does) ended up being something that never was.  But, I am also so very grateful.  Grateful we only had to go through one IVF, grateful we are pregnant with our first baby, and over the moon that it is a little girl.  My parents first grandchild, a little baby girl.

I never expected this to be an easy pregnancy emotionally, but I had hoped I would be able to enjoy it a little more.  I just want the baby in my arms.  And I want people to stop telling me I shouldn't worry or everything is going to be fine.  I know there are so many of you still stuck in the trenches and many others dealing with very difficult news about your own pregnancy.  None of it seems fair.  And yet, so few understand.  So many will ever know.

I will post an update on pregnancy stuff tomorrow because there are a lot of exciting things happening and I have probably already spent hundreds of dollars on little girl clothes (stress reliever) but right now I just needed to get this out. 

I knew it wasn't going to be easy, considering getting pregnant wasn't so easy, but I really had no idea it would be this hard!

This baby girl just has to know how much her mommy and daddy love her, and that everything will be okay.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Update from Monday

Let me start by saying everything is okay.

Now, let's backtrack. 

On Monday, P and I arrived to the Diagnostic Center a half hour before our scheduled appts. and I felt so out of place.  It was like being at the infertility clinic for the first time.  You didn't want to have to be there, but you also hated feeling like such an outsider.  It was a very professional environment.  No big smiles to welcome you.  No feelings of warmth from the secretaries.  I guess if you are there, it isn't for a good reason, so it is just best to keep things as formal as possible. 

We waited for about 20 minutes before being called back to meet with the genetic counselor.  She was great.  Very informative, commented that she could tell I did my research, and there was really nothing she said that I hadn't already prepared myself for.  My AFP came back at 2.7.  They like to see it between 1.0 and 2.0.  The way they determined mine was elevated was they compare me to others just like me: a white, 29 year old, in good health, who concieved via IVF.  Taking into consideration all those things, my AFP came back 2.7 times what would be considered "perfect."  She then went onto explain the other 4 things that were measured in my blood.  The others looked good, particularly the 2 connected to the placenta, which means the placenta is most likely functioning properly.  After we had our meeting, we went to sit in another waiting room for about another 15 minutes.  We both were sweating, surrounded by other couples, no one knowing where to look or what to say.  I had no idea what to expect.

When we got into the ultrasound room, the technician told me to lie on the table and that was all we heard from him.  He did point out a few things he was looking at.  But, it was basically, my husband and I sitting in silence while the tech. jabbed at my stomach for 45 minutes taking over 50 pictures and all sorts of crazy measurements.  Every once in a while I looked at the small television screen, but I mostly stared at the ceiling fighting back tears having no idea what was going on.  At the conclusion of it, he told us he needed to consult with the doctor and then would be back.

Ten agonizing minutes later, he walked in with the doctor and they looked over the spine a bit more closely.  Then he finally told us that from everything they could see, there were no problems.  The spine, kidneys, brain, liver, arms, legs, nose, mouth (sometimes an elevated AFP can be due to a cleft palate) everything looked good.  I couldn't believe it.  I was afraid I was going to pass out. 

The wave of relief that rushed over my husband and I is almost impossible to put into words.

The doctor then went on to explain that in their report they will recommend that I have serial growth ultrasounds every 3-4 weeks to make sure the baby is continuing to thrive.  Many times the unexplained elevated levels can indicate complications that may arrive in the third trimester.  Many times, it can mean nothing, and it could just be a level that is normal for my body.

The last few weeks have been stressful and terrifying for the two of us and we are so grateful that our little one seems to be doing well and from everything they could see is a very healthy, bouncy baby.  We have fallen even more in love with this little one and cannot put into words how relieved we are. 

Thank you so much for your comments.  This blog continues to be a great source of support for me, especially when the outside world just doesn't seem to be able to provide it.  I am so thankful to be a part of this community.  Thinking of all of you...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Big Day (maybe the biggest)

Tomorrow is a big day for us, driving to the appts will probably be one of the most difficult things we have had to do so far in our short 3.5 year marriage.  The genetic counseling appt. is first and then we have the Level II ultrasound which could take anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours.  This past week has been a struggle.  I am surprisingly calm tonight but don't know how I am going to get myself up on that table tomorrow.

Thanks so much for all your kind words of encouragement and support!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

16 & 17 Weeks

Multiple times throughout this pregnancy I have heard the word "perfect" used to describe our little one. It always made me uncomfortable. I don't like that word. Maybe I knew something was going to go wrong, or maybe I just always plan for the worst.

About three weeks ago I went for some bloodwork and my NT scan. Both occurred between 11 and 13 weeks. Since the NT scan went well, I assumed there would be no issues. I felt like I had finally entered the "safe zone" if there even is such a thing.

Along with the first set of tests, there is a second set of bloodwork that has to be done at a very specific time in the second trimester, usually between 15 and 18 weeks if you want it to be most accurate. I was planning on going the Wednesday before Thanksgiving because I had it off. But, for some reason I decided to go this past Monday, thinking nothing of it.

This past Wednesday night on the way to pick my husband up at the train station, I noticed a missed call and voicemail from my OB. At first I thought it may be a call to confirm our anatomy scan, but after quickly calculating in my head that it was still weeks away, I immediately knew it was something bad about the bloodwork I had done just days before.

When I called her back, the first words out of my mouth were, "Oh my god, what is wrong?" She tried to calm me down, but also needed to tell me the reason why she was calling. The bloodwork came back abnormal. They generally like to see your AFP (fetoprotein) levels at 1.0, although 1.0-2.0 is an acceptable range. Mine came back at 2.7, which means it is 2.7 times the median. I now fall under the category "high risk" pregnancy. Our baby is at a higher risk then most of having a neural tube defect, it can be an indicator of placenta issues, or many times a sign of complications to come in the third trimester of my pregnancy.

A few hours after the phone call I decided to reach out to the only person I knew who could provide me some type of support: my RE, DR P. I emailed her and within seconds recieved an automated response that she was out of the country until November 28th and if it was an emergency there were other numbers to contact. The tears continued. The next morning I awoke surprised to an email response from her (that is why I love her so much.) She had reached out to a friend of hers who worked at a High Risk Center at Columbia and these were her thoughts on my situation:

"AFP is totally non-specific; 2.7 is slightly high but different labs use different cutoffs (and there are different cut offs based on race, etc) That said, 2 is generally the threshold I remember. Many people will repeat it to confirm it's high before pursuing a workup but the other option is to go right to Level II ultrasound. It can be caused by many things...bleeding earlier in pregnancy, placenta issues, or can be a marker of uteroplacental insufficiency. If her scan is normal, I would not go as far as RECOMMENDing an amnio, although I would certainly offer it and then also do serial growth scans at 28 weeks and 34 weeks."

The reason for my elevated number is not bleeding, because aside from a little episode of it after a pap smear, I have had zero bleeding. The number doesn't seem to be high enough for a neural tube defect. So, my OB is leaning toward it is most likely an issue with the placenta. She said this will mean more monitoring for me come 24 weeks. Sometimes this can lead to low birth weight, premature labor, preeclampsia, and growth problems with the baby. Sometimes, it can mean nothing and we will deliver a happy, healthy baby.

Hysterical crying and the worst anxiety I have ever felt came over me for the first 48 hours after getting the phone call. I did go to work on Thursday and Friday, but avoided everyone and everything. I went in to talk to my principal and explain what was going on, only to break into huge sobs. She couldn't believe I even was at work and tried to get me to go home, but I knew it was best if I kept busy. She told me whenever I needed to leave I could. Everytime one of my students referenced my baby I had to hold back tears. It was so hard. I am showing now, there is no hiding it. And all I want to do is protect myself and this little baby.

On Friday I called my OB's office again and asked to speak to her. She called me back within a half hour and after breaking down yet again, she agreed it would be best if I came in for a quick check of the heartbeat to calm my nerves. I couldn't fight this feeling that this baby inside of me had died. Luckily, she was able to find the heartbeat right away which put my mind at ease, even if for a few minutes.

Upon pulling myself together over these last 48 hours I have done some of my own research. It seems out of 1,000 women, 50 will get the same phone call I got on Wednesday night. That is only 5%, but it doesn't matter how small, I am part of that 5%. Of those 50 women, 1 or 2 will go on to have children with a severe neural tube defect.

We have an appt. with a genetic counselor on the 26th followed by a Level II ultrasound. If everything looks good, close monitoring will be the next step. If abnormalities are picked up, we will need to decide about an amniocentesis, which would be performed that same day.

I don't know how we are are going to get through this next week...

I need to keep reminding myself, I have wonderful doctors and they are doing everything they can to assure everything is okay with both me and the baby, and they will continue to do so for the remainder of this pregnancy...but I am so scared. I hope everything is okay.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

15 weeks

P painted the nursery this weekend.  We went with Benjamin Moore's Stonington Gray and I love it! Beadboard will go up in the next few weeks and then I will be sure to post pictures.  We have picked out both the crib and dresser from The Land of Nod, hope to order both some time in early January.  I think if I wasn't a teacher I might have gone into some type of party/event planning.  I had so much fun planning my wedding and am loving every second of planning this nursery for our little baby.

I had a tough night Friday night.  Whenever I think I am doing great, reality slaps me in the face and I realize maybe I am not doing so great.  We went out with good friends who announced they were 8 weeks pregnant after 3 months of trying.  So, I came home and sobbed.  P couldn't understand why and I could only express my feelings through anger.  It's not that I am not happy for them I am sometimes just struck at the unfairness.   Even talking about our pregnancies its as though we are living in two different worlds...our thoughts, fears, concerns, couldn't be more different.  Then I called my mom. She always makes me feel better.  My mom reminded me that my baby will never be taken for granted, my baby will be filled with more love than sometimes thought possible because this baby has been wanted and desired more than humanly thought possible.  Because of our struggle, this baby is going to have a wonderful life and P and I are going to be wonderful parents because we know how much of a miracle the chance to have a baby really is.   My mom reminded me that all that matters now is the little life I have growing inside of me so I am choosing to focus on that.  And when I start to feel sad, I need to put my hand over my belly and remind myself of this wonderful little gift that deserves nothing but the absolute best of me.  She also reminded me of the pain so many of you are still dealing with on a daily basis in your struggles to beat infertility.  My mom is a very smart woman.

With all that, I am so excited to be 15 weeks pregnant!

How far along: 15 weeks
Total weight gain: 6-7 pounds...could I really gain one pound a week from here on out?  Scary thought...
Maternity clothes: all of my pants are maternity, still need to find some leggings, and have a few comfy tops from Gap
Stretch marks: No
Sleep: Not terrible, but not great....I am able to stay up way later than just a few weeks ago, love having more energy!!
Miss Anything?  Being able to go to the bathroom without any issues i.e. constipation, weird pains, constant peeing
Movement: No, but anxiously waiting!! Must be getting close!
Food cravings: Nothing new...still love my snacks and can't get enough orange juice
Anything make you queasy or sick: Lettuce (of course it can't be Doritos or chocolate!)
Have you started to show yet: without a doubt, I teased my kids today telling them to stop laughing at my chubby belly and they laughed and laughed!  Already had a few people at work touch my stomach, I thought I would be uncomfortable by the gesture but I love it, I love the excitement. 
Boy or Girl: Not sure, but really anxious to find out.  The old wives tales are doing nothing for me.
Looking forward to: Our anatomy scan which is November 30th!  We will be asking the tech to write down whether it is a boy or girl on a piece of paper and then wrapping it to put under the tree and open it Christmas morning!! Ahhh...definitely husband's idea....I hate waiting...am a very impatient person...don't know if I can do it!  But, it is important to P, so I will try.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

14 weeks 1 day

I had been off facebook since March.  I debated going back on for a while now, but just wasn't ready.  I am still not crazy about being back on, but I really wanted to get the chance to make some sort of announcement on it, just like everyone else gets to.  But I didn't want it to be over the top and I also wanted a small reference to our journey without putting it in people's faces.  So I posted this picture with the following quote "If our journey had been easy...then we wouldn't have you."  The amount of responses I got was overwhelming and in the end I was glad I did it.  But, facebook continues to be a struggle for me. 

My NT scan was almost 2 weeks ago and it went really well.  I was 12w3d (measuring 12w4d) at the time and we saw a nasal bone and spinal cord and the skin fold measurement was 1.8 (1.7 is average for being 12 weeks.)  So, I was happy with that.  Baby was twirling around and sticking it's butt up in the air (definitely a baby of mine!)  I had some b/w done on the same day, but won't know those results until I do another round of bloodwork in 2 weeks.  When I called my insurance to see if they would cover the tests, they said only if I got both the u/s and the b/w...which is why we went ahead with both. 

I am definitely not as run down as I was a few weeks ago, but still really tired.  I can't believe I am 14 weeks already.  First trimseter is over.  And now I am starting to freak out.  Now, the pregnancy is really hitting me.  Every once in a while I look down at my stomach and am a little freaked out by the fact that there is a living breathing human in there!!!!  My stomach is continuing to grow, although it is much worse at night.  Things feel/look different down there and I am starting to wonder how on earth my body is going to do this???  There has already been talk of a c-section, but that freaks me out as well.  Too early for me to be thinking about any of this, I know, but I am already nervous!

I have another appt. with my OB on Friday. I am petrified she is going to tell me I have gained too much weight.  It is all in my stomach.  The problem is, I can't stop snacking!!! I have started cutting down on food I bring to work.  Today, I only brought an apple, carrots/celery with dip, and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  But, when I got home I was so hungry I pigged out on doritos and air heads (Halloween candy.)  So gross, I know!!!!

The room did not get painted this weekend like I had hoped.  My husband was sick all last week and didn't get anything done.  You don't know how badly I just want to paint myself, but I know I shouldn't be up on ladders or around the paint, so I am going to squash the urge.  Baby comes first now! 

I know I haven't been blogging lately, just had a lot of stuff on my mind.  I will write about it soon, but just can't put it into words in a way that make sense right now. 

So, here is a picture of me looking less and less blonde but more and more tired!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Is that how the song goes?

That is kind of how I am feeling tonight.

It could be hormones, it could be because our scan is tomorrow, or it could be that I still haven't dealt with the fact that we spent almost 2 years trying to have a baby.  Obsessing over having a baby.  Struggling, crying, pulling away.

These past few weeks I have jumped head first into pregnancy.  That is my nature.  I go, go, go, and then I crash.  In this case, I fall apart.  I have loved telling people, most reactions have been wonderful.  Planning our nursery is one of my favorite things to do.  And seeing my growing belly feels magical at times.

But, tonight, I am having a really bad night.  I have always been the person that has been there for other people when they needed me.  I have always been the first person to send a card for this or that.  My mom has told me in the past she is sorry for rasising me that way.  I don't consider myself the nicest person, that would be my husband, but I do consider myself a very thoughtful person.   I go out of my way for people a lot. Which is great, until I place those expectations on other people.

I am tired of people not understanding.  I am tired of being the person that needs to explain things to people.  Over the past two weeks two different people have texted me about how two of their friends are also having babies in April and how great it was.  These texts shouldn't upset me.  AT ALL.  Except for the fact that both of those "friends of friends" got married in the spring, THIS past spring.  They got married, had sex, and had a baby.  That was what I wanted.  That was supposed to be the way it was for P and me.  It hurts to hear stories like that.  It hurts to know that to my friends I am just another person who got pregnant.  I don't know what I am looking for from them, I just know I am not getting it.  Why can't I just get over it?  It worked, we are having a baby.  One little baby, it is just what I wanted and still I feel a little bit of sadness.  The worst part is I know there are so many of you out there still waiting for your little one, so many that have gone through multiple IVFs, and I should just thank my lucky stars that the first one worked.  And most days I do, but today it hasn't been so easy.

I hope this is all the hormones and not the way things are going to be for me.  Someone at work, my same age, asked me how I was feeling today and then proceeded to ask me if I was tired of being asked that yet because she grew sick of it very quickly when she was pregnant.   What I wanted to say was, I have been waiting almost 2 years to be asked that question, I hope people ask me that question every single day for the rest of my pregnancy.  I feel like I have so much anger and frustration built up that I don't know what to do with it.  I know people mean no harm, but I feel like they don't even think before they talk.  And I am sick of it.  I am sick of letting people off the hook because they don't understand.  Just because they haven't been through it, doesn't mean they can't at least make an EFFORT.  I don't think I am asking too much... 

This tough day could also be because I have my NT scan tomorrow morning.  I had a horrible nightmare about it two nights ago and I am scared.  Scared of something being wrong.  Before every appointment I feel some form of anxiety no matter how hard I try and keep it away.

Ughh...I am done.  I hate writing posts like these.  I hate being that negative person.  But, I am having a tough day.  And I have always been very open and honest on this blog and hope that if someone else reads this, and feels the same way, they know that they are not alone.  I guess the struggle doesn't end just because you got pregnant.  It feels a little less intense, but it is still there.  And I am working on it...with a little help and encouragement from my mom...I am working on it.

Tomorrow will be a better day.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

12 Week Bumpdate

So, I am already getting bored with the bumpdates and just feel like writing about what is going on, so here goes...

I am 12 weeks today!  And I finally wore a shirt (underneath an open sweater) that showed off that growing belly inside of me.  A few people commented on how noticeable it is because they are so used to seeing nothing there...eek so crazy!  I guess the baby is the size of a plum.  But, according to thebump.com baby is now shifting into the growing and maturing stage as just about all of the critical developments are complete and fully formed!  I am having a real hard time not snacking after work.  I have a yogurt in the morning, banana, apple, and celery, throughout the day, but when I get home I cannot throw enough doritos at myself.  How do I control it?? I am petrified I am going to end up with a huge basketball for a belly unable to move by the end of this pregnancy...I need to STOP!!

I am in maternity pants all day every day.  As soon as I get home I usually throw on sweats and take Sage for a walk in my slippers.  Even my leggings are too constricting around my stomach...I will have to find some maternity ones somewhere I guess.   No stretch marks yet, but lately I have noticed a few extra hairs on my stomach right around my belly button that I am pretty sure were not there a month ago...is that normal!?  Sleep is still okay, but Sunday night I woke up asking P why there were elephants on our sheets.  Obviously there weren't, but I may be just doing a little too much baby shopping in my spare time if I am not seeing nursery things in my sleep!

Believe it or not, we just about have the nursery paint picked out and P is planning to paint the last weekend in November.  We will be doing beadboard on the bottom which I hope to get done in November.  There are just a few pieces of furtniture to clear out (throw out) before then.  Definitely spent some money this weekend on some baby items.  Also purchsed the best book ever "Baby Bargain."  Recommend it to anyone having a baby, it is basically a consumer reports book for all things baby.  Made me feel really good as I got ready to start our registry. 

The fun thing about Tuesday being the day I am one week further along is Tuesday is also the day Christmas falls on this year. So, today marks only 10 weeks until Christmas!! 

We have our NT scan on Friday along with the Integrated Blood Work which I am questioning whether or not to have.  The first aprt is Friday and the second part would be in November.  I guess the NT scan alone is about 75% accurate and w/ the bloodwork it goes up to 85-90% accuracy rate.  Not sure what to do, but we will definintely be doing the scan.  Can't wait to see an up close of our baby again. We should be able to see the arms and legs too!!!

And, here is the belly shot (I am still terrible when it comes to my hands, ahve to remember to put it lower next time)...12 weeks, it is going by so fast!! 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

11 Week Bumpdate

So, my 10th week of pregnancy proved to be a stressful one.  I was exhausted all week, not sleeping great, and super stressed for my appt.  Will the fear/stress ever go away, or is that just permanently there?  I would imagine everyone feels stressed before these appts but I can't help but think after dealing with infertility for an extended period of time I am constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Not sure how I can change that way of thinking...but I know some of you will understand, which is why I find this blog so therapeutic.  I am still amazed at the thought that so many people can just have sex and get pregnant, another thing I just need to get over...all in due time hopefully.

My appt. on Friday started out with a minor scare.  We couldn't find the heartbeat with the doppler so after about a minute of trying my doctor quickly wheeled in the abdominal ultrasound and it picked up our little baby quickly and she commented on how things are looking perfect.  Both Dr. P and now my OB have used that word "perfect."  It should make me feel better, but every once in a while it makes me nervous.  Once that was over she had to do an internal and a pap smear.  She commented just like my RE did, how twisted my cervix is but hoped it would straighten itself out as the baby grew bigger.  Because of that, the exam caused a lot of discomfort and you guessed it, bleeding.  She had warned me I might bleed for 24 hours (bright red) and then it would taper off to brown.  But, she didn't warn me that I was already bleeding and the paper sheet underneath me was covered in it.  Unfortunately, I was alone, P couldn't make it, and to say I stood there shaking when I noticed it, is an understatement.  I have been fortunate not to have any bleeding/spotting throughout this pregnancy, so Friday was my first dose of it.  It was scary and stressful and I can't get it out of my head.  The bleeding has just about stopped now, but I am still freaked out. 

I hope this week is a better one. It's only 4 days, so that's a good start, right?  I still can't find a bump "update" format that I am in love with, so you're stuck with this mess for now!

How far along? 11 Weeks

Total weight gain/loss: Wellll...the morning of my retrieval I weighed in at 123 lbs and I actually had lost a few pounds leading up to IVF because of the high protein, low carb diet.  This morning I weighed 125 which I was happy with.  What I wasn't so happy with was seeing the scale at my doctor's office on Friday say 129!!!  In my defense it was a Friday afternoon at 4:30 after I had devoured a huge bag of cheetos in the car ride over, that has to count for something right??   So, basically, by the end of the day, I am up a solid 5 or 6 pounds from my starting weight.  I don't notice the extra weight anywhere but my stomach.

Maternity clothes? Just about all my work pants/jeans, except one pair of skinny jeans that still fits, hoping I won't need maternity shirts for a while

Stretch marks? No, my brother's wife bought me a few all natural creams to rub on my stomach to prevent them but not really sure when to start doing that haha I think it may be a little early, especially when right now I feel more fat than pregnant!

Sleep: Not so great, have been waking up early and not being able to fall back asleep.  My hips/back bother me a lot too but that isn't anything new.

Best moment this week: Baby shopping with Mom and then P.  We spent a few hours playing with strollers, swings, bouncers...so much fun

Have you told family and friends: Some of them, we are both sharing the news with our coworkers this week

Miss Anything? Getting my hair done!  Growing up I was pure blonde, that is definitely not the case anymore.  I haven't had it foiled since before IVF started in July, hoping once I get past the first semester I can jump back into it.

Movement: Still not even close

Food cravings: Chips, any kind cheetos, sun chips, doritos...gross, I know

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really (have barely had any nausea)

Have you started to show yet: looking chubby for sure

Boy or Girl: Not really sure anymore...but can't wait to find out in December!

Looking forward to: NT Scan next week (but to be honest, every time I think about it, I am overcome with anxiety, is that normal?) 

This will be my last post before going private (ooooh big deal right haha.)  So happy I heard back from just about all of you!! It was a lot more difficult setting all this up then I thought and I still don't know how it is going to work.  If you didn't want to post your email on my blog (which I totally understand) you can email me privately at linds2433@yahoo.com and I will add you as a reader.  Thanks so much to all of you for following along...


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Going Private...

So, I didn't realize how open my blog was to the public and am thinking about going private...if you could send your blog email address to me, I would love to add you as a reader!!!! Thanks!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

10 Week Bumpdate

Still trying to figure out where to put my hands haha

How far along: 10 weeks (holy crap, when did this happen!?)

Weight Gain: still +2 pounds

Baby: is the size of a prune.  Baby has working arm joints, and his/her cartilage and bones are forming. Vital organs are fully developed and they're starting to function.   Fingernailts and hair are starting to appear, too.   Plus, he/she is swallowing and kicking in there. (After seeing the way baby was wiggling last week, I can definitely believe it!)

Symptoms: Still really nothing.  The bloating is back, especially at night, and I do have a moment here and there of nausea but as soon as I eat it goes away.  No real cravings, just fighting pure exhaustion.  A few people at work have approached me concerned with how tired I look and commenting that I don't seem myself (this also happened quite a bit last year)  I think the circles under my eyes and lack of enthusiasm at the moment is a dead give away something is up.  Oh yeah, and my boobs are definitely way bigger (my favorite symptom Bird!)

Movement: No movement, but feel a lot of stretching and tugging going on down there, especially when I have to go to the bathroom, is that TMI??

Best Moment of the Week: There were so many!  We got to see jelly bean again.  My parents took us out to eat to celebrate and gave us this giraffe that we had our eye on for the last few weeks!  It is a baby mat that seems to be a big hit with little ones.  Unfortunately Sage thinks it is hers and already tried to bite the nose off, poor Sage isn't going to know what to do with herself!

My brother and his wife stopped by too with a bunch of goodies, one being an awesome book with ideas on how to decorate a nursery (I didn't even know they had books like this!)   It was also pretty neat calling my mom's sisters and telling them we were pregnant.  They have been kept in the dark ever seen the transfer, so they were really anxious too. The screaming and pure joy that came out of their mouths made me realize how awesome all of this really is, I wish I had recorded the calls so P could have heard the excitement too.  I ended up telling my friend at work yesterday because I couldn't keep it from her anymore.  I am planning on telling everyone else that I work with after Columbus Day.

What I’m Looking Forward To:  My first appt. w/ Dr. S (our OB) and a 3-day weekend!!

Gender: Still thinking girl...but P did manage to come up with a boy's name that we both really love, so maybe I am not as convinced it is a girl...

Bumpdate: The bump is there.  Both my parents asked if they could touch it this weekend and I think they were surprised at what they felt.  I feel like I am showing earlier than some other people and I am not sure if it was all the extra hormones from IVF or because my waist has always been on the small side that I now have nowhere to put these extra few pounds.  Either way, it is so crazy to put my hand on it and know that our baby is behind it.  I did go into Gap Maternity this weekend and spent a lot (oops) of money but it was so worth it.  I got 2 pairs of corduroys, 2 pairs of jeans, and 1 pair of khakis and they are the most comfortable things I have ever worn.  They are a little big so I hope they can get me through at least the 6th month. 

Wow, 10 weeks, never thought we would get to this point!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Graduation Day

Yesterday was a lot harder than I thought it would be.  I squeezed in both my last appt. with Dr P and my Nurse's appt. at my OBGYN's office thinking it would be perfect to take the day and get both done...looking back, it might not have been the best idea!

We walked into our ultrasound with Dr. P and as soon as she put the probe in she started smiling because she saw our little one dancing away.  She turned the screen toward us and we saw it too!!!  He/she was a little over 2 cm long and had that strong heartbeat again of 179 and was wiggling around.  P and I were overjoyed.  She also said my ovaries were finally shrinking back to size.  I did have one question before leaving Dr P and it involved baby #2...too early maybe haha?  Anyways she told me that as soon as P and I wanted to start again, all I had to do was call and we would go right back to where we left off.  Try a frozen embryo transfer with our one remaining from IVF #1 and if that didn't work we would proceed with IVF#2.  She said she would like to see my body recover for a year after the first baby and then after that we could jump right back in. 

It was so sad to say good-bye to her and that office.  I had to have gone there 15-20 times just July/August alone.  They were so compassionate and professional and everything else you want someone to be who you are trusting your body to. 

So, we drove home, I had a quick lunch and then headed out alone to my appt. with the nurses.  As I was sitting in the waiting room, I couldn't help but feel out of place...is that normal??  I didn't want to be there.  The office is gross compared to my RE's office and I can't tell you how many people walked in pregnant and their date of birth ended in 89, 90, 91.  Ahh, so much younger than me, and I am not even that old at 29!! 

Then I got called back for an hour long chat with the nurse.  I tried to put on a happy face but it was difficult.  The first question was..."Was this a planned pregnancy?"  Yup, I did IVF.  She also asked if I had started my prenatal vitamins and again, yup, started them in September of 2010.  And it went on and on... Limited amounts of caffeine, no alcohol, are you kidding, this has been my routine for months now!!!  Then I had to pee in a cup.  I asked if the Crinone leftover would be any type of problem and she looked at me like I had five heads having no idea what Crinone was or even understanding the words progesterone gel.  I am sure the meeting wasn't as bad as I was making it out to seem, but she had no idea about infertility or IVF or anything else that had been going on with me and that really irritated me.  It ended with them taking four vials of blood and then I proceeded to go home and cry!! I think it was just a long day and I was really sad to be saying good-bye to such a wonderful office to transition to one where I was treated just like everyone else.  But, I guess now that I am pregnant, I am just like every other pregnant woman?  Doesn't feel right, but I will get over it.   

Onto the exciting news.  Our first appt. with our OB is next Friday and I will be 10 1/2 weeks.  There won't be an ultrasound but I am sure she will do a pelvic exam and go over lots more information.  The last time I saw her was over a year ago, when she handed me a Clomid script and referred us to a urologist and reproductive endocrinologist...can't believe it was that long ago!  After that we will schedule our NT scan which has to happen between 12 and 13 weeks (mid-October.)  We also found out that our anatomy scan will be in the first two weeks of December and we are beyond excited for that!  Seeing our baby yesterday was absolutely amazing, feeling my baby bump is even crazier.  Every once in a while P and I look at each other and say how we still can't believe it.  We still have a long way to go, but we are so thankful for being pregnant right now.  And here is a picture of our growing jelly bean...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

9 weeks!

I have gone back and forth about whether to post this today.  Part of me thinks I should wait until our ultrasound tomorrow, and the other part says screw it, I have never been pregnant before and I want to remember/enjoy it all, no matter what happens from this point forward.  I don't want to look back and wish I had done this or that when fear was really the only thing holding me back.

Although P and I are still very excited, the nerves have started to creep in just a little bit.  Tomorrow is a big day.  We have an appt. at 11 for our last ultrasound with our RE and then I have an appt. with the nurses at my OBGYN office at 2 where they will go over all the tests/important dates I will need to be aware of throughout my pregnancy.  I also have to get a flu shot...ick

Back to the nerves...I am sure everything is okay.  I am sure I am still pregnant, but I can't help but feel a tiny sense of panic about tomorrow.  I probably won't look at the screen immediately again like last time, I am hoping once we past the 12 week mark this will change.  I just want to make sure everything is okay and there is still a strong heartbeat and I just want to hear that sound again! 

So, here is my first bump update.  I was going to wait until after the ultrasound, but I decided to believe that everything is okay, here we go...still have to hang the board, but as you can tell, I am a very impatient person!

Please excuse the shadows, tired eyes, and gross hair...
we are new at this
and we were just so excited to get the first one done!

How far along: 9 weeks  

Weight Gain: Fluctuates throughout the day, but I have been weighing myself first thing in the morning and I think I am up a solid 2 pounds since egg retrieval day

Baby: Is the size of a green olive, can't wait to see how much he/she has grown tomorrow!!

Symptoms: I still haven't had much, which most of the time I am okay with, but every once in a while I freak out that there may be something wrong.  I am defintely exhausted.  I also find myself somewhat nauseous if it has been a few hours since I have eaten, which is definintely not like me. 

Movement: Let's just skip that one for now, just hoping to see some movement at our ultrasound tommorrow!

Best Moment of the Week: Watching my husband tackle our little chalkboard project.  I think by the end, he was way more excited than I was...already beaming like a proud little daddy :)

What I’m Looking Forward To: So, so much!  We have our second ultrasound with our RE tomorrow (and also our last) and we are so anxious to see little jelly bean again and make sure everything is okay!  I am excited to share our news with a few family members.  Super excited about dinner w/ my family this weekend at Davio's to celebrate us being pregnant!!  And...even though this is SO FAR away, I am really looking forward to being pregnant over Christmas.  I am that annoying person that starts playing Christmas songs mid-October!  So I am pretty sure being pregnant and celebrating Christmas is going to feel like we won the lottery!  Also REALLY looking forward to this Crinone being gone.  I stopped it almost a week ago and just today a clump about the size of Massachusetts came out of me (maybe a big of an exaggeration, but seriously...does it ever end???)

Gender: I am thinking girl (although I would be JUST as happy with a boy.)  We have had a girl name picked out for a while now (and no we will not be sharing, there has to be something we keep just between the two of us!)  However, we will be finding out what we are having and that is definitely information we will share.  Should fall right around the holidays somewhere between November and December, which isn't that far away!

Bumpdate: I am not sure how much longer I am going to be able to keep this a secret from my co-workers.  Today I wore a striped shirt and just happened to throw a vest over it and thank god I did because right around lunch time a little bump tends to show its face so I had to zip that thing right up.  It is weird having a little something there that never goes away! I am used to overeating, having a little pudge when I go to bed and then waking up to an absolutely flat stomach.  Looks like that won't be happening again for a LONG TIME!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

I Remember...

I have felt really content lately.  I am still sick and work sucks but none of that seems to matter, because I am pregnant.  Everyday I come home and look at our ultrasound picture and it makes me really happy.  But, last night I was reading a post from another blogger I follow and all the emotions came rushing back, and I realized I was still a little raw.

I think some people who have not been through this might believe that as soon as you are pregnant everything goes back to normal, the past is the past.  The only problem is, the past is how we got to this point, and we remember it, we will always remember it.

I remember searching for an OBGYN last year knowing in my gut we were having issues getting pregnant.  When I finally found one in May, she did a little bloodwork but told me, you have only been trying for 5 or 6 months, give it some more time.  (My prolactin was high at the time, but she never recommended bromocriptine.)

I remember telling a few people last summer that we were trying and that something didn't seem right.  And almost every one of them told us to just give it more time.  We would be fine, nothing to worry about.  People always want to "fix" things, people always want things to just be okay, when the fact is that sometimes things aren't ok and a good attitude doesn't always make problems disappear.

I remember returning to my OB in September where she began to show some signs of worry.  My prolactin was still borderline high and my cycles were all over the place.  She prescribed me Clomid, wanted P to do a semen analysis, and sent me on my merry way.

I remember getting the phone call in November about P's analysis.  I remember crying to my mom and making the horrible decision to call P at work with the news.  He was angry and devastated and walked around like a zombie in the days after that.  It ruined our Thanksgiving, and many days after that.

I remember the nerves I felt before my HSG.  Sure I had tons of bloodwork done and lots of pelvic exams, but this seemed like such a bigger deal.  This seemed like we were admitting we had a problem and were heading down a path that there was no turning back. 

I remember meeting Dr. P.  I remember her first recommendation being to go get a brain MRI.  WHAT??  She didn't like how my cycles had once been regular (before the pill) and had now become very irregular.  Strangely enough, I was calm before this test.  My aunt passed away after giving birth to her first child because of a bleed in her brain that they didn't catch fast enough.  Although I knew this MRI was to search for a tumor on my pituitary gland, I knew they would also be able to find any other irregularities.

I remember all the phone calls, dark days, and sleepless nights.  All the times we sat across from each other at the dinner table where I could barely make it through a meal without crying. 

There are so many other events that have occurred over the last 20 months that have changed P and me, but the memory that hit me last night was the one of me walking into the operating room last month.  It still seems so surreal.  I was giving myself shot after shot, praying and hoping for things to be okay.  I cannot believe just over a month ago I had 19 eggs removed from me.  I remember the nurse mentioning how high my blood pressure was due to my high anxiety.  I remember the doctor telling us we had lost almost all of our embryos at the time of our transfer.  But, he kept reminding us, all we needed was one...just one

I think one of the reasons I am hesitant to tell people we are pregnant is I am afraid what they will say.  All we really want to hear is, "We are so happy for you," or "You deserve it."  But, I have had so much experience with people saying inappropriate things that I am afraid how I will react to their words.  I know some people will want to tell us how lucky we are that it worked on the first try.  And I hate that.  Maybe a lucky pregnancy is one that didn't need medical intervention.  One that didn't require waiting at the door for medications to arrive, one that didn't require you to be put under anesthesia, or leave you with the thought this may never work.  Fortunate yes, we are so very fortunate to only have to go through this once, but I don't consider us "lucky."  I know people mean well.  I know it's because they just don't know what to say.  But, if we are okay with what we have been through, then we don't need others to try and minimize it for us or make us feel like it could have been worse. 

And after all the sad and painful memories, comes the happiest one of all.  I remember hearing my baby's heartbeat for the first time.  I remember the grin on P's face.  I remember feeling nothing but joy and disbelief.  P and I talk about it almost daily.  That tiny little flicker...

This whole experience has changed us.  We are not the same people we were when all this started.  And that's okay.  Because we survived this together.  And at the end of the day it has brought us closer.   At the end of the day we don't want to forget all that we have been through, because it is all those things that have led us to to our perfect little baby. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Every Tuesday

Our Dr. told us to celebrate every Tuesday, because it is the day we become one week further along in this pregnancy.  Dr. P told my husband he should come home with a little present for me every Tuesday, but I am pretty sure that went in one ear and out the other, I will be sure to remind him when he gets home, for next week.

Today, I am 8 weeks pregnant!  I have begun to embrace it.  I still have my moments of pure panic where I think about what could go wrong over these next few weeks, but instead of being super anxious about next week's ultrasound, P and I are beyond excited to see our little one agan.  The last thing Dr. P said to us before we left last Friday's ultrasound was everything looked really good and she thought we were looking at our first baby, giving us less than a 15% chance of miscarriage at this point.  Yikes, that still seems high, but she seems confident in this baby, so we are going to be too.  I still can't believe it worked.  I just can't believe it. 

Today was a big day for a few reasons. 

I told my boss I was pregnant.  This was a HUGE deal, because the only people that know are our families and to say the excitement of announcing our first pregnancy to our families was taken away from us, is kind of an understatement.  But, today I got to say the words, "I am 8 weeks pregnant!" to someone and it was so neat.  She knew the hell we went through last year and immediately got up and gave me a huge hug and told me how happy she was.  We won't be telling anyone else for at least a few more weeks, but I wanted her to know because I have doctor's appts. coming up and will be missing more work (I also told her for the tiny chance something were to go wrong.)   I told her I am due at the end of April and I could already see her mind calculating when that means I would be returning, I left out the part that I will not be coming back until at least January, but there is plenty of time to figure out how to tell her that!

Today is also the last day of Crinone. Ughhh I am so ready to be done with this gross stuff.  My stomach is badly bloated from it and I am sick of shoving stuff up there every morning.  I don't feel nervous about stopping because my doctor said everything looked perfect.   

Today is also the day I got a little bit of validation haha.  The IVF pouch is nothing you would understand unless you have had it.  I did not get it much throughout any of the injections or even after the retrieval, but BOY did I get it after the transfer and it has been here to stay for the last month. A few family members have told me they don't notice it, but let's just say I hide it well.  I have always been very thin with NO BOOBS, so even a shirt that is probably rather fitted on some, always leaves me with a little bit of room.  So, although people may not be able to see the bloat, the second the shirt comes off, that pouch is FOR REAL.  Anyway, I was out walking the pup today and bent down to pick up her #2 and felt something pop.  Yup, you guessed it, the button of my pants flew right off, never to be seen again!!!!  So, I feel validated for complaining about my bloat, because although you may not see it, I have never popped a button off a pair of pants before haha and I have a feeling the bloat will never have a chance to go down as it will soon be replaced by a little bump due to our little jelly bean.

Unfortunately, I came down with a pretty bad headcold at work yesterday.  I knew it was just a matter of time.  My immune system sucks, especially at the beginning of the year, with all the new germs, and it doesn't help when the kids still don't know what it means to cover your mouth!  We also have been running around like crazy these past few weekends, and that has really affected me, so I am sick.  Ughh...runny nose, sore throat, and just overall crumminess.  I am hoping it will go away by the weekend.  P and I are planning on doing ABSOLUTELY nothing except going out to celebrate our news and tackling a chalkboard project to use for weekly bump updates.   I saw one on pinterest that I absolutely loved so I am going to try and copy it.  Might need some help from dad too!

I still can't believe it worked...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Let me introduce you...

to our one perfect little jeally bean.

To say the ultrasound experience was surreal, doesn't even do it justice.  This past week has been hell.  I started work, haven't really had any time to rest and was avoiding talking to people for fear they would say the wrong thing and upset me.  P and I had been walking on eggshells. Would there be 1, would there be 2, would we see nothing at all? 

We got to the clinic early, as we always do.  And they took us in right away where I undressed from the waist down and covered myself in the sheet, as I have done for the last however many months.  And then we waited.  For what seemed like an eternity.  It was probably only 15 minutes, but I swear both of our hearts stopped.  Then I heard Dr. P's shoes.  She ALWAYS wears heels and is dressed to the nines and within seconds she came in with a male resident.  She was so happy to see us under these circumstances and so understanding of our nerves so she got started right away.  I gripped P's hand and looked away.  I knew what each situation would look like and I just couldn't look.  I watched P instead.  Within 10 seconds he broke out in a grin and I heard the resident say, "there's one now let's see if there's another."  It wasn't until they confirmed there was only one and I asked "Is there really something there?" that I was able to look at the screen.  "I can't believe it," was all I could manage so say before the tears began rolling down my face.  Dr. P told us our baby was measuring PERFECTLY on track at 7w3d.  The heartbeat was ferocious at 164 bpm (P better watch out, it's going to be a fiery one just like me!)  Then they turned on the sound so we could hear the heartbeat and it was the most incredible sound I have ever heard.  A sound we have waited 21 long months for.  A sound we were afraid we might never hear. 

She printed out some pictures for us to take home and gave us two of the biggest hugs.  I told her how grateful I was for both her and the clinic.  There were so many things that could have gone wrong.  Had she not had me in for monitoring so early, the whole cycle could have been a bust.  Had we only transferred one, we might have seen an empty uterus.  But, because of her and my awesome clinic we have our first perfect little baby growing inside of me.   

A few hours later I put a call into my OBGYN who said they would schedule me for a nurse's appt. but there would be no ultrasound.  I wouldn't be having another one until the NT scan at 12 weeks, and that just didn't work for me.  So, of course I got right on the phone with Dr. P's office who scheduled me for one more ultrasound, just for peace of mind, on September 26th, we will be 9w1d at that point.  We are so happy we get to see Dr. P one last time!  And thrilled we get to have another look at our little one.

Our due date is April 30th.  And I think it's a girl!

Every time I pick up the picture (which is very often) I feel like I am looking at so much more than a little baby.  The hell our marriage has endured, the doctors visits, all the tests, the anger, resentment, and sadness.  And I realize it was all worth it.  The thought of going through it again makes me sick to my stomach, but after seeing the ultrasound picture, we would do it all again...in a heartbeat

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Nervous Wreck

I had been doing okay this week, until last night.  My sleep has been great lately.  I have been so overtired that I have been passed out by 9 (sometimes 8) and able to sleep through most of the night until my alarm goes off at 5:50.  Last night I tossed and turned until 10 and here is it 5 am and I cannot sleep.  So, I am blogging to the only people that I know will understand.  My nerves are overwhelming.  I am choosing to believe that we will get good news at the ultrasound but I am also so very prepared to hear bad news.  Like my mom told me yesterday, I will most likely cry on the table, either way.  I hope with all my might that I will have an ultrasound picture to show everyone soon. 

I was watching E News! last night and they showed Guliana and Bill Rancic with their baby whom they struggled to have through IVF and breast cancer, and then finally were able to get pregnant through the use of a gestational carrier.  Through tears I said to P, "I want a baby."  He didn't respond.  What is he supposed to say?  This is such a weird place to be.

I have sucked at commenting lately, really sucked, and I apologize.  My words don't seem enough for some of the losses that this community has endured lately.  Some of you are still waiting for your first positive while others are trying to somehow pick up the pieces and I am so very sorry and think about all of you every day.  Thank you for being my support group even when you may find it so very hard to do so.

And on a completely different note, can we talk about the Crinone??  I have been on it for over 5 weeks now and the amount of stuff that is falling out on a regular basis is GROSS.  Literally, it is like huge chunks of cottage cheese.  It has not turned black or gray, which I was told could happen, but it is so gross.  I know some people start digging around up there to clean it out and although I have been tempted, I am hoping since my ultrasound appt. is right around the corner Dr. P can get that done for me!  Ughhh...sorry to leave you with such a TMI ending, but my underwear wouldn't let me finish this post without posting that complaint and I am pretty sure my husband doesn't want to hear about it anymore haha!

Sunday, September 9, 2012


I haven't blogged in a while.  After getting my third beta back P and I were on cloud 9 for about 24 hours and then it hit us that we are not even close to being out of the woods yet.  We haven't told anyone aside from immediate family (and of course my blog friends) that we are expecting and it makes us very uncomfortable.  We are not ready to be congratulated yet.  It feels too soon.  It's almost as though we need people to hug us and say, "We can't believe how much you guys have just been through, we so hope this works for you."  We aren't ready to celebrate.  To be honest, I don't know when I will be.  Unlike so many of the blogs that I follow I typically don't mind attention haha.  I don't shy away from it.  My wedding day was one of the best days of my life and I would go through it over and over again if I had the chance.  I thought I would be the same way with pregnancy.  I thought I would want to jump right back on to facebook and shout it from the rooftops, but I want nothing to do with it.  I put that stupid pregnancy ticker up in a moment of excitement and now I want to take it down.  Maybe it is because it's so early.  Maybe it is because we didn't get pregnant the way so many of our friends and family were able to and that has taken away the overwhelming joy.  Maybe it is because I feel the deep need to protect my husband and me.  Maybe it is because we have just been through so much and need time...we just need time

Over these past few weeks I have read so many posts of devastating losses anywhere between 6 and 10 weeks.  Some people never saw the heartbeat, some saw it two times, only to have it not there when they went for their third look.  I came home from work a few days ago awaiting Sometimes post about her ultrasound.  When I hadn't seen a post from her early on I got nervous and was then absolutely devastated to read that there was no longer a heartbeat.  I sat on the couch and cried for about a half hour.  The tears had nothing to do with me.  Every single one of them was for the pain she was going through.  Life is so unfair.  All of this crap is so unfair.

I am almost 7 weeks. We still have not had our first ultrasound which I think is a lot of the reason why we are having such a hard time.  And, aside from pure exhaustion (which could 100% be attributed to starting work this week with 23 6-year olds) I don't feel pregnant at all.  My boobs went from being pretty tender to feeling pretty much normal.  I have had maybe 2 bouts of queasiness that didn't last more than 5 minutes apiece. And I am scared to death.  Because I started school last week we weren't able to schedule an ultrasound. We have one coming soon and I said to P last night, I have no idea how I am going to get myself up on the table without bursting into tears.  Every night I go to bed praying there is still something growing inside of me and every morning I wake up wishing and hoping for some type of sign that there is.

I think about the future a lot.  I think about that one frozen embryo we have left and whether or not that will be child #2 or if we will have to go through the whole IVF process again when we decide to have another.  

P and I have been very withdrawn from our friends over the last month or so.  Some of my girl friends have called and texted wanting to know what is going on.  Coworkers are concerned.  They know we just went through IVF, but I am not ready to share.  I am not ready for their happiness, when we are still searching for it ourselves.  I am not ready to explain why we are still so nervous and not have people understand why. 

I am even withdrawn at work.  This if the first time in 7 years I have not agreed to be on the Leadership Team.  I have no desire to be.  The bar was set very high for me by my old principal, a long time ago, and every year I have lived up to those expectations, but I am afraid this year I won't.  Not because I can't, but because I don't want to.  Anyone that teaches knows the expectations placed on both the teacher and student, even at such a young age as 5 or 6, are ridiculous.  There is no bonus waiting for you if you bust your ass all year.  There is no extra credit for taking on the most difficult students.  Maybe I am just burnt out.  Other teachers told me it was going to happen to me and maybe after the summer I just had, I didn't have enough time to myself.  And now, my heart just isn't into it.  I am sure I will pull myself out of this rut, I already love my students, it just feels different this year.  Everything feels different.  My relationships, my passion for life and teaching, everything seems like it is on hold, while I try to give myself a chance to breathe. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Photo Challenge: Days 1 & 2

EmHart is running a Photo Challenge this month and although I have NO ARTISTIC ABILITY when it comes to photography, I thought it would be a fun way to pass the time. 

Day 1: Beginning (of school...yikes!!)

Day 2: Fire (Yes, I am already decorated for Fall, and yes I know it's disgusting!)

Last night I was online and found this great article.  Fertility Treatment.  While my mom and I were out to lunch she was saying how there should be some type of bracelet out there for awareness about infertility similar to the yellow LIVESTRONG ones and the pink ones that represent breast cancer.  I don't think that there is anything like that out there but I hope maybe someday soon there might be, I would proudly wear one and I am pretty sure my mom would too!  Because this is not something that you go through and then forget about.  Although memories of these difficult times will fade, they will never ever be forgotten.  And I will continue to be very open about our struggles to get pregnant.

Friday was such an exciting day for P and me that it made me realize how absolutely horrible these last 20 months have been.  We have both been walking around with a weight on our shoulders heavy enough to make it difficult to get through some days.  I had become a shell of the person I used to be.  Friday night in the car my parents told me that they felt like "the old me" was back. 

People often throw around IVF (or fertility treatments) like they are no big deal.  Like it is some quick fix.  It is often those same people that have NEVER been through it.  It's not a quick procedure that guarantees you a baby.  I have had the unfortunate chance to follow so many wonderful bloggers that have walked away from fertility treatments because they are just so damn hard and eventually you get to the point where you just don't know how much longer you can put your mind and body through the abuse.  Fertility treatments consume you, every part of you.  For these past 8 weeks I have been consumed by injections, medications, fears, worries, anger, procedures, and everything else that I can't put into words right now.  And for the first time we are feeling the joy of being pregnant and we are trying so hard to enjoy it.  Of course I am worried about the ultrasound and everything that could or could not go wrong over these next few weeks but I am trying to choose hope.  I am trying not to surrender to the nightmare that has been these last two years.  I am choosing to believe this will work.  Because for far too long I believed it never would.

Friday, August 31, 2012



Even though we had two betas last week, it didn't seem real.  Today, it seems a litle more real!  We had our third and final beta this morning and it came back at 3,817.  The doctor said it was a nice strong number and we scheduled out first ultrasound!! The ultrasound will confirm it is not an etopic and will hopefully give us our first look at a heartbeat.  Eeeeek I can't believe I am even typing those words.

I was more nervous today than I have been in a long time.  Luckily my mom spent the day with me.  We went into the baby store Giggle and I showed her the highchair I have been looking at and we looked at crib colors.  All the while, both of us could have thrown up waiting for the call.  She dropped me off around 2 and then I waited and waited and waited.  P got home about 5 minutes before the clinic called with the good news. I kept picturing worst case scenario.  But, that didn't happen and now we are starting to get excited!!

I cannot thank everyone enough for your kind words of encouragement and support over these last few weeks I have gone back and read everyone's comments over and over again.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!! 

I can't believe I'M PREGNANT!!!!!  And it looks like we might have a "keepah!"

(The shirt says "I'm a Keepah."  We got it in Maine last weekend in hopes of good news.)

Monday, August 27, 2012

More Waiting and Worrying

This weekend was so difficult for P and me.  I don't know why.  We got two positive betas Wednesday and Friday.  We should be happy.  We should be so excited.  There is no reason to believe that we aren't going to go on to have a healthy baby.  And yet we are both so nervous.  We have never been in this position before and we are so scared that something is going to go wrong. 

I know I should be happy about my betas, they are both high numbers (202 & 360) but I can't help but worry that the second number isn't high enough compared to how high my first one was.  360 is a 78% increase, it is just as close to doubling (100%) as it is to being only 60% which is the MINIMUM increase it should be.  I know you can't compare HCG levels from one person to another, but I can't help but think it should have been higher.  We were really hoping for at least 400s maybe even 500s, given how high my first one was.  I am trying not to worry, but to be honest, if something bad were to happen I am worried P and I won't get through it.  I have kept it together well enough over these past few months, but I can't help but think that I won't recover from this if it doesn't work out.

At the same time I am filled with worry about the thought of twins.  Is it even okay to talk about both worries in the same post??  Since day one I expressed my strong feelings toward only transferring one.  I was adamant against transferring two and somehow that is what ended up happening and since the transfer I have felt very uneasy about it.  People always say "only put in as many as you can handle," but I think until your in the room with the doctor who is telling you what crummy embryos you have, you really can't pass any judgment.  All your thinking is we have just put ourselves through all this and really all we want is a baby, we will do whatever will guarantee us the best chance of that.  And so that is what we did.  I don't believe, if we are still pregnant, it will be twins, but P has reassured me that even if it is, we can handle it.

My next beta is Friday.  I start work the following week.   We have devoted our whole summer (from start to finish) to creating this little one.  And now it's time to go back to work. 

Before going through this, I never understood how people could write about the wait for a third beta or first ultrasound being more difficult than the wait to find out if you're pregnant, but it is SO MUCH MORE DIFFICULT, for me anyway.  The last test I took was a week ago (10dp3dt) and it was so very dark.  So, we were both very confident going into the first beta it was going to be a good strong number.  Now, we have no idea what to except with this third beta.  So many times I have wanted to call my clinic and ask to come in earlier for another beta, but P and I have decided that whatever is going to happen will happen whether I go in tomorrow or Friday so we will continue to wait.  I have begun to feel a few symptoms which has reassured me a little.  I get pretty tired late afternoon to the point where I need to lie down on the couch because my energy goes from high to low in about 2 minutes.  My boobs have also gotten pretty tender.  But, besides that, I feel pretty good.  The bloating (IVF pouch) is still out of control, but the pain/stretching/tearing feeling of my ovaries and abdomen has improved. 

Tomorrow, I will be 5 weeks and I am trying to force myself to believe that this will work.  Every once in a while we talk about our possible due date (April 2013) and what great timing that would be.  How much fun it would be to pregnant over the holidays and what kind of cute Christmas card we could send out.  We started talking about a nursery and how long I would take off from work, but I am trying not to talk about it too much.  I am trying hard not to get too attached.  Maybe I will feel better after Friday.  Or maybe this is just the way it is going to be for a while.  This fertility stuff has already taken so much from us, I hate that I am allowing it to continue to run my life.  Hopefully I will look back at this post in a few weeks and realize how silly we were for worrying so much.

On our drive home from Maine I heard this song for the first time and went right on the computer to find the lyrics...I feel like so many of us could have written this song ourself...

Life Ain't Always Beautiful
Gary Allan

Life ain't always beautiful
Sometimes it's just plain hard
Life can knock you down, it can break your heart

Life ain't always beautiful
You think you're on your way
And it's just a dead end road at the end of the day

But the struggles make you stronger
And the changes make you wise
And happiness has it's own way of takin it's sweet time

No, life ain't always beautiful
Tears will fall sometimes
Life aint always beautiful
But it's a beautiful ride

Life ain't always beautiful
Some days I miss your smile
I get tired of walkin all these lonely miles

And I wish for just one minute
I could see your pretty face
Guess I can dream, but life don’t work that way

But the struggles make me stronger
And the changes make me wise
And happiness has it's own way of takin it's sweet time

No, life ain't always beautiful
But i know i'll be fine
Hey, life aint always beautiful
But it's a beautiful ride
What a beautiful ride

Friday, August 24, 2012

It's A Good Start

I cannot apologize enough to my blog friends for leaving you hanging for so long.  It has KILLED me to keep this from some of you.  But, we were in Maine these past two days and I wanted to wait before my second beta came in.

Wednesday morning (12dp3dt) I went in for Beta #1: 202

(Today) Friday morning (14dp3dt) I went in for Beta #2: 360 (and I was in a complete panic when I realized it didn't double, almost started crying to the nurse on the phone and she did everyhing she could to reassure me.)

The fact that it didn't double makes me really nervous.  It makes my mind go immediately to worst case scenario.  I have spent the last few days furiously researching betas.  It seems the "new" way of thinking is that it should go up at least 60% every 48 hours and mine went up 80%.  I am wondering if maybe both implanted originally and then one didn't make it?  We have to go back next Friday morning for another beta.  Another whole week of waiting.  What fun!

When I called my brother today he first told me how excited he was, and then said the words, "It's a Good Start."  And for whatever reason those were the exact words I needed to hear. 

Believe it or not, I have known for a week I was going to get a positive.  I started testing last Friday (7dp3dt) and got a pretty good line and by Monday (10dp3dt) it was almost as dark as the control line and I saw my first "Pregnant" on a digital.  I also could tell because I felt great for a few days and then last weekend, the awful stretching/bloating of my stomach started.  I called about it and they said it could continue the entire first trimester.  Because I had so many follicles and such high estrogen, the follicles are filling back up with fluid/blood which is causing my ovaries to swell.  It is SO much worse at night, to the point that I cannot walk upright!!!

But, for now, we are pregnant!  We are nervous.  We are hopeful.  But, for the first time in almost 2 years, I can say, we're pregnant!

(If you have somehow stumbled upon this blog and know us in real life, PLEASE, do not share the news with anyone.  We have had such little control over this whole process, that we would like to have the opportunity to decide when/how to tell people...and we still have such a long way to go!!)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Still Here, Still Waiting

Beta Day is coming soon...only a few more days of waiting! I am about 50/50 as far as believing we will get a positive beta.  Better than having no hope right?

Before starting this post blogger showed me that this is my 99th post...which means, my 100th will come after my beta...very weird

P and I have reconnected (thank god, because that was making everything we are going through 10x worse) and now we can at least face this upcoming week together.

I don't have much to blog about, so here's a song I have been listening to a lot that I love (you may recognize it from NBC's ridiculous amount of Olympic coverage!)

Phillip Phillips

Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave is stringing us along
Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home

Settle down, it’ll all be clear
Don’t pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home

Settle down, it’ll all be clear
Don’t pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home

Thursday, August 16, 2012


I am officially 6dp3dt (9 days past ovulation) and I am trying so hard to convince myself that it is okay that I feel absolutely nothing.

I am trying to tell myself that this is the closest I have ever been to being pregnant and to enjoy it.  And not think about the fact that our embryos may have stopped developing days ago.

I am trying to tell myself that most people have no clue they're even pregnant those first few weeks.  Only problem is I am not most people, most people have sex and get pregnant.  Most people don't know more about their bodies than their own doctors.  I have not felt any twinges, nothing is bothering me, and my bloat seems to have gone down a little.  If anything, I have felt a little bit like my period is coming (I know it could be considered an early symptom.)

I am trying to believe it worked.

I am trying not to get overwhelmed with the thoughts of what next, if it didn't.

I am trying to keep it together because I don't know how I will react if we get bad news next week.

I am trying, I really am...

Hopefully I wake up tomorrow and my boobs hurt (A LOT!)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


To the "normal" woman, this would be considered 7 days past ovulation.  The day of your egg retrieval is considered the day of ovulation.  Hard to believe it was a week ago that I went in for the procedure.

Today, I am finally starting to feel like myself again.  Even though I didn't blog much about it, I have been very uncomfortable these past few days.  My insides (whether it was my ovaries, stomach, who knows) were very sore.  There were times when it hurt to yawn, sneeze, or even take deep breaths.   Nothing I couldn't handle, but I am realizing today, when I feel so good, how terrible I actually felt. The bloating is still here and it is ridiculous, I could pass for 4 months pregnant if I let my stomach hang out, and sucking it in is just about impossible.  Every time I put the crinone in I think to myself, crap, how much more bloated can this stuff make me!! But, besides the bloating, I feel absolutely nothing.  No twinges, no cramps, nothing.  I know, I know, it is so early and if I were to become pregnant I'm not expecting it to show up on an hpt until this weekend, but feeling this good does make me a little nervous!

I tested the trigger shot out this morning, the test was as stark white as I am used to seeing it.    This means that the hCG from the shot I gave myself to release the eggs 36 hours before the retrieval, is now out of my system.  So, if I get a positive over this next week, it will be because my body has started to produce its own hCG as a result of me becoming pregnant.

I have been keeping myself busy.  This morning I went out shopping for school supplies since I have not even spent one second thinking about work which happens to start 3 weeks from today!  I still don't really want to think about it, but better to get out now when everything is on sale!

I've been reading a lot.  Just finished "Gone Girl" which was sick and twisted but a great read!  Watching lots of tv and movies too.  We saw the new Batman this weekend and I wasn't really impressed, I thought the previous one with Heath Ledger was so much better, but it was a good distraction for 3 hours!

Anyone have any good books or movies they've read/seen ...always looking for recommendations!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Left wondering why...

This morning was my father's good friend's funeral.  I have seen my father cry only 2 times, when one of our childhood pups got put to sleep, when his father passed away, and last night marked the third time, at the wake of his dear friend.  He passed away of a massive heart attack.  He was healthy and just dropped dead.  The funeral was this morning and my dad and his brothers were all involved in it.  It was one of the best services I have ever attended.  There were hundreds of people in attendance.  But I couldn't help but continue to stare at his two children, a boy and a girl, almost the same ages as me and my brother.  I wondered what the last thing they said to their father was. How would they ever be able to deal with the loss of their dad?  Why him?  Why now?  Why do such bad things continue to happen to such good people?

As I drove home I couldn't help but think of how precious life is.  It is a gift, a privilege, one that many get taken away from them far too soon.  Tomorrow is promised to no one, not even our precious little embryos.  I was also reminded that no matter how bad things seem, there is always someone out there who has it worse...

Last night didn't go so hot.  I woke up around 11:30 with such terrible cramps that I couldn't walk upright.  I am pretty sure it was gas pains but not sure.  When they finally subsided I was able to sleep for a few hours on the couch.  Today, I continue to be super bloated from the gross crinone, but the pain from last night is gone and I'm just feeling tired, really, really tired.

What a whirlwind these last few weeks have been...

Sunday, August 12, 2012


That's me. My mind is racing. I am trying to stay calm and live in the moment, but it's really not me. I am a planner, I hate not knowing what is going to happen next. Guess that's why these last 20 months have been so difficult. Nothing has gone as planned and I have given up virtually all of my control to doctors and science.

The progesterone has kicked in. I am very bloated. My weight is still normal. Like I said, I have lost a few pounds over these last few weeks, so if anything I am trying to shovel food in my mouth. But, I am uncomfortable. That is an expected side effect of the progesterone. I have also had some uterine cramping, another side effect. Still waiting/wishing for the swollen boobs, still nothing!

My range of emotions throughout the day go anywhere from anger, sadness, fear, to hope and happiness. I am trying hard not too look to far ahead because we don't know what this cycle will bring, but the thought of going through another fresh cycle in another month or two makes me sick. I know I can do it, but my poor body. How will these medications effect me 10, 20, 30 years down the line? It's crazy you get to a point in all this where you don't even think about those things anymore. Your desire for a baby trumps all.

I guess I have been taking it easy. My doctor did not put me on bed-rest but did say to take it easy these next few weeks. My husband seems to think that since I am up and moving around that everything (including me) is back to normal. In a not so nice way, I have to remind him that just last week I was carrying around 19 months worth of eggs inside of me (most women only produce 1 egg each month.) But, we're working on it!

We had a wedding to go to Friday night. So, after spending all day on the couch I showered and got dressed and we went to the reception for a few hours. It was so surreal being there. Knowing what we had been through over these past 4 weeks, even that morning, and knowing just about no one had any idea. To everyone, we were still the same people. Had I broken my arm and had it in a cast or been sick and in the hospital just a few days before, I am sure just about everyone would have run up to me and asked how I was doing. It's not that I want anyone's sympathy or pity, I DON'T, not even in the slightest, but sometimes a hug or a quick "I'm thinking of you..." is just what we need. That is what sucks about infertility. It is invisible. It is silent.  And it slowly eats you up inside.

So, before I wrap it up, I thought I would let everyone know what is up with my embryos (if they have continued to grow) according to the NYU Fertility Center. On their website they have laid out what happens each day after the transfer of 3 day embryos...

1 DPT: the embryo continues to grow and develop, turning from a 6-8 cell embryo into a morula
2 DPT: The cells of the morula continue to divide, developing into a blastocyst
2 DPT: The blastocyst begins to hatch out of its shell
4 DPT: The blastocyst continues to hatch out of its shell and begins to attach itself to the uterus
5 DPT: THe blastocyst attaches deeper into the ulterine lining, beginning implantation
6 DPT: Implantation continues
7 DPT: Implantation is complete, cells that will eventually become the placenta and fetus have begun to develop
8 DPT: Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) starts to enter the bloodstream
9 DPT: Fetal development continues and hCG continues to be secreted
10 DPT: Fetal development continues and hCG continues to be secreted
11 DPT: Levels of hCG are now high enough to detect a pregnancy

Of course I will be testing early.  Of course I will know, walking into my beta what the results already are.  Haven't you been reading, I am a control freak!  But, I will not be sharing the results on the blog until after my beta.

I cannot thank everyone enough for the texts, emails, and comments over these past 48 hours.  I have been really down in the dumps and they have helped tremendously!  Keep the prayers coming xoxo