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 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 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.