Sunday, December 1, 2013

FET #1

FET#1 (Nov-Dec 2014)

Nov. 18- begin taking estrace (2mg) by mouth 3x/day

Nov. 26- sore throat; go to walk-in clinic and given Clindamycin

Nov. 30-go in for u/s and b/w...lining is only 6.2 begin taking estrace 3x/day vaginally also

Dec. 4- go in for another u/s, everything looks good, lining is nice and thick (around 10)
  • start PIO injections pm
Dec. 5- wake up with rash in the am
  • head to PCP, believes it is antibiotic rash (happened before with penicillin)
  • start 7 day treatment of prednisone
  • speak w/ RE; okay to start prednisone and continue PIO
Dec. 6-rash already improving (caught it early)

Dec. 9- Transfer Day (doctor commented everything went "perfect")

Dec. 19- Bloodwork confirms negative (tested a few days before)

And so begins IVF#2...

Monday, July 8, 2013

First Few Weeks with a Newborn

H is almost 3 months!! Where has the time gone...I should have written this post a long time ago but I just haven't sat down to do it until now.

Getting pregnant was not easy, my pregnancy was not easy, and although it only took 20 minutes to push H out, the actual childbirth experience wasn't easy so I am not sure why I expected the first few weeks at home to be any different!

The first two weeks were hard.  REALLY HARD.  Breastfeeding was not working, the only time she would latch was when I had someone else to help me (lactation consultant.)  And that was extremely frustrating.  I was in a lot of pain dealing with recovery from my third degree tear and my emotions were ALL over the place.  I did not immediately fall in love with H.  I loved her, but it wasn't what I expected.  I waited all of 7 days before I realized I was not okay and I reached out to my doctor.  She saw me quickly and agreed that it would be best for my to go on meds for a few months just to try and balance me out.  Within a week after starting the meds and also coming to the decision that breastfeeding just wasn't working, I felt like a new person.

There is a big push to breastfeed, I did lots of research and I know the benefits and although I really wanted it to work, between her being tongue tied, battling depression, and having to pump every 2-3 hours 24 hours a day I just couldn't do it.  For a day or two I felt selfish and then I realized it was the best decision I could have ever made.  Both my husband and family were extremely supportive and H took to the Newborn Enfamil really well.  AND, I was FINALLY bonding with my little girl.

What I have realized over these last few months is that important decisions like this are really no one else's business.  What works for one family may or may not work for another, and that is OK.  There is also nothing wrong with asking for help.  I feel like I am a better mom because of those hard decisions I had to make so early on.

After getting past those first few weeks I have been head over heels in love with this little girl.  I literally cannot get enough of her.  She looks and acts very similarly to me and I just love it.  She goes from calm to screaming her head off in 2 seconds when she is hungry or has had enough of something.  She is full of smiles and all sorts of different expressions, even a few giggles here and there.  This last week she has started to sleep through the night.  Last night she went down at 7:30 pm, got up for a feed at 4:30 in the morning and then back down until 7 am.

There is so much more I want to say but the thoughts don't flow as easily as they used to now that my mind is occupied 120% of the time with H haha!

I am completely ECSTATIC for all of the women who have had babies over these past few months and although I don't post/comment much, I love all the pictures.  Those of you still in the trenches, my heart breaks for you...I will never understand why something that can bring people so much love can sometimes be so difficult to obtain.

One last thing...the feelings about my infertility have not gone away.  Some of my friends are beginning to announce they are pregnant with their second and I cannot help but feel a little sad.  I don't know what the future holds for P and me, and future children.  I do know we have one frozen embryo and we have decided to continue to keep it frozen until we are ready to try again.  But, if that doesn't work, I guess we will try IVF again.  The thought of putting us through that again overwhelms me, but we got Harper out of it the first time and I would do it all over again to have a heartbeat

Monday, June 10, 2013

H's Birth Story

On Tuesday night we checked into the hospital at 8pm.  We had been waiting around all day for a phone call to tell us when they could have us come in, we finally got the phone call around 4 and then I broke down into hysterical, ugly sobs.  It was a combination of fear, excitement, and the realization that somehow this baby had to come out!

I knew from the previous Friday that I was not dilated at all.  The doctor has originally not been able to locate my cervix the week before, but that Friday she used a speculum (OW!) and was able to get to it and give me the bad news that I was not dilated at all.  The only good news was Harper's head was literally RIGHT THERE!

We checked into a room (where I would not be delivering) and they hooked me up to the monitors to check for contractions.  The bed was ridiculously uncomfortable although the room was a good size and P had a pull out bed.  This was not a labor and delivery room, they assumed it would be a while so they weren't in any rush to get me into one.  Around 10:30 pm a doctor came in and told me she was going to insert the balloon (which would fall out at 3cm) and put some cervidil on my cervix.  The insertion of the balloon hurt a lot but once it was in it was more an annoyance than anything else.  Then we waited.  P dozed off and on but I barely slept and had bad burns on my elbows to show for it as I continued to try and push myself up on the bed over and over again!

Finally, around 7 am a nurse came in to check the balloon which had still not fallen out yet.  They came around with a breakfast tray which I couldn't really stomach.  A few more hours went by.  I began to wonder if this would take another whole day.  Around 11 am the nurse pulled the balloon out and my doctor came in to check me and said I was about 2.5 cm dilated.  ARE YOU SERIOUS!  That's it!  I then got up to go to the bathroom and was having some serious lower back pain (now wondering if it was labor pains) and as soon as I got back into bed I felt a huge pop and water/blood started gushing everywhere.  That's when things got a little crazy.  I kept having to get up and use the bathroom (I guess your system really does clear itself out) and I was on all fours in the room begging the nurse to take me seriously and get me some meds.  They assumed since I was a first time mom I didn't know what was going on so they were not in any rush.  There was not a room open for me in L&D which meant they could not start the epidural until I was in one of those rooms.  Both P and I were starting to freak out.  I continued to tell P the baby was coming.  The nurses came in and were rubbing my back telling me I was doing a great job (little did they know I could have been seconds away from delivering!)  Finally the doctor arrived and checked me, confirming what I already knew...I was fully dilated and could start pushing IF I wanted to.  Cue complete FREAK OUT.  MY body literally felt like it was convulsing, I could feel little H moving down and I had no control over my body.  I started crying telling her I needed the epidural.  Immediately 6 nurses came rushing in with a stretcher and a delivery kit.  We had to take the elevator to get to L&D and they were afraid I wasn't going to make it that far without delivering H!

It was the longest elevator ever.  I just remember continuing to yell "She's coming" as the dr held my hand telling me to keep breathing (best advice she gave me was to pretend you're blowing out a candle.)  When they finally got me into L & D it was pure panic.  They turned me on my side and told me I would need to be still if I wanted to get the epidural.  I remember my doctor continuing to ask for "George" as he was the anesthesiologist.  When he finally arrived I remember P stumbling to put a mask on because he was so shaken up.  My proudest moment was being in all that pain and having the ability to stay still enough for the epidural!  Within minutes I felt relief.  I could still move my legs, but I did not feel any pain.  The doctor/nurse decided they wanted me to wait to push because my body needed time to recover.  After about a half hour they decided I was good to go.  It was so calm.  We were talking between pushes, laughing at what state I was in just an hour before.  I am so thankful that is the experience I had delivering H rather than the complete chaos that it could have been.  I only pushed for 20 minutes...5 sets of 3 pushes each and she was out!   I never needed pitocin and the doctor/nurse were in shock at how quickly everything transpired.  At 2:35pm we welcomed H.  P cut the cord and the doctor got to work on me.  I had a third degree tear because H came out with her hand by her face and swiped me!  It took about 35-40 minutes to get stitched up and the nurse continued to tell me how lucky I was to get the epidural because of the tear repair.  They also put in a catheter because I was so swollen and they didn't want me to get up for the first 24-36 hours to use the bathroom.  But, because of the epidural I did not feel any of this.

For the next 36 hours I survived off of heavy pain meds, TUCKS pads, and the fantastic pads at the hospital that also serve as ice.  BEST THINGS EVER (if you have the chance, take as many as these home with you from the hospital!)  I almost cried when they took the catheter out because I was so nervous to get up and walk around, I was also nervous to go to the bathroom!  VERY NERVOUS!  The first few times I tried to get up I got super lightheaded and they made me sit back down.  When I finally made it to the bathroom I felt a little better to have that over with!

In the hospital we had some issues with H's blood sugar which were quickly resolved and we also had to get her tongue clipped by a surgeon from another hospital because she had a pretty bad tongue tie.  But, besides that, she was perfect.  And, she was here!

I wish I could say when we got home that Thursday afternoon that it was a walk in the park but unfortunately that couldn't be further from the truth.  Breastfeeding was a disaster.  My emotions were all over the place and depression had set in.  But, as H will turn 7 weeks tomorrow, I can say my life is complete.  P and I have never been happier and those difficult newborn weeks are behind us.  I will post about breastfeeding/depression/first two weeks soon.

But for now, here are a few more pictures of our little one who has totally won over our scares me how much I love her!

Friday, June 7, 2013

H is Here!

I can't believe it has been this long.  I want to post the birth story but just can't put the words together yet.  The short version is I checked in for my induction at 39 weeks due to medical reasons on Monday night (April 22) at 8:00 pm and had H on Tuesday afternoon (April 23) at 2:35 pm.  I went from 3 cm to fully dilated in less than an hour all without an epidural (which I desperately wanted!!)  Never needed pitocin and the doctors and nurses were in shock at how fast things went.  I ended up with a third degree tear (ouch) and a tough two weeks adjusting to life at home with a newborn.  But, H is now a little over 6 weeks and P and I could not be more in love with her.  Here are a few pictures...I will be back soon with a lot more details!  I can finally say it was all worth it, and I would do it ALL over again, all of it...

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

IVF #2

Start Date:  Monday, February 2, 2015

Needle Count: 36

Blood Draws: 7

Ultrasounds: 5

February 2: begin birth control pills

February 11: 10 units of Lupron @ 6:10 am
  • bloated and diahrea (maybe nerves?)
February 12: 10 units of Lupron @ 6:10 am

February 13: 10 units of Lupron @ 6:30 am

February 14: 10 units of Lupron @ 7:00 am

February 15: 10 units of Lupron @ 7:00 am
  • took last BCP
February 16: 10 units of Lupron

February 17: 10 units of Lupron

February 18: 10 units of Lupron

February 19: 10 units of Lupron
  • really tired and no energy
February 20: 10 units of Lupron before baseline appt.
  • 8 am baseline b/w and u/s (everything looks good)
  • 10 am acupuncture  (trying someone new this go round!)
February 21: 10 units of Lupron

Begin Stimulating Drugs (2 shots a day)

February 22: lower dosage of Lupron to 5 units
  • begin 75 units of Gonal-f (starting out super low to avoid OHSS and will be going in earlier then usual for bloodwork on Wednesday morning to check my estradiol)
  • retrieval date should fall around March 5, my 32nd birthday 
February 23: 5 units of Lupron
  • 75 units Gonal-f
February 24: 5 units of Lupron
  • 75 units Gonal-f
  • accupuncture
February 25: 5 units of Lupron
  • b/w (e2 came back at 259 so instructed to lower dose)
  • 50 units of Gonal-f
February 26: 5 units of Lupron
  • 50 units of Gonal-f
February 27: 5 units of Lupron
  • b/w and u/s (e2 came back at 220, so it dropped, told to up dose)
  • 75 units of Gonal-f
  • accupuncture
February 28: 5 units of Lupron
  • 75 units of Gonal-f
March 1: 5 units of Lupron
  • b/w
  • e2 levels still look terrible, only 279
  • going up to 112.5 Gonal-f tonight & tomorrow night
March 2: 5 units of Lupron
  • nauseous most of the morning
  • bloated
  • 112.5 Gonal-f
March 3: 5 units of Lupron
  • b/w and u/s 
  • left ovary measured 51 mm x 38 (HUGE) with 3 measurable follicles and tons of smaller ones measuring between 9 and 11, they do not consider them measurable until they are a "12"
  • my right came back at 36x20 with 1 measurable follicle and lots of smaller ones 
  • e2 came back at 1,050 (yikes!)
  • lower Gonal-f to 50 units 
  • dr. wrote prescription for cabergoline that I will need to take the same night of my trigger shot to hopefully lessen the effects of overstimulating 
  • accupuncture appt. after work 
March 4: 5 units of Lupron
  • 50 units of Gonal-f
March 5: 5 units of Lupron
  • b/w and u/s
  • left ovary & right ovary both measuring around 50x35
  • about 5 measurable follicles on left and 1 on right, but tons of little ones still, lead follicle is about 16 mm
  • nurse believes I will trigger Friday or Saturday night
  • continue with 50 units gonal-f and back to clinic tomorrow am 
  • lining is about 9.7 
March 6: TRIGGER tonight @ 6:30 pm
  • b/w and u/s 
  • nurse was really great and explained that I had 6-7 measurable follicles, with only 3 of those being mature and about 15 smaller ones (that are never going to grow now)
  • as of this morning, nurse though they would probably push me a few more days
  • accupuncture @ 12:15  
  • @ 3pm got the phone call e2 dropped to 1300, body is trying to ovulate on its own
  • now instructed to trigger tonight at 6:30 pm and go in for retrieval Sunday morning 
  • 0.5 mg Cabergoline   
March 7: first day in the last 4 weeks without a shot to take

March 8: 7:30 am Egg Retrieval

  • retrieved 8 eggs
March 9: began crinone suppositories
  • spoke with embryologist
  • of the 8 eggs, only 3 were mature, and only 2 fertilized correctly
March 10: continue crinone
  • spoke with embryologist; still have 2 embryos...1 is a 2-cell and 1 is a 4-cell
  • transfer is set...please let one make it!
March 11: P's birthday
  • doctor recommends transferring both embryos (one is 8-cell but poor quality, other is 5-cell but looks perfect)
  • only transfer 1 (the 5-cell which has already multiplied to 7-cell!)
March 16: 5dp3dt

  • felt a little cramping and some stomach pains
March 18: 7dp3dt

  • POSITIVE test
March 23: 12dp3dt

  • BETA #1: 378
March 25: 14dp3dt

  • BETA #2: 750
April 1: 21dp3dt
  • BETA #3: 9,676
April 13: u/s

  • one strong little baby
  • were able to see and hear heartbeat, right around 150

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Fears, Questions, & Knowing Too Much

I am a control freak, so in some ways getting biweekly monitoring has been good for me (although I don't think it will help me get through possible subsequent pregnancies because I know it is so atypical!)

We went in yesterday for our monitoring appts. (also the day we see the doctor once a week.)  Little girl was very active so I didn't have to be on the NST long which was good because they do nothing but stress me out, staring at her heartbeat for 20 mins and analyzing whether or not it is getting too high/low.  A few weeks ago I was hooked up and her heartbeat dropped into the 90s, the nurse came running in and told me to take a few deep breaths and it came right back up but boy was it scary!  Luckily it hasn't happened again, that I am aware of.

We also get quick u/s every time I go in so they can check my fluids and placenta.  Baby has been head down since about week 26, WAY HEAD DOWN.  We haven't seen her face in over 10 weeks.  And I get ultrasounds twice a week!  At our last growth scan which was almost 4 weeks ago they were not even able to measure her head.  The u/s tech teases me about it, not understanding how I can walk or don't spend every 5 seconds at the bathroom.  And to be honest, I really don't understand it either.  Luckily my cervix has been sealed tight or else this baby could have come a lot sooner.

My doctor did an internal two weeks ago along with the Strep B test which came out negative (thank god, one test that came out fine!)  And when she offered another check last week, I denied it.  So, I knew going in this week I was probably going to get checked again.  I am currently 37w4d, which is still considerably early for a first time mom.  The problem is, I am getting induced at exactly 39w (for medical reasons.)  The cervix check is pretty much excruciating because my cervix is STILL way behind the baby's head.  She dug around with one hand and then tried the other hand, and finally said, "Lindsay, her head is RIGHT THERE!"  Normally that would be awesome, my body is getting ready, except that, it is so low she had NO CHANCE of finding my cervix.  Meaning, my cervix has not moved forward AT ALL.  During most of your pregnancy your cervix will be high and closer to your bottom, as labor nears, it will move forward and should move in front of the babies head.  I have made no progress with that.  We have another appt. with the doctor next week (our last appt. before the induction) and she told me she may have to torture me a little, yes she used the word "torture."  She wants me to practice breathing, find my Zen.  Haha, yeah right. She said something about possibly having to use a speculum and doing everything she could to see what is going on with my cervix.  When I go for my induction, they are going to need full access to my cervix, especially if I am not dilated at all, because the goal is to ripen my cervix the night before the induction and then slowly introduce pitocin the next morning.  From the sounds of it, because baby is so low, if we can get my cervix to cooperate EVER, labor will move very fast.

I feel like people only write horror stories about inductions and am afraid of what mine is going to be like if my cervix continues to be so high.  I know things can change quickly and I am going to spend a lot of time walking and on my feet this next week.  But, to be honest, I am a teacher, I am always on my feet.  And she has been head down for months now.  Why should I expect anything to change over the next few days?  Instead of going to the hospital the 23rd, we will be going in the night before for cervical ripening.  I freaked out in the car ride home last night and told P that I couldn't do this anymore.  I want to fast forward 2 weeks and just be home with her.  Unfortunately, that isn't possible, so I gotta put my big girl pants on and figure out how I am going to deal with all of this.  And hope that in the meantime SOMETHING, ANYTHING happens with the positioning of my cervix, otherwise I am afraid I may pass out at my doctor's appt. next week, from fear alone!!

On another note, how has what you have gone through in your current or past pregnancies or even attempts to get pregnant impacted your thoughts about future pregnancies?  I know everyone says you forget what happens during the birth and your body forgets making you ready for more, but what about the pain of infertility and a tough pregnancy?  Do you really forget that stuff?  I always wanted three children, it is down to two now.  Last night I told P I don't know if I can go through this again, and if we choose to, it may not be for a long time.  Maybe that will change when she is here and we are head over heels in love with her and can't imagine life without her.  But, for right now, I don't know where we are at.  Anyone else have mixed feelings?

Friday, April 5, 2013

Still Here!

Where to begin?

It has been months since I have blogged, not even sure if too many of you check my blog anymore but I thought it was time to catch people up a little bit.

I am currently 36w2d pregnant.  I know, I can't believe it either!

I had thought getting past the infertility issues would be difficult, and they were (and continue to be) but it was compounded by the b/w that came back sometime in the second trimester.  Since getting those results (which I know can often be wrong or false positives) I have been considered a "high risk" pregnancy and that has made these last few months really difficult on me.  I have had lots of up and lots of downs.  We were initially afraid the b/w indicated some kind of issue with baby's spine, but after having a level II ultrasound, that was just about ruled out.  So, when high AFP goes unexplained, it sometimes puts pregnant women at higher risk for pre-eclampsia, pre-term labor, stillbirth, and a wide range of other things.

Since reaching week 32, I have been at the doctors twice a week every week and will continue to do that until I get induced at week 39.  Each time I have a NST and u/s, and once a week I also meet with my doctor.  In addition I have been getting growth scans every 4 weeks since week 26.  Everything has continued to look good, but the extra tests are exhausting and stressful!  They are checking to make sure my fluids are okay, the placenta is still working, and babe is still measuring on track.  Out first growth scan, she came out in the 70th percentile, second growth scan she measured in the 59th percentile and our most recent one (which was two weeks ago) she was in the 39th percentile.  Yes, she has continued to measure smaller every few weeks, but the doctor isn't concerned, so I am trying not to stress about it too much (haha yeah right!)  Once again, all the nurses, secretaries, u/s techs know me by name because I am there so much (just like with IVF.)

I also failed my Glucose Test, not once, not twice, but three times!  I initially failed the 1-hour and kept hearing from everyone how common it was and I would pass the 3-hour with flying colors.  Of course that didn't happen, I failed 2 separate 3-hour tests.  Protocol would be for me to take another at week 38, but at that point I will be a few days away from being induced so my doctor cut me a break and told me it could just be a fluke or the way my levels would be throughout pregnancy (it was always the second hour blood draw that went up, the other 3 blood draws looked good.)  Needless to say, I feel like every test I have been given I have failed miserably.  Every time the office calls I cringe thinking it is more bad news.

I know I will regret not doing bump updates and have weekly notes to look back on but to be honest it has really been difficult for me to fully embrace this pregnancy.  So many of my friends have gotten pregnant and not had to deal with any of this, it makes it really hard for me to relate to them.  They have ultrasound pictures and pregnancy things all over their facebook pages and at times it is just too much for me.  I have a hard time sympathizing with pregnant people over their lack of sleep when I keep worrying whether or not today will be the day I go in for my NST/ultrasound and they tell me something is wrong and the baby has to come out NOW!

The pregnancy itself has been fairly easy on me (which kind of makes it even worse!)   I still have no swelling, blood pressure continues to be low around 120/65, have only gained about 23 pounds, and have had just about no aches/pains.  She has been head down for about 2 months and is currently so low that my u/s tech can't believe I am still able to walk without the famous pregnant waddle.   She has also been face down for a while too which has taken just about all the pressure off my lower back and my sciatic pain has been no more.

Sorry I have been away for so long, I have been reading everyone's blog but have been in a weird place for a while now.  I have been rooting so many of you on from a far, and have loved seeing pictures of all the new babies (please keep posting tips and favorite products, I LOVE reading those posts!)

The best thing that has come out of all of this is P and I are in a better place then we have ever been.  We are nervous, stressed, excited, and don't know what to expect over these next few weeks, but we are going through it together.

The NSTs have been picking up lots of contractions over the past week and although they are not painful, they definitely have me wondering when baby is actually going to be coming.  We are scheduled to get induced on April 23 (a full week early.)  I am still working and it has really taken it's toll on me, especially since two days a week I leave work early and am at the doctors for anywhere from 2-3 hours.  Next week is my last week of work and then I have a week to get ready (if we make it!)

We don't have a birth plan because I don't want to go in with any set expectations.  If it goes anything like the last 2.5 years have gone, then nothing will be in my control.  I am not dead set for/against an epidural.  I want to see how I can manage the pain and if I need it, I need it.  I am hoping to avoid a c-section.  The doctor is concerned about my narrow pelvic bone, but if the baby continue to measures on the smaller side, it might be okay.  Of course, getting induced increases your chances of c-sections too, so I do realize I have a few factors going against me already.

The one thing that P and I did decide to do was take maternity pictures because we wanted to make sure we had something to remember this pregnancy by.  We were really pleased with them and of course we had to include Sage in a few!  These were taken right around 32 weeks, I was even carrying low then!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

25 Weeks

25 weeks...seriously?? How did this happen!!  I am almost in the third trimester and this is getting more and more real by the minute.

I had quite the scare last Friday night.  P was out at a friend's 30th birthday party which I was unable to attend.  It was around 7:30 and I picked up a pizza from Dominos (can you see where this is going??)  I had 3-4 pieces, which is what I have always eaten and then made the mistake of lying down.  Within minutes, I felt pain radiating up and down my sides and it was hard to breathe.  I began to get really nervous because I was alone and had never felt anything like this before.  Luckily, mom and dad are right around the corner so I calmly called her and asked if she could come over and let Sage out because I wasn't feeling well.  From the time I hung up the phone to when she got here the pains got progressively worse, I could not sit, lay down, and was having trouble standing straight up.  I called the on call doctor and she recommeded I go right to the hospital, so that is what we did!  I had no idea where to go, was totally freaked out I was going into labor, and was in SO much pain! 

Luckily, they hooked me up to the monitors immediately and she was kicking away and I was not having contractions, but rather an incredibly bad case of heartburn.  I was there for a little over 2 hours and after they gave me this nasty GI concotion I began to feel a little better.  Yes, my husband rushed home and made it to the hospital, because we had no idea what was going on and my mom thought he should come home.  We finally got home around midnight and I was wiped for the remainder of the weekend.  I don't think I will ever look at a piece of pizza the same again!

The doctors were wonderful and told me to stay away from spicy/greasy foods and they gave me a prescription for medication if I do decide to eat something that may not agree with me, so we can avoid these scares in the future.  They also told me NEVER, EVER, eat and then lie down; wait at least 30 minutes. 

Strangely enough, the doctor who was in the hospital with me, knew my RE very well (it was weird to hear him reference my pregnancy as an "IVF pregnancy" I guess you never escape it) and he also told me that Dr. B who did my retrieval and transfer had moved out of the practice.  That was hard to swallow.  He wasn't my RE, but he was the one who convinced us to transfer two, he was the one who placed the embryo(s) in just the right spot and got us pregnant! 

Ok, next subject.  Our maternity photos have been booked.  We never got engagement pictures done, which I still regret to this day, and we are not into the "intimate" pictures haha so we will be doing a session outside (short and sweet) hopefully with snow in the background.  The pictures are for the end of February, I will be about 31 weeks, which might seem a little early, but March and April are just so busy I am going to see if this will work. 

Oh yeah, can we talk about movement?? Because ever since Christmas (you were right mom) baby has been squirming around in there ALL day EVERY day.  I can't tell what kind of movement it is, ever, but feels like she is having a little party in there.  From the time I wake up, until the time I fall asleep I feel her, I guess that is a good sign though!  When I was getting monitored at the hospital, it took 2 different nurses and lots of manuvering to get her consistently on the monitor because she wouldn't stop moving. 

I am currently sick with what feels like a mild flu.  No fever, just sore throat, a litle achey, and just feel crummy so I stayed home from work.  I am actually wondering if I picked something up at the hospital last weekend, I was so hopeful to get through the whole winter without being sick, but hopefully it will be gone soon.

And finally, I am looking for recommendations.  P and I really want a new camera.  Nothing too crazy, definitely need an upgrade. We have a Canon, but it is about 3 years old and doesn't really offer us much.  Anyone recently use/buy a camera they are in love with?  Our iphones just aren't going to cut it once little one arrives!

Next up, our first serial growth scan next week to check on baby and make sure everything looks the way it is supposed to.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Things I Have Learned (And Am Still Learning)

I have never been an eloquent speaker. That is one of the reasons I was hesitant to start my blog (almost a year ago.) I am an open book. Most people (that know me well) can tell what kind of mood I am in just by the way I answer the telephone or respond to a text message. But, I am also very honest and I feel like that is one of the reasons I have connected with so many bloggers. I don't sugarcoat things. EVER.

This whole experience has left me constantly reflecting and I have been wanting to do a post like this for a while.

Dealing with infertility and all that comes along with it (procedures, tests, failure, tears, needles, phone calls) and then pregnancy is a whirldwind. There were times early on after discovering I was pregnant, that I found myself wanting to slow down time. Wanting to give my mind and body time to recover from IVF before jumping into pregnancy (I know, oh ho ironic.)

Throughout these last 2 years (and these last few months) I have learned:

  • Infertility changes you (for better or worse.) For the longest time I struggled with trying to get back to the person I was before this all started. I felt a sadness. Like I lost part of myself in going through all of this. Only recently have I realized that throughout life everyone goes through different experiences. Those experiences shape the person we become. We are forever changing. And that is okay. I am okay with the person I am today. I may have less patience for some and more sympathy for others. I may still have some bad moments where I am wrapped up in anger and sadness or frustration, but that is okay. Because my happy moments are that much happier and I will NEVER once take this pregnancy or this baby for granted.

  • If it doesn't kill you it WILL make you stronger. I hate this stupid saying, but I have to say I have found a lot of truth in it. HSGs, MRIs, sperm analyses, IUIs, IVf. Think about the day you married your significant other. Could you have ever imagined not only having to put yourselves through this, but surviving it? Could you have ever pictured sticking yourself with multiple needles night after night without even a guarantee you will have a baby at the end of it? I never in a million years would have thought I could do that. Somehow I found the strength and, it didn't kill me (although there were definitely times I was afraid it might.)

  • Your marriage WILL be tested OVER and OVER again. You will have conversations and sit through doctors appts where things will be talked about that most people will never have to deal with. Some marriages will survive this and some will not. That is a very scary thought. I consider P and I very lucky because we did survive this. Although it is not perfect, nor easy, we have done it. Sometimes it is so easy to get lost in the goal of having a child that you forget what was behind this goal: a deep love between you and your partner. A love that was very alive long before trying for a child ever came into the picture. Try and keep that love alive. Because you would be surprised at how quickly that can disappear.

  • Infertility SUCKS. Infertility IS SO UNFAIR. Infertility will suck the LIFE right out of you. There will be days you spend crying in bed. Days you avoid the outside world. Days you can't stand the people in your life that don't understand your pain and will never know what it feels like to want for a child and not have it happen naturally like it does for so many others. And then there will be days when you wake up and say to yourself, "I CAN DO THIS."

  • Some people will ALWAYS say the wrong thing. It isn't that they mean to it is just that they don't know what to say. Would you know what to say if you hadn't gone through this? I know I wouldn't.

  • Infertility is a HUSH HUSH subject. And I HATE this. I have no problem talking about our struggles, but what I have realized is that it makes many people uncomfortable. For some reason it is acceptable to talk about diseases or illness, but infertility is something that makes people shudder. The only thing I can say about this, is if you feel comfortable, TALK ABOUT IT. It is the only way we will be able to shine some light on the debilitating effects infertility has on us.

  • There will be days you walk by a mirror and see that growing belly and think "There is no way that is me." I had convinced myself that I would never be pregnant, that I would never have this belly. There are still days it catches me by surprise.

  • Your stomach will STRETCH and STRETCH and STRETCH. Haha. But, it will happen gradually. I remember thinking I looked "bigger" after just 3 or 4 months. Oh boy, did I have no idea what "bigger" really meant. And to be honest I still don't think I do because I still have 15+ weeks (hopefully) of growing with this belly that already seems to big for my body!

  • There are parts of your body you will not be able to see for WEEKS! And after the initial shock wears off, you really won't care, as a matter of fact, you may find yourself forgetting what anything below your belly button even looks like!

You may or may not agree with all or some of what I have written and that's okay. These are thoughts that are constantly running through my head. Things that I often wonder if other people think about/struggle with.

I still cannot believe that in just a few months we will have a baby. We get to see her again in two weeks for our first serial growth scan and although I am so excited, the fears have started to creep back in. It is not something I can talk to people about because they don't understand my fears or anxieties. But, I know you do. Which is why I always go back to this blog. I recently attemped to go back on facebook, even posting a picture or two reflecting the pregnancy, and within just a half hour I found myself deactivating my account. Although so many people responded with positive comments it didn't feel "real" or "genuine." I am so thankful for this community. For this safe place where I can express myself openly and honestly and know that someone, somewhere, understands how I am feeling.

Hope everyone has a great rest of the week!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Catching Up

P and I had a great day today. A Trader Joe's recently opened up around us so we went to check it out, lots of affordable groceries and almost all organic. We also went to check out our stroller at Giggle.  Convincing P that we NEEDED this stroller was difficult haha but eventually he caved.  Hoping to order it on Amazon over the next few months.  We decided to go with the UppaBaby Vista, a bit of a splurge but that's okay with me...

I will leave you with a few pictures taken over the last few weeks...

Taken Christmas Morning (not a great one of the bump)

A version of this was used for our Christmas card this year.

No, this was not taken at a store, this is baby girl's closet.  I won't even
tell you about all the onesies hidden in her dresser.  Don't worry,
I have been buying newborn through 18 months haha!  I told you
December was a stressful month!!


And finally, Sage, telling us how very excited
she is to be a big sister soon!

23-24 weeks

It has been so long since I have blogged.  I am continuing to read everyone's stories and although I am not commenting I am following each and every one of you so very closely.

There has been a lot going on, nothing earth shattering...

The Good

I am almost 24 weeks pregnant.  And I am feeling baby girl moving LIKE CRAZY!  I don't know what she is doing in there, but we are in trouble if she is this active when she comes out!  I am still sleeping decent most nights.  My belly is growing!  Our nursery is just about complete.  The only thing we are waiting on is the chair and that is going to be a while, probably will not be here until early/mid March.  But, the painting is done, beadboard/chair rail is up, and we have the dresser, crib, and bookcase assesmbled.  I took a chance and did the one thing everyone tells you NOT to do, and ordered all pieces of furniture without being able to see them in person.  Each piece was from the Land of Nod (associated with Crate and Barrel) but there is no location within driving distance to our house.  After looking at other furniture at baby stores and constantly consulting the Baby Bargains book, I knew this was the furniture we had to have.  It came within 2-4 weeks, the men brought the pieces right up to the nursery, and the dresser was already assembled, and it looks beautiful.  I will post pictures soon, but right now we still have our guest bed in there because Sage likes to sit on it and stare out the window, and it is just too difficult for P to get rid of it right now because of how much time our pup spends on it! 

P and I will be celebrating our 30th birthdays in March, just a month before baby is expected to arrive.   Even though I expected to be thinking about baby #2 by now, the realization tha we are going to have our first baby is a pretty awesome 30th birthday present for both of us!

I had an appt. a few days ago and my belly measured 23 cm which was right on track, my blood pressure was still great at 106/62, and she picked up baby's strong heartbeat right away.  Because my alpha-protein levels came back high in November, we need to begin our serial growth scans to make sure baby girl is still growing appropriately and the placenta is working.  So, we have our first (of three) sceduled for 2 1/2 weeks from now.  We haven't seen our little one since that scary high risk ultrasound, so as long as everything looks good, it should be a much more fun u/s for P and me where we can hopefully get a few more pictures!

I love my OB.  I was iffy about her in the beginning, but since dealing with the scare a few weeks ago, she has been wonderful.  She is very proactive and I feel my baby and I are getting the best possible care which I am so grateful for. 

I also found out that the twice a week NST will not start until 32 weeks.  I had originally thought they were going to start at week 28, but was wrong.  That seems a lot more manageable.  Either way, March and April are going to be crazy going back and forth from work to the doctors.  So, let's hope January and February stay calm with no "surprises."

No stretchmarks, yet!

The Bad

December was a tough month for us as a couple.  We seemed to have turned a corner and we are doing a lot better now.  Marriage is hard, infertility makes it harder, and pregnancy after infertility (although some people claim it makes their marriage so much stronger) can be extremely difficult. 

There are reminders everywhere I turn of what was taken from P and me.  Everywhere we turn another couple is announcing they are pregnant, some with their second.  It continues to knock the wind right out of me.  I am hoping that once baby comes these feelings will slowly fade away even more, but the pregnancy announcements still sting, especially those announcing their second.  Those sting A LOT.

Physically this pregnancy has been pretty easy, but a few days before Christmas I started developing a lot of pain in my lower left back/hip.  My OB thinks its sciatica and wrote me a script for a PT evaluation...hopefully we can get that under control quickly.

The Ugly

Shaving?  Haha, let's just not even go there.  There are way too many parts of my body that I can no longer see. 

When my OB asked what my pre-pregnancy weight was I STUPIDLY gave her the weight I was at the morning of my egg retrieval: 123 lbs.  Between losing some weight right before IVF, not being able to eat for 12 hours because of the surgery, and lots of anxiety, I had lost 4 or 5 pounds.  Meaning, that weight was not even close to being my typical everyday weight!  Now I am up to 140.  So, when she told me I was up 17 pounds I wanted to say...wait wait wait haha!  My real pre-pregnancy weight is more like 127.  But, she didn't have a problem with the weight gain because I am still pretty tiny, so I guess I will just go with it!  (And secretly tell myself I am only up 13 pounds, not 17!)

Oh yeah, my pregnancy pants, those pretty much don't fit anymore!  I bought them around 12/13 weeks and they have been great for the last 3 months, but I am definitely running out of room.  No way I can survive the next 16 weeks in them!

That's about it for now, I am going to try and get back to blogging regularly, but sometimes life just gets in the way!  As I write this, baby is giving me a few quick kicks in the stomach, possibly to remind me I have no idea how busy life is actually going to get this Spring!