Sunday, December 12, 2010

How we got here

Tonight, while standing on long line, after a long day, I stood behind my husband and rested my head on his shoulder. Suddenly a female voice popped up, "Excuse me....are you having a boy?"

Tonight was the first time a stranger noticed and commented (and guessed right!) about me being pregnant. She said she could tell by the way I was carrying....high. I told her that would be why I have nightly heartburn and run out of air while bending over to put my socks on.

It was a small moment that made me smile big. It also made me think about how we got here...

I can remember making that first phone call to our new RE in January 2009. We thought that the new year and new doctor would bring us a new baby. The RE didn't have any appointments until February so we had to wait. But, whats a little more waiting for a couple who have spent the four years prior doing a whole lot of the same.

February came and I can remember sitting in our RE's office for the first time. I am a smiley person by nature and that day we were feeling hopeful and encouraged. I smiled at the receptionist when we walked in, the people in the waiting room while we waited our turn and I smiled at our RE.

There would be other days when I sat in that room with no smile. With tears. With frustration, with boredom and sometimes with a face of stone, just going through the motions.
But not that day.

Dr. R mentioned IVF and their success rates first. I remember making the face. The face that meant, "Not yet. I'm not ready for IVF yet and maybe not ever." That felt way too big.

We left with a plan to try IUIs first. He told us that if they are going to work usually it will happen with the first or second try, but that many couples go on to do three, four, five or more. We wanted to try the less invasive, cheaper and less medicated option first. One at least, maybe two. We would play it by ear, still hopeful and we left smiling.

March 2009. Our first IUI. It didn't interfere with any family events or work (it fell on a weekend). It was fairly easy. Nonetheless, it was a brand new world to us; medications, sp.erm collection, cath.eters. The nurse dimmed the lights and when it was done, I felt like I needed a hug. It felt so scientific and sterile. We picked up some lunch on the way home and I laid on the couch with my feet up, hoping and praying and coming to the quick realization that this was going to be a long 2ww.


We would go on to have two more IUIs resulting in a BFN. Those IUIs were maddening. We missed a family reunion that summer because it fell on exactly the same weekend. We went on to miss a big Thanksgiving due to more wasted time (and money) in the stirrups. Looking back, I guess we could have timed it better, but we were at the mercy of my cycle and we didn't want to wait any longer than what we already had.

Each time we would get a negative, I would want to wallow in it for a while. And then my body needed to recover and then we were ready to go again, and again and again.

The doctor started talking about a laparoscopy, there was a cyst that wasn't going away. We started feeling like we were being led to IVF. More and more signs started pointing in that direction.

But, we thought maybe one more IUI was in our future. And then we thought better of it. We had already tried it three times. We were already $6,000 into it. And was coming and I didn't want to spend another family holiday in stirrups. So we decided three was enough for us. The lap was scheduled for January 2010.

I started blogging in March 2010, just a few days before our first IVF. It was the day of my last ultrasound before my first ever egg retrieval. The emotion of that first IVF is still as fresh in my mind as what I had for dinner tonight.

It was our second IVF that worked. The one that changed everything. The one that is bringing a little boy almost a year to the day that of that last ultrasound right before my very first egg retrieval.

Monday, November 29, 2010

As the Tum.s digest...

Tum.s and I are still very good friends and I really appreciate my blog friends offering up some more solutions for relief.

I just wanted to get a few updates out...last week I had my 24 week appointment! It is amazing that I am now more than halfway through and I look back at my posts from July and it feels like a dream.

The appointment went great. I have gained 16(!) pounds since I started and asked the doctor if that was too much or ok, and she said since I was measuring exactly 24 weeks, she was fine with the weight gain.

Our sweet little boy is doing great, strong heartbeat and only sometimes uses my bladder as a squeeze right now.

Next appointment is coming up December 22nd and it will be a little busier. I have to get the shot, but the better news is that we will get another ultrasound. At the appointment before last they found that my placenta was a little low (marginal), and they are expecting it to move up with my uterus on its own, so this upcoming visit will double check.

I had my glucos.e tolerance test this morning. It was pretty painless. I heard conflicting things about eating vs. not eating before the appointment, so decided to go on an empty stomach and keep my fingers crossed. I went with fruit punch flavor and it was nice and cold and went down fine...although I heard stories about how nasty it was, it was over quick enough.

I felt fine after I drank it and waited the hour, but by the time I got home I had a small headache and a big stomachache. A good friend of mine calls that particular brand of stomachache "bubble guts". After lunch and some rest, I was back to normal pretty quick. I fall asleep on my keyboard I'll say goodnight to you and to the little boy kicking me and reminding me just how blessed our lives are.

Night, night.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

All is quiet

And by that I mean the dog next door has finally stopped barking. Seriously, he has been barking for what feels like hours. We live in the sticks and so any kind of leaf rustling sets this dog off. Anyway...

All day it has felt like lava doing laps around my esophagus, stopping at the back of my throat for a rest and then back down again. I've been doing the thing, but I don't think they are getting the job done anymore. I feel like I am ready to move on to the harder stuff. The doctor gave me a short list (mylan.ta,, zan.tac), so basically it is just trial and error until I figure out what works. I would prefer not to take anything, but at times it is brutal.

Last night we took a tour of the hospital. Some IRL friends have questioned us going so early (I am only 22 weeks), but honestly I didn't think it was that early and with and Chr.istmas coming up fast, I was feeling like I wanted to get these things (tours, classes) checked off the list now, to clear the fog in my mind a bit.

The tour went really well. The maternity wing is only 5 years old, so everything is sparkling. We saw two brand new baby boys through the window and that was the BEST. So little and sweet. I immediately reached a hand down to my belly to cheer on our little boy.

I did have to smirk (to myself) at one point. C wasn't there yet and neither was one other husband's wife (turns out they were stuck in the same traffic). So the husband - M - and I started talking. His wife is due in January and I told him we are due in March. It is the first for each of us and I mentioned that it took us a long time (my standard opener to lead into our IVF story) and then he said that it took them a long time too. I perked right up expecting a number of years...but it turns out it took them 9 months (and it happened naturally). I spend so much time reading about long struggles with IF, that I forget that what is long to some people, would feel like nothing to so many of us. I would never want to sell them or anybody short. A wait is a wait no matter how long it is when you are trying to get to your goal. Each of us has a story. C reminded me of that when I told him what M and I were talking about.

I did tell him we did IVF and although he didn't know anyone personally, he asked questions about embryos that made me feel like he knew a bit about it.

So, I'm not sure there is a real point to this post, just wanted to vent about barking dogs, relentless heartburn, and people who get pregnant naturally. ;)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's A Boy!!!

What an awesome day! We had an early appointment and I had a full bladder and was laying on the table by 8:30am. Our sweet little boy is doing awesome and I realized that although my OB seems to be stuck on one adjective, I am thrilled that that adjective is the word...perfect.

It didn't take too long for the ultrasound tech to confirm boy status and I immediately welled up with tears of joy. I had been thinking for a while that we had a little girl in there, but as soon as she said boy, I immediately said to myself, "of has always been a little boy. We have a son." I haven't stopped smiling all day.

Phone calls, calls, text messages and big in person hugs filled the day and we couldn't be happier. I sent my brothers text messages and they both responded immediately (they live in different time zones, so I didn't want to wake them with calls) and my one brother said, "This is the best news to wake up to EVER." I'm beyond excited to give my brothers a nephew. To give our parents a grandson.

I had a feeling today would be a game changer. And it totally was. We are going to have a son. Wahhhhoooooo!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

20 weeks and appointment tomorrow

Back in July, when our RE called to tell us we were pregnant, all I could do was walk around my house (since I was home alone at the time) and ask the furniture, "How did this happen???" Of course I knew how it all happened, it was just the miracle of it all coming together and really working that was so hard to wrap my brain around.

Now that I am 20 weeks (and 1 day), I am still a little bit in disbelief. I look down at my growing belly and there is a part of me that still feels like all I have done is had a big (big) dinner. Even though I live in maternity pants or sweats and all my t-shirts are all becoming too short, I still have an image of boxes of Lupro.n and Men.opur stacked up in my fridge when I open the door (even though they have either long been polished off or donated).

And now? Tomorrow morning I will be back in the stirrups. This time my full bladder is so that the OB can get a clear picture of our little growing baby. We are going to see the little one who surprises me with little flutters during the day.

We are going to hold hands and smile huge and be forever changed. I have always felt like this will be the moment when this becomes much more real. I can't wait!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

before everything is different

I have tried to post a couple of times this month. Started posts, written a sentence or two or even paragraphs, but ultimately saved them for later or hit the delete button.

My inability to post is much like my inability to finish just about any project I have started lately. My mind is so full of good and exciting things, it is just that my focus is completely out the window.

I feel like my brain, and my body for that matter, is broken up into a 100 piece puzzle and while I am in the middle of putting a piece in, I get distracted (usually by food, or a new idea or my endless to-do list) and have to start all over again.

There are a few freelance job opportunities that I would like to pursue. There are so many projects in my home that I would like to start (completing a few would be nice too). Paperwork that needs to be organized. My brain is torn and I know that at least half of what I want to do doesn't have to get done before my due date...but I feel this self imposed pressure to do so.

I know I am all over the place with this post, this is so indicative of my life right now. I feel this urge to...straighten up my past to be ready for the future...which is coming fast.

The straightening I want to do is not big things, just dozens of small things. Weird organization things, things I never thought much about other than finding comfort in knowing that they are there. Things like my box of elementary and middle school projects and cards. I need them in order. All my pictures both digital and the zillions in boxes, organized by event and year. Clearly marked. Everything in its place.

I guess it is just that I know my life is changing and I don't want to leave anything behind. I'm scrambling to remember myself, my old self before I am different. Before I go from pregnant woman (from 6 years of overwhelmed infertile) all the way to someones mom. I don't want to rush. This might be the only time I get to be pregnant (although my mom hates when I say that and my husband doesn't think this is the only one for us) and I don't want to rush through it. I am having so much fun. Watching my belly expand is unbelievable. Buying a maternity bathing suit last month was awesome. I'm even going to shop for maternity jeans this weekend (I'm over it with the belly band).

I was tired today. No reason especially, I think it is just my brain that is tired. When I told my hubby, he said, "Well, you are almost halfway through." I want to slow this down. I prayed and wished and tried so hard to get here and now it is moving too fast.

I have so much I want to do.

Before everything is different.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Never alone

As vacation wound to a close, we had one last family dinner out. Walking out of the restaurant I noticed a man about my age holding a sweet baby girl about 9 months old. I smiled at the little girl and caught the eye of the man and told him how sweet she was, I also told him I am newly pregnant and have spent the week chatting up anybody with a baby.

He told C and I that it took he and his wife about 5 years to get pregnant and as we nodded in understanding he confided that they had been dealing with "fertility stuff." C and I instantly felt a connection to this stranger. As his wife came out onto the porch of the restaurant and smiled at us too, he introduced us as fellow climbers on the fertility mountain. His wife's face lit up and we immediately started sharing stories about panic attacks over shots and crying jags because of over the top hormones. Our husbands were smiling and commiserating right along with us.

In this single moment, infertility connected 4 strangers that normally would have walked on by with nothing more than a smile and nod. We are all out there. It was so freeing to talk to someone who understood. I'm still smiling about that moment. C and I felt so good, that we are never alone. There needs to be more moments like this. We will keep talking about it...long after our baby is grown with babies of their own, we will keep telling our story.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

New to me

Everybody warns you about unsolicited advice when you get pregnant. I feel like I am prepared for that. What I wasn't prepared for was what happened tonight.

C and I have been on a two week vacation and it has been awesome. We spent the first week on the west coast and week two on the east coast spending time in both oceans and hanging with family. This vacation has been so long overdue and we are completely loving it.

This week we have been with C's family and they are so excited for us. Some of the extended fam heard the news for the first time (over a toast at dinner last night from C) where I found myself really chatty and excited to share our news for the first time since our BFP. It was a great dinner.
Tonight, some friends of C's sister came over to have dinner with us. They have a 9 month old son who we were all meeting for the first time. Since talk was all about babies tonight, I realized that even though I am pregnant I will always be a little different than the women who got pregnant naturally. It was so obvious while talking to this new mom. She was determined to tell me all about her pregnancy, which tests they took, how many ultrasounds they had, how her delivery was and all the challenging things I have to look forward to (her words), breast feeding, getting peed on...

I found myself backing further and further away from her (both in my head and physically) and when someone tasked me with chopping broccoli, I jumped at the opportunity to take a break from what felt like a surreal pregnancy lecture.

Invitro is a part of me. Every day it makes me appreciate all these little milestones, like telling family at 14 weeks (which she practically rolled her eyes and said, "it's about time"), and making a decision with C and the approval of our doctor not to do the NT scan (which she totally disagreed with and proceeded to tell me all the reasons why).

This is someone I don't ever want to be. One who doesn't understand that some women struggle, that there are a ton of different ways that people become parents and that there isn't only one way to experience a pregnancy. That it isn't her way or its wrong.

I just need to figure out a new way to express myself when I am uncomfortable or feeling intimidated instead of silently chopping broccoli seething with every chop.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Flashing between two worlds

Our first OB appointment was yesterday! I went in thinking that we would walk out having heard the heartbeat (check...162 BPM), get a beautiful new image (check...9 pics) and have an overload of information (check...not overload, but definitely a big folder full).

But, it was stranger than I thought it would be sitting in the waiting room. It was bright with big windows, there were small children playing on the floor, there was music and smiling women with big bellies and warm smiles from everyone from the receptionist to the nurses to the doctors. I couldn't help but compare it to the waiting room at my RE's office. I realized that there were no windows in that waiting room, there was no music, there was barely any eye contact, even from the receptionist and the tone of voice of the nurses was much more dry and flat.

Sitting in this new, foreign waiting room, I felt relieved and slightly uncomfortable. Like I finally got invited to the party, but I was still standing up against the wall. It also made me want to stand up in the middle of the room and ask if anyone else was an IF'er. If anyone else was like me, still feeling like I didn't quite fit in. Like I belonged back in the quiet waiting room, keeping my smiles to myself, waiting in the silence to hear my name being called while hiding behind a magazine.

When my name got called for this ultrasound, I jumped up and asked if we could wait a few more minutes for C, who left work early to meet me. They smiled and agreed right away (again, so different from the patient conveyor belt feel of the RE's office). It took less than a minute before C walked in and I jumped up like a little kid and said maybe a bit too loud, "He's here!" I felt like I was quickly informing the waiting room that it was my very first time.

We went in to the ultrasound room and it was warm and inviting. Beautiful hardwood floors and soft artwork on the walls. I immediately flashed back to the RE's ultrasound room, the stark walls with the florescent lighting, the "uplifting" poster hung half-heartedly from one of the ceiling tiles. The conception chart taped to the cabinet door, edges curling from age right next to the pricing list of fertility drugs from the local pharmacy.

C held my hand while I laid on the table, feet in the stirrups and lights dim. We saw legs and arms on a beautiful body and a sweet round head and there was a quick moment where we got a wave. A wave. From deep inside my uterus. This little baby, the size of a big green grape, waved its little arm and C grabbed my hand a little tighter. I flashed again, back to the other table and stirrups I spent so much time in, the times C held my hand while the RE looked for cysts and mature follicles and the times that he looked and my uterus was empty.

Finally, we met the doctor. She is short and bright, and came into the room like a light whose eyes and smile said, "You belong." She had read my file before she met me. I came in expecting to have to tell her my whole story, but all she did was confirm a few details and tell me that things were perfect. Perfect. That is a word I have waited 6 years to hear. Finally something was right. It wasn't a shrug, or a "it's different for everybody" or the guessing and trying new things game that is IF sometimes. We got past the unexplained infertility part of our diagnosis. The thing that has defined our family of two for almost as long as C and I have been together. I am a pregnant woman. But, I am still that wide-eyed patient that first walked into a fertility office 6 years ago, and one who walked into a new fertility office a year and a half ago, someone who should be an honorary cowgirl for all the time I have spent in stirrups.

I started blogging just before my first IVF. I was overwhelmed with the emotion of it all and needed an outlet that was more than my mom and friends who could only sympathize and not truly understand (no matter how much they tried). At certain points it was easy to be happy for the happy blogs, the ones who were getting BFPs and delivering babies. It was during the times when I felt hopeful and strong. But, sometimes it wasn't possible to even click over to a blog that might be happy, it was too hard to read and impossible to comment. Sometimes it was too much to even log on at all. The times the tears came down so hard that I couldn't see past my eyelashes.

I know this is starting to turn into a different blog, one that talks too much about food (I'll put up that BLT taco recipe in my next post I promise) and nausea. I won't be complaining about suppositories anymore, now that today was my last one and the stories of REs and shots are slowing turning into stories about OBs and heartbeats. I'm treading lightly into this new world. I am thoroughly enjoying this new person I am becoming. I love her and I feel confident in my body and my mind for the first time in a long time.

I get it though. I know when a happy blog is impossible to read. I understand. I will never, ever forget what a BFN feels like, especially when it happens over and over again. I have peed on more than my share of sticks, taken my temperature when all I want to do is jump out of bed and go to the bathroom, sat across from doctors who shrugged, climbed into stirrups and waited. Waited. Waited. Waited. Cried. Felt hope that was dashed. Cried. Curled up next to my hubby and cried. Cried the tears of a lost dream and the path that felt impossible. I stood at the bottom of the mountain of drugs and needles and said, "I can't do this."

But, I did. I could. And I did. There are no words to describe how the support from this community pulled me up and pushed me through. I am forever a part of this community and I will continue to lift others up as I was lifted.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Just can't POAS and BLT tacos

I seem to have this weird aversion to POAS. I am 10 weeks and 1 day today and still haven't done it. A stick has never, ever, ever brought me good news and now I think I have convinced myself this is all a dream and I will wake up after I finally buy a stick and stick it under the stream.

In other first OB-GYN appointment is on Thursday! I am very ready for this appointment. It would have been about two weeks ago, but they couldn't get me in until Thursday. This makes me raise my eyebrows a bit because I don't know if that means this doctor is super busy and its going to be hard to get a regular appointment. I am going to see how Thursday goes and there are plenty of other doctors to check out if I'm not feeling the love.

I'm thinking strong heartbeat, beautiful new picture and an overload of information at this appointment. Must remember to bring a notebook. I don't find myself thinking of a ton of questions to ask and I don't know if that is a bad thing. I don't feel worried or stressed, just kind of going with the flow, which is nice because I haven't had that feeling in a long time. Long. Time.

I do finally feel a touch of my regular energy back. Not 100%, but I don't feel like just laying down wherever I am (whether that is my living room, bedroom or the supermarket), which is nice. Beef is still completely offensive and I do feel like my sense of smell is a little extra strong. I was making chicken last night and it was making me make that face we make when something smells funny. Hubby said it tasted great, so it is all me.

I am definitely craving fruit more than veggies, and veggies and beans more than meat. I was having an insane craving last week for BLT tacos from a place back home (back home is 7 hours away, so we were not exactly getting there in time for my craving). I ended up at the grocery store and by memory recreated (pretty exactly to pat myself on the back) BLT tacos. It was awesome. That will probably need to happen again.

Oh and frozen yogurt. Mmmmmmmm

Ok, so enough about food. And enough from me today. I'll be back after my appointment on Thursday. And I'll be really smiling on Friday (last day of!!!!)

Monday, August 9, 2010

9 weeks today

Beef is still very much off the list of things I can eat and right now the smell of leftover bean salad from a family BBQ is overwhelming my nostrils in a way that makes me recoil in scrunched up nose horror.

Today I am 9 weeks pregnant and it is just as hard to believe as it has been since that first beta.

I never did POAS. I had considered it a few times, even tried (to no avail when the stick went blank) and vowed to do it after our positive beta. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I still plan to do it. I do still want to see what a positive stick looks like for the first time ever.

We had family and friends in town last week. It was great because they all know our news and were happy to celebrate with us. We only told the handful of people who knew we were doing IVF. I am definitely not comfortable putting the news out there for all to see just yet and have recently disabled my Fac.ebook wall to prevent any unintentional outing from well-meaning folks.

I am finding myself frustrated by my lack of energy. I was completely wiped out by the end of the week and never got out of my pajamas yesterday. Even today, I didn't get into the shower until 3pm. I am one to always have a craft/knitting/sewing project in the works, but after I get through just what I need to do, the idea of a craft project is exhausting. I just need to lay down. C is being really good and understanding when I need to rest, but I just feel lazy and lame. Of course, I do know what is causing the exhaustion and that is all good. ;)

The one big thing I learned is how all the symptoms wax and wane on a completely irregular basis. At first it was making me Crazy. The second I felt good, I worried that I wasn't pregnant anymore.

I had to change my way of thinking.

I know I am pregnant. I know I am and I tell my sweet baby all about how healthy he or she is and how much they are wanted and how I am taking care of my body to give them the best start possible. So in the moments that I feel like myself and have a burst of energy, I had to retrain myself to take advantage of it and get a few things done instead of dwelling on the negative.

I don't know about you, but during our years of IUIs and IVFs I always kind of thought and expected that the moment I pregnant everything would just be simple and awesome all the time.

I think I am going to learn a lot of these little lessons between now and March.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Going in to the sonogram and possibly my RE's office for the last time, I felt the familiar nervous flutter that I used to reserve for college finals and job interviews.

Getting undressed in Room #5 while hubby stood nearby, I looked up at him and said, "I'm nervous honey." He asked me why. I didn't really have one definitive answer, it was just the combo of being about to find out how we did and exactly how many resulted from how we did.

Climbing into the stirrups and sliding my butt down to the edge of the exam table I tried to figure out just how many times I had been there before. But I never got to the number since Dr. R was ready to go and asked us if were too. We definitely were ready.

I could tell that the doctor did a quick sweep of my uterus before settling on the empty side. With a smile he said, "This is your uterus" then he swept to the side where our sweet little seed is growing and said, "This is your uterus on drugs." :)

Then he simply said, "Here is your baby." It was instant love. But I knew that both of us wanted to say, "Just one?"

When we transferred three embryos, everyone from our RE to strangers told us to prepare for twins or even triplets. So we did. We thought about how we would need to buy a new car and how we would set up the bedroom with three cribs and eventually bunk beds.

That is why our first instinct was, "Just one?"

But, it is not "Just one". It is "One!!!" We feel overwhelmingly blessed and so excited.

Things became so much more real in the moment that Dr. R handed us each a copy of the picture of our beautiful little baby; one for Mommy and one for Daddy (and one for Auntie Kim - the nurse who attached it to our file).

It is real. We haven't been playing make-believe for the past 7 weeks. We can be excited for the future (edd: 3/15/2011!). There are going to be three of us. We are going to be Mommy and Daddy.

I'm so happy! So, so happy.

Monday, July 26, 2010

New vocabulary words

It is that feeling of instant nausea as soon as I get hungry. It is the rolling feeling in my stomach whenever I look at meat in all its forms (steak, ham, pork, chicken). It is the rotten onion that my mom cut into that sent me dry heaving over the sink. It is the occasional cramp that rocks my abdomen. It is the heavy, tender feeling I have in my brea.sts when I take my b.ra off. And it is exhaustion that hits at regular intervals throughout the day.

It is all these things that remind me of the fact that I am pregnant. Even today, at exactly 7 weeks, it is as hard to believe as me winning the l.otto.

I have my first sonogram today. I am so excited and yet a little hesitant because we will (hopefully) find out exactly what is going on in there. Last night, I had a dream that there were 5 babies growing in there. We would be thrilled with just one, two....three. Just praying for more than the zero we have had for so many years.

There have been moments of anxiety. Moments when I didn't know what the cramping was (uterus stretching), moments when I didn't feel the tenderness as strong, moments when my energy level felt normal and moments when I didn't feel like I could wait one more second to have my first sonogram.

I think those moments are normal. I had to back off a little from writing my own and reading your blogs because it was just too much information. I needed to focus on me and not get wrapped up in advice from Dr.

Every pregnancy is so different. Every woman is so different.

I still can't believe I have new words in my vocabulary.

Morning sickness.



Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Beef. Its not for dinner.

I ordered it tonight at dinner. It looked great when the waitress brought it to the table. I picked up my shiny fork and knife and cut a piece and took a bite. No. Nope. Not even a little bit. Even now (5 hours later), the thought of the beef makes my stomach queasy.

Do you know what I really want? Pizza. All the time. Like right now. Please.

Today I am 6 weeks and 2 days pregnant and it still feels very much like we are playing make-believe. I look at myself in the mirror and squint to see what might be changes to my body (already?). It feels too early to notice a difference, but then an audible gag from a bite of steak and very tender and full feeling BBS reminds me that this is really happening.

And then I realize I'm smiling when I can't eat the steak.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What are my next steps?

So many amazing women posted beautiful words of support for my (still in awe) BFP, including the awesome Auntie Sissy. She posed the question, "What are your next steps?" It is a great question and one where the answers seem to keep evolving.

We got a few first steps done. We had a celebratory dinner out, we told only immediate family and the close circle of friends who knew we were going through our second IVF. They were all ecstatic as we told them, but we find that we finish up by saying one or all of the following practiced phrases:

We are keeping it close to the vest.
We are flying under the radar.
We are keeping a low profile.
Please don't post anything on my Facebook wall yet.

Just protecting ourselves. I am still surprised (and definitely smile) every time I go to the bathroom and there is no sign of AF.

Monday the 12th was our 7 year wedding anniversary. We were going to go back to the same restaurant we were sitting in exactly one week before. Where we looked at each other completely drained from the home stretch of our 2ww. We looked at each other exhausted. Overwhelmed. We looked at each other and tried to talk through our next steps if our second IVF didn't work. But there was something in the air, we still had a lot of hope, but we were just So. Tired. Of. Waiting.

The call came two days later and our world turned upside down and we continue to be so grateful for this miracle.

We didn't end up back at that restaurant, the day got away from us and we ended up staying closer to home for a delicious Italian dinner. I was shocked to find that I couldn't finish my creme brulee dessert. I got halfway through and put my spoon down. I couldn't take another bite.

I have never not finished a creme brulee before. ;)

Friday, July 9, 2010


Beta is up to 261!

261, 261, 261, I made her repeat it 3 times. I was waiting for that call, I thought that would make it more official for me. I'm still hovering somewhere between "I'm pregnant!" and "How did this happen?!?" I do know exactly how it happened, but for some reason that has been my rallying cry for the past few days.

When I got the call on Wednesday morning after the first beta, C called from work just as I was hanging up with the doctor. I had wanted to do something special to tell him, since IVF seems to all the special out of just about everything, but I couldn't contain my tears of joy.

I just blurted out, "I'm pregnant!!"

He blurted out, "How do you know??"

"I know because the doctor just told me!"

"I want to kiss you right now!"

And faster than I could hang up the phone, I jumped in the shower and drove to C's job to kiss him.

How did this happen? It seems like all the hard we went through just melted away and sheer happiness took over. I felt like a huge weight had been lifted and now that it is gone, I realize just how heavy it was. We carried that weight for 3 years (6 if you count trying without doctors), rushing home for shots, smiling through the pain, walking around with a heavy heart all the time.

My thoughts on IVF have always been, "if you ask me, I am going to tell you the truth." Which means that some people get more than they bargained for in the details department. My poor brothers. But, I was honest with them. I can't do this quietly, talking and writing about it was sometimes the only way through it.

I have only told a few people. I called my dearest friend next. I told her she is the one I call when things get surreal. She knew right away.

When people know you are going through IVF, that means they usually know when you are going to find out if it worked. They are usually waiting for a call, not sure if they should call you because they don't want to be the ones to upset you. I get it, I've been hiding out this week.

It is important to us to tell our parents in person, but I think my mom is suspicious. I know as soon as she looks at my face or hears my voice, she will know. I know that as soon as I hear her voice, I will blurt it out again. I am a terrible secret keeper. We invited them over for fried chicken and I have a gift for them...I have NEVER walked into a Buil.d-a-B.ear store in my life, until Wednesday afternoon. Someone had given me the idea of making a bear with some baby accessories as a way to tell people you are pregnant and that idea stuck with will be something they can later give back to the baby.

I called another friend, the one whose bbq we went to on Sunday. She has been rooting for us all along and when I told her, she said she knew already. She told me that when we left the party, she turned to her husband and said, "Amy is pregnant." He asked her how she knew. She said, "Did you look at her? She was beautiful and so calm and just glowing." She said that if I wasn't pregnant, she would have confirmation that her radar was officially broken.

I always hoped that some day someone would use those words to describe me. I had a smile from ear to ear when she told me that.

When I went in for the second beta yesterday the nurse looked at me and said, "Even if I wasn't looking at your paperwork, I can tell you are pregnant. I worked in in an ob-gyn's office for 30 years and you have what the old people like to call the glow."

I am beyond thrilled to have "the glow."

Aside from the dis.charge, the daily est.radoil stomachache and my now required daily nap time, life feels amazing right now.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I'm speechless.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

testing my patience...

I tossed and turned all last night. 3:14am. 4:22am. 5:06am. 5:45am. 6:35am. The pregnancy test taunted me from the bathroom. When I woke up for the final time I had decided to do it. I was going to POAS. My brain had been working overtime trying to figure out what to do and I committed to the decision. I grabbed the stick. In my sleepy state, I chased the stream and put it aside to wait for results.

The hour glass blinked. Blinked. Blinked. Then...B.L.A.N.K. Nothing. It was as if it was just turned off by an invisible switch. Can you BELIEVE it was a defective test? The only test I had. The one that kept me up all night. It couldn't give me anything and I was forced to get over it since the opportunity was gone.

9am. I called the doctor the second they opened to see if I could get the beta done today. By the time they called me back and said, "You COULD have gotten your blood drawn today...." it was too late to get the results back today no matter what time I got there.

I got it done anyway. They said they should have the results first thing tomorrow morning (10 hours from now, not that I'm counting) and they will call me.

I hope I can sleep tonight.

Monday, July 5, 2010

I said I wouldn't test

Thats what I said during our first IVF. I would wait until beta. Although, Aunt Flo came before the beta results, so what I said truly didn't matter.

This time, I said the same thing. I am not going to POAS. I will wait and if we are really pregnant, only then will I do it, so I can for the first time ever see what a positive stick looks like.

It has been easy(ish) not to test. I didn't have one in the house. I didn't want to spend $12.99 on a box of two of them. And the local dollar store is too scary, even to just run in and get a cheapie.

Remember when I said I didn't have one in the house? Randomly enough, a few minutes ago I was cleaning the closet and found half a box of unused pink capped ovulation sticks. Mixed in the bunch? A blue capped pregnancy test.

Now, I REALLY want to POAS.

Today is 10dp3dt. My beta is scheduled for Thursday, but I was going through some paperwork today and it said the earliest they would draw blood would be 11dpt. That is tomorrow. I don't know why they want me to wait until Thurs, unless it was just a mistake in scheduling.

So...stay tuned to see if the Hormonal Egg Basket uncaps the blue stick or if she busts into the lab for an early beta...

or both??????????

Friday, July 2, 2010

to be honest...

Everybody mentions how much calmer and less stressed I seem this cycle and for the most part, that is true. There are moments, if we are being completely honest, that are not quite so stress free. Last night was one of those moments. It was fleeting, but it was there. A pit in my stomach that came from just looking a calendar.

I realized that AF is expected this Sunday (if my cycle sticks with the 28 day norm) and beta is not until Thursday. It just gave me flippy guts to know that I'm going to know one way or the other sooner than I thought. And of course AF is expected on a holiday that we are spending at a friend's house.

Which means I will be spending more time in their bathroom inspecting TP than out having fun. That sucks. I am going to say that I am not going to do that and that I am going to have fun and try not to let thoughts of "am I or am I not" take over, but I don't know how successful I will be.

IF has marred so many fun occasions. My memories of holidays over the last two years are filled with that half smile to C, where anyone who looks at me thinks I am having fun in the moments, but he really knows the torment behind my eyes.

I want to be real again.

Ok, enough. I am making sangria for the party (two versions) and I need to go fruit shopping. I'll have to wait until Sunday to see which version I'll be drinking.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Prayers from my Mom

My mother has a gift of writing beautiful prayers. She has written and read one with us before each of our transfers and while our first transfer was unsuccessful and we are waiting patiently for the results of our second, these prayers have given us peace in the hours before each transfer.

I want to share them with you in the hopes that you might find peace in them as well.

Thank you Lord for this day, thank you for our children and for the strength and love you have blessed them with since the day they were conceived. Thank you for the gifts and talents unique to them alone. They have enriched our lives and the lives of all those around them. Send your Holy Spirit down upon A and C today as their desire for new life and family swells in their hearts and strengthens their love for each other. Give them peace and patience as they wait for the results of this procedure. Lord, you said you would always be by our side to love, protect and guide us. Be by their side today, may they always feel your love and watch over them.
Give them wisdom and guidance. And if it is thy will Lord Jesus, send them the miracle of new life. That as a family they will blossom in faith and teach their children of your love for them and their love for you. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.

and the second one:

Heavenly Father, we come to you today as a family to thank you for all our wonderful blessings. You know the desires of our hearts Lord. Please be with A and C today as they continue seeking your will for them. They are ready Lord to bring new life into the world
to serve you and fulfill their dreams of a family to complete their circle of love. We ask as a family that you guide the hands of the doctors, nurses and all involved with this miracle of creation. For thine is the glory and to thee we lay down the burden and stress that will make their life complete. Amen.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I was just looking back at my posts from March when I first started this blog, just before my first ever egg retrieval. The excitement and anxiety is vivid in my memory as I re-read my posts and I think about how different I feel this time around. A lot of the emotions are the same, the hopes are the same. As I read though, I find myself very different from that girl of only a few months ago.

More experienced? Maybe. It really has only been a few months. In-vitro makes you grow up fast.

Less stressed? Definitely. Even more now that we have frozen eggs as a backup.

I am definitely much more knowledgeable this time around. I am preparing for the best and as prepared as I can be for the worst. But, writing "the worst" doesn't sound right to me. If this doesn't work, it isn't the worst thing. It will be devastating, plan changing and will take a while to get over and move on, but we are doing our best. We are trying our hardest and when I realized that there isn't anything more I can do, I relaxed.

I am different from that girl who started a blog back in March. Stronger, tougher, smarter. More grown up too.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Transfer story, 2ww officially begins!

Officially 1dp3dt and PUPO. We decided to transfer three embryos. It was something we sat down and discussed since of course going from 0 kids to 3 is a huge deal! The true likely hood of having triplets is very small, but still a possibility, so we needed to see how we truly felt about it.

When I called C to tell him that we had the choice to transfer two or three, he was sold on three right away. I didn't find myself hesitating either. I usually get a pretty immediate pit in my stomach when something doesn't feel right (like when C asked me if I wanted to move from VA to Albany + pit in stomach = No thank you, I love VA) and I didn't feel it. It felt good. Lets be serious though, I am slightly freaked out about the idea of three kids, especially since we have defined ourselves as the couple who can't have kids for the last 6 years. To go from that to mother of triplets, feels like a HUGE jump.

But, I am getting WAY ahead of myself.

The main reason we went with three was because if we transferred two and it didn't work, we didn't want to wish we transferred three. About 10 minutes before the transfer yesterday the doctor came in and confirmed that we wanted to transfer three. We both gave a resounding yes. The doctor said both he and the embryologist were OK with it because I was healthy and our first one didn't work, but he laid out an assortment of things that could go wrong and I started to get worried. *P.S. Not Cool to lay all that out 10 minutes before the transfer!* He left us alone to talk and I had a flash of doubt that quickly disappeared because of C's confidence and my favorite nurse who brought in pictures of her daughter's beautiful, healthy triplets (who were born through IVF!).

The pictures of our three beautiful embryos also made the decision easy. I looked at the picture and thought about only transferring two. Which two? How would I feel about cutting one of the embryos out of the picture? Not happening. Three it is!

Three embryos may lead to triplets. It may lead to twins. It may lead to one. It also may lead to my second failed IVF.

Whichever way it goes, it leads to a very exciting 2WW.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Swollen Ovary Shuffle

We got up super early and got to the lab for a 7:45am retrieval. I had been feeling pretty good all morning, just a few butterflies in my stomach, but we got there right on time. The paperwork from the doctor said no jewelry and so I fought with my ring in the bathroom and a handful of soap, but never got it off. I always show bloat in my fingers, so it was pretty futile to try and get it off. They didn't give me a hard time about it though and they didn't have to cut it off my finger, which was my fear.

I got a little wound up before the doctor got there because he was running late. I've been following directions from the doctor all week and the one that was starred and underlined was the arrival at the office for retrieval, 7am to start at 7:45. By 8:05 I was twitching. I gave my hubby the look and he went to the nurses station to see what was up. I think he also told them I was getting stressed out because all of a sudden there were three nurses on me distracting me like people try to distract a little kid with a set of keys. "Look over here!" They told me there is a built in buffer for situations like this and everything would be fine.

And everything was fine. Better than fine actually. I just got the call today and there were 14 mature eggs, 12 fertilized and we are all set for a Friday transfer! I am beyond thrilled that there are 5 to freeze. The idea of going through another fresh cycle (if necessary) was overwhelming at best. The cramps and bloating all of a sudden don't seem so bad. I'm finding myself smiling as I shuffle off to the bathroom.