Archive | June, 2015

just chillin

22 Jun

Well, apparently this baby is already planning to drive me crazy and play tricks on me. My theory is that baby is like Arturo, relaxed and not in a hurry about anything.

I was able to stay pretty calm over the weekend. I felt more at peace every day. I spent so much time in prayer and the Word it really helped me to be hopeful.

We went in for another ultrasound today. Dr. Hayes, who did the ultrasound last week, tried again and still couldn’t see anything other than the gestational sac. I started to tear up a little bit. She decided to go and get Dr. Magarelli. I have only been in his presence for my retrieval and my transfer. He doesn’t do the routine appointments. So, I was kind of surprised.

When he came in he said that he has X-ray vision and not only will he find our baby, but he will be able to see our next babies and grandchildren. Ok, a stretch, but his joke did relax me.

He first of all said, “This is going to sound weird, but you have a beautiful placenta.” He’s right. It did sound weird.

It took him a minute, but he found Baby!! Our baby is laying on top of the placenta, so because the baby is still so small, it makes it very difficult to see Baby. I have never been so relieved. I burst into tears of joy. He gave Arturo and I a big hug and at one point he referred to baby as “our daughter.” Everyone seems to think Baby is a girl.

I told him my theory about Arturo being a laid back guy and he said that makes sense because Baby is literally reclining on the placenta.

He said by next week we should be able to hear the heartbeat on the ultrasound and said to make an appointment for then.

I can never express the full depth of my gratitude to all those that are praying for us. It is overwhelming when  I think of the way we are being supported by people who don’t even know us. We are blessed beyond measure.

I am praying that the rest of my pregnancy is stress free, but I can already tell this child is going to give me a run for my money.

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scarey ultrasound

20 Jun

These past couple of days have been a little bit rough, and unfortunately it’s not quite over.

On Thursday, I went in for an ultrasound. I should have been almost 7 weeks along and so they would have been able to see more than just the gestational sack. They should have also been able to see what is called the “fetal pole” and that means, the baby.

One of the Doctors did the ultrasound and right away she asked me, “How many embryos do you have left?” I thought that was a strange question to ask. I mean, I am not going to be doing another transfer for quite awhile. Right? I’m pregnant now. Right?

She spent quite a bit of time looking at the gestational sack, which I could tell was much bigger from 9 days previous. But, that was all she could see. Where there should be a baby, there was not. She said I was measuring about 6 weeks.

She said that I should not be worried because this can happen from time to time where the baby isn’t visible and then a few days later baby shows up. She said she wanted me to have some  blood work done before I left for the day and then schedule to come back on Monday.

So, at first I wasn’t too upset. I mean, she told me not to be. But then, the lab tech was giving me condolences while she drew my blood and I started to panic. I zoned out and let my mind go to all the scarey places. I didn’t even feel her digging the needle around in my arm until she said, “Are you OK? Am I hurting you?”

Then, the receptionist was giving me this pity look while I booked my next appointment and kept telling me to just try and stay calm. I wanted to punch her.

I got in my car and couldn’t stop the river of tears that started to flow. I was in full blown panic mode at this point. How could this be happening?

I text Arturo, who was at work. And I called my mom and dad and Arturo’s mom. I didn’t want to talk much, just wanted them to know what had happened.

All I wanted to do was go home, curl up in a ball, and cry. I wanted to shut myself off from the world. But, then I remembered how many people are invested in this pregnancy, and how many people want to be praying for us, so I put a quick post on Facebook asking for prayer.

I took a nap and woke up feeling a little bit more calm. I spent quite a few hours praying and reading my Bible and that also helped.

I spent some time talking about my fears and doubts with Arturo and he was of course very comforting and reassuring.

I started to again doubt our decision to not do chromosomal screening. He reminded me why we made that decision and that we would never have felt right about destroying unhealthy embryos. This way, if our baby isn’t healthy, it is up to God what happens with our child’s life. I know he’s right and I know we made the right decision. I guess I am just terrified and don’t want to go through another loss.

On Friday, I was waiting and waiting for them to call me with my lab results. I couldn’t be patient any longer and so I called the office. They didn’t have the results yet, but said someone would call me back soon.

The same Dr. that did the ultrasound called about a half an hour later and told me that my HCG level was 13,000 and that is very good. She said that everything looks great, except for not being able to see the baby. She said that even though my HCG level is good, she can’t say 100% that everything is fine. She said she knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I should try and stay calm and have a good weekend.

I do feel much better now than I did initially. I am still having all my pregnancy symptoms; heartburn, nausea, exhaustion, frequent urination, and I vomited a couple times now too. So it’s hard for me to believe I could be having all those symptoms, and having them get stronger, if my baby is dying. I just don’t want to believe that.

I am going to do what is against human nature. I am going to trust God, have hope, and be filled with joy as I spend these next few days waiting. And even if the outcome is not what I want it to be, I will still trust Him.

My dear friend who was with me for the transfer shared the below picture with me. It is so true. I have to keep hope alive.

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producing a crop

10 Jun

Arturo and I went out to the garden yesterday and we noticed new life!

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We have a few small green tomatoes and some small strawberries. I was amazed. I have never had a green thumb and have never been able to produce a crop with anything I have planted. I planted this garden with high hopes, but was kind of expecting the worst.

About a week after planting, my four cucumber plants were dead. The rest of my plants were thriving, though. I couldn’t figure it out. They were planted in the same soil and given the same amount of water. I don’t know what happened to them.

At first I thought this was just the beginning, that the rest of my plants would be dying soon too.

But, every day that I went out to check the plants, they all looked great. They were growing and doing well.

So, I started to have some hope again. And now, they are producing!!

It might seem strange, but I can’t help comparing out garden to the process of IVF.

I went into IVF not knowing what to expect either, and quite honestly, filled with some doubt that it could work. And while we have faced some worries and disappointment along the way, the end result has also been new life, just like our garden.

I was thinking this week too about the hesitation I had with going forward with IVF. Now that I am looking back, I realize that most of that hesitation was actually fear of the process not working. I was afraid to try and fail and have my heart broken even more. I am so grateful that I decided to trust God and see where IVF would take us.

Our first ultrasound was on Tuesday and it went well. The point of the ultrasound was just to confirm the position of the baby and make sure that things looked good. I have never seen a baby this early on so I didn’t know quite what to expect. Baby looks like a little bean.

It was too soon to hear heartbeat, but baby looks good. It looks like there is just one in there, so our embryo didn’t split. I was given a due date of February 5th and scheduled for another ultrasound on June 18th.

My biggest surprise of the appointment was when the PA came in and gave me a big hug of congratulations. It was really nice.

I went to Bible study tonight and ran into several women I haven’t seen since we found out we were expecting. They were all so thrilled and offered heartfelt congratulations. It is amazing to me how many people truly care about our baby and are praying for us. It is one thing to see comments in writing, but quite another to have this love expressed face to face. I really needed that.

I saw this and thought it was perfect for how I felt last Friday.

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3rd beta

8 Jun

Well, I lost my mind for a little bit on Friday. And, in the losing of my mind, I realized that I am not as cool, calm, and collected as I would like to believe I am.

Friday morning after work, I had to go in for my 3rd beta. As I was driving there, I started to feel my face getting warm. I immediately knew that I had a fever coming on. And, then, I thought of something I haven’t thought of in a very long time. I ran a low grade temp off and on for a couple weeks in my first trimester with Angel. So, I started to have a mini meltdown. My mind trailed off to places of thinking of all the worst things that could happen.

Did the fever I ran cause Angel’s birth defects?

Is this fever going to cause birth defects?

Is the fever an indication that there are already birth defects?

And on and on and on. I couldn’t get my thoughts under control. I knew I was being ridiculous, but I just couldn’t settle down.

When the lab tech asked me how I was feeling, I told her I thought I was running a low grade temp and asked if someone could check. She called one of the nurses over and her reaction to my freak out only multiplied my anxiety. She took my temp, and while it was very low grade, she said she wanted me to continue to check it throughout the day and if it got over 100 degrees F to call them right away.

I wanted her to say, “It’s nothing to worry about. A lot of women run low grade temps in their first trimester.”

But, she didn’t, and since she seemed to be slightly concerned, I found a way to magnify that in my mind and remain irrational for the rest of the day.

I knew I had a thermometer at home, but I thought I better get another one just to be safe. So, on my way home, I stopped and bought another thermometer and a bottle of Tylenol, since that is safe to take during pregnancy. I didn’t sleep more than 2 hours all day. I just keep checking my temp on both thermometers every 5 minutes or so.

The highest I ever say it was 99.6 degrees F. Most of the day it lingered around 99.2 degrees F. Nothing to go crazy over, but I guess I love torturing myself.

Then, around noon, I found another thing to obsess over. I kept watching my phone waiting for them to call with my beta results. They usually call between noon and 2:00. The further away from noon it got, I was sure there was a problem. I figured it was bad news and they were all fighting over who was going to be the one to have to call and tell me.

The call came at 12:45 pm. The nurse asked how I was feeling. I went over my temps with her and she said that it sounded fine and just to make sure to call them if it got over 100, like she mentioned earlier that morning. Then, she told me my HCG level was 1109, more than double from two days previously. So, she said I shouldn’t be worrying and she scheduled me to come in for my first ultrasound on Tuesday the 9th.

I relaxed a little bit, but still felt pretty uneasy for the rest of the day. I also had a bit of a stomach thing going on that I am not sure was pregnancy symptoms or a bug. If it was a bug, that could have been what was causing my low grade temp.

I realized another thing from this experience. I am not afraid of miscarriage. I feel as though I conquered that fear in my pregnancy with Angel. I know that I can carry a baby to term. What I am afraid of is losing another baby in the same way we lost Angel. I even began second guessing our decision to not do the chromosomal screening. It was a very rough day and I was angry with myself for giving in to all those ridiculous thoughts and fears.

Luckily, I had Zeus to keep me company all day on Friday.  And when I saw all day, I mean ALL DAY.  He never left my side once.  He is such a lover.

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I know that my God does not want me to live in fear. He wants me to walk in faith and to trust Him throughout this pregnancy, every day, no matter what I face. I have been feeling so well emotionally, that I forgot I need to renew my mind daily. I can’t let the enemy think he can slip in and create chaos like he did on Friday.

I felt much better on Saturday. Arturo and I worked on some renovation projects and then we went to a barbecue festival in the evening with some friends. We got rained out, but we had a good time while we were there. Sunday, I felt fine, just exhausted. I stayed in bed pretty much all day. I know the exhaustion is a normal symptom, but man I don’t remember being this tired in my other pregnancies. It felt like I couldn’t get out of bed if I even wanted to.

So, now I am just waiting until Tuesday and doing my best to not allow fears to creep in. It will certainly be a long 8 months if I give into fear like that all the time. I want to be as relaxed as I can. A big thanks to all my family and friends who reached out to me on Friday with encouragement and prayer. I am blessed beyond measure.

tough decision

5 Jun

I called the Dr.’s office yesterday to talk to them about my problem with the Estradiol injection from Wednesday night. I spoke with one of the nurses, who I really like and trust. She said I was right to not do the medicine. She said she would leave it up to me what I want to do. She said I could call the pharmacy and pay for another vial or since I only have a couple more injections of that med, I could just be done with it.

I wasn’t sure at first. Initially, all I could think about is how mad I would be at myself if I didn’t do the med and something went wrong.

I thought about it some more and realized that if it was super important, she wouldn’t have left it up to me. She would have insisted I get another vial and do the remaining doses.

So, with that I felt at peace in deciding to be done with that med.

I am going in for my third beta this morning. If it is over 1000, then I will be scheduled for my first ultrasound next week! I can’t wait!

Also, we did my progesterone injection lying down last night. I was skeptical that it would make a difference, but I think it did. I don’t feel nearly as sore on that side as I usually do after the injections. I am really grateful for finding that piece of information! And thanks to everyone for all the advice you have given me on the injections. I really appreciate it.

2nd beta

3 Jun

Real quick update to let you know I had my 2nd beta done today and my HCG level is climbing at a normal rate. Monday it was 267 and today it was 516. They will have me come back Friday for a 3rd blood test and then hopefully next week I will have my first ultrasound.

I did get some news today that shocked me. I thought I got to quit my Progesterone injections at 6 weeks pregnant. I was wrong! I get to quit the Estradiol injections at 6 weeks, but continue the Progesterone until 12 weeks! I am not gonna lie. I was really looking forward to being done with those shots. They are horrible. I have knots all over in my backside from them. I watched a video this evening that said to try giving them laying down so you aren’t putting any pressure on the muscle. We might try that and see if it helps. I know it will be worth it and months from now, I probably won’t even remember these stupid shots, but for right now, they suck.

I was supposed to give myself an Estradiol injection this evening and I wasn’t able to give it. The medication looked very cloudy and had some particles floating in it, so I didn’t think I should inject it. I will call the clinic tomorrow and ask them what to do. Hopefully they will say to just quit them. I don’t want to buy another vial of that stuff for only a few more injections. The small vial cost over $300.

I am going to South Dakota and North Dakota next week to see family and attend my cousin’s wedding. It will be so nice to see everyone in the light of having really good news to celebrate. I can’t wait!

And now for some humor.

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rainbow baby

3 Jun

In the infant loss community, there is a term called “rainbow babies.”  Rainbow Babies are the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it does not mean that the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and the clouds. Storm clouds may still loom over but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy, and much needed hope.

This was another reason that I was so sure that all the rainbows and double rainbows we have been seeing over the last month were confirmation of God going to fulfill His promise to us.

I went in for blood work yesterday afternoon.  I chose to go in the afternoon because it has been really rough on my sleep to go to appointments in the morning when I get off work.  I knew it would be even harder now that I am so much more tired than I have been.  I knew that by going in the afternoon I would most likely not get any results until today.  I was okay with that, especially since Arturo would be home from work today and we could get the news together.

The nurse that drew my blood asked me how I have been feeling and if I have had any symptoms.  I described them to her and said that I didn’t know if they were from the hormones shots or actual pregnancy symptoms.  She said they sounded like pregnancy symptoms to her and that the hormones wouldn’t cause hardly any of what I am feeling.  They said they would call me today sometime before 1:00.

I told Arturo that when he got up in the morning to take my phone out of the bedroom and answer it if they called and to come wake me up right away.

My night at work last night seemed to take forever.  It was the first time that I have been really, really anxious to hear the results.  Even though it felt like I was just waiting for them to confirm what I already knew to be true, I just really wanted to hear them say the words…that I am pregnant.

I went to sleep fairly fast when I got off work.  I have been exhausted.  When Arturo got up out of bed a few hours later, I heard him stir and immediately had a feeling I should check my phone.  Sure enough, I had a voicemail from one of the nurses.  She asked me to call her back.  So, Arturo and I dialed and put it on speaker phone.  When the nurse came on the line, I could tell right away from the sound of her voice that it was indeed good news.

She said in a sing songy tone, “How are you?”  I told her I was good.  Then she said, “What are you doing?”  I told her I had been sleeping.  Then, there was a pause that seemed to last for a full minute but was probably only 5 seconds.  At the end of the pause, she yelled, “You’re pregnant!”

It was so amazing to hear her tell me that and also I loved how excited she was to be giving me the news.  I am so grateful for the staff at my Doctor’s office.  They are all such great people.

My hCG level was at 267.  They will monitor that until it reaches 1000 and then I will have my first ultrasound.  So, I go back in for blood work in the morning.  I agreed to a morning appointment because Arturo is off of work and can take me .

We spent the rest of the morning calling family and contacting a few close friends. I have known all along that since I have been so open in telling about this journey, I wouldn’t be able to keep the pregnancy a secret for long, probably not at all. And, actually, my thought is why would I want to keep it a secret? This is a life growing inside me and has been a life since the moment of conception. I don’t want to keep our baby’s life a secret. And, we have been so blessed by all the people praying for us. Why would I want that to stop? Well, I don’t.  Also, I have learned that our children are never really ours to begin with.  They are God’s and He just allows us to raise them on earth.

I told Arturo that I wanted to wait until tomorrow to put an official announcement on Facebook, but by mid-afternoon I realized we were both too excited and I couldn’t wait. The dogs wanted to be part of the announcement, so we posted this picture on Facebook earlier today.

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The only unfortunate thing is that I am not naive to all the problems that can come up in pregnancy. My first pregnancy in my early twenties ended in miscarriage, and my second pregnancy ended in the death of our son. So, I am going to be giving myself daily pep talks to not go crazy and to just enjoy being pregnant every single day. It is still very early and my logic tells me to be afraid, be very afraid. Don’t relax. Don’t enjoy these moments. But, I will not give into that. I am going to mother this baby for as long as God allows me to and I am going to believe that will be a very long time, that this child will outlive me.

I guess another way to look at it would be that since I have experienced loss so great, I will not take our baby’s life for granted. I will cherish every single moment and praise God daily for the miracle of the life growing inside me. Yes. That is a much better way to look at it.

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