Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Weird PG stuff @ 33w

Some stuff that I've noticed lately...

1. I just feel awful if I lay on my back or even recline in bed to read. I know there is some artery that the weight of the uterus cuts off. I can't imagine laying on my back for labor-- there's a reason other cultures squat!

2. I have been feeling Lulu hiccup! At least that's what I think she's doing...? I feel these little tiny rhythmic taps, down low by my pelvic bone 1-2 times per day. So cute!

3. I've been doing "kick counts" (sort of). Some days, I just KNOW she's moving around a lot, so I don't really bother counting it, but just think she's good in there. Hopefully I won't get yelled at that my card isn't filled out!

4. I'm low on iron (STILL). Maybe this is related to why I feel so awful on my back? I'm already on a supplement, but I guess it isn't absorbing like it should. I'm right on the borderline, but I really need to get it in check. So I'm eating Total cereal and taking my supplement mid-day with OJ.

5. I think Lulu's still posterior. They keep saying she's too small to tell, but they'll check her position at the next appointment (34w). I'm 99% sure she's head down, but I do still feel her hands in the front now and then.

I only have 50 more days left-- seems long and short at the same time! I can't wait to meet her, though. Mark has been playing guitar for her and singing lullabies quite a bit lately-- usually Dream a Little Dream of Me :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Baby Shower

Not the greatest pic of me, but you can kinda see my bump the best.My shower was this weekend, hosted by my lovely stepsister, Sona, and helped out a lot by my sister, Kirstin. It was small, but really wonderful. Everyone was so sweet and generous! I felt really loved!

The main activity was creating onesies for Lulu. Everyone was so creative, and she'll have a lot of cute ones to wear.

For the shower, they put a pink balloon on our mailbox, and I got a call yesterday from our neighbor asking if we had the baby! Ooops! This neighbor is actually a new mom, and it was so great talking to her. She sounds in total bliss about her daughter-- I can't wait!! Just 8 more weeks...!

All photos are here:

Friday, December 12, 2008

Look back Lulu!

At my last appt, the midwife thought my baby was posterior. She had a hard time finding the heartbeat, and when she did-- it was low, but she had to poke in. And this is so cute-- I can feel her little hands moving around my pubic bone like little bubbles. So good news-- baby is head down and hopefully will stay that way. But, I've been reading more about posterior babies, and it definitely sounds like a harder, longer birth with more medical interventions. I'll miss you little hands, but you need to turn around!

The midwife said it was early and not to worry, but Lulu is definitely comfortable where she is-- so I'm going to try to be more conscious about sitting up straight and leaning forward for awhile, which is good for me anyway.

Monday, December 8, 2008

30w Belly

She's growing, but I still feel really good!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thanksgiving & last class

Thanksgiving was great! We went down to Atlanta to see my family. We flew down, which was probably easier on me than driving. Dinner was great, and my niece and nephew were so excited about Lulu (what they call the baby)! I think everyone got to feel her kick. My sister hired a photographer to do some family shots, so we got a few pictures (see proof).

We had our last birthing class, and things were more focused on infant care and being a new parent. I honestly can't wait to meet our daughter, but I am also expecting it to be pretty hard. The first month or so when she doesn't even smile, but just NEEDS the whole time would have to be rough. Plus, dealing with the sleep deprivation and just physically recovering from pregnancy and all those hormones.

I also have noticed my feet are getting a little swollen! They don't hurt and aren't too bad, so I was shocked to look down one day and notice I couldn't really see the tendons in my feet like usual! I have been trying to put them up at work, which seems to be helping.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Birthing Class #5

We had our 5th (of 6) birthing classes last night. We were supposed to think of our ideal, real, and nightmare birth experiences (A, B, C). For me, A= natural birth with no episiotomy, B= vaginal birth with some interventions (meds, epis, vacuum), C=labor not progressing, baby in distress, emergency C-section. But she told a story about a person in her class who wrote A=healthy mom, healthy baby, B=healthy mom, baby dies, C=mom dies, baby dies.

Of course this puts everything in perspective, and I know the only thing that matters is my baby arriving healthy and well. It is strange, I never think about birth as being a life-threatening experience for me? Maybe I would if I had more complications, but I worry far more about the baby than I do my own life.

We also had more social time last night, so Mark was telling everyone we had pictures of our baby 5-days past conception since we did IVF. We hadn't really shared that before, but it was surprising how non-controversial it was and how distant I felt from all the feelings of infertility as we told about it. I guess being in that class makes me feel more like a normal pg woman than someone who is broken and damaged, as I used to feel.

I'm not sure if it is because I got PG so quickly after starting treatment, or if there was such a clean break when we moved from CA, or if I just don't want to have that pain anymore. I will never forget how I felt, but I am healing, and I just feel lucky to see my body changing and know that I am really on my way to being a mom.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Nursery in progress...

So we got everything set up in there, but there's still quite a bit to do! We've got all the basic furniture, but we need to cute it up and get some color. I have some fabric for window valences and Mark is going to do a mural of the Eiffel Tower. And we have some pictures to hang too. My mom had a cute idea of making wall letters that say Bebe (french for baby) until we're ready for the name.

The only thing that might change is the rocker. It is a family heirloom from my side. I think it is fine, but Mark thinks it is going to break since it is very creaky and might even wake the baby. I don't really want to buy something else, but I can see his point. If it stays, I might also want to paint it white, since the blond is a little out of place. My mom is also making a pad for it.

We figured we'd leave the single bed in there for late nights when she is up a lot. It was mine when I was a little girl.

Monday, November 17, 2008

And the winner is...

Daycare #1! Mark loved the idea of the webcams, and I felt like they were the best, but I wasn't sure if it was worth it. But when I priced it out they weren't significantly more than place #3. They're also very close to home, so either of us could do pickup/dropoff, and when she is older they pickup from our school.

Now the only issue is that she likely can't start until August or later, so we'll have to figure something out until we get the call. However, I really liked the idea of personal/home daycare when she is tiny, so it could work out really well.

Anyway, I'm just glad to have this out of the way... for now...!

Mark put together the crib and changing table this weekend! Yay! I wanted to do more in the nursery, but I ended up working in the yard on Saturday and wore myself out! We also have a bookshelf that we need to get out of there, so once I do that, I'll try to post pictures in progress.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Daycare Tours!

I toured 3 daycare centers today. The babies are all SO CUTE! OMG-- I can't wait!

Anyway, all the centers would be acceptable-- the babies are well cared for, can crawl around on the floor as they choose (no shoes in the room), and have little report cards and adaptable schedules.

Place 1-- pricey, affluent parents & area, close to home, long waiting list (probably couldn't start until August), big center, very new, webcams to view room at any time.

Place 2-- very close to Mark's work (not mine), average price, more diversity among the kids and staff, only goes to Pre-K, smaller center, older not as fancy as #1

Place 3-- between Mark's work and home, definitely the mid-range between #1 and #2, large gym that even the babies can play in, 2 infant rooms, clean (esp. changing area), sweet & caring people, goes to 12 yrs.

I think I like #3 the best. It definitely seemed right in between #1 and #2, and they have space available.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

3rd TRI & daycare search begins...

Oh my! I'm in the 3rd trimester! Wow-- I remember thinking time was going by so slowly in my 1st tri and I just wanted to get through the scary stuff. This pregnancy is going by quickly in some ways, but I'm trying to savor every moment! I read someplace that "no one thinks they are cute when they are pregnant" Ummm-- I hope this isn't braggy, but I DO! I love how I look!

I'm doing a few daycare tours on Friday. We'll probably start her in June (4 months). I have been dragging on getting that done, and one of them already doesn't have any spots until August/September. But it is one of the pricier ones and probably not worth it. I was also really interested in a home daycare, but they told me to call back after the baby was born. So I'll probably reserve a spot at a center, but also look into home care after the baby is born.

I also went to a conference last week for Society of Women Engineers-- there was a session on Off-Ramp/On-Ramp your career. Taking time off for child care or elder-care or anything and then coming back. Even if I took longer than the standard 3 months, I know I would want to come back to work. It is something that I think about-- taking off a few years or even going part time, especially since I hate my job so much! It will be hard to leave my baby and come to work at this job and feel motivated/productive. Hopefully I'll find something relatively quickly after my maternity leave! There's also a chance I will be laid off, which would be a gift!

Also everyone at the conference was telling me I look small! I feel big, but this baby has to grow over 3x her size, so I guess I'm glad I'm not huge yet!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

99 DAYS TO GO & 26w Belly Pic

One day early, but here it is-- It doesn't look like I've grown a lot in a month, but I think I'm poking out a little more. Definitely no mistaking that I'm pregnant now!

Last night we had our 2nd birthing class. It was really useful for understanding the stages of labor and the average time each stage really lasts. It sounds like if you can get through the first 8 hours of intense pain, there's only a few hours of excrutiating pain! I think it is useful to think about that-- I always remember when I was running a lot, things were much more bearable when I had a ballpark of how much longer it was going to be.

Anyway, after Mark said he was really glad we were taking it because he is understanding how much I will need him, which I really will. I loved that he said he learned from last class about anticipating my needs because I won't be able to vocalize or even think-- so sweet! He doesn't always naturally think to do things around the house, but I know he'll be really great when I'm in labor and fully focused on me and our baby.

I leave today for a conference in Baltimore. I'll be there for a few days and then see my stepsister for the weekend. I am looking forward to it, but I will also miss out on watching election coverage with Mark.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

*saw* a kick! & OB appt.

When I was at the OB's office today waiting, I actually saw a kick under my sweater! I couldn't believe it-- she's getting so big and strong. My 25w appt went great, so just going back in 3 weeks for my glucose test.

I asked her about this horrible rib pain (which I am feeling right now-- OUCH!), and she really didn't say what I could do for it, just that it was probably caused by things getting squished in there and the baby might move and relieve it. I'm going to ask my birthing class instructor and maybe try out a chiropractor.

I read about it in Belly Laughs recently and she actually had 2 ribs pop out! The chiropractor popped them back in, but they just popped out again, so I'm not sure if there is anything to be done, except suffer! It does feel better if I lay on my left side or on the weekend when I'm not sitting for hours. Oh well, now I won't feel like such a cheater when I go on disability at 36 weeks!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

First birthing class last night

Mark and I had our first birthing class last night. Our teacher is great and all the couples were super-nice. I was a little concerned that I was taking this too early, but everyone else was about the same stage, and with the holidays coming-- it is probably better to start sooner.

We met another couple who also likes rock climbing, so we talked about trading off babysitting duties at the climbing gym once we are recovered! I actually recognized the mom-to-be from my history of science class at NC State. I would love to get back into climbing at some point.

Last night we just went over general stuff and talked about the "pain cycle" Fear->Tension->Pain->Fear and what techniques we could use to break it. She provides all info, but I think she really promotes breastfeeding and only using meds in special cases.

Anyway, I think the class is going to be really nice and helpful. I kind of feel like I'm dragging Mark to it, but he's been really great and supportive.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Neighborhood Social Weekend!

Mark and I haven't really gotten out much since we moved into our house in June. Mark is pretty introverted, and I have sort of taken on that quality too. We've met a few neighbors, but this weekend felt like our introduction!

Saturday was the neighborhood Halloween party, so it was a good excuse to get out and meet our neighbors. Mark played guitar for the party with three other neighbors. Everyone is soooo nice-- we really love our neighborhood and couldn't be happier with it. All the kids were dressed up in their costumes which were so adorable! The woman who organized it has 3 year old triplet daughters (not sure if she is IF), but they were dressed up as super heroes!! Batgirl, superwoman, and wonderwoman. So cute!

I also got to meet another woman who is pg with her first (also a girl!)-- she's due 12/5, but it is nice to know someone else who will have a baby so close in age and the first one too. She is also planning a very natural birth, so it was neat to get her perspective on the different services in the area. If my rib/chest/back continues to hurt, I might start seeing her chiropractor!

Sat night after the party, one of the neighbors in the band invited us over to hang out around their outdoor fireplace. So we were over there for about an hour.

And then Sunday we went for Dim Sum with our neighbors across the street. It was really good Dim Sum, and nice to finally meet them more personally!

Definitely one of our busier weekends in a long time, but nice to feel part of the community!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I'm aware...

We're covered!

Since Mark's company was acquired by a company with HQ in Massachusetts (a state with mandatory IF coverage), our new insurance has IF coverage-- including IVF!! So if/when the time comes for #2, we should be set! I have been secretly hoping I'll be one of these people who has no problems with #2, but I'm probably just deluding myself since I can't fathom going through all this again-- and I'm pretty happy with this one baby for now.

I have definitely had bad days, but I'm really, really loving my body right now. I think I look really good, and it is so fun to feel the baby's kicks getting stronger. Mark finally got to feel her when he got back from his trip on Saturday!

The only annoying thing has been this weird back pain near my right shoulder blade-- it is only on my right side and mainly after I eat, so I think it has something to do with gas or indigestion, but it can hurt! The baby also seems to hang out more on my right side, so it could be her pushing on something? I'll ask the doctor about it next week.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

First stranger comment!!

Yay!! The lady at home depot asked me when I was due! :)

This is my latest belly pic (~22 weeks)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Baby Gear!!

I registered this weekend at Babies R Us online. My sweet stepsister, Sona, is hosting my shower on Dec 13, so I've got some time, but It was so fun picking out baby stuff! I'll probably also go into the store and look too. Most of the stuff I registered for was really functional-- crib sheets, diaper pail, monitor, etc, so I hope people will still want to get it for me and have fun with it. I didn't register for clothes, but I'm sure there will be plenty!

Also I came in to work this morning to a lovely surprise-- a guy at work brought in his Peg Perego carseat and 3 bases for me! I know there are some issues with a used seat, but this is only 2 years old and I know the history (no accidents, etc.), so I feel fairly confident about it. So score!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Birthplan-- I can labor!

At my first OB appt, they asked if I could have a normal labor since I had septum surgery. After leaving several messages for Dr. T, I got two replies-- one said I could and the other said I'd need a C-section! So I just went in to see what he said about it.

I felt a little uncomfortable in the waiting room, and I actually tried to hide my belly with my purse. I know I'm a success story, but I just didn't want to upset anyone who was there for a failed treatment appointment or m/c.

After waiting over 2 hours (ugh- how can this happen at every appointment??!), we talked for 10 minutes. He said a complete resection surgery usually means I would need a C-section, but my surgery didn't completely remove it and I was fine to have a normal labor. Yay-- I really did not want a C, and I have even been looking into natural birth plans. It may still happen, but I'm glad I can go into this with at least the prospect of a natural birth.

Anyway, it was kind of fun to see him again. He seemed genuinely happy for me and told me I looked great, since he hardly gets to see anyone that far along. :) Many people have their issues with him (he can be pretty blunt with bad news), but I feel I can trust him more since he tells it like it is. It sucks to wait so long to talk to him, but I've never felt rushed when he finally does see me and he always answers all my questions. And I'll forever be grateful to him for this pregnancy!

Now to sign up for my baby/birthing classes!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


20 weeks! I'm halfway through my pregnancy. I can't believe it! I'm halfway to meeting my little girl and changing my life forever! :) I felt her from the outside yesterday, but it still isn't consistent enough for Mark to feel her. Maybe another week or 2?

Mark's parents are here this week, so we've also been thinking more about the nursery. We decided on a theme-- Parisian Poodles! His mom is making us an adorable crib quilt, so we chose some fabrics over the weekend. She's very talented, so I can't wait to see how it turns out. We're going with pink, chocolate, cream, and light green for colors.

I also scored a good deal on a crib off Craig's List and ordered an adorable Eiffel tower lamp from Target.com. I think I'm going to dress up the shade with pom poms. We're still in the early stages, but I can see how it will come together.

Monday, September 15, 2008

1st baby purchase!

I bought a boppy for $10 at the consignment shop near us. I just went in to scope the store out, and I'll definitely be back. They had a bunch of great stuff and clothes, including little snowsuits and Halloween costumes.

I've also been feeling the baby more. She was very active on Friday night, and I've continued to feel occasional thumps and bumps every now and then. I can't wait until I feel her all the time!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

It's official...

We're having a girl! We had our big ultrasound today. Everything looked great and the baby looks totally healthy, and we saw the tell tale "3 lines" very distinctly.

I wasn't too surprised, since we kind of had a hint at the NT-- but now it is official and I can start to wrap my mind around the idea that we'll have a daughter!

I honestly did not really care either way. I can see benefits to both, and if I have learned anything from infertility-- you don't get to choose these kinds of things!

Oh and here is a belly pic taken on Monday. Do I look pregnant to you?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I've been tagged by Andrea In Indiana! I've known her since T-TTC days and we're due within a few days of each other!


The Rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you
2. Post the rules to your blog
3. Write 6 random things about yourself
4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them
5. Let each person you have tagged know by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is posted.

6 Random things:
*I am wearing a green shirt
*I ate Go Lean Crunch w/ Yogurt for breakfast
*It took me 20 minutes to get to work this morning
*I have 3 sisters (1 bio, 2 step)
*I don't like cats (allergic)
*I think about climate change and the environment, much more than a year ago

Random enough for you?! :)

Prenatal Yoga & Paternity Leave

I went to my first prenatal yoga class last night. I've been doing home practice, but this was the first time I went to the studio. I really liked it and I'm glad I started when I still feel comfortable doing the unmodified poses. So later on I'll know when something is too much for me. There was one woman who was about a week ahead of me, and two others who were probably around 30w.

IVF came up a lot for some reason?! I didn't say anything, but now I kind of wish I had. No one was being judgmental-- they were just telling stories about what a miracle it was. I just didn't feel quite comfortable when I'd only met these women for 5 minutes.

Also, Mark's company was acquired yesterday. So far it looks like a good thing-- they are keeping the office in tact and the only thing that seems to be changing is the company name and much improved benefits. They now offer family health insurance, so we'll probably put the baby on his plan and maybe me after a bit. We have open enrollment now, but I'm a little nervous about changing health insurance during my pregnancy. But now that I'm thinking about it, it could save us a lot of money.

Additionally, Mark will now get 2 weeks of PAID paternity leave!! Yay!! I know he really wanted to spend some time at home with the baby, so this will be really nice for the whole family. I think he would also qualify for FMLA, but he probably won't take it since it is unpaid.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

New Bra = HEAVEN

If you don't want to know about my bb's stop reading now...! :) Oh wow-- I got a new softcup bra at Target this weekend, and my ta tas are thanking me. Ahhhhh....sweet relief. No wires digging in or boobie muffin top. I so wish I had done this a month ago.

I think I was in denial that I could possibly have anything more than an A-cup. I've just always been pretty flat-chested, and now va va voom! And I don't think they're done growing yet??!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Was that a kick??!!

I think I've been feeling very, very light movement. Wow-- it is still kinda hard to know for sure, but it feels kinda like rolling with maybe a slight kick here and there? I felt it last night, and some today. This is so amazing!!

I'm happy, but I'm also freaking out a bit. I am really going to have a baby?!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I'm 31 today!!

Wow-- a lot has changed in a year. I had really hoped it would. I remember turning 30 last year and feeling like it really sucked. We were about to make some big changes with moving from CA, but I had felt so stagnant for so long. I hated my job, was infertile and not pregnant after almost 2 years, and we weren't homeowners (which I had been wanting even longer than a baby!).

I'm just happy to have made such fun changes over the past year. We took our big trip/vacation, have a beautiful home, a baby on the way, and though I still hate my job-- things are looking up.

I wore a very obvious shirt today and told people here. One guy said he had guessed already! I guess I'm not as discreet as I thought! It has been fun getting to share the news all over again. I even got an offer for some free baby stuff-- I'll take it! Yay! Happy Birthday to me!!

We had a great visit with Mark's brother and family in CA. We went to our favorite restaurants as well as the pool, the park, and the jungle (indoor playground)! Their lives are very baby/kid-focused, which is fun now, but would have been torture about a year ago. I don't know what it is about IF, but it just makes you feel like you will never have that happiness and being around babies is somehow painful?

Tonight we're going out to dinner at our favorite Mexican place. Yummy!! No margaritas for me, but I won't feel the least bit guilty about getting the amazing Queso-dip! :)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Maternity Leave

I talked to HR yesterday about maternity benefits. I get 12 weeks off total (for Family Medical Leave Act = FMLA) and 6 weeks of that is paid at 66%. The 66% isn't taxed or 401K or anything, so it usually works out to about the same as a full pay check. Mark probably only gets vacation since his company is too small for FMLA. This is sort of what I had expected-- thank goodness I signed up for long-term disability when I was rehired!!

If we had stayed in CA, I would have got 18 weeks off total, with 12 weeks at 66%. And Mark would have had 2 weeks full pay and probably 4 weeks unpaid for FMLA. But we probably would have paid about $10k more for IVF, so I guess it works out...

The last we talked Mark thought I should go back to work at 6 weeks. I really don't like the idea of putting a 6 week old baby in daycare, and I'm not sure how I'll feel after that. I would really like to take the full 12 and then work part-time for another 6-12.

I talked to my Brother-in-law and his wife who just had their second. They said they would be concerned about the colds/flu/sickness that goes around daycares with a baby that small. So we'll talk to them more this weekend when Mark is here too. I think Mark would like to stay home, so maybe that's an option too?

Now that I'm in my second tri, I'm still surprised at how un-pregnant I feel. I'm not showing much, don't feel the baby, haven't done much of anything to prepare for the baby. Feb seems like a long way off, but I'm sure once the holidays are upon us, it will come very quickly!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Told work

I'm in CA this week for work (and also visiting my nephews). This is the first time I've seen my manager in person since I found out I'm pregnant. I was a little nervous to tell him, but he was very nice about it. He gave me a big congratulations and thought the timing for my leave would be fine with the current project. We didn't get into too much about how long I would take or anything like that-- still need to talk to HR about that.

Anyway, after that I was free to tell everyone else, so I've been spilling the beans around the office. It has been really fun! Everyone is so happy for me and I think they can tell I'm BEAMING! :) And it is feeling even more real.

Also, I feel like I'm just starting to show now, especially with certain tops. I've also been wearing my super-comfy maternity jeans, although I still use the bella band to help keep them in place.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fun Birthday Facts (2/11/09)

I found this website: www.babiesonline/funfacts
* Your baby's birthstone will be Amethyst (Sincerity)
* Your baby's Astrological Sign will be Aquarius
* Your baby's Flower is Violet or Primrose (Violet, Sky Blue or Yellow)
* Your baby will be born in the Chinese Year of The Ox
* This time next year your baby will be 28 Weeks Old!
* Your baby will start kindergarten in 2014, be old enough to drive a car in 2025, finish high school in 2027, and will graduate from college with the class of 2031, give or take a year.

2027??!! I guess we have enough time to save for college... I'm sure it will go by fast!

Monday, August 18, 2008


I don't have a relationship with my father. For awhile we would get together at the holidays, but the past few times it just felt forced and fake. His wife is nice and tries a lot, but I just don't feel like my dad ever made much of an effort to be part of my life. There are a variety of reasons, not all his fault, but I just don't feel a bond with him at all.

I was really dragging on telling him about the baby, but I finally sent an email. And we'll probably introduce him to the baby in the spring. I think I'm more comfortable with this new relationship though. I don't feel any pressure to visit or see him, and anything we want to share is appreciated.

I'm just so happy that my baby is going to have such a wonderful father. Mark has been all about children and babies since I've met him, and I know this baby will be so loved by him. He has his faults, as we all do, but there is no bounds to his deep love and the joy I know he feels at becoming a dad.

I'm so happy to be able to give this to him. I know we would have been happy with other ways of growing our family, but I think about how this baby will be like me and like him. I'm a lot like my mom because she was my main influence, but I can't even imagine what it will be like with Mark and I raising our child together?!

Other news: Got the official 1st tri screening results-- Everything was 100% normal and 1/11,000 for Downs and 1/22,000 for Trisomy-18. Yay-- very low risk and baby is healthy!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Hi Baby Girl?!

We had our NT scan today to check for genetic abnormalities. The ultrasound was really, really clear, much more clear than any of the others we have had. It was also my first external ultrasound, so the baby is finally big enough to be seen from the outside!

The measurements were all perfect and well-within range of normal. Yay! We are thrilled about that.

The tech was measuring the baby's legs and we got a crotch shot and Mark asked-- is it a boy? She said, "Well, if you don't get your heart set and promise not to buy anything, I think its a girl." We were in shock!! We really thought it was going to be a boy, but we are so excited. It isn't 100%, but this scan is pretty late to where I think she has a decent guess! We'll find out for sure sometime in the next month or so.

Anyway, both of us just can't stop smiling!! :)

Oh, and I'm in my 2nd trimester now. Another great milestone!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

baby belly where are you?

I have definitely outgrown my regular pants and skirts, but I still don't really look pregnant. Well, to anyone who doesn't know I'm pregnant.

I have bought like 1 pair of maternity jeans since they were recommended and on sale, but I haven't worn them yet. And in some ways I am saving most maternity purchases for fall so I don't need 2 seasons of clothes. My bella band has been getting me by for now.

But I went shopping to look for a skirt to wear now and later and the salesperson was like "Oh, you know this is the maternity section." Yes, I know-- this little pudge on my belly is baby... eventually. Didn't matter-- it was too big anyway!

Then I went to Motherhood Maternity store. I tried on a skirt (way too big!) and then had fun with their little belted pillow which is supposed to add 3 months. I can't believe I'm going to look like that in 3 months, but I'm sure I will!

For now, I'm just on belly watch. People tell me ~17-20 weeks with the first baby, so another month at least!

Friday, August 8, 2008

2nd OB appt-- GRRR!!!

I went in yesterday for my second OB. They told me I would have an ultrasound. I had my mom come with me this time, and even took the day off of work. Well, I'm now over 13 weeks (YAY! Baby is the size of a peach!), and I know I am coming to the end of the window for my NT scan ultrasound. The NT scan is one way they check the baby for genetic defects-- and there is only a narrow window when it can be done.

Anyway I called on Wednesday to make sure the u/s was going to include the NT. The nurse tells me no-- it is just my regular OB u/s to date the pregnancy. (Mind you-- I've already had 2 of these at my fertility clinic). Anyway, she says it is fine to do testing up to 16 w. Okay. whatever. Some people don't even get this test.

So I get in yesterday and they ask-- Aren't you going to do first tri screening??? I told them what happened yesterday, and she said OH-- if you had come this morning we could have done it, but now the tech is no longer here. Fortunately, they called around and found a place to squeeze me in on Monday. So no ultrasound at all yesterday, since I'm getting one on Monday.

I'm not mad, just a little irritated that I KNEW this would happen and wasn't listened to and that my mom spent her precious energy coming with me and didn't get to see the baby. I guess I'll just have to push more in the future. And I think I'm done with all the initial starting stuff now, so I'm just doing my 1 per month appointments. My next is 9/4-- 1 day after I turn 31!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

1st OB Appt.

I had my first appt. at the OB's office. I'm so happy to say they were ON TIME, and I didn't feel like I was a number or being rushed through at all. I was a little worried about that, since it does seem to be a big practice.

Today it was just talking to the nurse and getting labwork. I go back in 1 week for an ultrasound and pap. They also weighed me-- I've gained ~7 lbs, which isn't great for the first tri, but not awful either. And I don't know exactly how much I weighed before IVF anyway...

They also said my due date is 2/11/09 (instead of 2/10), but I'm not going to bother to change my ticker or anything. It isn't like babies are born on their due date anyway!

I got a huge bag of stuff-- booklets, birth class info, free formula coupons, etc. And now Mark and I need to think about a few things... circumcision if it is a boy and whether to have a natural birth plan. It still feels like we have awhile to decide. I wouldn't let myself think about anything baby while we were trying, so it feels really strange to be getting into this.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

card from my niece

I got this card a few weeks ago-- so cute! It is a mommy flamingo with a baby flamingo hatching from an egg and a daddy flamingo watching from the side. :)

My niece is 8 and lives in Atlanta. It has been awhile since there has been a baby in our family, and she and my nephew are really excited! They were asking their mom about a baby just before our BFP! It has been fun to share the news and feel confident the farther things go along.

12 weeks today! The baby is about the size of a lime, just over 2 inches! My first OB appt is on Thursday. I also added the 11 wk u/s photo a few posts down.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Baby Heart Monitor!

After some issues with an Amazon seller, my doppler arrived yesterday! (don't buy from Medinet) I tried it out right away, but I couldn't find the baby's heartbeat. I haven't had the heartbeat measured at the doctor's office, so I didn't know where to look. After some googling and waving the wand slowly all over the place, we finally found it after about 30 min.

Oh wow! It was the most beautiful and amazing sound! I can't believe I have a little baby with a beating heart growing inside me right now. It feels more real everyday, but it still seems just too good to be true?! Maybe I'll feel differently as I start to tell more people or show more?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

office stuff

I just talked to my friend/mentor who was laid off last week after 21 years! He's doing well though, and in good spirits-- he was ready for a change and with his awesome severance, he can go 6 months or more! He's going to look for work and start up his consulting business at the same time.

I also told him about the baby. He was really happy for us and thought telling next month when I'm there was a good strategy. So that's the plan (thanks girls!). He also thought I was safe for at least 6 months, which would be fine for us. I'd be really close to my due date, and severance + unemployment is probably better than my maternity leave!

When I was talking to him a few people were coming in/out of the building to smoke, so I'm pretty sure they overheard me! Oh well, no one here is really connected to anyone back there. And it is only another month...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

11 weeks, last RE appt.

I'm 11 weeks today! The baby is the size of a fig. I'm so happy and starting to think this is really, really going to happen.

We had our last appointment with Dr T yesterday before I move upstairs to the OB/GYN. After waiting for over 2 hours, he finally came in and did the ultrasound. (Not going to miss the long waits at all!) The baby showed up right away and measured right on track at 11 weeks.

It was so amazing. It was moving all over the place and flailing its little legs and arms. It even waved its hand at us and turned its back. Mark said it was trying to tell the u/s to go away! So adorable. I can't believed that this little baby is moving around like that inside me all the time and I have no idea.

I said goodbye to some of the staff-- they were so wonderful to me. I'm glad the OB's office is just upstairs, so I can stop by and give them an update. Dr. T said he even fills in for them upstairs sometimes, so he might see me too-- "I put them in and take them out!"

My first OB appt is July 31!

Friday, July 18, 2008


My company had layoffs yesterday. I wasn't affected, and since I work remotely, I didn't find out until today. A good friend/mentor of mine was let go! He'd been with the company a long time. I'm really surprised that they didn't fire me too. I know they value me, but it seems pretty easy to cut someone remote.

Anyway, I'm trying to decide if telling will help or hurt? Like maybe they'd be less likely to lay off a pg lady because of descrimination, or maybe since it is happening anyway, I'd be at more risk. I was thinking I'd tell them after the u/s on Monday, but now I'm not sure. Maybe I should wait until I go out there at the end of August? I hate my job, but I was really hoping to keep it until I delivered!

I also found out that I will probably get 6 weeks of maternity leave at 66% of my pay! I signed up for disability insurance when I first started, mainly because my mom is disabled. I didn't even think about it covering pregnancy, but I called today and they said it would. I'm not 100% counting on it because she couldn't give me the full details, but I imagine this is something I'll find out when I announce.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Double Digits!! 10 weeks!!

Yay! 10 weeks today. The baby is the size of a sugar date (or kumquat or prune). The baby is officially a fetus and not an embryo anymore! Wow, so hard to believe I only have a few weeks left in the first trimester. I'll be glad when it is over, but it just makes me think how fast this is moving! I'm 25% done with my pregnancy! But then I think back to when I had my egg retrieval, and that seems like a LONG time ago.

I continue to feel pretty good. I've only had a little bit of nausea here and there. I've also been eating Ginger Chews, which are gross, but seem to help. And I'm definitely starting to grow, just a bit. Mark can tell I'm pregnant, but no one else would dare comment since I could just be getting fat!

I still feel a little uncomfortable telling neighbors, acquaintances, etc. but I think that will change after the next ultrasound. And Mark feels with IVF we got the best, strongest embies-- so our chances are pretty darn good.

Monday, July 14, 2008


I finally bought some pregnancy related things. I was a little reluctant and scared because it is still early, and something makes me think I'm jinxing myself or getting too far ahead, but I am starting to get more comfortable-- especially since I'm almost in double digits!!

I just bought a fetal heart rate doppler. It should be here next week, so hopefully the baby will be big enough that we can pick it up by then. It says you should be able to hear starting 9-12 weeks. I hope it doesn't make me crazy if I can't find it, though...!

I also got some prenatal yoga workouts. I haven't practiced any yoga since March, and I really miss it. I was feeling too sick to do much exercise the past couple weeks, but I'm feeling a little better and I'm looking forward to getting started again.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

9 weeks! & new nephew

Hard to believe I'm 9 weeks!! The baby is the size of a grape.

Today I'm feeling good, really good actually, and I'm just trying to go with it. I feel like last week's ultrasound gave me a little boost of confidence.

I only have 1 more ultrasound with Dr. T, and then I need to find an OB. I was planning to just go to the one upstairs from his office, but they are a super-busy baby mill. Yesterday I got lost in their phone menu maze, and finally got to a place to leave a message, and no one has called me back. That doesn't give me much confidence that they will be available for me. But I know they have talented doctors over there, and they deliver at the hospital I would probably want to be. I'll have to think about it...

In other news, I'm an aunt (again!). Mark's brother and his wife had their second son, Arthur Samuel born July 4th! So adorable. We're going out around Labor Day to visit. It was kind of tough for me to be around tiny babies for awhile, so I'm happy I can visit without any of those feelings.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

1st ultrasound

Everything went really well! We're measuring right on track-- 8 weeks. We saw the little heartbeat flickering (so cool!), and we even saw the baby wiggle a little, really cute. I'm still in disbelief that this baby we saw on the screen is actually *inside me*!! (BTW-- the little ball in the ultrasound is the yolk sac, which supports the baby until the placenta takes over)

I'm so relieved to know everything is okay. We go back July 21, and then it is on to the OB!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

8 weeks

I'm 8 weeks today! It has been over a month since we found out I'm pregnant. It still doesn't feel real. Although the nausea keeps reminding me! Ugh-- I have felt pretty bad today and yesterday. I was fine all weekend, but now I just want to crawl in bed. But when I'm not sick, I worry that something is wrong-- so I don't even get to enjoy it!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Good weekend

I finally got in touch with two of my NC State friends that I haven't seen since I've been back. It was so fun-- we went to cheesecake factory and then shopped a little and then got pedicures! Great day.

During lunch, we talked about having kids. Both of them are still a little unsure about being moms. I can relate-- I felt the same way for about a year before Mark and I started trying. But despite our issues, I wouldn't have wanted to start any earlier. I really needed that time to just enjoy ourselves as a couple. I would have either introduced a baby or the pain of infertility into my marriage much earlier than I would have wanted to.

And of course Mark is actually happy that things were delayed since we got to take our 3 month trip around the world! I probably would have rather had a baby, but I'm glad we did that!

My bella band came on Saturday. This is a little tube of fabric that allows you to wear pre-pregnancy pants unbuttoned. It covers the fly and holds things up. Most clothes are still fine, but there is one pair of capris that I wear to garden that don't zip! I was really impressed at how well this thing works! You can't tell my pants were undone and it stayed put even walking through the neighborhood. love it!

My ultrasound is coming up on Wed. I'm trying to be positive, but I am also a little scared that the baby will be behind or no heartbeat. But there's nothing that would indicate that. Just have to be patient and hope for the best!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

7 weeks!

I'm 7 weeks today!! My baby is the size of a blueberry! We've graduated to the fruit stage. Mark is very proud. :)

So far I've just had the light nausea on and off. I also feel like I'm gaining some weight-- I'm just eating more regularly to stave off the nausea. And I feel a lot worse than normal if I don't eat. My clothes are all still fitting fine, but some things are getting a little tight.

I keep hoping that things are still going okay in there. I have to trust that they are, but I still worry that I could have a missed miscarriage and my baby is gone but my body doesn't know it. Paranoia, I'm sure. Just a little over a week until my next ultrasound... I can see why so many moms-to-be get dopplers!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Appreciating this

After we'd been trying a little over a year my mom told me "Well, you'll appreciate your baby more since it took awhile" I was so mad. "You are full of crap! I would appreciate my child no matter what." And I'm sure that is true, I'll love my baby just as much.

But I do feel differently about this baby and this pregnancy than if it had happened on the first cycle. I really took my fertility for granted before. It was a given, it would happen. And once I accepted that no it may never happen, I now see this baby as a gift. I think about all the tears I cried and what I put my body through between surgeries and IVF, and by some miracle, it happened.

I can't say I would have done it exactly the same. I would really rather not know the pain of infertility, but since I do-- I have so much admiration and respect for the women who go through such lengths to have something most of people achieve with little effort.

Dedicated to:
LanY at Adventures In-fertility
wannabemom at Letters to Unborn baby
Shiner at her new blog whenever it begins!! :)
Lisa at Helping Make Sense
and all my T-TTC friends (past and present)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Afternoon sickness? (& poll)

I have noticed after lunch I feel slightly ill. It lasts on and off into the evening. It is really mild and gives me some indication that I am indeed pregnant! Yay for nausea!! :) I don't want to be sick, but the lack of symptoms messes with my head!

Also, I have a new poll on the right sidebar. I'm dying to get to my ultrasound about 2 weeks from now!! I'm mainly concerned that everything is growing healthy (esp. since we've told so many people...) and m/c is still a risk. I'll feel much better once we see the heartbeat. But I'm also a little curious if they both stuck?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Survivor's Guilt

Now that I'm pregnant, I sort of feel guilty that so many of my online friends are still struggling with infertility. Maybe guilt is the wrong word, but as much as I want to be supportive to them, in some ways, I don't feel I have the right anymore?

I keep telling myself when I was going through it, I was generally happy to see a fellow woman finally achieve success, so I should keep offering support. But I don't want to come across as "If it can happen to me, it can happen to you!" because that is just not true and not helpful.

The truth is when you are struggling with infertility, you don't know if you will ever experience pregnancy or parenthood and that is where the pain and fear come from. You want to be a mom so badly, and you don't know how things will end and when you will be able to wake up from this nightmare.

But I have been there, and I do have a story to tell. And I feel a connection to infertile women no matter where they are in their struggle. Infertility is a part of my life and has changed me.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

6 Weeks today!

I'm 6 weeks today! My baby is the size of a lentil! :) Dahl anyone?

So far I feel nothing! I guess that is a good thing, but it also kind of concerns me that maybe there is something wrong? I think I felt more excited when I was going to dr. appts and getting reassurance. Now I just wonder if I'm really pregnant since I don't feel anything?!

I guess I should be happy I'm not sick or tired, but I feel scared to think of this as a sure thing. I keep telling myself if I was losing the baby, I'd feel painful cramps and heavy bleeding. So I just have to trust everything is fine.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

3rd Beta is in!!

My beta level was 2760!! So it almost tripled again!! :) My progesterone was at 83, which was up from 67.7. After my first beta, I thought she said it was 776, which is really high. I must have misheard her-- I was probably too excited! These progesterone levels are still about 2x as high as an average woman in her 1st tri, but I'm not as sure about twins anymore. My progesterone supplements could be driving it up. Either way, we are just happy to be here.

Now I get to schedule my first ultrasound! It is still with Dr. T's office, so I haven't "graduated" quite yet, which I'm fine with. Despite only being there a short time, I feel really bonded with the staff. They're all so nice and supportive. It makes a huge difference.

The ultrasound will be 1 month after the first (+) blood test! That seems SO long from now! I'll be almost 9 weeks, but by then they should be able to see the baby and heartbeat. Mark will get to come with me too. It will be strange because the last time we saw our babies, they were two little balls of cells! It's really a miracle.

Manbabies LOL!!

Okay-- nothing to do with IVF, but I discovered this site and find it hilariously creepy.


Just trying to pass the time until they call with the third beta...

Monday, June 9, 2008

Second Beta is in!!

I'm at 906, which is almost triple what it was on Saturday!! This is excellent news. They like to see the number double in 24-48 hours. I'll have another beta on Wednesday. After that they monitor the progress with ultrasounds.

I'm hoping I'll get an ultrasound at 6 weeks, since a lot of infertility patients do, but from what the nurse has said they might just pass me off to an OB for an 8 week checkup. That will be about 3 weeks from now! How will I get by..??!! :)

Sunday, June 8, 2008


Woo HOO!!! We did it, but I'm in shock that this actually worked??!! I got a positive home test on Tuesday, so they moved the beta up to Saturday (instead of Monday). My first beta @ 12dp5dt was 351. They're checking again today and Wednesday to make sure it is doubling. Also my progesterone was quite high (776), so there's a decent chance both of them stuck!

I am so happy this finally worked, but I'm still in disbelief. I really don't feel much, so it is hard for me to believe that I'm actually pregnant?! After struggling for so long, it just doesn't seem like it could have happened this fast. Our *first* IVF cycle??!

More Good news: I don't have to take any more shots!! So after Wednesday's beta, I think the needles are done for awhile!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

No more spotting! Whew!

I think it was just that little bit of pink last night and a little brown this morning. Thank you nesties for reassuring me that this isn't necessarily a bad thing-- I'm very relieved. Today I am officially "late" although my beta test isn't until Monday. I will be very anxious to hear the results!

I still really don't feel anything, just some minor cramping, but as long as the spotting stays away, I'm fine with that. Stick babies stick!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

spotting tonight

I started spotting a little bit pink tonight. I know this can be normal, but this is not good at all to me. I'm going to call my doctor tomorrow. I think it has stopped, but I'm too scared to even check again.

Dear Babies,

I am your mommy. I love you so much and you aren't even here. You don't even have a brain to know anything, but I love you. Please, please stay inside me. I really want to meet you. I've been waiting so long for you. I felt so much joy at just the possibility of maybe having you here one day. Please, please, please latch on and stay inside me. I want you to grow. I want you to be my children and watch you grow up. I'm your mommy, and I'm waiting for you.

Monday, June 2, 2008

We moved!

We moved into our first home over the weekend!! We LOVE the house! I am so excited because this is our first place since we have always rented before. We met the neighbors who live behind us-- super nice family.

On Sat, DH finished painting our bedroom while I went around with the movers to pick up our furniture. My mom gave us quite a few things and we had stuff delivered to the mall. It was a hot, exhausting day, which probably wasn't too good for our embies, but I hope they are already stuck in their place!

I went in today for my progesterone level-- it is at 33, which is great! But I still have to keep doing my shots, darn.

It has been about a week since the transfer and so far I feel nothing. I'm a little bummed because with the other two chemical pregnancies, I was feeling something by now. But so far no spotting, which is great. I was really worried about that since my natural cycles give me so much trouble.

I had acupuncture today, and she told me to keep positive. So I'm going to keep my mind on being positive and hope that this worked!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Tagged??!! :) My 6 word memoir.

My blog has been tagged by lovely Lisa AND amazing Ariel

I have been tagged to write a six word memoir. This is based on a "meme" or a viral idea (Mark would love this-- he's very into "memes").

The Meme originated over an idea that was prompted by the book written by Larry Smith and Rachel Fershleiser, Not Quite What I was Planning: Six Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure. It's a compilation based on the story that Hemingway once bet ten dollars that he could sum up his life in six words. His words were- For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.

Here are the rules:

1. Write your own six word memoir.
2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like.
3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to this original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere.
Tag five more blogs with links.
4. And don’t forget to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!

Let's see if I can be more profound than Hemingway (that memoir sucked by the way)...

Family life is my dream come true. (uhh not 6 words!!)
Flag pins are for patriots. (political and not me)
I need wine to do this. (lol, too bad I can't drink right now)

Infertility sucks then you get pregnant. (I HOPE this will be my memoir!!)

I'll have to find some people to tag! hmmm....

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

2 made it to freeze!

We have 2 snowbabies! They are Day 6 blastocysts that are cryogenically frozen in the lab. I'm really happy to have them, since it gives me hope for another cycle just in case. A frozen cycle is MUCH easier on me than a fresh, since I don't have to worry about the egg retrieval.

I am 3dp5dt (that's 3 days past my 5-day transfer) or 8 days past conception. So far I feel nothing, but that's okay. It is still way too early to know anything. And fortunately I haven't been making myself crazy over analyzing stuff. Although I do keep talking to them-- "Get cozy little guys!"

We close on our house today!! We are so excited! It is definitely been a very nice and happy distraction. We can't wait to move in. We have movers, and I am going to be doing my best to stay relaxed. It is a little easier, since we don't have to pack.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Transfer today! & OUR embie pics

We transfered 2 beautiful blasties today! It was amazing! We even got our first "baby pictures"!!! --->>

We got in and the embryologist explained how our embryos had progressed. They decided to transfer 2 embryos-- on a scale 4-1 (4 being best), we transferred a 3 and a 3+. Of the others remaining, they were going to let them keep growing and let us know about freezing tomorrow.

Before the transfer, she gave us this picture of our embryos, and we even got to look at them under the microscope! We could even barely see them with the naked eye too! It was unbelievable! As Mark said, these cells are a little mixture of him and a little mixture of me.

The procedure was pretty painless. They put the embryos in via ultrasound and catheter. Dr. T assured us they couldn't fall out and the bedrest was mainly to reduce stress. So far I feel quite relaxed having everyone wait on me! (And the vallium helped too)

Now we just wait and see. My official test will be on 6/9-- seems like a long time from now...!!!!

Friday, May 23, 2008

14 Embryos!!

Our fert report is in! We have 14 embies!! I can't believe our potential future babies are growing in a lab a few miles away. Pic is of a 2-day 4-cell embryo (not ours).

The embryologist said that most are between 4-5 cells, which is just where they need to be at this stage (2 days). Our embryo transfer will be on Monday at 10:30 am, which is 5 days after my retrieval. 5-day transfers are a little better than 3-day because they can tell the quality of the embryos even better at that stage. I'm VERY excited and hopeful!!!

I scheduled acupuncture for before and after the transfer. There have been studies done that show pregnancy rates increase when acupuncture is performed before and after the transfer. Plus, I'm sure I'll need something to calm me down by then. :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

ER= 17 eggs!

Today was the big day-- my ER! I was thrilled to find they got 17 eggs!! (the average is 12) It is a big relief that we actually made it to the ER. I kept worrying that they were going to cancel me or that I had already ovulated or the Ganirelix worked too well and killed all my eggs. But things worked out just right. The pic isn't MY egg, but hopefully mine look that beautiful!

We got in around 8 am and they showed me to the OR at my doctor's office. I changed into a gown, met with the anesthesiologist. I got on this table and put my legs in stirrups while they put an IV in. He gave me this great numbing medicine, so I didn't really feel the IV. He put in the medicine and then I was OUT!

Just after they retrieved my eggs and I was waking up, they had Mark give his sample.
Me: 10 days of 3 shots, doc appts everyday (even Sat/Sun) for bloodwork and ultrasound, IV drip, anesthesia, operating room, groggy/nausea.
Mark: go in a cup!

But honestly, he's been really great at taking care of me. And he's going to help with these larger injections I have coming up. At least they are only 1 per day this time!

I find out about my "fertilization report" on Friday. Just because I got 17 eggs, doesn't mean they will all turn into embryos or quality embryos. Depending on what they think, I'll have my ET either Saturday or Monday.

Monday, May 19, 2008


I am sooooo happy! It is official-- this cycle is NOT CANCELED!! My E2 levels dropped to 2700, which is totally at a safe level for OHSS. And my U/S today showed several growing follicles, so my cycle has been salvaged! Thank you Dr. T! (and Ganirelix!)

Tonight we trigger to start the mature/release of the eggs, and my ER will be on Wednesday morning. This is the best news I could have hoped for!

With all this up and down, I'm not sure what the egg quality will be like? But I have seen several reports of good outcomes on salvaged cycles. And I'd rather have a little hope that all these injections weren't for nothing!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Still a go... so far...

I think things are still on track, and we may not have to cancel! I hope this is the case, but I also read up on OHSS. It sounds like hell, and something I would really want to avoid.

It looks like my follicles have grown, and my E2 level was down a little bit from yesterday (which was over 8400!), but she didn't have the exact number. My biggest follicles were:
1 @ 22 mm
2 @ 21 mm
3 @ 19 mm
4 @ 18 mm
4 @ 17 mm
2 @ 16 mm

So, I've got about 16 large ones (mostly on my left ovary), and several other smalls. The ideal thing to happen is for the big ones to mature and the small ones to drop back so my E2 level will go down. Then the mature ones will be retrived.

I haven't taken any more stims, but he added Ganirelix tonight. This actually prevents me from ovulating on my own and will also lower my E2 levels. I have bloodwork and ultraound tomorrow, so fingers crossed that I'll get to trigger soon!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Follicle Update

I had my u/s this morning, and my b/w. I didn't get my E2 level for today, which worries me a bit.

But my follicles are growing!
Right: 3-big, 5 med, 5 small
Left: 5-big, 15! med, 5-10 small

They're having me back for b/w and u/s tomorrow. I'm now on such a low dose of medicine that I can't even administer it from the Gonal-F pen. I'll have to do it with one of the other needles!

I'm still quite worried that they are going to cancel me. I think he just started me out way too aggressive. I guess I just have to trust that they know what they're doing.

I've been feeling a little nauseous lately. I have been eating lots of protein, which is supposed to help. I'm also going to pick up some Gatoraid for the weekend. I go back tomorrow for b/w and u/s for the 6th day in a row!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

7 down, 3 to go!

After tonight, I'll have done 7 days of stims and only have 3 more to go! I'll be glad when these 3 shots and daily appointments are done with. Although the next shots are long and scary! Mark will have to help.

Today my level is 3128, so still going up. But I'm much more calm about it than I felt yesterday. It is also not as big of a jump as I had yesterday, so I'm just going to wait and see. I'm now on the lowest dose of meds they can give me! I go in for bloodwork and ultrasound tomorrow.

In other news, Mark and I are getting ready for the move. I've made arrangements with movers and set up the utilities, so we should be good to go in just 2 weeks!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

more on E2 levels...

Monday E2= 670 (after 3 days of stims)
Tuesday E2= 911 (after 4 days of stims)
Wednesday E2= 2136 (after 5 days of stims)

Yikes! If it goes above 4000, I'm at risk for hyperstimulating, which can mean bloating, pain, water-retention, and at worst hospitalization. It usually doesn't show up until after the egg retrieval (ER), and it gets worse if I were to get pregnant, which means the embryo transfer (ET) could get canceled until my body calms down. They keep reducing my dosage of meds, so hopefully that will be enough to keep it away. And 4000 doesn't mean I'll definitely get it, but just at higher risk.

I also had an u/s today, and she said "WOW-- you have A LOT of folicles" She showed me the screen and there were a bunch of little circles. I think my left ovary is working overtime! One thing about OHSS, is that it is a ratio of E2 to follicles, so if I have high E2 levels, but also a LOT of follicles, it isn't as bad.

So far I feel okay, though. My ovaries feel a little heavy or just some tightness around there, and I'm super-tired in the evenings.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Day 3 of Stims E2 level

I went in for bloodwork today, and my E2 (estrogen) level is 670! That sounds really high to me. They are backing off on my medicine some (200 IU instead of 300 IU), but I'm a little concerned. In some ways, it is great that I am responding so well, but in other ways-- I could end up hyper-stimulated and have to cancel the cycle.

They want me back tomorrow, so I feel like I'm being watched closely. I'm sure they know what they are doing.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

This is actually one of the hardest days for me while struggling with infertility. I just want to be a mom so badly.

As one nestie put it, it is like being single on Valentine's day. You see all these other people getting cards and flowers and you just wonder when will it be your turn? And of course it isn't about the cards and flowers, it is about celebrating the happiness that comes from being a parent. Something that I'm not sure I'll have anytime soon.

I'm not sure if it is the meds or just the day, but this weekend I was really feeling desperate for this to work. It's been 2 weeks and I'm already sick of the injections-- I have small bruises all over my thighs. And I just don't want to be in this sad, hard place anymore.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Practice Parenting!

Mark and I are babysitting my niece (8) and nephew (5) for the weekend. So far it is going really well. We're trying our best to follow their rules, keep them happy/safe, and not let the get away with stuff they shouldn't! So far, so good.

They were actually quite well behaved for us, considering they're probably missing mom and dad a lot. Mark took my nephew to soccer, while my niece and I made recipes! There was only one or two outbursts and a little whining, which I think both of us handled quite well.

It was a little tiring waking up much earlier, and I think my stims make me more tired than usual. But we did a pretty good job tag-teaming them and sneaking in naps where we could!

I can't wait for my own!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Starting Stims!!

Today I had another u/s and bloodwork. I have 12-16 antral follicles (on the lower side of good). And my lining is at 3.6, which is thin, but that's to be expected since I'm just starting the cycle. Anyway, they said everything looks great and I can start my stimulation medicine!

So now I'm up to 3 shots a day (all sub-q small needles!)-- Gonal-f pen, ovidrel, and Lupron. The pen is pre-loaded with medicine, so I just have to replace the needle each time. It was pretty easy to give it to myself, but it has to go in my stomach. I'm still doing some Lupron, even though that is the suppression medicine, but taking half the dosage.

Anyway, so far so good. I also had acupuncture today. He asked me about where I was in my cycle and what had been going on, and then he puts small needles at various points in my body. Then I just lay and relax with my feet under a warmer. I almost fell asleep.

There are a lot of studies linking the positive benefits of acupuncture to IVF, in particular. So while I'm spending a lot of time and money on this, I thought I should have the best chance I possibly can. And acupuncture is part of that. My acupuncturist, David, will even come to do my treatment before and after my ET (embryo transfer).

I haven't had any side effects on the Lupron that I noticed. Some women complain of headaches, and I got one yesterday, but I think it was more lack of caffiene, since I'm cutting myself off that and alcohol for the rest of the cycle.

My acu recommended doing the stims a little earlier in the evening, so I could do them just before my appointment with him. He said he has had a lot of success with stimming and estrogen levels this way-- which is just what I need!

I'm a little worried about what all these ovulation meds might do to me. I was a wreck the few times I took clomid-- just angry and emotional. Mark is warned!

Next appt is for bloodwork on Monday, so they can see how I'm responding to all this!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My first injection

After practicing on an orange, I did my first Lupron injection tonight! I was really intimidated about doing these injections, so it feels good to have the first one out of the way. It is a "Sub-Q" injection, so just a short needle that goes into the fat just under the skin. I'm starting with 5U on my left thigh. It really wasn't bad, and I was surprised I could do it myself without too much trouble. The needle is quite short and thin, so it doesn't hurt going in at all, just a tiny pinch after the medicine was in.

Lupron is part of the suppression step. It slows egg production, so they can better control it when I'm ready to start the stimulation medicine. I'll give myself Lupron shots everyday for the next 2-3 weeks.

First Ultrasound

Today was my first ultrasound. Anytime I need an ultrasound during this process, I go into the doctor's office between 8-9:30. Today there were about 5 of us. They call us in, show us to our individual rooms, and one by one the u/s tech comes in and checks.

Today was my antral follicle check to start my cycle. She counted 6-7 on my right and 8-10 on my left (14-17 total). This is in the normal range, meaning I should have excellent response to my medicines, and a higher success rate according to this study (68%). Yay! http://www.advancedfertility.com/antralfollicles.htm

After the ultrasound, the office gave me a phone number that I had to call after 3 pm to get my instructions for the next couple days. The doctor reviews my ultrasound results and his nurses leave me messages on a personal voicemail.

I called today, and I'm supposed to start Lupron tonight! My first injectible medicine to continue to supress me until I'm ready to start stims.

Friday, April 25, 2008

meds are here!

Oh wow-- there are a ton of needles in that pack! I can't believe I will be taking almost all this medicine over the next month. We were lucky because insurance covered a lot of it, but not the $2k for 2700mL of ovulation medicine. Here we go...!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

feel so much better!

I wasn't sure how my meeting with Dr. T would go. I was thinking that he would just tell me everything would be fine on IVF. It was so good to get a real explanation.

Anyway, I'm just much more convinced that we really do need IVF. It will get us around the endo/fertilization problem, the motility, and now this lining thing. I feel so much better going into this. I was questioning before if this would even work, and if this was really even necessary. I have the answers to those questions now, and I can move on and feel excited.

It looks like the best time for me to go to CA is 5/5, so that should be right between ultrasounds. They do a ton of monitoring ultrasounds to make sure I'm not over or underresponding. I think all of this is going to work out well. I'm just so much more optimistic, and if it doesn't, we can move on. We are ready. This is it.

Monday, April 21, 2008

coming to terms...

I think I'm coming to terms with IVF. I was feeling so awful and resistant about it last week, but I'm calming down now. I'm not feeling desperate right now, but if IVF will give me what I want, I will do it. Do I really want to go through another year childless with no end in sight? No, I want this to be over with.

I am ready. I was ready in October, and I'm ready now. I can do this, especially thinking of things one day at a time. The next couple of days I need to take my BCP's. Focus on one step at a time and deep breathing.

I will meet with Dr. T on Wed. I hope I can get some reassurance.

We did get our official approval for shared risk! So that's great. Shared risk means that we pay one price for a max of 3 fresh cycles and unlimited frozen cycles (meaning if you get more than 2-3 good embryos on a fresh cycle, they freeze the leftovers to be thawed and transferred another time).

Anyway, I'm glad I'm feeling better about it all. I was definitely stressed about it, but I can do this. It is going to be fine, and at the end there will be a baby or at least closure.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


I started my first pill last night, so I guess this is real-- we're doing IVF. Originally, I was excited, but scared. Now, I feel mostly scared. All these drugs are so serious, and it is going to be hard to put myself through this. I feel like giving up in some ways. Let's adopt, though that has a different set of problems. If I think about being pg, I'm happy, though. So I think it is worth putting up with this fear and anxiety for a bit. And once I have done one cycle the next one may not seem so bad.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

education class

I had our IVF education class today at our doctor's office! Mark had to take off for our home inspection, so it was just me. It was a little intimidating. Yikes-- there are going to be a lot of needles and a lot of drugs!

Mark will have to learn how to give me injections, and some I may even give to myself. I'm not looking forward to that. Why does it have to be so hard? I wish I didn't have to go through all this crap just to have a baby, something that should be so beautiful and natural.

Although, IVF truly is a miracle. Potentially, our future baby will be a little 8 cell blob in a glass petri dish! Really amazing.

Anyway, I start the pill tomorrow night. Sounds counterproductive, doesn't it?! I have to be on it for a few weeks to help override my cycle. This whole process will take about 6 weeks.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

We're doing what???!!!

My initial reaction to this is wow-- how did this happen? A lot of infertile couples start out with much less aggressive treatment and work their way up. But my RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist) seems to think this is our best shot.

So, the good news is that we can have biological children. The bad news is that from my diagnostic surgery, I have mild endometriosis. The other bad news is that Mark's motility percentage is slightly down. And that combo means IVF!

There is a 50% chance or better that this could work for us, and a 33% chance of twins+! IVF usually doesn't produce more than twins because most ethical doctors do not transfer more than 2-3 embryos, depending on quality. We'd be okay with twins-- 2 for the price of one right?! (especially with no insurance coverage for infertility!)