Tuesday, November 30, 2010

one of my fears realized

That post title might be a bit dramatic for what actually happened, but just like some people are afraid of heights, I too have a fear. My fear? Is of throwing up. I hate it. I did everything I could during the first trimester to keep from actually getting sick and it worked out well. I made it all the way to 15 weeks without getting sick. Then, last night? Let's just say it was unavoidable. And I've spent all day in bed or on my butt. I am sicker than I have been in years. At first I thought it was food poisoning, now I'm not so sure. If it's the stomach flu that means this is the second time I've had it in the past month. My immune system is obviously compromised. Being so sick while pregnant is also scary, but thanks to my handy dandy at home doppler, I am able to make sure that the baby isn't too fazed by all of this. If I'm not able to drink more liquids tomorrow I'll call my doc and see if there's anything I need to do to ensure my baby's health.

In other, more exciting news, MBL and I had our fifth ultrasound on Saturday. We paid for an early ultrasound at a place in Chicago and it was the best use of my birthday money ever!! The last time we saw the baby was at 8 weeks and it looked like a blob. A cute blob, but a blob nonetheless. On Saturday, though, it looked like a baby!! And it is inside of me! I drank OJ before the appointment and the baby really liked it. The baby was dancing all around! Even though it wasn't a diagnostic ultrasound, I was able to see that the baby has ten fingers and ten toes and four moving appendages. Even the spine looked great! I think the tech thought I was a bit odd for constantly commenting on how my baby had hands or feet. The main reason we went there was to find out the gender. When the tech first went to look, the baby had it's feet crossed and she couldn't get a good shot. So, she moved along and we enjoyed just seeing the baby move and seeing it in 3D. Then she went back and was able to see the important "parts" in just seconds. MBL wanted to keep it a surprise from me until we got back to my parents for a cake reveal, so I didn't get to see the "parts" during the actual ultrasound. When I asked the tech if she was sure of the sex, she gave me an enthusiastic YES! After a long 20 minute drive back to my parents, the cake was brought up and I cut into to it to see PINK!!! The tech made sure to include a potty shot and after hours of goog.ling 15 week potty shots, I am convinced she made the right assessment. We will still verify the sex at our 20 week ultrasound, but for now we are quite excited for the baby GIRL in my belly!!!

I'll post some shots of our ultrasound session tomorrow because right now I need to get myself to bed and pray I start to feel better soon!

(I should note that the ultrasound place specializes in early gender scans and will not tell you the gender if they are not sure...at 15 weeks they have a 100% success rate. Just in case you were wondering :).

Thursday, November 25, 2010


It took me all day to think about what I wanted to write for this post. I obviously have quite a bit to be thankful for, but I didn't want to get on here and go on and on about my pregnancy. This is what I came up with:

1. I am thankful that I live in 2010 where there are lots of family building options available to me.

2. I am thankful that MBL and I are in a position to build our family with the option we have chosen.

3. I am thankful that 30+ years ago scientists and doctors recognized the need for procedures that would help couples who wanted to have children, but were having a hard time achieving that goal. I am also thankful that they continued their work until they were successful!!

4. I am thankful that MBL and I are in a position to share our story and make people more aware of the struggle of infertility.

5. I am thankful that there are people out there willing to donate their unused meds and help out other IVF patients (my first cycle I used only donated meds and the second I received over $1100 of donated meds).

6. I am thankful that my family and friends have welcomed our decision to build our family through IVF without judgment and have absolutely no shame in telling others how we achieved pregnancy.

7. I am thankful that MBL and I are in a financial position to pursue ART.

8. I am thankful that doctors feel called to go into reproductive endocrinology and are constantly working to improve the technology that is available.

9. I am thankful that there is a wonderful online community of people who are struggling or have struggled with infertility and are willing to voice their experiences and be a support for others.

10. Finally, I am thankful that infertility did not send MBL and I into marital turmoil. During the first few failed IUIs I wasn't sure that we were going to make it through in one piece, but we did. I am thankful that we are stronger because of all it took to get here and thankful that we know how freakin' lucky we are. I am also thankful that I love MBL more now that we have been through the turbulence of infertility/IVF. And I am thankful to have MBL as a spouse and partner in life, I could not have imagined going through this journey with anyone else!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

it's that time of month again...ICLW!

Hello to all of you here visiting from ICLW! And, hello, also to all of my regular visitors. If you're wondering what the heck ICLW is, feel free to click on the icon on the left of my page.

Anyways, I didn't do ICLW in October, but I'm back this month and excited about visiting new blogs and getting to know others struggling with infertility. As you can see from the ticker at the top of my page, I am pregnant. Here is some basic information on how I got here:

-started TTC in December of 2008, right when MBL (my hubby) and I got married. We were so sure we would come back with a "souvenir" from our honeymoon. 1st BFN.
-1st sperm analysis after only 3 months of TTC (March 2009). MBL is on some pretty hefty ADHD meds and I was *certain* they were playing a role. They were, count of only 18 million (normal is 20 million).
-I get an HSG in May of 2009. Tubes clear, uterus normal. 1st round of clo.mid to give MBL more "targets". BFN. Take clomid again in June, another BFN.
-July 2009 we have a follow up sperm analysis...9 million. Boo! Call the local RE and get in the next day. Decide to go for IUI as already took clo.mid. BFN.
-August and September 2009: two more BFNs after clo.mid+IUI.
-October 2009: laparoscopy for me! Stage I endo found (one adhesion) and removed. Get on the December IVF schedule as we are picture perfect candidates.
-December 2009: IVF #1. 17 eggs retrieved, only 7 mature. 3 embies left for day 2 transfer, 2 transferred and one frozen. BFN on New Years Eve.
-January 2010: despair.
-February 2010: consult at RE in Chi.cago. Decide to wait on IVF with him and go with varicocele surgery instead.
-March 2010: MBL has varicocele surgery!
-April 2010: try on our own.
-May 2010: back to clo.mid and IUI. BFN. Of course.
-June 2010: clo.mid and IUI again. I get faint positives for a few days, but low beta. So, chemical.
-July 2010: decide to cancel IVF at our local clinic and go with RE in Chica.go because of shared risk program. Up to 3 cycles and an 80% refund if no take home baby.
-August 2010: IVF #2!! 11 eggs retrieved, 6 mature, 4 fertilize with ICSI. All 4 make it to day 3, but one has only 3 cells and is not viable. We transfer 3 embies (6 cell, 5 cell, and 4 cell). BFP!!

So, to sum it up: male factor infertility (low count), 3 cycles of clo.mid plus timed babydancing-all BFN, 5 clo.mid plus IUI cycles-4 BFN and one chemical, one IVF BFN, one IVF BFP, and 21 months to get here. Most days I feel like I got the easy way out (although most people would hardly consider IVF twice easy). I would say the first year was the hardest and infertility broke my heart in so many ways. We are by no means cured, but we are incredibly thankful to be where we are. I wish my success on all of you still waiting for your miracle BFPs! Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 19, 2010

it felt like my birthday

Sunday night I went to bed feeling like the next day was my birthday, despite that I just celebrated turning 25 a month ago. The reason I felt that way? Because on Monday I officially crossed over from the first trimester into the second. Hitting 13 weeks just felt magical. I'm supposed to start feeling better and there are no longer the standard first trimester fears. I'm pretty excited to be here. MBL and I still listen to the baby a few times a day on the doppler and it is still just so amazing! I love hearing his/her heartbeat and hearing him/her whack the doppler. Last night we were listening and he/she was way down low by my hairline, then this morning he/she was way up by my belly button! Obviously the baby is moving around. It will be interesting to feel/see him/her moving in there, but I'm in no rush. With the doppler I know everything is okay in there and that's all the reassurance I need for now.

What is crazy is how much I feel like I have "popped" this week. It seems early for this, but I can feel my uterus much higher than it was even last week. For comparison, I have added some pictures. The first one is from 4w6d. The second one is from Monday, so exactly 13 weeks. I have only gained 3 pounds so far...

I wish I could go back to my just pregnant, post IVF self who felt quite fat and slap her upside the head. My tummy is pretty flat considering all I've put it through over the last year! My tummy now? On Wednesday I showed MBL how you can no longer see a difference between me sucking in or pushing out. I feel like it's pretty early to have a bump, but it's there and the only thing I can think is that it's because I'm short (5'3"). With everything moving to make room for baby, I'm sure it will only get bigger. I guess this means I have to start telling people...

Friday, November 12, 2010

a little of this, a little of that

This post will likely be all over the place. I was composing it in my head during my walk yesterday. I will put it in number/list form to make it easier to read.

1. I LOVE Christmas. Seriously, it's my favorite time of year. As a matter of fact, MBL and I got married on December 27th so that we could use Christmas colors in our wedding. We are going to decorate the house this weekend as it is our only chance between now and the second weekend in December. But, truthfully, I would have decorated the day after Halloween if I hadn't been working. I put a Christmas CD in my car today and I'm really getting into the holiday spirit. Yay Christmas and Thanksgiving!!

2. After having two really bad days/evenings of feeling sick out of my mind, I woke up this morning feeling awesome. I'm really hoping that this is the start of feeling better...at least as far as the nausea is concerned.

3. I'll be out of the first trimester on Monday and I'm still avoiding telling people. The people who know are: two nurses at work, four IRL friends, two of my sisters, and our parents. Oh, and random strangers. That's about it. I have had dinner/lunch with several friends and I just can't seem to spit it out. I also am avoiding telling the people I work with directly at work and my graduate school classmates that I see every week. Part of me thinks it would be funny if I waited until I was 100% showing and then let people figure it out on their own. Although, my uterus has definitely popped over the past few days and I'm not sure how much longer I'll be able to hide my "bump". We are telling my grandparents, MBL's sister, and my other two sisters at Thanksgiving, so I'll probably start letting word leak out after that. I'm still in denial that things are going to continue to progress, but it's highly likely that they will, so I suppose I should let people know our little "secret".

4. I read some comments to an article the other day that really got my blood boiling. The article was talking about how people struggling with infertility can find pregnancy announcements on face.book painful to read. I can definitely relate to that, as excited as I was for my family/friends, it was still hard to read them when I kept getting BFN after BFN. What absolutely shocked me were the comments left by some of the readers. Some of the commenters had the gall to say that those suffering from infertility shouldn't feel sad about those announcements and if they did, then they were too self-centered to have children anyways. REALLY? Ugh. The comments there stirred up all of my IF emotions all over again. I so wish people understood how hard it is better.

5. I wish I didn't work weekends. I'm a day and a half into my three day weekend and it is going by way too fast! I spent yesterday shopping and last evening and this morning at a craft show. We have so much to do and so little time to do it! I'm thankful for my job, but I'm really looking forward to the day when I do not have to work every other weekend.

Monday, November 8, 2010

biggest waste of $40

So...last week I was feeling quite sick. I assumed it was just my morning sickness flaring up and that perhaps I was getting the worst of it at 11 weeks. My tummy aches were quickly accompanied by, well, other problems. Let's just say food was flying through me and it was quite embarassing. Again, I just assumed it was all apart of the pregnancy ride. I had an appointment on Thursday with my OB and she said that it wasn't from the pregnancy, but it was likely from the stomach flu. Blech. She told me to take some immodi.um if it continued and contact her if it got worse. Well, Friday it got better, so I didn't get/take the immodi.um. Saturday I had to work and I woke up feeling fine...well, about 8 hours into my 10 hour shift I had **TMI WARNING** gone to the bathroom 7 times, 3 of which were in an hour and a half period of time. I googled my problem along with pregnancy and the websites I found basically said that with my symptoms, I should be seen immediately, especially since I was experiencing cramping. Conveniently enough, I work next door to an urge.nt care facility. I called MBL and he agreed to meet me there.

I headed over and they were suprisingly NOT busy. We were seen right away and the nurses were really nice and friendly. Then the doctor came in. He was the opposite of nice and friendly. I think he was hoping for some amazing medical case and I was anything but. I felt like he was mocking me for being there. He kept chuckling and saying "You should have taken the immo.dium." Okay, I had this problem for over a week, running to the bathroom 5-7 times a day, that seems worrisome even if you're not pregnant. This doctor thought it was no big deal. Didn't ask if I had cramping, didn't listen for the fetal heart rate, and didn't reassure me that everything would be okay with our bambino despite me being so sick. So, the doc basically made fun of me for coming in and left me with the instructions to go to the store and get immo.dium. It cost us $40 for that wonderful medical advice.

I have now decided that I should only see doctors who have gone through infertility. Then maybe they'll comfort/assure me a little more than the boob mentioned above. Also, when I went to work the next day and told one of the nurses the "treatment" the doctor prescribed, she too thought he should have done more. She said with cramping that they should have given me the option of getting an ultrasound (we would have had to go to the hospital, but it was within the appropriate medical measures for what was going on). Her two cents made me feel much better.

Anyways, I did in deed get the immo.dium and I am feeling better. I was still crampy today and would like to be reassured by an ultrasound, but my doppler will have to do for now. Oh, and we can "hear" movement on our at home doppler now too. Very cool. Now just counting down the days to the second trimester!

Friday, November 5, 2010

galloping horses?

When I first learned about what a baby's heartrate should sound like, most people said it sounded like galloping horses. When we got our doppler and I began searching for the heartbeat I was looking for that sound. At first I found my heartrate which sounds like "whoosh...whoosh", I knew it was too low to be the babys. After much searching and determination, I finally found the heartrate! It measured a beautiful 160-170 on the doppler. But, I was confused by the sound...it didn't sound anything like galloping horses. It sounds more like "whish, whish, whish, whish." Once I found it, it was unmistakable...definitely the fetal heartbeat. I assumed that it sounded different because I was using an at home fetal doppler, not an official OB one. I was excited for our appointment yesterday because I was looking forward to hearing the much talked about galloping horses. **And, let me just say that because I am a scared infertile who has walked around holding her breath for the past 3 months, it was an amazing reassurance to go into the appointment knowing for certain that we would not be given bad news. That doppler is one of my favorite things I have ever purchased.** I should also say that I am so glad that my appointment was for pregnancy and not for an annual checkup because the waiting room was lined with preggos.

Anyways, after waiting a half hour, we were finally called back. They weighed me...up 2.5 pounds. Took my blood pressure and then had me wait for the OB. My OB is unbelievably cute and perky. She has deep dimples and curly blond hair and a great bedside manner. Once she came in the room, I felt more forgiving about the fact that I was a hungry, sick preggo who just spent 30 minutes in the waiting room with no snacks. She told me that she may not be able to hear the HB as between 10-12 weeks it can be difficult to find. MBL piped up and said that we had found it at home with our doppler. I confirmed that we had been hearing it for the past 2 weeks. She was astonished and impressed! I explained that I was very determined to find it. She then had me lay down so that she could see if she could find it with her doppler. After a few seconds it was there!! She counted and said it was in the high 140s and absolutely perfect. That was awesome news...but even cooler was the fact that when she had the doppler on the baby we heard a few "pops". I thought it was my gut but she said that it was the baby kicking! Oh. my. goodness. My baby is kicking! I would have to say that hearing that was the highlight of this journey thus far. I basically walked around the rest of the day on cloud nine. It was so special for MBL and I to experience that together. Our next appointment will be in four weeks for another weight/HB check and then the "big" ultrasound will be four weeks after that.

But, MBL and I are actually signed up for an early gender ultrasound at 14 weeks 5 days. I know that seems super early, but after all we've gone through I really want to know the gender as soon as I can! Plus, we weren't offered an NT scan, so our next ultrasound wouldn't be until 20 weeks and I really want another peek at our baby. We will be with family for the Thanksgiving weekend and so we plan on doing a gender reveal party, which I think will be super fun. I'm currently debating whether or not I want to find out at the ultrasound or if I want to wait and find out with everyone else. Right now, I am planning on "revealing" the gender with an appropriately colored cake (I don't remember where I heard of this idea, but I know that I got the idea from somewhere...I'm not *that* clever). We will cut into the cake and the coloring (pink or blue) will let everyone know what we are having. I'm getting more and more excited with each passing day...only 10 days until the second trimester!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

thrilled to be here, but...

Now before I get started on this post, I want to make it clear that I know how unbelievably lucky I am to be pregnant. I know that so many of y'all are aching and waiting for your BFP. I remember what that was like and I do not take my pregnancy for granted, nor do I wish it away. That being said, I am floored by just how sick I have been. It's crazy! I started getting nauseous around 5 weeks with full blown all day dry heaving starting at 6 weeks. Around 9.5 weeks I started to feel a little better and after panicking, I decided to be thankful that the wicked nausea was going away. Well, it's partial absence lasted only a few days and now I am sicker than I have been all pregnancy. This weekend I actually had to leave work and then call in the next day. I haven't thrown up, but it's not for lack of trying. I've heaved and heaved, and nothing happens. I've been on Zof.ran since 6 weeks and I have no plans on stopping it any time soon. With my internship and my job I just cannot spend 8 hours a day on the bathroom floor (which is how it would be if I didn't take the Zof.ran). Starting Monday (11 weeks) new symptoms began and they are far from being fun. Let's just say that I went from not having any movement for 5-6 days to having far too much movement. It's making life a bit...awkward. My appetite has also increased exponentially...seriously, it's ridiculous! Here is what I have had to eat today:
4 small slices of cheese--I had these immediately after getting up
2 small pieces of bread with cream cheese--7:45am
1 cup of cheerios--9:00am
acti.via yogurt--10:30am
protein bar--11:15am
tostado and taco from ta.co be.ll--12:15pm
salad--also 12:15pm
a bit of trail mix--2:30pm
bag of popcorn--3:30pm

That's a lot of food and it's only 4:45pm!! And the thing is, I am trying to make healthy choices, but it's hard when I need to eat so frequently and I'm having aversions. At my last weigh in, I had put on 3.5 pounds, which isn't terrible for 11.5 weeks, but I'm afraid with my appetite that I'll balloon and end up with GD and a 13 pound baby. I had put on 10 pounds from all the IF treatments and before that I was already about 3 pounds over my ideal, so really I'm looking at already being 20 pounds over my ideal weight. I have an appointment with my OB tomorrow, so I'm hoping she can give me some healthy snack ideas and what I can do to tame the hunger beast. Although, I will say that yesterday I had to (seriously) ask MBL if he would still love me if I weighed 200 pounds...he said he would (good boy!). I just hope I can be healthy for our little bambino while still managing my symptoms well. Oh, and I'd love it if the food I did eat didn't fly through my body at warp speed. That's all.