Wednesday, December 29, 2010

two years later...

On Monday, MBL and I celebrated our two year wedding anniversary. We celebrated by going to IK.EA with my mom and my sister and then having Giorda.nos pizza with the rest of my family. Not exactly what I envisioned, but it was quite perfect. I nearly burst into tears at IK.EA realizing that I didn't care whether or not MBL and I had the perfect, most romantic anniversary celebration because I currently have everything I ever wanted. I have a husband for whom I am more crazy than when I married him two years ago. And the one thing that escaped us for 21 months of that marriage is now growing inside me. We began TTC the day we got married. We went into our honeymoon believing that in a few short weeks or months we would get a positive test and our lives would change forever. Our honeymoon was blissful as we looked forward to the rest of our lives together, envisioning lots and lots of babies. We celebrated our first anniversary with much of the same excitement...wondering if our first IVF had worked. A few days later we were delivered the crushing news that it had not. I know I've mentioned it before, but I really can't believe how far we've come. This time last year was so difficult, so full of pain and sadness. I really didn't know if I was going to make it. I didn't know if our dreams of becoming parents would ever come true. And now I sit here feeling occasional pops, knowing that inside of me is our daughter.

Two years is a long time. I would never wish what we went through to get here on anyone, but as I reflect on my marriage I realize that MBL and I allowed our infertility to bring us closer together. It was not easy and at times we fought harder than I ever imagined we would, but eventually we realized that we needed to work together and lean on each other in order to make it through in one piece. And it worked. And now I wake up each morning so grateful for the man lying next to me...even if he has stolen all of the covers and has crept over to my side of the bed. I was reminded of how far we've come when our 2.5/3 hour trip home from my parents turned into a 9 hour trip due to our car essentially breaking down from the weight of our IK.EA treasures. Instead of flipping out at each other and getting cranky about the situation, we took silly pictures as we waited in a random parking lot and enjoyed the scenery on the back roads as we drove the last 50 miles home going only 25 miles per hour. We took our lemons and we made lemonade. I can only imagine that our future will again hold trials, troubles, and heartache; but I know now that MBL and I can make it through. And that? That knowledge? Is the best gift I ever could have asked for.

p.s. Sorry to got all emo in this post...I have apparently entered the super sensitive to everything part of pregnancy (case and point? I nearly cried over how badly I wanted Be.ll for dinner).

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I did it.

At the beginning of our journey I *knew* that I would want to announce our pregnancy on I have a lot of friends with whom I no longer have regular contact, but I love seeing their updates and so I thought it would only make sense to keep others updated on the most important goings on in my life. Something about taking 21 months to get pregnant, though, changed me. When I actually got pregnant, posting it on was the farthest thing from my mind. I just wanted to make it through each day still pregnant. Even when I hit 12/13 weeks, which supposedly places you in the "safe" zone to tell people, we still hadn't told some of our of course I wasn't going to post anything about it! I then started debating whether or not I even wanted to post anything or if I should just wait until I actually had the baby and then just post pictures of her. What stopped me from waiting until birth was the fact that when two of my cousins were pregnant last year, they never posted anything about their pregnancies and that actually bothered me more than any pregnancy announcement could have. I felt like they had been given an incredible gift and, yet, they didn't want to document/share it with their friends and family. On the other hand, my other cousin who was also pregnant last year, often posted updates and pictures of her journey to motherhood and I actually enjoyed seeing her progress! I loved that she was so thrilled to be pregnant that she wanted to share it with her friends. With that in mind, I announced my pregnancy at 18w1d after an ultrasound on Tuesday showed that all is well with the baby and that she is indeed a little GIRL (3 lines and all)! I posted the following picture with the status "It's official :). MBL and I will be adding a daughter to our family in may!"

The timing felt just right and I am glad I posted something. We are beyond thrilled to be pregnant and I want people to see how excited we are. Plus, I have so few friends who are married and none of them are trying to get, I'm hoping my announcement didn't sting for anyone who read it.

In other news, I have "officially" been pregnant for 101 days!! Wowza. That's a long time and I have even longer to go. It was 101 days ago, though, that we got the best call of our lives to say that my beta was positive and that we were officialy expecting!! I cannot believe that we have made it this far. MBL and I were talking about it this morning and he just teared up thinking about all of the disappointments we faced at this time last year and how we now have the much wanted baby bump. It's amazing, simply amazing...and everyday I wonder how we got so lucky.

Just in case I don't post again for a few days...MERRY CHRISTMAS to all of you!! I'm thinking of each of you and praying that the new year brings you the best present of all (a positive cycle, a healthy birth/baby, a completed adoption...whatever it is you are hoping for).

Sunday, December 19, 2010

one year later...

This date last year MBL and I nervously made our way to our RE's office for our egg retrieval for IVF #1. We were full of anticipation and excitement over what we were convinced would be our successful cycle (we were given a 70% chance of it working). We arrived early and actually beat all but one of the staff to the office. We ended up having to wait quite a bit and all the waiting only made me more anxious! I waited in the waiting room while MBL went off to give his sample. The retrieval went fairly well...the only thing I didn't particularly love was that the RE only uses "twilight" sedation (ver.sed) for his retrievals. So, I definitely felt part of it and let me just say that feeling a huge needle as it is lunged into your ovary is no fun. (the RE from our most recent cycle is my favorite because he uses real anaesthesia for his retrievals and the procedure room is all warm and toasty). After the retrieval, MBL and I went home and carried about our day as if what we were going through was no big deal. The next day we got the news that out of the 17 eggs retrieved, only 7 were mature and 6 fertilized with ICSI. It was not the news we were hoping for...but I shed a few tears and then decided 6 embies were better than none. When we went in the next day for our day two transfer, we were told that of our 6 embies only 3 remained. The doc was not willing to transfer more than two because he was convinced they were all going to stick and so he transferred two perfect four celled, non fragmented embryos and froze the remaining one. We waited the requisite one hour in recovery...MBL rubbed my feet and kissed my face and we smiled at the thought of our embryos snuggling in for the next nine months. On the way home he picked me up Chipo.tle (YUM!) and then I snuggled into our bed for the recommended bed rest with an armory of movies. After two days of bed rest we packed up our car and headed to Chic.ago for Christmas festivities. At my family Christmas party my (nosey) cousin asked me if MBL and were trying to have kids and I just smiled and said, "We would love to have kids!" all while imagining that I was pregnant at that very moment. Christmas was magical as MBL and I got to spend time with family and get to know my new nephews! On our anniversary we talked about what might be and how amazing it would be to have a baby in 2010. Our beta was scheduled for 12dpo (New Years Eve) and MBL and I were out running last minute errands when we finally got the news from the REs office that our beta was negative. I cried and cried and cried. I then proceeded to eat myself into oblivion until I collapsed into bed at 9pm. Happy freakin' new year is all I could think.

Now? One year later? I could just cry thinking of how different things are this year. Today did indeed involve ovarian pain, but it was not from a giant needle, instead it is being caused by the baby in my belly who thinks that laying right on top of my (swollen) ovaries is oh so fun. I will not spend my family Christmas distracted by thoughts of dividing embryos, instead I will reflect on what I wanted so badly last year and what I am so flippin' lucky to have this year. I will probably cry on Christmas and on our anniversary (which is just two days later) remembering all the emotions of last season. I just cannot believe it has already been a year and that what I dreamed would happen in 2010 actually did happen. I cannot believe that IVF actually works. Mostly I cannot believe that in the new year MBL and I will have a teeny tiny baby to put in the teeny tiny baby clothes we are slowly accumulating. While I would not wish infertility on anyone and while I wholeheartedly wish it did not exist, because of where I am now (temporarily off the IF rollercoaster), I can honestly say that I do not know that I would have appreciated every little thing about this pregnancy if it weren't for all that we went through to get here. There are nights where MBL and I are just in awe of the bump I am sporting and all we can muster is, "Can you believe there's a baby in there?" No, we cannot believe it. And, no, we cannot believe that we are actually going to get to be parents. It's something so many people take for granted, and yet, because of what we have gone through, I am sure that every little thing will leave us dumbfounded, amazed, and grateful.

I hope that the new year brings all of you exactly what you are wishing for and that your 2011 is better and brighter than your 2010!

**I should note that this time last year was not all doom and gloom due in large part to the fact that my sister and brother in law brought my nephews home from Rw.anda. I had no idea I could love another person as much as I love them. They are so amazing and I am so excited that our baby will get to grow up with them! MBL and I feel very lucky to be their aunt and uncle!

Friday, December 17, 2010

once an infertile...

Always an infertile! It's odd. Here I am 17.5 weeks pregnant and yet I still get nervous about pregnancy announcements. They're hard to hear no matter who makes them. Even though I have (temporarily) beaten the IF monster, I am still very much an infertile. It's part of who I am. Last evening at our small group Christmas party one of my friends announced that her brother and sister in law are pregnant and due in June. Yay? I know this particular friend quite well and have spent a decent amount of time with her family. I know that this sister in law has a long history of putting herself above everyone else in her life. For example? Last year over Christmas she had time off, but her husband did not. They live in Florida, but their family lives in Michigan. So, what did she do? Left her husband home alone over Christmas and New Years so that she could spend the holidays with her family. And the worst part is that they moved to Florida so that she could pursue her dream career! They are always fighting and not in a little tift kind of way, but putting each other down in front of others more times than not. They have a very tumultuous relationship that many have doubted would last. My friend said they decided to try in October and it worked! GAHHHHH!!! That news absolutely drives me insane. And I spent the rest of the night fuming on the inside. I'm sure this makes absolutely no sense to some people, and that's fine, I really can't fully explain why it stirred up such a negative emotion.

The whole fertility game still makes absolutely no sense to me. MBL and I have a great relationship, great jobs, and we always try to think of each other in the decisions we make. We are young, healthy and come from long lines of people who have conceived easily. And yet? It took us 21 months, TWO IVFs, and a butt ton of money to get this baby in my belly. And I know that we are very VERY lucky to be here. I guess I just wish I could make sense of it. Why are some people able to get pregnant from a roll in the hay while others have to go to great lengths for the same result? I guess part of my emotions related to the fertility thing come from the fact that I feel like there is still so much stigma related to infertility. Like somehow the people who get pregnant "naturally" are better than those of us who don't. And feeling that way, knowing that some people actually believe that, makes me incredibly self conscious. And I hate that. I want to break down the stigma related to infertility. Inform people of the real pain associated with it. I want people to see that in nearly all cases, the couples suffering from IF have done absolutely nothing to deserve it. Infertility is like other diseases in that way, most people who get sick have done nothing to warrant their illness. And yet? Some people have a hard time viewing it that way. And that bothers me. Okay, now I'm just going on a tangent...

The basic point of my post? That infertility is sucky and stupid and the stigma of it is also sucky and stupid. The end.

Oh, and this is my 100th post!! YAY!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

feeling good!

First of all, I just want to say thank you to everyone who commented on my last post. I REALLY appreciated all your input. It made me feel better that others agreed that the care I am getting at my current OB just isn't a good fit for someone who is post infertility treatments. The more I spoke with MBL about it, the more I realized that staying with my current OB just is not the right decision for me. So, I immediately got on my healthcare providers website and looked up OBs who are associated with the hospital at which I would like to deliver and I got lucky! The doctor I went to when MBL and I were first starting to suspect fertility issues now accepts my insurance! The only reason I stopped going to her was that my husband's company switched insurances. I even wrote her a thank you note saying that I appreciated how she listened to my concerns and took them seriously. She is actually the one who first started me on Clo.mid and performed my HSG. And a bonus is that she tends to run on time! Woo hoo! No more 20-30 minute waits for me :).

I called the office Monday and explained my situation...that I am pregnant and would like to transfer from my current OB to that OB if she was accepting new patients. She is accepting new patients and our first appointment will basically be a new patient consultation. Ok. Fine by me. The only thing that bummed me out was that her first available appointment is not until December 21st. Not a terrible wait (2 weeks from when I called), but MBL and I are really hoping to get our level II scan done before the holidays. We want the scan done for piece of mind. We will be telling 50+ relatives on Christmas Eve and as silly as it sounds, I would just like confirmation that everything is hunky dorey. Oh, and I really want to make sure that our little girl is still all girl!! I didn't ask about the ultrasound when I initially called because I was feeling intimidated. So, I did the adult thing and asked MBL to make the phone call for me. He called the office, explained the situation and asked what our chances were of getting an ultrasound. The receptionist kindly explained that it would be up to the doctor whether or not we would get an ultrasound, but that they are usually able to get patients in rather quickly. MBL and I are hoping we are able to sweet talk the doc into at least letting us have a peek. The wait between now and then seems like forever, but I'm sure it will go by fast and everything will work out.

In other news, I think it was the stomach flu last week. I was still feeling sick on Saturday, so I'm guessing it wasn't food poisoning from Monday night. Up until Sunday morning I was beginning to think I was going to feel that way forever!! This week is the first week I have felt back to my "normal" (pre-pregnant) self. My energy has returned and the nausea has mostly gone away!! YAY! Oh, and I think I may be feeling the baby move...every once in a while it feels like my uterus is twitching/popping. I sure hope the movements start to become more regular and noticeable soon!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I think she may be a fertile...

So, today I had my 16 week OB appointment, even though I am only 15w3d. My OB appointments are absolutely nothing to write home about. I get weighed, have my blood pressure taken, wait 5-10 minutes, and then meet with the doctor. She listens to the baby's heartbeat and asks me if I have any questions and then leaves--oh and she's usually running no less than 15-20 minutes behind. She is very nice and chipper, but I kind of get the impression that she is likely a fertile. Now don't get me wrong, I think that some fertiles are able to relate to us IFers in amazing ways. I know people who have never struggled with infertility and yet have an uncanny ability to be sensitive and understanding to my worries/fears/feelings. My OB? Is not one of those people. And that is just plain old unfortunate. For example? From day one despite my history and despite my (understandable) fears, every time I have requested an ultrasound she has made a comment about how my insurance might not cover it and that I won't continue to get ultrasounds just because I am bleeding/scared/whatever (BTW--my insurance has covered My problem with this is that I know of people whose OBs make a point to understand their fears and their historys. This past weekend my mom happened to remind me that my aunt had a m/c at 20 weeks due to an incompetent cervix. After the puke fest that was Monday night, I had pain and "secretions" Tuesday. That worried me and everything I read said it was worth mentioning to my OB. So I mentioned it. She basically said that the only way to measure cervical length is through an ultrasound and there is no way that insurance companies can cover them for all OB patients just to catch the one or two patients that have an incompetent cervix. Now, I'm not really that concerned that I have an incompetent cervix, but her comment really bothered me. She seems more concerned about steering me away from ultrasounds than listening to my fears or giving me medical reassurance regarding my symptoms.
And I think that her comment especially pissed me off because I know of at least two other OBs in the area who listen to their patients and give them ultrasounds (even if they're brief) whenever they need reassurance that everything is all right in there. As a matter of fact, one of these friends goes to an OB where they offer ultrasounds on Tuesdays and Thursdays to whomever may be worried or need a peek at their baby. This friend's husband just happens to work with MBL, so we have the SAME EXACT insurance and never once has an ultrasound claim been denied and she's had 6-7 of them already and she's only 24 weeks!! So, I know that my OB is fully of phooey!! Soooo, why do I continue to see my OB? Because she is one of the few FEMALE OBs that deliver at the hospital closest to our house. The dream OB office mentioned above...the one that offers ultrasounds twice a week? They do not deliver there. AHHHHH!!!
Oh, and I think I'm particularly cranky because I was hoping to see our baby, check my cervical length, and verify once and for all that it's a girl in there prior to or around Christmas when I'll be 18-19 weeks, BUT she is making me wait until I am over 20 weeks and that is the EARLIEST she'll let me come in. She even made a point to say she makes some patients wait until they're 22 weeks.
After writing all this down, I think I may just be too unhappy with the care I'm receiving with this OB. MBL thinks I should check out other doctors because he isn't impressed with her responses either. I don't go calling the nurse line at all hours of the day and I haven't had a diagnostic ultrasound since 8 weeks...I really don't think I'm being all that crazy (for a nervous infertile, anyway). So, I guess I need to start searching...

Oh, and in light of the fact that my next baby check isn't until January 6th, MBL and I went ahead and booked another ultrasound in Chic.ago for three days before Christmas when I'll be 18w2d, it'll only cost us $30 and we'll get another peek at the LO. Assuming I don't meet with a new OB prior to that, I will likely try to convince the tech to verify that my cervix isn't shrinking into oblivion.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


One of the things I've been wanting to blog about since Saturday is the issue of attachment. As someone who first went through infertility and then held her breath through the first trimester, I have had a really hard time with the reality of this pregnancy. I've heard the baby every day at home from 9w4d and yet it still hasn't hit me that there is a baby in there. Well, it didn't hit me until Saturday. When we went in for the ultrasound, seeing the baby on the screen moving around and dancing made it more real. Then, finding out the gender helped even more. Instead of calling the baby "it" or "he or she", we could now say she/her. Each day I've been realizing a little more that there is a moving/dancing baby inside me and each day I've grown a little more attached to our baby. I even finally filled out the first 11 weeks of our pregnancy in the book I bought two months ago. I think my attachment will only be furthered when I am actually able to feel the baby move around, however, according to the tech I have an anterior placenta and it may be a while before I feel those first few flutters. I really don't anticipate feeing her before 20 weeks.

Moving on, here are the shots of the baby, as promised :).

A 3D picture of our baby with her hands by her face:

We may do another 3D ultrasound around 28 weeks when she should be a little cuter and her face filled out a little more.

And, finally, here is the potty shot:

All of the boy potty shots at 15 weeks that I have seen there is clearly a V shaped protrusion...I'm thinking our baby probably isn't hiding that. it if you're curious!