A letter to my baby.

Dear Zophia (although that isn’t your name, and might be even stranger if you end up being a boy, it’s what you’re Mommy named you a few weeks ago, so it’s what we’ve been calling you in our texts to each other. If you’re wondering why…..don’t. I’m honestly not sure.)

Today you’ve been growing inside of me for sixteen weeks and five days. Technically, I’m nineteen weeks and three days pregnant with you, but the way that is all measured is really funny to me.

Some days, it feels like you’ve been a part of me forever: almost as if I’ve never worn pants that button at the waist, and I’ve always approached medicine with trepidation – terrified of what it could do to your tiny developing body: no matter how congested and sick I feel.

Other days, this process feels as though it’s taking forever, as I longingly stare at the wine cabinet in the corner of our living room, with my phone open to The Bump app, as I scan it to learn more about our most recent developments. I stand in front of the mirror and push my shirt down around my growing belly and imagine how much of that bump is comprised of you. I wonder where you are curled up as I poke and prod my belly, hoping you’ll tap back and remind me that you’re in there.

Last week, you did for the first time. I’d felt sensations that reminded me of bubbles and based on what everyone had told me, I’d figured it was you moving around. Then, on Wednesday evening, I was sitting with your mommy on the couch – eating dinner after a very long day – and I told her I thought I’d felt you move. A moment later, you kicked me with an intensity that I hadn’t felt before (and have longed to feel, since) and she was able to put her hand on my belly long enough to feel it, too. I felt you again and my eyes must have widened, as she looked at me and said, “that was a kick, wasn’t it?”

Since that day, you’ve only kicked me lightly, and now I’m much more aware of those sensations and I try to stop and enjoy them. Sometimes I think you know that, and like any child trying to tease their parents, you stop just when I get excited – leading me to wonder if I was just experiencing gas bubbles.

I wonder what you’re going to look like all the time. Next week, we’re going to have your anatomy scan: we’ll see all of your organs close up (well – almost all of them as we’re hoping to keep your sex a secret until you’re born), and I’m so excited to see your face again. I know you won’t look like me, and sometimes that makes me a tiny bit sad, but then I remember how much you’ll look like your beautiful mommy and I smile. Both she and our donor have curly hair, so I’m expecting to have to learn how to brush and style curls – a modest challenge for your mama who has had straight auburn hair her whole life. Your mommy straightens her curls every other night: pulling and ironing each curl into straight submission. You can do that too, if you want to, but I hope you love every part of yourself the way I already do: every hair, freckle, inch of your skin.

I hope you grow up to be happy. The world is sometimes a scary place, but I plan to expose you to as many of the happy and loving parts as I possibly can, so that you never know darkness more than you know light. When you experience the scary parts of this world, I promise to always remind you of your strength, your voice, and your heart – living in this family, I know you’ll have a steady voice and a good heart.

Speaking of this family: you’re going to love it. In addition to me, you have a really amazing mommy. Just tonight, she was out in the snow cleaning both of our cars so that I could get to work with no trouble in the morning. That’s pretty typical: she had a day off from work today, so she cleaned our entire house from top to bottom. She works so hard so that we can all be comfortable, she she must ask me 10 times a day how you are doing and if I’ve felt you move. She is patient, and quiet and will teach you so much about sports: I can say with total confidence that you’ll learn much more from her than almost all of your friends will from their dads. She’s a fantasy baseball champion (four years in a row now, but don’t remind her – she can be cocky about it!), and she follows football almost as closely. If you want to know about hockey, you have three uncles and an aunt who are total fanatics, and a Pop Pop who can rattle off stats about almost any sport you can think of. In fact, he can rattle off random facts about almost anything: he’s a trivia whiz, and will undoubtedly teach you lots of things about different topics. You have a mom mom who already loves your two cousins fiercely, and uses her precious vacation time after driving two hours just to watch them while your aunt goes to work. I hope she can retire sometime soon, although she’ll always be doing something (probably offering to watch you, if she does. She’s really excited that you’re going to live so close to her…she asks about you all the time). On the other side, you have another Pop Pop (who we’ll have to watch as I have a feeling he’ll try to teach you some pranks and….probably inappropriate jokes) but he’ll absolutely make you laugh when he says something unexpected. Your Nana always corrects him (she is very sweet and polite), and in addition to helping you to become a good person, she’ll teach you how to make all kinds of delicious Polish cookies like her mom (Great Nana) used to make. Although Great Nana isn’t with us anymore, I’m confident that she helped bring you to us: I would tell you that you’d love her, but I think you already do.

Finally: going back to our little family of four, in addition to me, you, and Mommy, you will have an amazing little guard dog – Barley. She’s kind of temperamental, and if you lay under a blanket and she decides to lay with you, don’t move any of your extremities until you lift them above the blanket: otherwise she’ll think it’s some kind of a monster and try to attack it. I may have had a toe or two nipped by her, but I swear she’s just trying to protect us. I ask her where you are sometimes: they say that dogs can sense babies, but she hasn’t let on that she knows you’re coming, yet. One time, a few weeks ago – when I was sick with the stomach virus – she stayed by my side for hours, even though your Mommy was also sick, and she’s usually Mommy’s best bud. I can only imagine that she knew I needed her (although we’ve also speculated that she sensed that Mommy had a fever and she was avoiding that), but either way: you can expect to be part of the group she guards with ferocity, and I hope your chubby little baby hands aren’t too hard on her curly fur.

We’re starting to prepare your nursery: since we won’t know your sex for a while still, we decided on a neutral color theme: gold and navy (which I just realized as I was writing this, is just like your Pop Pop’s favorite football team: Notre Dame. Clearly, though, it’s not why we chose it…especially since your Mama’s loyalty lies with a different school. But whether we like it or not, Pop Pop will definitely still try to teach you the Notre Dame fight song – so I guess I better start singing it to you now…). Some people have told us that it seems girly, and other’s have assumed you’re a boy because of it. This is why we’re keeping your name a secret until we have you snuggled in our arms: we love our (your) friends and family, but they can have some strong opinions (you probably will, too). That’s totally fine: but right now, we are just trying to figure out what is best for you, and we already second guess ourselves at least 100x a day: no need to add more stress to that.

Sweet baby, there is so much more I want to tell you, but I’ll save it for another letter on another day. Until then, please don’t be afraid to move around and kick me. I’ll admit: it did scare me the first time, but since then I’ve looked forward to it. I just like reminders that you’re still close by (I mean, aside from the app updates and my ever-growing belly…)

We love you very much. See you in 144 days if you come on your due date (or somewhere around 151 days if you take after me…)

Love You Always,

Mama

Here comes the 2nd trimester…and the stomach bug :(

Even though I watch my belly daily for signs of growth: poking and prodding it, hoping that the baby will show some sign of life in between these now – very distant – ultrasound visits;

Even though I open the Bump and Baby Center apps weekly: eager to see what new feat my baby has conquered since the prior week, and how many precious milimeters and fractions-of-an-ounce little one has added on over the last few precious days;

Even though work and life have kept us as busy as ever….

the 2nd trimester has actually kind of snuck up on me. I can’t believe I’m 1/3 of the way through this pregnancy: especially since I don’t feel pregnant at all half of the time.

I imagines what I would look and feel like at 14 weeks, and I wasn’t envisioning fat, tired, and still pretty nauseous.

Of course, acquiring the stomach bug this week wasn’t a huge help with that. My sister and her kids had it about 3 weeks ago, and we thought they were all clear when they came to visit last weekend, as they’d been asymptomatic for weeks, and feeling pretty healthy overall.

I saw them Friday, Saturday, and on Superbowl Sunday and by Monday afternoon both my wife and I were feeling a little under-the-weather. She felt worse than I with a fever and chills, but we both felt pretty nauseous.

[I should probably add here that I have a pretty severe case of emetophobia – or an intense fear of vomiting – and I’ve had it for as long as I can remember. I can’t stand vomiting, or seeing/hearing others vomit…which has made for a few pretty interesting plane flights earlier this year. Seeing/hearing others get sick makes me shake and sometimes cry and it’s something I’ve really been working on tackling over the last few years. Yes, I know kids vomit. Yes, I know my kid will vomit. No, I don’t know what I’m going to do about that yet. Here’s to hoping I can work my way up from spit up. Anyway, I haven’t thrown up in about 20 years – aside from maybe 2-3 times when I was drinking heavily and don’t really remember the act of getting sick – so everytime I get any kind of stomach bug, I lay down and breath deeply until the feeling passes.]

Thank goodness our home has two bathrooms, because around 7pm the virus took both of us down. No amount of deep breathing was stopping anything. And just as soon as it started, it passed…and left a low grade fever and very sore stomach in its wake.

In a way, the experience was actually kind of nice – hear me out – as I have had this intense fear for 3 decades now, and it’s been YEARS since I’ve experienced the act of throwing up. I think this experience helped me to feel a TINY bit less fearful, and more compassionate toward others who get sick (the fear is so intense that in addition to being shaky and completely upset, I get angry at the offender – as if they could control it. I know – it’s crazy), and I was kind of glad that if we both had to be taken down by something that severe: that we could have the experience BEFORE kids came along.

We both took as good of care of each other as we could, and it helped us both to hone in on our motherly instincts.

I mean, if it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger…right?

This experience also helped me to realize that my pregnancy nausea isn’t nearly as bad as it could be, although now every time I feel nauseous I’m terrified that the virus is making an ugly return, so I just kind of want to experience this 2nd trimester relief that I’ve heard so much about.

So far, my belly just looks fat: I’m eager to see it round out more so that my coworkers and strangers stop looking at me like I can’t control myself around donuts (I mean, I can’t but…) and I’ve gained 8 pounds, which is really making me get upset with myself, but I keep trying to remember that this will all be worth it. In the meantime, I just bought a stationary bike from a local yard sale and am going to try to get more active on a daily basis: I think it will be good for me and for baby.

We are beginning to toss around nursery ideas (leaning toward a grey/white theme, or navy/gold…any suggestions one way or the other? We want something gender neutral as we won’t find out the sex until baby gets here…)

I am also eagerly waiting to feel some movement. I swore I felt a kick earlier this week, but nothing since which leads me to believe that it may have been a muscle spasm or gas.

There are still moments when I have to stop and remind myself that this is all real, and pray that it won’t be yanked away. I envy women who get excited at every milestone. I am always fearful that the next will never come.

But then I think: we made it this far…why NOT us?! And I keep hoping and praying that a healthy little nugget is still growing inside me: kicking away, and that one day soon I will feel them.

Love and hugs to everyone for healthy continued pregnancies, sticky embryos, successful stimming, and good news all around.

Jenn

 

It’s been a while!

All I do is work, work, work, no matter what…

Today I am packing and preparing for yet another work trip: another four days and four nights away from my wife, puppy, and comfy, familiar bed.

While I sometimes enjoy traveling, it just isn’t the same when you share the giant king size hotel bed alone. Somehow I can never position the overstuffed pillows the way my own rests under my head, and the other side of the bed is cold and flat, instead of warm and curved under the weight of my wife’s curled up, sleeping body.

It’s going to be the first of what is looking like four trips over the next three months.

dont-make-me-go

…but, as I told my wife yesterday when we got into a small argument about all of this traveling I’ve had to do (she HATES staying alone), we have to take the good with the bad when it comes to my job. I work in sales training for a fairly large company, and these trips are to help facilitate training sessions for our new hires.

The problem is, this is somewhat of an “add-on” to my everyday job (I also manage a group of anywhere between 10-14 people…at least, this year) and I have to leave that team to help with these training sessions, and I never saw a pay or title increase when I took on this added responsibility last year. So she wants me to push for more, and while I agree and plan to address the topic with my boss when I see her in person next week, I also feel like I am losing a bargaining chip when I announce my pregnancy, as I will be unable to commit to travel in the later part of this year, and will also need time away from my regular group (and I am the only person available to supervise and train them).

Any strong negotiators or badass lady bosses following this blog who have any advice, here?

Speaking of the pregnancy….

I’m 10 weeks, six days today. We’ve met some milestones since my last post. Last week, we officially graduated from our fertility clinic (a bittersweet moment, and I only cried a little…) and were FINALLY able to stop the progesterone shots, 2x/daily estrogen, and baby asprin.

I told my wife, I still sometimes put off brushing my teeth at night, because I sometimes forget that I don’t have to take a shot immediately afterward anymore. It’s been kind of glorious.

We are two weeks from being out of the risky first trimester and being able to tell our friends and extended family about the pregnancy. I have to admit, though: every day until then will continue to be a struggle.

I never considered how hard the first trimester may be. Not just because it is typically when most women experience the worst symptoms (though I’ve been quite lucky and have just been mildly nauseous and ridiculously tired); rather, you can’t yet feel the baby, hear a heartbeat, or have any inkling that they are alive other than ultrasounds. You don’t really FEEL pregnant (and sometimes I forget there is a tiny person living inside me). We were very fortunate and super spoiled to have had ultrasounds weekly throughout most of the first trimester. When we had our first OB visit yesterday, they were incredibly warm and welcoming and put me at ease right away, but they explained that neither a fetal heart scan, nor an ultrasound would be part of our first appointment, and I began to freak out a little since I’m headed across the country without my wife for the next few days and just want to know that I’m traveling with a living tiny travel buddy. They were so kind and understanding and squeezed us in for an ultrasound at a local radiology(?) facility, and I had my first trans-abdominal ultrasound (visualize a light shining down from the heavens and a chorus singing “ahhhhhhh!”), during which we saw baby moving around and his/her heart beating furiously at 155 BPM. The picture was not quite as clear as our prior trans-vaginal ultrasounds, so I am attaching the photo from last week (during which baby’s hand was at his/her mouth as the Doctor suggested…or perhaps they actually look like one of the Whoville Who’s from Dr. Seuss’ books…time will tell).

LO

I want to soak up every moment of this experience, but I’d also like to fast forward by a few weeks and feel some kicks, or SOME sign of a healthy, growing baby on a regular basis.

So…bring on the next ultrasound at week 12! We’ll hopefully hear the heartbeat and see another image of this sweet baby, and hopefully be able to put our first trimester fears behind us.

Love and baby dust to all. ❤

7 Weeks.

I’ve gotten significantly less fancy with my titles. I think the exhaustion of the last few weeks (and excitement of the holidays) is zapping my creativity.

On Christmas Eve, I was exactly 7 weeks pregnant: or 33 weeks from my August 12th due date. I think when I wrote last, we were awaiting our heartbeat ultrasound – which we have now done three times, and all three times little one was measuring on schedule and displaying a strong heartbeat (though due to the machinery in the doctor’s office, we couldn’t hear it or have it officially “measured”).

I have still been bleeding (spotting) sporadically (which is terrifying each time), and at one point it stopped altogether and then started again a few days later (right before the holiday) causing me to panic and think that it was unrelated to the first time. Fortunately, the compassionate nurses at my clinic encouraged me to come in for an extra ultrasound right before Christmas during which the ultrasonagrapher assured me that little one’s heartbeat looked clear on the screen and they were measuring exactly 6 weeks, five days (which is exactly what I was at that point, which made me feel so relieved).

The ultrasonagrapher said that I am likely one of a few “lucky” women who will experience periodic spotting throughout the first trimester. I also think it could be related to the ultrasound wands, as each time I have an ultrasound (still transvaginal) I tend to bleed a little the following day. Now that I’ve had 4 internals, I’m noticing a pattern. We’ll see what tomorrow brings since I just had one today, but as long as little one is looking strong on the screen, I’ll manage the bleeding just fine.

Today, we “saw” the brain hemispheres and heart chambers forming on the ultrasound (“saw” as in the ultrasonagrapher pointed them out in the grainy black and white image on the screen and I nodded like I understood what she was talking about…) and she said that in the next few weeks we should see images that more closely resemble the profile of a baby (opposed to our current absolutely adorable blob).

We told our immediate families about little one on Christmas Eve….we knew it was early, but they also knew about our miscarriage, and it was getting harder and harder to hide especially with all of the alcohol flowing around the holidays, so it was a great relief (and a lot of fun) to let them in on our little secret.

We ordered todder t-shirts for our three nieces that say “Cousins Make the Best Friends” and wrapped them up in this prank gift box:

 

toddlertamersFirst, we told my wife’s family on Christmas Eve. My sister-in-law blew right past the joke, and tore into the box. She spent a minute holding up the t-shirt and staring at it, before spinning it around for the rest of the family to see, and my wife’s brother screamed, “OH MY GODDDDDDD!!!!” and my mother-in-law started crying before my father-in-law shouted “holy shit!”

There were a ton of hugs exchanged, and everyone kept telling us how thrilled they were and asking questions about the pregnancy so far. No one guessed that we were keeping the secret, which made us feel super stealthy – especially since I work with my brother-in-law and see him everyday.

Then we told my family the following day. My sister opened the box on behalf of my nieces and stared at the box for a few minutes, asking if it was real and what she was supposed to do with the “toddler tamers”. After she got past the joke, she opened the box and pulled out the shirts (and other goodies we’d stuffed into each of the boxes) and looked at the shirts for a few minutes, puzzled. “But…they’re sisters, not cousins,” she speculated about my nieces. Her husband stared at her and said, “I think Jenn’s trying to tell you something,” and my mom added in “They’ll be cousins with her kids.” I softly added a “surprise” and my sister started hysterically crying and everyone got up to hug my wife and I. My dad had wandered out of the room momentarily (trying to open gifts with my family is akin to herding cats….) and when he came back, I showed him the shirts and he looked at me with a blank stare. I said, “Dad, the girls are going to have a new cousin in 2018…” and he got a big smile and walked over to hug my sister. She stopped him and said, “NO DAD, NOT A SIBLING…” and my dad looked confused again. I said, “Dad, we’re having a baby.” to which he responded, “Well why didn’t you just say that in the first place?!?” No trying to be cute with my dad…he’s far too practical.

Anyway, both announcements went really well, and we’re now just waiting until week 12 to let the rest of the world in on our secret.

I’ve felt pretty good for the most part. A little nauseous here and there (nothing even close to vomiting so far), but overall my biggest “problem” is not knowing what I want to eat. A lot of things that I usually enjoy just don’t seem appealing (such as Mexican food, which I LOVE). I have wanted a lot of soup and carbs (which I swore I wouldn’t do when I eventually got pregnant…I said I’d be the healthiest veggie and protein eater, and a lot of times its just tough to get some of those things down). I’m trying to incorporate in as many veggies as possible.

It feels so strange to say that “I’m pregnant”. I felt so strange today to hear the descriptions of the embryo growing from the ultrasonagrapher. When she talked about the heart chambers and the brain, it just became so real that there is a person living inside me: like, unless something bad happens – there is no turning back. We’re linked for the next 8 months. I feel confident that this “weird” feeling with eventually change, but it just felt so strange today.

Also, after I told my young cousin (who is part of my immediate family) she started kissing and rubbing my belly which also kind of freaked me out. I’m normally fine with hugs and things like that (and she’s a kid so she doesn’t mean anything by it), but I was thinking….”NO. My belly.” I don’t know if I’ll feel differently when I have a visible bump, but I just wanted to push her away. It felt so…odd.

Did anyone else feel strange at first when they were pregnant? Or am I totally freaking out for no reason?

Don’t get me wrong: I’m THRILLED (we both are). I’m thrilled to become a mom, to carry this baby, to FINALLY, FINALLY be pregnant (I felt like I’ve wished for this for so long), but it all just felt the tiniest bit strange after we told everyone.

Anyway, you may or may not have noticed my name drop above. I never sign my entries, but I have realized that as I try to explain each of your stories to my wife, it is so much easier when I have a name or at least an easily distinguishable blog name to share, and since many of you have become like family, I thought I owed you more than just “Mommysquared.” So, hi. I’m Jenn 🙂

 

Stay the course.

So, we had a bit of an up-and-down week.

Outside of the baby making process, we spent two days last week babysitting two of our three nieces (my sister has two girls: one who is two-years-old, the other 8 months), and my wife’s brother and his wife have a little girl who is 18 months). My sister and her husband are fortunate to have jobs that enable them to be home a lot of the time to care for their girls (they work opposite schedules) but every so often they have a day or two that is “uncovered” and they can generally get a family member to take the shift. My wife and I have a ton of time left to take off since this year was so busy, so we agreed to come down for two days to watch them.

First of all: I have a ton of respect for stay-at-home parents. It was literally 9am, and I turned around and it was 4:30pm, my sister was on her way home, and I was trying to convince the two-year-old to keep her clothes on and throw something together for dinner before my sister made it home for the night.

Don’t get me wrong: every woman (and man) in my family is a working parent, and I 1000% believe they are warriors for working so hard, having to leave their kiddos in someone else’s care, and do everything they can to provide a good life for their kids, but staying at home all day isn’t just watching soap operas and enjoying treats while you lay on the couch. It’s hard work.

Anyway, it was so wonderful to spend time with them because they live about two hours from us, and we really got to have some candid conversations about how we want to raise our kids (how to discipline, whether or not to sleep train, what to feed them, etc.). You don’t think of all of the nuances involved in raising a child (or how much the child’s personality can quickly change your plans), but seeing our siblings do it (the good and the bad) is giving us a good foundation. Its also helping my wife learn how to change diapers 🙂

On Saturday, my sister traveled closer to us to spend the weekend at my mom’s for my niece’s birthday. We went to a winter light show with the girls, and it was a blast seeing my niece tear into her birthday gifts. Last year, she was still so little, and now – at two – she has a ton of personality, so she really seemed to enjoy it all.

I got her a doctor set that was based on the television show Doc McStuffins (my niece doesn’t watch it yet, but is already beginning to show interest in role play, and I figured she’d love the little case that all of the pieces fit into, as she loves purses). It came with an adorable doll in a little ladybug outfit, and the doll happened to be black. My niece liked the doll (but was far more interested in the doctor kit), but my mom saw it and asked why we couldn’t find a nice blonde doll that looked like my niece, and my sister and I gently explained to her that my niece already has plenty of blonde dolls already [and could honestly probably stand to have a dump truck or tool kit or two in her toybox], and my sister went on to say how she wanted to begin to expose my niece to the beauty of black skin  in an effort to help my niece to be more respectful and appreciative of everyone from a young age.

My sister and I never had dolls that weren’t blonde haired and blue eyed. We lived in a homogeneous neighborhood, went to a homogeneous elementary school, and didn’t learn about other cultures until we moved in high school. Our minds were further pried open in college, and I know I still have a lot to learn, but I want my kids’ experiences to be different. I want them to know about the evil in this world and want to do better. I want them to see color, appreciate it, and love people. period.  I want them to taste food from many cultures, experience art made by people of all backgrounds, and learn from everyone they meet. I want them to be better than I was as a child.

No pressure, right?

I mean, I’m kind of kidding – there really is no pressure. We just want to do things from an early age to expose our kids to many different people and things in an effort to cultivate appreciation and respect.

Anyway – we wrapped up the weekend baking cookies with our third niece (which was the cutest thing ever) so it was a pretty perfect week.

On Saturday, we put in an impromptu bid on a home that is one block from a home we missed out on earlier this summer in our dream neighborhood. It was a little small, and needed some work, but it was right within our price range and in the most ideal location we could dream up.

We went through about 3 hours worth of work reviewing the contract to place an offer, only to find out on Sunday that our offer was rejected because the seller didn’t like that we needed to first sell our home in order to buy.

I mean, I guess there are lots of first time homebuyers out there, but the home wasn’t really being sold at a first-time-homebuyer-kind-of price. We’re not bitter. I promise.

how-rude

ANYWAY – I got that news during a morning during which I had some spotting that was making me a little nervous. Between the spotting, and the bad news about the house, I was in a pretty terrible mood, and laid down to take a nap. When I woke up and went to the bathroom, I noticed about a tablespoon of blood in the toilet when I stood up and called my wife in. Her face looked so incredibly defeated, and I started to cry. I called my doctor’s office, and they weren’t very concerned, but I thought that amount of blood in the toilet was above-and-beyond normal spotting, and began plotting next steps and preparing my heart for the worst news.

I had an appointment the next morning to have my blood drawn and HCG levels tested, and asked the nurse to please take pity and call me early with the results: good or bad. She rang around noon and left me a voicemail since I was in a meeting, and started out with, “I do have your results back, and trying to give you a call as soon as I can. Everything looks great, your HCG went up to 7600″… I almost fell out of my chair and couldn’t even listen to the rest of the message right away. We’d anticipated that based on a rate of doubling every two days since my last appointment, it should have been right around 3000, so 7600 blew our expectations out of the water. The following day, we had our first ultrasound and the ultrasonagrapher advised us that we could expect to see a gestational sack, but that it would likely be too early to see anything else. We were stunned to see the gestational sack clearly situated in the center of my uterus, and a tiny yolk sack inside as well. She told us that she saw more than she was hoping to and that it looked “perfect”. We have an appointment a week from now to *hopefully* see the first heartbeat. Fingers crossed for continued good news.

She said that the blood could have been due to the embryo burrowing, and that sometimes they hit blood vessels and she advised that in those cases – the blood has to go somewhere, and it typically drains out.

Later that night, our doctor called us and congratulated us again, and told us how eager he was to see us at our next appointment (we haven’t seen him in FOREVER since he bounces between offices and we usually have appointments with the nurses). I was really happy that he called.

So…things are well, but we’re still too early to be celebrating. Our plan is to tell our families on Christmas (which will be 7 weeks and 1 day….early, but we would just love that support, and can’t wait to tell people).

Still no symptoms aside from exhaustion which kicked in this week. I’ve been peeing a lot, but that’s been pretty consistent since I started the Progesterone shots.

Speaking of, I also had my first progesterone-in-ethyl-oleate shot last night and it went surprisingly well. I don’t seem to have had any reaction and am hopeful that it will work as well as the sesame oil. Fingers crossed.

Hope everyone else is experiencing good news and enjoying the holiday season. I know that this can be a rough time of year for some: if that’s you, hang in there (and hugs!). If you’re a holiday nut like me, enjoy 🙂

 

cbe

Progesterone In Oil Shortage

I was fortunate to start this cycle with 2.5 bottles of PIO from our last cycle, and I am slowly making my way down to one bottle so I decided to call in a refill to a nearby-ish fertility pharmacy.

Me: “Hi, I’d like to refill my prescription of progesterone in oil.”

Pharmacy tech lady: “Name and birthdate?” (…after filling her in…) “Okay, hold on one minute.”

Random pharmacy man: “Hello, um…there has been a nationwide shortage of progesterone for several weeks now. There is a long backlist. Would you like me to add you to it?”

Me: (now panicking) “How long has this been going On? When will it be in? WHAT DO I DO?!?”

Pharmacy man: “Its been going on for several weeks now. Every week they say they are getting more in, and so far…nothing.”

I subsequently launched into full panic mode and told both the pharmacy and the clinic that I was appalled that neither thought to advice their patients who rely on the medication after having invested thousands of dollars and their hopes and dreams into one of these cycle, and my clinic launched into crisis control and called the pharmacy to find out if they could make a substitute blend of progesterone in ethyl oleate, as I then found out that just the progesterone in sesame oil was affected.  (The clinic said they were told that it is manufactured in Puerto Rico – you know – the small hurricane ravaged island that is part of the USA that our president refuses to acknowledge is as devestated as it is and has denied all kind of aid to – yeah, that one. I swear I didn’t need another reason to dislike him.) My doctor said he could eventually swap me to suppositories, but he doesn’t like to do that until a few weeks later when things feel more certain and confident.

The pharmacy then called me back to let me know that the progesterone in ethyl oleate would be ready today. He also said that 99% of insurance companies Don’t cover the ethyl oleate blend….but our does. Go figure.

We will totally take what we can get, though. The only thing that makes me nervous is that I have read about a slot of women having reactions to the ethyl oleate and that it may not be fully supported across the medical community. I do trust my doctor, but have concerns as well.

Has anyone ever used the progesterone in ethyl oleate? Good? Bad? How about olive or cottonseed oil? I plan to inquire about those next if I react to the EO.

20171204_220317

(Wife giving me my injection)

 

In other news, we had our second beta test yesterday and my number increased as hoped to 341! I have my 3rd beta on Monday and an ultrasound shortly after as long as all continues to go well. I have begun having more regular cramping…similar to period cramps but very infrequent. No other symptoms.

Please keep the good vibes coming…we are not in the clear, yet!

Hugs and good wishes to all.

 

The results are in.

So I made it. I somehow made it the entire nine days since my transfer without going insane.

A work trip mid-week really helped to keep my mind occupied, but I still went to sleep and woke up fixated on whether or not our procedure worked.

As I mentioned in my last post: my symptoms have been…well, nonexistent. After our last transfer (when we miscarried an empty sack at 8 weeks) I felt light cramping (similar to period cramping except it was VERY light and not-very-painful), my boobs felt sore, and I was EXHAUSTED. All. The. Time.

This time, I’ve been tired (but that pretty much started the day I stopped drinking coffee about 3 days before the procedure), but not overly exhausted. No soreness. No cramps. I have felt a slight feeling of discomfort primarily on the left side of my lower abdomen (where I suspect my left ovary is) but am not sure why or what it means, or if it’s even related to the transfer.

So I was away for three days for the work trip, and the first day happened to be 5DPT (days past transfer) for me, which is when we got a faint positive the last time. I made a promise to my wife that I wouldn’t take a pregnancy test while I was away, but was so overwhelmed by the feeling that it didn’t work that I felt like the test would help to put my mind at ease one way or the other. I tested first thing in the morning (when I woke up at 5am) and climbed back in bed with the test. After my phone timer started buzzing, I reached over and turned on the bedside lamp, and looked at the test to see a single, lonely pink line. At that point, I began to feel pretty confident that it didn’t take. I had no symptoms, and I took the test around day 5 with not even a faint line. I just knew that was it.

After wallowing in sadness for the day – in between work meetings – I disclosed to my wife that I took the test and basked in her – seemingly undeserved – comfort, even though I broke my promise to not test while I was away. I then started to feel better and think about our next steps and we decided that we hoped to be able to transfer again as soon as possible and jump right back on the horse.

I woke up the next morning and decided to take one last test to confirm the results, and was surprised to see a faint pink line. I texted my wife a photo of the test with a message that said, “Um…maybe don’t count us out yet,” and got an immediate response of a surprised face emoji. We decided that we were excited, but very cautious. After all: we had a positive test the last time (4 to be precise) and ended up with a beta of approximately 20 (I can’t remember what it was exactly, now…its a few posts back if anyone wants to read it) and that led to our miscarriage. We decided that we wouldn’t get excited at all until we got a call with a solid beta number.

So today, we went in at 9:30 for my blood draw appointment – which ended up being pretty quick and painless other than a nasty bruise left where the needle went in.

20171203_152148

Afterward, we went to the mall for some shopping (which was literally the BEST as my wife hates shopping) and we picked up a few small Christmas gifts. As we were getting ready to leave the mall, I looked at my phone and noticed a missed call (with NO voicemail!) from the clinic, and we tried to call them back and remembered that they don’t take active calls over the weekend – they route them to an emergency call service. So we were left for another two hours panicking about our results, and kept going back and forth about whether the missed voicemail was good or bad.

Finally: we got a call from the nurse at the clinic who let us know that my HCG level was…..139!!!!

I immediately began tearing up and all I could think to say was “thank you”, to which she responded that the rest of my stats (progesterone and estrogen) also looked good and that I should continue my regimen of PIO shots, baby asprin, and estrogen pills. The nurse let us know that our regular nurse was in the office and was shouting “congratulations” in the background, and that the missed call was from the doctor himself who was calling to congratulate us. It was so incredibly overwhelming, and a place I never thought we’d get to (not even four days prior!).

You guys: we are pregnant. And my guarded heart knows that it isn’t time to celebrate yet: that we aren’t really out of the woods until we hear a heartbeat, then cross the 12 week threshold, then eventually hold a baby in our arms: and even then you aren’t ever fully certain how long you will have your baby. But we made it over hurdle number one. We made it with flying colors.

So on the way home, we stopped at one more store and picked up something small to celebrate this momentous day because we are living our dream right now. ❤

20171203_151307

It’s still so hard for me to write this, as I know so many people who aren’t there yet and we continue to pray with you, cheer for you, and send our positive thoughts and wishes that your miracles come quickly.

And please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as well. We made it over hurdle number one, but we have many more to go.

15123344248441668243064