Sunday, December 21, 2014

Two Months and a Bump in the Road

Carter is now 10 weeks old.  The past several weeks have been pretty rough and difficult for both of us.  When she was about 7 weeks, right around Thanksgiving, she started getting fussy when she would nurse.  She would cry, arch, and pull away. I thought it was her reflux getting worse.  The behavior gradually got worse.  After about a week of this, we had our scheduled 2 month check up so we of course talked to our Nurse Practitioner (who happens to be a friend of ours) about it and she too thought it sounded like reflux behavior and suggested that we add another reflux medication, Prevacid.  She also suggested I give up dairy for 2 weeks to see if that helped her symptoms, thinking it could be a milk allergy or intolerance.  Well that night, and for about the next 48 hours, things were awful.  She was refusing to nurse all together and would scream when I even attempted to feed her.  I was just as distraught  as she was.  The only way I could get her to eat was putting the bottle in her mouth when she was asleep or trying to nurse when she was asleep.  By the second day, I frantically called our pediatrician and demanded an appointment.  It had only been 48 hours since her 2 month check up but she was a totally different baby. She was extremely lethargic and I could tell was starting to get dehydrated. When they weighed her, she had lost 2 ounces since our appointment.  When I saw that on the scale, I lost it.  I tearfully explained everything that had transpired since 2 days earlier.  At that point, the nurse practitioner really thought that it was severe reflux and that her throat and esophagus were raw and inflammed.  She added another medicine to help soothe and coat her throat and made a referral to the pediatric GI specialist.   She also wanted to get an ultrasound to rule out something called Pyloric Stenosis, which would require surgery.  We had the ultrasound that afternoon and it was negative fortunately.  This past Monday we saw the GI doctor.  She had not gained any weight since the appointment on Wednesday the previous week which was concerning.  Their thinking also was reflux and possibly a milk allergy.  They recommended doing 2 days of hypoallergenic formula to see how she did and give my milk time to clear the milk proteins.  Apparently even though I thought I had been "dairy free" for a week, I had been consuming a couple things with dairy in them my "non dairy" coffee creamer which still contained a milk protein called Casein in it. Who knew?  They also recommended I give up soy as well since a lot of babies with milk allergies or intolerances also have a problem with soy.  So as of Monday, I am off all dairy and soy.  I am reading all labels and double checking everything I put in my mouth.  We went back for a follow up on Wednesday and she had gained 3 ounces!  Thank the Lord.  I was thrilled.  As of Wednesday afternoon, we are nursing again but also supplementing with some formula.  Nursing is getting better ever so slowly.  She doesn't seem to be fighting it as much and doesn't seem as miserable after she eats.  I am hoping and praying that we are over the hump and that things will continue to get better.

I realized the past few weeks how easy of a baby Carter was the first 7 weeks.  She ate great, slept great and was generally very happy and content unless she was hungry or tired.  I hope that with these changes of medications and my dietary changes that my sweet girl will feel more like herself again.  This parenting stuff is hard, y'all.  When she would not eat and was so pitiful and lethargic, I have never felt more helpless in my life and it was an absolutely horrible feeling.  I must have cried just as much as she did and I would have given anything to take away her pain and discomfort.  I am so blessed to have so much support from Harrison and my family.  I don't know how people do this alone.

Starting to give tiny, purposeful smiles! 
Before her "Sip and See," wearing a smocked dress her grandmother made her and her first time wearing shoes! 

Carter's first Thanksgiving!

Another thing we are struggling with are naps.  We are very fortunate that she does great at night and has started sleeping through the night some or just waking up once around 3-4 AM to eat.  I feed her around 7 or so and she goes to bed right after and then I wake her up (or sometimes she wakes on her own) around 9:30 or 10 to eat and then goes right back down.  Naps on the other hand are a different story.  We have not sleep trained her yet. I tried around 6 weeks and I just don't think she was ready (or maybe I wasn't).  Then about a week later, all the reflux stuff started so there has just been too much going on.  We are still swaddling, rocking, and patting (girl likes a firm butt pat!) to go to sleep.  Once asleep, we put her in the rock and play and she sleeps 20-30 minutes but then wakes up.  She doesn't wake up crying or anything.  I've heard of the "45 minute intruder" where in a baby's sleep cycle, they arouse after about 45 minutes.  I let her lay in her rock and play without going in, but she never falls back asleep.  After about 20 minutes, she will start to fuss.  By this time, its usually pretty close to time for her to eat again.  We try to stick to the Baby Wise routine of eat, play, sleep but its hard when after she's eaten, she's usually been awake for close to 2 hours and falls asleep eating.  I'm just not sure what to do.  I don't know if she's just needing to be sleep trained so that she will learn to soothe herself back to sleep once she wakes up in the middle of a nap or what.  Any advice from moms out there?  When did you sleep train and how did you do it?  Did you let them cry it out?

Stats:  Weight- 9 lbs 8 oz on 12/8 (20th percentile), then lost 2 oz on 12/10.  Was 9lb 9oz on 12/17.
           Height- 22.1 inches (50th percentile)
           Head Circumference- 39 cm (60th percentile)

Likes:  Still likes all types of motion. We discovered in doing bottles that she likes white noise, mostly the sound of running water when she eats.  And yes, we have tried all kinds of apps. We even recorded the sound of the facet on my phone but girl knows the difference and prefers the real thing!

Dislikes:  Sadly our biggest dislike right now is eating, nursing or bottle. I wish at least one way was easy.  If she would take a bottle easily without a fight I would probably just go that route and give up breastfeeding.  Right now, both forms are a pretty frustrating, stressful and hard 30-45 minutes.  What's harder is that I'm the only one that can do it.  She hasn't taken a bottle from Harrison or my mom...just me. Its exhausting.  Its heartbreaking knowing that her most basic and essential need right now is causing her pain, discomfort, and making life pretty hard.  I can only hope and pray that this is just a phase and that it will get easier with some time.

Friends, please be praying for us that things start to get better and that we can get all this stuff with eating figured out.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

One Month Old!

* I wrote this post last week but but hadn't proof read it yet when Carter wanted to eat and I just realized I never posted it. I'll blame it on new mommy brain!

    Pardon my blogging absence the last month....I've been a little busy!  I can not believe she is a month old already.  The last month I really have tried to savor every moment with my daughter.  It is still very surreal to look at her and know she is here and she is ours.  I still have moments every few days where I just stare at her and my love for her completely overwhelms me and I start crying.  She is such a blessing and life has never been sweeter.

     The past month has been so wonderful and full of love.  Don't get me wrong, there have been hard moments when my patience has worn thin or being overly tired has gotten the best of me, but overall, it truly has been amazing.  Carter is really a great baby.

      The first couple weeks were mostly dedicated to my recovery and getting to know our sweet girl.  She got down to 6 lbs 10 oz when we were discharged from the hospital which was an 11% loss from her birth weight so we had weight checks a couple times a week to make sure she was gaining weight adequately.  I nursed every 2-3 hours the first few weeks and once we both got the hang of nursing, she started putting on weight like a champ and has been consistently gaining an ounce a day every since.  Her most recent weight as of Monday the 3rd was 8 lbs 4 oz.  We are now nursing every 2-3 hours during the day but letting her sleep and feed on demand at night.  I usually feed her around 10 or 10:30 and she'll sleep usually about 5 hours so I am getting some good stretches of sleep myself which has been great. 

     Carter has been refluxing so we went to the doctor and are now on a low dose reflux medication.  It will take about 2 weeks to see if it works or if we need to go up on the dose.  Now for what you really want to! 

Being this cute is exhausting!

Stats: Weight 8 lbs 4 oz (25 %) Height 21.4 inches (75%) Head Circumference 36.5 cm (50%)

Likes: Motion! Good grief this girl loves to move.  Anything with movement she is a big fan of...swing, Mamaroo, car, Harrison or I walking around with her, etc.  If it moves, she loves it.  

Paci:  She didn't start really loving the paci till about a week ago.  Its not a must for her to fall asleep or for her to be content, but when she's fussy either from reflux or being tired, she really likes it.  We are using the Soothie brand, wubbanub, or we just discovered she likes the same brand my niece uses which are Born Free.  

Eating: Obviously by her ounce a day weight gain.  Like I said, after the first week or so, we both got the hang of it and now its going great.  

Being Swaddled- calms her down and definitely keeps her asleep for long stretches at night!  

Cuddles and snuggles- Loves to be held! I may or may not be completely spoiling her but I'm sorry, there is nothing better than cuddling with her and having her nuzzle her head into my neck and fall asleep on my chest.  I have waited 3 years to hold her and love on her and I am savoring every moment.  

Music/white noise- she likes being sung to or being shhh'd to when she is fussy or falling asleep.  

Dislikes:  Reflux- poor girl.  You can tell it hurts her.  She is fussy after eating and is spitting up some after she eats.  She will be completely calm, then get really upset and you can hear and see her refluxing. I really hope the medication will help soon! 

Reflux Medication- Its a catch 22.  Seriously, does it have to taste like that?  Even with some "flavoring" which I requested they add, its still pretty gross.  I don't know why they can't make all liquid medication taste like the pink bubblegum Amoxicillin.  

When the movement stops- Example: Why must I stop the motion of the car at red lights?  

Life is pretty great y'all.  My only issue I've been having has been with my neck.  Nursing is really tough on my neck. Constantly looking down is painful.  My range of motion from my 2 cervical fusions and all the hardware has always been limited and has always been more limited looking down.  I am getting by with ibuprofen a couple times a day so far but it hurts, I'm not gonna lie.  This is another area where I have tried not to put expectations on myself.  I want to nurse for as long as possible for her benefit of course, but realistically, I don't know physically how long I will be able to. I know as she gets bigger and weighs more, I will have more pain as I care for her.  If/when I start having to take pain medicine again regularly, I will have to wean her to formula.  I'm just trying to take it a day at a time.  I am going to call Vanderbilt Pain Clinic and hopefully be able to have a radio-frequency ablation on my right side (the worst side) sometime soon.  Hopefully that will help extend the amount of time I can nurse and decrease the amount of pain I am having.  

Other than that, everything is going really well.  We are so blessed. It may sound cliche, but motherhood is truly better than I ever expected.  Its amazing to me to look at her ultrasound pictures that still hang on the fridge or her little embryo picture and then look at her beautiful face as she is cradled in my arms and know where she came from and how hard we worked to have her here. My heart is so full and I'm so incredibly happy.  We certainly have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving! 

Till next time...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Carter Elizabeth

     Harrison and I are thrilled to announce the birth of our beautiful daughter Carter Elizabeth!  She was born Tuesday, October 7 at 2:25 pm and weighed 7 lbs 7.2 oz (EXACTLY what her growth ultrasound predicted on Monday!) and was 20 inches long.  She is perfect.

     About 12 hours after I posted on the blog last Monday, I went into labor on my own.  After my appointment on Monday, I was having some contractions that were a little stronger than what was typical for me and my low back was hurting.  One of very best friends (whom I shared a due date with!) had her baby girl the previous Thursday so we went over to their house to meet her and have dinner with them Monday night.  We got home Monday night and went to bed.  I woke up around 4 AM to go to the bathroom and couldn't fall back asleep, so I turned on the TV.  Around 5:30 I was getting pretty drowsy so I rolled over in bed and felt a water breaking! It was definitely a strange sensation but not a big gush of water like you see in movies.  I went to the bathroom and verified that it was indeed my water breaking.  I woke up Harrison and called the on call doctor.  She said to head on in to the hospital but that it didn't sound like we needed to be in a huge rush as my contractions were about 10 minutes apart.  I took a quick shower, we finished packing up, said goodbye to the dog and life as just the two of us and headed to the hospital.  By the time we arrived to the hospital about an hour after my water had broken, my contractions were about 4 minutes apart, and man, did they hurt.  Since we got to the hospital right around 6:30, there were 2 other pregnant women checking in for scheduled deliveries. They were nice enough to let me check in first since it was clear that I was in active labor!

     I was triaged and checked and was 4.5 cm dilated.  They got me in a room and I immediately asked for my epidural which I got around 8 AM.  (P.S.  Epidurals are completely amazing and I am convinced are a gift from God! Any woman that can do labor naturally is my hero!)  After my epidural, they checked me and I was 8cm!  By 10 AM I was completely dilated.  It was a crazy day on the Labor and Delivery floor.  There were 2 c-sections my doctor needed to do and  2 other women in labor and delivering when I was! Because of the craziness and since they knew I wanted to limit the amount of pushing, they let me "labor down" for a few hours.  Basically it was letting my body and contractions to push her lower. I had my epidural so I was completely comfortable. Till about 1pm, they let me labor down and we hung out in the room with my family.

    Around 1pm, the doctor was finally available, so they got everything all set up and ready for her big arrival.  (Crazy side note: My in laws were on their way from Nashville so my mom was texting with my mother in law and giving her updates.  My mom mentioned the doctor's name, who was another doctor in the practice on the non high risk side, but not my usual doctor.  It turns out, the doctor that was about to deliver my daughter was the same doctor that delivered my husband 30 years ago!!) I officially started pushing at 1:50pm and at 2:25pm, our sweet daughter was born!  I can't even explain the flood of emotions I had when I saw her come out and heard her cry.  Harrison and I both immediately broke down in sobs. I felt incredible joy, love, and thankfulness but also relief and the overwhelming sense of "finally!"  It was the culmination of emotions of 3 years of infertility and failures and finally overcoming all the hurdles. We waited so long and worked so hard for that moment. It was a moment that is impossible to adequately put into words.

     When my water broke, their was a slight hint of meconium (aka baby's poop) so they immediately took her to the warmer to suction her really well and assess her.  She was crying and doing well but because of the possibility of meconium aspiration, Harrison was only able to hold her for a minute. I was able to give her a few kisses, but then they took her to the nursery to be hooked up to an oxygen monitor for a little while to make sure her breathing and oxygen status were ok.

A couple hours later, we were reunited with our daughter.  Introducing Carter Elizabeth...

Meeting her Great Grandmother and Namesake, Harrison's grandmother Carter

     We were discharged Friday afternoon and began our life as a family of 3! 

Going home with our girl! 
The past week has been wonderful.  We are soaking up every moment with our sweet girl.   Harrison was able to take a full week off work so he went back yesterday for his first full day.  I've had some help during the day from my mom and mother-in-law which we are so thankful and grateful for.  We are tired but are getting some sleep between feedings.  Carter so far is a great baby and I am loving motherhood.  It still feels very surreal that she is here and in my arms, but I am so happy I sometimes just look at her and start crying.

Her newborn photo shoot. 4 days old

8 days old
     I know I say this at the end of pretty much every post but I can't thank each of you enough for all the love, support and prayers over the past 9 months of pregnancy, 3 years of infertility, or 5 years of my health issues.  We wouldn't be where we are without you.  Your prayers were heard and answered in the most amazing, incredible ways.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Bump Update: 38 and 39 Weeks and the Final Countdown!!

Well, I made it! It's October ya'll!  It's baby month! And it looks like I am going to be having this baby sometime this week! I feel like it was just yesterday I was anxiously waiting for the phone to ring to hear the results of our beta test.  When we were told it was positive and I talked to the Nurse Practitioner from our IVF clinic, I remember her specifically saying that our due date was October 9.  It seemed so far away.  Now, 9 months later, its finally October and I am less than a week away from my due date.  It's all completely surreal.  

How far along: I am just a few days away from my due date...39 weeks, 4 days

Trimester: Third

Gender: Can't wait to hold my little girl!

Size of baby:  In fruit and vegetable terms, she is the size of a mini-watermelon.  In actual size, she is probably around 7- 7.5 pounds if her growth has continued on the same growth curve she has been on.  Went for my growth ultrasound this morning and she measured 7 lbs 7 oz (40th percentile) so she is a really good size...not too big but not too little!

Sleep:  Still not great and there is at least one point during the night that I can't fall back asleep for hours after getting up to go to the bathroom.  I start thinking about what it will be like when/if I go into labor on my own and day dreaming about seeing her face for the first time.

Best Moments: My mom's friends threw me a baby shower this past Sunday which was so special.  We are so blessed to have so many people in our life that love us, support us, and love our baby girl already!

Worst Moment: I don't usually do a worst moment but this week I ended up getting pretty sick with a sinus infection and upper respiratory infection.  I started sneezing a lot at my baby shower on Sunday and thought it was just allergies.  By Monday I was really congested.  I woke up Tuesday morning at 3 AM and felt absolutely awful.  I was coughing a lot and had a low grade fever.  When I would  lay down, my chest was tight and painful and it was hard to breathe.  When I called my OB to ask what medications I could take, they really wanted me to be seen by my primary care doctor.  So I went and got checked out and was put on an antibiotic and inhaler.  I feel better but am still coughing and have some congestion.  I am hoping that over the next few days it will start to clear up and I will be completely well by the time I have this baby! It is definitely no fun being sick and super pregnant at the same time!

Miss Anything:  Decent sleep, not having to pee every 30 minutes, and in general just being comfortable.

Symptoms:  Contracting a lot each day.  At my check last week I was 1 cm dilated and 80% effaced so my body is doing something.  After A LOT of thoughtful prayer and consideration, I have decided to try a vaginal delivery.  My doctor and Nurse Practitioner said that doing an induction with me starting out having already made some progress on my own typically makes for a better, smoother induction process.  
As of this morning I am now 3 cm and 90% effaced. Personally I'm not really wanting to go too far past my due date.  We had talked about maybe inducing on Friday if she hadn't made her appearance by then but after my appointment this morning, we've decided to wait it out a little longer.  One of my doctors (the one I saw this morning) had rotator cuff surgery a couple weeks ago so he is still in a big sling contraption and not doing deliveries.  My other doctor will be out of town on Friday so even though I'd have to wait a few more days, I'd rather have one of my doctors there for delivery so I have another appointment next Monday.  If she hasn't come by then, we will induce on Tuesday when I am 40 weeks, 5 days.  My doctor doesn't want me to go past Tuesday or Wednesday since I have gestational diabetes.  He really thinks though with my current status and the progress I am making that I will probably go into labor on my own sometime this week.

My doctor and nurse practitioners have been really great and understanding.  They have promised me that if at any point during labor or delivery, my neck and back are causing me too much pain for me to continue, that they will completely respect my decision and wouldn't deny me the option of a c-section.  Knowing that I'm not locked in and knowing that they understand my fears and concerns made it easier for me to decide to try a vaginal delivery.  I am going in with very little expectations for myself or my body.  I would love it if I can delivery vaginally, but I know that I will be putting my neck and back through a lot of stress and strain that it isn't used to so I really have no idea how much it will be able to tolerate.  With all the damage, hardware, nerve issues, spinal stenosis, bone spurs, muscles spasms, etc., I know that my neck is fragile.  I am just hoping that maybe it can hold up long enough for a successful, and relatively pain free (neck wise) delivery.

Looking forward to: Meeting my daughter, seeing her face, and holding her for the first time!

Please be praying for us in these final days and that whenever and however she decides to make her debut, it will be a safe a relatively smooth process! Thanks for your support!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Bump update: 35-37 Weeks and Delivery options

So I sat down to write the bump update for this week thinking I had already done posts for the last 2 weeks but apparently I never did!  Things have been pretty busy these last few weeks with final preparations to get ready for our girl.

You know those women who say how much they love being pregnant and could be pregnant forever because they feel so great...yeah, I'm not one of them.  Physically, I've hit a wall.    The last month of pregnancy is hard y'all.  I'm tired, having a lot of back pain, and overall, just really uncomfortable.  But I've also never been so happy and felt so blessed, so as much as I want to moan and groan, I can't complain because I know all my aches, pains, and exhaustion are so worth it.

How far along: Today starts week 38.

Trimester: Third...I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Gender:  Can't wait to meet our little GIRL! 

Size of baby:  At our 36 week growth ultrasound, she measured exactly 6 pounds which is perfectly average (45th percentile).  

Sleep:  While I don't want to complain, this is one area I am struggling.  I am exhausted.  Sleep is pretty lousy.  It takes me a couple hours to get comfortable enough to fall asleep, then when I do fall asleep, it doesn't last long because I wake up to go to the bathroom and then the process starts all over.  The hours between 3 AM- 6 AM are usually especially difficult.  Its frustrating being exhausted but not being able to sleep.  I guess I'm just getting prepared to have a newborn! 

Best Moments:  Finishing the nursery!  My mom painted the custom closet shelving that my awesome husband built in the double closets and I bought some storage baskets so I was finally able to get things organized like I wanted to.  Little things like having diapers on the changing table and a sheet on the crib make it feel very real.  We do still have to hang a couple pictures but everything else is finally done! 

Miss Anything: Being comfortable and being able to move about and do things without feeling like I'm in an olympic event!  Funny story about my week 36 picture...Its hard to tell but I am wearing boots. We were about to go out to eat with some friends and I was ready to break out the fall boots for the first time.  Well being pregnant in the warm, summer months, I've just slipped my feet into flip flops and sandals all summer.  I went to put on socks and realized after performing some contortionist moves and quickly getting out of breath that this was not an easy task or a possibility.  I had to get Harrison to put my socks on my feet.  He thought it was hilarious.  

Symptoms:  I had an appointment on Monday for my scheduled Non Stress Test.  I wasn't scheduled to see the doctor or anything because I had another appointment for and office visit, NST, and fluid check that was supposed to be today.  During the non stress test, I am hooked up to a monitor to track her heart rate and a contraction monitor.  They like to see her heart rate be "reactive"...meaning it will be variable and increase with her movements.  About 15 minutes in, her heart rate was just staying put around 130 and she wasn't moving much so they tried to use a little buzzer to wake up her up.  Well apparently she's like her mama and doesn't like to be woken up so she wouldn't cooperate.  Because of the non-reactive result, they wanted to take a peak at her on ultrasound.  I also was having contractions through the non stress test so that bought me a doctor's visit to be checked for my progress.  Long story short, she looked great and active on ultrasound.  They even saw hair!  When the doctor checked me, I am thin and dilated to 1 cm.  So my body is trying to do something apparently!  

Looking forward to:  My second baby shower thrown by my mother's friends is on Sunday and of course, the day when our girl decides to make her debut!

Speaking of her debut, I am really conflicted about how she will make her debut.  While there is no obstetrical reason for me to have a schedule c-section, it has been something I've been thinking and praying about for months because of my neck and back.  I, as well as Harrison, my family, and my pain doctor, are all pretty concerned about the delivery and the possibility of pushing for a long time. Because of my surgeries and hardware, I physically would probably not be able to push for much more than an hour.  If I had to push for 2 or 3 hours, I would be in agony and could even cause more damage to my neck.  I am planning on getting an epidural for sure, but pain wise for my neck and upper back, we've talked to an anesthesiologist and unfortunately there isn't anything they could give me during labor and delivery for my neck pain.  He actually suggested a c-section and my pain doctor thinks that would probably be better as well.  My OB understands my concerns and has agreed to do a scheduled c-section if thats what we want to do.  There really is no way to know how long my labor and delivery would be obviously, but from most people I've talked to, it seems that induction deliveries are harder on your body and you tend to push longer.  So as of right now, I think the plan is to set a c-section date for maybe Monday, October 6 ( I would be 39 weeks 4 days).  If I go into labor on my own before then, I will probably try a vaginal birth and just pray that it is quick and that I can physically handle pushing.  This is a really hard decision and predicament to be in.  I want to do whats best for her obviously, but I am also terrified of doing damage to my neck that would cause me more pain short and long term.  I have worked so, so hard to make the progress I have with my pain and to get to the quality of life I have now.  Thinking of starting off my role as a mom being in extreme pain, back on a lot of medication, etc., is a heartbreaking thought.  Please, please be praying for us (myself, Harrison, our daughter, and my family) as we make the final decision and for the delivery, no matter what method it ends up being.

As always, thank you for your support!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

What a Difference a Year Makes...

One year.  365 days.  It some aspects it seems like a long time, but it many other aspects, it feels like it was just yesterday.  This time of year, and this week in particular brings up a lot of emotions for me.   For those that know me, you know that on September 13 of last year, my sister had her first child, a little girl, Ingrid.  This was such an exciting, special day for our family.  I have a beautiful step-niece whom I love and adore who is almost 8 and has been in our lives since she was 2, but Ingrid was our family's first baby.  I must have taken over 400 pictures that day at the hospital.  I was enamored by her beauty and I immediately fell in love with her.  But as happy as I was, my heart was also breaking.

In August, after the failure of our 9th fertility assisted cycle and our 6th IUI, we decided that before moving onto IVF we wanted to do another laproscopic surgery and hysteroscopy to check to see if there was any obvious reason that things weren't working.  It had been 3 years since my last laproscopy, which found a significant amount of scar tissue, adhesions, and cervical stenosis.  We were hoping to find something that would possibly explain our infertility and that could have been an easy fix, but we were told by my doctor that unless he saw something that really blew him away, his recommendation would be to pursue IVF in Nashville.

The morning of September 16, 2013, I was being prepped for surgery on the first floor of the hospital while 2 floors above me, my sister was being discharged and taking her newborn baby girl home.  It was a crazy day for my family as my mom and dad were literally riding the elevators between the floors switching off roles and trying to be there for both of us.  I awoke in recovery and looked at Harrison and I knew the results.  My doctor came to talk to us and said while he did find some endometriosis and scar tissue, overall he was not "impressed" and did not think it was enough to warrant trying anything else.

The next few days were some of the lowest I had during our whole journey.  I was devastated.  During all the other treatments, I did not allow myself to grieve each negative result.  I just kept going and kept cycling.  I finally did grieve some after our December cycle when I had my gallbladder fiasco and we took a 6 month break, but I still don't think that I fully let myself feel everything I needed to feel because I would always just focus on our next attempt and counting the days on the calendar.  I just never thought we would need IVF.  The thought of IVF was terrifying to me at this point.  It seemed so huge, daunting, and the end all be all.  I guess knowing it was the final option was what made it so terrifying for me.  Physically, emotionally, and financially it just seemed so extreme. When we were first on clomid,  I knew there was always the option of IUI.  When we started IUIs, there was always the option of injectables. On injectables and IUI, there was always the thought that "well, if this doesn't work, we always have IVF."  Now, here I was, staring down our final option.

The day after my surgery was my mom's birthday. She was staying with my sister since she had had a c-section, so we all went over there for dinner.  I watched my sister and brother in law with their newborn daughter as well as my parents and I saw their joy and love for this new, tiny little person, and I was completely broken.  I remember sitting around the dinner table that night trying so hard to hold it all together telling everyone I was "fine." Of course, no one bought it and after a lot of encouragement to talk about what I was feeling, I broke down.  I remember specifically saying that maybe I just needed to come to terms with the fact that children may not be our future and that I may never get to experience what my sister currently was.  My mind was automatically taking me to the darkest of places.  I started to tell myself that IVF wasn't going to be an option because I thought the doctors would look at my medical history and pain issues and tell us they wouldn't do it. I argued that we couldn't adopt for the same reason.  In those days and weeks before our IVF consultation, I honestly was preparing myself to come to terms with idea of a life without children.  I cried and grieved more during these weeks that I had in the previous 2 1/2 years.

One year later...I am just a few short weeks away from meeting our daughter, our miracle.  I still can't believe it.  Nine months later and I am still completely blown away by the success of our first IVF cycle: 11 embryos, 1 transferred, 10 frozen.  Our beautiful transferred embryo implanted and has grown the last 37 weeks into the currently six pound baby girl that is kicking me in the ribs, pressing on my bladder, keeping me awake at night, and generally just making me quite uncomfortable...but I wouldn't have it any other way.

To those who are still struggling with the heartbreak of infertility,  I write all this to give you hope, to encourage you not to give up on your dream, even if you are feeling that you are at your lowest point and are questioning how much more you can take.  Your miracle could be only a few weeks or months away and it is truly amazing the difference only one year, 365 days, can make.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Bump Update: Weeks 31-34

I seriously can't believe we are only about a month away from meeting our baby girl.  I don't know whether it's because of the summer or what but the weeks are flying by.  I will be 35 weeks tomorrow. Here are the bump pictures from the last few weeks...

How far Along: Going into my 35th week

Trimester: Third

Gender:  Sweet baby girl

Size of the baby: As of week 34, the websites say she is the size of a cantaloupe and about 4 3/4 pounds.  We will find out her exact weight at our growth ultrasound next week.  

Maternity clothes: Absolutely!

Stretch marks: A few small ones have come up on my hips.  Applying Bio Oil and Palmers cream a couple times a day!  Who knows if it does any good.

Sleep:  I don't know if my body is just preparing me for having a newborn but several nights a week, I wake up at around 3:30 to go to the bathroom and can't fall back asleep till 5:30 or 6.  It is so frustrating to toss and turn and then I start thinking about what I have left to do and making lists in my head.  Again, maybe my body is preparing itself for being up for 3 AM feedings!

Best Moments:  I had my first baby shower on August 10 and it was wonderful.  It was so surreal and I actually cried during it because I never thought I would get to have one.  I felt so blessed.  I will try to do a blog post soon with some pictures!

Miss Anything: Being able to see my feet when I look down and being able to bend over and move easily!  I feel huge and the belly definitely gets in the way!

Symptoms:  A LOT of contractions.  I went in for a standard non stress test at 32 weeks and was contracting the whole time which caused some concern. Baby girl was active and kept her heart rate up throughout all the contractions which was great to know.  I was checked to see if I was dilated and luckily I wasn't but my cervix was thin.  They ran a Fetal Fibronectin test which if positive tells you that you are at high likelihood to deliver in the next 2 weeks.  Again, fortunately I was negative so they did not put me on bed rest but did tell me I needed to start taking it easy and really monitoring how many contractions I was having.  Because of their concern, I am going twice a week now for non stress tests to monitor her and make sure she continues to handle the contractions well and I get my amniotic fluid level checked once a week so I get to see her quickly on ultrasound each week.

Cravings: Still on my ice kick.  After a few weeks of trial and error, I have pretty much learned how my body responds to certain foods and have been able to manage the Gestational Diabetes pretty well.  I have learned that I can eat small portions of bread and pasta.  Having GD has actually made me much more self aware of everything I am eating and how much.  Because I have to write down everything I eat for the nutritionist, I am much more aware of making sure I am getting enough calories and protein, eating snacks, not missing meals, and eating enough fruits and vegetables.   I feel like I am eating a much more balanced, healthy diet so in the long run, it hasn't been as bad as I thought.

Looking forward to:  Seeing her on ultrasound this week for my fluid check and finding out how big she is at our growth ultrasound next week!

As far as preparation goes, I feel like we are getting close to being ready.  The nursery is painted and all set up.  Harrison is adding some new shelving in the closets so I haven't been able to organize her clothes or closet but once he gets that finished up in the next week, I will be able to hang up all her cute little outfits.  I did my first load of her laundry over the weekend and it was heavenly. I actually started to tear up folding her tiny things and smelling the sweet smell of baby detergent.  Its just so surreal and I still can't believe it is happening to me!!

As far as my pain goes, carrying the extra weight is definitely affecting my neck and spine but I am doing everything I can to manage it without medication and am only taking medication on rare occasions.  I am uncomfortable and in pain most all the time, but it's not unbearable for the most part.  I see my chiropractor and massage therapist once a week and will probably start going twice a week in these final weeks.  I sleep with a heating pad, take tylenol, and rest a lot.   My doctors are very, very pleased and impressed and are hopeful that our sweet girl will be born perfectly healthy.  Please pray for me these final 5 weeks that I can continue to manage my pain without medication without being miserable.  I knew going into the pregnancy that the last 4-6 weeks would be the hardest and  most challenging pain wise so I've been preparing mentally but it is still very difficult emotionally and physically on the bad days when I feel bad, so please pray that these days are few and far between.

Thank you for your continued support and prayers.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Bump update: Weeks 26-30

The summer and the weeks of this pregnancy are really flying by.  We have had a pretty good summer, although the past 3 weeks or so of the pregnancy have been eventful.  Our little girl is keeping things interesting and keeping us on our toes!!  We went to Hilton Head the end of July and did have to make a trip to the hospital to be monitored in the middle of the night one night after I had contractions for about 2 hours that I couldn't get to subside on my own.  They monitored us for about 2 hours and I got fluids till the contractions subsided.  Fortunately, baby girl looked strong and active throughout and I was not dilated at all.  They thought I had just gotten really dehydrated and it took my body a while to catch up.

Last week I went for my Glucose tolerance test and much to my surprise, I failed, meaning I have gestational diabetes.   For some reason, this was something that never really occurred to me that I could suffer from. So I started tracking my blood sugar 4 times a day, monitoring ketones, and writing down everything I eat.  On Wednesday we had our scheduled 30 week growth ultrasound and a meeting with the diabetes educator.  During the meeting with the educator, I started to get light-headed.  I looked at Harrison and the educator and said "I feel light headed all of a sudden..." and that's the last thing I remember.  I completely passed out.  Luckily Harrison was sitting right beside me and was able to catch be before I slid out of my chair and hit the floor.  I woke up to a room full of nurses and my doctor.  My blood sugar was fine but my blood pressure was a little elevated.  They put me in an ultrasound room to lie down and go ahead and perform the ultrasound to check on the baby.  She looked great and active as usual.  They did some blood work and made me stay lying down for awhile.  My doctor thinks it was just a fluke and that the baby was just in a weird position and either lying or could have kicked a major blood vessel, causing my blood pressure to drop quickly and causing me to pass out.  He thought my blood pressure was elevated after the episode as my body was compensating for the drop in pressure.  I've felt ok for the most part since it happened and have not passed out again, although my blood sugars have been really erratic since Wednesday.  I see my doctor and the diabetes educator again on Wednesday this week.  I'm glad that if this was going to happen, it happened at my doctor's office, but it was scary.  I am hoping and praying it was just a fluke, one time occurrence.

How far along: I am now in my 31st week.  My due date is only a mere 2 months from today! Crazy!

Trimester: Third

Gender:  Girl

Size of baby:  Our sweet baby girl is measured 3 lbs 11 oz this week at our growth ultrasound.  She is in the 45 percentile.  She is gaining steadily and it seems like my placental issue isn't affecting her growth at all!

Maternity clothes: Absolutely.  Regular t-shirts are too snug and I am wearing Harrison's shirts to sleep in now!

Stretch marks: Noticed a few teeny, tiny marks near my hips but can't tell if they are stretch marks or just veins. Needless to say I'm upping up my game on using bio-oil and other creams!

Sleep:  Mostly good.  Waking up a few times at night to go to the bathroom but usually able to fall back to sleep ok.

Best Moments:  I love feeling her move and now I can see her move!  It's all still very surreal. Each ultrasound is wonderful as well.  I love hearing her sweet heartbeat and seeing her wiggle around!

Miss anything:  I finally found something I miss other than sushi and alcohol....carbs!  Now that I have Gestational diabetes and have been monitoring my blood sugars, it seems my body does not tolerate carbs like bread, pasta, and rice very well at all so I have been really limiting my intake which is hard, because those that know me, know I LOVE pasta.  So now I'm craving, missing, and dreaming of a big ole bowl of pasta with butter and parmesean cheese!

Symptoms:  Having a few Braxton hicks contractions daily now. Luckily they aren't painful but they still keep me on edge after our couple scares.  I am really careful about keeping count of them.

Cravings:  Still on a major ice binge.  Buying bags from Sonic and eating it by the spoonful!

Looking forward to:  My first baby shower hosted by my best friends TOMORROW!! Post coming soon!

Please be praying that things calm down as we go through these last several weeks of pregnancy!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Bumpdate: Weeks 20-25

Hey there.  Horribly bad blogger here.  I have been doing weekly bump pictures but have been awful about uploading them and writing each week.  Several people have asked for an updated bump shot so here you go!

How far along:  We are now in our 26th week.  Third trimester is right around the corner!

Trimester: Second

Gender: Sweet baby GIRL!

Size of baby:  Will find out specifics at our growth ultrasound this week!

Maternity clothes:  Yep!  Regular t-shirts are pretty snug on the belly now and in need of some maternity bathing suits for our upcoming beach trip in 2 weeks!

Stretch marks: None yet!  Still using Bio-oil several times a week.  Belly button is getting pretty shallow though!

Sleep:  Pretty good most nights.  Had a few nights that have not been so good but that is mostly from pain, not necessarily being pregnant.

Best Moment: The best moments these past few weeks have definitely been feeling her strong movements and kicks.  It is so surreal and I smile every time I feel her.

Miss anything: Maybe one day I'll think of something I miss other than alcoholic beverages and sushi!

Movement:  Lots of movement all the time!  She's a busy little thing in there!

Symptoms:  Tiring pretty easily so going to ask about checking for anemia at my appointment this week.

Cravings:  ICE!!  I am eating crushed ice by the spoonful and recently learned you can buy sonic ice by the bag!  Bought my first bag the other day and it is already almost gone!  I know it can be a sign of anemia so I am going to ask at my doctor's appointment this week to check my blood work and make sure that it is just a pregnancy craving and not a sign of anemia.

Looking forward to:  Our growth check ultrasound this week.  I have an issue with my placenta that could affect her growth so we are getting growth checks every 4 weeks right now.

We are slowly making progress on the nursery by clearing out the room.  I ordered a crib and it got delivered last week but unfortunately it was damaged in shipping and I had to send it back and order another one which should be coming in the next few days. It's a crib my mom found and it's called a Wonder Crib.  The mattress is actually electronic and the height can be controlled up or down by two buttons on the side.  This will be really helpful for me once the baby is older and the crib is in the lowest position because it is really hard and painful for me to reach in and bend down to get the baby.  This way I can bring the mattress up higher so it doesn't put near as much strain on my neck and back.

My mom and I spent Saturday going to furniture stores to look at and test out glider/rockers.  This is a really important purchase, not only because of how much time will be spent in it but because of my back and neck problems, I need something really comfortable with good support.  I think I have decided on a glider/recliner that we will probably be ordering soon.

As far as a color scheme or theme, I haven't really found any bedding that I have fallen in love with but I have found a few fabrics I like and we are looking into getting bedding and window treatments made.  I am leaning towards aqua/teal right now and maybe throw in a few more pops of color with pillows and art work.

I have registered at 2 places, Target and Buy Buy baby, and have one shower date set in August.  It is all so surreal.  I went to a baby shower for a friend a few weeks ago and that was the first time I've ever been to a baby shower and not dreaded going or skipping it all together because it was just too hard.  In the past several years I was always the one trying to get pregnant but never could and baby showers were a horrible reminder of the pain of infertility.  It was the first time I haven't left the shower and cried on the way home.  After our final failed IUI attempt at the end of last summer, I really doubted that I would ever be able to register and be the one honored at a shower.  I think that's one reason I've struggled with blogging.  We worked so hard and so long to get to this point but I'm still scared something could wrong.  It's also hard because I know so many other bloggers that are still in the trenches of infertility and I feel guilty writing about my baby bump while they are still struggling.  We know how fortunate and blessed we are that IVF worked for us, especially our very first round and I definitely don't take that for granted.

I have had good days and bad as far as my pain goes, but just trying to take it a day at a time. I am on a very low dose of medicine and weaning a little each month.  I have had a few stretches of days where I haven't had to take anything and for that I am so thankful.  The plan is to be completely off by September so I am trying to mentally and physically prepare myself for more pain in the final 4-6 weeks of the pregnancy.  Please keep praying diligently for my pain and that I can continue to find relief in other ways as I get bigger and carry more weight.

Thank you for all the love, support and prayers. Keep praying for our sweet girl to keep growing.  Our due date is three months from tomorrow!

Till next time...

Monday, May 26, 2014

Bumpdate: 19 weeks and Gender Reveal!!

I realize I am a bit behind on blogging and for that, I apologize.  Honestly, I have not been feeling very well the last couple of weeks.  I am having a lot of pain for a couple different reasons, one of which being I am definitely showing now and carrying the extra weight, putting a lot of extra strain on my joints, neck and back especially.  I am trying all kinds of alternative therapies to try to help since I am trying to wean on the pain medication but it has been uncomfortable to say the least.  I am seeing a chiropractor and a massage therapist almost every week now to try and keep loose and in alignment but these therapies only help temporarily.  I have also looked into and sampled some essential oils, but there are a lot of mixed reviews on which ones you can and can not use in pregnancy, so its all very confusing.  I'm just trying to take it a day at a time, rest as much as possible,  and manage the pain as best I can.


How Far Along: 19 Weeks

Trimester: Second

Size of the baby: 6 inches and 9 ounces on ultrasound.  About the size of an heirloom tomato.

Gender: Keep reading to find out...

Maternity clothes:  Starting to wear some maternity pieces such as the maxi dress from Old Navy in the picture above.  T-shirts and things starting to get snug but still wearable and I have 2 pairs of non maternity stretchy jeans that still fit, although getting uncomfortable.  Any recommendations for the best maternity jeans are welcome!

Stretch Marks: Nope.  Trying to use Bio-Oil everyday to prevent them!

Sleep: Varies greatly depending on the night and on my pain. Some nights I sleep fine and others I spend tossing and turning and end up on the couch reading or watching TV in the wee hours of the morning.

Best Moment this week: This is a tie between our ultrasound and seeing baby on screen and our gender reveal party with so many wonderful friends and family!

Miss Anything: Having a lot of sushi cravings lately!

Movement: Baby is definitely a mover as seen on ultrasound.  If I lay in bed and put my hands on my belly, I can definitely feel some light movement.

Symptoms:  Still no morning sickness in about 2 weeks now but some moments of nausea if I that pass fairly quickly, hip and back pain, round ligament pain when I sneeze.

Cravings:  Still a lot of salty stuff and carbs

Looking forward to: Feeling some stronger kicks!

Ultrasound- 19 weeks

Baby looked really good on ultrasound.  We saw a beautiful healthy brain, heart, bones, kidneys, bladder, stomach, and 10 sweet fingers and toes.  Because of position they could not get all the measurements on the heart such a valves that they wanted to but said that is pretty typical and we will get another ultrasound at week 24.  They did see one issue with the connection of the cord at the placenta that could affect growth that they want to monitor us a little more closely and do growth check ultrasounds every 4 weeks to track progress.  Harrison and I found out the gender together at the appointment and kept it a secret for 48 hours from EVERYONE until we had a party with our family and friends.

Check out my mom's expression as she saw the color of the balloons!! Priceless!!  

IT'S A GIRL!!!  

We were pretty shocked, as were a lot of our family and friends that it is a girl.  Almost everyone thought it was a boy and Harrison's family has a lot of boys.  Needless to say, we are thrilled, ecstatic, and can't wait to welcome our precious daughter.  Thanks so much to a dear, talented friend Tara with Silver Reflections Photography for our wonderful photos and to all our family and friends who made the party and the reveal so special!  

Till next time...  

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Bumpdate: 18 weeks!

The past couple weeks have been busy and uneventful for the most part.  We had an appointment at 16 weeks that went well for the most part. We did not get an ultrasound that day but did hear the heartbeat.  It was going strong in the 150s.  We have our anatomy ultrasound and gender scan on Wednesday this week which I am really excited about.  I am excited to stop calling it "the baby" or "it" and begin shopping and designing the nursery.

Now that the bump has officially made its appearance, I thought it'd be fun to start doing weekly bump updates to show my progress.

How far along: 18 weeks

Trimester: Second

Size of the baby: 5 1/2 inches and about 7 ounces.  About the size of a bell pepper. 

Gender: Finding out this week! 

Maternity clothes: Most of my normal clothes still fit although some things are getting snug.  I got some maternity stuff from my sister and finally  bought a few basic pieces at Old Navy to start wearing. 

Stretch marks: Not yet!  

Sleep: Varies night to night but for the most part it's pretty good.  Waking up at least once to go to the bathroom but usually able to fall back asleep fine. 

Best moment this week: This past week was a bit rough as I hurt my back and spent the week in bed.  Visited the chiropractor a couple times and he thinks carrying the weight in front is starting to affect me some but hopefully with regular visits we can keep in under control! 

Miss anything: With the warmer weather and the beautiful days, I miss being able to indulge in ice cold beer or glass of wine but I know its totally worth it and the non alcoholic stuff isn't too bad!! 

Movement: Nothing for sure yet.  I have had a couple moments when I thought maybe I felt something but it could have been my stomach!  

Symptoms:  Haven't gotten sick in a little over a week! Yay!  Minor cramping at times and round ligament pain when I sneeze or move quickly. 

Cravings: Lots of salty foods and carbs like baked potatoes and pasta. 

Looking forward to: Finding out the gender this week and our gender reveal party on Friday! 

Friday, April 25, 2014

National Infertility Awareness Week

April 20-26 is National Infertility Awareness Week. The movement began in 1989  with the goal to raise awareness about infertility and encourage the public to better understand reproductive health.  The theme this year is "Resolve to know more."  Infertility is a medical condition that affects 7.3 million women and their partners in the United States- that's 12% of reproductive age population.  1 in 8 couples faces infertility. That's right, 1 in 8. Infertility in 35% of couples is a female problem and 35% a male problem.  In 20% of cases its a combined problem, while in 10% it is unexplained.

I have been pondering over this post for a few days, unsure of what I wanted to say.  I always had a gut feeling (call in women's intuition) that getting pregnant probably wouldn't be a walk in the park for us because of the extreme amount of stress my body has gone through physically in only a matter of a few years.  The extreme stress my body was under from being in a constant state of pain (often severe, especially those first few years), I knew would take a toll on me.  I never would have guessed how deep and just how hard infertility would be on us.

Reproducing is a basic human function.  It is also one of the most complicated and complex processes.  Countless factors have to be just right for you to conceive.  If just one of these factors is off but even a minuscule amount, it can make it impossible to conceive.  Reproduction is also a very taboo subject that no one really wants to talk about publicly. At very young school age, you giggle and squirm in your chair when you learn about sexual reproduction in health or science class.  It is a very personal process, but when you are dealt the hand of infertility, all privacy, intimacy, and modesty go out the window.  You are asked by your doctors very personal questions about your sex life and your reproductive organs.  You start using a language full of medical jargon and abbreviations.   You are told down to minutes and hours when to "get busy" with your partner.  It can be extremely shameful, isolating, and make you feel like less of a woman, or man.

Like being diagnosed with any medical condition or ailment, being diagnosed with infertility requires you to become an advocate for your health. You need to know when to seek professional help from a specialist and be informed about all your options.  It is vitally important to know about the medications, procedures, finances, etc.  If you are the loved one, friend, or family of someone who is struggling with infertility, it is so important to educate yourself on how to best support this person. There are definitely things that are helpful and beneficial, and things you can do or say that could very well end up hurting the person on the receiving end very much.  For example, DO NOT say, "Just stop trying, and it will happen!" or "Why don't you just adopt?" or tell someone to "take a vacation and it will happen."  Also do not explain how your co-worker's best friend's cousin twice removed tried for X amount of years, and then she started drinking apple juice while laying upside down once a day, and then magically she got pregnant.  Comments like these are hurtful and frustrating, not helpful.  Again, infertility is a medical condition that needs to be addressed by a medical doctor with medical interventions.

Do ask your loved one or friend, "How are you doing?" or offer a listening ear.  There were so many times I hoped and prayed that certain friends would just ask me heartfelt how we were doing or how were were feeling.  But again, people don't want to talk about infertility. Do also try to educate yourself a little so you can ask informed questions. For example, showing that you took the time and effort to learn a little about what all is involved in an IUI and why it is done would show your loved you care about what they are going through.

One of my main reasons I decided to document out infertility journey publicially was to try to bring awareness to the diagnosis and bring it out of the shadows and I certainly hope that those that have followed our journey have been able too see how much infertility affects a person's life.  We are extremely blessed to be on the other side now and be a success story, but infertility will always be a part of our story.

I'll update with a baby bump post in a couple days so stay tuned!

Till next time...

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Weeks 12 -14: Baby gifts, bump shots, and ultrasound pics!

Ok, ok.  I am officially a bad blogger.  I think about posting often but realize I either a) don't have all that much to say, or b) would rather take a nap.

Before I get to baby updates, I first want to give a quick shout out.  When we started getting closer to the likelihood that we would be doing IVF, I of course being a medical professional, wanted all the information I could get so I threw myself into researching all the options, protocols, costs, success rates, etc.  But I also wanted to know about the emotional, psychological, and physical side of the process.  Through a friend and blogger Joy (Inner Joy Knox) who dealt with some infertility, I found several blogs of other infertiles and started reading and following their stories.  There are many downfalls of infertility, but the support in the blogging community is definitely not one of them. There are SO many amazing women out there who are open and honest about their journeys and write about them so beautifully.  I count myself blessed to know these women.  I found the blog of one girl in particular who I felt compelled to contact personally.  Elena (Baby Ridley Bump) and I have since become good friends and email several times a week.  When you with find out someone in your life becomes pregnant, it can be hard, emotional and bittersweet.  I completely and totally understand this feeling and have had to fake a congratulatory smile and happiness, while inside, I was heartbroken.  Elena has been so unbelievably sweet, supportive, and interested in my pregnancy so far and I know she is truly happy for me. I think you feel differently when a fellow infertile announces a pregnancy because it gives you hope that these crazy hormones and procedures can work.  It gives you motivation to keep poking and prodding yourself, keep dealing with the nasty side effects of all the hormones, and keep walking the tough road because you can get to the other side.   

After we got pregnant and knew everything was developing normally, I had tons of extra bottles of all the supplements Harrison and I were taking that were recommended by the IVF clinic.  I emailed Elena and offered to mail her my immense supply.  She was so appreciative and I was glad I could pass these on.  I had been given some medication and supplements as well from a girl I knew who was about to have a baby via her second IVF.  I knew how much this small gesture meant to me and I was happy I could pay it forward.  Well, late last week, I got a package in the mail from Elena.  It was the sweetest customized thank you note and these completely adorable Aden & Anais bibs.  
Thanks Elena! I LOVE them! 

I have also received a few other small gifts for the baby in the last couple weeks.  One of my oldest and dearest friends gave us this Tennessee Vol inspired spit up cloth..
Needless to say, Harrison loved it.  And a friend of my parents gave us our first book for the baby...

Now onto little baby Slatery.  I have been feeling ok the past couple weeks, although I did have a week or so where I was having a lot of sickness.  I was waking up around midnight and getting sick.  After 3 or 4 nights of this and not sleeping well at all because of the severe nausea, I threw in the towel and called the doctor for some phenergan.  Not only has that helped with the sickness but it also helps me sleep.  I'm not taking it every night, but I am still getting some nausea late at night a few times a week.  It usually starts around 8-9 pm.  Here are some bump shots of last week at 13 weeks and this week at 14 weeks.
13 weeks
14 weeks
We had our first appointment with the High risk OB a couple weeks ago and everything went well.  Baby looked really good on ultrasound and the nasal bone scan and Nuchal Translucency scan were normal.  These are things that look for signs of down syndrome.  Baby's heart rate was 158.  We actually got to hear the heartbeat for the first time, since our infertility doctor did not have his speakers to his ultrasound machine hooked up.  It was a beautiful sound and brought tears to my eyes.

Baby is about the size of a lemon now...about 3 1/2 inches.  It can now grimace, squint, frown, and suck its thumb! Kidneys are now functioning and by the end of the week, so will the liver and spleen.   Baby is very active and flexible as we saw during the ultrasound, but I haven't started feeling any movements yet.  We aren't scheduled to find out the gender until May 14 at our 19 week anatomy scan but we have an appointment this week and Harrison is hoping they can take a peak.  We aren't scheduled for an ultrasound at the appointment, just doppler to hear the heartbeat.  The office is very big and very busy so I doubt they have the ability like a small, more personal office would to just take a look if no one is using the ultrasound room. So I really doubt we will find out this week.

Till next time...