Monday, December 31, 2012

25 Weeks

I'm giving myself a pass for missing week 24.  You know, the holidays, blah blah blah!  Here we are with week 25!

How far along? 25 Weeks 2 Day.  I honestly had a fierce convo with B yesterday swearing I was 26 weeks.  Hooray for baby brian!
Size of baby:  This week varies a LOT - eggplant, rutabega, or cauliflower.  I'm going with eggplant.  It's easier to spell.
Total weight gain/loss: I haven't weighed myself it a while.  We will go with 10-15
Maternity clothes:  Always
Gender:  Sweet baby boy  
Movement: Lots and lots of movement.  We watched the latest Batman movie the other day and he was going bananas.  Such a boy already!
Sleep: Complete and total crap.  I wake up around 2 or 3 and stay up for an hour.  Ugh.
What I miss:  Sleep.  But, I supposed I should get used to that, huh?
Cravings: Nothing really.  Although, I've noticed I eat a heck of a lot of fried chicken - salads or Chick Fil A.  MMMMMM
Best moment this past week: Getting my prenantal massage.  AMAZING!!!  I wanted to kiss my massage therapis on the mouth when she was done.
Symptoms: Stuffy dry nose and lack of sleep. Oh, and stretch marks.  They're coming and bringing friends.  Jerks. 
What I'm looking forward to: It's New Year's Eve, and we're going to a concert with some friends.  Should be a good time! 
Milestones: His body parts are becoming proportional to eachother and he's starting to fill out
Mood: So far so good!
Signs of labor? Nope!
Wedding rings on or off? On, ut they're getting a bit snug...

I actually have a pic this week!  Hooray!!!

2012 - The Year in Review

I gotta say, 2012 was a pretty great year.  We had some set backs, but we also had some major triupmhs.  So, sit back, relax, and let's look back on 2012!

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before? Gave myself daily shots in the belly fat.  We've already established that I'm a needle wuss and being able to do that (ok, being able to have B do that) was a major accomplishment.  Oh, you know, also get pregnant.  Never done that one before either!

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I don't think I made any last year.  I usually set myself up for failure and didn't want to start a new year that way.  And I don't think I'll make any for next year either!
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? My soon to be sister in law had my sweet baby nephew in October!

4. Did anyone close to you die? Yes, B's sweet grandfather passed away in November.

5. What countries did you visit? Just the good ole US of A.  No international travel this year.
6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012? A healthy baby boy!!!!
7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? February 3 - B's successful surgery!  July 23 - my IUI in which we got pregnant!!  August 3 - Holy crap we're pregnant!!  November 8 - confirmed baby H is a BOY!  October 2 - welcome to the world sweet nephew!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Learning that I'm stronger than I think.  We had a lot thrown at us this year and I learned to trust in myself and know that I can in fact handle what's thrown at me.
9. What was your biggest failure? Letting myself get frustrated and upset about things that were out of my control.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Some colds, my epic pregnancy bronchitis, and my awesome fall in July that almost broke my foot.  Oh, and my dog bit me shortly after midnight last year, so we'll include that as well. 

11. What was the best thing you bought? My new car!  And, I guess, fertility meds.  Clearly those buggers worked!
12. Whose behaviour merited celebration? My sweet amazing husband.  He's been my rock this year.  I'm so glad that I finally get to make him a daddy.  And, my mom.  She has been so unbelievably supportive through this whole thing.  In fact, she really deserves her own post dedicated to her awesomeness.
13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed? Oh, the fine folks at B's insurance company.  And, at the office of the place that he had his surgery.  Those 2 companies were the source of much frustration and anger this year.

14. Where did most of your money go? To medical expenses.  Between B's surgery and my stuff, it was quite the expensive year medically.  But, sooooo soooo sooo worth every penny!

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Oh, that's easy.  Finally getting pregnant.  There are no words to properly describe how excited we are about that!  And, all the new milestones that come with that.  It's been amazing so far!
16. What song will always remind you of 2012? Porcelain Doll by Chatham County Line.  B said it reminds him of when we have a baby and we finally did.  That song brought us to tears several times!
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
(a) Happier or Sadder? Happier.  Much much happier!
(b) Thinner or Fatter? Fatter. But, I'm ok with that since it's baby and all! :)
(c) Richer or Poorer? Poorer. But we're ok with that!

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Relax!  It was a stressful year, but it's all worked out in the end.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Stress.

20. How did you spend Christmas in 2012? We celebrated in NC with B's family. 

21. Did you fall in love in 2012? I fell more and more in love with my sweet B each and every day
22. How many one-night stands? Approximately ZERO
23. What was your favorite TV program? Revenge, Grey's Anatomy, Breaking Bad, Mad Men
24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Can I say the insurance industry as a whole?  :)
25. What was the best book you read? Gone Girl. Amazing
26. What was your greatest musical discovery? I can't say that I made any this year.
27. What did you want and get? Knocked up!

28. What did you want and not get? I got everything my heart desired this year.  I'm very lucky!!

29. What was your favourite film of this year? Ummmm... I'm not sure.  I guess none really stood out to me!
30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?  I spent my bday at home and I turned 29.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? It was a pretty satisfying year.  I guess the insurance company and the surgery center could have been non assholes, but that's out of my control.
32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012? Stretchy clothes are amazing!  Between the bloat of fertility meds and now being pregnant, stretchy clothes have been my friend this year!
33. What kept you sane? B, my mom, my friends, and my sweet puppies.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? After seeing Magic Mike, I finally understood what all the fuss was about with Channing Tatum!
35. What political issue stirred you the most? A lot this year, actually, and I'm not political at all.  The election was annoying, then the fiscal cliff mess, and now gun control.  Get your shit together, fellas!
36. Who did you miss? My family.  I hated missing my nephew's birth and then not being with them at Christmas.
37. Who was the best new person you met? I met a few great ladies this year that I"m glad I got to know.  Both in real life and online!
38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012. Everything happens when and why and how it's supposed to, even if it's not when or why or how I want it to.
39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. 
When we tried so long
We almost gave up hope
And I remember you
Comin' in and tellin’ me the news

Oh man we were livin’
Goin’ crazy in the kitchen
We danced and screamed and held each other tight
We laughed until we cried

40. What are your resolutions for 2013? To know and respect my own limits as I get further in my pregnancy and beginning in motherhood.  To be the best mom I can be to our little guy.  To remember that not only am I a mommy, but also a wife and a friend and a woman and to honor each and every part of me.
Happy New Year everyone!!!  Let's make 2013 amazing!!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Inspiration and Pinspiration

Back when I was planning my wedding, I was an active member of the online community Weddingbee.  After the wedding, I stuck around because I love weddings and wasn't quite ready to go from bride to wife just yet.  Then, as we started to TTC, I found a great little nook of Weddingbee for those of us TTC.  And, more importantly, a thread of us that were struggling.  These women became my lifeline during the rough years that followed.  They were in the trenches too.  They GOT it in a way that no one else could.  We supported eachother, cheered for eachother, cried for eachother.  I'm happy to say that most of us that started on that board over 2 years ago have "graduated" and gone on to either have babies or get pregnant.  When we had a graduate, I can honestly say that I was genuinely happy for eacho of these ladies.  They earned it. 
On the bee, there was a thread going around that was full of inspiration quote graphics.  I wrote a lot of them down in the notebook I always carry with me.  It served as a great pick me up when I was feeling down or frustrated or just plain pissed off.  Then, once I discovered the gloriousness that is Pinterest, I started my own board of inspirational quotes.  And, even though I'm on the other side, it's nice to look back and remember those sayings and quotes that got me through.  And, still get me through.
So, I thought I'd share a few of my favorites with you guys.  It'll just be the quote since I can't source all the graphics.  Or, access Pinterest from my work computer...  These are the ones that really spoke to me.

*  Your journey is unfolding exactly as it should be
* Just because something isn't happening foryou right now doesn't mean it never will
* The longer you wait for something, the more you'll appreciate it when you get it.  Cause anything worth having is definitely worth waiting for (this one is definitely a favorite for me now.  As I deal with stretch marks and pregnancy insomnia and all the not so fun sides of pregnancy, I know that it's all so worth it and I would cover myself in stretch marks and never sleep a full night again to have this baby)
* It's hard to wait around for something you know might never happen, but it's even harder to give up when you know it's everything you want.
* Jerimiah 29:11- For I know the plans I have for you...plans to give you hope and a future (this Bible verse has served me well through so many ups and downs in my life).
* You never know how strong you are until strong is the only choice you have.
*Owning our stories and loving ourselves through that porcess is the bravest thing we will ever do.  (this one is so meaningful to me b/c there were so many times I was so mad at myself and my body.  This was what my body was made to do and yet it failed me time and time again.)
*God has a purpose for your pain, a reason for your struggles, and a reward for your faithfulness.  Don't give up.
*Your journey has molded your for your greater good.  And it was exactly what it needed to be.  Don't think that you've lost time.  It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now.  And now is the right time.
*Worrying will NEVER change the outcome.
*Whether or not it is clear to you, the universe is unfolding exactly as it should.
*The question is not how to survive, but how to thrive with passion, compassion, humor, & style.
*We must be wiling to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.  -Joseph Campbell
*She took a leap and built her wings on the way down.
*She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her away, she adjusted her sails. - Elizabeth Edwards

You may have noticed that a lot of these are about letting go and trusting some sort of grander plan.  This was so hard for me.  I'm a planner and a control freak in the worst way.  I get so frustrated when things don't go my way or how and when I plan them.  It took me letting go and trusting that I was going to get my baby.  When or how I couldn't control.  I just had to have faith that it would happen.  That faith is what gave me the strenght to get through some of the darkest times with the infertility struggle.  And, it actually calmed me.  Once I let go I felt better.  I knew in my heart it would happen.  And it did.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

23 Weeks!

How far along? 23 Weeks 3 Days
Size of baby:  Either an ear of corn or a large papaya - totally depends on the app.
Total weight gain/loss: I think I'm up to about 10 lbs now.
Maternity clothes:  Still yes.  Of course.
Gender:  Sweet baby boy  
Movement: Lots of movement now.  B got to feel him kick the other day.  It was amazing!
Sleep: Getting better.  I only woke up once last night!
What I miss:  Since it's the holidays I miss a nice glass of wine.  For some reason I feel like a glass of wine goes hand in hand with the holidays.
Cravings: Just food in general.  I can't seem to get enough!
Best moment this past week: B feeling baby H kick!
Symptoms: Just the stuffy nose. 
What I'm looking forward to: Christmas! 
Milestones: His face is almost fully formed
Mood: Pretty good.  I had a hormal rage moment this weekend, but pretty good otherwise!
Signs of labor? Nope!
Wedding rings on or off? On

And I finally have a legit picture of the week!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I'm Pregnant!! Now What?!

When we last left off, our infertility journey wrapped up with an early morning trip to the potty.  I swear, those were the longest 3 minutes of my life!  I had heard that when you're actually pregnant you don't need to use first morning pee or that it won't take the full 3 mintues.  Mine was obviously first morning pee as it was 4:45.  And, while I don't think it took the full 3 minutes, it definitely didn't just pop up either.  Then, there it was - the second line.  That glorious, beautiful second line. 
I had taken many a preggo test in my day.  Digital ones, blue dye ones, ones with lines, ones with a positive sign.  You name it, I had been there.  Now, at this point, I had stopped using the digital ones.  There was just something really mean and somewhat sinister about seeing "NOT PREGNANT" in writing.  Why you gotta be so rude pregnancy test?!  So, this go 'round, I was using the First Response kind.  Amongst the infertility boards I was frequenting, these were the most accurate and had fewer false negatives or positives (apparently blue dye tests are more faulty.  The more you know.).
I finished my business and went in and woke up B.  Poor guy had been at a work event pretty late the night before and wasn't exactly in the best condition.  Such a great story to tell sweet baby H - your daddy was hungover the morning we found out about you!  I think we may have to fib a bit...  So, I woke up the sleeping husband and shoved the pee stick in his face.  To his blurry eyes, he didn't see that beautiful second line.  Hand and voice shaking I made him look harder.  Sure enough, there it was to him too.  I hadn't imagined it.  I burst into tears.  It was really really happening.  Holy shit.  Bless his heart, he wasn't quite as emotional as me.  Perhaps it was the early morning wake up?  Since it was a Friday morning, I had to get ready for work.  Luckily I had woken up early b/c I had to head to the RE's office to get a blood test!!  Woo Hoo!!  After I had gotten somewhat ready, I called my mom.  It was 5:30 her time.  Clearly I could have cared less about other people's sleep that day.  She saw it was me and she said she just knew I was calling her to tell her it was a negative test.  Nope!  Fooled you lady!  She and I both were in tears.  We had waited so long for this moment.  While I was on the phone with my parents (my step-dad had woken up at this point), B delivered his news to his parents in the worst possible way ever.  He texted them a picture of the positive test.  Talk about anti-climatic!  His mom immediately called him of course.
So, after the phone convos with the parents, off I went to the doctor's office to have my blood test.  Somewhere along the line I had lost my fear of needles.  Especially this one.  This needle was finally going to deliver good news.  I was told to expect my results by noon.  Noon came and went and I had heard nothing.  I was starting to really freak the eff out.  This couldn't be good.  No news was bad news.  Then, I got an email from my nurse, Kim.  God love Kim.  She was so amazing through this whole process I can't even begin to say.  She said their phones were down but she knew I wanted the results so she emailed them to me.  My HCG (the pregnancy hormone) was at 21.8 which was, as she put, not "knock me down fantastic."  I of course burst into tears.  Then, she emailed me back saying that she went back and looked at my chart because she wanted this to work out for us so badly and I had tested too early.  That made me feel loads better.  I went back in on Monday, and my number had gone up accordingly and continued to do so!  That was one scary and exciting and nerve wracking weekend though.  We got to see our little nugget at 6 weeks and 7 weeks.  Then, we were released to my OB.  Like a normal pregnant lady.

Since you guys have stuck through all these posts with no pictures, I'll indulge in one!  You're welcome for including a picture that is involved with my pee!

Friday, December 7, 2012

5 For Friday

Well, for something that was supposed to be a weekly thing, I sure have dropped the ball, huh?  So, here we go - 5 things I'm happy about/grateful for/excited about:

1.  Medicine!!  I saw my OB yesterday and she finally gave me some medicine to fix this darn bronchitis that won't quit.  I wanted to kiss her on the mouth!

2. Finally decorating my house for Christmas.  Something or another has kept me from getting it done so far, but I am tackling it this weekend!

Our tree and mantle all decorated last year

3. Spending Sunday doing some Christmas shopping with my sweet husband

4. Sleeping in this weekend!  I have slept like crap since I've been sick and can't wait to catch up on some zzzzzzzzzz's

5.  Can I say medicine again without looking like a drug addict? Cause seriously, I'm so glad to not be coughing up a lung every 30 second!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Our Infertility Journey - the Finale!

When we last left off, we went to the injections class to learn how to give myself the injections of stimulation meds to get my ovaries to get off their lazy asses and finally release some eggs.  Since the meds are "special" you can't just walk into your neighborhood Walgreens and fill your prescription.  So, we ordered them and waited for their arrival.  Meanwhile, I was on another medicine to induce my cycle.  My body can really do nothing on it's own! 
First Try
I don't remember all the details as this happened last spring and I now have a full on case of baby brain.  So, bear with me. This time, to induce my cycle, Dr. M put me on birth control.  Because of that, I could get my baseline before my actual cycle started.  Or something like that.  I went in for my baseline and everything was looking good.  I got the go ahead to start my medicine.  I was prescribed Menopur 75 IU (he started me on a low dose b/c I have a plethora of eggs and didn't want to overstimulate me).  The first night, B and I got the medicine out ready to mix it all up.  I decided that I would mix and he would shoot.  I was so nervous and freaked out that I knocked over one of the vials with my shaking hand.  B banished me to the other room to lay down and just wait for him.  He was so awesome through this whole process, I can't even say.  I am so lucky that I got to marry him.  He got the meds all mixed up and came in bearing the needle.  Now, I should say that the needle really is nothing.  It's like half an inch and tiny.  But, again, I was terrified of needles at this point.  So, that day, I was wearing a dress and had to lift it in order to do the injection in my belly fat.  I was already nervous and felt very vulnerable.  So, as I laid down to get the shot (agian, scardey cat!) I pulled the covers up to cover myself.  B thought this was hilarious and ridiculous.  Thankfully, it kind of cut my tension and made me relax a bit.  The shot itself wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. 
I was trucking along with my shots and monitoring visits.  Mid way through the shots, Dr. M upped my dose to 150 IU of  Menopur since my lazy ovaries just weren't doing their thing just yet.  This is the cycle I realized I was allergic to the "don't ovulate too early" medicine.  I just got a major welt on my belly at the injection site and it was crazy itchy.  Dr. M decided to just take me off of it and said it was no big deal at all.  I finally had a nice thick uterine lining and one good size follicle.  It was time to trigger!  Then, 36 hours later, it was time to do the deed.  Obviously I won't go into too much detail here, but let me just say that early morning, timed, mandatory sexy time is actually the exact opposite of sexy.  But, we made it work.  Fast forward two weeks.....aaaaaannnnnd big fat negative.  I'm very grateful that my clinic only makes you come in for a blood test if you get a positive at home.  It's much easier to bear when you can mourn in the privacy of your own home.  All in all, I think my cycle, from day 1 to trigger was 10 days or so.  According to the nurse, this was on the long side.
Second Try
We decided to jump right into the second attempt just as soon as we could.  Luckily, my body actually started my cycle on it's own, so we didn't have to wait for that.   This time, we started with 150 IU of medicine since it realy kick started my ovaries the previous cycle.  This cycle went much faster.  I only had to have like 2 monitoring visits vs. 3 or 4 the previous cycle.  I had one good follicle this time and a great lining.  Now, this is the cycle that during which we found out about B's awful SA.  So the negative wasn't as shocking or hard this time around.  I was ready for it.  Don't get me wrong, it still stings.  A negative always does.  But, far less so when you know it's coming.
Third Try
So, third time is supposed to be the charm right?  Plus, it was supposed to have our highest odds, so we were really hopeful this round.  We had taken a month or so off, making sure B's numbers were where they needed to be.  We were there and ready to go.  This time, we decided to go for IUI.  This was our last shot, so we were bringing out the big guns.  And, being the planner that I am, I was prepared.  My insurance doesn't cover anything for an IUI cycle, meds, visits, the procedure itself, nothing.  So, during my last cycle, I totally over ordered my meds and had enough to get me through this cycle.  Yay for thinking ahead!  At my baseline ultrasound, I talked dosage to Dr. M.  He wanted to start me on 150 IU again and maybe move up from there.  I asked if we could start at 225 IU and move down if need me.  This was our last shot and I really wanted to do everything in my power to make this work.  He agreed that that was a good plan and we went through with it.  He was going on vacation, so I wouldn't deal with him for the rest of the cycle.  Usually a nurse is who does the ultrasounds, but I was lucky this time to get a doctor each time.  Dr. C was the one did my monitoring visits in Dr. M's absense.  I was in great hands.  My first monitoring visit she saw all my eggs and was like, "if you do IVF you WILL be successful, you have so many eggs!".  I just laughed it off.  This cycle did take a bit longer than the previous one, but still not crazy long.  But, it did get a bit hairy for a minute.  Some of the time, during a monitoring visit, they monitor your progesterone as well.  You don't want that level to get too high.  That means you're being overstimulated and are at risk for Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome.  You DO NOT want that.  It's bad news. So, when they took mine, they noticed it was a bit elevated.  They lowered my dose back down to 75 IU and had me come in the next day.  Needless to say, I was less than happy about this.  There was talk of cancelling my cycle.  I was devestated.  So, on a Saturday morning, B went with me, and we took a look.  I had FOUR follicles!!! FOUR.  This was great news to me.  Now, for Dr. C she was a little apprehensive since that could potentially mean four babies.  But, with IUI I think 4 is their cut off.  Had I had one more, I would have been cancelled.  My progesterone levels were still on the high side, but not too high.  We were in business!!  They did change up my trigger shot to something else and gave me a pill to take for 10 dyas to prevent hyperstimulation.  2 days later, we went in for our IUI.  B's numbers were fantastic again.  The nurse did the procedure and the whole thing only took a few minutes.  It was uncomfortable, but not painful.  A friend had told me to visualize the sperm swimming up to meet my egg(s).  As I attempted that, I ended up singing "Just Keep Swimming" from Finding Nemo.  Typical.  I took the day off work to relax and keep my hips elevated all day.  I think this did a world of good.  The next two weeks were the longest of my life.  This was our last shot at having a baby of our own.  We were out of money and out of options at this point.  A lot was riding on this cycle.  Patience has never been my strong suit.  Like ever.  So, two Fridays after the IUI (less than two weeks) I woke up super early from a dream.  In the dream, I took a test and it was positive.  I had the same dream my first cycle, and we all know how that turned out.  But, this time, I was sure it had to be true.  It just had to be.  So, at 4:45 I got out of bed and went and took the test.  It was positive.  Holy shit, I'm pregnant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

21 Weeks

21 Weeks 4 Days
Well, well, well.  Look who finally took a picture to post on the weekly update.  Sure, it's in the bathroom at work. But, a picture is a picture.  I feel like I look SUPER pregnant today, hence the photographic evidence.

How far along? 21 Weeks 4 Days
Size of baby:  A pomegranate.  He's 10.5 inches and weighs about a pound

Total weight gain/loss: Holding steady at around 7 or so.  B said he thinks I look like I'm losing weight and it's all going to the baby.  He's a smart one, that husband of mine.
Maternity clothes:  Oh definitely.  I'm not sure how I'm ever going to return to pants with a waistband.
Gender:  Bouncing baby BOY!

Movement: Still not a ton.  I want to be able to feel this kid move!
Sleep: Ugh.  I can't even go there this week.  I have bronchitis so I don't sleep for crap - I'm coughing, congested, uncomfortable.  It is not good.
What I miss:  Nothing really this week.
Cravings:  Nothing really. 

Best moment this past week: Finding out Kate Middleton was pregnant!!  Is that weird?
Symptoms: See above about sleep.  But, I guess that's not really a preggo symptom is it?  Did I mention I found my first stretch mark a week or two ago?  Let's add that to the list.
What I'm looking forward to: Finally decorating my house for Christmas.  It'll be our last one as a family of two.   

Milestones: He's learning the sense of touch and his grip is getting developed.  He can also perceive light and dark.
Mood: Happy, sniffly, coughy.  I'm almost half the darn dwarves all crammed into one pregnant lady!
Signs of labor? No thank you!

Wedding rings on or off? On!

Our Infertility Journey - Part 5

Now it's time to discuss my last part of our treatments.  Then, I think we'll be done! 
So, in April B's SA was good enough for me to head back to see Dr. M.  We made an appointment for a consultation to see where we needed to go and what our next steps were going to be.  Together we decided that our next course of treatment was going to be injectable sitmulation meds and timed intercourse.  He strongly recommended doing intrauterine insemination (IUI).  Well, truth be told, he really wanted me to do invetro fertilization (IVF), which terrified both me and my bank account.  We just weren't there yet mentally or financially.  But, my insurance didn't cover an IUI cycle (or IVF for that matter!) and I wanted to exhaust all my insurance coverable options first.  The success rate for our course of action was 10%, the success rate for IUI was 18%, and the success rate for IVF is 60%.  Just to give you some sort of idea, the average healthy fertile couple has about a 30% of conceiving each month.  So, either way our odds were low for what we were willing to do at that point.  Dr. M did say that your first month has the lowest chances, whith the chance increasing each cycle until your third cycle.  After that it sort of plateaus.
With a plan in place, we went to our injectable class.  It's required by all fertility clinics to ensure you know how to properly mix and administer your meds.  Thank goodness B was there with me.  Cause the minute the nurse started playing around with the needles, all I could hear was the blood rushing in my ears and y inner voice trying to convince myself  to not pass out.  At that point, I was still a HUGE needle wuss.  We took the class, got everything set up, ordered my meds and waited for my other medicine to induce lovely old AF.  Here's the timeline of how everything works:

CD (cycle day) 1 - 3: go in for a baseline ultrasound.  This measures how your body is at the beginning.  It looks at your uterine lining and your ovaries to ensure there are no cysts and sees how many eggs are chillig out in there.  It should be said that all of these ultrasounds are internal.  So, definitely not what you'd expect from an ultrasound.  Those in the infertility community come to lovingly refer to it as the "vag cam".

CD 3: start injections.  Dose to be determined by the RE and prior response.

CD 6 - ? : Monitoring ultrasounds as needed.  These measure the uterine lining to make sure it's thick enough for implantation.  I think the goal is to get it at about 10 mm.  They also monitor the number and size of your follicles.  Obviously you want at least one good one. More is better.  Too many is bad news bears.  The goal size for these babies (hahahahaha, see what I did there?!) is about 18 mm or bigger.

At some point in the cycle most women also start another medicine to prohibit you from ovulating too early.  I took this shot exactly once and realized I was allergic to it so I never took it again.

Once you have a big enough follie, then you take your "trigger shot".  This triggers you to ovulate.  The evening you take this shot (all shots are takend b/w 6 and 8 pm) you're supposed to, well, you know.  Then, 36 hours later you either you know again or have your IUI.  Then, two weeks later you pee on a stick and see what happens!

Ok, this post is getting kind of long, and probably very technical and boring.  Looks like there will be a part 6 to finish this saga up!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Our Infertility Journey - Part 4

When we last left off, we were ending the Year of Fun a bit earlier than expected and decided to give the whole baby making thing another try.  We were able to schedule an appointment with Dr. S fairly quickly and get the ball rolling agian. 
We met with Dr. S in November 2011 to discuss what our next steps were.  He said the surgery had great odds of being successful.  It was still going to have to be covered out of pocket, but we could fight it with insurance and he'd be behind us 100%.  Once we figured out our payment options and how we were going to make this thing work,we got the surgery scheduled for early February 2012.  We also decided to go ahead and do a tissue harvest this time just in case it wasn't able to be repaired.  If that were the case, we'd have testicular tissue to be able to do IVF with ICSI.
The surgery was a success!  Dr. S was able to totally repair the right side.  The left side was too far gone to be able to fix, but we just needed one side.  He was very excited with the results and we left the surgical center (it was a same day procedure) in good spirits.  B spent the weekend icing his manly bits and resting up. 
The plan was to have a SA (semen analysis) 2 months post op to see how things were progressing.  Dr. S warned us that it could take up to a year to see any sperm in an SA following this type of procedure.  His first post op SA was in April 2012.  It was great.  The numbers were still lower than normal, but there were definitely sperm in there!  In fact, there were enough for me to be able to go back to Dr. M and get my process started again!  (I'll post that in part 5 since my stuff is fairly involved.)  Since the numbers were less than "normal", Dr. S wanted a follow up SA in 2 more months.  So, in June, off we went again.  This time was not good.  It was bad.  There were like maybe 2 sperm in the SA.  And, those were dead.  They were not forward moving at all.  We were crushed.  Devestated.  Had the surgery not worked after all?  Had B scarred back up again?  We didn't know what to do, but we knew we couldn't afford to pay for another uncovered surgery.  We went to see Dr. S and he was just as upset as us.  He said it could be a fluke, it could be an infection, it could be scarring.  There's really no way to know.  His first line of defense was to do a "drug cocktail" as he put it.  It was an anti inflammatory, an antibiotic, and a steroid.  B was to take it for 10 days.  I made sure he took that stuff like it was his job.  It appeared to work.  His follow up SA was amazing!  His numbers were through the roof fantastic. I cried when I saw the results.  It was just so amazing!
He's had to continue to do follow up visits just to make sure nothing else goes wrong.  So far, so good.

Next up - my treatments.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

20 Weeks

Guess who doesn't have a picture yet again this week!  This blogger!  We were out of town for Thanksgiving and I had a horrible migraine yesterday so I looked like a hot mess and was not going to have photographic evidence of it.  I swear I'll get better!!

How far along? 20 Weeks 3 Days

Size of baby:  A banana!  This week starts measuring from head to toe instead of head to rump

Total weight gain/loss: I think I'm around 7.  I enjoyed Thanksgiving a little too much!

Maternity clothes:  Still yes and still glorious!
Gender:  Sweet little BOY!!! 

Movement: Still not much.  B can't wait to feel him move and keeps his hands on my belly all the time
Sleep: Getting a bit better.  I started sleeping with a pillow between my knees and that has done wonders.
What I miss:  Nothing really this week

Cravings:  Still nothing.  Darn!  :)

Best moment this past week: Going home this week and seeing my family and meeting my sweet nephew C.  And, friends and family got to see the bump in person!
Symptoms: Dry stuffy nose.
What I'm looking forward to: Relaxing.  We've been going and going, I'm excited to just take it easy!

Milestones: He's developing taste buds and swollowing lots of amniotic fluid, which will help in digestion once he's born
Mood: Happy happy happy

Signs of labor? No way! 

Wedding rings on or off? Still on!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

19 Weeks

I was a slacker again this week and didn't take a picture.  With B's grandfather's funeral and all the family time, we just couldn't fit one it.  I swear next week I'll be better!!

How far along? 19 Weeks 3 Days

Size of baby:  It depends on which app I'm using, this week he's been compared to a mango or an heirloom tomato

Total weight gain/loss: about 4 or 5.  I did see that from this point on I'm supposed to gain a pound a week though.

Maternity clothes:  Yep!  And, they're still glorious!  I'm finally starting to fill out my maternity shirts which is cool

Gender:  Sweet little BOY!!! 

Movement: The flutters are becoming more frequent, I think.  I'm also pretty sure he kicked Hippo in the head the other day when she was resting it on my belly.  And the sibling rivalry begins!

Sleep: Not great.  I can't get comfortable and I wake up several times a night.  No bueno.

What I miss:  Sushi. Mmmmmmmm

Cravings:  Still nothing.  I wish I did though so I could say I had these really weird cravings.
Best moment this past week: B putting together the crib.  So sweet he wanted to do it solo for his little guy

Symptoms: Uncomfortable sleep.  Ugh.

What I'm looking forward to: Seeing my family this week for Thanksgiving. 

Milestones: He's learning his sleep patterns this week.  Hopefully he develops good ones!

Mood: Happy happy happy

Signs of labor? No way!  We still have 20.5 weeks, so he needs to hang out in there for quite some time!

Wedding rings on or off? On!

Friday, November 16, 2012

5 For Friday!

I missed last weeks 5 for Friday post since I was busy getting nursery stuff done with my momma.  So, here's this weeks!

1. I'm thankful I got to have B's grandfather in my life for 4.5 years.  He passed away yesterday and he was truely one of the sweetest, most kind people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting.  I feel truly blessed to have been a part of his family.

2. I get to go home next week and meet my sweet nephew Carson!!!  And, get to love on his brother, my other sweet nephew Mason.  I just love those boys and can't wait to hug them to pieces!!!

3. The nursery is coming right along and that makes me VERY happy.  It's nice to finally be able to get stuff done and not just be in the planning stages.

This is the color we painted it - Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter

4. The sun is finally out today!!  All week long the weather has been cold and grey and wet.  Thank goodness the sun is finally out!!

This has been me, all week long

5. Starbucks is doing 2 for 1 between 2 and 5 for the next few days.  I see a decaf peppermint mocha in my future this afternoon!!!!


Have a great weekend everyone!!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Our Infertility Journey - Part 3

I left you guys hanging with good news.  Well, the good news was B produces sperm!  Hooray!!!  That means, that if nothing else, we can do IVF to get pregnant.  Dr. S said this was great news.  He then said that the next step would be yet another surgery to do an exploration to see if he find what the hold up was and if he could fix it.  This seemed like a fairly easy surgery (said the girl not getting her delicate bits hacked into) so we decided to go ahead with scheduling it.  Welp, as usual, we hit a road block.  If you're following along, it's been one step forward two steps back for us the whole process.  Apparently insurance won't cover this procedure as it is coded as a vasectomy reversal and that's optional.  Don't you just love how insurance companies look at codes rather than what the actual surgery itself is?  Good stuff.  So, to have this surgery, it would set us back a mere $6,000.  You know, pocket change.  No biggie.  Except, it's the exact opposite of pocket change and it is a BIGGIE!  It's a HUGIE!
So, we decided to just cool off for a bit and decide what to do.  During this cooling off period, we went out of town for our first anniversary.  We had a great weekend back at the place we got married.  One day, we were enjoying afternoon beers on a great outdoor patio and realized we were on the same page.  We were exhausted, sad, and just plain worn out.  We'd only been married for a year (and, only together for 3 years total at that point) and we were ready to actually enjoy ourselves and our marriage.  We decided we were taking some time off!
That, my friends, began the Year of Fun.  We traveled, we went out, we just plain enjoyed ourselves.  We didn't think about TTC, infertility, sperm, surgeries, anything.  Honestly, it was the best thing we could have done.  For ourselves and for our marriage.  We gained so much perspective during that time.  I should also say that suring the YOF all the babies that had been conceived were being born and we just got to enjoy those sweet babies.  There was no sadness for myself or any pity parties to be had.  Just lots and lots of love for these precious little people coming into our lives.  And, my nephew?  Oh my gosh, I fel head over heels in love with that kid.  All the crap I felt when I first found out that he was coming was just that - crap.  He's the best little guy and his Auntie Candy loves him to pieces.
Well, as most things do, the YOF came to an end.  It ended up only being the 5 or 6 months of fun really.  We started the YOF in May 2011.  The following fall, B told me he was ready to start trying again.  The baby fever was back and in full force.  We discussed it and decided that mentally we were ready to give this whole thing another try.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

18 Weeks

Again, sorry this is late!  And, no picture again this week.  We (by we I mean my mom and husband!) painted the nursery so the sticky chalkboard I usually pose with hasn't been put back up yet.

How far along? 18 Weeks 3 Days

Size of baby:  a Sweet Potato - so 5.6 inches

Total weight gain/loss: I'm not really sure.  I haven't weighed myself in a while and I don't look at the doctor.  We'll go with a fe

Maternity clothes:  Still yes!  I'm noticing my pre-preggo shirts are getting a bit short, I may have to go to all maternity all the time soon

Gender:  Bouncing baby BOY!!! 

Movement: Still just some flutters here and there.  They are getting more and more frequent.  We did see him being quite the little acrobat on the ultrasound, so we know he's a mover

Sleep: Eh.  I've been waking up way too early and tossing and turning much more than normal

What I miss:  Not much this week.  What can't I eat?  Eggs.  GROSS

Cravings: Nothing really.  I just MUST have something once it sounds good

Best moment this past week: Seeing our little nugget again!  And confirming that it's a boy!

Symptoms: Still sinus stuff and my boobs are massive!

What I'm looking forward to: Getting the crib delivered and all set up

Milestones: He's growing and looking good!

Mood: Happy and healthy!

Signs of labor? No, thank God!  This little nugget still has plenty of cooking to do!!

Wedding rings on or off? On!

It's a......

So, I know this is a few days late, and I apologize PROFUSELY!!!!  But, my mom was in town and we were super duper busy getting some stuff done around the nursery.  And, what kind of nursery are we doing?  A nursery for a.......

We are very very excited!!!

Ok, truth time... we've known since about 14 weeks that it was a boy.... yeah.....  Our moms were coming to this ultrasound, so we didn't want to spill the beans so it'd be a surprise to them.  We're so sneaky!!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

ABC's of ME!

This is a new blog and some of you may not know me, so I thought I'd do a fun little survey for you to get to know me.  Here we go!

A. Age: 29.  Ugh.
B. Bed size: King and it is glorious!
C. Chore you dislike: Sweeping/Swiffering.  We have 2 dogs and hardwood floors.  You do the math.
D. Dogs: 2 - 8 year old King Charles Spaniel (mix) Finn and 3 year old Boxer/Beagle mix Hippo
E. Essential start to your day: Hitting the snooze button at least twice.  Then checking emails/Facebook
F. Favorite colors: Pink, green, and grey
G. Gold or silver: Both!  My wedding rings are white gold, so I tend to wear a lot of silver, but my watch has gold in it, so I like to mix it up.
H. Height: 5’5’’
I. Instruments you play(ed): Violin, in the 5th grade.  I was not good.  I tried Piano once too.  Same result.
J. Job title: Client Services Specialist.  Not nearly as fun as it sounds.
K. Kids: One on the way!
L. Live: Apex, NC
M. Mom’s name: Karen
N. Nicknames: Princess, Babe, Candy (much to my dismay!)
O. Overnight hospital stays: Just being born.  And I guess I will be able to add giving birth soon.
P. Pet peeves: People who drive slow in the fast lane, hearing two noises at once (like having both the TV and the radio on),  people who don't accept other people's point of view while trying to shove theirs down your throat, clutter, people who are constantly late
Q. Quote from a movie: From "Mean Girls": That's so fetch.
R. Righty or lefty: Righty.
S. Siblings: 3 - 1 brother, 2 sisters
T. Time you wake up: Weekdays, either 6 or 6:30, weekends as late as I can
U. Underwear: Yes please
V. Vegetables you don’t like: Beets.  Ick
W. What makes you run late: Goofing off.  Or Brandon.  I like to blame him for stuff :)
X. X-rays you’ve had: teeth, various bones, my uterus/fallopian tubes
Y. Yummy food you make: Um, yeah, I don't really cook....but Brandon loves my green chile enchiladas
Z. Zoo animal you like: Monkeys. They're the best.  I used to want to own one when I was younger but my mom said they throw poop and would never let me have one.  Rude.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Our Infertility Journey - Pt. 3

So, when we last left off (before I clued you all in to what a jerk I can be), I had been referred to a specialist.  There are a lot of terms for a "fertility doctor, but the official term is Reproductive Endocrinologist, or RE.  I was referred to a local practice, Carolina Conceptions.  There are two in my city and this is just the one that my GYN at the time (I've since switched for geographical reasons) worked with.  Thank goodness.  From the get go, they were amazing to work with.  I called and was able to get an appointment much sooner than I thought.  I'm not really clear on the timing anymore, but I think I called in December 2010 and was able to get seen in mid January 2011.  Since I wasn't referred to a specific doctor, they put me with the first available doctor, Dr. Meyer.  I can not say enough good things about Dr. M.  He's amazing.  He's reassuring, knowledgeable, funny, and will tell you exactly what's going on without sugar coating it but also without being harsh.  I went to the appointment (B couldn't go, he'd just started a new job) armed with a list of questions.  Dr. M actually answered most of them in our conversation without me even having to ask.  We discussed options, testing, and next steps.  Since I had already tried oral meds, we decided to go with injectable ones next.  Possibly paired with timed interourse or possibly paired with intrauterine insemination (IUI).  But, before we even got there, we had some more tests to do.  First up, we tested my AMA, basically my ovarian reserve.  That was a simple blood test we were able to do that day.  Again with the bloodwork without me being able to metally prepare! Then, we scheduled a HSG, where they injected a dye into my utereus and fallopian tubes and x-rayed them to make sure there were no blockages.  We were able to get that scheduled super quick.  We also scheduled a semen analysis (SA) for B.  He was not too excited about that test, let me tell you.  But, spoiler alert, he'd learn to get used to them.
My AMA came back really high.  I was so unbelievably excited to get that result.  I was terrified that I would have none.  That level isn't really a bad thing.  And, it's honestly to be expected.  Since I don't ovulate on my own, I had basically been hoarding my eggs for 27 years.  A normal woman that age's level should be around 10.  Mine was 22.  Super high.  This will come in handy if we ever had to do IVF.  Lots o' eggs, lots o' chances for success.  My HSG was also good.  Blissfully, perfectly normal.  When dealing with infertility, normal is always a good thing.  No blockages, no nothing.  Up next was B's SA.  Thankfully, it didn't play out like on TV.  There was no gross room at the doctor's office filled with porn.  He just did his thing at home and took it in to the office.  Those results were not good.  They were not good at all.  There were no sperm in the sample.  Not one.  Not even one with two head or anything.  I was devestated.  B is one of those guys who was meant to be a dad.  There was no way he couldn't be one.  We were so sad.  Dr. M immediately referred us to a urologist, Dr. Shaban.  Yet another life saver.
Dr. S immediately scheduled another SA to make sure the first one wasn't a fluke.  It wasn't.  The second one was just as bad.  Luckily, we had options.  He suggested we do a testicular biopsy to check to see if B even produces sperm.  This would be a simple outpatient surgery and we could take him home that day.  While in there, he suggested we also harvest some testicular tissue to use incase we had to do IVF.  We opted not to do that.  We just weren't ready to make that leap.  This was all happening so fast, but in a good way.  The surgery took place in March of 2011.  So, just 2 months after my first meeting with Dr. M.
The surgery went well, and we had some good news.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

17 Weeks!

How far along? 17 Weeks 1 Day

Size of baby:  either a bell pepper, an onion, or a turnip.  It depends on what website you look at!

Total weight gain/loss: Still 1-2 pounds

Maternity clothes:  Yes and yes!  Love them!!!

Gender:  We find out Thursday!  

Movement: Still just some flutters here and there.  Very rare still

Sleep: Much better since we kicked the pups off the bed!  But, now I'm dealing with really dry sinuses so that's not helping much.

What I miss:  Bloody Marys.  Why do I really only miss the alcohol?

Cravings: Nothing really this week.  Although, I've noticed I have been eating a fried chicken salad much more than normal!

Best moment this past week: Realizing my belly feels like more baby than chub!

Symptoms: Just the sinus stuff

What I'm looking forward to: My mom coming to visit to find out the gender!!!

Milestones: The nugget is growing and growing

Mood: Good. I think I'm in nesting mode.  I organized 2 closets today and picked out paint samples for the nursery

Signs of labor? No, thank God!  This little nugget still has plenty of cooking to do!!

Wedding rings on or off? On!

And here's the weekly pic!