On This Day

Yesterday we celebrated our niece's birthday in the same way we have done for the last 10 years -- by going to a local fall festival.  It's always on the first Sunday of October, and for me, brings back so many memories of our TTC journey.  

2006 -- we had just started trying to conceive the month before by throwing out the BCPs.  I was so hopeful that by the next year I would be pregnant during this celebration.

2007 -- still trying...oh Clomid you are a nasty nasty drug...

2008 -- still trying...with a couple of IUIs thrown in for good measure...

2009 -- still trying...with a couple of IUIs and some good old Femara thrown in just for fun... 

2010 -- pregnant with a surprise BFP one week before.  Was so careful not to go on the hayrack ride or do anything too strenuous like holding one of our nieces.  Four days later I miscarried.  

2011 -- still trying...losing hope...

2012 --  PUPO -- five days post 5 day transfer of our only surviving embryo during our only IVF cycle. Praying for a miracle and holding onto hope.  

2013 -- E's first trip to the festival with us at almost 4 months old.  My heart is so full. 

2014 -- E's so much fun this year at the festival -- at 16 months old, she is walking, talking and charming everyone.  She has her auntie and nieces wrapped around her finger.  She loves the hay rack ride and petting the horses the most.  

2015 -- Our surprise baby boy (conceived without ART), A, turns 10 weeks old on the day of the festival.  Our family is complete.  My heart is exploding with love.  



The number two seems to be the theme of my life right now...
  • Unfortunately, I may only have 2 people who follow me anymore as it has been so long since I have written.  I'd say I will be better, but I can't make that promise.  I still follow all of your blogs -- I'm just not good about writing mine...
  • E turned 2 this week.  What a challenging and beautiful age.  She is so talkative and learns something new every single day.  But she also is very stubborn (I'm sure she gets that from her father) and impatient and very opinionated.  Our biggest challenges right now are dinner time and bed time.  The best moments are hearing "hug momma hug" or "I love you momma".  In the last month I survived hubby and my's first trip away from her (first time we've both been away overnight).  She stayed with her aunt and uncle for 4 days and did so great.  I meanwhile, cried all the way to the airport and once I got to the hotel.  I also survived my first long work trip away from her -- three whole nights.  Again, she did great, but it broke my heart to hear her cry every night when we said "good night" on the phone.  
  • Two jobs.  For the last several years I have worked my primary job and then also had a secondary job one evening a week teaching a class for at least one to two semesters of the year.  This fall was the last semester I committed to doing this.  This is a good thing as since last August I have really been doing two jobs as part of my primary position.  It is busy and challenging most days, but I still feel very blessed to be able to have a day off every two weeks to spend extra time with E.  We are also very blessed by the wonderful daycare/school she goes to.  
  • Two months from this Saturday I will turn 40. Enough said.
  • Two lines.  Last November I thought my period started and then it promptly stopped after about a half day (it is usually 7+ days).  And it didn't come back.  Finally, a week later, I took a pregnancy test and immediately got two lines.  Excitement and fear ensued, as the last time I started my period and then stopped and realized I was pregnant ended up in a miscarriage.  So trying not to get my hopes up too high, I went in to my OB/GYN (going to the RE clinic just made me too anxious) and painfully had to wait until the next morning for the results.  The results were solid at 9000+, and two days later were 17,000+.  Knowing my history, my OB clinic was great and got me in for an early ultrasound at 6 weeks where we heard an amazing heart beat.  So long story short, while some people struggle with secondary infertility after having their first child, hubby and I apparently were blessed with secondary fertility, after it took us 6 years and IVF to conceive E.  As I sit here I am 32 weeks and am watching and feeling baby moving like crazy.  It has taken a long time to set in for us that it is truly happening (many days I still can't believe it) and we feel so fortunate to be in this place.  (the back story is that I had visited my RE about a month prior to have blood work and a day 3 ultrasound done as my period had been odd since it returned in June and the results were shocking.  My AMH had gone up, and my FSH had gone down. Both, along with the other labs, were within normal range.  I asked how this happens and he had no answer for me.   My follie count was good for being 39, and he basically said we could try some less invasive procedures -- i.e. medication with or without IUI -- we never got to that point)
  • 12:22 a.m. -- there are too many twos in that number, especially since my alarm is set for 5:30 a.m.  Time to try to shut off the brain and go to sleep.  Good night!


I Love You

One year ago I uttered those three words "I love you" to my RE.  Yes, my RE.  Not my proudest moment, but I had just turned into a babbling crying mess as he told me my first beta number was over 1200 and I was pregnant.  This is a day that will be etched in my memory forever.

It's not lost on me that it is also National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day and while I will always have the happy memory of what happened on this day, there are also many people and angels are etched in my memory forever.

  • Our own sweet little girl or boy who gave us so much joy for the 2 weeks we knew you existed.
  • My sweet niece who would turn 10 next month if she were on earth, but instead will remain 29 days old forever.  I never met her when she was alive, but she was truly the most beautiful little girl.
  • Our goddaughter who was born still too soon due to pregnancy complications
  • A friend of mine who's baby was born about a week after my little one, but was born still, with the cord around her neck
  • So many of my peer group and blogging friends who have experienced loss, many who have experienced multiple losses
  • Others who while they haven't had a miscarriage or death, still mourn their inability to get pregnant, for whatever reason.  
Today as I look at my Facebook timeline and my Twitter feed I am reminded of how many people suffer in silence.  I figure for every one person who posts something, there are at least 2 or 3 who have suffered loss, but don't say anything publicly. My prayer is that today, noone grieves alone, but is aware of the supportive community around them.   


New Posts

New posts up at http://twinklelittlestar2013.blogspot.com/ 

Disclaimer -- this link is for my pregnancy and now baby blog.   I completely understand if you are not in a place where you are comfortable visiting.  I will continue to write in this current space from time-to-time about fertility issues/struggles and general life.  

Stings Like a Bee

I remember in junior high being stung by a bee for the first time.  It was after school and I felt something moving in my hair.  I ran my hand through my hair to see what was going on and quickly found it was a bee in my hair, an angry bee who stung my hand.  I had been in the process of buying a can of pop at the time so was able to hold onto that to take some of the burn of the sting away as I walked home.  It dulled the pain, but didn't take it away completely, and I continued to have a tender spot on my hand for several days.  

This past week, I found out someone very close to me is pregnant with her 3rd child.  Yes, I recently gave birth to my Little Miss, and am totally and completely in love with her and am so grateful for her.  But this news still stung like a bee.  The fact it happened so quickly and easily and that we are the same age and she will soon have 3 kids, still stung, and continues to sting even a few days later.  Yes, this announcement was easier than the one 3 years ago, when we were 4 years into our journey to have a child (and would shortly thereafter become pregnant and miscarry), but the scars of infertility, while somewhat faded, are still there.  


Little Miss' Arrival Story Link

I've written part one of Little Miss' arrival story.  It can be found on my pregnancy blog at: http://twinklelittlestar2013.blogspot.com/



She's here!  Our little miracle was born on Monday, June 10, at 38 weeks 3 days and has changed our lives forever!  She weighed in at 7 pounds 1 ounce and was 18.5 inches long.  I am head over heels in love with her!

More to come!


Hey Old Friend...

I have to say, old friend, that I haven't missed you much at all, and I would have been perfectly fine had you not returned over the last couple of weeks.  I was actually beginning to  feel secure and comfortable after having you in my life for so many years...but for some reason you've decided to come back.  Friend is much too nice of a word for you.  Something that rhymes with "witch" is probably more accurate and appropriate for how I feel about you.  I guess it's kind of funny that I thought I might have escaped you, beings you've been part of my life for a long time.  

Oh, anxiety, I have not missed you...not one bit.  

I've been an anxious person probably my whole life.  Sleepless nights, knotted back and shoulders, always worried, pretty much for as long as I can remember.  

But it was when we started trying to have a baby, and kept trying and trying and trying and trying that my anxiety got out of control -- enough to have to have rescue medicine for panic attacks -- those moments when I thought "I'm never going to be a mom".  Six years of infertility shit will do that to a person.  

Then I got pregnant with IVF and a whole new level of anxiety came out to play.  Anxiety that kept me on my toes until each new milestone was passed.  If there's no bleeding, if we just see the heartbeat, if we make it to 12 weeks, if the fetal growth ultrasound looks good, if I feel movement,  if we just make it to viability...if if if...

I got to about 30 weeks and really started feeling good about this.  Maybe even a bit cocky.  While I knew a take home baby was never a promise, if felt like that reality was getting closer and closer.  I put my guard down a little.  I felt really positive.  I had a long awaited break from anxiety, and it was good.  

About two weeks ago, that all changed.  I started having stabbing pains in my vaginal area, I started having muscle cramps/weakness in my inner thighs, I started feeling more and more pressure in "that" area, and I woke up one morning thinking I had developed arthritis in my hands overnight.  Come to find out -- these are all normal parts of pregnancy...I was just naive to it all.  

I had my 36 week doctor's appointment and had been told I would have my cervix checked at this appointment.  I was prepared.  It was uncomfortable, but not horrible. Cervix was still closed and hard.  But afterwards, there was blood in my underwear later in the day and just an uncomfortable feeling down there -- cue anxiety.  

I had my 37 week doctor's appointment with my favorite doctor.  I didn't realize it at the time that another check would be done at this visit.  This time cervix was 1.5 cm dilated and starting to efface (soften).  Cue more anxiety in the form of "I'm so not ready for this" and "Oh my God, Dr. Google, what does this mean -- am I going to have the baby this week?"  But what I really found out is that none of it really means anything.  Women walk around all the time dilated and effaced and don't give birth till after their due date, or dilate so quickly that they don't know what hit them.  (at least there was no bleeding after this check)

On Friday I went into my 38 week appointment armed and ready.  As the nurse put out the sheet on the table, I politely asked if I could decline the exam this week.  She immediately put the sheet away and said "absolutely".  The doctor came in (my primary doctor who I've been seeing for the last 7 years through the entire infertility journey) and she asks if the nurse did not give me a sheet to change.  I tell her yes, she did, but that I was declining the exam because the numbers really don't mean anything and they just make me more anxious.    

She then proceeded to tell (lecture) me that she needed to do the exam so that if I called into the office wondering if I was in labor or not, they would have a better idea of what was going on (remembering that women walk around dilated and effaced all the time and it is no indication of pending labor) and would know "what to do with me."  Basically I was told I HAD to have the exam.  

Now of course I know I still have rights and could decline the exam, but at this point I was holding back tears and thinking -- okay if they don't do the exam, and then something happens to baby, I would never be able to live with myself.  So she left the room and I donned the sheet.  I tried to pull myself together as tears rolled down my cheeks and I felt totally disrespected.  I decided I was just going to make it through the exam, not say anything or ask any questions and get out of there as soon as possible.  

The doctor comes back in and the first words out of her mouth are "are you okay with this?" Seriously lady???  I politely said "I guess I have to be" and let her go about her business.  It was the most painful check yet, and the news was that I am now 2 cm dilated and 50ish% effaced.  (oh and I spotted for 2 days afterwards -- which as an infertile always freaks the hell out of me!)  I got dressed, left the office as quickly as possible and had a major meltdown in my car.  I was so hurt by the fact that I felt like my feelings/opinion didn't count.  Especially by my primary physician who knows what I have been through to get here.  And if she had given me a good reason for the exam, then I would have been okay with it, but to tell me it's really just a convenience factor for them should I call in later, just makes me mad.  

I already had my 39 week appointment set up with her, but I can guarantee you that I am changing that first thing tomorrow morning.  I can also guarantee that I will try to decline the check again this week...if I get that far.  

I'm incredibly grateful for where I am right now.  Please don't get me wrong.  But this unknown, of when baby will make their appearance, is really causing me some issues (and I'm not even much of a control freak) that I never expected.  I feel like I'm in the "two week wait" period again.  


Random Thoughts

This post may end up being all over the place, but I have lots of thoughts going through my mind right now that I want to get out of my head...

  • It's been a cruel week in blog land.  There's been a lot of BFNs after treatments, cancelled cycles, slowly rising betas causing uncertainty, difficult decisions,  etc.  So many people to keep in my thoughts and prayers.  Infertility can just go suck it.  
  • Over the last year or so, I've met an amazing group of women, all facing infertility.  My acupuncturist started a local peer group that meets once a month and it's been so therapeutic to me.  I'm so thankful to be a part of it.  One of the ladies I've gotten to know in particular, is going through her second miscarriage of this year, after their third IVF cycle.  Things just keep going wrong for her and her husband and it makes me angry. This week, she had an ultrasound at our local clinic and they treated her poorly (from my perspective), being sloppy and  leaving lots of questions unanswered.  Today they had another ultrasound hoping to get answers, which they did, but they weren't good answers.  My heart just hurts so much for her.  I feel so helpless in these situations.  There are no words or actions to make it better.  
  • As I hear more and more stories from my peer group members, I get more and more upset about how our local clinic treats their patients.  They are the only clinic in the city and they have the market share. To find another RE would be at least 2 hours away.  I feel like they have just become callused to the work they do, and are losing any sense of compassion and caring -- it seems they are just moving people through.  My husband and I were never big fans of the clinic from the start, but I have to say that I'm quite happy we will NEVER have to go there again.  (of course I'm thankful for them, otherwise we would not be pregnant right now, but I am so not impressed with how they are treating my friends!)
  • While I really hope I make it to my due date in 4 weeks, I am seriously ready to be done with work.  I want to work as long as I can so I can enjoy my time off after baby is born, but there have been days I'm just ready to throw in the towel and be done for 12 weeks.  
  • I'm sad to think this pregnancy is coming to an end.  Yes, I am so excited to meet baby and see what he/she looks like, but I am so going to miss the kicks and jabs and my big ole belly!  
  • On a cute and much lighter note, we visited our nieces this weekend and I asked our 8 year-old niece if she had any boy names that we should consider.  She looked at me with a dead serious look in her eye and said "why do you need a boy's name -- the baby is a girl."  It's hard to argue with such fierce determination!  
I hope everyone has a great long weeked!


Excuse Me While I Go Throw Up

This is how I felt tonight after reading an article.  Upon reading it the first time, my immediate reaction was to throw up, literally getting sick to my stomach.  My next emotion was anger -- how can someone possibly feel this way?   As I read the article again an hour later, my final emotion was sadness, gut wrenching sadness.

Let me explain...

My Twitter feed today was all abuzz regarding this article.   As a general synopsis, this is written by a dad, who has a young son, but he and his wife wanted their son to have a sibling and were struggling with secondary infertility.  They decided to do IVF, and are now pregnant with twins after they CHOSE to transfer 2 embryos.  These twins are unfortunately both boys (they really wanted a girl) and apparently are going to ruin their lives and make sure their parents never sleep ever again.  In general they are pissed off about having twins, even getting to the point where they did genetic testing, hoping that one of them would have an abnormality so it would give them a reason to do selective reduction.  Do YOU want to throw up yet?  Oh, and yes, the father who wrote this article has chosen to stay anonymous, not even having the balls to say who he is.  

It's easy to be angry with this guy and his wife.  If there's any question about it, just read the comments section.  I was angry after reading it too.

But soon my anger turned into sadness.

Sad that these children are already seen as a burden by their parents, even though they made the CHOICE to transfer two embryos because they didn't want to pay for the process twice.

Sad that these two boys will enter the world with the pre-conceived belief that they will both be like their older brother -- crying all the time, likely colicky, and (gasp) fiercely strong-willed, knowing that crying pushes his parent's buttons (and who let's him push these buttons?).

Sad that these parents are comparing the last 4 months of their pregnancy to that of a cancer patient, instead of feeling the joy and connection to these babies as they kick and move inside the womb -- a feeling that many infertile couples will never get to experience.

Sad that they view their first child as "the free one" while CHOOSING to do IVF, and taking on the associated costs, has taken money out of their house fund, their college fund, or other future plans they had.

What makes me the most sad about this story?  Reading these selfish thoughts while knowing, through this community and in real life, SO many couples who would give anything to be able to get pregnant at all; to be able to have a healthy pregnancy; to have the blessing of one, let alone two healthy babies and to stay up all night rocking a crying baby.

If this guy had the guts to identify himself, I would write to him to let him know of all of the wonderful couples who would love to adopt these blessings, so he and his wife don't have to worry about finding space for these children in their one-bedroom apartment,  so he and his wife can rest peacefully at night and so they would be able to continue in their perfect little world, prior to being burdened with a twin pregnancy.

  My heart is heavy.

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