Monday, December 19, 2011

14 Weeks and Our 2 Year Anniversary

Today is mine and George's 2nd anniversary!! We had such a happy weekend together, it was amazing. He came home early from work on Friday and surprised me with a beautiful black diamond necklace. Very sweet and very unexpected!! This is going to sound like such cheese, but we spent Friday evening starting a new MMO together - Star Wars, The Old Republic. If you remember our history, George and I met playing Everquest II. We started out internet friends, grouping together in game and hanging out, then it progressed to chatting on ventrilo and then webcam and by phone, and finally, meeting in person. Gaming is an important part of our friendship and we may be nerds, but we have fun together! EQII has kind of been boring lately, so when this new game came out, we decided to give it a try. We are definitely having a lot of fun with it, and it's a great way to spend time together.

Saturday morning we got a couples massage, OMG. It was amazing. George had a deep tissue massage and I had a pregnancy massage. We both left feeling so happy and relaxed. We spent the whole day together, taking a long walk, napping, just hanging out, then went to an early dinner at our favorite Japanese Hibachi Steakhouse. YUM! We ended up sitting at the bar for over an hour afterward (so George could finish his Sake, so sad I couldn't have some!) just talking, which was great. Sunday was more relaxing and walking together, and I love every minute we spend together.

It's such a happy place we're in this year. We're still so very much in love with each other. And now we have a baby on the way!!! I couldn't ask for more in life. Here is a recent picture of us together. I was very newly pregnant here, but had no idea yet. Hehe. How exciting!


And for the most recent pregnancy update!

How Far Along: 14 weeks

My Baby This Week: Your baby's stretching out. From head to bottom, he measures 3 1/2 inches — about the size of a lemon — and he weighs 1 1/2 ounces. His body's growing faster than his head, which now sits upon a more distinct neck. By the end of this week, his arms will have grown to a length that's in proportion to the rest of his body. (His legs still have some lengthening to do.) He's starting to develop an ultra-fine, downy covering of hair, called lanugo, all over his body. Your baby's liver starts making bile this week — a sign that it's doing its job right — and his spleen starts helping in the production of red blood cells. Though you can't feel his tiny punches and kicks yet, your little pugilist's hands and feet (which now measure about 1/2 inch long) are more flexible and active. (From www.babycenter.com)

Weight Gain: 8 lbs. Ouch! At least 4 lbs of this has to be in my boobs, ha.

Baby Bump: Definitely popping out now! I love to see this little baby bump and am looking forward to watching it grow.

Sleep: Getting better the more I get used to the Snoogle pillow and to sleeping on my side. The massage helped a lot too in working out some of the knots in my shoulder. I think I'm getting over some of the fatigue too and don't need quite as much sleep as I did in the beginning.

Best Moment of The Week: Anniversary dinner, realizing that this will be our last anniversary as a couple. Next year and from here on out, we will be a family of three! So exciting!

Symptoms: Heartburn. Ugh. It sucks!! Tums are my best friend these days. If the old wives tale is true, this baby is going to have some serious hair when he/she comes out! Still a little nausea, but I got a fresh scrip for Zofran and am hoping this will carry me through the last of it. My breasts are still sore, especially the nips. I hope that means my body is working great and is getting ready to produce lots of milk!

Food Cravings: Nothing specific still. After such a great dinner Sat. though, I might start craving Japanese, hehe.

What I Miss: Being able to have a glass or two of Sake at dinner. It's not a big deal, really, but it's weird to think it will be such a long time before I can drink again.

What I'm Looking Forward To: Friday's Gender Ultrasound. OMG, I'm dying to hear the news!!!!

Weekly Wisdom: No matter how bad I feel, I never want to take a single moment of this experience for granted. I'm so blessed to be pregnant.

Emotions: I'm Lady Waterworks these days. Lots of tears, but mostly joyful tears. :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

13 Weeks

Yay! I made it through the most difficult/dangerous part of the pregnancy. I know there are differing opinions on when the second trimester begins (even in my own OB office, one nurse said 12 weeks, but the midwife said 14, lol), but I am going to go ahead and proclaim that I have officially hit the second trimester! I definitely feel a little bit better. The nausea is mostly gone, (yippee!!) except for a few early morning quease sessions. It's so much more manageable, which is awesome.

Also, I am off the progesterone supplements and the metformin. I was incredibly nervous about coming off of these medications at first, but now that it's been about a week, I am feeling better. I am incredibly happy that I bought the Sonoline fetal doppler so that I can hear the baby's heartbeat whenever I want to. It's given me a lot of peace of mind to hear that strong heartbeat. So here's my official 13 week update:

How Far Along: 13 weeks

My Baby This Week:

Weight Gain: 6 lbs. Not bad for the first trimester I guess. It's a little more than I wanted to gain, and now that I'm off the metformin, I'm a little bit nervous that the weight will come on even faster. I am going to have to be a lot more careful about what I'm eating. I also need to make sure to be better about exercise. We've been trying to walk about 2 miles a day, but I keep missing days. (oops!)

Baby Bump: My bump is finally starting to grow! It's still small, but I'm posting two pics - the one I took at 4 weeks just after we found out I was preggers, and the one I just took on Saturday evening. You can start to see the little bit of bump growing! It's very exciting.


Sleep: This is definitely the tough spot for me right now. I bought one of those Snoogle pregnancy pillows, and it seems to be helping some. Still, my body is achy. It's surprising that I'm having body aches this early in my pregnancy. I wasn't expecting that. I've had a hard time sleeping all the way through the night, and when I wake up in the morning, I feel stiff. I normally sleep on my back, so it's tough to make the switch to side sleeping. Hopefully this discomfort won't last the entire rest of the pregnancy.

Best Moment of the Week: Buying my new pregnancy full belly panel jeans. They are so incredibly comfy and they look great on me. Ahhh, what a relief to get out of my regular jeans.

Symptoms: Nausea and fatigue are definitely starting to go away, which is an amazing relief. My worst symptoms right now are the body aches and discomfort when I sleep.Also, my nipples are killing me lately. This may be TMI (ha!) but when I go outside and it's cold, my nipples scream out in pain. It literally feels like they are on fire. Same thing when I am in the shower. My breasts might be a little bigger as well.

Food Cravings: I have been absolutely craving cupcakes lately. Every time I see one, my mouth waters like crazy. Still, I have been a good girl and haven't given in to the temptation. Right now, I'm trying to steer clear of things that are pure sugar. I'm scared of getting GD, so I'm trying to be good!

What I Miss: Being able to get a full night's sleep without waking up or feeling achy.

What I'm Looking Forward To: Our gender ultrasound on the 23rd!!! I can't wait to see if we'll be able to find out if we're having a girl or a boy. I'm so excited!!!

Weekly Wisdom: Pregnancy is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I need to stop being so hard on myself and just keep in mind that my body is going through a lot right now. It's okay if I'm not superwoman.

Milestones: Made it through the first trimester!!!

Emotions: A little out of control. I mean, I cried today at an Onstar commercial on the radio. Seriously.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Slacking!

Oops! I really have been slacking on my posts lately! Time is just slipping away from me these days. I guess that's a good thing, right? I missed my 11 and 12 week updates, but I promise I will do a 13 week update on Monday, along with a new picture. My bump is small but starting to show a little bit, which is exciting. Actually, I'm kind of in that phase where I just look like I've gained a few pounds. I'm really looking forward to looking like I'm really pregnant!

Meanwhile, I'll just do a quick update on what's been happening. I had my first OB/midwife appointment. It wasn't the most pleasant thing in the world - pap smear, they made me go over my sexual assault from 2000 trying to figure out if I sustained any injuries or have lingering depression, and although they said we were getting an ultrasound, we didn't get one (which means my husband took off work for nothing really). It was disappointing, but I am still going to try to have faith that I picked a good practice. We did get to hear the baby's heartbeat on their nicer monitors, though. We are listening to the baby's heartbeat here at home at least every other day with our Sonoline B, and it's just so cool! I can't wait until I finally get to feel the baby moving.

I had acupuncture today. I may have mentioned this before, but my acupuncturist says he is about 80% right on telling the gender of the baby based on my pulse. His guess for me? BOY! He says he is pretty sure about it. That, combined with my husband's dream that we're having a boy, make me feel pretty confident that we are going to have a little boy come June. We are having an early gender determination ultrasound at a local 3D place on December 23rd at noon. We wont' get our gender/anatomy ultrasound with the OB until January, so I thought I would try to find out at the 3D place. It's $75 and there's no guarantee they'll be able to see the baby's gender for sure, but I figure it is worth a shot! We will leave for Georgia to spend time with my family that afternoon, so I am hoping to surprise them with a gender reveal present! I really hope they get a good look!

Hmmm, what else? I've been writing more, but still not as much as I'd like. The morning sickness is definitely getting a lot better, which is awesome. I am still a bit tired, but I think my energy level is getting better overall. My appetite is definitely increasing, lol. And I've already gained 5lbs. Ouch!! Oh well, I just have to try to make healthy choices and not gain too much. I am off of progesterone supplements and Metformin at this point, which is both scary and exciting. Everything is going well so far, which is great. It's really starting to feel real that I'm going to have an actual baby come June!!! It's the most amazing thing in the world, and I can't believe it's really finally happening.

Sorry for the lacking posts, but I have been trying to keep up with reading blogs. Oh, and I got a blog award too, so I will do a post on that soon too!! More soon!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

10 week Update - A little late... oops!

Hi everyone! I know I'm late with my 10 week update. And I do keep meaning to blog more frequently. Unfortunately, I'm having one hell of a time with morning sickness and just generally not feeling well - which in turn makes it not so fun to be on the computer or sitting up in general :P. LOL. Yes, I think I'm a wimp when it comes to pregnancy.

Don't get me wrong, I'm super happy. Just tired of feeling like crap all the time. At least I know it's for a good cause, haha. The best cause really. But at this point, I am definitely praying for a second trimester respite.

How Far Along - 10 weeks!!

videoPicture of Baby - Not exactly a picture this week, but something pretty cool anyway. I bought a fetal doppler and we were able to find the baby's heartbeat!!! We shot a quick video of the very first time we heard the baby's heartbeat. The video is awful because I had to use a free converter that put all these words on the screen, but it's really the audio that counts, so I'm going to post it here.

I am trying not to use the doppler all the time, but it's definitely tempting. The heartbeat is such a beautiful sound!!!

My Baby This Week -
Though he's barely the size of a kumquat — a little over an inch or so long, crown to bottom — and weighs less than a quarter of an ounce, your baby has now completed the most critical portion of his development. This is the beginning of the so-called fetal period, a time when the tissues and organs in his body rapidly grow and mature.
He's swallowing fluid and kicking up a storm. Vital organs — including his kidneys, intestines, brain, and liver (now making red blood cells in place of the disappearing yolk sac) — are in place and starting to function, though they'll continue to develop throughout your pregnancy.

Weight Gain - 4 lbs total now. My waist is definitely starting to get bigger! And yes, my boobs are much bigger too!

Sleep - I think my sleep is getting better in general. Less of the super vivid dreams, though I did have another nightmare about my ex husband last night. WTF is that all about? I would rather not be thinking of him at all, but somehow my psyche is bringing him into my nightmares. No bueno.

Best Moment of the Week - Definitely hearing the baby's heartbeat for the first time.

Symptoms - The nausea never lets up. Actually, I did have a couple of good days here and there, but nothing great. And I only have 2 of the original 20 zofran left and I am saving them for Thanksgiving, just in case. That's the worst of the worst as far as symptoms.

Food Cravings - I have definitely had a craving for cupcakes this past week. Strange, huh? I even have dreams about them, LOL. But I haven't given into temptation yet. I know my body doesn't need that extra sugar!

What I Miss - Feeling good.

What I'm Looking Forward To - A more energetic, less nauseated second trimester. Please?

Milestones - Hearing the baby's heartbeat, for sure!

Emotions - I am always grateful and extremely happy to be pregnant. However, this past week, the constancy of the nausea is really bringing me down. It just feels so relentless. I've never felt this bad for so long in my life, and it's turning out to be a lot harder than I thought it would be. Inevitably, this has an effect on my mood and my general emotional self. Hoping to just push through it. I remind myself daily of how blessed I am and that my body is doing some seriously hard work right now growing our little miracle.

Monday, November 14, 2011

An Active Baby (9 week Update)

I can't believe how fast time is moving. I am being bad about keeping up with the updates, which I swore I wouldn't do once I got pregnant, but oh well, I'm doing the best I can right now and hope to update more often as time goes by! We had our second ultrasound scheduled for this afternoon, which is why I am posting late, and it was AMAZING! The baby has grown so much in just two weeks. It actually looks like a baby now! (see pictures below). And what was even cooler is that he/she was moving around the entire time. It was the neatest thing to see the little arms and legs moving all around. Even the doctor was laughing and saying it was one of the most active babies he's seen. Maybe we have a future gymnast on our hands, hehe. I am so in love with this baby already.

Oh and guess what?? Today, the fertility clinic doctor officially released me as a patient!!! Yes, that's right friends, I am actually going to be a "normal" pregnant woman from here on out. I can't wait to make my first appointment! Tomorrow, I go to a meet and greet with the midwives of the practice I intend to use. I really hope I get a good vibe from them and feel super comfy. This is a sister practice of the fertility clinic and is in the same building, just one floor up. The other great thing is that my fertility doctor is also the on-call OB for them once a week, so he feels completely comfortable with the practice and has had nothing but good things to say - and if needed, it's possible he would be there to see us through an emergency situation. Hopefully, though, we won't need an OB and will happily deliver naturally with a midwife, but that is a post for a different day. Now for the weekly update!

How Far Along - 9 weeks


Pictures of baby (my favorite part) -

(you can see how much the baby moved already just from one pic to the next!)
My Baby This Week - Your new resident is nearly an inch long — about the size of a grape — and weighs just a fraction of an ounce. She's starting to look more and more human. Her essential body parts are accounted for, though they'll go through plenty of fine-tuning in the coming months. Other changes abound: Your baby's heart finishes dividing into four chambers, and the valves start to form — as do her tiny teeth. The embryonic "tail" is completely gone. Your baby's organs, muscles, and nerves are kicking into gear. The external sex organs are there but won't be distinguishable as male or female for another few weeks. Her eyes are fully formed, but her eyelids are fused shut and won't open until 27 weeks. She has tiny earlobes, and her mouth, nose, and nostrils are more distinct. The placenta is developed enough now to take over most of the critical job of producing hormones. Now that your baby's basic physiology is in place, she's poised for rapid weight gain. (from www.babycenter.com)

Weight Gain - 3 lbs at this point. I'm definitely feeling like my belly is pooching out a bit more. I don't have a good picture to upload this week, but maybe next week! I think I'm definitely starting to show already, though, and man, my clothes don't fit! I'm living in yoga pants, haha.

Sleep - Non-stop dreams. And not all of them are pleasant, unfortunately. Ugh. I don't ever feel like I'm getting a full night's sleep, but I know it's all part of the deal of being pregnant. I'm hoping the dreams begin to subside at least a little bit once I move into the second trimester.

Best Moment of the Week - Today's ultrasound for sure! I'm still smiling ear-to-ear hours later. I had read in one of my books that "you may be able to see your baby move on an ultrasound" and thought, wow, that would be cool. But nothing compared to actually seeing those little tiny arms and legs moving around. Best moment of the week? Heck, one of the best of my life!

Symptoms - I would say my symptoms are starting to fade a little bit. My breasts are barely sore at all anymore and I'm happy to say that I have had several days without any nausea. I was concerned about why the symptoms were fading, but after seeing our very active baby, I know everything is okay so there's no reason to worry! I still have some nausea days, like today, but it's good to know I'm having some good days too.

Food Cravings - I don't know if it's a craving exactly, but I've found that tart apples like Granny Smith or Golden Delicious are really good for curbing my nausea, so I've been eating a lot of organic apples lately! Yum!

What I Miss - Restful sleep.

What I'm Looking Forward To - Moving on to a regular midwife/OB practice and getting to ask all the questions. Also, I'm dying to know if we're having a boy or a girl!!

Weekly Wisdom - Staying positive is one of the most important tools a woman can have during early pregnancy. When I work on keeping my outlook and attitude positive, I feel better overall, have less stress, and am happier. If something were to go wrong, I'd rather deal with it at the time than spend all my days worried. Sometimes this is easier said than done, but something I try to remind myself of constantly.

Milestones - Graduating from the fertility clinic! Yay!!

Emotions - So happy my cheeks hurt from smiling!!


Friday, November 11, 2011

Fading Symptoms?

Tomorrow I will be 9 weeks pregnant already! Time is starting to fly by for sure! For the past few weeks, I've been struggling with some major nausea and fatigue, but today, I actually woke up feeling pretty normal.

*Begin obsessive behavior*

It's so crazy. I've been going crazy with these symptoms, hating the nausea and just begging to feel better. Then when I wake up feeling better, I start to obsess and worry that something has gone wrong. /sigh. My boobs have been crazy sore for weeks, but suddenly the past few days, I don't notice them as much. They are definitely not as sore as they have been, but if I push on them or hug myself tight, I can still feel a little tenderness.

Am I insane for analyzing my symptoms? I figured most people usually start to see their symptoms fade after the first trimester, but I'm still weeks away from the second trimester. Is it normal for some women to start to see their worst symptoms fade already at 9 weeks pregnant?

Of course, I realize that I could just be having a rare good day, lol. It's totally possible that I will wake up tomorrow feeling like poop all over again. I guess I should take this as a present and just enjoy feeling great for a while. I will feel incredibly lucky and blessed if my symptoms are fading but the baby is totally healthy. Win-win.

Monday we will get to see the sweet Baby Bittmann again on an ultrasound. Our appointment is at 3:30 in the afternoon, and I absolutely can't wait. Hopefully the fading symptoms don't mean anything is wrong! I'm going to just stay positive and pray that all is well. In the meantime, if any of you starting feeling some fading symptoms around 9 weeks or so, let me know so I can stop obsessing so much!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Overwhelmed

It's so easy to feel overwhelmed at this stage! I'm looking toward the next seven or so months and realizing that there is so much that needs to get done. I have found myself just standing there in the doorway to the future nursery, staring at the mess that needs to be tamed into a real baby's room. For years, that room has been my catch-all room. It's my closet (because the one in the master bedroom is super tiny), my crafting/sewing room, a storage room, you name it. I've actually already cleaned a lot of it out, but there's still just so much stuff. To be honest, I have no idea where most of it is going to go.

I have donated a bunch of my crafting supplies to a local school in need. I let some friends come and look through a lot of the stuff that was left, which got rid of some more of it. Then, I actually donated about 3 trashbags full of clothes to the local mission. And that's really just the beginning of it all.

I know I need to just take it one step at a time. I wish the nursery was the only thing that needed work around here. It seems like there's something to do in every single room. Not to mention the fact that we really need new carpet throughout the entire house. I want to do everything I can to make this house perfect for the baby. And the ironic thing is that a tiny baby will have no idea if the house is a mess or not, lol. It's just something I want for the baby to have. Maybe that's insane.

My big hope is that once the first trimester is over, I will get some of my energy back and can finally start to tackle some of these big jobs I have on my list. When I'm feeling tired and nauseated, the last thing I wanted to do is clean the house or work on organizing. Honestly, I'm ashamed to admit that all I really feel like doing these days is sitting in front of the TV and vegging out. Is that terrible? It's almost like a weird melancholy that comes over me. It's almost a restlessness. There's so much I want to do, but I feel helpless to do any of it. It's definitely a strange feeling, and I really hope it passes soon.

On a totally happy note, though, I am actually almost 8 1/2 weeks already! Time is definitely moving right along. Next Monday, I have my second ultrasound. I really hope we get to hear the heartbeat this time! I am also really hoping that the fertility clinic graduates me to a regular OB practice after this appointment. I'm still not completely sure which practice I'm going to go with, but I'm ready to get settled with my doctor and midwives and move into a 'normal' pregnancy. Exciting!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

8 weeks! Man, time flies!

I can't believe it's already been more than a week since my last post. I don't know where the time has gone. I think once I got to see our baby's heartbeat and some of that worry melted away, time just started slipping by. I promise to be better at updating!

How Far Along - 8 Weeks!!

My Baby This Week - New this week: Webbed fingers and toes are poking out from your baby's hands and feet, his eyelids practically cover his eyes, breathing tubes extend from his throat to the branches of his developing lungs, and his "tail" is just about gone. In his brain, nerve cells are branching out to connect with one another, forming primitive neural pathways. You may be daydreaming about your baby as one sex or the other, but the external genitals still haven't developed enough to reveal whether you're having a boy or a girl. Either way, your baby — about the size of a kidney bean — is constantly moving and shifting, though you still can't feel it. (From www.babycenter.com)

Weight Gain - 3 lbs. Ouch! I can't believe I'm already gaining weight. I'm eating way too much to try to keep the nausea at bay.

Sleep - Dreams are the story of my life. Well, that and getting up to pee. My sleep is riddled with crazy vivid dreams, then I wake up, have to get up to pee, then I go back to sleep and start dreaming all over again. It's wild! I never wake up feeling like I got a really good night's sleep.

Best Moment Of The Week - Buying my first maternity clothes! I guess this could also be labeled as the most depressing moment of the week, haha, but I'm trying to look at it in a positive light. Yes, I'm only 8 weeks along, but my normal jeans feel so tight on my belly. I bought a few bella bands, but then I feel like my pants are falling down all day. So I went to Old Navy and bought some new maternity leggings (super comfy and cheap) and a pair of their maternity jeans. The low rise ones, because I figured the full panel belly would be too big for me right now. It was actually fun to be looking through the maternity clothes. I've been waiting for this for a long time! Besides, I figure I'd rather be comfortable than worry about whether or not it's too early for maternity.

Movement - From what I've read, the baby is probably moving around quite a bit in there, but I still can't feel it yet. Can't wait until I do, but I know that's still a while yet!

Symptoms - My breasts are decidedly bigger, but they are hurting less than they were in the beginning. I am still fighting against constant fatigue and awful nausea, but the zofran helps. They only gave me 20 pills in my prescription, so I've only been taking them when I absolutely know I'm going to throw up, lol.

Food Cravings - I'm still in a phase where nothing really sounds good to me most of the time. I used to love doughnuts and sweets, but right now, the thought of eating some cake or a doughnut or something turns my stomach. Guess that's a blessing, really, considering I've already started gaining weight. Man, if I was craving sweets, I'd be in serious trouble!

What I Miss - Being able to sleep all the way through the night without getting up.

What I'm Looking Forward To - Getting to see the baby again on an ultrasound next week. Hope we get to hear the heartbeat this time!

Emotions - Feeling so happy and so incredibly grateful. I have a peace now about this baby, feeling that it was just meant to be and everything is going to be okay.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Seven Weeks (and a heartbeat!!)

Hi everyone! This is going to be a big update because we got big news this weekend! The story starts out scary, just like a Halloween tale should. Friday afternoon around 5, I got up from my desk to use the bathroom and when I wiped, there was lots of red blood. My heart nearly stopped and I immediately felt tears rolling down my cheeks. I'm sorry if this is too graphic, but when I wiped again, there were several dark red blood clots. I was terrified. I have read many stories of that being the start of a miscarriage, and I just prayed and prayed nothing was wrong with the baby.

I called my nurse right away, but since it was after 5, I got the answering service and had to wait for them to call back. Because I said I was pregnant, the service gave my call to the OBGYN instead of the fertility clinic, so I had to explain myself again and wait for the fertility clinic nurse to call. It was torture. My husband lay there in bed with me as I cried and tried to get myself together. Finally, my favorite nurse called around 6:15 and said she wanted me to come in for an ultrasound on Saturday morning. She told me to take it easy and just stay on bedrest and that if the bleeding got worse to head to the ER. I dread going to the ER to wait, so I was determined to wait it out.

I barely slept at all on Friday night. George and I got up on Saturday morning and went straight to the clinic. They did bloodwork and then finally, after more than an hour in the waiting room, we were called in to the ultrasound room. When the doctor walked in, I felt so incredibly vulnerable. Naked, of course, from the waist down and just knowing that the next few minutes would either be full of great joy or great sadness. I held my breath as he inserted the ultrasound wand and George clutched my hand tight. "Everything looks good." When the words came out of the doctor's mouth, I began to cry tears of joy.

He turned the screen toward us and let us see our little baby for the first time. It just looked like a strange blob on the screen, but it was beautiful!! I asked if he could see a heartbeat and he said yes, then pointed out a fluttering little pulse on the screen. Wow!!! What an awesome sight! I totally fell in love in that moment and was so grateful that everything was okay. We got a cute little printout of our little Baby Bittmann and I couldn't be more excited! Now, we're scheduled for a second ultrasound for 9 weeks (November 14th). The doctor said the bleeding was just my body's way of saying I need to take it easy. He said he didn't see any reason for us to worry, which was very sweet news.

So, after that LONG update, here's my weekly update:

How Far Along: 7 weeks

Picture of Baby:

My Baby This Week: The big news this week: Hands and feet are emerging from developing arms and legs — although they look more like paddles at this point than the tiny, pudgy extremities you're daydreaming about holding and tickling. Technically, your baby is still considered an embryo and has something of a small tail, which is an extension of her tailbone. The tail will disappear within a few weeks, but that's the only thing getting smaller. Your baby has doubled in size since last week and now measures half an inch long, about the size of a blueberry. (Taken from BabyCenter)


 Weight Gain: Ugh. Another pound added on this week. I guess I am eating too much and not getting enough exercise, but I don't want to overdo it now especially that the doctor said to take it easy. I guess I'm just going to have to let the weight gain not bother me for now! Total gain is now 2 pounds.

Baby Bump: You can actually see the beginning of a baby bump! It's definitely not enough to look noticeably pregnant yet, but it's enough for me to see. I can't wait for my tummy to pop out a little more and for people to actually recognize me as being pregnant.

And yes, I know. I really need to find a cuter place to take my bump pictures, lol. Please ignore the mess on the window seat!

Sleep: Still not sleeping very well. I tried Unisom a couple of nights and slept so great, but after the bleeding, I'm scared to take or do anything. I'm sure the unisom had nothing to do with it, but why take any risks at this point? I'm trying to take several naps during the day to make up for the poor sleep at night.

Best Moment of the Week: By far seeing the heartbeat on the screen!!!

Symptoms: Same as last week. Achy, nauseated, sore breasts, peeing a lot, etc. Eating has been weird this week. It's like I'm hungry all the time, but when I eat I can never really feel satisfied. Nothing sounds good to me, not even pizza, which is saying something! I know I need to eat for the baby's health, but it's almost tedious to eat these days because I never feel good.

Food Cravings: I guess what's weirder than any cravings is the fact that the food I normally crave (ie. Pizza) is not as appetizing to me. Literally nothing sounds good. Ever. I wish I would suddenly start craving some super healthy nutritious foods like carrots and grilled chicken. :)

What I Miss: Feeling not sick.

What I'm Looking Forward To: Getting my energy back. I've heard the second trimester can be really enjoyable once the general sick feelings go away, and at this point, I'm really looking forward to that!

Weekly Wisdom: Always have faith that things are going to work out exactly the way they are supposed to. I spend too much of my life worrying over things that are out of my control.

Milestones: First ultrasound!! Seeing the baby's heartbeat and knowing we are that much closer to being out of the danger zone.

Emotions: I've been all over the place this week. Tonight, I actually cried during Practical Magic. That's really not a sad movie, but it touched me and I sobbed. What can I say? I'm a huge pile of hormones right now!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Motivation

All along, I knew October was going to be a slow production month. After all, I'd planned on this being my IVF month. I thought I would be feeling ill and bloated and scared and nervous and completely not creative. Well, the truth is that even though I'm pregnant, I'm still feeling ill and bloated and scared and nervous, lol. For some reason, when I found out I was expecting, I thought I would suddenly have all this renewed energy and be able to be creative and work hard. Boy was I wrong!

I always imagined that after such a long struggle to get pregnant, once the news finally came in, I would be so happy that none of the morning sickness or fatigue would phase me. Haha. I guess reality is often very different from what we think it's going to be. I never expected how much this constant tiredness or unyielding nausea would knock me on my ass. Yet here I am, struggling.

Don't get me wrong! I'm enormously happy, and that alone gives me energy. However, these days I'm spending my energy in a not-so-productive way. I know that what I need to be doing right now is working hard. This is one of the drawbacks of working for yourself, lol. I have complete control over how I spend my day. No one is making me work any certain hours. No one is expecting me to turn in any work. It's all up to me. And when I'm not feeling extremely well, it's hard to work up the motivation to work on a new novel.

Of course, no new novels means no new money, haha. And right now, there's so many things I want to buy! There's all the baby stuff, nursery decor, clothes, etc. Then there's new carpet for the house, which I desperately want. And even though it's nowhere near a necessity, I would love to have a new car. Something with more room. I know money isn't the most important thing in life, but it would definitely mean less stress when the baby arrives.

I happen to be in the lucky position that I can make extra money by writing more books. So why can't I write? AHHHH. Trust me, I'm trying. Unfortunately, my focus has gone all wonky. When I have time and energy, I always end up browsing baby or maternity shopping sites, reading about labor and delivery or breastfeeding, looking at different nursery options, etc. I know all that stuff is normal and that it's okay to be daydreaming and browsing these sites. However, it doesn't need to be happening at the sacrifice of my writing and career.

So how do I get back into it? How do I find my motivation again for writing when all I can think about is babies?! Hehe. Does anyone have any tips or suggestions? Or is it just a matter of time? I keep wondering if I'm just slightly paralyzed mentally until I pass this milestone of the first ultrasound. Once I see that heartbeat and know that everything is okay, will it unlock a door inside that allows me to go back to my regular life, in a way? Is any of this making sense? LOL. Mostly, I'm just rambling and thinking through this, I guess. :P. I'm hoping tomorrow will be a more productive day.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Six Weeks!!

It's still too early for much news, but I thought it would be fun to start my weekly pregnancy updates! I am going to take my cues from The Johnson Journey blog and follow a similar format as hers. Technically, I hit my new week on Saturdays, but as I am unlikely to keep up with my blog on the weekend, I'll just try to keep my weekly updates to my Monday post. So, without further ado, here goes:

How Far Along - 6 weeks.

Picture of Baby - So excited to get this, but nothing yet. I have my first u/s next Wednesday, so I'll update as soon as we have our first picture of our little one.

My Baby This Week - This week's major developments: The nose, mouth, and ears that you'll spend so much time kissing in eight months are beginning to take shape. If you could see into your uterus, you'd find an oversize head and dark spots where your baby's eyes and nostrils are starting to form. His emerging ears are marked by small depressions on the sides of the head, and his arms and legs by protruding buds. His heart is beating about 100 to 160 times a minute — almost twice as fast as yours — and blood is beginning to course through his body. His intestines are developing, and the bud of tissue that will give rise to his lungs has appeared. His pituitary gland is forming, as are the rest of his brain, muscles, and bones. Right now, your baby is a quarter of an inch long, about the size of a lentil. (Taken from BabyCenter)

Weight Gain - I have already gained a pound. I know you're not supposed to gain during your first trimester, but I think it's mostly water weight. At least that's what I'm telling myself, haha.

Baby Bump - It's not the most exciting picture of all time, but this is my pre-baby-bump picture! Please ignore the  somewhat dirty mirror and the spots on the wall where my towel rack fell, LOL. /sigh. I need to find a cuter place in my house to take my weekly pics. :P

Not much bump to report yet. Honestly, though, at this point, I feel like some days I have extra tummy and then some days I sort of deflate back to normal. Is it crazy that I'm actually anxious to start having a bump? I can't wait!!

Sleep - Ugh. I'm not getting nearly enough. I'm having the craziest, most vivid dreams! Weirdly enough, most of my dreams are about me being pregnant in High School, LOL. I have no idea why I would be dreaming about that, but last night I dreamed I was in class and thinking about how tough it would be when I started showing and everyone found out I was pregnant. How weird is that? I mean, I'm 34 for goodness sake. This surely isn't a fear of mine :P.

Other than the dreams, I also have to get up a few times in the night to go to the bathroom. I'm also tossing and turning a lot. Hopefully the sleep problems won't continue throughout the entire pregnancy. For now, I'm taking lots of mini-naps to make up for lack of sleep at night.

Best Moment of the Week - George high-fiving my baby bump. OMG, that was the cutest thing ever.

Symptoms - Nausea, nausea, nausea. It's pretty much nonstop 24/7. Sometimes eating a good high-protein meal can keep the ickiness at bay for a couple of hours, but nothing else seems to work. I've tried Sea Bands, Gingerale, Ginger tea, Ginger gum, Preggie Pops, everything I can think of. Nothing helps for too long, but I'm hanging in there. At least I haven't been throwing up! Just nauseated all the time. It definitely makes working a lot harder. I simply can't focus. Still, the nausea makes me happy in a weird way, because it gives me a good feeling that the baby is healthy and growing in there! Other symptoms so far are sore breasts, vivid dreams, and having to pee a lot :P. I'm also thirsty all the time.

Food Cravings - It's not exactly a craving per se. BUT, never in my entire life have I been a hamburger eater. I pretty much hate them. But in my quest for more protein to try to help with the nausea, I got two cheeseburgers at McDonald's the other day. I know, I know, I should really be eating a lot healthier than McDonald's fast food right now, but I'm telling the truth when I say that I felt better after those two cheeseburgers than I have the rest of the entire week. I had about 3 gloriously nausea-free hours afterward.

What I Miss - Nothing except not feeling nauseated all the time, hehe.

What I'm Looking Forward To - My first ultrasound next week. I'm so excited and nervous at the same time!! I can't wait to hear that little heartbeat!!!!

Weekly Wisdom - Patience is a virtue, lol. I always thought the 2ww was torture, but now I know that the waiting is just as hard after you get a BFP.

Milestones - Morning Sickness, haha. Not the most glamorous milestone, but still, it's like a badge of honor, right?

Emotions - Definitely on a rollercoaster of emotions. I'm extremely happy to be pregnant, but also terrified of something going wrong at the ultrasound. I also cry at the drop of hat, hehe. All part of the package I suppose!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Shopping and Waiting

It's possible I am a slight shopaholic. I love to shop for new clothes, decorations for the house, books, anything. Needless to say, I'm so ready to start shopping for baby!! I can't tell you how many hours I've already spent browsing amazon and babies r us and pottery barn kids, haha. Still, it's just simply to early to start a registry or go out and buy anything substantial.

I'm optimistically hopeful that we'll see a strong heartbeat at the ultrasound in two weeks. I'm definitely looking forward to knowing for sure that everything is alright and our baby is growing strong and healthy inside. Tomorrow, I'll be six weeks pregnant so the little heart should definitely be beating already!

I spend a lot of time daydreaming. Is it a boy or a girl? What will it be like to have a sweet little baby in my arms? Will he/she look like me or like George? How should I decorate the nursery? Should we buy a bigger car? It's fun to day dream, and it leads to much happier thoughts than when I start to worry about whether everything is okay or not.

Yesterday, I went in to Toys R Us to get a gift card for a friend's little boy and literally spent an hour browsing on the Babies R Us side of the store. They have so many pretty cribs and cute bedding. I stared at all the little blankets and pacifiers. I even smiled at the bottles, lol. I was like a kid in a candy store. I can't wait to start buying all those things and getting the house ready for a little one.

I think once the ultrasound is here and we see a heartbeat, I will feel a little more comfortable starting to pick things out. Please, oh please let everything be okay in there! I've definitely got the symptoms to prove it, ha! Nausea 24/7, ick. But I'll gladly take it if it's just part of growing a healthy baby. Just 12 more days until we get to see our little bean. I can't wait!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Questioning

Lately, I have been feeling so incredibly grateful. It is truly a miracle that I am pregnant right now without having to go through our planned IVF cycle. It's honestly been hard to wrap my mind around this whole thing. I spent months preparing for IVF, reading every book and website I could get my hands on, asking a million questions, and doing my best to mentally become prepared for the rollercoaster of daily shots and everything that goes along with it. But then, to find out two days before shots were to begin that I am pregnant? It was like having my entire world flipped upside down, but in the most beautiful way imaginable.

In some ways, however, it's difficult to really believe this is real. I am so scared to really settle into it, you know? It was given to me at a time when I least expected it, and I guess there's a part of me that is scared that it can be taken away just as quickly.

I'm not saying that I'm not grateful or extremely happy. I am!! Believe me!! It's just still seeming so very surreal, you know? And I also have been questioning why something like this happens? Why would I get pregnant right before IVF when so many other women struggle through several rounds with nothing but heartache? Why can't every woman who wants to get pregnant get pregnant? It just doesn't seem fair and the whole process of TTC is such a whirlwind.

Of course, some of my friends actually said to me, "See? All you needed to do was relax and now you're pregnant! You probably just knew IVF was coming up and were relaxed knowing everything was going to be okay." Ha! I just smiled and nodded, but honestly? Anyone who has read my blog or knows what I've been going through over the past couple of months knows that I was anything but relaxed. I don't feel that it had anything to do with how relaxed I was or any of that. I think it had more to do with the fact that this was just my journey. I am exactly where I am supposed to be and everything has fallen into place. I have no idea why, but I do know that I am extremely blessed.

Still, I sometimes read through the blogs of friends who are still going through their IVF journey and I almost feel guilty. I know that sounds crazy, in some ways. But it's just me being honest. I feel guilty when I read about someone else's heartaches. Why? I ask this question all the time. Why me? What did I do to deserve this? What can I do to make sure I don't lose it? I know these are all questions that have no answers, but it doesn't keep my brain from spinning.

My prayer that goes up right now is for all women who want to be pregnant and want to be mothers will be blessed with a healthy pregnancy. Sooner rather than later.

Monday, October 17, 2011

First Ultrasound Decision

Thank you so much to everyone who weighed in about my question on when to schedule my first ultrasound. It means so much to me to hear everyone's side and be able to make a good decision. Sorry I haven't updated much lately. I've been trying to get back in the habit of writing again. I had originally planned for this month to be all about relaxing and staying low-stress and dealing with the IVF process in the best way I could without adding pressure as far as my career goes. With the amazing news of getting pregnant, I have also realized just how much needs to get done before baby. Most of which takes money. Which brings me back to my writing, haha.

But I do want to keep up with my blog, so here I am, and I'll be better about not skipping days this week. Plus, I wanted to give an update on my decision since so many people were awesome enough to leave suggestions and advice about the ultrasound.

At first, I called and scheduled it for October 26th. I would be 6w4d pregnant at that point. However, after reading your comments and agreeing that it would probably drive me even more crazy to go in and NOT have a definitive answer about the baby's heartbeat, I decided to call and have the u/s pushed back one week. Now, I'll be going in November 2nd, which is 7w4d into my pregnancy. I feel like it's a perfect compromise. Only a few days away from the 8 week mark that my doctor suggested, but still late enough that we should definitely be able to see a heartbeat and know that everything is okay.

This puts me 2 weeks and 2 days away from the ultrasound!! So it's back to another 2 week wait for me, hehe. In the meantime, I am trying to stay positive and know that everything is okay in there. Everything is unfolding exactly the way it's supposed to, for better or worse. And I am going to trust that journey.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bathroom Organization Project

Now that I am expecting, I am starting to look around the house and realize how much needs to get done! I would love to say that I am one of these future mommies who keeps an immaculate 3000 square foot house with lots of storage and great organization and decoration. Unfortunately, we live in a townhouse that is only 1500 square feet and needs some serious work. Plus, dare I say it? I suck at housekeeping. I forget to dust. I don't vacuum nearly as often as I should. Closets start out somewhat organized or spare and then as I buy more and more things, they become disgustingly cluttered and disorganized. It's embarrassing, really. It's also not the kind of thing a woman is supposed to admit, but I have to be honest about where I am to understand where I want to go.

Trust me when I say I've been working on making a lot of improvements to myself in the past several years. Weight loss. Eating right. Exercise. A new career. Getting rid of negative self-talk. Fixing up the house has sort of taken a back seat. Also, we'd been living on my husband's income for several years so there hasn't been a ton of money to put into things like new carpet or fresh paint or storage systems. But now that there's a baby coming, I know we've got to start getting things organized around here. Thank goodness, I have a good career of my own now, but we'll still be on a budget for a while.

First and foremost, we're going to need the space! And better organization and cleanliness means more space all over the house. I decided there's no better time to start than the present. My first project? My bathroom. We have two bathrooms in our house, one in the master bedroom and one in the hallway that has general access. Since we had two, George took the master bathroom (that only has a shower) and I took the hall bath with the tub. Now, looks like I'll be sharing the hall bath with a baby and a someday, a toddler!

Okay, I'm going to share some pictures of my closet and under the sink. It's totally embarrassing because it's just so incredibly messy (easy to just close the door and forget the mess, lol), so please don't judge me! It's awful, I know! Thankfully, I have before and after pictures, and the after is so much better.

Bathroom closet before:


And after:


 I got rid of one huge bag of trash. Mostly, it was full of old hair products and lotions that I haven't used in months. I lined the shelves with removable decorative shelf paper. I re-purposed some CD bins I had in my office that weren't being used anymore and the only items I bought were the stackable sets of white bins at the bottom of the closet. Being on a budget, I was happy to find them in sets of 3 for less than $5 a set at Walmart. Each bin has a theme. Cleaning supplies. Bandages. Extra cotton balls. etc. Hopefully now that everything has its own place, it will be easier to keep clean.

Here is the before and after of the space under my sink. Terrible, I know! I've gotten in the habit of just throwing stuff down there. Yuck!


But look at it now!


I put lined the bottom and the back with the decorative shelf paper. All of my curling brushes and curling irons and straightening iron are all stored in the larger pink container. The white baskets in the center are for my makeup (which is usually strewn all over the counter). I put the makeup I only rarely use but wanted to keep in the bottom bin, and the one on top is full of the makeup and the brushes I use everyday. The basket on the right side is full of odds and ends.  Oh, and by the way, I threw out another large bag of trash from all the shampoos and such under the counter and old makeup I never used anymore. Ouch! It's awful to think about all the things I had just in this one room that I didn't use or need.

And I didn't just work on the closets and sink. I also put up a fresh new shower curtain and liner, new bathmats and cleaned the top of the sink and toilet. I don't like the color of the bathmats, though, so I want to exchange them before I take an overall picture of the bathroom.  

Honestly, I had really been hoping we could afford to buy a brand new house before a baby came, but it just isn't in the cards for us. The townhouse we live in now is one George bought a few years before we met. Since I didn't have any choice in picking it out, I'm not terribly attached to it. Okay, in some ways, I hate it, lol. But it's our home and I want to make it the nicest possible place it can be for our sweet new baby next June. There's a lot of work to do, but I'm going to do my best to take it one small project at a time. However, I have a feeling nine months is not really as long as it sounds!




Monday, October 10, 2011

Third Beta! And a Question...

I just got the results of my third beta. 519!!! So it more than doubled again and I can breathe easy for a little while, thank goodness. But I have a dilemma about the first ultrasound.

The nurse said I should schedule it for the week of November 6th. Ugh. SHe said they typically like to do the u/s one full month after the positive test. That would make me 8 weeks pregnant already. She said they do it because that way there's no chance you won't see the heart beating and the baby growing if everything is okay. I, of course, am not super happy with this timing. That's almost a month to wait!!

I expressed my unhappiness and she said I could schedule it for sooner, but that we might not be able to see a heartbeat and Dr. Toma would probably want me to come in again before 10 weeks just to make sure everything is okay. So what do you ladies think I should do? I actually called the nurse and scheduled an appointment for October 26th, which is only about 2 weeks away. I would be 6weeks, 4 days pregnant. I mean, almost everything I've read says that most people can see a heartbeat by then

George thinks I should do what the clinic recommends because he is scared that if we go in early and don't see a heartbeat, it will be catastrophic for me and I'll freak out. My worry is that what if there's just a sac and there's not really a baby growing in there? I don't want to happily think I'm pregnant and all is well for the next four weeks when I could have found out in 2. /sigh. Am I overthinking this?

I'm debating whether to call and reschedule back to a later week or just go in for the 6 week one and risk not seeing a heartbeat by then? But they would at least be able to tell if there's a tiny fetus that's growing on schedule, right? I guess mentally and emotionally, I would rather know something is wrong earlier rather than later. Any advice?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Second Beta

Oops, I forgot to update with my second beta results on Saturday! They were great. I went up from 70 to 203!! I feel really good about that so far. I go in for a third beta tomorrow and am praying for a really nice number above 406.

My progesterone, which started at 12.6, was up to 23.7, so the prometrium is doing its job. The cramping has stopped almost completely, which is good. But then I'm not feeling as pregnant as I was before because of it, which starts to worry me too. I guess I'm going to be concerned either way, haha. I think I will be much calmer if my hCG has gone up the way it should. Still, I don't think I'll begin to relax until I see the little peanut on the screen and hopefully see a heartbeat.

Thank you everyone for all the good wishes!

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Most AMAZING News!!!!!

As all of you know, I was scheduled to begin IVF tomorrow. We just found out officially yesterday that there is no need for IVF, because I'M PREGNANT!!!!!!

I am absolutely over the moon excited. I can't even describe to you how I am feeling right now. Grateful. Shocked. Scared. Happy beyond words.

Let me tell you what happened.(I blogged it before, but I'm repeating because I'm exciting!) Two weeks ago, my doctor wanted me to come in so he could check whether I was ovulating on my own or not. If not, he was going to give me 2 weeks of birth control pills before my IVF cycle. If I was, they were just going to let me ovulate and wait for AF to come naturally. I was supposed to go in Monday the 26th for an ultrasound and blood draw. I got a positive OPK on the 22nd and called my nurse, asking if I could come on Friday instead. I just had a feeling I was O'ing a little early and wanted to check to make sure we got the timing right.

When I went in on Friday, the 23rd, they found a large 22mm follie on my left side! I was amazed! Before when they were checking me, I never had a follicle on my own like that. Even with Clomid, we never had such a large, healthy looking follicle. The nurse called me back that afternoon and said that even though my follicle looked good, I didn't have hardly any progesterone in my system. Basically, I had the mature egg, but my body was actually ready to ovulate it. She asked me to come back in and they gave me a trigger shot.

We had some seriously fun and exciting BD'ing that weekend, haha. Still, I wasn't expecting a pregnancy! This weekend as we drove to Hilton Head to see my family, it was raining. I looked over and saw this beautiful rainbow and I just felt in my heart that it was there for me. I felt that God was telling me to stop worrying, that everything was going to be okay. We had the most amazing weekend with my family. Then on Sunday, George woke up and said he'd had this very vivid dream about us having identical twin boys. He told me I should take a pregnancy test when we got home.

Let me tell you, at this point, I had completely forgotten about the trigger shot. It's been since Feb. that I last had one, so I didn't think about it at all. So imagine my surprise when I got a BFP on my pregnancy test that night. I was only 8 DPO and 9 days past trigger. We were exciting and believing I could really be pregnant. Then, I remembered the trigger shot and my heart just fell. Crap! Not a real BFP but a stupid false + from the trigger. Poop.

But George was convinced I was really pregnant. I went out and bought more tests, lol. 9DPO there was still a line, but it looked lighter. I was pretty sure it was trigger leaving my system, but there was a part of me thinking, wow. 10 days after the trigger and it's still showing up? Before, when I tested out my trigger, it was always a stark white BFN by 8 days later, so I had some hope, but was just not sure. I tested again the next morning. Still positive! Hope crept in even more, but I was so scared to really believe! Another darker BFP 11 DPO (12 days past trigger) and I was starting to believe. BUT there was so much doubt. I didn't want to believe it and then have it turn out it was just that stupid trigger staying in my system!

I called my nurse and asked her if it could be the trigger and she said yes. Ugh. Not helping! LOL. She said to come in as planned on Thursday, 12DPO and 13 days past trigger, to get a blood test to verify for sure. If not pregnant, we would have the pharmacy ship my IVF meds.

So, I went in very nervously yesterday morning for the blood draw. Then I waited all day with knots in my stomach. She finally called me yesterday around 1:45 PM. Positive beta at 70!! She said they normally will look for anything 50 or above at 14 days past trigger, and since I was already 70 at 13 days past, they felt that was high and perfect! My progesterone was only 12.6., which she said is a touch low, so they prescribed prometrium as a vaginal insert to help with progesterone.

The news hit my heart like a firework. Like a blossoming bomb of joy. I can't even tell you what it felt like to hear those words. "You're Pregnant!" WHAT?? ME?? No way!!!!! I just can't believe it!! My EDD is June 16th!!! It's one of the greatest joys of my life, and I can't believe after all these months of preparing for IVF, I actually got pregnant without it! It's a miracle!

I honestly feel in the deepest part of my heart that it's all the changes I've made recently that allowed this to happen. Acupuncture, Organic foods, Low glycemic Index, lots of exercise, losing more than 5% body fat. For PCOS, I think this shows that diet and exercise really can make a difference. Nothing is guaranteed, and of course I stll wouldn't have ovulated on my own if it hadn't been for the trigger, but I feel really excited and so incredibly grateful everything worked out the way it did. I can't believe that instead of going in for a baseline u/s and my first stims tomorrow, I'll be going in for a second beta!! I pray with all my heart that the number has doubled by tomorrow morning.

I've been having some definitely cramping. Feels like AF cramps, to be honest, but no bleeding, thank God. My nurse said it's from the low progesterone and the inserts should help. So far, today, not much cramping so hopefully the progesterone is doing its job. Please, dear God, let this baby stick and be healthy!!! I'll update again tomorrow with my new beta numbers!!!!

Can you believe it?? I'M PREGNANT!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Trigger Shot Question - HELP!

Hi friends, I have a question for all of you who have had trigger shots in the past. How long has the trigger stayed in your system? The first few times I was given a 10,000 iu trigger shot, I used internet cheapies in order to test out the trigger. I started the day after the trigger shot and tested each day until the line disappeared. Each time, I had a negative test by 8 days after the trigger shot. Still, I've read that on average, the rule of thumb is that about 1000 units leave your body per day, so a 10,000 unit shot would take about 10 days to leave your system.

So just out of curiosity, I was wondering if any of you have ever tested out your trigger shots? Have you ever had a false positive as late as 12 days past your trigger shot? I've read on some forums that some women still have enough trigger in their system as late as 13 days past trigger or longer, but I'm wondering how likely that is. I'm not ready to explain exactly why I'm asking, but I would really appreciate any feedback on this!

Monday, October 3, 2011

My Sweet Mother

I had such an amazing weekend in Hilton Head. It was exactly what I needed! George and I got there late on Friday evening. My parents had already been there for a few hours and we all sat up until after one in the morning talking! (And my parents aren't usually up past ten-thirty, hehe.) The rest of the weekend was so incredibly relaxing. We walked on the beach. Walked to the top of the lighthouse. Went shopping (omg, I bought the most amazing purple leather jacket!). Then had dinner outside on the patio of a great seafood restaurant on the water. Great company. Amazing conversations. I felt so loved and supported, full of positive energy and hope.

I'm pretty sure my Mom is just about the sweetest person on the planet, also. She brought me three things for my IVF shots table and survival kit.

First, a pink baby blanket her grandmother made for me when I was a baby. I slept with it and snuggled in it when I was tiny. It's beautiful and perfect! And did I mention pink? Hehe. Maybe it will be good luck and bring us twin girls, lol. Of course I will be more than thrilled with a boy or a girl, but I have always wanted a little girl, so we'll see! My husband had this crazy-vivid dream the other night that we had twin boys, though, and he's often very intuitive! I would be happy with twin boys!

Second, she brought my cabbage patch kid from when I was a little girl! I used to carry this doll around everywhere, haha. Mom went up into the attic to find it. She's still wearing a dress my own grandmother made for her. And she still has lipstick smeared all over her face, lol. I remember putting that on her.

And finally, she brought me this small round box. Inside, it is filled with small wrapped presents. One for each day of shots. How sweet is that? I wasn't expecting it, but I know it will put a huge smile on my face during the tough times. I was so incredibly touched by the gifts she brought. I don't even know what's in the box, but it's not even so much what's in the wrapped gifts as the thought she put into it and the time she spent putting it all together. It means the world to me and lets me know I have all the support in the world.

I can't believe I'm only 5 days away from starting shots! I will go in early on Thursday morning for a blood test to make sure I'm not pregnant. It's really just a formality to make sure I don't have my meds delivered and paid for, then realize I don't need IVF! In the back of my mind, I know it's a possibility, but at the same time, I know it's a super slim chance and probably not worth really thinking about. I'm full speed ahead with IVF and fully intending to start meds this weekend.

I really hope and pray that AF comes on time and doesn't mess with me by coming late. I'm so ready to get started. Have I said that already? Haha. It's so true. I feel so good right now. I feel positive and very hopeful. I know the craziness will probably come soon and the roller coaster of emotions will take me from high to low on a daily basis, but I'm hoping for a big high at the end of this to make it all worth it.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Hilton Head!

In just a couple of hours, we'll be on the road! We're heading down to Hilton Head Island, SC to spend the weekend with my parents. I haven't seen them since May and I was really feeling like I just needed some time with people who love and support me. It's an 8 hour drive or so down to visit them in Georgia, so we're compromising and meeting in between. We have a lovely 2BR condo on the beach for the weekend, and even though it will be a short trip, it makes my heart happy.

We don't have any big plans other than just shopping and hanging out on the beach and spending time together. That's the best thing about spending time with family you love and enjoy being around. You don't really need anything planned in particular. Even if we just sat in the condo the whole time talking, I would be fine with that!

Today I was thinking, how cool will it be when we're going to visit my parents with our little baby? It's going to be awesome. My parents are so incredibly good with children. My mom is just one of those people that everyone's kids love. She's a natural! So I know my babies will love her so so much, and the same with my dad. I can't wait to see them someday with my child. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. I pray it's sooner rather than later.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! When I get back on Sunday night, I'll be only 6 days away from starting stims. Holy crap, this is really happening!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hope and Fear

I keep going back and forth between these two primary emotions. Hope and Fear. Right now, as the cycle approaches, I'm feeling more hope than anything else. Excitement, too. There's very little fear, which is a little bit strange. I have been feeling so much fear for months. Lots of anxiety about how this will all turn out. But suddenly, there's a peacefulness coming over me. I feel ready and calm.

How long do you think it will last? Haha. I'm hoping I can hold on to this sense of calm at least through the weekend. Once shots begin next weekend, I have a feeling the fear will come back in full force. The monitoring appointments are going to be tough. It's the not knowing. It's the fact that every time you go in to the doctor, something could have gone wrong and everything you hoped for could disappear. A cycle could be canceled at any moment. You just never know.

I'm wondering if there's any way I can hold on to this peacefulness throughout the cycle. I'm going to try my best. I can't believe how fast time is moving now. I'm down to only 9 days left. I hope AF shows on time and doesn't torture me with being late.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Indulgence

Last night, I decided to indulge in a little comfort clothing for my IVF cycle. I'm expecting to be bloated, crampy, and generally not feeling like going out a whole lot in the next month. But that doesn't mean I can't at least try to wear comfy clothes, right? Hehe. So, that's the logic I used when I took my debit card to the victoria's secret online store last night.

I am pretty much addicted to Victoria's Secret Yoga pants. I LOVE them. They fit me perfectly (and in Medium, haha, which is also good). I have them in purple, orange, green, and black, but the black are my favorites. I love that you can choose from 4 different inseam lengths so they are never too short or too long. Unfortunately, I wear them to the gym so much they kind of wear out by my thighs and get faded out because I wash them so often. So, I went last night and they were having a SALE on their yoga pants. Only 2/$50. Eek! I bought four pairs, LOL. I got two plain black ones and then two pairs of their foldover pants - one in pink and black and one in blue and black. I can't wait to get them in!

I also indulged in a pair of their pillowtalk Tank pajamas. It's a tank top set with these super soft pj bottoms. My mom bought me some for Christmas a couple years ago and they are the most amazing pj pants in the history of pj pants. Seriously. I heart them. But they are expensive. $50 for just one pair. Still, I deserve it right? They are super cute, too. I got these that have ANGEL on the tank and the black pants with white polka dots. I might live in them during bedrest, haha. I'll be thinking about the little angel that will hopefully come into our lives next July!

Only 10 days left until the big day, and I feel like time is finally moving faster. After months of waiting for this, it's awesome to finally see these dates moving right along.

I feel a little bit guilty for spending nearly $180 last night on nothing but yoga pants and pjs, lol. But at the same time, I know they will all be super comfy things to wear during this process and having something new will be nice for me. Of course, with the expense that is IVF in general, I suppose I need to start looking for cheaper ways to indulge myself :).

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

11 Days

After all this waiting, I am excited to see the days ticking by. Only 11 days until stims begin. In the meantime, I have been trying to keep myself occupied. I definitely feel like I am on a short fuse lately. I am having to be careful to keep my stress to a minimum so that nothing can get under my skin. In order to stay calm, I've been cleaning out the future baby's room. It's been cathartic for me to get the clutter out of that room and make space for a beautiful new nursery.

Most of the room has been filled with crafting supplies like scrapbooking paper, jewelry making beads and tools, sewing materials and so on. I have a friend who has recently started teaching elementary school art at a local private Christian school. They don't have a lot of money for supplies, so I have decided to donate most of my crafting materials, markers, colored pencils and papers to her classroom. It makes me feel good, helps others, and cleans out the room at the same time. Win, Win, Win :).

This weekend, my husband and I are going to Hilton Head, SC to spend the weekend with my parents. It's too far of a drive to go all the way to George where they live for the weekend, so we decided to meet about halfway. We've rented a very cute 2 BR condo on the beach for two nights, and I'm really looking forward to it. It will be nice to see them before shots get started and feel their love and support. Once we get back, it will be only a matter of a few days before everything gets under way.

To be honest, I'm getting very excited! This is the single best shot I've ever had at getting pregnant. 60% chance. I just keep repeating it in my head, over and over. More chance of being pregnant than of not being pregnant at the end of this cycle. My prayers right now are for a good, healthy cycle with mature eggs and some healthy embryos. I hope that we are able to get two really good blasts for 5-day transfer and then a few healthy embryos for freezing, just in case. I'm excited for the possibilities and very hopeful that the next month and a half will be full of joy and great outcomes.

Monday, September 26, 2011

What if?

Lately, it's the 'what if's that have my brain spinning at night. Truth be told, I have always been a 'what if' kind of person. It's one of my greatest flaws. I am always thinking forward to the future and trying to figure out all of the worst possible scenarios. Don't get me wrong, I also think about the good things and the positive possibilities. It's just that part of me feels like I'd rather be emotionally prepared for the bad things. There's a small comfort in at least knowing the worst case. As long as I know what might happen, it won't completely blindside me, right?

Only life doesn't exactly work that way. There's always some hidden danger you weren't expecting. On top of that, sometimes when the worst things happen, it doesn't matter that you knew they were possible. Sometimes the bad things still knock us on our butts, regardless of whether we thought we were prepared for them or not. Some things hurt so badly, there's no possible way to prepare. 11 years ago, I had the worst thing happen to me when I was on a trip to Europe. Did I know it was a possibility? Yes, I guess there was some part of me that knew something like that could happen to a woman traveling alone in a foreign country. But I never really thought it would happen. So when it did, I wasn't prepared. Tomorrow, it will be 11 years since it happened, and I'm still not over it. I don't know that I will ever be over it.

In that instance, it didn't matter that somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew it was a possibility. Nothing could have prepared me for the emotional impact of that one single event. So why do I keep doing this to myself? Why do I keep borrowing trouble? If it doesn't truly make the bad things easier to digest, why do I spend weeks, even months, worrying about the what if's? What if I don't get pregnant with IVF? What if we can't afford to try again? What if I miscarry? What if my heart breaks over and over again?

The answer to all those questions is the same. If any of those things happen, terrible as they may be, I will grieve. I will be sad, angry, upset, yes, even heart-broken. But I will survive it. Just like I've been surviving for the past 11 years. It will hurt, but I will find a way to be strong. I will move past it, and someday, I will become a mother. I hope that it will happen sooner rather than later, but life is full of what ifs and unknowns and that will never change. So for now, I'm going to try to put those what if questions and worst-case scenarios to the side and choose instead to try something new. Hope.

Friday, September 23, 2011

CD20 Ultrasound and Progesterone Bloodwork

A few weeks ago, George and I went in to our clinic for our education class. When the nurse gave me my protocol, she mentioned birth control pills. I know they don't typically prescribe bcp, so I asked about it. She said Dr. T was thinking I don't have a true natural ovulation and therefore do not truly shed my lining with each period. In order to get a good start to the IVF cycle, he wanted me on 14 days of bcp to stimulate a good AF.

Instead of just sitting back and letting them tell me things I didn't feel were true, I actually spoke up (which is a big deal for me in a situation like this.) I told the nurse that I thought I was actually ovulating on my own. I asked her if it would make a difference one way or the other and she said she needed to ask Dr. T. When the verdict came back, she said that yes, it would make a difference. If I'm ovulating on my own, the bcp would be a bad idea as it would mess with my natural cycle. So, in compromise, we decided to do a u/s and progesterone check near the time I thought I was ovulating to see if it looked like I was going to ovulate on my own.

Today is CD20. I got a near-positive OPK yesterday and the day before along with some twinges on my left side. I also have EWCM (egg-white cervical mucus), so I was pretty sure I knew what we were going to see today, but I still had my doubts. I kept thinking, what if I haven't even been ovulating the past six months like I thought I was?

I still have to wait for the results of the progesterone test, but there was no doubt what was going on with my ovaries! My right side was quiet, but on my left side, I had a big 22mm follicle. Definitely looks like I'm ovulating on my own! This is such good news for me, because a year ago when they did this, there was absolutely no activity. That's why I went on Clomid in the first place. Now, because of the lifestyle changes I've made with diet and exercise, along with the metformin and vitamins, I'm actually ovulating on my own. I looked at that big follie and thought, "Wow, I did that! I made that happen." It was pretty exciting to see.

Unfortunately, ovulation has not equated to pregnancy. I'm not sure of the reasons behind that. Maybe the outer shell of the egg is too hard, which often happens with PCOS, and the sperm just can't get in there. If that's the issue, the embryologist will bypass that step with ICSI (where they actually inject the sperm into the egg with a tiny needle). I pray it's not an implantation issue or a problem with the overall quality of my eggs. We'll know more once the embryologist gets hold of them next month.

Anyway, I'm going to have to wait until this afternoon to know officially, but I am pretty sure this means no birth control pills for me, which makes me a happy girl. I should be on track for AF to arrive around October 7th, which means my baseline u/s, blood draw and stims will all be starting CD2, October 8th! That's only 15 days away! I'll update later with official word, but it looks like a natural cycle for me this cycle, and I honestly couldn't be happier. It just goes to show that with PCOS, sometimes changing diet and adding exercise really can make a difference. All this hard work has not been in vain.

*UPDATE* - Seems I spoke a little too soon. Carla called me around 2:30 to say that my progesterone levels were nearly 0. Basically, what that means is that even though I have a mature egg that is ready to pop out, my hormones are not giving it the go-ahead. When that happens, the egg ages and deteriorates and in the end, if it does come out, it's not good anymore and my lining doesn't totally shed with AF. BCP would be bad because since I already have a big follie, the bcp wouldn't get rid of it and it would still be there in 2 weeks and I wouldn't be able to start stims, so it's definitely good I went in to have this all checked.


Still, this explains why I'm not getting pregnant naturally. In order to solve the issue, I went back in this afternoon and got an HCG trigger shot. Basically, that forces the egg to ovulate. I don't want to get my hopes up and think that maybe we could end up pregnant on our own, but it is a possibility. They want me to come in for a blood test in about 12 days to make sure I'm not pregnant before I order my meds for IVF! I should still be right on track for AF to arrive on October 7th and stims to begin on the 8th, but man, wouldn't that be amazing if I got pregnant? I know, I know, stop dreaming, right? Haha.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Forgiveness

Infertility is such an internal struggle. I worry that I'm being too emotional and everyone is looking at me like I'm weak or insane. I beat myself up for feeling so scared all the time. I stress out about not being able to relax (ha! go figure THAT one out!). I'm being incredibly selfish right now with my time and my emotions. I feel ashamed of my problems getting pregnant, and then ashamed again of not being stronger throughout this process. These are the bad emotions that haunt me. Stress. Worry. Shame.

Then, when I confide in other people about how I'm feeling, I often get comments like: "Relax! I have a friend who stressed out and then when she finally just gave up and stopped stressing about it, BAM, she was pregnant!" or "What's going on with Sarra? Oh, I figured she was just being emotional again." or "It's not always all about you." And let me tell you, those comments? Not helpful. I already know all those things. I already beat myself up enough about those things, but until you're standing in my shoes, you don't understand how difficult it is to relax. And you know what else? I'm allowed to be emotional right now. Don't try to invalidate my feelings, because that only makes me feel shame.

The bad emotions and thoughts aren't the only ones, though. Just because I say I'm worried or scared doesn't mean that's ALL I am. I'm also incredibly hopeful. I'm so thankful for insurance and great doctors and even the miracle of science that is IVF. It blows my mind that they can take the egg and sperm and create embryos in a lab. I daydream about what it will be like to be pregnant. I shop online for things I want to put in the nursery. I browse maternity clothing stores online for what I might want to buy and what might look cute on me. I linger in the baby section at Target, dreaming about my baby. Trust me, there are a lot of great emotions too. It's just that sometimes the worry is more helpful to talk about. Blogs are like therapy, you know? It helps to just get it out there and know you aren't alone.

Plus, there's a fear that if I talk about all the hope and all my dreams, then I don't get pregnant, I will look like a fool. Crazy, huh? But honest. 

So, I'll just have to ask forgiveness for now. Forgiveness from those friends who think I'm being selfish and emotional. Forgiveness from God for being so self-centered and not having a strong enough faith to believe that this will all work out okay. Forgiveness from my husband for all the tears and late night conversations (although I know he'll say there's nothing to forgive). I have to learn, also, to forgive myself. I have to forgive my own body for not doing what it's supposed to do as a woman. I have to understand that it's not my fault. I want to forgive myself for not working harder on my book right now and for choosing, instead, to take some time off so I can handle the stress, worry, fear, hope that is coursing through me. And I need to forgive the people who say those incredibly insensitive things to me. They don't mean to hurt me, I'm sure. They just don't understand.

Today, I will close my eyes and sit with my chin raised toward the sky, and let forgiveness wash over me.