38 Weeks & Ready to Meet Our Son

birth love

How far along: 38 Weeks and 5 days

Total Weight Gain/Loss: Currently 138 pounds, up 33 pounds.

Maternity clothes: Oh yes, but mostly dresses in this 100 degree heat wave

Stretch marks: Remarkably no and praying I stay that way!

Sleep: Yes, I am sleeping all the time. Most of the time a nap or two a day plus at least 8-9 hours a night. Although the bathroom trips are becoming like clockwork every 2-3 hours during the night, preparing me for nightly feedings!

Best moment last week: Realizing that I am full term and can have this baby boy at any moment! He is currently head down and in perfect position for birth.

Movement: Baby boy is slowing down a bit, but still moving- and I have been ordered to do my kick counts at least once a day (10 movements during a 2 hour period) apparently the placenta can get old and movement is important as it tells us baby is receiving enough oxygen. ps: I love when he has hiccups!

Food cravings/Aversions: Watermelon, waffles with fresh berries, yogurt, coffee ice cream with Hershey’s syrup, ummm pretty much loving everything these days but the above mentioned are my favorites at the moment.

Mood/Energy: So very happy, a bit emotional at times but in a good sappy kind of way. Just reminiscing about the last 9 months and our journey to have this baby and realizing that hubby and I become a family of three any day. Energy- a bit tired especially because my iron has been low, don’t think I will get the big rush of energy before birth that everyone talks about!

Labor signs: No- still experiencing Braxton Hicks but nothing major.

Belly button: Out

What I miss: My hands and fingers working properly! I have had tingly  finger tips in my right hand for weeks now  and  haven’t been able to clench my fists, apparently I am experiencing a weird pregnancy related blood flow issue to my hands.

What I am looking forward to: Birth and meeting our son!

Milestones: Full Term Baby! We are ready.

(Me at 38 Weeks and 1 day)

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24 Weeks and Reflection

This past week has been a pretty big week for me both emotionally and physically.

 First off the 24 week mark means viability and the milestone point of pregnancy that infertiles’ crave the most.

 When this special day came for me I celebrated in joy and also reflected on my journey thus far.

 I began by reading past journal excerpts of the countless tear filled days leading up to conception of baby R. There were days that felt lower than low, mornings I could not get out of bed, crying fits in my car after having to interact with a random pregnant women and her darling toddler in a store or after reading about another pregnancy announcement on Facebook. Days when I did not know how I would continue to put one foot in front of the other while trying to navigate my childless world. Yes, my faith was tested, my personal resilience pushed to the max, but after reflecting I knew it was all worth it to be able to finally be a momma-to be.

 And oh how my world has changed.

 These reflections have created another surge of gratefulness within me that I cannot describe. At times I feel as if I need to pinch myself as a reminder that this is really happening to me! Just yesterday I was getting a few dresses altered and while waiting for the seamstress to come into my dressing room, I took the opportunity to simply look at myself. And I mean really look and stare at myself in the full length mirror and take in my reality. I studied my whole body from top to bottom side to back and settled back on my growing belly. I was amazed at how beautiful I both looked and felt carrying our miracle child and  for finally being at place that I had longed- for, for so very long, and feeling thankful and blessed beyond measure.

 Truly, I am enjoying pregnancy just as I always knew I would.

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 How far along: 24 Weeks (VIABILITY) and baby is the size of a cantaloupe!

Total Weight Gain/Loss: 124 lbs- up another pound!

Maternity clothes: Yes, but still able to wear some non maternity clothes as well!

Stretch marks: Not yet… but lots of blue veins all over my belly.

Sleep: Better! I think my hips stopped stretching because sleep has been wonderful again.

Best moment last week: Reaching viability- the big milestone and passing my glucose test! By the way, the worst part of my glucose test wasn’t drinking the juice which wasn’t half bad, but having to wait an hour in a crowded waiting room with someone who smelled like oniony body odor. Uggg-  Another wonderful moment and one that keeps happening is when J puts his hands on my belly and talks to baby. It’s the sweetest thing!

Movement: Yes, all the time and brings a smile to face instantly. First thing I do when I wake up now is try and make baby move, once I feel him move I can start my day!

Oh when do I need to start doing kick counts?

Food cravings/Aversions: Lately I’ve been loving oatmeal with bananas, walnuts, and milk for breakfast and maybe because of Easter, egg salad with crunchy celery and hotdog relish has been a lunch staple this past week. Aversions- still not a big fan of Italian food; marinara sauce and garlic.

Mood/Energy: Still emotional! Energy has been ok- although one of my test results came back that I am low on Iron and my doctor wants me on an iron supplement. Alternatively, I am taking Floradix (a liquid supplement) so that I don’t have to deal with bathroom issues- praying it works!

Labor signs: Nada!

Belly Button: Stretched

What I miss: Nothing and the days need to slow down already!

What I am looking forward to: My checkup next week and getting my baby shower announcements out!

Milestones: 24 weeks baby! oh and the glucose test over with!

Bump Picture and my “Lately”:

Bump 25sophieGlucose Juicepaint color

24 weeks

Sophie- a gift from a dear friend- doesn’t she look so happy?

My orange glucose drink

and picking out paint colors for my bedroom and nursery!

Feeling Thankful & Blessed Beyond Belief

thankful

 

Oh my goodness! We are pregnant! Praise God!

I called in earlier this afternoon for my beta results and the first thing the nurse said was ‘Congratulations’!

Beta number one (10dp3dt) is 209 and beta number two (12dp3dt)  is 422.

Feeling so happy and blessed and full of joy.

The last few days have been very tough on me as I have been a complete emotional wreck and I even had a few breakdowns of  crying fits; which is not like me at all.

I’ve been waiting for today’s news for years and the words “you are pregnant” feels surreal and as if a huge rock has been lifted from my soul.

Oh and before my emotional breakdown that started on Sunday, I wrote a journal entry last week that I wanted to share… maybe I did know I was pregnant?

 

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I feel the presence of our little one already.

 I know we are together at last.

 My little one came back to us as I knew they would.

 Three years ago, this very cycle, I got my BFP, but miscarried at 9.5 weeks. After struggling many months years with infertility we embraced IVF as our next step.

 Fast forward to a little over 10 days ago, on November 12, I went in for my egg retrieval (ovulation day in IVF terms) and three days later transferred two beautiful embryos.

 Although this cycle mirrors my previous BFP cycle, I know in my heart of hearts that this one will result in our beautiful healthy take home baby R.

 The one in my dreams, the one I have thought about since I was eighteen years old. Her rosy cheeks and big brown eyes.

 Feeling blessed beyond belief.

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So for now I will continue to stay in the present and enjoy this pregnancy and try and stay as positive as possible, for J, for me and for our little one who is snuggling in for the long haul…

Oh and a very special ‘thank you’ to everyone for your continued encouraging words and prayers.. they mean so very much to me and more than you’ll ever know!

Egg Retrieval Day

while anemones
(White Anemones: Hope, Anticipation, Expectation)

Wonderful news! My egg retrieval went off without a hitch and with no complications.

I felt prepared and relaxed on my way to our early morning appointment and my hubby and I even listened to Howard Stern to take my mind off things. We figured a little laughter before surgery would be a good thing.

When I arrived I was the only one in the waiting room and they swiftly brought me back to the surgery room where I was instructed to get undressed and put on a gown that was about three sizes too big for me. My hubby walked in shortly thereafter and had a premonition that I was pregnant- let’s take that as a sign! I then snuggled into a warm bed with a heating blanket to rest before going into the operating room.

This felt wonderful.

Until the insertion of the IV began…Ugh.

After the nurse struggled with my IV for what seemed like ten minutes, she finally called over the anesthesiologist who thankfully came to my rescue and took over. He was successful within minutes and told me I was ready for my “very strong mimosa” and it was officially go time.

I kissed my hubby for good luck and walked into the operating room. I quickly hoisted myself up on the bed and slipped my feet into position.

One minute I was leaning back on the bed and the next I was out cold.

Then what seemed like minutes later I was sitting in a recovery bed and talking with the sweet nurse who had been by my side all morning long. And that’s when I finally got my number.

8.

8!!!

Now, to most IVF’ers that number is low, and I get that, but to me..The number is not only more than we were hoping for, but 8 is a magical and strong number in itself, so to me that number is exactly what we needed.

Soon thereafter Dr. S was by my side talking to me about how well everything went, how pleasantly surprised he was that he retrieved 8 eggs when Sunday he was thinking he would only obtain 4 or 5.

We of course don’t know how mature the 8 eggs are as of yet, but tomorrow (hopefully morning) we will find out our fertilization report.

Oh and depending on how things go…he may be opting for a 5 day transfer instead of a 3 day transfer as previously planned.

So… off to continue to rest on my couch with my super cuddly lap doggies who have given me nothing but love all day.

Praying our little one is in the making and will be safely inside me soon enough.

Pre-IVF Consult

orange

Quick update:

I had my second pre IVF consultation this past week and it looks like we will officially begin our IVF cycle mid October (the cycle after next)!

To summarize both consultations simply:

~My AMH went up to 1.26 from .48 in just seven months-my RE is very happy with the increase! (So am I)

~I will be put on the most aggressive protocol there is due to my DOR diagnosis.

~After my mock transfer I have been coined with an “easy” uterus to work with.

~RE wants to rule out Fragile X gene with a blood test this next coming week.

~ Lastly my husband and I were instructed to start practicing giving injections and were each given needles
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He is to practice on an orange and I a pillow.

This is beginning to feel very real to me.

Atlas I feel like this is finally our time.

Special Message

babyshower

Surrounded by a room full of mothers today.

Both young and old, some pregnant, some even holding newborn babies.

All joined for one purpose; to celebrate and “shower” a wonderful and amazing new mother.

I met this person over a year ago in a support group for infertility. She has walked in my shoes, endured loss and suffering, persevered and now she’s a new mom.

I stopped attending baby showers a long time ago as they are simply too difficult for me to endure, but today’s was different, and I wanted to be there for my courageous friend.

I looked to the beaming new mother in awe and admiration.

I saw her unwavering faith, gratitude, and strength.

Seeing her in this light, knowing that she has walked a similar fertility challenged path, and now seeing her on the other side as a proud mamma gives me nothing but  strength and determination.

I left the shower with a feeling of empowerment, of lightness, and hope.

Just the message my soul needed on this beautiful day.

Frozen in Time

ali 1

Take away this pain

Silent and steady

Bubbling now with more frequency

One moment I am a fighter

As strong as Ali

And in a blink of an eye, after one innocent reminder, I collapse in despair

I believe we can

And then I don’t

I see her fuzzy sweet smelling head, soft to the touch, her big brown eyes

And then she’s gone

Tears won’t even fall anymore-perhaps they are all used up

Feelings of inadequacy, loss, angst, and fear compound and materialize as my sense of direction becomes frozen in time

This pain inside gets louder, more intense, as the center of my heart becomes strained and burdened with the anticipation of deciding what to do next

IVF, for me, represents the last attempt of having our biological child

If we pursue IVF and the procedure does not work-then what?

Perhaps I am still in denial, but I truly believe we will conceive on our own

I wonder if this belief is stronger because my desire to conceive is more heartfelt, or if it’s more transparent because my fear of IVF and what it represents to me that makes me avoid the act all together?

I feel as if I am on a teeter totter that never allows me to fully put my feet on the ground

Here I am suspended in space; waiting and anticipating

I long for this to be over

But my longing and desire for our child is even greater; forcing me to put one foot in front of the other and keep on moving