34 Weeks & Surrounded by Pink Peonies

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How far along: 34 Weeks Today!

Total Weight Gain/Loss: At my appointment last week I weighed 132 lbs.

Maternity clothes: Yes and living in dresses at the moment.

Stretch marks: Not yet..and nearly out of my special belly oil.

Sleep: Oh yes and very deep sleep lately, still waking up to go to the bathroom, but finally able to sleep in past 6:00 am.

Best moment last week: My baby shower! Oh my goodness, it was a dream. Truly- my sister outdid herself!  I was not only  surrouned by friends and family who supported me during my struggle with infertility but also pink peonies (my very favorite flower) and everything was truly stunning, no detail was overlooked! This baby is already loved by so many and my heart warms at all of the love we received at the shower.

(Here are a few photos of the lovlieness and I am still enjoying the flowers as you can see!)

Shower Flowersk

hydrangea

Movement: All the time! And at my last prenatal appointment last week, I was told that baby is already head down and will probably stay that way until birth!

Food cravings/Aversions: Loving all food lately! Mostly fresh vegetables and fruit! Trying to up my protein intake and eating more eggs now that I have my kitchen back!

Mood/Energy: Slowing down and napping again. A few friends told me I would get a second energy burst towards the last few weeks, and boy am I going to need it as I need to not only get my little one’s nursery in order but my entire house!

Labor signs: No, but I did have a little scare last week and called my mom to ask her what labor felt like. I could barely walk and had so much pressure down “there” that I thought I was having contractions. I think I just needed rest and went to bed early and woke up feeling much better!

Belly Button : Stretched and odd looking.

What I miss: Nothing! Feeling content and savoring every last moment of being pregnant.

What I am looking forward to: Putting babys’ nursery and wardrobe together!

Milestones: 34 weeks today, taking the hospital tour, beginning birth classes…finally feeling like I can relax and really start nesting.

ps: my mini home remodel is officially complete! Turned out beautiful and will post pictures soon!

And last but not least, me at 34 weeks pregnant!

34 Weeks

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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!

19 Weeks and Baby is the size of a Mango!

mango

 

Just got back from a fantastic “girl weekend getaway” with my mom and sisters. We went to the desert (one of our favorite places) and ate delicious food, swam, enjoyed the sun and warmth, and had wonderful conversations. This was the first time that all of us have been together since I have been pregnant and it felt so nice to be able to talk about this miracle of life growing inside me and the future. Seeing their excitement and interest in and for the baby filled up my family love cup and reminded me of how much our baby is already loved so much!

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How far along: 19 Weeks- baby is the size of a mango

 

Total Weight Gain/Loss: Up another pound-so 119lbs!

Maternity clothes: Love my maternity clothes right now, but also able to wear a few dresses from last summer and officially showing off my bump.

Stretch marks: Not yet! Although just in case they are forming- I did splurge on a super yummy smelling belly oil made by Noodle & Boo- smells and feels amazing and I have been using it religiously!

noodle & boo


Sleep: I continue to sleep so deeply and wonderfully. I literally close my eyes at night and am fast asleep until morning.

Best moment last week: Seeing my baby move! He/She was so active one night last week, I pulled up my shirt and saw my belly move- I felt elated at the sight and was all smiles after that- Since then I have only “seen” baby move one other time.

Movement: Yes- very active baby- (see above)

Food cravings/Aversions: Pretty much loving all food right now. Still not liking garlic, onions, marinara, and now pure chocolate. Fruit and orange juice are a must!

Mood/Energy: Feeling wonderful! I get a little tired in the afternoons- but usually can fight through the sleepiness if I am unable to take a nap.

Labor signs: No

Belly button: In!


What I miss: Nothing- everything is perfect.

What I am looking forward to: Our anatomy scan scheduled tomorrow! Oh my goodness.. I am nervous and excited at the same time! We are going to have the ultrasound tech put the gender in an envelope and then open it at lunch afterwards. My hubby tried to tell me that we should wait until date night Friday night-but I put my foot down and said that we had waited long enough-don’t you think?

Milestones: Seeing baby move! My sister got to see too!  Now just need my hubby to see/feel baby.

Bump Pic:   ps: I’m bravely posting this…19 weeks 1

Embracing Pregnancy after Infertility

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My short hiatus is officially over.

 

I needed a break over the holiday like I have never felt before.

 

As soon as I finished my last final of the year, I closed my laptop and didn’t open it again until this past weekend. I craved silence from school and work demands and knew I needed to shut it all down; for both my sanity and health.

 

I admit, my first few weeks after learning we were successful with our IVF cycle felt a bit strange. Almost as if I didn’t belong anywhere.  I wanted to embrace my pregnancy with open arms and joy and yet all my past disappointments and hurts blurred the lines. I was happy- but didn’t want to feel “too happy” and I wanted to shout my long awaited news from the roof tops and yet at the same time I didn’t want to tell a soul just in case I jinxed my pregnancy- and is that even a thing?

 

What I have come to discover is that infertility robs us of something in our soul even after we become pregnant. The pure and innocent joy of pregnancy isn’t processed the same way for those that have struggled with infertility.  We are pregnant and yet still feel raw from the other side that is nipping at our heels and fear inches its way in and is difficult to overcome despite our dreams finally coming true.

Even after our second ultrasound, when our OB announced that everything looked perfect and that based on everything he saw our chance of miscarriage decreased to 3%, I still wasn’t feeling any better. Thankfully a few days later I forced myself to snap out of my reluctant and fear based fog.

 

Embracing this pregnancy was what I had forgotten to do. I was still stuck in this strange place of disappointment and failure and yet I had a being growing inside me with a heartbeat and all. I decided that no matter what happened during this pregnancy, I needed to govern that which I had control of; my emotional personal response to finally becoming pregnant after three long years of  struggling to conceive. I began to embrace this little miracle inside me a few days before Christmas and joy overcame the fear. I felt as though I was opening the curtains of an old log cabin to let the sun shine through for the first time in years. I felt the warmth and allowed myself to be in the moment with this being (our child) growing inside my womb. I’ve since been much more relaxed and open to this side of the journey; pregnancy after infertility. Some days are harder than others, and that is when I kindly remind myself to embrace this experience and feel the joy that is flowing inside me.

 

Today I am 10 weeks and three days pregnant. Tears fill my eyes as I look at my most recent ultrasound picture that I am proudly displaying on my fridge; our little one is beginning to look like an actual baby now, her little arm is sticking up as if waiving to us all.

baby r 10 weeks

 

Joy.

 

Pure joy.

Pregnancy after Infertility and Loss

miracle quote

Tomorrow I go in for my first ultra sound appointment to take measurements, hopefully listen to a heartbeat (S), and lastly to see how many babies I have growing inside me.

 

I feel like I have one; hubby says two.

 

The first ultrasound I had with my last pregnancy (three years ago) was when everything turned upside-down. I went in around the same time at 6 weeks; only to be told that I was measuring behind at 4 weeks and 5 days. Plus I was spotting.  I know- I know. Different pregnancy and experience, but I can’t help but think back to that fateful appointment and feel anxious about our appointment tomorrow.

 

These past two weeks have been amazing… yet my emotions are changing constantly and I go from excited to nervous to anxious to joyful and back around again.

 

One thing we are doing differently from our last pregnancy is that we are telling our families. I was able to tell my dad this past weekend and we were both choked up with emotion afterwards. He told me that my special news was the best news that he had heard in years. Makes me smile thinking about his words. Our last pregnancy I didn’t tell him until after I miscarried and I regretted not doing so every since. I still need to tell my two brothers, but most everyone else in my family including my in laws know of our pregnancy. It feels so very nice to tell those who care for us the most that we are pregnant..although of course I kept our struggle mostly private; all who know me well knew of our infertility struggles and my very strong desire to be a mother.

 

Pregnancy after infertility and loss is hard, as I knew it would be. I feel as if I have this underlying cautionary feeling as if this blessing could  get ripped out from under me at any given moment. I awake in the morning and I immediately put my hands on my abdomen and thank the Lord for another day of being pregnant.

 

This is why I have decided to continue to blog about my experience; not only does writing help me process my emotions, but I want to record my experience of being pregnant after loss and infertility especially since I plan to help others going through similar paths once I graduate and begin my internship as a therapist.

 

Speaking of school, currently I am wrapping up another term and I have been feverishly writing paper after paper and am so very much looking forward to my two week break over Christmas. Also, in-between paper writing, discussion boards, and presentations, I did find some time to spread Christmas cheer throughout our home and even had the energy to put up not one- but two Christmas trees this year! Oh and J agreed to putting up lights on our house, which I absolutely love.

vintage-christmas-picture

 

Looking forward to a new and much better experience with Dr. S tomorrow and will report back to let you all know our update.

Pre-IVF Consult

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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.

Frozen in Time

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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