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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

30 Weeks

Hard to believe I've made it this far.

I can actually say I am starting to enjoy this pregnancy. 

My blood pressure has been great and I passed my glucose test.  My only real complaint is numbness in my hands and arms.  It comes and goes throughout the day.  I'll be happy when I can hold this little one in my arms!

Recently I saw a perinatologistIf you remember we had questions about the baby's development.  The doctor said everything looked good.  Of course he couldn't guarantee a chromosonally balanced baby.  And since we chose not to dot he amnio we'll have to wait for delivery.

My husband and I are at peace with out decision.  I really believe in my heart of hearts that this baby is wonderfully made and will be healthy.  Whatever happens she is mine.

So my due date is February 20.  Any bets on when this baby will arrive!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Forever Family

Last night a judge signed a piece of paper that makes our daughter ours legally.  She was ours from the moment she was created now she's ours forever....

A Poem for Adoption

I
Did not plant you,
True.
But when
The season is done -
When the alternate
Prayers for sun
And for rain
Are counted -
When the pain
Of Weeding
And the pride
Of Watching
Are through -

Then

I will hold you
High,
A shining sheaf
Above the thousand
Seeds grown wild.

Not my planting,

But by heaven
My harvest
My own child.

-Carol Lynn Pearson

Monday, November 14, 2011

Birthday

Today is my daughter's birthday.

A year ago she came into this world.  I wasn't there for her birth but know a few details from the police and hospital report.  We don't know where she was born but we know she wasn't born in a hospital. There was a lot of trauma around her birth and she had some minor bruising and a small hematoma.  Her umbilical cord wasn't clamped.  She was wrapped in some dirty rags, placed in a duffel bag and left in a parking lot.  I don't know if her birth mother cried when she saw my baby's face or if she kissed her good bye.  I don't know what circumstances her birth mother was under and I don't know why she made the choices she made.  But she made them. 

Shortly after her delivery and abandonment a good Samaritan saw the duffel bag in the parking lot and decided to look inside.  He found a cold, sweet little baby girl.  My baby girl.  The press caught onto her story and the news was flooded with details of her birth and discovery.  My husband and I were watching the news that night when her story aired.  They flashed a picture of her and as soon as I saw her I knew in my heart of hearts that she was my baby girl.  I said, out loud, "that's our baby."  I don't think my husband believed me.  Probably thought I was insane.  But the minute I saw her face I knew that God had worked all things to good.  That whatever tragedies she and I had been through it was time for us to meet- time for us to be together.  This is the child I prayed for.  The child I dreamed of.  She didn't arrive the way I had planned but the way God had foreseen - the way the Lord had predestined.  She was mine in every sense of the word.

On Tuesday night I received a call from our social worker, "We have a placement for you." 

On Wednesday she was placed into our arms.

On Thursday 11-18-10 - we brought her home. 


On Friday 11-18-11 we finalize the adoption and she is legally ours forever. 

Today is her first birthday.


She is remarkable.


She is brilliant.


She is beautiful.


She is my daughter.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Still There

The "soft marker" on the heart is still there.  The fancy word for it is Echogenic intracardiac focus. 

I actually found a website that explains soft markers.

We are waiting for the official report from radiology before making any other decisions....

so here we are back in limbo...

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Another "Soft Marker"

I had another OB appointment last week.  I wasn't able to see my normal OB so I saw some other one in the practice. 

After shaking my hand he says, "Your ultra sound showed a thin cervix and andother "soft marker" for down syndrome."

Well HELLO to you too!  My cervix is fine - after and oh, so pleasant exam.  But the additional "soft marker" for downs scares me to death. So what do I do? I call my RE.  After all these years she's still the one I trust them must with my body and babies. I was giving second thought to an amnio but my RE advised against it.  She was gentle and very comforting (as usual). 

We have another OB and sono tomorrow morning.  We're looking for something on the heart.  The OB told me last week but of course in the rush of emotions I can't remember what he said they saw.  I know there isn't anything wrong with the baby's heart but something the radiologist saw points to downs. 

I am really torn up about this whole thing.  I am trying to think positive and not beat myself up over the whole situation.  I do blame myself at times.  If I hadn't pursued IVF ...if...if...if......

My husband has been great and is a comfort through all this.  He has a heart for special needs children and is so ready to love this baby no matter what the outcome.

I just read a blog of a women who's child was just diagnoises with downs.  None of the ultra sounds she had showed any "soft markers".  Should that terrify or comfort me?  I am not sure.

I'll fill you all in after our appointment tomorrow. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Adoption Update

We have our date!!

On November 18 our baby girl will legally be ours FOREVER!!!

Incidentally that's also National Adoption Awareness Day and also one year since the day we brought our baby home from the hospital.

What an amazing journey this has been! I got the call yesterday as I was rocking her to sleep and was so overcome with emotions I began sobbing.  This little creature has change our lives in so may ways.

We are so abundantly blessed...

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Half Way There

On the pregnancy front:  Well folks - it's here - the 20 week mark!

We decided against the amnio in the end.  What will be will be.  We're hopeful but ready for whatever is in store. Thanks so much for your comments and thoughts on  my last post. They really were helpful and I appreciate everyone of them!

We did have our 2nd Trimester ultra sound and everything looked wonderful.  My OB was very happy.  Healthy heart, healthy kidneys, normal femur size, cute as a button nose - everything looks and points to a chromosomally balanced baby.  Oh, and by the way -- IT'S A GIRL!

One thing that is a little troubling to me is my placenta. It's still near my cervix.  We're going to have to monitor it and hope and pray that it moves!  I really did luck out with an OB who understands my neurosis and struggle with infertility.  She's always willing to take that extra step to reassure me or do what ever test I request.  She's a gem!

If I were to say I am a happy expectant mother I would be lying.  Everyday is a journey and a battle to trust that whatever outcome occurs I will be okay.  

On the adoption front:  Our little girl is nearly a year old! It's so hard to imagine our life without her! She's amazing.  Strangely, I feel even more connected to her now.  I can't imagine what her biological mother was going through (feelings, emotions, and thoughts) at 20 weeks pregnant.  Knowing my baby grew somewhere else is definitely surreal but it makes me love and cherish her all the more.  We're still waiting on that court date!!  Hopefully within the next 60 days.  I am so ready to get this thing finalized.

Sometimes in a brief moment of my darkest fears I imagine that I loose both of my girls.  It's brief and quickly squelched but still a remaining scar of my battle with infertility - you see this - this is what you can't have....

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Advanced Maternal Age

Well it's official - I am an old lady.

Apparently when you're 35 it's time to hang up the towel - cause - chica you're old!  Because of my "advanced age" my OB wanted me to do a First Trimester Screening.  Thus the lovely ultra sound pic from my previous post.

In case you're a young whipper snapper, a First Trimester Screening is a combination of a fancy ultra sound and blood test which measure proteins produced by the placenta to determine your child's likely hood of having a chromosomal abnormality (i.e. Down's Syndrome).  It less invasive than a CVS or Amniocentesis.

Well on Monday we had said test done.  Our ultra sound came out wonderfully.  In the scan the technician measures the space in the neck for fluid and the bridge of the nose - too much fluid and a short nose are often indicators of Down's.  Well our scan was great.  The fluid was below normal and the nose was a cute as a button.

Today I got the blood work result...

Damn blood work.

According to the blood work my beta hCG is high ( I am in the 99 percentile) and my PAPP - A levels are low (30 percentile).  The high/low combination "can" be a marker for Down's Syndrome.

My baby's odds at having Down's are 1/37.  That's a 3% chance.

So the very nice lady (who was on the phone with me for over an hour) suggest and amnio.

Crap, @&(#$*)%, Shoot, &()$*@), Frack!

I am conflicted....

Do I have the amnio for peace of mind and risk a miscarriage (this clinic has a .25% miscarriage rate) or do I just go with it, roll the dice and wait until delivery. 

Oh, now I am also freaked out about low PAPP -A levels.  The genetic counselor said, "DO NOT Google low PAPP-A levels" - well darn it lady I did! My freak out factor has been raised!!

What do I do? I am looking for some other old ladies words of wisdom here.  I knew going into IVF my risks where always higher for certain problems - I also knew I was old (I mean I can count).

Perhaps the true irony of this whole situation is that 100 years ago (yes I am THAT old) my dear husband and I had planned that after we had a dozen biological children (as a result of moonlit walks on the beach and consumption of copious amounts of alcohol) we would adopt a child with special needs.  Now here we sit after years of struggling through infertility - perhaps pregnant with a special needs child and in the process of adopting a completely healthy child.  Oh, the irony!

So.............What do you think?  Is it worth the risk - knowing?  Papa don't preach I am going to keep my baby (let's see how old you are!)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Holy Macaroni! This Baby is Going to Have to Come Out!

I can't believe there's a baby inside me!!






Monday, August 01, 2011

11 Weeks only 203 Days to Go!

Had my second OBGYN appointment today.  For the most part I like my new doctor.  I am still morning saying goodbye to my RE.  But my new OB understands infertility and gave me a scan even though she wasn't planning on it! I got to see Curly today!  She is growing!! (There is a debate in this household on boy vs. girl.  I am saying girl and daddy is saying boy.  Of course healthy is all that matters).  Today I saw her head, body and tiny little arms!!

I also had a gestational diabetes test - you know because I am old and fat.  My blood pressure is good so I am happy about that.  I really just want (as do all my IF followers) a normal (as normal as it gets for IVF) pregnancy.

I am really struggling with exhaustion.  My house is a total mess and there is dog hair everywhere! Adding caring for a very mobile 8 month old on top of pregnancy leads to a very exhausted momma!  I keep hearing I'll regain my energy but man am I tired!

My next scan is Aug. 15.  Once again because I am old and fat (well mostly old) I get to have one of those fancy scans to see if there are any abnormalities with the baby (who by the way is officially a fetus!).  My OB did suggest a CVS or Amnio - but we're going to pass - Curly is ours no matter what.

So I am still trying to enjoy this.... I pretty much anticipate seeing blood every time I go to the bathroom.  There are just so many women out there in blogland who have lost babies and my heart goes out to them.  My OB even commented on how her IF patients are different than her non-fertility (did I just make up a word?) challenged ones.  I am thankful that she understands.  I hope she gets to deliver Curly!

Well until my next update - I hope you're all well in your journey - I hope you're finding peace where ever you are.  Thanks for the support and encouragement!  Your comments and support do mean so much to me!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Revisiting Adoption vs. IVF

May years ago I wrote a post on the topic of adoption and infertility treatments. Now I sit hear years later and am going through the adoption process as well as pregnant from a successful IVF.

At the time I remember well meaning friends suggesting that I should "just adopt" because I was dealing with infertility.

Looking back I think the real pain comes not from the suggestion of the adoption but from the thought that the pain of my infertility could be relieved or cured simply by adopting.

My point of contention is when people find out you're having difficulty conceiving and assume "well just adopt". As if adoption is a cure for infertility - "oh your body isn't working correctly - you want a baby? - well just adopt! " I feel the same way when after a miscarriage well meaning people say, "We'll you can just have another one! You'll get pregnant again!" - NEITHER of these "reasons" erase the pain and hurt that come from infertility and miscarriage.

Adoption is a beautiful path to parenthood . Adoption is not an easy fix and not a cure for the pain and hurt that comes with infertility. Adoption it's self is often met with it's own share of heartbreak and hurdles. Some people wait years to even receive a placement and some couples never receive a permanent placement. Adoption in it's self is a journey that requires preparation and prayer.

I guess what I am getting at is that adoption and ART are two different paths - but equally as difficult and equally as valid a choice. But it is a choice for a couple to make.

I love both my children equally and would never change my journey for one second. All the bumps and bruises have made me the mom I am today. My struggles and pain are mine - and they help to make me the person I am today.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

With Every Beat of My Heart

We saw a heart beat!

I moved my scan up because I had some more spotting last Thursday. There was no way I could wait a whole week!

I've also been released from me RE. It was very bitter sweet! I've been with these folks for 5 years and to finally be leaving is really sad. They're really a wonderful practice. I am so thankful they were a part of this journey!

My OBGYN appointment is next Friday. It's a new doctor so this should be interesting. Hopefully we'll be good together.

I am feeling a little more confident about this pregnancy now. I am trying to enjoy every minute and not worry about somethign going wrong until it actually does.

Thanks for all the well wishes! I love reading your comments!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Scare and Some Good News

IVF
Friday I was spotting....

Of course this sent me into a minor freak out.

I called my BFF at 6:30 am who rushed over and took my to me RE.

RE did a scan which showed a beautiful yolk sac in just the right place at just the right size. BETA came back at 4995.

So, spotting is pretty typical and in my case nothing to worry about. I haven't really had any since Friday so I am relieved.

Everyday is just another step closer to a real live baby. These are going to be the longest 9 months of my life!

ADOPTION
Yesterday I went to see a different doctor. My husband, daughter, and I were in the exam room talking about my baby and my pregnancy and then the doctor said (in regards to my adoptive daughter) "even though she's not yours." - No worries - that doctor is still alive. I quickly corrected her and could see she was slightly embarassed. My daughter is 100% mine. We share no DNA and I didn't carry her in my womb - but none the less she is 100% mine. She is the answer to years of tears and prayers and is a complete gift and blessing to me. She is mine and will be mine forever.

On another note ....we receive the adoption petitions yesterday!! We're signing them today and then sending them off to the court! Hopefully we'll have a court date sometime this summer to finalize the adoption for our beautiful baby girl!

My follow up scan is set for July 7.

Monday, June 20, 2011

3rd BETA

So far so good.

I think my biggest problem is over thinking this whole thing. I am dealing with a bit of "survivors guilt" I really need to stop Googling BETA numbers. I feel so horrible for all the women who have recently experienced loss in the online community. To top it off a good friend of mine (who conceived without any reproductive assistance) just miscarried at 8 weeks. Our babies would have been weeks apart. What makes me any different? All the stories of babies lost are running through my mind and now I remember why I took a break from IVF for so long!

I did go for blood work again this morning. My numbers are 903 hCG. My doctor is very pleased and doesn't want to see me until July 7 for a scan. So I guess this is good.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hesitantly Happy

Well, I am still pregnant!

However, I am so freaked out that something will go wrong. I know so many women who've been where I am and don't end with a healthy baby.

I went in for more blood work this morning. BETA level was 133. Doctor said it was good. Is it good? I would have loved a 200 or something.

Why can't I be over the moon happy? Why I am constantly checking to see if there is blood?

Ugh, infertility really messes with you!

I go back Monday for blood work again.

Hoping I can stay sane until then!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Unbelievable

It's happened.

That day I never thought would come!

I am PREGNANT!!!

My RE confirmed my results yesterday!

At 11DP3DT My BETA was 53 mIU/hCG

I go Thursday for more blood work!

I can't even begin to describe the feeling of complete bliss! This is amazing!

Of course as anyone who's struggled with infertility knows, the journey is just beginning.

I've passed the first hurdle! Now I just need to stay pregnant! I'll post again about specifics!

Monday, June 06, 2011

4 dp3dt

Well here we are again.... Waiting....

We transferred 3 embryos on Thursday (June 2)

1 - 8 cell grade 2
1 - 8 cell grade 3
1 - 7 cell grade 4

Transfer was great. I really love our RE. She is amazing and has been with us these past 5 years.

I am trying my hardest to stay calm and not read into symptoms or lack there of.....

Waiting with a 6 month old is definitely different than waiting all alone.

I am doing much better this time than previous times - although I do swing back and forth from I think I am pregnant - to it didn't work....

So, I'll just be here...waiting...

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Don't Put All My Eggs in One Dish!

This IVF is so completely different from my first one over 5 years ago. WOW!

Egg retrieval was Monday. We were only able to retrieve 5 eggs. We had already decided we didn't want to freeze any embryos so I am not too worried about the 5 eggs. 3 of the 5 were mature and fertilized.

Transfer is set for Thursday morning.

I am doing pretty good. I am excited but not too obsessed about it. Hoping I can survive the 2 week wait without going insane and taking a pregnancy test every day.

I am most concerned about being able to care for my 6 month old during the time between the BETA and whatever else comes down the road.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Anybody Out There?

I am not even sure if I still have readers. I've been so absent from the blogging world that I don't even know who's who anymore!

I originally started this blog as an out let for all the anger, sadness, frustrations, and disappoints that I was experiencing dealing with my infertility. Meeting other women in my shoes and sharing your stories were a life saver and really helped me at that time.

My journey has taken me on one wild ride. From wanting to conceive, to infertility treatments, to despair, to nothing, to foster/adoption, to motherhood, and now back to IVF.

ADOPTION
I am a woman of faith. And one of the hardest things about being infertile was dealing with my anger towards God. I was so absolutely furious that he would not deliver me from this infertility. It was a hard road to walk and many times I nearly walked away from God and faith altogether. I mad God the bad guy in this story. I really didn't want to pursue adoption for a million reason - #1 being I WAS going to get pregnant. It took years for God to change my heart and I give my husband all the credit for his loving patience in dealing with me and my stubbornness. In the spring of 2009 I finally agreed to "investigate" fostering to adoption. In November 2010 we brought our 3 day old daughter home from the hospital. On June 1 we will file the official adoption papers and hope to have things finalized by August.

I am a woman of faith - and I know that all the things I have been through have led me to where I am today. I could not see God's plan for me - I could not see that I would have my precious baby who needed me to be her mommy. God knew all this and even when I raged against him in tears and cries for mercy I know that he too cried with me. I have a great understanding of God's love and purpose in my life - a greater trust in his love and provision. We still marvel at this 6 month old little blessing and I know that even though I didn't carry her in my womb she was born in my heart the day I set foot on my journey to become a mom. She is mine and I am hers.

IVF 2.1
Before we knew we would be placed with a child my husband and I had decided that 2011 would be our last shot at infertility treatments. It seems crazy to have a 6 month old at home and trying to get pregnant - but call us crazy!

So on Sunday I began injections. It's a pretty simple protocol and a lot has changed in the 4 years since my last IVF. Our plan is for a 5 day transfer.

Are you there?
So if you're still out there I'd love to hear from you? Where are you in your journey? Please let me know!