Tuesday, December 27, 2011

In The Homestretch

I'm 35 weeks and 1 day today. I can't believe we've made it this far, especially after the preterm labor episode three weeks ago. I had my last OB appointment before my schedule c-section today, and Dr. C said I have a super cervix. Not much change with my cervix. BP was 118/80 and I gained weight in the last week...152 lbs. Wow, 4lbs in one week! It must have been the Christmas cookies I ate in the last couple days! I was really surprised that I gained that much since I really haven't eaten that much. Dr. C predicts I'm carrying close to 12 lbs of baby! I believe it because I feel like it! I feel like a whale. They are also positioned like shoes in a shoebox. Baby A is head down and Baby B is head up.

The most difficult part lately of this pregnancy has been sleep. I can't sleep well at all. I did wake up on Christmas Eve morning with some contractions, but they seemed to fade as I drank a lot of water and rested in bed on my left side. That night I also slept in the bed for the first time in weeks and I was comfortable for about 30 minutes and then had to change positions. Needless to say, I got little sleep that night. Back to the recliner and it takes me awhile to get comfortable. The twins are kicking and punching me in the ribs like crazy...more so than ever, which is making sleep very difficult too. Neither baby seems to like me on either side when sleeping. Depending how I sleep, either my belly/ribs or back hurt.

Despite the lack of sleep, it is pretty amazing to see the girls growing (or should I say, feel them growing?) It's crazy how strong they are getting. I love feeling their hiccups. I love seeing their body movements through my skin. I love knowing that these girls are mine. Simply amazing.

Five more days and we meet our girls! We are so excited and I must admit, I'm a little nervous. Surgery always makes me nervous. With my DD, I was tired after pushing and when they mentioned c-section, I was all for it. I'm going into this c-section knowing with a clear, alert mind on what's going to happen. The end result is being able to hold our girls, so I'll just have to focus on them when the nerves get to me.

We are in the homestretch!!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

34 Week Appointment... The Countdown Begins

Today was my 34 week appointment, and our babies are still doing great. Cervix is staying strong, BP was 112/76, and weight was 148 lbs. Is it possible I lost 2 lbs in a week? Maybe I wore lighter clothing or something. Our girls appear to be getting stronger by the day. Wow, do I feel their jabs and kicks. Sometimes, I have to shield my ribs with my hand, so they don't kick so hard.

Since my OB is technically "off work/vacation" the week of our c-section, she said we could schedule any day, meaning we could move our date up to Monday, Jan.2 (instead of the 3rd). Of course, my thinking is ' the sooner, the better.' So, it's scheduled that we'll meet our little girls on Jan. 2nd and I'll be exactly 36 weeks that day. Our DD was so excited when I told her the news, "you'll get to meet your baby sisters in 13 days." She was screaming with excitement. Amazingly, I think she's more excited about her sisters' birth than Christmas Day! She said the other day, "Maybe they'll come on Christmas Day. That would be the best Christmas gift ever!" What a great gift it would be! And, what a memorable day is would be!

13 more days...wahoo, can't wait!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

33 Week Update (with photo)

Yesterday, I had my 33 week appointment with my OB. I've officially gained about 35 pounds, weighing in at 150 pounds now. My BP was great at 112/68, and my cervix is staying strong at 2.5cm in length. My uterus is measuring at 37 weeks and the babies have definitely dropped. I think bed rest has been good for me and the babies, though. My swelling has been kept to a very minimum...I still don't have cankles yet! And I'm happy to report that I didn't have heartburn last night before going to bed. It was such a good feeling, not having to feel the acid in my chest. I have slept on our recliner couch for the past couple days now, and it seems to be the best way to sleep lately. My nose gets stuffy when I lay flat in bed and I can't seem to get as comfortable in bed with pillows. I do miss my bed, but I know it's temporary.

The twins are very active and I think their personalities are definitely showing through already. Even the nurses at the hospital said Baby B was a feisty one, and I believe it. She moves like crazy with the hardest jabs. She is transverse while Baby A is vertex, so I'm not sure if their positioning has anything to do with their movement.

Some exciting news...We now have a Plan A for the arrival of our girls. Our c-section date is set for January 3rd! (I'll be 36 weeks 1 day then). Of course, I'm thinking, 'holy cow, can I make it three more weeks?!' That's the goal, though. The longer, the better and I understand that. Our goal is to take our girls home with us when I leave the hospital. Plan B is the unexpected...you never know, they might have plans of their own.

Me at 33 weeks (yesterday)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ultrasound Update

Yesterday was a big day. We had our thorough ultrasound with Dr.K (first one in 4 weeks). After the preterm labor scare, it was nice to see the sweet peas and know that they are still growing well. In fact, Dr. K was somewhat surprised about their current size. He estimates that Baby A is 4 lb 11oz and Baby B is 4 lb 15 oz. That's a lot of baby! He said they are growing like they should and everything looks good with them. My cervix is still hanging in there...close to 3cm long. Looks like I'll be having big babies, especially if they stay in me for a couple more weeks. Yikes! My belly is so huge now; I'll have to post a photo next time.

All in all, a great appointment. I see my OB on Monday, so I'm hoping we can schedule a tentative c-section date.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Unexpected Symptom

As I was typing my blog post last night,I was experiencing that new symptom I mentioned--menstrual cramps and dull back pain. I tried to lay in the recliner for a couple hours, but the pain was not subsiding. DH thought we should go to ER to put my mind at ease. Little did he know (or myself), I was experiencing preterm labor. My uterus was consistently contracting and nothing seemed to stop them. I did try to call the on-call doctor, but no one answered. That's when we decided to go to ER. When we got there, they took me to the Birthing Center to hook up all the monitors, and they started an IV of fluids. Sure enough, I was having regular contractions and the on-call doctor (who happened to be my normal OB--YAY!) was concerned. Dr. C said this was way to early for contractions, for she wants these twins to make it to at least 35 or 36 weeks. Good news, the babies looked great on the monitors and my blood pressure was under control. As they checked my monitors, they noticed my first IV insertion area was getting red and swollen and had to be taken out (and that was painful and bloody!) It almost made me want to pass out (I'm such a wimp, I know!) They put another IV in and mental note to self, make sure they use the 20 gauge needle on me. It went in much better. After the IV fluids, it was decided to keep me overnight, for contractions were not stopping. They gave me a steroid injection to help the babies' lung maturity, which I will need a second one tonight. And since the contractions were not stopping, they gave me some pills to help stop the contractions; I can't remember the name of medicine, but fortunately, they ran out of it in injection form. (Can you tell that I dislike needles!?!) By the time all this was done, I was told that there were ketones in my urine.

More good news...Besides, the babies looking great, my cervix was still long and they ran a test which predicted early delivery. Based on the test results, there is a very good chance that these babies will NOT be delivered within the next 2 weeks, which is a very good thing. Also, my contractions did stop in the early morning. Thank goodness! The worst part of the whole overnight stay was the lack of sleep I got. They wanted to keep the fetal monitors on both babies all night and the only way they cooperated was if I was lying on my back inclined. This position was so uncomfortable (esp. in birthing beds) that I couldn't sleep because of the pressure on my back. No matter how many pillows the nurses used, I just couldn't get comfortable. BTW, I had incredible nurses and I'm so thankful for their patience and compassion. Luckily, they did put some nubain in my IV and that helped with back pain, so I could sleep an hour or two. It was a long night. By morning, they decided the fetal monitors were not a necessity, so I could rest/sleep in whatever position I wanted. By 1:00pm today, the ketones were not in my urine anymore and everything looked good. I was ready to be discharged! Home sweet home, how nice it is!

Of course, I can't go back to my normal routine or the contractions can easily start up again. I'm on bedrest at home now, which can be somewhat challenging with a 5 year old. She is in school most of the day, but the DH has to step up and take on some "mommy" responsibilities. My Mom is coming over tomorrow to help with some house cleaning and finish wrapping Christmas gifts for me. Thankfully, DH has an understanding boss (who's wife was also on bedrest with her 2nd child) who will let DH work from home when need be. With the holidays coming up, DH also has vacation time to use up. We were hoping to save the time for the twins' birth. Hopefully, he can use that time towards the end of the month and not any time soon.

What a scare last night was, but I'm glad our babies are still doing good. As Dr. C said, there's about 8lbs of baby in my uterus and my uterus is ready . We are just asking my uterus to be superhero.

**excuse any grammar errors -- I'm extremely tired right now.**

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

New Symptoms at 32 weeks

The fun is really starting! I hit the 32 week-mark and things are changing! I swear, the babies have dropped, for I now get up at least 3 to 4 times a night to pee. Sometimes, I'll be driving in the car and have to pee. I get out of the car, and then I don't have to go anymore. It drives me crazy! To pee or not to pee is often the question.

Then, there's the swelling in my left foot. I had it for a week or so now but usually when I woke in the morning, it would be gone. Not anymore. I wake up and the left foot is swelling, as if I was on my feel all day. I have been monitoring my blood pressure at home to make sure it has not gotten any higher. Amazingly, my blood pressure has been low, which is great.

OMG, what's with the weepiness? I think I've cried twice today. It seems to get worse with each day that does on. I'm usually a sap, but not like this. I was watching 'Catch and Release' today and when the little boy says, "my Dad was a superhero!" I started balling. Really?!? I'm an emotional wreck!

The new symptom that has me a little uptight is the menstrual-like cramps and dull back pain. I know it's not true labor because it is not consistent, so I'm guessing it's braxton hick contractions. Being pregnant before, you'd think I'd know what is going on with my body. However, I feel like this is all new to me again. It has been almost 6 years, so it's easy to forget...I think. Though I do believe twins (or multiples) add a different dynamic to a pregnancy. Everything seems to be more intense or occur more soon in the pregnancy.

What's next? My next ultrasound is this Friday. Let's hope there's no surprises, especially since it would have been 4 weeks since seeing a doctor. Can't wait to see the babies again...it's been way too long!

Monday, November 28, 2011

31 Week Update - What's With All The Pain?

This is not going to be my usual update. As with my last couple updates, I feel redundant. Of course, I have the same sleeping issues and we are still expecting girls. However, I have officially hit the point, where I want to say, "I'm done with being pregnant." Obviously, I want the girls to stay inside me as long as possible, for I want them to be as healthy as possible (and avoid NICU). However, I currently feel like I did with DD when I was 39 weeks with her. The area below my breasts is burning and so uncomfortable. I literally started crying today because it was painful and I could not find a position where I could get comfortable. I can't wear a bra anymore, for that makes the pain worse. I'm still trying to organize the nursery and clean the house, which frustrates me even more.

My physically pain is definitely taking its toll on me emotionally. It's so draining when you can't do anything for the pain and when the pain prohibits you from doing things you need to do. I'm so grateful for my twins, but sometimes I wonder if my body can handle two babies. How the heck did the Octomom carry so many babies--it's beyond my comprehension!

I love these babies with all my heart, and I hope that my pain tolerance can crank it up a notch!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks

There is so much to be thankful for this year. My wonderful husband who has been supportive through the good and bad. Not only is he a great husband, but he's an incredible father. Our sweet daughter lights up our world daily with her laughs, hugs and kisses. And, of course, we (all three of us) are so thankful for our two growing little babies. Sometimes, it is difficult to believe that I am actually pregnant (with twins) and that we'll be meeting our two baby girls soon.

A friend of mine recently quoted: The happiest people do not have the best of everything...They make the best of everything they have. My DH and I complain about our house being too small, but I'm thankful that we have a home. A home full of love and warmth. We wish we had a bigger bank balance, but we are thankful that we have money to support a family with food, clothes, and a home. We haven't gone on a vacation in over a year (or maybe two), but we find fun things to do as a family (that doesn't always involve spending money).

Did I mention, I'm thankful that my Mom is cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year?! I'm so blessed to have such a loving mother!

We are thankful for the big and small things in our lives.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Update: 30 weeks

How far along? 30 weeks!

Weight gain? I haven't weighed myself, but I'm guessing 28-29 pounds.

Symptoms: Heartburn is more frequent now. Feel jibs/kicks all over!

Stretch marks? Not yet! Let's hope it stays that way!

Sleep? Sleep is overrated. Waking up several times a night to pee. Flip/flopping sides all night.

Best moment this week? Not having to wear my prenatal cradle this week. I didn't feel like I needed it this week.

Movement? Every now and then I get a nice jab in the cervix or a kick to the ribs, but it's getting really crowded in there.

Food Cravings? bagels and apples

Gender? TWO GIRLS!!!

What I miss? Being able to cut my own toe nails...so, I got a pedicure this week! :)

What I'm looking forward to? Meeting our little girls.

Milestones: With only 7 more weeks to go, the countdown has begun!

Emotions: Still getting emotional over little stuff. The fact that I can't do as much stresses me out. I want to climb the ladder and fix the lightbulb...but the voice inside me says 'wait until your husband gets home.' Which also means it will probably take 2 weeks to change the lightbulb.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Donor Egg Gossip

I've been wanting to write about this in my blog for awhile now. I was afraid if I wrote about it when I first encountered the situation this would be a very angry post. It still makes me irritated, but at this point, I just shake my head at some people.

One day I was helping at my daughter's school in the cafeteria. She was a new student there, so I really wanted to get involved right away and get to know other parents/students. The moms I did meet that day were very welcoming and of course, interested in my twin pregnancy. I got the usual question, "do twins run in your family?" My usual answer: on my husband's side. Then, as an hour or so passed, the one mom said there were twins in the lunch room now. I heard her whisper to the other mom, "there's a story behind them, I'll tell you later." At that point, I thought, "a story?" Little did I expect to hear the "story" she was about to tell us later. From the start, I didn't like the tone, for it sounded like gossip. As we were cleaning up for the day, she proceeded to tell us that the twins' mother had problems getting pregnant, so she used an egg donor. Her words felt like a punch to the gut when she then said, "can you believe someone would do that?" (I blocked the rest of their conversation out...it's like I had a shield up to protect myself from their opinions on donor eggs). As it was, I didn't know what to say and I felt I couldn't say anything. I felt awkward--I didn't want to hear this nor did I care that another mother used an egg donor (it's her business). I wanted to stand up for that mother, though because I'm guessing she went through infertility struggles like the rest of us who have to seek an egg donor. Then, I felt angry. I was angry that this mom who I just met was talking "bad" about using an egg donor. She was so narrow-minded and really had no business talking about another mother's decision to use donor eggs.

This is a good example of why I don't want to tell anyone that we used donor eggs. I still feel it's important for our daughters to know how they were conceived with donor eggs and to know at an early age. If they want to tell others, that's their right, but I am not freely giving out their conception story. People are too judgmental of others and truthfully, I don't want to be a part of the gossip circling the school moms. I feel like a "wuss" about it--I should stand up for the use of donor eggs and the mothers who use them, but I'm just not there yet. It's a private family matter, and I think it should be kept that way--private.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Update: 28 weeks 4 days

How far along? 28 wk 4 days

Weight gain? 27 lbs (gained 3 lbs in the last 3 weeks). I feel the weight gain slowing due to the fact of limited space for food.

Symptoms: Burning belly and belly button, back aches, some heartburn, stuffy nose (esp. at night) and lots of movement inside my belly.

Stretch marks? Not yet! It's difficult to believe with all this stretching.

Sleep? Uncomfortable (nothing new) and the stuffy nose at night gives me dry mouth in the morning. DH says I'm snoring. So, he probably isn't sleeping good either.

Best moment this week? I had another scan today and saw the babes (hadn't seen them in 3 weeks). Both babies are growing nicely...measuring a week ahead. Their growths are about 15% differentiated. Baby A is smaller, measuring about 2 lbs 13 oz and Baby B (who was more active today) was about 3 lbs 2 oz. After today's appointment, I now understand the way they are positioned in my belly, which makes sense why I have more movement on the one side of my belly.

Movement? Love being able to see them poking at my belly. Lots of movements!

Food Cravings? Healthy: apples & peanut butter

Gender? TWO GIRLS!!!

What I miss? Being as active with our daughter. She had a rough day and held her arms up to me (as if to hold her), and it broke my heart that I couldn't pick her up.

What I'm looking forward to? Meeting our little girls.

Milestones: Passed my GD test.

Emotions: Lately, I've been very emotional. Things that normally wouldn't make me cry are making me weepy. When the OB/GYN said she'd see me in 4 weeks. I felt like crying. Isn't 4 weeks too long? A lot can happen in 4 weeks! it makes me want to cry.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Update: 26 weeks (with photo)

How far along? 26 weeks

Weight gain? 24 lbs (and climbing!)

Symptoms: Belly is stretching and burning at times. I don't remember this with my first pregnancy. It's not so easy to walk around, just feeling achy.

Stretch marks? Not yet!

Sleep? This hasn't changed since last week--Not so comfortable, difficulty moving from side to side.

Best moment this week? I somehow escaped heartburn this past week.

Movement? One baby appears to move more in the morning while the other waits until evening. Hope this doesn't mean they have different sleep patterns, and if so, that better change when they arrive. :)

Food Cravings? Lately, it's been apples.

Gender? TWO GIRLS!!!

What I miss? Missing my mobility...bending and speed of walking.

What I'm looking forward to? Meeting our little girls.

Milestones: 26 weeks seems like a milestone in itself!

Emotions: Trying to make myself rest more and keep a calm and relaxed mood.

Belly photo from today:

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Update: ~25 Weeks

How far along? 24 weeks 6 days

Weight gain? 20 lbs

Symptoms: Aches and pains have arrived! Lots of kicking/movement in my belly!

Stretch marks? Not yet!

Sleep? Not so comfortable, difficulty moving from side to side.

Best moment this week? Had another anatomy scan this past week and the babies are measuring right on target.

Movement? I feel them often throughout the day, especially after I eat a meal.

Food Cravings? Yogurt and sweets.

Gender? TWO GIRLS!!!

What I miss? I miss being able to hold my daughter who's 50 pounds, but even if I wasn't pregnant, I'm not sure how long I could hold/carry her.

What I'm looking forward to? Meeting our little girls.

Milestones: During our anatomy ultrasound this past week, we could see both faces (Baby A was shy at first) and the doctor got a great look at each of their hearts.

Emotions: I feel somewhat frustrated at times because I can't do the things I have been able to do earlier in the pregnancy. I know, I need to take it easy and rest when I'm tired; however, I have a problem with sitting still and doing nothing. I know it's a small sacrifice to ensure that our girls stay safe and healthy.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Name Game

I think we have officially decided on names for our baby girls. It's been tough to come up with two names. Our daughter had her ideas for names which were anything from Hannah to Alice to Clarabelle. And, I know we can't tell her the final names either because the other day she told my Mom what names we were thinking of naming the girls. She told my Mom that she liked Clarabelle though, and of course, all my Mom could think of was the clown (Clarabelle)from Howdy Doody. For this reason, is exactly, why we will not be telling anyone the names we have chosen prior to their births. We did this for our daughter's name and no one seemed to voice negative opinions about her name; of course, only compliments were voiced. I'm excited to have names though. I was nervous that DH and I wouldn't be able to agree, and we'd be scrambling on their birthday to figure out a name. Whew!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Update: 22 weeks

How far along? 22 weeks

Maternity clothes? Maternity clothes are getting tighter!

Symptoms: The best symptom of all...feeling the babies kick!

Stretch marks? Not yet and applying lots of lotion on my belly to avoid them!

Sleep? Feeling sore on my sides, so I have to move often throughout the night.

Best moment this week? We can actually SEE the babies move now! Our daughter got to feel the babies move today. I think her high-pitch voice actually gets them stirring in there.

Movement? Lots of movement. Baby A moves more in the morning and Baby B seems more active in the evening. They seem to settle when I'm sleeping, which is a great thing!

Food Cravings? Sweets lately, which I haven't craved much during this pregnancy.

Gender? TWO GIRLS!!!

What I miss? Being as active with our daughter as I used to be, but now we just do more laid-back things now--Reading, coloring and talking.

What I'm looking forward to? Just taking each moment in stride and trying to enjoy each week of this pregnancy. Of course, I can't wait to meet our baby girls, but hopefully that will be another 3 months from now.

Milestones: Seeing movement!!!

Emotions: It's fun knowing the genders now. We talk to the girls a lot and it just gets me more excited knowing a part of their identity. (probably sounds silly, but I love calling them my girls...instead of he/she/whatever).

Thursday, September 15, 2011

With Great Anticipation

We finally had our anatomy ultrasound today, revealing the genders of our babies! Unfortunately, DH could not be there since he recently started a new job, but my Mom and daughter came along. We arrived early for the appointment with my full bladder as instructed by the doctor. The apppointment was at 3:45pm and they had just called in a patient at 3:40pm. I'm sorry, but when a doctor tells you to come to an appointment with a full bladder, he'd BETTER take you on time. I was about to burst by 3:45pm. The receptionist apologized for the wait and said to empty my bladder some. She gave me some more water, and sure enough, by the time the doctor called my name (at 4:20pm!), I was ready to pee again!

The appointment went well. The doctor could not see Baby A's face and he had a difficult time seeing Baby B's heart chambers. From everything he saw, nothing looked abnormal.

For the big news, Baby A is a girl and Baby B is a girl!!! I'm a little surprised. I did hear with IVF that there is an increased chance for boys. Poor DH is officially outnumbered. Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled with girls!!! However, I do feel disappointed for DH; I was hoping one boy for him. He's great with our daughter and I know he'll be just as great with two more girls. On a positive note, I did save most of our daughter's clothing and toys! We already have plenty of pink in this house! :)

I'm just happy they look healthy and are measuring right on target. What a great day!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Update: 19 weeks 2 days

How far along? 19 weeks 2 days

Maternity clothes? Maternity clothes all the way and proud of it! :)

Symptoms: Heartburn every now and then, especially after big meals. Peeing like crazy no matter how much I drink. These babies are pressing on my bladder constantly.

Stretch marks? Not yet and I hope they stay away!

Sleep? Still not sleeping through the night, which I doubt will happen for a long time now. It's just preparing me for the newborn sleepless nights!

Best moment this week? Feeling the babies move! Today was the first day where I felt them several times throughout the day.

Movement? Yes (as stated above), which I began to feel on 9/2/11.

Food Cravings? Nothing in particular now...just my usual food.

Gender? We find out next week!!!! Yay! Can't wait!

What I miss? It's been a great moment in the pregnancy right now, but I do miss my being able to bend over easily and jump around with our daughter.

What I'm looking forward to? September 15th when we find out the genders!

Milestones: Feeling movement!!!

Emotions: Feel like I'm in cleaning mode and trying to get our home organized. Just ordered two cribs for $258 from Target!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Update: 17 weeks

How far along? 17 weeks (even!)

Maternity clothes? Maternity clothes all the way and proud of it! :)

Symptoms: Still fatigued every now and then. Just had a lovely episode of heartburn last night and hopefully it's not a frequent symptom.

Stretch marks? Not yet and I hope they stay away!

Sleep? Sleep is getting rougher. I sleep on one side for about an hour and then I feel sore on that side, so I have to flip. This continues all night, which makes for a somewhat restless sleep. Along with the two or three trips to the bathroom.

Best moment this week? I absolutely love that our daughter loves to talk to my belly (babies). She keeps asking, "when are they going to come out?"

Movement? I swear I felt a flutter today. :)

Food Cravings? Since I can't have Subway/deli sandwiches, I'm loving my veggie sandwiches.

Gender? Not sure yet. We can't wait to find out! DH thinks two boys. I think boy/girl.

What I miss? A good night's sleep, but I think it's preparing me for when they arrive.

What I'm looking forward to? September 15th when we find out the genders!

Milestones: The nausea has seemed to pass for the most part! YAY!

Emotions: Feel okay at the moment, but I'm feeling like I need to get things ready in the nursery. Hoping not to stress too much about it yet.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Update: 14 weeks 1 day

Though my pregnancy ticker says 14w2d, I think I'm officially 14w1d. I got this idea from Michelle(http://howtodanceintherain.blogspot.com/) Hope you don't mind me using this for updating posts.

How far along? 14 weeks 1 day

Maternity clothes? For sure, I'm in maternity shorts/pants and have been for the past week or so. I can still fit in skirts with elastic waists. I've worn a couple maternity shirts because I do feel more comfortable in them. If I wear my "normal" shirts, I feel like they are too tight and just make me look pudgy, not pregnant.

Symptoms: Nausea seems to come around in the evening at its worse. I feel fine in the mornings. I do get tired easily throughout the day, but if I keep moving, I don't always realize I'm tired. As long as I don't overeat at a meal, I feel alright.

Stretch marks? Not yet and I hope they stay away!

Sleep? I definitely fall asleep very easily, but I do wake up once or twice throughout the night to use the bathroom. Sometimes, I have a difficult time falling back to sleep, but overall, I love sleeping. :)

Best moment this week? Our daughter kisses my belly and says good morning to the twins every morning. It's so sweet.

Movement? I'm not sure if I feel anything yet. Sometimes it feels like I do, but I really think it's too early to tell.

Food Cravings? Cucumbers with sour cream and vinegar! I ate this a lot when I was pregnant with my daughter. I love home-grown cucumbers from my Mom's garden, so tis the season for some great cucumbers.

Gender? Not sure yet. We can't wait to find out!

What I miss? Being able to brush my teeth at night. I try to, but I usually gag on my the paste. My teeth don't feel as clean as they should, but I know it's a small sacrifice.

What I'm looking forward to? My first ob/gyn appointment next week Thursday.

Milestones: Getting through the first trimester with no issues.

Emotions: Definitely cranky when I'm hungry or tired. Otherwise, my emotions are in check right now...I'll let you know when my kindergartner goes to school in 3 weeks. (I'll probably be a mess!)

Monday, July 25, 2011

12w3d Update

Whew! These days are getting away from me! My update is a little late, but better late than never...right? Last Thursday, I went in for my NT scan, which ended up being a thorough ultrasound. I wasn't sure what the NT scan was all about since I didn't have it with my daughter, so since the technician had difficulty getting the measurement (behind the neck) on one of the twins, we said we weren't overly concerned about finding out the Downs Syndrome risk factor. She said it was optional anyways. The technician (who was super sweet) took measurements of both babies and gave us several ultrasound printouts. We took our daughter to this ultrasound, knowing that everything was external. After about 5 minutes, our daughter was bored and was not afraid to let the technician know. Our super sweet technician just laughed it off and did her job. I'm sure our daughter made things pretty amusing for her with the comments--"I don't want a brother. Boys are mean. I want a girl." Towards the end of the hour long ultrasound, our daughter was singing to the technician. Now, I'm pretty sure she doesn't get that type of entertainment very often during an ultrasound. :)

Twin A and Twin B measured exactly the same--measurements averaged 12w6d. They were moving like crazy, waving their hands and kicking their legs. Heartbeats were around 150's. I'm starting to wonder if they are twins of the same sex since they are so equal in measurement. I love trying to guess, and I'm really looking forward to finding out their sexes.

My belly is getting big, and I thought for sure I had gained quite a bit. So far, only 3 pounds. I see my OB/GYN for the first time (since graduating from Dr. L) in 2weeks. It will be nice to her, but I will miss Dr. L.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Where Have I Been?!?

It's been awhile since my last post, and for those who read my blog, you might wonder where I've been...definitely not in the blog world lately. Simply, we've been busy, so busy that every day seems like a whirlwind to me. Truthfully, I can't stand being this busy, but this is the busiest time of year for our business and that's a good thing. My house is a wreck and I'm embarrassed to say the last time I actually cleaned anything in my house (i.e. bath tub, dusting). With all the craziness, I am trying to make the summer fun for my daughter with trips to the parks and playdates with her friends. It's been a lot to juggle lately, but I know things will slow down in the next month or so.

The pregnancy is still going well. I stopped estradiol at 10 weeks and I have THREE more days of progesterone suppositories. My nausea has subsided a little--it seems to be worse in the evenings, especially before bedtime. I'm constantly chewing gum to keep the gags away, which works pretty well for me. My belly is growing and my clothes are starting to fit snug or not at all. I have worn a couple of maternity tops because they just feel better than my "fitting" tops.

My next appointment is a week from tomorrow. Hope to post again soon, but I have a feeling work will keep me away.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Moving Limb Buds

The highlight of today's ultrasound was seeing our babies' little limb buds move. It was so cute! I can't believe they are already moving, especially with their little buds. They both measured exactly the same: 8w6d. Dr. L was very pleased with their growth and their heartbeats (167 and 174).

Another highlight of today's ultrasound was hearing Dr. L say that I am done with PIO injections! Wahoo!!! I was so excited to hear this and I'm pretty sure if my rear could talk, it would say "thank you." I now have to take progesterone suppositories for the next 3 weeks. Dr. L also said that I only have to continue estradiol for one more week and then, no more popping pills. I can't believe we are reaching this milestone; it seemed like an endless necessity for awhile.

Next appointment: ultrasound & lab work in 3 weeks.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Secret is Out

And, it's been out for over a week now. (Between fatigue, being busy and then catching a head cold-I've had very little time to post). After our first ultrasound, we couldn't contain ourselves, so we went over DH's grandparents' and parents' house to share the news. My Mom had already knew that we were pregnant, for I couldn't keep it a secret. Plus, she watched our daughter during several of our appointments, so she's been in the loop for the entire process.

We wanted to make the announcement somewhat fun (for us!)and include our daughter, so she wore a shirt that said "big sister" on it. DH's grandparents totally didn't see her shirt; honestly, I think they had a difficult time reading it, seeing that they are in their 80's. We had to tell them to read our daughter's shirt and then of course, they got it and were extremely happy for us. Then, we went next door to see my in-laws. My SIL was also there. We talked to all three of them for at least 30 minutes, and it was becoming apparent that they are not very observant. I even joked at one point how people aren't very observant. DH and I laughed. SIL says, "must be an inside joke." Then, my FIL caught sight of our daughter's shirt and had this puzzled, smiling look on his face. He got it and told the others to look at the shirt. Then, my MIL started screaming and hugging us. Everyone was hugging everyone and our daughter was a little overwhelmed with all the excitement. She was ready to go home. It was definitely a big surprise for my in-laws. We said to keep it on the down-low until we got further in the pregnancy, but we found out a few days later that my MIL told all her sisters. (She said she was too excited. Guess I know who can't keep a secret!) Who in turn, told all their children. So the news spread like wildfire among DH's family. It was then only fair to tell some of my cousins the news (my family is much smaller).

Needless to say, everyone is very excited for us. I had one comment from DH's aunt that I wasn't too fond of. After the TWINS news, she asked "are they natural?" I was somewhat offended by that comment. I blew it off my shoulders, though and said we had a little help. Personally, I think it's none of her business.

I have to say, it's nice to have the secret out to the family. No hiding anything; however, I would have liked to wait until we were a little further along (at least 12 weeks). Tomorrow is our next ultrasound, and I'm hoping our two little beans are growing and that things are progressing nicely. I have no reason to think anything otherwise (no spotting or anything), but each milestone seems to bring on nervousness.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

That's Crazy

Those were the words out of mouth when Dr. L said, "there's two!" All I could respond was "that's crazy!?!" I guess, you could say I was somewhat in denial. I had a feeling it was twins, but actually seeing the two sacs and then the heartbeats! Don't get me wrong, DH and I are absolutely excited; I just can't believe this cycle worked! This actually worked for us!

Twin A measured 7w2d with a heartbeat of 149. Twin B measured 7w1d with a heartbeat of 139. Dr. L said everything looks great. I go in for a second ultrasound in 2 weeks and then, I've graduated to my OB/GYN. Since I'm having twins, Dr. L thinks I can stop estradiol/progesterone after 10 weeks. Wahoo!!!

Wow, today seemed so surreal, and as excited as I am, I'm exhausted. I just want to sleep. More to come.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tea is My Friend

Unfortunately, the migraines (I no longer classify them as just headaches) were not a one-time occurrence. After Saturday, it was back on Sunday and then again today. I called my RE on Monday (yesterday) to see what I could do in terms of pain management, and of course, to make sure this wasn't out of the ordinary. He assured me that the rise in estrogen often causes migraines. He really wasn't concerned about it. For pain, he suggested tea, but tea with caffeine in it. For whatever reason, caffeine helps migraines. Wow, I never knew that. No wonder I have lingering migraines now--I haven't been drinking any caffeine since my cycle started.

So, when I woke up this morning and started to experience aura, I knew what was coming next. MIGRAINE! I had DH make me some hot tea right away. You bet I drank that up, in hopes to lessen the stabbing pain in my forehead. After drinking a cup, I got a sense of relief in my head...whew! This stuff really does work. Then, the nausea came on fiercely and my tea was officially back out of my system. I was still convinced that the tea was going to help, so DH made another cup for me. This time I drank it a little slower. It's over an hour later now, and I can say that the pain has diminished (to where it's manageable) and I haven't lost any more cookies. Tea is definitely my new friend. How I love thee!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Fun Has Begun

Well, that's being a little sarcastic! I woke up this morning with a bad headache over my right eye, and my paranoid self had to google "headaches and pregnancy." Luckily, everything I read said that headaches were very common in pregnancies, especially during the first trimester. This headache was not going away, though. I tried cold compresses to my forehead and the back of my neck, and I even fell back asleep. I ate breakfast and laid back down. As an hour passed, I started to feel more nausea and I tried so hard to fight it. Next thing I know, I lost my cookies (cereal) in the sink; I couldn't make it to the toilet in time. Yep, the fun has begun. I officially feel pregnant now.

I'm really not good with puking...I can remember puking just three times in my life (if that tells you anything). With my daughter, I felt nausea with the pregnancy, but I never actually lost my cookies. So, I have to say I was a little surprised by this morning's experience. DH was wonderful and went out to get some ginger ale and saltines for me. So far, the snack has kept the nausea at bay. However, I'm afraid to leave the house today in fear in that I make an unwanted public scene.

With the high betas and now the pregnancy symptoms, I'm guessing we have two little beans in there. I know every pregnancy is different, and every person is different. But if I had to make a guess--I'd say twins. What's your guess?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Every Little Pain

I'm getting paranoid now! By mid-morning today, I noticed some pain within my abdomen area. I couldn't really pinpoint the actual source of pain; it seemed to move every so often. Needless to say, I was getting nervous. Is something wrong? No spotting and it really didn't feel like period cramps. These pains remained with me with for almost the entire day, off and on. I think I've concluded that it was gas pains, so I'm hoping that's all it was. My ultrasound seems like months away now; I just want to know that my little bean (or beans) is/are doing great. This is going to be a nerve-wrecking week with every little pain I feel. Hoping the gas has passed and tomorrow I will feel better.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Happy June, Happy Day!

My long awaited second beta was today (7 days after my first beta) and it came back at 13,033! Our clinic is happy with this number, and I'm starting to believe that this pregnancy might be the real deal. I wasn't shocked with the nice beta number today, for I'm pretty sure I'm getting hit with some nice symptoms. I've been bloated since my last beta and the exhaustion has hit me hard. I've taken an afternoon nap for the past 3 days straight. I'm pooped. I do go to the bathroom at least once during the night, and the naseau is creeping up on me every now and then, especially when I'm hungry and tired.

The big question: are there one or two in there? My beta numbers are high, but it's hard to say. I've been trying to log onto to betabase.info the last week or so, but the website has been down lately. It would have been neat to compare my numbers. I guess, I'll have to wait until my first ultrasound, which is scheduled for 6/14. I'm just hoping to see at least one strong little heartbeat. Two strong heartbeats would be welcomed too. :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pinch Me, I Must Be Dreaming

We were expecting a phone call around noon about our beta results, and it was after 1:00pm and still nothing. We saw this as a bad sign; they were probably waiting for the doctor to call and give us the bad news (like our last cycle). My husband took a long lunch today, so that he could be home when we got the news. It was decided that he would answer my cell phone when the clinic called. I was in bed when they called, feeling depressed and tired (from my early morning beta). I heard the phone ring and put the blankets over my head to make sure I couldn't hear anything. I couldn't bear to hear the bad news.

Then, my husband walks over to the bed and says, "she wants to talk to you." Really? She's not trying to make this a living hell for me, right? Entirely the opposite, she was calling to say "Congratulations, you're pregnant!" I was in shock!!! (and then, I felt like such a fool for hiding under the blankets!) My beta was 751! My husband and I both are over the moon with excitement.

Along with the excitement, we know there's still a long road ahead of us. We have another beta next week Wednesday and our first u/s is 6/15. I'll feel better when we see the heartbeat. (My husband says he'll feel better when we have our 20wk u/s). I'm trying to take one day at a time and hope for the best. It's great to know we are headed in the right direction to our dream.

Today felt like a dream. The fact that I might actually be pregnant is still sinking in. Somebody needs to pinch me! Though I'm pretty sure I felt my PIO injection today.


After the beta results, husband says he had a dream last night that we were looking at an ultrasound. Why didn't you tell me this while I was laying buried in my blankets? He says he didn't want to jinx it. :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Night Before My Beta

Beta day is almost here! I planned on blogging more during the 2ww (to help make time pass more quickly). However, I've been so busy these past two weeks that I really haven't had the time to blog. This is definitely a good thing. I will admit I've had my share of emotional downs during this 2ww, mainly due to the fact that I'm almost positive this cycle was a bust. I feel just like I felt during my first DE/IVF cycle--absolutely no symptoms. :( I'm definitely more emotional this time around, but I think because I went into this 2nd cycle with a different state of mind. This cycle seemed like a long-shot with less hope!

Cycle #1 was so full of hope and everything seemed to go so smoothly. I was expecting a BFP. Cycle #2 is a different story. Knowing that cycle #1 was unsuccessful made me realize that it's not easy to get pregnant with medical assistance and even a young egg! There are so many variables in this process. Today is 12dp3dt, and I wish there was a sign, a good sign, that is. A HPT would give me the answer today, but if this cycle truly is a bust, seeing a negative today won't make things any easier. Waiting another day gives me an extra day to believe there is slim possibility of a BFP. Afterall, anything is possible.

Sadly, I'm already thinking "what next?" What do I do now that I've gotten another BFN? A part of me wants to give up. Suck it up and deal with the fact that our daughter will be an only child. The other part of me says I have 6 frozen embryos, so let's find a better clinic and use them.

Self #1: But we don't have the money to just be wasting on another failed cycle.

Self #2: Since when do I stop short of my dreams? Let's find a way to have funds.

Self #1: But the PIO injections, the heartaches...do I really want to go through the pain, physically and emotionally?

Self #2: Okay, let's look at adoption.

Self #1: That's even more expensive and can be a very long process.

Self #2: I'm not giving up. I've been pregnant once...why can't it happen again?

Self #1: I'm tired of trying so hard to make it work. When is enough, enough?

Self #2: When I have a baby in my arms.

...not sure who is going to win this battle, but I'm torn. What do we do next?

Friday, May 20, 2011

My First Blog Award

Wow, I wish I was better at this blogging stuff. When I first received word that Michelle at http://howtodanceintherain.blogspot.com/ gave me my first blog award, I had no idea what to do with it. I'm definitely not very savvy when it comes to blogging. I know computers well and get along with their many functions, but when it comes to blogging; I admit, my DH has had to help me with coding lingo. Anyway, I'm going to do my best with this post. Thanks so much for the award, Michelle. You are too kind!

10 Things About Me:

1. I take A LOT of photos...I think some people find me annoying because I'm taking pictures all the time. I figure, I won't always have a great memory but at least I'll have the photos to remind me of past times.

2. I broke my leg in two places while ice skating--had 5 screws and a plate in my leg. The metal has since been taken out.

3. I have completed two triathlons. (This was a goal of mine after I broke my leg. One triathlon was the goal, but I had so much fun training for one I did another one the following year).

4. I'm very emotional. I cry easily at sappy movies. Tears well up in my eyes when I hear about bad things happening to good people.

5. I don't like camping...the bugs, the dirt, the smelly outhouses...how can one enjoy camping?!

6. I think about and miss my dad everyday and wish that my husband and daughter had the chance to know him.

7. My favorite food is pizza, especially when we make it from scratch with all my favorite toppings.

8. I love Disney World and wish I could vacation there every year.

9. My husband never ceases to amaze me. He's everything I always wanted in a husband and more. He's my rock and best friend.

10. I don't think I could love more than the love I have my daughter. Her laugh, her smile and her hugs--they can make every day a good day.

Thanks again, Michelle. I'd tag other bloggers, but I'm not sure if someone has already received the award. I feel so clueless! (Can I blame it on the hormones?!)

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Unknown

It's now 4dp3dt, so my embryos should have been implanting by now or at least started. I really don't feel anything. Yesterday, while I was eating breakfast in bed (DH has pampered me the last couple days!), I felt VERY light cramping. I'm guessing it was from my uterus and not my lower intestines--it was so light I almost wonder if I imagined it. It didn't last very long. For some reason, I felt gassy all day yesterday too. That's about it, though. My boobs aren't sore, which makes me wonder about my progesterone dosage. I just wish there was the all-tell sign that implantation is actually taking place. I'm so nervous this cycle won't work. I keep thinking how beautiful our embryos looked and if it doesn't work this time, it's not embryo quality, it's my lining. I'm over-thinking everything right now. My thick lining: was it too thick? My estrogen dosage: is it too much? My progesterone dosage: is it too little? Ahhh, this 2-week wait is tougher than the last cycle.

Here's my beautiful day 3 8-cell embryos:

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Big Day

I thought cycle #1 had gone smoothly. Yesterday's transfer went even better. Was it the valium? No--I took it and felt nothing!!! I was actually very surprised since drugs in general affect me very easily, but valium did nothing. We arrived at the clinic and my bladder was FULL. I emptied it right away since we had another hour until our transfer. I drank some water but made sure not to fill my bladder to capacity. Dr. L greeted us right at 1:00pm and said we were transferring 2 great-looking 8-cell embryos. And, we were off to the sterile transfer room. Dr. L did a test with the catheter which was on the screen for one second literally. He assured us the transfer would be easy, and he wasn't kidding. We got to see our lovely embryos on the screen, placed in the catheter and then inserted into my uterus. The whole process felt like 2 minutes! As my DH put it: We had the B Team last cycle; today we had the A Team. Before I knew it, I was back in my recovery room, laying down for an hour. Dr. L said today's embryos were great-looking, better than our first cycle's embryos, which was great news. They are freezing the six remaining embryos! Wahoo, I have frosties! Our clinic changed their policy (since our last cycle)about post-transfer and lets you get up 15 - 20 minutes after your transfer. However, Dr. L wanted me to lay down for an entire hour before getting up to empty my bladder. That hour went pretty fast and then we were ready to leave with two precious embryos inside me. I'm officially pregnant until proven otherwise. :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Transfer Day is...

TOMORROW! The lab called this morning, saying that all EIGHT of our embryos are dividing well and looking good. (The tone of this statement was positive compared to our day 2 news with cycle #1). These news made me very happy. Dr. L is being conservative, though and wants the 3-day transfer. I know 3-day transfers work, and there are some who believe embryos do better in a natural environment instead of expanding in a petri dish.

Thanks to Valery for this link: http://www.freakonomics.com/2011/05/11/ivfs-magic-number/
I'll take this posting as a good sign. It was posted today, just in time to lift my spirits! Thank you again, Valery.

Wow, tomorrow is the day! Hoping my embryos love my thick lining and feel the need to settle for the next 9 months. :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Will It Be A 3-Day or 5-Day Transfer?

That is the question. The lab called early this morning to report that 8 eggs had fertilized normally, adding that my DH's specimen was excellent. Eight eggs did not shock me, for I know a 100% fertilization rate rarely happens. I asked whether it would be a 3-day or 5-day transfer, and at this time, they weren't sure. They want to talk to Dr. L about it. That's how it stands for now. I'll be anxiously awaiting my morning phone call from the lab.

Getting nervous about transfer day now...

Monday, May 9, 2011

Rocky Start

DH and I disagree. While I think retrieval day was discouraging, he thinks things went well today. I have to love his optimism and I'm starting to wonder where my optimism has gone. I'm pretty sure cycle #1 has taken that away.

Cycle #2 is proving to be slightly different from our first. My lining has not disappointed on either, so that's about the only similiarity. DH had to give my first (of cycle #2) PIO injection today. I have to admit, I was a bundle of nerves with it, as if it was my first PIO injection ever. One problem with today's injection: the dosage. Can you believe there was even a discrepancy on how much PIO I should be taking? My updated calendar, which I just received a couple days ago, instructed me to take 1 ml/cc of PIO. However, I remember the RE nurse telling me to take 2cc of this progesterone because it was "compounded." She told me this when it was ordered last month. The label on the progesterone said to take 2cc. What did we do this morning? We went with the 2cc. My RE nurse got back to me in the afternoon saying that I should take 1cc and she double-checked with the pharmacy. I understand the 2cc dose I took today won't hurt, but is 1cc sufficient for the days ahead? I know I have to trust what the clinic tells me, but why is there a discrepancy at all?

To add to my anxiety, there were only 14 eggs retrieved from our donor today. It doesn't seem very high to me. Our last cycle had 16 fertilized (from 21 eggs). I know, I have to think quality over quantity, and I do realize that our last cycle was a bust. Mr. Optimistic (aka DH) says: it only takes one. I know he's right. With fewer eggs, I fear that my clinic will rush another 3-day transfer. We were really hoping for a 5-day transfer this time around.

Again, we wait...until tomorrow's fertilization news.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Full Speed Ahead

Our RE nurse called to say that our donor is triggering tomorrow, so Monday is retrieval day! It's funny how far away this day seemed to be a couple months ago, and now it's almost here!

We Are Not The Norm

That's how I feel lately. I'm am not your typical child-bearing age woman. What do I mean by this? Infertility in my circle of friends and acquaintances is virtually non-existent. In the last 3 months, I can count at least a dozen friends who have gave birth to a baby, and I've bought at least 4 baby gifts in the past two weeks. So when my daughter said to me today, "Mommy, why does everyone have babies, but we don't," I was not completely shocked by her comment. I was feeling the same way lately. It feels like everyone we know, those we see on a regular basis, are either pregnant or just had a baby. Thanks to the internet! If it wasn't for the internet, I would not have met other strong women who know infertility firsthand. Those women can understand my pain, my sadness, my loss. While at times I feel isolated with infertility, I also know that I'm not alone. We are not the norm, though. According to the CDC, about 10% of women in the U.S. have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Raging Hormones

I don't feel like myself. I'm blaming it on the estrogen flowing through my body. My mind feels kind of foggy. Granted, I have been stressed lately with the many hats I wear throughout the day. Sometimes, I can't focus because I have so much going on; I don't know where to start. I see the piles of paper on my desk and feel overwhelmed. Today was a realization that my emotions are getting the best of me.

First off, I had to drive to my clinic today EARLY in the morning in the POURING rain...and in a loaner car because my tire had to be replaced on my car (STUPID nail found my tire!) I was TIRED! Amazingly, I made it to my appointment on time. Ultrasound went much better today; of course, I had a different technician, who was my favorite woman of the day. She was gentle and when I said I was uncomfortable, she stopped and actually did an external ultrasound. Then, it was onto my "vampire" lady for my bloodwork, and she made me realize today that EVERYONE has bad days. She definitely didn't bring her "A game" to work today, so that was a definite disappointment. She was upset because someone took a book or something from her shelf in her office, and I didn't realize how upset she was until she took it out on me! So, it felt like it. She left a nice one inch scratch on my arm from the needle. I didn't believe it at first, but now I understand why it burned so much during and after the draw. Geez, and she used to be my favorite "vampire" lady.

On a good note, my RE nurse said my lining was nice at 15mm. This sounded pretty high to me, but she assured me that it was great. (last cycle was 13mm) She called me later, telling me my estrogen level was at 500. 500?!? Yikes, that sounds high. (No wonder I'm a basket case!) Again, she assured me that it was fine. I'm currently taking 10mg of estrace tablets. They orginally told me to take 12mg, but I actually forgot to take the increased dose. At this point, she said 10mg is fine for me. I'm in a holding pattern now until my donor triggers. I think I might welcome the PIO injections, just to balance out all this estrogen. I've cried on almost 4 occasions today, which is definitely not me.

Now, I'm so tired that I just want to go to bed...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Myth: Can't You Just Take Fertility Drugs?

BUSTED!!! I realize not everyone who faces infertility has Premature Ovarian Failure/Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (POF/POI), but when I was diagnosed with this condition, several friends said those words to me. "Can't you take fertility drugs to have a child?" I only wish fertility drugs would solve the problem of infertility.

Whether you have POF/POI or not, fertility drugs are not going to magically give you that child you always desired. When it comes to infertility, there is no easy solution (such as popping a pill or taking an injection). Sure, some people do one round of fertility drugs and get pregnant. Unfortunately, there is a percentage of those women who also miscarry. And, some of those women have no problem getting pregnant, but they have one miscarriage after another. So, no, fertility drugs are not the "ultimate solution" in this circumstance either.

Those with POF/POI are typical diagnosed after their FSH levels are sky-high and are already experiencing menopausal symptoms. As much as it made me cry everytime I explained it, I wanted my friends to understand my condition. I'd go on to tell them: "I have POF (or POI as some call it) and I have virtually no eggs left in my ovaries. I can't take drugs to stimulate my shrunken ovaries (that are barely visible via ultrasounds). My FSH levels are as high as someone going through menopause, and as you know, menopausal women don't usually get pregnant on their own." I tried to give the best description of my condition without getting too detailed about FSH levels and how FSH is actually what is trying to stimulate your ovaries. (No offense to them, I think it would have been over their heads.)

I don't blame my friends for asking such a question. I get it, they didn't understand my diagnosis, and they themselves haven't been through infertility. They weren't educated on the topic of infertility, and I'd like to think I educated them a little on the topic. At least enough. So they hopefully don't ask that question to the next woman they encounter with infertility.

This post was written in support of National Infertility Awareness Week: National Infertility Awareness Week

A Basis Understanding of Infertility

Friday, April 22, 2011

I'm Still On This Ride!

One day I'm thinking we need to switch donors and the next day, I get the call to start taking my meds, my cycle has started. Wahoo! (I'm finally going up on this rollercoaster!) Seriously, my emotions are going crazy and I just started taking my estrace tablets today.

I was definitely surprised when I got the call from my RE nurse this afternoon, and I was more surprised when she had good news for me. Fortunately, we are only a week behind from our original calendar. My revised calendar: ER is 5/10 and ET is 5/13 or 5/15.

This past week or so has been a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Excitement, fear, disappointment...and still a glimmer of hope. And, we just began our cycle. I'm really glad the wait is over and we are finally moving on with this cycle. That makes me happy. :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thinking...Long Delay!

No word yet from my clinic, so this is looking worse each day that does by. I've been researching egg donors with IUDs and I'm finding that several agencies/clinics won't even accept an egg donor with an IUD. That has to tell you something. So, my gut is telling me that this whole (period) delay has to do with her IUD. The more I research--good ole google--the more I think we could be waiting a lot longer. From my internet search, some women did not have a period until 3 months after the removal of an IUD. YIKES! What somewhat irritates me more is that I had no clue that our donor had an IUD until we made the commitment to go with this donor. By the time I did find out about the IUD, they've already removed it from our donor for our cycle! I never would have thought to ask what type of contraception she uses. Crazy, just when I think I'm fairly educated with the in's and out's of egg donation, I learn another thing or two. Ugghhh.

I'm starting to wonder if we need go with another donor. It doesn't seem like a good thing when the egg donor does not have a regular menstrual cycle. I'm trying to be patient and keep a positive outlook. (Ha! You probably can't tell from this post.) I know it won't make things better to stress and get frustrated, so I'm trying to stay calm and know that some things happen for a reason.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Still Delayed

Got a call from my clinic today and nothing new: Donor still hasn't started her period. Our calendar is no longer accurate. So, I have no idea when our retrieval will occur. I don't know what to think. We can't do anything, but WAIT (my favorite thing to do--can you sense my sarcasm?) until she starts her period.

Hope we hear some good news soon...like tomorrow!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Slight Delay

Hopefully, that's all it is! My donor was supposed to go in for her baseline u/s and labs yesterday, but that didn't happen. My RE nurse said she hadn't started her period yet. My first reaction: she's pregnant. The nurse said not to worry and that she should be getting her period any day now. I hope she's right.

I'm hoping this delay is only a 3-day delay and I can start my estrogen meds on Monday. And, I REALLY hope this doesn't move our transfer date too much (which is scheduled on 5/6 or 5/8), or it will definitely interfere with our work schedules.

Now, I'm getting nervous!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

You're the Donor, Right?

Seriously, the receptionist at my clinic has the worst memory. She obviously can't remember that I'm the recipient. Today, she says: "You're the donor, right?" Really?!? My clinic needs to put some kind of symbol on the appointment list, D = Donor, R = Recipient. POF does suck. Not just because I can look like an egg donor.

The ultrasound tech was on a mission today. As she's probing my uterus for my baseline u/s, I can tell she's having problems finding my ovaries. I was getting very uncomfortable, so I had to speak up. I go on to tell her that I have Premature Ovarian Failure and that it will probably be difficult to find my ovaries. I also tell her that some techs can't even find my one ovary. Maybe I should have kept my mouth shut, for she started to get agressive with that vagina probe. Seriously, this u/s was so uncomfortable. And, why the heck did she NEED to find an ovary that is like a speck of dust??? Ugghhhh!

Everything about POF sucks!

(Sorry to be so negative today...just writing my thoughts)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Funny...or Not So Funny

I had to laugh (not out loud, though) when I had my nurse teaching appointment today. This is the 2nd, maybe 3rd time the receptionist has asked me, "are you the donor or the recipient?" It makes me feel good to think I look as young as a donor, but it does suck too--it reminds me how unfair it is that I can't produce my own eggs at the tender age of 34. The 30's are the new 20's, right? My body didn't get that right!

Who would have thought a 34 year old whose ovaries have shrunk, who has no eggs to reproduce...this seems so wrong. It's definitely not funny. But this is my life, my journey and it is taking me down a path I never imagined. So any laugh I can get along the way, it helps.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I am excited about our next cycle...if you couldn't tell from my last post! However, I do have some fears. I thought it might help me to get over these fears by writing them down in my blog. Maybe I can even laugh at them later (which is what I'm hoping).

Fear #1: What IF our donor does not follow through correctly with our cycle's protocol (i.e. misses a dose or an appointment). I've heard this happens way more often than I'd like to hear. This could cancel or postpone a cycle. I pray our donor is responsible and reliable.

Fear #2: This might sound stupid, but I'm totally dreading the catheter after my transfer. I don't know why my clinic uses it, for I haven't heard of other clinics using them after a transfer. I understand a full bladder is VERY uncomfortable, and they don't want you to sit up for at least an hour. But, jeez, I hate catheters! (More than I dislike those darn PIO shots). From our first DE cycle, the catheter was the only thing that made me cringe with discomfort (even if it was only for a second or two).

Fear #3: Ultimately, another BFN. This is our last chance for another baby, for I'm guessing we won't be as fortunate to be given another free cycle or win the lottery.

So, how to overcome these fears!?!?

Fear #1: We have no control over it, so no use worrying about it...right? (Definitely easier said than done!)

Fear #2: I might talk to my Dr.L about this. I keep thinking two/three seconds of discomfort for a baby--Suck it up! :)

Fear #3: I think this is a reasonable fear of any woman trying to get pregnant. This is when I hate POF/POI even MORE. DE/IVF is our only option (besides adoption), and it is so expensive (along with adoption). I know another BFN will be put me in a sad place, but I'm reminded daily that I'm lucky to have my daughter--she is the bright spot in my life. Regardless of our DE cycle outcome, I'm going to try real hard to remind myself daily before and after our transfer, that another BFN is just another "bump in the road" and I know we can overcome the bumps on our life journey.

One wise woman once said:
You gain strength, courage, and confidence by each experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, “I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” You must do the thing you think you cannot do. --Eleanor Roosevelt

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Cycle #2 is Coming Soon!

We received our cycle calendar today! I have to admit, I'm really excited about starting another cycle. Not so nervous this time, but I'm sure that will change the day of the transfer and during the two-week wait. It's just great to be moving forward again.

If all goes as planned, our ER is May 3rd and our transfer will either be the 6th or 8th. I do hope our embryos make it to a day-5 transfer. May 8th is Mother's Day. An embryo transfer on Mother's Day seems fitting, especially with a successful transfer/implantion/ultimately, pregnancy. It would definitely be the best Mother's Day gift ever.

Another DE cycle is actually happening. Wow, I'm so excited!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

It Could Be Extraordinary

That was the anwser from "The Book of Answers" by Carol Bolt. I was cleaning out my bookshelf today and came across a book I've had for at least 10 years. I thought 'what the heck, I'll ask it a question.' So, I placed my hand on the book and asked, "Will I get pregnant with my 2nd donor egg cycle?" I thought about the question and opened the book for an answer. To my surprise, the page read: It Could Be Extraordinary.

Of all answers?! The answer I received was quite fitting, though...so I thought. I hope it's a good sign. :)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Donor Selected....Here We Go Again!

We did select a donor...about two weeks ago (just haven't had time to blog). We did follow up with our clinic and did get an answer (hopefully, truthful)about the donor I wrote in my last post. As I imagined, it looked to be a scenario where the donor didn't follow up with her parents to find out the medical history of her family. We still have little to go on from her medical history--it's still nearly perfect on paper. So, why choose her anyway:

1. Not knowing her medical history in detail is a little discouraging, but I look at my own family. Cancer was never in my family medical history until my Dad was diagnosed (I was 25 at the time). There's no guarantees--hypothetically, I could have donated my eggs at 23 (if I still had eggs!)and my recipient would never had known that cancer appeared in my family medical history. You just never know.

2. Maybe there's a condition/illness in her medical history--again, there's no guarantees. It's not a sure thing that our potential child will inherit this condition. Just because I have cancer in my family, it did not stop us from trying to have our daughter. Regardless of what our child(ren) has/have, we will love them just the same.

3. When it comes down to it, we want a proven donor who we know can produce quality eggs.

I feel like I sound callous about the donor selection, but I think that's the easiest way for us to go about this part of the process. After all, we wanted an anonymous donor, where we had no connection to her. That's what works for us. I know some couples like to have a connection to their donor and I think that's wonderful (for them). :)

So, where are we now in this process? Waiting, again. Our donor has to go through her physical and lab work now. I'm hoping everything checks out great, and then we can proceed with our cycle.

Keeping our fingers crossed that we can start soon!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Donor Profiles - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

We heard from our clinic last week; they mailed us two donor profiles to review. Once again, I was little disappointed with only two profiles. Technically, it was only one new donor profile, for we saw the other profile when we went through our last cycle. AND, that donor was not a first or second choice of ours (AND she was not a proven donor).

The Good - The new donor profile we reviewed looked...ummm, perfect. Too good to be true, in my opinion. Her family medical history (which includes her parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts/uncles, & cousins) checked every health condition imaginable as 'none.' These health conditions include everything from acne/migraines to diabetes to cancer--10 pages of health conditions. WOW, impressive! I have never met anyone with a family free of health conditions. Have you?

The Bad - The donor's grandfather died at age 52. Cause of death: ? I'm okay with her grandfather dying at 52, but that's young. There has to be a health condition or even maybe an accident occurred. So, now I'm a little bothered with this new donor profile. I understand if she did not know the cause of his death, for she was probably very young or not even born when the death occurred. However, in my opinion, donors should be honest and thorough in their donor questionnaire. She could ask her parents or her living grandmother what happened to Grandpa.

The Ugly - Knowing she has a grandfather who died at 52 and seeing that her family medical history is perfect, I'm convinced that honesty is lacking in her donor profile. If she wasn't honest about her family medical history, what else on her questionnaire is not entirely true?

So, I thought I was reading into this too much and maybe her grandfather died of a heart attack. A grandfather's heart attack would not stop me from looking at her as a possible donor. When it comes down to family medical history, I just want the truth. I want my child to know what health conditions run in his/her family. This isn't for my sake, but the child's sake. I have cancer in my family...it sucks, but it didn't stop me from trying to have my own children. The fact that the donor profile lacks honesty is making me actually look away from her. Is she hiding something? Is she just trying to sound perfect, so that she can be compensated for her eggs?

What to do next? I'm going to quiz my clinic about her medical history? If the clinic can't get more answers from the donor, I might pass on this donor. All I want is honesty! Why is that so much to ask? I'm also going to ask my clinic what characteristics that we listed for donors are limiting us from other potential donors. It might be a characteristic that we are willing to overlook, so we can have a proven AND HONEST donor.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Go Away Infertility!

It was 5 years ago yesterday (January 29th) when my little (or should I say the biggest) miracle came into my arms. This infertility stuff has never been easy, and just when you think you've conquered it, you realize it's a part of you forever.

To illustrate my miracle, I'd have to tell my story. I was diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Failure after stopping birth control. I was on birth control for over 6 years, so there's no telling how long I've had this condition. (Birth control hides pretty much all symptoms of POF). No birth control, no period--that's how it started. Then, came the hot flashes in the middle of the day, night sweats at night. I was feeling more depressed (despite a new "amazing" guy entering my life, who is now my husband). I went to my OB/GYN about the lack of periods, and she ran several tests, which all pointed to POF. Estrogen was basically zero and my FSH was 85. Those in the infertility world understand FSH numbers. At the time of my diagnosis, I was clueless about that number, but after an internet search, I learned very quickly how bad that number is for any woman who wants children. My OB/GYN referred me to a RE doc, and the news continued to get worse. Not only did I have POF, but my ovaries were the size of a woman in her late 40's (I was 28 at the time). My one ovary was barely visible on the ultrasound. Then, I got the talk. If you want children, you'll need to look at other options. I kept thinking 'why me?' I already lost my Dad too early (to evil cancer cells) and was finally rebounding from that year from hell...now POF without the chance to have my own biological child. Yep, at that moment, my life pretty much SUCKED. I was given the possibility of my own child, which is the usual percentage they give every POF woman: 5-10%. First of all, 5% or heck even 10% is a pretty slim chance. Based on my ultrasound, I felt doomed.

Then, I got a glimpse of hope. I went back to my RE office for a follow up, but I had another doctor. He sat down with me to talk, but his tone was very different from the first RE doc. Yes, I still had POF (and now hypothyroidism), but when he looked at the ultrasound images, he said there appears to be a few eggs in your one ovary. A few eggs...that was the best news I've heard since the diagnosis. Afterall, it only takes one egg, right? He still gave me the 5-10% chance of conceiving on my own, but I left that meeting with something that fueled my quest for a child. For once, I began to hope.

I began my HRT, and I did all the things they tell you to do to conceive. I cut caffeine and alcohol from my diet. I ate healthier. I excercised. I began accupuncture depsite my huge fear of needles. With accupuncture, my hope was getting stronger. My doctor (he was an MD) who performed the accupuncture seemed pretty convinced that I could get pregnant. Why? I really don't know. He stuck needles in me and examined my tongue every visit. How could he possibily be confident? The HRT was helping my mood and eliminating my hot flashes, which was a huge relief.

One month later, I saw my OB/GYN for a routine PAP and breast exam. Wow, my breasts feel sensitive. OB/GYN takes a pregnancy test to make sure I'm not pregnant. Really? What is she thinking? Just as I suspected, it was negative.

Two weeks later, my PAP results. Seriously, this can't be happening...it was freaking abnormal! My first abnormal PAP results in my life. I scheduled to see her again for a follow up.

A week later, my HRT-induced period was late! Must be something screwy with my HRT or maybe the stress of the abnormal PAP is causing a late period. Then, it was 7 days late. Ah, what the heck, I'll just take a home pregnancy test for the fun of it. (I am feeling nausea after my run today). Looks negative.

Next day, I still have one more HPT. What do I have to lose? Am I reading this thing right? I check the instructions. I need a second pair of eyes to look at the results window. The results were clear--it was positive! (and yesterday's HPT WAS also positive!)

My OB/GYN and RE doctors were amazed at the news. To this day, they still call my daughter a miracle. I've been told that my story is told in their offices to other women. I hope my story gives other women (not just those with POF but all women facing this rough road of infertility) the spirit of hope.

This infertility pain never seems to go away. Everytime I hear the stories of other women facing the struggles of infertility, tears form in my eyes, for I'm taken back to the place where I was before my daughter. I remember that pain and sadness, and I would never wish it upon my worst enemy. I feel a different kind of pain today, but it ultimately is linked to infertility. How do you tell a now 5-year old that she might not have a brother or sister? 'Why Mommy?' Then, the pain re-visits. Darn you, infertility.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Waiting Game

I don't like this game...the Waiting Game. I heard from my clinic a couple days ago (after I had to initiate an email, saying nicely "What's going on?") Before this, I hadn't heard from my clinic since November 17th. They were slow on getting back to me when we started this journey last April, but they were not this slow.

The nurse said she was hoping to start things shortly with our cycle, but then stated, "we have a few changes going on." I am not sure if this is a good thing or not. Change. We all know that word can have a negative or a positive affect on our lives. I do know a new doctor (who was the director at another fertility center) has joined my clinic. The good news is that he has a great reputation (from my on-line searches) and his former clinic has performed more donor egg cycles with a very slight better success percentage than my clinic. A part of me is saying, 'Let the clinic smooth out these changes with all the time they need, so my next cycle is perfect and results with a pregnancy.' The other part of me is just plain impatient. This is my last cycle (as far as I'm concerned), and I'm not getting any younger.

I can't wait until this game is over. I never even wanted to play this game...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The New Year Is Here!

2011 came in rather uneventful for us. We visited some family members during the early evening hours and then retreated home to watch a movie, in hopes we might make it up until midnight. We made it until midnight for the New Year kiss! :) We were off to bed shortly after--no champagne, no noise-makers, no confetti, no frills for 2011. Not that we don't like to celebrate a New Year, but I know for me, sometimes it feels like more hype brings on higher expectations. I'm not sure what 2011 holds for us and I always wish for a great new year; however, I want to take one-day-at-a-time and cherish my blessings as they are with me TODAY. Today is a great day, not because it's the first day in 2011, but because I have a wonderful family, supportive friends, and a home full of love. Sounds like a great day to start the New Year.