Merry Christmas, World! 

Our miracle rainbow baby made his entrance into the world on Monday, December 19, 2016 at 6:57 p.m. weighing 7 lbs. 11 ounces. and 21 inches long. 

We welcomed Isaac William via c-section after a very long 21 hours of vaginal labor at 39 weeks and 3 days pregnant. Will post his entire birth story soon! Right now we are home and busy soaking up every second of what we prayed for for so very long. 

Our hearts are beyond full, he is absolutely perfect. Every tear and year spent waiting was worth it. 

Merry Christmas all ❤️

A Cliffhanger

My OB just rang to let us know that our AFP test came back negative.  For those who dont know, this test measures for an elevated protein in the blood that indicates Spina Bifida. The Panorama test that ruled out trisomies earlier in our pregnancy did not test for this. So, of course, this is fantastic news! 

In other great news, my Medela In-Style Advanced Double Electric breast pump has arrived, free of charge thanks to my insurance. It was quite easy to apply for the pump. All I had to do was go to Medela’s site and enter my and my docs info. From my understanding, under the Affordable Care Act, most should qualify for a free pump. It is def worth checking out since pumps are so darn expensive nowadays. *Note-there is no income verfication for this. 

Symptoms? 

I have failed to add this piece into my last few posts. So here goes… Low back pain takes the cake. Its awful! Are there any ladies out there that can recommend a back brace/support for this?? I plan to ask my MFM at my next appointment, and if he cant assist, I may make an appointment with my orthopedic surgeon to see what he says. My scoliosis and herniated discs are not helping this situation Im sure. Things like the pool and stretching do relieve some pressure but I think I need more. 

Pregnancy brain is going strong. Usually math is my strong suit, and lately I have noticed my computation is quite off. I even forget things like what month or year it is. Crazy, I know. I have also been experiencing some “brain zaps” which I attribute to going off my Lexapro (generalized anxiety disorder medication). I hadnt advertised here that I was ever on Lexapro, but cat out of the bag, after our last loss occurred back in the spring of 2015 it was what was best for me.  I never mentioned it because some people tend to judge, especially those who have not experienced true anxiety or panic.  Anyways, I started weaning off of it this pregnancy at 12 weeks, and was completely done by 16 weeks. I knew prior to being pregnant this time that I wanted to be on it through at least the first trimester, but off of it before my 3rd trimester, as it *can* be associated with pre-term labor, poor lung development, withdrawls for baby, etc. Needless to say, I have been off for about 2 weeks now and almost all of my withdrawls are gone except for the odd brain zaps here & there. Id try to explain these zaps, but I dont know how. Anyone who has gone off of a medication probably knows what I mean. 

Being on the Lexapro/going off the Lexapro was a really tough decision, but we had the opinions of many doctors, close friends, and family to help us. In the beginning, the benefits outweighed the risks (and we thank God everyday that baby has proven to be healthy despite being on it), but the further along we get, the risks outweigh the benefits. U fortunately, I can definitely tell that my anxiety has come back since off of it, but it is manageable and I will survive. 

Other than preggo brain, anxiety, and backaches, Id say my only other symptoms would be difficulty sleeping at night and excessive hunger. Im used to sleeping on my stomach which is becoming harder by the day. Although none of these are anything to complain about…All worth it for baby boy! 

This week my mom and I are meeting with the cake lady to finalize the baby shower cake. I dont want to say too much about the cake, Id rather it be a surprise.  Speaking of surprises, we are about 98% sure of miracles first name! Picking baby names is tough, and boy names are even tougher. Throw in being a teacher and having had a student in your class with every name and you are screwed. Lol. We are really just debating middle names more than anything at this point. 

I do have some other major news to report (nothing to worry about), but it wont come until later in the week or next week. Ill leave you all in suspense until then…

Believing 

I havent felt like blogging much lately. Its hard to explain, but I know a few other ladies who went through this phase once they fell pregnant again after losses and/or treatments. Still, I am always thinking of you ladies…no matter where you are in this process. 

I have been spending most of my time praying this pregnancy is going to stick. To help myself believe this, I have been keeping busy and doing things I never thought Id do should we be pregnant again. For instance, I have been buying baby clothes and things for the nursery. I have been wearing maternity clothes and taking weekly photos. We have been discussing names for our baby.  All of these things are helping me believe.  

We cleaned out our office last week. Regardless of expecting, it needed it badly. 


The room is now empty, except for the baby stuff we have. A lot of it has been purchased over the years, or sent by friends, family or followers. Sometimes I just go in the room early in the morning and sit and stare at it all. Its hard for me to believe it. 


We decided to go with a whale theme for the nursery. We plan to paint the walls grey, with white crown molding and baseboards, and either a navy or grey carpet.  We have looked at a few cribs, and are not sure if we want white or grey yet, thankfully we have plenty of time to decide. 

I am 13 weeks tomorrow and the first trimester has seemed like eternity. I dont have symptoms anymore, so I thank God for my doppler. I listen to miracle baby boy every morning.  His heartrate is usually anywhere from 125-150.  This is also the first week I have not had a doctor appointment since I became pregnant. Next week we see our MFM or high risk OB for the first time. They will do a consult and an ultra. I cant wait to see how much he has grown. 

Speaking of growing, some days I feel bigger than others. This initially freaked me out, but after talking to some others I realized its normal at this point in the pregnancy (bloat v. bump), especially being our first pregnancy to get this far.   My wonderful friend from up north sent me all of her maternity clothes this week. I cant even say how blessed I feel about this! I finally have things to wear that fit and it saved us a ton of money. 



In addition to all of these things I have been doing to believe, my mom and I also found a venue to book my baby shower at. We have set the date for October 9th. Ill be about 29 weeks then. Its a very beautiful location.


So that is about all that is happening here…trying to stay positive and enjoy my summer off. Before I know it, Ill be heading back to school in the fall. 

20 Questions

While hubby has been at work the past few days, I have been compiling a list of questions to take to our “second opinion” appointment.  Just a warning, this list may be quite boring if you are not TTC or battling fertility treatments.

So far, here’s what we have:

  1. What is the earliest time slot available for ultra/blood appointments during a cycle?
  2. Who will do the ultrasound monitoring appointments during a cycle?
  3. What do you feel our chances of achieving a live birth via IVF are after 3 miscarriages? (even though percentages don’t mean much to us, we still like to at least hear them; doesn’t mean we are actually believing them, if that makes any sense)
  4. Have you ever had a patient in a similar situation to ours that achieved success?
  5. What do you feel the chances of miscarrying again are?
  6. Based on our records, why do you think we have miscarried 3 times?
  7. For what reasons would you deem it necessary to cancel a scheduled FET? How often does this occur at your clinic?
  8. Are there any additional tests you feel would be worth while that we have not done? Believe it or not, there are still a few tests out there we haven’t done. Our current RE doesn’t believe these tests are necessary, which she backs up with studies done from SART.  This would include in-depth auto-immune testing, which I have read a little about (we did the Lupus panel and all that already).  It appears that some women diagnosed with RPL and auto-immune disorders can achieve success after receiving therapy. However, some still don’t.  I know a lot of ladies on here have consulted with Dr. Braverman (I believe I spelled it right??) regarding this hot topic.
  9. What method of communication can I use to get in contact with you on a day-to-day basis?
  10. Will you do a mock transfer and/or endometrial scratch before our real transfer? We like this idea a lot-in fact, we have had scratches done before all 3 transfers, and each time we achieved a pregnancy.  In addition, I have read many good things about how this helps get the BFP.  Having this done is almost a comfort for me at this point.
  11. Explain what an embryo transfer “looks” like at your practice (ultrasound guidance? full bladder? type of catheter? sedation? cleaning of the cervix? bedrest? etc.)
  12. Do you think we should transfer 1 or 2 embryos? Why?
  13. What are the FET protocol choices available to me? For example, un-medicated with a trigger shot? Totally un-medicated? Estrogen & progesterone only? I’m really over the 2 month-long BC and Lupron protocol where estrogen and progesterone are eventually added in! 
  14. What percentages of your embryos successfully thaw and are transferable?
  15. How long are embryos stored at your location? Is there a fee?
  16. Based on our records, would you have done anything differently than our current RE for any of our 3 cycles? If so, what and why?
  17. Looking at our most recent sperm count, what are our chances of achieving a pregnancy on our own?
  18. Are there any medications my husband can take to improve his levels, like Clomid?  I have asked our two prior RE’s about this and they have said no, yet I have heard of plenty of couples who have done this and had success.
  19. What type of packages do you offer financially? Note: It’s hard to believe this has moved way down on the list! When we first started this IVF journey 2 years ago, it was at the top of our list.
  20.   If we achieve a pregnancy, how long will it be before you release us to our OB? How often will you complete blood work and ultrasounds up until our release?

We are trying to stay away from asking any “fresh” cycle questions for now since we still have 3 frosties.  Can anyone think of any other important questions we should ask? Like this list isn’t enough already, right?!?  Maybe I should add a #21, “On a scale of 1-10, rate how big of a pain in the a** you think I will be if we decide to come to your practice.” Oh, well! We are paying out of our you-know-what for all this & we want to feel 100% confident in our next move! I think our motto needs to be “if you don’t want us as your patients, then we don’t want you as our doctor.”