Meds

After our FET that just failed, we have been stuck with over a thousand dollars worth of unused meds. It makes me sick to see them so I have stashed them away in my closet for the time being. Throwing them in the trash also makes me somewhat sick considering they were so darn expensive. Yes, I know I could donate them, and as a last resort I am sure I will, but I would like to somehow justify the costs in my mind after spending a small fortune on assisted reproduction the past 6 years, all of which was not covered by insurance at all. Even recouping a small amount for them would be satisfying.

I have 4 boxes of unopened Crinone (quite possibly the most expensive drug on the planet) that do not expire for several years. I also have unopened Progesterone in Oil, DelEstrogen, & Estrace. If a fellow blogger out there needs any of these expensive IVF meds, I would be willing to discount them significantly. Feel free to comment or email me at angvfish@icloud.com

And Then There Was None

Miracle will be 2 yrs old soon. Hard to believe it. I mean how cliche is it to say time flies, but boy is it so true. The past year or so I have found myself struggling through stages of infancy and toddlerhood only to blink and see a new stage upon me and miss the old stage like crazy.

Back in early 2014, we had 18 eggs retrieved via IVF with ICSI, 8 of which made it to day 6 blasts. 7 were put on ice and 1 transferred back fresh at that time. 5 transfers total, 6 embryos miscarried, 1 miracle baby boy & 1 embryo that never implanted.

Our last embryo was transferred back to us early this month. We had high hopes that it would complete our family and bring Miracle a sibling. The cycle failed. I sort of knew going into it that it would not work. That sounds awful, and so much for the power of positive thinking. I blame myself sometimes for my ‘mindset’, that maybe if I had been more positive it would have worked. If I would have taken it a little easier after the transfer. If, if, if.

And of course I blame my body. The actual transfer itself was a nightmare. The catheter would not go in correctly which was never an issue in our prior 4 transfers. I guess since I dilated the full 10cm during labor with Isaac things changed down there. Who knows. Finally it worked but the cramping was not ideal. I wasnt exactly relaxed.

And then there was the quality of the embryo itself. 30% of it did not survive the thaw. The inner cell mass was still in tact as it was the trophectoderm (aka future placenta) that died off. We were told that successful pregnancies have occurred with even 50% not making it and to stay positive. Sigh. It was just another sign in my mind that things wouldnt work.

But the truth is none of this even matters because in reality if it was meant to be it would have been right? So now we pick up the pieces and try to move on from life after IVF. There will be no more IVF for us. It has taken up too much of our lives for too many years and I dont want it anymore. This cycle brought back so many ugly feelings that I remembered all too well once they surfaced. And I dont want those feelings anymore.

Being a Stay at Home Mom

So today I officially resigned from my position teaching 3rd grade. I am technically on a medical leave until May 1st, however I figured if I have no intentions of returning then I might as well resign now. Let my administrator find someone sooner than later to replace me permanently.  Im no longer receiving pay or benefits of any sort, so its not like I would be missing out in that department. 

Side note-I just posted about breastfeeding, and now I am posting about being a stay at home mom. Both hot topics amongst mothers I am quickly finding out. Insert sigh here. It would be nice if more moms supported each other instead of judging each other if you ask me but that is a whole other post-

Anyways, back to today…I decided to take LO with me up to my school to resign, might make things a little easier hey? Plus, I know all of my co-workers who have supported me on this journey really wanted to see him. Initially I was a little hesitant to take him to such a germ infested place, but then again I made a point to keep him away from any students and I took hand sanitizer with me to lather him up should anyone touch his hands without cleaning theirs first. He also kept his paci in his mouth so his hands could not go in it. 

It was great to see everyone & it made me feel human to get out of the house dressed and ready (not in a milk stained tank top with unbrushed teeth, just sayin).  This is one of my fears staying home, that I will miss the adult social time. Im sure I will, but after weighing out the pros and cons of it all, I am positive there is no place I would rather be than home with him his first few years. Thankfully my administrator was very supportive, and we left it hoping our paths cross again some day.  

Speaking of some day, I do eventually plan to go back to teaching. It is the perfect career to have once my little one is in school. I have always had a passion for it & am blessed to have made connections along the way that will hopefully help me back into the field down the road. As for now, I feel extremely grateful to my husband that I have the opportunity to stay home with our son. He is such an amazing husband and father who would do anything to provide for us. If you are reading this, I love you! 

While staying at home, I will continue teaching college courses online. My first one picks back up next month. I am not sure how ready I am for this, but will make it work. I want to contribute something, and every little bit helps. 

This morning when I pulled up my Timehop, I saw this image from exactly one year ago today-


Crazy how things change in a year. I deeply questioned then if I would ever be a mother here on Earth. Now my son is here in my arms as I type this. And who knows, this time next year we might be sitting here with our LAST little frostie in our arms as a family of 4 (well, 6 if you count the furbabies). Since I am staying home, we have decided that is part of the future plan. My RE wants us to wait until at least December 2017 to do the FET. We figure we will aim for a January or February transfer if all goes well. Hubby and I do not really see the sense in spacing out the FET much further than that. In all honesty, we are ready to completely close the “IVF” chapter of our lives out. We have spent about 5 years on it (that does not include TTC on our own).  If that little embryo is meant to come home with us, we will be thrilled. If it isnt, we will be beyond content with the miracle we have been given right here in front of us. We will not be doing another IVF cycle should that one fail. 

In the meantime, I have every intention of enjoying every moment here at home with my little rainbow 🌈💙

Grief

I have been thinking about writing this post all week, but really dont know how to put my grief into words. No, this isnt about our new bundle of joy that means the world to us. He is doing great. 

This is about the struggle that stays with you after you become a mom…dealing with loss and infertility after motherhood.

Two years ago today, I underwent my last d & c at 10 weeks pregnant. It was our 3rd Frozen Embryo Transfer, and we thought we were almost out of the woods (or first trimester). I wont rehash all of the awful details with our loss, you can read about them in our archives back in March of 2015 if you are in a place where you need to relate. If you are, my prayers go out to you. However, I will say that this February day back in 2015 still haunts, or hurts me deeply. 

I sat in the bathtub last night, when I should have been relaxing after a long day filled with cluster feeds, dirty diapers, cries and sweet rainbow baby coos, only to find myself grieving deeply. 

You see, having a baby doesnt replace losing one. Having a miracle in your arms actually makes you wonder even more about what your other child would have been. All the moments you are enjoying now that you lost with them. There is even a smidge of guilt mixed in with the grief. 

We will never know why we lost Isaacs brother that winter day a few years ago, or why we lost all 5 of his other siblings before that. All we can do is thank God for what we have and cherish it even more. Pray for peace for all the babies taken too soon, and for all the moms that became moms the second those embryos were placed inside of them…regardless of the outcome. You are a mother even though many might not recognize it. The love starts way before the baby arrives. Losing many and now having one has made me realize it even more. 

Rest in peace Isaiah William with all the other angels gone too soon 💙 today we think of you 💙

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 ❤️

Where to Begin?

Ill start with an update on the doppler I ended up purchasing last week. I went back & forth about getting one, and I took every review written by you all in my prior post into consideration. Let me start off by saying I am so glad I bit the bullet and got one. 

When it first arrived, I was nervous to use it. I purchased the Sonoline B and it was only $35 new with shipping included. I got it off a website called Jet.com and there was a first time user $15 off coupon. I watched a few you tube tutorials before I began. I got frustrated after some time (probably 20 minutes) of not being able to find the heartbeat. I didnt freak out though, as I knew this could likely happen, especially the first time. So, I took a break, drank some juice, and let the dogs out. I was back at it for probably another 2o minutes when I realized that I had been focusing mainly right below my belly button, as this is what most of the you tube videos showed working. I decided to go lower, like all the way to the top of my pelvis bone. And wa-la! I found Miracle’s little heart beating away. I got butterflies as soon as I heard it! So special. 

Since the first day using it, I have been able to locate the heartbeat every morning within a minute or two. Miracle has been hanging out in the same spot all week so it makes it really easy. I first tried the doppler at exactly 11 weeks, and I have been told that baby will start to move up a little as I approach 12 weeks. I am assuming this means I wont be finding Miracle in the same spot, but thankfully I am prepared for that and hence not going to worry when that occurs. Overall, I would definitely recommend this product to any woman who needs the extra confidence during pregnancy. It really helps.


In other exciting news, we got the results of our Panorama screening test back. The results given come in 1 of 2 ways- high-risk or low-risk. Baby came back low-risk  for all trisomies tested! Thank God. We were prepared to love our child fully either way, but it is still a relief. The only other major screening I will do is the AFP (I believe thats the correct acronym, not 100%sure) at 16 weeks for Spina Bifida. 

We also found out the gender from the test!!! Initially, we planned to have a gender reveal party with our close friends and family. My mom offered to host, and it seemed perfect. As time went on, I started to reconsider having a party. I really have no clue why, but I did. In the end, hubby & I decided to do an intimate reveal with just the two of us, my mom, stepdad, & brother.  So when the doctors office called and said the results were in, I threw on some clothes and raced to get the results. We then went straight to Publix with the envelope! Thankfully, the lady at the bakery was super nice and said she would do it right on the spot…only a 20 minute wait! 

As hubby & I waited, I felt so nervous. It seemed like a million years. Eventually, we got the cupcakes and headed to my mom’s with our 2 doggies (of course they had to be part of the fun!). Hubby & I were sporting pink because our votes were girl, while the others thought boy. Mostly all of our friends and followers voted girl, with a few exceptions. 


We set up our phones to video and all cut the cupcakes at the same time…and we are thrilled to report we are having a baby BOY!!! Ahhhh!!! Such a shocker! We are so so so excited. 

It was such an amazing experience to share with our family, one I will never forget. Ive already watched the video a thousand times! Lol. After the reveal, mom & I had to go do a little shopping. We got some cute outfits I must say. 

Today I went for my 12 week OB appointment and we got to see baby again on ultrasound. He was being shy and it looked like he threw up his fist at us like “leave me alone!” At our appt, we set up bi-weekly scans for monitoring my cervix length starting in 2 weeks. I will get these until I am 24 weeks along. I also got the referral to an MFM doctor, which I will be seeing soon. 

Lastly, I found out I will have a c-section. At first, I was bummed because I really wanted to try naturally, but the more I thought about it, I just want what is best for baby and I. Since I had a myomectomy for my fibroid removal, and it was in my uterine wall, a vaginal delivery isnt safe. I guess my uterine wall could rupture because the muscles just arent as strong. My tenative date is set for December 18th. 

Its hard to believe we are nearing the end of the first trimester. I thank God everyday. I never thought we would be here at times. I pray everyday we get to bring our little boy home this Christmas. 

Graduation Day 

A bittersweet day. More sweet than bitter of course, saying good-bye to my RE’s office that is. Since 2013, this has been what we have been working towards after all.  

Its been a rough week leading up to todays appointment. A few days ago, I realized that my nausea and gas had tapered off. Of course this made me a nervous wreck. I also noticed I wasnt as thirsty in the middle of the night as I have been and no dizzy spells. Even though my boobs were still passing hubby’s daily test, I had bitten every nail and cried at least 3 times in 3 days. Poor hubby. He even surprised me with a sweet Pandora baby carriage charm to try and cheer me up. It was beautiful and I was so grateful, but still it didnt take the anxiety of a loss away. Pregnancy after loss is brutal. I cant and I wont sugarcoat it. 

In fact, the only thing keeping me somewhat sane was my insatiable hunger. I must eat every few hours or Im a mess. I wont even begin to tell you some of the guilty pleasures I have given into, because I know its the least of my concerns right now. Eating is about the only relief currently for me. Anyways, my RE reminded me via email that around 10 weeks majority of symptoms start to wane. For most, this might be a nice relief, but not for someone who has experienced a missed miscarriage before. 

As I drove to my appointment today, I thought of every drive I have made to the clinic over the years. The feelings of joy, fear, anger, disappointment, loss, doubt, love, hope, excitement…all overcame me. When I checked in, I sat down and stared down at my tiny bump now starting to show. What if I lose it again after all this?All of it seemed overwhelming. I tried to remember the prayers hubby and I said earlier, and the verses we read. Even though it was tough, I knew God was with me. 

It didnt take long for Miracle to appear on the screen. Our baby is doing so great. Look at those little legs! Just from last week the progress is simply amazing. I felt so thankful seeing the life that has been entrusted to me from above thriving.  


I had a bit of a hard time saying bye to my doc. We hugged and talked, I reassured her I would stop in, she told me not to hesitate to get in touch with her and that she is still here for us. We do have 1 embryo left in her care so I tried to remind myself that today is more of “see you later” than “good-bye”
1 week from today we have our 12 week doppler with our OB. Im officially off bed rest, but plan to take it easy still. I did order the doppler as of last night, and it should be here by next week. I figure this will help me get through the weeks Im not getting scanned. Im quite used to seeing baby every week, but at least we will still get to hear baby with this. 

We are anxiously awaiting the gender results. Its been 1 week since the test, and it can take up to 2. I was so set it was a girl initially, but now Im leaning towards a boy. Hubby says girl, mom says boy, and doctor says boy….most of my friends say girl…so who knows! The Old Wives Tales are tied! What is your guess???

In other news, I have many blessings to report. For starters, our cleaning lady is working out great. It really has been a weight off our shoulders right now. We plan to continue this throughout the duration of my pregnancy.  Second, Im happy to report that I am done taking my Del Estrogen injections. One medication down! Third, my dear friend from out of state has put together a package that she is mailing to me this week. The package includes all of her maternity clothes, a sling, baby monitor, etc. How blessed am I to receive this! Next, all of the days I took under FMLA unpaid were covered by my amazing co-workers, meaning they donated me their sick days so I could get paid. I am speechless for this and so happy I work at a school with people that are more like a family than anything else.  

All this being said, despite the anxiety, I am starting to believe this may really be our take home baby. It feels like a lot of things have fallen into place and for that I thank God. Everyday I get to carry this life I am so incredibly honored. 

Double Digits 

Well, we made it. 10 weeks tomorrow! The farthest we have come without bad news. Today was another ultrasound of baby, and it was perfect.


Baby measured on track and the heartbeat was still around 175 bpm! Its amazing to see the progress every week. Miracle has grown so much. 

As my RE scanned me, we were all chatting, and everytime I would laugh, miracle would wiggle around more. It was awesome! Next week will be my last scan with my RE and then I will be graduated to solely my OB’s office. I will miss them all so much. 

We got the Panorama blood test done & will have the results back in about 10-14 days. I asked them to not tell me the gender when they call, instead I will pick it up in an envelope. Then hubby & I will do something special and reveal together!  So excited, however I am nervous about the genetics piece of the test, but we have already decided that no matter what we will love this baby to the moon and back.  

Symptoms? 

Hunger! Hunger! And more hunger! I think I am actually starting to show a bit. Probably due to how much I have been eating. I mostly crave spicy and salty stuff, but every so often sweets hit the spot too. Some burping here & there. Peeing quite often, swollen boobs, & gas. Tired and thirsty. Seems like nothing satisifies my thirst. I am not complaining about any of these, in fact I love every single symptom and hate when they are not around. Praying for another week down in the books!!! 

A Good Day

The title pretty much says it all. Our 9 week check up was today. As usual, I did not want to go, and had prepared myself the best I could for bad news. My symptoms have been coming & going and that scared me due to our previous missed miscarriage around this time. 

But God is good! Miracle is still going strong, with a heartrate of 174bpm now. Baby was upside down & wiggling all around, so amazing to watch. After my RE checked babys measurements and such, she checked my cervix length, and the SCH. The subchorionic that had tripled in size last week was gone. Gone. Thank you God. She was amazed and thrilled at the same time. Then she asked if we could look at baby again just to look, adding in how we have been through so much and its just nice to watch it. Of course I said YES!!! She pointed out the head, arms, stomach, feet, and umbilical cord. We listened to the heartbeat again and got more pics. I couldnt have asked for more today.


My RE does want me to continue bedrest for 1 more week to be safe, along with triple progesterone therapy since it has seemed to help the SCH. Im actually going to be on progesterone until July, when I am about 16 weeks along. We will wean slowly off each of the 3, starting in June. Again, just to be safe. Im totally fine with it, although I have started to lose feeling in my tailbone/upper butt region from all the injections. 

And although we have a long ways to go, we celebrate today. And we continue to pray for our rainbow baby. Thank you to everyone who is praying for us everyday, please keep doing so. 

Bedrest 

I have officially been on bedrest for only 14 days, but if you count in the bedrest after the embryo transfer (+48 hours) and all the bleeding episodes, I would guess I am up to about 25 days of it or so. And I suspect the rest will continue until the 2nd trimester. 

So what am I doing all day to keep my sanity? Well, it depends on the day. Some days I read my “Expecting Hope After Pregnancy Loss” book which helps calm me down a bit. Other times when I want to distract myself, I have been reading the rather thick Nicholas Sparks novel, “See Me.” Ive also spent some time flipping through glam magazines and the such from a care package I received a few weeks ago. Speaking of care packages, another one arrived today. The charm is simply perfect and Im grateful to know I am in anothers thoughts and prayers during this tough time. 

To relax, I spend time listening to my Circle + Bloom pregnancy CD, and watching cheesy lifetime movies. My mom visits almost daily, and I have gone to her house a few times as well. In my other time, I sit on the patio with the dogs (who are highly enjoying me being home all the time), surf the web pinning cute baby things, and stuffing my face! I would have to say the thing I miss the most is taking hot baths. Boy, do I want to submerge myself in one. 

I started the triple progesterone therapy last week, even though my level came back at a whopping 84 prior to starting. Its kind of a pain doing the Crinone again (yuk), and Im hoping that at our appt this week the SCH will be gone and we can just do the oral meds and the shots. 

I will be 9 weeks this Friday. I am very nervous of another missed miscarriage. I have felt nauseous on and off today more than usual so that comforts me a bit. Anytime I feel lousy I am pleased. Hubby “checks” my boobs everyday to make sure they are still swollen. As he says, ‘the boobs dont lie.’ 

If all goes well this week, next week we will be getting the Panorama blood test done. It will take about 2 weeks to get our results in. This is the only test we have opted to do, as it is supposedly about 99.9% accurate for genetic anomalies. It will also tell us the gender of the baby. We had originally planned to do a gender reveal party, but I go back and forth with the idea of it. I guess we will decide soon. I still havent taken 1 “bump” picture. I am pretty sure Im going to wait until 12 weeks or so. 

Yea, this post is all over the place just like me right now. Keep us in your prayers please!!