Is He Your “Only” One?

As she watched her 3 kids tumble around the playground and chatted with me about her growing baby bump, I could sense it was coming. I started to feel a strange anxiety building up to it.

How would I answer this question once she finally spit it out? Should I tell this stranger making small chat with me the struggle leading up to him being my “only” child? Should I say “yes…here on Earth” and leave it at that, making the woman feel sadly awkward for asking what seems like a normal question? Or how about a simple “yes” or simple “no” depending on how technical we want to get here? The possibilities were endless and they were playing out over and over again.

The question was inevitable. And so it came. Is he your “only” one? Can I just say how I hate the emphasis on only here. Like it was no feat to have him. Maybe if I had three it would have been a greater accomplishment without the word only attached to it?

Of course I know I am being unreasonable thinking any harm was meant by asking a common question, but I cant help the fact that it urked me. And although I am quite verbal about my story and the struggles to get my Miracle, my answer that day on the playground was “yes, he is.”

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.

Done

Done with the political crap! Do not fear…if you read along here it will be a light post, no politics involved. 

How far along? 33 weeks and 5 days 
How big is baby? At his ultrasound yesterday, they estimated 4 lbs. 11 ounces. 
Total weight gain/loss: About 38 lbs. gained total. Boy, do I feel it! 

Maternity clothes? Oh yes. Thats all that I can wear really. Most days I live in pajamas or dresses. 

Sleep: not good. My mind is always racing. My feet are feeling tingly, numb, and swollen and seem to really bother me at night. Getting up to pee every hour. Got the breath right strips for my snoring/choking problem and they arent working! Im still snoring right through them, and waking myself up as I choke. Hubby usually lasts in the same room with me until about 3 a.m. Lol! 

Best moment this week: baby boy passing his biophysical profile with an 8 out of 8! 100%! The BPP came unexpectedly after I was given an NST. My OB thought my amnio fluid might be on the low side from the NST, so she ordered the BPP ultrasound. My fluid wasnt too bad (a 10 I believe) and all else looked great with Isaac. 

Food cravings: none really…maybe an Italian sub?!? Planning on eating one of those STAT after delivery.
Food Aversions: None. More people aversions lately. Hopefully we can move into the holiday season as a united country.

Pregnancy Symptoms: Aside from the ones above, BH. Hot flashes. Some indigestion. Reallyy short of breath. Tired-so much that Im napping everyday,  pretty much throughout the days despite the snoring interruptions. I wish the sleep was deep, it never is. My back kills me, but this is nothing new thanks to my scoliosis. 

What I miss: Sleeping on my belly! 

What I am looking forward to: meeting our son. The holidays. 

Upcoming appointments/events: NSTs every week until he comes. Another ultrasound at 36 weeks!! 

Milestones: Making it full term now…so close. Cervix still closed and measuring just at a 3.

Ramblings 

Warning: totally all-over-the-place post ahead. 

Some things I have noticed lately:

  1. I brush my teeth now being pregnant more than I ever have in my life. Its almost like an obsession. I cannot stand eating and not brushing after. Anyone else go through this?
  2. My upper buttocks is still entirely numb. I guess after injecting it intramuscularly for 4 months this should not be a surprise. I did some reading & saw that it can actually take up to a year for the feelings to return. Wow.
  3. I am having somewhat of a hard time (mentally) not returning back to work this week. Its my first back to school in 7 years I have missed. I have been trying to stay busy in the nursery, and also prepping for the online course I teach at the college which starts next week. I think one of the hardest parts so far has not being able to share my day over dinner with hubby after he shares his. Also, not contributing financially bothers me a bit. Thank God for short term disability!

Here are a few pics of what we have accomplished so far in baby Isaac’s room-




Forgive me if I posted these photos on here already, I know I did on IG and FB, but dont recall if I did on here or not. Preggo brain. 

Something exciting happened this week…hubby felt baby kick for the first time!! I have been feeling movement now on a daily basis, although its random and some days much more than others, I love it. When I want to feel him and havent in awhile, I have my better half put his hand on my belly. I think its amazing that I can try to get him to kick for hours and it doesnt work, but within seconds of hubby’s hand, BAM! There it is. So cute!

Question for my readers who have a baby (you all have been giving great advice lately!)- who got the TDAP vaccine in your inner circle? I have some friends who had all of their immediate family members be vaccinated (anyone around infant on frequent basis) and this is what I am seeing most pediatricians and doctors recommend. Then I know some others who did not get the vaccine and did not have anyone in their immediate circle get it either. They just waited until baby could be vaccinated for this a few months after birth. I am curious as to what has worked for many of you. Also, did you or any other adult vaccinated experience any side effects from it? Remember, we are talking TDAP, not the flu. Lol.

***Please note: This is NOT by any means a vaccine debate! If you do not believe in TDAP, I respect that, but I am currently only looking for experiences of who got it and when. Thank you for understanding! 

In other news, this week is my last cervix check at 22 weeks!!! After this one, I have another ultra at 25 weeks, but its not specifically for cervical length. They will still check it, but I will officially be out of the cerclage window since I will be viable. Viable..we are getting so close. Still praying everyday…

To Do or Not to Do: (Bump)dates?

Whether or not those of us who battled infertility and finally get that BFP should do it or not is the topic at hand. 

Seems to be somewhat debated here in the blogging community, yet on IG & FB its the norm to show off your bump as soon as you see 2 lines.

Some bloggers who have fought IF and/or pregnancy loss choose to document their pregnancies week by week with photo updates of their bump and narratives of their symptoms once they fall pregnant.

Others go the opposite way, and keep their weekly bump pics respectively to themselves after finding out they are preggo (that is assuming they are taking them). 

So, what do you think, are sharing these (bump)dates with your fellow infertiles here on the blog OK or not? 

Will those still in the trenches of our community be hurt seeing the photos? 

Or will those in the trenches rejoice in a community victory? 

If you ask me, it depends on where they are in their journey. 

Early on in my blogging, when I was just getting to know the members, I mostly deleted those who turned pregnant soon after.  I didnt have relationships with any of them and I was mainly blogging to vent.  Also, my miscarriage wounds were so fresh; I surely didnt want to see any in utero pics at all right after any of our losses.  

After awhile, I got to know the women in this community and started following their stories. I had a much harder time deleting them when they achieved their dreams, so I didnt anymore.  I realized it wasnt just about me venting, and I started to find hope in their success. I enjoy reading and seeing the posts now. Besides, isnt having a family our goal here anyway? 

Yet, if I see these posts on an anniversary of ours I cant do it. I turn my head or scroll a little quicker. I wish it hadnt been posted. I cringe a bit and think “why not me? When will it be our turn?”

Other times, when I am feeling like I am over it all, and wallowing in self-pity, I realize I am numb to the bumpdates. A true vet, I feel emotionless either way about the member posts. 

Like I mentioned, for me, where you are in the journey makes a BIG difference on how you react to these bumpdates.  I think it also matters greatly to us infertiles what the person went through to get that bump. If it was easy, forget it. But I am talking about this community and doing bumpdates here, so easy isnt exactly the word that comes to mind when I think about their posts.

Anyways, I went back and forth for awhile in my mind about whether or not I would do the weekly bump photo opps on this blog should I have the chance to document a pregnancy  ever again. 

In the end, I am pretty sure that I will. 

To me, part of the infertility blogging experience includes seeing the bumps of our fellow community members. Believe it or not, I feel its made me stronger.  I am sure some may feel different, and I totally respect and understand it. 

I feel this place is a place of honesty and good intention, and I know for me, a place I look back on and reflect on posts I have made from time to time. I surely want to be able to look back upon the week by week journey of growing our baby one day should we be blessed enough. Plus, I love pictures and blogging, I think it will be hard for me not to put them together pregnant. 

I may do what some other bloggers have done, and create a new IG account or password protected posts just for bump stuff. Not sure yet. I do want to be considerate of others because I know the ways I have felt at different times as I described. 

While this all very well could change with time, one thing I am sure of is that I will always be an infertile no matter how it all plays out. I will not be able to just “switch” off this part of us and leave everyone else still TTC behind. I want them to still be part of my life and vice versa.

Lovenox Help

I have had this draft post saved since summer 2015. As we finally approach our FET, I figure its time to publish it.

I would LOVE the advice of anyone who has been on the blood thinner Lovenox in a similar situation to mine. 

Let me preface this by saying that the *only* blood clotting disorder I have is Prothrombin Thrombophilia (Hetero, or just 1 copy).  I have had several RPL panels, genetic tests, etc. to confirm this. 

Here is the Lovenox history-

Pregnancy 1-miscarriage. No lovenox treatment during this pregnancy. D & C comes back “inconclusive” as to genetic anomalies in baby. 

Pregnancy 2-natural miscarriage, genetic make-ups of babies not known. No lovenox treatment during this pregnancy. 

Pregnancy 3-missed miscarriage. Treated with Lovenox from before the transfer, and through pregnancy until days before the D & C.  D & C proves baby is genetically normal.

So, as you can see, I have miscarried both on Lovenox & not on Lovenox. 

I have now talked to my OB, 2 RE’s, and a Hematologist about whether or not I need this blood thinner moving forward.  Heres the general consensus-

Hematologist-yes, I will absolutely miscarry without it.

Both RE’s-not for taking it initially since I only have 1 copy, but after 2nd loss figured we should go for it with pregnancy #3; now not sure if it could have been what got me as far along as I was, or if it could have had an adverse effect and even caused a loss. Wtf? I guess there are some studies to support this out there. 

OB-no, I dont need it unless I carry both copies of the disorder, or am homogenous for it. 

ME-so freaking confused, but leaning towards not doing it this FET cycle even though I have a bunch of shots leftover from last cycle.  Hubby is supportive, and is just as unsure really, and so is my mom too. 

Here are some of my wishy washy thoughts on the matter-

  • I feel like the Lovenox didnt do its job last time, why would it this time?
  • What if it did do its job last time and the mass just caused the loss? 
  • Or did they both cause it? 
  • If I got pregnant naturally, I wouldnt have ever been on this drug, or even known I carried a copy of this mutation…I would like to be as natural in this totally unnatural process as possible!
  • What if we get rid of this mass now, dont do the lovenox, and I really did need it? 
  • If there is a future genetic issue, the Lovenox doesnt matter anyways (maybe thats what happened with pregnancy 1 & 2?)

Plenty of women with my condition don’t go on it, and have completely normal pregnancies —like half the women in my family!!!  BUT, on the other hand, there are also lots of women who recurrently miscarry, do go on it & achieve success. 

I guess we would really just like to make our mind up on this so we can finalize a few other decisions such as immune treatment with the FET. 

The best case scenario is that someone out there reading this has lived through it and can help a little! Please share if thats you! 

2016

First and foremost, I want to take a moment to wish all my fellow bloggers and readers a happy, healthy, and blessed 2016. You all are such a huge part of my life and I couldnt imagine it without you! 

Some of you reading this are probably in the same boat as me–ready for 2015 to be behind you, for a new leaf to be turned over, praying that 2016 will be your miracle year.  Or you might be thinking that you felt this way last year, and the year before that too.  I get it.  

Some of you may have experienced the loss of a pregnancy or family member this year. Others might have finally brought their miracles into the world this year, or welcomed a second or third.  

Some of you may have finally gotten your BFP this year, or maybe just another BFN yet again and again.  Some are thrilled for the BFP, others scared to death because of their past losses.  Some wonder if they will ever conceive still. 

You may have gone through IUI’s and/or IVF’s this year, or recently embarked on the TTC journey and are praying you dont have to go that route.  Maybe you are just patiently waiting to fall pregnant each month, maybe you are saving every penny you own for medical help, or perhaps you are eagerly expecting your due date as we speak.  

Maybe you are a struggling new mom lacking sleep and wondering what you got yourself into. The PPD and juggling act is real. 

Perhaps you are sick from the child within you, or sick from all your injections. Maybe both. Maybe you are excited for an ultrasound to see the beautiful life inside you, or dreading hearing that appointment to confirm your worst fears are true.  

Maybe you are anxiously awaiting a placement from an adoption agency, or foster home as we speak.  Or you might be investigating surrogacy, egg donors, or embryo adoption. Maybe you are pondering having a child free life with your partner. Or maybe you really have no clue what you even want from all this anymore and are on a break. Its okay, I get it.  

No two journeys are the same.  But wherever you are in it, I pray you feel some peace moving into this new year. *Try* to be thankful for what you do have and live every day to the fullest, even though things might not be exactly what you want right now.  

Sending you my best (and of course, lots of baby dust) for 2016!