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 šŸŒˆšŸ’™

Old Stomping Grounds

Hubby took a day off this week & we ventured back down south to the ritzy area where Isaac lived for 2 years before he was transferred back to my uterus & we finally brought him home. It is really crazy to think he was frozen in a lab for that long. Mind boggling modern science is. Anyways, we headed this way to visit our RE & her staff. We promised at our last visit back in May of 2016 (when we graduated) that we would return with him once he entered this world. 
We did not call ahead, instead we crossed our fingers & hoped our doc would be in. I chose to stop in around lunch time as I know they dont schedule patients then. One of the things I hated most (speaking as a recurrent pregnancy loss patient right now not an infertile patient) was seeing pregnant people or ones with infants come in. Perhaps if I had only been infertile and not suffered so much loss it wouldnt bother me as much. Maybe I would look at it as hope instead of heartbreak. Instead the loss made me resentful when I saw it. 

Thankfully the waiting area had not a soul and we were greeted by the receptionists we know all too well. They immediately came around the counter & let us know they received baby boy’s birth announcement in the mail. They ooed and awed at him. I should have prefaced this by saying how nervous I was as we drove to the office. Weird right? What was there to be nervous about? Its not like I was headed in for a blood draw, ultrasound, or procedure. For once I was on the other side. I had made it! But still the anxiety lurked. I couldnt help but think of all the times I had made that dreaded drive and all the various feelings that accompanied it. Im happy to say that once we arrived it faded away and I felt more like a conqueror than anything else. 

Soon after arriving, our nurse and phlebotomist came out. Lots of happy squeals and “after all you went through” statements followed. Hubby held baby while I gave hugs. Finally our RE came out with the biggest smile you ever did see. We embraced and then she quickly stole little one away from us. I was able to capture a photo for the baby book of the 2 of them (we plan to be very open with our son about what we went through). What a feeling standing there with the whole staff, everyone full of joy for once. I cant explain it, but it was so surreal. 

We had a canvas with us that we had picked up from our newborn photographer just prior to our visit at our RE. Our photographer was actually referred to us by our RE originally. Well, the photographer loved our baby boy so much that she offered to do a complimentary canvas for our RE’s office. Truly a compliment. My RE was thrilled. 

I cant tell you how many years I sat in that office staring at the beautiful baby canvases and daydreaming. Now our baby was on a canvas and would be going up on one of those walls. Feelings of being incredibly blessed & content overwhelmed me. Again, we made it I thought. I am well aware so many dont get to the other side. Motherhood after loss and infertility that is. It could have turned out differently than it did. And I thank God everyday it didnt. 

Later that day, after we left, my RE sent me a message via FB. It was short & sweet-“thank you for stopping by, it made my day” and my response was “likewise.” As a teacher I used to live for the days when my previous students would come back & visit. It let me know I did something right. I would like to think this is how she felt when we stopped in. 

Almost Go Time

Well, well, where to begin? I feel as if I have been under an information overload the past few weeks, mainly trying to make the final call between scheduling a c-section or trying to birth our child vaginally first. Due to our history, it has been a lot of back and forth with OBs, REs, MFMs, orthopedics, & anesthesists on which situation would be best.  

Final call-we will attempt birthing vaginally.  If I havent gone into labor by the 18th, Ill be admitted for cervical ripening and induction that day. Yes, thats right… we have a date folks! And its so close that I cant even believe it. We are super excited! If during a vaginal birth, he shows any signs of distress my OB will immediately do a section. I will be under continous monitoring once induced. 

It would be nice if he decides to come on his own before I need induced, but are also okay with it if he does not. At this point, we trust our vast medical team very much and will follow what is deemed safest for mom & baby. 

Recap of his health-We had our weekly NST and BPP yesterday, and baby boy did well. The week before he was being difficult during the stress test (his heart rate was not accelerating enough with his movements) and I was getting so upset. I was on the damn machine for probably an hour, when you can be on & off it in 15 minutes if baby performs. 


The nurse gave me juice, let me go pee, and even zapped me with a tazer like device on my stomach at one point. Lets just say he did NOT enjoy that at all, and he finally passed right after it. Maybe he remembered it from the week before and got to work yesterday because we passed the first 15 minute go around. Thank God. He then scored 8/8 on his biophysical profile ultrasound. Another sigh of relief. 

My fundal height is measuring a little smaller the past 2 weeks, probably since I havent gained any weight. But he is still in the 40 something percentile and measuring close to 7 lbs, so the doctors are not worried. I feel so bad knowing there are many ladies out there struggling with uterine growth restriction-I cannot imagine how upsetting and frustrating this is. I know I eat A LOT and still cant gain. Totally out of our own hands.

Something important to note-my OB wasnt too happy with my blood pressure yesterday and doesnt want me waiting a whole week to get it checked again. So, I go in Monday for a quick blood pressure check. If its still high, we might be seeing Miracle sooner than later. 

Other news-I feel like there is no more time! I have been doing all my last minute nesting each day. I make a list, and somehow another one pops up. Lol. Thankfully they are all little things, all the big things are done, and we would totally be fine if nothing else got done at this point. Part of me just feels like I have to stay busy for some reason! Then the other half of me feels like I have to rest, so I do. Its a good balance. 

We have arrangements made for the dogs during our hospital stay, got the baby a health insurance plan of his own, hooked up baby monitors, called my cleaning ladies and scheduled them around our possible induction date so the house is nice & clean for baby to come home to! Ive wrapped all our Christmas presents and put them under the tree. I have an appointment to get my nails done next week, pretty close to delivery so they look pretty for our professional newborn photo session. I even treated myself to a few postpartum outfits…2 pairs of Blanqi leggings and 4 tunic tops. Super excited to live in these for awhile. 

Symptoms-Oh my. Tons. Constipation, which has never been an issue, now is. I am eating prunes and hoping to see some improvement. Stay away hemorrhoids!! Heartburn. Shortness of breath. Snoring. Talking (or even yelling) in my sleep. Peeing all the time. Fatigue. Pregnancy brain…I think thats all???

Hello 3rd TrimesterĀ 

Its hard to believe both October & the 3rd trimester are upon us! Less than 12 weeks to go now.

I had my 1 hour glucose test this morning. I actually did a 2 hr test back when we were trying to figure out the cause of my recurrent pregnancy loss, so I was prepared for how yucky it is. This time I didnt get a flavor choice (boo!) and got stuck with orange. I did lemon lime the first time and it was much better! The orange burned as I was chugging it down and gave me a slight headache accompained by minor nausea. 

The nurse drew my blood for this and also did a CBC, my results should be in within the week. The midwife measured my fundal height which was between 28-29 weeks, and I am 28 weeks + 3 days so that was all good. She also did the doppler and his heartbeat was as usual. We chatted about movement, which I have noticed just in the past week has picked up a lot. I dont find myself needing to count like I was because its pretty consistent throughout the days now. I am happy about this bc counting sort of drives me mad! 

We also discussed vaginal v. c-section birth. I explained my fears both ways, and told her I just want to do whatever is safest for my baby. She listened and offered some personal stories in regards to my concerns. Long story short, she told me to prep for a vaginal birth as long as he isnt breech, or too large.  Our first labor class starts tomorrow and I am anxious for it. They told us to bring a yoga mat and 2 pillows…hopefully we will gain some valuable knowledge from these sessions! 

In other news…all good things must come to an end. Let me explain. We had our fresh IVF cycle back in March 2014, in which 7 out of our 8 embryos were frozen at that time. Since that time, we have had 4 total transfers (1 fresh + 3 frozen). Thankfully all of our embies have been kept free of charge at our RE’s office. We havent paid storage on any of our frosties, which has been wonderful as storage fees can get pretty pricey. Well, as I said, all good things must come to an end! We got a call this week from the storage company informing us that we need to update our forms on file as they will be picking up our one & only embryo at our RE’s office. I must say I was a bit sad, I loved our embryo being right where I know it is, safe & sound. However, I realize this is protocol and we got away with it for over 2 years now. Time to cough up more cash…nothing new in the world of IVF. 

As Im sure many of you know, the embryo storage forms make you think of morbid things like death of one partner, death of both partners, divorce, etc. In the middle of filling out the forms, I burst into tears. Thanks pregnancy hormones! I told hubby in the case I should die, I want him to have ownership of our embryo. I suggested that should he ever marry again, he could (have the option to) transfer our embryo into his new wife. He looked at me in disbelief, and thats when I lost it. This may sound odd to some, but its how I feel. We also agreed on the same should he pass before we transfer again. And if we both die, we elected to donate our child. Sounds really weird typing that. We couldnt come to terms with disposal, and we didnt want to transfer ownership to anyone and have that on their shoulders either. We will pay storage quarterly, and then revisit transferring Uno December of next year. 

My OB appts are now every 2 weeks, not sure of the MFM frequency as of yet. I see them this week for a growth scan, and I want to bring up a few things like NSTs and biophysical profiles. I dont want to fall to the wayside because things have continued to look good. I want to make sure we stay on top of things, especially monitoring later on as this can help prevent stillbirth. 

My baby shower is this weekend!!! How insane. I am super excited about it, but also anxious at the same time. I cried yesterday to hubby about it, and he reassured me that I deserve this shower. My aunt is flying in today, and then others follow throughout the week. I feel like I have so much to do still (thank God for cleaning ladies) before the shower…stop by the flower shop, finalize games, get my wedding ring cleaned, eyebrows waxed, nails done, etc. Im sure it will all come together though. Will post an update of it all soon! 

Diary of a Pregnant Woman, Vol. 4

We attended the Breastfeeding 101 class at the hospital this past week. I had already been to a prior boob class hosted by some local doulas, but that was with a friend and not with hubby. Hubby wanted to learn, and I figured the more info the better. And I did actually pick up on a few things that I hadnt in the doula session. Main points of the class-

  • Day 2 of breastfeeding is the hardest 
  • Various feeding positions (we practiced with dolls)
  • The 9 stages of the first hour after birth leading to feeding (the “golden” hour)
  • How much and how often baby feeds 
  • The role dad can play in the process (bring baby to mom, burp baby before and after, change baby before & after, make sure baby is latched right, positions, etc.) 
  • Bring pillows to the hospital so you are comfy breastfeeding 
  • When to introduce bottles
  • The benefits of breastfeeding 

And so much more! Im SURE this will be a learn as you go process, but hopefully we are well equipped with some strategies to help us should we run into any trouble. If not, the lactation specialists seem quite helpful too. 

News this week?

One of my best friends had her baby girl! She welcomed her into the world on 9/22 (first day of fall!) about a week past her due date. We visited them at the hospital and she is absolutely adorable! It was very surreal for hubby and I to go to the hospital to visit a baby. We have NEVER done this before. Its always been too hard. I was still nervous deep inside, but also so incredibly happy for them. I cant wait to raise our sweet babies together!! 

We are just over 27 weeks preggo now. I cant believe the 3rd trimester and our second viability goal of 28 weeks is upon us. Thank you, God! After this, it is 32 weeks. Getting there will be such a sigh of relief. Praying the time goes by without a hitch…our baby shower is in 2 weeks (all the RSVP’s are in & we will have just over 30 attending), and then our maternity photos. Also, our weekly labor & delivery classes begin & a few doctor appointments to see Miracle again.

I sent my RE some recent pics of me, hubby, & baby Isaac via Facebook. I hadnt talked to her since we were about 16 weeks and I missed her! We chatted back & forth, and I thanked her again for all she did for us over the past 3 years and 4 IVF cycles. She never gave up on us. After our boy is here we will surely be taking him in to see her! Oh, and I snuck in the question about our 1 & only frozen embryo left…what is the recommended time frame between delivering a baby and transferring an embryo? Answer-1 year. Hubby & I have some plans about it, but Ill save that for a much later post. Lets just get Miracle here safe & sound! 

Symptoms? 

Braxton Hicks. The other day they were very frequent and I got worried and thought about heading to L & D for a check. Thankfully, they subsided and I didnt need to go. Stay away BH!  

Baby boy & my uterus have def grown because Im feeling him and seeing him above my belly button now. So crazy, yet amazing at the same time. 

Radio Silence

This is probably the longest I have gone without blogging in quite some time.

Before I begin, it is important that I say that I do not by any means want to take away from the wonderful fact that we are now 17 weeks pregnant…I still can’t believe it and thank God numerous times a day. 

However, my mindset changes daily… I go from being on cloud 9 to crying my eyes out.  I am sure a lot of this is the normal hormonal pregnant woman, but I believe some of it is also due to our past.  I never had any idea how hard pregnancy after loss would actually be. When you are so used to things going wrong, it’s difficult to believe things are finally going right.  In addition to being naive about the challenges of pregnancy after loss, I was also quite naive about how I would feel so much better (mentally) once I got out of the first trimester. All I can say to that is…YEA RIGHT (sarcastically).  Instead of early loss, you just worry about late loss.  As a recurrent miscarrier, unfortunately those fears don’t just disappear the farther along you get.

Despite the roller coaster ride of emotions, things have been pretty uneventful the past few weeks.  At 16 weeks, I officially stopped taking all forms of progesterone. Since I was on triple progesterone, my RE weaned me off one at a time.  First was the Crinone at 12 weeks, then the PIO shots at 14 weeks, and finally the Prometrium at 16 weeks.  I was incredibly nervous to go off at first…wondering “will my body do what it needs to do???”  Thankfully, so far it has and I haven’t had any bleeding from it, or from the Placenta Previa.  

In the meantime, I also started back up on the Baby Aspirin to prevent any clotting since my Sub-Chorionic is long gone (my RE took me off it back when that was around) and I am a heterogeneous carrier for a Prothrombin disorder. Other than the baby aspirin, I am just taking my prenatal and Folgard.  It’s so weird not to be taking a million pills a day! To be honest, I cried when I put away my pill boxes, band-aids, gauze pads, syringes, and alcohol wipes.  Not because I was sad to be done with them (Im not that crazy), but because of the many tough days and nights associated with them.

In order to keep tabs on my cervix, I have been seeing either my OB or the MFM every week. Today we saw the MFM doc for our anatomy scan.  I guess he prefers to do them a little earlier than usual.  I had to use my doppler before the appointment to calm my nerves.  The scan lasted about 30 minutes and hubby and I got some great pics of miracle.

The tech keep commenting on how active he was, so she was having trouble getting the pics of his brain that she needed.  She had to tap my stomach with the wand a few times to get him to move out of the way, which of course freaked me out.  I barely touch my stomach, let alone tap on it.  Yes, I know baby is protected, but still. Not taking any chances here.  Anyways, he finally cooperated and she got what she needed!

We met with the doctor right after, and he thoroughly went through each image with us.  Baby boy looked normal, or as I like to call it, perfect, in all areas.  He was even measuring a week ahead in some places.  My due date has gone from Christmas day, to the 23rd, to now the 20th.  Speaking of due dates,  we were pretty sure a C-section was the way we would be bringing our son into the world (due to my prior fibroid surgery and the previa).  Well, after speaking with my RE this past week about the specifics of my fibroid removal, it appears we may have a chance of delivering vaginally still.  Here is the email we received from her…

So, if the Previa moves up as most do as the pregnancy progresses, we wont be scheduled for a section anymore.  It seems like we will just be taking it a day at a time with this, and make decisions as we go.  Although my main concern is that baby enters this world safely, I must say I am happy to know that there is a chance I could deliver naturally now.  I feel like so much of this process has been “un-natural” that it would be nice to have something I could do naturally.

The MFM doc laid out his plan for us today.  He said he likes to monitor his IVF patients a little more frequently than not, which means appointments every 2 weeks until about 28 weeks. From his experience, he said that ART patients tend to encounter more placenta problems than non-ART patients. I didnt ask too much about what these problems could be, Id rather just not know unless needed. Unnecessary anxiety! 

The next appointment we will look more in depth at the heart (he did confirm all 4 chambers were there today), the appointment after that we will do a vaginal swab that tests for any trace of pre-term labor chemicals, along with continual cervix checks.  My cervix was at 3.8 today…anything over 3 is good.  Praying it stays nice and long!

On the home front, exciting things have been taking place! Hubby painted the nursery, and we ordered the carpet and baseboards.  They will be installed in a little over a week. The crib, mattress, and bookshelf have all arrived too.  We won’t be unpacking them until the carpet goes in though.  


Hubby is planning to get the closet organization system in within the next month or so.  I am reallllyyy looking forward to this because currently all the baby clothes are spread out randomly throughout the house.  I can’t wait to see it all come together! And I cannot wait to go in the room and nest a bit too!  I also started our registry which has been a ton of fun.  Thankfully, I have had the assistance of some of my great friends and family members.

Things are happening fast, and we are getting closer to our goal of 24 weeks everyday.  I am always thinking of all the TTC ladies out there, regardless of where you are at in this process.  Be kind to yourself and take it one day at a time.
 

Graduation DayĀ 

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.