Who Am I?

For so many years I was the “infertile” one. The one who desperately yearned for a baby. The one who repeatedly underwent procedure after procedure to finally get pregnant, only to then lose the long awaited for pregnancy. The one who everyone eagerly waited for updates from to see if I was indeed expecting, or “still” expecting. Then, one day, the stars aligned, everything fell into place, and I had my baby. My miracle.

We went through the newborn sleep deprived phase, followed by all the milestones and first holidays. Infertility was not given much thought as life seemed to naturally be a blur at times. Next came the “do we want another”? baby phase, and subsequent fertility treatments. And just like that, I was once again the “infertile” one, the one everyone kept in their prayers and watched for updates from. I was right back where I had been for so long before, it almost felt as if my normal life returned and I had just been on a vacation from infertile me.

When our last ditch effort for a sibling failed, it would only seem suiting then that I seriously began to ponder, “Who am I”? or rather “Who will I be now that I am not trying to have a baby anymore”?

I have spent the last month or so trying to find out. Find the person I was wayyy long ago, before infertility and loss started robbing me of so much of “me.” I have my rainbow, and now I am on the journey to finding me again. Wish me luck.

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.”

Moving Forward

Today I met with our RE for the complimentary follow up visit after an IVF cycle fail. Commonly known to IVF frequenters as the WTF appt.

Even though we know there will be no more IVF in the future & have voiced it to our clinic already, there were still some things to visit. The start of the meeting was somewhat somber with my RE saying again how bummed she was that the last little one did not make it. I tried not to focus too much on it not working, instead I told her how blessed we are that it worked with Miracle. How many women out there never get even 1 baby here on Earth after numerous IVF’s. Of course we talked about the embryo’s quality, the transfer, my protocol, etc. but it was brief as I did not feel the need to search for answers on why it did not stick.

We went on to reminisce about what a miracle he really is & that day back in May 2016 when we found out I was not only pregnant with him, but also with a baby in my tube. A.k.a. my heterotopic pregnancy experience from FET3. She told me how she shares my success story with other women in her practice often to give them hope. Specifically those who have to undergo a major surgery when pregnant, that it can work out. I cried when she told me that because if there was ever any good to come out of all the loss and hurt and IVF crap other than my son, it is giving hope to someone who needs it the most. From there we somehow got into talking about this blog and supporting women in the trenches.

At one point I actually forgot I was talking to my doctor as it was more like a conversation you have with a close friend. And thats when I realized she is a friend. Im truly lucky to have found a doctor like her.

We will be doing a sperm analysis in the weeks that follow. If you have been following along for awhile, you know we are affected by Male Factor Infertility. Back in 2013, my husband underwent a Varicocele Repair. We did IVF 6 months later and that is the last time a sperm analysis was done. It has been almost 5 years now. We are curious to see what it yields. It is out of our hands now & in His.

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. 

Viability 

Not only are the best months of the year finally here (the ‘ber months), but so is viability. We made it. 6 months pregnant. God is good! 

Our 24 week ultrasound today showed that baby is growing on track, now just over 1 and 1/2 lbs., my fluid level is good, and my cervix is still closed & long, measuring over 4. We are so thankful. 

I know I have said it before, but this is truly a day we did not think was possible after years of trying to conceive on our own, 2 failed IUIs, several major surgeries, 4 IVF cycles, & 4 consecutive losses. But here we are, one day closer to bringing our miracle baby boy home. I promised myself I would relax more once we got to this point, so I am really going to *try* my best to do so. 

Our goal is to make it to 28 weeks now. I have a feeling it will come rather quickly, as we have a growth scan at the MFM and my glucose test during the few weeks until then. Also coming up in a month is our baby shower for which the invites got mailed this week. I really cant believe all these things are so close! 

Today I got my hair cut and I scheduled an appointment for both my make-up and my hair to be done for our maternity photo session. It takes some pressure off of me, as I am lousy at doing both of these. In addition, I made a mani/pedi appt for the shower and the shoot. I think I am all set in this department!

Symptoms? 

Still having some BH contractions here & there but have found drinking water totally helps. That said, my new routine is to get up and drink 64 ounces before noon each day. I make sure I get the suggested amount out of the way and then I just sip the rest of the day. Thank God I am off work, or I wouldnt be doing this because basically I am in the bathroom peeing all morning long! Seriously. Ive never been a big drinker either so sticking to a schedule is really helping out.

In the middle of the night, my hands and arms have been going numb here & there. I guess this could be a sign of carpal tunnel? At least thats what my Ovia pregnancy app had pop up as a common thing this week. Im not too worried about it, I just shake them out and it goes away.

Im getting picky about food again. Things arent sounding as great as Id like them to. Ugh. Eating as healthy as possible though, trying to incorporate in each of the food groups everyday. Thankfully I havent wanted sweets much at all, hoping this will help me pass my sugar test! 

Other news? 

We got everything we need to create the closet system in miracle’s room. Now that we have the materials, we plan to work on it over the long weekend. Im excited because I have lots of clothes and items to organize in there! Hubby pointed out how we are going to be jealous of the baby’s closet…how is it that he has a better one than us already? Lol. I might as well get used to it, part of being a parent I know!  

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!!! 

What Pregnancy After Loss is Like

A rollercoaster. Walking on eggshells, or perhaps even a tightrope. Being on pins & needles. Waiting for the other shoe to drop. Get my drift? 

The past week has been intense to say the least. We started out week 5 on a great note, with very high betas, doubling as they should. After the second one, I started spotting brown. Within 3 days, that turned to pink and then red spotting. I got an ultrasound to reassure us that our worst fears werent coming true. And they werent- we saw exactly what we should have at this point in our pregnancy, a gestational sac, a yolk sac, & the start of a fetal pole. Beautiful! 

A day after that reassurance, not only was I spotting, but now I was bleeding heavily. And it was red. I passed 2 clots. I was sure it was over. I left work & headed to the RE for the 5th time in 10 days. They drew my beta and I went home & waited for what felt like an eternity (they did not want to do another ultra just 2 days from the first, especially since the bleeding had increased after). I was sure my beta had dropped from just a few days earlier. It felt like deja vu to say the least. I was pretty numb.

The phone rang & my nurse sounded chipper. My beta was 26,000 and some change. It had increased just as it should have. I was in utter disbelief at the good news. I thanked God. We didnt miscarry. We went to dinner & celebrated the news. 

The bleeding has now completely stopped. Im praying it stays that way. We are by no means out of the woods, and I dont think we have ever thought we were to begin with, even prior to the bleed. But we are extremely happy today & we are also pregnant today. Thats all we can ask for right?

Our goal now is to make it to our regularly scheduled ultra next week when Im 7 weeks. My RE said if I have another bad bleed before then, I can head in sooner. Ive been taking it super easy, thanks to all the wonderful people in my life. My co-workers have gone above & beyond to help me get through my days with my students-they walk them to lunch, take them to recess & resource, make me copies, etc. Im so incredibly grateful for them. My husband is a saint. He has been cooking breakfast & dinner everynight, running all our errands at night, & feeding, walking, & caring for our dogs. Anything to keep me off my feet. Im so blessed to have him. And my mom, she has kept up with our cleaning and listens to me vent…constantly. God bless her. 

Symptoms/Medications?

I have been nauseous on & off, with both aversions & cravings, and swollen boobs. No complaints, Ill take all the symptoms I can get! My progesterone has been increased from 1cc to 1.5cc, even though my level was still in normal range (30). We figure it cant hurt. Well, I take that back, it does hurt…it hurts my ass! We have run out of spots to inject and Ive had a few welts here and there. Ouch!

Heres to an uneventful week ahead…