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. 

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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…

Blogversary 

Word Press reminded me this week that 1 year ago I started this blog. I can still remember the night I did. I laid in our bed, in the middle of the night, on medical leave from my job, just weeks past our third miscarriage, groggy from all the pain meds I was taking to numb my pain. I was in bad shape to say the least. 

I came across a blog titled “I am 1 in 4” that detailed a womans story through recurrent pregnancy loss.  I read it and it touched me deeply. I almost felt as if I had wrote it myself.  So I thought, hey what the heck, maybe Ill give blogging a try. Never did I imagine it would turn into what it has. With over 400 followers, I am truly humbled and blessed by the support I receive. 

Everyday I log on to read and follow your journeys. I comment as much as I can because I love supporting you. I yearn to blog when I havent in a few days; its like free therapy for me. Writing is in my blood, Ive always enjoyed it. 

Throughout the past year, this blog has taught me many things.

It has taught me patience and perseverance. Good things come will come to those who wait and dont give up. 

It has taught me not to compare my story with others. Everyones path is unique. 

It has taught me to be more empathetic towards others; that you never know what someone is battling on the inside. People can hide a lot through their smiles. 

It has taught me how amazingly resilient women are. Simply amazing!

It has taught me the unwavering strength and love of a mother. Like none other. 

It has taught me what really matters in life and what doesnt. Family is number 1; you cant take your money with you.

It has taught me how to be a more understanding wife. Venting, and seeing Im not alone. 

It has taught me how to cope positively. Writing brings no physical or mental harm. 

It has taught me how you can connect with someone you have never met through a terrible tragedy you share. Sad, but true. 

It has taught me to be myself and not worry if others will judge me for it. Life is too short to dwell on what people say. 

It has taught me that I will be OK, and that I am in charge of writing our happy ending. 

It has taught me many, many things, above all else, that I am not alone. 

Tonight, I am so thankful for all of these things learned, and for you as I reflect on this anniversary. 

Time Off

Today I told my boss about my upcoming FET cycle. By no means did I have to do this; I chose to. 

As a teacher, when we request a day off, we put it into a computer system and request a sub. The principal then approves it electronically. There generally is no face to face correspondence when a request takes place. The days are earned over time and can be used as needed.  I LOVE this perk about my job! 

Since I got my FET calendar, I have been requesting upcoming times off for appointments more than I normally would. So today I took my calendar in to my superior and explained why, even though she never asked about it or disapproved any of it. Note: this is part of my personality—I never want anyone to think I am just a slacker looking for time off. I have to explain. 

Anyways, I felt totally at ease approaching the situation, as the administrators I work with are very supportive. They all know that we have now gone through 3 IVF cycles, followed by 3 miscarriages—I have continued to teach there through them all. They have seen me at my best and my worst. 

What a relief to have this off my shoulders! My boss was great about it, and reassured me not to stress. This means a lot to a Type-A person like me! One more step in the right direction, right? 

Bible Verses to Keep Close

None of us understand why we have to suffer in life.  Repeatedly suffering is even more confusing and frustrating, depressing, and heartbreaking.  During this roller coaster ride my husband and I have been on, I have gone through many different phases in my relationship with God.  We have had our fair share of ups and downs, as I’m sure anyone who has been through trauma can relate with.

I have been collecting bible verses over the years that hold a lot of meaning to me and keeping them in my paper journal.  I reference them from time to time, and they comfort me and help me keep my faith.  I think that others struggling (with anything in life, not just IF or RPL) might find them useful, so today I am sharing them.

The Future

John 15:7- If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.

Proverbs 16:3-Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.

Jeremiah 29:11-“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

God’s Timing

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8-There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:11-He has made everything beautiful in his time.

Trials

James 1:2-4-Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Phillippians 4:13-I can do all things through him who gives me strength.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10-But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest upon me.  That is why, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Faith

Matthew 19:26-With God, all things are possible.

2 Corinthians 5:1-I will walk by faith even when I cannot see.

Genesis 1:28-Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply.”

Sorrow

Revelations 21:4-“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Psalm 30:5-Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.

Matthew 11:28-30-“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

 

Fear

Phillippians 4:6-Be anxious for nothing.

Proverbs 3:5-6-Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

Psalm 23:4- Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.