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36 Week Update

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How far along? 36 weeks & 2 days

Gender: Boy

Maternity Clothes?  Obviously lol I rock my maternity yoga pants most days….even though, confession time, they’ve literally never been to yoga…oops!

Stretch Marks? Yep, on my newfound cleavage & the sides of my hips.

Belly button in or out?  Definitely stretching out but, somehow, still in.

Sleep: I’ve been pretty lucky here. I’ve only had pregnancy insomnia less than a handful of times. Most nights, despite my 4 trips to the bathroom, I still manage to sleep pretty well surrounded by all my pillows.

Best moment this week: Getting to see baby Elijah on the ultrasound yesterday! He always cracks us up since he’s so stubborn, which hasn’t changed. Yesterday, he directly ninja kicked the probe the tech was holding over him….he showed her 😛 Learning that baby is head down & not breech was also a HUGE relief. AND I FINISHED MY LOVENOX INJECTIONS Sunday night!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Symptoms: My chronic, as my OB deemed them, yeast infections & BV have honestly been the worst thing since the second trimester. Other than that, I’ve started to have some swelling in my feet, which I need to keep elevated more often.

I also remain the reigning bathroom champion of the house for pee breaks lol

Through all those minor inconveniences, the scares, & the blood thinners I’ve been on, it’s still so odd to me that, because of the constant infections I’ve had, when nurses or nurse practitioners I’ve seen say, “Man, this pregnancy has really been rough on you.” Thinking back to everything I had to go through trying to get pregnant, all of these things feel so small to me. I would take them all for the rest of my life if that’s what it took to be where I am. When we were struggling, I always vowed, if we ever got pregnant, to never complain about anything because I know the absolute hell & heartache people go through in hopes of getting to the other side. I feel like, for anyone who has battled infertility, our perspective is vastly different from someone who was lucky enough not to have fertility issues.

Miss Anything?  SUSHI, SUSHI, SUSHI!!! I may have eyed the Kroger sushi this weekend & dramatically looked up at my husband to say, “I can’t be strong anymore.” LOL Note: I still have not had sushi 😛 He does, however, have strict orders to go get 3 rolls just for me once Piglet is born.

Cravings? Still ground beef & steak.

Food aversions? Still chicken *gag

Queasy or sick?  I had one episode a few days ago. Other than heartburn, I’ve been in the clear on this for a while now.

Any trips to Labor and Delivery? Not yet. I hadn’t started to dilate at my appointment yesterday yet but she did say my cervix had started to soften.

Looking forward to?  Meeting this amazing miracle

Next Goal: Get rid of the most current yeast infection &, hopefully, pass the group B strep test I had yesterday.

 

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Infertility Awareness Week 2017

If you looked through my latest Instagram feed (or any social media really), you would probably never know that, for years, we struggled with infertility issues. Unless you glanced through the hashtags after some of the bump shots & pregnancy updates, you wouldn’t realize what it took to get here & how much this week will always mean to us.

Infertility is such a terrible thing & one major reason for this is because of how isolating it is. You feel it’s just you, for the longest time, because it’s not something we as a society bring up in conversation often. It’s not something that typically comes up in small talk. “Beautiful weather, today!” “Yeah, perfect for another round with the dildo cam to check my follicles!”

The above conversation just wouldn’t happen…& maybe that given example should not lol but I do hope more conversations surrounding infertility do! This year, the slogan for Infertility Awareness Week is Listen Up & I so hope that people do just that.

Not only is infertility extremely isolating, it also comes with a lot of ignorance on the part of those who have not struggled that can only make things more hurtful for those that do. I wrote a blog post a while back on What NOT To Say To Your Infertile Friend & another on helpful things to say instead if you would like to read more on that.

Personally, I am forever grateful that we were so open about our struggles. One reason being is that I, hopefully, educated a few people about the presence of infertility (1 in 8 couples struggle!!!). While many of my followers are from the infertility community, it is my hope that some were not & still read on, learning something along the way.

Secondly, had I not had the support of the blogging community & truly wonderful ladies I found on Instagram that were walking my walk, I don’t know how I ever would have survived it. It was one filled with many tears, breakdowns, sooooo many damn needless, surgeries, procedures, & just plain out grief. If you are struggling with infertility, please, PLEASE, do not go it alone!! Reach out to the wonderful community out there that I am so thankful exists.

Lastly, as we are rapidly approaching the arrival of our own rainbow baby, I hope that our story is a symbol of hope to those who are still waiting. We went through 3 IUIs, 2 rounds of IVF, several medicated cycles, laparoscopic surgery, & two devastating losses. We were told that our chance of having a child was 1-2% & we should look into other options. Despite it all, we are here! Praise the Lord! And I want that to give you HOPE! Anything is possible, our story is a living example of that.

My heart is with all of you still in the painful throws of waiting this week & always. ❤

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Ongoing

First was the scare. Then there was the scare take two. Then we had the scare take two, part two (I feel like I’m announcing a new film sequel).

This morning we had another. I got up & it took me completely by surprised since I finished the dreaded yeast infection medicine they’d thought was irritating my cervix Sunday night.

There was a bit of odd brown spotting then, a bit later, a considerable amount. So, as to avoid a replay of my battle with the receptionists, I automatically opted for the triage voicemail option. I explained I’d been in twice last week, had a medium amount of odd brown spotting today, finished yeast infection meds Sunday & antibiotics yesterday, & wanted to know whether or not to be concerned.

I got a call back from the Dr I’d seen last week around 1. She’d sent a message to my Dr. who wanted me to have an ultrasound & come in for an appointment tomorrow morning to check my placenta & cervical length. Why they couldn’t just stick me in somewhere today, I don’t know. In the meantime, I’ll probably have a panic attack until tomorrow.

To make matters even better, the Dr’s office didn’t have any openings for ultrasounds so mine will be in the hospital where we’ll deliver (in hopefully 3 months).

In addition to being terrified out of my mind given my history & highly worried, I’m also very frustrated & disappointed at this point.

Frustrated that this is an ongoing problem that is very alarming & disappointed that, yet again, I’m not able to enjoy this pregnancy. As I touched on last week, I feel like we’d just gotten to a point of breathability & now here we are back in the trenches of constantly wondering if something is wrong & things are about to take a dark turn for us. In addition to that, I’m really disappointed that tonight would’ve been an exciting night because we had our 4D ultrasound scheduled & have been looking forward to it for quite a while. We’re still going, since Scott votes that’s what we should do, & can hopefully be put at a BIT more ease until tomorrow morning.

Please, please send up lots of prayers for us that everything is okay & the spotting I had today was just old blood from my cervix being irritated & nothing else.

Will update more tomorrow.

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A Year Ago Yesterday…

I wrote a blog post a year ago yesterday. A big one. A sad one. It was called, “A Goodbye To Infertility Treatments, For Now.” I wrote it not long after our second IVF fail. Not too long after I’d given up on the idea of you. 

Yesterday, in my present life, happened to be a big day too. We reached the 22 week mark, somewhere I still can hardly believe we are. You’re more wanted than I can ever express to you. I hope that our story reminds you of that. I hope that your name reminds you that miracles happen & you are most certainly, without a doubt, are one of them. 

&, if you’re reading this in the midst of your struggle, I hope that our story gives you hope. If your heart is still hurting today, I’d also like to tell you something my papaw tells me 9 times out of 10 when we hang up with each other: “Hold on & never give up. I love you.”
 “If we didn’t expose where we came from, some of our most difficult moments, then we wouldn’t be fully revealing the depth of the joy we are enjoying today.” 

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Anatomy Scan & Gender Reveal (Trigger Warning)

I haven’t posted a lot of details & pictures about our pregnancy on this blog once we reached a place where we both felt more at ease. I have consciously not done this because I know that the vast majority of those who follow along do so because this is an infertility blog & I also know that certain images, depending on what place in your journey you may be, can hurt & bring up a lot of negative emotions. I know how that feels all too well & have tried to avoid inciting those emotions in the people who follow along here. At the same time, I also know this pregnancy is a miracle & is something to be celebrated, which I’ve done on my other social media accounts. I plan on continuing this pattern moving forward but will post highlights here, one being both our anatomy scan & gender reveal.

So let’s get right to it!

For starters, our anatomy scan went really  well & we were told that everything looked normal. Oddly, I had to sign a form at the beginning stating I understood the scan was no guarantee that all problems would be identified…to which I, out loud, responded, “don’t tell me that!” LOL After dealing with infertility & two losses, worrying more is not something I need…I do it all the time regardless. I’m sure many of you understand that. Anyway, back to it, we had originally planned on NOT learning the gender that day & waiting till the reveal to find out along with our families. Well….I’ve never been a patient person…I was going to write the most patient but I’m not patient period most often so lol we’ll just call it what it is. Scott was getting antsy too so we agreed we’d find out together & keep the secret until Saturday, two days later.

After our scan, we saw my Dr who measured my fundal height for the first time. It measured almost 19 weeks, which is right on par since I was due to turn 19 weeks that Sunday & this was a Thursday. We also took this time to discuss our birth plan in terms of wanting a natural childbirth & it went really well. She didn’t seem to think there’d be any issue with it and responded, “Okay.” I also made sure she was good with both a doula & a birth photographer being there & she was so all went well.

Now……the gender reveal! It’s a………

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As the tech said, “It looks like plumbing of the outdoor variety.” 😀

A few people asked us if we were happy with the result that day & our response was simple. We never would’ve cared what color the balloons were..just as long as we got to have balloons.

We’ve already chosen a name for him, Elijah Cole. We chose it since, in the Bible, Elijah was a miracle worker & us finally being able to get & maintain a pregnancy is nothing short of a miracle. Cole is after mamaw (since her nickname was Co) & myself (my middle name is Nicole).

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We can’t wait to meet our little miracle & cannot express how overjoyed we are that we’re finally here. ❤

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Thank you, for following along with us ❤

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Pregnancy After Infertility: A Foot In Two Different Worlds

Infertility is such a small word for something that is so large. It encompasses soooooo many things. Emotions (& let’s be honest, ALL the emotions), the stages of grief (on repeat), &, for many, financial hardship. And let’s not forget that one half of the equation, the ladies, are often hyped up on fertility meds while going through this whirlwind. With that being said, it’s no wonder that, in the midst of our struggle, we are much more sensitive people. We are emotionally raw. Drained of emotion, money, &, sometimes, hope.

Yesterday, I stumbled upon a blog written by a blogger friend of mine on the subject of being pregnant after infertility & feeling as if you have a foot in two completely different worlds. What she meant was this: it is difficult to know what to say to others who also happen to be struggling when you yourself have, hopefully, crossed over. Why? Because you know having the perfect thing to say is impossible. Secondly, she shared that she hadn’t blogged much on infertility or pregnancy since getting a BFP because she wasn’t sure how it would effect others who had not yet gotten their’s. How would they react? Would they be angry, hurt, sad? Would followers feel she was no longer relevant in the infertility blogger scene?

I understand all of the those thoughts & emotions because I had them too. While I haven’t shared much on my pregnancy on the blog, I have on my social media, specifically Facebook & Instagram. For me, any feedback I’ve gotten has been positive. I’ve had several people tell me that my story inspires them &, to my shock, that they even loved seeing pictures of my growing belly. I’ve also received some messages & comments asking me questions about treatments, doctors, & the like, which I don’t mind at all to answer because I want this pregnancy to give others hope. I want it to serve as an example that you can do treatment after treatment that is unsuccessful & arrive at this point in the end. I remember the moment I lost all hope. It was at our follow up consult after the second IVF had failed. Our old RE told us he could do IVF again if we wanted him to but didn’t really have much confidence in it as my egg quality was bad &, “science hasn’t caught up to do anything about that yet.” He gave us our chances of getting pregnant on our own, 1-2%. So we left that day, not saying much to each other, & returned to our busy lives apart from each other, all the while feeling numb. I remember the ache of giving up all too well &, if I can help anyone else not feel that way, I so want to do that.

By the same token, as I’ve said before on this blog, I realize that everyone is at a different place in their journey at any given time. I knew this before we ever got positives this year so I prepared myself, once things started to look a little more promising with this pregnancy, that I would likely loose followers on Instagram & maybe even here on WordPress. And I got it. Sometimes, when you’re in a bad place with all of this, you just can’t emotionally handle seeing pregnancy updates & the like. I’ve been there. So if there are those who can’t, at this moment, bring themselves to view such things, I support them in caring for themselves in the way that they need.

I think, instead of judging others for their actions, we as people need to be more understanding in a general sense, not just with infertility.

Friends, infertility is so, so hard. It’s all encompassing & takes so much out of you on a regular basis. Let’s love & support one another, during the holiday season & always. ❤

P.S. As we are quickly coming to a close on another year, I want to say THANK YOU again to each & every person who has followed our story. Every person that has hoped with us when we could not, cried with us, rejoiced with us, PRAYED for us, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We could not have done this without you. Xo

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Caught In The In Between

As I’ve said so many times before, & will probably say again, pregnancy after loss/losses is one of the strangest things I’ve ever experienced.

I’m somewhere in between constantly waiting for something to go wrong & feeling like I’m living a lie in that, every day, I wonder if I’m still pregnant. Despite the symptoms, I still catch myself wondering, are things still okay today, right now? Will they be okay tomorrow, or this evening?

Since we announced, I was so nervous that people would ask me about the pregnancy, how it was going, etc. &, thankfully, they haven’t. Just a bunch of heartfelt congratulations abound. I was afraid of it because I don’t know what to say…I don’t know how others who have never stood where I am would take what I’m really feeling….what I wrote above. I feel like they either wouldn’t know what to say, would think I was bat shit crazy, or ungrateful given all we’ve been through to get here.

&, if you have been where I’ve been, you know ungrateful is the last thing that I am. But I’m not who I use to be…I envy myself before this last loss. I envy who I was then & how hopeful I was about things. I envy the excitement & all the things I had planned so early on that I knew, I knew, I’d get to…..now, I’m in this place where I’m afraid to buy anything. There are a few things I want for more announcement/update pictures at the next ultrasound &, in all honesty, part of me would like to go ahead & buy the week by week preggo updates that women do…..but the biggest part of me is just afraid to even consider doing any of that.

You know that too sweet Worth The Wait onesie we used in our big announcement? I didn’t buy it this time….I’d bought if for last time..&, by the time it arrived, we had no use for it then. It was stuffed back into our closet, along with all the IVF needles, behind clothes somewhere I’d never have to see it.

& there’s also guilt. Guilt that I should feel 100% elated to finally, finally, be pregnant after all this time, after all those awful treatments & heartache…..& I would love to feel that. I remember reading the test this summer & bursting into tears. I was ecstatic. When I saw it this time, the awful truth is I just froze…..I stood there, wide eyed in terror, & just stared. That is not the story I want to tell my child. The first would’ve been much more picturesque lol

Today, I’m 8 weeks & 3 days (wew!!!!) & I’m still so paranoid about every little thing &, at the same time, so afraid to let myself be happy again. This pregnancy seems to be going well….we had much higher numbers, my Dr. isn’t concerned with monitoring my HCG/progesterone anymore, & I still have my beloved (I am NOT being sarcastic lol) morning sickness. So, it would seem that things are fine…I’m so hoping after this next ultrasound, I’ll feel much more at ease that things are continuing to progress & everything is going to be just fine.

Please continue to pray for us, come on second trimester!!!!