1

Our Frozen Embryo & Family Growing

When I finally gave birth to Eli, I’d came to a decision on our frozen embryo…or at least I thought I had. After all the heartache & uncertainty surrounding whether we’d ever have a child of our own, & alllllll of the anxiety over my pregnancy with him, I was at a place, & still am, that I got what I prayed for & was content. If we never have another biological child, we will still be infinitely blessed. It was & has been everything I ever wanted & could have dreamed.

Now, on our frozen embryo, my feelings were initially that I never wanted to put my body through any more fertility drugs ever again. They’re a bitch & effect you fiercely. They also increase your chances of certain cancers & that, to me, as well as my husband who is in the field of cancer treatment, is scary.

At the same time, when I saw our last two embryos, one of whom is still frozen, on my Timehop yesterday from 2 years ago, I couldn’t help but feel something for them…it’s OUR baby…or could be if it survives the thaw & the stars align…nevertheless, it’s very hard to come to terms with the concept of giving away our child….or leaving them frozen forever…or, worse yet, throwing them away.

Also, oddly, someone I went to school with yesterday contacted me asking me about fertility treatment. She shared that she had went through a lot to have her first child, also had endometriosis, was struggling to get pregnant again, & was told by her OB that, while the laparoscopy helped increase pregnancy odds the first time, it did not subsequence times…which makes me a bit nervous.

Before infertility, I wanted 5 children…& then dropped to 3 lol If it weren’t for infertility now, I’d want all the babies 😀 & we do still want to adopt. Strangely, after having Elijah I want to adopt now more than ever. When I’d hold him & take care of him in the early days, I remember one time in particular I just cried when thinking of all the babies who are left to cry & not cared for in this world. That to me is heartbreaking. I am so glad he will always know love & never have to wonder if his parents will follow through for him. I want to give that to another child who may never know that same fierce love.

For the moment, like I wrote about earlier, we have decided to actively TTC again as my OB recommended. I’ve already bought an ovulation kit & plan on using two STORK OTCs again this cycle. We’ll see where it takes us.

Again, sorry the blog is a bit slower nowadays & a heartfelt thank you, to all of those who continue following along on this crazy ride with us. We love & appreciate each of you! ❤

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6

“When Are You Going To Have Another One?”

It’s a question we got, almost immediately to my surprise, after Elijah was born.

“Well, when are you going to have another one??”

It shocked me for a few reasons, the biggest being our infertility has never been any secret to the public eye. I shared our struggles from the beginning of infertility treatments to the very end. So, being that everyone knew just how much of a miracle Eli was, I never expected to be questioned about the possibility of a second child. Especially IMMEDIATELY following his birth.

I am still reeling in the magnitude of the blessing God has given us & in awe of him every single day. I’ve said it before & will say again that, if we are blessed with another baby somewhere down the line, then GREAT! If not, it is still great. Because God has been more  than great to us in giving us what we never dreamed we’d have.

Going back to the question, it is still, nonetheless, a question that still haunts me a bit. Scott & I have talked more about other children lately. I think this has been sparked in part by his upcoming Birthday, calling attention to the fact that he is getting older. A unique element for our specific infertility feat is that he is quite a bit older than I am. One thing that means is, as he’s shared with me recently, is that he doesn’t want to be fifty years old & still growing our family. If possible, he’d like to be done, meaning he’d like to have another sooner rather than later.

For me, with my endometriosis & my own fertility issues, I also worry the longer we wait the harder it may be for me to get pregnant again. My eggs were not the best when we did our IVFs, which may have been because of the endometriosis our fertility Dr failed to ever test & diagnose (that’s another story/rant), we aren’t sure.

He’s ready to try to have another now but I guess I’m the one that’s conflicted. While I do acknowledge I have my own fertility issues & my endo is likely still clear since I had the laparoscopy, followed by two pregnancies, I also want to be able to be completely present in enjoying the miracle we have. I think my biggest worry is, again, pregnancy loss. I was sooo stressed my entire pregnancy that something was going to go wrong & I don’t want to be in a constant state of anxiety when I can enjoy my rainbow now. On another hand, I’m getting older too & nearing 30. The fact that, as women get older specifically, certain abnormalities become more common as well is something that has also been on my mind lately.

Basically, we are conflicted on the decision currently. There are a lot of factors at play & infertility is a tough beast, even if you’ve slayed it once before.

P.S. Maybe you shouldn’t ask someone when they’re going to have another baby-esp if it was hella hard to have the first. Just a thought 😛

 

11

Elijah’s Birth Story

A little over a week ago today, our sweet rainbow baby was born at 11:43 am, weighing in at 7 pounds, 5 ounces, & all of 19 inches long.

With his due date being a week away, we hadn’t quite expected him yet. The day before, I’d gotten up to brush my teeth when I felt these two trickling streams run down both my legs all the way down to my knees. Wondering if my water broke, I called my OB who asked if I was having contractions & whether or not the dripping was continuous. She instructed me to walk up & down the stairs for 30 minutes to see if the water continued/there were any changes. I did & called her back with nothing. Since it hadn’t persisted, she said I could go on about my day as usual & to call if anything changed.

Scott & I decided to do as she said & continued with our plans of taking a walk at the Arboretum. Other than my bump dropping considerably the day before (Friday), there were no signs labor was imminent at that point. Things changed at 2:30am the following morning, however, when I got up to pee for the first time that night. I stood up & had this weird feeling that I can’t explain wash all over me. It wasn’t pain, it was just an off feeling. I walked into the bathroom to discover I was spotting a decent amount of red blood, so naturally given our history, I panicked & woke up Scott to tell him we had to go to the hospital STAT. We weren’t sure whether, or not they’d be keeping us that night but we wanted to make sure Piglet was okay nonetheless.

Scott: I’ll admit, at this point, I’m thinking, “It’s probably normal… they said some small spotting was normal…we’ll go and be back before daylight.” Little did I know, what really lied ahead.

When we arrived, they set us up in a room to hook up some monitors on my belly & check for dilation. Initially, I was only 2-3 cm dilated so I thought for sure we’d be sent home. Instead, the nurse called my OB & she wanted us to walk the halls for an hour to see if there was any progression on dilation. As we rounded one of the corners, I felt my first contraction. It started in my back & wrapped around to the front of the bump. I’d stopped at that point to grab a rail & breathe. We both looked at each other in disbelief that it looked like things were finally happening. Even still, I think we both doubted this would be it & thought we’d still end up being sent home.

Scott: The nurse was kind but you definitely got the impression she was thinking this was most likely a false alarm at first. As a result, I was thinking the same. But when that first contraction hit, I started to think it was going to be a long night. lol

The second time I was checked, I was dilated 3-4. This was the point the contractions were definitely getting stronger & the nausea & vomiting set in (sorry but hey, it’s a birth story-it’s gonna get a lot more gory from here on out, right?). At this point, I still don’t think we got a full on yes to you are staying. I believe the nurse said that we’d continue to see how I progressed in another hour (some details are really fuzzy).  I decided to get some Zofran so I’d feel like getting up & moving through the contractions as long as possible. The nurse fed me some ice chips & also asked if I wanted to use the shower-which ended up being a great idea.

We decided to go ahead on texting our doulas & birth photographer (who happens to be one of the best friends I’ve ever had) to let them know what was going on. They both responded-Vicky, my friend, immediately, since she’d set my text tone to an alarm sound, lol. She responded saying she’d get to the hospital around 6 am. The doula that would attend the birth replied saying she was the one on call (we had two & knew it’d be one or the other). I stayed in the shower for a good while, as the heat really seemed to help with the pain that was steadily increasing. When I got out, I got sick a few more times & our doula text to see if she needed to come yet. I said yes & decided to use the birth ball to try to cope with the contractions since I didn’t want to venture too far from the room at that point. Our doula text me to ask if we needed her at that point & I had Scott reply with a yes as I swayed back & forth.

Scott: It was here I was starting feeling like this might actually be happening. The contractions were coming closer and closer together (from 10mins, to 7mins, to 5mins and some even closer). Looking back, had we been in Eastern Kentucky and waited from 5min apart contractions, we may have ended up with a news crew on the Mountain Parkway. LOL

The next time the nurse came to check me I was at a 7.5 & we decided to start calling our family to let them know it was officially baby time. Vicky arrived as Scott was starting to make calls & was a big help in letting him know while he was on the phone, I was having contractions.

Before the nurse stepped back out, she’d asked if I wanted any other medicine besides Zofran & I opted to get Stadol to numb the pain. Since you aren’t able to have any passed 8 cms, I got one dose just before the cut off point & I’m immensely thankful I did because, right before she checked me that time I’d said a prayer I could make it through the rest of the labor/birth without an Epidural. For me, the Stadol made me feel a little drunk but helped tremendously in getting through the contractions of active labor.

By the time it was time to push, I feel like it’d worn off but it did help me make it to that point.

Scott: This is when it started to get real. You know that moment in a car accident when time slows down and you haven’t crashed yet but you know it’s happening and there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop it? That’s the inevitable feeling that came over me. In that moment I knew this was it. We were started down the final moments of this amazing odyssey of pregnancy. There were no more doubts as to when it would happen, when should we go to the hospital, will he be born at 38 weeks or 40. It was decided, we were at the hospital, and it would be 39 weeks!

Our doula arrived soon after this & started helping Scott by showing him how to help me more. AD7A9852

He said he watched the way she talked to me & noted the things she said then tried to do those along side her. I remember her massaging some of my pressure points & putting a cool cloth on me, both of which really helped distract me from some big contractions.

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Scott: I have to thank Shilah again for her help here. I wanted to be there as much as I could for Ces and by observing and working together with Shilah, I feel we were able to better do that.

Since I’d said I wanted to use the birth pool earlier (for labor), the nurse came back to let us know it was no longer occupied & I could do that now. I was wheeled down to the pool room on a bed & waited for it to fill up. Ironically, when my Dr was trying to check the water, she actually pulled up the drain instead & let a bit out. Had I noticed it at the time, it may have served as a bit of comedic relief for me but I was pretty out of it. When in, Scott & our doula Shilah poured hot water down my back & continued with the pressure points. AD7A9952

I heard someone say if you feel like you have to push it’s time to get out & I answered back with I feel like I have to push now.

Scott: She wasn’t in more than 10mins before she all of a sudden said, “I feel like I need to push!”

Here’s where it gets fun again. Vicky later told me there was no medical staff in the room at that point, just her, the doula, & Scott. So she jumped into action & threw a bunch of towels on the floor & said, “I was going to get you to that bed safely” Lol. Someone went to let the nurses & my OB know it was go time while Scott ran to the bathroom while he could before pushing was underway. My sister & mom had just gotten to the room during this from a 2 & ½ hour drive that was probably much shorter since they drove 90 mphs….like we instructed them NOT to. Lol

Scott: I’d been needing to pee for about 6 hour, but I hadn’t wanted to leave her side.   Once she was back on the bed and preparing to push, I realized it was now or never so I announced my intentions to the room and rushed off into the bathroom to relieve myself before the fireworks began. While I’m in there I heard the voices of her mom and sister outside the door and thought to myself, ‘they’re here already?’

During all of this I was moaning what seemed like really loud to me but everyone around me kept telling me how shocked they were at how calm I was being. The nurse even noted, “She’s the calmest one I’ve ever seen.” My doula later said I was the picture of calm & strength…which seems odd to me because I do NOT remember feeling calm. Lol

Scott: She was the picture of calm & strength. Everyone in the room thought the same thing.

My OB returned quickly, followed by a line of people. We’re talking a lot of people. Scott said there were easily at least 10 people in the room. Once my OB was suited up in a green cover up, she told me to hold my breath & push with the contractions. The first 2-3 times I tried to do this she said, “You’re holding back, you’ve gotta do better than that. That pressure isn’t going to go away until you do.” That was all I needed to hear in the moment & I started putting more force behind what I was doing. A nurse had to remind me to put my chin to my chest a few times & she, alongside my OB, also reminded me to hold my breath on several pushes. AD7A0060

I didn’t realize it was happening but, also during this, apparently my eyes were rolling back in my head with contractions. My friend later noted, “It was like the exorcist.” Lol

Scott: Cesilee was amazing! She was the model of focus and determination. The way she would breath, hold, push, collect herself (eyes in the back of her head), and then repeat, you would think this was her forth or fifth birth and not her first! All without a birthing class!

Eventually, my Dr. told us, “your baby has hair!” &, after what seemed like several more pushes, said, “Okay, don’t push.” & then it felt like he slid out all at once. She put him right on my belly like I’d wanted for kangaroo care all covered in that chunky vernix with his eyes wide open. They had to bother him for a bit to cry, he was a calm little guy, but he did with not much effort soon after. Seeing him for the first time is something I can’t quite describe because it’s still such a surreal moment. After all of the pain & heartache we had to go through, all the uncertainty of ever knowing if we’d ever make it to this point, all of it, was made worth it in that moment. I just kept looking at him in both disbelief and a huge wash of relief that everything was finally over. During this time, Elijah managed to somehow put his hand on my face & melt my heart a little more. Soon after that, they took him over to weigh/measure/& let other people hold him really quick before handing him back to me.

Scott: As his head came out, I involuntarily started screaming, “Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god!!!” (There is video evidence of this thanks to Cesilee’s mom lol). I was just amazed to my core seeing our little boy’s face for the first time. As the Dr. turned him I could see his eyes open. His eyes were open and looking around and he was only halfway into this new world!

While I was holding him & being stitched up, the med. staff kept pushing on my stomach to see how much blood was still coming out since, during delivery, I was asked if I was okay with having a blood transfusion, but I’m guessing, once it tapered off, it was decided I didn’t need one & I was just given an iron pill on the postpartum unit. Later, Vicky, being a birth photographer, said my delivery was the most bloody she’d ever seen during a birth. Scott also later said it was way more blood than he’d seen in any birth videos he’d ever seen. We aren’t sure why since I’d stopped the Lovenox at 36 weeks & he was born at exactly 39 weeks. I was still on Aspirin at the time but, regardless, everything turned out fine.

Before my OB headed out, she came up to us & congratulated us again, saying she knew how long it’d taken us to get to this point.

I cannot put into words just how overjoyed we are that he is here. It’s hard to believe all of this happened & that he is really ours. It’s a funny in a way because, on one hand, it feels like he’s always been a part of our lives &, on the other, we are incredibly humbled by how much of a miracle it really is that God decided to bless us with him. One thing is for sure, I know he was always suppose to be mine & we couldn’t possibly love him any more than we already do-even if we tried. I would do every single painstaking thing we went through again, ten times over, to have him without hesitation.

Scott: I feel I can speak for us both when I say we were very grateful for our Doula Shilah’s coaching through the birth. It was a tremendous help. And of course my complete admiration goes to my wife. She never wavered. I am so humbled by her courage and strength.

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Elijah Cole Born on 5/28/17, at 11:43am, 7 pounds, 5 ounces, & 19 inches long!

“I have died every day waiting for you

Darling, don’t be afraid, I have loved you for a thousand years

I’ll love you for a thousand more

& all along I believed I would find you

time has brought your heart to me

I have loved you for a thousand years

I’ll love you for a thousand more.”

0

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.

 

8

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 ❤

7

Cat’s Out Of The Bag!

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Since Scott couldn’t restrain from shouting it to the rooftops any longer………you were worth the wait. ❤

We had our ultrasound yesterday & everything looked great!!!!! &…..we even heard the heartbeat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We got a little scared at first because we saw her looking for it & didn’t hear anything until she moved a little more & there it was. Best sound I’ve ever heard. We were elated. The heart rate was 132 BPM & the tech said that was about average. Scan was also right in line with my LMP at 7 weeks & 2 days.

When we got back to the room & were waiting for the Dr. to come in after the nurse asked us 10000 questions, I looked over at Scott & said do you think we should wait? He knew what I was talking about. His face immediately looked like a kid in a lunchroom line who learned there were no more deserts.

The appt. went well & my Dr. is happy with my levels & the scan. Because of my history, she wants me to come back in for another ultrasound & appt in 3 weeks just to be safe, which I don’t mind at all. She also said I could probably be taken off the Progesterone at this point because my level is so good BUT, again, just to be safe, she’s leaving me on it until we enter the second trimester. Sine my HCG level was so good last Thursday she thought there was no need to repeat it at this point.

Before I left, they took what felt like 10 swabs (it was probably only 5 if we’re bing honest lol) from my vajayjay, felt my cervix, & did a TON of blood work that almost made me pass out….but I got my favorite fro yo after so all was well 😛

Symptoms:

-Morning sickness. I was probably the happiest person alive for this to happen. I sent my sister a text with those celebration emojis and her response was, “what is wrong with you?” lol It started on Monday & has lasted through the week so far. My OB gave me some vitamins that are suppose to help with it so maybe I can convince myself to take them in a few days. In truth, I love my morning sickness because I feel like it’s my body saying, “Hey, things are still alright!” Also, I found an article saying that you’re less likely to miscarry if you experience morning sickness sooooo…..I’m hanging on to that!

-Fatigue. I’m still a lazy Mazy.

Next appt: November 7th

As always, thank you so much to everyone who has supported us through this journey & continued to pray for us along the way!!!! We appreciate you more than you know!!!!!! Please keep up the prayers that this pregnancy keeps going well!!!!!

Also, thank you to all who follow along on the blog & did NOT spill the beans before we did….I didn’t wanna cut anybody ;P

 

10

The Evils Of Progesterone

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She ain’t kidding, y’all!

I’ve been on it for 5 days now &, yesterday, I started feeling the effects…right on time for our embryologist to give me the final update on our remaining embryos.

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I would correct myself here & say *were going to be Frozen…but I’m afraid to. lol

The crazy has flowed right into today as my husband & I were lazing around on this snowy afternoon….

Me: “If I’m not pregnant next Friday I’m getting a cat! A big fat a%# maine coon cat! Don’t even argue, I have been through too much!!! (*almost in tears) I’ve had 3 IUI’s, 2 egg retrievals, 2 transfers from hell, who knows how many shots by now, & now-NOW-I get to take 600 mg of Progesterone suppositories three times a day. If I’m not getting a baby, I’m getting a mother f*&^%$! cat!!”

If you’re curious, he did not argue about the cat. lol Backstory: I love cats & once had a hefty maine coon. My husband, in his previous life, ended up with many cats…& now hates them…well, he says he doesn’t hate them, he just doesn’t want one…..hormonal me apparently is taking this opportunity to get some type of baby come next Friday.

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Also, if the Progesterone could stop giving me these light twinges of pain in my ovaries, that’d be great…unless of, course it’s from implantation

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because THAT is more than welcome.

In other news, we’re both very disappointed that none of our 3 remaining embryos made it to be frozen….not only does it lessen the likelihood a future FET would have a positive outcome, it also makes the future for our present embryos look more bleak. We’re still trying to stay positive, at least a little, & remember it’s not over till it’s over. I keep reminding myself that God has the power to do anything & that others have successful outcomes with this stage of embryo. Hopefully, we will as well…..all extra prayers are much appreciated & so needed.

Hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend &, if it’s snowing where you are, I hope you got your milk & break before snowmegeddon hit ;P

 

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