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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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A Sobering Timehop

A year ago today, after 3 failed IUIs, 2 failed IVFs, & a laparoscopy, I had a status update saying something to the effect of we believed, by the next year, we would become parents one way or another. It was a very sobering read as we took our hospital tour today. It’s still so mind-blowing to both of us that we are here &, again, reminds us of how much we have to be thankful for.

It also served as a reminder to me to do a pregnancy update since I haven’t done one in over a month 😛

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How far along? 32 weeks, today exactly

Weight Gain? Around 17 pounds

Maternity Clothes? All of them! My absolute favorite brand is, hands down, Jessica Simpson!

Stretch Marks? On my sides & my girls

Belly button in or out? Still in…miraculously enough 😀

Sleep: Getting more difficult.

Best moment this week: Our hospital tour today

Symptoms: Heartburn, back & hip pain

Miss Anything? Again, I still miss sushi & wine. But, again, I’d happily give that & anything else up for life if it meant I got to have this.

Movement: Reduced a little, which is normal at this stage as baby is running out of room

Cravings? Remains the same as far as sushi, rum, & sweets go but, recently, hot dogs also got added to the mix

Food aversions? Still chicken!!

Queasy or sick? Sometimes

Looking forward to? Finishing up the nursery & breastfeeding class this week

Anything new? Breastfeeding class this week & we recently (last week) met with our doulas to discuss our birth plan-which I also need to blog about (oops).

Complications / Medications? Still taking Lovenox injections, baby Aspirin, & Methylfolate daily. Complications: None

Nursery Update: After FINALLY choosing bedding/curtains (I ended up designing my own on Carousel Designs), we have decor ready to go. We’re hoping to hang the curtains & put the final touches on everything this week!

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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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2016

If I could describe it one sentence, I’d borrow a line from Dickens & say, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”


It is the year I lost my best friend in the entire world & everything feels so empty.
It is the year when, after a hellacious battle with infertility & losses, a healthy pregnancy came around & everything feels so full. 
It is a year filled with so much heartache that it is easy to overlook the good.
It was the year our dreams were dashed in the failure of IVF 2 & we were told that our chances of ever having children were slim to none but it was also the year we traveled to a city I’d never been to & knocked a few things off my Bucket List. New York, you are forever my favorite.
It was the year I unexpectedly had to say goodbye to my best friend & biggest supporter, my sweet mamaw. But it was also the year I managed to graduate with my MSW & go on to get my CSW. I know how proud she was of me for that. 
It was the year we thought we were finally done with infertility when we shockingly got a positive pregnancy test THE DAY we were going to see a new RE…only to miscarry a week later. But it was also the year that we, shortly after, got pregnant again with our rainbow baby that is growing away now. 
If anything, this year has taught me that, when things are really bad, it is so easy to overlook the good. 

& maybe, just maybe, things really do come to us when we need them the most. “Miracles happen…in God’s time.”