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You Know You’ve Been Infertile When…..

You Know You’ve Been Infertile When…..

-When at your 6 week check up, you keep wanting to refer to the UTI’s you’ve had as IUIs.

-When opening up the discussion of birth control, your OB says, “I’m sure you don’t think you need it since it took you so long to get here.”

As I’m sure some of you are thinking, even if you’ve struggled with infertility before, it doesn’t mean you won’t miraculously get pregnant again. We know, she knows. After that opening statement she also added, “Even if you did get pregnant, I’m sure you wouldn’t mind,”

& it’s true. After all of the heartache & struggle we’ve had to get to this place, we wouldn’t mind at all. Ideally, that wouldn’t be RIGHT away.

SO-my options for birth control right now are limited as it is, as we’re still breastfeeding. I have a choice of the depo shot (which I would never do because I’ve read & heard horrible things) & a low dose birth control pill. Right away, I declined those as I already knew I didn’t want any prevention in the form of medications.

After being on some sort of hormonal medications for the past four years, I don’t want anything else to do with that sort of thing right now. I’m sick & tired of medications that come with side effects. Even before we began our infertility journey & long before I met my husband, birth control pills always made me sick to be honest. I always had bouts of nausea with them. Also, as mundane as this may sound to those who don’t understand, I’m just really tired of having my life revolve around having to remember taking a medication. Eli is 6 & a half weeks old as of today & I am JUST NOW not going into a panic wondering if I’ve forgotten to do an injection (that I haven’t done since 36 weeks pregnant), or take my Aspirin. Just now.

Since I don’t want anything to do with medications right now, our game plan is to use condoms & spermicide for at least 6 months. After that, if we were to get pregnant on our own, then great. If not, that’s okay too. Before infertility, I always thought I wanted at least three kids. In the trenches of it, I always said that, if I could have at least one child, I’d be happy & I am. I know, coming from a 1-2% chance of ever having biological children, we are PHENOMENALLY BLESSED to have Elijah. So blessed! If we go the rest of our lives never having another biological child, we’ll still be happy.

Regardless of whether or not we are able to have more biological children, we’d like to adopt at least one child a few years down the road. I’ve always wanted to adopt &, after going through the fostering classes, both of our eyes were even more opened to the great need for foster & adoptive parents. Likewise, I think there’s also a need for strictly adoptive parents through other avenues (other than through the state).

It’s definitely been a rocky road with lots of twists & turns to get to where we are. We aren’t sure whether or not we’ve left infertility behind as far as battling it again but we do now what are plans are as far as family building goes….what we don’t know is what God’s plans are. & He has some pretty big plans so I guess all we can do is sit back, wait, & see. No matter, we are happy with whatever that is.

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Evolving Fears Of Pregnancy After Loss

Early on, I thought if we could just make it to the second trimester, my fears surrounding pregnancy after loss would disappear. Unfortunately, I quickly learned that was not the case when I kept experiencing random bouts of spotting that sent me into my OB’s office in a panic each time.

Once that died down, I thought, surely, now I can relax & trust that all is well. I will be 32 weeks this Sunday &, sadly, I can tel you this still isn’t the case for me. My fears with P.A.L. haven’t gone away, they’ve only evolved.

Early on, there was, naturally, the fear that this pregnancy would, like the others, end in miscarriage. Into the second trimester, I worried about the spotting I kept having, the infections, & the possibility of preterm labor. Now, nearing the end of the third trimester, I keep finding myself worrying about labor & delivery.

Will we go to the hospital when we should? Too early, too late? Will he come out okay, breathing/screaming/blood covered & all? Or will something go wrong?

As much as I try not to let my mind wonder to all the possible things that could potentially go wrong, I can’t help but repeatedly keep finding myself there.

Which brings me to wonder, does the fear that is so associated with P.A.L. ever fully go away? & what does that look like?

Coming upon the close of this pregnancy, I have came to the conclusion that perhaps it doesn’t. It can only be dealt with.

For me, that means coping by making lists & getting as prepared as possible (over prepared more than likely).

I have a list of things that still need to be done before he arrives. A list of things we need to get ready in our home, not including the nursery, & a list of things we still need to buy for baby. I also have a handy dandy hospital bag list ready to be marked off-which will, more than likely, happen this weekend. Along with anything else I can busy myself with in the meantime.

Have you experienced the evolving fears of pregnancy after loss?? How did you cope??? 

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A Late Update

My apologies for updating everyone a bit late! I had planned to right after our appointment but we didn’t find out the results until late that evening & I was on the road.

Our ultrasound was at 10 yesterday at the hospital, which totally helped with the whole anxiety element. Scott met me there. Surprisingly, I even had to wear one of those fun/itchy hospital bands for it that he later cut off with his pocket knife.

When we were called back, the tech asked why I was getting the ultrasound so I filled her in & also told her what the Dr. had told me in regards to what they were looking for. She nodded & then informed me I’d be having two ultrasounds done, an abdominal one & also a transvaginal to check the cervical length. First I’ve heard of this, I thought. Even more fun.

Baby had, we think, just woken up when she started because his heartbeat was 132 (it’s usually a lot higher) & he wasn’t moving around quite as much as he normally does…this soon changed when he realized what was happening & she struggled getting him to hold still. Kid hates ultrasounds…& dopplers, apparently. Always moves away! She even called him rotten. She took a bunch of measurements & pointed out a few things to us in regards to where certain body systems were. We also got to hear how much he currently weighs for the first time, which was exciting. One pound & 10 ounces as of yesterday, I believe. He measured a week ahead on height, which isn’t surprising given my husband & father in law’s stature.

Then came time for the fun part, another round with the dildo cam! Which, just let me say, is even more fun when you have a bigger baby floating around inside you. We were not amused. While she was moving it around she told me she needed to check my cervix so she’d have to push on my abdomen & it would probably be uncomfortable. Yep, no questions asked about the uncomfortable. She did this twice, then it was over.

We were on our way to the OB’s office….where we’d wait, & wait, & wait.

Apparently, thanks to some idiotic new system the company has as a whole, my Dr. couldn’t get the results of the ultrasound to interpret. We waited an hour & 30 minutes &, at that point, the Dr. came in to apologize that they still couldn’t access the ultrasounds. We were told we’d get a call when they did on those.

She  explained again what they were looking for on the ultrasounds & said she could do another exam since we were there. At that point, we both felt like, since we were there anyway, we may as well in case anything else came up. She noted my discharge still looked better & then checked my cervix again (ouch) to make sure it was still closed. She said that it was still thick & closed.

And then we waited…….until 4 that evening for ultrasound results. Finally, the nurse called me & said that the cervical length was 4 & that was good. Cervix also appeared competent & the placenta was no where near the cervix, just like they were hoping for.

So all is, thankfully, good. We are guessing the brown spotting I had this week was just old blood from my cervix being irritated from the meds I’d just finished.

THANK YOU, TO EVERYONE WHO SAID PRAYERS FOR US, SENT GOOD THOUGHTS, & ASKED ABOUT US!!!!!! I am so sorry it took me so long to update. I was driving when I got the call & then my friend took me out for my Birthday a day early so I didn’t get home till late & then was exhausted by the time I did.

We appreciate you all more than you will ever know. ❤

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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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The Scare, Take Two & A Half

Yesterday, I had my biggest scare since around 5 weeks. I noticed some bloody spotting so I panicked & went into the OB for the second time this week.

When I got there, they had me leave a urine sample again & then wait in a room to be checked out. When the Dr. got in, she did an exam & said that my cervix was bleeding easily (my heart stopped) BUT that this was probably due to irritation from one of the medicines I was on. She also did another fun cervix check (these are NOT fun!) & noted that mine was still thick & closed and she wasn’t able to stick a finger in it. Thankfully, she also said that my discharge looked better than it had so the infection looked as if it was clearing up.

Before she started the exam, I showed her a picture of the red spotting & plainly stated, “Look, I’ve had two miscarriages & I’m crazy.” She laughed.

After checking me, she told me that, any time there’s a concern, they’d much rather you come in than not so I didn’t feel as stupid as I thought I would in light of a potential false alarm. This was especially good to hear at my second appointment of the week.

I can’t say enough about the paranoia & fear that comes with pregnancy after loss. It’s truly terrifying. You’re caught in this place of wanting to be elated but, at the same time, constantly guarding yourself & preparing for the worst. Before this week, a lot of that had started to die down for me & I was feeling better…then this week happened.

Regardless, I am beyond thankful that everything is fine, especially after being in a place of being terrified that things were not fine 24 hours ago.

I’m trying to take it easy for the rest of the week & finish the two antibiotics I’m on.

Going forward, something I do plan on continuing to do is being my own advocate. A therapist once talked to me about the, “gifts,” certain experiences gave you. While I thought she was bat shit crazy at the time, infertility has actually given me a few things, the ability & confidence to be my own advocate being one of them.

When I initially called yesterday, the receptionist sent me to the triage line after being told I was experiencing bleeding. Of, course no one answered so, instead of leaving a message & waiting several hours to get a response, I called back. When she asked if I’d left a message, I told her no and that, “I feel like this is an emergency & I don’t have time to wait around for an answer. I need to someone, can you fit me in with someone in the office?” She then transferred me to a nurse who actually happened to answer her phone. I filled her in on what was happening & she’d said she’d get in touch with my Dr. to see what she wanted me to do. Low & behold-not an hour later-she called back saying my Dr. wanted me to come in (duh). I say duh given my history & my being told to immediately let someone know if I had any bleeding just 3 days before this happened. I knew I needed to come in & there was absolutely no need to twiddle my thumbs waiting for the receptionist to figure that out when, meanwhile, something may very well have been wrong.

Whether you are battling infertility, taking control of your own pregnancy, etc, know that it is absolutely okay to be your own advocate. I wish I would have much sooner. It may have saved me a lot of time, money, & heartache.

 

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The Scare: Take Two

Early on, we had a scare when I had some spotting around the fifth week of pregnancy. Thankfully, things ended up being just fine (despite my meltdown & being sure we were headed for another miscarriage).

Sunday, I noticed some odd discharge when getting up that morning. It happened again soon after, only that time showing up as a very light brown color. If you’ve ever had experienced pregnancy loss, you know that any kind of colored discharge is likely to trip you out. So, naturally, like any sane person (jk) I text pictures of said terrifying discharge to my friend who happens to be a nurse practitioner. Her response started with, “don’t panic,” &, of course, I panicked as I continued reading. She said she was going to send it to her OB friend to see what her thoughts were. Commence BIGGER freakout.

After some deliberation with my husband, who love his heart was trying to calm me down, I called my OB’s after hours line to ask the on call person about it. After I filled her in, she said that it shouldn’t be colored like that & I needed to come in the next morning. Also, if any bleeding happened, I needed to call her back ASAP.

Fast forward to the Dr’s office today: I saw the lady I’d talked to on the phone over the weekend. She did an exam & tested for several things, since I’d been having recurring issues with yeast, UTI’s. Turns out, I have another yeast infection, which is less of a big deal, & BV, kind of a big deal.

BV can increase the chance of premature labor. Reignite panic mode. I have antibiotics for both infections & am hoping they resolve without any complications to the pregnancy at this point. Still, it’s a very scary situation for someone who has already experienced losses before.

I have antibiotics for both the BV & yeast. The game plan is to take those, call if things worsen this week, wait for the results of the other things she swabbed for (one was group b strep, can’t remember the rest), & be re-checked at my next regular OB appointment on the 2nd.

Please send up some prayers for us & that our little guy. I need an uneventful pregnancy from here on out…a lot less stress in tow!

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Impromptu Pregnancy Update

We have declared this week the week of sickness at our house. Last Saturday, Scott was diagnosed with the flu. Commence panic for paranoid preggo afraid of any & all complications lol Despite the quarantine (him sleeping in another room the rest of the weekend) I was sure I was also coming down with it also Sunday night. Thankfully, the feeling passed & I’m guessing, luckily, it was just sinuses. Despite that, I was still feeling pretty  lethargic & didn’t know why until I went to the Dr. today. Before this happened, even our fur baby Sophie came down with stomach woes (I.E. had explosive diarrhea for two days) & ended up having to go in for IV fluids. 😦

Anyway, on what lead to the impromptu trip to my OB’s office, yesterday I was fairly certain I either had a yeast infection or a UTI. I got in to see my Dr’s nurse practitioner this morning & guess what? I have BOTH. The week of sickness continues lol She said it was a good thing I’d came in because UTI’s in pregnancy can lead to premature birth (which I’d read because I’m crazy & read everything that could go wrong lol). Semi less dramatically, I was also informed, if it spread to the bladder, pregnant women had to be hospitalized & receive IV antibiotics. For the infections, I’m currently on 4 days worth of antibiotics for the UTI until they get the additional culture back on Monday to see where we need to go from there. I also have a 7 day supply of a yeast infection med.

Before any of these glorious infections were discovered, she measured my fundal height & listened to baby’s heartbeat with a tiny handheld machine. The measurement was right at 20 weeks & the heartbeat (156 I believe) was good & loud (yay!). She even added his growth & heart rate were, “perfect.” 🙂

& now, since I’m writing this, on to a pregnancy update I didn’t expect for another two weeks!

How far along? 20 weeks 4 days

Gender: Boy

Weight Gain? 7 pounds

Maternity Clothes? YES! They’re basically all I wear pant wise (& have been for the past month I’d say) & the shirts are super comfortable as well. My favorite bands are Motherhood Maternity & Pink Blush Maternity. If I had to pick a favorite item I’d go with my maternity leggings. I’ve also preggo leveled up & now need maternity underwear, as well as bras that I need to venture out for soon.

Stretch Marks? I’m not sure if they were already there? lol but I’ve noticed some on the sides of my hips

Belly button in or out? In

Sleep: For the most part, this is still okay. I have had some random bouts of pregnancy insomnia. My nightly peeing had slowed down in the second trimester but has went insane this week…& now we know why. I’ve also decided I need to invest in a pregnancy wedge like yesterday because it is hard for me to get comfortable sometimes (I was a belly & back sleeper).

Best moment this week: Unexpectedly hearing little man’s heartbeat today!!!!! It was especially reassuring given the infections scare. Also, his placenta is anterior which makes it harder for me to feel him move. I’ve thought I’ve felt movement a few times but can’t be sure that’s what it is most of the time. She said that, eventually, he’ll outgrow the placenta & feeling movement wouldn’t be a problem. Her estimate on feeling movement in this situation was 21 to 22 weeks.

Symptoms: I’ve lived in the bathroom & been fatigued lately but, again, I think that’s more from the infections than anything pregnancy related. Aside from that, I’ve had back pain but that’s about it I think

Miss Anything? Sushi & wine. But I’d happily give that up for life if it meant I got to have this.

Cravings? Again…SUSHI!!!! &, oddly, rum…this baby is a pirate! 😛 I’ve actually craved sushi so badly I’ve informed Scott, immediately after I give birth, he is to go to a sushi place & bring back 3 rolls just for me…it’s getting intense over here! Cravings as far as things I can have: sweets!!!!!

Food aversions? In the first trimester, any & all forms of coffee! I couldn’t go in or walk past a Starbucks (yes, me). Any kind of seafood restaurant had the same reaction. Oddly, I also couldn’t eat red pastas, which for me, is unheard of because I can woof down a plate of pasta any day of the week. At this point, both have passed now.

Queasy or sick? Not anymore

Looking forward to? My next Dr’s appointment on the 2nd & our 4D ultrasound on Valentine’s Day! ❤ Oh, & our doula meeting next Tuesday!

Activity: Before the week of sickness struck, Scott & I had gotten memberships to a local gym & went twice a week. He lifts weights & I walk the track….where I get lapped by the elderly. LOL I had also ridden the stationary bikes there but, when we attended our info session at Babymoon, the instructor (owner/doula) recommended we steer away from that as that tightens the pelvic floor. She also didn’t recommend the elliptical for a reason I can’t remember. So I guess I’m left with walking, squats, & wall pushups for now.

Complications / Medications? Still taking Lovenox injections, baby Aspirin, & Methylfolate daily. Complications: none other than currently have both a yeast infection & UTI.

Nursery Update: We’ve picked out our theme & purchased a few things for it. I’m not sure how much or when we’ll post pictures of this since, in less than a week of announcing his name, two people conveniently decided to name their child Elijah….or something entirely too similar. So….that may be under wraps for a while! But we’re on it! Actually, we had a bit of a mishap on that this week. I’d ordered a SPECIFIC color rocking chair for that room & excitedly had it delivered a week early…to discover it was the wrong color. Still waiting to see if the seller is going to work with us on that, or if they want to see my wrath on Amazon…to be continued.