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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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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!