23 weeks (2 days)

How Far Along: 23 weeks 2 days

How Big is Baby: According to babycenter.com, Keytar is now the size of a large mango – more than 11 inches and weighs just over a pound.

Gender: Not finding out

Baby’s Milestones This Week: Keytar’s sense of movement is now well developed which is exciting since I danced all night long at the Spafford show on Saturday night AND I will be dancing my butt off tonight at the Let it Grow show. Keytar seemed to enjoy the dancing and music last weekend, sleeping while I danced and kicking away between sets. His/her blood vessels in his/her lungs are developing to prepare for breathing, and the sounds that his/her increasingly keen ears pick up are preparing him/her for entry into the outside world. Loud noises that become familiar now — such as our dogs barking or the roar of the vacuum cleaner — probably won’t faze Keytar when he/she hears them outside the womb.

Total Weight Gain: I hit 140 lbs this week! Pretty crazy for someone who used to get excited about hitting the 110 mark! I started this pregnancy at 126 after months of Lupron packin’ on the weight. So, total weight gain so far = 14 lbs.

Who We’ve Told About the Pregnancy: We finally sent out a few individualized text messages with the paw announcement of the dogs’ paws and the baby booties. David, Katie, Micah, Sari, Danny, Michelle, Adam, Juliana, Ross, Rory, Lauren, Kevin, and Kate now all know. Oh, and I finally told Daniel too. A former co-teacher friend of mine posted to my wall on facebook, “I heard a blessed rumor. Congrats!” and everyone in the facebook world saw it! People sent me private facebook messages, commented on the post, called me, and texted me. Everyone automatically assumed I am pregnant. It felt weird for people to assume after all of these years of infertility. But, like my hubby said, we are already married, already own a home, are set in our jobs for right now, etc….. so what else could it be? I guess he’s right. It’s just still so surreal!

Maternity Clothes: Yes, almost exclusively since they are so much more comfortable! I am still getting away with regular yoga pants though, which I prefer to wear as much as possible when I’m home, lol,  and skirts are good too.

Stretch Marks: No new ones! Been slathering on the coconut oil and lotion. I’ve been pretty itchy with my desert dry and stretching skin, especially the back of my arms and my belly.

Sleep: Sleep has been pretty good this past week. I still have to switch sides throughout the night because laying on one side too long makes my hip hurt, but I fall asleep again pretty quickly. I also have to get up a few times a night to pee. I imagine all of this will only get worse.

Best Moment of the Week: 1. Dancing at the Spafford show! 2. Getting our custom handmade Calder-esque mobile in the mail and hanging it in the nursery!

Food Cravings: nothing new – still loving lemonade

Food Aversions: none at the moment! Yay!

Symptoms: baby belly, lots of movement, peeing ALL OF THE TIME!!! (I thought I had a UTI so I went to the birthing center on Wednesday but it doesn’t appear that I do. My midwife sent my urine out to be cultured, just in case, but it just seems like the baby LOVES to hang out on and kick/punch my bladder, making me feel like I have to pee all the time.)

Labor Signs: NONE and let’s keep it that way for a long time to come!!!!

Belly Button In or Out: still shallow but hasn’t popped out yet

Wedding Rings On or Off: on

Mood: I’m in a wonderful mood! I feel great and am so excited to be finished with work! Hubby’s last day was yesterday! Hello summer break and months of nesting! Yay!

Movement: yes! kicks, punches, rolls – who knows what’s going on in there sometimes!

What I’m Looking Forward To: I’m looking forward to our midwife appointment on Monday and our 24 week ultrasound on Tuesday. It should be our last ultrasound and I’m going to ask them to turn on the 3D! Also looking forward to hitting the 24 week mark = V-Day!!! (Viability day 🙂 )

What I Miss: I miss my family! I can’t wait to see them in a little less than a month! I haven’t been home to NJ in a year and a half because of all of the IVF stuff and the miscarriage. I am so excited to see everyone! (and to eat all of the NJ food!!!!)

Nesting: yes! Reorganized the living room, reorganized the kitchen, cleaned out the linen closet, been working on the nursery, and making hand-drawn onesies.

23 week bump

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White House Petition

Most states, including the state I live in, New Mexico, do not provide insurance coverage for infertility treatments. It is absurd that two people with infertility in the same country, with the same job, but in different states have different coverage. I am a teacher in NM and my cousin is a teacher in NJ. My cousin received unlimited iuis and four covered rounds of IVF, while I’ve had to pay entirely out of pocket for all of my iuis and ivfs. Please sign this petition!

20 weeks! Half-Baked!

Whoa!!! Half-way there! YES! It’s pretty unbelievable. Last night I told my husband that every morning I wake up and look to see if my baby bump is still there. It’s still so surreal, but ultrasounds always make it feel so much more real. And then there’s the movement. That helps too. Yesterday we had our 20 week ultrasound and everything looks great!!! Yay!!!! Baby Keytar wasn’t as cooperative as the tech would have liked, but she was able to get all of the measurements she needed (and with the baby standing on it’s head and being stubborn, we got to see him/her longer than if he/she was cooperative, so that was a bonus.) The only negative about Keytar being uncooperative is that taking good photos was difficult, so our profile photo is blurry. But I blame the tech, not the baby. We’ve had really great techs in the past but this one was training someone and we weren’t impressed with her at all. Anyway, the most important thing is that Keytar looks perfectly healthy with a heartbeat of 147.

How Far Along: 20 weeks! Half-way baby!

How Big is Baby: Baby Keytar measured 9 3/4 inches and weighed 11 oz. yesterday (51st percentile 🙂 )

Gender: Not finding out.

Baby’s Milestones This Week: Keytar is swallowing more this week, good practice for his/her digestive system. After he/she takes in amniotic fluid, his/her body absorbs the water in the liquid and moves the rest into his/her large bowel. In his/her bowel, a sticky by-product of his/her digestive system, called meconium, accumulates. 

Total Weight Gain: about 12 lbs.

Who We’ve Told About the Pregnancy: I think the only new people who know now are Sarah and Kenny.

Maternity Clothes: yes

Stretch Marks: no new ones. (just the same ones on my boobs)

Sleep: Sleep had been going better, but last night was a toss and turn night. Hopefully tonight will be better.

Best Moment of the Week: Seeing Keytar on the ultrasound screen for a long time yesterday! Best part was a perfect view of his/her absolutely perfectly adorable foot from below. And last night, hubby was able to feel lots of kicks and turns before bed. Oh, and of course, getting to the half-way mark! Woot! Oh, and I almost forgot… We brought cards and gifts to our RE’s office yesterday. We hadn’t been there in soooo long (10 weeks!) and everyone was soooo happy to see us and my bump. Hubby made glass pendants for our nurses and the receptionists and a glass paperweight for Dr. C. Dr. C was very busy but he came out to see us and gave us big hugs and asked us how everything was going. As soon as word got out we were there, there was a flood of activity in the waiting area. Thank god there was only one patient in the waiting area. I wore a sweater to cover my bump because I didn’t want to be the pregnant girl in the office, but everyone who worked there made such a huge deal about us. It was very sweet and everyone was very grateful for the gifts. I miss them all still, but of course I am glad we are outta there.

Food Cravings: Changes everyday – right now I like food a lot. I guess this week’s new craving is chocolate pudding. Zen organic almond milk pudding is delicious!

Food Aversions: None in particular at the moment. Yay!!!

Symptoms: movement, baby bump

Labor Signs: NO thank you!

Belly Button In or Out: shallow and STRETCHED

Wedding Rings On or Off: On

Mood: Wonderful!

Movement: Yes! A lot! I’m starting to see patterns, but overall, this baby tends to move a lot. I’m so ecstatic that hubby got to spend so much time feeling all sorts of movements and kicks last night. It was right after he read to him/her. (Hubby has been reading to Keytar before bed each night, which is adorable.)

What I’m Looking Forward To: I can not wait for the semester to end next week! And I can’t wait for the nursery to be finished being painted. Hopefully the closet shelves will be finished tomorrow.

What I Miss: Not having a double chin in my photos! Not having back pimples, although it could be worse, and I’ll take some pimples on my back over my face any day!

Nesting: working on the nursery, but been super busy with work stuff so I haven’t had much time to do anything other than work and sleep this week.

Here’s my 20 week bump. It was super windy here in NM today so my hair is kinda crazy, but it was the best we could do.

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19 weeks

Well, actually today is 19 weeks 4 days so, as usual, I am late on this post. I’m also not posting a bump photo this week since it’s getting close to 20 weeks (holy shit!!!! half-way mark?!?!?!?) at this point, so I’ll take one of those in the next few days. This week was bittersweet, since May 1st was supposed to be my due date, but I am so very grateful I have Keytar – how could I really be super upset when I have this healthy little one poking me from the inside?! Oh, and it turns out that May 1st was also my one year anniversary on this blog.

How Far Along: 19 weeks (4 days)

How Big is Baby: According to the silly websites, baby is the size of a mango or an heirloom tomato, but we know the baby was already bigger than that weeks ago. We have our ultrasound in 2 days, so we’ll find out about Keytar’s actual size then.

Gender: Not finding out

Baby’s Milestones This Week: Keytar is developing a protective coating over his/her skin, called vernix caseosa, to prevent him/her from pickling in the amniotic fluid. He/she is also working on his/her five senses. Nerve cells for his/her sense of taste, hearing, sight and smell are developing in his/her brain.

Total Weight Gain: about 10-12 lbs. since pre-pregnancy

Who We’ve Told About the Pregnancy: The only new person, since last week, we’ve told is Jessica T. Oh, and a couple musicians at work noticed the bump this week and obviously found out.

Maternity Clothes: I’m mostly wearing maternity clothes now. And thanks to my friend Jess N., she gave me some hand-me-downs last weekend and I have been living in a pair of maternity jeans the last few days. They are much more comfortable than my jeans paired with a bella band. Yesterday my hubby bought me a Yankees maternity t-shirt. This is huge, since he hates the Yankees! Now that’s love.

Stretch Marks: still the ones on my breasts, but no new ones… I hope to keep it that way!

Sleep: I started snoring last week, but added another pillow under my head to prop it up and that is helping a little. I also added another pillow behind me, so now I’m sandwiched between a pillow and my big body pillow (snoogle), which is helping with the sleep. I still wake up to turn from side-to-side often, as well as needing to pee a few times per night, but this week’s sleep seems to be better than recently.

Best Moment of the Week: Our midwife appointment was the highlight of the week. Hubby took the day off, which was nice, and our appointment went well. We heard the heartbeat, which is always the most wonderful sound. It brings tears to our eyes and makes us smile every. single. time. We took a video of it so our parents could hear the heartbeat too, since they live on the other side of the country and will probably never get the chance to be at an appointment with us. Keytar’s heartbeat – 19 weeks 6 days

And the other best moments this week have been feeling all of the movements everyday!

Food Cravings: pizza. I can’t believe I had such an aversion to pizza for soooo long and now this week I craved it. I still don’t want certain pizza, but Domino’s is hot on the list, which is so funny. I also still want lemonade, apples, and bananas every day. Oh, and Flying Star’s mac and cheese is also on the list. I just had to have that this week. And, rootbeer floats.

Food Aversions: My aversions change daily, but off the top of my head, I still want nothing to do with homemade pizza. I’m certainly not having as many food aversions as I had though! Thankful for that!

Symptoms: movement, belly bump, pregnancy brain, still getting some headaches (but they’re bearable), border-line low iron so I started taking supplements because I’m not really interested in upping my meat in-take, also started taking Vitamin D drops because my Vitamin D is also a little low.

Labor Signs: NO!!!! This category is not welcome for a long time.

Belly Button In or Out: In, but getting more and more shallow 😮

Wedding Rings On or Off: On

Mood: Mostly great!!! But if I get hungry or have a headache, watch out!

Movement: This little one is super active and I love every single time I feel him/her! I can see kicks from the outside and I feel them often throughout the day, which is always reassuring! Hubby got to feel a few more the other night when we were lying in bed, which was very exciting, since most of the time when he tries to feel them Keytar stops moving.

What I’m Looking Forward To: I can’t wait until the ultrasound on Tuesday!!! I’m also looking forward to making the quilt for Keytar. I bought all of the fabric a few weeks ago but won’t have time to start it until the semester is over – which is the other thing I am looking forward to. My last week of services at the hospitals is this week and next week is the last university class. I will probably still be doing some administrative work from home and in town, but that’s easy stuff, and I could use the extra hours.

What I Miss: a clean house and wanting to spend days cooking in the kitchen with hubby

Nesting: yes! Finished painting the nursery, except for the big closet, which will hopefully get done in the next few days. I sorted and put away ALL of the cloth diapers that were given to us last weekend by our amazingly generous and beautiful friend Becca. We have more than enough cloth diapers and accessories and didn’t need to spend a dime! Many of them NEVER used! This is going to save us a ton of money! Every other little baby item we have is organized and put away too. Since we’re artists we have big plans for this nursery, including Kandinsky/ Miro murals to paint this summer, so we need the nursery to be finished earlier than most so that we have time to paint them before hubby goes back to teaching at the start of August.

In addition to all of this, we finally got around to taking a few photos so I could make a pregnancy announcement for the few people we haven’t told who really should know at this point. We still feel weird about making a full-out facebook announcement but there are a few people who should know, and since infertility has robbed us of so much, we really wanted to use the opportunity to make a fun announcement and text/private message them. We ended up with three. The one of the dogs wasn’t planned but they happened to all lay down next to each other while we were putting away the tripod from the hand-holding photo, so we plopped down the booties and snapped a few while we had the chance. We haven’t actually sent them out yet, and not entirely sure how we will, but here they are. We also aren’t sure which one to use, so if you have a preference or suggestion, please don’t hesitate to speak up 😉

Hand Announcement

 

FINAL PAWS ANNOUNCEMENT

 

Dog Pack Announcement

 

18 weeks

I can’t believe I am 18 weeks pregnant with our little science miracle! A lot has happened since my last post. I’m not sure why I haven’t been updating, except that I know I’ve been super busy and therefore super tired. I mentioned awhile ago that I wanted to start documenting the pregnancy more, but I haven’t. I did take a 13 week bump photo, but it came out blurry and I got discouraged, so I put off taking anymore photos. I’ve started feeling like time is starting to fly by and like I’m going to regret not documenting this pregnancy. I guess deep down I still was scared. But documenting what’s happening isn’t going to change the outcome of anything and I know that no matter what happens I will want to be able to look back and read about everything. So, here it goes…

How Far Along: 18 weeks

How Big is Baby: Well, according to “The Bump” Keytar is about the size of a sweet potato and according to “Baby Center” he or she is about the size of a bell pepper. Both say he/she is about 5 1/2 inches long but we know that is not the case for this lengthy one. At our 16 week ultrasound Keytar was measuring above the 75th percentile at 7 inches and 5 oz! Mr. Wannabe and I are both on the taller end, so I guess this little one really IS OUR snowflake. So, we’re not really sure just how big this little miracle is right now, but we have an ultrasound in less than 2 weeks, so we’ll find out if I’m growing a giant soon enough.

Gender: Waiting for the big surprise!

Baby’s Milestones This Week: Keytar’s bones are starting to harden, starting with his/her leg bones and inner ear bones. His/her ears are in their final positions now and he/she can now hear. We made an “in utero” playlist that we’ve been playing for him/her. This baby’s gonna love music as much as mommy and daddy!

Total Weight Gain: about 8-10 lbs, depending on what time of day I weigh myself. I started out at about 126 (Thank you Lupron!) and am weighing in at about 134 in the am and 136 in the pm.

Who We’ve Told About the Pregnancy: I think all of the family knows at this point. Most of our NM friends know, since I was called out in front of a bunch of them, although one friend in particular was not there, so he is still unaware. The artists/musicians I work with regularly know, as does my boss. And as for people who don’t live nearby, well, KG, Butchie, Isaac, Liz and Levy,Travis, Kim, Amy W., E.J., Anya, Liz and Levy, Lynnzo, Paul Paul, Kathleen, and I think that’s it. It’s weird because we don’t feel comfortable making an announcement, so we’ve just been telling most people when we see or talk to them. We really need to tell David, Micah/Sari, Adam/Julianna, Ross/Rory, Lauren/Kevin and Jess.

Maternity Clothes: Yes! Thanks to my mom for the maternity shopping spree a few weeks ago when she was here visiting AND to Casey for the hand-me-downs! I still wear one of my pairs of jeans with a bella band, but it really isn’t very comfortable and I can’t stand it for too long. And if I know I’m not going anywhere or seeing anyone, I am mostly in pjs at home.

Stretch Marks: UG! YES! I can’t believe it. One morning I woke up to stretch marks on my boobs at 16+weeks! At first I thought they were sleep lines. Ya know, the indentions you get from a deep sleep? But no, they are real. I have religiously been using stretch oil since I was 12 weeks, in both the am and pm, but my boobs grew sooo quick I guess there was no stopping them. Seriously, I’ve gone from a 34A to a 38C and they’re still growing! I will take the stretch marks on my boobs though. Much better than stomach or thighs! If I only get them on my boobs I will be one happy gal! And, I’m not really complaining, since all I’ve wanted for the last 7+ years is to be pregnant, I’ll take whatever I have to for this little one!

Sleep: I’ve been sleeping with the Snoozle pillow for awhile now. It helps, but trying to sleep on my left side for the majority of the night is really difficult. My hips hurt after awhile so I toss and turn from side-to-side all night long, allowing myself a minute or so on my back in between sometimes.

Best Moment of the Week: Last night I felt Keytar kick 3 times. I’ve been feeling movement since 16w5d, but never kicks like this! I reached down after the first one and put my hand on my belly. I felt the next two on the outside! I yelled to hubby, who was in the kitchen and he ran to the couch. He put his hand on my belly, bent down and said in his deep voice, “Keytar, this is your father. Please kick again so I can feel it.” Keytar kicked again, right where hubby’s hand was!!! I felt it, he felt it! It was INCREDIBLE!

I also am very grateful that I have had no more hemorrhoid action!!! (TMI warning) At 16w5d, I woke at 5:30 am and there was blood! I tried to remain calm but my heart was about to beat out of my chest! I determined it was certainly not vaginal and assumed it was an internal hemorrhoid. I waited until 6:30 am to wake hubby, and finally called the midwife at 7:30 am. She talked to me for awhile and we determined that it was most likely an internal hemorrhoid, since it had been a couple days since I had a bowel movement. I monitored the situation all day, with only a tiny bit more blood. There has been no more blood since. No itching or pain. Hopefully it was a one time occurrence and not foreshadowing. But it’s been a week and a half and I am very thankful for no more blood.

Food Cravings: I have had an aversion to pizza since I was 6 1/2 weeks, but this week I craved Domino’s pan pizza. Very unlike me, but we caved and hubby drove the 20 minutes to go pick one up. He’s the best! Still eating lots of bananas and granny smith apples. Still loving lemonade.

Food Aversions: homemade pizza, melted mozzarella, garlic

Symptoms: Nausea still comes and goes, especially if I wait too long to eat, then I’m totally screwed! Still having headaches, but they are very bearable, so thankful for that. And I’m still tired, although not as much as I was. My nipples itch often. Some back aches.

Labor Signs: NO! NO! NO! No thank you!!!

Belly Button In or Out: In

Wedding Rings On or Off: On

Mood: Overall I am so incredibly happy, although I can NOT wait until this semester is over! I’m totally over work and the people.

Movement: Yes! Started feeling movement at 16w5d at our intro to the birthing center class. I felt a few pops, like popcorn popping, and then 3 more times, some strong flutters. I couldn’t wait until the class was over so I could tell hubby! As soon as we got in the car I bursted out, “I felt the baby 4 times while we were in there!!!!” I’ve felt fluttering since and then last night some kicks. Hubby got to feel a kick last night too! Coolest part of this whole journey so far!!!!!!

What I’m Looking Forward To: More movement and kicks that hubby can feel; our midwife appointment this coming Monday; our ultrasound the week after next. Really looking forward to the end of the semester AND the end of hubby’s school year.

What I Miss: hmmmm… I miss being able to spend the day in the kitchen cooking. I miss a clean house.

Nesting: We started the nursery! We bought some furniture and painted it. Next up is painting the closets and room.

baby bump 18 weeks copy

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13 weeks

Oh, and for those of you who are wondering where the heck we came up with the nickname Keytar… A keytar is a keyboard guitar. Here’s our favorite guy rockin’ it…

keytar & page

Page McConnell of Phish 

 

16 weeks

Well, after my last post I guess it seems like I kind of fell off the face of the earth. I was feeling quite sick most of the day and night and just didn’t have the energy to post anything. I still have never puked, so for that I am grateful, but many days I felt like I just wanted to because maybe it would make me feel better. Anyway, my mother came to visit for the past week so I started taking B6 and ginger capsules a few days before she arrived, and they seem to have worked! I don’t know for sure if it was the timing or the supplements but I have started feeling much better and regained some energy over the past week. I couldn’t be happier! As a pregnant infertile, the last thing I want to do is complain, but I was really getting sick of feeling so awful all day everyday! It was really hard to try to enjoy pregnancy when I could barely get up off the couch, nor could I eat well. Hopefully that is mostly all in the past now. I am still dealing with these mild headaches often but they are bearable and much better than the constant nausea. 

Anyway, I am 16 weeks today. I had my first anatomy scan yesterday and everything looks perfect! Baby Keytar (that’s our silly name for this will-be music-lovin’ baby) is measuring 3 days ahead and above the 75th percentile! Eek! 7 inches 5 oz. yesterday! No worries though, doc and tech say everything is perfect! We will go back for the 20 week anatomy scan in 4 weeks for a more detailed scan, since Keytar is still a bit small at this stage for ALL of the measurements. It was by far the most incredible hour of our lives thus far. We saw everything! (well, everything except for midline since we want the sex to be a surprise). Everything is starting to feel so real now and is soooo exciting! Like I said, my mom came to visit this past week. She brought us some baby stuff and my husband cried at almost everything. He is so adorable! We also started doing some baby shopping! CRAZY! I have also been given a bunch of hand-me-down baby stuff from friends that have been holding onto it FOREVER for me, waiting for me to FINALLY get pregnant.

And the biggest news of the week is that my belly popped! My mom took me clothes shopping at Motherhood Maternity and I felt so stupid walking in there. I felt like I didn’t belong there at all – until I tried on the first outfit and looked in the mirror! Holy shit! I looked so pregnant! I teared up. I still can’t believe I have a baby belly! I walk past windows and mirrors and don’t even recognize myself. It makes me cry. Everything makes me and Mr. Wannabe cry. We are just so overwhelmed with emotion. This is all so unreal! We have waited soooooooo long for this and it is so incredibly surreal. 

Oh, and in addition, we had our first midwife appointment at the natural birthing center (www.daraluzbirthcenter.org) and it was amazing. We got to hear the baby’s heartbeat on the doppler for the first time. I am so excited about everything! And all of a sudden, time is no longer going super slowly! I can’t believe I’m 16 weeks!!! I can’t believe I’m finally truly happy. Thank you universe!!!!

I’ve been so busy with being sick, my mom visiting, and teaching at the university that I haven’t had much time to update. Even this post is pretty lame. I can’t wait for this semester to be over. I will try to post more often. I am dying to find some time to work on my IVF scrapbook and scan my ultrasound photos to this blog, as well as a baby bump photo! I am making a scrapbook for Keytar but I also want this blog to continue to document this miracle pregnancy because I’m not writing a lot in the scrapbook. Well, unfortunately now I need to go grade papers, even though I am dying to take a nap. Maybe I’ll take a nap first…

My upcoming posts

First of all I want to preface this post by saying that it is really hard to continue this blog while pregnant. I want to thank everyone for all of their support, encouragement, and loving prayers throughout everything we have been through. I also want to say that I will not be offended in any which way if you would like to unfollow my blog now that my posts are pregnancy related. I understand 150% what it is like to read pregnancy posts and hear other women’s good news about pregnancy. I too at times hated pregnant people and I still feel hatred toward the normals out there more often than not. I know it’s terrible but infertility and loss sucks and we can feel however we want to or need to because we have been traumatized. So with that, I would again like to thank you all and acknowledge your possible anger toward me and tell you to go ahead and unfollow me if you want to. I will still follow you and pray/ send good vibes out to the universe for you though because my dream is for every single one of us to end up with our babies in the end.

So as this pregnancy now feels real, I am ready to embrace this growing baby and begin journaling about my pregnancy. I’ve always wanted to post updates and photos like many of my pregnant blogging friends out there had gotten up the nerve to do but somehow I just wasn’t ready. I felt like I was going to jinx the pregnancy. I felt awful writing about my pregnancy on my infertility blog. But I have paid my dues and I am now ready to embrace my pregnancy and document it for myself, and those other women who might be interested in pregnancy after IVF. I definitely read other pregnant women’s blogs who went through a lot to get here, so maybe someone will want to read mine. If not, well that’s fine too.  Anyway,for today, just a quick update, because I only have a bit of time before I need to go teach.

Today I am 12 weeks and 1 day pregnant. We had our meeting with the genetic counselor and she gave us a 98-99% chance of everything being perfectly fine – “the same as any other normal pregnant person.” Sweet, I’ll take it! Then we had out nuchal translucency ultrasound. It was the most incredible thing I have ever seen! First of all I didn’t need to take my pants off for the first time in years! Secondly, there was a big screen tv on the wall so Mr. Wannabe and I could see everything that was happening. The tech walked us through and pointed out everything. Baby was pretty cooperative but there were a few times he/she flipped around and moved around making things a little difficult. The tech told us that sometimes the measurements are a bit off if the baby is curled up, but every single measurement was “perfect” at 12w1d! The nuchal was like 1.36 or 1.5 or something like that, which is “perfect”, as “the doctors like to see it less than 3mm”, and the heartbeat was “perfect” also, at 161 bpm. Yay!!!! We saw baby’s 4 chambers of the heart, finger bones, arms and elbows, legs and knees, feet, hands, bladder, stomach, head from all positions, hips, thighs, umbilical cord, the placenta and he/she even stretched his/her arms out way over the head, which was adorable. The tech used the word “perfect” so many times. It was soooo reassuring. I finally feel like shit just got real! I can’t believe we thought this was over after our 2nd and third betas. That Saturday after our sad beta, the day of our spiritual awakening, truly was the universe telling us everything was going to be just fine. After many years of questioning the universe and starting to question karma, it is our moment in time and it is unbelievable incredible. I am sooo very thankful I don’t think I will ever be able to wrap my head around everything we’ve been through. My hope now is that I will finally be able to stop prefacing everything I say about this baby with, “If it works out…”  It might be too early to jump right into that but I’m really going to try! WOOO HOOO!!!!!

A Walking Oxymoron

Well, it’s been a hell of a week. I barely slept. I did everything I could do to not worry and stress, all the while knowing my body was producing cortisol which is not healthy for the baby – but it was inevitable. This week I stopped my progesterone injections and estrogen patches and pills. I had a stressful day on Tuesday due to an incompetent coworker and her lack of communication. I also spent all week waiting for my Verifi prenatal genetic test results, while trying to get images of a heartbeatless baby out of my head. (Waiting for those results was the hardest part of this journey yet!!!) It was a slow going rough week to say the least. But I worked really hard not to meltdown and did the best job I could of controlling my stress and worry as much as I possibly could. And I made it through the week and into the surreal world of finally embracing pregnancy.

Our Friday appointment (11 weeks 2 days) was the strangest, best day yet. We received our Verifi results and everything came back normal!!!!!!! We were (are) both in shock and finally feel like we can really start to relax and embrace this pregnancy. I seriously can’t believe we have these results, that we’ve made it this far, and that we might actually be getting a real live healthy baby out of this!!!! Really, I can’t believe it! After 6 1/2 years?!?! I am a pregnant infertile – a walking oxymoron.

Anyway, the test results have the sex on them but we don’t want to know. It’s weird that the entire office knows but we don’t. I could go either way, but my husband is not willing to budge. He does not want to know before the birth AT ALL and is being very stubborn about it. It’s fine with me. He feels a little weird now that he isn’t giving me shots every night. He has been sooooo incredibly involved in this whole process of trying to make a baby for years now and all of a sudden is detached from the process. So, I’ll let him have his wish of waiting to find out. I agree that it will be worth it.

So, after last week’s ultrasound with sleepyhead I decided drink some blackberry lemonade before the ultrasound. The sugar worked – the little one was bouncing around like crazy! We watched him/her dancing up a storm for a few minutes, but really I was in a surreal fog after finding out the Verifi results so I only remember bits and pieces of the ultrasound. Dr. C said everything looks perfect. My hubby and I worried the heartbeat might be high, at 180, but Dr. C and the nurse both said it is perfect and to stop worrying! There was a lot of “perfect”s floating around the room, which was reassuring. I need to believe Dr. C – he would tell us if he had any concerns at all. I know this because I’ve been seeing him for 4 years and he always tells us when he has even the slightest concern. Nurse T also told us that we can finally relax because we have a healthy baby.

This baby has measured perfectly each and every week since our first weekly appointment at 5 weeks 3(?) days. (I believe that both embryos implanted but this baby was the only one to grow, which is why our beta numbers were wacky at the start.) Anyway, we got kicked out on Friday. 😦 It was a sad moment, but….

We have officially graduated!!!! 🙂

No more drugs, no more infertility clinic/ RE, no more safety and comfort of our little office where we have been going for four years, where we know everyone and everyone knows us. We have been thrown into the world of normal pregnancy. It’s truly surreal, scary, exciting, overwhelming, and entirely unbelievable! 

I thought I would sleep well on Friday night after all the good news, but alas, I did not. My mind was now racing with exciting thoughts, instead of worrisome thoughts. Yesterday we went to my best friend’s daughter’s fourth birthday party. Hubby and I had decided we would wait to tell everyone until 13 weeks (although my best friend, her sister, their husbands, our parents, my brother, and my grandmother and grandfather know). We had seen everyone at my best friend’s sister’s daughter’s birthday party last weekend, so we figured we were safe. After all, everyone knows how much we’ve been through so we figured no one would ask us if we were pregnant at this point. Well, an old friend was visiting from Colorado and his fiance singled me out from across the table and asked, in front of a bunch of people, “Are you??? Are you…..??? Are you?…” I sat there in shock. I could feel my face burning up. She finally blurted out, “Are you pregnant?” Whaaaatttt?!?!?! Ahhhh! It was completely obvious. My face turned bright red, my eyes teared up, and my friends all knew I am. They are all sooo over the moon for us and were so supportive but I just felt completely uneasy for the remainder of the day and night. That’s not how I wanted to tell people. It’s not when I wanted to tell people. Who does that?! She’s a very sweet, young, girl and I know she meant no harm and has no idea about what we’ve been through, but it totally threw me off. After infertility and a miscarriage, I am just so sensitive about this kind of stuff. I had someone ask if I was pregnant a few years ago at a concert at Red Rocks, because of the shirt I was wearing, and it ruined my night. Obviously I wasn’t, and as an infertile there with a pregnant friend I turned into a blob of blubbering tears. It’s a good thing I actually AM pregnant this time because I don’t think I could handle that again. But, seriously, no one should ever ask anyone that! Especially when you don’t know the person very well.

So apparently I am showing and I have “pregnancy glow”.  I’m ok with the glow, but the fact that my friends noticed my (bloated) belly made me feel weird. I really thought I did a good job of wearing a shirt that hid it. I didn’t. After everyone found out, they all told me that they thought I might be last weekend but they weren’t going to ask after everything we’ve been through. They said I have “pregnancy glow”, we “haven’t been around for awhile”, and one of my friends told me she “had a dream and was certain”. So it’s out there with our small community of friends that were there last night. My husband feels fine about it, and I thought I would too, but I was pretty unsettled about it all. I feel better today, but I still can’t help but wish we were at 13 weeks AND that WE WERE THE ONES TO SPILL THE BEANS WHEN WE WERE READY! Oh well. 

So today I am 11 weeks 4 days pregnant with a normal, healthy baby as far as we know. We are having our nuchal ultrasound on Thursday at 12w1d and our first OB appointment next Monday, March 17th. We are also going to an orientation at the natural birthing center next Saturday, and I will be scheduling a few interviews with midwives this week. Ideally we would LOVE to fulfill our long-time dream of having a home birth but we are checking out all of our options. I am living in a dreamworld right now and am finally allowing myself to be happy and look toward the future, imagining our life with a newborn. I can not believe it but I’m starting to really try to.

Eeeeek! Brain on overdrive

I am 10w5d today. I had my weekly ultrasound on Friday at 10w2d and was measuring 10w3d. The baby had its hands over its eyes when it popped up on the screen – it was adorable. Dr. C said it was sleeping and we tried to wake it up, which we did, but it didn’t bounce around like a dancing gummy bear this week like it had the week before, which was a tad disappointing. I’ve read that drinking some OJ before the ultrasound will get the little one moving in the future, so I might try that this week. Baby’s heart rate was 170 and Dr. C said everything looks great and gave hubby and I some high fives. I halved my vivelle patches to two on Saturday and last night we halved our PIO from 2cc to 1cc. I had my blood drawn this morning and just received the call to take off my patches and stop all meds. EEEK! Really?!?! It’s that time? I made it this far?! Whaaat?!?! I am SO excited and scared at the same time. My nurse, T, reassured me that the placenta has taken over and my body is doing exactly what it needs to be doing. Dr. C felt certain that everything is fine but told her to tell me to have my blood drawn again tomorrow for my own peace of mind and that after everything we’ve been through he was sure I would feel more comfortable with another blood draw. He knows me so well. 

In other news, I had my blood drawn for the Verifi prenatal genetic test on Friday. I am anxiously awaiting the results and am scared to death! I have so much hope that everything is fine and am very much attached to this little one growing so perfectly inside of me that the thought of bad results is making me sooo scared! I think I will find out the results on Friday. Another Eeeeek! And then we have our nuchal scan and appointment with the genetic counselor at the perinatal place next week at 12 weeks 1 day. 

Please let this baby be healthy!!! Eeeeeeeek! This is getting really real and really, really, really getting scary. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let everything be fine! 

9 weeks 2 days

I’m a little late in updating my blog this week. On Friday we were 9 weeks 2 days and measuring perfectly. It’s getting harder and harder to not get our hopes up about this little one. Friday’s ultrasound was the first time we really connected with this tiny baby that was moving around like crazy! It looked just like a dancing gummy bear! It was the first ultrasound that brought tears to our eyes. Everything is looking great and we are more scared than ever that something could still go wrong. Next week we will do the Verifi bloodtest, hopefully, and by the following Friday we will hopefully have our results. If the results come back good I think I might start to feel a little better about everything working out. Friday was the first day we talked about graduation, which will be in the next couple weeks. We will have our 10w2d ultrasound on Friday and then start the process of weaning off of the progesterone and estrogen. That’s so exciting (and scary)!!! I will make an appointment on Monday with the perinatologist for sometime between weeks 11 and 13 and Dr. C will give us his OB referral on Friday. It’s all becoming so much more real! I am scared to death but I feel really good about everything at the same time. We can’t believe where we’re at right now.

As for how I’m feeling… I’m still nauseous a lot of the time but I have a better handle on it. I think I’ve figured out how to eat to keep the nausea as minimal as possible. I’m also still exhausted ALL of the time! I can feel my uterus stretching a little every day, mostly at night. I haven’t really gained weight but I have started to put on a little fluff in my lower belly above my pubic bone – none of my pants will zip or button so I got a bella band this week. I also got some prego drops, which help with the nausea, and some morning wellness tea. I’m starting to feel like I should start a pregnancy journal with ultrasound photos and feelings/thoughts, but I’m still scared – maybe after next week…. The next 4 weeks can NOT go fast enough!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you all soooo much!

I need to thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for your reassuring, supportive, and compassionate responses to my freak out last night. I don’t know what I’d do without all of you!!!! I was able to get in to see my RE first thing this morning and everything is fine. We have a heartbeat of 170 and are measuring at 8w2d (today I am 8 weeks/ 8w1d depending on who you ask and when you ask them, lol) So, we have made it past the biggest milestone yet. We are further than last time and everything looks great. Next week I will try my damndest to try not to stress! (Even knowing I will have a different RE doing my ultrasound for the first time ever.) I also talked to Dr. C about doing the Verifi test and they are going to contact my insurance and try to get it covered. So hopefully, I’ll be able to do that at 10 weeks, find out everything is ok the following week, and finally be able to find a little more comfort in this pregnancy. I can’t believe how difficult this journey is – it’s really quite unbelievable that anyone exists at all! Thanks again for the outpouring of love and support!!!! You women rock! XOXOXO

Freaking Out. PTSD or not?!

I am totally bugging out. I have been so nauseous the past bunch of days and have barely been able to eat anything other than pasta and butter, bread and butter, crackers and cheese, and cereal. Today I woke up feeling pretty much fine. I feel like my boobs aren’t as sore too. I am so scared!!!! I’m a complete mess. A total disaster. 

Now, I have an ultrasound scheduled on Friday but my RE is not working that day. He said he would come anyway, but what if he doesn’t? I can’t have some random doctor telling me there’s no heartbeat! I’ve been through too much to not have my doctor be the one who deals with me at this point. This upcoming ultrasound is when there was no heartbeat last time. Last time I lost my symptoms at this point too. Now, is it the same thing? Or is it PTSD coupled with the fact I had acupuncture yesterday and changed my diet a little to try to help with the nausea? I won’t know until I get an ultrasound. I am going to call first thing in the morning and tell them they need to see me like now! I have to teach at the university tomorrow night – a three hour class- and I’m not prepared at all. I need to know if everything is ok ASAP! I need to know this baby did not die and that I am just a crazy PTSD head case. I know there is nothing I can do tonight, but I just do not even know what to do with myself. I can’t concentrate on anything and am just so worried (which I know is not good!) UGGGG!!!!!!! 😦

7w1d

*This post mentions aspects of pregnancy and miscarriage. Please feel free to skip it if you want.

 

Just a quick update. Last time on this day we found out that something was wrong with our little one’s yolk sac. There was some debris, and it was just a tad bit large. I believe we may have been measuring a day or two behind as well, but that wasn’t concerning my RE. He was more concerned with the yolk sac but told us that there was a chance everything would be fine the following week. Unfortunately, that is when we found out the heart had stopped beating.

So, obviously today’s ultrasound was a biggie for us. I was fine all week, even this morning before and during work. Then after work, I went to the bathroom and noticed a huge pimple had sprouted below my left bottom lip. It was exactly like the kind of pimple I get right before my period – the same pimple I got before my appointment last time when there was no longer a heartbeat. Needless to say, I bugged out. I was certain this was the end. I kept telling myself that I ate pizza hut yesterday, maybe it’s just stress, maybe it’s just the hormones, but nothing made me feel better. 

We arrived at the clinic and it was one of the worst waits ever – first in the waiting room, then twenty minutes in the ultrasound room. Nurse M. didn’t even ask me how I was doing, she knows me so well and could tell I was totally worried. When Dr. C and her finally came in I told them about my pimple. Dr. C said, “oh, that’s bullshit. I have a pimple on my head. Does that mean I’m going to get my period? No one’s getting their period anytime soon. Let’s take a look.” The baby grew so much since Sunday! It’s little heart was flickering away and the sound of the beat was nice and strong. The baby measured perfectly at 7w1d! Dr. C said everything looks great! I asked him about the yolk sac, reminding him about the last pregnancy, and he said everything is fine. HUGE sigh of relief. He asked me if we wanted to come back next week or in two weeks, realizing quickly that was a silly question. So we will go back again next Friday. He will not be there next Friday or the following week. I was so sad and asked him, “What will we do without you?!” He said he’s just going to be at home and that he will come down to the clinic for our ultrasound. Whaaaat?!?! Best RE EVER! As he walked out, he told me to stop stressing and told me jokingly that he’s “diagnosing me with pregnancy acne.” hahaha! Stupid pimple messin’ with my head! Anyway, everything is still looking good. He told us we’re “not out of the woods quite yet but it looks good!” Again, HUGE sigh of relief. 

After arriving home I glanced at my printed bill and noticed that it said “Threatened Abortion” under Diagnoses and started to freak out yet again. My husband told me to call them. Nurse M. told me to stop stressing and that they put that on the paperwork a lot. She said the insurance will cover more ultrasounds that way. Another sigh of relief.

Ok, Ok, I’m good for the next week. But no promises that I won’t be worried again before next week’s ultrasound. 

Still in the game… 6w3d

Our ultrasound today showed a baby with a beautifully sounding heartbeat of 123. Today everything looks “perfect” according to Dr. C. We will go again on Friday to hopefully see a perfect progression (fingers crossed – that’s when things got iffy and wonky with the yolk sac last time). But for today everything looks “perfect”! 🙂 HUGE sigh of relief. 

Cautiously Hopeful

Well I had prepared myself for a blighted ovum or an ectopic pregnancy going into today’s ultrasound. Apparently, so far we are looking at “a healthy pregnancy”. Funny how Dr. C referred to it as that so early on. There is one gestational sac with a yolk sac and fetal pole, measuring perfectly. He told us that he doesn’t want to get our hopes up since he knows everything we’ve been through but he thinks everything will be just fine. My husband told him that he was shocked, and Dr. C said he was kind of shocked too. He said, “If I had’t seen your beta numbers I would have taken one quick glance and told you ‘Yup, perfect! You have the perfect start to a healthy pregnancy.” Well, we all know that is a silly thing to say so early in the game, but I guess there’s actually a baby growing in there, at least for now. It’s almost impossible for me to think about this optimistically. The nurse said her calculations put me at 5 weeks 4 days. My calculations put me at 5 weeks 6 days. I wasn’t going to argue – after all, I had told them I was certain this would be bad news. My husband asked Dr. C why he thought the beta numbers were so wacky. Dr. C said, “I don’t know. I can make something up to sound smart if you want?” Basically, maybe two implanted, maybe not. We’ll never know. I’m just praying it’s not because this embryo is also chromosomally abnormal. We will go back on Sunday in hopes of a heartbeat. Obviously I am dying to hear one – but we had a heartbeat two weeks in a row last time and things ended badly, so it’s no wonder I’m having a hard time believing this will end well.

I guess I better go get some work done now. I haven’t been able to do anything but crazily google for the past week. (Although I did finish a painting on Saturday, so I guess that’s something.) But, I have a workshop at the university in the morning, start a new semester at the hospital tomorrow with a new artist shadowing me, and am teaching at the university on Thursday night. I am not prepared at all to go back to work, but at least now I can keep my mind in the game for the rest of the week.

Beta Hell & Thankfully Living Through Our Own Personal Celestine Prophecy

Well, it’s been quite an interesting weekend. Friday afternoon and evening was a shit show around here. Yelling at and questioning the universe. You know the drill, the “Why the fuck is this so unfair?”, “Why us?”, “What the hell did we do wrong? I don’t even believe in karma anymore! We’re good people! What the hell?”, and screaming “I don’t understand!!!” madness that ensues when things like this happen to good people. There were a lot of tears by me, enough googling to prepare me for another miscarriage and possible ectopic pregnancy, as well as drive me insane, and there was a lot of sleeping on the couch by my husband (that’s his way of dealing – escape). I stayed awake long enough to have my PIO injection and then crashed for the night.

On Saturday morning I woke up crying and we laid in bed for a bit wallowing in our misery. We finally decided to get up and shower. While I was in the shower I thought a good way to spend our day would be to paint the baseboards, a task we never finished when we repainted our house a few years ago. My husband had a better idea though, to get out of the house and go driving through the desert. There’s a dirt road that connects North 14 to I-25, just north of our house and just north of the Sandia Mountains. We have always wanted to find the road so we thought that today would be the perfect day for this adventure. We picked up some breakfast burritos from Burger Boy, a local family-owned greasy spoon, and hit the road.

As we drove up the Turquoise Trail (North 14) we weren’t entirely sure where we were going but we didn’t care. Finally, a few minutes later, we found the turn off we were looking for at the USPS metal mailboxes, next to the shitty mobile homes with the chain linked fence with barbed wire. We headed west down the dusty and dirty road, soon to be stuck behind two semi trucks with some Bobcat bulldozers on the beds. We didn’t care. We drove slowly in their dust. We were in no rush. The New Mexican desert landscape is so gorgeous and we were feeling peaceful.

As we headed through the desert we talked about moving back to New Jersey or to Massachusetts for IVF insurance coverage and about the next phase of our journey. We speculated about job and house rental possibilities. Even though we have 2 frozen embryos left, we’re not feeling any confidence in them at this point – it seems as though the DNA fragmentation probably affected all of our embryos and we now imagine they are all chromosomally abnormal. We have been talking about embryo adoption/ donor embryo for awhile now, and decide we would like to move forward with that route, probably starting by transferring our two last frozen embryos and one donated embryo. Hopefully, we would get a baby out of that round, while we prepare to head back to the east coast. Or, maybe we could get jobs and actually be ready to move over the summer to start new jobs in the fall. Anyway, planning the next step always makes me feel better, so that’s what we talked about as we drove through the desert dust.

We followed the trucks to the pipeline access area where they turned off the road. One of the drivers headed over to talk to us. We stopped in the road and rolled down the window. The driver apologized for all of the dust and asked if this road goes all the way to Bernalillo. We told him we weren’t sure but believed it did. We asked about the pipelines, because we’ve been wondering what they carry for a long time now, but all the man could tell us is that it is liquid. Anyway, we continued up the road a bit, finally realizing that we had made a wrong turn and were heading south, back toward North 14 and home. We turned around and headed back to the fork in the road where the truckers had stopped. They were getting ready to leave so we told them where that road led, and we took the other road at the fork, heading west yet again.

We drove through the desert, admiring the arroyos, hills, mountains, rock formations, gullies, the blue sky, and the gorgeous weather. All of a sudden we noticed some incredibly gorgeous ruins camouflaged into the hills. The longer we looked, the more ruins we spotted. The buildings looked like an old factory and we were enticed by their mysterious beauty and magical location. We pulled over, parked, and decided we wanted to go check them out. There was a barbed wire fence, some tires that read “Keep Out!” and “No Trespassing!” but we decided that today we didn’t care. I said, “Whatever, so shoot me. I don’t care today.” My husband felt the same way. We needed to take this adventure, it was calling for us. It was like we had to…

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Ducking under the barbed wire fence, we trespassed onto the land and hiked through the fine sand and over the smooth river rocks, following the dry river bed to the path up to the ruins. We explored the buildings, finding more and more as we continued up the path. We speculated about the business that once took place there and imagined what it was like when it was up and running, with water filling the dry river beds, running through the desert hills. Just as I was feeling like we should head back to the car, I noticed a white pickup truck driving down the road. I pointed it out to my husband but he wasn’t concerned. I was. We watched the truck and it pulled over next to our car. Crap. My husband said, “I think it’s a cop.” We stood there, pretty far away, watching the truck as a man opened the door and said something to whoever was with him. We stood there and stared, finally realizing that the man seemed to be standing there possibly staring right back at us. We took a few steps and stood behind a Juniper tree, still watching the vehicle. We decided they were not going anywhere and we might as well face our fate. We wondered if we would get a ticket or be arrested. I only sort of cared.

As we walked down the path, a cowboy and his dog appeared, almost eerily, next to a large Juniper tree. We certainly did not see him walk up the path. My husband, said, “Hey there.” The man, said, “You know, there’s no trespassing on this land. The owner doesn’t want anyone up here. He’d spend a million dollars to win a lawsuit for a couple thousand bucks.” We apologized. My husband said, “Yea, we know. We’re sorry, we just couldn’t help ourselves.” I explained that I’m an artist who draws broken-down buildings and ruins. The cowboy, wearing binoculars around his neck, said, “No problem. I would have done the same thing.” My husband said, “Well we’re gonna get the hell out of here but first, can you tell us a little bit about this place?” The cowboy, Tom, introduced himself and we introduced ourselves as well. We ended up spending the next twenty minutes, at least, standing in the desert listening to this man spill his guts about the history of the ruins and coal mines, the land, the wild horses, his horses, and his history and current job – all the while conveying obvious spiritual messages to us, as if he were a prophet sent to us specifically on this day at this moment. He explained that he and the other man in the truck are making a film about the wild horses on the land. He talked about balance. He told us that he was raised by sheep herders and grew up following the grass from Utah to Colorado and back, speaking jumbled English, Spanish, French, Navajo, and Basque because of the sheep herders. He told us about some petroglyphs in the area and asked us to follow him up the road to show us some of them.

As we drove up the road, following him, my husband and I didn’t say too much as we were both mesmerized by what was happening. The truck pulled over and we got out of our car. The cowboy, Tom, was being miked up in the truck, and then his sidekick, Will, hopped out of the driver’s seat with a hardcore professional video camera. Tom’s dog, Slick, was very friendly and obviously adored the scent of my three female dogs on my pants, smelling me, kissing me, giving me his paws, and standing up on his hind legs, hugging my chest as I gave him a good ol’ scratchin’. Tom continued where he left off at the ruins, telling us stories of the past, showing us petroglyphs (mainly fertility symbols and images of women giving birth), and conveying numerous spiritual messages. His messages reminded us to “Follow the Grass”, “Live day to day”, that “we are insignificant”, that the universe is in control, how important it is to live simply, many reminders about “balance”, among other things we are still wrapping our minds around and uncovering from the hidden messages.

We spent a couple hours in the middle of the desert. Time did not seem to pass as we were enveloped by God’s nature and the lessons we were sent. I could feel tears welling up at moments as the cowboy (prophet?!) spoke, his words and lessons resonating in my soul. We were in heaven. It was pure bliss. Will, the cowboy’s ranch hand/ videographer/ sidekick, filmed us the entire time – boy do I wish we had a copy of that videotape! As we blocked the road, not a soul came by, including the semi trucks from earlier, until another pickup truck came from the opposite direction – another cowboy, who knew Will and Tom well. This man spoke about horses, smoked cigarettes with his young boy in the front seat, and yelled at his dog “Bandit” to stop barking. We all hung out for a bit, Tom gave us his phone number, Will said, “Welcome to the Diamondtail Ranch” and we hopped back in our vehicles and parted ways.

After my husband and I got back in the car we just sat there for a minute, looked at each other, and we both babbled to each other, completely blown away by the experience and trying to make sense of it. We both felt that we had just experienced a spiritual reawakening, like a prophet had been sent to us. We both felt like we had just lived through our own “Celestine Prophecy”. We were “experiencing life as a spiritual unfolding, a journey in which we are led forward by mysterious coincidences.” We couldn’t wrap our heads around it all. We talked about the fertility symbols, his comments about “Following the grass”, and other messages that he had conveyed to us.

We continued driving away from Diamondtail Ranch, now through San Felipe Indian reservation, and ended up in the back parking lot of Hollywood Casino (the San Felipe reservation casino on I-25, about 25 miles north of Albuquerque).  The casino was closed on this Saturday afternoon, and as soon as we pulled into the gas station to fill my tires, a PT cruiser pulled up next to us. The window rolled down and two San Felipe Native American cops told us we could not be on the land today and asked us if we were getting air. We told them we had just come through the Diamondtail Ranch and needed some air in our tires. They said, “Ok” and pulled away. We drove through the deserted parking lot, it must have been a spiritual/ religious day or something, and another Native cop opened up a road block for us and we exited the deserted land. We drove south on I-25 toward Albuquerque and decided to go to Coronado State Monument, since it was a gorgeous day and we had never been there before.

As we drove, we both felt calm and peaceful. We headed to Coronado State Monument and walked on the pathway, deciding not to pay for the museum and to only use the restrooms that were outside. As we walked the pathway, a Native man stood on the dirt very spiritually and as if he was waiting for us. I said, “Hello.” He said, “Hello, how are you?” I said, “good thanks, how are you? What are you planting?” (I had noticed that the ground was wet in some garden beds and thought he was planting.) He said, “Oh I just finished a clay firing and was taking photos of my work. I just finished putting them away. Would you like to see one?” We said we would if it wasn’t too much of a hassle. He showed us a gorgeous, but fractured, shallow bowl. It was white with a black painting of a bull head silhouette. He referred to it as “contemporary old style.” I told him we were artists and we chatted about art, as well as some other things for a bit. He spoke to us in a calm and spiritual way and again we felt like he was there for us. He told us his name was Ulysses Lou Reid. My husband asked him if that was a coincidence or not. The man replied, “I guess it’s some sort of coincidence.” We were both blown away. Lou Reed is an important figure in our life, with “Sweet Jane” being our song as a couple, and The Velvet Underground playing a huge part in the beginning of our relationship 13+ years ago. In addition to that, Reid is my husband’s middle name, and the name we have consistently returned to for our future son’s name. We looked him up later that night to find out he spelled Reid just like my husband’s name. (Please don’t steal our name!!! 😉 ) And then of course, Ulysses has many of its own meanings: hero of the Odyssey, who spent 10 years trying to get home to Ithaca (which is funny, because we’ve talked about moving to Ithaca for many, many years), etc. etc. etc. Anyway, the spiritual man (almost like a spirit himself), ended the conversation saying, “Ok, I think we’re done here. Very nice to meet you.” I told him to enjoy the beautiful day and he disappeared. My husband and I walked down by the Rio Grande River, through the fine beach sand, and stood in the midst of nature once again. We could not see or hear anything man made and we allowed the sound of the river water to wash over us as we stood between the dunes, ancient cottonwoods trees, and below the towering Sandia Mountains. It was the perfect end to a perfect day.

This all happened on Saturday. After a nice dinner, followed by a relaxing night on the couch with my husband while watching a movie, we both continued to seek out and wrap our minds around the messages, feeling a sense of peace. Yesterday morning, Sunday, I awoke with a sense of peace still surrounding me. We went to the lab to have my blood drawn so we could get the results this morning instead of waiting all day today. We spent the rest of the day continuing to feel the beauty and holding onto the lessons of the day before. Now, today, on Monday, I am able to continue to live in the moment and allow the universe to hold me in this blanket of peace. My 3rd beta results are still rising slowly but did jump a little.

According to: http: //www.babymed.com/tools/hcg-calculator

On Friday my beta was 230, from 153 on Wednesday, (47.5 hours in between) =  a total hcg difference of 50%, a doubling time of 80.77 hours, and a 51% 2-day increase. (Pretty bleak news!!!!)

On Sunday my beta rose to 396. (50 hours in between) = a total hcg difference of 72.2%, a doubling time of 63.79 hours, and 68.3% 2-day increase. 

So obviously my beta #3 is better, but still not good. So basically we’re still in limbo and we won’t know anything for at least a week and a day. I will stay on my meds, needing to order POI yet again, and have an ultrasound next Tuesday, at 5 weeks 6 days. So basically we could be looking at any of the following:

-an ectopic (although my nurse said she’s only seen that twice in all the time she’s been there and my numbers are suggesting that is not the case as far as she thinks)

-a blighted ovum (which is my prediction)

-possibly two embryos implanted but only one is growing

-chromosomal abnormality

-or things could be fine (certainly not what I’m expecting!)

So, I’m pretty sure we have no good coming out of this but I am at peace with it all right now. Of course I wish things were black and white and I’d like this to all be over as soon as possible, without dragging it out for weeks and/or needing surgery, but it’s out of my control. There is nothing I did to deserve this and nothing I can do to change this. Of course I will continue to pray and try to manifest a healthy baby, but I have to expect the worst at this point. I am thankful that the universe answered our calls from Friday night!

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As the Celestine Prophecy enlightened me many years ago as an 18 year old, I have been reminded now:

– To experience my life as a spiritual unfolding, a journey in which I am led forward by mysterious coincidences.

– To allow this awakening to represent the creation of a new, more complete worldview, which replaces a five-hundred-year-old preoccupation with secular survival and comfort. While this technological preoccupation was an important step, my awakening to life’s coincidences is opening me up to the real purpose of human life on this planet, and the real nature of our universe.

– To experience the universe as dynamic energy. Everything still existing is a field of sacred energy that I can sense and intuit. I will project my energy by focusing my attention in the desired direction…where attention goes, energy flows…influencing other energy systems and increasing the pace of coincidences in my life.

– To not cut myself off from the greater source of this energy and so feel weak and insecure.

– that insecurity ends when I experience an inner connection with divine energy within, a connection described by mystics of all traditions. A sense of lightness–buoyancy–along with the constant sensation of love are measures of this connection. If these measures are present, the connection is real. If not, it is only pretended.

– To stay more connected, because the more I am acutely aware of those times when I lose connection, usually when I am under stress, the more I can see my own particular way of stealing energy from others. Once my manipulations are brought to personal awareness, my connection becomes more constant and I can discover my own growth path in life, and my spiritual mission–the personal way I can contribute to the world.

– that my personal mission further enhances the flow of mysterious coincidences as I am guided toward my destinies. First I have a question; then dreams, daydreams, and intuitions lead me towards the answers, which usually are synchronistically provided by the wisdom of another human being.

:(

Beta did not double. 😦

Today’s beta is only 230. It was 153 on Wednesday. That’s a doubling time of like 80 hours. That can’t possibly be any sort of good. It only doubled by 50%.

I hate infertility! Why is this sooo fucking hard?!?!?! Why can’t anything be cut and dry with us? This sucks. And what sucks even more is that I have to order more PIO today because we will run out on Monday and my Dr. wants me to stay on all the meds until I get more blood results on Monday. Fuck. That’s gonna be another waste of money.

8dp6dfet – Beta Day!

***Warning: PG MENTS and lots of info about my newly found POAS OCD, including photos. If you don’t feel like reading my long and boring journal entry but want to know today’s results, feel free to scroll to the end of this post. ****

So as of Monday, after getting up the nerve to test early, I officially turned into a POAS addict!!! I can’t believe I let myself become a junkie. It was all good until today, when I decided I wished I hadn’t tested early. I didn’t test at all before beta last time. (I was feeling pretty good about things yesterday because my acupuncturist said my pulse felt great and it even had the extra blip. Pregnancy pulse!) BUT, I took a FRER test yesterday morning and another this morning before I left for the lab to have my blood drawn. I thought my FRER test this morning was lighter than yesterday’s and I started to freak out. (I know wayyy tooo much about everything that can go wrong in this journey.) I went to the lab and had my blood drawn (poked TWICE because my left arm was empty), met a woman to sell my leftover Bravelle to, and proceeded to drive aimlessly through the city like a zombie, parked in a parking lot, and obsessively googled. I texted my husband and made him come home even earlier from work so we could call for the results together. Originally he wasn’t going to get home until 4:00 but I knew I couldn’t wait that long for the results. I was starting to go insane, googling images of tests and their corresponding betas, and starting to believe my beta was going to be real low. Finally, I pulled myself together and drove home. Since I hadn’t peed since right after my blood test at 9:30 am, and it was at that point 1:30 pm, I decided to POAS yet again. I used a wondfo test and got a darker result than yesterday which eased my mind a bit. I proceeded to obsess and turned into someone I don’t even know. Who was I?!?!? I can’t believe the OCD craziness that ensued. But, since this blog is my journal and posting my tests from the last cycle helped me do some OCD comparisons this cycle, I figure I might as well add them to this journey journal of mine. (And, for the record, I blame this ALL on my friend B, who is a POAS junkie.)

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And below is the test I took at 9dp5dt during the last IVF cycle (14dpo – equivalent today at 8dp6dt, seen above). This was the morning after I received the news of my beta which was 124. As you can see, yesterday and today’s tests are pretty much the same as that one was. So although most of the tests I saw like this online turned out to have betas between 25-75, this test was with a beta of 124.

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As a newly diagnosed POAS addict, I found myself googling this stuff, so I figured it might help some other poor addicted soul in the future. Apparently, my beta numbers do not have anything to do with the darkness of the line on a FRER because…

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TODAY’S BETA @ 8dp6dt = 153! 

Yippeee!!!! For now I am ecstatic! My nurse was soooo excited to tell me and thinks it’s a nice high number and a great start! As you know, I know there’s a long road ahead, but I’m trying to stay in the moment as much as possible and enjoy pregnancy while I am pregnant. I will go back on Friday 1/17, the day after tomorrow, for Beta #2, to be sure it doubles.

Today I am pregnant 🙂

6dp6dfet – Wuss turns Wonder Woman

Well,after lying in bed for hours trying to decide whether to use my FMU to POAS, I finally decided that holding that much urine in for that long can’t be good for me and that I should get up and face the day. I started the morning the exact same way as my last Monday morning before my Wednesday beta test, with a dream about a positivity hpt. Everything has been so similar to last time, it’s pretty weird. Last time when I had the dream and l stayed in bed convincing myself not to POAS, I decided to use my husband’s bathroom so I wouldn’t be tempted. This time I dragged myself out of bed and grabbed a wondfo strip from my stash in my bathroom. It took me a minute to rip open the package and dip it but I convinced myself to do it, because I just couldn’t imagine spending the next two days googling and driving myself insane with all of my symptoms. I needed to know, either way. I looked at the white space, turned on the shower and prepared for a long shower cry. As the water heated up I thought I noticed a hint of a line. I hopped in the shower but then hopped back out to check again. The line was getting darker and was no longer a squinter. It had been only a couple minutes and the test says to wait five minutes. I hopped back in the shower. My phone received a text. It was my mom. She wanted to know if I had acupuncture this week. I jumped out of the shower, began to text her back and looked at the test. It was darker. It’s still light but there is definitely a line and it ain’t no squinter! I decided to call my mom. I called her from in the shower, with the phone far from the water but the water running down my back. I told her I have acupuncture tomorrow and that I was in the shower. Then I told her I tested this morning and that there’s a line! I turned off the shower, hopped out again, and looked at the test yet again. Definitely positive. At least I know there was implantation and at this point that’s the step I wanted to reach!  She was very excited but we both know, unfortunately, there are lots of next steps. But for now, this is a great start! I’m impatiently awaiting for my husband’s lunch period to start so I can call and tell him. Eeeek! Please God let this year bring us our healthy take-home baby! (or babies!)

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