Thursday, January 31, 2013

Trisomy 18

The results of our chromosomal testing are in.  The reason for our miscarriage is that our baby had Trisomy 18.  Basically what this means is that our baby had an extra #18 chromosome, instead of the normal two.  The medical complications of Trisomy 18 are potentially very life-threatening in the early months and years of life.  50% of babies that are carried full term are stillborn.  Of those that survive and are actually born, less than 10% make it to their first birthday.

Statistics show that there is a very high mortality rate for babies with Trisomy 18, either before or shortly after birth.  Typical characteristics of Trisomy 18 are:

  • Heart defects:
    • VSD (Ventricular Septal Defect): a hole between the lower chambers
    • ASD (Atrial Septal Defect): a hole between the upper chambers
    • Coarctation of the aorta: a narrowing of the exit vessel from the heart
  • Kidney problems
  • Part of the intestinal tract is outside the stomach (omphalocele)
  • The esophagus doesn’t connect to the stomach (esophageal artesia)
  • Excess amniotic fluid (polyhydramnios)
  • Clenched hands
  • Pocket of fluid on the brain (choroid plexus cysts)
  • Rocker bottom feet
  • Delayed growth
  • Small jaw (mycrognathia)
  • Small head (microcephaly)
  • Low-set ears
  • Strawberry-shaped head
  • Severe developmental delays
  • Umbilical or inguinal hernia

  • A small number of adults (usually girls) with Trisomy 18 do live to be in their twenties and thirties, although they have significant developmental delays that do not allow them to live independently without a caregiver.

    I am so, so glad that we had the chromosomal testing done.  We both feel much better about the miscarriage considering the road that would have been ahead for us.  I would much rather have lost our baby at this early stage, than carry it full term, only to have a stillborn. 

    We know that the extra chromosome came from the egg.  The genetic doctor that I talked to said that usually happens with older parents.  With my sister just being 32 and having already delivered 3 healthy babies, she said the odds of this happening were about 1%.  The other embryos are most likely okay.  There is probably no greater than a 1% chance of this happening again using the other embryos.

    They can do genetic testing on the other embryos for abnormalities, but that can also be harmful to them.  With only 2 embryos left (and only one of them being viable most likely), she said she wouldn't recommend doing the testing since the odds of anything being wrong with them are so low.

    Since my sister is planning to have one more child herself, I also asked if Sis would be at risk of having a Trisomy 18 baby.  The doctor said the chances are extremely low.

    Knowing that there is nothing that I did wrong during the pregnancy, and knowing that there is nothing that we could have done different, makes us feel so much better.  It is also really reassuring to know that the miscarriage was not due to me having a hostile uterus.  There is no reason indicated that I would not be able to carry a baby full term.  In this instance, nature just took it's course because we had a genetic abnormality that is very rare.

    While it really sucks that this had to happen in the first place, I am very glad to know that there is nothing that we could have done differently.  I am also glad that nature took it's course and saved us from making some very difficult decisions down the road.  I wish that it was a normal, healthy baby and pregnancy.  I wish that we weren't in the 1% category.  But wishing doesn't do any good and it doesn't change our outcome.  All we can hope for at this point is that those last two embryos turn out to be our take home baby(s).

    *The Trisomy 18 info in this post was found at the Trisomy 18 Foundation website.


    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

    The Positive Side of Things

    As much as it totally sucks that we had a miscarriage, there are a few positive things that Hubby and I have taken from this experience.  First of all, we were able to enjoy being pregnant for 9 weeks and 5 days.  For 2 1/2 months we had the opportunity to plan for our future baby.  We purchased a few outfits that we thought were perfect.  We talked about baby names and made plans for turning our back bedroom into the nursery.  We planned how we were going to make this work around our softball schedule.

    Most of all though, we had the amazing experience of announcing our pregnancy to Hubby's parents.  That was such an awesome evening for us and an experience we will always treasure.  It was such a special moment for us, even though a week later we had to let them know we lost the baby.  I am so grateful that we got to have that moment.

    We've been asked by several people if we will be trying again.  We do have two frozen embryos being stored for us.  One of them really wasn't that strong and probably won't survive the thawing process, but the other one had looked pretty good.  Yes, we do plan on using those in what will be our last attempt.  Neither of us have a lot of faith that it will work, as there are so many variables against it.  Who knows if either one of them will survive the thaw?  If they don't, we are done.  If they don't implant, we are done.

    I hate to say it will be the end of the road for us, but that is the truth.  We have already paid for the one FET cycle with the ARC loan we took out, so we absolutely want to take advantage of that.  However, beyond that, we don't see us being able to continue.  We just cannot afford to go into more debt.  We do not live in a state that mandates IF insurance coverage.  NONE of our infertility treatments have been covered by insurance.  Not the meds, not the appointments and procedures along the way, nothing.  If our finances allowed us too, I would continue this journey until we got our happy ending, but the truth of the matter is, we can't afford to.  Besides that, I don't have the eggs to do it.  As much as I'd love to ask my sister to donate again, I'm not sure that she would want to, or could afford to do it again either (the expense being the time off work she had to take for appointments).  We would have to think about using an anonymous donor and that cost about $7000 more, in addition to the baseline cost of the whole process to begin with.

    We've been asked if we've ever thought about adoption.  Well, yes, of course we have thought about it.  If you would like to give us the $15-$20,000 for us to do that, then yes, we will pursue adoption.  For us, it was one or the other.  Infertility treatments or adoption.  We chose to try to have a baby on our own.  It didn't work.  Or at least not yet.  We do have one more try.

    By the end of this week, we are supposed to get the results of the chromosomal testing being done from the tissue collected during the D&C.  I don't know exactly what that will tell us for sure, but I am looking forward to finding out.  If it helps the next baby stick around for the long haul, I want all the information I can get.

    On another note, a fellow blogging friend, Andy at I Won't Give Up just got the sad news at her first ultrasound that her pregnancy is over also.  She is scheduled for a D&C tomorrow.  I got so much love and support from all of you after my loss, and I am sure she could use all the hugs and support from you as well.  It is just so unfair that any of us have to experience such heartache when we work so hard to even get to this point.

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

    Moving On

    I spent my weekend doing absolutely nothing but staying in my pj's moping around and eating junk food.  Hubby and I did get out and go to a movie Saturday night, which was much needed.  We live in a small town, but are fortunate enough to have our own pretty nice theater about 5 minutes from our house.  We saw the movie Silver Lining Playbook.  We thought it was an excellent movie.

    Yesterday was my D&C.  We left our house at 6:40am for an 8:30 check in time.  Of course I had paperwork that needed to be filled out.  Along with the normal paperwork, the gal at the check in counter handed me a small slip of paper that asked what my goal was for the appointment.  Considering what I was there for, I thought that question was really tacky and inappropriate.  Hubby agreed.  What was I supposed to write?  My goal was to get rid of the dead baby inside of me?  I was supposed to hand that slip of paper to the nurse.  When she did come get me, I gave it to her blank and told her the reason.  The nurse agreed that it was an inappropriate question.

    The doctor came in and explained what the surgery would entail and answered all of our questions.  She was extremely nice.  She even humored us when we asked if she would be checking the baby before doing the procedure.  Not that I didn't believe the results from the previous week, because I know Dr. W checked extensively, but well.....just in case there was some miracle and there was still some growth after all.  She brought the ultrasound machine into the room and we got to see our baby one more time.  Still no heartbeat and still at the same growth measured last week.  It was a sad moment, but also kind of bittersweet. 

    We finished signing all of the consent forms and they took a vial of blood from Hubby so they could do a chromosomal test on the tissue of the baby.  They are going to do some testing to try to narrow down what the cause of the miscarriage was.  It could be something genetic, or it could be something wrong with my uterus.  They needed to take a blood sample from at least one of the biological parents, and since that would not be me because we had an egg donor, it was Hubby that had to give up some blood.  He was totally okay with that, and I thought it was great that he got to have a turn getting stabbed with a needle.  lol

    After that part was done, we had to go to a different building to check in for the actual surgery.  The worst part about the whole day was getting the IV put in.  Oh. My. Goodness that hurt so bad!!  I cannot even begin to tell you how much I hated that part.  The hospital gown I got was pretty cool though.  They connected this really cool hose thingy to it that blew warm air and puffed up the gown (imagine a vacuum cleaner bag that fills with air when it's turned on).  But oh boy, when she was putting the IV in I was sweating SO much and was begging for them to turn the warm air off!  Low and behold, it could blow cold air too!  It was the best part of the day.

    About an hour and a half later, I finally got wheeled back into the operating room and I was pretty much asleep by the time we entered the room.  That anaesthesia works fast!  I was out of it.  It's also pretty amazing how quickly you wake up afterward.  It's a very strange feeling.

    They gave me a mega dose of Ibuprofen, some water, and some crackers.  Then they let me go to the bathroom.  They have some really fancy hospital underwear that they gave me, along with a pad.  There was some blood, but that went away within a couple hours after the surgery.  I'm actually really surprised at the lack of blood.  They gave me a prescription of Vicadin, but I didn't take any.  The nurse almost scared me into taking some before I left the hospital.  She said it's really hard to catch up with the pain if you don't stay on top of it.  I'm really glad I didn't give in and take it.  I had some cramping going on, but I was mostly just uncomfortable, never in any actual PAIN.  Unless you count the IV!  I don't want to take that stuff if I don't need it.  There is way too much of a problem with pain killer addictions in our country.  With both of my parents being drug addicts/alcoholics, I tend to stay away from stuff like that if I can help it.

    Hubby has been awesome through this whole thing.  I know this isn't the case for a lot of people, but this loss has actually brought us closer together.  Ever since we found out about the miscarriage, he can't get enough of touching me (not in a sexual way, but in a comforting way!).  He said he just couldn't stop wanting to pet me!  He has pretty much been at my beck and call, jumping up to do things for me all the time, even though I keep reassuring him that I am okay.  Actually, it's been kind of nice to feel so loved and taken care of.

    Last night we met with the pastor at our church.  It was much needed because I have had a lot of bitter feelings towards God and I needed to get a handle on those feelings.  I needed to get a different perspective about things.  The meeting really, really helped me come to terms.  It really helped Hubby as well.  He's been struggling with his faith the past couple years anyway.  We are both believers and have never doubted that there IS a God, but sometimes it is really difficult to understand the why.  Why does God allow things like this to happen?

    I really appreciated that Pastor S did not have any pat answers, but listened and offered comfort.  It was exactly what we needed.  He is going to find another couple for us to connect with, that is a little older than us that has experienced some of the same struggles we have.  He also invited Hubby to meet with him for breakfast sometime, which is PERFECT.  That would be so good for him.

    Today, I am still binging on junk food.  I'm going to have to get over that soon.  I may be a personal trainer, but that doesn't mean I don't struggle with having a healthy relationship with food.  I've given myself permission to eat bad long enough.  I will get back on track as soon as I finish off the ice cream in the freezer....

    I am feeling much better both emotionally and physically.  I have some minor cramping today, but nothing serious.  Emotionally, I feel ready to move on.  Or at least ready to accept the loss of this pregnancy.  I am not quite ready to accept the lonely outlook of our future without kids.

    Saturday, January 26, 2013

    Drowning My Sorrows in Sugar, and Other Food

    I went to work on Thursday, the day following my horrible ultrasound.  Can I just say how much I hate the question "how are you?" right now?  When it's pretty much the crappiest time in your life, answering that question just plain sucks.

    There are several people at work that know we have been going through infertility treatments, but nobody knew our timeline or knew that I was pregnant.  Only a few more weeks, and I would have been sharing that news!  It's not really much of a secret anymore.  Now that the pregnancy has come to an end, I don't really care who knows.  Obviously, I wasn't in the greatest of moods, but I think I did a pretty good job of going about training my clients. 

    I shared with a few people about the miscarriage.  I was working with one gal and had no intention of sharing my heartache, but then a friend came in the gym to workout and asked the dreaded question "how are you?"  I had trouble shrugging off that question and those two, the friend and the client, could instantly tell that something was wrong which just made me break down.  So I told them.  They both gave me hugs and expressed their sympathy.

    Before going to teach my group of ladies that I train, I went back to my desk to find a bouquet of tulips, homemade blueberry muffins, and a card.  Reading the card just made me breakdown again.  A co-worker was in the office at the time, so then I had to explain to her what was wrong.  After teaching my ladies, I came back to my desk to find another bouquet of flowers and a dozen donuts.  Okay, first, who brings a dozen donuts into a gym?  Second, who gives a TRAINER donuts?  lol

    The outpouring of love I got from these people at work, and the love and support that have been shown here from the blogging community means so much to me.  There aren't enough words to say how much it has meant to me to have so many people express their sympathies for our loss.  Thank you so much to all of you that have stopped by my blog and left your comments.  I know it is so difficult to know what to say in times like these.  I am having trouble finding the right words myself.

    But I digress....Who brings donuts to a trainer?  Who ATE all the donuts?  This person right here.  On my way home from work that day, I opened up that bag of donuts and ate 3 of them.  I came home, and ate a few of the cupcakes I had made the night before.  I also ate 2 of the blueberry muffins.  Yesterday I ate almost an entire bag of chocolate chips and the rest of the muffins.  Today, I finished off the bag of chocolate chips and ate the last donut.  Yesterday, I also ate a big salad with FETA cheese on it.  Today I had a turkey, bacon, ranch panini and potato salad.  If I couldn't eat it while I was pregnant, I am eating it now!!!  If Bob didn't already not have heartbeat, he/she'd be in a sugar/food coma now!  (poor joke, I know, but I have to try finding humor in all of this somehow) 

    The last few days have been rough.  I had to spend Thursday and Friday fielding what literally had to have been at least 20 phone calls from the clinic/hospital to finalize the details for the D & C scheduled on Monday.  Dr. W wanted me to continue with the hormones until I have the procedure, so that I didn't naturally miscarry the baby before that time.  However, she said I can use the Crinone I had left over from our previous IVF attempts, instead of doing the PIO injections.  After 3 days of using the Crinone, I would have rather continue with the injections.  I hate Crinone and it hates me.  I ended up with a vaginal infection the last time I used it, and I believe it's doing the same thing this time.  Ugg.  Only 2 more days.

    I can't wait until Monday is over so that Hubby and I can just move on.

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

    Bob is Dead

    At 9 weeks, 5 days today, I went in for my just for fun last ultrasound with Dr. W before officially graduating to a regular ob/gyn.  And there was no heartbeat.  The baby stopped growing just 2 days after my last ultrasound.

    Hubby was not able to go to this appointment with me, so now I just get to sit here and wait until he gets home to tell him the really shitty news.

    It really sucks and I have so much more I want to say about this.  But not right now.  Right now I am going to go make cupcakes.  And maybe eat them all.

    Monday, January 21, 2013

    MLK Day

    "We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    "There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love."  -Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Since today is a day in honor of Martin Luther King, I thought it only fitting to share about my trip to Montgomery, Alabama this past summer.  My life has been consumed of softball for the past 20 years, and I have missed out on a lot of things that I've had to turn down because "I have softball this weekend."  However, it has also taken me on a lot of fun adventures and new places.  This past summer, our team traveled to Alabama for the USA/ASA National tournament.  While the week was full of softball, we also were able to take advantage of our time there to visit the Rosa Parks Museum and have a history lesson about Martin Luther King. 

    We visited the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church
    The pulpit that MLK preached from
    We visited  the home where Martin Luther King, Jr. lived with his family
    The gal that gave us the tour of MLK's home, was actually a member of the church when he was pastor there.  It was so hard for me to fathom that this part of history was such a short time ago and that our tour guide lady, Margaret, lived and breathed the bus boycott that took place following Rosa Parks refusal to give up her seat.  I asked Margaret if she participated in the boycott.  She said that she supported it, but as a teacher she was not allowed to actually march and protest or she would have sacrificed her job.  I was in awe of the fact that this lady got to hear Dr. King minister to their church every Sunday, and is still an active member of the church today.  What's also amazing to me is the lady that lives right next door to MLK's home and sits on the rocker on her front porch every day, was living in that same house when Martin Luther King's family lived there.

    I learned so much on this trip that the history books just didn't quite capture when I was in school.  Living on the West Coast, we are very far removed from this part of history.  It was extremely eye opening to have the very vivid reminder that this did not happen all that long ago, which I also find extremely sad.  I absolutely do not understand the lack of humanity and how people can treat other people so badly, simply because they are perceived as different.

    It was an amazing experience to share with the other parents and the players on our team.  Even as teenagers, they were able to grasp the gravity of what it must have been like back then, and they came home with the best history lesson they will ever get on the civil rights era, hearing it directly from a few that lived and breathed during that time.

    "The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: 'If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?'  But...the good Samaritan reversed the question: 'If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?' "  -Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Sunday, January 20, 2013

    My First Blogging Award

    Can I just say how excited I am to get my first blogging award? Maybe it's silly, but I think this whole blogging community is pretty dang cool. I really enjoy reading other people's blogs and I absolutely love the interaction with my blogging friends.

    A big THANK YOU to Kimberly at No Good Eggs for nominated me for the Liebster award! She is a fellow IF blogger that is just about to start her first cycle using an anonymous egg donor. I have also been nominated by Jen at Overworked Ovaries for the same award!  Her and her husband have been TTC since 2008 and they are gearing up to start their 3rd round of IVF soon.


    This award is given to new or up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers…the award is then passed along to other bloggers in the same category to help spread the word and support one another.
    If you receive the award, there are a few rules to follow…
    • Each blogger nominated must post 11 things about themselves
    • Then answer the 11 questions the tagger has asked
    • Blogger must then create 11 questions of their own to ask the bloggers they decide to nominate
    • They must choose 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers to nominate and link them on their blog post
    • Bloggers must be notified of their award!
    • No tag backs!
    This may take awhile.  haha!

    11 Things about me:

    1.  I have been coaching girls fastpitch softball for going on 20 years.  My high school teams have been to the State playoffs every year except for two, including one State Championship and three Semi-Final Appearances.  My travel team has qualified for the USA/ASA National Championship Tournament the last two years and we should this summer as well.

    2.  I played in the Oregon Racquetball tournament circuit for a few years until my doubles partner tore her calve muscle.

    3.  I have 3 nieces and 3 nephews that are absolutely the love of my life.  Seriously.

    4.  I love reading.  My favorite author is Nicholas Sparks.  I have to be careful when I start a book because I will usually end up staying up ALL night until I finish it.  I just can't put a good book down.

    5.  I also love going to the movies.  I have been known to go to the movies by myself when I am upset about something.  It's a great escape into someone else's story, real or make believe, for just a few hours before having to turn back to reality.

    6.  My husband and I have a goal of visiting all 50 states in our lifetime together.  So far we have been to: Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho, Texas, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Arizona.  We don't count layovers on flights.  It doesn't count if we don't leave the airport!

    7.  I am annoyed easily by people that smack their gum or make tapping noises incessantly.

    8.  I did direct sales for 8 years selling PartyLite candles.  I was actually pretty good at it and earned 4 all expense paid vacations during that time.  I loved it.

    9.  I'm actually pretty shy.  It's kind of weird really.  I LOVE entertaining people and can give a good speech no problem if it's about something I know well and enjoy.  I enjoy making people laugh.  But put me in a room full of people I only kind of know, in a social setting?  Yeah, that makes me extremely uncomfortable.

    10.  I love scrapbooking, but will never in my life finish all of my pictures.  It is just not possible.

    11.  I was a major tomboy growing up.  I was the wall ball champion at lunch time in middle school.  I skate boarded with the neighbor boys.  I climbed trees, played in the dirt, and played with spiders (gross!  Now I HATE them!).  I've never really worn make up and I don't do my hair fancy.  I just am who I am.

    Questions from Kimberly:

    1. If you were going to be on the cover of a magazine, what magazine would it be?  Sports Illustrated
    2. What would be the headline?  Softball Team Wins National Championship
    3. What is the best decision you almost didn’t make?  Pursuing IF treatments
    4. What is the most dreamy date you have ever been on?  To the Oregon Coast when my husband proposed to me.
    5. What one quality can you just not stand in other people?  Rudeness
    6. What is your favorite room in your home? Living room.  I love being all cozy on the couch in my pj's with a blanket watching a favorite t.v. show.
    7. What did you sleep with as a comfort item when you were little?  I had a baby blanket and LOTS of stuffed animals
    8. What is the best meal you have ever had?  Oh gosh.  I don't know.  I love Mexican food.
    9. Pick one for the rest of your life: movies or TV shows?  That's a tough one.  I like both.  Probably movies.
    10. If you start a book and don’t like it, do you finish it or ditch it?  Usually finish it.  Some books just start off slow and end great.
    11. How did your parents choose your name? The other name my mom had picked out was Pippy LaRue.  I am so happy to be Amber Lyn instead.

    Questions from Jen:

    1. What's your biggest guilty pleasure? Watching t.v.  I am guilty of watching reality t.v. like the Biggest Loser, American Idol, X Factor, and America's Next Top Model.  Oh, and the Bachelor.
    2. Snacks...salty or sweet? Both.  How about chocolate covered pretzels?  or salted carmels?
    3. What's your favorite book? All of Nicholas Spark's books.  Favorites?  The Wedding, The Notebook, A Walk to Remember, Last Song  (The books are of course better than the movies)
    4. How did you meet your spouse? First week of college playing volleyball with a group of friends
    5. What's the scariest thing you've ever done? Give myself shots for IVF
    6. Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life? Tough question.  Maybe Jennifer Lawrence?
    7. Do you have any hobbies? reading, scrapbooking, sports
    8. Do you prefer the city or the country? I actually like both, but would prefer living in the country
    9. What is the farthest place you have ever traveled to? Aruba
    10. Do you have pets? No, we are dreading the day our child asks up for a pet.
    11. What was your first job? babysitting.  And then I worked in a day care when I was in high school for awhile.

    My Questions to you:

    1. What's one thing you've always wanted to do, but don't think you'll ever actually work up the courage to actually do it?
    2. What would your dream job be and are you doing it now?
    3. Who is the one person in your life that you look up to and admire the most?
    4. What is your favorite t.v. show?
    5. What is your favorite memory from high school?
    6. Did you play sports when you were younger?
    7. What and where was your best vacation ever?
    8. What are your top 3 favorite movies?
    9. What is your favorite thing to cook?
    10. What kind of music do you listen to?  Favorite artist?
    11. If money were no object, what is one big thing that you would purchase?
    Bloggers I nominate:

    This is actually kind of difficult because everyone seems to have already been nominated for the Liebster award already!  I am going to do some research and as I find my 11 new blogger friends, I will update this post.
    1. Andy at I Won't Give Up
    2. Jane at Mine to Command
    3. Candi at Putter Pie
    4. Aspgriswold at  Our Grisworld 
    5. Liz at Wishing on a Snowflake
    6. Teresa at Where the *bleep* is Our Stork?
    7. Aramis at It Only Takes One

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

    Pay It Forward 2013

    Reading is one of my favorite pastimes.  When I saw that Jessah at Dreaming of Dimples was starting a project called Pay It Forward 2013 and it involves books, I new I wanted to participate.  Plus, it is just another great way to interact with my fellow blogging friends and maybe get to know some new ones.

    So here's how it works:

    The first 5 people to comment with their email and blog address will receive a book from me in the mail. However, I would ask one thing of you. To pay it forward. I ask that you make the same offer on your blog and then bless five lucky people. To post the button and pass along a beloved book (new or used) to five of your readers. It could be a favorite book or a book you think could really help the receiver based on what's going on in their life (i.e. fertility or pregnancy book, photography, cooking, diet, etc.) Blog stalking would be required. If you send the book media mail, the cost is under $3. It is a very inexpensive way to give something meaningful to someone else without expecting anything in return.

    Even if you are not one of the first 5 commenters, you can still participate in Pay It Forward 2013 on your blog. Just write a post, add the button by clicking on it here in this post, make the offer and send the books.  Simple.

    Thank you Jessah for coming up with this wonderful way to celebrate your one year blogiversary!  I am really looking forward to receiving your book and to pay it forward!

    Telling the In Laws

    Monday night, following our good news at the ultrasound, we decided to finally reveal our secret to Hubby's parents.  Of course we had wanted to do it this last weekend, but just weren't quite comfortable doing it yet when we hadn't really gotten very reassuring news at our prior ultrasounds.  But after Monday's great news, we just couldn't wait!  (It's more like Hubby couldn't wait, and it didn't take too much to talk me into it!  lol)  His parents are leaving for Mexico on Thursday and Hubby is working late all this week, so it was pretty much our only night to do it.

    We drove out to their house, talked for a few minutes in the kitchen, then moved into the living room and sat down for our visit.  I had photo copied the ultrasound pictures and trimmed it down so it looked like the real thing.  After sitting for another few minutes, I casually pulled out the pics and handed it to my mother in law.  She looked at it silently, started to get teary, and then looked up to ask what it was.

    I told her it was what she was thinking it was and she just started sobbing.  I mean, literally sobbing.  Not just tears in the eyes.  Not just crying.  Sobbing!  Oh my goodness, I couldn't help but cry a little too!  And Hubby also cried.  You couldn't help it when she was so emotional.  In a good way of course!  It was awesome!

    So then we shared how far along we are (8w, 5d today) and told them about our first two ultrasound appointments and how we just didn't feel comfortable sharing our news when it was so uncertain at first.  Her first question was "when can I tell people about it?"  We told them we wanted to hold off on that for awhile yet since it is still so early.  We just don't want to have to go through untelling people if something bad happens.  There are also some people that we really want to be able to tell in person first.  I haven't told anyone in my family yet, besides my sister.  I probably will tell my mom on Monday, as that is her birthday.  What a great birthday surprise that will be.  But other than that, I do not plan on telling my family until we reach the 2nd trimester at least.

    Her second question, or really it wasn't a question but an exclamation, was "we get to go SHOPPING!"  haha!  I love that :)  Although, I told her not quite yet.  We still want to be sure we make it out of the first trimester.

    A funny part of the evening was when we were getting ready to leave.  My father in law asked where I was carrying the baby.  I told him I didn't know.  He then asked "well is it low in the belly, or is it up higher?"

    me: "I have no idea."

    him:  "is it sitting to one side or the other?"

    me:  "I really don't know."

    mother in law: "was it up here?  below the belly button, or down lower"

    Hubby:  "much much lower."

    them:  "well where did they put the jelly for the ultrasound?"

    me:  "inside."

    And then my father in law was just totally embarrassed and said "leave it to me to ask about that!"  They had NO idea it was a vaginal ultrasound, and not just the gel on the belly type thing.  It was pretty humerus actually and he was totally embarrassed.  I told him it was totally okay and I have no problem answering those questions, I just wasn't sure he wanted to know the answer!

    MIL tried to give the ultrasound pics back to me as we were leaving.  I told them that was for them to keep.  It's their very first picture of Bob.  She was surprised she got to keep them and got teary again.

    It was so fun to reveal our news.  We can't wait to tell everyone else.  It was awesome!

    Monday, January 14, 2013

    3rd Ultrasound = Great News!

    Today I am 8 weeks, 3 days measuring at 7 weeks, 6 days.  I had the best ultrasound appointment ever!  The heartbeat is at a strong 153 and the baby is measuring behind, but on track for the time interval passed between each of the ultrasounds so far.  Actually, it has picked up a day since last week!  We were behind 5 days last week and now we are only measuring 4 days behind schedule.  Woo-Hoo!

    I think Dr. W was just as excited as I was.  You could tell just as soon as the baby popped up on the screen that it was bigger than last week and right away we could spot the heart rate.  She said it looks just like a little gummy bear at this point, and she is right!  You can clearly see where the head is and the beginnings of the arm and legs, like little gummy bear stubby arms and legs :)  I would post the ultrasound pics, but our scanner doesn't work for me to put it on my computer.

    Now, I am just waiting for Hubby to get home.  He wasn't able to get the time off work today to go to the appointment with me.  He called just before I went into the appointment to remind me that he loves me, and that it would be okay regardless of the outcome.  He hated not being there, but we have to pay for all of this somehow!  Actually, I really wasn't too keen on getting bad news by myself if that had been the case, but thank God it wasn't!!!  Now I just have to wait for Hubby to get home so I can tell him that Bob is doing great!

    Yes, that is what he decided that we should call the baby right now.  Haha!  We were talking one night recently, and he jokingly called it Bob.  Okay, I hate the name and I said no way!  However, 2 seconds later I thought what the heck?  It's not actually going to BE the baby's name.  Hubby wasn't serious, but we have to call it something, so Bob it is.  Besides, it's kinda funny.  So there you have it.  We have a Bob.

    Yay!  I'm so excited!  And now I can actually feel a sense of relief for the first time during this whole process so far.  Whew.

    Dr. W said she felt comfortable graduating us at this point.  I told her that was kind of scary.  She agreed, but said technically everything looks great at this point but she would leave that up to me.  I have my appointment scheduled with my new ob/gyn on Feb. 1st, but if I would like another ultrasound before then, she would be more than happy to do that for me.  I told her yes, I absolutely would like to see the baby again.  Maybe it's dumb since it does cost $42 each time, but I think it's worth it just for the reassurance of seeing the baby again.  I asked if we could schedule it when she is on shift and she said absolutely!  She wants to see the baby again too!  I go in again next Wednesday.

    Wow.  I am so happy right now!

    The Non-Reveal Dinner

    When we spent the weekend before New Years with Hubby's family at the coast, we made plans for his parents and Grandpa to come over for dinner and then go out to a movie.  We schemed all this up with the intention of announcing our pregnancy to them during the dinner.  We weren't planning on announcing publicly, but at least revealing our news with close family.

    But then at our first ultrasound on December 31st, we didn't quite see the flicker of the heartbeat and definitely didn't hear it.  The fetus was also measuring small.  We were told this might be due to late implantation, so don't worry yet.  It wasn't the warm and fuzzy ultrasound news that we were hoping for, but it also wasn't the worst news.  We were still in limbo.

    Our second ultrasound was exactly one week later.  We did get to see the heartbeat, but it was measuring low at only 108 beats/minute and it was still measuring small, but at least showed a weeks worth of growth in the one week that had passed.  Good news, but still not out of the woods yet.

    Well, this past weekend on Saturday was our dinner with his parents and Grandpa.  We still kept the plans for dinner and a movie, but we did not feel comfortable revealing our news yet.  I know it's never a for sure thing until we actually bring that baby home from the hospital, but we just don't feel comfortable sharing our news until we actually get that confirmation of a strong heartbeat and continual, consistent growth.  So we just enjoyed our dinner and the time spent with family. 

    So far, the ONLY people that know we are pregnant is my sister - which seems only fair since she is the one that helped us get pregnant in the first place.  She kinda put her body through a lot to donate her eggs to us.  Since I got to share the news with my sister, I told Hubby he could tell his brother.  Hubby was dying to tell somebody, so I told him it was okay to tell his brother.  That's it, only our siblings and their spouses.  We know we can trust them to keep our secret until we are comfortable telling everyone else.

    We just don't feel like it is REAL yet.  I haven't been experiencing any morning sickness and it's too early to start showing.  We also haven't gotten the overwhelming great news at our ultrasounds to feel absolutely certain that this is going to work out.  I also have read way too many stories about miscarriages to hold the misguided belief that all pregnancies end with a happy ending.  So we continue to wait.....

    In just 6.5 hours, I will be getting that third ultrasound.  Maybe then we will finally feel like we can at least share our news with family....

    Friday, January 11, 2013

    Bad Dreams

    Yesterday I took the plunge and scheduled my first appointments with a new ob/gyn.  Then last night I had 3 separate dreams that amounted to the same thing.  I dreamt that on Monday I am going to get nothing but bad news at my ultrasound.  We won't see a weeks worth of growth in the fetus and the heartbeat will be even slower than it was the last time, if it's there at all.

    Then this morning, when I took my prenatal vitamin, it was the first morning in WEEKS that I was able to take it without having to gag it down.  It went down smooth as can be, just like before I got pregnant.  Is that a sign?

    I feel like all my posts are doom and gloom with my worries and fears.  In actuality, I am a pretty positive person.  While I state my fears here in my blog, I feel like I do a pretty good job of staying neutral overall.  I feel like I've been staying neutral as a way to guard myself from bad news so it won't be such a shocker when I get it.  Sure, I'll be greatly disappointed, but I haven't felt like it would be the end of my world.

    However, this morning is different.  It feels pretty awful to wake up after having those bad dreams.  Now I have to spend the weekend with that in the back of my mind, while I wait for Monday to get here.  I was feeling pretty good about things and starting to feel confident that Monday would be a great day and we would see a stronger heartbeat.  Now I just don't know.

    How can I be confident when there is nothing really that makes me feel pregnant?  I haven't had the slightest bit of morning sickness.  My boobs aren't growing.  My string cheese aversion is gone.  I didn't gag on my prenatal vitamin this morning.

    I keep telling myself that I just need to have faith.  That I need to just leave everything up to God.  I am finding this to be next to impossible though.  I can't stop myself from worrying.  And then I worry about that - that God will think my faith is not strong enough. 

    I hate being in this place, but yet I am SO grateful that I am.  I am so grateful that I AM pregnant and have that to worry about.  Now I just have to wait for Monday to know if I am STILL growing a little human being inside of me....

    What an awful night I had and what an awful feeling to wake up to this morning.

    Thursday, January 10, 2013

    New OB/GYN

    I just got off the phone after scheduling my first few appointments with a new OB/GYN.  The whole idea makes me nervous.  I've been going to a Dr. in the town Hubby and I first lived in when we got married, but it is 30 minutes the opposite direction from where we live now and an hour plus from where we work.  It was very inconvenient for scheduling appointments.  It also is a totally different hospital from where we would want to give birth.  Not because it's not a good hospital, but because it is further away from us and our family.

    I looked on the website of the new clinic that I will be going to and had it narrowed down to a couple doctor's.  I chose these two as my top two choices because they had high risk pregnancy listed and seemed to have more experience with unusual circumstances, such as infertility.  I don't necessarily think I'm high risk (except maybe mentally!), but I am 38 so considered on the upper limits because of my age.

    Of the two doctors I had chosen, one was a man and one was a woman.  Honestly, I tend to lean towards preferring a woman ob/gyn because they get to know you on such an up close and personal level.  Haha!  However, after experiencing the past year of infertility treatments, I have learned it doesn't really matter.  I've had a few male doctor's take a number of vaginal ultrasounds too.  You just sort of learn to not care anymore.  As long as he has a good bedside manner and doesn't creep me out, I really don't care.

    At this clinic, they don't assign you a doctor, you get to choose.  However, you only get to make this decision based on what you read on their bio page and the warm fuzzy feelings you get (or don't get) by looking at their picture.  It sure would be nice if you could actually meet them in person before you make such a big decision. But...that is not an option.

    I chose to go with the male doctor because the other one apparently has limited office hours.  I think I was leaning toward him anyways because he has infertility listed on his bio.  Maybe he will have some understanding of what I have gone through to get to this point.  Maybe he will understand that I might need a little more care.  I don't know if I can handle going so long between appointments.  I'm also a little nervous of running into someone that will be judgemental of the fact that it is an egg donor baby.  That fear might be unfounded (I'm sure it probably is), but I won't know that until I meet the doctor.

    I still have my next ultrasound with Dr. W on Monday to see if the growth is consistent and the heartbeat has improved.  She said if things looked good, then I would probably be graduating out of their clinic.  Scary and exciting at the same time!

    My intake appointment with the new clinic will be on Wednesday the 16th.  That first appointment will only be with a nurse to get all my background info and some blood work done.  Then I don't actually meet with the new man doctor until Friday, Feb. 1st.  That seems forever away, but at least I have the ultrasound between now and then.  On Feb. 1st I will be 11 weeks pregnant.  Almost to the 2nd trimester!

    On a side note, I have lost 2 pounds in the last 2 days.  How is that possible?  I am eating roughly an extra 300 calories as recommended, if not more.  Yesterday I actually made some cupcakes and had a few as well.  There is no way I should be losing weight, at least in my mind.  I have not experienced any morning sickness so cannot use that as an explanation.  I certainly don't feel like I have lost weight. In fact, I would have thought the opposite with the bloating I experience every time I eat.
    I don't know at what rate a person is supposed to gain weight during pregnancy.  All I know is that a person should generally gain somewhere around 25-30 pounds total.  I know some people don't really even start showing until their 4th, 5th, and even 6th month.  I'm okay with that.  I just never expected to LOSE weight.
    I would google it, but I am staying away from Dr. Google.  He scares me.  I'm just going to continue along and keep praying that we will see another weeks growth and a stronger heartbeat on Monday.  Maybe someday soon I will actually start to feel pregnant.  I even had a string cheese this morning without the aversion I'd been having.  However, I can hardly gag down my prenatal vitamins lately.  I'll take that as a good sign.

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013

    2nd Ultrasound

    Yesterday I was 7 weeks, 3 days.  Or was it really 6 weeks, 5 days?  Are you confused?

    From the date of egg retrieval and fertilization, yesterday I would have been 7 weeks, 3 days.  However, remember last week when I said the fetus was measuring small?  It is still measuring small.  It measured at 6 weeks, 5 days yesterday.

    This may not be a problem, as it just might have implanted late.  I asked Dr. W what that means and she explained that when they transfer the embryo's, they are basically just floating around in your uterus.  Then it is the job of the embryo to implant.  It could have just taken a few days longer than usual. 

    The good news is that from last weeks ultrasound to this week, the growth was exactly one week.  Measuring small is not a problem as long as the growth stays on track for the time period lapsed from week to week.

    The other kind of good news, but maybe that there was a heartbeat!  It was very exciting to see AND actually get to hear the heartbeat.  However, it was only 108 which I thought was probably a bit low based on everything I've read and Dr. W confirmed that.  She said the minimum they want to see is 100, which we've reached, but they really would like it to be around 120.

    I am scheduled for another ultrasound a week from yesterday, so next Monday again to make sure the growth is on track and to hopefully see the heart rate a bit higher.  If the ultrasound shows another weeks growth and the fetus growing at a continuous rate, then Dr. W feels fairly comfortable graduating us out of the clinic to our regular OB (which I need to start shopping for a new OB!).

    When the heartbeat came up on the screen, I was so relieved to see it.  Hubby started crying.  I love that he is so emotionally invested, but I'm not sure what is wrong with me.  I was excited, but I am having a hard time feeling attached and believing it is real.  It's been so long that we have waited for this moment, and now that it is here, I just don't feel pregnant.  Yes, I've had a few symptoms, but NOTHING major and all of them could honestly be chalked up to other things.  It's hard to feel attached to this pregnancy when we are so worried about it not sticking.  We didn't see the heartbeat with the first ultrasound and were told it's measuring small.  So we worried.  Now yesterday the heartbeat is low and it is still measuring small and we have to wait and worry for another week.  The great news is that the growth matched the time in between ultrasounds, but we are "not out of the woods yet" in Dr. W's words.  When will the time come that I am just able to enjoy this moment?

    I want to google what it means that the heartbeat is only 108, but I am not going to because I know I will not like what I read.  I want to see/hear positive things.  I absolutely do not need more things to worry about.

    One thing that I am happy about is the fact that I get another ultrasound so quickly.  I mean really, who gets three weeks in a row so early in their pregnancy?  Of course, as I type that, I start to question myself and think, well, maybe that is not a good thing.  Arg!

    On a different subject, our softball weekend in Phoenix was great!  The players had a great time, the parents had a great time, and it was a wonderful distraction for us getting to do something we love.  The only thing we were disappointed in is that there were not a lot of college coaches there.  It was supposed to be a college exposure tournament with top level DI coaches attending for recruiting purposes.  We only saw about three coaches.  The Minnesota coach followed our team pretty closely and was very interested in one of our pitchers.  It's an exciting process to be a part of, but we do wish the tournament was as advertised due to the traveling expenses to get there.
    Arizona was great.  We loved the blue sky and 70* weather.  However, we knew it would be chilly in the mornings and evenings, but we did not expect it to be frozen!  On Saturday morning, we started our first game in 34* temperature!  It was so cold!  We were not expecting that.  But different than Oregon, it was 34* with no wind and it was dry!  That was a nice change.
    Our team did great considering we have not been outside or hit off a live pitcher in 3 months!  It took us a bit to get back into the groove and hit the way the girls normally do.  We played 2 warm up games on Friday, losing the first game 0-2 and winning the second.  The actual tournament started on Saturday and we played 5 more games the rest of the weekend, going undefeated.  I'd say it was a pretty good weekend.

    Wednesday, January 2, 2013

    I Caved

    I couldn't take it anymore.  I caved and gave into my craving.  That's right, I peed on a stick.  According to the stick, I am still pregnant.  Here is a picture of all the tests I've taken, minus the very first one that was digital, because the digital readout disappeared after about a week or so.  That was a sad day when I couldn't read the word "pregnant" anymore.

    The first 3 tests shown here were taken before the beta.  In the picture it appears that the second test line was not as dark, but that is just the glare in the picture.  The line was actually the exact same as the first one.  Then it shows my test last week at 5 weeks, 6 days, and my test today at 6 weeks, 5 days.  Today's test definitely shows the darkest line out of all of them.  I am taking that as a good sign.  I realize if something weren't quite right and there is no heart beat come Monday, there would still be a line showing HCG on the test.  However, wouldn't it maybe be a lighter line if the pregnancy was dying off?  That's just my theory.  As of right now, I am taking it as I am still pregnant because it is the darkest line yet!

    I also had a few pregnancy signs today.  For the last 3 years or so, I have eaten an apple or pear and a string cheese for my morning snack almost every single day.  Literally, just about every day that is what I eat.  Well, I can hardly seem to finish my pear lately because I just don't seem to want to eat it and I can hardly stomach string cheese right now.  The other day, I actually threw a small portion of the string cheese away because I just couldn't force myself to eat it.  Today was the same thing.  It just seems to taste really bad to me right now.  I'd say I was just getting sick of eating it everyday, but you'd think after eating it for 3 years, that wouldn't be a problem.  Also, my breasts are definitely more sore today.

    Tomorrow we fly to Arizona for our softball tournament.  I am a little nervous about going through airport security with my PIO and needles.  I got a note from the nurse at my clinic when I was there on Monday to excuse the meds so that should be fine.  I also plan to bypass the x-ray and opt for the pat down, which I have never done before.  I'm nervous about how that is going to go, especially since I will be with several people from our team that don't know I'm pregnant.  We'll see how that goes.....

    I won't have access to a computer all weekend, so I won't be able to blog.  I will still be checking in on everyone else's blogs from my phone, but I probably won't post anything as it is more difficult on my phone.  We used to have a laptop that we took with us when we traveled, but it died a few months ago.  It was a sad day.

    We come back Sunday night, then on Monday will be our next ultrasound!  I am so thankful for the weekend distraction, minus the stress of the airport.  We are also really excited because we have never been to Arizona before.  It's another state we can check off our list!

    Tuesday, January 1, 2013

    First Ultrasound

    Well, our first ultrasound yesterday was disappointing to say the least.  It could have been worse, but it definitely did not provide the reassurance we were hoping for.

    It was very difficult to see anything on the screen, at least for our untrained eyes.  I expected to at least see a small blob, but we didn't.  What we did see was a circle that you had to strain to see.  The doctor told us that was the yolk sac.  There was a little tiny speck of white that we could barely see if she held the wand just right.  She said that was the fetus.  We had to take her word for it.

    What she also said was she couldn't find a flicker of the heart beat.  Nope, maybe she saw it.  She's not really sure.  She said it's probably just still too early to see it.  (I was 6 weeks, 3 days yesterday)  She took the measurements and said it's measuring small, but that it's most likely because it implanted late.  She said she's not worried.  Just before she took the wand out, she said she thought she saw some flickering.  Hhmmm....

    Hubby and I both feel like she had to say she wasn't worried.  We also kind of feel like she was just making it up that she saw the flickering just to make us feel better.  We are trying not to panic.

    I am supposed to continue with the PIO injections and taking the estrace twice a day.  We are scheduled for another ultrasound next week on Monday, which will put me at 7 weeks, 3 days.  I really, really hope that we get good news that day.

    I still have not felt any morning sickness.  I have read on other blogs with women about as far along as I am that have been having it for a week or two already.  My sister had morning sickness with all 3 of her babies, starting around 5 weeks.  But I also know there are a few ladies that don't ever really feel sick at all throughout their entire pregnancies.  Could I be so lucky?

    There are times when I do feel like maybe I have some pregnancy symptoms.  I have to pee a lot.  But then again, I have ALWAYS had to pee a lot.  I drink a lot of water and it tends to go right through me.  I have been pretty tired and taking naps.  I have had several nights of insomnia which could be the contributing factor to the naps.  The insomnia could be due to worry rather than being pregnant.  I've been pretty hungry.  More so than seems normal, but maybe I'm just hungry.  There have been a few times that I couldn't finish my meal, but then again, maybe I was just full.  But then that never happens to me.  I've always been able to finish my plate.  However, the last two days I've actually gone back for seconds.  Uh oh.  What does that mean?  I have read that most girls experience a LOT of breast tenderness.  Mine really haven't hurt.  They were kind of itchy and sensitive the other day, but it really hasn't been that big of a deal.  I remember when I was taking the stim drugs that my boobs were extremely sensitive and sore.  I feel nothing like that now.

    I am just sharing with you a taste of the ramblings that have been going through my mind lately.  It was difficult waiting for that first ultrasound and now I have to wait a whole extra week to hopefully get the reassurance that everything is progressing as it should.  I have to say that it really sucks!

    In addition to all of that, remember my cousin and his wife that announced their pregnancy at our family Christmas party?  I found out over the weekend that she had a miscarriage on Friday.  That is her second miscarriage.  I feel so bad for them.  My heart hurts for them.  It also makes me that much more nervous for myself.

    I want to go pee on a stick, but I really don't want to see that the line has faded.  I don't want to see that and then have to wait till Monday to go in.  We leave town on Thursday for the weekend, so I wouldn't be able to call and get in early.  We are leaving for a softball tournament in Phoenix.  We are taking our traveling team there for a big college exposure tournament.  If anything, at least that will be a big distraction to help Monday come sooner.

    I did pee on a stick last Thursday.  I just couldn't wait until the ultrasound!  The pregnancy line showed darker than the pink baseline.  I felt pretty good about it.  And then we had our appointment yesterday.  I don't know what to think!!!!  And the only damn craving I have is to pee on another damn stick!