The Journey to a Little One to Call Our Own

One gal's experiences dealing with IF, pregnancy, the birth of our first son, parenthood, and doing it all over again with our second son... here is our journey.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Hello, Baby D

Oh my gosh, what a day! Seriously, one of the best in a LONG time. I'm exhausted :)

Started out the day with a huge snowstorm. Not out of sorts for Minnesotans, that's for sure, but we haven't really had a ton of snow in the last month, and people seem to forget how to manage their days with the snow. So, when 3-4 inches dropped before 8 a.m. this morning, it was enough to mess up the roads and delay everything.

Got to work, got some things situated for the week, and took off around noon. Mr. D picked me up, and it was off to grab some lunch before our big appointment.

So - got to the ultrasound about 20 minutes early for my 2:15 appointment. Our Realtor called my phone at about 2:05. He received my e-mail from last night. Basically, Mr. D and I have been house-hunting since we sold our house last September. Of the over 400 that we've seen online (literally, 400), we narrowed down to 4 being our favorites. One of these houses had an open house on Sunday that we stopped by. Fell in love with the house, e-mailed our Realtor, and he was calling to let us know that not only would we need to act fast, but this was indeed the deal we thought it was and we needed to get into the house today if we wanted to place an offer.

Snap back to reality. It's now 2:10. I told our Realtor we'd call him back. Waited another 15 minutes for my appointment. This whole time, Mr. D and I are going back and forth between, "are you as excited as I am to see the baby?!" to "holy crap, are we really going to go look at the house again... what would we do if we like it?"

2:40. Mr. D and I went back to Ultrasound Room #2 and Jenna, our very efficient ultrasound tech, told me to keep my clothes on and lay on the table. I thought for sure that it would be another trans-vaginal ultrasound, but nope! She squirted the gel on my tummy and within a second of placing the wand on my abdomen, there he/she was :)

Mr. D and I gazed up at the TV screen, watching our little baby breathe. The heart was beating, the baby was moving... the baby was alive! A huge weight was lifted from my chest. Our little baby bounced around the screen as Jenna took some measurements. I measured at 12 weeks, 4 days... 2 days ahead of schedule. The heartbeat was 162 bpm. Jenna looked in between his/her legs, but she said she would just be guessing at the gender at this point... so, we'll wait till mid-March to find out for sure. The baby lifted his/her hand to its forehead a couple times... so cute :) Jenna got this super-adorable picture of the baby smiling... seriously, it's like the biggest grin I've ever seen. My heart melted and it's official... I love this baby so much. It's so crazy... one month ago, the baby was barely a gray spot on the screen, and now he/she looks like a baby... arms, legs, tummy, head, lips, nose, eyes, ears... it's amazing. I will try to post scans of my u/s pictures soon :)

So... another post for another time... but, we then ended up going through a private showing and writing an offer on the house that we love. Mr. D and I were in shock from this whole day, and we are waiting to hear back from the owners on whether or not they are going to accept or counter our offer.

I am exhausted and going to bed, but wanted to post quickly. Not that it wasn't already official that I am pregnant, but it is SO real now. Hello there, Baby D, we can't wait for you to join us... we've waited a long time for you, and we love you already :)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

12 Weeks!

Wow - I made it to 12 weeks! Another milestone accomplished, and I couldn't be more happy. We are so blessed.

Mr. D and I promised that we would wait on a couple of things until we met the 12-week mark: weekly belly pictures, telling others about our pregnancy, and looking at/purchasing anything "baby" or maternity. I also decided to wait to track my pregnancy progress until now. I just didn't want to be disappointed if we suffered another loss, and although the wait from 3 weeks to 12 weeks has been incredibly long and agonizing, it's been SO worth it to hold off! :)

We are so excited for our NT ultrasound on Monday afternoon... this weekend just can't go fast enough and I can't wait to see our little bean! After the ultrasound, Mr. D and I are planning to share our news with friends and family... so far, the only people who know are two of my co-workers (including my boss), three friends, our parents, and my sister. I can't wait to share the news with Mr. D's sister and others in our lives who will share our excitement!

Without further ado, here is my first attempt at documenting my pregnancy:

Best Moment of the Week: After mumbling "Good Morning" to Mr. D this morning as I rolled over half-asleep, hearing him say, "Happy 12 weeks, my babies" just about melted my heart.

Entertaining Question/Comment of the Week: "So, how's the baby-making coming along?" This question came from my friend (who knows a lot about our TTC struggles over the years) over lunch yesterday, right before I told her that I am pregnant.

Obsessions: Pickles. But I don't think it's a craving. I love pickles anyway, and I feel like I crave dill pickles all the time, even when not pregnant. I won't share how many baby dills I've had in the last week... :(

Oh, and rubbing my hand over my lower-belly... there's definitely a small baby bulge there, and I love it!

What I am Most Looking Forward to This Week: Ultrasound!! I am so excited to see the baby again, and I am hoping it will help me relax a bit to know that we've seen our baby alive past the 12-week mark.

What I Miss the Most: Wine, hands down. It's not tough to not drink alcohol, per say, but sipping on wine is a daily relaxing activity Mr. D and I always do after work. I've had to alter my routine a bit and not walk directly to the wine glass after work. I've started sipping apple cider out of a wine glass, and that seems to help my craving... I think a piece of it is just holding on to the wine glass and sipping on something.

Symptoms: I've written about all of this before, but from about weeks 4-10, my boobs hurt so bad, I was almost in tears. They are huge now, but not hurt nearly as much. I also was peeing constantly during those same weeks, which seems to have calmed down a bit now (I've read this is normal... as you approach 12 weeks, your uterus moves up your abdomen, and applies less pressure to your bladder). Also during those weeks, I was sleeping a ton... asleep by 7:30, 8:00 each night. I am still a bit tired, but can stay up and not be completely exhausted. I am so thankful that I did not experience nausea... I had a few moments here and there, but never threw up and never had morning sickness. I am blessed!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

ICLW Follow Up & Being In Style

Wow, it's been a good week. A busy week, but a good one.

First of all, there are some AMAZING blogs out there. This is the first month I've fully participated in ICLW and linked up to several new blogs... this depth of this community is just amazing. I can't believe how many of us have struggled with IF, in one way or another, and turned to our computers in an effort to just let it all out. It's inspiring. It doesn't matter if you are a great writer, an okay writer, or a horrible writer of blog posts... we all associate with each other because of the common thread that we've all experienced and will always be a part of us. The support from the community is overwhelming and heartwarming.

Second of all, I was nominated for my very first blog award: The Stylish Blogger Award! Katie awarded me, and I am so honored :) Katie and her husband recently made the wonderful decision to adopt, and she is awaiting her little miracle. Go check out her blog!

Here are rules of award acceptance:

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you the award
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Award 15 other bloggers (I am going to break this rule... I am going to come up with a list of three)
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award

So, here's 7 random things about me (I'll try to make them interesting and something you wouldn't know about me):

1. I love cheerleading and dance - I coached high school varsity comp teams for 5 years.
2. I have never loved watching football, but have started watching NFL games this year... I think I like it now!
3. I love pens... if I go to a restaurant or store and like the pen I am given to sign a receipt, I will "borrow" it and leave them one of my old ones from my purse.
4. I only like tissue boxes that have cool patterns on them.
5. I am addicted to Burt's Bees lip balm.
6. I really like trail mix as an afternoon snack.
7. I love being woken up every morning before work by Mr. D. and not an alarm clock.

I am awarding The Stylish Blogger Award to:

On a sad note, our friend AP over at My Dusty Uterus lost a very good friend this week. Please stop over to her blog and offer your support.

Only 5 days until our next ultrasound, and I can not wait. I keep praying Baby D is doing well!

Mrs. D

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Happy ICLW & 11 Weeks!

Happy ICLW! If you're new to my site - welcome! So glad you found my blog. If you've been here before, welcome back, my friend! If you're interested in our whole, long TTC story, check out our timeline on the right-hand side. Here's a quick overview:

Been actively TTC for two years. Miscarried once. Been through months and months of HPTs, rounds of prometrium, Clomid, vitamins, herbs, progesterone, etc. I've had an HSG and lapraoscopy surgery. Mr. D (my wonderful husband) is not the problem - it was all me and my blocked tube... maybe tubes... never really did learn the whole story because my RE wasn't really sure post-surgery. Mr. D and I were shocked and over-the-moon to find out we are pregnant on 12/2/10, right before starting our RE's recommended procedures. God is good!

Speaking of being pregnant, I am 11 weeks today. CRAZY. The timeframe between when we found out we were pregnant and now seriously feels like a year... WAY worse than the infamous 2WW. I think it's because we have only told a few people that we are expecting... given my previous miscarriage and emotional aftermath of dealing with the age-old questions we IFers love ("why isn't this working???" and "what's wrong with me/us?"), we vowed to keep this as secret as possible. I think about miscarriage all the time, although I have to admit that as I get closer to passing the 1st trimester, those thoughts are thankfully becoming less and less frequent. I think I was scared to get too close to this pregnancy in fear that I would end up being an emotional mess again. But as my pregnancy symptoms ramped up (extreme tiredness, amazingly-aching boobs, constant peeing) and my tummy has started to fill out a bit, I've realized that we've wanted nothing else but this baby for a LONG time and he/she deserves all of the attention in the world.

So, hello, Week 11! We've made it another week and I can't believe it. My tummy is definitely filled out - nobody else can tell, but Mr. D and I both can see the mini-raised-bump. It's amazing. I think pregnancy pants will be needed in a few weeks.

This week, I really turned the corner with regards to symptoms. I can now stay awake past 8:30 p.m. (for the past 6-7 weeks, I've literally been sleeping by 7:30 p.m.), only get up to pee 1-2 times per night (as compared to 3-5 times), and although my boobs have grown a whole size already, the don't ache nearly as much. So, here's to hoping I am turning the corner as I round out the first trimester!

Next Dr. Appointment is January 31 for our NT scan and we can't wait to see the little bean again :)

Have a great week, everyone... and happy ICLW commenting!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I Joined the Cool Kids Club Today

Mr. D and I bought iPhone 4's. I think we now qualify for the Cool Kids Club.

This is really quite interesting for many reasons.

1. We are both completely technologically-delayed. This is actually quite surprising. We both work for Fortune 50 companies, where being up-and-with-it is important. Not just for the "cool factor," but because our jobs require it. We are constantly interacting with clients and supporting initiatives that are up-and-coming, including many that have to do with future technological enhancements.

2. We are not social-networkers. Since the beginning, I've avoided Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc. This avoidance definitely stems from my job - I work in HR, and the last thing I need is for one of my clients to find out about my personal life somehow. I know, I know... there are ways to make everything private. But, really - there are ways around all of it. We don't know anything about iTunes, Kindles, or Nook Colors, and I am not sure we ever will.

3. We're kind of tight-wads. As I've shared, we are saving like MAD. First and most importantly - hello! - we are having a baby and already, we are saving for our pregnancy, my maternity leave, and the baby's college education. Second - we sold our house last year and are buying another one this spring. So, there's some upcoming costs involved that require saving.

But, all of these things were placed aside when Mr. D came home with a $500 perk from his work for years of service with his company. There were tons of things we could have bought, but we decided to go big or go home. That's kind of our style... if we're going to make a decision, we're going all in.

So, iPhones, here we are. This, coming from the girl who has owned a flip-Nokia phone her whole life with no internet connection and limited texting capability.

But, life will be easier with our incredibly-fancy phones. No longer will I need to cringe every time I get a text message because it takes so long to respond. No longer will I need to make sure I print out Mapquest directions prior to driving somewhere... now I can look it up on my phone!

I am kind of scared of my new treasure... it's so pretty that I barely want to touch it. We had protective covers installed tonight, and were told not to put a case on each phone for 24 hours. So, now, Mr. D and I are longingly-gazing at our beautiful prizes sitting on our kitchen table. My phone seems to be calling to me: "Welcome to the 21st century, Mrs. D. You have arrived."

This is also a "check" off my Start, Stop, Continue list from the beginning of January... whoo-hoo!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

10 Weeks!

Double digits! Yet another milestone accomplished, and it is still so surreal, yet incredibly exciting. We've got a long way to go and many more milestones to reach, but we are so excited for where we are at. We've prayed and wanted this for so long.

I went to the Dr. this week, and they quoted my due date as 8/13/11, which means I am 10 weeks today. I was originally counting based on my last ultrasound in December, but once the Dr. re-measured the embryo size, it put me a day ahead. I'll gladly take another day!

The embryo graduates to a fetus this week, and it's so neat to read about the development of the baby at this stage. The whole process is such a miracle. We are so blessed. :)

Two weeks and one day until our 12-week NT scan, and time can't go fast enough! I can't wait to see our little bean again.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Anybody Else Want a Crystal Ball?

I wish I could see into the future. Wouldn't that solve a lot of worry? Think about it. If you could see one year into the future to see what your life would be like, would you? I would - no question. I am a planner and I want to know how I can best prepare every aspect of my life to the circumstances I have.

If I would have had a crystal ball two years ago when we first tried to conceive, boy, would things have been managed differently. I would never had let a year pass by with no medical help, and I would have taken more vacations without the mind-set of, "well, I might be pregnant, so let's think about that....". And I wouldn't have stressed every damn month over cycles, pee sticks, timed sex, you name it.

I know things happen for a reason and I trust that everything that is meant to be will happen and is ultimately out of my hands. I trust that my baby is safe and healthy, but it would sure be nice to know if everything is okay next August when I am scheduled to have this baby.

This is why I would like a crystal ball.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

First "Official" Appointment

Mr. D and I had our first OB appointment today. Holy cow, did we get a lot of information! We talked with the Doctor for awhile about our questions, and she gave us an overview of the process over the next 7-8 months. I had a breast exam, pelvic exam, and pap smear. Mr. D was sitting towards the side of the room, so he didn't see everything straight-on, but after we left, he goes, "Holy shit, there was like, a huge MACHINE inside of you!" He was referring to the clamps. Yup, it's all a part of being a lady.

Then, we got to hear the heartbeat for the second time. It is so amazing to hear our little bean's heart, steadily drumming away! Dr. found it right away, and it was really strong. She told me that now that we've confirmed heartbeat after 9 weeks, there's less than 3% chance of miscarriage.... or, the way I look at it, 97% chance of bringing home baby. I am still cautious, but feel WAY better after hearing that today. Every day, our little bean's chances get better!

Then, it was off to the lab for 4 draws of blood, a flu shot, and a urine sample. I was exhausted as we left the clinic about 90 minutes after we arrived. Definitely a successful visit, and we left with all of our appointments booked through April.

Estimated Due Date: August 13, 2011!

I haven't stopped smiling all day.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

9 Weeks!

I am 9 weeks today! Crazy. On one hand, it feels like I just got the BFP on my HPTs, but then I remember the several days of waiting in between betas, ultrasounds with days to spare in between, and figuring out how to hide the fact that I'm not drinking at holiday parties, and it feels like it's been an eternity.

Three weeks to go until second trimester, and I can not wait. I hope that everything goes well from now until then and we can reach our NT appointment in early February with no concerns. Please stay healthy and safe, little bean!

We have our first official Dr. appointment on Tuesday. Since I had so many check-ins in the very early weeks, the Dr. wanted to wait until 9 weeks to see me. I am hoping that we can check-in on the heartbeat... I am just praying that everything is progressing as it should.

Symptoms so far: aching boobs, extreme tiredness, extreme hunger, excessive peeing.

My boobs have hurt since the day before I got my BFP, got much worse, and now are calming down a bit. They are enormous, and I've already grown a whole size! I am a 34/36 D usually... not sure they can grow much bigger without having to bump up to an F. HOLY CRAP.

I am in bed, asleep, usually by 8:30 or 9:00 every night. I am just exhausted and can fall asleep anywhere, anytime. Last night, Mr. D and I stayed up to watch a couple movies, and I really pushed myself... made it to about 9:45 before passing out on the couch. I think that's a record for how late I've stayed up in the past month.

I am constantly hungry and have really started to take the "eat smaller meals, more frequently" tip to heart. This has been especially interesting at work. I am in-and-out of meetings all day long, and finding 5 minutes to stop by my office and grab a granola bar or handful of trail mix from my snack-stash can be tricky. I feel like I am never really full, and am always a little hungry.

What is up with the peeing? I have NEVER been one to have to get up in the middle of the night and go to the bathroom. However, this has now turned into a nightly routine. And I don't just pee a little... I pee a LOT. And, a few nights, I've had a couple trips to the bathroom... last night, I got up to pee 3 times. Seriously, how much pee can a girl make during the sleeping hours?

I've had a couple moments of nausea here-and-there, but never gotten sick. I feel pretty blessed... you hear horror stories of women being draped over the toilet day-in-day-out and feeling like crap. I feel really good and am so glad I haven't been ill!

My stomach is definitely growing... nobody would be able to tell but us. Mr. D and I can both tell that the space between my belly button and lady-area is expanding. I can't believe it's real!

I'll post after our Tuesday appointment. Hope everyone is well!

Mrs. D

Monday, January 3, 2011

One Year Ago Today...

... we got our first BFP.

January 3, 2010. I'll never forget that morning. It was a Sunday, and Mr. D and I were out late the night before. I secretly snuck out of bed early while Mr. D was sleeping to pee on a stick... I just had a feeling I was pregnant. And I was. I woke Mr. D up in bed by shoving the HPT in front of his face, saying, "Look at THIS!" We ran to Walgreens and bought more tests. I think I peed on 6 or 7 tests that morning. All positive. At this point, I was not nearly as savvy as I am now... one test would have been sufficient, but I needed to prove that it was real by peeing on several sticks. Seriously, my bathroom was plastered with used HPTs in order to firm up the fact that I was pregnant. Oh, I was naive.

Several days later, I told Mr. D. "I think I should take the last HPTs to see if the lines are darker." I think I had two left. One of the tests did not show a second line. No problem, I thought... I'll just take the digital. Not pregnant. WTF. We went to Walgreens again and bought more tests... all negative. And that started the horrible process of learning that I was no longer pregnant, would lose the baby, and miscarrying in a hotel room in Mexico on a pre-planned holiday trip with my parents. It SUCKED. It also started my curiosity and research into why this happened, and infertility in general.

One year later, here I am, pregnant. I am ultra-sensitive to losing another baby, but this time it feels real. And it is real. I need to constantly remind myself that I AM pregnant and I DO need to think about our future as parents.

I wish IF never messed with my life in the first place.

On the flip side, I believe that things happen for a reason. I am stronger because of IF. If I would have carried that baby, I would already be a mom of a 4-month baby. Would life be different? Oh, yeah, absolutely. Mr. D and I never would have been able to be financially risky-but-smart this summer when we took a temporary loss on selling our house. We would still be in a community we did not love, in a house we did not love, not around family or friends. I would not have found this wonderful, supportive blogging community. I could go on-and-on... there are a million things that would or wouldn't have happened, or events we would have experienced differently if we had carried that baby to term. And if I wasn't pregnant now, I would be sad about today. Depressed. Questioning why.

But because we are expecting and preparing to bring a child into this world, I am not depressed. I am sad about how I felt and sad that I lost a baby.

But, I am excited about our future.

Things happen for a reason.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Welcome, 2011!

2010 Year in Review:

January: Got pregnant! Almost as soon as I got the BFP, we learned we would be losing our baby. Miscarried. Devastated.
February: Sad, confused, and AF never showed up.
March: Doctor prescribed Prometrium, Clomid, and an action plan of next steps. Officially diagnosed with unexplained IF (knew that was coming). Took Prometrium, Clomid: BFN.
April: Clomid: BFN. Started blogging.
May: Mrs. D takes promotion at work. Higher dose of Clomid: BFN.
June: Even higher dose of Clomid: BFN. HSG scheduled. Mr. D and I have saved a lot of money at this point, and decided, since we’re not pregnant, let’s try to sell our house that we hated so we can buy a house that we love. Spent the month cleaning, organizing, storing, and throwing.
July: Horrible HSG (passed out, had seizure) and put house on the market. Ten days later, we had a signed purchase agreement from the new owners. Started with RE. Clomid: BFN.
August: Supposed to have Lapraoscopy surgery, but due to quick timing of our move, we pushed to September. Saved more money and closed on our house. Moved to temporary condo month-to-month so that we can purchase next spring when we don’t feel as pressured with all of this TTC stuff.
September: Lap scheduled mid-month was cancelled due to AF arriving 14 days early. WTF. Lap completed towards end of month.
October: RE meeting… weighed recommended next steps of IUI or IVF. Decided to wait for November to make a decision. Would likely start January 2011. Didn’t ovulate because of surgery.
November: Ovulated… wait a minute, why isn’t AF here?
December: BFP on December 2! Currently 8 weeks pregnant after 2 betas, 2 ultrasounds, and hearing/seeing our little bean’s heartbeat. We are ecstatic and praying that our little one stays healthy and safe!

I don’t exactly make New Year’s resolutions, but I do go through a mental process of determining what I would like to keep and change about how I manage my life. Below is my Top 3 Start, Stop, Continue List. Enjoy!

- Calling my parents and sister more frequently
- Being more open to sharing our IF struggles with people I know in real life
- Joining the 21st century by adopting technology with a data phone, Facebook, etc.

- Worrying about miscarrying our baby and truly trust that God will take care of us
- Living only for the future, and live life today for what it was meant to be
- Trying to be a perfectionist at work and realize I am doing a great job

- Working with Financial Planner, saving money, and using our money markets to support our dreams
- Engaging in my professional work and aspiring for the next level
- Engaging in our Catholic faith and loving going to Mass and praying

... and, of course, continue taking care of our little bean :)

To my blog friends, THANK YOU for your friendship in 2010. I had no idea what to expect when I started by blog in April, and truly just thought it would be a place for me to write for myself. I love the support of this community and can’t tell you how much it means to me to read your kind comments. I never thought that comments on a blog would really mean that much, but I take it to mean that you are a part of this journey with me. Thank you for your friendship! I look forward to staying connected in 2011.

Here’s to a brand new year – it’s going to be a great one!

Mrs. D