Question time: What did you do differently for IVF #2

Hi everyone.  I hope everyone is doing well.  It's a beautiful brisk day here in my neck of the woods. Kids were off yesterday, but things are returning to normal today.  It's hard to believe tomorrow is February.  Wow, this year is flying by quickly.  I won't complain though.  I'm kind of ready for warmer weather and outings, though I won't lie and say one huge snowstorm wouldnt' be fun.

So, I was recently asked if S. and I did anything different during our second IVF that we think helped with success.  The answer is not really.  Most of the things were the same.  But to make sure I hadn't missed something, I sat and talked with S. He reminded me there were a few things different from last time.  Those things were so altered slightly and so miniscule, I'm not sure there was any impact at all.  But I'm glad to share and hope that it may provide a bit of encouragement to someone going through their journey.

1.  Let's talk mentality.  I'm not going to give some long drawn out missive about mind over matter. Whatev.  That works in a lot of cases, but for us, it wasn't 100%.  When we received Beta #1 for our first IVF, I was really disappointed.  I really thought it was going to work.  We followed everything to the letter.  I did everything the doctors said.  Shoot, I did just about everything everybody said and nothing.  This time, we knew what to expect and were more go with the flow.  I still wanted this to work and prayed about it.  However, I also enjoyed life instead of focusing so hard of becoming pregnant.  I still treated my body pregnant (i.e. took the prenatals, didn't drink), but I also enjoyed my California rolls and deli meat without worry.

2. The transfer.  Okay, I even blogged about it.  My second embryo transfer went so much better than my first.  Embryo transfer one was so stressful and hectic and in no small part because of the fluid in my bladder!  I kid you not!  I could not stay still.  I hopped around that room like a mad person.  I kept getting permission to void a little.  Even the laying down for five minutes after was more than difficult for me!  First, I drank 20-24 ounces and then had to wait about an additional hour for everything to be complete!  Oh my no!  The second time I drank 16 ounces and was able to breathe a bit when my name was called. I wasn't flustered.  I wasn't doing the duck walk.  I wasn't worried or nervous.  I almost felt like I had too little because I didn't have the urge to pee, but the doctor said I had the perfect amount in me.  I saw both embryos transfer and was able to lay there and talk to the embryos in my womb while I waited for my discharge papers. There was no rushing, no running to void.  I honestly believe that this had something to do with the success of this cycle.

3. The post snack stop.  Okay, I am sure this had NOTHING to do with anything, but everyone told me to make sure I stopped for my McDonald's fries on the way home from transfer.  I didn't the first time.  This time I though "what the heck" and grabbed a medium instead of a small because I was hungry lol.

4.   Pom juice and pineapples.  So, you know how you're supposed to down this daily and have one slice for every day after transfer.  Well, last time I followed it faithfully.  This time...not so much.  I had a small slice of pineapple core on day 1, 3, and maybe 5 and 9.  I drink pom juice about the same, but not massive amounts.  Last time I inhaled the stuff.  This time, I couldn't stand the taste of either, so I didn't bother.

So, that's it.  I didn't do anything super extra.  I made a few minor adjustments, but subconsciously.  I hope this is a help for someone.  Ultimately, it was just timing, God's timing.  It was the same when we had three matches for our adoption fall through before being matched with and ultimately adopting our beautiful baby girl.  It was in God's timing, not ours.

I hope that helps.  Be blessed.


9 week update

DISCLAIMER: This post contains information about our pregnancy. Because I know all too well how these kinds of posts may affect my fellow #ttcsisters and #ttcbrothers, I include this disclaimer to forewarn you. I understand how much these posts can sting and promise to continue to add the disclaimer on any post that may be related to this pregnancy (assuming viability) so that you may have the option to bow out of reading. I understand.

9 week Recap
Baby is the size of a cherry

Total weight gain/loss:  3 pounds gained.  I started this journey at 153 pounds, which is about seven pounds less than I was at my 9 month pregnant weight with our eldest ten years ago.  Sigh, lol.  I weighed in at our first obstetrics appointment Wednesday at 157 pounds. 

Maternity clothes?: Not yet, but I have had to use the hair tie trick for a couple of pair of pants and none of my business suits seems to want to fit quite right.

Stretch marks? Nope

Sleep: It varies.  Recently, I’ve started to wake a couple of times, once at midnight and once about 4:30a.m. to pee.  There have also been a couple of nights including last night where I am wide awake from 3-5:30 in the morning and I’ve only had about five hours of sleep!

Best moment of the week: Hmmm….my MIL made mustard greens, cake, baked apples, and tuna salad for dinner the other day so I wouldn’t have to when I came home.  It was so good and tasted so much like my home days in NC that I got teary eyed.  I love her. Oh and stopping meds!!!

Have you told family and friends:  Yep

Miss Anything? Not really, but I will admit to a bit of disappointment that I couldn’t have my appletini or Hurricane at the wedding we attended in January.

Movement: Nope

Anything make you queasy or sick:  YES!! The smell of coffee irritates me.  If I don’t eat something every two hours I’m also queasy. Chicken (especially the prep of raw chicken). UGH!

Food cravings:  I begged S. for a Nutty Buddy ice cream cone and Chinese food.  The Chinese food we got.  The Nutty Buddy he turned me down for because I'm anemic and "icecream isn't good for your blood" and since he was the one out, I acquiesced.  But trust, I'll get it soon lol.  The Chinese food craving comes every few days though.

Have you started to show yet:  Not really.  I have a bump, but I think it’s more from the residual Estrace and Endometrin.  A gf swore she could tell, but I don’t see it yet.

Gender prediction: So we’ve decided to be #teamgreen and not find out the baby until the delivery.  However, when I first found out, I thought it may be a boy.  We’ll see.

Labor Signs: No!

Belly Button in or out? Still in

Wedding ring on or off?  On, but I was so swollen (bloated) this morning it was hard to get them on and S. even recommended keeping them off.  Watching that carefully.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Oh my.  I wish I could say I was super happy all the time.  Most of the time, I’m good.  But I do get frustrated easier when I’m home in the evenings.

Preparations for baby: Not really.  I am in the process of changing insurance and the care offered to maternity and mothers will certainly be considered.

Looking forward to: the day S. can feel the baby move or hear the heartbeat from outside of my belly.

9 weeks, the first OB/Gyn Appointment, and work knows....

DISCLAIMER: This post contains information about our pregnancy. Because I know all too well how these kinds of posts may affect my fellow #ttcsisters and #ttcbrothers, I include this disclaimer to forewarn you. I understand how much these posts can sting and promise to continue to add the disclaimer on any post that may be related to this pregnancy (assuming viability) so that you may have the option to bow out of reading. I understand.)

Hello everyone.  I apologize for the delay in sharing posts.  Truthfully, I've felt a bit odd in sharing news.  Not because I am not happy with pregnancy.  I truly am.  I just know how hard it is for so many in our community who have not yet had their BFP.  I want to be sensitive to that, but I also wants to answer and share for those who have asked for updates.  So, I'll continue to place the disclaimer and we will see how it goes from here.

According to most of my apps and the doctor's office, I am 9 weeks, 5 days today.  Baby is no longer an embryo, but a fetus.  Wow.  It's still amazing to me to know that I am progressing.  Every once in a while, I find myself feeling great and I wonder if something may be off only to get nauseous at the smell of coffee (okay, I get it little one.  We didn't drink it before and you want to make sure I don't drink it now), which is in my office daily.  Then, I'm reminded all is well.

Things have been going pretty well.  My morning sickness is pretty contained though it hit a new high last week that had me lying on the couch feeling like I was on a ship.  That was not fun.  I was making rice and beans for dinner and the smell of the beans had me wanting to hide under a table somewhere.  Today, I still have sickness when I rise and if I don't have something in my belly every two hours, I feel a bit yucky as well.

I had my first OB/Gyn appointment on Wednesday.  The doctor is the same one who delivered our eldest.  She usually has patients see the NP until they are further along, but when she saw my name coming in for an obstetrics visit, she made sure to be there with me.  There were a bunch of hugs and praise.  (She is a woman of faith, like I.)  It made me feel like home and I am pleased to be under her care again.  Her daughter is also expecting and her due date is also August 27th!  I told my obstetrician that I would probably be delivered by her assistant and she thinks that won't be necessary. She is convinced that she will be able to attend to both lol.  We shall see!

First Obstetrics Appointment
We discussed the IVF conception and the wonderful #TTCgroups that I have befriended via social media.  I also gave her information of the fertility pharmacy.  The pharmacy the clinic uses no longer prepares endometrin and it was a blessing that I walked in and was able to give her an affordable solution for her patients.  Yay!

So, let's talk about announcing.  Well, S. and I have been pretty liberal with our close friends and family knowing.  Most have been really great about not sharing.  Others not so much.  And that's okay. They are thrilled for us and you can't get mad at someone for celebrating with you.

But work?  Work has had no idea.  I hadn't planned on telling them until we were safely out of the trimester plus a few days.  March 1st was actually my planned announcement time.  The same for social media.  Well, that plan went awry Wednesday.  I felt ill.  Super ill and bloated.  I was walking slow, sluggish in general, and just not my peppy self that my colleagues are used to seeing.  Every smell hit me and the fatigue was 11AM.  I hadn't had a day that hard in a while and I still needed to get through the day for my appointment and some work the office was doing.

Well, I decided to go to the break room to see if yogurt would help what I was going through.  By the time I got to the room, I was next to exhausted and actually had to put my head in my hands.  Our program manager came into the office and saw me and questioned if I was okay.  She is a very sweet lady, hard working, and doing wonderful things in her career.  She's also super concerned and can worry if she suspects her charges aren't doing well.  I saw the panic and heard her refer to perhaps needing nurse or getting checked because I looked decidedly ill.  I didn't want to lie and I told her I would be better soon, as soon as I eat something.  The conversation continued and I finally told her, "no, it really is okay.  I'm expecting.  I'll be fine."  She hugged me.  That was an awesome response.  She was super happy for me and I told her that I was still burning midnight oil and getting things done, but that day had just thrown me for a loop.  She understood and was super understanding.  She promised to keep it quiet until I was ready to share.  And she did.  However, there was someone who observed the exchanged from outside.  She is also a sweet woman, but a grandmotherly type...loves anything to do with babies :)

She asked me the next day if I was expecting in the presence of another grandmotherly type and there we go.  So, our immediate team knows that I am expecting and everyone is thrilled.  The external supporting teams don't know and I intend on keeping it that way for quite some time.

So, because things are actually happening.  I decided to play the update game.  I'll place on a separate post for those who are interested.  I'm not yet committed to the whole weekly thing.  We'll see though.  Hope you enjoy and have a great weekend.  I'll check in with you later soon!


Happy Graduation Day!!!!

DISCLAIMER: This post contains information about our pregnancy. Because I know all too well how these kinds of posts may affect my fellow #ttcsisters and #ttcbrothers, I include this disclaimer to forewarn you. I understand how much these posts can sting and promise to continue to add the disclaimer on any post that may be related to this pregnancy (assuming viability) so that you may have the option to bow out of reading. I understand.)

Hello everyone.  Today,our little bean passed a major hurdle in this journey.  Today was graduation day from the fertility clinic.  I  had no idea how nervous I actually was.  I went in and the receptionist said that I didn't have to sign in.  So, I sat down and waited to be called.  It seemed like forever and when my name was called I walked into the sonography room and prepped for the doctor.

'Please let there be a heartbeat' kept repeating itself over and over again in my head.

The sonographer inserted "Wanda" and pretty soon there was our little bean on the screen.  I zeroed in to the heart immediately.  It was just flickering away.  The official count was 173 beats per minute. Baby was so much larger than last time and was a bit active today.

The tears flowed and it was a beautiful moment.

The staff was kind enough to leave the video of the baby's heartbeat on the screen and let me record it on my phone.  I recorded it for S. who wasnt't able to join me today.  

When we left, the doctor gave me a copy of my records and off I left.  This afternoon, the family went to bible study and was just overjoyed at the Word and the fellowship.  Our pastor knows our story and has been praying with my husband for quite some time.

He came over and gave us hugs and prayed over our little one in utero.  His wife, a beautiful woman, shed tears of joy for us.  The support system has been amazing.  While our church family don't know our struggle with infertility, I think a large portion of them guessed something was awry when the years passed and we didn;t conceive.  No one has ever said anything, but their prayers have been obvious and their joy (those who know) has been wonderful.

There are still so many emotions that I have going on in my head and I promise to share all of them soon.  Right now, however, I just want a nap.

So I will write you all again soon.  Have a great evening.


Weddings and Ultrasounds

DISCLAIMER: This post contains information about our pregnancy. Because I know all too well how these kinds of posts may affect my fellow #ttcsisters and #ttcbrothers, I include this disclaimer to forewarn you. I understand how much these posts can sting and promise to continue to add the disclaimer on any post that may be related to this pregnancy (assuming viability) so that you may have the option to bow out of reading. I understand.)

Hello everyone!  What a weekend we've had!  Saturday, we woke up to a nice combination of freezing rain and snow.  Oh joy.  I had no complaints though.  I'd been fortunate enough to get my hair done the evening before and was still wedding-tressed ready.  It was nice to lounge around with the family even though I felt a little off.  The nausea is getting a bit better, but the riding a ship feeling still exists for sure.

Sunday evening, after church, S. and I drove to the beautiful waterfront in Maryland to attend the wedding of one of his dear friends.  I can not say enough about how beautiful this wedding was.  She set the tone early in the year with her invitation on appy couple and the Pinterest board for the wedding attire.  Seriously, it was a beautiful affair.  Some may have critiqued, but you hope to get married only once and since you are the one spending the money, why not have the wedding you want.  I get it and was more than happy to get glammed up to celebrate love.

My brother and sister in love were also guests at the wedding and we were blessed to be seated with them.  We often travel together with our families, so it was wonderful just catching up with them without the little people.  We shared laughs about how, despite the bride and groom being DIE HARD Cowboys fans (insert boos from me here), the wedding was on Wildcard Playoffs weekend with the NFC Championships being played thirty minutes after the start of the wedding.  Yep, we're pretty sure the bride and groom weren't expecting the Cowboys to make it this far when they planned the wedding lol.  So, while everyone was having a great time, there was more than one guest seen visiting their apps for updates. Though to their credit, the score wasn't announced until the last play of the game.  LOL.  S. still got to see it at home since he recorded it.

S. and I stayed until well after the dancing got underway.  As a matter of fact, it was after midnight when we finally made it to the house and settled down.  Understand, I was sleep before head touched pillow that night.

Monday morning found everyone off to observe Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s holiday and had me up making a quick breakfast before leaving for my ultrasound.  I'm not going to lie.  I was a bit nervous.  As I've posted before, sometimes I don't feel this is real.  I am always thankful for the nausea because it reminds me that something is going on.  I went yesterday morning knowing that if all went well, it would be the last time I see the doctors and staff at our fertility clinic until we bought the baby back to visit or until we decided to excpand the family again.  This day was going to be our graduation day.

And then it wasn't.  Nothing wrong.  But when I walked in yesterday, the receptionist staff was surprised.  They'd called to say the doctor had a family emergency and all appointments had been cancelled.  No worries.  They left a message, but with my work number.  Since it was a holiday, I missed the phone call.  It's okay.  I rescheduled for 17 January.  So, hopefully the ultrasound will be held tomorrow.

I'm planning to swing by my baker and pick up a Graduation Cake that reads, "Thank you SO much!".  I also want to pick up a card to share some words of gratitude to the staff.  This journey would not have been possible without God and without the thoughtful and steadfast actions of the clinic staff.  They truly deserve it.

So, I plan on coming back to you on tomorrow with updated pictures of little one.  Pray for good news.  We'll see you soon.


7 weeks preggo: The family announcement

DISCLAIMER: This post contains information about our pregnancy. Because I know all too well how these kinds of posts may affect my fellow #ttcsisters and #ttcbrothers, I include this disclaimer to forewarn you. Furthermore, I will continue to do so on any post that may be related to this pregnancy (assuming viability) so that you may have the option to bow out of reading. It is not my intent to turn this blog into all things BFP, so I will make sure to try and keep things as open as possible while being sensitive to the stages that all of us are in per our respective journeys. With that in mind, today we are taking a break from the break to share the following….)

It’s funny how things happen on a much grander scale than we originally plan. S. and I have always stated that we were just going to tell our parents about our pregnancy and then announce later at about 10 weeks. Well, Sunday afternoon we told S.’s parents and my mother, father and bonus mother, and honorary parents. Then, S. decided to tell his siblings which meant I had to tell my siblings and before you knew it, the siblings had shared to closest friends who shared with others and a lot of people knew.

It was a nice moment and everyone was happy for us. While most don’t know the intimate details of our struggle, they do know that S. and I have tried to conceive for 4 years and 7 months. When we adopted out beautiful daughter, I think people just assumed it was because we couldn’t conceive. We explained then that we had always planned to adopt children and would continue to expand our family through adoption or biologically, however God decided to bless us. Truthfully, with T's count, we didn't know if we could conceive.  Fast forward to today.

We didn’t exactly do a creative announcement though in hindsight, I would not have minded that at all. S. told his family that I’d been ill and in and out of doctor visits for a while (which is true). He said recently we’d discovered that my HCG counts were rising and was the culprit. His sister started shrieking as she knew immediately (She has four children, one who will be a year soon). She got it ASAP lol. The men were confused until S. continued and explained what that meant and I just smiled at their reactions.

When we told my family, they were a bit more subdued. It wasn’t because they weren’t happy. They are. They are just a more restrained bunch. I often tease them that I am a bit of an odd duck because I am the silliest, most light hearted, completely odd acting person I know.

My phone beeped with a couple of congratulatory messages and one call just so super excited for us. I’m thankful for the love and support and am praying for a healthy, happy, pregnancy.

I’ll probably hold off on updates for a while. (I say that and may change my mind later). I just like the idea of holding on until there is more to talk about. However, I should certainly say this morning sickness is definitely kicking my butt and is NOT restricted to mornings.

And I’m NOT complaining. As long as I am sick, I know things are well. So I’m all about the craving water and the dry heave of chicken (EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW….chicken).

That’s about it at the moment. I plan to check in again in a few days. We have a wedding coming up on Sunday and our 8-week scan (and RE graduation the next week). Looking forward to sharing.


Social Media Break, but the Blog is still up

Hello everyone.  Happy New Year!  I apologize for not updating my IG profile. But it is for good reason.  Our church pastor recently announced that he would like the church to join in a corporate Daniel Fast.  This isn't the first time that our church has participated in this Fast.  It is a great journey and a wonderful opportunity to draw closer to Christ.  However, this year, I am blessed to be pregnant.  So, the stringent food restrictions of the fast are off the table for me, but I believe wholeheartedly in spiritual walk that accompanies this kind of fast.  After discussing with S., I decided that I would fast from social media.

I find that I spend a lot of time on my phone on social media sites.  I don't write on the sites a lot.  I usually scroll on my timeline.  But during the time I'm there, I definitely find that I could be spending more time in my Word or even with my family.  So, I'm taking this opportunity to focus on the family, on my relationship with Christ, and on growing healthy baby(ies).

I will continue to blog on this site, but only for any major developments that I think the #TTC community would be interested in.  I plan to return on 22 January 2017.

Until then, have a great new year and I'll see you in 20 days.