Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Happy Second Trimester!

I was officially 14 weeks pregnant last Friday and got to say see ya to the first trimester!  The first trimester confuses me because there are 3 ways to calculate when the second trimester starts.  And all of them have different starting times.  One is 12 weeks, one is 13 weeks, and one is 14 weeks (or around there).  So I waited until the latest one to officially say I'm out! 

We had an ultrasound yesterday and it was amazing, like it always is!  I've been thinking the last few days that if I had stayed pregnant the first time, I would have been due yesterday.  It was crazy to think about, but I wasn't even sad since now I get double the happiness in a few extra months :)  I honestly think that our first baby didn't want to come here alone and knew that if he/she waited a little longer they would have a brother or sister to be here with.  I'm so excited that the babies will have each other and hope they are best friends.  Even though yesterday at the ultrasound they were head butting each other... :) 

I can't complain about my first trimester, either.  I was pretty exhausted, but got to take naps every day (which is awesome!) and got pretty queasy from about 10-13 weeks.  I really wanted to be able to say I had twins and didn't throw up once so more than a few times I fought back the nausea.  But my hard headed-ness I inherited from my mother prevailed and I didn't throw up!

Brent and I went maternity clothes shopping on Saturday and it was so fun!  I have been dreading it since I hate shopping for jeans normally.  But maternity clothes are unlike any clothes I have ever worn.  So freaking comfortable!  My normal jeans were getting uncomfortable when I was sitting and when I ate I had to refrain from unbuttoning them in the restaurant (ok, confession.  I actually did unbutton them on Saturday at lunch and just walked out holding my coat in front of me).  I ended up getting one pair of jeans to start with (since I usually wear warm-ups during the day) and 4 skirts for church.  Now I'm way excited to go to church on Sundays.  Oh, and for the learning part. 

Here's my first bump picture.  It's little, but you can finally tell it's there.  I know I'm in the "is she chubby or pregnant?" stage to strangers, but I know it's babies!  I refused to stick my stomach out to look more pregnant than I really am, so this is why it's taken a while to post the first picture.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How Baby A and B Came to Be!

This is going to be a long post.  But I had a hot flash the other day and realized I hadn't had one in a long time and almost forgot what they were like.  So I realized I need to write this all down now before more time goes by and I forget.

When you're growing up, you learn in sex ed that if you have unprotected sex you will get pregnant.  And even if you wear a condom and it breaks, you will still get pregnant.  They forgot to mention the part that there is really only this teeny tiny little window of time when the guys sperm can swim up through 73 obstacles to get to your egg where it has to power through and fertilize it, have it travel down and magically implant.  And that's if your hormones aren't a little bit out of whack and/or the guy doesn't have a tiny issue with his sperm.  Just let me say right now it is NOT that easy (but I will tell our future children if they have sex they will get pregnant). 

In early 2008 we decided we were ready to make a baby.  Brent liked this idea.  I on the other hand started buying ovulation predictor kits, charting my temperature, and tried to figure out how long I needed to lay there for Brent's swimmers to make it up to where they needed to be.  After a year of doing this (and 83 negative pregnancy tests later) we realized it wasn't going to be that easy.  So I went in for an appointment with an OBGYN (who is my current OBGYN now and I LOVE him!).  Apparently I ovulate late in to my cycle, which means the second half of my cycle doesn't have enough progesterone to support a pregnancy, if I did actually get pregnant.  So he started me on Clomid.

I was on Clomid for 3 months.  50mg, 100mg, and 150mg.  50 and 100 didn't do much except give me VERY bad hot flashes.  Seriously, I am not looking forward to menopause.  150 mg of Clomid made me a hormonal Clomid monster and gave me really bad cysts that sent me to the ER.  No more Clomid for me after that. 

Our next step was to try intrauterine insemination (IUI).  Basically they take Brent's sperm, wash it down so it's just the swimmers and get rid of the semen, then take a super tiny thin tube and insert it into my uterus.  One big problem with this is that you have to have your timing down so perfect that even if you're a few hours off, it might not work.  So for three months we tried to do those.  No luck.  By this time we had already been trying for over a year and a half and I was getting pretty frustrated.  We decided that we were going to take a few months off and then in 2010 we were going to learn more about invitro fertilization (IVF). 

In January we met with a fertility place in Seattle.  They said we were young and healthy and we had a VERY good chance of being successful with IVF.  In fact, I think the odds they gave us were almost 80%.  So we set up a schedule and ordered our ridiculous amount of fertility medicine.  Here's an actual picture of SOME of the fertility medicine I used.  We had to order a lot more.

 As excited as I was for the possibility of finally getting pregnant, I was also bugged.  When you're trying to have a baby, everyone around you is getting pregnant.  And having babies.  And after we were trying for as long as we did, people were getting pregnant and having babies a SECOND time.  And here we were, still unsuccessful and spending all this money on something that might not work.  I was pretty bitter.  But still, with such good odds we definitely knew that IVF was the next step we wanted to take.  We decided to go ahead with the procedure after we got back from vacation.

We went on our cruise at the beginning of February and when we got back I had to wait for my period to start so we could begin the process.  My cycle ranged between 30-31 days so I knew almost exactly what day I would start.  Day 31 came and went.  Day 32, 33, and 34 also came and went.  I figure all the traveling had screwed up my body, but for some reason I decided to take a pregnancy test.  And it was POSITIVE.  I cannot write down the words in this blog to explain the amount of sheer joy and excitement we felt.  After two years of trying, the month we were going to start IVF, we got pregnant!  We went in for a blood test and they said, "Yep!  You're pregnant!".  They wanted me to come back on Monday for another test to make sure my levels were going up.  I have never in my life felt so elated and just complete happiness.  It was such a miracle.  I looked at all the fertility meds and shots I wouldn't have to take and was really happy about that, too! 

Obviously the story didn't end well.  Or else I would have a baby right now.  We went in for our blood draw on Monday and that morning I had started spotting a little.  They reassured me that was common in early pregnancy and to just wait for my levels.  They called with the news in the afternoon that my levels had dropped and it wasn't a viable pregnancy.  They said if we were emotionally ready that we could wait for my "period" to start in a couple days and begin the IVF process.  I went from the happiest I had ever been in my life to the most miserable.  I couldn't believe that after we had been given such a blessing that it had been ripped away.  It took us two years to have a miscarriage.  I really thought after that I would never have a baby.  And to be completely honest after that, I was so mad at God (it took me a few months, but I got over it).  Nothing anyone could say was comforting and I was completely devastated.  But we went ahead with the IVF cycle anyway. 

I'm going to do another post completely on the IVF process because I want to remember that, too.  But it took a couple months from the beginning to end of our first cycle.  It was pretty rough on me physically and emotionally.  And we found out the day before our Vegas trip for my birthday that it didn't work.  I'm actually not surprised our first cycle was a failure because my body was pretty screwed up after that and I was still so upset from our miscarriage.

In May I decided I was no longer letting infertility rule my life.  I had stressed about having a baby for over two years and I missed out on just living life.  So I decided that's what I was going to do.  I started working out.  That did more for my inner well being than anything ever has.  I started feeling better than I had in years.  I was physically getting healthy (the IVF cycle made me gain weight and I wanted to lose it) and emotionally I was feeling great.  I made a goal to run the Leavenworth 1/2 marathon at the beginning of October and started training for that.  From May on I was a completely different person.  And I liked who that person was.

After our failed fresh IVF cycle we decided we were going to do a frozen cycle.  We had 5 embryos left from our previous cycle that were chilling away in the freezer at the clinic.  So at the end of May we started a frozen cycle.  I won't get into detail on this post, but a frozen IVF cycle is amazing.  I didn't have to start shots until a few days before our embryo transfer.  I just had to take the birth control pill and then do wear estrogen patches.  It was AWESOME.  Not only was it easier on my body, but I was at a good place mentally.  7 days after we did our embryo transfer (we did our transfer on August 4th, Brent's 30th birthday), I took a pregnancy test.  And right away it came up positive.  I also did one 8 and 9 days after, both positive.  On day 10 we went in to the clinic for a blood test and our number came back so high that we couldn't help but feel like this could actually be happening to us.  And we've been smiling ever since. 

It might have taken us 2 1/2 years, 3 Clomid cycles, 3 IUI's, a miscarriage, and 2 IVF cycles (which included 25 blood draws and 116 shots) to get pregnant.  But looking back on all that it honestly seems like nothing.  When I go in for an ultrasound and I get to see our little babies hearts beating away, and them wiggling all over it makes everything worth it.  I'm not grateful for trials.  But I am grateful for the lessons that are learned from the trials we are given.  I'm grateful for the person that I've become during this process.  I'm so grateful for the man that I married, and dealing with this has shown that we can withstand so much and at the end of the day, we're still so in love.  I look back on everything and realize that I've had an easy life.  So much was given to me.  But this was something that wasn't just handed out to me.  We had to fight for it.  And I wouldn't take back a single thing because it's helped me appreciate being pregnant so much more than I would have if I had gotten pregnant right away.  And in a little over 5 months from now, we're going to have two little miracles come into our lives that made absolutely everything worth it. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Recent pictures!

Since I'm considered a high risk pregnancy we get to go to a LOT of ultrasounds.  Seriously, I'm 12 1/2 weeks pregnant and I've already had 8 ultrasounds.  It's awesome.  And since there are two turkeys in there we have to have an ultrasound at every dr. appointment so they can see both heartbeats.  On Friday I had an early screening for Down's Syndrome (everything looked great!) and it was the best ultrasound yet!  Here are a few of their cute pictures.

The first two are Baby A.  Friday was my first stomach ultrasound and since Baby A is down there further it's a little more blurry.  It's ok though, Baby A was the star of the show with all of the OTHER ultrasounds (and thank goodness those are done!).
 Baby B!  I still can't get over the fact that they really look like babies and THIS is what is growing away inside of me! 
 I like this picture because you can see Baby A below a tiny bit.  During the ultrasound Baby A was kicking at Baby B.  I hope this isn't a sign of things to come...
Now that the secret is out, I'm going to do a blog about how we got these little pumpkins here.  It was by far the most difficult thing I've ever had to go through.  But now that I look back at the last 2 1/2 years and this is the outcome, I wouldn't change a thing. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

First Movie

Brent got a Flip Video a while ago and he found out how to make movies.  This is his first one.  It makes you laugh, makes you cry, and makes you laugh until you cry! I promise it's worth the 1:12 of your life to watch it

Here is the link in case the video doesn't work!