Thursday, December 18, 2014

Guns or Glitter?

At my monthly checkup today I'd gained 8lbs! My doctor had told me she would like to see a pound per week during this trimester and a total of 40 pounds by full term(I've used her for almost nine years and she has never seen me gain weight.) and I doubled it! You all have no idea how happy that made me! I'm drinking Ensure along with eating as much as possible now that I'm no longer having any sickness, so she was pleased and told me to continue what I was doing.

 Daddy has yet to be able to come to any appointments so we are planning for him to be at our anatomy ultrasound in January. January can not come fast enough! I'm torn between the whole "enjoying my pregnancy" and wanting to fast forward to knowing the gender. I don't have a preference at all, but have called baby a "he" since the beginning, even without thinking, so I'm curious to see if it's a mommy intuition thing or not :) Daddy would love a little hunting buddy but I have a feeling he would make one out of a boy or a girl!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Sometimes He calms the storm. Really.

Had my appointment to see if the hematoma had shrunk and Praise God, not only did it shrink- it's completely gone! A huge answer to prayer! I had been so worried about it, and could not think about anything else for the past two weeks. Bed rest was looking like a serious possibility if it was still there. Storm calmed. Resume breathing.

Here's a picture we got today- baby looks less like a gummy bear and more like a real baby. This baby might actually be our little miracle baby.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Is this our time?

Fall is here! Fall is my favorite so I'm really excited to wear my boots and cozy sweaters. But winter can stay away as long as it wants!

On September 9th I took a pregnancy test, after not feeling just right for a couple days(tired with headaches mainly) and voila! Of course, since this is my third positive pregnancy test, I'm very aware that I can't get my hopes up just yet.

September 9th- so very faint!
Two days later- getting darker!
9/25/14- Ultrasound only showing a sac. Feeling very sad and hopeless again. Totally preparing for another loss.
10/3/14- Another ultrasound showing not only a sac but a heartbeat! Also heard it! Hi baby!

The doctor also saw a small bleed to the side of the placenta that she wants to keep an eye on. Follow up appointment set for 10 weeks.
10 week ultrasound. Strong heartbeat of 182 bpm! Watched him/her dance around, it feels so unreal that it's going on inside me! Bleed is still there. Very nervous about it. Following up again in two weeks.
Every day is like a year long while I wait to see if this bleed goes away. On the bright side, I have a tiny bump!

 Next ultrasound next week!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

August Update

Oh boy- now to remember where I left off!

I waited ever so un-patiently for good news during August, but it seemed my body just did not want to cooperate at all. Another failed Clomid attempt.

The last weekend in August, Nathan and I went on a long weekend trip to Louisiana, Mississippi and the Alabama Gulf. We had a really good trip and we laughed harder during the car ride there than we have in a really long time.

We stayed with his brother and his family while in Louisiana and then drove to New Orleans from there. We drove around the city and saw the sights(and there were many to see that I wasn't expecting that day).
Had a fun time away before getting back to school prep for Nathan. On to September!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

He's got this!

It's 11:45 pm and I've got to be at church bright and early to teach the teen Sunday school class- but I just feel so much inside right now that I decided to post instead of going to bed.

Over the past couple of days I just keep coming across scripture and quotes that summed up say "I've got this, I love you, I will use this and I will use you." How awesome to think about God taking our situations and using them for GOOD!!

I'm currently cd 9 and just finished my last Clomid pill tonight for this cycle. Praying for a miracle as always but with the confidence that God knows my situation. 

"I surrender to You, Lord. Daily."

(G'night y'all!) 

Friday, July 25, 2014

On to round 2!

It's Friiiidaaaaay!

....and we are back in the TTC game. Negative-o on the preggo. On Wednesday, I also had an hcg panel and the result was .1 and progesterone had dropped to 10.5 . I started the tiniest bit of spotting Wednesday night so I have been expecting the call that it had dropped.

My doctor told me to go ahead and get the Clomid refilled for this cycle. She also offered to refer us to an RE(reproductive endocrinologist) if we wanted so that we could stay encouraged to keep pressing on. How sweet is that!? I quickly told her nurse that I was VERY encouraged by my progesterone levels being so very high and we would keep taking Clomid for now. I don't want to open myself up to even more doctor appointments than I already have. It takes a toll when you work full time and then have to take time off to see your doctor as frequently as we have been going over the past year and a half. And besides, one month of infertility meds is nothing! I still only had a small chance this cycle so I want to stay on this path that seems to be going well and keep trying. I will start my next round of Clomid in about a week. Please help me pray that my body will not be affected the same way it was last cycle by this medicine. It is very hard to function with so many side effects. Every one of them will be worth it, but in the meantime I still need to function ;)  We have a fun date planned tonight and I'm in a grand mood, thank the Lord!

Hot flash city- here we come....again!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Well, that's what I've been doing the past few weeks. Waiting. 
We've been busy getting DH registered for college this fall and doing 5ks(ha! Ok, just one) and the usual church things that keep us busy. 

My doctor ordered an extensive round of bloodwork three weeks ago for things such as antibodies and protein levels. When the nurse came around the corner with enough vials that she needed both hands, I knew I was gonna need a room! I feel God placed this sweet lady in my path for encouragement. She was so understanding and shared with me her own long struggle with infertility. We have a little "bond" now :)

I have yet to hear back with the results. I also had my cd 21 progesterone check last Wednesday and also have yet to hear back about it.
*insert quick rant*
 I get that I'm not their only patient, but I have called several times. The first time, the nurse called me back to tell me the dr would call me last weekend with the results since she was working the weekend shift. I have yet to hear anything. I'm sort of frustrated. Because of my lack of news I haven't posted anything here. 

In other news I tested yesterday at cd 11 and got a negative. ( I didn't say it was good news! Lol) Hoping that it was a bit too early. Ok- honest time! I totally used an opk this afternoon because I read somewhere that you can use them in a pinch if you don't have an HPT, something about them reading the same hormones and lots of women had tested positive with opk's at the same time they tested positive with a HPT. I used my digital Clear Blue Advanced opk's and got a big fat empty circle :/ Hoping it just didn't read right or something. It was such a bad choice, y'all! Don't do it! Made me feel really bummed for a bit. I'm over it though and just trying to mentally prepare for my next round of Clomid and hot flashes! Yippeeee! If hot flashes and headaches make babies(ok, maybe we will include hubby) then bring it!!!

I test again on Thursday or Friday and already have fun plans for Friday night to celebrate! Why? Because I still have to live and I still have to love and I still need to enjoy this life WHILE I'M WAITING!

Great song with a message that applies to so many situations we go through. While TTC I find myself always waiting. Waiting to plan something until after I know whether we are pregnant this month- waiting after a negative test until cd1- waiting til AF is gone- waiting to ovulate- waiting to test. It's a viscous cycle. While I joke about all this on a day to day basis to help me handle it all, it really can steal the joy of life if I get too wrapped up in the "waiting". So while I'm waiting, I vow to honor Jesus, love my husband, spend time with my family, reach out to others and serve in whatever  way I can. I challenge you to take a look at how TTC/any other challenge affects you. Does it throw you into a world to yourself and make you only focus on yourself? Do you use your experience with pain, grief, or "waiting" to try to be more understanding of others? Just some thoughts to leave you with until I have some news....

Sunday, July 6, 2014

July Update

I am behind on posting so I have a lot to catch you all up on.

Last post I was only a few days shy of testing and about to have my progesterone levels checked. My results on cd 23 were .3 and at cd 30 were 3. I was devastated! I also learned that even though a opk can give you a positive, it may only mean there was a surge in LH not promising ovulation has actually occurred. (Someone should really share this information!! Maybe they did and I forgot?!)  

As a result, my doctor asked us to really consider Clomid. Medicine had been mentioned before but since we had gotten pregnant on our own previously, I never gave fertility drugs another thought. I always thought fertility drugs were for "other people". With "other" situations. 

Since we have not yet had a successful pregnancy and the doctor asked us specifically to consider it, we did. I spent many hours researching Clomid and reading success rates and reasons for treatment. I talked to friends who had taken this drug- so far with great results. I questioned alongside Nathan, if this was a way to get ahead of God's ultimate plan and "cheat" our way to being pregnant. (Conclusion: if we aren't meant to have a baby- we won't get pregnant. Plain and simple. God is bigger than this medicine.)

After praying and thinking and a long consultation with the doctor, we decided to give it a chance. If you are not familiar with this drug here are a few facts: 
**Skip these if you just don't care :P

•The goal of treatment is to normalize or induce ovulation by taking a 50mg dose of Clomid on day 3-7 of the menstrual cycle. Interestingly, 80% of women taking Clomid will successfully ovulate but fewer than 50% of patients will conceive. 
•Clomid is a low-level fertility drug. The chances of a multiple birth (twins) increases 40 times while taking Clomid.
•The most common side effects are hot flashes due to the body's hormone levels and a mild headache. The headache usually disappears once the last pill is taken, and the hot flashes once ovulation has occurred. Visual symptoms such as spots, flashes or blurry vision are less common and indicate that treatment should stop.

I started my first pill on Monday June 30th. I took it at night hoping to sleep off side effects. Day one I felt terrible. Had a horrible headache and neck ache and was so exhausted with nausea and dizziness. My stomach bothered me all day. Day two....still had a terrible headache, nausea, dizziness and very tired. Day three...milder headache but a bit more energy. Day 4...light headache. Day 5... No side effects. Thank Jesus!!! 

I'm now at cd 11 and had a slight LH surge today so ovulation should happen in the next few days. I am hopeful yet not getting my hopes too high about this cycle. I know that God will work out His perfect will, with or without the help of this medication. I'll do my best to update again once I've had my progesterone checked next week. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

June Update

J2BO update:
It's Thursday and I'm on cd 19 and 7dpo.
Got back on Sunday from a weekend away and started the TWW the day before!
Hate to say it but I'm symptom watching. It's what I do. Don't judge. Technically, I have 4 days until I test. I got my positives at 11 dpo with my other pregnancies, so I imagine I'll test then(Monday 6/9).
Then probably again next Saturday if I get a negative. How awesome would it be to give hubby a Father's Day card?!

So far, I am just feeling uncomfortable and slightly dizzy. Oh and numb, since I had dental work done today and they numbed my mouth.(After hitting the nerve! It was like electric shock!) I also have been short of breath today, which I don't think is related but I'm keeping a watch on that.

I will have my labs done on Monday to check my progesterone levels and then again a week later. Hoping for high numbers Monday!

The Real Stuff update:

First off, God is still good. Plain and simple.

Work is going awesome! I work with the best bunch, I really do. My boss always gives me a look after my progesterone labs come back, that "Sooooo???" look. We are a close group after my losses and they have stuck right there by me the whole way.

Hubby is working out of town until the weekend so I cant wait for him to get home! He told me before he left that he is taking me out on a date when he gets back :)

My niece is due in a week or so and I'm so excited about her arrival! Also hoping to steal big sister away for some fun while her mommy is on maternity leave. I seriously think that sweet three year old is the only reason I didn't have a complete nervous breakdown after my first loss. She means the world to me! She often asks if there is a baby in my tummy(because of Mommy's pregnancy, she thinks everyone is having a baby) and I can't wait for the day I can answer yes!

Well, dinner is calling- I'll update again soon! Maybe I'll have some really good news :)

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Our Story

Happy Memorial Day weekend!

This is my first post and I am nervous. I feel like I am in front of hundreds of people, about to let all our personal facts out of hiding. So here goes.

I guess the best place to start is the beginning so here is a post that I have been reluctant to share, originally written about 8 months ago. It gives a little background on how many years we have been TTC and the journey so far. I have added an update since the time of writing at the end of this post.

" In January of 2011, Nathan and I decided we were ready. We had traveled and moved several times and he had finally settled on a career path. We were ready to start a family. Sounded easy enough. Except we had no idea we would have to wait. Every single month dragged on, always hoping- then being brave and smiling through the disappointment every time the tests showed the dreaded negative result. All the while being baffled by those around me who seemingly had no trouble getting pregnant, maybe even trying only once.

Those few who knew we were trying would often offer advice about not stressing- "It will probably happen when you stop thinking about it!" they would say. Not exactly helpful, no offense. More time drags on. More friends announce pregnancies. Facebook was becoming(and still is) a pregnancy announcement bulletin board. I was happy for all these glowing girls, but every time I read about their news, I felt a pain that I couldn't even explain to anyone.

If you know me personally, you know I am the baby shower decorator for seemingly every baby shower in our church. And I love doing it. Still, part of me wonders when will it be my turn?

In May of this year Nathan and I had just returned from a fun trip in which we had taken the Seniors from the school he teaches at to PA, NY and Washington D.C.. We had been home about three days when I noticed some strange "changes". When you are TTC, you are constantly watching for changes/signs, but being on the road the week before had completely taken all this off my mind. I had one solitary pregnancy test left. (I have kept First Response and other test companies in business over the past couple of years.) I waited after the test, looking at it with doubt. Alot of doubt. I had already started the self-scolding. You know better than to get yourself excited over this. You should just accept this is the way things will be. I was greatly disappointed to only see one pink line. You are really dumb...doing this to yourself all the time. Just accept it and move on. Then, the craziest thing happened. I decided to go look at the test again. One distinct pink line.....and one very very very faint pink line. My heart started pounding. Shelly, find that box! It says something about faint lines. Sure enough. It meant positive. I started smiling then laughing with excitement. I needed more tests to be sure, but since it was late it meant waiting until the next day. I thought I would explode with my news before I could get it confirmed! Nathan was kind of in shock but seemed happy and excited.

Fast forward through more positive tests and making my first doctors appointment. Nathan wasn't able to go with me so my sweet Mama and little sister went that day. We saw the doctor and she told me she thought I was around 7 weeks. I knew better because of my "tracking" app on my phone. But she insisted we go ahead and look at baby. That ultrasound was the sweetest thing- baby only being 5 weeks- looked like a little blinking dot. The tech told me the blinking was baby's heart beating. Amazing.

I had bloodwork done and all the first appointment tests. Had an embarrassing episode in which the nurses had to "fan" me back to reality after taking so much blood. (They now know to lay me down!) Then got my new mommy goodie bag and headed home with baby picture in front of me all the way. How exciting! I couldn't wait to share with Nathan. I snapped a pic of the ultrasound printout and sent it to him. We laughed about he/she being our little bean. *Cry break*

And so began the morning sickness(really?? why would you call it morning sickness when it can hit you literally ANYTIME!?), the anticipation, the plans....How will we tell everyone? How long should we wait? Wow, I'm sure glad we traded that tiny Jetta in for our SUV. I wonder if I should be helping with church camp clean up this weekend? Someone might catch on that I'm not moving heavy things or using chemicals to clean. I wonder if this food is bad for the baby? I need to eat more greens. I am soooo exhausted! I'll just lay down for a minute and then get up and cook supper. I wonder if this basket of laundry is too heavy? If it is a girl...... If its a boy.... Oh, we need an announcement photoshoot! I had all these thoughts and more all the time. I guess it's typical with any first baby.

Nathan's birthday was coming up and since it was his 30th, I had been planning a party. What better time than to announce our pregnancy at his party! I would be 10 weeks and I had my second appointment scheduled just a few days before we would have the party so I would be able to make sure baby was doing good and then we could make our announcement.

Weeks 5-9 were crazy busy. Between trying not to vomit in public, keeping our secret to ourselves, Nathan traveling up north and prep for church camp we stayed busy.

Now comes the raw, real, heart-breaking part. The part that I can't keep bottled inside. The part that I have felt like no one understands. (Even though millions do.)

It was Sunday, I had an appointment the next day and it was just under a week before Nathan's party.
Around 10:30 pm the pain started. Not only the worst physical pain I have ever been in, but the most emotional and mental pain. That was the longest nightmare of a night. Totally helpless. I knew exactly what was happening. I just never knew how bad it could be. All those plans, all that happiness- gone so quickly.

I didn't go to the E.R. (maybe I should have, I don't know.) But in that moment of loss and pain, I did not want to be surrounded by strangers in a hospital. It felt like too much. At one point, Nathan just sat there with me. Silent. He was in pain too. This can't be happening. We have plans! We have wanted a baby so badly! Why? Why don't we get our happy little story too?  I questioned so many different things. Had I done something to cause this? I bet I lifted something too heavy.

By morning, I had called into work and planned to go to my appointment that afternoon knowing that I was only going to have everything I already knew confirmed. After hours at the doctor and hospital (for ultrasound) then back to the doctors office, the doctor confirmed that we had in fact had a miscarriage.

Nothing prepares you for losing a baby. Nothing. I am blessed to have a sweet doctor who sat and talked with Nathan and I as long as we needed, answered questions and even called me the next week to make sure I was ok. She told me about her own miscarriages and that there is hope after loss. We left that appointment feeling worn and lost. I spent that week off work. Sitting alone on the couch most of the time, trying to find something on Netflix that might take my mind off things. The painkillers(yes, I was in pain for about a week) actually put me in a great mood so I appeared to all outsiders to be taking things well, and to those who never knew- they are probably surprised that all this was going on.

My pastor, boss and coworkers(who knew about baby) sent flowers. It was from their hearts(and very much appreciated) but made the loss more real. I got text messages and calls and everyone took great care of me. I still had Nathan's party to pull together by the weekend and put on a happy face that day.

I avoided(yes, I am admitting this) anyone in public that knew about the baby but didn't know we lost it, I just couldn't tell them he/she was no longer going to be here in January. I couldn't look at the baby aisles in the stores without wanting to cry. I literally had no idea what to do with the ultrasound pictures, but couldn't bring myself to throw them away. That "new mom bag" of info and freebies just sad there in the kitchen drawer for weeks, out of sight but I just didn't want to "deal" with getting it out and looking in it.

Today, the little box of Huggies samples sits in the hall closet, waiting just like us- for a baby. When people say "Just wait until you have a baby" or "When you have a baby, you'll understand" or even "Look what you have to look forward to when you are pregnant one day", I just want to say "I DO have a baby! I WAS pregnant!" No, I won't be up at 3 a.m. feeding him or her. But I'd give anything to be. I'd give anything to carry around a heavy carseat and giant diaper bag and listen to crying and be on a tighter budget to be able to afford all the little things that come with babies. When we go on trips or do fun things I find myself feeling like there is someone missing. Like the feeling you get when your favorite family member couldn't come for Christmas. It just doesn't feel as complete as it could.

I struggled very much with letting go. How do you say goodbye when you never got to say hello?

I do not blame God, or myself. According to the doctor there was nothing I had done and she believes that the baby would not have been perfectly healthy had he or she made it to full term. A blessing in disguise? Maybe so.

I do know that God has a plan. We still want a baby and I do believe that God will bless us with a child in the future.

I saved the best for last.

What I haven't told you is that one night the weekend before we left for our trip, I was in my sewing room alone and I suddenly got a very strange feeling. I felt like I needed to tell God that this baby was His. At this point I was not even able to get pregnant(or so I thought). I felt silly even telling God this, but did it anyway. I went on about my sewing project and didn't think of it again until we lost the baby. This is why I can not be angry at God. The baby was God's to begin with. I had placed this in His hands without even knowing the heartache to come. January 29th will be a difficult day for me. There will be tears. But I have an everlasting Hope on my side.

I am not alone.

Jeremiah 29:11- For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

***Why is miscarriage such a taboo topic? I feel like there are so many women grieving and living in emotional pain that don't feel they can talk about it. It is a loss like no other. I felt so alone since I don't know very many people who have been through this- or maybe they have never shared. We should try to make this subject one where we don't feel like we have to keep it inside. Thoughts?*** "

UPDATE- In January, we learned we were pregnant again. We also lost that baby at 4 weeks and 5 days. The experience was just as heartbreaking but a different experience altogether. We discovered through tests that my progesterone was incredibly low- too low to support the pregnancy. I now am tested twice a month to see what my levels are.

We are trusting God for a miracle baby in His time.