Tuesday, July 27, 2010

the rest of the story...

(for the beginning of the story click here)

I found out I was pregnant exactly one year ago today...

My 2ww ended on Monday, July 27. That was when I would get to pee on a stick to see if yet another round was a failure. I was already prepping myself for the disappointment. I was already starting to feel the anger, sadness and resentment that went along with the arrival of "Aunt Flo" each month. I was already trying to figure out a way to come up with the 12 grand to do IVF. In my mind, it was already negative.

So, Monday ends my 2ww and if you know me, you might also know that I am slightly impatient. That impatience led to the purchase of dozens of unnecessary Home Pregnancy Tests. So, impatience at full throttle, I decided I needed to test on Sunday and that's got to be as accurate as waiting one more day. Low and behold...it was negative. I knew it. I was coming to grips with the idea that this cycle was a failure and went to bed.

Woke up Monday morning (when I really was supposed to test) and peed on the stick just knowing that I would see that damn single pink line yet again. Pee, wait three minutes... tick tock, tick tock, those three minutes are the worst. Go back and look. Now, in the past I tried to look at those sticks from every angle hunting for the faintest sign of a double pink line. Even the lightest of lines would indicate pregnancy and I didn't want to miss it. So, here I am in the bathroom, already mad at my imaginary "negative" test and looking at it upside down, right side up, in bright light, daylight, in the dark, while standing on my head (well, practically). And there it was, the faintest, little pink line that I ever did see. I was ready to be mad and then this? I was still mad, I thought it was some dirty little joke, a false positive, the home pregnancy test people conspiring against me so they would stay in business. But it was there. I went outside to tell hubby, but was still mad, still didn't believe it. "well, there's a line" I told him in a smug voice "but it can't be right, this is a dirty trick". But in my mind I knew that ANY line was a sign of pregnancy, I just couldn't let myself be elated yet. I couldn't fall from that high just yet.

I went on with my day and went to work. Called the doc as soon as I had the chance, cautiously explained my nearly invisible line and the receptionist said, “Oh Lisa, you’re PREGNANT!” Without a doubt or any hesitation, she was 100% sure I was pregnant. I really thought I’d get a “well, come in for blood work so we can be sure” or something along the line of “don’t get your hopes up just yet”. But, no, she was positive and scheduled an appointment for me. OMG, I was in the break room at work, wanted to tell the world, couldn’t actually tell anyone, had a smile plastered on my face and…went and threw up. Yes, that was my first reaction BUT I was the happiest girl around for the rest of the day, heck every day since!

I went in for my blood work that day. I got the blood drawn and waited… I had to wait 5 hours until (another perk from my fabulous doctor) I could call her AT HOME for my results. That time couldn’t pass fast enough, I’ve never looked at the clock so much in my life. 6 o’clock rolled around, I called and she confirmed that I was pregnant! Finally, it was confirmed and I could scream and jump up and down like a schoolgirl!!! Here comes baby!

Doc said that my progesterone levels were low and to start taking progesterone (we’ll leave it at that) that night. Let’s just say the method was far from ideal. A week goes by and I go in for more blood work and the doctor says that my progesterone levels are still too low and I have to start on progesterone oil. At the time, I didn’t realize that would be the start of injecting myself with oil, from a huge needle, everyday for the next 12 weeks. I had one bruised booty, let me tell you! The doctor told me that she had never seen a woman with progesterone levels as low as mine carry to full term. Luckily, she didn’t tell me that until my 7 month follow up appointment. So, our baby girl truly is a miracle!

It took me a long time (like months) before I wasn’t worried about the possibility of a miscarriage. I went through almost the entire pregnancy very cautiously optimistic. I loved being pregnant though. Aside from a few weeks of severe nausea, I had a really easy pregnancy. I chalk up the easy pregnancy to the hell we had to go through to actually get pregnant.

So, that’s our story. I know that there are women out there that have a much more difficult time getting or staying pregnant (and my heart goes out to you) and plenty of women that have a much easier time (don’t take it for granted!) but this is how our journey went. It was a rough road but well worth the wait.

And here is the very first picture of our baby girl at 5 weeks, 5 days (the itty, bitty, teeny, tiny white dot)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

baby dreams?

While exploring other mommy blogs, I stumbled upon this one:


Wow! It left my creative side feeling a little jealous and a bit lazy. I surely don't have a baby that sleeps that well, nor the time to create anything like this, but I think it is absolutely adorable! And of course, I often wonder what my little one is dreaming about too!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

3 years

Happy Anniversary to us!!! Today we celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary! About this time, three years ago, I was popping open the pineapple champagne and getting my hair done. I loved our wedding, it was a pain in the @ss to plan and pay for but it was worth all the effort. It was so much fun and one giant party! I didn't want it to end! Most importantly, it was the official start of our life together and I am lucky to be married to such a wonderful man and an amazing father!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Who is this child?

I think my child has grown exponentially in the last 48 hours. I feel like last week she was still a blob of a baby, that couldn't move, only cried when she was either tired, hungry or wet, and wasn't interested in anything but her hands and mom.

Now she is rolling over, working out her ab muscles like a maniac (she tries desperately to pull herself up when laying down), "talking" up a storm, tries to put everything in her mouth (even the dog), is entertained by some toys, complains (i'm sure that goes along with talking but she does this weird moan thing that is not quite a cry and not a cute coo), DEMANDS to be fed (she may have gotten some of her moms impatience), laughs at her dad and just all around seems like a different baby. I am loving every second of it!

We often say I can't wait until she...(insert milestone here--talks, crawls, walks, has hair, etc) but I really try to stop myself every time and focus on all the amazing things that are happening every day. They really do go by all too fast...

Sitting. Coming soon to a baby near you.

I was really trying to get a cute naked booty pic of her to use to embarass her when she is older and because it's just plain adorable! She was not having it. She would not stop rolling over! She probably rolled over 10 times during our little mini photo shoot and was clearly amused by her own little plot to ruin my plan (maybe she knew it would come back to haunt her). This shot was the best I could do with my iPhone.
Note to self for baby #2--take cute naked booty pic BEFORE they can roll over.

Hold on

I just realized that my child needs to hold on to something to fall asleep. She grabs on to my fingers at bedtime and grips them like a vice until she falls asleep and I thought it was just because she wanted mommy close. I'm thinking not. She is constantly pulling the pacifier out of her mouth, but I am realizing she does this because it's the only thing she has to hang on to. She is in her swing and was overtired and obviously needed to fall asleep but was having trouble. I gave her the pacifier and you could see the relief sweep over face. She started to relax and drift off to sleep but then those crazy hands and their mind of their own started in on the pacifier. I went over to put it back in and she grabbed onto my fingers like usual. Now, I would have been happy to stand there and let her grip my fingers until she fell asleep, but if I am ever to get a shower in or maybe clean the house, I needed a better plan. I grabbed a little blanket and fed it into those crazy, little hands and low and behold, it worked like a charm! She is sleeping peacefully! I am slightly dreading the day when I have to break her of these perceived "bad" habits (blanket, binky), as I remember the days when I had to rid myself of my blankie and thumbsucking but I need to shower and floors need to be mopped. When she is older, at least I will be able to clean the house while trying to convince her that she doesn't need a blankie. For now, the dog and I will enjoy the peace and quiet.

I would post a picture, but she is in the swing and I don't dare stop it just to take a picture. You'll have to use your imagination today, it'll be good for you.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Rock & Roll

Kaylee was laying on the floor this morning doing some tummy time and she started rocking back and forth. Dad was sitting close by so I yell "dad, dad, look at your baby girl". He was in the middle of doing something and didn't look up right away. Baby was still rocking back and forth and I told her "your daddy is going to miss it!" As soon as I said that, Dad looked up and baby rolled right over!!!

We officially had our first roll over! It was from belly to back and she would only do it once. She made it clear to us that she had worked hard (or entertained us) enough for one day. Now she is peacefully napping from her big workout.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The story...

Before you read on, be prepared for maybe a little TMI. This is the story of our infertility journey and while I have become quite comfortable talking about my uterus and sperm and the steps we have had to take to conceive--your ears and your brain may not want to peek into that side of our lives (If that is the case, just stand by idly until the next post). But, infertility is all too common in today's world and more couples are going through what we went through (and more difficult challenges) so I might as well share my story as it may comfort, educate, enlighten or amuse someone out there...

short story: unexplained infertility, 5 IUI's, thousands of dollars, lots of drugs, & 1 beautiful baby girl

long story: So, today is the day we conceived. Well, between now and 24 hours from now. Yep, I know the exact date of conception. Not because we were vacationing in some exotic land or had some especially steamy romp in the sack, but because I was sitting on the cold table in the doctor's office waiting for her to "prepare" the sperm that would eventually become this little ball of chubbiness and smiles that is our baby girl.

We all know how the story ends, so I will go back to the beginning...

We met in 2004, fell in love and got married in 2007. Before we were married we talked extensively about marriage, family and children and we were both excited to take the next "big" steps in our lives. We got married in July of 2007 and were ready to get busy and grow our family. It all started out innocently. First it was "whatever happens, happens". Nothing. Then it moved on to tracking periods. Nothing. Then it became a bit more obsessive--tracking periods, intercourse and ovulation. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.

About 8 months into it, I was ready to head to the doctor to find out what was "wrong" with me. I expressed my intense desire to have children, soon. She ordered some preliminary tests to see if anything could be easily ruled out. OK, GREAT! Let's get started. I now felt like I had a little more control over this midly frustrating situation.

So starts the barage of tests. Blood test (looks great!). Thyroid test (perfectly normal!). Hormone test (typical woman!) Sperm Analysis (fabulous specimen!). HSG--which is a hysterosalpinogram where they inject a dye into your fallobian tubes to make sure there is no blockage (all clear!)

The doctor was less than helpful, only telling me to come back after I had tried for a year. Really? I have to wait that long? I've already waited my whole life. What difference is a few months going to make? Ugh. So I waited, 3 months (not the 4 I was told to wait). I called that doctor and talked her receptionist. Me: "I've been trying to conceive for 1 year now and have done all the preliminary tests and I would like to take the next step, whatever that may be." Recepcionist: "Call Dr. Schmidt. Her number is blah, blah, blah ... Good luck." REALLY? You made me wait 4 extra months just to give me a phone number?? We're just wasting eggs at this point. Fine.

So off I went with my renewed sense of "control" over my childbearing prospects. This was in August, but I didn't call right away. Suddenly, I was a little nervous. Maybe, because I was afraid they would tell me that I would never have children. I waited out that cycle, holding out hope that that was the one that worked. It wasn't. I got my period and decided I had to call and get things moving. Now it is September of 2008.

This is the start of my life revolving around my menstrual cycle. Even in calling to make my appointment, they wanted to know what cycle day I was on. What? I don't know 4? 5? 6? I haven't really been paying attention. Receptionist: "Oh, honey, we HAVE to see you on cycle day 3. So call me next month as soon as you start your period and we will make you an appointment. UGH!!!! There goes another month.

Finally, I got an appointment and the doctor wanted to do a few more tests. Turns out Dad's side of things is (in her words) phenomenal. Mine, not so much. I was apparently killing off his swimmers before they even had a chance. I think the term "hostile host" was used. The doctor told us that our first step would be to start IUI's, yes, I'm pretty sure she said plural right from the start. IUI is intrauterine insemination. Basically, the doctor takes the part of his stuff and injects it right into my uterus and then we all cross our fingers and hope that an egg is fertilized before my evil uterus has the chance to kill it off. So we continued on our journey.

Our round of IUI's happened on New Year's Eve & New Year's Day 2009-2010. Yes, that is a testament to our fabulous our doctor was. She came in to do the procedures on not only her day off but essentially two days worth of holidays. I think most doctor's would have cancelled the cycle and tried again next time.

In the meantime, I was trying to do ANYTHING that would increase our odds. I changed my deoderant because I read somewhere that the aluminum in regular deoderant can effect fertility, I wore a St. Girard's metal pinned to my bra everyday, I started going to acupuncture every week, I drank room temperature water (to warm my cold uterus--that was from a book, more on that later), I stopped drinking milk and tried to eat only organic, I went vegan (for a week) but stuck to a nearly vegetarian diet for awhile (until the pregnancy cravings kicked in), cut out caffiene, positive thinking, wished on the new moon, started learning about the adoptions process, started taking USANA vitamins upon my doctors request, drank herb teas, used chinese herbs (don't do this unless you are under the care of a professional -some herbs have an unknown effect on fertility). Not to mention I was charting my basal body temperature every morning before getting out of bed and using home ovulation predictor kits. Phew, it was a lot of work!

Five, it took us five cycles to get it right!

Round #1-- 50 mg clomid, back to back IUI's (Dec/Jan)
Round #2--100 mg clomid, back to back IUI's (Jan)
Round #3--150 mg clomid, HCG trigger shot, back to back IUI's (Mar)
Round #4--150 mg clomid, HCG trigger shot, back to back IUI's (May)

Four rounds with no positive results. I think that therapy should come for free to women doing fertility treatments. It is absolutely agonizing! Putting so much hope, money and time into something that is SO desperately wanted and not easily attainable is one of the hardest things I have gone through. Note to yourself, if you know someone that is having difficulty conceiving DO NOT tell them "try not to think about it so much", "just relax and it will happen", "you're too stressed about it", "forget about it and you'll get pregnant", "think positively". Really, if someone is at the point where they have to seek help to get pregnant they --won't forget about, --can't stop thinking about it, and --are already thinking as positively as humanly possible. You will only annoy them and they won't want to talk to you about it anymore.

Round #5--(AKA the miracle round) 10 days of birth control pills, 6 days of lupron shots in the thigh, 5 days of 150mg clomid, HCG trigger shot, back to back IUI's, progesterone oil shots for 4 months. (July)

On a fluke, I had to go in for an appointment two days earlier than normally schedule. From that blood test the doctor learned that my progesterone was rising too early, which was essentially ruining any chance of fertilization. She put me on the lupron to supress the hormones and the birth control pills because I had developed ovarian cysts. That was going to be our last cycle and we had decided that if it didn't work, we would stop trying IUI's and begin saving the $12,000 it would cost to do IVF treatments. Mind you, none of our IUI treatments were covered by insurance either so our savings was non-existence at this point.

Okay, so we start the crazy cycle--birth control pills, giving my self shots everyday, my short stint as a vegan, and the realization that if this didn't work, it could be a very, very long time before we might conceive. We did the back to back IUI's on July 14-15 and then there is the dreaded 2ww (two week wait). Those two weeks are the absolute worst! You are filled with hope and positive thoughts, but also have to keep in mind that it might not have worked, just like in the past. You do a lot of soul seraching during the 2ww. There are lots of converstions with yourself--trying to prep yourself for what might come. It is a time full of tremendous hope and anxiety.

Stay tuned to find out what happens in our next episode...
(really this is already too long, will be continued next week)

Oh, but the most wonderful book that I found was The Infertility Cure. My acupuncturist, Beth Peckham lent it to me and it was extremely informative, gave reccomendations on steps to take to increase your fertility naturally based on your personal "symptoms". It kept me motivated and positive in a time that could have become very dark. It made me feel like I had some control, that there was something I could do to help "fix" what was "broken".

and now some eye candy after all that reading...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Each to his own when it comes to parenting styles and sleep training but this is just funny...

From babies to other babies.

OK, here's my situation. My Mommy has had me for almost 7 months. The first few months were great--I cried, she picked me up and fed me, anytime, day or night. Then something happened. Over the last few weeks, she has been trying to STTN (sleep thru the night). At first, I thought it was just a phase, but it is only getting worse. I've talked to other babies, and it seems like it's pretty common after Mommies have had us for around 6 months. Here's the thing: these Mommies don't really need to sleep. It's just a habit. Many of them have had some 30 years to sleep--they just don't need it anymore. So I am implementing a plan. I call it the Crybaby Shuffle. It goes like this: Night 1--cry every 3 hours until you get fed. I know, it's hard. It's hard to see your Mommy upset over your crying. Just keep reminding yourself, it's for her own good.

Night 2--cry every 2 hours until you get fed.

Night 3--every hour.

Most Mommies will start to respond more quickly after about 3 nights. Some Mommies are more alert, and may resist the change longer. These Mommies may stand in your doorway for hours, shhhh-ing. Don't give in. I cannot stress this enough: CONSISTENCY IS KEY!! If you let her STTN (sleep through the night), just once, she will expect it every night. I KNOW IT'S HARD! But she really does not need the sleep, she is just resisting the change. If you have an especially alert Mommy, you can stop crying for about 10 minutes, just long enough for her to go back to bed and start to fall asleep. Then cry again. It WILL eventually work. My Mommy once stayed awake for 10 hours straight, so I know she can do it.

Last night, I cried every hour. You just have to decide to stick to it and just go for it. BE CONSISTENT! I cried for any reason I could come up with.My sleep sack tickled my foot. I felt a wrinkle under the sheet. My mobile made a shadow on the wall. I burped, and it tasted like pears. I hadn't eaten pears since lunch, what's up with that? The cat said "meow". I should know. My Mommy reminds me of this about 20 times a day. LOL. Once I cried just because I liked how it sounded when it echoed on the monitor in the other room. Too hot, too cold, just right--doesn't matter! Keep crying!! It took awhile, but it worked. She fed me at 4am. Tomorrow night, my goal is 3:30am. You need to slowly shorten the interval between feedings in order to reset your Mommies' internal clocks.

P.S. Don't let those rubber things fool you, no matter how long you suck on them, no milk will come out. Trust me

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sunday, July 11, 2010

what a difference...

I know that she is growing like a weed and getting bigger and taller everyday. I didn't realize how much she has changed until we were went back and looked at pictures in succession since the day she was born. I came across these (2 weeks vs. 13 weeks):

Monday, July 5, 2010

12 weeks

Kaylee is 12 weeks old today! She is developing her own little personality more every day. She is getting good at making her needs and dislikes known--very clearly. Or we are getting better at figuring out what is wrong with her. Maybe a little of both. She likes the car, but only if it is moving. She likes to sleep, but not falling asleep. Apparently, if you turn her upside down she will toot and she never really spits up unless I am dressed and ready to walk out the door. We weighed her at the vet last week (yes, the vet) and she weighed 14 pounds 1 ounce but she is probably closer to 14 1/2 pounds now. She is smiling and laughing like crazy but still refuses to laugh when dad raspberries her tummy (he's been waiting for her to laugh at that since she was born!).

Sunday, July 4, 2010

bye bye Casey

So, this post is not quite baby related, but it is family related. Yesterday, we had to make the agonizing decision to put Casey, our 11 year old black lab, to sleep. He was down to two working legs and was in excruciating pain. It was the worst, hardest, saddest decision we have ever had to make but we had to keep his happiness and quality of life in mind and it would have been selfish to put him through another day of pain. The vet thought that he may have had bone cancer, tumors so small they wouldn't show up on the x-rays but cause an excessive amount of pain. The typical course of treatment for that would have been amputation, chemotherapy and a large amount of drugs. And after all that, his life would have been extended for maybe 6 months, a year tops.

Casey has been with us for almost our entire relationship. We adopted him over 5 years ago from the Humane Society. While neither one of us was really experienced dog owners, we dove head first into rescuing this dog. It didn't take us long to figure out that he had lived a rough life so far. We learned quickly that he loved us, but disliked most other people in the world including kids. Casey loved, I mean LOVED playing ball, going swimming and sniffing other dogs behinds. I'd like to think that we made the last years of his life good ones. We did our best and will miss him terribly.

Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...

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