Full Circle

The past three weeks have been a blur to say the least; but they certainly complete the circle of this long journey for us.  On March 21, 2014, I gave birth to our son, Hudson.  What I remember the most was when they placed him skin-to-skin on my belly.  He cried a little and then contently lay awake and alert.  I watched him crawl up my body and feed for the first time.  We spent over an hour skin-to-skin and we had our own little bubble of calm in the chaos that was going on in the rest of the room.  Those moments and those emotions I felt made me feel like it was just myself and him.

When I look back at our IVF procedure and then I look at this perfect little person, all of the injections, appointments, blood work and ultrasounds were worth it.  We know how incredibly lucky we were to have a positive result with the first cycle.  Out of 16 eggs, then 9 embryos, and then 2 transfered blastocysts and the knowledge that we had nothing to freeze for future cycles – we were blessed with a healthy pregnancy and a perfect baby boy.  Sadly, our results are not typical and there are countless couples who have suffered emotional and financial heartbreak too many times.

So, would we do IVF again?  Together as a couple, Nick and I have decided that we will not do IVF again.  It’s emotionally draining for both couples.  It’s also expensive.  We would not have been able to do IVF if we did not ask for help (which was a tough thing to do).  If we magically conceive naturally then that’s incredible and amazing, however if we don’t then we are perfectly happy with our sweet baby boy 🙂

Just yesterday we found out that the province of Ontario announced that they will publicly fund the cost of one cycle of IVF for all forms of infertility.  They will be doing single embryo transfers to reduce multiple birth rates and high-risk pregnancies.  This is amazing and a step in the right direction.

A few days ago I received a FB message and friend request from a friend of a friend.  She said that her and her husband just found out that they need to do IVF and she asked if she could ask me some questions of she needed to since she didn’t know anyone else who had gone through the procedure before.  I told her that I would be thrilled to be part of her support circle and that it was so important to at least be able to talk to someone who has gone through it.  Even though our overall experiences and reasons behind the infertility might be different, I hope to help her feel as normal as possible through her journey to parenthood.

A tap, push & a shove ~ 20 weeks, 4 days

So while I should be sitting back and relaxing and enjoying the fact that our detailed ultrasound and screening tests came back fine and fantastic, instead I have spent the past 20 minutes in a panic googling sugar levels in urine.  Yeah I’m crazy, right?  Why do I do this to myself?  Sigh….

Last week we went for our detailed ultrasound.  It was very cool.  Okay, beyond cool.  Brilliantly amazing and totally double-rainbow intensly cool and surreal.  Yeah, that will sum it up 🙂  Nick got to see all of it while I was twisting my neck to catch glances from the monitor.  After she took all of the measurments she turned the bed and monitor so I could see as well.  It was incredible to actually see that there was something alive in there!  The funny thing was I began to feel fetal movements a lot stronger just before the ultrasound and ever since!  I felt a few taps and a tiny push sporadically every so often during the past 2 weeks, but now I feel the baby tapping away quite often 🙂

Anyways, we didn’t find out the gender.  It is in the report but we are having a reveal party in a few days to find out with family and some friends.  Nick had a good point about it too (not verbatim): “I’d rather find out if it’s a boy or a girl in a celebratory manner than from a stranger in a dark room in a hospital.”  I know that other people just open the envelope together etc., but since we have both been to a gender reveal party we really love the idea and the surprise factor! 🙂

Two days later I had a routine check-up where we got to hear the heartbeat again (150 bpm).  We didn’t hear it at the ultrasound, but we got to see all of the chambers pumping away at 147 bpm.  Our blood screening came back negative for Down’s (1 in 11,000) and 1 in 4,000 for NTD – happy days!  Then she mentioned that I would be sent off for the glucose test in a few weeks.  That’s fine – totally normal.  Since they test my urine each appointment she mentioned that it was normal (I guess) at 130.  No, she actually used the word “fine” – which everyone knows what that means 😛  I made a mental note to google that information – and thus my worried searching today when I remembered my mental note-to-self.

And… no real conclusive google results which is totally normal because an afternoon of Dr. Googling is like finding a needle in a haystack and then tossing it aside because you find better information which turns out to be useless.  I really should know better by now.  I will practice and excercise patience until the glucose testing and until some actual and conclusive test results come back.  Besides, I really shouldn’t worry myself over something my doctor says is “fine”, right.  Right?

Belly Silly Worried – 18 weeks

So, I’ve been worried this past week and a half, and I will admit that I suppose I’ve been worried in a silly kind of way too.  Really silly.  Probably most likely, I hope!

Anyways, I’ve been concerned that I don’t really have a noticeable bump yet.  I barely look prego and I’ve only gained 7 pounds total as of this morning.  Everytime Nick mentions that he can see a belly, I can’t see it and I make excuses.

“Oh, I just ate.”
“It’s the maternity pants.  They bunch up all the fat into one area.”
“I wasn’t really super skinny to start with, so that area doesn’t count.”

Go on, laugh at me.  I’ll wait.

I did google it and the top results for “no belly at 16 weeks pregnant” (I did ask again at 17 weeks too) are that everyone grows at different rates, etc especially if it’s your first.  There were a lot of people saying that they didn’t really start showing until 24-30 weeks.  Most of the time I’m okay, but then there are those fleeting moments where your mind goes all stupid and freaks you out.  I was doing okay for a bit, but then I saw on FB a friend who’s only a week behind me post a pic with the caption, “I can’t see my feet anymore!”.  (I’m pretty sure it’s her first kid too as I snooped through her photos looking for signs of other offspring.)  And that’s when all this silly doubt crept in again.

However, I’m sure I’m worried because I’m being uncharacteristically impatient.  I’m sure the little baby is growing just fine but just making go mental because it’s hard to see the progress.  This morning I specifically put on a shirt that I haven’t worn in at least a good week, just so I could see if there was anything.  And, there was a little start of a noticeable belly.  So I guess I’m just being silly about this, unless it’s a belly resulting from that family-sized bag of chips I ate last week.  It also doesn’t help that every pregnancy book/website out there has an unrealistic drawing of what you’re supposed to look like at “x” amount of weeks.  But only time will tell and we have a lot of that to get through before our detailed ultrasound which is 2 weeks away.

Big steps and new memories.

This weekend we started to look around for baby stuff – strollers, car seats, and of course we looked at cribs.  More specifically, we looked at some very expensive cribs.  Cribs that we would never be able to justify buying unless we won the lottery.  I didn’t think that the thought of buying a crib for the baby would make me feel a little uneasy though.  It’s kind of a big step to buy a crib, and it holds a lot of meaning and symbolism when you do.  I mean, it’s not like we haven’t bought a crib before…

In 2006, a friend of ours mentioned that a friend of hers was selling a crib that she no longer needed.  Her three kids had finished with it and she was ready to get rid of it.  She paid $600 for it, but was selling it for only $100 bucks.  We thought it was a great deal because then we would already have a crib.  The trouble was, we didn’t even have a baby yet – or even an embryo – and we also had no idea of what our future held.  But we didn’t think that it would be long before we did need one – so we went ahead and bought it a few days later.

Well, last summer we finally got rid of it.  We had moved it with us to new homes twice already and it just felt like a burden on us.  It was heavy and awkward to carry, but not only that it was a tiny reminder of what we didn’t have yet.  We didn’t need some inanimate object silently mocking us from the corner of our spare room anymore.  We loaded it into the car (along with the other items we planned to donate) and drove it to the Value Village drop-off zone and hoped that someone who needed it would find it and make use of it.  We kind of felt bad about giving it away, but we honestly didn’t want it taking up space in our lives anymore.  When we did eventually need a crib, only then would we get one.

And now, we do need a crib as there’s only 23 weeks left!  So whether or not we buy one or borrow one off a friend, this time will feel right.  It will feel like it’s supposed to feel, scary in the exciting kind of way 🙂

5 Weeks

I feel that I have so many things to say.  So I’ll split this post into an everyday update and then into a deeper post.

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So yes, it’s true.  I am pregnant.  It’s very weird to say.  It’s even weirder because I don’t feel many symptoms which makes me anxious.  I don’t feel super fatigued or nauseous, but I do have a much more sensitive sense of smell (restaurants GOOD, gas stations BAD)!  I was really feeling like we would get a negative test result the first beta, but after it came back positive it became clear to me why things tasted a little different and stronger, and why I was craving chinese food 3 days after transfer.  Also I was really wondering why my eyes were so dry and vision very slightly blurry (apparently pregnancy can make you a little more near-sighted – great 😛 ).

I’m still anxious because we have to wait until the 29th for our scan.  I’ve been google-ling when I should feel other symptoms and the interwebs say anywhere from 6-8 weeks, although some people feel them right away.  I’m not saying that I can’t wait to feel sick all the time, but It would be nice to feel something other than gas and bloating.  My decision to nix the belt from today’s outfit was a fantastic choice 😉

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I am not a religious person, but I have to say that I feel truly blessed.  I feel that there is a difference between religion and believing in something that is controlling things that you yourself cannot control.  I did not grow up in a household where we went to church or prayed before meals or talked about God, however that does not mean that I have not felt the comfort of faith or that “someone up there” is making things happen or watching over me.

We feel incredibly grateful that we have had this opportunity and that we took a leap of faith in science to help us conceive.  We never had any doubt that science would be able to help us, but we know that a lot of it is taking a best guess on the medication dosages and on having the perfect conditions when transfered – so up to chance, right?.  I never expected it to work the first time.  I have been reading the blogs of some other ladies who have not had so much luck or have been going through this process for much longer than I have and I really feel for them.  The IVF process is not easy on the mind or body.

I truly hope that everyone going through IVF or ART has a fantastic support system around them.  Speaking about infertility is a sensitive topic and some couples hide the truth from their family and friends because they know that they won’t understand (or think that they won’t).  We were quite surprised to realize that there are many people we know who have had infertility problems.  Being honest about your health is important; if we decided not to then Nick would have never found his prolactinoma and the cause of our infertility.

Whoa

Well, after the 2nd blood test showed more than double hcg, it’s confirmed. Deb’s pregnant. We’ve been cautiously optimistic about the whole process up to this point, never letting ourselves get our hopes up. But we did it.

After 7 years of trying there’s a part of you that expects that it’ll never happen, so to now be at the stage where we’re actually pregnant is a little surreal. I’m actually going to be a father.

One of the weirder parts of this whole experience was being in the room when they transferred the embryos into Deb. There’s nothing quite like watching someone impregnate your wife for you… and a woman at that! 😛

So if all goes well we should be welcoming a baby into our lives around mid March 2014. Unless we have twins, which will probably be born a little earlier.

I look super sexy in scrubs, don't I?

I look super sexy in scrubs, don’t I?

Retrieval Eve

Last night was a bit horrendous.  It was the most uncomfortable I have been yet!  Pressure and gas and nerves – not fun!  At least I got to sit on the couch and relax because it really did help calm me down (and I got to watch my show, “Lipstick Jungle”).  I was nervous about the shot but also nervous about the doxycycline antibiotic.  I was the most nervous about the doxycyline because the nurse specifically said “take it with food or you will throw up immediately”.  Barfing scares me.  It’s the whole lack of control thing and feeling like you can’t breathe.  But I took it with dinner and a huge glass of water and everything was fine.  The shot went fine too. It was great knowing that it was the last injection 🙂

Today will be the last with all of my little follicles.  Good that the discomfort will be gone, but still filled with intrepidation about the next steps.  My friend T has forewarned me that I will be in a lot of pain – and to eat fresh pineapple for the next 5-6 days to help prepare the uterus for transfer and implantation.

Anyways.. no eating after midnight or else I turn into a Gremlin!  Hope to write tomorrow if I’m not too out of it.