Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Our Year At A Glance

My husband was showing me this really cool website http://www.wordle.net/ You can type in any phrase or a url to a website and it makes this cool artsy thing with the most frequently used words. I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the last half of our year via this blog. Here's what I got (click on the picture for a larger image)...

Amazing how that really does sum it all up.

I called my RE's office for an appointment today. We go in January 14th to discuss the past year and see what options we may have to assist in a healthy pregnancy. It's strange thinking about going back when we got pregnant 3 times on our own. I just want to see if she can help us get a healthier egg. Our insurance won't cover a thing, so I don't know how far we will be able to go realistically. I could go on and on about how unfair I think it is that health insurance companies can dictate who can have a baby and who can't based on what they do and don't cover in the infertility world, but if I get started, I don't think I could come up for air. I just get so angry for the people out there who would make beautiful parents and never see that opportunity because of big insurance deciding fertility issues are not a medical necessity. Try telling that to the people struggling with infertility! For most people struggling with infertility there is something in their body that isn't functioning the way it is supposed to - health insurance should cover that! Okay, rant over for now. I am looking forward to meeting with her. She's the best and I know she will help lead us down the right path.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Our Christmas Blessings

We received one glorious Christmas blessing 3 days before Christmas 2 years ago. Our little ladybug turned 2 on December 22nd this year. Time really does fly! We had fun parties and lots of presents and cake! She had a ball!

Sporting a hat and glove set she got (the girl loves her hats) and playing with her new kitchen (hopefully she'll enjoy cooking more than I do).

We received another blessing this year. When we met with the genetic counselor she looked at our testing (both babies' and my husbands and mine) and our family history. Based on what she saw she said we have no higher risk of anything going wrong with a future pregnancy. Any baby we have will still have a 98-99% chance of not having Down Syndrome or Turner's Syndrome. All three miscarriages this year have been nothing more than a string of bad luck. Moving forward, this is the best news we could have received. Things look very promising that we can have another healthy child. We feel very blessed with that news.

It doesn't look like this was our month. AF arrived today. I had a lot of promising symptoms and some tests with questionable light lines, but it wasn't in the cards this month. I think the questionable lines were because of some very low levels of HCG that may have still been in my system from the miscarriage. In preparation for next month I ordered some more of those pink cassette pregnancy tests (the ones that gave me a light positive at 7DPO with my last pregnancy) from a guy in the UK on Ebay. Hopefully we'll get some nice pink lines on those in the next month or two. We are looking forward to 2011 with a positive attitude!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Knowledge Is Power

That's what they say. We have some answers. All of our blood work came back normal. The lupus profile, the chromosome/genetics on both me and my husband; all normal. That's a relief! It is looking more and more like we just had horrible luck to miscarry three times in a row.

We also got answers about our last baby. She was a girl and she had Turner's Syndrome. It makes it more real and more sad to know this. I'm glad we know, don't get me wrong, but now as I think of a sweet little girl lost, I'm more sad. I've done some googling. Statistics say that 99% of fetuses with Turner's Syndrome miscarry in the first trimester (for once we fall into the general odds). Statistics also say that those girls born with Turner's Syndrome lead a fairly normal life without too many horrible life threatening complications. Interesting. Statistics also say that the odds of Turner's happening again are no higher once you've already conceived a baby with it.

Now we have lost one baby who had one too many chromosomes and one baby who had one too few. There's some irony for ya.

We will meet with a genetics counselor on Monday to see what they have to tell us. I'm not anticipating much more than the advanced maternal age speech, but we'll see.

As for the two week wait, I've had some symptoms that are promising - tingling, hot, sore, itchy boobs, bloating, fatigue, and frequent urination. I won't count emotional crying all the time because that can easily be accounted for without surging hormones. I might test on Monday. How would that be for our meeting with the genetics counselor! Oh yeah, and by the way, I'm pregnant right now, please tell me everything will be A-OK!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Due Date

It's here. My son's due date. Numb. Sad. Heartbroken. Empty.

I find that I let myself cry until I get to the point where my arms start to physically ache from the need to hold him and my heart feels like it's about to shatter. Then I cut myself off. I don't know if that's a healthy way to handle it or not, but it's a subconscious thing. The pain just gets too great and my brain shuts it all out. I had no idea until I lost him that physical pain from heartache was even possible.

I should be holding a soft warm newborn right now. I should be euphoric and sleep deprived. I should be so overwhelmed with my love for my new little baby that I can't look at anyone else. I should be seeing my husband hold his son and see the dreams he has for him written all over his face. I should be introducing a beautiful big sister to her brand new little brother.

Again, I am touched and overwhelmed by the beautiful out pour of love from our friends and family. We have received several cards, emails, and facebook messages. I am so grateful for their love, support, and strength.

We wanted to do something special to honor our son today. I googled and asked people for suggestions. Several people recommended a balloon release, which I think we will do on July 9th - his birthday (is that even what it should be called). We got snowed in today, so I don't think we'll have an opportunity to do much besides light a candle in his memory.

My sweet boy - Mommy loves you more than words could ever say. You will forever be in our hearts.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mix of Emotions

One week. One week away from our son's due date. We bought a Fur Real polar bear to donate to Toys For Tots in his honor. My husband and I graduated from the same college, and the polar bear is the mascot. When we had our little girl, my husband's gift to her on the day she was born was a stuffed polar bear. He had also bought one for our son, which sits in a chair in the supposed-to-be nursery. We will be with family this weekend, that will help keep us busy.

Yesterday we had blood work done for a multitude of things. 2 trips to the lab, 3 hours, 6 sticks (5 of those in my hands), and 5 viles of blood later (plus 2 sticks and 4 viles for DH), and I think they have what they need, at least for this round of blood work. I have tricky veins. It's the weirdest thing. They used this really cool infrared light thing on me yesterday so they could see my veins through my skin. I've been told for years that my veins are tiny and that they roll. One nurse even told me that she literally saw my vein do a zigzag when she put in the needle. Sometimes when they get the needle in the vein, it still refuses to give them blood (or enough blood, depending on it's temperament). With this infrared thing, the women at the lab were pushing on my vein with a finger and we all were watching my veins do the zigzag. It was strange and cool all at the same time. It also tells me that I will always have trouble giving blood, ugh! I felt a little bit like a guinea pig, but at least everyone stayed in good spirits. They were even sweet enough to give me a gift card to the hospital gift shop afterwards. So now I'm bruised, but I have lots of candy! We got tested for genetic/chromosomes and a general blood panel work up. I also got my thyroid tested and got a lupus panel. I'm not sure when we will have results back, but I'm very curious to see how they turn out.

In other news: I'm ovulating. We weren't "supposed" to start TTC again yet, but it just sort of happened. I was waiting until I was sure the bleeding from my miscarriage had stopped before we BD'd again. Once I was sure that had happened (a few days ago), we did the deed. I had taken an OPK that night right before and it was negative. The next day it was pretty close to positive. After some discussions and encouragement from my online girlfriends, we decided we might as well fit another BD in last night because I'd already potentially get pregnant anyway, so why not give it a better chance. Today my OPK is blazing.

I had some pains in my ovary last night, and all other signs are pointing toward ovulation. Honestly, I think I will be okay whichever way it goes this month. It would be a wonderful Christmas gift though - to finally get pregnant with our healthy "take home" baby. I should know by my daughter's 2nd birthday on the 22nd. I'm not sure how to handle the mix of emotions of being and the two week wait and having my son's due date all at the same time, but it is what it is.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Dreaded Month...

It's December. The month I have been dreading since we lost our son in July. His due date was December 16th. I've been an emotional mess today. Lots of tears have fallen.

I hate how this month is full of both happiness and sorrow! It seems so unfair! Our daughter will turn 2 on the 22nd. Celebration and joy! We are looking forward to celebrating Christmas with our extended family. We are enjoying seeing the look of excitement and wonder in our daughter's eyes! Yet these waves of sorrow blanket my heart from time to time.

I've been on the phone this week. We still don't have results back about the last miscarriage. I'm currently setting up some of the testing anyway. I have a lot of blood work to be done. They'll do a thyroid check, lupus profile, and chromosome testing. I wonder how many viles of blood they'll have to get.

A few people acknowledged the month today and that they are thinking of us. I was very touched by that. More than I can put into words. It's going to be a very difficult few weeks.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Of course nothing about this process has been easy. Now I have more annoyances to add. Last week I started to notice some things weren't going quite right post miscarriage. I ended up passing another olive sized clot that smelled horrible. I called my OB who had me come in the next morning. First we did another ultrasound. The tech said there was some "stuff" still in my uterus, she thought it was most likely just fluid. I saw my OB then and she examined the clot and found that it was just that, a clot, no tissue. The odor was just because it had been up there so long (she referenced rotting meat, lovely thought). The she inserted the speculum and "squeezed" out a little more stuff that she said looked like decidua. If I was lucky, that would be the end of it. She gave me 7 days of antibiotic for infection. For a few days after that I bled a lot. Today it's been a little less. I'm still cramping off and on. I'm just ready for all of this to be over so I can move on. We are still waiting to hear if they got any information from testing the baby.

Today is one month away from my due date for our son. I would have had a son in one month...

Our daughter is amazing! She had an appointment with the nurse practitioner and she is very advanced in everything and is healthy, healthy, healthy! She amazes me every day. I love watching her read her books, and play pretend, and run around the house dancing and hopping and squealing. She is such a joy! She loves letters and numbers and tells us every time she sees them when we are out and about. She has been able to tell us the letter and the sound it makes for several months now, which I find astonishing! She has just recently started putting more than one word together. I just started planning her 2nd birthday party for next month. I can't believe my baby will be 2! Even with all of our heartache this past year, life is glorious! Thank goodness for our precious daughter!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

We Have Another Angel Baby


We went for a routine OB appointment last Wednesday, October 27th. I was 9 weeks 5 days pregnant. It was a long visit with a new OB because my old OB has retired from the OB part of the business. We sat in his office and talked about how good our odds were that this baby would be just fine - we know from our son that odds mean nothing. We talked about where we would deliver the baby. We talked about how he would listen with the doppler but he told us not to worry or freak out if we didn't hear anything yet because it's early for that, and that we would go straight in for an ultrasound if we couldn't hear it. We listened first thing with the doppler when we got settled into the exam room and heard nothing. He said that's what he thought would happen and continued to do the rest of the exam. Then we went over for the ultrasound. First he did the ultrasound on my abdomen, we saw the baby. It was definitely bigger than the last time we saw it, just two weeks ago with a strong heart beating. I asked if he saw the heartbeat. He said he did and he thought he saw the baby move, then more silence. The technician asked if he wanted to use the trans vaginal ultrasound probe and he agreed to that, then told me that they may have just seen a reflexion of my heartbeat on the baby and that sometimes that happens. So I took a deep breath and they put in the probe. More silence...I asked again, do you see a heartbeat, then the floor fell out from under me..."No, I'm sorry, I don't." Nooooo! Not again! This is a nightmare I can't seem to wake up from! The baby measured 8 weeks 4 days. We talked about what to do. He gave me my options. I wanted to talk with my old OB, who is in the same office as them. She gave me the most sincere hug and we talked. She said the most healthy option for me would be to use the misoprostol again and "pass the tissue" so it could be collected right away and sent for testing. If all went well I wouldn't need a D&C. This process would be healthiest for my uterus and give us a better chance of getting results from the tested tissue.

On Friday morning, October 29, 2010, I went in and she inserted the misoprostol vaginally and I went home to wait for contractions and bleeding to start. It took about 4 or 5 hours for the contractions to start, they weren't as bad as the contractions I had at 17 weeks with our son, just uncomfortable. Then a little while later I felt a couple of pops and the blood started gushing out. I went straight to her office. She put me in stirrups, put in a speculum, and started collecting tissue as it came through my cervix. This was also uncomfortable, but not awful. It was so much more clinical and more like a miscarriage than the one I had with my son, which was more like a birth. When the baby came out it was still in the sack, so we couldn't really see very much. It was so tiny and it really didn't even seem like we were looking at our child. Once she thought I passed everything we went for an ultrasound. She said I would still have some clots and residual tissue to pass, so keep taking the misoprostol for 24 hours orally. I had a lot of cramping on our way home, and once we got there, I had a huge gush of blood then passed a HUGE clot or piece of tissue. We called her and she said to bring that in for testing too, so we did. I'm still bleeding and cramping today. She said it could last a week to ten days. We'll get the testing results in a couple weeks.

My husband was right by my side like always. He is such a wonderful support and I wouldn't have been able to get through the past several months without him. They say things like this either make a relationship stronger or they tear you apart. I have such love, admiration, and appreciation for him. He's the one who made us stronger with his love, support, and devotion. For him and our beautiful daughter I feel so blessed!

We have also had such a strong outpouring of love from our family and friends over the past several months. Their love and support has meant so much to us. Everything from those simple strong words of "I'm so sorry for your loss," to meals, books, help cleaning, babysitting, emails, letters, cards, flowers. I've been so touched. It's wonderful knowing that people love you and are thinking of and praying for you. I hope we are able to report only happy things to them from here on out! If you are one of them, we thank you with all our hearts!

Now we wait...wait to see if they can get tissue to grow for testing, wait for the results, wait to see if we can find out if our baby was a boy or a girl, wait to see what we do next. Our new OB said my husband and I could go in for some blood tests for genetic testing to see if there is some underlying thing causing a genetic issue for our babies. I can also have some imaging done of my uterus to see if there have been any changes that might make it not be compatible with carrying a child anymore. I just want answers and something that tells us we can move on and keep trying. I ordered a book that is supposed to have a lot of information about what tests to ask for and what to look for in our situation. I want to go in armed with knowledge. I want to get this figured out as soon as possible - I'm 37 and I'm afraid I'm running short on time. I just want to have one more healthy child. A sibling for our daughter. If we can't have more children I just want to know that too, so I can mourn that and move on. I don't want to miss a second of happiness with our daughter and I don't want any of this to overshadow her early years. Sunday we went out trick-or-treating with our little Strawberry Shortcake. She had a ball! She insisted on walking everywhere, she didn't want to be carried at all. By house number 4 she was saying "trick-or-treat," accepting her "candies," saying "thank you. bye bye." What a beautiful memory!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Our First Ultrasound

It started out as a really stressful morning. I had no idea my emotions would hit me the way they did. I was so nervous and sad. It was like every emotion and feeling from the day we discovered our son had no heart beat on the ultrasound came rushing back. I spent the morning crying and frantically cleaning (that's what I do when I'm really nervous or really angry). I don't know if my daughter noticed a difference in Mommy or not. She likes to follow me around when I clean, so that was fun for her. I also let her watch a bit more TV than usual, so she was pleased. I was just so afraid that history would repeat itself. Of course our son sent more butterflies to reassure us today. We saw one as we pulled out of our neighborhood and another when we pulled in to the parking lot at the doctor's office. I have seen butterflies every time I go to an appointment. <3

The ultrasound wasn't until 1:45 PM. When we got called back, I gave the technician a bit of our history so she would understand why I was so nervous. Luckily she was wonderful. Very understanding, reassuring, and thorough. She told us within seconds that she saw the heartbeat. Then she pointed things out to us, like the flickering of the heart and the head. She let us see the sound waves of the heart beat. It was so beautiful to see our precious little nugget on that screen. She told us the baby was measuring right at 7 Weeks 5 Days, which is exactly where the baby should be based on my ovulation date. The heart rate was 165, which she said is excellent. My due date stays at May 27, 2011.

We go to our new OB in two weeks. I have to switch because mine "retired" from delivering babies. I'm sad about it because I absolutely LOVE my OB. I got to meet my new one, and he seems very kind and personable. I hope I like him as a doctor too. In about a month I go for the NT scan, which measures blood with an ultrasound looking at the nuchal fold. This should give us our odds at having a baby with a chromosomal abnormality. If all goes well with that test, I'll finally breathe a lot easier.

My husband and I are feeling a great deal of relief after seeing the heart beat and knowing that it is so strong. We finally celebrated this pregnancy after the ultrasound with a nice meal at Bravo and some ice cream with our little girl. She loved the celebration!

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Stress of Waiting

I am not a patient person in regards to life in general, throw in something huge, like the life of my baby, and it's next to impossible for me to stay calm and stress free during the wait. Only two more days until my first ultrasound. That doesn't sound too far away, but it sure feels forever away! The thing is, I know if we have good or even great results, the worrying will start all over again until we reach the next milestone. It's never ending.

I finally stopped POAS about a week and a half ago. I still have some tests in my closet, but I'm afraid of seeing the "hook effect" (when the HCG in your system is so high that it "fools" the test and the test line starts to look lighter than it did), and freaking out that something is wrong.

I find myself questioning every ache or pain or cramp my body has, every gush of fluid I feel, every pregnancy symptom I feel or don't feel. It's a vicious cycle of stress.

Part of me is not allowing myself to get too attached just yet. It almost feels like I'm still in the "Two Week Wait," waiting to see if I'm really pregnant, or rather, if this pregnancy is really viable. I'm already 7 weeks 3 Days pregnant. At 8 weeks the baby moves from embryo to fetus status. I feel like the joy of this was ripped from me and that makes me so mad! I love being pregnant, and this may be the last time I am, so I want to be able to love and cherish every second of it, this stupid stress just keeps getting in the way! Then I try to snap myself back to reality...I'm so fortunate to have been able to have my daughter and to get pregnant several times since then. There are women who never get that. I was one of those women for 8 years and would get so angry when I saw women who had at least one healthy child complain about their trials and tribulations, because what I wouldn't give for that one. Now I have her and I am so blessed. I'm just hoping and wishing with all my might that I will be blessed again with this baby...please let this one be strong and healthy and let this pregnancy be healthy and uneventful. Let my husband, daughter and I bring home another healthy little baby to help complete our family and make it even more full of love and joy. THAT'S what I'm putting out in to the universe.

Monday, October 4, 2010


That's what my OB said about my third set of beta numbers. Phenomenal! What a great relief and another hurdle crossed.

1st Beta 11 DPO:
HCG = 44.5
Progesterone = 25.5

2nd Beta 18 DPO:
HCG = 857.8
Progesterone = 34.6

Doubling time = 39.67 hours

3rd Beta 26 DPO:
HCG = 11,809.0
Progesterone = 24.3

Doubling time = 49.17 hours

I got the results on our way to a wedding in Chicago. I was so worried that the news would not be good and then I would have to put on a happy face for the weekend. Luckily the news was wonderful and easily gave me a smile from ear to ear for the big event! That will be my last beta unless I have spotting.

I set up my first ultrasound for October 13th. Only a week and a half away. I can't wait! We will hopefully see at least one good strong heart beat in there. Based on my beta numbers, I fall in the median category for twins, although I had numbers similar to this with my daughter, and she was a singleton. Seeing the numbers and how big my belly has already grown makes me very curious to have a peek. I'm guessing my belly is looking 3 months pregnant at 6 weeks because it wasn't too long ago I was in the second trimester with my son. Things just haven't had a chance to get back to normal before getting pregnant again.

I love looking pregnant already, but of course worry that something is wrong since I'm so big so soon. It's also a little embarrassing when people ask how far along I am, and they look a little shocked.

I can't let this blog go without mentioning that this past Saturday, October 2nd, was the due date of the first baby we lost. Of course I thought about it. I think it was good that we were in Chicago and celebrating. I also think it helped that we are expecting again. It really didn't bother me as much as I thought it might. I'm fairly certain my son's due date will be much more difficult for me, but this one wasn't too bad.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

So Far So Good

I got my second beta blood work results today and things are looking really good!

1st Beta 9/14/2010 - 11 DPO:
HCG = 44.5
Progesterone = 25.5

2nd Beta 9/21/2010 - 18 DPO:
HCG = 857.8
Progesterone = 34.6

Doubling time = 39.67 hours

They like to see the HCG double every 48 hours and the progesterone needs to be at at least a 10 to support a healthy pregnancy.

Needless to say, we are thrilled right now! I know all too well that things could still go wrong, but this is one major hurdle crossed. I go back next Wednesday for another blood draw. Today I feel good and hopeful. It just feels like things are going to turn out well for us this time around. I hope that's not just wishful thinking.

I'm already exhausted and I'm getting waves of nausea. The funny thing is, I'm mostly excited and happy about those things because they are a good sign that the pregnancy is going well! Tomorrow I will be exactly 5 weeks pregnant. I wish I could just skip ahead to about 25 weeks pregnant and have all of the big tests out of the way. I'm hoping the next 15-20 weeks go by quickly with as little stress as possible.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

My First Beta Bloodwork Results

The days seem to be dragging on so slowly right now, as we wait to see how this pregnancy is progressing. I've been doing this "wait and see" pregnancy thing for 8 months total now with 3 different pregnancies. The stress has taken it's toll on me a bit.

The good news is I had my first beta blood draw at my OB's office on Tuesday. I was 11 DPO, and my results came back at 44.5 HCG and 25.5 progesterone. She said the progesterone level is excellent and the HCG is in the normal range and that we expected it to be a low number like that because of how early I am. I go back in one week for another beta test to see how things are progressing. I feel good right now. My home pregnancy test lines are continuing to get darker, so that's a good thing. I can't even tell you how many I have taken in the past week. Here is a photo of the progression from 9 DPO through today at 13 DPO. These are all First Response tests.

And here's how my chart turned out...

I want to let myself get excited about this, and I do sometimes. I wish I had the "jump with both feet in" attitude I had with my first pregnancy. I am making a point to stop and rub my belly and talk to my little poppy seed and breathe in the joy of this beautiful time. It may be short lived or it may be a lifetime, either way, right now it is a joy, and I love this little baby with every bit of my heart!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Testing and Anxiety

The anxiety never stops, at least not at this point. I keep taking tests and the lines keep getting darker! Yay! I still get nervous each time I take one. Here is tonight's:

Today I had my first beta blood draw at my OB's office. I will get the results in a day or two. Then I'll go back and do it again in a week to see how everything is progressing. We'll also do an early ultrasound at 6 or 7 weeks to look for a heart beat.

I felt good at my appointment today, mostly excited, a little nervous, and a little sad. I brought in my son's Certificate of Life to be signed by my OB and her medical assistant. Everyone in the office was really supportive and happy to see me back. They all thought the certificate was beautiful. I felt like my son was with me today, especially, as I saw a butterfly flit past the front door as I was headed in for my appointment. I have seen more butterflies this year than ever, and it is such a warm, happy feeling when I do.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Love A Good Digital Test!

I had to post again today because I got a positive on the digital test I took tonight. I couldn't be more excited! There is nothing like seeing that beautiful word pop up!

Isn't that beautiful!!!

On our way home from Target I asked my husband if he thought I should take the digital test tonight or tomorrow. He said he didn't care, so I asked when he would take it if he were me, and he said tomorrow just to be sure it showed "pregnant" and I wouldn't be disappointed to see "not pregnant." Of course I couldn't wait once I got home, so I went upstairs to take it. Once I got the result I brought it down and with a sad face told him he was right and I should have waited, then handed him the stick. He was beyond excited when he saw that wonderful word! He jumped up and hugged me!

Here We Go Again!

Guess what I saw today...2 pink lines on a few home pregnancy tests! It looks like I got a BFP, well, maybe more of a LFP (little faint positive). It's light, but it is there without a doubt. I am 9 DPO today. That makes for the earliest positive I've ever gotten, especially if you count that faint one from two days ago. I can't seem to capture a great photo, but I did get light possible positives this morning on 3 different types of tests. This afternoon I got two definite light positives on two different types of tests. I always love to see the digital tests pop up and say "pregnant," then you have no doubts at all. I think I'll pick up a couple when I go to Target this evening. That makes all the symptoms I've been having make sense. Nausea, cramps, emotional, sore boobs, skin breakout. I had a feeling I was pregnant, just like I did the last two times I got pregnant. I just kept second guessing myself. The reality of it seemed so far fetched. We had to try eight years to get pregnant with our daughter. Now I have gotten pregnant the last three times we've tried, without fail (we just failed to keep two of them. I'm hoping our luck has changed for the better). Here's a test...look closely...

Like I said, not a great photo, but it is an obvious light positive when looking at it in person. The fact that I had positives on other tests today backs that up for me too. Hopefully we will see them get darker over the next few days. So, here we go again on this great journey! Hoping for the best possible outcome and loving this little bean so much already!

Friday, September 10, 2010

What A Day!

I'm in the two week wait, which is never a stress free time for me. I have a ton of home pregnancy tests sitting in my closet now (probably close to 50). Many different brands and price ranges. I started testing already, at 7 DPO. Isn't that silly and ridiculous!?! I told myself I wouldn't do that this time because I didn't want the ups and downs. I'm overanalyzing my symptoms and testing early, go figure! So far my symptoms seem to be sore, itchy, hot boobs. I also have AF type cramps, exhaustion, sensitive teeth, and I'm emotional. My tell tale pregnancy sign is tingly, hot boobs. I've had that symptom every time I've been pregnant, and never when I'm not. Today I think I'm starting to feel the tingling, but I'm just not sure I can trust it. I'm afraid I'm just hoping that I do, so I think I do. For the fun of it, I'll post my test from this afternoon. I can see a really, really, really faint line on it, but I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much. I'm so early. I don't usually get a light positive until about 10 DPO. I'm a little embarrassed I've already started testing. Tomorrow is my Mom's birthday, and I was just thinking about how wonderful it would be to take a positive digital test with a bow on it as an additional birthday gift. I don't think I'll have one by tomorrow though. For the record, Fertility Friend changed my ovulation date from Thursday to Friday, which is when I really thought I ovulated anyway. If you look closely, just to the left of the "T" on the cassette, you might be able to see the faint line.

Today was strange mix of emotions for me. When I went to the mailbox, I found I had received two packages. One was the Certificate of Life and the paperwork to register our son with the state. The other package was home pregnancy tests (including the one above). I felt sad and hopeful all at once. Part of me wonders if our son had a hand in them both coming at the same time. Maybe it's his way of telling us it's okay to move forward and hope for new life.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Ovulation Confirmed

It looks like I ovulated. Hooray! Of course I can't even seem to keep myself calm and secure about it. My temperatures have not been ideal or easy to interpret. I had to discard an odd high number from last Monday in order to get my crosshairs to confirm O on Fertility Friend. I'm assuming that number was high because of the cosmo I had the night before (which may also be the case for the other high temps earlier in my chart. I was on a bit of a cosmo kick at the beginning of my cycle. I haven't done that for a while, so I'm not sure how alcohol affects my temperatures, but I have read that it can). Typically my temperatures would be a bit higher by now, post ovulation.

Thursday seems to have been "the day" according to Fertility Friend. Although I think I had O pains late Thursday night, which makes me think I O'd overnight on Thursday or early on Friday. I feel good about my last two cycles. They have been fairly "normal," which is exciting for someone like me.

Emotionally, it has been a bit difficult. I've had a lot of anxiety and mood swings. My irritability was through the roof on Friday and Saturday. That may have had something to do with ovulating, the fact that I'm still emotional over the miscarriage, my husband being out of town while I was ovulating, and my sweet little girl working on four teeth at once right now. It's been an interesting week to say the least. On to the two week wait!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

No....Wait...I Think THIS Is It....

Story of my TTC life. What I thought might be ovulation before wasn't ovulation at all. The good news is I'm pretty sure I'm about to ovulate now. The bad news is my husband is out of town until tomorrow night.

I got a positive OPK both yesterday and today. I'm also having ovulation pains, oddly enough, they are on both sides off and on. I think after this long I know what they feel like, but maybe I'm misinterpreting the sensations for something else. Signs for ovulation are pointing in the right direction. I just hope our BD timing has been good enough. Several of my girlfriends have told me it is. They have been wonderful at helping to calm my anxiety. Here's my chart:

I still don't get the saliva scope. Either I don't know how to use it properly, my hormones are still a little wacky from the miscarriage, or it doesn't work that great. I expect to see my temperature jump within the next day or two. Then it's on to the two week wait. I'm sure I'll be on pins and needles and needing my girlfriends again to continue to calm my nerves. I have such a love/hate relationship with this process.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Is This It?

My cycle is throwing me for a loop, as usual. I'm waiting to ovulate after a long AF, although I might have just ovulated; who knows; it's a guessing game really. I am using a saliva scope for the first time. It's this handy little microscope that you use daily to look for a ferning pattern in your saliva. Supposedly, when you are about to ovulate, you get a full ferning pattern. Well, I've had full ferns four different times this month already and I'm on CD16. I've also had numerous days of partial ferning. Needless to say, I'm not sold on this thing. I've also been taking OPKs. Two days ago I had a fairly dark one, but not dark enough to be positive. Since then they have gotten lighter. My temperature went up a fair amount today, so I'm hoping that trend continues and I actually did ovulate already but just missed the surge on the OPK. I guess I'll know for sure over the next couple of days based on my temperatures.

I'm still getting different hospital bills in the mail. It's hard to try to look forward and think about getting pregnant again while I'm still paying bills for the tragic loss of my son. I'm sure there will be many instances similar to this with a future pregnancy, looking forward while still mourning our loss. Hearing a heartbeat on the doppler knowing whose we heard last and knowing that the comfort of that sound doesn't always indicate a positive outcome. I'm not sure what to do with mixed emotions like this. Tonight we drove past the hospital where we delivered our lovely little lady bug and where we brought our deeply loved and lost son. Tonight it made me sad. Most times when we drive past I have happy memories of my little girl. I don't know why tonight was different, why the same thing can be happy in one moment and trigger sadness the next. What I do know is that we had a beautiful evening with our daughter and are loving every inch of her, right down to her adorable toes! How can you not love these perfect little baby girl feet!?!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Officially Trying Again

Good 'ol AF (aunt flo) showed up on Sunday. This is the first time I've been happy to see her in over a decade! We are officially back in the TTC (trying to conceive) game. I'm so surprised my body ovulated in a timely manner after the miscarriage. I'm fairly certain I ovulated around July 30th because I had a positive (or at least close to positive) OPK (ovulation predictor kit). I'm just a little over 5 weeks post miscarriage now, so things went well this month. I hope my body can maintain that cycle. Now I get to start waking up at 6:45 every morning to take my temperature. I have to do it that early so that I can avoid my daughter's ever changing wake up time. She rarely gets up before 7:00 these days, so 6:45 should be a good temping time. I'll also use a saliva scope to check for ferning patterns, and OPKs from time to time. If I don't get pregnant this cycle, I'll start taking Clomid next cycle.

This is the link to my Fertility Friend Chart: http://www.fertilityfriend.com/home/1cf354

*For those of you who are unfamiliar with TTC (trying to conceive) lingo, here is a brief list of some that I will possibly be using ;) I've been a part of TTC message boards for years now, so the lingo just seems natural now, but boy-oh-boy was it confusing at first!

AF = Aunt Flo or Menstrual Cycle
BABYDUST = good wishes for getting pregnant
BBT = Basal Body Temperature, morning temperature for charting ovulation
BD = Baby Dance, intercourse
BFN = Big Fat Negative on a home pregnancy test (hopefully I WON'T have to use this one)
BFP = Big Fat Positive on a home pregnancy test
CD = Cycle Day
CM = Cervical Mucus
DPO = Days Post Ovulation
HPT = Home Pregnancy Test
LH = Luteinizing Hormone
LMP = Last Menstrual Period
LP = Luteal Phase
O = Ovulation
OPK = Ovulation Predictor Kit
POAS = Pee on a stick, to take a home pregnancy test or ovulation predictor test
RE = Reproductive Endocrinologist, a doctor who specializes in fertility treatments
TTC = Trying To Conceive
TWW = Two week wait, the time after you ovulate when you are waiting to find out if you conceived
U/S = Ultrasound

I think that should cover it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Charts, charts, and more charts...I've been pouring over my old charts this afternoon, looking for patterns and what not. Nothing very notable, all three positive charts are quite different from one another, and the negative ones look like some of the positives without the happy ending. No rhyme nor reason.

My positive chart with my son - first cycle post chemical pregnancy (above)

My positive chart with my chemical pregnancy (above)

My positive chart with my daughter (above)

Currently my cycle is looking strange, a lot like the one after my chemical pregnancy, which is very frustrating. I've had a couple of days of very light spotting and have had mild cramps since I had the miscarriage. Being the hypochondriac I am, I worry that it could be all sorts of complications...or that my period is gearing up to start...or it's just a typical for me wacky cycle...who knows, only time will tell, and I hate waiting.

Monday, August 9, 2010

One Month

It was exactly one month ago today that we delivered our sweet little boy. I'm emotional, and my heart feels heavy. I'm not sure what it is about dates and anniversaries that trigger emotions. My husband and I were talking last night about this, and dates don't do the same things to him as they do to me. For instance, on my birthday this year, I would have been exactly 20 weeks pregnant, the half way point. Instead, I got the hospital bill in the mail for my D&C and a call from my doctor with his autopsy/pathology results. Today I paid the bill. I also got our son's urn in the mail today. It's perfect. We have been seeing butterflies everywhere since he died, and it feels like it's him saying hello and it makes him feel close by. Beside it is my "Mom charm bracelet," with an "It's a girl" charm for when my daughter was born, a "Mom" charm for my very first Mother's Day, and now, a butterfly charm for my son. Things like this make me smile and cry all in the same breath.

One month has passed. My cycle has not started. We are in a holding pattern. There are moments where it feels disloyal to my son to be thinking of another baby in my womb. That was HIS home, his one and only home, his living space, his dying space, his tomb. I know it was my daughter's home before it was his, but she "moved out" to a new home when she was ready. I know it was another baby's home between the two of them, but somehow, that seems different. I guess because it was so early in that pregnancy. I want to feel life in my belly again, most of the time I feel like it can't happen soon enough. I just hope the grief mixed with the joy isn't overwhelming.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Our History

In order to start this blog off, I think our history is important to note. Here's our story.

I'm 37 years old and my husband is 35. It took us 8 years to conceive our daughter. In late 2007/early 2008, we went through 6 months of fertility treatments. I had so much bloodwork done, ultrasounds, an HSG, Clomid, my husband giving me HCG Trigger shots, IUIs with a cervix that wouldn't cooperate and needed clamped open. My husband endured sperm analysis and several months of specimen drop offs. It was such a roller coaster of emotions. Timing everything, taking all the right supplements, my husband wearing boxers even though he hates them, reading dozens of books, taking hundreds of home pregnancy tests and ovulation predictor tests, stressing about the out of pocket cost (insurance didn't cover a thing), surfing the Internet for that one thing that might make it happen for us. I know that we were so fortunate to have had such an easy road compared to many who struggle with infertility. On our last chance at Clomid/HCG Trigger Shot/IUI before moving on to all injectible meds we ended up getting pregnant. In 2008 I had a lovely pregnancy with her (aside from having gestational diabetes), and we are so grateful to have our little sunshine in our lives. She is perfect in every way!

At the end of December 2009 (almost exactly 1 year after our daughter was born), I got pregnant naturally after 7 months of trying, but that sadly ended in an early miscarriage in January. I had positive pregnancy tests for two days, then they turned into negatives. They call that a "chemical pregnancy" - I hate that term. We were so saddened by this loss. We also knew we wanted to try again immediately.

We were lucky enough to get pregnant on the following cycle in March (yes, my cycles are always irregular like that). It was a dream come true. We had been more nervous this time around after suffering a loss, but trying to remain optimistic. Things went well in the first trimester. All of my bloodwork came back great, I had morning sickness, and my belly was growing appropriately. We saw the heartbeat on an ultrasound at 6 weeks, and heard it loud and clear on a Doppler at two different appointments after that. In July 2010 I went in at 16 weeks pregnant for the quad screen bloodwork, feeling good that I was comfortably in the second trimester, and anxious to get my results back, hoping they would be as good as they were with my first pregnancy. Our results set us in a tailspin. We had a 1 in 10 chance that the baby had Down syndrome (odds for my age should be closer to 1 in 200). We scheduled some tests, and on July 8, 2010 showed up for an ultrasound - I was 17 weeks pregnant. We had no idea what was about to come. There was no heartbeat. Our baby had died, likely when I was about 15 weeks pregnant. Shock...what's next? We talked to my OB who gave us our options, wait and see when I miscarry, or come in to have Cytotec inserted to start the labor and delivery process. We opted to use the Cytotec. The following day, July 9, 2010, we arrived at 1:45 PM for the Cytotec, and she sent me home, instructing me to go to labor & delivery at the hospital once I started to bleed, and I would deliver there. Labor started for me at about 5:40 PM. It was an intense, hard labor, without much of a break between contractions. I did not bleed. At around 6:45 PM I delivered our baby in our master bathroom with my husband. We held him, cried, and told him how much we loved him and wished things had turned out differently. Amidst all the sadness and despair, this moment was one of beauty and love that I am forever grateful to have had. Not until after I delivered our baby did I start to bleed. We called my OB and met her at the hospital. I was put in the same triage room that I was in on delivery day for my daughter, how strange to be there for two very different outcomes. I ended up needing a D&C to remove the remaining placenta, so my husband was left to worry, while I underwent the surgery. Our baby was sent for testing, and we have since found out that he had Trisomy 21 aka:Down syndrome. It's good to have answers. The past month has been full of grief. We named our son and have his ashes at home with us. We planted a tree in our backyard that people from my husbands' office gave us to honor him. This has been the most difficult thing I've ever had to endure. Our son will be forever in our hearts.

Now we get to "Try Again" - moving forward. I'm waiting for a fresh cycle, then we'll start, hopefully with my cycles we won't have to wait too long - add that to the frustration list. I'm not sure how I feel. A mix of emotions. I'm excited about the prospect of having another healthy child in our home - a "take home" baby, as a fellow miscarriage sufferer has called it, how fitting. I'll always be a mom of three, one living child, and two angel babies. I'm hoping for another "take home" baby to make me a mom of four. I'm mad we have to start this process all over again. The stress of trying to conceive can be overwhelming sometimes. I'm afraid of losing another baby, or any other complications that may arise. It's interesting, the mix you feel when new life and death become so easily intertwined. I'm sure this blog will be therapeutic to me. Some days I'll be excited and hopeful, and others I'll still be dealing with the grief. If we are fortunate enough to get pregnant again that will be another set of worries.

Editing to add additional history for new blog readers wanting our entire history without reading through the whole blog.

In September 2010 we found out we were pregnant again, the second cycle following my miscarriage with my son. Things looked really promising. I had great beta numbers, great progesterone levels, an ultrasound at 7 weeks 5 days with a very strong heartbeat and appropriate growth. Just 2 weeks later we went in for a routine exam and there was no longer a heartbeat. The baby had stopped growing at around 8 weeks 4 days. I miscarried the baby naturally with the help of misoprostol and sent the baby in for testing. We found out she was a little girl and she had Turner's syndrome. Another chromosome abnormality but not associated with Down syndrome.

My husband and I had a lot of testing done. Our chromosomes, blood clotting disorders, vitamin levels, glucose levels. We also met with a genetics counselor. All things pointed to it just being bad luck. Not much showed up in our testing. I do have PAI-1 4G/4G genetic mutation, which is a blood clotting issue, but my levels are fine. It's not something that would definitely cause a problem.

After some of the testing was finished we decided to meet up with our RE (reproductive endocrinologist, ie: fertility doctor) to see if she had any suggestions. She had us do more testing, then we proceeded to start using Clomid again. I got pregnant again right away on my first round of Clomid in February 2011. We were thrilled but trying not to get too excited until we were certain this pregnancy would not end in miscarriage. My first two betas showed good results with good doubling times on my HCG levels and great progesterone levels. We went in for our first ultrasound at 6 weeks, but things did not look good. The baby was measuring less than 5 weeks, there was no heartbeat, and there was possibly a yolk sac but no fetal pole. We were sent home to wait and hope for a miracle. My HCG level was okay but not great or ideal. At 7 weeks my RE told me the pregnancy did not look viable. The sac grew and was about 6 weeks in size but no heartbeat or anything that looked normal. There was some sort of tissue in the gestational sac, but that was all. The 9 week ultrasound was the final one we had. The baby had not grown at all and my doctor called it a blighted ovum. I tried to miscarry naturally with misoprostol again, but my body wasn't cooperating, so I ended up having a D&C in April 2011.

We got pregnant again in September 2011 on 100mg Clomid and an HCG trigger shot. We are so blessed to have welcomed our rainbow baby boy on May 3, 2012.