Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Heartbroken for another family ...

If you get a chance to head over to Sandi's blog about her precious twin boys, born in late January of this year, victims of TTTS ... one of their sweet boys, Sebastian, was released home from the NICU about a month ago ... but today their other precious boy lost his fight. He was 12 oz. when he was born at 27 weeks, he survived surgeries, tubes, nearly losing his life many times ... he had quite the fighters spirit. But today he went home to be with the Lord.

This family could use your love if you have a moment to give it.

Samuel Bradford Stambaugh

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy 4th

I am shocked that today marks my fourth annual blog-o-versary ... can you believe it; I've been shouting from the rooftops for all to hear ... for four years??! ... And I'm so fortunate to say that four years later, I have an amazing son and a bun in the oven - when I didn't think I would.

I'm so grateful.

In honor of that I will share my most recent belly pic :) This is me, the morning after our NT scan, 12w2d.

Check out my belly-zilla!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Extremely fortunate ...

I'm sorry it's been so long since I've checked in. Since the last post, I've been attending a parental bereavement support group on a weekly basis where I've come face to face with my broken heart. With working, and raising a toddler, life is very busy - so busy that sometimes I compartmentalize my dad's death and don't face it for days at a time. The support group provides me the space I need to take time for my grief. It's a huge blessing. I feel like I am tying loose ends, I feel so grateful.

Dru is growing by leaps and bounds. He's 18 months old now. He's got at least 100 words, he can repeat just about anything you say, so I've given up counting :-) He's been walking since the day before my Dad died. We were able to take a video to the ICU to show my dad before he passed - that was bittersweet. Dru is now running, climbing, and generally just non stop. He recently started taking 1 nap a day, and with all the chasing we do, we are grateful that that is always longer than 2 hours. He's eating four times a day, drinking 24 oz of whole milk from a sippy. He's still in diapers, but we've definitely started introducing the potty concept to him - he can tell us when he needs to pee and poo, so I don't believe we are that far off from training. I am very proud of mommy's little helper, as he carries his step stool to and from the bathroom, his high chair, and the place that it belongs - he is so independent and can do so much! It's so funny to ask him to put away his step stool - and he does! He carries his dishes to the sink, he wipes up the floor when he's spilled food, he carries his laundry to the dirty laundry bin. He puts his toys and books away and he sings along to "Clean up, clean up, everybody help!" ... we are very much so working on helping him to understand that he is part of a family and it's not all fun and games! Though we also enjoy plenty of trips to the park, many walks (with and without the stroller), sprinkler and water table activities now with the warm weather ... and we purchased three separate local amusement park season passes - so we can just jump in the car on a Saturday morning to enjoy a day out with the family! He loves those little rides :-)

My favorite story about Dru: after a minor fall or tumble, if he's crying we offer a kiss to the owie site in hopes of declaring "all better" and moving on :-) he will regularly now approach me, telling me about his owie and pointing to and saying "knee" (cause that's where the majority of them are) and I'll ask him if he wants me to kiss it and he says "kiss" ... it's very sweet. Well, the other day, we were doing some naked time as he was dealing with a pretty sensitive diaper rash (which are typically rare for us), I was laying down, playing with Dru on the diningroom floor, when he started pointing to his sweet little cheeks and declaring - "owie" as he was trying to back up into my face, all the while requesting that I "kiss" ... his hind region. My husband laughed so hard, asking me, "are you going to kiss his butt?"

And to give an update on cycles and the like ... I will tell you, after our most recent miscarriage. In January, I was pretty deflated. Combine that with the loss of my Dad and I was just crushed. Berilac and were trying to decide what to do. We knew we didn't want to travel to Colorado again (interupting our work, our families, costing a fortune) ... all to have another miscarriage. We started to consider what else was out there for us. We had some left over meds in the fridge that we didn't want going bad and we have 6 IUI's covered by our insurance that we've never used. We had nearly agreed that we would pursue the low-grade interventions of oral and injectible ovarian stimulation combined with IUI, while we investigated and prepared for embryo adoption, homestudy, fostering, and domestic adoption. I signed up for an embryo adoption website account and we were contemplating what to write in our profiles. I was calling many different agencies, including local government to learn more about adoption options. I was considering getting a homestudy that could be applied toward the many routes we were considering. I investigated my adoption benefits ... and we just soaked in as much as we could, waited, and prayed. We had hybrid cycle in February with Femera + injects + IUI and that was a BFN. We opted to take the Mar/Apr cycle off, as we needed a mental break, and that cycle would produce another Christmas baby. We instead opted to get monitored that cycle - to get an idea of what my hormonal baselines were b/c trying naturally was not something we'd actively pursued for so many cycles that I was curious where all my hormones were at at various stages of a cycle. And for the first time in 5 years, I ovulated before CD19.

I was planning on coming in on CD 17 and getting some hormone levels drawn to see what my estrogen and progesterone were doing just before LH surge, but instead I had my LH surge on CD15 (WHAT!?) and the best news was ... is that the surge disappeared as soon as it had arrived (most months my surge lasts 5-8 days ... literally, I pee on an OPK and it's positive for about a week) ... so I went in for an ultrasound, and there in my ovary was one perfect little 21mm by 21mm follicle. We gave myself a trigger shot that I had lying around (who can say they have those?) ... and my husband and I opted to ... well, DO what people trying to have babies do ;-) ... and two weeks later, I was staring at the first positive pregnancy test I had seen from a "natural" cycle in over 3 years. After Dru's birth we started trying at the 6w post partum visit, so I had tried for over a year, with a CCRM fresh IVF cycle thrown in there ... and it wasn't until 14 months later that I was looking at a positive stick.

My first beta at 14dpo was 112 (with Dru it was 108)
My second beta at 16dpo was 286 (with Dru it was 300)
My third beta at 20dpo was 1855 (we didn't do any more with Dru)
We experienced heartbeats with a perfectly measuring bean at 6w5d, 8w, 9w, and 10w.

And this past Thursday we had our NT scan and the nuchal fold was 1.3mm with a risk of DS at about 1:8000.

I am ecstatic and in utter shock.

CCRM is also in shock, they of course are very happy for me, but they really can't believe it happened. I too didn't think it would happen to me. So many embryos so few lives babies. I truly didn't think a spontaneous pregnancy could result in a healthy LO.

Sorry to have withheld this news from you. It's been a rollercoaster these last few months. It's hard to be excited and in utter joy about this baby, all while running into experiences where I miss my Dad so much it hurts. It has all been very overwhelming for me.

I am 12w5d pregnant. My next appointment is in 8 days. I'm continuing to thank God for this, and asking for protection for the little bean.

Oh ... and by the way ... this baby has a due date 3 days after Dru's 12/28 ... yet the baby was measuring 3 days large at the NT scan ... Christmas baby much? Yes, please.