Thursday, October 3, 2019

An update, just cause...

I didn't have my tummy tuck in 2016. Instead, I waited. I think I'll have it in the summer of 2020. Too much was going on in my marriage in 2016, emotionally, to go through with such a permanent major surgery. Surprisingly, in August of 2018, at the age of 41 I found myself pregnant once more. I've always wanted 4 children. Mormon upbringing and all ;)

But like so many others, we lost that pregnancy in the early days. I think we made it to 5w. Following that I started to develop realization around the closing window of fertility. And I tried to get Berilac onboard with one more round of fertility treatment. Even with an FSH of 20, the RE was hopeful we could be successful. However, Berilac and I were not on the same page. He was trying to avoid conception, I was wanting it. It was a rough season.

In late October of 2018, my 14 year old niece and her mother contacted me, asking us if we could take in my niece. She and her mom were in rough circumstances, and her dad (my brother) is working on his own issues. We brought my niece into our home last year, and in July of 2019 we became official legal guardians to her. Suddenly we were parents of 4 children and instant parents to a teenager! (where's the holy crap emoji for that?!)

While we have 4 kids now, and I'm incredibly lucky to have even had one. I'd still love one last one! (I know it sounds crazy.) But I also know that I'm 42 now and not really wanting to give birth at 43, which I will turn in May of 2020. Additionally, my own personal summers have started, it's been 2 months since AF visited, and my FSH was 20 in 8/2018. I'm turning a corner, no longer wanting it to happen and looking forward to what it means if those years are behind us.

My youngest is in kindergarten, my middle child is in 2nd grade, and my oldest (biological) is in 5th grade. We are officially parents to school aged children. The focus has shifted, life moves on.

If you are reading this, I hope your fertility journey is fruitful. A wise fertility therapist once told me that with enough resources and determination anyone can have a family - it just might look different than your original plan. Here's to acceptance and gratitude when life turns out differently than you had expected.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Four years later ...

Not that anyone reads this anymore, but just in case.

First of all, huge hugs to you for enduring the struggle. The pain of infertility, while deeply painful, also gave me the gift of compassion - and for that I am grateful. Yet, it's easy for me to be grateful when I have not two, but three beautiful children after our difficult journey. Back in the thick of the struggle - I had no idea I would be that girl. If you remember, Drudoc arrived in Dec 2009, Dimple came two years later (per that "most recent" 2012 post), and two and a half years after that (with the SAME dose using the SAME CCRM protocol we used for Drudoc, only instead using timed intercourse rather than retrieval and transfer - and this time only producing a whopping TWO mature follicles) we were fortunate to conceive sweet baby boy Wilibald who arrived in June of 2014 (8lbs 11oz, 20 in).

It was a difficult delivery of which I'll say, I hemorrhaged to the point of being borderline for needing a transfusion - which we declined and instead met with a high iron diet. I dealt with anemia for weeks, to the point where I just slept most days.

Again, I'm grateful to be on this side of our journey. Three little ones, growing up so quickly. I'm 39.5 now, Berilac is almost 42. This winter I'm having a tummy tuck done to repair the extensive damage those big babies (and really that big tummy) caused me. And this formerly infertile (I guess sub fertile is more accurate) ... womb will be closing up shop. It's hard to consider a vasectomy - to intentionally decline the opportunity for offspring - when so much of our journey was trying desperately to HAVE children.

With bittersweet goodbyes,
Polly (Berilac, Drudoc, Dimple, & Wilibald)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Now, how do I get to my blog again?

(WARNING: This is long; mostly for my benefit - posterity and all.)

Yes, I'm a slacker.

First off, allow me to apologize for delaying this long in posting - frankly, it's embarrassing. I'm sorry - for anyone still out there. I've waited far too long, so now I must set my pride aside and fill you in ;-)

On the tail of the last post, I was put on modified bed rest for 2 months. That was dreamy - with a toddler at home. I spent all day in my recliner, kicked back, with my laptop on my lap, working from home. My poor hubby had to do ALL the cooking, cleaning, daycare pick-ups and drop-offs, and childcare. I was very grateful to my church for organizing some meals for us, to at least take a little bit of the burden off of him.

Once I got to 32 weeks I relaxed a lot. Following the incident in the last post, I had 2 more bouts of contractions (all within the same week) but they were much more mild. So as the distance grew between the potential preterm labor and my expanding belly ... I felt more and more confident. By 37 weeks I was chuckling that I was worried about her coming early. My OB wanted to induce at 39 weeks, but I convinced her that 40 weeks was OK. We started non stress tests at 32 weeks just to be on the safe side. At 39 weeks, in hopes of avoiding another induction (they induced at 39w0d with Dru) I had my membranes swept and had my second round of induction encouraging acupuncture.

It was the night of 12/23. I was 39w2d. I had had one round of minor contractions earlier in the week that warranted a call to our doula - which did not amount to any progress. Once contractions started this go-round, I wasn't sure if this was go-time. My in laws were in town and Berilac and I decided to take advantage of our more-than-likely last date night in awhile. We were seated, enjoying a DELICIOUS Vietnamese-fusion restaurant when I started feeling tightening in my abdomen. At this point, I had had so much discomfort in my pregnancy that this wasn't registering as anything of note for me. We finished dinner and decided to walk the local indoor mall (oooooh, hot night on the town). On our drive there (I was driving - the belly was too big to fit in the passenger seat, in front of Dru's rear facing car seat) I started experiencing some pretty intense contractions. Oh course, I didn't tell Berilac. I just breathed through them. We got to the mall and briskly indoors (it WAS almost Christmas and a chilly 32 degrees outside). I didn't even make it to the mall interior from the department store, when I sat on a bed and finally revealed to Berilac that I thought we needed to get home - that things were getting intense. (Honestly, we were both relieved as this was not turning into the epic night we had hoped for.) Of course, after getting home, the contractions stopped and I fell asleep (around 12:30, I'm a night owl).

I was awoken at 3:30AM with painful contractions. I tried going back to sleep - with no success. I "rested" until 7:00AM when I finally felt like I could courteously call my doula. We had the in laws take Dru next door to our neighbors house (who conveniently were traveling for the holiday and left us the keys to their place! We couldn't have planned that better!) All morning, I was walking the house, groaning, resting, eating bites of food, hydrating, and groaning some more. By 11:00AM we had the doula come over. It seemed as though anytime we spoke, and when she arrived, everything slowed down (I guess this is normal). But by 1:30PM, I was starting to feel an urge to push with contractions 2-3 mins apart - so we headed to the hospital. I did NOT know how I was going to make the 30 minute car ride to the hospital without having the baby in the car. In spite of the pain, I was with it enough to request that the hubby drive and the doula sit with me in the back of the car ... you know, in case we needed to deliver a baby back there! I like to call this next portion of my story - my kung fu panda maneuver ... I could hardly handle the pain at home, with all the freedom I wanted, how on Earth was I going to stand the pain while having to be sitting on my butt, confined to the back seat? I got into the car, I sat with my head down, and I willed the pain to go away. I was silent for 30 mins - not one cry, groan, or scream.

We arrived to the hospital and I was still pulling out the relaxation up the elevator and into my L&D room. Although the nurses worked as quickly as they could, it wasn't until 3:30PM that I was done being admitted and was finally checked. It was our goal to arrive to the hospital at 7cm dilated - in order to hopefully avoid the epidural. They checked me, I was 4.5cm dilated. I would say that I was disappointed, but instead I was relieved to be in the hospital and no longer en route. I remember one of the nurses saying - we need to staff here, this one's coming soon. And I was thinking ... what gives you this idea? The fact that I'm less than 1/2 way there? or the fact that my last active labor took over 24 hours and we were only a couple of hours into active labor? (I was entitled to my attitude - I was in labor!) I labored as best I could for an hour - the hospital smells were really bothering me. I progressed to 5.5cm. Thirty minutes later, at 5PM I was in serious pain. They checked me again and I was 6-7cm (the same place I stalled last time). I was having so much back labor that I couldn't imagine hours more of labor followed by birthing a posterior baby! (All late term ultrasounds showed a posterior presentation.) I demanded the epidural.

Because we were at a teaching hospital, we were all waiting for the attending doctor to arrive. I didn't get my epidural until 5:30 and because I told them that I had experienced a drop in blood pressure during my last epidural (at Dru's birth) they decided to start with a low and slow dose. I.was.freaking.out. The pain was incredible and having to labor on my back in a bed was NOT OK. I could feel the baby making it's way to the light, trying to escape through the exit. The pain relief did not come until 6:00PM a full HOUR after I demanded an epidural ... perhaps I should have planned better? At 6:10PM my OB encouraged me to start pushing. I pushed for less than 15 mins and at 6:24PM on Christmas Eve our beautiful daughter Dimple (not her real name but her LOTR name, like the rest of us have) was born. She was 8lbs 3oz. and 20.5 inches long. (Just shy of her brother's measurements.)

We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas in the hospital, struggling with recovery and breastfeeding. Dru did not come down and meet his sister, as he had a runny nose and they wouldn't let him in. He stayed with Nana and Papa at home and called us to check in. Dru and Dimple are 2 years and 5 days apart.

Recovery was pretty brutal - with everything that can happen down there. But I will say that recovery this time was MUCH quicker and more tolerable. I felt back to normal by 3 weeks. I was able to lift her while moving in and out of a chair (like I wasn't able to with him 2 years prior). My milk came in earlier. Breastfeeding stopped hurting MUCH earlier (a few weeks vs. 2 months with Dru) and overall, I did not experience PPD like I had with Dru. But it didn't stop there! Dimple started sleeping 9 hours a night by 5 weeks. At almost 6 weeks we found ourselves back in the NICU with RSV (same thing happened with Dru at 7 weeks!). She was admitted for 3 days and upon release, because she dropped from 60% to 40% in weight, they asked us to wake her at 6 hrs. So she would go to bed around 5P, we'd wake her at 11P, and she'd sleep until 5A for a quick meal and then back to bed until 8A ... AND she napped 2 out of every 3 hours during the day (similar to Dru, but better) ... I'll say, I believe God knew what we could handle and based on how easy both of our kids were - the answer is - not much! So because prior to going into the hospital she was sleeping 5P-2A and then again at 5A ... we thought that perhaps it would be better for her if we just let her wake on her own in the 12 hour window between 5P and 5A ... knowing she would only get one feed, we stopped waking her at the 6 hour mark - assuming she'd wake at the 9 hr mark ... well, she didn't and that girl was sleeping 9-12 hours a night between 5-11weeks, if we didn't wake her.

At 10 weeks we realized we NEEDED to get responsible about a childcare solution for our kids. I still had 10 weeks left of leave, but I wanted to make sure we found the perfect fit for our family (especially, given the fact that in our nanny search in August of last year when we lost Dru's nanny of 14 months, we interviewed FIVE nannies and didn't find anyone even close to suitable!) We started interviewing and the second nanny we talked to - we fell in love with! The only problem is that she wanted to start employment THAT next week, when Dimple turned 11w. So we decided to cut my maternity leave short (I returned at 15w rather than 20w); we started the nanny part time at 11w, paying her full time while we accrued hours to use in the coming weeks as comp time for date nights, etc. It was that week that we started giving Dimple a second daily bottle (all other feeds were nursing) however, during that time instead of pumping, I was so excited about my new found freedom that I got caught up in being able to go to the grocery store and stuff - and I inadvertently dropped a pumping/nursing session ... needless to say, my supply plummeted. By 12w (St. Patrick's Day no less, how can I forget?) instead of sleeping 9-12hrs overnight (without waking to feed!) she woke up every 3 hours. At first I thought it was a growth spurt, but three weeks later when we were still waking up 3x/night, I was moving on to considering it the 4 month sleep regression! It wasn't until later that I started to piece together that it might have been both of those combined with a falling supply. The other thing we considered was reverse cycling; since I had started back to work and since Dimple was getting a bottle from a new caregiver - we thought perhaps she was also eating less during the day and wanting mommy at night. Over those four weeks we got desperate and decided to only give bottles overnight; we were providing bottles more frequently in hopes of tracking how much she was eating, and by the time I returned to work, she was being fed almost entirely bottles of expressed breast milk. So I was (and currently am) nearly entirely exclusively pumping (not my preference). By 16w, her longest overnight stretch turned into 6 hours and even 8 hours. We were giving her LOTS more milk in the bottles at longer intervals and she was consuming much more in a 24 hour period than she had been. We are now 19w, and although her brother was already sleeping 12hrs/night consistently by this time, we believe that because she is smaller, and because she only wakes to chug 5-6oz. immediately putting herself back to sleep (no fussing, no crying, no diaper change, etc.) we believe she definitely still needs the overnight feeds and soon she will naturally extend that longest stretch. I even think that over the past week she's upped her intake from about 24 oz/day to more like 30-32oz./day ... and I will definitely have a hard time keeping up!

She is adorable; she is rolling over from front to back and *almost* rolling over from back to front. We are still swaddling and plan to use the mer.lin ma.gic slee.psuit to help transition her from swaddle to no swaddle - but we're waiting for a string of cooler nights - those things are like mini snow suits!! She babbles and talks a ton (just like her mama ;-) she squeals and laughs and is the happiest little baby. I love when she wakes up in the morning how she talks to herself to let us know she's up. She's currently on three naps a day, her schedule looks something like this:

Don't start the day until at least 6AM.
Wake by 7:30 if she hasn't woken up on her own.
Eat, 1 hour awake time, change, down for first nap.
2-2.5 hr nap
Eat, 1 hr 15 min awake time, change, down for second nap.
1.5-2 hr nap
Eat, 1 hr 30 min awake time, change, down for third nap.
1-1.5 hr nap
Eat, 1 hr 45 min awake time, change, bedtime routine - off to bed!
Wake once or twice before the next morning.

It's weird to find ourselves in the same position, only two years later, with a little girl instead of a little boy, and having to go through the newborn stage with a toddler underfoot - although I'm exhausted, I consider myself VERY fortunate.

Dru is proving to be a great big brother. Of course, he's feeling a bit dethroned, but given how much she sleeps, he gets a lot of sole attention. I see it surface when I'm feeding Dimple, if Dru is having a rough time, he will start crying and ask to be held like Dimple. So we set her down and get in some good ol' cuddling.

Dru is doing amazing. In my opinion, he's brilliant. Today, while my husband was serving himself the last bit of tortilla chips from the bowl on the table, my son said, and I quote! ... "Daddy, can you save me some chips and save mommy some chips? Because if you eat them all, I will be sad and mommy will be sad" ... not only does that include complete sentences and multiple sentences strung together - but also cause and effect AND being in touch with his feelings!! We've been working on those ;-)

Because Dru is home (no longer in a daycare setting with his peers) we have set up some structure around social activities. We've joined a weekly playgroup that we're planning to host monthly (on the days I work from home). There is an every other week children's focused church event that we attend, complete with themed rooms and circle time. The local library is a stroller walk away with an active story time. We will get passes again to the nearby kitty amusement parks - along with other friends that are cardholders.

Being a working mom of two has proven to be quite challenging and leaves little room for me-time, much less brushing my teeth or showering (don't stand too close ;-). I am fortunate enough to have a nanny that comes into our home each day. I work from home Mon & Fri. I take the train to and from work and leave my car here (complete with properly installed rear facing car seats) for the nanny to use on adventures with the kids. I wake, nurse, eat/drink/pee/pump, pack, commute via foot/train/bus (50 mins for a 10 mile distance), eat/drink/pee/pump, work, eat/drink/pee/pump, work, eat/drink/pee/pump, commute home, unpack, take care of the kids, cook, eat/drink/pee/pump, clean, get ready for the next day, watch 20 mins of TV and hop into bed to repeat! I find that I need to eat and drink a ton to keep my supply up, and with all that consumption I'm hitting the restroom a lot. And of course, I'm pumping all the time (3 times over 7 hours in a day at work) ... I'm leashed to that pump! ... But all for good cause. Things will get better when she's sleeping through the night and when I can reduce the pumping sessions.

Now I must go to bed ... this post has taken me HOURS to write ... and it won't be long until she's up again ... rooting for some more liquid gold.

Thanks for checking in. I hope not to go so long between posts. Take care.

Friday, September 2, 2011

A call to 911, an ambulance ride, a visit to L&D ... but all is ok now.

I'm not sure if I can communicate how seriously traumatic last night was for me.

After picking up my son, around 6p, I was cooking dinner and feeling a bit dizzy and generally not well. I had some water and sat down. I let my husband finish making dinner when he got home at 6:20p. I ate dinner and had more water and told my hubby that I wasn't feeling well and that I'd be going to bed right after dinner and he asked "at 7p?" and I said "yep". I was realizing that I had been having BH contractions for like 20 mins straight with no relief. I know that you're supposed to drink water and lay down ... so I grabbed some water and headed to the bedroom.

Then I started feeling pain. I was timing things and it seemed like pain was washing over me every 8 mins, I started to wonder ... how many BH contractions do you have before you call the on-call? I called the on-call and waited for her reply. And since at that point I'd had 3, in less than 30 mins I thought ... what's the timing you should wait for if the contractions are painful and not just BH? should I be calling with these symptoms, maybe I'm overreacting? ... and then I realized ... it *wasn't* normal to have rhythmic PAINFUL contractions (it's then that I realized I was out of the realm of BH ... that took a few mins to process though) ... and then that fourth contraction was a serious doozy ... I was panting, breathing through it, I was switching positions, I called my old doula but got VM ... it felt JUST LIKE labor. It felt like back labor and I had the feeling of wanting to have a BM, I wanted to push. I knew this wasn't good. But there was no mucus plug, no bleeding ... my uterus was rock solid. It was painful to touch my uterus - that was weird. The only relief I could find was to do a hard pelvic tilt forward. But that only came with some relief.

This entire time my husband was bathing my son (on the other side of our small house) and putting him to bed - giving me time to rest ... little did he know how quickly things escalated. I tried repeatedly calling the home phone - his cell phone was next to me. He didn't answer. I yelled for him and he was shocked to learn what was going on. He tried to quickly return to handling our son, putting him down for bed, but before he could return ... I couldn't wait for the on-call to call me back nor could I wait for my husband - I couldn't imagine walking to the car and sitting for the ride to the hospital - I called 911 ... I just wasn't sure this baby would stay inside for the time it would take to be seen by a medical professional. But I prayed and I prayed and I prayed.

When the EMTs arrived it had been 10 mins since the last contraction (which was great since they were more like every 8 mins), they did the vitals and my heart rate was around 125. They took me to my hospital (about 25 mins away) ... I had two mild contractions in the ambulance and noted that I was at least feeling the baby ... I was still having BH, but the pain was all but gone.

I realized I had to pee in the ambulance - and I knew that holding pee exacerbates BH and contractions, so I asked the young EMT guy (note: he was single, no kids) if he had a diaper or pad or something ... he didn't, I told him he'd need to rig something or else I was going to pee on his gurney ... we found some chux pads and some absorbent wound dressing material and I tried as hard as I could to pee en route ... but I couldn't I guess I'm too well potty trained. I felt bad for the poor young guy ... I said - "unattractive bathroom activities ... this is what you can look forward to in marriage!" Poor guy.

When I got to the ER I demanded - who's going to help me go pee! and quickly they took me to the ER bathrooms - and I realized I was barefoot (ewwww) ... the orderly got me some skid proof socks and I tell you - I haven't peed more in my life. Then they wheeled me to L&D.

When the ER nurse who was wheeling me up to L&D asked me if I was still having contractions I told her no, that they were only BH at this point. When she dropped me off at L&D the L&D nurse asked - what is she here for? ... and the ER nurse replied "braxton hicks" ... and without delay I said, "No, painful, real contractions" ... punk.

As I mentioned, after arriving at the hospital I had no more contractions. I was seen by a fantastic L&D nurse and doctor who gave me an NST and an internal/pelvic ... I told them that I had eaten/drank just as much as I usually do and though this is usually caused by dehydration, I don't think that was the case here for me. The NST showed an irritable uterus (as usual for me - I had that with all my NSTs with Dru from 32-39w and again at my anatomy scan for this LO, they could SEE on u/s my uterus contracting!) and the baby was moving a ton :-) ... I haven't had an internal with this pregnancy (I opted out of the 10w appt) but I told her that in my last pregnancy I fell at 25w and my OB found that I had a soft cervix and she had my length checked via ultrasound - and since everything was good in that case, that perhaps a soft cervix was more normal for me. So with this exam she wasn't surprised to find that it was soft around the edges, but firm otherwise and a couple of centimeters in length with no dilation or effacement ... and high up - she said there's more centimeters inside the uterus and she was encouraged by the results. They monitored me for another hour just to make sure. She also said it was good news that: I've carried a baby to term previously, that after all those painful (seemingly progressive) contractions - the cervix was robustly in tact, and that there was pain ... she indicated that incompetent cervix usually presents with no indication, no pain. That and she said we did all the right things - that was nice to hear.

While I was there, I drank 3 cups of water and I took a fourth cup on the road. When I finished that in the car, I ate some nuts my husband had packed while the EMT guys were doing there thing and taking care of me, there wasn't much else my husband could do to help - so he packed a bag and followed behind the ambulance in the car. Anyhow, while driving home from our experience, I had an incredibly dry mouth trying to eat those almonds ... and just wanted ... needed ... more water.

I got home and during the hour it took me to get to bed, I was parched for water and drank 20 oz. Between midnight and 5A, I drank 20 more ounces ... since sleeping and drinking a ton ... I've really felt almost back to normal. Now I'm really wondering if I *was* dehydrated and just didn't know it! It was 80 degrees here yesterday and I was carrying around a smaller water bottle than I usually do and I didn't fill it up MORE times to compensate. I'm hoping I was just dehydrated ... because what the heck happened??! When I asked them this, when I was afraid to be released (because there didn't seem to be a cause and without a cause - what can you do to treat it??!) ... they said that with an irritable uterus, if the baby went through a growth spurt - this could have been caused by that ... but that doesn't provide me with any action to take to avoid this in the future. Just prayer, trust, and suppressing fear.

If you're wondering why they didn't give me an IV in L&D, it's b/c I kept telling them that I drank and ate as much as I usually do - it wasn't until leaving (and needing to drink SO MUCH more water) that I realized that maybe this was a dehydration issue.

I'm so glad that is behind me. I can't even *imagine* what it would have been like going through this in public or at work or something ... it was really scary and I felt very vulnerable. Both Berilac and I kept saying why did this have to happen this week? Why couldn't it be next week??! (I'm 23 weeks and my hospital considers viability with a baby's weight of 650g - that's the 50% for a 24 week old baby) ... I have been waiting to get past viability ... and all this happened just 6 days prior. Thank the good LORD nothing more came of this ... it could have ended very poorly.

Today, I'm drinking like a camel and maintaining my pattern of eating something every 2-3 hours ... I'm hoping this will keep that experience from recurring. I've had enough drama for one pregnancy.

Praising God and thanking all my friends that surrounded me in prayer. James 5:16

With much love and gratitude,

Friday, August 26, 2011

A milkshake to celebrate gender :-)

We didn't find out Dru's gender because we felt like there were very few good surprises in life - we wanted that experience of waiting to find out. Well, we've been there, done that ... and it was nice. But I will say that as a woman who has experienced infertility/loss, not knowing contributed to my not bonding as much as I could have with my son. I kept calling him "it" rather than knowing the gender and naming the baby early. I remember being shocked that they put a live baby on my belly at delivery - I was really shocked I actually had a baby. Now, I'm not sure that's linked to not knowing the gender, but I think we can safely say that for self preservation reasons, I'm prone to not bond with a baby developing in my uterus. So ... this time, we wanted to try finding out the gender. I wanted to call the little one our baby girl or our baby boy. I wanted to start the bonding process early ... and hopefully - be able to name the baby well before they require it before letting you out of the hospital. It took us a few days to name Dru and many friends thought we were just trying to keep them on the edges of their seats - when in fact, we entered the hospital with 100 potential names - our problem is - we like 'em all! So we were kind of hoping that by finding out, we could settle on a name before we are enroute to labor and delivery ;-)

According to Ramzi’s theory, our 8 week ultrasound showed the placenta on the right side of my uterus – which is supposed to have a 97% chance at boy. I was emotionally preparing myself for another little boy. Thinking about all the advantages and disadvantages to having two little boys. I was really marinating in the possibility of little brothers.

Then came the NT scan at 12w1d – where they analyzed the nub angle or angle of the dangle (as all fetus' at this point have protruding genetalia, the techs can sometimes use the angle of it compared to the spine/backbone to correctly guess the fetus' gender) and so at mine they guessed (with 90% certainty) that this baby would be a girl – but they encouraged us not to buy anything yet.

So I went from thinking blue to thinking pink … I thought I would be excited for something new and different - for a same gender baby – but instead, I was sad not to have a baby brother for Dru. I was really getting excited about two boys. Then I started to notice the baby's movement on the right (which, according to Ramzi is supposed to mean girl) yet most people who guessed - based on how I'm carrying, would guess BOY. And Berilac REALLY thought boy and wasn’t convinced by anyone’s guesses – with nub “proof” or not (not really proof – this theory too has a good chance of being wrong)!

The ultrasound in which we found out was a sonographer training (that’s how we got it early - 18.5 weeks – and they paid us $50 to do it! Heck yeah!) so we went into it as their subjects with the caveat that we would only participate if they told us gender – and they were more than happy to cooperate! So on our way into the scan Berilac says to me “I hope it’s a boy” and with surprise, I ask him “how come?” and he tells me …. “because if it’s a girl, we’re more likely to be done having kids, if it’s a boy, I’ll want to try for a girl” … I didn't know he wanted a girl, much less, that he was interested in having more than two kids :) after all that we've been through, I was surprised to hear his inclination.

We brought in a blank card and asked that they determine gender, write it down on our card, put in a photo and seal it up. We wanted to experience learning this information on our terms, not theirs. So, they had us close our eyes when they did it and they told us the baby cooperated and that they were able to meet our wishes.

During the ultrasound, after the gender check, they used the words “she and he” and “her and him” (look at "his" vertebrae!) but it didn't seem obvious to me what we were having … so we enjoyed the rest of the ultrasound got a really cool dvd and I asked for my cervical length out of curiosity (3.7mm, good.) and we left the hospital in all smiles. We headed directly down to a local diner to celebrate. Because I have been having milkshake cravings this pregnancy we thought it appropriate to celebrate with something the baby loves! I called in advance and found out they didn’t have blueberry shakes, so we came prepared, blueberries in tow. We tried to decide if we wanted to give them the card and have them bring out one shake (Berilac didn’t want them up in our business so that was nixed), we considered ordering one shake in each flavor and only drinking the one (but that seemed like a waste) … so eventually we settled on opening the card and letting the great news absorb while we waited for our fries and appropriately colored shake to arrive.

We prayed in thanks for the amazing gift we had been given (regardless of this precious little ones gender), we opened the card, and I cried.

Berilac said “I knew it was a girl because during the ultrasound they kept using the pronoun – SHE!” I told him that I thought I saw the bits when I think they showed us a quick glance at the potty shot while moving around (because the baby moved A TON) and my first thought was … “no penis, I’ll bet that card says girl!”

But … we both still could have been wrong. It was nice to see the pic and get the confirmation. Pretty in pink, here we come. During the ultrasound, after they had told us that they were able to tell and write down for us the gender, we asked how certain they were, if they were 100% and they laughed said - you can only be certain when they are here - and they mimiced rocking a newborn baby.
We've had the official 20 week ultrasound since then (last Thursday at 21w1d, today I am 22w2d) and they were able to confirm girl again. This tech said that she was 99.99% sure it was a girl and she showed us (me and my mom this time) the potty shot - complete with three lines and nothing more. We also got to review all of the organs, the cervical length, the amniotic fluid levels, and size of the baby and everything looked "unremarkable" and "normal" ... this baby is measuring in almost exactly the 50 percentile ... so a wee bit tiny-er than Dru, and for that I'm grateful. He was 8#11 at birth and I'm hoping not to exceed that this time.
A little girl to celebrate and less than 2 weeks until viability. Thank you Lord.

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!