Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Funny {True} Story!

I received a text from my mom last night. (Nothing significant there.)

Informed me they were eating out at a Japanese Steak House and another couple sitting at their table had two little kids, Carter and Madelyn.

Charles and my jaw dropped on the floor and we laughed!

You see. Carter and Madelyn {not sure which spelling we'll use though} are the names we have had picked out for almost a year now as our first picks for boy and girl! That's it. We have no other boy or girls names that we like. When we found out we were pregnant it was always for a boy, Carter and a girl, Madelyn. How weird is that!?!?

I asked what their middle names were as we are stumped on that! Mom didn't ask. A bit creepy maybe?? :-) But mom said the boy was 2 1/2 and the girl 6 months. Maybe we'll follow their lead and have our kids two ish years apart, starting with the boy? I'll take that! And then adopt two kids so we'll have an even amount and equal with biological versus adopted.

So any of you have middle name suggestions to go with those first names?? But one stipulation. The boys' middle name must start with an "A" so it will have Charles' same initials instead of using having a IV. :-)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Half Off.

I have this new theory... I know. You're amused already. I know. I am. :-)

I am pulling that if you are pregnant, especially in your first trimester, you should be allowed to buy all foods {fast food, restaurants, gas station, grocery store, etc} at half the cost. It should be a Doctor's order so no one can take complete advantage of it...


You see. In my experience and many others that I know, one does not enjoy the full "life cycle" the food is intended to take when eating. Instead, it is often thrown up shortly after ingesting.

*Side note- I am in no way complaining about throwing up! I am actually thoroughly enjoying it as I'm finally pregnant! No. What I am complaining about is the amount of money wasted on food now!

So back to my thoughts.

I've already written off eating out as it's more expensive overall and even more so when I have to eat again so soon after because I recently threw up everything I just spent $15 eating...

What do you think? Think it'll ever pass??? hahaha! Nah!

Instead, we'll spend the money we were saving for meds and such for our next treatment cycle on food! :-)

I love being pregnant!!!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

8w 1d

I still cannot believe I'm typing this... We saw Baby Swann again today {YAY!} and it is still just so surreal that we are finally going to be parents after four long years of infertility!

Last night I was driving myself batties I was so anxious for the appointment today. To see if we were still indeed pregnant or if our baby had been taken from us...

It was so beautiful seeing our baby's heart beating away and then to hear it. That magnificent sound! Our baby, bigger. A lot bigger! Looking like an actual baby! It even had an __________ eye! Can't remember what the term was, Charles does but he's asleep. Pretty much, the Dr said that is the eye socket so it's pretty neat to see our baby developing little bits at a time!

I'm 8w 1d according to Ovulation date and baby's last dating ultrasound which measured spot on and this time baby measured three days ahead at 8w 4d which would also change our due date from November 3 to October 31... We'll see if baby holds true to this over time before changing anything as I know when I ovulated and this does not match up. :-)

I was a bit bummed though to learn that I had gained 4 pounds in three weeks! I mean, isn't vomiting supposed to make you loose weight first??? Oh well. At least baby showed me that they are taking the brunt of it by measuring ahead. :-) All for the baby!!!!

So here's our baby's latest photo and video moment!

8w 1d measuring 8w 4d

8w 1d ultrasound

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Last call....!!!!

I am so excited to say that this is the official last call for recipe contributions for the Lost Stork Foundation cookbook!!!!! While yes we have exceeded our goal, we certainly would not turn down more contributions! :-)

So if you are interested in being apart of the cookbook, e-mail the recipe to recipe4loststork@gmail.com and if comfortable, include your first and last name along with the state/providence and country.

The cutoff is officially April 1 as we are hoping to start selling the cookbook by Mother's Day 2010!

Thanks so much to those that have already contributed as well as those that will!!!! You all have been a tremendous support and source of encouragement!!!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Ultrasound photos...

First I think I should address, now that we've seen a heartbeat, that I am still very much supportive of my fellow gals trying to become mommy's for the first or fifth time! Four years of heartache and desperately wanting to have my child has not been erased with one beautiful home pregnancy test. Yes. This baby was completely worth each and every tear shed. I would not take any of it back for this baby we have been given. I still remember the hurt though. I am on the "other side" and understand and will try to respect that.

So I want to be upfront and let you know that I will continue blogging via this link. I know the majority of my readers are those longing to be parents and although I will still continue to follow the journeys I am currently, I understand if you can no longer follow my blog until you have learned that you're going to be a mommy yourself. I remember those feelings. My blog title will change {when I come up with something somewhat creative, any suggestions?} and it will be mostly about pregnancy and parenting when the time comes. It's the stages our life has gone in and I do not want to forget a single moment from any of it. Hence the blog...

Since we have officially heard/seen the heartbeat, I feel comfortable and am excited to share the progress Baby Swann has made thus far! Our next ultrasound is at 8w 1d and we cannot wait to see how much he/she has grown in two weeks!

Baby Swann 4w 2d 02/26/2010


Baby Swann at 5w 1d 03/04/2010

Baby Swann at 6w 1d 03/11/2010 and we have a beautiful heartbeat!!!!!

6w 1d u/s Heartbeat!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Heartbeat Controversy.

After yesterday's post on Charles and I being in disagreement on the beats per minute the Dr guesstimated our baby's heart was beating, I got lots of opinions. So let me try to back up why I believe the Dr said 104...

"Fetal heart rate tends to vary with gestational age in the very early parts of pregnancy. Normal heart rate at 6 weeks is around 90-110 beats per minute (bpm) and at 9 weeks is 140-170 bpm. At 5-8 weeks a bradycardia (less than 90 bpm) is associated with a high risk of miscarriage." from Obstetric Ultrasound

"Generally from 6 ½ -7 weeks is the time when a heartbeat can be detected and viability can be assessed. A normal heartbeat at 6-7 weeks would be 90-110 beats per minute." from American Pregnancy

So I am expecting when we go for another ultrasound at 8w 1d to most certainly see an increase in the heart rate. Probably not quite to the 140 bpm mark yet but pretty darn close anyways.

And that my friends, is two backings on my thoughts that Dr. S said the heart rate was about 104...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

We have a heartbeat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, even though I was drugged up all day {pregnancy approved meds only of course} and slept with the hopes of getting rid of this horrid head cold, Charles came home and dragged me off to the Dr for our long awaited ultrasound!

We arrived early and were actually 10 minutes before our appointment getting back there! Charles felt it appropriate to snap this photo while I was snacking on peanut butter crackers half naked {"morning" nausea has hit. I must snack on something at least every two hours or else I feel so pregnant!}. Flattering huh?

So then Dr. S walks in and the first sentence out of his mouth is, "I found your blog". What?!?! Yep. Said he was googling to find a quote in a magazine that was done from him and he came across my blog... Funny stuff! Thankfully he's never pissed me off that bad. :-)

So to the good stuff! He says, "let's hear this heartbeat"! We say, We hope!

We see the beautiful babe, growing away! Then he asks if we are ready for it... He turns on the volume and you kind of hear it so he asks me to hold my breath and then we could really hear it! The most beautiful sound I have yet to hear!!!!!!!!!!!! Charles and I were both in such awe and amazement! Both of us with tears of excitement and joy, not to mention the overwhelming love we already feel for this growing baby!

Baby Swann is measuring 6w 1d, exactly as I thought and our estimated due date is still November 3, 2010!!!! Dr. S gave us a moment to breathe when he told us that our chance of miscarriage goes way down now that we've seen/heard the heartbeat!

But something we obviously did not hear right and Dr. S, if you're reading, you are more than welcome to clarify for us! :-) Charles thinks Dr. S said the heartbeat was about 140bpm. I think Dr S. said about 104 bpm. I mean. We are still early on and baby's heart just recently started beating so isn't 140 bpm a bit fast this early on??? Unless we have an overachiever, already...

After our beautiful ultrasound, I did my first ever OB Panel!!!!! We are officially for the first time ever, OB Patients!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Still in such awe and amazement that we are going to be parents by the end of 2010! We are going to be holding our baby in our arms as we celebrate Thanksgiving and are reminded of all that we have to be thankful for. Not to mention Christmas... The miracle of Jesus' birth and the celebration of life that we will be holding in our arms as well. Who cares if I will be 26 when baby Swann comes! I will finally be a mommy!!!!!

We go back in two weeks for another ultrasound {at least I'm assuming ultrasound and I'll beg and plead if it's not one!} to see baby Swann continue to grow... So exciting!!!!!

So here's our video from the appointment. You can't really hear the heartbeat but you can certainly see it beating away!! And please, excuse the horrible view that I am during this video. If it did not include our first glimpse at our child's heart beating, i would not be sharing it! I think Charles is officially going to be off video duty until he can redeem himself! hahaha!

Our baby's heartbeat 6w 1d 03/11/10

Friday, March 12, 2010

Telling the in-laws {Charles' folks}!!!

Since Charles was already planning to visit his parents the weekend of March 5, 6, & 7 we held out telling them until he at least was able to do so in person even though I was unable to be there.

I wrapped up the grandparent brag photo book, the same one my mom and dad received. Charles started out by prepping them and telling them that we would be unable to go to Georgia for a week over Thanksgiving again this year due to "scheduling conflicts". Funny. {I've already proclaimed that we will not be traveling with a three week old for Thanksgiving and we won't be traveling at all over Christmas}

So he sits his parents down to give them the present that I worked so hard on making it special. :-) They opened and were completely surprised! The excitement! Both of them were so over joyed with emotion with the news of our highly anticipated and long awaited baby! I so wish I could have been there to share in this special moment...

Our baby is certainly not going to be lacking love or any of their wants between the three sets of grandparents who will be fighting over time with him/her! This baby is already thoroughly spoiled!!! :-)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Telling my mom {and Ray via phone}!!!

Since Charles and I had decided to tell our parents in person, I had to figure out a way to see my mom and Ray. This was going to be difficult. At least my dad and Jodi were conveniently going to be coming thru and Charles was already going down to visit his parents this weekend as well.

So I came up with a lie. I'm not proud of lying but this was a much needed lie to get her here. I called my mom the day we found out {talk about hard to keep it a secret!} and told her I was having Ovarian Drilling in a week and Charles would be in Georgia so could she come to take me to/from and care for me over the weekend. She said she would call me back as she had to notify her boss and get my older brother Matt to put her on a flight out here Thursday evening.

So all week long, I had to continue to not only keep it a secret but talk about Ovarian Drilling while touching my belly and whispering to the baby that it's not going to happen it's just a fib to tell Nana about him/her... :-) Not to mention, Charles and I would give each other such a hard time! When one of us was on the phone with anyone, particularly our unknowing parents, we would mouth "baby" or "we're pregnant" or dance around in front of the other in excitement to make it all that much harder not to tell right then and there! We had fun with it. :-)

So when my mom finally arrived after being bumped Thurs night from her original flight, it was late and I knew I could not keep it in any longer than necessary!!! When we got home, I immediately handed mom the ziploc bag full of index cards telling her the book's done as well and then said I also had a gift thanking her for being such a source of encouragement throughout it. Mom immediately blurted out, "Now you can get pregnant!" when she saw it was complete! Made me chuckle. :-)

I will say. Mom was at a slight disadvantage and completely off guard thinking that I was having a procedure done the next day to help getting pregnant so it took her a minute to get it which was hilarious! I'm sure it being almost midnight didn't help any...

So here is her video! :-)

Telling mom {Ray via phone} that we're pg!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Telling my dad and Jodi...

My dad and Jodi had been in Kansas City, Missouri as Jodi's daughter K had her baby girl. My dad had said they wanted to see us on their way back home, not sure when just yet they would be leaving though, and asked to stay a night with us. Absolutely!

So they ended up coming thru Sunday late afternoon. They were excited to head to the casino {it's become our tradition} and see if we couldn't walk away with some money again. :-) Or should I say, Jodi walk away with some money again? ha!

I proceeded to tell my dad and Jodi that I had some exciting news for them! I then handed them a huge ziploc bag with a gazillion index cards it in, the book I completed! They were excited and then I informed them because they had been such a great source of encouragement for me during this I had a gift for them...

And you can see for yourself how it goes!

Telling dad and J 02/28/2010

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The test!

Part Three...

The moment that would forever change our lives. It, thankfully, turned into a day long event!

I was awake at 6:30am having to pee of course. Charles still laying in bed trying to enjoy the last few moments of slumber on this beautiful Friday we had off together. I got my little cup that was sitting next to the home pregnancy tests I laid out the night before as I knew this would be the big day. Still not expecting a positive, I half asleep filled the little cup. I decided to dip the digital first just for the heck of it. That was the longest 30 seconds ever! The hour glass just continued to flash so I kept turning my head away trying to pass time. When I looked back and saw the word "PREGNANT" I lost my jaw and was taken aback in complete disbelief. Still sitting on the toilet in too much disbelief as to actually stand up, I began inspecting that digital looking for the NOT in the same manner I had inspected darn line tests so many times in the hopes of seeing that elusive line!

Still sitting on the toilet {and no, I was not going number 2, just too dumbfounded to move!} and being quiet with a slight giggle I dipped the Wal-mart brand test in the cup. Before I could even lay it flat on the side of the tub it was positive! So positive I had to do not squinting. I did not have to pick it up and twist it at a certain angle to see. The line was there, about the same darkness if not more than the control line! I had to continue referencing the "Pregnant/Not Pregnant" icons on the side to make sure it was indeed pregnant! It was then that the tears started flowing and the shaking started. The tears turned to sobs as I sat there {on the toilet} holding the tests trying to form words to tell Charles. I was able to get out, "honey" in a cracked small voice. He sat up in bed and said, "what?" in the most concerned way possible. I said, "we're pregnant" and then "come look". He was in there in a moment and having a look for himself as I'm still sitting on the toilet sobbing with tears of joy! He then hugged me {yes, I'm still on toilet} and it was the most intimate moment and wrong in so many ways yet the most perfect moment at the same time.

When I finally had the ability to stand up, I wanted to yell it from the roof tops and call everyone we knew yet wanted so badly to tell our parents in person so had to restrain. Instead, we decided to head out to breakfast and get in to see a Dr today! We went to IHOP and although the food is delicious, it was so weird eating and knowing that we were finally pregnant. It was our first breakfast with the knowledge that we were going to be parents!

I called Dr. Pearlstone's office and was pretty much told that because it was not a treatment cycle nor was I officially under his care yet that I needed to get in touch with my OB/Gyn. So I called Dr. S's office. I was immediately told to come in so we can draw blood to check my hCG and Progesterone levels. Of course we were in there forever as that's just how his office works. But thankfully we were in there forever as the office manager insisted that though Dr. S was not "in" today, he was coming in to see another patient and she wanted me to stay and get an early ultrasound to start the monitoring process. Okay by me, even though my legs needing shaving in the worst way possible!

When we were finally seen, Dr. S asked if this was all natural. I said absolutely! And he gave me a big ole' hug and Charles a high five! It was so perfect! We saw a beautiful gestational sac on the screen and then were given our baby's first photo!!! It was so reassuring to rule out an etopic pregnancy as I have been so fearful of one although I have no reason so be. Then we talked about to Heparin or just stay on Baby Aspirin... He wants me on Heparin I want to try Baby Aspirin. He's letting me have my way and said he hopes to be positively proven wrong... I sure hope we have made the right decision. We were then instructed that we'll have weekly ultrasounds at least for the next two weeks to verify things are progressing as they should.

As we were leaving, Dr. Pearlstone's office called and said they wanted me to come in for all the blood tests and a multiple loss panel. I'd already had that done. All of it. I told them no that I was comfortable as is where we are now and thanked them.

My levels at 17 days past ovulation were hCG 1,381 and P4 15.72 - and on 20 days past ovulation it was 4,908 and P4 17.4!!! The hCG is doubling every 1.63 days!

We had our second ultrasound at 5w 1d and it showed a beautiful growing gestational sac with a perfect yoke sac in it! We're hoping next week at 6w 1d we are lucky enough to see/hear the heartbeat but know it's a bit early too... :-)

I will share photos once we hear/see the heartbeat!!!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

What we did "differently"???

Part two... The cycle itself.

This is one of my favorite questions to ask those that I just learn are pregnant. You know. So I can try what worked for them thinking it'd work for me too. hahaha! It's all fun though. :-)

Really though. Not much was "different". I was still taking the Vitex, Red Raspberry Leaf, Vitamin D3, Calcium/Magnesium, Flintstones Vitamins, and up until a few days before Ovulation the Armour Thyroid once every 4 days until I just stopped as my levels were still dropping instead of normalizing some. The day of ovulation {didn't know until later}, I started back on the Folguard 2.2 X2 a day per Dr. Pearlstones encouragement. That's all I was taking.

We went on a power have-sex-like-crazy week after those beautifully positive OPKs and super strong ovulation pain I was getting. It's not the first time we've done that so that's not really new either. I switched from laying on tummy one day to laying on back with hips propped the next and back and forth. We alternated a lot of stuff and something clicked! But really, I have no clue what "worked".

During the two week wait, I had virtually no cervical mucus. Usually I get creamy. Nothing. Whatever I thought. I was also sick for the first like 11 days of the two week wait so not sure what that attributed as well. Starting about 8 days past ovulation, I started getting tons of period type cramping. Thought for sure it was going to be a short cycle. Not until after my period was officially late did I start to notice some things like heartburn for no reason that lasted for a few days and then disappeared. Or pinching and twinges and heaviness in lower abdomen area. But even now at 5w 4d, I feel great. I have some like a dry mouth, peeing a little more, hungry more often yet am only able to eat smaller portions, etc. Had I not known I was pregnant, I would not know.

Tomorrow... Learning we are going to be parents!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

All {Natural}!!! {All} God!!!

Part One... The God thing with the books.

Thank you so much for sharing in our surprised excitement! I've been asked several times for the story, what in the world happened! So I will share. :-) I know I'd want to know.

Let me first and foremost say, WE DID NOT RELAX!!!!!!!!! Actually, I think I was quite obsessed waiting on my period to arrive to start testing yet using OPKs and having sex on demand and popping a thousand supplements in the hopes of one of them working and analyzing every twinge and pain and ache I had both before and after ovulation! In other words, it was pretty much a normal natural trying to conceive cycle. Just because we were not in the midst of a treatment cycle does not mean it was a 'relaxing' cycle... Just to clarify before anyone says something stupid to me!

Now that that was clarified...

As you all know, I did the OPKs this cycle and got two beautiful days worth of positives. We got busy. :-) It was our last cycle before jumping back into the last round of testing with Dr. Pearlstone and then he would be directing us to either more rounds of IUI or jumping right into IVF which he was leaning towards during our consult for numerous reasons.

I knew though, before jumping into more treatments, I needed {as for me, I will do everything I can in keeping my end of the deal} to finish this first of three books God gave me to write. I just knew, as did my mom, my dad, my MIL, and my husband, that I would not get pregnant until this book was complete. I last wrote about it here in May... Wow. I just knew that I could only fully go into the treatments knowing this book was done and so I set out to finish it. I worked on it while the boys napped. I worked on it when I got home and after Charles was asleep until I could no longer keep my eyes open. I wrote. I read. I prayed.

And it was reiterated to me by my cycle this past November. I had never had a 16 day luteal phase... Check out this chart! Yet I tested and negative and then my period arrived. Had the book been finished, I believe this would have been the cycle. This is not a normal looking chart for me at all! I was getting excited in thinking I had misunderstood God and the book being complete. Wrong!

I finished {it needs to be edited but all the 'insides' are there} the book Thursday, February 25, 2010. I had not tested, at all, this entire cycle. Friday morning, February 26, 2010, I tested and positive! I honestly believe in my heart of hearts that had the book not been complete and I tested, my period would have arrived.

I understand not everyone believes the same as I do. I do not want to preach, I just cannot hide my excitement in the miracle God has worked in my life! I know I cannot take the first bit of credit for this cycle being a success. Only God could have opened my rock solid womb... I have only made it thru this infertility journey by holding tight to my faith and believing that it is all apart of God's plan and that His will be done in my life. It has been. No matter how this pregnancy plays out, it's okay. It's all apart of God's plan. He is the giver and taker of life. Not me.

I have made a vow to myself, no matter how upset or stressful or afraid I may become throughout this pregnancy, I will remain thankful for each and everyday God grants this life to live one more day inside me. I have heard time and time again that pregnancy goes by way too fast and that so much was regretted. I do not want to regret or miss one moment that we've waited four plus years for...

And tomorrow will continue the story. :-)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

I am...

...a christian...
...God fearing...
...faith believing...
...prayer warrior...
...a wife...
...a lover...
...a sister...
...a sister-in-law...
...an aunt...
...a niece...
...a daughter...
...a granddaughter...
...a friend...
...a godmother...
...a nanny...
...an encourager..
...politics hating...
...Chick-Fil-A obsessed...
...Publix missing...
...a dog lover...
...a pet owner...
...a snow lover...
...family appreciating...
...vacation deprived...
...a carbohydrate addict...
...a support group leader...
...an advocate for infertility...
...an advocate for children...
...an unprofessional picture taker...
...a soon to be mother...

... 5 weeks 3 days to be exact!!!!

...due November 3, 2010!!!!!!!!!

*17 days past ovulation {Remember those beautiful OPK photos??? Yep. :-)} 02/26/2010*

Monday, March 1, 2010

Ovarian Drilling????

I know it's been awhile since I've updated. So much has been going on yet nothing at the same time! :-)

The most exciting thing has been a short yet sweet visit with my dad and Jodi when they came yesterday and left this morning on their way back to Georgia. Jodi's daughther had her baby last week so they've been in Kansas City visiting her and meeting baby Savannah. She's precious. So innoncent. Such a miracle.

Other than that...

Anyone have any personal experiences, or know of anyone, who's had Ovarian Drilling???