Friday, August 15, 2014

a little heartbeat

oh what an amazing day. 
we were able to see our baby's heartbeat at 7 weeks.

unfortunately, i got caught in a little situation with no monitoring after my pregnancy test. my local clinic who's done all of my outside monitoring wouldn't see me anymore once i received a positive beta. rude, huh? my ob/gyn typically doesn't see pregnant patients for their first prenatal visit until 9 or 10 weeks. luckily, my ob knew our history and saw me early. although i think we will have to pay out of pocket for the ultrasound he did in his office. 

oh well. it was worth it. to see our baby sunshine and know that he is doing well in there. i think seeing the baby snuggled in my lining and seeing his little heart beating in the ultrasound finally made it real for A. he's been talking more about the baby, making plans and it's been so nice. 

i'm on cloud 9. 
but i still can't believe i am writing this post.
me?!? i am pregnant with a real baby with a beating heart.
i never thought i'd see that day. 

for those of you who still feel like you'll never see the day,
don't give up hope. dreams really do come true when you keep fighting.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

how do you prefer your progesterone?

so i almost wish that my RE would have given me a solid recommendation on progesterone supplementation. instead, he said that the suppositories and injections are both equally as effective and i could choose whichever one i prefer. 

if i chose suppositories, i'd be taking oral (prometrium) with whichever suppository i selected. so here are the options.
crinone (suppositories)
endometrin (suppositories) 
PIO - progesterone in oil (injections)

i did a lot of research before deciding. it is basically a missed bag. here are some of the things i read.

progesterone in oil 
- gold standard in IVF. most RE's recommend using it
- levels can be measured in your blood while the suppositories can't
- some people have allergies to the oils and could have a bad reaction
- a lot of pain at injection sites from big fatty needle

- seems to be the more commonly used suppository 
- complaints of bleeding from irritated cervix 

- less messy than prometrium because it absorbs better instead of leaking out
- a little bit more expensive than promethium 

after reading all of this, i decided to go with nightly crinone suppositories with a side of oral endometrin. i have to admit that i was scared of the PIO needle. i figured, why give myself injections if i don't have to? plus, my friend gave me her leftover crinone from her IVF cycle so i had the cost covered.

on the first night of suppositories, i was looking through the ginormous booklet in the box for the instructions on how to insert the crinone and came across this warning.
"Risk to the fetus. Birth defects have been reported in the offspring of women who were using Crinone during early pregnancy. These included an abdominal wall defect and a cleft palate. A causal association has been neither confirmed nor refuted. You should check with your doctor about the risks to your unborn child of any medication used during pregnancy." (under the title of "Risks of Crinone")
what the heck? um, no thank you. my nurse swears that it is safe but that little warning didn't make us feel very comfortable. there was a similar warning on the endometrin box. but no warning like this in the PIO booklet. so after two nights, i switched to PIO shots. why risk it? i'd rather endure the pain in my ass (literally) from 2cc PIO injections every night than risk birth defects.

but i know a lot of y'all used suppositories. i'd love to hear your experiences and hopefully this post will help others who are seeking information about progesterone supplementation. 

my nightly routine

Sunday, August 10, 2014

baby sunshine is a….

happy sunday!
thanks for playing along. i loved reading your baby gender predictions. it was so much fun. the votes are officially in and the vast majority of y'all think we are having a girl.

98 votes for a baby girl
56 votes for a baby boy

my favorite part about reading your comments was reading the reasons why you think we are having one sex over the other. some of you thought because i'm girly, i'd have a girl. some people were analyzing the chalk color in this post and another remembering the dream i had several months ago. but my favorite were the comments based on this onesie. i promise y'all the onesie is totally gender neutral, i wasn't giving anything away. 

now that you've humored me…here is the rest of the story.
the rock landed with the G face up. 
we picked up the rock, walked along the beach and never questioned it. the rock had spoken. we were going to tell the doctor that we'd like him to transfer the very best looking girl embryo. for the next week, we settled into the idea of having a baby girl and talked about what it was going to be like….raising a little girl.

but that's not the end of the story. 

sometimes God has bigger plans than a rock toss and He wants to make those plans known. the morning of my transfer, i got a call with the results of our genetic testing. remember A had to work that day so he wasn't with me. i was supposed to call him at work as soon as the results came in, even though we had already decided what gender to transfer.

the embryologist told me that we had 10 normal embryos. then he told me that ALL 10 of those normal embryos are male. i was in shock. i asked him if that was odd. this is what he said:
"never in my 25 years as an embryologist, have i ever seen THIS MANY embryos come back all the same gender. maybe if you have 5 embryos, i could see them all being the same sex. but THIS MANY... we've never seen it in our lab before."
well, then. okay. we hear you up there. loud and clear. we are meant to parent a sweet little boy.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

is baby sunshine a boy or a girl?

so the question every has been wanting to know….
is baby sunshine a boy or girl?

we never wanted to choose the gender of our baby. all we've ever wanted is a healthy baby. in terms of the sex of that baby, we've always figured that God will give us whatever we are meant to have.

so when we decided to do the PGS testing on our embryos, our nurse asked if we wanted to know the gender of our embryos. we said yes. when she asked what sex embryo we wanted to transfer, we said we want the best embryo transferred regardless of sex.

as our cycle progressed and we realized that 17 embryos were going to be tested, our nurse urged us to decide what sex embryo we'd like to transfer. she said that with that high of a number of embryos, there will likely be multiple high grade normal embryos of both sex to choose from. in that case someone has to decide, either us or the doctor.

we really struggled with this. if we were to get pregnant naturally, no one would be deciding. it would be left up to nature, or chance, or God or whatever you believe in. hubby and i talked about all of the good and bad things about having a boy and then did the same with a girl. the bottom line is that there are good and bad things about both. one is not better than the other. they are just different.

so we decided not to choose. instead, we went to the beach, found a flat rock, and wrote a G and a B on each side. we threw the rock in the air and the letter that landed face up in the sand would be our answer. G for girl. B for boy.

to be continued….

don't kill me for the cliffhanger. there is a reason this story will be paused and continued in sunday night's post with our gender reveal photos. the reason is that we thought it would be so fun to see what y'all think? what do you think we are having?

do you think baby sunshine is a girl or a boy?

please leave your predictions in the comments below. we can't wait to read your thoughts, take a poll and see how many people guess correctly. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

our huge announcement

if i wasn't an infertility blogger, i would've peed on a stick, found out i was pregnant and then held our news close to the chest until the end of my first trimester. while waiting, i would've plotted how to share  our huge announcement that we are expecting a baby.

i wouldn't have posted my home pregnancy test for all the world to see. instead, i would've scoured pinterest for ideas, planned a fun photo shoot and gotten a lot more creative in my delivery of our news.

in the end, we decided that we've worked too hard for this BFP to let it go by undocumented and with such little fanfare. a picture of a home pregnancy test will just not suffice. so...thanks to some special friends, we have the opportunity to share our news with some special pregnancy announcement and gender reveal (post coming in a few days) pictures.

a big thank you to fellow blogger and amazing photographer Nikki Hancock who snapped some pics of us and my dear friend Taryn Passifione who did my makeup. You guys are the best! 

thank you so much for all of the congratulatory messages and comments.
we are so incredibly blessed. the fact that many of you are still in the trenches is not lost on me. i appreciate you supporting and cheering for us even in the midst of your own fertility struggles. i will continue to be here for all of you as well. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

a letter to our egg donor

how do you thank someone for gifting you their eggs? there is no possible thing that you could purchase or words that could be written to really capture the emotions and gratitude that we feel. but we had to try. we wanted to find some way to express our feelings to K so that she'd know how much we appreciate what she's done for us.
on the morning of her egg retrieval, A dropped off a letter and a gift at SDFC for K. the nurse gave it to her after she woke up from her anesthesia.

the gift
the tiffany box is a promise of wonderful things to come. this saying reminded me of K's gift (her eggs) and the wonderful things that i believe would come.

TIFFANY 1837™Interlocking Circles Pendant

this is what the card in the tiffany box read. we wanted to explain the significance of the gift and why we picked it.
in our case, it takes three to make a baby. please accept this small token of our appreciation for your generous gift. may it always remind you of the lives that you've enriched and life that you helped to create. 
the letter 
i spent hours writing and rewriting. in the end, i still didn't feel like it was perfect. but it was time to print it and give it to her because i don't know that i would've ever felt it was perfect.

Dear K,  
When you read this letter, you’ll have just completed your egg retrieval. You will have finished your part in helping to create a life and giving us a chance of fulfilling a dream that has been elusive and impossible for so long. I am specifically writing this before our transfer because you need to know the impact you have had on our lives irrespective of the outcome.  
Your generosity is so incredibly inspiring. The thought that you would so selflessly give a part of yourself to help us is overwhelming and still brings me to tears. To say that your gift has touched us would be a grave understatement. Having gone through IVF several times, we know firsthand what you’ve just endured and what you’ve put your body through. It is a lot. And for a total strangers. Words could never adequately express how grateful we are for the amazing gift you have given to us.  
You’ve given us a chance at parenthood and made it possible that someday soon we might hear the words “mama” and “daddy” and know that they are meant for us. Not for someone else. While we can never repay your kindness, please know that we acknowledge how truly beautiful and special you are. And if we are blessed with a child, we hope that he/she inherits those same qualities from you. But regardless of the outcome, we thank God for bringing you to us and we thank you for the hope that we have in our hearts because we have made it this far.  
Thank you for making this all possible. From the bottom of our hearts. Thank you.
With endless gratitude,  
Jess and A
as i mentioned, nothing we could do or say could come close to what she's done for us. but i hope these small gestures made her feel special and appreciated. 

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