Monday, June 29, 2015

When is it Time for Round 2?

I think I'm beginning to stumble upon a huge question a lot of infertile couples eventually reach. When is it time to start trying for another baby?

Our daughter is now 15 months old, and has officially left the baby stage of life and entered into toddlerhood. We no longer have a little baby anymore, so that started making me ask if it's time.

John and I have discussed a couple of times what our plans with children look like to us. We've decided we would like to have two children, if possible. I have said for years now that I will never do infertility treatment again, and while that decision may change further down the road, I'm still sticking to that now. I just do not have the emotional or financial ability to handle it again. It's possible my tubal blockages are fixed after having a baby, since everything got all squished and pushed around, and the hormone reset may have fixed the irregular cycles. So I do have a small hope that things will be okay now.

But the issue I'm struggling with now is, when? John and I talked about having a few years in between Rosie and baby 2, which I'm okay with. I wouldn't mind having a more independent preschooler while taking care of a newborn. But what really worries me is if it takes years to conceive again. What if we wait to try to get pregnant, and that just adds to the age gap? I'd really like to not have five, six, or seven years in between my babies. I didn't have a sibling close in age to me and it was kind of sucky. I had always dreamed of having a brother or sister to play with, or want to watch the same TV shows, or have similar interests. I felt a bit lonely at home.

Then the other side of the issue is if we start trying now, what happens if I have no problems and get pregnant immediately? Are we ready for that right away? Do I want a barely 2-year-old running around making messes while I'm trying to care for a newborn on three hours of sleep? It sounds very unappealing to me, especially with our small living space we will have for the next couple years.

I guess right now it doesn't matter so much since both of us will have to be 100% on board first. I know for sure that trying right now is a no go for John. But this has been on my mind lately, and I guess I have to figure out my feelings if I want to bring it up with him again when I'm ready. And I'm trying to decide when that will be.

I can't even imagine how it feels like to decide to have a baby, and then just get pregnant in the next one to three months like most healthy couples. I just can't understand how that would feel, having it be so much easier on planning out your life.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Baby Rose is Here

Our baby girl is finally here! She's sleeping in my lap as I'm typing this. I'm sleep deprived, have seen more poop in the last week than I have in my previous 24 years of life, and I could not be happier.

Rosalind Elizabeth was born on Monday, March 31st, 2014 at 8:53 PM. She was 5lbs 13oz and 18" long.

I wanted to write my birth story because I had a lot of people asking to hear it, and because I wanted to have it for the future, when details may get a bit fuzzy.

During my last trimester we started to see baby's size start falling behind, according to the fundal height measurement. She had always been a bit small during the whole pregnancy, but had grown at a good rate until about week 34. At one of my later appointments, I saw the nurse practitioner, who wanted to send me for an ultrasound to get a more accurate picture of baby's size.

So, a few days later, John and I went to the hospital for one more ultrasound, where they took measurements of her whole anatomy. After, the radiologist/OB came in to tell us that she was in the 7th percentile in weight. Anything below the 10th percentile was cause for some concern. She explained that ultrasound measurements have a large range for error, and that 7th percentile is a bit of a gray area because she could be small, or she could be a bit bigger than measured and be above that 10th percentile mark. She explained a bit about intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), and said that it's possible that is the reason for baby's small size. With IUGR comes a big risk of placenta failure, which goes up a lot at 39 weeks, and a risk of baby's heart rate dropping suddenly. She then instructed for us to go back to our OB, who knows me and my history better, to talk about it more and discuss options.

I went home and did more research and talked with some trusted friends in the medical field about the situation. They all told me the same information that the radiologist had told me, and agreed that a 39 week induction was the best course of action. We went back to my OB at 38 weeks and 5 days, and she gave us the option of inducing two days later on Sunday, or waiting a couple of days to see if my cervix would be more ready, and inducing on Wednesday. After reading about the risks and talking to educated people on the matter, John and I had decided that we'd rather not take the risk of waiting, and decided to induce on my 39 week date. My doctor told me labor would be longer and harder, since my cervix was only a fingertip dilated, but we thought it was worth it.

On Sunday evening, we went to the hospital, ready to meet our baby girl. We checked in at 5:30, and they did a couple of checks, hooked me up to the IV, and got the monitors on. I was disappointed that I wasn't able to do the first half of my labor at home like I wanted to, but was really grateful that baby would be monitored the whole time in case the IUGR caused her heart rate to drop.

At 7:00, the OB on shift placed Cervidil, and my long night began.

I was told that the Cervidil would cause a bit of cramping as my cervix would start to open. The OB mentioned that it occasionally starts labor for some women. The Cervidil definitely started labor for me! A half an hour in, I started feeling crampy, but it just felt like bad period cramps. An hour later, I started having irregular contractions. At around 10 PM, I was having true, hard contractions that were picking up on the monitor. There wasn't a clear pattern, but almost all were never more than 20 seconds apart. Most ran right into each other, with just a couple of seconds between them. Occasionally I'd get a break for a few minutes, but the ones after the breaks were the most painful of all.

I used my birth ball and all the different labor positions I learned, along with breathing. John helped tremendously by rubbing my back and helping me move and adjust. The non-stop labor without breaks between the contractions was really wearing me down fast. I'm sure they weren't the super hard ones experienced in later labor, but not having any time between them made the night almost unbearable. By 4 AM, I was ready to give up and had no idea how I was supposed to keep going. At 5 AM, I asked about my epidural. Unfortunately, shift change was coming up, and I'd have to wait for the next anesthesiologist to come on shift, and my OB wanted to check my progress before having it placed.

At 8 AM, 13 hours in, my OB came on shift! I was so happy to see her. She checked me and I was at 3 cm. She was happy with that, so she removed the Cervidil string and put in the order for my epidural. She also told me that I was laboring on my own (no, really??) and didn't need the Pitocin. I continued to labor for over an hour until the anesthesiologist resident came in. After seeing my scoliosis, she left to get the attending to help her place it.

It took them quite a while to get the epidural in, due to my crooked spine. The whole process was miserable. The anesthetic injection burned more than any shot I'd ever felt, but the worst of it was baby up in my ribs. For the epidural, I had to bend over as much as I could to make my spine stick out. It wouldn't have been so bad, except that baby was kicking me right in the ribs the whole time! She did not like being squished in there. I know another reason the anesthesiologists had a hard time getting it in was because they were trying to work between contractions, but only had about 20 seconds between them. They finally gave up and just worked through them, and I did my very best to hold still.

At 10 AM, they finally got it placed, and life was bliss. I couldn't feel anything from the ribs below. I had labored for about 14 hours on my own before getting the epidural, so I felt like I had earned it!

At about 2:00 PM, my OB came in to do another check, and we learned I was at 4 cm. At this point, to try to progress things, she broke my water and told me to get more rest.

A bit later, the nurse came in to tell me that my contractions had started to slow down, so they started me on a pitocin drip. I didn't care, since I was flying high on my epidural and just wanted to get the labor going. At one point, they turned off the drip for about 30 minutes, and then turned it back on, because my body wasn't responding to it and they were trying to give my body a break so I'd respond to it again.

At 6:00 PM, the OB came to do another check, and I still hadn't progressed at all, and was at 4 cm. I was getting nervous at that point that they'd have to do a c-section, and expressed that concern with my doctor. She told me that she'd never give up yet, and still had some tricks up her sleeve. She wanted to do everything possible, and wouldn't resort to that unless she'd done everything else possible, or the baby was in danger. At this point, she opted to place an internal contraction monitor that would help us know the strength of the contractions, and they could control how much pitocin I'd need. At 6:30, they increased the dose and then came in a few more times after that to adjust it.

The increased dose of pitocin made the contractions a lot stronger, and I started to feel them. I called in the anesthesiologist, who gave me another bolus to keep me happy. I then fell asleep for a while, not knowing how much longer it'd take.

I woke up somewhere around 8:20 PM with a very odd feeling. It was a strong pressure down south, and I felt like I needed to take a bowel movement. The nurse came in, and I told her that I felt like I needed to push. She took a look and said, "Well, I think it's time for the doctor to check you. Also, DON'T PUSH." My doctor came in immediately and told me that I was fully dilated and the baby was at +2! I couldn't believe it, since I was only at 4 cm and 80% effaced just an hour and a half before! The nurse told me not to push until they were ready. She then helped me push through two contractions, and baby had crowned. The team quickly made it in the room, and the resident and my OB were there and ready. I pushed through 4 more contractions, and baby girl was here! I only pushed for about 20 minutes. There was all kinds of fluid everywhere, but I didn't care. I could see her, and that's all I cared about. John got to help out the whole time, holding one of my legs and giving me encouragement. He then got to cut the cord after she was born.

They immediately passed her to the NICU team and they did a very quick assessment. They were there in case her small size had caused problems. She looked good, so they gave her to me for some skin to skin. I only had a small, 1st degree internal tear, so there wasn't much that needed to be done on me. I delivered the placenta, and my OB said baby was all wrapped up in the umbilical cord, and that it was unusually long. She thinks being wrapped and tangled up in the cord so much caused the growth restriction.

It's amazing that babies can find the breast and start feeding all on their own. I was given instruction to let her lay there and squirm her way to the breast herself. She found it, latched, and started eating all on her own! That survival instinct was really amazing to watch. After my hour with her, they weighed her and then gave her over to John for his skin to skin time while the nurse helped me get cleaned up a bit, removed my epidural, and helped me to go the bathroom.

It was a great night from there. I couldn't sleep, and I didn't want to. I was up all night with her and loved it.

The rest of the story is pretty boring- lots of hospital staff coming in every 15 minutes to do checks and give me paperwork, spending time with my baby, learning to breastfeed, and eating icky hospital food. Tuesday night was very hard because Baby would not sleep in her bassinet. She wanted to be held, and would only sleep if we were holding her, and would only stop crying if she was on the boob. It made me very tired, since I was the only one that could fulfill that for her. My mom and the nurse both tried to help find a solution, but in the end, I had to stay up all night with her to keep her calm and stop her screaming.

We were very happy when we were able to go home Wednesday at lunchtime. Things settled down a lot more, and both Rosie and I were calmer and had better nights. She still refused to sleep unless she was being cuddled (can you blame her?) but we all took turns and worked out a system. Finally, John used his magic daddy touch, and got her to sleep in her bassinet, and that's where she's been sleeping since. Well, unless I decide to cuddle her, which is almost all day long. At least she sleeps there at night!

To reward you for getting this far, here are some pictures of Baby! They take forever to load on here, so check out my Facebook profile for a more complete album. I'll try to include different pictures here.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Please Don't Turn Me Into a Story

There is one thing I hated so much while I was trying to get pregnant- stories. Every time I heard someone tell me about their cousin's best friend's sister who had three failed IVFs, but then when they decided to adopt, she got pregnant because she relaxed, I wanted to scream.

Please don't turn me into one of those stories. I know my situation is very happy and exciting, but it definitely will not happen to most women and is very rare. I just think of how those stories were very unhelpful and, sometimes, hurtful. I don't want my story to do that to someone. I don't want them to hear my story and then be told, "So, that'll work for you, too! You just need to take a break." When people think that's all infertiles need to do, they minimize the effort and pain that those ladies go through to try to have a baby.

So, please, don't share my story of getting pregnant on a break month before IVF as one that can and should happen to everyone. I wish it would, but in reality, it won't be this easy for most.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

I'm Pregnant

If you haven't heard until now, I'm 13 weeks pregnant, first day of my second trimester! Just three and a half years after we started the trouble to get here.

This was a total shock and surprise to us. The last you probably know is that we were told at our meeting with the RE that we need IVF. We had decided to go on an indefinite break until we got all of our affairs in order, and just try to enjoy other things in life.

In the beginning of July, the doctor wanted to do one more test to make sure that he wasn't releasing me with any cysts or fibroids or fun things like that. He did another water/saline ultrasound test, where he pushed saline solution into the uterus and performed an ultrasound. Everything looked good and healthy. I asked then if we should bother using OPKs and timing things, and he said that was up to us. And, he left us with, (hint this part is important to remember:) "You may have a little better chance this month because the saline I just used could have pushed some of the blockage in your tube out of the way."

We decided to just have a fun time and take a true break. I put away all of the OPKs and calendars I have been using for three years, and tried to forget about them. We visited John's family for the Fourth of July, and did some other fun date nights together, just enjoying each other.

At the end of July, a symptom started bothering me. I had complained about it a couple of times to John, who finally said, "Are you pregnant?" I looked at him like, Seriously? 

But I was nice, I think, and just said, "No." Are you crazy?!

"Did you test?"

"No." Drop it, because I am not talking about this right now.

Pointed look.

Pointed look back.

I finally seceded and grabbed one of my 50 million pregnancy tests from my stash and took it so I could prove him wrong. I knew it was going to be negative. After setting it to process, I left the bathroom and came back a couple of minutes later when I remembered I had a chance to prove John wrong- a chance that I don't get very often.

But it was positive.

I yelled at John, showed him the test, and he agreed it was positive. I forgot how to breathe. I started to get light headed. I sat down. Then I looked again. And laid down because I forgot how to person. I'm pregnant?

Two seconds later I was on the phone with my RE's office and they told me to go in as soon as possible for a blood test. The next day, I took two more tests, one with two beautiful pink lines and another digital that had a plus sign on it. I got a call from the doctor, which confirmed that I was pregnant with hCG levels of 27.8.

I had a few more blood tests that showed really nice doubling times, and scheduled my first ultrasound. I was so nervous for that first ultrasound, since I had blockage in my tubes that could have easily prevented the egg from making it to the uterus, resulting in an ectopic pregnancy.

We got in, and saw that the baby was there, in the right place. Here is the crazy thing: It was barely 2mm out of the tube. Any fraction of a bit higher and that baby would have been life-threatening and we would have had to terminate. It was as close as it could get! Not only that, but the doctor saw that fluid surrounded the outside of the right fallopian tube, showing that ovulation occurred through it, but the left ovary had matured and ruptured a follicle.

Not only is my baby barely intrauterine, but the right fallopian tube reached around to the left ovary to pick up the egg. My RE said that happens in about 5% of cases. The doctor said, "I guess that saline ultrasound test did help clear whatever was blocking your tube! I'm really glad we did it!" I definitely agreed with him!

We had weekly ultrasounds after, to see the heartbeat, hear the heartbeat, and just check to make sure the baby was growing on schedule. And everything looked perfect.

I was released from my RE to a regular OBGYN, whom I love. John and I moved states just a couple of weeks ago, and I found a new doctor and office, and so far, I love them. We are so excited to be at this stage of the journey, finally!

Now, to reward you for reading this novel I wrote, (or if you just skipped it, which is fine with me), here are some pictures!

The test that was supposed to prove John wrong. I'm glad it didn't! Sorry for poor picture quality. It's the only one I have

Tests the next morning 

OPK that I took to show that they are positive when pregnant

I loved watching the lines get darker!
Ultrasound 5 weeks. We saw that little baby in the right place, even though we couldn't see it yet! Too tiny.

Ultrasound 6 weeks, the long thing is the baby/fetal pole. The round bubble is the yolk sac that fed the baby until placenta was developed.

7 weeks, we got to hear the heartbeat! It was 151 bpm and beautiful.

8 weeks, beautiful baby! We heard heartbeat again, 175 bpm.

9 weeks, and we saw baby move and squirm for the first time. At this ultrasound, my RE made a guess, and was very certain that the baby is a girl!

12 weeks, with my new doctor. More squirming and jumping. 
Apparently, right now baby is the size of a peach at 3 inches. I have an appointment on Wednesday to have a really good ultrasound where they will check for certain deformities, like spinal, and for Down Syndrome.

Oh, and here's my little 13 week bump.

Thursday, July 4, 2013


I'm currently taking a hiatus from writing. I just need this time to process our latest news and give my mind and emotions a break for a while. If you want to contact me, please leave a comment. I will get an email letting me know that you've written.

Good luck to all, and hopefully I'll be back soon-


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

We Need IVF

We saw our RE today and had a long talk with him. I was right. We need IVF.

We still don't have an exact diagnosis to my infertility, but since we have corrected every other option, the only perpetrators left are my Fallopian tubes. Long story short, it's not a sperm issue, since John is not lacking there. It's not an egg issue, because I've had positives tests, showing that an egg was fertilized. It's not a cervix or lower reproductive organ issue, since we totally bypassed those with IUI. The only thing left are Fallopian tubes. And the only way to get around those is IVF.

I learned something else today. Most pregnancy losses due to factors such as genetics or problems with the embryo usually occur 8 weeks or later. Since mine were so early, and I've had so many (7 weeks, 5 weeks, 4 weeks, possibly a fourth at 4 weeks), they are indicative of tubal pregnancies. Those are embryos that don't make it out of the Fallopian tubes. It's very possible to have multiple ectopics in a row if the Fallopian tubes are compromised. Many tubal pregnancies end on their own very early, so I have been lucky that I haven't needed surgery to remove them. If they don't end on their own, it is a very dangerous and life-threatening situation for the mother if not treated quickly.

We visited with the financial counselor to talk about costs. And with a financial aid program through the office and another program to help with costs of medication, the estimated cost is between $8,000 and $10,000. We just don't have that money, and we won't have it for a long time.

I never thought that after three and a half years that I'd be here. Having put so much effort, sweat, blood, and way too many tears toward this goal, and still sitting here at the beginning. And now, we'll have to just sit here and wait. The hardest part will be sitting here not being able to do anything about it.

Also, today marks the one year anniversary of this blog. What a way to celebrate.