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Thursday, January 29, 2015

My Birthday Wish

Tomorrow is my 28th birthday.  All week I have been praying that my birthday wish will be granted...that today's ultrasound would show that I am still pregnant with a baby who still has a beating heart.  And today, my friends...God granted my birthday wish! (Good news first just for you Mrs. Ruedebusch!)
Baby M is measuring at 12 weeks exactly! He or she is catching up to what we thought would be our original due date of August 12th.  In the beginning the baby was measuring 3 days behind at the first two heart beat ultrasounds and 2 days behind at our last ultrasound.  Today the baby is measuring just 1 day behind and the doctor changed my due date from August 14th to August 13th.  Baby M is nice and snuggled inside my uterus.  I think he or she was sleeping in the beginning of the ultrasound.  There wasn't much movement going on and the baby had its arm over its head the whole time until the tech asked me to cough and started wiggling the prob around to get the baby to move.  The arms started waving and legs started kicking which was adorable to see! She couldn't get a great picture of the back of the neck which is what she really wanted to see today, but she said from what she could see the nuchal translucency looked normal. 

We got my blood drawn today for the Harmony free cell DNA test to make sure the baby's chromosomes are normal.  We were able to opt out of ability to find out the gender through the DNA test since we don't want to know this early.  I had asked the doctor if they would not upload the results on their patient portal (which is an app that shows all lab results) since I thought it would also show the gender results so she asked the lab tech how they could accommodate my request.  It was as simple as checking a box opting out of the finding out the gender chromosomes.
I got to meet another OB in the practice today and liked her just as much as my OB.  We scheduled me to meet with my regular OB in 2 weeks to have some more blood work done.  We are going to keep an eye on my TSH to make sure it doesn't get too high since I stopped taking the Synthroid.  The results from last Tuesday's blood draw were perfect so she wanted to retest it again 2 weeks from now.  This morning was my very LAST progesterone injection (hallelujah!) so we are going to check my progesterone level in 2 weeks also to make sure it hasn't dropped too much.  I will also get to have a doppler done to check the heart rate:)  Our next ultrasound is scheduled for Tuesday, February 24th....I will be just about 16 weeks at that point!
Other than all my regular OB stuff...I got word today from Dr. Braverman's office that my autoimmune blood work came back great.  I can start titrating off of Prednisone (maybe my puffyface will go down?!) and will be completely done with it at 14 weeks.  Next Wednesday is my last intralipid infusion too.  I will really miss my home health nurse, Lisa, who has been fantastic.  Dr. Braverman just wants one more autoimmune panel of blood tests completed next week and then it sounds like he is releasing me from his care.  The only meds he is recommending that I continue are the Metformin and Lovenox.
It feels so good to be able to smile today, knowing Baby M is doing so well.  It's been 7 years since I have celebrated a birthday while pregnant.  The last one being my 21st birthday.  After losing Riley I knew I wanted children more than I wanted to accomplish any other thing in my life.  I wanted to have a completed family by the age of 30, with 3 or 4 little ones running around.  It didn't seem like a far fetched goal at the time. And when I got pregnant at 25 after we got married, I really thought we were going to be able to accomplish that goal.  But when my 26th birthday was spent recovering from my first d&c, we lost another baby before turning 27, and at 27 years old I was gearing up for our first IVF cycle....that goal seemed to be unrealistic.  At this point, I will be thankful for one child before the age of 30.  And I will be perfectly okay with having baby #2 (hopefully) after the ripe old age of 30...which really doesn't seem that old anymore!
This weekend we will be celebrating not just my birthday but also making it to 12 weeks! It's such a huge milestone since we have passed the week of our furthest miscarriage.  Saturday afternoon we will be getting our first trimester maternity pictures and then we are going to the movies with my parents, sister, and niece to see Paddington, and then we are meeting my grandparents for pizza.  I might celebrate with a virgin strawberry daiquiri:)
Today we wish Grandpa Dale (my husband's father) a happy heavenly birthday and send him all our thanks for helping God pull off such a big miracle for us!  

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Spirit, Lead Me

As much as I try to remain consciously positive throughout this pregnancy and as much as I try to keep anxiety and fear from creeping into my heart and mind, I can't control what happens in my sub-conscious.

This is a trigger week for me.  On January 21st, 2013 my husband and I went to our 11 week ultrasound expecting to see and hear our baby's heart beating just as we had done the previous two ultrasounds.  But that's not what happened.  There was no heart beat.  Our baby stopped growing at 10 weeks, 4 days....4 days before the appointment.  We left the appointment in silence, in anger, in confusion, in heartbreak.  I carried my dead baby in me until January 25th, 2013 when we went to the hospital at 5:30am to be prepped for surgery to have our baby removed from my body.  We never got to hold our baby.  We never got to see our baby again.

I was due August 10th, 2013.  I am now due August 14th, 2015.  Because my due dates are so close to each other, there are a lot of dates that are anxiety triggers for me.  On January 20th I was 10 weeks 4 days, according to my due date.  I had my first appointment with my OB.  She wanted to do an ultrasound, but because I was alone at the appointment and because our furthest miscarriage was 10 weeks 4 days, I asked her not to do the ultrasound.  It was too much of an anxiety trigger.  Since the appointment I thought I was doing well at thinking positive and believing that this baby is still growing strong and was going to make it through the first trimester.  But Friday night I had a dream that told me otherwise.  In my dream my OB told me that my HCG was only 389 (when it should be over 100,000) and I started freaking out and demanded an ultrasound.  The ultrasound screen showed our baby without a heartbeat.  I think I woke up after that and went to the bathroom (one of my many middle-of-the-night bathroom trips).  The next dream I remember is walking around a mall and someone stopping to tell me I was bleeding through my white jeans.  The blood was dripping out.  I was running around the mall frantically trying to find a bathroom and when I finally found the bathroom I woke up again for another pee break.  I am thankful that I woke up because I am scared what would have happened next in my dream.

I haven't had a bad pregnancy dream for at least 5 weeks.  I have tried really hard not to let the dreams get to me and to continue that positive thinking.  The reality is, no matter how hard I try not to let the past affect my present and my future, subconsciously it still affects me and most likely always will.

This morning I went to church and on my way there my Timehop app showed an update.  I looked at it and it had the lyrics to Jesus Take the Wheel by Carrie Underwood.  I had posted those lyrics on our way to the hospital two years ago today when I had my first D&C.  While sitting in church during worship service the band played this song:

It got me to tear up for many reasons.  Particularly because of these words:

Lead me where my trust is without borders.  It is such a profound request of the spirit.  As much as I would like to believe that I trust the Lord with all my mind, all my heart, and without any doubts.....I still have hesitations.  I still fear that if I trust in the Lord too much and something happens during this pregnancy that I will fall harder than I've ever fallen before.  But that fear is the voice of the devil, telling me that God isn't good to everyone, that he isn't good all the time, that God does cause pain, and that God can't take away pain.  

At the end of the worship service, the pastor called up anyone who needed prayer to the alter.  One by one I watched as members of the church stepped forward and waited for prayer over them.  All of the sudden I found myself at the alter too.  I've never been the kind of person that would go in front of an entire congregation and ask for prayer (that might sound strange since I so openly share things on here...but it's behind a computer and it feels safe to me).  So I know it was the spirit that took me by the hand and lead me to that alter.  And as I stood there the tears started flowing from my eyes as I realized how much sadness I still carry inside my heart for the babies that we have lost and how, no matter how much good news this baby brings to us, this baby can never replace the ones we have lost and can never repair my heart completely.  As I stood there I realized how scared I am about our upcoming ultrasound and how I still do not trust that nothing is going to go terribly wrong this time.  But as people came forth and laid their hands on me and prayed over me, they said the most beautiful things that were exactly what I needed to hear and I knew they were giving me messages from the Lord...messages he knew I needed in that very moment. 

I left church with a sense of peace. I feel like God is really trying to help me trust him without borders.  It's a work in progress, but every week I get a little closer. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Happy Friday, Friends!

Happy Friday my friends! Today Baby Monnier should be measuring 11 weeks if I were to have an ultrasound done.  We haven't had an ultrasound since January 12th, so I am just going to assume he or she is still growing strong inside this big belly of mine! Here's my 11 week bump and a comparison photo from weeks 9, 10, & 11. 
I don't have much to share today.  It's been an uneventful week for the most part.  I did get a call today from my OB's office letting me know the Maternit21 Panorama test that they drew blood for on Monday is not the right test for me since I am pregnant with my sister's egg.  So they had to throw that test to the garbage and want me to stop in sometime next week to have my blood drawn again for the Harmony Prenatal Test which apparently is the correct test that I need.  I don't really understand the difference and even after researching both tests I can't understand why one would work better over the other. Fetal cells are fetal cells, right?  If there are fetal cells floating around in my blood stream why would it matter if they are from my own DNA, the DNA of my sister, or the DNA of a complete stranger?! So I guess the plan is to have the genetic ultrasound done next Thursday and if Baby Monnier is still kickin' it in there then we will have the blood test done that day too.  That means we won't get the chromosome results back until I'm heading into the second trimester. 
Other than that news, here's a pretty bruise that I've had for the past week from my Lovenox injections.  It only hurt the first two days when I had a big knot under my skin.  Now I don't even notice it, but my husband does.  He rubs it and kisses it as if that makes it feel better. I can let him think it does, right?! I'm used to bruises at this point.  I've been on Lovenox for three months now which is the longest I've taken it out of three pregnancies.  I plan on taking them for another 39 weeks since I plan on this baby being born alive and healthy! And when that happens, I will celebrate the biggest victory of my entire life:)

Speaking of my husband, he has finally agreed to sit down with me this weekend and go through the list of baby names that I came up with.  BUT....this is only because he has asked permission to go to Vegas in June for a friend's bachelor party and I gave him the answer he was hoping to hear.  I like to think I'm a pretty cool wife. I don't get all hung up on guys trips like I did when I was just the girlfriend.  However, he does understand that since I will be 32 weeks pregnant when this trip is planned, if I'm having any complications I am his priority over his friends, alcohol, and gambling. 

If I am feeling open about it, I may update next week before the ultrasound with our narrowed down list of baby names.  But we'll see! I may also want to keep that information just for us until Baby M's gender is revealed....or even until Baby M enters the world!

Peace, Love, and Happiness!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Preparing for Baby M

When a woman becomes pregnant she almost immediately starts preparing for her baby to enter the world.  Between downloading baby apps to read about her baby's developmental progress each week to making a list of names she likes and would consider naming her baby, from scheduling the first OB appointment and thinking about how and where she wants to deliver her baby to dreaming about the day she gets to have a maternity photo shoot to celebrate the impending birth of her child, and from scouring Pintrest for baby shower themes and decoration ideas to creating her baby registry on Babies R Us and dreaming about the perfect nursery for her soon to be prince or princess.  I've done these things every time I've been pregnant.  Despite losing the baby before, there was always a sense of hope and wonder that my anxiety of losing another baby could not steal from me.  And it's no different this time either.  I've started preparing for Baby M, knowing all too well Baby M may never come home with us, but having so much hope and wonder about the future that I'm allowing myself to do these normal pregnancy related planning activities. 

Since our last ultrasound on January 12th, I have had Baby M's picture plastered as the background on my phone. Some day's I can't stop starring at our little gummy bear.  Some day's I can't believe this tiny creature is growing inside of me.  And everyday I am falling more and more in love. 

I've made my one page list of boy names and one page list of girl names.  I've presented them to my husband, who is purposely refusing to tell me which ones he likes because he likes torturing my brain.  And my 4 year old niece has given us her two-cents on which ones she likes and doesn't like.  She has also told us we are having a girl and she clearly does not believe for one second we are having a boy! It's pretty funny to have conversations with her about the baby.  The first time we told her there was a baby in my belly, her response was "I hope it's a girl!" The first time she listened to the baby's heartbeat on my phone she asked "what's her name."  Then she proceeded to tell me we should name "her" Maci Rae...which come to find out is her dad's cousin's daughter's name but my niece's name is also Raegan! She has quite the personality and is so excited about having a baby cousin....I just hope she is still excited if Baby M ends up being a boy!

People have asked if we are going to find out the gender, and the answer is most likely yes.  However, we don't want to know until later in the second trimester because I want to do a gender reveal at my baby shower and I am horrible at keeping secrets! So you all will have to wait until somewhere between 27-31 weeks before we let you know if Baby M is a prince or princess:) I did have the Maternit 21 blood test completed today at my OB's office which screens for any chromosome abnormalities in the baby and will also be able to identify Baby M as a male or female....but my doctor was given clear instructions today to only tell us if the chromosomes are normal or abnormal! I just hope she doesn't slip and tell us...I've had dreams that she does accidentally tell us before we want to know!

Today was the first time I met with my OB during this pregnancy.  She greeted me with a big hug and a congratulations and made me feel super confident in how we will manage the remainder of this pregnancy.  I will have the genetic screening ultrasound completed next Thursday which is where they check for fluid behind the neck, a common sign of Down Syndrome and other trisomy disorders.  Then we will have an ultrasound every 3-4 weeks for the remainder of the pregnancy.  Maybe more once we get to the third trimester.  Dr. Sharma is on board with working with Dr. Braverman if I need to continue the Prednisone and Intralipids into the second trimester, which I should find out within the next week or two.  We did some other routine pregnancy blood work and cultures today as well to make sure I have no infections and no need for any additional medications at this point.  I truly believe that I found a great OB finally who is just as excited and anxious for us as we are.

My last tid bit of good news is that the nursery is underway! My dad and husband started mudding the drywall in the nursery this past weekend...which is something we did not think they would get to for another couple months! That room has been so packed full of furniture and OSB & drywall boards, and just...junk. My husband spent his entire Sunday cleaning it out and has finally agreed that we can get rid of his old bedroom furniture (from childhood) that we no longer have any use for.  I'm beyond excited to see the nursery come together.  I'm positive it's going to be my favorite room to finish in our upstairs remodeling project! Of course I've been researching cribs and looking for the perfect bedding set already:)

While I am 10 weeks 4 days today, which is the exact gestation that our third baby, Logan, stopped growing and was our furthest miscarriage, and tomorrow is two years to the day we found out Logan's heart stopped beating and he stopped growing at our 11 week ultrasound, I am going to choose positive thoughts for the baby growing in me today.  I am going to choose to enjoy this pregnancy as much as possible, celebrate every once of good news as it comes, and have faith that God has his hands in the making of this little miracle. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

One-Forth of the Way There!

10 weeks down, 30 to go! Normally I would think, I'm only 10 weeks and feel like my due date is forever and ever away.  But I'm looking at it a bit differently this time around.  I'm a forth of the way through this pregnancy and so far everything is looking good.  So 30 more weeks doesn't sound like it's all that far away. 

Here is my 10 week bump picture:

And here is the comparison of last week to this week: 

I think I look a little smaller this week? Or maybe it's just the shirt?
Anyways...I thought I would update a little about all those medical questions I had for my doctor regarding my lab results.  Dr. Braverman did get back to me on Wednesday.  He said my anti-nuclear antibody was not that high (1:160-anything 1:80 or higher is considered elevated) that he would be alarmed.  He said even if I had pregnancy induced lupus I am already on the appropriate treatment which is Lovenox.  As for my elevated Insulin, his only recommendation was to try to follow a diabetic diet and continue the Metformin.  I've been trying to decrease my carb intake.  It gets a bit hard when I am already on a low protein diet due to having Homocystinuria.  I feel like the only thing left to eat are salads because even fruit is high in sugar.  I cannot live on salads. I'm waiting on my dietitian from my genetic doctors office to get back to me to help me figure out how to balance my diet better.  When you're forced to restrict the foods you've always loved to eat it is very challenging.  I've adjusted pretty well with the protein thing....steak used to be my favorite food and now I can't eat more than three bites without it tasting gross to me.   I've snuck in a Dr. Pepper twice this week and after a few sips of it I didn't want it.  It's just not the same since I quit drinking it a few months ago! So maybe one day I will have the same reaction to potatoes!
I was also concerned about my low Thyroid Stimulating Hormone.  He said to keep taking my regular dose unless I was having tremors, loss of weight, and extreme fatigue.  Well I've been VERY tired for the past couple weeks and chalked that up to being pregnant.  I haven't weighed myself but I can guarantee I haven't lost any weight.  But several days a week while at work and sometimes in the mornings at home I had been feeling weak and shaky.  I thought it was a blood sugar issue but every time I checked my blood sugar it was normal.  So I started thinking maybe this was caused by the low TSH.  I looked up the symptoms of low TSH and I had just about all of them, except the weight loss.  So I stopped taking my Synthroid for now and will discuss with my regular OB on Tuesday.  I want to see if I can do without the Synthroid which will require my OB to agree to retest me frequently to make sure it doesn't get high again.  I have felt better since stopping it.  And yesterday another employee in the hospital saw me in the elevator and told me I looked like I was in a good mood which was "unusual" because typically I have a look on my face that says "don't talk to me."  Wow...I didn't realize I had looked so moody lately! But then again....I've been so exhausted at work that I probably did look like I was in a bad mood all the time.  I kinda feel like I'm getting some energy back.  Maybe it's from stopping the Synthroid?  Maybe it's because I'm further into the first trimester? Who knows...but I'll take it!
Other than all that, I got my hair chopped and colored on Tuesday.  Here's my before and after: 

It's been a good week.  My husband made a lot of progress on our upstairs bedroom and bathroom he and my dad had been working on.  I'm feeling good about Baby Monnier's progress inside my belly. And I'm looking forward to meeting with my OB for the first time this pregnancy on Tuesday!
Yesterday I posted on our Facebook page asking everyone following our journey to introduce themselves, where they live, how and why they started following our journey, and where they are at in their own life's journey.  I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about everyone who has posted and am amazed by other's journey's as well! If you haven't yet introduced yourself, please do! I'd love to learn more about you:) Wishing everyone a fantastic weekend!!


Monday, January 12, 2015

We have a Due Date!

Finally...we have an official due date! Baby Monnier was measuring 9 weeks 3 days today with a strong heart rate of 183! I should technically be 9 weeks 5 days today based on my sister's egg retrieval date, but the past two ultrasounds before this one Baby M was measuring three days behind. Today, he/she was measuring just 2 days behind! That gives us an estimated due date of August 14th, 2015! Here is a picture of our miracle from today's ultrasound:

Baby Monnier is starting to look like a baby!
Today was the first time after an ultrasound appointment that my husband and I started talking about plans for our baby.  We discussed how and when we want to find out the gender, middle names we would chose for each gender, who we would want to babysit our child while we worked, and baby shower ideas.  I've been feeling much less anxious the past two-three weeks and feeling like this baby really will become our Rainbow Baby. 
There are a few things that I am hoping to get addressed with my doctors this week though.  I had a bunch of blood drawn on Wednesday last week to check out how my body is responding to this pregnancy.  Despite taking 1500mg of Metformin daily, my fasting insulin was the highest it's been at almost 30 and it should be below 15.  I check my blood sugar twice a week and it is always normal...and I've even checked it a few times after eating two or three meals and it is never high so I have no idea why my insulin level gets high, especially when taking medication.  I also do not know how this could affect me or the baby so I am hoping to get a response from the doctor tomorrow.  My anti-nuclear antibody was also elevated which is a sign that my body is attacking itself, and could potentially attack the baby.  I am already on an auto-immune protocol with the Prednisone, Intralipid Infusions, and Lovenox but I do not know if this is enough....again, hopefully Dr. Braverman will respond tomorrow and let me know what he thinks is going on.  All my other auto-immune tests came back normal, but I also was not tested this time for Lupus or Rheumatoid Arthritis which can flare up while pregnant.  I'm hoping the doctor will test me for those two things just to see if that is what is going on.  I've been tested for Lupus so many times because I have a lot of the symptoms...but never when I'm pregnant, and it's always been negative.  Lately I've been getting really bad Charley horses in my feet, ankles, legs, and rib areas (started before pregnancy and has gotten worse) and I don't know if this could be related to the ANA elevation, or possibly something else like low magnesium (never been tested) or my abnormal amino acids (my muscle building amino acids are currently low). I've been on Synthroid for 1.5 years for elevated thyroid stimulating hormone and this past week when my level was tested it was the lowest it's ever been, almost abnormally low, so I don't know if I should decrease my medication or again, how this affects the baby.  Hopefully Dr. Braverman has some answers on all of this! The good news is, my Homocystine level has remained stable which drastically decreases my risk of blood clots. 
Everything else remains status quo.  I thought I only had 6 days of Progesterone injections left but my doctor wants me to remain on them until I make it to 12 weeks.  I was really looking forward to no more jabs into my hips and gushing blood from my blood being so thinned out from my Lovenox injections.  But I guess I can handle a few more weeks.  My husband has come to enjoy giving me these's like a sick guilty pleasure of his!
I was released by my fertility doctor today and meet with my regular OB for the first time next Tuesday, January 20th.  It will just be a regular appointment to discuss how we got pregnant and how things have gone so far.  My next ultrasound is scheduled with my OB on January 29th, my father-in-law's birthday and the day before my 28th birthday.  I pray to God everything is still great with Baby M....we have not made it that far into a pregnancy since our first one 7 years ago.  I will be 12 weeks on my birthday....and it will be the best birthday present I could have ever had if all goes well at the next ultrasound! Our furthest miscarriage was at 10 weeks 4 please keep the prayers coming for this baby!!! 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Pregnancy+Prednisone= Puffyface

I've discovered the cause of my puffyface.  After thinking about for awhile I knew this reaction could not be from just being pregnant.  I've never gotten a puffyface with any of my previous pregnancies.  Then I remembered the girl we shared a cab ride with in Long Island, New York when we went to see Dr. Braverman.  She was about 10 weeks pregnant and was a patient of Dr. Braverman's,  Her face was puffy too.  And I remember her sharing that her face was not normally like that, that it was from the Prednisone Dr. Braverman had her on. 

Ahhh haa! So the puffyface mystery has been solved. Thank you Prednisone for making me look like a chipmunk! Here is a before and after Prednisone picture for comparison: 

And since people who I see everyday at the hospital where I work but had no clue that we underwent fertility treatments recently are now asking if I am pregnant, I figured I would share my first bump pictures:

Granted....this is mostly just my flabby belly, but I could hide it pretty well before and now apparently I can't if people are asking if I am pregnant. So I will start embracing my growing bump and I am super looking forward to our 12 week professional pictures we will be getting soon if all goes well at our next two ultrasounds:)

As I enjoy this lazy Saturday I have to give some recognition to my husband and my father.  They have been hard at work the past two weeks, a couple days a week, on making progress to our upstairs remodeling project that we started in August 2013.  We have three rooms upstairs and in August 2013 we tore all three rooms down to the studs to get rid of the plaster walls, replace the knob and tube wiring with 21st century wiring, and add duct work so that the upstairs can get heated and cooled.  It has been such a long, slow project.  One bedroom is being renovated into a bathroom.  One bedroom will become the nursery.  And the last bedroom will be the temporary master bedroom until we remodel the downstairs in 5-10 years.  We were at the point where we were ready to hire a drywaller to come in and mud the ceilings and walls because my husband just does not have enough time to get it done or the talent to make it look good.  But my dad offered to help him with that project instead, saving us well over $1500 and teaching my husband the tricks to good drywall mudding.  It sounds like they are ready to prime the walls now and we should definitely have this upstairs project completed before the baby arrives in August (or sooner if he/she decides).  I'm very lucky to have these two men in my life who are helping us make a home for our future baby!

We have our ultrasound in 2 days and can't wait to be able to post a positive update on Baby Monnier! Hoping everyone is having a relaxing, yet productive weekend too! 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Let the Dreams Begin

I remember so vividly when I was pregnant with Riley 7 years ago the recurrent dream I had at least once a week, if not more than that.  My teeth were constantly falling was a nightmare! I would wake up in the middle of the night and feel my teeth to make sure they were still there because it seemed so real.  I finally looked up what it meant to dream about your teeth falling out and the interest said it was a sign of feeling like your life is out of your control.  Maybe I did feel like that at the time.  I was 20 years old, a senior in college, and I didn't plan on becoming a mother as soon as I graduated with my bachelors degree at the age of 21.  I had plans of going to grad school immediately after undergrad and having a baby was not going to allow me to do that.  But I eventually got over that and realized with each and every ultrasound and doppler appointment that being a mother would become my greatest accomplishment.  And it certainly didn't mean that I couldn't go to grad school eventually.  The teeth falling out dreams were soon replaced with nightmares of reliving the moments of our daughter's birth. At 4:15am every morning on the dot I would wake up drenched in sweat.  It was the exact time when I started having real contractions and my body was getting ready to delivery our sweet sleeping angel just an hour later. 

I would have taken 4 more months of my teeth falling out if it meant I would have never had to live through the nightmare of losing our daughter not just once, but every night for the next year. 

In all my subsequent pregnancies I've only ever had dreams about my miscarrying the babies. And every time those dreams turned into realty too. 

But this one has me dreaming all kinds of dreams.  Within the past week I've had two that have stood out.  In the first dream my husband and I were at the OB office and I was about 14 weeks pregnant. The doctor asked me if we wanted to know the baby's gender and we said not this early.  As we were leaving the office, the doctor made a comment and referred to the baby as a "she" and accidentally gave away the gender, upsetting us both because we didn't want to know yet.  This was the second dream where our baby came our to be a girl....and I am yet to have a dream that this baby will be a boy! It's funny because my mother-in-law, my father, and my 4 year old niece are all convinced we are having a girl. My older sister says we need another boy in the family. And I will be happy with either...but I have thought from the beginning we were going to have a boy just because we found out we were pregnant on the day my father-in-law died 15 years ago and my husband has always wanted to name his first son after his father....I just thought it would only be fitting if we have a boy.  But I will take either and will love spoiling a girl if that's what we are blessed with!

Now my second dream that I have last was a doozy! My husband and I were at a concert. We were both drinking alcohol.  My husband was the pregnant one, not me! He had a cute little pregnant pop belly and all.  He told me the baby was kicking so I put my hands on his belly to feel the baby.  It was the first time I got to feel the baby kick and it was amazing. Then all of the sudden the baby started having a seizure and my husbands belly looked like the baby was trying to claw its way out! Then he started having a seizure too and I ran to a hospital near by to look for a doctor that could help us.  I couldn't find the attending OB doctor on the maternity unit but I found a bunch of resident doctors just hanging out doing nothing.  I asked them if any of them were an OB resident and one female doctor said she was.  I told her my husband was pregnant and our baby was having a seizure inside of him and then he started having a seizure.  She started laughing at me and asked "your husband is pregnant? How is that possible?" I said because he is and our baby needs your help! She kept laughing and wanted to know why my husband was pregnant and not me. So I yelled at her and told her that I can't carry babies and I've already lost 4 and my husband stepped up to the plate to carry our child for us.  When she kept laughing at me I said "And get's my sister's egg and my husbands sperm!" like I was trying to get an even bigger rise out of her.  Finally I said "are you going to help save my baby or what?!" and she agreed to do an emergency ultrasound, rushing into a room to set up the ultrasound machine as I rushed back to my husband to bring him in to the hospital.  Then I woke up and realized why the doctor was laughing at don't have a uterus! And then I wondered why the hell I wasn't angry that my husband was drinking alcohol while pregnant with our child! Ohhhh....if only men could be pregnant! Could you imagine?!?

Other than my crazy dreams....I just continue to be exhausted all the time.  On Saturday I stayed in my pajamas all day, didn't shower or anything.  Went to sleep in the same clothes I wore to bed the night before. On Sunday I slept until 1pm and finally decided I felt dirty enough to get up and shower.  Today I went to Columbus (2 hour drive) for an eye appointment and then drove another 1.5 hours to work....I need my 5 hours ago! I also feel like my face has gained 5 pounds already...I don't know if its because I look tired all the time of if my face is really gaining weight. And the cashier in the cafeteria today said to me "I didn't know you were're finally showing now. Do you know what your having?!" do I respond to that when the baby is the size of a raspberry and I'm 8.5 weeks pregnant?  "No we don't know yet."  Yup. That's all I said, realizing the shirt I'm wearing today does make me look 6 months pregnant and I wish I could say this was all baby! At least I don't have to say "I'm not pregnant...I'm just fat" anymore...that's a plus I guess!

We are still a week away from our next ultrasound...seems like it's already been 5 weeks since our last one! We can't wait to see our baby again and will be sure to post pictures and an update when we do! I hope everyone who is experiencing the first trimester symptoms can find some humor and gratefulness through it all!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Will 2015 be OUR Year?

Last night my husband and I spent our evening with my older sister, her husband, and a few strangers we just met.  I was one of two sober people at their small party and the other one was 8 months pregnant (but only looked 6 and I look 6 months pregnant when I'm only 2 months pregnant).  All night my sister kept telling everyone that I was pregnant and that we spent a lot of money to get pregnant and had a really rough year.  She was really intoxicated. But she was also very happy and excited for us too...and I could tell that she wants this for us as much as we want it for us.  And when I was holding the 3 month old baby who was there with his parents, she kept telling me that I'm so good with kids.  She genuinely cannot wait for me to add some babies to our family and believes that I will be a great mother.  It is a good feeling to have the support of my family when we have had to go to such unconventional ways to create our own.  It's an even better feeling to know that my family isn't looking at the baby that I am carrying as my younger sister's child even though genetically it came from her and not me. 

Throughout the night I had so many laughs, mainly at my sister and brother-in-law who are hilarious when they drink.  I never thought being sober on New Years Eve would be so much fun.  My stomach was hurting and many times I had tears in my eyes and trouble breathing because I was laughing so hard.  I would say it was a good night. 

But the moment that I will remember the most was 1 minute after the ball dropped and I got my New Year's kiss from my husband.  Everyone was passing around the Champagne bottle and I was staring at the TV watching the crowd in New York when my eyes began watering.  It hit me right then.  Will 2015 finally be our year?  Will it be the year that we welcome our first living child into the world?  Will it be the year that we become a family of three instead of two?  Will it be the year that I get to have the baby shower of my dreams or the year that we get to decorate a nursery?  And then my sister came over to give me a hug and tell me that 2015 WILL be our year...and my response was "I hope so." 

Those three words sum of everything.  I am still hoping.  I am still not 100% sure or confident.  I am still cautious.  I am still afraid.  Is it because it's still too early to say nothing will go wrong? Or Is it because I am trying to protect myself from the pain if something does go wrong?

All I know is that by this time in my last two pregnancies I had already bought some kind of baby item and I haven't purchased anything for the baby this time around.  I'm too scared to.  I haven't even gone into Babies R Us which is very unusual for me.  I created a Registry when I was 8 weeks pregnant with our third baby because I was so sure and so excited...and three weeks later was crushed into a million pieces.  So this time...I don't know when I will step foot into that store.  It might be awhile and that's okay.  When I was pregnant with Riley I bought over $200 worth of summer outfits for her right after finding out she was a girl, and two weeks later she was laying in a casket and couldn't wear a single outfit I bought her because she was the size of a doll baby.  So will 2015 finally be the year where I get to buy something for our baby that I don't have to return or put into storage?  I really, really hope so.

Last night was the first tear that I had shed for our baby since the egg retrieval when our baby was just a wish that we were wishing for. I freeze up emotionally during ultrasounds and instead of focusing on how I feel about seeing our baby's progress every week, I focus on the facts-what's the baby measuring, how many beats per minute is the heart rate.  When I leave the office I let out a sigh of relief...but the feeling of overwhelming love for the baby growing inside me doesn't hit me.  It finally hit me last night that this tiny baby could be in my arms come August of THIS 32 weeks or less. 

Here's to hoping these next 32 weeks are filled with moments of joy and happiness as we watch our baby grow inside me, and the remaining 20 weeks of 2015 are filled with dirty diapers, sleepless nights, nursery rhymes, cuddles and giggles, and a love beyond our comprehension!