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Friday, May 29, 2015

I hope he has a Dimple

The closer we get to meeting our little guy the more I sit and wonder what he is going to look like, or who he is going to look like.  Everyday I feel his kicks...and dance moves...and karate chops.  I get to watch him as he plays around in my belly creating tidal waves of movement.  It's an amazing feeling to know that I am growing this human inside of me.  From what started out as a single egg and single sperm fertilized together in a cold lab, to becoming a clump of cells that were transferred into my uterus through a catheter, to becoming this little baby boy that is transforming before our eyes at every appointment-this is the miracle of life.  I feel lucky to be able to be his momma, yet....he will most likely look nothing like me. 

When a baby is born the first thing people typically do is compare the baby's features to its parents to determine who the baby looks like.  Our son's facial characteristics-his eye color, his hair color, the shape of his nose, his smile....none of that will come from me.  And it does make me a little sad to know this-to know that I wasn't able to create our son with my DNA.  But the up part of that is my sister is a whole lot prettier than me and she has some pretty awesome characteristics that I wouldn't mind our son having.....her dimple for example! So there is a part of me that really hopes he gets the best of her features since he can't have mine. 

As I was going through all the cards from my baby shower, there was one that got me choked up.  It was from my older sister who has been a big supporter of our pregnancy since we found out our donor cycle worked in December.  The card reads:
"One of the sweetest things about welcoming a new baby boy is learning how you fit together...
The way his sleepy weight fills your arms so perfectly and how that place where neck and shoulder meet suddenly seems made for him to snuggle his head into. But even more than that, it's discovering just how beautifully he fits into your life-how there was always a place right in the heart of your family just waiting for this previous boy to come and fill it with so much love."
It made me cry again as I typed out those words, because I know once he is here, I will never be able to imagine my life without him.  And even though when we got married we never though that we would have a child that wasn't part me and part my husband, I know that this little boy is meant just for us.  Things had to happened in our lives- horrible, tragic, heartbreaking things-for our son to be lead to us.  This baby was never part of our plan...but he was always part of God's plan for us. I can't even begin to explain to you how amazing that is. 
We are looking forward to our 3D ultrasound on Tuesday and hoping we will be able to get a glimpse of what our baby boy looks like before he ever even arrives! I also have a follow-up appointment and ultrasound with the high risk doctor that same day to see if she can figure out yet what type of cord insertion we really have going on.  I'm just thankful that it hasn't seemed to affect this little man whatsoever. He's growing like a weed and plays constantly.  I am hoping after my appointment's this coming week that we will get a better idea of when the doctors would be okay scheduling my c-section-I'm really praying for around 37 weeks.  My genetic doctor is recommending 36 weeks for my own safety to avoid any changes of developing blood clots but my OB wasn't on board with that the last we talked.  He has since faxed a letter to her with his recommendations so we will see what she says when I see her this coming week.  I am anxiously waiting to meet our miracle and will feel so grateful once he is safely here in our arms.  

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Showered with Love

Last Sunday we celebrated Baby M by showering HIM (it's kinda crazy to say this now!) with so much love from my family and friends.  I had a perfect baby shower....other than dripping sweat from every crack of my body because it was so hot! I'm so glad I was finally able to celebrate these happy moments of my life with those that I love.  My family and friends have seen us go through a lot of years of pain and heartache, have supported us through our rounds of IVF, and have been our cheerleaders through this pregnancy.  We are so grateful to every one of them.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the day:
Rainbow Themed Cake

Team Pink

Team Blue

Gender Reveal Pinata Breaker

My gorgeous niece giving Baby some love!
"Dear Auntie, You Rock" onesie from my Sister

A special book from a special friend 
Me and my friend Molly with her Rainbow Twins-how precious! 

Me and two of my nieces

Two of my high school besties!

Another best friend from High School

My Mom, Sisters, and Niece<3

My In-Laws<3

Two of my cousins lovin' on the bump!

Baby M and Miss Lydia in their Mommy's bellys!
We appreciate all the gifts we have received to help us get started on our parenting adventure.  The last couple of nights I've been staying up until 4am, after getting home from work around midnight, going through everything and organizing our gifts into category bags so we know what we have and what we still need.  This is about the best I can do with all my nesting energy since we still don't have a nursery to put anything in at the moment.  I'm really hoping our contractor starts soon so we can put things in their place before Baby M makes his appearance in 8-11 weeks! 
Other than being showered with all this love, Baby M is still doing great.  We had our fetal echocardiogram on Tuesday followed by a regular ultrasound.  He received a clean bill of health at both appointments! Our baby boy was weighing 2 pounds, 8 ounces on Tuesday and was measuring 5 days ahead of schedule:) We learned he is already taking after daddy and has a big head that is measuring almost 2 weeks ahead! Oh....and we verified, he's definitely a boy! The umbilical cord continues to lie right over my cervix so my OB continues to let me know a c-section is our only option at this point.  When the cord comes out first it cuts off oxygen supply to the baby and can cause stillbirth so it's not even a risk to consider.  I let my OB know that my genetic doctor, the one who manages and treats me for Homocystinuria, is recommending that I be induced around 36 weeks because it is safer for me to deliver earlier-but unfortunately she is not on board with that just yet.  I'm hoping the genetic doctor will call her like he says he is going to so we have a definite plan of action soon.  Today I am 28 weeks and received the dreaded Rho-Gam injection since I'm RH negative.  We continue to put our faith into God and pray that we will get to become this little man's parents in the very near future!


Sunday, May 17, 2015

He or She....what will Baby M be?!?!

Without any further delay....we are very happy to announce, Baby M is a........................

You saw that right......Baby M is a BOY!!!! 

We are beyond thrilled....but would have been beyond thrilled if Baby M was a girl too! We are just happy that our baby is healthy and active.  We are blessed to be able to celebrate these moments finally, after 7 years, the stillbirth of our daughter, three miscarriages, a failed IVF with PGD cycle, and sacrificing my own DNA so I could carry a baby that we can still call OURS.  We had our gender reveal party with our immediate family members on May 2nd.  We had made it to 25 weeks which was the furthest we had ever been with any of our 5 pregnancies, plus it was my husband's birthday weekend.  It was so much fun to find out our baby's gender with our family and to have these moments captured in pictures:)  

Now the hard part for us is going to be to agree on a name for this little BOY! We know the middle name will be Francis after my husbands late father who died 15 years ago.  It is all kinda fitting.....we found out we were pregnant on the anniversary of my husband's father's death.  We had our 12 week ultrasound on my husband's father's birthday....which was the second big milestone for us since all our miscarriages were by 11 weeks.  We found out we are having a boy on my husband's birthday weekend. And the baby will always get to carry on the Monnier name, which is huge for my husband, plus will be named after his father who he loves and misses everyday.  The first name will have to have a meaning that symbolizes our journey to parenthood...but like I said, that's still to be decided.  

Thank you to everyone who is sharing in these special moments with us! We love having the support of all our family, friends, and followers! I had a wonderful rainbow themed baby shower today and will share those pictures with the next blog post in a few days:) 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Blue or Pink, What do you Think?!

First of all:

Can you believe it?! 27 weeks today! It's an unbelievable feeling for me....I've never known what it's like to reach the third trimester before.  My body is making me so proud this pregnancy, and this little baby is such a big miracle.  Baby M is constantly active.  The other night I couldn't sleep at all because every time I would find a comfortable spot the baby would kick the crap out of me as if I were I were laying on him or her no matter which side I layed on.  But's reassuring to know that our little love is growing and playing and doing well!

Besides finally making it to the third trimester, we are just a few days away from the big gender reveal! Sunday is my baby shower and all our friends and family who attend the shower will get to partake in the revealing of Baby M's gender.  It's going to be so much fun! After the shower I will be making a blog post to let the rest of our followers know if we are team blue or team pink:) But before we do that...I am really interested in finding out what everyone thinks!

For a little fun, I will help you out with some gender wives tales.

1.) Baby's Heart Rate: Above 140 or Below 140 - Above 140

2.) Belly Height: Carrying High or Carry Low- Carrying High

3.) Acne during Pregnancy: Yes or No- Yes

4.) Cravings: Sweet or Salty- Mostly Sweet

5.) Momma's Mood: Moody or Pleasant- Not gonna lie...Moody

6.) Momma's Beauty: Stolen Beauty or Added Beauty- According to my husband, Added Beauty

7.) Dreams of Baby's Sex: Dreams of a Boy or Dreams of a Girl- Dreams of a Girl

8.) Dad's Weight Gain: Gained Weight or Maintained Weight- Maintained Weight

9.) Morning Sickness: Yes or No- Yes

10.) Baking Soda in Urine Test: No Fizzle or Fizzle-No Fizzle

We had our gender reveal party on May 2nd with our immediate family members and our photographer was there to capture some pictures.  Here's a few of them before we all found out! There will be more to come on Sunday!


Let's get those guesses coming now! 
Are you Team Pink or Team Blue?!?! 

Monday, May 11, 2015

A Different Kind of Mother's Day

Let me start off by saying I was no more of a mother yesterday as I was seven years ago. But yesterday felt different.  There was something magical about being a few days away from the third trimester, hearing people actually telling me Happy Mother's Day, and feeling our baby kicking away from the inside of my belly.  There were no special gifts received yesterday, just a card from my husband and mother-in-law.  But that's okay...because I had the only gift that I had ever wanted growing right inside of me. 

Yesterday started off at church where I received a rose from a "mystery person" who wanted to make sure I was recognized as a mother that day.  It was such a kind and thoughtful gesture and makes me appreciate my church family so much more.  Everyone at my church is praying for this little miracle, even people that I don't know on a personal level. 

After church I stopped at my sister's house to give her a mother's day card and gift card to Buffalo Wild Wings.  I felt it was only appropriate to tell her how much she means to me.  Without her, Baby M wouldn't be with us today.  She has given me the greatest gift this Mother's Day and there is no way to thank her enough for this gift.

Once I left my sister's house, I stopped at the cemetery to pay Riley a visit.  She was my first daughter, and there is nothing in the world that can change that.  She made me a mother.  She changed my life and has taught me things about myself no one else ever could.  I left her with the rose I was given in church, because she is the reason I can celebrate Mother's Day. 

The rest of the day was spent with family; a cook-out at my sister-in-laws in the afternoon and an evening visit at my parents house.  It was a nice change to be talking about our plans for Baby M rather than sitting around feeling jealous of our family members and feeling like an outcast because my children are in Heaven and not on Earth playing on the swing set while all the adults sit around and talk.  I finished the day with a cotton candy blizzard from Dairy Queen and began my day today by ordering Baby M's crib bedding set and accessories.  I'd say that's a successful Mother's Day.

The only sour part of my day was when I told someone Happy Mother's Day and the response was "I can almost say that to you too."  It just reminds me how much I hate the term "mom-to-be."  I find it to be such a disrespectful term to pregnant woman because it insinuates that you are not a mom or mother until your baby is born alive and well.  You don't become a mother when your baby is born alive-you become a parent.  You become a mother the moment you become pregnant and there is life growing inside of you.  Everything you do changes from that moment because you have another life to think about and to protect.  Every day you grow deeper in love with that tiny baby who rapidly starts taking over your insides and changing your lifestyle.  And if or when that baby stops growing, your love doesn't stop growing.  Being a mother is about love.  It's not about how many diapers you change, or bedtime stories you read, or boogers you wipe, or bruises you heal, or hugs you receive, or homework assignments you help with, or activities you shuttle to.  Those things are what being a parent is about. 

I was a mother seven years ago and I am still a mother today. These are my babies, and they will always be my babies.

Riley Grace

Logan Kale

Audrey Rayne
Baby M

 If you've ever been pregnant, please know you are already a mother too.  And I pray someday soon you will be a parent.  If you have living children but also have children in Heaven, please know your angels are just as meaningful as your living children.  If you are still waiting, wishing, and hoping for your first positive pregnancy test, please know I pray that you will someday soon know the miracle of life growing within you and a love so deep between you and your baby.  I hope someday everyone who hurts on Mother's Day will be able to have a different kind of Mother's Day too.