Monday, June 30, 2014

Our Story Continues... Baby B coming this December!

It’s hard to believe that I am actually pregnant, and WELL past the point in my last two pregnancies that I miscarried.  Allen and I are so excited for this little one to join our family this Christmas and I know he/she will be the perfect addition.

My Pregnancy Story: 
After my last miscarriage on Christmas Day, my Dr decided that my body needed time to recover before we started infertility stuff again so I had to wait two full cycles.  Well, my cycles are super long, so two cycles was more like three and waiting is the hardest part.  I tried to keep myself busy and my mind off of it but that’s a little hard to do when everywhere I went there were newborns and pregnant women all around me! But, after taking provera to induce my cycle both times, it was finally time to start trying again, so we did.  On the 21st day of my cycle I went in to have my blood drawn to test my progesterone levels.  After doing this so many times I pretty much know if I am pregnant based on the results, if I ovulated but not pregnant, and they of course let me know if my levels are too low to indicate ovulation meaning no chance of pregnancy.  Well, my blood draw fell on a Friday so I had to wait until Tuesday to get my results.  The nurse called me and I was sure that I was going to hear good news, but the exact opposite happened.  She told me that I did not ovulate.  My Dr said that this was normal since I hadn’t been doing anything for two months, and it may take a couple cycles to get my body to ovulate again so we’d try again next month, and if that didn’t work then we would try something new again…. Needless to say I had a meltdown.  Like a serious meltdown.  I spent the whole night having a pity party for myself and was dreading the waiting game again.  But there was nothing I could do about it so the waiting began.  By this time it was early April and I was anticipating my cycle to start any day.  As usual it was late, and even though I knew for sure that I wasn’t pregnant because I didn’t ovulate, there was still that “maybe I am” hopefulness.  The Winter semester ended and Allen went home to work for the week break, but I had to stay in Rexburg to work.  While he was gone I was sick of having that false hope and I had a pregnancy test in my cabinet so I just decided to take the test so I could see the negative result, get over those feelings and move on.  Well, that is NOT what happened at all! I left the room almost forgetting about it, went back a few minutes later and there were TWO LINES…. I was pregnant!!!!! I didn’t believe it, I freaked out, started crying, but at the same time I felt peace.  This quickly became the worst idea ever because I was home alone and Allen was in a different state!  I called him in a panic and he happened to be at dinner with a friend so I told him he needed to go outside… and I told him, he couldn’t believe it either and all I wanted to do was hug him, but that had to wait for a couple of days! It was REALLY happening this time, I could feel it!

According to when my cycle started I was almost five weeks when I found out.  I was still confused by how this was even possible so I called my Dr and he wanted me to come in.  At my appointment we talked about how I most likely ovulated later and that’s why my levels showed that I did not ovulate at the time. Since I have had two miscarriages, I was not yet diagnosed as having “recurrent miscarriages” you have to have three without any successful pregnancies before they do that and run more tests.  The plan was to avoid that! So he prescribed me some medication (progesterone) to help my HCG levels rise the way they need to which I had to take three times a day until 13 weeks and had a sever drowsiness side effect, put me on blood thinners to avoid clotting, and on top of my pre-natal vitamins had me taking an extra folic acid two times a day.  I HATE taking all of this medication especially when I am pregnant, but if it is all helping this little one, I’ll do what I have to.  I finished the progesterone a while ago so that cuts it down quite a bit.  My Dr decided he wanted me to come in for an early ultrasound at 7 weeks to make sure there was a heartbeat and everything, so I scheduled that appointment for two weeks later.  Allen and I went in for our first ultrasound and I was beyond nervous! We were a week past my previous miscarriages but I was still terrified.  My blood pressure proved that, the nurse looked and me and said “you must be really nervous, your blood pressure gives that away.”  But everything went great, we saw our little jelly bean and their heartbeat! I measured smaller at six weeks and the tech was able to tell that I ovulated 7 days later than the average 14th day of your cycle.  Which made sense why my blood test came back as negative for ovulation, your progesterone levels begin to rise after you ovulate but my blood was drawn on the morning of the day I ovulated so it was too early.

 Here is the ultrasound picture, baby B is only six weeks here so they are SUPER tiny, but that’s ok!

 I’ve had one other appointment at 12 weeks where we got to hear the heartbeat and it was amazing! I’m a little nervous about switching Drs since I have loved my Dr here and he is so familiar with my story, but I have one more appointment with him here before we move to CA in July for Allen’s internship.  It will be fun to be with family through half of my pregnancy and for the birth, but I have a feeling our Mom’s won’t like it when we leave just a week after this baby is born to finish Allen’s last two semesters. J And this baby has to come either a tiny bit early or on their due date because Allen has to be back at school on the 5th!!!

I have had a pretty mild pregnancy so far, which I am SO grateful for.  With the medications I have had to take on top of being pregnant I have been completely exhausted, but now in my second trimester I’m feeling less of that.  I’ve had a lot of nausea especially when I don’t eat, which happens a lot because I haven’t had much of an appetite except for fruit and smoothies, that’s all I want, all the time! Vomiting hasn't been a consistent thing which I am OK with, but hasn't left me alone completely.  Overall I really cannot complain at all because this is something I have been praying and waiting for for a very long time! 

 I will always call this little one our miracle baby for so many reasons.  Like I said, it’s still hard to believe that I am pregnant and this pregnancy has gone smoothly so far.  We couldn't be more excited for this little Christmas present and love him/her so much already!  

Allen wore this shirt to tell his family when we were home for Memorial Day

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My Story.

Note: Extremely long and personal post but it’s something that I feel it’s time to share not because I am looking for pity but because I am feeling brave since I'm typically a very private person.  Maybe my story will help someone else….

Allen and I have been married for a little over four years now, which at times does NOT seem possible, where has the time gone?!?!? But at the same time, these past four years have also been the most rewarding, challenging, fun, and most amazing years of my life as I've learned so much about myself and life.  We have been together for a long time beyond these years and when I was 17 years old I dreamed about the possibility of Allen and I someday getting married and having a family.  When that dream became a reality four years ago I couldn't wait for what the future had in store for us, and like most girls, I had a picture in my mind of where we would live, when we would have kids, what their names would be, and so on and so forth.  But sometimes things don't go according to “our” plan… life happens. Trials happen. Miracles happen. Heartbreak happens.  Joy happens. And somewhere along the way we have to learn to let go and open our minds and hearts to the Lord’s Plan.

After being married for a year, I had recently graduated from College, we moved back to CA, both started working full time jobs, and bought a house.  I loved my job but knew in my heart that there was only one full time job (other than being a wife of course) that I wanted in my life, and that was to be a mom.  It was the next step for us, to start our own family.  To have the amazing and daunting experience of bringing a child into this world to love, care for, provide for, to teach, to create memories with, and I was excited for that chapter of our lives.  After several months nothing was happening.  Then a year went by and then a year and a half without any luck.  As I became successful at work promotions were offered to me and I was hesitant to accept them because I thought that there was something more in store for me but chose to keep myself busy with work and took on more responsibilities (which came with more stress!). After almost two years and feeling beyond the "if it happens, great, but I'm not too worried about it stage" I decided it was time to go to the doctor to see if there was a problem.  I thought this was going to be a good thing…. But it was the worst experience ever!!  I was told I was too young to worry about not being able to conceive and to keep myself healthy and I would be pregnant within a year…. WHAT?! That’s it?! I of course left frustrated, angry, and defeated.  So I put my head down and didn't go back.  Six months after that Allen and I decided it was time for him to go back to school (a whole other topic on its own!) and for that to happen we needed to make some sacrifices.  So we packed up, rented out our house, I quit my job, and we moved back to Rexburg for Allen to finish school at BYU-Idaho.  When we got here last April I continued to put off going to the doctor but being in Rexburg there were babies and pregnant women everywhere I looked and by June I got the courage to go to see if I could finally get some answers.  I found out that I have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).  Basically that means that I get huge cysts on my ovaries that prevent me from ovulating during cycles (kind of an important part of conceiving!)  I was confused because I had taken home ovulation tests in the past that came back positive but my doctor said they were most likely false positives and there was a good chance that I may have never ovulated in my life!  So that’s where my infertility journey began…. Countess infertility remedies to induce ovulation and after several months of being unsuccessful and having my blood drawn monthly to test my progesterone levels, I finally got a J, I ovulated!!! WOO HOO!!!! Most exciting day ever…but wait Allen was in CA working for the break and I was stuck in Idaho. Boo. But I had hope, and after another month of success the best day of my life happened… in September I had a POSITIVE PREGNANCY TEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Allen and I had just come back to Idaho for the fall semester and we were beyonddddd thrilled! I couldn't believe it, I cried and it was real.  I was going to be a mom. I was a mom.  I had the hardest time not telling the world, but knew I should wait for a while.  I was feeling kind of weird and had constant sharp pains and cramping but read that it could be normal.  I called the doctor anyways and was reassured and told to come in if it got worse.  Well it got worse, and I started spotting.  At about five weeks (super early I know) I was at work and in tears from the pain so I went in for an ultrasound because my doctor was afraid that I could possibly have an ectopic pregnancy (tubal pregnancy) meaning that it was not a pregnancy that could progress. Before going to the doctor I was terrified.  I was so afraid that the best thing to happen to me could be taken away.  I called my mom to tell her about everything and cried forever.  Allen and I went to the doctor and the ultrasound showed that there was no sign of ectopic pregnancy but there also was so sign of the gestational sack yet.  But it was early, so they told me that no news was good news at this point and offered to have some blood work done to make sure my HCG levels were rising but we decided just to wait and made an appointment to come back in 2-3 weeks for another ultrasound.  I went home feeling “ok” and decided that I was going to be optimistic about the situation.  That weekend I felt pregnant, I got morning sickness and let me tell you, I had never been so excited to throw up in my life! It was great, haha! Then on October 1st I woke up to go to the bathroom and knew that everything was NOT ok.  I’ll spare you from the details but my worst fears were becoming a reality and there was nothing I could do about it.  Allen had class and I told him to go and that I was just going to lay down and hope that everything would be fine.  I spent two hours at home alone and miscarried.  It was the most painful, lonely, heartbreaking, scary, and disappointing moments of my life.  I felt empty. I felt guilty.  I was deflated.  I went back to the doctor and they confirmed the miscarriage.  There were several hard days after that but I still had hope for the future.  I knew it would work again.  And through all of the sadness about our loss there was still a miracle and a blessing to be recognized... I COULD get pregnant which is something that a lot of women never get to experience so I was excited about the possibilities ahead of me.  After a month and a half I was ready to try again, and my doctors gave me the go ahead.  Early in December I was too excited to wait and took a pregnancy test early and got the slightest pink line.  I was excited, I knew it meant I was pregnant but Allen needed a darker line to believe it J SO after a few days I tested again and it was confirmed… I WAS PREGNANT!!!!!!!!!!! I was a mom again.  The same feelings came back as the first time, and I had thought that I would be afraid of the same outcome happening but I wasn’t.  We were hopeful and had faith that everything was going to be ok, In August we were going to have a baby!!! I felt good, no pains and cramping.  I found it even harder to hide it this time and really wanted the support of my family so I told my oldest sister right away and Allen and I made plans to tell our families on Christmas Day, even though it was early it was too exciting not to share the news with them.  We went home to CA for the Holidays and I was so happy.  I went shopping all day on Saturday with my sister and that night the spotting came back.  I was nervous.  I melted.  Allen gave me a blessing and I hoped that it wouldn't be serious.  By Christmas Eve I knew things were taking a turn for the worse but Christmas is my favorite holiday so I tried to hold it together.  We had gone ice skating with my family and when I went to use the bathroom I panicked.  I told my parents what was happening and cried on my Moms shoulder.  All the same feelings came back and it was good to be able to hug my mom this time. Allen took me home and I stayed in bed until we went to dinner with his family.  That night I asked my Dad to give me a blessing along with Allen, my brother, and brother in laws.  It was peaceful. Comforting. And one of the most spiritual experiences of my life.  All Christmas morning I laid down and tried to stay positive.  We even ended up telling Allen’s family in a fun way but let them know about what was going on.  That evening we were at a family dinner and Allen took me home.  It happened again, on Christmas Day.  It was unbearable this time.  I could NOT understand why this was happening to me again, to us.  Allen was with me and we braced ourselves to bare this burden again.  We felt the love and support of our families all around us. I prayed for the strength to go through this loss again and for an understanding of what I could learn from this trial.  We stayed busy for the next week with the holidays and weddings in our families and then when it was all over came back to Rexburg for the next semester.  So we’re here now playing the waiting game.  My doctor decided it would be best for us to wait for a while so my body could recover.

Nothing takes away the pain, longing, and desire to be a mom.  To have a family.  We pray for it every day.  Allen and I have and the hardest time understanding this trial, of not being able to get pregnant and then to have it be taken away from us two times.   But we are constantly trying to have our hearts and minds open to the Lord to guide us through this journey and have realized that we are on his plan.   It’s not an experience I would wish upon anyone. Ever.  But this struggle is a reality for so many women.  Miscarriage and infertility has become so common but we don’t talk about it.  And I have learned that although it is personal, there is a peace and strength that can come from sharing your story.  So I’m sharing mine now.  For the past 3 years I have kept it quiet, and when people ask Allen and I why we don’t have kids yet (side note, NEVER ask people that because you may have NO idea what they are going through and it’s not your business unless they bring it up) I would just smile and say “I don’t know” or “we would love to have kids.”  I’ve also learned how important it is to be kind. Be sensitive. Be mindful of others.  Be a friend. Be courageous. Be faithful.  Be understanding.  Be a listener. And be open to all the possibilities that life has.  Even though I may not have my own children I am SO beyond blessed with 4 nephews and a niece that I love.   I have had the most amazing opportunity to work with children with special needs and there is so much joy that comes from that too. SO yeah, I have hard days, nights, weeks, and months… but there is still so much to be grateful for and lessons to be learned.  Not to mention the fact that  I have the most amazing, loving, kind, patient, and supportive husband in the world!! I love him more than anything and I am so blessed to have him by my side through all of this. And I CAN NOT wait for my story to continue….