Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Say hello!

This is Reid Michael Robinson! He's cute. And flexible! That is his leg in front of his face and his foot up by his forehead. He can also suck his own toes. So talented! Since this was taken, he has removed his foot from his forehead and has implanted it in my left lung instead. Whatever makes him comfortable!


Fab profile shot at 25 weeks!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Preggo Pics/This and That

Below are some pics! Unfortunately, I didn't start taking pictures until 15 weeks. I don't think there was a whole lot to see before then, but it would have been fun to see the bloat of IVF to shrink and then start expanding again. :) At the beginning of these, I would try to make sure to have my makeup on and hair somewhat fixed...but as you'll see I get a little lax the farther along I get. I haven't taken 23 week pictures yet but I will before I turn 24 weeks on Tuesday! So far I think I've gained around 10 lbs. The scale seems to be hovering around that amount. I like my doctor's philosophy that we'll only worry about weight if it gets out of hand. He told me that he could tell I was a smart girl and that I knew what I should be eating...so eat right most of the time. I've really tried to eat right and in moderation with a few burger and fries thrown in. Current cravings include: greasy-spoon breakfast, OJ, spinach dip, french fries, apples oranges and chocolate milk. Mike felt Reid move for the first time on Wednesday, December 15th. He was going nuts in the belly and I realized all the sudden that I could see and feel his movement so I grabbed Michael just in time for Reid to give him some karate chops! Michael talked to him and praised him for his awesome moves...to which Reid entertained us more with a few more acrobatics! Talk about amazing...

On the same night that Reid jumped around, I woke up about 4pm with some intense pain on my right side from belly to back. I woke Michael up because the pains were so sharp I thought I was going to throw up (some of which could have been nerves since I was so scared something was wrong). The severe pain lasted about 30 minutes and then began to subside. I think if they lasted a little longer, we would have probably loaded up and gone to the hospital. I was able to go back to sleep but called the doctor the next morning. My OB felt like they were growing pains and warned me there would probably be more. I'll be darned, but I bet I was two inches bigger the next day! This has definitely been my biggest week of growth. It's actually hilarious. If I get brave enough, I'll post a belly shot next week to show proof. Last night I again awoke in pain but cramps this time from my ribs to my knees. I tried to wake Michael up, but he was out so I got up and took some Tylenol. The cramps finally subsided about an hour later. I am hoping for some sleep tonight! All this growth is so reassuring that Reid is growing in there even though we don't have another doctor's appointment until December 27th.

*Side note: Michael is watching TV beside me as I write. I just felt Reid shift to my left side and saw my belly move in my peripheral vision. Michael just put his hand on my belly and we felt Reid give me about 4 big kicks. We had a good laugh and will go to sleep very happy to know that he is s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g out! I love it. On that note, this happy Momma is going to sleep!

16 weeks - going to try to get my hair back to this shape...something went goofy with my last haircut

17 weeks (right after we took our Christmas card photos)

Whoops, never got around to taking 18 weeks...
19 weeks in Scottsdale, AZ. Boy, am I glad we went on vacation when we did. I was still very mobile and comfortable.

20 weeks in Sedona, AZ. Standing on a ledge to get a good shot of the "Red Rock" formations. Michael reminded me not to fall. Thanks!

Still 20 weeks but had on makeup and added in cactus. :)

21 weeks...never took a belly shot but did use the expectant mother parking spot at Babies R Us!

22 weeks looking less than stellar and with a cold. Happy as a clam though! I think I'll retire this shirt as it seems to be the "go-to" and I have much cuter stuff! 23 weeks forthcoming...








Saturday, December 11, 2010

Hello, Reid...

Good morning, little man,

This post is for you. The 22 week old little baby boy in my belly. I just felt you kick twice, and actually saw my belly move. Your daddy is going to be so excited when he can feel you dancing away in my stomach. Your little arms and legs should be strong enough soon. For now, you are saving all the sweet proof that you are alive and well just for me. Each bump, kick, tap and hiccup (yes, you've had them once) brings a smile to my face and assurance to this first time mother's constant worry about your well being. I already feel like I know you through and through. You are just what I prayed and prayed for. Out of all the makes and models in the entire world, God sent us you and that makes you incredibly special. It even makes me feel special just to be your Mom.

I've started a journal that I'll give you one of these days. It's silly and has to-do lists as it's kind of a journal for me right now...but one day, when you're older, you might get a kick out of seeing what was going on around mid-pregnancy. You're probably wondering why I'm writing to you on a computer right now but this blog is now for you as well. Mommy started this blog in hopes that one day she could make this blog all about you. Before, I wrote mainly about some happy times that were going on in our lives but mainly it served as an outlet for the heartbreaking times that were spent waiting for you. I realize now that waiting for you was good and right. But I still had some sadness and frustration that I needed to share. My very first blog entry promised to have faith that one day we'd be able to start a family and the strong void that I'd felt for years would be eased. Thank you, Reid, for making this blog be what it was intended to be.

In case you wonder what I've been doing up until now, let me tell you. I've had lots of doctor's appointments to make sure you are healthy; I still work too much but my last day will be December 31st (often when I want to be writing or doting on you, I'm still at work waiting to rest so you can get rest too!); and it's Christmas time so there are holiday cards to be addressed, shower lists to type up, and presents to be wrapped. To be honest, I talk to you a lot during the day so I tell you most everything I want you to know. However, I realized you may not remember everything I tell you while your in my belly so I've got to be better at writing you little notes so you know you were loved from the very beginning.

Your crafty Daddy completed your room last week (December 6th) and put my vision for your room to life! We bought your crib already completed but he got practice because it wouldn't fit in the door so it had to be taken apart and put back together to get it in your room. Your room looks like a little man's room. It is Fox and Hound English Hunt themed. There will only be one fox in your room since all the doggies are hunting for it...we'll see if you can find the fox when you get older. :)

Hang in there in your cramped little area. I love being pregnant and want you to stay in there as long as possible and close to your due date. As much as I look forward to meeting and caring for you, I already know that this is a special time for us that I will miss. It is a time to be cherished and I'm going to try to do a better job of not sweating the small stuff and just staying focused on you since these months will be over very shortly.

I love you with all my heart. You are already an active member of the family even though you can't speak for yourself yet as every decision we make now takes you and your well being into consideration.

Oh and as a sidenote don't forget to let me know what you are hungry for...III Forks or Houston's are always good options for you if you so wish...if you would just let your Daddy know for me that you are the one wanting all the "finest food" that would be great!

Your biggest fan,

Mommy

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The bump and the hair...

Well I haven't been very good at posting new pics. I did, however, download a bunch of pics from the camera so the next few posts will be somewhat out of order. I'll start with the unveiling of the bump and the hair! This is almost 16 weeks...or 4 months or whatever! Everyone keeps asking me if I'm showing...proof of my (yes!) response below.

I also got my flu shot, hense the weird looking thing on my arm which is a bandaid. Oh, and a minor thing called a hair chop! That's no messy ponytail, that's all the hair I have these days. I'm actually pleased with it which is a good thing for a hormonal pregnancy lady! :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ahem, I have a few announcements...

1) Blogging laziness continues into your second trimester. And my finger doesn't work to take pictures. Ok, that's a lie. I'm just lazy and too busy "thinking" about what I need to be doing.

2) The nursery theme is: Fox and Hound - English Hunt! I found a great vintage, English saddle and stand, hand painted hound pics for over the crib, hounds tooth bedding (or custom-made if it doesn't work out), an awesome British hunting dog statue-like thing to go on a shelf and even an oil painting of a fox hunt. It's not very baby-ish...yet! But I'm going to do a horse mobile and have a tree painted with a lone fox peeking his pesky head out from behind the tree to baby it up some. It's going to be cute! We bought our furniture...deal of the century (hence the aforementioned frivolous spending!). Anyhoo, the nursery is started! Yay!

3) My house is a wreck. I'm not well-practiced at nesting. I'm more of a wrecker. I see a closet, completely tear it apart and get to tired to finish it....I'm doing the Mitchell shuffle. No bueno. Gots to get better at getting tidy, organized and prepared. Too bad I'm dead to the world right now or I'd go tear something else apart...hmmmm, under my bathroom counter sounds like a good target!

4) I had a nosebleed that almost sent me to the hospital today. No more putting off the ENT visit.

5) I cut 9 inches off my hair...pics to come as soon as my husband comes home to take them! I love it. My favorite hair-cut ever.

6) Mike and I celebrated our 7 year wedding anniversary on Monday. And by celebrated I mean I got flowers and had to work late. Soooo, we shall celebrate this weekend! I love my hubby. The last year was definitely intense but I'd hand pick you all over again to walk this journey! Wait you picked me...whatever. I adore you (and I better, I'm about to have a mini-you! Oh, Lord, he's not allowed to date until he's 20...). M & O 4-eva!

7) Speaking of boys I love...I love this little one in my belly. He's just about the best little baby in the whole world. It's crazy how much I look forward to meeting him in about six months!

8) Current cravings: OJ continues, apples with cheese, apples with peanut butter, spicy Mexican food, Frosted Flakes, desserts, sugar, sugar, sugar, pimento cheese, grilled ham and cheese melts and diet coke (so I did have a diet coke or two but no more).

9) Current ailments: bloody nose, ouchy gums, ouchy back/butt due to the sciatic nerve, needle hatred, grumpiness about not being able to lift much with a husband who travels (i.e. trash that stinks and I can't lift it to take it out and a big handle of detergent on a top shelf that I need down), rumblings of heartburn (see #9 - spicy Mexican food), and fluctuating energy levels. Still not much to write home about!

10) I'll be 4 months on Tuesday. I really love being pregnant and am starting to show. And by starting to show I mean, HELLO BELLY! It's very cool to see. Grow baby, grow!

Monday, October 11, 2010

14 weeks!

Hi all, I will be 14 weeks tomorrow (Tuesday). Praise the Lord! Annnndddd, drumroll please...it is a BOY!

Can you believe it?! Pics to come. Updates to come. Baby to come.

Life has been busy, busy. And I'm lazy, lazy still. Come on 2nd trimester energy...!

Lastly, I just want to thank each of you again. If you ever prayed for this pregnancy, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Carrying this little guy is the best thing in the world...I will never forget that you spoke to the Lord on our behalf. You have made me the happiest mother (ah!) in the world.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Long day...

I'm not going to lie. Today has been challenging. Though, before I start listing my ailments of the day, let me say I love being pregnant. I love being pregnant so much that when things like today happen it just leaves me like a blob of jello. I have found that I have a pretty incredible "emergency" response. I remain calm, divide, conquer (maybe even sugar-coat and cheer lead to protect the ones I love)...then I crumble once the issues or tasks of the day are over. At least I made it to the crumble part in one piece.

OK, so my day starts great. Today I am 12 weeks pregnant. This is the day we've been waiting for. The "if I can only get to 12 weeks, I'll feel more secure" day. I bounce into work in a great mood. Kolaches and donuts at my desk. Thank you sir, may I have another?! All's well until I go to the bathroom and notice some spotting. Now, the doctor warned me as I ween off of the progesterone that this can happen. But I am convinced at this point in my life nothing is a scarier sight. So I call the doctor and they get me in immediately. Off to Plano I go. I literally just walk out of work. I had a "baby brain moment" on my way and got on 75 instead of the Tollway (where's the damn hospital?!) but it only caused me to be 15 minutes and I actually had a good laugh at myself thinking "where is my brain?". In my belly I guess. Long story short - everything is fine. It turned out to be just the progesterone but the appointment was intense! First a sonogram. Oh, Lord thank you for that part. A beautiful little flailing baby is in my belly. Long arms, long legs and fully of acrobatics. I am amazed that I cannot feel the little thing flying around in there! It is a b-a-b-y...no longer a little bean looking thing. It was amazing! The sonographer doesn't tell you if everything is OK or not but by the looks of things, the baby looked good. So back out to the lobby of the OB I go to wait for the doctor. Doctor confirmed everything looked good and not too worry. I confirmed that I'm going to the perinatologist next week for the Lovenox issue. Back to the lobby to wait to give blood (which was the 2nd time to give blood as I volunteered at work to help set baseline for our lab - prior to the spotting - now I have track marks on both arms again).

I was at the doctor for 2.5 hours and left really tired but relieved. Poor sweet-pea was hungry so I went to Chuy's and had a delicious dinner before heading to my house to my welcoming committee of three dogs, sans a husband who is traveling. (Yeah, he isn't all that great of a side-line husband. Poor guy was in NJ getting text updates. No bueno.)

Just as I'm starting to relax and recover from the stress of the day (that I didn't even realize I felt so deeply) my nose starts to bleed. I don't mean the free bleed that I talked about a few posts ago that is slight. This was full on bleed, dripping, blood everywhere type bleed. All I can think about is a guy my dad works with had to go to the ER recently because he is on a medicine like mine and his nose wouldn't stop bleeding. Alas, mine finally stopped.

Then it was time for my Lovenox shot. I'm thinking surely this is going to go right! Not! I have been trying to give the shots in my thighs (rather than stomach) so that my pregnancy belly pics aren't so ugly/black/blue/green/yellow. But amazingly I'm more comfortable now giving them in the stomach so I went back to that area tonight. Uh, must have hit a vein because I bled and bled. And I have a huge knot that formed and sticks out. I know I won't be able to have anything (such as pants!) touch it tomorrow because it will be so sore.

I'm just worn out. And thrilled that the baby is OK. And hormonal as hell. And hungry again already. And, and, and. And the moral of this post is I'm drained of blood but still kicking! Sorry - hopefully this story/day will serve as a wa-wa-wahhh moment for me to laugh at at a later date. I actually feel better already by just thinking about the day and realizing a good night's sleep (as a far 2nd to baby looking like a champ) will make it all better.

Is it weird that I have that lyric "momma said there will be days like this" or something like that in my head? She definitely did. And she said they are all worth their weight in gold when you have that baby in your arms! :)

Addendum in the AM: Well I did sleep and feel much better this morning until I woke up to another bloody nose. Blood on bed, blood on shirt, etc. Soooo, I'm praying for humidity. Monday can't come fast enough to discuss this with the perinatologist. Please pray for baby and that whatever decision that the doctor makes about the Lovenox keeps the baby safe and me with at least somewhat of a circulatory system left in tact to support this little one.

Get up out of bed Olivia! I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Moment I didn't expect...

About a year ago I was shopping in a little store in Ardmore that has cute gifts and a pretty good selection of Christian music. As I was walking through the store, one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard came on. I decided to buy the CD which turned out to be Kari Jobe. I had never heard of her before that day. While I like the entire CD, one song, "You are for Me" really spoke to me. It became my reality check during our infertility battle and it always moved me to tears. Often I looked for the good in struggling to have a baby and one of the best things I could think of is how often the pain brought me to my knees and led me to prayer. Ultimately, it brought me closer to God. And why I often asked why and teetered on bitterness, I think my relationship with God was strengthened. When I was feeling lonely or sad, I would crank up the following song, sing at the top of my lungs and about midway be brought to sobs. Here are the lyrics:
So faithful
So constant
So loving and so true
So powerful in all You do
You fill me
You see me
You know my every move
You love for me to sing to You
I know that You are for me
I know that You are for me
I know that You will never
Forsake in me in my weakness
And I know that You have come down
Even if to ride upon my heart
To remind me who You are
So patient
So gracious
So merciful and true
So wonderful in all You do
You fill me
You see me
You know my every move
And You love for me to sing to You
And Lord, I know that You are for me
I know that You are for me
I know that You will never Forsake me in my weakness
And I know that You have come down
Even if to ride upon my heart
To remind me who You are

This last part for the longest time I thought said "write upon my heart". In fact until I just checked and wrote these lyrics, I thought it was write. :) Regardless it is this part of the song that spoke to me so deeply. It said to me that God is with me and that this struggle has brought him down in the form of the Holy Spirit to write (ride) upon my heart. Our struggle is seen and felt by Him too. However, this opportunity is for me to remember who the Lord is and what He is capable of. And, most importantly, He loves me more than I can ever imagine. Oh, I can't tell you how many times this song got me through a day.

So, the other day I was once again in Oklahoma and there are really no radio options. So for the first time since I found out I was pregnant, I listened to this song. I once again broke down totally. I was visiting my mom and I had just pulled up to my parent's house when the song ended. I guess mom heard me pull up and came outside to help me with my stuff (such a fragile state I'm in...:). Of course I hadn't had time to get myself together and she was so worried something was wrong. I explained to her that this song represents a comfort in a very hard time. I was able to listen to it and rejoice instead of seeking comfort for the first time. I was reaffirmed by the line "I know that You are for me" and the proof of the answered prayer is growing in my tummy. Thank you, Jesus. Please help me always remember these words.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Some currents...

Here is some current affairs going on in my head and belly:

-current mood/s: sleepy and happy

-current favorite color: pink

-other favorite color: blue

-current cravings: cherry sours, OJ, fried okra, and pickled okra

-current ailments: free bleed in sinus due to Lovenox and sciatic nerve ouchy

-current elations: hearing the heart beat for the first time and the moment of absolute astonishment/relief when I remember I'm pregnant (if for some reason it slips my mind for 2 seconds!)

-current new trick: ponytail holder to secure the pants so I don't have to button them

-current weight: let's not talk about that

-current concerns: potentially having to go off Lovenox because of the nose free bleed

-current prediction: boy
-last week prediction: girl
-two weeks ago: boy

-current request for prayer: for the healthy development of my baby and the health of my friend Keesty's newborn baby, Jace, who has some important tests coming on next Monday

-current projects: cleaning out the baby's room (still...the never ending catch all room) and planning Margo's baby shower

-current hair root color: strawberry blonde (I'm not kidding)

-current random thought: we're going to have red-headed kids since it runs on both sides...adorable!

-current food aversion: chicken

-current plan for a girl's room: grey, pink and splash of lilac

-current plan for a boy's room: cool colored camo

-current annoyance: Rachel Zoe

-current movement: towards bed

Good night!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I feel great! And other updates.

OK, I'm not going to lie. The attention you get when you are pregnant is sweet. Most conversations now start like this: "I'm so happy for you! How are you feeling?". How could one not like that another person is sincerely happy (for moi?!) and that they want to know my condition and well-being?! However, I never really know how to answer how you are feeling...so most the time I just say I feel great because I do. But for those of you that want to know the nitty-gritty symptoms I'm having, here is the list:
*I'm still on progesterone, so I'm still a wee bit tired. Actually comatose, but in the last two weeks, I have been able to push through a little more. I do feel more fragile if that makes sense.
*My lower back/upper butt bone on my left side feels like it is going to break every time I take a step with my left foot. I have a doctor's appointment next Monday and hope to figure out what the deal is. It hurts b-a-d.
*Random afternoon sickness, but NOTHING to write home about. I was spared!
*A few headaches.
*A changing body. Hello baby bump. Yes, after I eat breakfast, I'm already showing. I wake up with only a slightly pudgy stomach but after 10am it is full-pregnancy stomach. I don't know why I'm showing so early, but who cares?!
*Current cravings: OJ, pimento cheese, and coconut creme pie (with meringue!). I'm hoping that celery, spinach and boneless, skinless chicken breast are going to crop up on the list soon... :)
*Stupidity...I almost blew up the house with a gas stove, candle and leaving the house episode. Glad Michael came home about 15 minutes after I left the accident waiting to happen brewing. It's funny to think about, but it really could have been a disaster. I'm now being much more careful with flammable anything and sharp objects.
I'd say all-in-all, I'm rocking through this first trimester unscathed. I am soooo thankful. Each symptom (minus excruciating back pain) is just more evidence that this story comes with a happy ending; I love it!

Michael and I went to Buy-Buy Baby yesterday. Our first excursion into the unknown that is baby "stuff". Wow. I think both of us were in shock for the first few aisles. Michael turns to me and notes that we're basically going to need everything in the store. And at that point, I realize I know zip about what we'll need. I mean, I hope to supply the food source, then we'll need diapers and a carrier/carseat...but what else is there? Apparently 100,000 square feet of "musts" at Buy Buy Baby. They should call it Buy Buy Money. Anyhoo, the most confusing part was the stroller section. Any recommendations in this area are gladly accepted! It was actually so surreal (and awesome!) to be shopping for us and not for a gift for someone else!

Michael decided that based on our visit to the baby store, we need our own reality show about two, 30 year old lovebirds that have spent two years trying/planning to get pregnant but not a second on actual child rearing. Although we think we might be entertaining enough, we decided that the eminent divorce that the fame would cause in 6 years, the national hatred for me as the overbearing mother and the fact that Michael looks bad in Ed Hardy t-shirts are reasons enough to not pitch the show. It was a good thought, though.

Well those are my updates for now. I'll be 10 weeks on Tuesday (yay!).

Other posts in the upcoming days: office remodeled and splurge o'the decade baby-bag.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I think I'm pregnant...where do I throw up?

Well, I think I'm pregnant. You may think from prior posts..."Don't you know you're pregnant?" Well, yes. And no. I remember when my friend, Margo, got pregnant from IVF and she was sooo cautious. Everytime I'd ask about the pregnancy it was almost forbidden to be presumptuous that everything would work out. I can't remember when we were allowed to finally be excited, but I think it was around 9 weeks. The similarity is that I'll be 9 weeks on Tuesday and it's finally setting in that this is for real. You may wonder what it was that allowed me to believe that this isn't just my imagination but a real dream come true? Well I think it is called morning sickness. (Shout out, morning sickness! Ha-ay!)

So thus far I've had the sleepy's. My mom keeps calling me Sleeping Beauty. I'm pooped! I can fall asleep on command (except when Michael is snoring, the dogs are dog-narding and I'm needing to pee), but other than that I do nap like a queen! Then there is some emotional instability and weepiness. I've also had quite a bit of muscle cramps, too. The thing about all these symptoms is that they can be attributed to the massive dose of progesterone that I've been on. So are they pregnancy syptoms or progesterone induced? Then, however, three days ago I got sick in the afternoon. Not throw up sick, but just straight up ick. No food sounds good! I order items at restaurants and then am detested by them by the time they make their way to the table. This has continued the last two nights! Then, last night, Michael and I stayed the night at my Grandpa's house. Right in the middle of the night/early morning I woke up sick. Like thought I was going to puke sick. Score! The morning sickness that I've been waiting on to confirm a legit symptom.

I quickly analyzed the situation; where am I going to puke? Options were limited! The bathroom trashcan did not have a liner. No go. The toilet has seen better days and I'm sure wasn't cleaned just yesterday. Not putting my face by that! The sink could maybe get clogged. Not a solid idea. So where am I going to hurl if it comes to that? Hell, yes...outside. That was my game plan. It never came to the game-time decision, but I was prepared. I was exhilarated to need to think quick to address my new situation. It seems the ick continues through the day as I am nautious as I write this post. I think it is going to be my friend/assurance in between sonograms that everything is going just fine in that little (whoa, that word is past tense) belly of mine. :)

Anyhoo, I feel great! I decided today that I love being pregnant. You may think that is weird coming from someone who has lived and breathed getting pregnant for two years (as I guess it was supposed to be just a given). But I think I've been scared for most of the last five weeks which really doesn't allow one to love something if their what-if'ing all the time. Bye-bye what if. Hello baby!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Absent-O

Hi, friends. I've been b-a-d at blogging. Maybe it's been because if I'm not working I'm napping. And if I'm not napping, I'm taking a shot. And if I'm not taking a shot, I've been on the road doing a little visiting. So, here is a quick list of random pregnancy (oh, yes, I can finally say it and not look over my shoulder) thoughts and updates all intermingled into one scattered post:
  • I'm 7 weeks, 1 day pregnant!
  • Our baby has a great heartbeat which we saw last Wednesday at 6 weeks. Michael saw the heartbeat before the doctor, nurse or me! That deserves a post by itself. Talk about life changing.
  • I love orange juice. All the time. I also love real sprite with real sugar. Mmmm. My butt apparently likes it too and has decided to hold on to every ounce!
  • We were pregnant with twins, but lost one (we think) between the 4-5 week. And I still ache for that other little baby...I do know that God has a plan and that we are so grateful for our little fighter with the good heartbeat!
  • I wish my little dogs were 5 feet tall because it hurts to bend over! I found out last week that my ovaries are still super swollen and can twist so I am still on a 5 lb. lifting restriction. Sooo, my chi needs to go on a diet because she weighs over 5 lbs!
  • I take naps in cars when there is no other option. This has been my main symptom and I love it! I have always had such a hard time falling asleep pre-pregnancy. Now around 2pm everyday, I feel like someone slipped me two Ambiens. To be able to sleep is a God-send!
  • I have my first OB appointment on Monday! Me with an OB appointment, what?!
  • I miss my infertility/loss group - Hopeful Hearts. I feel somewhat displaced now being pregnant. Infertility has been a big part of my identity for the last couple of years. It helped me know I wasn't alone. I am so grateful for every friend that I've made thanks to that group. I guess it is just a very different not trying so hard to achieve - as it has been achieved!
  • I sometimes feel guilty for getting pregnant when I know so many worthy and wonderful people who are going to be great parents. I literally would give anything for all of us to get to have children at the same time. I have faith and pray for each of us every night. I just wish I could do something else...
  • Other symptoms I am having: bigger boobs (yay!), acne (ummm, questionable), a little ick-queasy feeling now and then, progesterone blues (I'm tapering off my superman dose so this should go away soon), cramps and mild headaches. I literally celebrate each symptom!
  • If you want to know what "she's pregnant" gift to get me...I'd really like a sonogram machine. I'd like sonograms twice a day so I can check on my little Sweetpea (Sorry, J.N.N. I'm borrowing this nickname until the baby gets to a more identifiable shape and size. Sweetpea just popped out of my mouth one day - I hope you don't mind!). :)

That's it for now. More frequent posts to come! Again, thanks for the prayers. I am humbled daily that our prayers were heard. All my love!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. - Psalms 130:5

Some moments shouldn't be ruined by my incoherent ramblings.
This is one of those moments/announcements.
I will say: Praise be to God.
And, I am forever grateful to each of you who have spent your valuable time and prayers petitioning on our behalf.

LOL, I just noticed (directly above) Ellie sniffing the pregnancy test...she's like did you just pee on that? Oh, little dog if you only knew what this means for you!

Monday, August 2, 2010

hhmmmm....hold the alcohol!

OK, suddenly I feel better. Not like jumping for joy just yet, but much better. I went to work today and was able to be very productive.

My mom has been in town which means that I've gained 5 more lbs. as she likes to go out to eat. And I have a new friend! Virgin Pina Colada from Mi Cocina. I'm sure they are not too awesome on nutritional content, but they are sooooo delicous! It's funny; I repeat like 4 times...make SURE the bartender does not put alcohol in it!!!

However, I sure could use a glass of wine...but nope, no wine-o for me!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

World clock...


Have you heard? The earth has slowed its orbit and time is running s-l-o-w-e-r than normal. It has been nationally reported that this occurrence will continue until my pregnancy test. Then, depending on the outcome, the earth will either pick up speed and twirl at a very jolly pace or explode. Dramatic, I know; but I just report the facts.
It's weird. We made it through this entire process and I retained my sanity. I think I am much stronger for it. Or was. Until yesterday evening. I hit a wall. I actually want to hit my head against the wall. I think the progesterone is a bit of a depressant. I'm moody, introverted and sad (fine...more than normal!). It didn't help that my progesterone shot just ran out last night (by ran out I mean, Michael removed the gi-normous needle and it spilled out of the hole left from the needle). Cue load more and inject in the other butt cheek. Then when he removed the needle for the 2nd time, I had a blood explosion (probably from all the blood thinners I'm taking). Double ouch. By then Michael was upset. I'm rattled and ouchy and I still had to give myself a Lovenox injection. Then that shot went bad. Again, the serum just ran out of the created hole...and that one you don't get a reload, double shot; it is what it is. OK - is everyone still with me or did I just make half of my readership puke and/or pass out? I leave this subject...but the moral is...shots are sucky-sucky.
Anyhoo, keep Michael in your prayers. He's gonna need them. :) He wants nice O-luv back and I can't find her anywhere to return her...
Wah-wah-wah-wahhhhh...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Glad I could be on bedrest for the dogs' sake...

I think these dogs are enjoying bed rest. They are convinced that I have been hanging around the bed just for their enjoyment and cuddles. I let them believe it because they have no idea they are dogs and assume I should dote on them all day.
They kind of have a point. :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Another update...

Hi everyone, well the transfer went great yesterday! We transferred two healthy embryos and as a friend of mine likes to put it - I'm (actually considering the friend, we're) pregnant with twins until proven otherwise!!! I continue to take progesterone and Lovenox shots so I am still whiny but happy that everything is going so well.

So this morning we also got the call that - wait for it - we have THREE embryos to freeze! We're going to have a basketball team - I just know it! Imagine the celebration when we heard that we have other embryos to freeze to extend our family further in the future. Cut to ten minutes later. I bee-bop to the girl's room to go tinkle, stretch for the TP and my back completely locks up. I mean completely can't move, can't breathe, can't think. All I could do was scream for Michael and when that didn't work, bang on the wall as hard as I could. Poor Michael came running, probably scared to death. I was in so much pain, he asked me if he should call an ambulance?! Anyhoo, he got me to bed (it is pure love when your hubby has to pick you up off the toilet!) and, thank goodness, the pain has gotten better as the days has gone on. Imagine this: Lortab is the doc's recommendation. No accupunture or chiropractor...just narcotics! However in the last 36 hours, I have started to think like a mommy. I considered just hanging in there with the pain, but when I had to again have assistance in the potty department, I decided one pain pill might help and it did. It loosened my back to where I can walk. Hopefully (fingers crossed) it will un-lock tomorrow and I'll be good to go.

I know each of you have been praying for Michael and me and I assure you God is blessing us because of your petitions; but if I may, I'd like to add to your prayer requests. I have two friends walking this exact IVF journey at the same time as well as another friend dealing with a similar assisted fertility challenge. Plus one other friend that is always on my mind and has suffered great loss. If you could lift them up as well, I'd appreciate it so much. As personal as this challenge is, when you have other families going through the same trial it just makes it a shared journey. I promise that God will know who you are talking about if you pray for my four friends.

I'm always asking for something from those of you who read this blog. Usually I offer beer or naming my first born child if you cooperate. I'll be thinking of a good reward for this one...! :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Update

The below is from an email that Michael sent this morning...thanks, Mike for the post!

Drum roll please….

We are go for implantation! We received a phone call from the embryologist this morning with exciting news, but first, a lesson in embryo quality. Think of IVF as a 1-5 grading scale when referring to embryos…

1 = Excellent
2 = Good
3 = OK
4 = Poor
5 = Forget about it (scientific terminology)

So far, after day 3, Olivia and I have 2 excellent embryos and 3 more of good quality! The remaining 6 are somewhere between poor and forget about it. If everything remained the same (we were warned that things can change from now till Sunday), we would be implanting 2 excellent embryo’s and freezing the remaining 3 for potential future use. One of the blessings we were hoping for, is that we would have eggs to freeze in case the implantation did not take. This would save us emotionally, physically and financially of having to start from step 1 all over again. Now comes the debate of what to do with the frozen embryos if you are not going to use them, but we will save that conversation for another day. Sunday at 830a we will be implanting (hopefully two) embryos back to Olivia and letting mother nature take its course. We thank you for all of the prayers and phone calls (special shout out to Anne for providing excellent Mexican casserole!), keep them coming as we are not out of the woods just yet.

Love,

Michael

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Shots on the House!

Anyone want a shot administered by a hot male nurse???
Thus far, Michael has been spared in the needle department. I gave myself my own stimulation injections for a couple of weeks. But, the newest shot o'the day is progesterone in oil and it goes in my derriere. And try as I might, I just can't get a good angle to give myself a shot in the butt. So my darling, eager Michael was johnny-on-the-spot to volunteer. He's been wanting to legally administer pain to me for 7 years...I just know it. :) I can see the look in his eye!

Ok, not really!

It went well! He was so cute and wanted to know how bad it hurt as soon as he was finished. Then I said I needed something cold to put on it and he sprinted to the kitchen to get my coke zero can. I totally need to post about my lucky coke zero....maybe tomorrow.

Anyhoo, we find out the quality of our embryos tomorrow. Hopefully in the morning!

I'm finally feeling better after my little, *ahem*, run in with the milk of magnesia. I went to my doctor this morning to get checked out since I had a lot of pain that had intensified yesterday evening. Everything looked fine and I was only a little dehydrated so they sent me home to drink up the fluids. I love my doctor.

A couple of other things:
  • I would give my husband mad props for giving me the shot and doing a good job, but he's enjoying a glass of wine right in front of me so he's already back on my list of people to throw needles at.
  • I may not be fertile, but I did win in one department...I have better in-laws that you. :) Of the many lovely people that fit in the "Olivia's in-law" category, my sister-in-law Anne brought us dinner last night. It was mexican casserole, pico, chips and banana pops. It was delish and soooo appreciated. It was yummy to eat something prepared at home. Needless to say we've been eating a lot of take-out with all this going on. Thank you Anne (and Mark for finding Anne just for me so she could be my SIL...oh, fine and all that about her being your soul-mate, blah, blah, blah.)
  • I may not be fertile, but I also win in the friends department. I am overjoyed and literally moved to tears when I think how many people have sent me words of encouragement. I love each of you. I can't believe you read this blog, so you must love me too. (Insert quick apology now that you are buttered up: I've been bad about calling back this week. I just want to lay in bed and not hear myself whine to everyone over the phone. I think I'm good enough to talk now, so I'm about to start calling!).

Until tomorrow...!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Well I was feeling good...

Hey, I'll be glad to report that I'm just plain 'ole pregnant one day. But until then, I'll continue to write in this crazy fertility language and give really disgusting updates like this one. I apologize in advance.

So I had the egg retrieval yesterday. They retrieved 21 eggs. Yes, I'm huge. Like I need Palmer's stretch mark prevention, I've grown so much. The lab called this morning and 11 of the egg fertilized. We're a little disappointed as we hoped more of them would get to the next stage, but beggars can't be choosy. Also we prayed to not have more embryos than we can have as a family so I know this is just God taking care of us.

We won't hear from the lab until Friday as they let the embryos (WE HAVE EMBRYOS!) rest and grow. Please pray that they develop and divide and do all the magic that will make them viable little potential babies.

So, I did really well after the retrieval. I felt pretty good and took a nap yesterday. I woke up and did some work, laundry, etc. but took it pretty easy. I probably didn't rest as much as I should have and I had trouble sleeping, but other than that, I can't complain. Oh, I had a wave of nausea but it went away. I really didn't have much pain. But, here is the gross part. I had very bad constipation due to all the meds. The nurse said to take some milk of magnesia this morning, so I did. Apparently the progesterone injections that I start tomorrow will exacerbate this little issue so she wanted me to get to feeling better before starting the 1st injection. Soooo, I took the medicine. Cue Olivia sick. I won't give details, but I think I need a bag of IV fluid. Even Gatorade is making me sick. I'm calling the doctor first thing in the morning.

Can you believe it? I got through all the stims, injections, surgery and emotion drain of all this... and freaking milk of magnesia did me in. I hate Phillips. That shizzle is the worst product on the shelves. I want my money back and payment for back-wages and damages for the dehydration. Or something like that.

I promised a while back to post on something other than this process, but lets be real, this is the only thing going on besides a view of my dogs ears sticking up as I lay at a 30 degree angle in bed (30 degree angle so the fluid can drain from my abdomen). Say-what?!

I'd say this is as good of a time as any to be thankful that I am 1) not single 2) don't have much of a male following on this blog. Because if I did, I think this post would scar them for life. :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Surprise!

You know that level that was way elevated that I said was a good thing (yesterday's post)? Well you can get too much of a good thing. As in ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome! It looks like we just snuck in under the "your going to be very sick" radar and will just be pretty yuck after the retrieval and transfer. It's a pretty long story of why, but you'd think I'd feel better after they remove all these eggs. But I just found out that the follicles fill back up with fluid and I'll be more bloated after they take my little Mikey-O's (gross, I can't believe I just gave microscopic eggs a nickname, but I did!) out of my ovaries...which will happen TUESDAY! I got the call this afternoon that my levels had dropped to a safe number and to give myself the hcg trigger shot at 8pm tonight.
Please pray, please pray, please pray! Good surgery, good quality, good fertilization, good growth, and good transfer on Friday or Sunday. Oh and a successful pregnancy! He/she who prays the most can have a child named after him/her! I'm all about rewards for prayerful petitioners! :)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I got nothin' creative...

Yep, this is me. I still feel like a fat, bloated, frumpy hen. No, that's not quite right. A fat, bloated, frumpy hen pincushion is more like it. And as weird as that combo sounds, as you can see I'm not alone. Another like me exists above. Shewwww! Thank goodness there are more of us. :)

IVF Update:

Well we've been to the doctor every other day this week. My follicles are growing steadily and look good...something like 15 follicles so far. They are getting larger and I got a call today that my blood work was major high in a good way. I didn't even have to take my 3rd medicine today since the follicles are doing so well! I have to go back to the doctor in the morning (Sunday) at 8am. Thought I might get to sleep in, but good medical care wins out. Michael has been great at going with me to these appointments and it is much appreciated!

It looks like the egg retrieval may be moved up to Wednesday. And, I continue to feel really good...which surprises me. I also went to accupunture today. Lots and lots and lots of needles!

In between doctor appointments and work, we did get to do some fun stuff this weekend:
Michael and I had dinner with Nancy and Steve at a really cool restaurant called Loft 610. It was so good to get out to have a nice dinner especially with excellent company!

We also got to see MarJoe. Margo is 17 weeks pregnant with twins and is a success story from IVF!!! She's healthy and adorable. And just for good measure, Joe is healthy and adorable too.

More news to come tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I want to lay these eggs...

I hope this is the only time in my life I feel like a fat chicken ready to lay eggs. See my self portrait above.

In my quest to be the chick with the best eggs, I have completed day 5 of the stim drugs. That is self-administering 2 shots in the morning and 1 at night. I have blood work every other day. So I just counted up...that's 26 shots; and as of tomorrow, I've had 3 blood-draws from IVF. I'm tough. I still haven't had a total mental breakdown. I've only screamed at my dogs and that isn't anything new. I'm still kicking. Woo-hoo! I think I'm going to make it! Our egg retrieval is scheduled for next week sometime. Pray, pray, pray that this works because as tough as I think I am, this still is the hardest thing I've ever done.

Oh, the dogs have a stomach virus...all 3 of them. Poo galore. The last two days after I give my shots in the morning, I have had the pleasure of cleaning poo, then going to work. The poo been the most stressful part of all this! While we're at it, lets pray that their little stomachs heal. I am at max capacity for administering medical care. We don't want my first crazy move to be just opening the front door and waving bye-bye to dog-dogs.

More updates to come. Hopefully some blogging on other "stuff" soon.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Will the Real Olivia Please Stand Up?

IVF makes you lazy. It makes you have weird side effects. And it makes you wonder where you are. I know I'm here, but I just don't feel like me! So I haven't really felt like blogging. Or doing anything else that I typically enjoy sans a few things.

We went to the lake over the July 4th holiday. We had a really good time. I wish I took more pictures. I did get some good video, though. Too bad I can't post it. No one thought I could do the Beyonce booty-shake and I proved them wrong before I get so big that I kill someone with my butt...so I decided to "break 'em off a little piece"...that's gangsta for demonstrate my Beyonce booty-shake. Unfortunately, my Flip camera was in a very evil way turned against me and it is captured indefinitely. Lots of other fun things happened and I'll give the "vacation" (I use that term loosely) its own post in a few days. As a reminder to me, since the meds are giving me premature pregnancy brain, I'll title the lake post "The Poor Man's Boat".

So we started the IVF process on Tuesday, June 29th. I was on birth control (weird, but a part of the protocol) for 1.5 months prior, but that isn't pointy and sharp so I don't count it as "starting IVF". We went to Dr. R expecting the nurse to give me my first injection which she did not. After giving us a tutorial it was up to Michael and me to decide who was going to give the shot. Michael offered but after a mild freak out, I put on my big girl pants and was able to give myself the shot in the thigh. That also is a post in itself so I'll refrain on giving too much detail right now...I think I'll called that post "Needle Terror" or "Scared Shitless" or "It's Natural to Stab Yourself, so Quit Being a Weenie"...we'll see.

Anyhoo, I don't like to look at the needle so Michael loads the medicine for me and I go hide and give myself the shot between 6-8am daily. I've had a few mishaps, but nothing too bad. I even loaded my own needle tonight which Michael reminded me is "his job". Sooner or later he'll have to travel and we can't be together all the time so I had to give it a try.

I also went off birth control on July 3rd. The super exciting part of this process is a little monthly gift thrown right in the middle of this process which I got last night! :) Hopefully the last one for a while. I hope, hope, hope!

What else...? I had a doctor's appointment today where they took blood to see if the Lupron has sufficiently suppressed my ovaries. It has. And I have some little baby (pun!) follicles on my ovaries which is apparently a good thing so I'm ready to start super sizing the follicles on Saturday. This involves two additional injections in the morning and evening. I'm not gonna lie, it's complicated. Mixing powder and solution...pens that you stab in the tummy...lots o'needles. Really crazy stuff to give someone that has had no medical training. I'm taking it one day at a time so I'll get to panicking over the extra injections in the stomach on Saturday. Oh, though I did check my stash of meds today (finally, I haven't been able to go through it all yet until tonight) and they sent me 1.5 inch needles instead of .5 inch needles for one of my meds. I think I'll be getting that fixed in the morning!

So far the main side effects I've had are nights of insomnia, mild headache, finger tingles, stupidity, night sweats, blurry vision and some aggravation. Most have these have been mild where they only make an appearance, then go away. Michael gave me a huge compliment and said my attitude and craziness haven't been anything like he thought they would be. Thanks, I think. I have been extra attuned to my temper and frustrations. I actually think I've been more patient and nice since starting the meds than before just because I am so worried I'm going to turn into my evil twin. Who knows what will happen once I add in the other meds, though.

Well, there you have it. More boring infertility updates. It's a fast moving process from here. I know I am crass, but I still seek your prayers. I pray that this works but also for comfort and that defies my understanding if not. I can't tell you how thankful I am to have God and my husband batting in my corner. They say this stuff will either put a wedge or draw you close...thank goodness it has drawn me closer to both. Now let's just hope they will continue to put up with me!! :)

Yours truly,

Olivia (at least until my evil twin takes over on Saturday)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

It's rare, but it sometimes doesn't suck...

So I told Michael that I need to do everything necessary to relax during the next month. Of course that includes acupuncture which is scary then amazingly relaxing. I also find that the most awesome place on earth is Coldwater Creek the Spa. I love the relaxation room and the steam shower which I find almost as peaceful as the service itself. Sooo, I mention to Michael that in addition to the financial beast that is IVF, that I'm probably going to need to hang out at the spa when the needles make me have anxiety (I promise I'm not being dramatic...I really hear the more you relax, which is not my strong-suit, the better the outcome). Michael could tell that I was feeling guilty even mentioning that I wanted to spend more money. So, in addition to getting all my IVF meds in the mail yesterday, I also got a sizable gift certificate to Coldwater Creek the Spa from the hubs. The card noted "for the health of his wife and unborn child". Very sweet. He told me "now I don't have to feel guilty about taking care of myself". Did I mention I married well? I did. :)

He even offered to let me punture him with an ice-pick everytime I have an injection...what a guy!!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Let it Rain!!!

Well sometimes it takes cold, hard cash to renew one's spirits. The quick story is as follows...

I spent several hundred minutes on the phone today lining out when we're getting our IVF meds. This shizzle is like rocket-science by the way. Meds coming from California, insurance, doctor's office, must be home to sign, bring the meds to your appointment....anyhoo. Through the details, I uncovered a little glitch I hadn't realized before. One thing led to another which led to a phone call about 6pm that our IVF meds are covered by insurance. A little piece of the pie, eh? With my Lovenox injectibles, our IVF meds were close to $3,000 before insurance! Now, try under $500!!!! Wow, WOw, WOW!

I love how God provides. I needed this boost. Even if it is just money (BTW, this little road has truly showed me how disposable mula can be when you are spending it on something this important...good lesson for me). I love God so much as he always reminds me how he has provided and how fortunate we are to be able to afford this procedure. Tonight I know of a young 8 year old battling cancer and a 2 year old also fighting a really hard battle with cancer (this one happens to be a distant cousin...without insurance). I love being able to contribute now, willingly, gladly and with the reminder of God's care and how we are expected to extend that care to others. I can't wait to send some of our cost savings to others!

I'm back! I hope this optimism sticks. It becomes me much better than the evil twin who has taken over the last few weeks!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Needle-me this...

I have all these fun blog ideas during the day. Most of them are happy, upbeat daily stuff. However, usually, by the time I sit down and blog, I forget the cutesy stuff is and just blog about this stupid fertility stuff. Three random things on that topic...

1) I went to acupuncture today. Fell right asleep. What is hilarious is that I go to acupuncture for the health benefit as well as the anxiety relief about IVF. So I'm fighting needles with needles! This whole process is really strange.

2) We're starting IVF soon. I'm not sure if I want to put the dates/expectations out there just yet. I think maybe I'd like to blog during the process kind of a "pain in the butt/stomach" play by play, but I don't know. I mean everyone who reads this will probably know by the giant explosion that is my head popping off if this doesn't work, but I am going to have to really think about the pro's and con's of displaying the process so publicly.

Oh and more fun stuff...the Levonox shots in the stomach will be part of our IVF protocol to treat my gene mutation/clotting disorder. I'm freaking out a little bit, but such is life. We did have good news that my thyroid is fine so we just have to keep to testing it.

3) When I look back on the content of this blog, I think I'll see it as the best of times and the worst of times. What generations in the past have put in their "never to be seen" journals, my generation (or younger generation) displays to everyone. Reading over what we've been going through is not pretty. It is not a perfect life in the suburbs; put my full face of make-up on to go to Target; I'll be at the gym before bunco; let's have a dinner-party, I'll bring the main dish; oh everything is fabbbulous daahling; my live is perfect...type of blog. Rather it is turning out to be: I am sometimes normal, sometimes not; you thought you knew me, but maybe you don't want to know me this well; this part of being an adult sucks; and temper-tantrum throwing account of life during a very challenging time. I'm constantly embarrassed and sometimes even a little proud to think of what I've put out there in my darkest hour. Regardless - it's out there. If you are readying this then you probably read the rough stuff and I guess that you've figured out that this whole jet-setting, super-model, Nobel peace prize winning life I lead is just a facade. :)

All this being said, I am thankful that God put us in a time when science can offer options for us to be able to further attempt to have a baby. I think of women 50 years ago that suffered without the options we have now. I continue to pray that God will work through Dr. R's hands and that this will work out!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sometimes I sits and thinks, sometimes I just sits...

And this is me just sitting eating my pinky fingernail. It was taken without my knowledge in Puerto Vallarta in February. I have no idea if this picture is relevant to anything, but sometimes I just feel that this represents me right now. Just sitting and thinking...I should have put a pina colada in the other hand and my thinking would look much more festive sitting out on that patio!


Right now I'm thinking about this...
And what to make for dinner. I think my mom and dad are driving down so we may just grill at our house. Steak for sure...


Also thinking about what amazing taste I have! :) I bought Michael this shirt for Father's Day.

I was told I was the bestest wife ever for getting him a gift. If nothing else, he is a fabulous fur-baby parent and he should be freaking celebrated for allowing a mini-Chihuahua followed by a mini-Yorkie into his household. And as if that isn't enough, he walked Ellie once on a pink leash because that is all we had. He is a real man and a real dad. So he got this very fine shirt from J. Hilburn.


Lastly, I think a very HAPPY FATHER'S DAY is in order ! Happy Father's Day to our fathers -Cordel, Glen and Steve. And our grandfather's - Grandpa Haymond and Papa Fred. I am very thankful and proud of each of these men.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

No Really. It's Not You, it's Me.

Last Tuesday, I went to see Dr. R to get my test results as well as to have a saline sonogram. I was most worried about the saline sonogram which actually became the least of my worries. He gave a uterus update and I have a very nice looking environment. I believe Dr. R called it cute. A little, nice, cushy home. Anatomically, I look good which made for an easy procedure with minimal (albeit, a little) pain.

Sooo, for the test results. The good news is that my follicle stimulating hormone was in better shape than last time it was tested; in fact it was within the realm of normal. That is the hormone that shows your egg reserve. BTW, when the hell did I get old enough to worry about that? I guess overnight, when I was dreaming of having it all. Regardless, that is a good thing. Sounds good so far, huh? Well there is more.

My thyroid was screwy. I have an appointment with an internal medicine doctor on Monday to address this item. Hopefully it will be a one pill a day, quick fix.

And then the jaw dropper. I have a MTHFR double chromosome mutation. Sounds like I should be the leading character in Avatar. Like I have a tail, and blue skin, and webbed feet. While I have none of those, what I do have is a bit of a problem.

From what I understand, in a nutshell, is that I cannot metabolize folic acid and B12/B6 are also affected. According to some of the research I've done (crazy, infertile lady with a computer and Internet access...watch out medical world!) is that a fertilized embryo tries to impact and begin splitting, the deficiencies in the three vitamins hinder its growth and leads to its demise. Most people wouldn't know they are pregnant. I'm pretty sure this has happened to us twice but I don't really like to think of it that way because that would mean I've had two m-words (maybe more) and my little heart can't take truly internalizing that right now so moving along.
How do you fix it, you ask? I've been put on a vitamin that has the metabolized form of folic acid, B12 and B6. It should fix the deficiency. I crack up when I think of all the orange juice, spinach and avocado that I've eaten in the last two years, thinking, "hey baby (if you are in there this month) this stuff is good for you and see what a great mommy I am already feeding your little splitting cells?!" Well not so much. At least I've tried!

The gene mutation is actually considered a vascular disorder as it leads to the build up of some gunk in the plasma due to something related to a bi-product of not being able to metabolize the folic acid. I won't pretend to know exactly what this means, but for fertility it is considered a blood clotting disorder. So I'll take a baby aspirin when I get pregnant.

The kicker is the potential that I may have to take Levonox or Heparin injections throughout the pregnancy in the stomach. They hurt, I've been told first hand.

When I've said "I'll do anything to be pregnant" this would be considered everything. I know it sounds like "oh, big deal" but I just got to the point that I am comfortable to do the injections for IVF...which last about a month. If I have to do the heparin injections, that equals about 275 injections in the stomach, not that I've done the math.

The doctor isn't sure he would recommend this protocol of injections anyways, because it thins your blood so much. So if I had an miscarriage, car accident, etc. it could be very dangerous. Sooo, basically we've gone from infertile, to maybe fertile all along, and now high-risk. I'm still a little in shock. I really thought he'd tell me that I'm the picture of health...let's get on with IVF, to fill your perfect little uterus! Not so much this time.

There are some long term affects of MTHFR which might actually explain some of my mom's health problems assuming she's the carrier of the mutation so this discovery might actually help her so that is good news. They recommend that my parents are tested. $5 bucks says my mom is the carrier! If she is, maybe she'll feel better if she starts taking the vitamins.

We have a pow-wow with Dr. R in a week to figure out if IVF is still necessary (I think we are just ready to do it since one of the benefits will be the close monitoring, etc). The ironic thing about this is how many times have you seen me write/heard me say, I just wonder what is wrong with us?! Why are we unexplained?? Well now we may know. And I tell you, I can't say I feel much better...yet. Now that there is a problem, it feels a little like we are headed towards Mordor and there is just another mountain after the hill we just climbed. I know how selfish and poor-poor me that sounds. But it's the truth today.

I'm a little scared. I'm waiting for the initial wave to go away and the adrenaline to kick in to just squash this obstacle.

*Editor's note: Ha! It's my blog, so calling this little ad lib an editor's note is really not necessary, but I thought it was "official" sounding. Although I'm just now publishing this post, I actually wrote it on Thursday. I'm publishing it on Sunday night and already I feel better. I started to edit the above, but think it is better to just leave it as I was feeling when I wrote it. I've concluded my research about MTHFR and it ranges from super scary to no big deal. I'm going with the latter and trusting my doctor and God to take care of the rest. Again, thanks friends for listening, caring and comforting me this week. I assure you, as self-absorbed as this whole infertility ride seems, I'm just as ready as you are for me to hand in my infertile ticket!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Farmin'

Michael and I went to his family farm in Burton, TX for the first part of Memorial Day weekend. It is a very special place for his family as it holds so many fond memories of his grandparents and family gatherings. It is also one of our favorite places as a couple because it is the place we got engaged and have spent many of our marriage anniversaries celebrating there. It's been a while since I've been there, probably a couple of years at least. So we decided that before it gets too hot (umm, should have tried March!) that we'd make the trek, just the two (errrr 5, with the dogs) of us. We packed the truck and headed south!! You wouldn't believe how much dog cargo we had. The farm is pretty primitive so we couldn't just let the little dogs run around, so of course we had crates, bedding, bones, toys, food, etc. etc. They will definitely have to stay home when we have kids or we'll have to buy a motor home to travel.

We arrived on Friday night. After unloading, I rested (I had all that blood work done that morning) and Michael mowed and fished. We had dinner at the Brazos Belle, which was yummy and quaint. On Saturday Michael woke up with major allergies so we slept in. We had greasy-spoon breakfast at the Burton Cafe followed by a lethal dose of Benadryl for Mike because his allergies continued to worsen. So he napped and I read (notice a restful trend here?).








Around early afternoon we went to Brenham where I wanted to buy EVERYTHING. We're in the process of re-doing Mike's office, so we bought this is to go on the hard-woods in his office. We affectionately call him Brutus. The dogs think he is their long, lost brother.







So Brutus was a bit overpriced, thus we headed back to the farm to conserve funds for until dinner. I decided to show Michael how to fish or look cute fishing...I can't remember which. :)



After fishing, we took cold showers...because there was no hot water! Brrr, thank goodness it was 100 degrees outside or I might have checked into a B&B. We wanted to grab some family photos whether my hair cooperated or not...check 'em out. After the family photo shoot (the dogs don't take direction all that well, but they are sweet!), we went to Royer's Cafe in Round Top for our favorite meal. Steak, creamed corn, mashed potatoes, apple pie and wine, oh and a stuffed quail for an appetizer. IT IS THE BEST MEAL EVER!!! I crave it frequently and it certainly didn't disappoint.

It was a great trip. No TV, lots of time to talk, rest and just be together in an environment that is so dear to us. Much needed and much appreciated! Love you, Mike!

Friday, May 28, 2010

I'm Drained! (Ha! I made a funny....see below!)

First, thanks everyone for your calls, emails and "just checking in" efforts. Some days are harder than others and a few days this week have been particularly challenging...thank goodness for good family and friends.

We're officially underway to IVF. We met with Dr. R on Wednesday and loved him. He's our guy for IVF. He agreed that we both needed "some" blood work done. Some more than others, but I'll get to that. We talked with him for an hour and the rest of his staff for another hour. I had an ultrasound today (no appointment, just whenever I could make it)...the receptionist looked up as I walked in and without hesitation said "Hey Olivia - we'll take you back in just a minute." One minute later, the coolest nurse every (the one I talked on the phone when I made the appointment), cracked a joke as she called me back. I feel so much better.

So about the blood. Michael and I went in to Quest this morning. His lab slip had 1 item. Mine had about 25 items. Michael goes first because I'm so nervous (I haaattteee needles, especially the blood draw kind. I usually semi-pass out. I even passed out smelling-salts and all when I had my work TB test at work. It's weird, I know.) Anyhoo, Mike does fine. My turn. I sit in the chair and the Phlebotomist starts adding my draws into the computer. She is amazed to see a second page...but keeps typing. Then she can't figure out how to get all the items to print to go on the vial draws. Cut to the second Phlebotomist that comes in and takes charge...but not before she asks me how much I weigh because she's concerned about how much blood they are about to take. Cue Olivia sinking in the chair and looking at Michael like "get me out of here!". He just says "it will be OK, what's the big deal?". I'm like "duh, I'm scared to death!"

So, "take charge Phlebotomist" comes over, we talk about my Raynaud's disease, she sees a good vein, and boom she's in. The other lady starts counting vials, aloud. At 10 the "take charge" lady says "don't count out loud" because she knows I'm about to cry, blow up or hit her. Fast forward 6 minutes later, 25...that's right 25 vials of blood later, she finishes. She couldn't have been better - 1st stick, kept it moving, caring and smart. They filled up a gallon size zip lock bag with the blood draws. I still can't believe I lived. :)

Michael did have to drive me to breakfast because I was fasting, drained of blood and totally in shock...1) because they drew so much 2) because I lived through it and didn't pass out. After breakfast I felt better, drove myself to my ultrasound, got a good report, packed for Burton, TX and hit the road by noon.

I'm pretty darn pooped right now, but feel encouraged that if I can get through this that I can get through the injections and such.

Oh, right as for the update - everything looks good so far. I start birth-control today, have a saline sonogram week after next and start injectables in mid-July. So we're looking at a 8 week process. My lab work will come in pieces throughout. We're moving forward as though everything will come back great and if it doesn't we'll regroup, address the issue and continue to move forward.

I'm keeping my eye on the prize. With all this medical stuff it is so easy to get distracted by the chase of "achieving". Michael and I talked baby names today, something I haven't let myself do in a while. I keep picturing that beautiful baby that I just know is waiting for us and this all seems/is VERY worth it. Taking the easy route is soooo over-rated! :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

OK, Air Drying

OK, feeling much better. Now I'm not hung out to dry...more like line drying in a better environment, like say, San Diego.

The doctor's appointment went great. Lots of activity - blood tests, sonograms, ultrasounds, etc. going on in the next two weeks. I'm super excited about the new doctor and feel that he is the right fit for us. Should everything work out OK with the blood work, then we'll start IVF in the next month or so.

Sorry if my last post was a weeee dramatic. This stuff will do that to 'ya now and then. Too bad I can't blame the crazies on Clomid this time... I'll just say the doubt and negative feelings were stress related, mainly because they were. :)