Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Surprise Treat

The night before we found out we were pregnant again, we went to Chinese food with Ryan's grandma. I remember thinking during the meal (as I was downing my 4th bowl of sizzling rice soup), "I really have a feeling I am finally pregnant",

At the end of the meal, we opened our fortune cookies. I loved my fortune, especially considering the thoughts that were running through my head that night. I came home and put it on the fridge with a magnet.

Sure enough, the next morning the test was positive.

In the last few months, I've glanced at the fortune a couple times, but soon forgot about it as it slowly became buried under other papers and reminders on our fridge.

After yesterday's ultrasound I went to work. When I came home later that evening, I went to the fridge (as every pregnant woman does), and saw this:

My sweet husband found our fortune, placing it right on top of the picture of our precious miracle.

What a great moment.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

It's a... BABY!

The reason I asked for prayers in my last post was because today we were supposed to do our full integrated panel. It includes an ultrasound and blood work, and looks for things like down syndrome, etc. Turns out, I am ineligible for the testing because of losing Andie. If we proceeded with the panel, I would likely get an “abnormal” result, even when things are fine with Beanie. So, we skipped the bloodwork, but still did an in-depth ultrasound.

Everything looks great! We watched Beanie for a long time. S/he was making all sorts of movements… sucking on a hand, stretching up an arm, curling into a ball. My favorite was when s/he scooted down so s/he was laying on the bottom of my uterus, and propped his/her feet up on the side wall. Ryan’s favorite moment was when s/he “air drummed” a couple beats with his/her arms (taking after Daddy already!). It was all pretty amazing.

Sometime during all this, a white lab coat suddenly blocked my view of the screen. The Prenatologist had made an appearance. He looked like a tiny mad scientist and wasn’t super friendly, but was definitely a character in his own way. Ryan and I had to hold back our smiles. Soon he marched out the door and the ultrasound continued…

Beanie’s heartrate was 152, which is the same rate we’ve gotten on our home doppler. It’s slowed down since 9 weeks (163), which is normal because s/he’s getting so much bigger. :) Even though we weren’t eligible for the full-panel, the tech measured the neck folds and got about 1.5. She cautioned me, saying that number means nothing without the bloodwork. Even so, from my research, anything under 3 is good so I am just telling myself everything is fine. We’ll do the 2nd trimester screening in a month or so and know more then. Of course, we will love our baby no matter what issues may arise, we'd just like to have a chance to prepare ourselves a bit just in case we face a challenge.

So, without further ado, I present Beanie at 14W4D:

Curled up in a ball:

Little "Grinch" feet:

Our little acrobat:

Baby face:

Our little Beanie, snuggled in tight!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Happy :)

A friend requested a “belly shot” and I obliged. What a difference maternity clothes and one week of gestation make! Look at that thing! (A large Mexican dinner about 30 minutes prior helped too…) It’s not the best picture of me personally, it had been raining all day and I was pretty exhausted, but what I love about it is the happiness I can see in my eyes.

I am happy.

Every day, I am amazed at where we have come from and where we are. I read about the pregnancy process and then I see those things happen to me. It continues to stun me every time.

I read about the uterus “rising” and being able to feel the top of it by pushing on your abdomen. That is just something I read in a book, right? That wouldn’t happen to me… and then suddenly, it does! One day, I feel it. Out of the blue, just like that. Surprise, gratitude, and crying ensue.

Every week or so (or more often if needed), I get to hear this sound. The most beautiful sound ever made…

I am happy. And every day, I pray for my “infertility sisters” that they will feel this happiness someday soon. I pray for them by name. Even though I know God knows them already, I say their names. No matter what path their happiness comes from, I want it for them. More than words can say.


This week is a big one in our world - please keep us in your prayers. We'll update soon!

Now THIS is something I’ll never understand...

Over the past year or so, I began to understand why I had to wait so long to become a mother. This is especially true now that I am pregnant, obviously. :) I can more fully appreciate God’s timing. For some reason, this baby was supposed to come now.

I can say that infertility has taught me so many life lessons and every one of them will make me a better mother than I would have been. The 31-year-old me is much more comfortable in my own skin than the 23-year-old me who first endeavored towards parenthood. (This is not to infer anything about anyone else – I am just speaking for myself.) I can say that my 10-year-marriage is stronger now than our 3-year-marriage was. I can say that the last 7 years were worth it, and if I had to wait longer, that would have been worth it too.

I am beginning to understand the role that infertility has played in my life, and am starting to appreciate it. When I meet my Heavenly Father again someday, I don’t think I will need to ask Him why we had to wait; I think I am already beginning to understand that.

Now THIS is something I’ll never understand…

A woman I know is about my same age. She gets pregnant very easily, and is proud of it. In the last decade or so, she has had four children, all of which have been taken away from her at some point or another and permanently adopted out. Recently, she had a fifth child, and that one too has been placed with a legal guardian.

She is pregnant again, with child number six. Six children, five or six different fathers (I can’t keep track). She joyfully announced this sixth pregnancy, becoming quite defensive if anyone was less than 100% enthusiastic and supportive.

My point is not to bash on this woman (and anyone who does so in the comments will be deleted). My point is to ask why?

I know so many wonderful, caring couples whose number one desire is a child to raise and love. Why can this woman easily have five beautiful, healthy children (not raising a single one of them), while they continue to suffer and wait? And now… she’s pregnant again…

When I meet God, I will ask him this question. Why? I just can’t understand.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Andie and Appleseed

Like many women who have lost a baby due to miscarriage, I often wonder how the eternal perspective comes into play in situations like these. There are a lot of opinions about when the spirit enters a body. I have heard it’s at the moment of conception, when the heart beats, or when a baby takes his or her first breath. Some people have said that these miscarried babies return as other babies at a later time. It’s hard to know what to believe.

My gut has always told me they are individual spirits, that life begins at conception, and that my babies won’t return as other babies. I have had some personal experiences that have helped me feel this way.

Recently, I watched a video and read the story of a little boy who claims he saw heaven. He was close to death for 17 days when he was 4 years old. Once he had recovered, he began to talk about the things he had seen while he was so ill. Many of the things he had seen were shocking to his parents, as they were situations he had no prior knowledge of and couldn’t have known. For example, he was able to describe exactly where his dad was praying during the boy’s surgery. When asked how he knew this (as not even the boy’s mother knew where the dad was at this time), the boy simply said during that time he was sitting in Jesus’ lap, watching his father pray. There were several examples of this.

Personally, the most touching part of his experience is described in the following narrative from The Today Show:

‎"The real shocker came when Colton told his mother, “Mommy, I have two sisters.” Sonja told her son that he had to be referring to his oldest sister, Cassie, and his cousin Traci, but he responded: “No — I have two sisters. You had a baby die in your tummy, didn’t you?”

Sonja told Matt Lauer (who was conducting the interview) the family had never uttered a word about the miscarriage to Colton — and what’s more, they never even learned the sex of their miscarried child. “It was a private hurt that we didn’t even share with our friends,” Sonja said, adding Colton’s revelation was at first “shocking, but then a relief that she’s OK, which we didn’t know she was a she.”

In a subsequent TODAY segment Monday, Sonja filled in Colton’s description of his meeting with his sister: “He told us what she looked like, and she wouldn’t stop hugging him. And she doesn’t have a name.”

“When he told us about his sister in heaven, that we hadn’t told him about, [it was] another one of those ‘holy cow’ moments — OK, he can’t make this stuff up, he can’t invent this; no memory was planted,” Todd told Lauer. “But the peace that came over us, and the healing, like, ‘Wow, I have a daughter in heaven waiting for me’ — I think a lot of people need that type of hope and healing, too. And I think that’s what a lot of people are finding when they hear Colton’s testimony, to know what they have to look forward to.'"

When I saw the video, and read this narrative, I cried for a long time. To some, this may just be a silly child’s story, but to me this gave me so much hope. I have always felt that my children lost to miscarriage were special spirits, and even a glimmer of hope that I might meet them someday is comforting. The thought that we could have celestial children waiting for us is overwhelming. It brings so much joy and peace.

To watch the interview and read the full narrative, CLICK HERE.

Read about Appleseed
Read about Andie

Friday, March 18, 2011

1st Trimester Wrap-Up!

There are a lot of opinions regarding when my 2nd trimester begins. If you calculate based on the conception date, it would be April 6th. If you calculate based on the gestation, it would be March 28th.

But, if you calculate based on development, it would be TODAY! And, since my favorite pregnancy book concurs, I have decided to dub today the FIRST day of the SECOND trimester!

So, here are the things I want to remember about my first trimester with Beanie…

Best Moments:

- The positive pregnancy test. Hugging Ryan right afterward. The equally positive blood tests to follow.
- Telling loved ones the good news.
- Each and every time I’ve seen that cute little bean on the ultrasound screen. Maybe it was the long wait to get here or maybe I’m just paranoid, but there was always a moment of shock each time I saw Beanie alive, well and growing. And I love the giddiness and adrenaline high that comes immediately after.
- Realizing the awesome man I have married. I mean, I always knew he was, but I have been amazed at how much he has stepped up to help me and how understanding he’s been. Also, how excited he is. He is my hero!
- Finding Dr. M.
- Trying on maternity clothes with a strap-on belly. I never thought I’d do something like that but at the last minute I did. HA!

- Renting a doppler and hearing the heartbeat. I had tried to find it for a couple minutes and couldn't, so Ryan tried and found it right away. Then he said, "Beanie wanted *daddy* to find it!" :)
- The LAST progesterone shot! We did those things every night for 8 weeks. Ryan commented, “Wow! That went by fast!” to which I replied, “For YOU!” :P

Surprising Moments:

- I ate chicken for the first time in 1 ½ years. And I ate it because it sounded good! Weird…
- I can’t believe how much I can feel my vertebrae moving around, getting ready for pregnancy I guess. It’s occasionally painful, but mostly it’s just strange.
- I only threw up once. I always thought I’d be one of those ladies hugging the toilet for 4 months. I had my share of nausea, but I was very fortunate.
- My fatigue hit full-force at 9/10 weeks, and is still there. I am way more exhausted now than I was at the beginning of pregnancy.
- I think I will be one of those pregnant ladies who are sick the whole pregnancy. I am going on 7 weeks of head colds, allergies, coughing, you name it. I did have sinus/ear infections and that has been cleared up, but the sickness continues. Totally worth it though, obviously.
- Actually making it to this point in pregnancy. It is a dream!

Difficult Moments:

- Losing Andie. By far, the most difficult moment.
- My Urgent Care debacle.

All in all, my first trimester has been the most wonderful 3 months of my life. There has been anxiety, apprehension, and tears, all completely covered up in blissful joy and gratitude beyond words. I can not WAIT to meet our baby, to hold that precious gift in my arms, but in the meantime I am enjoying being a mommy in every way I can.

I am excited for the 2nd trimester, which should last until July 1st (or June 29th… or July 4th… those darn differing opinions…)! I think I am slowly getting to the point that my excitement outweighs my worries and fears. Not by a lot... but a little at least.

Lots to look forward to. :)

At 12 weeks...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Cramps Update

Because of the cramping, Dr. M wanted to go ahead and bring me in, just for my peace of mind. They gave me an appointment late this morning and Ryan came with me.

After a bit of a wait, Dr. M came into the exam room. He asked about the cramps, and then predicted everything would look perfect, but said let’s take a look anyway.

Beanie looks PERFECT, just like he/she has the last *5* times we peeked inside. It is amazing how MUCH our baby looks like a baby now (instead of a blob, or some kind of rodent). We could see so many details (despite using the “jalopy”). For the first time, we even saw the umbilical cord.

I have to tell you, our baby is a cutie. I kept saying to Ryan over and over, “Beanie is just SO cute!”

We saw the probable reason for cramping… It appears Andie's sack deflated quite suddenly in the last week or so. Dr. M thinks that is the issue. But there's no blood in there, so I most likely won't spot, which is good (peace of mind wise).

Dr. M is the best. After he was finished he said, “If you’re scared, just call. We peek inside, you give a sigh of relief and everything’s better! See how easy that is?” I don’t want to do too many unnecessary ultrasounds, but it was good to put my mind at ease. Plus, he called me "skinny". Nice!

Ryan and I grabbed some lunch; during which he remarked with some amazement, “I love seeing you so happy!” I am completely happy, and it’s been a long time since he’s seen me that way. I think he’d forgotten what it looked like.

On the way back to work after my appointment, I was driving behind a car with a license plate holder that read, “God’s blessings are endless”. How true that is! Sometimes you have to wait a LONG time for them, and sometimes they look different than you thought they would, but they do come.


Please pray for my friend, Christine, who just lost her baby at 18 weeks of pregnancy. My heart breaks with hers.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


So, I've been feeling a tad concerned... I cramped for about 8 hours or so last night. Not round ligament pain, more like the cramps I get with my period. At one point, it got pretty uncomfortable (about a 6 out of 10). I hate that feeling of anxiety and worry that comes with it.

I still have them today, but not as constant. I am trying to drink more water and not worry. I called my doctor’s office and they told me to “take it easy” and “think positive”. Other than that they don’t have much else to say. They aren’t concerned because I’m not spotting or bleeding, but I am on the Progesterone shots. I didn’t bleed with my previous miscarriage or when I lost Andie, so the lack of blood isn’t particularly comforting to me.

My other pregnancy symptoms are still there, the mild nausea, hunger and some twinges in my chest. But the cramps are so unnerving. I am hoping it’s just my uterus growing and getting ready to “pop” over my pelvic bone…

Keep the faith! :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hold On

One thing I have learned throughout this infertility journey is to find comfort through music.

I love Michael Buble, as his music seems to always speak to me during good times or bad. I remember when I was at a very low point, sometime between my miscarriage and our last treatment; I heard this song for the first time. I think he wrote it just for Ryan and me.

I heard it again this morning and all those feelings came rushing back. I was in tears. Ryan and I are the “lucky” ones, I guess you could say. Even though we’ve had our trials and difficulties, you don’t find our kind-of love every day. We are blessed to have each other.

I hope this song brings someone else comfort as it did for me at a very difficult time…

Hold On

Didn’t they always say we were the lucky ones?
I guess that we were once, babe, we were once
But luck’ll leave you cause it is a faithless friend
And in the end, when life has got you down
You’ve got someone here that you can wrap your arms around

There’s a thousand ways for things to fall apart
But it’s no one’s fault, no it’s not our fault
Maybe all the plans we made might not work out
But I have no doubt, even though it’s hard to see
I’ve got faith in us and I believe in you and me

So hold on to me tight, hold on, I promise it’ll be alright
Cause it’s you and me together
And baby, all we’ve got is time
So hold on to me, hold on to me tonight

There’s so many dreams that we have given up
But take a look at all we’ve got
And with this kind of love
What we’ve got here is enough

So hold on to me tight; hold on, I promise it’ll be alright
Cause we are stronger here together
Than we could ever be alone
Just hold on to me, don’t you ever let me go
Hold on to me, it’s gonna be alright
Hold on to me… tonight

Didn’t they always say we were the lucky ones?

Hear the Song

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Couples experiencing infertility often receive well-meaning but extremely insensitive "advice." We can all list the most popular ones: "Just relax and you'll get pregnant," or "adopt and you'll get pregnant," or "things happen for a reason". The most painful are from those who think they've got the goods on God's plan, "Maybe God never meant for you to have children."

Who could think for one minute that that was God's plan?

What do I think God meant when he gave me infertility? I think he meant for my husband and I to grow closer, become stronger, love deeper. I think God meant for us to find the fortitude within ourselves to get up every time infertility knocks us down.

I've been placed on the road less traveled, and, like it or not, I'm a better person for it. Clearly, God meant for me to develop more compassion, deeper courage, and greater inner strength on this journey to resolution, and I haven't let Him down.

Frankly, if the truth be known, I think God has singled me out for a special treatment. I think God meant for me to build a thirst for a child so strong and so deep that when that baby is finally placed in my arms, it will be the longest, coolest, most refreshing drink I've ever known.

While I would never choose infertility, I can not deny the joy that awaits me. Yes, one way or another, I will have a baby of my own. And the next time someone wants to offer me unsolicited advice I'll say, "Don't tell me what God meant when he handed me infertility. I already know."

Author unknown
(Modified Somewhat)

Wonderful Book!

I have been having a really hard time finding a pregnancy book I like.

I tried “What to Expect”, but it felt medical and intimidating. I only referred to that one if I am looking up a particular topic. I couldn’t really see myself reading it cover to cover.

I tried “Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy”. While I didn’t read the whole thing, I looked up a couple topics and hated everything I read. For example, I was trying to research how to choose an OB, and the author spent the majority of the section talking about how she chose a man because ‘she wasn’t feeling very sexy and thought at least it would be nice to have some man interested in her down there’ (or something like that). The book tries to be funny, but I found it wasn't my thing.

I had just about given up on finding a book, when I got a huge surprise one morning. Ryan noticed a package on our doorstep with that unmistakable “Amazon” smile on the side. I was confused because I didn’t remember ordering anything recently. Inside was this book:

It was from a new friend I met only a couple months ago. She loved this book during her pregnancy and thought I might like it as well. She was right; I LOVE it.

It is beautiful… wonderful pictures, valuable information, and set-up so that each day you get to learn about that specific time in your pregnancy. It is respectful, and it values pregnancy as the miracle it is. One of the best parts of my evening is looking at that day’s entry to see what is going on with little Beanie.

Thank you Gina for such a treasured gift. It came at the perfect time and was just what I needed!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Jumping Beanie!

We got to see our little Beanie again this morning! No pictures because we were on our OB’s sad ultrasound machine (the “jalopy” he calls it). Beanie probably wouldn’t have held still for a photo op anyway; that little baby was bouncing around all over the place! Heart rate looks good and Dr. M’s prediction is a boy, although he said there is only a 52% chance he’s right. ;)

It was so comforting to see everything is okay, especially because I essentially walked around with full blown major infections (untreated) for over a week!

Dr. M also changed my due date back to September 30th, and that's where it will stay.

Our next peek inside will be at the specialist on the 29th. It’s starting to sink in that we might actually be having a baby later this year!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Happy 10 Weeks of Pregnancy!

I celebrated in a really weird way... I barfed.

I've had nausea since before we found out officially that I was pregnant. Sometimes the nausea was really strong, but I had never actually thrown up. I kind-of prided myself in that.

For some strange reason, the actual throwing up started today. Isn't nausea as a symptom supposed to begin letting up at 10-12 weeks? Why is mine getting worse? Strange. It might be related to the other illnesses I'm dealing with (I have a sinus infection, ear infections and strep throat), or maybe my time just finally came.

I'm part of the club now! :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Today I went to my follow-up with Dr. M. They weighed me (I've *lost* 2 pounds so far this pregnancy - despite my extra snug jeans), and I gave my sample. Then Ryan and I waited in the exam room.

We noticed they wheeled in an ultrasound machine, which was a surprise. I didn't expect an ultrasound this time.

We waited a while when the nurse came in. Apparently, Dr. M was at the hospital delivering a baby and it was going slower than expected. So I had to leave and reschedule. Bummer!

We go back Monday now instead, and the nurse mentioned Dr. M would definitely do the ultrasound then.

The confusing thing about the ultrasound is I thought this appointment was to go over the results of the ultrasound I had last week at the perinatologist's office. I am wondering why Dr. M wants to do another one. I hope he didn't see something in last week's pictures that was alarming. I'm trying not to go to the scary place of "what if", and just look forward to seeing little Beanie again. :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Baby's Choice

Thanks to Gina for sharing this poem with me. I always wondered... maybe God made me wait so long to become a mother, not because it wasn't the right time for ME, but because it wasn't the right time for our baby. Perhaps he or she was saved to enter the world at a special chosen moment. Anyway, this poem made me think those thoughts again...

Did you ever think, dear Mother,
As the seeds of me you sowed,
As you breathed new life inside of me
And slowly watched me grow,
In all your dreams about me
When you planned me out so well,
When you couldn't wait to have me there
Inside your heart to dwell,

Did you ever think that maybe,
I was planning for you, too,
And choosing for my very own
A mother just like you?
A mother who smelled sweet and who
had hands so creamy white,
A tender, loving creature
Who would soothe me in the night?

Did you ever think in all those days
While you were coming due,
That as you planned a life for me
I sought a life with you?
And now as I lay in your arms,
I wonder if you knew
While you were busy making me,
I was choosing you!

~ Colleen M. Story ~

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Mother’s Instinct

I guess I already have it.

Or maybe it’s not the mother’s instinct, but listening to that still, small voice.

I have had a head cold for a couple weeks now. Last week, it felt pretty severe so I went ahead and called my doctor. I didn’t know if I had an infection or if it was just something my body would work through. Either way, I thought it best to check it out.

My doctor was out of the office and, because 2 other doctors from the practice were gone as well, they told me to go to an urgent care. I was nervous… I think I went to urgent care once as a teenager and it wasn’t a great experience. I tried to be positive and headed over there.

After waiting 2 1/2 hours, I was finally called into see the doctor. He walked into the room, sat down at his desk, asked me about 2 questions and then told me I needed to be injected with allergy meds. He made this declaration without looking at me at all: not in my nose, not in my ears, nothing. When I questioned this and asked to call my OB first to confirm it was okay to take the injectable med, he became irate, and told me I must know it all then. He refused to consider another option except the injectable (his words).

I had explained that it took me nearly 8 years to become pregnant, I had a previous miscarriage, and lost a twin this time. I explained that this has caused me to be extra cautious about taking medicines. He didn't care saying, "Lots of women are in your position". He told me it was his way or no way, and stormed out of the room.

He never came back, so I waited a bit and finally went into the hallway to hear him telling a nurse, "Don't give her anything, she can fix it herself". I went back into the room.

The next thing I knew, the nurse entered the room with the injectable medication. I took one look at it and felt like I had been punched in the gut. It wasn’t the needle (I am an injection pro now; I could have given it to myself!). Something deep inside said, “Don’t let her give you that medicine”. So instead I asked the nurse for the name of the drug, called my OB, and they told me to go somewhere else immediately.

Because they ran my insurance and collected the co-pay *prior* to seeing the doctor (I have never heard of this before), they refused to reverse it. Thus, I was told my insurance would not pay for another visit to a different urgent care. My last 10 minutes in that office consisted of the front desk nurse telling me *I* had refused treatment and she felt really bad and all but that’s the way it is.

Commence uncontrollable crying.

I drove myself to another urgent care for attempt number 2. I cried the entire 45 minute wait. I had never been treated like that by a doctor. I felt shocked, degraded, sick and miserable.

When they called me back, I was apprehensive to say the least. Luckily, the second doctor was wonderful. He put Beanie’s well-being first, exploring different options to bring relief without harming the baby. I ended up with a topical medicine that went straight into my nose, not through my blood stream. He also commented on my experience with the first doctor, saying it was ridiculous to immediately inject a pregnant woman with allergy medicine when there are so many other, less invasive options available to consider. He urged me to report the first doctor, and to fight with my insurance on covering that visit. I paid cash for the second urgent care trip, and was so grateful I had the means to do so.

(UPDATE: A few days later, I went to see my Primary Care doc. She diagnosed me with a severe sinus infection, ear infections AND strep throat! No wonder I was so miserable!)

When I got home, I googled the medicine the first doctor wanted to inject me with. It stays in your system, radiating the medicine from the injection site, for three weeks. So for weeks 9 – 12 of my pregnancy, I would be absorbing a medication with the following warning:

This medicine should be used with care during pregnancy as not only could it endanger the mother, but it could also endanger the life of the fetus. In addition, it has the ability to hinder the growth of the baby. Corticosteroids act as catalysts, and may increase the danger of slow or retarded growth of the fetus. The medication may even impact the baby’s immune system by hindering the development of baby’s steroid hormones after birth.

It’s possible I could have taken that drug and everything would have been fine. But it is also possible the result could have been very bad. Regardless, I am thankful I listened.

On a lighter note, Ryan thought it would be fun to snap a pic when I was in the peak of my misery. I didn't even know he did it! Notice my sweet kitties trying to comfort me... too cute!