Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Growing Baby Pace

We are so excited to welcome a new little man into our family this coming week; induction scheduled for Thursday, November 25. And, while it seems (in my head) that I have a bazillion things left on my pre-baby to-do list, I keep writing this post in my I'm pretty sure that means I need to get it out of my head and documented officially.

First of all, I want to say that pregnancy is not something that I enjoy. However, I love my babies and I love the entire process of getting there here healthy and safe. That may sound contradictory, but let me explain. Although I do not get as sick as a lot of women do, I still get sick! Any ounce of sickness is sickness...and it's not enjoyable. When I was pregnant with Holland I threw almost daily right up until an hour before she made her debut. My morning sickness remedies included medication and avoiding anything that looked, smelled or resembled chicken! With Taggart I was in constant nausea and throwing up several times a week until about August, which was three months before his arrival. During my pregnancy with him I did acupuncture, and although expensive, it worked! And now this little man, the morning sickness drastically reduces and all but subsided around the beginning of September, which was months ago. I credit essentials oils, as crazy as that may seem to a lot of people, to curbing my nausea - sniffing, diffusing, putting dabs under my tongue. Like, I kind of became crazy oil lady trying anything and everything. And, thank heaven I did - it literally has helped me through this pregnancy.

The other thing about pregnancy is that, although I am a naturally small person (5'1" & 100 lbs.), I am NOT NOT NOT a small pregnant person. And, I'm so over caring about that! I've spent my time comparing myself to others - mostly to my own mom's and mother's-in-law accounts of their pregnancies. Mine have been nothing like theirs. I stop exercising early on, you can totally and completely tell that I am pregnant from looking at my backside, and I gain at least 35 lbs with each pregnancy. Yes, yes, I lose the weight after, although definitely not immediately. I just need to put this in writing - for Holland's sake - that if she finds herself not looking model perfect when pregnant, and not loving the process much, it's TOTALLY FINE...AND NORMAL!

The journey to get three babies here has been amazing! Hard? Yes. But amazing! When we first were married my age was already a concern. I took birth control for the first month and then we nixed it and decided to just see what could happen. By October I had a positive pregnancy test! My due date was August 2010. Sadly, and seriously a lot more devastating than I could have imagined it would be for me, I had some spotting and went in for an ultrasound. It was a blighted ovum - no actual baby in the gestation sac! The doctor suggested we join a study at the University of Utah (U) for women who are currently trying to get pregnant and have had at least one pregnancy loss. I remember sitting in the doctor’s office, after having been escorted from the ultrasound office and then through the "employees only" door, thinking how much it sucked that I had had such a long journey to find a husband, and now I was about to have a long journey to having a child. And Tyler wasn't there with me. He was golfing and stuck there since he hadn't driven himself. He felt awful. I felt sad and alone and mad. I cried a lot! And I waited for the doctor for a long, long time - although really, I have no idea how long it was.

So next we joined the study at the U. It was a study to see if taking baby aspirin helped sustain pregnancy. I was given the meds (placebo or aspirin) and a fertility monitor. I think it was six months, and nothing happened. No positive pregnancy tests. Our next step was to meet with a fertility specialist. We went in for the first visit and left with a prescription for Clomid. All I had to do was wait for my period to start and then begin the medication. I waited, and waited, and waited. Finally I called the doctor's office and asked if I should just start the medication because my period hadn't yet started. The nurse suggested I take a pregnancy test. Oh! Okay. And....the test was positive! Due date: April 27, 2011. Holland arrived the day after her due date, which seemed like an eternity, little stinker!

While still nursing Holland, I had another positive pregnancy test! Taggart was induced a few days early, on Tyler's birthday, November, 25, 2012. I nursed Tagg for a year, although we weren't preventing pregnancy otherwise. We both always felt like three children was our ideal. Honestly, I would have five more if I could! So this is when things start to get frustrating. After a year of trying (after I was done nursing Tagg) I still had not gotten pregnant. We started looking into adoption. After one particular phone interview with an adoption agency, I knew it wasn't the right thing for us; but I still wanted a baby. One night Sheri came over and we went for a walk and then talked on the back patio for a long time. It was that night that she convinced me that I should just call the fertility clinic she had gone to and see what they could help me with. It took me a while to actually make the call - it seemed expensive and a bit daunting.

We first met with Dr. Blauer at the Reproductive Care Center in Sandy, UT in June 2014. We did tests, blood work, discussed medical history, etc. The end result, I was given very little hope as Dr. Blauer showed me the chart that illustrates how fertility is affected by age. It was depressing! He said that my most hopeful outcome would be from using an egg donor; Tyler and I didn't feel that was the route for us. However, Dr. Blauer suggested we still try a few things, but made sure I was to keep in mind that he is not a miracle worker and nothing is guaranteed.

Over the course of the next several months we did a lot of testing, ultrasounds, sonohysterograms, blood draws...oh the blood draws! I stink at having my blood drawn. I took a lot of medication (orally and self-injections) such as Novarel, Bravelle, Clomid, Femara, Progesterone, Letrazolle. We did timed intercourse and two IUIs. And in the course of it all I had three positive pregnancy tests, plus one other before we even began our infertility journey. I would get so excited! One time the pregnancy actually got to the point of seeing the heartbeat during an ultrasound. However, they called me later to say that the heartbeat was irregular. After a week the baby's heart was no longer beating. At nine weeks pregnant, this pregnancy loss was devastating and discouraging!!

Then, Tyler and I had a talk about the next steps for us. This was getting expensive. Not that it wasn't totally worth it, but we had already spent $4300 (plus prescriptions) and our insurance wasn't covering any of it. We finally decided that we just needed to relax for a bit and discuss it again in a month or two if nothing happens. The very next month, with no fertility help at all, I had a positive pregnancy test! Due date: March 1, 2016.

I know that a lot of prayers and faith helped to get this little man on his way to our family, and we are so grateful and so excited to meet him next week! This pregnancy has been LONG...probably because I was technically "pregnant" four times before this successful take, so really, it seems I've been pregnant for about two least! OK - drama? Maybe. But, I never said I was great at being pregnant. I admit to the opposite; I kinda suck at this whole gestation-for-nine-months business.

On top of nausea, fatigue, aches and pains (mostly my feet, back and my right hip) there is always the guilt. That darn momma guilt! Why do I chose to sit on my bum instead of play with my kids, or sleep instead of snuggle with them a little longer at bedtime, or take a long hot bath and not let them climb in with me and splash until the floor is soaked? I want to be that fun, non-tired mom. And, I plan to be that again! I promise, my babies!!!

Anyway, now that I've gotten all of this down so that I can always look back and remember what this journey was like for real...I plan to go take a nap while Tagg is napping, Holland is at preschool and while there are currently no manuscripts that need to be worked on. Speaking of, did I mention that on top of being a mom and wife and everything that those two amazing titles include, I also work part-time as an Editorial Assistant for the Journal of the American Chemical Society? Because, I do! And now I'm feeling guilty for wanting to take a nap, so perhaps I should review that pre-baby to-do list again, or update Holland's and Tagg's baby books, or clean a room or two...

Oh, and we also still need to name this little baby who is arrive in seven short days!!!

P.S. There actually are a few things that I really do love about pregnancy: hearing the heartbeat, feeling the baby move, knowing that I helped create this little creature growing inside of me, and, of course, the amazing responsibility and opportunity that I have to be this little person's momma.
 Baby Pace #3...progression:
July 3, 2015 - 5 weeks 3 days

August 17, 2015 - 11 weeks 6 days

August 26, 2015 - 13 weeks 1 day

August 26, 2015

September 3, 2015 - 14 weeks 2 days

October 14, 2015 - 20 weeks 1 day

November 24, 2015 - 26 weeks

December 31, 2015 - 31 weeks 2 days

January 3, 2016 - 31 weeks 5 days

January 6, 2016 - 32 weeks 1 day
January 16, 2016 - 33 weeks 4 days

January 25, 2016 - 34 weeks 6 days

February 3, 2016 - 36 weeks 1 day

February 14, 2016 (Valentine's Day) - 37 weeks 5 days
And week and one day to go...

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