Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Boy, Oh Boy...

This post is going to be all about our journey to get Baby #2 here!  And let me just tell you, it's been quite the process!  I've been wanting to write about this for quite awhile now, but you know,  life happens and honestly, I've been waiting for the right time.  A part of me felt like maybe I didn't need to write about it, cause everyone close to us knows our story, and they're all that really matter anyway, right?  But then I thought about how much writing down the process, and the little details would mean to me, my husband, this precious baby and our future children down the road.  And I don't want any of us, especially this new baby, to forget just how much we wanted him!  I also feel like maybe, somehow, me talking openly about our fertility struggles will help someone else struggling, to not feel so alone.  Cause trust me, the road to overcoming infertility can be a lonely one.

So here we go...

In my last post, I had mentioned that I had miscarried a pregnancy last November.  I believe that is where I left things... So, jump ahead to a couple of months later, back in January of this year, where I found out that I was actually expecting again!  We were so, so excited as can be imagined!  But, towards the end of February, I found myself in my OB's office, where they weren't able to find anything on an ultrasound.  I would have been about 6.5 weeks along.  I was heartbroken.  Again.  To go through that once already was devastating, but then a second time?  Extremely difficult.  I asked them why I kept having these really early miscarriages, or "Chemical Pregnancies" as they called them.  They weren't really able to give me a clear answer, but blamed it on my PCOS and irregular hormones.  Lovely. 

Fast forward to May.  After taking a little break for a couple of months from trying so hard, I had the thought that maybe it was time to try again, but with some extra help.  Jace and I discussed the situation and decided that we would have a consult with the Utah Fertility Center in PG and see what they could do for us.  They gave us the option to try their "most affordable" treatment plan, that would in the end still be costing us close to $700, all out of pocket.  Now I know that $700 may sound like nothing in the world of fertility treatments, seeing as some couples pay thousands and thousands of dollars just to get one baby here, but for us, that $700 was a huge deal.  I mean, my husband does work extremely hard to provide for us, but we aren't millionaires by any means.  Despite the money, I still felt like it was definitely something we needed to do.  I was all in.  Jace on the other hand, (aka, Mr. Frugal) felt like we were being a little too aggressive, and was very hesitant, but that's a story for another time :) So after much thought, prayer and talking to our families, we decided to go for it.  

For the month of June, I was given a medication called Femara, which is like Clomid, but supposedly a little better for you.  I was monitored via ultrasound to check my follicles weekly and had routine blood tests done.  Once my follicles were mature, I had to give myself what they call a "trigger shot" to make me ovulate, and Jace and I were instructed to have timed intercourse (takes the fun right out of it, let me tell ya).  Then we waited for two weeks... (Longest two weeks of my life!)  After two weeks had passed, I was scheduled to go in for my HCG blood test.  This would tell me if I was pregnant or not.  The result came back later that same day, and it was negative.  If you thought we were devastated before, you can only imagine our disappointment this time around!  Trying so hard and being unsuccessful sucks yes, but it really, really sucks 10 times more when you tack on a $700 price tag.  

I was sad and heartbroken, yet again.  I felt defeated.  I felt broken.  I felt alone.  I felt like no amount of money would be able to get our baby here.  And after seeing the outcome, I completely understood why Jace was so hesitant in doing the treatment.  And then I was just mad.  Mad that it hadn't worked.  Mad that we spent all that money for nothing.  I wished we hadn't done it.  I was mad when I saw friends announcing their pregnancies.  I so badly wanted that to be me.  And I was mad at the insensitive people that kept asking us when we were going to give Ava a sibling.  If only they new how hard we were trying to make that happen.  I was pretty bitter for a time, and was ready to give up.  In fact, I came really close to doing just that.  Then I thought of a lesson we had in church a few weeks prior.  The lesson was on prayer, and there was one part that really stuck out to me: 

"Often God gives us the power to help answer our own prayers. As we pray for help, we should do all we can to bring about the things we desire."

As I read that over and over again, the anger I was feeling slowly went away.  Yes, it sucked that we spent all that money and were unsuccessful.  But we were TRYING.  Yes, $700 is a hefty amount to fork out for nothing, but we WERE able to do it, and not break the bank.  Maybe that treatment at the center did help my body get regulated in some way, we will never fully know, but we were doing ALL THAT WE COULD to bring about our desire to have another baby, and our Heavenly Father recognized our efforts.  I was ready to try again and move forward with faith.

Before doing another month of treatment with the fertility center,  I decided to go back and see the OB I had when I got pregnant with Ava.  Just to see if she could do anything different for me.  My meeting with her was so refreshing.  After months of so much heartbreak and negativity, she said things to me that gave me hope again.  I remember specifically one thing she said was, "Don't stress.  You've done this before.  You'll do it again.  We'll get you pregnant."  Such wonderful, encouraging words to hear after feeling so defeated.  

She put me on Femara, the same medication that the center used, but at a higher dose.  Because of my PCOS, I was taking a medication called Metformin and she increased that dosage as well.  Then she sent me on my merry way, and said good luck!  I was a little shocked.  I felt like there needed to be more to it.  After the weekly ultrasounds and blood work I had done at the center, I felt like just popping a few pills a day wouldn't be enough.  But, I went with it, and trusted her knowledge.  And I think the most important thing I did was RELAX.  

3 weeks later, I got a positive pregnancy test :) 

I felt every emotion possible with that pregnancy test.  I was happy, excited, and overjoyed!  And at the same time I was nervous, anxious and terrified.  Terrified that it wouldn't last.  After miscarrying twice before, it's almost something you expect to happen again.  I called my OB right away and scheduled my first appointment, which would take place when I was 6 weeks along.  The 2 weeks leading up to that appointment were hell.  I was an anxious mess.  Everyday expecting the worst.  The day of my appointment couldn't come soon enough.  But when it did, oh what a joyous day it was!  When we saw our little peanut on the ultrasound screen, with his perfect little fluttering heartbeat, the relief we felt was indescribable!
We knew we had a long way to go, but actually having proof of a viable pregnancy, really helped to ease all of our doubts and fears.
I was seen again 2 weeks later, when I was 8 weeks along, and everything still looked great!  

And then we went to Disneyland! (A trip that was already planned and paid for 6 months prior).  Perfect timing eh?  No matter how hard you try, you CANNOT plan this baby business!  And trust me, we tried! 
Despite the 100 degree temperatures, being 9 weeks pregnant, and sicker than a dog, we did have a blast.  But that's a whole different post in and of itself. 

So, here I am.  17 weeks today.  Due in April :)
This pregnancy really has been SO different than my pregnancy with Ava.  I think I threw up maybe once with her.  It was a glorious pregnancy.  But this time around, I was much, much more sick in those first few weeks.  To the point of retching so hard (sorry, TMI) that I ended up in the emergency room.  Thankfully, that was a one time thing.  But how grateful I was to be sick!  Sounds silly I know, but that was a wonderful confirmation to me of everything working as it was supposed to!   Around 12.5-13 weeks, I started feeling tremendously better.

We found out we were having a boy when I was just over 14 weeks.  I went into the ultrasound appointment almost expecting to find a boy just because of how different I had felt and how sick I had been.  Some may call it an Old Wives' Tale, to think that gender can affect how you feel during pregnancy, but I believe it!  

As to be expected, Jace was over the moon excited to find out he was getting his boy :) Ava said she wanted a sister, not a brother and it took me a few days to wrap my head around it!  But now that we've had time to let it sink in, we are ALL over the moon!  This little man is going to be so, so loved!
And my new little boyfriend is quite the mover already!  I started feeling his little flutters around 15 weeks!  Much sooner than with Ava, but I've heard it's normal to feel the second baby sooner.  It's been so fun and such a relief to feel him.  His favorite time to move around is at night, right before I go to bed :)  

And I can't forget to mention what an angel my wonderful firstborn has been.  She is so excited to finally be a big sister, and has been such an amazing helper already.  Oh, and she's 3 now!  Where did the time go??  She and baby brother will be 3.5 years apart, which is a bigger gap than we originally intended, but I think it will be perfect.  The Lord works in mysterious ways, and I know now without a shadow of a doubt that this little boy is coming to join our family right when he is supposed to :)

And now I'm going to end this novel with a fun little series of Baby Bump pictures!  Why? Because I can :)

And yes, I forgot to take one at 14 weeks.  
Welcome to pregnancy #2 :)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Life As We Know It

I knew it had been awhile since I last posted (6 months! Really?!) and because of that I've been putting off posting again, cause well, the task seemed too overwhelming.  It still does, but I have a sick child who's been napping in 3 hour increments, so I figured, what the hell.

One word that could describe our last 6 months would be CRAZY.  I'm just going to touch on a few of the highlights, cause I know I don't want to be here all day, and I'm sure you, the reader, have far better things to do as well.

On October 25th, 2014, our not-so-baby Ava turned 2!  TWO people.  I have a freaking two year old. And my goodness is she wonderful!  They just get better with age :)  She is sassy and sweet, sensitive and hilarious.  She has turned into such an amazing little toddler, with a heart full of gold!  She is my best friend for life.  I don't know what I would do without her.  
 Like most girly 2 year olds these days (or any aged girl for that matter) she is obsessed with Frozen, so I found it only fitting to give her a Frozen themed birthday party.  It was just a small affair, but a good time nonetheless.
And it was unusually warm on her actual birthday, so we decided to take her out for a day of fun at Cornbelly's at Thanksgiving Point.  It was an absolute blast, and I'm thinking we may have to make it a tradition... weather permitting.

The holidays came and went in a blur, they always go by way too fast, but we had an enjoyable holiday season spent with family and friends! 

Daddy's 30th!



Momma's 30th!


And our very unfortunate Christmas Day car accident...
It was LITERALLY the first major snow storm of the season, so of course, all the idiots that don't know how to drive in snow were out on the roads that night.  As we were driving home from my parent's house in Springville, a lady in front of us lost control of her vehicle and we collided with her.  There was no getting around it.  As you can see, the damage was pretty extensive, the car was totaled, but we all walked away unscathed.  There truly were angels with us that night.  It was a very scary, stressful situation, and as a mother, seeing the fear in my child's face, was agonizing.  I pray we will never have to go through something like that again.  

Merry Freaking Christmas right??!

And a Happy New Year!

Which brings me to pretty much the present day, and the two main things I wanted to write about.

First and foremost, my sweet husband has taken on a new job with Netflix!  It sort of all came about really quickly, but it was too good of an opportunity to pass up.  Netflix just opened up a brand new customer service call center here in Salt Lake City, the first center directly owned and operated BY Netflix, and hired him on as one of their supervisors.  Significantly higher salary, with great opportunities for growth.  He started the first part of January and we are both super excited about it.  It's been a long time coming for our little family, so we are thrilled.

I hesitate to write about my next few thoughts, just simply because they are so tender to my heart.  But I know I will look back and be grateful I wrote them down.  Over the last, oh, 5 months or so, Jace and I have been trying to grow our family.  We always had in mind that our children would be in that 2.5 to 3 year gap (which we are still on target for!), but to be honest, I was thinking it would be closer to the 2.5 year mark.  Getting pregnant this second time around is proving to be just as difficult as it was with Ava, which in some ways, is actually harder to deal with.  My body has done this before!  It should know what to do right?  Well, apparently not in my case.  We did have a little glimmer of hope enter our lives back in November, when a pregnancy test read positive.  That glimmer was shattered just a short 2 weeks later, resulting in a miscarriage.  Granted, I wasn't that far along, but a loss is a loss.  It was still hard, and it was still heartbreaking.  

So here we are, two months later, still unsuccessful.  I understand that that's not that long of a time, but when you feel like your biological clock is ticking, it feels like an eternity!  I have been going in to my doctor for monthly blood draws to check hormone levels and such.  This last appointment showed that my body is in fact, not ovulating.  No ovulation means no getting pregnant.  I was joking with Jace the other day and said, "All that practice for nothing!"  And his response, "Well, I wouldn't say for nothing!"  Men.  (Sorry mom and dad for that tad bit of info, Ha!)  My doctor said it's time to start Clomid again, which most of you know is how we got Ava, so here we go!  Praise the Heavens for modern medicine!  If that's how I have to get my babies here, then so be it, I'll get them here! Nasty, unpleasant side effects and all.   

After thinking back on these last few trying months of our lives, I'm reminded that there is a reason for everything and that our Heavenly Father is in control.  He's been aware of my little family's financial stress, and has blessed us with a new job.  He knows my desires to bring more children into this world, and I have the faith and hope that he will bless us with another baby when the time is right.  Until then, I have an incredible little two year old who brings me such joy and happiness, and lifts my spirits when I'm down.  I know there is a reason why she came first, she is my angel :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Summer Slipping Away

Summer.  That sweet, sweet word.  It's been a busy, yet fun one for us, and I'm about to attempt the impossible. Documentation of the last 3 months!  This will probably be the Mother of all blog posts... you've been warned :) 

Mother's Day.  St. George.  Memorial Day.  And a few other odds and ends...

Before church on Mother's Day.
I simply asked her to take her fingers out of her mouth for the picture, and this is the face I got for putting in such a request.  She kills me :)
So blessed to have this incredible woman as my own Mother, and the sweetest Grandma to my Ava :) Love you Momma!

My sweet sister and her family invited us to go down to St. George with them the week after Mother's Day, to stay a few days in the condo.  We spent a day at Zion National Park, went swimming, shopping, ate out, the works.  It was a lovely little getaway! 

Memorial Day consisted of the traditional trip to the cemetery and BBQ with my family. Ava was big enough to have her own watering can this year for the flowers at the graves :)

The Odds and Ends...

The Zoo. Art City Days. And a few other odds and ends...
I'd say her first trip to the zoo was a success :) 

Art City Days Children's Parade
Art City Days Carnival

The Odds and Ends... 

The Fourth. And a few other odds and ends...

The Odds and Ends...

Granted, there is still technically one more month of 'real' summer left, which we intend to pack totally full of fun things, but, I'd say by the looks of this post, we've had a pretty good summer so far!   Until next time...