Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The End of November!

I can't believe how quickly time goes!  Today is indeed the very last day of the month and then we're mere weeks from the Christmas festivities!  And then we're only a few months from Kelly's birthday and, then after that, just a little while until summer, which means, after that, Stick should make his/her appearance into the world!  Maybe 40 weeks isn't going to go quite as slowly as I thought it would, heck, we're already a little over 1/8 finished with this pregnancy thing!

There really isn't much to update today.  The 'girls' are still ridiculously painful.  Bras hurt.  Laying on my stomach hurts.  Heck, even the fact that I'm wearing a shirt right now isn't sitting very well with them!  But I'm definitely not complaining.  =]  I could be flat on my back, sick for nine months, and I wouldn't be complaining because I'm PREGNANT!  Every sign and symptom just remind me of that and there is nothing in the world that could make me happier.  Well, winning the lottery would be a close second though.

Why am I home at 8:46 a.m. on a school day, updating my blog, you ask?  The answer, my dear Watson, is simple.  Sometimes, when you live in Minnesota (at least between the months of November and April . . . or maybe October and May), it blizzards ferociously outside and everything shuts down.  Which means, I'm home on a Snow Day today!  There are a lot of things to do on the agenda today.  The house is going to get cleaned.  Well actually, that's about it, but that one thing on the agenda really translates to about fifty because house-cleaning is a tedious process.

Kelly was planning on going muzzle loading today and tomorrow, but since we're blizzarding here, I would be surprised if he actually went.  We shall see.  Perhaps I'll end up being a hunting widow for a few more days or perhaps not.  Oh!  And another thing on the agenda for this week, Kelly has an appointment with a podiatrist for his foot on Thursday morning.  The side of his foot has been causing him significant amounts of pain for the past couple of months (it comes and goes though).  Keep your fingers crossed that the solution is going to be something simple . . . like shoe supports!  If it ends up requiring surgery, I'm not sure quite how we're going to swing that.  Of course we will, but I'm not sure how!

Monday, November 29, 2010

5 weeks!

Little 'Stick' is still sticking in there and the two of us have definitely had an eventful week! =] All the future grandmas, grandpas, great-grandmas, uncles, and aunts are aware of Stick's existence and they're all pretty excited about it!  And if that wasn't enough, Mommy managed to celebrate a holiday, turn another year older (The big 2-4!), AND finish most of her Christmas shopping for the year! Whew!

As promised, since today marks a new week in Stick's existence, here's a new belly pic to document Stick's growth and progress.

Mommy doesn't really see much of a change yet, and if there is one at all, she blames it on all the turkey that she ate last Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  Four-day Thanksgiving for the win!  The part in this week and last week's pictures that you don't see (and won't either for that matter) documents a bit more growth.  Mommy is definitely in need of upgrading her bras because her current ones just don't seem to be cutting it these days!  Thankfully, she picked up a duo of them for mega-cheap when she was Black Friday shopping so hopefully those will do the trick for a couple of months!

Oh!  And another accomplishment this past weekend was scheduling our first prenatal appointment!  Mommy and baby will be going in on December 15th and (hopefully) Daddy and Mommy will be able to get their first glimpses of Stick in the form of an ultrasound that day!  I was hoping to get in earlier, but my Ob/Gyn doesn't have a single open appointment until December 15th @ 2 p.m.!  And now that one is taken too.  At that point, we'll be at 7 weeks and 2 days, so I'm really hoping we can get some nice pictures on the ultrasound. =]

As far as symptoms go, I've actually been feeling pretty good.  The 'girls' are in substantial amounts of pain, I've been pretty seriously exhausted lately, and I swear I'm in the bathroom at least once an hour, but other than those three, all of the other ones have tapered off a bit.  I still know Stick is doing okay because I opted to use that one last EPT that was sitting in my drawer and the test line showed up even before the control line. =]  (The test line is the one on the left . . . the darker one.)

Yeah, shoddy picture I know, but HCG levels are definitely still continuing to rise!  The test line showed up fast and dark and, since I find myself in the bathroom so often these days, the urine used to test definitely had not been held for more than 45 minutes or so!

A very exciting milestone that we reached today is that we are definitely out of the danger zone for this being a chemical pregnancy!  That is very exciting because 70% of pregnancies that are lost are lost before the 5 week mark, Sticks odds of sticking in there for the whole 9 months are going up!  Go Stick go!  Currently, our odds of sticking in there are 90% and, once we hit one more week and are able to claim the six week mark, our odds of making it to viability are 95%!  Grow Stick Grow!  I can't wait to meet you next summer. =]

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

4 Weeks, 1 Day!

Feeling pretty good today. =] The 'girls' are definitely tender though!  It used to be that they were only tender to the touch, but today they hurt without even being touched.

I was able to go pick up my prescription pre-natals and folic acid today. They were a little spendier than a thought, but anything for "Stick!"  Who, I might add, is still definitely sticking in there!  Grow little bean, grow!

That aside, I don't really have much to update you on today.  We're telling Kelly's dad tomorrow though, which I'm definitely excited about about!  I'll have more to tell you tomorrow. =]

Monday, November 22, 2010

4 Week Belly Pic!

Alright, I'm going to warn you right now that this picture took countless pushes of the 10-second timer button, a lot of patience, an argument with my cat, and I slight bit of acrobatics.  Only for me to hate them all and go back and do three more sets of them.  (I'm hoping that the picture-taking process gets easier as I get the hang of it, or that the husband will be home to help me take the rest!)  Out of all of the pictures that I took, this one happens to be my favorite.  However, in the name of American squeamishness, please be aware that I am topless in it before you scroll down.  You don't actually seen anything besides my arms, belly, and the most comfy pajama pants in the entire world, but, *le gasp*, I have nothing on underneath my arms.  So, if that bothers you, please don't scroll down.

If that doesn't bother you, enjoy?  Here is the first belly pic of many, many more to come!  Oh, and no, I'm not actually showing yet . . . that's the pizza I ate earlier today.  I told you about this!

Grow baby, grow!

Oh . . . and just for comparison's sake.  Remember how faint that first line was?  Check out how dark it's gotten now!  HCG levels are DEFINITELY going up!  Go Stick!


Yep!  We've hit the four-week mark and "Stick" (as we've started to call him/her) is living up to her name and still hanging in there!  As far as symptoms go today, I couldn't eat anything this morning because I knew it wouldn't stay down if I tried.  So I just waited it out and by lunch time I was able to eat with the kiddos at work.  I totally pigged out at supper though.  I'd been craving pizza all day so I ordered in from Dominos and ate WAY too much.  I still have the stretching/heavy feeling in my uterus, which I take to mean is a good thing!  Boobs are still itchy and sore, but I think I've grown a little more accustomed to them so I don't notice them quite as much.  Still burping ALL THE TIME.  Which, as I understand it, indicates that Stick is going to have a full head of hair when s/he makes an appearance?  Oh, and I don't even think I could count as high as how many times I've peed today!  I suppose I'd better just used to that though since, according to my research, that's one of the things that happens at multiple points in the pregnancy. =]

I don't want to sit on my butt and be a lump for the next nine months, so I opted to invest in a prenatal workout video.  Used from Amazon means a whopping $8 w/shipping for a prenatal yoga video.

I'm excited for it to arrive in a week or so so I can start working out again (especially since I ate that pizza)!  Up until I got my + on that first HPT, I used to do Tae Bo off and on, but I'm guessing that's probably a bit too high impact for baby.  I mean, don't get me wrong, I still wasn't at my goal weight.  Over the summer, through diet and exercise, I managed to lose 20 pounds and I've just kind of plateaued since then.  So my pre-pregnancy weight was 205.  Not a prime weight by any means, but still a few thousand pounds lighter than a beluga whale!  In other words, am I in the best shape of my life kicking off this pregnancy?  No. But I don't look like this either:

I'm going to do my absolute best to make sure that Stick gets all the proper nutrition that s/he needs during these next 36 weeks though, and hopefully, I won't look quite like the picture above when it's all over. =] My plan is to post weekly belly pics to document the progress of Stick's growth (you can continue to compare me to the beluga whale if you'd like . . . warn me if the pictures start looking too similar!).  And, since today marks four weeks, I will be posting one today.  Obviously, you can't really see anything (besides the pizza!), but it works as a good starting point to gauge to later on. =] You'll have to check back in a few hours to see it though, because I'm going to give that pizza a chance to digest before I humiliate myself too badly!  

Sunday, November 21, 2010


It is now 1 p.m. and I have found something that I'm sure is going to amuse me for the entire rest of the day.  A baby registry!  I've been looking through the babysrus website for a couple of hours and there are so many things that we're going to need that I hadn't even thought of yet!  I'm creating a babysrus registry on-line and then I'm guessing we'll probably create a Wal-mart baby registry or something later on for people who don't like to shop on-line that we know. =] For the time being, I'm just picking everything in gender-neutral colors because, clearly, we don't know the gender yet.  And then, after we do find out the gender in, oh, February or so, we may go back through and add some more gender-specific items in.  I'm kind of liking the idea that Kelly and I find out what gender it is in February and then we wait to tell anyone else until it's born.  I'll have to run that idea by him when I see him again on TUESDAY. As I said in my previous post, he's at work all day today and then going to a concert with his mom afterwards, and then, tomorrow, I work days and he works evenings so he'll be long gone by the time that I get home from work.

Out of all of the items that I've stumbled upon on babysrus, this item has got to be by far my favorite!

It's a 'Diaper Dude Diaper Bag' for Dads!  I'm fairly certain that Kelly is going to need one.  It made me laugh pretty sincerely.  I haven't shown it to him yet because he's at work.  Maybe I'll e-mail him the link.

Yep.  So I'm going to be adding items to our registry the rest of the day if anyone needs me!  Suggestions from any 'already moms' out there about things that I'm probably going to need but not realize until AFTER the baby is here?

EDIT:  Oh!  And if anyone wants to come stalk my registry, our registry # is 46219282 at www.babiesrus.com!

3 weeks, 6 days!

Good morning Internet world!  It's hard to believe that five days have already passed since we got that first positive HPT!  Every day that it sticks, it gets a little more likely to stick the whole nine months!  Can't wait to meet him/her. =]

Not much going on this morning, my husband is working and then he'll be going with his mother to a concert (Let's see if he manages to keep the secret!) which means I'll be hanging out at home by myself all day.  I go back to work tomorrow but it's only a three-day week (Thank you Thanksgiving holiday!) which means it will be pretty laid-back. =]

The only new symptom I've developed recently is that, since yesterday evening, my boobs have been ridiculously itchy!  And it hurts to scratch them because they're tender as well.  Looks like it's time to break out the lotion!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Telling the Parents!

Currently, there are three people that know about our pregnancy (that is, aside from the two of us, the doctor, and most of the on-line world).  Those three people are my husband's step-mother, my best friend, and one of my co-workers.

My best friend, Heather, has been with me every single step of the way.  I've probably cried on her shoulder more times than I've cried on Kelly's, just because I was trying to do my best to stay strong for him.  That woman has saved my sanity more times than I could ever thank her for.  My husband's step-mother, Nancy, knows as well.  She knew about our struggle with infertility.  We're very open about it and she's an amazing support system. =] She texted me the day after we got our first bfp (see pic on previous post) commenting on everything that we had to go through to get this baby.  Well, OF COURSE I had to tell her!  She's been helping me share my excitement these past few days while we do our best to keep it a secret for a while longer!  And one of my co-workers knows because I missed Thursday and Friday of work and felt the need to explain my absence. XD I trust her whole-heartedly with the information until we're ready to tell everyone ourselves. =]

We had originally been hoping to keep it a secret until we were safely into our second trimester, but I just don't think it's going to happen that way.  My mother-in-law happened to be with my husband when he picked up the 3-pack of FRER tests the other day and my sister-in-law called the next morning subtly wondering about them, I doubt we're going to be able to get through Thanksgiving next Thursday without encountering 'the alcohol test' on multiple occasions. So we decided we're just going to go with it. =]

Assuming everything is still hunky-dory by Thanksgiving, we picked up some baby bibs to give to our parents to let them know that we're pregnant. =]

We're going to gift wrap them and present them as early Christmas presents!  By that point, we'll be just shy of five weeks, so the danger of this being a chemical pregnancy will be past at least.  While I was on my way home from my doctor's appointment yesterday, I stopped by Wal-mart and picked up "What To Expect When You're Expecting."  One of the bits of information that it gave in there (I haven't read the whole thing yet) was to THINK POSITIVE!  So that's exactly what Kelly and I are doing for now!  As of right now, I am most definitely pregnant, so we're going to go ahead and plan ahead!  This baby is GOING to STICK!  We're comfortable telling the parents so early (and then, by default, the siblings and grandparents as well), because even if something does happen (which it WON'T!) it would be nice to have those shoulders to cry on as well (even though that's NOT going to happen!).  We're going to tell Kelly's dad on Wednesday evening (we're going over there for supper and, as I said, his step-mom already knows), his Mom on Thursday at Thanksgiving, and my parents on Friday after Black Friday/birthday shopping (It's my 24th birthday on Friday!).  I'm excited for their reactions! =]

While we were picking up the grandma/grandpa bibs, they also had a three-pack of bibs that was ON-SALE for 1/2 price that was pretty darn appropriate for us.

  We are a very outdoorsy couple and my husband's favorite color (I know it's not really a color) is camouflage!  And heck, even if it ends up being a girl, she'll probably be a tom-boy anyways. =]  

A couple of years ago, I was in a little gift shop miles from home on a school trip and there was a little pink camouflage shirt that said 'Future Hunter' on it.  I bought it.  Just because I knew that I probably would never be able to find it again!  That's the only article of baby clothing that I've boughten up until this day, and now I have free reign (financial constraints notwithstanding) to buy whatever baby things I want!  I can't even begin to describe how excited I am!  How excited we are actually, I should say!  Kelly has been ridiculously adorable since the doctor confirmed the pregnancy yesterday (he'd be appalled if he knew I was typing this!).  He's so concerned and thoughtful!  He worked a ten-hour shift today and then wouldn't even let me cook supper!  He was determined to come home and make supper for me even though I've been at home basically sitting on my butt all day and he was working. So I let him.  And while he was making supper, he over-analyzed the labels on EVERYTHING making sure that it was pregnancy-friendly. "You can have this, right?"  "Are you sure this okay?"  And he keeps just smiling and rubbing my belly like I'm a good luck charm or something. =] He's about the cutest, proudest thing I've ever seen right now!

Oh!  And I also wanted to summarize my two-week wait symptoms here for any of the other women who are following this that are still working on their miracle. =] The first thing that I noticed was that my Metformin (for the Insulin Resistance) tasted different.  Whereas, before it had never had a taste at all, it suddenly tasted like floral perfume.  I thought it was the strangest thing!  But I kept taking it anyways.  Also, just a day or two before I tested, I had a round of cramping that lasted for just a few minutes that led me to believe that my period was indeed on it's way, but no spotting, no blood, no nothing.  Also, there was a 'heaviness' around the area of my uterus that I attributed to my body getting ready to bleed.  Other than that, nothing.  Now that I've found out though, I've been 'hyper' aware of my uterus, almost as if I can feel it stretching.  It's not quite the same as cramping though, similar, but different.

The Very Beginning

The beginning is a good place to start, is it not?  My husband, Kelly, and I were married on June 30, 2007.  I was 20 and he was 24.  We didn't know quite what we were getting into, but we were excited and in love.  Thankfully, those two things have not changed over the past three years together.  We knew that we always wanted to be parents so the last thing I did before we got married was drop the birth control pills.  We didn't think it would take too long, I mean, getting pregnant is easy.  Right?  Actually, you'd be surprised.  Some people are able to just spread their legs and create life, for a lot of others, it's not quite so easy.  It didn't happen and it didn't happen and it didn't happen.  At the time, it was half a frustration and half a relief.  As I said, I was 20 when we got married.  I was also in the summer between my sophomore and junior year in a four-year college program.  As disappointed and let-down as I was sometimes during those first two years, it was probably ultimately for the better and I'll readily admit that now.  Trying to finish college, working three jobs to pay the bills, and trying to support a marriage and a child would have been difficult.

But then I finished college.  Still nothing.  Which means, in the summer of 2009, I went to the doctor's.  The doctor that I visited didn't seem too concerned that my periods were weeks long at a time.  She off-handedly told me that I probably had PCOS (poly-cystic ovarian syndrome) and ordered me a three-month supply of a progesterone supplement to get my cycles back into whack.

It worked great . . . for the three months that I was on it.  And, actually, the next month was okay too.  But then everything fell apart again.  By this point, I was already thrown back into the swing of a new school year as the teacher this time and had other things on my mind.  So I let the idea of becoming a mother fall by the wayside again for awhile.  The school year ended and the next summer rolled around.  By this point, we had been married for three years and still remained childless.  I began to get angry, which, in turn, threw me into action.  I had always hoped before that things would just happen on their own, like they were supposed to, like they seemed to do for everybody else.  But now, I didn't care if it happened all on it's own or not, I just wanted it to happen.

So I did my research and I found an OB/GYN that specializes in treating women with infertility issues, especially PCOS.  I was terrified, but I bravely went in to that first appointment in July of 2010.  I'm a woman.  I'm strong.  But I knew that if she told me that there was no chance for us, no hope for us to ever be parents naturally, I would fall apart.  I think that's one of the reasons that I waited so long for that first appointment, because I was terrified that that might be our prognosis and I didn't want that.  In that case, it would have been better not to know.  I would rather have remained ignorant and hopeful.

Thankfully though, that was not our verdict.  The doctor was very optimistic.  She ordered a battery of infertility tests and, at that very first appointment, informed me that I was probably Insulin Resistant as well as having PCOS.  She determined this by looking at the back of my neck and my under arms and observing something called Acanthosis nigricans.  Which, translated, means that there was a darkening of the skin on the back of my neck and underarms that typically indicates that a person has Insulin Resistance.  Of course, she needed a blood test to verify the diagnosis.  So they took a vial of blood from me.  In fact, they took seven vials of blood from.  What they all tested for?  I still don't know.  But either way, the diagnosis of Insulin Resistance was confirmed and I was given a prescription for a medication called Metformin.

Metformin is a miracle drug.  Immediately, I lost weight without even trying.  (I had lost about 15 pounds already with significant effort.)  I quit bleeding for weeks on end and, most importantly, thanks to the Metformin, I started to ovulate!  In retrospect, I don't think that I had ovulated ever before in my life.  I bled, but now, I do believe that the multi-week-periods were actually anovulatory bleeding.  As soon as I had that first appointment, I started charting my basal body temperature (Did you know that, after your ovulate, your basal body temperature goes up nearly an entire degree?).  I started taking folic acid and calcium and complex b vitamins.  I drank more water and less soda.  I was determined.

The first time I ovulated in my life, I was 23 and it was August 29th, 2010.  The husband and I made sure to have sex on all the right days because I was educated and I knew when the right days were for me.  So we had sex, and then some more, and then a few more times, just to be sure.  And then we waited.  For two weeks.  I was so sure, so very sure that I must be pregnant.  I had ovulated, his sperm analysis had come with a go-ahead, and we had done our very best to make sure that they were in the same place at the same time.  I was so sure.  But I was wrong.  I've never been so devastated as I was that day when my period started.  We'd done everything right and it had all gone wrong.  What if this was never meant to happen for us?  What if I would never be able to give my husband the child that he so longed for and deserved?  Again, I thought about leaving him so that he could find someone that would be able to make a father.  I was broken.

But, after I few days, I got over it and started looking towards the next cycle.  If the Metformin had been able to make me ovulate once, why not twice?  So I continued to chart my basal body temperature, to pee on the flimsy, little ovulation predictor sticks, to make sure that we would be ready when the sex really mattered.  And, sure enough, I ovulated!  It was still later than most women with regular cycles typically ovulate (26 days after the start of my period), but that didn't matter.  I was ovulating!  So, again, we did our best.  And, again, we failed.

I had something to look forward to this time though.  Along with the battery of tests that had been ordered for me was something called an HSG, or, in doctor lingo a Hysterosalpingogram.  This particular test has the possibility of being quite painful.  High-contrast due is inserted into your uterus through a catheter and it's progress is viewed on a live x-ray machine.  This test is used to determine if there are blockages in the fallopian tubes that might be stopping conception from taking place.  Even more exciting, this particular test has the possibility of increasing fertility for a month or two after it occurs because it clears out any minor blockages in the fallopian tubes!  

So, as my second cycle came to an end, I called and set up my HSG.  And then, a few days later, I went in for it.  Again, I was terrified.  Would it hurt?  Would my tubes be blocked?  What was the result going to be? Thankfully, oh so thankfully, it was nowhere near as bad as I had expected it to be.  My husband was not allowed in the x-ray room to hold my hand as I had hoped he would be, but it was okay.  It hurt, but not too badly.  And, even more importantly, my tubes were clear!  Which meant, as soon as this cycle was over, I was going to start my very first round of Clomid on my next one.  Clomid is first-round fertility drug that's used to help encourage women's ovaries to ovulate.  We were going to get some help in this whole baby-making process. =]

So I continued to chart, did our best to do the horizontal mambo around the time when I ovulated this cycle, but didn't really have much hope for it.  All eyes were on starting that Clomid next cycle.  That was sure to be our ticket to becoming parents!

I held off on taking a home pregnancy test until 10 days past ovulation (usually, I started on 9 days past), which, for the record, was Wednesday, November 17th at about 9 p.m.  I mean, it would be negative anyways.  They always were.  The Clomid was what we were aiming for, looking forward to, that was our golden ticket out of infertility land!  But, much to my surprise and disbelief, this is what I saw:

The line is faint, very, very faint.  But it's there.  And, if you're taking a pregnancy test, it doesn't matter how faint that second line is, if there are two lines, your eggo is preggo.  I showed it to Kelly and asked him what he saw.  He saw the second line too! I wasn't hallucinating!  (In response to looking at it though, the very first thing he said was, "I think I just touched your pee." XD)  The next day, I took three more pregnancy tests, sure that first one was a fluke, but, lo and behold, the second line stayed, even got a  little darker.  Either way, it was definitely visible on each of the tests the next day.  The whole dang box of them must be a fluke, I figured.  They were a new kind of strips that I hadn't used before.  The whole thing must be broken.  So I sent my husband out to buy some store-bought ones, they were more accurate, right?  I mean, how much value can you really get out of something you spent $0.20 on on-line?

Much later than I was hoping for, he came with a box of three First Response tests.  I stole the bag from him and ran to the bathroom.  Three minutes minutes later, this is what I saw:

There was still a second line!  Okay . . . maybe all the Internet cheapies weren't broken!  First thing next morning, I called and scheduled an appointment to verify that I really wasn't hallucinating.  They had one appointment open for the entire day with a general practice doctor that I'd never heard of before.  I took it.  And then I took two more pregnancy tests to see if that miraculous second line was still there.  And then I waited until 3:15 and saw a foreign doctor that I can't even remember the name of now (this was  yesterday). All I know is that he reminded me of Fez from "That 70s Show".  He gave me a physical, shipped me off to lab for a urine sample, and then Kelly and I waited in the doctor's room for twenty minutes while they gathered up the results.  The doctor was smiling when he came back into the room.  Is that a good thing or a bad thing?  Is he smiling intentionally or does he just smile a lot?  And then, he shook my husband's hand and gave him a hearty congratulations and told us to call next week to set up our six-week prenatal appointment.  Believe it or not (I'm still not sure if I do), I'm pregnant.  Today, as I type this, I am 3 weeks and 5 days pregnant, which translates to barely pregnant, but pregnant nonetheless.

I don't know what I'm going to do with that Clomid sitting in my medicine chest . . . it doesn't look like I'm going to be needing it now because, in 254 days, on August 1st, 2011 (or thereabouts) we're going to be parents. =]