In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~ Proverbs 3:6

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Letters to my Babies (yes, I said babies!!!) - Week 7

We are so thankful for this pregnancy! After sharing our journey through infertilty on the blog, I knew I wanted to log our newfound 40 week journey of pregnancy on the blog as well. Not knowing if I’ll ever be able to experience pregnancy again, I have chosen to log our pregnancy by writing occasional letters to our babies. The letters will keep my readers posted on how we are doing each week, but the letters will also, someday, be something that our little ones can go back and read over, as a reminder of how much he or she was loved from the very beginning of their existence. You can read week 5 here. 


Well, at seven weeks we found out that there is not just one of you inside of me, but TWO of you!!!  I can not tell you how blessed we are to be given such a gift!  It’s so surreal to think that a few months ago, I didn’t know if I would ever be able to get pregnant, and now I’m told that I’m pregnant with TWINS!!!

We have been suspecting twins from the very beginning of this pregnancy.  The initial blood work indicated that there might have been more than one of you when the test results revealed my HCG levels multiplying so fast.  However, only an ultrasound could confirm our suspicion.  Our very first ultrasound was a few days ago, and when the doctor gave me a big grin and held up two fingers during the first ultrasound, Mommy and Daddy were ecstatic to see the image of twin babies on the screen!  Two sacs were immediately seen, and the first heartbeat was detected rather quickly.  The doctor had a harder time finding the second heartbeat, which certainly brought a few moments of uneasiness, but once the second heartbeat was finally detected, happy tears of relief, gratitude and pure joy filled both Mommy and Daddy’s eyes.  It was so special to see your little heartbeats during our first ultrasound.  At only seven weeks, you have already begun developing major organs and have begun to sprout tiny arms and legs.  You are now the size of blueberries.  Still so very tiny, yet so full of life!

 I wish I could say that the effects on Mommy’s body were as tiny as you are, but that is not the case at all!  Mommy is still very tired and takes naps as often as I can.  Even less enjoyable than the fatigue is the constant state of nausea in which I now live.  I haven’t really been throwing up, so I guess that is a good thing.  I know it could be much worse, but my stomach feels queasy most of time.  It’s certainly not just in the morning, although I wish it was:/  I often wake up in the middle of the night feeling sick, so I quietly sneak downstairs to grab some saltine crackers or a piece of toast to help settle my stomach before trying to go back to bed. 

     Food aversions are also a big thing for me right now.  I swear NOTHING  to eat sounds good!  It’s making it really hard for me to consume healthy foods, like vegis, that I know my body needs.  I do drink a spinach, banana, apple and pear smoothie most days, but that’s about the only fresh produce I can seem to stomach lately.  You have no idea how much I wish I could just eat my normal diet again.  I find that I am eating a lot of scrambled eggs and toast, and I snack on wheat thins throughout the day.  I am getting plenty of water, and I am doing my best to down a glass of organic, no-sugar added, prune juice on a regular basis to help with all of the lovely digestive issues that come along with being pregnant.  I swear I have never felt so bloated in all my life!  And according to my research, the only thing I can do about it is to drink prune juice, which if you can’t tell, Mommy HATES the taste of! 

I know that I must not just feel bloated, but I must look bloated too.  I know this, because today a stranger asked how far along I was!!!  I wanted to cry when I said, “only seven weeks.”  I did quickly add, “but it’s twins”, to hopefully justify the fact that someone actually asked me if I was pregnant so early in this pregnancy:/  Knowing that you are only the size of blueberries, I am very aware that you are not the reason my shorts felt a little tight this morning.  I completely blame this on progesterone.  It’s a lovely hormone that slows down digestion to make sure the both of you are getting all the nutrients you need.  While it is making you healthy and well, it is making Mommy feel bloated and miserable.  My stomach looks and feels like a giant balloon!  And just to make sure I have enough progesterone to keep you healthy and well, I have been prescribed additional 200mg of progesterone daily for the past five weeks, and I still have an additional five weeks to go before hopefully being told I no longer have to take it.  Inspite of the way I may look and feel, I am thankful for all of it!  I'm thankful because it means I am indeed pregnant, and that's something I will never take for granted!

Daddy has been a big help since I have been feeling sick so much of the time.  He helps take care of the laundry and basic house work that I am just too tired to get to.  He has also been great to run errands for me and pick up groceries on the weekends that I just don’t feel like getting out of bed.  When I do get a sudden burst of energy and have a few hours where I feel human again, Daddy has been great to try to get me out of the house.  Today, I had a few hours when I didn’t feel sick (YAY!), so Daddy took me out to dinner to celebrate the fact that we are having twins!  Although two bites into my meal, I was finished with it.  It’s the same meal I always order at this particular restaurant, but today it made my stomach turn!  Ah, the joys of pregnancy:)  Daddy also took me to get a pedicure, and best of all, we went to a few baby stores to get an idea of all of the things we can expect to purchase for your arrival.  I warned your father to not get too freaked out about the cost of having one baby, let alone two babies!  But you should have seen your father’s face when he saw for himself how much everything costs.  In all honesty, we are not really too concerned about the money part of having two babies.  We spent a lot of money to try to conceive the both of you, and we know that it will take a lot of money to provide for you.  Yet, somehow God always provides our financial needs, and we know He will prove Himself faithful once again.


Feeling beyond blessed,

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Letters to my baby - Week 5

We are so thankful for this pregnancy!  After sharing our journey through infertilty on the blog, I knew I wanted to log our newfound 40 week journey of pregnancy on the blog as well.  Not knowing if I’ll ever be able to experience pregnancy again, I have chosen to log our pregnancy by writing a weekly letter to our baby.  The letters will keep my readers posted on how we are doing each week, but the letters will also, someday, be something that our little one can go back and read over, as a reminder of how much he or she was loved from the very beginning of their existence. 


I’ve only known about your existence for a week, and yet there are no words to describe how much joy you have already brought into my life! I am beyond thrilled that God has chosen to bless us with you!  You are our miracle; our answer to prayer! 

Daddy prays over you every night and every morning.  It’s so cute to watch him talk to my tummy.  I remind him of your actual size and how you are not really in my tummy yet, but he doesn’t seem to care.  He talks to you like you can understand everything he’s saying, and it’s really quite precious.  He is going to be a great daddy!  He also sings lullabies to you every night, so I apologize in advance if you come into this world tone-deaf;) 

You are still so very tiny!  According to my pregnancy reading, you are only 5 mm.  You already have a tiny heartbeat, and you are in the process of growing your major organs.  You are growing every day, and I am only reminded that even at your size, you are still life!  
It’s amazing how such a tiny thing has already affected my body.  Fortunately, I’ve only been a little sick so far.  The biggest change I have noticed is fatigue.  I have been tired this week!  I feel like I could crash on the couch all day.  I am making an effort to rest, but I also know that doing nothing all day is not good for me.  Lucky for you, you have a determined mama.  I was determined to do all that I could to conceive you, and I am determined to do all that I can to safely bring you into this world.  Tired or not, I’m doing my best to schedule in walks each day as well as some light exercise.  After reading all about a healthy pregnancy diet, your daddy is making sure that I put nothing into my mouth that isn’t healthy for you!  He’s become the food police in our home. This could get a little annoying over the next 35 weeks, but I’m sure we’ll thank him for it later.  In all honesty, pregnancy symptoms have not been too bad so far.  I feel the same way I did when I was on several months of hormone therapy for fertility treatments.  The only difference between then and now is that instead of my body feeling out of sorts to try and get pregnant, my body is feeling out of sorts because I am pregnant.   I’d say you are definitely worth any pregnancy symptom that comes my way!
It’s still very early in the pregnancy, and there is a little part of me that fears we won’t be able to bring you into this world safely.  The doctors have been wonderful and are doing all they can for us.  So far, all of our prayers have been answered above and beyond, and everything is looking to be very good even though it’s still early.  Overall, I have a peace about this pregnancy.  I know that the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.  However, I am choosing to believe that God will answer our prayer, and we will be able to deliver you full term, safely and without any complications.  I truly believe that and have a peace that all will be well.


Monday, August 5, 2013

Infertility Update: We are Pregnant!

For this child have I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him: I Samuel 1:27

For those of you following our infertility journey, you know that by now Matt and I should have known if our treatment plan for July worked, or if we needed to move onto our treatment plan for August.


I am very excited to share with you all…


…that our July fertility treatments WORKED!!!!


YES, we are PREGNANT!!!!



          The above picture was taken last week.  We have known about this exciting news for a few days, but decided not to share the news until we went through two rounds of beta testing to confirm that the baby is developing as it should be and that the pregnancy is viable….meaning that at this point, there are no signs of an upcoming miscarriage.   If I didn’t have this blog as my platform to open up about our journey with infertility, I’m certain that we would not be sharing our joyous news this early in the pregnancy.  I guarantee, we would wait until the first trimester was over to go public with this news.  However, since so many people do know where we are at on our journey, it would be really hard to keep such news a secret for long;)

          In some ways, I think going through the valley of infertility has robbed us of the normal pregnancy experience that most people get to enjoy.  For most people, a pregnancy may go something like this: you take an HPT and find out you're pregnant, celebrate with those you love, schedule your first OB ultrasound for around 8wks (fully expecting to hear the baby’s heartbeat and share a very happy moment with your significant other), plan fun ways to publicly announce your pregnancy (maybe with a fun photo shoot thanks to all of the wonderful Pinterest ideas), and then go on your merry way for the remainder of the pregnancy enjoying (or maybe not-so-enjoying) all of the things that come along with being pregnant.   

          For us, it is a little different.  We are trying to take one thing at a time.  We have what we are calling our pregnancy hurdles. We've already had two hurdles, and we're not even quite five weeks pregnant yet.  We had to get through two rounds of blood work this week, and the next hurdle is our first ultrasound.  As many who struggle with infertility know, getting pregnant is one thing (one really BIG thing for us, because we have not been able to achieve it until now), but staying pregnant is another.  The same factors that contributed to our infertility also put us at a high risk for an early miscarriage.  The doctors are keeping a close eye on me.  So far so good, but it’s still really early in our pregnancy.

     When I took my HPT (home pregnancy test), it was the first and only HPT I took this cycle.  I took the test at 13DPO (days past ovulation) fully expecting a negative result.  I mean, of course I always hope for a positive, but the reality is that I’ve probably taken over a hundred HPTs since we’ve been trying to get pregnant, so I am groomed to expect a negative.  Plus it was still early….before an expected period…and I didn’t ovulate until CD16.  Imagine my surprise when I immediately saw two pink lines and realized we were very PREGNANT!  I was elated to say the least.  From our bathroom, I screamed to Matt, who was still in bed, that WE WERE PREGNANT!!!!  He jumped out of bed, even more surprised by the news than me, and we hugged each other and cried for what seemed like a very long time. I mean, we cried!!!!  We rejoiced and gave thanks for what we knew was a miracle!  I was screaming and crying with such emotion that words could not even come out of my mouth!  Matt too was crying with joy, and he rarely cries.  

          That exciting moment could only last a short time before my reality set in.  I knew that whenever we did get pregnant, I was at a high risk for a miscarriage.  I called my RE first thing that morning, and they wanted me to come in for beta testing immediately.  I was a little apprehensive about the results of my blood work.  For most women, a postive HPT would be enough to keep them excited, but I only had a few hours to enjoy the HPT before worrying about the bloodwork.  I knew they were not only looking at my HCG levels but also my progesterone levels.  Progesterone is vital to achieving and maintaining a pregnancy.  I do not make enough progesterone on my own, so I am prescribed progesterone post ovulation and will have to take it until 10 weeks of pregnancy.  Three hours after I had my blood drawn, the nurse called with my results.  Fortunately, the progesterone levels looked good!  The HCG results were also good in my first round of betas!  I mean.... VERY good!!!  HCG is the hormone that a woman’s body makes during pregnancy, and an HPT is positive when HCG levels are as low as 5.  I was only 4 weeks pregnant and my HCG levels were 362.  Implantation occurs anywhere from 7-12DPO, and then HCG is usually detected 48 hours after implantation.  Doctors are looking for HCG to double every 48 hours.  The fact that I was only at 13DPO when I tested and my numbers were at 362, meant that I was probably MORE than doubling my HCG levels every 48 hours prior to our first beta tests.  That was very exciting to say the least! 

          Even with that high number of HCG, we still had some concern.  We had to go back after 48 hours to see if my numbers had doubled.  The doctors needed to make sure my numbers were doubling, and the only way to do that is to have more blood work done and compare the two results.  This was probably the most nerve-racking part for me so far. Even though my first beta results were high, it didn’t mean anything if they didn’t double in my next beta results.  If my numbers didn't double, it indicated that my body was rejecting the pregnancy, potentially leading to an early miscarriage.  I’ll admit that doubt began to creep into my mind, as I anxiously waited three hours for the test results.  I certainly wondered if this was all too good to be true.  To be honest, I will probably still have a lot of those moments throughout this pregnancy, considering how hard it was for us to even get to this point. When the phone call came with the second tests results, taken 72 hours after the first, they came back at 1,783.  YAY!!! They more than doubled.  The doctors seemed happy enough with those results to not order any more betas for me, and we do not have to go back to the RE until August 21, for our very first OB ultrasound! I have had numerous fertility ultrasounds, so it is very exciting to know the doctors will be looking for a baby instead of just looking for something wrong with, what I have come to call, my broken ovaries and uterus.

          We are excited about our first OB ultrasound, but also a little nervous.  Again, when you’re told you are at a high risk for a miscarriage, it kind of makes you on edge.  The ultrasound will put us around 6wks 5dys.  We are praying that we hear a healthy baby’s heartbeat during our first ultrasound and are given the green light to leave the care of our RE and move onto the care of an OB.  I think when I finally hear the baby’s heart beat I will be able to relax a little and this whole thing will seem more real for me.  Even if the ultrasound turns out fine, I think the first trimester is still going to be the scariest part of this pregnancy for me, simply because the first trimester is when the risk for a miscarriage is at its highest.

          So that’s where we are on our journey.  A pregnancy has been achieved, and we are currently at 4wks 3 days!  It is still VERY early, so please keep us in your prayers.  We are thankful for the positive HPT and the good results from my blood work.  We also know we still have a very long road ahead of us, and these next few weeks are critical.  Thank you to all who prayed for me and encouraged me through this journey.  Infertility is probably the hardest thing that I have ever had to go through, and at times I thought that I would never be able to write a blog post announcing a pregnancy. There was no greater feeling of defeat for me than when I was told that we may never be able to get pregnant, even with fertility treatments.  Infertility has groomed me to expect disappointment, but today I do not write about our disappointment… I write about our excitement and joy.  To my friends who, like me, know infertility all too well, never give up hope.  God is the God of miracles.  My journey is only proof of that.

To read more about our journey through infertility, click the following links: