Friday, September 28, 2012

6 Weeks and Bumpdate

How far along:

6 weeks

How big is baby:
the size of a sweet pea

Maternity Clothes:
My pants are snug and I'm most comfortable in dresses.  I don't think most pregnant women are as bloated this early, but I'm sure it has to do with ALL of the hormones I've been on for some time.

Nada. We have a long way to go until I can feel "The Sneak" moving around in my tummy.

Food Cravings:
Fruit smoothies and popsicles

Food Aversions:
anything fried

Brandon is convinced that we're going to have a boy

Tender and enlarged breasts, fatigue, intense sense of smell, heartburn, acid reflux, indigestion, weepiness, emotional, mood swings when I'm hungry, intense drooling

What do I miss:

Best moment of the week:
Seeing the sac on the ultrasound

What am I looking forward to:
Our appointment next week and seeing the first glimpses of Baby Sneakers

"This week, the baby's jaws, cheeks, and chin will develop.  Small black dots on the face will form the eyes, and a small bump on the front of the head will turn into the nose.  Taking shape this week are the baby's kidneys, liver, and lungs.  The baby's heart should be beating 80 bpm and getting faster each day."
from What to Expect When You're Expecting 

We've made it to 6 weeks.  Even though I had spotting and bright red blood, it stopped.  We are blessed and thankful for this precious baby!

I thought we would start early with the bump pictures.  Right now, I have the "IVF Bump" from all of the hormones!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

My Crazy Appetite

Breakfast has been a difficult meal for me lately.  Nothing tastes good in the morning!  Brandon and I went to the grocery store Tuesday evening and I bought fruit to make smoothies.  I made a yummy and healthy breakfast drink yesterday and today.  The fruit is giving me a lot of energy in the mornings, and making it easier to have no caffeine.

Yesterday, I ate too much at lunch and felt miserable.  I had to sit in the floor and stretch to feel better.  My belly swells by the end of the day and I look much farther along than I am.  I'm sure a lot of it has to do with the hormones and the crazy amount of food I'm eating (I have nausea but never follow through).  For the first time ever, I'm following a meal schedule!

smoothie 8:30am
snacktime  10:30-11:30am
lunch 12:30-2pm
popsicle time 3:30-4:30pm
dinner 6:30-7:30 pm
evening popsicle 8:00pm

I have not gained any weight so far, and am still averaging around 120-125 lbs.  Brandon said he's ready for me to have a belly.  He talks to my tummy every chance he gets.  It's sweet.

We still refer to our child as Baby Sneakers, but I guess you could say his/her nickname is "The Sneak."  Brandon and I are goofballs so this fits us well.

Since our scare on Monday evening, everything has been calm.  My spotting has stopped.  I still have cramps here and there, but my uterus is growing for "The Sneak."  We are still taking each day one at a time and trying to enjoy the little moments.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Beta #3 and Doctor's Appointment

Where should I start?

Yesterday was a long day.  Before I left work, I had noticed some dark brown spotting.  When I got home after praise band rehearsal, it was much more than spotting.  I had bright red blood.  On top of that, my back had started hurting while I was at church.  I was at home by myself because Brandon had traveled for work in Mississippi.  I immediately called Sheri (my SIL) and told her what was going on.  She suggested that I call ART's after hours number.  Once I explained everything, the nurse on call asked me to come in this morning.  Brandon drove home late last night so he could go to the appointment with me.

Once we arrived, they took us back for an ultrasound.  We were not expecting to see much since we're only 5w3(4?)d along (and our original appointment wasn't scheduled for two more days).  They were looking to see if anything was causing me to bleed.  Brandon and I immediately saw the sac that is holding the baby and felt relief.  They said that everything looked great.  We're still unsure of what caused the blood, but we feel much more at peace now than we did before.
Our baby is in there! 

Last night I prayed to God asking for peace, and the health of my sweet baby growing inside of me.  As we were driving to the doctor's office this morning, I was reminded of one of the quotes from the "Unglued" bible study we're completing.

I must focus on the good God is working out in me through this situation and leave the outcome with Him.

God has this.  There will be many more scares and bumps in the road, but I know that God is covering my sweet baby.  I had fully anticipated bad news this morning, but was reminded of the power of prayer.  God is always good, but we are especially thankful that our pregnancy continues to progress.
Here are our lab results from today:
Beta #3:  6537
(doubling time of 30 hours)
Estrogen:  159
Progesterone:  77

Our next appointment is now scheduled for Tuesday, October 2, unless we need to return sooner.


Mommy is so nervous right now.  Last night, I feared that I would lose you.  I hope and pray that the doctor's know what's wrong this morning.  Mommy and Daddy already love you so much.  Please, stay tucked in tight, Baby Sneakers.

Monday, September 24, 2012

He hears me when I call

"He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
And He hears me when I call."

Why am I letting the negative thoughts creep in?  If God is for us, then who can stand against us?  Today was not a good day for me.  Everything got under my skin, and the enemy was just waiting for me to come unglued.  I stuffed, and I stuffed everything all day, until it all came spu-ing out in a tearful rage.

Up until the past few days, I have felt so much peace about our journey.  When I first saw the two lines on the pregnancy test, I was thrilled.  My beta numbers have been great.  I have all of the pregnancy symptoms, but the fear and anxiety is ever present; hiding in the dark corner of my mind.  I've done such a good job of feeling at peace until now.  Please understand, I do trust God and I trust His plan.  He has everything written.  But I keep thinking too far ahead, instead of just enjoying each day.

Most of you probably think that our journey is over now that we're pregnant.  We still have to see the fertility clinic each week to monitor our progress, and continue medications for some time.  We aren't out of the woods yet.  There's still the threat of the "m-word" which I will not speak.

I promise that I will glorify God no matter what happens.  I've always wanted to keep this blog honest, as a place I can one day reflect, and to help others with their life struggles.  God is good all of the time.  So maybe I wrote this post as a prayer.  God, give me the peace to enjoy each day of my pregnancy with this child.  Help me to trust you.  Help me to exercise self-control in moments of weakness when I feel that I am coming unglued.

Ultrasound on Thursday

After waiting all day... we are scheduled for our ultrasound appointment on Thursday at 8:30am.  On Friday, they were supposed to call me with my results and schedule my appointment.  With us, things NEVER go as planned.  Instead of calling me, they called my patient voicemail, so I stressed for an hour when I could have had access to the results.  I will always check my patient voicemail from now on, even when I explicitly express to call me on my cell phone.

Moving on along, I was not able to schedule our appointment on Friday so I called at 8:30am today.  I did not hear back from ART until 10:30am.  They wanted me to come in on Thursday, but I asked them if they had cleared coming in a day early with Janet.  Of course, they had not.  It then took them until 3pm to return my call, letting me know that I could either come in on Thursday or wait until Monday.  Seriously?!?  On Thursday I will be 5w6d pregnant.  There is still a small possibility that it's too early to see anything via ultrasound, but I refuse to wait until Monday for any type of bloodwork.  So, with that being said, we will have beta #3 and ultrasound #1 this Thursday.  If nothing is visible on the monitor, we will return again on Monday.

Today, "the enemy" has tried to take each and every chance to bring me down and make me come "unglued."  To you, my waiting to hear from the doctor seems like nothing important, but we have went through so much to get here.  Sometimes I think the doctor's office fails to remember that about their patients when we're left wondering all day.  It doesn't occur to me that they have other patients in the office and other people on the phone just like me.  They are probably doing the best that they can.  I know that I've only been upset today because I'm nervous about our first ultrasound this week.  I trust God, but it's hard to rely on Him and not my own understanding.  I want nothing more than to have a normal and boring pregnancy, but I know that probably won't be the case until we're released to our OB.

So, I apologize for whining here.  There is much more that went on today, but I won't even begin to bore you or unload all of that here.

Brandon out of Town

Brandon works for HD Supply.  He is a Renovation Sales Coordinator who visits commercial properties when they are in the process of remodeling/updating.  His territory is Alabama, Mississippi, and the panhandle of Florida.  He has been working for HD since February of this year.  He travels around town a lot, but has been making trips to Mississippi and Florida weekly.  In the beginning, I had a hard time staying at home by myself.  Now, it doesn't seem to bother me as much.

He is leaving today for some appointments around town before he drives to Mississippi.  He's usually only gone one or two evenings, but that's more complicated when I need injections!  In this particular cycle, I have only needed progesterone-in-oil (PIO) injections.  Because these are intramuscular shots, I have not administered even one of them.  With these, they are given in the hiney (IM) and it's extremely important to not hit nerve when injecting.

Rachel helped with my stim injections during our IVF cycle over the summer.  She did such a great job, but was terrified when she saw the needle for the PIO injection.  Brandon was out of town last Monday, and she administered the PIO to me for the first time.  She was nervous and so was I.  She actually gave me a "double tap," but all ended well.  Since Brandon was at the football game on Saturday, she gave my injection again.  Tonight with Brandon out of town, Rachel will again have to give me my shot.  She is now well versed in giving injections, remembering which cheek gets the stick each night, and probably sick of seeing my butt so much! =)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Christmas Shopping

I thought I would post about something other than infertility and being pregnant.  It sometimes takes over my life, but I have so many other things going on, promise!

So- you may call me crazy, but I am already 75% finished with shopping for Christmas.  I know, some of you may think I'm nuts, but December is a LONG month for me.  See, I work in a pretty popular jewelry store in Alabaster.  We sell lots of sparkly pieces of jewelry along with PANDORA jewelry.  WE STAY BUSY!

Last year, I was bringing my last minute purchases to the store to have Sarah help me wrap each morning and evening when we weren't open for business.  (I start buying early each year, but still end up with last minute gifts). I was so glad to have a sweet friend willing to help me wrap my packages, but it was stressful too.  This year, I began shopping in July.  Each year, I'm sure that I bite off more than I can chew.  Brandon and I love to buy gifts for not only our families, but our friends as well.  I'm pretty sure than I'm buying for over 50 people easily this year!  With that being said, I had to get started early.  I urge all of you to set aside a budget and some time to get started before December.  It's so much nicer to feel less stressed about the crowds and not waiting until the last minute.

So, here's a glimpse into my OCD-Type A-people pleaser lifestyle.  It's mid-September and I have packages ready to place under a tree. =)

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Wow, Mommy was really hungry yesterday.  You must be growing a lot!

Today, Daddy is going to the Alabama game and Mommy is going to work.  I usually like going to the games with Daddy, but it's too much walking for Mommy right now.  It's hard enough to stand up at work all day without taking lots of breaks (for sitting and eating).

See here's a dilemma... Daddy loves Alabama and Mommy has become mostly indifferent.  Mommy grew up going to all of the Auburn games with her daddy.  That was always a special time for me and your Grandad to spend together.  I pray that you have that with your Daddy someday.  Well, today while Daddy is at the Alabama game, your Grandad will be at the Auburn game.  Daddy has promised me that you'll be able to wear Auburn stuff too (especially if you're a little girl).

I promise to never try to sway you to pick a particular team!  We will not shout "Roll Tide" and "War Eagle" at you.  Instead, we will put more emphasis on teaching you (like your Joy taught Nesia) to say "Praise God!"  I think that will be more fitting than having you yell words that hold no meaning.

When you're old enough, Mommy will be happy with which ever team you decide you like best.  But I can't wait to hear you say "Praise God" when you start talking.  You're going to be our little miracle and God deserves all of the glory!

5 Weeks

How far along:
5 weeks (1 day)

How big is baby:
The size of an appleseed

Maternity Clothes:
Nope.  But I have a little belly already from all of the medicine.  Most of my pants are snug.

It will be a while.

Food Cravings:
Fruity stuff, strawberry popsicles, healthy food, lots of water

Food Aversions:
Anything fried is terrible!

We won't be sure for a while

Heartburn when I'm hungry, extremely tired, enlarged and tender breasts, cramping

What do I miss:
Not a thing!

Best moment of the week:
Getting a good beta and finding out that we'll have our first ultrasound in a week

What am I looking forward to:
Seeing Baby Sneakers on the ultrasound next week

We are still pregnant!  It's truly a miracle!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Beta #2 Results

Beta #1 on 9-14-12:  67
Beta #2 on 9-21-12:  1291

That's a doubling time of 39.36 hours to those of you who understand the terminology.  (I'm still figuring out the hCG levels and such myself)

My estrogen is 168 and progesterone is 67.  For now, I will stay on my Estrace 2mg twice daily and PIO injection 2cc each evening.

From the beta numbers it looks like there's one Baby Sneakers, but we are excited nonetheless.  =)  After waiting so long, we are pregnant.  Today's numbers are definitely reassuring.

We are scheduled for our first ultrasound next Friday!

Mommy's Appointment

Today, Mommy is five weeks pregnant with you.

This morning I woke up feeling some sharp pains in my belly, but the nurses told me that it's alright.  My body is just growing to make room for you!

We went to see the angels at ART again this morning for another blood test.  Miss Ava told me that I shouldn't be drinking any dark caffeinated drinks.  Boo!

The numbers looked good today, and again confirmed that you are growing.  It looks like there's one Baby Sneakers growing in Mommy's tummy and we couldn't be any happier.  Mommy and Daddy will get to see you on an ultrasound next Friday.  God is so amazing!

Mommy bought you some presents today.  It was more fun looking at stuff for you than for me (and I never thought I would feel that way about shopping.)  I found you two cute little stuffed animals.  I'll go ahead and admit that you will be spoiled, but we have waited so long for you.

Beta #2 Today

We have our second blood test at 8:15am today.  I hope it doesn't take them all day to call us back again!  The plan is to have a high number and schedule our first ultrasound next week.

Even though Brandon and I have been over the moon excited the past 2 weeks, one of our dear friends is hurting.  Toni at Who Is This "Fertile Myrtle"? is having a terrible time.  With her second IVF attempt, she got pregnant and her numbers failed to rise.  The doctor told her to stop all supplements and wait for her beta to decrease.  Instead, her beta numbers continued to rise and the doctor confirmed an ectopic pregnancy.  As of last night, she was at the hospital getting the shot (which I assume is methotrexate).  She has went above and beyond for Brandon and I, and we both are so saddened at her situation.  Please send her your love and prayers!

I will be sure to update later this afternoon with my levels and see where we're going from here.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Excitement for Tomorrow

Mommy has a doctor's appointment in the morning, and is looking forward to finding out when we'll have our first ultrasound.  Aunt Sheri thinks it may be next week!  I can't wait to see you growing in my tummy!  God is so good.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Mommy is 4 weeks and 5 days pregnant with you, Baby Sneakers.

Even though you are only the size of a mustard seed, you already have made a huge impact on Mommy's life.  As much as I dislike eating breakfast, I make sure to have a small meal each morning.  Foods that I typically like are yucky now.  Mommy can just think about a certain food and start to feel sick!  If I wait too long to eat I feel terrible.  But you are worth it.  Mommy has waited so long to be pregnant.  Mommy and Daddy have prayed for you for so long, and that makes it all worthwhile.

Food Aversions and Other Symptoms

I have little experience with being pregnant.  With our chemical pregnancy cycle, it was over as quickly as it began.

As of today, I am considered 4w5d pregnant.  I truly had no idea that symptoms begin so quickly.  My aversion to foods began early last week.  I've always had a sensitive nose, but now certain food smells make me gag!  At the moment, I am staring at a bowl of cereal and I just can't make myself eat it.  My lactose issues seem to be worse now.  I've always had a love for waffles, but cannot make myself eat them now.  It's always been hard for me to eat in the mornings, but now I really need to make sure I have breakfast each day.

Fried food is still terrible, but I somehow managed to eat some fried chicken at Cracker Barrel last night.  I've been craving real food and fruity stuff.  I guess it's better than craving stuff that's not good for me!

I talked to Janet at ART on Monday about my cramps each day and Calcium.

  • She told me that I needed 1200mg of Calcium daily, and there's only 200mg in my Prenatal Vitamin.  She suggested a supplement since I can barely stomach milk, hate cheese, and rarely eat ice cream.  (I know, I'm un-American).  I love orange juice and I've also been able to drink small amounts of chocolate milk, but I want to make sure that my baby(ies) are taken care of. 

  • Because Brandon and I went through so much to get pregnant, it makes sense that I'm super aware of each and every little twinge and cramp.  Shockingly enough, I've been extremely relaxed since we found out we're pregnant.  Brandon is a different story!  He gets nervous whenever I mention that I have cramps.  And by cramps...they are nothing like what I experience with my menstrual cycle.  They don't necessarily hurt, but they cause me to stop what I'm doing and sit down until they pass.  They seem to be more noticeable when I'm standing up for over 30 minutes at a time.  Janet said it was nothing to worry about, that it's just my uterus growing for the baby(ies).  It's sweet to see Brandon so worried about me and Baby Sneakers.  
I'm still on the progesterone-in-oil injections indefinitely.  My hiney is super sore and lumpy!  My chest hurts constantly, and has this weird buzzy feeling.  There's no other way to describe it.  It's still so early, but I've already noticed an increase in chest size!  (I'm happy about that sign!)  I get this weird heartburn feeling when I'm hungry and I get super tired when I need a snack.  Jen and I used to share a Dr. Pepper each afternoon, but I've limited myself to one 12-oz each morning.  All of my symptoms are comforting to me.  They remind me that there's a precious baby(ies) growing inside of me.  God is so good!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mommy's Obsession

Proof of Pregnancy!


More Proof!

Such pretty lines!

Before you, Mommy had only seen two positive pregnancy tests.  That pregnancy did not last long and Mommy was heartbroken.  It took almost a year before I saw two lines again.  

Mommy has now stopped taking tests like a crazy lady.

Keep on growing in there, Baby Sneakers.  Mommy and Daddy already love you (y'all) so much!


How far along:  
4 weeks (and 4 days)

How big is Baby:

The size of an appleseed/sesame seed/ mustard seed

Maternity Clothes:
No.  But my pants have been snug for quite some time already


I will not be able to feel the baby move for a while.  For now, I just have slight cramping each day from my uterus growing to accommodate the baby(ies)

Food cravings: 

I had my first craving on Sunday evening-it was for Cheez-It crackers.  I carried the box with me to work yesterday and snacked all day long!

Food aversions: 

Anything fried makes me sick.  Cheese is now more disgusting than ever.  I can think about a food, and if it doesn't sound good, I start feeling icky and nauseated.


It's going to be a while before we know if it's a boy or girl.


fatigue, slight cramping (especially when standing), emotional moments, quick to become hungry, waking up early, frequent urination, tender and enlarged breasts.

What do I miss: Nothing!  This is the most amazing feeling in the world.

Best moment this week: 

We were able to tell everyone that we are pregnant.

What I am looking forward to: 

We have another blood test (Beta #2) on Friday and we'll have a clearer idea of when we'll have our first ultrasound.


There really is a baby growing in my tummy.  I am truly pregnant after two (plus) years of trying to conceive.  After so many delays, cancellations, surgeries, etc. we are going to have a baby!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Pregnancy Journal

I have created a pregnancy blog  to contain notes to our Baby Sneakers.  You are more than welcome to follow along.  I will continue to write here about infertility, pregnancy, and everything else in between.

Your First Presents

Yesterday, Liz gave you your first presents!  

She gave Mommy a card, and some sparkling grape juice to celebrate with.  
The superhero onesies are adorable!  Whether you're a boy or girl, you will look precious in them.  If you are a little girl, Mommy needs to go ahead and apologize for all of the superhero shirts we have purchased for you.  It's what we do.  We're a family of superhero lovers-your Daddy started it.

Joy also gave Mommy a present

It's a shirt that reads "Cherished Mom."  Remember that when I am yelling at you to clean your room- I am your CHERISHED MOTHER
!  She also gave me a book that contains sweet messages and prayers.  

Both of these ladies, Joy and Liz, have helped Mommy a great deal over the past year.  
They are part of our family.  
Your family isn't always blood.  
You will have such a large family of extended Aunts, Uncles, and cousins.  

Pregnancy & Infertility

It was amazing to tell our faith family, and make our news official yesterday.  Brandon and I have thought about getting to tell our family and friends that we're pregnant for quite some time.

We are overfilled with joy, but still reminded that we are on a long road.  When we chose to make our journey public, we knew that we wanted to share everything.  Not many people would announce their pregnancy this early, but we are not most people.  We know that we need even more prayers now to keep this baby(ies) growing each day.

Right now, I am so happy to be pregnant, yet I am heartbroken for all of the mothers who are not.  It was always hard for me to see anyone get pregnant.  Jealousy would consume me.  I would question why it wasn't me.  
A friend of mine got pregnant with her second IVF cycle, only to have her levels drop and miscarry.  I know that she is devastated, yet I cannot even begin to imagine her grief.  She has been there for me, and we have never even met.  She lives across the country, but always found time to check in on me.  When we had no idea how we would afford the medicine for our IVF cycle, she donated over $1000 worth to us.  The past few days have been difficult, because I started testing positive as her levels dropped.  Do you know that she still wanted me to update her each day?  She has provided me with so much support.
I know that many of you who follow my blog are still battling infertility.  I completely understand if following my blog now that I am pregnant is too much.  I have been in your shoes.  I have had to stop reading other blogs because it was just too hard.  I will understand, I promise.   But know that you are in my continued prayers.
Each day that we are still pregnant is a blessing.  I will not take one day for granted, because I know how easily it can be taken away.  Brandon and I have never made it this far in a pregnancy, so we feel blessed already.  Every day will come with it's own challenges, but we are choosing to trust God with our pregnancy.

I will be writing a blog specifically for my baby at for Baby Sneakers

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Faith Family

We told our faith family about you, and made your news official.  I am so relieved that we are public now.  Your Daddy and I are overwhelmed at the joy everyone else feels for your news.

It would be so easy for me to be nervous, but your Dad and I have chosen to trust God.  You are our gift from Him and He will protect you.

Early Beta Results

We went to the doctor on Friday (at 8dp6dt), and received our beta results.  I know, we went early! Surprise!!

My results:
Beta  67
Estrogen  153 
Progesterone  63

For those of you who don't understand infertility language, 
we are pregnant!
 I started testing positive on Monday, September 10.  

You have no idea how hard it was to keep our positive tests secret! 

In all honesty, I did a terrible job of keeping the positive tests secret.  Some of you pulled it out of me (cough cough Eleanna & Erica cough).  Some of you just knew that I was already pregnant-LaShawn, Stephanie, Joy!  I have walked around with the biggest grin since Monday.  

Brandon and I can honestly say that we knew we were pregnant from day one.  
We were both shocked to see the positive test show up so early on Monday morning.  It was barely a shadow of a line, but it was there.  The line grew darker each day!  

On Thursday, Sheri convinced me to call ART and ask if it was possible to come in for my beta a few days early.  Thankfully, they allowed it.  

On Friday morning, Brandon watched them draw blood from my arm, having no doubt that it would provide us with happy news.  It has been so difficult to keep this from you, my readers, but too many people who know us read my blog now.  We wanted our family and faith family to hear our news from us first.  
Our faith family has been our rock through this journey, especially with our IVF and FET cycles.  

We are so excited to now officially announce that we are expecting our blessing from God.  

This what I said at church this morning.  
It's an excerpt from my pregnancy journal to our baby(ies).  

I am thankful that God has blessed us with you.  
It's been a long road to get where we are today, but God has strengthened us and guided our path.  
My prayer is not for you to have an easy life, but for you to trust God when life is overwhelming.  
Your life has purpose and meaning.  
You were prayed into existence.  
Do not ever forget that.

Photo credit:  Shannon

Photo credit:  Shannon

Our next beta is scheduled for Friday, September 21.  
As of today, I am 4w2d (four weeks and two days) pregnant.
It will still be at least another week to two weeks before we get to see our little Baby Sneakers(plural?)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Really Pregnant

We really are pregnant.  The blood test confirmed it.  We spent hours telling everyone the happy news.

God is so good.  You are our miracle and we will thank God daily.  My heart is so full of joy, yet it aches for all the other mothers still waiting for their little ones.

I am thankful that God has blessed us with you.  It's been a long road to get where we are today, but God has strengthened us and guided our path.  My prayer is not for you to have an easy life, but for you to trust God when life is overwhelming.  Your life has purpose and meaning.  You were prayed into existence.  Do not ever forget that.

Official Test Day

Mommy went to the doctor for the official pregnancy test today.  This morning, Daddy and I saw another pretty second line on the home pregnancy test.  We didn't have to be too nervous on our way to the appointment.  =)

It seems like it's been an eternity already, just waiting on someone to call me back with the results.  We are certain that you are growing inside of Mommy, but we'd like some reassurance from the doctor.  

Official test today

Mommy went to the doctor for the official pregnancy test today.  This morning, Daddy and I saw another pretty second line on the home pregnancy test.  We didn't have to be too nervous on our way to the appointment.  =)

It seems like it's been an eternity already, just waiting on someone to call me back with the results.  We are certain that you are growing inside of Mommy, but we'd like some reassurance from the doctor.  

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sooner Appointment

Mommy called the doctor today and convinced them to let me come in sooner for a blood test.  The nurses were upset that I tested early, but understood the anticipation I must be feeling.

Mommy is so excited to have a real doctor's test confirm that you're in there tomorrow!

4 More Days

Is it Monday yet???  (Beta is scheduled for Monday, September 17!)

Believe me, I've had so much going on to keep me busy, but Monday still seems so far away.  Brandon and I have continued to believe in this cycle.

There's no room for negative thoughts on Team Baby Sneakers!  

Brandon has been out of town the past two days and returns today.  I went to an infertility support group Monday night, had praise band practice on Tuesday evening, and had bible study last night.  Tonight will be the first evening that I've been at home all week!  I have never been so thankful for such busy evenings.

*As far as symptoms are concerned...
*I'm having slight cramps whenever I stand for a period of time.
*I'm still tired after a full night's sleep.
*My chest stopped feeling so sensitive (PIO injections) and then began hurting WORSE and "they" are now growing (without me being too graphic)
*Certain foods seem awful!  Things that I would usually enjoy are making me gag.

These all have to be good signs, right?!?   

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Mommy told Grandad today that she has seen three positive pregnancy tests.  He was so happy.  I told Grandad that I was finding myself tired and cramping a lot during the day.  He told me to ask for an angel when I begin to feel that way.

So many people are praying for you.  Eleanna was asking when I would start testing and Mommy smiled.  I didn't even have to tell her anything more.  She just knew!  It's hard to keep secrets from all of those who have prayed for our little family to grow.

You are a blessing from God.  Remind me that when you break my favorite sunglasses, spill red juice on the carpet, keep me up all night, and come in late for curfew.  Remind Mommy how much she prayed for a child.

Tonight's Progesterone Injection

I must say that this will forever be one of my 
most memorable injections...  

I am so thankful to have sweet friends who give me my shots when Brandon's away.  

*Sorry for the pictures of my hiney, but it comes along with infertility territory!*

Kendra instructing Joy on how to give an intramuscular shot (in the hiney, obviously)

Kendra instructing Joy some more

Joy injecting me after saying, "Holy Crap" and not realizing that she had to plunge the entire needle in my hiney!

Thank you, Joy and Kendra!  
They say it takes a village to raise a child... our faith family has went above and beyond already.
Go Team Baby Sneakers!

Ladies First- Infertility Support continued

The evening continued with a presentation of answers from previously recorded surveys.  On Monday evening, each woman in that room had been affected by infertility.  As I looked around the room, I did not feel threatened or discouraged.  No one had their infertility score card out.  These women attended with the sole purpose to provide support to others. n When I'm reading on certain infertility forums, I often like each woman is always trying to explain how her infertility is "worse" than someone else's.  Each and every couple's journey is different.  Whether we have struggled for one year or ten years, we hurt nonetheless.

Sidenote/ random thought:  
I know that Resolve has a chapter of infertility support that meets in Birmingham, but I have never thought about attending.  Honestly, I was afraid of the women I may encounter there.  For so long, I was in a drak place when it came to our fertility struggle.  I don't want to EVER go back there.  Along with that, many people seek counseling while seeking infertility treatment.  Brandon and I have not sought formal counseling, but we have talked and kept open communication with so many people in our faith family at church.  I know that these infertility counselors seek much training to help in these particular types of situations, but they are not able to provide biblical support like my church does.

I was gladdened to hear many women talk about the doctors at ART.  We have been patients there for nine months, and it's always assuring to hear more success stories!  Also, one of the ladies present was a customer that visits me at work.  She and I had talked before about struggling to conceive.  It just proves that Jesus' love is everywhere.

There is talk about forming a group for infertility support.  It will be open to all, regardless of their church home.  As it forms, I plan to invite women from my church as well.  Once I know more details, I will share here.  This is part of what God called for me to accomplish.

3 Weeks Pregnant

Right now Mommy is considered 3 weeks pregnant.  At this time, most Mommies don't even know they're pregnant yet.

You're already making me very sleepy and certain foods sound yucky!  I want to shout it from the rooftops that I'm pregnant, but it's probably better to wait until we hear the news from the doctor's office.  Who knows...there could be two of you in there!  A large handful of people know about you already.  Mommy has a big mouth!  So many people have prayed for you and I've wanted even more prayer now that I know  you're in there!  

"Father, in Jesus' name, I confess Your Word this day over my pregnancy and birth of my child."  

You are the size of a sesame seed.

Ladies First- Infertility Support

I have never attended a support group of any kind... until Monday evening.  A sweet friend told me about a women's meeting that was going to discuss infertility.  I was intrigued immediately.  My church has went above and beyond in terms of support, but we have only focused on the topic of infertility when Brandon and I are delivering the information.  I do plan on changing that in the near future. ;)

Before arriving, I was super nervous.  I have no idea why.  Shockingly enough, I am nervous when it comes to meeting new people (I know- hard to believe!).  The evening opened up with all of the women drawing a simple gourd.  We used water colors to paint the image; blending bright and light colors.  As the picture came to fruition, I saw a mother holding a child.  Not knowing if I was the only one seeing it, I asked someone else and they saw it as well.  

Here is my gourd.
I'm no artist, but each time I look at this I am reminded of a mother holding a child
and of the life I pray that is growing inside of me.
This opening exercise had all of the women talking, and was demonstrated to remind us that there is always life inside of you.....pregnant or not.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Life inside me

September 11, 2012

Today is a day that you will read about in history books.  On this day 11 years ago, I was a scared high school student trying to understand how people could be so cruel.  I can remember the events of September 11th like yesterday.  They will forever be scarred in my memory like so many other Americans.  

Today while so many are mourning for those lost on that day, I am joyous for your life inside of me.  The second line on the pregnancy test this morning is even darker.  I will look forward to waking up each morning for further proof that your life is growing within me.  

You are our gift from God.  

Daddy has decided that you will be named Brayden regardless of your gender.  

Infertility Support

Last night, I attended an infertility support group at First UMC of Alabaster with a friend and many new friends.

Rather than me give a synopsis of the night's discussion, I want to first share this:

"As one sister suffers, we all suffer."  

I promise to post more about this evening in the coming days.  I still need to gather my thoughts about how God was moving through all of the women present.  

Monday, September 10, 2012

Two Lines

Today I took a pregnancy test.  Maybe it was foolish, but I saw two lines.  The second line was faint, but it was there.

You (y'all) are growing in my belly now.  We have waited for this day for so long.  Your Dad is nervous.  For once I'm not; at least not yet.  Because I've been filled with so many hormones, it's hard to discern my symptoms.  Mommy has had coffee and Dr. Pepper and is still tired.  That must be because of you!  A little shopping trip on Saturday wore me out, and I took a long nap after church yesterday.  But it's ok, I would rather be tired any day because you're growing inside of me.

I look forward to next Monday.  I cannot wait to hear it from the doctor that I am truly pregnant with you.  Being able to see you on an ultrasound seems like an eternity away.

It's hard to keep you a secret.  Only a handful of people know that this worked.  My friend in Oklahoma, Toni, donated expensive medicine to me to help me grow eggs to make you.  Your Aunt Sheri guessed that I was pregnant by the text message I sent her this morning.  She actually thinks there are two of you growing in my belly!  Nicole texted Mommy this morning just knowing that I started testing today.  Mommy made her boss, Paul, promise not to say anything.  I just had to let him know why I was so happy at work today.

I can't wait to let everyone know about you.  So many people have prayed for you.  Mommy and Daddy love you so much.  We have wanted you for a long time!

One More Week

One of the advantages of an IVF or FET cycle is the abbreviated "two-week-wait."  Three to six days of this two week time span are spent waiting for your embryo transfer.  As of today, we only have to wait one more week until we see results with numerical value.

For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about...
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) is the hormone secreted during pregnancy.  On September 17, they will look for this hormone in my blood.  Anything less than 5 is considered not pregnant.  Anything over 25 is considered pregnant.  From the initial blood test, my hCG levels should double every 48-72 hours to show a healthy, sustainable pregnancy.  In other words, we'll still be on pins and needles for another week or so.  I will go back every two to three days for more blood tests.  Once the levels are between 1000-2000, we will be able to have a vaginal ultrasound to see what's developing!  (for more information go HERE)

If only my clinic did pregnancy tests over the weekend.  I was so disappointed when I saw my beta scheduled for September 17.  In some ways, that seems like an eternity away.  I'm sure that I will blink my eyes and Monday will be here!

As far as symptoms are concerned, I'm feeling great other than side effects from the progesterone injections.  I'm now putting a heating pad on the injection site each evening to get rid of "the lumpy butt."  Since Saturday, I've been tired, but my body has gone through a lot.

Brandon and I continue to remain hopeful and positive.  We see no room for any negative thoughts.  Thank you to everyone who has continued to check on us the past few days.  I cannot wait for next Monday!!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Paperwork & Waiting

Today, I thought I would share some of the paperwork they gave us yesterday.  We signed consent to the embryo transfer, along with consent that we understood the high likelihood of conceiving twins/multiples.  We had to sign our discharge instructions and probably some other stuff I don't remember now!

We have shared so much with you already.  Many of you reading are going through fertility treatment yourself, and the rest of you are simply following our journey to provide support.

From now until September 17 will be one of "the longest waits" we'll ever endure.  My body already feels pregnant.  I've felt that way since I started taking my progesterone supplement.  Within the next few days I just hope and pray that the embryos implant and take root!  (When we completed our IUI cycle last October, I actually felt implantation.)

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.  Brandon's going to the football game with JR tomorrow and I plan on crafting and going to sweet Nesia's 1st birthday party.  Brandon is leaving on Tuesday next week and coming home on Thursday.  Randal's birthday is the following Sunday so we'll have lots of celebrating/pranks at work.  I'm super positive that I'll keep myself occupied for the next week, but it's going to be one of the longest weeks ever!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Recap of Transfer Day

Waiting to sign in
Joy, LaShawn (Joy's Mom), and Nesia (Joy's baby-cutest baby ever) went with us today.  Joy has already been to two of my other appointments at ART.  She went previously when Brandon was out of town, and went with us when we found out that we were going to be able to move forward with our FET.  There was no doubt in my mind that I needed her there on our transfer day!

Me in my flattering robe

That room gets cold so I brought my fuzzy socks
Plus, they're pink & blue!

I can't remember what he was saying here

They were hilarious getting all gowned up

Getting Joy all situated

They gave him the hair nets for his shoes
These two kept me laughing while waiting to be taken into the procedure room!

He's ready for surgery-haha!
Surprisingly enough, I never got too nervous this morning.  On the way to ART, I started feeling nauseated.  We stopped at McDonalds for a happy meal and then I was pretty good.  Brooke gave me a Valium once I got dressed in my gown and I just laid in my little hospital bed.

Sneakers, me, and the cute little bear ART gave me
I think it's awesome that they give you a little teddy bear to commemorate the occasion.  It's little shirt reads "A snuggly bear because we care! ART Fertility Program of Alabama!"

Joy and me before being taken to the transfer room

We went into the transfer room, and wow-it was great to be in there and not be as nervous as the last time.  I could remember shaking uncontrollably because I was so nervous about the egg retrieval process.  Brooke still vividly remembered me from my tentative transfer day/hospitalization day back in June.  She was excited to see me back to myself again.

Joy prayed for us before everything got started.  Brooke even joined us.  It was such a beautiful time.  My feet couldn't stop dancing because I was so excited!

I look terrified! Really, I just had to potty because my bladder had to be full for the transfer
Nervous-Excitement waiting on Dr. Allemand

There's never a dull moment with Sneakers

We had to sign so much paperwork today!  They kept laughing, wanting to make sure I had it all signed before the Valium kicked in!

Once Dr. Allemand arrived, he gave us some awesome news.  When they thawed our embryos, they were looking for 50% or greater expansion.... One of mine expanded 100% and the other 80%.  In Brandon's words, that was like using one fresh embryo! Also, they only had to thaw the two, so we still have 4 remaining frozen embryos for later use.  Once he told us this, Brandon said he felt immediate relief!  For once, I wasn't worried.  I was a picture of perfect peace today (except when I had to go to the potty!). 

I wish I could say that the transfer process itself was a piece of cake, but when you have extreme pelvic pain issues, no pelvic exam, etc. is ever easy.  Dr. Allemand made sure to talk me through the entire process. When someone says they're going to swab your cervix, it's not exactly comfortable!  Thankfully I had Brandon holding my hand and Joy's hand on my head.  Everyone kept talking to me to keep me from panicking.  Of course I broke out in a hot flash, but I tend to do that during procedures.  Luckily, the actual process of transferring the two embryos didn't take near as long and the preparation.  They gave me three different pictures of my belly throughout the process! I would post them, but they're difficult to "read" if you don't know what you're looking for.
Resting after the transfer
Anxiously waiting to be allowed to go to the potty!

Nesia gave us lots of "baby dust" today

Afterward with my bear
LaShawn said I looked different already =)
Today was surreal.  I cannot believe that we transferred two amazing embryos today!  For now I guess I'll refer to them as Sneakers & Sneakette.  I mean, we did have to sign paperwork saying that we knew the likelihood of twins was high! ;-)

I'm keeping up with everything relating to this cycle on my FET page!