Tuesday, October 30, 2012


We are en route to North Carolina.  We left the house this morning before 6am.   Brandon's back is still hurting, but he's more mobile that he's been in days.  I was starting to feel some pain and slight cramping in my tummy earlier.  I was a little worried but kept readjusting and trying to push the feeling out of my mind.  I unbuttoned my pants and felt almost immediate relief!  Apparently my jeans are too tight on my stomach for a long road trip.  I will make sure to wear my maternity jeans on the ride home.

Thank you for all of the kind words and well wishes.  I know that the next few days will be difficult for Brandon.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Travel Plans

We have cancelled and rescheduled our graduation appointment from the RE.  Brandon's grandfather in North Carolina passed away on Saturday.  We are leaving early tomorrow morning and returning on Thursday.  When I called to reschedule today they had openings for this morning, but it's only my boss and myself at work on Mondays.

When they realized that we were making a long road trip, they made me leave a message with Janet (our nurse).  Her only concern was that we make stops every 2-3 hours for me to get up and stretch.  Now I'm sure we'll stop more than that because I have to go the potty quite frequently now.  On top of that, Brandon pinched the nerve in his back this weekend.  He's done this about five to six times in the past (since I've known him) but it's never been quite this bad before.  He made an appointment with the chiropractor this morning and they suggested for him to ride in the passenger seat (reclined) on our trip.  I have no idea how he made it to the car this morning; much less to his appointment.  So please keep us in your prayers as we travel to North Carolina.  I get carsick when we drive to our weekly appointments in Birmingham, so I've got my Zofran ready for the trip.

For now, we are scheduled to go November 6 at 9:30am for our last appointment at ART.  Our first OB appointment is still on the books for November 13 with Dr. McKenzie.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

10 Weeks and Bumpdate

How far along:
10 Weeks
double digits!

How big is baby:
the size of a prune
Maternity Clothes:
Pants have been snug for weeks.  I haven't bought any new clothes but plan to soon
Weight Gain Alert!
Still 125lbs

The Sneak is moving around in my tummy, but I don't feel it yet.

Food Cravings:
Sweets!  I have more aversions than cravings.

Food Aversions:
Anything fried and greasy, tomato based anything, fruit juice (reflux)

8 weeks until we find out!

Fatigue, headaches, bloated, acid reflux, drooling, nausea (without vomiting), indigestion, frequent urination, increased appetite, growing belly, weepiness, mood swings, vivid and intense dreams

My tummy feels different now.  It's firmed up under my belly button and has a rounded shape.

What do I miss:
Nothing!  But I do miss being able to eat anything without it making me sick.

Best moment of the week:
Seeing The Sneak dance in my tummy and hearing his/her heartbeat for the first time.

What am I looking forward to:
Our last appointment with ART and graduating to our OB.

Seeing movement and hearing the heartbeat!

*Reaching double digits (in terms of weeks) in this pregnancy.*

"Baby is growing leaps and bounds.  Bones and cartilage are forming-and small indentations on the legs are developing into knees and ankles.  The elbows on baby's arms are already working.  Tiny buds of baby teeth are forming under the gums.  Further down, the stomach is producing digestive juices, the kidneys are producing larger quantities of urine, and, if baby is a boy, his testes are producing testosterone."
from What to Expect When You're Expecting

There's definitely a bump now!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Infertility & Negative Chatter

Since August, our Wednesday night Women's Group has been reading Unglued:  Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions by Lysa Terkeurst.

In Chapter 10, Lysa uses the example of "putting words" into her husband's mouth.  She assumed that her husband thought she was being annoying.  We've all been there before in some relationship or another.  We all just assume that our spouse (or any other person) is having particular thoughts or feelings, and we get upset with them for no actual reason.  We come up with our own assumptions in our minds and then get upset.  When I read this chapter, I was reminded of all the thoughts I endured while facing infertility.

When Brandon and I were seeking fertility treatment, I had so much "negative inside chatter" running through my head.  It wasn't always directed at individuals, but I made generalized assumptions about people.  Every time I heard a pregnancy announcement, I was convinced it would never happen for me.  I would then come up with such negative thoughts.  "Those women didn't struggle to conceive."  "She didn't have to go for weekly appointments, ultrasounds, and blood drawls."  I would move from feeling sorry for myself to being jealous of their joy.  I would have so many terrible thoughts running through my head that I would make myself miserable.  Instead of being joyful that they did not struggle, I would feel pity for myself.  How did I know that they didn't have trouble conceiving?  How did I know that they didn't suffer loss?  I was so busy being upset at my own situation, that I didn't realize that everyone endures sad times and trials. From reading Unglued, I know that the enemy was responsible for many of my negative thoughts. Satan used those situations to bring me down.

Insert Lysa's wisdom:
"Toxic thoughts are so dangerous because they leave no room for truth to flourish.  And lies are what reign in the absense of truth." p141

Believe it or not, I still feel slightly upset when I hear pregnancy announcements.  I've talked with other women who have battled infertility and are pregnant, and they understand my feelings.  It's not something that you just forget or get over.  It becomes a part of you.  There is always the constant fear of losing your pregnancy or not being able to conceive again. Brandon kept me grounded during so many rough times.  He was always the voice of reason when all of the negative thoughts would creep in.  Don't get me wrong, he too struggled with his own sadness and jealousy when we were infertile, but he had a better way of keeping it in check. He always reminded me to focus on the positive.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 4:6-7 
We were lucky to have the financial resources to pursue fertility treatment.  Not everyone is so lucky.  We were lucky that his cancer did not leave him sterile.  In Vitro provided us with great quality embryos.  We had an amazing support system at church surrounding us during our trying times.  He always reminded me of the positive things we had going on for us.

When I look back on the two years it took for us to conceive the precious baby growing in my tummy, I am ever reminded of God working in our lives.  I still struggle with negative inside chatter, but now I feel better equipped to deal with those issues.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

October 23rd Appointment

Let me begin by saying that today was one of our
best appointments yet.

Our nurse could not believe that we are 9 weeks pregnant with only one more appointment until graduation.  Once the ultrasound started, we immediately saw how much the baby's grown over the last week.  The head and limbs are much easier to see on the screen now.

After about two minutes had passed, we saw The Sneak move!  Brandon jumped and pointed at the screen asking if we just saw the baby move.  I was so excited that I had to hold my breath so the screen wouldn't jump.  Tammy let us watch Baby Sneakers move around for a minute, and we were shocked with amazement.  At that point, I could feel the tears rolling down my face.  It was the most amazing feeling.  Tammy then told us that our risk of miscarriage dropped to 5% because of the baby's movement.  PTL!

After we had watched the baby moving around, Tammy said that they had just received permission to start using the doppler feature on the ultrasound.  They typically don't use it, but I'm so glad they started.  She was  excited to let us hear our precious baby's heartbeat for the first time.  The Sneak's heart was beating strong at 178bpm.

Sweet Tammy sent us home with four beautiful pictures of our precious baby.
The Sneak has grown so much!

(Please excuse the image quality of the ultrasound pictures today.  I'm working today, and could not operate the scan feature on our copier/fax machine at the store.)

Our appointment today could not have been any better.  God is so good, and Brandon and I are amazed at His blessings.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pregnancy Scrapbook

I've never been one for scrapbooking, but I have greatly enjoyed crafting my pregnancy scrapbook for The Sneak.  I picked a light green scrapbook so it would have a gender neutral appearance.  I also like green!  Putting the book together has been more fun than I had initially anticipated.  Because we've been closely monitored by the fertility clinic, we have many ultrasound pictures.  It has been amazing to see the baby's growth each week. 
Brandon and I both agree that when The Sneak is older, we want them to know what a miracle pregnancy and childbirth is.  We plan to tell The Sneak that we went through quite an ordeal to have him/her.  With the way I've put the book together, I think it will help in telling him/her their story.  
 Along the way, I've spent much time finding the right scripture verses to include in the scrapbook.  If you have any verses that I have not included, please feel free to share them with me!  
 I included in the book what I said at church when we shared our news.  My hope and prayer is that I will always be able to reflect on those words, no matter The Sneak's age.  I know that parenting is not an easy task, but I do know that Brandon and I will never take the small and unpleasant moments for granted.  Adding this prose to the scrapbook will also remind our child that life isn't always fair or easy, but God never leaves us.
We've taken belly pictures of me each week, and I think it's fun to include them in the book.  I want The Sneak to know what Mommy looked like before, during, and after their arrival.  My Granny was laughing at how times have changed.  When she was having her children, women would not have dared to take pictures of their pregnant and swollen tummies.  
I've enjoyed seeing my body change.  Just yesterday at work, Ben mentioned how he could see my tummy sticking out more (not just when I ate).  I think pregnancy is beautiful on all women, and I cannot wait to have a bigger belly!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

9 Weeks and Bumpdate

How far along:
9 Weeks

How big is baby:
the size of a green olive

Maternity Clothes:
No, but only because I haven't purchased any maternity dress pants yet!
Weight gain alert!  
I now weigh 125lbs after gaining 2lbs somewhere along the way this week.

Still shouldn't feel any movement for some time.

Food Cravings:
Chocolate Pie, Dr. Pepper, and water

Food Aversions:
Anything fried and greasy
It's hard to find anything I want to eat!

9 weeks until we find out!

Tender breasts, acid reflux, indigestion, aversion to foods, intense sense of smell, cramps, extreme fatigue, headaches, bloating, nausea, constipation, mood swings, bleeding gums, weepiness, drooling, sore hiney from 50 (and counting) progesterone-in-oil injections

What do I miss:
Being pregnant is amazing, but I miss NOT having acid reflux.

Best Moment of the week:
Working on my Pregnancy Scrapbook, telling Joy our girl name, and watching my bump get bigger

What am I looking forward to:
Entering the second trimester--it won't be too much longer now.

We've almost made it to double digits (weeks) in this pregnancy!
"Baby's muscles are beginning to form, so he/she will be able start moving soon.  It's still too early to feel any movement, but the heartbeat can be detected on a doppler."
from What to Expect When You're Expecting

Since Brandon is traveling, these were taken Thursday evening at 8w4d.  I look and felt terrible on Thursday!  But, I do have a little bump now.

I look super tired in these pictures, and that pretty much sums up how I feel most of the time now!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

October 16th Appointment

Our precious baby is measuring 8w2d (and I am 8w3d)!

Our amazing ultrasound tech (Tammy) gave us five beautiful pictures.

Everything looks great.  It was amazing to see the head and the baby's limbs.  "The Sneak" actually looks like a baby on the ultrasound now.  We are still set for two more ultrasound appointments at ART, and are planning to be released to our OB in November.

Future Appointments:
Ultrasound Appointment # 5
Ultrasound Appointment # 6, consult with Dr. Allemand, tentative graduation from RE

Monday, October 15, 2012

Brandon, Traveling, & Zombies

Brandon is traveling a lot this week.  He left yesterday driving to Florida for an early meeting this morning.  He's on the way home now, and texted me saying that he has to leave again tomorrow for Mississippi.  On top of that, he's leaving on Friday for Mobile (then Mississippi) and not returning home until Monday.

It started storming last night and I barely slept.  It probably didn't help that I watched The Walking Dead before going to sleep either.  Around 3am, I woke up to the thunder (and my bladder).  I woke up again at 5am and then felt exhausted when my alarm went off at 7am.  I had wanted to travel with Brandon this weekend, but my boss is leaving out of town so taking off from work was out of the question.  So right when I was getting more comfortable with Brandon traveling, he has a busy week and I become a weenie again!

I hate to complain, but I miss my husband when he's traveling.  We texted during the Season 3 Premiere of The Walking Dead last night.  It's one of our favorite TV shows; however, I like the graphic novel MUCH BETTER!  I was thrilled when I learned about the series (three part) of books about The Governor.

I LOVED reading The Rise of the Governor

The second book , The Road to Woodbury, is being released tomorrow.  I can't wait to go buy my copy!

Sorry that this post seemed to jump around, but that's how my mind works.  I'll post tomorrow after our ultrasound appointment!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

8 Weeks and Bumpdate

How far along:

8 Weeks

How big is baby:
the size of a raspberry

Maternity Clothes:
I recently purchased a pair of maternity jeans and they are awesome.  Thankfully the weather is turning cooler and I can wear more of my sweater dresses.  Most of my pants are snug and uncomfortable.
Still no weight gain though (weighing 123lbs).

The baby is actually moving now, but it's still too tiny for me to feel anything.

Food Cravings:
Nothing out of the ordinary.  I continue to crave fruit and sugary stuff.  Tums are my new best friend!  I love drinking fruit juice each morning, and I have been drinking lots of water throughout the day.

Food Aversions:
Anything fried or greasy, 'well done' cooked steak, grilled shrimp, carbs, anything heavy

10 weeks until we find out!
(That also means that Christmas is right around the corner!)
Brandon thinks his initial guess could have been wrong.  I will be thrilled either way, but I'm secretly hoping for a little girl!

Tender breasts, acid reflux when I'm hungry, indigestion after meals, aversion to foods, intense sense of smell, increased appetite, extreme fatigue, bloating, DROOLING during the day now, "pregnancy brain", moodiness, mood swings, weepiness, headaches, constipation, nausea, bleeding gums, and sore hiney from the PIO injections

What do I miss:
Nothing terribly.  I prayed to be pregnant with this sweet baby.
I will enjoy a yummy NY Strip cooked 'medium' once "The Sneak" arrives.

Best moment of the week:
Our ultrasound appointment seeing how much our baby has grown.
Also, getting started on my pregnancy scrapbook for "The Sneak."

What am I looking forward to:
Continuing our appointments with the RE throughout the end of October and being released to our OB.

"The Sneak" grew so much in the course of a week and as is measuring well.
"Baby is growing about a millimeter every day.  Lips, nose, eyelids, legs, and back continue to take shape.  Even though I cannot feel it, the baby is now making spontaneous movements, twitching his/her tiny trunk and limb buds."
from What to Expect When You're Expecting


Still not a lot of changes.
Here's to a happy and healthy 8th week!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Puppies

Brandon drove to Mississippi last night.  He has a meeting early this morning, another property to stop by, and then he's coming home.  Last night I rolled over and forgot he wasn't home!  Needless to say, I'm finally getting more comfortable with him traveling.  I always miss him when he's gone, but I'm so exhausted all the time that I'm no longer nervous before going to bed.  Plus, I have the dogs in the backyard to alert me of any danger (hah).

I thought I would share a picture of "The Goobs."  Logan is the little guy on the left, and Daisy is the big girl on the right.

Brandon had Logan for several years before we met.  He loves Brandon so much!  He found Daisy on the side of the road last year after Thanksgiving.  She was such a cute little puppy!  Logan wasn't sure about her for a while, but they get along well now.  Even though Daisy is twice his size, Logan still rules the backyard.  She steals all of the chews and toys, but he keeps her in line.  Sometimes when I peek out the window, I see him cleaning her face and ears.  They're just too funny!!

When Brandon and I were dating, Logan would NOT eat if Brandon was out of town.  He would go on a hunger strike, and only eat if I hand-fed him either dog food or table scraps.  I guess he's finally started to trust me after FIVE years, because he eats when Brandon is gone now.  Dogs are silly and smart animals.  Daisy and Logan get so excited every time we go outside, and are whining by the fence when they hear us pull in the driveway.  If it gets quiet in the house, we can sometimes hear Daisy squeaking her toys.  There's never a dull moment with "The Goobs."

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

October 9th Appointment

Today's appointment was awesome!  We got not one, not two, but SIX ultrasound photos of our precious "Sneak!"

As of today, "The Sneak" is measuring 7w1d!  That is a LOT of growth from last week where we were measuring about 6 days behind.

We met with Dr. Allemand today and he definitely wants to continue monitoring me and the baby throughout the end of the month.  He wants to continue my medications until I'm about 12 weeks due to this pregnancy resulting from a frozen transfer.

I've read blogs (and FB, etc.) where women complain about being pregnant, and I never want to do that here.  But I would be lying if I didn't tell you that the progesterone injections are really bothering me!  Dr. Allemand said that we could consider switching to Crinone suppositories, but I told him I was willing to wait it out another week.  My hiney is super tender and bruised from all of the injections, but I know that they are helping "The Sneak" so much.  I'm sure this is normal considering I've had 38 (and counting) injections in my rear end.

Other than the PIO injections, everything is easy.  I get hungry around the same time each day, and eat TUMS between meals to help with my acid reflux issues.  The fatigue is the only thing I cannot help, but I just try to sit down and take breaks at work as much as possible.  Eating seems to help that too.

Brandon and I are so excited to see how big "The Sneak" has grown over the past week.  We could have stared at the ultrasound all day.
Each time we see the baby, I mean, wow.  I cannot even explain what I feel.  God has blessed us.  He has answered our prayers.

Next Appointments Scheduled:
October 16 Ultrasound #4
October 23 Ultrasound #5
October 31 Ultrasound #6 and Consult with Dr. Allemand

Saturday, October 6, 2012

7 Weeks and Bumpdate

How far along:

7 Weeks

How big is baby:
The size of a blueberry

Maternity Clothes:

Nope, but more pants are tight.  It's easier to wear long shirts and keep my pants unbuttoned.  I'm glad it's getting cooler because I have lots of cute dresses for Fall.

Nothing expected for a while

Food Cravings:
Healthy Food and Rolaids after most meals.

Food Aversions:
Anything fried or unhealthy.  Carbs and Dairy are NOT my friend!

Brandon is still convinced that we're having a boy, along with everyone else!
Only 11 more weeks to go until we find out!

Tender and enlarged breasts, fatigue, weepiness, mood swings (when I'm hungry), acid reflux (when I'm hungry), indigestion (after most meals), slight nausea, increased-superhuman sense of smell, upset tummy when I have dairy products,  healthy food cravings, fried food aversions, excess saliva-DROOLING at night and some during the day, somewhat blurred vision.

What do I miss:
Nothing!  Being pregnant has made me so happy.

Best moment of the week:
Seeing "The Sneak's" heartbeat on the ultrasound.

What I am looking forward to:
Our upcoming appointment on Tuesday with Dr. Allemand and our third ultrasound.  Also looking forward to being released to an OB for our boring pregnancy!!

We have seen "The Sneak's" heartbeat!

Our precious Baby Sneakers is now "10,000 times bigger than he/she was at conception!  New brain cells are being generated at the rate of 100 cells per minute.  'The Sneak's' mouth and tongue are forming this week and so are the arm and leg buds, which are beginning to sprout into paddle-like appendages and to divide into hand, arm, and shoulder segments-and leg, knee, and foot segments.  Also, in place now are baby's kidneys, and they're poised to begin their important work of waste management."
from What to Expect When You're Expecting


Not a lot of changes from last week's pictures.

Here's to Week 7!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

God's Plan

Every day that we are pregnant is a blessing. Sometimes, neither of us can believe that our frozen transfer worked.  We are still wowed and astonished that we are having a baby.  BUT, this is not where the story ends, nor is it where it begins.

When we started trying to conceive, we had no idea what our journey would entail.  Yes, God is good and we are now pregnant, but the story doesn't end here.

I whole heartedly believe that "in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28).  Brandon and I were stagnant in our Christian walk.  We had been members of a church, but were not growing.  We tried to make it through this journey on our own, but knew that it was impossible.  In the time that we began attending church again and sharing our struggle, we were amazed by God's blessings.

Each time I needed another surgery or procedure, we were consumed with disappointment and hurt, but God used those situations to strengthen us.  Because we chose to share our journey, we were always surrounded with support.  God placed so many amazing people in our life to cheer us on during the difficult times.  They have built us up, prayed over us, and already formed the largest extended family any child will ever know!

"Consider it pure joy, brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance."
James 1:2

"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed." 
1 Peter 4: 12-13

I would not trade any of the hardships that Brandon and I have faced in our marriage.  Infertility will not be the last struggle that we will face.  There are likely to be more hurdles and obstacles in our path, but we are prepared to take on any challenge that life throws at us.  With God, all things are possible.
Our story does not end because we are pregnant.  The end result was not that we would conceive a child, but that we would seek God throughout our journey and have faith in HIS plan. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Updates from Today's Visit

Beta hCG
26dp6dt - 32dpo
6 weeks 3 days

I was super excited to hear my beta level today!  For the rest of my time at ART, they will track the baby's progress from my measurements and the heartbeat.  There will be no more obsessing over betas for me.

In other news, I am officially off  pelvic rest, and have been given the 'ok' for light exercise.  Also, our nurse thinks we will be released somewhere in the next two to three weeks (8-10 weeks pregnant).  We have chosen to use the doctors at OB-GYN South, which are located at Brookwood as well. We met Dr. McKenzie when he spoke with Joy at church earlier this year.  Joy introduced him to us, and explained our story- this was before we pursued IVF.  He has delivered many babies that we know!  Also, I have a special friend who is also pregnant right now and is using him.  Maybe we can double up and go to our appointments together!!

I am still in shock that we saw the heartbeat.  God has blessed us beyond measure.  It will be hard once we are released from ART, not getting an ultrasound each week...but we will be excited to have a normal, healthy, and boring pregnancy.


Our appointment went extremely well this morning.  We got to see our precious little "Sneak's" heartbeat!  I'm measuring 5w4d which they said is perfectly fine.  It was absolutely amazing to see the heart beating on the screen.  

We are scheduled for another ultrasound and consult with Dr. Allemand next Tuesday, October 9.  They also went ahead and scheduled the third ultrasound on Tuesday, October 16.

At our consult with the nurse, they gave us some fun pamphlets to read.  For the first time ever, I wasn't jealous of all the baby bumps when we were leaving the doctor's office.  I was excited, because it won't be long until I have mine.