Tag Archives: Having a Baby

Hold your breath….close your eyes….hope for the best

When I titled this blog a couple of years ago, it was about my journey to get healthy. Let’s be honest, it wasn’t about a journey to get healthy…it was about a journey to lose weight. That’s my idea of “healthy”. When I re-purposed it as our infertility blog, it gained new meaning. Regardless of what you have going on in your life, you have to always keep looking ahead. So despite what events are happening , you have to keep trudging forward and put everything behind you. The good news is, you don’t have to forget them. You can look back and reflect on how they changed you, how they made you better or worse, and ultimately how they are impacting the road in front of you.

We have had a pretty insane last couple of months. I don’t want to get into particulars now, because there really isn’t anything I can say that will make me feel better about what has happened. There isn’t anything I can say that makes the rearview version positive….yet. There WILL be….just not yet.

All of this brings me to the point of today. My rearview mirror over the last 12 months has been filled with so many ups, downs, twists and turns. Today, the road in front of us will forever be changed. Our son, whom we worked so hard to have will be coming into this world whether he likes it or not. I can’t change that road…not that I would want to….and I can’t change what has happened to get us here. All I can do is hold my breath, close my eyes and hope for the best.

April 16, 2015 …… the day our road becomes a bit more crowded, scary, unpredictable and filled with so much uncertainty. While I am looking forward to our rearview mirror, because it’s not a bad thing to see how you allow life to change you, I am more looking forward to looking at our now.  See you soon baby Walker. You are already my now.

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7 months and my kid elbows me…

So I have been MIA for a bit.  Not intentionally, but not unintentionally either. I have fluctuated through various stages throughout my pregnancy (pregnancy and non-pregnancy related) and they have all been hard to for me to actually document…So here is a synopsis of what has been going on:

1) We went to Disney World.  Disney is WAY harder when you are pregnant and your husband won’t let you ride Tower of Terror.  On the plus side we met up with some friends and had a great time.

2) It was confirmed for me in November that I was carrying Jesse Walker’s clone, when the ultrasound pic was of him flexing his muscles (further confirmation comes later).

3) My child has a mind of his own, and decided to take part in a uterine contraction party a month or so ago. Between him and the uterine fibroid I have, they were putting on a show for the hospital and they kept me overnight for observation.

4) The uterine fibroid and baby Walker decided that the hospital event was a bonding moment, and they have since become BFFs and when he gets bored, he decided to elbow bump the fibroid…causing intense pain and leaving me unable to move sometimes.

5) Don’t go on a sugar and carb bender the days before your glucose test. You will fail and you will fail hard, and then you are forced on a diet that will make you long for the days when you could eat candy.

6) And finally, while I was sure I was carrying Jesse Walker’s child all along, it was 100% confirmed when the 3-D ultrasound showed what I am now calling the “Clone Wars” in my belly.  My child shows zero resemblance to me. When I say zero…I mean it could be less than zero!

 

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So after 7 months of being pregnant, I have learned a few things:

1) If you are married to a Walker and you decide to have children, just accept the fact that they won’t look like you. All Walkers look like the father and there is nothing anyone can do about it.

2) I am not someone who likes unsolicited advice, and having a child puts you on the receiving end of a TON of it.

3) Just when you have resigned yourself to not having the baby shower, some amazing people pop up and offer to host one.  Guess I shouldn’t have bought all of that stuff, huh?

4) Facebook exchange and referral groups are AMAZING places to find new and used gear and clothes, as well as solicited advice to questions that you ask! I highly recommend find ones in your area.

5) Apparently finding a pediatrician is a HUGE deal, and you will be judged (at least at my OBs office) if you don’t have one at the beginning of the third trimester.

6) I have missed writing.  I felt like I was floating through my pregnancy a little lost, and I realized that its because I had documented SO much of the early part, I was missing some key things in this one.

7) Not everyone gets great ultrasound pictures of their baby. I have picture after picture of my baby’s penis.  He is SUPER proud of his penis, and felt that it was really all any of us needed to see to make sure he was ok.

And last, but CERTAINLY not least

8) As you all know, we are having a boy.  Apparently boys pee when air hits their penis! So when you change a diaper you are like a target. While I have never experienced this first-hand (never changed a diaper in my life) I have had this confirmed by several sources. Ummmmm…that is not ok.

So I will be back writing. There is a lot going on in this mamma’s life and it all deserves to be documented. I mean– he tried really hard to get here, the least I can do is memorialize it…right?

 

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17 weeks down, I still don’t glow, and drama-baby saga continues.

Ok…so maybe the glow is a metaphorical glow.  Other people say I glow, I however, feel like I am either glowing from sweat (I get hot) or glowing from just taking a bath (I like to soak in warm water) or glowing from the low-grade fever I have had off and on due to this cold I can’t seem to get rid of…but whatever it is, I want to glow because I feel good!  🙂

Anyways…glow-rant is over.  Now on to the fact that this baby refuses to do anything without some sort of climactic build-up. Dr. P said that its b/c its a product of two independent thinkers and it likes to do things at its own pace.  I say its b/c it is 50% Jesse and well, we all know how he is!  Me on the other hand?  I am not stubborn at all.  I go with the flow and am pretty much the most predictable person known to man (queue the thunderous laughter).  So why am I calling baby Walker an “it”?  Well, thats because I like a climactic build up too!

So we went in for our 16 week check-up and we were supposed to just have an OB exam and doppler for the heartbeat.  I was giving Dr. Hsaio a hard time, bc since our last appointment we had decided to find out the sex, and we weren’t scheduled for an ultrasound until 20 weeks. Well….as he dopplered around I noticed that he kept finding MY heartbeat, but not baby Walker’s. He started joking around about how if we wanted to find the sex out today, he could go clear out ultrasound.  We said, “ok” and he left.  I turned to Jesse and said, “you know he is taking us to ultrasound bc he couldn’t find the baby’s heartbeat…right?”  Jesse isn’t an idiot, he knew, and so we waited.  As we walked to ultrasound, Dr. H casually mentioned that we will also get to hear the “hiding heartbeat”.

Oh hiding heartbeat.  Why must you be so elusive?  That day was my first belly ultrasound. I am more familiar with “the wand” so the gel was a shock to my system!  As he moved the ultrasound tool around, we saw a little baby, wiggling its butt, and clearly asleep.  We were used to seeing a dancing fetus, but today it was just chilling…chilling with a heartbeat of 148  bpm. JERK!  Why you gotta scare your parents like that?!  I was so focused on hearing that little heartbeat, that when Dr. H was shaking things around to get the baby to open its legs, I almost missed it when he said, “which one of you has something hanging between your legs? That’s right….it’s a boy”.  That man cracks me up!  As I wrote that sentence, I repeated it in my head in his voice.  So yes…baby Walker is baby BOY Walker. We are big on boys in our family. Considering Fiona won’t allow us to bring in another girl, we dodged a bullet there!

So according to Dr. H and everything I read, I apparently should start feeling the baby in some form in the next few weeks. We got our preliminary chromosomal testing done and everything is checking out.  We did one more big guns test, the Harmony test, to give us insight into anything else that may be going on. All in all, we are just chugging along. Not going to lie and say that I am not freaked out all the time.  I am so afraid that something is going to go wrong, and since I don’t have another appointment until 12/5, I have to just hope all is ok.  But other than all of the above, everything is good in baby Walker land!

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Baby prisons….pregnancy guilt…and trying to be normal

We are almost 12 weeks now, so we are in the throws of researching all of the things we absolutely “need” for #theclaw. Stores like Babies R Us totally stress me out with their shelves of stuff.  Don’t get me wrong, I am sure most of it is helpful and some of it is necessary, but it seems a bit like over-kill to me. The search for the perfect stroller, crib, car seat, swing, etc is enough to make a type-A google-aholic go crazy.  I find myself in a blur when I am comparing everything…and I have to keep telling myself that at the end of the day I can probably put a diaper on the kid, give it a wooden spoon and a boob and it will be fine 🙂 However, that doesn’t eliminate my anxiety over building the best environment we can for #theclaw.

Furniture is causing me one of the biggest headaches yet. Cribs are hideous.  They either look like giant headboards with rails (b/c 75% are “convertible” beds) or monstrous wooden prisons. For such a necessary piece of furniture to be so ugly and cheap looking is beyond me.  I am not going to spend thousands of dollars for one that looks just like a cheaper one…only with more elaborate railings and end pieces. I have an amazing company that makes solid wood gorgeous furniture for me (You’re Unique–based in Georgia http://www.youreunique.net/, btw) but they won’t make me a crib for liability reasons.  I get it…but I am just so used to having quality furniture from them, that I am comparing everything to what they made me. We found one at Pottery Barn Kids, but I don’t like the color. I found an iron one, but I am afraid it will be too girly…and well we aren’t finding out what we are having….and well, after typing that, I realized I really don’t care.  So we will continue to search…eventually we will find something, and if not, COSTCO makes really nice dog beds and I am thinking the baby will be fine in that for a few months…right?

Pregnancy guilt.  Over the last 8 months I have become part of several infertility groups. I have seen, on many occasions, women in these groups get angry when someone announces they are pregnant.  It gets worse when their pregnant friends complain about things like morning sickness, or being uncomfortable. Because of their reactions, I have been very quiet in the groups that I once found supportive. But this blog is MY safe haven. I am going to be honest…being pregnant has not been easy on me. I have not had morning sickness…I have had all day sickness, that tends to get worse at night.  I have come down with a stomach virus and sinus infection (and now cold) that I can’t take anything for, because I am pregnant.  You are basically forced to suffer.  Don’t get me wrong…I am thrilled that #theclaw is growing healthy inside my belly, and I wouldn’t change any of it….but being pregnant is something that I was not prepared for, and I am only in my first trimester.

I don’t know that I will be what I consider “normal” ever again. In 7 months, #theclaw will actually be here, and my normal today is me, Jesse and our 5 fur-kids.  Right now something else has more control over my body than I do. In the past two weeks I have been more exhausted than I thought a person could be. I have been sicker than I have been in probably 10 years (except when I had food poisoning). I am trying to stay engaged with my day to day life, but I would be lying if I didn’t say it was a struggle. They say that you start feeling more “pregnant normal” in the second trimester.  Here’s to hoping that “they” are correct. Also…here’s to hoping I can wear maternity clothes soon…jeans with sweatpants on top? YES PLEASE!

Oh…and here is the last pic of #theclaw for 4 weeks…(please note, this was taken a couple days shy of 12 weeks, bc someone thought burrowing into my uterus was fun — FYI, it causes cramping and some bleeding..so it’s not fun for mom):

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So….yeah….we are pregnant.

IMG_7336Yeah, I know…I know. I already posted in August that we WEREN’T pregnant, and then there was the maybe we were, and then I went silent.  Well, I went silent because the roller coaster got to be too much. It felt like my heart-rate was never going down, and I was constantly on edge from one ultrasound to another.  But then today happened.

Today was my first appointment with my regular OBGYN, Alliance OBGYN. Today was amazing. We are officially 10 weeks pregnant. The baby was moving it’s little nubby arms and legs around like crazy, and its heartbeat was really strong. As of today, we have less than a 5% rate of miscarriage, which makes me feel a lot better.  Not 100% out of the woods, but I don’t think you ever are until the baby is born.

I honestly can say that I had no idea that we would be here today.  There were so many things working against this little baby, and it just kept hanging on (which is why we will now be referencing baby Walker as “The Claw”).  From one appointment to the next, the baby grew and the heartbeat got stronger.  We are so thankful for all of the support we have gotten and I am thrilled to finally be sharing the results of the last few months.

I know some people may feel like I am sharing too early, but at this point, the baby will do what the baby will do…and we are excited to be celebrating all we have accomplished at this point.  We would have never gotten here without the tremendous support from our friends, family and the amazing staff at Georgia Reproductive Specialists. If you are in Atlanta and are in need of fertility assistance, I can assure you, there is NO better practice out there.  You will always be treated with respect and they care more about their patients than they do about having a Saturday off.

So I guess my posts from here on will be documenting our pregnancy.  Glad to be off the roller coaster, and getting on a less crazy ride….especially since my “morning sickness” is ALL day sickness!  The Claw is due April 2015!!!

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I love roller coasters, but not endless ones.

So where do I begin?  I feel like I have so much to share.  So much to catch the world up on.  And yet, so few words to describe what I am feeling and thinking in my head.  I think the best thing to say from the beginning, is that I kind-of lied in my post when I said I wasn’t pregnant.  Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t intentional.  My body was very clear, or so we thought, that there wasn’t a baby on board.  I will use the next few paragraphs to describe the hills, cork-screws and loops that we have been on over the past few weeks.

Going up the first hill: As you will remember, I had my early scare and started going to the doctor 8 days past my 3 day transfer (August 11). At that point all looked ok, and when they took my HCG blood test (pregnancy hormone) my level was 6.9 (anything above 5 and between 25 needs to be re-checked in a couple days).  Keep in mind this is really early to detect a pregnancy, so it was interesting.  August 13, I had my blood checked again and my HCG level was 12.1. In a viable pregnancy your hormone levels are supposed to double every 48 hours, and mine were. However, I was still having some issues that were leaning towards me being not pregnant.

Down the first hill: August 15 my mom and I went to GRS for an ultra-sound and tests, and it was at that point that my doctor determined that I wasn’t pregnant.  My body internally just didn’t look like a woman’s who was preparing or carrying a baby.

Around the first bend on the way up to the loop: August 18 I had to go back to the doctor to end my first clinical trial. Physical. Pregnancy blood test. And discuss the next protocol (this was when I posted my last blog update). We were ready to start our next fresh cycle and we had accepted this one didn’t work.

Loop #1: The HCG blood test came back from that monday at 156. Typically an HCG # doesn’t go up when a woman isn’t pregnant. So that put us down a whole different path…ectopic.  Ectopic pregnancies are when the embryo doesn’t implant in the uterus and attaches to the tubes or somewhere else in the reproductive organs (fallopian tubes usually, but sometimes ovaries or other places, from what I’ve read).  The fear behind ectopics are rupturing and causing serious issues that sometimes require surgery.  However, every angle in the ultrasound showed no evidence of an ectopic. So I had to come back in two days.

Coming out of loop #1: August 20. Ultrasound to check for ectopic…gonna shock you…nothing could be seen.  When I tell you nothing could be seen, I mean no signs of ectopic or viable pregnancy. A couple weird areas, but nothing of note. Blood test done and results came back 491.  So they more than doubled between Monday and Wednesday.

Really fast twist: August 21. Went BACK to the doctor to get an ultrasound bc I wasn’t feeling great. That was when we saw things that looked a bit more normal, and we thought we should see my numbers go down.

Up the second hill: August 22. Went back in for blood.  The number had to go down. Everything looked more in line with the fact that it would. I went home and waited for Amy to call me to give me the new lower number….except it wasn’t.  My new HCG # was 1292.  

Down the second hill: I didn’t get an ultrasound that morning, so I went back when I got that number bc I was still so worried about an ectopic. Dr. P was at a conference, so Dr. K did the ultra-sound. After about 10 minutes, she identified what looked like a little fetal sac (Jesse and I call it, the claw or #theclaw).  However, my progesterone numbers and estrogen numbers had been so low throughout this, we truly didn’t think anything was really happening there.  That was when the decision was made to put me on progesterone in oil shots and estrogen to help what seemed like it was cooking.

Going fast into loop #2: I went in to the doctor bright and early on Monday.  I was pretty sure we were on our way down, bc my body through a couple signs at me (or so I thought, again) that we were officially over with this pregnancy. Ultrasound to see what was going on, and Dr. P not only saw fetal sac #1 (#theclaw), but also feta sac #2 and what looks like fetal sac #3.  Before you get all crazy about triplets, let me say that none of the sacs really looked like they should at this particular stage.  We couldn’t tell if any were viable, or if they were all empty.  That was when I was introduced to Dr. Time.  While not a physical doctor, Dr Time was really all we could and can rely on to hopefully shed some light on what is happening in my body.  We didn’t even do blood, because it wasn’t going to tell us anything more than what the ultrasound showed.

So now we wait.  We wait until next Tuesday, September 2, to see if any one of these 3 little beans have anything to show us. I have been so thankful to having a doctor whom I fully trust, and who has managed this insanity with incredible composure. He has never freaked me out.  He has never told me that I need to be worried.  He got dealt a patient whose body shows one thing and whose labs tell another.  Dr. P said the story is made up of so many pieces and my pieces just weren’t telling a very clear story.  And even further, y nurses and the staff at GRS are so amazing and supportive, I can’t even say enough about them.

Now you will understand why I have been so hesitant to post what is going on in our journey.  Hopefully we will have answers on Tuesday, and whatever those answers are I can truly say that I am ready.  We have the support of our family, friends and the amazing GRS staff and we will keep on traveling down our path.

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Egg Retrieval isn’t as scary as it sounds…

So today was the day for our egg retrieval. As a self-proclaimed google addict, I had read everything possible about the process. And much like everything else in this process, the retrieval was not nearly as traumatic as I had anticipated it being. In fact, it was so easy I feel bad for worrying!

I have said a million times how lucky we are to have an amazing doctor and group of nurses and staff at Georgia Reproductive, and today was no different. These folks literally have my heart. They have made something so stressful and scary, into something that I can only describe in one word…pleasurable.  Who would describe infertility as pleasurable?  Well, THIS KID!  I can’t stress how important it is finding the right place for your journey.  This isn’t a cake walk…but the people who you see weekly become an important piece to the puzzle.  I have read on so many forums and boards how people question what their doctors are doing, and become frustrated with how or when their nurses respond, and I am a firm believer in moving on. If you don’t have 100% confidence in what these folks are doing for you, then you are either 1) Not ready or 2) Not at the right place.  Believe me, I am not saying you can’t ask questions about why they are doing certain things, but remember that they should know what they are doing.  If you don’t have confidence in their abilities…then move on.  However, I will caution you that there is a lot of bad info out there, so before you move on, make sure you aren’t being irrational or worse, an internet know it all.

Anyways, back to the retrieval….we got 17 eggs!! That is a good number according to everyone in the room.  As of this morning, I have gotten the most eggs of the women in the study, and I was joking around that I like winning, so if anyone gets more than 17…I am going in for another 🙂 Obviously I am kidding, but it gets me through the day!  The process was really easy. I walked in and was taken back to change into an awesome gown, hair net and booties. Amy, Keebler, Jaclyn, Rebecca and a million other ladies came back to wish us luck and then they did the IV.  I have really small veins, so that was a bit challenging, but it worked. 10 minutes later I was taken back to the procedure room, I was strapped on to a table, joked around with Dr. P as usual, and then it was lights out.  I woke up 20-25 minutes later without eggs and with Jesse standing there.

Now we wait. We will find out tomorrow morning how many eggs fertilized and become embryos…and then we will transfer two of the strongest ones on Saturday. They said, on average, 75% of the eggs fertilize, so that would mean 12-13 of ours would.  Fingers crossed we get that many and fingers crossed they make it until Saturday!

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