Saturday, November 10, 2012

November Gratitude

It's November, which has come to be really significant in our family - it is the birth month of both of our children. Yes, both in the plural sense.

I have been ridiculously absent in the blog world, but I keep my blog posted because, well, a part of me hopes that someone will run across it and glean some element of hope in her own infertility journey.

We went through with FET #1 in March, 2011. We had 3 frozen embryos, put back 2, and low and behold, were again successful. Our son was born 11.11.11.

I always say that our daughter (born 11/27/09), Lyla, was the cake AND the icing. I never expected anything beyond that in my wildest dreams. Our son, Cade, is beyond the entire cake - maybe the sprinkles or something. I still have to pinch myself that he's here with us.

He'll be one on Sunday. It's been an amazing year.

Infertility remains a defining moment in my life. The defining moment, actually. It's always with me, and it completely changed the course of my life's path. It's a positive for me in retrospect - but it was undoubtedly the hardest journey I've ever traveled.

Cade's first birthday makes me look at where we've been and it forces me to consider where we're going as a family. We have one more embryo, which we will put back sometime next year. It's an emotional thing to consider, but we're committed to giving that little life the same chance we gave the others.

I remain indebted to the blog world because it really helped me through some of my darkest days. So, this November I am thankful for not only the beautiful lives we have been entrusted with, I'm also grateful for every ounce of support we received along the journey, right here in cyberspace. It's so emotional to revisit everyone's stories and see the successes and to lament the ongoing struggles. Where there is energy and effort, there is hope. I just know it.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

On this day... year ago Lyla was a tiny embryo. I remember the weekend so well - I couldn't sleep, couldn't eat - I anticipated the next call from the lab with tears of joy and feelings of dread, all at once.

And, now here we are one year later. Our lives have been completely transformed. I wanted to write a brief update just to express that we are happy and that life is going well. Our home is a little dustier, phone calls are harder and harder to return and I'm not as organized as I used to be...but Lyla is the light of my days. I wake up and feel completely blessed with joy that I get to spend the entire day with her.

She is now 3 1/2 months, and I can't believe how quickly this year is flying by. She is a completely different baby than the one who was born back in November. She smiles at everything, is losing her hair, sleeps unreliably at night and has learned to love to nurse - yes, nursing was our first real challenge together and we made it through. I'm very proud of that.

It sounds cliche, but life is very, very good. At this point in my life's journey, I'm convinced that every tear, every fear and every horrible day of our infertility is now worth it. I hope there's a note of hope in that for anyone out there struggling with the agonizing desire to have a baby. I still read all of your blogs faithfully, and while I don't often have time to comment, I think of you all and pray regularly that a baby is on the horizon.

Lyla Q. is such an amazing miracle, and I feel so blessed to be her mommy.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

She's Here!!

Lyla Quinn was born on Friday, Nov. 27 (her exact due date!) at 2:46 p.m. At 22 inches long, she weighed a whopping 9 lbs., 3 oz.

I am more overcome with love than I ever thought imaginable. She is just amazing. L. took this picture right after he handed her to me, and I think it's my most favorite photograph in the world.

Simply put, she is a living, breathing miracle.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

She's Almost Here!

Yesterday we went in for an ultrasound as our little girl seems snug in her cocoon and is showing no definitive signs of arrival at almost 40 weeks.

According to the ultrasound, she is a very big girl, weighing in at almost 10 pounds. After consulting with our doctor, we've opted for a C-section, scheduled for Friday at 2:30. Of course, ultrasound weights tend to be a little off at this point in pregnancy, so she probably doesn't weigh that much in actuality. However, I'm not arguing the benefits of a C-section, and I just want her to enter the world as safely as possible.

I am so excited about seeing her that yesterday flew by in a blur, but as we get closer, I find that I am nervous and wrestling with the feelings I suppose any new parent grapples with: I can't believe we're going to have a newborn baby in our home in less than 48 hours.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Update: Full Term

Today is a major milestone - 37 weeks. We are officially full term.

After weeks and weeks of sitting on pins and needles, we are relieved to reach this point. Our baby is measuring in the 72nd percentile for growth, and the doctor is predicting she will be approximately 8.5 pounds. Unbelieveable!

Physically, I'm feeling good overall, just very tired. I think that fatigue has been far more of a factor for me in the 3rd trimester than any other - probably because I ran on adrenaline during the first two.

The nursery is complete, stroller purchased and the carseat is ready to go (I even know how to use it!).

I am feeling really reflective at this point in the pregnancy - I often wander into the nursery and sit there for a very long time, just thinking about where we've been and where we are now. I feel so grateful for every hiccup, every kick and every little movement. Somehow I don't think I would have been so gracious had this pregnancy come easily. I know I wouldn't.

I am apprehensive about labor, but not really about the pain. All I can think about is getting to that moment where our little girl cries for the first time and we know that everything is really okay with her.

And, I still can't believe the miracle of IVF and the fact that when we first saw her she was 7 or 8 cells. Now, she is a living, thriving little baby kicking inside of me.

It's the miracle of my lifetime.

Friday, July 10, 2009

20 Weeks

The halfway point. We're here.

I'm not sure why it's been nearly 10 weeks since I've posted - I know now from personal experience that getting pregnant does not erase the battle wounds of the last 2 1/2 years.

I originally wanted to post about every aspect of my pregnancy, but somehow it didn't seem appropriate to do so this in this forum because every time I did, I felt like I was evoking pain for someone else. I know that's presumptuous - I mean, in all likelihood if my posts caused pain for anyone out there, surely they'd just stop reading my blog. I know that, but it still felt like "that girl" who can't stop talking about her pregnancy, and my heart has been broken by that person so many times throughout this experience in my life.

Nonetheless, I am inspired to post today to commemorate the midpoint of our pregnancy.

Significant events of the last 9 weeks:
  • We've moved to a new city and are getting settled into a completely new life. I'm not currently working and probably won't for the next few months, which is a huge life transition for me. I've been a career girl for the last 11 years of my life, and taking time off is not something I ever planned - it's just that finding employment at 5 months pregnant in the (ailing) nonprofit world is probably not a great likelihood at this point. I think it's a God-given opportunity to take a break, be pregnant and re-evaluate my life. I feel very blessed (albeit somewhat displaced) to have this time.

  • We are having a little girl. We did not learn this in the way I thought we would - I didn't wake up one morning and think, "Today we'll find out the sex of our child." In fact, like many things in life (i.e. not being able to conceive at will), this fact did not reveal itself in at all the way I imagined that it would. I had a very scary spotting episode en route to vacation at 17 weeks, 4 days. It was the single scariest moment of my life. Unfortunately, I discovered this 1 hour into a two hour flight. We cancelled everything as soon as we landed and headed straight to an ER (which wasn't an easy task to accomplish in Newark, NJ). God led us to a wonderful ER in Somerville, NJ, and we received the care we needed. The spotting stopped as soon as it started and hasn't returned. There was no specific reason given for the episode other than it may have been a bursting capillary on my cervix or the result of a low lying placenta. We'll find out more about the low lying placenta in an ultrasound scheduled for next Friday. Interestingly, in the hour following the spotting discovery on the plane, my thoughts were not of needles, swollen ovaries and egg retrievals - all I could think about was the little face on the ultrasound and the most intense fear that our baby was in distress. It was a horrible moment.

  • My relationship with my IVF friend is officially over. Long story short, I attempted to graciously share the news of our pregnancy with her at 12 weeks before she heard of it from someone else, and subsequently received a nasty response in which I was told I was a "black cloud" that hung over her pregnancy because she had to "walk on eggshells" throughout it because of me. A disappointment, for certain, but a relationship I will never again question putting in my rearview mirror.

I don't know if I'll start posting again. I've noticed that sometimes people create new pregnancy blogs, which I can completely understand. But somehow, this doesn't feel like the right venue for me because I still feel like infertility is undeniably my shadow, even throughout pregnancy: in no way does it feel like a part of my life that's completely finished. I've considered creating a new family blog when our our baby makes her appearance, but that's still very much a dream for me.

Pregnancy post infertility is a moment in life that, to me, has been like a long drink of water after a prolonged drought. I cherish every single minute and revere my growing belly and all 12 pounds of my weight gain. I am still in awe of the whole process and can't quite get over the miracle growing inside me.

I still read your posts and pray regularly that there resolve is on the horizon. This journey is one that seems without ending, although pregnancy resulting from a treatment cycle is accompanied by a profound joy that is no comparison for the feelings experienced by someone who conceives after 2 months of trying.

And no one will ever convince me otherwise.

Monday, May 11, 2009

11 Wk 3 Day Ultrasound

Today my pregnancy felt real for the very first time. Laying there and looking at an ultrasound screen of MY UTERUS and seeing a little baby move around was nothing short of miraculous.

I can't stop looking at the pictures and marveling at the fact that I met this little baby at just 8 tiny cells, and he has now morphed into an actual being with arms and legs that move. (By the way, I'm using "he" here generally.)

Our baby has a little chin, a tiny nose and ears that are moving into place. His arms and legs are moving, and at one point in the ultrasound he arched his back. Our baby is measuring at 12 weeks, so he's growing well - approximately the size of a beautiful lime! Heartbeat increased to 162 beautiful beats per minute. My OB says our baby "looks great".

There is still a part of me that has to convince myself that the monitor was actually connected to my uterus and was not a television appearance of someone else's baby. It's all so surreal, still.

Things are going well - still intermittent nausea that feels exactly like bad car sickness, insomnia (I finally fall asleep to the Golden Girls nearly every night, starting at about 1:30 a.m.) and fatigue when I get home from work. I'm hungry all the time and very emotional.

It was great seeing my OB today because she was so thrilled for us. As we were leaving, she said, "This baby is so lucky to have you two as parents."

We feel so blessed to have this baby. God is good.