Friday, December 18, 2015

20 weeks pregnant

Wow! Today is the 20-week mark!

So far, everything is going great. I'm finally starting to feel better, although I still have to take nausea meds. When I forget, I do still feel sick all day. I also am still having terrible headaches. As much as both of those things suck, I definitely prefer it to not being pregnant. It's worth it.

All I've been doing is soaking up baby kicks. I will almost certainly never experience this again, so I just want to remember all of it. With Audrey, I enjoyed it, but I never thought I would be faced with the things I was faced with after having her. After going through infertility and/or losses, it definitely changes you completely. I just want to enjoy every minute of this pregnancy, from here on out.

On the topic of never experiencing this again, this will be our second living child (knock on wood). My husband and I tossed around the idea of three kids early on in our relationship and marriage. Back when we were beginning to try for baby #2, I was still kind of wanting three kids. After going through what we did, I definitely don't want another child. I don't want to experience loss again, I don't want to try anymore. It is just way too much, physically and emotionally. I truly commend the women who have several losses, even stillbirths, and keep trying. I know I wouldn't be able to handle much more than what I did. The strength some women have just amazes me.

I've already had several people ask me if we are having another, and even when I say we are done, a lot of them still make jokes with me like "you never know, you'll probably end up with an accident", or "you'll decide to have another". The jokes about having an accident are fine (although I deem that unlikely), but when people act like I just have no clue what I'm talking about when I say we won't try for a number three? No, we *know* we don't want to go through this again! At this point in time, the only reason I would possibly try again for another is if something happened to this baby, and that is still a big maybe.

So it is crazy knowing I am half-way through this pregnancy, and I will almost certainly never experience baby kicks, hiccups again after next May. It's quite sad, but I'm thankful that I've been able to experience it at all, because some women never do. I am definitely not taking this for granted.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

It's a...



BOY!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't believe it! My husband and I both really thought he was a girl. But then again, we thought Audrey was a boy. So I guess I am just really one of those people who just has no idea on something like that! HAHA!

I'm still kind of shocked, to be honest. I also just always imagined myself as a girl mom, especially since having Audrey. I love headbands, pink, the cute girl clothes, everything. Not to mention, I've always wanted a sister, so I thought it would be so amazing to have two daughters who could experience the sisterly bond (hopefully, lol).

However, I also did want a boy. At the daycares I worked at, all of my favorite little babies and toddlers were boys except for one. I know I will enjoy him. But I am still really surprised, I think I am still in shock!!! 

He is silly already and he definitely wants me to know everything is okay in there...



When the tech told us it was a boy, I said "Did you hear that, Audrey? It's a boy!". She said "It's a boy!? Ooooooh, I like!!" Still, she isn't quite sure what is going on, but I bet she will understand a bit more soon. We are excited to watch her be a big sister and are so happy that this is finally happening!!!

Oh, and a bump pic...yesterday at 16 weeks and 1 day!



We are having another ultrasound sometime at the end of December, so hopefully I'll have another cute ultrasound pic or two then. Yesterday, she said he seems to like laying with his feet on my bladder, aka breech. Which makes sense, because he kicks me sometimes near my belly where I can feel it well, but he mostly likes to flutter and move around down low. Hopefully he finds a different position he likes as he grows :) 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

All is well!

I have been terrible with updating this blog. I definitely need to be better about it!

Today, I am 14 weeks and 2 days pregnant. I am finally in the second trimester, and I'm so happy. I'm feeling some movement, which is the best part of pregnancy for me. It still seems kind of crazy that I am still pregnant. Not only am I still pregnant, but in thirteen days, we find out if this baby is a BOY or a GIRL. I'm freaking out! I think I might actually be more excited to see the baby again than to find out what it is, which is kind of funny.

I'll update as soon as we find out what this little jelly bean is, with an ultrasound photo *and* a belly picture!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Love.

I think it is starting to finally hit me that this might just be it, our rainbow baby. I'm 10 weeks and 5 days, and I bought a new doppler on Saturday. Guess what? I've heard a beautiful heartbeat every single day. I've just been amazed. There is an actual baby in there, already swimming away from the doppler and being ornery.

 I went to Target last week and spent a while walking through the baby section by myself. Guys, you have no idea how many times I've walked through there in the past year and a half and just wanted to weep. Sometimes I did tear up. Target is always full of pregnant women, rubbing their bumps, laughing, smiling, registering for their showers, and throwing baby things in their baskets. I almost started crying this time, touching everything, because I'm still in disbelief that so far, this baby seems healthy, and I may be able to seriously buy baby stuff soon. I could be one of those pregnant women again.

I was in the tenth week last pregnancy when I started having pinkish, yellow and brown spotting. It was very light, and most people won't have noticed that it was an off color. According to our first ultrasound, I was 11 weeks when we had our second and the baby measured 8 weeks and 4 days. So it feels amazing to know that I'm almost eleven weeks and this baby is still in there thriving. I'm so in love with this little baby. Just like I've loved all my babies. But this one I'm feeling a deep connection with. I just feel so much love right now, and my pain is slowly going away. I know it won't ever disappear, but I can already feel this baby just helping my heart so much. I know it sounds ridiculous.

Okay, enough cheesiness for today. :)

I'd have to say one of the hardest things so far this pregnancy (besides the general worries) has been due date groups. I've read several posts about how their friend or sister miscarried or is having trouble conceiving, and the hateful tone and rude comments have appalled me. I haven't gotten into any arguments, but it is so sad that my opinion is always ignored by the rude ones. Luckily I have been backed up by a couple of women, but it is always women who went through infertility and or loss as well. Some of the things I've read:

 1) "My friend and I were pregnant and due the same week and she had a miscarriage. I've tried texting and calling her but she says she doesn't want to talk right now and she needs space. Obviously I've lost a friend, she's being ridiculous. What do I do?" The worst reply? "She sounds like a terrible friend. Drop her, if she can't get over it and be happy for you then she's not worth your time. I'd cut ties with her". The poster AGREED. Disgusting. I tried to explain to them that miscarriages are far from easy and she's mourning. The fact that she was due the same time as her made it a thousand times worse, because seeing her and talking to her reminds her of what she lost and should have. I told her to just give her space and tell her she's sorry and she loves her. The poster was like "well she's being a bad friend and doesn't want me to text her so I don't think so".

2) "My friend is having trouble getting pregnant and posted the other day that if she sees one more pregnancy announcement she's going to lose it. What do I do? I'm going to post my announcement this week." (My advice was to message her and say you wanted to give her a heads up, and that you're thinking about her and just didn't want to upset her even more since she saw her post about it. Someone had said that it sounded stupid and so I also tried to explain why pregnancy announcements hurt those dealing with infertility). Stupid comment (luckily not as bad as the one above about miscarriage): "If someone can't be happy when they see a friend's pregnancy announcement then that is their problem. If it hurts her, it hurts her. Nothing to do with you. Don't worry about it"

It just really breaks my heart that so many people have a "get over it" attitude with miscarriage and infertility. You have those people that will be blunt and let you know that they don't care about anyone else's problems, and you have those people that say they care but have a bad attitude deep down. I know it is hard to think about infertility and loss when you're pregnant and trying to be happy, believe me, but dang. I don't understand why so many people are so harsh and hateful. I've experienced so much nastiness personally and just by reading comments on articles and posts...it's sick.

So with that, I say...be the good you would like to see in the world, people. Say good things. Help people. Care for people. Everyone is fighting SOME kind of battle, just because you don't understand it, don't think it would be very hard, whatever...have some empathy. Love one another.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

OMG!!!!!

You guys!!!

There is a tiny, adorable baby in my uterus. Every time I look at this picture, I just melt.


Someone pinch me! I AM SO EXCITED!!! This might really happen! I could have a baby next spring, in my arms! I could be feeling flutters in a month or two! I could be buying baby clothes around Christmas time. Audrey could really be getting a little brother or sister.

My baby measured 8 weeks and 4 days today with a due date of May 6th. This is two days further along than my ovulation estimation and one day further along than my "pregnancy test" estimation (a darker bfp than what I expected at 8dpo). In other words, absolutely perfect. We still didn't get to hear a heartbeat, but we saw the heart beating away and he said it looks as healthy as can be. We get to listen to the heartbeat next time but I will be trying my doppler a few times before then just to see if I can get lucky.

I just cannot get over this. I was so nervous this morning, but my baby is growing and looks perfect. I love it so much. I kept myself a bit detached but today that all changed, so everything better go good from here on out! I'm in love!!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

{Almost} 8 week update

So, last week, I went ahead and called my OB because I was worried.

He told me to come in for an ultrasound, but we really didn't learn much. It went okay. I really don't know what exactly to think or feel, so I am really trying to stay on the positive side of things.

The good news is that there was a baby there, and that baby had a heartbeat. The not so great news was that the baby measured 6 weeks and 2 days when I should have been measuring 6 weeks and 4/5 days (ovulation says 6w4d, but I got a pretty good line at 8dpo that would have shown up at 7dpo for sure, so I've been thinking 6w5d and an early implantation). My OB also did not measure the heart rate, so I don't know how that was, which sucks because that was our worry with Hope. At 6w4d, she measured 6w6d and her heart rate was low at 109.

My OB said the measurement had room for error this early, and another two friends told me there was a 5 day window of error and that any tiny difference in placement of measurements could put it a day or two off, easy. Also, my OB did it, and not an ultrasound tech, so there's that. I'm so hoping that we go in next Tuesday and that baby measures around 8w3d/8w4d, which is where I should be that day, with a super great, healthy heart rate!

I so, so want this little miracle rainbow so badly!

Symptoms:

Some faint nausea here and there on most days
Food cravings and aversions
Bloating
Constipation
Tender breasts
Pulling and a few cramps a week
Shooting pain while sneezing
Discomfort after big meals
LOTS of burping
Frequent urination
Fatigue

Here is our sweet baby, and my "bump" which is obviously mostly bloat, lol:



Try not to pay too much attention to the mess in my belly photo, this is our junk room right now while we declutter the house, so literally everything is just thrown in there right now!

I hope and pray that I have an absolutely wonderful update next week for you all! Come on baby #4!!!!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Still Pregnant

Today marks 6 weeks and 2 days.

(6 weeks, 3 days in a few hours).

So far, so good. I've had a couple of things that have scared me, and one thing that still is, but I'm trying to put it in the back of my mind. It's only two weeks until my ultrasound, and I'm going to go into that expecting the worst so that maybe I will be pleasantly surprised. An awful way of going about it, but probably the most wise decision. I've still tried to keep myself from becoming too attached to this pregnancy. I know I will still be upset if I miscarry, but maybe I won't become depressed if I don't let myself get attached.

I still have very tender boobs, and my nausea is closer to the nausea I had with Audrey than with my other pregnancies. I have had quite a few food aversions in the past week too. My blump (bloat bump) is already outrageous. I always look pregnant early on because of this.

Last week I had a terrible sinus infection. I stayed in bed all week long with a pounding head, no energy, and nausea. I felt awful. Besides the nausea and some fatigue, I'm feeling much better this week!!!

Hopefully I can update again soon, with GREAT news!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

4 weeks 5 days

I am trying so hard to be positive about this pregnancy. It seems like one minute I'll feel very positive about it and the next minute I just feel super negative. It's hard after losses. People keep telling me "Oh stop thinking like that" and "Just don't think about it". Nobody saying these things to me would be able to take their own advice in my situation. I can't stand it when people act like I'm being stupid for worrying.

I decided to compile a list of good/bad things so far.
 
The Good:
~ My tests are still very dark.
~ I'm cramping some almost every day.
~ My boobs are insanely sore, more than the last two pregnancies.
~ I've gagged at smells for the past two mornings.
~ I've felt some "almost" nausea for about a week now, mostly after eating. Not what I would call sick yet.
 
The Bad:
~ I haven't actually felt nauseous. By this time with Audrey, I was VERY sick. With my first loss, I never got sick, and with my second loss, I had very faint nausea.
~ My dark tests are very, very dark, which most people don't see as bad, but with my last pregnancy, it was.
~ My last test was a bit more faint than the exact same brand of test I took two days prior.
~ My progesterone that I am taking could be giving me the symptoms that I do have.
 
 
Everyone keeps telling me not to compare pregnancies, but there is really no way not to. I will say that this pregnancy feels much more like my pregnancy with Audrey than the other two did, except for the lack of morning sickness. Everyone keeps telling me that not everyone gets morning sickness, and I know that, but in *my* experience, with *my* pregnancies, I've only carried to term when I was sick.
 
I hate that my ultrasound isn't until I am 8 weeks and 3 days pregnant. Still SO far off. I hope that I make it to then, and I hope everything looks great then. I keep hoping that I wake up to morning sickness, but so far it hasn't happened yet. Hopefully soon. I really am trying to stay positive, but if I don't get sick in the next few days I'm really not going to have much hope for this pregnancy at all. I'm doing my very best not to get attached.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

11dpo update

Early pregnancy is seriously so nerve-wracking.

I used to worry about the test line not darkening fast enough, now I worry about it darkening too fast. With Sunny, after a week or so, they started darkening less. With Hope, they darkened very fast, and when I got my HCG levels, they went from 43 to 187 in 48 hours...more than quadrupling. I don't remember where I read it, but I read somewhere later on that levels rising that fast was a sign of something wrong (blighted ovum, molar pregnancy) but that it could also mean a chromosomal abnormality of some kind. Then again, it could just be normal, or it could be multiples. Here is the pic of Monday (8dpo) and today (11dpo) both FMU.

 
Obviously the line has gotten much darker, but I really don't know if that is normal or not. Having issues with Hope has made this so much harder. Luckily, that was my last pregnancy test. So I won't be taking anymore, I'm just going to sit back and let the pregnancy progress. I've got sore boobs, so my body knows it is pregnant. I just hate not truly feeling pregnant!

My OB put me on progesterone, so I'm on that, taking 5mg of methylfolate on top of the 1mg in my prenatal vitamin, taking DHA, my daily baby aspirin, and my synthroid. I'm trying literally everything I can to make sure that this pregnancy works out. If it doesn't, I will know that I did everything that I could. But I am trying to stay positive, and overall I have a good feeling about this one.


I'm due on May 8, Mother's Day!

Monday, August 24, 2015

It's Test Day...

I hate test day so much, because it is filled with so much sadness when the test is negative. There is just so much disappointment. I always start testing too early, too. It sucks.

During the last month, I have considered doing a vlog on YouTube. I love watching these women take tests every month, it gets me excited and I always end up crying for them! It has just always seemed so fun, although time-consuming.

 
 
It turns out, it's too late to start a vlog, because I'm very cautiously expecting!
 
 
 
 
 
I really can't believe it, I wasn't expecting this at all this month. I felt really out because of our timing, but I guess this just shows that my husband's swimmers are not the problem! I'm married to a fertile myrtle, ya'll!!! I am 8dpo according to my chart, and 10dpo according to fertile signs. My chart shows that there is no way I am 10dpo though because of my temperatures, but I don't know, these tests are faint but in person are a darker than any 8dpo test I have ever taken. I could have definitely gotten squinters to show up yesterday.
 
We are due May 8. My first appointment is in a month and we will have an ultrasound. My OB is calling me in some progesterone, which is good. My level was only 13 on Friday. That is higher than what it was with Audrey at that point in time, but not by much. I've always heard that they want it above 20 in a clomid cycle, and it isn't there.
 
I am hoping everything works out with this pregnancy, and I'm feeling very optimistic! No stress this time around!!!! Please let this be our rainbow!



P.S. If you have me on Facebook, please do not say anything. We plan to announce after our ultrasound if everything goes well. Just keep us in your thoughts and prayers, please!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

3 days past ovulation.

So far, this clomid is doing what it needs to be doing!

My temperature instantly shot up to as high as it ever gets during the TWW, and it usually takes me 6-8 days to get there. That means clomid raised my progesterone levels, which also makes me think I really did have a strong ovulation and a good egg. I am super excited for this! I knew it was just what my body needed. I also started using Progessence Plus yesterday. I feel like it has really calmed me down and helped with my mood swings, but we will see after a few more days of use!

However, I already have doubts that this will be "the cycle". I have *only* gotten pregnant on cycles where we tried the day before ovulation. We tried three days in a row, then skipped a day, because I thought that was ovulation day. Turns out, it was the day before ovulation. So we did O-4, O-3, & O-2. I don't know what my husband's sperm count/motility etc is like. I can only assume it is at least okay since he has gotten me pregnant 3-4 times, and I have him on many vitamins to help with that just in case. I still definitely have a chance this cycle, so I just need to hope that everything with him is working the way it is supposed to and that everything else (luck, if such a thing exists) is on our side this month. If not, then next month we will be back to every other day. But I hate every other day, because I never know if it is the right every other day! Some studies say you have more of a chance of getting pregnant two days before ovulation, while some studies say it is the day before, and yet others say they are about the same. So I don't know.

I just need to think positively, as surely, surely, surely there were some swimmers up there waiting still. Right? :)



Friday, August 14, 2015

oh my ovaries.

Ohhhh my goodness.

I am in SO much pain today! My ovaries are going to explode (or at least that is what it feels like)! I honestly hope today is ovulation day - that would be amazing as we timed it PERFECTLY! I used to have o pains every cycle (although never this painful), but the past three cycles I haven't. Which really makes me wonder if I've been ovulating like my doctor said, because three months ago, the first cycle I didn't have it, FF said I didn't ovulate. The past two cycles I haven't temped. Maybe I have been ovulating, just not very strong? Who knows!

What I do know is:

 
 
I feel like I am releasing a golf ball instead of a miniscule egg. It is ridiculous! Also, if I am indeed ovulating today, it is amazing because it is actually cd14! I have never ovulated this early since I began charting in 2011. How awesome is that!? Hopefully my temperature jumps up tomorrow.
 
In other news...
 
 


Yes, people, there is a downside to being open about infertility and loss. Getting really sick and tired of people these days. I see you over there. It always hurts me to see people not even trying to understand the infertility and loss communities. Don't say we are having pity parties because we still talk about our losses months later. Don't say we are negative because we've had negative things happen to us and that is how we see life *right now*. Comments like this show that you have not even attempted to understand my situation. Not only is it clear from your words, but it is clear because none of the people making comments about me EVER ask how I am doing. They all asked within a week or so of my losses, but that's it. After that, we should be totally over losing our babies, and we shouldn't even be upset about general infertility issues. "It's not a big deal, if I were you, I'd just go with the flow and relax"...right? No. You have no idea what you are talking about at all. You don't understand, so you should just stop. Quit judging and making assumptions and do a bit of research, have a little bit of sympathy, and then work on empathy.

Sometimes I really regret being open about my issues. Everyone now thinks they can say anything they want about it because I've shared so much about it. Well, all I can say, is if you can't be nice or understanding during this crap, don't expect me to be bff's with you when (hopefully) it is all over for me. It doesn't work that way. If you're an ass once, you're an ass for always.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

cd11 update.

No signs of ovulation yet!

As usual, I'm a bit of a worry wart.

I started clomid and then of course had someone say "Be careful, clomid can thin your uterine lining. If you get a light period, tell your doctor". This immediately scared me, as I've had decently heavy periods for my entire life, but they've been especially heavy since the first miscarriage, and very heavy since the d&c with the second miscarriage. This last period, however, was strangely light for me. I won't go into details, but I thought it was very strange. Then I remembered...I took soy isoflavones, which are supposedly similar to clomid, for three cycles in a row. Three cycles in a row is when you should start being careful with clomid because of a thin lining.

I did a bit of research, and most of it concluded that if ANYTHING, soy isoflavones should thicken your lining. I even read a few women who had an RE who put them on soy isoflavones and clomid both to cancel out the uterine lining thinning that clomid causes. So who really knows. I can't believe everything I read on the internet, so just in case, I came up with a plan to possibly help this situation.

I decided to do everything possible to keep my uterine lining from thinning. I did lots of research and came up with these ideas:

- Raspberry Leaf Tea
- POM juice
- Vitamin E
- Royal Jelly
- Flaxseed
- B Vitamins

They all supposedly keep your lining thick. I've been drinking 1-3 cups a day of Raspberry Leaf Tea (only until ovulation), a cup of POM juice, 800IU of Vitamin E, one tablespoon of Royal Jelly, one tablespoon of flaxseed, and one b-complex a day. If my period still seems slightly light this cycle (oh please, God, don't let my period come), then I will talk to my OB about Femara or a monitoring ultrasound next cycle.

Along with all of that, I've picked up charting my BBT again, because I think it will help me since Clomid is likely to mess with my ovulation, and I want to know when to stop using pre-seed. That stuff is expensive! I also bought some essential oils, including Progessence Plus, that I plan on using on cd21 (if I have ovulated then). I hope that helps my progesterone levels! I've heard some good testimonials! I am trying to remain hopeful this cycle, but I did have a little breakdown last night. It is really hard to keep hope. I haven't felt any cramping yet from the clomid, but man have I had some other symptoms, so I suppose it is working. Let's hope so! :)

Monday, August 3, 2015

Bring it on!



Guess what!?

 
 
This lady finally started clomid today! I have been waiting for this moment for ages. It may not work, but I have complete faith that it will (positivity!). I almost didn't get it, because when he came in and we started talking about it, he went into a similar spiel as other doctors have when I bring up anything about ttc. In thirty seconds I was already feeling helpless as he just told us to keep trying since it has only been since January that we have been trying this time around. I get that, but I'm seriously just feeling so down since in reality we have been trying much longer than that. Luckily, he actually asked me questions instead of cutting me off like other doctors do. We talked about my lack of fertile cervical mucus and my cycles, and after hearing I sometimes have longer cycles, he decided that I may not always ovulate, and that clomid might be a good option for me.
 
I actually have always thought that I ovulate every single month. I just don't think that I ovulate very strongly. However, after looking back now, I think there is one cycle since the d&c that I didn't ovulate on. My temperatures that cycle were very erratic. It never showed ovulation for me - I thought that I ovulated anyway since I had some high temperatures, but every high temperature was met with a lower one, below coverline. I also am having a VERY light period this cycle, which is odd for me, especially since the d&c. I don't know what that is about. I didn't chart this cycle or last, though, and I didn't take opk's this month. I did get EWCM for once though.
 
Anyway, I am taking it cd3-7 and we are doing a progesterone draw on cd21, which will be a Tuesday. I probably won't be 7dpo then, but oh well. Unless my body just acts crazy, I should have at least ovulated by then. I ordered some Progessence Plus to take as well to help my progesterone, but I'm going to wait to take it until after my progesterone check just so I can have some sort of idea what is going on there. I've only had two progesterone checks, one the cycle I was pregnant with Audrey on 7dpo (it was 7.6) and one the cycle I was pregnant with Hope, when my period was due (I never asked what it was because I was kind of scared to know). So this will be interesting. Clomid may also help my progesterone levels, which could help me get and stay pregnant as well.
 
So there you have it. I'm super excited for this cycle, and I sure hope it all works out. We are so ready for this rainbow baby (or babies). Bring it on! 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

What not to say...

...to someone suffering from secondary infertility.

If you missed the miscarriage version, check that out here. To read a list of things people have said to me after my second loss, click here.

While I've had all of these said to me once or twice, reading fellow infertiles rant about it just makes me so angry for them. Why do people say these things? The comments I receive are almost all about my losses, but these still upset me too. As I said in my last post, I've dealt with a lot over the past year and a half. Some people are sweet and helpful even when they don't understand, some people say the wrong thing on accident, and I've come across a select few who just love to make snarky little comments because they're vindictive narcissists. Some people just love to rub the salt into your wounds and make you feel ashamed, inferior, and like a failure. Whatever the reason, you should know better than to say any of these things, and if you have said any version of them, you should really apologize. These comments are also just the tip of the iceberg, unfortunately.



1) Why can't you just be happy with the kid you have?

This one I will legitimately never understand. Like, what makes anyone say this? Every time I've had someone say it to me, it was someone with more than one child. Why did YOU have one more kid? Because you wanted one? Most likely. Most people want more than one child, and that is perfectly okay and normal. What would you do without all of your children? If you really wanted more than one child, or a big family, what would you have felt like if you couldn't have that? You would have been devastated. What you are implying is that wanting another kid makes me selfish, and that since I am infertile, I obviously don't deserve a second child. I can assure you that I do not take my child for granted. If anything, I cherish her even more because I know I may never have another child. Is it wrong of me to want her to have a sibling? I don't think so. Therefore, this is an ignorant statement to make. If you say it, prepare to lose a friend or be bitched out. You deserved it.

2) Just adopt (this one isn't really mean, just not helpful at all, and very dismissive).

I'm sorry, have you ever actually researched the adoption process? Not only is it long and not guaranteed, but it is expensive as hell (which is sad). I'm talking $30,000 or thousands of dollars more. Now, if you want to give me the money, then I will drive my ass to the nearest adoption center and start the process. Happily. Until then, don't suggest it.

3) You have one kid. You're not infertile.

The definition of infertility is "not being able to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term after more than a year of trying". So basically, someone who had one child and has tried for seven years to have another is still a fertile myrtle in your eyes? I've been off birth control for over a year and a half and have had two pregnancies, both of which were not successful. I have fertility issues. I've worked my butt off. But to some, I'm still super fertile. That is hilarious to me. Secondary infertility is still infertility. Recurrent pregnancy loss is still infertility. If you believe that you can only be infertile if you've never had a child, or never been pregnant at all, then you have a lot of research to do.

4) Your infertility (or loss) makes me uncomfortable.

This one doesn't even HAVE to be said. I've been places where there were quite a few of us talking. Eventually, someone asks me about my struggles. It never fails - most of the time one or two people will just get up and walk away. It's disgusting. I've had a few people tell me I make them uncomfortable. I totally understand that, but I get uncomfortable too. I get uncomfortable when I'm around pregnant women. I get uncomfortable when a pregnant woman rubs her belly constantly, complains about how long pregnancy is, talks about how blessed she is in front of me, etc. I get uncomfortable in many situations now. I have dealt with so many situations and I only get up and walk away when it is a situation that has made me uncomfortable for months and keeps going, without fail. Other than that, I sit there and deal with it even if I don't want to. Telling someone to stop talking about their infertility or loss, a family member's death, or any other stressful/painful situation because it makes you uncomfortable is hurtful and selfish. To just get up and walk away in a very obvious manner is rude. I have a fellow RPL sister who was told by her mother that she made her sister uncomfortable when she talked about her losses, so she needed to stop and be sensitive to her. Her sister was pregnant. Yet, her mother didn't care to tell the sister to stop complaining about her pregnancy, bragging, etcetera. This stuff isn't fair. No, we shouldn't just sit there and talk about it constantly, but a conversation helps us. Our situations may make you uncomfortable for a moment, but every day life hurts us. We are uncomfortable constantly. This world celebrates fertility, showcases it. Infertility and loss is still shameful and embarrassing, even though it has come a long way over the past few years. Help break that stigma. Just let us talk about it, work past your slight discomfort and try to understand. Us hurting does not hurt you.

Secondary infertility is hard. Pregnancy loss is hard. The last thing we need is a stupid comment. Most of us, including me, get several. More people would be open with their struggles if people weren't so hurtful. There should be no shame in infertility or loss. Please educate yourself on infertility and loss for your friends and family members. Just because you don't hear about it, doesn't mean it isn't happening. Just because you know about it and it isn't being talked about, doesn't mean it isn't hurting. Just because we're smiling doesn't mean we aren't sad. Be helpful, not hurtful.

Monday, July 27, 2015

I pee evap lines.

So, I woke up this morning and decided to take a pregnancy test. Why? I'm not really sure. I thought "Well, I'm somewhere around 7-8dpo, and I'm bored".

I got this.

{Don't mind my fingernails from removing mascara}
 
It looks like a faint positive line. It was clear as day. I put Audrey in a big sister shirt. My husband was home and saw it immediately - we thought I was for sure pregnant! I did a few things around the house and went back to it and it was gone. Not completely gone. There was a tiny sliver of a line left, without color, and it looked like some dust collected in it (like an indention in it with some dust). But after wiping it off, I saw what looked like my normal evap line (barely there, every cycle), but still too thin. How this line was there and then gone, I don't know. I had that happen with Sunny, but it didn't turn into a weird sliver either.

I really don't know what is going on. I took a FRER with a 1.5 hour hold (which was stupid of me) and it was stark white. However, I think it is more likely that I am 7dpo than 8dpo, and I'm still feeling like I'll have better luck next month with clomid, hopefully!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Live your life.

So, the past few weeks have been pretty uneventful.

We did try to get pregnant this cycle, but we have been very relaxed about it. I've actually drank a few times, two of those resulting in getting drunk. I don't mind one bit. I deserved a relaxing cycle. I am only about 6dpo today, so it is still too early to take a pregnancy test, although I'm pretty positive I'm not pregnant after all of the partying I've done! I do plan on cutting alcohol out almost completely for a couple of months in hopes that it helps, but I do want to have a Halloween party if I'm not pregnant by then. It was so nice just letting go, though. I didn't realize how badly I needed it.

I will probably still talk to my OB about clomid next week, but I have been so drained this year. I'm done with that. This journey is the most ridiculous thing I've ever experienced. It's too hard, so we are taking a break on the "hardcore" trying for a few months, even if we use clomid. I think about it too much and I'm so sick of it, so that's that! We will obviously still be using our normal things and timing it right, but I'm not dwelling on the "what-ifs".

Our Hope's due date was last week, and I actually did amazing all day. On Sunny's due date in March, our loss with Hope was still so fresh that I was a mess. This due date was so much easier, and for that, I am incredibly thankful. Time has definitely healed my wounds a lot. It is still really hard to  see a pregnant women with 3+ children already, or someone's birth announcement who was due the same week as I was. But it isn't as hard as it was a few months ago.

I've had my share of annoyances over the past year and a half. A couple of friends who turned out not to be friends at all. A family member who tries hard to make my life miserable. Insensitive comments. People without empathy. People who see me post about my struggles and then go discuss them with others, along with their opinions on why I lost my babies and can't get pregnant easily. {These are usually "she's too stressed out, maybe if she stressed less she would quit miscarrying", "she isn't trying hard enough", "she's having sex at the wrong times", "she needs to lose weight", and probably a slew of horrifying, satanic things I don't want to hear (but karma is a bitch)}.

As devastating as this journey has been, and still is, I've realized that people aren't what they seem. I have met some amazing people since losing my babies. I've rekindled friendships with others who have reached out to me with kindness. I've disliked friends and family members for their insensitivity, and I've realized that some people are just hateful. I've found out that people can fake kindness because they are "Christians", but behind closed doors they do and say some terrible things. I've found out who my friends and family truly are. In a way, that is a blessing, because there is no sense wasting time on people who just want to see you suffer.

I've had a lot of time to think lately. To cut people out of my life. To watch friends ignore me, to hear awful comments, and realize...I don't have to deal with this anymore. I am not going to let other people and the way they act affect me any longer. It is best to do a lot of ignoring and avoiding yourself. It doesn't matter if your situation makes people uncomfortable - it doesn't mean someone can be nasty to you or just drop you, their "friend", like a fly. We are all worth more than that. Don't let someone hurt you, or make you feel inferior.

With all of that, I can finally say that I am the most relaxed I have been in a long time. Less hurtful people, less hurtful comments, more friends, more laughing, more happiness. This past month has been an absolute blast. I hope to continue that. I can't say that another loss wouldn't almost kill me again, because it probably would. But I can't think about that right now. Why worry about something that hasn't happened yet, and may never happen?

Ladies, do not let this burden eat you alive. Life is too short to be miserable...cut the negativity out and do what makes you happy. Don't look back on this time and regret letting the sadness and emptiness take over your life.

Love you, girls!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Can you feel me when I think about you?



So, I got my angel babies tattoo! It still needs to be touched up in a few places, and I'm still trying to decide on a few more details. I *love* it, besides the lettering. It looked great on paper, but she didn't do it very straight and I'm quite aggravated since it's permanent. I can live with it besides a few little spots, and I'm hoping it can be easily fixed somehow...but I really don't know. I looked in the mirror after she did it as well and it looked fine in the mirror, but of course it was flipped. My favorite part is the little bird and the tree limb on the bottom. That bird represents Audrey, and the two up top represent Hope and Sunny. I think I want those completely filled in as well.

The outline around the words is supposed to represent me, since it is a large bird. I originally wanted it a little bit more faint but now I think I want it outlined more, to make it darker.

Our miscarriage date with Sunny is in three days, and our due date with Hope is in eight days. I'm actually doing MUCH better this time around than I was in March with Sunny's due date, probably because I was freshly mourning Hope. My mom will be in for this due date as well so I think that will help me keep my mind off of things.

I think I am on cycle day 9 - I did take soy but I haven't been keeping track. I didn't track my BBT last cycle and I'm not tracking it this cycle, either. We're still trying, but with much less stress. We will see if it works, but I doubt it. Back to the doctor in a few weeks!

<3

Thursday, July 2, 2015

life update.

{I apologize for how long it has been since I've posted an update. We got a new dog, and he chewed through my laptop cord. My new cord is on its way. I am writing this on my phone so if there are any typos, I will have to fix them later. Bear with me. }

Quite a lot has happened since the last update. First of all, my husband got a new job! We are so excited. He has been wanting this for such a long time. We will be moving eventually, so we have been very busy (slowly) getting this house ready to sell. I have multiple boxes full of stuff to pack away that we don't need right now plus stuff to sell, and the house has been pretty cluttered due to trying to declutter. Funny how that works. We are in the middle of staining our kitchen cabinets now and we have a few more updates we want to do.

Due to all of this, we may have missed our fertile time this cycle. I'm not quite sure, but it is highly possible. After that little situation, we had our OB appointment a couple of days later. It was the last day of our insurance for a month, and I planned on talking to him about clomid or femara since my RE has shown zero interest in helping me get pregnant until I spend thousands of dollars on every test imaginable. Well, what do you know...a few mminutes before my appointment I got a call saying my OB had an emergency c-section and we would have to reschedule. For August, when my insurance starts up again. I spent the next ten minutes on the verge of tears. We went somewhere a few minutes later and as we were about to get out of the car, a pregnant women with three small children walked in front of our car. Yes, I did start bawling.

So now I am hoping that somehow I am wrong this month and I get a BFP, but it is not something I am expecting. So next cycle I will take soy isoflavones AGAIN, and then ask my OB for clomid/femara in August. I am feeling much better now than I was a week ago. Thank goodness. Also, some good news: I got my last TSH level back...1.9 again! Yahoo.

Lastly...the worse part. We got a new dog a little over a month ago from the humane society. His name is Todd. He is a TOTAL sweetheart! When we got him, he had kennel couugh. He was still loving and cuddly at first, we got him on some antibiotics and all was well. He then started sleeping a lot, which was expected. As soon as the antibiotics finished, he had three days of plauing fetch and being happy! Then he was miserable again and we called for more antibiotics. Next, I started noticing that his eyes started looking funny, and he was running into a few things. I took him to the vet again and was told that he wasn't blind, but he did have ulcers. We got some ointment for his eyes. Then same thing - at the end of the antibiotics he acted a tad better. Not much, but a tad. His eyes looked better and everything! During this entire thing,  I kept thinking...there is something else wrong with this dog. This is not just ulcers and kennel cough.

A couple of days after he was diagnosed with ulcers, I got on Facebook and saw that our him and society posted an update. I couldn't help but cry as I read it. They had a dog that had JUST been diagnosed with canine distemper. They said recently adopted dogs probably wouldn't be affected, but I knew it. I knew that was it. I read up on the symptoms and called my brother (who worked at the vet). He told me after we left last time, the vet said it kind of seemed like our dog might have it, so he would just keep an eye on him since distemper is pretty rare. I called the humane society and told them we were 90% sure that we had a dog with CD and that we had adopted him almost a month prior.

The next day, they announced that they'd found almost 40 dogs with it. I don't know if they were all there or if they counted Todd and other recently adopted dogs. However, since then Todd has went completely blind. He runs into everything. He has also lost control over his legs to an extent. He can barely walk and falls over quite often. He has had several small seizures just in his head and had his first seizure with his hind legs only today (that I have witnessed). We went to the vet again two days ago, and he had lost 7 lbs in less than two weeks. I try so hard to get him to eat. He will only eat wet food, and yesterday I offered him even more and he ended up puking up the excess even though it was done gradually throughout the day.

Our vet suggested putting him down. He told us to call Friday (tomorrow) and let him know how he is doing. He has gotten a bit worse for sure. I just can't believe it. We got this puppy to take our minds off of losing our babies, and now we are going to lose him. We already love him so much. I am quite angry at my luck right now and feel terrible for this sweet dog. He didn't deserve this. He is the sweetest dog ever.

So as per usual, we are playing this game called one step forward, two steps back. It isn't fun. I had lots of hope for 2015 and am still trying to hold out some hope, but right now I'm hoping 2016 is great since we are half way through this year and, well, it sucks.

Friday, June 12, 2015

{don't give up}

I have been browsing Pinterest a lot over the past few days. I know many people use Pinterest for projects and meals, but I use it for everything. I have more boards than I care to count. Quotes, food, infertility, my angels, rainbow baby, house...and a bunch more. Quotes on miscarriage and infertility really make me feel better if I am having a bad day! I see so many quotes that speak to me. I've come across this quote so many times before, but it is one that I really just need to keep in mind, especially now.


I've told myself numerous times that if we're not pregnant by Christmas of this year, or by Audrey's third birthday, then we are done. It's over. Not only because I'm impatient, but because the thought of going through more losses makes me feel so sad. I know that if we decide to stop trying on Audrey's birthday, that it will only have been two years of trying. I know that is nothing compared to what others go through. But I feel like this has taken so much out of me already. I put all of my energy into giving her a sibling, and it is draining. These losses have hurt me more than I ever knew I could hurt.

People say "just take a few months/a year off". At first, this made me angry, because I wanted my children close together, darn it. Most people get to choose the age gap. I don't. My preferred age gap has already come and gone. That was hard at first, but since there is now thing I can do about it, I am over it. Now I think "Audrey will be able to help me, she will be able to understand what is going on when it happens. She will most likely be less of a handful. I'll have it easier than I would have before." Anything to make me feel better about it.

If I want another child so badly, a sibling for my daughter, then why am I considering giving up so easily? People often tell me how strong I am, but I don't feel that way at all. I feel incredibly weak. I feel like I hurt too much. I don't feel like I have the strength to try for years. Plus, there are other things that my husband and I have to think about. For instance, we really want to be able to give Audrey so many things. Vacations, birthday parties, a car when she is older, college. That will be so much harder to do if we are paying for RE appointments, IVF, fertility drugs, d&c's. 

I am a realistic person by nature. I always have been. I try not to always think negatively, but I can't just think positive when a lot of things seem to go wrong. So I try to think of all scenarios, that way I'm not surprised. We could still be trying in two years, and that sounds so awful to me. But I can't control it. The question is: is it worth it to try? Is it worth it to be miserable and hope there is a rainbow waiting for us eventually?

I think it is, to an extent. I can't let myself be completely wrapped up in this ordeal. I'm going to have to let go soon, for the most part. We aren't that couple that can just relax and get pregnant - I have issues that prevent that. So we have been trying very hard for the past 14+ months. But I think after Christmas or Audrey's next birthday, if we have nothing to show for it, we will probably stop trying so hard. We will let go and just let it be. That will be so hard for me to do because I feel like I have to have control over everything.

Infertility is really hard to go through, but it is definitely extra challenging when you are a control freak. I have no patience. I want a healthy baby, and I want it now. It's not fun. But at the same time, I'm already so worn out that I don't know how I can keep doing this. I don't know how other people do it. I'm trying to learn to have trust, to have patience, and to have hope. It's just so hard. But I don't think I can give up on this. It is so important to me.

I simply can't give up right now, or anytime soon. I can help myself by "taking a break", but I can't give up.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Cycle #6 since d&c

Well, another cycle is over with, and we aren't pregnant this time either.

But that's okay. It will happen again, although I'm actually a little bit scared to get pregnant this month. I would be due within a day or two of March 17. The only scary thing about it is that it would be my third March baby. It sounds cool, but I'm weird, and things like that make me nervous since we lost one of those two. Audrey was due March 13, 2013, and born on March 20. Sunny was due on March 13 as well. This is the only cycle where I feel a little but like not trying, just because of the superstitious part of it..."I lost my last March baby". We will still try, though, but I am going to actually take my RE's advice and not chart again, since all three cycles that I've been pregnant, I didn't chart (but I've done that in non-pregnant cycles a couple of times, too).

It is also incredibly odd thinking that almost exactly a year ago, Sunny was conceived. It really doesn't feel like it was that long ago. I can't believe it. Soon it will be the one year anniversary of losing Sunny, and then it will be Hope's due date a couple of days later. It is really hard thinking that most likely, I will not be pregnant for this due date, either. Even if I am, I will be scared to death of losing that baby too, because it will be so early. Late June is going to be a bit hard, and all of July is going to be terrible for me. All I can do is hope that I do get pregnant so that I will have something else to concentrate on, something positive.

We are now on cycle 6 since losing Hope, which is the longest it has been since trying to conceive this second take home baby. That is obviously preferable to conceiving in 3-4 cycles and losing it, but it still makes it really hard. It isn't exactly easy knowing your miscarriage rate is high, and you can only get pregnant once, maybe twice a year if you're lucky. All we can do is hope that the next pregnancy sticks! If not, we will definitely be doing the genetic karyotyping and then fertility meds.

This month, I've started royal jelly again and we are taking soy isoflavones yet again. This will be cycle #5 on soy isoflavones. I took them the month I got pregnant with Audrey, two cycles between losses last year, and in February and March of this year. Nothing happened any of those four times, but...maybe it will work again this time! Fingers crossed!



Thursday, June 4, 2015

RE visit #2

Our appointment yesterday did not go as I'd hoped. Our nurse apparently did not relay our message to the doctor about not doing the genetic karyotyping, because when we got there she said "tell him yourself". He was not happy with us. He didn't seem to understand that we want to concentrate on the issues we have found in the last few months. He didn't seem interested in just getting me pregnant to see if treating two different things does the job.

I do not understand doing the karyotyping. If it comes back and says that our losses are probably chromosomal (which he thinks they are) then the only choices are to keep trying and hope for the best (which we are already doing) or do IVF with PGD, which we cannot afford (as if IVF wasn't expensive enough, the PGD costs even more). Therefore, we will be in the same boat: keep trying and hope for the best. The test is also expensive. If it was relatively cheap, I would probably still do it.

When we said we probably weren't doing the karyotyping right now, he pretty much just told us to leave and come back whenever we get pregnant again, which is absolutely frustrating. We are coming up on a year and a half of trying now (it has already been a year and a half since we quit birth control) and I am mentally just done. I don't know how people do this for years and years. I know part of me hurts so fully because of our babies being gone, and that won't go away. The other part of me is hurting because I seem to be in this situation where I get less help because of our losses, and I feel like I'm slowly being pressured into IVF, which I just don't feel is necessary. I've been told three times now that my doctor pushes IVF too fast, too soon, after being told pretty much only good things before seeing him. Hence my anger and confusion now. Every doctor has mixed reviews, but wow, I did so much research on him beforehand and nobody wants to say anything negative about a doctor until someone says they are dissatisfied.

I've now been told several times to switch to the other doctor in the practice, by a few women who had to do the same because of my doctor doing similar things to them. This is aggravating for me, because while this is the first RE we have seen, it is the fourth doctor in the past year. I hate jumping around. But apparently this other RE has had a few losses herself.

At this point, my husband and I are just ready to get pregnant again and pray that it goes well. I'm so scared, but at the same time, I am ready because I'm tired of sitting here. We can't stay pregnant until we get pregnant. He can't seem to look past my losses and help in that department, so it will likely be a while before we get pregnant.

One more thing that annoyed me was that his nurse also didn't let him know we wanted a progesterone draw yesterday. Or maybe she did, and he didn't agree. I brought my chart as she said to do, and he almost rolled his eyes at it. He told me he quit using those twenty years ago and to stop charting. He offered no insight on why my cycle looks anovulatory or if it even is. He started talking about something else. Then later when I brought up my low progesterone again (7 at 7dpo a while back) he said it is low but probably isn't really low because I probably wasn't 7dpo, because charts are wrong. Back then my charts were always readable and my luteal phase was the same with AF coming the day I knew she would be here. So no help with him on my progesterone, which means the only treatment we are getting is "take a lot of folic acid" (which is also the incorrect thing to tell someone with MTHFR, so instead of a lot of folic acid, I'll be taking methylfolate).

He also said all of my OAR results were good except for my FSH, which was "really high" for my age, but didn't mention what that meant or if there was something I could do.  He had me bring my RPL results too, and he told me last time that he would order anything they missed to see if I needed heparin, and I agreed to that. Yet he read them and said it was missing some things he would have definitely ordered, and when I asked him if he wanted me to get any more, and he said "Nah" and shrugged, then mentioned the karyotyping again. That made me feel really good. So now we are also in this boat again of not knowing if I need heparin/lovenox.

To say I'm not happy would be quite an understatement. I really am losing hope.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

OAR Results

Finally, they're in! They're really not bad, a couple of the numbers are a little bit off. A couple of people have tried explaining them to me, and I was told I probably have poor ovarian reserve or poor egg quality, which is very disappointing, obviously. I'm only 24! But I'm going to take all of that with a grain of salt, because neither person was a doctor. I did do some research myself, of course, and since my AMH is a good number, I'm leaning more towards egg quality, which I had a bad feeling about a year ago.

On to the results:

AMH: 3.09 ng/ml
Egg Retrieval Score: 14
Estradiol: 33.5 pg/mL
FSH: 8.04 mIU/ml
Inhibin B: 76.9 pg/ml
LH: 3.89 mIU/ml

Lab Values:
AMH: Satisfactory (0.7-3.5)
Egg Retrieval Score: Good (20 is a perfect score)
Estradiol: Normal (ND to 84)
FSH: 3.0-13.4
Inhibin B: Satisfactory (64+)
LH: 1.1-11.6

So really, it seems like the only issues are that my LH and FSH aren't closer. They're supposed to be very close together, a ratio of around 1:1. My FSH is high for my age, too. I've been told that 5 is where an RE wants to see it. My FSH in February was 8.8. :/

I of course stole a look at someone else's report that she uploaded, and I am almost in the middle for infertile women my age. A lot of them were around 16-19.

I see my RE next Wednesday for a follow-up appointment. I actually sent my nurse a message through the patient portal a few days ago, too. My husband and I were talking and we decided that we have already found a few issues to focus on for the next pregnancy, so we just want to do that for now instead of going ahead with the genetic karyotyping. The nurse said that was fine! So next week I will bring my RPL labs. I'll allow my RE to do a few more tests to check for other blood clotting disorders if he feels it is necessary, just to make sure we don't need to add heparin on top of the baby aspirin. Other than that, I'm hoping we get scheduled for a treatment cycle next month. I'm also 1dpo, so I'll let myself test next Saturday, 10dpo, at the earliest. I have my First Signal all ready in the drawer.

Ignore the graph, I couldn't get it to delete for some reason.






Element Name

Data Value

UOM
Ovarian Assessment Report Antimullerian Hormone Value3.09ng/ml
Ovarian Assessment Report Egg Retreival Score Index Value14Calculated
Ovarian Assessment Report Estradiol Value33.5pg/mL
Ovarian Assessment Report Follicle Stimulating Hormone Value8.04mIU/ml
Ovarian Assessment Report Inhibin B Value76.9pg/ml
Ovarian Assessment Report Luteinizing Hormone Value3.89mIU/ml

Friday, May 22, 2015

What is it like?

First, the easy question.

What is secondary infertility like?

What is crazy is that *ALMOST* all of the general infertility situations are the same for secondary infertility. The "when are you having kids" question? It's now "So, isn't it about time for a sibling/another one?" Baby showers? Still hard (especially after miscarriages). Seeing pregnant women out shopping? Instant heartache. Drawer full of pregnancy tests? Check. (Okay, is it just me, or is anyone else super annoyed and slightly jealous when they hear someone talk about how their period was a couple of weeks late, so they went and bought a pregnancy test? I seriously long for being able to just unwrap a box of Clearblue blue dye tests without worrying about FMU, blue dye being notorious for false positives, it being negative and me wasting money, or having to take 20+ cheapies because you're worried about a miscarriage. I want to live a life where one test will suffice. Give me that fertile ignorance. I don't mean that bad, either. I seriously wish I was completely ignorant to all of this. It would be beautiful.)

My "test drawer". I made myself stay away from Amazon, so no internet cheapies (except OPK's). I always start testing at 8dpo, which is ridiculous and wasteful. Hello, 88 cent test. Hello, 10dpo. Well, I'd love to wait until AF is late, but let's be honest. That isn't going to happen. Oh, and in case you were wondering, that is 16-17 Answer OPK's, 3-4 cheapie OPK's, 2 Answer pregnancy tests, two Clearblue digitals, and one First Signal. Thank you to a sweet family member for picking up those ovulation tests for us after seeing them on clearance!
 
 
Secondary infertility is also different from primary infertility in a few ways though. I always hear "Well, at least you have one child" (I'll get more into that in a minute), "Just be happy with the one you have", or "You're crazy. You have one already, you shouldn't be upset about not being able to have another one". This isn't the case. You don't always feel complete after having one child. Even women who struggle for years for that one child may say "I just want one and I'll be happy. That's it." and later feel the yearning for another. You don't always feel complete with the one you have, and it doesn't mean you aren't thankful. I'm forever thankful for my daughter, and I always will be. But I do want another, for several reasons. Now that we've lost two sweet little ones, I'll never feel complete, and I don't think I could just give up. You have friends that have kids younger than yours that are on their next child or starting on another. In some cases, you have to see these newborns and baby bumps because of playdates. You can't just get out of it.
 
In other words, secondary infertility is just as painful as primary infertility, except for the fact that you already have a child, so that pain of childlessness is not there. This is a big difference, which is why sometimes I feel whiny for being upset over aching for a second child. But honestly, pain is pain.
 
 
What is recurrent miscarriage like?
 
 
Honestly, the best word I have to describe RPL is hell. It is pure hell. My first miscarriage was a chemical pregnancy. I only took two cheapies that cycle, both of which gave me faint lines. I assumed they were evaps since the second test was lighter than the first. Then my period came a day late (based on my luteal phase, not average cycle length). I never really thought of it as a miscarriage, honestly, and I still am detached from it, so that one doesn't cause pain for me really. I do have the "I wonder" thoughts, but I just don't count it normally, except with my doctors. I never got attached, because I never put the pieces together until my period came. Then I was pregnant with Audrey two months later.
 
My first actual miscarriage was devastating for me. I knew I was pregnant for three weeks. It doesn't sound like a long time, but it was to me. I had a bad feeling from the beginning due to lack of symptoms. Something just felt off. When it happened, though, I was just in shock. I have the link to that story here. {Trigger warning}. I honestly was just intensely sad until we got pregnant again.
 
My second miscarriage was painful, too, but in a completely different way somehow. I was scared immediately upon seeing the positive test. To put how upset I was over the first loss in perspective, I lost Sunny on July 17 and got my positive test with Hope on November 8. I spent the entire day before my BFP with Hope just bawling. I cried all day every time I thought of my miscarriage. I felt hopeless, as I was past the point that I thought I should have had a faint line. I was depressed. Then, a friend announced her pregnancy that night and I completely broke down. I was just still so hurt. After we got a positive test, I was worried, but still hopeful that this was it. I was 7 weeks when we had our ultrasound and the heart rate was slow. It was a slow process, but from 7 to 11 weeks, a few things happened that made me realize we were losing her, too, the low heart rate being the biggest one. So I kind of "knew" with Hope, too.
 
 Even though I was almost positive going in that she was gone, the ultrasound broke my heart into pieces. That was December 31, and it is May 23 now. Thinking about that moment makes my head go fuzzy. Seeing her motionless. Seeing her umbilical cord, her little legs, her head, her feet. But she was gone. It was honestly the most heartbreaking moment of my life. It is making me cry just thinking about it. I just knew that she was it, our sweet little rainbow baby, and she was another angel.
 
I can't even say what that loss on top of my other one did to me. I can't explain it, but I just wanted to run away and be someone else. I wanted to curl up in a ball and disappear, just be nothing. Not exist. That sounds awful, honestly, but it is true. I just felt so empty, and I wanted the pain gone. I wanted my babies back. I have said it a million times before, and I'll say it again...I don't know how people who suffer from RPL do it if they don't already have a child. She isn't a replacement for my angels, but she is mine. She is here. I can kiss her, and love on her. Some don't get that. They feel this way without a living child.
 
Anytime someone tells me to be thankful for what I have, I want to say "Don't you understand? I am beyond thankful for what I have. She is the light of my life. But I'm allowed to hurt over losing my OTHER CHILDREN." So many people don't feel the same way that I do, that my babies were, well, babies (and I even have to tell myself this when I don't "count" the chemical pregnancy). Some of those people would feel differently if they'd went through that. It is hell. It is hell receiving advice from people, it is hell when you hear "how many kids do you have" or "when will your daughter get a sibling?" She has siblings. I have three, technically four, kids.  It is hell seeing your baby, a baby with a head, a face, feet, legs, and arms, on an ultrasound screen with no heartbeat and still. Completely still. It is hell.
 
It is one of the most difficult experiences ever, to love a child you can't hold or see. It is so hard to love a child from Earth. A child that is elsewhere. It is so hard to wonder what happened. What caused this? It is an empty pain. An achy, awful pain. It is such a deep pain. It is like living in hell.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

a better day.

Phew!

I am feeling much better today, thank goodness. After I typed the last post, I started having symptoms of hypothyroidism again. My head felt stuffy and achy for a couple of mornings. Luckily, I went ahead and took more of my thyroid medicine on my own since I knew it had went haywire. My guess is that even though this was three months ago that it was tested and low, it was a recent jump. I hope that's true. My RE bumped it up to the next step, which is double what I am taking now when it jumped up even higher than it had been originally in 2012. I don't really feel like that is enough personally, but he said he would check it again a month from now, so that makes me feel better. He also told me not to worry about that causing a miscarriage. I don't 100% agree with that, but it makes me feel better to know he is willing to check it again in a month, so we can make sure it is in a good spot.

My OAR results still aren't in yet, which is aggravating. They should have been in Friday or yesterday. I really want to know! But I'm super impatient, so it's whatever. The nurse finally put in our labs for the chromosomal testing too, so we will do that during our next appointment. She told me last time that it was cheaper in OK than in AR, so we will have to wait until we go back to do it because I am definitely not paying any more than I have to!

As for me, I'm on cd8. I ovulated on cd15 last cycle and cd16 the cycle before that, so I'm assuming I will ovulate on one of those two days this cycle. However, I can't say that for sure because it is all over the place and could be around cd22 again this time. I seriously hope not. But a late ovulation is better than no ovulation at all. I had some hope before that we could start a treatment cycle next month but it is looking to be at last July before we get to start any treatment, which kind of sucks.

Hopefully I have some better information to update on soon. It seems like all of my friends that started seeing an RE a month ago or even the same week (in one case, the same day) started treatment that day or the next cycle ASAP. I've already had most of the appropriate testing, too, but I haven't had that luck! I think it is because I've miscarried twice and the others haven't, so they want to try and find out if it is anything "big" causing my miscarriages before they get me pregnant. I guess it makes sense, it just still sucks. I don't really think I have bad luck but I guess I still hope that I do.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Tears today.

I'm not really sure what to title this post, and honestly, I don't even know where to start here. I feel so overwhelmed right now. Our first RE appointment went okay. I don't feel much different since we haven't even made a treatment plan yet. I mean, obviously we are GETTING somewhere, which is good, but obviously it is taking even more time and lots of money. After spending thousands already on blood work and testing, the d&c, being pregnant twice, etc...I am just already really over it.

Basically, I got to the fertility center and finished filling out all of my paperwork. We filled out a bit for my husband as well, and then went back to a room where the nurse weighed me, asked a couple of questions, and checked my blood pressure. After that, we went to our RE's office and answered questions on the miscarriages and the one for sure chemical pregnancy I had (in 2012). I almost broke down while talking about Hope. I somehow held it together - I know he is probably used to patients breaking down in front of him, but I knew that if the tears started, that they wouldn't stop for a while. He did a quick exam on me (which was terrible since I was on cd2), talked about blood work he wanted to order, and then we paid and left.

To be honest, it all felt a little bit rushed. I know after starting treatment that it will probably be a little bit different, and I know they have a lot of patients, but it felt like a "take your money and run" kind of thing. They insisted on my husband coming, but they didn't talk to him AT ALL. All he did was fill out a form saying I could receive info on any tests or procedures they do on him, yet we had to pay a co-pay since he is a patient too. It felt like a waste of money for him to be there. The testing they wanted me to have done was prolactin, TSH, OAR, genetic karyotyping, and then test for cystic fibrosis, skeletal muscular atrophy, and fragile x. We agreed to the first three and they told me they would call me with information on how much the karyotyping would cost.

I have only received my prolactin and TSH results so far, and that was this morning through the patient portal. I cried all morning. My TSH went from 1.9 in February to 5.2. To put that in perspective, it was 4.9 in June of 2012, before starting thyroid medication. That is the highest it has ever been to my knowledge, and I felt like crap then. I feel better than ever right now (besides depression and anxiety due to losing my babies).  I don't know what to do. I know they'll call me and up my dosage, which is great, but I know that your thyroid affects TTC. I'm so worried now that if I get pregnant soon, I'll miscarry again, but at the same time, I'm so upset that we may have to put TTC on hold to get this back on track. It could lower quickly, in just a few weeks (which is still an entire cycle) or it could take months depending on what is going on. I'm not happy at all. I don't have anyone to talk to about this. All of my "ttc friends" are pregnant now except for a couple that I'm not really close to. I just feel really lonely and hopeless. I know I shouldn't feel completely hopeless, but I do. It is really starting to hit me that we have so many road blocks. I have so many little things going on that it adds up to something big. This may not happen for us. We may not have a second child.

Audrey climbed up into my lap this morning and I just couldn't stop the tears. I kept apologizing over and over, even though she has no clue what is going on. She is getting older, and while she still hasn't asked for a sibling, I know it won't be very long. Last week while getting ready for bed, she picked up her Minnie Mouse, laid it down in her bed, covered her up, patted her head, and said "Little Sister". Things like that are terrible - they really get me. I want so much to just give her one sibling, and I'm so scared that I won't be able to do that. I'm scared of what the karyotyping will say, and I'm scared of my OAR results. I'm really scared of another miscarriage.

A picture from a few days ago.

The hardest part right now is not knowing for sure what caused my miscarriages. I don't know if it was a chromosomal abnormality, neural tube defect due to my MTHFR, clotting in the placenta due to my MTHFR, my thyroid, my progesterone, or something else. I don't know.

It also hurts getting on Facebook or seeing a friend somewhere who is pregnant, or has just had a baby. A lot of them have toddlers Audrey's age and told me they were "no where near" trying to get pregnant a year or more ago, and here they are. Pregnant or with a baby. It really feels like a slap in the face. I feel terrible for hurting over that, but I do. I know this is normal, but I just feel like such a failure right now. My body is failing me. My body is failing my husband. My body is failing Audrey. Most of all, my body failed my angel babies.

We are coming up on our due date with Hope now. It's only two months away. That sounds like a long time, but it really isn't. July is going to be a very painful month for me, because my TimeHop is going to be full of memories. July is when I found out I was pregnant with Audrey. I was due with Audrey and Sunny on the same day, two years apart. I'm going to see a ton of pregnancy related things starting then. July 17 is when we miscarried Sunny, July 22 is our due date with Hope. I'm not ready, I will never be ready. I just want both of them back.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Yahoo!!!!

GREAT NEWS!!!

The morning after I posted this, I got a phone call from Tulsa Fertility Center. We have an appointment! She offered me an appointment for tomorrow - unfortunately, I have a dental cleaning scheduled that has been re-scheduled for months now due to winter weather. So we are going NEXT WEDNESDAY! We will probably spend the night in Tulsa the night before since it is a 10am appointment and we live a few hours away.

I'm super excited! I'll be on cd2 that day most likely, so it would be nice to be able to get a plan into action for that cycle, but who knows. We will see. Either way, I'm feeling even BETTER about it than I was before, so that is awesome!

Let's hope I get some help this time! I think this will be my best shot.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

The longest blog post...EVER.

I honestly meant to update this blog before now...I'd like to say it has been crazy around here, but it really hasn't been *too* bad. My laptop has been broken for a while now, though. I hate getting it out, I have to wait forever for it to turn on, then manually change the time and date. Plus the screen is broken. Hopefully later this year I can pick a new laptop out, but right now we have to worry about bills and other things.

{I apologize for how long this update is, it has my MFM appointment, a cycle update, and a "what does the future hold for us" update, all in one.}

So, onto more important things. My MFM appointment was a bust. I wasn't surprised, I was expecting to be let down again, and of course I was right. When we got into the exam room, we went over our paperwork with the nurse. She asked about a million more questions and then thouroughly went over the ones I had already answered on the paperwork. At one point, she asked about my thyroid and if I had antibodies, and I told her yes, but they were very low. She asked for my endocrinologist's name and I told her, but I also added that he had moved away right after my appointment so I hadn't been to see him again.

She left, and the doctor came in. He seemed nice enough, but as it always does, it started out good and got worse. He checked my breathing and then checked my legs (I assume for blood clots). As he got out his notes, the nurse came in and said "They just faxed that information over. She has elevated ANA levels." He said, "Thank you. That explains a lot". I assumed at first they were talking about someone else, but no, they were talking about me. He told me elevated ANA levels can indicate lupus. But then he said that they were probably elevated for some other reason. Apparently they called my old endocrinologist's office and got my records - I didn't even know they'd checked those.

We went over everything...I was basically told that my MTHFR is a non-issue. Yes, it causes neural tube defects and can cause blood clots, but it "probably wouldn't" cause blood clots, so I shouldn't worry about that. Then he told me to "overload" my body with folic acid so I'd get enough. The COMPLETE opposite of what I should be doing. At that point, I knew we had wasted a trip. I am completely ignoring that suggestion, I'm obviously going to keep taking my l-methylfolate. I almost rolled my eyes at him. He then said "I can almost guarantee you that if you take a bunch of folic acid and a baby aspirin, you'll have a healthy pregnancy next time." I kind of laughed and said "Yeah, well, I did that before my last pregnancy and you know how that turned out".

Then he moved on to discuss my thyroid problems. He said "Well, I bet I know when you found your thyroid problem, and I bet I I know what caused your miscarriages. It wasn't the MTHFR. When did you get diagnosed?" I told him June of 2012, three days before I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. "Oh, darn it, I was sure you found it after one of your miscarriages. Untreated hypothyroidism can cause miscarriages. When did you have it checked last?" I told him I'd had it checked 6-7 times or more in the past year and it keeps coming back fine. (It is actually the best it has been ever right now).

So then he told me my thyroid probably DIDN'T cause my miscarriages, and that I just have (and I quote) "bullshit luck". He told me that even though I have several things going on that COULD cause miscarriages (MTHFR, elevated ANA levels, hypothyroidism, elevated prolactin, and low progesterone/ovulation issues), that he really thinks I just have shitty luck. I waited for an opening in the conversation and said "I have a question" probably four times and he kept interrupting me and wouldn't let me talk. Finally he shut up long enough for me to get it out, and at this point I was extremely annoyed at him for interrupting me. I told him I also have low progesterone, but that each doctor has told me that supplementing will do nothing for me, since it is caused by ovulation issues. He agreed. He told me that my low progesterone is caused by a "crappy egg" and that it causes miscarriages that way so supplementing does nothing since it can't "fix" the egg. I kind of asked about how to fix it and he wouldn't answer me, then went into some spew about how he'd love to tell me that I won't miscarry again, but since I've had two, it's likely I'll have more, but there's about a 66% chance I won't. He told me I had bullshit luck a couple of more times and I basically just got up and got ready to go at this point. He then told me to stay on the baby aspirin and overload with folic acid again. *sigh*

Anyway, I picked up some Vitex the other day and I've been taking it for a week now. I also started fish oil two weeks ago, so I'm taking quite a few supplements. I don't know if it was the fish oil or the Vitex, but I have had a lot less anxiety for the past week. The only thing that has been aggravating me is my cycle. I had a positive ovulation test on Monday and Tuesday, and we babydanced Sunday night before it turned positive, but it looked VERY negative on Sunday so we didn't use PreSeed (I don't produce ewcm, if it is close it is still pretty thick). My CM was creamy on Sunday as well. We babydanced again Tuesday morning, my cervix was high, firm, and open (it opened up on Monday). I haven't charted at all this cycle because it is kind of stressful for me, but it turned out to be a big mistake because I took it Wednesday and today to "confirm" ovulation. My post-ovulation temps are always about 97.35 to start out with, and it was 97.46 yesterday and 97.48 today. Pre-o they're 96.8-97.25. In other words, my temperatures are showing I ovulated, which is odd. It doesn't make sense with my fertile signs (my cervix is still high and open today, but still hasn't really been soft at all, although it doesn't always soften). Plus, I almost always get 2 temps at 97.40 or below a bit before they rise about 97.45, and they're already there. It is an odd cycle, I almost wonder if fish oil or Vitex hasn't raised them a bit. I'm going to keep trying for a few more days and keep taking my temperature until I can be positive, though.

As for what we are going to do next, I've really went back and forth. I've been told my several people that I just need to go see an RE. I would have made an appointment a month ago if I hadn't been referred to the MFM. I did request an appointment on the website of my preferred fertility clinic the day before yesterday, but I haven't received an e-mail or a phone call yet. My husband and I finally sat down tonight and made a decision though. Firstly, we are both fairly positive that we are "out" this cycle if I really did ovulate - because we didn't use Pre-Seed the first time, and the second time was the morning of my supposed ovulation day if I go my BBT. There is a chance that my temps are off and my body is more correct, though, although this has never happened before. So we decided that *if* I get a reply from the RE, we will make the appointment and go with it. If we don't, I'll take it as a sign that it isn't the right step for us right now. I've felt a lot less anxious, so I am going to do my best to relax and concentrate on my child, marriage, and my health for now. We will still try, but I'm not going to obsess over it. It may be the key. Maybe Vitex will help. My yearly check-up is I think June 28, so if no BFP by then, I'm talking to my OB about it and unless he offers me Clomid or Femara, I will make the phone call and get in to see an RE. By then it will be six months since the d&c with no luck, and almost a year and a half since we started actively TTC. I'm hoping "relaxing" does the trick. My husband got a kick out of us talking about relaxing though, since we hate that advice. Who knows, though? I do have high stress levels due to my anxiety and my miscarriages.

I will be sure to update with any info sooner rather than later next time to avoid an insanely long post! :)