IVF

All posts in the IVF category

Missing our angel baby 

Published October 15, 2016 by Jennie

Today is pregnancy and infant loss remembrance day. My heart goes out to all the mommies and daddies out there who are parents to babies no longer on this earth and/or babies they never got to meet. 

It has been a year and a half since I miscarried our first baby. When I look back at that  post it still makes me feel sick to my stomach. 

I am so thankful for the children we now have but they do not replace the one we lost. I still miss him. The day I found out I was pregnant with him was the best day of my life. Up until then we had tried to get pregnant for five years with no success. I am so very thankful for the joy I experienced from that pregnancy even though it only lasted 13 weeks. It was the only time I enjoyed being pregnant. 

I wish I had not allowed my fear of another loss prevent me from experiencing any joy from my second pregnancy. 

While I still struggle with the implications from infertility and pregnancy loss, I thankful for the connections I have formed with other bloggers. Sometimes I feel like you guys understand me more than some of the people I see in my day to day life. Thank you so much for all your support and encouragement. It means everything to me. – Jennie 

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Our Birth Story

Published June 26, 2016 by Jennie

Thank you so much for all the well wishes! It has meant a lot to me. I thought I would share our birth story. It was definitely a whirlwind and some parts are hard to remember.

On Friday the 24th, I woke up at about 4AM to my water breaking at 34w1d. I woke up my husband and we drove to the hospital. We were both surprisingly calm given the situation. I think we were both in shock.

When I got to triage the nurse told me that since I was not in labor they would try to hold it off since I was early. The original plan was to admit me and try to push back delivery as long as possible. I then spoke to the doctor on call. He said sometimes the risks of prolonging the pregnancy would outweigh the benefits. The longer we waited, the higher the risk of infection (the risk of infection increases after you rupture your membranes). He said 34 weeks is usually the point where the will not try to prolong the pregnancy anymore.

Since I was not in labor, he decided to give me a steroid shot to speed up lung development. That takes a day to work so we were going to deliver on Saturday. Even so, he said that the research on giving steroids at 34 weeks is mixed. At that point it probably does not help much but since it only takes a day to work it was worth a shot. Basically he was ok with trying to prolong the pregnancy for one more day but nothing more than that.

We scheduled a C section on Saturday. About 10 minutes after the doctor left I went into labor. It happened super fast. I went from no contractions to significant contractions very quickly. The doctors were surprised by how fast it happened. Luckily I had an amazing nurse who got the ball rolling so I could deliver.

The C section went smoothly. I originally struggled with having a C section versus a vaginal birth but once it came time to do it, I was just glad we had a way for me to deliver them safely. One I delivered, we got to see them and hold them for a few minutes and then they went to the NICU.

That evening I started feeling pretty bad. We found out I had a severe allergic reaction to the tape used on my incisions. The doctor actually told me she had never seen a reaction like that before. In the grand scheme of things it is not my biggest concern. It is frustrating though because it makes it harder to get around and the medicine used to treat it makes me pretty loopy.

I have attempted to pump and so far it is an epic failure. I pump every 2 hours using a hospital grade pump and have yet to get even a single drop. Not even one. I hate it.

I do plan on writing a post about our NICU experience. For now I will say it is the best and worst place I have ever been to. I am so thankful that our babies are getting such good care and the staff in the NICU are nothing short of angels.

Here are a few pictures.

 

We are also incredibly fortunate that both babies are doing remarkably well. They have breathed on their own the whole time (that is a big deal for preemies) and are eating. Yesterday they had all their IVs removed. Today they were removed from their incubators and are in regular beds. I know they need a little more TLC but I am so ready for them to come home! – Jennie

Things are starting to get real!

Published May 26, 2016 by Jennie

Today marks 30 weeks! I  can’t believe I just typed that. Everything still feels surreal. We have been on this journey so long and it’s crazy to think we are just a few months away from meeting our babies.

Not much is going on right now but I feel like this is the calm before the storm. While waiting for the coveted title of mom I did obtain another title a few weeks ago….Dr! I was originally not going to go to graduation but my husband talked me into it. I am glad he did. It is cool to think that my babies were with me when I got my PhD. Here is a picture of graduation 🙂

grad

This is actually the only picture of me that has been taken since we did our transfer in November. I am really weird about stuff like that.

People keep asking me how I am feeling. Sometimes it is hard for me to answer that. We have been through so much to get pregnant and it does not feel right to complain. Even so pregnancy (and in my case a twin pregnancy) is challenging and I think it is okay to talk about those challenges. With everything going on, I am still thankful for every day this pregnancy continues and my number one goal is to keep them cooking for the next eight weeks.

Symptoms

Carpel Tunnel – My worst symptom right now by far is carpel tunnel syndrome. I never knew this could be a pregnancy thing before I experienced it. My hands hurt all the time and my left hand is worse than my right (I am left handed). It makes everything from brushing my hair to lifting things to grocery shopping a challenge. I have started doing a lot of things (like typing this post) with my right hand but even that takes a while. This has been frustrating because I have a lot of stuff I need to do and its hard to get things done. I do wear a splint but it does not seem to help much.

Swelling – OMG the swelling is crazy! It doesn’t help that I live in the South and it is summer. It has gotten a lot worse the last few weeks despite me drinking water like it is going out of style. For example, at 28 weeks I had gained 28 pounds, which is exactly what I was shooting for (research shows that 28 lbs by 28 weeks greatly reduces the likelihood of preterm labor for twin pregnancies). After that, I cut back on calories but kept up protein. Even so, I gained almost 7 pounds between weeks 28 and 30. My dr said this is almost all due to swelling. My concern is that this can be a sign of preeclampsia especially if it is paired with other symptoms. My dr is watching things closely and I am taking my blood pressure twice a day. So far so good.

Movement – I have mentioned in previous posts that movement has been an issue. It is getting better but nowhere where I would like. If I followed kick count guidelines I would be calling the nurse on call everyday. Even so, they are always active during every ultrasound and are growing on target. At 29 weeks baby A was 2 lbs 9 oz and baby B was 2 lbs 14 oz. I freaked out a bit because they were different but MFM said that is normal and they will have growth spurts at different times. As long as the difference does not exceed 20% we are good!

I did find out that the babies respond to loud noises. At a recent appointment my doctor’s office was testing the fire alarm. The babies went nuts. It was awesome! Everyone else in the waiting room looked annoyed and I probably looked like a crazy person sitting there with a big smile on my face. I also recently went to a baseball game where they had fireworks and they responded to that as well.

Hope my readers in the US all have a fabulous Memorial Day weekend and everyone is doing well! – Jennie

 

One Year Ago

Published May 11, 2016 by Jennie

Exactly one year ago today was one of the worst days of my life. So much has happened since then. Even so, sometimes it feels like it was yesterday. One of the worst memories from that day is seeing the look on my husband’s face when he realized our little boy no longer had a heart beat. It was awful. Even now I have days where it is hard to get those memories out of my head.

Every day I am thankful for this pregnancy. Even so, these babies do not replace the one we lost. I still miss him. Our loss as well as our infertility struggle continues to have an impact on me today. While I was worried during my first pregnancy, that was nothing like this one. Doctors appointments are tough. Waiting for the doctor to pick up the heartbeats on the ultrasound always feels like it takes forever although I know that is not really the case.

I also feel like an outsider when around other pregnant women. We did our hospital tour yesterday and one of my first thoughts was how crazy it is that most of the couples also at the tour got to where they are the old fashioned way. I gave up on that years ago. I can’t even imagine what that is like! They also asked lots of questions I have never even considered. For example, one wanted to know if they could change the lighting in the L&D room. My only real concern so far is keeping the babies alive and having them born healthy. It is hard for me to think of anything beyond that.

Tomorrow official marks the beginning of the third trimester. That means I (hopefully) have 10 more weeks to go. My doctor considers 38 weeks full term for twins. My number one goal for now is to get as close to 38 weeks as possible.

Thanks for reading and I hope everyone is doing well! – Jennie

 

 

 

Viability

Published April 21, 2016 by Jennie

Today I am 25 weeks. Last week we crossed the viability mark! I don’t want to speak for others, but I really think that reaching this point takes on special meaning for people who have dealt with infertility and or pregnancy loss. Of course I hope these babies keep cooking for a while. Even so, I feel so fortunate to have reached this point.

Today we had a fetal echo as well as a growth scan at MFM. Apparently our MFM does fetal echos for all IVF patients. I am curious to know if other people have had that for the same reason. Everything looked good. Baby A is 1 lb 8 oz and baby B is 1 lb 7 oz, which is right on track.  I still do not feel much movement, which is strange but they were jumping all over the place during the ultrasound. Hopefully as things continue to progress I will feel more. Here are a few more updates on how things are going.

Symptoms

Thankfully, the round ligament pain has gone away for now. I know it may come back. Now I am dealing with carpel tunnel. It is much worse in my left hand (I am left handed). I have found that wearing a splint helps (especially at night).

About a month ago, I noticed I could not get my wedding ring off. Despite trying everything under the sun, it would not budge. This week I finally got it cut off. It was not hurting yet but I didn’t want to worry about getting really swollen one day and having it cut off circulation.

ring

We have been married for almost 9 years so it feels really strange to not have my ring 😦

Weight Gain

I am up 25 pounds and I am really happy about that! The goal was to gain 24 pounds by week 24 (I had a normal pre-pregnancy weight). Apparently that decreases the risk of preterm labor with twins. It has been difficult because I am not more hungry than I was before I was pregnant. I have been eating at least 100 grams of protein a day, which is hard! Anything for babies of course 🙂

Names

People keep asking me what we are going to name the babies. I am actually letting my husband name them and tell me his final choice once they are here. I know that might sound crazy. Even so, hear me out!

  • If I do not like his choice(s), I will tell him and he can pick something else.
  • We have similar taste in names. We both like names that are easy to spell and pronounce (our babies will have enough trouble with our last name).
  • It was 100% my idea. When I suggested it, he got really excited.
  • I thought it would be a nice was for him to have some fun. People sometimes forget that this whole infertility/IVF/miscarriage/pregnancy journey is also hard on him.
  • Its a way for him to feel more involved and bond with the babies. He has been so supportive though all of this. Even with an insane work schedule, he has made every appointment. I could not do it without him!

 

I hope everyone else is well. Even at this point, everything still seems surreal to me. We have been on this journey for 6 years and it is crazy to think that in the near future we may finally get to meet our babies! – Jennie