Monday, October 31, 2011

A Pregnancy Journey

I seriously can't believe that I'm 20 weeks, let a lone pregnant!! It seems like such a miracle at this point, that it still hasn't fully hit me! Today I'm officially 20 weeks and 3 days pregnant according to my most recent ultrasound. Everything looks great and I'm even measuring a little bigger and now due March 15.

I kept a small journal throughout the past year on my pregnancy journey, but since I've started printing my blog, I decided I wanted to document it on here as well. Not only is this important to document for myself, but it's just as important to document for others who have been trying everything to get pregnant. I learned a lot from reading others stories and it helped soo much. Here is our pregnacy journey...

It was October 2008, and Che and I had already been married for over a year. At this point, I was ready to toss away the birth control. We talked about it and both agreed that we were ready for our own family. After trying for the first few months, I decided it was smart to atleast track my ovulation. Duh! I guess that's kind of important if you're trying to have a baby. So I got online and tracked it by calendar.

Months went by in 2009, until it turned into a whole year, and still nothing. It was a little frustrating, but I knew that sooner or later I would have to see someone. It scared me knowing that there's a possibitity of something being wrong with one of us.
 By December 2009, I decided to pick a physician and go with it. Since I worked at Mountain View Hospital, I decided to go to someone at Rosemark since I got a discount there. I randomly picked an OB/GYN who ended up being, Dr. Merrill.  We sat down together and had a short discussion on my history then gave me an order to get some blood work done. The next day I got the results back and everything was normal. She decided then that she would put me on clomid for 3 months.
At the very beginning of the year 2010, I started buying ovulation tests (the cheapest, but most accurate ones I could find) as well as take clomid. I definitely underestimated the power of clomid. I was on a lower dose and still I felt quite moody ha ha. It scared me to think how I would be on a higher dose!! I took clomid January-March, but still nothing. I went back to Dr. Merrill's and she decided to up the dose. She gave me a prescription and sent me on my way. After that day, I knew in my heart that I shouldn't be seeing her. She was very nice, but I didn't have a good connection at all. I needed someone who was really going to sit me down and REALLY talk out my options. So I didn't get my prescription for clomid. Instead, I searched for a new physician.
I asked many people I knew who they recommended and of course they were all different. My friend that I worked with told me that here sister has had trouble getting pregnant and that her doctor has helped her tremendously. I got a few more opinions and then decided on Dr. Hall (my friend's sister's Dr.) I felt really good about it and knew that this change was necessary.
I set up an appointment with Dr. Hall and what a difference in consultations!! I felt better already! We visited for awhile discussing any problems I've had or family history. After the discussion, he made me a list and then he went over it with me. It was what he wanted me to do in the order that they were written. There were probably 5 different things on that list which made me feel so at ease. He knew what he was doing and what he wanted me to do. It felt so comforting and for the first time I felt hopeful! And then the last thing he said to me was, "Don't worry, we're going to get you pregant." Talk about a weight lifted.
So March was the month for all the tests! I went out and got a bunch of blood work done while Che did is one test (you know which one). We waited a few days for the tests to come back and when they did, I almost wish they didn't. The blood work came back normal, but the analysis for Che didn't come back as well as we hoped. Motility was low, which makes it so the little swimmers die off quicker before they can get to their destination. Fortunately, there were ways around it and we were prepared to do whatever it took!
April 2010 I attempted the next thing on the!!! Dr. Hall explained in great detail what Endometriosis was and how many women have it, but don't know they have it. And unfortunately, it can prevent you from getting pregnant. Gah! Another possible setback. And to make things more complicated, you don't know you have it unless you have the surgery. It didn't take me long to decide. I had a strong feeling to get the surgery and so I did! First surgery I have ever had and I was terrified. Everything went well and I obviously didn't die ha ha, but guess what? I HAD IT! I couldn't believe it! I was pretty upset, but at the same time was so grateful I went ahead with the surgery. They removed the endometriosis (unfortnately it will always grow back), but there are ways to keep it gone. It was a decision that I was glad I made. So, I got through my first surgery with a terrified but happy heart :)

Due to the negative test results we had, Dr. Hall had me start the Intraueterine Insemenation process or "IUI." For those who aren't really familiar with this: They first will do a sperm wash and then place the little guys directly into the uterus, which gives them less time to travel. They are placed in there the day after an ovary releases an egg to be fertilized. It's quite an amazing thing that they can do this sort of thing. These procedures run $300-$700 a pop. I was lucky enough to have a doctor who only charged $100 flat the day services were rendered. Such a blessing! I was so excited and had a strong feeling that this was going to work for us! From this point on, Dr. Hall prescribed me with the highest dose of clomid EVERY month. You can imagine how that went!

Well my cycles have been all over the place, so Dr. Hall recommended a good ovulation test. I bought the digital ones so I would know absolutetly for sure when I ovulated. These were like $30-$50 a box! So starting in May 2010, I started my clomid and had my first IUI on the day that I ovulated. I was so nervous, but turns out it wasn't even a big deal! We were so excited to find out if we were pregnant or not.
The day came to take the first test, but it was negative. I figured that it probably wouldn't take on the first one. But the same thing happened in June, July, and September (August for some reason I didn't even ovulate! So frustrating).  My doctor said that I could do the procedure up to 6 times and then I had to wait a few months to do it again. So at this point I was starting to get worried. The worst part about trying to get pregnant is the dang waiting game!! On top of all the frustration my mood swings and hot flashes were at their highest and I was just mad at the world ha ha.

October came and I had my 5th IUI. It just felt like the same crap over and over again and my attitude was getting more negative. Plus, my cycle was so off that I went through tons of ovulation tests. I was spending money out my ears on those things. And on top of the tests, they wanted blood work done every month after the IUI to check my progesterone levels. I just felt like I was wasting money like crazy. I was also sick of being poked and prodded so much! Depending on the tech, I would sometimes come home with bruises! I was seemed to get someone who was new...

 The time finally came to take a pregnancy test. I had no hope whatsoever, but I glanced at the test and did a double was positive!! I couldn't believe it! I was so excited and couldn't wait to tell Che!

December came around and I was about 9 weeks along. I hadn't felt right all day. I had some cramping and then eventually spotting. I soon began to panic and called my doctor. He said to come in to the office as soon as they open. At this point it was like 4am. Over night it got worse and worse until finally I knew what was about to happen. I ran into the bathroom and experienced one of the worst things I've ever experienced...a miscarriage.

Why me? Why now? Two years of trying and this is what happens? It was awful. I was hurting physically and mentally and my emotions just increased  the ever growing pain. I knew what was happening and it was the worst feeling. It was hard to wrap my head around what was happening. That night I didn't get a wink of sleep. We went into Hall's office the next morning with tears still streaming down my face. I tried to hide it, but it seemed like everyone around me knew what just happened only by looking at me. I was so tired and exhausted. They sent me over to Mountain View to get an ultrasound. It was so awkward walking into the hospital knowing EVERYONE. I passed so many people with my head down trying to avoid them. I was in my pajamas and looked like I was dying.
I had the ultrasound but they didn't determine what happened. They pretty much said that there wasn't much there to begin with, which made me feel more at ease. The tech gave me a hug and said some kind words. In that moment, all that was in my head was, "this too shall pass." It was hard to go through it during the holidays. Che and I had made Christmas cards that year that we were so excited to send out. I am so grateful that we didn't get to that point. I will cherish this Christmas card for as long as I live:

My Brother and his wife announced only weeks later that they were pregnant and I was so happy for them...but obviously broken hearted at the same time. It was really hard for a while, but I KNEW in my heart that this wasn't supposed to be. Heavenly Father had a plan for us and it just wasn't the time. Yes it was hard and took such a toll, but many blessings came from it. Oh how grateful I am for my loving Heavenly Father who has blessed us in so many ways. That blessed spirit wasn't meant to be with us, but we know we will see you again.

After everything that happened in December I decided to take a break from the next month. It felt a little too soon for me. I got a little depressed and I just didn't feel like myself. But I finally felt like I got to the point of really wanting to try again and my attitude moved to a little more hopeful.

By February I was ready to start again. I took ovulation test after ovulation test and NOTHING happened for 3 months! My positive attitude when down hill so fast I couldn't catch it. I felt like maybe the miscarriage had messed up my cycle somehow that I just wouldn't ovulate. It was so hard, because I was wasting precious months! How could I NOT ovulate? I continued taking the clomid and unfortunately had gained more and more weight from all the stress and depression. I was hating work so much and just felt miserable!!

Che and I then decided that we should take our honeymoon...the one we never took. I had heard from many people that taking a trip was the best thing for them because it helped them relax. So that is what we did in May 2011. We went on Caribbean cruise for a whole week!!

Well we got back from the cruise and I didn't ovulate AGAIN according to my tests (which I probably should have just left at home). Luckily it didn't ruin the trip, we had the time of our lives! Felt so incredible to get out and do that. It put me in a little bit better mood and I was ready to move on to the next month. The beginning of June, I called the Dr.'s Office and asked if there was anything I could take that would help me lose a little weight (so maybe I would feel a little bit better). The PA recommended Metformin, which also helps with infertility. So I of course said, "Yes Please!!" She ok'd it with Dr. Hall and I started to take the prescription. Well, turns out it makes you feel like crap ha ha. You feel so nauseous! I didn't think I could deal with taking this for more than 4 weeks! It was pretty miserable but I was willing to suck it up!

Journal Entry:
June 23, 2011

"You will never guess what happened today! I ovulated! Finally! Eight months later and it finally happened. Mom was so excited when I told her that she cried on the phone. I know how much my family prays for me and I'm so thankful to them. This was almost more exciting than seeing a positive pregnancy test! Because without ovulation you can't get pregnant! Well at 2:45 today  I went to Dr. Hall's office and got an IUI. The first one in eight months! As I lay there in the room, after they did the procedure, I talked to myself a lot ha ha. I even hummed a lullaby. How cheesy is that? After Hall's I came home, put my feet up and fell asleep on the couch for 2 hours while watching Planet 51. I feel really good about this IUI. But then again that's how I feel about ALL of them so who knows. All I know is that I'm so happy and relieved that this happened today. Oh and by the way I went off Metformin because it made me so sick! I just hope that it wasn't the Metformin that made me ovulate because those are the worst meds ever!"

After this day, I had some of the worst work days ever. My attitude was so awful at work!! I basically just tried my best to get through the day...and then July 8th came:

Journal Entry
July 8, 2011

"Well journal, it happened. I took a pregnancy test yesterday after work and it was positive! Can you believe it? I actually took a test about 5 days ago and it was negative. I was really disappointed but then realized that I had possibly miscalculated so I retook one today. When  I took the test I almost screamed I was so excited. I took a picture of it on my phone and sent it to Che. He was so thrilled. I called the Dr's office and talked to Stacy the PA. She said I was about 4 weeks along and due March 19th. I have my first appointment in about 4 weeks and I'm praying that everything goes okay. Now, I'm off to lunch with my mom and my sister. My mom already knows, but now I get to tell Alli!"

Well you can imagine how the journal entries went after that. I was happier, more positive, and work was even better. Here was my 8 week ultrasound:

12 weeks later we had these two ultrasounds:

We didn't get a great shot on the first one. It's supposed to be the head but it doesn't look that great. The 3D one will be much better. But the second one I think you can tell EXACTLY what it is...

That's right, IT'S A BOY!! And I don't have to tell you when I say that we are so happy and amazingly blessed. 

"Adversity will be a constant or occasional companion for each of us throughout our lives. We cannot avoid it. The only question is how will we react to it? Will our adversities be stumbling blocks or stepping-stones?"

-Dallin H. Oaks

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Today I have to give a  shout out to my twin sis...Happy Birthday!!!  Alli and I are 27 today, and that's one year older that I just don't want to be ha ha. I hate getting a year older! Why can't I just be 23 all the time? Not sure why 23 is the magic number, it just is ha ha.

 I just got back from an amazingly awesome birthday weekend with the girls and I wish I was still there dangit! But, that's just the way it goes. Alli and Tyson will be here this weekend so I shouldn't complain. Anyway, I will probably post our fun weekend here soon, but in the mean time, go on over to CUPCAKE DIARIES because Alli posted a freakin' cute celebration wreath tutorial. I decided I really need to make one!! If I had just made one months ago, I could have hung mine up today!! What's up with that!

 Look how stinkin' cute this thing is!

 Happy Birthday Al!!! Still can't believe we're 27!