Monthly Archives: March 2014

Poult Update

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Yesterday I found out my HcG levels doubled! On Monday they were 430 and on Wednesday on 1,066! This was fantastic news. I was/am super [cautiously] excited. My progesterone was still hovering around 16 (should be between 12-84), but I did double my dosage, so I’m hoping the next draw they will be higher. This is the highest my HcG has been out of the last three pregnancies (not including my first one when I made it to 12 weeks).

The levels are not where I should be if you go back to my last period. According to these HcG levels I’m at day 34. I thought I was on day 41 (according to my period.) I’m almost a week off, which is fine, I just want to get past day 45 and 51 (see previous post). I thought tomorrow I would be at six weeks and instead I’ll be five weeks on Sunday. I’ll have my blood levels checked again on Monday (day 37)  and get the results on Tuesday. My HcG needs to be around 6,880, which is where I thought I should have been at for my first blood drawing. Confusing, I know. I guess it’s possible that I ovulated a week later than what I thought (CD22? weird), but I’ll take it.

I gotta admit, this has been such a roller coaster. My hormones are all over the place. I’m not hungry at all; not craving any foods. My stomach is the continued splotchy mess and my vagina feels like Niagara Falls. My breasts are so tender and I have no energy. Please understand that I’m NOT complaining, it’s just amazing what I’m putting my body through for a baby. (We’ve all been there.) When I took the first two pregnancy tests, I was devastated that they weren’t positive. Then I got the positive, and I wasn’t expecting it–I was hysterical. Here we go again. Oh my God, I can’t lose another baby. No!  This has totally taken me in so many different directions.

Going through this process has got to be a lot like giving birth. What I mean is, so many women say labor is a traumatic, gross experience; some say they would never do it again. But then you get the itch to have another baby, get pregnant, and you’re reminded once again how horrible the experience of labor was. It’s temporary amnesia. We go through the same process… We try for so long to get pregnant, get pregnant and freak out because we know what can happen. We have a miscarriage, mourn the loss, grieve, and then we are ready to try again. Being in the place I am right now, I’m highly/intensely reminded of how this experience feels. I wanted this baby more than life itself and now that I’m here, it’s like, wow, did I wish for this? Why didn’t I remember how totally out of control I feel when I’m pregnant? Why didn’t I remember what it’s like to feel so happy and so terrified in the same minute? Why didn’t I remember that every bathroom trip was going to be a traumatic event? What if I lost this baby? What then? Why did I do this to myself?

Because the end result is worth it. Because journey is just as important as the destination. Day by day, I’ll get through this, however it turns out. Right now, Baby Poult and I are good. We’re together, we’re growing, one of us physically and the other mentally,emotionally and spiritually. I wouldn’t change a second of this crazy ride.

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Poult

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The last couple days have gone by in a blur.

On Monday afternoon I had my blood drawn. On Tuesday afternoon I found out what my numbers were; they were not stellar. My HcG was 430 and my Progesterone was 16. Not good. According to my calculations my HcG should have been roughly 6,880. A “normal” pregnancy range for Progesterone is 12-84. I’m on the low side of average. After talking to the nurse, she said, “I know it’s discouraging, but we won’t know anything until the second draw.” She called me back about 20 minutes later and said the doctor wanted me to double my progesterone. They’re doing everything they can to help me.

I was at physical therapy for my shoulder when I received the news. It took everything in my power to not start crying right then and there. The second I got in my car, I lost it. Thankfully, I only had a four mile drive home. I walked in the house and my husband could immediately tell something was wrong. I couldn’t get the words out. I just started to cry on his shoulder. He apologized over and over… but I am the one who is sorry. I can’t give him baby.

I cried and cried that night. I fell asleep in my husband’s arms. I needed that.

Now, I know that it’s very possible I ovulated a week later than I thought. It’s possible that I’m a week behind what I thought I was. But that’s what we thought last time. Last time, the same scenario happened. I thought I was X amount of weeks but my numbers were low, so we assumed that maybe I just ovulated a week later than I thought… and we were wrong.

I’m still holding onto a shred of hope here. I doubled my progesterone (I don’t know how that helps, all I do is leak the stuff all day and all night…) and I’m still on heparin. My stomach is a purple, blue, green, yellow splotchy mess. I will hopefully have the results of yesterday’s blood work in a few hours.

I told my husband last night that us getting pregnant is a lot like buying a lotto ticket. You hold onto that ticket for a couple of days fantasizing about what you would do with the money. I would form the largest no-kill animal shelter in the country, do all I could for women in our situation and pay off student loans and a modest home. I want a farm with pigs, goats, horses and chickens. Cows and ducks would be fun too. But it’s a dream.

Right now we’re holding our lottery ticket waiting for the numbers to come in. We’re fantasizing about the future… The clothes, the pictures, the nursery, the baby smells.

Not everyone can win the jackpot, but it’s sure fun to fantasize.

Poult… you know how all those crazy pregnant women name their baby? “My Little Bean”, “My Peanut” or whatever else the ultrasound picture looks like… Well, we named ours Poult. (And no, we don’t have an ultrasound yet.) Why Poult? Well, I’ve always called my husband “Pumpkin” and he’s always called me “Turkey.” Weird, I know, but it’s cute… He calls me his Turkey (can’t remember how that started, I think something to do with pumpkins, turkey’s, Thanksgiving, etc.) So I asked him this morning what a baby turkey was called. He didn’t know, so I looked it up. They’re called Poults. So now we have a baby Poult (like the word poultry.) I think it’s cute–I didn’t want to go with the non-original “bean” or “peanut.”

So here’s hoping my Poult pulls through… I keep looking at the clock waiting until I can call. The numbers have to at least doubled for this to be a positive thing. Here’s hoping and praying!

Checkin’ In

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Two nights ago I started to feel nauseous. My mom thinks it’s all in my head. Either way, I didn’t get sick yet.

My breasts have been really tender the last few days. My belly is bruised from the heparin shots. My vagina is constantly leaking from the progesterone suppositories. I’m more tired than normal, but I can’t nap for fear of missing a moment with this baby.

I love this baby.

Yesterday I was supposed to get my blood drawn early in the morning. I hesitated until 4:00 in the afternoon to get it drawn. I wasn’t ready for them to give me the results, so I thought if I waited until later in the day I would have one more day of being an ignorantly happy pregnant lady. They will call me later today to give me the HcG and progesterone levels.

Everything has gotten a lot more complicated in the last 72 hours. My doctor is out of the country until April 4th and we found out we don’t have insurance. It’s a long complicated story, I won’t bore you with the details. Right now, we’re paying out of pocket for my heparin and blood work.

The timing on things never ceases to amaze me. I pray that my levels will be good and that we can get insurance soon.

Days

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Warning: Pregnancy Rant Ahead

Second Warning: This contains lots of non structured nonsense in no particular order.

So, I’ve made it another day with no blood. So very thankful for that. Every single time I go to the bathroom I’m saying a prayer before I check and a prayer after saying thank you for one more bathroom visit without blood.

Tomorrow I’m getting my HcG levels checks. Praying those will be good. Praying the next time I get them checked they will have doubled like they should.

Because I’m curious and a masochist, I looked up the exact number of days that I was pregnant in the past:

Baby #1: 84 days pregnant (12 weeks). Had three ultrasounds.

Baby # 2: 50 days pregnant (7w1D). Started bleeding on day 51.

Baby # 3: 44 days pregnant (6w2d). Started bleeding on day 45.

Baby #4: Currently 36 days pregnant (5w1d). No bleeding. No HcG levels checked yet.

Obviously, I’m hoping to surpass each milestone on the previous babies. I’m feeling less stressed at the moment because I’ve never lost a baby at this point in the game. I feel like I have at least another week to enjoy being pregnant before I really start to freak out. So crazy how a day can matter… How quickly those days can add up–or subtract.

My HcG levels should be 6,880 tomorrow. The range could be anywhere from 4,420-10,810 according to this website: http://www.babymed.com/hcg-level-in-early-pregnancy

I’m going to be optimistic and believe the levels will be around 8,000, no, 9,000. The higher, the better… let’s be greedy on this.

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One thing I want to bitch and moan about is how we view people who are pregnant. I’ve read countless posts about women who are pissed off that so and so is pregnant. And they’re on welfare, on drugs, not educated, etc. (For the record, I was going to post this before I got pregnant…) I feel it’s so unfair that we look at people at think, “Why do THEY get to have a child and not me?” We have a house! A HOUSE! We have money! We’ve been married forever! And they are NOT married, they don’t have a house and they require government assistance. Do they screw the system? Sometimes. Does it seem like they may not be deserving to have children? From our point of view, maybe. I’ve seen people abuse and neglect their kids. I’ve seen first hand what can happen to someone who drinks/does drugs and the repercussions that causes.

How do we know what their struggle is? What if they’re really thinking, “Gosh, that married couple looks so happy. They have a nice house. He’s a doctor, she’s a teacher. They don’t have kids, but they have money, they can go on vacations, they can do whatever they want, whenever they want. They can go buy groceries!” What if they feel like they missed their childhood because they got pregnant at 16. What if they have five babies and will be a grandma before age 34. What are they thinking when they look at you? Gosh, you look pretty lucky in your nice house. Nice car. Maybe not fancy, but it’s nicer than what they have living in the poorest of poor houses. Maybe they wish they could have went to school. Maybe they look at government assistance as they only way they can take care of themselves because they felt they weren’t smart enough to go to school?

Maybe they are addicted to drugs and so desperately want to get out of that situation. Maybe they get beaten every night by their husband or boyfriend and they don’t feel they have anywhere to turn.

Maybe that baby they have is the only good thing they have. The only good thing they will ever have. And maybe they won’t realize that for 30 years. Maybe the baby is there to help them get off drugs. Maybe it’s a reality check. We don’t know. We will never know. But it’s unfair for us to judge.

Maybe it’s the family who seemingly has everything. Maybe they have 2.3 kids, a white picket fence and a dog. Maybe they seem happily married. Maybe he’s cheating on her. Maybe they’re bankrupt and have no savings. Maybe they have cancer. Maybe.

We can’t fairly say “why them” or “why not me.” Because we are going to drive ourselves crazy. Life isn’t fair. We can’t pretend to know or understand what everyone is going through. We can’t fairly judge them, nor should we.

In the same breath, before I knew I was pregnant, I was thinking, “Why not me…?” EVERYONE on Facebook is pregnant. Everyone is due in October. I was ready to give up Facebook and blogging. Coming on here and reading everyone’s story was depressing the hell out of me. This whole process makes us absolutely crazy. (See above for case and point… what normal person counts their pregnancy out by days). I was so done with listening to everyone bitch and moan about how unfair life is. It’s so depressing–There’s never any good news. And I contribute to that!

But then there is some good news. I’m pregnant. And someone is reading this thinking, “Why her. Why not me?” Truth is, I don’t know. I don’t know you. But I feel like I’m in no man’s land because I don’t fit in with a “normal” pregnant woman and now I don’t fit into the infertility “group” anymore because I’m pregnant. It’s frustrating thinking that I made someone else say, “Why her and not me?” Because I’ve been there. I know how it feels. I know how much it hurts. We expect to come on here and read about infertility. We expect to come on and see someone is on CD 5 and they’re doing everything in their power to get pregnant, but when it happens, do we get ostracized? Why not you?

I don’t know. I don’t know if I’ll make it to pregnancy day 45, 51 or 279. I hope so.

But maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll be right back here thinking, “Why me? Why do they get the baby?” I just have to believe that there is a plan in place. Maybe if I miscarry it’s because I would die during childbirth. Who knows?

We really should stop comparing ourselves to everyone else. We should be grateful for what we have. I know that’s a hard pill to swallow because I have to do the same thing every day. We just have to remember that they are probably wanting what you have. They probably want your “perfect” life just as much as you want their babies.

Prayin’ kind.

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I know earlier I had a very positive attitude, but I am really scared. It’s so hard to go down this road again.

I’m so very grateful that we have been given another chance at being parents. But I am so scared.

Eleven years ago, this was the exact path I was on. My period date, ovulation date and due date were all almost exactly the same… off only by two days.

2003: Period: February 18th & Due: November 25th

2014: Period: February 16th & Due: November 23rd

When we first started trying this time, I didn’t realize how close the dates were. After I ovulated I was looking at the calendar thinking, “What if this is how it was supposed to be… just eleven years later?” It’s pretty scary that the timing is almost identical.

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Shit just got real. Second shot of heparin went well. The injection sights are sore and slightly bruising… Please don’t take this as complaining… I would get a shot of every second of the day if I thought it would help me keep this baby… Just trying to remember these moments.

We told my parents tonight. Everyone is excited… There’s talk about the baby, Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s almost like the past has been forgotten. The nightmare of what is the past is not affecting the hope that we have for the future.

And as easy as it is to type those words, I still remember. I’m constantly going to the bathroom to “check” and make sure that I’m not bleeding. I’m holding on to hope at this point. I’m so thankful and grateful that we made it through the day with no blood. Every single day I’m given with my baby, I will cherish. I pray time goes quickly and slowly in the same breath… Quickly, so I can see my baby. Slowly, so I can appreciate every shot, every suppository and pill… every second.

I’m not always the prayin’ kind… but God and I are about to get really close.

Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched?

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I’m pregnant.

Yeah. Shocked? That makes more than two of us.

So if you’ll recall in a few posts ago (here), I took two tests. One had a very, very, very faint line (Friday). You wouldn’t have even known there was a line there unless you really looked. Took another test two days later… And it was negative (on Sunday)–Not even close to having an imaginary line. So I stopped my progesterone on Sunday. I thought I’d get my period by Wednesday. On Sunday and Monday I had very a very small amount of brown discharge. Very minimal. Very. This threw up a red flag, but I figured it was from the Progesterone (that is one of the listed side effects) or that my period was starting. Wednesday came and went. Nothing. Yesterday my husband asked if my period had started and I said no… He said, well, if it doesn’t start by tomorrow, take another test. Around 8:30 last night, I told him I wanted to take another test. Waiting 12 more hours to take a test wouldn’t have affected the outcome. And it was positive… Clear as day. (I will eventually post a picture, but right now it’s the only thing I have of my baby… and I kinda want to keep it just for me, for now. And besides, we all know what pregnancy tests look like. But this one, is mine.)

And the freaking out started. I started crying. I wanted it to be positive so badly, but then the realization that I could potentially miscarry for a fourth time overcame me. What happens now? Where do we go from here? Oh. My. God. I wanted to tell everyone and no one at the same time. I couldn’t stop crying and my husband was perfect. He called me down. We laughed and cried over and over again. We are going to celebrate this baby. Our baby. We are excited about it. And we are going to continue to be excited about it until it’s born. We are not going to focus on the negatives. We are not going to say “if” the baby is born, we are going to say “when.” We are going to love this baby.

My regret with Baby #3 was that I felt so disconnected. I already had that baby dead in my mind… I wasn’t going to get excited about it, and I didn’t. I want to cherish every day that I have with this baby, because we never know when…

And I won’t finish that sentence.

I immediately started the progesterone again. I already have my first dose of heparin in me (one shot twice daily). I’ve been on folic and prenatals for a while now. I’m waiting on my doctor to call me back to find out when she wants blood levels checked and how often… There’s nothing more I can do, except wait. Wait and love this baby.

And… I’m planning on posting often, just so I can remember these days and these special moments.

I want to take my husband out tomorrow and go look at baby stuff–just one store. I want to buy one outfit and have it here. I want to do all the normal things normal newly pregnant parents do. I’m going to start knitting a blanket for our baby and I’m going to start thinking about names.

It will be our turkey baby… I will be due am due on November 23rd. I am elated and terrified.

If you’re a prayer, please pray for us.

 

 

Michael Dean

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Had a baby this past morning from “The Corner.”

The baby boy had was born at 23 weeks. I received the text from Hilary and she and the photographer were meeting at the hospital at 9:30. I quickly showered and headed out the door.

I did what I’ve done twice before. I asked God for the strength and grace to help the family. I prayed that He would let me “keep it together” when I saw the baby. I arrived at the hospital and met a new photographer who I hadn’t seen before. She’s been with the network for many years, first doing what I do, then moving into the photography aspect of it.

The baby was the smallest I’ve seen. He was perfectly formed, just like the rest. He looked like doll. I helped Hilary bathe him, weigh and measure him and put baby lotion all over his tiny body. “We want him to smell like a baby,” Hilary whispered. He is a baby. I knew what she meant, it just struck me as wrong.

After taking the ink prints and doing the moldings in the clay, I put him in a tiny outfit that had been knitted by other volunteers. The mom and day had pictures with their baby and we talked about funeral arrangements. The family had the box of stuff that we brought for them and the promise that in 10 days they would have photos of their baby. I did everything well and was amazed at my strength in staying calm. I still don’t know how I’m doing this.

After we left the hospital, Hilary gave me an “official” baby for the network. I have everything I need to do what Hilary does. I have tiny outfits, blankets, diapers and clay. I have the paperwork to give to the family and the information I need to fill out when I’m with the family. I hope and pray that I am going to have the strength to do this on my own. That I am going to be able to give the baby dignity and grace.