Author Archives: mydogismytherapist

She’s here!!

Kayla Hope arrived on 9/26 at 8:42pm. 🙂 My sweet girl weighed 6lbs 15 oz and was 19 inches long. She is perfect and my husband and I are so In love with our girl. We have been home since Monday and just enjoying every minute with her. I will write my labor story when I can! For now, I’m going to kiss my baby up.  

Picture above was my last bump shot in the hospital!


Wow. Nesting is oh so real, at least in my house! I think it started back in May and has not stopped since. We have had the Windows cleaned, basement carpet cleaned, sofa cleaned, new living room carpet, trees trimmed outside, weeds sprayed, threw out garbage cans full of junk from the garage, new comforter in our room…ridiculous! I work at home so I’m constantly seeing something else I want to do…this week we are focusing on putting up a banister in the basement. My poor husband!! He has been a good sport though, he will come home and I moved all the pots and pans to a new drawer or scrubbed everything in the bathroom with a magic eraser. 🙂 I think we are all ready for you baby girl….her nursery is all set and we have put together everything we think she will need when she first gets home. Also thanks to my mom and sister for helping me organize after our shower and wash all of her clothes!! 38 weeks…so ready for this. 

Happy Sunday all…I hope you enjoy your day with football and the Emmys! 


Maternity Pictures

Good evening all! I cannot believe we hit the 36 week mark and we are a month or less from meeting our daughter! So many emotions, I am feeling excited, nervous, scared, happy….just a lot of changes coming up. We are SO ready, but no matter how ready you are, I think everyone feels this way. I have been feeling pretty good! Lots of heartburn, starting to have trouble sleeping at night- lots of hip and leg pain sleeping on my sides, and a little swelling, but I can’t complain. 🙂

At 33 weeks and 5 days, we had maternity pictures done at the beach. I wasn’t going to do any but I am so happy we were able to capture this time and can show our future children how excited we were.  I highly recommend any one who is pregnant to take them!

Here are a few of my favorites:

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Already a beach baby!

Already a beach baby!


Of Course Bradley made an appearance!

Of Course Bradley made an appearance!

Amazing how life changes….

Last year on October 6, 2014, I had two shots in my lower back to end my ectopic pregnancy. It was a very low and sad moment in my life and one I don’t wish on anyone. It didn’t come to me until I was at the doctor a few weeks ago that my due date for my baby girl is October 6, 2015. (Because of IVF, they pretty much know your exact date you conceived, I have been going off of 10/4 because she was measuring larger from the start). 

So the point of this little message is, don’t give up. Continue to fight and pray and hope. Your time will come and let me tell you, God works in a beautiful way like this one. 

Oxox Stephanie

Jack and Jill Baby Shower!

On August 1st, my amazing sister and brother in law hosted our “BabyQ” at their house! With lots of help from my parents and in-laws, it was a gorgeous night! We had a diaper raffle (we have enough diapers for at least 6 months!), they didn’t have our guests wrap their gifts- just put them in baskets, clear wrap etc- so we could relax and not worry about opening everything.   Best part was- it was a ton of our family and friends!! Beer, wine and delicious bbq food was served all night under a tent decorated with mason jars, flowers and fun touches. It was such a beautiful night and I still cannot believe we had a shower. I have been to so many showers and turned down so many invites….the fact that this was for us- AH! Baby Girl received a whole library of books, tons of clothes, blankets, almost everything off of our registry (just had to buy the car seat with giftcards), and lots of fun goodies that we were not expecting. Here are some pictures from our exciting day.

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Second Trimester!

Ah… we made it to the 13 week (semi breathing) phase. The first few weeks of the second trimester, I was exhausted. I hear this is the best trimester for many and I was so frustrated I wasn’t feeling well, but after a few weeks of early bedtimes, naps and late night snacks lol, I finally started feeling better. I have to tell you, my Crohn’s disease has pretty much been in remission throughout my pregnancy so far. I am down to 4 pills a day (was on 8 plus steroids before). I wanted to go off them but my doctor is afraid I will have a bad flare-up after giving birth, so he wants me to stay on some. I am also on a pre-natal vitamin, iron supplement, baby aspirin and folic acid prescription. I am eating lots of wheat (lol) and ice cream and my stomach feels pretty darn great. I started incorporating protein shakes more in the 2nd trimester as well. I have Juice Plus protein powder and mix almond milk with kale, berries, and banana. So good!

I waited so long for this pregnancy, but it still can get very overwhelming all the changes in your body. I wasn’t completely in maternity clothes yet, but was having trouble fitting in many of my current clothes. This seems like such a stupid thing to get upset about but with my hormones and not feeling 100%, I definitely had my crying moments while going through my closet some days. My mom was so great and did some fun online shopping for me so I would get packages of clothes in the mail, which was amazing when you don’t feel like walking around a mall all day.

Around 19 weeks when my mom was in town, we registered!! Such an exciting day! When we walked into Buy Buy Baby, I was all set to go and didn’t think we needed any help. About 10 minutes into it and when we hit the car seats, I almost had a panic attack. There were about 30 car seat options!! I wanted the perfect one for our little nugget and had no idea where to start. We found an amazing woman who worked there who told me to take a deep breath then continued to stay with us for a good two hours through every section of the store. It was so much fun and so exciting because we also picked out our nursery furniture too! (Thanks to our amazing parents!!) This was starting to get so real. 🙂

Early May Bump!!

Early May Bump!!

My adorable hubby and baby daddy while registering. He had to get his own carrier. :) <3

My adorable hubby and baby daddy while registering. He had to get his own carrier. ❤

End of May bump!!

End of May bump!!

First Trimester

Hi All! 🙂 Well today I started my 3rd trimester!! Yes- 28 weeks! I apologize, AGAIN, for not blogging for a few months- ugh, I stink. But I want to get back in the groove before our little peanut arrives in October. So here we go!

First trimester is scary for any mom because it is so early and you don’t know what may happen. For me and many of us who go through infertility, it is three months of nerves, excitement, doctor appointments and lots of prayers. My first pregnancy,  was chemical so never even got to the ultrasound. My second pregnancy, we went in to hear the heartbeat and there was none. My third pregnancy, was an ectopic so we had the positive tests but they could need see anything and it wasn’t progressing or viable. So this time as much as I wanted to get my hopes up, we knew to prepare for the worst and not fully celebrate. When you do IVF, you have MANY more appointments in the beginning of your pregnancy. We went in around 5.5 weeks and saw the fetal pole and sac– yay!! Then we went a week later for BIG appointment, to hear her heartbeat. I’ll never forget our doctor saying as soon as he had it up on the screen -“I can already see it beating.” MUSIC TO OUR EARS! And hearing it- I cannot explain how amazing it was. 

We went back about a week later and everything was looking amazing and we were getting ready to “graduate.” Around this point- 7 weeks, was when I started to get super sick. I could barely keep anything down- even water- and was so worried I was going to get dehydrated or not be able to take my prenatal vitamin. Thank Goodness I never had to go to the hospital, but for a good two weeks, it was not pleasant. My doctor had to prescribe some anti-nausea meds for me, which did help quite a bit. I didn’t want to take too many pills, so I only took them when it was really needed.

When we went to our 8 week appointment with our fertility doctor, our last one, baby looked amazing but we had a scare with our blood work. Our HCG numbers were going down, or so we thought from the lab, so the doctor made us come back in two days later for another look and bloodwork. Talk about stressful and nerve wracking- I was a mess for 2 days. We went back in and she was perfect and growing! We had bloodwork done again and it was back up, so not sure if the lab messed up or what but we were a-ok to graduate and move on!! Bittersweet day because you get very attached to your nurse and doctor, but we were ready to move on.

10 weeks- first appointment at our gynocologist. We saw baby girl move!!! We couldn’t believe when we had the ultrasound she was moving her arms all over, cutest. thing. ever. At this point I wasn’t getting sick anymore but still tired and nauseous. I lost a few pounds in the beginning but was starting to gain some weight back. 

We didn’t want to announce to all of our friends and family until after our 15 week appointment, but we did have my brother in law take our announcement pictures around 12/13 weeks. We waited SO LONG for this!! Behind the scenes-



Of course Bradley was included! Here are the final shots and a bump picture from March 🙂 :


IMG_0459IMG_0454Thanks for reading! oxox


Two week wait and our Big Fat Positive (BFP)

Good morning! I’m still smiling from all the love you have sent me over the last week since we announced. 🙂 Thank you all!

Our two week wait actually went pretty quickly this time around…though I felt ZERO symptoms. With my miscarriage from our IUI, I felt a lot going on during that wait so I kept comparing everything. Our transfer was on a Sunday, so I took that Mon-Weds off to relax and just take it easy. Monday Dave had off as well so we went to the movies to see American Snipper and out for burgers. It was nice to get out and to not focus completely on what was potentially happening in my body. I took it easy the rest of the week and was actually happy to get back to work that Thursday to keep my mind busy on something else. 

That Saturday night we went out to dinner with Dave’s football ref crew and I decided during that dinner I was going to take an at home test on Sunday. (Our blood test was set for Tuesday…so technically not a full 2 week wait). I didn’t drink at the dinner (of course) and I just kept thinking that it didn’t work. I tried really hard to stay positive but my mind was going…oh no, we used two embryos, if it didn’t work we only have three left, we cannot afford anything else after this. etc etc etc. 

Sunday morning at around 5am, I couldn’t take it anymore lol…I got up and found my hidden pregnancy tests and prayed. I was shocked as I looked down, not even a minute after peeing on it that two lines were coming up. I thought I was seeing things (as it was 5am) and I put it up to the light and started crying. I couldn’t believe it!!!! I ran in and woke Dave up, poor guy- I have done this to him before, and told me the amazing news. We actually lied and told our families the wait was a full two weeks, so we could find out the news and keep it to ourselves for a few days before sharing. Plus- we got to surprise them, something you really cannot do much of when doing IVF. 

A big storm was heading in for Tuesday, so I took it upon myself and went in for bloodwork a day early. Our at home test was a very strong two lines, especially for being so early on but I was still shocked at just 8 days from the transfer, our HCG levels were over 250.  When we heard this amazing news, we told our parents. I wanted to capture it so we decided to facetime in the middle of the day and completely shock them. I first showed them Bradley laying there with a Big Brother sign, they kept staring so confused and later I was told I should have written “I’m a big brother”…lol. Here are three pictures, I won’t share the rest as they would probably kill me, haha but they were crying and SO HAPPY! (I apparently found it hysterical).

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Of course, I was still a nervous wreck and wouldn’t be able to breathe until our heartbeat ultrasound, at around 7 weeks. Our blood work kept doubling like it should and at 5.5 weeks we had our first ultrasound which really doesn’t show much, since it is so early, but they look for a sac and a fetal pole. A part of me thought since the numbers were so amazing that it could possibly be twins, but I was actually a little relieved when we saw just one in there. 

I was feeling really good at this point, still no major symptoms, which scared me because of course you want to feel something, so you know it is still in there!  Boy did I jinx myself. 

oxox Will write soon!

Road to Baby

Good morning! I am so sorry I haven’t written in months but….I’m pregnant! wahoo!! Thank you so much for all of your prayers, support, calls, texts…everything. Dave and I are so blessed and cannot believe this is real. I wanted to share our story over the last few months.

When you do a frozen embryo transfer, it is not as easy as just showing up to the doctor the day of. We started the process over a month in advance, starting with me going on birth control. Crazy right? But it basically quiets your system down and helps the doctors time everything. 

January 2nd- our first doctors appt! Everything looks good and that evening I start my shots. Because we had a cancelled cycle back in August due to using no meds and my body not cooperating, my doctor changed my protocol up. I was on “stimming” shots, to basically trick my body to make estrogen to help thicken my uterine lining. Not only was I on shots, but I was also on a baby aspirin, prenatal vitamin, folic acid prescription, two iron supplements per day plus my medicine for Crohn’s. Whew!  (I just wanted to point out last year exactly around this time we had our D&C for our miscarriage, it is amazing what a year can bring and wow, have I learned the art of patience.)

Over the next week or so, I had a few early doctor appointments (between 6-7:30am) and everything was looking pretty good. My lining was getting thicker, not as thick as I would have liked, but it was looking ok. Once the doctor gives us the ok, I started on progesterone shots (in my lower back, upper butt). That is quite a process! I ice it, Dave does the shot then rubs it, then I walk around because the progesterone serum is thick, so it is good to walk around so it loosens itself up in your muscle area. Then Heat…my awesome heating pad did the trick. 

On top of ALL of that. My doctor had me on benadryl…THREE times a day. (This was started two days before the transfer). The first weekend I was on it, I pretty much slept the entire time lol.  I don’t have much knowledge on what it does exactly, but they are saying it can help with implantation and I think it relaxes you as well. (All you people who get pregnant on your first time, in your own bedroom…look at all this work many of us have to go through!! It is nuts.) oh and I was going to acupuncture twice a week as well. 

On January 18th, we received a call at 10am to be at their office at noon in Basking Ridge, NJ for our transfer. It was a snowy, rainy and dreary Sunday, but Dave and I were so ready for this.  My parents took our dog Bradley, and we took off to go “meet” our girls. Yes, I said girls….we put two embryos in, both girls. 🙂 Dave and I knew the sexes of our 5 frozen embryos back in the summer when we had our egg retrieval and had their genetic testing done. This is getting more and more common among IVF patients, to find the best of the best. We had 6 embryos freeze and 5 were healthy, so we did have to have one thrown out due to a chromosome abnormality. We put two of the strongest embryos in…girls! Go figure 🙂

We paid $200 extra to have laser acupuncture before and after the transfer.  It did not hurt at all and was pretty relaxing. It also lasted about 2 minutes lol …$200 pssht. Here I am before:

IMG_2708Then, the most amazing and beautiful process begins. A doctor and two nurses came into the room with our embryos in an incubator. We were able to see on a large screen the embryos being put into a catheter, they are SO, SO tiny. I want to say as small or smaller then a poppy seed. Then we watch on the ultrasound screen as the doctor inserts the embryos into my uterus. (A Fairly painless process!) I was so in awe as you all of a sudden could see them pop out of the catheter and into my uterus. I started crying, it was so emotional and beautiful to watch. You could see them both just floating in and getting ready to stick. 🙂 The nurse patted arm as I was crying and told me I did “such a good job.” They are angels and what they do everyday is make miracles. My husband, Dave kept saying wow and both of us just stared at the screen. Once it was over, I had to lay there for about 20-30 minutes and the acupuncturist came back in and did the laser one more time. By this point, you are very uncomfortable because you have to have a full bladder throughout the procedure. I couldn’t wait to get up and pee!! lol 

I wanted to share this picture, because how cool is it that I have it? But here are our two embryos before they were brought to us. I don’t know why but I feel like the one on the right is our baby girl. It was already hatching in this picture!! She was ready to get this process going and is so strong 🙂  I have so much more to share and write especially about our first few weeks pregnant, but I will leave it here for now and thank you again for all of our support. I still cannot believe this is happening!!!! oxox