Had to share <3

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Madison Christine

Is here!! I’m sorry I have zero time to blog since she has been born on 11.14.16. πŸ™‚ She was 7.5lbs and 19 inches and came pretty darn fast! I started having light contractions on and off all day starting around 8am. I had my 39 week check up at 2pm and while in the waiting room, they started to get a little more intense- not awful, but definitely feeling them more. I found out I was 5 centimeters dilated- WHAT?! I was around that when I received an epidural for Kayla, I was in shock. The doctor I saw thought I would have this baby in the next day or so, but I knew it would be that night. By 5pm…my contractions were 5-6 minutes apart and very intense. Yet, I was making dinner for my 13 month old and holding on to the counter when my contractions hit. My husband was giving her a bath and asked me how far apart they were…when I told him his face went white and he yelled “Why are we still home?!?!” lol πŸ™‚

My dad came over around 6pm (which he wanted to stay at home and eat cereal and relax until 8…LOL he had no idea how fast this was going) ….time to head to the hospital and say good bye to my Kayla. I cried like a baby because I knew everything was changing and she is still so young herself. She could pretty much care less and was happy to be with her PopPop. When we got to the hospital, they had no clean rooms for me yet! (It was a full moon…) and while they were cleaning one, I was asking to start the paperwork for an epidural and even told them I would clean a room to get in quicker.. HA!! Once I was in the room and received the epidural (had to do it twice…I can’t even explain how painful it was this time), my doctor (who also delivered Kayla!) came in and broke my water (felt nothing!). It was so chill this time around- maybe because I knew what to expect or because it was going super quick, but Dave and I sat and talked and watched tv for an hour. Peaceful and quiet. When my doctor came in to check how far along I was, he could not believe the baby’s head was literally right there (“Don’t sneeze, her head is right here lol) …my epidural must have been so strong, I did not feel any pressure. When I had Kayla, they had me start pushing and the doctor would come in and out for over 2 hours….this time, he “suited” right up and said “Let’s have a baby.” Also with Kayla, we had to have the NICU staff in the room because she did do a lovely poop (meconium) in the womb and they had to make sure she was ok. For Madison, it was just Dave, one nurse and our doctor- again, a much more chill environment. I did 1.5 pushes (stopped mid push second time lol) and she was here!!!! 9:42pm, our beautiful baby girl came into the world. They put her right on my stomach (didn’t have that with Kayla- she was whisked over to the table)…and Madi opened her eyes and looked right into mine…talk about love at first sight.

Madison is my little miracle, we never in a million years thought it was possible to have a child naturally. She was the best surprise of my life and the perfect way to complete our little family.

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Thank you to my husband who captured this picture…she was staring right at me! (Almost looks like she is reaching for me too πŸ™‚Β 

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Our little angel

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Say what?!

“I’m pregnant!!” followed by a scream and maybe a tear or two when I yelled to my husband from the bathroom on March 26, 2016 on our daughter’s 6 month birthday. Yes, only 6 months. As you all know from reading my blog, it took us over 3.5 years, 5 fertility treatments and 3 losses to have our baby girl Kayla. Felt like a lifetime. As many of you have asked me in private messages, texts etc…. this pregnancy was natural and not planned (but so, so welcomed).Β Β God works in mysterious ways huh?

I’m a planner, always have been. With IVF, you cannot get a more planned out timeline- you pretty much know the second you could be expecting, you find out you are expecting earlier than you would naturally and you have your first ultrasound weeks before you would with a regular doctor. So this…this threw me for a loop. Trust me, Dave and I are excited but we had a “plan.” Back to the doctor later this Fall for another transfer…our girls…yes we have 3 frozen girl embryos, no boys!….would be about 2 years apart. Perfect! When I realized the day before Easter I could possibly be pregnant, I had to laugh and just say to Dave “Could you imagine?!” hahaha….well. we could.

I am 15 weeks pregnant with our baby girl…another girl due late November!! Apparently that is all we make. πŸ™‚ lol We found out I was expecting around 6 weeks and maybe it was because I became super sick or maybe because my body still hasn’t full recovered from having Kayla, but I was super emotional and anxious. I want to enjoy my time with our daughter, she is a little baby herself, how could I have another one already? It was a rough few weeks getting my mind straight with my feelings, thinking of logistics for our house set up, finances, you name it…I was all over the place. Dave, who I thought was going to lose his mind (HA!), was actually the calm one. Maybe he was scared inside, but I needed that rock while I was feeling shaky myself. My parents and sister were so, so excited! I called them crying with the news and they were like “why are you crying?! this is such a blessing! You can do this.” And they are correct. I think back to my days of doing anything possible to get pregnant and now here I was…in a position anyone, at any fertility clinic would gladly jump into. I am so lucky to have so many good friends who checked in with me to see how I was- most are all mothers and they get it. They knew what I was feeling and they knew exactly what to say to me. So Thank you. πŸ™‚

And to all my fellow IVF’ers and those trying for baby #2…here is some more Hope.Β  πŸ™‚

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Our little nugget at 12 weeks.

 

 

 

How to help a friend going through Infertility

TGIF πŸ™‚ I do not think I ever touched on this subject, but I hope it can help at least one person who reads this. I did not know many who went through infertility before I did, but after joining my support group and talking with many women who have and are going through it, I understand how it feels to watch someone you love struggle. Whenever someone in my group would get a negative test or bad news from the doctor, my heart would break for her even though I am over here going through the same thing. I have cried many tears for my friends, have done research in the middle of the night on Mr. Google trying to find answers for them and tried to just be there when they needed an ear to listen.

Going through all of this myself and being so open about it, I have had the most incredible support system in family, close friends, sorority sisters and even strangers who read my blog. I hope you can walk away after reading this with a few tips on how to help.

  • Listen. Do not try to diagnose, do not tell that person to “relax, it will happen.” Do not tell that person to go on a vacation and you will come back pregnant. I used to hate hearing “I bet if you adopt, you will get pregnant on your own!”Β  Just listen, cry with them, hug them and let them believe it will be ok.
  • Let them know you are thinking about them. A simple text, email, phone call or sending a card in the mail, means SO MUCH. It would mean so much to me when I was in a doctor’s office for another appointment or in my bed crying over bad news, to hear from a friend that they were thinking of me. We are all so busy in life and in with cell phones and email, it takes 10 seconds to let someone know you are there.
  • Pray with them. Some may disagree with this, but prayer was a huge factor that got me through 3.5 years of infertility. I had friends put me on prayer chains, have their church pray for me during mass, and send me a prayer book. I would talk with God and St. Gerard constantly and read from a daily devotion book every day. (Since having Kayla, I have really slowed up on all of this and something in 2016 I really want to focus on again.) I had friends light their St. Gerard candle for me while I was going through a cycle and vice versa. Trust me- it means more than you know to let someone know you are praying.
  • Invite them out. So many nights I wanted to just stay home and go to bed early but having friends ask Dave and I to come over for a BBQ or to meet for drinks really helped. Don’t be too pushy- some days that really is the last thing we want to do. But, don’t forget about us too…invite your friend bowling, to the movies or something fun to get them to laugh and forget, even for 5 minutes, what is waiting for them tomorrow.
  • Invite them to your baby shower and kid’s birthday but DO NOT expect a yes. This one sounds crazy, but I would have hated to be left out and not invited to go to an event, but 75% of the time I just couldn’t do it. Let your friend know it is ok if they cannot make it, please do not get upset with them. If you were in their shoes, you would see how hard it is to go and watch someone open up baby gifts or to come empty handed to a child’s birthday party while you watch everyone play with their kids and talk all things mommy. I finally started saying no to invites, I had to put myself first and I don’t regret a second of it. (Thank you to my friends who would invite me and before I even got the invite would tell me, don’t worry about coming, I get it. Thank you.)
  • Now that I am a mom- I post way too many pictures of Kayla (I’m so sorry). Keep posting those announcement pictures, bump pictures (not every week ughh lol) and baby pictures…but don’t expect your friend to comment or like them. I honestly hid many friends who would post constantly because it would hurt to see it every day in my feed and that is OK too! I did not post many bump pictures or any ultrasound pictures because I knew how much many of those bothered me but now I waited so long for this, I am posting away. πŸ™‚

I think that is it for now, thanks if you are still sitting there reading this. I just wanted to share a few ways that my family and friends helped me through our struggle. I still remember to this day when we had our miscarriage and failed cycles who sent flowers, a card, sent me a good luck charm (like my elephant bracelet) or even stopped over with food. It is the little, thoughtful things that make such a difference.

 

 

 

 

Play time!

Kayla is now 5 months and is playing more and more. I love watching her use both of her hands to reach for things…those little chunky wrists. πŸ™‚ She puts everything into her mouth right now and it’s so darn cute. She loves to talk and “play” scream too..such a fun baby! I just updated her baby book and it is amazing to see how many firsts she has and to be able to witness it all. I feel so blessed to be her mommy. Here are some fun pics: 

   
    
    
    
 

Choosing the sex of your baby

Kim K. chose a boy. Chrissy T. chose a girl. Dave and I did not choose the sex of our baby (more on that one day), but we have known the sex of our 5 (now 3) frozen embryos since August 2014. I have gone back and forth on this for quite some time- are you playing God? Shouldn’t you let it be a surprise? Why is one sex better than the other? But you know what, IVF babies are all miracles. IVF is science and what we know and see compared to other couples who have a baby naturally, is another world of its own.

If you have not been through the process, you are probably wondering how our doctors know the sex of our embryos. It is called “CCS or PGD testing.” Our first IVF we did not get this done (our 1st doctor didn’t offer us this) and we ended up with a chemical pregnancy. When you do IUI, you cannot get this done and we ended up with a miscarriage (and 2 other failed cycles). With our one natural pregnancy, we ended up with an ectopic pregnancy. See a pattern here? The only reason we chose CCS testing was for a healthy and chromosomal normal embryo. We wanted to reduce our miscarriage rate and improve our implantation rate, it really was an easy decision. We did not get this done to find out the sex of our babies but honestly, it was a huge bonus for us. We needed the light at the end of the tunnel and by knowing what we had waiting for us made it that much better. It gave us Hope. You cannot “create” the sex you want- remember that. We are given what God gives us. Also remember, not all of the embryos we start with, we end with. Dave and I had 13 embryos to start but after days of growing and testing, we only ended up to 5 that could be frozen. It is quite the process!

There has been a lot of controversy in the last day or so because of Chrissy Teigen coming out saying they chose to put a girl embryo in. And who cares?! She went through all the tests, needles, ultrasounds, egg retrieval. She went through the months or years of trying to get pregnant and the emotions that go with that. It is her body and her decision to do what she wants with her frozen, healthy embryos. This is a beautiful and exciting time in her life and anyone else who has done IVF and is finally pregnant, why do we have to bring their decision down?

I have had friends who just wanted the strongest embryos, (embryos are graded by assessing the quality of cell numbers and cell regularity to name a few), put in without knowing the sex that was chosen, some have chosen what sex they want and some have chosen to not even know what sex all of their embryos are. To each their own.

I understand that you may disagree with my opinion, and that is OK. I would love to hear what you think, so message me!Β  If you haven’t been through IVF and infertility treatments, you will not understand 100% where I am coming from. At the end of the day, I am just glad that celebrities are starting the conversation on infertility and helping so many feel they are not alone.

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