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!  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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Traditional

I never realized how traditional I am until recently. Maybe it is because I see so much on social media or maybe it is because I am getting older, but I am seeing it more and more. (Of course there are times when I am not- moving in with  my husband before we were married for one!) I know everyone is different, everyone has their own opinions and ideas in life, but I take some pride in this.

-Changed my last name to my husband’s. My sister and a few of my friends are not doing that and have hyphenated it.

-Saying the traditional marriage vows. I didn’t want to write our own, I found it so special to say what has been said in the church for years.

-Hand-write thank you notes. I am sorry but emails, standard picture cards with no writing besides “Thanks for coming,” doesn’t do it for me. And some people don’t send them at all! I know we are so busy and trust me, having a baby now I don’t have time to shower. But I wish more people were old school when it comes to this.

-I still print pictures. I did get away with it for a bit and only printed to frame or hang on my fridge, but after having my daughter in September I have been printing pictures and started photo albums for her. I love looking back at my baby pictures and I hope one day she will too.

-I buy CDS. Ok- not ALL the time. But I still love it! (My sister is cringing somewhere). When I was younger I would spend hours in Sam Goody looking for a new single or CD to buy and I still enjoy doing that.

I won’t bore you any longer, but this is something I was thinking about recently and wanted to share. Do you feel you are traditional? If not, what do you have against it?

Thank you fellow moms!

I have two words for new moms, old moms, any parent out there: ask questions. I’ll admit it, at first I didn’t want to open my mouth and just figure it out on my own, but when it comes to your child- you want the best. And the quickest way to get there. We thought we knew how to strap her in her car seat, but you can never be too sure so I asked my cousin and learned we were pretty much doing it completely wrong. I knew she knew her stuff and she was happy to assist! 

Kayla is colic, it is getting much better (thank God) but it has been a hard 4 months. I didn’t know if it was reflux, formula, gas…no idea. Man if only they could talk! After reading some mommy boards and on our 4th formula, I read about pedicatric gastroenterologists…oh maybe I should try that! I asked around to my mommy friends and found out what Doctor they used, what worked on their babies, tips and tricks when it comes to dealing with tummy issues, insurance, you name it. I have learned so much I wouldn’t have known if I kept my mouth shut. Asking questions is making me a better mom and giving me the knowledge to help others. I talk to someone almost every week about fertility treatments…it makes me feel amazing I can help and proud of those women who come to me to share their stories. 

So bottom line is, help a sister out and share with each other. Ask questions. Vent. Let them know you were in the same boat once and it gets better. Just hearing that makes me know I can do this and proud to be a part of the mommy club. 

  

What I have learned since 9/26…

Being a mommy is a lot harder than I ever thought. We are currently on our 4th (and hopefully final) formula and 3rd type of bottle. Breastfeeding didn’t work for us and I beat myself up over it. She is still sleeping in her rock n play next to me and many nights I spend a good hour with my hand holding her nuk in to try to get her to sleep. She sometimes will scream her head off when I change her. She pees, poops and spits up on me. I suck boogers out of her nose. She hates to be cold after a bath, no matter how warm I get her and relaxed during a bath…she’s a nightmare for the 1.5 minutes it takes me to dress her after. 

But she is perfect. She is healthy, happy most of the time, has the best laugh and smile I have ever seen. She knows I’m her mommy..you can see it in her eyes. I am the one who can soothe her and make her feel at home. It is a 24/7 job and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I have learned in the short 9 weeks I have had her is we all need to stop beating ourselves up. We are doing the best we can to survive and be the best parents to our babies. We need to stop comparing ourselves to each other and support each other instead. We need to give advice when asked and stay quiet when a mom just wants someone to listen. If we cannot pick up the vacuum for one day, it is ok. Some days I can’t shower until 3pm and I eat with her on my lap. I will cry with her sometimes and do anything to get her to sleep somewhere besides my arms. And some days I can shower, clean and eat in silence all in one morning. It is ok. You are doing the best you can. 

You need a date night with your husband. It is so important for your marriage and sanity. I never understood the meaning that it takes a village to raise a child..but it does. Without my family and close friends, I would have gone crazy! My husband works at home…that means we are pretty much ALWAYS together. That is not healthy especially with a newborn. We need time alone too. He has his nights at crossfit and refs football and I will have dinners with the girls, get a manicure or a quiet trip to target. (My favorite thing to do!)

It is ok to ask for a breather, to sit in your car to just be in silence or have a good cry. I’m a new mom and only have one child so I give major props to my friends who stay at home with their kids or have 2, 3 and 4 babies! You all rock!! Whether you have 1 or 5, you are working your a$$ off. You got this and as I have heard by so many good friends lately: “It will get better!!” 

Oxox Steph

   
    
   

Santa!!

We decided to beat the crowds and take Kayla to meet Santa today. Of course she really has no idea what is going on, but she was so stinkin cute and good with him. I think she will make the nice list this year:) 

   
   

These are a few of my favorite things…

As a new mom, you hear from so many friends, social media posts, books- you name it, of the best gadgets and what to buy and use. I wanted to share a few of my favorite things that have made my life a little easier the last 7 weeks.

1- Rock n’ play, pretty much the best invention ever. At first we were just using it for when she napped during the day and a place for us to put her down safely. Unfortunately, Kayla like many other babies did not like her bassinet as much as this. During the night she would wake up frequently and many times the second we put her down, she would wake up and cry. With the rock n’ play, it is slanted (which makes me feel better about spit up) and is almost a little cocoon for her. It is magic!

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2. Sound Sleeper App- which is free! (There are in app purchases, but no necessary at all.) We use this at night and not only does it put Kayla to sleep, but also my husband and I. It runs for 30 minutes and you can choose sounds for that are best for newborns, infants etc. She LOVED the womb sound for the first 2-3 weeks and now we have moved on to the ocean, rain or river. I have actually used the hair dryer one a few times as well, girlfriend used to kick in my belly when I did my hair and still loves it.

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3. Dr. Brown’s Microwave Steam Sterilizer- oh the time it saves. At first we were using Dr. Brown’s bottles so there were about 5 pieces per bottle to clean and boy it was annoying and time consuming. We had a big pot on the stove and twice a day would have to boil bottles, nipples and any nuks we had. We had to change bottles and now use the Playtex with liners so we really just have to clean the nipples and nuks (I do sterilize the bottles every week too). This is amazing. We put 6 oz of water in the container with everything that we need done (holds a decent amount, we can put 4-5 nipples and lids in at a time) and mic for 6 minutes. Done! They come out looking great and we aren’t spending much time and less mess…a win/win.

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4. Dexbaby Spin Changing Station- before we had Kayla, I thought I had the changing table and dresser all organized but I was wrong! Once she was here, I realized there were other things I needed in my reach and I found this $20 gadget on amazon- boom! It holds diapers, wipes, and anything else you may need. We have vaseline, her shampoo/soap for sponge baths, nose aspirator, hand sanitizer for us, q-tips and wine. HA just kidding- wanted to see if you were paying attention. This would make a great gift for a shower!! I highly recommend.

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5. Had to come back and add one more thing I forgot! The Walgreens App! It makes it SO easy for you to order pictures right off your phone, facebook, etc. I printed over 200 from the last 6 weeks and within 1 hour, they are ready to be picked up. Make sure to google coupon codes, I found one for 50% off. This day and age we have everything on our phones and ipads, but this makes it so easy to save these memories. I purchased a photo album off amazon and will have them so my daughter will always be able to look back on her childhood!

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There you have it- I will keep making posts like this as I find out what works for us as we go along. Let me know what you use that you would love to share too!

Crohn’s Update….after pregnancy

During pregnancy, I felt amazing. I could eat anything I wanted, I wasn’t in pain and I didn’t worry about finding the closest bathroom. I went down to 3 pills a day and truly thought I could possibly be in remission. Unfortunately, I was wrong. 

Many women complain about being constipated after having a child but that was the opposite for me. I went pretty much right away and had trouble even making it to the restroom in the hospital. When I got home, nothing changed. I wasn’t having the cramping like I usually do with my Crohn’s, but I was having issues being able to control it. 6 weeks later and I am still in the same situation and taking imodium every few days to help me. Having a newborn with a flare-up is extremely hard especially since it makes you fatigued and I am already so tired and worn down!

I went last week for a few tests and I am waiting to hear back from my doctor to see if we will up the medicine and possibly put me on a steroid. I am trying to watch what I eat (I know, I know…most important part), and possibly going back to gluten free. All my time and energy is going into my daughter and it is hard to remind myself to take care of my own health, but I am doing a better job at it. 

That is the update for now.. 🙂 If anyone who had a baby and Crohn’s has any suggestions, please let me know!!

9.26.15

Best day of my life!! Sorry I haven’t updated in awhile- I have been a little busy 🙂 Kayla is 6 weeks already- how did that happen?! I have some fun ideas for posts coming up, please let me know if there is anything you want to know or find out what I have learned in my 6 weeks of being a mom!

I will try not to be too TMI on my story, but hey- I gave birth, it is all TMI! (While I am writing this, she is sitting in my lap lol, Miss Diva needs to be involved in everything.) On 9/25, I  was still working at home and feeling more and more uncomfortable. I couldn’t sit straight up and type and it felt like she was constantly tickling me! I even said to Dave as I was cleaning up my emails,  “I am not too sure I will be working next week!” That night Dave had to ref a game and I asked him to drive separate from his crew- just in case. 🙂 Right before he left, I did start to lose some of my mucus plug when I went to the bathroom, but that could mean nothing as many do go days, even weeks before giving birth.

4am, on Saturday the 26th, I woke up to slight cramping, nothing too strong but I noticed they kept coming so when I timed them and saw they were 8 minutes or so apart, I woke Dave up. When I went to the bathroom and saw a little blood- I thought, hmm…I think I may be in labor!!  (First timer here!)  The first thing I did was call my mom who lives in Florida so she could get a flight out. Then I called my doctor who told us to come to the hospital. Dave and I were pretty calm packing the car up and making sure Bradley was all settled. The 30 minute ride to the hospital was fine and once we got to labor and delivery, the nurse took one look at me and said we will check you, but you will most likely be going back home. Apparently, I was way too relaxed, calm and smiling. LOL  I was only 1 centimeter and 80% effaced, so they had me walk the hallways for a good hour before they checked me again. Nothing changed. I really thought I was further along, but NOPE. The doctor and nurse suggested we go home, get something to eat and try to get some rest. They didn’t think we would be back until later that night or even the next day…I thought different and so did Miss Kayla.

Once we got home I had a bagel, took a shower and was trying to nap, but the contractions were getting very intense and so painful. It was all back labor and the pain would shoot down my legs…awful. Around noon we started timing them and when I was in so much pain and threw up all over the bathroom, we knew it was time to get back to the hospital. My brother in law, sister, mom and dad all pulled up around the time we were leaving. I was hanging on to the fence crying and when my mom yelled- Team Kayla!!! I gave her the finger. (lol)  

Around 2:30-3pm we were back and the nurse took one look at me and said “a lot different this time huh?!” I was in tears and she could see how much pain I was in. The doctor checked and I was 3 centimeters and 100% effaced….about two minutes after that, my water broke on its own!  Thoughts going through my head: holy crap, I’m having a baby. I am only 3 centimeters? Thank God I got to the hospital in time. OMG this is so painful. Where is the epidural?! 

Once I was in my room and settled with the epidural (HEAVEN!), everything started moving SO FAST. I was 7 centimeters within an hour and my water gushed one more time- I cannot explain the feeling but I had no idea what happened. The nurses went to clean me up and saw that Kayla had her first bowel movement (Meconium) inside of me. They were very calm and explained they would have NICU nurses in the room when she was born to make sure everything was ok and she was all clear. It was quite scary to hear this, but the amazing nurses calmed me down and talked us through the situation. 

Once my parents and sister arrived, the doctor checked and could not believe I was 10 centimeters and ready to push. This was around 6:30pm and it hit me what was happening. I got extremely anxious and started to cry a bit…my family was so, so excited and literally flew out the door. I started to push with my incredible husband coaching me (he was so amazing the whole day!). The doctor and nurse said the baby’s head was low and seeing how fast my labor progressed, I thought this will be super quick!!  NOT. At first, Kayla was in distress and about 4 nurses flew in the room and flipped me to my left side. Once her heart rate was steady, we waited about 10-15 minutes to let everything calm down. 

Once I started to push, the doctor would come in and out of the room and basically cheer me on saying how great everything looked…then he would leave. Every time he left, I wanted to scream because I knew then I must not be close to giving birth. (He was delivering a few babies all at once!) Two hours later and I am still pushing and it doesn’t seem to be happening any time soon. I was extremely exhausted, Dave would give me water, I had an oxygen mask between pushes and I was a sweaty mess. Finally my doctor mentioned we could use a vacuum and that would work, but “we don’t have to do this just yet.” About 5 minutes later I said- “that’s it!! Get the vacuum, get her out!” I am so patient…HA. About 3 pushes later with the help of a vacuum, our daughter Kayla Hope was born at 8:42pm. I didn’t care at all what happened after that, I just wanted to make sure she was ok. My husband was crying and gave me a kiss then I basically pushed him to go check on our girl. She was so beautiful and HEALTHY. 

After the NICU nurses checked on her, they asked if I wanted to do skin to skin… YES PLEASE. See below at the pictures from our first night and day. The first few days are a blur, but wow, what an amazing feeling it is to be a mom. Rewarding, exhausting, and yet, the best experience in the world. Thank you for all the support!!!!!

God is good…

Around 7am the day I gave birth!

Around 7am the day I gave birth!

Around 8:45pm on 9.26. The first picture of my daughter and I! Pure bliss and indescribable love.

Around 8:45pm on 9.26. The first picture of my daughter and I! Pure bliss and indescribable love.

My husband and amazing father with our girl.

My husband and amazing father with our girl.

Auntie and her buddy!!

Auntie and her buddy!!

Pop pop and his granddaughter...I'm pretty sure she is thanking him for all the crumb cake he gave me.

Pop pop and his granddaughter…I’m pretty sure she is thanking him for all the crumb cake he gave me.

One of my favorite photos of all time. Grandma and her girl.

One of my favorite photos of all time. Grandma and her girl.

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So in love with this face.

So in love with this face.