Our journey through infertility, failed adoptions and now parenthood through the miracle of embryo adoption/donation.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Not so Wonderland

It has been way too long since I posted! I can't tell you how busy life has become. I decided to post today because I just have so many things swirling around me head that I just need to get it out. I am not even sure where to start. I feel like Alice in Wonderland, having fallen down the rabbit hole, in an unknown world. But this one is not full of wonder, but of fear. I fear for my oldest daughter.

To begin, nothing going on is life threatening. As far as I know anyway. But we are facing some health issues and maybe some neurological issues.

Maddie is now 4.5 years old. She has always been a horrible, no good, very bad sleeper. It began with chronic ear infections that caused us to develop bad sleeping habits. This past year we tried to change the bad habits and still she was a bad sleeper. She can not wind down and needs melatonin to fall asleep. She also wakes often, sometimes staying awake for hours at a time. Then she spends the entire day in a state of overtired but if she naps she doesn't sleep at night.  And with the overtired comes bad behavior. It is a viscous cycle we are helpless to break.

This is Maddie's first year in preschool and someone from mental health services was there for another student and observed Maddie throwing a fit. The person stated that Maddie may need to be evaluated by a neurologist, that something wasn't right. Thankfully, hubby and I had been praying about what to do so this was not completely shocking news. I called her pediatrician and she believes that it is sleep related. She referred us to a sleep specialist but in the meantime checked her ferritin levels. This is your iron storage and a better indicator of your iron levels. They like children to be between 50-150. Maddie is at 7. Just 7. She is extremely anemic. And in children, anemia can cause a host of problems, some of which are sleep issues, restless leg syndrome and behavioral problems.

Maddie began iron supplements immediately and we saw a sleep specialist last week. She was diagnosed with restless leg syndrome as well. Learning this has really helped us understand some of the sleep habits she has and allowed us to be more understanding of her behavior at night. But her sleep is not better yet.

While anemia can affect behavior I am not sure if her problems are all from anemia. The past week or so her tantrums have escalated. Considerably! It is almost like she is a different child when she is spiraling out of control. And I am scared. Scared that there is something more going on. Scared that my Maddie is gone. Don't get me wrong, my sweet, thoughtful compassionate, witty, fun Maddie is still here. But I feel like we are walking on eggshells, waiting for the next blow up. Most days we are heading off tantrums before they happen. Our prayer is that it is just from the anemia and will correct itself. My fear is that it is not. I also fear that her anemia is from another cause. Being a mother is a scary thing!

As of right now we are giving the supplements and rechecking her levels at the end of April. And her teacher is going to document her tantrums, what set them off, duration, what calmed her down. I will do so as well, and will document her sleep patterns too. If, at the end of April, her levels have gone up but her behavior remains the same or is worse, I will ask for a referral. If her levels have not gone up at all then they will begin looking for causes for the anemia.

My mommy heart is sad to see my baby struggle. She doesn't want to be like this. I can see it in her face. And she hates bedtime. She has vivid dreams (from the anemia as well) and she is scared of sleeping. I hate making her do something that she needs to do but is scared to do. I hate all of this to be honest. And the thoughts that something else could be wrong makes me nauseous. But I am trying not to borrow trouble and just focus on the day.

If you could pray for my Maddie I would appreciate it.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Embryo Adoption Awareness Day!

November is National Adoption Awareness month and what better time to bring attention to Embryo Adoption. If you blog, please share this with others. And on the 25th take a moment to post this to your Facebook wall and help spread the word.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Has it really been 4 months??

Wow, I cannot believe that it has been 4 months since I last blogged. I have no excuse other than exhaustion. And a crazy, busy hectic schedule. But really, there is no excuse and I will try to do better.

Here is the main reason on why I have no been around.

Miss Olivia is now 6 months old. She is a teeny, tiny thing at 16 lbs. She is sitting up and rolling everywhere. She is the sweetest little doll. But a bad sleeper! She likes her nummies (breast feeding) and eats every 2 hours at night. But I love her so I will forgive her. :)

Here is the other reason that my life is so crazy.

Miss Maddie is now 4 years old and in her first year of preschool. She is loving it!!! She is a tall, slim rambunctious ray of sunshine. She started ballet and tap dance class tonight and it was a blast watching her dance around. She is an entertainer and thrives on being the center of attention.

Life is hectic but I am loving every minute of it. We are still planning on trying one last time for another baby but the timing is not decided. Originally we wanted to try in the spring, but I don't think that I will be quite ready to stop breast feeding in time to make that happen. I want to focus completely on the girls we do have and not on the children we may have. These two deserve my full attention and I don't want to miss a moment of these early days.

So, how is everyone else doing? Please update me! I feel so out of the loop.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

I am still here

Wow, it has been two months since my last post. I always said that I wouldn't be one of "those" bloggers. You know, the ones that fall off the face of the earth once they have a baby or two. I honestly didn't mean to go MIA, but I really have been busy. Maddie starts preschool this fall (I know, I know! It's hard to believe that she is old enough!!!) and we are trying to fit a lot into our summer. We are going swimming, parks and local attractions. It's been fun!!! Between that and a newborn I feel like there just isn't enough time in the day. It is so bad that Olivia's nursery still isn't ready. Sad. Just sad!!

Everything is going fabulous with Olivia. She is a joy. I have always heard that love doesn't divide, that it multiplies. It really does! I am still in awe of just how much I love these two little people. I love them both so completely, yet so differently. They are polar opposites. Maddie is my outgoing wild child, so full of life and energy. Olivia is calm and laid back. I love watching the two of them grow and become their own people.

We are enjoying our girls, but we also feel like we are missing someone. We are anxious to meet our last two embryos. Yesterday Maddie told me that she and Livvie needed a brother. Then she said that they needed two brothers. Twin brothers. Yikes! But I would take it. I have no idea if the last two embryos will yield a baby (or two) or not, but I won't feel complete until we try. Our goal is to return for them in March.

That about catches you up on our life. I will try to post some pics soon. You really need to see my girlies. They are super adorable!!! :)

Friday, May 16, 2014

Finally, my body did something right!!

Since the whole infertility thing started almost 16 years ago, my body has refused to cooperate. Oh, I ovulated like clockwork which sounds great (and I know many of you wish this were true for you, I know) but a fat lot of good it did since endometriosis destroyed my tube and later damaged ovaries. Then there were the polyps and fibroids. Add to that failed IUIs and basically my reproductive organs are just there for show.

But finally we had success with embryo donation and my body would get with the program, right? Right??? Wrong! I had pre-e the first time and had to be induced. Of course, that didn't go well and I had to have a c-section after 36 freaking hours of being induced and having a migraine. And not eating. I was starving!!! Then I had Maddie and I tried to breast feed. Yet again my body failed me. Maybe not necessarily failed me, but everything was against me. Maddie was very jaundiced and I felt pressure to formula feed her. I was exhausted from the days of induction, not sleeping or eating and the migraine. Then we came home and Maddie was still on a bilibed and very lethargic. She refused to nurse anymore. Then 8 weeks of migraines I finally just gave up. And I regretted it.

Fast forward to this pregnancy. Everything went great with it. No pre-e. I felt great. Life was good. I thought my body was finally figuring this whole birthing thing out. Then we found that I was low on fluid and baby had to come out ASAP. After a second c-section we learn that had I delivered vaginally I would have most likely ruptured my uterus as it was too thin after the first c-section. And my tailbone was in the way and my body just wasn't built to give birth. Soooo not only does my body refuse to conceive, it refuses to let the baby out as well. How screwed up is that?!?!?

This time I was determined to breast feed though. I wanted something, anything that resembled a "normal" experience. Now please don't misunderstand me, I am not saying that those that are unable to breast feed or that choose not to are less than a mother or less than "normal". I am really not. I am completely pro- "do what is best for you and your baby". I really didn't expect to want to breast feed as much as I did. But I did. And this time I contacted a LC and I worked with one in the hospital as well. I wanted this experience. And almost 3 weeks and we are doing it!!! I am so excited to get to nurse this baby. It is so hard and there are times I want to give up, but I am doing it. It is no small victory and I can't help but be proud of little Livvie for allowing me to do this.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Baby Olivia is here!!!!

Olivia Shaye was born 4/29/14 at 4:07 pm via c-section. We were planning a VBAC but she had other plans (I will share that below). She was a tiny little peanut at 6 lbs, 1 oz and 19.5 in long (Maddie was 8.4 lbs and 21.5 in long so this little bit is new for us). She is perfect and healthy and we are all in love with her!!!

 I wanted to take a moment to share how God watched over me and Olivia. It truly is a miracle that everything went so well. This entire pregnancy has been easy. No problems at all. When discussing a VBAC with my OB he wanted to get a growth scan on Olivia around 36 weeks before we decided if it was a good option or not. I had difficulty progressing with Maddie and if this baby was large he was afraid that I would have some of the same problems. At the growth scan she showed to be small, but still fine. Also, the sonographer commented on my fluid levels, saying that it was great.

At my appointment on Tuesday (38w4d) the nurse put me in an available room and it just so happened to be the one with the u/s machine. Olivia has been difficult to find on the doppler so he skipped it and just did an u/s. He would not have done one had things not happened this way (it was a God thing!). He immediately noticed that my fluid was low. It should have been above 10 and mine was 2.4. This was alarming as I had not been leaking any fluid that I knew of and since my cervix was still high and closed there was no way to rehydrate or to induce. I was given 2 hours to get to the hospital and get on the monitor. Her heart beat was strong but she was at risk for the cord wrapping around her neck.

Everything looked great on the monitors and the c-section went as planned. However, the next day I talked to my OB about a future pregnancy (we will need to pay the storage fee soon and don't want to if we were unable to ttc again) and he said that I can ttc again but I cannot, under any circumstance, try for a VBAC. When he got int here he said that my uterine wall was thin where my previous incision was. Had I tried for a VBAC this time I would have almost definitely ruptured my uterus. I would have been the 1% that this happened too and would have put the baby at risk and possibly had to have had a hysterectomy. He also told me that the position of my tailbone was most likely the cause of me not progressing last time and that I probably would have broken my tailbone too.  I am so thankful that God watched over me and the baby and we are both safe and healthy.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

ICLW welcome

Welcome to my little blog! It has been a long time since I have participated in ICLW and I have missed it. I love meeting new people and look forward to reading some new blogs.

Since you are here I will tell you a bit about me. I am Jess and I am 36 years young. Hubby and I got married almost 16 years ago and began ttc right away. I had always suspected that I had endo so I was not surprised when nothing happened. What I was not prepared for was that hubby would have problems as well. At that time we decided to skip fertility treatments and go right to adoption. By 2005 we had had 2 failed adoptions, the last one with us losing the baby after we had her for 3 months, and my heart was broken. So we jumped into fertility treatments.

We had to undergo testing again and my endo was a lot worse. A lot!! And hubby went from low everything, to no. No count at all. From there our options were limited. We tried 4 rounds of IUI with donor sperm and it was a bust. So where do you go from there? IVF with donor sperm? And I might even have needed donor eggs (PCOS) as well. There was no way we could afford all of that so we thought it was over. Then we learned about embryos adoption/donation. It was an answer to prayer!!!

In 2009 we were matched with embryos from a local clinic and were successful on our first try!! Right after our 12th anniversary we gave birth to our miracle baby girl. In 2012 we started the process again and this time it was not nearly as easy. It took a full year, 2 canceled cycles, one BFN and a surgery but finally we got the news we were hoping for. We were pregnant again!! In 6 weeks we will be welcoming baby girl number two to our little family. We have two embryos left and will return for them next year around this time. That will be the end of our journey, no matter the outcome. I look forward to trying again and maybe adding one last baby to our family, but I also look forward to closing this very long chapter of our life and just enjoy life again.