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

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.

Monday, March 17, 2014

If only I could meet "them", the genetic parents


I saw this on my Facebook news feed today and I didn't have to think twice. I knew immediately who I would choose and it would be Maddie's genetic parents. At the very least her mother. What I wouldn't give for one hour, or even one minute to just say thank you for the gift of Madison Grace. To learn about them. To be able to share that information with Maddie one day. Each and every day I thank God for her and I would love to thank her genetic parents for giving us the chance to be parents.

Don't get me wrong, I have no regrets about doing anonymous embryo donation. Honestly, I don't. How can I regret something that brought me my greatest gift? However, I wish that there was some openness available. Now that the clinic is closed there is no opportunity to meet the people that made Maddie possible. That hurts, I won't lie. And now that we have Olivia due in less than 8 weeks I will wish for a way to contact her genetic family as well. This is not completely off the table as the clinic is still operating, but her genetic family was adamant that the embryos be placed out of state only and I am afraid that they will never want contact even if the option were to be available. It pains me to have to tell my girls that another family is out there sharing their DNA, a family that they may never know. All I can do is hope and pray that we love them enough and give them the security that they need and that one day they will know the love that led them to us and not just the loss. I understand that they will be curious and want to know that part of themselves, but I pray that it is not from a desire to feel loved and connected, but because it is natural to wonder.

So whoever and wherever you are, Maddie's genetic family, I hope that you know that this little girl is loved beyond words and that we are eternally grateful for the gift of her. And for Olivia as well. My two treasures.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Closing this Chapter

I just realized today that I have spent almost half of my life ttc. This summer will be my 37th birthday and will also mark 16 years of ttc. Wow! I can't believe that this journey to motherhood has been such a long one. It took 12 years before Maddie was born and almost 4 before Olivia is here. Hubby and I are discussing when to do our final FET and if all goes well it will be April of 2015. We have 2 embryos remaining and regardless of the outcome it will be our last try. Baby or not this chapter of our life will finally be closed. I am not sure how I feel about this. Honestly, I don't know how to be anyone but this one. Almost my entire adult life has revolved around trying to become a mother. And now to complete our family. Yet I look forward to letting this chapter close and just focus on the children that I do have. No more looking for embryos. No more saving money for treatments. No more comparing medication prices. Just living.

What will it be like to make decisions based on what we do have and not what could be? We can focus on buying a house. We can buy a vehicle that fits our needs and not for the children we might have. One day. But for the kids that we actually do have. We can take vacations again. I can return to work once the kids are in school. No worrying about taking time off for testing, treatments and transfers. Just living in the here and now.

I am scared to close this chapter so completely. Yet I am excited too! I will need to learn how to be this new person but I think that I will enjoy learning. :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Not too much longer

I am now 31 weeks. How did this happen?!?!? I feel like it was just yesterday that I got my first beta. But then some days I feel like I have been pregnant for years. Not in a bad way though. I enjoy each and every day that I am able to carry this little one. It took 12 years for our first and another 3 for this one and I cherish each and every single day. It truly is a gift.

I am now seeing my OB every other week. So far my BP is good and no protein in my urine. YAY!!! I will be close to 34 weeks during my next appointment and I am nervous about it as that was when I started showing signs of pre-e with Maddie. But even if it happens we are in good hands. My OB is excellent and God is in control. Though I pray that we have as much time as possible before she makes her grand debut.

The office is almost cleared out and at the end of next week we have a friend painting the nursery. We are going with a blue. Not sure if it is an aqua, teal or a turquoise, but it will be that direction with pink. I plan on making a chandelier (if it turns out it will be gorgeous!!!) and I need to spray paint a mirror and get a few wall decorations. Today our stroller was delivered and tomorrow the crib mattress will be here. I have just about everything else that we will need. Our church will do a a diaper shower so we will get plenty of diapers and wipes for the first month or so, maybe longer. We will do cloth after that. Sp pretty much we are ready for little Olivia. Except for her middle name. We are still struggling with that. LOL