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

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I gotta know! I gotta know!!!

I have had my baby boy bedding set picked out for months now. Months!!! I have just been waiting to find out if this baby is a boy or not. I chose my furniture based upon this set. There are only a few places that carry it and I have been scared that it would be discontinued before I was able to purchase it. I frequently check ebay to see if it is listed on there. Today I found it and it is not only cheaper than the other site, but it also includes the diaper stacker. I so want to just buy it right now!!! I gotta know what we are having so that I can buy this!!!! AAAHHHHH!!!! I hate waiting!!! You would think that after waiting 11 years to finally get pregnant that waiting 4 months to find out the gender would be a piece of cake. WRONG!!!! This is driving me nuts! Not that I wasn't close before!

Here is a picture of the set:


Sunday, March 28, 2010

This week!

This is the week that we find out if there is a winkie or a tiny giny! Can't wait to find out if we are having a boy or a girl!!! I am taking a book, a pillow and a blanket with me to the appointment, cause I am planting my butt there until they tell me what I am having. I will not leave until I know!!! So if you do not hear from me for a few days I am either in lock-up or at a slumber party at the office.

After my ultrasound on Thursday I will be heading over to mega consignment sale to buy something, anything gender specific. I will be at 19 weeks then (almost) and it feels like there is so much to do in just 21 weeks. Time is really flying by! Well, it will be then. Right now it is dragging as I wait for this ultrasound!

I do feel like I have accomplished something this past week. I found a crib, dresser and changing table and have it all set up. (I will post pics soon) I found it on Craigslist and it was brand new. The whole set was less than $200!!!! It is not high quality by any means, but it looks pretty and that is all that counts, right?? And it is sturdy and not recalled, double plus! I have been searching for a nursery set for some time and I either find a crib and changing table, or a crib and dresser, but not all three. Or I do find them but they are waaaaaaay out of our price range. This set was a color I love (espresso) and very pretty. Not exactly what I wanted, but for that price it is a great compromise! And then my grandmother gave us a brand spankin' new rocker/glider in the same dark color for the nursery! I love it!!!

I love seeing it all there in the nursery. It feels "real" yet odd having it there. Each day I go in and look at it and take a moment to pray for this little one. Some days I feel like I am just playing house and that there really is no baby. But then at night I feel this little one swimming around in there and I know that it is real. I have not "popped" yet, but my belly is definitely growing. I wore a sweater on Thursday that covered my stretchy maternity panel in my skirt. I threw on the same outfit this afternoon and it no longer covers the panel. Now if only my B belly would round out to a D everything would be perfect!!!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The How and Why of Embryo Adoption

I have been asked on several occasions about our EA journey and have responded individually to each one. Instead of continuing to do that I am going to post it here for everyone. Though EA has been around for years many people are unfamiliar with the process. First I will discuss the options available and then explain how we arrived where we are today. My research was done over a year ago so some it may have changed (prices at clinics, wait times, etc).


Donor couple: can choose an open or closed donation. (open-they can know the recipient family and have contact, see photos, etc/closed-little or no info).

Recipient couple: must have home study, can choose open or closed depending on what type of relationship that they want to have with the donor family.

The NEDC does that actual FET there. Couple have to travel to them 2 times, one for a consult, one for the actual FET.

Same as above except the embryos are shipped to the clinic of your choosing for the FET.

Miracle's Waiting:
MW is unique in that it is just a way for donor and recipient couples to meet. You each can post a profile and if you find one that interests you, you send an email and take it from there. If a "match" is made (both couples agree) then a legal document is made for the "transfer of property" and the embryos are shipped to the recipient's clinic. MW is popular for several reasons: usually a shorter wait time, donor and recipients can develop a relationship before decision is made, much less expensive. The negative is that you do the leg work yourself and do not have a facilitator.

There are a few other places that act as a facilitator between donor and recipient couples. Embryo's Alive and Adoption From The Heart are two of them. They require home studies and offer open and closed donations/adoptions.

The last option is going through your local clinic which only provide anonymous donations and the information offered to donor families is nothing and varies for recipient families. My clinic gave us a complete health history as well as a description of the donor couple, though no identifying information of the donor couple. Some clinics only tell you the hair and eye color of the donor couple.

We took time to look into each option and originally chose the Miracle's Waiting route. We really wanted a relationship with the donor family and MW was the most affordable way to do this. There is no cost to the donor family on any of these options, but they vary greatly for the recipients. The NEDC starts at $8000 plus $2500 for the home study. The cost is higher if you want an open donation. Snowflakes is similar in costs, though it can be less expensive depending on your clinic fees for the FET. MW is the cost of the FET (varies by clinic) and meds and shipping of embryos and any legal fees. The shipping is about $300 and legal fees $200. For us it would have totaled $4500, much less than the NEDC. We joined MW and while waiting for a match I scheduled consultations with the two local clinics that would use donated embryos. During one of the consultations the RE told me that they had available embryos if we wanted to use them and we prayed about it and decided to go this route. It was $4000 and the wait was about 1 month. I would have preferred to have a relationship with my child's biological family, but felt that God had opened this door and He wanted us to give these embryos a chance at life. The couple had 6 embryos and 2 were thawed for our FET. Sadly, one did not survive the thaw so another one was thawed. These two were transferred and one is now our little bambino!

I hope that this helps some of you understand it better as well as help you to make a decision in your own journey. If anyone has any questions please feel free to ask!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Plump and Pregnant

Being pregnant is an amazing thing. It really is. But the gestational period of a chubby girl is much different than that of a skinny chick. The other day someone said to me "Just wait till you can no longer see your feet!". My response: "You are supposed to be able to see your feet??". I haven't seen my feet in years! Well, I can if I bend over slightly, but not just look down and see them. I doubt if I can even see the ground from this vantage point!!! I rely upon a mirror to tell me if my shoes match! And this is just the beginning of the things that differ. Here are a few more:

Skinny chick: "Look, I am starting to show!"
Chubby chick: "Finally! I can quit sucking it in and just let it tall hang out! I am only 8 weeks and look 8 months, but who cares!"

Skinny chick: The books say that your vagina changes color during pregnancy. So you look and sure enough, it does.
Chubby chick: Really?? Hmm.... Does anyone have one of those mirrors with a long handle that they use to check under a car for a bomb? No? Well, then I will just have to take the book's word for it. I am not even sure my vagina is still down there!!

Skinny chick: she hears: "Wow! You are really 8 months along?? You barely look pregnant!"
Chubby chick: she hears: "Are you sure there is only one in there??"

Skinny chick: maternity clothes show off your cute little bump.
Chubby chick: maternity clothes come in 3 sizes: moo-moo, tent and oompa-loompah.

Skinny chick: she hears: "are you sure that you are eating enough?"
Chubby chick: she hears: "do you really need to eat that?"

Skinny chick: "I can't wait to do maternity photos!"
Chubby chick: "Yes, hello. Do you do maternity photos? You do? Good. Now, can you edit them? Hm, what do I need done? Well, I need some stretch marks erased. And can you fill in the middle of my B belly? And maybe erase the floppy part at the bottom? You can? Great!!! And it will only cost me another $50 bucks. Fantastic!"

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Welcome, welcome, welcome!

Today starts March's ICLW. What is ICLW, you ask? There is a little green button to the left that you can click on and it will tell you all about it! For those that are visiting from ICLW, welcome to my little corner of the world. A place that is all about me, just as it should be! ;-)

For those that don't know me let me tell you a little about myself. I am 32 and I have been married to my hubby 11 years. They have been great years except for a little thing called infertility. We found out that we would have trouble conceiving about 9 months into marriage. Being young and naive we really thought that this was a minor setback. Boy were we wrong!!! Ten years, 2 failed adoption and four failed IUIs later we realize just how difficult this would all be.

Thankfully we are starting a new chapter in our lives. I am currently 17 weeks pregnant with our first child. This miracle is brought to you by the gift of embryo donation. We are ever so grateful to an anonymous couple out there that allowed us to adopt their embryos. Without them we may never have had this opportunity to be parents.

That about sums it all up. Right now we are waiting to find out the gender and to start shopping!!! I find out a week from Thursday. You should follow me so that you can read that announcement!!! ;-)

Thank you all for stopping in and I hope to "meet" a lot of new people this week! Happy ICLW!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Just in case....

I am an avid yard sale-er (not a real word, I know). Every year I anticipate the first day of yard sale-ing like a kind looks for Santa! I can barely sleep the night before! Today marked the start of yard sale season. There were not too many sales out today but I was able to begin buying baby stuff. It felt...odd. Like I was a fraud, just playing a pretend game or something. But there really is a baby in there and I only have 4 1/2 months to get what I need so I thought that I should get started.

Because we do not know the gender I am limited in what I can buy. I am not a "gender neutral" kinda gal. I need pinks or blues! So I stuck to buying things like a shopping cart cover and some crib sheets. It was so hard to pass up frilly dresses or cute little boy outfits. But there was one thing that I couldn't pass up:


My hubby is a Cards fan and if we have a baby boy he must have some Cardinal wear. That was the compromise I made with hubby. He wanted the nursery done in Cards and that wasn't happening! So I bought this outfit for a $1 today. It is in perfect condition and will look adorable on our future baseball player....if we have one. If not, I am only out a dollar.

Just 10 more days until I can really start shopping! I. CAN'T. WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

If my pets are any indication...

of the type of parents that we will be, we are in trouble!!!! Let me introduce the cast of characters:

Dudley, age 10; aka Dudders, Bubbers, Duddersby, Dudley Do Wrong, Sir Pees-a-lot

Sadie, age 9; aka: Sadie Baby, Say Say, Crack Baby

Winston, age 3; aka: Winnie, Winsters, Winnie Win Win Win

We got both Dudley and Sadie when they were about 2 months old, so their behavioral issues are completely our fault. I cannot blame anyone else, though I wish that I could. I know that you look at them and think "Aw!! They are so cute! What could they possible do wrong??". Well, let me tell ya!

Dudley is now 10 years old and a crotchety old man. He gets snippy if you try to move him. If my hubby corrects him Dudley will turn his back on hubby and ignores him. Dudley is also wanting to exhibit his dominance of his domain. To do this he "marks" anything that belongs to hubby. Including the bed. Yes, you read that right. Dudley marked hubby's side of the bed. Dudley now wears a cumberbund looking thing called a belly band. Hubby has dubbed it a chicken wrap as it wraps Dudley's "chicken". It amazes me of all of the names a man can come up with for winkies!!

Now on to Sadie. Where do I start?!?! She is a little Princess. Or so she thinks. If it is raining she will go outside and place one paw on the grass. If it is wet she returns to the house. Heaven forbid she get dirty!!! And she now has arthritis in her left leg. So she limps. But only when we can see her. She will stand at the top of the steps and whimper until one of us goes and gets her. Once we are no longer looking she will run, leap and play like nothing is wrong. Once she catches us looking at her she limps again. Seriously! She is also an incessant barker. Any noise she hears qualifies for a high pitched, yippy bark. And then there is the issue of making our bed. You have to picture this one to appreciate it. She will lay near the pillow and when I pull up the sheet she jumps off of the bed. Right?? Wrong! She jumps over the sheet and walks to the end of the bed. When I pull up the blanket she goes near the pillows again, until I get he blanket up there and she goes back to the end of the bed. She repeats this with the comforter as well. Crazy dog!!! Oh, and why do we call her Crack Baby? Because when she is excited for a treat or to go o-u-t (I can't say the word around here, we have to spell it) she begins to bounce. He bag legs stay stationary but her front legs bounce. Like one of those cars that bounce. Yeah, like that.

Now on to Winston. He is the good one of the bunch. Maybe because we have only had him for 1 year and have yet to fully corrupt him. His litter box is next to the toilet and if you have to go potty, he has to go potty. Every time. He is also territorial. He thinks that one of the chairs is his and he refuses to move from it. If you move him he meows at you in the most unfriendly manner. And if he wants you to pet him he bites you. Like that makes you want to pet him!!!

At night all three animals sleep with us. If we get up they run to our spot and lay their head down on our pillow. And fake sleep. And ignore your pleas to move. They rule our home. They are boss!!! They ignore us and tell us what to do and when to do it. And we are going to have a child?!?! I cannot imagine how our child will turn out with our stellar "parenting" skills. Watch for us on a future episode of Dr. Phil! Or Jerry Springer!!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I forget

I would never have thought that it would happen to me, but I continually forget that I am pregnant! Part of this is because I am chubby and not showing. Another reason is that I have no symptoms. In the beginning pregnancy was all I thought about, but now that I am waiting to find out the gender it seems like time is standing still and I forget that I am pregnant. I often catch myself eating something that I shouldn't be eating. I try to wear clothing that is now too snug. I just....forget.

Last night I was babysitting my 5 month old niece and my 7 year old niece. The baby had a bad night and wanted to have me near her the entire night. Because my bed was full with hubby, older niece and 2 dogs there was no room for little bit in our bed. I ended up making a pallet on the floor for the two of us. Before long my older niece and the 2 dogs ended up next to me so it was useless anyway. But I digress. I had the hardest time getting comfortable on the floor. I am too old, too fat and now too pregnant to sleep on the floor! I kept trying to find a good position and that happened to be on my stomach. Well, that didn't work. I may not be showing but there is definitely a baby in there! And I could NOT fall asleep!! I was sooooooo tired at church today. But I persevered. Because I am super woman! But during Jr Church I picked up one of the kids to help them reach something. She was 6 years old and not light! It caused some cramping and I almost dropped her. I can't believe that I did that!! I just forget that I am carrying a baby underneath these layers of chubbiness! If you would have told me that I would get pregnant one day and then forget that I was pregnant I would have called you crazy! But I guess that I am the crazy one now!!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Nearing my 4th month!

Next Monday I will begin my fourth month! I can't believe that this pregnancy is almost to the half way point. I am still in denial that there is a baby in there. I am not sure what I think that I have in there if not a baby. Maybe a large parasite? Or an alien?? He does look kind of like an alien!

I had my monthly check-up yesterday. All is going great! I have lost another 2 lbs. I think it was more like 3 lbs as my bladder was about to explode when they weighed me. That has to hold at least a pound, right?? Regardless, I lost some weight and that is good news. And the baby is growing so be assured that I am not starving myself. I am just making healthier choices. Sometimes.

There was a moment when I felt my heart drop to my stomach. the OB tried to listen to the baby's heartbeat with the Doppler but could not find it. He even had me lift my belly up (Oh, the joys of being fat!) and he still could not find it. He moved me to the ultrasound room for a quick check. While waiting fear began to set in, afraid that the baby was gone. Thankfully, he was a groovin' in there!! While the doctor was there I asked him to do a winkie check. Baby was having none of that and kept his legs closed tight. Oh well, less than three weeks until we get to find out the gender. The doctor assured me that it was not my excess belly fat the interfered with the Doppler, but that the placenta was in the way. It was nice of the skinny guy to try and make me feel better.

That pretty much sums it up! Baby is healthy and momma is losing weight. Can't ask for much more than that!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

To help take my mind off of ttc and our FET last year I began taking cake decorating classes. I plan to be a SAHM and hope to one day sell cakes as a side business. Here are a few cakes and cupcakes that I have done over the past 6 months.

My first cake:

Cupcakes to welcome my new niece:

Fall colors:

Once I learned to make roses:

Halloween themed cupcakes:

Sports cakes for 2 kids' birthdays:

My first fondant cake:

First 2 layer cake:

First cake that I sold:

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I am now 15 weeks pregnant and have not felt or looked pregnant this whole time. This is mainly because I am a fluffy momma-to-be. No cute little baby bump for me! I always look about 6 months pregnant. I see these other skinny girls with this cute little bumps and it makes me feel fatter. But this week I am finally unable to suck my tummy in. Now I feel comfortable enough to just let it all hang it out! Well, I really don't have a choice, now do I? I am now wearing maternity clothes, but not the ones that make me look 9 months along. You know those, the big tent looking ones. Right now people look at me and think "Is she pregnant? Or just fat?" One day I hope to be obviously pregnant.

At first it really bothered me that I had not worked harder to lose the weight before I got pregnant. But now I realize that it is not all bad. While skinny mommas will worry about stretch marks, I could care less. I already have several, so what's a few more?? And getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight? Fat is fat. My pre-pregnancy weight is nothing special so why do I want to return to it?? So I am embracing my chubbiness and just rejoicing in that regardless of how I look the end result is still the same!

Monday, March 8, 2010

When things don't work out....

Today my heart is heavy for a friend of mine, Stacy. She and I moderate a Christian infertility forum together and through the past few years have gotten to know each other fairly well. She and her hubby have been on the waiting list for adoption for 2 years and were on a waiting list for embryo adoption for over a year. In January they got the call from their clinic telling them that it was time to choose embryos for their first FET. Things moved quickly from there and I really thought that this was "it" for them. Sadly, today she found out that the FET did not work. My hurt is so heavy for them right now. I just cannot understand why this did not work out for them! But I do know that God is in control and am praying that He will give them the desires of their heart. If you have a moment please stop by her blog and leave her a word of encouragement.

Baby's got attitude!

So.....last night I felt the baby move for the first time!!!! It was slight, but definite. I would like to say that he was trying to shout Amen to the preacher as it happened during church, but I think that it was more him being mad at his momma. Though I have not felt him previously, I have felt the pressure he puts on my bladder and another painful spot near my belly button. I have had unexplained pain now for 6 years. No amount of tests or surgeries have been successful in discovering the source of the pain which is near my belly button. It is this pain that has always made me fear pregnancy, scared that a baby would press against this painful area. Well, I was right! Some days I swear that he is standing on my round ligament, head butting this painful spot, all while using my bladder as a punching bag!

So last night I was sitting in church and I felt pressure on all three areas. I took my right hand and pressed on my stomach, trying to shove him to the left side. He responded by fighting back and I felt a fluttering or quiver. Hard to explain, but it was there. I felt him twice and then he settled down. I failed to listen to the rest of the service so enthralled I was with my little one. I thought it prefect that I felt him first while in church as it was only by His grace that I am even pregnant. I am anxious to be far enough along that my hubby can feel him move as well. Though if the baby continues to have this attitude I may be sorry asking for more movement!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sorry to Disappoint!

I have been extremely blessed so far with not having many symptoms of pregnancy. In those first weeks I lamented the lack of morning sickness and sore boobs. But once I hit 12 weeks I was fine with feeling great! I have a super sense of smell and I pee once a night. That is about it! I know, some of you are snarling at me right now. I don't blame you!

Every day I get the "How are you feeling?" question from people and I always answer "Great!". You should see the looks that people give me! I think that they are disappointed that I am not puking my guts out and miserable. Now I will admit that the ligament pain is not fun, and I swear that this baby is using my bladder as a pillow, but really, I do feel great! I think that other women want to relive their pregnancies and commiserate with me, but there is nothing for me to complain about. And really, I waited 11 long years for this pregnancy, paid a small fortune, and cried many tears. I think that I have earned a reprieve! Maybe I should just start making things up to appease people. ;-)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Humbled by His goodness

For the past 11 years of trying to conceive I have wondered "why not me?". Why is everyone else around me able to conceive so easily but we cannot? I felt as though I deserved a baby. And I do think that those that would be good parents deserve a baby more than a drug addict or child abuser does. But now that I am pregnant I ask "why me" and not others? I am so thankful to be pregnant, I really am! Incredibly thankful! But I am also humbled by His goodness in answering our prayers in this way. But I hurt so much for many others that are still waiting. And I hurt for those that have recently suffered a loss.

Today I heard that the daughter of a pastor friend of ours lost her baby. The baby was stillborn. I cannot even begin to imagine how she and her husband are feeling right now. Another woman I know informed me that she has cancer and will now not be able to carry a baby. This is after many years of trying and several losses. Another couple we know is about 6 months along and their baby will not survive outside of the womb. All of this makes me wonder what God has planned. How can any of this be for His will? Yet I know that it IS His will and I may never understand it until I get to heaven.

After hearing all of this I feel so underserving and humbled that He has brought us to where we are. For those of you that are currently pregnant, I hope that you realize just how blessed that you are. For those that are still waiting, I pray that your wait is over soon, and until then that you are able to rest in Him. And for those that are hurting, may you feel His loving arms wrapped tightly around you.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Like Free Stuff??

I love, love, love freebies!!! I sign up for samples all of the time. When I check the mail and I get a sample it feels like a mini-Christmas present!! My latest addiction is Swagbucks. Never heard of it? Well, it is a way to earn "bucks" or points that you can redeem for prizes. How do you earn "bucks"? Well, I am glad that you asked! There are several ways to earn. The easiest is to use the SB search engine. You can earn 10-50 bucks for a search and this can happen a few times a day. If you download the toolbar there are codes that you can enter into your account for more points. If you like to shop online you can earn points that way as well. And another great way is to get referrals. When they earn points by searching, you earn those same points! Pretty sweet, huh?

So now you are wondering what kinds of things you can earn with these bucks, aren't ya? Well, since October I have redeemed them for Amazon gift cards totaling............drum roll please.........$100!!! I have $50 right now that I am saving for either a baby bedding set or an awesome diaper bag. Now who can't appreciate $100 for FREE??? And there are many, many other items as well.

Now you are wondering how you can earn bucks too. I know you are!! So why don't you follow my referral link and start earning now? And then I will love you forever because I will in turn earn more bucks. Which means I can buy more stuff. And I love me some stuff!!!

Here is my referral link: Jessaroni Hope to see you on my "friends" list soon!!! And if you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Blog writing...from a reader's perspective

I am in no way an expert on blogging! I have only been blogging for about 8 months so there is still a lot for me to learn. But what I am is an expert reader. Okay, maybe not technically an expert, but close enough. I love to read! I read books, magazines, even the back of the cereal box. And now I read blogs. I love to read blogs, but have noticed that there are some blogs with great content that I rarely read for a variety of reasons. Here are a few of those reasons:

1) Posts that are waaaaaaaay too long. If I have to scroll down 3 or 4 times just to read the post, I usually skim it for pertinent information or skip it altogether. If you have a lot of information to blog about, try to break it up into more than one post.

2) Busy Backgrounds. I love all of the great backgrounds out there and like to change mine often. But when there are images, graphics, or elements on the posting area, it makes it difficult to read your words.

3) Background colors/font colors. Be careful to make sure that you choose a font color and a background color that work well together. If the 2 colors are too close in color it tends to blend in to each other and hard to read. And maybe this one is just me, but dark backgrounds with lighter fonts hurt my eyes!! Some are fine if you would enlarge the font size, but most times it causes my eyes to cross so I pass on those posts.

4) Lack of posting. If you post 2 times a month I tend to forget who you are. You don't have to post daily but 1-2 times a week helps keep your story fresh.

5) Spelling, punctuation and grammar. No, a blog does not have to be perfect, but please try to use full words and spell correctly. There is a spell check for this very purpose. And capitalize the first letter in the sentence. This helps it not to all run together.

6) Paragraphs, people, please!! When you post a paragraph that is pages long it all tends to blur. Break it up into more than one paragraph. This is a appealing to the eye and keeps us from thinking that we will be there all day trying to read your post.

None of these are directed at any one specific blog. More like an a accumulative list that I have been thinking about for some time. If you have one to add, leave it in a comment! If you see something on my blog that could be improved, please tell me!!!! I promise not to get angry. I might block ya, though! ;-)