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

Monday, June 28, 2010

A fellow blogger is hurting today

Rebeeca over at The Road Less Traveled is a fellow infertility sufferer that lost her daughter, Lillian Grace, yesterday. My heart is so heavy for her and her husband!! She went into premature labor at 22 weeks. Please take a moment to visit her blog and show her some love and support. I am sure that she could use it right now.

Single digits!

Today marks week 31 for us. That means we have 9 weeks left!!! Crazy, isn't it?? We are now in the single digits. That is 63 days if I go to my due date. I am not sure if I am excited or just flippin' scared!! A little of both, I think. Life sure is going to change. Everyone keeps telling me "I bet you can't wait till she gets here.". While that is true, I am quite fine keeping her where she is for now. Right now she does not wake me during the night (except for 2-3 potty breaks, but I can handle that). There are no dirty diapers to change, no clothing to wash, not responsibility. Once she is here all that will change! But mostly it is that there is no guarantee that I will ever get to experience pregnancy again and I don't want to spend this time wishing it away. I want to enjoy every baby kick while I can. This pregnancy is truly a miracle and I want to cherish every moment of it. Now the swelling? That I won't miss!

So the countdown continues........

Saturday, June 26, 2010

All that's missing is a freakin' pear tree!

(to the tune of Partridge in a Pear Tree....everybody now!)

6 loud adults
4 barking dogs
3 obnoxious teens
2 scaredy cats
And a parrot that likes to sing and mimic me!

We are in in PA visiting family and this is a list of all that is staying in the house. Together. All of us! And let me tell you, it is an experience!!! Let me tell you a bit of how my trip is going. And we just got here 36 hours ago...

Cast of Characters:
SIL, owns house, in her 50's
MIL, nearing 80, has beginning stages of dementia, Alzheimer's and bit of just don't wanna listen to anybody
R, SIL's 34 yr old daughter (lost her job and now lives here)
C, R's fiancee
N and A, R's kids (we are here for N's graduation)
J, young man that lives with us that came along for the ride
Duke and Drama, R's 2 pit bull dogs that think that they are lap dogs
Dudley and Sadie, our 2 Maltese dogs which really are lap dogs but think that they are Rottweilers.
Louie and Katie, SIL's 2 cats
Lilly, MIL's bird, a parrot

So wrap your mind around all that!!! Oh, and of course myself and hubby must be included in that menagerie. R and C sleep in the attic-converted-apartment, A and N have the 2 upstairs bedrooms and SIL is staying with N for the time that we are here. MIL has her room on the main floor which was built especially for her, J sleeps on the sofa in the living room and hubby and I are in SIL's room which happens to be the dining room-converted-bedroom-that doesn't have a door and is right off of the kitchen. Yeah, fun!

So here are a few excerpts of things that I hear, most while trying to sleep, which I have yet to successfully do since we arrived.

SIL: SHUT UP!!! (to the big dogs at 6 am)
R: Dude, get your nose out his crotch
Hubby: Mom! Don't put cookies down your shirt. We already told you once!
MIL: What did she say? What did she say? What did she say?
Hubby: Dudley, quit eating the cat's food.
R: Drama, don't eat Sadie. She not a chew toy.
Lilly: Go Lilly! It's your birthday. Go Lilly!
Everyone: Shut up, Lilly!!!

The dogs don't like each other and though none are aggressive they are annoying. And that bird!! She tries her darnedest to be louder than everyone else. If you laugh, she laughs louder. If she hears music she sings.....loudly. My dogs bark when someone opens the front door, which happens often in a house with a hundred people. Dudley's digestive system did not appreciate the cat food and he got poop all over his but. I spent 20 minutes this morning cleaning him, the sidewalk and the porch off. Everyone here are night owls so while I am trying to sleep at 1 am they are all laughing and talking and opening the fridge, turning on the kitchen light. Did I mention that I am in the dining room with no door?? And all of this is with me being gone yesterday for 9 hours! Imagine had I stayed here all day. I may have run away from home!!!!

So if you are bored this weekend and need some entertainment, let me know! I can hook you up!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I feel HUGE-er

Being a chubby chick has actually been a good thing during this pregnancy. While skinny chicks worry about stretch marks, weight gain and lamenting that they can no longer see their feet or their hoo-ha, life has gone on as normal for me. I have had stretch marks for years. Weight gain?? What's a few more?? And I haven't seen my feet or my ho-ha without the aid of a mirror in forever. Yep! Life is normal! But now I am starting to feel bigger, though I haven't gained any weight this whole time. There is a difference between 10 lbs of fat cells spread across your body and 10 lbs of baby stuff centrally located right in the middle of you. I think this kid is gonna be a heifer like her momma!!!

To top it all off I am swollen! And yes, chubby people swell. Though most people can't tell it, I can feel it. The swelling I don't care for! Mainly because I have always been proud of my skinny chick calves and ankles. A friend of mine once told me that from the knees down I was pretty HOT! LOL!! No cankles for this big momma! Until now. Now I can tell that they are swollen, though they are still proportionately smaller than the rest of me so it's all good!

Even with all of that I still feel pretty good. Which I am thankful for. Many women get snarky with me when they ask how I feel and I answer "Great!" and mean it. But hey, it took me 11 years, many shots, surgeries, money and heartache to get pregnant. All they had to do was have a little fun. I think that I have earned an easy pregnancy, thank you very much! In fact, I think that there should be some rule that all women that suffer infertility should automatically get an easy pregnancy if they conceive.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Life is Crazy Busy!!

I can't believe how busy I have been this week!! I signed up for ICLW thinking that I would have plenty of time to participate, but unfortunately that is not the case. We are leaving to go visit family tomorrow and to escape this oppressive heat. Last night I went to see Beauty and the Beast at an outdoor theater and at 10pm it was still 86 with a heat index of 95 degrees!!! Seriously hot!!! This heat is making me swell and my toes look like snausages. We are going to PA where is a lot cooler and I can't wait!

I saw my OB yesterday to make sure that all was well and that I was able to travel. He gave me the green light and we leave in the morning. This 10 hour trip will be at least 12 hours with potty stops. Maybe I should invest in adult diapers!!! Or one that that astronaut stalker woman wore. Worked for her!!!

For all of my new followers, thank you!! I look forward to reading your blogs and getting to know all of you!! It may be next week before I can, but I will, I promise!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Hello everyone! Welcome!

Today starts June's ICLW. Wondering just what that is? Follow the link on the left of my page to learn more. For those visiting from ICLW, welcome to my little corner of the world! Are you wondering if this blog is interesting? Should you follow it? Let me tell you, I think that I am pretty darn interesting!! But then again I am a bit of a narcissist.

Still on the fence about following me? Here is a little about me to help you decide:

My name is Jess and I have been married to my hubby for 12 years next month. I feel way too young to have been married this long!!! Hubby and I began ttc just a few months after we got married and like all naive newlyweds we were certain that it would only take a month. Two at the most. HA! I think that joke was on us!! Even before the year mark my impatient self jumped on the infertility roller coaster and began testing. I could list all of the tests that we both had but that would take you an hour to read. And let's face it, it is just not that interesting!! But the results were b-a-d! ME: endo, mild PCOS, blocked tube (with good ovary) and damaged ovary (with blocked tube, go figure!). And if all of that wasn't enough hubby started out with a low sperm count to slowly morph into a count of zero. Big fat goose egg!!!

So what's a girl to do with poor quality eggs that can't get through and no sperm?? You adopt! Or at least you attempt it. Two disastrous attempts later we are back at square one. So our next step was to try donor sperm. Guess what?? That didn't work either. By this time we had been married 10 years and I was in my 30's and my clock was ticking loudly!! We were down to our last hope, IVF with donor sperm and possibly donor egg. The thoughts of it made me squeamish. To spend that much money and still no guarantee of a baby?? We just couldn't afford to do that and began thinking about maybe trying adoption again. We ended up doing the best of both worlds: Embryo Adoption! Not only would we adopt a child but I would have the opportunity to carry the baby. How awesome is that??

In June of 2009 we began our journey of embryo adoption. I had surgery in July and had to wait 3 months to heal and for the call for an embryo match. Two weeks before I was physically ready to begin we got "the call". We accepted the embryos and things moved very quickly from there. On 12/12/09 we had two precious little embryos placed in my womb. Six days later I saw something I had never seen before: Two Pink Lines!!! Another 9 tests and 2 blood tests confirmed it: We were PREGNANT! Sadly, one of our little embies did not survive but the other one is a determined a little bugger. I are currently 30 weeks pregnant with an adopted little girl. I am still in shock in awe! After 11 years of trying I had honestly given up all hope. We are forever thankful for the couple that selflessly donated their precious little snowflakes to us.

That about catches you up to date. Right now we are waiting on our little girl and I am learning how to fit in with fertiles. In my heart I am still the infertile gal sitting on the sidelines. I doubt that I will ever be completely comfortable in the fertile world and honestly, I am not sure if I want to be. I have the heart of an infertile, born from the pain and sorrow that only fellow infertiles can ever understand. Finding a new normal is not easy!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Better Day

I want to thank all of you for the support that you have given me during my emotional meltdown! I'm telling you, the third trimester is torture! It is making me into a crazy person. And sadly, it wasn't too far of a drive there. I really appreciate all of the kind words from you, my bloggy friends. I am doing much better now, though.

Tomorrow starts week 30 for me. I think that my hips are starting to spread. Like I really needed that to happen!! I don't waddle yet, but I do notice that I am arching my back a bit to hold my belly up. I am now beginning to swell. A lot! Yes, even fat people can swell. It is just harder to see. I had to take my wedding ring off yesterday and it was not easy. I am thankful that I was able to remove it before it got too bad and had to be cut off. I am sure that this crazy heat is not helping. Today is a heat index of 103. Just crazy!!! I am hiding in the house in the cool air conditioning. I am more hormonal the closer I get to my due date. I can cry over the smallest thing. And I do. I hate to look like a blubbering idiot. Even with all of this I still feel pretty good and am getting anxious to meet this little one!

Again, thank you all for being there for me!!! You all are the best!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Crabby cuz I'm flabby

The third trimester is kicking by butt!!! I went the first 28 weeks in state of bliss. I felt great both physically and hormonally. Now my freakin' hormones are in overdrive!!! I have these nasty hairs popping up on my face. I pulled a 2in long gray hair from my eyebrow today! No lie!! It was freaky. I also have one about an inch under my eye. And I have a funky coarse black hair that grows out of my cheek. Seriously?!?! Chin is one thing, but cheek?? Yuck! And I usually find these while I am out and about and do not have a pair of tweezers.

The water works have also begun. I want to cry over everything! Today I had another ultrasound at the perinatal unit. This should have been a 4D one but of course Maddie would not cooperate. She had her back to us the whole time. I saw her spine but that is it. She is down from the 40th percentile to the 30th percentile. The perintologist was not worried but I will have to return in 4 weeks to monitor her growth. I am not worried about it as she is growing and almost 3 lbs. I was, however, upset that I walked out yet again without pics of my baby girl. I have yet to get a good one of her. Compound that with the fact that I was sitting there in the waiting room with all of these women with rounded bellies and I felt like an impostor with my flabby belly. And my sweet 7 year old niece had to point out that I don't look pregnant like all of those other women. And one was quite a bit bigger than me and she even had a nicely rounded belly.

Yes, I know I should just focus on the fact that Maddie is healthy. I know!!! But it is so hard not to be sad that I don't get to experience looking pregnant. I feel like infertility robbed me of conceiving naturally that I deserve at least this much. I left the appointment in tears and have been mopey all day. And next week we will be traveling to see family and friends and I am embarrassed to even go now. Every time someone asks how far along I am they immediately look to my gut only to see that I don't look 7 1/2 months pregnant.

And to top it all off I have a toothache and it will cost at least $300 to fix it. I hate to do anything while pregnant but the pain is starting to get to me. We really do not have the money but may have to find a way anyway. I am telling you, the third trimester is out to get me!!!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Countdown has begun!!!

I can't believe how fast this pregnancy has sped by! I have just over 10 weeks left until Maddie is here. Can you believe that?!?! I certainly can't! Hubby has started counting down and we have 74 more days. That sounds even closer than 10 weeks. I have so much done already, but now I keep thinking of everything that I still need to do. It is a bit overwhelming at times. I have an iPhone (which I love, love, love) with a calendar on it. Just to look at it scares me!!! There is a dot on almost every day reminding me that I have something to do that day.

Each summer I get a season ticket (with friends) to an outdoor theater. This year the line up looks fantastic and I can't wait till next week wen it starts. But now I think of all of the things that I need to do and almost wonder if I have the time to go this year. But I will make time as this will most likely be my last year to go and I want to enjoy it while I can. And besides, I already paid for the ticket! This yer they will be doing Titanic!! I am really stoked about that one!!! What I am not looking forward to is the heat! And standing in long lines for the bathroom. Yuck! But I can do it!!

We are getting ready to go out of town to visit family next week. It will be a 10 hour trip. Okay, who am I kidding?? As much as I have to pee it will be more like a 12 hour trip!! I am a little scared to be so far away from my OB, but I will be seeing him 2 days before I go to make sure that all is well. And yesterday I had a FFN test done to check if I would be going into labor within the next 2 weeks (I was cramping and my back was hurting). That came back fine so I am feeling a little better about traveling. If the OB gives me the go ahead we will be leaving next Thursday!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

things I will miss

I have my niece over the weekend. She is 8 months old and on the move!! And she is teething. How a child can go from a sweet, angelic angel to the spawn of Satan in 10 seconds flat is beyond me!!!! But ever with her Jekyl and Hyde bipolar personality she is a doll and I enjoy having her here. BUT, this has given me an insight on motherhood and I must admit that there are some things that I am going to miss once Maddie is here.

Here are a few:

* Long, hot showers.
* Going potty alone.
* A clean, toy free floor.
* Sleeping in.
* Leaving stuff on the floor (bag of items, my laptop, etc)
* Television without singing and animated characters.
* Making dinner with 2 hands.
* Making a quick trip, well, anywhere.

Things that I look forward to:

* Smell of a baby after a bath.
* Baby kisses and cuddles.
* Itty bitty laundry.
* Hearing her first words.
* Teaching her to walk.
* Her smiles.
* Showing her the world.
* Seeing hubby play with her.

All in all I think that it will be a good trade!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Learning to be a SAHM

When hubby and I first married we decided that I would be a SAHM. A week after we were married we moved to PA (his home town) and we decided that I would not even look for a job as we were certain that babies would soon follow. My hubby is in the ministry and travels a lot so for the first year or two I traveled with him. I loved it!!! I had never traveled much before and this was a great experience. And we got to spend a lot of time together too. And this was back when everything he did was still cute so it was fun to be together 24/7.

Being that he is in the ministry we live by faith. This means that we are never sure exactly how much he will be paid, but God has always provided. This also meant that money was not always plentiful. Oh, there was enough for bills, but let;'s be serious, this girl likes to shop! So once we realized that infertility was our constant companion I decided to go back to work. But nothing serious mind you, because we still had hope for that miracle baby. I went back into child care and later did in home care. After our failed adoptions I could no longer work with kids and got a "real job". Well,m at least on that paid well. I went into the optical industry and quickly worked my way up. I loved it!!! They pay wasn't bad either and it was nice to have that assurance that the money would be there. This also allowed us to try some fertility treatments, which at the time did not work.

After 2 1/2 years at that job I was offered what was, to me, the opportunity of a lifetime. A new job in private practice. (I was in a retail office before). This would pay more money and really open some doors for advancement. They would even may for schooling if I decided to become an opthalmic tech and the starting pay for that was $25 an hour. For a girl that dropped out of college to get married that is not too shabby! I was excited and jumped into his job with both only to quickly realize that it was horrible!!! I was working for Satan himself and many of his minions. I have never hated a job before. EVER!!! But I was willing to stick it out. I turned down a good job while there hoping to put at least a year in and not look like a job hopper. A month later they laid me off. I was furious! But at least I got unemployment!

I have never really had to search for a job before and I must say, it is no fun! The optical industry is so varied. The ones in the mall work 7 days a week and until 9 pm. Many times you close the store alone and this in not always safe (I was almost robbed once doing that). So mall jobs were out. And not many private offices were hiring. I branched out and looked into different avenues but nothing panned out. Then I got pregnant. While excited, I knew that this was going to make finding a job more difficult as I refused to lie to a potential employer about my "condition". Though I did not inform them that I would not return after the baby was born as that would have just been suicide! Needless to say I never found another job. And last month my unemployment benefits ran out. So we decided that I would quit even trying to find a job since we are so close to delivery anyway. But man! Losing that second income is hard!!!

Now that I am officially a SAHM there are so many adjustments. You would think that since i have been laid off anyway that it would be no different, but it is. I am not thinking about a future job anymore, but being a caregiver for my own child. And now i have no excuse not to keep up with laundry, dishes and dinner. We love to eat out and this now has to stop as it is expensive!!! And my shopping will have to be curbed. I am a bargain hunter and enjoy being frugal, but this is a new level of frugality for me. And I don't care for living without steady income but with that of a self employed hubby. But this just means that I have to step up to the plate, curb the spending, find ways to save money and trust in Him to provide. Not a bad place to be, just.....different.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Here is a photo of the cake that I made for the baby shower last week. It was ginormous!!! But I am very pleased with how it turned out.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Long time, no see!

Sorry that I have MIA for the past week. I know that some of you have been missing me! ;-) Things have just been crazy around here. I was sick for awhile them had to see an ENT for suspected fluid in my ears. My mom had surgery and I had to make a ginormous cake for a baby shower. I will post a pic tomorrow. I would like to say that things are slowing down a bit, but that is not the case. I will be watching my 2 nieces this weekend and helping take care of my mom and now my ill grandmother. And then in 2 weeks we are going out of town. So much to do!!

Maddie is doing great. I am now 7 months and my OB visits are every two weeks. Maddie still thinks that she is a Ninja and at times my whole belly will move. I had an appointment today and she is right on schedule. No protein in my urine and only gained one pound! And after being sick last week that pound is all baby!!!

That pretty much sums it all up! I will try to do better with updates.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

being fluffy ain't so bad!

I am a member of the August 2010 birth board/group on Baby Center. Because I am due at the end of the month I am a few weeks behind some of the other women on there, but we are now all in our 3rd trimester. Post after post on there are about how uncomfortable they are right now and I realized how lucky I am! Being that I started out fluffy I am used to carrying extra weight around. One complained because she could no longer see her feet. Heck, I haven't seen mine in years! Ever heard of a full length mirror? And someone complained because they couldn't touch their toes. Now really, why do you need to touch your toes? What does that accomplish?? Is it to paint them? I quit buying my own polish a long time ago and now let the local nail salon take care of that for me. And they do a fine job. I think. I can't see them so what do I know?!?!

I can still get out of bed easily. Been doin' it for years. I can roll over fine. When you are round it is pretty easy to roll. I can even sleep on my stomach. Not flat on it, but kind of on the side kind of on the front. When something falls to the floor, I squat. Not new to me. My belly was big before so my center was off before, so that hasn't changed. Stretch marks don't scare me. Been there, done that! Can't see your hoo-ha? Do you really want to?? I got a mirror and peeked the other day. Believe me when I say that you aren't missing anything. I swear it looks like something out of a sci-fi movie now! It will give you nightmares!!! My hubby calls mine Na-Nu Na-Nu. From Mork & Mindy. Because they are aliens. Get it? Yeah, he is hilarious. Boobs sagging?? Don't wanna hear it! Mine haven't been perky since I took off the training bra. And until they touch my knees I won't complain.

The only thing that has really changed for me is that now I try to look bigger, not smaller. So all in all, being fluffy is not so bad when you are pregnant. Now after the baby is born is a different story!