Thursday, July 12, 2012

Weekly Ultrasound Day!

I won't call it a "perk", but one of the few positive things about going through IVF is that you get to have ultrasounds once or twice a week for the first 10 or 12 weeks. Today was ultrasound day for me and it was exciting as always. Usually we try to have Briggs hang out with someone during our appointments, but today we brought him so he could get a glimpse at his brother or sister.

Our baby has grown a lot in the past week. I thought I was 9 weeks today, but I am actually 8w6d, so 9 weeks tomorrow! Baby now looks like a peanut with little arm and leg buds, and it was wiggling around during the ultrasound. It's SO neat to see the progress in the first trimester. I consider it a blessing to be able to see these stages of development because most people don't get to experience that. We have quite the collection of ultrasound photos around our house :)

Baby's heart rate was 166 again today. They usually say higher heart rates = GIRL, but Briggs had a really high one too, so we shall seeee.....!! Today they took me off of my Estrogen pills, and hopefully next week I can stop the Estrogen patches and the Progesterone. I will be one VERY happy momma if that happens! Next week's ultrasound is on Wednesday. Can't wait!

Little peanut with arm and leg buds! Looks like a gummy bear

I love this one because you can see the umbilical cord in the middle

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Not your average conception

There are no "accidents" when it comes to Blake and I getting pregnant. Part of me has always hoped that after having one child, we would be that special infertile couple that magically got pregnant on their own the second time around...but that wasn't the case for us. We did give it some time, but we are not very patient people and we always knew that we wanted to have two children close in age, so in January we met with our RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist) to discuss our options for conceiving #2. We were lucky enough to have several frozen embryos, so our best bet was to proceed with a Frozen Embryo Transfer. Our RE basically told us that it would be about a six week process, then he sent us on our way and told us to come back when we were ready to begin. The only caveat was that I had to be completely weaned from breastfeeding before I could begin taking all the necessary hormones, so I reluctantly began weaning Briggs around 8 months. It wasn't until he was 10 months old that I successfully weaned him.

In April we were nervous, but ready to begin. Here is an outline of our journey!

Step 1: Hysteroscopy
Since I have had a previous pregnancy, and a Cesarean delivery, my RE felt it necessary to do another hysteroscopy this time around. Apparently a lot can change in your uterus after you grow a human in there! This procedure is not a big deal, but they do put you under general anesthesia for it, so it causes a little anxiety for me. They go in with a camera and look at everything, much like a colonoscopy. Luckily everything was fine and I got the "all clear" to proceed.

Step 2: Begin Medications
Thankfully an FET does not require them to stimulate the ovaries, so while you still have to take a LOT of hormones, it's not quite as intense as a fresh IVF cycle. I was put on Estrogen patches, Estrogen tablets 3x a day, and Progesterone in Oil injections once a day for a few weeks before my Embryo transfer. The progesterone injections are HORRENDOUS. The shot itself doesn't actually hurt, even though you have to use a very large needle, but the aftermath is awful!!!!! I can only compare the soreness of your ass to that of being hit with a baseball bat over and over again. Add to that the fact that the progesterone crystallizes and creates giant LUMPS in your hip/butt area, and you've got yourself a pretty miserable combo. Blake had to give me these shots and I dreaded it every.single.night.

Step 3: Embryo Transfer
My FET was scheduled for 5/29/12. We went back and forth on whether to transfer one or two embryos, but ultimately my Doctor helped us realize that one embryo would be safer for me considering the complicated pregnancy I had with Briggs. I was a little nervous about only transferring one because I wanted to maximize my chances of getting pregnant, but I knew it was the right choice. When I woke up that morning I was so anxious and excited. Blake and I both felt very optimistic and we knew it would be a great day! Everything went smoothly, and after the transfer I returned home for 72 hours of strict bed rest. Big thanks to Grandma Susu and Honey for helping take care of my wild monkey while I was on bed rest :)  It was worth it!

Step 4: 2 Week Wait, and Beta Results
Anyone who has struggled with infertility knows that the 2 week wait is PURE HELL. They make you wait around for 2 weeks before drawing your blood to check your HCG Beta to confirm whether or not you're pregnant. It's a LONG 2 weeks, that's for sure! Leave it to me to take about 37 home pregnancy tests during the 2ww. Ok, maybe I only took 9.

On June 12th I finally went in for my blood-draw. I was SO nervous about it, but I was pretty optimistic since my 9 HPTs had been positive :)   Later that day we got the call we were hoping for...and just like last time, they called and told me I was "VERY pregnant". Apparently Blake and I make very strong embryos!!! My Beta was extremely high, which doesn't necessarily mean a whole lot, but to me it confirms that I have a superhero baby in my belly.

So here we are...tomorrow is July 12th and I will be 9 weeks pregnant. My due date is VALENTINES DAY, but if this baby is anything like Briggs, it will probably make it's debut much earlier than that ;)  Last week Baby's heart rate was 166, so it looks like we've got another WILD one in there! Blake and I are so thrilled, and so thankful for all the support. We hope that sharing our story and our struggles will help someone else who's going through the same thing. We have been blessed, but it hasn't always been the easiest road. My hope is that any and all couples who struggle with infertility are able to find a way to achieve that perfect family they've always wanted.

Stay tuned for Baby updates here! What will it be...Boy or Girl???

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Little Guy In A Tie Party

I LOVE planning parties, and I always go overboard, but this party was so much fun for me to plan and execute because it was my Son's FIRST Birthday! A BIG DEAL in this household :)  I'm pretty sure I started planning this party when he was 6 months old, and I definitely went a little overboard for a 1st birthday, but it was all worth it! At first I wasn't sure what theme I wanted to go with for him, but after hours of scientific research on Pinterest, I decided on the "Little Guy In A Tie" theme. Once I decided on that, I hit the ground running, and had a BLAST planning every aspect of the party.

A TON of my inspiration came from this beautiful baby blessing: Kara's Party Ideas

I knew I wanted a brighter color scheme, so I quickly decided to stick with bright shades of Blue, Green, and Orange, which are the same colors I used in Briggs' modern nursery.

The party went off without a hitch and everyone had a blast! We rented a moonwalk for the older kids, which ended up being a great investment (I highly recommend this!). If you're in the Houston area, I rented my moonwalk from Moonwalk Wonders. The pricing was great, and they were wonderful to work with. My rental even included 3 tables and 24 chairs which REALLY came in handy for eating space! Here are some pics from the party...Unfortunately Blogger messes up the order of my pictures, so I apologize for the random order of photos!

Main Dessert Table

Key Lime Cupcakes with Fabric Toppers
For lunch we had Potbelly Sandwiches and Chips served in Gable Boxes

Party Favor Table
Photo Booth Fun
More Photo Booth Fun
1-12 Month Photo Banner
Streamers Photo Display
Birthday Boy!
Yummy Cake!
Family Photo
Birthday Outfit
First Year Milestones
Birthday Banner

Custom Birthday Hat
Tie Cookies

Strict Dress Code! Handmade ties.

Vendor Credits:
Hope you like the pictures! I had so much fun with this party. If I'm leaving anything out, or you have any questions, let me know!