7 week ultrasound – seeing our baby for the first time

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Last Wednesday, I went in for my first ultrasound.  Describing the experience is impossible; there are no words comprehensive yet precise enough to encompass the wide range of emotions I felt, all of the thoughts I had, as well as to describe the beauty and delicacy of the image I saw on the monitor.  I saw an image of my child for the first time, I saw his/her tiny little fluttering heart, and I heard its fast paced beating.  Though our baby is tiny (only the size of a blueberry), his/her heart sounded so strong.  It was such a beautiful, amazing, wonderful experience to witness something so miraculous, to observe something so very small, yet so very, very real.  It was proof that our baby is growing, thriving, living and surviving.  I teared up immediately.

J wasn’t able to make it to the ultrasound, but I was able to capture a short video on my phone so he could hear our baby’s heart.

It is a thing of beauty that one of the first developments in life is the creation of our heart.  Before our brain develops, before our lungs, before our hands, before our eyes, before almost everything else, for a brief moment we are simply and miraculously a small grouping of cells embracing a tiny little fluttering heart.

At the end of my brief appointment, Dr. G said to me, “Congratulations!  Your baby looks normal and healthy.  Way to be the model patient, and achieve success on your first try.” I said to him, “We couldn’t have done it without you all” and I thanked him profusely, for helping us bring to life our extraordinary miracle.

There was a time, not too long ago, that I started to believe that it was a possibility that I would never be blessed with pregnancy, that I would never get the opportunity to feel the joys and discomforts of nurturing our child within my womb.  But now that I am, I am grateful every single moment of the day.  I’m grateful for every wave of nausea, for every heave of sickness, for waking up multiple times every night to relive my bladder, for my already expanding waistline, for the sensations in my lower abdomen associated with my expanding womb.  I am grateful for it all, and because of our eighteen month wait for our wee one, I will never, not even once, complain about or take for granted any moment of my pregnancy.

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French Toast

French toast is not a food that I have ever ordered in a restaurant, it’s not a food that I’ve ever made for myself, and it’s generally not a food that I particularly enjoy.  But I will eat it, only if it’s smothered in peanut butter and syrup.  There’s just something about the egg-soaked bread, the sogginess and sliminess of the precooked bread, and the spongy texture of the yellowed spice speckled bread after it’s cooked that puts me off.

Monday I was reassured that the wee person growing in the depths of my womb is my husband’s offspring.  J LOVES French toast!  On Monday, I got my very first pregnancy craving.  French toast – I couldn’t stop thinking about it all day.  When I mentioned this to J, even though he was exhausted from work, he fulfilled my need and whipped up a batch for dinner.  And I enjoyed it, smothered in peanut butter and syrup.

Yesterday, I was reassured that our wee one is also half me, as I simultaneously craved sushi and guacamole.  I surrendered to my guacamole craving, and last night as I ate it with tortilla chips, I gently patted my belly and said to our tiny child, “Sushi, that’s pretty funny Creeks.  How about a salad?”

 

 

We got lucky

Whether it is God’s mercy, or all of the good thoughts and prayers we received from our family and friends, or the candles my grandmother lit at her church, or it was the science involved in the self-administered trigger shot and an impeccably timed IUI, or whether it is purely a miracle, I AM PREGNANT!!  I cannot believe it.

After the false assurance I felt in February, when I was not informed by my Doctor that the Novarel shots taken post IUI would cause a false positive pregnancy test, I would not allow myself to get too hopeful about the positive pregnancy tests I received for the past few days.  Just in case.  The nausea that I’ve felt the past few mornings could have been psychological.

But my nurse called me this morning (the lab misplaced my vial yesterday so I wasn’t able to get same day results) and she confirmed my pregnancy.  My levels are so far “fantastic” – progesterone is 50 and my HCG is 178.  Tomorrow I go in for another HCG test.  To confirm a healthy pregnancy my HCG levels need to be 66% higher, but they like to see it doubled.

Holy crap-balls, guys!  Just when I was starting to think that rearing a biological child wasn’t in our cards, this miracle happens.  I have a teeny tiny little half J, half me living and growing in my womb!

So, tomorrow I travel to the CCRM Lone Tree office to do another round of blood work, and if all’s well, we have an ultrasound appointment scheduled for the morning of May 29th to see our little one for the first time, and hear his/her heartbeat.  This is surreal.

Peace, Love and Gratitude

I have a loving and supportive, amazing husband; two great dogs; a beautiful home with a gorgeous view of the Continental Divide; a great job; and I have a huge support team of friends and family rooting for the success of our infertility treatments.  I am so lucky.

But some days, I really do take all of this for granted and I dwell on the overwhelming enormity of all that I do not yet have.  I would trade it all (except my husband and my dogs), the house, the cars, the view, the job, and the support of my family and friends for this bright eyed, round faced, chunky thighed little person that is already so very loved.  I dream about Creeks so frequently (I love those dreams, they seem so real), but they are so hard to waken from.  And when I do, I feel so empty; my purpose in this life feels so void and unattainable.  I cry and I cry loud and hard, in solitude.

My mother is in town this weekend, and while I want to love her company, I am struggling to.  She is a grandmother now (to her new husband’s grandchildren) and she brings them up in conversation often.  While I want to feel so happy for her, that she is finally feeling the joy of holding and playing with grandbabies, and being called Grandma, it rips my heart apart knowing that I have not been able to grant her that.

I have never in my life wanted anything as much as I want to be a mother.  I have wanted to be a mother for as long as I can remember, even more than I’ve ever wanted to be a wife, a homeowner, have an education, a career, anything else.  Being denied of my true purpose in life, by ways of my own body, by science, by whatever forces are involved, I will never ever understand, and I will always question it.

It is so very hard to stay strong, to stay motivated, to stay rooted in the present when motherhood feels so incredibly unattainable.

Writers Block

For the past week, despite many attempts, I have been unable to write.  The few instances where I found fluid words to write, I quickly jotted them down on my phone notepad, but all of those thoughts were simple phrases that lacked cohesion, and were never enough for an entire post.

It seems that with grief and sadness, the words flow from my brain to my fingertips and onto my laptop screen like melted butter.  But in times of hope, and contentment, the flow solidifies.  For the past week, post IUI, I have felt hope.  Hope for new life, and hope that that life will settle in my womb and be nourished by all of the love, desire and longing for its survival.  I felt hope that our 20 month wait for parenthood would soon be coming to an end, and that with the sight of those two beautiful pink lines, our long wait would feel like an instant, the heartbreak would be over, and we could rejoice over our beloved baby’s developing body.

This morning I felt an intense desire to test for pregnancy, and it was not a surprise, and it was not a shock to me that the test was negative.  I was advised not to test until this coming Thursday (May 9th).  The waiting is so hard.

The only helpful thing testing early did do was help the tears flow, and help me find my words.

I’m back!

125 Million Possibilities

On Thursday of this past week, I was inseminated for the second time, this time with one-hundred-twenty-five-MILLION of my husband’s post-wash, motile, rock star sperm.  The IUI procedure was relatively painless and took very little time; my cervix was accepting of the catheter, not needing to be dilated.  A few minutes were all it took, and before I knew it my nurse was propping up my abdomen, wishing us good luck.

As I laid on the exam table, with my abdomen inclined, I silently rooted for our one-hundred-twenty-five-million soldiers, prayed that one of them would figure out the right route, and be strong enough, and persistent enough to penetrate my triggered egg.  Of 125 million, surely one of them will succeed!

I’ve decided that as soon as I see those two beautiful pink lines, whenever that may be (hopefully in two short weeks), I’m going to purchase a small gift for our baby…a tiny onesie that reads: Made with love and science.il_570xN.406800518_cvq8

Unexpected reassurance through six degrees

A couple weeks ago, out of the blue, my sister-in-law texted me and we had the following brief conversation: 

S: “Hi there!!!  I’m hanging out with a friend in Seattle and her husband worked for a long time with all of the IVF physicians in Colorado doing sales.  He said Colorado has some of the best rates in the country.  If you’re comfortable telling me the name of the bad doctor you were going to and who you’re going to now…Brian (my friend’s husband) has info on everyone in the area.”

Me: “That is crazy! Mark Bush at Conceptions is the doc we didn’t like.  Robert Gustofson at CCRM is the doc were’ seeing now, and really like.”

S: “Funny! I told Brian there was a doctor that was cocky and that’s who he guessed!!! He said if money wasn’t an issue that CCRM would be the place to go!!!”

I mean, what are the odds that at the same moment when I was feeling unease and uncertainty, my sister-in-law was also discussing fertility doctors with someone that personally knew the doctors that I felt conflicted about?

Sometimes, through mysterious ways, we receive information or opinions that ease feelings of uncertainty.  After our first failed IUI in January, we made a rash decision to switch clinics (from Conceptions to CCRM), a decision that I felt mostly confident in, but not completely.  Since the day our decision was made, there has been a tiny voice in my head that had wondered if the more expensive doctor that we had fled to, was worth the extra money and was worth the lost days spent waiting for the completion of additional testing and consultations, and for a new cycle to start. 

This brief conversation with my sister-in-law soothed my unease at a time when I truly needed to feel reassured of our decision.  I took it as a sign that we had made the right choice, and since that day I have not re-considered it and I have not looked back.