my Self

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Fort St John, BC, Canada
My husband, David, and I had been trying to have a baby since November of 2007. After 'letting things happen', we got the amazing news that we were pregnant in June of 2008. Sadly, that pregnancy ended at 9 weeks with a natural miscarriage. After two more chemical pregnancies, we turned to fertility treatments in 2009. That decision was a disaster, with lousy medical care and poor monitoring. In December of 2009, we made the huge decision to move onto IVF. Things fell into place like magic and we began treatment on January 15, 2010. After a blighted ovum in March, we did a successful FET in June, only to endure another blighted ovum in July. We kept up and underwent another IVF in September/October of 2010 with the arrival of our son, Brogan in July of 2011! After our lovely success (finally) we decided to undertake yet another IVF treatment and hope for a sibling for our little red headed boy. Well... so far it's worked. Our story continues below!

Friday, December 31, 2010

14 Weeks Pregnant

This is the baby's heartbeat... I get to hear this amazing song every night!!!

The blog is changing... I'm not sure this is the right place for what I'm writing about.  This blog was a huge place for me to express myself - to be honest, and to say whatever I was feeling, no matter how 'right' or 'wrong' it was at the time.  It was just real.  Writing for me is therapy, it's a way to let the emotion out, pouring it through my fingertips onto a screen and releasing me from whatever was binding.

One of the most difficult things to do when you write is to write freely.  I've always known the blog was public, and there was a certain risk in saying what I was feeling... but lately I've become aware that some of my words had a personal impact on people in my life.  I didn't say anything here that I didn't express to them directly, and it's virtually impossible for anyone else to figure out what or whom I was referring to, as I never discussed the incident outside my marriage... yet seeing it in black and white had a more profound impact, and feelings were hurt.

Now, I find it impossible to write about anything real.  I don't want to update the posts... and I feel guilty because I get emails asking me to do so.   I have tons of feeling, and emotions, and stories that I want to share but I'm unable to.... 

This blog was an emotional lifeline through one of the toughest times of my life.  I don't want to let it go, but it feels like the line has been cut.  I'm considering creating a baby blog so those people who don't wish to read my personal posts can still get baby updates.... but will I ever really be able to write about all that I write about?  Sex?  Personal issues?  Frustrations?  The details on medical information?  Fears? Being totally open and raw and real?  Being open and raw and real is therapy for me if it's safe... but being open and raw and real when I feel vulnerable is a totally different story!

Anyhow... I need to think about it....  Here's the latest update on baby.... Oh, and I'm feeling great... get tired from time to time but otherwise... great!

Week Fourteen: Hormones start up

You are 14 weeks pregnant. (fetal age 12 weeks)
  • The fetus is 3 and half inches (9cm) long.
  • Weight is about 1 and half ounces (45 grams).
  • The eyes are slowly moving towards the centre of the face.
  • The nose is more pronounced. The ears are fully developed.
  • The cheekbones are visible. The first hair is appearing.
  • The kidneys are producing urine.
  • In girls, the ovaries are moving down towards the pelvis.
  • In boys, the prostate gland is developing.
  • For girls, the ovaries move into the pelvis.
14 weeksYour baby now is peeing into the amniotic fluid round itself as well as making breathing movements. With the effect of hormones, the boys now have a prostate gland. For girls, the ovaries move from the abdomen into the pelvis. During this week of pregnancy the head and eyebrow hair develops.

Your child's bones are getting harder and stronger by the day. Your baby's skin is very transparent still. Lanugo (very fine hair) covers the baby's body and will continue to grow until 26 weeks gestational age - Generally this will be shed prior to birth. Its purpose is to help protect baby's skin while in all that water.

As your baby grows, your uterus and placenta are also growing. Six weeks ago, your uterus weighed 5 ounces (140 g). Now, it weighs about 8.75 ounces (250g). The amount of amniotic fluid around the baby is also increasing. There is now about 7.5 ounces (250ml) of fluid. You can easily feel your uterus about 3 inches (7.6cm) below your bellybutton.

Your baby is 3.42 inches (8.7cm) long and weighs about 1.52 ounces (43 grams)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Basics

My age:  39
David's age:  44
My son, Mason: 22 (23 in June)
My son, Jerry:  20 (21 in May)

Began trying to have a baby:  October 2008
Began fertility shots / IUI:  September 2009
Began fertility shots / IVF:  January 2010

First Pregnancy:  Natural - June 2008 --- Miscarriage without hearing heartbeat at 8.5 weeks
Other Pregnancies:  Several very early losses, or chemical pregnancies (loss before 6 weeks)
Of Note:  Two early miscarriages resulted in blighted ovums, back to back in 2010

Current Pregnancy Stats

October 12, 2010  Egg Retrieval (when they took the eggs from my ovaries and fertilized them with David's sperm)
October 17, 2010 Embryo Transfer (replaced the fertilized eggs (embryos) back into my womb)

7 weeks, 1 day ultrasound - Baby measures two days ahead and has a wonderful healthy heartbeat at 139
9 weeks 1 day ultrasound - Baby measures two days ahead, is very active, and has a heartbeat of 170

Official Due Date:  July 5, 2011

Friday, December 17, 2010

In my 12th Week

What's happened in my 12th week....

For one thing, I went to my first pre-natal appointment.  Didn't get to see my doctor (he's not back until the 29th) but I did get my blood work and nurse's appointment all taken care of.  It was kind of surreal... as if I didn't actually belong there or something.  Never had a pre-natal appointment since about October of 1999!  They gave me a copy of "Baby's Best Chance" which brought back memories of my first pregnancies.  It's a very basic book on pregnancy and childbirth.  Kind of neat but not really the in-depth stuff I'm used to researching.

I've also started to show a bit, or at least seriously thicken up.  I have one pair of maternity jeans that I seem to be wearing more and more.  My regular jeans fit in the mornings but in the evenings start to be so uncomfortable that I am unbuttoning at work!!

I listen to the heartbeat for about 30 seconds in the morning and again in the evening.  Baby is located about an inch to the right and about an inch above my pubic bone.  I find him right away (or her?)... the heartbeat is strong, even and measures between 150 and 160 bpm.  The baby often moves away from the doppler which is really freaky.  To think there is something 2.5 inches long moving around inside my body and I have no sensation of it being there.... it's freaky!

I am getting bouts of maternal protectiveness, but not overwhelming and not all day.  I'm not glowing, nor am I walking around with a hand on my tummy, and I'm not sharing my news with strangers.  I have moments of tenderness and realization and fascination and worry.  

As per my agreement with my husband, I am ceasing my chronic work-a-holic ways as much as I can and actually sticking to a 8 or 9 hour workday with a couple days (or at least half days) off each week.  I even went to Costco and stocked up on freezer-to-oven meals, which is totally unlike me - the passionate cook - so that I would actually eat in the evenings.  This has all made a huge difference for my level of restfulness and emotional ease.  I'm taking my pre-natals daily and getting plenty of liquids.

I'm feeling a LOT more energetic these days which is awesome - most likely a result of ending the first trimester and ending the progesterone supplements *and* taking it a lot easier on myself.  I'm not scrubbing windows and toilets, but I am getting more chores done and taking care of myself more, which is great for my emotional well being.  I still have a couch full of gifts that need wrapping - a Sunday project in the making.

Okay.. so this has gone from a fertility blog to a pregnancy blog.  It's different... I love it, but it's different!

Week Twelve: Fingernails and toenails appear

You are 12 weeks pregnant. (fetal age 10 weeks)
  • The fetus is now about 2.5 inches (6cm) length and weighs about 0.7 ounce (20 g).
  • The feet are almost half an inch (1cm) long.
  • The fetus starts moving spontaneously.
  • The face is beginning to look like a baby's face.
  • The pancreas is functioning and producing insulin.
  • Fingernails and toenails appear.
  • The baby can suck his thumb, and get hiccups.
12 weeksFrom this week you may well be able to hear the baby's heart beat through a doppler monitor on your tummy. You will notice that the rate is up to 160 a minute, double that of a normal adult.

Your baby now has a chin and a nose and a facial profile. Vocal chords are complete, and the baby can and does sometimes cry silently. The brain is fully formed, and the baby can also feel pain. The fetus may even suck his thumb.

The eyelids now cover the eyes, and will remain shut until the seventh month to protect the delicate optical nerve fibers. The hair is on the head and the fingers and toes have developed soft nails. The kidneys are developed and begin to secrete urine.

Your baby weighs between 0.5 and 0.7 ounce (14 to 20g), and crown-to-rump length is almost 2.5 inches (63mm). Your baby's size has almost doubled in the past 3 weeks.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

10Weeks 4Days

I posted the two very interesting bits of information below because I am in between 10 weeks and 11weeks.  And baby is measuring a couple days ahead so I thought this would be a cool way to compare what's happening!

David and I just returned from a trip to Calgary.  He had business meetings and really wanted me to go.  Needing his company all to myself and seeing a chance to get some much needed Christmas shopping in, I was happy to be able to go with him.  

We thought this Christmas Season would be totally shared together, but we got news that he has to go to Fort MacMurray (aka Hell frozen over) on the 15th... He's hoping to be back on the 22nd for our big family Christmas Dinner before our kids go South for Christmas with their girlfriends' parents.  Sigh.  I really had wanted this time with him.  However, I have to find gratitude in this, and be thankful that he has such an excellent career and is well paid for his time away from us all.  

This is a stupidly busy time at the shop, so my Christmas preparations (that David was helping with SO much) will come to somewhat of a halt as a result of me being a) swamped at work and b) so tired I could lay down in the driveway and sleep!

I totally cheated today and went to Costco with David... and in a matter of an hour got all my Christmas "baking" done, all my Christmas "appetizers" made, and some great "easy" meals all ready as well.  haha!  Let's just say my freezer is full.  One of my passions is cooking, but I won't have the time or energy this season.  Jeez... I hardly have energy to cook for myself.. so buying a few convenient foods to throw from freezer to oven is just going to have to do.  It's better than not eating at all, right?  

The trip was good, although I have officially outgrown my regular jeans.  I was miserable in the evenings.  It's uncomfortable to do up my jeans in the morning, by the time evening rolls around, and I am bloated, miserable and looking five months' pregnant - I can't even bear the thought of that stupid zipper being done up.  I went into a maternity clothing store but didn't have enough energy to go through the process of trying stuff on.  *laugh*

I have such an amazing appreciation for the people in my life who are so excited and supportive of me and this pregnancy.  I became simply overwhelmed with gratitude for the family and friends who have been there for us when things were sad.. and then were so overjoyed and excited when we finally got such great news.  I've already had gifts given to us, many letters of congratulations, and even daily phone calls or FB messages asking about how I'm feeling or giving us baby name suggestions!  I know that thousands (millions) of women get pregnant all the time, but this baby was fought for and we endured so many losses time and again, that this pregnancy seems to be a bit more of a big deal for us, and I don't mind soaking up the positive energy!  

David is beyond amazing.  Not only is he helping with more than his share of the housework and shopping, insisting that I nap, rest, sleep, take my beloved hot baths... but he does all of this without my asking or even hinting.  He has been a true husband and partner through these first physically and emotionally draining few months and I was in tears of appreciation for him this evening.... in part realizing he will soon be gone and this will all be on my shoulders again.  

On another note, we are nearly to our second trimester!  I know that we've passed all the HUGE milestones and our chances of miscarriage have shrunk to about 4%, but there is something mentally reassuring about finishing the 12th week.... That magical date is December 20th, a measly nine days away.  

Oh, and we are finding the baby's heartbeat with very little trouble now!  At first I kept getting my own, but with practice and patience, and endless probing about my midsection I have become quite good at finding the undeniable, quick heartbeat of our little one.  Sometimes it only lasts for 5 seconds or so, because of the baby's activity.  So amazing....

Week Ten: Embryo is now a Fetus Nov 30 - Dec 6

You are 10 weeks pregnant. (eight weeks after conception)
  • From this week until birth, the developing organism is called a fetus.
  • The fetus is now the size of a small strawberry.
  • The feet are 2mm long (one tenth of an inch).
  • The neck is beginning to take shape.
  • The body muscles are almost developed. Baby has begun movement.
  • While still too small for you to feel, your little one is wriggling and shifting.
  • The jaws are in place. The mouth cavity and the nose are joined.
  • The ears and nose can now be seen clearly.
  • Fingerprints are already evident in the skin.
  • Nipples and hair follicles begin to form.
8 weeks feet8 weeks handsThe unborn baby is now called a fetus. Though the fetus is constantly moving, you will not be able to actually feel fetal movement for several more weeks. All of the organs, muscles, and nerves are in place and beginning to function. As the hands and feet develop fingers and toes, they have lost their paddle like look. The touch pads on the fingers form and already have fingerprints.

During this week of pregnancy the crown to rump length of the fetus is 0.9 inch to 1.2 inches (22 to 30mm), weight 0.07 ounce (2gm). They are now on the way to forming their testicles or ovaries, getting ready for the next generation. Until the ninth week of fetus development, the fetal reproductive apparatus is the same one for the both sexes. The head is still large and curves into chest.

Each week your uterus grows larger with the baby growing inside it. You may begin to see your waistline growing thicker by this time. A pelvic exam will detect that your uterus has grown from it's normal, size of your fist, to a little bigger than a grapefruit.

Week Eleven: Neurons multiply - Dec 7 - Dec 14

You are 11 weeks pregnant. (nine weeks after conception)
  • The fetus CRL is about 1.5 inches (35mm) in size.
  • The fingers and toes have completely separated.
  • The taste buds are starting to develop.
  • Baby has tooth buds, the beginning of the complete set of 20 milk teeth.
  • Baby can swallow and stick out his or her tongue.
  • Whole body except tongue is sensitive to touch.
  • Cartilage now calcifying to become bone.
  • If it is a boy, the testicles are starting to produce the testosterone hormone.
10 weeksThe baby has an upper lip, toes and ears and twenty little teeth are now forming. The brain is growing rapidly and producing more than 250,000 nerve cells a minute. The heart is almost completely developed and very much resembles that of a newborn baby. An opening the atrium of the heart and the presence of a bypass valve divert much of the blood away from the lungs, as the child's blood is oxygenated through the placenta.

The eyelids have fused shut and will not open again until around week 27. The wrists and ankles have formed and the fingers and toes are clearly visible. Genitals have begun to form, but it is too early to tell the sex of the fetus. By this week of the pregnancy the placenta has developed enough to support most of the critical job of producing hormones.

By the 10th week of pregnancy, the crown to rump length of your growing baby is about 1.5 inches (35mm). The baby weighs close to 0.18 ounce (5g) and is the size of a small plum.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

9 Weeks Pregnant

You've got to use a bit of imagination... the head takes up nearly half of the baby.. it's little chin is tucked up into it's chest, the dark spot at the top of the head is the developing brain - the photo makes it look like the head is forked... but you can see how cute and round it is on the bottom photo!  

Only an inch long, but we could see the tiny arm and leg buds waving around and the body wriggling back and forth.  The heartbeat was so nice and strong, and baby measured two days ahead.