Sunday, May 29, 2016

I am a MoM of multiples

I Am A Mom

I am so sorry I fell off the face of this earth! 

I’m not sure where to start, maybe the short story from where I left off.  I finally got pregnant.  With TWO.  TWO amazing babies, a boy and a girl.  It can’t get any better than that, right!!

I embraced it, everything about it.  I smiled when I threw up. I laughed every time I peed myself when I was throwing up (TMI, sorry). But I was pregnant, and it was amazing!!  The middle of the second trimester was my most favorite time.  I was not as sick and the babies moving was the best feeling in the world.  I miss it!  

I would be lying if I said it was not hard toward the end.  It was so, so hard!  I got so swollen, I convinced myself I had heart failure.  THANK GOD I did not!  I made a promise to my babies when I was pregnant.  I was going to make sure they were nice and healthy when they were born.  Determined they were not going to have any NICU time.  I ended up developing pre-eclampsia at 36 weeks gestation, and my scheduled C-section, was pushed forwarded a week. 

I delivered them on December 17th, 2015 at 8:50 pm.
Angelo: 6 lbs 5 oz

20 inches

Ilyana: 6 lbs 0 oz

18.5 inches

My delivery was not fun, but after a few complications and 4 units of blood I recovered well!!  And as I promised the babies, they had no NICU time!!

Since then I have been a very busy mommy!  This mom gig is HARD and yet the best thing I have ever done in my life.  I knew I’d like being a mom, but there are not words to describe how much I LOVE being a mom.  How much I LOVE my life!!    

For those of you still in the Infertility trenches, hang in there!  I know that it’s easy for me to say, but if possible, Don’t Give Up!!

We did not have the finances to cycle.  We took out loans, charged our credit cards, borrowed money from family and received generous donations from people.  I am so happy it worked out for us.  

I now wish that we did not have so much debt.
Do I regret it?


It’s the best decision I’ve made in my life. 
Where are we now?

The babies are thriving, spunky 5 month olds!  They are rolling all over the place and Angelo just cut his first tooth, I know Ilyana is not far behind.

I’m so sorry for abandoning my blog.  I will try to post more often, but I cannot make promises. 

Thank you to everyone who supported me during my journey.  

Thank you from the bottom of my heart

<3 Mindy

Sunday, August 2, 2015

A Very Overdue Update

I have to apologize.  It was never my intention to abandon my blog.  I can make excuses all day long, but in reality, I've been nervous I would jinx things, so I backed off from blogging.  Weird, right? Blogging, getting excited, etc. will not jinx things.

For those that do not know me in real life, I have some exciting news for you, or should I say our four legged babies have exciting news for you!

My official due date is in January, but we have been told that we will have our little ones in December.

Again. I apologize I skipped all updates my entire first trimester.  Today marks 17 weeks.  I am almost half baked!!  Below are a few fun facts about my pregnancy journey so far...

Up 15 pounds.  The goal is to gain 45 to 50 pounds.  Those numbers are really overwhelming to me, but healthy babies are the priority.  That being said, I'm right on track. 

(Don't mind the wet hair, or terrible outfit)
Here is my 17 week bump

    Size of Babies:
They are about the size of turnips.

The first trimester was a little rough with "morning sickness."  Nausea was most the day, vomiting always at night.  This week has been better.  I've had some close calls, but I've only been nauseous.  The thing about "morning sickness"  is, as miserable as it can be, it's the most reassuring symptom for a pregnant woman, well at least for me. 
I've also has some acid reflux and heartburn, but it's very manageable.
Back pain is beginning, I'll just have to have DH give me nightly back massages :)
I swear I can feel them moving/kicking.  It's intermittent and amazing!   

Food Cravings/Adversions: 
I have not had any cravings to speak of, but Sprite is a staple drink.  I almost have one at all times.  It has helped me tremendously with nausea.  Adversions~ I never thought this would be a problem in my life, but even the thought of drinking coffee makes me sick.  Who knew this coffee lover would be unable to drink it.  I also have to add eggs, and most animal protein to that list.  

Nearby plans/preparation:
We have been waiting to begin working on our nursery, in addition to purchasing anything until we know the official genders of our babies.  We have a good idea of the genders at this point, but we want to be sure.  

Excited for:
Our Anatomy scan is in three weeks.  Thereafter we will be having a gender reveal party for our families.  We can't wait to share our little ones genders with our families and begin to start working on the nursery.  

Friday, May 15, 2015

~~~BFP Warning~~~

For those who have been anxiously waiting for my beta hcg results, I apologize.  I've just been so overwhelmed with excitement, I have been having a difficult time coming up with the words to write.  

For those that do not understand or know what a Beta HCG tests is, I will do my best explaining.  A beta HCG is a quantitative number that tells you and your doctor a number of how much pregnancy hormone is in a persons body.  This number is expected to double at least every 48-72 hours.  

I've learned, and maybe it's just a coincidence, when my clinic has bad news to deliever my Reproductive Endocrinologist calls.  So I knew it had to be good news when it was my nurse/donor coordinator on the other end of the line. She is amazing.  She is so sweet, kind, and soft spoken.  I wish I could be more like her.  Anyway, she said with her soft voice...

"Mindy, we are looking for your Beta HCG to be greater than 100.
Your beta is 1360."

In my disbelief, I am sure I asked her to repeat it like 12 times.  To preface this, I have NEVER had a strong Beta.  I have NEVER had one double.  Two days later I had another blood draw.  This time, I think it was a medical assistant on the other end.  

"Mindy, your beta today is 2870.  Dr. G said it's a great rise, we can schedule you for your 7 week ultrasound."

I scheduled my ultrasound, just a few days shy of 7 weeks.  But then again in disbelief I had one more blood draw.  This blood draw was a week after Beta #2.  This time it was my sweet nurse on the other end.

"Mindy, have you had a chance to look up your beta online?"
"Yes, 19,576"
"Mindy, it is a beautiful rise..."  
"I will not be in the satellite office on May 22nd, but I will be stalking the computer for your ultrasound results!"

I am in my own personal uncharted territory.  My beta had a doubling time of 43.3 hours.  Right where it needs to be.  I cannot believe that I, Mindy, am pregnant.  

I am going to make my husband a father. 

He has been cautiously optimistic, especially since our last failed embryo transfer.  

I have to aw at my husband for a second.  He is getting excited.  A few days ago he did have an "oh shit" moment where he and I talked about how real this is.  Fast forward to today...  He texted me with two names.  He had a dream and he said that this is what the babies want to be named.  (He's convinced we are having two).  Although I did not love, well even really like one of the names, I think it's adorable that he is dreaming about this pregnancy.  He is getting excited.  

My Heart Is Happy!!  

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Transfer Day… Overwhelming Love and Support

Yesterday was a BIG DAY.  
The perfect day.  
Much like our wedding day.  

Overcast in the morning, rain in the afternoon, and the sun came out in the evening for a wonderful celebration!! 

I took the day off from work, because I knew that I would be worthless.  There was no way I’d be able to concentrate on work.  So I spent much of my day mentally prepping for the transfer.  I spent a good portion of my morning reading positive text messages, emails, and Facebook posts on my behalf from my IF sisters, friends and family. 

TMI warning- I was in much need for a wax, so I rescheduled my apt at the end of the month and took care of my legs and unmentionables.  Went to the grocery store and bought several different nail polishes and created my first masterpiece. LOL

W got ready.  He look so good. Suit Jacket, with new Levi’s and his Kango hat, me the nicest yoga pants I own and a niceish blouse, wearing all my lucky charms, and lucky Water cup in hand! Then it was time.  Our 35 minute drive to the clinic.  Once we got there I had my pre-transfer acupuncture treatment. And then our transfer.

Dr. G came into the room, and she gave us our embryo report, asked if we would like to transfer one or two embryos.  She is a HUGE Proponent for elective single embryo transfers (eSet).  She discussed the risks of transferring two.  I looked up at W and said “are you still okay if we transfer two?” He said yes! 

This is a very personal decision!!  There are pros and cons to both transferring one vs two embryos.  In the future I will write about the pros and cons and why we made the decision that we did.  But that is a different conversation. 

We transferred two beautiful embryos high quality embryos (graded AA and AB). 
After the transfer, then comes the hard part.  Laying in place for 20 minutes with a FULL BLADDER.  It is the worst.  I just lay there and hope that I do not pee myself before the 20 minutes are up. 

For those curious, I did not have an accident.  For me, it’s the worst part of the embryo transfer!!
After all was said and done I had my post-transfer acupuncture.  It was amazing.  I had W pull up the song we played as I walked down the aisle at our Wedding (Cannon in D).  I absolutely love that song.  We talked and spent this time enjoying each other’s company.  It was such an amazing day.  

My acupuncturist asked us how long we have been married, because she through we acted like newlyweds.  That is such a compliment considering we were married in 2003. 

The staff at my clinic is amazing.  They are all rooting for us.  My RE and donor coordinator both said that it’s our turn and we have a really good shot at this working.   

W made me a cup of caffeine-free mint tea when the acupuncture treatment was over, for the ride home.  I had my discharge teaching.

We left the clinic drove home in evening traffic.  

What did we return home to?? 

My parents and my Uncle M were here.  My house was cleaned, lawn mowed and dinner ready.  With a beautiful bouquet my sister had sent to my house.  They wanted to make sure that I lay on the couch all weekend worry free, allowing your embryos the prefect chance to snuggle in for the next 9 months!!

This was the perfect ending to the perfect day!! 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Anxiety Setting In… Reminders Everywhere That I Am Not Alone

The Ups and Downs of cycling are moment by moment.  I wish I could articulate the emotions I’m feeling.  Yesterday was amazing, so much love and support!  I logged into my Facebook page to find the above picture sent me from my beautiful sister and her family!! There are no words to express how happy this made me feel.  Overwhelming love! 

This love has bled into today.  I needed this love and support today.  Fertilization report day.  This is an overwhelming, very stressful day.  I was glued to my phone.  This was not a phone call I was willing to miss.  How many eggs were mature?  How many fertilized?  Will I be pleased?  Will I have good news to share with my husband, my family and friends? 

Today, A BIG DAY.

At 9:46 AM my phone rang.  Embryologist on the other end introduced himself and graciously told me the numbers. 
26 eggs mature
21 fertilized
We have 21 precious embryos. 
One, maybe two will one day be in our arms.  Our Babies!

And then PTSD began to set in.  Only 26 out of 44 were mature?  How can that be?  I was expecting a higher percentage of mature eggs.  The ironic thing is, when I cycled with my own eggs, my ideal number of embryos has always been 5. A very good friend reminded of me of this today.  As of this morning we have 4 times my “ideal” number.

We have 21 embies, growing and thriving.  Logically I know it’s ridiculous to be disappointed with 21.  I kept going back to our previous donor egg cycle.  We had a large number of embryos to start with and when all was said and done, we were only left with one embryo suitable for transfer.
After being talked off the ledge from my Infertility sisters, I talked with my donor coordinator and she provided me with some prospective of “normal” Donor Egg cycles.  Our last cycle was not normal.  We were dealing with an additional factor that can make or break a cycle.  Balanced Translocation.  We have removed this factor.  We do not have to worry about this time. 

Another friend was able to help me understand that what I was feeling is not completely abnormal.  She said that I have every reason to be scared after everything I've been through.  I will continue to be nervous until they put that baby/babies in my arms. She said that she was sorry that I have been robbed of the carefree "let's make a baby" that other couples get. 

She is absolutely right, and is exactly what I needed to hear.  I have so much support from my friends, family and husband. 

I know everything is going to be alright.
Even when I’m being irrational, I am not alone.

You are not alone!!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

1 in 8, Supported by Many

Today is a perfect example of feeling love from amazing, supportive, hopeful women that are also in the midst of infertility. 

Many of these women have found success after infertility, but the pain of infertility never goes away.  I have seen it sneak into these women’s lives even after they have birthed children.  And many of my dear friends are still in the trenches.  These are women I have “known” for years.  Many of which I have never met in real life, and yet they are my sisters.  It’s a community of women that I have seen come together in times of need, loss, love, good times and bad, supporting each other in so many ways.  It is absolutely amazing what we can do as a group of women, even though we are from different worlds, cultures, generations, States, Countries and we have never met.

Infertility is a rollercoaster.  One that I wish that no one would ever have to get on.  At times it is has been isolating, lonely, and is a result of the lowest times I’ve ever had in my life.  I know that I have said this before.  Hands down Infertility has been the greatest struggle I have ever had to endure.  My mental health, at times, has never been lower.  This includes the loss of my older brother, which was devastating. 

Today is a prime example that I am not alone. 

You Are Not Alone

Through all our struggles I have had a place to turn.  A place to vent, cry and celebrate.  With my sisters!!

My phone today has been getting blown up.  Texts, emails, calls.  It’s awesome.  It kind of reminds me of the late 90’s and carrying a pager.  Receiving page after page to learn where the next best party was going to take place :)  This is SO MUCH BETTER!!!

On the various, secret Facebook pages and public online infertility forums I’m a member of were also full of love, and support.  It is incredible. Wishing us luck and asking about my donor’s egg retrieval, sending love to our egg donor, that she has a smooth recovery, asking if I have heard any news of how many eggs have been retrieved.
For those anxiously waiting for me to spit it out, I did hear an update on my donor’s retrieval.  Are you all ready for this?  Drum roll please…….

Forty-four eggs

That is right Forty-four eggs have been retrieved
That is twenty-two times better than my “best cycle” with my own eggs

I have had all my girls by my side rooting for me, us, and our future children. 

Thank You!!

Today I am not alone

Others still battling with infertility, no matter where you are on the infertility spectrum, never forget..

You are not alone.

You are 1 in 8, supported by so many!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

~~~HCG/Lupron Trigger~~~

Where has the time gone?  Life has been so busy that I have failed to continue to update throughout this cycle. This cycle feels so much different than my previous ones.  I'm in a better place.  That does not mean I haven't had moments of irrational thoughts; I know anxiety and being irrational at times is inevitable when you have been through what we have been through!!

For those that are interested here are the cliff notes of this cycle:

3/30: DH and I returned home from a much needed vacation in Las Vegas I earned/won at work. 

The picture I chose for this post is from our trip.  I chose this picture, not because infertility treatment are a gamble, but because we will be on the right side of the odds this time!! 

3/31:  My Baseline Ultrasound.  I was properly suppressed (no ovarian cysts and a thin lining).

4/6:  My Egg Donors Baseline

4/10: My endometrial lining check.  It measured at a 9.6 mm and triple striped.  
The clinic was aiming for anything greater than 7 mm.  I am sure I have an soft, comfy, amazing endometrial mattress for my embies to rest for the next 9 months <3

4/14-4/17: Donor follicle scan updates.  Her follicles count has ranged from 31 to 35.  I received the call yesterday they were going to have her trigger with Lupron and HCG.  

What is a trigger and why is it important? 

The trigger shot is the last step in the maturation process of follicle (egg) development.  36 hours after the trigger shot, the the doctor will retrieve her eggs.  The retrieval is very time sensitive, if ovulation occurs before egg retrieval the physician will not be able to retrieve her eggs.     

Which brings us to tomorrow, Sunday 4/19/2015.  
The 1st day of National Infertility Awareness Week
Egg Retrieval Day  

Our donor's eggs will be retrieved.  I will head to the clinic in the afternoon for my Neupogen uterine wash.  The Neupogen has been shown to help those with a history of miscarriage and implantation failure.  At that time I will learn how many eggs have been retrieved.

4/20: I will get our fertilization report

4/22:  Day three embryo report.  This will tell us how many of our embryos are thriving and the embryo grades that day

4/24: THE BIG DAY-  Embryo Transfer Day.  

I cannot think of a better day to have my egg donor's retrieval.  The 1st day of NIAW. There is not a better week to have our embryo transfer!!  If there is such a thing as a sign or good luck, this is it!!

I am getting excited.  W is also getting excited.  I love Please send all the positive vibes, prayers, thoughts, etc. our way, as they are very much appreciated!!    

We are going to BEAT Infertility.  It will not beat us!!