Saturday, April 30, 2016

{iPhone Rewind} :: April

Sasha HATES baths. She runs when she knows it's coming, and then stands as still as a statue through the whole thing. But she will sit ALL day long for a brush with the FURminator. #diva

Date #11: YouTube Dance Lessons #wcsavethedate16

Date #12: Roy's Restaurant Dinner Date #wcsavethedate16

I got to work on a fun project for my grandma...a family celebration board! It may or may not be posted in our Etsy shop ;)

We got to celebrate Susan's birthday with some Mexican food :)

I made a little trip to Fate, TX to have some wedding invitations hand post-marked for a friend. Because how adorable is that? To have wedding invitations post-marked from Fate?  :)

This is our first spring in the Sherrye house, so we are starting to see the flowers bloom. It's fun to drive up and see a new flower all the time!

When your best friend brings you Panera mac n cheese because you're sick...

Mike's office moved to McKinney this week, and he got to work in a hard hat. Sexy man :)

Date #13: Milkshakes and a movie #wcsavethedate16

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Follow Up with OB

After our adventure to the ER this weekend, I had a follow up with my OB today. She didn't really tell me anything that the ER doctor hadn't already told me, but it was just confirmation on some of my restrictions. I'm not on bed rest, but I have to limit my activity pretty exercising, no lifting over 10 pounds, no vacuuming. So that should be fun.

My OB is great; I really like her. But it is an adjustment as I transition from my RE. I felt like I did something wrong by going to the ER this weekend, as she just wished that I had called her. I understand that she didn't have privileges at the ER I went to, and she would have preferred that I had called her first so that she could send me to a further hospital. Given the amount of blood and the panic in the moment, I can't say that I would do anything different. Again, she's great, and I know she is going to take great care of us. It's just always going to be a little harder for me, given our history. 

The good thing is that I got to see our little ones this morning! I didn't get to see them in the ER, so my heart feels a little better after seeing them wiggle around on the ultrasound screen this morning. They couldn't hold still long enough to get good photos. Mike said they already have behavioral issues :)

Baby A:
- Measuring 11 weeks + 5 days
- Heart Rate is 181 bpm

Baby B:
- Measuring 11 Weeks + 3 days
- Heart Rate is 168 bpm

Grow babies, grow! :)

Monday, April 25, 2016

11 Weeks

Please forgive the no makeup, undone hair, and lounge clothes :)

How far along? 11 weeks 
Days since transfer: 59 days
Meds: No more estrace or progesterone in oil! I am officially weaned off my FET meds! I did get a Rhogam shot in the ER this weekend, because we found out I am RH negative.
Total weight gain: -0.4 {so much for gaining...}
Maternity clothes? Still too early, but still loving all things stretchy.
Sleep: I have still been pretty tired. I have gotten into the habit of taking both a morning and afternoon nap. It's amazing how much sleep I seem to need these days.
Best moment of the week: Hearing the ER doctor say that our babies are healthy and growing!
Miss anything? Nope.
Cravings: Still with the strawberry Eggo waffles. And ice cold water.
Symptoms: I started feeling nauseated again Friday night, and ended up in the ER after a bleeding scare. THAT was not fun. But things seem to be settling down, and now I am just fighting a cold.
Looking forward to: Mike's office moving to be over...he has been under so much stress, and is having to work a lot of extra hours this week. I want it to be over for his sake.


Size of baby? About the size of a brussels sprout, a lime, or a poker chip
Development: Babies' fingers and toes are not webbed anymore, and their skin is see-through. Tooth buds, hair follicles, and nail buds are forming. If we have a girl, her ovaries are beginning to develop. All of the major parts of their bodies have developed, so now they just need to grow big and strong! Babies' placentas have picked up hormone production, so hopefully I will gain some more energy soon.
Heartbeat: 2 days ago, baby A's heart rate was 174 bpm and baby B's heart rate was 154 bpm. 
Movement: I can't feel it yet, but babies are now moving like crazy. They are kicking and stretching and dancing all over the place! They may also be hiccuping :)
Gender predictions? We just want 2 healthy babies!

**This post was written at 11 Weeks, but was not published until after we made our official announcement. I back-dated to the actual day so we could have all of this for our own records and memories.**

Because of Infertility...

...I will never ask you if you are pregnant. Because I would hate to ruin the surprise for which you have waited, or deepen the hurt you carry.

...I will not ask what your plans are for having children, what your timeline is, how many you want, or the gender for which you hope. I know the burden of those questions, and those things are never in our control anyway.

...I won't try to "fix" you or offer unsolicited advice. I am more than happy to talk about our experience, but I know it was the better part of a year before I could talk about it without bursting into tears.

...I will not assume that I know how you feel, even if you are walking a similar road. While there are certainly common feelings and experiences among those who face infertility, everyone processes differently, and no two journeys are alike.

...I have a deeper appreciation for life, but more importantly, the Giver of life. I was pro-life before our infertility struggle, but my heart more deeply understands the fragility of life {and the miraculous gift that it is} because of our struggle.

...I will never be the same. Infertility and loss changed me. I am simply not the same person I was before we walked this road. My ideas on family, faith, and hope were challenged, and I find myself viewing most things in my life differently. Over the past 3.5 years, I have experienced more heartbreak and defeat than I ever thought possible. But I know the Lord has walked with me in the valley and will bring me safely out of it. 

...I trust God's goodness. This is the one thing I have struggled with the most in our journey. I have questioned, doubted, and even denied it at different points in our struggle. But God's grace covers all, and I am thankful for our infertility, because it has shown me the depth and the fulness of God's goodness. 

...I remember my dear single friends who long to have a family but cannot because God has not brought their spouse yet, or for the friends who have experienced the pains of loss or a broken marriage. Their longing for a family is also a struggle, as they seek to trust the Lord and His perfect timing. I remember that what I have in a loving husband was what I once hoped and prayed for.

...I pray for those who are walking the hard road of infertility. It is a heartache like no other, and I pray for those who experience it to know the depth and wonder of Jesus. I pray that you know that He is good, regardless if the circumstances may seem to say otherwise.

*This week is National Infertility Awareness Week. 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Embryo Adoption :: Ode to the PIO

Today I took my last PIO shot {at least for now...we still have 2 more frozen embryos waiting for us!}. Including my first 2 unsuccessful transfers, and now this one where I got to complete the full cycle, I have taken a total of 101 shots in my butt. That's a lot of shots, a bruised and sore rump, and a whole lot of love for our babies :)

About 6 days before my transfer, I started taking these shots of progesterone in oil {PIO}. I started with 0.5ml, increased to 1.0ml, then eventually was up to 1.5ml every day through 11 weeks of pregnancy. Because you have to gear up to prepare for pregnancy with a frozen embryo transfer, you basically have to teach your body how to produce it on its own. By week 11, my body was producing enough progesterone on its own to support my pregnancy, which is why I could wean off.

So what is this PIO shot?

Progesterone in Oil {PIO} shot is an intramuscular injection...which is why it goes in the butt. It's gotta go deep enough into the muscle. It's {obviously} in oil, so it's nice and thick. Which is why you need a large gauge needle to draw the medication out. And no fast injections on this one. Slow and steady is the name of this game. The injection needle is {thankfully} thinner, but it's still a big, long needle...because it has to reach down into your muscle. So it is definitely 1.5 inches long. And for me, it is definitely a 2-person job...look, there are brave ladies out there who do these on their own. I am not one of these women. So my sweet husband was my nurse, and he was fantastic. I hated getting stuck, but he hated sticking me, so at least we were on the same page.

Every night, I would gather our supplies:
  • 18-gauge needle {draw up needle}
  • PIO bottle {the actual medication}
  • 22-gauge needle {actual injection needle}
  • Alcohol swab {to sterilize the bottle and my rear}
  • BandAid {I used the little square ones, because somehow it felt like wasting less?}
  • Sharpie Marker {to redraw our lovely little targets}
  • Heating pad {to heat the oil and my sore rear}

And every night, this would be our process:
  • Step 1: Gather all supplies and turn on the heating pad.
  • Step 2: Sterilize the PIO bottle and draw up the oil into the syringe.
  • Step 3: Remove draw up needle and place barrel in heating pad to help soften the oil {it helped it go in smoother and prevented knots}
  • Step 4: Attach injection needle and prepare for injection
  • Step 5: Sterilize injection site, take a deep breath, take the weight off the side where we're injecting, remind yourself you are doing this for your babies, take another deep breath, and tell Mike "ready."
  • Step 6: Jab that sucker in quickly to the top right quadrant {trust me, it's much better than sticking it in slowly}. 
  • Step 7: Draw back the needle and make sure there is no blood in the syringe. If there is, then you have to start over because you hit a blood vessel. Thankfully, we never had this happen. 
  • Step 8: Begin plunging the oil in slowly. Seriously, the slower the better. Too fast, and the oil doesn't have enough time to dissipate and you can end up with knots and a really sore backside.
  • Step 9: Remove needle and have a towel ready, just in case you have a bleeder. This happened to me A LOT. It's not a huge deal. You just have to wait for it to stop. 
  • Step 10: Add a Band-Aid and dispose of needles in a proper sharps container
  • Step 11: Massage injection site, walk around for a bit, do some lunges, sit on heating pad for a few minutes {all to help disperse the oil and prevent knots}.
  • Step 12: Thank the Lord for modern medicine and kiss your hubby for being an awesome nurse :)

Each night, we would switch sides, which helped give my backside a little bit of a break. I have to say that these were WAY more scary before we actually did them. Sometimes the injection hurt, but most of the time, I didn't really feel much. Some people ice the injection site before they stick the needle in, but the needle prick wasn't what hurt for me. It was the actual injecting of the oil that hurt more, so I took steps to heat up the oil and help disperse it better. Some people get really sore by week 11, but thankfully I didn't feel too bad. I did start to bruise quite a bit, so that made finding a non-bruised injection site a bit more difficult. And the injection sites can itch sometimes. But the shots are definitely doable. All for the babies :)

Until our next transfer....

Saturday, April 23, 2016

ER Visit

Nobody ever wants to visit the ER, especially when they're pregnant. But it seems like these little ones are going to keep us on our toes! All is well, but it was a crazy night for sure!

My parents were in town this weekend, and we decided to go see The Jungle Book. We had reserve seating and were ready to enjoy the new luxury loungers. Now this is how to enjoy a movie :)

About 10 minutes before the movie started, something felt off, so I decided to head to the bathroom. When I stood up, I felt a huge gush of blood and knew there was definitely something wrong. By the time I reached the bathroom, I was panicking with how much blood I was losing, and fast.

It's an absolutely terrifying feeling, and it was even worse that I had to text Mike to say I needed to go to the ER. I'm thankful no one else was in the bathroom, because I know I screamed when I saw the blood, and was crying hysterically. My poor parents and brother had to be part of the panic as well, but thankfully we weren't too far from the hospital. My dad may or may not have driven like a wild man to get us there ;)

Our hearts were fearing the worst. We have prayed for so long for these babies, and we were begging God that He would spare them. We got checked in pretty quickly, and waited for the ER doctor and ultrasound tech. I know that ultrasound technicians can't tell you anything, and wait for the doctor to provide news, but it was the longest 10 minutes of my life. I kept trying to read her face, but like a true professional, I couldn't tell either way what she was seeing on the ultrasound screen. Mike was leaning over trying to see, but I couldn't bring myself to look at his face. When she left, the tears fell, and all we could do was wait and pray for good news.

Praise God for His grace and protection...the doctor came in to tell us that all was well. Both babies were measuring ahead and had strong heartbeats. The bleeding seemed to be coming from that pesky SCH that I thought had resolved. It's still not affecting babies, but is still not gone, so I may see more episodes like this. I hate that, but am so thankful that our babies are ok! 

Baby A:
- Measuring 11 weeks + 4 days
- Heart Rate is 174 bpm

Baby B:
- Measuring 10 weeks + 6 days {I am technically 10 weeks + 5 days}
- Heart Rate is 154 bpm

They had some labs done and discovered that I am RH negative, which basically means that my blood doesn't have a protein on its surface that can cause a response from the immune system. It becomes a problem in pregnancy if one or both of the babies are RH positive, because then my body could develop antibodies against the baby {ies}. After consulting with my OB, they decided to go ahead and give me the Rhogam shot. I will probably have to have another one later in my pregnancy.

While we were waiting on labs, one of the ER administrators poked their head in to see if I was comfortable with my family coming back. He said they seemed pretty worried, and probably wanted to come make sure I was ok. Mike and I joked that they were being a nuisance in the waiting room ;)

It was a scary night, for sure. We're thankful for all of the ER staff at Texas Health Presbyterian Allen, who took great care of us and showed incredible compassion. We're thankful for all the prayer warriors that went immediately before the throne on our behalf, and we are thankful for the gracious protection over our little ones. We have been constantly reminded in this process of how little we are in control, and the Lord has been compassionate in showing us grace and providing peace, even in the midst of our panic.

My sweet husband has spent way too much time in hospitals and doctors' offices with me, and through it all, he has been my rock. He has an amazing way of staying calm and keeping me calm, and he takes such good care of me {and now all 3 of us!} I'm so thankful for him, and don't know what I'd do without him. Even if he says I'm a drama queen, and just want things to be all about me :)

Friday, April 22, 2016

High Five for Friday!

{one} I'm still here! I feel like I haven't blogged in awhile, and when I have, it has been infused water related. I am taking a break from my IWW posts, mostly because fruit hasn't been good at the grocery store, and I'm waiting for a new season of fruit. So I have just been enjoying plain old ice water with lemon. 

{two} Otherwise, things have been pretty normal around here:
  • Mike is busy at work, getting ready to move locations to McKinney {ironic, I know}
  • I am still working part time from home for the bank, and LOVING it
  • Mike preached at Mercy Church this past weekend, so it was good to be with that church family and old Redeemer friends
  • We're loving our community group, and I am finishing up both the BSF Revelation study and the Shiloh bible study
  • I'm excited to be helping my sweet friend Amy with wedding prep
  • Sasha is turning into a noisy, opinionated old lady...seriously. She's not exactly grumpy, but she has no problem moaning and groaning about everything. And she snores. A lot. And really loudly.
  • It has been raining almost every day this month, and we have had a lot of hail. Thankfully we haven't had severe damage, but we are waiting on some roof repairs.

{three} Random, but we had a garage door opener installed this week. We haven't used the garage much because it takes a lot of effort to manually open the garage door {read: I'm lazy}. With all the crazy storms, we made the decision that it would be worth it to go ahead and get that opener installed. It's AMAZING. It's the the little things, really :)

{four} Yesterday, my mom came into town, and we got to enjoy lunch and pedicures/manicures! It was nice to get some fun girl time with my mom, and I'm alway so grateful when she comes to visit.

{five} My dad actually came into town earlier in the week for a conference, but we haven't been able to see him yet. His conference is over now, so he will be joining us for the weekend. We're looking forward to some fun family time!

Monday, April 18, 2016

10 Weeks

How far along? 10 weeks 
Days since transfer: 52 days
Meds: day 72 of Estrace, day 59 of progesterone in oil
Total weight gain: +0.8 {finally gaining!}
Maternity clothes? Still too early, but I am definitely wearing my BeBand, and I much prefer stretchy skirts and jogging pants :)
Sleep: I have had some trouble falling asleep, but once I do, I am out. I have felt pretty tired the last few days, just wanting to sleep all day.
Best moment of the week: Hearing the news that I can continue weaning off my meds! Also, purchasing pregnancy books to read. I'm not even that worried about the information I need to know, I just love the fact that I have a reason to buy pregnancy items :)
Miss anything? Not really.
Cravings: Pickles. And strawberry Eggo waffles. Sound disgusting? I think so too, but I just want them so much...
Symptoms: I have actually felt pretty good this week. The nausea is subsiding, which may be due to weaning off my meds, so it may make a return later. But for now, I am enjoying not feeling gross all day.
Looking forward to: Taking my LAST PIO shot! And seeing my parents, who are coming into town this weekend. It will be the first time I have seen them since we found out we were pregnant!


Size of baby? About the size of a kumquat, a petit four, or a LEGO person :)
Development: Knees and ankles are beginning to develop. Our babies can flex their arms! The stomach is producing digestive juices, the kidneys are producing urine, and if we have a boy, he is already producing testosterone. Feet, toes, and fingers are fully developed. 
Heartbeat: It is so stressful that we won't get to hear the heartbeat for another couple of weeks, but they should be beating around 150 bpm.
Movement: I can't feel it yet, but babies are now moving like crazy. They will rarely be still from now until birth. Can't wait!
Gender predictions? We're just hoping for 2 healthy babies!

**This post was written at 10 Weeks, but was not published until after we made our official announcement. I back-dated to the actual day so we could have all of this for our own records and memories.**

Monday, April 11, 2016

9 Weeks

Today I had my first appointment with my OB. I am still in a transition period from my RE, but will see my OB for check ups and ultrasounds from here on out. Today was a routine exam {no ultrasound or fetal doppler}, to get me re-established with her practice. They took lots of blood, explained to me all about twin pregnancy, went over financial responsibility, etc. My next ultrasound will actually be with a perinatologist since we are having twins, so I get to add another doctor to my list. 

I also had blood work done at my RE's office to monitor my hormone levels and start making a plan for weaning off my Estrace and PIO. I will go back next week to check my levels again and see if I can lower my dosage even more. One more step toward no more shots in my butt! :)

How far along? 9 weeks 
Days since transfer: 45 days
Meds: day 65 of Estrace, day 52 of progesterone in oil {stopped taking Metformin}
Total weight gain: -0.6 
Maternity clothes? Still too early, but I did start using a BeBand with my jeans. They still fit, they're just so uncomfortable. Unbuttoning them makes ALL the difference.
Sleep: I still want to sleep all day, and am trying to sleep as much as I can. Growing 2 babies is exhausting :)
Best moment of the week: Seeing how much our babies had already grown and hearing those beautiful hearts beat!
Miss anything? My rear not being a pin cushion...but hopefully we're getting close to the end.
Cravings: No real cravings, but more aversions. Nothing specific, just certain foods at certain times just seem like a not-so-good idea. But I am still eating NONSTOP.
Symptoms: I had a few days last week where I felt great! So I thought maybe I had reached the end of the nausea. But it definitely returned this weekend. It's still pretty manageable, so I am thankful. 
Looking forward to: Starting to wean off the PIO! and officially "graduating" to my OB {though it's bittersweet, because I LOVE my RE and clinic}


Size of baby? About the size of a grape, a southern pecan, or a jack
Development: Baby is no longer an embryo, but now considered a fetus. The liver, spleen, and gallbladder are forming. Cartilage is forming and bones are growing!
Heartbeat: Such a beautiful sound- the heartbeats are loud enough for us to hear! 4 days ago, baby A's heart rate was 163 bpm and baby B's heart rate was 147 bpm. It's going to be hard to wait another 3 weeks to hear them again!
Movement: I can't feel it yet, but babies are now making spontaneous movements, because their little muscles are growing.
Gender predictions? We're just hoping for 2 healthy babies!

**This post was written at 9 Weeks, but was not published until after we made our official announcement. I back-dated to the actual day so we could have all of this for our own records and memories.**

Friday, April 8, 2016

OB Orientation

Last night we went to an orientation class with my OB. It seemed strange to walk into my OB office after 2 years. The last time I left that office, I sat and cried in the parking lot because we were being sent to a specialist. We had no idea what was ahead, we just knew that the game had definitely changed.

Because I have lived and breathed infertility the last few years, I didn't learn anything I didn't know in the orientation. But I have to say it was surreal to be hearing about all things pregnancy. We have prayed for it for so long, and now that it's here, it just doesn't feel real. We were sitting in a group of "normal" couples again. And I couldn't help but think about all that we had been through to make it to this point. 

The person sitting next to me had no idea what we have fought for and prayed for over the past few years. That it took so much blood, sweat, and tears to earn a seat in this class. That there had been so much loss before we got here. That we weren't really sure if we would ever be here. 

There will never be anything "normal" about our story or this pregnancy, but it is the story the Lord graciously wrote for us and our tiny ones. I wouldn't have asked for any of it. But I also wouldn't change it either.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Most Beautiful Sound

Today we had our second scheduled sonogram. We got to see our sweet babies again, and best of all? We got to hear the beautiful sound of their heartbeats. 

Baby A's Heartbeat

Baby B's Heartbeat

Best. Sounds. Ever.

Both babies are growing strong {with one now measuring 4 days ahead!} and we are just so thankful. This was our last official appointment with my RE, and it was definitely bittersweet. We have grown to love my doctor, as well as her staff, and it was sad for us to say goodbye. They have been so wonderful, and I cannot sing enough of their praises. They made a difficult time in our lives so much easier, and I appreciate all of their care, encouragement, and compassion. Of course, in the best possible way, we hope to not to have to see them again for another year or two when we go back for our other 2 embryos.

I will still have to go back to do blood work monitoring, as they start weaning me off of my meds. I will definitely NOT miss the shots in my rear, and can't wait to get rid of those! So I will have the opportunity to say a few last goodbyes to my sweet nurses. 

{Seriously, if you ever find yourself needing to see a fertility specialist in the DFW area, please send me a message, and I would be happy to send you info. I highly recommend my clinic!}

Baby A:
- Measuring 9 Weeks at 22.56mm
- Heart Rate is 163 bpm

Baby B:
- Measuring 8 Weeks + 5 Days at 20.88mm
- Heart Rate is 147 bpm

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Infused Water Wednesday :: Chilaqua Water Bottle Review

Today I'm taking a break from my infused water recipes to do a review of the Chilaqua water bottle.

Find it on Amazon

I have to say that this isn't my favorite water bottle, but I also haven't used any other infuser water bottles. So as far as I know, it may be really great in comparison to others. It's not terrible, but there may be better ones on the market. But for the price, I can live with its deficiencies. 

  • Great price at less than $20 {on Amazon}
  • Nice, slim size at 24oz.
  • Good quality construction {high quality plastic, BPA free}
  • Doesn't sweat
  • Convenient, easy to carry lid with handle
  • Easy to use {add fruit, screw on lid, and you're done}

  • Infuser Basket Design: the infuser basket doesn't screw in to the bottle, but instead just rests inside. So you have to hold it down with your finger while you drink so that the infuser basket doesn't pop up. 
  • Cleaning: it's not difficult to clean, but you have to be careful to make sure that the infuser basket gets fully clean in the tiny holes {so you don't have pieces of fruit stuck in the holes}, and you have to be sure all pieces are dry so that mold doesn't grow under the screw top. 

Would I have tried to look at other designs more carefully? Maybe. Will I go buy another infused water bottle? Probably not. It's decent for the price, and it's working for me right now. 

The best thing: it's helping me to drink more water! :)

Monday, April 4, 2016

8 Weeks

How far along? 8 weeks 
Days since transfer: 38 days
Meds: day 58 of Estrace, day 45 of progesterone in oil
Total weight gain: -0.2
Maternity clothes? WAY too early...but I only want to wear stretchy pants. Seriously. All other pants are SO uncomfortable.
Sleep: Still sleeping all the time. My energy level is pretty low, and small tasks wear me out. I feel the kind of tired that I did before I started taking B-12 injections. I am just so thankful that I can take a nap in the middle of the day if needed.
Best moment of the week: Getting to see that our babies were growing and doing just fine after we had a bleeding scare.
Miss anything? Not feeling nauseated. It has really settled in now, and I feel pretty bleh all the time.
Cravings: Nothing right now.
Symptoms: Nauseated for most of the day. I vomited once, but that's it so far. 
Looking forward to: Our ultrasound on Thursday!


Size of baby? About the size of a wild strawberry, a gummy bear, or 1/2 a LEGO brick
Development: Webbed fingers and toes are developing, eyes are beginning to gain some pigmentation and color, eyelids are covering their eyes, and teeth are starting to develop. External genitalia are also developing.
Heartbeat: The tiny hearts are beating strong! 4 days ago, baby A's heart rate was 156 bpm and baby B's heart rate was 147 bpm.
Movement: I can't feel it yet, but babies are now making spontaneous movements, twitching their tiny trunks and limb buds.
Gender predictions? We're just hoping for 2 healthy babies! But based on old wives' tales, both babies have heartbeats over 140, so that could mean girls.

**This post was written at 8 Weeks, but was not published until after we made our official announcement. I back-dated to the actual day so we could have all of this for our own records and memories.**