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Caleb Update – Eleven Weeks Old

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It’s been a while since I have updated! I want to get back into writing more but my little man has been keeping me busy and on my toes. It seems he learns something new every day. It is so much fun to see him discover the world. The other day he saw rain for the first time and just stared at the rain on the window from his car seat as we drove home. Then the following day he felt rain on his face for the first time. The look of confusion and amazement on his face was so sweet. He loves watching the ceiling fan and the way the light plays on the walls. He loves staring at the fire in the fire place and any shadows.

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He is a genuinely happy baby. We are so thankful and blessed! Every day he smiles and tries to laugh. At the moment his laughs kind of sound like cries and whines so if you aren’t looking at his face you can’t tell if he is happy or mad. He loves watching baby animal videos on YouTube. He smiles and giggles at them. He has also taken to watching the TV. At first we thought he was just staring in that general direction, but it has become quite obvious that he is actually watching the TV. He has a bouncer that has some toys hanging from it. If we put his hand in the loops on them then he will hang onto it and pull on the toys. He is also starting to discover his hands. He hasn’t been staring at them in wonder yet but he does clasp them together and intertwine his fingers. He makes repetitive motions with his wrists and he loves sucking on his hands. For the past few weeks if I have him on his tummy on my chest while I am reclined in a chair he will roll over and gravity will help him land in my arms. We have been trying to get him to roll over during tummy time but he hates it and just gets frustrated. Last night as soon as Chris put him on his tummy he rolled over for the first time! Of course I missed it and looked up just as he was on his back! We tried to get him to do it again but he wouldn’t. He just got frustrated and whined. He has been vocalizing more and experimenting with different sounds. Sometimes it sounds like he is trying to mimic the sounds that we make.

 

His favorite songs are Wheels on the Bus, O Come All Ye Faithful and My Favorite Things. He loves Peek a Boo and baths and being on the changing table (he just laughs and laughs). At the moment the only thing he hates is Tummy Time. He has slept through the night on two separate occasions. We give him his bath around 7pm and then he cuddles with me and I give him his last bottle around 8:30pm. We put him down in his rock n play in our room around 9pm. He has two different sleeping patterns. The first is he will sleep from 9pm – 3am then wake for a bottle then sleep again until around 6am which is when we wake up to take him to my parent’s house. The second pattern is he will sleep from 9pm – 12am then wake for a bottle then sleep again until around 6am. Either way he is only waking once in the night to feed. At not even three months old I will take that for a win!

Yesterday we put him in his pumpkin suit for what will probably be the last time as he is getting too big for it. I wanted to capture a picture of him wearing it and compare it to when we put him in it when he was two weeks old. The difference is huge! He is getting so big! He has a long torso like his momma so some of his 3 month clothes are getting a bit tight. He has graduated to some 3-6 months and 6 month clothes! He is also starting to outgrow his size 1 diapers! Looking at the comparison of him nine weeks ago, he looks so tiny!

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Speaking of size, he is in the 25th percentile for height and weight. At his 2 month appointment (9 weeks 5 days) he weighed 11lbs 14oz and was 22.75” long. He went from the 44th percentile at 3 weeks to 25th percentile at 9 weeks. I was concerned, but the doctor doesn’t seem to be.  Since we have been dealing with reflux, he has had a few days where he hasn’t eaten much and that can cause the decrease in percentiles. He was not a fan of his 2 months shots. He had several vaccines that were combined into one oral vaccine and three shots. He took the oral vaccine like a champ. The first shot he just kind of looked at us in shock, then second shot he started to scream, then the nurse quickly did the third and then ran out of the room. It took us a few minutes to calm him down. I think it was much worse on me than it was on him. He was lethargic and lost his appetite for a few days afterwards and it has taken us almost two weeks to get him back up to where he was feeding wise. He is now taking about 26oz a day in 5oz bottles every 3-4 hours. We upped his Zantac to 1.4ml twice a day and he seems to feel better. He isn’t arching his back, shaking his head and thrashing as much anymore.

The week of Thanksgiving I went back to work and because of the reflux issues the week prior my milk supply tanked. I was never able to get more than 10-12oz a day and then the reflux issues, stress and going back to work caused my supply to dwindle each day. It got to be too much for me to hook myself to a pump for half an hour to only get 1oz. I was at my wits end. It was causing me anxiety and stress and taking me away from spending time with my son. I made the decision to just stop. Since we were only pumping and not nursing it was a lot easier to just quit. My milk supply was so low that I was able to stop cold turkey. We returned the hospital grade Medela Symphony we had rented and that was the end of that. I felt a lot of guilt with quitting but I also felt immense relief. It was one less thing I had to stress about and it was one thing that I could control. Having control over that and choosing to quit made me feel like I had some control back in my chaotic little life. I needed that.

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I have found it harder and harder to be away from my little guy. I thought that each day and each week it would get a bit easier but it’s not. My mother watches him during the week which is more of a blessing than she realizes. It is so comforting to know that he is well taken care of and is being given the attention that he needs. Plus she sends me pictures and videos throughout the day which helps me and comforts me!

 


Last Saturday we took him to meet Santa! I was so glad that he didn’t cry or scream. Honestly he had no idea what was going on. He is very good about letting strangers hold him. I attribute that to letting him be around people and the public since he was 3 days old. Everyone loved his little reindeer suit and he got a lot of compliments!

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We took some pictures on Thanksgiving with both sides of our family! It was so wonderful to get everyone together and Caleb was finally able to meet his Uncle Rob! On Black Friday we went to a popular local farm and cut down our Christmas tree! This was a tradition we started two years ago when we bought our house. It was so special to be able to take Caleb to cut down his first Christmas tree!

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I think that’s all the updates for now! I promise I will try and update more often! We wish everyone a happy, safe and blessed holiday season!

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FET#1 Update – CD8 Estrace Time

So I made it through 5 days of letrozole (Femara) and overall I didn’t have too many side effects…as compared to the other fertility meds I have taken. The first two days I had a lot of energy and was very productive. At points I felt euphoric. Then I started to become dizzy almost consistently. My motion sickness was heightened as every time I got in a car I was incredibly sick to my stomach.

 The last two side effects are consistent with how I felt on Gonal-F which is FSH (Follice Stimulating Hormone) so that makes sense. For those who don’t know, letrozole makes my brain think I am not producing enough estrogen so it sends more and more FSH to fix it. So basically my body is producing the hormone instead of pumping me with synthetic hormones. I like the fact that this is a more natural way of doing this, but I am scared that my body won’t do its job. 

Today, CD8, I started taking 2mg Estrace (estrogen). Let me tell you how not excited I am to be back on estrogen. Luckily this time it’s on 2 pills a day orally instead of 5 pills twice a day vaginally, but still…estrogen makes me crazy. And my body absorbs it into my blood pretty proficiently. Last time my blood level E2 was well over 3000…which once I hit the 2500 mark I lose my mind. Not. Kidding. I cried hysterically for 2 hours because I was convinced my husband was mad at me because I wasn’t wearing pants. Spoiler Alert: He wasn’t mad and didn’t care that I wasn’t wearing pants. So hopefully this time my body will cooperate and since I am on a lower dose I won’t board the train to crazy town. 

It is hard to believe that this Thursday, CD12, we will know if my body reacted the way we needed it to and if we will indeed be able to transfer our snow babies next week. This week is going to feel so long. But we have waited for months and months, what is another 4 days, right?

  

FET#1 Update – CD3 Baseline

It has been 121 days since we started this transfer cycle. That is crazy! Well hopefully we won’t have to wait too much longer. I took my NuvaRing out on the 22nd and Aunt Flo arrived on the 27th. I emailed my nurse on the 28th to book my CD3 baseline ultrasound, only to find out my nurse has left the practice! Cue tears! She was my rock! She knew me and my case so well and was so caring and kind. I was quite upset when I found out she left but the new nurse seems to be very nice and is genuinely caring. Luckily my old nurse briefed my new nurse specifically on my case since it is a bit strange. I really appreciated that!

Anyways, we went in yesterday, CD3, for our baseline ultrasound. There were no cysts (thank God!) and everything looked great! I got a call from my doctor on my way home saying everything was great and we were all set to move forward with the letrozole. She wanted to confirm that since we didn’t do a trial of this protocol, that if everything looked good we could go ahead and transfer. Heck yes! Let’s get those snow babies back where they belong! So I started the letrozole last night. Here is the plan:

  • I am to take two 2.5mg pills a day for 5 days which will put us at CD7.
  • On CD8 I am to start 2mg Estrace (orally) until transfer.
  • We go back on the 7th (CD12) to check my lining and we PRAY that it is above 8mm and is trilaminar.
  • If everything looks good on CD12 they will instruct me when to take my HCG shot and they said it will be in the morning this time
  • After the HCG shot, I will start Crinone 1x day until 10 weeks gestation
  • Transfer should be on the 13th!

That’s all for now folks! I am just kind of laying low after the holidays, trying to get the house back in order and get back into the routine of things. I will post about any side effects from the letrozole. Especially since this is an unusual protocol for an FET!

 

 

 

 

FET#1 – Day 100

It has been 100 days since we started this FET cycle. That is CRAZY! That is almost 1/3 of the year that we have been trying to be reunited with our snowbabies. When we did IVF#2 and froze our two blastocysts, I expected to be apart from them for a month…two at the latest…not 100 days! And we are still at least a month out from transfer.

Time is still flying by…mostly. Sometimes it seems like each minute lasts an hour and then other times I blink and I have jumped ahead two days in the future. It helps that we have had a busy few weeks, even though the busyness hasn’t been due to good things. The Saturday after Thanksgiving we went to a local farm and cut down our Christmas tree. This is a tradition we are starting and it was our 2nd Annual trip. When we got home, we decorated the tree and a friend and I went to a craft store to buy items to make a wreath. While we were there I got a text from my mom telling me that one of my dad’s ferrets was going to the emergency animal hospital. He has two ferrets: Rocky and Buffy. They are his babies. He loves them and spoils them like crazy. Long story short…Buffy went into the animal hospital on Saturday and passed away on Tuesday. My dad is heartbroken. If you know anything about ferrets, they are very social and they bond to one another. When one ferret in a bonded pair dies, it is common for the other one to die within a month unless they bond with another ferret. So, I spent most of my day of Tuesday calling everywhere I could within a 200 mile radius to try and find another ferret for Rocky. Well, by a chance of fate, I was able to find Buffy’s littermate’s daughter! So we roadtripped to Columbus (a 4.5 hour drive each way) to go pick her up last Thursday. Rocky seems to be doing better and isn’t as depressed and mopey and Willow (the new ferret) is enjoying her new home.

Not our ferrets. Our ferrets will not stay still long enough to take a picture this cute. But this is what they look like.

After that fiasco was dealt with, I woke up the next morning with a fever and have been battling an upper respiratory virus ever since. Tis the season! In addition, we found mold on our basement ceiling the other night so we are having that looked at today and there was a brief moment of chaos when the cats attacked and knocked over the 100+lb Christmas tree at 5am! Oh! Did I mention the check engine light on the new SUV came on yesterday? And the deep freezer stopped working so we lost all our pre-prepared casseroles and crockpot meals. Luckily we were down to the last few in there so we didn’t lose much.

All of the craziness has made the time go by faster so that is good. I have been preoccupied with putting out fires that I haven’t had too much time to dwell on the wait. I replaced my NuvaRing on Monday so that made me feel another step closer to our transfer. 13 more days until I take it out for good and then wait for Aunt Flo. Then once she starts, it will only be 19 days until we are reunited with our snowbabies. We are getting so close! By the time we do our transfer, it will have been 5 months since we started this FET!

FET#1 Update – Transfer on hold for the Holidays

I know it’s been a week since I last posted and I kind of left everyone hanging. It has been a very hectic week and I am still getting over this sickness so every spare minute has been spent sleeping and trying to recuperate.

So as we know, last Tuesday (3rd) I went in for an ultrasound to see where Aunt Flo was and they found a 5 cm cysts on my right ovary. They brought me back in later that day for blood work because apparently I had ovulated. They didn’t call me the next day, but I did see my progesterone lab posted online. It was 9.2 ng which means that I definitely ovulated (which is still just insane to me). The nurse didn’t call until late Thursday afternoon. They confirmed that I ovulated and said that my beta was negative. She said that I should start my period soon but if I don’t start in 7 days to call back and they would put me back on Provera. Well, within a few hours of hanging up with the nurse, I start spotting. I spotted all weekend and Aunt Flo has officially arrived in full force as of today. I forgot how painful cramps can be. Especially when I haven’t had a period in 3 months.

I just talked to the nurse again this morning and I will put in my NuvaRing on Friday so we won’t be playing “chase Aunt Flo” again. But timing is really tricky and we had to spend some time figuring everything out on the calendar. We are aiming for a transfer the second full week of January which is the 11th – 16th. Since I am on a Letrozole prep that means that my CD19 needs to fall within that week. We also need to have a CD3 (could be scanned between CD2 – CD5, but CD3 is ideal) and CD12 ultrasound when the doctor’s office is open. They are closed on Sundays, Christmas Eve, Christmas, half day New Years Eve and closed New Years Day…are you starting to see my dilemma? It is more confusing than a normal FET because of using Letrozole instead of hormone replacement therapy. So basically, we have to time everything as close as we can, and pick a day for me to take my NuvaRing out. Here is what I came up with and emailed the nurse. I think our safest bet is to take out NuvaRing on Dec 21st:

If I take out the ring on Monday 21st  here is when I would start my period:

  • If I start on the 24th
    • Ultrasound on CD3 (Sat 26th) or CD5 (Mon 28th)
    • Letrozole CD3 (Sat 26th)  – CD 7 (Wed 30th)
    • Begin Estrace CD8 (Thurs 31st)
    • Ultrasound on CD12 (Mon 4th)
    • Trigger with HCG on CD12 (Mon 4th)
    • Ovulate on CD14 (Wed 6th)
    • Begin Crinone 1x daily CD14 (Wed 6th)
    • Transfer on CD19 (Mon 11th)
  • If I start on the 25th – Scans would fall on:
    • Ultrasound on CD2 (Sat 26th) or CD4 (Mon 28th)
    • Letrozole CD3 (Sun 27th)  – CD 7 (Thurs 31st)
    • Begin Estrace CD8 (Fri 1st)
    • Ultrasound on CD12 (Tues 5th)
    • Trigger with HCG on CD12 (Tues 5th)
    • Ovulate on CD14 (Thurs 7th)
    • Begin Crinone 1x daily CD14 (Thurs 7th)
    • Transfer on CD19 (Tues 12th)
  • If I start on the 26th
    • Ultrasound on CD3 (Mon 28th)
    • Letrozole CD3 (Mon 28th) – CD7 (Fri 1st)
    • Begin Estrace CD8 (Sat 2nd)
    • Ultrasound on CD12 (Wed 6th)
    • Trigger with HCG on CD12 (Wed 6th)
    • Ovulate on CD14 (Fri 8th)
    • Begin Crinone 1x daily CD14 (Fri 8th)
    • Transfer on CD19 (Wed 13th) 
  • If I start on the 27th
    • Ultrasound on CD3 (Tues 29th)
    • Letrozole CD3 (Tues 29th) – CD7 (Sat 2nd)
    • Begin Estrace CD8 (Sun 3rd)
    • Ultrasound on CD12 (Thurs 7th)
    • Trigger with HCG on CD12 (Thurs 7th)
    • Ovulate on CD14 (Sat 9th)
    • Begin Crinone 1x daily CD14 (Sat 9th)
    • Transfer on CD19 (Thurs 14th)

This will give us some flexibility since it takes me between 4-6 days after taking NuvaRing out to start my period. Plus it gives flexibility if I am not ready to trigger on CD12 and need a few more days. If all of that confused you, you are not alone. It is no joke trying to plan something that is pretty much “unplannable” especially around the holidays and office closings. But that is where it stands at the moment. For now, I am going to enjoy my hot baths and my wine. I am going to enjoy the holiday season and Dec 21st will be here before I know it!

FET#1 Update – Ummm….What?!

So, the doctor called…

Apparently…I ovulated! This girl with PCOS ovulated…at the most inconvenient time ever! The 5 weeks of estrogen caused me to develop a follicle and ovulate while I was on Provera, hence why it didn’t work! The 5 cm “cyst” we saw this morning is actually the corpus luteum which forms after ovulation and produces hormones in order to sustain a pregnancy until the placenta can be formed. So what does all this mean? It means I had to trek myself back downtown for blood work (what I was trying to avoid) to have a beta to see if I’m pregnant (um…what?!) and check my progesterone levels.

Stranger things have happened…but…

When we get the results back tomorrow, which I am assuming are negative, we will start me back on Provera again and this time it should work! At the moment, that is all I (kind of) know for certain.

FET#1 Update – 62 Days and Counting…

Still no Aunt Flo…

It’s like the universe is playing a cruel joke on me. The one time I want her to come, I beg her to come, she is elusive. I keep having cramps, sometimes to the point I am convinced I have started, only to go check and alas…nothing. I talked to the nurse on Thursday. I am scheduled for an ultrasound tomorrow (Tuesday) to see what’s going on. She assured me that I will have a period at some point. The issue is the holidays are coming up. The cut-off for a regular FET cycle is November 4th. Since we are doing a letrozole prep we have a bit more time, but not much. The lab closes down over the holidays for a deep clean. The last day they can do a transfer is December 9th. So basically, Aunt Flo better show up soon or we will have to wait until January to do the transfer…

The thought of waiting until January makes me very sad. I want to be reunited with our snowbabies so badly. I do understand about the lab closing over the holidays…but quite frankly…it sucks. I have thought about some perks to it though. Christmastime is my favorite time of year and it would be nice to have a bit of a break from all the infertility stuff over the holidays. Where I am not concerned with what cycle day it is, or symptom spotting. And, playing devil’s advocate here, say we did transfer December 9th…that means our beta would be right before Christmas. It could mean an awesome Christmas or a very, very sad Christmas. If the babies don’t stick, would that put a damper on all Christmases from here on out? Would I remember every Christmas as the time that we lost our babies…again? I don’t know if I want to deal with that. I am trying to remain positive and thinking it could be the best Christmas gift ever! But what if it isn’t? That tiny voice in the back of my mind keeps saying…what if?

Yes, I listened to Christmas songs on the way to work this morning. Yes, I am that person…

Another perk of waiting until January to transfer would be that I could drink over the holidays. That would be nice! I could focus on myself and maybe shedding a few more pounds before transfer. I am basically talking out loud. I am coming up with all the reasons that it would be good to wait until January because, if history is any indication, nothing goes the way I want it to so why would it change now? I go from feeling dejected about the whole situation to trying to look at the positive. It is so frustrating. We have been on this IVF journey for 6 months. I know many women who have been on it for much longer, but still, 6 months is a long time. Especially when every moment of every day is symptom spotting, injecting medications, cycle day counting, booking appointments, ultrasounds, needle sticks…you get the idea…

So anyway, think of us tomorrow at our ultrasound. Hopefully we won’t get bad news. I don’t really know what to expect. At this point I feel a little lost. A little down. A little frustrated. But, c’est la vie. I will pick myself up and keep trucking along.