Thursday, April 24, 2014

Our journey to have child #2, continued…..

I posted about our journey trying to have a second child here in April last year. I just knew after publicly posting that, that we would get pregnant.

We didn't.

We had another HSG done (procedure that clears out the Fallopian tubes). That jump started our previous pregnancy, so I just knew it would jump start this one.

It didn't.

My doctor put me on clomid. I just knew that would be the trick to get us pregnant.

It wasn't.

So my doctor doubled my prescription. That would definitely be what was needed. I just knew we were going to be pregnant.

We weren't.

So finally, in November 2013, my doctor & I both agreed that he had done everything he could do, and it was time to see a fertility specialist. He referred us to 2 fertility specialists in Birmingham. Both had over month long waits for an appointment. It was so disappointing. We’d have to wait a month to even see a doctor, go through tests, wait for my cycle start and then start with their suggestions. We could be looking at February 2014 before we could even start. But then one of the clinics called & had a cancellation for the next day, if we could make it. Um, yes, we can. So we were able to meet with them mid-November. We used the ART Fertility Clinic at Brookwood Medical, and I just cannot say enough wonderful things about this clinic, the staff, the nurses and doctors. Absolutely amazing throughout the entire process. We had tests done, blood work drawn, and met with the doctor. He agreed that on the outside, everything seems perfect for us to get pregnant. My cycles are very regular, I seem to ovulate every month, around the correct time. We've gotten pregnant 3 other times, something is working. It is probably due to the ectopic pregnancy that just has the inside off. We come up with a plan. We will try an IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) a few times, if that doesn't work, then they will go in with surgery, to take a closer look and our last option would be IVF. My cycle was scheduled to start the last week of November, so we would start the IUI process in December.

Here is the part that if you are my dad, or just not interested in fertility talk, stop reading & skip down to the next paragraph. But this was our journey with IUI.   

After my cycle started, I took an injection in my stomach everyday. I realized very early on that I could not give myself shots, so Robbie had to give them to me daily. The belly shots were not bad. The needle was not too long and it basically just felt like a pinch. The more nerve-wrecking part was just making sure we got the correct dosage of medicine and didn't waste any or give too much (the medicine isn't cheap!).  I had to take these shots until my follicles on my right side got to a certain size (November 27-December 3). (My left tube is the damaged tube, so it’s been voted least likely to succeed.)  Of course the left side follicles grew faster than the right side, so I had to go in daily for ultrasounds until the right side grew large enough. Finally, once the right side made it, I had a take the big shot in the bum (December 4). That one, did hurt. Thankfully, we only had to do that one once. The next 3 days were our best chance. A few days later (December 12) I went in to see if I ovulated. It looked like I had, so YEAH, we are one step closer. Then a week later, they did blood work to see if there was a pregnancy or not.

Start reading again here.

They would call me later that afternoon with the news. Now, I've been told I wasn't pregnant, because I got my cycle. I've been told I wasn't pregnant from a pregnancy test. But I’d never been told by a human being that I wasn't pregnant, so I was nervous about that. The nurse called that afternoon and said the words we have waited a year to hear “Congratulations, you are pregnant”. So many mixed emotions. Tears of happiness, but so many worries of fears. We’d been in this boat before, and didn't get a happy ending. I know that the joy of finding out you are pregnant, you can be robbed of it at any moment. And it hurts so badly when it is taken away. But I thank God, and give Him all the glory.

"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.  And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love." Romans 5:3-5  

So, Step 1: Getting pregnant, was complete. Now on to Step 2: Stay pregnant, was about to begin.

First 20 Weeks

I started taking progesterone pills immediately after trying to conceive. On December 31, we had our first ultrasound (post baby conception) at 5 weeks. They warned us that we probably would not see the baby, but should be able to see the sac and confirm that it was in the correct location. It was! “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.” 1 Samuel 1:27

5 weeks

(Hence, this is why we did absolutely nothing for New Year’s Eve this year. It was New Year’s Eve a year ago, that we had an ultrasound and they couldn't see the baby. Later that night, the miscarriage started. And 2 years before that, we miscarried the week after New Year’s. So New Year’s Eve is a touchy time for me.)

On January 9, we went in for our 6 week ultrasound. We could actually see the baby (which basically just looked like a lima bean). “For You formed my inward parts: You covered me in my mother’s womb.” Psalms 139:13

6 weeks

On January 16, we went in for our 7 week ultrasound. Again, the baby looks good! I can’t believe it, 3 great ultrasounds of a baby in a row. We never even had that many with Jake (which we were not getting them weekly, but still). Could this pregnancy be our worry free pregnancy? Of course not. Later that day they called to tell me that the blood work (that I was still having drawn weekly) came back and my progesterone levels had dropped. Robbie was out of town in CA on business, and I didn't want to worry him. They decided to double my dosage of the progesterone pills in hopes of getting that number back up. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

7 weeks

On January 23, we went in for our 8 week ultrasound. I prepared myself that the news might not be good. I would be disappointed, but at least we made it further this pregnancy than the last 2. So there was hope. Then on the ultrasound screen, we saw the baby move for the first time. A flood of emotions just wash over me.  I cried over so many negative pregnancy tests for 2 years. I cried in the past over seeing a baby on the ultrasound that we knew would not survive. I cried in the past over not being able to see the baby in the ultrasound. So to see this baby that we had prayed for, begged for, cried for, to see it moving on the screen was completely emotional. I give all of the glory, honor and praise to our Lord. “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.” Psalms 139:14

8 weeks

We missed our 9 week appointment due to the snowstorm.

On February 4, we went in for our 10 week ultrasound. If we got a good report, then they would release me back into the care of my regular doctor. Everything looked great! “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.” Psalm 28:7

10 weeks

On February 18, I got to meet with my regular doctor for our 12 week appointment. As soon as he walked into the room, we just hugged for the longest time. (I have the most wonderful, awesome doctor, that I absolutely adore.) He had been by my side during this whole journey over the last 2 years. He listened to my questions, hugged me when I cried, put up with all my charts and tracking and is just an absolutely amazing doctor. He knew the hurt we had gone through, he & his wife had faced similar problems, so it was just a wonderful time to get to actually celebrate good news! “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trails of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4

12 weeks

 Due to our prior complications and evidently my extremely old age of 35 to carry a child, we had some additional blood work done at our 12 week appointment. This was going to tell us some stuff that we would normally not find out until our 20 week ultrasound.

On March 4, (I was 14 weeks) I had just dropped Jake off at school & was heading back home. My phone rang & I figured it was my mom calling me to tell me how my sister’s doctor’s appointment went, as she was scheduled to have Gaines that Friday. I picked up my phone and saw it wasn't my mom. It was the doctor’s office. Oh my. They were calling to most importantly tell us, that all of the blood work had come back normal. Everything pointed to a healthy growing baby. They also let me know that they knew the gender of the baby. Did I want to know?

Um, yes. I am a planner and I do not like surprises.

I almost ran off the road I was so excited. And that is when she told me that we were having a little girl. The call was ending about the time I pulled in our driveway. I thanked the nurse and then just sat there in our driveway. I couldn't believe it; we were having a little girl. (I’ll do a separate post on how I told Robbie & the grandparents. This post is already way too long & I have 6 more weeks to write about!)

On March 19, I had my 16 week appointment. No ultrasound, but I got to hear the baby’s heartbeat. I do not know why, but for some reason, that made me extremely emotional. To hear that little heartbeat beating inside me. It is one of the most beautiful sounds I had ever heard. “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

On April 8, we had our 19 week appointment. During this ultrasound, they confirmed that it was a little girl. Everything looks normal and healthy. We already knew that it was a little girl, so of course she cooperated perfectly and they confirmed it even more so. (Unlike her brother who never cooperated during ultrasounds!) But we were most pleased just to hear everything was normal and healthy. We took Jake to the appointment and he was really into it. (Jake loves anything associated with a doctor, hospital or medical equipment, as long as he is not the patient.) He was able to see the baby and even recognized the foot without us pointing it out. While they were doing the ultrasound, a baby cried in the hallway. Which Jake thought was the baby in my stomach crying. But there on the screen was our little baby girl. The 4th member of our family. “O LORD, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; For You have worked wonders, Plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.” Isaiah 25:1

19 weeks

So this closes out the first half of this pregnancy. The hardest part of this pregnancy has been not freaking myself out.  I thought after I was 12 weeks, that fear of losing the baby would go away, but it didn't. I worry every single day about the baby. I’m starting to feel her move, which is so comforting and my favorite thing about pregnancy. Her movements are soft and little and I have to be either sitting or lying just right to feel them. But I love them and they reassure me.

There is not a day that goes by, that I take this pregnancy for granted. My doctor laughs that he has never had a patient that was so thankful for every annoying pregnancy symptom. Now, don’t get me wrong, being pregnant is still not my favorite thing and I will be so glad when she is out (in 20 more weeks). But having a baby grow inside me, that is a pretty wonderful thing and something I am grateful for every day and I don’t take for granted. And I still pray every day for those that are trying to conceive. I only had a touch of the heartbreak they go though, and I know how much just that little bit impacted me and how bad it hurt.

So there you have it. I’ll probably update more often as the pregnancy moves along these last 20 weeks. We are very excited here, including Jake. I’ll write more later of his thoughts on the pregnancy and his name for the baby girl, who for now, we just call baby sister. We love her so much already and just cannot wait to meet her in another 20 weeks.  

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Jake's Play of the Year

I always swore I would not be one of those moms that bragged on how my kid always hits home runs and catches every fly ball. Then I saw Jake play baseball & realized that wouldn't be a problem. But I have to give Jake credit. He tries hard, he practices, he has a great attitude, all his teammates, coaches & other parents really seem to like him. They know how hard he is trying and how much he has improved over the last 2 months. And he is having a great time. He is kind of like the Rudy of the team. And I have to remind myself, he is 5. He's learning. There are no scouts at the game, no scholarships on the line. It's just a bunch of 5 & 6 year old learning how to play the game. And I know this story will not be interesting to anyone other than Jake's grandparents, but since this is the only place I record things, I wanted to make sure I wrote this one down.

The setup: Because of Jake's improvements, he's gotten to move up in the batting order and this was his first game to be moved from outfield to 2nd base. Jake & Robbie have been working hard on what Jake should do if the ball comes to him. The team we were playing, we had never beat. We had been ahead the whole game, and it was coming down to the last inning. (Their games only last 90 minutes, so we usually only get in 3 innings. Yes, it moves that slow.) The other team was up to bat first in the last inning. They had gotten a few good hits and scored some runs, and were now ahead. They were down to the bottom of their lineup up to bat. (Every kid gets to bat every inning. Yes, it drags on that slowly:). A kid up to bat hits the ball into the outfield. It wasn't Jake's ball to get, so he just stood there. The little boy in the outfield, picks up the ball & throws it to the infield. Jake is just standing there, so it hits him right in the back. Jake's teammate did what he was supposed to do, he threw the ball into the infield, Jake was just not paying attention to the ball, he was watching the runner. Once the play was called dead, the coaches went out to check on Jake. Robbie is one of the coaches, so I knew there was no point in me going out there. But I could see Jake's face. His little lip was quivering and I could see tears rolling down his cheeks, but he was trying so hard to hold in the cry. You could tell he was fighting it back, which of course broke this mother's heart. I wanted so bad to run out there, pick him up & hug him, but I knew that would just cause him to cry. He held it together & was so brave and managed not to cry. I wanted to cry for him. We got through the inning and then it was our team's turn to bat to close out the game. I could tell in the dug out, getting his helmet & bat, Jake was still trying not to cry. My heart just broke for him.

Up to bat: Several of our best hitters get hits and we score a few runs. The score is tied 7-7. We have our fastest runner on 3rd base and another runner on 2nd base. There is 1 out. Now it is Jake's turn up to bat. If he can knock in our 3rd base runner, we will win the game (and everyone gets to go home on this already late school night!). Now I pray for lots of big stuff, important things and some not so major. But I'm not going to lie, I was praying for Jake to get a hit at this moment. I knew he was still upset and I just didn't want him to strike out. The team really needed for him to get a hit, as the rest of our batters tend to strike out. I thought my heart was going to jump out of my throat, and I now realize that I will have to be medicated if Jake continues to play sports and does so at a higher level. Robbie feeds the balls into the pitching machine, so he feeds a ball to Jake. JAKE MAKES CONTACT!!!! He hits the ball pretty solid and knocks in not 1 but both runners! Our whole stands (which is just the kids' parents & grandparents) jump up & are cheering. Everyone is celebrating. (Which I know is pretty silly to get that excited at a bunch of 5 & 6 year olds, but when it's your child's team, all dignity is lost. And you jump up & down cheering.) (Then again, they might have been jumping up & down cheering, because we could all go home now!) But I was so incredibility proud of Jake. It's one thing to feel proud when you accomplish something, but when your child does, it is one thousand times sweeter. My pregnant emotional heart was just beaming with pride.

Jake's thoughts on hitting in the game winning run: He could care less. He happily skipped off to shake the other team's hands. He would have skipped off had he struck out & lost the game. It wasn't until all of his teammates & other parents were congratulating him that he realized he must have done something good. I figure, at least he is humble (and slightly clueless). After we got home, we were talking about the game. Of course all he wanted to talk about was how his teammate hit him with the ball (we had to break it to him, that it was Jake's fault, because he wasn't paying attention). And it's the first thing he told his teacher when we got to school.

Moral of the story: Sometimes you are going to make the game winning hit to win the game. It's exciting, it's fun, life is great. But sometimes, no matter how hard you try, how much you worked, you don't win the game.  You strike out. And that's hard. It's disappointing.But that's how life it. It is full of both types of situations. I want Jake to learn to use the disappointing times to push him to try harder, to learn more, to make him humble and most importantly, to truly appreciate those times when you do win. It makes them all the sweeter.

And to pay attention, because you never know when you'll be hit in the back with a ball.  

Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Easter

I was going back looking at my old Easter posts (to make sure we didn't duplicate any outfits!) and I realized that we do almost the same thing and I take the same pictures every year! I love it though, because it's easy to see how Jake & our family has changed through the years. 

We kicked off the Easter celebration with Jake's Easter Party at school on Thursday.

3 buddies - Jake, Miller & Graham

Mrs. Mandy's 4/5K class

You know you are a masterful egg hunter,
when you can do it with your bunny ears over your eyes.

Easter egg hunt #1
After school (and a wardrobe change due the dirt all over someones pants), we headed to the mall to see the Easter Bunny. 

Taking Jake to the mall, has always been one of my favorite little activities to do with him. Used to, he wanted to ride the train, the carousal and look at the toy store. Now, he likes to visit the Lego store & get a cookie from the Cookie Company. This child loves some Legos. We spent 45 minutes in the store, and he would have happily stayed another 45 minutes if I would have let him. 
Enjoying his sugar cookie with sprinkles
 Friday, we made some treats to take to Nana & Gran's and Mimi & Granddad's. 

Rice Krispy treats with M&M eggs 
On Saturday, we headed down to Prattville to spend the day with my family. We spent the morning at their church's Easter Festival.
Jake, Marrell & Maddox

Nana & Gran & their oldest 3 grandchildren
We missed you Woody & Gaines!!
Easter egg hunt #2
(If you count a bunch of eggs laying on top of the lawn a hunt)

Racing Marrell at the egg race

Sweet Marrell feeding the animals at the petting zoo

Best friends
We spent the afternoon at my parent's house. We invited my cousin & her children over for an Easter Egg Hunt with over 140 eggs.

Easter egg hunt #3

Jake, Marrell, Isabella, Maddox & Jackson
Can we say someone was exhausted?
 Easter Morning!!

We went to church with the Bush's Sunday morning.

Our little family

Next Easter, we'll be a family of 4!

Jake with Mimi & Granddad

And because I love a flashback....
Easter Bunny Visits Through the Years

Easter Mornings Through the Years

Maddox, Marrell & Jake

Marrell & Jake

Happy 6th Anniversary

On Saturday, was mine & Robbie's 6th wedding anniversary. Sometimes, we've gone out of town for our anniversary (like Savannah or Chicago). Sometimes we just go out for a nice dinner. This year, we knew it falling on Easter weekend and me being 20 weeks pregnant, we'd just have a low key celebration. We spent the day with family, came home, watched some Dateline & House Hunters and fell asleep on the couch together. Our most exciting anniversary celebration? Probably not. But one that was wonderfully perfect? Absolutely.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Big Announcement...

In September 2011, we made the big announcement that we had bought a house.

In February 2013, we made the announcement that our household was growing by 2. (Not with 2 babies, but with 2 parents temporarily moving in with us!)

But now, we can finally make the announcement that we've been waiting over 2 years to get to tell...

I'll be back the next few days, for the extremely long version on our journey to have a second child. I'm currently 20 weeks today (halfway through the pregnancy!!), feeling good, and we have a healthy growing little girl inside me. She is due to make her arrival around September 1st.

"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." Mark 11:24

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


This is Jake's first year to play baseball. He played soccer last year. He liked it, but didn't love it and Rob & I were not crazy about the YMCA soccer league. So this year we tried baseball through the Pelham City League. Much better! Robbie grew up playing baseball, so it's been a lot more fun for him helping Jake as well. Jake is on the 5 & 6 year old team. Which makes him one of the youngest and one of the only ones that is not in school yet. Most of the other kids played the previous year, so we knew that this year would be a learning curve for Jake. We just wanted him to learn the fundamentals, try his hardest and have a good time.

Practice: The team spent the month of March practicing 3 days week. Practice was rough. Jake loved it and had a great time, but it was painful for Rob & I to watch. Jake had so much to learn! Batting especially. The city league is machine pitch (not t-ball or coach pitch), so we were not prepared for that. I'm not kidding. Out of 30 pitches, Jake would strike out 30 times. There was so much to remember! And his timing was completely off. During a game, he would only get 3 strikes, so my goal for the season was that he just make contact with the ball at least once. I didn't care if it was foul or he got out. I just wanted him to make contact with the bat & ball once. I give Jake & Rob credit. They practiced so much!

First Game: The first game was Thursday night. Jake's first up to bat, he made contact with the ball! It unfortunately didn't make it out of the batter's box, so it didn't count, but he made contact!  His second up to bat, he actually made contact and got the ball out of the batter's box. We've been working so hard on batting, we didn't cover what to do if he actually got on base! Jake ran to second, but then kept running past the base. Then he just stood there, so they tagged him out. His third time up to bat, he struck out. But we were so proud of him! 

Second Game: The second game was Saturday morning. First up to bat, he stuck out. Second up to bat, he hit the ball, ran to first base & actually stopped. YEAH! Of course, then I worried because we had not covered too much on what to do past first base. The next batter hit the ball and Jake made it to second base. Then the next batter hit the ball & Jake made it to third. There was an in-field error (which is basically the only way anyone ever scores!) and they had Jake keeping running on home. He scored a run!! It was everything I could do not to run onto the field & hug him! I was so proud of him. He has come such a long way from practice. 

Jake's Thoughts: So far, Jake loves baseball. It doesn't bother him that he is not the best player on the team. Sometimes he does have to be reminded that it's not social hour, but he seems to like learning how to play baseball. And it's something fun that he & Robbie can do together. (Robbie ended up becoming one of the assistant coaches for the team. He runs the pitching machine when our team is up to bat.) Even if he strikes out, Jake skips off giving everyone high fives. 
My little baseball player

Jake & Daddy

Very first time up to bat
Playing out in left field

He made it to first base!

Second base!
I was too excited to get a picture of him at third base or scoring. So very proud of him! And this was his team's first win! Go Pelham Pirates!!

Jake was so sweet. That night, when saying his prayers, he thanked God that his Daddy helped him learn baseball. Such a sweet little prayer!

(And just keeping it real, don't think Jake is always so sweet. Before I could post this sweet prayer of his, he got mad at me for telling him no for something. He was crying & throwing a fit and told me that was the ugliest thing I could say and I was an ugly mean friend. And God was not happy with me. Life with a 5 year old! They love you to death one minute and are yelling at you the next.)