God writes our story.
I am still learning to surrender the pen.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

My Heart Breaks

This post title has been in my drafts for awhile now... I keep wanting to write about it... but every time I try I wind up closing out and not being able to.
But here goes... commence vent.

Infertility is SO dammed unfair.
Nothing is guaranteed and you always feel like you're standing on rocky ground and about to crumble. I've met so many amazing women in our journeys to TTC and just get so mad and discouraged for them when they receive bad news. I've been there, done that.

(I hope you don't mind if I mention your story...)

I had a blog friend who after her first IVF and had two perfect blastocysts implanted POAS and get a BFP. When I read about her BFP I nodded in agreement. Her IVF could not of gone more perfectly, and she had far better embryos than we did of course she would fall pregnant. I was so happy for her. You can imagine how my heart broke for her as she updated that her beta numbers were not rising as they should, and the doctors told her she would indeed miscarry. It is a waiting game for her now. I had to close her blog and run to my husband and sob and sob and sob for her. How unfair! She deserves those babies! How could this happen?!

Another social media friend of mine was getting ready to do her first IVF in January (and at the same place we went to!). I was so excited for her as she started to prepare with the tests and began a countdown til IVF time! Just recently she was told she wouldn't conceive using her own eggs and that she would need an egg donor. What bull crap!!! ONE test and they're already ready to give up on her? That is ridiculous. I've tried to encourage her to keep fighting and get a second opinion and not to give up... but why couldn't her doctor do that for her as well?! I recommended her to mine. I told her my doctor would not give up on her and neither will I.

A cousin of mine went through IVF and got her BFP. She went to her ultrasound and watched the little heartbeat. However a few weeks later when her FIL was killed at work and she was greeting family at his wake, she had a huge gush of blood. She was rushed to the hospital and found out she was miscarrying.

I could go on and on with the stories.

I wish there was something I could do.

My heart hurts for these women so, so badly... and I know there's nothing I can do for them but pray. Every day. And so I do.

Everyday I pray for God to bless another women struggling to conceive  That she is given a miracle baby, and they are able to bless each other throughout their whole lives together. I hope every single person that reads this post decides to pray along with me. It just takes 10 seconds each day, and you could be bringing a miracle into the hearts and bellies of mothers all around.

Walter and I struggle when we talk about trying for #2 (yes, even though I'm pregnant we talk about #2. I know I want more, and if it's going to take another 4 years for one we better get going!). I feel like we have been so blessed already, we may just be pushing our luck to try IVF again... so where do we go from here? Embryo adoption? Adoption?

Only God knows how each of our families will grow, but I know with faith, persistance, and a fighting attitude... our families will grow.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Bump Update: 18 Weeks


How far along? 18 weeks 

Size of baby: My little sweet potato or a pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream! YUM 

Milestones: Sully is 5.5 inches long and weighs 5 ounces. He is twisting, and rolling, and punching, and kicking me... and I can feel it! He's yawning and hiccuping as well. His ears are in the correct placement now, and he's listening to us (well, he hears us...lol). 

Total weight gain: I'm still 'under'. thebabycorner.com says I should be about 230, and I'm about 212 right now. My new doctor encouraged me to return with a little more weight, and I've lost more instead. But really, I'm not concerned yet. Hopefully when our anatomy scan appointment comes up I still won't have anything to worry about. :S 

Maternity clothes: Exclusively in maternity clothes (not counting the T-shirts and sweat pants I lounge in often).  

Unglamorous body changes: There are times I can literally feel my hips shifting out. Yowza! OUCH. Other than that just the ridiculously dry skin. Blah. 

Sleep: Sleep is still pretty hit-and-miss, but nothing too terrible to complain about. I wake up to toss and turn from hip pain and nightmares but I've been able to go back to sleep pretty well. 

Best moment this week: Walter felt our little man kick! Everytime I feel him wiggle and move I have Walter place his hand on my tummy... and get the sad headshake of 'no'. Just when that has come routine, while we were resting on the couch and watching TV after Thanksgiving, I felt a HUGE kick and saw Walter's face of shock and joy out of the corner of my eye! He had felt it too! We both about cried I think. :) ...and of course finally being pregnant at Thanksgiving was pretty cool! :)

Miss anything? I would give up ANYTHING for this baby and not miss it... but maybe walking without a hobble from hip pain? lol 

Movement: We definitely have a MOVER in there. We make jokes about him dancing, playing soccer, or giving money 'love taps' often. 

Food cravings: Blueberry muffins! I kept looking at them at the store and every time they just weren't 'right. So finally I bought a mix, made them at home, and ate them fresh out of the oven. Wow. I went back to buy three more mixes! 

Anything making you queasy/sick? Nothing specific anymore, but it definitely comes and goes before bedtime a lot. A couple of times lately I've had to throw up right before bed... and that sucks, lol. 

Gender: It's a BOY! Sullivan James Wallheimer 

Labor Signs: Still a ways to go! :) 

Symptoms: fatigue, dry/itchy skin, hip pain, dizziness, headaches, and nightmares... but I'm still LOVING every moment! 

Belly button in or out? In 

Wedding rings on or off? Off right now, due to dry skin

Happy or moody most of the time: Happy AND moody... tearful moody Walter says, not crabby moody lol 

Weekly wisdom: Be thankful. You never know who is looking at your story searching for HOPE in their own. I want to be a story of HOPE, and not doom and gloom. 

What stereotype I embody: I've definitely told Walter the 'excuse' of "...I'm growing a human" a couple of times now to make up my lack of doing dishes, etc. I never thought I'd be that woman, haha! 

What I bought this week: Little man's diaper bag! :) 

What I checked off my to-do list: I worked a lot on his baby blanket (my first crochet project!) and hope to have it done by Christmas! Is it silly I want to wrap it up and put it under the tree? 

Looking forward to: Finishing his baby blanket, getting all his clothes hung, and getting a mattress/bedding for the crib. 

Blueeeberrrryyyy muffins. So good! :)

Left photo: 3.5 weeks pregnant and 230lbs
Right photo: 17.5 weeks pregnant and 209lbs

Breaking the wishbone tradition! My sister won for the first time in three years, and I claim it's because I already got my wish this year (...and she had Wrenn's help!). :)

Anatomy of a pregnant woman at 18 weeks. WOW!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Infertility Blessings

Walter and I still in shock daily to be experiencing this dream of ours.

The moment either of us wake up, our hand fly to my belly to make sure the bump is growing and to say 'Good Morning!' to our little man.
At a store, I'm pulled to the baby section like a magnet and can't help but touch all the tiny things. It still feels like I'm dreaming and playing some sort of game of house.
At night Walter and I walk past the decorated nursery and sigh. It blows our minds to actually think of a sleeping baby in the crib.

We know his face and we know his name. Just today I've never felt more anxious to just hold him and rock him. This blessing of pregnancy we've been given, it's like nothing I've ever felt before.
It's not like a birthday or a wedding, where you can't wait for the day, and then have the after-party blues.
This blessing is forever. The moment I get sad that my pregnancy seems to be flying by, I get so giddy and excited because at the end of the blessing begins another... and we'll have our little Sullivan James in our arms and in our hearts until the end of forever.

Sometimes I just sit back and think of how our life will soon change forever. There will things we'll be doing less, things we'll be doing more, and things that will forever be done differently.

We can no more just run out of food in the fridge, shrug, and decide to 'go out'. We have a little mouth to feed, and just getting up and going will be a small feat for quite awhile.
Walter and I will no longer belong to just each other. Walter's attention will be demanding by a tiny little voice, and it will be rare to ever get to have him to myself again.
Nights of being lazy and reading and playing games will be replaced by nights of interrupted naps and feedings.
We'll both need to be less selfish, more patient, and tighter with our money.

These things still make me smile, and don't make me regret our journey on bit.

If Walter and I would have had a child when we first started trying, we would have missed so much.
We got time together. We went on trips together. We had lazy days and days of spending the day with each other. We learned how to communicate better. We're a better team.

This whole blog has been about our infertility journey, and it will continue to be as we begin to talk about baby #2 (and 3, or 4, or... lol) but I'm glad right now I can look back and say, "I see now. God definitely knew what He was doing, and I have been a fool not to see it. I am thankful for our infertility journey, and am thankful for Sullivan and all the angel babes we've been blessed with."

Now I just need to remember that for our next go-around ;)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bump Update: 17 Weeks


How far along? 17 weeks

Size of baby: Sullivan is the size onion... or a toilet paper roll, LOL!

Milestones: Sully's skeleton is turning from soft cartlidge to bone and the umbilical cord continues to grow stronger! (He was playing around with it so much on our last ultrasound, this momma worries a bit...)

Total weight gain/measurements: babycenter.com says I should be around +5lbs right now. I'm still down -16lbs. My new doctor said she would like to see me up at least 2-4 lbs by my next appointment at 18 weeks. But honestly, of all of my worries I'm not worried about it. I know Sully and I aren't starving! ;) LOL

Maternity clothes: Pretty exclusively into relaxed comfy clothes or maternity clothes. Much doesn't fit, but I'm learning to get creative! Unfortunately, being pregnant in the winter and in sweaters just looks like Thanksgiving came early! 

Unglamorous Body Changes: Still uncomfortably dry skin. Hip pain getting a little worse (can't wait til I can order that dang pillow!) and now add odd or terrifying dreams! Eek!

Sleep: Sleep is still very hit or miss. Depends on hip pain and/or nightmares.

Best moment this week: The best moment of this week was actually laughing from one of the worst moments. I was lying in bed trying to get comfortable, and sent Walter downstairs to get a body pillow we had. When he came back I was in tears my hips hurt so bad. He watched me fumble around with the huge body pillow between my legs and waited to cover me up. As I continued to readjust the pillow I watched his face turn from confusion to impatience, to sympathy and to frustration for me and it. was. hilarious! My tears soon turned to deep laughter! I then got comfortable... only to immediately sit up and in a panic tell Walter to get the trash can! As I threw up in the trash can I was thankful I couldn't see his face, lol. I tried to get downstairs and as I held the trash can Walter held my hair as I continued to stop and throw up from time to time. I heard Walter try not to yak himself, so I got to the bathroom quickly. Of course I was finished. But I did spend 11PM cleaning the trash can... oh goodness... we're still laughing about this 'pregnancy adventure'!

Miss anything? I would give up ANYthing for this baby and not miss it... although it was hard not to order my usual drink at The Melting Pot when we went out for my bestie's birthday. I ordered a non-alcoholic juice drink instead. 

Movement: Sully is moving more frequently, and I cannot wait until Daddy gets to feel his little soccer player! ...even though daddy played basketball :)

Food cravings: Cheese and fresh fruit (strawberries, pineapple, bananas)... and Arby's french dip sandwhiches! I've had one almost every day this week! *blush* Also been craving Mexican food and Ranch dressing.

Anything making you queasy or sick? Nothing specific anymore.

Gender: It's a BOY! Sullivan James Wallheimer

Labor signs: Still a long way to go! :)

Symptoms: fatigue, dry/itchy skin, dizziness, headaches, nightmares

Belly button in or out? In

Wedding rings on or off? On

Happy or moody most of the time: I'm thrilled!

Weekly Wisdom: Sometimes you just gotta step up and say, "Nope. That's not what I plan to do." and hope you don't offend anyone. Trying to find 'our way' in parenting already.

What stereotype I Embody: I've done a 360 since just a few months ago when dealing with infertility. Seeing a bump is now exciting and new, instead of something that makes me bitter and jealous. I love to watch moms and babies and dream. It's wonderful and I shed tears of joy over it often. It's nice to have a break from such awful feelings and have them replaced with such joy!

What I bought this week: My mom and I are continually buying little things for his room... diapers, new pillows, baby hangers, new outfits. I plan to post an update of the nursery soon!

What I checked off my to-do list: The house is starting to look really good, and now all of his clothes are washed are hanging up! My mom has been the best help! I also started a baby blanket for him! After having some practice, I'm ready to start my first project after learning to crochet!

Looking forward to: Walter feeling little guy move!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Bump Update: 16 Weeks


How far along? 16 weeks

Size of baby: Sullivan is the size avocado/turnip... or a blackberry phone!

Milestones: In the next two weeks he will double his weight! His heart is now pumping about 25 quarts of blood each day!

Total weight gain/measurements: babycenter.com says I should be around +5lbs right now. Luckily, I'm still down -14lbs. My new doctor said she would like to see me up at least 2-4 lbs by my next appointment at 18 weeks. But honestly, of all of my worries I'm not worried about it. I know Sully and I aren't starving! ;) LOL

Maternity clothes: Pretty exclusively into relaxed comfy clothes or maternity clothes. Much doesn't fit, but I'm learning to get creative! Unfortunately, being pregnant in the winter and in sweaters just looks like Thanksgiving came early! 

Unglamorous Body Changes: Still uncomfortably dry skin, and now add bad hip pain to the list. Some nights I can't sleep my hips are so sore. Thinking about finding room in the budget for a pregnancy pillow for mine (and my husband's!) sanity!

Sleep: Sleep is very hit or miss. If I'm able to get comfortable I sleep like a rock throughout the night. If it's a night of hip pain I spend the night tossing and turning.

Best moment this week: Well of course finding out the gender was the best moment! We are so, SO blessed by our little Sullivan James.

Miss anything? I would give up ANYthing for this baby and not miss it.

Movement: I still feel the baby move here and there, and I know I'll kick myself for saying this later (LOL), but I STILL can't wait until it's a good kick! 

Food cravings: Cheese and fresh fruit (strawberries, pineapple, bananas)

Anything making you queasy or sick? Nothing specific anymore.

Gender: It's a BOY! Sullivan James Wallheimer

Labor signs: I've got a long way to go! :)

Symptoms: fatigue, dry/itchy skin, dizziness, headaches

Belly button in or out? In

Wedding rings on or off? On

Happy or moody most of the time: So so very happy... throughout the day "IT'S A BOY" randomly pops in my head and I begin to think of our little man and my heart is full of joy!

Weekly Wisdom: I can't please everyone, but luckily now I'll just worry about our family of three... (well five! can't forget our girls!). 

What stereotype I Embody: Every time I go to a store, I just HAVE to look at the kid's department! Much different than how I was just a few short months ago and avoiding that section like the plague!

What I bought this week: Walter and I bought baby Sully's first outfit and toy know knowing we have a little HE in there! Daddy picked out a little puppy snuggly and his first outfit was a little Mickey Mouse onesie we saw a few weeks ago. :)

What I checked off my to-do list: The nursery is really coming along! I think I'm about finished with what I've planned to get done before a baby shower. Last remaining wishes: crib mattress, crib bedding, and a changing table.

Looking forward to: Getting that pregnancy pillow! LOL

bought right after our first beta for our little one.
He definitely will be!

Sully's first outfit and toy!

photos from the gender reveal

Monday, November 12, 2012

It's A...

Baby's face at 15w6d.

Our little miracle baby is a BOY
I can't even begin to tell you how excited we both are to welcome our little Sullivan James into the world! We got to watch him dance, play with the umbilical cord, and wave to mommy and daddy on a BIG screen! Walter's face lit up when the ultrasound tech said it was a boy, it was so sweet. I, on the other hand, couldn't contain my joy and be a sweet momma... lol... I made to fists and shouted "YEAHHHHH"! Walter's face then just stared at this proud momma and laughed. :)
Walter and I were thrilled to just have a baby... no matter what. But, if we HAD to pick... we were both hoping for a little boy.
A little boy to be 'Daddy's little man'. To carry on the Wallheimer name (since it's up to only Walter and his boy to do that!). A little boy who will love his momma...
But mostly... a little boy who will grow up not having to face a terrible genetic disease called PCOS. 

I'm so happy to have this beautiful little boy in my tummy, and I'm going to enjoy every. single. minute. of. it. 
But as Walter says, "Now that I know who he is, I just want to hold him now!"

We are two proud, proud parents. :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Bump Update: 15 Weeks


How far along? 15 weeks

Size of baby: We have a growing navel orange... OR a baseball!

Milestones: Air sacs in the lungs begin to develop. Legs are longer than arms. Although eyelids are still fused shut, baby can sense light!

Total weight gain/measurements: babycenter.com says I should be around +5lbs right now. Luckily, I'm still down 15 pounds! 

Maternity clothes: I still have my favorite pair of maternity jeans! I'm thrilled though, because my first maternity shipment came in! I bought 2 dresses, 2 tank tops, 3 shirts, a tunic, and a cardigan! This will be added to my existing 2 T-shirts, 2 sweaters, bella bands, and pants.

Unglamorous Body Changes: Seriously, what do I do for this super dry and itchy skin?! lol I've tried cocoa butter and BioOil. The BioOil has helped a bit... I guess it's time to start putting it on 2-3 times a day!

Sleep: This week I woke up in the middle of the night a few times to pee AND because my hips were beginning to hurt from laying on my sides... uh-oh.

Best moment this week: Seeing my MIL after a couple of weeks and catching her checking out my tummy was really great. However, in just ONE WEEK we find out if our baby is a boy or a girl!

Miss anything? I would give up ANYthing for this baby and not miss it.

Movement: I still feel the baby move here and there, and I know I'll kick myself for saying this later (LOL), but I can't wait until it's a good kick! 

Food cravings: Cheese, fresh fruit (strawberries, pineapple, bananas), toasted ravioli

Anything making you queasy or sick? Nothing specific anymore.

Gender: Unknown... but we're finding out next week! The gender reveal with our families is next Monday, and we'll announce it on Facebook at 16 weeks! SO exciting!

Labor signs: I've got a long way to go! :)

Symptoms: fatigue, dry/itchy skin, dizziness, headaches

Belly button in or out? In

Wedding rings on or off? On

Happy or moody most of the time: I'm running out of ways to say, "Happy", but I really am happy and in a good mood most of the time! However, I've had a good husband to take care of me who tries to not push my buttons right now. :)

Weekly Wisdom: I already feel like pregnancy just goes by way too fast. I don't want to wish a moment away.

What stereotype I Embody: I watch a couple of episodes of 'A Baby Story' daily.

What I bought this week: Maternity clothes, matching bedding for the twin bed in baby's room (will soon buy baby's crib bedding!), and my momma gave me a Halloween grab bag filled with gift cards for the movies and wipes! :)

What I checked off my to-do list: The crib is now put together! Next step: mattress and bedding!

Looking forward to: Finding out baby's gender, and announcing his/her name!

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Shoe on the Other Foot

Over the last few days I've been trying to 'deal' with a very new-to-me issue. As an infertile women, when I dreamed of being pregnant I dreamed of strangers rubbing my belly, the big baby shower bash, and softly rocking my baby in the nursery. I never thought of the hard parts pregnancy would bring.

I still have a couple of friends in the painful season of trying to conceive. I even have a couple of friends dealing with very recent miscarriages. I know their pain. I feel their pain. But I feel like I'm somehow trapped on the other side of the glass now. When I want to hold their hand and cry with them, I feel like my words seem less sincere with a child growing in my tummy. I want to go and meet for lunches and support them... but I also know how I would look at a pregnant friend trying to help. It'd make me bitter. It's make me jealous. It would make me feel like no matter what that woman says, she no longer understands.

I remember that feeling that still stings. The feeling of "will it EVER happen for me?!". That feeling of "WHEN will it by MY turn?!". The feeling of desperation, depression, and most of all... hopelessness.

I remember thinking then, "IF only I could know I'd be pregnant SOMETIME, then I could have more patience." Like if even someone would come up to me and tell me it'd take 5 years that it would be less painful to have an end in mind. I now feel like I have that. Over 3 months pregnant, I no longer worry about miscarriage (often) and I truly believe now we'll being a baby into our homes soon. But for those women who don't have that... the pain seems never-ending.

How do I help these women? How can I let them know I SO understand that pain? I remember it freshly in my mind. It hasn't been pushed to that back. I still can sit here and cry thinking of the painful nights my husband and I shared lonely and aching to me parents.

I had a friend decline our invitation to going to our gender reveal party today, because after the invitation she was received she had a miscarriage. She told me how sorry she was and how she hoped I understood. And soon, I couldn't help but tearing up. I remember all the invitation declines I had to pass out to baby showers, and kid's birthday parties... and here I was now, on the phone being told that my friend hoped I understood.

My heart ached for her in a way I couldn't explain. Just four months ago I was that person. Just so crippled from pain and hurt and disappointment .. I just couldn't accept an invitation from a person so blissfully happy and in love with the life in their tummy.

Now I'm the latter person. And I don't know how to deal. This is definitely not about me... this is about the person I want to be for others. How am I the person I want to be with the tummy of mine? How do I share my joy that I've waited so long for... yet be sensitive and loving to my 'fellow' ladies TTC?

What does this mean for us and trying for number two? Does it start all over until we conceive again? No. I'm YET in another group of women who are labeled with 'secondary infertility'. I feel like that label is such an oxymoron. You've got to experience the pure joy of motherhood, yet, you're still longing to fill your home. I didn't understand those people, until a good friend of mine shared her struggles about secondary infertility .. and how it's possibly just as painful for different reasons. You now long for a brother/or sister for your child... and not being able to give your child something hurts.

Infertility just sucks. Adding a child doesn't change that. Or two. Losing our children was the most painful thing I've ever experienced. This baby won't ever be able to take their places either.

But I will love this baby and I'll try to love little one more and more every day.
I do believe I'll hug him/her an extra time or two each day, knowing what a miracle his/her life is.
Knowing how blessed we are for getting to be called 'mommy' and 'daddy'.

We'll of course have hard times. I'm not saying we'll be perfect parents because we're infertile and struggled for baby. But we just may have a little more patience and positive perspective.
And that's what we pray for all the other infertile couples we know, are yet to meet, and those we'll never meet. It's painful and I wouldn't wish it on my own worst enemy.

But ladies and gentlemen, with FAITH, DETERMINATION, and PERSEVERANCE (and how could I now mention good COMMUNICATION with your spouse!) it's POSSIBLE.
No matter your situation. No matter the pathetic statistics they've given you. No matter the condition or the cause, parenthood IS possible for you!

I know I may just look like a pregnant lady 'on the other side of the glass' but listen: Keep your head high and FIGHT! Soon, you'll just be another pregnant lady that 'doesn't understand'.

***I by NO means want this post to discourage my TTC/infertile friends from coming to me! I want to help. I want to encourage. I want to hug and cry with you. I just may need a little information on how I can best help, but I promise you, I'll be there. ***