Conquering Month One

One. Whole. Month.

I’ve been a mama for one, whole, entire dang month. The fastest and somehow the slowest month of my entire life. Newborn mama life is no joke, this babe requires a lot of attention (duh) and this mama is at her beck and call 24/7. It is rewarding and exhausting, but also everything in between ❤️.

Overall, Wrenley is an easy and calm baby. She cries if she’s hungry, overly tired or if she wakes up from a nap and realizes mama isn’t right there.  Lately she has been getting some nasty bouts of painful gas, which is probably harder for me than her! She will shriek and make herself stiff as a board and let out a blood curdling screeeeaaaammm. Once she gets out a few toots (or a turd), she passes right out- but if those toots don’t pass, she will be like this for a few hours. The best way to describe it is torturous.

This Monday (9/9) was by far the toughest day I’ve had since we brought her home from the hospital. It was also conveniently the same day that Nick left for his first out-of-town work trip since Wren was born. Sunday night/Monday morning I was up with Wrenley nearly the entire night, I maybe got about 45-minutes of sleep, and that’s a generous estimate. Being the awesome partner that I am, I let Nick sleep because he had to catch a 7am flight. He usually takes at least one night feeding and/or will relieve me if she has been fussy for longer than normal. When he left at 4am I kissed him goodbye with tears in my eyes, I was so exhausted. I could tell it was hard for him to leave as he looked nervous for what the day may hold after our long night. He did his best to reassure me that I was doing a great job while he refilled my water and stocked my snack bin next to our nursing chair.

The morning brought a lot of the same, she would ravenously nurse and rip her head away from my nipple violently every time she got a gas pain. This was toe curlingly painful even with my glorious nipple shield! Girl has a jaw like a starving shark 😭.

Wrenley would fall asleep for about 15-minutes after each forceful toot, then wake back up screaming again shortly after. We tried everything under the sun, tummy massage, bicycle kicks, warm bath, gripe water, laying and snuggling upright, endless burping, ect. At one point the dogs were even looking at me with pitty and annoyance like “will you fix this already?” Eventually Tuna put himself in his kennel for comfort and Dottie disappeared downstairs to avoid hearing the endless shrieks. Resourceful dogs, I must say.

Around 10am I called the pediatrician to see if they had any other recommendations. I told myself I would keep my composure because I’m not a crybaby and didn’t want to sound like a over emotional first-time mom. The second the nurse asked me “What’s going on with Wrenley?” I broke down into sobs as I told her she’s been up for an eternity and was in a lot of pain due to gas. She reviewed some additional things that I could do to help her, including taking a warm cotton ball and rubbing it on her butthole to help “open her up” to relieve some gas. I couldn’t help but chuckle alittle at that one, but heck- I’ll try whatever I need to! She also told me about another over the counter oral supplement I could try called Mylicon drops which I could get at Target. She let me know that infant gas is 100% normal and can be very uncomfortable for babies as their guts are still growing but assured me gas alone will not hurt them. I told her Wrenley hasn’t pooped in nearly 48-hours, at which point she said breastfeed babies can go 7-10 days without pooping. Ah, What? She let me know I could come into the clinic to get her checked out or I could try some of the additional recommendations she provided. I opted to try some more techniques at home.

I tried about 13 times to get myself dressed to go to Target to pickup those drops, but Wrenley wasn’t having any of it- she wanted to be held and comforted, so that’s what I did, for hours..and hours..and hours.

Finally, around 1pm she pooped, not just alittle, but like 3 diapers worth- no wonder she was so uncomfortable! She passed out immediately after since she was so overly tired by this point. I weighed my options- take a shower/brush my teeth (I didn’t even have time to do that yet) and run to target or take a much needed nap while she was sleeping. I opted for the nap, that was more critical to my wellbeing, so I took a 3-hour glorious nap while she slept soundly in her bassinette.

When we woke up, I looked like a train wreck, I had swollen eyes, I was starving, and my hair looked like where rats go to nest. I figured I’d do the target drive up instead of going inside to get the gas drops. I attempted to order them online and of course, target was out of them, damnit. Thank goodness for good ol’ Amazon who guaranteed delivery following day, I couldn’t be seen in public like this. I really hoped that we’d have a better night then last without the gas drops.

I had contemplated calling one of my neighbors who I’d met since we moved in, they had all told me that if I ever needed anything, I could call them. I really needed a shower, like a lonnnnggggggg hot shower to wash off the stress of the day. Ultimately, I decided not call them and roll the dice to see what the rest of the night would bring. Luckily, it was 95% better and I was even able to take a bath with her next to me in her swing…and she was calm! Halleluiah!

That night I got a long 4-hour stretch of sleep followed by her waking ever 2 hours which is our normal. That morning we resumed our normal “routine” and she took her usual nap from 8:30-10:30am, and I was able to take a 30-minute uninterrupted shower. While showering, I shut the water off at least 3x to see if I heard crying, which I swear I did, but there was nothing each time, she was out like a light.

That afternoon my grandma Opal came to spend the night and keep me company, Wrenley was a different baby than the day before. Since then she has been much happier and easier to calm than she was on Monday-THANK GOD!

There are a few things I’ve learned about motherhood over the last month..

1) Things usually do not go as planned. I am very type-A and like to keep a schedule and be on time, this is just not possible with a newborn.

2) My house will never be clean and tidy,the way it once was, again.

3) Sitting down and eating a nice relaxing meal (or making a nice meal) has a very different meaning while juggling a baby.

4) Always double check my shirt before leaving the house to make sure there are no (big) poop or milk stains visible…little ones are perfectly acceptable.

5) Breastfeeding is all consuming, hard as hell and takes a huge chunk of my day, it is what it is. There will be milk alllll over everything.

6) They weren’t kidding, it’s much harder to get out of the house than pre-baby. All the things to bring and to plan- like should I feed her quick before we leave, what about a diaper change?

7) Baby-wearing is life.

8) Single moms (or single dads) are amazing. Period.

9) I must accept all the help/meals/visits/offers I am given, because, why not?

10) I will always put this little human first… If I need to pee but she’s finally sleeping on me…I’ll pee my pants before waking her up from her peaceful sleep (JK, but kinda serious) … If I’m starving to death but she’s nursing/sleeping/fussy and my snack stash is out- I’ll wait or eat my left arm first before I wake her.

11) My husband is amazing, his participation in this has been everything and I hate that he has to travel for work. I wish he had milk boobs.

12) Having a newborn is HARD work and not always glamourous. It doesn’t matter how they got into the world or how prepared we thought we were. The newborn struggle is all the same and I wouldn’t change it for anything.

I’m happy to say the since the nightmare that was Monday has passed, Wren is back to her more chill demeanor. We are more prepared with all the tools when the gassiness restarts. I’m not naïve to think there won’t be more days like this, but at least I feel like I can handle them maybe alittle better than I did on Monday.

Today Wrenley and I started a “new mom and baby” class through Amma Parenting, this is a class for new moms that meets once a week at a center and once per week outside in the community. We are excited to get to know these other new moms and babies and are already looking forward to our next meeting, which will take place at Omni Brewing…. I can totally be onboard with this 😊.

Xoxo,

T

Welcoming Wrenley Anne ❤️

I am elated to say that our precious embaby, Wrenley (Wren) Anne was born at 39 weeks 2 days on August 14, 2019, at 4:29pm weighing in at 8lbs 2oz and 22” long. She is beyond perfect and our hearts have never been so full! I cannot believe it has been since May 11th since I wrote a blog post. There has been so much happening since that date and time completely snuck away, it’s crazy how that can happen! Now I can write between naps, nursing and caring for a newborn!

*Birth story ahead*

Our delivery went a little different than anticipated, I struggled with moderately high blood pressure (BP) the last few weeks of my pregnancy. This came complete with lovely swelling in my legs, feet and hands, oh soo sexy.  I was so unbelievably uncomfortable the last few weeks.  That Sunday (8/11/19), I started having headaches on and off, so I decided to start monitoring my BP readings at home. They weren’t extremely high but elevated above where they should be. I went to bed early that night with the plan to call my OB in the morning. Once I talked to the clinic, my OB wanted me to come in to get checked out that day since my next appointment wasn’t until Wednesday (8/14). I requested an afternoon appointment since I didn’t want to use any unnecessary PTO from work, every bit counts! They said that was fine and scheduled me for 3pm.

Once I got to work my headache magically stopped and I felt better, more then likely because I was staying busy and keeping my mind occupied. I swear sometimes my symptoms are in my head and it’s hard to decipher between me being dramatic and there actually being an issue… my husband can vouch to that since he thinks I’m always dramatic with some ailment…

Anyways, that afternoon I went to my OB office and had another high BP reading (168/98). I met with the on-call doctor who I’d never seen before and she informed me right away that I would be going to the hospital to get induced today. “Like, today-today?” I asked shocked, she explained that with the high blood pressure, the high levels of protein in my urine, the swelling, headaches and the fact that I have a donor embryo put me in the category for preeclampsia. She said it wouldn’t get better until after baby was born and that it wasn’t worth the risks to let her stay in for another week or two. I agreed, I don’t like risk… lets play it safe and get this baby outta me! I hadn’t considered getting induced, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous since I had only heard horror stories and painful tales of childbirth and c-section due to induction. yikes.

I gladly accepted her offer to go home and get my things together before heading to the hospital. I left the clinic and called Nick, “We are going to have a baby today!” I told him. “Really?!” He said excitedly back. I gave him the rundown and that we needed to be at the hospital by 7:15pm to get the process started. To say we were both excited- nervous was an understatement- this was actually happening, like actually, actually happening, we would meet our daughter soon! Soon, I’d be able to fit back into my rings, tie my shoes, and stomach sleep. I was overcome with tears of joy. Oh hormones, yes…lets please be done being pregnant for the love of god, I’m so uncomfortable!

I went home and started putting all the necessary pieces in place for us to be gone for a few days. My girlfriend Lauren came to get the dogs and gave us the biggest hug, her and her husband have been front and center during our journey, they’ve cried with us when things hadn’t went our way and celebrated when celebration was called for. It felt right having her stop by that day to get the dogs, her positivity was infectious despite my nervousness.

Once the dogs were gone, it was time to focus on all the other things I wanted to get done before we had our baby. I spent the remaining few hours tidying the house and soaking in a bubble bath, truly letting the last few childless hours ‘soak’ in.  Bubble baths are one of my favorite things, it’s always been my zen time and where I do a majority of my reflecting. This day was no exception, I was overcome with all the feels. We’ve worked so hard to be parents and I visualized and prayed (yes prayed, even tho I’m not religious) that everything would go smoothly and both me and baby girl would remain healthy during and post delivery. I asked the universe and my grandparents who both recently passed to watch over us to keep us safe. Over the last several weeks I had voluntarily tortured myself by reading articles about women dying during childbirth, why would I do that to myself?!

7:15pm rolled around and like deer in headlights we walked into the hospital. We got checked-in and they walked us to our delivery suite. Maple Grove Hospital is super nice, but the room we were in was very tiny and didn’t have a bathtub, something that during our tour we were informed they all had. It was really not a big deal, but something Nick noticed right away. He asked if there were any other rooms with a tub available but we were told no but there likely would look in the morning. Nick said he’d ask again in the morning. Nick was wonderful about being the ‘manager’ of this operation, I’m forever thankful for that.

At 9:20pm, they started the induction by inserting cervidil into my vag- I’d describe cervidil as a paper looking tampon that they shove as far as possible into the cervix and it sits, untouched for 12-hours. We were told this was to help “ripen” my cervix although I’m still not sure what that actually means. For the first 2-hours I wasn’t able to stand, move or use the bathroom while the cervidil took action. I never had to pee as bad in my life as I had to during those 2 hours. We both slept soundly from 12am-6am despite the constant check-in’s from the nurse. The original plan was for her to check my cervix at 9am and then start Pitocin and break my water if things were progressing nicely. I was pumped because I figured she’d be born on August 13th and I’m a 13th baby and so is my late grandpa John, us 13th babies are pretty special.

At 6am (8/13), they informed us they were able to score a bigger room with a bathtub so we bundled up our things and moved. Our new room was massive…. like 3x the size of our last room with an amazing view of the courtyard and a pond/wooded area. At 9am they removed the cervidil and determined my cervix was “softer” but still firm and my dilation hadn’t changed (2cm), the nurse let me know she’d talk with the doctor and be back to start the Pitocin if the doctor agreed.

She came back after speaking with the doctor and told us that the doctor did not want to start Pitocin yet and that I would be starting another medication, Cytotec. The Cytotec was taken orally every 4-hours and could be taken for up to 24-hours. Great, we were in for the long hall it looked like.  We had no idea induction could take so long.

At 10:30am I took my first dose, at 2:30pm I took another, at 6:30pm another, and again at 10:30pm another one. 12-hours of Cytotec. I was having just mild contractions on and off, Nick and I watched a lot of movies, played cards, and napped throughout the day. I called and talked with my cousin, Andrea, who is a labor and delivery nurse to see what she thought about the protocol, she assured me that it sounded like I was in good hands which helped ease my anxiety.

We went to bed around 10:30pm after the last dose of Cytotec, I was informed that they’d wake me at 2:30am for the next dose and possibly another cervical check.

At 12:10am I woke up to a soaked bed and rushed to the bathroom where I was certain that my water had broke. I yelled for Nick and he rang the nurse who confirmed my water did indeed break. Fluid just kept coming out, I’m not going to lie, it was really gross. I asked the nurse if I spend the next few hours on the toilet as my body drains… she laughed and said no, she would get me some pads and I could go back to sleep. A few minutes later she came back to the bathroom with an armful of pads, these suckers were literally the size of my leg, massive and thick, and looked like they were created to capture gallons of water…ew. I put one on along with a cute pair of mesh granny panties that one of the nurses referred to as “Victoria secret panties” (lol) and hobbled myself back to my bed that had been cleaned up.

She strapped me to the monitors and I prepared to sleep. A few minutes later she was back in our room watching my contractions, which were one after another after another. I could hardly feel them but we were told that baby’s heartrate was dropping with each one so she put me on oxygen. She continued to watch for several minutes, left and came back quickly with a shot that she quickly jabbed into my arm. I have no idea what the shot was, but it helped slow the contractions and baby’s heartrate stabilized. We slept from about 2am to 7am the next morning when the new nurse (Sharon) arrived. I liked Sharon right away, she had a motherly warmth and sassy disposition to her, my kinda lady. She asked me if I was ready to have a baby today, in which I responded, “hell yeah I am!”

At 8am our primary OB, Dr. Rice, stopped by our room to greet us, she said she would be the doctor all day and hoped she’d be able to deliver our baby that we’d worked so hard for. She had Sharon start me on a low dose Pitocin. My contractions had started increasing after my water broke, but I was trying to make it as long as I could before getting the epidural because I wanted to be able to walk around. Sharon said it would be a matter of 15-20minutes to get one once I asked. At 9am, I was asked if I’d like the epidural as my contractions were getting much stronger and I wasn’t able to talk through them. I said “yup!” and she called for the anesthesiologist. Turned out there were multiple woman giving birth that day and all of us wanted the epidural at the same time. It took over an hour and 15 mins for her to get to my room. The long needle into the back was a welcome vacation from the painful contractions. Once it was in, I got relief almost right away. HUGE PROPS to those mamas who birthed without an epidural, you are truly warriors!

I rested from 10:15am to around 3:15pm when I was informed that I was fully dilated and ready to push! I could feel pressure with each contraction which helped me know when to push. Nick assisted Sharon in holding a leg and we were off to the races. The doctor and nurse both encouraged Nick to watch, which to my surprise, he did. He watched our daughter being born, how amazing is that?!

The delivery part felt very intimate and peaceful, it was just us, the doctor and Sharon- no big lights, no production, no tons of people like I anticipated from TV and movies. I pushed for 1hr 17minutes. When she finally came out, I had my eyes closed, they all yelled at me “Tessa, look, look, open your eyes, she’s here!” When I opened my eyes, all I could see was a purple blob, it was such a blur and happened so fast, they placed her on my chest and I remember trying to look at her face to see what she looked like. I couldn’t see much, but I could tell she was perfect. Nick took care of the rest while I sat in what felt like a foggy dream-like state. We asked for delayed cord clamping and to save the placenta which was picked up by my doula friend Megan from the red tent women (https://www.theredtentwomen.com).  Megan dehydrated it and encapsulated it so I could consume to help with postpartum/milk supply/healing and a number of other things.

We had our “golden hour” which is 1-hour of baby/parent time to do skin to skin, Wren latched right away to the breast and we were rocking and rolling. Around 7pm, we changed rooms into the postpartum unit and we were greeted by both sets of grandparents. Wrenley is the first grandchild on both sides, so her arrival was highly anticipated and long awaited. Our induction/delivery was long, but I don’t think it could have gone any better than it did- I’m beyond grateful for the care that we received from Dr. Rice and all the amazing nurses at Maple Grove.  Labor and delivery nurses are truly amazing.

We knew we had to spend two “midnights” at the hospital after her delivery, so our discharge day was on Friday (8/16). Both Nick and I were chomping at the bit to get out of there and get home after being in the hospital for 5 days. We were lucky to have a handful of visitors and endless baby snuggles to help us pass the time!

Wrenley passed all of her newborn tests with flying colors. She was a calm baby from the start, only becoming fussy when she was hungry.

Breastfeeding was a slow and painful start as my milk came in, for whatever reason sweet girl preferred only my left boob and my right side was taking a beating every time I tried to get her to latch. By the weekend after we were discharged I was so engorged I was in tears because my boobs hurt SO BAD!  We worked with about 20 lactation specialists at the hospital who advised that her latch was great and that my nipples would “toughen up” as time went on so I was determined to push forward. They encouraged me to hold off on pumping until breastfeeding was fully established and my milk came in. On Saturday, after dealing with boobs that were as firm as basketballs and a baby that couldn’t latch because they were so full, I took out my pump. I called one of my best friends in tears as she walked me through how to use the pump. When I got it working, it was sweet relief! I only pumped a few ounces but relieving that pressure was exactly what I needed!

That Monday we had Wrenley’s follow up with the Pediatrician, again the Pediatrician was a lactation consultant and we spent 45-minutes discussing breastfeeding while she observed Wrenley’s latch. She provided me with a nipple shield for my right nipple which was soooo soooo sore and I swear the heavens opened and the world was right again- Wrenley could actually latch without me being in unbearable pain- THANK GOD!

The last two weeks have been a blur, they’ve went by so stinking fast. I have been feeling great physically and emotionally, although I tend to cry quite a bit about all things…happy, sad, annoying, funny…commercials, TV, books, youtube videos, dogs, babies, you name it- I’ve probably cried around something related to it. The crying is getting better daily, I’ve now went consecutive days with no tears.

I love love love being a mom to this sweet, beautiful gift, she is the most precious thing we could have asked for- she makes the last 6 years of infertility heartache worth every single second because it brought us her. Watching Nick be a daddy has grown my heart to levels I didn’t think existed. I’m hoping that time can slow down so I can suck in all this wonderfulness!

xo,

Tessa and Wrenley

Surviving Mother’s Day

It has been over two months since my last blog post, these two months have FLOWN by, it’s like I blinked and its already mid-May…how does this even happen?! At the end of March we moved into our forever house and have been busy making it feel like home, we absolutely love it and can’t wait to raise baby girl here! 😊

For the first time in 4-years, National Infertility Awareness Week (April 21-27th) slipped by without me making my yearly post about how much infertility feels life shattering. I thought about writing something every day that week, but the truth is, even with this little peanut growing and kicking inside me, the pain of infertility is still very raw and I’m overly conscientious to my friends who are still waiting for their miracle. I’m also not naive to the fact that some would likely read my awareness post and think “yeah but you’re pregnant now, so shut up and move on” because I know that is exactly what I would have done nearly 7-months ago.

In my opinion, infertility has a weird way of segregating people, those in the trenches of the painful infertility struggle and those who have made it to the other side. When I was in the thick of it all, anyone who made it to parenthood was different. They just were. I felt like they no longer had to feel the pain of what I was going through, and although I was happy for them, I also felt like they didn’t understand. How could they, they achieved what I longed for.

Thinking about it now, I’m realizing more and more everyday that this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Granted, baby girl isn’t here yet, but I.STILL.GET.IT. I get the struggle, I feel the pain, I have not forgotten how every single pregnancy is a gift and a crazy science experiment that could go 2,864,156-ways wrong and 1-way perfect all at the same time. I often wonder how there are so many people in this world when pregnancy can be so complicated. It baffles me. Somedays I can’t believe we are only 3-months away from meeting our miracle and I’m overcome with gratitude that I burst out into happy tears. Otherdays, I’m triggered by something I hear or see online and I’m overcome by empathy and sorrow. It’s still very real. My fears that this will (still) not actually happen for us is very, very, real. It has gotten better over the months, but it is still hard to imagine we’ve made it this far. We are so close.

Mother’s Day is tomorrow. For the last 5 years, Mother’s Day has been one of the most painful days of the year and a tender reminder that I was not a mother. Over the years, I’ve chosen to forgo some family and social events that celebrate mothers, because it was just too hard. I didn’t miss these events because I was selfish or childish, I missed them because I needed to care for myself.  I knew it would be impossible to keep my composure, and subjecting myself to fake-happy is something I’ve never been good at. I remember specifically, two years ago, I laid in bed all day crying on and off on Mother’s Day because the feeling of despair and hopelessness around not being a mother was soo soo real. It just wasn’t fair. This is infertility.

Last year, my 30th birthday fell right on Mother’s Day, with skillful planning and every attempt to avoid what had happened the previous year, we were seated on a ship in the Greek Islands rather then being at home, this was super helpful, but obviously not something we could afford to every year! I’d highly recommend anyone who feels how I felt to get out of dodge and besides sending a card or call to your favorite mothers, avoid the day completely.

Here are a few tips I wish people would have used with me during Mother’s Day weekend (or any other time for that matter)….Do not ask or say anything along these lines, especially if you have no idea if they are struggling with infertility.

  1. When are you guys going to have kids?”
  2. “You guys should start having kids soon, you’re getting older, you don’t want to be like 60 when they graduate!”
  3. “Don’t you guys want kids?”
  4. “You’re so lucky you don’t have kids!” or “You can have mine (kids)!”
  5. “Just relax and it will happen” *Or any kind of conceiving story about how easily you got pregnant.
  6. “I know someone, who knows someone, who did (insert thing) and got pregnant right away”
  7. “You’ll be a mom someday!”
  8. “Maybe it just isn’t meant to be” Or “It will happen when it happens” Or “its in gods plans.”…. Just don’t.

The list can go on and on, but these are a few big ones. If you notice that cousin Susan isn’t at Mother’s Day brunch tomorrow, maybe she wasn’t feeling it. It doesn’t make her a bad person, she isn’t selfish, she isn’t anti-social, she may be protecting herself.

It’s not uncommon for people to NOT talk about their fertility struggles, not everyone is an open book and there is a lot of shame and secrecy around infertility. Don’t pry into people’s reproductive lives unless they’ve opened that door for conversation, they may not be ready. If they’ve posted about their struggles or talked openly about them, chances are high that they will welcome conversation/questions/and support.

To my friends still dealing with infertility, do what you need to do for yourselves this Mother’s Day, it’s okay to say no. It’s okay to not be okay.

To my friends that have no idea what infertility is like, be supportive and listen, it’s okay to not give advice, a sincere ear is much more helpful anyways.

Xoxo,

Tessa and baby (25+5weeks 😊)

mothers day

 

 

6-teen

Yikes, its been almost two months since I’ve posted any updates, I’m sorry friends! Life has been crazy busy on our end, selling our home, finding another and growing our baby 😊.

Things continue to progress perfectly with our little Czech miracle embaby, everyday feels like a huge milestone. It’s hard to put into words the amount of gratitude that I’m feeling over this little miracle, at times I feel like I could just explode with all the joy.

At the time we chose to do this embryo journey, I was utterly defeated around the fact that I would never experience pregnancy and it was crushing. It felt like everyone around me was having babies, trying for babies, or had just completed their families and it made me green with envy. Before we left to the Czech, I was already looking at flights for the following months to plan another try when it failed. I also spent hours researching adoption agencies and considered applying for a foster care license to help meet my raw maternal instincts, I felt desperate, we felt desperate. This is infertility.

We are now 16-weeks pregnant and I’ve got a growing baby bump to reassure me! The last time we got to see baby by ultrasound was about a month ago (aka an eternity). We purchased one of those ‘home doppler heartbeat monitors’ around week 10 and that thing literally is worth its weight in gold. Hearing that thumping heartbeat whenever I need has curbed my crippling fear that something awful has happened.  I’ve been incredibly lucky to feel (mostly) great during this pregnancy so far, there are zero complaints over here. We find out the gender of embaby at the end of the month, my gut says girl, Nick says he “has a logistic mind and there is a 50/50 chance of it being a boy or girl” and most of our friends are guessing boy. Only time will tell but Holy-S do I wish time would speed up 😊.

The emotional mess that infertility has caused continues to lurk around every corner. A few weeks ago, I finally had the strength to ask one of my best friends how long they were trying to conceive when they had their two babies. Her response of only a few short months was a painful reminder of how unfair infertility is for so many of us who spend oodles of aching months, years, and thousands and thousands of dollars for something that we are taught happens so easily. Sheesh. Every child is a blessing. My heart breaks, and probably always will, for my friends who are in the thick of this difficult journey.

My trauma from infertility has caused me to be apprehensive about walking through the baby aisle in stores or talking too much about our pregnancy. I haven’t purchased a single baby item yet. I’ve only taken one ‘baby bump’ photo. I don’t want to jinx anything. Maybe that is why I haven’t written a blog post in almost two months? I know these are unrealistic fears…Our OB informed us that our pregnancy is no different than any other pregnancy at this point, even though we are “high risk” due to the fertility treatments (they consider any pregnancy that uses treatments as high risk). I’ve recently started asking my mom-friends about their ‘must haves’ to create a baby registry for the baby showers our families are hosting for us. The thought of a baby shower for OUR BABY seems so foreign! WE ARE SO EXCITED.

2019 will certainly be a huge year for our family! We officially sold our first home and our offer got accepted this weekend on our dream home in Plymouth! We will be moving at the end of March, the same day we will find out if embaby is a team blue or pink!!!

Xoxo,

Tessa and baby

Baby F at 12 weeks below

baby f

Another milestone!

Ultrasound #2 was a big, giant success!! Our Czech miracle baby is continuing to grow! I was a hot mess before this ultrasound and seeing our baby wiggling around was the best thing in the universe. I still can’t believe it. Happy tears were all over the place.

For those of you who’ve been following my blog the entire time… the craziest thing has happened, and it is truly unbelievable… our official due date is 8/19/2019…eight/nineteen is the exact number that’s been following me for well over a year and a half….and the same number I wrote about in my blog post on September 4, 2018. I’ll never be able to explain it, but I don’t think I can call it a coincidence anymore…

Thank you all so much for the continued love and support!!

xo,

Tessa and baby

babes

Frantzen’s, future party of 3.

On Thursday, December 27th, I got a voicemail from my clinic informing me they needed to move my appointment for tomorrow to 1:00pm instead of my originally planned 3:50pm time. Shit. I couldn’t make that work with my schedule. I figured we’d have to wait another few days to see if it was 1 or 2 of our embabies that implanted, and most importantly if they were growing properly. Ahhhhh the nerves!!!

I rang the clinic, they informed me that due to the upcoming bad weather, they were going to be closing the clinic Friday and all appointments would be cancelled. She informed me they were also closed on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day… so the next appointments wouldn’t be until Wednesday. Shoot.

I asked if they had any appointments for that day, she paused for about 1 minute as she was looking at the schedule, then said “we do, what time would you like to come in?” I took the latest possible appointment. I needed time to mentally prepare for what could possibly be really crappy news. I called Nick to tell him, I could tell he was equally as nervous and excited that our appointment had been bumped up more then 24-hours earlier than expected.

At 1:40pm, Nick and I met in the parking lot, we hugged and looked at each other like deer in headlights, both knowing what could happen with this appointment. Nick squeezed my hand and told me we would be fine, we probably have twins growing in there! I love his positivity.

We checked in and they called us back before we hardly had a chance to sit down. The nurse took my weight and blood pressure. After my blood pressure reading, she looked at me and said, “Are you nervous?” I told her “Ah, yes, extremely” she looked at me and smiled, “Your blood pressure is extremely high, we will just have to take it after your ultrasound.”  I muttered “it likely won’t be much better” as I hopped off the chair.

We were brought into the ultrasound room and I was instructed to get undressed from the waist down. They do early ultrasounds with an vaginal ultrasound wand. I’m really used to these, I’ve done about 10,000 of them over the last few years dealing with infertility. Nick and I sat there and waited for the tech to come in….my heartrate was probably about 1-million beats per minute and Nick was probably right there with me.

The tech came in, she was very friendly and talkative. Nick and I both told her we were incredibly nervous and that historically these ultrasounds equal bad news. She informed us that since we are so early, there is a chance we might not see much, so she assured us not to worry. She must have read our chart before she came in, she knew there might be two babies in me and that we had donor embryos from another country. I think she was excited to see what was in there too. Then she started…

I could see a big black space (the gestational sac) right away, she said, “It looks like ONE implanted” She continued to move the wand around looking for another, I looked back at Nick and said, “One is great!” She hadn’t looked at the gestational sac by that point so we didn’t know if there was even a baby in there. Gestational sacs can grow without babies, its called a brighted ovum.

Then we saw it. Our baby. A teeny, tiny, little ball sitting in there. She measured baby several times, measuring 6-weeks 3-days gestation, exactly-where-baby-should-be. Hallelujah!!!!!!!!

Then she said, “your baby has a heartbeat too!” She measured the heartbeat with me holding my breath twice, first measurement was 145bpm, then the second time 120bpm. Happy Dance!!!!

Nick asked a few times if there was anyway embaby number #2 could be hiding in there, she told him its very unlikely. I could see the look of slight disappointment in his face that both our embabies didn’t implant. I looked at him again and said, “One is amazing honey.” He smiled and said, “I know.”

They had me take my blood pressure again as we were walking out. It was magically within perfect range. Imagine that.

We stopped at the front desk to schedule our next appointment for January 9th. I’ll be 8-weeks 2-days at that point. This appointment seems like an eternity away. They asked me to schedule another appointment with the doctor for 4-weeks after our next appointment, I told her I’d rather wait in case something happens. She looked at me like I was batty, but said “its up to you.

We left feeling happy, overjoyed, blessed and grateful! We have ONE healthy baby growing right on track. We have never experienced an “on track” baby before. One more major hurdle down, several more to go, but for now we will be relish in this victory!

As for morning sickness…. I’d call it all day sickness, luckily for me, I haven’t been vomiting, but all day long I feel nauseous and food is a picky subject. I also broke out in hives twice… so that was fun…

Please, please, please continue to send us all your good vibes, wishes, prayers, Etc., Etc., we still have several milestones to get through! 😊

Xoxox,

Tessa and baby Frantzen

baby

It’s a Christmas Miracle!

It’s been 16-days since our donor embryo transfer and I’m still pregnant!

I. CANNOT. BELIEVE. IT. WORKED!!

I’ve had several people ask how far along I’d be since we did an embryo transfer. The simplest way that I can explain it is that an embryo transfer follows a typical cycle, so I found out I was pregnant exactly the same time a “normal” person would have missed their period about ~4 weeks.

Today would officially put us at 5 weeks 2 days along…still very early, but I feel like we waited 4+ years to get to this point. I can’t believe we are finally here.

Last Tuesday (12/11/18) I had my official pregnancy test, also known as the HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) blood test, this is the hormone that is produced only during pregnancy. I honestly have no idea if “normal” people get their HCG levels tested when they find out their pregnant, but it very exciting when you know it will be positive. The clinic had me do the first blood test on Tuesday, and then the second one 48-hours later on Thursday. In a healthy pregnancy, the HCG number should increase by at least 60% in 48-hours. If its less, it could indicate an unhealthy pregnancy.

My first HCG number was 145, our second was 404. That was an increase of 170+% increase! Yes! (Insert happy dance)

We are scheduled for our first ultrasound on December 28th. We could have scheduled it a few days earlier but with my infertility PTSD I opted for the last possible appointment on a Friday in case we get bad news…that way I’d at least have the weekend to pull myself together if the results were unfavorable.

Infertility robbed me of my naivety, I’m paranoid that something will go wrong at any given time.

I’ve googled more ridiculous pregnancy and miscarriage questions than I care to admit…

I’ve taken upwards of 15+ pregnancy tests just so I could see the test line get darker. *I downgraded to the amazon cheapies so we wouldn’t hit the poor house in the process…

And I constant look at Nick and whisper “I can’t believe it worked!” “What do you think our babies will be like?”

The odds of success are in our favor at this point. Our embabies were genetically tested, which means that we know they are chromosomally normal. From what I’ve read during my many hours googling, 95% of miscarriages in the first trimester are due to chromosomal abnormalities. I’ve read our risk for miscarriage with tested embabies is about 10% after pregnancy is confirmed. Not terrible, but we understand the reality that it could happen.

With all that being said, I’m working really hard on enjoying being pregnant and trying to not worry so much about what I cannot control. What matters at this point is that We’re PREGNANT and I’m feeling pretty good!

I continue on my medications until the 12th week… each morning I take a giant progesterone shot in my upper booty.. I’ve got 2 golf ball sized lumps on both sides that kill if I sit at the wrong angle, every morning I tell myself that this stupid shot is a million times worth it!

10-days until we find out if it will be Frantzen’s Party of 3 or Party of 4 😊 😊 😊.

Please keep sending us positive thoughts, energies and prayers as we slowly creep through the next several weeks with our fingers and toes crossed for ongoing success!

Xo,

Tessa