Sunday, February 27, 2011

First Weekend with the Lil One(s)!

 So this has been our first weekend with baby(ies) well, the first weekend we knew we are preggers. It's been so fun knowing we are carrying around some very precious cargo everywhere we go! The doctor has put me on some pretty limited physical restrictions, no exercise, lifting, exerting myself at all really. So my solo grocery shopping trips have now become a couple's outing so Rhett can carry my bags! He's such a trooper though! He never complains and carted me all over town to get all the necessities. I have been trying to eat a wide variety of foods that the acupuncturist has recommended to help with blood flow to the uterus and of course foods that are good for baby(ies). Something else I have started doing is drinking  tea that the acupuncturist recommended for the first trimester. It is a special blend made by "Pulling Down the Moon" ( my acu. office) and it is a loose leaf tea. I came home from "Pulling Down the Moon" on Thursday so excited to make some delicious tea and realized I had no idea how to make loose leaf tea ( I have been a coffee drinker most of my life, but retired this habit months ago)! It came to my attention you can't just pour the leaves in the water and I clearly didn't have the proper tools. While we were out I told Rhett I think I need a tea tumbler, and 3 stops later still hadn't found one. He was bound and determined to help me find one... and carted me to an Argo Tea and I finally got the prized possession!

My new tea tumbler!

After all the running around, and no lifting on my part, I was still pretty tired! We came home, I drank some tea and watched some dvrerd shows! Not too shabby for the first saturday with the lil one(s).

  Today we went to church to give many thanks for our precious gift! All the kneeling and standing was making my back hurt already! I have felt some cramping/stretching which I am assured is normal! It was kid-central where we were sitting and made me so excited to know this time next year we would have another member sitting in our pew. After church I came home to lay on the couch all day and Rhett headed into work for a while. He came back with some pre-made salads from Whole Foods. One made of Kale, one of beets, and one of Spinach. He was so cute telling me how nutrious they were and said he was asking the opinions of the workers there on what to feed his pregnant wife. He also came back with three pregnancy magazines and some yummy pastas from Noodle and Co! What a guy! I think I am going to like this pregnancy spoiled thing an awful lot!
  I am headed for bloodwork tomorrow morning at my own request and am counting down the days until Wednesday's Ultrasound! Have a great night!
Kale Salad!

Beet Salad

Preggers Mags!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Go baby!!!

Our lil one is already making us proud! I went in for bloodwork today and I more than doubled again! The nurse said this is wonderful news and I don't have to come Monday if I don't want to because they are happy with how my levels are proceeding. I decided to still go in Monday just for peace of mind. On Wednesday we get to see the baby or babies for the first time! They said we most likely won't see a heartbeat yet, but I am still stoked to see our precious babe! I keep pinching myself or think at any moment I'll wake up from this incredible dream! I can't wait to meet our angel in nine months and look forward to sharing this adventure with my darling hubby and best friend! He already kisses my belly good night! What a cute dad! This lil one is going to have the best daddy ever!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Up, Up, Up

So I went in for bloodwork today and my hcg has more than doubled which is great! The nurse said I still need to come in every few days to check levels to make sure they are doubling, but so far so good. She said we should be cautiously optimistic. Forget that, I am just going to be optimistic! Rhett and I are so over-the-moon with this tremendous blessing. We will continue to pray for our precious little one. It gives us great strength to know your prayers are with us too! You all have been such a great support with your prayers, calls, texts, and comments! We love you all! I head back to the doc on Friday, so I will update after with my new (doubled) number!! This baby will be a fighter!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

And the verdict is......

 PREGGERS! I got the call today and I had a positive pregnancy test! My HcG level ( the pregnancy hormone) was at a 15.8 and anything over a 5 is considered pregnant. My doctor likes to see at level of 25 or above, so I am a little on the low side right now. Me, being the worry wart I am, was asking the nurse, "Should I worry? Is this okay?" She told me she has seen women with as low as a 5 go on and have a healthy pregnancy, so don't worry. They will be having me come in and get my levels checked every few days to ensure they are doubling (which is a sign of a healthy pregnancy). She said sometimes in frozen transfer, hcg levels are slightly lower. I am not going to focus on the levels though, I am going to revel in the fact that we are PREGNANT! The words we have been dying to hear forever!
 Tonight we will be celebrating by going to our orientation for a food rating program we do. We go to restaurants and are "secret diners" where we rate food and service and get free meals! Can't beat it! So today, on our day of fabulous news, we get to go out and have a free meal! Thanks to everyone for your prayers, there really is power in prayer! Keep them coming that our levels double and that we have a happy, healthy pregnancy! I go get my blood drawn on Wednesday so I will keep you updated!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Special Delivery!

 So, I think I forgot to mention that back when I decided to start this blog I decided that I had to have the care bear's suitcase that is the inspiration for this blog's title back in my possession. Seeing as how the original suitcase I had is now long gone, I went on the search to get the same one I had back then. I searched for a few days and found one on Ebay that is exactly the same as the one I had growing up! So I placed a bid and about a week later.. I won! I was so excited!! My idea is to pack baby or babies first outfit(s) in it to take to the hospital for when they are born! I hope that they enjoy this suitcase as much as I did!

 We had been running some errands yesterday and we came home to find the package had arrived, just in time for our good news tomorrow, perhaps? I was so pumped up and opened it right away, I am very in touch with my inner child! I told Rhett I have another one on the way, that's blue, you know, in case it's twins. He laughed and said he doubts our boy will like care bears, but Rhett didn't get his nickname "Teddy" for nothing!

 Tomorrow is the big day, as it gets closer I am starting to think about it more and more, but am trying to focus my energy else where to not get too anxious about it. We will be sure to let everyone know our (hopefully) wonderful news!!!

Here are some suit case pics:

The boys might think their new siblings are in there...

Friday, February 18, 2011

Long time, No Blog!

  I have only been at this blogging thing for two weeks and here I am already slacking! I do have  a good excuse though, to keep lifting to a minimum, I've been leaving my computer at school all week, I finally brought it home today seeing as implantation would have already taken place. So I figured I was safer now to bring it home for the three day weekend! I love myself some President's Day!!

 Well seeing as I haven't blogged since Monday I should probably give the update on what's been going on since then. To tell the truth, pretty much nothing! I went back to work on Tuesday and since then I have been more tired than I have ever been in my entire life! Like whole body aches, takes effort to move from place to place tired. I never had mono, but pretty sure this is what it feels like! I am thinking it is caused by the progesterone shots or maybe early pregnancy? Hoping the latter! I've been coming home after work and just crashing on the couch. My dear dogs and good friends, Chandler, Monica, Phoebe, Rachel, Ross, and Joey have also kept me good company. (Complete series of "Friends" on DVD= Best. Purchase.Ever). To be honest, I haven't even been thinking much about the pregnancy test one way or the other. I, of course am really hoping it worked, but have tried not to focus on it too much, because then it becomes all consuming! We go in on Monday morning for the blood pregnancy test and will get the call later that day, luckily I don't work that day, which just makes for a better environment for receiving such an important call. Last time, I got the call in between Parent/Teacher Conferences... yeah, that sucked!

 So I am keeping the positive thoughts and prayers and I can feel all of yours, keep them coming please! Have a wonderful weekend. I am waiting on Rhett to get home, and our pizza to arrive. Fridays nights are usually our night out but this exhaustion had other ideas and the p.j.'s have already made their debut. It's fine by me though, night on the couch with my three boys and two snow babies sounds like a divine date night to me!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

 I feel like a very lucky girl this Valentine's Day. I am at home on my last day of bed rest, and feel very relaxed. My mom and Rhett have taken amazing care of me! My mom leaves in about an hour and I am sad, but know I will see her again soon! I feel very blessed to have my two added Valentine's to take care of too, my lil snow babies. I am working on sending Valentine's love their way and asking them to stick for mommy!

 Bauer showed his love for Valentine's candy today. My mom left some chocolate on the bed for about 3 minutes to come grab a ziplock bag from the kitchen. She returned to find Bauer had ate about 12 pieces of chocolate, which as we know is just fabulous for our furry friends. I called the vet and they told me we were going to have to give the lil guy hydrogen peroxide via syringe (which due to all the shots, I had plenty of!) So with me holding him down, my mom shoved some good old hydrogen peroxide down his throat to induce vomitting. The vet said if it worked, no need to bring him in and thank God it worked, boy did it work! Thank goodness for my awesome mom for cleaning that up, bending and stretching are against doc's orders, so no cleaning for me for a while!! So that was an interesting turn of events today, never a dull moment with Mr. Bauer!

 I hope all of you have a wonderful Valentine's Day! Thanks for all your love, please keep the prayers coming! This time next week, we will know if our lil baby Valentine's made a home in mommy!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Welcome Home!

Well, I'm back! It has been two days since the embryo transfer, and I haven't blogged because I literally have done nothing but lay around, watching movies, and hanging with Rhett, my Mom, and Boomer and Bauer! It has been fantastic so far! I keep rubbing my belly and praying that our lil "snow babies" or "tot-sicles" both nicknames Rhett and I have for our once frozen embies will stick! Here is a little update on the day of the transfer!

Rhett's "welcome home" meal
The cute sign on our table!

My "welcome home" meal
 As you know the embryo transfer was scheduled for 11 on Friday, so Rhett wanted to take me to a nice breakfast beforehand. He took me to one of my favorite vegetarian restaurants ( isn't he great?) and right on our table was this sign that read "life". Ours was the only table that had this and we took it as a great omen! We just had to snap some pictures of our last meal before welcoming our lil snow babies back home! (above)

 After breakfast we headed downtown for our big procedure! We were told to arrive an hour before our appointment, but since I like to be early for everything we were about an hour and a half early! We sat and I started drinking my water bottle because your bladder has to be full for the procedure. We were called back by about 10:20 and they came and did an Ultra Sound, I was told I got the uterine lining of the day award, it was thick and a lovely home for our little snow babies to burrow in. Then the doc came in, showed us our adorable lil embies on the t.v. and in they went! So now we wait... and pray. So far I feel great, minor cramping from time to time, but I read this is usually caused by the uterine walls stretching and making room for baby or babies! I thank you for all the prayers, thoughts, posts, texts, and calls. You all are wonderful! Keep the prayers coming!
Our little "snow babies" Welcome to the fam!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Lucky Numbers

 I have always been one to believe in luck, how much I wasn't even aware until a second grader in my class pointed it out to me last week..

 I was sitting with a group of students when I brushed my hand across my face to find the itching nuisance that had been bothering me for the past ten minutes was in fact an eyelash! "Yeah, now I can blow on it and make a wish!" As I thought for a minute and blew it off my finger, a curious second grade girl asked, "So, what did you wish for?" "I can't tell you, or it won't come true", I replied. She looked at me thoughtfully and said, " You know, Mrs. Stenzel, you wish an awful lot. Before I knew you, I thought all you could wish on was shooting stars, but you have taught us we can wish on stars, when it's 11:11 and now eyelashes." I hadn't realized how "wishful" I was until then, but I think there is a lot worse things you can be!

 With that being said, I got the call today.. and tomorrow, February 11, 2011 my transfer will be at.... 11! 2/11/11 at 11? I'll take it! So say special prayer tomorrow for us at 11! I've got a new pair of lucky socks my mom bought me for Christmas (they ask you to wear really warm socks to help with blood flow) and my luckiest charm of all... Rhett! With these two precious items in tow, it can't be anything but fabulous!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A shot in the dark...

 This title doesn't refer to our chances of getting preggers this Friday, because I am very hopeful, more to the literal meaning this saying has taken in our lives! Our nightly routine in the Stenzel Household goes as follows:
1. crashing on the couch ( I won't even admit how early it is)
2. being woken up by my dear hubby to get a few shots  ( poor guy doesn't get home til 8, and in this neck of the woods, the sun as long since said it's good-byes, hence the "shot in the dark")
3. stumbling to the bed to pass out with a heating pad on injection site (we'll leave that site to the imagination)
4. waking up to a burning feeling and promptly turning off and throwing said heating pad to the floor.

I know, I lead an exciting life, watch out! But it truly will all be worth it. When the kids start to misbehave I'll show this a pic of what I had to endure to get them (totally kidding, of course, I think we'll leave the whole science aspect of their conception in the vault of things you never tell your kids) but in case you are curious here is one of my nightly shots..

The pictures don't do the needle justice, but take my word for it,  it's HUGE! This shot is the progesterone shot that Rhett gives me to help prep my uterus for the transfer. I get another shot in the stomache called Lupron to supress some hormones that we don't want to elevate. I wear nightly patches to increase estrogen, take baby aspirin to increase blood flow to the uterus, a prenantal, and an antibiotic (not sure why I take this). As you can imagine, I have a check list by the fridge to make sure I've done it all!
 In other news, my mini-vaca has officially begun. I took tomorrow off for some R&R, and am going to sleep in, have an acupuncture treatment, watch a chick flick, and just generally take it easy before the big day! Friday we have the transfer, and they will call me tomorrow with the official time. (I will be sure to post the time when I find out, so you know when to pray like crazy for us on Friday! ) My mom comes in town around 6 on Friday to help take care of me and hang out during my bed rest! I will be resting Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday and head back to work on Tuesday. I am not going to lie, really looking forward to some pampering!
 I was reminded today of how much I can't wait to be a mommy....
 We are starting a "Pennies for Patients" drive to help raise money for children who  have Lymphoma and Leukemia. I had the first and second graders gather around me and we talked about what cancer is and how we are going to raise money to help sick kids. They had sweet, innocent questions that I answered to the best of my ability and then I handed out their collection boxes and sent them off to pack up to go home. One little girl in my class came up to me and said, "I have 100 cents, Mrs. Stenzel!" I was thrilled she knew 4 quarters were a hundred cents. I then saw her go back to her seat and put all 4 quarters in her box. She had earned the money and brought it to buy lollipops at the end of the day, she said she would rather give it to sick kids instead... I love the innocence and love that children exhibit, how selfless and loving they can be, I can't wait to instill these values and beliefs in our future children... so bring on the shots, they will be distant memory when we hold our baby full of innocence, wonder, and love for the first time.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Countdown is On!

So the big day is this Friday and I am getting so excited. Last time around I feel like I was super nervous, but this time around I feel much more relaxed and calm, and just plain pumped up! Doing a frozen cycle has been a lot less grueling, only one 6 a.m. doctor's appointment a week as opposed to 7, yikes! There are a lot less shots involved this time too! I mean as much as I like getting needles the size of my hand injected in me on a daily basis, I would have to say less is more!
 I bet four years ago when we got married Rhett hadn't envisioned saying to me, "Honey I'm home, ready to get all shot up?" Oh the romance of IVF....

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Blast From the Past

So I thought I'd write a little blurb on what's been going on and what's to come with our treatments in the past few years...

  We tried on our own about a year and a half with a drug called Clomid which is a drug that is supposed to help women with a condition such as mine ( Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) to help me ovulate. It didn't work, so once we got on a good insurance plan through Rhett, we moved on from my Gynecologist to a Reproductive Endocrinologist at the Fertility Centers of Illinois in May of 2010. We started working with a great doctor who suggested we start treatment by doing IUI which is a combination of follicle stimulating shots and an insemination at the end, once the follicles are ready to release an egg... turns out my body loves the meds and I was cancelled due to producing too many follicles. Talk about one extreme to the next! The doctor said if we don't cancel you, you'll end up with a show on TLC. I had like 12 follicles.. Octomom, you ain't got nothing on me! I decided not to die, and agreed going on with treatment was not such a peachy idea after all. This was back in July.
 The next step was to try IVF. We started treatment for our first cycle back in August but went on to be cancelled again due to fear of Ovarian Hyper Stimulation, a condition in which too many follicles have been grown and can cause fluid build up around vital organs. I was devastated at the time but my wise, level-headed husband tried to tell me, he'd rather have me alive then go on with treatment, I see now, that he's right but there was a lot of crying and arguing on my part back then, have I mentioned that hormones are insane? Rhett has the patience of a Saint...
In October we started another round of IVF and went on to retrieve 16 eggs and had  12 embryos made! Which were wonderful results! With my "lucky socks" ( I am very superstitious, sorry Catholic Church oops) on we went in for our embryo transfer in early December and two beautiful embryos were implanted and all went well. Then for the next few days my wonderful mom and husband waited on me hand and foot as I was on semi-bed rest for the days following. But two weeks later... we had a negative pregnancy test. It was such a let down and I of course wanted answers. But, there really is no way of knowing why it didn't work.
 Now we are on to our next adventure... a frozen embryo transfer. We froze our remaining "embies" as I like to call them, for a future cycle and here it is! This Friday we will transfer two back in, and I can't wait! My mom is coming to help pamper me and I can't wait to see her! Fingers crossed this time it works! Boomer and Bauer really want a sibling or two and our niece Lucy told me last Saturday when we were babysitting she wants a cousin, and who am I to disappoint?

First Entry!

So I am the queen of procrastination and have said endless times to Rhett that I am going to start a blog.. but here we are, I am finally getting around to it and am really excited to start blogging about our long journey with infertility. I guess a big reason why I haven't started it is I thought no one would want to hear about all this stuff, as it is something people just don't really talk about. I know at first I was embarrassed by suffering from infertility, but something I've learned in the past 2 and a half years is that sharing and talking about our journey with friends and family has actually been the only thing that has helped Rhett and I get through this trying time. So a shout out to all of you, love you!
 This blog with help to give you updates on our treatments and I can help educate you on all the new medical terms and medications I am learning about, I guess  I always knew failing Bio in high school would someday come back in haunt me! Now I know more about the science of baby making then I ever really cared to! My inspiration for the blog name actually came from this super cute care bears suitcase I had as a child that said "Getting there is half the fun" I always liked the excitement of a journey, the packing, riding to the airport and checking out the arrivals and departures screen, thinking about all the wonderful destinations there were out there. And you know I have a great feeling that destination baby is just around the corner. If I've learned anything thus far it's that I gotta learn to sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride, and say a prayer when it gets a little bumpy...