Family Planning for Infertiles

Maternity painting

Babies are generally made in one of two ways. 1. A couple decides they are ready to grow their family and they start trying to get pregnant the old-fashioned way. 2. OOPS!

When you’re infertile, neither of these methods really apply to you. The first time around, we didn’t know we were infertile, so we spent many years trying to avoid 2. and then a few years desperately trying to achieve 1. When trying naturally produced no results, we turned to fertility treatments and were put on a path that eventually lead to IVF, which gave us our most precious gift, our daughter. It also gave us another unexpected gift: the possibility to grow our family again through frozen embryos.

This leaves us in a weird fertility limbo. While I’m not sure we’re ready to get pregnant right now, we know we would like more children and it seems weird to sit around and get older/more infertile. We also are hyper aware that time is not on our side. Do we try on our own and see if things magically work this time around? After all, our diagnosis was unexplained infertility and it is possible, but not likely, that I could get pregnant naturally. But where does that leave those little frosties?

I remember clearly the mix of emotions I experienced when the clinic called to tell us they were able to freeze some embryos. Four to be exact. Wonderful! But wait…four!? Four means the (unlikely) possibility of five children. How did we get from wanting a child so desperately to the possibility of five children?

Our perfect daughter was created through the same process as our frozen embryos and I feel an obligation to give the others a chance at life. I don’t necessarily see them as our children, but as the real possibility of life — much more tangible when I see my growing, healthy little girl. We made the decision to create them, out of both love and desperation, and it is hard to consider the possibility of not using them if we are able to have more children the natural way. You see, there are no easy decisions when it comes to infertility.

We are enormously blessed to have had success with IVF, and even more lucky to have frozen embryos that will allow us to try again. And soon there will be big decisions to make…



24 Week Bumpdate

Week 24 bump

Week 24 bump

How Far Along?: 24.3 weeks. Baby is viable!

Baby is the size of: Ear of corn

Total Weight Gain: +17lbs

Maternity Clothes? All the time! Regular shirts look comical.

Stretch Marks? So far so good.

Sleep? A few more trips to the bathroom as baby kicks my bladder, but can’t complain about lack of sleep yet.

Best Moment This Week? Seeing hubby so engaged in our baby class. He is going to be an amazing father!

Movement?: Crazy, alien-type movement.

Food Cravings?: Grapes, salad, tuna. Not together.

Anything making you queasy?: No

Baby Bump?: Bump is legit. I wore a body hugging tank to yoga this week and laughed every time I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.

Gender Prediction?: Little girl! I’m so glad we found out the gender. I get why some people wait for a surprise, but knowing has made it much easier for me to bond with her and feel like she is real and already a part of our family. Not to mention how much easier it is to plan. Baby girl’s wardrobe is already way better than mine!

Labor Signs?: No labor signs, but having more pelvic pain. Thinking of going in to have it checked out. It is strange because it doesn’t hurt much working out/doing yoga, but it hurts doing basic everyday things like getting out of bed or lifting my leg when I put pants on.

Belly Button In or Out?: I’m legitimately starting to think it might stay in. It’s like the bump is growing around it.

Wedding Rings on or off?: On. Ankles are getting a little puffy on days when I’m on my feet a lot.

Happy or Moody?: Happy but also getting anxious. I stress about childbirth, the registry, newborn sleeping arrangements, etc. I just want everything to be perfect for her, but realizing I need to chill out a little.

Miss Anything?: Sushi. A big raw slab of tuna or salmon would be amazing. Or even just a turkey sub.

Looking forward to?: Back-to-back babymoon and mother-daughter trip with my mom!

23 Week Bumpdate

Week 23 bump

Week 23 bump

How Far Along?: 23.3 weeks

Baby is the size of: Grapefruit

Total Weight Gain: +16lbs

Maternity Clothes? Yes. This is the first week strangers are commenting on the bump!

Stretch Marks? Nope

Sleep? Still pretty good.

Best Moment This Week? Celebrating hubby’s 32nd birthday and my dad’s 60th birthday! We spent time with both sides of the family and shared baby girl’s name with them (it’s a secret from the rest of the world for now!)

Movement?: Lots of movement!

Food Cravings?: Sweets!

Anything making you queasy?: Nope, feeling good in the stomach. My pelvis is another story. Feeling a lot of pain down there and starting to wonder if it is normal or not.

Baby Bump?: Bump is in full force and the world can tell I’m expecting. Yay!

Gender Prediction?: Sweet baby girl.

Labor Signs?: Nope.

Belly Button In or Out?: Still in! Last week it was very flat but I swear it managed to suck itself back in a bit this week.

Wedding Rings on or off?: On.

Happy or Moody?: Happy!

Miss Anything?: Red, red wine.

Looking forward to?: Baby is now viable and the idea of having her here with us in a few short months is really sinking in. I’m so excited but also feeling nervous. Hoping our day-long birth and baby care class this weekend will help ease some of our fears.

22 Week Bumpdate

Week 22 Bump

Week 22 bump

How Far Along?: 22.3 Weeks

Baby is the size of: Papaya. We’re entered the land of obscure fruits.

Total Weight Gain: +14lbs.

Maternity Clothes? Yep.

Stretch Marks? No.

Sleep? Still snoozing pretty well. Trying to get all the sleep I can now before I get more uncomfortable.

Best Moment This Week? We got to see baby girl again at our 22-week antenatal scan and fetal echocardiogram. Everything looks great with her heart and everything else. Such a relief!

Movement?: Moving and grooving.

Food Cravings?: Cereal.

Anything making you queasy?: Nope!

Baby Bump?: Bumpin.

Gender Prediction?: 100% baby girl! We had our ultrasound tech showed us the parts this time around and she said has no doubts we have a little lady on the way.

Labor Signs?: Nope.

Belly Button In or Out?: In but getting close to flat.

Wedding Rings on or off?: On.

Happy or Moody?: Happy!

Miss Anything?: Missing being able to bend over. It’s crazy how simple things get a lot harder to do (laundry, shaving, putting on your own shoes!)

Looking forward to?: Celebrating hubby’s birthday next week!

21 Week Bumpdate

Week 21 bump

Week 21 bump

How Far Along?: 21.3 Weeks

Baby is the size of: Pomegranate

Total Weight Gain: +13lbs. Didn’t gain this week! I’ll credit it to nightly elliptical workouts and trying not to eat everything in sight.

Maternity Clothes? Oh yes!

Stretch Marks? Not yet but my stomach is getting a lot harder and tighter.

Sleep? Starting to get a little sore around my hips at night.

Best Moment This Week? Crib and dresser arrived and I’m starting to picture how her nursery will come together. It was fun to see hubby hard at work priming the walls and putting the crib together, so sweet!

Movement?: I’ve noticed the movement a little less this week and I think that is because baby has moved up a little from where she was before, which was very low and in the front. Still feel her a lot after I eat and drink and before bed.

Food Cravings?: This is the first week I had a cliche craving – pickles!

Anything making you queasy?: My occasional gags are back this week. My hormones must be surging again.

Baby Bump?: I think the bump is finally picking a coordinated direction, yay! Looking more like a bump and less like I have a full pillow under my shirt.

Gender Prediction?: Baby girl! We’ll see her again this week at our 22-week ultrasound at the specialist to check her heart (standard for IVF patients). There have been many girl purchases, but I’ll feel better about painting the nursery once we see her one more time and confirm that no parts were hiding at 19 weeks!

Labor Signs?: Nope.

Belly Button In or Out?: Holding steady.

Wedding Rings on or off?: On.

Happy or Moody?: Happy!

Miss Anything?: I’m not going to lie. We went to a winery with friends this weekend and I had a few very tiny sips of wine! It was delish but I wouldn’t have felt comfortable having more than a tiny bit.

Looking forward to?: Seeing baby girl again this week! Also, we finally booked a babymoon to Siesta Key, FL for April. Counting down the days!

20 Week Bumpdate

Week 20 bump

Week 20 bump

How Far Along?: 20.3 Weeks

Baby is the size of: Banana

Total Weight Gain: +13lbs.

Maternity Clothes? Oh yes!

Stretch Marks? Not yet.

Sleep? Pretty good.

Best Moment This Week? Reaching the halfway point! I can’t believe it is here, time is really flying.

Movement?: Very consistent movement. I’ve had a few times when I’m staring at my belly and I can see her kicking through the skin! I didn’t think that would happen this early.

Food Cravings?: Sweets! Baby girl must have a sweet tooth like her daddy.

Anything making you queasy?: Nope.

Baby Bump?: My stomach looks large all over. Still waiting for the bump to pick a direction! Hubby says I’ve really popped this week.

Gender Prediction?: Sweet baby girl.

Labor Signs?: Nope.

Belly Button In or Out?: Still in but very flat.

Wedding Rings on or off?: On.

Happy or Moody?: Happy!

Miss Anything?: Nothing I can think of.

Looking forward to?: We’ve been prepping the nursery and getting excited for the crib to arrive!

It’s a…

Sweet baby girl

It’s a girl!

Much to my surprise, baby is a GIRL! The best news? She is looking very healthy after our ultrasound at 19 weeks with the specialist. Apologies for the delayed announcement, I’ve been soaking in the happiness and shock that I’m having a little girl. 🙂

How did we find out? We had our anatomy scan in the morning on Feb. 13, asked for the gender in an envelope, and took it right to our favorite cupcake place so we could be surprised when we took a bite at dinner! This entire pregnancy I’ve felt like baby was a boy. At the anatomy scan, they started with an internal ultrasound and baby was IMMEDIATELY mooning us, so the tech said to quickly shut our eyes. Her response to what she saw, and the few times she said “he” while checking all the parts made me even more sure that it was a boy. All of this just added to the fun surprise when I saw the pink inside of my cupcake! It probably sounds stupid, but it was one of the biggest and happiest surprises of my life.

It was so special to have both sets of our parents and my brother there to share in our joy. This little girl is already so loved! Here are some photos:

Complete shock!

Complete shock!

It's a GIRL!

It’s a GIRL!

Grandma is excited for a little girl!

Grandma is excited for a little girl!

Celebrating with my family

Celebrating with my family