Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 in Review

As I sit here and reflect on 2014, I am blown away with all the occurred during these 365 days.  We definitely had our share of obstacles, mainly with the emotional and physical turmoil that comes with IVF, but we also had numerous celebrations with family and friends including weddings, pregnancy announcements  traveling the world, and more.  This year was memorable to say the least!  Here are some of the highlights from 2014:

  • I’M PREGNANT!!!  Grace Patricia O'Neil due June 2015 :)
  • My husband and I celebrated our 3 year wedding anniversary!
  • Our puppies both turned 2 and our kitty turned 3
  • My brother-in-law and his wife welcomed their second son into this world on December 15th and I am one very happy Auntie!
  • One of my cousins is due any day with twin boys!!
  • Dad underwent bypass heart surgery a couple weeks ago and is healing tremendously!  He had the BEST thoracic surgeon (it was all robotics, no chest cracking necessary) and was only hospitalized for three days.  Now he’s up walking and driving again!
  • One of my cousins got married!  We celebrated for three days in traditional Pakistani style and elegance
  • One of my cousins graduated high school and is now attending UC Santa Barbara
  • Remembered my Mommy on her 2 year Angel Day in March and my Grammie on her 3 year Angel Day in January
  • My best friend is pregnant and is due three months before me!!
  • My dear friend and college roomie, Danielle, got married in March!
  • My other friend, Amanda, said her vows to her husband in September!
  • Kristin, one of my college roomies from NYC, came to CA for her first time and to visit us!
  • And too many wonderful dinners and outings with friends to count!!
  • Completed the Spartan Sprint, which was one of the most difficult races I’ve ever participated in (perhaps even more so than running my marathon!)  AROO!
  • Planned, organized, and participated in the Hope, Steps, and A Cure 5K and Walk in support of MDS for the third year in a row.  Team Pat Reep raised over $20,000!
  • Attended numerous Ducks hockey games!  We now have season tickets!!
  • Saw Jamestown Revival in concert at the Troubadour…twice!
  • Sean started playing ice hockey and absolutely LOVES it!!  His team won the Stanley Cup in their league!
  • Walked the nnual Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 5K with the fam (my first workout in months after finally being cleared by my Dr to walk and it felt great) 
  • March:  NYC for Danielle’s wedding!
  • April: Montana with family and friends to snowboard for my husband’s 30th “Dirty 30” birthday!
  • June:  Drove to Santa Ynez with Sean for a romantic weekend of wine tasting and fabulous dinners
  • July:  Montana with family to celebrate the 4th!  Spent the long weekend jet skiing, boating, tubing, hiking, playing our annual croquet tourney, and relaxing.
  • August-September:  Iceland!!  We traveled with my dad and his girlfriend to West and South Iceland climbing volcanoes, hiking some of the largest waterfalls in the world, exploring black sand beaches, playing with Viking horses, bathing in natural hot springs, and absorbing all that nature has to offer!
  • September:  Vegas to meet up with my college roomies to see Britney Spears’ “Piece of Me” concert at Planet Hollywood! 
  • Promoted to Program Manager of our enterprise-wide CAHPS (Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) Program
  • Celebrated my 5 year anniversary with Molina (a FORTUNE 500 Company) and was recognized with a service award
  • Successfully developed and implemented some challenging projects and as a result, saw our company CAHPS scores improve significantly year over year
  • Celebrated many holidays with my team that involved potlucks and games! 

The Little Things
  • Started working on Gracie’s nursery, including building the crib (thank you hubby!!)
  • Finished remodeling our home office and it's perfect!
  • Watched the entire Sons of Anarchy series in a month; it was phenomenal and up there with Breaking Bad in my opinion 
  • Began knitting again, which I haven’t done in ~12 years (baby blanket is in progress!)

What’s next for 2015??
  • Traveling to NYC, Montana, and Maine
  • Having our miracle baby!!!

2014 was quite the year, and I am more than ready to say hello to 2015.  This is the year we get to meet our little miracle baby, Grace, and that day in June can't come soon enough :)

Cheers to a marvelous 2015 filled with love, adventure, joy, and excitement!!!

Friday, December 26, 2014

14 Week Bumpdate!

How far along:  14 weeks!

Total weight gain/loss:  -0.2lbs up from -2 last week!

Maternity clothes:  Still just maternity jeans.  I did buy some cute tops at a Pea in the Pod, but I am still able to wear my pre-pregnancy tops :)

Sleep:  Sleeping through the night.

Best moment this week:  This year I didn't ask for anything for Christmas except baby things. On Christmas morning when my hubby and I exchanged gifts, he spoiled me {and Gracie} rotten!  He got me the cutest Pink Power Ranger newborn onesie with a tutu attached to it {I loved the Power Rangers and always wanted to be the pink ranger}, the Wrapsody Breeze wrap, some great developmental toys including a really cute textured and noisy rattle that changes color when baby touches it, a really funny pacifier that looks like a cork {from the pups and cat of course}, and so much more!  He did get me some things, but this post is about Gracie :)  One of my cousins also gave me a book called "Born From the Heart" and I cried when I opened it.  She said, "this is about love for a child and you can read this to Gracie".  I can't wait to start reading it to my daughter at 18 weeks when she can hear.

Cravings:  Chocolate (which I NEVER crave) and apples

Missing anything:  Nope!

Pregnancy symptoms:  My energy is finally coming back!  Still feeling great!

Showing yet:  Yep!  My bump is growing!!  I love it.

Labor signs:  Nope.  Too early.

Belly button in or out:  In

Wedding rings on or off:  On!

Friday, December 19, 2014

13 Week Bumpdate!

How far along:  13 weeks!

Total weight gain/loss:  -2.4lbs (I think it’s mostly muscle though, since I wasn’t allowed to work out for so long)

Maternity clothes:  Maternity jeans only.  Otherwise I’m still able to wear my flowy blouses, dresses, and work pants (I usually wear a long tank top under my blouse because I have to unbutton my work pants).

Sleep:  I have been waking up around 2am every night this week, but other than that, I’m in bed around 9:30pm and up at 6am.

Best moment this week:  Shopping for Gracie :)  I bought her little Uggs, moccasins, leggings, a couple onesies, and some other little goodies.  She is going to be one loved {and spoiled} girl!  Also I was cleared to work out {lightly} again, so I’ve started walking every other day.

Cravings:  Apples, popcorn, tangerines, apple pie

Missing anything:  The other night I really wanted a glass of wine.

Pregnancy symptoms:  Never had morning sickness luckily, and now I’m in the clear of that!  I have started getting little pressure headaches here and there due to the extra blood my body is producing…they aren’t too bad, just a little uncomfortable.

Showing yet:  Yep!  I have a bump and it’s precious!  I love it!

Labor signs:  Nope.  Too early.

Belly button in or out:  In

Wedding rings on or off:  On!

Friday, December 12, 2014

12 Week Bumpdate!

Today I am 12 weeks, and I had my first appointment with my high-risk doctor.  I can’t even begin to explain how incredible my ultra sound was.  The equipment is MUCH more high tech than my RE’s, which made for an out-of-this-world experience!  I saw her brain, and her jaw, and the blood flowing through her body, and her little hands and fingers.  In addition, my girl is so active, has been in every ultrasound, but today she was using her legs to kick off my uterine wall and bounce up and down!  It was the most precious thing I’ve ever seen.  My sweet miracle is constantly dancing inside Mommy’s belly.  I did learn today that I have an anterior placenta, which means its on the front-side of my uterus.  This is totally normal, but it leads to a “pillow effect” which means another layer for my girl to kick through.  So instead of feeling her at ~20 weeks, I might feel her at ~22 weeks.  No big deal :)  She’s healthy and developing perfectly, and that makes me happy. 
How far along:  12 weeks!

Total weight gain/loss:  -1.4lbs

Maternity clothes:  Maternity jeans - thank god for cute designer maternity jeans from A Pea in the Pod!  They are so comfortable and super cute on!!!

Sleep:  All the time!!!  I’ve never needed so much sleep before, and now I’m sleeping like 8-10 hours a night, and napping on weekends.  It’s actually quite fantastic!!

Best moment this week:  Going for our 12 week ultra sound and seeing our girl!  First she had her legs crossed, then she started kicking and wiggling around, and then she even started clapping her hands together!  It was incredible!  She is one active girl, just like her mommy.

Cravings:  Apples, clementines, nachos

Missing anything:  Nope!

Anything making you queasy or sick:  Nothing!  I’ve had zero sickness!  Woohoo :)

Showing yet:  Yep!  I have a bump and it’s precious!  I love it!

Labor signs:  Nope.  Too early.

Belly button in or out:  In

Wedding rings on or off:  On!

My {Long} Journey to Pregnancy

A few months ago, I started writing about my journey to becoming pregnant for my own personal documentation.  This is the most personal thing I've ever written about, full of tears, grief, laughter, and above all, hope.  It's my journey, and now that I am finally pregnant, I am ready to share it.  It's lengthy, so grab a cup of hot chocolate or coffee, curl up, and enjoy my journey.

Friday, September 12, 2014

There is something so desperately I have wanted to write about, for my own documentation, however it’s a very private matter and I haven’t wanted to publicize it until now.  Maybe it was out of fear, or lack of courage, or just wanting to keep this aspect of our lives private, but now I am ready to share.  My family and close friends know what I am going to write about, but that’s it.  This isn’t easy to share, so I am just going to start from the beginning.

In February 2013, my husband and I happily decided to begin the journey of making our family of 5 (us, two dogs, and a cat) to a family of 6 (yes, a baby).  I went off birth control and assumed it would take a month or so to get out of my system.  A couple months passed, and I wasn’t getting a period, but I wasn’t pregnant either, which reminded me of the original reason I went on BC (to regulate my period).  After several months, I was referred to a reproductive endocrinologist (RE)/infertility specialist, who I contacted in August, six months after we had begun trying to conceive (TTC), which is the recommended time. 

We decided to start with IUI, or intrauterine insemination, where the doctor regulates your body’s natural cycle, and at the right time, they insert your partner’s sperm, hopefully achieving fertilization of the egg and thus an embryo.  Turns out I don’t ovulate naturally and my uterine lining is too thin to shed naturally, hence no period (uterine lining shedding is what gives a woman a period), and hence no results on natural fertilization.  This was actually a blessing in disguise, because during one of my routine blood draws to measure my hormone levels, my RE discovered my platelets were abnormally low.

Normal platelets are between 150K and 450K, and mine were at 80K.  Now remember my Mommy and herMDS…her indicator for the disease was low platelets (hers eventually dropped severely low to 2K, but we are not here to talk about that).  My RE recommended I inform my PCP (primary care physician) and reach out to my Mom’s oncologist at USC Norris Cancer Center.  Needless to say, I freaked out.  I totally lost it.  “I have MDS” “How am I going to tell my husband” “Shit, how am I going to tell my dad!  He just lost his wife to this!”  All these thoughts were racing through my mind as I heard my blood results on the phone.  I was in shambles.  I was driving home from work, so I pulled myself together and decided to stop by my Dad’s house and inform him.  I was strong and kept it together when I told him, and my Dad went into his freaking-out-but-need-to-do-something-and-try-to-remain-calm-planning mode:  “Well, let me call {our PCP} and {USC oncologist} right now.  We will get you squared away…we can do a bone marrow transplant and I’m sure one of your brothers is a match…”  He was totally freaking out, in his own way.  I cried, he planned.  He immediately emailed my Mom’s oncologist while I was there, and she responded right away.

My Mom’s oncologist, Dr. O’Connell, is the best in dealing with bone marrow failure diseases such as MDS, and she is one of the nicest and most caring people I’ve ever met.  In her email reply to my Dad, she said she wanted to get me in immediately for blood work and a bone marrow biopsy.  I had blood work done and scheduled my bone marrow biopsy for October, which was just a couple weeks away at this point.  On the day of my bone marrow biopsy (10/21/2013), I took two Ativan to help with anxiety, which made me feel really happy and loopy.  I was lying on my tummy and she went into my hip bone (left side), and Dr. O. numbed the area with seven lidocaine injections, going deeper into the skin and muscle with each injection.  Unfortunately, you can’t numb the bone, and when she hit the bone with her “drill”, I experienced the worst pain in my life.  Sean said I looked like a wind-up doll with the drill in my back.  Sean held my hand the entire time, as I was crying and snotting on myself…very glamorous.  Dr. O. started talking to me and asking about things that make me happy.  I don’t remember this, but she later told me I started talking about our dogs (breed, names, acts of silliness, etc.).  I was a proud mama talking about my babies.  That apparently calmed me down and she was able to get a good sample of fluid and bone.  In that sample, we learned I have a very rare gene mutation called the RUNX1 gene in my 21st chromosome, which has a 50% chance of mutating into either MDS or leukemia.  That explained a lot about my mom, who passed away from MDS and my mom’s mom who passed away of leukemia.  Voila!  It’s genetic.  The incredible blessing of learning that I have this gene is that we can monitor it now with monthly blood draws and determine if it mutates, and it may never mutate!  My mom and grandmother never had that.  However, with knowing I have the gene passed down from my mom and my grandmother and who knows how many generations before, we don’t want to pass it on to our kids.  The only way to ensure that this gene is eradicated from the family line was to purse IVF and test each embryo for this RUNX1 gene.

In light of this news, I updated my RE and we cancelled our IUI and began the process of IVF.  As I mentioned, the RUNX1 gene is very rare, affecting a mere 300 known people in the US so the genetic test had not been built.  Therefore, I contacted the genetics lab and my family and I financed the development of this test.  It took six months to build and a number blood samples from all immediate family members, both affected and non-affected.  During those six months, I began the first phase of IVF:  the stim phase.  This included multiple twice-daily injections in my belly at specific times to stimulate my ovary production and egg development prior to an egg retrieval surgery.  I felt like a chemist because some of my shots I had to mix myself before injecting (powder and fluid, fluid and fluid).  It was pretty exciting actually.  Moreover, let me tell you, the shots didn’t hurt one bit.  I was deathly afraid of needles before, but I suppose when your desires outweigh your fears, your fears disappear, and my desire for a baby outweighed my fear of needles by infinity.  I even remember going to Vegas the Friday after Thanksgiving with my family to celebrate my cousin’s 21st birthday, and I had my cooler full of my medications and a purse full of needles.  It was kind of hilarious.

After a couple weeks of stims, my ovaries responded very well so we scheduled my egg retrieval surgery for mid December.  Sean took me, and after I put on my hospital gown and the nurse hooked me up to an IV, the anesthesiologist came over and nearly cancelled my retrieval because he saw my low platelets on my chart.  He came over to me as I’m lying on the gurney and said, “I’m Dr. So-and-So and I will be your anesthesiologist during your egg retrieval today.  I see your platelets are at 80.  This is very concerning to me, as I don’t like to anesthetize people under 100 platelets.  I don’t recommend this.”  He must have seen the “you’re fucking kidding me” look on my face because he continued, “Have you ever had issues of bleeding?”  I responded no.  “Do you clot well?”  I responded yes and told him I’ve never had an issue with ‘bleeding out’ despite my low platelets.  I guess that worked for him because he said we could proceed, but instead of monitoring me for the usual 30 minutes post retrieval, he wanted to monitor me for two hours.  No problem for me…I’d be drugged up anyways and sleeping most of it (poor hubby…thankfully he brought his Kindle).  So they wheeled me back, transferred me to the OR table, and gave me twilight and I was out.

My egg retrieval went superbly!  They retrieved 14 eggs, 11 of which fertilized, and 8 of which survived beyond fertilization (it’s common once eggs are fertilized to stop growing and die off).  So we had 8 embryos to test for my RUNX1 gene!  With a 50% chance of them having the gene, we could potentially have 4 healthy embryos to work with.  Yay!!!  Sean and I were elated.

Fast forward a couple months to April 2014…the gene test is complete and they are ready to test our embryos!  Turns out, FIVE of our little embies were unaffected!!!  We had FIVE little ones to work with!  Now to begin the second phase of IVF:  prepping my body for embryo transfer.  This is much easier said than done, as we have learned the hard way.  For some reason I had this fantasy in my head that as soon as the embryos were tested, we could just stick one back in and I’d be pregnant.  Piece of cake right?  Wrong!  I had to wait until my next period, at which time I would begin my protocol.  My protocol consisted of one week of estrogen pills, then adding estrogen patches the second week, and assuming my uterine lining would reach the ideal thickness of at least 7mm, I’d begin progesterone shots the third week leading to my embryo transfer.  Progesterone shots are intramuscular in the butt and the liquid is a thick oil-like substance, unlike stims that are injected into the fatty belly tissue and are a water-like substance.

After three weeks on estrogen, my lining was not close to the desired thickness so we continued pills and patches.  After week five, my lining was still about a 6.2, so we cancelled this cycle.  I stopped taking my estrogen to force my period, which began the start of round 2.  During round 2 I followed the same protocol (pills and patches), and this time my lining was just about 7mm when I was given the green light to start my progesterone shots and schedule an embryo transfer!!  I was able to give myself my progesterone shots (2x per day) no problem.  Again, desire over fear.  I was over-the-moon excited!!  I was going to be pregnant finally!  The day before my transfer, I went in for one last ultrasound to check my lining.  It had shrunk to a 6.8, but we decided to proceed with my transfer the following day.

Sean and I went in together, and it was such an incredible experience.  The room was dark and calming music was playing on the speakers.  The lab tech came in to show us the order that confirmed our embryo transfer of the top grade embryo as well as a picture of our embryo.  It was so cute and was already beginning to hatch (very common), so it looked like a diamond ring.  I laid down on the table and my RE came in, and walked us through the transfer which we were able to view on a TV screen.  We saw on the ultrasound the long straw-like device that carried our embryo, and we saw my RE drop it onto my lining.  It was a very emotional and beautiful experience.  Words fail to describe it.  My RE left the room and I laid there for a little bit while Sean held my hand.  I was put on bed rest for the next three days, during which my dad and cousins came over to check on me and bring me meals.  I definitely got the royal treatment from my hubby and family.  After the three days of bed rest, I could walk around and move again, but I could not exercise.  My blood pregnancy test wasn’t for another week, so I made plans every day to keep myself distracted.  All I wanted to do was pee on a stick, but it wouldn’t show up in a urine test that quickly, and I didn’t want to jinx anything.

Ten days after my transfer and multiple evenings out to the movies and dinner with family and friends, it was the day for my pregnancy test.  It was June 25, two days before my birthday.  I went in first thing in the morning then headed in to work.  This had to have been the longest day of my life.  After not hearing anything by 4pm, I left work early because I decided I didn’t want to be at work when I received the news whether it was good or bad.  My iPhone screen had cracked a few days before, so I decided to head to the iPhone repair store on my way home.  As I pulled into the parking lot, my phone rang.  It was my RE.  The second I heard her voice I knew the answer.  I was not pregnant.  It didn’t work.  My RE sounded so sad for me, yet stayed hopeful for the next round.  She said this was a fluke and that she’s not sure why it didn’t take, but we will get there eventually.  It took every ounce of strength I had not to break down on the phone, although my voice was quivering.  We hung up, and tears gushed out of my eyes.  I couldn’t breathe.  My heart was broken.  I felt as though I had lost a piece of myself, which in a way, I had.  I was beyond devastated.  I texted Sean the news because I wasn’t able to speak, and he called me immediately.  I have no idea what I said to him…I don’t remember.  I do remember after about 30 minutes, maybe 45, I finally walked to the iPhone repair shop and got my phone fixed.  The guy probably thought I had been crying over my broken phone.  I found that somewhat amusing in this dark moment.  If only he knew.  I drove home and cried into Sean’s arms.  We opened a bottle of wine and just cuddled on the couch.  “Next time” he said, “We will get there, I promise.  I love you.”

After our first failed attempt, we decided to take the next two months off.  We celebrated my birthday two days later on June 27 with a dinner party at our house with family and close friends, and it turned out to be one of the best birthdays ever.  We went to Montana for the 4th of July and spent a long weekend at my Aunt’s lake house cruising around in the boat, riding jet skis, swimming in the lake, and putting on the greatest fireworks show on the lake from our dock.  And finally in August, we traveled to Iceland where we climbed volcanoes, hiked some of the largest waterfalls in the world, explored black sand beaches, played with Viking horses, bathed in natural hot springs, and absorbed all that nature has to offer!!!  It was one of our most favorite trips so far.

After two months of relaxing and traveling, we started round 3 at the beginning of September and following the same protocol (pills, patches, progesterone).  During my ultrasound the first week, my lining was a whopping 7.7!!  I was so thrilled because I still had two weeks before my tentative transfer so it could thicken even more!  When I went back the next week, however, my lining had shrunk to 6.7.  I was instructed to begin progesterone shots on Sunday as scheduled, but my RE wanted to see me back on Tuesday.  On Tuesday, my lining from one angle was a mere 5.7, but from another angle it was 7.1, which is good.  It’s odd that it measured so different from one angle to the other, so they wanted me to come back on Thursday, which was yesterday.  When I went in, my lining was 6.5, and my RE was not happy with the number, so we cancelled my transfer, which was supposed to be today.  I felt so deflated and hopeless.  Another month gone.  As I walked out, one of the nurses hugged me and I started crying.  This is such an emotional rollercoaster, filled with the highest highs and the lowest lows.  I called Sean when I got to my car and updated him, and he was so sweet and consoling.  He told me that tough situations don’t last but tough people do, and that I’m the toughest person he knows.  That definitely helped.  My husband is an incredible man, and I love him with all my heart.

Many tears have been shed during this journey (no thanks to all the hormones), but there have also been many instances of hope and joy.  Our journey isn’t over, and I won’t give up until I am holding our sweet baby in my arms.  Perseverance is the key to success.  We WILL get through this.  All of this will just make our sweet little one that much more loved and special…he/she will be our miracle child.  We are going to try again next cycle, which should begin next week, and this time we are changing my protocol.  Instead of the traditional estrogen and progesterone, we are going to mimic pre-egg retrieval and use stims.  Looking back in my chart, my RE saw that my lining was between 7 and 13 before my egg retrieval, so we are hoping that stims will be the right “concoction” to which my body will respond.  Fingers crossed for a successful October transfer next month!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I am happy to report that my body reacted to the protocol change!  As I previously mentioned, we switched from the “traditional” protocol to the stims.  This included belly injections of Gonal-f twice a day for about three weeks.  After the first week, my lining was perking up nicely.  By the third week, on 10/1, my lining was a whopping 7.8 (for me this is huge!), and my follicles reached the desired 17-20mm in size!  I received the green light for my transfer, and we scheduled it for the following week on 10/7.  The morning of my transfer, I visited my acupuncturist for a relaxing pre-transfer session.  It totally put me in a zen-mood.  I was so relaxed and I could feel the blood and oxygen flowing through my body.  I was ready…my body was ready.  After my acupuncture session, Sean and I drove down to Newport for my 11:45am appointment.  Dr. M did a quick scan to make sure everything still looked good, and sure enough, it did!  My lining was still 7.5 and we all were thrilled.  Additionally, Dr. M said my uterus looked so good and she had superior visibility, one of the best she’s ever seen.  The embryologist brought in a picture of our sweet little embryo, and then she brought in our embryo for Dr. M to transfer.  As I held the picture to my heart and while wearing three charms given to me by family members, Dr. M transferred our sweet one into the thickest and cushiest part of my uterus.  After the transfer, I laid there on the bed for 15 minutes visualizing a successful transfer and praying.

I spent the next 4 days on bed rest, and this time I was strict about it (last time I’d putz around, get up and make food).  This time, Sean, my dad, and my dad’s girlfriend all made me meals and catered to me on the couch or in my bed.  My body felt different this time too.  I cramped a lot more this time, which is a good thing, and I also was insanely fatigued; I was sleeping 10-15 hours a day, if not more!  When I wasn’t sleeping, I watched romantic comedies and began (and quickly became addicted to) Sons of Anarchy (I watched 3 seasons!).  My bed rest ended on Friday, so I spent the weekend still relaxing and taking it easy, including napping a TON!

Now today is Wednesday, and tomorrow is THE DAY.  I have an 8am blood pregnancy test.  I am going to implore them to please call me as soon as they get the results.  Last time, Dr. M called me at 5pm…that was the longest day of my life.  I hope that they can call me earlier, and I hope it’s positive.  I honestly believe in my heart that I am pregnant.  My body feels so different…my breasts are unbelievably tender, I’ve had the cramping, I’m peeing a lot…I’ve just experienced some of the early pregnancy symptoms.  I know the hormones I’m taking can also cause these, but I choose to believe it’s due to the new life inside me.  The stars aligned this time…my lining was thick, my body was ready, my heart was ready, and the transfer went as smoothly as possible.  Additionally, we transferred on a full moon, and on a blood moon (full lunar eclipse).  A full moon and a blood moon in fertility both symbolize new beginnings and new life.  I feel it in my heart that I am pregnant.  Sometimes the fear creeps in and I become scared shitless that the call I get will mirror that of last time, but then I tell myself to cast my fears aside and believe.  I believe, and tomorrow I will know for sure.  “Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen” and I do.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

This morning I went in for my blood test.  I am anxiously waiting for the results, which I should get in the next few hours.  I am so excited and hopeful, but I’m also nervous as hell.  All I can do is remain positive and pray that the call I get will be a “Congratulations, you’re pregnant!” call.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

I’m pregnant!!!!  I got the call on 10/16 while I was out to lunch with my coworker, Michela!  We were walking to my car after a great lunch at Aura Thai, and I saw Dr. Moayeri was calling.  I told Michela I had to take it.  When I answered, Dr. M said “Hi Maggie it’s Dr. Moayeri!  Good news…your levels looks great!!!” “What?  Does that mean…?”  “Yes,” she said, “you’re pregnant!”  I started crying and screaming with excitement.  We hung up the phone and as I was crying and smiling, Michela just looked at me and I could tell she wanted to ask if I was okay but didn’t want to pry.  I couldn’t contain myself!  “I’m pregnant!” I told her.  Her face lit up with excitement and gave me a huge hug!!  We got in my car so I could take her back to work, and I confessed that we had been going through IVF for almost two years.  There was no way I was going back to work (it was about 2:30pm at this time).  I had a plan!  I dropped Michela back at the office, and went to fulfill my plan to tell Sean.  It took so much strength not to call Sean right away and scream the news to him over the phone.  I wanted to do something cute to tell him.  I stopped at Alin Party and picked up 10 pink balloons.  When I got home, I rang the doorbell and hid behind the pink balloons.  When Sean answered the door, I popped my head out from behind the balloons.  It took him a second, but then he said, “Wait, does this mean what I think it means?”  “Yes!  It was positive!  I’m pregnant!” I exclaimed.  He was over the moon!!!  He gave me the biggest hug.  Then something funny happened.  He sat back down on the couch to continue playing video games and he said with a big smile, “I don’t know what to do now.”  I looked at him and said, “First of all, stop playing video games and turn off the Xbox!  I want to go celebrate!”  And he jumped up to get ready.  It was hilarious.  He was like a deer in the headlights.

While Sean got ready, I called Dad.  I’ve never heard Dad so happy before!!!  He is so pumped to be a grandpa!  I also texted my brothers, Shahana and Mike (who were in Florence), and Omz and Rach, all of whom are over the moon.  Right after my text to Rach she called me and literally screamed into the phone “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!  YOU’RE PREGNANT!!  WE’RE PREGNANT TOGETHER!!!  Can we celebrate??  Or do you want to be alone?”  I told her we’d love to celebrate with them and invited them to meet us at Simmzy’s.  We had such a fun evening!!!  It was me, Sean, Omz, Rach, and Shamas for a while, then Sam came!  He told his boss he had to leave for a family thing and left early to come celebrate with us J  That made me so happy.  Soon after Sam joined, Dad and Jodi surprised us!  Dad had previously told me they had plans at the Club, but decided to cancel and surprise his only daughter instead!  It was awesome!  I’ve never seen my Dad so happy, not even on my wedding day (wedding day now comes second in happiness scale to this day).  Even Uncle Gale joined later!!  It was such a fun evening!!  We were at Simmzy’s for almost 4 hours!  Such a perfect day J

A few days after the wonderful news, I went in for a blood test to check my HCG levels.  They were sky high, and I graduated from blood draws to ultrasounds!  So my next appointment, 10/22, at 4 weeks and 5 days pregnant, I had my first ultrasound.  It was incredible.  This early in pregnancy I was told we should only see a little black dot, which is the embryo sac, and what a perfect black dot it was.

A week later on 10/30 I had another ultrasound, and it was epic.  I saw my baby’s heartbeat for the first time!!  It looked like a little twinkling light!  It was incredible.  Her heart beats 100x per minute.  I go back tomorrow, 11/6, for my next ultrasound.  She should be a little bigger, and we should be able to hear the heartbeat.  Sean is coming with me to this one because he doesn’t want to miss hearing our girl’s heart beating J  I’m going to ask him to video it on his phone so we have it.  I can’t wait!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

This morning I had my weekly ultrasound. I am 9w4d today (I had to go in early this week because Thursday is Thanksgiving!), and my sweet little one is measuring perfectly!  This morning was extra special because she was putting on a show for Mommy!  She was swimming around and wiggling like crazy!  She is going to be an active girl just like her Mama.  Her head is also much more distinguishable, and I was able to see her little feet today too!  On the ultrasound, it looked like she was crossing them.  It was so sweet. Ah!  I have so much to be thankful for this year.  After a long journey to get to this point, we are here, and our sweet angel is developing wonderfully.  All my wishes came true.  I am so blessed and so lucky to have this sweet one growing inside me.  I already love her more than words can express.  I can’t wait to feel her move for the first time J  For now, I am so happy seeing her move on the ultrasounds and hearing her heart beat.

Tomorrow I have my first appointment with my OB, since at week 12, I will be graduating from OC Fertility and transitioning to my OB.  It’s going to be bittersweet.  I’ve been with Dr. M and all her staff for a year and a half, and they are all so wonderful!  Of course, I will visit, and I will be back with them for our second child.  I’m looking forward to meeting my new OB, Dr. Vanessa Kaleb, tomorrow though.  My OB doesn’t deliver anymore, so she highly recommended Dr. Kaleb.  From the reviews I’ve read and word of mouth, she is very skilled in her field and has great bedside manner (a definite must).  Looking forward to it.

Friday, December 12, 2014

A couple weeks ago, I had my first appointment with my OB.  Turns out, I am a high-risk pregnancy due to my low platelets, and so I was transferred to the high-risk OB group.  I am now in the best hands possible with Dr. McNulty in case, God forbid, something goes wrong during my pregnancy or labor.

More to come!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

**We're Expecting!!!!**

It has been months since I've posted something, so it's only fitting that I jump back in the saddle with the most wonderful news...

Our sweet baby girl is due June 26, 2015 (the day before my birthday!) and we couldn't be more excited!!

 It has been on quite the journey to get here, one I will share at a later time.  We feel so blessed for our little miracle, and we already love her beyond measure!!