Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A baby update

I'm 29w6d today which means tomorrow I turn the big 3-0 (weeks, that is.) I make big milestones out of pretty much anything because I am just so excited and grateful for this life growing inside of my tummy. Every single day is a celebration.

Today I had an appointment with the MFM and we got to see sweet little Sammy on ultrasound again. It never gets old. We saw her practice breathing today for the first time which was utterly fascinating. The MFM says babies typically start doing that around 32 weeks so we're proud of our little snowflake for doing it a couple of weeks early. He said it's a sign of a well oxygenated baby.

And of course we saw her cross her legs at the ankles which seems to be her trademark pose in there. We're convinced this is going to be her sleeping pose when she becomes an outside baby.

We saw her yawn....and my heart melted into a puddle.

And last, we had a surprise - the sonographer pointed out her hair! Our little snowflake has a head full of hair already! I wouldn't love her any less or more if she was bald or not but it's fun learning about each of the new traits that make up who she is so I can continue to daydream about her in a little more detail.

My cervical length looks great and the fluid looks normal. Her head is smack dab on my bladder which explains the unbelievable amount of bathroom trips I'm experiencing these days, and especially nights. Sammy weighs approximately 3 lb 6 oz and is at about the 51 percentile which is all fantastic news for a mama with gestational diabetes. I'm always worried that GD will somehow impact her, but so far it has not. My MFM is very proud of me for taking it so seriously because he sees lots of patients who do not and their babies suffer consequences. I can't imagine not doing everything in my power to protect this little girl's health. I just love her to pieces and then some.

We are still chasing the right dose of insulin to counteract the placenta's impact on my blood sugar. All my daytime numbers continue to look good but my fasting numbers are just a few points above target. I'm upping my dose 4 units tonight which I have a feeling might just do the trick. We are so close, but all-in-all, my MFM is happy and so are we.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

I'm just so grateful

I'm just so grateful for where I am today. Colors are brighter, birds tweet louder, and my world is just so much richer because of the incredible gift we've been given. I just lay in bed in the mornings and feel Sammy kick me and I am in awe. There is no better feeling in this world. I feel like my heart could burst with love and gratitude for the little miracle in my belly, and for the donor families who made this possible for us. I never would be able to experience this joy without them.

Pardon me while I cry tears of joy this morning. :) I am so blessed.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

OMG those cheeks!

We went in for the much anticipated 3d ultrasound today and...
Here's Sammy...and her cheeks!


She was NOT cooperating when we first arrived. She had her back facing the "camera" and despite poking, prodding, and doing all kinds of yoga stretches, she wouldn't budge. In a desperate hope to get her to turn around, I suggested we hop in the car and put on a little dub step. Unconventional, I know, but it usually gets her kicking. It was either we got her to turn, or we'd have to reschedule which would have been a bummer.

So all three of us - me, Kevin, and Kevin's mom (aka Gamma) got into the car, turned this Skrillex song up and had a little dance party in the parking lot. It was quite the sight to see, I'm sure.

And sure enough, IT WORKED!

When we went back into the ultrasound room, she was facing forward and gave us some pictures of her sweet little face! We saw her yawn, make cranky faces, and smile. All of us were enamored. She fell back asleep with her hand daintily laid across her face. The imaging center gave us an incredible deal to return, so we will be back one last time in about a month. I already can't wait.

I am so excited to meet this little girl and kiss these sweet little cheeks!

Friday, May 16, 2014

So I've had a change of heart

As you know, I have gestational diabetes. And while it was unfortunately not quite controllable through diet and exercise, I've been taking an oral pill for it for a couple of weeks. For some reason, I had such a stigma in my head about taking insulin, all based on unfounded fears. So lately I've been doing some research, and I've had a change of heart. I actually asked to switch to insulin!

I've been reading some conflicting information about the oral pills I was on. It seems that insulin is proven safe since it's been around longer and does not cross the placenta whereas the pill most definitely does. The jury is still out for the oral pills proven safety overall. I am obviously not afraid of needles which is one big downside to insulin for most patients who have never given themselves shots.

So yesterday, I had my 28 week checkup with my OB and then had a follow up in the afternoon with my MFM. I asked for insulin and he prescribed me Levemir which will be a low 1-time-a-day dose that will last 24 hours taken right before bedtime. Yeah, sign me up! If I happen to get spikes at meals, we can add a second short acting shot in there which won't bother me either.

I had planned to start taking the insulin last night, but I ended up throwing up all my dinner and was nervous what that might mean overnight for taking insulin. So I opted to skip it, even though I think my MFM will tell me today it would have been fine. It sounds like I will start tonight. And still, all in all, my blood sugars still aren't that bad.

As far as the visit with the OB goes, he thinks everything still looks perfect with Sammy and is always so reassuring when I see him. Visits are full of hugs, happiness, and positivity. I've had a nagging fear crop up in my head lately about a cord accident happening this far into pregnancy. He made me feel a lot better about that, and told me to get my nursery ready. I told him it has been done for a while and his response was "Good, because you're going to be laying this baby down in it very soon." I just love him! I have been so lucky to have incredible doctors throughout both our infertility and pregnancy journey who not only treat my body with care and kindness, but treat my emotions in he same way too. :)

And last little update, Kevin and I have an elective ultrasound at one of those boutique 4d/3d ultrasound places tomorrow at noon. We're so excited to see Sammy in all of her chubby-cheeks-and-legs-crossed glory I could scream. You can be sure I'll be posting pictures and video, so stay tuned for tomorrow's post. I hope she cooperates!

Happy Friday, everyone! So glad this week is winding to an end!

Only 73 days, 23 hours, 13 minutes, and 18 seconds until Sammy is scheduled to arrive!

28 week bump:

Monday, May 12, 2014


First off, yesterday was the first Mother's Day in years I finally was able to enjoy myself. My mom was certainly on my mind, but it was mostly happy memories. I definitely hurt for the people who were certainly suffering yesterday. They will never be forgotten and are always in my prayers. Kevin spoiled the heck out of me which allowed me to loaf on the couch and take some desperately needed naps. I was so grateful to be dozing off feeling baby kicks in my belly. I felt so blessed.

Unfortunately, my dad completely bailed on us yesterday. And that hurt. I had invited him over weeks ago and let him know how much I'd love it if he'd join me for my first Mother's Day. He has known our struggle for the past three years. We touched base on Friday and he confirmed he'd come so Kevin made food for everyone. But when I called him in the morning, he didn't answer and I left a voicemail. I tried again around 2pm. We went ahead and ate without him and after dinner he called and had an "oh well, I'll catch you another time" attitude. It hurt. It's the new dad I don't recognize.

It didn't bother me too much yesterday, but it does today and I'm feeling kind of down about it. And based on his behavior since about February, I am already bracing myself for him not to come to my baby shower next month. I've told him how much that would hurt me and reminded him whenever I can about the date and time. But still, I feel like I don't know who he is anymore so I know no type of disappointment is off of the table. I wish things were different from him and his emotional absence is the largest source of pain my life despite everything else being so happy and beautiful.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Today I honor...

Today I honor my mom who watches over me as an angel in heaven. I also honor my mother in law who gave life to the man I love. But I would also like to acknowledge and honor the mothers, Libby and Vicky, who gave us their precious embryos . They have given me the gift of motherhood through their tiny snowflakes. 

And I hold a special place in my heart for those who are suffering today: those who have lost their mothers, the mothers who have lost their babies and hold them only in their hearts instead of their arms, and the mothers who yearn so much for a child but are still struggling to achieve their dream. My prayers, thoughts and love are with you always. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

What a difference a year makes

Today I am 27w1d. And depending on who you talk to, I may or may not already be in my third trimester. Wait, what? How did that happen? This pregnancy is flying by AND dragging all at the same time. I can't wait until fourth trimester, if you know what I mean. ;-)

Here's yesterday's bump pic:

I'm spending some time reflecting a little this morning about what a difference a year can make. Particularly because I've had a few friends give birth to their May babies over the past couple of weeks. Baby births have always been bittersweet for me, but really if I might be honest, mostly bitter. I'd hear or read of a birth announcement or learn that so-and-so is in labor, and I'd go through a rollercoaster of emotions in a split second: The punch in the gut, the excitement, the pain, the sadness, the heartbreak, the thrill, the joy, the anger, then the guilt. Yeah. Then that would repeat over and over for about a week until finally I just accepted I was yet again the one left behind.

But now, birth announcements are just full of real joy and excitement. And dear God, am I grateful to be able to experience only that reaction once again. I can't begin to tell you how happy this realization makes me and how I honestly never thought I'd feel this way again.

There is still a part of me that remembers that I had a May 2014 baby on it's way at one point, but he/she was too beautiful for earth and I'll meet him/her in heaven someday. But I smile each time I think of these beautiful earth babies who were so prayed for and are so loved. And I smile knowing my earth baby will be here in just 80 days.

May and Mother's day have been awful for me ever since 2011. On top of struggling with infertility and loss, my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer Mother's Day weekend that year, and she died a few months later. Mother's day has always been a big, fat reminder of all of that. And while I'll never forget the pain, the ordeal that mother's day usually brings is softened. I miss my mom greatly and I shed tears thinking about how she's not here with me. But, I also know that she's doing so much for us on the other side. In fact, I think she knows Sammy already. She gets to hold her hand now, even before we do. She promised me on her death bed she would "pull some strings in heaven" for us to finally become parents. And she has. So I have no doubt she's present in spirit and making good on her promise. 

And to all of the ladies who currently hold their future babies only in their hearts, I celebrate your incredible Mother Heart with you. Your hard work, tears, and dedication to giving your future babies life and love is beautiful. Thinking of each of you this weekend and sending my love.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Getting back into the swing of things

I'll post an update about a variety of things today. I'm so glad to be getting back in the swing of things now that I'm feeling better with the gestational diabetes getting under control.

At first  my gestational diabetes seemed to be under pretty good control the first couple of days on the oral meds (Glyburide.) But then I realized it wasn't working quite as well a day or two after. Sure enough, I called in with my info to the MFM and they had me up my dose by 50% and thankfully, yet again my numbers appear to be 99% where they should be. As the placenta grows it will get harder to manage so I'm sure I'll be getting another dose increase before I know it.

I've had two  hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) events since starting meds which royally sucked. Having low blood sugar makes you feel awful - shaky, irrationally irritable, sweaty, and it hits you quick - like a train. But luckily I was able to quickly get it back up with some milk and I felt better quickly. I bought some glucose tabs to take with me in my purse in case it ever happens while I'm not home.

We also got my c-section scheduled for July 29th at 7:30am CST. I've put a countdown ticker on the right side of my blog. It's not like I'm excited or anything lol!

Let's see, what else?

Oh, the sale on the California condo closed last week! This is such a huge blessing and I don't think I've let it really sink in yet that it's gone. We are free of it - finally! In other happy news, I also got the results of some blood work that the MFM ran as a baseline. All came back not just normal, but stellar. I have been secretly a little worried about my liver being problematic ever since some odd liver results scared me last year. Long story short, I had some weird enzyme results and even a borderline positive result for an autoimmune liver issue but after seeing a GI doctor, they said they *thought* it was a non issue and a fluke. We then got knee-deep into cycling and I never got full follow up blood work to ensure that everything was indeed normal. So now, to hear all of my results were normal finally squashed those secret, long-lingering fears and I feel like a weight has been lifted.

I've also been keeping myself busy taking pictures for friends. I had a really fun sex-reveal maternity shoot (see photos below) with a friend of mine which went great. UNTIL, my blood sugar tanked, I got shaky, and accidentaly dropped one of my favorite lenses and it shattered all over the cement. I was so mad at myself all day long. I'm not a professional photographer and I don't have insurance, so now I'm in the market to replace it. And many people don't realize this, but the lenses can be the most expensive part of the camera. I swear I saw it shatter in slow motion. I guess stuff happens.

Just a quick offer + plug for myself - if you're in the Austin area and would like to have some free photos to help me build my portfolio for the side business I'm working on, email me at All I ask in return is a signed release form that will allow me to use them for self-promotion and my portfolio.

Here are a couple from yesterday.