Thursday, February 27, 2014

A trip to the emergency room

It wasn't due to bleeding or anything baby related, I don't want to worry anyone.

This off-balance pregnant lady with a bigger-than-usual belly stepped off of a perfectly normal curb on a perfectly normal day in perfectly flat shoes and rolled her ankle at lunch yesterday! The first few minutes after it happened I just sat in my car and screamed and cried in some of the most excruciating pain I've ever endured. I had to go back to work for an important meeting so I wobbled my way back into the office. I couldn't reach Kevin because he was in meetings but luckily one of my coworkers was a former EMT and we ended up tying a bag of ice to it with a scarf I wore to work yesterday. Glad it was scarf weather! After the meeting was over, I realized how hard it was going to be to make all of the inevitable potty trips over the course of the afternoon, so I headed home to finish out my work day there. This is when I realized something was really wrong. Driving home was excruciating. Well, at least having my foot on the brake pedal was. I started to get really worried I had broken it.

Kevin came home and looked and it and we decided to go to the ER to check it out. When I got there, I told everyone that I was pregnant and to please make sure we protected my baby with every step of the process. The only thing that made me nervous was when we did X-Rays, but the tech assured me I was okay with the multiple layers of shielding, and the distance in proximity from my ankle to my belly.

X-Ray results came back as no break (THANK GOD) but just a nasty sprain so I've got it in a splint and am able to work from home. Quite an adventure though!

I know the first thing you might think is that I should be careful. But the scary part is that I wasn't being not-careful. I was literally just walking. I didn't slip, I didn't misstep, my foot just did it's own thing as I landed off the curb and rolled - probably because of my tendons and ligaments loosening as a results of pregnancy hormones. So I'm worried something like this could happen again. But the most important news is Sammy is okay, I don't have a broken ankle, and I'm hopeful things will heal up quickly.

So there's my exciting adventure that took me into my next milestone....I'm 17 weeks today!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

What kind of mom will I be?

When you fight so long to become a mother, much of the time you end up shielding yourself from the realization that the end of this path means actually taking a precious little newborn home from the hospital with you. I never let myself really think about those details because I was too afraid it would never happen and the letdown would hurt way too much. I thought about it in general terms and continued to fight.

Now I'm starting to let myself realize the tangible details around bringing Sammy home with us. Please, don't get me wrong, I am beyond comprehension excited and happy. There's no other way to describe that part of it. But a new emotion is starting to be added to the bucket of elated emotions.

I'm a little scared.

I'm scared I might not do the right things, or that I might make mistakes. Will I be the kind of mother I hope to be? I am going to do the very best that I can. I know it's normal and I don't expect to be perfect, but I also know that this perfect little girl who we have prayed so hard for, well...she won't come with an instruction manual.

This emotion has brought with it the frequent reminder that my mom is no longer here. Big time. That makes me sad.  Growing up, I always pictured calling her with questions when my baby got sick, was teething, for product recommendations, or pretty much when I was all-around clueless. I feel like I would be much less lost if she were here. My dad is still here, but it's definitely not the same. I miss her and feel that emptiness amplified lately. I think about the excitement she would be having for each pregnancy milestone. I think about what it would be like to call her to tell her I'm in labor. I think about sending her baby pictures and telling her about the latest cute thing that Sammy did. My brothers and their wives each got to experience those things with her on this earth, but we didn't because infertility had different plans for us. I really hate that. I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little bit jealous when I see families that actually have grandmas playing at the park or adult mothers and daughters spending time together. I'd better stop before the tears really start flowing.

I know I can do this, even with her on the other side. At the moment, I feel compelled to educate myself as much as I can in the conventional sense by reading books about parenting. As I always said with infertility, information is power. The more I learn about a scary subject, the more confident and better I feel. Plus, I used to babysit all of the time growing up so I know some of the basics will come back to me. But the broader parenting subjects around breastfeeding, what products to buy, sleep schedules, etc., - none of that was applicable to me as a babysitter so it's a brand new, and somewhat scary world to venture into.

I know lots of women say that they hate it when they are given unsolicited parenting advice. I'm the opposite. I'm soaking it up like a sponge. My friends who already have children have been such a help to me already in telling me all kinds of tips and tricks. I welcome any and all parenting tips. It's open season. Just lay them on me!

Thanks for letting me confess some of my fears. I wouldn't change any of this for the world. Period, end of story. I just hope I can be the kind of incredible mother my mom was to me, despite the fact that she won't be around to help me.

Friday, February 21, 2014

The plan for confirming genetics

For those of you who have followed my story, you know that we transferred two embryos on transfer day back in November. And each of those two embryos came from a different family's batch. But only one stuck around and grew into our singleton baby girl, Samantha. That means that currently, we don't know which genetic family she came from. It's a fun mystery, but one that does need to be solved eventually.

I did some preliminary research with my OB to see if there's a way to find out before birth. But just as I suspected, the only two ways prebirth come with a risk of loss - which is something we will in no way consider. Our only options pre-birth are to do an amnio or CVS. Nope.

We can certainly be patient and wait until birth. There's not even a 0.0000000000000000001% chance of loss that is worth finding out before birth.

But we do have a testing plan. Vicky's four year old son, who is a sibling to her batch of donor embryos, will get his cheek swabbed with a q-tip type device and sent in to a lab. And upon the birth of miss Samantha, we will do the same with her. The results will either show they are either a genetic sibling match or they are not. And if they are not, we know she came from Libby's batch. I'm surprised how readily available these types of DNA tests are available on a consumer level. And they are very affordable too! There's a big market for paternity testing and whatnot due to child support cases. So that has driven the availability and price down for people like us. No complaints here!

Vicky's little boy is such a helper for doing this for us. And I'm so glad it's noninvasive for a four year old to go through. And I'm also very relieved that we won't need to even ask Libby to do anything at all seeing how she's going through so much right now.

I think it will take a bit of time after Sammy's birth for the genetic results to come back. But I've seen baby pictures from both families and these precious little newborns are very different from one another. Both families have beautiful children, and we are excited and blessed no matter which genetic family it turns out to be. But I have a feeling that photos of Samantha may be pretty obvious as to which family she came from from looks alone, even before the genetic results come back. We will just have to wait and see!

We love both of our donor families and the genetic results won't change any of that. But we know it's important to know the genetic link - not just for us, but to Samantha.

So there's the plan in case anyone was wondering!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

16 week ultrasound

I've tried to write some new posts over the past week but I couldn't. I couldn't bring myself to write about any kind of happy times while I know Libby and her family are suffering so greatly. Please continue to pray for them. And though I am going to get back to writing about our pregnancy updates, please continue to keep Libby and her family in your thoughts and prayers. They will forever be in ours.

<3 <3 <3 JLK <3 <3 <3

As far as we go, we had our 16 week appointment this morning. We weren't looking for anything in particular. It was just an opportunity to see her, confirm she is indeed a girl, and ask the doctor any questions. No complaints here!

I'll get right to the good stuff: The pictures. Here is a shot of her facing us. Sorry it's kind of blurry. Surprisingly, she even had a bow on her head. Kind of weird, but that's my girl. Miss fancy pants! ;-) LOL

And here's where she stretched her legs out giving us a clear shot of the junk. She's definitely a girl!

So here I am at 16 weeks. This is the week I've longed for. Not only will she begin to hear my voice, but I *might* even feel movement. In fact, on this past Sunday, I think I just may have felt something. It felt like teeny tiny spasms right where she hangs out. It has happened here and there and even continues into today. Considering there were days in the darkest parts of our infertility when I thought I might never know this feeling, I could just cry with joy knowing this is where we are. This still doesn't feel real.

Our next appointment is at 20 weeks, on March 20th. It's our anatomy scan. I'm actually nervous. The pregnancy-after-a-loss brain is starting to creep in and I just wish we could fast forward to getting it over with. The nurse practitioner thought her heart looked great on ultrasound today which she said shoudl be reassuring my nerves for any kind of heart defects to appear at week 20. And I know the odds of them finding something bad are incredibly slim, but I'm just nervous. If anyone has reassuring stories or facts, I'd love to hear them. March 20th is a long ways away!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A plea for prayers

Our incredible and selfless embryo donor, Libby, lost her beautiful six year old daughter to brain cancer this morning. We are beyond heartbroken for Libby and her family and ask that this community say a special prayer for comfort and peace for them during such an unbearable time.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Nursery progress

I figured I'd give you all a sneak peak as Sammy's nursery takes shape. Kevin is hanging the chair railing today. I love it! The chandelier came yesterday and I *cannot wait* for that finishing touch to be installed. I continue to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming. Are we really preparing a nursery!?

Friday, February 7, 2014


I'm obviously only 14w1d today, but I'm really looking forward to 16 weeks. I think about it a lot! Not only is that when we have our next appointment to see miss Sammy on ultrasound, but I understand this is the week that she will start to be able to hear inside of the womb. I think about her tiny little baby ears and what that must be like for her.

I know that may seem insignificant to some, but I am excited to know she can hear me when I talk to her, when I sing to her, and that we can begin a new and special bond that begins with our voices. It makes it feel more real. There are days where August seems far away, but then other days I look back and can't believe how fast this time has gone. I'm just grateful for each passing day that brings us one day closer to meeting her!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

What's new?

What's new with me? Not much. You all already know the biggest news - that baby snowflake is a girl! We have enjoyed being able to call her by name and refer to her by the proper pronouns. But other than that, not much is new. Just taking it day by day and enjoying being pregnant. I think most of my baby updates are around nursery stuff because other than that, my life has been pretty low key (which is a good thing!)

Now that I'm on my way out of first trimester - which might have even been last week, depending on who you talk to - I'm finding my symptoms are letting up. They aren't gone by any means, but I have more energy, am enjoying some meals, less nausea, etc. That's great news! I'm even noticing my belly is growing! I'll probably end up taking some pictures when it's really noticeable and share them with you all. Right now you might see me and wonder if I just ate a big burrito or if there is actually a baby in there. It's not quite clear at this stage of the game.

Kevin is working hard on painting and prepping the nursery. He is installing the chair railing this weekend and then it's ready to start having the furniture moved in. 

I found this finishing touch yesterday that I knew it needed to have because every little girl needs a sparkly mini chandelier in her pink and gray nursery, right?

I also had a friend find this adorable baby blanket for me at It was limited edition so I knew I she needed this too. Gray, white, AND snowflakes? Yup!

I've also been having fun putting together a registry. I'm realizing how clueless I am to actually raising a baby. I used to babysit a lot when I was a teen, so I know how to care for a baby very well. But raising a baby with all the appropriate gear and necessities - now that's a whole different story. My mama friends have been awesome in both giving us hand-me-downs and advice! I'm so grateful because I don't have any sisters and my mom is in heaven. What would I do without my friends? I don't even want to know the answer to that! :)

One of you asked about Sammy's name in my comments from the last post. Yes, we have had Samantha Lynn picked out all along. In fact, Kevin and I picked it out way back in 2006. We picked way back then both our boy and girl names. Little did we know how hard it would actually be once we started trying for a baby. And little did I know my mom would die before this name would be given. But it just reaffirms this specific little girl was meant to be our Sammy all along. I wouldn't have wanted any other baby to come to us, because it wouldn't be her. It's just amazing to think we finally get to put a face with the name we've had for eight years.