Monday, July 29, 2013

Another Angel and a Blessing

"God's voice is glorious in the thunder. We can't even imagine the greatness of His power." Job 37:5

So far this pregnancy has been rather uneventful... as far as bad news is concerned at least. But today... today is bittersweet. Today is difficult and happy all at the same time... let me explain.

We had our first trimester ultrasound with our reproductive specialist today, we hoped to see everything beautiful and perfect and be released to an obstetrician. But as you and I both know, in the infertility world, things rarely go perfectly.

We went for our ultrasound before seeing the doctor... we saw two perfect gestational sacs... then on baby A... we did not see the baby... we instead saw an oversized yolk sac and some debris within the sac... and no heartbeat. Baby A has gone to Heaven to be with his or her big brother.

On to baby B... although measuring slightly smaller than our dates (baby is measuring 6 weeks and 5 days and we are technically 7 weeks and 4 days) baby B looks perfect. Little forming parts... heart beating STRONG, 126 beats per minute... sac is growing... yolk sac is perfect.

And then, while evaluating the rest of my uterus and my ovaries... there is a hemorrhage (a bleed in the endometrium) in the left side of my uterus, a small one. The location is a little bit of a relief because it is not near Baby B's gestational sac. The doctor seems optimistic that this bleed will heal itself over time, and does not put Baby B at any greater risk of miscarrying... and the co-twin demise (as he called it) also does not put Baby B at any great risk of miscarrying as well.

So now you see... bittersweet. We are overjoyed for Baby B... that baby is more of a blessing that we deserve, but we are also sad for Baby A. Sad for us, because this baby being born to heaven, really there is no better life than that.

Whether you want to call it a co-twin fetal demise or vanishing twin syndrome (sometimes these terms are used interchangeably), our doctor said it is actually rather common with IVF patients... one embryo (baby) just stops developing at some point... there is no reasoning behind it. The egg was good... the sperm was good... We are not speculating the reason either, I had enough of people doing that with our first loss. Baby A's sac will likely stick around until it becomes compressed by growing Baby B. We do know that losing this baby in the first trimester is actually a better way for this to happen. I use the word better loosely because we never want anything to happen to any of our babies, but like the doctor says, with it happening in the first trimester it doesn't put the surviving twin at any greater risk, but in the second and third trimester it does put the other baby at a great risk for several different complications. Many people that have this happen (without fertility treatments) never even realize that they have miscarried one twin, because there are not the usual signs of miscarriage. No bleeding, very little cramping and most times the sac is not passed. In many cases they go in for their first ultrasound, see twins and when they go back... one twin is just gone... hence the term vanishing twin. Our doctor also gently said that he is more comfortable with me having a singleton pregnancy, for MY health... and I understand that too.

Now for the hemorrhage, these are so very common... I know that... the rational part of my brain knows that when I worked in the hospital, half of the people with first trimester bleeding that I scanned had a subchorionic hemorrhage or hematoma. The not so rational part of my brain is paranoid knowing that this also happened with our first pregnancy. The difference is that this hemorrhage (at least so far) does not affect or touch the sac of Baby B. So I can breathe a little sigh of relief. In most circumstances these places resolve on their own. Statistically 25% of pregnancies have a hemorrhage, many don't even realize it. So far I have had zero bleeding or spotting. Although, the doctor basically told me not to freak out if I did have some... as long as it was dark and only a small amount. Anything greater and I am supposed to call them immediately. The larger the hematoma, the greater risk of miscarriage. For now, our doctor is not too concerned about the hemorrhage. I know to stay hydrated and to kind of take it easy... but for now do not have to be on bed rest.

Here is our beautiful healthy little butter bean...

And we know... we have two little angels waiting for us when we get to Heaven.
Otherwise the doctor is happy with how things look overall. He offered nausea medicine but I'd rather not take it unless I absolutely have to. Now that I know more about what foods this baby likes for me to have and what this baby hates... things have gotten easier. I have a ton of nausea but am not vomiting as much. The doctor suggested that I eat a snack every 30 minutes or so... guess I should just strap a feed bag to my face, I thought that eating every couple of hours was a lot, ha ha. He also recommended taking Dramamine before bed to alleviate evening nausea... I think I will actually try that because I often feel very sick when I lay down. Otherwise I am told to drink lots of water, no problem there as long as it is full of ice, that is my #1 pregnancy crave. : ) I have some mild cramping but nothing crazy, not as severe as period cramps... but my uterus is twice the size as it was 7 weeks ago so a little discomfort is to be expected with things growing! We will be rechecked next Wednesday afternoon to be sure Baby B still looks good and to check the bleed. We aren't sure at this point when we will be released to our OBGYN but I'm grateful to be watched so closely. We will continue on our current medications for now.
To go on and answer your first question.... we are ok. We are obviously sad for the loss of baby A but feel beyond blessed to still have one healthy growing heart pounding little baby still in there. We pray constantly for this sweet little lovie to keep thriving.
Mourning this loss is rather bizarre... it's bizarre to be so happy for one baby and so sad for the other at the same time. We still feel so very thankful for this blessing. But... I do know that mourning is necessary. This morning I broke into tears telling my parents, but as it sinks in more and more I really am ok. I am very optimistic for our growing butter bean. We cherish any prayers you want to send our way. I still have more tears for Baby A... and I will let those out, but I think it is important for everyone to know that in everything we give thanks to our Creator... our Lord. God does not make mistakes, and whatever the reason for this loss, we know the outcome will be God's plan... and we are more than okay with that. We know that God is with us every single step of the way... he never leaves us... and he never leads us in the wrong direction.
Dear Babies...
We love you both so very much. It is important to us that you both know that.
Baby A- we are so sad... not for you, but for us... we wished to kiss those toes and tell you all about our journey... but now you know. You are in Heaven and by now have met your big brother. I'm happy for you two to have each other. We feel so blessed to have had you with us for a little while, for us it wasn't quite long enough. We know that you are happy and healthy and perfect hanging out with our Lord and Savior. We don't know why you had to go so soon but we know that God has a bigger plan, and we will forever trust in Him. We will love you forever... and one day, we will all be together... one BIG happy perfect family. We will never forget you my darling child.
Baby B- I cannot tell you the joy it brought us today to see your little heart beating so strongly. We know you miss your little sibling but we need you to keep growing and hold tight my love! Mommy and daddy are worried for your health, not that there is anything wrong with you, but we just want you to stick around so badly!! I can already see your little head with your beautiful brain forming... you look so amazing. You already have many people praying for you and loving you so much. Mommy will do her best to take care of you, but it is ultimately in God's hands... we trust Him completely with your life! We love you so much... and we will love you forever... so will your three puppies that are desperate to meet you and play with you too!
All mommy and daddy can say is that we love you both beyond measure... and God loves you even more than that!
Forever Yours,
Mommy and Daddy


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

When God fights your battles...

You always win, in the end.

I know most of you have already seen the news on facebook. My overzealous husband had posted the picture before I was even done scanning.

so.... ladies and gentlemen... here THEY are...

Two little sacs... two little heartbeats... 124 beats per minute (measuring 6 weeks and 1 day) and 116 beats per minute (measuring 6 weeks). One of them is a little harder to see right now because of where the baby is sitting in the sac but we still got the heartbeat... I'm praying for BOTH of their growth and continued health. Today I am 6 weeks and 5 days pregnant, I am happy with their measurements, I know when someone else is scanning me they will be much more accurate!!
I still can't stop crying. In a good way. : )
Vacation was good, but honestly I've never been so glad to be home. I'm beyond tired... and a trip just wiped me out!
I like to say when you cry out to God he always shows up... but sometimes he likes to show off too... what an amazing God we serve.
Our doctor's appointment is Monday and if all is well he will set us up to be released to the care of an obgyn... possibly high risk with multiples. : )
Please lift these babies up in your prayers!! And join us in praising and thanking God for this miraculous creation!! 

Friday, July 12, 2013

One Day at a Time

Hello dear friends,

Lots of people have reached out to us asking for current updates... well my second beta was 188, not quite doubling but calculates as a doubling time of 67 hours, normal is between 48 and 72 hours, so we were still within normal limits. My doctor is pleased as long as there is at least a 60% rise in 48 hours, this was a 64% rise. He is happy with our progress. Our first ultrasound won't be until July 29th. Today I am 5 weeks and 1 day pregnant.

As far as how I'm feeling... blessed. Very blessed. And nauseated... and tired... and all the other things that go along with pregnancy. I'm so so so very thankful for EVERY symptom!! We are still on progesterone once daily and estriadol twice daily. On my second lab draw my progesterone level was 70, so they decided not to change any dosages.

Early in the morning we will be leaving to go to the beach for an entire week! Perfect timing. Packing has been a chore, none of my clothes fit... and although I shouldn't be showing yet, my stomach stayed swollen after our shots so I look more pregnant than I actually am... which is totally fine, just makes my choices very limited lol. My anxiety level has been... well... difficult to deal with at times. Every twinge, pain or cramp that I have makes me nervous... every time I go to the bathroom I check for blood. Thankfully I have had zero spotting or bleeding. When we get anxious and nervous and scared... all we can do is pray. So that's what we do. Hubs is nervous too... I think with our past, it's simply natural to feel that way.

Overall... we choose optimism. We choose happiness. We choose to enjoy every second of this pregnancy. We choose to love these babies forever. So, we take things one day at a time... sometimes one hour at a time, whatever we can manage.

We are still beyond overjoyed. This is one of the most amazing and wonderful blessings of our lives. We thank God for that every minute of every day.

For now, the beach is calling our name... see you guys next Saturday!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

To God Alone Be The Glory

4th of July 2013. What a day for celebration.... while thinking about all those throughout the nation honoring this day, we will be celebrating a little differently this year. We are spending the day giving all glory and honor and praise to our Lord above. When you pour into him... He definitely pours right back out to you... and in His perfect timing, He will answer your prayer. For two years we have prayed... for two years we have struggled... for two years we have been tested and fought back against forces that tried to drag us down physically and emotionally.

Well my friends... I know you are all anxiously awaiting our news...

Our numbers are good! We are officially expecting!!

Don't mind him... I'm pretty sure he's still in shock.

Okay... okay... you caught me... we did a home test first. Patience is not one of my strong virtues... but we are working on that. : )

While we are overjoyed for this... we must stop and thank the One who brought us here... the One that created this life (or lives) within my womb. It is only by God's provision and blessing that we have arrived to this point in our lives.

You see... it doesn't matter how many medications I took... what doctor's I saw... this is all God's work. God gives these doctors the knowledge to help those who struggle... God is the creator of all life. Not an embryologist... not a reproductive specialist... Only God can create life. And ... He has.

It will be several weeks before we know whether we are expecting one baby or two... but honestly we are hoping and praying for two. We fell in love with those little babies as soon as we saw their picture, of course we want them both! We will be happy with whatever God sees fit to give us. This blessing is beyond anything we deserve... this beautiful life is beyond anything we deserve. We cannot thank God enough for all He has done for us and in us over these last two years.

The first trimester is a little scary for us, considering what happened with our first angel baby... but we must put fear aside. We already love these babies so much, they definitely have all of our hearts. Please pray for us during this time... that these babies grow and stick around for a while. : ) But no matter what happens... I will enjoy every second of this pregnancy... even when I have my head in the toilet and my boobs hurt so bad that they wake me up when I move around at night. I thank God for each and every symptom that lets me know our little babies (or baby) are holding tight in there. Our numbers will be rechecked on Saturday to ensure that they are going up... right now my beta HCG is 115, which the nurse said is STRONG positive. They should double every 48-72 hours.

Many people have asked if we whether or not we would announce this pregnancy so early considering our first miscarriage, but I believe this is a huge show of faith for us to step out and make it public. There are so many people rooting for us... praying for us... and we cherish each and every prayer we receive.

Hebrews 4:16
So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

Matthew 7:7
Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.

So friends... as you are celebrating the holiday with your friends and family today, we ask that you say a special prayer of thanks... every prayer gets answered... every prayer matters. 

I heard a song called "One Drop" by Plumb... it perfectly describes how I'm feeling right now... happy... blessed... amazing.

I need you and you need me
Left alone we will never be who we could be
So take my hand and don't forget
We can do anything together!

Oh, oh, oh,
Just one drop of your love
A single ray of sun
Just one thing to change the world!
It's just you and me starting with a dream
And giving all you've got
Only takes one drop!
Oh, oh, oh, only takes one drop!
Only takes one drop
Only takes one drop
Oh, oh, oh, oh

Come with me now, look and see how
There's an ocean overflowing with our hopes!
So let's jump in and take a swim
You and me yeah, forever!

Oh, oh, oh,
Just one drop of your love
A single ray of sun

 Just one thing to change the world!
It's just you and me starting with a dream
And giving all you've got
Only takes one drop!
Oh, oh, oh, only takes one drop!
Only takes one drop
Only takes one drop
Oh, oh, oh, oh

I need you and you need me
We can do anything together!
One drop of hope... of love... of faith can change your world or someone else's. It sure has changed mine. Jump in... face your fears... and above all... have faith my friends. God is real and alive and working in you every day!
Deuteronomy 31:6
So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you."

1 Corinthians 16:13
Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.


Dear Babies,

I promise to take the best care of you that I possibly can. Hold tight little ones... and even if all you continue to let me eat is chicken lo mein and golden honeydew melon and watermelon jolly ranchers, I promise to never complain... I will give you anything your little forming hearts desire... just try to give me a heads up to the things you hate before they go into my mouth ; ) I will gladly avoid anything you don't like. I don't have enough words to tell you how much your daddy and I love you... but that doesn't even hold a candle to how much God loves you. We are so thankful to Him for creating you and giving you to us. Your grandparents are beside themselves with joy... and your Aunt Annie cried almost as much as mommy did at the happy news. Your uncle Derek will protect you forever and your little cousin Ethan cannot wait to play with you and teach you all the little tricks he has learned to get your way. I think your great-mammaw is more excited than anyone (except us, of course)... you have such a big family that has been wanting you in their lives so badly! There are so many more people that love you so much already... we cannot wait for you to meet all of the prayer warriors that have been constantly in prayer for you to come to be.

Grow strong my darlings. I promise to keep you safe in every way I possibly can... but only by the grace of God can mommy do that... and mommy and daddy are praying for you constantly!

Your daddy found this song and I promised him that I would learn it and sing it to you every single night before bed...

Your very very very happy Mommy and Daddy... and three puppies that are guarding mommy's tummy every day : )