Jude is here

Our double rainbow baby, Jude Michael arrived on September 19th. He is smiley and smart, just like his big sister. He has giant blue eyes that melt my heart. He screams loudly sounding like a bird when he is hungry or wants to be picked up. And his name is so fitting: after Saint Jude, patron saint of hope and impossible causes; and a nod to the Beatles. He has certainly taken a sad song and made it better. He has healed our hearts. Here is his birth story:

Sept 19th

3am- woke up with some fluid leaking after feeling some contractions overnight. Was unsure if “this was it” because I had some fluid and loads of contractions over last week but decided I needed to get myself to the hospital in hopes we could get this thing going. Called doctor and they said to come. Mother-in-law came over to watch Brynn.

5am- checked into triage and they swabbed me-. Resident didn’t see water and felt it was discharge. The swab was negative for fluid and I was 1.5 cm dilated with some contractions. We felt disappointed and waited to be released.

6am- resident came back in and says doc wants to do a second check with lab to make sure due to my strep b

7:30am- came back and told us second test was positive and we are being admitted to have the baby, we were shocked

9:00am- started antibiotic and pitocin, met Dr. Potash and nurse Diana who was amazing (and let me eat something)

11am- contractions 4 mins apart and feeling the pain.

12:30- 3 cm, 90%effaced, doctor said could take awhile to get to 5 centimeters and then 5 to 10 progression should be quicker, I was feeling a lot of pain.

2pm- epidural, Ed almost passed out. Then I told him to go eat something while I nap and I cranked up Christina Perri.

3pm- wake up feeling so much pressure and like I have to push, thought maybe I had to poop. I rang for Diana and she thought I was about 9 centimeters. She called for doctor but was told they were not avaliable as they were in a c section, she brought a very young, resident doctor in who checked me told me I was 10 cm and they could feel the head. She looked frightened. Then they basically told me not to push. I crossed my legs and held him in. Minutes seemed like hours. I debated having Ed deliver the baby but was scared of delivering without a doctor present.

3:30- Doctor finally arrived from c section

3:40- Jude arrived after 2 rounds of pushes. We fell in love at first sight.

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38 weeks and 3 days

I’m laying in bed cuddling with my daughter this morning. My hospital suitcase is on the floor. The baby room down the hall is complete. My girl’s kindergarten supplies are laid out as we are going to a meet and greet with her teachers later today. The school year in Paramus has started but I’m laying in bed. It’s the last day of “summer vaca” and our family is on the precipice of all this change. It’s hard to sum up this pregnancy experience. It’s been different then my first.

Physically, It has been free of issues. I stopped throwing up at around 16 weeks. Despite some periods of exhaustion and feeling easily winded, I am feeling pretty good in the third trimester. I am not swollen, my blood pressure has been good, and I am truly carrying all belly. I gained less weight this time (about 35 lbs) and I don’t even waddle that much when I walk. I tested positive for GBS earlier in the pregnancy. I failed the one hour diabetes test but then passed the three hour. At 36 weeks I started getting weekly non stress tests at the OB and ultrasounds at the high risk doctor. These appointments and tests have been uneventful. Baby is presenting as healthy and all is well. I also got two fetal echoes as part of extra screening this time around that also went well.


Mentally, there is still a part of me still in disbelief I have gotten this far. emotionally, there is also fear and intrusive thoughts that things have been going too well and that something bad will inevitably happen during labor/delivery. I am super emotional about going to the hospital and leaving Brynn at home. I am also more worried about my own well-being now that I have her and know she needs me. I also suffered from some significant anxiety last month that resulted in a terrible panic attack on the weekend of my birthday. I have been missing running and working out so much. The past week specifically, I have been feeling restless and on edge about baby’s arrival. I have been so worried I will miss my daughter’s K orientation and first day. Now that I am only a day away, I am feeling better about making everything (although I know I can go into labor at any moment). There is a part of me that has not emotionally connected to this pregnancy in the way I did with Brynn’s. I am not sure if this is the result of fear of losing it or just being so busy and distracted with work and Brynn…probably both. In a lot of ways this pregnancy has felt much faster and I am grateful for that. I am looking forward to meeting this little guy. I know I will instantly fall in love. I can not wait to watch Brynn fall in love with him too. So today I pray for a healthy delivery and a healthy baby. I have faith that despite my fears everything will fall into place. I have faith this period of change will be full of beautiful memories for my family.

15 Weeks

Well, a lot has happened since my last post. Two ob appointments, my nuchal scan, and a very special gender reveal with my husband and daughter. We are having a baby boy! I have to say I was a bit surprised as my morning sickness seemed identical to my first pregnancy. I’m excited and a bit nervous to venture into boy mom world. My daughter and husband could not be more excited. My daughter was been kissing my stomach every night to say goodnight to her baby brother. She also has a slew of questions, some of my favorite being ”Can the baby float up to my chest? ” there have also been a few worried questions from her…”will this baby die too? is the baby still in there?” I hate that this is something that even crosses her mind.
Despite the nervousness, things are looking up. I haven’t thrown up in a week and we are going to Puerto Rico in two weeks.

The night before the OB

I am ten weeks and two days today (at least I think I am). That’s the thing about pregnancy after silent miscarriage…you really don’t feel confident about what is going on in there. I am certainly nasueous and I have been vomiting on and off. All signs point to a healthy pregnancy but a part of me is just waiting for the other shoe to drop. Tomorrow is a big day so the nerves, vulnerability and pressure is at a high. The transition to the OB is tough for me. I don’t have the same comfort level there as my fertility doctor. The midwife I loved is no longer there and I‘m tearing up just thinking about going tomorrow.
Well I just had to stop writing this to vomit. Perhaps I should take that as a sign to put my worries aside for the evening. Signing off.

Week 7 Update

I have had two ultrasounds since my last post. At the first, we saw a yolk sac and gestational sac. On Thursday, I saw and heard a heartbeat of 122. Everything has been progressing smoothly. I have one more appointment with RMA on February 7th. If all looks good, I will be graduating and heading to my OB. This appointment is the one where I found out I lost my twins last year so the pressure is certainly on. I’m trying to remain hopeful and remind myself this embryo is tested but I also know how quickly things can take a bad turn. I am tired and nauseous. Work has been a struggle. I am however, feeling more comfortable there as covid numbers have been dropping.

Time feels like its standing still

My betas were great this week and so far we are all covid free. On the 18th, I have my first ultrasound where we are hoping to see a gestational sac and yolk sac. Trying to stay in the moment but my eye is on week 9. My previous losses occured between weeks 6-8 so the next few weeks are extremely scary for me. Each morning monitoring appointment feels like a hurdle I need to conquer. Each day at work feels so risky as covid is rampant in all of my four school buildings. We are doing every thing we can to stay safe. We are only going to work and/or school. We have not spent time with any friends or family on the weekends since Christmas eve. We are basically in social lockdown. Brynn is joining dance class virtually and this week we turned down two kid’s birthday party invites. Swim lessons start back up for Brynn in February but we decided to do private sessions so she is not exposed to any other kids. Brynn does seem so happy to be back in school with her friends. I am happy we sent her back but still nervous about that too. Time seems to be passing very slowly. I look at my calendar each day and count the weeks. I keep telling myself hopefully all these sacrifices will be worth it. Hopefully in a couple months, I will be in my second trimester. Hopefully covid numbers will drop. Until then I am trying to be patient and trying to stay sane.

Breathe

All week, I have been getting alerts on my apple watch to breathe. I know I have gotten these before, but it seems the alerts are much more frequent this week. Does my watch know I have been holding my breathe since the transfer? for the week prior too?

Well I’m still struggling to catch my breath today but now my heart is racing too. I just took a HPT and got a strong second line with 7dp5dt late afternoon urine. Is this our miracle? Oh, how I hope so.

This is my first tww without a strong sense of “this defintely worked” or ”this defintely didn’t work.” I have had some symptoms- cramps, slight nausea, weird vivid dreams and lots of gas. But my boobs are not tender and I’ve had no discharge. I have really not been hung up on the symptoms this time around. I have been just counting down the days. I did not plan to test today. My plan was for tomorroe morning but something came over me and I just impulsively went upstairs and did it. I thought my heart was going to come out of my chest as I peed on the stick. The line came up so quickly. I’m still in disbelief. So here I am with a very hopeful, 7dp5dt mid afternoon line and I need to exhale.

Things feel heavy

Its day 3 in the tww. things feel heavy. Brynn’s school is closed due to the covid spike so I’m working from home. I have been home for the past 11 days only leaving my house for doctor appointments and the occassional walk. I’m going stir crazy and it’s certainly making time feel like it’s crawling so slowly by. I am grateful Brynn and I are safe. I am scared to go back to work and scared to send Brynn back to school but socially and mentally we both probably need it.

I keep reminding myself this is temporary. This is an abnormally stressful situation. Soon things will get better. Soon you will know if you are pregnant. Soon the world will be safer. But i’ve been making these promises to myself for a long time now and I’m starting not to believe myself.

I’m also doing “all the things.” exercising, eating healthy, social media detox, therapy, connecting with friends, but it is barely keeping me floating above the current. any little argument with family or stressful email from school and I’m lashing out and full of anger. I don’t have any more tools in my toolbox. The combination of my anxiety, being stuck in the house during the cold winter, the omicron tsunami (as our governor put it today) and the two week wait has left me feeling so heavy, so restless, so high strung, so utterly mentally exhausted.

One Day More

I just got back from morning monitoring and I’m all cleared for transfer tomorrow. My lining is 11, type 3. I ovulated which the doctor said will give me an extra boost of progestrone. I’ve done all I can to prepare this week. I’ve been meditating and reading at night, exercising during the day, eating healthy foods, going to therapy, isolating from everyone to avoid covid and trying not to freak out.
I’m entering this transfer and 2022 (in the words of my favorite peloton instructor) a masterpiece and a work in progress at the same time.
It’s been a very challenging year for me in regards to my mental health but I am proud of myself for my commitment to improvement. I know there is much more to do but I also know I am capable. I feel an inner strength I have not had during prior transfers. I usually bring a good luck charm with me to transfers but not tomorrow. I am my own good luck charm and I can not wait to be reunited with our embryo.

6 days of monitoring, 5 covid test kits, 4 breakdowns, 3 cancelled guests, 2 grateful hearts, 1 allergic reaction, and a partridge in a pear tree

This pretty much sums up the last few weeks of our “Christmas cycle.” Let me explain…

I had an allergic reaction to estradiol a few weekends ago which prompted a call to the paramedics. Luckily benadryll worked quickly and by the time the paramedics arrived my reaction was under control.

Due to the reaction, I was converted to a natural cycle. I’ve been medicine free and feeling physically pretty great. My new treadmill came in so I also have been enjoying peloton classes on a big screen.

While I’ve been feeling physically well, my mental health is another story. The omicron variant hit NJ this past week just as my morning monitoring amped up. Fear of catching covid right before my transfer left me feeling panicked. Covid is rampant at my schools and classrooms were closing left and right over the past few weeks. We also planned to host Christmas eve just as the covid numbers skyrocketed. It no longer seemed to matter that my family and my husband’s family are vaccinated/boosted and I became fearful of seeing everyone. My husband and I debated cancelling Christmas Eve many times over the past week. We ended up hosting after fedex showed up with our 5 at home covid tests yesterday afternoon. My dad helped deliver the tests to my family so everyone could test. My husband’s family managed to hunt down some tests of their own and tested too. All of our family was negative and everyone except my sister-in-law and two nephews was able to join us for Christmas Eve. Unfortunately, my nephews’ father tested positive forcing my nephews into quarantine.

While Christmas eve was great, I did feel overwhelemed and consumed with morning monitoring. I ended up having to go in six of the past seven days, including yesterday (Christmas Eve) and today (Christmas). Due to the holiday, my local fertility office has been closed the last few days so I had to drive to a farther office. This morning, I woke my daughter up to open up her gifts to ensure we would have enough time before I left for monitoring. I teared up as I left with my daughter confused and asking why I was leaving on Christmas morning.

Despite all of the stress, I am grateful for the time spent with my family last night and the magic my daughter always brings to Christmas. Watching her face light up this morning was magical and I am in a state of bliss today hanging out with my family in sweatpants. My husband and I’s hearts are full. We are also full of hope. We got word this afternoon that we will be triggering tonight on Christmas and having a NYE transfer. I will be reunited with our embryo just as transition to 2022.