25 Jun

My blog has moved. Please Email Me if you would like the new address.

8 Weeks!

24 Jun

Woohoo! You’ve got one whole inch of baby inside of you! Your little embryo has finally reached the one-inch mark (30mm). And if it were possible to take a peek, you could actually see your tiny baby without a telescope! What’s more, your baby is finally starting to take on some very distinct human features. For starters, their little tail (really just the spinal cord) has disappeared completely. It’s nice to know your baby can no longer be mistaken for a sea creature! Additionally, both their toes and fingers are prominent with very little, if any, webbing. Upper and lower limbs all show recognizable joints (elbows and knees) and the lower limb bones are starting to ossify. But don’t expect your baby to resemble either parent quite yet. Right now, your baby’s head is disproportionately larger than the rest of their body–making up almost half of your little one’s height and weight!

And I have an app on my ipod that says this:

More facial features become apparent, such as the upper lip, tip of the nose, and the eyelids. If you were to peer at your baby very closely you could actually start seeing a tiny mouth. Inside this mouth your baby’s tongue is starting to take shape. Your baby’s eyes also start taking on a more natural appearance, as the retina begins to shape and form. Week eight finds retinas developing as well as eye pigment. Fingers and toes form on the ends of the little arms and legs that formed from the tiny buds. The baby’s genitals are developing, too, but it’s too early to determine the gender. The embryo is now as big as a raspberry.

In other news, I am thinking of moving my blog back to blogger. I really don’t like wordpress and I only moved for security reasons, which I don’t think are a concern anymore. Would it be a major pain for people if I moved again?

Naming Baby

23 Jun

One “side effect” of 6 years of infertility is that we’ve had a LONG time to think about baby names. So, though we’re barely 8 weeks, we’ve got our baby name list narrowed down to 3 girls’ names, and 1 boy name. We’re pretty sure that’s our only boy choice, but he needs a middle name. There was another name that I love, but DH has a really strong opinion on the boy name, so I’m deferring to him and saving that name for hopefully a future child. With the girl names, there are two that are neck and neck, and a close third. It will be hard to choose one because we love them all. We’re pretty certain of the girl middle name, too.

DH doesn’t want me to post them yet. Once we actually decide, we’re not going to keep them secret. We thought about it, but I don’t like the way I’ve felt when I’ve been the one on the other end of that practice (no offense to those of you who’ve done it), so we do plan on sharing the name. But he’s not ready for me to post them yet. He wants us to make up our mind, sans outside input. So, guess I’ll post them when we decide and/or he gives me the all-clear🙂

But, we did have a really fun discussion about names. He’s decided he wants to remove the I from our last name, so we’re just WRGHT. He said it’s more economical that way. I said at that point, the W was extra, too. But he said he doesn’t want the countless people who spell our name R-I-G-H-T to win (seriously, who does that?). Then he thought he could just go by T-W. I said if we’re going for economy, he could cut those letters in half and just go by IV. Guess you had to be there, but it was so fun and silly and just wonderful to spend the evening giggling with him. When he wants to be, he is the silliest, goofiest guy I know and I absolutely love that about him.

He’s also a fan of 80s girl names–Tiffany, Brittany, Hillary, Courtney, etc. I really don’t like any of those names because I guess I think of them as so specific to that decade. Don’t worry, I put my own name in there too and I don’t like it any better. I tend to like more classic, borderline old-people names-usually of English or Hebrew origin. I seem to be winning in the name game because all 4 of our choices fall into that description but he assures me he likes them as well as I do.

Then he threw out Pope names. He said we’ll have a Pious, and then John Paul I, John Paul II, John Paul III, etc. No dear, we are not George Foreman. Like I said, you probably had to be there, because when it was happening, it was positively hysterical but it’s probably really lame sounding when you read it.

We’ll see what sticks. People kept telling me that once we actually got pregnant, all the names we’ve loved over the years would go out the window. We entertained a few other choices for like 10 seconds, but I guess when you’ve thought about it for so long and always though things would go this way or that way, it’s hard to think differently. Guess we’ll see if things change as time goes on.🙂

I still have moments of “this is actually happening.” I just can’t believe we’re actually getting to talk about names.

Oh, and movement, too!

22 Jun

One thing I forgot that happened during the ultrasound was that the baby moved. It’s still way too early for me to feel it, but we were able to see it! (S)he actually moved a lot. Doctor or the coordinator called it “gross movement” and even they seemed a little (pleasantly) surprised to see it so early. It was soooo cool to see!

Ultrasound Update

22 Jun

We went for our third ultrasound yesterday. It was also my last appointment with my RE! That was bittersweet because I really do like him and his staff, and I really feel well taken care of. But he also said, “you’re just a regular ol’ pregnant woman now,” which was music to my ears. Still, it was a little nerve wracking to leave his care. I have complete confidence in my OB so that’s not the issue, but something about being in the care of a specialist, more specifically, the specialist who put this baby in me, was extra comforting to me. On the other hand, I’m thrilled. In 3 weeks, we’ll be done with all of the medications. My body and baby will have taken over the process the way it’s supposed to be. I get to drive 20 minutes instead of 2 hours for an appointment. And my OB is great, so seeing him is swell too.

Call me cheesy, but I took a picture with our doctor and the coordinator for our baby book🙂

The appointment went well. Baby is measuring 13.84mm. That’s almost twice what it was 5 days ago! It’s amazing how fast they grow at this stage of development. The heartbeat was nice and strong, coming in at 147bpm. The yolk sac is appropriately shrinking (which means the placenta is doing its job and taking over the job of feeding the baby), and the gestational sac (the long water-balloon shaped dark space), is nicely sized, too.

Baby is between the two + signs. The little white dot toward the left side is the heart. The round shape on the right side of the right + is the yolk sac, not the head (which is what I thought when I saw it was round). The doctor and the coordinator said they could see the spinal cord and limb buds, too, but all we see is a cute little blob.

They put my due date as February 3rd, rather than January 31/February 1 (where my OB put it), which makes sense since the baby was measuring 3 days smaller than the Jan 31/Feb 1 date we were working off. They said that size-wise, baby was measuring 7w4days (and by the Feb 1 due date I would have been 7w6d), but they also said that developmentally, baby was right on track for 8 weeks. He also said that he wasn’t confirmed about the difference in size either and said it’s very likely baby will make up the difference. So, who knows. Baby apparently has a mind of his/her own and will come whenever he/she wants to. But I did change my ticker to reflect the Feb 3 due date.

The coolest part of the whole appointment was when he flipped a switch and we could HEAR the heartbeat as we watched it. We had seen it twice before, but we’d never heard it before. Lots of things I’d read and even my OBs office said it’s difficult to hear at this point, so we weren’t expecting to be able to hear it until our appointment in a few weeks. But, because this doctor deals exclusively in early life, his machines are more sophisticated. It was such a nice surprise! He let it run for a while so we could really soak it in. And we had invited my mom to come along, so it was neat for her to be there, too.

The *only* bummer is that now, we don’t get to see baby again until 18-20 weeks! I’ve gotten rather attached to seeing our little one on a weekly basis! But now, since I’m a “regular ol’ pregnant woman,” I only get to see what other “regular” pregnant women get to see! There’s a slight chance we’ll get one more peek at 10 weeks–my doctor will do a doppler check for a heartbeat and if he can’t find it (which is possible since I have, err, um, lots of insulation), then he’ll do an ultrasound. I’m sort of secretly hoping that the doppler isn’t sufficient so we get another look😉

I have a huge praise. My NVP was getting really bad and I was vomiting all day, every day, for almost a week. Saturday and Sunday, I literally threw up after every time I ate. Yesterday, I got a nice break and while I was queasy all day, I didn’t vomit once, and so far, today has been a good day too, so I am SO thankful for the reprieve and am enjoying it as long as it lasts! God has been very generous with this “break.”

Well, I need to go pick up Mike and Krista’s son from VBS so I’ve gotta scoot so I’m not late. Thanks for checking in!

Ultrasound Update

16 Jun

🙂 Baby is still measuring 3 days small but that’s exactly the same amount of “smallness” as last week, so at least the rate of growth is consistent. Baby was 8mm now and the tech didn’t have to struggle at all to find him or her. The genetic parents are small people so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that this will just be a small baby. Heart rate was 131, which is good and right on track ;D

It was a bittersweet ultrasound though. It did confirm that there is only one baby so we know we now have another one with Jesus. However, we are thanking God for the life of his or her sibling left with us!🙂

Progesterone Injection Reaction-Not Normal

16 Jun

Warning-pictures of an unpleasant looking skin reaction are contained in this post, and they all show my flabby skin😛 Feel free to skip if you want.

I’m finding that one of the harder parts of undergoing fertility treatments and being pregnant is that it’s hard to determine what’s normal and goes with the territory, and what is cause for concern and a call to do the doctor. How much and what kind of pain or discomfort is good and normal, and what is cause for alarm? How much barfing is too much? How much bleeding is normal, and how much is trouble?

If you have a doctor, you definitely want to utilize his or her services, but if you’re like me, you also don’t want to be THAT mom who calls over every little thing. I want to know when I just need to take my lumps, and do so as graciously as I can.

Such was my dilemma with a reaction I was developing at the site of my progesterone injections. I had a similar, more mild reaction last time I was on it, but they assumed it was the oil I was allergic too. So they changed to a formulation that used alcohol instead of oil.

However, I’ve had the reaction again, and it’s much stronger this time. There must be something in the progesterone itself that I can’t tolerate. I’m posting this for other women who have these shots and may wonder if what they’re seeing is normal.

The pictures are poor quality and my camera wouldn’t focus or really show much without the flash, but with the flash it blurred everything out, so I drew little lines around the bumps.

These are on both hips. The black dots are where my nurse friend drew for us so we’d know where we could inject.

Note: My skin is not that sallow nor that pink so that is not part of the reaction–it’s just bad photography.

What I have are bright red and itchy bumps–they’re not like bruises. They’re also not particularly hard, like knots. The best way I can describe them is like bug bites–hot and puffy and itchy and sort of soft. And they don’t seem to be going away. The side with the solid big one hasn’t been injected since last Thursday. I’m also starting to notice itchy bumps on my arms, legs, and feet.

Knots, light bruising, and soreness ARE normal around injection sites. Oil is very thick and doesn’t absorb well into your system. Ethel oleate is a little easier, but still tough. Don’t worry-the progesterone gets to where it needs to go, but it just ditches its delivery mechanism behind to bother you. You can avoid a lot of the knots and bruising by making sure you heat your vial with body heat (put it down in your bra for about half an hour) prior to drawing the medication, having your hubby massage the area HARD after injection to break up the oil, and then using a heating pad to keep it warm and thin after he’s done massaging. Also, alternate sides, and when you have to go back on the same side, get as far away from your previous injection spot as possible while still staying in the safe injection area. If you have trouble seeing where your previous spot was, mark it with a sharpie after you get the shot. Some residual soreness is just inevitable–you’re poking holes in yourself every day!

I tolerated them for more than a week, because at first they started as small bumps and were few in number, and I thought they might be bug bites. But when I saw last night that that one side had become one large “mass” of a bump, I took the pictures and emailed them to my doctor’s office.

The response I got was:

STOP the PROGESTERONE INJECTIONS NOW!!!!!! If you continue to do the injections you could do serious harm to your skin and the tissue underneath.

And then the nurse called me to make sure that I got the message and immediately discontinued further injections. I asked her if it was something we were doing wrong with how we were injecting and she said that no, it had nothing to do with the technique and everything to do with the medication.

So the answer to this particular question is that this is NOT normal. If you get a reaction like that, immediately call your doctor before taking further doses. You may in fact be allergic to the oil it’s in (in which case there are lots of alternatives) but you may instead have a problem with the medication itself so just monitor yourself carefully.

When in doubt, always call your doctor. You know your body best. As much as I worry about being one of “those” patients, at the end of the day, you’re paying for their services and expertise, so if you’re concerned, call! They’re there to be a resource to you, so utilize them. I’m so glad that I did!

7 Weeks!

15 Jun

Here we are:

Your baby is really beginning to develop more physical definition this week – their oversized head isn’t just large and oblong anymore, it’s actually a little bit pointy. The tiny receding tail bud is now starting to be overshadowed by the growth of their legs, which are now complete with knees and the beginnings of toes. Their eyes and ears are the most visible features on their head and their miniature bones are starting to harden throughout their body. You also have some variation on a boy or a girl at this point, although their genitals won’t be visible enough to determine which color cigars you’re going to buy until around the 16th week.

My Mom Rocks

15 Jun

I don’t have a ton of updates, but I’m trying to blog consistently, so I thought I’d post about my wonderful mom.

Wednesday and Thursday, I was severely nauseated for 48 hours, straight. I only threw-up once, but I felt like that was only by the grace of God and because I pretty much refused to move and didn’t eat anything. Thursday night I was so desperate, I called my mom to ask if she’d come up to help me on the weekend get caught up on all the stuff that had fallen by the wayside while I was so tired and/or sick. She graciously agreed!

Friday, I had a much better day. I was able to clean my kitchen, make some bread dough, do a little laundry and complete a few errands. It took me all day to do that, including a long nap in the middle, but I got it done. Mom spent the day at her house cooking and baking for us. She arrived Saturday and I felt woozy, but ok. We ran some errands and she helped me do my grocery shopping, which was funny for her because I move slowly, forget things, and totally space out these days! We puttered around the house, and she attacked my kitchen. I’d cleaned it the day before but she deep cleaned it–wiped down everything on the counters, cleaned my fridge inside and out, washed my trashcan–all that stuff I never do, because, despite being born to the housekeeping Yoda, I am an epic failure at it.

Saturday night was awful. I was up most of the night with a sick tummy, and then I proceeded to throw up all day Sunday. Whoever called it morning sickness is a big fat liar!😛

While I sat on my bum doing NOTHING except puking, mom vacuumed my carpets, cleaned my tile floors (on her hands and knees–and our house is more than half tile!), dusted, rearranged my tupperware cabinet (it’s always a disaster) and deep cleaned both of our bathrooms. She did other stuff I’m sure, but that’s all I’m remembering. I think the only time our house was ever this clean was when 1) we moved in and 2) we had our homestudy visit.

I finally called Diana last night, who recommended a cocktail of Unisom and Vitam B6. Diana suffered from Hyperemesis Gravidarum with both of her pregnancies and is well read on all kinds of morning sickness cures, from old wives tales to heavy duty prescriptions. I tried her cocktail and finally received some relief from the vomiting, but then proceeded to be knocked into a heavy sleep (imagine that, with sleeping medicine!) I called my doctor this morning and he approves/recommends the same combination, so not long after the overnight dose worse off, I took another and proceeded to be a zombie the rest of the day.

Meanwhile, my mom made us a crockpot full of stew, a casserole, three other meals, and chopped all our fruits and veggies for easy consumption this week. Each of those dishes makes two meals (or more, if DH is the only one eating them). She also had brought up another casserole and a couple pounds of cooked taco meat with her and two dozen whole grain muffins (easy on my tummy). So now we have almost three weeks worth of dinners so that if I don’t feel up to or can’t stomach cooking, DH can just pull something out of the freezer and microwave it and I don’t have to feel bad about leaving him to fend for himself! I’m so grateful for my sweet mom, who gave of herself so selflessly this weekend! Thank you mom! I can’t say that enough. She did have to go home today–and probably for the best because after this weekend, she needs a break!

The Unisom wore off this afternoon and I didn’t feel sick enough to take another dose so I was finally able to come out my zombie state and go to work for a few hours, so it was nice to feel productive.

If you’re struggling with morning sickness/NVP, here are some things I’ve tried that have helped:

1. Eat often
2. When you do eat, eat small and eat well.
3. Eat a few crackers before you get up in the morning. When you do get up, rise slowly so you don’t jar your tummy too much. If you wake up in the middle of the night, eat a couple crackers then, too–keeping your stomach from getting totally empty seems to be key and night time is the longest your tummy goes unattended.
4. Eat a little, right before bed, so your tummy has something to work on overnight rather than completely emptying itself out.
5. Have mint gum handy at all times. I now have packages of it stashed in near every room of my house and I can’t tell you how many episodes it warded off this weekend. Costco sells it in bulk. No, really🙂
6. Stay well hydrated
7. If you have a problem of producing excess saliva (a side effect of pregnancy that some, myself included, experience), spit it out rather than swallowing it because the extra fluids can aggravate your tummy. Make sure you stay well-hydrated though. And the gum can be counter-productive to the minimizing excess production, but for me, it’s worth it anyway.
8. Figure out what your instant-fixes or deterrents are (if you have any) and have them handy-put some in your purse, in your desk drawer, etc
9. Complex carbs are your friend. But all carbs are not created equal. Just because that piece of wonder bread or those mashed potatoes sound like they’ll be soothing, they probably won’t be. Try whole grain bread or oatmeal or something else. I’ve found that white starches just sit in my stomach and mock me.
10. Avoid fried foods

Saltines and 7 Up have helped a little but not much. I’ve been afraid to try ginger, as it gets mixed reviews on whether or not it can lead to miscarriage. The mint gum works wonders. Citrus and sucking on a lemon has not worked at all. Sometimes, something sweet helps, other times, it doesn’t. Teas are hit or miss, too.

Find the snacks that work for you. For me they are:
Fruit Snacks
Popsicles (they make 100% fruit, no sugar added ones)
Carrot Sticks
Chicken Lunch Meat
Oatmeal with Walnuts and Raisins
Chocolate Milk
Cold pudding
Flavored Yogurt

I keep peanuts and fruit snacks in my purse at all times. Any time you feel yourself getting even the slightest bit hungry, eat something!

One of my books also said to experiment with different textures and temperatures. I’ve found that I do best with frozen stuff, and with hard crunchy stuff. The softer, in-between textures are hit or miss. I can do yogurt and pudding, but I can’t do bananas and smoothies. I can eat cantaloupe and watermelon if it’s cold, but not if it’s room temperature. And then there are days when this all goes out the window and you just barf anyway😉

In all honesty, I feel like the biggest wimp on the planet. I’ve had what I would describe as a few tough days, 2 hard days, and one pretty terrible day, plus quite a few days when I’ve felt fine and have just been too tired to do anything, and I’m already feeling overwhelmed. I’ve also developed hives of some sort (I think related to the progesterone), for which the doc said I can take Benadryl but not hydrocortizone. Benadryl knocks me out too, so between that and the Unisom, I’m often in a state of zombie! I was truly unprepared for how different I would feel this quickly. I don’t want to have a complaining spirit and in a lot of ways, I really am still grateful for the continued “reminders” of pregnancy so I’m just praying for God’s strength and sustaining power, a heart of gratitude, His provision of physical reprieve when I need it, and gratitude for the love and help of friends and family.

We get another peek at little-love-bug on Wednesday morning and I can’t wait. While most women don’t get to see their babies for several more weeks, we get several “previews.” I guess that’s one of the few perks of infertility😉

Thanks for checking in! I’ll post Wednesday after our ultrasound!


12 Jun

Portions of my blog entry, Shame on You Arizona Right to Life were recently printed in the most recent edition of “The Caleb Report,” a newsletter by Life Decisions International, a major player in the pro-life world.

However, it leaves off my last name with the caption “last name withheld by request.” There must be some confusion or breakdown in communication on their part, because no one ever contacted me regarding reprinting my text, or to inquire about what my last name is. While I do give permission (in the footer of this blog) for portions of my blog to be reprinted, and I have no issues with the fact that they did reprint it (the more people who can get the information, the better), it gives the impression that I am unwilling to stand by my words, which is simply untrue. I was never contacted, and I never declined revealing my name. It’s just silly anyway, because as I was with the organization for 5 years, most of their active members know my last name anyway.

For the record, my name is Jennifer Wright.

Edited to Add, correction 2: In my first draft, I mistakenly linked to Life Dynamics, Incorporated, rather than Life Decisions International. There are two pro-life LDIs, and I mixed up their links. I have since corrected my error.