Thursday, 27 November 2014

My Saving Grace

Six months ago, I was lost. I became a single mom of a toddler with a baby on the way overnight. I knew it would eventually be coming, but I didn't think it would happen like it did. I didn't think that someone I trusted would make the decision to do what they did. But in the end, I am very grateful for that decision because it gave me the push I needed to walk away and not look back. I struggled for a good month with trying to comprehend what happened and trying to figure out what I was going to do. How was I going to raise two boys on my own?!

I was scared. I thought I wouldn't be able to do it. But then the thought occurred to me that God doesn't give us more than we can handle. I've had a lot of fast balls thrown my way and I've survived them all so far. It's never been easy but God doesn't say life will be easy.

On June 24, 2014, my life changed. I welcomed Grayson into this world and with that, my happiness returned. I have a very near and dear friend who told me that everything would change once he was born and she was so right. I was happy again, I knew that I would be able to do this on my own, and I knew without a doubt I wanted nothing to do with my past and the mistakes I had made.

I really believe Grayson was my Saving Grace. When I was feeling so lost, I wondered why God would give me the blessing of a pregnancy, of a miracle in the form of a child. But I understand now. Grayson was there to catch me when I fell. He brought me back to reality. He reminded me that life goes on and that I have so much to look forward to. He made me stronger. So now I totally get why everything happened the way it did. God does have perfect timing. Grayson is truly a miracle in more ways than one.

And now I get to enjoy my two miracles. I love watching them interact. Grayson loves his big brother and he's constantly watching him and laughing. And Joshua is fascinated with Grayson. They get along so well and I'm so excited to watch them grow up.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

I'm Still Here

It's been quite some time since my last post and let me say, so much has changed. My baby is almost 5 months, J is an amazing big brother, and I've gotten myself into a good routine. I have come such a long way since the night when I thought my life as I knew it was ending, and ending in a bad way. But that late night in May did end the life I knew, but it ended something bad and brought about something amazing. I hit rock bottom, I was at my lowest of lows. My friends and family didn't know what to say to me except that everything would be ok (ya, ok, when?!). The last thing I wanted to do was bring a baby into a broken home. I was terrified. I didn't think I could do it on my own. But as each day passed, I learned that I could. Each day I became a little bit stronger. And each day I became a little bit happier. And now, I'm happier than I've ever been...and here's a little something I've been keeping a secret...I'm in love. 

Saturday, 6 September 2014

After Labour and Delivery

Shortly after Grayson was born, he was checked out and the doctors noticed he was breathing funny and had a temperature. So he had to be checked by the NICU team (some of the scariest moments of my life). Turns out, the temperature was just from him being skin to skin with me (he's just like his mama...overheats easily). And the funny breathing was nothing to be concerned about, but they did do blood tests to be on the safe side.

I had a second degree tear which had to be stitched up and left me extremely uncomfortable. Once I was stitched up and my mom, aunt, and uncle all had a chance to snuggle with Grayson, my aunt and uncle went on a mission to get me McDonald's breakfast (the night before I said I hoped the baby would come in time for me to have McD's they took this mission very seriously).

The hospital wastes no time in moving you from the labour and delivery unit to the mom and baby unit. Getting up after delivery and being stitched was terrible. Not to mention I felt funny from the epidural (but my nurses were all great and helped me tremendously).

I spent one night in hospital and was able to go home the next day. I tried to take in and enjoy every moment of this experience, even just being in the hospital because it's an experience I've wanted my entire life. Growing up I watched shows like Baby Story on TLC and couldn't wait to have the experience. As I got older, I stopped watching the show because it would make me so upset...the jealousy and envy and sometimes even hate I felt wasn't worth it. Unless you are infertile, you will never understand how painful a show like that is to watch.

I believe the second night I was home was when I realized I had a fever. I wasn't feeling well at all. I was tired, my body was not only sore from the delivery but now from the fever as well, my breasts were very tender and I had sweats and chills. The next day my fever wasn't getting any better and I went to the doctor and was given antibiotics. It took a few days for the antibiotics to kick in but when they did, I felt so much better.

I look back on my labour and delivery experience and I can't believe I did it on my own (yes, I had an amazing support team, but I mean on my own in the sense of being a single mom). I wouldn't trade any of it and I wouldn't change any of it. God has shown me through this just how strong I am. Don't get me wrong, I hit rock bottom for about a month. I felt like an empty shell of myself. I didn't know what to do and I was losing so much weight (my OB was so good at reassuring me that the baby would be fine and he would take what he needed from was me they were worried about). But through it all, God was by my side and God made sure I had the support I needed from my friends and family. They picked up the pieces and they built me back up.

And here I am today...happy! I haven't felt this happy in a very long time. I'm the proud mama of two amazing little boys and I can't wait to see where this life takes us.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Labour and Delivery - Part 2

This is my favourite part of my labour and delivery...when I was induced! I truly believe everything happens for a reason and I believe that the reason why it took all day for a room to open up in labour and delivery was because God had a special gift for me. That gift came in the form of my nurse. My water was broken at 7pm, right after the nurses did their change over. Once my water was broken, I had to walk around and bounce on a ball to try and get my labour started on my own...they were giving me 4 hours. I had to be monitored every 30 minutes for contractions and to see how the baby was doing. During one of those checks, my nurse told me that they don't get to pick their patients and they are just assigned to a patient. She said that she knows how I feel and what I am going through. I just shrugged it off thinking no one can understand what I'm going through unless they've gone through it themselves. That's when my nurse said that when she was pregnant with her second child, her husband had an affair and left her. She had to do it all on her own as well. She said it was the best thing that ever happened to her and it would be the best thing that ever happened to me. She told me she is happily married to a new man and they have two kids of their own as well. To me, this was God's perfect timing. My nurse is exactly who and what I needed, along with my mom and my aunt for support.

By 11pm, I was exhausted. I had been bouncing on a ball for 3 hours straight (I didn't walk too much because my leg hurt from my sciatic nerve). I got myself comfortable in bed and was hooked up to monitors and the pitocin was started. The contractions started shortly afterwards.

At 12:38am the contractions were picking up. My pain level was at a 5 and I can remember being so tired. I had barely slept and had only eaten a sandwich since Friday evening (it was already Tuesday).  At this point I knew I wouldn't be able to do it without an epidural. I needed rest so I asked to have it ordered. At 1:09am my epidural was started. I still remember being absolutely petrified. I became so cold and couldn't stop shaking. My nurse had to bring me warm blankets. I still remember kind of twitching when the freezing went in and after that it was fine. The epidural worked right away but there was a spot on my right side that the epidural missed (it was my right butt cheek all the way around to my front).

I remember at the beginning my nurse telling me that if anything went wrong, my room would fill up quickly with people. And sure enough, it happened. Every time I had a contraction, the baby's heartbeat would dip and they would have a hard time finding it. I've never seen so many doctors and nurses in a room at once. The baby wasn't handling things well and it looked like I was headed for an emergency c-section. The doctors decided to try and add water back into me to see if that would help...and on the second attempt, it worked. That seemed to free up the umbilical cord and things were fine again. This is also the time when I had a breakdown (in front of everyone!). The doctors wanted to put an internal monitor on the baby but couldn't because of my situation. I was heartbroken just thinking that the choices my ex made were harming my baby. I couldn't hold the tears in anymore. I remember my nurse just holding me and whispering in my ear that it was ok.

At 3:42am I was checked to see how far I was dilated and I was at 6cm. At 4:51 am I was 10cm dilated! I remember waking up from sleeping and being so uncomfortable. I tried everything to get comfortable and just wanted to push. That's when my nurse told me I was just checked an hour ago but she would check me again. And sure enough, it was go time. At 5:10am I began pushing. The OB team was busy so it was just the nurse at this time. I had a mirror in the room so I could watch everything that was happening and I also requested that I be the one to pull out the baby when it was time. I wanted to be as involved as possible because I knew there was a possibility that this may never happen again. At 5:30am, the resident OB arrived and assisted with the pushing. I remember asking how long I would have to push for because it was hurting so much...and the OB wasn't even there...I felt like I would be pushing nurse told me he would be here by 6am to shut me up (and let me tell you, the ring of fire is a very real thing and the epidural does nothing for it!!). I remember being able to see his hair while he was crowning and the OB pulling some of it out and everyone being amazed by it...let me tell you, all I wanted to say was "enough with the hair...get him out!!" The OB arrived right before my miracle was born. She was still suiting up when he was coming out. At 5:59am, I welcomed Grayson Nicolas into this world (and the first thing he did was pee on me!!). He weighed 8lbs 3 ors and was 21 inches long. Nothing could have ever ruined this moment. It was perfect. I had the support I needed from my mom and my aunt and the team that helped me through my labour and delivery was amazing.

Holding my precious miracle for the first time was like no other feeling. It was truly a dream come true to be able to experience labour and delivery. I still remember when I first got into my labour and delivery room thinking to myself "so this is it...what I've dreamed about my whole life is finally going to happen."

Through everything that has happened, God has been so good to me!

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Labour and Delivery - Part 1

My labour and delivery story starts on Friday June 20th. My mom was over keeping me company for the evening. We had pizza for dinner and as I was eating it, I could feel my stomach was beginning to hurt. I have an ileostomy and I felt like there was a blockage starting (meaning my intestine wasn't working properly and there was no output in my ostomy bag). I sent my mom home around 10 even though she didn't want to leave because she was worried about me. I assured her I would be fine and was planning on taking a bath and getting comfy in bed. By midnight I was in so much pain from the blockage. I called my sister in law to see if she could pick up Joshua (she lives about an hour away) and then called my mom and asked her if she could take me to the hospital. When my mom got to my house, I started throwing up. It was awful.

We arrived at the hospital around 1am on Saturday morning and I spent hours in a small triage room. I was hooked up to monitors to monitor the baby and the contractions and I was given Morphin for my pain from the blockage. My aunt arrived at the hospital around 12:30pm on Saturday and my mom had to track her down because I was listed as an anonymous patient and they wouldn't let anyone in to come see me because of it (my OB thought this was best because we didn't want my ex to even know I was at the hospital). When my aunt first saw me, I was asleep against a garbage pail (my mom and aunt so graciously took photos for me). Since I was still throwing up, the doctors gave me an NG tube. They are miserable. It's a tube that goes in your nose, down your throat, into your stomach and pumps everything out of your stomach to give your intestines a break. It wasn't working so they had to readjust's so uncomfortable!!

At 4pm I was sent down for an x-ray to see what was going on with my intestines. The general surgeon team would have preferred to do a CT scan, but obviously that cannot be done while you are pregnant. The x-ray technician was so nice...she let me see the x-rays was so funny to see a baby inside of me on an x-ray! The x-ray showed that the baby was so big and he was completely squishing my intestines to the point they were flat like a pancake. At 9pm I was finally given a room in the antenatal ward while the doctors tried to figure out what they wanted to do. The general surgeon team wanted to induce me to get the baby out in case I needed surgery for an obstruction and the OB team was saying no because they wanted to avoid a c-section at all costs for me and the baby. During this time I asked to have the NG tube clamped because I thought I didn't need it and I wanted it out...but as soon as I got to my ned room I was tossing my cookies again.

On Sunday June 22, my ostomy started working again around 7am. There was finally a bit of output which was huge!! My OB came in to see me and we decided to have me induced. She added me to the induction list for Monday and I was going to have a foley tube inserted that evening to prepare my cervix. My name was first on the list for induction because of the complications I was having. At 7pm, the foley tube was inserted and I was sent back to triage for an hour so the baby could be monitored.

On Monday June 23, my mom, aunt, uncle, and I watched a few movies and played backgammon to pass the time while we waited for my induction. At 1pm, my nurse asked me if I was able to remove my foley tube and when I tried it just came right out, meaning I was already 2cm dilated and it did its job. At 4:03pm we got the good news that a room was available in labour and delivery and at 5:10pm I was moved to the room I was going to delivery my miracle in.

Monday, 1 September 2014

I'm Back :)

I have so much to talk about I don't even know where to begin. I should start off by saying that I am happy. When I wrote my last post, I never thought I would be saying that, but I am SO happy. If I am 100% truthful with myself, I wasn't happy at all in my marriage. I got married for all of the wrong reasons but I took my vows seriously. I won't get into all of the details as to why I was so unhappy, but all that happened was a blessing in disguise. The way I see it is it was God's way of giving me an me the chance to be happy again. I will never regret my marriage though because God blessed me with two amazing boys that I wouldn't have if I never got married.

I'm surprised at how well I am doing. I'm myself again and I love it. I feel like I've been lost for so long...just living the motions for the past 5 years. Now I live for God, for my kids, and for myself. I make my own decisions and don't have to be anyone else but me.

Now, I'm sure a lot of you are wondering how my labour and delivery went and I will write about that, but I'll do a separate post for it tomorrow.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014


I know I haven't written in a very long time and I don't know if I will write anymore. I've always been very open and honest with my blog and I have to admit I haven't been writing because something terrible has happened in my life. On May 18 I found out I would be a single mother of two. It's been a very rough time in my life and it has stolen a lot of the joy of my pregnancy.

I'm currently in the process of moving on and surging forward. I will be strong for these two boys and I need to focus on making my labour and delivery a happy and enjoyable experience, not a sad one.

Accept what is, let go of what was, have faith in what will be.

Friday, 16 May 2014

100 Days of Pregnancy: Day 44

Back to a post about cloth diapers...I want to talk about the things I wish I had known. Jumping into cloth diapers was a big unknown, but you do learn quickly.

One thing I wish I had known was that certain detergents do not rinse out as easily as others. We originally started with just regular Tide and then once that was gone, I bought the Tide Free and Gentle. I washed the diapers, but one on J, and that night he woke up crying. Nothing I did soothed him and he wouldn't go back to sleep. I had no idea what was wrong, but I figured he couldn't get comfortable because he kept wiggling around in his bed. So I changed his bum, even though it was dry and that's when I realized his bum was red. So I put on some coconut oil and put on a disposable diaper (it was easier in the dark to put on a disposable). The next morning, he had a rash like I hadn't seen before. So we switched to disposables so we could lather up his bum with creams...but everything we put on just burned his bum. So I turned to the internet and saw so many posts about burns from detergent residue. I felt terrible and so guilty. It was my fault that this happened to his poor bum and because of me, he was in pain! I went to the store and bought regular Tide again and rewashed all of his diapers and ran a few cycles of just a hot wash. I wanted to make sure all of the residue was gone. It took a good week for the burn to finally go away. I ended up buying a pretty expensive cloth safe diaper cream and it worked well. It didn't burn his bum at all when it was applied which made me feel a bit better. So all of this is to say that the Free and Gentle and Free and Clear detergents are much harder to rinse out...I wish I would have read that before I switched. And remember, always run extra rinse cycles at the end of your wash! 

Another thing I didn't know about was that not only can your baby get a burn from detergent residue, but they can also get an ammonia burn. Babies tend to get these from ammonia build up in the diapers (meaning the diapers aren't coming clean like they should). If your baby's diaper smells like ammonia as soon as he pees, you know you have a build up and you need to strip the diapers. If the diaper just smells like urine, it's fine because that is expected.

That's about it for the things I wish I would have known.

As for my day, today was officially my last day at work. It was pretty busy and I couldn't believe how much stuff I had to bring home. The thought of putting it all away was stressing me out throughout the day. Very silly to stress about that but I think it's because my nesting instinct is kicking in again. I'm hating clutter of any kind so right when I got home, I put everything away. Over the next few weeks I bet I'll be going on a cleaning frenzy. 

Thursday, 15 May 2014

100 Days of Pregnancy: Day 45

Today I had an OB appointment and it went pretty well. This was my first OB appointment where I didn't even get a bedside ultrasound...bummer! But I did get to hear his heartbeat and it is one of the best sounds to my ears!! As soon as they put the doppler on my belly, you could hear his heartbeat...they didn't even have to move it around. I've never had any luck picking up the heartbeat with my stethoscope, but I want to try again tonight...some women are able to and others aren't. Hopefully I'll be one of the lucky ones!

I've still been having the sever pain in my side. I'm pretty sure it's a parastomal hernia causing me all of this pain. It's a big risk for women who have ostomies and become pregnant to get one. There's not much they can do for them while you are pregnant and even afterwards, they don't like to operate unless it's bothersome. In my case, it is bothersome, but I'm hoping after the baby is here, that will change. I really don't want to have surgery would I care for my babies and what if something were to ever happen? It just seems like too big of a risk. My pre-admit nurse had the ET nurse come and see me today (ET nurses specialize in stoma and wound care). And he suggested that a few months after delivery when I'm back to my normal size to get measured for a parastomal hernia belt. The belt should help to keep everything in place. Even if I were to have surgery, there's still a risk of my intestine breaking through the abdominal wall again since I have pretty much no abdominal of the results of all of the surgeries I've had. 

So since I've still been having all of this pain, my OB wrote me a note today to start my sick leave. Tomorrow will be my last day of work. I'm hoping this helps with the pain. Sitting at a desk for 8 hours 5 days a week is just causing too much pain. I go home on weekends and the pain disappears because I am able to move freely and lie down whenever I need too. Even if J is with me I'm still able to lie down because he is awesome at entertaining himself. Or he'll come and cuddle with me and watch a movie (he LOVES Wreck it Ralph). 

So that's that. I go back to see my OB on May 26 and I also have a growth ultrasound scheduled...can't wait to see this little guy again!!! 

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

100 Days of Pregnancy: Day 46

There is a lot of hype around cloth diapers and the mess that people think they can be. Cloth diapers really aren't that messy and the cleaning isn't bad at all once you find a routine.

We have 3 wetbags. One I can throw in the diaper bag, one large one for the diapers that are just wet and a medium size one for the poopy diapers. The reason why I have a separate bag for the poopy diapers is because I leave the wetbag with the wet diapers in it open. Sounds crazy, I know, but what is even crazier is leaving the bag closed and being knocked off your feet every time you open it and when you go to do laundry because of the ammonia smell. Ammonia loves the chance to grow but if you leave the bag open, you can stop it. And believe me when I say your room won't stink either. We keep the bag in our nursery with the door closed 100% of the time and it doesn't smell. I was scared to try it when someone told me to do this to help with the ammonia smell...I'm sure glad I took her advice.

A lot of people spray off their poopy diapers with a toilet sprayer. I don't do this because Applecheeks says to leave the diapers dry until wash time because over time the water will wear away the water proof protection on the diaper. So poopy diapers have their own bag that I do keep closed.

Another bonus of having the two separate bags is I can just turn the wetbag with the wet diapers inside out and dump everything straight into the machine without having to touch them and throw the wetbag in at the same time (the ones I have are supposed to be washed inside out). As for the poopy diapers, I rinse out any poop that is still on the diaper (the disposable inserts are great but I find a lot of the time, poop still ends up on the side of the diaper). I think scrub the poop stain with Buncha Farmers Stain Remover stick. I just rub it on the spots where the poop was and toss it into the wash.

Since I have a front loader, I used to soak all of my diapers before throwing them in the wash to trick my machine into thinking it's a heavier load. Now, instead of doing that, I run a cold rinse cycle. It serves two purposes. It not only gets all the diapers wet, but it rinses out a lot of the pee before the actual wash. Once the rinse is done, I add my detergent (regular powder Tide) to the one line (if it's a bigger load, I measure to the two line). I run a normal cycle set with hot water, heavy soil, high spin, and an extra rinse cycle. My diapers have always come out clean. I then hang everything to dry.

Diaper covers hanging to dry (I have lines set up in my laundry room)

Inserts hanging to dry (I would invest in the $2 to buy these sock hangers...they are awesome for inserts!! I have 2)

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

100 Days of Pregnancy: Day 47

When we first found out we were pregnant, we were in shock. Once the shock wore off, we started to think of ways we would be able to save money with a second baby. One of the ways we came up with was to cloth diaper. When you tell people you plan to cloth diaper, their eyes become wide and they give you a worried look. Most people associate cloth diapering with big messes and a bunch of work. I was really nervous about this and I spent hours researching. Who knew there was so much info out there on cloth diapers?! 

Before we jumped into cloth diapers, I bought one to try out. I was so excited to get it in the mail. It's green and has a cute safari theme on much cuter than Elmo and Winnie the Pooh. J was definitely my little guinea pig. The diaper seemed to work well (I had J in it twice during the day and one time at night). With 3 successful attempts at him wearing the diaper, we decided it wouldn't be such a bad idea. But since this baby wasn't due for a few months yet, I was hesitant to invest our money on diapers (I was hesitant to even buy a car seat and double stroller!).

I finally decided about a month ago that it was silly to keep spending between $60-$80 a month on diapers for J. Why not buy him cloth diapers that his little brother will be able to use once he's done with them? So that's exactly what we did. 

Here's a list of what we have in our stash:
7 Applecheeks (AC) size 2 Covers (can be used as pocket diapers or AI2)
About 20 AC microfleece inserts 
2 AC trifold bamboo inserts (I use a trifold with a microfleece insert at night)
1 AC trifold bamboo insert cut and sewn into 3 pieces to use as boosters for day time diapers
2 AC Bamboo boosters
4 Gigglelife (GL) ultrasoft pocket diapers
4 GL hipster pocket diapers
6 GL bamboo pocket diapers
16 GL microfiber inserts
12 GL bamboo inserts

We have quite the collection of cloth diapers which means I only have to wash diapers twice a week...bonus!! The reason we have so many inserts for the Applecheeks is because if we use it as an AI2, we just have to lay the insert on top of the diaper cover and then change the insert when the diaper is wet. You can reuse the cover 2-3 times. But now since we have a good stash, I just use each diaper once. I also like to have a lot of inserts because I like to double them up (J can be a heavy wetter) unless I use a bamboo booster with the microfleece inserts. 

The Gigglelife cloth diapers are a one size fits all which is great, but the Applecheeks have two sizes...size 1 and size 2. So I still need to stock up on size 1 for this little guy. 

Tomorrow I'll talk about my wash routine and how to avoid the terrible ammonia smell from the wetbag that is strong enough to knock you off your feet. 

Monday, 12 May 2014

100 Days of Pregnancy: Day 48

I can't believe there are less than 50 days until the due date. That blows my mind. I also can't believe I'll be running out to purchase another bottle of prenatal vitamins...why don't drug companies just make one bottle that will last the entire pregnancy?

How far along? 33 weeks 1 day

Total weight gain? 27 lbs ...I'll find out if the number has gone up or down on Thursday at my next OB appt.

Maternity clothes? Yes...but I desperately want more dresses or some is getting SO hot and I've never liked to be overly hot.

Stretch marks? I have a small stretch mark that just showed up a few days ago right above my belly button where my piercing used to be. The skin there is pretty tight. So far, two stretch marks that I know of. 

Sleep: I've been sleeping better but have been having to sleep with the window open because I'm so hot. Who knew the body could sweat in so many places.

Best moments this week: Watching J play at church...they had a bubble maker on and he was trying to catch the bubbles with a cup and was just so happy about it. 

Miss anything? I miss not having full hearing in my right ear. And I miss not being short of breath all the time.

Food cravings/aversions: I love to eat but I never know what to eat because food is just not appealing to me...I thought pregnancy was supposed to bring on food cravings! Not for me. 

Showing? Yes

Gender: It's a BOY!!!!!

Labour signs: Not yet

Symptoms: Heartburn, sciatic nerve pain occasionally, cramps in my calves each night, leaky boobs, shortness of breath

Belly button in or out? It's becoming more flat each week.

Wedding ring on or off? Off, but I'm wearing my "Love Knot" ring

Happy or moody most of the time? Happy and really anxious to meet this little guy

Looking forward to: The weekend and it's only Monday!! Work just seems to be getting harder and harder. I can't get comfy at my desk, my shortness of breath worsens, and the pain in my side is terrible. The OB may just be writing that note after all for sick leave. 

Sunday, 11 May 2014

100 Days of Pregnancy: Days 50 and 49

Why so weekends have to go by so quickly? It seems like it was just Friday and I was just at work.

This weekend has been a busy one. On Saturday, my mom and I walked in the Walk for Memoroes walk which is a fundraiser for Alzheimer's disease. My Grandpa died a few years ago of this disease. It's hard to watch someone you love suffer with this disease but I have so many find memories of my Grandpa. He was always so happy to have company, even if he didn't recognize us, and he had quite the sweet tooth so I would often bake him some special treats.

And today is Mother's Day. Its a day that used to be bittersweet for me. Bitter because I never knew if I would be a mom but sweet because I was able to celebrate my wonderful mom. This year is my second Mother's Day as J's mama and I am the luckiest mama in the world. He is such a blessing and I can't wait to celebrate many more with him. I love our little family and I can't wait until the new addition arrives in June.

Friday, 9 May 2014

100 Days of Pregnancy: Day 51

I was just reading one of the blogs I follow over at Man and Wife and Two Fur Babies and she's having a link up, so I thought I would join in and do the ABC survey...

Addictions:  shopping
Bed size:  Queen...but if we had room in our bedroom, I'd want a king

Chore you hate:  cleaning the floors...ugh!! Normally I just sweep and then mop but every so often I like to clean them on my hands and knees (not so easy when you're pregnant either)
Dogs or cats: I like both...but cats are definitely easier

Essential start of your day:  I have to brush my teeth first thing
Favorite color:  pink
Gold or silver: gold
Height:  5'5"
Instruments you play (or have played):  Does a recorder count in grade school? Lol
Jobs titles you’ve had: swing manager and administrative assistant
Kids you want to have:  I want 3 or 4...hubby wants 2
Live: Oh Canada!!
Mom’s name: Mary-Anne
Nickname:  Missy
Overnight hospital stays: LOTS
Pet peeve:  clutter

Quote from a movie: "Nobody puts baby in a corner" I love Dirty Dancing
Right or left handed:  right
Siblings: An older brother
Time you wake up: 7:40
Under My Bed: Probably a few dog toys

Vegetables you dislike:  Celery
What makes you run late:  Trying to get a toddler ready...haha, running around the house trying to get little arms in a little jacket is becoming more and more difficult. And then realizing you forgot something like a sippy cup and having to turn around.
X-rays you’ve had done: again, LOTS
Yummy food you make:  Not too sure because everything seems to taste better to me when I don't have to cook it!
Zoo animal: Definitely the giraffe. I would love to be able to stay at the Giraffe Manor one day.

This is my kind of breakfast!

Thursday, 8 May 2014

100 Days of Pregnancy: Days 53 & 52

Let me start off by saying the weather today is gorgeous! It's 25 degrees Celsius out and sunny. Although, with this hot weather comes me sweating...and let me tell you, I sweat like a man. I'm talking my shirts are always wet under my armpits and under my boobs and my underwear is soaked (ahaha, it's worse now with pregnancy as feet even sweat!). But I'm not complaining...I just sit with a fan blowing on me at all times. 

All of the garden centers have their flowers out and they are all beautiful...I want them all!! I love gardening but right now, I just don't have the energy for it...I don't even have the energy to pull the weeds from the garden (which needs to be done since my garden is at the front of the house). 

Also, I am feeling so much better today. Still very tired and still can't hear out of my right ear, but the sinus pressure is gone! Finally :) These antibiotics are doing their job. 

Baby boy's kicks have also gotten a lot stronger. There are times now that I actually say "Ow" because it hurts. And sometimes it feels like he's trying to adjust my spine for me (he's already thinking about his mama and wanting to help). I love his kicks and how powerful they are becoming and I love watching my belly contort when he practices his gymnastics. It's a lot of fun and I know I'm going to miss it when he is born since this is something that only him and I share, but I can't wait to meet him and hold him in my arms. 

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

100 Days of Pregnancy: Day 54

I'm still battling whatever is going on inside of my body, which I believe is a sinus infection. I've been on the antibiotics for more than 24 hours now. I think I'm starting to feel better...I was at least able to sleep, but I'm still exhausted. Right now, my goal is to drink, drink, and drink! I haven't been eating or drinking as much the past few days and my body is feeling it today. I always have the Gatorade instant powder on hand because dehydration happens very quickly with an ileostomy. 

How far along? 32 weeks 2 days

Total weight gain? 27 lbs (I haven't weighed myself since my last appointment but I think I may have dropped 2-3 lbs from being so sick)

Maternity clothes? Yes

Stretch marks? It looks like I have a stretch mark that is peaking it's way out from under my ostomy bag. I was just so itchy after I put on my bag that I kept scratching (which I know I'm not supposed to do because the skin there is so sensitive) and once the bruising went away from my scratching, I saw what looks like a stretch mark. I'll know for sure if it is when I change my appliance. I'm curious to see if it's a stretch mark or if it's my previous scar that's somehow stretched. 

Sleep: Not so good since becoming sick. Last night was pretty good but I did wake up a few times sweating buckets. If I don't sleep with a fan blowing directly on me, I sweat BIG time (it's gross) and lately I've had to turn off my fan and turn on the humidifier. 

Best moments this week: Feeling this little guy have the first I was wondering what was going on and then it dawned on me. I felt them for the first time on Sunday night and then again last night around the same time.

Miss anything? I miss not being sick! Oh how you always take feeling great for granted.

Food cravings/aversions: Pad Thai this week! I don't have any cravings that seem to really stick...not like you see in movies at least

Showing? Yes

Gender: It's a BOY!!!!!

Labour signs: No...I don't even have Braxton Hicks contractions. I've maybe had one or two.

Symptoms: Heartburn, sciatic nerve pain occasionally, cramps in my calves each night, leaky boobs (which is kind of exciting because that's something I never thought would happen)

Belly button in or out? It's becoming more flat each week.

Wedding ring on or off? Off, but I'm wearing my "Love Knot" ring which is sized larger and fits comfortably. Funny story about my Love Knot ring...when hubby bought it for me, I thought the sales lady called it a "Love Nut" ring...hubby still teases me about that! I have the matching earrings to the ring as well.

Happy or moody most of the time? I'm happy but emotional. I felt so sorry for myself on Sunday evening when my ear ache was so bad that I just cried...cried and cried and cried some more.

Looking forward to: My baby sprinkle shower next month!!

Monday, 5 May 2014

100 Days of Pregnancy: Day 55

Last night was another long night. My ear ache was really bad and the pain woke me up. In the morning, I noticed that my right ear was completely plugged and everything in it was echoing (which it still is). I went to the walk in clinic and the doctor took a look but couldn't see my ear drum because there was so much fluid in my ear. He prescribed me Amoxicillin anyway and told me I could start taking it now or come back in 2-3 days and he'll try and flush my ear and take a better look. I decided to start the meds because of everything else going on (like the bright yellow snot). Once I got to work, the pressure just got worse and I could feel my sinuses on the right side of my face (I went home shortly after I got to work). It's the evening now and my right side is full of pressure that even my upper teeth hurt. So I'm hoping the meds will start to take effect. They say it normally takes 24-48 hours to start feing better once antibiotics are started.

I really hope I can stop posting about being sick sometime soon!!

Sunday, 4 May 2014

100 Days of Pregnancy: Day 56

I was so hopeful about feeling better when I woke up this morning but again, through the night things intensified and I woke up feeling miserable. As the morning wore on I felt better but around dinner time, my right ear started to hurt and the pain escalated quickly. I've tried everything to relieve the pain from Polisporin ear drops to chewing gum to open up the tubes to a hot compress. I don't know how I'm going to manage the pain through the night. All I can think about is going to a walk in clinic in the morning to see what's going on. I know if it's an infection the only thing that can be done is antibiotics. I just want relief. Now I understand why kids are so miserable when they have an ear infection. The ear is just so sensitive.

I am ready to not be sick anymore!!!

Saturday, 3 May 2014

100 Days of Pregnancy: Day 57

Last night I did not get a good sleep. I was tossing and turning, kept waking up, and by 430, I knew I wouldn't be falling back asleep. My throat was so sore and my head was full of pressure. I always sleep with a fan on and that definitely didn't help my throat. Once J woke up at 545 (which is early for him but I didn't mind since I was already awake), I was able to grab the humidifier out of his room. Hubby got home around 630 and I was able to go back to bed and get about an hour and a half of good sleep. This cold just seems to be kicking my butt. I'm feeling better one than I was yesterday but I'm ready to be feeling 100% better, not just 60%.

Since the winter is over and the spring and summer bring storms, it means out greyhound has bad anxiety. He is terrified of thunderstorms and will just stand, pant, and pace around the house. It's not pleasant having a dog standing beside the bed panting in your face in the middle of the night. So we bought him a thundercoat today. The pressure from it is supposed to calm anxiety. I really hope it works for him. We have 60 days to try it out and can return it if it doesn't work.

Dodger in his Thunder Shirt

Friday, 2 May 2014

100 Days of Pregnancy: Day 58

Yesterday I could feel a nasal drip on the back of my throat. This is never a good sign and normally leads to a full blown cold. Sure enough, yesterday evening things just got worse. Sore throat, stuffy nose, achy body, head that is pounding, and shoulders and neck that feel like someone's been sitting on them all day. Needless to say, I barely slept. I stayed home from work today because I feel just as bad. I'm finally lying in bed again but I doubt I'll be able to sleep. The Tylenol is helping with my achy body but my head is still pounding and my shoulders and neck are atill so sore.

On a brighter note, this is my 100th post. It's not fun to be writing about being sick but hopefully tomorrow I'll wake up feeling better.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

100 Days of Pregnancy: Days 60 & 59

Yesterday was a busy day. I always find I'm more exhausted at the end of the day when I have a day off as opposed to working...J keeps me running around! I booked yesterday off because hubby had an appointment with his specialist. Hubby has kidney disease and lately, his creatinine levels (which measure his kidney function) have been creeping up. The type of kidney disease he has is called IgA Nephropathy (also known as Berger's Disease). What happens is IgA (a protein that helps the body fight infections) settles on the kidneys making it very hard for the kidneys to do their job (filter out toxins, electrolytes, and extra water). IgA is an autoimmune disorder, meaning my hubby has a defective form of IgA that causes his own immune system to attack his body. So once the IgA hits the kidneys, it activates the immune system just like it would if it were fighting an infection.

Unfortunately, there's no way to stop this from happening. Medications slow down the disease, but since I met my husband, I knew he would eventually need a transplant. Luckily, he has an amazing family who are all willing to start the transplant workup when it is time. And after yesterday's appointment, it looks like it is time. His creatinine level was over 400. At 400, that's when the transplant workup begins. The doctor is holding off for one more month just to get another blood test done. The reason for this is because hubby's appointment was pushed forward 2 weeks and he had no choice but to get bloodwork done right after a bad case of food poisoning. So for this month, we are going to try our best to eat kidney friendly foods (foods low in potassium, sodium, and phosphorus and avoid processed foods as much as possible). This will fall a lot on me since I cook and do the grocery shopping. I'm going to try and prepare meals on the weekend since I'm tired when I get home from work and am trying to spend as much time with J. I know we have lots of support with all of this and I know family and friends would be more than willing to step in and help us out.

All of this is definitely scary and makes me worry like crazy, but I know everything is in God's hands. I have to trust God's plan and pray for God's will to be done. This doesn't stop me from praying for a miracle every day!!!

Right now, I'm trying my best to focus on the present and just taking life one day at a time. I think that's best for hubby so I don't drive him up the wall (he's very laid back and doesn't worry about much) and best for the baby growing inside of me who needs a stress free mama.

One. Day. At. A. Time.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

100 Days of Pregnancy: Day 61

I'm in awe at how far we have come since our days at the fertility clinic. I remember being terrified to graduate from the clinic. The fertility clinic was familiar, but in all honesty, it's a place I didn't want to be. I dreaded the early mornings where I would have to wait for bloodwork and ultrasound. I dreaded everything about the whole IVF process that when it was time to start my monitoring for our FET, I almost didn't go. I almost said "let's wait." I think this had a lot to do with what happened after our fresh embryo transfer. That was physically and mentally exhausting and I didn't know if I could do that again. But as always, God pushed me through it, He led the way and assured me I wasn't alone. And He gave me the peace I needed on the day of the FET. I'm still unable to describe that peace but I believe it's because it came directly from God and it's something you can't describe unless it's experienced.

I can't believe that I am saying we are due in less than 9 weeks!! In exactly 2 months from today is our baby's due date. I never thought I would be able to enjoy this pregnancy, that I would constantly worry, and that I would constantly live in fear for the entire 9 months. But I am enjoying this pregnancy...I don't worry like I used too. Of course I still worry about this little guy, he's my baby and I already want what's best for him, but I have faith that God is protecting this pregnancy, His precious child, and that we will be blessed with a healthy baby.

I won't take a moment of this pregnancy for granted. Yes, I point out that I have heartburn or it feels like my stoma is being ripped from my body my side is sore, but I'm not doing it at all to complain, I'm doing it because I'm so excited to have this! It means I'm pregnant...that something amazing is going on inside of my body and this is how my body is coping. I think my hubby and mom hear the most about it. I also point out every little thing that this little guy does. Like how he likes to kick me in the mornings or suck his thumb during an ultrasound. I may never get to have an experience like this again so I want to remember everything and share everything with our family and close friends. I know they were all worried about us when we were trying and now they are just as excited as we are to meet this little guy.

How far along? 31 weeks 2 days

Total weight gain? 27 lbs

Maternity clothes? Yes

Stretch marks? Not yet...

Sleep: I sleep well once I'm able to fall asleep...I'm having a bit of trouble with that lately

Best moments this week: Seeing this little guy suck his thumb on the ultrasound...what a cutie!!

Miss anything? Being able to shave is getting harder each time. 

Food cravings/aversions: I'm really enjoying fruits. I still have quite a few food aversions, but nothing in particular...I pretty much only want to eat a few things, so it makes grocery shopping difficult and coming up with ideas for dinner hard as well.

Showing? Yes

Gender: It's a BOY!!!!! I finally got to see for myself yesterday during my quick ultrasound that he is indeed a boy. To quote the resident "there's no doubt he's a boy!"

Labour signs: No

Symptoms: Heartburn, sciatic nerve pain occasionally (it was so bad one night that I couldn't walk and I just stood there while my hubby was trying to figure out what to do with me and all I could do was laugh because it was either laugh or cry), cramps in my calves each night (if I'm lucky, which most nights I am, I feel them before they get too intense and can stop them).

Belly button in or out? It's becoming more flat each week.

Wedding ring on or off? Off

Happy or moody most of the time? I've been pretty sensitive lately.

Looking forward to: The beginning of May so I can start saying we are due next month!! 

Monday, 28 April 2014

100 Days of Pregnancy: Days 63 & 62

Yesterday was a beautiful day so I took advantage of it and cleaned out the inside of my van, which was a mess! I had gas receipts stored up in the center console, a hose, a brown compost bag, antlers and bunny ears for the holidays, a gym bag, random garbage, and LOTS of sand over my back seats (which were folded down) from the stroller (the sand is from the sidewalks from all of the snow we had). Now my van is nice and clean and I don't feel like a hoarder. I took the hose from my parents house because they got a fancy dancy new one and ours just sucks so we needed a new one, so their old one is new to us...gotta save anywhere you can! And the compost bag is for all of the leaves hubby raked and put in one of our recycle bins until I had time to pick up a compost bag...we need to have more on hand, but my dad got a bunch from work, so I just grabbed one from my parents...again, saving anywhere we can.

By the end of the day yesterday, I was exhausted. I decided to put J to bed a half hour early because I was exhausted and I could tell he was too because nothing was quite right for him. After his story, he fell asleep right away.

Today I had an OB appointment. I waited two and a half hours to be seen by the OB for two and a half minutes, but I guess that's a good thing because it means everything is going well. She is really happy with how everything is going and said she couldn't believe I was already 31 weeks. I talked to her about being induced on my due date since my hubby has the following two weeks off and my mom has the following week off after the due date so I would have lots of help and she said she doesn't see that being a problem. So I'm sure closer to the due date she will schedule a day. I may end up changing my mind because it would be nice to go into labour on my own, but I know all of the extra help would be really good as well. So who knows what I will decide.

I also saw a resident today who came in before the OB to take my fungal measurement (which I measured 31 cm, so right on target) and she felt to see where he was sitting and asked if he was head down last time and when I told her he was breach, she said let's just take a quick peak and she went and grabbed a portable ultrasound machine. That ultrasound made my wait worth it. He flipped again and is head down (which explains all of the pressure I have while I pee) and she pointed out everything to me. And then she said he has a hand up by his face and normally when they do that they are sucking on their thumb, and sure enough, he had his thumb in his mouth. It was amazing to see and made things a little more real. It was definitely a bonding moment for me. I can't wait to meet this little guy!!

Saturday, 26 April 2014

100 Days of Pregnancy: Day 64

Today has been a busy day. One of our dogs, Dodger, was sick the past two days and had to be crated. When he's sick, it seems his body doesn't function properly and he has a hard time urinating, hence the need for the crate so he doesn't have an accident in the house. It's much easier to clean his blankets in his crate than it is to constantly be washing floors or carpets. We have to set the crate up by the back door so he has a quick exit to the backyard when he has to go. But let me tell you, his crate is huge. It's the biggest size you can buy. He's a big greyhound! Since he was feeling better today, I gave him a wash to get him feeling his best, washed all the floors on my hands and knees instead of just with the mop, vacuumed and even vacuumed around all the baseboards, did 3 loads of laundry and folded it all, and went grocery shopping.

As a special treat, my husband took me out for dinner and my parents watched J so we wouldn't have to rush. We went to Kelsey's and I pigged out. I ordered the spinach dip to start, so good, and then a huge burger for dinner. I had to squish it with my hads just so I could take a bite of it. Then we walked around the mall for a bit...we only went there to buy lightbulb but I got an early Mother's Day gift :) a Chicago Blackhawks sweater and sweatpants. They are so comfy.

When we got home, it was past J's bedtime so I read him a story and he was asleep as soon as I left the room. He didn't even move! Hopefully I can fall asleep soon!

Friday, 25 April 2014

100 Days of Pregnancy: Day 65

Resolve to Know More

Just adopt.

JUST adopt. add this word in front of the word adopt like it's the easiest thing in the world.

If you can't have children, JUST adopt.
If you are so stressed, JUST adopt.
If you are sick of all of the IVF treatments, JUST adopt.
If you are heartbroken over failed IUIs and IVFs, JUST adopt.
Why waste money on an unsure thing like IVF, JUST adopt.

Let me tell you, there is no. such. thing. as JUST adopting. It's not an easy process. It's 100% worth it, but it is NOT easy. It's not JUST signing some paperwork and being handed a child like some people think.

The chart above is a brief, and I mean brief, summary of an adoption. My husband and I chose public adoption because we couldn't afford a private ($15,000-$25,000) or international adoption ($20,000-$50,000). The homestudy the chart mentions involves you inviting a total stranger into your home and having them critique it. It involves you talking to this stranger about the most intimate details of your life. And it involves you being interviewed separately from your husband to see if there are any discrepancies. The chart fails to mention the mandatory training is 3 hour classes for 8 weeks where you are handed a binder that is bigger than an encyclopedia full of information and homework. You do meet some really great people through the training though, people who are in a similar situation as you. And finding a match? The chart makes that seem so easy. There's the potential that you could be waiting 1 day - 3 years. 

And just like IVF, adoption has the potential to not work. You could be given a match and something unforeseen could make everything come crashing to a halt. You could have a baby placed in your arms and the birth parents could change their minds. You could care for a baby for a couple of months and have the baby returned to birth family (only with CAS) and let me tell you, it's devastating.  

So the next time you tell someone to JUST adopt, hand them a money order for $50,000 and the 100% guarantee the adoption will all work out. Oh wait, you can't, because you aren't God! 

Even after adoption, you still run into tricky situations. We get asked all of the time who our son gets his red hair from. My standard answer is from my side of the family (because my brother has red hair), but it catches me off guard sometimes. I absolutely love when people tell me how beautiful he is and what a happy child he is. No one ever questions us on whether he is adopted or not because all they see are two extremely happy and loving parents and one extremely happy and loving child. 

I also ran into a situation when we were going through IVF. Both our nurse and the psychosocial counselor said to my husband and I that it's good we adopted first because it would make IVF less hard if it didn't work out. Seriously? Who are you to tell me that I am going to be less emotional when I find out that I'm miscarrying? We still have the same hopes and same dreams of having a pregnancy as everyone else in the waiting room.

And most recently, when I was at my pre-admit appointment for labour and delivery, the nurse told me we did things backwards and most people only resort to adoption when IVF fails. Sorry, but you have it wrong. We did not do things backwards. We did things exactly how God intended us to do them. 

Finally, JUST adopting doesn't fill the void of wanting to have the experience of carrying a child. I don't think that will ever go away for any woman who wants that experience. Our bodies were made to do just that so when we aren't able to, we not only feel like we are failing ourselves, but our husband as well. 

Thursday, 24 April 2014

100 Days of Pregnancy: Day 66

Resolve to Know More

There are quite a few infertility blogs that I read on a daily basis. I was over at Holly's blog and thought I should share the article she posted from Still Standing Magazine. The article really nails it on the head of how ridiculous comments sound to someone facing infertility. Have a quick read...

"So, what do you think people would say to you if you were paraplegic instead of infertile? (author unknown)

1. As soon as you buy a wheelchair, I bet you'll be able to walk again!
2. You can't use your legs? Boy, I wish I was paralyzed. I get so tired of walking, and if I were paralyzed I wouldn't have to walk anywhere!
3. My cousin was paralyzed, but she started shaving her legs in the other direction and she could walk again. You should try that.
4. I guess God just didn't mean for you to be able to walk.
5. Oh, I know exactly how you feel, because I have an ingrown toenail.
6. Sorry, we don't cover treatment for paraplegia, because it's not a life-threatening illness.
7. So... when are you going to start walking?
8. Oh, I have just the opposite problem. I have to walk walk walk - everywhere I go!
9. But don't you want to walk?
10. You're just trying too hard. Relax and you'll be able to walk.
11. You're so lucky...think of the money you save on shoes.
12. I don't know why you're being so selfish. You should at least be happy that I can walk.
13. I hope you don't try those anti-paralysis drugs. They sometimes make people run too fast and they get hurt.
14. Look at those people hiking...doesn't that make you want to hike?
15. Just relax, you'll be walking in no time.
16. Oh do my legs hurt, I was walking and walking and going up and down the stairs all day.
17. I broke my leg skiing, and was on crutches for weeks, and was worried I'd have a permanent limp, but I'm 100% healed.
18. I'd ask you to be in my wedding party but the wheelchair will look out of place at the altar.
19. You're being selfish, not coming on the hike with us, and looking at all of my track and field trophies.
20. Don't complain, you get all the good parking places.
21. If you just lose weight your legs will work again.
22. If you would just have more sex, you could walk!
23. You don't know how to walk? What's wrong with you? Here, let a real man show you how to walk!
24. You are just trying too hard to walk. Give up, and then you'll walk.
25. Here, touch my legs, then you'll walk!
26. Just take a vacation, and the stress-break will be sure to get you walking!
27. When we were young we only had to worry about having to walk too much.
28. And I bet a paraplegic going to a bookstore doesn't find books about paralysis stacked next to all the books on running...

All of these comments would be beyond inappropriate to say to someone who is unable to walk. So why are people struggling with infertility subjected to this? It's just not fair. We don't need to be reminded on a daily basis that our bodies are failing us. We don't need to be reminded that our greatest hopes and dreams may never come true.

Women and men struggling with infertility are some of the strongest people I know. They fight this battle on a daily basis never knowing if they will win it or not, but they keep moving forward. But comments like "just relax" sting to the core. So the next time you are talking to someone struggling with infertility, just remember how silly and hurtful these comments are.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

100 Days of Pregnancy: Day 67

Resolve to Know More

A lot of people are unaware of just how expensive infertility treatments are. They may have a number in their head, but do they really know how much we spend out of our bank accounts to even just TRY to start a family? And just imagine spending all of this money only to be told that you have to stop your cycle for one reason or another, or that your trigger shot didn't work and no eggs were retrieved, or they retrieved eggs but none were fertilized, or the fertilized eggs did not mature like they should, or you transfer your one and only embryo and it doesn't work, or you have multiple frozen embryo transfers and none of them work. IVF is not a guarantee of a baby.

My hubby and I went to The Fertility Clinic for our treatments. On their website, they post that for 2011-2012, in women under 35 years old, they had a 43% success rate (meaning IVF resulted in a clinical pregnancy). That's not even a 50/50 chance of IVF working for you.

And then there are the costs of all of the treatments...just looking at the list of costs is overwhelming. My doctor had a sense of humour (and he's lucky I did as well) because one of the first things he said to me was "well, you're one of the lucky ones that has blocked tubes because IVF is covered for you." I'm lucky?! Seriously, Doc, if I were lucky I wouldn't be sitting in front of you right now. At The Fertility Clinic, some of the prices are as follows:

Orientation Fee - $500 (that's $500 out of pocket just to get your foot in the door
Advance Semen Analysis - $300, plus an additional $200 if it needs to be repeated
IVF - $5000 (this is covered if you have blocked tubes)
ICSI - $1500
Surgical Sperm Retrieval - $2250
Embryo or Blastocyst Freezing - $600
Annual Storage of Embryo/Blastocyst - $250
Thaw and Transfer of Frozen Embryos - $1000 (this is also covered if you have blocked tubes)

This is just a short list of some of the expenses you may encounter (here's the full list from the website). And then on top of all of the treatments, there's the cost of the medication (one small vial of medication alone cost $800). We were extremely fortunate that our insurance plan covered 90% up to $3000 per person for a lifetime maximum. It was a bit of a struggle trying to get them to cover anything under my hubby's $3000 lifetime maximum because they were trying to tell me that it was just for the females, which I had to sternly patiently point out that no where in our policy book did it state anywhere that it was only for female members of the family. And let's face it, we wouldn't need ICSI if it we were just facing a female factor and we wouldn't need an advance semen analysis if we were just facing a female factor. Eventually, after a written note from our doctor explaining this to them, they agreed to run the cost of ICSI, the advance semen analysis, and the blastocyst freezing under his lifetime maximum and the other costs (orientation fee and medication expenses) were covered under me. I'm hoping I'll be able to also run the annual storage fee through our insurance as well (it doesn't hurt to try or be pushy).

So this just goes to show how expensive infertility treatments are. Yes, my husband and I are very fortunate that most of our expenses were paid for, but many couples are not this fortunate and many couples don't just need one IVF cycle, they need multiple! So multiply all of those numbers by 2 or 3 or 6! To many couples, this is their reality, this is where there money is spent, trying so desperately to start their family.

These couples are in my prayers. Just because we have received such happy news doesn't make me forget the pain of infertility and what these women and men are going through. If you can, add them to your prayer list. I strongly believe there is power in prayer and infertiles need prayer warriors.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

100 Days of Pregnancy: Day 68

Below my "Resolve to Know More" post is my day 68 post.

Are you 1 in 8? Are you part of the 1 or part of the 7? Did you know that 1 in 8 couples struggle with infertility? 1 in 8!! That's a huge number. And if you are told you fall in the 1 category, your world comes to a crashing stop. I know mine did. Being told you won't be able to conceive on your own turns your hope in desperation. Desperation on what you are going to do, when and if you will be able to have a family, how you are going to afford treatments, if the treatments will work, how you'll protect your emotional state when baby showers are announced and you see pregnant women everywhere, and how you are going to tell your family and closest friends.

When my husband and I first met and began dating, we were both honest with each other when we said there was a possibility that we could both be infertile. It wasn't confirmed until almost 3 years later that we would need medical help to conceive. It was when our first adoption fell apart that IVF became a reality and I went through the testing to see if our infertility was just male factor or would be both male and female factor (we are both male and female factor). We weren't surprised by what the doctors told us, but it still devastated me.

Hubby and I were one step ahead of the doctors though. Since we figured it would be hard for us to conceive on our own, we started the adoption process before we were married and were approved 2.5 months after our wedding for adoption. I think this helped us tremendously, or at least me, because I didn't have people asking me "so when are you going to start your family?" I think if I were ever asked that question I would have responded with "mind your own business." I think a lot of people are beginning to realize at how inappropriate of a question this is. I couldn't imagine having to put a fake smile on my face and give an answer like "soon" or "we are in the process of trying" or "because when I was younger I had so many surgeries and developed so much scar tissue that my tubes are blocked and my ovaries don't know my left side from my right side...what else do you want to know?"

My advice to everyone would be to think of each couple without children are infertiles. If a couple wants to talk about their personal life and that they are trying to have children, they will let you know. If they don't bring it up, you shouldn't either because even though your intentions are kind, they can be very hurtful. And if you know a couple is going through infertility treatments, it may be best not to ask them about it and how it is going. You could be asking them on the day they just found out their embryo transfer didn't work. And I can tell you from experience, it's crushing. I preferred to not have anyone bring it up to me. I didn't want to give out all of the details on my ultrasounds, and follicles, and uterine lining, and all of the blood tests. These are all things that we will share if we want to.

Now onto my Day 68 post...I have to say I feel 10 times better than I did yesterday. J slept great. He was so snuggly last night and at bedtime, I put him in his bed and put his book down so I could straighten up his blankets for him and he grabs his book and looks at me as if to say "mama, don't forget about my book." And after I tucked him in, he didn't even get out of bed like he usually does. He also had a great sleep which means I had a good sleep. I did wake up in the middle of the night because of heartburn, but nothing a little Tums couldn't take care of.

Monday, 21 April 2014

100 Days of Pregnancy: Days 70 and 69

Yesterday was Easter and it was a beautiful day out. J had so much fun going on an Easter egg hunt at my parents' house. My mom hid 24 eggs filled with chocolate around the rec. room for him to find. He loved it and every egg he would find, he would shake and open up. It was so cute to watch him. For Easter, we bought him two DVDs, Frozen and Rio (I'm a little tired of always listening to Baby Einstein DVDs while driving with him). 

Yesterday also marked the start of National Infertility Awareness Week. This year, the theme is Resolve to Know More. 

So my goal is to write a post each day this week to help bring more awareness to infertility. Today I'm going to start by re-posting a post I wrote back in September about Infertility Etiquette. Resolve also has a great link on infertility etiquette. If you want to check it out, click here. Resolve also nails the pain of infertility right on the head when they say:
Infertility is, indeed, a very painful struggle. The pain is similar to the grief over losing a loved one, but it is unique because it is a recurring grief. When a loved one dies, he isn't coming back. There is no hope that he will come back from the dead. You must work through the stages of grief, accept that you will never see this person again, and move on with your life.
The grief of infertility is not so cut and dry. Infertile people grieve the loss of the baby that they may never know. They grieve the loss of that baby who would have had mommy's nose and daddy's eyes. But, each month, there is the hope that maybe that baby will be conceived after all. No matter how hard they try to prepare themselves for bad news, they still hope that this month will be different. Then, the bad news comes again, and the grief washes over the infertile couple anew. This process happens month after month, year after year. It is like having a deep cut that keeps getting opened right when it starts to heal.
I don't expect anyone who hasn't experienced infertility to understand this pain, but I am asking them to try to understand the emotional state it causes. Below is my previous post and below the previous post is my 30 week update.

Infertility etiquette...who knew there was such a thing? Well, there is and anyone who is going through or has gone through infertility would agree with me (or at least I think they would) when I say that everyone should know it.

Shortly after my hubby and I had undergone our first transfer, during our two week wait, I was completely dumbfounded by something a family member announced. Our entire family knows about our struggle with infertility so when we have gatherings, I assume I won't have to try and dodge anything that would be upsetting to me. Well, I was completely shocked when I was told that someone I don't even know is pregnant. The look on my face probably said it all. All I could manage to spit out was "that's nice" when what I really wanted to say was "do you just realize what you said to me?!?! How do you expect me to be happy for someone I don't even know? Woo hoo, yippee, hooray for them...not really."

Later on when this issue was addressed, I was the bad guy because I was being selfish and I should always be happy for everyone. Yes, I should be happy for everyone but these things need to be addressed in a delicate manner when it comes to me. I'm not saying I don't want to hear about it, because I do. I want to share in the happy news if it's a family member or friend who is blessed with the miracle of pregnancy, but in all honesty, I don't want to hear about a complete stranger's pregnancy. If you are so elated that they are pregnant, please share this news with someone who knows the happy couple or someone who is not me. And if it is a friend or family member, please be delicate when you tell me. Please understand that yes I will be over the moon happy for you, but I will also be sad for myself and will need to have a pity party on my own.

Another thing I am sick of hearing is "God has a plan for you" or "You need to be patient and wait for God's perfect timing" or "Maybe God didn't want you to have kids" (am I really that horrible of a person that God would make me infertile because He thought that I would make a horrible mom?). When people mention God, I wish there was a door beside me so I could slam it in their face and get on with my day. Don't get me wrong, I am a strong believer in God. God is my Savior. I know God has a perfect timing for everything and that God has a plan for me. I know that the reason why we are infertile was to be blessed with the adoption of our son. If we were fertile, we would have never adopted. And the reason why the first baby we were hoping to adopt did not end up going through is because God had planned right from the beginning for us to be J's mommy and daddy. I understand all of this and this is why I don't need someone to remind me of this.

On a daily, weekly, monthly (especially monthly), and yearly basis I mourn the loss of a child who would have a combination of my features and my husband's features. Each month when my cycle starts up again, it's heartbreaking for me because I always hold on to the hope that maybe, just maybe, we are pregnant. All I can do is sit there and cry, have my pity party, and move on with my day and grieve the loss of a child we may never know.

I think the one thing that upsets me the most is when a pregnant woman complains about her pregnancy. Are you really going to complain about how you are feeling while your body is growing a miracle inside of you? Be grateful that you are able to know what this experience is like because let me tell you, I would do anything to have morning sickness for 9 months straight, swollen feet that have doubled in size, aches and pains. Anything pregnancy related, I would love to have because it would mean I was actually pregnant.

Finally, if I don't talk to you about, don't bring it up to me. I know everyone is just trying to be supportive and let me know they care. The best way to do that is to just be there when I need you. In the meantime, pray for us. You don't even need to know what to pray for...God knows everything and He will know exactly what to do with your prayers.

How far along? 30 weeks 1 day

Total weight gain? 25.6lbs...I haven't weighed myself since my last OB visit

Maternity clothes? Yes

Stretch marks? Not yet...

Sleep: This past weekend hasn't been the greatest because I'm used to having a bed to myself since my hubby is a night worker and since he had the long weekend off, I was forced to share for 4 days straight (which isn't easy when you are tossing and turning a lot)

Best moments this week: Having my sister in-law give me a manicure (my first one in 8 months) and watching J go on an Easter egg hunt. 

Miss anything? Having my bed to myself

Food cravings/aversions: Oranges

Showing? Yes

Gender: It's a BOY!!!!!

Labour signs: No

Symptoms: Heartburn seems to be my only symptom that wants to stick around

Belly button in or out? In but it is stretching

Wedding ring on or off? Off

Happy or moody most of the time? Happy

Looking forward to: Having the bed to myself again tonight

I cannot believe we are 30 weeks already. Only 10 more weeks to go...I can't wait to meet this little guy.