HISTORY

Treatments
BABY #1- 6 Clomid cycles, 2 IUIs with Femara, 1 IVF with 3 embryos transferred, 2 more IUIs with Femara & Follistim, and finally 1 IUI with Follistim.
BABY #2 - 2 Follistim cycles and natural conception

Timing
Decided to start a family May 2005. After testing & un-related delays, began first treatment cycle Oct 2005. First pregnancy confirmed Sept 2007. Second pregnancy confirmed Mar 2011.

For other IF couples
If you want to skip back to our infertility adventures, please see the history on the right hand margin. There you can find our journey from 2005 through 2007.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Bad Papaya

I learned an interesting fact today. IBM has a program where a nurse will check in with you for certain issues (I've used this in the past for previous surgeries & procedures) and they provide guidance and some education. The nurse called me today and most everything she went over was all stuff I'd heard before. But then she mentioned to avoid papaya. Since I'd been trying to eat lots of fruits & veggies, I was surprised to hear this. But apparently, papaya can possibly trigger uterine contractions and lead to miscarriage. Luckily it's not one of the fruits I'd added to my diet.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Is it a Boy or a Girl?

Jack & I just scheduled our 16 week FREE ultrasound through the UNC research study for November 27th. This is the one where we hope to find out the sex! Well, the ultrasound is really for their research study, but the main point of it for us is to find out, assuming he/she cooperates. What a great birthday present for both of us!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Screening


On Friday morning, I went to a specialist for some additional screening that Jack & I had opted to do. This screening checked for Down Syndrome, Trisomy 18 & 13. It was a two-part test, first an ultrasound & then some bw. The ultrasound was amazing! The tech checked out quite a few basic things like heart, bladder, structure, etc and doing so showed me so much of our baby. After a few mins, he/she started moving around a lot. I was amazed to see such obvious movement and such clear features (legs, arms, face, etc). The development in the last 4 weeks is just wild. (As you can see if you compare this ultrasound with the last one we had!). In the photos, she focused on the baby's head so some of them are closeups of his head. She was measuring a small spot on the back of his head as part of the screening and that portion came back normal. The second part was a blood test (finger prick - yuck) and I have to wait to hear back on that portion.

I also went over to Rex Hospital after my appointment in order to sign some docs to join a UNC research study on preeclampsia. While I was there, she took several vials of blood for the study, measured my belly, and asked a bunch of questions for the study. All I have to do is allow them access to my medical records, have them join me at a few appts, and take a few pills (either a combo vitamin or a placebo, I don't know which I have) each day. In exchange, we'll get paid up to $300 and get a free ultrasound at 16 weeks (where they should be able to tell us the sex of the baby!!!). The nurse is trying to setup the appt for the week after Thanksgiving so we may know before Jack's birthday!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

No Space

Hi Friends and Family!

I know many of you are excited to start giving us baby stuff. Though we appreciate all gifts, right now we do not have the space to store much baby stuff and are not planning to start work on the nursery until after the new year. As our birthdays are approaching, I thought I'd give a few ideas of other items we'd like as we prepare for our little one. In order to make room for a nursery, we have to re-do our office space which we plan to begin in December. By Christmas, we should have a little more space for baby stuff!

Gift ideas & wish lists:
- Gift cards (prefer Staples, Lowes or Target)
- Maternity clothes (tops XS-S, pants/dresses 2)
- FLOR.com tiles: House Pet in Parrot or Canary
- Target wish list under Mickie, Jack or Baby Shipley (list can be viewed online or at store kiosks)
- Boxedup wish list - http://www.boxedup.com/mickie (has variety of items from different stores)

I'll update the wish lists wtih more baby/nursery stuff as we get closer. Plus then we'll have a baby registry. Thanks for understanding!!!!

BTW - New pics of the baby will be up this weekend on the blog!!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Mustang Sally



One of the most common questions I've gotten since announcing my pregnancy is 'so are you going to get rid of the mustang?'.

H*LL NO!! First off, I adore my car. I wish I still had my first mustang ('67 coupe) and plan to keep this one ('05 GT coupe) for as long as I can. Hopefully it'll still be around when our kids are my age! My husband would probably say I'm obsessed with my car (I do have two Mustang tshirts) but I just think it's a great looking and fun car to drive.

Second, it really doesn't make any sense to get rid of it. Though we still have quite awhile to go before it's paid off, there are not a lot of options I could get that would be better financially. Especially once you take into account selling this one, paying off what I owe, and starting over with a new loan on a used car. If anyone gets a 'new' car anytime soon, it'll be Jack. His is almost paid off.

Third, my car came with the LATCH system installed (required in all cars built after 2002). LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) is a system that lets you install car seats without seat belts. I didn't really know anything about it until I got pregnant, but knew that my car had it. So point being, the car is designed to hold a car seat. Granted, it won't be the most convenient since I have to move the seat up to reach the back, but I'll get used to it. I did see a woman the other day driving a mustang just like mine with two car seats in the back and an older child in the front seat. So it can be done!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Belly Rubs

Last weekend, I had my first 'belly rub' by a non-family member. Luckily it was someone I know but it was still kinda odd. I think I'm going to be one of those women that says 'hands off' when strangers reach for my belly. I remember watching random people rub one of my girlfriends belly when she was pregnant and she just put up with it. I don't think I'll mind it from family & close friends, but anyone else is going to hear about it. :)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Maternity clothes

In the last week or so, I've started having trouble fitting into my normal clothes. So I've had to start shopping around for maternity clothes. It seems early to me (10 weeks today) but it's already necessary.

So I stopped by Motherhood Maternity while I was at the mall one day. I'd been referred there for this thing called a belly belt which is actually pretty cool. If you've ever seen the 'expand a collar' thingy they make for men's dress shirts, it's a similar concept for womens pants. It has two belt pieces (2 sizes). The small one is used by itself and has a button on one side & a button hole on the other. The 'belt' itself is elastic. So you button it into your pants and it expands them a little (you just zip them up as far as you can). It's not super cute, so it's worn with a longer shirt to hide it. The larger one is the same, but includes a fabric sleeve you slide over the belt & then tuck in your pants (because you'll have your pants unzipped all the way & we don't want our undies showing). It's really very useful for this in-between time! I've used it in my jeans already. The buttons are already coming loose, but that's easy enough to fix.

While I was there picking up the belly belt, I thought I'd try on some clothes since they were having a clearance sale. The sales lady suggested since I am still early in my pregnancy, that I use their pillow to see how the clothes would fit later on. Supposedly this pillow, that you strap around your waist, adds three months to your belly. I tried it, but couldn't take it seriously. I looked ridiculous (it really didn't sit right.. there's no way I'll be shaped like that. I might as well have stuffed my own pillow under my clothes). Add in the fact that even their smallest clothes were huge on me & I looked like a kid playing dress up. I tried several different options, but everything was too big. The sales lady had told me that I'd use my pre-pregnancy size, but that just was not true at that store.

I did end up picking up a couple of items at Target. They had smaller sizes (though still made for Amazon women, I'll have to have it all hemmed up shorter). I got a pair of jeans that have a semi-normal waistband with just a little elastic on the sides. I can't quite wear the actual maternity waisted items yet. Plus I chose a few cotton tees that I can wear now. I know one thing - finding maternity clothes that fit me is not going to be easy!

Monday, October 08, 2007

First Trimester Screening

Jack & I decided to go for the extra first trimester screening. This is not required for low-risk patients, but we decided we wanted to know. Since it's just screening, if they come back positive, then we would go for the actual diagnostic tests (like CVS or amniocentesis). The nurse called today with my appointment date (this is done at a different facility, not by my doctor) which is 10/26 at Duke Perinatal. They will be doing a special ultrasound & a blood test and apparently it is not typically covered by insurance. But, they have a detection rate of 97% for Trisomy 18 and 90% for Down Syndrome. Testing in the second trimester does not have as high rates of detection.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

First OB appointment

Yesterday Jack & I went to our first OB appointment. They had told us to allow two hours.. but it seemed to take longer than that.

First we met with a nurse and went through all the basics, tons of questions about our previous medical history, mostly mine of course, but a little bit from Jack too. Then she provided us with a ton of information such as all the various screening tests, what medicines are okay to take, what will happen at normal appts, etc. Of course she checked my urine, blood pressure & weight (I'm still at my pre-pregnancy weight, but a good 5-8lbs over my pre-fertility-treatment weight. But I already look like I'm pregnant so I guess it's all from bloating).

Then we moved over to another office to meet with the doctor. He reviewed some of the medical chart plus went over some of the same testing stuff again. The discussion with him went fairly quick and then it was off to another room.

The last room was for the exam and ultrasound. He did a basic GYN exam (pap & all) and then the ultrasound. At first when we talked in his office, I thought he was not going to do one since I'd had one at 6 weeks at the fertility clinic. But then he said 'lets do one anyway and check it out'. The baby looked fine. Jack was amazed at how much the baby had grown in 2 weeks. And the heartbeat looked nice & strong.. a lot more obvious than the tiny blip on the screen 2 weeks ago. The CRL (crown rump length - a measurement of the fetus) was 20.9mm which is normal. He did find a cyst on my ovary though. It seemed big to me (measured at 52x40mm) but the doctor said there was nothing to be concerned about, just we'd keep an eye on it. So he'll do another u/s at our next regular appt (in 4 weeks) just to check it out. If nothing else, it's a way for us to get to see the baby an extra time :)

After all that, they took some blood to run a bunch of initial tests. The nurse called me back with the results this afternoon. She talked so fast that I didn't get to write it all down, but basically all the ones that I didn't write down were all normal. They did test me for toxoplasmosis since we have a cat (I especially requested it but they do usually offer this if you say you have a cat). I was hoping I'd show up immune, but I did not. So, Jack is stuck with litterbox duty (I can't complain!) for awhile. I also did not show any current infection which is also very good. From what I've read, cats apparently get the disease mainly by eating rodents (yuck) and since my kitty is stuck inside.. he's only gotten ahold of one mouse that I know of (one that made it into the house a few years back). The other blood test that was of particular interest was my hemoglobin. I was at 11.8 g/100 ml and apparently at 11.3 this doc requires iron supplements. Taking a supplement doesn't sound too tough, but this one can cause upset stomach which is not something I need to add to right now. She said to just be careful to make sure I'm eating iron-rich foods since I was fairly low on iron.

We have a ton of paperwork to read through, a few lists (foods, medicines,etc that are okay & warning signs to call the doc immediately), some ads, a magazine and a urine sample cup. Didn't see that coming? Actually I did know about that from my therapist who happened to have used the same practice. They have you pee in a cup at home & bring it in with you for your appointment. (I guess to save time?).

They scheudule regular appts every 4 weeks until the 26wk mark, then every 2 weeks until 36wk and then every week from there on. So we go back on November 1st.