A lot of people have been wondering if this is an IUI baby. The answer is NO! I did my fourth (and final) IUI back in June and it didn't take (I actually started my period on the way back from our trip to Charleston). Daniel and I knew things probably wouldn't work out (sort of depressing, mostly realistic), so I submitted an online application through Lutheran Social Services (the group recommended to us by LDS Family Services) for adoption information in the Charlotte airport on the way back to Milwaukee. A few days later I was contacted by the LSS Milwaukke rep, Dorothy, and she sent us a big yellow folder with all sorts of info. It was kind of overwhelming to go through, it took several days for us to get a good idea of what was being offered and what we could afford. We also learned about how the LSS adoption process works. You don't just sign up and then wait for a baby. There's a bi-annual lottery and in order to be eligible you have to be passed off on a handful of pre-adoption classes/events. There's no guarantee you'll be picked, so you might have to wait six months for the next lottery. Then, you wait to be selected by a birth family (18 months, on average). Once you've been chosen and placed with a baby, you have to stay in the area for at least six months so you can have check ups and home visits and a bunch of other post-placement requirements. Then there are court fees and legal finalizations and it started to become clear that adoption was probably not going to work out for us until residency at the earliest. That was a MAJOR bummer for me. I was doing everything I could and just felt like I was sliding backwards.
At this point, it had been a few weeks since the IUI and I knew the clinic would be calling to check in soon. I knew I would have to tell them it hadn't worked and I knew they were going to want to schedule a follow-up consultation to talk about other options and that meant IVF. I didn't want to because IVF scares me and we had planned on adoption as as a back up and since that dream was quickly fading I felt trapped. Daniel suggested that I at least tell them the IUI didn't work and schedule the follow up appointment, then I could go back and cancel it and conveniently forget to reschedule. I did the first part, but not the second, so that's how we ended up at the (unofficially titled) IVF appointment in mid-July. The doctor we met with obviously saw I was FREAKING OUT and she was really good at explaining everything, including the statistics and risks. She wasn't pushy at all and was very reassuring, which made me feel so much better! She said Daniel and I were great candidates and it would probably only take one or two rounds before we conceived. I began to relax and even entertained the thought just a little bit. A nurse came in and talked about all the medications and administering shots and she made it sound very manageable. We discussed a timeline with the doctor, but before we started anything, she wanted Daniel to go to the urologist for a full work up because it had been awhile since his last check up.
Daniel was (and still is) up to his eyeballs in rotations and research, so he kept having to put off scheduling the appointment. I was getting frustrated because I couldn't do anything to speed up the process. After nagging him for a week or two, he said, "Look at your calendar*, maybe I don't even need to go in!" The rule is to take a pregnancy test 40 days after your last period. My cycles are typically in the 31-33 day range, but a few stretched to 37-38 days (those were tense months). I told him to stop joking around and to make the darn phone call! He said he'd wait until my next period. I thought it would come any day, so I figured it was an agreeable compromise.
*I have a calendar next to the bed so I can keep track of cycle length, positive ovulation tests, etc.
Daniel's first rotations were two surgery services - an oncology one and a minimally invasive one. It was a rough couple months of adjustment for both of us. Daniel would already be at the hospital by the time I got up for work, and then after a quick dinner and an episode or two of something on Netflix he would study until bedtime. There were also a few nights that he was on call, meaning he spent the night at the hospital and helped with any nighttime issues. One of these times was the evening of Friday, August 2 into the morning of Saturday, August 3. August 3 was also my 40 day mark. I was getting super impatient, so I told Daniel I would test in the morning and page him with the result. I didn't have any pregnancy tests, so after work that Friday I went out of my way to a store with self-checkout and my favorite frozen pizza. I double bagged my items, drove home, and prayed no one was out on the front lawn with their kids. I ducked inside and spent the evening enjoying my pizza and High School Musical 2. Daniel ate hospital cafeteria food and took catnaps when he could.
I woke up early (like around 6am) on August 3 with a pounding heart. I took the test, turned it over so I couldn't see the result, and made the bed. A few minutes later I came back, and there was a (very faint) little blue +.
I started to cry. I said a quick prayer of gratitude and asked for strength. I called Daniel. He groggily answered the phone and I said, "It's positive." All he said was, "Really?!" After a few moments of stunned silence, he said he would try to come home as soon as possible. Luckily it had been a rather slow night at the hospital, so he was able to wrap up quickly and made it home around 7:15am.
I texted my mom a picture of the test and said GOOD MORNING GRANDMA! It was still early for her, so I wasn't expecting a reply, but she was already up and waiting to hear from me! She and my dad are going to be Mimi and Pop and I love it!
I knew the Fertility Clinic was open for a few hours on the weekends, so I called and left a rushed and clumsy message. I tried to eat some breakfast and wait for a callback, and blessedly they didn't wait long to return my call. The nurse was so happy for me! She explained that in order to make sure it was a real pregnancy, I'd have to come in for a few blood tests to check my hormone levels. She said if I could get to the lab in the next 30-ish minutes she would probably have the results back by the time the clinic closed at 11am. As Daniel and I were walking out the door, our friend Sarah sent a mass text inviting visitors to come meet her and Scott's new daughter, Penny. The children's hospital is next door to the lab building, so we left our place at 8am under the guise going to visit Penny (you know, in case any of our neighbors were out and questioned us). The blood draw was quick and (mostly) painless, but the nurse still gave me a big piece of gauze and strapped it down with medical tape.
Obviously I didn't really care!
Daniel and I visited with Sarah for a little bit and told her our good news (with sworn secrecy, of course)! Penny was an angel and just loved being held and snuggled. It was so crazy to think about being in a hospital bed and having friends come visit and snuggle my baby. MY BABY!
Daniel and I had plans to go to the State Fair with the Lindsay crew later that day, so we went home to get ready. I turned my phone up as loud as it would go and brought it in the bathroom with me while I took a shower. I almost ripped the curtain off its hooks when it started ringing! It was the nurse from the clinic - the blood test was positive! My numbers were at the four week level (instead of the six-ish I thought it'd be), so she suggested I go back on Monday and have another draw. As long as the numbers had at least doubled, everything would be fine.
On the way to the fair, Daniel and I talked about telling his family. Everyone would be there except for Mark, so it made sense to tell them all, we just had to figure out when. I gave Daniel full control of the situation and told him to say it when it felt right. He wanted something natural and unforced, so we had to wait for awhile. Towards the end of the day, the crowds started getting a little ridiculous. We contemplated taking the sky rail back to the other end of the grounds, but strollers weren't allowed (or something like that), so we had to walk. Daniel said, "Yeah, and it also said expectant mothers shouldn't ride, so that would leave Jenn out." Everyone kind of paused for a minute, then spazzed out! Jeff bought everyone lemonades to celebrate, which was awesome because it totally hit the spot!
On August 15 (Daniel's birthday), we saw baby for the first time. My doctor at the Fertility Clinic wanted to see a heartbeat before I went to the OB, so we went to a couple appointments there first.
Top left blob is Reptar!
The other pictures are my ovaries and the rest of my womb, the doctor was just checking for any abnormalities or potential issues. Apparently I released two eggs when I ovulated, so there was potential for twins! That was kind of crazy to find out!
Reptar was too small for there to be a noticeable heartbeat, so we went back on August 22 and it was amazing to see what had changed in a week...
A tiny blob with a heartbeat!
So far, seeing baby's heartbeat for the first time has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I couldn't hear anything, but seeing it was almost better than hearing it.
The first trimester was a little rough, but I consider myself very lucky compared to other girls I know. I went through several weeks of morning sickness, but saltines definitely helped. I haven't had any issues at work, and I hope it stays that way! I also used Sea-Bands a few times and they were magical! It may have been a placebo, but I didn't even care. These days, it's headaches and nosebleeds. Definitely tolerable and manageable, just uncomfortable sometimes.
We decided to meet with a genetics counselor and have an ultrasound at about 13 weeks. We weren't really concerned about anything, it was just a way to get a detailed ultrasound before the anatomy scan (aka gender reveal). The ultrasound tech said everything looked awesome! It was so surreal to see those teeny tiny hands and feet!
This is how most of the ultrasound was spent - but we got several good looks at the spine!
Just hanging out and showing off the toes
I started feeling Reptar move recently! It's mostly some fluttering here and there, but there's lots of movement when I have something to eat or drink when I'm really hungry or thirsty. I'm starting to show a bit these days too! At the ward Halloween party I dressed up as Velma from Scooby Doo, and my outfit created a nice little bump.
Why didn't Daphne ever tell Velma that her outfit clashed?
Reptar's also starting to hear, so Daniel and I take turns talking to my stomach at night. I love watching Daniel during these times, he can talk about anything and I think it's so special. I can't wait to see the trouble these two get into!
We'll find out the gender in a few weeks, so hopefully there won't be as big a gap in my posts. Can't wait to see that little one again!