Wednesday, November 16, 2011

21 Weeks and Limbo

Just for the record, I was able to be quite zen about the echoflouresence of the bowl they saw in the ultrasound for almost 4 days.  That is pretty much a record for me on needing to know the facts and doing research.  The googling was a very bad idea.  I've since cut myself off.  Really, what did I expect to find?  Rainbows and butterflies?  There's a whole lot of info out there about what it could mean -- everything from maybe nothing, to bowl obstructions that require surgery to Downs syndrome to Trisomy 18 and other non-life compatible issues.  WOW.  Just what I didn't need -- something to obsess about and get all twisted up with hormones and the lovely mood swings that come with being preggers.  I've talked myself off the ledge, mostly, but still have intense moments where I get overwhelmed that this baby we wanted so much and wished/prayed/worked so hard for might end up not surviving.

On one hand I think it's beaten the odds several times already -- made it to a viable embryo, survived thawing, implanted, grew when it looked like it wouldn't and so on -- so it's made of hardy stuff.  On the other hand I think about how much more crushing it will be to discover extreme issues this late in the game.  How would I survive a loss now?  I guess I would, that's what you do, find ways to grieve, deal with loss and continue to live, but it is almost unthinkable.

I've tried to talk to Tim about it, but he just doesn't process things the same way I do and we end up at cross-purposes.  He's not logical about things like this -- preferring to say things like "I'm sure they made a mistake and it wasn't really there."  That makes absolutely no sense to me to look at it that way, and it feels like he's dismissing my logical thought progression, causing my head to explode.  I think he feels I keep pushing the bad stuff on him and he doesn't want to take it on, even when I'm just trying to talk it out. . . so in the end we just can't talk about the what-ifs yet.  I have come to realize that things need to be much more concrete for him before he'll start to work through the problem.  For example, with Stella's pregnancy he didn't even want to talk about names until we knew the sex of the child.  He finally realized he had to when she was not cooperative and we were getting into the 3rd trimester without knowing if she was a boy or a girl.  Until he realized the baby was coming in a few weeks he refused to do much with the lists I had started.

Follow up ultrasound on the 21st -- to have another practice do the test and have new eyes on it.  I'm preparing myself for the fact that we're not likely to have resolution with this one.  The most probable outcome is that we'll see some of it or (God forbid) other soft markers of issues and need to discuss next steps with the doctors.  The only way to know for sure if there is anything out of the ordinary is amnio.  We're not ready to go there yet due to the risks, but there may be a case where it makes sense to do later when the risks are lower.

We're in the middle of the pregnancy with neither the intensity of beginning or ending.  There is the sense of not knowing and foreboding that creeps in when I don't keep pushing it away and the feeling that it will take forever to get to the end of the pregnancy.  The time has changed and the days are getting darker and shorter.  We all have colds and feel crappy, including Stella.  Ugggg, all of this contributes to the sense of being in suspended animation.  I'm praying a lot and trying to take better care of myself to get through the hump -- not sure what will work exactly, but I'll keep trying!  

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Ultrasound! with pictures :-)

We had such hopes for the 19 week ultrasound this time.  It goes without saying we wanted to see a healthy baby that was growing like it should.  All the right parts in the right places and no signs of anything amiss.  We also really wanted to learn the sex of the baby.  I'm a planner and it's just easier to know if you're having a boy or a girl.  Plus, I thought it might help Stella to understand that her world is changing if we could talk about a new brother or sister specifically. 

Tim wasn't able to go to the ultrasound due to school, but Katie was in town for a long weekend and got to see it with me.  I took a card with me because we asked the tech to pictures and a note if she was sure of the sex.  Katie and I looked away while she did that part, so no one would know until Tim and I opened the envelope.  This baby was much more cooperative and the tech could tell very quickly -- in fact she was 99.5% sure what the sex was.  Yahoo!  I was so excited when she handed me the envelope and the other pictures. 

The baby looked great and was moving around well. They did see one sign that could be a soft marker for chromosomal abnormalities -- something that sounded like echofloursence of the abdomen or gut.  So we'll have another ultrasound the week of Thanksgiving.  This time at the hospital so another tech does it to see if they see anything similar.  All the sequential screening came back negative, and they even used my current age, not the age I was when they collected the eggs, so those scores will only go more negative.  I'm not going to worry (really!) until we have the next ultrasound to see if they see anything else.  The only definitive test would be an amniocentesis.  Tim and I agree that there would have to be really strong signs that something was really wrong -- something we would need to be prepared for at birth before we'd take the 1:200 risk of miscarriage of a healthy pregnancy.  This is our last baby and last chance, no need to take unnecessary risks. 

I got lunch for us and met Tim at school.  In his classroom we looked at the pictures together and learned we are having a boy!   Awesome -- the Kirk last name will live on and Stella will have a brother.  I love my daughter and would have been ecstatic to have another daughter, but I'm glad to be having a son.  I can't wait to see what he looks like and how his personality develops.  Stella has pretty much been herself since day one, so I can already tell this baby will be different.  He was cooperative at the ultrasound and is already moving around -- plus he'll have Stella for a big sister, and that's gotta count for something!  Tim has been an awesome daddy to his little girl, but I know he's excited to have a son too.  He has been sure this baby was a boy all along.  I didn't know if it was wishful thinking or if he really had a gut feeling -- but either way he was right! 

Don't be too upset by the picture below -- I promise I'll keep the penis shots of the baby to a minimum!  This angle is as if you were looking up at a seated person from under the chair.  The rounded edge of the butt is to the right and the legs are sticking out to the left.  The "boy parts" are in the middle between the legs :-) 

Now on to the real work -- getting our name list together.  Since Stella and Sarah both start with S (not done on purpose) we are thinking of T names so the boys both have names that start with T.  Josh suggested Tiberius as in James T. Kirk of Star Trek fame.  I think it has a nice ring to it, but Tim's not going for it!  We won't tell people names or even the list, because I don't think we'll be totally sure until we see him. 

I'm still terribly fatigued, but the doc assures me that this is completely normal.  Even if no one really talks about it.  Especially with a toddler at home and working full time, he's not surprised or worried.  I feel great today because I got lots of sleep this weekend with Katie taking on Stella duties and doing some special auntie things with her.  They play well together.  Stella now will say Katie and calls Jake by name.  Good weekend in the Kirk house! 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

And, we've been here before, too! (Good News)

So I should have posted since the last post, because there is actually great news to share.  I’m still pregnant!  In fact, I’m past the 17 week mark and going strong.  LOTS of ups and downs to get to this point, and I’m not really enjoying being pregnant.  That’s actually an understatement.  As much as I realized pregnancy is hard work during Stella’s pregnancy, I just wasn’t prepared for how much harder it is the second time.  I’m trying not to complain (and not totally succeeding, as you can see J).  We are unbelievably thrilled that we get to do this a second time.  It really didn’t look like it was going to be successful back in August and it wasn’t until later in September that I saw my OB for the first time.  That’s a long time from the transfer in early July! 

This baby is truly a gift of grace, coupled with the miracles of modern reproductive technology and the power of prayer.  I absolutely believe with all that I am that the prayers we received made the difference in this embryo implanting and growing and us getting to this point.   

Pregnancy at 40 is not for the faint of heart.  Plus, I had not factored in the fact that we now have a toddler to care for.  No more coming home from work and just lying around all evening before going to bed early.  Now it’s the non-stop routine that we’d become used to, with the added physical stresses for me.  Tim is also working full time (another blessing), but along with that comes the stresses of developing curricula for 5 classes and teaching 3 classes in a period 4 times a day.  He’s also realizing what most teachers know and many parents don’t – namely that much of his time is spent doing paperwork for the state and the school documenting things and tracking stuff that may or may not have much to do with what he’s teaching the kids.  We knew this year would be tough, but the reality, coupled with a difficult pregnancy is very energy intensive.  I’ve picked up more of what he had been doing when work wasn’t so consuming for him and all of it leaves little time for us together or to do much other than just get the basics done.  We’ll survive, but can’t say as I’m having a good time! 

The other thing that surprised me was how depressing it is to gain weight and see my fit and slim body go by the wayside again.  I worked so hard to lose the weight I gained with Stella – and all the weight that came on with the 2+ years of fertility treatments and miscarriages before her pregnancy.  It felt so good to be healthy, not hormonally crazy and fit.  I know I’ll get that back, but it still makes me sad to lose it.  It’s lost for the most awesome reason, a new member of the family, and it is still difficult.  As usual, my hormones are so out of whack and I feel a little bit hysterical all of the time inside my head.  I have to work really hard just to not be that crazy pregnant lady (especially as I’ve just started telling people at work).  Some days I just don’t have the coping skills I usually have – and I’m usually pretty good at finding the upside and creating positive situations.  Losing that is almost as hard as the gaining weight!  At least the touch-and-go type physical symptoms that had me calling the doctor’s office once a week have abated and all I’m left with are the headaches, joint aches and fatigue -- the normal stuff that most people experience and seem to be able to push through.

Pre-natal yoga starts on the 31st.  I hope I like the instructor as much this time as I did the last.  For Stella’s pregnancy it was what got me through, so I’m very glad to be doing it again.  I’m also taking Stella to swim lessons on Saturdays and that’s good for me to be in the water as well.  She’s iffy on them.  Some weeks she enjoys them and seems to be getting more comfortable in the water, and other weeks are like today where she didn’t want to get water anywhere near her face.  We’ll keep going, keep it light and I hope she begins to be more comfortable in the water.  She does like going to the Y, though and is always excited to get in the car.  Maybe there is hope yet! 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Unfortunately, We've been here before

And I can assure you it wasn’t a whole lot of fun.  At the doctor’s office on Thursday we saw only a small yolk sac.  No fetal pole and no heart beat.  The fetus should have been much further on in development by now.  With Stella we had a heart beat and everything looked just as it needed to.  With the other two pregnancies before her we had variations on this same theme of underdevelopment.   I had been spotting off and on for a few days, so we were preparing ourselves to hear not so great news.  It’s always tough, however, to have your fears confirmed.  Oddly, the doctor didn’t think the spotting was completely related to the lack of development, he thought it was likely related to irritation from the vaginal progesterone I’m taking.  

To add insult to injury, I still have a lot of pain and discomfort from my enlarged ovaries.  I can tell you exactly where my uterus is because I can feel it.  It turns out one of my distended ovaries has flopped over and is lying on top of the uterus, pushing down on it.  Lovely.   My abdomen is also filling up with fluid again.  Not nearly as bad as before, but my belly looks like a bowl full of jelly!  So I’m not really pregnant and I look fat -- just how I want to celebrate my upcoming 40th birthday.  I haven’t been able to exercise in the past two months and have lost so much fitness.  I was prepared to sacrifice my thinner, fitter body for a pregnancy, but it seems I sacrificed it only for a chance at one -- a chance that didn’t pan out.  I'm really not looking forward to the months of coming down off the hormones and trying to get my energy and fitness back.  Not to mention my figure.  From experience, it will take a while before I feel good again.

We have a follow up ultrasound at the Grand Rapids office on Wednesday, the day before we head out for vacation.  It’s mostly to do the final confirmation and to discuss how to handle the miscarriage while we are in Maine.  It sounds like if I continue to take the progesterone for a few days I can put off the worst discomfort until after our 3 day costal kayaking trip.   I know there is not one darn thing I could do to change this outcome, and I’m still in a serious funk about it.  I’m so grateful we have a vacation coming up very soon.  Tim and I will do some recharging, reconnecting and be able to discuss what we want to do next, if anything.  

We do have some very fun things planned for our trip, so we’re focusing on getting ready to get away.  So much to prepare for Katie and Mom so they can enjoy time with Stella – support from our local teen baby sitters, maps and directions of how to get places to do fun stuff, trying to set up play dates with friends so Stella has kids to play with and packing for ourselves.  And, I can’t forget lining up someone to mow the lawn while we’re gone.  At least Bea will stay home as Katie and Mom are glad to have her around.   We also convinced ourselves that we better buy a iPad and get it set up for a data plan.  How else will we be able to Skype with Stella while we’re gone?  We do need to get away, but I’m going to miss that little girl like crazy!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

It was a very busy week

Thank God Stella did not have hand foot and mouth disease.  She also didn’t have any more bouts of night terrors.  I’m also feeling better.  Some of the fluid has dissipated and I no longer am quite as uncomfortable.  My mom’s visit was great over the first weekend Tim was gone.  The week went by fast, and we did miss him, but we also had some fun.  Dinner with friends on Monday, a great walk with Bea on Tuesday and good evenings together the rest of the week.  I even got to take the day off on Friday and take Stella to her music together class.  I really have not given Tim enough credit for taking her the past weeks.  Totally not his thing at all!  We sang together and did silly things and the kids ran around.  Not that he can’t be silly, but it just shows how much he loves that crazy little girl that he sat on the floor and sang silly songs and made faces with another group of adults.  We met up with friends Saturday morning for a short park play session and then Stella and I both had great naps before Tim and the team returned Saturday evening.
I haven’t heard all the stories, but the mission trip was successful.  Homes were repaired, new connections made and the whole group really got to experience the transformative power of faith and being the hands and feet of Christ.  The girls apparently rocked at manual labor and wielding tools.  The pig at the home where Tim and his team worked even friended the them on facebook.  Not too bad for a week’s work! 
We’re hanging in there for the ultrasound on Thursday.  I’m not feeling great.  There is cramping and a little bit of spotting, so I’m trying to be hopeful without being unrealistic.  We’ve been talking a little bit about what it might mean if this round is also a no-go.  I’m not sure what that would be, yet.  We’ll cross the bridge when we need to.  Most importantly, even if this is a flat-out bust, we’re in this together and I’m so grateful for my wonderful husband.  I had to wait a long time to find him, I guess waiting even longer to build the family we so desire isn’t the worst that could happen!  
Stella has been extra cute the past few weeks, and that makes me want a second child even more.  I know that another child will be his/her own person and not exactly like Stella, but having daily reminders of how amazing it is to bring a child into the world and nurture their growth just reinforces parenting is worth all this bother. 
Now, it's off to bed for my very, very, very early morning flight to check out some flour mills.  The new job in quality is always keeping me on my toes! 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Not getting any worse . . .

So that’s doesn’t sound terribly exciting – not getting any worse – but believe me it is a step in the right direction!  Tim left today for ASP (mission trip, Appalachia Service Project) and will be gone all week.  So Stella and I get to hang out and do our thing together.  This hardly ever happens, although Tim and Stella spend a lot of one on one time when I travel.   I was really looking forward to this week until I started feeling so crappy with the OHSS stuff.  Mom is here for the weekend, and will take Stella to day care on Monday before she heads home, so that takes some of the pressure off.  I really need to go to work on Monday. 

I’m also trying not to obsess too much about the beta test on Monday.  The thing is, we’ve been here before.  At least one of the pregnancies that didn’t make it had betas where the numbers weren’t quite going up as they should.  I don’t recall all the details of those cycles as I they were so stressful and sad that I didn’t keep track of all the details, let alone remember it.   I know we are incredibly lucky to have Stella and to have had one positive outcome.  That doesn’t cure me of wanting more of the awesome magic that we get to experience every day.  It’s almost more difficult because life with Stella is so great.    

Great in so many ways, except that she was exposed to a kid at day care that was diagnosed with hand, food and mouth disease.  Oh Lord, please do not let her have this!  I can’t deal with a sick kid when I’m barely dragging my butt around.  I also need to go to work, not take the week off because she can’t go to day care.  Oh yeah, the other thing I’m praying for is that no one else at day care gets it because half the kids there are Margie’s own, and if they are contagious, Stella can’t go.

 The other new, fun twist is Stella is experiencing night terrors.  These are the scariest things I have ever seen.  It is seriously like she is possessed.  Her eyes are wide open, she is screaming at the top of her lungs and practically foaming at the mouth.  She’s not awake and you can’t wake her up or soothe her very easily.  Not sure what to do about this.  The only thing that has worked so far has been to rock her and take her to the guest bedroom and hold her until she calms down.  She’s incredibly restless after that, but not screaming and going stiff as a board.  No one gets much sleep.  I’ll have to talk to other mothers and see if anyone else has dealt with it.  Hope I’m in a better frame of mind tomorrow! 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

When Ovaries Attack!

What happens when your ovaries overreact?  They get very angry and take it out on you.   Mine are quite miffed about having to work again for this cycle and the transfer.  They have overreacted and I’m experiencing Medium Ovarian Hyperstimulation (sure would hate to see severe!).  That means my abdomen has swelled so large with fluid that I look 6 months pregnant and I’m incredibly uncomfortable.  The nurse said after my ultrasound today “I’d be really uncomfortable if my ovaries looked like your do.”  I stayed in bed all day today and still don’t feel any better.  The extra blood work and everything seems like there isn’t any imminent danger, so I’m just supposed to take it easy.  Can’t really sit in a chair for very long, so going to work is out . . . trying to see how much work I can actually get done.  Very curious as to why the hyperstimulated ovaries result in abdominal fluid accumulation.  The reaction is supposed to peak at 3 weeks after the trigger shot (next Monday) so we'll see how well I survive. 

There is some (potential) good news.  The first beta test was 67 – very decent for me and in line with what we saw with Stella.  The second today was only 119 – not doubling like they want it to do.  We’ll retest on Monday and see where we end up.  I’ve been so sure (inside) that this round was going to work as well, that I’m a bit stunned by this non-doubling.  Still – it is what it is – and nothing I can do will change it.  We’re not down and out yet, but definitely not out of the woods.  Ultrasound on Aug. 4th will be more telling and then we’ll have an idea if the embryo has a heartbeat (which is should) and is progressing as it should otherwise.  We leave for our fabulous Maine vacation on the 11th.  Cutting it close – I know – but it’s how all the timing worked out.  We do have trip insurance if I’m going to miscarry, but that would totally suck in several ways.  No baby and no vacation.  Praying so hard it doesn’t come to that! 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Ugh! Who wants ovaries the size of hens eggs?

So your normal ovary is the size of a walnut.  Mine are currently at least the size of a regular egg, hedging toward tennis ball size.  Try stuffing that into the same space that was once a walnut.  My belly is so bloated that I look pregnant already.  Oh joy -- I really do want to look pregnant -- when I'm actually pregnant! 

I have one whole vial of Follistim in the fridge that I didn't even use.  I'll donate it to the RE practice as they will give it to someone who can use it and doesn't have coverage.  I only used about 50 IUs out of another vial, but that one can't be used by anyone else.  Such a waste of tiny little tubes that cost $400 each!  (Now that we're through the deductible, the meds only cost me 10% -- thank goodness for a bit of insurance coverage.  Our fist two cycles we paid full price for them out of pocket.  That really hurt!)

The process of getting through the last bits of monitoring and getting ready for the transfer really messed up our holiday weekend.  I had an appointment on Sunday morning.  Because it makes more sense for the holiday for the office to not do ultrasounds on Saturday and instead do them on Sunday.  Let's give everyone Saturday off, have them work Sunday and then have Monday off?  Not sure how that works, but such is life.  After the appointment on Sunday, the nurse told me to make an appointment for Tuesday morning for more monitoring.  Did that and took off to Chicago to see Kate, Jen and their families.  Just as we got to Chicago, the nurse called and told me the "good news."  No appointment on Tuesday, but I needed to do the trigger shot Monday night -- those specialty pharmacy meds were still in MI because the didn't need to be used until after that Tuesday appointment.  Sigh, we had to leave Monday afternoon to get back home in time to do the trigger shot.  All in all, we were in Chicago for less than 30 hours. 

We still managed to pack in quite a bit of fun into those 30 hours.  The kids played hard.  I've never seen Stella so busy.  She was the youngest there (the next in age is 2 1/2), but the older kids were great with her and she loved trying to mimic them.  Monday morning all the kids were so very tired, they practically fell asleep over breakfast.  We saw a great parade with, count 'em, three marching bands!  I do sure love me a parade with marching bands :-)  No fireworks, though, which really bummed me out.  I love, love, love fireworks.  Tim found the New York City ones on TV, and we watched them.  Outstanding, even on TV.  It made me remember all those years ago that I went into NYC with my friend Ivonne and watched the fireworks from a rooftop where a friend of hers lived. 

Embryo transfer is scheduled for Friday at noon.  Hope I survive until then with my achy swollen abdomen.  I seem to remember that this ovarian distension persisted for weeks after the transfer and into my pregnancy -- not sure if it was with Stella or with the previous pregnancies. Still, I'll take all of this and more for the chance to have another child. 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Stella is a genius -- and we're in trouble!

One of the best things about parenting is the entertainment value in seeing your child learn and grow.  There is also usually some pride associated with it, like, "look at my kid!"  Today Stella hit a new milestone, one she is very proud of.  Me, not so much.  She learned how to take her diaper cover off.  For those of you who aren't familiar with cloth dipes, that means that the soggy, poopy cotton diaper was exposed and there were some suspiciously damp spots on her sheet.  She was very happy waking up from her nap and when I went in to get her from her, handed the cover to me with a great big grin!

Not a catastrophe, yet.  She hasn't learned how to take the snappie (the ingenious doohickey that holds the diaper closed) off.  Once that happens, well, we're in for even more fun!  Especially if it's a poopy diaper . . .

She's definitely hit a growth spurt in terms of learning how to do things.  She can now go up and down the shorter steps on the deck by herself.  She uses the railing to support herself and keep her balance.  She doesn't want to crawl down any set of stairs any longer, she waits for us to give us her hands so she can 'walk' down like everyone else does.  She's also decided that her sippy cups are no fun for water.  She wants to drink her water out of our sports bottles.  She's quite logical -- when she knew Daddy was in the back yard, but couldn't see him, she went to the window in the bedroom (at the other end of the house) to get the right angle to see him.  She's never looked out this widow before, but she just kept going until she could see Tim.  Give her enough time, and she can just about figure out how anything opens, or closes or which buttons to push to make it work.  And, she's loving the new iPad Tim has for class next year.  I hear toddlers understand how to make it iPads work really fast!  All of this is on target for her age (almost 18 months), and it is really keeping us on our toes. 

In other news, the drugs are still making me crazy, I've just started to get used to it.  Mostly I've just been eating a lot.  I call it eating my inner bitch into submission.   It's working, so far, but I can't continue this without a big weight gain.  One of the purposes for losing the baby weight and then some was to be at a healthier weight for this cycle to support a better chance of pregnancy.  

Our big plans for the weekend now won't start until Sunday afternoon because of the crazy holiday weekend schedule for the doctor's office.  They won't do ultrasounds on Saturday, but they're happy to do them on Sunday.  Huh?  Whatever, it is what it is, and I just have to suck it up.  I have a 7:30 appointment in GR (1 hr away) so it's an early start to the day, but that means we can get on the road early too.  There is a pretty good chance the next appointment will be Tuesday, so I hope we don't have to come home early. 

Happy 4th of July!  Hope you get to enjoy some great fireworks.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I just may bite your head off!

I am usually very slow to respond to the Follistim, so this time the doc started me on much higher levels -- 150 IU right out of the gate. Holy Crap! This is the worst PMS I've ever had. It's not physical, it's all mental. I do feel bloated, not bad, just to notice. The biggest deal is that I have a verrrrry short fuse. Little things make me want to use very bad words and be very rude. I'm trying my best not to say these things outside my head, but it's really difficult. Poor Tim, he's going to bear the brunt of it.
I also have big mood swings and difficulties keeping on track at work (a tough job in the best of circumstances). I got a chair massage yesterday, and that helped for a bit. I'm also doing a lot of deep breathing and mental focus stuff to keep from losing it. I'm counting down the days until we're through this part of the cycle and the drugs ease up. Or maybe until I adjust to them and they don't hit me quite so hard.  Some good stuff coming up -- trip to Chicago to see friends over the weekend -- so hopefully that will keep me distracted. Prayers for keeping my sh*t together accepted!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Here's hoping the 4th time is a charm too!

It took three tries at IVF for us to be parents and for Stella to enter this world.  Well, to be correct, it was really one fresh IVF cycle and two FETs (frozen embryo transfers).  It also took a big chunk of money (funny what we could afford when we had one very clear focus) and almost 4 years of our lives spent living on an emotional roller coaster.  I won't even start with how crazy the hormones made me, or the fact that I can now stab myself in the ass with a very long needle and slowly inject a viscous medication -- in public restroom on the other side of the country while traveling for work.  No strange stares from the other women in the bathroom while I was doing that, for sure!  I once had a needle phobia.  Ha! that was nothing compared to the tragedy of not being a parent. You do what you have to do. 

In very real terms we were lucky with awesome doctors and a small amount of medical coverage.  I had a lot of good follicles that led to good eggs and viable embryos.  I got pregnant from each cycle.  When I miscarried on the fresh cycle, our embryos had frozen well and then survived thawing.  Then of course, there is the amazing little girl that has taken over our hearts.  Despite all the difficulty, this is sooooo much further than many hopeful parents ever get.  Having essentially won the IVF lottery with Stella, however, doesn't stop me from wanting more babies.  Yeah, yeah, it's understandable and all that, but I still feel selfish at times. 

We have three embryos left and I'm starting the (very expensive) meds tomorrow for our final cycle.  I have different feelings as we approach this last cycle.  Part of me is in a really good place -- I know that there isn't anything I can do that can change the outcome, and I'm investing as much positive energy as possible.  I feel hopeful, calm and even excited about what could happen over the next few months. 

Part of me is quite fearful about what I'll feel if it doesn't work.  This is the end of the road for our infertility journey.  It feels surreal that this path that we have been faithfully following over the last 5 years will soon be concluding, one way or another.  At other times I'm actually afraid about what it means if I get pregnant.  The miscarriages were much harder than I expected.  Rationally, I understood what was happening and accepted it.  Emotionally the fear of loss carried into my pregnancy with Stella.  Looking back, the losses definitely affected both Tim and me and how we dealt with the pregnancy.  I didn't have as much joy as expected because the specter of loss was ever present.  If I'm honest, I can see that I had a lot of anxiety during the pregnancy and even more after it.  I might even go as far as to say that I showed signs of depression during the pregnancy.  In the end, it didn't prove debilitating, but if I am pregnant again and start to feel the same way, I'm definitely going to find a therapist to help me deal with it more effectively.  Yoga and meditation went a long way to helping, but I'd like more than the fact that I was able to get out of bed and go to work.  When I'm pregnant again I want to be more joyful! 

Whew!  If I'm all over the map with my emotions right now, just wait and see how it after a few weeks of injectable meds!