Saturday, January 31, 2015

NT Scan

We had our NT scan on Thursday, January 29th. For the most part it went very well aside from my extreme paranoia and one small, hopefully nothing-to-worry-about complication.

This was my first transabdominal ultrasound, and I have to say... it's pretty awesome not having to drop my drawers! The ultrasound tech got to work right away and started taking pictures while pointing out the various parts of our baby's anatomy. I wish I could have relaxed to enjoy it more... she waited until about five minutes in to find the heartbeat, and I was convinced that she was going to tell me that the baby's heart had stopped beating or that the baby didn't grow. Once we heard that beautiful thump-thump, I started to cry and felt so relieved.

It took about 15 minutes and a lot of poking and pleading to get the baby into the proper position for the NT test. I started feeling nervous that the baby wasn't responding and that perhaps there was a problem. But the tech told us that this was normal, and at this stage, the babies just do whatever they want. Whew. Finally, she got the pictures and measurements she needed and left to get the doctor.

We met Dr. M, and I really liked her a lot. This practice is large, and you don't see the same doctor every time. You are supposed to see a different doctor at each appointment throughout your pregnancy so that you have met everyone by the time you deliver. Sounds good to me! Dr. M took the time to explain everything that she was seeing and to answer all of our questions. I really felt like she listened to us and respected our difficult path and past.

She found some cysts on the baby's umbilical cord, and insisted that we don't stress out about them... uh huh... yeah, ok. They are called Wharton's jelly cysts, which aren't too common. Apparently only 3% of pregnancies have this occurrence. Ugh. I'm getting tired of being in the 1-3%. Anyway, she said that they usually resolve by the beginning of the second trimester, and as long as they do then it's no big deal. My big concern? I was 13 weeks 2 days at the time of the ultrasound... isn't that basically the end of first tri and beginning of second?? Sigh. We go back in two weeks to make sure they're gone. We asked what if they don't go away, and she said that it is not good, but we're not going to get ahead of ourselves. (Again, yeah, ok, we are capable of consulting Dr. Google... which, yeah, don't do that. SCARY. These suckers need to get the eff out)

We are THRILLED that our ninja's growth has completely caught up!! S/he had been consistently measuring six days behind until 11 weeks. S/he caught up two days at our 11 week scan, and was four days behind. Now we are only ONE DAY behind, and if you ask me, that's not behind!! Woohoo!! Way to grow, Ninja!!

We also got an awesome glimpse of his/her ninja tooshie - quite possibly the cutest thing I have ever seen!! Poor John kept saying, I don't see what you girls are talking about! It all looks like blobs to me!! The ultrasound tech pointed out the baby's butt, thighs and feet on the screen! I am so in love <3

We have been telling our news a little more here and there. No big, official announcements yet. I am kinda terrified to do that. Though, of course, I have an awesome reveal plan :D At work, it's customary to make announcements with food in the Teacher's Room. So I plan to make a sign that says something along the lines of:
Cici is in training for the BABY Z MARATHON!! 
I made a course map & plan to make a race bib with the EDD. Then I'll set out some healthy runner snacks.

I have still yet to determine if we'll share the news on Facebook... I just don't know if I feel right about it. I am so, deeply paranoid... Part of me doesn't want to jinx anything. Especially knowing the additional risks we are up against thanks to my Sjogren's Syndrome (the baby is at a higher risk for fetal heart block).

I wish we could just enjoy this, and I could just feel like a normal pregnant lady. But after all we've been through... it's just not in the cards for us. I am simply grateful that we are even to this point, and I just pray every day that we make it to August and have our happy, healthy rainbow baby in our arms to care for and adore for the rest of our lives. This still doesn't feel real... even this morning, I was at (my first) prenatal yoga class, and I found myself crying during the meditation. I just can't believe that this is really happening. To us. To me. The thought brings me to tears every time it hits me. After going through hell and back to get pregnant... and then having a rocky start with a SCH and vanishing twin syndrome...... it has been so hard.

And now to leave things on a happy note! Here's our little cutie. And, and, and, AND!!!! The doctor gave me clearance to RUN AGAIN!!!! I can't express how happy this makes me! To be able to say that I'm finally running for two... this is a dream come true :')

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

13 weeks - whaaaaaaat?!?

I am beside myself right now... How.... HOW?!? is it possible that I am 13 weeks pregnant today? It still does not feel real. It's like it is too good to be true. 

Our baby is the size of a peach, and measures about 3 inches long. Vocal cords are forming. Unreal. It is just UNREAL that this is happening inside my body right now. 

I am so grateful. And in love. I can't wait until Thursday to see our little ninja squirrel at our NT scan. I pray all is well. 

My Angels <3

A friend and fellow IF bump buddy of mine inspired me to pick up a new cross stitch kit. I love counted cross stitch, and have made several pieces in the past. I could definitely use something to keep me busy (and my mind off of all the running I wish I were doing). 

I have a birth announcement kit with owls. I started it when I was feeling hopeful about IVF#3... I don't know if I can finish it for this baby or not. I have to think about it and see if it feels right. 

In the meantime, I ordered two kits that I will dedicate to all my angels... All the embryos who arrested and didn't make it to transfer (especially from IVF#2...), Frostie Ninja, and Angel Ninja. My heart hurts for them all every day... Especially our vanishing twin... I am so sad about what could have been. 

Here are the kits... Now it's just a matter of which one to start first :) I think I'll hang one in Ninja Squirrel's room, and the other in the Reading Room. Which one should I start first?? 


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sneaky Ninja

Where has Cici been? I guess I dropped off the face of the earth in terms of this blog, and now it's time to fess up!!


It is amazing to write that out loud, and I am excited to publish it to the Internet. Holy crap, it still doesn't feel real!! 

I have been absent for so long around here, so let's go back in time for a quick recap of the past four months. 

October - Precycle with the RE and Dr. KK. It.was.intense. I kid you not, I was seeing practitioners at least three times a week from this point on. Holy cow. I started medications the first week of October and had A MILLION vials of blood drawn to make sure the protocol was going according to plan. I started the Lupron phase on October 27th, and it was all zoom zoom from there!

November - the stim phase started on November 1st. I had to make a trip out to see Dr. KK in Chicago on November 7th and by some miracle, my uterus was looking great, follicles were doing their thing. Our egg retrieval was on November 11th and.... cue tears.... NINETEEN EGGS WERE RETRIEVED. This next part is the part that always had me up in knots... The time from ER to ET... I have legitimate PTSD from this part... But it all went amazingly well!!! Our Day 1 report was as good as it could be... SEVENTEEN EGGS MATURE, ALL FERTILIZED!!! The next five days, I did everything I could to not lose my mind. November 16th was our transfer.... We transferred two gorgeous blastocysts. I cannot begin to describe the love in my heart for these bundles of cells... The emotions were and are overwhelming. 
The two week wait...... The plan was to go beta or bust, but the night before our blood test I had some spotting and FREAKED OUT. We took a HPT at 12:34 in the morning on November 24th and IT WAS POSITIVE!!!!

December - betas were rising nicely, and we had several ultrasounds to see that things were progressing along for a TWIN PREGNANCY. Overjoyed does not touch it. I had always dreamed of being a twin mama. I truly feel it is in my destiny. Sadly, it didn't last long... On December 22nd, the RE couldn't find the second heartbeat :( We fall amongst the 30% of twin pregnancies that experience vanishing twin syndrome. Devastated. We were and are devastated by this loss. Our sweet Angel Ninja... 
Thankfully, the surviving twin is going strong, though it was a shaky two weeks because s/he was measuring behind. Our RE discussed a "guarded prognosis" with us... Christmas was ruined. We were so scared. 

January - we grieved and will always continue to grieve the loss of Angel Ninja right along side the other significant losses we have experienced on this bumpy road... Frostie Ninja... All the arrested embryos from IVF #1-3... Specifically #2 when we didn't even make it to transfer. Our hearts have been broken so many times over the past two years, and we will forever carry those scars with us. 

Today, January 25th, I am 12 weeks and 5 days pregnant. I can't adequately describe the overwhelming feelings that brings on... Joy, fear, relief, paranoia, excitement, happiness.... So many feelings and all intense. We pray every day that August 2015 brings us a real, live, happy, healthy baby. Our baby. I get all choked up thinking about it... 

And then I look at that picture... Or listen to the sweet sounds of his/her heartbeat on the doppler... And all of the stress melts away. I love this Ninja so, very much. There is nothing I wouldn't do for him/her.