Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Finding Out

I want to thank everyone for their sweet words and comments from our previous post. We are so excited, and I can't wait until we can announce our news publicly.

Since I ended up spilling the news early to everyone, it's now time to backtrack a bit and talk about the transfer, the days after, and the first time I've ever seen those two beautiful lines on an HPT.

The difference between my first embryo transfer and my second, frozen transfer was night and day. The first time around, I felt miserable. The bloating in my stomach, the nausea, and the pain from the surgery were all present for the day of my transfer, and while I tried to remain positive it was hard when I felt so crummy. It also took an extremely long time for the first transfer, and it was difficult for the R.E. to get into the uterus (probably due to the swelling from surgery). It was painful and uncomfortable, and I seriously dreaded my second transfer following the first experience.

Thankfully, the second time around was incredible. First, I felt great. I was calm, positive, focused, and I wasn't in pain or swollen anymore. I also brought a book to read to help me relax in the time after the transfer while you are required to lay down. Trying to make the whole experience as relaxing as possible really helped my feelings toward the transfer in general. Then, the transfer itself was smooth and easy. It took awhile to get past the cervical mucus, but after that the catheter went into the uterus on the first try, and the R.E. slowly pulled the catheter out which I believe helped.

After the required 30 minutes of lying flat on the table, I got dressed and we went home. I enjoyed the rest of the evening relaxing on the couch and trying not to focus too much on what had happened.

By the next day, I officially had my first pregnancy symptom. I know that seems incredibly strange and early, but I have had a few others who have had positive IVF cycles claim to have the exact same experience so I do believe it's true. The very next day, I was exhausted. I was so tired that all I could do was lay around and sleep. That feeling continued every single day until my positive test.

For the symptom watchers out there, I will post my other symptoms:
6DPO, I woke up from my nap with an "I'm pregnant" feeling that I can't describe
7DPO, extremely tired
8DPO, cramping, still exhausted
9DPO, Started getting angry at little things and had to take a break while walking due to feeling slightly out of breath. Obviously, still tired.
10DPO, More cramping, more exhaustion, but one strange thing: no sore chest. Every single cycle my chest is sore by this point.
11DPO, So tired that I couldn't even focus on a book. Cramping and light light pink spotting. Chest still not sore and my tastes were off. Subway tasted terrible.
Tested after spotting and saw the faintest BFP ever! Best feeling in the world!
12DPO, still exhausted. Took 4 more HPTs and all were positive (yes, I was addicted to them). Started spotting a bit heavier.
13DPO, Could feel my heartbeat was faster and lower back was a bit sore. Chest still not sore, and sudden gag reflux kicked in. Took another HPT and the line was even darker.
14DPO, Officially pregnant!!! Beta came back at 165 (good, strong number)!!
18DPO, Beta needed to be above 660 and was 737.8!
21DPO, Beta came back at 1808!!

When I took that first HPT, I was in total shock. I had left it on the counter of the bathroom and waited the required three minutes, fully expecting a negative when I came back (even if just because it was too soon after transfer to test). As I picked it up, I noticed that there was a faint second line, and I immediately began shaking and laughing. I don't think the smile left my face for hours after that.

My husband wasn't home at the time, and I was out of HPTs so I ran to Walgreens to get another package. I then waited the suggested 4 hours betweeen pee breaks (I hadn't done this the first time), and I took a second test to make sure it was really positive. Sure enough, the line was even darker. I told my husband by wrapping a onesie that said, "My daddy loves me" and a baby book.

It was one of the best days of my life. Hands down. :)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Ultimate Blessings of 2012

** This is a long post, but worth reading! Also, if we are Facebook friends, I ask that you not post about the contents of this post. Thank you**

As Thanksgiving approaches, I have thought about the many blessings in my life that I have to be thankful for. I have an incredible family, access to great health care, financial resources to get my medications, a sweet puppy who makes my days great, a beautiful home, a reliable car, I live in a place where my vote counts and I have an overwhelming amount of freedom. . . the list goes on and on. This year, however, there are two things that I am especially thankful for.

Out of those two blessings, the first is that my sister has completed her final chemo session. You may remember that my sister was undergoing chemo after we found out (back in March) that she had Stage IV colon cancer. Our lives were immediately changed forever, and we (primarily Ellen but also her back-up team) started fighting with everything we had. She underwent over 8 hours of surgery on June 12 to take out the infected bowel and liver, and an ileostomy was placed to help prevent infection. She then went back to rigorous chemo that made her feel miserable day after day. At one point through her treatment, her white cell count plummeted and she was given a shot to help build them back up. This shot made her feel worse than the chemo. She also suffered from a pretty serious allergic reaction about three treatments ago. She was taken off of one of the drugs but still kept going with her chemo, and thankfully she stayed reaction-free for the last treatments. She has dealt with swollen tongues, nausea, pain, sensitivity to cold, swollen hands and feet, and just feeling miserable. BUT…she is finally done! Her CEA level is within normal range, and she will be having a reversal of the ileostomy soon! We are so thrilled at this news, and we are going to be celebrating during my family’s Thanksgiving! I’m getting a cake, balloons, streamers, the whole nine yards. We need to celebrate her amazing achievement, and I am so very proud of her.

With that blessing explained, it is probably hard to believe that there could be anything worth celebrating that even comes close to that good news. Normally, that would be 100% right, but this year we have been doubly blessed in an exciting way. . .

Basically, our Christmas present (the best Christmas present ever) came early this year. . .

Best photo we own! Baby's hand is front of its face, and we got to see Peanut move on this ultrasound.

That’s right! That picture is our little Peanut at 9 weeks and 4 days! I have been extremely quiet about the results of my last frozen transfer because I wasn’t quite ready to share the news with the world yet. I wanted time to enjoy it ourselves and to tell our immediate family and a few close friends. I still have a few family members who do not know such as my niece and nephew and my cousins. I will be telling them once I hit 13 weeks (so beginning to mid-December). But we are incredibly happy and blessed to announce that we are finally expecting a sweet, precious baby. My due date is June 12 or 13, depending on which ultrasound you listen to, and my husband and I couldn’t be happier. We found out on the first of October, and it has been INCREDIBLY hard not to write about it all this time. We were waiting until I got further along before sharing the news, but I couldn’t resist any longer.  So, as I write this, I am 10 weeks and 2 days, and believe it or not, I already have a little belly. I’ve had one for about three weeks but it’s gotten a bit bigger each week. I know they say you don’t show this early with a first pregnancy, but they obviously haven’t seen my body. It never goes down so it’s not just bloating that’s for sure, and it’s quite firm! I will have to post a bump picture very soon, but for now the ultrasound picture will have to tide you over!

Over the next few weeks, I will post about how I found out and what has happened from that point on. I’ll be looking back at the beginning of the pregnancy and explaining thoughts and feelings, and I also want to focus on the CF and CFRD aspects of the pregnancy.

As you can see, we really have been blessed with two of the most incredible blessings in the entire world this year. We are so thankful!

Again, if I can ask those of us who are Facebook friends to not post about this. Since a good amount of family does not know, I really don’t want it getting out on Facebook yet. I also want to wait for a public announcement to everyone who actually knows me until 13 weeks. Thank you all so much for understanding!

Stay tuned for all the exciting details about the last 8 weeks! :)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Lung Function Update

If you read my previous post, you know that I had clinic today and was hoping for an increase in lung function.

I'm back up to 83%!!! So very happy about that!!

Feeling really sore today though, so I'm just headed to bed once my nighttime treatment is done. 

Thankful Thoughts

It's November 8, and I have been less than committed to my "November Blessings" this year. Since I haven't posted in a week or so, I figured it was time to update what I'm thankful for today.

Today, I am thankful for the right to vote, which I exercised on Tuesday. I realize how lucky we are to live in a country where we can vote (regardless of gender, race, or religion), our voice is heard, and we are given the opportunity to vote in new candidates over time. I believe I am so blessed to live in this country.

I am also thankful for access to great healthcare. I have had a variety of doctor appointments in the last two months or so, and I am so blessed that I have the financial ability to be at one of the best hospitals! My CF care team is phenomenal, and all of my other doctors are great too. I can't even begin to describe how different my life would be if it wasn't for this standard of health care.

And finally today, I am thankful for my insulin pump. I recently decided to go on the pump so that I don't have to inject myself 5+ times in a day, and so that I would have better control over my sugars. This transition really deserves its own post, and I will try to do that somewhat soon. I've been on it for over a month now, and I love it. My sugars are in GREAT control (80s in the morning, under 120 two hours after eating..wonderful numbers), and I only have to inject myself once every three days to change my site. It has made my life a lot easier, and for the first time (in a long time) I forget once in a while that I have diabetes. And that, my friends, is definitely something to be thankful for.

I have another CF appointment today. Last time, my lung function had dropped from 85 to 78. I never see numbers that low, and it terrified me. Hopefully this time they are back up. My respiratory therapist, who is amazing, will be there this time. She wasn't at the clinic last appointment, and my doctors said that they will wait to see what my numbers are when she is back. SO, I'm hoping my FEV1 will be at least 83! 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween Fun, and November Blessings

Last night was a blast! Halloween is, by far, my husbands favorite holiday. He loves to decorate, he loves to see the costumes, and he loves to watch me hand out candy so he doesn't have to do it. This year was spent with our normal family traditions: eating big macs (a tradition passed down from David's father), watching scary movies, and enjoying our decorations.

Yes, our decorations are fun, and for many kids they are scary. We always have kids who have to bring mom/dad to the door because they are too scared to go alone, and we have other kids who hesitantly walk up on their own (parents laughing in the background), and they sit there and stare. This year we actually had a child try to come in our door to touch the decorations, and we had another girl who was so impressed with "Feddie Koogles" that she kept asking everyone to come see him.

A little different than last year, and you can see our orange and purple lights in the background on the walls. Also you can see the awesome cobwebs that David put all over the lower wall. 

Oddly, we had a lot of kids pass our house up this year as well. We've never had that happen before, but apparently other adults had the same issue. I'm not sure if kids just are unsure of how to trick-or-treat anymore or what. Although our trick-or-treat hours started at 3:30 so many people weren't even home.

Overall, we had a great time and we were out of candy by the end of the night! I always enjoy our Halloween celebrations, and I'm not sure what will happen once we have a kid. I'm sure they will change quite a lot.

On to November!

Since it's November 1, it is time to start my "what I'm thankful for. . . " each day I post this month. I have so much to be grateful for that it is quite hard to pick out just one thing to celebrate with each post so sometimes I will have more than one. Today is one of those days.

Today (and everyday) I am thankful for God. I have received many blessings recently, and I know that He is responsible for them all. I am overwhelmed by His love and power, and I don't know what I'd do without Him being such a big part of our lives. We are so blessed each and every day.

Today (and everyday) I am also thankful for my husband. David has been working very hard recently, and he has been helping me pick up some slack at home when I'm not feeling well. He has basically been running the house and managing a full-time job on top of it. I am so impressed by his dedication and love to me, and I wish I could do more for him.

As November continues, I encourage everyone to take a minute and think about what you are thankful for today!!