Thursday, May 12, 2016

A time for decisions

It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone to hear that our family is complete. We have two boys and a girl. We're a family of FIVE! I always teetered on the edge of wanting either two or three children. Then of course...along came infertility, and I just wanted to have one. Please, God...give me one.

My prayers were answered in the most unbelievable way. We're content with our family. Our lives are crazy hectic. We barely sleep. There is always someone that wakes up night after night. There is little down time. And that's okay. I wouldn't have it any other way.

But...at almost 39 years old. We don't see trying again in our future. My husband is a little more clear on that point. Don't get me wrong. I'm also clear. But I have the tug of how much I love these little nuggets that it's hard to be so final.

But it is. My husband had a vasectomy in late March. Something I would have laughed hysterically about just a short time ago. It wasn't a big deal. He went in on a Friday afternoon, was in the office less than 15 minutes getting it done (yes, I watched). And by Sunday was back to normal. I'd say even on Saturday he was up and around and lifting babies.

But still...that was the final end of our family. There are still three to consider. The three remaining embryos that are in storage at CCRM. Three high quality blasts. What do we do with them?

Do we save them? Just in case? Knowing the answer to that already. We don't even believe it's fair to our current children to have more. They deserve every bit of the attention they can get from us!

Do we donate them to science? Destroy them? I can barely type that word without cringing. I just can't imagine it.

Unfortunately, CCRM doesn't have the best options for what my preference would be. They do have an option to donate anonymously. Unlike our egg donor whose information is available to our boys when they turn 18...any children that come from these embryos would not have that benefit. CCRM would never give them any information about us at all. They would never know they have two full siblings. One half sibling through their egg donor. That makes me sad for those babies.

CCRM refuses to do known donations, which would be our preference. So there isn't an easy way to gift our embryos to someone to use. The only way this is allowed is for the embryos to be moved to another clinic.

But doesn't the chance of life still outweigh the unfortunate guidelines that CCRM imposes?

It's a long process. A year actually for it to be a done deal. So right now, we're just considering it. Trying to decide if we are ready to wish them well, hope they can help another family have truly amazing babies that Casey and Britton are to us, and let them go.

Friday, April 29, 2016

My Story.

I'm just going to start with, my story has a happy ending. There were many days, months and years that I wasn't sure it would.

My story truly began 15 years ago when I met my husband. Because my happy ending wouldn't have been possible without him. We've been married for 5 years, and we spent 4 of those 5 years battling infertility. We're one in eight.

In 2011 shortly after we were married, we began trying to conceive. We had recently had an ectopic pregnancy while on an IUD, so surely, getting pregnant would happen to us. And it did. Three months after trying, we got those infamous pink lines that we were hoping for. The happiness didn't last. Just a few short weeks later at our first ultrasound, there was no heartbeat. No baby. What they call a blighted ovum.

It took 2 separate D&C's to resolve the pregnancy as I wasn't miscarrying on my own. All of 2012 we tried. Tried with meds, tried with medicated IUI's. Tried with my OBGyn and with my first of five fertility doctors. By the end of 2012, I was finally diagnosed with diminished ovarian reserve. I was told the only way I'd ever conceive would be by using donor eggs.

I was devasted. The doctor we were seeing at the time wasn't even willing to try IVF or any treatments using my eggs. From here we saw more doctors, two more in Indianapolis and finally one in Chicago that preformed our one and only round of IVF. Which was devastatingly unsuccessful. By this point we were already talking with CCRM. One of the most renowned clinics in the country. We traveled to Denver, Colorado and made the decision to use donor eggs. It seemed crystal clear and after all, what we wanted was a baby to complete us and our family. The DNA didn't matter.

We had another surprise though. A few weeks later we found ourselves naturally pregnant again. Unfortunately, we knew rather quickly that this pregnant was not viable. What I never expected was the drastic consequences that would come from this pregnancy. The D&C that was preformed damaged my uterus. Before we knew this...our egg donor was already cycling for us. We were thrilled when we found out we had SIX embryos. They were ours. Just waiting for my body to heal from the D&C and then we could finally transfer one of those precious embryos into me. However, my body wouldn't heal. I had significant scar tissue from the D&C, maybe from the multiple D&C's over the years.

For months we tried with specialists and treatments to correct the issue. We finally tried a transfer but with low chances of success. To no avail. We knew the only way our precious embryos would ever make a baby was by using another uterus. A healthy uterus.

And then we met K. Through the love and friendship of Dreaming of Dimples I met the woman that would carry our babies. TWINS. Twin boys! And that experience was such a blessing. She is our family. Her children and husband are our family. They always will be. What they gave us...is priceless in so many ways.

I truly believe that doctors can only know so much about our body. We were told we had less than 1% chance of conceiving even with medical treatments. I had been taken completely out of the equation. My eggs, my uterus. But somehow, half way through my surrogates pregnancy...we got the absolute shock of our lives.

We were pregnant. On our own, completely natural. My egg and my uterus...had a little left to give.

And thank god it did. Because our life maybe completely chaotic and night and day different than what it was like a year ago...but only in the best possible way. We stay home 95% of the time these days. We don't go out to restaurants...or at least it's pretty rare, and we rarely get date nights. But we are a family of 5. And while, I still struggle to believe that this is real. I know that I will always be infertile. I will always remember the days that infertility consumed me. The tears, the heartache, the hope and then the constant let downs. I know that we've "beat" infertility. Our family is complete. But what we went through will always be a piece of me.

I have friends that still struggle. And this community that I have been apart of for these past 5 years, I could have never put one foot in front of the other without them on my darkest days. I hope that the women that find my blog, that have similar issues, can find information, comfort and most importantly...hope in my story. Miracles do happen. 

So yes...my chaotic little family of 5, is more than I could have ever dreamed of. 



Wednesday, April 27, 2016

9 month + 4 month update

Again...I find that much time has passed since my last update. I really want to continue blogging and not just about my little trios updates, but about infertility, life before and life after. Sadly, time has not allowed. At least yet.

So...that being said. Life is crazy busy! These little munchkins keep me on my toes and I rarely stop for a moment to breathe. So those of you I typically communicate with via email and text...this is why you hear from me so infrequently. If I'm not working...and not tending to my little family...you can bet your butt I'm sleeping!

I always thought when friends with children took DAYS to respond to a simple text message, that it was odd. I mean, it doesn't take that long to text for goodness sakes. Whelp. I stand corrected.

Busy we are. Tired we are. And above all...Happy. We are grateful for every single tired moment.

We went through a LONG period of colds and ear infections and are finally seemingly over all of that. Casey has two teeth, Britton we think, is close. During this time, Casey became quite the fan of co-sleeping. And I have to admit, I loved every minute of it. Not just did he like to sleep with us, but he liked to literally bear hug me with his little body and sleep that way. We have spent the last week, trying our best to break that habit. It breaks my heart in two because I think I loved it as much as he did. But with two other babies, co-sleeping with one, doesn't seem wise.

Breastfeeding continues to surprise me. I mentioned before, I wasn't sure I'd like it and be able to make it to 3 months...now, almost 5 months in, I can't imagine not breastfeeding. I love that she's never had an ounce of formula. And considering my stash only continues to increase vs. decrease now that I'm back at work, I truly think we can get to a year or beyond. My biggest concern is a work trip I have coming up at the end of July that's for 4.5 days. Though multiple people online have said that we're well established at this point, that it shouldn't be an issue. I just want her to still WANT to nurse when I come home. It would break my heart if she didn't.

Updates:

Liddy's 4 month appointment

She was 13 pounds and 8 ounces. In the 50th percentile for height and weight (but 90th percentile for head...no wonder she wouldn't come out). She started rolling over when she was 3 months and is now essentially a pro at it and is working on sitting up. It amazes me how quickly she's doing things compared to the boys. I have to remember that they were almost two months premature. Though her determination at pretty much everything she does makes me believe they will quickly be on an even playing field and really will seem like triplets. She laughs and coos at us. She literally wakes up and falls asleep smiling. She's the happiest baby I've ever met. I always thought the boys were good babies, but she takes it to another level. With three infants, I feel so blessed that they have had such laid back and happy temperaments. It's certainly helped that the moments of having 3 with meltdowns are few and far between. The pediatrician has pushed us to get her out of our bedroom since her 2 month appointment and to start her on baby food at her 4 month appointment. Neither of which I'm in any hurry to do. Being exclusively breastfed, I don't plan on introducing solids until at least 6 months. And she's quite content and shows no signs that she's ready or wanting anything more. As far as sleeping, she has slept through the night, but typically wakes up and wants to nurse. I like having her close by. I do believe some of what she does is comfort nursing during the night because she usually doesn't nurse long and prefers to be in bed with me so she can kind of latch and unlatch. I let her. Wrong or not, I'm not sure. But that's what we do. :)

Here's our girl. 

Nicknames: Liddy Girl, Petunia, Princess Petunia

Britton & Casey's 9 month appointment

These guys are just growing up at staggering speeds. Britton is almost crawling and Casey is FINALLY starting to roll over and get on his hands and knees. Britton even pulled himself up to standing recently. Unlike their sister, they are ready for solid foods and are polishing off anything we give them. Well, most anything. Britton prefers to be a vegetarian. They are getting 3 meals a day plus a snack. They say a lot of "ma ma ma ma ma ma" and "ba ba ba ba ba ba ba". Though not directed at anything or anyone in general. They are starting to know when things are taken away from them and show their displeasure and are constantly fighting over toys. Britton likes to try and alligator roll while getting his diaper changed. So that's a challenge! They also seem to notice when Trevor and I leave and when we come back. Their little gleeful faces and they way they laugh and jump when they see is literally melts my heart every day. At last weeks appointment Britton was 21 pounds 12 ounces and Casey was 22 pounds 8 ounces. Pretty close to 95th percentile for weight and 75th percentile for height. Can definitely tell that Britton is slimming up since he's so much more mobile that Casey. Casey's head is smaller and he's shorter...but he weighs a pound more. Evident by the cute squeezable, pinchable cheeks he's rocking. Casey got his first hair cut last week, but only nipped a bit to keep it manageable. 

My little men.

Nicknames: Casey - Casey Bear (he's a hugger), Britton - Love bug, "B" and Busy B

After all we went through, I still struggle to look at them and know they are mine. It's so surreal...and they are so much more than I ever imagined. 

My miracles.







Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Where do I start?

My last blog post was almost exactly 2 months ago. I'm not sure where to begin and where to end this post. There is so much to say.

I'll start with Casey, Britton & Liddy. I mean, my day starts and ends with them, so it seems right that so should this blog.

Casey & Britton were 8 months old last week. I can't even believe where the time has gone. They weight 21 pounds 7 ounces and 21 pound 8 ounces. They are the sweetest, most loving little guys I could ever ask for. Their smiles when they see T or myself melt my heart. For the first time in my life, I know absolute unconditional love from a child. (well, 3) And it truly is the best thing in the world.

Liddy is 3 months old and is going to quickly catch up with her brothers. She does everything faster. I'm sure because they were preemies, and maybe because she sees them? She's already rolling over. But that could be because she hates tummy time that much, that she had a bit of motivation. She's currently 13 pounds 12 ounces. She's such a content baby. So long as someone is in the room with her, she is happy all day long. You'll never hear a peep. When she's hungry, she just starts gnawing her fists.

Our house has been full of snot, coughing and major congestion for the past month. Ear infections galore. It's been pretty miserable for all involved. The boys see an ENT tomorrow because after 2 rounds of antibiotics, the infections are still there and getting worse. My poor, poor boys. Nothing worse than seeing them struggle to breathe because they are so congested or coughing fits that lead to them throwing up their bottle.

Liddy has had a few sniffles, but hasn't gotten it quite like the rest of us. Hopefully that's because she's being breastfed? At least, that's what I'm going to say it is. I never thought I'd love breastfeeding as much as I do. I thought it would be hard, especially with infant twins. But Liddy and I are pretty awesome at it. So yeah, I'm a happy, breastfeeding mama. I have a good supply. I bit of a forceful letdown that we've had to find different positions for, but she's a chunky, happy baby, so we're figuring it out. I did have a yeast infection in my nipples back in January that was almost the death of me. Talk about toe curling pain! Ouch! Thank goodness I was able to muster through all of that (without passing it on to Liddy) and didn't give up.

Yesterday was my first day back to work. Not many have the unique situation of a second maternity leave during their child's first year of life. I feel so grateful for not just the time home with Liddy, but the additional time with my boys. To see them change so much and become so active these past few months was an absolute joy and something I'll always cherish. I wish more than anything that I could just stay home with them. But I know that my working will benefit them now and in the long run. I'll be working out of my house 2 days a week, so really, I'm pretty blessed with a great company that is offering me quite a bit of flexibility.

I have a lot more to say and so many feels going on in my head and my heart, so I promise that's coming very soon. But for now, that's my update on my triple miracle babes.