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First off, I’m ok and at home now. I’ve been having strange symptoms for the last couple months (dizziness, nausea, painful cramping) and finally figured out I was pregnant, which was quite a shock to us obviously but absolutely thrilling news. We could barely believe it when we found out.  Yesterday during an ultrasound at my OB the symptoms got much, much worse and I ended up collapsing. They called an ambulance to take me over to Hoag ER where I had all the doctors, nurses and specialists baffled for a few hours. Ultrasounds were showing a healthy egg sack in my endometrium (where it should be), blood flow to my tubes and ovaries were good, etc. But I was very pale and couldn’t even have my head elevated in bed without passing out. The pain was starting to become unbearable and on the 3rd ultrasound they saw that there actually was an ectopic pregnancy and it ruptured my right Fallopian tube. I lost 4 liters of blood in 35 minutes, and was taken in to surgery to have my right tube and the ectopic removed. They were able to do the surgery laparoscopically and it went ‘well’ but due to the amount of blood I lost they kept me overnight for monitoring. I’m home now and doing ok. Jordan is home, thank goodness, and my mom came in to help out. I’m super grateful for both those things. I’m very sad about the baby, who was about 8-10 weeks along. But I guess this too shall pass. Right?  I’m actually still in shock about the whole thing and very tired so I haven’t made heads or tails of anything yet. Right now the hardest part for me is that I can’t pick up River for 6 weeks, which is all I want to do. Other than sleep.

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9 months in/9 months out


When I was newly pregnant, I used to go through the postpartum hashtags on Instagram and spend lots of time checking out the before and after pics.  I’ll admit I’m a bit of a pregophile, I can’t get enough of looking at baby bumps!  There’s just something so magical about them.  But I was also really interested in knowing if my body would ever be the same again.

So far it’s still too early to have this answer for myself yet.  I lost the “baby weight” pretty quickly, as I recall I was only about 10 lbs away from my pre-pregnancy weight at my 1st OB appointment after leaving the hospital.  But I also lost a lot of my muscle, which isn’t cool.  I felt like living, breathing veal picatta.

Unfortunately most of that rapid weightloss was probably due to my postpartum depression as I could barely eat.  I was still making enough milk (somehow) for my baby who is the hungriest little effer on the planet, but I started to supplement with formula a couple times a day to make sure he was getting everything he needed.  So, yeah I lost the weight quickly, but I would have preferred a little extra padding and a lot less anxiety in those first few months!

Every time I’ve posted pics of my very pregnant belly on Instagram I get asked what I did to prevent stretch marks.  I’ve heard these are mostly hereditary, which makes sense for me considering my mom got none with any of her pregnancies.  Although I do have some on my hips and butt from growing when I was younger, so I don’t know what the hell that means.  I did do some stuff the prevent them, although I have no idea if they helped or not.

For one, and I think this is the most important, I drank a TON of water.  That can be hard because you already feel so “full” and lots of women feel sick throughout their pregnancies.  But it’s nothing but beneficial to drink lots of water while pregnant.

I also would swallow a spoonful of coconut oil a day, as well as take omega 3s and vitamin E supplements.

And last, but not least, I exfoliated my belly and hips a couple times a week.  I made my own sugar scrub which I LOVE!  It’s so easy, it’s basically just 2 parts coconut oil, 1 part organic granulated sugar, mix it by hand or in an electric mixer.  I also like to add a little epsome salt to mine to give it the extra exfoliating and anti inflammatory properties.  And I put either the pulp from a real vanilla bean, or a couple drops of essential oil to make it extra decadent and heavenly.

BUT HERE’S THE TRICK!  Lots of people say to stay oiled up while pregnant, so you would merely rinse the scrub off and leave the oil on your skin and go about your day.  But I found that leaving this heavy oil on my skin made me insanely itchy!  Pregnancy was quite an itchy business no matter what I did, truly.  And nothing worse for skin when you’re trying not to strain it than scratching at it.  So once I rinsed the scrub off, I also lathered up after and washed off the oil.  If you use a gentle soap (I use Arbonne baby body wash), just enough of the oil will remain to make you feel soft, but not itchy.  And I put a little bit of very light lotion on my skin after the shower.

No matter what though, flat tummies, fluffy tummies, stretch marks, broken blood vessels, weird veins, c section scars, strange, rouge hairs that grow out of even stranger places, whatever your “new” stomach has going on, your body is a fucking work of art!  I get so much more pleasure from dressing up my little dude than I ever did from wearing a crop top.

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I’m back! And I’m a MOM!!

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Well, my sweet little rice traveler stuck!  His name is River Blues and he is the sweetest, happiest baby in the whole world.  He’s now 8 months old (I can’t believe it!)  It’s been the most important year of my life since my last post, and I decided to come back to blogging for a couple reasons.

Since posting and being open about our struggle with infertility and having to do IVF, I’ve had SO many people reach out to me about going through the same.  Both total strangers and people I know well who I had no clue were dealing with infertility have opened up to me about this very personal and difficult experience.  It’s important to me to help whoever I can get through this.  I hope our story can be inspirational.  I also feel like I’ve learned SO much through our experience and hearing so many others’ stories.

I also had really bad postpartum depression after River was born.  Since posting about it on Instagram, the same thing happened with people coming out of the woodwork to tell me about how they were experiencing the same thing!  I know they say 1 in 7 women experience ppd, but I swear it seams like that number is actually much higher.  I’ve become so passionate about spreading awareness about this issue because I had zero knowledge about it, and when it hit me that made it so much more terrifying.

I’m determined to keep putting these things out there to help as many people as possible. If you found this post and need someone to talk to about infertility, IVF or postpartum depression, please feel free to dm me on Instagram!  @kateordie

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Ketchup

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I took a little break from blogging for the last couple weeks.  Today I am 3dp6dt!  Here are my updates!

Retrieval:

I don’t know why I was so worried about this.  Actually, I take that back.  I know EXACTLY why I worried.  The thought of a foot-long needle going through my vagina, THAT was worrisome.  I was hoping I would be out cold, but my nurse explained to me that I would be under “conscious sedation” which was explained to me as “you won’t be able to move or speak and you won’t remember a thing.”  Uhhhhhh.  Nuh.  That does not sound right.  Everyone assured me it would be fine.  Going into the procedure, I was really trying to be brave, but I am a pansy.  The Dr. came in and asked me if I had any questions and I said “Uh, yes.  I’m concerned about this ‘conscious sedation’ stuff.  I’ve heard I won’t be able to move or speak, but I’ve heard nothing about not feeling it, and all I can think of is that Metallica video.”  He laughed.  I was glad he got the reference.  He assured me I would be “out” and wouldn’t feel a thing.

Long story short, he was right.  Next thing I knew, I was waking up.  Had a little bit of mild cramping, but totally livable.  I slept the whole rest of the day.

The Dr told me when I woke up that he retrieved 11 eggs.  I have to admit, I was a little disappointed with this number.  I’m embarrassed to say that because I know so many women who get less, but I’ve also seen women get numbers in the 20s and 30s.  And I just thought that because my ovaries were great and functioning normally and had nothing to do with our infertility, I would be in those high numbers.

Then the next morning my nurse called to tell me that out of the 11 eggs, only 6 had fertilized.  We still had 5 days to make it until the PDG testing, and I knew that with each day as well as with the testing, those numbers were pretty surely going to continue to go down.  They also told me that we wouldn’t have any more updates on the embryos until the day of our transfer, which seems kind of torturous.  Seems like a pretty shitty day to be getting bad news, if there is any.  I tried my best to keep my mind off of it, but who was I kidding?

Transfer Day!:

This day was pretty bittersweet.  I had my acupuncturist, who I love, there working with me.  She covered me in warm sheets and put a heating lamp on my feet and did her thing turning me into Hellraiser with her tiny needles.  She then massaged me and even stuck a few needles in my husband to relax him, too.  It was a great way to start off the day.  Then the Dr. came in.  I should mention that in one of our appointments with him last week, I told him very specifically that we did NOT want to know the gender of the embryos, we at least wanted that surprise.  He totally understood and he said he would put it in our notes to make sure no one “spills the beans.”  Imagine my dismay when the first thing he says when we walks in the room transfer day is “Well, I have some great news!  You have 2 healthy boy embryos!”  My heart fucking stopped.  Did he seriously just say that?  I looked at my husband who I could instantly tell was pissed as well and I just tried to smooth the situation.  I said, “It’s ok, it’s ok.  A boy!”  But my husband said to the doctor, “wait, so you are telling us the sex now?  We said we didn’t want that.”  The doctor looked embarrassed and said, “Oh, I’m so sorry.”  But there was nothing that could be done about it now and I just had to focus on being happy and ok with it.

I do believe everything happens for a reason, though.  Since the boy cats were already out of the bag, I took a look at our PDG testing results.  Very interesting.  Only 5 embryos were tested so I guess 1 of the 6 didn’t make it to day five for testing.  But here’s the thing that struck me.  All 5 were male.  Half of my eggs didn’t fertilize, statistically that would about the amount of female sperm used to inseminate them.

It scares me that we may never be able to have a girl.  I am totally grateful for these 2 healthy boys, but having a girl at some point is also important to me.  I don’t even know if this is something we can test for, because I don’t know what it is.  I’m wondering if there is something genetic going on here that we don’t know about.  I don’t even know what questions to ask or who to ask them to.  I feel lost and I certainly don’t want to turn to Google and drive myself insane.

It was kind of a shame that there was kind of a dark cloud over such a happy day, but sometimes that is life.  We chose to implant 1 embryo and freeze the other.  It was a surreal experience.  I got to watch this little guy enter my body through the ultrasound.  He was in a little rice shaped vehicle that they use to transport them I guess.  A little rice rocket, if you will.  That made me super emotional.  I had been trying to hold in tears of sadness from the moment the dr came in with his “great news” but the second I saw that little spec enter my body, tears of joy came pouring out of me.

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And Away We Go!

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Trigger shot was tonight!  It’s moving a little faster than I was expecting after yesterday’s appointment.  But it looks as though my retrieval will be Thursday now.  I’m really excited, the only thing that is sort of a bummer is that my husband leaves tomorrow for the UK for 5 days to play a couple festivals, so he won’t be here for the retrieval.  He should be back in time for the transfer, though, so that’s more important.

The trigger shots were not bad, I had to take 2 Ovidrel.  I think the needles were a tiny bit thicker than the others I’ve been taking because they took me a lot longer to get in.  The good news is that they didn’t sting at all like the Menopur.  I’m starting to get REALLY nervous about the stupid Estradiol shots I have to do every 3 days starting the day after retrieval, though.  They are the ones that have to go in the bum, and they are intramuscular.  😦  I’m a bit of a control freak, I feel like even if my husband would have been here to give me all of my shots, I still would have wanted to do every one by myself.  And I’m a total diaper baby when it comes to needles, getting the tiny ones in my blub is hard enough for me.  I can’t imagine how I’m going to get these torpedos in my arse, especially without a running start or muchas margaritas.

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Shot Just Got Real

Tonight is the first night of stims, Gonal F to be exact. I’m starting to get really nervous. So far the Lupron has been no big deal, but I think the Gonal F has a bigger needle? Anyone know if this is true? I’ve been totally fine these last couple week with the Lupron, then wouldn’t you know it, this morning I hit a nerve with it and screamed! Oh my god, that hurt so bad. Now I’m like terrified of taking the bigger injection tonight. Anyone have any tips on avoiding nerves when you do your injections? What were your experiences with the Gonal F?

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Not Tonight, Honey…

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Man, you guys were not kidding about the Lupron headaches!  They are insane.  I’ve been chugging water, and that helps a little.  But I seriously drank 3 liters of water yesterday and still went to bed with a pounding headache.

I will say, though, that the Lupron shot itself is not bad!  I barely feel it.  I’m the lonely loser with a traveling husband, so I have to give all the shots to myself.  I really psyched myself out on the first one.  Once I got it prepared I kept having to walk away from it and then come back, giving myself a pep talk out loud the whole time.  If anyone was spying on me at the time, I should be expecting men in white suits with the big net to be showing up to my house to collect me any minute now.  Finally, I just popped it in!  Not bad.  I had a little raised, itchy, burny bump afterward like a bug bite that lasted about 20 minutes, but that was it.  No bruising or soreness afterward.

A friend of mine set me up on a blind texting date with another one of her friends that was starting the IVF process on the very same day!  Her protocol is pretty different from mine, but it was still really nice being able to chat with someone else going through it with me.  We started meds on the same day, but her tentative retrieval date is like 2 weeks before mine.  I’m not sure how or why that is.  But I’m just hoping that everything goes as planned for both of us!

I had a dream last night that it was my transfer date.  I’m a little nervous about it and how it’s going to feel because I’m a big wimp so it’s no wonder I was dreaming about it.  And of course in my dream I was panicking about it.  It was over quickly and 3 seconds later, in true dream time form, they told me it had worked and I was pregnant!  Ha.  I wish it was going to be that quick.

But for the first time in a long time, I woke up excited about it.  I think through all of this I have just stopped being capable of excitement for it in order to protect myself.  I’ve been very guarded.  This makes me kind of sad, like it’s spoiling the experience for me.  I look at other pregnant women and think about how lucky they must have been to enjoy life up until the day they found out they were pregnant, and then get to go straight into feeling excited.  That sounds so fun!  I was worried that I wasn’t going to be able to feel excited, even when I did get pregnant, but my mom assured me that would not be the case.  But waking up this morning, feeling even just a little excited, even though it was just a dream, really breathed some life back into me.  ❤

Real Day 1

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I’m sitting here in font of my first shot of Lupron and totally psyching myself out.  I don’t know what’s wrong with me.  Seriously, I’m a pretty brave person, I’ve done some crazy things in life.  But this is really getting me and I don’t know why.  I feel all panicky.

Any tips??

❤ ❤ ❤

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Baby Fat

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What are you babes doing to stay fit and healthy through all of this??  Obviously, once pregnant, I will happily gain a healthy amount of weight for the baby, but I’m reading more and more that that amount does not tend to be as much as we think it is.  I feel like over the last 4 years of ttc, my body just wants to gain.  This could also have something to do with being over 30 now, dammit.  But I really do feel like my body is trying to nest every month, even though every month that nest has been batted out of the tree by some bitchy cat.

I cut out gluten for almost a year per the request of my acupuncturist, but I didn’t notice much of a difference.  I was gaining a little weight though, which I thought would be the opposite.  But while staying at my parents house this last time, being that my mother laughed at me with the whole no gluten thing so she prepared gluten with a side of gluten for each meal, I went back to eating it.  I noticed that I was full a lot faster and ate way less.  I also noticed that it made me a little lethargic, so it’s a give and a take I guess.

I tend to eat pretty well typically, but I’m most interested in finding physical activity that I can get into without having to fear I’m messing anything up.  I’m a runner and a swimmer and I hike at least once a week.  Running is a no-no, and I just worry about swimming and water getting up in my Netherlands.  Hiking is great, but probably not once I’m pregnant.

So here are my questions!  Answer any or all of them if you like!

1. What activities are you doing to stay fit and were they Dr. approved?

2. What are you cutting out or trying to include more of in your diet?

3. Are you using a heart monitor while you exercise and if so, do you recommend the one you have?

4. Are there any vitamins or supplements you’re having luck with?

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Cha-CHING!

Well, medication is paid for and will be delivered tomorrow!  It’s so surreal, no turning back now!  It would have been nice if our insurance had covered ANY of my meds, but that was not the case.  A bit infuriating considering we looked long and hard for a policy that would help with the cost of IVF and found nothing.  It wasn’t like this was just sprung on us, we knew for a long time that IVF was probably in our future, but there was nothing we could have done about it.  It was like being pushed off a cliff in super, ultra slow motion.

But now, it’s just time to focus on the baby that I hope will be the pot of gold at the end of this pooh-colored rainbow.  I have to believe that the universe will give it all back to us in some shape or form, but the important thing is that baby!

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