Tag Archives: baby

A House Does Not the Family Make

1 Dec

We moved the last of our belongings into our interim house last night.  I said a silent “goodbye” to our first house in North Carolina as we drove away.  It wasn’t as sad as leaving the house with the blue kitchen, but it was still bittersweet.

That was the second house I’ve lived in and expected to bring a baby home to.  When we moved here, I was sure the IVF would work and we would have a baby by the end of the year.  My due date is this week.  My two beautiful embryos, who gave me so much hope, should be here with us this week.  They should have grown into two beautiful babies.  They tried so hard and I love them so much for that.  They made it further than the two who came after, but hopefully not as far as the two still to come.  I love all six of them still.  I love the one before that.  I’ve known about seven of my babies and the fact that five of them are gone is still so heartbreaking to think about.

These four years have taught me that you just can’t force things to happen.  When we moved into our first house, the house with the blue kitchen, I thought the IUIs were going to work.  I thought that stupid yellow bedroom would be full of baby stuff before long.  I got pregnant and then I wasn’t.  A year later, I painted it and we replaced the flooring.  I refinished my grandmother’s dresser.  I knit and sewed for my baby.  I was determined to build it and confident that they would come.  But they didn’t.

And then we were offered the chance to try IVF, so we sold our house and left all the memories that never came true with it.  We moved to North Carolina and I unpacked all of our baby things.  The IVF was going to work.  I lined our baby books up on the dresser.  I filled one whole drawer with hand knit and hand sewn booties and socks.  I filled another drawer with hand knit sweaters.  I hung the dress my great grandmother made in the closet.  A box held fabric swatches for bedding and curtains.  The baby tub my mom bought us sat on the closet shelf.  I was so sure this would be my baby’s first bedroom.

And then we found out our first IVF transfer worked.  I was pregnant and so thankful and so happy.  But then they died. Again.  And then our next transfer failed.  Our lease was up on that house.  So I packed up every stitch of baby.  Every piece of maternity clothing.  I packed away the larger jeans I bought because IVF made me gain so much weight.  I pulled out all of my extra IVF meds to send to friends who needed them.  I put it all in storage, far away from our interim house.  Out of sight, away from me.  If I don’t see it, it won’t make me cry.  If we don’t have a room for it, I won’t try to get it out.  I won’t sew for our baby anymore.  I won’t knit for someone who might never come.  I won’t buy another house with those thoughts in my mind.

A house does not the family make.  Family is intangible.  Family is who you love, even when they’re far away or not even on this earth anymore.  I love my babies with all my heart, but I can’t make room for them anymore.  I can’t keep putting my life on hold and live with the “what if’s”.  They aren’t here.  We are.  I want to cherish the life I have.  I don’t want reminders of what I don’t lingering behind closed doors.  So in storage it will all stay.  Away from here.  Maybe one days we’ll need it all for real.

Apple Turnovers and NC Knitting

30 Jan

I’ve been to the fertility clinic 5 times in the past 8 days.  I’ve decided to make it a habit to go to a bakery and buy an apple turn over and a small cup of coffee after every blood draw/ultrasound.  After going to a few different ones, I think I’ve found the most delicious apple turnover in Cary, North Carolina: Once in a Blue Moon Bakery.  Seriously, the best I’ve ever eaten.  Sugar Buzz Bakery is a close second. 😉  It’s the little things, right?  And it makes blood draw/ ultrasound day a little less unpleasant.

And how is everything going?

So far so good!  I went in for blood work on Monday and they found my estrogen was just a bit lower than they wanted it (135) so they upped the gonal-f to 100 and left the menopur at 75.  I went back in Tuesday and my estrogen had gone up to 245, which is great.  My ultrasound showed at least 20 follicles all 7mm to 11mm.  Tuesday’s ultrasound was pretty unpleasant as I’m starting to feel my ovaries.  They don’t hurt unless they get pushed on, but it’s not the most comfortable.  And considering my retrieval is at least a week away, I’m assuming it’s only going to get worse.

Today’s ultrasound showed at least 12 follicles (she didn’t count them all) measuring between 8 mm and 13 mm. My estrogen came back at a whopping 753!  That’s a huge jump in just a couple days. 🙂  Starting ganirelix tonight to make sure no ovulating happens before everything gets nice and big.  They like to trigger when most follicles are between 18 mm and 23 mm.  We’re getting there!

Symptom-wise, my headache isn’t as bad as it was over the weekend.  It’s just dull and in the background now.  I am tired and super bloated.  I would love to just sleep for the next week.  I know i was bored pre-IVF, but these days I am so incredibly thankful that I don’t have to do this AND go to work.  You ladies who do both are super women!

I’ve been knitting up a storm for the past few weeks.  Want to see? 🙂

The floor in our new house is very… scratchable… And our dinning room furniture was in desperate need of a makeover… AND the dark furniture and the dark floors needed to be broken up…
Thus.. Chair Socks.  I just love how cute they are.  And they can go right into the washer and dryer. 🙂

chair socks

I started these before Christmas and finished them up a couple weeks ago.  They were an interesting knit, but I think I’ll do the heels differently next time.

Love Socks

Click for pattern

I made these for my mom’s birthday.  She got them on Monday, just in time to wear them through Illinois’s bitter cold week.


Click for pattern

I made these baby socks out of some left over sock yarn.  I made myself these socks a couple years ago and just love that our baby will have socks that look just like mine. 🙂


Click for pattern

And finally, this baby sweater.  I bought this undyed wool specifically to knit during our IVF.  I knew I’d want to knit something baby related, but didn’t feel like trying to find a gender neutral color that I loved.  After I knit it and a matching hat up, I found I actually really liked the color.  It’s a soft cream color.  I might end up dying it later, but for now it’s going to stay like this.

Mossy Baby Sweater

Click for pattern.

I’m sure more baby knitting and sewing will commence over the next 6 weeks until we know the results of our FET.  It feels hopeful, like I’m putting good vibes out there and preparing for the best possible outcome.  We’ve been joking that if both of our embryos make it, I’ll have to duplicate everything I’ve made so far. 😉

Blood work tomorrow and blood work and ultrasound on Saturday.  More soon! ❤

Meds are Here!

20 Jan

Fedex came at a decent hour this afternoon and dropped this crazy mess on my front porch.  Things just got real. Yikes!



The gonal-f is stored safely in the fridge and the rest has taken up residence on the counter that houses my coffee maker.  Because I won’t be needing that for a while.  The length of some of those needles is nauseating…  It’s hard to believe I’m still missing three medications.

This week is going to consist of a lot of waiting.  Jeremy is working in Maryland for the week.  I never love it when he goes out of town, but this time is different because our parents aren’t just down the street anymore.  It’s going to be a very quiet week until things start moving.  And I do hope they start moving soon because I am ready to get going.  I am ready to get this show on the road!


2 Jan

Well, 2013 is officially behind us and I am so excited!  2013 was a big year for us.  I finally got a diagnosis, had my lap and lupron, had 3 more IUI’s, started looking into adoption/foster care, moved to North Carolina, sold our house, and finally got IVF coverage.  A year ago I wouldn’t have been able to fathom all that happened this past year.  It was a hard year, but it was so productive.

Our current timeline looks like we’re about 4 weeks out from my egg retrieval and 7 weeks out from our first transfer (give or take a few days here and there).  I’m not nervous yet.  Just excited.  All 6 of our IUIs filled me with complete dread.  My goal is to go into our transfer feeling calm and positive.  So far, so good. 7 weeks to go… 🙂

We had our IVF education class on Tuesday.  It was basically going over all of the various medication and how to inject them.  The class consisted of us and another couple who were obviously new to fertility treatments.  Jeremy and I sat and took it in.  There wasn’t much that we already didn’t know.  The other couple took notes frantically on everything the video was saying.  I feel bad for them because the video did a good job at scaring you with medication side effects.  I wanted to hold their hands and tell them it’s all going to be ok either way.   They looked nervous.  Did I look that was when we first started?  Do I still?

The one difference we learned at this class is that they don’t want subcutaneous injections injected into my belly like I usually do.  They want it done intramuscularly into my upper arm.  When I asked her why, she told me they’ve found they get better responses to the meds that way.  Good enough for me.  Follistim, menopur, and ganirelix acetate in the arm, progesterone and lupron in the butt, and then baby aspirin to fight the clotting.  Excellent.   Jeremy didn’t realize that progesterone in oil injections are daily.  Poor husband.  If you remember, Jeremy doesn’t like needles.  I made him promise when we moved here that he would suck it up and give me my injections because our clinic is a good 40 minutes away.  I used to drive to Dr. B’s for my lupron and novarel injections, but that’s not really an option any more.  Hopefully after the first few, he’ll be a little more desensitized. 😉

That’s all for now.  Just waiting for my period to start. WOOO, periods!! 😉

33: Next…

24 Sep

IUI #5 didn’t work.  The extra cysts and swelling made for a very painful Sunday afternoon.  I’m thankful for the left over Tylenol-3’s I have from my lap.  I knew I saved them for a reason…

I don’t know what comes next.  We’re moving forward with our very last IUI.  I told Dr. B’s nurse that I wanted to decrease the gonal-f from 112.5 to 75 units.  I know I made 5 follicles and 6 follicles the past two cycles, but they’ve been beating the hell out of me in the process.  I’m swollen and sore from the day after my IUI until a couple days after my period starts every month.  Thus far, it hasn’t been worth it.  This past cycle, I may have produced 6 follicles, but only a couple of them actually produced eggs.  So my question for her is: what’s the point?

She’s going to chat with him and let me know when I go in for my baseline ultrasound tomorrow morning.  I’m even less certain than last month that my ovaries are clear of cysts.  I’m actually hoping for a month of birth control.  I feel really run down.  I know I could just take a month off myself, but I don’t want to give the endometriosis any extra opportunity to grow back.  AND I’m afraid if I stop, I’ll never be able to start again. :/

We also had to schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. B for the end of October in case this IUI also doesn’t work.  She didn’t tell me what it was for, but I’m assuming he’s going to tell us that if we’re not interested in moving forward with IVF then he can’t help us.  Bummer.

Now how about some pictures?  My posts have been very infertility treatment heavy lately… Say ‘hello’ to WHAT I KNIT THIS SUMMER! 😉

Twin Cascades


I made these for a friend who is pregnant with twin girls via IVF.  She’s almost 36 weeks and I’m so excited!!  The booties are cotton and fleece.  Find the sweater pattern here.



This is for our neighbors who just had a baby girl.  We really lucked out in the neighbor department. 🙂  Pattern found here.

greencascade1And this is for my mom’s best friend’s new grand daughter.  She saw the sweaters I made for the twins and asked if I’d make her a sweater and booties.  I was excited to try this one in green though.  It gives it a much different feel than the pink ones.

Needless to day, a lot of baby knitting going on.  Considering I don’t normally knit in the summer, I feel like a got a surprising amount done.  I haven’t knit anything for myself recently, but I did start a pair of socks on Sunday.  I haven’t finished a pair of socks in over a year and I miss freshly knitted socks on my feet! 🙂

Other than that, not a lot is going on.  I’m working as much as I can because I’m planning on needing a good chunk of savings to adopt a baby…  It’s been nice to be so distracted though, so I can’t complain.

More after tomorrow’s ultrasound.


The Power of Positive Knitting

20 Feb

What have I been doing lately?  Knitting.  Baby knitting.

While buying onesies and miniature socks is one thing, baby knitting is completely different.  Buying ready made clothing can be done on a whim.  It can be done without much effort and time.  Baby knitting, however, requires more time and energy.  A lot more.

My chiropractor recently told me that I need to start being more positive.  She told me that our babies are in “escrow” and that I need to think like my future is going to include them.  I guess it’s the power of positive thinking or something.  Is there anything more positive than knitting a baby sweater and matching booties?  No.  There isn’t.  Unless I started painting the nursery… No.  No, I haven’t…. yet.



I can always replace the buttons if we have a little girl who just doesn’t appreciate centurion soldiers.

An unexpected surprise that is attached to these?  I upload all of my hand knits to my Ravelry account (which is also where you can find both of these patterns). -Side note: if you knit or crochet and aren’t on Ravelry, you’re missing out.  In the description, I explained that these were for our future baby blah blah blah.  Apparently the sweater showed up on a popular page somewhere on Ravelry and I got a few messages from some nice women around the world just to let me know that we’re not alone and that it gets better.

Infertility community, you blow my mind sometimes. I seem to get the messages I need at all the right times. 🙂

Other than this, I’m feeling good.  I’m having just a little bit a residual pain in my right ovary, but I’m guessing that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  I’m going to try to focus on all the school work I have going on over the next couple weeks and see what happens. 🙂

As another side note: I think my chiropractor also said something about not thinking about babies and just letting things happen… but I’m not sure.  I blame it on my selective hearing. 😉

Ps.  I’ve decided to keep the green booties from this post. Because I can.  And they’re so gosh darn cute.

Baby Socks and Washing Machines

16 Feb

When we decided to start working towards adoption, we also realized that that meant we probably wouldn’t have a baby shower until after the baby was born.  Our parents have offered to buy the larger items when we get matched with a birth mom, but the rest (clothes, bottles, formula, etc.) are things we’ll need before baby comes home.  And because 16% of first attempt adoptions fail, we also realize the need for any newborn clothes to be gender neutral.

Other than the few onesies we I’ve already purchased, our collection of baby paraphernalia is, and rightfully so, pretty slim.  Our solution is to buy a onesie or a pair of newborn pants or a pack of newborn socks every once in a while when we’re out and see something gender neutral we like so that we don’t have to worry about buying everything all at once when the time comes.  Plus, baby clothes are super cute and make us happy.  Our purchases get thrown into the wash, dried, and folded neatly into Baby G’s dresser.

Cue the leaking, dead washing machine.  Snow White had an accident the other day while she was locked in her crate for an hour while I was at the chiropractor.  I threw her bed in the wash (admittedly, it was probably too big to go in our washing machine, but that’s neither here nor there. 😉 ) only to have the washing machine stop and refuse to turn back on after the first wash cycle.  I guiltily called Jeremy and told him it wouldn’t turn back on.  When he got home that night, he proclaimed it’s death and said we would probably have to get a new one.  Crap.  So much for saving for that adoption.  Today, he decided it wouldn’t hurt to pull the whole thing apart.

As he was doing that, we realized we were missing a brand new baby sock.

Twenty minutes later, he pulled it out of the washing machine’s water pump…
photo (53)

This kid isn’t even conceived yet and it’s already causing us problems. 😉  We’re just happy we don’t need a new washer.  And Jeremy feels like a handyman-extraordinaire for finding and fixing the problem.  Now let’s just hope he can put it all back together. :p

Note to self: baby socks get washed in mesh lingerie bags from now on.

24: 2 Years and Moving On

9 Dec

Cycle 24 started on Friday.  And, it’s official.  We’re quitting the RE.  At least for now.

We saw the chiropractor (Dr. G) this morning.  After a in depth exam, he told me he thinks we’re really straight forward and he thinks he can help us.  My right sacroiliac joint is really out of place, plus quite a few vertebrae up and down my spine.  He showed us how your sacrum is connected to all of your reproductive organs and when things are pinched, it reduces blood and energy flow to those organs.  He said it all probably stemmed from some injury that could have happened any time, even when I was a baby.

He said if I was to get pregnant, I wouldn’t stay pregnant for long.  We hadn’t told him about our miscarriage yet.  But that also means that going through with another IUI probably wouldn’t be the best idea right now.  I don’t think we can handle losing another baby any time soon.  He asked us to give him 4 to 6 months to work on adjustments.  And then… he thinks we’ll be able to get pregnant… NATURALLY!

We were nervous about breaking away from Dr. B, but the thought of no more medication and the idea of getting pregnant all on our own sounds too good to pass up.  PLUS, this is the first doctor who has given us a reason for my infertility and hasn’t just thrown medicine and procedures at us.

So, we’re going to let Dr. G do his thing for a few months and see what happens.  If, after he fixes everything, we’re still not pregnant, we’ll go back to Dr. B and maybe it will only take one IUI to do the trick.

I’m hesitant to get on board with Dr. G’s positivity– Dr. B was the one who told us we’d be getting pregnant the first month we tried gonal-f…  But I am feeling much more positive than I felt about doing a 3rd IUI.  Especially if this might be the reason we lost the baby.  I’m cautiously optimistic.  I’m looking forward to working with a new doctor.  I’m so happy that I won’t be taking anything more than vitamins.

The bummer?  I already ordered 3 more 450 unit Gonal-f pens.  They’ll be here on Tuesday and will live in the fridge until we get pregnant and donate them or until we realize leaving Dr. B was a big mistake and go back in for another IUI. 😉

One year ago, we had been trying for a year.  We were beaten down and discouraged by test results and failure.  This past year of trying was the hardest year of my life.  But, as we enter the beginning of our 3rd year, I’m thankful that we started trying so early, while we were so young, so that we have time to try new ideas before its too late.

This Isn’t the Room I Had in Mind.

16 Nov

The bill from our first IUI came in the mail a couple weeks ago.  I could only glance at it and then tossed it aside.  The only thing I could think of was that bill, that dollar amount, is the only thing left of our baby.  $98.00.  That’s what our baby dying cost us.  I sat down to pay it a little while ago as I had let it go a week overdue.  That was easily the hardest check I’ve ever had to write, the hardest $98 I’ve ever had to part with.

It seems silly to think about it that way.  We were only buying a chance to have a baby.  There was never any guarantee that we would get one of our own.

I’ve spent the day half deep cleaning the house and half staring at all of the space in despair.  I both love and hate this house today.  I’m debating ripping every stitch of carpet out of the extra bedroom this afternoon.  I really hate that bedroom…

Every afternoon, the extra bedroom that was supposed to be a nursery glows.  Walking down the hallway, it looks like someone has turned on all the lights and then some.
The baby-yellow walls that I hated when we first moved in only magnify the sunshine that comes through the west window.  No window in the house gets as much sunshine as that one window.
When we first moved in, I would frequently double check that I hadn’t left the light on the night before – but there is no light in this room.  I try to never go in there if I can help it.  It reminds me of everything it isn’t.  It isn’t the room my son or daughter will sleep in.  It isn’t the room that we snuggle and read in together.  It isn’t a room full of tiny clothes and tiny shoes.  It isn’t the room I sneak into 100 times a night to thank God for this little soul.  It isn’t the room where all kinds of great imagining will happen.  This isn’t the room I had in mind.
But sometimes, when the sun fills it and makes it glow just right, I’ll sit on the floor in that room.  Sometimes I cry.  Sometimes I imagine it’s the room it’s supposed to be.  And sometimes I just sit and wonder why life is the way it is.
This isn’t the room I had in mind.  This isn’t the life I had envisioned for us.  Things were supposed to fall into place with this house.  It was supposed to be our new beginning.  We were so close.  But this still isn’t the room I had in mind.

We Were So Happy.

13 Oct

Friday was testing day.  It was also the first time I’ve ever seen a positive test.  It was so faint, but the line was there.  We were so happy.

We got up super early that day because we were getting ready to go to my mom’s cabin in northern Wisconsin for the weekend.  We assumed the test would be negative and we could just get going right away.  The positive was a SHOCK!  So we got ready as quickly as we could and ran to the monitoring hours at Dr. B’s to have a blood test confirmation.  We left for Wisconsin straight from the office and spent the drive up talking about babies and the nursery and trading our car in for something more family friendly.  We were so happy.

We stopped in the little town closest to the cabin to pick up  a few things.  I wanted to grab a comfortable maternity top or two.  My clothes have been so tight and now I figured I had a good reason now.  I called Dr. B’s office just before I went into Walmart to let them know I wouldn’t have any signal and to ask if they had my blood test results back yet.  I dawdled through the women’s clothing section and then the baby section.  And then my phone rang.  My beta was low.  Really low.  So low they didn’t know how I had even gotten a positive pregnancy test.  They told me to come back in on Monday for a follow up beta, but warned that this might mean the pregnancy was ending.

Somehow I made it through the check out at Walmart and into the car with Jeremy before the tears started.  I told him what they said and he started making calls asking for prayers.  We hadn’t told anyone yet.  We wanted to wait for the positive beta to tell our immediate family.  But this was how our parents all found out: Hey, we’re sort of pregnant, but they’re not sure it’s going to make it.  Surprise.

Everyone is afraid to celebrate.  No one wants to talk about it.  I feel pregnant.  I know there’s something there.  I’m trying to take the very best care of myself that I can.  This baby might not make it, but I’m going to be the best mom I can be while I have the chance.

I’m trying not to be angry.  I’m trying to be thankful for the time we do have with this baby.  I’m trying not to be hopeful, just realistic.  If my beta has gone up on Monday, it might mean that implantation happened later than we thought.  I might mean that everything is ok.  Maybe.  But there’s a good chance we’ll lose this baby.

I don’t know how to feel right now.  We want this baby.  We love this baby.  I don’t want to grieve until the end.  I have to keep telling myself that it’s not over yet.  There’s still a chance.

We’re up north still and I think that’s a good thing.  I’d be moping in bed if we were home.  Instead I’m dressed, eating, and playing board games about horses with my niece.  I’m napping as much as I can and staying as hydrated as possible.

That’s all I have for now.  I just wanted to update you all and ask for your thoughts and prayers.  I’ll update after Monday’s beta.