Friday, May 22, 2015

Code Blue

Three years, minus 1 day to the date I received the call from IRMS telling me that I was pregnant with Austin (then known as Petry), I received the same call telling me I was pregnant again! Yay!

Although we have the same cautious optimism as we had the first time, it was a relief to hear the IUI process was a success and we overcame Hurdle One. As we enter phase 2, keeping baby, I have to say – I feel really good about things! Similar to my earliest weeks with Austin, I am still bloated from the fertility medication and, in my opinion, feel like I am showing already but that is mostly in my head.

A little history of how this came to be –
January 5th – Went in for my initial check up and turned out my uterus was ready to make moves.

January – February 6th – Varying doses of Menopur to ripen my follicles for pregnancy. This was SUCH a slow going process. Dr. K was concerned all my little ladies would jump on the ripening train quickly and I would overstimulate. This would mean everyone would be ready for insemination at once and I could be an Octo-mom. That would be bad for business. Airing on the side of caution, we moved slowly (maybe a little too slowly but that is just the opinion of the one receiving the injections)

February 7th– Final checks and measurements of my little ladies. Finally (!) three got the memo to grow and Dr. K had enough confidence to move forward with the trigger shot that had anxiously been waiting in my fridge for about a month now.

February 7th, 9:00pm – Take trigger shot

February 8th – Between 9pm the previous night and the end of the day, I should have ovulated. I woke up a little crampy so thought that may have been a sign things were moving in there.  We were instructed to “try” that night. (cue the candles!)

If this doesn't scream romance, I don't know what does! 
February 9th – The Lathroum clan rises early and heads to IRMS. This, again, broke my rule of bringing babies to fertility offices but I was hard pressed to find coverage at 5:30am and I was slightly comforted to see we weren't the only rule breakers.

DJ was called first to make his donation (~29 million) and then I followed soon after. I had to sign off that we were a match, ensuring I wouldn’t end up having the wrong baby daddy. 

February 9th to present: Wait. First there is the two week wait where one has to lay low and that is followed by the first trimester wait to ensure everything is growing happily and healthily. 

Brother from the Same Mother!

So I guess all that "first kid, second kid" stuff is true. With Austin, I was all about blogging and documenting every procedure, feeling, ache, and pain. With Baby 2 - I am totally failing but let's break it down!

We starting the IUI process in January and because I am a high risk of multiples (age, eggs, general plumbing), we started slow. I was on low doses of the IUI medication and went in every other day to check the growth of my eggs - or lack there of. For weeks (!) there was no change. I never got the true definition of "8 less than 10" but we were stagnant at that measurement forever. Even when we thought one little gal/guy grew, we learned it was a mismeasurement or false alarm.

Finally after a month or so of shots, we had some movement and it looked as though 3 decided to be good-to-go at the same time. Not that we were trying to avoid 3 big follicles at once, but that was the reason for the low dosage from the start. Long story short, I took my trigger shot on February 7th and my baby (babies?) were conceived on the 9th. This gave them more or less the same due date as Austin. Interesting.

Longer story short, we now have one little man incubating in my belly with an arrival date on November 1st. All involved parties are thrilled.

My second pregnancy hasn't been bad in the scheme of bad pregnancies but it certainly has not been as easy as my first. Morning sickness was a son of a bitch for the first 14 weeks. I never puked but remained in a sick belly/sweaty month/am-I-hungry-or-nauseous? state of limbo. I was super lethargic and headaches - holy moly Batman! (As the kids today say, "I can't even!").

Then - miraculously, graciously, by-the-grace-of-God - the morning of week 14, I awoke feeling mostly back to normal and ever so thankful. Since then, I am a much more functioning member of society and all is well from a personal and gynecological perspective.

Sunday, January 4, 2015


Today I went running and found myself reciting Railroad Toad by Susan Schade in my head. Railroad Toad my son's latest book obsession and we probably read it 3 or 4 times a day. Inspired by the book (I guess), I found myself dictating a poem along my route and then, because I am the coolest person I know - I recorded my brainstorm into my cell phone so I would remember by thoughts.

(To Ms. Schade, I apologize if this rhyme scheme or topic is an insult to your book)

I set my alarm for 6:15
Tomorrow, I'm off to see if my uterus is clean!

They'll check to see if there's a thick lining
Or, if all is clear and my uterus is shining

Depending in the results, we will see
If its IUI or a period for me. 

IUI uses meds to trigger my flow, 
so into my uterus my eggs will go!

For Round One, I will be inseminated, 
the shell of my egg - penetrated. 

If all goes well, I will be knocked up
and to our family we will add a new pup.

Lets cross our fingers for this new game play 
and we end the year with a new baby :)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Counting my Blessings

This post should have been written on November 20th but I wasn't emotionally prepared at that time.

I am not pregnant. 

On the afternoon of November 20th, I got a call from Dr. K. informing me that my pregnancy test from that morning was negative. In my heart of hearts, I think I knew before this call that I wasn't pregnant but of course you are going to be optimistic. At the low, low price of $4500, why wouldn't you be. 

Since all my other frozen embryos did not survive the "defrost" (I am sure there is a more technical name for it) - we are now back at square one. 

Kind of. 

If this call came back in February 2012 - we would be back at square one. 
If I had not had a successful pregnancy - we would be back at square one. 
If I had not given birth to a fabulous baby boy in October 2012 - we would be back at square one
And if that baby boy had not been readily available for millions of hugs and kisses after I hung up the phone - we would be back at square one. 

Austin didn't know it but he saved the day. He was a symbol of success, blessings, and all that is wonderful about motherhood. He was there for kisses, for hugs, and promise that is process does work even if it didn't this time. 

Are there any next steps? Of course there are but they will be taken slowly and with great thought. Like I did on the "worst day", I allowed myself an afternoon to wallow but with a toddler, it was much more productive. Since the 20th, I have had time to reflect and research and on December 18th I will meet again with Dr. K. to see what options are out there without having to do IVF again. 

As I mentioned several weeks ago, if the powers that be only want one child for me - then I thank those powers a million times over for making it Austin. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Tomorrow I'm off to get pregnant

Tomorrow at around 1:30pm - I should be pregnant.

Weird sentence, right?

Such is the option of someone going for their embryo transfer. DJ and I don't have to rely on my menstrual cycle, a rhythm method, or the phases of the moon to know when we can/will conceive - we simply have to start our lupron then progesterone shots (which were not missed at all) and then get a call with the date and time.

At this moment, I imagine Baby 2 is somewhere being defrosted. He/She has spent a little over 2 years frozen with his/her other little embryo buddies and like the little alien characters from Toy Story, a "clay" came down - plucked him/her out of their little embryo ice cube tray - and set him/her on the counter to defrost like a chicken breast from the freezer.

Although the pressure is still there to keep this baby in my uterus, the preamble is much less stressful. Shots in the butt are still not - nor will they ever be - glamorous but at least I know what to expect and as long as DJ keeps a steady hand - there are worse things in the world. Also after meeting with Dr. K in July, I wasn't surprised when we were told IVF would be our best bet so I was also able to skip the shock, the wallowing, and the self-pity stage. I think that was a win for everyone.

Also IVF worked for me once and we were blessed with the most amazing little boy (said every parent ever) and he is happy, healthy, and utterly fantastic. Should the powers-that-be decide we are "one and done" then so be it! I mean - just look at that face!


is what I just spent to start a second round of IVF for baby #2.


After Austin I had hoped my body would "reset" and I would begin having a normal period, ovulating like I am supposed to, and have the ability to make a baby the old fashion way. Not so much the case.

At the close of a short lived venture with breast feeding, I waited to get a period but by June 2013 - the date of my annual gynecology appointment - I wasn't even spotting. Dr. B and I talked about my options and since Baby 2 wasn't in the near future, I went back on the pill  - better to be safe than sorry and went on my merry way!

Without sounding too pessimistic, I came to the realization that Baby 2 would also have to be a product of science so this July I went back to IRMS and the wonderful women there to see what my options were. Because I have 5 "beautiful" frozen embryos and a "beautiful" uterus, Dr. K saw no reason why a second embryo wouldn't take - especially since I was not menstruating on my own. Then I was asked the question that most moms-to-be don't always have the luxury of answering:
When would you like to be pregnant?

I know that making a baby - naturally or scientifically - is setting us up for a life long commitment but the ability to choose a date is kind of inexplicable for me - as in one morning I am going to wake up and say "I am off to get pregnant today. Be right back". I guess the same happened for Austin but I was in such a whirlwind of shock, hormones, stress, and panic - I didn't really reflect on the question back in 2012.

Well - I have a wedding the first weekend on September that I do not want to be pregnant for. And a road trip in October....
Oh and I also don't want my baby born in September 2015 - just in case I deliver on the 11th. I don't want that. Is that weird?

As calender-word vomit flew out of my mouth, the nurse nodding along in agreement and followed along on her own calender as a spewed my requests.

So what it we get pregnant in November for an August baby? she suggested. We would start the lupron October 16th and go from there. 

I blacked out after lupron. Shots! Again! Ugh!

Ok. That works I replied. Taking in to account that I would be a fat mess during the hottest month of the year.

Austin's sibs getting defrosted
Great! And she proceeded to walk me through the steps, the medications, and all the other bells and whistles.

For some reason, the figure in my head for Baby 2 was in the ballpark of $800. I don't know where that number came from but its not even a little bit close. Long, mathematical story short - defrosting embryos is not cheap. Neither are saline sonograms, ultrasounds, more medications, and whatever other blood tests, monitoring, and jazz goes into a second round of IVF.  Oh and it is still not covered by insurance unless you work for Google or Facebook. Which I do not.

I also do not work for XXX which is awesome because I hated it there. Even when I tried not to hate it, I hated it. I am now with a much better organization, in a much better place, and life is good!

So all of this said, Wednesday morning I rolled out of bed and headed up to Clark to visit all my friends at IRMS for my morning monitoring and blood work. Wrote a check for $4555.00 and that night, I gave myself 10 units of Lupron in the belly like it ain't no thang.

And here we go again..............:)

Friday, May 16, 2014

35 Reasons Why Being A Parent Is Awesome

1. There is someone that loves you unconditionally no matter what you do.
2. There is one person in the world that smiles when you wake him in the morning because he is happy to see YOU!
3. You have a reason to play with cool toys from singing dogs to blocks to fire trucks
4. You can build awesome forts on rainy days and it is perfectly normal
5. Its okay to eat Cheerios by the handful on the kitchen floor with your little man at breakfast
6. Pancake Sunday and other small traditions take on new importance
7. Holidays are so much more exciting!
8. You can go to places like Liberty Science Center, the zoo, and the circus and see them through a new set of eyes
9. You have an excuse for having yogurt in your hair.
10. You now have the ability to make up songs about everything
11. You can add poet, chef, architect, maid, and a host of other skills to your resume.
12. You always have someone to hug
13. There is always someone waiting for you to get home from work.
14. You move more.
15. You find yourself eating healthier and taking better care of yourself
16. You can order from the kids menu
Happy Mother's Day
17. You have an excuse to get out of events that start too late, start too early, or have a designated start time in general
18. Mother's Day and Father's Day take on new meaning.
19. You love and respect your parents more - and say thank you more often.
20. You have more dance parties.
21. You discover your inner Martha Stewart
22. There is always someone there to laugh at you, laugh with you, and make you laugh
23. You appreciate the small stuff
24. Bodily fluids gross you out (a little) less
25. You get to buy little clothes for little people
26. You learn life lessons again - like loving yourself and not worrying so much about how you look.
27. You are more patient - or you try your best to be more patient
28. You are a master at the Magic Bullet
29. You appreciate alone time with your partner more and learn date nights don't necessarily have to be at fancy restaurants
30. You make new parent friends
31. You get homemade gifts!
32. You learn the true meaning of selflessness
33. Red wine tastes better
34. You learn the best stain removers, carpet cleaners, and other tools of the cleaning trade.
35. You say "I love you" more.