Thursday, May 29, 2014

It's a sister for Andrew!

It's a girl!

We saw the perinatal doctor yesterday for an advanced anatomy ultrasound (you know, because I'm as old as dirt) and it was very clear as soon as the ultrasound started that our little one is a lady! She looked perfect, healthy and growing right as we'd hoped.

I am writing this post more for posterity than any other reason. While cleaning the office/playroom today, I found the scraps of paper on which I noted the details of our most recent IVF experience. I probably failed to mention that during our IVF Andrew had surgery to remove his tonsils and adenoids. After many months of constant strep infections and too many rounds of antibiotics that did not work, we decided surgery was our best option.

So, of course, it was a stressful time for all of us. In the harried phone calls from the IVF nurses, I made notes in crayon and sharpie on scraps of paper found on the kitchen counter. So much different than how our previous IVF cycles were recorded!

Out of the 12 eggs retrieved, 11 were mature and 10 fertilized. We did a five-day transfer. We transferred three embryos. We were hesitant, but trusted the advice of our doctor who said he didn't think adding the third one would increase our chances of having multiples, but could increase our chances of having a pregnancy.

Now, I can't help but wonder if that last embryo (that we came very close to saying no to) is the one that stuck around. Of course, there is no way of knowing. I took a home pregnancy test one week after our transfer and got a faint positive. Another test the morning of our beta was darker. Our first beta came back at 61. Our second was 203. Our first ultrasound showed a gestational sac, but it was a scary appointment with a strange doctor (or maybe she was a PA?) doing the initial scan and after what seemed like endless searching, decided to get our doctor. Those moments waiting for him to get out of surgery were tense and long. Greg reassured me that Dr. V is the "wand" expert and he would find the sac. But I was not so sure. Of course, Greg was right and no sooner did my beloved doctor start the scan did he announce "there's a sac right there, see?" And I did see, but my view was blurred by hot tears of relief and joy. The next scan showed a yolk sac and then a heartbeat, though the embryo was measuring a couple of days behind. More worry and then, our last visit to Dr. V at seven weeks and all was well. We "graduated" once again to our regular OB.

Since then, we've had a pretty normal pregnancy, with the exception of my Advanced Maternal Age, which led us to the perinatologist yesterday. We were nervous going in, but our sweet baby looked perfect.

And now the work of moving begins in earnest. We meet with our realtor tonight to discuss our options, uncertain of what to do with this house and not sure of where we'll end up or what kind of house (or job) we'll find waiting for us on the East Coast.

But we are certain of God's providence in our lives. He has always provided. And His timing has always been perfect. So that is what buoys us in this rising tide of uncertainty. I have no idea who my new OB will be, because so much of that is out of our hands once we move back home where a large military hospital exists. We have no idea who will deliver this precious baby and it is going to break my heart to leave my doctor, who so skillfully pulled my son from my womb and stitched me back together again three years ago. I remember his words that day when things went bad and my heart broke over the emergency caesarean... "this is not your call. You ARE leaving here with a live baby." And, thankfully, we did.

No doubt God was guiding the series of events that led us back to Louisiana after Greg's deployment, though we fought it tooth and nail for many months. He knew that this baby was waiting for us here, in the expert hands of our Dr. V, we got another miracle -- of the girl variety! And we are so excited to start this new adventure as a family of four.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Big News!

Andrew is going to be a big brother! Our baby is due this fall and we are elated! We decided to go ahead and do IVF with our doctor here in Louisiana before we move this summer. The cycle didn't go so well. Believe me, if you want to know the effects of aging on your body, try to produce some eggs! Last time, 35 retrieved. This time, only 12. But like Greg kept telling me during our cycle, "all you need is one" (sung to the tune of the Beetles "All You Need is Love," of course). After transferring three embryos, we were so happy to see two pink lines on a hpt a couple of days before our beta.

So far, the pregnancy has been easy -- some feelings of nausea in the beginning a few very tired weeks -- but I am feeling better now and little one seems to be doing well. We have our anatomy scan in two weeks and they just did my quad screen yesterday. So please keep us in  your prayers that our quad screen returns normal. I am very lucky to be able to see my OB that I had with Andrew (at least until we move in August) and I am working hard to convince him he needs to come to NC in the fall for an outer banks fishing/hunting/baby delivery vacation. :)

Andrew is so excited about the baby. He has offered several name suggestions -- Microraptor, Harvey, Richard Rabbit and has been pretty adamant about Rosie. We were thinking, wow that's a really nice name and then one day he announced that Rosie is the class guinea pig at preschool. lol

So, if you have any great name suggestions -- send them my way. Remember what a difficult time we had naming Andrew? I don't really expect anything different this time around. We will find out if this baby is a little brother or a little sister in a couple of weeks.

In other news, we are preparing to move back to NC after Greg's retirement ceremony at the end of July. We are busy preparing for the big ceremony and the party to celebrate. My mother-in-law is coming to help out before the festivities and will stay with us to help me and Andrew out on the long drive home.

I have a lot of mixed emotions about this big change in our lives. Of course, there's a lot of pride but also a good bit of worry over our future as Greg looks for work. On the other hand, it seems almost like a dream that we will finally be able to put down some roots and live close enough to my family (and my mother-in-law who made the move from New England down to NC earlier this year) to see them whenever we want.

I am trusting God to provide for our soon to be family of four. In fact, I think it's fate that Greg's official retirement date (when the regular pay checks end) is Nov. 1, which is also our baby's due date.

God is so good and we are so thankful to be a growing family.