Sweet Baby Boy is 7 months!!

I had full intentions of doing this post last month when Landon turned 6 months, but you know the drill…life has been crazy busy. Anyways, I Can Not Believe my little peanut is 7 months old! How is my sweet baby over half a year old?! There are days where I feel like we just came home from the hospital and there are days where I feels like years have gone by. All the moments, from sweet and precious to crazy and stressful, have been 1,000% worth it. I know everyone says it, but I literally can not imagine my life without him in it.

Little Landon has been a wonderful baby and watching him grow has already been so much fun. And I know it will just keep get better and better! My goal is to do updates on Landon more often, but bear with me as this is a long post. Here is a rundown of life with Landon these past 7 months along with his growth, milestones, etc. We are having so much fun with this sweet little boy!

The first month we enjoyed snuggles all day, every day! 🙂

First bath at home 2.16.17
Getting some fresh air with Momma! This was while Daddy was away from me for the first time at 3 weeks!

1 month (3.12.17)

Weight: 8 pounds 9 ounces
Height: 22 inches
Head circumference: 39 cm
Eating habits/New food:  Landon started off pretty much eating every two to three hours. While I am very thankful to be able to produce some milk to feed Landon, my production just wasn’t enough. Breast feeding him was a battle so we introduced the bottle just a couples days after coming home from the hospital. Per my pediatrician’s suggestion, we also started to give him formula for his “bedtime” bottle to keep him happy and satisfied.
Sleeping patterns: Landon was napping for 2 -3 hour stretches. While he would nap in our arms/on our chest, in his swing, etc, he mostly slept in his rock n play which was in Mommy and Daddy’s room.

Our little tree frog! This was a very common sleeping position for Landon

Movement & Sounds/Words: Mostly sweet little breathing noises, not really anything you can describe.
New discoveries/accomplishments: Landon seemed to be curious about his hands very early on. I’m also pretty confident he has been smiling since day 1! He is such a happy baby and we definitely noticed a little smirk on his face within the first 2 to 3 weeks. First bath at home was on Thursday, February 16th. He lost his umbilical cord on Tuesday, February 21st.
Adventures/New places: Within the first month we also started taking walks around the neighborhood to get some fresh air for Landon and Mommy :-). Adam went out of town for work when Landon was 3 weeks old.  My parents were SO much help during this time. They took turns helping during the day and my Dad stayed with Landon and I every night. We all survived and Adam missed Landon more than I think he realized he would.

Friday, March 24th (my Mom’s 60th Birthday), we stayed in St. Augustine for the night which was Landon’s first time sleeping away from home. He of course did just fine! It is crazy how much stuff we packed just for one night away, and only 45 minutes away from home Lol! On Saturday, April 1st, Landon had his first “beach day,” with a tent and everything! Before now he had been to beach for a few walks but hadn’t stretched his legs on the sand yet. He slept in his carseat for a little while and then laid in the tent and let Mommy and Daddy get some sun for about an hour before he was over it. It was a successful trip!


2 months (4.12.17)

Weight: 10 pounds .5 ounces
Height: 23.25 inches
Head circumference: 41 cm
Eating habits/New food: Still eating every 2 to 3 hours. He still has breastmilk from the morning bottle through the evening and then his bedtime bottle is formula. I did cut back to just breast feeding him in the morning as he seemed sleepy from the night and latched on the best at this time.
Sleeping patterns: Around the first of April, Landon started to do 6 hour stretches at night! Hallelujah! He was going down around 10pm and waking up around 4am. This really helped Mommy and Daddy Lol. Then right at the 2 month mark, Landon started to do 8 hour stretches and he hasn’t looked back since! At 2 months we were amazed that we could expect at least 6 hours of sleep, possibly 7 or 8 hours. Thank you Jesus! 🙂
Movement & Sounds/Words: Somewhere near the 2 month mark, not sure of the exact date, Landon did his first squeal. His little noises and cooing are so cute, I swear he is already talking to us! He is definitely smiling now and we think he is starting to recognize Adam and I.

New discoveries/accomplishments: Landon is finally starting to not totally hate tummy time. He also started to pick his head up pretty good during tummy time in the beginning of April. On Sunday, April 23rd, Landon rolled from belly to back for the first time and a few days later he rolled 3 times in one tummy time session!

Adventures/New places: I don’t know if I would call it an adventure, but Landon had his first round of shots at his 2 month well check. Thankfully for Mommy and Daddy, he did surprisingly well. There were tears but they were slightly delayed until after the 2nd shot was happening and I scooped him up immediately after the bandaids were on and he stopped crying pretty quickly. On Sunday, April 9th, Landon met the Easter bunny and the following Sunday, April 16th, Easter Sunday, we had a nice quiet day spent with my parents. On Saturday, April 22nd we celebrated our friend’s little girl, Lottie’s first birthday and Landon had a great time watching everyone. I could tell he can’t wait to be running around with all the kids!

Having so much fun at Lottie’s Birthday!


3 months (5.12.17)

Weight: 11 pounds 2.5 ounces
Height: 24 1/2 inches
Head circumference: 42 cm
Eating habits/New food: No big changes here. In preparation for when I stop pumping and my milk supply runs out, we are slowly introducing more formula. We make his afternoon bottle a mixture of milk and formula. 
Sleeping patterns: Still sleeping in his rock ‘n play but we did move him into his nursery instead of at the side of our bed. He is still sleeping 8 hours at night but naps range anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. This can drive this working from home Momma crazy but it’s all worth it!
Movement & Sounds/Words: So much “talking” and cooing. I think we are going to have one little chatterbox on our hands! And he is laughing! Landon is really starting to develop a personality and it is amazing!
New discoveries/accomplishments: Landon’s head is getting so strong! He does a much better job of holding it up, especially during tummy time. And I think he finally doesn’t hate/kind of enjoys tummy time. 🙂 I think Landon has realized he loves being outside. If he is a little fussy and you walk outside, he stops whining or crying immediately. He also really likes when he sits on someone’s lap and we swing on our bench swing in the backyard.

Adventures/New places: We celebrated my first Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 14th) and my mom’s first Mother’s Day as a grandmother and it was glorious! We spent some time enjoying the beautiful day at my parent’s pool at their condo, which was Landon’s first time putting more than just his toes in the pool. On memorial day, Monday, May 29th, Landon had another big beach day, this time with another baby, Riley, and a big group of friends. Landon once again did great and made it about 2 hours until I think he was too hot and overtired.

On Tuesday, May 30th Landon had his first sleepover at Grandpa and Grandmaw’s (my parents)! This was a “trial run” aka “prepare Mommy” as Adam and I were supposed to go down south to celebrate our 5th Anniversary on Friday, June 9th.  A big, wet depression blew in and we postponed our trip to later in the month. This was to be our first weekend away from Landon so my parent’s insisted we have a staycation and celebrate…so we did! My parents took Landon Friday morning and brought him home Sunday mid day. While we missed the little guy, it was a great “first weekend away” knowing he was with them and we were still in town if something happened.

Already grabbing sweet Ansley’s boobie! LoL
The best assistant around!


4 months (6.12.17)

Weight: 12 pounds 3.5 ounces
Height: 25 inches
Head circumference: 44 cm

Eating habits/New food: I stopped the morning breastfeeding during the first week of June. His morning and mid day bottles are all breastmilk. His early evening bottle is still a mixture of formula and milk and then his bedtime bottle is all formula. We did start to try to stick to more of a “schedule” with the bottles, trying to feed him as close to 7:00am, 11:00am, 3:00pm, 5:00pm and 8:00pm.
Sleeping patterns: Nothing too new to report here, usually sleeping around 9 hours most nights from 9pm to 6:00/6:30am. Naps are still hit or miss, with some being 30-45 minutes and some being an hour to 2 hours. We know we should transition to the crib but he is still sleeping in his rock ‘n play and occasionally napping in our arms because well, I’m a softy sometimes. 😉
Movement & Sounds/Words: Still smiling all the time and laughing a lot. And I still swear he is really trying to talk to us!
New discoveries/accomplishments:  Landon sucks on his fingers often and the pediatrician said he is definitely starting to cut his two front bottom teeth and possibly his 2 front top teeth as well. Oh boy! Landon also figured out how to put his feet in his mouth and does it non stop. It is hilarious to watch him roll around holding his feet and nibbling on them! He also has fully discovered his tongue and enjoys to stick it out quite often.

Adventures/New places: We had a great time celebrating Adam’s first Father’s Day (Sunday, June 18th) and my Dad’s first Father’s Day as a GrandDad! We just relaxed at our house and had a yummy lunch together. Our biggest adventure this month was by far Landon’s first flight on Wednesday, June 21st!! We flew to D.C. to visit my mom’s side of the family in Pennsylvania and Maryland (Adam already had to be up there a few days earlier for work). Landon was a rockstar! (Duh!) I fed him a bottle while taking off and during descending/landing. He even took a 30-40 min nap in my Dad’s arms. We had about an hour and half flight and it was just the right length for Landon’s first flight.

It was so wonderful introducing Landon to my Grandparents and other family members! Those are memories I will never forget! Landon once again, did fine on his flight home and this one was with Daddy. I will spare you all the details but our first flight was canceled and we ended up spending and entire day in an airport before arriving home at 10pm. So, bless his heart, he fared very well given the situation.

Had fun meeting and playing with my cousin Charley!
Family is everything

Adam and I had our “make up” anniversary weekend away at the end of June. We went down to Vero Beach and stayed at the fabulous, Costa d’ Este Beach Resort and Spa. I highly recommend this place! Once again, Landon cruised through the weekend with my parents with no hiccups. He seriously is such a good baby! We enjoyed a more casual 4th of July by going to a friends house for a BBQ and ended the night by watching fireworks by our house. Unfortunately, people decided to do their own firework shows late into the night as well as on the 3rd and 5th of July…they must not have children, or pets Lol.


5 months (7.12.17)

No 5 month appointment with pediatrician so we only know his weight was 13 pounds 2 ounces because yes, we have a a baby scale. 🙂

Eating habits/New food: Time for solids! We started with avocado that I mashed up and added breast milk to and he loved it! Per the pediatricians suggestion, we started with green veggies. Landon also likes peas and green beans.
Sleeping patterns: Sleeping both naps and at night in the crib!! Landon made this transition pretty smoothly. The first couple of nights he woke up around 3:00am and we then moved him back to the rock ‘n play for a couple more hours of sleep. But, as I said, this only took a few nights and he officially slept through the night in his crib at the end of July. We also incorporated a new bedtime routine that I believe made a difference. We feed him his bedtime bottle > Let him burp and pee then put a nighttime diaper on > Put him in a swaddle sack, give him lots of kisses and then set him in his crib > We then read a book, give him another kiss, turn the lamp off and leave. We try to do this with both Adam and I as often as we can. The longest it takes him to put himself to sleep is about 30 minutes and he really hasn’t cried too much.
Movement & Sounds/Words: Per usual, still smiling laughing and talking a lot. His laugh is starting to really sound like a real person’s laugh. I am confident “Dad-da” will be his first word as he says “bob-ba” all the time. With the support of the boppy pillow around him, Landon is starting to sit up fairly decent. He eats his solids in his bumbo chair and is able to hold himself up pretty good. Landon likes to roll from side to side, while holding his feet. He also rolls from back to belly pretty frequently.
New discoveries/accomplishments: Landon seems to be very interested in his hands this month. He really concentrates on them and watches them move. I also think he is starting to try to wave. My mom swears he has waved back at her. Lol
Adventures/New places: One of the biggest adventures this month was really for Daddy as he had his first weekend with Mommy away. I had my annual reunion with my sorority sisters and this year it was in Tampa so fortunately I wasn’t far. Adam is an amazing father and I didn’t worry for one second that he would need any help, reminders, etc. And Adam lucked out as his parents came and stayed the whole weekend. So technically, Daddy still hasn’t been by himself without help…yet. On Saturday, July 22nd, we went to Steinhatchee for the day/night to celebrate Adam’s dad’s birthday and introduce Landon to all our friends in Steinhatchee. We had a great time and of course Landon was the talk of the town! 🙂


6 months ( 8.12.17) ~ Half a Year!!

Weight: 14 pounds 12 ounces
Height: 25.5 inches
Head circumference: 45.75 cm
Eating habits/New food: We started orange veggies this month. So far Landon likes carrots and squash. He gets about 3 ounces of pureed food before his noon and 4:00pm bottles. He is still having 8 ounces of formula at 7:30am and 7:30 pm and then 7 ounces of breast milk at noon and 4:00pm. We are also mixing the breast milk with formula because I stopped pumping the end of August and our supply in the freezer won’t last too much longer.
Sleeping patterns: Nothing really new here, still sleeping from about 8:00pm to 7:00(ish)am in his crib. I am convinced naps will always be hit or miss with him, and that’s ok. But he is napping about 45 minutes to an hour more frequently with an occasional 2 hour nap.
Movement & Sounds/Words: When placed his back, Landon almost immediately rolls onto his belly and likes being that way for awhile. He seems to be very proud of himself as he usually looks up and smiles at us when he rolls over. Landon also is grabbing just about anything that is in front of him or within his reach. Time to start baby proofing the house! He has a deeper laugh now and giggles a lot. He likes to sit on our bed leaning on the pillows and let you tickle his sides. He lets out some good laughs sometimes! Watching him grow and develop warms my heart in a way I can’t describe.
New discoveries/accomplishments: On Tuesday, August 15th, Landon sat up by himself!! He didn’t need to lean on anyone for support and didn’t immediately fall over. The smile on his face was priceless! Landon has sucked and nibbled on his fingers for a month or two, but now he will actually suck on his thumb. He doesn’t do this often, usually when he’s tired, but I guess there’s a chance he could be a thumb sucker. Still no teeth but we can see white through his gums both on the bottom and top. Those front teeth must be coming soon!

Adventures/New places: Sunday, August 20th, Landon had his first real dip in the pool. Now that he can hold his head up so good he can sit up in his pool float. My parent’s condo has a pool and it doesn’t get very busy so we enjoyed the pool to ourselves. Landon had another sleepover with my parents this month. Adam and I went to Steinhatchee to have an adult scalloping weekend with a big group of friends. We missed our little guy but had a good time spending the weekend on the boat, scalloping and spending time with our friends.

Landon and I regularly go to story time on Thursdays at our local library branch. He is too little to understand what is going on but he loves to look around and watch everyone else. Adam and I were busy in August as we also went to Dallas for the Florida/Michigan game over Labor Day weekend. We left Thursday evening and came back Sunday night. It was the longest and furthest I had been from Landon (Adam was in San Antonio 4 nights when he was 3 weeks old!!). While we had a wonderful time, we missed him terribly! The Gators lost which didn’t help with not being able to snuggle with Landon but we are glad we went on the adventure

Landon wrapped up month 6 with a hurricane, literally! Hurricane Irma wrecked havoc in the Caribbean before deciding to venture up the entire state of Florida. We live at the beach and originally had plans to evacuate (just into town) until the storm turned slightly west and we decided to take our chances at home. We found out last year during hurricane Matthew that our house is 15ft above sea level and our home is made of concrete, so we felt pretty safe.

I grew up in a neighborhood that even during a bad thunderstorm trees fell and we would loose power overnight. So I thought I could handle this storm that was supposed to be at best a category 1 by the time she made it to our area. I might have been wrong! We made it, our house made it and we only lost power from 6am to 6pm. But, the winds were frightening and I don’t think I can sit through that again with my sweet baby asleep in his nursery terrified I would need to run in and grab him at any moment. The worst of the storm came through Jacksonville at night which was probably better that we couldn’t see as much but it left for a sleepless night.

Landon did great and slept through the worst part. He did wake up twice but looking back we actually think it was him cutting his teeth and not the storm. Some parts of Jacksonville and the surrounding areas flooded so we are very thankful that we were spared. I try not to look at the pictures of the islands, the keys, some of south Florida, etc. We took a risk staying home and know that our home can handle a lot, but it is still a scary reminder that mother nature is literally a beast! My thoughts and prayers go out to those who lost everything and especially those who lost their life.

Hanging out in Daddy’s truck enjoying the AC while power is out!

 

Since we are only a week into month 7, I will go into those stats and details when I post Landon’s 9 month update. Instead, I will leave you with a few of Landon’s 6 month pictures taken by the very talented Meghan from Daydream Design.

 

Back in the kitchen!

Hey guys! Sorry I have neglected the blog. I’ve been slowly getting back into the swing of things with work. I’m still trying to figure out how to mostly work from home and be with Landon most days. Thankfully my parents are able to help pretty much at any moment, which is extremely helpful. When I get those last minute phone calls to go look at houses they always seem to come up when my parents aren’t already here babysitting.

Now that I am finding more time to cook again, I wanted to share a recipe with you all that I recently tried. There have been quiet a few gloomy and rainy days here lately, which makes me want to get my crock pot out and pretend like it’s winter out. I tried a Sausage and White Bean Cassoulet and it turned out delicious! Here is a list of ingredients and just a few steps to follow. If you do try it out, enjoy! 🙂 Happy cooking and happy Wednesday to all!

Sausage and White Bean Cassoulet

What you will need:

2 (16 ounce) cans Great Northern beans, undrained

1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained (I already had a can of crushed in my pantry and it worked just fine!)

1 (14 ounce) package smoked turkey sausage, sliced

3/4 cup vegetable broth

3 medium carrots, sliced

1 cup raw onion

2 garlic cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 bay leaf

1/2 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

*Combine first 11 ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 to 6 hours or until vegetables are tender. (I always put a liner in my crockpot for a much easier clean up!)

*Remove and discard bay leaf.

*Stir in bread crumbs then serve. Sprinkle each serving with Parmesan cheese and voila! Enjoy!

 

 

National Infertility Week: Listen, Learn & Share

1 in 8 couples have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy. Yes, you read that right, 1 in 8. That means that if you are not affected by infertility, it is very likely that you know someone that is.

Before we dive into infertility, it is important to understand what defines infertility. There are two classifications:

  • Primary infertility refers to couples who have not become pregnant after at least 1 year having sex without using birth control methods.
  • Secondary infertility refers to couples who have been able to get pregnant at least once, but now are unable.

As many of you know, Adam and I are one of those couples that had difficulty getting pregnant. Before going through it myself, the thought of having a hard time getting pregnant never crossed my mind. It also was not a common topic of discussion between Adam and I, our families or our friends. It always seemed as though our friends quickly got pregnant and we assumed the same would happen for us. In reality, it took over 2 years with some extra help from modern day science. That is why I am sharing this information and why this week is so important to me.

Infertility needs to be talked about more, understood better, and people should not feel alone or hopeless. In many instances, we felt alone throughout the process – as if something was wrong with us. In hindsight, I look back and can’t believe we felt that way. There’s nothing wrong with us and come to find out, we know so many people who have fought the same fight.

I am grateful there is a week dedicated to creating awareness around infertility! It is wonderful to see people speaking up, sharing their stories, and offering help and guidance. In this post, I want to shed some light on a few real life infertility stats, offer some helpful resources, and most importantly, provide hope for those who feel lost, scared or even ashamed that they are struggling. You are not alone and shouldn’t feel hopeless.

Let’s talk statistics. Here are a few stats about infertility and those it affects:

  • 1 in 8 couples have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy.
  • A couple ages 29-33 with a normal functioning reproductive system only has a 20-25% chance of conceiving in any given month.
  • About one-third of couples in which the woman is over 35 have fertility problems.
  • Infertility is not hereditary. However, there are medical conditions that are hereditary which may interfere with your ability to get pregnant. Such conditions are polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis and thyroid/hormone disorders.
  • Infertility issues can stem from either partner – it takes two to tango. About one-third of infertility cases are caused by women’s problems. Another one third of fertility problems are due to men’s problems. The other cases are caused by a mixture of male and female problems or by unexplained infertility.
  • Up to 30% of infertility patients are “diagnosed” with unexplained infertility, meaning everything “should” be working conception isn’t happening.
  • The Affordable Care Act (ACA) does not require coverage for infertility treatments. Only eight states have an insurance mandate that requires qualified employers to include IVF coverage in their plans offered to employees: Arkansas, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.

Informative and resourceful websites

The internet has a wealth of information on infertility, and with the amount of information out there, it can almost be overwhelming. Below are a few resources to help get your started:

  • Resolve: They are a non profit organization dedicated to provide information, help and support for those going through infertility and those who want to help others going through infertility.
  • Creating A Family: A national adoption & infertility education organization geared towards strengthening families through unbiased education and support for infertility patients, adoptive parents, and allied professionals.
  • FertilityIQ: An online resource for fertility patients to get detailed information on doctors, clinics, treatments, costs, etc.
  • National Infertility Awareness Week: The official website of National Infertility Awareness Week. They have a great list of blogs that have participated in sharing infertility stories and awareness that are worth checking out.
  • Some other blogs to check out include lemonwater, Dreaming of Diapers, and Trails Bring Joy. I’d also like to point out my friend Jamie’s blog, Organized Chaos, where she shares her infertility stories which include the conception of two beautiful daughters and currently another bun in the oven.

In addition to the resources above, there are many great communities out there like What To Expect and BabyCenter that have dedicated trying to conceive and infertility groups. These communities can be a great way to read about others journeys, ask questions, get support, and help you not feel alone in the process.

Northeast Florida fertility clinics

For those of you in or near Northeast Florida, here are some of the fertility clinics in our area:

Landon Loves The Florida Institute for Reproductive Medicine

How can you help?

  • Spread awareness! If you have been affected by infertility, share your story with friends and family to let others know that infertility issues are common and nothing to be ashamed of.
  • Donate to RESOLVE, The National Infertility Association, to help them continue to educate and inform the population about infertility issues.
  • Get social! Share this post or check out some other inspirational ideas.

Baby Boy Feber is here!

Landon James Feber graced us with his presence on Sunday, February 12th, 2017 at 8:38pm. Yes, it’s been two months now, but hey, we’ve been busy! He weighed 7 pounds, 11 ounces and was 20.5 inches long.  We are completely and utterly in Love!

Delivery was much faster and more smooth than I had anticipated and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat, but I could pass on the 48 hours leading up to his arrival. Here is my labor and delivery journey. Just a heads up, I’m not going to be shy, so proceed with caution ;-).

In the early morning hours of Friday, February 10th, I woke up with a strange pain in my abdominal area. I honestly thought I had gas…tried to go back to bed and 30 minutes later, felt the pain again. I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but the thought “oh wow, these could be contractions!” did run through my head. They continued, every 30 minutes, from about 5am to 9am. Then oddly, they went away. I assumed as I had originally suspected, maybe I had really bad gas and went on with my morning. Around noon, they started up again and this time we decided to time and track them with a handy app I had downloaded. The pain, now realizing they really were contractions, continued to range from 20-30 minutes apart all afternoon.  I also noticed a few times that afternoon, when I went to the bathroom, it looked as though I was starting to loose my mucus plug. I remember thinking, “could things actually be starting to happen?!” It was very small pieces, but hey, it was something!

Not sure if you pay attention to full moons or astrology, but Friday, February 10th was a full moon, a lunar eclipse and a comet. We fortunately live just blocks from the beach so around 7:30pm, when the lunar eclipse was supposed to be happening, we went down to the beach and took in the quiet, peaceful moments. We were secretly hoping we would be headed to the hospital soon. The contractions had continued all afternoon and had slowly began getting closer to 15 minutes apart.

Since we live a good 25 minutes away from the hospital, we decided to head to my parents just incase things progressed very quickly (they live about 5 blocks from the hospital). Unfortunately, the contractions did not get any closer and I spent the night waking up every 12-15 minutes to push through them. The one positive from the night was that at around 2:00am I went to go to the bathroom and I lost my mucus plug! I woke up Adam and even took a picture of it in the toilet, but I will spare you of that image Lol.

Full moon bumpin’

Saturday, February 11th (my due date), I woke up a little frustrated and definitely uncomfortable as my back pain had kicked in. So now, along with these pesky contractions every 12ish minutes, my back was killing me. From about 8 o’clock that morning until around noon the contractions slowly moved to being 8-10 minutes apart. After about two hours of them being consistently 8 minutes apart, and my back pain getting worse and worse, I called my doctor’s office. Normally they would want me to come in only if my water had broken and/or if my contractions were at least 5 minutes apart. But they said to go a head and come to the hospital for them to take a look at me. I knew there was a good chance that I would be sent home, but I was hopeful that maybe, just maybe I would be dilated enough to beg for them to admit me. Unfortunately, my wishful thinking didn’t pay off, I was barley dilated 1cm and sent right back home!

At this point I was getting very frustrated and irritated. I did not sign up for this! (Oh wait, yes I did haha) I now could totally see why people get induced. It would have been so much better to know exactly when to go to the hospital and to not have to just sit there going through the contractions and pain for now over 24 hours. So back home we went. The contractions continued being 8 – 10 minutes apart literally all throughout the night. At this point, the contractions were very painful. It is hard to accurately describe the pain but as they got closer and closer together, my pain level drastically increased and the word uncomfortable was a light way to explain how I felt trying to lay or even sit down for that matter. I did not get any sleep because I woke up every 8 -10 minutes to push through these very painful contractions and excruciating back pain.

The next morning, Sunday, February 12th, I “woke” up very tired and honestly pissed off at this point. I want to meet my baby damn it! Now I was officially past my due date and had so many people texting, calling, etc to see how I was doing and how things were progressing. So I went about the morning like I had the past 2 days and continued tracking my contractions. Adam and I walked around the parking lot of my parent’s condo and around the courtyard area to try to help the contractions move along. I’m sure people wondered why I wasn’t at the hospital already when they saw me, especially when I had to stop and push through a contraction. There were some contractions that literally made me get teary eyed. Right before noon the contractions went from 8 minutes, to 7 minutes to finally 6 minutes very quickly….I was almost there! Thank the lord they were progressing because my back pain was pretty much unbearable at this point. Yes, the contractions were horrible, but the back pain really did make me cry. God bless Adam, he tried to rub my back and get me as comfortable as possible. But there was nothing he nor my parents could do but just let me grip their shoulder when a contraction came along.

2:30pm: I finally broke the 5 minute mark! My contractions stayed around 5 to 5 and half minutes apart for an hour so I called my doctor’s office and they said to come on down! Adam and I decided not to take our hospital bags because we figured if we didn’t take them that this time would be for real. Well, we were right! Thankfully, I didn’t have to wait long to get checked in and for a nurse to come check my cervix. She said those words I was dying to here, ” You’re not going home sweetie”. When the nurse, “Biz” (who was wonderful!), checked my cervix, she said it essentially wilted away from 1 and half cm to 4cm. Finally!! I was going to be admitted and we wouldn’t be going home without our baby boy this time! YESSS!!!

Oddly enough, no one else was being admitted or in labor when we first got there so it was all hands on deck to get me rocking and rolling.  While the nurses were admitting me, getting my vitals and putting in my IV, I had asked if I could go to the bathroom but since I was about to get a catheter, they told me to just hang tight. The anesthesiologist was there in probably 20 minutes and he was a hoot. His name was Dr. Cramp – very fitting. Lol! When I moved to the side of the bed for the epidural to be put in, I laughed and told Adam that I had just peed myself, oops! Getting the epidural wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated and thank the Lord for it! It was in in no time. Thankfully “Biz” came back soon after to empty my catheter and she surprised me when she lifted up my gown and said that my water had broken. I guess I hadn’t peed myself after all! haha

IV and epidural in, we are ready to meet our little boy!

The next few (or several) hours are really a blur as things continued to progress quickly and the epidural did it’s job. I went from 4cm to 8 cm very quickly and by about 6:30 pm I was at 10 cm and it was time to get ready to push! Thankfully Adam’s parents got in town just in time to say hello and wish me luck. Adam and I decided we just wanted it to be us in the room so the very excited Grandparent’s to be went to the labor and delivery waiting room. I had given my mom the option to be in the room but she felt that it was a moment for Adam and I….plus she has always told me she didn’t want to see me in that kind of pain.

10cm and ready to go!
Proud and excited Grandmaw

My OB came and checked on me to see how I was progressing and gave me a run down of events. I didn’t realize how much the nurses really do during the delivery process and that the doctor wouldn’t be coming back until the last minute to finish things up. The doctor also told me she didn’t think I would be pushing for too long, which was music to my ears. So, she left and our main nurse, Carolina got us prepped and ready for the push process.

My epidural had lightened up just a tad, which worried me at first, but it ended up being a good thing. I could tell when the contractions were coming and knew when I needed to get ready to push. Through each contraction I pushed at least 3 times, holding my breath for 10 seconds during each push. Adam and Carolina counted out load which helped me visualize the finish line of each push. I should have had Adam somehow take a picture of me pushing. My face had to be so freaking red at times! There were some pushes that I felt like a vein was going to pop out of my head. Combined with the heat I felt in my head and brain, it really felt as though my head was going to explode!

Around 8:00pm, after about an hour of pushing, the doctor came to finally get our little boy out and into the world! He was crowning at this point and they said his hair was on the darker side. I opted not to look, but I don’t think Adam could avoid it. I just wanted to get the little guy out and see him for real, not just his protruding head! Once the doc was ready, I pushed about 3 more rounds and all of sudden he was out!

Thanks to my lovely epidural, I honestly couldn’t even tell, I had to ask, “is he here?!” The nurses handed him to me and it was Love at first sight. That moment, while it happened so fast, is a moment I will never forget. He was so cute, little and finally in my arms! I am finally a mommy! All the pain, being uncomfortable, nerves and waiting were all over and now just a memory. I have been looking forward to this moment for almost three years. I remember looking at Adam trying not to totally loose it. Thankfully Adam took some wonderful pictures that we will cherish forever.

Although he was a little hesitant, Adam cut the umbilical cord. I’m sure that is something he will never forget 🙂 Landon was breathing but wasn’t crying so they only let me hold him for just a minute before they rushed him over to their table to check all of his vitals. I kept asking if he was ok and they said that his heartbeat was good but they needed him to cry. They put a little oxygen mask on him and were pumping it to help him. Watching that broke my heart because there was nothing I could do, I couldn’t even hold his little hand. Although it was probably only a minute, it felt like an eternity, until all of a sudden we heard him cry. Never before was I so happy to hear such a piercing sound!

They then told me his height and weight – 7 pounds, 11 ounces, 20.5 inches. Adam was with him and taking pictures while they documented all his vitals, got his first foot and hand prints, etc. This all happened so quickly I wasn’t even paying attention to the fact that the doctor was still tending to me. I “delivered” the placenta and the doctor stitched me up.The doctor said I did “beautifully,” whatever that means haha. Luckily and thankfully my tears were very small and minimal and I didn’t need too many stitches. I will spare you any further details in that department 🙂 Here are a few pictures from our first moments with our sweet little boy!

 

That is really the end of all the initial excitement. Adam went with Landon to the nursery and our parents watched from the window as they continued checking Landon’s vitals. I was then moved from a birthing room to a regular room where our parents were eagerly waiting to see me and hold baby Landon. But first, I had to jump right in to trying to breast feeding the little guy. I completely forgot that he was no longer attached to my umbilical cord! What a way to be thrown into the whole breastfeeding experience! Lol He didn’t latch on perfectly at first but we slowly but surely figured it out enough to satisfy him. Thank the lord for the nurses and lactation consultants!

Our parents visited with us for a little while and before we knew it, it was after midnight. Time for Landon to take a nap and time for Adam and I to try to get some rest as well. We said our good byes, the nurses checked my vitals again, turned out the lights and there we laid, so tired but too excited to actually sleep. We are parents! Landon is finally here! We did finally get some sleep, but it is also hard to sleep when you have to feed the little guy and the nurses are coming to check on you every 2 hours.

The next day, Monday, February 13th was a long and busy day. Again, everything was in two’s, Landon had to be fed every 2 hours and the nurses were still checking on both him and I every 2 hours. Our parents visited more and we also had a few friends come by the hospital as well. It was wonderful to be able to finally share our sweet boy with people.


On Tuesday, February 14th, Landon started the day on a rough note as he was circumcised. We were happy when we heard one of our favorite doctors, Dr. Boyd, would be performing the procedure. Dr. Boyd came to our room afterwards and told us that all went well and gave us a few tips on how to take care of the little guy moving forward. I was also cleared to go home. We honestly didn’t want to leave! The nurses were so wonderful and who wouldn’t want someone helping you with your newborn (and yourself) non stop?! I asked the discharge nurse if we had to leave and she said she would process me very slowly. Haha. We had some newborn pictures taken and then we started the packing process. I took everything in sight, literally! Several friends (and nurses) told me to raid the hospital of all their supplies and that’s exactly what I did.

My dad came to help us load up the car and off we went. Headed home with our Very special cargo. I feel like our lives are complete with Landon here. We feel beyond blessed and thankful to be his mommy and daddy. There is no possible way to explain or a proper comparison of the joy of having this child in my arms. The trials and tribulations will never be forgotten, but they are in the past and we could not be happier with our little family.

*I will follow up soon with more pictures and an update of life at home with baby Landon!

Week 39 Bumpdate

Yes, you read that right, I’m into week 39 and still waiting….I feel like 8 months flew by and now that I’m in the home stretch, the days just drip by. We have our hospital bags packed, the carseat ready in the car, the nursery is completed, we’ve picked a pediatrician, all newborn clothes, blankets, etc. have been washed. We’re ready. This isn’t a formal bumpdate, just a recap of what we’ve been doing as we patiently (or impatiently) await to meet our little man!

I had an appointment on Monday, and while I was not dilated, the doctor could feel his head and said he is super low! My belly measured on track, his heartbeat was great, my blood pressure was perfect and my urine sample was fine too. I had quite a few Braxton Hicks-like contractions while with the doctor so she said now we just need my brain and body to communicate to each other and kick those contractions into high gear! I felt much more hopeful walking away from that appointment that this really could happen today or tomorrow….ekkk!! We are thinking maybe Friday could be the “big day” as there is going to be a triple treat in the sky: lunar eclipse, comet and full moon!

Momma is ready!

One of my last minute tasks was to make a few goodies bags for our labor and delivery nurses. I used to work in the medical sales industry and I remember nurses getting very excited when I dropped off snacks and treats. So, I got each one a little Valentine’s box of chocolates, trail mix, jolly ranchers, chapstick, individual powered drink mixes, and a Starbucks gift card. I figure with all the attention they will hopefully be giving me and baby boy, I should at least do a little something for them!

As I mentioned before, the nursery is complete…we are as ready as we can be at this point! All we need is our little man! 🙂

I am proud to say I made the captain’s wheel and sailboat canvases myself during this downtime!

I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your week. My next post will be announcing the little guy’s arrival and telling you all about our labor and delivery! Please keep us in your prayers for a smooth and safe delivery, a healthy momma and baby, and a not too frightened daddy! Lol…I know Adam will be a great help in the delivery room and knock this out of the ball park!

Week 36 Bumpdate

Hello friends! Here we are just a little over 3 weeks away from my due date. Where has the time gone?! These past 8 months have flown by! I am sad to say I think this might be my last formal bumpdate before go time, but I will try my best to keep everyone updated as things progress.

The holidays flew by and it was surreal/special to think about how it was our last Christmas just the two of us. We can’t wait for our little guy to be here and make future holiday seasons even more magical! The last few weeks we have been busy trying to tie up as many loose ends as possible in regards to baby products, stuff for the nursery, hospital bag items, etc. I mean you’re never fully ready for the baby to come but I think we are pretty darn close!

As I mentioned in my last update, we had maternity pictures taken and oh my lord have mercy, they turned out fantastic!! Our photographer, Meghan, did an absolutely amazing job! She doesn’t just do maternity so if anyone in the northeast Florida area needs a photographer, please consider DayDream Design. I also had my last shower, which I have recapped below as well. Stay tuned for labor and delivery updates as well as some pregnancy guides I’ve been working on. Have a wonderful rest of your week everyone!

How far along: 36 weeks, 4 days

Gender: Boy

How big is baby: About the size of a papaya, probably weighing around 6 lbs

My weight gain: Still around 25 lbs

Maternity clothes: I think everything I am wearing now is maternity, even wearing nursing bras

Wedding ring on or off: On, but not as easy to slip on and off

Exercise: Still trying to get to the gym 3-4 days a week for at least some cardio and maybe, just maybe, some light weightlifting

Sleep: Overall sleeping “OK”. I toss and turn a lot, but have been fortunate the past 2ish weeks that I haven’t had as many nights where I’m wide awake for hours. I never seem to feel rested though thanks to being so restless.

Miss anything: Would like to look down and see my toes, shave my legs more easily, etc. It’s the small things I miss!

Cravings: Still don’t really have any cravings, but still loving Mexican food!

Aversions: None

Symptoms: Overall my symptoms have still been minimal. I am definitely more tired these days and have been taking more naps. Heartburn/indigestion is much more frequent. I have been experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions for awhile now but recently they have definitely seemed more intense or strong and more frequent. But again, still very lucky to have had an easy pregnancy so far!

Belly Button in or out: Slightly out

Movement: I am pretty sure this little guy is going to be a ninja or an athlete of some sort. He moves a lot and his movements are pretty intense most of the time. We have definitely seen some powerful kicks and punches. While some of the movements catch me off guard, I absolutely love feeling and seeing him move around and I know I will miss all this action once he is finally in our arms.

Mood: I still feel really good overall. I am definitely ready to meet this little prince but I can’t say that I don’t feel good or that I’m really uncomfortable. I have embraced this belly, the Braxton Hicks contractions, mild cramping that’s been happening lately, not being able to move around as easily, I could go on and on.  It’s really hard to explain but I feel a whole different level of confidence in me the past month or two and I can actually say that I like being pregnant. I know some of you ladies probably think I’m crazy haha

Best Moment of the week: Since the last update we think we have finalized the name, but sorry, it’s going to stay a secret until we see and hold our little man! 🙂

What I (we) did/Got for the baby: I have washed all of his newborn clothes, blankets, burp cloths, crib sheets and anything that I think we will be using the first few weeks so that they are all clean and germ free. We had a meet and greet with one pediatrician (we liked her!) and we will be meeting another one next week as well. The nursery is pretty much all put together, I just need to finish hanging some artwork. We got a mirror for above the changing table, some shelves and a small nightstand type table. I promise to post some pictures of the nursery once I have everything hung on the walls and clean items put away.

Doctor’s appointment: Had one on Monday. Really just another routine appointment where they check the heart beat, measure my belly (36 cm) and talk about how I’m feeling, baby’s movement, etc. I did have the Strep B test and will get that result next week. Doctor said that if I were to go into labor tomorrow, while of course they’d rather him keep cooking, that it really would be ok and there shouldn’t be any major concerns. Hearing that is definitely reassuring and scary at the same time. I think it is finally sinking in for Adam that this little guy could literally come any day….

Looking forward to: Baby boy finally being here!!

It was hard to pick just a few but here are some of our maternity pictures! We took these at Big Talbot Island both in the wooded area and on “driftwood beach”. I am so glad we chose this location and at sunset, it made for the perfect backdrops and lighting.

Baby Shower #3 Recap:

Baby boy, Adam and I were showered one last time two weekends ago and it was wonderful! The hostesses were 3 lovely ladies in my office whom I’ve “clicked” with since the day I joined Keller Williams. They, along with everyone else in my office, have always treated me like family. This little guy has so many people patiently awaiting his arrival he has no idea how much love is coming his way!

Three of the most giving ladies I know!

Week 32 Bumpdate

Happy Wednesday everyone! We have been very busy the past few weeks and I really can’t believe that I am less than 8 weeks from my due date!! Holy Moly where as the time gone?! While I have had appointments every two weeks since my week 26 update, yesterday I finally had another sonogram. I also had another amazing shower 2 weeks ago so here is my week 32 update and another shower recap. Merry almost Christmas and Happy almost Hanukkah! Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday season filled with love, peace and laughter now and throughout the new year!

How far along: 32 weeks, 4 days

Gender: Boy

How big is baby: About the size of a head of kale, weighing in around 4 lbs 6 oz

My weight gain: 25 lbs – Doctor said I’m doing great, but need to “keep an eye” on the weight gaining….I say holiday calories don’t count right?! Lol

Maternity clothes: My bottoms pretty much have to be maternity (other than pjs) and about 90% of my tops and dresses are maternity

Wedding ring on or off: On, but not as easy to slip on and off

Exercise: Still trying to get to the gym 3-4 days a week for at least some cardio and maybe, just maybe, some light weightlifting

Sleep: Overall sleeping “OK,” but having more and more nights where I am wide awake around 1:30. If I’m lucky, I’m up for only an hour or two, but there have been some nights where I don’t get back to sleep until after 5:00. I am also getting more charley horses in the middle of the night.

Miss anything: Of course I would like to be able to go to a restaurant and order a glass of wine without getting weird looks haha. But in all seriousness, bending over to tie my shoes, shave my legs, etc, is getting much more difficult these days.

Cravings: Still don’t really have any cravings, but still loving Mexican food!

Aversions: None

Symptoms: Overall my symptoms have been minimal. I am more tired than I was during the 2nd trimester. Pregnancy brain is still happening, headaches are more frequent and my heartburn/indigestion has stepped up a notch. But again, overall, very lucky to have had an easy pregnancy so far!

Belly Button in or out: Slightly out

Movement: This little guy is a busy boy!! He moves around mostly at night, and when he gets going, it can last for a while. We are now really able to see him moving around in my belly. It is such a fascinating thing to watch! Adam calls him our “little alien” Lol. Little guy also has hiccups pretty regularly and usually at night. Sometimes I feel bad for him because they can last for 30 minutes or more!

Mood: I honestly feel really great. More and more people tell me I have that “glow” and I must say that I have thoroughly enjoyed pregnancy so far. I do feel bigger these days, but overall, I feel beautiful and proud to be carrying this little prince in my belly.

Best Moment of the week: We had maternity pictures taken on Saturday and I can’t wait to see how they turned out!! 🙂

What I (we) did/Got for the baby: The nursery is really coming together. We have the crib, dresser, changing table, a bookshelf, and recliner. I’ve been stocking the drawers and closet with all the goodies and clothes we’ve been getting. We took a tour of the maternity wing at the hospital, pre-registered at the hospital, and have a list of pediatricians that we will be “interviewing” in the next couple of weeks.

Doctor’s appointment: Had one yesterday, which included a sonogram for the first time since week 26. I love seeing him and watching him move. He yawned for us and kicked the sonogram wand out of his way at one point. He is a little acrobat and had his feet up above his head. Little guy has moved into the head down position, so fingers crossed he stays that way and we don’t have a breeched baby! We were also able to see some of his fuzzy hair – seems like he has a pretty good head of hair on him. Everything still looks great and as I mentioned, they are guessing he weighs around 4 pounds, 6 ounces, which is in the 58 percentile, right where he should be!

Looking forward to: Christmas!! I already absolutely love Christmas and this time of year, so I can only imagine what next year will be like with our little guy here! I am also looking forward to my last shower in a couple of weeks and beginning the final countdown to little man’s arrival!!

Baby Shower #2 Recap:

Two of my dear friends, Marla and Nicole, whom I’ve know since 9th grade, threw me an amazing shower a couple weekends ago. It was a “Winter Wonderland” type theme and they sure outdid themselves. I can’t thank Marla and Nicole enough for the thought, time and efforts they put into showering me and baby boy Feber. They are two amazing ladies and my son is so lucky to have them as aunties who will love him unconditionally as they have loved me all these years.

Me with the lovely hostesses!
Hot chocolate bar, such a cute idea!

Two very excited Grandmothers!!

The Journey To Pregnancy Is Not Always Easy

I’m now almost 30 weeks pregnant, but the road to pregnancy isn’t always easy. Our journey below consists of naturally trying for a year followed by 4 IUIs and 2 IVF transfers. Bear with me, this is a long post that covers 27 months!

But first, I always thought I would be married around age 25 and have at least 1 if not 2 kids by age 30. I’d be a fun, young mommy and be done with the baby making. They say if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. Well I must make him laugh a lot! I was 27 when we got married and will be just shy of 32 when our little boy makes his appearance.

I always assumed it would be easy to get pregnant and wow, how naive was I! I didn’t realize until we started “trying” how many people battle with infertility and struggle to get pregnant, stay pregnant, etc. You will hear me say it many times; I believe God has a plan for everyone and there is a reason he puts you through certain trials and tribulations. Our journey to pregnancy was not how we envisioned it, but I’m proud of what we’ve been through and what’s in store for us. Here is our story…

March 2014: Month 1

It all started around my 29th birthday and a few months shy of being married for 2 years. We decided it was time for me to stop taking birth control and try to have a baby! I have had a few friends that took 6 months to a year (or longer) to get pregnant so we already had it in our minds it might not happen right away.

We met with my OBGYN and his only suggestion was to drink some wine and have fun! Umm…ok, I can do that! 🙂 So we just decided to roll with it. If it was meant to happen quickly, it would. I wasn’t quite ready to be one who watched the calendar, tracked cycles, took ovulation tests, etc. quite yet so we just kept trying through the summer.

In the fall, after 6+ months of trying, I started tracking my cycle and using ovulation tests. I never got a positive ovulation, not once over the course of a few months. So we scheduled an appointment with my OBGYN and he suggested I try a different brand test (I was using a generic CVS brand). He also suggested Adam have a semen analysis and I have an HSG test done—both precautionary measures to ensure that there are no glaring issues.

January – March 2015: Testing & Trying

After almost a year of trying naturally, it was time to get serious about baby making.

  • I switched to Clearblue ovulation test and lo and behold, I got a smiley face!
  • I had the HSG test done where a radiologist filled my uterus and fallopian tubes with a dye to make sure there are no abnormalities and also to make sure the tubes are clear and there is nothing blocking the eggs from dropping. Everything checkout out fine.
  • Adam’s semen analysis came back slightly abnormal. Volume and mobility were fine but there were just enough “abnormally shaped” sperm to raise a flag. This was more of a speed bump than a roadblock but nothing the doc was too concerned about.

After all the testing, the doctor told us to continue trying naturally for a few more months.

In March of 2015, Adam planned a surprise trip to Napa for my 30th birthday (he was smart and told me a few weeks in advance where we were going so I could pack accordingly). My ovulation calendar said I would be ovulating during the trip so I for sure thought a relaxing, fun trip would be our lucky moment.

img_9521

While we had an amazing trip, we we’re not as lucky in the baby department. We scheduled a visit to the OBGYN to discuss next steps and what we could do to help move the process along.

April – August 2015: Taking Fertility Drugs

My doctor suggested I try taking Clomid which is like steroids for your ovaries. Instead of producing one egg during ovulation, Clomid hyper-stimulates your ovaries to produce multiple eggs, which can increase the chances of fertilization. For a few months, I tracked my cycle with an optimistic attitude that Clomid + ovulation tests + perfect timing would equal success.

Again, we tried for a few months with no success and made another appointment. As a next step, the doctor suggested we try Intrauterine Insemination (IUI). In short, IUI is the process of monitoring my eggs via ultrasound, triggering my ovaries to ovulate via an HCG trigger shot, and depositing the sperm directly into my uterus. I read many success stories with IUI and we were excited to try it.

October – December 2015: Attempting IUI

I was traveling during my ovulation window in September so we had to delay our first IUI until October. After the first IUI cycle, days felt like years as I waited to see if it worked. No go. 🙁

IUI is simply an intermediary step to In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). The doctors said that after 3-4 IUI attempts you’re really just wasting time (and money), as your odds don’t get any better with each try. With 1 down and 2-3 more hopeful attempts to go, we immediately signed up for another round.

At the same time, we were also given a referral to meet with a fertility clinic here in Jacksonville called the Florida Institute for Reproductive Medicine (FIRM). If the second attempt via my OBGYN was not successful, we wanted to try the same procedure with a specialized fertility clinic. After a second unsuccessful attempt, we met with Dr. Freeman at the FIRM, who suggested trying IUI with their office 1-2 more times.

If the remaining IUI attempts were unsuccessful, he briefed us about the IVF process. This appointment honestly gave me an odd feeling inside. As each month passed, I knew IVF could be our fate, but for some odd reason I was either afraid of the thought or didn’t want to accept it. Now I have no idea why I felt that way. I couldn’t be happier to be a part of the IVF family! It’s a wonderful and amazing miracle that so many families have this option to help them achieve their goal of having a baby.

We did try two more rounds of IUI with the FIRM before jumping into IVF. Everything went well with my final two IUIs (eggs, sperm, uterine lining, etc. all looked good) but neither attempt were successful.

2015 was a long, emotional rollercoaster ride that felt like it would never end. Luckily I had an awesome, much needed trip to Las Vegas planned for my best friend’s bachelorette to start off the new year. I knew when I got back, we would start the IVF process…

January/February 2016: Preparing for IVF and Egg Retrieval 

During the IUIs I felt as though a little bit of hope and a piece of my heart slivered away with each attempt. But something came over me when we decided to go the IVF route—I felt like I finally could see a light at the end of the tunnel. Once I accepted that I wasn’t going to get pregnant naturally (at least this time), I knew that God had this planned for us all along. He just wanted us to grow as a couple, love and appreciate each other more and learn just how strong we are, especially as a team.

So, cheers to 2016! A new year, new beginnings, and the start of our IVF journey. We had numerous appointments to prepare for the process, a list of medicines to order, and a detailed itinerary of what to do each day leading up to egg retrieval.

I started the shots on February 3, 2016 with 2 shots every afternoon. A big thank you goes to Adam for being my “mixologist” and actually injecting the shots into my belly. I tried a few times and just couldn’t get myself to do it!

thumb_img_0986_1024

On day 5, February 7th, I had an appointment to check to see how my ovaries where responding and there were multiple eggs in each ovary. A great sign that my body was responding just as it should to the shots! Another shot was added to the routine. I had 1 in the morning which left me feeling itchy for about 20 minutes and left an oh so cute little rash. I continued the other 2 in the afternoon.

On Wednesday, February 10th, I had another ultrasound and I had over a dozen eggs growing!! It was crazy to see them all and realize that I was walking around with all that precious cargo! As they continued to grow, the next few days were mission critical. I was restricted to walking as my only form of exercise and was expected to feel bloated, which I did!

That following Saturday, I went back in to check on the growth. The eggs were the sizes that the doctor wanted (ideal size is 15 to 20 mm, like a dime or nickel). I was given the HCG trigger shot (like during IUI) and was scheduled for egg retrieval on Monday, February 15th. Happy day after Valentine’s Day to me! The doctors rotate and while all the doctors are wonderful, we were happy to hear that Dr. Freeman would be doing the egg retrieval. We love Dr. Freeman.

The next 24-72 hours is a blur to me as I was scared, excited, nervous, joyous, etc. We were actually doing this and my body was doing exactly what it was supposed to be doing. I felt that much closer to the end result, a baby! Egg retrieval day went exactly as it should have, although I don’t remember much as you are put under local anesthesia. I ended up with 14 viable eggs and those 14 were injected with Adam’s little guys.

I knew while going through all this that I would someday want to blog about my journey so apparently one of my first questions when I “came to” was, “Where is my phone? I have to take a picture for my blog!”

thumb_img_1036_1024

The Waiting Game

Four days later, on Thursday, we found out that 11 eggs fertilized! Out of those 11, 9 passed the “grading scale” where they want them to have grown 2 or more cells during a certain time period. Those 9 embryos would be monitored throughout the weekend and we would get another update on Monday…so torturous!

Next we were told that 6 of the embryos continued to mature. We opted for Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS) so a biopsy was taken and sent to a lab in Miami to do chromosomal testing before they were frozen. It is crazy to think that the doctors can actually biopsy something so small.

PGS is completely optional and not a standard part of the IVF process. This screening can help detect embryos that have a high likelihood to not take, result in a miscarriage, or have a condition such as Down’s syndrome. We decided that after investing all this time, money, and most importantly, energy and emotions, we wanted to do whatever we could to have the best chance of a successful pregnancy. The test results take about 2 weeks to get to back so again, we wait.

March 2016: Test Results and Transfer Number 1

On Friday, March 4th, we got a call from the doctor that our test results were in! Out of the 6 embryos biopsied, we had 3 embryos that were “normal” and viable. But we had 1 that showed “no DNA” and would require further testing before using. The other 2 were missing a chromosome.

I am absolutely amazed at modern medicine, and I’m so thankful to have had these resources at our hands. Going through all of this has given me a new appreciation for the doctors, modern medicine, how precious life really is, and how lucky those with children of their own should feel to have that blessing in their life.

After my retrieval, my cycle continued so we couldn’t immediately transfer one of the viable eggs. I was in between cycles and had to wait for my next cycle to start. On Monday, March 21st (day 10 of my next cycle), I went in for an ultrasound to see if my uterus and ovaries were ready to try an egg transfer. Everything looked good, and I was ready to start prepping for transfer!

Transfer was set for Sunday, March 27th. Yes, it was Easter Sunday. We kept saying this baby would be our little Easter bunny surprise! There are a few methods when it comes to transfers and my doctor decided that the best route for me was to take estrogen pills and apply Crinone, a progesterone gel, twice a day leading up to the transfer. While estrogen is usually given to women going through menopause to help subside symptoms like hot flashes, I experienced the opposite and I actually started to have hot flashes, mood swings, etc. I told Adam that it was just good practice for him to get used to what pregnancy would be like. 🙂

The morning of transfer Adam and I enjoyed Easter sunrise service with a few of my cousins. Transfer wasn’t until 10 am so that was the perfect way to start the day. Transfer is much easier and faster than egg retrieval. We decided to transfer 1 embryo so that 1 embryo was taken out of what I like to call “the Feber locker” to thaw. Unfortunately you don’t know if the embryo survives thawing until right before, but our embryo made it and was ready for transfer.

The transfer is very similar to the IUI process. A small catheter is used to insert the embryo directly into my uterus. Fortunately, the nurse keeps the ultrasound on my belly so that I can watch this whole process. It is amazing watching the embryo release from the catheter—it is so small and happens very quickly. The embryologist confirms that the entire embryo was removed from the catheter and just like that, we have an embryo in the uterus waiting to implant!

feber-embryo

We went home, I propped myself up on the couch, and Adam and my parents started to prep for our Easter meal. The next step is probably the worst part: waiting 10 days to have blood work done to see if I’m pregnant. I had to continue the progesterone and estrogen during these 10 days as well. That week and a half seemed to drip by, but I kept myself as busy as I could and tried to just let go and let God. Whatever happened was supposed to happen.

On the morning of April 6th, I had my blood drawn and went home to wait for the doctor’s call. They do your blood work first thing in the morning but don’t call with results until between 2:00 and 4:00pm. So of course, at like 3:30 we finally got a phone call. As soon as I heard the tone of the nurse’s voice I dropped to the floor because I just knew it, I wasn’t pregnant. The embryo did not take.

To try to explain how I felt in that moment I can’t do it justice. I felt many emotions; sadness, anger, denial, confusion, despair, guilt, loneliness, and the list goes on and on. I curled up in the fetal position on our bed and just laid there holding onto Adam. I did work up the nerve to call my parents to break the bad news.  They were speechless but did their best to offer encouraging and supportive words. They are always wonderful at reminding me that God has a plan for us and while we might not understand or like how the plan is unfolding, we have to keep faith and trust in Him and His plans. I don’t even remember what we did the rest of that day or if I even ate dinner.

There is no explanation and we will never know why that embryo didn’t take…

Since getting pregnant is all about your cycle and timing, we decided to try to get a head of them game and met with Dr. Freeman just 2 days later. Adam was also leaving for a week for work and I wanted to get a head start. Going to the doctor’s office really flat out sucked but talking with Dr. Freeman and hearing his positivity for our next steps was reassuring. Long story short, we decided we would probably take a break the next month/cycle and regroup mentally and physically.

Dr. Freeman suggested our next try be what he called a “natural cycle.” This is where I don’t take the estrogen pills or use the progesterone cream. I would let my body have a normal cycle and let mother nature (and God) do the rest with a little help from the doctors. Our embryos were originally frozen 5 days after fertilization, so in our case, we would track my ovulation and transfer the embryo 5 days after I ovulated. Essentially you’re placing the embryo based on when and where it would be during a natural cycle.

May 2016: Transfer Number 2

After taking a month off, and hopefully my last period for a while, we went to the doctor to check my uterus and ovaries. Everything looked good, and I went home with very little instructions since we were doing this as naturally as possible this time around. On day 10 of my cycle, we had another ultrasound. And again, everything checked out and my uterine lining was measuring exactly where it should have been measuring.

Transfer number 2 was set for Thursday, May 26th! I don’t even remember what that next week was like as all sorts of emotions were running through me. I was nervous (but excited), scared (but happy) and overall very hopeful. We were very excited to learn that Dr. Freeman would be doing the transfer this time (again, all of the doctors are wonderful and very qualified!). The transfer was quick, and made quicker by Dr. Freeman cracking jokes throughout the procedure. It was Memorial Day weekend and he joked to “not drink too much beer, but don’t let this stop you from having a fun, great weekend.” We went home to start the 10 day countdown…again.

The 10 day wait is treacherous. I tried to keep myself as preoccupied as possible with work, but it is still the longest 10 days you’ll ever imagine. Day 10 fell on Monday, June 6th. I had my blood drawn around 9 am but knew I wouldn’t hear back until between 2:00 and 4:00, so awful! I also had a closing at 4:00pm for some of my buyers. While I was so happy for them, I knew the closing would either be very difficult for me or I would be smiling from ear to ear.

Let me insert here that I totally cheated this time and took a pregnancy test over the weekend. It was negative, and I had already started to prep myself that I wasn’t pregnant. What Adam didn’t tell me is that hours after throwing the test away, he looked at it again and saw a very faint second line. Adam was too nervous to say anything since this line (called an evaporation line or “evap line”) is usually a false positive when shown after the 5-10 minutes window. Here it is:

evap-line

Well 2:00 passed and 3:30 came around. I started to gather my items to head to my closing so nervous that I would miss the call while at my closing. Well, all of a sudden I had a voicemail from the FIRM but no missed call! We both listened to the voicemail, which I still have saved on my phone….

“Congratulations!!” I didn’t even listen to the rest of the message at first. I once again fell to floor and started crying, but happy tears this time. OMG WE ARE PREGNANT!!!! In shock, and some disbelief, I called the doctors office. I was on a quest to got ahold of a nurse to confirm that the voicemail was meant for me. IT WAS and I was in fact Pregnant!!!

My HCG level was 169 and since I was technically considered to be 4 weeks pregnant, anything above 50 was a good number. HCG is simply a hormone that the body makes to nourish fertilized eggs, which they need to survive. Holy Moly, I couldn’t believe what my ears were hearing! I hugged (and kissed) Adam, called my parents, and ran out to the door to celebrate my first-time homebuyer’s closing—all the while trying not to scream, “I’m Pregnant”!

While we were super excited and speechless, and this was of course wonderful news, we weren’t in the clear yet. I had to do more blood work two days later and my HCG levels had to at least double. So, early Wednesday morning, I had blood drawn and once again, I waited for the phone call that afternoon. Praise God, my HCG level more than doubled going from 169 to 406!!! We were moving in the right direction, at the right speed and could take a few deep breaths. Conveniently our 4 year anniversary was on Thursday June 9th and we were headed to Savannah for the weekend. We planned the trip knowing it would either be a celebration or a time to be together just the two of us and regroup. Thankfully, we could celebrate! Well, Adam was able to enjoy lots of yummy red wine Lol.

I won’t go on too much more but I have to take a moment to reflect on all that we went through, all that we learned and how we have changed.  We learned so much along the way, and we both have a new appreciation for the whole pregnancy process in general and value the life of a child in a way I can’t even begin to explain. It’s just like anything else in life that you work so hard to get where you are, you tend to look at things differently and have a different level of appreciation once you reach your goal. I know I have a new respect for modern medicine. I am also beyond thankful to have access to the doctors and staff that have helped us get through this difficult time and cheer us along, every single step of the way. I am so grateful for our family and close friends that were also here to cheer us on and offer support.

I have always loved kids and have dreamt about being a mommy for as long as I can remember. Whether or not we only have 1 child, or have more either through IVF or happen to get pregnant naturally, I know that I will forever value the life of a child even more than I already did. I will also value my relationship with Adam and the person he is more than I ever thought I could. And my relationship with God is somehow even stronger and I trust him and his plan for me more and more each day. Life is precious, love and respect the one you have and always be thankful to wake up each day.

img_2316
Happy 4 Years to us and cheers to being pregnant!

Week 26 Bumpdate

Happy Friday friends! Technically today is the last day of week 26 but I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday, a shower on Sunday and wanted to get an update in anyways. My appointment went really well and both baby boy and I are progressing along as we should be. My shower was amazing, you’ll see more about that below my update. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

How far along: 26 weeks, 6 days

Gender: Boy

How big is baby: About the size of a butternut squash, weighing in at roughly 2 lbs 4 oz

My weight gain: 18 lbs, belly measuring at 26cm

Maternity clothes: Still wearing some of my regular items, like dresses and some tops. Anything on the bottom however, like jeans, shorts, leggings, etc. I can only fit in maternity clothes.

Wedding ring on or off: On

Exercise: Still trying to get to the gym 3-4 days a week for cardio and maybe some light weightlifting, and still taking walks as often as possible

Sleep: Hit or miss, overall sleeping “OK”

Miss anything: I of course miss being able to come home and pour a big glass of wine but I really haven’t been “craving” it or really missing as much as I thought I would. I really have surprised myself haha

Cravings: If anything I have a hard time deciding what I want to eat. The closest thing to any cravings is I tend to request Mexican food a lot but I already loved it so that’s no big surprise!

Aversions: None

Symptoms: I have been very fortunate that the symptoms have been minimal and minor. I am of course a little more tired than normal and have the occasional “pregnancy brain” moments (like I put the yogurt in the freezer yesterday…whoops!) and my lower back aches most days. Overall, I am very lucky and blessed to have had an easy pregnancy so far.

Belly Button in or out: Slightly starting to push out

Movement: Lots of movement everyday! And I think it is amazing!!! I’m not sure what he’s doing in the there but sometimes I swear he is working out or doing jumping jacks. We are also starting to actually see my belly move a little with some of his movements.

Mood: Feeling pretty good, happy with how things are progressing. Of course having some occasional hormonal mood swings but I would like to say overall, I’m doing much better than I had anticipated. I think I thought I would be crying one moment, happy the next, etc. throughout the whole pregnancy.

Best Moment of the week: I had a wonderful shower on Sunday with some of my oh so sweet friends and it was perfect. I felt so loved and I think it sunk in even more how blessed we are with this little miracle and to have so many people ready to shower him with kisses and love!

What I (we) did/Got for the baby: We have a crib, dresser and curtains in the nursery!! Still playing around with where things will go, but it’s finally starting to look like a nursery and I love everything we have so far.

Doctor’s appointment: Had one yesterday and for the first time, baby boy wasn’t as cooperative with giving us a side profile of his sweet face. We did get to see his face a little from the front and got a super cute view of his little ear and you could see he was holding his hand by his face, kind of covering it up. As I said, he weighs a little over 2 pounds, right where the doctors said he should be. Kidneys, heart, bladder, etc. all still look great and his brain is actually measuring in the 93 percentile, doctor says we might have a math wiz on our hands! Lol

Looking forward to: Continuing to decorate the nursery and getting things organized. And not baby related, I am looking forward to having the family together for Thanksgiving and eating some yummy food!

img_3633  thumb_img_3661_1024
Baby Shower Recap: 

As I mentioned, I had my first baby shower on Sunday and it was lovely! My hostesses did a great job and it is a moment I will remember forever. Baby boy (and Adam and I) got some great gifts and we can’t wait to put them to use! The theme was nautical and super cute! We had yummy Zoe’s and awesome cupcakes from CamiCakes. Here are a few pictures from the special day:

fullsizerender-2
Some of my sweet girlfriends!


thumb_img_3632_1024

thumb_img_3583_1024

 

thumb_img_3595_1024
Some of the goodies from the day!

 

thumb_img_3621_1024
Belly love from the hostesses!

Gender Reveal Recap

As you might have seen in my first post, we are expecting a little BOY in February. We found out just before the 18 week mark, but I wanted to go back and share our gender reveal with you. It was a great night and we are super happy with how the actual “reveal” turned out.

Before I got pregnant, Adam and I thought that we wouldn’t want to know the gender. Neither of our parents knew what we were, and I always thought I would carry on that tradition. I did pretty good until around the 14/15 week mark when I fully caved in and decided not only were we going to find out, I wanted to have a gender reveal party. Go big or go home right?!

I remembered seeing a video someone else had posted over the summer of their gender reveal where the husband hit a golf ball that exploded and colored smoke appeared. Adam of course loved the idea. We figured it was neat, different, and that’s what we’re going to do! So to Google I went and I found a set of exploding golf balls on Etsy that come with one golf ball filled with pink powder, one with blue, and a practice ball. Both golf balls are white with a pink or blue ribbon tied to them so you know which is which. We had a sealed envelope from the doctor’s office with a note that said what we were having, gave that and the golf balls to a dear friend of mine, and she set the right golf ball on the tee for us. How did it turn out? Watch and see:

Below are some pictures from the night and the reveal. We had an awesome evening with our family and friends finding out that I will be outnumbered come February!

A few action shots of the reveal:

img_3070

img_3069

Version 2

img_3049
The excited and proud Grandparents and parents to be!!
img_3073
It’s a Boy!!