Thursday, May 31, 2012

Back Story Part 2

Salutations bloggers, Michelle here again. We left off yesterday when I was going to get my first round of blood tests done. Let's just say it's a good thing I'm not that scared of needles, because I'm a pro at this blood giving now. I had every hormone tested you could think of including, FSH, progesterone, etc. I mean enough to fill a whole paper. I also had the awful pleasant experience of doing the 3 hours fasting glucose tolerance test. I went early in the morning because I knew I would be getting hungry and they specifically told me not to eat anything. I had to do the orange drink test. I know what you're thinking, don't you just do that when you're pregnant? Well apparently not. It tells if you have an insulin resistance or something like that. It was a long time ago so the reasons of doing these tests are fading, but NOT the memories! I felt like I was on survivor or big brother when they do those challenges where you have to chug the drink without throwing up, haha. I am probably being dramatic, but it was traumatizing for a couple reasons. I must say at first, the drink was very nice going down. It was cold (which is a plus because some places offer it room temp.), it tasted like a HI-C orange/gatoradey OVER SUGARED drink. I felt like I was on an immediate sugary high and my stomach started getting queazy. She told me I had ten minutes to drink it (hence why I felt like I was on a game show) and I had to do it in front of her. So I took big gulps, but not chugging (I didn't know what was appropriate?). I finished it and had to sit in the waiting room for a half hour. Then I had to give a urine and blood sample. I had to wait an hour and rinse lather repeat. At this point, I started getting realllllllllly hot and had to talk myself out of throwing it up. If I did that, I would have to start all over another day and I knew that was NOT an option. I was shaking and was LAYING DOWN outside on the pavement- luckily nobody else came in, there were window washers that looked at me strange. I sat in the car a couple times with heavy AC and laid the chair back. I gave another sample and then she told me I had one hour left and I could leave then come back. So I did that, I went home laid down in bed and returned successfully without getting sick! I felt totally drained from the day and had massive bruises on my inside elbow (where they take the blood) that even on the last draw she went in the top of my hand because it was so painful. 
My glucose test came back good, but my blood work indicated an issue. They were leaning towards PCOS (polycysitic ovarian syndrome) but wanted me to get an ultrasound on my ovaries to confirm. So off I went. I will spare people from most of all these gory details about these internal ultrasounds and when they have to be done and HOW. My results came back for that and sure enough there were little cysts on both of my ovaries. They are not harmful, but do cause an imbalance of hormones which can lead to infertility/irregular periods/ovulation issues. I don't typically fit the stereo type for someone that had it but all signs pointed to yes. So that's what we went with. They put me on metformin until my husband came home and then we would try that plus clomid. Metformin is a medication that is typically used for people with type 2 diabetes. They prescribe it for PCOS also to induce ovulation and normalize menstrual cycles. Let me tell you though, they wanted me to "work up" to 3 pills a day.... It had horrible side effects. Made me nauseous all the time and I could NOT get passed 1 pill. We're talking like over 2 months I could not do it. A couple times I took 2 and it was awful. It made me lose a lot of weight (which is good for pcos people that need that- I however did not). I kept on going because I wanted the results they said it could produce. When James got home they were going to try me for 2 months on clomid then also requested James to get checked out in the man department. Clomid or Clomiphene is used to induce ovulation (egg production) in women who do not produce ova (eggs) but wish to become pregnant (infertility). It's a "super ovulator" if you do ovulate on your own. I've heard great things about this, but you can only take it for like 6 months consecutively before you have to stop. It causes cysts on your ovaries and if they get too big you can not take it. Since I already had a bunch of cysts they always had to do an internal ultrasound check to be sure I was able to take clomid. I was always good to go. They put me on a low dose of clomid and I ovulated way earlier than normal so that was good. Long story short we had more waiting 4 months long wait for James' appointment just to say he was good to go. But had no luck getting pregnant.

Fast forward to January 2012. My doctor then wanted to make sure my tubes weren't blocked so I was scheduled for an HSG (Hysterosalpingography). Its a high tech x-ray to see your tubes (that was the cool part) then they inject a dye in there to see if it goes through both fallopian tubes.... again that was cool, the AWFUL part was the BALLOON catheter type thing to hold the apparatus in place.... when he inflated that balloon, I thought I was going to die. The INTENSE pain I felt was indescribable, luckily it probably lasted 3 minutes, but mannnnnnn. He was able to interpret the results right away because he was a doctor and said everything looked great no problems. At this point, I was stumped and so was my doctor. I also noticed that my cycles were becoming pretty predictable and regular. I also had stopped taking my metformin because it was just awful so it appeared my cycle was getting normal on its own. I told my doctor that and she wanted me to go in for the same blood tests to see if it indicated anything different. Luckily she spared me the glucose test again. My levels appeared better, but not completely normal. She told me she'd be willing to do two more rounds of clomid then she would have to refer me to a reproductive endocrinologist, because I had unexplained infertility. 

We felt pretty discouraged because we didn't want something to be wrong, but at least then we could pin point the reason we weren't having much luck. So now we're at February and we did clomid. Seemed to have similar results with a good cycle, but again no such luck. We had one more chance for multiple reasons. James was leaving at the end of March for another two month training and then when he got back we'd have a couple weeks before we'd be moving. We had decided that if it didn't work this last time, that we would just pay for IVF because we just felt we didn't want to start all over with new doctors etc.  Well March cycle came around and nothing really had changed, still on a small dose of clomid and hoping for the best. I guess the universes aligned and granted us our wish. We got pregnant!! 
I know what I went through is NOTHING compared to what some people go through, but I wanted to tell my story because there are people going through this journey and it is hard no matter what stage you're at. I've already had people ask me for help/give them advice that are going through something similar. I really feel for people that have to go beyond what I had to. It definitely took a toll on me/us, but I guess that's just the way it was supposed to happen. 

Stay tuned next week for updates on my progress! HINT: It's going pretty well :)  Pin It

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The back story....

Greetings blog readers, Michelle here. I will update you on my progress next post, but for this one, I will tell you our back story with baby M. Let's start by saying that I'm a pretty big planner. James and I have always talked about wanting kids, but wanted to enjoy just us for a little while considering we had a long distance relationship for all of our dating lives (4.5 years). I always said I wanted to be married 3 years then starting trying for kids. Little did we know, we'd have a long distance married life too :) more on that later....

Rewind to summer of 2010. We hit the 3 year marriage mark (not that we were really keeping track of my "unofficial timeline" but the time seemed right). *possible guy tmi* I got off birth control pills and starting keeping track of my cycles. I knew I wasn't the type to just "let it happen" I had to be in control. I read all the books, I tracked my temperature, etc. I did it all. I noticed at first that my cycles were VERY irregular. My first cycle went on for 47 days! Based on my temperatures, I believed I ovulated..... I knew that coming off birth control it can take a WHILE for your cycles to regulate, sometimes up to a year! So I didn't get too concerned. Next cycle was about the same and then they got a LITTLE shorter around 35 days. I still believed I was ovulating based on temperature (if you don't know about this, it's very interesting). It tells you after you've ovulated, your body temperature spikes. I started to wonder if in fact I've been ovulating like I thought so I decided to splurge and purchase a high tech ovulation predictor kit.

They say they work OK even if you have irregular cycles but they just can't be TOO long or the days run out. I really liked mine because it confirmed what I already thought with my temperature taking. It was a bit pricey, but totally worth it for my peace of mind. I ordered it from amazon and the test sticks in bulk from there as well. Fast forward a couple months of cycles being from 32-back to upper 40s. I knew this still could be from birth control pills but felt like there was something else going on. Also, my leutal phase (ovulation day until the first day of your period) was very short. It's supposed to be the constant in all of this. It should be from 10-14ish days long no matter how long your cycle is. Mine was like 7... I was feeling very frustrated because it seemed like I was ovulating and no luck.
Fast forward to February of 2011 and James is being deployed again for the 3rd time for 4.5 months. It has been about 6 months of trying with no luck. I know that it can take a normal couple between 6-12 months to conceive, but it seemed like EVERYONE I knew had no problems at all. We'd hope to already have been pregnant and send him off on his deployment. Well no such luck. Now we had to put it on hold for a while. I was disappointed, but also thinking that I could monitor my cycle a little longer and really get to the bottom of it before he got home so we'd be good to go. They say you shouldn't go into the doctor to get help until after a full year of trying unless you are older than 35 years old. I definitely felt like something was wrong and knew James would be coming home in June which would be almost a year of tracking my cycle (not of trying) so I decided to bite the bullet and make the call. I explained on the phone what was going on and that my husband was military (meaning we never really knew when he'd be up and leaving so it was sorta a sense of urgency to get down to it). They were VERY supportive and wanted me to come in to talk. The doctor wanted to see all my charting (temperatures etc.) which I had kept track of via (highly recommend it). She agreed that something didn't seem right and she wanted me to go get some blood work done to see what was going on.

I didn't realize this post would be this long! I think I better TO BE CONTINUE it for tomorrow. I hope I didn't bore you and that you'll stay tuned tomorrow for the happy conclusion! Pin It

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

iPhone photos from instagram

We had a nice long weekend hanging out, went to the pool with mom for a bit Saturday (thanks David), family trip to Ikea Sunday and memorial day pool party yesterday.

I don't have a lot of photos from this weekend so here are some I've shared via instagram that some of you haven't seen. Do y'all have instagram? Follow me at jens871.
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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Rochester Plate Sauce

If you are from upstate New York then you know what a plate is. It is called a variety of things like trash plate, garbage plate, or just plate, but it is far from rubbish. You have seen me post about it on recent trips up to New York. I was so excited when my brother told me that Jim from Rochester was sending me a sample for you all to see!

The website also has recipes for a classic cheeseburger plate, mac salad and homefries that are KEY to a great plate. I want to bring you through the steps to make your own.
Start off by making your mac salad, home fries and burgers. 
 The recipes are quite simple and when you put the sauce and toppings on you realize you really don't need anything fancy.
 I just want to point out that mom made the best home fries ever!! 
Fill your plate with mac salad on one side and home fries on the other.
Put your hamburgers or cheeseburgers on top of the mac salad and fries. We cooked them on the stove in a skillet like suggested at about 1/4 lb each. You really don't want them too thick, thinner is better.
Next you will put your plate sauce on the burgers. The plate sauce comes with 3 packets in the box and enough for 2-3 healthy sized portions.
 It was super easy to prepare. You just cut it for ventilation and microwave it for 90 seconds. It was a great flavor and really made the plate come together.
The toppings that are popular with a plate are ketchup, mustard and onions (we omitted the onions). 
I love how I can make a plate at home and not have to be in New York to get one. This is one of the reasons Jim started the company. He lives in Massachusetts and his cravings turned into a plus for us all!  Head on over to his site to purchase your own plate sauce! Enjoy

*I wasn't compensated for this review. All opinions are my own. I was given a free sample of the plate sauce. Pin It

Monday, May 21, 2012

Max's first trip to the pool

I guess I should say or lack there of. Poor little boy hated it. It was a bit cold and he wasn't having it. He loves playing in his bath so hopefully once it warms up he'll want to play. I'll let the pics do the rest of the talking. He was so darn cute in his pool attire.
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Thursday, May 17, 2012


It is with such excitement that I announce that David has passed his EIT exam!!!!
These are the words we've been waiting to hear! Congratulations! You have achieved a passing score on your recent NCEES exam. 

I am SO proud of him. He never gave up and put in so many hours studying and taking online class giving up his summers, weekends and any fun activities for the past year. This time around he even had to study with a newborn child in the picture. On to the PE!  Pin It

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Max is Going to Be a Big Cousin!

I am SO excited to announce that my twin sister, Michelle and her husband James are going to have a baby!!
This photo says it all! We made her pose like this lol. She is 13 weeks pregnant and due November 19th!
 I will have her guest post soon to share details as it was a long road to a positive pregnancy test. 
 What is also so great is that Michelle was here on spring break when she found out! She thought she might be and was nervous to test so I went and purchased it for her. Of course we had to do 2 to make sure.
We made a celebratory dinner with ribs and we were the first to find out. She was headed home the next day to tell James in person. 
Look at how cute her baby already is. This was from her 9 week appointment. 
Within the next few days we had a video chat to tell mom. Max had the key role of wearing a onesie with a message on it.
This is what it said. 

She is excited to have another grand baby coming! 
Congrats again to Michelle and James!! 
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Monday, May 14, 2012

The Next Chapter

I bet some of you are wondering why I haven't posted about returning back to work. I fully intended to return the beginning of May right after my mom had moved down to take care of Max. Well, I received a phone call from my boss letting me know that my position had been terminated and they were trying to focus on other departments and had to cut costs (meaning me). I was definitely caught off guard to say the least. I had been with the company 5 years and just feel betrayed at the whole event.  I thought I was protected by FMLA, but turns out there is ways around it. I won't get in to all that, but I did consult a lawyer. If this is how they are going to treat someone then I don't want to work for someone like that.

As I try to figure out what my next chapter is I am going to enjoy being with Max and my mom and I know that all things happen for a reason.
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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Max is 3 Months Old

Max is a growing 3 month old boy. Last week I'm sure he was going through a growth spurt. He wanted to eat all the time and kept acting like he wasn't satisfied after. He also woke up a lot more than usual at night to eat.
Stats- Since we don't go to the doctor this month so we did our own so these may be off. 
Weight- 12 lb 6 oz Height- 25 inches Head Circumference- 17 
He still loves to giggle and smile. You can talk to him and have back and forth conversations with him making little noises in return to what you are asking. He is still fussy sometimes for no real reason after we feed and do some awake time. It is usually the signal for I'm tired. His happy times definitely make up for his cranky side. He is loving having conversations with Gigi.
I am thankful that we made it to the 3 month mark with him exclusively breastfeeding. There are still times where I don't feel like I have enough (during that growth spurt week) but overall it's going pretty well.  He eats every 3 hours usually, sometimes 2.5 hours.
He naps in his swing mostly during the day and he is sleeping in his crib at night. We begin his bedtime routine around 7pm with a feed, bath and bed and hes usually sleeping around 8 or 8:30pm. I dream feed around 10:45pm and he goes back down easily until around 3-4am and then I cross my fingers he doesn't wake up till 7, but lately its been a little earlier. We have been using the double swaddle technique, which we finally figured out that the miracle blanket does this same thing by keeping his arms down. He usually gets out of his lightweight swaddle so this has helped him go longer stretches still sleeping.
He is loving sucking on his hands/arms. I think he is very close to figuring out his hands are his and gaining control of them. We are still waiting on him to reach for things. He grasps things like your fingers very tightly. He doesn't love tummy time, but he holds his head up very well when we hold him over the head vertically. We also put him on our tummy or boppy and he seems to like that.
I do realize that these photos are very similar, but he is just so darn cute. I took 60 photos in 2 minutes.
His eyes are still blue for now. There is no blue eyes in our families so they are highly unlikely to stay.
He is in size 2 diapers
We can't wait to take him swimming hopefully this weekend when pools open if the weather cooperates.
He is still wearing 0-3 month clothing with mostly onesies since it's been so warm.
He has really bad cradle cap which I wish would go away. It's very common and doesn't hurt him.
I just purchased some california baby products for Max's bath that are natural and free from harsh chemicals.
Here is a comparison of the months so far. He has filled out for sure! We just love our sweet little boy. Pin It

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cinco De Mayo Celebration

We decided to have some friends and family over to celebrate cinco de mayo. We provided the margaritas via our margarita machine I won last year. It was fun seeing everyone and eating yummy mexican food. I don't have a lot of photos, but let's just say we went through 1 big bottle of tequila, 1 big bottle of rum (suppose to be our back up) and over 11 frozen mixers. I had to feed Max later so I only had 1.5 glasses of margarita, but it was tasty!
 Molly says ole, or maybe she says take this sombrero off me now!
 Even Max got in the celebratory spirit swinging waiting for guests to come.
 Miss Kinsley arrived in style as usual. Love her.
Kerry calming down little Max
 Don't you love the angry bird onesie mom and Shell got for Max. 
 We tried to get some photos of Kinsley and Max together. Max kept curling his feet up so we couldn't see their true size comparison.
 So cute. 
 All the kids loved trying on the sombreros and the adults loved the drinks. 
 Max decided he wanted to talk to Kinsley.
 Kinsley isn't so sure of what Max is saying to her though. 
 Leah, Kyle and Emery came out to see us and it was fun to watch Emery run around and play. 
 After a few cocktails the boys decided to do some handstands and cartwheels. Matt was pretty good. They were lucky I was wearing a dress so I couldn't show them up :) We even had the neighbors next door come through the fence to have a few margaritas so that was cool, too.
Late night crew consisted of beers (ran out of liquor) and snacky food. And when I say late night I mean 9 or 10pm. Max was in bed already.  The super full moon was out and it was bright! Happy Cinco!
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