Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween, Yo!

Hey, remember when we used to Throwback Thursdays on the 'ol blog?

It's not too hard to guess the theme of this one.

(My kid is going to be adorable.)


(Yeah, I was a Christmas tree for Halloween.)

(And a pretty bitchin' bouquet of flowers the next year.)

(I still can't even believe anyone ever let me cut my hair that short.  *Sigh*)

(One year my parents told me my aunt was dressing up as a bum for Halloween.  I was a little horrified that anyone would want to dress up as a butt.  Clearly, I eventually figured it out.)

I think my parent's stopped taking pictures when I started dressing myself for Halloween.  After looking at these next pictures, I guess I can't really blame them.  

(We trick-or-treated this year - and I'd just crouch down under my sheet to look like I was a kid.  I thought I was a freakin' genius.)

(I can't even kind of explain what I was going for with this costume.  This was more the result of me raiding my friend's dance costume box.  I thought the crotch grab tied it up nicely.)

(The chicken costume I spent way too much money on - and as a result will continue to wear it every Halloween to get my money's worth.)

Happy Halloween, yo.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

7-11 Weeks: The Post I Considered Enabling the "Content Warning" For My Blog

I've never had so many people tell me that my blog made them cry as I did with my last post.  In fact, I don't think I've ever actually made anyone cry with my blog.  Vagina talk doesn't generally tend to elicit that kind of reaction, unless it's in a horrified, I can't believe she'd say that kind of way.  Nevertheless, I appreciate all your kind words and support - and apologize for the unsolicited tears.

So, to make up for the emotionally heavy post from last time, we're going to get back to good ol' times, starting out with a totally random gem that I found perusing through pregnancy forums.  I'll warn you now, that it has some salty language, and if you don't care to read people's (hilarious) opinions on post-coital clean up, maybe don't read it.  (Like, seriously.)  That said, there's over 1,000 comments to the original post, I didn't even get through all of them, and was laughing pretty hard.  I was in bed reading them, so it was one of those quietly convulsing hysterical laughs, where you try not to wake up your husband.  Anyways, if you need a good giggle and you never want to think of a "beaker" the same way again, click here.  You're welcome.

Those pregnancy forums are pretty hilarious.  I've come across some pretty absurd posts, and some pretty hysterical ones.  But we'll have to save the rest of those for a post of its own.  For now, we're going to do a little bit more catching up on our little nugget, because that's really why you're here, right?  Because I can't imagine it was because you'd knew I'd send you to a forum about penis beakers. Or maybe you did.  Because that's how I roll, yo.

Anyways, we left off last time with having our very first ultrasound where we saw just a hint of a flicker of our baby's heartbeat.  It was amazing, and I couldn't hardly wait until our next appointment, so I could see our teeny tiny baby again.  In the next week, I continued to get a little more nauseous every time I'd eat.  Even though it was kind of depressing to not be able to eat nearly as much as I was used to, it was nice to feel sick after I ate.  If I ever ate and didn't feel sick afterwards, I'd immediately panic and keep eating until I did feel sick.  Super healthy.

We finally got to go in for another ultrasound after waiting for five of the longest days of my life following our first one.  I was a ball of nerves, until our doctor turned on the speakers and we heard the most beautifully relieving noise in the history of ever.

Naturally there were tears at this ultrasound too, because seriously, how can you not bawl when you hear your blueberry-sized kid's heart beating?  So cool.   Doctor told us baby had a good heartbeat, and that everything was measuring perfectly.  Phew.  She printed off a few pictures for us to take home.  (Pictures that Bob would later knock off our table, and I'd find in Toby's mouth, because our animals are assholes.)

But seriously, cutest blueberry ever - right?

After we had that ultrasound, we finally felt comfortable enough to tell Shawn's family.  For the last several years, I had watched no less than 43290849302843920 YouTube videos of people announcing their pregnancies to their families and friends, and I had hoped to do the same thing - but recording how my family found out, would just have been... not cool.  I tried to come up with some fancypants, creative way of telling Shawn's family, to make up for how crappy our announcement was to my family - but we were so excited to tell them, that it really wasn't all that creative.  (We actually ended up having to tell most of his siblings separately, because it would have been impossible to get them altogether.)  But when we told his parents (mostly his mom, because his dad already knew we had done IVF - we just hadn't told him if it had worked yet or not) and his little sister, we told them we had taken a video that that was pretty cool and we wanted to show them.  That's when we pulled up the video I showed you above of the heartbeat - and it didn't take long for them to realize what it was.  I got a really crappy video of it (turns out I'm not good at stealth recording) - but if you can get past my obnoxious cackling, it's a pretty fun video of his mom's reaction.

This'll be the first grandchild on both sides of our families - so needless to say, everyone's pretty excited about it - and this kid is going to be spoiled.

I continued to feel nauseated, light-headed, and like I wanted to take 700 naps a day.  At one point I started feeling a pretty dull, constant ache down in baby central - and at first it didn't really freak me out too much, because I had read that cramping and dull aches are usually just your uterus stretching to make room for your tiny fetus.  This same dull ache had lasted about 3 or 4 days straight when I started to make myself nervous again.  Because that's what I do.  The ache had started pretty much immediately following a...  let's call it a night of romance.  Per our doctor's orders, nothing but the progesterone applicator was entering the batcave, buuut luckily we had some alternative options.  (And I realize that totally just sounded like a reference to the back door.  But no.  Just...  No.)  So after the 4th day of the dull ache, I was sure that our escapades the other day had crushed my tiny baby.  I called my nurse to make myself feel better, and I've never felt quite so mortified to ask a medical professional if the cramping/achiness could possibly be due to our "night of romance".  She told me not to worry, and that it was mostly likely normal pregnancy aches, but to keep an eye out for any symptoms of a urinary tract infection, just in case.  After I hung up, I was a little more relieved and the aches eventually went away and turned out to be nothing more than an embarrassing phone call to the fertility office and another reason that Shawn still wasn't getting any.

At around 8 weeks I learned that the "vivid dreams" women always talk about having during pregnancy, is totally a thing.  I was constantly having the most bizarre dreams.  Generally, I don't really remember my dreams, but every morning I could have woken up and written a novel.  Probably some pretty disturbing novels though, since all my dreams were full of death, destruction, and running away from bad guys.  Even though those dreams were pretty horrifying, I'd take them over the multitude of dead baby dreams I had when we were trying to get pregnant.  I've never woken up more depressed then when I've just had a dream my baby dying.  And it's occurring to me just how many dreams I have about dying.  Paranoid much, subconscious?

In my 8th week is also when Shawn, bless his heart, looked at my stomach at church and sweetly said, "Awe, love!  You can see a little bump!"  To which I tried responding as calmly as I could that it was not a baby bump, it was my perma-pooch.  You know, the one that has been there since always?  This was a lot of the reason that I didn't start taking "bump" pictures until I was 13 weeks along.  Because I knew that I could totally pass off my perma-pooch as a tiny baby bump, and I didn't want people commenting on my 8 week bump with surprise at how early I was showing.  My baby wasn't even an inch long yet - so you were going to see a taco bump before you saw a baby bump.

A few days before I was 9 weeks, I got to have another ultrasound.  (I seriously would have purchased an ultrasound machine, if they didn't cost 800 bazillion dollars.  Best. invention. ever.)  The baby's heart rate was a nice, healthy 167 - which apparently according to some old wive's tale, means it's a girl.  It was amazing to see how much bigger and more baby-like he/she looked - even though baby was still obviously very small and looked like a tiny gummy bear.

This appointment was technically supposed to be my "graduation" from the fertility clinic, and from that point forward I'd go see an OB-GYN.  I was telling my fertility doctor that my first appointment with the OB wouldn't be for another 4 weeks, and that it was going to pretty much kill me to have to wait that long for another ultrasound - especially at the rate I had been going up until that point.  Because my doctor is awesome, she told me to come in for another ultrasound at 11 weeks, so I could check up on baby with her one last time.  No complaints there - especially now that my insurance was actually covering the ultrasounds.

After this ultrasound, is when I officially decided to rent a doppler.  After being so relieved after every ultrasound, I knew that if I could just hear that heartbeat at my own leisure, I could unravel my panties from the tight wad they had been in for my entire pregnancy so far.  My doctor told me they were perfectly safe, but the only thing she warned was that not everyone can always find the heartbeat - and that can cause some extra stress.  So, understandably, Shawn was worried that I wouldn't be able to find the heartbeat, and that I'd have another freak meltdown.  Not letting that deter me, I immediately went home and ordered one online that would arrive in "2-5 business days".  Wee! 

In the meantime, I got sucked down into that creepy place in YouTube that you never want to be.  I started out by watching National Geographic's documentary, "In The Womb" - which was, of course, fascinating.  But then I started clicking on the "Related Videos" section off to the side... And turns out that's where all the women who record themselves giving birth in their living room live.  Now, I have nothing against women who choose to do home births - it's just something I've never even considered for a second.  Hell, I've never even considered not getting an epidural for a second.  I'm a pansy, and I have no problem admitting that if I ever had to give birth without drugs, I would literally die.

I do, however, question women who are perfectly comfortable posting videos of their giant, gaping, horrifying vaginas for all of YouTube to collectively gasp at.  And I get that birth is "beautiful", but can we just all agree that vaginas aren't?  Out of sheer curiosity, I clicked on a home birth video - and it was way too many minutes of this woman walking around her house buttass naked screaming like something that just came off some dark, deathmetal rock album.  It was terrifying.  But of course I made the mistake of continuing to watch.  And that's when she managed to bring her video to a whole new level of horrifying, when she started screaming, "THERE'S POO!  THERE'S POO! GET THE POO!"  And that's when her poor husband walked over and wiped. her. bare. ass. while she instructed him to "just hold that on [her] bumhole."  Meanwhile, her little daughter was running around naked just laughing throughout the entire video.

Guys, there's not one single GIF that accurately portrays my level of shock and horror.  I just, I can't.  There's no coming back from that.  The day Shawn ever wipes poop off my ass, is NEVER.  And to top it all off, the video just ended with her sobbing on the bed with NO BABY.  I didn't even get to see the birth I came there for.  Because I had clicked on that video, YouTube was like, "Hey, you must want to see all these other gaping wide-open vaginas too!"  Needless to say I took about 17 consecutive showers and I haven't watched a YouTube birth since.

After watching how obviously traumatic that poor woman's birth seemed, it made me even more confident that I want drugs.  All the drugs.  I was 10 pounds when I was born, and Shawn was a fatso toddler - so if I'm inevitably going to push a 15 pound child out my v-hole, I sure as heck don't want to feel any part of that.  Shudder.

Aaaaaaaaaaaanyways, I had been chomping at the bit for my doppler to come in the mail.  Every time I heard a truck drive by our house I'd book it to the window to see if it was the UPS man.  It didn't really help that my neighbors have been doing construction on their house, and would have 1,800 cement trucks drive by every hour.  A few days before I was 10 weeks, the doppler finally showed up.  And I couldn't wait to start trying to find the heartbeat.  I had watched about 800 videos of women showing you how to use the doppler, and where to look.  After I was finished working I immediately squirted a gob of gel on my stomach and went to town.  I knew what noise I was looking for, and I was hearing every other noise my body was making, except my baby's heartbeat.  (It's pretty crazy the kind of stuff you can hear down there.)

I tried not to stress about it too much, because I knew it was still a little early - and having a tipped/tilted uterus could make it a little more difficult to find the heartbeat this early.  I had read that when you're early, you need to look for the heartbeat really low, because the baby could be behind your pubic bone.  I'm pretty sure I looked about everywhere short of shoving the doppler up my damn vagina.  I wasn't hearing the heartbeat, and even though I knew that was normal, of course Shawn's whole hesitation with the doppler became a reality, and I started panicking.  To lighten the mood, Shawn suggested that I try listening for it on my butt, since my uterus was tilted and maybe I could hear it back there better.  Feeling defeated, I finally gave up and decided I'd try again in the morning - because I had read that some women had better luck in the mornings.

When I woke up, I immediately doused myself in doppler gel to try again, and in less than two minutes I heard the beautiful noise I had been trying so hard to find.  It was a perfect, fast little heartbeat.  I actually do have a recording of it, but it's just an audio file, and I can't figure out how to post it on Blogger.  So you're just going to have to trust me that it was a pretty great noise.

The day before I was 11 weeks, we went back to my fertility doctor to have our final ultrasound with her.  It was the first time I had shown up to an appointment feeling confident that everything would be okay, because I had been using my doppler to check in on my little one.  Best purchase of my life.  So, we recorded the baby's heartbeat again - because apparently we just can't get enough of that...

And the second Shawn stopped recording, the little stinker started moving around all over the place.  Soooo, of course we had to start recording again.  It was the coolest thing to see him/her moving all over the place.  It's ALIIIIIIIIIIIVE!

Clearly I was totally enamored by the movement.  I watched that video like 80 times a day.  Hooray for moving babies!  As I said before, this was our last appointment with our fertility doctor - we had finally "graduated" to the big girl doctor.  I gave my doctor a giant hug and thanked her from the bottom of my heart for helping to make this happen and for being so wonderful throughout the process.  She gave us another picture to take home with us, which was our infamous announcement picture.

 And I swear I never mean for my blog posts to be eternally long, buuut it happens just about every time.  So I'll go ahead and make that my stopping point - and I'll be back later with more good times!

Oh, and:

Friday, October 11, 2013

6 Weeks: When I Had The Most Traumatic Meltdown of My Entire Life

So, that last post was a doozy, eh?  I know you're probably all dying waiting to hear how pregnancy has been treating me for the last few months - and I promise I have plenty to tell you. But I maybe won't inundate you with all the stories, in one enormous post.  I think we can all agree that that was kind of completely exhausting.

(And a warning for all my squeamish readers (I can't really imagine that I even have squeamish readers, but just in case...) I talk about blood in this post.  More specifically, lady blood, ifyouknowwhatImean.  So, if that makes you want to gouge your eyeballs out, I'd suggest maybe turning around.  Like, now.)

So we left off my last post at having my second beta test, showing that my levels were rising appropriately, and everything was supposedly on track.  And as if I weren't already paranoid enough, I instantly became the mother of all paranoia.  I Googled all the things I could and couldn't do.  I second guessed just about everything I put into my mouth.  I refused to have sex, even though I knew it was okay (sorry, husband).  I dyed my hair around 5 weeks, and had a panic attack afterwards when it dawned on me that I had no idea if hair dye was going to kill my baby or not. It was pretty extreme.  In my mind, I figured that if I could avoid anything and everything that could potentially, even maybe cause an issue with a pregnancy - I would.  Because if, heaven forbid, I ever lost the baby, I didn't want to have any reason to blame myself - even though I know miscarriages happen for a myriad of reasons, and the chances that eating a Subway sandwich would end my pregnancy were extremely low.  (Holy run-on sentence, Batman.)  But we had worked hard to make this baby, and I was going to do everything I could to make sure we brought home a beautiful tiny human in 9 months.

In the week following my second HCG test, I began to spot a tiny bit.  It was usually either really light pink, or some creepy shade of poop brown.  You can imagine the anxiety attack I had when I first saw a color other than pee on my toilet paper.  In my last post, I told you about those tampon-like applicators I was using to shove vag suppositories clear up my business - remember?  The first time I saw the spotting, I had seen blood on the applicator after inserting a pill.  (Normally I'd maybe apologize for the unsolicited mental imagine, but I feel like we're kind of past that now - right?)  Anyways, I tried to keep the tears of hysteria at bay and immediately consulted with the pregnancy forums online, because you know, they're always right.  Most of them said that most likely what happened was that the suppository applicator knicked my suddenly-super-sensitive cervix.  The spotting never lasted very long, and was always very light - so I tried to just ignore it and hope that my cervix would buck up and grow a metaphoric pair, so the spotting would stop.  However the spotting still had me petrified to pull my pants down.  Like, ever.

Aside from the spotting, I didn't have a whole ton of super intense symptoms - mostly just random twinges here and there, and I constantly felt dizzy and light-headed.  I could stand up slower than an 80 year-old and still feel like I was about to pass out.  I also started to occasionally feel a lot more sick to my stomach when I wouldn't eat, or even when I'd eat just a little bit.  There wasn't any throwing up, which I was grateful for - although I wouldn't even have minded.  I've never felt more relieved to feel so nauseated - which might sound totally crazy - but I was full on ready to experience the worst symptoms ever, as long as it meant a healthy pregnancy when all was said and done.

At 6 weeks, we were getting ready to go to the temple with my family when the light pink spotting started again.  I took a deep breath and chalked it up to my overly-sensistive cervix being jabbed by a plastic stick.  After our session was over, I went to the restroom and was had instant tears when I saw a lot of red blood on the toilet paper.  Bright red blood.  This wasn't just the brown spotting I had been having - this was identical to how my periods would start.  This was the type of blood that all those online pregnancy forums warned about.  I was horrified, to say the least.  Any ounce of hope I had for this pregnancy was instantly shot into oblivion.  With my family still not knowing that I was pregnant - I tried to compose myself in the bathroom stall and hold it together long enough to get to the car.  

As I walked out of the women's dressing room and saw Shawn, my eyes instantly welled up with tears and he knew something was wrong.  We walked somewhere where my family couldn't see me, and all I could get out was, "It's red" before I started bawling.  Shawn, being the more optimistic one in our marriage, assured me that it was all going to be okay, and that it was probably just a fluke.  He refused to believe that we were losing something we had worked so hard for.

My parent's car had died (literally right in front of the temple), but they somehow managed to get it started again long enough to drive to Sizzler, where we were going to have dinner with our family and my sister-in-law's family.  I tried to stay calm while we drove there, but ended up crying the entire way there.  I pulled myself together to see my family again, and as we stood in line waiting for a table - it took every ounce of self-control I had to not burst into tears.  I made it long enough to sit down and eat a salad, until I couldn't take it anymore and excused myself to the restroom.  And that's when I found even more bright red blood.  I was silently, hysterically sobbing in the bathroom stall.  It was over.  There was no way that I could possibly have this much blood and still have a baby with a beating heart.  I was absolutely heart-broken, as I sat weeping in the bathroom stall.

I couldn't fake getting sick, because we had to take my parents and siblings home, since their car was less than dependent.  And I didn't want my family to find out I had finally gotten pregnant like this.  We had kept it a secret so we could surprise them in a happy way.  After I was finished in the bathroom,  I walked straight to the parking lot so I could call the after-hours line at my fertility clinic to see what I should do.  I was no more than two words into the voicemail I was leaving when my voice cracked and I, once again, started sobbing.  From that point on, the crying didn't stop for a while.

I had been outside for about 10 minutes when Shawn finally came outside, and through my tears, I told him that I was pretty sure I was losing the baby.  Our baby.  He was at a loss for words, and asked me if I wanted him to go get my mom.  And if there was ever a time when I knew I needed my mom, it was then.  I felt sick to my stomach knowing that this would be how she was going to find out she was going to be a grandma for the first time, and in the same breath I'd take it all away from her.

She finally came out to find me completely melting down.  She came and instantly wrapped her arms around me and asked what was going on.  I took a deep breath and told her that I was 6 weeks pregnant, but that I was bleeding a lot of bright red blood, and I was sure I was miscarrying.  I was hyperventilating by this point, because I was crying so hard.  My mom's reaction was sympathetic, but she couldn't help but be completely excited that I was pregnant.  She kept hugging me and telling me that she had bled with some of her pregnancies, and that I still didn't know what the blood was from - and suggested trying to call the hospital to see what they'd say.

At this point, Shawn was still composed enough to call the hospital - but they obviously couldn't tell us anything over the phone, and recommended that we go to the ER.  We had been standing outside for a while, when my little sister came out.  As I told her what was going on, she started crying too.  And that's when I noticed my sweet husband, with his face buried in his hands just sobbing.  I had only seen him cry once before, and that's when we broke up before he left on his mission.  Seeing him cry was when I completely lost it.  Even as I sit here typing about it, I can't contain my emotions.  I literally have never felt more sad and hopeless in my entire life than when I saw my husband weeping over the child we both were sure we'd never have.  I, once again, felt like a broken, useless failure.  I kept apologizing over and over and over again.  I was so sorry that my body couldn't do what it was supposed to do.  I was so sorry that I couldn't give him children.  I was so sorry I had ever brought this trial into his life.

My brother and dad finally came outside as well, to find most of the family completely melting down in the parking lot.  My siblings were crying, my husband was crying - and feeling completely responsible for all the heartache, I cried.  I'm sure anyone who was walking by was completely confused by the freak show that was happening by our car.  I've had plenty of meltdowns in my life.  But guys, this was the mother of all meltdowns ever.  I was wailing.  Repeating over and over again, "Oh my gosh.  How is this happening?  I'm so sorry."  I can't even hardly describe just how emotional I was - but it was traumatic, to say the least.

We finally decided that my parents would drive us to the ER, since we hadn't heard back from the after-hours nurse.  Shawn and I sat in the back seat, and had managed to somehow find some calm.  I was able to stop crying as I recounted to my parents our whole IVF experience - which felt so awesome to finally tell them.  Although they were concerned, they were both over the moon that I had gotten pregnant.  And they both remained cautiously optimistic that everything was going to be okay.

We got to the ER, and I told them I was 6 weeks pregnant and bleeding, they immediately put me in a wheelchair.  I felt kind of silly being in a wheelchair when I was surrounded by people who were so obviously in much more physical pain than I was.  They took my vitals and then we waited.  As we got closer to getting called back, my nurse finally called.  She told me not to waste my money at the ER, and that I could come to the office the following Saturday morning to have an ultrasound.  She tried to assure me that there's a lot of women who bleed throughout their pregnancy, and that it's completely possible that everything was just fine.  I was relieved that she called before we were called back to an ER doctor.  Because after spending that much money on IVF, we weren't exactly swimming in money to pay for an ER visit.

We went back to my parent's house to find my sweet little sister just bawling.  Apparently she had been told that I was in the hospital, but that I was okay and we'd be home soon.  She had no idea what was going on, bless her furry little heart.  My brother had been Googling furiously about bleeding during early pregnancy, and it made me so proud.  Like brother like sister.  Shawn and I both got a priesthood blessing from my dad and my brother.  I finally got the nerve to go to the bathroom again - and when I did, the red blood had disappeared.  It had transformed into some weird, creepy orange color.  I still wasn't convinced that it was a good thing, but the blessing I had just gotten helped me feel find a peace that comforted me in knowing that whatever happened, everything was going to be okay eventually.

The next morning I drove to the fertility clinic with my husband and mom.  The bleeding had completely stopped, which resurrected just a tiny bit of hope that maybe, just maybe, things would be okay.  But I was still heavily guarded.  My doctor came in to do the ultrasound, and asked me about my bleeding.  Trying hard not to get choked up, I explained to her what had happened, and said a quick prayer that everything would please be okay.

As my uterus flashed up on the screen, my doctor immediately pointed to a tiny dot on the screen and said, "See that?  That's your baby's heartbeat."  It was the most beautiful flicker I had ever seen.  Our baby's heart was beating.  A wave of relief and gratitude washed over me as my doctor went on to say that my baby was measuring perfectly, and everything else looked great.  I cried as I watched my little one's heart race furiously - but they were tears of joy.  Pure joy.

My doctor couldn't find any reason for the bleeding.  She told me that I may be "one of those women" who bleeds throughout their entire pregnancy.  Great.  Because that's what I needed, a complete freak meltdown every time I bled.  She also said that it could have been because of the progesterone applicator, that had been causing the spotting before.  I apparently must have jousted the crap out of my cervix with the applicator, because homegirl was obviously not very happy the night before.  My doctor told me she didn't want anything but the applicator going into my vagina for the next few weeks, just to be safe.  And I think we all know what that meant for Shawn.  

I'm happy to say that after that night, I never had bright red blood ever again.  I did have some random spotting, but it was always very light and very infrequent.  That was, without a doubt, the most traumatic moment of this pregnancy so far.  We're incredibly lucky and blessed that everything turned out okay.  I thank my Heavenly Father every day for that.  I know how many women and couples go through miscarriages every day - and I just have to say how much respect I have for those women (and men).  I only got a glimpse of the heartache that I'd imagine accompanies a miscarriage, and that wasn't easy.  I can't imagine how I would've felt if I had actually lost my baby.  I want to give a giant hug to anyone who has ever lost a child - I just can't even imagine.  And I know that although I'm out of the "scare zone", I'm still not totally out of the woods.  I'll probably continue to be paranoid throughout the rest of my pregnancy, and probably for the rest of our poor kid's life - because that's how I roll.  But I do find solace in knowing that everything that happens, happens for a reason. And although sad things may or may not happen, I'll always have the love of my Heavenly Father and my family to keep me going.

So with that totally depressing post out of the way, we'll get back to the regularly scheduled bowel movements and getting fat posts soon.  Hooray!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

That One Time We MADE A BABY

So, chances are you're here from Facebook, because I just dropped the most epicly fantastic bombshell ever - and now you want to hear all the super fun TMI details about how it happened.  (Because you know there will be plenty.)

If, however, you aren't hailing from Facebook, and you've read the title and happened to glance down at the picture below and are about to wet yourself from the anticipation...

Yeah.  That's Baby Milne, the tiny peach-sized human currently residing in my uterus.  (The ultrasound picture is a few weeks old, but it's the best one I had.)  

Any of you that have been reading my blog, may or may not remember that back in March I mentioned that we had met with our fertility specialist, and she gave us a 75% chance of getting knocked up if we did In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) - but that I had no intentions of sharing with the internet when we actually planned on doing IVF, just to avoid all the, "Did it work?!" questions that would inevitably follow the procedure.  Because if it did work, I didn't want to have to tell people so early, because I'm a paranoid spaz.  And if it didn't work, I was going to have to have a meltdown every time someone asked about it.

So, now I feel comfortable telling you that we finally did IVF back in July.  Obviously it worked and Shawn and I couldn't be any more thrilled if we tried.  I do feel a little overwhelmed with writing this blog post.  There are so many things that have gone down in the last several months that I’ve been dying to overshare on the internet, but haven't been able to.  Which is why we’ve had a bit of radio silence going around here in these parts.  Nothing came even remotely close to as interesting as making a baby was.  So forgive me in advance if this post takes you 17 hours to read, but you know how I roll.  Plus, everyone loves a good "How I Pushed My Baby Out My V-Hole" story, but how often do you get to read to the non-pornographic version of the"How We Made Our Baby" story?

Anyways, I've been trying to figure out how to write all this down - and I decided that I'm just going to go chronologically with dates that different things happened, at least for this particular blog post.  This'll just be the getting pregnant portion of this story.  The actual being pregnant portion will come later.  Promise.  So, go grab a Diet Coke and settle in.  It's time to read about a miracle.

(May 25, 2013)

After a lot of praying, countless meltdowns, and saving a lot of money - Shawn and I finally decided that after two and a half years of failed attempts at trying to start a family, we were ready to take a massive leap of faith and start the process for IVF.  

Spending so much money on a procedure that might completely fail, was not a decision that came easily.  Shawn always asked, "But what if it doesn't work?" and the only answer I could ever muster up was, "But what if it does?"  I was willing to do nothing short of lighting myself on fire to get pregnant (because, you know, that works).  And although adoption has always been an option, I knew that my heart would never be fully in that particular route if I didn't exhaust all my options of getting pregnant myself.

So, we let our doctor know that we were ready - and this was the day she started me on birth control.  Yeah, I know.  Seems kind of counter-productive, right?  But apparently that's just protocol for IVF - the birth control apparently resets your system and makes sure that you won't magically get pregnant right before giving the doctor 15 thousand dollars.  Because that would be tragic.  

Or, if you're me, the birth control is just a trial run of pregnancy symptoms, to make sure you really want to grow a baby.  I mean, my boobs were fireballs of extraordinary pain.  I was a champion nap-taker.  And pooping.  That had to be a glimpse into what giving birth is like.  Except it felt like I was giving birth to an damn velociraptor.  And the thing that kills me, is that you can spend so much time trying to expel what feels like 8,000 shards of glass, only to find a Skittle-sized bunny turd in the toilet.  And I realize that brings my blog to a whole new low.  But seriously.

(June 3, 2013)

Speaking of poop, this was the day Shawn just about crapped his pants.  It was our appointment with the "IVF Coordinator", Tanya, more fondly known as the woman I'd end up calling 800 times throughout the next few months with truly ridiculous questions about symptoms, if I could take certain medications, and if it was okay to have sex yet.  Shawn remembers her as the woman who handed him this piece of paper:

We knew this wasn't going to be a cheap venture, but seeing all those numbers right in front of our faces was a little soul-crushing.  The look on Shawn's face and his tightened grip on my hand told me that his heart had just sunk clear to his butt.  At first glance I was like, "Okay, $7,900 doesn't sound that awful."  But as she went through each item, that total got a a lot higher at a very unnerving pace.

Then she handed us this sheet of paper:

It was our IVF schedule.  Yee haw!  Some of the dates were tentative, depending on how my baby maker responded to the drugs, but it was kind of fun (with a side of totally overwhelming) to be able to see everything at a glance.  

She briefly went over the calendar, and answered our questions about it.  Then she told me I'd need to go to the store and buy some low-dose Aspirin and two vinegar douches.  

Douches?  I had no clue what on Earth I needed douches for.  Well, I mean, I know what douches are for.  But I wasn't totally sure how they were relevant to baby making.  So, instead of being normal and asking about it, I just smiled and nodded my head like I've been douching it up since I was 15.  Which, for the record, I haven't.  I had never even seen a douche.  Minus the ones who suck at driving.

Anyways.  She asked what my blood type was, and I told her B+, and that I had it on of those Red Cross cards.  (I've donated blood exactly one time in my life, and it was solely so I could get one of those cards and figure out what my blood type was.)  Naturally, I couldn't find the card in my black hole of a purse, so I had to get tested for that, as well as several other STIs.  You know, just in case I had decided to whore it up and contract Chlamydia in the last year.  So they drew my blood, she answered a few more questions we had (none of which I can even remember at this point), and then she gave us some paperwork about financial aid.

After we left, I was feeling pretty good that we were finally making some progress towards making our very own miniature Chelsea-Shawn hybrid.  It felt good to have a plan.  A new plan. A plan that almost quadrupled our chances of a pregnancy.  

(June 10, 2013)

Before I could start my IVF protocol in July, I had to have a water/saline ultrasound.  It's pretty much where they shoot an ass-ton of water up your v-hole with a catheter, and then they check out your uterus to make sure there aren't any polyps, fibroids, or anything else that would prevent an embryo from implanting into your uterine lining.  Super fun.

So, I wasn't overly concerned about the procedure, only because up to this point, I've had a bazillion different wands, tubes, and medieval contraptions shoved up my vagina - so this couldn't be much worse.  They shot the water up there and looked around on the ultrasound.  And noticed a really small polyp.  My doctor said that it was so small, that it might end up going away, but it was still significant enough that I might need surgery to get it removed.  Lovely.  She wanted me to come back next week to see if it was even still there, because she didn't want to send me to surgery if I didn't need it.  Hey thanks, doctor.

After she was finished, she let me know that I might leak a little bit from all the water, and handed me one of those super thin pantyliners, just in case.  So I put my pants back on, with the the pantyliner, and all of the sudden it was like NIAGRADAMNFALLS in my pants.  I felt a massive gush of water, and looked down at my crotch to find that my jeans were completely soaked through.  Every step I took, more and more water gushed out.  

See?  (Because yes, I took a picture.)  And that went clear over to my butt too.  So, needless to say as I walked out to the lobby, where several woman and their husbands were waiting, I was nothing short of completely mortified.  I don't know how my nurse thought for even a second that the tiny pantyliner they hooked me up with was going to stop that monsoon from happening.  As I was checking out, and could feel everyone's eyes staring at my completely soaked ass.  I cracked a joke about how they should give out diapers after water ultrasounds instead of the ridiculous pantyliners they give out.  The receptionist laughed, in the most uncomfortable, OMG-DID-SHE-JUST-SAY-THAT way, as I hauled major ass out of there.

(June 17, 2013)

Went back for my second water ultrasound - which I came fully prepared for.  I had sweat pants on and one of those enormous overnight pads that go from the top of your buttcrack to your freakin' bellybutton.  They did the ultrasound, and found that the polyp they saw the week before was gone.  My doctor said it must have just been a nick from the catheter.  So that meant no surgery - hooray!  They handed me another teeny pantyliner, and I told them that after last week's pool party, I was already well-equipped with a diaper of my own.  Crisis averted.

(June 23, 2013)

I was supposed to start a 10 day round of antibiotics today.  I didn't actually remember until about 5:00pm that night, and hadn't even had my prescription called in.  I panicked hard.  I was convinced that I was already effing up my cycle.  I called Tanya and told her I was already failing IVF, and she assured me that as long as I finished the antibiotics before I started the IVF meds, I'd be just fine.  I ended up getting the prescription that night anyways, because I'm a paranoid freak and didn't want to challenge the all-powerful calendar.

(June 29, 2013)

The specialty pharmacy I was getting my drugs from called this day to let me know my grand total was $2,500 bucks.  We had applied for some financial aid from a program, and I wanted to wait to hear from them before shelling out the goods for my medications.  So I thanked the pharmacy for ruining my day, and told them I'd call back.

(July 1, 2013)

Finally heard back from the financial aid program, and they gave us 50% off of one of my medications.  It only saved us about $400 bucks when all was said and done.  But hey, $400 bucks is better than $0 bucks.

(July 2, 2013)

Last day of birth control pills.  Happy dance!

(July 6, 2013)

All my drugs finally came in the mail.  It was like Christmas, except not really.  

(July 8 , 2013)

Today was the big day.  Well, one of them, anyways.  It was Day 1 of our IVF protocol.  I went in to get what's called a "baseline ultrasound", which is basically the ultrasound they do at the beginning of a cycle to make sure your uterine lining is good, and that you don't have any cysts.  I had been on birth control for the last several weeks, so I knew I was good on the cyst front.  They told me my lining was a little bit thick, probably since my period hadn't started yet - but that it was still okay to go ahead and start the drugs.

Then I had to hand in about 8,000 different consent forms saying we understood the side effects of the drugs, the risks of anesthesia, and what we'd want done with our embryos in the case that one or both of us died - that was a nice, morbid conversation to have with Shawn.  

Then the nurse took me into her office and showed me how to do shots.  

Juuuuuust kidding.  Well, about the alcohol part, anyways.  The only alcohol involved was in a wipe used to sterilize where I was going to jab myself.  (But seriously, you know that "Shots" song by LMFAO?  It's kind of completely awful (and totally catchy), but every time I'd give myself shots, I'd always be singing, "SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTSSHOTSSHOTS SHOTS SHOTS! EVERYBOOOODY."  How can you not, really?)  

Anyways, I wasn't a stranger to jabbing myself with needles, I had done it in past cycles, so this was more of a refresher course.  That's not to say I was good at it, by any means.  When I went home later that day to take my first round of drugs, I squirted all sorts of medication across the bathroom.  I've talked to several women that are appalled that I do the shots myself.  Like hell I'm going to have Shawn stab me and not know when to expect pain.  Because some of those meds sting like a beeotch.

After the ultrasound, the consent forms, and the shots, it was time for the part both Shawn and I had been dreading.  I walked over to the receptionist to check out, and she cheerfully said, "It's payment day!"  Sigh.  She pulled up our file and with no hesitation said, "Looks like you're going to owe $10,000 today."  I whimpered.  A lot.  The women sitting in the lobby behind me were all like:

We had a few different checking accounts we were using, plus a Flex card - so I started handing her 8 bazillion cards, while muttering that this had better work - or my husband may or may not set their fertility castle on fire.  (Words that may or may not have come out of his mouth at one or several points in time.  Hint: They did..)

(July 13, 2013)

This day was my first ultrasound to see how my ovaries were responding to the 6 days-worth of shots I had been giving myself up to that point.  I figured my ovaries had to be doing something, because every time I laughed, pooped, or sneezed - it felt like my ovaries were going to explode in a big way.  Nevertheless, I was still nervous.

Our ultrasound tech came in, and was probably the nicest person I've ever talked to in my life.  She kept telling Shawn and I how funny we were.  And I'm pretty sure she was just saying it to be nice, but it certainly didn't stop Shawn and I from cracking vagina wand and ovary jokes.  (Vagina wand, referring to the ultrasound stick they use for transvaginal ultrasounds.  And for those of you who haven't had the pleasure...)

Pretty horrifying, right?  Anyways... She got all up in there and was instantly amazed at my champion follicle-producing ovaries.  (And if you're not familiar with what a "follicle" is - it's pretty much a sac where the egg will eventually be once it has matured.   Generally, women who aren't on ovary-stimulating drugs will have one dominant follicle every cycle.  Women who do IVF and have a good response to the drugs will *usually* have somewhere around 15ish (though it totally varies.))  She started to count all the follicles I had (and how anyone can tell anything apart on an ultrasound is just beyond me), and she told me that I had more than 30 follicles on each ovary.  That is a lot of follicles, guys.  So apparently when you tell my ovaries what to do, bitches be crazy over-productive.

Also, apparently my nervousness manifests itself via butt sweat.  So when I stood up, my bare ass pretty much took the whole roll of paper covering the bench with me.  Real classy.

(July 14th, 2013)

Went in for another ultrasound today.  The ultrasound tech was equally as astounded at how many follicles I had as she was the day before.  She finally stopped counting and said that I had plenty on each side.  None of them were "mature" yet, and that's what we were waiting for.  Once the follicles are mature, you can go in and retrieve the egg.  And by 'you', I mean a highly-paid medical professional.  They had me start another drug called Gannirelix - it's another shot that more or less prevents the follicles from releasing the eggs on their own - because that would be less effective.  And as much as I want kids - I think I'm okay to not have 30 at a time.

Oh, and just like the calendar says, today was the last day for sex.  You can imagine how thrilled Shawn was.  Homeboy may or may not have had one serious draught for the next month.  Sorry, husband.

(July 15, 2013)

Went in for another ultrasound to see how my dozens of follicles were growing.  As the ultrasound tech and I were shooting the breeze while she wanded me, I told her that I had just learned that the "Lime in the Coconut" song was about adultery.  Naturally, she didn't know either and was super shocked.  Which is when it suddenly dawned on me that I really meant the Jimmy Buffet, "If You Like PiƱa Coladas" song.  She laughed pretty hard.  And I felt like the dumbass of the century.

Anyways, I still had plenty follicles, and several of them were making good progress.  She told me I was on track to have my egg retrieval on the 19th, just like my calendar said.  I was pretty proud of my ovaries - even though they felt like giant bowling balls of fire.  This is around the time that I started Googling about egg retrievals and found women who went in for their retrieval and ended up with a bunch of empty sacs.  So just as I was starting to feel a teeny bit confident - I suddenly was consumed with paranoia that my little follicle farm was going to be a bunch of empty sacs of fail.

(July 17, 2013)

Today's ultrasound showed several mature follicles.  They told me to take the shot I had been given to "trigger" ovulation later that night.  Later that evening my nurse called and let me know that I needed to take a different shot than I was planning on.  I had to drive 40 minutes back to the office where she had the shot waiting for me.  The shot I was originally going to take, would lessen the chances that I'd overstimulate my ovaries and end up in the hospital.  But my doctor wasn't overly concerned that that would happen, so she switched me to an HCG shot that helps mature lagging follicles while simultaneously triggering ovulation.  Fun times!  (Keep in mind that taking the HCG shot also meant that I would get a false positive pregnancy test for about the next 10 days. Because that's what I needed.)

After I got home and took the shot later that night, I had a complete freak meltdown about IVF not working.  Thank you, hormones.  I had to remind myself that hey, I was finally done with all my shots and even closer to a baby.  And I had a stomach full of gnarly bruises and pinholes to prove it.  T-minus 36 hours until egg retrieval time.

(July 18, 2013)

My doctor's office wanted me to call and let them know if I got a positive pregnancy test this morning - I guess to make sure that I'm not a moron and actually gave myself the HCG shot the night before.  Lo and behold, it was positive.  And even though it was totally fake, it was still awesome to see the all-elusive second pink line show up.

My anesthesiologist called to make sure that putting me under wasn't going to kill me.  Got my medical history, and told me to be ready with $500 the next morning.  Sure, dude.  Let me just go out back and pick some money off my tree.  Sigh.

Remember those douches the IVF coordinator told me to make sure and buy?  Well tonight was DOUCHE NIGHT.  I feel really ridiculous admitting that I had no idea what a douche even looked like.  I must have imagined something pretty horrifying in my mind, because pulling it out of the box was the most anticlimactic moment ever.  Turns out douches are just water bottles with a long-ass vag nozzle.  (Suddenly the term 'douche nozzle' made perfect sense.)  But hey, if it was going to get my egg runway squeaky clean for the retrieval the next morning, then whatever.

(July 19, 2013)


I started out the morning with another douche.  Because apparently vaginas are that gross.  Shawn collected his "sample" in a cup, and was sure they'd all be flexing for the embryologist.  We got to the doctor's office, and they had me put on one of those fun gowns where your whole ass hangs out.  I laid down, and the anesthesiologist started prepping to knock me out.  The last thing I remember was them telling Shawn to kiss me, because he wasn't allowed to stay for the procedure - he kissed me, my eyes rolled back to my brain, and I was gone.

If you're curious about what exactly happened while I was knocked out, watch this video:

If you don't feel like watching the video, pretty much my doctor stuck a giant needle up my lady business and poked all the mature follicles I had on each ovary, and took the eggs out of each of them.

Waking up from the anesthesia was probably the weirdest feeling ever.  I was just gone for a half hour, and had no idea what had just happened.  They could have paraded me around the office buttass naked, for all I knew.  As I woke up, they welcomed me back to the world and told me I did great (as if I could have done anything, I was dead to the world), gave me the warmest blanket ever, led me to a cozy "waiting room", and told me my doctor would be back to tell me how many eggs they retrieved.  As I sat there telling Shawn how my ovaries were on fire, our doctor came in.  She told us, with a smile, that they had retrieved 36 eggs!  I remember her telling us before we started any of this, that they're usually happy if they can get about 10-15ish eggs.  Apparently my ovaries were just making up for lost time.  A wave of relief instantly washed over me.

The doctor went on to say that because I had produced so many eggs, she was a little worried about something called Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS).  Remember how I had 48329483290483920432 follicles?  The problem can be that they're filled with fluid, and that fluid can start to leak into your stomach - which would not be fun.  She told me to start drinking Gatorade/Powerade like it was no one's business - and drink one of those whey protein shakes every day - because supposedly it would all help reduce the fluids.  She then told me that my ovaries were 4 times the size they usually were, so I might feel pretty tender for the next few weeks, and I should take it easy for the next few days.

She reminded me what we were going to do with the eggs.  There's a procedure called Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), where instead of letting all the sperm swim around in a petri dish and find the egg on their own, they inject the sperm right into the egg.  Generally couples who have male-factor infertility (crappy sperm) will use this method.  We had decided that, although Shawn had great swimmers, we were going to ICSI half of my eggs, since we didn't actually know if that could have been our problem - that Shawn's sperm and my eggs hate each other.  Then the other half we were going to do the normal, sperm-swims-to-the-egg-on-its-own way.  That way we'd be able to tell if they could even fertilize to begin with on their own.  They were going to call us in the morning with our fertilization report.

Also, if you feel so inclined, this is a short video of ICSI being performed on an egg.  It's actually pretty cool that ICSI is even a thing.

As soon as I got home, I went straight to my bed and curled up into fetal position.  I was sore.  I was so paranoid about getting OHSS that I'm pretty sure I drank about 6 things of Gatorade that night.  You know, because that's healthy.  Bob had to have known that I was feeling a little yucky, because as soon as I laid down, he instantly came and snuggled right up to my ovaries.  Atta boy, Bob.

(July 20, 2013)

When I woke up the next morning, I was definitely feeling yesterday's retrieval.  My ovaries still felt incredibly sore, I was crampy, and it hurt the bottom of my rib cage when I'd breathe.  I started to get nervous about possible OHSS, but I still hadn't gained any weight and I was still peeing - which were signs they said to watch out for - so I figured, if anything, it was just a mild case.  Even so, I kept drowning myself with Gatorade.

Today was also the day I started progesterone vag pills.  They were different than the waxy vagina bullets I've talked about in the past.  They were actual pills, but came with tampon-like applicators to push them all up in there.  I had to do this 3 times a day until around 11ish weeks.  Not something I was really looking forward with all the disgusting chalky discharge that accompanied the pills - but if it was going to help my baby, then fine.

I had a baby shower and a wedding shower to go to that day, and it kind of made me feel like dying.  I sent Shawn to go pick up the gifts - and like a champ, he did it without complaining (not to mention all the women were super impressed when they found out that Shawn had picked out the most adorable baby outfit allllll by himself. Way to go, husband.)  I was having a hard time even moving without wanting to drop to the ground and take a nap.  The part that made this even more difficult, was that my family had no idea we were doing IVF.  We wanted to be able to surprise both our families with the news if it did work - and we knew we wouldn't really be able to do that if they knew we were doing IVF.  So there I was, hobbling around like a senior citizen and making up excuses to my family about why I was drinking so much Gatorade.  I started feeling super bloated, and managed to secretly completely unbutton my pants during both showers.  Practice for later, I suppose.  My mom even asked at one point, "Are you sure you aren't pregnant?  Dad and I were noticing your boobs look huge!"  You know, in the least creepy way possible.  I told her I had bought an awesome bra, and it was all an illusion.

After I finally got home, I went straight back to bed - and that's when the embryologist finally called with our results.  My heart was racing.  He told me that they had done ICSI on 24 of my eggs, and 18 of them fertilized - and they had done the normal IVF on 10 of my eggs, and 5 of them had fertilized.  We had 22 EMBRYOS!  22 beautiful embryos that were all ours.  The even better news was that Shawn's sperm like my eggs!  I managed to forget that my babymaker felt like a war zone for a few minutes, because I was feeling so awesome.  They said they'd call again on the 22nd to tell us how all our embryos were doing.

(July 21, 2013)

Still felt pretty crappy.  I was bloated like no one's business.  Oh, and pooping made my ovaries feel like they were going to fall out - which is kind of a stressful feeling when you're trying to take care of business.

(July 22, 2013)

My family had an upcoming trip to Durango, Colorado planned for the upcoming weekend.  They were planning river rafting trips, and all sorts of stuff that I knew I wouldn't be able to do.  So I spent a lot of this day coming up with excuses of why we couldn't water raft or do pretty much anything.

The embryologist called and told us that we now had 24 embryos.  Say whaaaaaa?  He went on to explain that apparently they were waiting to see if the other eggs/sperm would fertilize, and two of them had caught up.  He let us know that we have a some really good looking ones, some in-between ones, and some that still had some catching up to do.  They said since they had some good embryos, that I could go ahead and plan on a 5-day transfer (usually they either do the embryo transfer 3 or 5 days after "conception", depending on how your embryos are looking and/or what your doctor prefers.) 

Later, that "Home" song by Phillip Phillips came on, and I just sobbed like a baby.  I realize that doesn't make much sense, but as I was listening to it, I couldn't help but feel like it was my song to my embryos.  (And don't even get me started on that "A Thousand Years" song by Christina Perri that seemed to come on every time I drove home from the fertility clinic.  I bawl every time I hear it.  And even though it's a cheesy love song from Twilight, it's MY baby song.)

(July 24, 2013)


I woke up feeling pretty excited that today would be the day that I'd be housing two sweet embryos - technically pregnant, even if it was only for a minute.  When we got to the clinic, they had me take a Valium, which was a first for me - but weeeeee!

We finally were called back and my doctor came in and showed us our baby's very first picture:

How incredible is that?  She explained that the two embryos in the top left-hand corner were the best quality embryos.  She told us that they were a perfect B grade - which I wasn't totally thrilled by, because I wanted A+ embryos, but I was still pretty happy.  She went on to explain that the rest of the embryos in the other boxes were ones that they would keep watching until tomorrow to see if they were viable enough to freeze.  Other than those, the rest of our embryos had "arrested" (or died off), which was fairly normal.  She recommended that we transfer both the B embryos in, since it would give us a greater chance of getting pregnant.  I was fine with that.  Because hey, if it resulted in twins, we'd get two for the price of one.

The actual embryo transfer took like, 3 minutes.  They pretty much just put the embryos in a tube thinger and drop 'em off in your uterus.  You could actually see just barely see it on the ultrasound.  Shawn took this picture, but I don't really expect anyone to see much of anything (because I don't even, really)..  But that was my uterus with two embryos in it.

Now we just had to wait and see if one or both of them would stick.  My nurse commented on how alert I was - apparently I handle my Valium well.  It didn't really knock me out, but it made me feel very calm.  I was nervous to move at all - I just wanted to sit and do absolutely nothing so those little suckers would burrow.  Even when I went to the bathroom, I was so sure I was going to pee them right out.  Even though that's obviously ridiculous and wouldn't ever happen.

They wanted me on bed rest immediately following my transfer, plus two days after.  They referred to the bed rest as my "Princess Days" - which I kind of loved.  (When Shawn saw the "Princess Days" on my calendar, he gave me a hearty, "Ohhhhhh boy."  I know how to rock a Princess Day, and he knows it.)  

(July 25, 2013)

I was back to having a hard time breathing and pooping, so that was fun.  Laying down kind of hurt, likely from the fluid retention I had going on still, but it was making bed rest less fun than it should have been.  They also called and let us know that we had two embryos to freeze.  I was hoping we'd have a few more than that, but I was still relieved to know that if this cycle didn't work, we'd have a few backups to try out.

(July 26, 2013)

Naturally I had already started symptom-spotting - something I had become a pro at after two and a half years of reading the cray crays on "Trying to Conceive" forums online.  I was grasping at straws to try and find any hint that one or both the embryos were snuggled tightly into my uterus.  The only "symptom" I really had was that I felt really crampy.  But I was convinced the cramps were just trapped farts.

Shawn had called later that day to see how I was doing, and apparently the bed rest had made me extremely slap happy.  He asked what I ate for dinner, and I told him cereal, because I was being healthy.  (Or not.)  He asked, "Did you eat the Trix I bought for you?"  And I responded with a clever, "No, silly rabbit!  Trix are for kids!"  I died.  I literally laughed about it for 20 minutes.  Literally.  Tears streaming down my face hysterical.  Shawn must have thought that I had maybe eaten a special brownie, or something.  Because he wasn't nearly as amused.  I later read something about how some study found that laughter can help implantation.  So now I'm convinced that my joke is what did the Trix.  (Badum sssssss.)

(July 27, 2013)

I wasn't on bed rest anymore, and today was the day we were going to Durango with my family.  Shawn and I had decided that I'd wait to pee on a stick until we got home, just so if it was negative, I wouldn't have to ruin everyone's vacation with the meltdown of a lifetime.  Well, "we" decided that up until the point that I found a box of pregnancy tests hidden in our cupboard - soooo, naturally I smuggled them to Durango in my purse, without Shawn knowing.

(July 28, 2013)

Up until today, I had felt really crampy and it had really hurt to lay down on my stomach or sides - kind of a hard pain to describe.  But today I started feeling a lot more normal, and of course it made me nervous.  I figured that I couldn't possible feel normal and be pregnant.  That night, due to the lack of symptoms, I had another meltdown.  Just sobbing to Shawn that I was so sure it wasn't going to work.

(July 29, 2013)

(Warning: You are about to get totally inundated with pictures of pee sticks.  SorryI'mnotsorry.)

After my meltdown the night before, I couldn't wait to pee on a stick any longer.  It had been 10 days since I took the HCG shot, and supposedly the hormone from the shot should have been out of my system by then.  When Shawn was gone, I grabbed one of the tests I had snuck in and went to town.  My heart sunk as nothing appeared the first several seconds of putting it on the table.  When all of a sudden, I saw this:

There was A LINE. A SECOND PINK LINE.  It was the faintest line on the planet, but naturally I started bawling while I stared at the pee stick making sure that I actually saw a line, and I wasn't just imagining things.  I was half bawling because I was so happy that I saw the line - but also because I wasn't sure if this was actually a real line, or if it was leftover HCG from the trigger shot I took.  It was hard to let myself believe this could be a baby line.

As I was overanalyzing the test, Shawn came into the bathroom (because apparently we don't have very many boundaries in our marriage), and when he saw the tears and the pee stick his face was suddenly washed over with a, "Oh shit" look.  I started sobbing even more as I told him I cheated and peed on a stick, and I shoved it in his face and said, "PLEASE tell me you see this."  The panicked look immediately left his face and was replaced by relief, and a little bit of confusion.  He said, "Yeah, I see it!  But where did you get this test?  What happened to waiting?"  I explained to him that he should know me better than that and that I had snuck the tests to Durango.  I went on to tell him that I was still unsure if it was a "real" positive, or if it was still the shot - so naturally, I was going to have to take another test in the morning, so make sure that the line continued getting darker.

(July 30, 2013)

My test was a little bit darker than the one I had taken the day before - and we were so. happy.  After seeing the test, Shawn excitedly said, "This is like CHRISTMAS!"  And it totally was.

(July 31, 2013)

I couldn't stop staring at my tests all day.  And it was killing me to not tell me family.

(August 1, 2013)

We were finally home from Durango.  My test didn't look a whole ton darker today, but it was still darker than the first.  I wasn't feeling very many "symptoms" - and after reading about pregnancy symptoms for the last two and a half years, it was really weird to just feel... normal.

(August 2, 2013)

Today was the day I was going to get a blood pregnancy test, just to confirm it had worked.  But I still peed on a stick, because I'm a maniac.

The line was so much darker than any of the other lines had been and it was the best feeling in the world.  When I got to my doctor's office, the nurse asked me if I had cheated with a pee stick, and with a giant smile on my face, I told her I had cheated like a boss.

They called with the results later that day.  They told me my level was 71, and they considered anything over 25 as a pregnancy.  They congratulated me on my pregnancy, and through tears I thanked them and hung up.  Over the last few years I've received that call several times telling me I wasn't pregnant.  So to hear them say the words, "You're pregnant!" was the most amazing moment ever.  I can't hardly bring my words to justice to relay just how elated I felt at that moment.

(August 8, 2013)

Peed on another stick, because seeing the second pink line just wasn't getting old.  Apparently I just have to pee on ALL THE TESTS.  Who knew a pee stick could bring someone so much joy.

(August 9, 2013)

Had a follow up blood test, just to make sure my levels were rising appropriately, and sure enough my level was 1,573.  This was real.  I was finally pregnant.

(I have so much more to tell since we found out that I was pregnant (and it's coming, I promise).  But for now, know that everything is going well.  I'll be 13 weeks tomorrow - even though baby is measuring 4 days ahead of that (fatty) - and we're due on April 11, 2014 - 3 days after our anniversary.  Squee!)

The last several months have been an incredible, stressful, and emotional journey - and I wouldn't take a second of it back for anything.  I would do it all over again.  I can honestly say that dealing with infertility for the last two and a half years has easily been the most difficult trial I've ever faced.  It was heart-breaking to be denied something Shawn and I both wanted so much.  It was even harder for me to not be able to bless Shawn with children, when I've always known what an amazing father he'll be.  I've never felt like more of a failure.  I've never felt more broken.  The one thing my body was suppose to be able to do was create life, and it remained lifeless.  It took a lot of prayers, temple visits, and priesthood blessings to accept that God's timeline was different than mine.  It wasn't our turn to start a family yet, and that was a hard pill to swallow.  Especially when it seemed that everyone we knew pretty much just washed their clothes together and got pregnant.

It's funny how when you pray for patience, God gives you something to wait for.  I've refined my patience down to an art.  It's still not perfect, by any means - but through patience, and the love of family, friends, and my Savior, I was able to get through the last years without going to a really dark place.  It's all been completely worth it.  Even if I had to wait 3, 5, or 10 more years, I know that it would eventually be worth it when one of God's sweet children was placed in my arms.  This baby is already so incredibly loved by so many people.  And I can't wait for the day when I can meet our baby and tell him or her just how much I love them.

Thank you to all our friends and family who have supported us throughout this journey.  We appreciate the prayers, the thoughts, the fasts, the kind messages, and the good baby juju you've sent our way.  We're incredibly blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives - and we can honestly say that we've felt your love so strongly when we've felt the most hopeless.  So, thank you.

I need to wrap this up, because I'm DYING to post this on Facebook.