June 26, 2018
“That’s everything.” I double and triple checked the bags and it was all packed. “Okay, baby you can come now!” Standing over the changing table I stopped in my tracks hunched over trying to breathe, I suddenly felt something I had never felt before….
“Uhhh, I’m pretty sure my water just broke!”
JOURNEY TO PARENTHOOD
One morning I found myself being rushed to the Emergency Room in A LOT of pain. I couldn’t understand what it was from and why I was feeling this way. After having tests ran I was told that surgery was needed now for a ruptured cyst on my ovary. As I woke up in my hospital room with my parents and doctor around me, I was told that during surgery my doctor discovered that it was actually not a ruptured cyst but a horrible infection surrounding my right ovary and tube. He also saw that I only had one fallopian tube and a Unicornuate Uterus (which basically is a half size uterus). With this discovery he explains that he made the choice to not remove my fallopian tube, in hopes that it will heal properly from the surgery so one day I could have children. At 18 years old I was being told that having children might not happen and if it is possible it’s not going to be an easy process. This was the first time In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) was ever in my vocabulary but now part of my future. All I knew was becoming a Mother was all I ever wanted in life and now my dream may be crushed.
The next 10 to 12 years I had 3 miscarriages and 2 ectopic pregnancies. My first ectopic was mistaken as a miscarriage that they later found out was an actual tubal pregnancy. It had to be fixed with a shot of chemotherapy to help break down the pregnancy that was still trying to pass out of my fallopian tube after attaching itself there. My second ectopic pregnancy ended in surgery with the pregnancy being removed from my fallopian tube. Again with my tube being left in for hopes it would heal so I could have a baby with out the help of IVF. When it came time for my husband and I to start our family, we had to go through tests to check the condition of my fallopian tube. We learned my tube had a blockage and the only way possible for us to have a baby was through IVF. After doing extensive research, the idea of having a family got further away because In Vitro is very expensive and not a guarantee that it would work. After months of discussing our finances and coming to a decision that we can’t give up on our dream until we at least try, we met with Northern California Fertility Center. With our first appointment the doctor looked at the overall health of my uterus and my ovaries. All looked good, there was just one concern. I would be a very high risk pregnancy if we ended up with twins and more then likely wouldn’t make it past 25 weeks because of my Unicornuate Uterus. The doctor explained that placing more than one embryo would not be a good idea. Even carrying one baby I was considered at high risk not knowing what my uterus could handle but they felt comfortable I would make it far enough a long that our baby would not have any health problems. The next step was a long list of genetic testing on ourselves to make sure we had no other issues that may cause any unhealthy embryos. The tests were done, we got clearance that everything was good. The week before Memorial Day 2017 was when I started my first round of hormones. I was not ready to give myself shots everyday. I hate needles! It was not easy, I did the first 8 shots and thanks to my husband and a friend who is a nurse helped me with the rest. I got into my head and just couldn’t keep doing anymore. It was exhausting, it was taxing on my body but I kept reminding myself that the bruising on my belly, the cramping and being extremely bloated from producing multiple eggs was to have the best blessing of all. A few weeks later I had produced 12 to 14 eggs. Out of those eggs only 7 were mature for fertilization and we ended up with 4 embryos total. We decided to do a fresh embryo transfer first. Five days later we went in to have the transfer done. The next 10 days was nothing close to easy. The clinic drew my blood twice on day 5 and day 7 after the embryo transfer to test my hormone levels to make sure they were rising. This process is a mind game in itself. Trying to not think about what your body could be doing is one of the hardest things I have ever done. June 22nd I had the biggest let down ever with the news that the embryo did not take and we were not pregnant. I was so sure it was going to work. All I needed was for the embryo to be set in the correct spot and all would be fine. Wrong, it was not as easy as that. It took me a few days to bounce back, actually months but I hid it as much as I could and just went on with life. I wanted to start the next month on our second transfer but my husband thought a little break and maybe taking a vacation to relax our minds from it all would be nice. All I wanted was to be pregnant but I understood that we needed to wait. In August I decided to do Acupuncture to help my body get ready. I always heard great things about it helping with fertility, so I was willing to give it a try even though it was going to be more needles being poked in my body. By September I started my second round of hormones. At least this time it was for a shorter period but still had a hard time giving myself shots. Our next transfer would be done in October and this time it was a frozen embryo. After this transfer we would only have 2 embryos left. The first embryo and the one we were about to transfer were the most viable, so we had high hopes for this one. Once again I’m in the same boat, trying to stay stress free and go about life like no big worries on my mind. Around day 7 after the transfer I felt as if my period was coming and I started preparing myself for another let down. I was getting very disappointed but still prayed every night.
October 24, 2017
On the day I would be receiving the call from my nurse with our pregnancy results, I knew I would be away from home. So being optimistic I had my sister make a shirt for me to announce our pregnancy when we first started this process, I made sure I had it with me. All of a sudden my phone rang and on the other end it was my nurse Susan. I tried not to get my hopes up but it was hard not too. She informed me that my blood tests looked good and said, “You’re Pregnant!” I felt so much joy but also a huge relief. It was the greatest feeling I have ever had. I got off the phone and knew my husband was at home working in his office. Being overly excited I threw on the shirt and drove home. I walked in and made sure my husband wasn’t on the phone…. it was silent. Standing in the office doorway, my husband turns around. He was a little confused but he reads my shirt, looks at me with a big smile and says, “They said everything’s okay?” I start to cry and tell him, “We’re Pregnant!” If you have ever heard my joyful cry it’s a blubbering laugh. My husband stands up from his chair with excitement and nervousness saying “YEEAAAAH!” and comes over to hug me. He was excited but at the same time he had a lot of worries on his mind and would until the baby arrived. We immediately called our parents and each of our siblings. Everyone was so excited. I recall one of my sisters was in Costco with my oldest niece and they let out a little scream and cry, people started staring at them so my sister had to explain that I was pregnant. It was a good day and the best news for our families.
We had a 6 and 8 week ultrasound with Northern California Fertility. They looked over the growth of the baby and we even got to hear the heartbeat. Everything was looking good so we graduated from the clinic and was able to move on to my OBGYN with Sutter Health. My next appointment was at 10 weeks. At this appointment we had another ultrasound and the genetic blood test done. With this testing, we were going to find out the gender of our baby in a few days. We made the official announcement after our 10 week appointment. The day I got the call that the results of the gender were in I went to pick them up from my doctors office. I gave the results to my neighbor so she could then text my friend and prepare the balloon for the gender reveal party that night. We called our family and friends to tell them they were invited over to our house for dessert and a gender reveal of our baby. Thank goodness for Facebook LIVE because half my family couldn’t make it and my parents were out of town but I couldn’t wait any longer. We still had a house full show up and everyone was as excited as we were (video below). The gender guess was a mix. For my family this was grand baby 21 and would be the tie breaker of girls and boys. My mom felt that it was a girl, she even started crocheting a girl blanket. My mother in law was thinking girl. She already has 2 grandsons, so I think she really wanted a grand daughter. There was a little bit of a pattern going on with our group of friends having babies recently, everyone was having or had a girl. So some of our friends were guessing girl but others were saying boy to break the pattern. I felt like we were having a girl but of course my husband was thinking boy. Either way we didn’t care boy or girl, we just wanted a healthy and happy baby.
I was very excited to be having a girl, we already agreed on a girl name and had not picked a boy name. I knew exactly how I wanted to decorate her room and no clue what to do if it was a boy. So everything was going perfectly. Not that having a boy would have been any less perfect but getting prepared for her was easier. The nesting began right away. I had a list of things to be done before she arrived. My pregnancy was going pretty well for my first trimester. I never got sick, had a little nausea from time to time and got cranky fast if I waited too long to eat. Otherwise it went nicely. I started showing around 14 weeks, for the most part I just looked a bit on the heavy side in my belly than actually pregnant. I really looked pregnant around 20 weeks and felt pregnant around 22-24 weeks. I loved being able to feel her moving, the coolest and craziest thing to go through. I enjoyed every bit of being pregnant. It was an amazing experience for me. My husband on the other hand was very nervous. He worried about everything. If she was going to be healthy, have any problems or if anything was going to go wrong. The 20 week ultrasound did make things easier for him once he was capable to see her full body and the results came out well. Everything was right on track, actually she was even measuring a week ahead. I had a feeling since day one she was going to come early and not be late. At 30 weeks she was in breech position (head up), so around 32 weeks my doctor scheduled an extra ultrasound to get a better look at her position. He wasn’t worried that she didn’t have room to grow but he wanted to see if she’d have room to flip. After the ultrasound was done he said more then likely we will be scheduling a Cesarean delivery if she doesn’t flip by my next appointment at 34 weeks. Plus she was measuring at a estimated delivery date for June 25th. Well not by surprise she had not flipped so the C-Section was scheduled for June 27th. Even if she did end up flipping last minute (which we were pretty sure she wouldn’t) he said he’d allow me to go into labor on my own but there was still a possibility I would need a C-Section because my uterus may not contract fully and I may not dilate all the way to 10 centimeters. Well at my next appointment she was still in breech position. I was a little bummed only because I wanted the full experience of going into labor. Though at this point of my pregnancy things were very uncomfortable and Summer was starting off really hot this season. So I was ready for her to be here. I did everything I could to keep busy and try not to count down the days. I was enjoying the last few weeks I had being me, being a wife, not worrying about anyone else and having all the freedom in the world to do what I want, when I wanted. I was sleeping as much as I wanted and we were out on the boat with our friends enjoying the beginning of Summer up to the last few days I had. The 27th was just around the corner but so far away. I WAS READY!!!
Photo Credit: Desirae Monroe Photography
SHE’S OUR BEST ADVENTURE
June 26, 2018 - 7:43 pm
7 lbs 11 oz 20 inches
That last week before my scheduled C-section was the hardest. My belly was so heavy and big. I remember a stranger one time making a comment, “Oh, you must be ready to pop?” I just replied, “Nope, still have 6 weeks left!” She responded with the question if I was having twins. I knew I looked big and good thing I was secure with how big I looked, otherwise I might have cried or punched someone. If that was 6 weeks before my due date, you could imagine what it was like that last week. I found myself exhausted easier, my feet would start to ache and swell up to the point it was hard to walk. The heat was not helping one bit. I didn’t let it stop me, I just kept busy. The day before my C-section I had my friend come over to help me make sure everything was checked off my list. Really, I just needed some company to help the day go by faster. All morning I was getting aches all over my back and below my belly. I was feeling bloated and crampy, as if I was going to start my period. Every movement was uncomfortable. My friend mentioned it was the same pains her sister in law had, then later that night she went into labor. We just laughed it off not thinking anything of it. I kept carrying on with my morning, ate my breakfast and got the last of my list checked off. My husband called to check on me and let me know he would be home after he went by the grocery store to grab snacks to have in our hospital room. I hung up and realized, “That’s everything!” I double and triple checked the bags and it was all packed. “Okay, baby you can come now!” I said to myself out loud. My friend was getting ready to leave. I was standing over the changing table when I stopped in my tracks hunched over trying to breathe from another cramp. I went to walk out to say goodbye when all of a sudden I thought I pee’d a little in my pants. Wait, no that’s not pee. It kept coming and the “pee” wouldn’t stop. It was something I had never felt before. I yelled to my friend, “Uhhh, I’m pretty sure my water just broke!” She came running into the bathroom thinking I was being silly or mistaken it for peeing myself. Well there was no mistake, my water broke. I was sitting on the toilet and it was as if someone just turned on a faucet and I couldn’t turn it off. We started to laugh because we had to call my husband back to inform him of the news knowing he wouldn’t take us seriously. He of course thought we were kidding, I had to stop laughing to tell him this was the real thing. I called my doctors office to let them know that I’m heading in soon and not tomorrow as scheduled because this girl wants out today BUT not until I had a shower. I sent out a group snap letting my family know that we’d be heading into labor and delivery soon because baby girl is coming. I jumped in the shower and honestly took my time. The cramps, (which now I am realizing have been contractions) had actually slowed down and I could barely feel them. Between my friend and husband they got the car seat and bags in the car. Once all was taken care of we headed to the hospital. I realized that not even an hour before my water broke I had ate breakfast, so I was going to have to wait it out until it had digested and they could do the C-section. We got to the hospital and my doctor confirmed it was for sure my water that broke. After about an hour we got into a room and I had to wait it out 7 hours. We arrived at 12:30 pm and my doctor said at 7 pm was when he would get me in. My poor husband was starving so I sent him out to get food, while I had my parents come keep me company. I had my dad and my brother give me a blessing. I always have a blessing given to me when I feel I need that extra guidance from my Heavenly Father. Even though my whole pregnancy went a lot better then expected, I still wasn’t in the clear. I wanted this C-section to go well. It was about 3 pm when things really started moving along for me. I did say I wanted to have the full experience of going into labor. Well I was getting that experience. Things were pretty tolerable until about 5:30 pm, that’s when I said, “If it gets any worse then what I was feeling, I don’t know if I could wait until 7 pm.” Well there wasn’t much they could do. I wasn’t dilated and the contractions weren’t half as bad as they could have got. I just knew that what I was feeling was not comfortable. As soon as I could relax and breathe, another contraction would come on. They were right on top of each other. I had maybe a minute in between each one. My doctor came in around 7 pm and said that they were just waiting for a room to open up and we’d be having a baby. He was on top of it because by 7:20 pm I was in the operating room. I was nervous throughout my pregnancy wondering what it would be like and how I would feel knowing that on the other side of a curtain my body was cut open. Well it wasn’t what I thought at all. I was so drugged up I didn’t really know what they were doing. I was aware of everything around me and talking to my husband just fine. My poor husband was the one freaking out. He did better then I thought he would but he did not want to see on the other side of that curtain. All of a sudden I hear my doctor say, “There’s her leg!” The emotions that took over my body was unbelievable. It was as if a light switch went on and the tears of excitement came rolling down. Then my doctor said, “She’s here girl, she’s here and looks beautiful!” I just kept an eye on the nurse waiting for Aria to be handed over. As soon as the nurse grabbed her I wanted to jump up. They told my husband he could come over by the table, he was worried about standing up because he would get the sight of what was on the other side of the curtain. I told him to turn his back to me and then stand up. He walked over to see her and the first thing he said to me was, “I think she looks like me.” I just wanted to see her, hold her and love on her. They bring her over to me and she was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. She was so chill, calm and very aware. She had the cutest chubby and rosey cheeks. She was mine! She was my little girl! I couldn’t believe she was finally here. I got a few minutes with her before my husband was told that the two of them were going to now head to recovery so the doctors could finish up with me and I would be there shortly. As soon as I got into the recovery area, I asked my husband how she was doing and he responded, “Good, she’s perfect.” I could see in his face how much he was in love with her. It filled my heart up so much. Those first few hours together I will never forget that time. We were a family, just the 3 of us. We went through so much to get here. Every bump in the road, every struggle was worth it. She was more then what we ever expected, she was truly perfect. Our Heavenly Father has blessed us with his child and she was now OUR BEAUTIFUL MIRACLE!
Photo Credit: Desirae Monroe Photography
To My Daughter…
Life as I knew it has changed every bit but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love being home with you, watching you grow and learn so many new things every day. We are blessed to have daddy that works so hard to provide for us and give us the wonderful life we have. It may have taken us longer than expected to get here but everything happens for a reason. I have grown so much as a person this last 2 years during this journey. You, Aria have given my life a whole new purpose. I want you to have the best but also understand that it won’t always come easy either. You have so many personality traits like myself but you are also so much like your father. We made one beautiful little girl and I know that guiding you into the person you will want to be one day will have trials and tribulations. If you are anything like us, we will have one stubborn daughter. I know I may not always be the perfect mother but I will do my best. I know that you will probably one day tell me you hate me (I hope not) but I will try not to take it personally. I will be your best friend but I will be your MOTHER first. Aria Corinne I hope you will one day look back on this and see how special you are to your family. We love you more than words can express and always remember where you came from and that you are a CHILD OF GOD!