Secondary Infertility: The Struggle is Real

Sometime last year my husband and I decided that three kids would be good for us. Our two are getting slightly older and we were ready to tackle being outnumbered. Our first two came so easily. I never thought that we’d have trouble with a third…

Yet, here we are…

Secondary Infertility.

secondary

This past March I was feeling a little funky one morning. Decided to take a pregnancy test. Sure enough, positive. It was a pretty faint positive but I figured it was just because I was so early on. I went to the doctors the next day for bloodwork and started bleeding shortly after. My HCG count was only 15 and my progesterone level was dangerously low at 0.7— AKA, a chemical pregnancy.

I was a little discouraged because as soon as you see a positive pregnancy test the excitement kicks in. I was happy at least because I was able to get pregnant.

I tracked ovulation the best that I could. My doctor put me on progesterone supplements to take. I was doing everything right. Nothing was happening. I was discouraged and just kind of threw my hands in the air and stopped caring after several cycles.

Fast forward a few months, here we are in July.
Same thing. I was feeling sluggish and just slightly off so I decided to take another test. Positive. More positive looking than the first one. This was a Saturday morning so I took another one Sunday. Another one Monday. They were all getting slightly darker and I thought, “yup, this is it.”

chemical pregnancy tests

I called the doctors office Monday and they told me that my doctor wasn’t in but they would call me the following day to see what she wanted me to do. I scheduled an ultrasound appointment for when I would be 8 weeks. The next day she called me in to do the same blood tests as before… HCG & Progesterone.

Driving home from my blood draw, I started bleeding.

Seriously? 

It was also one of the most traumatic blood draws of my life. Proof.

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So I called the office the following day with my period in full effect. I told the nurse what was happening and got my results. My HCG was 19 and my progesterone a whopping 9.8 —- wayyyyy too low. Again, another chemical pregnancy.

So my next step is waiting until that “8 week pregnancy” appointment and just having a chat with my doctor. They plan on doing a full workup and seeing if they can find any reason this keeps happening other than the fact that I know I ovulate late and my progesterone sucks.

I’m quite stuck between a rock and a hard place on this one. We want a third and I think later in life I’ll be mad at myself if I don’t give it an honest try. I’m not talking IVF honest try because that’s not for our family but at least a good workup and possibly some medications.

We’ll see. For all of you struggling with secondary infertility, you’re not alone.

How I Knew I Was Pregnant… {+Giveaway}

clearblue1Finding out that you’re pregnant is one of the most emotional times in your life. It feels like one second it’s just you in your body and as soon as that stick tells you otherwise… You’re creating and protecting another tiny little human. It’s a moment filled with all different emotions for everyone. For me, especially the first time, it was shock, excitement, and nervousness. heart-pregnant-belly-hands

As many of you know, I have two children. I have only been pregnant twice. With my first, my son Everett, I was not expecting to get that results that I got. My husband was living in Texas and I was finishing up my last 5 months of school before moving down there to be with him. We weren’t thinking that we were going to start a family anytime soon. The world had different plans for us. I was sharing a bottle of wine (or five) with my roommate and found a pregnancy test in one of my drawers. As a joke, I decided to take it. Well, joke was on me. I was in complete shock. It was probably the greatest shock the universe has ever thrown at me.

September of 2011: As you can see life was quite different back then. Not better by any means, just different.

September of 2011: As you can see life was quite different back then. Not better by any means, just different.

With Aria, my second child, my husband and I were actually trying. I went off of birth control about 2 months prior and we were just playing the “lets see what happens game.” I had a girlfriend over the night before and we had a few beers. The next morning I woke up and felt AWFUL. It was beyond just hungover and I didn’t drink nearly enough to cause the way I was feeling.  I decided to take a test. Thus Aria made her announcement. I actually used the Clearblue weeks estimator and got the same 1-2 as pictured above. I was about 3-4 weeks pregnant at that point!

The month before we welcomed by second into this world.

The month before we welcomed by second into this world.

Oh, and with BOTH pregnancies in the very early weeks I had the strangest eye twitch. My left eye would randomly twitch for hours on end. It was happening before I tested with both of them. You’d think I was have remembered that the second time it started happening again but mommy brain is a real thing. eye

This topic of how you knew you were pregnant is so interesting to me I decided to ask my followers on my Facebook fan page. It’s amazing how everyones body reacts so different to these changes. A few of the responses are…

  • The only thing I wanted to eat was horseradish sauce. Everything else made me sick.
    -Stephanie, Michigan
  •  I thought I had the stomach flu with my first son took a test cause i wasnt getting better… Very Surprised test was positive after docs said i would have a very hard time getting pregnant. I was already 3 months along!
    -Amanda, Michigan
  • With my first, I ate Big Macs from McDonald’s everyday for two weeks. I had NO IDEA I was pregnant. I just had never had a Big Mac before.  Two weeks into it I decided that I couldn’t keep eating them or else I’d be as big as a house. Well, I tried my hardest that day, but the craving was unbearable! I went and bought myself one and then stopped at Walmart for some sweatpants because my pants were all too tight.  I decided that my cravings were too much and I bought a Clearblue test. I was too anxious to wait so I went right to the Walmart bathroom. Of course it said I was pregnant!  
    -Melanie, Delaware
  • I got a UTI. I went to the hospital and surprise!
    -Debbie, Massachusetts
  • I was extremely tired like wiped out ready to be in bed by 7.
    -Alison, Texas
This was 39 weeks and 1 day pregnant with my first. He was born 4 days after this picture was taken.

This was 39 weeks and 1 day pregnant with my first. He was born 4 days after this picture was taken.

clearblue-easy-weeks-estimator-january-2015-box

Feel free to check out Clearblue’s YouTube channel for all kinds of information including exactly how it works and what doctors are saying about this amazing new advancement!

Regardless of how your mommy instincts tell you that you’re pregnant, Clearblue pregnancy tests are a great way to confirm what so many of us already know.

Indications for use: The Clearblue Advanced Pregnancy Test with Weeks Estimator is an over-the-counter urine hCG test which is intended for the detection of pregnancy. The test detects hCG in some cases from 4 days before the expected period (which is 5 days before the day of the missed period).

This test is only intended for individual use at home. It is not intended for use in a healthcare setting.

This test contains a ‘Weeks Estimator.’ The ‘Weeks Estimator’ is meant solely as an estimate for the consumer and is not intended as a substitute for a doctor’s clinical diagnosis. The ’Weeks Estimator’ is not intended for multiple pregnancies. The estimate provided by the device may be inaccurate in these cases.

This test cannot be used to determine the duration of pregnancy or to monitor the progression of pregnancy. Your doctor determines how many weeks pregnant you are based on the first day of your last menstrual period and ultrasound results. This test provides a different estimate that cannot be substituted for a doctor’s determination of gestational age. Only your doctor can provide a reliable estimate of gestational age and only your doctor can monitor pregnancy progression. You should seek qualified prenatal care if you suspect you are pregnant.

 Clearblue is giving away one of these incredible tests to one lucky reader! Just enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


This is a sponsored post on behalf of Clearblue Easy and BabyCenter. Unconventional Mommy Tails is not responsible for shipment of the prize. A winner will be chosen on 1/12/15 and will have 48 hours to claim their prize via email or a new winner will be chosen.

Guest Post: Try Aqua Aerobics While Pregnant

aquaaerobicsYou have exercised for the last several years, and you’ve been really diligent with it. Now it’s time to start a family. You’ve heard that there are wonderful exercise programs that you can use during a pregnancy, but you wonder what will work for you. Consider the advantages of the water – not for swimming, but for aqua aerobics.

A gym in the water. When you become pregnant, your body will be undergoing plenty of changes. Why not find a workout routine that you can do the whole time you are carrying? Aqua aerobics is safe throughout a pregnancy, and it’s not just one option – think of aqua aerobics as a gym in the water. You can perform a whole variety of water exercises that will provide a low impact alternative to a gym workout. Consider being able to get in a cardio workout, with the gentle coolness of the water supporting your body and easing aching muscles. Here are some great resources with more information about water workouts during pregnancy:

The buoyancy of water. One of the biggest advantages of water workouts – the body only has to support a fraction of its own weight, due to the effect of buoyancy. You feel a lightness in the water, which will give your joints a break, especially your knees and ankles. Consider being able to even get in some weight work, but standing in the coolness of that water, with your body feeling very light. Those bicep curls you do with water weights will really improve your strength – which will later come in handy when you’re carrying the baby around the house.

So you can’t swim? That’s not a problem, because most aqua aerobics routines take place in water that is no more than chest deep. You will stand with your feet firmly on the bottom during almost every exercise, and if there’s one that takes place in the deep end – just skip that one.

Check with the doctor. Especially if you’re just starting out with exercise, be sure to have your doctor clear you for workouts, and make sure you follow his guidance.

Get in your cardio workout. One of the most enjoyable exercise sessions with a great cardio benefit is an aqua walk. Just head to the indoor community pool when the lap lanes are open, and begin walking up and down a lane, just like you would at the park. The soothing coolness of the water will actually become a relaxing component as you mellow into a walking rhythm. Time will pass quickly, you’ll feel great afterward, and be completely refreshed. Put a water bottle at the end of the lane, because though it won’t feel like it because you’re in the water, you’ll be sweating some. Imagine how great that walk will feel in the summer when it’s too hot to do anything outdoors.

Practice moderation. Sure, you may have been a competitive runner in college, but you have a different priority now – you’re exercising for two. Don’t overdo your workouts. In the first trimester, a workout can include at least 30 minutes of cardio around 5 days a week. By the second trimester, taper back the cardio to 2 to 3 days a week, and use lighter weights. By the third trimester you’ll be cutting back on the exercise, so always be aware as your body changes, and be moderate in your exercise expectations.

Smile as you walk in the water, knowing you are doing something that will keep both you and your baby in top health.

Kaitlin Gardner started AnApplePerDay.com to further her passion for a family friendly, green living lifestyle. She is married to her college sweetheart and lives in Pennsylvania. She and her husband enjoy going for long hikes, to get out and enjoy nature. She is working on her first book about ways to live an eco-friendly, healthy, natural life.

Pre-Birth Checklist

prebirthchecklistI have some really “type A” personality tendencies. I just like things to be organized, have a plan, and run smoothly. If things are unknown and disorderly, I get a little stressed about them. So before even going to the hospital or starting labor I compiled a little checklist to make sure things go smoothly when I’m away. I also figured that this list would make the transition back home a little more bearable.

  • Freezer Meals. One of the first things I did in preparation for coming home was prepare freezer meals. I’m sure the last thing I’m going to want to do once she’s born is spend time in the kitchen making food for the family. I also don’t want to be ordering out every night so freezer meals was the perfect solution.
  • Hire a housecleaner. I know this sounds extreme but for the past month or so I’ve been unable to really get down and clean the way I like things done. I don’t want to bring baby girl home and be annoyed with dust bunnies or have to think about scrubbing toilets. I’m going to have someone come in when I’m in the hospital or in the days that I get home to just do a general deep clean of the house. I’m sure my husband would help out with this but I’m also positive that it wouldn’t get done to my standards.
  • Pack Hospital Bag. This is something that I’m pretty sure all women have prepared before they go into labor, or they should. The last thing you want to do if your water breaks is run around the house packing clothes.
  • Arrange care for other children. I think this is going to be the hardest part of being in the hospital, by far. My son is 19 months and I have never spent a single night away from him. I have a few people that I can call day or night to come over and hang out with him while we rush off to the hospital. Since I might be having a planned day for trying to turn her, induction/c-section it’ll make this a lot easier. We plan on my husband going home in the evening to be with our son.
  • Install Car Seat. I want this done before she’s even here just because we now have two car seats and I want to make sure that they safely fit and are installed properly.
  • Set up Swings, Bouncers, ect. I like to have all the baby items ready to be used as soon as we walk in the door. If you’ve ever put together baby items, they can be a horrendous pain. Having them done avoids unnecessary frustration. This obviously includes the nursery but I’m pretty sure that everyone has that done prior to the baby being born, unless they’re insane.

Now, with all that done I feel a bit more ready and complete.
With that being said there are still a few things that I’m waiting to do till she’s born that are slightly stressing me out. They are all things that I kind of need her here to determine so I just have to get over it.

  • I don’t have very many clothes for her. Especially in the newborn size. I’m waiting to see how big she is before I stock up on a ton of clothes that will only get used for a short period of time.
  • I have three bottles. I’m planning on breastfeeding but pumping so my husband can also bond with her and feed at some point. I don’t want to buy a ton of bottles to figure out what ones she’s going to like so I figured I’d do that when she’s born.
  • I have one box of diapers. This isn’t because of money or anything like that but more so I don’t want to stock up on sizes that won’t fit.

 

Maternity Photo Session with Ivy Rose Photos

maternityLast weekend I got the pleasure of shooting a few maternity shots with a local San Antonio Maternity Photographer, Ivy Rose Photography. I wasn’t originally planning on doing a maternity shoot since I didn’t do one with Everett, but I’m so glad that I did.
Melanie was absolutely fantastic. She’s professional and does a great job of not making you feel awkward in front of the camera. I’ll let her photo’s speak for themselves. MaternityIMG_6211IMG_6103IMG_6100wmIMG_6090So if you’re in San Antonio and looking for a great local San Antonio Maternity Photographer, check out Ivy Rose! You can also find her on Facebook here.

Significant Other Assisted Personal Grooming

personalgroomingI need to start off this post by  sending off an apology to my family. I can already see my mothers face as she’s reading this shaking her head in disappointment that her daughter is talking about shaving private areas on the internet. No mom, I won’t take this down. It’s meant to be funny so just sit back and have a little chuckle. Oh, and mom! You should start commenting on things instead of just calling me and yelling about them. The internet would love you!
Anyways…
As pregnant women everywhere know there comes a point in your pregnancy where your belly covers your lady bits and you’re no longer able to see them. It’s the inevitable so if you’re into keeping up with yourself you need to formulate a plan for when this time comes. A lot of people suggest a mirror. They either fog up on me or I almost fall trying to hold it. I’m clumsy as it is but adding twenty some pounds to the front of my body doesn’t help. Other women have suggested just having your partner do it for you…
I thought about it. I thought long and hard about it. I even went as to far as to ask my husband if he’d do it for me. He agreed. Then, I thought more. shavedfaceHave you ever seen a man shave his face? It’s not gentle in fact it’s totally violent. They run that thing over their faces with out any care and don’t even look at what they’re doing. My husband currently is just shaving his face with the head of the razor because he somehow lost the handle. That’s how “careful” he is about it. It’s terrifying to think that I would even entertain the idea of  handing my husband something that can be used as a weapon and asking him to do something so personal. Sure, you can tell them what to do but it takes one slip of the hand and you’ve got an issue on your hand.

Be brave and share. Has anyone let their significant other do this for them? I need some real life experiences here!

I think I’ll stick to doing it blind or go pay for a damn wax.

Pregnancy Dreams; What The Heck Is Going On Inside My Head?

pregnancydreams

When I’m not pregnant my dreams are pretty timid and what I consider to be normal; that is if I even remember them at all. Apparently, during pregnancy all of the extra hormones make sleep time more like I’m watching some kind of crazy movie. I’m not sure if I’m actually tired all the time or just anxious to get to sleep to see what is going to happen that night.

I knew I couldn’t be alone in this strange symptom and after doing some research I learned that I’m definitely not. Apparently the reasoning behind being able to remember a lot more has to do with the fact that most sleep during pregnancy is being interrupted. You’re constantly tossing, turning, waking to run to the bathroom, or even stirring because of anxiety. It’s all completely normal. As for the topics of dreams being crazier than normal; that has to do with a surge of progesterone. I guess for me I just like to have a  scientific reasoning behind it.

Now, a lot of my research has brought out my curiosity to start to “decode” these vivid dreams. I really don’t believe in any of that and still don’t much after looking into it more. A lot of what I found was very vague and just tells me that my dreams are representing my fears. I don’t think I’m afraid of my husband buying me a horse and me naming him Bubbles. Nope, that’d actually be fantastic. Maybe I should dig a little deeper into that dream and say I’m afraid of baby girl coming out the size of a horse. Yes, now that’d be terrifying.

Lets get a little personal now! Here are a few of my crazy dreams from the past few weeks. 

  • I mentioned above that my husband bought me a horse that I named bubbles. He brought it into the bedroom and it had a giant bow on it’s head. I wasn’t even questioning the fact that there was a horse in our bedroom. When I woke up, I expected bubbles to be there.
  • I dreamt about a girl that I’ve never met in person. She was a “pimp” and trying to get people to sleep with Shaquille O’Neil. I was upset and told her “NO WAY” since I hated the movie Shazaam. That was my reasoning.
  • My best friend and her boyfriend were having a party; except her boyfriend wasn’t actually himself. He was Aaron Paul’s character in Breaking Bad. They were having some kind of crazy meth party and for some reason that didn’t concern me. What I was mad about was that they invited an ex of mine that I’d prefer not to hang out with. In my dream, I went to the party anyways. I went swimming and while I was in the pool people hid my clothes in a tree. I couldn’t get them down so I made a dress out of rocks. It was a pretty cool dress.
  • Before I knew the sex of the baby I went in for an ultrasound to find out if we’d be welcoming another boy or a girl to our family. In my dream, the ultrasound technician goes “Congrats, It’s a Kitten!” I replied with “oh man, I really wanted a baby or even a puppy.”

I think I’m going to start a “dream diary” to document these because they are that funny. Anyone brave enough to share some of their dreams? GO!

The Differences I’ve Noticed in Being Pregnant with a Girl vs. a Boy

boyvsgirl I know a lot of couples that from the second they get a confirmation that they’re expecting they’re already wondering what sex the baby is going to be. Some are patient and want that delivery room surprise; I am not that person. I found myself on google looking at all the old wives tales and researching the difference between boy and girl pregnancies. I know that every pregnancy is different and none of it is a science but it’s still fun! So, now that I’m further along and know for sure that this second baby is indeed a girl I decided to make note of all the differences between my two pregnancies that may or may not be an indication that this one was a different sex than my first! Again, obviously none of this is a science or researched, it’s just my opinion.

  • Below is ultrasounds of both my pregnancies around the same point of gestation. I was about 6-7 weeks in both as these were my confirmation of pregnancy ultrasounds. The picture on the right is a little zoomed in and he was actually implanted more on the left side of the picture. The little girl is implanted on the right side. I’ve seen some people online say that this is a sign of the sex because the “males swim farther.” I’m not sure if that’s true at all but in my case my children just so happen to start off on opposites sides.

babygirlandeverett

  • The heart rate of the babies is one of the most talked about differences between the two. Most people say that a lower heart rate signifies a boy when a higher will turn out to be a girl. Everett was always around 140 beats per minute even from when he was tiny. Baby girl is always between 160 and 170 beats per minute. I guess this wives tale holds true for me!
  • My morning sickness was a lot worse with my pregnancy with my boy. I vomited nearly every single day and felt nauseous constantly. This time I still get the random nausea moments but I don’t really vomit. I’m not sure which one is better, ha. I felt better after I got sick.
  • This time I have terrible sciatica. The first pregnancy I experienced little to no back pain whatsoever.
  • I feel generally “less attractive” and bigger this time around. I’m sure half of it has to do with the fact that I’ve started showing a lot sooner with this pregnancy than my first. I hear that’s very common.

    For example, this is me at 26 weeks with Everett. It’s basically exactly what my belly looks like now at 17 weeks. I’m a tad smaller but not much!

26 weeks with everett

 

  • I’m craving sweet things like crazy. I’ll make a full dinner and eat half of it because it just doesn’t hit the spot. I want things like cake, ice cream, and cookies. Of course, i’m not just eating that but I do indulge.

If you’ve had pregnancies with opposite sexes, I’d love to hear of any differences that you’ve noticed!

Our Plan For Gender Reveal on Baby #2

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With our first son we didn’t do much of a gender reveal. We went to the hospital for a routine ultrasound and found out the sex. The only thing that was a bit of a reveal about it was the fact that I graduated that evening and told everyone that I was going to wear either pink or blue shoes.

With this one I decided that I don’t want to find out by some stranger telling me while having the ultrasound. So i’ve done some thinking and decided on a bit of a more dramatic and exciting reveal.

THE PLAN
We have an early ultrasound planned for New Years Eve at noon. I’ll only be 15 weeks but they offer gender screening at this point. It’s not through my doctors office whom I’ll have one at 20 weeks but through a separate company. Yes, I’m impatient. Don’t judge me. We’re going to go in at noon and have them place the gender, if baby cooperates, in an envelope. We won’t be opening it and we’ll leave the office as clueless as we went in. From there, I’ll be heading over to a bakery and giving them the envelope. I’ll have them fill cupcakes with either pink or blue frosting.  Then, at midnight my husband and I will take big bites and find out what we’re having! I say midnight but we’ll see if I make it that long.