February 27, 2011

Nursery Planning - Ideas and Inspiration

I think we're about 90% completed with the nursery planning phase. I stressed and stressed over the nursery bedding, which I knew would be the main inspiration point. I couldn't look at curtains, accent pillows, fabric lined baskets, wall decals, lamps, ... really anything without making a decision on the bedding.

The stress started when I couldn't find anything WE liked at Target or Babies R Us (where we registered). There were tons that I liked, but DH veto'd. (Looking back I'm glad he did, because I'm totally infatuated with the crib bedding set we ending up choosing!) I also stressed because at one point my sister and I were totally set on sewing a custom set! We had the pictures printed, the pattern picked out and purchased, and all of the measurements and totals written down..... the problem? I LOST the paper with all of the measurements. When I was ready to start buying fabric, it was no where to be found. Thanks Pregnancy Brain. Again, looking back, I'm glad I lost it! :)

So here it is! Our crib bedding, Lulu Sweet Potato by Glenna Jean:

This set was priced a bit more than I was planning on spending. Our original plan of sewing a custom set would have saved us at least $100-$150, so you can imagine how elated I was when my sister told me she would buy us our bedding! I was speechless when I found out she also added the mobile and valence to her purchase! I love my sister so!

Our crib was purchased during Thanksgiving of last year, thanks to my wonderful in-laws!! We went with the Graco Lauren when it went on sale for about $130 w/ a FREE changing table!

DH and I purchased the chest of drawers in January and went with Ikea's Hemnes collection. We originally wanted to go with the tall 6-drawer chest, but when we realized that the 6-drawer was really only 1 large drawer more for $100 more, we went with the 3-drawer instead! The one large drawer and 2 small drawer difference wasn't worth an extra $100 in our opinion! We are very pleased with the drawer space and tall height on the 3 drawer option!

DH and I plan to add this shelving unit in March as the last piece of furniture for the nursery:

I'm undecided on a glider. The ones I love are $300-$400. Eeeeck!

Wall Decals
Since we're renting at the moment and unsure if we're going to stay here past October, we may just go with decorative wall decals to give the walls some color. I've found a guy who can duplicate the large flower decals seen on the picture of the crib bedding!

I'd also like to add our own version of these!

Her name above her crib... this will be tricky as we won't decide on a name until AFTER delivery! :)

...and this quote, which DH and I loathe CORRECTION by the college educated hubby who informed me I didn't know what "loathe" means: love. It's sort of our mantra within our marriage. We went without THINGS for 3 years to be able to bring this little girl into the world... and still be able to attend school... all while maintaining a one car household... with one full time income. And, we plan to continue to do so after she arrives!

February 21, 2011

Coming out of the blog closet...

Originally, my blog was private. I didn't intend on telling the entire world I was infertile. I was going through something so horrible, that I didn't feel like I could talk with anyone (other than hubby, of course). No one I knew had ever battled this. I needed a place to write my private emotions, feelings, and decisions. My blog was accessible to those battling infertility (IF) like myself. Their comments and prayers carried me through, and I will be forever grateful to those ladies.

Today I make my blog public. If you're reading my blog for the first time, welcome! I hope that you or someone who is close to you is battling the hell called infertility, and just maybe our journey will help in some way whether it be motivational or knowledgeable. If you have no idea what IF is or if you're just nosy, I welcome you too!

I urge you to use the abbreviation key to the right. I use a lot of abbreviations and some readers can easily get confused.

Most people have no idea how hard we tried for this baby and I don't mean by having non-stop baby making sex (BD'ing)... so here's an outline of our IF journey:

- December 2007, decided it was time and we were ready to start a family. Discontinued birth control (BC).

- After reading TCOYF, started charting my cycles. Charts showed no ovulation.

- In 2008, battled a 6 mth long cycle. 2 FAILED attempts w/ Prometrium and 1 FAILED attempt with Natural Progesterone Cream to start a new cycle. Last attempt with Provera, finally brought a new cycle (aka AF)! (This was my first suspicion that I may have a condition called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS); my research on PCOS began); also tried herbs - Vitex and Soy Isoflavones

- December 2008, lab results came back w/ slightly high testosterone and diagnosed "borderline PCOS"

- During 2009, we went through six FAILED Clomid cycles. Ovulation (O) observed on first cycle. All other cycles, no ovulation. Battled large cysts after first and second cycles w/ Clomid.

- August 2009, we started to see a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE)/Infertility Specialist who diagnosed me as "perfectly PCOS" after thorough testing of DH and I - hysterosalpingogram (HSG), sperm analysis (SA), misc blood work, etc.

- October 2009, I participated in a clinical research study for PCOS women who were attempting to conceive.

- After battling for 2 years, DH and I took a break and tried naturally for 6 months.

- After 6 months and further research, I asked to be tested for Insulin Resistance. My insulin levels came back ABNORMAL and I started to take Metformin to assist with the symptoms. Ovulation did not restore on it's own.

- August 21, 2010 (our last cycle in hell), took Femara 2.5 mg on cycle days 3-7 and ovulated for only the 2nd time in 3 years!!

- September 22, 2010, we were very surprised to learn our battle with infertility was over and a new battle began! :P

I always knew deep down, annovulation was our problem. Everything else checked out perfectly normal, except for the one little fact that I did not ovulate. I prayed to God that he would just give me that one chance. All I wanted was to ovulate just once. He gave me my chance, and I took every single bit of research and knowledge I had attained and used it!

Was Femara my miracle drug? Maybe. Or maybe it was the combo of Metformin and Femara. Over the course of the 3 years I lost about 20-25 pounds as well. I also changed my food choices to organic. Whatever the combination was, we found the right one! During the 3 long years of our journey, we cried, we hoped, I prayed, we researched, we endured disappointment, we felt relieved to have answers, we researched some more, we counted our blessings, ...but most importantly, we focused on the light at the end of the tunnel, and we believed one day we'd get there.

Today marks 99 days to go! If our baby girl were born tomorrow she'd have an 80-90% chance at survival. After going through what we've endured for 3 long emotional years, those numbers are comforting to Daddy and I and today we celebrate our baby girl!

February 14, 2011

Valentine’s Day

My honest opinion of Valentine’s Day is this... It’s just another day with a label that requires everyone to spend money on unnecessary items. If your SO needs a day to say and do romantic things, you need a new SO! Just sayin’! Hah! You’d think I was single talking like that! :P

Well, it’s true!

This year I told DH that I didn’t want him spending (a.k.a. WASTING) money on Valentine’s Day gifts for me. If he was going to spend money, he needed to spend it on our daughter!! So, as my V-day gift, guess what I got?!?!


I’m stoked! Because this is a MUST HAVE for baby girl. Here in Texas allergies are killer and if she’s our daughter she will battle them, like her parents do! We also have two dogs and a cat, so unless my baby has magical powers this item will be used!!

I’m so happy he bought the one we registered for AND he used a 15% coupon!! I teach him so well! And naturally it’s a FROG! DH’s TCU Horned Frogs = Frog Humidifier for baby girl! :P

Speaking of TCU...here’s what I gave DH for V-day!!

I had it custom made for him and our baby girl! It’s a TCU Cloth Pocket Diaper by Squeezie Cheeks!! It’s size small, so it won’t fit her for a while, but I LOVE it and DH loved it too!!

I did come home to a steak and lobster dinner AND fresh flowers! So he did go against the "no money spent on me rule", BUT he said he shopped around at 3 places before buying the flowers! I love him more and more when he makes an effort to save us money! :) Happy V-day Everyone! I hope you feel as loved as I do today!

February 10, 2011

Baby girl needs a name!

I didn't realize naming our daughter would be so difficult. I thought that was the fun part!? I blame every bit of stress and agony on myself! I am OCD. I am a planner. I must plan every little detail. I must feel prepared. If I fail at least I know I did everything I could to PLAN ahead.

We both wanted a unique name - nothing TOO common, but nothing too over the top or foreign to the English language. So when choosing a name here's what I considered:

- the spelling and could it be easily pronounced and/or spelled
- the appearance when written in cursive - I swayed away from names starting with the letter I, because I don't like the way "I" looks in cursive or written in script letter. It appears like an "L" in some instances.
- her initials - My initials are AA or AGA (with middle name). I prefer her not to have a double initial like BAA or BBA, etc.
- the appearance of her monogram - My monogram reads AAG and I HATE the way that looks! I've never had anything monogrammed for this reason!
- the name meaning - must have a positive meaning, nothing negative (like devilish) or nothing too biblical (DH is Atheist).

Ok, so I'm little picky with all of these conditions, but we did come up with two favorites:

Option #1 - Helene Gayle (DH's favorite)
Meaning: "bright one" or "shining one" or "light"

We both loved Helene, but we struggled with choosing an appropriate middle name. Nothing seemed to flow well. She needed something short and sweet - maybe one syllable. After vetoing many middle names, DH suggested my middle name - Gayle. Not my most favorite name in the world, but it actually fit, and I wouldn't mind "giving" her my middle name. My oldest sister actually has my mom's middle name, so this was a little bit of a tradition we were starting here, I suppose. The one thing I don't like about this choice is her monogram. She would NEVER be able to have anything monogrammed, because it would appear like this:

Ummmm. No!

I'm ok with her never being about to have anything monogrammed. I did fine without it.

Option #2 and my favorite - Aiyana Helene
Meaning: "forever flowering" or "eternal blossom"

My favorite has always been Aiyana w/ the middle name of Helene. I love Aiyana, but I love Helene too! With this name I feared the spelling/pronunciation aspect. Will she be correcting incorrect pronunciations and spellings all her life? Possibly. But it's so beautiful and unique!

So how are we going to decide? We've decided to wait to name our daughter until we've met her! We'll give her the name that seems to fit her the best.

I wanted to incorporate her name into the nursery in a couple of places, so I'm a little bummed we'll need to wait to "finish" off her nursery. I think in the end though, we'll be more content to name her this way and not have to hear everyone's opinions of either choice for the next few months!

I added a poll to the top right of my blog. We would love to know which name is your favorite!

February 8, 2011

24 weeks - Week of Viability

Today I noticed my babystrology.com widget says 112 days left. WOW. In 13 days I'll be saying "DOUBLE DIGITS-99 days left". WOW. That's crazy to think about...

Some say this is the "week of viability". If baby girl were to be born today, she would have a 40-70% chance at survival. Next week, her chance of survival jumps to 50-80%. Then at week 26, an 80-90% chance. A greater than 50% chance is great, but I'm most comfortable with the 80-90% chance at week 26! So, I'm going to hold off my celebrations for when I can say "99 days left". That will be a huge milestone and we'll have more than one reason to celebrate! I'm such an overachiever! ;)

I'm also planning to make my blog public on that day. I have mixed feelings about it. I feel like I'll be opening up all of my secrets to the world. Are they really secrets? NO. But that's what it feels like. I'm ready for the world to know what DH and I have been through, but I'm really bad with handling the comments, opinions, or judgments - especially the ones I didn't ask for. But, on the other hand, if my journey can help one person then it will all be worth it! :)

Things are still going great. I've been battling bad heartburn, indigestion, and some round ligament pain (RLP). But nothing I can't handle. I do think that sometimes I may have a braxton hicks contraction (BH). I'm not too sure though. It doesn't happen often or ever repeat itself in a short period of time, so I'm thankful for that.

Other than that, not much going on. We had 3 ice/snow days last week, so I didn't have class all week. They are forecasting another bad weather day for tomorrow. After being stuck in the house for 2 days straight I was itching to get out, but oh so scared to do so in my new car! I have to admit though, I thoroughly enjoyed my days off from work and school! I'm sure the next 2 or 3 weeks are going to be HELL playing catch up. :(

February 1, 2011

23 weeks and SNOW/ICE Day!!

Sleet and snow on the roads = no school, no work, and no new mommy mobile anywhere near the crazies on the roads!!

How far along:
23 weeks

Growth: Baby girl is 11.3 inches from crown to heel and weighs about 1.1 pounds

Symptoms: heartburn and indigestion; bloody boogers and a very irritated nostril

Total weight gain:
8 pounds

Maternity clothes: All of the time. My drawstring scrub pants are starting to fit very snug and becoming uncomfortable.

Stretch marks: No new ones. I started using Palmers Tummy Butter last week. I hate it. It doesn’t smell good, and it stays on ALL DAY. I have to scrub myself HARD in the shower to get off the residue feeling it leaves behind. I’ve been using it maybe once every 2 days. I can’t imagine using it more often. I’m one of those people who know I’ll get stretch marks. I already have them from when I gained 30-40 pounds in my first year of marriage! The Palmers has been highly recommended to me, so what the heck, I’ll give it a try...

Movement: I feel her move daily, and I love it! She get hiccups very often or speculation says she's a very rhythmic dancer like her mommy was! She has her quiet times, and that's hard getting used to unless I'm focusing on school! She loves to distract me while I'm studying for school!! Sometimes she kicks so hard that I can see my body move! I can't wait till I can see my belly move!

Sleep: I’m starting to notice my legs falling asleep at night if I find myself sleeping on my back, so I’m trying my best to sleep on my sides to promote the best possible blood flow to baby. I’m not using any kinds of pillows yet, but I think they may be in my future very soon!

Best moment this week: Seeing lots and lots of production in the baby’s room! Clothes are washed, folded, and hung! Everything that was business related has been moved into our bedroom, so her room is starting to look like “her room!”

Food cravings: I don’t necessary crave it, but I thoroughly enjoy Biscuits and Gravy! I would eat it everyday if I could!

What I miss: When I was comfortable in my own clothes. Maternity jeans are so frustrating. They constantly sag and I have to pull them up all of the time. So annoying. Now I know why I always see PG women appearing so frumpy in public!!

What I am looking forward to:
To having our baby girl here! I’m starting to get ‘those feelings’ of wanting her here so bad. I tell myself “No! You need to wait!” She’s nowhere near to being “done” and I don’t want her to be in the NICU for any amount of time, so I’m ok with waiting. But I am looking forward to having her in her room we’ve prepared and my new mommy mobile! We’re ready to be a family!

Milestones: Not necessarily a milestone, but I’ll be in my THIRD trimester in 4 weeks! Mommies in my due date group are hitting the 3rd Tri and I didn’t realize it was just right around the corner for me!

How is daddy? Still super excited! I love to see him all giddy and the twinkle in his eye he’s acquired!

How are the grandparents?
Busy. MIL and FIL are starting to gather the names and addresses for the baby shower. There are 120 adults already on the guest list thanks to both of our very very large families; not to mention probably 50-60 kids. (Note: Shower will be co-ed. They always are.)

Here’s my belly pic from 22 weeks...Still waiting for my B bump to turn into a C bump! :) (It's absolutely amazing how much dirtier the bathroom mirror looks on camera than in person! Gross.)