Going up stairs

We recently moved into a bigger apartment so we’d have a room for little Austin. They told us it would be on the first floor, but failed to mention the stairs we would have to take to get down the our level.

Then of course, back up to our car, and all other ways out of the complex means a trip up those same 19 stairs.

They aren’t the biggest stairs I’ve ever seen, but they are just enough to leave me breathless when I reach the top.

I take another 10 steps or so … and have to stop to catch my breath again.

And again …

Stairs and being pregnant don’t go well together. My huge belly sags all the way to the top of the flight. Then I have to hold it up with my hands to walk the rest of the way to the car.

How will I ever do this with a baby in my arms, a diaper bag and a mom-size purse?



His name is Austin

12828349_10153992315264596_5746199997966722527_oHis name is Austin Denver. His daddy named him, and he’s such a good baby. Our 20-week sonogram was about a week ago, and he was really kicking and waving at us. He’s the most precious thing I’ve ever seen.

At 16 weeks I started feeling better. Morning sickness subsided and I have been feeling a lot happier. About a week ago I quit my job, as the stress has elevated my blood pressure to the point where I needed to take a baby aspirin each evening. I also began having pain from the muscles in my uterine wall and outside of it stretching. You never really think about having muscles there until they ache 😉

I can’t wait to start feeling him kick and punch! My doctor says that should start happening anytime now. He needs to start practicing those perfect spirals!

Anyhow, we just moved into a bigger apartment with a bedroom for Austin and his daddy is clearing it out and getting it ready for Austin’s baby furniture. We have some Dr. Seuss baby books and stuffed animals for him. We can’t wait to get his little room all set up.



Getting bigger

I’m just out of my 1st trimester and I’m so happy about that! I’m feeling a bit better, but I think that might be mostly due to a new anti-nausea medicine I’m on. I still get queasy when I don’t have the pills, but mints and smelling citrus lotion/etc. really helps keep it at bay.

We saw our little one a few days ago, kicking and waving and really moving around. I was surprised at how much bigger he/she has gotten. My husband has come to call the baby “him,” so perhaps he has some insider Daddy scoop on the gender ;0) I just can’t wait to have the baby here so I can hold him/her. We should know that for sure in about 5-6 weeks.

I think I’m really starting to bond with this baby more than I have been. I was worried it wouldn’t happen, and was feeling really guilty. But the sickness easing has really helped me be more happy all around.


Sugar Plum is growing fast

At first, being pregnant felt a lot like I swallowed something and a little alien started growing in my belly. We watch YouTube videos each week to see what our little one looks like in utero, and some of the alien thoughts were confimed 🙂

I’m just about to hit 10 weeks pregnant and we had a sonogram the other day. Our Sugar Plum is getting so big! We even got to see him/her wiggle around in there. The baby sure looks a lot more “human” than it did before!

I can’t believe how quickly this kid is growing up! Every week it’s something new. We’ve had several sonograms because of my higher-risk pregnancy — about one on average since week 6. I guess we’re a bit spoiled now because we want to see the little wiggle worm as often as we can. Sadly, we now have to wait at least a month until we get the chance to see our babe again.

As for this first trimester, I’m ready to kiss it goodbye. I’ve been sick since Week 6 and it feels like that morning sickness has really stolen my enthusiasm about this pregnancy, which is super sad to me. I’m feeling a bit better these past few days and that has made a huge difference. I may even have a bit more energy.

My husband has pulled all the weight around the house, including tending to our pets, cooking, cleaning, running errands, washing laundry and taking care of Mama Bear. He’s the only reason I’m able to let myself “be sick” and get lots of sleep. I’m so thankful for him.

Little tater tot

So, it’s been a while since I’ve written on my blog. I was hesitant to post about our news too early, but it’s time to share.

I am pregnant with our first little one!

Baby Bays should arrive sometime mid-July 2016. We’re praying for a healthy pregnancy and delivery, and a happy and healthy baby girl or boy. Everything seems to be going well right now, and we’ll have our first ultrasound in about a week.

I’m finding myself far more attached to this babe than I realized I’d be. I know that sounds odd being that I’m a mother now, but all of my life I never realized just how much I’d care so soon.

Despite being only 6 weeks and 3 days along, we’ve known about our little tater tot now for about half of that time — much longer than most women at this stage. Many ladies don’t even know they’re pregnant until around now. Morning sickness sets in, your body starts acting strangely and then Poof! The home pregnancy test comes up positive. For us, it’s been a bit more complex than that.

Perhaps that’s why I’ve already grown so attached. These first few months of pregnancy are super important and often very precarious, especially for someone my age (35) and with PCOS. So knowing early has been good for that. It’s also meant that I’ve been more paranoid than perhaps most women are during early pregnancy. Every pain, every cramp, every wave of nausea has had me wondering. “Is something going wrong? Is the baby OK?”

And then of course if something’s not happening, there’s the concern that the baby has stopped thriving. Thankfully, I’ve had symptoms on and off, which generally indicates normalcy this early on. So I’m grateful for a bit of comfort in that.

At our two week appointment, my HCG levels indicated pregnancy. A couple days later, that number was elevated, but hadn’t quite doubled, which it should have. The nurse suggested that could mean an ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage or a chemical pregnancy (those two are similar in early pregnancy). She assured me that I was going in the right direction though, and that we should run another test.

Two days later, another test and another long day waiting for the results. I cried and worried. My husband comforted me and reassured me that everything would be OK. I was heartbroken already, probably over preparing myself for the worst.

Thankfully, we got excellent results. My HCG (pregnancy hormone) numbers had more than doubled since the previous test. My nurse was enthusiastic and said we didn’t need any more blood tests now and could schedule an ultrasound for the 7 week, 3 day mark. I can’t tell you how relieved and grateful her news was. God had been “cooking” our little one in His perfect timing.

We’ve come up with a couple names that we like and my husband is taking great care of me and the baby. He’s already a wonderful father. I don’t think the dog can tell yet, but once he can, I’m not even sure my husband will be able to get within 5 feet of me without growling ensuing 😉 I know the Lab will be very attached too!





My first born is diabetic

My first born is Toby, our beautiful yellow Labrador retriever. He’s 10 1/2 years old, and I have raised him since he was since the tender age of 5 months. He means the world to me. He sleeps in an oversized orthopedic dog bed next to my side of our bed, and that’s only because with me, Brent and Toby in the bed, I turn into a contortionist.

A couple weeks ago Toby started acting different. He didn’t spend much time out of his bed, which was unusual for him since he loves to be with us at all times. He started panting heavily and waking up in the middle of the night for water and to go outside.

As my husband says, Toby has always been a “heavy drinker,” but out of nowhere he started begging for more and more water. I had to fill a big mixing bowl and put it by his bed at night so he could quench his insatiable thirst throughout the night. He also started acting like his hips were hurting him a lot.

I thought perhaps it was his winter dog coat coming in. Perhaps the change in weather was making him “clammy?” Maybe we weren’t talking him out enough. I made up all kinds of excuses in my mind, but in my heart I was pretty sure I knew the cause of his distress — dog diabetes.

We woke up one day last week and Toby wouldn’t eat his dog food. He’s a Lab — that just wasn’t right! I knew we had to get him to the vet. It was my 35th birthday and it was truly a gift to be able to take Toby to our wonderful vet clinic and get him checked out.

A blood test revealed the truth: our little wet-nosed blonde had sky-high sugar in his blood. Doctor Rouchon put him on prescription metabolic dog food and gave a stern warning: “No more dry dog food.” I always thought the canned food wasn’t good for dogs due to a higher fat content. But the vet told me that’s just not true. Dry dog food is loaded with carbohydrates and too many of those can cause insulin resistance and/or Type 2 diabetes in dogs.

One day after starting on the diabetic dog food, Toby seemed more like himself, spending time with us in the living room and kitchen (of course lol) and his thirst seemed to have abated. He seemed to regain some energy and just seemed happier and more lively. What a relief! My dog mom’s heart swelled.

It’s been a few days now and Toby seems to be adjusting. He didn’t eat all of his lunch today, but gobbled it up later after I topped it with some frozen green beans. Dog dinner went down much easier. We’ll go in Monday and leave Toby with Dr. Rouchon to have glucose tests done throughout the day. If the new food is working, we can stick with that. If not, he might need to start on insulin.

Apart from that, we just need to sort out his achy body and what seems to be arthritis.

I’m so thankful for a great vet and the healing power of God, who cares for ALL His creatures.  I’m also so thankful for the chance to take care of this beautiful animal. He is a true joy and the light of my life. After all the years that he has taken care of me, it’s my privilege to be able to care for his little whiskered face.

Time, waiting and being OK with it

We are on Day 2 of our “two-week-wait,” or so they call the time between trying to make a baby and taking a blood test to find out if we’re pregnant.

Most women dread this time — the uncertainty makes the hours seem to drag — but I am a bit refreshed that all we have to do is wait. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited to know if “it worked,” but a break from the doctor’s appointments, injections, pills and, well … other major efforts.

If we’re not pregnant this time around, we will have to go through it all again, but that’s OK. Now that it’s so close I’m in as much of a hurry. I’ve wanted a baby since I was 27. Every kid I saw made me tear up, hoping I wouldn’t get too old to be a good Mom.

Then I turned 30, and I thought I was too old. Unmarried, not even dating, and no prospects on the horizon. I said I didn’t want to have a child past 35. When my husband and I met, I was nearly 32. We married and I was approaching 34. Just over a year later, I’m rapidly coursing past 35. For some reason, time doesn’t seem to important.

Time to trigger

After a morning of driving through thunderstorms and taking photos of doggies and their owners, my husband and I headed out to my doctor’s office here in the DFW Metroplex. It was an overcast day and we could see low-hanging, black cloud shelves that preceed a weather front. Tornado weather.

There’s nothing friendly about having an ultrasound like this. But the doctor saw a couple follicles that looked good. Only one was as large as hoped for, and they couldn’t find the other ovary. But the decision was left up to my doctor, who was out of town this week.

I walked out of the office feeling like a tornado inside. All this waiting and anticipation … multiple doctors … painful procedures … surgery … a month of estrogen … a week of fertility pills and injections … several scans … AND (the worst part of it all) I turn 35 in a couple weeks. How much longer can we try, I whined to my husband.

“This is starting to take its toll,” I said to him on our way home in the rain, wind, thunder and flooded roadways.

I got home, took a boiling hot shower and passed out. I talked Brent into laying down with me so he could hold my achy body and battered emotions in his strong arms. He said to me, “Sarah, I don’t understand why you’re upset about this. We don’t even know anything for sure yet.”

Then the phone rang, and it was my doctor’s office.

It’s time to trigger that follicle, the nurse told me. The doctor said we can take that next step. Through a fog of disbelief and hope, I noted a few additional things we’d need to do this week and made an appointment for a blood test on November 9.

So here we go. I’m thankful that we’ve gotten this far. It makes me feel like I’m doing my part in all of this. Despite writing this, I’m still somewhat speechless.

Trial and error

So today we had the “big scan.” It’s no big deal actually. Let me try to explain:

Because I have PCOS, my ovaries have eggs, but don’t release one each month. Sometimes the ovarian follicles (where the eggs mature and come to the surface of the ovary), still grow eggs but don’t release them. When that happens over time, several of them can be seen on an ultrasound — they look like a “string of pearls.” That grouping is the hallmark sign of PCOS. Poly-“cystic” (egg) Ovary Syndrome.

At times, these “cysts” can rupture. Last year, after my first round of Clomid (a fertility drug used to stimulate these follicles to release eggs) one egg got super big, but sadly never “ruptured” or released. When that happens to a woman, a doctor might prescribe birth control (Can you believe it? How counterproductive!) to help shrink the cyst. Then fertility treatment can begin again.

The goal of many fertility drugs is to (as noted above) cause several eggs to grow to a certain size. At that point, a “trigger” injection of fertility drugs is given to help the ovary actually release eggs. Sometimes several eggs develop — too many — and that round of fertility meds is cancelled b/c of the risk of multiple babies. With PCOS, that can be a big risk factor for miscarriage and unhealthy pregnancies.

Sometimes the eggs haven’t quite “cooked” enough and they are a bit too small to “trigger.” That’s what we found out today. I’m looking good, but the eggs are just a bit too small yet. So I’ll get another injection tomorrow then go on Friday for another scan to see if it’s time.

Then we do our thing and “try” to get pregnant. Then another test next week to see if I actually ovulated. Then 2 weeks of waiting to see if I’m pregnant. And on …..

I’m happier than I expected to be after this scan. I was worried there wouldn’t be any eggs or there would be too many. My doctor made a good choice to start me out on less medicine. I’m hopeful about Friday’s scan. This thing might actually happen!

Afraid to believe

Tonight we will do the last injection of Follistim for this round. We’ll go in for a scan tomorrow morning to see how things have developed.

I started to feel some twinges and dull pain this morning, which I think could be a cyst or a healthy growing follicle, but I just can’t be sure. I’m hopeful that it means something good is happening inside my body.

To tell you the truth, I’m pretty nervous about tomorrow’s appointment. I’m worried that nothing will have happened and I’ll need more medicine. I’m worried that there will be too many eggs ready to go and we’ll have to cancel the trigger shot.

From some other women who have gone through this same treatment, I’ve learned that it can take several rounds of this treatment before getting the OK to trigger. That’s so frustrating because in a couple weeks here I’ll be 35. Getting older makes getting and staying pregnant more challenging (according to experts). Add PCOS to that mix and the hope of a big family waxes bleak.

Dear Jesus ~

I didn’t realize how difficult this would be for my heart. I’m afraid to be hopeful. I’m afraid of disappointment. I know you hold this whole thing in your supernatural hands, and I trust you. Please take this worry from me and help me stop being an obstacle for your plan. Empty me of me and fill me with you.

>> a r c h i v i n g … u s <<