March 14, 2013: It’s a Girl!!!

The day I had been waiting for was finally here.  I would have my big ultrasound appointment where they would check out my baby and also confirm the gender.  I had to drink a ton of water prior to the ultrasound, which made it very uncomfortable to sit through.  Fortunately, the tech got me in quick, and I was ready to hear all about my baby.  Of course, this tech couldn’t tell me much either, but she did confirm that I was in fact, having a girl.  I was beyond thrilled!  It seemed that everything looked normal since I didn’t have to wait around or talk to any doctors.  I was able to get some more pictures of my baby and felt very relieved that it went well.  Now, I could start shopping and planning for my baby girl!

I already knew what I would name her: Leah Sarah.  Leah was chosen in honor of my mom, who was still suffering at the time from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and Sarah was for my paternal grandmother, who I lost in my teenage years.  It was important to me to have this miracle baby represent both of my parents in some way, since it wouldn’t have been possible without their help and support.  I was excited to share the news with everyone!  My best friend did a photo shoot for us to help reveal the gender!385816_305071842957654_235772430_nPhoto courtesy of: ShannonNicolePhotographySD

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January 22, 2013: Nuchal Translucency Ultrasound

Since I literally just turned 35 the day before, it was highly recommended that I have a nuchal translucency ultrasound to check for Down Syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities.  I was lucky to have a friend accompany me to this appointment, which was scheduled at a different medical facility than where I had been going.  The technician started the ultrasound and took a bunch of pictures of my baby.  I watched her move around and just couldn’t take my eyes off of the screen. The tech informed me that everything was measuring normal, and that my doctor would give me the rest of the results soon.  She pointed out body parts and said that she could tell what the sex was.  I was DYING to know, and she said she wasn’t able to tell me.  Just as we were finishing up the appointment, she looked at me and said, “I’m not supposed to say anything, but I’m 98% sure you should shop in the PINK aisle!”  I started tearing up and couldn’t stop thanking her for telling me.  I was secretly hoping that I was having a little girl, and it was coming true!  I couldn’t wait to share the news with my family, although I felt a little hesitant since it still wasn’t 100% confirmed.  I would have to wait almost 2 whole months to see if she was right about the baby girl!

January 15, 2013: Kids Say the Darndest Things!

We just came back after 3 weeks off for winter break, and this morning each student shared something they did over the break. I was debating if I should share my news yet! I had been thinking about how to tell them, what types of questions they might have, etc, but decided I’ll probably wait and tell them another time.

About an hour into the morning, another teacher came in to help with part of the day. I told her we had a change of plan this week, and that she could leave. As she left, she called out, “Oh, by the way, congratulations!”

Here’s the dialogue after she left:
Student 1: “Why is she congratulating you?”
Me: Thinking…uhhhhhh????
Student 2: “What, are you pregnant or something?” (sarcastic and jokingly!)
Me: (turning red) “Ummm…actually yes!”
Faces of shock and excitement
Student 3: “But you don’t even have a husband!?”
Me: “Well, you don’t HAVE to have a husband to have a baby. I really wanted to be a mom and have a baby, and you can go to the doctor and they can help you have a baby, so that’s what I did.”
Student 4: “Oh! I’m going to tell my mom to go to the doctor because I want a baby brother!”
Me: “Uhhhhh…”
Student 3: “So, what are you gonna do when this kid is like 3 and asks ‘Who’s my daddy?'”
Me: “I’ll deal with that when it happens…maybe I’ll meet someone by then and they will have a dad!”
Student 3: “Well my babysitter might know someone for you!”
Student 4: “I know that when you are pregnant, you need to drink a lot of water and go to the bathroom a lot.”
Student 5: “I thought you looked different..you know….”
Me: “Well thanks for not telling me it looks like I ate too many cookies!”

They were so hilarious…I wish I recorded it all! They were really happy and excited about it…and definitely relieved that I’d be there until the last day of school. As I was leaving that day, one of the girls told me, “I can’t believe you are pregnant! That’s so cool!” And another one said, “Bye! I hope you and your baby have a nice night!”

It was so fun sharing my news with them, and I finally could relax and not worry about keeping my big secret any longer!

January 14, 2013: Facebook Official!

I was 12 1/2 weeks pregnant, and ready to share my exciting news with EVERYONE after 3 weeks off of work for winter break.  I had told only close friends and family up to this point, and was a little nervous, but eager to tell everyone my big news.  I knew there would be a lot of questions and confusion since everyone knew I was single, but I was ready to tell my story and get everything out in the open.  I kept my announcement somewhat general, but wrote something along the lines that after waiting for so long, I wanted to make my dream of becoming a mom a reality and was pregnant.  I wanted to find a way to explain it in the simplest terms, so that people would know that I had chosen to do this on my own.  The conversations that I had after my announcement were overwhelmingly sweet and supportive.  I felt a huge wave of relief after letting out my big secret, but quickly became a bit anxious as I realized I’d have to somehow explain this to my 4th grade students after a long winter break!  For the moment, I decided to wait a few more weeks so I could think of a way to explain it in terms they would understand.

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November 29 – December 26, 2012: Doctor Appointments

November 29, 2012:  I had a tough time waiting those 8 days to go by, but FINALLY I was back at the doctor’s office and ready for my first ultrasound.  I was anxious and excited to find out if my suspicions were correct about twins.  I was fortunate enough to have one of my best friends with me to find out the news.  The doctor entered the room and began the ultrasound.  My feelings about the possibility of twins were confirmed!  I was pregnant with twins and the doctor printed my first babies’ picture.  I was ecstatic and thrilled with the news.  I was thinking that if I only had to go through this whole process one time, that would be fine with me!  Since it was so early on, we could only see the little sacs, but there were definitely two of them!  I quickly called, texted, and messaged all of my family and close friends with the news!  The doctor told me that I would return in a week to see the fetuses and hopefully have an approximate due date.  I knew that twins would be a lot of work, but after waiting so long to get pregnant, I only felt excitement and happiness as the news sunk in.

December 6, 2012:  I returned a week later for my next ultrasound.  The doctor explained that we would refer to each fetus as “Baby A” and “Baby B.”  We first looked at Baby A, who had a strong heartbeat, good size, and overall looked great.  I was relieved to hear things were still going well.  Next, he moved over to check out Baby B.  Unfortunately, Baby B looked smaller and the heartbeat wasn’t as strong as the other’s.  He explained that this can happen sometimes with twins, but that didn’t mean this baby was definitely to be counted out yet.  I felt such a mix of emotions after that appointment…sadness, a bit of relief when thinking about having 2 babies alone, but most of all I felt grateful that Baby A was doing so well.  He also confirmed that my due date would be July 28, 2013!  I was told to return next week so that we can continue to monitor the babies.

December 13, 2012:  I was back again for my next ultrasound.  I was surprised and happy to see that Baby B was making a comeback!  The heartbeat was visible and the fetus had been growing over the last week.  However, Baby B was smaller in comparison to Baby A, so we still didn’t know for sure what would happen at this point.  I had yet another appointment scheduled in about 2 weeks to check on my babies.

December 26, 2012:  At this appointment, it was confirmed that Baby B had been absorbed, and I would just be carrying a single baby.  The baby looked great and I even got an ultrasound picture of the baby’s head!  It was all becoming so real!  I was feeling great, and happy that my baby was doing well.  The upcoming new year would bring me such happiness!!

November 15, 2012: It’s Official!!

Finally, the email I had been waiting for!  My heart raced as I opened the message at 8:30 pm (yes, literally had to wait ALL day!), and was quickly relieved to see that my blood test showed a positive result!  Anything > 5 is considered a positive reading, and my number was 72.  I then updated everyone about my exciting news!  Although things were going well, I still had a worried feeling that things wouldn’t work out for some reason, but tried to stay positive.

November 16, 2012:  The next day, my nurse emailed me to tell me about the next steps.  She congratulated me and told me that 72 was a good number to start with.  I was then told to repeat the test again a couple of days later, and that the number should double by then.  I began to realize that this whole process was going to be like IVF…a lot of waiting for results!  But, at least things seemed to be going in the right direction so far.

November 18, 2012:  I tested again and was emailed my results.  My new number was 237…WHOA!  I remembered the nurse said that it should double, but this has more than tripled!  Could that mean multiples? I tried not to read too much into it, but was happy that it was a strong number and showing good signs.  I got another email from my nurse to test a final time a few days later.  She said that after this next test, we would be able to book my first sonogram!  I couldn’t even imagine going to this appointment!  I was so excited.

November 21, 2012:  I tested a final time, and had to wait again for that important email  I remember i was at a street fair all day with friends while eagerly checking my phone for the email every 5 minutes.  I was on pins and needles waiting for the results.  Finally, the message came and I saw my latest number…1,378!  That was a HUGE number!  I had a crazy feeling that this would mean multiples for me.  Of course it was all speculation, but I began Googling about HCG (pregnancy test) numbers and what they meant.  Some blogs that I came across showed similar numbers and that it resulted in multiples, so I became excited about the chance of having twins!  It would be great to only have to go through IVF and all of this one time for 2 babies (at least that’s what i thought at the time!).

November 21, 2012:  I called my parents and shared the news about my latest results.  My mom suggested an idea since it was all becoming more real at this point.  She thought I might want to consider staying with her and my dad during the end of my pregnancy and have the baby/babies up in the Bay Area.  This way, they could also help me the first couple of months while I was off of work.  I thought that was a good idea, but was far from making any real plans until I knew things were really happening.

I emailed my nurse and asked about the possibility of twins due to my high numbers.  She replied that they wouldn’t know anything until the sonogram regarding multiples, and we scheduled one for November 29 (right around Thanksgiving).

I also called my sister, who was now pregnant with twins of her own, and asked about what she thought regarding my results.  She thought it was possible that I might have twins as well, since we had similar numbers.  The possibility of us both having twins within a few months of each other seemed so amazing!

I told all of my friends about the possibility of twins, and that in just 8 more days I would know!  One of my best friends volunteered to come to my sonogram appointment to find out the news!

November 13-15, 2012: Testing time!

entry-39579-6128cf1fc43aaaf9b056a4e5f81314903863be92nI had my transfer on a Friday, and decided that I couldn’t stand to wait anymore and took a home test on Tuesday morning.  I had been Googling how long people waited after a frozen transfer of a 5-day-old embryo for their positive tests, and many were just a few days later.  That morning, the test was negative.  I was bummed, but still knew it might just be too early at that point and I would try to wait as long as I could to test again.

So I waited a whole two days and thought I should try testing again!  On Thursday, the 15th, I took another pregnancy test.  I could NOT believe it!!  It was VERY faint, but definitely positive.  I started shaking and couldn’t believe what I was seeing…I’d never seen what a positive test looked like before!  I remember taking a picture of it so that I could text it to my sister right away.  I called her as soon as I sent the picture and told her the news.  Of course, I just couldn’t believe it was actually real!  She was super excited and told me I should use a digital test to be sure, and to also let my RE know so that I could take the official blood test sooner.  On my way to work, I bought a digital pregnancy test.  I couldn’t wait any longer to check that it was true!  I went straight into the bathroom as soon as I got to work and took the digital test.  OMG…it actually said the word “PREGNANT.”  I took another picture of it with my phone and texted it to my sister.  I felt a wave of excitement and shock come over me!  I had to tell someone, so I went into my boss’ office.  Since she knew everything going on, I knew she would be excited to hear my news.  It was so surreal telling her!  I told her that I’d be going to take the official blood test later that day just to be sure.

I emailed my doctor and told him the news and requested to get an official test done that day.  His nurse responded that the order was placed and that I could go at any time.  Thankfully, the lab was just up the street from my work, so I planned to go later that day.  It happened to be parent-teacher conferences that week, so the students were dismissed early and I’d be free to go.  I had a student teacher working with me at this point, so I told him I had to run a quick errand, but would be back in time for our first conference.

I tried to not think about the exciting possibility that the test was correct for the rest of the day.  Of course my mind was going crazy thinking that I might actually be pregnant.  Finally, the students were dismissed and I would be able to go.

I was shaking with excitement as I drove to the lab!  I couldn’t believe it was actually happening!  It happened to be empty there, so I didn’t have to wait to get in.  I had the bloodwork done and headed back to work!

When I got back to my classroom, my student teacher was still there.  I felt like I couldn’t act normal in front of him and was debating whether or not to tell him what was going on.  Plus, I wanted to call my parents and fill them in on my positive tests, so I realized I needed to tell him so that I could call everyone and share my news.  I told him that I needed to tell him something and he looked worried, but I assured him it wasn’t anything bad, or anything that had to do with him and he relaxed a bit.  Then, for the first time, I told my story about wanting to become a mom and that I was unofficially pregnant.  He definitely was shocked, but had a positive response to my news.  This, I now realize, was just the beginning of telling my story and answering all of the related questions.

I called my parents and shared the news.  They were SO excited, but of course trying not to get their hopes up until we got the official results.  I also messaged all of my girls and shared the news!

After that, I tried to contain my excitement as I spent the afternoon talking to my students’ parents.  Of course, I was checking my email for the results every chance I got, but there were no messages all day while I was at work.