July 13, 2015

Preparing While We Wait

When you are infertile there is a LOT of waiting that goes on. You wait while you try to get pregnant, you wait while you do testing, you wait while save money, you wait to start treatment... then even once you start treatment you are waiting to see each step of the way if everything is going in the right direction and then there is the two week wait - the longest two weeks of your life! 

We are currently in the wait the prescribed amount of time since the end of my miscarriage/ectopic pregnancy and the wait till we have the money.., wait wait wait. 

Often those going through treatment prepare for 3 months prior by taking a slew of vitamins and staying away from alcohol, tobacco and recreational drugs and limiting caffeine intake.

The following list is from a Fertility Care Office, there are also some additional vitamins that are often talked about in fertility circles such as Royal Jelly, L-Carnitine, and L-Arginine.

Prenatal Vitamins
Folic Acid - 800 mcg to 1 mg in addition to the prenatal vitamins
CoQ10 - 300 mg
Vitamin E - additional 200 IU
Vitamin C - 500 mg
R-Alpha Lipoic Acid - 100 to 600 mg on empty stomach
DHEA 25 mg three times a day
Melatonin 3 mg before bed
Vitamin D3 5000 IU per day

If you have PCOS add the following:
Methylated B Vitamins
Myo-inositol 4 grams per day, divided in two doses

For the guys:
Also no alcohol, tobacco, recreational drugs or hot tubs
Mega Man Vitamins
Vitamin D3 - 5000 IU per day

Additional Herbs that can boost fertility:
Red Raspberry Leaf
Nettle Leaf
Chaste Tree Berry

June 30, 2015


I have come to realize over the years that I process things through writing, that however does not mean that I am a good writer, it just means that I can't just think about it I need to see it. So bear with me as I do that...

There are some things that seem contradictory but are true at the same time. I feel like I have some strange form of PTSD mixed with survivors guilt. Ever since we announced that we were pregnant with Nate a different type of struggle emerged, one in which I wanted to declare, to physically wear a label, to shout it from the roof top --- even though I am pregnant I AM STILL INFERTILE, we worked REALLY hard to get here! Being pregnant and having my son does not erase all of the immense pain - mind body and soul, the retching heartache. You do not forget it, it stays with you. I have at times felt like a traitor as I was successful on my 1st IVF attempt as others have endured so many but everyone's story is different and we endured years of trying and failing - 6 IUIs, injections, pills, tests, procedures and the list goes on. IVF and the path it took to get there and since is not fuzzy in my mind. I remember it all. 

So now as we have come through a miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy and look toward an attempt at IVF #2 - my mind is muddled with thoughts. We are so thankful to have our son, is it wrong to want another? This wouldn't even be a question if we did not have to become pregnant medically. I doubt that folks who get pregnant the "old fashioned way" have thoughts as to their motives for wanting another. 

I often read a quote or an article and think, "how did they get inside my head". I had one of those moments this morning as I read this article on 10 things I wish I could tell my past self about infertility. If you have a moment -- it is a short read and also an important one. And I would just like to say that over the past almost decade now I have grown into the person #9 talks about ... any time, any place my friends I am here, you can tell me or ask me anything, always!

April 15, 2015


I have come to realize that the stages of grief are not linear as some may think.  One may not move from denial/shock to bargaining, depression, then anger and onto acceptance. Grief is not orderly and there is not time frame to when or how you will process it. The most difficult feelings to process may hit you at the most inopportune times and people will say things just to say them instead of thinking through how it could truly affect the person on the receiving end.

Paul and I are in the midst of this grieving process as I write this.
Our hearts are aching from their brokenness for our babies that we will not get to hold this side of heaven.

We started our FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer) treatment in January and it did not have the outcome which we prayed for, hoped for and longed for. We had multiple doctor appointments where everything looked wonderful. I was on a multitude of medications including shots, pills, inserts, lozenges all to prepare my body for and to sustain a pregnancy.

When our babies came out of the thaw one of them looked textbook perfect and the other while not given a top notch grade was still dividing, growing and had a good chance. Our babies were transferred in early February.

I started feeling nauseous, I began gagging when brushing my teeth and my aversion to chicken showed up. Our excitement grew for this/these new life/lives.

Names started swirling through my head. There were talks over if we would need a minivan. How would we reorganize the house if we needed the computer room to transform into a little girls room… etc.

My symptoms began to lessen and I had a bad feeling about my blood test that was coming up. A few days later I had my blood drawn to check my levels -- the number was low. Continuous prayers began to flow for our babies lives. We were down but not out, at least not yet. Three days later I had another blood draw -- our nurse called with the news the number climbed, but only by 5, it should have at least doubled.

Miscarriage was imminent, she said I would miscarry, that it was only a matter of time. I cannot describe the feelings that overwhelmed me at that moment. My prayers continued. I scoured the internet for stories of low hCG levels which ended in a healthy baby. Certainly the numbers were misleading and the nurse was wrong. This was how we were supposed to get our babies, to complete our family.

Four days later the cramping began and my pregnancy came to an end on March 3rd.  Or at least that is what we thought. I had to go in on March 9th to have a blood test confirm that my levels had dropped and I was no longer pregnant. That is not what happened though.

My levels had risen -- I was now more pregnant than I was 2 weeks ago, my level was up to 116. Given that I stopped my medications and bleed this should not be the case. I went in for another blood test and an ultrasound. My blood test revealed that my levels were rising and in fact aligning more with the doubling time that doctors look for. On March 11th we found out my levels rose from 116 to 227.

Unfortunately an ultrasound revealed that my womb was empty, the doctor continued to search looking next at my tubes as that would be problematic. There was no sign of anything in my tubes either. The doctor then saw what he was looking for but in a place which was unexpected. One of the embryos implanted in my ovary. My doctor said in all of his years he had never seen this happen with an FET, that if this were to happen it was more likely with an IUI or natural conception.

It was becoming clear that my initial surge in hormones and symptoms was one of the embryos implanting in my uterus and resulting in an early miscarriage, then the other embryo traveled up my tube and implanted in my ovary about a week later. Had the embryo in my uterus not miscarried my levels would have risen normally, the doctor would not have looked any further than my uterus and we would have no idea the danger my life was in.

There was no choice in what happened next, I had two options:
  1. have injections of a medication which targets rapidly multiplying cells and destroys them
  1. surgery. SURGERY, which would not only remove the embryo but take part or all of my ovary with it. surgery.

If we choose to do nothing it would be a matter of time before my ovary burst and I would begin to bleed internally which if not dealt with swiftly (with emergency surgery) would kill me.

So I was prepped for the injections, the physical pain I could deal with but the emotional toll was significant. Then I was told my blood levels could rise for another 4 days and after that they should start dropping so in 1 week I would need to have repeat blood work completed.

If my levels were not dropping I would need to be reassessed and the doctor would determine if another round of injections would be administered or if I would need to have surgery.

The next round of blood-work revealed that my hormone levels were still climbing, though slower than previously. I was told I would need to come back in, and since the growth would have been minimal so I could try another round of injections.

Seven days after my second round of injections on March 31st, I had blood-work done again, this time when the results came back the news was bittersweet. My levels had begun to drop. I will have to continue to have my blood levels checked to make sure that my hormone levels continue to drop and eventually hit zero.

Causing my levels to drop was the point of the injections -- and while it meant that I would not have to endure surgery and that I would not need to worry about any internal bleeding, it also meant the end of a life -- a life that we fought so hard to conceive, a life that we desperately wanted, a life that we will never forget.

While it is extremely difficult processing this loss, it is compacted by the thought that our family is not complete and that if it were in our power we would try again when we felt ready.

Unfortunately for us it is not as simple as just trying again…

"It has been said time heals all wounds.  I do not agree.  The wounds remain.  In time, the mind protecting it's sanity covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens, but it's never gone." 
- Rose Kennedy

September 11, 2014


I am not sure how it came to be that our miracle is about to turn ONE. He is an amazing bundle of joy: he is adventurous, he is curious, he is a climber, he loves water, he is full of laughter and has mischief in his eyes. We love him beyond measure.

That being said this is not how we pictured our family in the beginning. We talked of having three kids. We began naming them even before we were engaged. It was fun to talk about this future.

We were naive.

But there is still hope.

We have been given an incredible gift with our N8! In fact his name means 'God has given'.

We have 2 more littles waiting for their chance at life. It feels more nerve wracking thinking about our FET as it will be our one chance at a sibling for N8. There are still many dollars we will need to raise and save and sell things and recycle bottles before we will get to have our chance. Coming to terms that it is only a chance and it is our only is difficult. The first time around we were given a minimum of 2 chances... now we only have one chance.

In the months ahead as we begin to save up once again we would love your prayers.

November 19, 2013

The Hutchkin Is Here!

 I never made it to my NST appointment, because the day before I ended up going into labor!

WARNING: If you don't want to read about my labor & delivery navigate away from this page.

Let me preface this by saying that Paul (+Beth) may remember more details or have better accuracy of the events that occurred between September 15th and September 16th. It has been 2 months since and a lot has happened between now and then, plus there were points when all I remember is my eyes being shut and trying not to black out (at least that is what it felt like). 

Paul and I went to sleep around 2 am on Sunday, September 15th. I woke up just before 6am because I felt like I needed to use the restroom. When I stood up I wet my pants, surely I didn't need to go that badly, so I went to the restroom and then changed my pajamas and laid back down. I had a fleeting thought that perhaps my water broke but I was so tired I just wanted to go back to bed. I reasoned with myself that another hour or two wouldn't hurt. So I got back into bed but by then my mind started working a bit better and I thought I will just lay here for 5 minutes or so and see what happens. In less time than that I had the urge that I needed to use the restroom again so I stood up to go to the bathroom and see what was going on, as soon as I stood up I wet my pants again. At that point it clicked in my mind THIS IS IT! So I went to the restroom again and changed my clothes. When I walked back out Paul lifted his head and I told him that I thought today was the day he was going to become a daddy. 

I called Labor & Delivery to explain what was going on. I was instructed to go ahead and take a shower if I wanted to and to eat something, then head on over to the hospital. I took them up on that and had a light breakfast, took a nice hot shower, got dressed, sent a text to Beth to let her know of the development and tossed our bags into the car and headed for Anaheim. 

Upon arrival we checked in and were taken to a room to be assessed as to if I would in fact be admitted. I was monitored for a couple hours, asked dozens of questions, we went over my birth plan (Which ended up being thrown out the window. Flexibility ladies, flexibility is key). Finally I was admitted and taken to a room. Not long after Beth showed up (boy was she in for a long night). 

I was given 6 hours, if contractions didn't start within 6 hours of my water breaking then I would be put on Pitocin which brings on or strengthens labor contractions during childbirth. So we waited & waited & waited -- nothing happened. So they started the Pitocin around 11:30am. For awhile I was still quite comfortable. We watched football, played some cards, talked. Then the contractions started to kick up. I was not managing them well, Paul did everything he was taught to get me to breathe with him and to focus, he also held a portable fan right by my face which felt awesome!

There came a point where the contractions were right on top of each other and super strong. I did not have any time between contractions to recover. I tried to deal with them but I was having trouble breathing because of the lack of recovery time and the pain! We had a nurse come and check what was going on, when we arrived I was only 1 cm dilated, I had only progressed to a 3/4! Tears started rolling because I wanted to do this with out drugs but I knew that there was no way I would be able to go hours and hours more in order to make it to a 10. I asked to have the IV drugs hoping that they would take the edge off the pain... after 2 doses I felt NO CHANGE! The IV drugs did nothing for the level of pain I was feeling. More tears fell as the other option is for an epidural which I was trying to avoid at all cost. 

I made it to 6pm before I was finally given an epidural and they turned the Pitocin off. Once that was in I was able to breathe again and felt no pain. Then it was back to sitting around and waiting, waiting, waiting. We watched some more football, I tried to rest/catch a few minutes of sleep here and there. The nurses checked to make sure that I was still having contractions as the Pitocin was no longer flowing and I was which was a good thing. A couple hours later I was checked again and had jumped up to a 7 which was an impressive jump however they grew concerned over my fluid levels and how the baby was doing because of how long it had been since my water broke. They mentioned that they were going to try and reintroduce fluid into my uterus but if that didn't help I was going to have to be taken for an emergency c-section. Thank the Lord that they were able to get my fluid levels up enough!

We all rested as much as we could. Paul turned on his iPod and we listened to my playlist. I was not checked again until somewhere between midnight and 1am at which point I was at 9cm. They kept asking me if I was feeling any pressure or urge to push and I kept reminding them that I couldn't feel anything below my bellybutton. 

Sometime just after 3am a nurse came in to see how things were going  and I was told that the baby was already crowning at which point I was told not to push. I gave a little chuckle (sounded like a line in a movie to me, she couldn't be serious, right?) and then I was told not to laugh! (which caused me to chuckle again) Or move! Or do anything. Apparently even when I laughed it caused the baby to come out a little more. The nurse was then rushing out to get the midwife. Seriously? So I stayed still and looked at Paul. We were about to have OUR baby! The midwife came in and commented on the fact that the baby was crowning, said some other stuff I don't remember and before I knew it my legs were in stirrups, there were at least 3-4 more people in the room, Paul was holding my hand or leg or something (I think) and I was being told to push. THREE pushes later the baby was out and the midwife said "who wants to call it"? Paul said "It's a BOY!" I then repeated what Paul said.

He was laid on my stomach. I kept looking back and forth at the baby and Paul and back to the baby. It was so surreal. I was in awe. Tears were streaming down my face and I was so so HAPPY. He was finally here! Paul cut the cord, the baby was wiped down, taken over to the warmer for a few minutes to get all of his measurements taken and whatever else they do over there. Then the baby was handed to Paul - such a beautiful sight. After awhile the baby was handed back to me, and there we were a family of three.

Nathan Burton joined our family on September 16th at 3:36am just about 22 hours after my water broke. He was measured at 8 pounds 13 ounces and 22 inches long

September 11, 2013

What's up doc?

September 9, 2013

Guess who's back, back again.... its me, at the doctors office!

Today is the last time I will most likely see Dr. Y as just like in the movie Knocked Up he is going out of town! Not like he would have been THE one to deliver the baby, but it was a possibility, now it is a zero chance that he will be on call. Anyway, onto the visit... my BP is back down 103/71 which is good. My stomach is now measuring at 42 weeks while I just hit 40w1d. Oh well. The littles heart-rate is still sounding great. I have been having lots of movement the last few days. On the check for any dilation? Still nothing. Dr. Y said he was surprised that there wasn't any change at all, he expected at least a little bit. What can I say, the Hutchkin likes it where it is. As it is only one day since my EDD I am not really worried about it.

But since there hasn't been any change it was time to talk about induction. He knows that I want to wait as long as possible but gave me the option to set up a date now just in case. I said I would rather wait and see what happens in the next week and if it becomes necessary to schedule a date then I would. So since my next appointment is a week away and after being a week beyond your EDD they want to make sure everything is okay on the inside I have to schedule a NST (non-stress test) to check the baby's heart-rate, any contractions, count movements and ultrasound to check on my fluid levels. 

I will have the NST next week at the hospital, then I will get to drive over to my regularly scheduled weekly appointment with Dr. H (remember Dr. Y is leaving for vaca), assuming that nothing transpires between now and then. 

September 10, 2013

Anything New?

September 5, 2013

Another week has flown by and I am back for a check up with Dr. Y. We are now t-minus 3 days till the estimated due date. My BP is still a bit higher than it has been but I am told that it can be quite normal for it to increase near the end of pregnancy and I am still well within the normal range so nothing to worry about. I am now measuring at 41 weeks and baby's heart-rate is good. The check for dilation shows no change from last week... as in zero, zilch, nada. I am not surprised as I haven't felt anything different. So the waiting continues, which I think is much harder for others than myself at this point.

Only 5 days till my next appointment instead of a whole week.

September 09, 2013

Home Stretch

August 28, 2013

Another day, another appointment with Dr. Y.

Did all the normal stuff, I am still measuring at 40 weeks which is good since I had been measuring ahead that time is now catching up. Hutchkins heart rate is good. Dr. Y checked to see if I am dilated at all, just for fun, I'm not. He explained my options to sweep the membranes if I am dilated at a future appointment. I told him we will play it by ear at this point and see what happens... I like that he isn't pushy about stuff like that. He gives you the facts and if you say no thanks he moves right along.

See ya next week doc. 

September 03, 2013

Back Again....

August 22, 2013

With my appointments happening every week and my growth ultrasound this week, it feels like I am always hanging out at a Kaiser. 

Today is once again an appointment with Dr. Y. The Hutchkin's heart-rate is hovering around the mid-high 120s. My weight gain has been quite minimal which the doc is happy with. Today my BP was a bit higher than what is normal for me but he is not concerned with it as it is not out of the normal range. Today at 37w4d I am measuring at 40 weeks, but since my growth ultrasound results were normal this is not concerning to him either. 

See ya next week doc...

September 02, 2013

The Results!

August 20, 2013

The growth ultrasound results are in and everything is looking normal. My fluid levels are good and they are estimating the baby at 7.5 pounds. Of course I was told that this number can be +/- 1 pound. That means that the baby could be anywhere from 6.5 to 8.5 pounds. Everything that was measured is looking good. So we will continue to wait for the Hutchikin to make its appearance. 

August 30, 2013

Growth Ultrasound

August 19, 2013

Unfortunately Anaheim did not have any appointments available until September 5th when I called, which I said probably wont work for my doctor as he wants to know whats going on with the baby and that is a mere 3 days before my due date. So I ended up having to drive to the Santa Ana location so that I would be able to have my growth ultrasound during the week of the 18th. I was quite surprised at the lack of traffic I encountered at 5pm when driving down. I made it in plenty of time for my 630pm appointment. 
Ultrasound went fine, of course the tech can't really tell you anything. They just do the scan and send it to the Radiologist and then that person send their findings to your OB and finally your OB tells you the results. So now we wait for the results...

August 29, 2013

What's up doc?

August 13, 2003

Appointment with Dr. Y. Heart-rate of the Hutchkin is sounding good. At this point I was 36w2d but the doc said I was measuring ahead at 39 weeks. Good thing I have that growth ultrasound coming up on the 19th! Otherwise things are looking good. 

BP: 103/61 Pulse: 69

August 28, 2013

Class on Breastfeeding

August 7, 2013

I went to this class on my own, simply due to the way plans were laid out for the week. The same lady who did the first class we went to was also teaching this one, so it is a good thing Paul didn't come as he had a hard time listening to her voice the first time around. This time it seemed like she had a much better handle on speaking to a class though of course she again was heavily relying on her pre-made slides and videos. She did give some good techniques and tips to try as well as information about our "free" Obamacare breast pump (more on that later) and that some companies actually cover the cost of a double electric breast pump (I am looking into that!). I am still reading through the info pack that was given to us and while it gives good information I know that the real deal can vary greatly from the ideal.

August 27, 2013

Baby Care Basics

August 3, 2013

The second class we took was a class that discussed all of the what happens when we get home questions. Things like how to swaddle, put on a diaper, taking care of the umbilical cord nub, how to bathe the baby, circumcision care, what happens when baby is sick, what to do if the baby just keeps crying and you have tried "everything".... etc. A good majority of the information we already knew, though it was still fun to practice doing all these different things with a doll in a class full of other couples preparing to bring home their firstborns as well.

August 26, 2013

July Appointments

July 16, 2013

Appointment with Dr. Y. All is well, measuring on track and looking good. 
BP: 100/60         Pulse: 54

July 30, 2013

Appointment with Dr. Y. All is well, except that the doc said I am measuring ahead. I failed to ask 'how far' which would have been an important question if I was paying attention. He told me to call radiology and set up a growth ultrasound to check on how things are progressing. 
BP: 105/60         Pulse:54

August 23, 2013

Labor and Delivery class

It was quite interesting 'people watching' in class. It felt like the lady who was teaching the class had never spoken to a group of people before. The class itself was a what to expect overview of labor and delivery, kaiser policies, creating birth plans and a question and answer time. Not a whole lot of new information for us, but others seemed to really get something out of the class.

August 07, 2013

Follow-up : The Incident

July 1, 2013

Since my next appointment with Dr. Y wasn't in the near future before I was allowed to be discharged from the hospital I had to set up an appointment within the next week to be seen. At my follow-up we went over what happened, discussed my hospital stay, he measured the uterus and checked the baby's heart-rate (135) along with a urine sample to make sure that everything looked good there. I was informed that I was now passed the point of worry, he said that once you have made it this long (a week) past a fall that chances of something going wrong are back to what they were if the fall had never happened. This was good news and a great relief for me to hear. I was given the thumbs up that all looked good and sent on my way.

August 05, 2013

Trippin' : The Incident

June 24, 2013

After work I went and did a short workout in the gym then headed home to eat. I was feeling like I still had a good amount of energy so I decided to go for a walk around the neighborhood. As I was finishing up the last of a 2-miler I turned the corner onto our street just a couple of blocks up from the house. All of a sudden I was falling, it all happened way to fast and I was unable to even try to get my knees and hands down to protect my stomach from hitting the pavement. I was stunned, no one was around so I picked myself up and looked to see what on earth I tripped on. Stupid sprinkler head, the tip of my toe must have barley caught the thing. I held my stomach, crying, and walked the rest of the way home. I assessed the damage once home, I had some scrapes on my forearms and knees but I knew I had hit my abdomen on the pavement so I grabbed a granola bar and some water then laid down on my side and waited to feel some movement. I was only feeling some contracting and pain so I called Paul and had him come home from work. Once he got home we loaded into the car and headed for the hospital.

We were taken immediately up to labor & delivery triage, I was asked to give a urine sample and then strapped up to fetal monitors to assess movement and contractions. We got to hang out there for a couple hours. When the nurse came to check she said I was indeed having a few contractions, then had a doctor come in to do an internal exam to check and make sure I wasn't dilating. The doctor let us know that there was no dilation but because of the contractions and falling on my abdomen that she was going to admit me.  

Around 3am we were finally admitted and taken to a room in the labor & delivery ward. I was hooked up to a blood-pressure monitor, fetal monitors, boots that squeeze your legs every few seconds (to prevent clots), an IV for fluids... I had needles and cords coming out of everywhere it seemed. Someone was in to check me every 30min-1hr. If I moved and one of the monitors slightly moved someone was there re-adjusting it. Every time I started to slightly doze someone was there checking this, prodding me, taking my BP or temperature. 

At one point I realized that I couldn't make a fist with my hand and that it hurt to move it. I took it out from under the sheet and it was swollen 2-3 times its normal size. I immediately hit the call button. A nurse came in and looked at my hand, said that it seemed the fluid was backing up and not entering properly (NO KIDDING!). So she took it out and called for an anesthesiologist to come up and start a new line in my other hand. It took hours and hours for me to start to regain the ability to touch finger tip to finger tip and it was quite painful. 

So the day went on, I didn't have any bleeding and the contractions subsided to just being Braxton-Hicks. Finally the doctor came back to re-evaluate me, the baby's heart-rate looked great and with the contractions stopping and no bleeding they were talking about releasing me! 

Around 3pm it was time to blow that joint and head home for some much needed rest! Both of us crashed hard once we laid down. Who knew being in the hospital could be so exhausting. 

From then on I promised to keep the drama to zero and to stay on my feet at all times while walking. 

July 31, 2013

Quick Check-up

June 20, 2013

Had an appointment with Dr. Y and everything still looks good.
Heart-rate is excellent and measurements are right on track. 

July 30, 2013

Father's Day

June 16th, 2013

As we are expecting this Father's Day I wanted to do a little something fun for Paul before he had to go to work for the remainder of the day so I put together a Daddy Diaper Changing Kit. 

Kit includes: gloves, mask, goggles and tongs because those diapers are messy and stinky. A diaper, wipes, butt paste, binky and a towel for the actual diaper changing. Daddy-proof onsie (which labels what body part goes in each hole) for the adorable Hutchkin to wear once the process has been completed. A tool box, what else would any proper man keep his diaper changing kit in.