Thursday, February 23, 2017

A Finding Dory birthday party

About a month ago Yulia turned 3. I do not know how I do this, every year I say to myself we will keep the celebration small and then I make a list and we end up having a party full of kids (and their parents). I love it though and get so excited making things ready.

We have slowly been showing short cartoons to Yu, last summer she fell in love with Nemo and Dory so we decided to go with that theme. I tried to keep the menu simple: vegetables and hummus, sandwiches, olives, cheese, fruit , mozzarella-tomato-basil sticks and some chips. I made -agua fresca de naranja-  homemade orange water and put it in a "Nemo" jar.

The cake was chocolate-raspberry, we had a blast decorating with little girl (sculpting fondant is just like playing with play-doh), following this tutorial, and lemon-rasberry cupcakes.

 Little Wing Atelier made the cutest piñata. She loved it so much that Dory had to sleep with it the day before, it was so cute. She enjoyed the day and had so much fun. It is a lot of work, but so worth it!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Getting the pink lines

I am pregnant again. We are so happy this is happening and sometimes I still can not believe it.  After we had our miracle Yu I had totally drank the Kool-Aid that as soon as we "relaxed" we would get pregnant spontaneously. I know this is not a thing and yet I wanted it so much to be true. Everyone tells you those stories: "my friend did IVF, and for the second one, they got pregnant without expecting it" or "we were about to adopt, and in the middle of the process we did a test out of the blue, and boom, positive".

We basically never used protection since baby Y. was born. I breastfed her for almost 2 years so at some point I started taking ovulation tests to verify everything was "fine" and that I was ovulating again (my cycle was back and regular, it actually came back quite fast after birth, I think 3 or 4 months after).

 I read that CoEnzyme Q 10 might have a positive effect on sperm motility and function so Mark started taking it. And then months and months passed and.... nothing.  We were back to square 1. Suffering in silence again and not even daring to talk much about it because I felt so guilty and ungrateful to even dare to want more. It is so difficult to have a kid and be among fertile people who can just get pregnant when they want or whom the event takes them by surprise. Makes you feel completely isolated.

Anyhow, in November 2015 we went to the fertility clinic again. It had been almost 2 years and things were not moving. They told us Yulia had to be fully weaned if we wanted to attempt treatment  so we had to go through that. Then we planned a trip to Mexico last April and with the whole Zika virus thing going on we wouldn't want to risk it.

So in May 2016 we were ready to start an IVF/ICSI cycle. We went through it all, confident that it would work. When I saw the negative test and my period came I was so incredibly sad. But this time around they were able to freeze 2 embryos so we could try a frozen cycle before starting from scratch, without doing the whole stimulation and follicle aspiration process. When an IVF cycle fails though, they make you wait a month to let your body rest. Come mid July we were ready for our frozen embryo transfer, singing ice-ice baby to ourselves whenever we talked about it to each other. But it was not to be. On the day of the transfer they called us to say that neither of our embryos had survived the thawing process. I cried so much that day.

 So there we were, getting ready for a 2nd round of IVF, hopes renewed, about to start. I remember being at the carousel at the beach when we received the call that we had only 1 embryo growing that time. We went on with the transfer. And waited, and waited, and waited. I did a test a bit too early and there was the faintest line, barely visible.

But I got my period the next day. I guess the line was leftover medication from the trigger shot (that's why you are not supposed to test early) but the devastation we then felt was enormous. I remember sitting on the outside benches of the office, crying, without being able to stop as I felt all our hopes crushing down. I was at work but I could barely do anything. I remember being on the phone with customers and the tears just kept coming of my eyes. I had no control over my feelings.

 After that we had to wait another "resting" cycle. We had a talk with our lovely doctor to discuss our options. Our insurance would cover a 3rd fresh IVF cycle, we had to think about which medication to use during the stimulation period. She showed us numbers and data and how my body had specifically reacted to each of the options. One medication was the one that we used during our succesful cycle (Yulia), on the other one my body seemed to react better (it was the one where we were able to get frozen embryos). Statistically, when looking at the population level, they did not really see differences between both. We went with numbers knowing that our failed cycles were most probably due to genetic factors (as my body responded well to either stimulation protocol) and hoping we would be able to get strong embryos.

We started our 3rd cycle, full of hope, but with fear trailing behind. We were not able to to let go of this just like that. We had agreed that if it didn't work out we would still discuss the possibilities of trying yet another time. And then we got lucky.  Mid October we found out this time it had stuck. We were so overjoyed and are still so grateful. I am now 21 weeks. This time my pregnancy is being followed more closely (at the hospital) and I am getting weekly progesterone shots to try to prevent a preterm birth. I am feeling well, just mostly tired. 2nd time around I have been showing a lot earlier. I was on maternity pants since week 10 or 11 and I just seem to be more achy everywhere. We are so happy that this is happening again and just keep praying that everything will go well.

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