Saturday, September 27, 2014

Weekend updates

This week was busy so I didn't get a chance to post much. A lot of fun things happened though. On Friday, I substitute taught for the first time ever. The night before when trying to fall asleep I honestly had those nerves that teachers get before the first day of school. I laid there thinking about how the day would go and just hoping that I would be a good substitute. I'm not quite sure why I was so anxious because teaching was something that started to feel natural a few years ago. It was something about it not being my own classroom and not knowing the students and the routine that made it a bit indimidating. All in all, the day went well, and I do plan to go back again! Like riding a bike, teaching did come back naturally! 

My favorite part about subbing was being back in my old school and seeing my coworkers and old students. The reactions of some of my former students when they saw me was just priceless. One little girl shouted, "Mrs. Ciak! I've been looking for you!" She then gave me a big hug. Another former student found me walking to her bus and grabbed my hand and pulled me all the way to her bus staring at me smiling. Those are the moments that make teaching such an incredible job. Seeing how thrilled they were to see me and realizing that I had such an impact on them a few years later is really special. I look forward to going back in the upcoming months and seeing those precious faces again.

It was funny seeing my old coworkers reaction too. A few people just said hello as if I never even left. Others took a second glance and realized I was back as a sub which seemed different to everyone. It was wonderful to catch up with such a great group of teachers. I had fun getting to tell my principal and old coworkers that I was pregnant. I always felt so loved and supported there, and I felt so welcomed back which was such a nice feeling.

When I got home from teaching, I was definitely tired. I laid down on our bed and didn't even pull the covers back first. To my surprise, Jeremy surprised me with a new MacBook Air, and I sat on the box! He thought I would have pulled the sheets back and seen the surprise. It was so sweet of him. For the past few years I always used my work computer so once I gave that back I had to go back to the personal computer I had from 2009. Let's just say it wasn't functioning very well. The power cord had to be plugged in all the time, and I can't tell you how many times I accidently touched the cord and bam the computer screen was black without power. Even the dog jumping on the bed would wiggle it loose, and there went whatever I was working on. I'd been relying on my phone and my iPad the past few months because using that computer wasn't very enjoyable. And it's kind of pointless to have a laptop that can't move around since the battery stopped working. I had debated buying a new battery but the age of the computer didn't warrant putting more money into it.  I hadn't wanted to spend the money on a new computer so I was waiting for a holiday and was going to ask for contributions to one. I greatly appreciate my husband for being so sweet and getting me this gift. It will be well used! I'm amazed by how thin and light it is! 
I spent the rest of the evening playing with my new computer. It was such a great day, and I was reminded just how lucky I am. I'm really enjoying these happy moments because I recognize that life isn't always easy. I have a few friends battling cancer and others dealing with infertility, and it just reminds me not to take a day for granted. 

Last night, we decided to share our pregnancy news with the facebook world. I had already shared on the blog, I felt like I had told everyone I wanted to tell personally. I decided to just go for it even though the first trimester wasn't quite over yet. Close enough right? Of course it's still a little scary sharing that with everyone and still having a bit of fear that something could go wrong. But at this point at almost 11 weeks along, I want to recognize this pregnancy no matter what. Just last week my pregnancy hit many more milestones. The heart and vital organs are functioning, and the baby has arms, legs, hands, feet, fingers, and toes. Everything is formed, and now it just needs to grow! I continue to be thankful for each day that passes and each day that our baby continues to mature. I can't wait to go to the doctor again in two weeks, and I hope things will continue smoothly. Thanks to all my facebook family and friends for the outpouring of love with all the sweet likes and comments. We are so happy to share our good news with everyone!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Week 9 complete!

It's hard to believe that the single digit weeks of my first pregnancy are complete. I'm officially in the 10th week with 30 weeks to go! Some days I feels like it's flying by and other days seem to feel a little slower. The slower days mostly come when I'm waiting for another doctors appointment and test results that make me a bit nervous. I'm sure anyone who has been pregnant can relate to the worry of getting difficult news.

As I mentioned in a different post, during week 9 we went to our first OB appointment which went well. I also made an appointment to find out the gender for the beginning of November. I'm super excited about that! We've started to think about names but I am thinking about waiting until we know the gender so it will be easier to focus on boy or girl names. We definitely won't be one of those couples that has already named the baby part way through the pregnancy. There is a list started but there aren't any clear finalists at the moment. I can tell choosing a name is going to be a tough decision, and something that will require a lot of thought. I am often very indecisive but hopefully Jeremy and I will start choosing some finalists soon. At least we still have 6 and a half months left to think about it!

I'm starting to feel like I might be getting a little more energy back as the second trimester approaches. We'll see if that continues or not! I've had a busy week this week, and I have fortunately been feeling pretty well. More soon!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

To my friends struggling with infertility

I've been thinking about my friends and all the women out there still struggling with inferility. It seems like just yesterday that I was in that situation. It almost makes me feel badly that I am pregnant, and I try not to mention babies or pregnancy to those people because I know how sensitive a topic it is. I remember how hard it was to be around pregnant women and babies when I was having trouble getting pregnant so now that I am, I don't want to upset others by talking about it too much. I recognize that people may be struggling that I'm not even aware of so I've been trying to be sensitive to those around me. Even though I started documenting my pregnancy on my blog, I want to continue writing about infertility and PCOS too. 

I came across this quote that my specialist's office shared. See below. I thought it was sweet and applicable to those women who are still going through their own individual infertility journey. For me, it was the possibility of pregnancy that kept me going during the treatments, side effects, and high medical bills. The tough thing about infertility is that no treatment is a guarantee and everything seems like a chance or risk you're taking. I want to continue to encourage all the women out there who haven't been successful yet to keep trying.

I remember many family and friends asking me if I had thought about taking a break from trying. It's something I thought about a lot because I didn't know how long I could continue to put my body through medicated cycles and the stress of such frequent doctors appointments. But then I reminded myself that it was still possible, and I just could not give up until I reached my goal. The doctors still had a positive outlook, and I tried to continue to believe and trust in them. Looking back, I wouldn't change anything about the decisions we made regarding treatments and seeking help. 

I hope that my story of achieving a pregnancy after having some bumps along the way continues to encourage other women out there to stick with it. If it's time for a break, do that. If you want to keep trying different things, go for it. It's such a unique journey and each couple has to decide what's best for themselves but please know that I'm here to listen, to vent to, and to sympathize with. I hope that possibility keeps you going, and I look forward to hearing more of your success stories! It brings me such happiness when I get a message from a friend with a pregnancy announcement. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

First prenatal visit with my OB

Since I graduated from the specialist last week, I got to go back to my OB today! I hadn't been in since that day in May when my doctor told me I needed to see a reproductive endocrinologist. I didn't know when I would be back, and I was so glad to be there with my OB again.

The last time I was there, I cried in his office. I was wondering when I would ever be pregnant and having no idea when I would get to be one of those adorable pregnant ladies in the waiting room. It was such a special feeling to walk in there today and to tell my doctor that I was pregnant. These are the moments in life that make you forget all the tough times and that make all the challenges worth the hard work.

Last night I had that little bit of fear again before my appointment but once I got there, it was smooth sailing and so reassuring. Jeremy was able to come with me today, and I loved having him there. He hadn't seen the baby since my 6 week ultrasound so there had been a lot of changes since then. Once the ultrasound started, we immediately saw the baby wiggling on the screen. I had never seen it move before so that was really neat. My other favorite moment was hearing the heartbeat for the first time. I had seen that beautiful flicker on the screen but hearing it and seeing it at the same time was twice as amazing. I wish I could take that ultrasound home with me and see that sweet baby all the time! Every appointment makes it feel more and more real as the growth and development continues at such a fast pace. The picture I got today was much clearer than last week. You can really see the umbilical cord now. Seeing that connection to the baby is pretty special too. 
I knew I would love being pregnant but I think I love it even more than I thought. With each day that passes, I feel like that bond between myself and our baby continues to form. I can't wait to continue  on this journey, and I just keep hoping for a healthy pregnancy and baby. 

My next appointment isn't for three weeks which after being at the specialist every week feels like a huge gap. I definitely have gotten spoiled by those weekly appointments but I knew they had to end eventually. At that appointment, I will be having some testing done to check for the risk of Down's syndrome and other complications. The doctor did say the risk is low since I'm young so hopefully that will be true. Until then, I'm going to try to rest, relax, and enjoy these last few weeks of the first trimester! 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Week 8 recap

I was busy traveling last week and didn't get a chance to start the weekly posts I wanted to start at 8 weeks. So here is a recap from last week!

How far along? 8 Weeks
Total weight gain: 1lb
Maternity clothes? Nope not yet! Long dresses have been great.
Sleep: Changes frequently. Some nights are great other nights not as good. I feel like I've been having a lot more dreams that I actually remember since I've been  pregnant! Always wanting a mid day nap too!
Best moment this week: Getting released from the specialist 
Miss Anything? Deli meats, soft cheeses 
Movement: The baby is moving now but too tiny to feel!
Food cravings: fruit and pizza
Anything making you queasy or sick: Sometimes after I eat I feel really full and a bit queasy but it's manageable
Gender: Not sure but thinking boy 
Labor Signs: Nope 
Symptoms: Tired, Sore boobs
Belly Button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? On
Mood: Happy most of the time 
Looking forward to: my first OB appointment and another ultrasound 

I've been loving the pregnancy apps that I downloaded. My favorite one has been Ovia pregnancy. They send daily updates of what's happening with the baby each day, and I look forward to waking up each morning and reading the fun fact about the baby's development that day. The other thing I like about the Ovia app is that it shows you weekly development of your baby's hand. Week 8 was the first week that the baby has hands. Check out just how tiny it is! 
And as far as the size at 8 weeks, the baby is about the size of a raspberry. Besides the Ovia app I also like the What to Expect app and the baby center app. It's all so amazing to me and so interesting to read about.

2 months down and 7 more to go! Of course there is still that slight fear of a miscarriage or something being wrong but I'm trying not to worry and just enjoy every day. Staying positive is important. Each day that goes by brings us one more day closer to meeting our baby! I'm really looking forward to my first OB appt tomorrow and hoping for an exciting, fun day. More updates after that appt and week 9 updates coming soon!

Oh and one last thing. I came home from my trip to find this sweet card in the mail. It is from one of the doctors at my specialist. She had been away and missed my last few appointments. I was sad I didn't get to see her before I "graduated" from their office but I do greatly appreciate this thoughtful note from her. I had followed her around to different offices during my treatment because I loved and trusted her so much. I absolutely love feeling like an individually cared about patient and not just a number on a chart. It was evident all along how thoughtful they were but this card really reminded me how special a practice they are!


Monday, September 15, 2014

Family visit

It's a pretty rare occasion that both my brothers and I are in the same location at the same time. Even holidays are tough to get together since we are in three different states and since we all have significant others and multiple families to visit. Coincidentally, my brother, Dennis, and his girlfriend happened to be in Philadelphia this weekend for a wedding. Perfect timing. On Sunday, we all were able to get together which was so nice!
We went for a little hike through the woods.
Theo had fun with his uncle climbing trees.
And back at my brothers place there was lots of play time with my nephews. I loved seeing all of us together having some sibling time! Jeremy had to work but I had a great visit with my family. As I have gotten older, I really appreciate this time with my family. The next time I will see them will most likely be when the baby is born. That is exciting to think about! We started to try and explain to my almost 3 year old nephew what a cousin is. 

We didn't really get a posed group shot but I like these action shots just as much! I've got one last day in Philadelphia before I head back to my hometown and back to GA. It's been a wonderful trip so far but I am almost ready to come back to GA. Even though this area is where I grew up, GA really feels like my home now. Looking forward to a little more warm weather down there. It definitely feels like fall up here already! 

My last day in Philly was nice. I met my brother for lunch and had dinner with Jeremy. It was a nice sunny day! The view from our hotel was really pretty!
The park outside the hotel was cute too.
Then it was back to NJ for one night. I met up with a few more friends and had dinner with a family I used to babysit for. Two of the four kids are off in college now which definitely made me feel old! I stayed at my Dad's for the night and visited my childhood cat who is about seventeen years old now! He is one big cat. 
I had a wonderful time visiting my family and friends up north! Thanks to everyone who let me say with them or took the time to meet up!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Trip back home

Jeremy had a business trip in Philapelphia so I decided to tag along and visit back home as well. I didn't remember to get pictures with everyone but here are a few from my trip so far.
Dinner at my favorite pizza place in NJ with my Dad. We stopped there on the way back from the airport. Next, we stopped at my favorite Italian ice place. It's fun to visit all my old favorite spots. Eating healthy can resume the next day right?  

Then I visited a friend from high school and stayed with her and her husband. The next morning I saw one of the families I used to babysit for and had lunch with my former next door neighbors. We got a picture just not the clearest one. Loved seeing them!
Next I went to see a friend from middle school and one of my college friends that recently had a baby. This is where I forgot to take pictures. Bummer!

Next stop was Philly to stay with Jeremy for a few nights. 
One of our first date nights as parents to be! I got some Philly water ice too. Delicious!
The next day we visited my nephews. I got a few pictures there. 
Simon is almost 10 months and crawling. There were lots of sweet smiles!
Theo is almost three. We had some fun reading stories and playing with his toys!

And lastly some fireworks from our hotel window. Perks of being on the water. 
There is an adorable park that we hung out in that's all lit up and has hammocks and seating areas. Very cute! I just wish it was a little warmer. I wasn't quite ready for the cooler evenings they are having up here already. I guess it is fall but I'm not quite ready for the warm weather to leave! More soon!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

PCOS awareness month

September is PCOS awareness month. As you all know, I like to share my story and help expose others to PCOS. This month, our story is being featured on another ladies blog called The Inferility Voice. Today was the day my post went live on her website. If you're interested in reading the post, here it is!


Thanks Keiko for sharing my story and exposing others to PCOS and the challenges it can create!


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Released from the specialist


Today was bittersweet. I had my 8 week appointment, and my third ultrasound. Everything was measuring well, and that sweet little heartbeat was still just as beautiful! I can happily say I got released from my specialist! Yet another milestone in my books. When I first started going there in June, I had no idea how long I might be there. It could have been a couple months, six months, or years. It's different for everyone. Going in, I didn't really know what to expect but I knew I was transferring over to a team of doctors who knew inferility and how to help me. I can't thank them enough, and as happy as I am to be released with the start of a normal pregnancy, I will miss their smiling, passionate faces.

As I waited in the waiting room for my last appointment, I couldn't help but look around me at all the other women still struggling with inferility. Just 8 short weeks ago, I was in their shoes waiting and hoping for the day I would get that positive pregnancy test. The feelings those women are having are still so apparent to me, and I will never forget my infertility experience. It's a part of me forever, and that journey taught me a lot. 

My heart goes out to all the women still trying to acheive a healthy pregnancy. I have a few friends waiting and hoping too some who are also dealing with pregnancy loss. I think about all these women often, and I remember just how tough it is waiting for happy news when you want a baby so much. While I know it can be hard to hear someone else you know is pregnant, I hope that stories like mine encourage you keep going no matter how challenging it gets. I know it feels like the infertility journey will never end. It felt that way to me a few short weeks ago but things can turn around any day. :) I know this pregnancy and my journey into motherhood will be far from easy too but I'm trying to enjoy every minute and hope for the best. Next week, I have my first OB appointment. I'm looking forward to seeing my other practice again, and hoping for more happy appointments! 
And lastly, ACRM gave me a little going away gift. It's engraved and says best wishes! I will definitely keep in touch with them and hopefully we can attend their baby celebration party next year!




Monday, September 8, 2014

Announcing early

Recently I came across a few articles and situations where people announced their pregnancies early. While I believe the right time to announce a pregnancy is
different for every couple, I find it interesting reading about why some people choose to wait longer and why others choose to share sooner. These articles below support announcing early and give lots of reasons they suggest people share their exciting news. I found the points interesting and similar to some of the things I was thinking when I announced before the 12 week mark. 

One article focuses on the Duggar family and her early announcement and why they didn't choose to wait. Here it is. http://liveactionnews.org/she-announced-her-pregnancy-way-before-12-weeks-why-more-women-should-consider-doing-the-same/

This other article talks about how announcing earlier could change the way society views miscarriage and pregnancy loss. 
http://thefederalist.com/2014/08/28/end-the-three-month-wait-for-sharing-a-pregnancy/

There are definitely pros and cons to waiting and to sharing quickly. It really is a matter of choice and what you as a couple are comfortable with. I just thought I would share these articles because I found them to be quite interesting. Just like I wanted to expose more people to infertility, I also want to talk about early pregnancies and losses that many women secretly face. Until I opened up about my struggles, I didn't realize how many friends of mine had miscarriages. I think it's important that people understand what many women secretly go through. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Second ultrasound and a heartbeat!!

After the first ultrasound and confirmation that the pregnancy existed, it started to feel more real. At my second ultrasound, the doctor was looking to see a heartbeat. I had read that once a strong heartbeat is detected that the rate of miscarriage drops a bunch. Finding the heartbeat was the next huge milestone! I was so excited but a bit anxious at the same time.

My appointment wasn't until 3:45 on Tuesday September 2nd so it was a long day waiting for the ultrasound. I got there extra early just in case they were ready for me sooner. Jeremy wasn't able to make it to the appointment today so I wanted to try to remember everything so I could tell him all about it. I could not wait to see how much our little peanut had grown in one week and to see that precious little heartbeat. 

Even just waiting a few minutes for the doctor to come in feels like forever when you're sitting there alone in the room. I just couldn't wait! Once the doctor came in, we got started. As soon as she got the ultrasound wand in place and the baby on the screen she said, "I see the heartbeat. Do you see it flickering right there?" Sure enough after a little more adjusting, I could see it super clearly on the screen. I think I teared up looking and it and remember saying to the doctor, "Aw it's so sweet." There it was. Our baby's heart was beating. The doctor was super sweet and asked me if I wanted to take a video for my husband. I was so glad she suggested it because I was going to ask but I wasn't sure if I was supposed to take a video or not! She got a good view, and I took a few second video. 

I can't even tell you how many times I've watched that 6 second video over and over. It truly it one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. Seeing the heartbeat made the pregnancy feel just that much more real. Although the baby is only about the size of a raspberry or blueberry, he/she is there growing and developing at an incredible rate. I couldn't believe how much it had grown in 7 short days since my last appointment. 
Next week will mark my last appointment with the specialist. I honestly can't believe I'm saying that. When I first started going there in June, I didn't know how long this journey would last. I could have gone through more rounds of IUI and eventually had to move to IVF. I feel incredibly fortunate that this amazing group of doctors and nurses were able to achieve a pregnancy for me so quickly after making the switch to them. I've gotten really attached to a few of the doctors and just the practice in general. Everyone there down to the receptionists kept me informed and cared for me during a very emotional time. Some weeks I was there up to four times a week, and I saw them more than my own family and friends. It honestly feels like ACRM is a part of my family now too. Without their assistance, expertise, support, and guidance, I might have still been writing about my infertility experience. I can not thank them enough, and I would highly recommend them to any friends in the Atlanta area that might face similar complications as I did.

Now that we've seen the heartbeat, I do feel a little more relaxed but I know it's still early, and we still have many milestones to achieve. From everyone I've talked to about pregnancy, it seems each person has their own unique experiences which include lots of happiness but sometimes stressful situations too. I know this journey towards becoming a mother will be far from easy but I do feel prepared and ready to take on this next challenge. Please continue to keep us and our baby in your thoughts over the next few months! Thanks!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

First ultrasound!


Tuesday August 26 was a day I hoped and dreamed about for a long time. Once we passed the year mark and didn't get pregnant, I really did start to worry. When would it ever happen? It just seemed out of reach but now I can safely say that it did happen. I got pregnant! The past few weeks have felt surreal and being pregnant still just felt like an idea or a number on a bloodwork. I think Jeremy and I both wanted to see it to truly believe it.

In the week leading up to my first ultrasound, I was definitely still nervous. I was still getting over the low HCG numbers and realizing that this really could work out. There was still that little bit of fear that it wouldn't be there or that it would be in my tube or something strange but odds were in our favor that everything would be just fine. My heart was definitely racing while we waited in the waiting room. I was so glad to have Jeremy there with me. This was the day got to see our baby!
Hearing the doctor say that we have a beautiful pregnancy here was such a wonderful thing to hear! Everything was measuring normally. They adjusted my due date two days back. I thought I was 6 weeks and 1 day, and they bumped me back to 5 weeks and 6 days. That probably explains why my pregnancy hormone levels were so low initially. Either a little later ovulation or late implantation. Possibly a combination of the two. Seeing little baby Ciak, although he/she is only a tiny dot right now was so reassuring. Just knowing it was there and growing in the right spot was an amazing feeling. I definitely know I still have a lot of milestones to get to but hopefully that will all continue as planned. Below is our first ultrasound image. The little X or star like thing shows where the baby is. So so tiny! 
They looked for the heartbeat at the first ultrasound but since I was only 5 weeks and 6 days she couldn't see it yet. Next time I will go at 6 weeks and 6 days, we should be able to see it then. That will be another amazing step in the right direction. It's definitely still nerve racking hoping it all progresses. I think any newly pregnant lady feels that worry but I'm trying my best to stay positive and hope everything progresses normally. I've been pregnant for just a few weeks now, and it truly is the most special experience. I always knew I would love being pregnant, and I just appreciate it so much after the ups and downs getting here. 

I'm holding off on any planning or shopping until we get past the first trimester. My eyes are definitely focused on October though. I thought once I got through all these fertility treatments and was pregnant that I wouldn't worry as much. Pregnancy is definitely a lot more waiting and hoping! I guess that's all part of being a mom! As we left the appointment, they handed me this pamphlet of papers with advice. Those simple bold letter words, "Congratulations! You're Pregnant" were so great to read. It was really starting to soak in now. More about the second ultra sound soon!





Friday, September 5, 2014

The day we found out!

Wow, where do I even begin? These past few weeks have been some of the most difficult days of my life but also some of the most exciting as well. The emotions running through me right now and over the last few weeks are almost unexplainable. You really have to live this experience to relate but I will do my best to recap everything that has happened and all the ups and downs along the way!

As many of you know I had an IUI (inter uterine insemination) on Monday July 28. After the procedure I didn't really share much because it was a very personal experience for my husband and I, and to be honest, it wasn't the way I pictured possibly getting pregnant. It felt so scientific, and something I never dreamed would be happening to me. Even though I wasn't a huge fan of the process, I knew it was a step that could help us and even that extra 5% chance was worth it to me. I had heard IUIs work wonders for many people but yet I was still skeptical and was trying not to get my hopes up.

In case you didn't know, there is a two week waiting period until you can accurately find out if you are pregnant or not. Just knowing the exact day we possibly conceived was so crazy to me and being so aware of what was potentially happening inside my body that morning was so nerve racking. I tried not to think about it too much but it was virtually impossible.

One week went by, and I got my hormone levels checked and things looked good. That was reassuring but I was unsure about what to expect next week. For the first time I was having a blood pregnancy test at the office and having to wait all day to find out the results. Think about a time when you were waiting for test results and the anxiety you felt hoping everything was okay. Now picture that call plus potential news that your life was changing forever. I felt fear of starting over, and I felt excitement about possibly being pregnant.

During that two week wait, I kept trying to prepare myself for starting over and for the disappointment I've been so accustomed to hearing but as I've mentioned before, there is still that hope that just maybe this time worked. Monday morning August 11th, the day of the pregnancy blood test was finally here. Coincidentally that day also would have been my first day of school. Crazy timing. I struggled to sleep the night before. 

At 7:45am I had my blood pregnancy test. Then the wait for the phone call began. The first two songs I heard on the radio when I left the doctors office were that Best Day ever song and Don't Stop Believing. I couldn't help but think that that was a sign that today was going to be the best day ever and to not stop believing. Maybe this really was going to be the best day! 

I went to babysit and had a bit of a distraction but I honestly was feeling sick to my stomach waiting for the call. They had told me it wouldn't be before 11 but sometime in the afternoon. The minutes ticked by so slowly, and I kept obsessively checking my phone making sure I had service and a charged battery. I just couldn't miss this call, and I wanted a definitive answer so badly. I was ready for this excruciating wait to be over.

At 2:05pm, that call came through. My heart was already racing before even picking up. It was a nurse and she basically said "Congratulations you are pregnant" followed by a but your pregnancy hormone is very low, and you could have already miscarried so be cautious. I wanted so desperately to be excited that I got pregnant because that was a huge accomplishment in itself but the thought that I potentially had already lost the baby just broke my heart to think about. I tried to keep the tears away and focus on the fact that for the first time in my life, I achieved a pregnancy. What wonderful news that was but it was extremely difficult to hear the nurse say that it was basically a "maybe" and that they weren't sure it would make it past the next few days. So my next appointment 48 hours later was scheduled for Wednesday August 13, and we would have an official answer by then. Gosh those two days were some of the longest days of my life.

I kept hoping and hoping that our baby could hold on and that maybe they just tested super early, and my body just simply didn't have time to produce more of the pregnancy hormone. To be exact, my HCG (the pregnancy hormone) came back at 17. Anything above a 5 is technically pregnant but they explained to me that they wanted it at 35-50 at this point. Then I started wondering if that little number 17 was left over from the HCG injection two weeks ago. After speaking with a few doctor friends, they assured me that the doctors can distinguish synthetic versions of HCG from the shot with HCG that my body is producing naturally from a pregnancy. I just had no idea what to expect in the next few days.

On Tuesday we tried to keep busy and even invited a friend over for dinner. Distracting ourselves and being social felt like the best thing for me right now. I didn't really want to sit there at dinner talking about it so having our friend over was a good way to keep our minds off of it for a little while. It's so easy to want to shut yourself off from other people when you are going through a stressful time but I was trying not to do that. 

Oh that morning I also did an at home test hoping the line would be more solid. I forgot to mention I did get a faint positive Sunday night but I don't think I really believed it since it was so faint. The line was actually lighter a few days later and that worried me. I assumed it would be getting darker if my hormone levels were going up. Maybe that was a bad idea because I was holding myself together pretty well to that point. That was when I really start to fear that I had had an early miscarriage. Then I reminded myself that it's just an at home test and that I needed to wait for the bloodwork to tell the real story. Lesson learned, taking extra pregnancy tests does not easy anxiety.

Wednesday morning at 7:45 came again. It felt like I was reliving Monday all over again. It was an exact repeat but this time it felt like even more was on the line because it was. Part of me really wanted to believe I was pregnant and that it would last but part of me was preparing for devastating news. I knew how much it would hurt even this early on. At 3:20pm, I got the call. The nurse cheerfully confirmed that I was in fact pregnant and that little baby Ciak made it past those few very crucial days!! It felt so surreal. They had wanted that 17 to double, and it not only doubled but it tripled to 58! I was officially pregnant! I can't even explain the joy that the call gave me especially after the stress of the past few days. This was really happening! I even took an at home digital test and saw in clear spelled out letters something I had never seen before. That beautiful word "pregnant" was looking right at me. It was honestly one of the most special things I've ever seen. 

On Sunday, four days later I went back for repeated bloodwork to confirm the numbers were progressing. My HCG went up from 58 to 348! It tripled again and gave me a little more reassurance. But I definitely still have that fear of a miscarriage, especially after things started off so slowly. I worry about it being a tubal pregnancy or even just an unexplained miscarriage. I think any women in the first trimester feels that way though. All you can do is eat healthy, sleep well, and hope for the best. It's in my bodies hands at this point, and stressing about it certainly won't help the situation. 

In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy every single moment of having a baby forming inside me. I knew it was going to be a special feeling but I didn't know how amazing it really would be. I love walking around everyday carrying this secret inside of me. No one knows from the outside, and there is something really cool about that! I already can feel the bond forming between myself and our baby. I absolutely love reading about the weekly developments and what's happening. It truly is a miracle, and I'm so amazed that my body is actually doing this. Please keep us in your thoughts over the next weeks and hope for a smooth pregnancy. It certainly has not been easy getting to this point, and we are absolutely thrilled that we will very likely be parents in April 2015!!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Baby Ciak coming soon!!

Jeremy and I are thrilled to announce that Baby Ciak will be here in April 2015! As many of you might have been suspecting, the discontinuation of my treatment posts was due to the pregnancy! If you guessed that, you were right! It is so incredibly exciting! I have been thinking about it a lot lately and whether or not to wait the full 12 weeks to announce it. Since I have been so open all along about this whole process, it had been hard keeping this exciting secret off the blog! I kept writing posts to document everything as it was fresh in my mind and as it was happening but they have all stayed in the unpublished section. 

When I first found out three weeks ago, we did tell many close family and friends. Many of you have been so involved and interested with the treatment process that we couldn't wait to share our news even early on. I know that most people wouldn't share for a few more weeks but most people also don't share their whole infertility experience either. As you all can tell, I am a very open person. From my perspective, as much as I would not want to write about having a miscarriage, I know that I would want all of your love and support during a difficult time like that. I wouldn't want to secretly go through something like that alone so for that reason I'm opening up and sharing my secret! You all helped me through my infertility treatments, and I know you'll be there during our pregnancy journey as well!

I know there are still a few weeks left in the first trimester but I am staying positive and hoping for a smooth pregnancy. There will always be a bit of worry and fear until the baby is born but until then, I want to enjoy every minute of this special time and wanted to share that joy with all of you who follow my blog! I decided to just post on the blog first and wait for the Facebook announcement. That way the family and friends who follow my blog regularly can get all the updates and hear the full story as it's happening. It was quite dramatic and stressful at the beginning. I will share those posts in the next few days. Until then, please keep us and our tiny baby in your thoughts over the next few months! Thank you again for all the love and support over the past year! 

Lastly, I should mention the significance of the baby shoes in the photo collage above. I barely did any shopping while we were in Asia a few months ago but the one purchase I did make was a pair of baby shoes. Over the past few months, I kept hoping that it would become a reality that our baby would one day wear those little shoes. I thought they were so adorable and would be a good addition to an annoucement when the time came. :) Anyway, more of the full story coming soon! 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Virtual mentor job posting

I still get email through my Fulton county work email and stumbled across a new job posting that sounded interesting. They are looking into trying out a virtual mentoring program which would require 10-12 hours a week on nights and weekends from home. As I've mentioned before I've been thinking about looking for some online teaching opportunities and being an online mentor sounds like a neat idea. 

I'm not getting my hopes up because it sounds like their is an interview process, and I have a feeling they would choose full time teachers over me, however, I figured it was worth applying to. We will see what happens after the application period ends. 

September has turned out to be a very busy month for me but I'm most looking forward to my trip back home in just 9 days. Most of the time I end up at home is for a wedding or event so I am glad that I'm getting to go visit for a longer period of time so I can see more people. I'm hoping the weather stays nice a lot longer. I am never ready for summer to end and colder weather to arrive. Hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend! I was happy PSU pulled out a win at the end on Saturday! 

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