Archives for category: MTHFR

I know that a lot of people stumble across my blog, thanks to google. Many of them are looking for hope and encouragement in their fertility journey. Since infertility will always be a subject close to my heart, I want to get this information out there in case it might be of help to someone. 

When we were trying to improve DH’s sperm count, motility, and morphology, I researched natural ways to help. It seems there is an overwhelming amount of information on the internet for natural supplements, but it’s all scattered around here and there and takes forever to sort through. As I sifted through everything, I compiled this list. 

Keep in mind, I have no medical degree and I certainly am not advising anyone to take this huge pile of supplements. In fact, I can’t even tell you that it will up your count or quality at all. All I know is, whether or not it contributed to the miracle conceptions that God blessed us with, it certainly didn’t hurt. Most of these supplements are good for your general health, regardless and are things DH needs to be on to keep other health issues at bay. So, here goes.

Vitamin C – 1,500mg

Vitamin E – 800iu (I prefer to use the natural version of vitamin E, vs the synthetic)

Zinc – 60mg

B12 – 100mcg (We actually take a b-complex that is methylated for better absorption. I’ll gladly tell you what it’s called if you want to know.)

Selenium – 200mcg

CoQ10 – 100mg

L-Carnitine – not sure of amount

Vitamin A – this was in a multi he was taking at the time, so I’m not sure on the dose of this either

Flax oil and/or Fish oil – 1,200mg 

L-Arginine – 500mg

Vitamin D – 5,000iu

Astaxanthin – 12mg

Obviously, you should check this list over with your dr before taking these things. Particularly if you are on medication as the supplements and meds could interact. I just wanted to put this list our there in case it could help someone else. 

*For reference, DH’s last semen analysis (he’s had many) was 1million, sub par motility and 0% morphology. We have gone on to have 3 successful pregnancies through ivf and spontaneous conception since that test. 🙂 

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I’m going to post this without pictures for now because I haven’t uploaded them yet and don’t have time right now, but I’ll try to post them soon.

 

*This is the TMI version of the birth. Blood, amniotic fluid and all. If that disturbs you, I’d recommend skipping this post.*

 

*Birth is usually a beautiful event. It is also a painful and sometimes dramatic event. This birth was mostly calm, but I don’t sugar-coat the pain. Just know that it was all 100% worth it and I wouldn’t change a thing because this is the way that my baby came into my arms and I am so thankful and blessed to have him here.*

 

I have a few spare minutes so I thought I’d try to get the birth story written down. It’s already getting very fuzzy on timelines and details but that’s ok. It was an absolutely beautiful birth. Horribly intense but very short labor. 38 weeks 5 days, the day before I was going to be induced, I spent the day at home with the boys just spending time together, cleaning up the house and getting the last items thrown in the hospital bags. We skipped nap time in favor of an early bedtime. The boys were in bed by 8pm and DH and I went to bed a little before 9. Of course, despite taking Unisom and a natural sleep supplement my sister L gave me, I didn’t fall asleep until after 11 and sleep was very fitful after that. I had to be up at 2:40am to get ready to leave for the hospital, but I woke up a little after 2 with pain in my leg and nervousness running crazy, so I got up around 2:20 and got a shower, curled my hair and had breakfast. We left the house a bit after 3:30 and got to the hospital at about 5am.

 

 

Once we got admitted to our room, the nurse hooked me and baby up to the monitor, asked 20 million questions and tried to start an IV. She couldn’t get it after 2 tries, so she had another nurse come in and get it started. That whole IV process took over half an hour! At that point, she flushed an entire bag of fluid through me and started the pitocin at 2 at about 7am or a little after. She checked me to get a starting point and I was 3cm, 60% effaced and baby was -2 station.

 

 

The contractions started soon after but were very mild, very short and not too frequent. (registering around 50 on the toco monitor)The next set of nurses came on shift right after that. One was in training and had only been there a few days and the other was so young, she couldn’t have been there long herself. They came in every half hour to increase the Pitocin by 2 and check my blood pressure. At 8:59am, I texted my mom to tell her that the contractions were getting stronger. At 9:04, I told her they were close. The Dr come in right after that to talk about breaking my water. I told her I didn’t want to yet and she asked when I would want her to. I told her, maybe in 4 hours. She said that was ok, but a long time and maybe 2 hours would be better and she would come back to check later. I asked her how high we were going to go on the Pitocin since I was VBAC and she said that they don’t usually induce VBACs so she couldn’t answer that. Then she left. At that point I had cycled through laboring in the bed, in the rocking chair and was now on the birth ball.

 

 

By the time they had bumped me to 6 on the pitocin, I told the nurse that I wouldn’t be able to stand much more. My contractions were over 124+ on the toco and happening very frequently. (From my labor with Levi, I knew that the pitocin on 3 was already too much for my body and they had to turn it off. Pathetic I know, but my uterus responds very very strong to just a tiny tiny bit.) I texted my mom at 9:25 that the contractions were much worse and very close, then at 9:33 I told her she should leave the house to come to the hospital soon! (They have a 1.5+ hour drive too) The nurse bumped the Pitocin to an 8 and I knew I couldn’t go any higher. The pressure and pain were horrendous by that point and I asked them to turn it down. I was trying to labor kneeling over the bed, and later standing while leaning on the bed. They kept saying that we wanted this kind of contractions and it was good, but from having been in labor before, I knew this was wayyy too intense for my body. Labor with Levi was very manageable. I could walk around and stop to squat with the contractions. I could breathe through them (until transition) but with these, I couldn’t bear it. I was breaking down crying and moaning very loudly and no matter how hard I tried to relax into the contraction and breathe through it, I couldn’t. They were coming very fast and the pain was completely localized on my c-section scar and intense downward pressure. Finally the nurses asked the Dr what to do and came back to the room to flush another bag of IV fluid through me and turn the Pitocin down to 4. Which helped space the contractions just a bit, and dimmed the pain enough that I stopped hyperventilating. My face and then my legs had gone numb from not being able to slow my breathing down, and my vision was getting weird, which was exactly what happened in my labor with Levi during transition. I kept saying “I’d think I was in transistion if it wasn’t so soon.” And the nurses and DH kept telling me that I probably was and that I should let the Dr come check me. I decided to try getting in the shower first because I couldn’t handle hearing that I hadn’t made any progress yet.

 

 

I got in the shower to sit on the seat for about 5 minutes, if that. It felt amazing and calmed me down, but the Dr came in the room again and asked if I wanted her to check me now or in 2 hours. I decided to do it now, even though I hated to get out of the shower, because I couldn’t imagine 2 more hours of this kind of labor. I had asked her at my first check, when I should get the epidural line placed and she said I didn’t have to. But at this point, hearing me while I was working through the pain and having 3 more contractions just getting out of the shower, she said I should go ahead and get it placed. I’m not sure if she became concerned because of the pain I was having or what, but all the pain was still localized to the scar area and downward pressure. She had talked earlier about putting a pressure monitor in my uterus to make sure I wasn’t rupturing, (never knew any such thing existed!) but said my water would have to be broken first. I didn’t have any scar pain with Levi, so that was new! Anyway, the Dr checked me and said I was 8cm, then she left the room with no other comment. I thought that was weird since I knew she wanted to break my water soon, but she was very respectful of what I wanted and I appreciated that she wasn’t pushy at all. It was just so completely different from my experience with the Dr who delivered Levi. Night and day.

 

 

So, the anesthesiologist showed up right away (DH took a call from my mom right about then at 10:47am) and I was thrilled to see him! All through my pregnancy, I had been on the fence about getting the epidural dosed this time but I had decided I would go with whatever felt right at the time. I asked him what my options were for pain if I still wanted to get out of bed. (I had been to the bathroom about 800 times at that point and didn’t want to be stuck in bed or have a catheter.) He suggested a dose of fentanyl through the epidural line and said that would probably hold me over till the birth since the birth would be soon. I thought that was a great option! What I didn’t know was that it would make me itch all over and feel very warm, but it was worth it! He also gave me a shot of pepcid which was supposed to help the itching. I felt so much relief from the fentanyl! I was able to lay down in bed and rest my body. I had been shaking really badly through the pain and I finally calmed down and could breathe. At that point, my MIL, FIL, SIL and niece arrived. I was calm and able to talk to DH and my SIL between contractions for a little bit while everyone else waited in the waiting room. Then the contractions started hurting like crazy again and I was back in the dire pain situation again. I’m not sure how much time had passed. Maybe an hour? I could feel a warm sensation with each contraction. It felt like the water was flowing out of my body, but it hadn’t broken yet. I think that was the water bag bulging….

 

 

My parents arrived and I continued to work through the pain and contractions. My Dad stood by the bed looking quite helpless. I halfway felt bad for him and halfway found it quite humorous. He eventually left to go sit with my FIL. When I went to use the bathroom, there was quite a lot of blood and I got scared but the nurse said it was normal. After a little while, I was clinging to the bed rail, half sitting during the contractions, crying and starting to freak out again. The nurse checked me and said I was 10cm and my water bag was bulging. She said if we could break the water, baby would come fast. I was so scared to get my water broke, mostly because I didn’t know how I could cope with any more pain, but I agreed to let the Dr come break my water. My mom, DH and the nurses were all telling me to just let the Dr do it so we could get the pain and delivery over with. Right after the nurse left the room, I felt two pops around my belly button. A couple of seconds passed and then water started gushing out. It wasn’t nearly as much water as I’d had with Levi, but it was much less painful to have it break on its own rather than having a Dr digging in there with the hook. I was so relieved that the Dr didn’t have to break it. At this point, the contractions were so incredibly intense with pressure, but I still didn’t have the urge to push. DH went to get the nurse and she came back in the room a few minutes later. I don’t think she was at all convinced my water had gone but she called for the Dr. I told the nurse I wanted the pitocin off because I was contracting so fast and hard. She wouldn’t turn it off and I was like “I am obviously having the baby now. My labor isn’t going to stop.” But anyway, when she left the room, I turned the drip off. I know I shouldn’t have, but it seemed so stupid to have it still running and causing me so much extra intense pain.

 

 

At that point, a few minutes before 1pm, I told the nurse that I wanted another dose of fentanyl. The anesthesiologist said that wasn’t allowed so I asked for a small dose of the epidural. Everyone was all “You don’t need it! You’ll be having the baby in a few minutes!” But I insisted that I did want it. I had pretty much made up my mind that I wanted something to take the edge off during pushing and in case I ended up with a million stitches again. So, the anesthesiologist came in again and I explained that I wanted only the very smallest amount of medicine possible. I wanted to be able to move my legs and change positions and push in whatever position felt right. Not to be numb entirely or unable to move my legs. He said he had just the thing and gave me a shot through the line. He said to lay on my back for 7-10 minutes to let the medicine work. I couldn’t though. I had to sit up. I couldn’t handle even one contraction laying down.

 

 

The Dr arrived right after that and checked me. She told me to start pushing. I had been sobbing and saying “I don’t want to push!” over and over. I feel kind of silly looking back now. 😉 But I realized later that the reason I didn’t want to push was because I was so worried I would hemorrhage again. That and I was afraid I would tear. Anyway, I still didn’t have the urge to push, just the incredible intense pressure I had felt all day. That and the horrible pain in my incision which was overriding every other sensation in my body. But the Dr just started counting, so I pushed. 3 pushes and his head was right there. I think I pushed through 4 contractions, 2 or 3 pushes each time. Once his head was halfway out, she said to stop and let my body stretch so I wouldn’t tear (with Levi I wasn’t told to stop and that probably caused a lot of the tearing). She said he would come out on his own with the next contraction. I impulsively reached down and felt Zane’s head. It was so warm and soft. I couldn’t wait to get him out! Once I had another contraction, out he popped at 1:09pm, with his right hand up by his face just like it always was in my ultrasounds. I think I pushed about 6 minutes. The nurse had covered my belly with a towel and I kept pushing it away and she kept moving it back. I was getting so annoyed! I wanted the baby right on me. His cord was very short so he couldn’t go on my chest until DH cut it about a minute after birth. (I wanted to wait longer but the Dr said they will only wait 1 minute – oh well) FINALLY, they moved Zane up onto my chest and it was such an incredible feeling. He cried, I cried…. 🙂

 

 

The placenta was out a minute or 2 later with no issues. The Dr said I had a tiny tear (Yep! I felt that happening!) and needed 2 stitches. Thankfully, the epidural had worked its way to where I needed it and the stitching wasn’t painful. During the pushing, I had sensation but not so much burning as I had with Levi. I’m not sure if that was due to the epidural starting to take effect or if it was just an easier birth. Either way, I was very happy with how everything went. I wouldn’t change a thing!! I lost very little blood and was up and walking to the bathroom less than 2 hours later. I felt amazing! Not like I had just had a baby. I have had seriously almost no soreness down there at all. I can’t believe the difference in healing this time. I am so thankful for how God worked everything out!! I know DH was praying all through the labor and so was I. I had my mom, MIL, SIL, and sisters S and M and of course, DH there during the birth and it was perfect. I had been on the fence about having so many people in the room again, but I don’t regret it at all. I know they were all praying for us and it just felt cozy and happy. I am also so happy that I got the Dr that I had that day. When I had a prenatal check up with her, I had told DH that I would be happy with her at the birth and she really was great. 🙂 And honestly, even though we had young and very fresh nurses, they did a great job and I am happy that they got to see us all the way through the labor and birth.

 

So, all told, I had 6 hours of labor, but only 3.5 hours of hard labor. If I had went into labor at home and waited to see if it was the real thing and called my sister to come watch the kids and had DH come home from work and then drove over 1.5 hours to the hospital – we likely would have either barely made it in time, or had the baby in the car. Of course, it’s possible that labor would have been slower without pitocin, but who knows how much more I might have dilated before labor started. I think it was a good call to induce and I don’t regret it even though I thought I might. And I am happy Zane was born without any distress aside from a few minor dips in heartrate during the labor. Just so thankful he was born safe and happy. 🙂

 

 

We stayed in the hospital for 2 days. We were going to go home the next day but Zane’s bilirubin came back at 5.1, so we opted to stay at the pediatrician’s request because of how bad Levi’s jaundice had gotten. They wanted to watch him another night just in case. The next day it was 7.8 but my milk was coming in at that point and he was out of the danger zone. 🙂 It was nice to have another day in the hospital, mostly because Zane had come so fast that he choked on the mucus all night that hadn’t been squeezed through his lungs. I felt better having the nurses nearby because I ended up buzzing them once when I couldn’t get the mucus suctioned out and I started to get scared. Obviously, he was fine. Also, he was so sore after the circumcision that I was glad he had a day to heal before coming home and being passed around and held by his big brothers. We missed Tru and Levi so much and they missed us too and ended up crying on the second night but we talked to them on the phone and they were alright. 🙂 Little Zane is 1 week old today!! He is such a calm and happy baby. He has woken up about 2 times a night, every night since he was born. Hoping that he keeps doing so well. I am so thankful for my Third Gracious Gift of God. 🙂

Yesterday I had my second ultrasound. It went great! Baby has nearly doubled in size from 10 days prior. Still measuring 5 days ahead! And with a beautiful heartrate of 166. 🙂 Thank You so much dear Lord! Please continue to bless this pregnancy. In Jesus’ name. 

The SCH is still very much there. Maybe even a bit bigger. But it looks like it’s healing and the Dr seemed very unconcerned at this point. He kept saying that everything looks good. 🙂
I seem to be starting with a UTI despite daily suppression with Macrodantin. So the Dr switched me to Macrobid for a week. 

Aside from that, he said I can stop progesterone support at 10 weeks if my bloodwork comes back good. I’m still waiting on that to come back but I’m definitely looking forward to weaning off of that. The prometrium is so icky and messy, though I’m mostly used to it now. I usually take the 2 pills at 11pm once I’m laying in bed. Then I take the next dose of 1 pill at 7am and try to stay laying down at least another hour. Then I take the PIO shot in the evening. I was taking it at 3pm but it was getting difficult giving it to myself as my butt cheeks are kind of hard to reach myself with a 1.5″ needle. 😉

I’m still taking Zofran, usually 4mg around an hour before getting out of bed. If I can make it through the day on just 1 dose, that makes me happy. 🙂

Since I’ve been released from my RE’s office, I have to find an ob. I am very hesitant to go back to the practice that delivered both of my boys. On the one hand, they are familiar to me and I’m mostly comfortable there. But then, Levi’s birth was a huge hours long battle between me and the ob who just couldn’t comprehend an uncomplicated natural vbac. She pressured me for hours to get an epidural (Nearly shouting “Get the EPIDURAL!” at me) even though I pacified her by getting the line placed sans meds. I wasn’t in enough pain at that point to want the meds and the only reason she wanted me to take the epidural was so she could speed up my already great labor with pitocin. In the end, and only by the grace of God, I avoided another dose of pitocin. After the birth, the Dr pulled on the umbillical cord trying to remove the placenta just seconds after I delivered the baby. I begged her not to but she continued. Whether that caused the placenta to tear and then become a piece of retained placenta followed by hemorhage or not, who knows?! But it didn’t help. I almost lost my uterus. They were this close >•< to doing a hysterectomy to stop the bleeding. The best part? I have it all on video. 

So all that to say, if I go back there, I’ve requested a different Dr for my primary. But here’s the thing, that is an MFM group. And aside from taking blood thinner, I’m certainly hoping that this pregnancy is not going to be high risk. I’m not sure how I’ll handle my anxiety if I go to a regular ob practice though. I probably won’t get nsts or growth scans or afi checks. And if you remember, we found out Tru was in distress at one of my nst/afi checks and delivered him via c-section right away. So going without that will scare me, because it could have gone completely different without that appointment. But on the other hand, if I find a compassionate dr, I’m confident that we can work together to find something that fits for us all. And the bottom line is just placing my trust in God. That He will make sure we get any testing we need and provide for a safe, healthy pregnancy and birth. 

SO, today I scheduled an appointment with a regular ob. This time, when/if I’m met with ignorance (as I have been in both previous pregnancies) and am told to stop my Lovenox, I have my wonderful, knowledgable hematologist to back me up and say that it is absolutely neccessary!! She will gladly send them a letter confirming that my combo of clotting disorders makes treatment a no-brainer. BUT, because I’m afraid this regular ob may not work out for me, I also called the MFM group to set up an intake appointment. The descision remains to be made until after my first appointment with the regular ob in 2 weeks. If we click and I love them, I just might stay there. They deliver at the hospital I had the boys at which is an absolute neccessity because that hospital has been so wonderful to us in the past. Very pro-family and focus on keeping mom and baby together. They are also very helpful with breastfeeding etc. 

Shew! I had no intention of writing a book! I guess I just needed to write it all down and sort through everything. If you made it this far, you rock! Not only that but you probably also think I’m crazy. 😉 

It’s late and I should be sleeping but my mind is racing… maybe it’s just because I drank coffee too late… enjoying that kuerig a bit too much lately! 😉 Anyway, I haven’t done a “life update” in nearly a month so, here goes.

  • I made it to the gym 8 times in January, which is ok considering I didn’t get to go the whole first week. I also worked out a whole ONE time at home. (Don’t laugh) I do feel good right now, strength wise. I have been doing 3ish +/- miles on the elliptical, 6ish miles on the recumbent bike and 1 mile walk/run on the track per session. My goal is always 500 calories but lately I think I’ve been exceeding my goal by a bit which makes me happy. I also do lunges, squats and wall squats. I usually take about 1.5 hours so I’m going relatively slow. So far all my exercise is leg-focused but that’s only because I don’t burn as many calories doing upper body. I need to suck it up though and start back on my arms again or I may look off balance someday. 😉 Haha. 
  • I haven’t mentioned this before that I recall because I have been hoping it would go away, but I can’t keep my heart rate down during exercise. As soon as I step on a machine, it’s already in the 120s to 130s. I don’t know what my resting HR is but I will literally check my HR 2 minutes after I start WO and it’s already that high. By 5 minutes its anywhere from 155-180. And I can’t make it stay down. As I mentioned, I go very slow. I talked to my Dr about it in July last year and she said to give it a few months to see if it improves, but it’s not or if it has, its been very mildly. So, I guess I’ll have to talk to her again. At first I felt sick and would black out and have to lay down. Now, I feel fine generally. Maybe this is my norm? I just know that I can’t go to the cardio classes because when I have, I felt horrible, blacked out and had to stop. 
  • Enough about exersize! I just realized that I never concluded Truett’s fever testing. Basically, we are still watching and waiting to see if the fevers continue. I’m frustrated. His tests (ESR, CRP, hemolysis) came back worse this time but the Dr couldn’t rule out his cold throwing the results off. I’m not so sure because that fever was 6 days long. Seems unlikely to have been the cold, especially considering all of us had it and didn’t have fevers (aside from Levi running around 100° 1 night). But then again, everyone responds to illness differently. So, in 6 months if he doesn’t get any more weird fevers, he doesn’t have to go back to rheumatology. If he gets any, we are supposed to journal them and discuss them at a follow up. I’m mommy so obviously I’m still concerned. But I’m also trying to trust that its nothing and Tru just is more prone to high, long fevers. 
  • I’ve been watching my cousin’s 14ish month old baby this month and aside from waking up at dark:30, the boys and I have enjoyed having him here. It is so fun to watch them play with N. I notice that Tru watches out for N and gives him toys. Levi bosses N and steals his toys. 😉 This is good though because I’m getting the chance to teach Levi to share. I make Tru and Levi share all the time of course but their dynamic is a little different.
  • DH is finally supposed to start in the office at work full-time next week. It’s been months since he was promoted but they only just got someone to replace him on the truck. DH has been training this week and loves it so far!! 

Ttc update for my records and the 2 people who want to read it. 😉 Feel free to skip.


Meh, I don’t think the Femara worked this month. I don’t really think I ovulated… I never got a positive OPK and I never felt ovulation. I’m late for AF now but dragging my feet to call the RE. I know I should… he told me to if I went over 30 days on a Femara cycle, so I’d better I guess. I think I have a cyst though because I feel this feeling in my left side that is unusual and harkens to cyst-growing activity. :/ All HPTs (and there have been many) are 100% bfn. Not even the benefit of an evap. 😉 So, yeah. That’s about it. 

I came across this in my archives. I wrote it about 2 years ago but wanted to share it again in case it could help anyone else.
I guess I should start with a disclaimer – I’m not a dr, DUH. I don’t know everything or even really that much about clotting issues but I have them so… take that. 
I have been wanting to write about this for awhile now but today I read a blog that was the final straw. As you know, I have MTHFR which is short for Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase – not what you thought, ha! I am homozygous with the C677T variation. All a really long way of saying that my body has a hard time methylating b vitamins especially b12, b6 and folic acid. I can’t absorb most b vitamins unless they are in their methylated forms so I have to buy a b vitamin supplement that is already broken down. (It’s called Homocystex Plus.) MTHFR also causes blood clotting issues. It’s actually more common than you think but hardly anyone gets tested for it because A) they don’t know to, B) drs are pretty ignorant about it (sorry drs. study up on this please!) C) practically nobody understands it or how to treat it, D) it’s expensive to test for and it’s usually on a whole panel that requires 14 vials of blood. ( I also just found out the other day that I had actually tested positive for Anti cardiolipin antibodies and have an elevated prothromibin time. Nobody thought it was important to tell me that but I read it in the report that I have a copy of from when I had that testing done. Thankfully, they are also treated the same as MTHFR.)
 
The fact of the matter remains, MTHFR causes infertility, implantation failure, both early and late term pregnancy loss and is incredibly easy to treat. Drs can disagree with that all they want but many other Drs agree with that statement. But you know what? It’s just one of a whole bunch of little known and “minor” issues that potentially cause clotting especially in the smallest blood vessels – in the uterus where the baby is trying to dig in and implant and where the placenta is drawing it’s life giving blood and oxygen from. 
 
MTHFR and a host of other “minor” clotting disorders can be treated by injectable blood thinners such as Heparin and Lovenox along with low dose Asprin. The blood thinners and asprin are started after ovulation/egg retrieval or asprin can be used continuously (which it usually should be if you have a clotting disorder – check with your Dr) and blood thinner shots can be started with a positive pregnancy test. You should also be on a methylated b vitamin supplement (regular b vitamins are not usable by your body) if you have MTHFR. Most drs will prescribe you a high dose vitamin b compound but it’s not as useable as just getting a high quality methylated supplement.
 
So, back to the blog that was the final straw. A woman with RPL who’s latest loss was at 20 weeks! Finally, for her SEVENTH pregnancy, somebody had the brains to check her for clotting disorders and they found that she had a “minor” one and given her “history” they decided to FINALLY treat her with Heparin. (Ya think??) Carried that baby to term. Case closed. I could also tell you the story of my friend who had at least 9 losses but carried her last baby to term and used blood thinner during that pregnancy. 
 
Obviously I’m not saying that blood thinners could prevent all loses. Definitely not!! There are genetic issues in the baby sometimes that cause losses, infections, incompetent cervix and a host of other reasons which I don’t really need to spell out, but clotting related issues can often times be treated! 
 
My RE didn’t seem to consider my issues to warrant any action. I talked to my IVF nurse though and she said if I wanted to cover all my bases, I could go on a low dose of Lovenox. I think they were mostly just letting me use it so I would feel proactive and so that they could say all my bases were covered. Turns out, as it was quite obvious during my pregnancy with Truett, blood thinner was quite important! So much so that my dose has been upped for this pregnancy. Again, I’m not saying it is fail proof. But with Tru, thank You Jesus, it helped! I hope that this time, the blood thinners will help keep my baby safe in there. Please God, protect this baby according to Your will and help it to get all the blood and oxygen flow that it needs in my womb. I pray that it will be safe in there and live and grow and be well and strong and healthy. In Jesus’ name, amen. 
 
All that to say this, if you have stumbled over this blog and you have had repeat failed IVF’s, RPL, or unexplained losses, please push your dr to test you for clotting and immune issues. And if they find ANYTHING, I don’t care how “minor” it is, (because let’s face it, when blood vessels are clogging, is there really anything “minor” about that?) and I don’t care how they feel about issues like MTHFR, get on Lovenox or Heparin and Asprin. If your dr refuses to treat you, see another dr! This is serious business. I have seen this happen SO MANY TIMES on SO MANY BLOGS. Women couldn’t get or stay pregnant, after tons of failed cycles or so many devastating losses, got treated and bam. Finally they have their baby(s). 
 
Something to think about. 
Shared: Implantation Failure, Failed IVF’s, RPL, Unexplained Infertility – Please Read This – http://wp.me/p34rdD-tI

I *think* I ovulated yesterday. I used CBD Advanced OPKs this month and got my flashing smiley face (high fertility) on CD 14 and solid smiley (peak fertility) on CD 15. I definitely felt like I was ovulating yesterday. My ovaries hurt SO BAD! Especially the left side. 
TMI but my RE said to BD on days 10, 12, 14, and 16. I was totally not going to follow that schedule because of using the OPKs and not wanting to make things happen if the mood wasn’t there. But it so happened that it just worked out that way. 
Anyhow, I still have tenderness in my ovaries today so I don’t know what that means. Hopefully nothing sinister. My LP is usually 13 days so… now, we wait. Lord if it’s Your will! 

Remember how how I said that maybe I had ovarian cysts that were preventing my cycle from coming? Well, it finally did come on CD 47 (!!!) which is the latest I have ever been without being pregnant. But I really don’t know why it was so late. 

On CD 44 I went to see my RE. We basically had a pre-conception consultation and talked about the possible cysts and ran blood work to check where all my hormones are falling at now. Progesterone was elevated so I definitely did ovulate, according to the Dr, which I was almost certain I had. And I am about 100% certain I didn’t ovulate late yet I was 3 weeks late to start….? All the other tests came back within normal levels. (Testosterone, thyroid, FSH etc) 
They did an ultrasound while I was there and the Dr asked if I had ever been diagnosed with PCOS because my ovaries almost looked that way. Even I could definitely see lots of black spots (cysts) on them. I told him I hadn’t been diagnosed with that before (thankfully!) so he ordered AMH on the blood work as well. It came back at 6.87ng/ml which is within normal range but actually higher than when I was 22. ETA: I am actually a little confused about this. Higher AMH is usually thought to be good because it points to higher ovarian reserve, but I’ve also read that it can indicate PCOS…  He didn’t say anything about the cysts making my cycle late though so maybe my theory was bogus. The Dr didn’t seem overly concerned about the cysts…? I am supposed to follow up in Feb. 

He asked if I wanted to give a couple cycles of medicated TI a try before doing a SA and possibly moving on to other treatment (I am thinking if we move on to more advanced treament, it would probably be AT LEAST another year). I decided to go ahead and try Femara 2.5mg for 2 months. Because, why not…. If he thinks it’s worth a try then I might as well try it. I opted not to take Clomid because I had such a horrible time on it last time I tried it 6 years ago. I’ve never tried Femara before but I am on day 2 of 5 now. I guess we will see how it goes. I have realistic expectations but I also know what my God can do so I am leaving it in His hands. So, yeah, that’s where I am at right now. Very thankful for good test results! 🙂 

It’s hard coming up with names for posts…

 

This week I started my Lovenox shots (blood thinner). Tru over heard me telling DH that I had started my shots and later Tru saw the bandaid on my belly and asked if I got a “turtle shot”. Smart little boy!

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Turtle power!

 

I signed the boys up for swim lessons! I am super excited about it. I hope they enjoy it and learn quickly. The only down-side is they are in the evenings (tired babies). But I think they will have fun. 🙂

 

I also decided to join a gym. I haven’t actually went and paid yet but I am just not able to push a 90lb stroller in 90+ degree heat and crazy humidity. Plus I only like to walk on tracks and the best one is too far to realistically go there multiple times a week. I want to work on my core strength. My legs and arms are quite strong, it’s my back and abs that feel weak. My sister wants to join with me so, Yay for a work out buddy! 🙂

 

I’ve been working on my yard and gardens pretty much every day. I am really happy with how everything is looking. 🙂

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My tacky watering system for transplants. Seems to be helping them along. This is a lilac.

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A splash of color from my flower beds.

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The pansies on my porch.

 

And of course, we are still enjoying our Critter pet. He’s fun to watch and both boys love him. Levi squeals with delight every time he sees Critter up and moving. 🙂

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“Dank you for dis food.”

My sweet little Levi Shay is 40 weeks old now! How I missed so many weeks of blogging is beyond me. I was fully committed to weekly updates until 1 year but you know, it’s ok. I have been enjoying this “little” guy so much!! He is growing by leaps and bounds. More so in development than in actual physical size. In fact, he seems to have slowed down in his weight gain etc considerably. Which is not surprising given his rather picky eating habits. He is happy to eat teething wafers and puffs but he is only occasionally interested in eating purees. I try to feed him bits and pieces of regular food which he generally loves (especially ground venison, compliments of Daddy and Pap-pap) but it takes him so long to eat it and he drops so much that he doesn’t really take in a ton of food. He does nurse a lot though it seems. I probably nurse him about 8 times a day. He usually eats once in the night and seems positively famished!

Levi surprises me constantly in the way he plays with toys that are for older toddlers like Tru. He is only mildly interested in “baby” toys and always wants to play with Tru and be part of what he is doing. Which of course drives Tru crazy but I think it is good as it is giving them both the opportunity to learn early to both share and respect other peoples belongings. I so love watching them play together. Especially when they are making each other laugh and really interacting by babbling to each other and making eye contact. Tru really watches out for Levi and will tell him “No Vavie!!” when he sees Levi playing with things that he shouldn’t have. I am so thrilled for their brother bond and excited to watch them grow together.

Levi can no longer stand to sleep in our bed. This happened suddenly. He has always loved to sleep with us and slept so well in our bed although we didn’t want him sleeping in our bed. Now though, when he wakes to nurse in the night he just doesn’t sleep well next to me and usually lays there awake and flailing his arms around and shaking his head back and forth and really can’t seem to sleep well again until he is back in his bed. This is really a good thing but it didn’t really bother me to have him in bed with me after that nursing session because then I didn’t have to get him back into his room and it was for a short enough time that I could enjoy the snuggles. I’m glad that he is gaining this independence though. I remember Tru doing the same thing.

He is constantly cruising along the furniture now and can crawl amazingly fast! He LOVES baths. He still loves being held but definitely wants down to explore more now than ever before. I miss when he was little and would lay in my arms for hours perfectly content. But I also love seeing him crawl around and play and grow into a big boy. It’s so fun to see his personality developing! He is charming, a little shy, very goofy, and a huge copycat. I’ve learned lately that he is much smarter than I give him credit for. The other day I was shaking a can of puffs and it was making him crack up laughing. He was holding the can and I would shake it and take my hand away. He kept putting it back in my hand so I would do it again. I didn’t know he could do that sort of thing yet. It was so cute! He decided that he likes pacifiers now since he borrowed one from his cousin. He wouldn’t let it out of his mouth! He is old enough now that I wonder should I let him have one? He uses me as a paci alot and that is both bad and good. His teeth make imprints in my boob so maybe a paci would be good. But then it wouldn’t be long till he would have to give it up again. So maybe it’s better just not to start.

Dear God, thank You for all the new things Levi is doing! Thank You for the great privilege and pleasure of seeing him grow up and for getting to be a part of his learning and development. I pray that I will never fail him as a parent. I pray that I will never fail to teach him all the things he needs me to show him and especially that I will teach him about You and for him to grow to love and serve You all the days of his life. Please guard and protect him. In Jesus’ name, amen.

*Sorry for the lack of pictures. I got a new camera and I haven’t tried to connect it to my computer yet. Maybe soon. The new pictures look great on the camera! 

Oh boy… I had quite a day yesterday. I had my 36 week check up and the Dr checked for dilation. After groping my tonsils for a few seconds, she said “Yeah, no dilation.” And I am pretty sure my face just went all weird because she started immediately trying to make me feel better. “You could go into labor today or it could be a few weeks!” Oh please. I could go into labor today – That’s a real laugh! I was so surprised that I had no dilation. Contractions have been waking me up at night several times a night for at least a week now. I have so much stabbing pain down there that I feel like I am getting a hundred pap smears a day – from the inside out…. It was very disappointing. And yet, realistically I know that even if I had been dilated it still wouldn’t mean diddly squat since women walk around all the time dilated for weeks. But it still would have been nice. Especially since the Drs have my due date as March 26th even though I believe it is March 28th so they have a cut off that is closer than mine for when they want to talk c section and granted it is only 2 days difference but right now 2 days could mean all the difference. The Dr I saw yesterday said that their practice does not strip membranes. She didn’t say why but I thought that was interesting. The good news is that my exam showed I have started to efface (the ultrasound tech last week measured my cervix just for the heck of it and it was around 2cm long – I don’t know how that translates in terms of effacement but it’s interesting to note anyways) and the cervix is very soft but still pretty high although anterior so that’s good. I am trying to remind myself that things can change quickly and dilation isn’t everything but at this point it is pretty super important if we are going to vbac so… get on it cervix!

 

I started drinking raspberry leaf tea since it is said to help tone the uterus and shorten labor. After I drank it last night I went to bed and had only maybe 3 contractions and have had hardly any today compared to normal. (The tea does not stimulate contractions, it only tones the uterus.) The upside to not having contractions all night was that I didn’t wake up in pain over and over for no reason. 🙂 I also have been rethinking breast pumping starting at 37 weeks. I know my Dr said it is fine after 37 weeks but I have read that it can cause dangerously strong contractions. However, from what I read on Dr Google, this is more likely to happen if you are pumping for HOURS. (Can you imagine? Who would pump for hours?) My Dr didn’t set a time frame but I am pretty sure the unspoken understanding was that this was meant to be a 15 minute thing once or twice a day. So maybe if I do end up going ahead with it, I will wait until right before I go for an NST so that if anything wonky does happen, I will be there at the hospital.

 

No need to read. My silly thoughts at end of pregnancy.

I think people are starting to think that I am just being impatient about this last month of pregnancy.  As excited as I am to meet little Levi, I can wait 3 more weeks if that’s what he needs. But my main motivation to get labor going in the next 1-2 weeks is I am worried that I will end up with another c section even if it is unneeded. I have no problem getting sectioned again if it’s what Levi and I need, but I just feel like we should be able to do this! And I feel like I’m losing my confidence in that. Also, I have literally nowhere else to inject my Heparin that isn’t a bruise already and it is getting very painful. My belly looks and feels like it has been kicked by a steel toed boot. My hips are also bruised and I have a particularly awful bruise on my leg. I am also allergic to something in the Heparin and I have itchy spots everywhere I inject. My injection sites have also been bleeding for sometimes over 8 hours after I take my shot. It is not pretty. I miss Lovenox. Lovenox hurts more during the injection itself for me but the after effects are very minimal. Also, driving over 3 hours round trip twice a week to get monitored for 20 minutes and sent home even when  Levi doesn’t quite pass (he has had several times that he just didn’t accelerate enough but the Dr still sent us home with no extra monitoring leaving me wondering why I even went) is wearing me out. As far as physically being in pain and tired, that I can handle. I will miss being pregnant as far as the kicks and that sweet time where baby is always with me wherever I go… I really will miss that part. I am so conflicted!

Ok, you can read again. 

How far along? 36 weeks 4 days

How big is the baby? Probably close to 7 pounds if he was really 6lbs 8oz last week as the ultrasound estimated. The Dr said she isn’t concerned about the difference between his head and belly percentiles at this point because A) he is almost ready to be born and B) she thinks he has done well following his growth curve and C) his head is engaged so it really may be bigger than it measured.

Total weight gain/loss? I’ve had bad water retention issues again this week. I went up 9 pounds in less that 48 hours and lost most of it quickly but I have had a hard time with that now and then when I walk a lot. A trip to the mall sent me over the edge this time. But yesterday at my appointment I had gained just 2 pounds in 2 weeks so I guess I am probably up 31-ish pounds. Maybe more.

Sleep? As I mentioned before, contractions waking me up have been a bit of an issue until last night. But honestly, I feel like I am sleeping really well for this point of pregnancy.

Best moment this week? I had a really nice tech do my growth ultrasound. She kept trying to get a shot of Levi’s face which we haven’t been able to see for almost a month now as he has been mostly facing my back. But she really took her time and I about fell off the table when she said “I wish he would turn so I could do some 3D.” Then a minute later she asked if I would mind if she did 3D. I haven’t had any done this pregnancy so of course I was really excited that she wanted to try. We saw his little face and it is so cute and squishy! Unfortunately, Tru started screaming right then because he had sat through my NST and the growth ultrasound and waited in the waiting room and he was just done. So the tech said she would quit playing around and let us go. Talk about disappointing! Just when it was getting good! 😉 But she did print me one 3D picture in which Levi looks super grumpy. It’s precious. 🙂

Symptoms? I saw my Chiropractor this week and he said my pelvis was out pretty bad on the right (which I knew already from the pain). He got it back to normal and said to come see him every week until Levi is born so we can hopefully keep the pelvis aligned for an easier birth. He also offered to try inducing my labor with acupuncture after 38 weeks. I probably will take him up on that. The OB said it couldn’t hurt but she doubted it would work. But hey, if it can’t hurt, why not? So my inner thigh pain is slightly better. Since baby has dropped, a lot of my symptoms have lessened. I actually feel pretty good. Heavy and slow but good.

Food cravings? Still on my greens and salads and I really want candy/sweets.

Food aversions? As if! 😉

Gender? Baby boy, Levi. 🙂

Labor signs? Apparently not although my body has switched to clean out mode if you know what I mean. Gross.

What I’m looking forward to? Baby sprinkle if we are able to have it, weather permitting.

Milestones? Less than a week until I am the most pregnant I have ever been.

Bump? We had some maternity pictures done last weekend. I haven’t seen them yet but I am excited to see how they turned out.

 

 

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I feel like I look really weird. I’m not sure what is going on with my face. It’s just that end of pregnancy look I guess.

 

Dear God, I ask Your blessings and protection over the last bit of this pregnancy and birth. Thank You for how far You have brought us to this point. Thank You for this sweet baby and for his sweet kicks and movements and for this last bit of time that I get to have with him just me and him. In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

 

 

 

 

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