Monday, September 25, 2006


It's 12:15 and I'm sitting accross from TJ in the St. Louis Bread Co. In front of me, is a bowl of chicken noodle soup, an apple, and a cup of green tea. I look at my food, think of the cooler weather we've been having and cry. For no particular reason, I cry. This is not the first time this has happened. For some reason I cry a lot lately. I cry when I'm talking to TJ. I cry when I hear the soothing thunder. I cry when I'm taking a shower. I cry when I'm washing the dishes. I don't know why I'm crying so much, but I am. And they're not sad tears either. Maybe happy tears? I don't know, but I have a sneaky suspicion that is has something to do with these pregnancy hormones.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

My Cup Runneth Over

Last night after church, my dear husband took me bra shopping. For me, bra shopping is usually a very unpleasant experience. Unless you've been blessed miniscule breasts as I have, you can't imagine how difficult it is to find a bra that fits and is not laden with disney characters. It's humiliating when you find yourself shopping for bra's in the MaryKate and Ashley section at walmart. Not cool.

So, you can imagine my absolute glee when I found that the size A's were too small. For a girl who usually has to hunt for the "nearly A's" this was quite a shock. Fortunately my husband had suggested I take a couple size B's just in case. To my utter amazement, the size B fit. Not only did it fit, but it fit comfortably and there were no huge gap's between my breast and the cup. Instead, I found that it fit rather nicely. Not to tight, nor too loose. I was elated.

Today, I am joyfully wearing my new SIZE B cup bra. What a happy day it is!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Morning Sickness

You know what's worse than puking? Feeling like you're going to puke but not getting to. Right about now, that's what I've been feeling. Don't get me wrong, I do appreciate any symptom that reminds me that I am indeed pregnant. But can't I just puke already and get it over with?

And another thing, morning sickness is a myth. It, in fact, does not occur only in the morning. Whoever made up the term "morning sickenss" should be injected with pregnancy hormones and left to gag (but not puke) all day long. Then we'll see what they think it should be called.

I find that certain foods greatly disterb me, while others can be tollerated. If I go too long without eating, I start to feel sick, at which point, there are only a few foods that I can even think about consuming. And these foods are (in no particular order)... Oranges, Green Beans, Cherrio's, and Chocolate Milk (i know milk is not a food, but it fills my tummy enough to allow me to eat food).

The rest of the time, I try to keep at least something in my tummy at all times, as this seems to be the best technique for keeping nausea at bay.

At the moment, there is a can of pringles staring at me. Excuse me while I gag....

Saturday, September 16, 2006

7 Weeks.

Today is a nerveous day for me. I am 7 weeks pregnant today. My last miscarriage started when I was precisely 7 weeks along. If I make it through the day, I will have passed both my previous miscarriage dates, making this my longest pregnancy yet. Here's hoping today is an uneventful day.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Baby Aspirin

The nurse called me back yesterday and said I can go ahead and continue taking 81mg of aspirin per day all the way through the first trimester. I'm VERY happy about that. The test she wanted me to retake, which would require I not be on aspirin, can wait until later. For now, I'm not going to take any risks. I want this baby to have the best possible chance.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Subchronic Hematoma

Yesterday the nurse practitioner called me with the restults of my bloodwork and my ultrasound.

The good news: most of the tests came back negative, the ultrasound showed a strong baby with heartbeat, and my hCG lvels are rising excellently.

The bad news:

1) I showed at least one mutation in my test for mild hyperhomocysteinemia (MTHFR), but my doc was not worried about it.

2) She wants to redo my test for Antinuclear Antibodies (ANA). Apparently the fact that I was on aspirin when the blood was taken could have skewed the results. For this reason, my doctor wants to redo that test with me not on aspirin.

3) And finally, the ultrasound showed a subchronic hematoma or hemorrhage in my uterus next to the gestational sac.

My feelings on the matter:

To start with, I am worried about waiting all the way until my next visit before being re-tested for ANA. I stopped taking aspirin last wednesday when they ran those tests and took 8 tubes of blood. Obviously, with the lower blood supply, I did not want to thin my blood any more than it already was. So, it's been 9 days since I've last taken aspirin. Ideally, I would like to have the ANA test done right away so I can get started on aspirin again. I've noticed my blood pressure has started going back up and is already above normal. After some research online, I found that ANA is associated with subchronic hematoma. I find this interesting and can't help but wonder if my subchronic hematoma was the restult of me being off aspirin for as long as I was. Just makes me wonder.

Now, about the subchronic hematoma. I also did a little research on this particular condition. What I've learned is that subchronic hematoma sometimes causes vaginal bleeding during pregnancy and increases risk of miscarriage. One study found that out of more than 1,000 women who went in for vaginal bleeding, 92 of them had subchronic hematoma. Of those 92 women, only 20% went on to miscarry. It is generally accepted that subchronic hematoma increases a womans risk of miscarriage. I do not like that it increases chance of miscarriage, but I am encouraged that it only happens in 20% of the cases, and that that was in women who had suffered some bleeding. I, fortunately, have not had any bleeding and have been put on pelvic rest until my next ultrasound which is in about 3 weeks.

Please do not tell me I need to stop researching online. I've had some well meaning friends advise me to just let it go and trust God. That is very easily said, but not easily done, and honestly, not wise either.

To start with, I do not believe my research is for my lack of faith. I simply want to understand what is going on, and I appreciate being fully informed of my risks. Some people think that knowing too much causes unneccessary worry. I do not believe this to be true, epsecially in my case. For me, having some solid studies and facts helps me know what I'm really dealing with. I absolutely hate vague answers given by well-meaning doctors. They say things like "don't worry. Most pregnancies that have progressed this far will be just fine". That's true, BUT, I have had 2 previous miscarriages. I've defied the odds more than once and I would rather know the TRUTH than be stuck in la la land somewhere believing there are no problems out there, and everything is going to be fine. NO. I refuse to suffer 8 miscarriages before I realize that there is a problem that needs to be addressed. I think that the sooner I get my facts straight and try to understand what is going on with my body, the sooner I can help resolve the problem. Because, after all, I know my body better than any doctor out there.

That being said, I do honestly believe that God is the only One who knows what is best for me right now. I trust that whatever happens to me will be part of His will. And I am ok with that. However, God has NOT promised me that I will carry this baby to term. My "having faith" is not going to give me a baby if it is not part of His will.

I feel that by studying and understanding what is going on, I am simply preparing myself for what could happen. I am not being unrealistic about what is going on. I feel that my research is simply helping me to be wise with my emotions. It would be foolish to get all excited and emotionally tied up in a pregnancy that has a very high risk rate. Instead, it would be wise to prepare myself for the worst. I know it may seem pessimistic to you, but I truly feel that I am only being realistic. Why should I work myself up only to suffer more than neccessary if things were to turn out poorly?

I have a 40% chance of miscarriage already. And that is simply because I have had two previous miscarriages without a live birth. On top of that I have subchronic hematoma and a possible autoimmune problem. Should I just assume that I am going to have this baby? No. Should I pray about it? Yes. Should I rely on God's will? Certainly. Does my coming to terms with the facts make me less Christian? I don't think so. I'm just being honest with myself and I don't think God would be upset about that.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Tainted Joy

To share our good news with the family, I printed copies of the ultrasound photo and we gave them to family members in person. Everyone was very happy for us, but I think our previous miscarriages have tainted their joy. Neither we, or our families can truly rejoice in this news because there is always that risk, that lingering worry.

I find myself envious of those women who have never suffered miscarriage. Those women who can joyfully believe that a positive pregnancy test really means they'll have a baby. They say ignorance is bliss. I know firsthand, why that is. If I'd never had a miscarriage I would be able to truly enjoy this pregnancy in blissful igrorance. But that's not my case. Instead, I am filled with worry. I have nightmares of another miscarriage. I worry about every pothole in the road. Is that going to cause a miscarriage?

I am working hard at trusting God and knowing that whatever happens is in His will, but it's hard. I've wanted this baby for so long, it's hard to just let go and trust in the Lord. But I must. In time, I will.

Monday, September 11, 2006

First Ultrasound

Today, as our country mourned in remeberance of 9-11 losses that occured 5 years go, TJ and I became two of the happiest people in the world. Today we had our first ultrasound.

At only 6 weeks along and having suffered 2 previous miscarriages, we didn't dare expect too much. I would have been thrilled only to know that the gestational sac was located in the uterous. To our absolute joy, we were blessed with so much more. Not only was the baby located nicely in the uterus, but we also got to see it's beating heart!

You cannot imagine the joy I felt when the sonographer announced that she could see the heartbeat! Tears came to my eyes as I watched our tiny baby's heartbeat on the screen. TJ, not even trying to hide his excitment, cried out "No way!!!" and hurried over to see, a look of complete glee on his face. At that moment, we became the proudest parents in the world.

Our baby measured in at 6 weeks and 2 days, just a little farther along than I'd thought. It's heartrate clocked in at a strong 131. What a wonderful day!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

I've made it this far.

I hate to admit it, but I have not been terribly optimistic this whole pregnancy. After two previous miscarriages, it's hard for me to actually believe that 2 lines on a stick means I'll have a baby in 9 months. For me, 2 lines on a stick means a few weeks of worry followed by a painful miscarriage and months of depression. Nevertheless, I've been praying daily that the good Lord will allow this child to survive.

Today I've crossed a milestone. I have passed up the length of my first pregnancy. I am at 27 DPO (days past ovulation) right now. My first miscarriage occured at 26 DPO. That means this pregnancy has lasted longer than my first. My second miscarriage occured at 34 DPO, so I still have a while until I've past that date. I'm very excited to have gotten this far though.

Tomorrow is my first ultrasound. I'm very excited, but nerveous at the same time. I constantly find myself praying that they will find a baby in the uterus with a heartbeat. I know that's a lot to ask with this ultrasound being so early, but I can't help but wish for it.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


I went in yesterday for my bloodwork. They're testing me for 8 different kinds of blood clotting problems. I also requested another beta so I could know if my levels were increasing well. Well, I wouldn't have requested the beta if I knew how much blood they were planning on taking. They took 8 tubes of blood! I was horrified.

The nurse kept flipping through a big book that very much resembled a phone book. She would compare the doctors order to the book, then pull out one of the color coded blood tubes. First a blue one, then another blue, 2 purples, and a big red one. Then she put back one of the purple ones and pulled out a blue, then another blue, and replaced the original purple she had put back. Finally, she topped it off with one last red one. As she was doing this, I jokingly commented "Will I have any blood left when you're done?". She only grunted and continued preparing the needle.

She popped one tube on the end of the needle after another. I sat there, just waiting to feel something. Surely a body couldn't loose that much blood and not have any reaction. I waited, expecting some kind of tingling or perhaps dizziness. Nothing. When she'd finally finished filling the last tube I was surprized that I hadn't passed out or anything.

Then I was swept with worry. What if I the baby needed all that blood for nutrients. What if there wouldn't be enough blood left for me AND the growing embryo. After she'd put a band-aid on the needle hole, I got up and slowly walked out the door. I truly expected to pass out at any minute. But I didn't. I didn't even feel the slightest bit dizzy, only a slight cramping in my pelvis, but that was nothing unusual.

I drove straight home, ready to pull over at the faintest dizziness. I made it home without a problem. But, for the sake of precaution, I immediately ate a plate of lasagna and drank half a bottle of water before I headed to bed for a 2 hour nap. I was not going to take any chances.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

5 weeks pregnant and no symptoms

I'm worried. I'm 5 weeks, 2 days pregnant today and I don't have any symptoms to speak of. Nothing obvious at least. It's driving me crazy. My last two pregnancies both had symptoms, the most obvious being tender breasts. This time I don't even have that. I keep poking myself hoping to feel something. It's so irritating. Have my hCG levels gone down? Is this pregnancy in danger of becoming yet another loss?

I'm going in today for some bloodowork. I'm being tested for all sorts of blood clotting problems including:

ANA - Antinuclear Antibodies
ACA - Anti-Cardiolipin Antibodies
PTT - Partial Thromboplastin
Factor V Leiden
MTHFR - mild hyperhomocysteinemia
Protien C
Anti ihimlen IV

I think I'm going to call the doc office and try to get an order for another beta while I'm at it. Then, if my levels are high I can relax, knowing that my lack of symptoms has nothing to do with my hormone levels. Sheesh. I'm a wreck.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

hCG levels for 3rd pregnancy

I had blood drawn the Monday after I found out I was pregnant. By then I was at 14 DPO (days past ovulation). I repeated the blood test on Wednesday at 16 DPO. My hCG results are as follows:

14 DPO 130 (typical range 17-119)
16 DPO 462 (typical range 33-223)

As you can see, my doubling time was 26 hours and by 16 DPO my hCG levels were more than double a normal pregnancy. Such high levels can mean one of a few different things:

A very strong Pregnancy
Molar Pregnancy
Down Syndrom

Obviously, I'm hoping for a normal pregnancy, but I have to admit, I have entertained the idea of twins. I know that twins are higher risk and require more bedrest, but can you imagine after our two previous miscarriages, getting two this time? It's foolish thinking, but I can't help but wonder.

I'm quite worried about the other two possibilities. I would hate to get my hopes up only to have a possibly canerous molar pregnancy. And, although I would gladly accept a baby even with down sydrom, I would hope that my child would not be born with such difficulties.

I have an early ultrasound scheduled for 6 weeks this time. That's next Monday. I can heardly wait and I'm hoping for all that I'm worth that I might get to see a heartbeat.

Pregnant for the 3rd time.

July 25th, 20o6

I was not particularly hopeful this month, as it was only my 3rd cycle since the miscarriage. However, 2 days before my period was due, I decided to test. I can't say I know exactly what made me want to test. After more than a year without success I'd known firsthand the emotional damage early testing ensues. Nevertheless, I disregarded my intellectual side and went ahead and tested.... in the middle of the day..... using a cheap dollar tree test I'd bought the day before.

As usual, first glance showed no second line. I was slightly disappointed, but not surprized. A minute or two later, I looked at the test again. No, I didn't just look, I stared intently in search of a second line. Why do I put myself through this? I was probably staring for at least 2 minutes when I began to see a line. I honestly wondered if I was loosing my mind and had only willed the line into existance. As I continued to stare, it became more precise. Deffinately a second line!

For the third time in my life, I felt a flutter of glee! I'm PREGNANT! Perhaps there was hope for us afterall!

Later, when TJ got home we were discussing what we wanted to do this Friday night. Bowling maybe, or mini golf?

"We should probably be careful and take it easy so we don't loose the baby" I said.

At first TJ didn't pick up on what I'd just said. He thought I meant "in case" there was a baby. So, I repeated what I'd just said, and then he got it.

"We're pregnant!" I proclaimed. I'm sure a look of utter glee was on my face.

TJ smiled, obviously pleased to hear this news. He then went on to warn me that I must be extra careful this time. I promised I would and we decided to stay home and watch a movie instead of going out.

2nd Miscarriage Complete

June 1st, 2006

I lost the baby. Throughout the morning there was light bleeding, but cramping and heavier bleeding didn't happen until around 5:00. After that, things progressed very much like my last miscarriage. The cramping got worse and worse and closer together until finally, at 1:30 I lost one mass of tissue and at 2:00 another. This time the cramping was worse than last time. At one point I even thought that I might die. Of course I didn't, but in the middle of the night when you're in that much pain you don't think all that rationally. I think the worst part of the whole thing was holding my baby in my hand and knowing that I'd never have the chance to hold it again. That I would never see this child smile for the first time or take it's first steps. It's a sad thing to hold all of your hopes and dreams in your hand knowing that it will never be. I look forward to the day when I will be in heaven and finally be reunited with my babies.

2nd Miscarriage Begins

May 31st, 2006

At around 4:45, I discovered some bright red blood after going to the bathroom. My heart sank and I realized what was coming. Another miscarriage. At first I was too shocked to even cry. I put a pad on and tried calling the doctor. When TJ came home I couldn't hold it in and started bawling and shaking. I called the doctors pager and left my number. When they called back, they suggested we either wait it out until the next day, then visit the office, or that we make a trip out to the ER at Anderson's Hospital to be checked immediately. We opted for the latter.

When we arrived at the ER and signed in, I sat in the waiting room rocking back and forth and crying. I know the people in that room were staring at me and wondering what was wrong, since I had no visible wounds. It seemed like eternity before they finally called us back, got us registered, and took me to my room. It was a small, cold room with a teal curtain for a door. The nurse gave me a cup to pee in and told me to put on this thin robe that tied in the back. It was huge, but I put it on and just stood there by the table until TJ arrived. The bleeding had all but stopped and I noticed only a little brownish blood the last time I wiped. But I was still scared. I finally laid down on the bed and just waited. The nurse came in a while later and took a ton of blood. She was not very gentle or nice.When I held my arm the wrong way she rudely pushed it where she wanted it and said, “No, I need it here!”. Then she proceeded to fill tube after tube with blood. After she left, I laid there on the bed for what seemed like hours before the doctor came in and did a pelvic exam. When he discovered the pain in my left side he declared that I would need an ultrasound to make sure there wasn't an ectopic pregnancy. The nurse went on to insert a catheter into my bladder. She drained all the urine by pressing on my lower abdomen. I was disturbed by this, as I still had hope that the baby might survive. She finally left and I dozed in and out of sleep waiting for the ultrasound technicians to arrive. They finally arrived and took me back to the ultrasound room. There, my bladder was filled with fluid as the technician put gel all over my belly before rolling a device across my abdomen. I felt like my bladder was going to explode. It hurt so bad. She finally finished that and moved on to the vaginal ultrasound. My eyes darted from her face to the screen trying to get some idea of what she was finding. Her face was expressionless and the screen showed nothing be indistinguishable lines of black and white. After she'd finished, she rolled me back to the room with TJ. Before she left, I asked what she had found and she said she couldn't say because that was the radiologists job. So, we waited again for what seemed like an eternity before the doctor finally came back with a report. He explained that a “mass” had been discovered near my left ovary. It could be a gestational twin that implanted in the fallopian tube, or it could be the corpus leutum. I asked if the baby was alive. He said they did see a “yolk sak” in the uterus which was a good indication of a “viable pregnancy”. At this news TJ sat up and asked “you mean there's still a chance the baby could be ok?” The doctor replied vaguely but basically said that yes there was a small chance. They would still need to find out what the mass was. If it was indeed ectopic pregnancy, they would need to terminate it via surgery, but they could do that without harming the other baby. As happy as I was to hear this information, the best I could do was lay back down and close my eyes. I was exhausted from all the emotional stress, plus the poking and prodding of all the tests. Such relief was peace enough that I was able to sleep again until the nurse came back to remove the catheter before letting us go home. I was commanded to bed rest and to drink lots of fluids over the next few days, and that I should come back on Friday for more blood work. Should the bleeding get worse or if I were to get cramps, I was to come back immediately for another ultrasound...”and catheter” as the nurse said, in an almost sarcastic voice. Did she get some kind of enjoyment out of my pain? On the way home I had to focus on breathing because I was so nauseated. TJ stopped at Sonic and got himself a dinner and me a sprite. I sipped my sprite the rest of the way home. It was nearly 11:00 when we finally got home and I was more than happy to get back in my own bed. It was so much more comfortable than that emergency room bed. I fell asleep dreaming of holding my little baby someday, still hoping she will survive.

2nd Pregnancy - 6 weeks

May 24th, 2006

6 weeks today! And I woke up hot again. Praise the Lord. I was so excited to read about how big my baby should be now. She will be ½ inches long with little webbed hands and feet and a beating heart. Today I weighed myself. It looks like I've gained 5 lbs. I'm not 130 lbs. I think some of that must be in my chest, because that's the only part I see growing.

2nd Pregnancy - 5 weeks

May 17th, 2006

Five weeks today! I'm glad to have made it this far. I'm getting more and more confident with each day that passes. I'm worrying less, but still prayerfully consider this blessing as nothing short of a gift from God. Today I received news of my earlier blood test. The test results came back well with my hCG levels going from 60 to 190 in just two days. That was encouraging. The receptionist also said that I should schedule an ultrasound for around 8 weeks when I go in for my appointment on June 5th. I'm glad I'll be able to have an ultrasound so soon. What a blessing it would be to be able to see the baby and hear it's heartbeat.

Mothers Day

May 14th, 2006

My first Mother's Day as a mother-to-be. I was in a very good mood today, just knowing that my little baby is growing inside me. Last year, this holiday was mournful and depressing. I wanted so much to have a baby and couldn't stop thinking of the one I'd lost just a couple months earlier. All the talk of mothers and motherhood made me sad. But not this year. I have a new baby to look forward to, and that makes all the difference. There were only a couple times today were I felt cramps and worried, and once where I felt wetness. Luckily, all is still well. Before TJ and I left church tonight, Christel approached me and asked about my online fertility chart, which now showed cd33 and no menses. With this direct a question, I knew I couldn't get around telling her. So, I went ahead and shared my good news with both her and Devin, and made sure they knew this was to be kept secret for a few more weeks. Both my best friends were thrilled to hear of my pregnancy. Devin actually squealed, and Christel and I had to shush her. I'm glad they know. Now they can pray with me that this pregnancy will go well.

Pregnant for the 2nd time

May 9th, 2006

I'd been thinking about it for days. Could I be pregnant? My increased appetite, constant sleepiness, and extra high basal body temperatures had me wondering. Although these symptoms could be symptoms of pregnancy, they are often symptoms of an impending period. Knowing this, I would not get my hopes up too high. So, after spending , most of the morning today working in the yard, I decided to just go ahead and take a pregnancy test to calm my mind, if nothing else. If I got a negative result, I would be able to continue my day, discouraged, but at least I'd be able to focus. I set the test strip by the sink and watched for a moment. When I saw only one line, I sighed, picked up a magazine, and tried to get my mind off the disappointment I'd become so familiar with. Thirteen unsuccessful months of trying left me less than optimistic. When none of the many fertility tests showed any problems, I was discouraged. I guess I would have rather learned there was a problem so I could know what needed to be fixed. But, everything came back normal and I was left wondering why I wasn't getting pregnant. After browsing a few pages in my magazine, I glanced at the test one last time before throwing it away and to my astonishment I saw what appeared to be a faint line. I rubbed my eyes and looked again. Sure enough, there WAS a very faint line!

Immediately I ran to the living room, tears streaming down my face, and cried as I prayed the most earnest prayer I've ever prayed. On my knees in front of the couch I prayed that this would in fact be a pregnancy. I made a promise to God that if this truly is a pregnancy, and if it results in a healthy child, that we would do the very best we can to raise this child to be a God fearing Christian so that someday this child may accomplish great things for the Kingdom. After my prayer I went back and looked at the test strip again. The line had become much more distinct and there was no doubt in my mind that it was in fact a positive test. Throughout the rest of the day I carried the test with me, occasionally looking at it to reassure myself that it was true. I could hardly believe it. When TJ got home from work, I took him outside to show him the progress I'd made on our yard. While out there, I presented him with a gift. Inside the small box was a pacifier with a note on it congratulating him. I also put the test strip in there, in case he was hesitant to believe, as I was. The moment he realized what this meant, a smile swept across his face. He picked me up and hugged me in delight. “This is the best gift ever!” he proclaimed. And I have to say, I agree with him. This was the best gift ever, and I thanked God for it!


April 19, 2006

This was the test I had hoped I'd never have to have done. I'd hoped beyond hope that I might get pregnant before I ever needed to have this test performed. I'd heard the test could be painful and was deffinately uncomfortable. I did NOT want to have it done. At this point though, I had very little choice. It had to be done.

I arrived at my appointment 15 minutes early and sat worriedly in the waiting room. I had taken 2 tylenal, and an ibprofin before I left to hopefully reduce any pain. When my name was finally called, I was ushered to the back by a stiff old woman. She quickly explained how I was to put on two paper gowns. Hardly able to concentrait, I re-itterated what she had just told me, to be sure I had I right. She nearly glared at me before telling me I had it right. Once I was changed, I walked barefoot along the tile floor into a dark room with a very large machine next to a table. I was told to sit on the table as the rude old woman prepared some objects on a tray. I did not like the look of the tools she was laying out. After a while I was left alone in my worry, eyeing the object on the try and just praying the whole thing would be over quickly. A short balding man came in and introduced himself as the radiologist who would be preforming my HSG today. He seemed nice enough, but I was still very nervous and just wanted to be done.

I was then told to lay back as he inserted a COLD speculum. So far so good. He then procedded to insert a catheter for "injecting the dye" he explained. A balloon was then blown up inside my uterous to "anchor" the chatheter in place. That was uncomfortable but not painful. Next, the dye was injected. It was almost hot feeling and I could feel it spilling out onto the table a little. Soon after that I felt menstral-like cramping as the radiologist directed me to turn this way and that as he snapped pictures with the x-ray machine. I was instructed to hold still a few times and couldn't help but think to myself. How the heck am I stupposed to hold still while I'm cramping, have a speculum in my vagina, and hot glow-in-the-dark ink oozing inside of me? And just like that, it was over. The balloon was deflated, catheter removed, and speculum taken out. The bossy old lady directed me to use the restroom and wipe off any excess fluid before putting my cloths back on. I was more than happy to rush over to the restroom and put my cloths back on. I was glad I had brought a pad. Once I was dressed, they told me the results would be given to me later and that I could go home.

I hurried out the door and to my car, glad to get out of that place. The menstral-like cramping had not stopped and actually seemed to have gotten worse. I ignored it, put my car in gear and started toward home. A few minutes on the road and BAM, it hit me. The cramps were AWEFUL. I nearly pulled over it was so bad. Tears streaming down my cheeks, I wondered how long it was going to last. Should I call them back? Was this normal? He said to expect only "mild" cramping. This was far from mild! As these thoughts were going through my head, the cramping began to lessen and in less than 1o minutes were gone entirely. I called my mom and cried to her on the phone the rest of the way home.

Semen Analysis

The next test I was advised to have done was the semen analysis. TJ did not like the idea, but reluctantly agreed for the sake of our future family. Fortunately for us, he did not have to produce a sample on demand in some stuffy lab room. We lived close enough to a lab that we were permitted to collect the sample at home as long as we drove the sample in immediately. So, on Tuesday morning, before TJ went to work, we painstakingly collected a sample and I called the lab to make sure they were open, only to learn they only accepted semen analysis' on Thursdays and Fridays. I was so disappointed, I cried. I had already been asking a lot of TJ and was devastated that I would have to request a redo. Two days later, we collected a new sample, and I drove it out to the lab immediately. I was relieved to have that test over with.

A few days later, I recieved a call. The results had been normal.

This news was encouraging and disappointing at the same time. It meant that the problem did indeed lie with me. That was the disappointing part. The encouraging part was that female problems can be addressed more easily the male, so there was hope at the end of the tunnel.

New Doctor

February, 2006

It was time I found a new doctor. I was ready for more tests and was deffinately not going back to the old doctor. I began asking friends about their doctors and soon discovered a center just 15 minutes away. It seemed like the perfect fit. An all woman staff and a woman doctor. I figure that with a woman staff, they're more likely to understand what I'm going through. And my husband preferred the idea as well.

After my first visit at the new center, I knew it was a fit. The nurse practicioner that I met with was wonderful! She was extremely understanding and patiently answered all my questions. I really felt at ease in this new practice. Finally things were starting to work out.

Robitussin vs. Muccinex

November, 2005

This was a particularly hard month. The month my baby would have been born had we not miscarried. It was harder than I had imagined. I remeber thinking to myself, it won't be so bad. I'll probably be pregnant again by the time our expected due date rolled around. And here I was, November and still not pregnant.

I had begun to consider all the possibilities of why I was not getting pregnant. I had already been tested for hormone defficiencies, thyroid problems, and diabetes and everything seemed normal. I had started the OPK's thinking perhaps I was missing ovulation. Still nothing. And now, I was wondering about my cervical muccus. I had noticed, through my charting, that my CM seemed to dry up right before ovulation when I needed it most. So what did I do? Googled it. It was then that I learned about the use of robitussin for thining out the CM to make it more "sperm friendly". Worth a try, I thought. So I bought myself some robitussin.

In my opinion, there is no medicine more disgusting than robitussin. I absouletly HATED the bitter taste of that nasty red slime. And I had to take this three times a day?!?! Ewe. Believe me when I say that I tried. I really tried to keep up with the robitussin, but it just was not working. That stuff was disguisting. Most days I forgot a dose or two. I promise it was not intentional, even though I did abhore the taste of that junk. I would have been willing to drink a whole gallon of the stuff if it could garuantee a healthy baby.

The next time I was at wal-mart I decided to check for another brand of medicine with the same ingredient, that perhaps would not taste so bad. A pill form maybe?

You cannot even imagine the joy on my face when I discovered Muccinex, a high dose pill form of the same ingredient in Robitussin! Hallelujah! 600 mg in just one pill! Although it was a bit pricey, I bought it without a second though, and frolicked home.

The Muccinex did the trick. That very next cycle my CM was pleantiful and eggwhite (the best consistancy for baby making). For the first time in months, my hopes were up.


September, 2005

Perhaps, I thought to myself, I've not been identifying ovulation correctly. Although, at this point, I'd been charting for more than a year there was still a chance I may not have been getting it right. Couldn't hurt to add another layer of certainty to my regime. So, it was off to walmart again. This time I found myself reading the ovulation predictuion kit boxes. I decided on Answer. 7 tests for $14 seemed reasonable enough.

For the next 6 months I used OPKs and learned that I was indeed ovulating exactly when I thought I was.

Still Nothing

August, 2005

6 months after the miscarriage, and still no pregnancy. Things were not looking good. Immediately after the miscarriage, I'd talked with my doctor about what might have been the cause. He said it was probably chromosomal abnormalities and that I should have no trouble getting pregnant again and carrying the baby to term. I was not inclined to believe him, and requested some testing. He said to give it some time. I did.

Now, here I was 6 months later and still not pregnant. According to all the online articles I'd read, 6 months was more than enough time for a woman to get pregant, the average time being 4-6 months, and less for women using the Fertility Awareness Method as I was. So, I scheduled another meeting with my doctor. I explained the situation, and even showed him my charts, hoping they would shed some light on the situation. He looked at my charts and then seemed to regard me as some sort of nutcase. I recall feeling quite angry at his response to what I thought was helpful information. I then proceded to explain that I was curious about the possability of a "Leutal Phase Defect" as my charts indicated frequent short leutal phases... some as low as 9 and average being 12. That's when the doc pulled out a book to explain how hormones work in a womans cycle. As he pointed out a graph in his book, I made a comment about the corpus leatum releasinf progesterone which is to peak shortly after ovulation. He seemed surprised by my knowledge.( I guess he's not used to dealing with obssesive, google searching maniacs.) He said no more, put his book away, and gave me an order for bloodwork to test for a progestrone defficiancy. I was pleased to have made some progress, but found myself irritated with how he handled the matter and how he thought I should be completely ignorant about my body.

I went ahead with the bloodwork, but soon after was hunting for a new doctor.

1st Pregnancy and Miscarriage

Feburary - March, 2005

Somewhat less enthusiastic this time, I was not going to test until I knew for sure that my period was late. When AF didn't show on it's expected date, off to walmart it was, this time yeilding a "easy digital" test. I was not going to spend another eternity staring at a test in hopes of a second line.

The next morning, after reading the instructions 5 times, I performed the test. This time, I did better about not staring. A little blinking picture of a test assured me that the test was analyzing. I brushed my teethe and tried to keep myself distracted during that time, but it was hard to keep from peeking. Finally, when the alloted time was up, I looked at the test. I nearly fell over when I saw that it read "Pregnant"! I excitedly showed the test to TJ, who showed less enthusiasm than I'd hoped, but still seemed happy. I wasn't going to let his reaction bother me. I was pregnant!

The rest of the day I spent in a dreamlike state. By the end of the day I'd already planned out how the nursery would look and had imagined myself taking a stoll to the park pushing a baby stroller with our bundle of joy. It would be perfect. We would be a perfect family.

The following 2 weeks were filled with excitment and joy and TJ and I shared our good news with nearly everone we knew. Although there were times that the thought of miscarriage tainted our excitement, I was far to happy to let that stop me.

However, at 6 weeks 3 days, the unimaginable happened. There was staining on my toilet paper. The 12 hours to follow were filled with fear, anxiety, many prayers, and lots and lots of crying. We miscarried our very much wanted baby. The thought that kept running through my head was, that this kind of thing isn't supposed to happen to healthy 21 year olds! Miscarriages were for old women with health problems. Not me!

The next 5 months were very hard. I cried myself to sleep for weeks and weeks. Every time I saw a pregnant woman or a woman with a baby, the floodgates opened anew. Why did my baby have to die? Why couldn't I carry mine to term? What is wrong with me? Why? Why? Why?

My first HPT

January, 2005

It was a frightfully cold January day and my period was 2 days late. Although TJ and I weren't techinically "trying" yet, I did find myself entertaining ideas of pregnancy. I sat there in the living room, staring out the window and watching the little snowflakes cover front lawn. The idea that I could be pregant made my stomache flutter.

My insides now in knots, I finally headed out to walmart and purchased my very first home pregnancy test, thoughts of baby dancing in my head. Back at home I read the instructions and was disappointed to see that I was advised to use "1st morning urine". Rats! Not wanting to do it wrong, I reluctantly put the test away.

The next morning, I woke at precisely 3:32 am. Way to early to get up. I rolled over and tried to control my rush of emotions. I dozed in and our for a couple of hours, each time checking the time only to be disappointed that it was not time to get up yet. Finally at 5:30, I could take it no more. I silently crept out of bed and snuck off to the bathroom where I did my best to silently perform the test. I read the instructions 5 or so times, before finally peeing in a cup and dipping the "wand" in. Then I laid it flat on the counter and waited. I tried to look away, but that lasted all of 20 seconds. I peered at the test, one line. Surely there had to be another. I scrutinized some more, this time searching very closely for a second line. Still nothing. After 5 minutes staring at the test, I finally gave up. I threw away the test in disgust and went back to bed.

Later that day, Aunt Flo finally arrived and with much vengance. I hated her. Never before had I realized just how much I'd wanted to be pregnant. Maybe next month...

Our Journey Begins

December, 2004

I can't say I know the exact day that it all began, but somewhere between "I do" and now, TJ and I decided we wanted a baby. Perhaps it was too much time spent with friends who had babies or too many Wedneday nights helping in the nursery. I don't know the exact day it happened, but at some point we were bit by the baby bug.

We suddnely found ourselves gazing longingly at newborns in the loving arms of their proud new parents. Walking by the baby cloths section in department stores, I found myself slowing down just to take a peek at the cute little baby cloths. The adorable little booties were never before so appealing. And, worst of all, I began to evny pregnant women. Every time another friend shared news of her pregnancy, I found myself envious yet again. Something had to be done.

And so began our journey to parenthood.