Saturday, December 3, 2011

It's been awhile... pregnancy photobomb!

Wow, I'm sorry it's been way too long! I need to make a lot of updates - lots going on around here. We are halfway through the pregnancy, more to come on that!

Last week Erik and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. We took Ash (6) on a trip to Orlando, Florida and also renewed our vows. I'll make a new post on the whole vacay soon.

I've completed a few sewing orders recently for mama pads, diapers, and legwarmers. I also want to work on stuff for the new baby - a carrier or two and some newborn diapers. I plan to add some great picture tutorials soon. I printed out a bunch of different free nb diaper patterns to try out, so I'll be sure to let you know what I find.

Now for the big update - 22 weeks along! In a few weeks, we will reach a high viability point (being able to live out of the womb) so that will bring a big sigh of relief. At our last ultrasound, they discovered I have a bilobed placenta - meaning there are two. They are going to do some more testing to see if it is two seperate or the one has split. The most important things to look for are proper growth of the baby and look for vessels that may connect the placenta to make sure they aren't in a bad spot. So far everything looks great and the Dr. told us not to worry. We will be having more ultrasounds, so yay for getting more looks at the baby. Oh, and we didn't find out gender even though we could have. Much more fun to be surprised! Okay, so here is the photobomb I promised!

GRRR! I can't get the photos to post correctly here, sorry. But here is a link to the pics, enjoy!

Sunday, September 4, 2011


I just can't believe it! The next cycle never came, and we won't need another surgery. Of course I am terrified that something could go wrong, but more than anything we are just so excited. On July 26th I took a cheapie HPT (home pregnancy test) and it came back with a faint line - which I figured was just evaporation since it was a cheapie test and I was so early. The next day I took three more tests and they were faint, but seemed pinker each time. I had some internet friends help "tweak" my tests to see if anything was there - and finally took a digital.

WE DID IT! We beat Asherman's, we beat infertility. We are having another baby. After 21 months, low count, and only one good tube we are finally pregnant. Due date is April 5, 2012. A psychic predicted a March girl for me, so who knows! She said she was leaning towards find out in March, but that March 2012 birth was also possibility. It will be exciting to see if she is right!

Ash is super excited to be a big brother, and can't understand why it is taking so long for the baby to get here, lol. He is going to be a wonderful brother.

I was very scared at the beginning, that we might lose the little bean or it wouldn't be able to implant properly. But at 7 weeks, I was able to see our little jelly bean and the heart beating away! I am now just over 9 weeks and starting to "feel pregnant".

I've been very tired and not feeling so great, so I haven't gotten any crafts or sewing done - I'm looking forward to the second trimester where I will have lots of nesting energy!

I also started back to work, so that takes up a lot of my time and energy. But in the end, it is all so worth it and I'm a pretty happy mama.

Update #2 Cycle Before Surgery

Okay, so now we are in limbo again just waiting for another cycle to go by so we can continue treatment.

We are opting for another surgery to remove more of the scarring from my uterus to give an embryo the best chance possible.

But, we decided to have some fun anyway while we waited, with no expectations. It's been a while since we've done that! I tried a new product called preseed which is a lubricant that mimics the body's natural secretions so it's great for sperm. I also used Instead Softcups to keep the good stuff closer to the cervix. :)

And secretly I am hoping it works, even though it scares me to think of the risks with there still being scarring.

Update #1 2nd HSG (uterine xray)

Wow, life has been crazy and I'm sorry I haven't updated! I can't believe it is September already...

Well, here is my attempt to get everyone up to date. Last you heard from me I was on estrogen therapy and waiting for my next cycle to start so I could have a repeat HSG.

I started the provera (progesterone) on June 23rd and 3 days after my last pill I started my next cycle. ***TMI WARNING**** I finally had a red period - not just old light, brown blood but real lining shedding. I can't tell you happy I was! So strange, I know.

On July 5th I had my 2nd HysteroSalpingoGram - or uterine xray. I was scared, and made Erik come with me again. He is so supportive! But I had nothing to fear - it didn't hurt, and I didn't get bad news this time.

It felt like a pap, that's all. No pain or cramping from the dye pushing through. I got to watch it go in on the screen and spill out my right tube. I shed tears of joy, I knew what that meant before the RE even said anything. In fact, I think he was even surprised at how fast the dye went through because they had to hustle the radiologist in so he could take the pictures!

In the end, it was good but not great news. The right side of my uterus was healthy and the tube perfectly clear. The left side was still scarred and the dye would not go very far into the left tube. So now I am only half-blocked. Dr. Young said (and I could tell he was even impressed, lol) that he thinks I have a very good chance now. I could opt for another surgery to remove more of the scarring. I said I would feel more comfortable if we just did another surgery.

So, we are okay to TTC but planning another surgery when my next cycle starts. After almost 2 years, DH's somewhat low count, and only one good tube there isn't much chance this one cycle anyway...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Follow Up Appointment

Well, I am doing great and healing nicely. My follow up went well but got some bad news also. I have been cleared for no further restrictions, and the balloon catheter is OUT! :)

The Dr. deflated the balloon by extracting some water from it and then it slid right out. He checked my incisions and said he wasn't surprised by all the bruising. After the surgery, he had spoken to my husband since I was still under anesthesia. He went over the procedure with me. The next paragraph I go over exactly what happened, so TMI warning again!

The plan was to go in with the hysteroscope and put catheters in the tubes to open them. He could not get past the first 1/3 of my uterus, it was scarred down completely. This most likely happened as my uterus healed from the c-section, it adhered to itself. So, with someone watching from the top of the uterus through the laproscope, he used the scissors to cut through the scar tissue and open up the uterus. That is when he inserted the balloon catheter so that it wouldn't heal down again. I am still on estrogen therapy for another 2 weeks and then progesteron to bring on a period. Hopefully, it will be a much healthier one than I've had in the past and will show that my lining is regenerating well. The bad news is that even when he opened up the uterus, he was unable to see the openings to my fallopian tubes. It really scares me that they are still completely blocked and we may not be able to have another baby. But, we won't know for sure until I have a repeat HSG. That will probably be scheduled as soon as my next cycle starts.

Though it is heartbreaking to think we may not have another biological child, we are very thankful for the wonderful little boy that we already have. We are also becoming excited about the possibility of adoption and have started discussing the different options.

I will have a follow up appointment in a couple weeks and will update then.

In the meantime, I have lots of plans for crafts and sewing projects to post! Unfortunately, we need to get the house ready to put in new carpeting and get it ready to sell, so it might be a while before I get things done...

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Had the Surgery! Warning - Maybe TMI

The surgery went well, though it was more complicated than originally planned. I've been resting and recovery the last couple days and Erik and Ash have been great at taking care of me. The cat has been glued to my side since I got home.

If you want to read more about the exact procedure, keep reading. But you've been warned! I tried not to be too explicit, but everyone's comfort level is different.

I went in around 630am to check in and all. They started an IV and the Doctor and Anesthesiologist came and spoke with Erik and I. The staff at Lakeview Surgery center was wonderful!

Here comes the detailed part. Last chance to stop reading...

The plan was to put some dye in through the cervix and hopefully be able to push it through the tubes so that they would clear and that would be it. If that failed, they were going to put some catheters in the tubes to open them.

They went in with a laproscope through my belly button which allowed them to see inside. Then they made another incision into the scar from c-section so they could get instruments in there.

As it turns out, I had so much scar tissue from my C-section that they couldn't even get to the tubes. My Dr. was perplexed and said it is very rare for that to happen with CS. So, they cut through and removed the scar tissue and inserted a balloon catheter to keep the uterus from healing back together.

I will go back on Thursday for a check up and possible have the balloon removed. I will be given further instructions on restrictions. Originally, it was 2 days recovery and no restrictions but that may have changed. Right now I can shower but not bathe, no heavy lifting or vigorous activity for 3-5 days. We were hoping not to have to take this cycle off from trying, but looks like we might have to wait one more cycle.

I'm on lots of different medications now:
Percocet for the pain (though I haven't needed it that much)
Antibiotic (1 week)
Estradiol (25 days) to help rebuild the endometrium
Provera (progestin) for the last 5 days of the estrogen
stool softener so that the meds don't leave me constipated

So far the recovery hasn't been too bad. I slept most of Friday and a lot today as well. I feel a lot better today since the anesthesia has worn off and I don't feel so "out of it". I don't have much pain at the incision sites, had some cramping but it seems to be much better now.

The next step will be to repeat the HSG (hysterosalpingogram) where they run the dye up through the cervix and into the uterus. Hopefully this time it will fill the uterus and then spill out the tubes or at least be able to be forced through the tubes and open them. If they can't be opened, then our last course of action is invitro fertilization. They would extract eggs and fertilize them with Erik's sperm in the lab then insert them into the uterus. We have very mixed feelings about doing this, so it's not something that we will take lightly.

Here's to hoping that the surgery was successful and the tubes are clear!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Surgery Scheduled!

Well, looks like I might get "fixed" in a couple days! I am going in for surgery to hopefully unblock my tubes.

They are doing a laparoscopy (going in with a camera through the belly button to check for problems and keep from puncturing the top of the uterus) hysteroscopy (going into the uterus to check for and repair damage) and if needed tubal catheterization (putting tubes through the blockages of my tubes to clear them out).

Of course with any surgery there are the chances of complications. I am feeling very hopeful that I will be able to have a baby after all. The Dr. assured me that the procedure has an 80% chance of clearing the tubes and we don't need to take any time off of trying to conceive.

Will update how it goes in a couple days!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Easy Cadet Hat Tutorial Boy Girl or Adult Lots of Pics!

Here is the pattern I came up with to make hats for my little kids at school (toddler age). It fit all the kids (though a little looser on some) and even fits my 5 year old - but I think he has a small head like me! :) They turned out so great I wanted to make one for myself. It was so simple, I made 6 in one night.

1. Use a heavier weight fabric like denim, corduroy, duck, decorator (apholstery), or twill. The blue owl hat is twill and the grey butterfly one is corduroy.

Here is what you need:

-enough fabric to make a band 4" x (head circumference) and a circle up to 10" in diameter. I always buy a yard of fabric, but I think 1/3 would be plenty. You could even use up scraps and make it kind of a patchwork hat.

-cutting mat and rotary cutter (optional but very helpful, you can cut out with scissors if you don't have these.)

-a compass or if you don't have one (like me!) then use a round object that is close to diameter you need - I used a plate.

-straight edge ruler for cutting and measuring the band part. -notebook for calculations and to write down sizes (sorry, I am making you do math!) you might also want a calculator.

-fabric marking pen (but I just used a plain one because it doesn't show anyway).

-paper or cardstock if you want to make a paper pattern for your hat.-soft measuring tape .-matching thread (and a sewing machine of course!).

-optional: embellishments such as buttons, ribbons, appliques, etc. fray check if you want to keep the inside seams from unravelling. 1/4" or 3/8" elastic if desired.

3. Measure the victim's - I mean recipient's - head circumference but wrapping the soft tape around the head at the forehead then angle down a bit around back and over the ears. Sorry, I didn't get a pic of this. If you don't have the person around to measure, just look up some "average" head sizes and go from there - it doesn't have to be perfect.

For the kid's hat, the circumference was about 20 inches or so - I went with 21 to add a bit for seam allowance. This was a little big on the 1 year olds, but fit my 5 year old great. Mine was around 21.5 if that gives you an idea. Just remember, I have a small head!

4. Calculate the diameter of the circle for the top of the hat. Remember "pi"? Well, this is what it's for! You take your circumference and divide by pi (3.14) and that gives you the diameter of a circle with that circumference. Again, this doesn't have to be exact. I fudged a little and went with:

Kids Small 21 inch cir divided by 3 = 7" diameter. The plate I used was actually around 6.5", so I just cut down the band a tiny bit to fit the circle when sewing.

Kids Large/Adult Small 24 inch circ divided by 3 = 8" diameter. I found this to actually be a little bit big, (remember my circ was actually closer to 22") but my plate was 8" and I didn't want to figure out how to draw a circle. You'll see how I made up for it at the end!

5. OPTIONAL - Make a pattern for your hat. Using your straight edge ruler draw out a strip that is 4" wide and the length of your circumference for the band. Using your template (aka my plate) trace your circle for the top of the hat piece. For the brim trace 1/2 of the circle, move the plate up so you have a 1/2 moon shape and trace again - make sure it is the width you'd like for the brim. That's it! Only three pieces to this pattern. (I told you it was easy.)

I didn't use a pattern, I just traced and cut directly on the fabric (cuz I'm lazy and LOVE to cut corners, he he).

6. Cut out your pieces - I love my rotary cutter for this step. For the brim, fold your fabric over so you can cut both pieces at the same time. You only need to cut one of the top and band. I like to fold it and cut so I get enough pieces for two hats at once - just remember you have to do 2 brims then.7. Stitch the ends of your band together with right sides of fabric together. ALL stitches here on out are regular straight stitches unless otherwise noted.8. Sew your brim pieces together - right sides of fabric together OUTER CURVE only. Then turn it right side out.9. Now this part is a little tricky. I hardly ever pin (remember when I said I'm lazy?) but it is very helpful on this step. We are going to pin the top of the hat (the circle) to the band, right sides together. It takes a little patience to pin a straight edge to a curve, but you can do it! Then stitch the pieces together and turn right side out. It's already looking like a hat! :)
10. Now we are going to add the brim. If there is a side you like better, pin it on with that side FACING the right side of the hat. I like to fold the hat and the brim in half and pin to match up the middles. Then pin the entire brim piece to the front of the hat piece and stitch together. Fold the brim down and voila!
11. Now, to hem the bottom start at the edge of the brim. You will fold the bottom of the hat under about 1/4" - on the brim part, fold the band part down slightly onto the brim and stitch down.

It's kind of hard to tell, but the first pic shows folding the band down slightly on the brim (sort of covered by my fingers) and the next pic is the underside where it is folded under.

Continue stitching making sure that the corner of the brim is stitched nicely under the band part. Keep stitching all around the hat, folding under 1/4" as you go. You could pin the entire thing if you prefer, I just eye-balled it.

*Note* If you don't want a raw edge on the bottom, you can hem once THEN add the brim, then continue to hem a 2nd time as directed here.

12. Lastly top stitch the front edge of the brim for a crisp look. And you're done! :)13. Unless you want to do more... You can add buttons, appliques, bows, faux flowers, etc.

14. Now, I didn't like how loose mine fit, so I added some elastic to the back half. I just stitched with a zig zag slightly narrower than the elastic, pulling the elastic tight as I sewed. (top pic is before, bottom is after, then the back view).

That wasn't so bad, was it? I knew you could do it! Enjoy putting your new hat on yourself or your little one!

Trying to Conceive Baby #2

Well, for some time now Erik and I have been trying for baby #2. Ash was easy enough (one try!) so we didn't think it would be a big deal. We were wrong.

After a year and a half of trying we finally saw a fertility specialist. In that time I learned to chart my cycles and track ovulation and learned a lot and made some great friends on the Baby Center website. I had my hormones tested and everything came back normal. I was ovulating late in my cycle, so we tried Clomid to shorten it and that seemed to work. Then I had a HSG done - and that found my uterus was completely blocked. The condition is known as Asherman's syndrome and it is caused be uterine scarring or adhesions. It most often occurs after a D & C but I've never had one, so must have been from Ash's C-section. A few days later we found out that Erik also has a low count, but the motility and shape are good. I will be making a plan with the RE (reproductive endocrinologist) on Tuesday and will update.

Trying and not conceiving can be very hard - and something not a lot of people understand. Some will tell you to "just relax and it will happen" in an attempt to help. Well, it doesn't help when you feel like they are telling you that it's your own fault because you aren't relaxed enough. Seeing pregnant women and babies can feel like a slap in the face. No one wants to feel like that. I am hoping that by being open about our struggle, I can help others understand the hurt and frustration a little bit more. If you want to know how to "help" someone struggling to concieve, then this is my advice. Be a shoulder to cry on, be sympathetic, and don't distance yourself just because you don't understand what to do. Most of us don't mind questions and it is very freeing to talk out some of the issues.

I welcome any and all questions about my personal journey!

I'm Ba-ack!

Well, life just gets away, doesn't it?!

I am happy to say I'm back to blogging and can't wait to share all kinds of fun stuff. I'll be taking some time off this summer, so should be updated all my sites and sewing a lot of fun stuff.

Can't wait to let you all know what's going on!