Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy Holidays!!!

I hope everyone is having a happy holiday season.

We are still thrilled in the Ives household, as we await the arrival of our twins in late spring.

Everything is going very well. Our last appointment was during 13 weeks (I’m at 17 now!). However my boy/girl theory has been blown out of the window because both were 6.8 cm and had heartbeats of 138 bpm. So who knows? We are going to find out this week though, as I have an appointment with the perinatalogist on Thursday. I hope they cooperate!

Last time it was such a relief to see them moving around and almost interacting with each other. At first both were lying in the same direction, with their heads toward my left. Twin A kept moving around, then when it was time to measure Twin B, he/she moved breech with his/her butt on the others head. Twin A didn’t appreciate it. They were both stretching and yawning. It was the most amazing sight I’ve ever seen.

I’m just starting to feel them move a round a bit, mostly at night, but sometimes while I’m in the car. In the last couple days my belly has really popped out, even though I’ve been “showing” for awhile. I was worried after my 13 week appointment because I hadn’t gained any weight in between my 8 week and 13 week appointments. However, the babies had grown and the doctors didn’t seem worried about it. I’ve been eating plenty also. I think the pounds are starting to come on now though.

It still seems so surreal though. I went through a really rough period after my first trimester, which I didn’t expect and was honestly a little ashamed about. I was really depressed, which is the reason for the long periods between updates. I’m starting to feel a bit better, but had a really hard time dealing with my feelings because we’d been trying for so long and shouldn’t I be happy? Unfortunately, I think the scars of infertility remain after pregnancy is achieved. It always seems too good to be true and even though this is what we wanted for so long, it’s still a big change. One thing I do know is that I am absolutely in love with both babies, which gives me strength to move on and do what’s best for them and myself…even if it means acknowledging feelings I’d rather not feel. At least I am familiar with depression and knew I wasn’t going (completely) crazy.

Well that’s all for now. I do have more to talk about, but it needs a segment of its own. And it’s a little emotional so I can’t really write it at work.

I finally do have ultrasound photos scanned too, but they are on my iPod and I don’t have wireless access here to get them. (Andy surprised me with an iPod touch for Christmas…I LOVE that thing!!!)

So expect more from me before the week’s out! I appreciate everyone’s comments and good wishes! Thank you so much for reading!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


I don't know if I still have readers out there, as it's been so long since my last post...but hopefully some of you have stuck around or will stop by to hear the good news...

We're pregnant!!!!

With TWINS!!!

As of today, I'm 11 weeks pregnant, so nearly out of the first trimester! And it has been a whirlwind of a couple months!

I found out I was pregnant the last week of September, although I did cheat and take a home test before my blood tests. I actually took three home tests before my blood test and all were positive. So I was feeling pretty good when I went in for my test on 9/29. Sure enough my HCG level was 199! On Oct. 1, I had a little scare when I woke up with some spotting. I still went to my test, but spent the rest of the day at home after talking to my nurses in Michigan. My HCG came back 329, which was less than they wanted (it's supposed to double or rise by at least 80%.) I was so was too much like last time. On Friday, they had me go in for another test and our fears were put aside when my HCG came back at 638!

Of course, anyone who has been through infertility treatments knows that there are several little milestones you have to go through until you can feel comfortable with your pregnancy. Our next milestone was the six week ultrasound on 10/15. Andy and I went to the afternoon appointment hoping that our baby would be imagine our surprise when we saw and heard two heartbeats!!! However, there were actually three implantations. #3 did not have a heartbeat and appeared to be a couple days behind the others. We made another appointment on Halloween to find out.

I was scared about the Halloween appointment. It was very much out of our hands if there were two or three babies. I tried not to think about it, knowing we'd be blessed either way, even though it would be sad if #3 didn't make it. As soon as the ultrasound was applied, we saw our twins...healthy as ever. #3 had continued to grow a bit, but never had a heartbeat. We were sad, but it was amazing to see the other two thriving. Baby A measured 1.85 cm and had a heartbeat of 158 bpm. Baby B measured 1.72 cm and had a heartbeat of 172 bpm.

Now it's too early to find out the sex of the babies, but I think Baby A might be a boy and Baby B a girl. I had a dream shortly after our first ultrasound that we had boy and girl twins. Of course, some say that the heartbeats look like two girls. We'll find out in January!

My due date is June 7, however the doctor expects that these will be May babies, as twins typically come earlier. I am showing a little bit already, as my uterus is already the size of someone 6 to 8 weeks ahead. I love maternity pants! Most of my regular pants are just a little too tight around the belly. Thank goodness for the maternity section at Target!!!

And whoever called it "morning" sickness, has never experienced it! I've spent much of these first months very sick. It hasn't been easy, but I never expected it to be and I'd rather throw up everyday than not at all.

Well that's the biggest news in the Ives house! I wanted to put up ultrasound pictures, but my printer/scanner is buried in what is going to be the nursery. We've got a lot of work a head of us!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Three's a charm?

They all survived the thaw!

Last Wednesday, the doctor transferred all three embryos. They were unfrozen on Tuesday and all continued to divide over night. However, the doctor told us that the chance of triplets are very slim. The two bottom ones are the higher quality (about the same as the last two) and the top one is rated a "3+".

For the most part, I've spent the days since Wednesday flat on my back (which is aching now, by the way.) I could turn from side to side after four hours, but I didn't want to risk one straying toward a fallopian tube. This is about the time now that they should be implanting. I think I feel a couple twinges, but it's really hard to tell. I think I just want to feel something so bad.

So please keep us in your thoughts and prayers over the next month and beyond!

I did leave bed rest on Saturday for about an hour to go see the Dragon Boat races on the river. I really wanted to get some photos for my class. I really need a telephoto lens. I picked three photos out of over 100, but I really was not pleased with any of the photos. But since I was laid up all week and it's Sunday night already...I don't have time to reshoot.

That's all for now. I hope to update more now that I dressed this place up a little bit.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

When all else fails...

try, and try again.

It's now been three months since last IVF cycle. Three months to heal, three months to climb out of that dark hole and reach toward hope. Here we are three months later and this week I will be going back to the clinic to have perhaps three frozen embryos transferred back to my body.

I'm terrified.

But I had a small taste of pregnancy...a small bit of hope. And I'm ready. I'm so ready to hold my child in my arms, sing them to sleep and comfort them when they cry. Of course, I'm ready for diapers, runny noses and baby puke too.

So wish us luck. Pray that they make themselves comfortable high in my uterus, far away from the fallopian tubes. Pray that they stay there for nine months.

In other news...I'm very weak.

Yeah...I got it.

But I'm so glad I did! I started my photography class last week and there are so many more advantages to me learning with this camera. I am so happy with it. Our first assignment is to bring in three "texture or feel" photos. To me, that means some awesome close up photography.

Here's what I'm bringing:

Actually that last one was taken last weekend with my S2 IS. The other two were taken this afternoon during a break in the rain.

I think I really like macro photography so a macro lens is on my wish list, and I could use another zoom lens. can be an expensive hobby.

Speaking of hobbies, I'm particularly pleased with my latest knitting project:

This is for my new little nephew, Cade, who was born on Labor Day (funny enough!) I adapted the pattern from Lois Daykin's Baby Knits book. The pattern, Teddy Suit, is featured on the cover. I knew when I first saw this, I had to make it.

I did make some adjustments to the pattern though. First the pattern calls for Rowen Calmer yarn, which costs about $10 a skein. I substituted Knit Picks Comfy, which was $3 per skein. The yarns are very similar in fiber content and weight, although the Comfy does feel a little bit heavier. Comfy also does not have the same sheen as Calmer, but the cotton/microfiber blend should wear and wash well.

Next I finished the entire suit, and knit the first bootie. The frustration set in. First I couldn't figure out how to make this piece which was knit flat to a bootie. When I finally figured it out, it was much too large for a newborn (maybe even a three year old.) Since I had a lot of brown yarn left, I knit another using much smaller needles...still too big.

Perhaps it was the different yarn. But I did knit a swatch and had the right gauge. Even if it would've fit, it was still an awkward pattern. I considered leaving the booties off completely, but the suit with the footies were what sold me in the first place.

I went to Knitty Gritty's site at and found an "ugg" bootie pattern I made a couple years ago. So I adjusted that pattern to fit the suit pattern. This included adjusting the pattern so that the instep was knit in seed stitch. I wrote the pattern out. I'll post it here soon if anyone is interested.

In the end I was much happier with the footie and the gift was well-received by Andy's brother and sister-in-law. I can't wait to see a photo of the little guy in it.

Well this was a long post. I'm off to bed. We have a busy week a head of us (followed by four delicious days of much needed bed rest.)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Less than one week until...

That's right! Monday evening I'm going to be front row (that's freaking front row, people!!!) at the Idina Menzel concert. After the summer we've had...I am so looking forward to this! It really is the highlight of the summer for me. As corny as it sounds and is her music has helped me through a lot. (God that sounds lame.) It was Brave and Better to Have Loved that helped me realize my fears of continuing fertility treatments earlier this year. I think I'm going to need to hear those songs live to continue again after losing the baby last month.

We're on the schedule for our embryo transfer in September. I'm ready. I'm really ready to be a mom. My short pregnancy, even doomed from the start, just solidified that for me. I knew right when I lost the baby and even though I knew it had to happen and was going to happen...I still went into shock when it did. I don't remember ever feeling that empty. It was awful.

Then, of course, the next day this happened:

Yes, that is our basement....flooded. Yeah.

See why I'm so excited for a concert?

In other news, I've really excited to learn more about photography. It's been something that I've wanted to learn more about for a long time, but I've finally signed up for a class at the technical college this fall. So...if I'm going to learn more about photography....

I need a new camera!!!

Seriously, I've gotten a new camera for Christmas for the last two years. (Then another one three years before that.) But I need a DSLR camera. Really I do. I'm currently using a Canon PowerShot S2 IS and an A560. I'm leaning toward a Canon because I'm used to Canons and I think I have it narrowed down to the Rebel XSi or the XS (which is scaled down from the first mentioned and not out until next month sometime). It depends on what the XS ends up costing. Right now it's showing as $699 on Amazon, but have heard that it should drop a week or so after it comes out. I'm also going to be depending on Christmas sales.

Any suggestions? I'm still open. I really don't want to have to buy a new one in a couple years. (or next year.)

Well I'm chatty tonight. I'm off...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


I wish I could say there's good news, but it has been a roller coaster couple weeks. I don't know where to start so I guess I'll start with our first hCG test.

5/19--I went to the doctor at 8 a.m. for my blood test. My IVF clinic in Michigan was going to get the results then call us after noon. I had taken a half day off so I could be home in case it was bad news. I really didn't know what to think. I had been having definite symptoms, but I was taking progesterone and estrogen. Around 10 a.m., my nurse from my local clinic called. My test was positive! I was pregnant! I ran downstairs (Andy and I work for the same company) and ran into Andy's office. "You're going to be a daddy!" We went outside. We couldn't believe it...we were shocked! However, we decided not to say anything because we had another test on Wednesday. I still took the afternoon off. I went to the bookstore and bought "What to Expect When You're Expecting," which I had been waiting to do for 5 years.

5/21--Another 8 am test. This time the results call came right before lunch. Not great hCG level was 70, (it was 53 on Monday). So my levels did not double. We were told not to worry because sometimes it takes longer to rise than 48 hours. I was fine at first, but went home for lunch and just broke down. I ended up calling in and not going back to work. I had to test again on Friday.

5/23--I took the day off. I was terrified. The call came at 12:30. My level was 68. I was going to lose the baby. I was devastated. I stopped the hormones. So Memorial Day weekend was not a joyful one.

5/27--I had another test to verify my hCG levels were still going down. was 98. At this point I was 5 weeks so my numbers should have been much higher. An ectopic pregnancy was suspected.

5/29--Another test...204! Now it doubled! Deep in my heart I was hoping that my baby was still fighting, but my levels were way too low.

6/1--Our 6 year was pretty quiet. We went to dinner and I allowed myself a glass of wine with my meal.

6/2--Beginning of 6 weeks...still pregnant. We both went to my ultrasound. Since my levels were still rather low we really couldn't see anything, but a black looking cyst near the opening on my left fallopian tube was suspicious of ectopic. Sure enough my hCG levels continued to rise (599). However, the pregnancy was not going to develop. That afternoon I was given a shot of methotrexate to break up any embryonic tissue in my tubes.

Methotrexate is also used for chemotherapy, only I was given a much smaller dose. Nonetheless, I've been very sick.

So that's it. I need to have two more blood tests to verify my hormones are going back down. If not, I will have to have surgery. It's been the worst two weeks of my least now I can finally move on.

We do have 5 embryos waiting for us though. We'll probably try again in August. It all depends when my body goes back to normal.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Here they are!

Well our seven embryos remained strong and yesterday we transferred 2 beautiful embryos (see above). The remaining five embryos should be frozen. All but one was rated B+/A-. But right now we are praying for these two and hoping they find a nice cushy home for the next 9 months.

As for me, I'm still on bed rest, although today I can actually do more than get up and go to the bathroom.

So please keep us all in your thoughts and prayers!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

7 is a lucky number, right?

It is for us because right now we have seven little embryos starting to grow! We won't know until tomorrow the quality of each, but this was great news this morning!!!

I haven't blogged in awhile so some people may be wondering "what happened? Weren't you on track in March?" Well, in March I began to show signs of overstimulating, which can be extremely dangerous. So my cycle was canceled. It was hard, but I was so sick.

Even this time it looked like I was going to overstimulate, but my follicles were growing much larger than last time. So they backed off on my medication, hoping my estrodiol levels would level out while the follicles continued to grow, but my levels dropped instead. They were about to cancel, but decided to give me another push of meds and see what happened. So not expecting more than 3 or 4 eggs, we proceeded. I was devastated, but prayed like crazy!

The day of retrieval, I had to take a vallium and it knocked me out. I really don't remember much. The first thing I asked when I woke up, was how many eggs? I thought Andy was joking when he said 13! I slept all yesterday, luckily or I would have been a nervous wreck.

This morning the nurse called with our fertility results and told us that seven eggs fertilized out of the 13 eggs. So of course, now we don't know the quality of the embryos yet...we'll find out tomorrow.

But it's been a week of ups and downs for us and it feels like the the journey on the long, winding road toward parenthood is finally coming to an end.

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers!

Monday, March 10, 2008

We're on track!

Today I went in for my baseline ultrasound and everything is going very well! I will be starting my stimulation medications this weekend and I have a follicle check next Monday.

So what did you do this weekend? On Saturday we got dressed up and went to an open casting call for Public Enemies, the Michael Mann film about John Dillinger, which is going to be partially filmed in Oshkosh....only less than a mile from our house!!! Oh yeah...did I mention Johnny Depp and Christian Bale are starring in it? No? Um yeah, they are...

So we needed's mine:
We had to dress up in "period" clothing so the casting people could picture how people would look in a 1930s piece. I really have no idea if I'll get called, but it was a fun experience...standing in line for 2 and a half hours then getting our pictures taken again! I'm a people watcher though so I loved seeing everyone dressed up! I think I look too "40s," but who knows?

Sunday, March 9, 2008

On the brink of a dream...

I remember long ago, holding, feeding and loving my dolls, mimicking my mom as she cared for my brother and I. At that time I dreamed of what it would be like when I had children. What I never expected is that my dream would seem so out of reach.

In a week or so, we will be doing IVF. We are so excited, but so scared to get our hopes up at the same time. I've started the drug regimen that will prepare my body for the procedure. No, this isn't how I would prefer to conceive our children, but this is what we have to do.

It seems like the struggles of the last five years are coming to an end and that our grief may soon turn into joy. I've learned so much about myself and believe that I will be a better mother because of it.

So, if you think of it, say a little prayer or keep us in your thoughts over the next couple weeks. I really appreciate it!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008 anyone out there?

I can't believe it's been close to six months since I've updated this thing...well I have to change that. So much has much about to happen. I promise to update soon but until then I'm going to leave you with this...

Can I tell you how excited I am for this CD to come out?

Chao for now!