January 31, 2011

A bit strange...

I know I am still about 9 days away from my expected AF date, but I can't help but notice a couple of weird symptoms. I don't know if I am being overly optimistic, or hopeful, or if I am just looking into this stuff way too much... BUT... I have had slight cramping today, along with swollen boobs (they are out of control HUGE, like WHOA) and nasty gas (sorry, I know it sounds gross but it's all in the name of observation, I can assure you). I don't know what to make of this, or if I should even make anything of this at all, but it is a bit strange.

Would any of the currently PG Buds like to share any of their first symptoms? I know we are all pretty sensitive to what we are feeling, since we are looking for signs and symptoms, and I am also aware that these symptoms can vary from woman to woman, but I fi
gured it's not a bad idea to share what you felt/feel.

Regardless... I don't want to get my hopes up :-/

1 year (and a little) of TTC

Since my TTC anniversary rolled around a couple weeks ago, I thought I would put forth some TTC numbers:
12.5 months TTC
381 days
14 cycles
13 BFN
63 negative OPK (I was a little POASaholic at the beginning)
9 positive OPK
39 nights of BDing
49 days of AF
10 days of Clomid
2 Ovidrel trigger shots
4 IUI (2 back to back)
At least 25 days of crying

Looking at all these numbers is a little strange and a little sad. It is also amazing how much these numbers have changed me.

The January 2010 me was (slightly obnoxiously) optimistic. I was confident that I would be pregnant in a matter of months and by the end of 2010 I would have my baby. I pitied those girls who have been TTC for months or even years and were starting or in the middle of IF treatments. I knew that wouldn't be me. Hell my cousin had children naturally when she was 38 and she has severe endometriosis. This who scenario is going to be a cinch. HA

The January 2011 me is a very different person. I will never say that I am glad we had to go through IF, but it definitely has changed me for the better. I want to think that I have a slightly more realistic view of the world and the struggles that it involves. I know I will appreciate every morning of morning sickness because I have worked so hard to attain it. I am more confident and I don't care so much about what people think about me. I am very open with my infertility treatments and our struggles. If I can make one person feel less alone in the world of IF then I am happy.

Looking back, I am not nearly as depressed as I thought I would be. Don't get me wrong, I would give everything I have to have a child right now. However I am get out of bed every morning. There were times that where I was incredibly depressed and could barely get out of bed, but I pulled myself out with the help of my fantastic support system.

I know I will have children and I am very confident that I will be able to get pregnant as well. My RE is very confident that it will happen within the year.

Message to January 2012 me: If you are pregnant or have your precious LO in your arms, REMEMBER what it took to get to this point. Savor every possible second, positive or negative. If you are not pregnant, keep your chin up your baby is out there somewhere. You have made it this far; you can do it!

Itching to test...

OMG, OMG, OMG!!!!! I am soooooo itching to POAS!!!!!!!!!! Technically, I may be able to test in 4 days (aren't the FRPT able to detect up to 5 days before?). Well, as far as my period tracker app is concerned, my period will begin in 9 days...

UH! I hate waiting...

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GTKMC = Getting To Know My Cervix

Me and my cervix, we're like old friends. Actually, we're BFFs. Never in a million years did I ever think I'd have such a close and personal relationship with my cervix. Ha. Heck, two years ago I wasn't really sure where my cervix was. But every day we get to know each other a little better. Ahh, TTC will make you do crazy things. And TTC will make you do things that you will never admit to your non-TTC friends. I can see the look of repulsion on their faces now! The look of "You do whhhaaatttt? But whhhyyyy?".

What I find so amazing about my body, is that everything it does is for a purpose. As a teenager, I remember discovering EWCM in my undies and being totally grossed out. I remember thinking "WTF is wrong with me?" Now the sight of EWCM gives my heart a little flutter! I have a mini celebration for myself in the bathroom, sometimes complete with fist pumps and all. Jersey Shore style. LOL. EWCM gives me the heads up that it's time to get busy with Mr. PB&J. However, when I am nearing day 21 of my cycle and there is no sight of fertile CM (like now), I find myself asking those same question I did as a teenager, "WTF is wrong with me?". Oh, the irony.

This cycle I have really stepped up my game in regards to checking my cervical position and cervical fluid. Charting is a great tool, but the biggest downfall to charting is ovulation can only be confirmed AFTER the fact. In months prior, our intercourse pattern hasn't been great around O time. Let me tell you, it's super defeating to wake up to a high temp when we didn't have sex the night before. I know OPKs are another great tool but frankly, I find them confusing. But that's another post for another time. I really need to stop being cheap and spring for some OPKs that interpret the results for me. Sometimes I become delusional and think everything is positive. Internet cheapies suck.

Anyway, checking my cervix seems to pick up where charting falls short. The clues my cervix gives me are invaluable. I am still learning how to distinguish the difference between the different types of CM. Sometimes I can't tell the difference between watery and creamy or sticky and egg white. And then when semen is thrown in the mix, forget it. I am totally confused. So I don't always record my findings if I am unsure, only if they're obvious. But I have become a pro at checking my cervical position. I do excel in that department! Whether it be high, low, soft, firm, open or closed, I got it figured out.

I am hoping that this month, my good friend (aka my cervix) will pull through and give me the much needed heads up of impending ovulation. I really could use a friend like that right now.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading :)

PB&J Bud

Ups and Downs and Decisions Oh My!

First off, let me apologize for not blogging recently. The last time I blogged, I had just rang in the New Year and had an awesome time visiting my family in the northeast for Christmas. I had also taken a little detour to NY to visit family, especially my granny who had just moved into an Assisted Living Facility and was having a very difficult time with this. I am sad to say that she passed away five days after I saw her, so I immediately took another trip back up north for her funeral. I had a very difficult time saying goodbye to her, and recently I have found myself being very emotional about it. I feel like on whole chapter of my life has closed, and it is hard for me to imagine that neither my granny nor my gramp are here anymore.

Now that I am back in town and getting back into the swing of things, I wanted to update all of you on our adoption journey. Mr JB and I are in the process of trying to get re licensed as foster parents again. We have decided to try this route before doing private domestic adoption. We were blessed with lil JB through the joys of fostering and adopting, so we would like to go this route again. It is a lengthy process to get licensed, so we are in the midst of tons of paperwork, and home visits galore! we hope to have all of it in soon so that our licensing packet can be sent off for approval and we can take in another lil JB!

The best part so far about this whole journey is that we got to put up a crib! We are interested in fostering children ages 0-5, so in order to qualify to take babies, we had to have a crib. So, we had fun getting that and putting it up! We lucked out and got a really pretty one for cheap. It was originally 279$ and we got it for 134$! We were excited. This is what it looks like...

I love it! It looks so nice in the room we have it in too, I will be sure to post pics of the room soon!

~ June Bud

January 29, 2011

First Ultrasound, Birth Center Tour, and First Fluff Mail!

I have to apologize in advance, this is going to get long! So grab a snack...

This was a week of firsts for us at the Magnolia Bud house. We had our birth center tour, had our first ultrasound with this pregnancy, saw that baby's heartbeat for the first time, scheduled our first prenatal appointment, and received our first piece of fluff mail!

I'll start with the ultrasound, it's by far the most exciting! I was scheduled for our first ultrasound yesterday at 6w5d--both for dating and because of our prior loss. The ultrasound tech started with ovaries (normal, phew), and then scanned into the uterus. Right away we were able to see that there was something there.

In fact, there was a little Baby Magnolia Bud in there! S/he measures .78 cm, which correlates to 6w4d to 6w5d. His/her little heartbeat was strong at 145!!! As soon as the tech held the wand still for a second, we could see the little heart flicker on the screen. Mr. MB was speechless, and I teared up. I never thought something the size of a sweet pea could make me get teary...who knew!?

The doctor came in and looked at all of our measurements, and gave us a new EDD--September 19. The doctor also told us that I'm now down to a less than 5% chance of miscarriage. We were both really relieved to hear that, but we're now also filled with more worry now that we're sure there's a healthy baby in there (what if we're the 5%? what if we should really be getting the FIRST testing done? what if I'm not getting enough nutrients because all I want to eat are rice cakes and apples? etc, etc, etc.). When I told Mr. Magnolia Bud that I was still worried (now about other things than whether Baby MB had a heartbeat), he said I should man up and get used to it--being a parent is full of worry, but it's also going to be a lot of fun. I married a very smart man, who's going to make a great dad!

Next up--the birth center tour. I've been going to a midwife practice for about two years for well-woman care, and there is a free-standing birth center associated with the midwife practice. It's the only one in the state, and it has an awesome reputation (even with the MFM doctors we've been seeing at local hospitals for ultrasounds). The tour is required before any patient can make their first prenatal visit, because they have a limited number of birth slots available for any given month. During the two-hour tour, we discussed what happens during prenatal appointments and a normal birth process, what happens if an emergency-type situation occurs, what happens during postpartum care--both at the birth center and at home, and the midwife giving the tour answered lots of questions from all of us. We finished with a tour of the birth suites. Once we left, we both knew that attending had solidified our plans to give birth there. Feels great to have a plan!

I was able to schedule our first prenatal appointment for February 25--I'll be 10w4d, and we'll hopefully be able to hear the heartbeat on the doppler then. Our plan is to tell our families that weekend if the appointment goes well.

Finally, we got our first fluff package this week! About two weeks ago, cottonbabies was having a great sale on bum genius 4.0 seconds, so I ordered some. (I thought I ordered 12, but my invoice only showed 9...which means I probably only ordered 9). They came this week, and we love them! Can't wait to use them when Baby Magnolia Bud arrives!!!

That's it for now, I think. I'm still feeling pretty cruddy every day, but the sea bands continue to cull the dizziness and some of the nausea. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Love, Magnolia Bud

January 28, 2011

Cross Hairs!

Not really a surprise to see them as I've had some pretty convincing signs that ovulation happened in the last few days (+OPKs, plummeting and then dramatically rising temperature, sex drive went from ridiculously high to non-existent). Still good to see nice solid cross hairs on my chart though. Any sign that my body is doing what its supposed to when its supposed to is a good thing.

I'm currently 3 DPO. I'm going to try and hold out on testing until 10 DPO (Friday, Feb 4th). Hopefully AF holds out until then too. Last month I started spotting at 9 DPO and that's just really cutting the luteal phase a little too short for my liking. I'm hoping it was a fluke post-miscarriage thing as its never happened before. I had some other weird (for me) symptoms in the 2ww last month too, namely really sore boobs (I'm talking wake me up at night painful, ouch!). When I was in for my annual last month, the doc said things like that are par for the course in the first few cycles post pregnancy loss. Last month was Cycle 2 post loss, so I'm optimistic that was the case.

So far I'm doing pretty well in this 2ww. Mr. CB and I had pretty good timing, and knowing we did what we could to up the chances helps. This is the easy part of the 2ww though. No chance the prospective little bud has implanted, so no point in even thinking of testing. I may be singing a different tune a few days from now...when the real mind games of the 2ww begin.

Take care,

Introducing PB & J Bud!

Hello! I am PB&J Bud and the newest blogger for Bloomin' Babies! I love all things peanut butter and my husband (most of the time), whose name starts with a J. So PB&J seemed like an appropriate Bud name. I am a avid reader of Bloomin' Babies so I am totally honored to become a blogger!

Mr. PB&J Bud and I started dating in 1999 when I was a freshman in college. He was cute and I was smitten. And we both liked to quote Seinfeld. So I immediately knew he was the one! We had a long courtship of 8 years before we were finally married in 2007. I think "long courtship" sounds better than saying he was a slow mover. Ha.

We are the proud parents to beautiful Little PB&J Bud who was born December 8, 2009. As cliche as it sounds, she is the greatest thing that ever happened to us. She is amazing! And like every other mother in the world, I will argue that my baby is the best baby in the history of babies. Becoming a parent for the first time was such a exhilarating experience that we decided we wanted to add to our family when Little PB&J Bud was only a few months old. We have officially been TTC number two since April of 2010.

Of course I have to include a pic of Little PB&J. She has just started walking and is quite proud of her new skill.

And for fun, I'll throw in a pic of Mr. PB&J and I on our wedding day. We were both skinnier then. My excuse is I had a baby. I'm not sure what his excuse is.

The road to TTC number two hasn't been an easy one. I have had a series of long, irregular, anovulatory cycles which have been nothing short of defeating. I have charted, drank POM Juice and Green Tea as well as religiously popped Evening Primrose Oil caplets all in the hopes of getting pregnant. When those methods failed to work I decided to take a back seat approach to TTC (mostly to save my sanity) and I found out I was pregnant with baby number two in early December. I can't even begin to tell you how excited we were! I was FINALLY pregnant and we could put the stress of TTC behind us once and for all. But, I am sorry to say the pregnancy was short lived and I started cramping and bleeding two days after my BFP. To make matters worse, the cramping and bleeding started hours before my daughter's first birthday party. Awesome. My chemical pregnancy was later confirmed at my OB/GYN appointment that following Monday.

So here I am, going on 10 months of TTC and I am back a square one. I was given the all clear to start TTC from my OB last cycle. You know that saying of how you are more fertile the cycle after a miscarriage? Yeah, well I bought into it even though I knew I shouldn't have. But I couldn't help it! The thought of getting pregnant again so soon was the one thing that helped me deal with the chemical pregnancy. So when AF arrived in January, I was completely let down.

I am excited to share my experience here with others who are going through the same thing! Mr. PB&J and I have decided to keep our TTC journey to ourselves for now. Which meant he has had to solely bear the brunt of my frustrations regarding TTC. Poor guy! So since I now have another outlet to discuss CM, temperature shifts and OPKs, it will alleviate the amount of TMI I share with him :)

Thanks for listening! I am never good at introductions so I hope mine wasn't too awkward!


PB&J Bud

The Waiting Game

I wanted to take a moment to extend a warm welcome to our new Buds!!! Welcome to Explorer Bud, Cactus Bud and PB&J Bud!!!

As far as my Period Tracker app is concerned, my fertile period is over. I haven't checked my CM today to confirm it, but based on the app's calculations, we are done for this cycle. So, now comes the most fun part... the wait (do you note the sarcasm in my voice?). Truth be told, this is the part I hate the most! I hate the anticipation and feeling like I have ton walk on egg shells in case we were, in fact, successful this time.

As far as the app is concerned, my period is due in 12 days, so that means I can technically test in a week with a good test... I just may do that. I can't handle the suspense!!! I kind of wish Mr. DBud and I would've BDed last night to finish things off on a good foot, but I guess we did ok :)

I have a little acne on my forehead and have had some light cramping... I don't know what to make of this. Also, I have been utterly exhausted this week :-/

Other than that, there is nothing further to report at this point... The metformin was kicking my ass for some time there but I think I am finally starting to get a handle on it. Any tips any of you may have for taking metformin would be greatly appreciated.

Hopefully I will have more to report on soon...

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Pre-Panama Dr. Visits

This past week I met with both my Endocrinologist and my OB to go over what tests I should do if this next cycle works. I had my Thyroid retested because I have been really tired lately and that is usually a sign of my Thyroid being too low. Surprisingly my levels were excellent both the T4 and T3 were right below 1 which is right where we want them to be. The Dr. was extremely nice and positive about this second round of IVF and said that as soon as I find out I am pregnant to call and schedule another blood draw to make sure the levels stay where they should be to give this pregnancy the best chance of success. I was surprised that she wanted to test every 4 to 6 weeks which was way more than I thought but I will go with more than less at this point. Then I met with my OB to figure out the earliest we could to do an ultrasound to make sure there are embryo's in my uterus and not hanging out in my fallopian tube again! Since last time I had zero pain or discomfort at 7 weeks with an ectopic pregnancy he joked that I must have numb fallopian tubes and that we should probably keep checking the fallopian tubes even if we see one in the uterus! We also went over if he could write me a prescription for the Progesterone Cream that I get in Panama instead of the suppositories that they prescribe. He did agree that he could do that and so that is one less favor I have to ask of my friend who is a nurse. I am glad that I was able to find such a willing and supportive OB of me going overseas for IVF and to be willing to go the extra mile to make me feel comfortable that we are doing everything to have a successful cycle. I feel more comfortable and ready to go off to Panama for our second round of IVF now that I have all my ducks in a row at home.

Time is dragging!

Happy 14 weeks to me!

I gave up on Team Green and decided that I really wanted to know the gender. I have an elective gender scan scheduled for 16w2d on February 12th and I can't wait!!!!

Still haven't morning sickness on and off, some days worse than others. Slowly getting my 2nd tri burst of energy.

In my impatience to get things started, I went ahead and put the bassinet together with the help of Little Sunflower Bud. She had a great time helping and is really excited for baby sister (she refuses to accept that it might be a brother) to get here.

To start off the trend that we had with DD, we got baby their very first Wubbanub!

The crib is in but still needs to be picked up. Hoping to get it put together at the end of February when Mr. Sunflower Bud's brother is visiting and can help him move the guest bed down to what is currently the office.

January 27, 2011

Introducing Cactus Bud!

Hi Everyone,

I'm happy to be a part of Bloomin' Babies as I think it's a great idea to show the different paths we follow on the road to becoming a parent.

I'm Cactus Bud, chosen because I'm a recent transplant to Southern California. No shortage of cacti out here! I'm here in California courtesy of Mr. Cactus Buds job with the military. Before moving here, we lived in Virginia, but we're both from New England originally. We knew each other in high school, but were just friends. We started dating around the time of our 10 year reunion. We've been together more than 5 years now, married for about a year and a half of that. As you probably gathered from the numbers I just mentioned, we're in our mid-thirties, which is adding to our desire to start our family sooner rather than later.

I guess our TTC journey began in December 2009 when I went off the pill. Within weeks of that the military sent Mr. Cactus Bud went on a little trip which ultimately led to us living apart for upwards of 8 months. I used the time apart to learn how to chart and to let my body acclimate from coming off the pill. Thankfully my body adjusted to being off the pill quickly, becoming relatively predictable (avg ~29 days) within a couple months. We were reunited in September 2010, and that's where our TTC journey began in earnest.

We got our first BFP at the end of our second cycle trying (November 2010). I hadn't really been charting that month and was pretty surprised as I didn't think we'd timed things well at all. About a week after the BFP, near the 5 week point in the pregnancy, I had a miscarriage. I'm sure I'll discuss the loss more in a future post, so for now I'll just say it was a heart wrenching experience that I hope nobody reading this ever has to have.

I was very lucky in that my body miscarried both spontaneously and completely, allowing me to not need surgery and to TTC again after just one cycle. I was also lucky in that my body didn't miss a beat in getting back to a normal cycle. There have been some changes to my cycle since the loss, namely that I'm apparently ovulating a little later and have a shorter luteal phase. Its apparently pretty common for there to be such changes, and my doctor says the luteal phase length should be fine.

I'm currently in the midst of my second cycle TTC after a loss and am finding it a much different experience mentally than before the loss.

I'm looking forward to sharing this journey with you all.

Take care,

A Relaxing Embryo Transfer

Well, I am home from ET after trekking it in the snow to my RE Dr. T today. After talking for 30 min we agreed to transfer 2 expanded blasts. They are going to watch my remaining embryos until tomorrow night to see if they become expanded blasts (my clinic only freezes expanded blasts) and right now he says they are early blasts. The transfer went smooth and they told me I fell asleep after the transfer and that they did not want to wake me up. I was only supposed to rest for 40 min and I woke up after 1.5 hours. So without further adieu I will introduce my LO's:

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers, and I thank God that this has been a very smooth IVF cycle with my new RE.

Let the 2ww Begin...

Baby Makeup Bud's Birth Story

First, let me apologize about this taking so long. Life with a LO, your own business, and finding your way after such a huge life changing event has been harder than I thought! Here's my birth story...

After my failed induction the week prior as well as my zero-progress & regression news at my appointment on the 29th, we scheduled a c-section for 12/1 for a few different reasons (blood pressure was rising after my failed induction, dr didn't want me going over 41 weeks, and I was full term).

We went in at 5:30am and was sent right up to L&D for admittance. It was so amazing, my L&D/OR Nurse got my IV in the first try - which compared to my visit last week where they stuck me FIVE times before they got it, was awesome. After all the boring admit stuff, at 7:30 I walked in to the OR with sweaty palms and a pretty high heart rate from being nervous.

They sat me on the table, put a really warm blanket on my shoulders and my Doctor stood in front of me holding my shoulders & rubbing them. He gave me a little pep talk, telling me how great of a mommy I've been thus far and we're only minutes away from having our baby boy in our hands finally - that got my heart rate down quickly. He then started talking about his trip to Cabo (the next day!) that he was taking their whole office to. We got to talking about Jamaica and our honeymoon last year... all this was happening while the anesthesiologist (who was AMAZING) was injecting the numbing needles in my back - which was what I was most scared of.

After a few tries with placement the anesthesiologist finally got my spinal in and within a minute my toes were tingly and warm. I laid down on the table and it took about 10 minutes to go completely numb. 7:46am is when they made the incision and at 8:08am our beautiful baby boy was born! It went by really fast between my hubby and the anesthesiologist talking me through what was happening and just talking about random things. He was wedged up under my ribs still, so high the assisting Dr had to really push him down to get him out.

I could hear Baby MB's first cry as soon as they pulled his head through the incision. My heart MELTED and at that very moment, our world changed forever. He had a strong cry, too! They took him straight to the warmer after giving us a first glance and he cried a little bit as the nurses were cleaning him up. I started talking to him and calling his name (we did this a lot during pregnancy) and he turned his head in my direction right away. They put him on my chest and we snapped a few photos.

Mr MB and Baby MB went to the nursery for all his weigh-in, stats, and vitals while I got put back together and stitched up. It took about 20 minutes to get stitched & stapled (about 30 staples) and then I was off to the recovery room for about an hour. I couldn't wait to see my LO so that hour went by pretty slow.

Once I was done in recovery I was taken to our room and finally got to truly hold him. We tried breast feeding right away and boy was he hungry! He latched on right away.

Recovery from the c/s hasn't been too bad. I took what many people told me very seriously - stay on top of the pain meds and don't try to be super woman. I've been on 800mg of ibuprofen every 6 hours and I alternated tylenol and oxycodone between those every 6 hours. The first day after the surgery was rough getting up and moving around so I took it pretty easy.

Our doctors were quite proud!

one of his first photos!

And a few photos from his first two months:

Making Funny Faces
First Christmas!
One of our fave cloth diapers!

Thank you so much to everyone who gave support and lent prayers through my pregnancy. There were some scary moments, but it was all worth it. If you'd like, you can follow me to my personal blog to read and see more about Baby Makeup Bud.

Sex life, what sex life?

The most intimate I have been with anyone in the recent past was the nurse who completed my IUIs this weekend. To think I have had more sex with a catheter than with my husband, crazy! We have always had a relationship where I was the one who wanted the most sex, but recently I have had not desire what-so-ever. Mr. PB has been so busy that he hasn't really even tried. The whole situation is making me a little sad. Everyone always says that TTC affects your sex life and while we worked hard to time our sex, we have never gone so long without really wanting it. We both mentioned how grateful we were to have to have the IUI; that way we wouldn't have to "fit" in sex. How sad is that? Hopefully this is something that will change soon; it makes IF so much more difficult not to have this intimate connection with my husband.

As I mentioned earlier, I had my double IUIs this past weekend. I had one follicle at 22mm, so I wasn't too confident going in. However my faith dropped even more after we got Mr. PB's sperm counts for Saturday and Sunday, 9 million and 11 million post-wash respectively. After my last IUI I was making plans for how I would tell the people I wanted to tell and how I hide it from those I didn't. This cycle, I am just trying to get through it so we can start again. We have one more cycle of 50 mg clomid with a double IUI before we move on. I really wanted to try a different medication, but my RE said he likes to do 3 cycles before moving. Hopefully our numbers go up.

Beta for this cycle is Superbowl Sunday, which also happens to be my best friend's baby shower. Let's see how her family deals with the sobbing infertile. This could be fun.

January 26, 2011

Happy happy :)

Well, what can I say? I am floating on a big, fluffy, cloud. Mr. DBud and I had a FABULOUS time celebrating our Anniversary. It was so wonderful, and we really needed it... It was nice to get away, just the two of us. :)

With that said, we had a good weekend when it came to BDing and Ovulating. If I did, in fact, ovulate this time, then we may have a success. But still, only time will tell.

In this screen shot of my calendar from the Period Tracker App... The flower represents my Ovulation (currently it is predicting that I am Ovulating today), and the hearts tell when we BDed. On Friday, u noticed I was dripping clear watery discharge (like, I could feel it), and on Monday we had major EWCM... So I think that was a good sign :)

So now, we wait...

Introducing Explorer Bud

Let’s start at the beginning, girl meets boy, they fall in love and get married! I married Mr. Explorer Bud in June 2007 and we bought our first home a week after getting married! We knew we didn’t want kids right away as Mr. Explorer Bud still had 3+ years of school left and I was working full time. So we started our marriage off with lots of traveling and fun adventures instead. I love to try new things and have picked up sewing, knitting, baking, cooking, swimming, running races, a triathlon, CrossFit, working at a crisis nursery, rock climbing, tennis, bicycling with clips (scary), and many other things. I love to tackle something new at least once a year and travel somewhere new. I would love to take a year and travel all around the world but that will have to be some other time when we actually have money and the freedom to do so, probably when we are retired!

We got a “test child”, Charlie the dog, that has been a wonderful addition to our little family. Then I found my husband and I a part-time job at a Crisis Nursery as weekend house parents that take care of kids who are in limbo with the foster system or the parents need time away from their children. A lot of the kids have behavioral or emotional issues so it was quite the experience for both Explorer Buds! Definitely let me see how my husband would handle difficult children and also his wonderful soft side with them. We live where there is a lot of babies!! So it is easy to feel surrounded by pregnant women and babies any time of the year. The baby fever began to hit Mr. Explorer Bud before me but it soon caught me a little after a year of being married. We of course thought what everyone does that we would get pregnant within the first few months without a problem…well that of course was not the case!!

After going off Birth Control for a few months and not getting AF I went into my doctor to discuss if my Hypothyroidism could be a cause and if we needed to adjust my medications. The doctor told me not to worry and to wait a few more months and that he was sure everything was fine. I knew that there was something else wrong so I did the smart thing and went to an Endocrinologist, someone that would know a bit more about Hypothyroidism. At this time I was training for my third marathon and a sprint triathlon at the same time and instead of losing or maintaining the scale kept rising. I have always been in excellent condition and never overweight but since my thyroid had started to slowly stop working the weight had been creeping on. After some convincing of the Endocrinologist and her assessment that yes I did not look like the typical marathoner and no I wasn’t stuffing myself with junk food that she would run not only thyroid but a full hormone panel to see what was causing AF to be absent for so long. The tests came back and we discovered that I had the start of PCOS and my thyroid was too low. In came Metformin and boy was that a joyous journey. It seems doctors have some problems giving you a heads up on the side effects of medicine and I soon found out the lovely intestinal issues that come with Metformin. Luckily my neighbor, who is a nurse, filled me in and I was able to fix most of those problems. The doctor also informed me that if I wanted to have kids I should go see a specialist soon because I wasn’t getting any younger, mind you I live where most people are having kids in their early 20’s so a 29 year old is pretty old to be starting having kids around here. Yes the doctor has quite the bedside manner but she is the best in the area.

Off I went to the RE to discuss our options and what we should be doing differently. We started with Clomid and after 3 months of nothing happening Mr. Explorer Bud’s SA which came back with the bad news of 1% Morphology! So we were told our only option was IVF with ICSI which of course is lots of $$$$! At this point I started looking into clinics out of state and trial studies that we might qualify for. Sadly I didn’t qualify for most of them and the ones I did they didn’t cover anything. I found a few websites about going abroad to do IVF and started looking into that. I have travelled a lot and knew that places like Thailand you could get excellent medical care for a fraction of the price. Of course I started looking for places that looked fun to go to and that the clinics had good feedback and weren’t incredibly expensive. I had settled on going to Greece but discovered when I wanted to go was going to be very expensive just to get there and staying wasn’t economical so my savings went out the door. I then found a clinic in Panama that had good results, the doctor was very helpful and there was a medical tourism company to assist me with the process. So the hubby and I put our cars up for sale and sold both of them so that we could pay off our debt and get the money to go along with buy a very used car to share.

We made our plans to go to Panama, unfortunately Mr. Explorer Bud was only able to come for a few days to give his sperm sample, as he is in school and his professors said there was no way he would pass if he missed more than 2 classes. Luckily my Mom was able to come the whole time with me so I would have someone to hold my hand. Our first round of IVF with ICSI was a great experience in the doctor was excellent to work with and listened to all my questions and what I wanted to be done. The medical tourism company we went with were also great and accompanied us to every appointment which was a great stress reliever as there are limited signs in Panama and it is easy to get lost. I was one of the lucky ones that the injections didn't bother me and I actually felt better while on them! It did help that my Mom gave them to me and she is an excellent shot giver! We ended up with 3 grade A eggs that we put in and I flew back home hopeful that this was going to end with a baby. I had a lot of spotting throughout and my BETA’s were 71 and then 172 so we figured everything was going good. At 7 weeks we went in to see how many and discovered there were none in the Uterus and that I had one in my left fallopian tube thriving. Little did the embryo know it couldn’t thrive in a fallopian tube so we went in that evening for emergency surgery to remove our one success. I was soo mad that it didn’t work and frustrated because we had used our savings to pay for our one shot which did work just not the right way! We were blessed that my parents offered to pay for round two and so we are getting ready to try again this February! I am apprehensively hopeful that this time it will be fine and we will have a baby at the end of this. If not, we are not sure of the next step for us as Mr. Explorer Bud is not ready to explore adoption.

I am excited to keep track of our journey this time around and share our experience with all of you. I will be writing soon!

Explorer Bud

January 25, 2011

FERT Report

My RE's office called with my FERT Report Sunday, but I missed it since I was in church. So they called me again Monday morning and here is what was going on:

Of the 33 eggs retrieved 24 were mature (Dr. T said he takes out everything he sees to try and prevent OHSS)

Of those 24 eggs all 24 fertilized with ICSI

Embryo Breakdown Thus Far:

12 excellent quality embryos

7 are still developing

5 may or may not make it

Dr. T has pushed me to a 5 Day Transfer on Thursday

6w Update

This is an exciting week in the Magnolia Bud house. Sunday, Mr. Magnolia Bud came home from eight days away for work (with a weekend trip at the end to visit friends). Tomorrow we're scheduled for our birth center tour. Which means Thursday (day after the tour), we can schedule our first official prenatal appointment. And Friday is our first ultrasound, where we'll hopefully get to see Baby Magnolia Bud's little heartbeat!

I've been pretty constantly nauseous since the end of my 4th week. It's started to come and go, instead of staying all the time, and last night I finally got a full night's sleep--for the first time in about two weeks! I'm wearing sea bands, slicing ginger root into my water bottle, drinking morning sickness tea, and taking my B6 (all in addition to eating every couple of hours). The nausea is the worst in the evenings, because I'm also still cramping a little at night, and that's also when I get heartburn and gas from dinner. Really a bad combo, haha!

Other symptoms are tender breasts and bloating. I still have both, and am relieved to have symptoms this time around! We're both really anxious and worried for our ultrasound on Friday since last time, our baby didn't develop past last weekend's dates, but until then, are trying to forget that's how we're ending our week. If you have some extra thoughts & prayers to spare that everything looks great with Baby MB, I'd appreciate them!

Lots of love,
Magnolia Bud

12 weeks & NT Scan

I can't believe it! I will be 12 weeks tomorrow.
Yesterday we had our NT scan. The NT scan is a measurement of the nuchal fold on the baby's neck along with some blood work. It tests for down's syndrome as well as other chromosone defects. I really just wanted to see the baby again, but we felt that it's also good to be prepared for any issues that could arise so that our baby could have the best possible care when (s)he gets here.
The good news is that all the measurements came back normal. However, the baby did not want to cooperate at all! We spent 2 hours, tried the u/s machine 4 times, and finally after numerous bathroom breaks and me jumping up and down, we got the measurements. I didn't mind it at all since it gave us more time to see the baby. Here's what (s)he looks like this week:

We also did some shopping this past weekend. Target has some great baby gear on clearance. We got the Safety First Air Protect Convertible Car Seat and the Fisher Price Little Lamb Infant Seat each for 50% off!

I don't have another OB appointment for 4 weeks so hopefully things remain uneventful between now and then.

January 23, 2011

Anniversary and Possibly Ovulating...

So on Monday is our Wedding Anniversary, and we are taking a little trip. We are leaving tomorrow (Sunday - More like today), and will return on Tuesday afternoon. Just the two of us, for a little getaway :) I am really looking forward to it... I seriously have been needing a vacation! And I know we just came back from a vacation for the Holidays... but I have been so swamped with work and Opera and everything, that I am seriously due for another ;)

So, for the past couple of days I have had some creamy white discharge. I am kind of thinking this may mean I may be O-ing in the next few days... But, of course, I can't be too sure, given my "issues" and the fact that I am off of my charting game since the past couple of months. I am, however, taking Metformin as of the last couple of weeks and have been kind of slacking on it this week :-/ It made me a bit sick the first week, causing some nausea and vomiting (like morning sickness caused by birth control pills or pregnancy - not that I know about the pregnancy side of it). I lost a few pounds, but slacked this week so I lost muscle instead, which is a no-no. My Dr. prescribed me an appetite suppressant that will help speed up my metabolism a bit, so that should help as well :) I guess it's just a matter of being patient, is all.

Anyway, going to go finish packing and go knock out... it's been a long week, and I want to rest-up before we head out tomorrow :)

January 21, 2011

Egg Retrieval & The Notebook...

What can I say about my new RE Dr. T? I absolutely adore him. My Egg Retrieval yesterday went really well. Dr. T retrieved 33 eggs. This was a shock to me because at my old clinic for IVF #1, I stimmed longer and on a much, much higher dose of Follistim. Now that I am at home I am curled up in bed and I am watching the Notebook for the very first time. I am really enjoying thus far... FERT REPORT is tomorrow.

Caden's 62 Hour Birth Story

After having weeks of uncomfortable Braxton Hicks contractions, I sailed right past my due date of Dec. 22 and into the 41st week of pregnancy. By the time I arrived at the hospital radiology lab for a biophysical profile at 40w6d, I was pretty done being pregnant. So when my midwife suggested we start an induction that day for the low fluid that showed up on the ultrasound, I happily agreed.

We were admitted around noon on Tuesday, and settled into a room in labor and delivery. My husband had to go home with a list of items I wrote on the fly, since I had no idea I’d be going in for an ultrasound and not coming out.

In the first hour of monitoring on the fetal heart rate monitor, the baby had a heart rate deceleration. They gave me oxygen and had me lay on my side, and he recovered. But as a result, the midwife changed her course of action. Instead of giving me Cytotec to ripen my cervix, she wanted to try a Foley catheter instead. Her reasoning: The catheter could be removed if the baby was in distress, but the Cytotec couldn’t.

So I spent the first night with a Foley catheter in my cervix, hoping it would fall out, since falling out would mean I was 4 cm dilated. It didn’t. I awoke the next morning and started a Pitocin drip, then sat in bed all day and waited for contractions. They didn’t arrive, and at dinnertime I was still 3 cm. The 2nd night I asked for Cytotec but was given Cervadil instead – again because of the baby’s HR decels – and awoke to day 3 still only 3 cm dilated. So back on the Pitocin I went for another whole day of nada.

By 4 p.m. Thursday I was in tears. DH and I were bored out of our minds. The nurse came in, and I asked if perhaps my body was resistant to Pitocin. She just told me to be patient, which was frustrating to hear at that point. But the frustration didn’t last long – around 5 p.m. I started having hard, painful contractions that put me on my knees within minutes.

I lasted about an hour through the Pitocin-amped contractions before begging for an epidural. It had been my plan to go natural, but I was in so much pain there was no way I could continue. The epidural insertion process was probably the hardest and most uncomfortable part of my labor, mainly because I was experiencing terrible contractions throughout and had to remain perfectly still. Once it was in, it was pure relief.

About 4 hours after getting the epidural, I was checked again for progress and was fully dilated. I had gone from 4cm to 10cm in the course of an evening! It was the best news ever. Because I still couldn’t feel a thing, the midwives had me wait a few more hours until it was time to push. We sat there, rested and talked, and waited to meet our little boy.

At 2:30 a.m. the midwives came in and told me it was go time. I was still completely numb, which made it difficult, because I couldn’t feel the contractions, and couldn’t really feel myself pushing. I had to watch the contraction monitor, and feel my belly with my hands to know when to push. And with every push, the baby’s heart rate decelerated.

Because of the continuing decels, they brought in an OB, who advised me that the baby had to come out in the next hour, or they’d have to do a c-section. I very much wanted to avoid a c-section, mainly because I didn’t want to stay in the hospital any longer than I already had. So I agreed to try a vacuum-assisted delivery, and was given three contractions to get him out with the vacuum.

Pretty soon I was almost out of my “chances”. A pediatrician was in the back of the room now, and assorted other medical personnel, ready to take me for a c-section. On my very last push, at 3:43 am on New Year’s Eve, Caden John Gilbert came into the world. He was 7lb 4oz, 21.5” long, and perfect.

Even though it took 41w3d and a 62 hour induction to get him here, it was worth every minute. All in all, I was only “in pain” for that one hour before I got the epidural. I didn’t feel anything while pushing, and needed 3 stitches for internal tears, but didn’t feel those either. My recovery has been fast and easy, and Caden is now 9lb 1oz on the eve of his 3 week birthday.

January 20, 2011

my long overdue update!

Hi Ladies!

I apologize for my long hiatus since the miscarriage. Unfortunately, not a whole lot has happened since then. After the miscarriage, I had an anovulatory cycle but was lucky to get AF again after 32 days. I was given the go-ahead from my RE to go back to treatments once AF arrived, so we proceeded with IUI #3 (again with Clomid CDs 5-9). I had two mature follicles - one at 25 mm and one at 26 mm when I triggered and our sperm count was amazing (for us anyway!) - 60 million post-wash with 65% motility. Unfortunately, the cycle ended in AF. I do think it is possible that my LH surge occurred naturally before I triggered and that perhaps I had already ovulated at the time of the IUI, but even so, it would have still been within ~12 hours of ovulation.

Our RE suggested that we move on to FSH injectables for IUI #4, so this cycle my meds are Puregon (known as Follistim in the U.S.) and ovidrel. On Sunday I go in for my first monitoring u/s and bloodwork since starting the Puregon, so we'll see how things look. I am pretty nervous and I hope that the cycle won't be cancelled due to too many follicles. Since starting the injectables I have been feeling very tired and also headache-y and a little dizzy, but I hope that it will be worth it!

January 18, 2011

The Rainbow Connection...

When I was a little girl growing up, my parents took me to see the Muppets and told me that I should dare to dream and that if I could dream it I could achieve it. I listened to Kermit as he sang "The Rainbow Connection" and knew growing up that wishes and dreams were possible....

Today I went in for my second Follie Check and my wish came true. I have been praying all along that this cycle go smoothly, that I feel at peace, and that I grow lots of follies. Today's ultrasound was great! I had 12 or more follies on each ovary 10 and above and tonight my dose of Follistim drops to 150iu for the next two nights. I go back in for my third and final Follie Check on Thursday. I told Dr. T that he was amazing and asked him how could he get so many eggs from me this time at a much lower dose; when my first IVF at my old clinic stimmed me with 375iu. He smiled and told me that he just knew. I love the fact that my RE is so positive and a dreamer like me. God has used him to make so many people's dreams come true and I know some way, some how mine will come true one day too...

Until Next Time,

Clomid Crazies

After my first cycle on 5 days of 50 mg of Clomid, I really couldn't understand what women meant when they talked about the Clomid crazies. However now I do. My emotions and mood swings have just begun to subside after taking my last pill on Sunday night. All I can say is poor Mr. PB. That man bore the brunt of the abuse. For example, Sunday night I was watching the Golden Globes, but wanted to go to bed with him. I full-on through a hissy fit about wanting to go bed and how he NEEDS to let me watch it in bed.

With the craziness also went deep into sadness. I have always been someone who cried fairly easily, but this last week was ridiculous. I think I have cried at every commercial about a family and most of the shows that I watched.

Add in the hot flashes...this weekend was a blast. I can't wait to go in for my monitoring on Friday morning. Hopefully we can do the IUI on Saturday and Sunday. I feel bad about missing all this work.

January 17, 2011

10 weeks, Body Pillows and Possible Baby Bumps

Today marks double digit weeks, which I feel like is quite the accomplishment, though whether its me or the baby that has accomplished something, I can't really decide.

A few updates

Yesterday I looked at myself sideways and noticed that I can finally see the very beginnings of what might consider allowing itself to be called a baby bump. I won't embarrass myself with a picture, because apparently I'm the only one who can see it, but it's there, darn it, and it's a tiny piece of proof that Baby CB is growing just how he/she should.

After a very short discussion, Mr. CB and I opted out of an NT scan. Termination isn't something we would consider, even if the results came back abnormal, so we don't see the point in paying out of pocket for another u/s. Although, to be honest, seeing Baby CB again would not have been a bad thing, especially as, at this point, little one probably looks more human than nut.

My mother, who I love more than life, bought me one of these:

If you are pregnant, or even if you aren't, you need this. It is heavenly, especially if you're like me and need something to snuggle with all night and a husband who wishes you would take your broiling body temperature to the other side of the bed because he is trying to sleep.

To the rest of my fellow buds: you are all in my thoughts and prayers, and I hope good news comes soon for everyone!


January 16, 2011

5 Weeks and Morning Sickness

Today baby moves from the size of a poppy seed to the size of an apple seed. Exciting stuff!

We had our first midwife appointment on Friday to confirm the pregnancy, and we both left feeling like this was "official." I PIAC (it was positive), and then had a consultation with one of the midwives where we talked about my history, our previous loss, my chart, and concerns/questions about early pregnancy. One thing that she and I both agree on is that we question fertility friend's crosshairs for my O date this cycle. So because of that and because of our loss, she agreed that I'm a good candidate for an early ultrasound (YAY!!!). The ultrasound unit at the hospital is supposed to be calling me Tuesday to set up an appointment for next week--sometime between 6 and 7 weeks. After our consult, she sent me off for bloodwork--betas and progesterone. At this point, we're not planning on a second beta if the first is within the right range and progesterone is normal. If either is low, then we'll do a 2nd/3rd round of numbers this week.

I'm still having cramps off and on, but they're much less constant. One thing that's pretty constant since yesterday morning has been nausea. I feel like utter crap! It makes me happy that my round of dry heaving a few nights ago wasn't just a one-time deal, since our fingers are crossed that ongoing sickness means baby is growing like he or she should. So far, I haven't actually thrown up, but I'm having strong food aversions and have a general feeling of queasiness almost all the time.

Yesterday we went to the grocery and stocked the fridge with things for me to eat this week since Mr. Magnolia Bud left today for a week out of town for work. I figured out when we were making the grocery list that my primary food aversion is to meat. We came home with tofu, tempeh, vegetarian sausage, black beans, and lots of veggies and grains. Keep in mind that although I cook vegetarian every once in a while, we still eat meat in some form most days. It's a little shocking to see our fridge free of meat! So this week, my sounds-good menu includes a black-bean, corn and soysage pasta sauce; butternut squash soup ("creamed" with tofu added), a black-bean and corn soup to eat with chips or crackers, and salads. Thankfully, I also thought to pick up some ginger root, saltine crackers, and Earth Mama-Angel Baby Morning Wellness Tea. I'm brewing some now, and hope it helps...the crackers sure don't!

I started my weekly acupuncture sessions on Thursday, and my next one is tomorrow. I'm really excited about getting to go every week for the next 7 weeks (or until m/s subsides)--I love my acupuncturist, and it makes me feel good to know I'm doing everything I can to keep myself healthy for this pregnancy.

Headed back to the couch now. Wondering when I'm going to feel too ill to watch the Top Chef marathon that's on...I hope never!

-Magnolia Bud

January 15, 2011

In a NY State of Mind...

So I drove into Manhattan this Morning from the Outer Boroughs to my clinic clearly in a New York State of Mind for my first Follie Check and E2 Blood Work:

My lining was a 10 after 5 nights of Stims.

On the right - There were many Follies under 10

On the left - There was one Follie that was 13, one that was 11, two that were 10 and many more under 10

My E2 results will be coming in this evening. Dr. T says we are on the right track and he wants to be careful with me and go a little slower, because I have PCOS and we have a tendency to produce alot of eggs, which can lead to OHSS.

My Instructions:
Continue Stimming with 225iu Follistim for the next 3 nights
Lupron 5 untis AM
1 Prenatal Vitamin
0.5 vial of Luveris
Add 500mg Ciprio twice daily

My next Follie check and E2 are Tuesday January 18...

Have a Great MLK Weekend,

NT scan

We had our NT scan this past week and baby is PERFECT. And apparently, extremely active. He/she never once stopped moving. The tech had a hard time getting measurements because of how much the baby was moving around. We were all laughing because it was just amazing to watch.

And it brought tears to my eyes to see that the baby really looks like a baby now:

Baby is measuring one day ahead and has a wonderfully strong heartbeat of 178.

Morning sickness is hit or miss now. Some days I have it, some I don't. Some days I think are going to be good and then I get hit with it later in the evening.

I was allowed to stop the progesterone suppositories and it was AWESOME. I do not miss them at all!!! 2 1/2 months on those and I am so thankful to have my vagina back to myself. :)

There's no hiding it anymore either.... I'm definitely showing:

After the NT scan and being reassured once again that everything is fine, the placenta is there and baby looks wonderful, I am finally really relaxing now and we even bought our crib yesterday!!!

We just went with a simple black crib with simple lines. Since this is most likely our last baby, we weren't interested in spending hundreds of dollars on it. But this one looks nice and got great reviews and several of my friends have it.
We'll be using the Wendy B Honey Bee bedding:

I found the perfect glider for it at BRU and I'm going to be stalking it to go on sale or looking for a coupon.

Still keeping the rest of my Buds in my prayers and hoping to see great news from everyone soon!

January 13, 2011

10 week ultrasound & OB appointment

Today Mr. Sassy Bud and I met with my new OB. She was wonderful! We also got an ultrasound today. The baby actually looks like a baby now. It was so precious. Everything was measuring right on track and the heartbeat was 173. We go back at 11w5d for the NT scan.

I am in love!

Vacation Report and 4 Week Update

We made it safely back from vacation at Disney World yesterday, and had a great time during the week we were gone! We head down with friends every year or two for the marathon weekend, and this year was no different. I usually run the half and the full (Goofy Challenge), but my midwife only cleared me for the half this year. It was a struggle to get Mr. Magnolia Bud on board with me even running that, but he finally came around. I had a great time, even though it was my slowest half ever. At least being pregnant, I was able to set a PPR--pregnant personal record, haha! I felt really lucky to run a lot of it with my best friend who lives in another state. She knows about our miscarriage, and was SO excited to find out that I'm pregnant again.

After the race on Saturday, we spent Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday at the parks. Mr. Magnolia Bud is such a kid at heart--he had a great time. He also insisted on buying a couple of onesies. One from the race expo that has the race logo, a picture of Mickey, and says "In Training: 2030," and the other is orange with a picture of Tigger's face that says "Grrrr" underneath. I've given up trying to stop him--we won't be back there before Baby MB is at least a year old. However, they're going in the back of the future nursery's closet until we actually bring this baby home.

Here's my 4w4d pregnancy update. I'm not sleeping well, but am able to get 5-6 hours a night. My boobs are sensitive and noticeably bigger. I'm bloated. I'm tired. I'm having WAY more cramping this time than last time. Every day, and it feels like menstrual cramps. Mainly light, but some are more moderate strength. Nothing that I've needed to medicate, until last night. Last night was a doozie of a night. I woke up about 3am with pretty serious cramps that went away after I used the bathroom. But then I got nauseous and hot, and spent a solid 10 minutes dry heaving. Then spent another 30 lying on the bathroom floor still sweating. My poor cat Tiger probably thought I was dying, so he came over and was licking me and sitting with me--what a good caregiver :)

Last time I was pregnant, the exact same thing happened to me at 5w5d--the same day the baby stopped developing (though we didn't find out about it for another 2.5 weeks)--so needless to say, I'm on edge. But the other part of me is telling myself that the cramps are my uterus getting ready to grow even bigger with this baby, and that getting sick at night this early is a good sign that things are progressing normally, since my Mayo Clinic book says morning sickness generally strikes between 4-6 weeks. My first appointment is tomorrow, though we're not having an ultrasound--only confirming the pregnancy and scheduling the first ultrasound for sometime after 6 weeks to confirm a heartbeat.

Time to get to work! My new position is kicking my butt, but in a good way. Golden Bud, I'm thinking of you as you and Mr. GB talk through your options.

Lots of love and baby dust to each of you!
-Magnolia Bud

January 12, 2011

10 weeks

I have made it into double digit weeks! I haven't had much to report since being released from the RE at 8 weeks. I have had no morning sickness but have felt queasy from strong smells. I added some B6 into my daily vitamins and I think that has been helping.

Tomorrow is my first OB appointment. I'm not sure what to expect but Mr. Sassy Bud is coming just in case we get another ultrasound or get to hear the heartbeat with the doppler.

Although I am not ready to make any baby purchases yet (maybe after the NT scan), I have made some pregnancy purchases:


This is amazing! I was sleeping pretty well still before I got this, but it makes a big difference in comfort. I wanted a pregnancy pillow that still allowed me to use my regular neck pillow and this one definitely works for that.

Angel Sounds Doppler

I didn't want to spend a lot of money on a doppler, and this one got great reviews for the price. It's still too early to use it so I haven't even tried it yet. I am not the type of person that will get upset if I can't find the heartbeat myself so this is a safe purchase for me.

I also stopped at Borders for some books: The Baby Name Wizard, Consumer Reports, and Baby Bargains. I was having a hard time figuring out where to start when comparing baby products so I think those 2 will be a good start. We definitely haven't picked out any names for sure yet, so the baby name book is a must.

I will update after my appointment tomorrow. Hopefully all is well with baby SB!


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