Naming Maxee

I feel the pressure. Since we found out Maxee is a girl, I think this subject is one that I am trying to avoid.

Naming our baby girl.

We are currently 22 weeks pregnant with our sweet baby girl, Maxee. The nickname has grown on me and I am scared I won’t like choosing her actual name. download.jpg

The task of choosing her name has been an exciting, playful, and daunting journey and I’m not sure I have grown used to this task.

Growing up, I worked as a lifeguard during the summer. I got to know plenty of children’s names and began a list while I was in college of my top names.

Over the years, I have revisited the list, refining it, adding, deleting.

I thought this process would be much more fun and creative but I forgot that my Hubby would have his own opinions, likes, and dislikes.

I brought my list of over 30 of my FAVORITE girl names to the discussion and Hubby vetoed almost all of them.

To be fair, Hubby has his absolute favorite girl name and it just doesn’t sit well with me for this baby girl growing inside of me.

I vetoed his top choice for this pregnancy. Maybe next one?

He is a simple, practical guy and brought a list of 6 and asked me to do the same.

None of them matched up.

We want to give her a name with meaning and that is not already in our circle of friends and family.

Although we want it to be uncommon, we don’t want it to be too “out there” that would become a problem for her.

The actual name is one big project and then the spelling of it is the next.

Balancing what would be phonetically easy and what makes sense. I always feel bad for people with abstract spelling that they continuously have to correct. I have enough trouble with people spelling my name with 2- “L”s!

  • I personally like a little more abstract names and Hubby is more conservative.
  • I like more gender-neutral names and Hubby wants one that sounds feminine.
  • I would like a name with sentimental value and Hubby doesn’t like any of our genealogical female names.
  • Hubby seems to prefer names that are classic yet unique and I am not as drawn.

Most of the names we discuss, I have horrible facial connections to. (It hasn’t helped that I have been in education for over 8 years and met my fair share of teenagers that destroy the hope of names for me.)

This is a big deal and I feel the pressure of naming this child.

This will be the name she carries with her throughout her entire life. It is how people will know her.

I also can’t help but feel the pressure of choosing THE ONE as it might be our ONLY girl, or child, to name.

If I knew we were having more, then I would be able to relax a little more knowing we have another opportunity.

But this is all we have right now, so we can be grateful, and focus on her.

We won’t be sharing the name before she arrives.

It’s special to have something just between us during this time.

Plus, I don’t want the added pressure of hearing people’s opinions on the name we have chosen.

So, our search continues.

  • We sit in prayer, asking for a name to become clear.
  • We look up the meanings of different names.
  • We scroll the credits of every TV program and movie we watch, seeing if there is a name that jumps off the screen.
  • We think through our favorite books and decipher any characters that really made an impact.
  • We contemplate different meanings and look up names associated.
  • We go through meaningful events and travels that have helped build our marriage and scoured our heritage to find names that reflect who we are and where we come from.

Knowing we have 2 names to decide (first and middle), we keep our options open.

I am grateful to know that I want this name to be from the both of us. I have heard people say, the final say comes down to the women since she carried the child for the past 9+ months, but for me, I want to gift Maxee with a name that both Hubby and I want for her.

I want her to know that her name is especially given to her by us.

Thankfully we have 5 months to work this one out!

 

 

Making Herself Known

Maxee is making herself known to me and the world.

I thought I felt her little flutter kicks starting around week 7.

Seemed a bit early, but when I sat quietly in the morning with my hand on my stomach, before having breakfast, it was as though she was right there next to my hand.

I would pray for and over her and I would feel these slight pitter-patter of ‘kicks’ on my palm.

As the weeks have gone on, these little precious morning moments have turned into delightful reminders throughout the day of how much she is growing.

Now, my stomach actually moves from the inside!

I can feel these big movements and watch them pop out of my stomach.

Hubby is now able to feel her and at times, she flips and flops on both sides.

There is no way of hiding my stomach and I have moved into maternity clothes.

She is here and making herself present to be known to the world.

I am loving growing this girl.

In my past, weight gain and a less than slender figure would spin me into an unhealthy mental state.

With help over the years, I have been able to arrest these shameful/condemning feelings and thoughts and instead now see my body as a gift that is to be nurtured.

Today, I love my growing belly and praise God for the pound/week weight gain.

Thus far I have gained between 10-15lbs, wahoo!!

Keep this girl growing healthy.


We went in for our half-way-point (20-week) check-up which is also known as the Anatomy Scan.

How incredible was this ultrasound!

We haven’t seen Maxee since week 9 so it was such a surprise to see how much she has grown and how much of a human she has developed into.

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Fascinated by the little nose, bones, ribs, toes, fingers… I cried.

That is our beautiful baby girl.

I was overtaken with emotion.

She was flipping all over the place and putting herself into some funky yoga positions.

How flexible she is in there!

The ultrasound tech was measuring the different parts of her body.

Her stomach, her heart, and the 4 chambers of her heart, her brain, her leg length.

It’s all there.

Between the kicking and now the visual of her inside of me, a tiny human, I am attaching myself to her more each day.

Knowing that these next 5 months will fly by and she will be in my arms before I know it, I hold true to the motto of living for this day to stay fully present and aware of the gift of being 5 months pregnant.

Tiny Tab Flips my World

One little tab can make a huge impact. One week ago, I had my blood drawn (confirmed: not pregnant and not ovulating). The next day I put one small tab in my mouth, took a swig of water and shot my head back with a gulp.

The pill dissolved and my body responds.

Over the past 7+ days, each morning this same routine and it has triggered a reaction.

My body wakes me up at 2am, eyes wide, staring at the ceiling.

My body is restless.

I flop from the left to the right, my legs are hot, I kick off my sheets.

The cold air kisses my body, too much.

I’m too cold and pull the blanket back up.

It’s too early for me to get out of bed but I can’t go back to sleep.

I begin praying and trying to keep my mind simple. If I think too much, I know I’ll be awake for the rest of the night.

Slowly, I fall back asleep.

When I awake, I am irritated. Is it because I didn’t get a good nights rest and am tired or is there something else going on?

The tightness in my chest is back. This time it feels as though there is built up the pressure and I just want to PUNCH something to release the energy.

Such anger.

No reason for this, I actually am having great days, but this emotion is intense.

I go to acupuncture. She explains that my emotions are little UPS truckscar-crash-trucks-taxi-road-vector-64349546 (vehicles) delivering messages throughout my body. By going on medication for hormones, they are all getting into crashes, not knowing how to flow properly throughout the body. I lay on the table, the needling zings me, she must have hit the spot. I close my eyes. God, help my body calm down and receive this medication that is meant to help.


Today feels dark. My soul feels quiet. I have the sense that I have walked into a cave and it’s time to hibernate for the next few weeks.

653x490.jpgI was with some ladies who are moms and although they meant nothing by their words, I felt a longing and sadness. They have little ones and talk about them like they came into their lives so quickly.

Why not for us?

I saw another birth announcement on Facebook. Good for them. Truly.

Will we be able to have the same experience?

I can be happy for others and their seasons of excitement and joy. For today though, I find myself needing to retreat.

Up until this point, I feel I have been doing pretty well with this whole journey. I have my moments of breakdown and sorrow, but for the most part, I’m seeing this as a chance to learn and grow. Hubby and I continue to grow closer to each other and this desire grows deeper in us both.

Ladies offer their understanding of fertility and stories of others who they know have gone through this and up until now, I have been open to the conversation and hearing the ways God has worked in others.

Today, I feel more fear. Scared that the IVF treatment won’t work for us.

I decided to list out my fears:

  • My baseline ultrasound will show something and it will prevent us from being able to start the medication
  • My body won’t respond well to the follicle stimulation medication
  • We will have to postpone egg retrieval because my body isn’t responding
  • We will have to end the follicle stimulation medication because my body responded in the wrong way and we have to start over with a different approach
  • We won’t get a lot of eggs (less than 20) at the retrieval
  • The eggs won’t be good quality eggs to use.
  • The sperm and eggs won’t go well together and they won’t grow and the cells won’t multiply
  • We find out there are chromosome abnormalities and we will only have 1-2 blastocysts

My prayer is that we:

Are able to start the stimulation process on time and that my body responds well and everything goes smoothly with the follicle growth.

Have over 25 eggs, over 80% are good eggs to use and that the majority of them are growing at the normal rate.

Receive news that our blastocysts are chromosomally sound and that we have multiple (5-7) healthy wonderful blastocysts to begin transferring for a pregnancy.

I have one more week of birth control before we have our first round of tests to see if my body is ready for me to begin the stimulation medication.

This means I have this next week of prayer and surrender to what God wants and the release my tension of what I want to what give over to God what I cannot control.

Onto the Next Chapter…

We have found ourselves to be on the same page.

Thank you, God, we are able to discuss our options and see that we have landed feet-first on the answer.

I would have liked to have come to this decision many months ago, but I now see we needed to gather as much information as possible and let ourselves truly sit in prayer and quiet with this decision.

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We will move forward with Dr. O’Brien at Shady Grove Fertility in Maryland.

My heart is calm and there is a smile on my face.

I feel a sense of relief and excitement as I know we are making the best decision at this moment with the information that is being presented.

With Hubby experiencing the same calming feeling, we began looking at the calendar to see when it makes sense to start this next step.

I’ll be honest, I want to get this thing going right now.

…No time to waste.

The issue is that I’m needing to focus on what in on my plate right now and when I get quiet with myself I know that starting the protocol right now would be too much.

I want my body to be in the best condition to truly relax and provide the best quality of eggs. Not to mention to prepare me with the overabundance of medications that are about to be pumped into my body.

This isn’t something that can be ‘fit in’ to the rest of an already busy schedule.

We both decide it’s best to wait the 2 months necessary to when our work and social schedules are calmer and we are able to give this first step our best shot.

Painful as it is to hurry up and wait, I trust that we are being wise with the decision we have made.

I am giddy.

We begin to look at flights… Just looking.

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Ok not just looking.

We end up booking what we think will be our target dates.

(Thank you Southwest miles for your no-penalty refund policy).

Eek, we are really doing this.

I can’t get too excited though, there is still a lot of time between now and then and a lot that needs to happen.

To do list:

  • Blood work for infectious/communicable diseases (check and safe!)
  • Mandatory consult with PGS Genetic testing lab (scheduled)
  • Watch an hour of short videos with questions in order to sign consent forms (great Friday night date, check)
  • Outline additional expenses to have a detailed idea of what to expect (check)
  • Check in with our nurse regarding all the random questions (see below)
  • Continue a healthy workout and eating routine (check)
  • Show up to my life as it is and wait (uh…working on it)

As someone who is prone to ‘do’ all the time, I can handle the action items well.

I light up with things to physically do as it makes me feel like I have control over if this will work and it makes me feel like I am contributing, which I am. What I need to recognize though is that my doing is not going to better my chances of having a good retrieval (full of great eggs) or that I will be able to control the outcome.

All I can do is what is in front of me (which is only about 1%) and let God do the rest (the other 99%).

Random questions we asked our nurse:

  1. Q: What medications are needed for the FET?
    A: Estrace (pill, 3x/day), Progesterone oil (shots)
  2. Q: Do we need to come in for a mock embryo transfer?
    A: Nope, they can pass the catheter at the time of the retrieval to make sure everything is open and ready for FET.
  3. Q: What types of office visits will we need to do prior to the IVF egg retrieval?
    A: One baseline appointment (ultrasound, estrogen, HCG, progesterone), a couple check in appointments (ultrasound, estrogen).
  4. Q: What are your thoughts/recommendations for acupuncture?
    A: It seems to help calm anxiety and there is a possibility of doing it at the clinic wellness center.
  5. Q: What foods and supplements should I be taking?
    A: Pre-Natal (400mg folic acid), Myo-Inositol (2000mg)
  6. Q: What outdoor activities can I do (i.e. skiing, working out)?
    A: Stay away from any high-impact workouts
    (so if I go slow, can I still ski?)
  7. Q: If we get a positive pregnancy test, what do we next?
    A: Pregnancy test through blood work, day 13 after FET, day 15 after FET and day 17 after FET to make sure hormone levels are going up.
  8. Q: How long after a live birth does SG recommend waiting to do a 2nd round for baby #2 (yes, I’m totally hopeful and future-tripping)?
    A: I would have to be done with breastfeeding prior to starting the next cycle.
  9. Q: How consistent do I need to be with the timing each day with the injections and do I need to consider the time change for when we travel to Maryland for the days prior to the retrieval?
    A: It would be good to be consistent with the time of injections and consider the time change, although doing the injections an hour or two off isn’t the worst.

Reaching a New Level

We aren’t messing around anymore.

These past two rounds have been insightful for Dr. G. and he is ready to pull out the big guns.

We begin 10 days of Letrozole, at 10mg/day, the highest dose he will prescribe.

I am actually a little excited at the possibility of what this will produce.

Let’s get these follicles growing!

Each cycle has become such a routine that I have grown accustomed to.

Day one, make an appointment with my OBGYN for an ultrasound.

Head to the local LabCorp and get a blood test to confirm I am not pregnant.

Pop into my OBGYN for the ultrasound, ensuring there is nothing funky growing inside of me from all the hormones and measure the uterine lining.

Check, check.

Day three, begin Letrozol.

Days three through twelve, endure breaking out, early bedtimes, afternoon naps.

Day twelve, follicle check and see what next steps are to be.

Learning how to take care of myself on a new level.

I am going to the gym this time around. I need to. My mind needs the oxygen and release of tension. My muscles need the weight and attention.


At the start of this cycle, I receive news that one of my closest, dearest friends is pregnant. I am overjoyed. My body exudes love and excitement for her.

I have no sorrow. Only joy and praise for the opportunity they have received to raise a little one.

My heart is shifting. I am not looking at myself. I do not have the heavy heart as I have experienced in the past. My excitement and praise for God’s miracle growing inside of her are overflowing.

What is going on? I love that this is how I feel.lightnessofbeing-2015-Dec16-300x189.jpg

I meet the new little baby girl of another friend. I get to hold her and express my excitement and joy for her to my friend.

Am I changing? What is shifting inside of me? Whatever it is, I really like it.

God, thank you for giving me this part of the journey to refine and grow me.

My rough edges are being smoothed and I trust how you are reshaping my heart and mind.

Continue to use this to make me a better person, a more loving friend, and a more faithful, trusting person is who you are and what you’re capable of, God.

I thank you for this heartache and let down as it’s shaping my journey so far.

So excited to see what you’re going to do in and through this!

May I be a vessel or light to reach others. God, use me and my story to help others.