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.

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.

The Longing Grows, but I Need to Change

The time away from medication has been a delight. Over the past 7 weeks, I have felt my body deflate from the bloating, my mind rest from the thoughts and my heart calm down from the emotions. I am moving back to what feels normal again and I am grateful for the breath of fresh air. It is indeed a much-needed break.

For the most part, I feel calm about our journey. I know we are in the process of gathering information for our next steps and know that we will be at peace whatever we decide.

Do we go for IVF or do we begin the process of adoption? The golden question with an unclear answer at this point.

My heart does hurt to have a family. I was with my little nephews and it stirs my heart to want to have some of my own little people to help guide, grow, nurture, and teach.

Yes, exhausting as it seems to be, my heart is slowly nudging me in the direction of having kids and seeing the abundance of life that comes with having them in my life.

This process is a messy one and I don’t expect to have it all figured out before the little ones come, but I do see that I am more prone to want a family than not, and this is something I cannot ignore.

When we started this journey back in December 2014 (that’s when we pulled the goalie, so to speak), I thought I wasn’t ready and needed to get a better job that had more flexible hours that would support me working from home. I was kicking myself for not choosing a better major in college or career path after college that would support me being a working mom. Why couldn’t I make more money to be able to work fewer hours a week?

I began trying to change my life in order to fit the kids I was hoping to have… and what I have found is all these new adventures in trying to figure it out has left me putting the cart before the horse. Maybe it’s time to just slow down my ‘figure it out’ side of my brain and just relax.

I always hear relaxing is what helps people get pregnant. Might this be a key ingredient I have been missing?

Simplifying my life and slowing my mind down.

I’m prone to ‘go’.

My entire life has been a to-do list, moving from one stage of my life to the next, packing in as many experiences as possible in each season. Might this be a season for me to take things off my plate and just ‘be’ for a while?Image result for change

 

Letting go of the commitments I love to be apart of might be more painful than not being able to get pregnant, but what if this is going to help me become pregnant?

Maybe all the things I’m committed too need to be put on hold for now and can be picked back up later, when these little humans have arrived and are napping, playing, or at school.

I haven’t been willing to really change, until now. (I hope).

My heart swelled with emotion as I saw my nephews playing mixed with the background of other families engaging in laughter while the little ones shouted ‘look at me, dad’ from the distance.

Will I get to experience this? Am I too late?

Sometimes it feels as though I have missed the boat and I will never be ‘there’. It’s easy for me to wallow in the ‘if only’s’ and the ‘why not’s’.

Why is this road so much longer than other people around me? Why didn’t the medicated cycles work for us?

The WHY’s never really seemed to be wise questions to ask.

Would they work if we give it another couple of rounds?

Thankfully, at least for today, I feel at peace knowing that the medicated cycles are not an option for us anymore. I know we gave it a good try and with Dr. G’s support, we are moving on from that.

It’s time for the next level, may it be IVF or adoption, and the next level of surrender in my own life. I can’t do it all right now and the tears are flowing a little more often now, as I desire a family.

Even though I am scared, I am beginning to look at having kids as an opportunity for adventure and growth instead of a scary unknown. Maybe it really is the best thing that will happen to me. I have got to give this a shot because my heart hurts too much not to.

God Answered

There have been a few mornings when I have felt nauseous. Little subtle ongoing cramping over the past few days. Maybe I’m pregnant?

Every time I have a little twinge of “am I pregnant”, I immediately begin praying with a simple, “God, if it’s your will” and go on with my day.

I feel I have been getting really close to God this past week as it seems to be every hour or two I am saying this prayer.

In the past few days though, my sense has changed. Maybe it is me protecting myself from a potential let-down. I don’t know if I am pregnant. And I have to wait.

I have a few friends texting, wondering how I’m doing and praying for me. I appreciate it. Knowing I’m not alone.

We need cheerleaders in our lives, when I can’t allow myself to be hopeful, they are.

I am willing to wait until day 14 after the trigger shot and continue to trust God knows what He’s doing.


Here we sit, day 12 after the trigger shot, how quickly thoughts change. I know I’m supposed to wait a few more days, but I figured I could go to the Dollar Store and get a pregnancy test just to see if any of the remanences of the HCG shot was still present. If it was a positive test, I would chalk it up to being leftovers and test in a few days. If it was negative, at least I would know the HCG from the trigger shot is out of my system.

I test and there is only one line, not pregnant.

“Good to know the HCG is out of my system. Maybe it’s too early,” I thought. “I’ll test again in 2 days.”


My back has been hurting this afternoon and sure enough, I now know why.

I don’t have to test.  I began spotting. I knew it in my heart that I wasn’t pregnant and this was just a confirmation.

I plopped down by Hubby and snuggled up next to him and I told him. He wasn’t surprised either.

Gosh, darn it!

I really was hoping this was going to be the month. I even was praying for twins and thought I was going everything right. I was even following the suggested food intake throughout the course of my cycle.

What more am I supposed to be doing?

I am bummed. God, what are you doing in this?

I email CCRM and let them know so they can get me a request for a blood draw to confirm I’m not pregnant so we can start a new medicated cycle.

That is what we are going to do, right?

Hubby and I talk. We don’t know how many more medicated cycles we are going to do.

At what point, do we have to surrender and say that we tried everything we could and it’s just not going to work?

1 year? 2 years? 3 years? How long God?Image result for footprints in the sand

This cycle completed 8 medicated cycles in just about a year.

Might not be very long for some people, or maybe it is for others. I’m sure it’s a personal choice.

I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around this one.

This is what I don’t understand:

If we are created to procreate than why can’t God heal my body so that I can do just that?

What are we missing in this whole process?

  • I am given medication to stimulate follicle growth- check
  • I am monitored days 12-? To see the follicle growth and thickening of the lining- check
  • Hubby has strong swimmers- check
  • I get the HCG trigger shot to force an ovulation- check
  • Hubby gives his swimmers over to the nurses for a cleaning- check
  • Nurses take the best swimmers and inject them right up to where my egg(s) is/are- check
  • I rest and relax, pray and trust that they get together and implant…
  • Not sure if that is a check or not.

Dr. G. Says the only way to guarantee they get together is by doing IVF (in vitro) which is not an option for us at this point.

At some point, I have to trust that God is truly the miracle worker and creates life.

Why isn’t he creating life in me?

Is it something I have done? Am I not supposed to have my biological children? Why not?

Questions I won’t ever have answers to.

So God, what do you want from us? Do you want us to do another medicated cycle?

I fall asleep praying.


Day 1– I go in for the blood work and ultrasound just in case we decide to move forward with the medication.

In my quiet time this morning, as I was talking with God about this, I felt peace about letting go of a medicated cycle. This peace comes more from the hope that I will be one of ‘those’ stories where we try the fertility route and when it doesn’t work, we begin thinking about adoption and we miraculously get pregnant.

Is that my story? That after all this human intervention with medication, God is using this experience to show me that He truly is all powerful and that no medication or doctor can do what only he can do?

That would be cool!

So, I’m at peace with whatever we need to do, or not do.

While in the ultrasound with my new-found friend, Erika, the stenographer, she finds a large black circle in my left ovary.

“What is that?” I ask.

It’s a cyst,” she replies. “Double the size than what I usually see.”

Unfortunately, it wasn’t there before ovulation.

From what I learned today: It’s common for this to happen where the follicle releases the egg during ovulation and remains empty in the ovary and over the 2 weeks can fill with fluid- causing this cyst. If I were to go on medication while I have it- most likely the cyst will absorb the meds instead. I have to wait until it’s gone before we can do anything more.

She doesn’t know what the doctor will say so at this point I leave the office without knowing if we will be able to do medication this cycle.

I call my nurse at CCRM and she confirms. No medication this cycle and possibly not the next cycle (if I get one) as it is double the size. It will need time to dissolve before they will prescribe anything.

My heart was prepared and I praise God for making it abundantly clear that the answer is no for this cycle.

We can still ‘try’ without medication and all the gizmos and gadgets… the good ol’ fashion way.

We plan to regroup with Dr. G this month to talk through options based on his observations and expertise. Maybe this is the conversation we need to know it’s time to move on.


I feel carried. The tears still come.

I am sad at the thought that there may not be a little Hubby and little me to watch grow up.

I have had these same visions before. As though I am watching a 1980’s home video, I can see a little version of us, looking up and smiling at us. This little human we have created.

These thoughts and the sadness I feel are not new. I have felt this longing for our own biological children for a few years and the potential reality that this is a dream I need to let go of is still too hard for me to bare.

Image result for aloneWhat’s so terribly difficult is that there is a world around me that has no idea the pain I am in. I tend to be a silver lining type person, looking for the good and what God is doing in and through each situation. But there are still moments when I am feeling life is not fair. I am happy for all my friends who get to experience this blessing, but when I am on Facebook, I often feel as though people don’t realize the pain others experience. Maybe this is just my issue and I need to grow a thicker skin so that others can post their joys and not rain on their parade.

Just like my friends who are single, longing for a partner- seeing engagement pictures and wedding photos can be difficult.

Does it mean that we should stop posting the joy-filled moments that are in our life- absolutely not? Maybe being aware of the world around us though.

Or maybe I just need to go off Facebook.