24 weeks: we made it!

It has been reached, folks. If the baby were to be born right now, he has a better chance of surviving than not surviving. He nudges me in response to this news. He’s proud.

This has been a secret milestone of mine, one I haven’t mentioned on here or to DH. I’m proud of us, too! We made it, little buddy, and this is our last week of the second trimester.

Things have been nice and busy. The nursery is in a state of chaos that I finally have a plan of attack for…

Put the antique table in the kitchen, the kitchen table in the basement. Put the folding table in the basement. Put most of the stuff on the shelves in there in storage containers. Put said containers on shelves in basement (which you just made out of crates and wood slabs, for you are a badass carpenter’s daughter). 

Get that yellow rug. Just get it. You are obsessing over whether you should spend the $200, but you know it will brighten the room like nothing else will. 

Paint those clay pots with dots and stripes. It’ll be worth the time. 

Frame the gorgeous watercolor of mama elephant and baby elephant that a friend painted for you. I know you never allow yourself to buy frames, because some part of you thinks the little you save by not buying frames is worth looking like you still live in a college dorm, but let me tell you, now is the time to change. 

Put all of the art made for you and the baby by children–nieces, friends’ children—on a giant corkboard and hang the corkboard over the baby’s bed. You can frame those images with colored cardstock. Don’t worry, it’ll look nice. 

I have no idea how you’re gonna hang the baby’s clothes without cluttering the room. You might just have to fold them all and put them on the shelves. It’s not the end of the world. 

These are the sorts of dialogues I’ve been having with myself. And yet, every day, I seem to find something else that I have to do first!

In other news, tomorrow is a big day for baby and me. We are going into the city. Brooklyn, not Manhattan. I am having lunch with my ex-husband! He and I are friends. It will be so interesting to see him while I’m pregnant. I’ve been sending him updates, photos. He was as worried as I was that I wasn’t going to be able to live out my dream of becoming a mother and is very happy for us. I found out recently that his wife, who is eleven years younger than we are, a documentary film maker, is not sure if she wants to have kids (!). I was surprised. And worried for my ex. He wants to become a father.

I’ll then meet up with a friend from social work school, a real dear, for coffee and walk, and after that, I’m meeting up with a former publishing-world work colleague for dinner at a place that serves early-1900s-era menu. She and I worked at the art magazine together (I was the managing editor, she was the associate, then senior, editor) and now, I believe, she is writing art reviews for the NYorker. She is maybe a year younger than I am.

When I told her I was pregnant, she said that–surprise!—she was, too. This has happened THREE TIMES, with three different girlfriends, two of whom I’d counted on, in my IF/ART days, to “not get pregnant on me,” as my thinking embarrassingly went at the time. I will admit that if my current pregnancy had not worked out, I would have been gutted in the extreme by these pregnancy announcements. It really would have thrown me over the edge. Especially since one of them is unpartnered (making pregnancy less likely/less easy) and one of them had an AMH of nil. I feel like an arse admitting that, but I know it’s true. It is a huge relief to just be able to be happy for them, without anchors in my heart.

Next weekend, we’ll go to Montauk, to see another friend from my magazine days. Jim (I’ll call him Jim) now has three children, one from a previous marriage, two from his new wife, a gorgeous Asian woman whose genes mixed with his Jewish genes and produced these two little black-haired, black-eyed goddesses that make you stop and say “woah” at their beauty. They have a house on Montauk (oh, what’s it like to have a vacation house on Montauk?) and we’ll go there for a day of beaching.

I realize that this pregnancy I have been slowly thawing from a very long and deep slumber, seeing people I haven’t seen in a while, working on relationships I haven’t worked on in a while. All my people out west and their kiddos. My family and their kiddos. And now friends from the city and their kiddos. When I was miscarrying, I couldn’t even look at Jim’s photos of his children—they were a little more painful for me to look at than others because of the Asian in his girls, reminding me of what could be for me. And now I’m going to take my husband and actually go spend the day with them all.

Times have changed. Finally! I can get used to this.

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  1. Congrats on viability! In response to “3 of my friends are pregnant”–me too! All 3 of my bridesmaids & myself are pregnant (well, one just delivered the other day). If I wasn’t pregnant I can only imagine how upset I would be. The nursery sounds cute! XOXO

    • That other path! It’s hard to imagine. Of course, we lived it, over and over, but when you look around and there is no one from your non-cyber friend group who is not pregnant….gahhhh….I’m glad we didn’t have to suffer through the last round of that and can just, for the love of God, move on. XO

  2. Work on the nursery! Just do it! I wish you a very long pregnancy! But just in case it’s not, you want to get that room done so it is picture perfect when you FINALLY bring baby home! you deserve that!

  3. Yay! I’m right there with you: Celebrate every milestone!

  4. JK

     /  August 14, 2014

    Congratulations. It feels to good to say that. I have been quiet for a variety of reasons. First, I lost my DE baby at 21 weeks in Feb. due to a placental problem discovered at 16 weeks. This left me hopeless and “speechless” in the online-IVF world (and real world) for months. Then…miraculously, we were matched with a birthmother and brought home our adopted daughter in June. She is everything we’ve ever wanted and more. Thank you SO MUCH for posting your adoption research prior to moving forward with your frozen embryos. I thought about it several times while contemplating adoption vs. more DE IVF (we didn’t have any embryos left). Meanwhile, I’ve been reading your blog and pulling for you, and getting more and more excited for you. And now you’ve reached this milestone and are planning your nursery and I just had to tell you my news, and say congratulations to YOU. You deserve this; we both do. It’s really happening for us, and soon you’ll be a mommy too. Again, Congratulations!

    • First of all, in response to your loss: what the hell, that is just horrible, I’m just, just….there are NO WORDS for what you must have gone through. But what a happy ending. That is wonderful! You’re a mama! Adoption is a wonderful thing and there’s another lady I’m following who lost her DE pregnancy and is bringing home adopted babykins in October! Happy dances all around. You are most welcome for the research—-that is exactly what I’d hoped, that it would help people parse out adoption and help them move forward, one way or another. Who knows, I may be contacting you in the future for advice if we decide to adopt a sibling! First things first, though. (: Thank you so much for your heartfelt congrats, and happy congrats right back to you. xo

  5. Happy v-day! I guess with every milestone, things become a little more real. A little more tangible. As for the socializing, I know I also feel like I’ve isolated myself a lot throughout this journey to protect myself, and I’m looking forward to being able to feel like I’m joining the world again. Enjoy your time with your friends!

    • My therapist and I were just talking yesterday about the COLOSSAL efforts we make to self-protect, and how perfectly human and natural this is, and it is only when those efforts are no longer required that we realize how freaking hard we’ve been working to self-protect for so long. I’m glad you’ll be, slowly but surely, thawing soon, too—it takes a while, but each week of the pregnancy, you’ll find yourself a little less guarded…

  6. Congrats sugars!!!! Not too much longer :) xo

  7. Ria

     /  August 15, 2014

    Oh, so you were a writer professionally? Your blog is so well written so it would make sense!

    My eldest son’s girlfriend is Korean, he’s 24 and she’s 31 so I’m thinking, at some point, they will start talking marriage. I have visions of the beautiful little half-Korean grandchildren I’ll have someday!!!

    So glad your little man is growing well inside you and that you’ve reached viability! I enjoy reading your blog so much, your excitement makes me smile! You’re going to be an amazing mama…Hugs:)

    • Aw, thanks so much, Ria! I appreciate the compliments. Half-Korean babies—well, I’m biased, but they do seem to be wow-level cute! They start out little chubbie ones who are 95% cheek and then become bean-pole thin as children.(: Many thanks for reading my story!


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  • About Me

    Me: 41
    DH: 38

    Fertility issue:
    Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
    6 pregnancy losses
    All early
    5 with my own eggs
    1 with donor egg

    Abnormal embryos

    Factor V Leiden heterozygous
    MTHFR heterozygous

    AFC: 2 - 12
    AMH: 0.2
    FSH: 6.8
    E2: 40
    LH: 2.8


    April 2011 -
    Natural conception, first try. Blighted ovum (gestational sac only). D&C to remove products of conception at 9 weeks.

    Oct 2011 -
    Natural conception, first try. Blighted ovum (gestational sac & yolk sac). Took Cytotec to induce miscarriage at 9 weeks. PTSD, depression, anxiety, insomnia, night terrors followed.

    Winter 2012 -
    Two rounds of Femara/Clomid + IUIs at Columbia and RS of NY. The idea: to produce more eggs and increase chances of catching a good one. BFNs.

    April 2012 -
    Natural conception, first try. Ultrasound showed activity in the uterus, but no complete sac. Diagnosed with "missed abortion." Natural miscarriage at 5 weeks.

    June 2012 -
    Conception after 7 mg Femara for 5 days + IUI. Diagnosed with chemical pregnancy. Natural miscarriage at 4.5 weeks.

    August 2012 -
    Natural conception, without trying. Chemical pregnancy and natural miscarriage at 5 weeks.

    October 2012 -
    ODWU at Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM).

    January 2013 -
    IVF with Dr. Schoolcraft.
    Straight Antagonist protocol

    What he predicted:
    I will produce 11 eggs
    Good chance 1 will be normal
    30% chance 2 will be normal
    Transfer 1, then a 45% chance of success
    Transfer 2, then a 65% chance of success

    What happened:
    7 follicles stimulated
    6 mature eggs retrieved
    2 died during ICSI
    4 fertilized
    3 out of 4 embryos CCS-tested
    All abnormal

    Aug/Sept 2013-
    Frozen Donor Egg IVF at Reproductive Biology Associates (RBA)
    What Dr. Shapiro predicted:
    6 or 7 will fertilize
    1 we will transfer
    1 - 3 we will freeze

    Protocol: Lupron, Vivelle patches, Crinone

    8 frozen eggs from donor thawed
    6 fertilized
    1 Day-5 Grade A XBbb blastocyst transferred
    1 Day-5 Grade A EBbb blastocyst frozen
    1 Day-6 Grade A XBbb blastocyst frozen

    September 13, 2013: Pregnant

    Prenatal vitamins & baby aspirin,
    Vivelle patches & Crinone

    Beta #1: 171
    Beta #2: 706
    Beta #3: 7,437

    6 w 3 d: measured 6 w 1 d
    FHR: 80 bpm
    Fetus did not grow
    7 w: FHR 121 bpm
    8 w: heart stopped
    9 w: D and C

    Test results: We lost a normal karyotype male for unexplained reasons

    Quit stressful job
    Anti-inflammation diet
    Gluten-free diet
    Vit D, DHA/EPA
    Therapy/energy work
    Creative Visualization
    Art Therapy

    March 14, 2014:
    Double FET at RBA
    1 Day-5 Grade A EBbb blastocyst
    1 Day-6 Grade A XBbb blastocyst

    March 24, 2014:

    Prenatals, baby aspirin, Folgard, Vivelle, Crinone, Lovenox

    Beta #1: 295
    Beta #2: 942
    Beta #3: 12,153

    1 fetus implanted

    Measured on track

    Fetal heart rate:
    7 wk: 127 bpm, 8wk:159 bpm, 9wk: 172 bpm

    Due date: Dec, 4 2014!

    NatureMade (USP Seal) Prenatals and 4000 Vit D3
    Baby aspirin
    40 mg Lovenox
    DHA and EPA
    Folgard 2.2

    Born: One perfect baby boy 12.4.14

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