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Rated: 13+ · Book · Parenting · #1842246
Thoughts of a first-time Mom from IVF to Motherhood.
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It's already been such a long journey already! After nearly 12 years with my husband, a lot of ups and downs, and my ongoing fight to be a parent to my own child and not just his children, we took the leap.

In May of 2011 we started a journey into in vitro fertilization (IVF). As I'm starting this blog, it is January of 2012 and I'm nearly 18 weeks pregnant.

"You carry a baby in your belly for nine months, in your arms for five years, and in your heart for a lifetime." ~ Author Unknown
March 12, 2012 at 12:47pm
March 12, 2012 at 12:47pm
Dear Willow,

Wow! I'm so surprised at how time is flying! Tomorrow I'm 25 weeks pregnant with you! Amazing! And, according to my OB (the "baby doctor"), I'll be entering my third trimester! Whoa! It's getting closer and closer! I'm definitely starting to show - well, actually, I started showing about a month and a half or so ago, now I'm "definitely" six months pregnant!

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You sure are a wiggle-worm! Or, as I've been calling you, my "Willow-worm"! I love it. You're getting stronger every day and you've finally got the strength and size to make my belly move from time to time. I can even feel you now and then with a hand on my belly. I think Daddy's starting to get anxious - he hasn't gotten to feel you yet; but I have a feeling it won't be long now!

I introduced you to music last week! *Smile* Seems you have good taste and really get to "dancing" with my favorite music! Daddy thinks it's funny but he sure loved the picture I sent him!

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We've been busy! We got your room all painted and decorated. It's a Pooh Explosion!! *Bigsmile* I love it and I know you will too! Here are just a few pictures!

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It's sooo cute!

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And of course, we've started buying you stuff. I've been trying to go through and sort it as we get it so I can get it washed and put away. But, for right now, I don't mind it not being put away because then I can go through and look whenever I want to! *Rolleyes* Yes, I'll admit, I do it quite often.

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So far, everything is going great. I'm tired quite a bit, but that's normal and only going to get worse as we get further into this. But we've only got 15 weeks to go and I absolutely can't wait. I'm so ready to wrap you in my arms, smother you in my kisses, and make sure that you NEVER doubt how much I love you and just how wanted you are.

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February 17, 2012 at 2:44pm
February 17, 2012 at 2:44pm
Dear Willow,

         What a wonder you are! Yesterday, I really felt you moving around like crazy for the first time! It was so amazing! I'd hoped it wasn't just a fluke. Today, about the same time, you started your wiggling again, and let me tell you, I've never, in my entire 31 years, felt anything as amazing as the feel of your tiny little body moving around within mine!

         Daddy and I have been busy. We've gotten you a few things now - a carousel rocking horse, a crib, and some really cute clothes. Of course, your Pippy and Pappy have already started buying stuff too! You're going to be so spoiled! *Bigsmile*

         This weekend we are going to start getting your bedroom fixed up. We've got to empty it out and I've got a lot of stuff to find a new home for. I need to buy baby-clothes hangers. Daddy wants new carpet. We've got to paint. And then comes the decorations. Daddy already bought you a Classic Pooh bedding set. For someone who says he isn't super-excited, he's sure all about buying you stuff already. He's spent hours on e-bay and other websites looking for stuff for you. It's so cute! *Smile*

         Last night, I was craving jalapenos... you poor thing, you're probably in there thinking you're mexican! Seems that's what I've craved the most of - and of course, I could eat tacos every night!

         I'm counting down the days, sweet Willow, until I get to hold you in my arms.

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February 11, 2012 at 11:42am
February 11, 2012 at 11:42am
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Dear Squishy,

This will be the last entry started this way - you now have a name! *Bigsmile*

Daddy and I went to our 20-week ultrasound on Thursday, February 9th. It was amazing to see you there on that screen! You wiggled everywhere; your little arm waved and jiggled the whole time, as if you were waving us down, trying to get our attention! It was amazing.

You didn't have anything to hide either! When the tech wanted to check to see if you were a little boy or little girl, there you were, spread wide open for the world to see. And we saw! You're a little GIRL! Our precious little girl. Tears filled my eyes and I couldn't believe that against all the odds, we were going to get our little princess!

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Daddy had a few things to say - when you kept that arm going he said "that's her pitching arm"! And he was ready to give you that name, too. And right there, in that room, we called you by name for the first time.

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We got to see your little toes, your fingers, and I silently counted them all. The tech said you were well above the normal weight - usually 10-11 ounces at 20 weeks, you weigh in at 13 and, as she pointed out, you have really long legs. What a beauty you're going to be!

She made note that your little bottom was sitting right on my bladder, too! No wonder I was making multiple trips to the bathroom all morning! *Bigsmile*

So far, everything looks great and you are growing like crazy!

We announced our news after the appointment. Your Pippy and Pappy, Grammy and Pa-Paw, and all your Aunts and Uncles are so happy! Your big brother Mikel had hoped you'd be a boy, but he's still happy and excited!

Your Aunt Ris is already trying to nickname you - Wii-Jee! Yuck! *Rolleyes* But Daddy says 'No Way'! He says he's going to call you Lil Sprout, and honestly, I kind of like it! Afterall, we've gotten to see you "sprout" all along!

My sweet Willow, I can't tell you how happy I am. I had a feeling all along that you'd be my little princess - I even wore pink the day of the ultrasound! Now, we're just over half-way there! And I can't wait to see you!!!

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January 21, 2012 at 5:36pm
January 21, 2012 at 5:36pm
Dear Squishy,

There's so much I want to tell you, so much I want you to know. And by the time I'm able to give you this 'book', I'm sure there will be even more than I can possibly imagine right now.

But I just want you to understand, to know beyond a shadow of a doubt how much you are loved and wanted. We had to take a hard road, a long road, to get to where we are now - to where you begin - but I don't regret a day of it and I can't wait until you are snuggled safely in my arms.

You, my love, are an IVF baby. A baby of love and desire. A baby created by nothing but the love your Mommy and Daddy, with the blessed hands of a doctor and his staff.

I remember, when I was young, the stigma that came with IVF babies. They were "test tube babies", freaks of nature. And I always wondered why someone would go to that extent to have a child. Now I understand so much more than I did at ten or eleven years old. There is nothing freakish about an IVF baby. No, these babies are MIRACLES, and you are one of those miracles! You are MY miracle.

Your Daddy and I waited a long time for you. It took us nearly 12 years to decide what we wanted, to get our heads together and take the step that led to you. But now, today, knowing you are growing strong within me, I can't ever believe there was any doubt.

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IVF. It's a difficult, stressful, emotional ride of its own. It's a roller coaster I never imagined I'd be on. There's ups and downs - hope and discouragement - fear and anxiety - and ultimately, if it works, there is joy. Luckily, we have been blessed and we are able to enjoy the success and happiness of pregnancy.

We started our IVF journey in May of 2011. The road started with appointments, tests, and a surgery. Paperwork, encouragement, and lots of hope.

I was scared of needles when we started. But after 50+ shots in my belly, 30+ blood draws, and 72 intramuscular hip/buttock injections, needles are no longer my biggest fear. Some were painful, leaving bruises and knots. They got worse the more we did. But in the end, were they worth it? Oh, yes.

Our first cycle was cancelled. My body didn't respond the way we wanted it to. We waited a month. Changed medications. Started from scratch. Though I still didn't have an amazing response, our doctor hoped it was enough.

On October 3, Daddy and I went to Indianapolis for our retrievals. On this day, both of us underwent a minor 'surgery', necessary to create you. I was so discouraged afterwards. Daddy's went well, they got more than enough from him. But me? Two eggs.

The embryologist called later that evening - only one of the two eggs was mature. If it didn't fertilize, we would have to start all over again. I cried. I prayed. And I waited.

On October 4th, in the afternoon, she called again. The egg had fertilized. We would have to wait to see how good an embryo we ended up with. Our 'transfer' was scheduled for the morning of the 6th. Waiting was agonizing. But I had a little hope again. I knew, it only took ONE.

On the sixth, after we'd arrived at the office, the embryologist came in to tell us how the embryo had done. They were looking for at least a 6-cell embryo; ours was 9. They graded them based on letters and numbers; 1-5 (1 being the best) and A-F (A being the best). Our little embaby was a 1A! We had one very perfect Embryo!

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On October 16th, unable to wait any longer to know if the process had worked, I took a home pregnancy test. I took one every day for three days and they all said the same thing!

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At 6 weeks pregnant, we went back to Indianapolis for my first ultrasound. Daddy wasn't able to go so your Great-Aunt Lori went with me. And there, on that little screen, I saw, for the first time, your heart beating. It was so amazing. Tears and laughter ensued. I forgot to breathe and couldn't take my eyes off you. Amazingly, you looked nothing at all like a baby - just a small blip on the screen. But I loved you already.

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At 8 weeks pregnant, we had another ultrasound. Daddy went with me and, oh, how you'd grown! We watched you move around, watched your heart beat, and when you moved one little arm, your Daddy said, "Our baby waved at me!" I was utterly infatuated with the pictures and movie. I was so full of love and happiness.

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But we knew we weren't out of the woods. Miscarriages happen up to 20 weeks, but normally, happen before week 12. I was terrified. I wanted to do everything right, didn't want to take any risk. I knew you were in there and I wanted to keep you there.

At ten weeks, you were so small and so hidden that the nurse had a hard time finding your heartbeat. She'd warned us that she may not find it. With a heavy heart, I made a follow-up appointment for two weeks later.

That two weeks was miserable. I was so afraid! But when we went in and she looked and looked ... she finally found you. And when I heard your heart beat, mine stopped. It was amazing. And never in my life has my heart been so overflowing and bursting with love.

It's been almost 6 weeks since I heard you that first time. And I've heard your heart beat twice since then. It's always such an exciting moment and I could listen to your heartbeat forever. It's such a beautiful sound.

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This is how you began. And yes, this is the short story. Right now, I'm almost 18 weeks pregnant with you. You weigh less than a pound. You're so tiny and yet so very, very loved. You are the best part of me. And while I can't promise to be the perfect mother, I can promise you that you will be loved more than anything in the world - I will do everything I can to give you everything your heart desires - and I will always ... always be right here. I will always be your mommy.

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