Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Grand Announcement!

Here is the video I made for our pregnancy announcement, and the text that I posted along with it on Facebook. We announced to the world on Super Bowl Sunday (aka February 5, 2018).

"Sound on. And sorry FB posted it blurry, but watch to the very end for extra bonus videos.
First off, I’d like to thank everyone who helped support us in our IVF fundraisers I did back in the summer and fall of 2016. Everyone’s love and support for us as we saved up for an expensive and emotional procedure to start a family meant the world to Vance and me.

I feel like years of infertility was the biggest push at getting me back into my art, and also pushed me to follow through on executing my ideas in a creative way. If I couldn’t have the family I desired, I needed more than ever to nurture a lost passion and cultivate any lost or hidden talents I might have. I have explored new mediums and experimented with different art styles, hoping to really find my niche along the way. I hasn’t been easy and I still have a long road of improvement to go, but I’ve had fun feeling like myself again. Getting back into art, as rusty and incompetent as I feel, had brought me joy and excitement. 

Lastly, music has always spoken volumes to us. When I first heard this song last spring (Cross My Mind, by Arizona), I instantly fell in love with it. As I listened to the words and the melody, an idea quickly formed in my mind, and I prayed that one day I would be able to have an excuse and a reason to turn the story into a real life video that I could share with the world. Today is that day. Today, I finally get to share the idea that formed in my head with all of you.

Thank you Brandon Orton for helping me put this video together!!"

Double Vision

So much has happened in the last year, that it's hard to know where to begin. So I'm just going to start with where I am at right now.

As of last Wednesday, I am 21.5 weeks pregnant with twins. Yes, you read that right......I am pregnant! And there are two of them growing inside of me! Saying I am pregnant is something I never thought I would have the privilege to say. Yet here I am writing it out, and having the hardest time staying awake to write it because I AM pregnant and it is late afternoon and I am soooooo damn sleepy! haha.

Getting pregnant was not easy. It took Vance and I six years and countless infertility treatments to get to this point. We are elated, and so are our family and friends. So many friends and family are also so excited, because they think that we are one of those couples who have finally conquered infertility....which isn't exactly true. Infertility will always be a part of me, and one day, if I am willing to publicly explain the full story of how I was able to carry these children, it might make more sense as to why I am not fully willing to say that I have conquered infertility.

But, what I can say is that I am beyond thrilled and feel so blessed to be pregnant. I am absolutely loving being pregnant and watching my body go through all of these miraculous changes. Every night as I am getting ready for bed, I look in the mirror and admire my bump. Vance and I are so in awe of what is going on inside of my body, and can't even begin to describe how blessed we feel. In just a few short months, I am going to become a mother, and Vance is going to become a father! We have been busy working on a nursery for our sweet little ones, and and I am still trying to put together a registry for baby showers. There is so much to learn and prepare for! We are probably super behind, and I know that I for one feel inadequate, but the love I have for these tiny little miracles is immeasurable. I am comforted in knowing that Vance and I will figure it all out in our own due time.

Vance and I were finally able to begin another round of IVF last fall. It was a frozen embryo transfer (FET) cycle this time, so fortunately I didn't have to harvest my eggs and do the first round of IVF that I explained in detail in my blog from the spring of 2016. But it was still really intricate, time sensitive, and intense. Lots of medications, lots of shots, lots of vaginal suppositories and vaginal ultrasounds, and lots of doctor visits. Very emotional and exhausting, but very well worth it.

I went into this last round full of hope, but prepared for a negative sign. If this didn't work out, we had already made the decision that we were done taking this avenue to start our family, and might be ready to accept that we would be happy just being a family of 3 (Vance, Mosie our dog, and me). So when my nurse called me on November 16, 2017 at 2:00 pm and told me that my blood work confirmed that I was DEFINITELY pregnant, you can probably only imagine the amount of shock, surprise, and disbelief I was in. I was in tears and screaming. Never had I felt so much joy and happiness. I immediately FaceTimed Vance, and words cannot describe the amount of joy, happiness, excitement and gratitude he expressed in his voice and on his face.

Telling our family and friends was equally as exciting. Everyone has been so supportive and happy for us through this journey. We announced our pregnancy to immediate family over Thanksgiving holiday. Then I told a few very close friends in my ward and made them promise not to tell anybody. On December 5, 2017 we went in for our a 7 week ultrasound, and that ultrasound confirmed that both embryos we transferred into my body worked. We were expecting twins!!! That made for even more exciting news. The babies were such small little beans at that point, yet those perfect little beans had heartbeats. We got to hear their tiny little heartbeats and their mama and daddy were in tears. It was music to our ears. The fertility clinic kept a close eye on me for the next couple of weeks to make sure both of our babies were growing at an accurate speed, and at 9 weeks pregnant on December __, I became a graduate from the Utah Fertility Center. They congratulated me, sent me on my way, and I was off to find an OB to monitor me over the remaining amount of my pregnancy.

Over Christmas, we announced the good news to our extended families, and on January 8 as I was nearing the end of my first trimester, I told my co-workers. On January 18 (week 13), we had my first ever belly ultrasound! It was so nice to not have to drop my pants for an ultrasound for a change. Vance was with me at this appointment and we got to meet our new doctor. We both really like him, and it was of course wonderful to get to see little Baby A and Baby B on the screen and hear their beautiful heartbeats.

By February 5, I was finished creating my baby announcement and we told the rest of the world via Facebook and Instagram. I feel like everyone has triumphed with us, and it has been a truly remarkable experience.

The first trimester had its ups and downs. I experienced fatigue and lots of smell aversions, had a hard time figuring out what I did and didn't like to eat, couldn't stomach water or many other liquids (therefore dehydrating myself), was always out of breath (still am), and got nausea and sickness at night. I threw up several times, but not too often. Overall, I would say I handled my first trimester pretty well, but I was definitely excited to leave it behind and start my second trimester.

Second trimester has been a dream! Although my body is clearly changing and getting bigger everyday, I feel so good. Food is good to me. Smells are normal and not setting me off. I'm not nauseous. I can drink water. I AM always tired, I am always out of breath, and I am starting to have a tricky time getting up off the sofa or rolling from side to side in bed at night, but I love these symptoms! I love that every day my belly looks bigger than it did the last. I love that I can feel tiny little movements inside of my body. And I love that my body seems to be accepting these changes with open arms. I have energy to work, clean my house, cook, play with my puppy...etc. All things I didn't have energy or motivation to do during my first trimester.

On March 15, 2018 we went in for our big 21 week ultrasound. They examined both babies in detail and the doctor identified their genders to us. This was one of the best days of our lives, so I would like to end this post here, and start a new post specifically for this day.

Enjoy some pictures from our pregnancy journey up until this point.

December 5, 2017. The day we found out we were having twins!
7 weeks

Two babies!!!

Week 12 ultrasound

I started to "pop" around 14-15 weeks

17 weeks

18 weeks

18.5 weeks. In Phoenix, Arizona

19ish weeks

20ish weeks

21ish weeks

Thursday, April 27, 2017

National Infertility Awareness Week

Having a family doesn't come easy for some people. Here is a video we created 5 months ago in hopes of winning an IVF grant through a very gracious and generous couple. We were not selected as winners, but because it is National Infertility Awareness Week and the 1 year anniversary of our unsuccessful round of in vitro fertilization, I thought I would share a quick story of our long journey to parenthood.