Toddler In Tow, And Baby On Board! (The Story)

 


If you missed my announcement yesterday, you can check it out here!

This is the story of how our Baby #2 came to be, and how we found out he/she was on their way!  Get ready, it’s going to be a long post, but I’m too nice to split it up and make you wait . . .

I’m honestly not sure where or how to start this story, so I’ll just start typing.

(First off, let me just say that though I wrote a couple posts this spring about getting pregnant with Baby #2 and thinking about the process of trying again, I was being vague on purpose – because I just wasn’t ready to share that we had already been trying for 6+ months.  So I apologize if I gave off the wrong impression!  This story, like with Wyatt, is definitely a more involved trying to conceive story . . .)

After Wyatt was born last year, I started getting the “second baby itch” pretty quickly.  This is probably partially related to the fact that we had a hard time getting pregnant with Wyatt.  I knew I wanted more kids, and I didn’t want to waste any potentially precious time in getting them here.  I also knew that if it was going to take as long as it did the first time, we’d probably want to start trying sooner rather than later.

Derek was completely on board with this too – we knew we wanted more kids, and we knew we wanted them to be somewhat close in age (we always though 2 years apart was a good spacing).  So in August 2011 we started actively trying for our second baby.

If you have followed my blog for a while, you’ll remember that I had ovulatory problems when we were trying for Wyatt.  I kind of expected the same thing to happen the second time around, so I was really surprised when my cycles returned right away after I weaned Wyatt.

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(My first positive OPK – as in, first postitive OPK ever.  I was a dork and took a picture of it.)

In my head I was thinking that since my cycles returned so quickly, we should have no problem getting pregnant this time.  I had heard so many stories of people having trouble conceiving their first child and then conceiving their second child very easily, and I was hoping that would be me too.  The idea of having my kids less than a year and a half apart didn’t even scare me – I would just consider myself blessed if it ended up being that easy!

Well, it wasn’t that easy.

The first cycle was relatively normal, but my second cycle ended up being very long.  I actually went to my doctor trying to figure out what was going on, but there was a lot of confusion with my bloodwork (I have bad luck with getting my bloodwork and labs lost or sent to the wrong place) and we didn’t end up doing anything.  I finally ovulated and then realized that I had a short luteal phase.

The luteal phase is the second half of the cycle, the period of time when you are waiting those two weeks to see if you are indeed pregnant or not.  Only for me, with that cycle, my luteal phase wasn’t two weeks, it was nine days.

Having a short luteal phase is a problem because the baby needs at least ten days (preferably twelve) to be able to travel down your fallopian tubes and implant in your uterus.  If you have a luteal phase that is too short, even if you conceive it won’t matter, because the baby won’t have enough time to get settled and let your body know you are pregnant before the cycle starts over.

I figured that maybe it was just a fluke since it was a weird cycle anyway, and my body was probably still straightening out.  But then it happened again the next cycle, and I decided to go to my regular OB and have them test my progesterone levels to make sure they were adequate (short luteal phases are caused by low progesterone).

That whole experience was frustrating, because I’m afraid the nurses at my normal OB/GYN don’t know anything about trying to conceive – so half the time when I called I had to talk to the nurses and they had no idea what I was talking about.  I love my doctors, but oh my, the nurses!  When we finally got my blood results back they told me that I didn’t have low progesterone. 

I thought maybe my body had straightened out on it’s own, so the next month I waited to see what would happen – and I had a short luteal phase again.

I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to have a short luteal phase.  In my head I would always calculate the day that I should take a pregnancy test, but I never got to actually take the test – I was always cut off 3-4 days before I got a chance. 

It was different than trying the first time around – it was actually more frustrating to me when we were trying for Wyatt, the endless waiting for my body to function properly just once.  This was a different kind of frustrating, getting my hopes up every month and then getting them dashed too soon.  But now that I’ve gone through both of these problems, I’d still much prefer to have that sliver of hope every month.  It was nice to be able to dream, just a little.

At this point (February 2012, about six months after we started trying) I decided that it was time to be a little more proactive, and I scheduled an appointment with my fertility doctor.

My fertility doctor really knows his stuff, and he has me down in his book as a Type-A, overachieving, googling-everything, knowing-too-much-for-her-own-good type.  What can I say?  He has me pegged.

I set up a consult appointment and told him that the second phase of my cycle was too short.  He didn’t even make me do bloodwork, he just took my word for it, agreed that 9-11 days is too short, and went over my options with me. 

For my short luteal phase he recommended we do luteal phase support with HCG shots.  He told me a couple other options but explained why he thought the shots would be best, and I agreed.  I’m already used to giving myself shots anyway, so it wasn’t a big deal to me. 

HCG injections work to lengthen your luteal phase because HCG is the pregnancy hormone.  The pregnancy hormone tells the corpus luteum to produce more progesterone (the corpus luteum is the follicle that originally surrounded the egg and it is responsible for progesterone production in the luteal phase and in the first trimester of pregnancy).  If your body is producing more progesterone it will lengthen your luteal phase.  I was to give myself the shots on Day 3, 6, and 9 after ovulation.

However, I had also been dealing with some other problems which I thought might be part of the reason why we weren’t getting pregnant as well (I’d rather not go into them on a public blog, but e-mail me if you’re curious to know).   When I mentioned those problems to my doctor he mentioned to me that, depending on how aggressive I wanted to be with this, doing an IUI might be an option we’d want to look at.

IUI’s are a more involved infertility treatment, and as such they are also expensive.  I was completely open to the idea of doing one sooner rather than later, but I talked to Derek about it and we decided that we’d wait a little while and if we weren’t pregnant by the end of this summer we’d do the IUI.  August would make it a full year since we’d been actively trying and it would also allow us enough time to save up the money, so that was our plan.

In the meantime I would go on the shots and see if that was enough to fix the problem – but with the additional problems I had I wasn’t sure if it would be enough.

I was pretty realistic going into that first cycle on the shots – and I knew in my head that it wasn’t the month.  However, I kind of allowed myself to get my hopes up anyway.  So when I wasn’t pregnant again (though the shots did work for my luteal phase problem), it was probably the lowest month I had emotionally.  I was in a horrid mood for days (I’m sure the extra hormones in my system didn’t help). 

Even though I knew our chances weren’t good that month, I had allowed myself to hope a little too much, and I found myself almost mad at God for letting me get my hopes up (as if it was His fault – obviously I wasn’t rational).  I was also upset about some other situations that came up at the same time.  And then I was mad at myself for getting upset with the Lord about it. 

However, I was reminded that God isn’t “putting me through all this” – but He might be allowing me to go through these things so that I can turn to Him with my troubles.  So that we could get closer in our relationship, so that I could learn to lean on Him. Again.  (He’s had to teach me this lesson before.)  And I realized I’d been neglecting my relationship with Jesus, and that I needed to get back on the right track

It still took a bit of time for me to adjust my attitude, but the next few weeks were so much more refreshing for me as I remembered what I had forgotten for a little while there – that I need to take my problems to Jesus, try to let them go, and He will handle them for me.  So that’s what I did, and I feel like my attitude was better (not perfect, but better).  I started looking forward to seeing what He would do with our trying to conceive journey this time, instead of being so upset at the wait.

It also struck me at this time that though I had no problem going through the IUI ( I was actually looking forward to it a bit, because I thought we’d have a good chance if we did it), logistically and financially it would be good if we could conceive without having to do it.  So I decided I might as well do everything I could before the end of summer, and I prepared to do some home remedies to help with my other problems for the next cycle.

Then we waited.  And waited.  And my body would just not function properly.  For a little bit there I was pretty sure it just wasn’t going to happen at all this month, and I called my doctor’s office to get a progesterone prescription to start my cycle over, hoping it would help reset things for the next cycle.

But then, the night I got the medication, I just decided that I didn’t think I should take it – that I should just give it a couple more weeks.

And looking back, it must have been the Holy Spirit telling me to wait, because the next day I got a positive ovulation test.

Over the next couple weeks I took the shots and waited.  The thing about the shots is that, because it’s the pregnancy hormone, it’ll give you a false positive on home pregnancy tests. I may or may not have taken a cheap, dollar-store test while on the shots just so I could see two lines (even if they weren’t the real thing).

I felt really good about this cycle during the two week wait.  I thought my at-home remedy would probably help, and our timing was good, and I just thought we’d have a good chance. 

Since you can get false positives on pregnancy tests with the HCG shots I knew I’d have to go in for bloodwork to really know if I was pregnant or not, so I figured out the day that I would go in, and then just waited.

Any pregnancy-like symptoms could just be chalked up to the HCG shots, so I didn’t look too far into the symptoms I had, but I did notice I felt really tired.  I also felt really tired the cycle that I got pregnant with Wyatt.  That was pretty much the only similarity though – I didn’t feel more emotional than usual like I did with Wyatt.  I also thought that I probably just felt tired because I had gotten very poor sleep for an entire week, but even then I thought I was a little more tired than I would normally be, so that gave me a bit of hope.

Then on the 11th day post-ovulation, I had a little dip in my chart, and I started getting really irritable after that – and I just had this feeling.  So much so that I took my first belly pictures on Saturday the 28th, even though I hadn’t even taken a test yet.  I wouldn’t know for sure if I was pregnant until Monday, but if I was pregnant (and I thought I was) I wanted to have a picture of myself at 4 weeks pregnant.

4Weeksphoto

Monday, April 30th, rolled around, and I waited until I thought I’d burst and then got up to take a pregnancy test.  I was shaking a little going into the bathroom, so afraid that I would be wrong, and that the test would be negative.  I grabbed the test and a cup, prayed that the Lord would just let the test give me accurate results, and then I took it.  And . . .

No lines showed up.

I got a faulty test.

Thankfully I had thought ahead and had gathered my first morning sample in the plastic cup as well.  So I unwrapped a second test, dipped it in the cup, and started counting to twenty.

And before I even finished counting I saw the results window turning blue.

I took it out and stared at those two blue lines, then breathed a little sigh of relief.  Then I took out one of my dollar-store cheapies, and tested again, and the test line was darker than it had ever been when I was just on the shots.

I was pretty sure they weren’t false positives and that I was really pregnant, but I didn’t want to accept it until I had my bloodwork.  It was my worst fear at that moment that those tests were false positives and my doctor would tell me I wasn’t pregnant.  That would have been devastating to me.  So even though I was pretty sure, I didn’t accept it completely right then.  I couldn’t stop staring at my positive tests though!

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I had already planned on getting bloodwork done that morning as well, so I got myself and Wyatt ready and waited to call my doctor’s office.  About fifteen minutes after they opened (I figured I should give them a few minutes after opening, right?) I called and told my nurse (who is great by the way – so much better than the nurses at the other office) that I was two days late and wanted to have some bloodwork done. 

She asked if I had taken a test at home, and I said that I had and that it was positive, but I wasn’t sure if it was still a false positive.  My nurse told me to come on in for some bloodwork, but she sounded pretty optimistic about my home pregnancy test, so that made me feel more excited.  When I got off the phone I gave a happy little scream and danced over to Wyatt.  He gave me the sweetest grin – he didn’t know why I was so excited, but he laughed at my antics, happy to see me happy.

We headed to town for bloodwork, then I went straight back home to meet my mom for lunch – I didn’t want her to know that I had gone down that morning, because I was hoping to come up with some fun way to surprise her with the news later.

That afternoon I had to go to a meeting at work, so after lunch with my mom I took Wyatt over to my brother and sister-in-law’s place since they had agreed to watch him for the afternoon.  Then I rushed down to the meeting.

I found it really hard to concentrate on what everyone was talking about during our work meeting, because I kept thinking about my bloodwork and the results.  I kept my phone right next to me in case my nurse called, and sure enough, about a half hour into the meeting my phone started ringing – so I jumped up in the middle of the discussion and headed out the back door to pick up the phone.

Then my nurse said those words that I had been hoping to hear all afternoon “Well, you’re definitely pregnant!”  I was so relieved and excited!

My HCG levels were about 1400-something, which is almost triple the highest average amount at four weeks pregnant (yes, I googled it), so it was nice and high even for 4 weeks 2 days!  However, she did say my progesterone levels were a little low (about 15), so she said they’d want to put me on progesterone supplements for the rest of the first trimester.  I’m sure the low progesterone levels were related to my luteal phase defect, because low progesterone and luteal phase defects go hand-in-hand.  So until my prescription came in, she said she’d give me some prescription progesterone gel samples.

I went back into the meeting, but had to dive out a little later to answer another call from my doctor – thankfully the meeting was fairly casual, so I don’t think my boss minded too much.  Finding out if I was really pregnant or not and getting all the details worked out was a little more important to me than missing part of the meeting!

I was relieved to find out that my fertility doctor would monitor me through the first trimester and then transfer me over to my regular OB – my fertility doctor already knew my case, so I was glad to stay there for a little while.  So I was told I had to go in for weekly blood draws and I would get two ultrasounds in the first trimester – which I actually thought was a nice perk.  If I had to have progesterone issues, at least I got to see my baby more often!

After my work meeting I rushed over to pick up my medication, stopped to buy some markers, and headed to pick up Wyatt from my brother’s house.  I acted casual and got Wyatt all packed up, and then as soon as I was down the road a ways from their house, I pulled over, climbed into the backseat, and wrote “Big Brother” in marker on Wyatt’s belly (yes, I drew on my toddler – they’re non-toxic markers, and they wash off easily).

Derek was already home when I arrived (as I expected), and I walked in the door and complained about what a long day I’d had (it was all part of my plan).  Then I said Wyatt needed a bath and I asked Derek if he would get him ready, because I needed to use the restroom (a fib, but I wanted to surprise him).  He asked if we should give him a bath after dinner (our normal routine), but there was no way I could wait that long!  So I told him I just wanted to get the bath over with.

Then while Derek took Wyatt in the bathroom, I sneakily grabbed the video camera and got ready to tape . . . except it took Derek forever to get him undressed!  Finally he started to get Wyatt’s shirt, and I took this video:


Telling Derek from Callie on Vimeo.


He thought my brother had written on Wyatt’s stomach, that’s why he didn’t get it right away!  It was fun to surprise him with the news this time (well, as much as I could – he knew I would know soon).  With Wyatt I took my test on a Saturday morning and couldn’t hold it in long enough to think of anything fun, but I had the whole day to come up with something for this one!

We tried 8+ months for this baby (actively, that is).  As I’m typing this I’m 5 weeks, 1 day pregnant.  You won’t be reading this until I’m much further along.

I have to say, it’s a little nerve-wracking to be dealing with progesterone problems with this pregnancy – I agonize about my pregnancy symptoms (or lack thereof), and wonder how the transition will be when I go off of the progesterone at the end of the first trimester. 

I’m so thankful for modern medicine and the fact that doctors have ways of providing supplementation for those who are dealing with hormonal problems (like me).  I have little doubt that we would have waited much longer for our second baby had I not detected my luteal phase defect and gone to a doctor who could provide treatment.  I truly believe that sometimes the Lord chooses to use doctors to bring about His healing, and I thank the Lord for giving them that knowledge and ability!

During the months of waiting, I thought constantly about how blessed I am to have Wyatt. Even though it's always hard to want a baby and have trouble getting pregnant, in some ways it was easier for me this time, because I knew that even if I never had another baby, I'd always have Wyatt. I'd always have this time with him, these memories. Even though it would hurt if he was our only child, it wouldn't be because he wasn't enough - he is more than we could ask for. I thank Jesus every day for giving him to us, for giving us the privilege of raising him.

And I'm so thankful that the Lord gave the okay for him to have a sibling as well. I know I'll treasure each of my children as much as I treasure Wyatt - because none of them are guaranteed, and they are all my precious gifts. Even the ones that haven't been born yet.

Through trying for our second baby, I feel like I was also reminded that “unless the Lord builds the house, the worker’s labor in vain” (Psalm 127:1).  Whether the conditions and timing are perfect or not, God is the one who decides when it’s time.  I read on another blog not too long ago (I forget which one, so forgive me for not referencing if it was your blog), that babies require an egg, a sperm, and a “little bit of miracle” to be made.  I agree and I feel like I understand that even better after going through problems trying to conceive for the second time - that “little bit of miracle” is critical and only comes from the Author of Life.

Every baby that is conceived is an absolute miracle, given directly from the hand of God, by His grace.  Whether your babies come from your own womb, or whether your child starts in someone else’s womb and is then entrusted to you through the blessing of adoption, the way a child comes into their family is nothing short of miraculous in every instance.  What a gift to be treasured and celebrated!

We feel so excited and blessed to be expecting this baby.  I was starting to feel pretty resolved to waiting a while, but the Lord saw fit to bless us with another baby before we had to wait too much longer or go through the IUI, and I am so thankful!  I’m very excited to see Wyatt as a big brother, and as the days roll on my anticipation to have another baby in the house is building. 

To my friends who are still waiting for a miracle of their own – know you have ever been and will remain in my prayers. I can’t ever forget your struggles, because even though I didn’t have to wait nearly as long as some of you have, I do have an idea of how it hurts. You are always close to my heart.

To those of you who knew we were trying for another baby and took time to pray for us – thank you!  I felt your prayers from the beginning, and I have no doubt about the hand those prayers played in our sweet blessing! 

Ach, we’re having a baby!

 





P.S. I’m 12 weeks, 3 days pregnant now, for those of you who were wondering.  First trimester recap and ultrasound photos are coming up next!

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Anne said...

YAY!!!!! I just read this post and the last one together and I am sooooo excited for you guys! What a blessing. God is so good!

Mrs. G said...

Congratulations, Callie! From all your posts about a future baby #2, I had a feeling we'd be seeing an announcement like this soon.

HIS daughter said...

This literally brought tears to my eyes. Wow! God is so amazing! I am so so so thankful to see what He has done in your life! What a miracle life is! So happy for you! Hugs!
Katy

Julie Rogers said...

Congratulations!!!!!! Just headed over to your blog from Jenna's and what wonderful news;) Looking forward to reading more!

-Julie
http://www.thechirpingmoms.com

Jessica said...

I loved reading this post! I agree with you that going forever without ovulating is harder than having that ray of hope every month. But it's definitely more of a roller coaster of emotions when you ARE ovulating, and get your hopes up every month. I can't wait to read more about this pregnancy. And that was really cute how you told Derek! Congratulations again!

LeAnna said...

Beautiful story, Callie! So thankful for the wisdom of the Holy Spirit who leads and directs us through the beautiful process of new life. Congrats again, guys!

Brittney Galloway said...

YAY!!!!!!! Congratulations! I'm so excited for you. I somehow missed yesterday's post all together. What a blessing!

Kara @ Just1Step said...

Loved reading your story, Callie. :) Thanks for sharing with us.

Jenna said...

That video totally made me cry! Man, Callie... What a long process it has been for you. I assumed (wrongly, obviously) yesterday that it went quicker this time because of the "before baby #2" posts you have written. Apparently some of us girls just have a hard time getting pregnant. But I am SO SO happy for you and can't wait to follow along as this sweet baby develops!

Jessica said...

I'm so happy your story had such a happy ending! Such a blessing! :)

Unknown said...

Super cute video! Congrats again!

Carly Anne said...

Really enjoyed reading this. Baby making is emotional work, to be sure.

Sarah said...

I am so excited for you! Thank you for sharing your story. It makes it so much more real to us readers. No one wants you to go through a struggle but because you did and you shared it, you are helping so many women, I'm sure. Can't wait to see what you share next! :)

Emily Weinzapfel said...

What an adorable post!! I am loving that video... So sweet! :) Congrats to you and your sweet family! :)

Lauren said...

loved reading this post...and absolutely love that you have a belly photo before you even took a test! congrats again girl!

Jodi said...

Good story! Love that you wrote on your son to tell you husband. Too funny. Stopping by from Jenna's to say hi.

Diana Hill said...

I am so excited for you!!!! Congratulations! What a happy story! I can't wait to foolw your progress.

Melissa said...

I am so happy for you, Callie. And thank you for what you said about still praying for those of us who haven't had our turn yet. ;) xoxo

Kate Craig said...

So much of that medical stuff was over my head but I loved knowing all your details! I must have missed the fact that you weaned Wyatt early so I was really confused in the beginning!

I do hate it for you that you have to work so hard. I learned that I was so much happier when we stopped really caring about trying and just left it up to whatever God let happen. It's so hard to have to think about it every day.

I'm feeling exactly like you were in the beginning. I don't think I have your kind of complications, but my cycles are just very stretched out and irregular, so we don't have a lot of opportunities!

Have your doctors always taken you seriously when you've suspected problems or do you have to push them to do bloodwork? I really struggle with standing up to the doctor.

Kate Craig said...

Also, I love video and it's so cute to hear your voices and Derek's personality :)

Tami said...

I loved reading your story! I loved what you said about it having to be God's time. I think we all worry about the perfect time to have a baby, but in the end He is the one who will make that decision. Congrats again. I'm so very happy for you!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!! Oh my goodness this is so wonderful :)

Michelle said...

I'm so happy and excited for you guys!!

Tiffany @ Austin Family Diary said...

OMG that video was great!! Derek was hilarious in it and Wyatt was seriously so cute :) I am beyond ecstatic for you guys!

Melanie said...

Loved reading your story and especially the video! That'll be one you'll always remember!!!! Congrats again..if I were there I'd hug you!!!!! So happy!!!

Ashley said...

Ohh! What a great video!! And what a sweet story of God's bringing about your second baby! :) I am so excited for you Callie - what a blessing!!! Can't wait to meet this second baby! :D

Amanda said...

Awwwww!!!!! Congratulations!!!!! Very excited for you! :)

Andee Flynn said...

Oh my gosh Callie, all I can say is yip yip yippee! I'm so excited for you guys! Thanks so much for sharin he journey & your story. You re such an encouragement to me.
xoxo

cait said...

Awww, love your hubby's reaction and Wyatt's huge grin!! Adorable! Congrats again!

Julie S. said...

What a wonderful story! The video is priceless. You are blessed, my friend! :)

Amie said...

So precious, love the video. Congratulations!

Dove of Snow said...

Sweet and poignant story! God bless you and your growing baby! :)

Anonymous said...

You're so lucky to even be married, or to even have a child. I have neither. I hope you realized how blessed you truly are.

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