20

Nursery ideas!!

There’s still some planning to do before we decide on anything for sure. It’s really fun to think about!! Ahhh!! I can’t believe we are really finally doing this – so exciting!! 😀 Currently, the carpet in the nursery is a dark brown, which we aren’t changing. The walls and trim are white (blah). The room definitely needs spruced up and brightened. I’m pretty sure we’re going with a light/bright green (pictured below) for the wall color.

For the crib and other furniture, we haven’t decided whether we’ll go with brown or white. White furniture could help lighten and brighten things up, since we have brown carpet. However, I’ve always like the way deep brown furniture looks. I want to focus more on the wall color and theme prior to choosing furniture. I hope to get the room painted in the next couple weeks, and then it will be easier to decide on the rest. 🙂

These colors are pretty close to what we like best:

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The theme is definitely monkeys! 🙂 It will be a mixture of safari/jungle, but mostly monkeys. We’d like to get some safari stuffed animals, a rug, lamp, pillows, and other cute little items to match. This is a removable wall applique from Amazon that I really like. It’s large, so I think it will look great for the wall behind the crib.

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A photo from Amazon with the monkey applique and green walls (I think this green is darker than what we would use):

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I love the idea of having block letters to spell the baby’s name, too. These blocks are pretty cute. (With the name Graham, obviously). Or even something more simple, with just the colors we like would be really nice. I don’t want to over-do it with the monkeys.

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Hanging blocks:

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This is the bedding that our good friend got for us! I love it!! It has some yellow in it, which we could also utilize as an accent color. It doesn’t all have to be a precise, perfect match though. The blue, green, and brown colors are my favorite.

beddingFor some reason, I love these dot appliques for the wall. The room is pretty large, so we could think about putting them on the other walls. It might be a bit much though.

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Here’s a photo where they utilized the dots in other areas:

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Some accessories I like (these might not be the exact things we get, but you get the idea): 🙂

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22

Week 23 Update

How far along: 23 weeks, 1 day!

How big is baby: A grapefruit. “About 10.5 to 11.8 inches and about 12.7 to 20.8 ounces.”

week23What baby is doing: “Baby can listen to your voice and your heartbeat — and even to loud sounds like cars honking and dogs barking at this stage. His face is fully formed now — he just needs a little extra fat to fill it out.”

Movement: I’m so excited!! I have felt him move or kick (a little bit) almost everyday for the past 8 days! The best part is, I felt him on the outside for the first time ever Monday night (22 weeks, 6 days)!! It happened too quickly for me to yell for Andy. I’m not sure he would have felt anything yet (it was light), but hopefully soon! The kicks feel more like little thumps now, instead of the light taps or “bubbles” that they used to be. The movements and rolling feel more noticeable, as well! I can feel things even when I’m not paying super close attention!

Weight Gain: I think I’m up around 13 lbs total, which is just fine.

Symptoms: Heartburn, reflux, and frequent urination are the main symptoms. I have a new symptom though – I’m pretty sure I have Restless Leg Syndrome. When I’m lying down, my legs get sore and achy, and it feels like I need to keep moving them around and stretching. I don’t have a “creepy-crawly” sensation that some describe, but there is a weird uncomfortable feeling. It’s not bothering too much right now. I’m going to let my OB know at my appt next week. Sometimes low iron can cause it, but often times it’s just something you get in pregnancy.

Food Cravings: Salad and chicken! I’m also still craving sweets! There’s these new “chewy” Jolly Ranchers that come in a bag with just Green Apple and Watermelon flavors…Sour and sweet is such a yummy combo! I also have a thing for Vanilla Cream Soda….Mmmm. I can’t let myself have too much of that junk though. LOL!

Emotions: Kind of up and down this past week. I usually have a “tearful” week every now and then, especially when something stressful pops up.

Sleep: Only getting about 5 hours each night. I don’t necessarily feel that uncomfortable, I just get restless. I am continuing to rest (still on modified bed-rest), and I take naps sometimes. I don’t feel like I need as much sleep for some reason.

Best moment this week: Feeling my baby boy move from the outside!!! I’m so thankful for that & everything!

Worst moment of the week: Losing my job. (If you missed it, you can read my post about that by clicking here). Update: The policy they have won’t allow for all the time I need off, so I am resigning. This is my last week of Short-Term Disability pay, which they will let me have. I am comfortable with resigning. I don’t want to try to fight it or stress out about it. I’m happy to be at home to rest & recuperate with my back/bum pain, and I can better take care of myself and my baby.

What I am looking forward to: I think what I’m most excited about is that we’ll be working on the nursery soon!! And getting more things done around the house (with Andy’s help of course, since I’m supposed to take it easy)! 🙂

Upcoming Appts/Other Updates:

–4/30/13: 24 weeks – Viability!!

–5/2/13: Next OB check up.

–5/16/13: Next MFM check up and growth scan.

Belly pic: 🙂

23weeks

6

NIAW: Join the Movement and advocate for yourself.

It’s NIAW (National Infertility Awareness Week), and this year’s blog topic from Resolve.org is “Join the Movement”.

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Image courtesy of Resolve.org

I’d like to talk about advocating for yourself. It’s essential and empowering to find your voice and stand up for yourself. It’s probably one of THE most important things you can do for YOU! Living with infertility is a confusing and sometimes lonely road. It’s overwhelming to absorb your diagnoses (or lack of diagnoses), find the right doctor or treatment protocol, and get the support you need to navigate the journey. I am now on “the other side”. I’m pregnant, but I will never forget the struggles we went through to get here. I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone, and there is hope.

Advocating for myself was the most challenging, yet rewarding task. It’s difficult because often times, no one will listen. It’s important to keep trying though. If you feel that something is “off” and your doctor won’t listen, do your research and find another doctor who will. Over the years, I’ve been treated by or consulted with about 7 doctors, including OBGYNs, Reproductive Endocrinologists, and Reproductive Immunologists. That doesn’t include the Naturopaths, Acupuncturists, Massage Therapists, and other non-traditional professionals I’ve seen.

Like many of you, I didn’t know what to do, so I did it all. I’ve had just about every blood test and procedure a person can get. I’ve taken multitudes of fertility drugs, as well as various vitamins and supplements. We did 6 IUI (Intrauterine Inseminations) cycles and 2 IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization) cycles. I’ve tried every silly trick in the book to get pregnant. I’ve fought with doctors, nurses, pharmacies, and insurance companies. I was always on a quest for knowledge. Sometimes I thought I was a crazy hypochondriac. I know some of my doctors thought so, too. I just knew there were issues we hadn’t discovered. I had to trust my gut, and I couldn’t leave any stone unturned.

Second opinions (and 3rd, 4th, etc) are extremely important! Had I taken the advice from my last 3 doctors, I would not be pregnant right now. They would not truly listen to my concerns or take the time to look for the root cause of my infertility, which ended up as autoimmune disorder. Not many doctors believe there is a correlation between autoimmune and infertility, so they won’t bother testing for it. It’s so frustrating!

I was told I needed donor eggs or a surrogate. They said I would never get pregnant. They told me I’d never have a successful, healthy pregnancy, even if I did get pregnant. I left most appointments in tears. Even so, we kept trying the same old recommended treatment protocols and hoping for the best – only to continue having early miscarriages or failed cycles. I constantly felt like door after door was being shut in my face. I felt brushed off, like they had given up on me. It should not be that way!!

I was at the end of my rope, but I had to try one last route. I did my research on immune disorders, and I ventured off to see a Reproductive Immunologist out of state – not knowing if it was even worth it or not. But boy, was it ever worth it!! Thankfully, doctor # 7 was the one who had hope for me! She was the only one to look at EVERYTHING as a whole. For the first time ever, I felt like I was in good hands! It’s so important to have confidence and trust in your doctor!

I found out I wasn’t crazy – there were several diagnoses (autoimmune and blood clotting disorders) that had never been discovered by my previous doctors. What she found was not only treatable, but it was a pretty easy treatment protocol for me! I didn’t need donor eggs, a surrogate, or even IUI or IVF! After about 6 months on my new medications, I got pregnant! 6 months is just a drop in the bucket, compared to all the other years of trying.

I couldn’t believe it, and sometimes I still don’t believe it! I’m 23 weeks along, with a healthy baby boy. Part of it is luck and a gift from God. The other part is hard work and persistence. If it’s still in your heart to keep going, don’t give up! Find a new doctor (or just meet with one to see if they will treat you the way you deserve), do your research, and trust your gut!

For more information about infertility and National Infertility Awareness Week, please check out: Infertility 101 and About NIAW (National Infertility Awareness Week).

6

NIAW (National Infertility Awareness Week)

National Infertility Awareness Week starts today! Join the movement!

Whether you are living with infertility yourself – or you know someone with infertility and wish to support them, there are many ways to get involved. I wanted to kick off the week by sharing a few resources on how you can help yourself, be there for your friends/family, and show support for the cause. Resolve.org is The National Infertility Association and is the best place to start for an abundance of resources.

What is infertility? Or if you already know, would you like to learn more? Click here.

Are you a family member or friend of someone with infertility? Click here to find out how you can best support your loved one.

As a blogger, you can participate in the “Blogger Unite Program”. This Program brings bloggers together to talk about infertility during National Infertility Awareness Week. Each year a best Bloggers Unite Challenge blog is chosen for RESOLVE’s Hope Award for Best Blog.  The Hope Awards are presented at RESOLVE’s Night of Hope Gala.  The Hope Award for Best Blog is voted on by the infertility community. To read more about it, click here.

If you’d like to find other blogs for those struggling with infertility, check out Stirrup Queen’s ICLW (International Comment Leaving Week) – there’s a great list of blogs here. Stirrup Queens is a wonderful place to connect with others.

If you are looking for support – in person or online, here is a list of resources from Resolve.

If you’d like to share information with others (or read about it yourself), educate, inspire, or show your support – check out this link from Resolve.