Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Drum roll please...!

If you missed my last blog post, long story short, I took a pregnancy test.  Before wiping (TMI, sorry) I placed the cap on the test and turned it over to start the dreaded wait.  Typically about 3 minutes of excruciating, unbearable waiting.  I would know, I have made it through about 100 of those "waiting periods".  (I told you, I am a pregnancy hypochondriac.  I wasn't kidding.) Well this time was different.  This time, before I even set the test down, I saw a very dark, very clear plus sign.  Pregnant.  And I have an 8 month old baby.

Can we talk about a rush of emotions?!  I mean we are talking fear, excitement, panic, gratitude, the whole 9 yards!  Although I will admit that fear and panic were the two that really stand out to me as I remember back to those moments as I cleaned up and washed my hands. I mean within the last 8 months we bought a house and had a baby!  Life was already moving at lightening speed!  How can we be having ANOTHER baby?! But with tears in my eyes, feeling very scared, I looked down at my sweet little Rylie sitting right outside the bathroom door.  Her little wrists and ankles were twirling and she had a special sparkle in her eye with a little nervous giggle as if she was relieved that she didn't have to keep the secret anymore that she will be a big sister.

In that moment, I knew that all would be well.  I knew that this is exactly what was in Heavenly Father's plan for us, and that we could handle this.  I knew that even though there would be some really rough moments and sleepless nights to come, these are the trials that I prayed for for 5 years. This is exactly where I want to be.


I know that it is hard.  I am not telling you that as a person who has "overcome" infertility, or knows everything about it.  I don't really have any advice to make it easier or go by faster, it was the hardest thing that I have ever done and I cringe at the thought that there are people still feeling those feelings while I am happily "popping" my second baby out.  I just want you to know that I love you and that, if I know of your struggle, I pray for you by name.  But I also know that there are many friends who keep this struggle to themselves.  So if I do not know of your struggle, I still pray for you. I still want you to have babies. Healthy ones, and lots of them. Keep plugging away.  You can do this.  And while you wait for your sweet babies to get here, find something that makes you happy and cling to it. I wasn't too good at that, and I think it may have helped me.

Basic Info:
I was 9 weeks pregnant when I found out that I was expecting- which explains why my emotions were all over the place and I was feeling so overwhelmed and sick!  Yay!

I am now 13 weeks pregnant.  Through the first trimester and feeling much better!  The baby is due December 2, 2015.  If you are trying to do the math, I will make it easy on you.  16 months.  Rylie and the new baby will be 16 months apart.  Zack, Rylie, and I are all thrilled.  A bit overwhelmed, but thrilled nonetheless.

Life flies by.  In the matter of 16 months Zack and I will have gone from being a married couple, renting a condo in Ohio, to being parents of 2 children who own a home in Michigan.  Seriously, we feel blessed in a big sort of way.   So thank you all for being a part of this wild ride that we call life.

Life... What a wild ride!!!


Being a mom is my absolute favorite!  It has already made me a better wife.  Basically since coming back from Christmas break I finally feel like I am in normal life.  The last part of 2014 was a whirlwind!  Here is a brief summary of our schedule for August on.

August- Rylie.. she was born!  AMAZING!!  And we had family out here for much of the month helping us adjust to the sleepless nights.

September- Bo and Taylor got married!!  So wonderful!  This meant Rylie, Zack and I got to take our first plane ride together! 

October- MOVED!  We went from renting our little condo in Ohio to owning our home in Michigan!  What a wild ride that was!

November- Besides getting settled into our new lives as home owners and new parents both with new jobs,  and juggling our water softener and water heater breaking, we got to take our second trip to Utah as a new family and spend Thanksgiving with the Olsens!

December- Well Christmas duh!  We came home for about 3 weeks and then were off again to Utah! What a fun holiday1

Needless to say, it was crazy.  Finally when we got home from Christmas we were able to settle into our new lives.  And can I just tell you?  I LOVE IT!  I LOVE BEING A MOM AND A WIFE!  Sure, I am working part time still, but it is so wonderful to be able to have dinner made and a clean house and a sweet baby to go along with my absolutely "perfect for me" husband.  Seriously.  Life is so so so wonderful.  I cannot even get over how beautiful my life is. And I don't mean that in an obnoxious "my life is better than yours" way. I just mean that I am really happy.  I still have so much to learn, but I just feel like I am on top of things better than before she came.  I feel happy and capable.  I remember before I got pregnant with her I would often tell Zack that I felt like I was just spinning my wheels as hard as I could and not going anywhere.  I don't feel that way now.  I feel so happy.  Don't get me wrong, I get VERY tired. Like can't keep my eyes open tired.  And sometimes Rylie goes through hours of crying when I can't figure out what is wrong.  But even in those moments, when I want to cry, and I feel overwhelmed, I can't help but be grateful.  These are the trials I have always wanted.  These are the trials I can be grateful for even during them.

Bottom line- I love being a mom.

Late April:

I have not really been feeling myself recently.  I went home to spend a week with my family in Utah.  Ever since coming back from there I cannot figure out what my deal is.  Being a  wife and mother is my very favorite thing.  I cannot even express how much I love it.  But the last few weeks I feel overwhelmed.  It seems like it is one thing after another.  I cannot get over any illness quickly, I am having a hard time breastfeeding because my milk is disappearing, and I just feel like Rylie is super hard to handle right now.  Which is crazy. She is an amazing baby.  I know that it is me but I just can't seem to get the energy to get anything done anymore and I feel sick all the time.

Feeling so overwhelmed, I went to Zack to express to him my feelings.  I know that it took us so much time and work and money to get Rylie, but the thought of having another kid right now seemed SO overwhelming.  So I asked him if he felt okay about starting some birth control, even though I haven't had any sort of cycle yet since Rylie was born.  He talked me out of it for the time being, saying how much I would regret it if I went on BC and then we couldn't have another one for another 5+ years.  So I asked him for a blessing to help me feel better. 

I won't go into too much detail, but after the blessing I felt a quiet urge to take a pregnancy test.  I didn't tell Zack because I am a hypochondriac especially when it comes to pregnancy tests and I know he would talk me out of it because the likelihood is so small, and the tests are expensive.  So I took one.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Rylie Dawn. A video of the day she was born

My sweet sister Adi made this cute video of the birth of our sweet little girl. Don't worry, there is no actual nudity in it.  Be warned: there are a few slightly interesting pictures, but the process of birth is so beautiful that I just don't care how weird or ugly I looked.  This was the best day of mine and Zack's life together so far. And the only thing that makes it more beautiful is the fact that we know we get our sweet Rylie for time and all eternity. Because we were sealed in the temple, our family is not just "til death do us part".  My family is together forever. If you would like to learn more about my beliefs or how families can be together forever you can visit www.mormon.org

The miracle of Rylie Dawn- Part 2

Tuesday- August 5, 2014

They checked me at 12am and I had made no progress.  Also at midnight, my parents arrived in Toledo.  Right after I got the text that they had arrived safely, I started to have contractions every 2 minutes apart.  Pretty hard ones too.  I was so excited!  However, when they checked me at 7am I had made ZERO progress. With the fact that my mom was unable to deliver vaginally due to her lack of dialation, my doctor's plan was to send me home after he checked me, and let me go another week or two and if I still hadn't made progress to try and take the little one via c-section. However when he was supposed to check me in the morning, he was pulled into a last minute birth and was unable to make it over to check me. Luckily the nurses must not have known the whole situation, because regardless of the fact that I had made no progress, they put me on the pitocin. When the doctor came back in at noon, he told me that I had made just enough progress that he could break my water.  He was in my room probably less than a minute and by the time he left my contractions were unbearable.  My whole body was shaking uncontrollably as if I was having a seizure.  Luckily my new best friend, Gino, was right around the corner with my epidural.  luckily the epidural was way worse in movies than in real life.  The only part that was hard about it was that I couldn't move during a contraction and I felt that I didn't have control over my body during that time.  But luckily it went right in no problems and in about 30 minutes I was feeling a little better.  However I was still in a lot of pain, so they called Gino back in and he gave me another dose of meds. Once that happened, I was feeling great!  So happy to be having our sweet baby! 

That lasted a few hours, and when the nurse came in to check me again at about 4-4:30 I was in a lot of pain again and only dialated to a 3-4. That was like no progress.  So Gino (who apparently was really attractive, but I don't remember his face, I only remember his meds) came back in and gave me another dose of meds.  He told me I would feel better within about 15 minutes but in 30 I felt no relief.  He came in and gave me one more dose of the meds and I still felt no relief.  Finally, around 5:30 they decided that I needed to make a decision. I either needed to suck it up, or we needed to take the epi out and re-do it since it didn't seem to be working. I couldn't decide what to do because I was in so much pain I couldn't handle it or really even talk anymore.  The nurse couldn't stand me being in that much pain so she told me she would check me one more time and if she could, we would re-do the epidural.  I was sure I hadn't made any progress in the past hour, so I geared up for the epidural.  However as soon as she checked me, (about 5:40) she said she felt the baby's head, and that we needed to get the doctor asap because it was time to deliver our sweet baby! She even told me that our baby had a lot of hair! Ahh!  It was getting so real!  I was not to push because we needed to get the doctor.  It took them about 15 minutes to get the room all ready to go and get all the equipment in there for when the baby was born, and then it was time to push!  They offered a mirror so I could watch, and of course I had to accept!  Pushing was not painful.  The contractions were still painful, but once I could push, I just wanted to push!  My contractions were very intense, I would have 4 consecutively and then a small break.  4 consecutive, then a small break.  But then it changed to 6 consecutive and a smaller break.  This put the baby in some distress and very little time to recover from each contraction.  Because of this, the doctor decided to use the vacuum to help get her out as quickly as possible.  At 6:05 pm on August 5, 2014 I became a mother and Zack a father to the most beautiful baby girl on the planet.  She was 6 lbs 11 oz and 20 1/4 inches long. But the biggest surprise of all? She was a girl!! Everyone was so excited and surprised. We were all positive that she was a boy.  But oh my goodness are we so excited to have a sweet baby girl. She is absolutely perfect and we could not be happier to have her in our lives.   I will be adding pictures once she goes back to sleep and I have a little more time on my hands!

The Miracle of Rylie Dawn- Part 1

Well, she is here!  Our beautiful little miracle has arrived.  She shocked us all when she came out a girl. But before we get there, let me back up just a little bit.  This is going to be kinda long, but I want to remember every little detail that I can, so I understand if you would rather not read it all. I really just want it for our own family records.

Thursday- July 31, 2014
I had my 38 week doctors appointment today.  I have been in a TON of pain with something called SPD. Basically my understanding is that my pelvic bone is separating.  It makes it hard to walk or roll over or shower.  Well regardless, today at my doctors appointment, Dr. Jackson told me that if I don't go into labor over the weekend, he will induce me early next week.  So we made an appointment for Monday morning at 9:30am to see what we can do to get all this moving right along!  Family is all so excited that they get to be here next week for the arrival of our little baby!  Now to sit and wait for the weekend to pass!

Sunday- August 3, 2014
 We picked up Mike, Steph, and Linz from the airport today and the Ellsworth family (minus the uncles and Tay) jumped in the car to start the long 31 hour drive out to Toledo.  Things are starting to get real!

Monday- August 4, 2014
This morning was my doctors appointment.  The doctors appointment came with some bad news.  Even though the Dr told me that he would be able to induce me starting either today or tomorrow, when he did an actual exam on me, told me that the chances of an induction at this point only has a 10-20% chance of success.  He suggested that we wait until Friday and check me again to see if my body showed more signs of successful induction. Problem!! Our families are all in town and Olsens have to leave by Thursday and my family by Saturday.  Do you know how much they spent on getting out here?  And its not like we can ask them to do it again in a week! Ugh.  Luckily after talking to my doctor and telling him the circumstance, he told me that he would give it a go, but like he said, he expects only about a 10-20% chance of success and if I hadn't made any progress by tomorrow morning, he would be sending me home.  So at least we get a chance! Tonight they will be putting some meds on my cervix, and then hopefully tomorrow we will have a baby.  That being said, we are very worried that this sweet baby will be taking its time to get to us.  On the way home from the doctor, we stopped in the parking lot across the street and said a tearful prayer that we would be able to meet our little one.  Then again in the parking lot of the hospital as we went for our 5:00 check in time.  Please, please let out little one come now with our families here.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

"the story" Part 2

Ok well I think I should just get it all out on the line.  Zack and I struggled to have children for 4.5 years, during that time suffering 2 miscarriages, and going through many doctors and never really got an answer.  Everyone said that it seemed like we should get pregnant no problem and that we just needed to be patient.  Well I knew something was wrong, I could just feel it.  Finally, after moving to Ohio, I got in with an absolutely AMAZING doctor.  He broke infertility down into 3 sections.  He said infertility is ALWAYS one of three problems.  It is either the man, the egg, or the uterus.  We know Zack is all clear, so we can narrow it down to the egg or the uterus.  (Disclaimer: this was a very fast conversation, and I may have gotten some facts a little off, but it at least gives you the idea)  We have done ultrasounds and he didn't see anything that made him think that it was my uterus, so he said we should start with the eggs.  Then he smiled at me and told me he bet we would be pregnant within the next 2 months. As exciting as this was, I have actually heard this exact phrase from every doctor that I have been to, so I was excited but still cautious.  I like to say: cautiously optimistic.  Anyways, he put me on Femara (sp?) to make my eggs grow, and then we did an ultrasound to see if they did.  Well, they didn't grow big enough.  So the next month we upped the dosage.  Still the eggs were too small.  So we started with some shots.  I forget the name of it, but it was something like Menopur. It was a shot that I took every night for 5 nights along with taking the Femara. the first month of this, I had 4 big eggs on the right side!! Such good news!!! We were pretty nervous about multiples, but no pregnancy.  We did the same dosage the next month, only I had 8 eggs this time!  All on the right side again.  We were EXTREMELY excited and the doctor even told us that he was so sure that we would get pregnant that he hoped that we just didn't fertilize all 8 eggs, because my body probably wouldn't handle being octo-mom very well.  However, yet again, I was not pregnant.  This really puzzled the doctor.  He saw we had a problem, we fixed it, so I should be getting pregnant now no problem.  That is when we decided to do more testing.  This was not a good month for me.  We found out that on my own, my body does not make eggs that are big enough or healthy enough for pregnancy.  But we fixed that with all those miserable meds that I was taking. (they make me so so sick and gave me horrible headaches.)  Then we did another test and to spare the ugly details, we found out that my right Fallopian tube is blocked.  So all that pain and suffering to make those eggs on the right side was for nothing.  Because no matter if I had 100 eggs on the right side, they would not be able to sustain a pregnancy because that tube is blocking them from implanting to my uterus.  Honestly after getting this news I just gave up. My left side was healthy tube wise but I never made any eggs on that side.  I was heart broken.  I squared my shoulders and told Zack that once the holiday season was over we should start the adoption process.  Zack was more hopeful than I, but still agreed that we could start the process after the new year.

As far as I was concerned, the rest of the doctors appointments were just going through the motions, because I was just too sad and too down to care anymore.  We went to the doctors before I ovulated and low and behold, there was an egg on the left side.  Not only one, but there was even another one that was borderline ready.  Doctor told us to wait a few days and then take my last shot which was ovadrill, which makes me ovulate.  Zack was through the roof and over the moon excited. I was indifferent.  I was too heart broken to even care about it anymore and honestly I was setting my heart on adopting a sweet little baby.  

Come Thanksgiving break, the day after Thanksgiving, I decided that I should take a pregnancy test just to rule the secret quiet nagging question in my head and so that I would be prepared when I saw the period starting.  I took a test that morning, of course Zack knew, we were at his parents house, and I knew that I would not see a positive test.  I took the test and then laid down for a while. Finally, when I looked, I saw not one, but two pink lines. One was very dark.  But the other was quite light.  My heart sank.  Not this again.  This was how my tests looked when I found out the first two times, and both times I had miscarried before I even reached 5.5 weeks. But something told me that this time was different. I showed Zack and he was the same as me. Excited, but very nervous. We have been down this path before.  So I had another test, and took it the following day.  Two pink lines again. And this time, it was darker. Not as dark as the test line, but definitely there.  I showed Zack. We got excited.  But again, cautiously optimistic.  Finally, about 3 weeks after that, I went to the doctors and he ran a bunch of tests.  Test results: 95% chance of a healthy, happy take home baby.  We were so excited and as soon as I saw that little heard beat on the screen, I lost it.  A long long time ago, before I knew we would have troubles getting pregnant, before we were even trying to have a baby, Zack gave me a blessing that promised me that we would have our own children when the time was right.  A month previous, he promised me the same thing again, and this time told me that my body was preparing to get pregnant.  I didn't realize just how soon that blessing was meant to come to pass.

To all my infertile friends: Miracles absolutely do happen. Nobody knows how or when your miracle will come but let me tell you this. I think back to my hopeless and stubborn feelings just about 2 months ago and I hate myself for it.  Here was Heavenly Father trying to give me the biggest blessing of my life aside from Zack, and I am there acting like a spoiled child who didn't get their way.  Trust him. Trust him every single day even when you want to doubt him because you feel so broken.  I wish that I could have seen the blessings that awaited me.  Your blessings await you too. And you want to be faithful the whole way through.

"The story" Part 1

July-December 2009
Marriage. So happy.  Best husband ever.
Such a good husband. Lets make a family!
Not yet. Spend time together. Get to know each other. Fall more in love
Missed a birth control pill. Pregnant? Pregnant? Pregnant? Could it happen?
Am I pregnant? Is it too soon? I think maybe I am pregnant.

Blood. Tears. Not pregnant. Please can we try now?
Not  yet. Too early. No money.
Birth control is making me crazy.
Back of the package says 93% effective. I hope I am one of 7%. Please please please.
I hope I'm pregnant. Could I be? OMG please.

Blood. Tears. Not pregnant. Emptiness.
Done with pills. Zack agrees. Other forms of Birth control.

January-June 2010
Feeling at a loss. Heavenly Father promises us we will have kids at the right time.
Please be the exception. Please be pregnant.
Blood. Tears. Not pregnant.

Please be the exception. Please be pregnant.
Blood. Tears. Not pregnant.

Please be the exception. Please be pregnant.
Blood. Tears. Not pregnant.

Please be the exception. Please be pregnant.
Blood. Tears. Not pregnant.

Please be the exception. Please be pregnant.
Blood. Tears. Not pregnant.

July 2010-December 2010
Zack agrees it is time to try. Joy. Tears of joy. Can't wait!!
Hope, please please please please please!
Blood. Tears. Not Pregnant.

Hope, please please please please please!
Blood. Tears. Not Pregnant.

Hope, please please please please please!
Blood. Tears. Not Pregnant.

Hope, please please please please please!
Blood. Tears. Not Pregnant. Should we see a doctor?

Hope, please please please please please!!!
Positive pregnancy test.  Run to the school, meet Zack after his class, share the good news.
So excited. Very panicked.  How will this work out?  Mostly excitement.  We will tell parents over Thanksgiving!
Blood. LOTS of tears. Miscarriage.
Maybe next month.

Hope, please please please please please!
Waiting,hoping, waiting and hoping, waiting and hoping.
Blood. Tears. Not Pregnant. 
Doctors. Testing.

November 2011
Hope, please please please please please!
Write a poem. Record Zack reading the poem! SO excited! We feel ready!
 We will tell family over Christmas.
Blood. SOOO many tears.  Miscarriage. Heart broken.
Maybe next month.

Hope, please please please please please!
Waiting,hoping, waiting and hoping, waiting and hoping.
Blood. Tears. Not Pregnant. 
Doctors. Testing.

Many absolutely amazing things happened during these years.  I do not want to paint a picture that the first 4.5 years of our marriage was horrible because that could not be farther from the truth.  We were very happy.  We grew closer in love and learned to understand each other that I believe wouldn't have been the same had we had children when we wanted to.  We are very lucky to have each other.  We witnessed many miracles and have grown more than we expected.  I love Zack more than I ever thought I could love another human being.  He is more than I could have imagined for myself and if we never ever had children, he would be enough for me.  There would be heartache involved, of course! But he would be more than I could ask for.  All that being said, infertility is no joke. It freaking sucks, and it is a trial that honestly makes no logical sense at all. People who are most of the time very fit to be parents who don't get to raise the families that they dreamed of.  It is a beast. While I am currently pregnant with what will hopefully be our first child, I still know that I will most likely still suffer from infertility my whole life.  I will always miss those sweet spirits that were miscarriages, and this will be a lifelong challenge.  I am so grateful for my beautiful growing family, and I hope that others can witness our miracle and it will give them comfort for their future families as well.  Now, if you want to know what it was like when we found out and a little about the doctors, you can read the next post! If not... This one to me is the bulk of our story.