Bird and Belle's Adventures in Marriage


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Eviction Date

Baby Chicken is scheduled to be evicted on July 1 at 40 weeks, 3 days via Cesarean Section.

Baby has been breech since 34 weeks. Actually much longer now that I know that giant hard lump under my right lung was not, in fact, buns of steel like I had hoped. Nope, that big hard lump would be Brains from Jay and the squishy round mass in my lower pelvis would be Buns from Belle – also known as a soft rump that might require daily lunges should Chicken be a girl ūüôā

Today I’m 38 weeks pregnant and have spent the past four weeks desperately trying to turn baby. I’ve done inversions on a board. I’ve burned moxa on my little toes. I’ve gone to a chiropractor for the Webster Technique. I’ve had a breech massage. I’ve done crazy arm stands off my couch, stairs and office chair. I’ve put ice on the top of my belly and heat on the lower belly. I’ve offered up the Alabama Shakes to my lower belly and when it occurred to me that baby might have more Jay’s music taste, switched over to Daft Punk. I’ve visualized baby turning. I’ve listened to a daily breech hypnosis CD. I’ve even ventured to a public pool full of strange children, at least one of whom discussed peeing in the water, to try and get baby to flip.

On Monday we went for the mother of all breech interventions and spent 8 hours in Labor & Delivery for an ECV, a medical procedure where a trained doctor tries to manually turn the baby through your belly. We never even go to the trying part, though, thanks to low fluid level and my oddly shaped placenta.

I been dreaming of my natural birth experience since way before I got pregnant, and even before I started infertility treatments. ¬†A natural, unmediated childbirth was going to renew my faith in this body. It was going to be the empowerment that helped me start healing the wounds left from infertility and loss.¬†The past few weeks have been tearful as I come to terms with the new way our child will enter this world. As my friend eloquently put it, Chicken will make his or her grand entrance by “coming out the sunroof instead of the driver side door.”

I spent a lot of time researching options and new cesarean techniques and decided that if surgical extraction is what it was going to take to get baby here safely, than so be it, but first I’d fight like hell to get a gentler kind of Cesarean that is not often practiced in the U.S.

The video above is a new take on elective¬†cesareans that allows the family to be the focus of the procedure. Operating room chatter is directed at Mom and doctors don’t discuss what they had for dinner or how the Wildcats did. Mom is lucid and aware of what is happening. Baby is removed slowly from the uterus to help with acclimation and cord clamping is delayed. Mom gets to watch as her baby is born and then has baby placed on her chest immediately where all pediatric care is conducted. Baby stays with mom the entire time she is sewn up and then goes with her to recovery where she will receive breast feeding support right away.

I am so, so thankful that the first surgeon I met with has actually watched this video and done his own research on this new method. His eyes lit up when I said this is what I wanted and he was instantly on board, planning out the team that he will assemble to help make my first, and only, birth experience as gentle and special as possible. Within 24 hours he had contacted my family medicine doctor, who has been caring for me during pregnancy and had planned to attend my Natural Birth, to arrange for her to be present and handle pediatrics at my Cesarean Birth. He is recruiting his best nurse and hand selecting which resident will assist. He is excited to have Jay and I help him lead the way to bettering birth at UK.

While I’m still mourning the loss of my natural birth, I am extremely thankful to have found a place where everyone is willing and able to help make Plan B the best experience possible and bring our child into the world safely. Just 17 more sleeps until we find out if Baby Chicken is a Rooster or a Hen!

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Two years coming

70 daily progesterone injections in the bum were taken to support this IVF pregnancy.

12 weeks and 70 injections later.

On December 31, 2010 Jay and I sat in a hotel room in Seattle with take-out and a cheap bottle of champagne. Together we toasted away a year of awesome adventures and challenges. We also toasted away my birth control. As 2011 dawned we eagerly planned our new life as parents and prepared to get serious about baby-making.

By May my cycle had not returned and I was getting the uneasy feeling that something was wrong. We met with multiple doctors, eventually learned I had PCOS and were welcomed to the world of infertility treatment.

Since my diagnosis we have endured:

  • Countless tests
  • 1 failed round of Clomid (a mild ovulation inducing drug) and rare drug reaction
  • 2 failed rounds of ovarian super stimulation with IUI (a more intense ovulation induction using injectable medications)
  • 1 hospitalization due to Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome
  • 1 IVF (in vitro fertilization) egg retrieval
  • 3 frozen embryo transfers
  • 1 miscarriage just shy of 7 weeks
  • 1 D&C surgery to end that pregnancy

The day we lost our pregnancy was by far the hardest day of my life and has forever changed us as individuals and as a couple. Infertility robbed us of so much: trips to see the world and family, joyful holidays, romantic get-a-ways, peaceful time together and the chance to build a family naturally.

On October 10 of this year, my 32 birthday, I drove to my specialist in Ohio to have a final frozen embryo transfer. If this transfer failed we would be facing another full IVF cycle, adoption or living child-free. Five days later I saw a positive pregnancy test. Knowing how quickly this could be taken away, we were simultaneously overjoyed and terrified.

At six weeks an ultrasound revealed a beautiful little blob with tiny heart pounding away. At 10 weeks we saw our 1.5 inch baby moving. We saw him/her stretch up a tiny arm and rub an eye. We saw his/her long legs kick. It was absolutely amazing and incredibly humbling.

I have been dreaming of announcing our first pregnancy via blog post for years. Now that I’m here, though, I’m not sure how to proceed. Today we are 13 weeks pregnant and everything looks good. Unfortunately my journey through infertility has taught me that no one is guaranteed¬†a child; just¬†because¬†today’s pregnancy test is positive does not mean you will bring home a baby in nine months.

Infertility has taught me just how hard “another pregnancy announcement” can be when you are struggling yourself. With one in eight couples suffering from infertility and one in four clinically recognized pregnancies ending in miscarriage or stillbirth there is no good way to share this news, no matter how hard you fought for it. To those still in the infertility trenches or mourning a lost child, my heart and prayers are with you. This is a devastating journey that too often is ignored and looked upon lightly.

Infertility has also taught me that at some point you need to embrace the possibilities. I could spend¬†the¬†next 6 months silently quaking, hiding behind baggy clothing and¬†over-sized¬†coats, or I could step up and share our joy regardless of the risk. I could hang my head in infertile shame for “making it to the other side” or I could stand tall and speak out about infertility and what modern science has helped us achieve – the chance at a family.

So it is with great joy and hope for the future that Jay and I make it official blog news that we are expecting a baby in June 2013. I’ll¬†occasionally¬†share updates here and in time I will open up more about our journey through infertility. As I have said before: I am always happy to chat about our journey or your story off-line – smagargee@gmail.com.