Update

Sarah

Last week, I reached 9 weeks and had my 2nd ultrasound. I was so excited, nervous and waiting in anticipation that everything would be normal and growing strong. The baby was measuring accurately and the HB was 188. It was awesome to behold! It was a full circle of new memories and closure of sorrow and pain. The doctor that was helping me was a physician that had tried many years to help us conceive. He had grieved with our loss and pain along with us. He met my daughter for the first time and now was able to see us through with a surprise sibling for her. He himself was very surprised with the success we have had with embryo adoption.

Seven years ago, I would have never been able to see the future of healing and hope God has brought us. I am so thankful in the wonderful blessing of finding NEDC and the stories that have given us hope, as well as experiencing embryo adoption ourselves. Now, again, I have the joy of a new life growing inside me. It is defiantly a highlight of the holiday as Thanksgiving approaches.

I have not revealed our news to family as I am still struggling with my emotions and the pregnancy outcome. I was told I had a subchorionic bleed near the baby. I had this with my first successful pregnancy; however, this was one was larger than the last one. It just looked very scary on the ultrasound. I have had no bleeding but I am hoping and praying this will go away and it will be uneventful during the pregnancy. I have done my research on this and know this can be common with IVF. However, I have read stories of bad outcomes and women who did not have a live baby in the end. I know I will be getting follow-up testing done. I am holding on with hope and prayers all will be fine and we will have the sibling we have been dreaming of!

Graem’s 4 Month Check-Up

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I breathed a huge sigh of relief coming out of Graem’s 4-month-checkup.

After a bumpy start to life, he is finally on par with other full-term babies. He weighed in at 13.9 lbs (60th percentile, age adjusted), and is in the 75th percentile (age adjusted) for height at over 25 inches.

He also laughed the entire visit.

He’s not yet rolling over, which many 4 monthers are, so there is a bit of his prematurity showing there.

The doctor gave the “go” for solid foods, and I headed straight to the grocery store. I love shopping for baby food.

We tried carrots first. And, I think maybe he got a total of one teaspoon in his mouth.

He’s sleeping between 5-8 hours straight at night, and averages 4 naps/day.

He loves going on runs in the stroller with me.

He adores playing with his older brother. Sienna still mostly keeps a safe distance from him.

He loves to be tickled on his inner thigh, and his collar bone.

He loves baths.

He is the kind of baby that makes you think you could do another 3 more.

Dot, dot, dot.

Sigh.

Here he is on Halloween, wearing the same costume Brae wore home from the hospital.

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Hearts Beating

Sarah

I will finally have my second ultrasound next week. I am so excited! I do feel everything is right on track. I do hope and pray for good news. On my first ultra sound, my baby’s heartbeat was 120. With my first successful transfer, my baby girl always had a high heart rate when I had my ultrasounds (over 160). I have been doing my research again on heartbeats and gender differences. This was actually a thesis I was going to research for my Midwife degree. I am fortunate to know many midwives and doctor friends. When I started training I was very curious to see for myself this correlation of heartbeats and gender identification. I still have many questions and more research to do.

The blogs are full of this discussion, and I am curious to see if my baby’s heartbeat will be higher or lower on this next ultrasound. In my research, some of my conclusions are that heartbeats are not always consistent with gender identification. I don’t feel in my opinion that God would have made it that easy. However, I did find a study in the journal of Pediatric Research which did a study on newborns and heartbeat rhythms. Their conclusion was that boys do have a slightly lower heart rate than girls. I have also done some interviews with some professionals and most have told me that boys struggle at birth more than girls do in stressful situations. If the baby is slightly premature, a newborn girl frequently does better than if it is a boy. If there are twins that are born premature, and one is a girl and one is a boy, many neonatal specialists and nurses expect the girl to do better and improve faster if both are initially distressed. Boys can run lower in their heartbeat rhythms and become higher over time.

I know it should not matter at all, as long as it is healthy baby! I also will not be disappointed by any gender, for this pregnancy is an awesome wonderful gift! It has been fun to research, interview and see for myself the differences of gender in the womb. I hope to do more research in fetal development and gender differences. It would be nice to hear from others what experiences they have had with heart rate and gender outcomes.

Halloween Baby

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Today is Brae’s 6th birthday. In honor of my Halloween baby, I thought I’d share his birth story for those who may not know.

We had been on the adoption wait list for nearly 7 months before we got the call that Brae’s birthmom had seen our profile and wanted to meet us. She was the first birthmom who had actually wanted to meet us. We’d had numerous “false starts” before her.

We drove nearly 3 hours to meet her for the first time. It was September, and she was due in early November. We met at a Mexican restaurant for lunch. It was us, our case worker, her, her sister, and her mother.

I remember thinking she was radiant. A petite young girl, age 23, with a basketball under her shirt. I was so nervous, I didn’t eat a thing.

We all stumbled through the conversation, clearly in uncharted territory. We gave her a small bag of gifts we had brought – magazines, books, little things to occupy her during her labor.

At one point, she asked us if we had picked out names. She had decided to not know the gender, so she asked if we had a boy and a girl name.

We told her we did not yet have a boy name, but we had a girl name. It was Hannah.

The room fell silent.

Oh no, I thought. She doesn’t like our name. What could that mean? Will she still allow us to adopt this baby?

Then, she broke the silence with a smile.

“That’s my last name.”

Chills. Up to that point, we had only known her first name. To have our chosen girl name be her last name was truly a God thing.

The next day, she chose us to be the family for the child she was carrying.

Fast forward a few weeks, and we got the call that she was going to be induced. On Halloween. It was a Friday. The same as this year.

We had our last supper as a family of 2 (we hoped!), and drove the 3 hours down to the hospital. We stayed in a hotel on October 30, and the next morning, went to the hospital.

She allowed us to be present for the labor and delivery. When I walked in the room, she looked at me and smiled, “Are you ready to be a mom?”

I lost it.

Over the next several hours, we talked with her and her family, prayed with her, and otherwise encouraged her as she made her way through the labor process. At one point, she turned to us and said, “You know, I never asked if you had a boy name picked out.”

Tygh and I looked at each other. We had just decided the day before.

“Well, it’s a little unusual. But we like Brae.”

Again, the room fell silent. The familiar feeling of “Is she going to like it?” raced through my mind.

She again broke the silence with a smile. “My middle name is Rae.”

God was present.

I held her hand as she pushed our baby out, and then when the doctor revealed it was a boy, watched as they placed him on her abdomen.

I cut the cord.

Life breathed.

Our birthmom is an incredible woman. For many reasons. But all could see it that day, from the nursing staff, to the doctors, to the caseworkers.

She allowed us to completely assume the role of his parents from literally his first breath. We bathed him. We fed him. We changed him. We held him.

And, as the night wore on, she asked if I would sleep in the room with her and Brae.

I did.

Not much sleeping went on that night, however. She and I just talked. It was magical.

The next day, she was discharged, and he was officially ours.

The hospital put him in a pumpkin costume, and we saddled up for the ride home. I sat in the back with him, holding his hands the whole way.

Six years later, and I haven’t stopped.