‘Tis the Season


This will be my daughter’s second Christmas. Last year we barricaded the Christmas tree with play yards to keep her from crawling up the tree. It is so exciting to see her light up with all the fun decorations and Christmas goodies!

I have started sharing with her about the new baby coming. It is so sweet to see her lift up my shirt and point and say baby and see her mind try to wrap around that complex thought. As I look back to Vivienne’s birth, I remember being ready to explode just 2 Christmas’s ago. I was already having contractions and still tried to put up my Christmas tree. She was born on January 9th. She missed Christmas and I was fine with that as she would have been here too early for us to enjoy her anyway.

This was my first successful embryo adoption birth and my daughter was very big. She was 8 lbs at 37 weeks when she was born. In utero, I remember feeling like she was going to be a big baby. I wondered if this was an embryo adoption connection or just her. When she was born she looked like 40 weeks, hands down. I remember watching everyone’s faces in the delivery room that day; everyone was amazed at how beautifully big she came out. I was border-line gestational diabetic; however, I kept things under control with my diet. The thought of a 10-pound baby was quite scary! Diet control for sure!

I am looking forward to not delivering so close to Christmas with this second birth. It will be nice to be over the birth tiredness and back to a barricaded tree again next Christmas. It is strange at this time to think about how there will be two siblings together. It will be interesting to observe their similarities and differences. I truly hope they will be close siblings! Attached is a picture of Vivienne putting up the Christmas tree! This is the look she gives me looking at Christmas lights! So magical!



At 14 Weeks


I turned 14 weeks this weekend. Last week, I had my ultrasound to check on the subchorionic bleed and check on baby. It was a relief to receive good news that my bleed was smaller and baby was doing well. I have reached the end of the first trimester and am excited to move on to the second.

The last two weeks have been “break the news weeks” with family and close friends. I decided in the beginning that I would wait as long as I needed to share the “secret”. In the past it has seemed it has been more about everyone’s feelings than what I feel I needed to do for myself. I also wanted to prepare to deal with the long-range of reactions that are not always so sweet and caring. Overall people have not been surprised. Most of the reactions have been very commonplace (that’s nice, let’s talk about something else). I was prepared for that, too! I feel as I get older I am more comfortable to have boundaries and care less about what people think of me and my situation. I just find it very odd how excited people can be for a pregnancy that is considered your first and how unexciting when siblings come along. The mood and the perception of this can change greatly.

I would love to hear from Mom’s on how they welcomed a sibling and if their families were excited or just matter-of-fact about the new addition. It’s too bad that the first one can receive so much of the glory. Having twins seems like a win-win situation as both babies get the beauty of celebrating together and all the attention at once. I don’t have twins but that would be my opinion.

I wanted to share the sweet picture of my current ultrasound. I hope and pray things will continue to go well in my pregnancy. I am so thankful we were chosen for this wonderful little person to be a part of our family! Thanks to all those who pray for the souls of those frozen babies and advocate for their lives. I appreciate your thoughts and prayers, too! If any moms out there who want to write, my email is sarahandaspen@yahoo.com. I would love to hear from you.


Nausea Season


Thanksgiving is over but the season for yummy great food is still present. As I turn 13 weeks my nausea is still going strong. I have been researching and pulling all the resources to conquer the monster! It is amazing how quickly it comes on and how each pregnancy can be so different from the last. This is the first pregnancy that I get more nausea as the day goes on and by evening it is hard to eat at all. The crackers by the bed trick are not an option as my nausea attacks are quite good in the mornings. I have turned to ginger and lemon tea, which has helped for quick relief but does not help for long. Protein helps and staying away from sugars, carbs and spicy food. Eating more frequently and less food at one time helps, too. I experienced this weekend that club soda with a little of cranberry juice brought calm to the storm!

I really wanted to do some research on nausea and reasons behind women’s struggles with this during pregnancy. I also am wondering if taking the hormones for the transfer contributes to more nausea than in a regular pregnancy. In my case it has. I have read articles dealing with hormones, diet to h-pylori. It is problematic as there seems to not be one clear answer on what causes nausea in pregnancy and it appears to be a different cause from person to person. It did help me to research all the possible remedies that can help. Currently, I have had to stop my prenatal vitamins as I cannot keep them down and they make me sick all day long. I have had to compensate with natural nutrients. It is frustrating to not take them – and not taking them gives me a sense of the lousy-mom syndrome.

Dealing with diet and problems with pregnancy can leave women with emotional baggage without proper counsel or friendships during pregnancy. Personally, I have had to call on different health professionals and friends to help me deal with my issues. My goal in the end is to feel like I have done every thing possible for the best outcome for my baby – but, even then, outcomes can still turn out bad. I am hoping and praying for a healthy baby outcome from this pregnancy.

Thanksgiving Cheers!


Happy Thanksgiving to all NEDC Moms! November is another month of adoption transfers at NEDC. How exciting! As an NEDC mom, I am praying for the women, embryos, and staff of NEDC. I know there will be success stories along with disappointment of those who didn’t get the outcome they had hoped for. I do want to encourage those who are feeling worried and those who have experienced loss that hope is what helps us all survive the good with the bad. God has a divine plan for each family and each frozen miracle.

I look back at all the struggles and pain in my past and can now see it was taking the good with the bad that gave me hope to continue to seek what God had planned for me. I am so thankful and relieved that I didn’t quit and give up when the struggles were hard and outcomes disappointing. I also realize now that the pain of loss and struggles through this journey have given me strength and a voice with friends and women who have crossed my path in times of need. If I had not experienced what miscarriage is and pain of pregnancy problems and birth disappointments with C-Sections, I would be less effective in helping those who struggle when they have crossed my path in this life.

Thanksgiving will be a struggle this year as I am too nauseous to enjoy food and have to skip the pumpkin pie as sugar makes it unbearable! I am willing to choose to be thankful and embrace it all because of the gift of life inside. I will take time this week to be thankful for the gains and losses in my life and the beauty in simplicity and complexity. I hope we “Moms” can reflect on those precious moments that come through hard work and be thankful with all the gifts that God brings through life and relationships.

Blessing From Above


Thanksgiving is right around the corner. I am 11 weeks this week and am excited to celebrate the season with family, great food, and a heart of thankfulness. I am still struggling with nausea but it seems to be getting a little better each week. I am looking forward to the season; however, that is not what has been on my mind as much as the Thanksgiving family gathering.

I have been trying to figure out the best time to tell the family about my pregnancy. It is a hard decision as people’s reactions can be very different. I feel after you have more than one child, announcing a pregnancy seems to be more difficult when dealing with people, especially family. There are those people who will not see adding a child to your life as a beautiful gift, but a burden or bad money decision. Even my own mom has said in the past, “Aren’t you busy enough?”! It is so off on how God has helped me to see the lives of my children and the gift of adoption! And the hardest part is that I have to see these people again and again.

I know I should not care what people think, even my own family, but it is hard to find the right time and words to share what is important to me. I know this will be my last pregnancy and I don’t want it ruined by what people feel about my situation. I feel like hiding for the rest of this event because I don’t want anybody raining on my parade! Currently, there are a lot of families sharing their announcements on Facebook. I am still thinking about that option – then I won’t have to be face to face with the people who feel the need to express their opinions far too strongly.

I haven’t decided yet when to announce my secret, and may not at all and just let people see the beautiful package that grows inside. I know now what I have decided to focus on for the season and what’s precious to me, and that is the gift of my children and supportive husband. In Matthew 19:14, Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” That is where my heart will be this season.

Attached is Vivienne, almost 22 months, in her Olaf costume Halloween 2014. IMG_0774



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!

Hearts Beating


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.