Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Million Dollar Family

Our daughter, Everlie Linda Kathleen Waite, is finally here.  

She was named after her grandma and her great grandma, the strong line of amazing women that came before her, and taught me everything I know about how to be both a mother, a daugther, a wife, and a friend. 

On early Saturday morning, at 12:37am, after 8.5 hours of birth and about 15 minutes of active pushing… our daughter made her entrance into our world, lives, and hearts. Everlie was born into the world and placed up on her mommy’s chest as daddy cut the umbilical cord.

She is an amazing gift sent to us from above.   After everything we have been through, all that we have endured --- she is finally here…


It was such a different birth experience this time. With Cooper’s 61 hour birth, he was born with Nana, Grandpa, Grandma, our midwife, and doula in the room as our support team. Everlie was born with just the two of us, her mommy and daddy.   The only thing that could have made this moment more perfect is having my mom here to share it with. But I felt her all around me in spirit, looking down at her daughter and new grandaughter – and giving us all the strength and love in the world.

For all of those, who wonder whether IVF and all the struggles in your life that you are going through are worth it -- the answer, hopefully, will one ay be the same as mine -- a resounding, amazing, wonderful YES!

We finally have the million dollar family, a son and a daughter -- twevle years after we said "I do".  And in the end, they were worth every single penny, every single treatment, and every single moment of indecision, hopelessness, and heartbreak along the way.   They are the light, the hope, the miracle, and the dream.  They are everything we've ever hoped for and asked for.  

We are truly blessed.

Thank you dear God.  

Thank you. Thank you.  Thank you.



Friday, October 19, 2012

The Next Best Thing

Today we will meet our daughter.

Not the way we wanted, and not the way we planned. But I’m starting to realize that ‘the next best thing’ is something that I’m going to have to get used to in this life, where the perfect plan just doesn’t exist.

As much as we wanted to have this baby come on her own terms, and as much as we wanted her to come on time or early, here we are 11 days overdue and heading to the hospital to be induced. It certainly wasn’t the plan, yet here we are... abandoning our vision for this birth and moving on to our next best option. Surrendering to the process. Surrendering my expectations. And surrendering to all the things that I cannot control nor change.

Its been a long year. IVF, extreme morning sickness, a big uncomfortable overdue pregnancy.... and finally, soon, it’s all going to be behind us.

Our angel baby is on her way.

We pray that your transition into this world is peaceful and full of love.

Mommy and Daddy love you sweet baby. And we cannot wait to hold you in our arms.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Falling leaves. Crisp air. Rain puddles. A new school year. All signs that summer has left us, and a new season is on the way.

Fall is the season of reflection, comfort, and gratitude – as we hunker together as families, eat pumkin pie, and prepare ourselves for the cold winter ahead. But always knowing that spring, and yes, even the magical invincible summer, will come once again.

Fall for me, is always a reflection on the circle of life. And this year is no different. Today we say goodbye to our dog Phinnegan, of 15 years. Our sweet baby who has been with us through everything and never left our side. Today, he will be our last day together. And as we prepare to say goodbye to our faithful friend, we also prepare to say hello to our new baby. In two weeks, our daughter will be here. Reminding me, not only of the miracle of life, but also, that the circle continues – as the two year anniversary of my own mothers death fast approaches.

Life is not always what we expect. The ebb and flow of the seasons – and life – remind us that life is to be lived, in the here and now. That every day is a special gift. And that, we must make the most of each day we have been given. Good or bad. Hard or fun. Excruciating or filled with joy. These are the moments that make our memories, that carve out our truth, that create our legacies. These are the moments that make us who we are. Each step along the way, a unique path, a gift, a cruel curse, an amazing blessing... this is life, in all it’s harsh and wonderful glory.

I am going to be a mother again. To a daughter this time. A dream I thought I would share with my own mother... three generations of mothers and daughters. The holy grail of what I always imagined my life would be like. A picture in my head, similar to my own upbringing, with my own mother and grandmother.

But my mother and daughter will never meet.

A fact that it so unthinkable, I almost block it out of my head entirely. Sometimes I wonder how that is even possible. I was so lucky to have a mom and a grandma to build an amazing relationship with. I grew up with the love of both of these women. Talking on the phone, visiting, always a big part of each others lives. And I didn’t lose my grandma until I was 34. And even then, I thought it was too early. I figured she should have lived another ten years. So to lose my mom three years after my grandma passed away was a horrible shock. I always assumed that I would have the same three generations of my own.

I never imagined that my daughter and mother would never even meet. Even now, almost two years later, sometimes the phones rings, and just for a moment, I forget -- and think it’s my mom. My heart leaps with happiness for a few seconds, until I realize that she’s gone, and that whoever is on the other end, can never be her. It’s at this moment when I break down into tears, leave the phone ringing, and snap back to reality. My mom is really gone. But not a day goes by when I don’t think about her. I wish she was here to see Cooper grow, to help me when I’m bogged down and overwhelmed, to go shopping with me, to go out to lunch, to call and invite me over to dinner, and to crawl into bed and watch a girlie movie and have some of our favorite snacks. There are days when I miss her so desperately, I break down sobbing, and other days, when I just think of her happily. My days are mostly filled with happiness, but my sadness still comes in waves. Tides. Seasons. With the ebb and flow of life. But to me, my mom, is and always will be my home. She was my security. My faith. My unconditional love and support. She was my everything. My heart. My home. And always will be. She was my world. My first love. My biggest fan. My best friend. My soft place to fall. And my undying, unconditional love and supporter. Even now that she’s gone, I know, without a shadow of a doubt that there is nobody on this earth who could or will ever love me more. And just knowing I could always count on her, pick up the phone and call her, laugh with her, complain to her, ask her for help, and fall into her arms when something was wrong, was the best, safest, most complete feeling in the world. And something I just took for granted. Something I counted on having forever. Or at least until she was very old and the natural life cycle took her from me at the right time.

But I know my mom would be so happy to know that I am going to have a daughter of my own. That I will once again have that mother/daughter bond in my life. And so am I. I am filled with gratitude and wonder at the thought. Maybe the mix of happiness and sadness is what has kept me from blogging about my pregnancy for all this time. It’s been so raw with emotions on both ends of the spectrum, that I felt I had little to say, and that even if I did, my thoughts would be jumbled and incoherent – and filled with sadness and guilt.

This pregnancy has been one of the most difficult experiences of my life. Physically, I have had a very difficult time, and emotionally, at points I slipped into a dark hole of depression. I had round the clock morning sickness for the first two trimesters. I was in and out of hospitals, so weak and sick that I could not take care of Cooper and needed my mother-in-law to move in to help, and I worried constantly about the huge amount of medication and lack of nutrition and vitamins this baby was getting. But more concerning was the depression that I slipped into.

It’s crazy to want something more than anything, and when you finally get it, you can’t enjoy it. I was so sick and so miserable that all I could do was cry and wonder when I would ever feel like myself again. The terrible retching would never end, and was, hands down, the worst days of my life -- no question. And if you can handle the awful truth -- I even prayed to lose the baby, just so that I could get some relief. I even wondered if having an abortion would be my only possible relief -- a disgusting, horrifying thought that I hated myself for. I mean, how crazy is it to go through all these IVF treatments, to want it more than anything, to take the meds, and spend the money, and then when you finally get it – just wish it would all go away. Not my finest moment as a mother, or even as a person.

But such is life. Isn’t it? A jumbled, incoherent, mess of emotional highs and lows. Of joys and sorrows. Of past, present, and future...

And here I am today. I made it through.

The barfing did, finally, stop. The depression, did, finally, lift. The sorrow, has, finally, turned into joy.

And I wait, with much anticipation, and yes, once again, hope -- for her to arrive.

My angel, my miracle, my daughter...

My heart.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Checking in …

Hi everyone,

It’s been a long time since I’ve been here.

Everything’s OK with my growing little embryo, but I’ve been completely out of commission with Hyperemesis Gravidium. Haven’t been able to drag myself from my bathroom to my computer.

The first ultrasound nearly 2 weeks ago showed the sac, and a 100bpm heart. Just a few beats below the normal range, so a bit concerning, but CCRM said 100 is just fine at this point, don’t worry.

Next ultrasound is this coming Tuesday, but I’m just surviving one hour at a time right now. Hopefully I’ll be able to update shortly after that ultrasound.


Friday, February 10, 2012

More Bleeding & Nausea

The past two days I've had major nausea, a tell-tale sign that everything is okay. I was sick 24 hours a day for 5 months with Cooper and it was awful -- so I hope that's not a sign of another rough pregnancy. But just when I convinced myself that the nausea had to mean that everything was okay, I started to bleed again. The bright red blood is so scary to see, and puts me right back on the rollercoaster ride wondering if everything is going to be okay.

Our ultrasound next Wednesday can't come soon enough.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Bleeding Stopped!

After a couple hours of thinking that this was it, the bleeding stopped as quickly as it came.

It stayed away all last night and today.

So I'm hoping that means I'm in the clear!!

We'll know for sure next week at the ultra sound.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012



I just went to the bathroom and my panty-liner had red blood, and I wiped and I had deep red blood. More than just pink watery spotting I had during the week of implantation.

We called our clinic to let them know about this. And to let them know that my beta #3 that I had yesterday came back at (3200). 16dp5dt. Which is a good beta number. But then let them know about the bleeding today. They suggested I change my panty liner. If it soaks through in a half an hour, to call back immediately. This is a very bad sign. But if it doesn't, it could just be bleeding caused from the progesterone supositories that I'm still taking.

I do not feel good about this.

Now I guess it's just a wait and see.

And try to stay as calm as possible.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Pregnancy Symptoms -- Before Beta Test

And just because we can't help ourselves...

No matter how hard we may try not to obsess during our two week waits...

I have posted a complete list of pregnancy symptoms during my 2ww, starting with the day of my 5 day transfer:

Transfer Day - BED REST all day. No symptoms. A little sore and tired.

1dp5dt – achiness in ovaries, lower back pain. Probably from the bed rest. BED REST

2dp5dt – sharp, brief pain in left nipple early in the morning. Tired. Achy lower back. Slow, strong pulsating heartbeat. Indigestion, a bit of gas. (also ate Mexican today), a little bit nauseous. Some tingly breast pains (left breast) in the evening. OUT OF BED, BUT JUST MOVING SLOWLY AROUND THE HOTEL ROOM.

3dp5dt – Soreness in the abdomen late in the day.
Overnight – woke up with wave of nausea (about 5 mins). Happened twice. TRAVEL DAY.

4dp5dt - Tender ovaries/abdomen area. A little crampy (like period but not quite). Easily tired. Can just feel something down there – a heaviness. Hot flashes. FIRST DAY HOME. BACK TO NORMAL ACTIVITY, EXCEPT FOR THE LIFTING AND EXCERCISE RESTRICTION.

5dp5dt – Nothing for most of the day. Crampy, heavy, tender feeling in abdomen (Feels kind of like period is coming). Hot flashes.

6dp5dt – Constipated. A funny steel-taste in my mouth. Tender, crampy abdomen – almost like a tightening, tugging, uncomfortable feeling. No nausea, but the feeling that comes after you barf, just a yucky feeling. A feeling that “I think I’m pregnant” – so much so that I said it out loud. A tickly breathing sensation. Extremely tried. A pulsing in my stomach, slow and steady. Thirsty.

7dp5dt – No symptoms all morning. No symptoms afternoon/evening, except being tired. Worried that I was wrong.

8dp5dt – Woke up in morning, still no symptoms. Felt so strongly that something was happening a few days ago, and now nothing. Dull ache in ovaries. Tired. Extremely tired in afternoon. No feeling in stomach though. Thirsty and a slight headache.

9dp5dt – Blood test morning. No symptoms really in the morning. About 10 minutes of cramps that felt like period cramps. Watery Pink Spotting at 2pm. Worried if this is my period. More pink watery spotting at 3pm. Some more period cramps. A little nausea and heartburn. BETA #1 came back 193!!!

10dp5dt – Spacey feeling, Blurred, vision, a little dizzy. Very tired.

11dp5dt - Dull Period-like cramps. Nothing else to speak of. BETA #2 came back at 385! It doubled exactly!

12dp5dt- Slightly tender breasts, headache, dull period cramps, tired.

And here is a link to my blog, from the symptoms I recorded before my first pregnancy for comparision. I know we all try not to obsess, but who am I kidding, it's all we do. I know everyone is different, but you might as well have some real symptoms to compare yours to:

GOOD LUCK to everyone out there who is waiting on your beta. I know it's hard, but try to remember, it's out of your hands. You've done the best that you can do. And whatever the outcome, you should be proud of yourself.

I am sending out a virtual blanket of hugs, blessings and miracles to every single one of you.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Beta #2 is in!

It doubled, exactly!

Our second beta came in at 385. Which means, the reality is setting in. I am PREGNANT. We are going to have another baby!

Cooper will have a brother or sister. Or maybe even both!

It really is an amazing success story, when you think that we tried for years and years and were given up on by one of the top fertility clinic's in the Northwest, who said, and I quote, "You have a less than 5% chance of this ever happening, even with IVF. I'm sorry. I don't think we can help you anymore."

And here I am. 36 years old (much, much older than when we started, with worse odds and worse eggs, and a partner with even worse sperm) and here we are. Pregnant. With our second child! I honestly didn't think we would ever have even one. Let alone two. I know we aren't out of the woods yet, I know we could lose this pregnancy, I know any list of bad things could still happen. But right now, we are pregnant, and we are going to celebrate it! These are the moments you wait for and hope for in life and so, they are worth celebrating, no matter what the final outcome. So, it's time to put worry on the backburner and enjoy what is right here, right now. And squeeze every ounce of happiness out of it that we can.

And in the meantime, CCRM will continue to test my hormones every week and start to wean me off my meds. And on Feb. 15th I will have an ultrasound to see if there is a sac and a heartbeat. And if all is well, I will graduate to an OBGYN.

I can still hardly believe all this happened.

CCRM is truly the land where miracles happen, and I am blessed to be one of their amazing success stories.

Thank you Dr. Schoolcraft and John Stevens...

For everything.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Beta Day...

When the phone rang last night, it was a much different experience than when CCRM called us about Cooper.

We weren’t waiting by the phone patiently. We didn’t even expect the call to come until possibly the next day, but we had our phone with us.... just in case.

We went to a family swim with Cooper. Since I can’t go in the water, I sat on the ledge and watched my two boys splash about. Afterwards we went tobogganing on some small hill. And then we went to Boston Pizza for dinner.

We were in the middle of dinner at Boston Pizza when the call came in.

Dave’s cell phone rang and both our hearts leaped out of our chest as we saw the call display was from CCRM.

Dave answered, but they asked to speak with me. I told Dave no, for him to take the call. So he got back on the phone and said my wife would rather you give me the news. I’m not sure what exactly I was avoiding. Either we were or we weren’t. But for some reason, I felt overcome with emotion and didn’t want to know.

And then I heard Dave’s voice.....

We were pregnant.

Our beta came back at a whopping 193!

We are pregnant.

We are really pregnant.

After years and years of not getting pregnant and then finally getting a miracle at CCRM – I’m almost stunned to think that it could happen again.

I was overcome with happiness. And then suddenly, overcome with sadness. The one person in the world, the only person I wanted to call was my mom. I remember calling her immediately after we got the news about Cooper. And now, she wasn’t here. The feelings that rose up inside me were almost too much to bear. Not having my mom to share in this joy felt wrong, and lonely. And the thought that my mom will never know one of my children crushed me in pieces.

You see, up until now I have sort of been emotionally shut down from this IVF cycle. I haven’t intentionally shut myself down, but in many ways I’ve managed to stay detached. It was almost as if this wasn’t really happening to me, like I was just checking in on a friends progress from time to time to see how they were making out and if the cycle worked or not. I felt excited, the way I might for a really good friend, waiting and wondering whether they will get pregnant. But I also feel like I could shrug it off, the way I might if this was happening to a friend and not me. “Not pregnant? Oh, too bad. What do you think we should have for dinner?” I felt like I hadn’t really given myself permission to really think about these embryos. To picture them as my little babies, that I’ll one day be holding in my arms. I didn’t want to get emotionally detached, only to have the test say no. And even worse, somewhere deep down, I wasn’t sure I really had faith in miracles anymore. I wasn’t sure that I really believed that with hope, all things are possible. Because deep down, I felt if those things were true, my mom would still be here today. I would have done anything in the world for my mom to survive her cancer. Anything. I prayed harder than I ever prayed, even than for a child. Yet, she is not here. And so part of me felt like, there was no point hoping or praying for a miracle, because they simply did not exist.

Yet, here we were. Given another miracle.

After of of the longest darkest road of our life, Cooper miraculously came to us, and blessed us with becoming a family.

And now, after losing my mom, the hardest loss I can ever imagine knowing, our two embryo’s have miraculously implanted inside me, blessing us with a the hope of new life.

Our test came back positive.

They are REAL.

And it’s clear to me. That this baby (or babies) needs me to open my heart up to the beauty of miracles once again. To the magic of joy, and love, and yes.... hope.

We are blessed.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Transfer Day

Our embryos are finally home… where they belong.

After blood work this morning we took a walk in the hills above the CCRM office. We did a bit of shopping, had lunch, did our scentless, soapless showers and relaxed before the transfer.

Here I am meditating in my Think Positive embryo shirt – the same one I wore before our last (successful!) transfer with Cooper.


We’re excited and all ready to hopefully expand our family.


I was nervous in the transfer room but we played our hypnosis scripts and visualized our embryos surviving the thaw and ready to come home.


On the wall in front of me was a birch tree painting which reminded me instantly of my mom. I felt her presence in the room and knew that she would be with me during the transfer.


I held Dave’s hand and in the other I held this rock – the same “good luck rock” we had since we were trying with Cooper. My mom and dad held on to it the last time for us and today we brought it with us for good luck.


Our embryologist John Stevens (the miracle worker, and the same embryologist we had with Cooper) wheeled in our embryos in their fancy high tech mobile home, dimmed the lights and we got started.

I’m happy to report that both embryos survived the thaw without any damage, wear or tear. We were so relieved!

Dr. Gustofson transferred 2 embryos (one 4AA and one 4BA). The 4BA embryo which was frozen on day 6 two and a half months ago started expanding a bit upon being thawed, the other one (which was frozen on day 5) was also very healthy but didn’t expand in the dish this morning after it was thawed which is perfectly fine as well.


The transfer was a little hairy at first until Dr. Gustafson did a couple practice transfers to navigate my tricky cervix, but the embryos were loaded in with no problem in the end. Here we are moments after the transfer. We rested at CCRM for an hour, they wheeled me in a wheelchair down to the car and got me laying flat, and now home (at the hotel) on 48 hours bed rest.


And the moment you’ve all been waiting for – our 2 perfect embryos!!

The one on the left is the advanced expanded blast and the one on the right is the advanced blast (that looks just like Cooper!)


I can hardly believe it –

We are PUPO with twins!!
(Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

And, we're here!

I can’t believe we’re here.

We’re really finally here!

After a whirlwind week of wondering if this cycle would even go ahead – we have arrived in Denver and are all set for our embryo transfer in the morning. Even though I have a sore throat and stuffy nose, nothing should be compromised.

We ended up having to leave Cooper and nana at home (which wasn’t part of the plan) and come just the two of us. This will mark the first time that we’ve ever been away from Cooper for more than a night. And we’ll be gone for 4 nights to be exact. Arriving today and leaving Monday – after 48 hours of bed-rest. I was so sad to leave him for that long, but we know it's for a good reason, and we know him and nana will have their own little great adventure together while we are gone. Even so, I already miss him like crazy!

So after a long travel day, tonight we are cozied up in our hotel room together, drinking herbal tea, eating snacks, missing our little guy, and thinking about what will happen tomorrow. Will our embryo’s survive the thaw? Will they be worse for wear? Will we have a smooth successful transfer? Will our two little embryo’s snuggle up tight and get ready to implant? It’s anyone’s guess.

All we can do is think positive and hope for the best.

And see it in our dreams.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Life's Hiccups

I went to London today for my bloodwork and ultrasound today and my results looked great!

Estradiol 429.8 (they like it over 300)
LH 9.4 (they like it under 15)
Progesterone 0.46 (they like it under 1.0)
Uterus Lining was 9.7 (They like it over 8)

So we were given the green light to go ahead and book our airfare to fly out on Wednesday!


In the meantime, we took Cooper to Emergency for a fever (and cough) that had lasted 6 days. And the results came back that he has tonsillitis. His throat is red and covered in white spots and his ears are inflamed and sore. No wonder he’s been so sick! So it’s a good thing we took him. The bad news is that she started him is that he may not be able to fly with us and Wednesday. The doctor said it will take 7-10 days for it to clear, even though we should start to see improvement within 3. But she does not recommend we fly with him if he has a fever, sore ears because of cabin pressure, and simple because he could catch other things from the airplane because his resistance is low. Nana and Cooper were planning to come with us, as being away from him for 5 days was not in the cards. But if they have to stay home, at least nana will be with him (and grandpa for the first little bit too). So for now we have put the brakes on purchasing his airfare until Tuesday to see how he is feeling.

Hiccup number two is that for the past 24 hours I’ve been feeling sick (Sore throat). Since tonsillitis and strep is contagious, I had them take a swab of my throat too, to see if I have it. I have already had my tonsils out so that is the good news! But since my throat is very sore, it could either be the beginnings of a cold (not great to have a viral infection, but still doable) or it could be the a bacterial infection like strep, in which case I may have to cancel my frozen embryo transfer. We have to wait to speak with our nurse on Monday to see what she thinks, and my results won’t come back until Tuesday. I know I can’t take antibiotics to clear it while going through an FET. And I certainly don’t want my body to be fighting off a bacterial infection when we transfer our embryo’s, because I want my body healthy and in the best shape to accept our embryos.

So for now, I drink tea, try to get some rest, give Cooper his medication and WAIT...

It’s all out of my control, so all I can do is sit back, try to stay calm, and wait to see what happens. And try to remember to breathe, stop trying to control, and surrender.

Whatever will be will be.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

And we're off! (For the very last time)

Today marks the day of our last IVF cycle, ever.

Well hopefully.

There is still a 10% chance this cycle could get cancelled, but more on that later.

AF arrived two days late, that little minx, I'm sure just to give me one last laugh. But arrived she finally has, and our FET has been scheduled for Jan. 20th.

I started my patches today (thank god no Lupron injections this time). I opted out of the Lupron suppression for this FET, since it doesn't affect the success rates. The month long Lupron injections is really only to guarantee that I don't ovulate before they start me on progesterone. But by going with my natural cycle, I'm usually fairly accurate, so there is only really a 10% chance of this happening. If I ovulate early, we'll know at my suppression check, and will have to cancel the cycle and start the FET process over another month. But I'm fairly confident that won't happen. HA! Confident, yeah right. But I just didn't want to deal with needles and medication over the Christmas season and New Years. I spent so many of my years doing this, and now that I finally have a child that I can enjoy the season with, there was no way I was taking away ANY of the joy. No way in hell. I wanted to relish every single moment with my family and enjoy the miracle of the moment. So after a wonderful, medication and needle-free holiday season, I'm now ready to take on this FET. It's a brand new year and anything is possible -- hello 2012, we're ready!

My new yearly calendar has quotes on it. And the month of January reads: "If a little dreaming is dangerous, the cure for it is not to dream less but ot dream more. To dream all the time. -- Marcel Proust."

I like that quote. And it's very fitting, as I plop an estrogen patch on my big, much too dimpled, butt -- and hope for the best. I can't believe how much time has passed since the beginning of our fertility journey. How much has changed. How much we have gained and how much we have lost. I'm 36 years old, married, with the same great husband and dog, a gorgeous 2 year old son, a supportive father, mother-in-law and father-in-law, living back in Ontario, and minus my mom and best friend.

Life is for the living, my grandma always said. So we are living as best we can -- one day at a time -- and hoping to create another 'life' and miracle that will add to our life in so many new and wonderful ways. In this great big circle of life.

We don't know what will happen, but that's the thing about life... we never do.

All we can do is open our hearts to as much joy and love as possible.

And never, ever, give up hope.