Great Expectations: Julie @ 19 Weeks

pregnant 19w.JPGHello! As you can see, this is my first blog post about my pregnancy. I am 19 weeks pregnant with my first child and we are expecting a little girl in early June. We could not be more thrilled about this baby, particularly as our fertility journey has been a long and arduous one.


A little about me: I’m 40 years old and my husband is 44. We’ve been married for three years, but together for about six. For a while, I believed he was not the right person for me and our relationship was on and off for a couple of years. I could basically quote all of the Survivor song, “The Search is Over,” and that would capture the course of our relationship. By “some miracle of fate,” I finally realized that what I had been looking for -- my "person" was with me all the while. We both had to change a lot to become the right people, both for ourselves and each other, but we made it and have a really great marriage, despite having had many, many trials.


Once I decided I wanted to move forward with the relationship, we talked it through and my husband gave me the most beautiful response -- he told me that whether or not I wanted to get married or just stay together, was wonderful, because either way, he would get to be with me. I moved in with him and shortly afterwards, I became pregnant and within three weeks, I was married.


Sadly, within one week of getting married, we learned I would have a miscarriage. It was determined that I had a blighted ovum. This was the first of three miscarriages. The last one, we knew that we had a chromosomally normal baby boy. He passed away measuring 10 weeks 1 day, although we didn’t find out until about 12 weeks. Needless to say, this was all very difficult. After much testing by reproductive endocrinologists, it was determined that I had Diminished Ovarian Reserve, which they believe is associated with poor quality eggs. I tried several medicated, natural cycles and it was like a part time job getting to multiple appointments weekly. While the next step for another woman might have been IVF, my numbers tended to indicate that I just didn’t have enough eggs to be successful, so we never pursued that one last step despite my insurance actually covering three rounds of these procedures.


We made the difficult, loaded, and expensive decision to pursue a donor egg at that time. Although I had been getting pregnant, we just couldn’t keep gambling on a baby, particularly in light of our ages. It was too hard to have miscarriages and it was too important to us to have a baby to not go for our best shot of having one. I wanted the experience of carrying my own child and we didn’t want to wait years for an adoption to come through, not to mention any other issues that may arise through that process. So we selected a donor and in September of 2015, I had one perfect embryo transferred.


Since that time, this has been my pregnancy timeline:


Weeks 4-6: Had a scare right after BFP (bled moderately all night, but baby was fine), good betas and normally progressing ultrasounds, continued with estrogen and progesterone shots

Weeks 7-15: All day sickness, continued breast tenderness, constipation, stuck like Velcro to the couch, almost no exercise but occasional yoga, eating constantly, discontinued shots around week 11

Weeks 15-16: Energy is returning, nausea is diminishing, constant mild cramping

Weeks 17-and beyond: Feeling great, almost like my old self, have given up on regular clothes and only wear maternity pants now, breasts have grown 1-2 cup sizes, exercising more, can feel baby kicking!!


I'll write more in my next post on the actual pregnancy and my changing life associated with carrying a child!

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