Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Daily reminders

It's strange to not be at an ultrasound this week. Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled we are out of the danger zone and we are being treated like any other regular pregnancy but when you get used to checking on your baby constantly it's a little scary to just trust everything is ok.

Luckily we have the most AWESOME person carrying our child and she sends me a recording of the baby's heartbeat almost daily. She's still only 10 weeks so it's kind of hit and miss on hearing it with an at-home doppler but she still tries. She also says she can already feel the baby moving when she sits really still. I'm so thankful that God allows us to know he/she is thriving inside of her!

So I think we are doing really good for now. We have planned our Gender Reveal Party "Putters or Pom Poms" for our family for November 12 so that's the big exciting event to come. Our next ultrasound is on November 21. Until the next picture of our little gummy bear, I just have to share the last one again. Cutest kid EVER!!!! So thankful to God for giving us the chance to dance. I feel like this chance might actually become our first-born child.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Weathering the storm

October 24, 2017 will go down as one of the best days of my life...

It was Monday night and we were trying to get to New Bern, NC for our child. We flew out of Knoxville into Atlanta. When we got on our plane to NC, there was an issue. A huge line of thunderstorms was covering the area we were trying to get to. The pilot told us he would try to fly into the storm and find a hole but couldn't promise anything. He said he would have to take us back to Atlanta if we couldn't fly through it. Here's our flight track:

So as you can see, we didn't make it through. He came over the intercom saying he had to take us back to Atlanta. Although I was really disappointed as were all the passengers, I wanted to make it there alive to see this baby. About 5 minutes pass and he comes back on to say he is going to take us to Columbia, SC to get more gas and try to fly around it. This was a HUGE blessing because there weren't any other flights we could take to get there in time for the ultrasound. We land there and sit on the plane a few hours to try to wait out the storm. If we wait too long then the storm will be directly over the place we were to land. We finally fly to New Bern. No one was screaming but the turbulence wasn't great. I was holding onto Brad with all I could and started to feel grateful that we had already made plans for this baby should we not make it out of here! I'm a tad dramatic on planes. 

We land safe and sound and luckily had a room about 5 minutes from the airport since we were SO tired. I actually slept that night because I was so glad to be off that airplane that I think it helped me not worry about the magnitude of what we were flying to go see the next day. 

We wake up the next morning and I had this strange sense of peace. There was no reason for it other than so many people were praying and so God just allowed it to happen. It's not that I believed everything was going to be ok. I didn't know that for sure. All I knew was that I had to be ok with whatever we saw on that screen. If God decided this wasn't the one, then I had to accept it. There really wasn't any other choice.  

We head to Katie's house to pick her up and I told her daughter that I would see her afterward for lunch, just hoping that this would go well so we could even go have lunch. As soon as the doctor put the wand in, we knew it. We knew God had spared him/her. We knew He had also spared us from the extreme pain we had anticipated yet again on this journey. The sac that was too small last week had grown HUGE! So big that the doctor didn't even need to measure it. This baby was literally DANCING!!!! You could see its arm bent, its tiny toes and that FACE! I have watched this child move since the day it was 5 days old busting out of its shell. The doctor said it looked absolutely perfect and the heartbeat was beating away at 168bpm. Here he/she is and its here to stay this time. 
I title this picture "Cutest baby ever!"
Look at the size of this sac now! Praise the Lord!


So here we are. On cloud 9! We are so thankful to the Lord and He has once again shown His power when things seem hopeless. Katie and I had talked about if this baby made it and the sac grew like it was supposed to, then we wanted steak for lunch. So that's exactly what we did! I've never felt so much joy. 

To top off this fabulous day, Mia brought us a book to lunch. If you have ever waited for your child or know someone that has, I strongly recommend purchasing this book. I cried just reading the jacket cover. 

I can't wait for the day I get to read this book to this child. I can't wait to tell him/her the lengths we went to just to have a chance of getting them. I don't know if they will ever be able to understand just how much they were wanted and loved by so many people but especially Mom and Dad. I think we are going to have a baby. The flight home was so much better but not just because there wasn't a storm anymore. Maybe the storms are really gone for good this time. 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Familiar Words

We had our second ultrasound on Tuesday, October 17, 2017. We weren't even supposed to have this one. Our original appointment was supposed to be in four weeks on Halloween but the fertility clinic needed an 8 week scan to release Katie from their clinic and start a med weaning schedule. 

We really weren't too nervous at this ultrasound. We had already seen a strong heartbeat at 6 weeks and baby was measuring right on track. This was a PGS tested embryo so the chance of miscarriage is almost non-existant after heartbeat confirmation. We are finally on our way to a healthy living child. We even had a gender reveal planned for this weekend for our family.

The doctor begins the ultrasound and we see our tiny baby MOVING!!!!!! She measures the baby, the heartbeat and tells us the heart rate is 178bpm which was great. We have never made it to an 8 week ultrasound with a heart that is still beating so it was almost surreal. I didn't even cry. I think it's because the moment was too big for tears.

While checking the placenta, the doctor said it looked really good. Katie mentioned that she had blood work that morning so the clinic could see the levels to start weaning her off the estrogen patches and progesterone shots. The doctor said she didn't want her to wean off any medicine. I thought it was a bit strange but chalked it up to doctors not appreciating help with their patient from other doctors so it still wasn't really a red flag that anything could possibly be wrong.

The next moment is when things started to sound like we were back in an ultrasound room of the past. The doctor said the baby looked great but the sac was measuring too small for the gestational age. The baby is 8 weeks 3 days, measuring 8 weeks 6 days and 9 weeks 0 days. The sac was measuring 7 weeks 4 days. So if you calculate the sac according to the baby's actual age, it's 6 days behind. When none of us understood what this actually meant, she said she has seen some babies make it and others not. She wants us back in 2 weeks with Katie on bed rest.

Well needless to say I completely lost my cool as I often tend to do when it comes to infertility. I spouted off words like, "Well it doesn't surprise me. This is exactly what we are used to." I was SO MAD!!! I couldn't cry. All I wanted to do in that moment was yell at God and ask him to quit torturing us. But now that I'm in my right mind I know what's true. The devil is attacking us because he sees our joy. He sees us trying our best to give God glory for this precious child and he hates it so he is doing whatever possible to stop that from happening. I still can't understand why God won't just let this be easy for once but maybe it's to show His glory even greater. If I'm being honest I wish I would stop being used for this just a little bit but we don't chose how He works. 

So we call the fertility clinic to let them know the horrible news. The RE's nurse didn't seem quite as concerned so that helped a little. She said as long as the baby was measuring on track and the heartbeat was strong then hopefully everything would be ok. She did suggest going back in one week instead of two, just for peace of mind and a progress report so we are going back next Tuesday, October 24. But her opinion has actually been the consensus from most of the OB/GYNs I've spoken with. I sent these pictures to a friend of mine that is an OB and he said the same thing and even said he stops measuring the sac after a strong heartbeat or 7 weeks, whichever comes first. We think that maybe our doctor measures this later since she is the high-risk OB so she is more thorough than others. 

So now we aren't sure what to believe. I'm hoping that most of the women that miscarried with a small sac actually lost the baby for a different reason altogether. Maybe it was because the embryo had a chromosomal abnormality (which is the leading cause for miscarriages) or because the mother's immune system starting attacking the embryo the way mine does. We have eliminated both of those factors so this baby just has to be ok doesn't it? And Katie was extremely sick for 10 days straight and may have become a bit dehydrated from the morning sickness which I've heard could contribute to the sac measuring off a bit. She hasn't thrown up in a few days but still feels nauseous and tired. She is drinking so much she feels like she could float away. That along with taking it easy has to fix this doesn't it? 

So now we wait and pray. I wasn't able to pray the day it happened. I was too mad. But just look at those pictures! We saw a perfect little baby wiggling around on that screen. We are choosing to continue to be thankful for that and trust what ever happens is best even if we don't like what He decides. Then He gave me and Katie this yesterday. 
The baby is going to be just fine. 

I want to believe it. 

I have to believe it. 

I'm too scared to believe it.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Sunday Mourning into Restoration

God is always with us if we are Christians, but there are moments when He is so real that you feel like He is sitting right beside you. That was me this morning at church. They sang a song this morning that said, "mourning turned to dancing" and "death was arrested and new life begins." Now I know the song was talking about death to your old self and new life in Christ and how He can turn your mourning in sin into dancing in Him. But I couldn't help but think He sang that right to me. That death was arrested (my miscarriage babies) and new life begins. I am trusting that God will allow this new life to grow and be born in May. I feel like He was trying to tell me today that it's exactly what He's doing for us.

The next song said "Your Word unfailing, Your promise unshaken, all my hope is in You." It was a repetitive song and so every time we got to this part, I wanted to sing it at the top of my lungs but I couldn't through my tears. God gave me the promise in His Word all those years ago, even before we knew we would have trouble starting this family. I am so thankful.

The preacher then gave some very powerful passages from His Word:

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.

I have this verse memorized as most of you may, but there was that "lean not on your own understanding" part that really hit me today. I don't understand why we had to go through all of this. Why couldn't God have just given us that first baby 10 years ago and the other two since? He could have but He chose not to and I will never understand why. But I do know that once this sweet baby is born, we will never wish that our own plans would have worked out. This was the baby meant for our family and I have to trust this path.

1Peter 5:10
And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

We have suffered a little while. No one would say we haven't. But He is restoring us and making us strong, firm and steadfast. And who wouldn't want God to do that for them? He is keeping His promises from His Word all those years ago and will continue to speak to us in this same way as we try to navigate this thing called parenting! I pray I will always look to Him and His Word for restoration.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The sound of my heart

The following is our experience from our first ever ultrasound that actually ended happily.....

We flew out of Chattanooga to New Bern on Monday, October 2, 2017. We got in our rental car at almost 10:00 at night that smelled like FEET and that had a horn that wouldn't alert any driver. We called it our toy car. :) We drove the toy car to Morehead City where we met Katie at a dive bar for some food since that was the only thing open. We ordered some appetizers but Katie declined. She even said the water tasted like sink water! Tasted great to me but then again I'm not the one pregnant this time!

We drove to our hotel room at Bask Hotel and it was newly renovated and gorgeous. I hate I forgot to take pictures of it but it used to be an assisted living of some kind so it was huge! We had a living room and full kitchen which of course we never used either one. The ultrasound was in the morning but sleep wouldn't come easy that night. 

We met Katie, her husband Brian and her daughter Amelia at a seafood place on the water named Ruddy Ducks. Amelia was a bit shy but warmed up after we shared shrimp and fish with her. When we were finished eating, Dad took Amelia home for a nap and we all went to the beach for a bit before the ultrasound appointment. 

The appointment was at 2:00 on Tuesday. We pulled in the parking lot and noticed that the address was 312. That wouldn't mean much to anyone but us. My dad died unexpectedly almost a year ago. He told me two days before his heart attack that we needed to use a surrogate because that was going to work. My parents have 312 in their address and my dad always referred to his house as 312. "Gotta head back to 312." "I like my chair in my house at 312." He was a home body and liked 312!!!! I love that the Lord gave us 312 on the day of our first ultrasound. It's like God gave me just a little bit of this child's Papa that day. 

We go in and I start to get really nervous. I go back with Katie to get her vitals and the tears start to flow. The nurse asked me if I was ok and I just blurt out, "No, I'm afraid it's going to be dead." She reassures me that it won't be but she doesn't know that death has always been the case with ultrasounds for us. We all three go into the room and that's when we see it. 

The baby. 

Our baby. 

With a heartbeat of 131. 

But it wasn't as simple and wonderful as it sounds. Dr. Conrad explains everything, like here's the yolk sac, here's the baby.... and then she turned on the sound for the heartbeat. So then I start to panic. It sounded like Caleb's. It sounded too slow. So I yell out, "IS IT FAST ENOUGH????" through my sobs. Dr. Conrad said, "Yes. It's 131, which is perfect for this stage." So then I start bawling even worse. What started out as panic ended in tears of pure joy. Our baby was fine. The heartbeat was fast enough for 6 weeks 3 days. I cried and cried and possibly could have used my inhaler (again) and the doctor said, "If you're like this now how will you be at the birth?" I can't even imagine witnessing the birth. Is this really happening???? I started to feel my feet move just a bit for this dance!

Such a precious sight

We spent the rest of our day and night meeting Katie's family. We were greeted by her three children with  hugs and invitations to play. My three favorite moments were when Evelyn kissed me on the forehead, when Owen sat in my lap and told me he loved me and then this moment>>>

That night we went to Katie's dad's house where we got to meet him, his wife Gina, his step-daughter, and Brian's mom and dad. Gina is Italian so we got to eat real Italian homemade meatballs that were AMAZING! We sat around the table and had drinks (not Katie!) and talked and it was wonderful. I am so thankful that everyone is on board with this unconventional way of having this baby.

Me and Katie at her dad's house.
Not the best picture of me because I had cried so much all day!

We flew home Wednesday morning super early so that we could go spend the day with Brad's grandmother who was turning 92. We were so proud that we were able to hand her this for her birthday. The dance has officially begun!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Some fears never die

First of all, everything is perfect with Baby Davis! Our beta numbers were wonderful and Katie is certainly feeling the effects of being pregnant. She is hardly able to eat anything and when she does it occasionally doesn't stay down. So I should be feeling complete joy right? I want to. Really I do. But I guess once an infertile with recurrent loss, always an infertile.

This week I've been dealing with a lot of anxiety and fear that what has happened in the past is going to happen again. These thoughts are totally irrational. Even the RE said that if Katie gets a positive beta, then her chance of miscarriage was 1-3 percent with a PGS tested embryo. In my head I know everything is fine and we are going to see a sweet tiny baby on that screen this Tuesday. But my heart is having a bit of trouble. For me, pregnancy doesn't equal baby. Pregnancy equals bleeding and cramping before you make it to an ultrasound or going into ultrasounds to hear heartbeats that are too low or have stopped beating altogether.

So I've been doing what anyone should do about this issue. I've been praying. I've been reading my Bible. I've been trying to remember the promises God gave me all those years ago. I've been asking others to pray that Satan will not steal my joy and that I will get to experience every single moment with this gift God has given us.

There are girls who didn't get a positive home pregnancy test. There are girls whose beta came back negative. There are girls who would love to be where I am at right now and I am trying to be thankful because I used to be one of those girls. Trying so hard to believe the mourning is over.

Please pray for Tuesday's ultrasound. There is absolutely no reason this baby shouldn't make his/her second appearance for his/her mama. I just have to believe it.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Beautiful Betas!

Sorry to keep ya'll waiting but I don't even know if anyone reads this anymore. I usually just link this blog to Facebook and everyone already knows there.

Beta #1: 330
Beta #2: 662
Doubled almost exactly!

We won't have a third beta so we will have to wait for any more news until October 3, which is our first ultrasound. The good news is in the meantime our baby is making Aunt Katie feel absolutely horrible so I think it's safe to say he/she is getting really cozy in there. Cannot wait to see this baby again soon!!!!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Get your dancing shoes on!


4DP5DT &   5DP5DT


As I stated in the last post, Katie has been having tons of symptoms since the transfer. After she left on Sunday, she has been feeling just like she did with her three kids' pregnancies early on. The symptoms got so bad that she decided to test at midnight on Monday night which was 4DP5DT. She got a super faint positive so decided to test again in the morning before telling us, just in case. So at 6:00 Tuesday morning she tried again and this time there was no mistaking that second line. She sent us the sweetest video to tell us that I would love to post but the copyright will not allow. If you'd like me to send it to you I would LOVE to!

We have cried, we have rejoiced, we have been in disbelief that this is finally actually happening. But why such disbelief? He said He would do this. He gave me these verses all those years ago. Years before we even knew what the mourning would be for. We know He keeps His promises. I'm ashamed that at times I doubted Him. I'm ashamed that at my lowest time I threw my Bible and yelled at Him for not saving my baby. I trusted Him when things were going my way but when I spent years watching everyone else get pregnant and have their babies, I turned away sometimes. Luckily I serve a forgiving, sovereign God who understands my shortcomings. I am so thankful He loves me so much to give us the child that was always meant for our family. 

Today I literally danced in my living room. I stomped my foot on the ground at infertility and told Satan he didn't win. Please join me in the dance and praise His name for the sweetest little miracle who should be arriving around May 26, 2018. Pray for Katie that she will have an uneventful pregnancy and delivery. My heart is so full. Here is my song of praise that I have sung every time I've been pregnant. This time the pregnancy is going to end with a baby instead of tears. 

Next up- 
Beta on September 19!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Transfer Trip!

Katie arrived on Tuesday night, September 5. Her husband, Brian, was so gracious to take time off work to watch the kids so she could come early and stay late! It took her a little bit longer to get here because of the weather from Hurricane Harvey. (Bless those of you who endured him and Irma!) The airline lost her baggage but luckily she had all the meds in her carry-on. Since it was a little later, we went to eat at Smoky Mountain Brewery and then waited for an Uber driver to deliver her baggage. Roadie delivered it at 11:30 with his zipper down showing his red underwear. Katie and I were both so glad Brad answered the door instead of one of us! I gave her the progesterone in oil (PIO) shot and we went to bed.

Wednesday we went shopping for her kiddos, furniture for my new house and then went to my most favorite store right now, Buy Buy Baby. We walked through every aisle taking pictures of all the things that she said were useful and I dreamed of maybe registering for all of it soon. Please God. Allow me to come back into this store as an "expectant mother" and pick out all of these things for our own bundle of joy, even if they won't let me part in that reserved spot. :)

We relaxed that night by eating Japanese and watching our two new favorite shows, "Rattled" and "Outdaughtered." We learned that the couple on Rattled that has quads only transferred two embryos and they BOTH split making four babies and we were both thankful that we were only transferring one tomorrow.

Everyone's calendars have been marked. It's finally SEPTEMBER 7TH, TRANSFER DAY!We left for Nashville early that morning. When we arrived, Brad let us both out and I stopped by the bathroom. When I got back into the waiting room, they had already called Katie back! She sent me a message saying they already had her in a gown in bed! I started to believe I wasn't going to be allowed back. It's a bit strange when for so many years you are the one signing in, getting in the gown, getting your blood pressure checked and now feeling no one realizes you're even there. I sat there for a while in a bit of a panic but those of you that know me well know I would NEVER speak up on my own behalf. Luckily Katie has already figured this out about me so she told the nurse someone would need to go out there and get me and they did! Thank goodness. I would not have wanted to miss this next part for anything in the world.

After they checked Katie's vitals, the nurses told us the embryologist would be in next to tell us about the embryo. When I heard the door opening, I felt my heart drop to my feet. Did it survive the thaw? Was it good quality? YES AND YES! She explained that the embryo was already hatching and not only that but that when we get in the room I could watch it continue to hatch! I cried tears of joy and she hugged my neck.
His/her first pic! How gorgeous is this?
 Next we had to sign a bunch of paperwork and it was Katie's last chance to back out! (Only kidding!)Then they wheeled her into the transfer room which is where I got to see our baby literally moving. It was by far the most incredible thing I've ever seen and something I will never forget. The only bad part was that Brad wasn't allowed back there to watch our child show the earliest signs of life. How great is our God?

After he/she put on the little show, they scooped it up in the catheter and put it right where it needed to be and that was it. They wheeled her back into the room for a few minutes and we were off to lunch!

By this time our little baby was hungry (hehe!) so we stopped off at a local favorite, Double Dogs for our buffalo chicken salads like we ate before medical and psych clearance. 

Crossville, where our parents live, is on the way home to Knoxville so we decided to stop by to see Brad's grandma so she could meet Katie and then headed to my mom's house. She got to meet my brother Jeff, his wife Michelle, our best friends Carrie and Nathan and their son, Peyton. My other brother, Patrick, was unable to make it so he Facetimed us during supper. Speaking of supper, my baby got to enjoy a 7 course meal as his/her Papa would have called it! Chicken and dumplings, mashed potatoes, biscuits, corn, green beans, slaw and chocolate cake. I gave her the PIO shot in my mom's bedroom and blood started squirting out all over both of us. (And my dad said I should have been a nurse?) We didn't even try to call for help because we were both laughing so hard! Nathan used to be a phlebotomist and assured us that it just sometimes happens and probably never would again thankfully.
 The next day was Pumpkin Spice Day at Krispy Kreme and although I don't care for them, Katie loves them so I joined in with some chocolate glaze. The rest of the day we looked for items to decorate my new furniture that we found days before. While shopping Katie started to have what we both thought were implantation cramps. How could it be so soon? I guess when you put an embryo in that's already 5 days old, they are ready to start digging in! These cramps continued for the next 2 days!!!!!

For supper we went to Lakeside Tavern with Brad's family. She got to meet his mom and dad, his sister Julie, his Aunt Nancy and Uncle Jerry and his cousin Nathan. We had to wait for our table so we opened gifts during the wait. Brad's mom and dad opened a chalkboard I bought them to countdown the weeks until their first grand baby arrives. (Can you tell we have some confidence in this new plan?) Brad's mom, Patti, got Katie a candle that said HOPE and as I read the card I balled my eyes out. Not only have Brad and I waited 10 years for this baby, his family hasn't had a baby on their side since his cousin who is now in his 30s. It always hurt me so much that I couldn't give that to them. I'm so thankful that Katie is willing to do this for all of us. Brad's Uncle Jerry said it best when he looked her straight in the eye and simply said, "Thank you."

Patti gave me a book with the transfer date on the first page that I was obviously not expecting to see.
I love how Brad is watching me. 

We couldn't send Katie back to North Carolina without UT Football and Marco's Pizza so that was our Saturday. We went to Copper Cellar, our usual hangout, and then watched the Vols beat Indiana State. I wish our baby's first game would have been against a better opponent but a win's a win!

So then it was Sunday and time for Katie and our embryo to fly to North Carolina. It was a sad day to say goodbye to both of them but when she woke up that day feeling hot and nauseous we were both so hopeful that I will be seeing them again soon at an ultrasound. I can't explain the gratitude we have toward this special girl. Not many people would leave their home, children, husband and life to spend a week with us and give us this most precious gift. I knew I loved her before but now she truly feels like a part of our family. Praising God for the pain that led us to her and hopefully soon the joy. I pray He says to me, "My Daughter, it's time to dance."

To be continued......... :)