Monday, December 11, 2017

The Monthly Bumpdate - IVF details through 8 weeks

Ever since I started this blog I have dreamed of writing Bumpdates!! And here I am nearly 10 years later and I finally get to post my very first one.  In case you missed it I announced our very first uterine pregnancy here on Friday and be sure to follow me on Instagram for quick updates.

week 8

For this very first Bumpdate I'm going to go into a little bit more detail since I have to cover 8 weeks.  With IVF I actually had to start on Birth Control since we had a vacation planned and we weren't quite ready to start with all the injections.  After about 2 weeks of BC I then started my nightly injections of Gonal F and Menopur, after about a week I then added in my morning injection of Cetrotide.  Meanwhile I had to go in for multiple blood tests and Follicle Study Ultrasounds.  I actually had to go one extra day of injections so I had to call in for a same day delivery of my meds and then go in again the next day for another ultrasound before I got the go ahead to give myself my trigger shot of Novarel which is an intramuscular shot you inject into your butt.  That was the shot I was most anxious and nervous about and in reality it was the easiest and least painful of all the injections I had to self administer.

 nightly injections

minimal bruising

one of many blood draws

trigger shot location

trigger shot

36 hours after my trigger shot we went in bright and early for me to have surgery for the egg retrieval.  We got to the surgery center super early so we got to wait and go about the whole thing at a relatively leisurely pace (which was such a stark contrast from my two previous emergency surgeries due to ectopic ruptures) until it was time to get things moving.  As far as I know the retrieval went smoothly and they were able to get 7 eggs!  Of the seven, 6 were mature and were fertilized via ICSI and all 6 of them continued to mature.  Five days later we returned (me with an extremely full bladder) for our Embryo Transfer on November 1st.  One of our embryo's was an extremely high achiever getting the highest rating they give out (which is very rare) so that is who we transferred. The transfer was so surreal and getting to watch the whole thing on the TV monitor was pretty cool!
So as of November 1st, I was officially pregnant until told otherwise.

Egg Retrieval

Day of Transfer

(Three of our other embryos were developing well so they were put into the freezer and we had two more that they felt needed an extra day.  Unfortunately one of the two didn't make it to the freezer, so of the 6 fertilized we transferred one and have 4 in the freezer.)

Weeks 2 - 8:

Symptoms: sore and swollen boobs, occasional nausea, strong hunger, and extreme tiredness.  I've also experienced some mood swings and a great discharge thanks to my progesterone supppositories I have to take as part of the IVF process.

Weight Gain: like I mentioned on Friday I had finally reached my goal weight of 105 (and even got below it) but it was fluctuating because of all my hormones.  So I'll say that I started off pregnancy at 106 pounds and since then I've probably gained a solid 2lbs.

Baby's Gender: we don't know yet and honestly can't tell you which we would rather have.  We'll be excited for either and a bit disappointed either way...but we have 4 more in the freezer so I guess we have a few more chances should we decided to be crazy and go for it 😉.  Although we do already have middle names picked out for either gender so that's really exciting!

Emotions: I don't think that my emotions have been too crazy as of yet...but I can't help but think about our very first pregnancy just because this one is shadowing it so much via the timeline.  Our first pregnancy finally happened after some medical intervention of an HSG and then a round of Clomid, Follicle Studies, and a Trigger Shot - but it resulted in a ruptured ectopic pregnancy.  However, the timeline is crazy because this babe that is growing in my uterus is due 3 days later (and 7 years) than our very first pregnancy!! How crazy is that?  So our very first due date was July 17 and our current due date is July 20!!

♥ Ashley

Friday, December 8, 2017

Friday Happenings in December

This week has been jam packed with all sorts of activities and commitments and I don't see it slowing down until after Christmas...but you know what that is what this season is all about - making memories and living life to its fullest (however you see fit).

It's no secret that getting pregnant has been anything but easy for the two of us.  So this past September I took matters into my own hands and made an appointment to discuss IVF and our potential timeline.  I went into the appointment knowing full well that we weren't going to waste time, money and emotions on all the soft less invasive steps - we were going full bore IVF and that was that.  Thankfully my new doctor was on board (given my history) and helped me move things right the very timeline I was hopeful for!  Not only that but my body responded appropriately and at our Egg Retrieval in October we managed to fertilize all 6 mature eggs!!  We transferred 1 embryo on November 1st and on December 1st we got to see it's sweet little heartbeat in the ultrasound!!! So I am so happy to share (the short version) of our IVF success!!  We are expecting our Third child (first uterine pregnancy) to make their arrival in July 2018!  While we are over the moon excited I cannot deny that our excitement is laced with nerves and concern that this pregnancy lasts for the long haul!!

On Wednesday, Thomas and I celebrated our 11th Engagementiversary by watching White Christmas (in the early we could both stay awake to watch the entirety because the last three years one of us has fallen asleep mid movie).  I still remember the day he proposed, I had just gotten home from College the day before for Winter Break and we were getting all set to go see White Christmas at the 5th Ave theatre with our parents.  Before we left he got down on one knee and said a bunch of stuff including "will you marry me?" to which I replied "Yeah, I guess" probably not the affectionate answer he was hoping for 😉. Once I got my bearing a properly accepted his proposal and here we are 11 years later, 9 years into marriage, and 2 daughters and a baby on the way later.

I finally reached my goal weight (and surpassed it by 3.5lbs!) that I set for myself back when we were getting married (9 years ago) this past October!!  I honestly didn't know that it was possible nor that my thighs had the potential to get this thin!!  Ellie has been super obsessed with getting married lately and spotted my wedding dress (that still hasn't been cleaned...) in our closet and insisted I put it on.  I can't believe that 9 years later I look better in it than the day I got married.  But I'll tell you what, this picture is made so much sweeter because I have my two best girls at my ankles!!  And I managed to achieve this just in time to get pregnant and gain all the weight back plus some 😝.

I have my annual Christmas Party scheduled for this weekend and I am so excited for is...I've gotten a lot of RSVPs so hopefully I get my act together and am able to pull off a great party despite the pure exhaustion I've been experiencing lately.  Honestly though I'm trying to keep our decor to a minimum because I just don't want all the "stuff" anymore not to mention how much I despise putting it all away once Christmas and Epiphany are over!

Well that's all the energy I can muster between 5am wakeups for medications, 5:15am wakeups of the girls (yes we all start our days very early), a wild tantruming toddler, and a preschooler who won't stop asking questions!!  Have a fabulous weekend and I'll share more pregnancy details back here on Monday!!

♥ Ashley

Monday, December 4, 2017

Once Upon A December

I was going to post this on Friday but then life happened and all I had written down was the title of this post 😆 So I guess today will have to do.

I am completely befuddled at how it is already December? I mean where did 2017 even go??  I guess that's what happens when you are living your life alarm clock by alarm clock - all that time in between kind of gets lost I guess (such is IVF).  Speaking of which I have some updates on that coming up very soon, so be sure to stay tuned.

Our weekend was so full of everything but it all started on Thursday night when Thomas and I went out for a date night...honestly we couldn't even remember when the last time was, and we both have to admit that we did not miss having to deal with the girls one bit 😉.  I don't think I've mentioned it much on here but Finnley is quite the handful at restaurants (compared to Ellie) and there isn't much we can do to distract her from one of her getting to eat out without trying to manage an obnoxious baby was quite the treat.

 I had Prime Rib

 Thomas had Crab stuffed Sole

On Friday Thomas and I got to spend some time together again and then we went out to dinner with his parents to thank them for watching the girls for us.

Saturday we got to have our Elf Breakfast.  We are so happy that Jingle Bell Rock has come back to visit from the North Pole!  Our breakfast was super low key, the girls got some reindeer ears and that's about the extent of it (I was so tired the night before I went to bed at 7:45 and was not available to help Jingle Bell Rock get everything set up...)  Ellie is so excited to look for her every morning and I am so thankful that Thomas has gotten into the spirit and to make up for my lack of energy.  It was a rainy morning and we did a few errands: Costco, Target, Lunch and tried to go to an open house but it wasn't actually happening.  The afternoons have been rough lately and all I wanted to do was take a nap...not to mention I was battling another migraine so the day was anything but relaxing.  Thankfully just before dinner time it lifted and I was able to enjoy my family for the rest of the weekend.

Sunday, even though we had planned to just take it easy and stay home we had to run out to check out more gift options for Christmas (still have absolutely NO idea what to get for Finnley...second child problems) and then we stopped at the store for some last minute ingredients for dinner and then home for naps.  For dinner I made Pot Roast and I can't even get over how good it was, can we just have pot roast for every meal??

Happy Monday y'all

♥ Ashley


Monday, November 27, 2017

Our Thanksgiving Holiday 2017

I thought we were Thankful last year but nothing compares to this year!! 

I love our little family we have and getting to see the girls grow up and become friends is just the best.  Ellie is still as protective as ever and loves her sister very much (as long as she isn't trying to touch any of her toys 😉) and is constantly telling us that she wants another sister and a brother and a sister and a I'm not sure if we'll be able to meet those requests but it sure is sweet.  Finnley loves to laugh, suck her fingers and is really into jumping and galloping which is the cutest thing ever, and lets not even start with her love of Target girlfriend runs around that place like a mad woman!!! (Good thing we're usually there around 7am so we're only bothering the workers with her shenanigans).

Ellie was so excited for Thanksgiving this year and has become a Turkey fiend and will practically eat half of the bird!!  Finnley was just happy to be surrounded by people she knew and free reign to run around like a crazy.  We made our way over the mountains to spend the holiday with Thomas family and despite me coming down with a migraine we had a lovely time.  The food was great, family was fun, and the girls loved playing with their cousins.  Traveling around the holidays can sometimes be chaotic but luckily we timed our travel just right that we didn't get held up in any horrific traffic.

We spent Black Friday morning (I was recovered from my migraine) taking it easy with breakfast, the cousins playing, adults talking, online browsing and just basic relaxation from the crazy of the day before.  Then we all headed out to check out the brick and mortar deals, the boys took all the kids and us girls had the best time doing some shopping sans parenting! I kept saying I felt like I was missing something - turns out it was reprimanding the girls for touching things!! haha  We all met back up at the house for lunch said goodbye to the family that was leaving and then I hit up Ebates to get some Christmas presents ordered (and cash back too) online.

Later we watched a movie and then headed out to dinner because who can do Turkey three meals in a row?? And after dinner we showed off Finnley's adoration for Target and then back to the house for my family time and then bed.

Saturday morning we were up, had breakfast and made our way home.  Once home we got down our Christmas decorations, Ellie and I took a nap, watched Beauty and the Beast and had dinner.  Not too busy but just what we needed.

Then Sunday we got out our boxes of Christmas decor and started decking the halls by putting up our Christmas trees.  We have one in the living room and then both girls have one in each of their rooms.  We switched things up this year and went with a smaller tree and used colored lights...not sure if we'll go with colored again but it sure is fun to mix things up!!

♥ Ashley

previous Christmas Trees

2014  2014

Friday, November 17, 2017

The Friday before Thanksgiving

I had all sorts of ideas for posts this week but then when I got the energy to sit at the computer my mind went blank...I guess that is just what happens sometimes.  I've been reflecting a lot on all of the "stuff" we have and feel this strong desire to just get rid of it all...but then how do you get your kids on board with getting rid of toys??  I just can't handle all the clutter anymore and am pretty sure that they wouldn't notice if I got rid of a bunch of their stuff, but then Ellie has the memory of an Elephant and will ask me where a certain toy is that I did actually donate and then she gets all sad about it being gone.  It hurts my Mama heart but then it doesn't because it means we don't have as much crap 😉


Now that Halloween is over (yes that was a while ago) we've done some minor updating with our decor.  Mostly I switched out the ghosts and goblins for turkeys and am still enjoying this less is more decor.  I have also become obsessed with Trader Joe's flowers, I can get a couple bouquets and then split them up to use all around my house and they seem to last for weeks!

I recently made a trip to IKEA and picked up a couple of these throws because I have a hard time saying no to green.  And I love them so much, if it wasn't weird I think I would have 6 of them.

So as you can see I've kept things pretty simple around here but I am itching to put it all away and get Christmas out.  I mean I have been rocking Christmas music in the car (and at home) since Nov 1st so the mood is already set 😂.


I've also had my eye on this blanket at Target for quite some time but was having the hardest time choosing which color, my heart said green but my brain said to try something new and then I realized that Ellie needed one too so I got two different colors and I am so glad I did.  I can't wait to transform both of our bedrooms into Christmas Wonderlands and use pops of Red in Ellie's room and then pops of Green (surprise) in our Master!!  I got Ellie some flannel sheets a couple years ago already but I spotted these and they are so adorable!  I went with a plain off white flannel sheet in our room, I actually got them at Costco because I couldn't believe the price...and I like to keep things simple in our room.  Whenever I buy at Target I use my RedCard for extra savings and bought the blankets online through Ebates for store pickup and that's my favorite way to shop!!  Talk about some great savings.


Finnley has her 18m photos coming up this weekend and I am just crossing my fingers that her personality shines through and that we get some good ones.  Ellie wore the cutest red and white striped dress with a gold tutu and I was this close to having Finnley wear the same thing but knew that probably wasn't a good idea, so this week we made our way to the mall and I was on the search.  While the dress doesn't have to be Christmas/Holiday themed it just seems right given the time of year.  It was so hard to choose between this grey one, this cream one, this green one. and a striped one I already had (similar).  Obviously we came home with the green one and now I just have to choose between the green and striped one...which do you prefer?


While we're on the subject of Finnley, I made a very minor change in her nursery.  Now that she is 18 months old and we are nearing the cold winter season, I felt it was time for her to get some new bedding.   I had already gotten the crib comforter from IKEA back when Ellie was still in the crib and I knew that I wanted to go for an all white look with the duvet, because that's where I'm at design wise these days.  Luckily IKEA had just what I was looking for and it came with a matching pillow case so I got another pillow too.  I have to say that I really like how it turned out and Finnley adores having a pillow now too, just like the rest of us!

and yes that blue animal is Hoppopotamus, from The Wuzzles back from 1985, Ellie has Butterbear in her room, anyone else remember that show? Gosh I loved them and I am so happy that I kept them from my childhood because they are being loved on again by my girls! And no child's stuffed animal collection would be complete these days with out a Jellycat or two.


Not only are we having Finnley's 18m photos taken but we are also hoping to make it to see Santa this weekend!! We received a flyer in the mail about the Santa's Wonderland they have at Bass Pro Shops and are convinced that the girls are going to love it.  I'm hoping for no tears this year but with Finnley I really wouldn't be too surprised.  I already have Ellie's dress picked out (last years version of this) and am still undecided on Finnley's...surprise, surprise amiright?

Well that's pretty much all I have for this week, now I'm off to get ready for this months Supper Club and I am super excited about it because...#mamaneedsabreak 😉

♥ Ashley

Friday, November 10, 2017

Oh Friday!

This year is going by so quickly.  I keep having all these thoughts about what to post on here and then....I don't, I'm just too busy living this life 😉

But I wanted to share with you some things that we have going on.

Ellie is killing it at school lately.  Her tracing game is strong, her number identification is rocking, and her excitement when information and learning clicks is out of this world adorable.  I love that she enjoys going to school and playing with her friends.  I love getting her worksheets each day and having a chance to see how much she in improving.

Finnley is hilarious as ever.  She is obsessed with pouches and can down them in less than 5 seconds, she grabs them out of the basket in our pantry all throughout the day and gets quite upset when we tell her no.  She is also running around all over the place, making the funniest of faces, and will actually interact somewhat with strangers.  She loves to give kisses and is pretty good at helping clean up and put toys away.

I've been on a pumpkin kick lately.  I usually make this pumpkin pie because it is the best of all time, but I wanted to switch it up and with BHG had a recipe for Pumpkin Butter Oatmeal Pie and I had everything in my pantry I knew it was meant to be!  While it won't replace our original it was good enough to share and I'll make it again.  Sometimes it's nice to switch things up.  And not to be outdone by dessert I also made some Pumpkin Pasta with the left over pumpkin and this has been a total winner with the girls.  I used what we had on hand so this wasn't as calorie friendly but I'm sure equally delicious...however I must warn you that this made a ton of pasta sauce at least servings for like 6 or more people.  Once we ran out of our linguini noodles I used some small shell noodles and neither girl realized that they were eating pumpkin instead of boxed mac'n'cheese!!!   I will for sure be making this again!

We already got our Christmas Pajamas for this year and I am just so tickled by them!  They are adorable and Ellie loves that she can match her Bitty Baby!!  The girls, mine, Thomas and I bet you're not surprised on the theme 😉  we had to get new ones this year because Thomas lost over 50 lbs and Ellie and Finnley outgrew theirs.

♥ Ashley

Monday, November 6, 2017

Our Halloween 2017

 Halloween was much different this year than it has been in years past.  But the girls had an incredibly fun time and we celebrated like the best of them.  Be sure to check out our Halloween Decor here.

We started off our morning school drop offs and then Finnley and I hung out at home and played for a bit and then during her nap I vacuumed, mopped, and did an overall cleanup/pickup of the house.  Before I knew it it was time to get Ellie and to go out for lunch (we always go out on Tuesdays for lunch) at Chick-fil-a and then it was time for ballet.  Finnley sported a tutu (this is the 5th year we've worn it) and Ellie had on some festiveness as well.


After Ballet we went to Lowes to look at all the Christmas decor (because what else should you do on Halloween 😂😆) and then it was time for school pick ups.  We went back to our nanny house and had snacks, played a bit and then Thomas came over to help get the girls ready to go in their costumes and off to trick-or-treating with his family.  Ellie went as Batgirl and Finnley was Alice in Wonderland...the first year I didn't have a witch, thankfully a cousin covered us.  They had chili for dinner and then a mad crazy time walking/golf carting around the neighborhood.


I finished up my work day and then headed home.  I had a quiet and leisurely evening at home.  We had TWO trick-or-treaters and I gave them 3 handfuls of candy each and then I finished watching "The Handmaids Tale" y'all if you haven't seen it it is so fascinatingly creepy, good, and eccentric.  It's definitely not family friendly but certainly thought provoking.

About an hour after bedtime Thomas, the girls and my in-laws arrived home and we got Finnley to bed while Ellie stayed up a bit longer as we hung out and chatted a bit...then we were off to bed another Halloween in the books!

♥ Ashley

Previous Halloweens

2016 here and here