Baby’s First Ultrasound

There it is! Our little bundle of duck!IMG_3016We got to see the baby for the first time on Friday and it was SO COOL!

There wasn’t a whole lot to see, since the baby is still growing into a baby, but just seeing this little nugget brought us so much joy and excitement. We also got to hear the heartbeat for the first time, which was kind of amazing and we both almost cried. It was nice to confirm that there is only ONE baby inside of Holly’s belly, because we had a smidge of anxiety about the potential for multiples, thankfully that’s gone.

Now that we’ve had this initial ultrasound, we can officially transfer into obstetrics care at Kaiser and begin our pregnancy journey. We are beyond excited to continue sharing this with all of you and will update as soon as something fun happens 🙂

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Week 7? Week 8? First Trimester Woes Part 1

I don’t know what week it is. These pregnancy apps confuse both Holly and I. Its either “You’re in Week 7 because its been 7 weeks since the first day of your last period” or “You’re in Week 8 because this is the 8th week since the first day of your last period technically”. I don’t understand it either way. Exciting things happening this Friday, we go for our first ultrasound to see our little peanut, which we are both excited for. There will be something so official about having a print out picture of our little blueberry, and something so amazing about creating that blueberry, all at once.

At this point, some close family and friends know about our little nugget, which is cool but has been so stressful. You never know how someone is going to react to news of a pregnancy, especially since it is such a surprise to most of our family and friends that didn’t even know we were trying, so its like a crap shoot figuring out how they’ll respond. So far its been generally positive, with some concern about our future well being, but rest be assured internet family, Holly and I have been planning this for a while and know what we’re doing…we hope.

Not so fun things that have been happening since my last post: Morning Sickness. Holly’s been having a rough time and had to be put on some anti-nausea, anti-vomiting medication this week. Not fun, but we’re hoping it will start to work soon, as eating, drinking and existing has been difficult as a result. However, bright sides to this are that morning sickness is often the indicator of a VERY healthy pregnancy, so that’s a plus. Also, it shouldn’t last forever (we hope), just until the endish of the first trimester, so here’s to hoping that will actually happen.

Other than that, we are eagerly awaiting our first meeting with the wee one on Friday. Pictures to come, I’m sure 🙂

It’s A Hutchings!

As you might imagine, trying to have a baby when you’re two women is quite difficult, and can end up being very costly. Well thankfully I got a new job this past summer at my local school district that made this process a lot less difficult. Holly and I started seriously talking about trying to conceive (TTC) back at the end of October and at the start of November when my new awesome health insurance kicked in for both of us, we jumped at the chance to get that process started. We got labs drawn to check and make sure everything was in order, and then in late December got the okay to begin searching for our donor and set a date for our first IUI (intrauterine insemination).

We meticulously searched for the perfect donor, although at one point I picked one that reminded me of Holly, and she picked one that reminded her of me. Obviously one of us didn’t understand how this process was supposed to work. Since I wouldn’t be the one carrying, we needed to find a donor like ME, not another version of Holly! Anyway, we found the right donor, a red head like me, and contacted our doctor to set up our first IUI. That was January 11, 2016. As you’ll observe, today is NOT January 11th, so I might be a little behind. That first two-week wait (TWW) , the period between insemination and the proper date to take a home pregnancy test, was a lot easier than we thought it would be. In preparation for it we had bought several movies, previously reading about how some couples had done the same or planned activities for a majority of the days to take it off their collective minds. Thankfully, it wasn’t like that so much and on January 22nd (4 days earlier than we were supposed to) we took our first pregnancy test.

Negative isn’t a word someone TTC wants to hear, ever, but since we were taking the test 4 days early, I remained positive that we would get our BFP (big fat positive). Each of those next 3 days held more negative tests and I must confess in the end I was starting to lose hope myself. On our doctor selected test date, we took one last pregnancy test and it was a BFN (big fat negative). Needless to say, we were very sad and disappointed. We weren’t entirely devastated, because we both belonged to TTC groups on Facebook and knew that these things could take time, especially when using the IUI process.

Fun fact: IUI procedures without the aide of fertility drugs are only 20-25% likely to produce a viable pregnancy. 20-25%. That percentage was so low, it was easier for both of us to not feel entirely destroyed at the idea of our first attempt not working, but a lot of self doubt crept in during those days immediately following our BFN. But we did not give up! Immediately we communicated with our doctor about the negative test and sought to know our next steps. We discussed and ultimately decided on using the fertility drug Clomid, which would stimulate an increased production of mature eggs for the next cycle, and by the end of the week had the prescription.

On February 6th we had our next ultrasound appointment to check and see just how many eggs had grown, and found that we had 4 mature follicles from which 4 eggs were likely to drop. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Four eggs, isn’t that going to increase your chances of having twins, or quadruplets!?” and the answer is not very much. We discussed with our doctor exactly how much and he said about 2-5%, which isn’t any more likely really then us being heterosexual and having twins, so it relieved my stress about that. We triggered, or administered the HCG shot that triggered ovulation to begin, two days later on February 8th and inseminated the next day.

This two week wait proved even easier than the one before, but that didn’t stop us again from testing early. Thankfully this time, it was just the day before, as we had been busy that weekend with our darling nephew Dean’s first birthday party. Monday morning, February 22nd, we woke up and Holly tested at her usual time (just before 6 am) and then came back to bed while the results populated. I walked into the bathroom to turn on the shower so I could get my day started, and went to look at the pregnancy test. I didn’t see a positive. As I looked back at Holly who was coming into the bathroom too, I felt a heavy heart as I shook my head. She looked so upset, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget that face. I handed her the test and got into the shower.

“AMANDA!” she yelled at me, seconds later from the other side of the shower door, “THAT’S NOT A NEGATIVE, THERE’S A FAINT LINE!”

My mouth fell open and I went to look at the test. Sure enough, there was a very very faint line indicating a positive pregnancy test there. IMG_2874You probably can’t tell either, but it was there, I swear.

Naturally, we flipped out. After only one failed cycle, we were pregnant! And of course, just to be sure, we had to take a few more test within the next day (on our actual test day; pictured below).IMG_2877That line just kept getting darker!

I can’t explain the feeling of knowing that our waiting, our disappointment after the first unsuccessful IUI, was finally going to be gone, because we were officially pregnant! So I guess that’s the point I’m getting to here.

(Graphic: Baby Hutchings-Coming November 2016)

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Now here are some fun shots from BEFORE our second IUI

(top left: Holly waiting for IUI; bottom left: Amanda with the remnants of our donor sperm transportation tank; right: our cat Izzy showing her love for her soon to be brother or sister ie. the donor sperm transportation tank prior to IUI)