Friday, November 23, 2012

34 weeks

Dear Babies-

On Thanksgiving Thursday I was 34 weeks-  but this week's picture was taken the day before. 

After a busy two weeks with the campaign, organizational session and the start of lots of meetings for work I have been looking foward to take the next week easy before the last committee week and what I hoped to be my last real week of working.  However, you babies may have something else in mind.

Wednesday we went to see Dr. Franz and I expected a normal appointment- in, out and on our way.  But it seems that my blood pressure has hit the "uh oh" level.  I thought for sure he would just tell me to keep watching it and since I am on weekly appointments now he would see me next week.  But instead he sent me to Labor and Delivery to go to the triage to be monitored.  After three hours I was sent home and thought I was in the clear-  my labs were good, my pressure was elevated- but not that high, and lots of movement from you babies.  I still had to do my 24 hour protein test, but since none of my previous tests showed any protein I know I was good to go.  But they told me I had to come back again 24 hours later to do all the same tests again. 

24 hours later- we left my Mom at home cooking Thanksgiving dinner and went back to the hospital.  Turns out my 24 hours protein test was elevated along with my blood pressure and suddenly I'm on bed rest. 

I have to go back to the Doctor early next week-  but everything I've read and been told is that once the pressure goes up and you fail your protein test it doesn't get better until the baby is born.  Preeclampsia is the official diagnosis- so now we play the waiting game.

You are both still head down, so chances are they will induce labor in the next week or two depending on how my blood pressure acts.  I thought I had plenty of time to get the last few things done-  but it doesn't seem like I will be able too.  I had really hoped to make the December committee weeks- but that doesn't look possible. 

Good news is that at 34 weeks there is very little chance of needing much NICU time and every day you continue to bake we are better and better.  I'm hoping I can handle bed rest for another 2 weeks (day one has not been easy or fun).  Regardless it looks like we are getting really really close!!!  Can't wait to see you!



Thursday, November 15, 2012

One call

Dear Babies-

There will be many moments in your lives where one event totally changes the course of your life.  Rarely will you know when they occur-  and it is often years later before you can pinpoint them.  After a long, sad and drawn out week and election I realized one of those moments in my life, and thus yours. 

In the summer of 2007 I was working for a Representative who, while a nice man, was done with state politics and about to resign his position.  This of course, would have left me without a job.  I was also dating a man, that again, while nice, was totally inappropriate for me.  I made the decision to start looking for a new job out in the Florida panhandle (I was still in Orlando) that would allow me to be closer to him.  I interviewed for a job with an agricultural organization that would have taken me completely out of politics- but back in an industry I love.  Even after the interview and follow-up interview I was torn about the position- but knew that if it was offered it would be best for me personally and professionally.  I remember, ironically enough, meeting your Dad at a Gainesville restaurant after my second interview and talking about the job.  It was the week his divorce was slated to become final- so we talked a long time about that and the possibilities of the job.  I left Gainesville that day knowing if they offered me the job I was going to take it. 

The next day they did offer me the job- at a salary a little lower than I had expected so I told them I needed a day to think it over.  I have no idea what I did that- I had never not taken a job that I wanted in the past.  God must have been sending me a signal. 

So, the next day I called the man back to accept the position, but he wasn't there and I just left a message asking him to call me back.  10 minutes later I received another phone call, this time from one of the men gearing up to run for my current boss' seat.  We talked about his race, his future plans and while he understood why I was looking for a new job, he would really like it if I stayed where I was, helped with his campaign and his future aspirations.  I didn't know him well, knew he was going to have a tough primary, wasn't sure if I would like working for him-  but again, God must have sent me a signal.  I decided to risk "a bird in the hand" for what could be.  At that moment I went "all-in" for this man and candidate. 

It was a long summer and a tough race.  In the end he won his primary election by 72 votes and went on the win the general as well.  Things ended between myself and the inappropriate boyfriend and when I went back to Tallahassee for that first committee week with my new member I ended up at a Christmas party at your Dad's house...I guess you could say the rest of that story is your history. 

Fast forward to 2012-  the elections on the state and national level are nasty and uncertain thanks to redistricting.  The man I risked my career on has done well in his job and is slated to be Speaker of the House in 2014.  Another long campaign that I am proud to be a part of.  But now, instead of not knowing him and wondering if I want to work for him I consider him a friend.  Someone I can turn to if I'm in trouble or need help- personally and professionally.  While I had moved on into a new chapter in my career I still felt like I was part of the team.  During the previous years I watched the media try to take him down time and time again- but he always persevered.  So while it was a nasty campaign thanks to the newspaper I had no doubt he would win.  The night of the election we were with your Dad's candidate and I had all of those Supervisor of Elections sites streaming-  he was winning (and I admit I had my doubts on that one).  I was watching other races that I was interested in with mixed results.  But I wasn't watching my friend's- so I was shocked when I got the first text saying things weren't going well for him.  The end result of that night, after recounts, is that he lost his seat. 

I know that you felt my pain for him- for the last week whenever I have thought about him, our history, the election and my anger at how he was treated I felt you both move-  or felt the contractions my feelings caused.  Even as I sit here typing I'm feeling one.  So I apologize for the undue stress that I put on you (but you're Spratts- so you have to be fairly hard headed and tough so I'm not too worried).  But why I am writing this letter to you is more than an apology.  It is a wish and a thank you. 

I wish for you many moments in your life that may seem inconsequential to you at that time but have huge impacts on your life.  I wish for them to be mostly positive, but I wish for you to experience some hardship too so you can know the value of good times.  I wish for you friends that are worthy of you feeling heartache for them, worthy of you crying for their loss- even days or weeks after it happens.  I wish for you relationships that inspire you to take risks with your personal life and your professional life and I wish for you the relationship with God that allows him to gently and often quietly point you in the direction to know who is worthy of those risks and who is not. 

And I want to thank you Chris, my candidate turned boss turned true friend for that one call- timed perfectly- that changed the direction of my life.  The call that brought me and Jim together and the call that allowed me have these babies that I can't wait to meet.  And I wish for you one call that leads you to the amazing things I know God has in store for you. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

31 Weeks

Wow....Time has flown by the last few weeks.  I can't believe that we are in the third trimester and while it still seems eons away before you both with be here it will be, at most, 7 more weeks.  ACK!!!  We have so much to do before then!

On a happy note your nanny has been found!  I'm so happy that we found an "old" family friend that is going to watch you both most of the time.  Angela and her husband Daniel have been friends of mine for years (since I first moved to Tallahassee after college).  I lived with them off and on during session as well and both your Dad and I have no fear about leaving you with Angela.  Plus you will have a built in playmate with their youngest son, Nolan. 

You both move around quite a lot now.  I can stare at my belly for hours watching it move as you move.  Baby A (who is named- but we aren't sharing just yet) is on the bottom and at our last doctor appointment was finally head down.  Your butt is in your sister's face, who is also named, and residing up higher in my uterus.  For whatever reason you both prefer the right side of my belly (and have all pregnancy) and it makes the left side of my belly somewhat flat. 

The last couple of weeks I've started getting tired again and moving, walking, bending, etc. is becoming hard to do.  Just a couple more weeks of work events to get through and hopefully I can rest until you get here. 

Signing off by sharing some pictures from our maternity photo session this week.

With much love,


Thursday, September 20, 2012

25 weeks...

Hello Babies-

I can't believe that I am 25 weeks today-  and that in 3 months from today you should be here.  SOOOO much to do between now and then.  I haven't written much here in the last month-  I was in a little funk I think.  Still so worried about so many things and it was hard to get excited and positive.  But things have gotten a lot better in the last couple of weeks. 

I feel you every day now (I assume I am feeling both of you- but I can't tell you apart yet) and you seem to be active.  Even your Daddy can feel you now (although for some reason whenever he is near you get really still).  I've been playing music to you whenever I can-  you seem to like George Straight, Tom Petty and any of the Gator songs.   I am not as sick as was early on...but still really tired.

We have your room painted, your beds put together and the recliner in the room.  Just need to order a dresser and we will be good to go.  We had the first baby shower this weekend in Okeechobee.  Now the room is just stuffed with everything we got for you until I can start putting it all away.  Hopefully we will order the dresser next week. 

Time seems to be going very slowly right now-  I want you here quickly, but not early.  We want healthy babies with no NICU stays of course.  In the meantime I will just keep cooking you till well done and enjoy the fall. 

With much love,


Friday, August 3, 2012

18 weeks

This week was our second visit to the maternal fetal medicine doctor. I've decided the only thing he does is ultrasounds. Which of course is fine by me.

Although they never told us that this was the "anatomy scan" that is clearly what they were doing. They checked your kidneys, the hearts, the hands and feet, the stomach and even measured bones. I am happy to report that all appears to be functioning and developing right on track.  

Baby A measured 17weeks and 6 days (which was my actual day) and Baby B measured 18 weeks and 3 days....Baby A was 8 oz and Baby B is 9 oz. So Baby A is just a wee bit smaller than Baby B- which is funny because Baby A is THE BOY and Baby B is THE GIRL!!!!

We are very excited that we have one of each and our family is absolutely complete. I immediately went out and started buying some cute outfits for each of you.  So did your Granny (my Mom).  I'm sure Grandma B will have a few put away before the week is over too. 

We had the carpet cleaned in your room and now it is ready to paint.  I also finally decided on bedding too.  You are cursed by my love of insects-  but I hope they are at least cute little critters. 

I am still not feeling the best, but starting to have more good days than bad days.  Getting more than ready for December and you to be here though!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Gluscose Tolerance Testing

Crush...on Crack
Hello Aliens-

It has been awhile since I have wrote and I'm sorry.  I think about you every day, especially when I am leaning over random toilets and throwing up.  But a lot has been going on and I just haven't had time to sit down and put thoughts to blog. 

Last week your Grandma Bobbie had a heart attack-  not a bad one, but still one that required surgery.  I write this because now you have strong evidence of heart disease on both sides of your family and that makes me rethink everything!  She is doing well now, but still will have to make some major lifestyle changes. I am very proud of our LONG line of Southern ancestry- but no doubt it greatly contributes to the family history of heart disease.  I hope that I am able to remain true to our Southern roots, teach you about the amazing food that comes from the South, but still keep a healthy lifestyle for you both.   Everything in moderation right? 

Speaking of moderation, yesterday I was forced to consume large amount of sugar in a rapid amount of time as part of testing for gestational diabetes.  I'm a little miffed that I had to be tested early- but those Southern roots and my age has made me high risk (ie-  I weigh too much).  Not sure when we will get results but I'm hoping for positive ones.  I've never had any blood sugar problems and have low blood pressure.  But none of that matter with gestational diabetes apparently.  Guess we will wait and see.

We started on your room-  it was a lot harder than I thought it would be to combine the guest room and office.  Apparently we have way too much stuff.  Imagine that? 

We are 17 weeks along this week...seems like forever before you both are here.  But I know it will go by fast.  I am really ready to find out what you are...hopefully soon! 



Thursday, June 28, 2012

Belly Pics...

I'm not overly thrilled with doing belly pics, but I want to document everything.  So even my expanding belly.  :-)

Friday, June 15, 2012

11 weeks

Dear Babies-

We are getting so close to that first trimester mark-  when I am not supposed to worry so much about losing you.  However, as awesome as the Internet is- it brings a lot of anxiety when pregnant.  For every positive answer or post I find for my most mundane questions there is a negative post about miscarriage and illness and loss. 

Your Dad and I decided again any prenatal screenings.  We waited too long and tried too long to have you.  No matter what you are perfect and we are blessed to have you in our lives. 

This week I am starting to feel less anxious and more excited. I ordered mattresses for your cribs (not that we have your cribs yet) and a friend of mine is giving me a TON of baby stuff too.  I told my big boss at work and now we are free to tell anyone we want.  I think that makes me more excited too.  You both seem more real and part of our lives when we get to share you with others.

I think it also helps that I am finally getting a little more energy back- although as I type this I clearly need a nap.  I hope you both inherit my ability to sleep- and sleep a lot! 

With Much Love,


Monday, June 11, 2012


Last week we went to the OB here in Tallahassee for our first appointment in Tallahassee.  I do miss Gainesville-  they were much nicer there. 

We got to have another ultrasound-  and the whole time both of you were just kicking and wiggling away.  It was really awesome and finally hearing your heartbeats made me cry.  You both are starting to look more like little human beings now.  Including you Baby A-  you clearly got your Daddy's head.  Baby B is my little soccer player- the whole time on the ultrasound you were kicking rapidly with your long narrow feet (must take after me).  Your heartbeats were 179 and 182- very healthy!
Baby Spratt A & B

Our Doctor in TLH is very laid back - quite the opposite of Dr. Williams in Gainesville.  It is going to take a bit to get used to him I think. 

Two days after our first doctor appointment I woke up and was spotting.  Your Dad had already left and it was all I could do to not cry the whole time while I waited on a call back from the doctor's office.  Long story short I went on bed rest for the rest of the week and I am taking it easy.  The spotting stopped fairly quickly-  but we aren't wanting to take any chances.  Going to lay low the rest of this trimester and take it easy. 

Love you lots-  hang tight babies,


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Our little owl(s)

I'm already a bad Mom.  It has been a while since I have written anything - and it is mostly because I am tired, tired and sick, sick and tired.  Nothing too bad-  not throwing up all day like so many of my friends seemed to have done, but an overall feeling of ickyness that doesn't ever go away combined with an intense desire to sleep.  All Day.  Every Day.

It has been almost two weeks since we went to Shands to have our first ultrasound.  Dr. Williams barely had the thing started before he announced it was two.  Two!  Holy Crap TWO!!!! 

We all know that I have said all along I wanted two.  That it would be the ultimate BOGO (Buy one Get One) but now that it has happened all I have to say is I am scared to death.  How in the heck can I really be having two? As I walk around I am now 3.  It is scary and sometimes creepy.  That being said, again, we are so lucky.  We probably could not have afforded to do this a second time so our family can be complete.  But I am still more nervous than excited. 

Dr. Williams called our first ultrasound picture an owl.  And since I had been looking at bird and nature bedding for the room it may have sealed the deal for the nursery theme.  I think you both kinda look like an owl too.  Or batman. 

Darn picture keeps turning sideways....
Tomorrow is our next ultrasound and our last appointment in Gainesville.  I'm kinda nervous about that too.  While I am looking forward to not driving 2.5 hours every time I need to go to the doctor, I really like our doctors and nurses in Gainesville.  They have been awesome during our treatments and its going to be scary going to a doctor in Tallahassee (where we aren't known for our best medical care). 

With much love,


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

You are real...

Well you have been real from the moment you were suctioned off my ovary :-) but now there isn't any denying you.  This weekend we told a majority of the family you exist and are on your way. 

We started w/ Aunt Beffer-  took her to lunch and gave her your Gator onsie.  Then we called my Dad at work and emailed him a picture of his onsie.  Next we told my Mom when she got to Tallahassee and then my Grandparents and brothers when we got to Destin.  When we got back from Destin we called your Dad's Mom and Dad and told them too.  Only a few more relatives that will need to know before we "tell the world".

I made these onsies to give to everyone when we told them....I bet you never end up wearing a single one of them!  But it was a good way to pass an afternoon...

Now on to making the "to-do" list that must be accomplished before Thanksgiving! 

These early days...

Dear Fair Ladies-

These early days are rough.  I try not to get excited- but sometimes I can't help myself.  I'm now stalking all the pregnancy websites and forums learning all about due dates and mucus plugs (don't ask) and "early pregnancy symptoms".  Mostly its the early pregnancy symptoms that I want to read about, to compare myself too. 

According to all the apps and websites I am 4 weeks, 6 days pregnant.  Seems weird since I know that is not the case- but doctors and their desire to complicate things use different dates than I, a common sense kinda gal would. 

So, I've discovered that I am tired- ALL the time.  We leave to go to Destin tomorrow and I can not wait to just lay on the beach and be lazy. 

I don't have morning sickness, but I am nauseous.  I've discovered today that as long as I eat something every couple of hours it isn't that bad. 

My back aches.  But that is my normal state of affairs.  So not sure if that is related to this or just me not doing what I need to do. 

Still having some of those cramps- but they are not as shocking anymore.

Overall I don't feel that pregnant and that worries me.  Mostly I just wonder if I will ever feel not anxious during this. 



And we doubled!!!

Actually we more than doubled!  Yesterday we once again got up at the crack of dawn to head to Gainesville for blood work.  I admit to "peeing on the stick" the day before to make sure the positive line got darker, and it did.  So I felt pretty good going in. 

As always it was a 2.25 hour drive for a 5 minute visit followed by the drive home.  It was ok though- always nice to have some alone time with your Dad where no one or no project can interrupt us. 

On the weekends the nurse on call ALWAYS calls by 11:30 so I expected the results quick.  Needless to say that when 2 rolled around and still no call I was in a panic.  So I peed on another stick (still positive).  When Jessica finally called she had great HCG levels had more than doubled from Friday and were at 404.  Excellent numbers for only 11days post transfer. 

I find myself starting to get excited, browsing pregnancy websites, looking at maternity clothes and then I force myself to be realistic.  We are still so far out of the woods - still so many places to go wrong in the next few weeks. 

However, since we will see my entire family (with the exception of your Papa) this weekend we are preparing to tell them about you.  It is still WAY to early to do it- but since they all knew we were doing this we know they all already think we are pregnant.  I decided to make personalized onsies for each of them with iron on transfers.  We will see how it works out.  I bought the supplies today at lunch and I am going to try tonight. 

We are once again in another 2ww.  This time we are waiting for the ultra sound that will let us know that everything is right where it should be and if we have two of you!  I hope I can make it that long....



Polly want a ...

A baby?!?!?!?!  The results are in and you are officially on your way!!!!  I am so excited and terrified at the same time. 

We were waiting till 3:30 so your Dad could be with me when we got the call from Jessica.  I have to tell you I wasn't very optimistic. All day I have just felt "not pregnant" or I guess just plain normal.  As soon as I got back from Gainesville I went straight to sleep and only woke up an hour before the call. 

When Jessica called I put her on speaker so we both could hear and when she said "Congratulations! You're pregnant!!!" all I could do was cry.  And cry and cry and cry.  Even your Dad got a few tears in his eyes!!! 

We go back Sunday for our next appointment to make sure my beta is rising-  but it was 157 today and that is SUPER good.  Over 50 is positive.  So this is really positive.  This journey has been all about the numbers and since your Granny (My Mom) was born in 57 I think this is really positive! 

I am already planning in my mind- but I want to just enjoy this weekend and know that all our prayers and everyone elses prayers were answered and we are going to have a baby!!!!!

With more love than I ever imagined in my heart,

Your excited Mom

The 2WW is over...

Kinda.  I went this morning to Shands to have my blood work.  I'm going to say my first Beta test because once we get a postive we will go back Sunday to get another one done to make sure the levels are doubling.  This is me trying to be positive.

Your Dad wouldn't let me take a HPT (home pregnancy test) this am....even though I have said all along I wanted to do it this morning.  His reasoning was that there was no benefit.  If it was negative I would be a wreck on the way to the clinic.  Turns out it didn't matter.   I was a wreck on the way to the clinic anyway.  Cried the whole way there. 

When they drew my blood they told me that Dr. Williams had already called to see if we had any results.  The nurse was also surprised that I had not done an HPT yet.  She said she was impressed.   Other than the fact your Dad didn't want me too- my biggest strength in not doing it was really believing that God is teaching me to be patient.  So I am going to be patient and wait for the call this afternoon.

At 10 I know Jessica didn't have the results because she sent a very positive email about waiting to call when your Dad is home this afternoon.  He is supposed to be home at 3:30-  so I guess we will know in 4 short hours...

Until then I am going to take a nap because I woke up at 3am and never could get back to sleep. 

Looking forward to hearing of your arrival,

Your Anxious and Nervous Mom


Today I am 8 days post transfer, or 13 days past ovulation.  Tomorrow morning I go in for my beta test.  I'm nervous and scared.  I have not taken a single home pregnancy test after the one on day 4 to make sure the trigger shot was gone.  I've had every symptom in the book-  but every symptom in the book could be from PMS, from the progesterone or from pregnancy.  I'm just a little naseous, I am sensitive smells and continual slight cramping. 

Now I am in a dilema.  Your Dad can't go with me to Gainesville tomorrow for the blood work.  That in itself isn't a big deal- but chances are he won't be home till late in the afternoon and won't be here when I get the call.  So do we take an at-home test tomorrow morning so we have a good idea? Or what? 

I'll be honest.  I can't remember being this sick to my stomach about something.  I am terrified that I am not pregnant.  This time tomorrow I will know for sure if I have a chance....but today I don't and all I want to do is cry.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Don't Ignore

In our lives we ignore things on a daily basis.  THOUSANDS of things.  The voice in the office next to yours, the nagging ache in your back, phone calls and emails of people we don't want to deal with, dirty dishes in the sink and a floor that needs mopping, the homeless man on the street with his sign.  We are almost programed to ignore that which is uncomfortable or unpleasant.  And its easy to do.  Our own lives are complicated enough without adding other people's problems or issues to them.  There is always something more pressing to do. 

Today, I am asking your not to ignore.  For me-  I've been ignoring our diagnosis of infertility.  It is easier not to talk about it, not to share and not to have to deal with the thousands of questions that come from it.  But easy is not why God put us on this earth.  Easy is going with the flow and not standing up for one's self and the thousands of others. 

It is national infertility awareness week and RESOLVE has challenged the millions like myself and Jim to write a blog called "Don't Ignore".  Infertility is still a "dirty" word in this country and it is time for that to stop.  Too many people are left in shadows with shame over something that wasn't their fault and there is MEDICAL procedures to help with.  There has not even been a single media coverage of the event of any substance.   It is time to stop ignoring.

Currently only 15 states require fertility treatments to be covered by insurance for this disease (and yes, it is a disease.  A documented disease of which its patients have little control over).  As a conservative I hate Government meddling in business affairs- but I also realize how little insurance companies want to cover. I saw in Florida where they did not even want to be mandated to cover therapies for Autistic children- and this year even made a play to have that removed.  While I am completely OK with insurance companies (and any company for that matter) making a profit-  even an obscenely large profit- if you are in the business of covering diseases- you should cover all of them and not get to pick and choose- and I am OK with paying more for that coverage.

Jim and I are in a tough battle and it is not even remotely over. It has created more challenges than I ever thought we would face in our entire marriage- much less the first year and a half.  It has been emotionally, physically and financially draining.  Dreams have had to be altered and faith has been shaken.   So today, I am asking not for sympathy or pity, not even for kind words.  I am asking for your prayers and for you to stop ignoring.  Stop ignoring your neighbors, your friends, your co-workers, and your family.  We all deserve that. 

  • (Basic understanding of the disease of infertility.)
  • (About NIAW)
  • Monday, April 23, 2012

    The dreaded 2WW

    The dreaded 2WW, or two week wait, is ferociously upon us.  This is that time when there is NOTHING for me to do other than my nightly progesterone shots (and Jim gives me those).  Today I went back to the office and so things are on their "normal" pattern- but I feel anything but normal. (BTW- writing this on my lunch hour, none work time). 

    For the past two weeks I either worked from Gainesville, from the house or took sick leave- and so for the past two weeks I've worn sweat pants.  Really that is all I could have worn anyway as my belly was so bloated from the drugs and the over sized ovaries.  Today I am dressed in "work" clothes- and I am completely uncomfortable.  I think my feet must be swollen because my shoes are tight.  That and my belly is still really poochy.  Of course I am going to blame my belly size on these meds for the rest of my life- need something positive!! 

    I think that is the hardest thing right now-  remaining positive.  I am so lucky that I have good friends to help me through this.  Molly, who has been there- done that, and has the daughter to prove it!  Our neighbor Kerry who has been my sounding board each night and weekend- and who took care of Cracker for us (and the garden) while we were in Gainesville.  And so many more people who have done little things without even knowing it.  But even with all that its hard to be positive.  I want to prepare myself for the worst- but I'm afraid that might jinx us. 

    The 2WW is filled with time that seems endless- and since your Dad is traveling a lot for work this week it already seems lonely.  I miss spending every day with him. 

    Hopefully I won't freak myself out too much while trolling the Internet for every fact and statistic under the sun on 5 day embryo transfers....but we will see.  I have been known to go overboard on this type of thing before. 

    With much love,


    Thursday, April 19, 2012

    My "Fair" Ladies

    On April 18th we got up at 3:45am to get ready to travel to Shands for our embryo transfer.  I have to admit I was pretty excited- today was the day!!! 

    The last time we talked to Jessica we had 6 strong embryos and had lost 2 of the fertilized eggs.  But that number was still really positive.  Since we were doing a day 5 transfer (many IVF transfers are done on day 3) I knew the doctors would recommend only transferring 1 embryo.  But we had decided we wanted to transfer 2 and then freeze the rest. 

    We got to the hospital right on time- and my Valium had kicked in so I was feeling REALLY good.  Feeling like an old pro when Sue met us we went to the operating rooms, and were ready for the transfer before I knew it. 

    The wheeled me into the operating room and your Dad was able to be with me this time.  He looked cute in his "scrubs" but would not let me take a picture.  I was still really calm and ready for the transfer.  When the embryologist came out to tell us about the embryos I was sure we were about to get good news-  but we didn't.  At least I did not take it as good.

    There were only 3 embryos left.  One was not good and was not recommended for transfer at all.  The other two were Ok-  one was good enough for transfer and one was just "ok".  That was it.  My 6 strong embryos were now down to 1 and kinda 1.  Because one of them was just iffy they were Ok transferring 2.  Then I made the mistake of asking the "grade". 

    The grading system they use is "good", "fair" and "poor".  The 2 viable embryos were "fair".  Really? Just fair?  I started to cry.  At that point you could tell the Dr. was annoyed with the embryologist-  she was very quick to tell us that "fair" was still really good and we still had a good chance of getting pregnant.  But your over achieving mother is not happy with fair.  So I was instantly deflated and the rest of the transfer was fairly despondent. 

    The transfer was probably the easiest thing in this whole process.  It didn't hurt and took seconds, literally.  The cool part was that Sue gave us a picture of the embryos after they had been transferred into the uterus.  The big black blob is my very full bladder, underneath and to the left is a little while comet looking thing-  that's You!!  Our two embryos. 

    So after the transfer I spent another 15 minutes or so dangling upside down like and after that I was good to go.   On all my fertility forums everyone talks about bed rest for days.  But all the research I have read says no need- so I decided to take a modified approach.  I took the rest of the week off and I am taking it easy.  Laying around, reading books, watching TV-  basically doing things that I will never have time to go again once we have you!  I'm also STALKING the Internet on every possible symptom- when I can take an at-home pregnancy test (even though the doctors tell you not too). 

    I've been cramping all night and most of the day- but everything online says that is normal.  My ovaries are still very large and cramping is expected. 

    Since our lovely embryos only graded "fair"- I have taken to calling you "my fair ladies".  I think its funny (your Dad does not because what if you are a boy?) and maybe a little bad too-  I had a calf named My Fair Lady once...she passed away- so I hope I didn't jinx us!  But then again- you were retrieved on Friday the 13th-  jinxing isn't possible. 

    My Fair Ladies

    Now we begin the waiting game-  since I have finally decided to share this blog with my family and friends I am not going to put the date of our pregnancy test.  Mostly because I can't stand the thought of all the calls or texts we would get on that day and how to tell them "no" if we aren't pregnant.  It isn't something I want to think about or even deal with.  But I will take my waiting as best as I know how...and try my best to be positive and know that my fair ladies are safely growing. 

    With much love,


    Monday, April 16, 2012

    One day till Embryo Transfer

    I can not believe how quickly the last few days have gone by!!  As long and slow as the process seems- once things got moving it really did go by quickly.

    Right now I am waiting on the final report from the clinic on the condition of our embryos- but yesterday things were looking pretty good. 

    We had the egg retreival on Friday the 13th!!!!  But I think it was a lucky day.  Out of the 40 or so follicles I had, only 11 mature eggs were harvested.  I am not going to lie-  that was really really really painful.  Even though I was sedated and had some pain medication it hurt.  Basically they use a really large needle, poke holes in your vaginal wall to get to your ovaries to suck out the follicles/eggs.  It hurt and I cried.   I hate crying.  I hate seeming to be like a baby.  But in the end it was worth it to get 11 eggs.

    Out of the 11 eggs they only attempted to fertilize 10.  From there 9 fertilized, but only 8 fertilized normally. 

    The report on Sunday said that we still have 5 embryos growing at normal pace, and the other 3 were a little slower.  However, they all had extremely thick shells.  I think its a good indication that you are going to be hard headed- but with our genetics that was a given I think!!!  Since they all have thick shells we are going to have to do assisted hatching.  In assisted hatching they use a laser to "crack" the embryo and up the chances of it implanting in the uterus. 

    We are doing Day 5 transfer (meaning 5 days past egg retrevial)- which I thought would be bad- but all the research I have done indicates its good.  It seems that it isn't till Day 5 that the embryo would be introduced into the uterus anyway-  so this is more normal than Day 3 transfers and it gives them the best chance to determine which 2 embyros are the strongest. 

    I am trying not to get too excited right now-  but its hard not too!!  I just know you will be our little Christmas baby-  more proof of God's love for us. 

    With much love,


    P.S.  spell check isn't working- so ignore my "hooked on phonics" mistakes

    Wednesday, April 11, 2012

    Trigger Day!!!

    In your life- trigger will probably be only referred to when we are discussing guns.  Your Dad is a big hunter and both of us grew up in "outdoorsy" homes- so guns are not something you won't be exposed too.  However, today, when I "pulled the trigger" it was to give myself the HCG shot that will allow all the follicles that I have growing to release so that they can be harvested on Friday.

    Your Dad called me his Grand Champion Laying Hen (this sealed the deal for your first 4-H project btw)- and that's what I feel like right now.  On my right ovary I have 5 good size follicles and 8 smaller ones.  On my left ovary I had 18 good size follicles and 10 smaller ones.  Overall right now I am a very productive egg producer. 

    I am really excited today-  I pray that God lets one of these many eggs be you.  I can already imagine it....

    With much love,


    Monday, April 9, 2012

    Inching forward

    This morning was a great appointment for blood work and an ultrasound.  Dr. Williams and our regular nurse were not there- but Sue was and she performed the ultra sound.  Sue, either because she is female or because she is a nice person, is a LOT more talkative than Dr. Williams.  She made my day when she first saw my left ovary and said, "Wow! Lots of follicles on this one!  This is really good!".  Dr. Williams is much more clinical. 

    Long story short-  I have 20+ follicles on the left ovary (12 of which are good sized) and I have 8 follicles on the right ovary (4 of which are good sized) and I am really coming along well.  I don't have the results from my blood work yet- but according to Sue (which will always make me think of Johnny Cash) we are looking like we may be set for the trigger shot on Wednesday!!!  Woo Hoo!!! 

    For the first time I am really excited!  I mean super excited!  It does mean about another week of doctor's appointments (and I am really ready to go home) but I'm happy that we have made progress.  Now here is to hoping your Dad's swimmers have been properly preparing themselves. 

    With much love,


    Friday, April 6, 2012

    As the world turns

    Your grandmother didn't graduate from college until I was in middle school.  Of course she didn't stop there, went on to get her Masters and start on her doctorate- but that was when I was older and your Uncles John and Adam were a little bit older too. 

    But when I was a kid she was a stay-at-home Mom.  She was really lucky in that way.  I remember lots of friends and lots of stuff to do- I have no clue how they did it.  I remember once Mom saying Dad made $500/week.  It seemed like so much money then, but now it seems impossible to have lived on, much less had 3 kids and only one income. 

    One of my memories as a kid was my Mom's soap operas.  She watched CBS-  so "As the World Turns", "Guiding Light" and "The Bold and the Beautiful".  Not sure how I know all of this since soap opera time was nap time.  Once I pretended to sleep walk, under my blue blankie (which I have with me today at Uncle Adam's-  30 years later and its still what I want when I'm scared) into the den and plopped down on the floor to watch the soaps.  In my memory Mom didn't say a word-  not sure how it really went down though :-)

    What I remember about this soap operas was that each day was the same and seemed painfully boring to me- but the events were high drama and high stakes.  That's how these days feel to me right now, boring, each the same yet high stakes. 

    Dad and I moved into Uncle Adam's yesterday.  It is a trailer in the trailer park that I lived in during college, Uncle John and your Aunt Melissa too.  Oak Park Village (affectionally called AGR West and Okeechobee North) used to be a pretty cool little trailer park.  Now its pretty much sketchy and scary.  Uncle Adam is cheap.  So he doesn't have any cable or tv.  So after my blood work yesterday we just kinda sat around the trailer until it was time to go to lunch.  Then came back and sat around the trailer until it was time to go get food for dinner.  Then sat around the trailer until your Dad went stir crazy and we went bowling.  This morning I'm sitting around the trailer, working on the computer but bored to death and I can't fathom a week more of this. 

    Yesterday was just blood work.  But my levels went up by more than 100%.  My first E2 (estridol) was 58- but yesterday it was 174.  This makes me very happy.  It also makes my stomach very odd feeling.  But no pain no gain right? 

    No doctors appointments today (Friday) but we do have another one on Saturday.  This one will be blood work and my first ultra sound so we can start figuring out the size and true number of follicles I have.  The more the merrier (and better).  We also have an awards breakfast for your Dad- who is a UF Young Alumni of the Year followed by the orange and blue game.  Hey-- this is going to be your first Gator football game!!!  Of course you are just a growing egg- but we will take it.  After the football game we are going to walk to the UF vs LSU baseball game. 

    So, as the world turns today, I will be sitting in this trailer, hoping that you are growing and producing lots of estridol. 

    With much love,


    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

    2, 4, 23, 38, 46 Mega Ball = 23

    Last week the largest lottery jackpot in the history of all lotteries ($640 million) was won by 3 people.  Your Dad and I actually drove up to Georgia after an appointment at Shands to buy tickets.  The winning numbers were not our numbers- so we both are still going to work each day.  But really- life is all about the numbers. 

    The day we bought our Mega Millions tickets we started our day in Gainesville.  That day I had good numbers.  7 antral follicles on 1 ovary and 10 on the other.  My hormone levels were officially suppressed and I was given the go ahead to start stimulation medicine. 

    They decreased my 20mm of Lupron down to 5mm and I added 200mm of Follistim and 1 vial of Repronex.  This combination of numbers are supposed to stimulate my follicles into development. 

    Yesterday we went back to Gainesville for another round of blood work and those numbers were not so great.  I had asked the phlombotomist what a good estridiol level would be.  She said she would be happy with 100.  It never occurred to me that I wouldn't have that level.  I've responded well to every medication given me- I have no known issues.  So when Jessica called and said my E2 level was only 58 I was devastated.  They upped my Follistim to 250mm and I will come in for blood work on Thursday again.  Not blood work and ultrasound. 

    The 58 number causes another number- 508.  The amount of money we will need to spend to get more Follistim.  Assuming the pharmacy opens up again after the tornadoes in Texas.  It also adds at least 2 days to our cycle.  I know I am not a patient person- but it seems cruel of God to extend this ordeal.  Of course it seems cruel of God that we even have to do this.  But the Lord works in mysterious ways and I learned long ago to never question him. 

    Tomorrow when we go back to Gainesville for my blood work we go back for the duration (or at least until egg retrieval).  I am praying for better numbers so that we can see you soon...



    Sunday, April 1, 2012

    We're Stimming stimming

    Things are getting exciting around here now o child of mine.  Yesterday I started my "stimulation" medicine.  Or "stims" as the fertility forums call them.  These will take my now suppressed ovaries and put them into super ovulation mode.  This week during my ultra sound we have an initial 17 antral follicles.  We could end up with more- but my nurse said that's a good number to start with.  The meds I am on now, Repronex and Follistim, will help to mature as many of those follicles as possible.  During a normal cycle only one- or maybe two- will mature.  Our goal is too have as many mature as possible, so we can fertilize as many as possible so we can hopefully have the very best embryos to chose from. 

    I am also still on the Lupron so that I don't ovulate early.  That makes three shots- but luckily I get to mix the Lupron with the Repronex and only have two shots.  I'm hoping that now that my Lupron dose is much lower my headaches will go away.  I've basically had a headache non-stop since I started it-  11 days ago.  That hasn't been the case yet- but its only day 2 of the lower dose.  The shots are interesting.  I wasn't sure I could give them to myself at first.  And each time I go to give myself a shot I kinda freak myself out a little.  The Lupron didn't really hurt that much- just itched a little afterwards.  My new mixture of Lupron/Repronex burns when I am injecting it and then feels fine.  The follistim itches and burns for about an hour afterward. 

    We aren't sure how long we will be "stimming"- it could be as short as 6 days or as long as two weeks.  It basically means lots of trips to Gainesville and at the end of this week we are going to just take Polly and go live with your Uncle Adam for a few days.  Gas is now at $4/gallon and even with my fake SUV its expensive to drive back and forth. 

    We are getting close little one.  I will keep praying for our positive outcome so we can meet before the year is over.


    Your very emotional mother

    Monday, March 26, 2012

    The emotions that plague me

    It is hard for me to focus on anything these days.  Part of me thinks that is typical post-session issues, part of me thinks its because I am so underwhelmed in my job and the biggest part of me knows its because we are in the beginning of the "last hoorah". 

    After the initial shock of giving myself the Lupron shots- it has been kind of a let down.  At this point I am not being monitored-no one even checked in with me to make sure my meds had arrived and I started my shots- or if I was having any issues with the shots.  Yet starting next week I will be monitored almost constantly and will have major disruptions to my schedule.  The biggest issue with going to Gainesville for our treatment is the drive.  2.5 hrs- and we will never know more than 12 hours ahead of time if we need to head back. 

    So this morning when a particularly sappy brother/sister commercial came on- and I cried.  And when I woke up this morning I had an awful headache I thought- typical with this protocol.  But are they related to the hormone shots or just my true emotions coming forth? 

    I feel like I should be excited that we are finally doing this.  But I am not.  I am terrified it won't work.  I am terrified that we will use all of our resources and have nothing.  I am sad that I am sad and I am afraid to be excited and jinx ourselves.  I want to look forward to a positive pregnancy test- but then worry that I won't even be excited about that because I will then move on to worrying about a miscarriage.  I am plagued by sadness while trying to put on a good front-  laugh at myself and act like none of this is a big deal.  I am doing yoga- taking "calming baths", massage, acupuncture- the works. Yet I am still overwhelming sad and pessimistic. 

    So future child of mine-  know that even when things look good on the outside- they are often tumultuous on the inside.  When someone seems disconnected- it usually has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.  When someone seems to have a perfect life and just laughs at problems that they face-  know that when they are alone they probably are letting loose of the emotions that plaque them. 

    With much love,


    Friday, March 23, 2012

    May the odds ever be in your favor....

    The whole point of an IVF cycle is to increase your odds of achieving pregnancy.  Because I am under 35, relatively healthy and no known fertility issues, our odds are pretty good.  But that doesn't mean much really in the grand scheme of things. 

    I started with my Lupron shots on Wednesday.  I have to admit I really almost tried to terrify myself and psych myself out before I started them.  I am not afraid of needles, I have given more shots than I can count to animals (and your Aunt Julie)- but the first time I had to actually stick myself it was A LOT harder than I ever thought possible.   But in the really wasn't that bad.

    My first dose of Lupron- ready for business
    The first day I wanted your Dad to be with me.  He was in the middle of finishing the fascia and soffits on the house (rotted thanks to shoddy builders) and had to come clean up-  he was not exactly amused.  But he came in.  I got everything ready....cleaned my belly with the alcohol pad and stuck myself.  And then...couldn't get my fingers to push the plunger in.  I freaked for a moment and then shoved a little harder than needed.  But the first dose of Lupron was administered. 

    Lupron "suppresses" my ovaries and puts me into a mini menopause.  It is also used for men who have prostate cancer and children who achieve puberty too early. 

    Besides Lupron I am on steroids (Dexamethasone) and baby aspirin- both of which are supposed to help make my body not reject embryos when transferred.  So- not only will I be starving thanks to the roids- but I might experience hot flashes and asthma attacks too!  The things women will do for their children..... 

    So far Lupron hasn't been that bad (although I am only on day 3).  The shot on the second day was way easy to administer and the only side effect I've noticed so far is that the injection site gets a little irritated and itchy for about an hour afterwards- so really not that bad. 

    Your Dad is taking an antibiotic and doing acupuncture weekly.  I am doing acupuncture bi-weekly and trying to do yoga at least once a day and long walks.  Between those activities and this blog and my awesome friend Molly I am so far able to control my emotions. 

    All in all dear child- I can't complain about anything yet.  Just praying I can be patient and calm through all of this. 

    This is what $3000 worth of drugs looks like

    The monster needle your Dad gets to use to inject me

    My favorite-  progesterone- in olive oil. 

    I didn't want all my accouterments making the house look icky.  I put them in pretty boxes

    Tuesday, March 20, 2012


    It is only a day away (your Mother LOVES to sing)- but it seems like a whole lifetime away.  In a way it is. 

    I'm working from home today waiting on UPS to deliver the $2799 worth of medicines that will put me into menopause, bring me out of menopause, cause me to super ovulate, kill bacteria, calm me (valium- really looking forward to that one), make my uterus into a warm and cozy home to the embryos that will be transferred and other things that I am sure I am forgetting right now.  I am waiting for these meds today because tomorrow is when I will start the meds that in less than a month will hopefully bring me you. 

    Let me tell you- I am terrified.  Yep.  Scared. It seems like that after nearly two years of trying to have you this month would not seem like a lifetime in itself.  But tomorrow we up the stakes.  Tomorrow I start the counting game and waiting game ALL over again.  But this time everything is riding on this. 

    Monday, February 27, 2012

    Let go and let God

    That sounds so simple.  Let go and let God.  Trust in God and lean not on your own understanding.  Yet God gave us minds to question and think and evaluate everything.  He teaches us to do those things so we are not fooled.  So it is so frustrating to me to just "trust God".  What does that mean? Does it mean we shouldn't try to have you with medical assistance? Does it mean we should trust him to make sure the medical assistance works or what? Does it mean I should prepare for failure?  Its frustrating and causes me many tears.

    What may not matter in the future, may have little or no effect on history, or may cause your sibling's not to be born,  is the current Republican candidates for President.  The two "final" candidates are so different from each other its hard to believe that they are even still both considered options.  As a Republican I am moderate at best- and I think that is why Mitt Romney appeals to me.  He represents common sense in my mind.  He is not so far in either direction- yet still is considered a Republican.  I voted for him in the primary and if he makes it to the end I will campaign for him as much as I can. 

    The other candidate is Rick Santorum.  This man is as far right as a person can be I think.  There are so many political issues I disagree with him on that listing them would take far too much time.  But the one that breaks my heart the most, the one that will force me to vote for Obama if he becomes our candidate is infertility treatments.  In Rick's world trust in the Lord means no IVF.  With no IVF there will be no Baby Spratt and with no Baby Spratt I can't imagine our future.  In Rick's world birth control is evil.  Yet in Rick's world extraordinary measures have been taken to save his children's lives.  I'm not sure where you draw the line with "trust in God"- but I do believe that because God gave us brains, because he gave us Doctors and because he gave us medical miracles he doesn't mind using those on Earth to help him achieve his plan. 

    So Baby Spratt-  always trust in the Lord, know that you will often not understand his plans, but that in no way means you can't be proactive in your life.  God will provide- and sometimes he uses earthly hands to do so. 

    I love you,


    Tuesday, January 31, 2012

    Some days are harder than others

    Session is in full force- and that should limit my time on Facebook- but the hours of committee meetings mean more time than usual on Facebook some days. 

    Facebook is literally like a field filled w/ land mines for me.  I've gone to extreme lengths to "filter" those who I know are trying to get pregnant- or are pregnant so I won't have an unexpected land mine blow up in my face.  But some days, like today, one slips in and when it does the explosion wreaks havoc on me.  Often is causes me to cry- sometimes it causes me unfriend the "offender".  I admit- its hard being the person who can't be happy with other people's pregnancies and children.  I feel scummy and it has cost me more than one friend.  But are those friends needed if they can't understand the pain their happiness causes me?

    Today's land mine sent me to my keyboard for posting- but as I started typing I realized that I really needed to write less about my pain and more about my prayer life.  The last couple of weeks I have seen or heard numerous posts, sermons, etc about believing in your prayers and praying bold prayers.  So I wonder, all the prayers I have said for you - all the prayers I have said hoping for you to be- did I really believe it would happen? That first month of trying to have you? All the times I would sit and cry and pray that I would be pregnant- did I really believe that God would answer my prayers?  Honestly, I don't think I did.  I think the sins of my past, even though I have verbally asked for forgiveness, hold me back from believing.  That even though I know nothing I do, have done or will do will ever make me deserving of God's love and forgiveness but he gives it anyway, hasn't made its way from my head to heart.  So I hope that as we approach our first IVF cycle- in what looks like to be in the middle of a special session- that I do believe God will answer my prayers for you.  Because even though I don't know you, I love you, have plans for you and want your life to be amazing.  In order for that to happen I have to have an unyielding faith that God will hear and answer my prayers. 

    With much love,


    Tuesday, January 10, 2012

    We are scheduled....

    Hi Little Spratt-

    The possibility of you seems more real now.  We are "scheduled" now to begin the IVF process.  I put process because apparently this is quite a process.  I start back on birth control (isn't that the definition of irony?) at the end of this month and then we get to almost make it through session before having to think anymore about it (HA HA HA- you know I will be thinking about it almost every minute of every day).  The last week of Session (potentially the most stressful) we get to make our first "payment" on you- to Walgreens.  This little $2000+ (estimates go up to $5k) will cover ALLLL the medication I will be taking during the duration of the IVF cycle. 

    I joke a lot about costs- but in reality we are very lucky.  We have enough money in savings, thanks to your Great Grandparents, that we can do one cycle without going into debt up to our eyeballs. After that- we will figure out something.

    This is where we will go to actually "get" pregnant.  Shands- at the University of Florida.  What you don't know is this means you have no choice on where you go to school-  this is it.  UF.  You are a Gator.  Even before you were thought about you were a Gator though. 

    See your Dad and I met in college, at THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA- and after a brief and disastrous relationship we parted ways and both ended up in Tallahassee.  Now, please don't tell him this, but I pretty much followed him there.  Yes, I realize that seems somewhat pyscho - but it wasn't.  I gave him his space, we were friends, he dated and married my friend, we weren't friends, he got divorced, we were friends, we dated and I finally convinced him- nearly 10 years after our first kiss- to marry me. 

    Your Dad and I, as your Aunt Julie LOVES to say, are perfect on paper together.  On paper, God clearly made us for each other.  There is no one in this world that gets me like he does and more importantly, can put up with me.  For one reason, I have SICK humor-  for example.  This is the man is going to knock me up or get me preggers, or impregnate me.  However you want to say it. 

    Dr. R. Stan Williams

    I find that to over-the-top funny-  he does not.  It hurts his feelings I suspect.  But I believe you have to add levity to all situations- and this is a hell of a situation. 

    Long story short-  we are scheduled.  The cocktail of medications will be ordered in less than 60 days and it will all begin. 

    With much love- and humor-

    Your Mom 

    P.S.  I just reread this entry and realized that I was all over the board.  I guess that is what happens when you start and stop writing 5 times in one day. 

    Tuesday, January 3, 2012


    Hard to believe that we are starting a new year already.  Its hard to believe that you aren't here yet too.  Christmas lost some of its joy this year- as Facebook was constantly filled with pictures of babies and children and pregnancies that seemed so easy. 

    This week we make another trip to Shands in Gainesville.  Its not a hard one- just consent forms and a psych evaluation.  Also the final the results from the last set of blood work.  If all goes well we will get final approval to start the IVF process.  However we are waiting till after this year's legislative session so my stress levels are not through the roof.  Hopefully this gives me some time to lose some weight and get my back ready for a pregnancy.  Its out again and I can't imagine carrying you- or twins with it this way. 

    The end of the year is always exciting for me- and this year its not.  I've been out of the office for 2 weeks and it was incredibly hard to make myself go this morning after my doctor appointment.  Not being pregnant has taken the joy out of so many things for me....and I'm worried that in tomorrow's psych appointment I will not "pass" because of this borderline depression I'm in.  But I believe that God's will will carry me through all of this and what is meant to be will be. 

    With tears in my eyes,

    Your hopeful mother