Because the important moments in life just don’t fit in a status update! I started this blog when I was training for my first ½ Ironman, (70.3 miles) to record what I hoped would be growth and progress but ended up being a huge learning experience. Although fitness is one of the key ingredients to a happy life, it certainly isn't the only ingredient. My blog has evolved to document growth, progress and setbacks in other areas too. From my surprise proposal in Rome and wedding in the fall of 2013, to Mom's devastating stage IV cancer diagnosis and death 2 weeks after I found out I was pregnant. Who knows what shape it will take, but thanks for being along for the ride.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

It's A(nother) GIRL!

After a small dinner last night with family and my best friend, we cut open our gender reveal cake. We found out when everyone else did that Baby A is going to have a little sister; a best friend for life!
We are beyond thankful to be having a second child, because there was a time when we were uncertain we would even have a first. When our first IVF failed we were only left with payments on the $20,000 that we financed, because we didn't even have any left embryos to freeze. Everyone (it seems) has embryos left to freeze, and we fully expected that we would too. It was a hard pill to swallow, and I will never forget that day. Although I was disheartened and afraid of never becoming a mother, I wiped the tears off my face and went for a run with my husband. This was right in the middle of my Mom teaching me one of the greatest life lessons: How to have Grace in the face of fear, pain, despair, and even death. How could I feel sorry for myself with a negative pregnancy test when she did not spend one minute feeling sorry for herself with terminal brain cancer? Calling her and delivering the news broke my heart, but she took it in stride, knowing that it would all work out as part of a greater plan. She always had faith that things would work out, and everything would be fine.

And I thank God every day that first IVF failed. Because if it had worked, I would have a different 1 1/2 year old and not my baby girl. It was meant to not work. We were meant to have her. By the time I POAS and had that amazing positive result, Mom's health had declined dramatically. She shared our joy from her bed in our spare bedroom, the bedroom that will now be this new baby's nursery. My husband recorded me telling her, though I am not strong enough to watch it just yet. We lost her the day after we heard Baby A's heartbeat, when I was only 6 weeks pregnant.

With that pregnancy, I knew it would last, and that she would be fine...no, perfect, because I had to believe that to get me through. The hope of having her was my sunshine in my darkest of days. This concerned my more practical, plan-for-the-worst-case-scenario husband, because he knew I had so much riding on it.

Never one to feel a compelling desire to have children, he was the one that suggested we try for a 3rd round of IVF. Now that he had Baby A, he felt a strong desire to have a second, and to give her a sibling. Family for her when we are gone. "Are you sure? What if we spend another $20,000 for nothing?" I asked. "Well, then we know we tried, and we will not always wonder 'what if?'" It was then that we began looking into IVF abroad. We all know how that worked out (it didn't).

But again, there was a plan, and a reason Prague didn't work out. We bit the bullet and went with HRC Newport Beach for a cost of about $15,000 (including meds). Neither of us expected it to work. In fact, we were told that there was a 10% chance that it would. On embryo transfer day, I fully expected to be told that we did not have any make it to day three. I was astounded that we had three, but reminded myself that the chance of success for a day three transfer was much, much lower than a hardier day five blastocyst. 

This time, when we received the positive test at home and then the official blood test, we were still worried. Would the HCG continue to rise? Was this just a chemical pregnancy? Was something wrong with the baby? It sounds silly, but part of the reason I was worried was because I felt like we were pushing our luck. We already felt like we were abundantly blessed - how could there be more?
An hour before we found out!
When we found out last week at week 11 that all the genetic testing was fine, we knew we were really in the clear. I was so relieved because the chances that something would be seriously wrong with our baby was as high as 1 in 66. Though I was nervous as we sliced into the cake together, I knew I would be happy with either outcome because there was another outcome. Another healthy child. A sibling for our little girl. Another little girl.

Almost too excited to sleep, I woke up excited all over again. I'm not going to lie, a serious part of that excitement has to do with the fact that this baby has a head start on having a fantastic wardrobe. And she will even be born in the same season as our first - how perfect is that? Not to mention matching outfits for the two of them, and the combination birthday parties that I can throw with the girliest of themes (think: Cinderella, spa or tea party, Alice in Wonderland). 

But the best part? She's going to have a best friend for life. Someone who looks up to her; someone she can share life's joys and sorrows with. A built-in playmate that will grow up to be a trusted confidant. Maybe they will even travel the world together after we're gone. I imagine them sitting in a cafe somewhere in Europe, reminiscing about the travels and adventures they had with us when they were young. 

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