Friday, December 31, 2010

December 28, 2009

Well, Peanut, we got to check in on you today and you are doing great! You are 2.5” long and very active. It seems you are very happy in your home. Your heart was beating at 145 beats per minute and Jamie has already felt you kick. Tomorrow is the last day of her 13th week. 1st trimester done!!! Woo Hoo! The ultrasound tech refused to guess your sex yet so the wait is still on. All that we cared about was your health, and it seems to be perfect. Thank you, God!!!

We had a wonderful Christmas full of family, laughs, good food and fun festivities. It is amazing how quickly Christmas comes and then it’s gone. Glad we enjoyed it!

Jamie is feeling so much better now too. She said she feels like a new person. She is still tired and her breasts are larger, but that is about it now. She isn’t showing yet to me, but she can tell on herself.

We had a really wonderful time with Jamie and Jamie last night. My Mom and Fred’s Mom watched all of their kids and Grace so that we could take them out for a nice dinner. We had great conversation, as always, and the Grandmas had a lot of fun with all of the kids. They were pooped when we got home—the kids wore them out! They are really enjoying getting to know each of them better though, and the kids have really taken to them. It warms my heart. We really have all gotten two families out of this deal. Not bad!

I am off to a friends baby shower in about an hour, so I’d better start getting ready. I wonder if I’ll have a private minute to share our news with my closest friends after the shower? I am getting really good at keeping this exciting news to myself until the right moments present themselves to tell others about you. It sure is fun to see people’s response!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

December 23, 2009

Well, another wonderful life-filled 2 weeks has come and gone since having written in here last. Christmas is only two days away and I feel like a five year old who has received the gift of her dreams 12 weeks early. Honestly, I have never in my life felt so complete!
Jamie is in week 13 beginning today, and she feels like a new person. Her nausea has finally gone away and her spirits are soaring again. She says "boy Jamie" (that's what we call her husband, also named Jamie) thinks she has a “baby bump” now. She can tell on herself that her uterus is above her pelvis now. Bring on the belly!!!
I am so amazed with how happy I have been about this pregnancy. I thought that I might have some emotional meltdowns about not being pregnant myself but, honestly, I wouldn’t change any of it for the world. I love Jamie, I love her healthy womb, and I love knowing that our baby is safe. I am at complete peace and I feel so whole. My family is on its way to completion—hurray!!!
Jamie and I have been spending more time together, which I cherish. We are each so candid about our life—just as we have always been. Our friendship has never been stronger. Grace and I joined her and her kids for a Christmas performance at her church on Sunday evening, and we had a really nice time. Olive, Jamie’s daughter, and Grace are just adorable together. Olive is only 6 months older than Grace. I gave Jamie a little gift—a beautiful glass ornament of an angel holding a little baby. I couldn’t have found a more perfect ornament. I had to get one for our tree, too, as our family ornament of 2009. The baby is a girl. We should know in only 5 days if you are a girl or a boy! Fred thinks you are a little girl, Jamie’s husband is sure you are a little boy. Jamie and I have no idea! I guess time will tell.
Jamie gave me our gift today. (Ridiculous, really, as she is already giving us the most amazing gift of our lives!) We went out to lunch and had a very nice time, as always. She made us our gift because she is creative and amazing like that. It couldn’t be more perfect. It is a plaque that has our last name on it and then says in script in front of our name “Families are forever.” It now hangs above our kitchen sink. Thanks to her and her family, our family will finally feel complete. She has given us the greatest gift possible—our baby. She has also given me endless love, support, and friendship. She owns a huge piece of my heart—she always will.
So…you are growing, my dear, and my heart is mending. Our faith, love, friendships, hope, and peace are restored. 2010 promises to be our very best year yet!
2009 has ended well too. We have had a very full December filled with all things Christmas. Grace has gone out to her first Christmas ballet, we have seen Santa at least 5 times. We have made (and eaten) more Christmas cookies than I care to count. Last night we took both of Grace’s wonderful Grandmas out to dinner and then on a horse drawn carriage ride through Frederick Meijer Gardens to enjoy all of the lights. Grace and her Daddy made their annual gingerbread house together yesterday. Tonight we went out again with both Grandmas for a 3D movie at the theatre and ate popcorn to our hearts content. On top of that we have gone to the holiday light show at the ball park, to a holiday party with friends, and spent lots of time sledding. So, you name it—we’ve done it! And, I’ve enjoyed every single second of it!!!
My heart is full, my soul is at peace and my level of gratitude is at a level I have never known possible. Thank you God for our many blessings!
I love you, our baby…

Thursday, December 9, 2010

December 9th, 2009

I’m just thinking about you, our Angel, and how beyond blessed we are that God and our dear friends are growing you for us to love and raise. I am still pinching myself daily, yet getting more excited by the day about your arrival. As of yesterday, we are 1/4th of the way there—in reality though, the journey to you has been so much longer! I know though, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you are absolutely worth our struggle to have you and this wait. You are already SO loved!!!
Jamie came over today to visit and it was wonderful to see her. I just adore her and I know that you will too. She told me today that she didn’t want us to feel any obligation to include her and her family in your future. By that, she meant every birthday party, etc. My feelings are that you and we will be so blessed to continue to have them in our life forever. They are amazing people and we can all learn a lot from them and the way that they live their life. I hope that Jamie and Jamie will always hold a special place in your heart. After all, you wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for their compassionate gift. We really owe your life, my dear, to them. That is quite a gift! The most awesome gift I will ever receive from another human being.
Anyway, we looked through all of the materials she got from the doctor. Today was her 1st appointment with the nurse at my OB office. We didn’t go because all they did was paperwork on her history at this visit. Our first appointment with the doctor is on the 28th, and at that appointment there will be an ultrasound, too. I cannot wait to see you again!
We talked about life, about how important it is to do the right thing in life for others and the world. Jamie sure does lead by example.
Anyway, it was great to hug her, thank her, and tell her how much I love and cherish her and our friendship. She assured me that you are doing fine too. Oh and we all agree that we think you are a girl. We have decided to find out though, so that we will know for sure. We will find out soon!!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

December 6, 2009

Well, we are halfway done with week 10 of your growth and all seems to be going well. Jamie is feeling much better by the day and she is now off her nausea meds. She takes her last estrogen pill on Friday, and she ends her progesterone one week after that. I’ll be thrilled (and so will she and her husband) when she is done taking additional hormones. The “usual” pregnancy hormones are enough!

Jamie is beginning to feel the twinges of her lower abdomen beginning to stretch and grow. That means you are growing, our baby! She has been craving chicken breast subs from Subway because they are so mild yet protein rich and good. Saltine crackers were a staple of hers for awhile!

Her relatives all moved out yesterday, so she now has the one on one time with her own immediate family again. Her house is getting cleaned tomorrow, and then she is decorating for Christmas.

Life is really good at our home. Our tree is up and the house is all decorated. The Christmas cards went out today. I used the photo of all of us at Disney World because that was the day of your first ultrasound. What a wonderful, special day that was for us!

I told my friend Mary Claire about you on Monday and it was so wonderful! She had a baby yesterday, Maria. We would have had the same due date if my IVF cycle worked this past spring. I was at her home looking at the nursery and all of her new belly photos prior to us going out to brunch. On the way out the door she asked if I was going to tell her what we were doing at this point to complete our family. (I hadn’t said a word to her about anything baby related for the last 8 months.) I said to her “I think I will tell you.” She said “Really?” I handed her this journal, this beautiful leather journal with gold pages that I am writing in now, and asked her to begin reading it aloud from the beginning. She was crying by page one, sobbing by page 7. When she read “The gift of her womb” she was crying so hard she could hardly talk. She looked at me and said, “You are really going to do this?” I said “Look at the date.” and smiled while pausing, then said, “We already have, it worked, she is in her 10th week.” Then the floodgates completely opened. It was the BEST news to finally share with a good friend that had been in the dark, yet still by my side, for so long. She couldn’t be happier for us.

We talked through everything at brunch and, among other things, discussed how I need to get tough skin because so many people might say the wrong thing somehow, unintentionally, and it will sting.
About an hour after we parted ways we were on the phone again. She said “I recognize that this very well might be one of those “wrong things to say” but I’m SO f-ing jealous of you right now!” I just laughed. After all, she was in her last week of pregnancy. I remember all too well how hard that last week was with Grace. I am just SO glad that I have experienced pregnancy so that I know, first hand, all of the good AND the bad. I did not have an easy pregnancy with Grace, and that is putting it mildly. In fact, by this point I had already been on bed rest for a whole week. Crazy!

With Grace I was on complete bed rest from weeks 9-15. I began my pregnancy with ovarian hyperstimulation and looked 6 months pregnant by 2 weeks. My uterus filled up with fluid from the follicles that released the 9 eggs I had created during the intrauterine insemination in which I conceived her. There was only a 1% chance of this happening, and I was the lucky one. As my uterus grew by the minute with all of this fluid, the remainder of my body was severely dehydrated and craving fluid. A recipe for disaster!
When the hyperstimulation finally went away in week 8, thanks to protein being pumped into me intraveniously, I was much relieved because the fluid had been getting to my lungs and it was becoming hard for me to breathe. My body went back to “normal” briefly, but in the following week—week 9—I began bleeding, went in for an emergency ultrasound, and found out that I had a subcoreonic hemorrhage. This is when you have bleeding in the uterus that has stopped but it has formed a blood clot between the placenta and the uterine wall. This was the cause for my early bed rest and for my then 50% miscarriage rate. What a scary time.

All this being said, you can see why I laughed when Mary Claire said she was jealous. I can absolutely see why someone 9 months pregnant would be jealous! (Side note: Mary Claire just called me to tell me about her delivery and, unfortunately, she too had a C-section. Darn it. Luckily, all went well. Grace and I will go and see her and little Maria at the hospital tomorrow. How special that will be, knowing we will be next this time!!!)

I can’t believe that I failed to mention in here that my little angel, Grace, fell this past week and got stitches in her face. She had been sick with a really bad cold. She couldn’t nap because her cough was so bad, and she threw up from ingesting all of the mucus. Anyway, I told her that she could snuggle with me on the couch while I worked on Christmas cards. She got bored and asked if she could do a little dance for me. (We had just been to the ballet “Twas' the Night before Christmas” that week, and she was all about practicing her own ballet.) She got up and did one simple little turn right in front of me, tripped over her foot and crashed into the living room table. She had a HUGE open wound from one end of her right eyebrow to the other. It was so hard not to panic, but I had to stay calm for her. I laid her on her back on the kitchen floor and told her she had to hold the already saturated paper towel on her head while I called the doctor. We were told to go to the ER just as soon as I could drive her without blood flowing into her eyes.

We waited for 3 hours before they bound her in Velcro blankets and stitched her up for 45 minutes. It was SO awful! She screamed out for me the whole time, alternating between “Cuddle me, Mommy!” and “I have to go home!” Heartbreaking since the doctors wouldn’t let me anywhere near her head to console her. Her little feet were shaking and her teeth were clattering. It was the hardest 45 minutes. Afterwards, we went to Steak and Shake (her favorite restaurant) with Grandma and got her a cheeseburger and a milkshake. All was well.

She is slowly healing—still very much bruised though, and her cold is finally on the mend too. Besides all of that, she also dropped her nap due to everything—making for one very long past week…

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

November 30, 2009

Another holiday has come and gone and we are more grateful than ever this year. I am still in shock and awe that our dreams are finally coming true. We WILL be a complete family of four. AMAZING!

Jamie is entering week 10 tomorrow… 9 weeks behind her, 9 weeks behind us. You are growing bigger and stronger every day my dear. We love you so much already.

We told the rest of our immediate family about you on Thanksgiving, and they were all so excited and supportive. Of course there were questions and we were 100% open and honest while providing answers. Your conception, honey, is not “typical.” You will grow up knowing that while I am 100% your mommy, I did not—could not—grow you in my own belly. In the end, having your life, your healthy life, is all that matters. Which “oven” you grew in won’t change who you become or how much of a mom I am to you. You are and you will always be MY baby and I am already counting down the days until you are in my loving arms. Until then, my love—please continue to grow big and strong for me, ok? I already love you more than you will ever know.

Jamie has chosen to keep to herself over the past month. I’m not exactly sure why, but I’m trying to give her the space that she needs. She has had her sister, brother in law and their three kids living with her for almost 2 months, and I am sure that as much as she loves them, it has taken its toll. After all, she has 5 “extra” people in her home and someone else’s growing baby in her womb. It would only make sense that she needs some space. Really, who wouldn’t?

When we do talk everything goes really well. She just doesn’t ever call me. I am always the one calling her. That part does get hard, since we had always maintained such a reciprocal relationship. It doesn’t feel that way lately. I know she loves me/us and she is giving us the absolute greatest gift anyone could EVER give, so it is—of course—all ok. They are just hurt feelings on my end because I care so much for her and she doesn’t want to “let me in.” Knowing her, she is probably looking out for me somehow. That is Jamie. I just hope and pray that she does not regret her decision to do this. After all, this is new to all of us and there is no guide to carrying one of your best friend’s baby. Unfortunately, there is also no guide for me on how to help her if she is in a bad place since she doesn’t want to let me in. Hopefully one day I will know that she is glad she did this. Right now I think she is just taxed and she desperately needs some time to regroup and to take care of herself and her own family. Makes perfect sense to me.

I’ve told her time and time again that we want to help with anything and everything that we are able. She really doesn’t seem to want us to help with anything though. In fact, she has asked that we refrain from doing things for them. I’ve wanted to bring meals, help with laundry, etc., and she has repeatedly said no. Luckily, she has agreed to let us get her house cleaned every once in a while. I’m really glad that we will at least be able to do that for them. It is the very least we can do. I think that may be the hardest part, never feeling like we will ever be able to repay them. I’m working daily on accepting that. Gratitude over guilt, gratitude over guilt—that seems to be my daily mantra.

I sure hope and pray that Jamie lets me back “in” as time goes on. We have always been so close and I miss feeling like she wants to hear from me. Until then, I will love her from afar and I will try to help in every way that I am able and that she will allow.

I adore her and her whole family and I want more than anything to help them in any way that we can. It is so hard to want to help someone desperately and to not have the help accepted. This may just be how Jamie felt a year ago when I chose to have surgery on my uterus rather than let her carry our baby for us at that time. I will never forget how hard she cried when I told her my surgery went well and that we would give my uterus another shot. It didn’t make as much sense to me then as it does now. She just wanted me to let her help, and I wasn’t ready yet. Now the role is reversed. When she is ready to let me in again, I’ll be here waiting with open arms. Love you, Jamie, SO very much! I appreciate you so much more than you will ever know.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

November 24, 2009

Gosh it has been a long time since I’ve written in here. We had a fun filled, action packed trip to Disney World and then to Siesta Key to visit Andrea, Jay and little Ella. Ella is adorable, and Grace just LOVED being her “big cousin.” A fun time was had by all!

We returned a week ago Sunday (today is Tuesday) to a disaster of a house. Elle, our 11 year old cocker spaniel, emptied her bladder all over our entire house and also pooped in two places. It was a disgusting mess. We had hired the neighbors to care for her, and apparently that just isn’t an option anymore. She had begun to do this just as we were preparing to leave town and now it was obvious that we were beyond the point of no return. Very, very sad. I cleaned all day into the wee hours the day we arrived back home, then again all day Monday, and then Fred had to fly out of town for another business trip for a whole week, leaving me home to unpack, clean, work, and care for Grace. Elle continued to pee on Tuesday (right in front of me), so very, very sadly I had to have her put to sleep on Wednesday. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. She was our very first baby and we adored her.

Anyway, it has been a long and sad couple of weeks, leaving me little time and energy to journal…

I really wanted to say in here today how much I have to be grateful for. Life is just so good again! We have the very best family and friends. We have each other, a wonderfully loving marriage, and Grace. We have our health and our home. Praise God. What makes life complete finally though on this Thanksgiving is you, our angel—our precious blessing. You complete us and we can’t tell you how blessed that makes us feel.

We had our 8 week ultrasound on Monday and it couldn’t have felt better to see you and to hear your little hear beating. 167 beats per minute—very strong. Everything looked absolutely perfect! The doctor said that because you are so healthy and your heartbeat is so strong there is now only a 3-5% chance of miscarriage. Praise be the Lord! He told us that medically speaking it is ok to tell our family about you.

Grandma Nagel came over tonight unannounced to show us her new car. We asked her to join us for dinner, and I’m so thrilled that she decided to. After dinner we set Grace up with a movie in our room, and I asked Grandma if it would be ok if we told her tonight what we are so thankful for this year, as we head into Thanksgiving. I told her that we are especially thankful for the love and support of our friends and family this past year. I then said that we are particularly grateful for some special friends. I said that we are so grateful to them and for them because they are giving us the greatest gift of all—the gift of life. Yes, I told her, they are 8 weeks pregnant with her biological grandbaby. We told her that she was going to be a grandma again.

She was crying so hard—so absolutely excited. Fred was crying too. This was very special to me because I don’t think Fred has been able to really let his wall down up until now. I know mine chips away a little each day. We just need to pinch ourselves because you are such a dream come true. Grandma said that you are the answer to her dreams and prayers as well.

When Carol Ann left, Fred asked me to please pick out the paint so that he could get working on Grace’s big girl room—getting the nursery ready for you. His wall is on its way down! You are a reality, and you will be joining our family this summer. We cannot wait!!!

Grace has asked for years for a brother or a sister. Last week she said, “Mom, I don’t think God will give me a brother or a sister.” I said “I think he will, honey.” The look on her face was absolutely priceless. Her eyes lit up and she smiled from ear to ear. Her wall is coming down too. I haven’t told her about you, and we won’t for some time. When we do, though, she will be on Cloud 9. She will seriously be the best big sister ever!!!

Love you my little 8 week old peanut! Grow, grow, grow!!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

November 9, 2009

Hurray—We ARE having A baby!!! Jamie is 5 weeks and 6 days pregnant with our little baby and our baby’s heart is beating. He or she is due July 7th.

We are beyond thrilled and can’t wait to take great care of this little love while also taking great care of Grace. We got the call at 4:40 from Dr. Dodd's office with the big news. We spent from 9-4 at Disney World and had an absolutely PERFECT and amazing day! I’ll write more later about our trip because Grace and I are TIRED. Off to sleep well again!

Thank you, God, and thank you, Jamie and Jamie!!!

You are SO, SO, SO, SO, SO GOOD!!!!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

November 7, 2009

We leave for Disney World tomorrow and we are getting very excited. I showed Grace photos on the Internet of Disney today, and she can hardly wait! We have not taken her on a plane in a year and 5 months so she is equally as excited about that. If all of this isn’t enough, we get to stay with my sister and her 6 –week-old Ella. This will be the first time I am meeting my niece and Grace’s first cousin. I am beyond excited to see my sister as a mom and my baby as a “big cousin.” Grace can’t wait to teach little Ella all of her baby sign language, to hold her on the couch and to try to make her laugh (that may be a hard one right now!).

My anxiety is really growing regarding Jamie and the baby. Jamie still has no symptoms at all, so I hope and pray she is still pregnant. The hard part is that if I were the pregnant one and if I were anxious about still being pregnant, I could take as many pregnancy tests as needed to confirm that the line is getting darker. I don’t feel right asking this of Jamie though. I want her to try to go about her life as normally as possible. So…I wait for what seems like an eternity to make sure all is well.

In just two days, though, we will know if everything is ok, and we will also know if we are having one or more babies. I will be thrilled with either outcome and cannot wait for the good news so that all of this anxiety will go away. Then, it will be onto planning what to tell to whom and when…

I guess this is it for now. The next time I write in here I will have some important news to share—hopefully wonderful, exciting news! I’ll also be writing from Disney Resort. That in itself is exciting!!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

November 6, 2009

The anxiety is back. Jamie has had no symptoms for a full week now. Not a single one. In the beginning she was tired, weepy, her face was breaking out and her gums were bleeding. Now she is symptom free. I hope and pray that just means she is going to have a healthy, symptom-free pregnancy. God please allow her to have a healthy pregnancy and please allow us to care for your healthy baby.

The last couple of days have shown us how hard some of this pregnancy will be. Of course, I don’t mean to complain, and we would go through all of this again in a heartbeat if it meant a healthy baby in the end. This is just such uncharted territory for all of us, and so we are all now realizing that some things will come up that we have not considered, and we will need to work through them.

I was talking to Jamie yesterday, and she said that Jamie crawled into bed next to her and rubbed her belly. She said that their most intimate memories are of exactly that, him rubbing her pregnant belly. She told me that she wondered if it would be the same this pregnancy. She wondered if he would rub her belly; pride himself in waking the baby, even if it wasn’t his own. I can completely understand her curiosity—it makes absolute sense. It was really hard to hear though, because these are the moments that Fred, our baby and I won’t have. I want to be rubbing my belly, loving our baby. I want to have Fred rubbing my belly, loving our baby. God, I want that. The thing is, I also really want this baby—our baby. We’ve dreamed of this baby. I’ll endure 9 months of unlimited emotional anguish (and then some) for this baby. If these moments are some of the dreamed of moments that we need to let go of to help this little embryo have a  fighting chance in a womb that will do its job to nourish it, then it is a small price to pay.

All this being said, it would be a lie if I said that it isn’t sometimes hard. It would be a lie if I said that it won’t sometimes be very hard. This will be an emotional challenge but, in the end, I know that we will look into our baby’s eyes and it will all be SO worth it. And, little one, if you read this someday—please know how very loved you were from conception. Please know that I send you hugs and kisses every single day, if only in my thoughts and dreams. You have ALWAYS been loved by us totally and completely and you always will be.

Monday can’t come soon enough. Please Lord, let there be one or two little hearts beating away. This journal has 8 more months of chapters waiting to be written. Please God let it have a happy ending. One for our baby to read years and years from now…

Thursday, November 4, 2010

November 4, 2009

Today is Wednesday. It is just after 6pm. Fred is watching Grace splash in the tub while I relax right next door in our master bedroom and take a minute to catch up here.
I can say that I am finally relaxing—my anxiety is all gone. I’m really enjoying the peace I feel knowing that our family is on its way to completion. We found out the day before yesterday that my college roommate that did IVF just before us saw two little heartbeats on her ultrasound. Her numbers went up by 120% over 48 hours, Jamie’s went up by over 240% over the same period of time. That being said, I would be shocked if we are not having more than one baby. We will know for sure on Monday—5 more days. What amazing news that would be!
I talked to Jamie right after I got Marisa’s news about the twins, and she was shocked. She is a little apprehensive about carrying more than one baby—for good reason. She has 4 kids to care for and she is used to going full speed. I told her that I would pick up right where she left off just as soon as I’m needed. Still though, this is a HUGE, ridiculously huge gift and there is no way we will ever be able to thank them enough. We will spend the rest of our lives thanking them for the gift of our family!
I haven’t called Jamie since Monday (2 days) because I want to give her some space. I don’t want her to think that she has to talk to me every single day for the next 9 months. I do love her, though, and I adore talking to her about everything. I feel awful not talking to her and thanking her daily, but I think this is best… It's a hard call! One of many I will face over the next 9 months, I’m sure. Still no complaints though. This is the VERY best decision we ever made!!!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

October 30, 2009 (Friday)

If I were a betting woman, I would bet that we are having TWO babies this summer! Jamie’s numbers were supposed to go up by around 80% between her Tuesday and Thursday test and they went up by 260%—more than double, heck almost triple!!! They went from 128 to 345 in just 48 hours. Dr. Dodds called me this afternoon to congratulate us. When I told him that I guessed it was twins based on the #’s he said that he thought I was a smart lady and that he guessed I was right. We will know for sure a week from Monday. Jamie will have the ultrasound without us, and we will get a call from the doctor right away—we will get the call at “the happiest place on Earth,” Yes, we are off to Disney World! It should be a wonderful day!!!

Yesterday was an amazing day. It began with Grace’s very adorable Halloween barn party at her farm pre-school. Then she went home for the afternoon and night with Grandma. Fred was supposed to be out of town until tonight, but his negotiation ended on Wednesday and he took yesterday and today off. We went to brunch together (just he and I) following Grace’s party, and that is when Jamie called with her incredible numbers. We were all shocked to say the least! Then Fred and I went on a clothes shopping spree together at the mall for our fall wardrobes. It was sooo nice! We relaxed that afternoon and I went out with my girlfriends last night. Really—it was the perfect day!

Today Grace and I went to the trick or treat party at my work. She was a “Circle Dancer,” a.k.a. an Irish Dancer. Really adorable! She had the long spiral wig and all. Too darn cute! Yesterday, she was a very cute clown. Tomorrow we are hosting a party for our neighborhood friends. It should be a riot! I made an E'claire cake this afternoon, and we will have a nice chili dinner before trick or treating together. We got a piñata for the kids, pin the tail on the cat, and some really cute decorations and crafts. We are really looking forward to it!

I am showing a house on Sunday and probably writing an offer. Then I'll be preparing for our big trip next week. We will stay at Disney for half of the trip and then with Andrea, Jay, their 5 week old, Ella, for the other half (assuming none of us get H1N1 on the way down!). The “swine flu” is an epidemic right now and so many people are sick. Most schools have been cancelled due to over 30% of the student population being ill. So far so good here though! I am feeling so blessed lately and I am sure we will go and have a wonderful time. We will arrive on Sunday and go to the Magical Kingdom on Monday. We will probably get our great baby news just after a fun day of rides and just before our celebratory dinner. Man, life is so good. I just need to pinch myself!!!

I have been waking up over two hours earlier than usual each morning since getting our good news due to my excitement about everything. I have lost 4-5 pounds, too. I’m sure I have my nerves to thank! Anyway, I am so glad I have been journaling all of this. There will never be another time in my life like this, that is for sure! I am still on pins and needles but am feeling better and more excited by the day. We will be so relieved to hear that all is well after the first ultrasound. Then, if we find out that there are two (or more) of you in there, we will next need to get our mind around that! We will certainly be blessed beyond belief, and we will have our work cut out for us, that is for sure!

We are pretty bummed that we won’t be there in person for the ultrasound to get that first glimpse of our baby(ies) but, again, we are just so glad that there is/are something very special growing in Jamie’s belly. We booked this trip to meet my first niece well before any of this, and the doctors are not willing to wait a week for us to do the ultrasound. They also can’t bump it up by just two days so we can be there. Bummer. SO, hence the news from afar… I’m sure it is all playing out just exactly as it is supposed to though and there is a reason that we are meant to be celebrating at “the happiest place on earth.” At least our minds will be preoccupied that big day! 

That is it for now…Thanks again, God!!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

October 27, 2009

Well, it is official… We ARE PREGNANT!!! Jamie’s numbers came in at 128. We were told that it is a very strong number for day 12 post transfer with 3-day-old embryos. Her next test is on Thursday. They would like to see her numbers go up by 80% between now and then (48 hours).
We are all feels so great to finally have good news. It was wonderful to share our news with those few that have known about this journey. Of course, I would LOVE to shout it from the rooftop right about now but we are waiting. Our plan was always to wait until about 6 months to tell everyone outside of our immediate family and close friends. We can do that, given the circumstances.

When asked why we would wait so long my answer is first because we can and second because this is such a unique and misunderstood topic that we want to be sure that everything is absolutely ok with the baby before telling the world. I am sure that there will be a million questions. I want to be prepared for them emotionally, and not be stuck in “questionland” forever.

The plan is to tell our immediate family at Christmas, which will be in 12 weeks. Then, I’d like to have a large dessert party with everyone else in the spring. I will personally call each friend to tell them that we have very important news that we would like to share. Hopefully they will all come. Then, Jamie could be our “guest of honor” sharing her beautiful belly with everyone after our announcement. She would be so far along, making it that much more exciting. It would be wonderful to be able to have everyone meet Jamie and Jamie at that time so that we could together answer all of our friend’s questions. Word might get out somehow before then though, or we might decide we just can’t wait this long. Time, again, will tell. This is all of the stuff that we now get to think about. Fun stuff!

As for how I am feeling… Totally strange, if I’m to be completely honest. I can’t even put my finger on all of the feelings because they are all so mixed up and new. I can say that this experience is entirely different then with Grace (obviously!). First off, I was naïve then. It was pure joy and excitement upon discovering I was pregnant. I had no idea at that point what would be in store. Secondly, though, when I looked in the mirror upon learning I was pregnant, I put my hands on my cheeks while crying and said to myself “I’m pregnant, I’m actually finally pregnant!!!” Now, I look in the mirror at myself and, well, it’s still just me looking back. I’m ridiculously excited and WAY less nervous then I would be if it were my body, so it is still all very good. It is just different. After all, someone else is growing our baby.

Fred’s emotions are also all over the board and he too can’t put his finger on them. The best way he can explain it is that he feels like he has officially placed an order for a baby with Jamie and he has just learned that our baby has hit the production line. Maybe it is just awful to admit that it kind of feels this way—but it does. After all, we are waiting for someone else to literally grow our baby, and she doesn’t need our physical help to do it.

There is so much more to think about and so much more to write about, but this is it for now because I am tired… It has been one long but VERY good day!

PS. I have had the flu today so I have yet to hug Jamie now that we know she is carrying our baby. I sure hope that can happen SOON!!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

October 26, 2009 (Monday)

Jamie texted me yesterday to tell me that she is breaking out like crazy—even on her cheeks. She said that it is horrible for her but a GREAT sign! She came over today and, sure enough, her face was not as clear as usual. I said “OK, I’ve had enough, let’s take this test!” I opened up the cupboard to get one out of my stash. I should own stock in the company at this point. To our dismay, I was finally out. We determined that we were in our final stretch and decided to wait until tomorrow for our big news.

I laughed and told her that one of my clients called to tell me that when she has a pregnancy vision for someone she is always right. She then told me that Jamie IS pregnant. I thanked her but told her I would wait until tomorrow to get excited. Then I laughed and asked her how many Jamie would have and what the sex would be. She said she didn’t know the sex yet but that we would have one baby.

It’s funny because she is one of the only people that knows about this. The reason she knows is because she told me I had a thyroid tumor and begged me to get an ultrasound done of my thyroid 6 months ago and she was right. She then asked me if we had considered Jamie’s offer anymore the week that we decided to for sure go for it. (I had only briefly mentioned Jamie to her 6+ months earlier…) Due to the incredible timing I decided to tell her. The point is, she is GOOD. However, I wasn’t going to read too much into it. Key word here, if you caught it, is “WASN’T.”

Jamie left my house and went to her friend Lindy’s house for dinner. She told Lindy about my house and Lindy said “I have a test.” Hers was old, from the dollar store and somewhere in the basement…Apparently she never used it, Jamie did.

Jamie called me and said “What are you doing right now?” I knew something was up because I had just seen her and she said we would talk tomorrow. I said “Just making dinner for Grace and I.” (Fred is, of course, out of town all week with work.) Jamie said “Well, I am at my friend Lindy’s house for dinner. I told her about today and, well, she had a test. I’m sitting here in the bathroom and—(The LONGEST few seconds of my life! Seemed like YEARS.)—It’s POSITIVE!!!”

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, YES WE ARE PREGNANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We laughed, we cried, I thanked her, I thanked God, I thanked her uterus, I thanked God for her uterus. It was a moment I’m sure neither of us will EVER forget. I had to pinch myself. Could this FINALLY be real?!?! We talked a little more about the test being old, etc. and said that we would still see each other tomorrow.

The plan for tomorrow is for Dr. Dodd’s office to leave a message on Jamie’s phone. Jamie will call me and I’ll leave Grace with a friend and head over to her house to listen to the voice mail for the first time with her. We will still do our plan.

Jamie felt awful that we couldn’t celebrate in person together today. It is OK. We will celebrate tomorrow when we hear the official good news and get the numbers. I’m so glad to be able to get some sleep tonight! I am also thrilled that I will not be on pins and needles all day tomorrow while we wait from the time of Jamie’s blood test at until around when the nurse should call. God is GOOD! Jamie is GOOD! LIFE IS GOOD!!!

I called Fred and he was just pulling into his hotel. I said “Hi Honey, You are going to be a Father squared.” He said “What?” I said “We are having a baby!!!” He couldn’t believe it. Honestly, I still can’t as I write this before going to bed and it has been a few hours now. He sounded very excited, a little shocked and a lot surprised. All of my feelings too!

Jamie called me back to ask what Fred’s reaction was. I told her the above and asked her what boy Jamie’s reaction was. She said he was very surprised, excited, and supportive and then he said “Well, it looks like you just bought yourself another two months of butt shots!” Her poor butt looks like it has been through war and it is just killing her. It is all bruised and it has huge red bumps all over it. My heart just breaks for her. She is SUCH a trooper though! Man, she amazes me. She plans to ask the nurse, who just happens to also be her neighbor, if she is doing them right. She can switch over to awful suppositories if she needs to so we will see how it goes. Shots and all, she is just thrilled! "Friend" just doesn't do her justice. Man I cherish her!!!

Jamie was very glad to know that I am also thrilled beyond belief and that I have no regrets about it being her body, not mine, carrying our child. I can honestly say that I have NO regrets. I can now rest assured that our baby is in a great home—growing strong. I do not need to worry about my body not offering it all that it needs to grow. I also don’t have to worry about my health during this pregnancy/delivery. I have all the faith in the world that Jamie and the baby will do great. That feels good!

I will rest soundly tonight and I’ll finally be at peace. Finally. I will anxiously (or maybe not so anxiously as the case may be) report Jamie’s hormone numbers tomorrow.
Life is SO GOOD!

Goodnight our sweet little growing angel, goodnight!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

October 23, 2009 (Friday)

I’m just checking in to say that I’m feeling pretty bad today, Maybe it is because it is that time of the month and my cramps and hormones are raveging my body. Then again, maybe it is because I am terrified of Tuesday—terrified of the possibility that the most fertile woman I know could not make our embryos grow. I’m hoping and praying so hard for our July baby. I’m fearing and dreading how I’ll handle the news if this HUGE step still didn’t “work”. Mostly today I’m anxious, sad and angry. All symptoms of grief. I think I am already beginning the grieving process because I was SO burnt last time. I was so optimistic, so excited—then I received the news and I crashed and burned. I guess, given my experience, this is to be expected. In some ways Tuesday can’t come soon enough, in others I wish it would never come at all… Again God, I beg you—please let this be our time. We honestly couldn’t be more ready. Please Lord, please bless us with your baby to love.

As for Jamie, she too has no idea if she is pregnant or not. Some moments she thinks she is, others she is not so confident. Her gums have not blead since that day earlier this week. She has no other symptoms. She said she is a little tired, maybe more than usual, but she is not sure. She has no nausea or tender breasts. Time will tell… 4 more nights… I’m scared.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

October 20th, 2009

One week from today I will either be going to bed very upset or very happy—time will tell. I’ve been feeling really great thus far. It is MUCH easier this time around as it is not my body. I am not analyzing every detail about myself constantly, trying to figure out if I am pregnant or not. The only information I have is the information Jamie decides to share with me. So far I only have one symptom to go on, Jamie’s gums are bleeding. She swears they only bleed when she is pregnant, so I guess that is a pretty good symptom. Still, I am reluctant to get too excited at this point. Jamie said that she is also very weepy now. It was obvious on Sunday when we were together because even sad commercials made her cry. At first I was feeling cold-hearted because I wasn't weepy like she was, but then she finally called herself out on it. That made me feel so much better! Anyway, she swears she is getting even worse. As I said, only time will tell… Jamie wants to take a test on Friday. Fred would prefer we not. I’m on the fence. I am actually now leaning more towards waiting it out until the blood test. Then it is just one fresh cut if the test comes back negative, and hopefully, somehow, my heart will hurt less that way. It is doubtful that a pregnancy test would even work so soon I think. I know how hard it is to wait when it is your body though, so I get why Jamie wants to take one. It’s funny, I almost feel like I know now what it is like to be the guy!!! It is easier, that is for sure!

I’ve never before mentioned in here that one of my very best friends, a college roommate, did IVF less than two weeks before I/we did. She found out that she is pregnant just two days before Jamie’s embryo transfer. I am SO thrilled that it worked for her!!! I hope and pray that we will be as lucky… It will be crazy if we both end up with twins. Our other roommate also did IVF and ended up with twins. Yes, you read that correctly—actually, 4 out of 5 of my college roommates ended up doing IVF. Weird, huh?!? Even weirder is the fact that all of our biological sisters were able to get pregnant the first month they "tried." I’m thinking something was wrong with the house where we lived! At least we all have each other and we can relate to exactly what the other is going through. OK, not exactly, because each of us have been down different paths, but we all know what it feels like to long for our baby.

That is it for now… Life is still GOOD!

Monday, October 18, 2010

October 18th, 2009

Just checking in to say that Jamie’s bed rest here went great, we had such a nice time! We watched 3 movies, read magazines, but mostly just caught up on life. We talked about the loss of my Dad and Jamie’s life before marriage and kids. We talked about her kids and Grace, our sibling relationships, our closest friends. We talked about how proud we are of ourselves for getting through all of the hoops and making it to this point. We talked about the delivery if she is in fact pregnant since she wants us to be a huge part of delivering our baby. We talked about what Fred and my next steps will be if she isn’t pregnant. (This is still very much undetermined…) We just talked about life.

Jamie is honestly the most genuine, loving, compassionate person I have ever met. She is so calm and so calming. She is so faithful and so appreciative, even as she is looking some other very challenging things of her own straight in the face. She always focuses her energy on all that is good and she really knows how to put things in perspective. I could go on and on about her but, in a nutshell, she is just plain incredible in every sense of the word!

Jamie stayed here Friday and Saturday night and I took her home this morning. I told her that I set up a cleaning crew to deep clean her house tomorrow so that she could try to just continue to take it easy. She was VERY appreciative.

I found myself researching the success stats for IVF and gestational carriers on-line today. NOT a good thing…It’s just not healthy to spend all of my time analyzing and over analyzing everything. In the end, the statistics just don’t matter. This will either have worked or it will not have worked. Taking even one more second out of my day to analyze it won’t change the outcome, but it will negatively affect my day. I pledge not to do this anymore. I am enjoying my week! We will stay busy and have fun and in just over one week we will know where we stand…

Saturday, October 16, 2010

October 16th, 2009

Today was a perfect day, absolutely perfect in every single way. I woke up anxious—I thought I was fine but I had a very upset stomach so my body was obviously physically anxious. It was ok though. I talked to one of my best friends, Rachel, and to my sister. I took a long shower, got dressed, made Jamie her favorite summer salsa and then it was 10:30 am and I was at the doctor. Jamie and Jamie were already there, sitting on the couch. They each got up and gave me a huge hug. Then Fred arrived from work (it is a Friday) and all of the hugging began again. We all talked about how we were feeling—excited, in disbelief that this day had FINALLLY come, anxious about how many embryos made it, etc.

Ironically, I had never run into anyone at this office before today, when a girlfriend walked in. Luckily we each already knew one another went there, but since we have not told 99.99% of the people we know about this, our secret had been safe. She promised to keep it to herself and wished us all luck. She seemed very happy for us.

We were all called in at 10:45. We all changed into our hospital garb and just prior to the transfer we had a group photo taken. Then it was time… We entered the room and we were given the photo of our 3 embryos. Yes, all 3 embryos made it through the "defrosting"! We were told that one embryo looked excellent, one was good and one was poor. Dr. Dodds told us we could leave the poor one out or we could put it into Jamie’s womb. We thought we would give each one a fighting chance, so all 3 embryos were put in. We were told that the odds of triplets are one in a thousand and the chance of twins are 10-20%. We saw on the ultrasound exactly where the embryos were placed, and we were provided with that photo too. Jamie’s lining was perfect—11.5. I told Jamie that at this point she had done her job with all of the shots, and the rest was up to the man upstairs.

As soon as we got back into our room, I gave Jamie his card and then gave Jamie her gift. I got her a silver bracelet with a heart pendant that said on one side “Thank You” and on the other side “Our Angel.” I had the bracelet in a silver heart jewelry box and on that was inscribed “Your gift will be remembered always.” Of course, we were all crying when I gave it to her. I opened it, read what each said and put the bracelet on her wrist. I told them each how very much we appreciate them (in much greater detail) and told them that we recognize the HUGE sacrifices that each of them have made to provide us with this gift. We all hugged and cried… Jamie went over and kissed his wife and I told him how very proud we were of him for his love and devotion to her. We told him that we fully recognized how few men would fully support their wives with something like this. I also said how proud he must be of the woman he married, for not only wanting to do this for us but for really doing it—shot after shot, pelvic exam after pelvic exam, blood draw after blood draw, hormonal crying spell after hormonal crying spell, FDA hoop after FDA hoop—She did it. We did it!!!

After the procedure, we were asked to keep Jamie completely still for an hour. The husbands then left, and the nurse and I loaded Jamie into the back seat of my car, and I took her home with me. We have spent all of the day with her on the couch and me on the chair next to her. We have had wonderful conversation, good movies, yummy food and much needed relaxation. As I said, it was a PERFECT day, a day none of us will ever forget! We are blessed, baby or no baby we are blessed. We walked in to the office today as a party of four, the big question now is did we walk out as more?!? Grow little embryos, grow!!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

October 15th, 2009

One more sleep. Yup, tomorrow is the big day. I’m feeling really at peace with everything. I am hopeful that God will listen to my prayers. I’m hopeful that tomorrow will begin the next part of this journey. We are all ready—we will all be there—Jamie, Jamie, Fred and I. Tomorrow WILL be a great day! Our baby will be conceived tomorrow. It is our turn, we are ready. Honey, please grow strong in Jamie’s womb tomorrow. We love you so much and we have all been waiting for you.

Dear God, please let all 3 embryos make it tomorrow safely into Jamie’s womb. Please let at least one of those embryos attach and grow strong. Please let that embryo or those embryos grow for 9 long months and let them develop into our healthy babies. We will be forever grateful for this gift, God. We will cherish this child or these children. We will never, not even for a single second, forget how blessed we are. We are ready, God, for our family to be complete. Please let this be the end of our struggle with infertility. Please let our biggest dream come true now. In your name, God, we pray. Amen.

tomorrow we will all meet at Dr. Dodd’s office. The transfer will be at . Jamie and I plan to come back here to our home for her bed rest for the weekend. I have loaded the fridge, gotten her favorite ice cream, rented “chick flicks” and bought all of the good magazines. I am REALLY looking forward to this wonderful time with my dear friend.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

October 5th, 2009

Fred got Grace to bed early tonight; this is day 2 of me not putting her down for a nap. My baby girl is growing up. Man she is a GOOD girl. :)

Anyway, Fred and I were talking in peace and quiet this evening. It began with a conversation about Facebook—I told him that if this “worked” I would never want to mention “it” on Facebook. It is far too personal. He then said “Have you thought about what you would want to tell our baby about his or her conception if this works? Have you thought about how we should tell Grace?” I told him I thought we could tell Grace that mommy’s tummy is broken and it can’t grow any more babies in it, so Jamie is growing mommy and daddy’s baby for us in her belly since it works so well. (What a story that will probably make at pre-school circle time! Yikes!!!) Then I told Fred that we could tell the baby something similar as he or she grew up
, but that when they were old enough we would give him or her this journal I have been working on. Hopefully this journal will help explain everything. (Fred had no idea I was writing in this journal, so I asked him if he would like me to read it to him. He said yes, and so I did.)

While reading this out loud to him tonight, I cried. I cried hard. It wasn’t until tonight when I was actually opening up by reading my past journal entries to Fred that I realized how much I’ve bottled up all of my emotions. I’m sure it is a defense mechanism. I couldn’t function properly if I allowed myself to think about the gravity of this daily. Life must go on…

I know my emotions scared Fred. He watched me crash and burn last spring when the first IVF didn’t work. I am sure he is terrified of it happening again. Last time I tried to pick myself right up, and I did—for about 2-3 days. Then, as my hormones crashed, so did I. I cried. To be perfectly honest, I cried daily for two months straight. That is a lot for someone who very rarely ever cries. This was one of the very hardest times of my entire life—right there next to losing my father after a sudden fall. Seeing my own dad taken off life support was the only other time I have ever cried like that. Tonight I allowed myself to feel that pain again—that very raw emotion. I again felt like I had a bowling ball caught in my throat. I again felt like I had 10,000 heavy rocks on my chest. I again felt like every ounce of wind was knocked out of me. This is why I try not to think about what we are about to do again. This is why I cannot let myself get excited about the possibility of a different outcome. This is why I am absolutely terrified—scared to death of it not “working” again. I have pulled myself out of that dark hole twice now—when my dad died in 2001
, and again last spring when my “babies” didn’t make it. Can I do it again? Please God, please don’t make me go through that again. Please…I’m begging you.

Today is October 5th. Today marks exactly 6 months since our last embryo transfer. Today we were examined from head to toe to make sure that we are healthy enough to go ahead with this. Today marked the last “step” prior to our embryo transfer. Besides getting our blood drawn, finding out our body mass index, weight, blood pressure, etc.
, we got to answer a million more personal questions. Questions like: Have you gotten a tattoo in the last 6 months? Gotten your ears pierced? A million health questions too—seriously, so many. Then they examined Fred and I to confirm that we do not have any sexually transmitted diseases. There is nothing like being infertile, giving up on your body that has failed you after years of being poked and prodded, and then still being required to have a pelvic exam. Anyway, it is now done.

Prior to writing in this journal tonight, but following my discussion/journal reading with Fred, I took a long bath. I was visited by Fred and he brought to my attention that I woke at 6 am and took a bath and now at 9 pm, I’m taking another. It made me realize how tired I am of all of this—how wound up I am—how much I need a bath these days to just relax and think. During Fred’s visit I told him how much the pelvic exam today bothered me. The irony of it. It is almost like being poked fun of, quite literally… He then told me that if I wrote about it in this journal tonight, he wanted me to add that he too was “examined” and that he had to “cough” while the doctor checked him out. He was “poked fun of” too. He asked that I also add that the doctor made sure to tell him what perfect health he is in. :)

I asked him, more seriously, what he would like me to write in here about how he is really feeling… He said, as his eyes lit up, “Excited
.” So, there you have it. Fred is excited and I am scared to death. Prepare for the worst; expect the best. I think that’s how the saying goes. I got my hopes up WAY too high 6 months ago today. Hopefully this time it will be the other way around. I’ve always been a cup half full person that was full of faith and optimism… I sure hope “that” Amy returns soon. I sure do miss her. 11 days until the embryo transfer… 11 days.

Friday, October 1, 2010

"How can we not?"

I have been blessed. I have four beautiful children. I always knew I wanted to have kids but never dreamed that I would have the ability, the capacity to love them as much as I do. I remember asking my mother after our first child William was born how it was possible to love any more children as much as I loved him. My heart overflowed and it seemed inconceivable that I could possibly have any room left to be able to love another child.  But I did, and with each new child that joined our family I loved more, my heart grew and I became humbled that God would entrust these sweet spirits into our care to love, teach and raise in our home.  I realized that being a parent was a gift and that my husband and I have been blessed to be able to become parents four times.  

We didn't plan for Will
, but we weren’t not planning either. We knew a baby would happen when it was supposed to. When Will was about a year old we knew we wanted to have another and made the decision to try again. After only two months of trying we were pregnant with Olive. She arrived just about a month before Will turned two. The next few years are a blur. When Olive was three months old we found out that I was pregnant with Nolan. He arrived just two weeks after Olive’s first birthday. And then, when Nolan was just three months old again, we found out we were pregnant with Preston. He arrived just a week after Nolan’s first birthday and about three weeks before Will turned four. I'm tired just thinking about it! Needless to say, we became very busy very quickly! It has been stressful to have four kids so close together. I have often said it would almost have been easier to have just had triplets! So yes, Jamie and I became more careful and knew we wanted to wait to have more children. Jamie is in the "We're done" state of mind, but I'm just not there yet. Either way, we knew we needed a break from having more.  

Now enters Amy.  We have been talking for a long time about her fertility difficulties and myself being blessed with incredible pregnancies had said to her on a few occasions I would carry a baby for her.  I don't think she ever took me very seriously, but I was serious. As difficult as it was having four small children, we knew it was a gift. It was a gift we never knew we wanted. It was easy to. Obviously I got pregnant very easily
, and the pregnancies themselves were incredible! I always felt so good, physically and emotionally. I experienced the normal pregnancy things—had aches and pains—but nothing bad enough to ever complain about. I loved it! So I knew it wouldn't be a sacrifice physically for me at all, and the outcome would be worth any type of pregnancy "pain" I would endure. I couldn't help feeling an obligation to do this. Knowing Fred and Amy's great desire to have another child and myself not pregnant not planning to be pregnant and completely capable of being pregnant (and loving being pregnant), it just seemed like a "no brainer." Apparently, however, our husbands have no brains. (I'm soooo kidding!)  But they weren’t as ready to jump as Amy and I were. Amy and I had arrived at the decision in our hearts long ago over many talks about her fears, her desires, her heartaches and longing for another child. The four of us finally decided we needed to have a serious talk about all of this, so we met at their house for dinner one evening. We discussed the fertility issues Fred and Amy have faced from the very beginning, including the difficult conception, miserable and complicated pregnancy and the horrible botched delivery of Grace and then the years of trying to have another baby after Grace was born. It seemed like we four talked for hours, and Amy did try to talk us out of it, even going as far as to show us the needles of the shots I would have to take prior to the embryo transfer. I remember leaving Amy’s house that night, walking out the door and saying to Jamie, "So what do you think?" and him looking at me and simply saying, "How can we not?" And so it was.