It's unusual…

..what started out as an IVF journey and ended up being about life

Requesting Donations!! April 27, 2012

Filed under: Life,Pregnancy — gertyrae @ 10:25 am

Okay – so if anyone reading this blog understands why it started, you also understand why I need donations.

After losing our son, Rogan, we were devastated. The only response we could come up with was to walk in the March of Dimes walk in honor of our baby. The following year we continued to raise funds and my husband walked while I was on bedrest. We are continuing the tradition and have become one of the top teams in the Long Island area.

This year, however, we are falling far short of our $2500 goal. As a team we still need a little over a $1000 to make goal. Please think about making a donation to Team Rogan so that we can continue to do our small part in helping those babies born prematurely as well as educating mothers and funding research to prevent birth defects and premature births. Thank you all in advance!!!

Just go to to make a donation.


so…ummmmmmmmmm…it’s been over a month since my last post – August 1, 2009

Filed under: Pregnancy — gertyrae @ 3:55 am

and that would be for a multitude of reasons. First and foremost being that I had the baby!!!

Colin Anthony arrived on July 13, 2009 at 6:37 p.m. weighing in at 7 pounds 1/2 an ounce and 20 inches long!

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, here goes “the rest of the story” as Paul Harvey used to say…

As of 34 weeks, they stopped checking my cervix but I was not relieved from bedrest. I was allowed to take a shower every day but that was about it. At 35 weeks, the Perinatalogist told me I could move around a bit more and drive myself to the Dr., but I was only allowed 1 outing that week. So, I cheated a bit and took 2 outings – 1 was to go and get glasses as I had broken my last pair and the second was my (our) baby shower.

I shared the baby shower with my sister. I think I’ve mentioned before that she is due 3 days after me. So, on Sunday, July 12 we had a joint shower at my house and it was amazing!! We had a really wonderful time, the weather was perfecct and so many people came it was incredible. I believe we ended up with over 60 people at the house. Everything went just perfect and we got more gifts than I possibly could have expected. The generosity was incredible.

Afterwards, we just piled all our stuff in the empty bedroom of our house to be gone through later. I went to bed at 9 p.m. exhausted and happy. I had my first internal the next day and I was going to talk to the OB about removing the stitch at 36 weeks since the Peri was stopping the Procardia at 36 weeks.

Well, I go to the OB the next morning still riding the high of the day before. They put me in the exam room and tell me to undress from the waist down. My Dr. comes in and I talk to him about the stitch. He says he’s going to take it out that Friday as it will be over 36 weeks and since I’m coming off the Procardia he doesn’t want to take any chances. He then sits down to start the internal. He inserts the speculum, takes a look and says “Oh no, you are unbelievable”. He then removes the speculum and tells me to get dressed. He leaves the room. I get dressed and sit on the table waiting for him. He comes back in and asks me what I am doing. I tell him waiting for him. He responds that I should go in his office and he’ll meet me there.

In his office, he asks where my husband is and I tell him working. He tells me to call hubby and tell him to come home, I’m having this baby today!!! He then proceeds to tell me that I”m 4cm dilated and the membranes are bulging through the stitch. I am sent to L & D, where they hook me up to monitors that tell me I’m contracting very slightly every hour or so. Doc comes in at noon to remove the stitch. As soon as he takes out the stitch, I start putting my legs back down and my water breaks.

They start me on Pitocin at 12:30 and the contractions start to get stronger. I’m now 5/6cm dilated and still alone. Finally, around 1ish my sisters and mother show up. Followed shortly thereafter by Dan. Now the room is full and my brother and his wife show up. I am now 7cm dilated and contractions are a few minutes apart. My OB tells me if I want an epidural now is the time, so I get the epidural. It’s not nearly as bad as some people think and it takes the pain away instantly.

At 5:30, I’m fully dilated and they tell me it’s going to be time to push. I start pushing somewhere around 5:40 and let me tell you – it’s no easy task. You are pushing with all you have trying to get this baby out, but you don’t know where and how to push. Every time the Drs. tell you to push like you just did, it’s all you can do to remember how you pushed.

Anyway, after pushing for almost an hour – BabyMack appeared!! He scored a 9.9 on the APGAR, but was “grunting” after a few minutes and they told us they would try him in the regular nursery but if the grunting continued he would be transferred to NICU. Lo and behold, the grunting continued and by 8 p.m. he was in NICU – where he stayed for a week.

The first day he was on CPAP, which is a respirator to help him breathe. The second day, he was just on oxygen. The third day he was in an open crib and we thought he might be going home in the next day or so. But, then his bilirubins came back high and he had to go under the UV lights. He spent a day under the lights, bili’s came down and he was put back in an open incubator. He was then circumcised. We thought we’d be bringing him home Sunday – and then his bili’s went back up again….and he went back under the lights. By Sunday night, his numbers were back in the normal range and Monday we were told we could bring him home!!!

He’s been home for almost two weeks now and is the most wonderful baby ever! He really doesn’t fuss all that much and when he does, he is easily satiated. Wether it be food or just someone to talk to him, he quiets right down. He still has yellow in his eyes and I”m kind of worried about that, but there isn’t much I can do at this point. If it doesn’t go away, I will call the Ped and see what the deal is. He also had an abnormal newborn screen, but the Ped said not to worry yet as this comes back abnormal a lot the first time around. Then the second time, it comes back normal. So, I’ll know more about that next week.

I’ve changed – when I took him for the second screening and they had to prick his foot – I cried like a baby. I hate seeing him in any kind of pain or even unhappiness. I want everything to be wonderful for him…after all we’ve been through I want his life to be perfect. I know this is unattainable, but one can hope right?!

Anyway…that’s my update for now! Here are some pics….and the big question is – Do I continue this blog? I probably will…..I can go on with his life and/or move into my Mom’s story which is a whole other fiasco……..

Colin 1

Colin 23

Colin 054

Colin 078blogblog3



33 weeks and 4 days!! June 28, 2009

Filed under: Pregnancy — gertyrae @ 12:34 pm

We are almost there!!! A few more days and we will be at the magical 34 week mark. I was at the Peri on 6/22 and my cervix had lengthened again to 1.2 cm. Good times!!! I truly do have a magical cervix that just does whatever it wants to do. I’m like some freak of nature.

I also am diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes so I have to watch what I eat and¬† monitor after every meal. I’m taking an insulin shot each night since the insulin apparently doesn’t affect the baby, whereas the oral medication could. Since I’ve done soooo many cycles of IVF the injections don’t bother me at all….the black and blues are a little disconcerting but I’m just going to tell people Dan beats me in my legs. ūüôā

We are going for a growth sono this week on Tuesday and I guess I’ll find out about being released from bedrest then. Although, in strictest confidence – I’ve been doing a little more here and there anyway. I had a horrible night on Thursday night – couldn’t sleep at all because my back was in so much pain from lying in this position all the time and I was literally crying from the pain. I decided on Friday that the writhing in pain all night wasn’t doing me any good either (or Colin for that matter), so I sat up a little here and there during the day and it made a world of difference. Saturday, I sat outside with Dan and helped him (with directions) on cleaning the garden beds and planting some annuals. Again, I slept well last night so I think it’s worth it at this point. Besides, I am so easily winded and tired these days from doing nothing for 14 weeks that I need to start building up my¬†strength anyway. Hopefully, the Dr. gives me the okay to get up a little more here and there so I don’t feel like I’m cheating or doing something really bad.

His room is getting there….crib is together, bookshelf is in, glider is in…Dan is just waiting for someone to help him move the dresser. Then we have to get all the clothing together and wash it so I can put it away. The crib is huge!!! It takes up so much of the room that I think we have to rearrange it so it’s not so overwhelming. I will post pics once it’s done.

OH…….and we got pics at the last sono that are decent!! Looks like Colin is going to look a LOT like his daddy!!!!

Colin @ 32 weeks small


I’ve been MIA….. May 25, 2009

Filed under: Pregnancy — gertyrae @ 8:55 am

The whole bedrest thing is starting to get rough. My back hurts and I have a constant sore throat (I have no idea why on the throat). So in general, I haven’t been overly happy the last few weeks. But, I’ve been muddling through.¬†

Oh yeah, and I can’t even begin with the migraines…they kill me! And there’s not much I can really take. I have to put icepacks on my head to relieve the pain a little bit.

And then, the piece de resistance……….I go to the Dr. on Thursday to find that my cervix has shortened to 1.6cm and 1.2 with pressure. AND I’m funneling…

Yippeekiyamuthafucka!! After all this time on my back and doing so well for so many weeks, this has to happen. Now, of course they are worried about preterm labor and./or tearing the stitch. So, I was prescribed Indomethacin to prevent preterm labor. And the side effects alone are so frightening, I had to wonder if it was worth taking the stuff. But….Drs. orders, so I took it.

This baby is in position and ready to go. A little too ready in my opinion. I can feel him kicking me in the cervix he is so low. I wish there was a way to lift him a little and get him out of there. Now, all I’m worried about is MAKING it to 32/34 weeks – forget about getting off bedrest before that. I don’t mind if he comes a little early, but I really don’t want him in NICU if I can help it.

Sooooo, in order to help keep him in a little longer, I have relocated to my mother’s. Where, in theory, I don’t have to get up as much as I would at home. And it seems to be working most (but not all) of the time. Part is my fault. My back hurts so bad lately that I just need to move a little. I am getting about 5 hours of sleep a night just because I can’t find a comfort zone. I’ve tried everything I can think of and nothing really seems to work.¬†

I have another appointment this Thursday and if, by some miracle, my cervix has gotten longer, I’ll probably go home. If not, I guess I’ll stay where I am. I have to admit I’m a bit homesick already though. I like sleeping with my pup and I like the fact that I can go sit outside if I want. I also like the freedom of being able to move around a little if I need to…here the “Gestapo” jumps down my throat every time I get up.

So, I’ve bypassed all other tests for now and am just lying and waiting and praying for this little one to stay where he is for a few weeks longer. Whatever I can get I’ll be happy with, but as I’ve said I really want to make it to 34 weeks at the least.

I have a sneaking suspicion that as soon as they let me up, this little man is making his arrival……

No sonos to post……he is head down, facing my back so there are no good images of him…….Sorry……..


Mother’s Day……both good and bad May 11, 2009

Filed under: Pregnancy — gertyrae @ 12:08 pm
Squishing himself into me….
So, it’s the day after Mother’s Day.

We made it through another week with baby on board.

I also had thoughts about my buried baby from last year.

There are so many times that I think about where I could be, should be, am now….etc.

I could never have gotten pregnant again and at this point would have had to accept the fact that there would be no children in our life.¬† I could have lost another child at this point and had two buried babies. I should be a Mother already, by all rights………..

I have so many friends and acquaintances that should be also be Mother’s by now. But, I also have many friends who have been graced with children through the miracles of IVF.

My own Mother is dying slowly as I type.

I do have a healthy baby continuing to grow inside of me where he belongs.

So….do I be grateful or sad….do I celebrate or cry………sometimes I just don’t know.

Because I am on bedrest – I look out at Rogan’s garden some days and feel terrible because there is nothing I can do to tend to it. Sometimes, I feel guilty – as though this baby is more important than he was….and I know that’s not true…I would have done anything to save Rogan and am doing what I have to do to save this child…I still feel guilt. Next year, I will be ever so vigilant with the garden…..

I did have a nice day yesterday and for that I am grateful. The Dr. visit last week went well…baby is growing perfectly…my sister came and brought me back to my mom’s house for Mother’s Day. We had a very nice dinner (whilst I laid on her couch) and my brother and his wife gave us a beautiful frame for the sonogram/baby pictures. My mother was in a good place yesterday. She looked really good, she is up and moving about, she was extremely chipper yesterday…so that is great. Her visit to the Dr. didn’t go wonderfully¬†last week – her stomach is not improving at all….but we sort of expected that.

So…….because I do appreciate what I have – I must end this on a positive note…we are still doing well and I am still on bedrest. I can officially start counting down now…as of this week, there’s 7 more weeks of bedrest.

and here are the lastest sono pics of our little man….Colin 26 Weeks 3DAnother alien face pic


One Month Down!! May 2, 2009

Filed under: Pregnancy — gertyrae @ 10:40 am

And approximately nine weeks to go!!!

So far everything looks good still.

We went for the Fetal Echocardiogram on Tuesday and BabyMack’s heart is measuring perfectly.

I went to my regular OB on Friday and things look good. He didn’t do an internal, which kind of worries me because I would really like constant status updates on my cervix, but he doesn’t want to increase the chance of infection.

I think I’m starting to over-obsess a bit. I keep feeling like there is more discharge (I know TMI) than usual and I’m definitely feeling twinges in the cervical area. The Drs. keep assuring me that it’s normal and due to the stitch, but I can’t help but worry. I really wish I could get a cervical check every two days as opposed to every two weeks.

Other than that, I’m feeling good – we’ve achieved 25 weeks which is a major milestone. And I just have to keep cooking this little guy.

So, no real exciting news this week – which is a good thing in the long run.


Another Positive Week… April 27, 2009

Filed under: Pregnancy — gertyrae @ 9:10 am
Tags: , ,

I’m not sure I can handle this…I’m starting to get overly optimistic here, really. And at this point, that’s probably not a good thing.

Anyway – we have made it through viability. BabyMack would now survive outside the womb if he were born. His odds would not be great, but he’s got a much better chance now than if he were born a week ago. That is such a comforting feeling, I can’t even begin to explain it.

Went to the Perinatalogist for a check-up on Thursday. BabyMack looks good still and my cervix actually got longer – it’s up to 3.5 cm and 3.1 with pressure. That was the most positive news yet. And proof that the bedrest really truly works!¬†

I am getting truly bored…although the nice weather this weekend was a bit of a break. I went and laid outside on the chaise lounge each day for a couple hours. I got sunburn the first day – something that never happens to me, but I guess the pregnancy has altered my skin somewhat. So, it was 30 sunscreen after that.

BabyMack is moving almost constantly now and you can feel it easily, sometimes you can actually see him move – my belly kind of pops for a second. It’s a wonderful feeling and I get so happy every time he starts really moving around. It makes this worthwhile…he’s truly growing right now and I am starting to think we might get through this with a little man in our arms. Something I honestly hadn’t been able to visualize until this point due to what happened with Rogan.

The March for Babies was yesterday and although I wasn’t able to walk myself – Our team raised over $3000!!! What a great feeling!!! I am so proud of the team and all the hard work they did fundraising!! I’m also proud of my hubby…He got out there and walked without me and brought Munchkins for the crew.

BabyMacks Profile

BabyMacks Profile

He's sucking his thumb!! <3

He's sucking his thumb!! ‚̧


Weekly Update… April 19, 2009

Filed under: IVF,Pregnancy — gertyrae @ 4:43 pm
Tags: , , ,

Since I can’t seem to update every day or so, I’ll settle for every week…

Anyway, had a week full of visitors this past week, which truly helps the time go by. Just a few hours passes so quickly when you have visitors and then before you know it, the day is almost over.

Gave myself a good scare this past Monday. Was taking a shower and felt some kind of pressure in my cervix so I called the OB. They told me to come right down and they would check it out. He took me right in and did an internal…cervix was closed, stitch holding. He did send me to labor and delivery to be monitored for a couple hours. Everything seems to be okay.

I went back to him for a regular visit on Friday and all seems to be well. Although he didn’t do an internal this time since he doesn’t want to increase any risk of infection.

Wednesday is 24 weeks…BabyMack is viable at that point….it’s so nervewracking trying to get to this day…

Thursday, I go back to the Perinatologist for steroid shots and a cervix check. Hopefully, all has stayed the same…that’s all I can pray for at this point.

Mom is about the same…she is living on the feeding tube right now. We are hoping that that might change in the future, but for now we’ll take what we can get. I haven’t seen her since the bedrest started and honestly don’ t know when I am going to see her again.

And since I have to post Misty pics every time…here’s one of her sleeping on me….april-2009-015


It’s been a Good Week! April 11, 2009

Filed under: Pregnancy — gertyrae @ 2:48 pm

Went to the Perinatologist on Wednesday and my cervix hasn’t changed at all from last week! This is wonderful, amazing news!!

I was sure my cervix was going to keep shortening, I keep feeling twinges in that area and was positive it was changing for the worse. Apparently, I was wrong. Everything has stayed exactly the same and BabyMack is moving around happily in his home. This is probably the best news I’ve gotten so far this pregnancy. According to Dr. Doom – if we keep up like this I’ll make it to 32 weeks no problem. Then she said we can talk about outings, etc. but really the last thing I’m worried about right now is outings. I’ll stay on this couch or in the bed for as long as I have to in order to make sure this little man is okay.

On other notes:

My mother’s surgery went okay…not great news, not terrible news. There was no visible cancer when they opened her up, but at the same time they were unable to reroute her intestines as planned. Apparently, the radiation has pretty much solidified her insides so they are kind of frozen solid. They did attach a feeding tube to help her stomach heal. The new plan of attack is to treat her with some fairly experimental drugs to try to help heal her stomach. In the meanwhile, she will have to use the feeding tube to her stomach nightly to get nourishment. They want her to start off with a completely liquid diet and then move slowly to solid food.¬† She was sent home today and sounds much, much better already. I’m sure the fact that she’s out of the hospital after 5 weeks make a big difference.

Dan started painting the nursery yesterday….so weird to be making this move. Part of me still isn’t sure this baby is going to make it and yet, it all seems so much more hopeful now. We are doing Mod Turtle bedding and I think once we pass the 24 week mark, I’m going to paint matching turtles on the ceiling fan and switchplate covers. Right now, I’m doing a lighthouse needlepoint to help pass the time.

That’s about it – except Misty wants to wish everyone a Happy Easter!!!easter-misty


I’m back and on… April 5, 2009

Filed under: IVF,Life,Pregnancy — gertyrae @ 11:30 am

bed-rest officially. Started on April 1st and will continue on through July ?

So far it hasn’t been too bad. I’ve read one book, which sucked and am now reading The Red Tent which seems excellent. Caught up on all my TV shows, now have to start working on the movies.

The main reason I’m on bed-rest (besides being scheduled) is that my cervix went from 4.3cm to 2.8cm in two weeks. Dr. Doom sort of freaked out on Wednesday about it, but my regular OB does not seem nearly as concerned. He said 2.1 or tearing the¬†cerclage would have worried him, but he seems very positive about this go round.

Other than that, everything with the baby seems great. There are no “soft markers” for Down’s, so I’m not regretting my decision to decline the amnio. He is right on schedule for growth and everything looks pretty perfect. The tech spent over an hour doing the Level II sono, so I’m pretty sure it couldn’t have been more thorough.

The little man is moving around like crazy now…he keeps kicking and flopping all over. I went to see my Mom in the hospital the day before¬† I went¬†on bed-rest and she was able to feel him kick! I was so happy she got to feel it…and she got so excited about it.

My mother is having her surgery on Tuesday. All I can do is lie here on the couch and pray that everything goes well. I feel sort of useless, but I guess I just have to trust in my sisters and the surgeons. Their plan of attack is to reroute her small intestine to stop bile from pouring into her stomach. The hope is that this will resolve her vomiting issues. They are then going to start treating her with meds and attaching a feeding tube to her stomach. Hopefully this will help her to feel better and, more importantly, she will be able to eat without vomiting.

My hubbie has been wonderful through all of this…I have to say I’m more surprised at how well he has stepped up. I’m so proud of him – he has been cleaning up, making me meals, making sure the dog is taken care of and making sure I’m as comfortable as possible. I never dreamed he would do this well and I’m so happy that he is doing what has to be done. He has even taken off from work a few times now to take me to the Dr. – this is the man who goes to work with whooping cough….

Soooooooooooo, that’s my update – for the few of you who are still following my disjointed path. I truly thought I would be way more religious about this, but I guess once a month or so is better than never. Besides, I’m sure now that I’m lying in bed 24/7 I’ll be updating much more often…even though there isn’t much to update.

And here are the latest pics of our little man!

Baby's profile

Baby's profile

Our little thinker

Our little thinker