Twenty Weeks Post Partum – The 411

My angel is now 20 weeks old !  

She is growing by leaps and bounds and is growing super long.  She now weighs almost 16 pounds.

She can sit up with assistance for a little while before falling forward. 

She hates to sit down or lie down. She now prefers to sit up and stand up.  

A friend sent her an Amazon gift card for her christening so we ordered her a Fisher Price Jumperoo. I am still trying to put it together.  I deplore reading instructions and putting things together. Hopefully I will figure out how to get this seat part together this weekend before calling in the calvary lol.

I am completely and head over heels in love with my daughter !  She is the culmination of every dream I have ever had of a child.  

I soooo want to give her a sibling. I have been very depressed about that lately.   Because of the emergency hysterectomy,  I can not carry another baby. I am blessed to have four eggs on ice so that once I find a willing surrogate, my little girl can have a sibling.   I worry about leaving her in the world alone.  I want her to have a sibling that she is close to and to experience having a life growing up fighting and loving a sibling.   There is nothing like it !

I can’t believe that in a few short days, my baby will be five months old !  I am starting to plan her 1st birthday event.  I am doing a safari theme and am looking at trip packages to either Tampa Busche Gardens Africa or to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.   I am hoping my family will be able to go, but if not, it will be just us.

I ask that you all keep my mom in your prayers.  Not only has a knot formed under her breast that she just had surgery on (hoping its just scar tissue) but her anemia seems to be caused by something other than iron deficiency.   The doctor has ordered a colonoscopy and referred her to a Gastroenterologist for further review.  She is nauseated all the time and has been for quite some time.   The doctor assumed is was reflux.  Now I am scared to death, that given how much she sleeps and the fact that even with nausea medications are not very effective, that we are dealing with something far more serious. It is my prayer that God could not and would not be that cruel to allow her to be sick again.  There is only so much the human body can withstand.   Now that she is retired, I want her to be able to travel and enjoy her life and not have it marred by illness and fear of illness. 

Until next week….

Sixteen Weeks Post Partum – The 411


16 weeks ago, God gifted me the most precious gift, my baby girl.  She is hands down the love of my life and I could not imagine how I lived or loved before her.

She is such a good baby and has the most pleasant disposition !  She is incredible.

She has amped up her conversation when she is spoken to or if you sing or read to her.  She laughs and giggles and smiles so…   Her latest milestone or developmental fete is that she completely rolls over and back.  She enjoys tummy time and she is not as cranky in her carseat anymore.  She travels a lot better !  Thank goodness.

This week, we are headed to NYC, as she has her 4 month well baby checkup and vaccines. I hated watching her get vaccinated last time, but realize it is necessary to keep her healthy. She did not cry long and she slept a lot after she got her vaccines.  I had given her Tylenol and Motrin before we went to help offset a fever.

In other news, our mother retired on Friday and also won her EEO complaint she filed against the new Director who started targeting female employees.  She is so happy to be a full time Grandmother now !  She says she and baby girl will be hitting the road and traveling the globe.

I am still losing weight… just a pound or two every few weeks.  I feel great.  I assume it is because I am nursing. I have to see my doctor this week because the front of my left leg is numb.  My sister thinks I have a pinched nerve.  We shall see…

I am trying to pull myself out of the dumps.  My make up artist / dear friend died on December 2nd and last week, my friend, comedian/ actor Ricky Harris passed away of a sudden heart attack.  I had just communicated with him two days prior.  I am labeling 2016 a serial killer !   I went to church this morning with my mom and the baby and it was announced at the end of service that one of our Ministers, Karen Hampton passed away after a long battle with cancer.  She was in the choir with me when I was there full time. I am so sick of hearing about death, I do not know what to do !

Anyway, Happy New Year to you all !   I am spending the day with my family and my sister and I are cooking a fabulous meal.

Thirty-Three Weeks – The 411

Two pineapples in wicker basket on table

How my baby’s growing

This week your baby weighs about 5 pounds and has passed the 17-inch mark (about the size of a pineapple). She’s rapidly losing that wrinkled, alien look, and her skeleton is hardening. The bones in her skull aren’t fused together, which allows them to move and slightly overlap, thus making it easier for her to fit through the birth canal. (The pressure on the head during birth is so intense that many babies are born with a cone-head–like appearance.) These bones don’t entirely fuse until early adulthood, so they can grow as her brain and other tissue expands during infancy and childhood.

How mommy’s life’s changing

As your baby fills out even more of your belly, lots of things might start to change: Whereas before you were sashaying, you may find yourself waddling. Finding an easy position to sit in – let alone sleep – is becoming more of a challenge. And bumping into chairs and counters is par for the course.

You may be feeling some achiness and even numbness in your fingers, wrists, and hands. Like many other tissues in your body, those in your wrist can retain fluid, which can increase pressure in the carpal tunnel, a bony canal in your wrist.

Nerves that run through this “tunnel” may end up pinched, creating numbness; tingling, shooting or burning pain; or a dull ache. Try wearing a splint to stabilize your wrist or propping up your arm with a pillow when you sleep. If your work requires repetitive hand movements (at a keyboard or on an assembly line, for instance), remember to stretch your hands when you take breaks – which should be frequently.

Many women still feel sexy at this stage – and their partners often agree. You may need to make some adjustments, but for most women, sex during pregnancy is fine right up until their water breaks or their labor starts.

Learn about: Monitoring your baby’s movements

How often should I feel movements?

Your baby should be moving as frequently as she has for the last month or so. Every baby has her own pattern of activity and there’s no correct one. As long as you don’t notice any major changes in your baby’s activity level, chances are she’s doing just fine.

Do I need to keep track of my baby’s kicks?

For an added sense of security, many healthcare providers recommend that after 28 weeks, you formally monitor your baby’s movements at least once or twice a day. There are lots of different ways to do these “kick counts,” so check with your doctor or midwife about how she wants you to track your baby’s movements. Here’s one common approach: Choose a time of day when your baby tends to be active. (Ideally, you’ll want to do the counts at roughly the same time each day.) Sit quietly or lie on your side so you won’t get distracted. Time how long it takes for you to feel 10 distinct movements – kicks, twitches, and whole body movements all count. You should feel at least 10 movements within two hours. (Don’t worry; it probably won’t take that long. Sometimes you’ll feel 10 kicks within the first 10 minutes.) If you don’t feel 10 movements in two hours, stop counting and call your healthcare provider.

What should I do if I think my baby’s movements have slowed or changed?

Let your doctor or midwife know right away if you notice a slowdown of your baby’s movements. A decrease in fetal movement may signal a problem, and you’ll need a nonstress test or biophysical profile to check on your baby.


How Far Along?

33 weeks !

How Big Is The Little One?

My little angel is the size of a pineapple

Total Weight Gain / Loss?

I did not weigh this week, but as of last weigh in, I was up 8 pounds.  I lost 27 pounds first trimester, so I think I am doing pretty good !

Maternity Clothes?

Still rocking running pants, maternity leggings, oversized tees, body con dresses and mostly pjs since I have barely left the house this week.  The baby shower wore me OUT !


I sleep pretty well.  I do wake up a few times to urinate, but otherwise, I have no problem falling asleep.

Best Moment of the Week?

My week has pretty much revolved around resting, cooking and baking.  I was craving fried flounder and chips so I made that yesterday and today I wanted Baby Lima Bean and Country Ham Bone Soup, homemade buttermilk biscuits and grilled center cut pork chops.  I made egg custard pies for my mom using my great Grandmom’s recipe with a few tweaks of my own.  I wanted swiss n cheddar burgers for breakfast and homemade fresh cut fries so I made that at 8 am lol.  I only eat a few bites of anything before I am full, so I do not worry about weight gain.  Now that I am not as repulsed by the smell of food and sight of food, I really enjoyed the few bites of food I indulged in this week.


My baby has been extremely active the past few days.  She was almost radio silent for the past few weeks with the exception of certain times.  Now, she is moving a lot again… Especially when I am trying to sleep or when I put belly buds on and play Mozart or Beethoven.

Constipation is plaguing me so I am back to taking 3 Colace in the am and drinking coffee with Miralax in it periodically.  That does the trick.

I had blood work last week and my TSH is extremely low (.066), my protein, fluid levels iron levels, Vitamin D, calcium, platelet counts, rbc… everything is LOW !  The baby is taking all my nutrients.  My sister instructed me to up my fluid intake and protein.  I went to get protein shakes but the kind I like was out of stock.  I will make a point of getting some this weekend and start drinking two per day that are 35g each.

Food Cravings?

Burgers, fresh cut fries, cheese, fried fish

Food Aversions?




Labor Signs?


What I Miss?

Wine and Sangria

What I Am Looking Forward To?

Meeting this little angel and seeing who she looks like… what she sounds like… what she smells like.


My bump is growing a little… becoming more round.

Navel In/Out?


Baby / Mommy Purchases?

I didn’t buy anything this week.

What’s New?

My mom is going to be doing her reconstructive surgery in a week.  I am hoping the have a cancellation and can get her in next week so that she has time to properly heal before I have my cesarean.  Since they are doing a tummy tuck for a flap and her breasts, I am hoping she will be able to sit up straight and be functional by the time baby girl is here, since I will not be able to lift her.

Twenty Four Weeks !! – The 411

How my baby’s growing

Your baby is growing steadily, having gained about 4 ounces since last week. That puts her at about 1 1/3 pounds. Since she’s almost a foot long (about the length of an ear of corn), she cuts a pretty lean figure at this point, but her body is filling out proportionally and she’ll soon start to plump up. Her brain is also growing quickly now, and her taste buds are continuing to develop. Her lungs are developing “branches” of the respiratory “tree” as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help her air sacs inflate once she hits the outside world. Her skin is still thin and translucent, but that will start to change soon.

How mommy’s life’s changing

In the past few weeks, the top of your uterus has risen above your belly button and is now about the size of a soccer ball. Most women have a glucose screening test (also called a glucose challenge test or GCT) between now and 28 weeks. This test checks for gestational diabetes, a pregnancy-related high-blood-sugar condition.

Untreated diabetes increases your risk of having a difficult vaginal delivery or needing a cesarean section because it causes your baby to grow too large, especially in his upper body. It also raises your baby’s odds for other complications like low blood sugar right after birth. A positive result on your GCT doesn’t mean you have gestational diabetes, but it does mean that you’ll need to take the glucose tolerance test (GTT) to find out for sure.


How Far Along?

24 weeks with 15 more to go !

How Big Is The Little One?

My baby is the size of an ear of corn

Total Weight Gain / Loss?

To date, I have only gained 2 pounds.  My weight is now staying stable and not swinging between 2-3 pounds.  I am stuck at a 2 pound gain.  I lost 27 pounds from January to February. I am happy that I have not blown up like Shamu !

Maternity Clothes?

I am still wearing my normal clothing, though my pants now have to go under my bump.


Because I had an allergy attack and have been taking a swig of children’s Benadryl, I have been getting more sleep.  I am amazed at how sleepy the children’s liquid version makes me. If my niece’s baby were not screeching in the middle of the night every 3-4 hours, I could actually get a full night of rest.  For some reason, they sleep in the family room above the basement, where I am staying while visiting and her baby wakes up randomly because he is not and has never been on any type of schedule.  #teenmoms

Best Moment of the Week?

This week has been rather uneventful.  My mom and I went up to the DC Waterfront and sat out and watched the boats go by and planes land at National Airport.  We are going to the movies tonight to see Central Intelligence with Kevin Hart and The Rock.  This weekend is Father’s Day but my father and grandfather are deceased so we no longer celebrate it.  Once my daughter is born, we will celebrate by honoring her godfathers. We have plans to attend worship service for the men’s day celebration and then we are going to the Slip Inn or Haines Point in DC to have a picnic on Sunday.

Well, I did have ONE good thing happen this week…. my donor has four frozen eggs banked at the clinic and I got them !  So October 2017, I will cycle again for baby #2 !


I still have no symptoms other than round ligament pain, occasional constipation, and a heavy feeling in my pelvic floor.  It is hard to get comfortable at night.

Food Cravings?

I have no appetite.  The only foods I have been craving is fresh fruit.  I wanted plums but can not find any sweet ones.  I will hit up the farmer’s market tomorrow since local grocers fruit suck.  I have also been eating a 1/2 a watermelon a day, which is refreshing !

Food Aversions?

Salty and Sweet foods


Baby Girl 🙂

Labor Signs?


What I Miss?

Being in the condo at the beach and waking up looking at the ocean.

What I Am Looking Forward To?

Taking long walks on the beach every morning at sunrise and again at sunset.  I look forward to the solitude and also taking my baby outside to chill on the beach.


Oh Yeah !  I have 1/2 a soccer ball now !

Navel? In or Out?

In.  I have noticed that I have to dry my navel out with a q-tip now because it remains wet in there after I bathe and the towel is not cutting it. lol

Baby or Mommy Purchases?

This week, my maternity pjs arrived that I ordered from Zulily so I now have everything for my hospital bag.  I bought a Genie Bra, which is comfy but my boobs still hurt regardless.

I ordered the most adorable monkey wall clock for the nursery and it arrived today.  The only two items I have to order now is the bedding from Bratt Decor, which is in raw silk , the same colors as the fabric we chose for the bassinet I ordered from there and also the crib thru my friend at Restoration Hardware.

I have been buying things for the baby shower as well.  I only have a few more items to purchase.  I have to get the three fold napkins, silverware, dinnerware, cups, and the stainless steel beverage containers for sangria and the coffee and hot water for tea.

Second Beta Is In !! – The 411


Today was my second beta.  My beta is now 287 !!

The nurse called this afternoon with the update and I realized that I was scheduled two days too early for 1st beta.  Because I did a 3DT, my first beta was supposed to be tomorrow, actually.  At any rate, all of my levels are great.  Estradiol 1200, Progesterone 29, and HCG 287.

I have already made an appointment with my OB for next week for my 1st appointment and the RE appointment for the last week of the month.

I have scheduled an appointment on Monday the 8th for blood work and lining check / sac count for Monday since I will be in DC and can go to the Women’s Imaging Center.  Hopefully there will be enough to see, as I will be just over 5 weeks (5W4d) then.

Please continue to cover me and the little one(s) in your prayers !  I am sooooo hoping there is more than one in there !  Fingers crossed ! 🙂


IVF #5 – BETA IS….. TWO – NEGATIVE… BFN ! – The 411

ivf 5 - BFN

After sitting and stewing most of the morning, I decided to go to the lab at the hospital to have my beta done since my mom had an emergency dental appointment after radiation treatment today.  My beta is 2.  Having a feeling that it is negative and seeing it live and in person, are two different things.   I am pissed off.  At the same time, I am glad that I did give my own eggs one more chance before moving on.  I realize that just because the eggs make embryos and they “appear” normal, does not mean they aneuploidy does not exist.  The embryos can appear normal but will not implant if they are abnormal, which happens more often than not the older we get.  Our eggs are just simply hard boiled.

This is the reason why doctors push for women who are advanced maternal age to move to donor eggs so that the embryos are healthy and not “aged”.

If anyone has any advice about donor eggs and good clinics I should look into, please feel free to send me the info !!

** Also, if anyone is in need of Lovenox (30mg), Desogen(Apri) birth control pills, or Delestrogen, feel free to shoot me an email, as I have left over meds I will now not need. (

Let the research begin !


baby - BFN 2

Today, eleven days past three day transfer, and I got another negative on the HPT.  I tested Friday, which was 9DP3DT and it was a negative as well.   This morning, the “pre-period” type cramping started and I have no other symptoms.  So, even with a different protocol and using embryo glue and transferring three perfect embryos, still NEGATIVE.  I have now stopped taking all the meds except the Synthroid and Lovenox.

This was my last own egg cycle.   I have had a few people tell me that I should attempt to do a couple of IUIs before moving on to donor eggs, but I truly do not see how that would be a benefit.  My egg quality seems to be good, my numbers on all of my tests seem to be in the normal range, yet, for some reason, implantation alludes me.  Although the quality seems to be good, with maternal aged women, there is really no way of knowing that the embryos are viable unless they are tested genetically, and even still, that is only testing one cell so things can be missed.  So many ladies I have spoken with over these past two years that have done genetic testing and transferred the embryos, only to have them not take, have said they wished they had just moved on to donor eggs instead of paying thousands of dollars for testing.

I did have testing done on the embryo when I had a miscarriage following my first IVF and the baby was genetically normal, so I did not feel I needed to test my embryos.

At this point, I am tired.  Tired of injecting my body with meds.  Tired of going through these cycles of hope to disappointment.  Tired of hoping.  Tired of believing.  Tired of having faith.   At this point, I am ready to move on to something more sure fire.

I have an appointment with my Internist and with my OB on Tuesday and will talk to the OB about doing a biopsy of my uterine wall to determine if there are implantation issues or endometriosis that has not been diagnosed.  I have been on a very aggressive autoimmune protocol, so my immune system is not the culprit.  I want answers.  Is it the eggs?  I do not want to save up and shell out $30,000 plus meds for a donor egg cycle, only to transfer embryos that will not implant.

I am going to have to wait until after the new year to be able to do the donor egg cycle at the clinic I want to use.  This clinic, IVF NJ, has a 92% success rate.  I  am torn about doing a donor egg cycle at CNY.  I have done five own egg cycles of IVF and still do not have a baby in my arms.   At CNY, it would cost me about $19,000 to do a cycle, but I would rather apply that money to a cycle with a clinic with proven success rates.  I love CNY, but I really have to think about the end game.   I also do not have a lot of egg donors to choose from at CNY.   The women who are black, do not possess the attributes I would want in an egg donor, nor do any of them resemble me in any way.  That is important to me.  I want my child to at least look like I am the parent. I will speak to the donor egg coordinator and get more info, but I am really leaning towards using IVF NJ, CCRM, or UCSF Center for Reproductive Health.

I am disappointed, but not as heartbroken as I thought I would be.  I think deep down, I knew this cycle would be a bust and I would have to go the donor egg route in order to have a healthy child.

This weekend, I have been on set the entire time filming for Valerie the Pajama Chef and also Plan B Chronicles.  We are about to tape the one on one interview segments and then it will be a wrap for the weekend.  My film crew is leaving at 4 pm to head to Union Station so they can go back to NYC.

Tomorrow, I am supposed to go to LabCorp for beta, but I think I will just let my OB do the blood draw while I am at the office for appointments on Tuesday instead of doing blood draws twice.   There is no way the beta will be positive, so what is the point?

This is going to be a LONG six months, but at least I will pay for the procedure and will not owe any monies after the fact.  Now I am torn as to what to do with all the baby items I have amassed.  I have tons of cases of diapers, clothing, blankets, books, toys, bottles, and baby items.  I really do not want to move that stuff to another home in 7 weeks and stare at it for six month….