Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Crib Fiasco

When it comes to large purchases -- I research everything! I like to only buy things once so I want something that is worth the money and will last.  For a Baby this includes just about everything!  It took me weeks to find the perfect crib, weeks. The week after we found out the Baby's gender, we went to Babies 'R' Us to register and buy our Crib. I feel so bad for the registry guy who had to tell me that they were completely out of stock in the store and at all of warehouses.  I had JUST checked that morning. I was heartbroken and would not listen to Corey who tried to talk me into the another crib. I was set on this crib, in white and no one was changing my mind.  Isn't it gorgeous?

DaVinci Jayden 3-in-1 convertible crib
Real wood, convertible to Toddler Bed, Day Bed and then a Full Size.  Non-toxic paint.  And didn't look like a mini-jail when converted from a crib!  I spent almost an entire day searching and searching for it online, for anywhere. I soon discovered that my very reasonably priced crib ranged up to $700 at other stores!  Thankfully, the next day a co-worker suggested

Of course they were out-of-stock as well but I was finally able to discover why! A new model had come out and it wasn't even on DaVanci's website yet!  Meet the Cameron.

DaVinci Cameron 
The Cameron met all of my checklist AND had a drawer, even had a coupon for new customers, SOLD!  I placed my order and was told it would take 3-4 days to ship since it was a larger item.  This was three weeks ago and we still have not received it.

What has happened since has been nothing but the worst online shopping experience.  After not receiving a shipping notification by the end of the week, I logged on to my account. It said my crib had shipped but did not have a tracking number. I called and was told that they were out of stock, not sure why it said shipped, had no idea what to tell me and I should just call DaVinci. Excuse me?!!? I ordered from you! DaVinci does not have a phone number on their website so I was forced to email.

Two days later I received an email from saying that DaVinci assured them my crib would ship out the next day. This was April 2nd.  I FINALLY received a tracking number and email on April 7th.  Wouldn't you know the tracking number did not work.  I gave it a day and emailed Monday morning.  They responded immediately, claiming to get back to me later that day. I emailed again yesterday and was told they were "working on it."  Finally this morning I received a phone call to arrange delivery tomorrow.

I have very low hopes that my crib will arrive without damage, and won't be surprised if it is the wrong crib entirely. This has been the worst customer service experience of my life. I was so excited about all of the amazing things I had heard about this website, but I will never been ordering from them again.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Spicy Tomato Cream Chicken Rigatoni

Chicken tenderloin
Rigatoni 16oz
Marinara sauce 28oz (we use our homemade sauce, recipe coming soon)
Sweet onion 1/3 cup
2 cloves of chopped garlic
Olive oil 
¾ cup of chopped orange bell peppers
3 Tsp of chopped jalapeno 
2 Tsp Italian seasoning 
1 Tsp crushed red peppers 
1 Tsp salt 
Pepper to taste 
Chopped fresh Basil 
1 cup heavy whipping cream 
1 Tsp sugar 
1 Cup of shredded Parmesan Cheese 

*if you do not want this spicy you can leave out the Jalapeno and red peppers, but you may lose some of the flavor.

  • Coat the Chicken in olive oil and Montreal steak seasoning to rest while you are preparing your sauce. 

  • Coat the bottom of your pan with Olive oil and let the Oil heat up until it is "crackling."
  • Sauté the onions and garlic until the onion are almost cooked through, about 2 minutes. 
  • Add your Bell peppers and jalapeno, continue to sauté for a few more minutes. 
  • Add in your tomato sauce and your heavy cream. 
  • Mix in your basil, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. 
  • Cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes. 
  • While your sauce is simmering prepare your noodles and chicken. 
  • Thinly slice your chicken and place in a pan with some olive oil on med high heat.

  • Cook chicken for 3 to 6 minutes depending on how thin you sliced your chicken. Remove from heat.
  • Once your sauce is done simmering add in 1 Tbl of sugar and 1 cup of Parmesan cheese. 

  • Toss in your cooked noodles and chicken in your sauce and enjoy. We tossed in warm pan and found that really combined the flavors well.

This recipe was inspired by an Episode of Diners, Drive-In & Dives.  We've made several changes to fit our tastes but the idea looked so delicious on tv we just had to try!

Friday, January 24, 2014

14W2D update

Lots to update on after catching you all up on all that happened while we were hiding this big secret :-).

Last Thursday I had my 13 week appointment, which was actually 3 Doctors appointment and THE longest Doctors appointment of my life! I was at the practice from 11am until 3:30pm!  I am happy to have knocked it all out but it was definitely a long day.

I met with the Genetic Counselor, my OB, ultrasound and gave up 6 vials of blood at the lab.  I am totally in love with my OB and know I made the right choice.  It was amazing to see how much the Baby has grown in the few weeks since my last ultrasound.  Lots of movement, showed off his/her hand and did the "thinking man pose" for us. It was adorable! I am kinda glad I can't feel anything quite yet though because s/he was super active. I finally heard the heartbeat, up until now we could only "see" it beating but it was at a strong 158.

My Nausea is slowly going away but still having the breathing issues and massive food & smell aversions.  I have an appetite again though so that is good news. I have gained back almost all 5 pounds I lost over the Holidays (think this is the only time in my life I will be happy to gain weight).  I am still 3 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight but I am not too worried. Something tells me that soon I will have to hold back how much I eat.

My Doctor is having me keep a journal about my breathing issues and I am supposed to call her so we can discuss it and decide what to do.  We did move my bike trainer back in the living room, hoping that doing at least a few minutes a day may help -- especially with being able to sleep. I have a dream of being one of those super fit pregnant women but right now I don't see being able to even do a full workout.

Waving hi!

Nice Spine you've got there.

Look at that little tongue sticking out!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

8w6d and first OB appointment

As I mentioned and promised in our big reveal post, I have actually been writing posts while we have been keeping this secret.  While we weren't ready to share with the entire world, I still wanted to document the entire process. I admire those in the blogasphere that shared their positive news from the beginning..  I "stalked" those blogs within a few weeks of my pregnancy. I love knowing what is to come from other IFs.  The below post is from December 17th, my first OB visit.

Today was my first OB appointment.  It feels SO weird to not be seeing Dr. L anymore.  I am so happy that my OB did her Residency with him though, makes me feel like she will have the same high level of patient service care and knowledge.  My first appointment, however, was not with my actual OB.  Because I did not graduate from the RE until 7 weeks and most initial OB appointments are at 8 or 9 weeks, they just could not fit me in. I have been going to this practice for about 12 years so as an existing patient they were able to have me seen by a Nurse practitioner at another location.  I have to say, this was my longest Doctor's appointment ever.

First up was the Ultrasound.  I walk in and one of the Nurses is a friend! I had completely forgot she works at this other location. At first I was excited to see her and then I was petrified she would tell someone. She assured me she couldn't and would never anyways.  The ultrasound tech was so nice and explained everything she was looking at.  Baby Bell is measuring right on target at 8w6d.  It is so weird that I saw the Baby just 2 weeks ago and all it was just a "yoke" and a heart beat.  Now Baby B has a head, arms, legs and cute little butt!  She also confirmed again that it is just one little baby and actually showed me the other eggs, where I ovulated from. I'll have to do some research on how that works and where they go.  Ugg why did Sex Ed not teach us these things!??!!

Next up was a short interview with the nurse. Since they already have my family history it was mostly about what has happened since my last visit back in July and going over the notes Dr. L sent.  Apparently the HSG had to be added to my surgical history, good to know!  Since I am of Eastern European Jewish descent (and some other risk factors in our background) they recommended meeting with the Genetic counselor along with a few early test.  As part of one of the test I get to prick my finger at 10 weeks and send off the blood to compare to my levels today and at my 12 week appointment. 10 weeks just happens to be Christmas day, fun!

After that I had a Pap (Intrauterine Ultrasound and a Pap in the same day = not fun for an Endo girl!).  My Cervix is bleeding a lot but she assured me that is totally normal and everything else looked great. She answered a lot of my questions, gave me a ton of great information and samples. She also put me on a secondary Nausea med and asked me to add Calcium & Vitamin D to my Vitamin regimen.

I was happy to hear that as long as I am struggling with Nausea I get to eat whatever I can stomach, do not worry about calories. If I had to guess though, I would think I am eating 500-800 a day which is not normal for me at all!  Once the Nausea passes they recommends only adding 200-300 calories to my diet, no eating for two! There goes my Cupcake a day plan! haha.  She suggested eating 3 full meals and a small healthy snack in-between each.

This all still feel surreal but each appointment brings me closer to reality. I think once I start seeing a Belly it will sink in more.  I feel a lot more at ease armed with all of this information and plan to take several of the classes my practice and Hospital offer.  Right now I am struggling with how to tell the remainder of our close friends and family and working on our big Blog & FB reveals.

Almost forgot! Also got our official due date!  July 23rd, 2014!!!!  Corey's Birthday is the 21st so I have promised him he will still always get his Birthday celebrated as well, we don't want to be one of those families that ignores the parent's Birthday, plus I just love celebrating Birthdays!

Graduating from the RE to the OB

On December 4th 2013, I graduated from the RE (fertility specialist). I feel like that is going to be a day I always remember, although it feels so weird right now.  At 6w6d I went in for my 2nd ultrasound.  Dr. L said if we saw a heartbeat and everything looked good that I would be down to a 10% chance of anything going wrong and I would move on to the OB.

When I arrived, the waiting room was the fullest I have ever seen it, full of pregnant bellies I might add. I am so thankful that I never had to deal with that all the times I came in for fertility treatment. I wonder if they time the appointments or if it was just chance.  When they were ready, Nurse C greeted me with a huge smile.

The Ultrasound looked perfect, just a yoke and a heartbeat.  I did mention my shortness of breath issue to Dr. L so he listened to my lungs and heart. He said everything looked and sounded fine but to let the OB know to keep an eye on it.  If I notice any leg swelling before my OB appointment to call him, apparently this can be a sign on a clot.  With that and a few more suggestions he officially graduated me to the OB.  We talked about OB choices and I was relieved to hear the one I had been leaning towards did her residency with him!  It was such a happy and sad occasion. I gave Nurse C a big hug as I left. 

I am thinking about sending them an edible arrangement or something, I know this is their job but they just go so above and beyond I want them to know they are appreciated.  Is it weird to send a Doctor and his nurses a Thank you?

Below is the ultrasound from our 11/25 ultrasound, the very first one where we saw Baby Bell. Just a tiny littler fertilized egg that we instantly fell in love with.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

How I almost missed my big fat positive

You may have noticed that I haven't posted much about our I.F. journey since this post where I cursed Mother Nature and was mustering the courage to call my Doctor to take the official negative test.  After yesterday's post you finally know why.

The next day was a crazy one for sure.  The "official test" is the type where they give you a time range to be there and a nurse fits you in when the Doctor doesn't need her. I was dreading it so I opted for the afternoon spot.  I just knew I was going to break down and not want to go back to work afterwards.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love my Doctor and his nurses? They are just absolutely amazing.  I've never told them about my blog so I don't feel right posting their names (hence the abbreviations I use when I talk about Dr.L).  They are just amazing.  When I arrived at the office, Nurse C quickly came to get me out of the waiting room and thanked me for not waiting until right before they close to arrive.  

In order to explain this, I do need to get into a little detail about my "monthly visitor."  On this day, my visitor was about 1/8th her normal strength.  Nurse C did not seem too worried but did leave to chat with Dr.L while we waited for the test to finish.  He decided it was fine and probably my body adjusting the Letrozole from the Clomid.  We both stared at the pee stick and waited.  Of course, it was a big fat negative.  I didn't cry, I just kind of sighed, thanked Nurse C and headed to the Pharmacy.  I'm not sure how I got anywhere, I just sort of zoned out.

I woke up the next morning to absolutely no monthly visitor. I had taken my double dose of Letrozole the night before and started to freak out.  The office opens at 8:30am but I know they have surgeries starting at 7:30am so I called Nurse C at 7:31am on the dot.  I feel bad for how much I rambled on her voicemail.
Something just isn't right. I still feel pregnant. I just...this isn't normal. Is there another test I can take? I don't want to keep taking the Letrozole just in case. I just don't know how to explain, this is not normal."
She called me back within the hour (because they are just that amazing) and calmly told me to get a blood test done at the lab near where I work.  She told me that if I did it before lunchtime she would make sure I knew what was going on before the end of the day.  The moment I got a break I walked practically ran to the lab.  The next few hours felt like an eternity.  I was back at my desk by 10am, so I told myself I had to wait until 3pm before I could call Nurse C, the lab tech said they would send over the results by 11:30am.

3pm comes, I can't take it any longer. I call  the office and Nurse C Answers:
Nurse C: It's positive
Me: For what? What do I have? (this part makes me laugh now)
Nurse C: You're pregnant
Me: Wait. What? How? What? But I took the Letroi...what?
Nurse: Dr. L is in surgery on the other campus, he is supposed to call me when he is done. I have been waiting to ask him about the Letrozole but don't take anymore.
Me: ok
Nurse: Are you ok?
Me: Yes, I think so. So you're calling me back when?
Nurse: I will call you before I leave today.
Me: Thank you!

The next few hours I tried my hardest to concentrate, get at least some work done.  But most of the afternoon went like this:
I am finally pregnant.  All this heartbreak is finally for something.  Now, do I immediately text the hubby and tell him or do I surprise him?  We just had our "it's ok, it will happen, this was the 1st month we showed positive signs." talk last night.  He won't be expecting it.  Maybe I can still get in my dream "surprise the Hubby with pregnancy announcement."  Oh my goodness, why do I not have a plan for this? How am I going to tell him.  SOCKS.  He needs socks.  He has been complaining about his socks, I will go buy baby socks and tell him I bought him new socks.  Perfect, I have to go to Target anyways.  He told me not to buy any onsies, is ok now? Yes it's ok now.  OMG  I am pregnant.  It has finally happened.  Oh crude, what was I doing?...
After work the Nurse called me back and assures me since I only took one Letrozole dose I should be ok, we also talk about how to give up coffee and she makes me promise the buy prenatal vitamins tonight.  She is awesome.

So I get home with my bag of two onsies (I limited myself), prenatal vitamins, and a pair of baby socks.  As soon as I walk in Corey gets up and starts walking in the kitchen. I panic.  I should have switched around the bags in the car (I bought some other things as well).  I panic and just hand him a bag.  He is very confused.
C: What is this?
Me: Just open it
C: Prenatal vitamins? Why are you handing me these (to his credit I have been taking them on and off during this entire process so they weren't an immediate clue)
Me: Just keep looking in the bag
C: Shuffles through the bag very confused
Me: We're pregnant!
C: What? No. That's not possible. I thought...didn't you have Letrozole last night?
Me: Yes but I went for a blood test today and we are pregnant!
Not the reveal I have always dreamed of but once it sunk it we had a fun "jumping up and down" session and took photos with the onesies.  We decided I would take a home test to see if it would show up.  It barely did, but it did! My first Big Fat Positive!

The rest of the night we spent planning how we would tell each person in our family and close friend circle.

Even now, it hasn't really sunk in.  We've had fun telling people.  We were really lucky that Dr.L could fit us in the Monday before Thanksgiving to confirm the egg was in the right place (just one) and even printed out a copy to show to my family.  We flew out very early Tuesday for Thanksgiving and were bursting at the to tell everyone, it really was perfect timing and I got my perfect Hanukkah gift after-all!  I will post separately about how we told different members of the family, the ultrasounds and how things are going so far.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Big reveal: The most amazing Hanukkah present in the History of Presents

How is that title for a big lead up?

Obviously Hanukkah has been over for a over a month, but we have been keeping a big secret during that time.  After a year and a half of praying, crying, hoping, struggle and "faking happy" I finally have some good news to share.

By this point I am surprised if you are still reading and not just scrolling photos, so I won't waste anymore words. In the next few days I will post more about what finally worked, how we found out and the weeks since as well as how we told the family.

Baby Bell is expected to make his or her arrival in late July!  I want to thank our Prayer Brigade and our amazing RE specialist and his team for this miracle & making our prayers come true.  Thank you, especially those who read this post and prayed without knowing what you were praying for, it means the world to us!  There is no way we would have survived this last year and a half without the love and support of all of our friends, family and those I have met in the IF blogger world.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

As I mentioned above, in the next few days, I will post more about how we found out, how we announced it to the family and how the first 12 weeks of pregnancy have gone.  In the meantime, enjoy the very first photos ever of Baby Bell.

Thank you to the amazing Crystal Reyns Photography for capturing these photos for us, we are so excited to have her following us on this journey and capturing every step! Wait till you see what she came up with our Gender reveal! Keep an eye on her blog tomorrow for more pics and about this photo session.  We truly love Crystal and wouldn't trust any other photographer with such a huge secret!

**All photos are copyrighted by Crystal Reyns Photography, please do not save or print the photos without her or our permission. Don't make us send Slinky after you, Thank you.