21. DOUBLE the love

Today we had our 6 week 4 day ultrasound and it went better than I ever could have dreamed. 

As the technician was doing the ultrasound and taking the pictures she said casually “remember when you were told that you had a higher chance of twins? Well you’re having twins”

My mind went to a million different places, but it kept coming back to “we have 2 babies in my tummy and I already love them so much”. I haven’t stopped smiling since we got the news. We got to see their little heartbeats, and my whole heart filled with joy and love.

When I got up I looked at Tiff and she was crying. I think it was a mix of “omg we’re having two babies” and “how are we going to pay for two babies?” and “I already love them so much”. But when I looked at her, all I could see was her holding our sweet babies, rocking them slowly, kissing their foreheads and being the best damn mother in the world. I can’t wait to raise our children together, it will be the greatest joy of my life. 

So now I have to let it sink in. I think it is, slowly but surely. I am going to be a mother. I am going to be a mother to two babies at once. I have never been so happy.


Filled with love!

Shannon.

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20. Thankful

This weekend was Canadian Thanksgiving. I was able to spend the weekend doing everything I love with all of my favourite people. 

On Friday my sister, Nicole, and I baked cookies for Thanksgiving day. She is my “person”, the one who I call to share my news (no matter if it is good or bad) and the person who knows me better than anyone. I loved having a sister day, laughing and talking about our plans for the future.

On Saturday my sister, mom, aunt, Tiff and myself all went to the local Thanksgiving craft show. There are hundreds of vendors selling cute little homemade items, so we bought some Christmas decorations for the house! 

Sunday was our Thanksgiving celebration. On our way to dinner we stopped to take our photo for week 6 – with a sweet pea! Unfortunately I felt nauseous all day but I made the best of it! My parents put on the most amazing holiday dinners, there is always more food than you can even imagine and it’s so good that I ate a full plate even though I didn’t feel well. After dinner we took a walk to the park looking over Lake Ontario and watched the sunset, the sky was the brightest red I have seen it in a long time. 

Thanksgiving is one of my favourite holidays. It is so special to be able to actually take time to think about all of the blessings that we all have in our lives. Some days are harder than others, but in the end I have so much to be thankful for! This year was especially meaningful, knowing that I finally have a little life growing inside of me and we are one step closer to being parents. Next Thanksgiving I will have a beautiful baby in my arms, and I will have even more to be thankful for! 

Forever Grateful!

Shannon.

19. Silence

I have been so quiet on here lately. I am feeling such a mix of emotions, it is so hard to put them into words. On one hand I am over joyed – a positive pregnancy test was all that I could have hoped for this month. On the other hand I am hesitant to be too happy. I know how early in my pregnancy it is, and there is no guarantee that it will stick and continue to develop. I hate this feeling of unease, not being 100% sure. 

I just want it to be a few months down the road so that I can relax a little bit and start to plan for this little life growing inside of me. 

For now, I’ll keep my fingers crossed and keep myself as healthy as possible. This baby will bring so much joy to my life! 

My pregnancy app says that baby is the size of an Appleseed this week! So we took a family pic with an Appleseed to track the baby’s growth! Hopefully we get to take countless more photos with different fruits and veggies to track the growth! 

Shannon.

16. The Perfect Weekend

I honestly don’t know how to start this post without all of my happiness and joy spilling out and making absolutely no sense. I will start with Saturday morning. 

On Saturday September 9, I turned 30. I woke up snuggled in bed with Tiff and the dog and sunshine beaming through the blinds. I opened my beautiful card from Tiff and all the perfect gifts that she got me. 

We got in the car and headed to the fertility clinic. Most people wouldn’t consider blood work and an ultrasound to be the best way to spend their birthday, but I was happy to. I was even happier when our wonderful doctor told us that he would like to do our trigger shot right then and there so that we could inseminate the next day. I just have to take a second to say that this was HUGE news for us because up until now, we haven’t had any follicles grow during any cycle. This cycle we had 2 good follicles! 

When we got home Tiff took me (blindfolded) to my sister’s house where my entire family and a group of friends were waiting to surprise me with a games day! We played fun outdoor games for hours, ate my favourite cake and laughed till it hurt! 

This morning I woke up way before my alarm with a smile across my face. Today would be our first real shot at having a baby!! (Okay my eyes might be welling up with tears right now)

The insemination was significantly less painful, long and awkward than I had imagined. Tiff held my hand and looked me in the eyes the whole time. We both gave my tummy a little rub as I laid there, just sending some love inside! 

I can’t even begin to wrap my head around this situation. I know that there are no guarantees and our chances of getting pregnant on our first try are not great, but everything seemed so perfect. It felt like the stars were aligning. 

So now we wait and pray and hope (and give some words of encouragement to my belly). 

Come on little one! 

Now here are some photos of my perfect weekend! 

^Saturday after our appointment.

^My wonderful momma giving me my cake 

^My sister, my dad and I

^Me and my cake

^My sister, Tiff, Grandpa and I

^This morning in the car on the way to the clinic


^About 30 seconds before insemination 
Shannon.

15. The light.

Today I had my first extremely positive appointment. It is day 13 so I went for my routine bloodwork and ultrasound. I have done this a million times. I know which parts of my arm give blood the easiest, I know the ultrasound technicians by name (and even have a few favourites), I know the song and dance now. But today was different for me. The first thing that was different was that I was there alone. Up until now, Tiffany has been able to get the time to attend all of the appointments with me. So I did the (1 hour) drive alone and sat quietly in the waiting room. When it came time for my ultrasound I heard the voice of my favourite technician calling my name. As she was doing the scan, I saw the smile come across her face. She has been there for so many negative appointments, it felt so good to hear the good news from her. On the right side I have an 11mm follicle and on the left side I have a 12mm follicle and a 15mm follicle! I have never had anything grow larger than 10mm so this was the most amazing thing to hear! She was so sweet and printed a copy of the photo of the 15mm follicle for me to give to Tiffany! The doctor said that he is going to watch them closely because he doesn’t want to inseminate if we have more than 2 good follicles because it would put us at risk for multiples.

I sent Tiff a picture of the follicle and then quickly called her and asked he to look at the picture that I sent her. We laughed and cried (happy tears) for a while. (I was so distracted with happiness that I accidentally got onto the highway going the wrong way in rush hour traffic). Then I called my mom, I have never heard her squeal like that! She told me to send her the photo of my 15mm and she told me that it was the most beautiful follicle she had ever seen.

I don’t want to get ahead of myself here, but I do want to allow myself today to be happy and breath a sigh of relief. I was starting to doubt my own body. I was beginning to think that I may never be able to bear a child. But today instilled a new sense of hope in me. The doctors found the right combination and dose of medications for me, so now they will be able to stimulate follicles again (if this month isn’t our month).

We go back tomorrow morning (Tiff gets the time off) and then Saturday is my 30th birthday! We will probably have another appointment on my birthday, but if my follicles keep growing and things are looking good, I can’t think of a better birthday gift. I think I have to thank the universe for this one, and each person who sent prayers, thoughts and positive vibes my way.

There’s a light at the end of this long dark tunnel, and I think I just caught a glimpse of it.

Shannon.

 

 

 

14. When things don’t go according to plan.

I am in the middle of a new cycle! We tried something a little different this time. This cycle I took Femera for 5 days and then started my FSH injections. Today is cycle day 11 and I just got back home from my appointment. Another disappointing one, no follicles have started growing. I was so sure that this would be the perfect cycle. My birthday is on Saturday and my dream was to inseminate on my birthday! At this point (even if my follicles start to grow in the next few days) it doesn’t look like Saturday will be insemination day. 

I am trying to keep my chin up. I am really hoping that the FSH gets to work soon and this can be our cycle! This would be the most wonderful 30th birthday gift!

Now I am just snuggled up on the couch with my pooch (feeling a little sorry for myself).


In other news Tiff started her new job today. It’s nice and close to home, so she came home and had lunch with me! She worked so hard to get her Masters, I am so happy for her and very proud of her for starting a new job! 

The cooler weather is here, I can’t wait for fall hikes and carving pumpkins. I love the crisp air and the cozy smells! 


I’m just going to go have a chat with my follicles now….

Shannon.

13. Choosing the perfect donor.

When we tell people about our journey through this process we often leave out the story of selecting our donor. I don’t know exactly why we do this, maybe it is too personal to us, maybe we feel weird telling people about our list of “criteria” but today I want to share it, because it was such a special day for us.

I have to start off by sending out a huge thank you to every sperm donor (and egg donor) out there. No matter what your reason for donating, you have given families the chance of adding a child to their crew and it means more to me than you will know.

We didn’t realize how picky we would be until we started looking through the donor lists. Initially we just knew that we wanted someone with some of the same physical charistics at Tiff. As we got to looking, our criteria became more and more specific. He had to have light eyes, dark blonde to brown hair, an interest in hockey, a post-secondary education, a sense of humour, small ears (which I had never thought of before this moment), a nice smile, an interest in music and that “thing” that just drew us in.
We had a list of our “top 4” which was made of 4 attractive men who would all have been an amazing choice. They were each smart, athletic and wrote beautiful essays about themselves. We had a notebook where we wrote down our favourite things about each of them and we had to try to narrow it down further.

In the end we just picked the one that gave us “that feeling”. The one who we looked at and could see our future children. He shared Tiff’s love of hockey and had bright blue eyes. I could read his essay over and over and feel like I was learning even more about him each time. We both knew he was the right one. I feel like I knew it as soon as we found his profile. 

As we placed the order over the phone with the kind woman on the other end… our eyes filled with tears. We had selected the genetic other half of our future child. It was such an emotional moment for us, it made everything feel REAL! 

I am excited to share our donor’s photos and essay with our future children, and when they turn 18 I am excited for them to make the decision of whether or not they want to reach out to him.

I can’t wait to see this beautiful baby that we make!

Shannon.

12. Spontaneous adventures (and an update)

It is no secret that Tiff and I talk quite frequently about the kind of parents that we want to be. We want to surround our children with love and encouragement and we want to instill a sense of adventure/spontaneity into their lives!

My mom called me in the afternoon on Wednesday and asked us to drive up to Toronto the next day to spend the night with her at her hotel (she was in Toronto for a conference) and we jumped at the opportunity! 

We drove in, met her at the hotel and then met our cousins for dinner at an Irish bar. We then made our way to the aquarium, where Mom, Tiff and I watched in awe as sharks, rays and millions of fish swam around us!

The next morning Mom went off to her conference so Tiff and I went into the Distilley District and added our own lock to the love locks! It was special for us to be able to symbolically lock our love in permanence.


It was fun to do something spur of the moment and just play the whole trip by ear! I hope when we have a little one we will take them on spontaneous trips to different cities to see new things with them.


When I got home I headed to the States with my sister and some of our friends to see Luke Bryan! It was so nice to dance the night away and not think about appointments or when the heck I would get my period!

Then yesterday morning just before I left for work… my period finally came!!! Tomorrow I will start my Femera for 5 days and then next Saturday I will start my FSH injections again!! I have a good feeling about this cycle! My fingers are crossed!

Can you cross your fingers for me too? 🙂

Shannon.

11. “When are you two getting married?”

Tiff and I have been engaged for almost 2 years, and truth be told I wish I could have married her already. I wish I could be calling her my wife instead of my fiancé. The thing is, weddings cost a lot of money. Guess what else costs a lot of money? Two women trying to have a baby together. At the end of the day we would rater start a family than have a piece of paper tell us that we are in a loving, committed relationship.

We get asked about our wedding a lot, at least a few times a week. And it is always by people who are kind and curious and who don’t know about the fertility treatments that we are going through. So we deflect – we wanted to enjoy being engaged for a while – we will just surprise everyone with a backyard wedding one day – we want to be 100% established in our careers first. We don’t feel the need to tell someone that we see casually at hockey about our journey to become parents and the crazy costs associated with it. We don’t tell someone that I worked with 2 years ago about the constant appointments and stress that would leave no time or energy to plan our perfect wedding.

So we are waiting. We might swing by the courthouse when we get pregnant just to make it official and make the birth certificate an easier step to navigate. But we will have our celebration when our child is here. I feel as though they already exist and we are just navigating an obstacle course in order to finally meet them. I want them to be a part of our special day, I would feel like someone was missing if they were not there. Hopefully we can get married by this time next year with a sweet little one stealing the show in all of our pictures.

So, one day. One day I will marry this woman.

Shannon.IMG_0187