PCOS Update and the 4 Week KETO Challenge

Most of you know I have PCOS, the infertility diagnosis that led us to IVF for our sweet girl. The trouble is PCOS isn’t JUST about fertility. It’s a complicated disaster on your entire body. It involves things from insulin resistance to infertility, excessive facial hair growth to regular hair loss. Predisposition for heart disease and diabetes. Correlation with pancreatitis which shockingly I had in 2004 and scored me a lovely two weeks vacation at FMH. PCOS makes a lot of things difficult: getting pregnant, losing weight, walking out the door without checking for chin hairs… but I am bigger than this. Even more complicated is how your body responds to your PCOS changes ALL OF THE TIME. 

Prior to Maelynn’s birth, I NEVER had regular periods. Ever. Guess what? She is almost 8 months old and I’ve had 6 regular periods. However, I’ve always been able to lose weight following the Slow Carb Diet. This time around? Nada. I got back to my prepregnancy weight by the time she turned 6 weeks, started getting periods, and packed on around 15lbs in 3 months while eating as best as I always had. None of my clothes fit. My skin was a wreck. I felt sluggish and moody all of the time. Frustrated, I turned to an endocrinologist. The good news-my fasting insulin levels, A1C, thyroid, cholesterol etc look fabulous. My androgens and testosterone levels-another story. 

Feeling defeated, I took to the interwebs. Page after page showed other PCOS warriors finding success with LCHF/KETO lifestyles. While the SCD and KETO aren’t very different at first glance, they’re completely different in mindset and meal planning. After talking with Dan, we decided to give KETO 4 weeks. This first week has been a lot of figuring things out. But for the first time in 4 months, the scale is moving in the right direction. I’m feeling hopeful, motivated and empowered to feed my body what it needs. We will be weighing in on Monday’s and decided our next steps after the end of 4 weeks. 

I’m looking forward to weighing in tomorrow and doing something I’ve rarely done: taking “before” photos. Hopefully this is the start of something good. 

25 Weeks

Today I am 25 weeks pregnant. In the last 2 weeks it’s really started to feel like we might be having a baby in a few months. At my 24 week appointment last week we had a repeat ultrasound with a technician who did a fabulous job. Everything looks normal and Maelynn weighed 1lb 10oz.    

I passed my one hour glucose test, but my iron levels came back deficient so I have to start a supplement for those immediately. 

We have made progress on the nursery and will hopefully be done by the end of this month. I want to enjoy every last minute of my big boy before he becomes a big brother! Her nursery is gray with shades of pink and a loose wildflowers theme. I’m excited to see how it comes together. 

How far along? 25 weeks

Due Date: July 19, 2016

Total weight gain: ~6lbs

Maternity Clothes: pretty much exclusively. 

Sleep: between a poorly sleeping 3.5 year old and Maelynn liking to move at night…yawn

Miss Anything? Sleep? Lol red wine. The gym. 

Movement:  Tons! Mostly early in the morning and late at night. 

Food cravings: still chinese food! And lately chewy candy. 

Anything make you sick or queasy: nothing specific. 

Looking forward to: finishing the nursery, our sprinkle and maybe a 3D ultrasound 🙂


20 Weeks!

It’s just so hard to believe that we are half way through this pregnancy!! Maelynn will be here in just about 20 weeks and I hope these 20 go slower than the first. We have spent the last few weeks fighting colds, redecorating our living room and getting started on decorating the nursery. It seems so crazy that a little girl is joining our family. Ryan is over the moon and talks about his sister daily…sometimes about things he will do with her or share with her and sometimes about how she’s going to break all of his stuff. 

My 20 week scan was on March 1, 2016. Everything looks great and Maelynn is measuring 14oz which is perfect. She was VERY active during the ultrasound which made the sonographers job challenging. I am pretty set on the idea of a 32-34 week ultrasound in 3/4D to see what she looks like 😉

How far along? 20 weeks, 2 days

Due Date: July 19, 2016

Total weight gain: +4lbs

Maternity Clothes: pretty much exclusively. I hit the mother load during Kohl’s Gold Star Clearance and for $70 got myself quite the collection of maternity options!

Sleep: we have been fighting horrible colds with lots of congestion here. My sweet boy barely slept for 3 days but last night we ALL got some sleep. I feel like a new woman! 

Miss Anything? Cold medicine! Lol it’s the pits being so congested and uncomfortable but not having many options for relief. Lots of vaporub, sudafed, Tylenol, teas, saline and the like. 

Movement: Yes, certainly! Mostly in the evenings, but I’ve found she’s not a fan of me being seated upright for long periods of times (like long car rides) because after a while she protests. I hope we can get a good video of the first time Ryan feels her. 

Food cravings: chinese food, lemon poppy seed muffins, fountain sodas…possibly Icees. 

Anything make you sick or queasy: pork, random unpredictable smells, dinner half the time I make it (that’s always a blast)

Symptoms: nothing unusual
Looking forward to: Dan and Ryan feeling Maelynn move, getting the nursery together, warm weather, our beach vacation 

16 Weeks

The last few weeks have been quite eventful. First of all, we found out that baby #2 is a girl!! 

We are all SO excited to meet Miss Maelynn Marie in July. Ryan continues to amaze us with his desire to understand things about babies and he seems to remember what we tell him. We may be bias but I’m pretty confident he will be an amazing big brother. 

The last 24 hours specifically have been exciting. I came down with a stomach bug late yesterday evening and spent the entire night in the bathroom with violent throwing up and simultaneous diahrea. Thankfully we’ve been barf free since about 10am and have been able to keep down liquids all afternoon. 

So far we haven’t bought much, I need to go thru Ryan’s things to determine what we need and what we don’t. And we have a few very generous friends who are passing along clothing or giving us first dibs on buying theirs. 

How far along?  16 weeks

Due Date: July 19, 2016

Total weight gain: post stomach bug, 0. 

Maternity Clothes: YES. And I bumped a size in underwear and bought ugly cotton boy shorts because the others were just hitting in the wrong spot b

Sleep: With Ryan I slept on my stomach my entire pregnancy. This girl seems to already be protesting that. We will see how long I can hold out. 

Miss Anything? Yes. RED WINE. 

Movement: nothing remarkable. A few nudges here and there each day. I can’t wait until Ryan can feel Maelynn. 

Food cravings: chinese food!
Anything make you sick or queasy: ground meat, pork, bleach, French fries?!!

Symptoms: nothing unusual

Looking forward to: getting the nursery ready and making a shopping list! 

12 Weeks

Today I am 12 weeks pregnant! Baby is the size of a lime. 

We officially graduated from Shady Grove Fertility at 8.5 weeks and had my first appointment with my OB at 9.5 weeks. I stopped all of my supplementary medications at 10 weeks and for the last two weeks have just been a regular pregnant women-only taking prenatal vitamins!  My last ultrasound was at 10w6days. Baby was measuring 11w2d and heart rate was 154BPM. 

My next OB appt is Tuesday January 19th. We have also scheduled an elective gender ultrasound for Monday January 25, 2016. Dan is more excited to find out the sex than I am and Ryan is convinced it’s a brother. Honestly, after everything it took to be pregnant I have no gender preference. 

This pregnancy has been so different than Ryan’s. My first trimester with Ryan was mostly just feeling ridiculously excited and tired. So far I have had a medication reaction, a yeast infection and a double bacterial infection-all of which were kind of domino effects from each other. Thankfully I’ve been feeling better for the last week and a half. Having a preschooler to chase around really limits time for rest and I feel awful because I know I am short with him. The good news is we are back in our preschool/MOPs routine! 

How far along?  12 Weeks

Due Date: July 19, 2016

Total weight gain: +0.4lbs this morning

Maternity Clothes: Only jeans. Everything else is still working out ok. 

Sleep: I am tired ALL of the time. However, when I get to bed I have a hard time falling asleep. Then I spend all night having vivid dreams so I mostly feel like I never slept. I try to nap when Ryan naps and on the weekend when Dan is home. 

Miss Anything? Red wine. I’ve pretty much forbid Dan from bringing it into the house so he’s been drinking beer 😉

Movement: nothing that I can be certain of but I suspect I might have felt a flutter or two this weekend. 

Food cravings: Asian food!!! Chinese, Thai, Indian. Anything with so much flavor it’s an assault to your mouth. Fresh fruit, fruit juice. Grilled steak. 

Anything make you sick or queasy: If I don’t get enough sleep I mostly feel awful. Eggs. Salad. Dan’s driving lol

Symptoms: exhaustion. Bloating. Food aversions. Headaches. General irritability. 

Looking forward to: finding out if it’s a he or she!

Leftover IVF Meds

I have leftover IVF medications and supplies…a lot. 

I have Gonal-F pens, Menopur, Ganirelix and Endometrin. 

If anyone is paying out of pocket and is in need, or knows someone who may be, please comment or contact me at 

Meet Ike

Last week Ryan was jumping all over me and we told him he has to be careful of my belly. I asked him if he was trying to climb back in and told him he couldn’t because there’s no room. He said “why, is someone else in there?” So we told him yes. He said “it’s a baby brother named Ike!” Since then we’ve been calling the baby Ike but have been trying to prepare Ryan for the possibility of it being a girl.

Our first ultrasound was today. Ryan was upset he couldn’t come along and asked that we bring him a photo. We were able to see the placenta, the baby, and the heartbeat. I feel much better having seen the baby but still worry something will go wrong. Here is today’s ultrasound:


I experienced my first bout of barfing on Sunday after lunch. I’ve been feeling nauseous for weeks but never have actually tossed my cookies…until yesterday. That never happened with Ryan. 

Also, I’m having a terrible reaction to a progesterone suppository I have no choice but to use. It’s making me very irritable and uncomfortable. It basically feels like my lady bits are on fire and itchy. Not fun. 

I’m settling into the exhaustion and learning to rest when I can. I’ve actually let lots of things slide which is totally not like me in order to squeeze in naps here and there. 

Bless my sweet husband. Without asking he’s picking up the pieces. Doing laundry, watching boy wonder so I can rest, picking up around here. The deep cleaning stuff isn’t getting done but it’ll be there when I’m ready for it.

We return to Shady Grove next Wednesday for an ultrasound. After that, back to our regular OB!

11/30 First Ultrasound

Our First ultrasound will be Monday November 30th at 9:15am. I will be almost 7 weeks (6+6). By this point we can expect to see a gestational sack and possibly a formed fetus. If not, a fetal pole. 

So far my HCG betas have been right on target. All three checks show a 49 hour doubling time. The doctors are looking for a 48-72 hour doubling time. 

I Had my first big wave of nauseau and food aversion today: to seafood chowder. I honestly thought I might loose my cookies just smelling it. I covered my hands in strongly scented cream and hid in the back of the room until everyone was done eating it. 

I also have become narcoleptic. I haven’t seen 9:30pm on the clock in over a week. I don’t think Dan minds because it means he can watch whatever he wants on the DVR! 

We can’t wait to make it past 12 weeks and feel confident that this is our take home baby. We still haven’t told Ryan, but when we ask if he wants a brother or sister he emphatically says “no!” Errrr…

We Did It!!!

My blood confirmation test this morning was POSITIVE!!! My HCG level is 247 which is right on target for how far along we are. 

My due date is somewhere around 7/19/2016. 

We haven’t talked to Ryan about it yet but we will soon!

It still doesn’t feel real. We have been trying for so long, and dreaming of finally being pregnant that it almost feels like a cruel dream that could be over any day. I am doing my best to stay positive and enjoy it!

So far, so good. Just the usual exhaustion, hunger and heart burn. It’s even more complicated with a three year old tornado-but I’m pretty sure he’s going to make an amazing big brother.

We are so grateful for everyone’s support. Your well wishes, caring for Ryan while I have appointments, etc. has been invaluable to us through this process. We are lucky to have such good friends and family. 

I will repeat lab work twice, then have ultrasounds at 6 weeks and 8 weeks. If everything looks good, we will be released to our regular OB. 

A Week to Go

Our blood HCG test is in one week-on Friday the 13th. Since we are openly sharing our journey we will obviously be openly sharing the results of our test. We know this is risky because we have so many people rooting for us, and who knows what could happen, but regardless of the short term or long term outcome we will be grateful for the support.

We know that even if we ARE pregnant it isn’t “normal” to share the results so early as it could be short lived. We are prepared to face that and openly share that part of our journey, should it come, as well. 

If we are not pregnant, we will need to make some decisions. Our insurance has ended all infertility coverage effective 01/01/2016. Thankfully, since Dan is a federal employee, we have multiple plans to choose from. Most of those, however, have also dropped all infertility coverage. I spent some time yesterday doing research and making phone calls. We have ONE viable option for insurance that includes some IVF/FET coverage. I keep trying to tell myself not to worry about that until I have to, but if you know me you know that’s just impossible. (Hello, Ryan has outgrown 2 big brother t shirts before he got to wear them…always prepared? Lol!)

Over the course of the next week I hope to keep myself as busy as possible and to not waste the days away wondering if every feeling is a pregnancy symptom. It’s just one more week. But it feels like an eternity. 

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