Sunday, December 18, 2011

I don't have much time to post, but I wanted to take a second to upload some pictures from our last ultrasound on Friday. Everything looks great! Baby girl is measuring in the 50th percentile so that's perfect! The placenta has moved up, so no more worries about placenta previa...whew! I got my rhogam shot. It wasn't pleasant, but it wasn't too bad either. All in all things went well. I go back in two weeks!

So here are some pictures. We got a video of the entire ultrasound as well which is awesome because you can actually see her moving. I am so glad R asked if they would do that for us. What a great keepsake! I have already watched it twice! I am so obsessed with this little baby already!

So for your viewing pleasure....


3D picture...these always creep me out a little bit!


Anatomy lesson...

When she woke up she became very camera shy and stayed like this the whole time...Hands and feet in front of her face. We all knew she would be stubborn!

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Monday, December 5, 2011

Third Trimester!

I can't believe that I am in my last trimester of pregnancy. It seriously has flown by. I keep expecting for time to drag on, but each week that passes I think "wow I can't believe I'm such and such weeks!" I'm fully expecting this trimester to kick my butt since the rest of this pregnancy has been relatively easy. I'm already starting to feel some uncomfortable side effects of a growing belly - hip and back pain, sore feet, etc., but that's all to be expected right? Over the past several weeks I have had several body changes that are a little freaky, but so amazing. Here are a few...

1. At about 25 weeks I noticed that I've gotten a noticeable line down my belly - the linea nigra. I think most pregnant woman hate when this line shows up, but I don't mind it too much.

2. Stretch marks have made their ugly appearance- ugh! They're not too bad, and I hope that my constant moisturizing will help keep them from getting too much worse. I have them on my outer thighs and a few on my boobs. The boobs I expected - I'm a little bummed about the thighs just because that means I've gained weight there!

3. Speaking of boobs- I went bra shopping the other day because I had yet again outgrown my bra. I have officially gone from a 34B (and that's barely filling the cup) to a 36D! I can't imagine them getting any bigger, but I know they probably will --- Oy!

4. And while we're on the topic of my boobs (sorry if this is all getting a little TMI) mine have started leaking! It's not so bad that I have to wear breast pads, but if they get too much pressure on them, I definitely get a little leakage. It is the weirdest thing I have ever seen!

I suppose that's about it - except for the obvious ever growing belly! I feel like my skin can't stretch any more and I can't imagine what I'll look like in three months, but I guess only time will tell! Baby girl is moving constantly these days and when she rolls around you can definitely see it happening. It's so cool and makes me laugh every time.

27 weeks 4 days down--12 weeks 3 days to go! Crazy!

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Glucose screening and a funny story

I had my glucose screening yesterday to test for gestational diabetes. I wasn't very worried about it because I don't have a family history of gestational diabetes, I have never been overweight, and I have generally been eating pretty healthily throughout the pregnancy. Well, I failed the one hour test yesterday! Ugh! My number was 171 and they want it to be less than 140. So I went back today for the three hour test (which was miserable by the way) and luckily I passed with flying colors! My level never got above 138, even in the beginning when they want it less than 180. So no gestational diabetes here! Woohoo!

Now for the funny story. The other night R and I were in the nursery fiddling with the crib bumper and bedding and talking about nursery things in general and our dogs were in there with us. Chester, our 85lb chocolate lab, was having a fit. He was pacing back and forth and whining. We assumed he was frustrated that we weren't paying him any attention, or maybe he was frustrated that he couldn't see what we were looking at inside the crib. Anyway, R said "Chester, this is where the baby is going to sleep" and with that cue Chester leapt into the crib and made himself comfortable. It was hilarious! Of course after he got settled he realized that there was no way for him to get out and looked at us very confused. R had to eventually lift him out of the crib, but not before we got pictures for the baby book.

Obviously we have a bit of a problem on our hands. Poor Chester is in for a big awakening when that little girl comes in a few months! I don't think he will be trying to jump into the crib anymore (at least I hope not) but he will have to learn that he is not the baby anymore- poor guy! Hey, at least we know the crib is sturdy!

My next appointment is in three weeks. I'll have an ultrasound then - woohoo! I'll also get my RH- shot and they will check the status of my placenta. But best of all, we get to see our little girl again. It's been too long and I can't wait to see how much she's grown! The countdown is on --99 days to go!

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

23 weeks

Things are still going well. I don't really have much to report. We had a doctor's appointment last Thursday and all in all it was pretty boring. We listened to the heartbeat - it was 147 - and then just asked a bunch of questions. Our next appointment is November 22. I'll be almost 26 weeks at that point and I'll to the glucose test for gestational diabetes. I'm not sure if that is when I'll have an ultrasound to check to see if the placenta has moved up or if that will be at the next appointment. I think I'm pretty close to having appointments every two weeks so they may wait until the next appointment to do that.

I'm starting to exercise a lot more - I have gained a LOT of weight and the doctor suggested I slow it down. He asked me what I ate for snacks and I told him the truth - apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, etc. I'm really not eating much differently than I did pre pregnancy, but I am definitely putting on the pounds. He suggested I start to exercise more so that's what I'm doing. I have a prenatal workout DVD that I really like, and I found out that the hospital where I'm delivering offers free prenatal water aerobics classes so as soon as I find a maternity swimsuit that I like I'll start doing that.

Anyway, here's a bump update. I have had strangers begin to acknowledge my pregnancy so it's making me feel more pregnant and less fat. That and the fact that this baby moves almost constantly! The other night I took a bath and just stared at my stomach the whole time because I could actually see it move up and down as she kicked. It was pretty amazing. I am so in love and so addicted to feeling those kicks!

Oh we also put the crib together last weekend. I LOVE it! It doesn't have a mattress yet, so I'm going to hold off on posting a picture of it until it looks a little more put together. Hopefully we will get a mattress this weekend when we register...yes we're going to register! It's getting more and more real every day!

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

20 weeks- halfway there!

I can't believe it! I am halfway through my pregnancy! It really seems to be flying by...which is exciting, scary, and actually a little sad. I absolutely can't wait to meet this little girl, but I am trying to cherish every moment of this pregnancy and that's hard to do when it flies by! I have to say, I LOVE being pregnant. If I could get pregnant easily, I probably would end up having baby after baby. Unfortunately, that's not in the cards for us and I have to remember that this may very well be my last pregnancy and that is is very sad to me. Many people have asked if we will have more children - most of whom don't know how hard it was to get this one - and my answer to them (regardless of what they know about my history) is absolutely, positively, YES. I cannot imagine having an only child. This baby girl will have a sibling, one way or another. It may be through adoption or donor eggs, but I will have more than one child in my house. But I'm just trying not to think about all that now - that keeps me from being in the moment...this wonderful, precious moment of my life.

So now for the updates of what's been going on. First of all, here's a baby bump update.

My stomach has really started to pop out over the past several weeks and people are finally starting to notice that I'm pregnant instead of just fat. When I'm wearing maternity clothes (which I'm obviously not doing in this picture) it's very noticeable that I have a baby bump!my belly button is very close to popping out and I can't wait for that to happen because I feel like that is a very definite sign of pregnancy vs. fat! Ha!

I've also started feeling honest to goodness kicks and it is wonderful! Yesterday she was having a little dance party in there and I could feel the kicks on the outside of my stomach. I was instantly obsessed and didn't want to move. I seriously sat there for 20 minutes with my hands on my belly with a huge grin on my face. Unfortunately there haven't been any dance parties today, but I'm hoping she'll give an encore performance this weekend when R gets into town. It's killing him that he hasn't felt her yet.

On that note, R is still in BR and I really have not idea when he will be finished. It's really getting hard not having I'm around, but there's not much either of us can do about it...just deal with it day by day.

So that's pretty much it. My next doctor's appointment is in two weeks, although it's supposedly going to be pretty boring. I doubt I'll even get an ultrasound unless he wants to be extra nice to me. Speaking of which, I know I promised pictures from our gender scan, but they ended up with R in baton rouge so I haven't been able to get them on my iPad. Hopefully he will bring them this weekend and I can upload them for y'all to see.

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Friday, September 30, 2011

It's a...

GIRL! I am still in complete shock about it. For some reason over the past several weeks I have been convinced that I was having a boy, but nope it is definitely a girl! Everything looked good at the ultrasound. The placenta is low, but it is not covering my cervix. They will keep a close eye on it and make sure it moves further up as everything grows and expands. If it begins to cover the cervix, then that's what they call placenta previa and it becomes quite scary. But the doctor didn't seem too concerned about it. He said in 95% of cases with low lying placentas, everything shifts up and turns out fine. So I won't start worrying until he does!

I also found out that i am RH- so I'll have to get the shot at my 28 week appointment. No big deal i guess..Speaking of shots, they gave me a flu shot while I was there and I have to say I was a really big baby about it! I thought that was kinda funny considering I have given myself a countless number of shots over the past few years! I guess I kinda freaked out because I wasn't in control of it. It obviously turned out to be simple and painless, but I definitely felt sorry for myself for getting a shot on my birthday (and as R put it, "it wasn't the good kind of shot that you normally get for a birthday!")

I am posting from my phone so I can't share the ultrasound pictures at the moment, but I promise to do so as soon as I get the chance. :)

I guess it's time to get shopping for dresses and bows! This is going to be interesting!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

16 weeks

As of today I am 16 weeks 3 days! We had an OB appointment a couple of weeks was our official first appointment where they asked us about our family history, etc. We didn't get to have an ultrasound, but we did hear the heartbeat. It was 146bpm and sounded great!

I don't think I have mentioned that a friend of mine leant me her at home Doppler. It it such a nice reassurance to have the ability to check in on my baby every few days. Sometimes I can't find it, which can be a little nerve racking, but I've done really well about not getting too worked up about it. Usually if I can't hear it I try again the next day and can find I right away, so that makes it all better. Tonight I decided I wanted to listen in, and it was one of those nights that I got it right away and it sounded so clear and strong. I am attempting to post a video so you all can hear the magical sound. This is my first attempt at posting a video to a blog, so we'll see of it works!

In other exciting news, I have started to feel occasional flutters of movement! It started off so slight that I wasn't convinced that it was the baby, but now it is becoming much more consistent. It feels like the baby is in there running a feather across the inside of my lower actually tickles! I can't wait to start feeling real kicks...I think Ryan is pretty anxious for that as well!

I am feeling much better these days. I haven't thrown up in about 10 days so that's a great sign! My skin is clearing up and I am actually starting to feel pregnant...happy, glowing pregnant. I'm loving it!

Also, we have our appointment set for finding out whether we're having a boy or a girl. It will be September 29--my birthday! The receptionist tried to schedule me for the following Monday, but I asked if we could do it on the 29th and she said that wouldn't be a problem. Hopefully baby cooperates and gives me the best birthday present ever- a perfect crotch shot! :) It sure will make turning 30 a whole lot better! Don't worry, I will be sure to post that day and let all of you know what the verdict is. :)

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Saturday, September 3, 2011

New OB, Second trimester, and Sinus Infection

I apologize for not updating all of you after my first OB appointment. I have been so busy during the day and by the time I get home at night the last thing I feel like doing is pulling out my iPad and using my brain! But now it's Saturday morning and I really have no excuse.

We had our first OB appointment on August 24. I was almost 12 weeks. I love my new OB! He is outgoing, friendly, and straightforward. He is familiar with how CCRM does things (I was referred to him by a friend who delivered her CCRM/IVF twins with this doctor). The catch was that my new insurance had not kicked in yet and my old insurance had ended. So my appointment was an unofficial one - which made me love this new doctor even more. He basically said that we were going to count this appointment as a meeting for me to "check him out." At first I was really nervous because I thought that meant we may not get an ultrasound and Ryan had driven all the way from baton rouge for this appointment- I would have felt really bad if he drove 2.5+ hours to just meet a doctor. But low and behold Dr. G then said "but we'll get you in to take a sneak peak at that baby!" Woohoo! I am so glad we did because it was by far the best ultrasound yet. The baby was moving so much! He/she was flipping around, doing little dances, and waving his/her arms. It was truly amazing. Luckily he/she stayed still long enough to get some pretty amazing pictures. Here's a sample...

I personally think it's the most beautiful baby I've ever seen! :) We have another appointment with Dr. G on Tuesday now that insurance has kicked in. This is when we'll do all the official first appointment stuff - blood work, family history, etc. I'm not getting my hopes up for another ultrasound, although I do hope that they will at least listen for the heartbeat. Oh yeah, the heart rate at the last ultrasound was 153.

So now I have made it 14 weeks 3 days and I am officially in my second trimester! Unfortunately, this wonderful milestone was greeted with a monstrous sinus infection! It started with a sore throat last week and by Monday of this week I was completely miserable - I couldn't breathe, and the drainage was making me so nauseous! I finally broke down and took some benadryl Monday night and have been feeling better ever since. I was trying so hard not to put any medications into my body, but I figured baby could deal with a little benadryl better than me not breathing and sleeping! I haven't taken anything since...just using the humidifier with some Vicks in the vaporizer part (my lovely purchase from the walgreens in Lone Tree) and I'm doing a saline rinse at least twice a day.

Besides the sinus infection, I've been feeling pretty good. I'm still getting sick about every other night- last night it was eggs...not fun! Im starting to get really worried that I may be one of those people who stays sick throughout my entire pregnancy. Maybe I wished for morning sickness too much? ;) I'm hoping that the past few times have just been a side effect from the drainage. Luckily I feel pretty good during the day, it's just when I get really tired at nighttime. At least I'm able to get work done! I stepped on the scale the other day and I have gained 8lbs since pre IVF! It's hard to know what is baby/pregnancy weight and what is left over from IVF meds. Either way I'm starting to get a little baby bump although to an unknowing eye it looks like I have just had too much pizza and beer. Here's the first picture taken of the growing belly...14 weeks. Ryan is having me take them since he isn't here a lot of the time - yes, he's still working on that thesis - not a happy subject for me these days!

If you know me in the "real world" you can probably tell a difference. If you only know me in Internet land I probably look completely normal. My face is still a disgusting mess and my boobs continue to get bigger by the minute. All in all things are about the same as they have been since week 6 as far as my appearance on the outside (besides the growing belly) but on the inside I feel different every day and it is truly wonderful. I never realized how much I would actually feel in early pregnancy. All the pulls and twinges...each time I feel something I get a huge grin on my face (after of course I have a little freak out moment of "is this normal?")

So that's it for now. I promise I will try to be better about giving updates. Maybe it will become my Saturday tradition? We'll see! :)

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Friday, August 19, 2011

I graduated!

I am officially a CCRM graduate! I went in for my weekly blood work on Wednesday and all of my levels looked good, so I am no longer a patient of CCRM and I can begin seeing a regular OB and begin thinking of my pregnancy as "normal." My nurse sent me a really sweet email Wednesday afternoon telling me how happy she was for me and telling me to be sure to send my birth story and pictures when the time comes. It's kind of a bitter sweet feeling. I am so glad that I am finished with the weekly blood draws, hormone support medications, and excessive money spent, but it will be kind of tough not having that weekly reassurance that everything is going as it's supposed to. However, I am 12 weeks as of yesterday so I am beginning to feel more comfortable that this is really happening. We will be making our big announcement (basically that means we'll be announcing it on Facebook since most of our family and close friends know already) next week after our first official OB appointment. We are hoping that we will be able to have an ultrasound since a. this will be our first appointment with this doctor and b. I will be at just the right time to have the NT scan to check for the possibility of any abnormalities. Since we didn't do any of the genetic screening on our embryos there is still that possibility, although we have no reason (family history, etc) to believe that everything isn't okay. It's still a little scary, but I'm trying to stay positive that everything is okay with our little okra!

I'm still dealing with my night sickness (I feel great in the morning) and still throw up at least every other night. Surely I will start to feel better soon, right? It is great reassurance, as I've said, but it would be nice to get a good night's sleep in before I start getting new reasons to lose sleep. I'm also starting to get a little baby bump and I'm about to have to break down and get some maternity jeans. My jeans still fit, but they certainly aren't comfortable and I spend most of my day with them unbuttoned. I think most of my bump is mostly the bloat from the constant eating I've been doing (the only thing that keeps the nausea at bay) so I have really started trying to snack on carrots and oranges instead of the bagels that tasted so good to me a few weeks ago. I hope none of this comes across as complaining - it is all truly wonderful and I am still amazed that I have this miracle baby inside me. I'm trying to remember every little thing because who knows if I'll ever be able to experience this again. I just can't believe I am this blessed!

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Morning Prayers

I had a realization the other morning and I thought I would share. First let me say that I'm usually not much for talking about my praying habits or my relationship with God- it's always been a pretty private matter in my eyes. But I thought that some of you might like to hear about this.

Back in November when I was starting my third ivf cycle, a friend/coworker of mine gave both me and Ryan a necklace with the Catholic saint of motherhood and fertility (Saint Gerard) on it. It was a very sweet gesture and both of us have worn the necklace every day since we got it. When we were gearing up for this ivf cycle I started a simple routine in the morning when I put on the necklace - I would simply say "pray for us Saint Gerard, Saint Gerard pray for us. Please God hear our prayer, please God be with us." I asked Saint Gerard twice - once for me and once for Ryan. It was a simple prayer that calmed me in the morning. As we progressed throughout our ivf cycle I started to say the phrase "Saint Gerard pray for us" once for me, once for Ryan, and then once for each follicle we had at our latest ultrasound. So for a while there I was saying it ten times before finishing the prayer with "please God be with us." Then after egg retrieval and we had five eggs fertilize, I was saying it 7 times, and after transfer I was saying it four times for our two embies and the two of us. Well ever since our first ultrasound I have been saying it three times. It felt weird and short at first- but then I realized the other morning that as I ask Saint Gerard to pray for each of us, it feels like we are a family now. It was a really weird and wonderful realization. We are a family of three and that fact is becoming more and more real to me.
I continue to wear the necklace and probably will continue to do so well into motherhood! It is an amazing reminder that no matter what happens, God is with us. He gives us these challenges and although I still don't understand why he chose me and Ryan for this particular challenge, I do see that he has been with us the entire way. I continue to pray that this nugget stays strong and that I get to meet him/her in about 6 1/2 months. I pray that God stays with us and our little baby forever and for always.


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Friday, August 5, 2011

I know, I know, it's been forever!

Okay so first, my sincere apologies to all of my blog-followers! I know I have been the worst blogger ever! I have been living without Internet for the past month and therefore have been unable to post. I have been hounded by several of my friends and I have been made aware of how worried my absence has made some of you. Rest assured- everything is fine!

So- there is a lot to update you all on. The last time I posted was just after our first ultrasound at 6 weeks. At that time I tried to post a picture, but for some reason my connection wouldn't let me at the time. So here's the picture from that first ultrasound...

That's our little butter bean and the yolk sack!

Since then, I have continued to get blood work every week to check my estrogen and progesterone levels and they have continued to look good. We had another ultrasound at 8 weeks 4 days and this is what we saw...

The heart rate was 165 and the baby looked perfect! Sorry the picture is so dark, but you get the idea!

I have had pretty bad morning sickness, although it is starting to subside. It is definitely worse at night. It was really bad from weeks 6-8. I felt nauseous ALL THE TIME! But now I generally feel good all day and then around 6:00 I start to feel pretty sick, throw up, and then feel somewhat better. It's all okay though- it's wonderful reassurance that our little baby is still there!

My face still looks terrible. No amount of washing makes it any better...I sure hope that pregnancy glow that I keep hearing about shows up soon because right now I feel like I look pretty much like death!

They have started to wean me off of my meds. I am down to one progesterone suppository a day and only one estrogen patch every other day. I am hoping that once I stop taking all these extra hormones I will start to feel a ton better, but we'll see!

I think the hardest part of all of this is R is still in Baton Rouge trying to finish his thesis and I am in Jackson. It's tough not having him here, especially since we're not exactly sure when he will actually get here. He keeps having set backs on getting finished and that's kind of stressing me out (I know, I know, I've already gotten the lectures on how stress isn't good for baby). The biggest thing is trying to figure out our health insurance because we thought we would be able to get on his insurance with his new job on september 1, but if he doesn't start on September 1, then we are out of luck! I think we have figured something out though and I'll be able to go to one of the doctors I had in mind-- long story, but a friend of mine arranged for me to see her doctor without insurance until we get something set up. It looks like I may have a solution before then anyway though- thanks to my fabulous dad who knows how to work the system! :)

Anyway, my first OB appointment (when I will be officially released as CCRM's patient) is August 24! I would so love to have another ultrasound then, but I'm not getting my hopes up. I have come to realize that I have already been able to see my baby much more than the "normal" pregnant woman and for that I count myself lucky. I could stare at that little black and white picture for hours! Poor kid...who knows what I'll be like when I can actually stare at his/her face!

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Monday, July 11, 2011

We saw...

One beautiful heartbeat! The baby is measuring right on track at 6wks 4 days and had a heartbeat of 120bpm. It was the most beautiful sound I've ever heard. R was beside himself with excitement - which made me really happy to see. He kept saying "good job" to me which I thought was really funny. As if I just magically grew this baby with soil and water. Ha!

CCRM hasn't called yet with all of my hormone levels but I will update as soon as I get them. This is all starting to feel more real now. I am still very nervous, but feel very grateful that we have made it this far.

The symptoms have started to kick in. I pretty much constantly feel nauseous - although I've only thrown up twice. The first time was because of a cheeseburger and now I can't even think about looking at a cheeseburger - which really kind of breaks my heart because that's one of my favorite foods. The other time was after trying to swallow my prenatal vitamin - my gag reflex just isn't what it used to be! My face is still very broken out and I look hideous! And my boobs don't even look like they belong to me anymore! I continue to have these crampy twinges which freak me out every time, but I keep hearing it's normal so I'm trying to keep that in mind. It's all pretty uncomfortable and annoying - but it is FABULOUS! It is all well worth it and I just hope and pray that it continues as long as it needs to for this to be a successful pregnancy!

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Estrogen and progesterone

Sorry I haven't posted anything in a while. I've been in our new house the past week or so and we don't have internet set up yet so it has been a little difficult to post anything. Anyway, I had blood work yesterday to check my hormone levels and everything looked great! My estrogen was 496 and they want it above 300. My progesterone was 40 and they want it about 20. My nurse seemed pleased. She said that assuming everything looks good at my ultrasound on Monday we I'll start weaning me off of the progesterone suppositories and the estrogen patches. While I am looking forward to not have to do either of these things, I am terrified to not have that extra support. By doing the suppositories three times a day and changing out my patches I feel like I am doing something to help things along. I have to get into the frame of mind that in a couple of weeks I am going to be considered a "normal" pregnant person and I won't be getting these frequent checks.

I am obviously looking forward to the ultrasound. Hopefully we will get to see the heartbeat and we will know at that point if we are having a singleton or twins! R is convinced that we're having twins, but I am fairly confident we're having one. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. I of course will be happy either way as long as there is in fact a baby in there and he/she/they is/are growing and healthy.

I will be six weeks tomorrow. It's a small milestone but it seems huge to me! I was reading today that after you see the heartbeat at the 6-7 week ultrasound your chance of miscarriage drops from 50% to less than 10%. I will still be a nervous wreck, but I think that at that point I can at least start to get a little more excited. I am so used to getting bad news regarding my fertility, it just doesn't seem like this is my life that I'm living. I hate that the worry is really keeping me from enjoying these first few weeks of pregnancy. I sure hope I'm right that this ultrasound will bring good news and I'll start to enjoy this a little more.

Please keep the prayers coming for me and this little bean- by the way R has started referring to him/her/them as our little okra...pretty cute huh?

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Today's beta

My beta today was 336 so it has more than doubled since last Friday!! Woohoo! The next step is I'll go in for blood work next Tuesday to check my estroiol and progesterone, and then I'll schedule my first ultra sound for two weeks from today, or as close to it as they can get it. I'm feeling a little more relief, but I'll probably continue to be super nervous until I hear that heartbeat. After that I'm sure I'll still be nervous all the time, but it will feel more real at that point. It's still just so early that it terrifies me! But at least i know something is happening right in there so that's a good sign!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

What a morning!

It has been quite a morning! I decided to go to the LSU health center to have my blood drawn this morning, because we're on the LSU insurance and it would be covered at the clinic. So I got there as soon as they opened at 8:00, had a nice conversation with the doctor who also struggled with infertility (it's amazing how many people really go through this), and then went back and had my blood drawn. Well, after I got my blood drawn they told me that they may not be able to get the results until Monday! What?! I explained that it was very important that ccrm get the results today and they said they would try but couldn't guarantee it. Ugh! So I immediately emailed my nurse and asked her what I should do. She told me to try to get it done somewhere else because if its positive they'll need me to get it done again on sunday or monday to make sure it's doubling. So I had go call the RE that I first went to (the same one who was so rude at my baseline ultra sound and they were nice enough to let me come in as long as I got there before 10:00 because they close at noon on Fridays. It was 9:30 when I called and I live at least 20 minutes from his office. So I jumped in my car, while emailing Julie to fax an order to them. I made it at 9:59! Whew! Luckily they were actually really nice to me and the doctor was asking how everything went as in how many eggs they got, etc. So all in all it ended up being okay - $180 later. But hey, that's money that I'm willing to spend I suppose. It's annoying because it is free at the lsu clinic, but oh well! Regardless of what ccrm needs me to do, there's just no way I would be able to wait until Monday to hear the results - I would go insane!

Okay so I know y'all are dying to know - I just got the results as I was typing this. I'm pregnant! My beta was 79. They like to see it about 50 so that's good. My progesterone is 28 and they like to see that above 6, so that's awesome! I'll go back in on Monday to have my levels checked again and make sure my beta is doubling. I am still in complete shock and completely worried that something's going to go wrong. We just aren't used to getting good news!

On a side note, for all of you friends who read my blog. Please don't tell anyone unless they flat out ask you. We know a lot of people know what we've been going through and people are curious so if they know and ask, then by all means you can tell them. But we're not going to make any big announcements until after the first trimester. There are so many things that can go wrong that we just don't want to risk it. We're going to tell our immediate families, and close friends who know that we did IVF, but no one else.

Please keep the prayers coming for our little peanut or peanuts! And thanks for all of the support. I really think it has made all of the difference! Lots of love to all of you!

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Can't sleep

It's like Christmas morning! R came in from working at 3:30 this morning and it woke me up, but then I couldn't get back to sleep. For one thing, I had to get up to pee, and if I get out of bed I have a really hard time going back to sleep. Also, I was STARVING which is weird because I am never hungry in the morning. Plus, I couldn't stop thinking about what today is --- the day I get my beta! It's going to be a very long wait for that phone call, but I will update as soon as I hear the news. I'm going to test at home, but I'm not going to announce anything until I get that beta number - so try to be patient! ;)

So anyway, now I'm up. I just ate a waffle which will hopefully tide me over for a while since we don't have anything else to eat in our house. I'm trying to stay away from google - I've already freaked myself out enough this morning by googling (bad idea!) I think I'm going to throw up - not from morning sickness (don't get your hopes up) but from sheer anxiety! Oh man I wish that clinic would open already!

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Oops! I forgot about the embryo report!

I forgot to mention that when we were boarding the plane to come home, the embryologist called with the report on our remaining embryos. None of the remaining three grew so we were not able to freeze them. I'm a little disappointed, but it's also what I was expecting.I'm still waiting! I'm really tired lately. I don't think I have made it through one day since we've been home without taking a nap. I'm hoping that's a good sign, but it could just mean that I'm being extra lazy lately! :)- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting

Okay so I was doing pretty well with the whole waiting thing. When I was in Colorado, I was patient and felt like I could wait forever for the pregnancy test. But now, for some reason, the waiting is killing me! I guess maybe I feel like I'm not as in control here...which is weird! I'm in my own house, but I feel like I am so much more susceptible to things that could hurt me or my chances of getting pregnant. Such as the whole moving process, or my dogs jumping too close to my stomach,or the excessive heat of Louisiana! I'm trying to just let go and leave it up to God. It's in His hands and there's nothing I can do about it...I just want to know!

The progesterone is messing with my head... that or the estrogen patches. Either way, I have an off and on crampy feeling in my uterus/ovaries. It's not exactly like period cramps, but pretty damn close. Different enough that it makes me think that I might be pregnant, but close enough that I freak out that my period is on her way. I am also super bloated - to the point where I actually look pregnant. Which is fine and everything if I actually do turn out to be pregnant, but if not then it sure is uncomfortable! And the worst of the side effects is the acne. Oh my goodness is it terrible!! My forehead hasn't looked this bad since I was a teenager. In fact, I'm not even sure it was this bad back then! Like i said, I am okay with all of these things if it means I'm pregnant, but if I'm not pregnant...ugh! I know that all of these things are probably the progesterone. It is known to mimic pregnancy symptoms and I kind of remember that from my last IVF, although it is amazing what you forget from cycle to cycle. That's kind of why I want to make sure to get it all down in this blog so that just in case I have to do this again I can remember exactly what I was feeling at this time.

Anyway, that's it for now. Six more days until the blood test! I haven't decided yet if I'm going to take a test at home before then. I'm going to try really hard not to, but it's going to be really hard!

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

So long Colorado, it's been real

I am officially off bed rest, although I'm still trying to take it easy. I am getting up more and actually took a shower today and went to lunch, but other than that I'm still being pretty lazy. I also went to ccrm today to have my estrogen levels checked - per my request. On the day of transfer, my nurse called and told me that my estrogen level was 485 and they want it to be at 1,000 so they wanted me to go ahead and start my estrogen patches instead of waiting until the 19th. Well R and I have both been pretty worried about it so I emailed Julie this morning and asked if I should have it rechecked to make sure it's getting better. She said that i shouldn't worry, but I could have it checked if I wanted to...I wanted to! So she just called and told me that it is rising and it is now 680. It still worries me that it's not to the 1,000 mark that she told me a couple of days ago, but she said to not worry that as long as it is rising it is okay. I guess I'll take her word for it and trust the doctors at ccrm. Worrying certainly won't help anything!

I'm feeling pretty good. I am cramping a little, but that is most likely the progesterone working so that's a good thing!

We fly home tomorrow and I am so ready! I have really enjoyed my "vacation" but there is a lot to get done at home and I am ready to see my dogs! We sold our house today (wooohoo!) but now we have to get everything packed and moved in about 2 weeks! It's going to be interesting considering I'm not allowed to lift anything over 10lbs! I'll just take it slow and easy. At least it will be a magnificent distraction and hopefully the next nine days before my pregnancy test will go by quickly!

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Here's a picture of our two precious embryos

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Transfer day!

Well I am back from my transfer and officially on bed rest! It was a very long morning because we were expecting a phone call from the embryologist but we didn't actually get a report until about 15 minutes before transfer. Oh well!

So today we had two great looking 9 cell embryos and the other three were still growing but only at 4 cells. they like to see them between 6 and 10 cells at day three so they were pretty pleased with the two 9 cells. In fact, when the embryologist came in and showed the embryos on the screen the doctor was impressed with the amount of progress he had seen in them since this morning. He said that the cells were all starting to merge which is a good sign. I don't know how they classify these embies according to the 1-5 scale such as 5a, 4a etc so if anyone has some insight let me know!

Anyway, we're pretty happy. They're going to keep watching the other three embies over the next three days and let us know if they're good enough to freeze.

By the way, I did do acupuncture before and after transfer and for those of you on the fence about doing it I strongly recommend it. It definitely helped me relax. In fact, I fell asleep during the session after transfer. It was very calming!

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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Fertilization report

The embryologist called this morning. Of our seven eggs, 6 were mature and 5 fertilized normally! We're pretty excited, but trying not to get our hopes up too much. We won't get another report until monday morning - this is going to be a very long 48 hours. The embryologist mentioned that if all five are still looking good on Monday morning that they may push it to a five day transfer. That would mean me needing to change my flight from Thursday to probably Saturday in order to give me more time to lay low, but if that's what it takes to make sure we get the very best embryos I will do it...what's another couple of hundred of dollars at this point, right?

I'm feeling okay today. I'm pretty sore, but it's not too bad. The worst thing is my allergies have been acting up every since egg retrieval yesterday. I've had some allergy issues ever since we got here, but I think my immune system is concentrating so much on healing my ovaries that it's not working as hard on keeping the rest of me healthy. I'm not allowed to take anything for it, so I'm going to go get some Vicks vaporizer stuff to put in my humidifier and hope that helps! I don't know if there's something in my room or if it's the dry weather out here, but I'm ready to not be sniffling and sneezing anymore!

I sure hope my little embryos keep growing and dividing and I have five great ones to choose from for transfer. In the meantime I'll be prepping my uterus to accept the little guys/girls. :) I'm taking an antibiotic, tetracycline, and a steroid, medrol, that's supposed to keep my uterus from rejecting my embryos. The bad news about that is it probably works by weakening my immune system which is not good news for my allergies...oh well! I'll also be starting endometrium suppositories tomorrow. I've never used the suppositories before, but it has got to be better than the progesterone injections I took for the last IVF cycle. Those needles were terrible! And then in about a week I'll start wearing vivelle patches. So the hormones haven't ended yet, but at least I am finished with shots- hopefully for a long long time!

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Friday, June 10, 2011

Egg retrieval

This post is going to be short and sweet because I'm still a little groggy and looking forward to some r&r. But I did want to check in and let everyone know how retrieval went today. We got 7 eggs retrieved today! I am pretty happy about it but now it's a matter of waiting until tomorrow for the fertilization report. We should hear sometime tomorrow morning how many fertilized and then we will have a three day transfer on Monday morning. I'll let everyone know what they say tomorrow! Thanks for all the thought and prayers!

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Ultrasound 5 - cycle day 14

My ultrasound this morning showed seven follies still growing strong! They all measured between 17 and 21mm. Julie called a while ago and told me to do 150iu of gonal f (half of my normal dose), my normal 20iu Lupron and my dexamethasone. Then I do my trigger shot tonight at 12:30 (set the alarm!) and I'll have egg retrieval Friday morning at 11:30. I'm starting to get really excited and of course nervous! I go in tomorrow for blood work to make sure the hcg (trigger) got into my system and did its job - something my former RE never did and one of the things that Dr. surrey said could have been the problem. Please keep those prayers coming! Thanks!

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Ultrasound 4 - cycle day 13

I'm sorry it took me so long to post about yesterday's ultrasound. The hubs got to Denver yesterday so most of the afternoon was spent hanging out with him.

The ultrasound yesterday still showed seven growing follicles. I had four that were at 15mm, one at 16mm, and two at 18mm. Julie (my nurse) said they want them to be at 20. My estrodiol level yesterday was 1,162 up from 875 on Sunday. It's still not high, but at least it has made to the 1,000 mark! Julie said that the ultrasound today will tell us more when egg retrieval will be. I'll other trigger tonight for an egg retrieval on Friday or I'll trigger tomorrow for an egg retrieval on Saturday. Part of me hopes it's on Friday to get it here and over with and also because then I won't have to worry about changing flights. But another part wants it to be n Saturday to give these little follies a chance to catch up. Of course, I'll do whatever the doctor thinks - he is the expert after all!

Something else exciting happened yesterday. When I was having my ultrasound, the tech told me that there was a high profile patient coming in that day and they were all kind of freaking out because she was bringing her camera crew with her and generally Dr. Schoolcraft doesn't allow any cameras. I asked her if it was Guiliana Rancic because I watch her show about her struggles with IVF and the tech nodded her head. Of course the rest of my time at the clinic yesterday I was turning my head constantly to try to see her. I love her and would have loved to see her. I usually don't get into celebrity sightings, but I somehow feel a connection to her. She is so open and real about her struggles with fertility and I give her huge props for being so open about it to the world. That has to be hard! Anyway, I never saw her but I can't wait to see watch her next season and recognize ccrm!

My next appointment is at 11:00 today (mountain time). I think R will be working on his thesis all day today so I'm sure I'll have plenty of time to update the blog after the appointment!

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Monday, June 6, 2011

Ultrasound 3- cycle day 11

My ultrasound yesterday still showed about 7 follies mesuring between 9-15 mm. They said they were growing very slowly and may increase my meds. But then when the nurse called me yesterday afternoon she said to keep everything the same. Wtf? So I emailed my nurse and told her that I was worried they weren't being aggressive enough. She responded (on a Sunday which was impressive) that I shouldn't worry. I should think of it as crock pot cooking and that they're just letting them take their time. So I feel a little better I guess. I'm definitely looking forward to my ultra sound tomorrow and R will be there so I'm happy about that. I am sad to see my brother, sister in law, and nephew leave today though! It's going to be a much sadder place without that little guy's smile!

In Colorado tourism news: we went to the Denver zoo on Saturday. I was a lot of fun...for everyone. Baby miles obviously had a good time, but it was a great chance for my aunt, uncle, brother, sister in law, and me to all spend time together outside of the hotel room. Yesterday my aunt and uncle left, so we drove over to boulder so my brother could see it, and then continued up to the rocky mountain national park. It was beautiful! We saw so much wildlife - rams and elk mostly. I took pictures but haven't downloaded them yet so I will be sure to post them later. It was a gorgeous drive through the mountains. If we have time, I may take R there when he comes.

Next ultrasound is tomorrow. I'll try to post about it as soon as I can.

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Friday, June 3, 2011

Ultrasound #2 - cycle day 9

My head is all full of numbers now, so I'm not sure if I'm going to get all the facts right. After my nurse calls today I can right everything down and actually get the sizes of all my follicles. The important thing is that the five follicles that were 10-12 mm on Wednesday have all grown and then a few of the smaller ones have caught up. So I have about 7 follicles that are over 10mm and they saw about 4 small follicles that probably won't catch up but they are good support for the big ones. I am pleased with seven. I have never done this well before and now I just have to hope that they keep on growing at the right rate and that they all have good and healthy eggs inside. I'll try to post again after the nurse calls to give exact numbers.

Yesterday we drove over to Boulder and had lunch. Then we went to Nederland, CO to hike an easy trail. We also went to their carousel that has the most magnificent story and it was gorgeous! I highly recommend driving over to see it if you're in the area. It only costs $1 to ride and it truly is a beautiful thing to see. Plus, the tiny town of Nederland is really neat. There's a great ice cream, garden, and book store (yes it's all one store). Anyway, Boulder and Nederland are both worth the hour drive. It's a great day trip!

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

First ultrasound

I had my first ultrasound this morning and so far so good. I had three follicles on the left all measuring about 10mm and then two smaller ones at 8 and 9 mm. I had two follicles on the right measuring 10 and 12 mm. For me, this is pretty good. I think my nurse was expecting me to start crying but I told her that this is the best I've ver done. At this point in my last IVF cycle I had 8 follicles all under 10 mm. So to have five that are countable, I'm pretty pleased. I would love it if those smaller ones catch up and they all keep growing, but we'll just have to see. Now it's just a matter of waiting for the call to see if I need to change my dosages at all. I go in for my IVF physical tomorrow and another ultrasound.

In the meantime, we're going to go to the ikea that is right across the street from the hotel, and then drive over to Boulder for the day. It should be good times!

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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

In Denver and calmer

First off, all of my freaking out yesterday is better now. I called the nurse's number about threes times yesterday and wrote my nurse an email. I never got a response from anyone. They must have not had a lot of people on staff yesterday. Anyway, I finally ended up calling the emergency number and finally got to talk to someone. It probably cost me $20 for that little piece of mind, but it was worth it. She told me to just go ahead and start taking the dexamethasone last night and everything should be okay. She said of all the things to mess up with my medication that was it! So I feel a little bit better, although if this doesn't work out I will probably wonder if it's because of me messing this up. Oh well. There's not much I can do about it now!

In other news, I made it to Denver and am now sleepily typing on the desk of my home for the next 16 days. The Marriott townsuites are pretty nice. It's a good amount of space for what we need and it is an excellent price for a two bedroom suite! I feel like I am in a little apartment and I'm loving it! It will be great for everyone to kind of have an escape if they need it. With everyone who is coming to Denver during this I'm sure we will all appreciate that!

Here are some pictures of our suite if you're interested.

My bedroom

Jordan, Jim, and miles' room

Our living room

Our kitchen

Our bathroom

Stay tuned for my ultra sound results tomorrow! I'll try to post as soon as I can.

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Monday, May 30, 2011

Freaking out

Ok so I feel like a huge idiot. I almost didn't even post about this because I feel so stupid for doing this. So among all of my medications that were shipped to me, I had about four bottles of meds in pill form. On my calendar it says to start taking dexamethasone each night starting on Thursday when I started my shots. Well, I did not see the dexamethasone bottle but I did see the doxycycline, which I have taken with every other cycle so I assumed that's what I was supposed to take. Well, today as I was packing up my meds for the plane I found the dexamethasone. So for four days I have been taking something I wasn't supposed to and not taking something I was supposed to. I immediately called the nurse, but since it's memorial day they don't have as much staff working and it may be a while before I get a call back. I sure hope they call soon because I am freaking out! What if I totally screwed this whole thing up? What if they tell me that I have to stop everything now and start again next month? I don't think that's going to happen but you never know! I just wish they would call me back soon. Ugh I am such an idiot!,,

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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Bathrooms and parking lots

I titled this post "bathrooms and parking lots" because those are two places that I have had to give myself my shots this weekend. My mom and my aunt came to visit this weekend, which meant we were out and about all day every day. On Friday night we had reservations to eat and take the mystery tour at the Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville - a supposedly haunted plantation in Louisiana (you may have seen it on an episode of Ghost Hunters). Anyway, my shots have to be given every twelve hours and at the same time every day. So since I give my shots at 8:00 each am and pm, that meant that I had to load up my meds and needles into an ice chest (some of them have to be refrigerated) and take them with me. When our tour was over it was 8:00, so I slipped my meds into my purse and went into the bathroom stall to give them to myself. Needless to say, I felt like a complete druggie! I just kept imagining that someone would come into the bathroom and se me sitting on the toilet seat sticking a needle into my thigh! I was cracking up the entire time!

Then last night, we had to go to a wedding in downtown Baton Rouge so again I loaded my meds into an ice chest and in the middle of the reception I had to go out to the car (by the way we were parked in my church parking lot and keep in mind the school where I teach is connected to my church) and I gave my shots while cop cars were driving past. It was actually quite terrifying! I wasn't sure if they would believe my story! Luckily, we didn't run into any problems except for the shot last night made me bleed and I forgot to take bandaids along so I was worried I would walk back into the wedding reception with a big blood stain on my dress. But luckily, all was well!

The kicker is going to be when I have to give my shots in the airplane bathroom! Now that's going to be interesting!

I'm leaving in two days! I can't believe it. I'm just so ready for that first ultra sound to see if anything is happening in there. I'm getting really nervous but trying to stay calm by listening to my IVF meditation CD. By the way, for those of you doing IVF I strongly recommend downloading the cd from circle and bloom's website. They have a different mediation for each part of the cycle and it is oh so relaxing. I listen it every night and it practically hypnotizes me!

By the way, sorry for any typos. This is my first post on my iPad and I'm not completely used to the keyboard. Plus it tends to autocorrect when it's not necessary!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

We got the "go ahead"

I went in for my suppression check yesterday morning. I ended up going to the doctor here in Baton Rouge - the one that I don't like - because I couldn't take off time from work to go to my beloved doctor in Jackson. It's our last week of school and I couldn't bare to leave my kids with a sub on one of our last days. The whole time we were in the ultra sound room I was telling R that I wished we were at Dr. Isaacs. The people were just so rude to us yesterday. I know they have no reason to be nice - it's not like we have built a relationship or anything, nor are we giving them our money for IVF (although they did get close to $500 from us yesterday for the ultra sound and blood work - unbelievable!) There just wasn't any sort of compassion. Dr. W just came in, stuck the ultra sound wand in, said something like "there's your left ovary, there's your right ovary, there's your uterus. We'll send the results off. Now go get the blood work." He didn't even shake my hand when he came in - isn't that normal protocol for doctors? He didn't look me in the eye, didn't say hello, nothing. Maybe I'm just being oversensitive right just validated for me that I'm glad I never went back to him. It was worth driving the 2.5 hours 4 times a week when I cycled with Dr. Isaacs.

Anyway, I got the call from CCRM around 2:00 yesterday afternoon and they said everything looks good! All of my hormone levels are where they're supposed to be and they didn't see any cysts. So we're all set to start lupron and saizen tomorrow and then add the stim meds (menopur and gonal f) on Saturday.

I'm getting all geared up for the trip. R is going to get me an iPad today since I have to give up my work laptop tomorrow. That way I can have something to watch movies on and update my blog on of course! :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


As's a picture of all of the hormones I will be subjecting my body to over the next month. Crazy huh? Only 7 more days on birth control and then I'll start stims next Thursday. I have a suppression check with the doctor here (timing didn't work out to go to my doctor in Jackson) on Tuesday morning. So as long as that goes okay and I don't have any cysts, everything will be a go!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

And Here We Go!

Well my period started this morning - two days late...ugh! I was so nervous that it was going to start all last week. If it had started early it would have been terrible because it would have meant me missing some of my last week of school. So the good news is that won't be happening! The bad news is that I will probably end up needing to change my flight home from Denver. Oh well. I'll probably just get a voucher from Southwest and use the flights later for R and I to go on a couple trip during labor day or something. We deserve it! =)

So now I start birth control on Thursday - yuck! And then 14 days after that is when all the fun begins! I got my meds a few days ago and let me tell you - it is a lot! I am going to be on double the amount of meds that I've ever been on before and that's scary. When I have a chance I'll take pictures of it all and post it on here. All of my friends who have done some sort of fertility treatment with injections tell me to take pictures each time so that you can always remember what you went through to get your baby. Not that I think I'll ever forget!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Getting Nervous

As the time gets closer, I am getting more and more nervous about starting this whole process again. I'm excited, don't get me wrong, but I am dreading the effects on my body. I am especially not excited about starting the birth control in a few days. For some reason, that part is always the worst to me. It's hormonal effects are always so much worse than the shots. Of course this time I will be on so many hormones that I may be inserting my foot into my mouth pretty soon! I'm not excited about the weight gain, or the acne, or the bruises from the needles. But, I know it is all worth it - we hope!

I am excited about going to Denver in the spring time. Every time I've been it has been beautiful weather, but a little chilly. I'm excited about getting outdoors and enjoying the scenery more!

Anyway, I expect things to start here any day! My body is telling me that AF (aunt flow) is on her way. I just hope that she holds off until Sunday so that I don't have to change flights!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Houses, Jobs, IVF, Oh My!

Things are starting to happen - which is good, but now the stress of it all is really starting to sink in. Here are some things that have been going on the past several days.

1. I have a job! Last week was our Spring Break and so I went to Jackson for several days. During that time I talked to the director of the preschool at St. James (where I went to church growing up). Other job opportunities had fallen through due to budget cuts, etc so I was in a place of complete desperation. I never thought I would have such a hard time finding a job in Jackson, MS. I mean I've already taught there and I know people - isn't that what it takes? Sadly though there just weren't any positions to be had. So I went and talked with this woman, not trying to get my hopes up. She basically offered me a job on the spot, and after talking it over with R I snatched it up. It's going to be weird working in a preschool. Younger kids, less structure, no papers to grade or lesson plans to write - NO PAPERS TO GRADE OR LESSON PLANS TO WRITE! What?!?! That part is going to be awesome. Plus, it's a half day program so I can spend the other part of my day tutoring to make extra money and taking care of everything else going on (hopefully my pregnancy).

2. Our house is on the market! We still have some things to get done on it - painting, replacing cabinet hardware, cutting limbs in trees, etc. But it is on the market and that's a step in the right direction. We have an open house next week so now the pressure is on to get all of those things completed. I spent my night last night (after being away from the house for 11 hours that day) painting bathroom cabinets. Oh the fun!

3. We may have a house in Jackson! We met this couple (through my mom) who are moving to VA in June. Their house is on the market, but they are taking it off the market April 30. If it doesn't sell, they are going to rent it to us. So hopefully it won't sell in the next 2 days because the house is amazing! It's huge and in a great area. We are very excited!

4. We're getting geared up for Denver! With everything else going on it's easy to forget that oh yeah - we have an IVF coming up! I booked my plane tickets yesterday. I have entered all travel information to the right for anyone who may be going to CCRM and may want the info. Below is the schedule of when I'm going and who will be with me during each part of the trip. I think my family is using this whole process as an opportunity to visit Denver. But hey, can you blame them? If anyone else wants to come out, you're more than welcome!

May 31 - I will travel to Denver. My sister in law, Jordan, and my nephew, Miles, will fly to Denver from NYC.
June 3 - My brother, Jim, will fly from NYC to spend the weekend with us.
June 7 - R will fly out to be there for egg retrieval and Jim, Jordan, and Miles will leave.
June 16 - R and I will fly home

Of course all of this could change. If my next period doesn't start when it's supposed to, it will change everything. If egg retrieval ends up being later, then we'll obviously come home later. Hopefully everything will happen the way it's supposed to so I don't have to go back and rebook anything.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My Calendar is In!

Well, my period started and I called my IVF nurse at CCRM and she sent me my calendar for IVF. All of these dates are dependent on my next cycle starting when it's supposed to - which with my body is always a guessing game. So here are the projected dates for everything...

May 8: Start my period (we hope!)
May 10: Begin birth control pills. R will start to take an antibiotic for 10 days
May 23: Take the last BCP
May 24: Ultra sound and labs to make sure I am a "go" for the IVF
May 26: start my lupron shots (20 units every 12 hrs) and my Saizen shots (this is a growth hormone - it's what is given to children who aren't growing. I've never taken this during a cycle before and I hope it will be my magic drug!
May 28: start my stim shots in addition to the lupron and saizen: 2 vials menopur in AM and 300 units of Gonal-F in the PM

I will continue all shots and go in for an ultra sound on June 1. At that point they will start to call me when dosage changes. I can have the ultra sound with my local dr, but my plan is to be in Denver by then and just have all ultra sounds out there.

Tentative Egg Retrieval Date is June 8. My transfer date is 3-5 days after that.

It's all beginning to happen! Now it's time to book flights and hotel rooms!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


A few weeks ago I decided to finally bite the bullet and start going to see an acupuncturist. I have always been curious about it and there are some people (especially in the infertility world) who swear it makes a HUGE difference, so I've always wondered about it. But there were two things that scared me away from it: 1. the amount of time that it would take out of my already busy schedule and 2. the money. (Acupuncture, like most medically related things for me these days, is not covered by insurance - or at least mine - surprise surprise.) The needles didn't so much worry me because HELLO! I have stuck myself with hundreds of needles over the past year..that fear just does not exist for me anymore. Anyway, I finally decided to give it a shot because CCRM recommends it and also because I figure I'm already paying a butt load for all this IVF stuff, what's a couple more hundred dollars a month, right?

Well, I went to my first appointment a couple of weeks ago. First of all, I really like the acupuncturist. When I told her what my diagnosis was and how I have the eggs supply of a 40 year old, plus I have the crazy tube thing going on, she looked at me and just said "well that sucks!" Ha! Most people give me a look of pity, or of misunderstanding, or they try to give me advice (see prior post). This was the first time that someone, especially a doctor, looked me in the eye and said "that sucks!" I just laughed and said "yep, sure does!"

Acupuncture is not like I expected it to be. I mean, don't get me wrong, the whole ambiance that I expected was there - the low lights, the creepy hippie music that's supposed to be relaxing but just makes me nervous - all of that was there. But, I was not expecting how uncomfortable the whole thing is. Anyone who tells you that the needles don't hurt is lying through their teeth. It's not terrible or anything, but it's definitely not painless! However, I was ready for that part - to an extent - what I wasn't ready for was the whole electrode thing. I need to pause right now and explain that this is the one part of this whole trying to conceive journey that I just didn't look into. All procedures or appointments that I've had, I have researched about what to expect, but for some reason I didn't with Acupuncture. I just kind of made the appointment on a whim one day and then didn't think much more of it until I got there. So, as I was saying, she put these clips on the needles to connect them with wires and then turned them on so that there was a pulse going between the needles. It was such a weird feeling! I know those of you who have always done acupuncture are probably reading this and thinking "uh yeah, what did you think they did?" but like I said, I just didn't have any idea what was involved! So it wasn't terribly painful, but it certainly wasn't comfortable. It's hard to relax lying flat on your back and scared to move because of the needles sticking out of your wrists, ankles, stomach, and ears! I guess it will get better though!

All in all it was interesting and I must say that I did leave that appointment leaving very rejuvenated! I went to my second appointment last week and I was more prepared for the whole thing. She wants me to go every other week until May and then I'll start going every week to prepare for the IVF. It does take a lot of time out of my day, but I'm going to try to look at it as a way to make myself take an hour to just lay still and clear my mind. God knows I could use a little chill time!

Monday, April 11, 2011

What NOT to Say

I've been wanting to post about this encounter for a while, but things have been very busy for this little blogger and I haven't had much time to sit down and type it out. "Why have you been so busy?" you ask? Well, for starters, R and I are trying to sell our house so every spare moment has been taken with renovating our kitchen and bathroom. We have a realtor coming tomorrow to look at the house so this weekend was spent finishing everything - and it's still not finished! Secondly, I am the director of an after school dance program at my school and our recital is this Wednesday - and I am nowhere close to being ready to putting on a recital! Plus, I am still looking for a place to live, still looking for a job, and trying to keep my sanity with a bunch of whining first graders (that GOD spring break is next week!)

ANYWAY - back to my original reason for this post -

Several weeks ago, when I returned to work after my surgery, a colleague came up to me and asked how the surgery went. I replied with my usual "it went fine -- nothing has changed about my prognosis but we learned a lot, etc etc." Keep in mind, I did not have this surgery with the hopes of changing my prognosis - it was more of a precautionary thing. Well, this woman replied with "well okay, there's always surrogacy or adoption!" As if I should hug her and thank her for the wonderful solution to my problem.

There are so many problems with what she said. If you don't instantly understand what's wrong with it, please don't feel too bad...unfortunately these kind of comments happen often. So this is why I'm writing about it today. On behalf of anyone who suffers from infertility, here are the reasons for why I was offended by that statement.

1. "Surrogacy" is a solution for women who are unable to carry a fetus in her uterus. There has never been a reason to believe that I would not be able to carry a child. My uterus has never been the problem. Surrogacy is for women who have had repeated miscarriages, or have something physically wrong that prevents their uterus from sustaining a healthy pregnancy for nine months.
2.There are millions more steps to go through before I get to the point of choosing either of these options. If this IVF fails, then I will try with donor eggs. That simply means that someone else (either someone I know or an anonymous donor) will go through the first steps of the IVF process - shots to grow follicles and Egg retrieval. Once her eggs are retrieved, R's sperm will inseminate her eggs in the lab. Meanwhile, I do hormone treatments to prepare my body for the transfer of embryos into my uterus. So you see, this is much different from surrogacy. I would still carry the baby, give birth to the baby, etc. Surrogacy isn't even an option for me because my problem is with my eggs - therefore if I am unable to grow eggs for my own body, I wouldn't be able to grow them to be transferred into someone else's uterus.
3. Now on to the adoption suggestion. If, let's say, I had gone through the millions of other steps that I would need to go through to reach the point of choosing adoption, I would still have a painfully long and expensive journey ahead of me. It is not something that someone just decides to do for the heck of it (unless you're someone who has no desire of having a biological child - which there's nothing wrong with that, but obviously I am not one of those people!) The adoption process can take years and it is extremely expensive. It can be just as heartbreaking, especially if your are trying to adopt an infant. I have heard so many stories where birth mothers change their minds, etc...yes, these things really do happen! So to all of you people out there who know someone suffering from infertility - do NOT, under any circumstances, suggest adoption. Consider this a fair warning. I swear to you that I have come very close to slapping someone across the face for suggesting that adoption is a solution.

Now I realize that this woman did not mean any harm. She just doesn't understand. She doesn't understand the emotions involved (she doesn't have children, nor does she want them), she doesn't understand the terminology or the biology behind it, and she's just trying to find a way to show her support. I get that - I really do - I just wish that she could take a moment to think about what her words really mean to someone like me. She's also said things to me like "well why don't you just take a break for a while - like wait a couple of years." Even after I have explained to her that the longer I wait, the worse my prognosis gets...not to mention how I would go CRAZY waiting that long. We have been trying to have a baby for almost 3 years now - that's how long I've wanted this.

So, this made me realize that this is another good reason to write this blog. Other than a log for my personal benefit, or a way to let those close to me know what's happening, or a way for other "infertiles" to find information about IVF or CCRM - it's a way for people who don't know about these things to educate themselves. I know it's too much to ask for everyone to go and search around on the Internet to figure out exactly what Diminished Ovarian Reserve means, or what fallopian tubes actually are...I mean I wouldn't know any of these things if it wasn't happening to me. I had no idea how the reproductive system worked before a year ago. Sometimes it's hard for me to remember that time - when I didn't know anything. It's hard to remember that people just don't know the process. It's so normal to me now that I forget to explain things better.

So please, ask questions. I would MUCH rather people ask me questions then suggest what I should do. I don't care if you ask me something that you think is ridiculous, because chances are I didn't know the answer until 12 months ago. I forget what people don't know.

I would be happy to draw you pictures or explain things in more detail - as long as you can handle the discomfort that it may bring. If you don't want to hear words like semen or cervix, then don't ask - but please please please refrain from making suggestions.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Surgery from a Less Groggy Point of View

Thinking back to a week ago, I can't believe I actually wrote about my surgery a mere 4-5 hours after it happened. I think I was so bored and my mother was driving me so crazy, that it was a good outlet for something to do. However, needless to say I was still pretty out of it and definitely doped up on pain meds. About 24 hours later, however, I was feeling it!

First of all, that night the air conditioning in our hotel room stopped working. It was 82 degrees in our room for about 4 hours - the amount of time it took for someone to come check on it. It was miserable! Finally, we were able to change rooms - my poor mother had to move everything over - I felt so bad for her!

Luckily, I never felt sick and I never really felt pains from the CO2 gas that they pumped in my stomach. I was really worried about those two things, especially on the flight home on Thursday. The last thing I wanted was to be that person throwing up in a bag throughout a 3 hour flight. I was also worried that the CO2 was going to have crazy effects on my body with the altitude change (something the doctor warned me about) but I never really felt that. I did, however, feel tired, sore, and VERY cranky! I had to be wheeled around the airport in a wheelchair, which was fine (embarrassing, but fine) but that meant that 1. my mom was constantly embarrassing me by things she asked or said and 2. if you've ever seen those wheelchair guys pushing wheelchairs around the airport you may notice that they tend to drive wheelchairs like New York taxi drivers drive on the streets - which isn't fun when you have three incisions throbbing at every bump and turn. But all in all the trip home wasn't too bad. It was all worth getting home sooner and getting into my own bed.

The doctor called me Thursday afternoon to tell me what he found. I pretty much got the gist of it from my mom, but man oh man the doctor told me more! My mom had a few things slightly wrong. Apparently, my right tube just stops in the middle of nowhere - doesn't connect to my ovaries or anything. But my left tube -- and this is the part that was different from what I understood before - it goes up nice and normal and then takes a 90 degree turn up into my abdominal cavity and disappears. The doctor said that he and his team couldn't find it! And then all of a sudden it shows back up (coming out of the abdominal cavity) and peaks out near the ovary. Crazy! He said he was shocked that I haven't been in more pain. He said scar tissue was everywhere - and everything in my body was pushed to the front - ovaries, bowels, everything. So he didn't see any fluid in my tubes, but he tied them just to be on the safe side. He told me "I don't think I necessarily helped your chances for being successful, but we certainly know more about what's going on in there - and why you haven't gotten pregnant." Well, sir, we certainly do! Ha!

I was talking to my sister in law the other day and she asked me if I'm glad I did the surgery, especially since it turns out with wasn't necessary. My answer, without a doubt, is yes - I will never regret doing it. Sure it cost $5,000 and now I have 3 scars on my stomach, and I have to go through weeks of recovery, but at least now I know what I've been wanting to know for a year. When we found out my tubes were "blocked" (now we know they're not blocked, just deformed!) my first thought was "Oh God, what did I do to cause this?" Even when the doctors said that it may be something I was just born with, I still wondered...did I contract some kind of STD that I never knew about, did I have an injury that I never let heal properly, etc. It's amazing what all went through my head. Well, now I know that I WAS just born this way and that I didn't do anything wrong. I also know I don't have endometriosis, it's not hereditary so I don't have to worry about my future daughter having the same problem, and I can move on with the next steps with a peaceful mind about the state of my uterus!

I'm also glad I waited a year before having the surgery. I don't think I was ready for it this time last year. When we were debating the surgery last year it was in hopes of removing the blockages. Had I done that and then learned what I learned last week, I think I would have had a major breakdown. I think that extra bit of bad news would have just knocked me down and I'm not sure I would have been able to get back up. But now, a year later, I have been through 3 IVFs, regardless of what the surgery outcome was I knew I was still going to do IVF, so that's why I consider this surgery a success. Nothing really changed about my prognosis, but that's okay. It's a success because it gave me a peaceful heart and mind. Now I can move forward!

We'll probably be doing our IVF cycle in May. It all depends on when my natural cycles happen in the next couple of months but if all works out the way it should (as in if my body cooperates) we'll start around May 10 which would put my two weeks in Colorado during the first 2 weeks of June - after school lets out! If my period decides to come just a few days early, then I'll miss some of the last week of school - which would not be good. So fingers crossed that my body behaves!

Sorry for such a long post - but I wanted to fill everybody in on everything!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Surgery Success

The surgery went pretty well this morning! I'm very sore but I'm not nauseous which I was really worried about since we're flying back in the morning. So far I'm not feeling much pain from the CO2 - I'm just very blown up!

So here's the report on what Dr Surrey saw. Basically he said he's never seen anything like it! Apparently I was just born with really deformed tubes. On one side my tube was completely severed in the middle. He said it looked as if I had had a tubal pregnancy that had been fixed - weird! On he other side I had a normal looking tube and then about halfway up it got really tiny and almost noexistent. He also said that my ovaries are really high which means that during egg retrieval if he sees follies that he can't get to he may go through my belly button to get to them - which might explain why I've had five follicles before but only two eggs retrieved?? He also said that I had lots and lots of scar tissue - so much in fact he was shocked that I hadn't been in more pain. He said that with all the abnormalties that I was born with my body was just trying to heal them so that's why the scar tissue. So he did a lot more digging around than he expected because he was so amazed at it all. Haha which means more soreness for me but that's okay! The good news is my uterus looks great which is most important! So all in all I got lots of answers so I feel great! I'm so glad I had this done! Now it's just a matter of staying doped up on those pain meds! ;)

Friday, February 25, 2011


It's been a while since I've posted anything, so there are several things to report. First of all we got some of my blood test results back. Everything was normal as far as my thyroid levels and immunities go. I have a slight vitamin D deficiency, which is easily cured with a supplement. My AMH, which determines egg quality, was 0.9. Normal for my age is 1.0-2.0 so I'm a little bit low there, but it wasn't so much that they are very concerned about it. We're still waiting to hear back about the Fragil X test to find out if I'm a carrier of the gene, and I still have to send my Cycle Day 3 blood work (I have to have it done here, freeze it, and ship it) but for that I have to wait for my next cycle to start.

In other news we have decided to proceed with the surgery to remove my tubes. After lots of battling with the clinic, it is now scheduled for March 16. I really wanted to have it done during our Mardi Gras break so that I wouldn't have to miss more work, but Dr. Surrey is going to be overseas that week. They wanted to wait until my April cycle to do it because the procedure is supposed to happen between cycle days 5-15 so that they can be sure you're not pregnant. I just didn't like that idea because that was going to end up pushing everything back. Finally they agreed to let me do it March 16 even though it won't be during the correct cycle days - they just told me I need to avoid pregnancy. (Um, no problem?!?)

So that's where we stand. My mom is going out to Denver with me this time. I think she's pretty excited about seeing the facilities and meeting the doctor. Not to mention she gets to play "mom"! We have our follow up consult with the doctor on March 11. That's when we'll review our blood test results and discuss our protocol.

In completely different news, we find out in a week if Ryan got a residency in Jackson! We are so excited about that prospect! Especially since my boss has been pretty mean about this whole ordeal. I'm ready to be out of here!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Hubs is a Rock Star!

We got R's semen analysis results back yesterday and they were the best he's ever had. Despite his bad habits (smoking and drinking way too much caffeine) his sperm counts and everything were spectacular. Yea for good news!

Monday, February 14, 2011

One Day Work Up Complete

Well, we are back from Denver with a lot to think about! First of all, Denver was beautiful, and CCRM was a very nice facility with very nice staff - although after everything that I had heard about it from people who had been, I have to admit I was expecting it to be a little grander! haha!

So most of the day was spent talking to a lot of people. We met with a nurse (a very scary nurse I might add) who gave us a basic run through of how CCRM works. Then we met with the nurse that we will be working with for our IVF cycle. She was super nice and informative. I had an ultrasound to check my antral follicle count (resting follicles) and they saw 9 follicles total. They also saw two cysts on my left ovary which completely freaked me out at first. Then we met with the doctor and he didn't seem to be too concerned about the cysts. He just said we'll keep an eye on them and hope they go away on their own. He said that an antral follicle count of 9 isn't great for someone my age but it isn't terrible either. He said it's just below average so he doesn't see why we can't give IVF another shot with my own eggs - yippee! He said it will take a pretty aggressive protocol (lot of meds) but he's willing to give it a shot. In that same ultrasound they checked the blood flow to my uterus - that was pretty cool to watch. Everything looked good there, and he said that the shape of my uterus looked good, too!

When I had the HSG a year ago it showed a blockage at the distal end of my tubes but no dilation which means that there wasn't any fluid in the tubes (what is called hydrosalpinx)so the doctors I have talked to didn't have any concern about my tubes being blocked as long as I'm doing IVF - since IVF bypasses the tubes. Well, Dr. Surrey seems to think that I need to have a laproscopic surgery to remove the tubes to be on the safe side. Just in case there is some fluid in the tubes, he doesn't want to take the chance that the fluid could flow back into my uterus and kill any embryos that are trying to implant. We've been here before - trying to decide whether or not to have the lap done, although before it was to clear the tubes, now it's to remove them. We decided against it because the lap surgery would have cost around $10,000 - about the same as an IVF cycle and we figured we would put our money towards something that would be more successful (or we hoped anyway). So at first R and I were pretty against it. We just don't have an extra $10,000 laying around! But then the nurses talked to our insurance company and convinced them to pay 50% of the surgery. We're still not convinced it's necessary, and we still don't have $5,000 laying around! So who knows - just another decision to make!

We met with the business office and signed all sorts of consents - R and I felt like we were buying a house we signed our names so many times! I had another ultrasound of my uterus done where he checked to see if there were any fibroids or polyps that would get in the way and all was clear. It wasn't the most comfortable experience because he also did a trial transfer to make sure there wouldn't be any problems when the actual transfer happened. But it was just some cramping that went away pretty soon afterward. During that time R had to give a sample - the boys always have the easy part!

Then R and I both had to give blood for some tests. R had to give 2 whole vials and he was such a baby about it. Until I got in the chair and had to give 10 vials of blood - after that I felt a little light headed but the nurse gave me some juice and cookies. R got some juice and cookies too for being such a good support system! :) We should get those results sometime this week - they're checking hormone levels as well as testing to see if I carry the fragil x gene. We opted not to get the other genetic tests run because we don't have any reason to think we are carriers. We might get the tests done at a clinic here, because there's more of a possibility that insurance will cover it.

All of our meetings regarding donor eggs were very short or canceled because we no longer needed to discuss that possibility, so we got to leave a little early. It was a long day for sure, but very informative!

Now we'll wait to get the blood test results back and we have a phone follow up with Dr. Surrey on the 23rd. In the meantime I have to wait for my next cycle to start and I have to go some place here to have my blood drawn on day three of my cycle, freeze it in my freezer, and ship it to CCRM for them to test my day three hormone levels.

Lots to think about! I will post more when I find out results!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

One Day Work Up

Well, the one day work up is scheduled -- for February 11! I can't believe how soon it is. I got the schedule yesterday and it looks like hubby and I are going to be poked and prodded from head to toe from about 7:30 in the morning until 3:00 that afternoon. We'll fly out to Denver on Thursday, do our testing on Friday and then we'll get to spend our Saturday enjoying the sights of Denver. There's a lot to get done between now and then. I have to book a flight, hotel room, and rental car. I have to figure out how to finance all of this - ugh! If anyone has Southwest frequent flyer miles that they don't plan on using send them my way! (just joking)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My CCRM phone consultation

So my phone consultation was last night. It went pretty well, I guess. Dr. Surrey didn't tell me much of anything that I wasn't expecting, or didn't already know. He threw out some idea of tests that I need to be sure to do, to make sure the hubby and I aren't carriers of certain disorders. He said that women under the age of 40 with a high FSH (that's me!) tend to be carriers of the fragil x gene - which causes mental Retardation. He also wants to be sure that hubby and I aren't carriers of cystic fibrosis. He also told me some supplements I could take to improve egg quality, which I will start taking IMMEDIATELY!

The main thing he told me was that he was concerned that at my last egg retrieval I had 5 follicles but only got one mature egg from them. He said that I may not have responded to the trigger shot and that CCRM fixes that by doing blood work the day after the trigger to make sure you've responded to it, and if you haven't they give you supplementary injections to make you respond to it. Or it could just mean that my egg supply is so low that there were never any eggs. If that's the case there's not much they can do. Let's hope it's the first option! I mentioned that I felt like my RE may have jumped the gun a little bit - that he was so excited that I was actually growing some follicles that he may have triggered me too early, and Dr. Surrey said that was very possible - the he would normally like to see the follicles be larger than mine were at egg retrieval.

Anyway, he wants me to go out and do the 1 day work up with them. He wants me to go through all of the testing for IVF plus all of the testing for using donor eggs. That way if we find out that we need to go the donor egg route, we are already set to do that - no more wasting time! I'll do lots of blood work, ultrasounds to look at my antral follicle count which will give me a good idea of how many eggs I actually do have left, and an extensive look at my uterus to make sure there aren't any problems there. Hubby and I will also have a session with the psychologist to discuss our thoughts on donor eggs - which will probably be very beneficial. In fact, I think that's the part I'm most looking forward to!

So I'll call today and set all that up, I guess. And then it's a matter of waiting for my next cycle to begin and figuring out when I can go out there. He didn't seem very optimistic that my chances are great with my eggs, but I appreciate his honesty nonetheless. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what all of the test results from the one day workup tell us! Colorado, here we come!

Friday, January 21, 2011

A preview

This is actually a letter that I wrote to my support group. Some of my family and friends who have been with me throughout this journey. It was written in December after my most recent IVF cycle. I figured it would be a good introduction for the blog.

Dear Family and Friends,
This is for all of you who have been my support group for the past several months/years. Many of you unknowingly volunteered for this position by giving me unconditional love, prayers, and support. Most of you fell into the position (whether you wanted to or not) by just being around me every day and not being able to escape it; and some of you had no choice because you’re a relative! Regardless of the reason, I want to thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being there for Ryan and me. I wish I had the time (or really the emotional will-power) to write each and every one of you a personal, handwritten note – but I just can’t put myself through that (I am certain you all understand!) You have all, in your own ways, been a true blessing to me. I cannot begin to tell you how much it means to me to have your prayers, your words of encouragement, your shoulders to cry on, your ears to listen to my screaming frustration, and your gentle hearts and faith to help me carry on.

This is a letter I started writing for myself, just to get all of my ideas out of my jumbled mind. But as I was writing it, I felt that I needed to share it with all of you. After all, you have been through this entire journey with me, and I felt as if you deserve to know what I’m thinking – I don’t always express myself too well with spoken words, and sometimes I think I come across as more of a doer than a feeler (if that makes any sense.) Basically, I just wanted you to know, because you deserve to know, how I am feeling. Anyway, here it is...and please excuse the length!

This has been the most difficult 2 ½ years of my life. Ryan and I have been through the heartbreak of trying our hardest to have a baby “the old fashioned way,” only to be disappointed each month for a year and a half. I have charted basil body temperatures, been told by doctors to just be patient -“sometimes it takes people longer”, “your temperature charts are textbook perfect” they said. Then, after referring myself to a Reproductive Endocrinologist 10 months ago, it has just been a whirlwind of emotions. We have found out I can't have children naturally due to blocked tubes, I've been through 2 IVF cycles that got canceled due to poor response to the medications (after doing all of the injections, I might add) and then, after more hormones and blood tests, found out I also have the egg supply of a 40 year old. Through all of this I have watched all of my married friends get pregnant without really trying – “just to add salt to the wound” as they say. (please don’t take offense to that for those of you who are so very blessed with babies!)

The past month has been the most difficult - Ryan and I have been to 2 funerals of close family members, I have stuck myself with a needle twice a day, swallowed a countless supply of hormones in pill form, been through a painful medical procedure, to then start having shots given to me by Ryan or Mom with a 2 inch long needle every day (talk about the feeling of helplessness)- with thick enough medicine to give me welts and bruises on my back. I have gained close to 10 pounds due to the countless number of hormones that I've been subjecting my body to, my face looks like a 16 year old’s, and my ovaries still feel like they have golf balls inside them. My entire body aches, the bruise on my left arm from all of the blood work makes me look like a heroine addict, and my eyes are constantly blood shot from all of the crying. I have gone to talk to a nun who supposedly performs miracles, especially dealing with infertility (one of the most terrifying experiences of my life, by the way) and have spent countless hours on the Internet on message boards of people who have done IVF, Googling my diagnosis (yeah I know - terrible idea) and researching clinics across the country who may be able to better help me. I have gotten my hopes up one day: planning a nursery, figuring out important pregnancy dates (even the week that I would get the glucose test done - I know I'm weird), to then bawling my eyes out because I didn't have any "symptoms." And don't even get my started on the money we've spent on all of this - the medical bills that I will be paying off of my credit card for the rest of my life (or so it seems!) and the miles that I have put on my poor car driving back and forth to our RE's office which is 2 1/2 hours away. I spent the majority of my Thanksgiving break on bed rest, spending countless hours looking at the picture of our little 4 cell embryo, and praying for a miracle. Regardless of the praying, regardless of what "Papa" told the nun, regardless of doing everything right, I found out today that I won't be having a baby in 9 months - my arms will be empty.

Still, after all of this, I'm ready to start again. Whether it's with my own eggs, through donor eggs, or through adoption - I will be a mother and Ryan will be a dad. We don’t know why God has challenged us with this, and we are both pretty angry with Him right now. However, we also know that He is all we have left. He is the only being that we can truly depend on right now. I’m not sure I have ever needed God more. As angry and confused as I am about why He has chosen me for this challenge, and as much as I feel like He owes us a miracle, I know that it is ultimately up to Him. No matter how much I beg and scream and throw my fist, He will answer my prayers when He is ready. Finding the patience is the most difficult, especially when I know that every month we don't do IVF, is every month that I'm losing eggs from my diminishing supply - they're just going to waste.

But I can say – when it does finally happen for us, I won't ever take it for granted. I will cherish every moment of my pregnancy (oh how I pray for morning sickness and back pain), every moment of delivery (although I will be getting an epidural, I don't want to remember it that badly!), and every sleepless night with my newborn. I will sing to the heavens when my baby starts teething, crawling, and walking. I will delight in my two year old's tantrums, potty training, and moodiness. I will be grateful for every lost tooth (and I HATE dealing with teeth!), and every skinned knee (oh yeah, and I don’t do blood very well either!) I will praise God for a 16 year old that hates me, and I will thank Him for the countless debt from his/her college tuition. I will watch my children get married and bless me with grandchildren and I will tell them all how much I love them and am blessed by them every single day. I will cherish the bad moments along with the good. I know there will be moments when I will be tired and feel like complaining, but I won't for a second miss the days when I wasn't a mother.

I’m not really sure what our next steps are. We know we will keep trying. We know we will never give up. We will spend every last penny we have, and we will travel whatever distance it takes. Because I know, from the deepest place in my soul, that I am meant to be a mother.

I love you all so very much. Please continue to keep us in your prayers. And please know that I thank God for all of you every night. I have never felt so loved - and that is the blessing that I can take from all of this. It has made me closer to my husband, I have discovered who my true friends are, and I have never appreciated my family more. I will forever be grateful for that.