Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Where we are.

So, it's been a difficult few weeks, but, we've been surviving. Some days are better than others, and each day we heal a little more. Since my last post I've had the surgery, we have gotten the results of the chromosome testing, and we have had our follow up with our RE.

1.) Surgery went well. Nothing to complain about and healing well.

2.) The chromosome testing of our babies came back normal. This result made the loss even more difficult to take and understand. Of course, I'll be honest, I blame my body. Please, understand the statement. I know I did nothing wrong, I know there was nothing I did to cause the loss, but, I do feel as though my body had failed our children. And I know that may not necessarily have been the case, even though the testing came back normal, there still could have been an issue with the babies that we won't ever know about.

3.) Our follow up didn't leave me feeling confident. There were no answers. There was talk about when we would try again, if we would try again, how the protocol would change if we tried again, what other tests can be done, and testing the remaining embryos we have through a test called PGS, Preimplantation Genetic Screening. Our embryos would have to be thawed, a small part of the embryo would than be biopsied, that biopsie would be sent out for the testing, the embryos would be re-frozen, and the results would be sent back to the RE, and then, when we are ready to try another transfer, we would have an embryo thawed again. It's a lot to understand and take in, and a situation I would hope none of my friends or anyone I know would have to be in. But this is where we are at. And there is a chance that none of the remaining embryos would be chromosomely right to be put back in, (meaning that the embryo would not survive), and there is a chance that even a chromosomely healthy embryo would not survive. And this process decreases my chances from 60% of becoming pregnant to a 45% chance of becoming pregnant, because of the process of thawing, re-freezing, and thawing again.

There's a lot we have to talk about, a lot to take in, but I just wanted to give you a small update. And like in my previous post, both T and I have made the decision to not tell anyone when we make the decision to try again. It's just so much to share such good news, only to have to take it back a few days later.

I hope one day, the next time we share exciting news, it will be the one that sticks around, it will be about our take home baby.

Thank you everyone for your support though out the year, and your prayers. They have all been very welcomed and appreciated.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

An Update I Had Hoped I Would Never Have to Share.

This past Thursday I went in for my weekly ultrasound to check on the babies. Unfortunately at this ultrasound we got bad news. Both of our little babies heart's had stopped beating. We lost both babies.

I was given two options: 1.) Let nature take its course or 2.) Go ahead and have a surgical procedure called a D&E to have everything removed.

I chose to have the surgery and had it done the next day, Friday. Two reasons why I chose to have the surgery. It would be less painful, physically for me and we would be able to have everything tested to see if there was a genetic reason for this loss.

We are devastated. This is now our third loss, and each one, only gets harder. However, I do have to say, Both T and I have been handling this much better than we expected. It's not easy, but we are hopeful that maybe these two beautiful children of ours will be able to help give us answers and only help us to one day bring home a child to raise and love.

For now, we have no idea what our plan is. Right now, we have decided to take a break until further notice from pursuing our dreams of becoming parents. We want to take this time to find each other again and to reconnect. We want to be able to enjoy the Holiday's with our families. And for now, this is all we know.

We have appreciated all of your love, your support, and your prayers. We know the prayers have been answered. These children we were blessed with for such a short time were always God's children. So we know they are in His loving arms, and, sometimes I just think that has got to be such a wonderful thing. I know they are loved and being taken care of.

I know so many of you have invested in our journey and have followed us from the beginning of this year. And I hope I've been able to help someone in someway through this journey. For now, we don't know what the future will bring, but we do know that God is with us, carrying us through. And we know we still have all your love an support and really, we are so grateful.

I'm not sure what will happen to this blog, I'm not sure if we will share when we decide to try again. I'm not sure where we go from here. But T and I are in this together with God guiding us through.

Again, thank you all so much. We love you all.

Friday, November 02, 2012

The News You've All Been Waiting For.

I've been struggle for a while about when to post this. I know many of you have been following our story for a while now, and have invested a lot in us. This is not an easy time. It's been actually been quite nerve wrecking and scary. And by no means are we even close to being out of the woods yet.

But, the news is, Today, we are pregnant.

I can tell you it's not the same excitement or enthusiasm as the first time, or even the second time. After you've been through this for so long and have experienced a few losses, it's by no means easy. Each day goes by and I worry. I worry I'll see spotting the next time I go to the bathroom, (Which, since we've known I have experienced, and it's terrifying to see). I worry that the next ultrasound I go to, the growth will have stopped. I worry that the growth is too slow and eventually will just stop. There is just so much to worry about, and by no means are we cleared. We've known actually now for 3 weeks. I took a home pregnancy test early and it came back positive. I went in for my HCG blood tests and they at first, went up appropriately, and then didn't quite make the 60% increase they look for. I went in for my first ultrasound yesterday and all that was there to see so far was one gestational sac. So, you can see, this is not easy. But, we are optimistically cautious, as is our RE. But, from here, we can only continue to pray and thank God for this blessing and this miracle that we have now. We can only hope that He will continue to help our little miracle grow strong and healthy. We can only take it day by day. My next ultrasound isn't until next Friday, (today is 10/27/2012, and I'm making note of this, because I'm not even sure I will go ahead and post this today).

Yes, I am scared, but I put my trust and hope in God. He has His guided hand through all of this. And that's what I need to lean on.

And, Just for those of you who read this who may be interested and who will understand, here are my HCG test with doubling times and the percentage of the increase. For those of you who don't understand what you are seeing, I will try my best to explain. The doctor likes to see this pregnancy hormone increase by at least 60% every other day. And a "normal" doubling hour of anywhere from 31-72 hours.


10/15/12 – 290

10/17/12 – 471 ( 69 hour doubling time)(63% increase)

10/19/12 – 701 (84 hour doubling time)(48% increase)

10/21/12 – 1098 (74 hour doubling time)(56% increase)

10/23/12 – 1777 (68 hour doubling time)(63% increase)

So, this is where we are at today. Your continued prayers would be greatly appreciated if you have the time. Thank you all so much for all you thoughts and prayers up to now. Thank you all for your support, kindness, and encouragement though this all.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I ended up waiting to post this. I was just too nervous and sacred of what our next ultrasound appointment would should. And, to be honest with you, I'm still nervous and scared, only now, it's times two.

That's right family and friends. This morning T and I went in and we were able to see two beautiful babies measuring 6 weeks and 1 day each. And they both had a heart rate of 125. They both look well and look like they are growing strong.

Like I said in my earlier post though, we still have many, many hurdles to jump through. And now that we know we have twins, we are still being cautious. And all your continued thoughts and prayers would be so much appreciated as now I'm considered high risk.

T and I am still in shock. This is not something we expect but we are thrilled and happy. Only one embryo of the two took, that means the one embryo we put back in split. When I stop and think about it, it's just so crazy. We are looking forward to this crazy life that God has blessed us with, we are so Very thankful, this Thanksgiving season for these 2 beautiful little blessing.

(And I'll be honest, I am still very nervous about posting this, but I didn't want to continue to keep you all waiting since you all have been following our story and have offered so many prayers so far. We couldn't be any more thankful for you all and the prayers you have prayed for us! Thank you!)

And here are our little babies - they look like blobs right now, but they are the most beautiful little blobs we've ever seen!


(Sorry it's sideways.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Still waiting....

So, it's been just over a week since my last post. I always try to avoid posting during this time. I just, I don't know what to write about. My mind has been over taken by so many thoughts. Did this work? Will this be our take home baby? Will be once again be overcome by grief? Or will we for once, be overcome with joy? Can I eve have joy if this works? Will I even be excited again if this works, or will I just live in fear that at any moment something will go terribly wrong.

I just wish, and I pray all the time for a clam heart. I pray that I can just rest in the arms of Jesus and trust in him. But, I'm being honest, as much as I want to believe, it's just so difficult. I do, don't get me wrong, but I've come to notice over the course of my 29 years of life that faith and trust can grow, but it can also dwindle. Right now, I have faith, but once again, it is as tiny as that mustard seed. I know that everything that God has put into my life and my husbands life has been His plan for us and through it all, I know He loves me, He loves us. It's hard to know, But deep down in my  heart, I know He does, and I know His plans are not meant to hurt, even thought they do, but they are meant to build us. This past Sunday at church this part of the message hit me. It's not that I never heard it before, it's not that I didn't know, but sometimes, even if we have heard something a million times before, we just have that moment. "God sometimes brings us flat onto our backs to help us realize we were the ones who have walked far away, and that He has always been there waiting for us".

It's hard, it's difficult. Infertility has taken so much from us. It's taken time away, it's taken finances away, it's taken friend's away, it's taken patience... It's just always taken. But the one thing it hasn't the one thing I refuse to let it take for me is my trust in my Lord. He knows the plans he has for us. I trust in those plans. I trust that one day He will bless us with a child.

Well, those are my thoughts for the day. Please don't worry. Once we know, we will share with you all when we are ready to share what the results will be. Thank you all again, And I don't think I can thank you all enough for all your prayers and thoughts and encouragement.


Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Today is 4 days since Transfer.

So, Not much to report on. Friday Afternoon was the transfer. I don't think I'm ready to share a picture just yet, but maybe in the coming days.

I wish I had some awesome news to share, but, being that it's only 4dp5dt. (4 days past 5 day transfer), there isn't much to share. I can say that This wait is already starting to get slower and slower. And I have already started to get the itch and test early myself with a home test, (since I have a ton!), But, I'll just leave it at that and hope to avoid it any further. I'm just scared that even if this does turn into a pregnancy again, that it's just not going to last. But I'm trying to have hope....

I suppose the only other thing I can share is symptoms, lets try not to read too far into these in any direction:

1dp5dt - Nothing.

2dp5dt - Not much, just some twinges.

3dp5dt - I had some dull aches.

Today at 4dp5dt - I woke up to some cramping like AF is about to show in the next day or 2.

So, that's where we are at. 4 days down, only 10 more to go....... Oy.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Something Special happens Friday Afternoon. :-)

We have reached the final stretch. Friday morning, T and I went to my Lining check appointment. Things were looking good and I got my new medication schedule. I dropped from 3 Estrace Pills to 2 a day, I continue my Lurpon injections (10 units) until Thursday, And I've added Doxycyline, Medrol, and 1ml of Progesterone in Oil injections.

And then, we got our ET date. Friday, at 2:30pm we will be transferring 1 or 2 embryos. We still haven't officially decided on how many yet. But byt Friday even, after it's all done, we will know, LOL.

So, there is our small little update. Hopefully this will be it. Hopefully things will work in our favor. Hopefully our little miracle will happen. Hopefully, our last try for a while.

All the thoughts and prayers we can get will be appreciated. Thank you all for following this journey with us.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

An interesting Article

So, I should keep cleaning right now, But I have gotten quite a bit done so far, so I decided to take a break and talk with you, my readers.... 

The other night I came across this article, by Medicaldaily.com that talks about how IVF babies who are grown from frozen embryos tend to be healthier than those of fresh transfers. The article says that their studies show that they believe frozen embryos show their strength and healthy by surviving the freeze and thaw before a transfer takes place. Reading this of course this helps ease my mind, but I could help but think that there have to be some many other uncontrolled factors that take place that could help the embryo. And the article does go on to suggest this as well. One of the first things I thought of was the fact that the environment has got to be better from a frozen transfer over a fresh. The women's body isn't still filled with all the medications she was taking to help produce an over abundance of eggs, and there is no risk of OHSS, (Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome), which can become worse with a pregnancy. Some other findings included that women who used frozen embryos are less likely to have complications during their pregnancy than those who transferred fresh. 

Of course after reading this, like I said earlier in the post, helps ease my mind a bit about our upcoming transfer. But to be honest, it still doesn't help relieve me of my fears of this transfer not working again. I've been pessimistic lately about this cycle and have a strong fear that this just isn't going to work again.... 

I hope you take the chance to read the article and leave your thoughts. I'd like to know what you think...


Thursday, September 20, 2012

How do you do that?

So, Tonight, I decided to video tape me doing my Lupron Injection to share with the world how I do this. Please note, this is the fist time I;m doing this and I don't have the most excellent video editing skills. And please excuse my dog barking in the background and my silly voice and talking.

Also, disclaimer, if you are visiting my blog to see how the injection is done, please know this is how I personally do this, I recommend talking with your RE in learning how to do your own injections. This video is NOT for training purposes.

Now, without further adieu....

video

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

At One Moment You Can Be So Sure,

And the next, you are back to sitting on the fence trying to figure out what is the best decision for you and possibly your future family.

So, Tim and I took a month to figure out how many Embryos to transfer this time around. We researched, and researched, and researched.... And finally, we made a decision. Then... a week ago I got the e-mailed news letter from our RE Clinic. In that news letter they shared all the research their Lab has done and the awards they will be receiving in October. Our RE Lab is on the cutting edge, they have so much technology and they are highly rated. We are so thankful for that. So, we are back, sitting on the fence trying to decide. I'm healthy, I have gotten pregnant in the past, It's just trying to get a pregnancy to stay. We obviously want to do the right thing, the best thing. The trouble is, we don't know what the right thing is, or what the best thing is. Of course our clinic pushes for eSET, (Transferring a single embryo). Their statistics are high, which of course has us leaning in one direction. But then we look at the fact that with our insurance, we only have two more IVF attempts, one more attempt after this upcoming transfer if this one fails. We wanted to try something different.

Let me just say, there is no easy road to take on this journey. There are no easy answers, there is no right or wrong. But, there is however, trying to decide what is best for the future family you hope to have...

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Friday, September 07, 2012

One Friday Morning.

I'm sitting here, watching the Today Show, drinking my coffee. The GE repair man just left. My dishwasher is all fixed, and supposedly is no longer a fire hazard. Things have quited down and life is moving along. My father and step-mother will be here tomorrow for a visit. And today, will hopefully be my second niece's birthday! My sister-in-law went in last night to be induced. Little baby girl G should be here soon!

Onto to our baby making news. I started the Lupron on Sunday. I'm 5 days into 20 units every night. This is my least favorite drug used thus far. (Not that I have a favorite....) It makes me tired, unmotivated, and an emotional mess. But, I heard back from the RE's office, and they explained to me that my dosage should be lowered after my Baseline appointment next Friday, the 14th. I take my last BCP tomorrow night! I'm so ready to be done with that!

Other then these small steps, and this news, not much else has been happening. I wish I Had some more exciting news to share, or I wish I had some insightful musings to share. But I have not had any revelations. I guess the only thing I could really share with you all is this:

If I have learned nothing else from Infertility, I most certanly have learned about patience.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Update on everything going wrong at once...

Sometimes, I wish I would have my full trust in God. He always provides, He's always there no matter what.

Everything is starting fall into place. The dishwasher will be repaired at no cost to us. A big weight off my shoulders. (Though I have to wash dishes by hand until Friday, LOL). And everything else is also working it's self out. This all helps to bring my worry and stress levels back down.

I need to remember: Always Trust in the Lord.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Everything going wrong at once...

I thought I have experienced this before. You know, when everything just happens to go worng at once, or everything is happening at once. But, with everything that is happening now, I can look back and I can honestly say, we have not experienced this until now.

First, We decided to move forward with one more try with a FET. We know that if this doesn't work, we will try again, we just don't know when that will be able to happen. We've exhusted all finances moving forward with this... But within the last month or so... Here's what has happened since making this choice....

The check engine light has gone on in my Highlander. Also, it's well over due for an oil change. It also happens to be time for T to take his car in for service. My cell phone has gone all sorts of whack on me. Turning off randomly, not turning back on. Not making a connection to a call for almost a minute after hitting the call button.... We decided to look into buying a chest freezer in order to buy more bulk when I have the coupns. (Well, this is now on the bottom of the list with everything else going on). Yesterday, I just a letter informing me that my dishewasher has been recalled due to a fire hazard, and we are still trying to figure out our opitions. And it just one thing after another... Something new everyday....

I trust God. I trust He knows what he is doing. But, that's not saying that it isn't difficult. It is. I've never felt so stressed. I'm trying not to let it all get to me, but it does. I am only human. I know that God will carry us through this time. I just hope all this will lead to a happy ending for us. I know God knows what he is doing in our life, and I'm Thankful he is carrying us through.

And, in the midst of all of this. There are exciting time, or scary time, or nerve recking times. I suppose it all depends on the moment, how we feel. Lately, to be honest, I've been starting to worry about this upcoming cycle. I'm just so scared that it's not going to work, and I'm not sure I can handle another miscarriage, or a failed cycle. I'm just at a point where I'm not sure I can move forward if that happens, or I would just have to keep moving right on, and that is just not possible. If this doesn't work, we are on hold until further notice.

But, let's try not to dwell on that aspct. Let's move forward, let's talk facts.

Sunday is 2 days away. That's the day 'llI begin Lurpon injectons at 20 units a day. So, what is Lupron:

Lupron = subcutaneous injection of a medication called Lupron (GnRH agonist). This medication is taken once daily. It prevents the woman from ovulating during the FET cycle - which would throw off the timing of uterine receptivity. 

I'll be taking this until September 14th. That day I go in for a baseline ultrasound to find out where the cycle will be, and that should be the offical start of the FET cycle. I'll know at that point  if the medication needs to change.

So, this is where we are. I can't believe it is starting already. All of August felt like it was moving so slow, and I couldn't wait for it to end so we could move forward. And now, it's here.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Once again, all cleaned out and ready to go.

Thank you everyone for all your thoughts and well wishes. The Surgery yesterday went well! Only about 30 minutes long, and thankfully, I did not get sick this time for the anesthesia. Also, this surgery was not as invasive as the surgery last year. Last year I did have this done, but I also had a Laproscopy done. This surgery did not include any incisions, thankfully.

The doctor did find a small adhesion, which, I'm not sure if I remember correctly since I was still pretty out of it when he talked to us, but I believe he said it stretched from the back of the uterus to the front right near the opening of the fallopian tube. He was able to remove all of it. And I do remember asking right before he left, just to make sure, if I was all cleaned out and ready to go. He said I was!

Right now, I'm feeling really hopful. I woke up this morning with the thought that this has to be it for us. This time, it's going work. I really hope this feeling is real.

Again, thank you all!

I begin, only one injection right now, on September 2nd.

A little more than one week away before we start again. I'm so ready for this.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tomorrow is Surgery Day.

So, some changes have been made since my last update. So I know it's time for a new one.

Well, There was a bit of a mix-up about the orignal scheduled day for my surgery. So, we ended up having to change the day and the RE who will be doing it. Thankfully, I have met with 3 out of the 4 RE's in my office. And, I am certin at some point I will meet the one and only RE I haven't met yet pretty soon. So, Here's what's happeneing.

I had my Pre-op yesterday. Dr. K said that from the looks of the sono pictures, He doesn't expect it to be long. maybe 20-30 minutes. Also, he said that he doesn't expect to find much. He actually believes it's more likely to be left over tissue from the Chemical Pregnancy, more than a polyp or adhesion. Which, could be good news. But we will know tomorrow for sure what the stuff is inside my uterus.

After the Pre-op yesterday we had the FET, (Frozen Embryo Transfer- just to refresh your memory.) consult. Everything is set up and ready. I start the Lupron Sept. 2nd. And right now, The transfer will tentatively take place October 3rd, 4th, or 5th. But this could change. And could take place the following week, or even the week after that.

I recieved my medication in the mail, and I still have two more I need to pick up from my local pharmacy when they are ready.
Here's the stash for the FET, (Thanfully, it's not as much as the freash IVF cycle.):



See, it's not so bad this time around.


Well, that's pretty much all that's been happening since the last update. Only a week and a half to go before the injections start again and only about a month and 2 weeks away from transfer day. Hoping for good results this time around.

And, for a little infertility humor:


Have a good Wednesday!


Friday, August 10, 2012

Trying hard to keep up.

The only problem with waiting, is that I also run out of things to talk about and discuss here. And I begin to feel bad I can't keep up with updating.

Well, there are some small updates. We got our FET consult scheduled and that will be the same day as the pre-op, August 21st. And the estimated time of the actual trasnfer is scheduled for the first week of October.

I've gotten in contact with the office as well to discuss the RPL blood work that was done in October of last year. I have questions now that I am a lot more informed myself about infertility and my specific case.

Time for me is moving so slowly. I looked yesterday to see how much longer until my surgery and I couldn't believe I had just a little less than 3 weeks to go. It's all so far away still. And that makes me so sad. But, we just need to be patient, Our time will come.

Recently, I've been having good feelings about everything coming up. The surgery and the FET. And that makes me feel better. Tim and I are both also on the same page now about how many to transfer. We both have prayed hard about it and just know that God is helping us and bringing us both the same feelings on that subject. The best thing is, we both feel very comfortable about that decision.

Now, back to the surgery, if you're interested in knowing more about it and what is involved, you can go here to learn more. As we get closer, I'll start sharing more about the protocol for the FET, I'll share the outcome of the Surgery, and all that is involved with a FET. And, thanfully, it's not as involved and intense as a Fresh IVF cycle.

Thanks again!

Days.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

So what did that Sono Show?

Well, I had my Sono done on Friday last week. The ultrasound showed that I have a large band, either a large polyp or scar tissue, that stretched from the top of the uterus to the bottom. So, that means I get to have surgery again. I've scheduled the Surgical Hysteroscopy for August 29th. This menas that there will be no FET, (frozen transfer), until at least October.

There really isn't much more information that I have right now. We really won't know what's going on until after they surgery and the hopefully are able to remove what ever is there.

What ever it is, that could have very well been the reason for the chemical pregnancy. The embryo most likely was unable to recevie the nurtiants and blood supply because of that band being in the way. Hopefully, my RE will be able to remove it all again and we will be able to finally have a successful pregenancy after the FET.

As of right now the schedule looks like this:

(FET consult somewhere before Pre-op)

Aug. 21 - Pre-op

Aug. 29th - Surgery

(Post-op somewhere in here)

Sept. 2nd - I get to start a drug called Lupron to get my body ready for the FET in October.

Mid-October - FET


Once I get a more detailed schedule, I'll share. Also, everything, expect possibly surgery can change all depending on our situation.

Thanks everyone for all your thoughts and prayers, and for your strength in standing by us and supporting us.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Time stands still

I've been trying to think of what I could write about for some posts so there isn't too much time in between my posts. Trying to think about what I could share, but I just don't know. So, I'm sorry for being a blog fail.

Well, not much has changed sine our last update. I went in for repeat blood work again to check my beta levels, (also know as HCG levels). As of Monday, I was still technically pregnant with a level of 6.2, so close to that negative. Anything below a 5 is considered a negative pregnancy test. I hope that my levels will have dropped enough by Friday, since I have a sonohysterogram scheduled. I have to go in before 8am to get the blood work done to make sure my levels are at a negative, and then I can go in to have the test done, if my levels are still positive then I cannot have the test done, which would lead to more, you guessed it, ...waiting....  I did get started on the birth control pill once again. Seems ironic since I'm trying so hard to get pregnant. But this will help surpress everything so my body will be ready to do the FET when the time comes.

Ok, So, you are probably asking what a Sonohysterogram, (Sono for short), is. Well, basically, you get preped like your having a normal GYN exam, but they insert a small flexable catheter all the way in to the uterus. Then they inject saline to separate the wall of the uterus to check for abnormalities such as fibroids, polyps, scar tissue; really any abnormality of the uterus. In my case, they are looking for poylps. I have had them in the past, and they were removed last year when I had my Lap/hysteroscopy surgery. However, polyps sure are tricky, they like to grow back. And this can present a problem for any baby that would like to take residents in my uterus for the next 9 months. See, polyps are like skin tags, and the problem is that if an embryo trys to implant itself too close to a polyp, it won;t get the blood supply it needs to thrive and grow because the polyp is taking away that blood supply.

After that, I may be on way way to see a hematologist. I was looking back at my blood work from last October when I first started going there and noticed that I have a Protein C deficincy and I have 2 copies of the genetic mutation MTHFR. Both of these can pose a problem. They both can cause blood clotting in the small capillaries, which can also be a cause for miscarriges since when the blood clots it won't be able to get to the embryo that is trying to grow. But, I'm not too worried about these 2 issues. My RE never really talked to much on the subject, which makes me assume they don;t see it as a big problem, but they did put me on Folgard, which is a follic acid, B6, and B12 compound, which is supposed to help these two issues. And also, the MTHFR mutation that I have, doesn't seem to be the one that can cause the big problems. But I figured it won't hurt to seek out help or get some more opinions on these two results. I'll also bring them back up to my RE when we meet back up with him, just to double check what he thinks.

Well, really that's all for now. If anyone ever has any questions, I'll try my best to answer, and it may help me come up with more topics to post about, who knows? I hope you all have a great day today!

Luke 1:37

English Standard Version (ESV)
37 For nothing will be impossible with God.”

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Post-treatment Appointment

Yesterday we had our post-treatment appointmet to figure out what happened, and where we go from here. There were no answer to why the chemical pregnancy happened, just as I suspected. I asked about an Recurrent Pregnancy Loss workup and the RE said he doesn't see it necessary. He thinks it's highly unlikely that I have some hemoglobin issue that's causing the miscarriges. And he said it's because both losses where a bit different. He did tell me he sees a chemical pregnancy in about 10-20% of the IVF cycles preformed. He seems optimistic we will get pregnant, especially since he told us that we were able to have 9 embryos frozen, which is aparently more than the average they see frozen in their clinic. He just thinks it's just a matter of when I'll get pregnant... He did recommend PGS testing of them embryos, but he said that it's a little more risky sice they would have to thaw and refreeze, but he said it could eliminte any chromosomel issues with any of the embryos and could help prevent any more miscarriages in the future. Right now, we have 9 embryos, we cannot afford to do the testing and do a transfer. So, I think we are going to take the risk again and hope for the best with out the PGS tesing.

He did suggest doing another Sonohystograph before doing anther transfer, to see if the polyps have grown back. Both Tim and I agreed it would be beifical. And if they have, I'll have the surgery again to remove any polyps before we go ahead with a FET, (Frozen Embryo Transfer)

He also said we could go into a FET as soon as we want and when we are ready. This could be as soon as the next cycle since he said he could extend the cycle, as long as there are no polyps found. I'm still looking at another week or 2 before a new cycle begins, at least that what he said after looking at the HCG level and the progesterone level. The protocol would be birthcontrol, sono, lupron, and then estrogen, then transfer, So I'm thinking sometime in September we would be doing the FET. But that would be the soonest. We also have the opition of doing a cycle with the sono, ending it and then at the beginning of th next cycle (2 cycles away), would be a transfer cycle. This is more likely the direction we will be going.

Last, he did agreed to  trasfer 2 embryos next time, as long as he knew we uderstood the risk involved with the possibility of multiples, which we do. However, (and I'm not sure if he is trying to scare us into another SET or not), he did tell us that their research indicates that if one embryo fails to implant or is destined not to survive, and one is, that the dying embryo could impact the healthy embryo and cause it to not survive as well. So, we still have time to think about all this, but we are still leaning towards 2. We would like to try something dfferent, and with 9 embryos, and my loss rate at 100%, I think transfering 2 would be a good change to make.

So, this is where we are at now. Waiting.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Convincing Hope.

Convincing hope, what is it? Well, it's where I'm trying to convince myself I have hope. Trying hard to believe I have hope. See, as much as I've talked about having hope, the truth is, I'm afraid. I'm afraid we will never be blessed with healthy children. I'm afriad that will never happen for us. Maybe, since I'm trying to convince myself to have hope; that means that I have a small bit of hope hiding some where.

I'm afraid that we will never have a healthy child to raise because both times I've been pregnant, it's ended in a loss. Over 2 years of trying, 2 pregnancices, 2 losses. I'm scared, because both losses, medically, indicated there was no baby. My first miscarriage was called a blighted ovum. That's where a yolk sac develops, even a placenta, but medically, there is no baby to see with in that yolk sac. This miscarriage is called a chemical pregnancy. That's where the embryo implants, but stops growing so early that nothing can even be seen on an ultra sound. The only indication of a pregnancy is through the blood tests. So medically, in both cases, there was never a baby. Now that doesn't mean that T and I don't believe we had children. We believe we are parents to 2 babies. We believe that life begins at conception. So to us, we did have children. But, the reality is, I'm scared I'll never have a viable clinical pregnancy that leads to a healthy "take home baby".

Maybe, after our appointment tomorrow afternoon, I'll feel differently. But right now, I'm just scared, and sad. I do trust in God, I do trust He know's what's best for us. But it just hurts so much when you have that strong, deep desire to have children, to be a mother. And I know T have those same feelings. I know he hurts, I know he wants to be a father so bad. And that hurts me even more because I feel like I'm failing him. Not being able to give him his dream of being a father. Yes, I admit, sometimes I feel like it's my fault. I mean, let's think here for a second. It's my body, my body that is preventing this from happeneing. But please know, I don't blam myself. I just think this from time to time. And yes, it does hurt.

I just thought today, I would share some of the real thoughts I deal with. Let it there, make myself vulnerable to you. Why, I'm not sure. Maybe to help you understand where I'm at, maybe to show you some of the real things someone who is dealing with infertility feels, thinks.... But there it is. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a brighter day. And I am thankful for our 9 other "snow babies" Our 9 other babies waiting for us and the chnace to try again.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Results

There is a story in the Bible, The Old Testament, about a women named Rachel. She was a beautiful young women. And a man named Jacob fell hard for her. He asked her father for her hand in marriage and her father told Jacob that he had to work for him for 7 years. Because Jacob loved her so much, he worked for those 7 years. And Rachel's father decived him by giving Jacob his first born, Leah. And Jacob did not know this until the wedding night. Jacob went to Rachel's father and asked why? Rachel's father responded  that is was not custom to have the youngest daughter married before the oldest. If Jacob wanted to still marry Rachel, he had to work for her father for anthoer 7 years. Jacob did so, and to him, those 7 years only seemed like days because of the love he had for Rachel. Finally, Jacob was able to marry Rachel.

Leah, Jacob's first wife, give birth to many sons of Jacob. Rachel, she was barren. She was full of sarrow that she could not have children. In fact, she told Jacob, "Give me children, or I shall die!". At that moment, Jacob reminded Rachel that God was in control. That he had no control over the situation. And, she gave her maid servant to Jacob to marry, in the hopes that her maid servent could have children and Rachel could raise them as her own. Leah, being jelous of her sister because Jacob had more love for Rachel, also gave Jacob her maid servant. Both were able to have children with Jacob. And Leah still went on to have more sons. God blessed Leah with children because he knew that Jacob loved Rachel more and that Leah was not loved by Jacob as much as Rachel. But finally, after many years, God had remembered Rachel, and he had opened up her womb. She bore a son for Jacob and named him Joesph.

I told you this story because I just heard this story a week ago at church. And the sermon was on God's love for us. Using Jacob's love for Rachel as the example. But this sermon hit home. And one of the questions that was left for thought was, "How important is it for a woman to be a wife and a mother?" I'm sure that answer is different for anyone who reads it. But this whole sermon made me think in a different way. It opened my eyes and made me realize, I am Rachel. I have that jealousy towards others, that strong desire to be a mother. I try not to let it get to me but it has, I am only human. And I end up being more sad for myself.And I'm still waiting for that blessing, for my womb to be opened.

 Infertility is a difficult and hard journey to be on. I wouldn't wish this on anyone.

Yes, you read that right. Our IVF cycle did not end in the way we had hoped and prayed for. And why God is giving us this Journey, I don't know. We may never know. But, let me share what's happened over this last week.

Monday morning, Test day. I went in, had my blood drawn, and went home and waited. And waited. Finally, hours later, I recieved my phone call, "Congradulations! You are one of the lucky ones! Your HCG level is at 450, and your progesterone is at a 60! Those are great numbers for this point in a pregnancy! Please continue your PIO and Estrace and we will see you back in Wednesday for repeat blood work to make sure your HCG levels are doubling at an appropriate rate!"

Wonderful news! We were beyond elated! So eaxcited, but yet, we were still nervous to tell anyone, We wanted to wait until we got the results back on Wednesday before we shared any news.

Wednesday morning, Repeat the blood work, wait. And wait. Finally the phone call comes in, "We like to see the HCG levels double, and unfortunalty your's have actually decresed from 450 to 350. I'm so sorry, but this is indicative of a loss, 98% of the time. Please continue your PIO and Estrace and we want to see you again on Friday just to make sure your levels aren't going to go back up.

Heartach sets in, that's it. It's over. Not again. Why are we being blessed only to have it taken away again. It feels so cruel and mind numbing...

Friday comes, repeat blood work, and today I get an ultra sound and exam as well. Nothing shows on the ultra sound, which is normal for the levels being so low. But this indicates what is called a chemical pregnancy. I wait for the blood results, they come back, my levels have dropped again from 350 to 198. I am to stop PIO and Estrace and wait for bleeding to begin and I have to continue to go back in to have my HCG levels monitored until they get back to a negitave.

Needless to say, it's been a very up and down week. I think that it would have been much easier to get trhough if IVF just didn't work at all. But the fact that I did get pregnant, and then to find out it's a loss. Not cool. But T and I are doing well. We've spent a lot of time in prayer. We are not exactly sure what happens next, and I don't think we will ever have an answer as to why we are losing this baby. But we do have an appointment with our RE on Tuesday. And hopefully, we will be able to come up with our next steps. Where we go from here...

Again, thank you all so much for all your thoughts and prayers. No words can begin to express how thankful we are for you all, our friends and family. For all your support, for all your love. We would not be able to get through all this with out you.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Husbands Perspective - Part 2

Hey all, sorry it's been a while since an update. T wrote a blog post a few days after the transfer and he decided he wanted me to share his prespective with you again.  I know you are probably all on pins and needles waiting to hear any news. When the time comes, we will share, as for now, we are just still trying to process all the information that was handed to us.

For now, A husband's perspective moment:


1 to Transfer, 9 Frozen

Hello again, it's the husband here, sorry to interrupt your regularly scheduled broadcast but let me do some math first, sorry for the delay in starting this post it is the engineer in me... So we have myself, my wife, 9 frozen potential babies, and 1 potential baby to transfer as part of the IVF cycle. That adds up to a potential family of 12. Number of indoor volleyball players on a court on one team's side is 6, yes thats right the family of 12 could now potentially hold its own volleyball matches in our backyard... We could enter a team into a league as one family team, most leagues have a roster limit of 12. What would the team name be? My favorite team name of all time that I have used for two of my teams in the past, of course the team members didn't like the name, was none other then Train Wreck. Leave it to a guy to compare numbers of kids to a sport, but most people would compare how many kids they would potentailly have to fielding a baseball team, with these kind of numbers I could have two dream volleyball teams.



(our embryo that was transferred)

It is funny that I started with doing math, it is funny because I decided to talk about the fun part of this many kids, and I conviently side stepped the greater issue of money. How on earth would you provide for 10 children and 2 parents? A Child costs on average 799 U.S. Dollars per month, hope you liked my marketing skills to show that 799 looks so much less than 800. So some more math gives us a cost of 10 children at 7990 U.S. Dollars. Thats 95,880 U.S. Dollars a year, and that does not include college costs or costs for me and my wife. I guess having a volleyball team or two is ultimately unaffordable without a TV show... Don't worry I don't have a TV show coming out on TLC known as the Volleyballers...


So now back to reality, based on statistics not all of the frozen embryos will make it through the dethawing process, not all the embryos will be genetically viable past day 5 of development. So even if all 9 of the frozen embryos made it through the thawing process, not all of the embryos will make it through the first tri-mester. If the embryos are all above average, of which they are not, then only about 60% would become babies, that means of the frozen and the one live transfered embryo we would have a potential of a total of 6 children. If our embryos were only at the average and all of the frozen survive thawing only 49 percent will make it threw the first trimester. In our case that would mean 5 children. If we take into account the statistics that address above average thawing of 90 percent survive, so in our case we will assume this is the same as above. By taking the average numbers of 60 percent survival, this would reduce our above average number and at average numbers by one, so that would be 5 and 4 children respectively, and I rounded up in both cases.

 
So what do we do if the statistics are blown out of the water and we end up with a bunch of frozen embryos when we are done having children? Well I believe that life starts at conception, I also do NOT believe in abortion. IVF can not happen without God, Science puts the pieces together but God makes the action happen, ie cells spliting and fertization happen. We had 18 Mature eggs, but only 15 fertilized, why didn't God fertilize those other 3? Of the 15 that fertilized only 10 made it to day 5, why didn't those other 5 make it? Why weren't those genetically viable? Why couldn't God have made them viable? So what to do with the embryos that are still frozen? This is where I believe in helping others by donating those embryos to those couples that can not have children. How do I feel about having biological children on the earth without knowing them you ask? I am perfectly fine with that, for the mother that recieves our embryos with now have the opportunity to be connected to their child by carrying that child, it enables them to have children. In my mind it is their children that God is providing to them by using me and my wife. I will serve others before myself as Jesus did and how we know them by reading the history of them in the Bible. I do know this, if we end up have more then we need, the others that I will hope to donate I will be praying for them and their families daily. My Wife and I will take this process one step at a time and we will pray for guidance for many weeks and months before we decide to stop having more children and then we will pray for what we should do if we still have embryos that are frozen. What would you do in this scenario? Would love to read your responses in the comments. I will read them all and then I will respond to them all in a future blog post.

Monday, June 25, 2012

a beautiful baby.

This afternoon one beautiful blastocyst was transferred. We have 6 to freeze and 3 more they will continue to watch. The other 5 we had stopped growing. I'll be on bed rest until Wednesday.

Thank you everyone for your prayers this far. Continued prayers would be welcomed too! Especially now that we are in the waiting game.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Achieving Embryos

Well, Monday night went well! T did a great job with the trigger shot! I didn't feel a thing until a little later when the muscle became a bit sore. But totally bareable.

(HCG Trigger- had to mix the water solution with the powdered HCG med)

(the left is the 22g needle that everything gets mixed with and the right is the 25g needle that is used for the injection)




 36 hours after that 9pm trigger I returned to the office for the Egg Retrievel. 8:45am sitting in the doctors office, getting my gown on in the back and then walking to the small OR room where the ERs are done. I meet with both the doctor  and the anesthesiologist. The RE, (doctor), told me I had 18 follies. The IV began, and all I can remember was talking about rum with everyone in the room before being knocked out. While I was having my eggs retrieved, T had to go off and do his thing.

I woke up. I vaguely remember what really happened. Apparently I couldn't stop crying. And I do remember the nurse telling me how many eggs were retrieved. I also remember feeling very nausous and dizzy for a while after trying to fully get up. It took me a while, but finally I was able to get dressed and leave. We got home and I fell back asleep.


Yesterday they retrieved 20 eggs. This morning I got the fertilization report. Of the 20 eggs retrieved, 18 of them were mature. They fertilized all 18 and of those 18, 15 took. So, as of this morning we have 15 embryos! I am completly amazed and shocked at this number, especially after our first failed attempt. Tomorrow they just let the embryos incuabte and grow without disturbing them and they check on them again on Saturday and I will recieve another report on how they are doing.

This is what an embryo looks like 24 hours after fertilization!



As of today I am scheduled for ET, (embryo transfer) on Monday, 6/25, at 2pm. :-)

I also would like to talk about the PIO injection. It uses the smae needles as the HCG trigger above. This is a new one for me and it is the only injection I do from here until the beta. If it turns out to be a positive test, I countinue this injection throughout the first trimester. This has probably been the shot I have been lest looking forward to, as the medication is mixed in with sesame seed oil which makes it pretty thick. It's intramuscular too. Well, I started that last night, and I have to say, it was not bad at all and T, once again, did an excellet job! And On top of the PIO injection, I'm back on an antibiotic, estradiol (estrogen), and Medrol. These last few are all pills, thank goodness!

And here are som photos of the PIO:



Monday, June 18, 2012

Tonight's The Night!

That's right folks! Tonight, I, err... Actually T, get's to give me my Trigger shot. This injection is nothing but a bunch of HCG. 10,000 units of it to exact! I am pretty excited about this, I have done this intramuscular injection before. I had to do it in my last IVF cycle that failed to get me to ovulate. But, my wonderful neighbor/friend was able to help us out and administered it for us the last time. This time, it's all on T. (Well, I do have my friend on standby.)

And, all of this means that ER will be on Wednesday morning. I'm scared, nervous, and excited!


(Above: Tonight's Trigger shot out and waiting oto come out of the box and get mixed.)


(above: The only real bruise I got this time and it was the last night. That's from ganirelix)



(Close up to see the pin cuision I've become)

Friday, June 15, 2012

"So, what do those Follies look like?"

Today marks day 8 of Stims. I was in yesterday morning and this moring for monitoring and will be in everyday now until it's time to trigger for my ER. This are moving so smoothly this time and I am just so relived. But, I must say, the side effects are nothing to rave about. Bloat, heartburn, nausea, gas, feeling full, not hungry, tired. The list goes on. But I hope, in the end This will all be worth every gas pain, and all this bloat, and tiredness.

As of this morning, I have 4 dominate follies on my right side, and I hae 10!! dominate on my left side. and each side have a few other's that are there, but a little behind. I haven't gotten my Estrogen levels yet, maybe I'll ask for them tomorrow. I won't be available to talk to the nurse who calls me back later this afternoon. And my linning, it was at almost an 8 this morning. After a small talk with the nurses this morning. I think we all agree that my trigger may most likely happen Monday evening, which would mean I'll have ER on Wednesday and ET on Monday the following week!

My medication has all stayed the same, and I've been making it through with that ganirelix! The trick, ice before the injection, and sometimes after. It helps a bit. But I'm still sore around the injection sight for a few days. But only when I touch it really, and it's somehting you can live with.


Well, here are 2 photos for you today:





(Above is the photo of my right and left ovaries with the folllicles (the black dots are follicles). Below is a photo I took today of the really active left ovary with the follicles. You can see how large my ovaries are getting too.)


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ganirelix Stings like a Bee.

And I'm not kidding. I should have done a little research before I stuck myself with that drug last night. I was not really prepared for this one. I didn't make it this far last time so I didn't know what to expect, I just thought it would be like the others. Follistim Burns a bit, LD HCG, nothing. But Ganirelix. The worst.

To begin with, the needle is pretty dull compared to the others. This I was warned about thankfully by a friend who has done this. However, I didn't fully realize how freaking hard I would have to push to puncture through the skin. And I didn't realize that this shizz burns like no other. I was almost in tears. But thankfully after last nights ordeal, I did some research and got some help from other's who have experienced this and got some recommendations on what I can do to alleviate the pain. With all that in mind. I am NOT lookinf forward to the PIO shots.

Here are some photos from last night:

(Left to right: Follistim, LD HCG, Ganirelix)

(So far not much brusing! But you can see all the tiny prick holes and the bloat, please dont mind the bloat.)

That's all for now. Hopefully tonight will go much better! I didn't have to go in this morning, but I will be back in the office tomorrow to get monitored again. Hopefully things are still moving nicely.

I'd also like to add, this month marks 2 years of trying to have a baby.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Day 5, and the energy is being sucked out of me...

So, today is day 5 of the stiming process for IVF. I had my first monoitoring appointment yesterday and I went in again today. Already, at this point in the process, I think I'm feeling it. Last time, I wasn't tired like this and there also wasn't anything to see at this point. Yesterday I had about 20 small follies. This morning, there were 4 the were mesurable on my right side, and I had 8 that were mesurable on my left side. Still early though, and at any point some of the smaller ones on either side could catch up. I'm still waiting on my afternoon call from the doctor's office to see if they want to change up my meds and when I'll be in again. But most likely, from this point on, I'll be in the office everyday until I'm ready to trigger.

Right now, I'm so scared to admit this, but this is the first time in well over a year that I have been pretty excited for the possibility of becoming pregnant again. With the hopes that this one will stick and I'll be able to have a healthy beautiful child. 

This. is. so. scary. but. so. exciting.

It's nice to have hope once again, it's nice to feel like this could actually happen.

Please pray it does. I know I am.


Update:

I just recieved my afternoon call from the doctor's office. Tonight I add a 3rd injection to the current 2 in my evening round of injects. I begin the ganarelix. This will help prevent permature ovulation of the follies that are growing. You can learn more here. I also actually get tomorrow off from visiting the office, and I go back in on Thursady.  The rest of my medications all stay the same.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Day 2.

So, I'm 2 days into the Stims. I've given myself  5 injections so far. Wow. Not much else is happening. I've been trying to get the last bit of time left that I have in the gym and this weekend I'm doing a lot of house work, mostly the heavy work stuff. I've only got today and tomorrow left before my restrictions begin. I'm not looking forward to that. I know I'm going to miss my workouts and volleyball. But hopefully, it will all be worth it in the end.

There isn't much else to report on. I'm almost done filling my first sharps container. Of course it still has all the stuff in it from the first go around. But still. And I was really sad to have to throw away about 250iu of Follistim because it expired. That stuff is liquid gold. So it hurt a lot to not be able to use it.

Here is my sharps container.



Well, really that's all for today. Hope you all are haveing a great weekend, I better get back to the house work. 

Thursday, June 07, 2012

And we are cleared for take off!

Well, it's been a while. Not much has happened. The only thing exciting, T and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary! It was a very nice day.

So, onto "the search for baby H" news:

I had my baseline ultrasound, blood work appointment this morning for IVF 1.2. Looks like everything is as quiet as a mouse. As it should be. Tomorrow morning I begin to try and give IVF a second chance. Here is the line-up of medications:

500 iu of follistim. This will be 2 injects a day. Once in the morning @ 250 iu and once again at night @250 iu.
20 units of low-dose HCG. This is the same as above. Twice a day. once inthe morning @ 10 units and another 10 in the evening.
Doxycyline
Ganirelix (I didn't make it this far last time, lets hope I make it here this time!)
Trigger HCG
Medrol
Progesterone in Oil
and Estrace

I have my first monitoring appointment Monday morning.
Ready. Set. Here we go...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The month that is lasting a year.

I know I haven't updated in a while. There really isn't much to update on. We've just been stuck here in a waiting period. It already seems like this month should be over, yet we still have over a week left. There is still more than 2 weeks before IVF 1.2 begins. It's been dragging. But I do have to admit, I haven't been anxious like I was before the first try. I was so excited to start, I couldn't wait. Now, I'm just here, taking it day by day. Since my last update I've been wanting to help you understand more about ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology), But I feel like I've already overloaded you with information. But, today, in this post, I'm going to give you the short line-up that I have now. And yes, Just a little bit of more information.

Well, first for the information. The office I go to stirctly does something calle ICsi (pronounced ick-c. Most offices only do this when there is Male-factor infertility. Personally, I always believed this was how it was done with IVF, but generally, it is not something that most office do.

This information is taken right from www.ivf-de.org :

What is ICsi?
ICsi, “Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection” is a technique utilized during In Vitro Fertilization that helps to proactively achieve fertilization through a microscopic manipulation of egg, sperm and embryos. In traditional IVF sperm is mixed with the egg and fertilization occurs naturally. Typically other clinics do not perform ICsi unless there is poor semen analysis for the male partner. At RAD we perform ICsi on a majority of our patients because we believe it develops a cleaner culture system, and results in better fertilization outcomes. ICsi microscopically manipulates the sperm so that fertilization can be achieved when it is not occurring naturally.

My office also trys to stick to something called eSet. Elective Single Embryo Transfer.

What is the benefit of eSET? eSET ,stands for “elective single embryo transfer.” This practice involves transferring a single embryo into the uterus during IVF as opposed to multiple embryos. The greater the number of embryos transferred, the greater the chance for risk of multiples. Multiples can cause health risks for both the mother and baby. Pregnancies that carry more than one child have an increased risk for: Hospitalization prior to full term of pregnancy C-section Pre-mature birth, low birth weight We believe that single embryo transfers result in the safest and most successful pregnancies for our patients.
(www.ivf-de.org)

So there is just a little more education for you on what will be happening in parts of our IVF cycle. As far as our schedule goes here it is:

June 7th - I go in for a Base line ultrasound and we go over the medications again, and I get my actual calendar of events.
June 8th - Stims begin (medication)
June 11th - Ultrasounds begin, I'll be going in just about every morning so they can monitor the growthe of the follicles.
Some where around June 18th I'll have the ER (Egg Retrevial) (If my calulations are correct, I'll know better June 7th)
June 23rd - Should be about the day I have the ET (Embryo Transfer) (this is done usually at 5 days after the retervial at the blastocyst stage of the embryo)
2 weeks after the transfer I go in for a beta test (the blood work) to see if I'm pregnant or not.

From this point, I'd just like to share with you that I'm not sure, whatever happens, if we will be ready to share with our readers here whether the IVF worked or not. We may need sometime to deal with whatever the outcome may be wheter positive or negative. Either outcome will be very emotional. But pleas, understand, that when we are ready to share with the world, you will know. I hope you can understand.

Please, also, if you have any questions about any of this, ask. I'm willing to answer the best I can. Thank you!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Agape


a·ga·pe

2 [ah-gah-pey, ah-guh-pey, ag-uh-] Show IPA
noun, plural a·ga·pae [-pahy, -pahy, -pee] Show IPA, a·ga·pai [-pahy, -pahy] Show IPA for 3.
1.
the love of God or Christ for humankind.
2.
the love of Christians for other persons, corresponding to the love of God for humankind.
3.
unselfish love of one person for another without sexual implications; brotherly love.
4.
love feast ( defs. 1, 2 ) .

Origin:
1600–10; < Greek agápē love
This definition was taken from dictionary.com

And this next definiton comes from www.socalchrysalis.com



What is Agape?

Agape is one of the Greek words translated into English as love. Christian writers have generally described agape as a form of love which is both unconditional and voluntary. Agape has been expounded on by many Christian writers in a specifically Christian context. C. S. Lewis, in his book The Four Loves, used agape to describe what he believed was the highest level of love known to humanity— a selfless love, a love that was passionately committed to the well-being of the other.

Now why am I giving you definitons of Agape. Well, simple becasue this Agape love has been given to my husband and me.

This afternoon I took my dog for the daily walk to the mailbox to get our mail. Much to my surprise we had recived some ACTUAL mail. (you now not junck or bills.) It was a small pacakge from our home state NJ. One of our friends there is a teacher who teaches 3rd grade. She had her class write to us, they each made their own card and expressed care for us and they wanted to help us "feel better" As I read the letter from our friend and then from these children who have never met us, I just began to cry. I felt the love, the care, the support. So simple, yet so beyond meaningful. I'm so thankful for this, this unexpected act of Agape.



Wednesday, May 02, 2012

So, What's Been Going on the Last Week?

Well, not much.

I had talked to my IVF coordinator on Monday. My new cycle had finally started over the weekend after the trigger shot I had taken just 2 weeks, (well a little less than that), before. We talked about the opitions again and DH and I had made a decision to go ahead and go in for an ultrasound and blood work to see how things were looking, with the possibility of beginning a new IVF cycle. Well, I went in yesterday for my appointment and things have already started. I've already got one follie growing and my Estrogen levels had begun to rise already. That means things were progressing on their own and for the best chances we need everything to be quiet.

After that appointment I had called DH to let him know. He had a few questions, wanting to know if we could just try on our own or try IUI. After some talking we both came to the conclusion that we should just stick to the plan orginally intended. As much as we would like for things to happen on their own, or even with something less invasive like IUI, we just decided to give it our best chance with IVF. One of the main resons, it's been 6 months since my surgery and The Endo pain is getting worse again every month. I'd really like to be pregnant before having to go in for surgery again. And IVF give us our best chance of that happening.

So, that's where we are at. I'm on birth control now for the month of May to make sure things stop and stay quiet. And I can only hope this month goes by quickly. I'm sure it won't though. I believe that the June group begins June 8th, So I'll be sure to update as things get closer. And I'm sure there be a few post in between.


Have a great Day!


Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Husband's Perspective - Part 1

I asked my husband if he wouldn't mind sharing his point of view for you while we are still in NIAW. Today is Day 5 and here is his first part of his story. He'd like to do a post every so often to help you all understand what infertility is like from this perspective.

A husband's perspective:

What do I think about all this? Do I fill all of my time up with work? Volleyball? Softball? Computers? Rooting my phone? Watching Movies? Listening to music? I would much prefer to do all of this first prior to dealing with infertility. Running away from the problem sounds great. A lot of people just run away from their problems, why can't I do it too? What is the point of even trying to deal with. I would rather give up. Most people do give up when faced with this disease. Some because of finances, and they just can not afford to go on or try another possible solution to the problem. Some because they just decided that they can not live with this problem and it splits up a couple. I know of one such couple that this disease tore them apart and now they are no longer married because they could just no longer deal with this problem mentally. Now maybe it was the best thing for them not to be together anymore, but that is not for me to judge or determine. The fact that people could run out of money when faced with this disease just to try to have a child makes me sick to my stomach. Insurance covers preventing pregnancy but we can cover getting pregnant? The fact that treatment costs so much is ridiculous. When crazy folks that are smoking and drinking while walking down the street pregnant are aloud to have children, then those that have difficulty having children should be covered to have coverage to help. And while I am rambling on that subject, really how are these people able to have no problem in getting pregnant but me and my wife have lots of problems? Also I do not like that show teen moms on MTV. Can't stand that daysie wastes DVR space for that show... anyway I digress.

So my perspective, I believe that God has put this issue in our marriage to help strengthen it, I believe that we are and will continue to grow closer together as we deal with this mental roller coaster of a disease. My goals so far have been to do the complete opposite of everything above. My goals are to work hard at being a part of this process, to learn about it, to be with my wife through this all, and to not run away. I would like to be with my wife, and after the last few months I feel as though that we are moving closer together. Yes I am still learning and I am not perfect, and I will continue to make mistakes but I am trying my best to make this work. I am in this for the long haul. I believe that we can help others as well as we go through this process and to help others in the future as they go through it, as they have helped us. With Financial help, finding and donating fertility drugs, helping by even providing a car ride to the doctors office, whatever we can do to give back to those and others in the community that have given so much already to us.

So What is God teaching me through all this? What am I going to take away from this? I honestly have no idea. But I do know that God has a reason, what that is, I have no idea. And I have no idea when I am going to learn about it. The only thing I can do is to continue to pray and be patient. Do I think that IVF is going to work? I have faith that God will provide in whatever He decides that He would like to do with both my life and my wife's life. This is only the beginning of this chapter in our lives. Whats next only God knows and He knows that I am listening patiently. I just need to continue to rely on Him. This is it for now, but don't worry I will weigh in from time to time with how I am doing and with what perspective. Until the next time.... God Bless.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Don't Ignore Infertility.

"This week is National Infertility Awareness Week. Infertility is a heart-wrenching, relationship-testing, faith-questioning, life altering experience. Infertility affects 1 in 8 couples of reproductive age, so, chances are, you have a friend or family member who has, is or will have to deal with infertility. For many this is a silent journey, but no one should ever have to face this alone. Show your support this week and keep in mind those individuals who deal with the emotional and financial struggle of infertility every day."



As you all know already, I have shared where our journey to starting our own family has taken us. During this week, I just wanted to help you understand a little more about Infertility and it's effects. I can remember the first few months of trying and how are it was to see negitve test after negitive test. I can remember after we hit the 1 year mark and how much it hurt everytime someone asked me when we were going to start our family or asked why we didn't have any kids yet? Many people don't realize how invasive and hurtful this question really is. I know I didn't until we starting wondering what was going on. I know how hard it is to be the face of loss. I also know how are it is to hear people tell you, "When the time is right for you it will happen", or "God's timing is perfect timing", or "Maybe it's just not in God's plan for you", (Let me tell you, this one hurts the most, this one is like stabbing a wound that has finally just begun to heal, over and over again.), and hearing everyone explain to me that we just aren't doing it right or we need to do this or that. Let me tell. We;ve tried it all. And, I just don't understand how someone can tell us we are doing it wrong. Really, That's just silly.
So, within this week, I just wanted to share with you some facts about Infertility. How it effects the husband. How it effects other family members. And what you can do to help.
This year's NIAW's theme is "Don't Ignore". Don't ingorne that infertility exists. Don't ignore the feelings of loss people how are dealing with this have. Don't ingnore time, this one is big for me. Really, if you are someone who is struggle to get pregnant. Don't wait to reach out for help. Don't ignore the streagth it takes. Infertility is a disease that affects 1 in 8 couples of reproductive age. And those who struggle with it, mostly do so in silence.

Here are a few facts about infertility (curtiousy of Resolve.org)
What is infertility?
Infertility is a disease or condition of the reproductive system often diagnosed after a couple has had one year of unprotected, well-timed intercourse, or if the woman has suffered from multiple miscarriages and the woman is under 35 years of age. If the woman is over 35 years old, it is diagnosed after 6 months of unprotected, well-timed intercourse.

Who gets it?
Infertility is a medical problem. Approximately 30% of infertility is due to a female factor and 30% is due to a male factor. In the balance of the cases, infertility results from problems in both partners or the cause of the infertility cannot be explained.

What are the risk factors?br/> •Weight
•Age
•Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
•Tubal Disease
•Endometriosis
•DES Exposure
•Smoking
•Alcohol

What are the signs and symptoms?
Often there are no signs or symptoms associated with an infertility problem. Listening to your body and getting regular checkups will help to detect a problem. Early detection and treatment of a problem are often critical in achieving successful pregnancy outcomes later.

How is infertility treated?
Medical technology now offers more answers and treatment options to men and women trying to conceive a child. From hormonal treatments, ovulation induction and Intrauterine insemination to more advanced technologies like in vitro fertilization, ICSI to surrogacy, egg/sperm donation and even embryo donation. For more information on treatment of infertility visit the Family Building Options section of our site.

What medications are used?
There are a variety of medications used to treat infertility. It is important to understand the medications and what their purpose is and to speak with your physician about the medications that will be used in your specific treatment plan. Read more about Fertility Medications.

What is artificial insemination?
Artificial insemination is now more commonly referred to as IUI (intrauterine insemination). It is a procedure used for couples with unexplained infertility, minimal male factor infertility, and women with cervical mucus problems. The procedure uses the husband's or donor's sperm, washing and treating the sperm, and then injecting it into the woman during the time of ovulation. Read more about IUI.

What is In Vitro or IVF?
In vitro fertilization (IVF) gets its name from the fact that fertilization occurs outside of the woman's body, in a lab dish instead of a woman's fallopian tubes. Typically, a woman will use ovulation stimulating drugs to produce an excess number of eggs. These eggs are surgically removed from the woman and fertilized in dish with sperm. If fertilization takes place, the physician transfers the embryo(s) into the women's uterus. Read more about IVF.


And, finally, here are some of the "Don't Ignore" Tips from the NIAW website:

Don’t ignore opportunities to talk about infertility. Do you blog? Tweet? Teach a health class? Have a book group? Take advantage of opportunities in your daily life to share information about or bring attention to the cause of infertility.
Don’t ignore legislation affecting infertility patients. Several pending and existing laws encroach upon the rights of the infertile to freely build their families. Help change policy and protect your rights by writing to your representative or attending RESOLVE's Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. on April 25.
Don’t ignore infertility support available. Infertility is a lonely road, but no one has to travel it alone. Join an online infertility forum or local support group to find a warm, welcoming environment.
Don’t ignore people struggling with infertility. Reach out to friends or family members struggling with infertility. Ask how you can best support them in their journey.
Don’t ignore the impact of making a donation. Every cent donated donated helps bring needed programs and services to women and men with infertility. Sign up for the Walk of Hope or create your own fundraising event in your location.
Don’t ignore family building alternatives. You can build your family through many paths. During this week, open your mind to options that you had not previously considered.
Don’t ignore your own strength. If you’re engaged in the fight against infertility, take a moment to recognize your courage and determination, as well as that of the sisters and brothers fighting alongside you.

I know that today's post was long. But I really wanted to take this week to help you help others. In whatever why you can. I wanted to help educate. Most importantly, I Don't want to Ignore, and I Don't want you to Ignore.
Thank you for taking the time to learn and understand, Thank you for taking the time be a support for not only me, but for the others you may know who are facing this silent disease also. Take the time to check out Resolve.org