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


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.