12 weeks… holding steady

Today, we are officially 12.5 weeks. We decided against the first trimester screening NT scan and bloodwork. With PGS five years ago, we don’t feel we would learn anything from the NT scan and such. Even if we did learn something from it, we aren’t going to change the course. If something operable would be detected, nothing would be done until after our 16 week ultrasound anyway, and they could identify it then. Basically, ultrasounds make me cramp and this one was going to be 45 minutes, I was told….. not interested in that, especially if it doesn’t improve the quality of life for our littlest one.

So, I am trying to remind myself that this is actually happening! This is real! My boss knows and is very excited for us. She knows of our struggle and has great empathy, celebrating our miracle.

Like so many other moms in waiting, I’m having moments of great doubt, feeling very un-pregnant… except for the nausea, exhaustion, and growing belly. I’d forgotten how much it hides by morning then reappears by evening.

Literally, day by day, I struggle with doubt.

My heart is 100% confident that God knows better than us and regardless of the result of this pregnancy, we are all good. He has us in His hands and His plans are always better than ours. So, why does the doubt still squeeze in? It’s my self-defense from our previous loss, failed transfers, cancelled cycles and not-so-happy fertility surprises. I’m praising God I don’t have to do this alone, be this strong alone, and I can rest well with Him.

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10 weeks and all the feelings

Feeling excited, happy, tired, nauseated, grateful, hungry, thirsty, shocked, giddy, denial, sad, happy again and more. The feelings are all so there and yet… there is a numbness. A feeling that I’m making this all up. Feeling that somehow, I have messed this all up. Feeling disconnected.

AND THEN we see this little one. We are here. God brought us through it all.

 

8 weeks 3 days, heartbeat 172!

We still have a little bub brewing! And baby is right on track with our last ultrasound (7 weeks measured 6 weeks 3 days – 9 weeks measured 8 weeks 3 days). Baby wasn’t sitting in a very photogenic position and wasn’t moving much, just swiping around with hands and fingers.

I’ll be honest, I’ve had to repeat to myself that “everything will be fine, no matter how this goes” as I’m having the hardest time believing this is real (even though I’m still experiencing the “comfort” of nausea). ;)

I will have an appointment with my high-risk OB at 10 weeks, so in a week and a half or so. We will have another ultrasound that day and talk about what’s next. Right now, what’s next is the count down for meds. I have 20 more progesterone injections, 5 more estrogen injections, and about 40 more estradiol pills either by mouth or suppository. It will be nice to move on from this part of our lives.

Today, we had our last scheduled appointment at our fertility clinic. We’ve been going there since 2012 and we finally have met the end of our fertility journey. We look forward to joining the clinic on the celebration days now, hopefully, with two IVF babes in arms. <3

 

 

4dp5dt and feeling very “normal”

It’s the first Saturday after our smooth, uneventful Tuesday FET of our final embryo, retrieved and fertilized in March of 2013. I cry just thinking about all the love and prayers sent our way during this final chapter in our IVF story.

Just typing that felt so strange.

Symptoms-wise, really nothing out of the ordinary. I’m out of breath and tired but the progesterone and high estrogen are probably to blame. I had some ache/cramping yesterday and a little the day before, but no twinges or things that I remember feeling before. I don’t really have too much anxiety about any of it actually. Just feeling like it’s another normal day with normal things to do… but then taking a step back on everything so I don’t get stressed. And watching embarrassingly funny movies when I might prefer a good action or suspense movie. And eating lots of beets. Oh, and the shots, shots, shots and more shots. That’s not my normal.

About the shots and protocol, I’m not on prednisone this time like I have been in the past. I am, however, on lovenox through hcg/estrogen rise. And still on baby aspirin. Along with estrace suppositories twice a day, estrogen IM twice a week, and PIO every morning.

Definitely feeling God’s presence through all the prayers for courage and peace in this process. My flipchart this morning even said this, “June 2 – ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.’ Philippians 4:6”

Here is embryo #3 and the flower hair tie Toddler J wanted me to wear to meet #3:

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The pill.

So, while this isn’t big news, we are back on the pill over here. Good news is that I made it through 7 months without ANY medication. No hormones. No pills, patches, injections, ultrasounds, blood draws, nothing. Unfortunately, that changed last week because the duration and strength of my periods were less and less, which is not the way we want things to go if we want to avoid surgery and have any chance at building a lining to transfer our final embryo. Good news, again, is that I DID have a cycle of normal length on a regular basis without any medical assistance.

So, good news and less desirable news, but I’d say I already beat the odds of being in pre-menopause by my mid 30’s (because I’m there, dude). If it weren’t for physician error, I would have a functioning lining in my uterus and have a very good chance of a successful pregnancy. No lawsuit or anger will ever change my circumstances in that concern.

At the moment, the medication plan is to follow the pill for one month, then estradiol by mouth in AM and suppository by PM for 28 days, followed by progesterone pills for 7 days, then, repeat the estradiol/progesterone protocol for 2 more months. So, four months of medication and another evaluation to decide any further course of treatment.

I feel surrounded by babies. My heart still aches to have another. I pray that we will, but I’m also enjoying spoiling Toddler J with all my love and snuggles. He amazes us every day… and challenges us, too.

Our family is experiencing other hardships on his side and mine. We are praying for his father and my brother. Praying for healing that surpasses all expectations.

We ask for your prayers right now, for our family and for our own future. We pray for faith in His will and guidance. We also pray for the knowledge, foresight and wisdom of the medical professionals who provide care for us and our family. I find myself taking my health, strength, sight, etc. for granted every day.

Lord, we are ever so grateful. Help us use these gifts to bring the glory to You. Amen.

Waiting. I really want a HPT.

I’m doing my very best to avoid spending $15-30 on home pregnancy tests. Last time, I had purchased some really super cheap ones way ahead of time, but I didn’t do that this time. So, if I wanted to test, I’d have to pay for the regular priced ones in the store. That seems like a waste. I’m going to have the test done Friday, then the confirmation on Monday, so I really don’t have that much longer to wait. I just really want to SEE on the HPT!

As far as symptoms, I’m bloated, a little nauseous, sometimes crampy/achy, have a gag reflex with veggies again, and want to eat spicy foods, specifically hot wings. Mmm!

Last week, we had our second FET after IVF in 2013 with ICSI and PGD on all embryos. (I could go on with abbreviations, but that’s enough of that)

I have come to accept that there is nothing I can do to make this work.

If this is meant for us right now, we will have a positive test.

My beloved acupuncturist is going on sabbatical next month, so I will have to find my way without her. I will meet with the new person in the position, but we won’t have the history. I’m so happy for the person who has been such a support and strength for me through all of this. She is taking time for herself. She needs this. I don’t know if she will return, but she will always be part of our life.

We might be putting our house on the market. I’m distracting myself from taking a HPT by refinishing cabinets in our bathroom and kitchen, hoping to give new life to those two areas. I’m excited about the prospects of a new home, possibly with a better view, more rooms, a more preferable driveway, or even a shorter commute (approx. 2 hours in the car each day between daycare drop-off, work, daycare pick-up, and home). At the same time, I’m excited about how our house feels right now. I think the cabinets will perk up nicely, then we get to pick our granite – woo! The rest of the things the house needs to be market-ready are general maintenance as it is springtime as well as paint touchups here and there, mostly necessary from the installation of our new windows last summer.

I’m having fun. My hubby is stressing. It’s hard going through this, feeling like it’s all ME, but he’s right there feeling all of it, too.

Just trying to be a good waiter. Waiting on right timing for everything.

FET eve.

Last night, March 13, I took my final Lupron shot in this protocol. It began on February 10, so that seemed like a long time! Some tips I’ve learned about the tummy shots: sit down and lean forward so you can get a good pinch of skin near your belly button; put the needle to your skin, inhale, then as you exhale, insert the needle; let go of the pinch, and push the plunger. I avoided almost all bruising by doing it this way.

Last week, I started my PIO (progesterone in oil) shots and continued my Delestrogen shots – both IM (intramuscular) in the upper, outer quadrant of my backside. I also added one trigger shot (hcg) to my backside and continue the hcg shots a couple more times this week but in my tummy like the Lupron. I don’t mind the ones in the tummy as bad because I can see and have more control of the needle, oh, and they aren’t nearly as deep. BUT, if you have to do the IM shots in your backside, sit down. This is the first time I’ve tried sitting and it works so much better. I think the muscle is maybe more relaxed. No, I do not like the PIO shots.

I was given orders to quit taking Cialis (yay!) and Pentoxy last week, but I will continue the estrogen pills morning and night, adding prednisone morning and night also. The past four days, I’ve taken Medrol – I don’t remember what this one is for at all – but I only take it four days.

Tomorrow is the big day. Another big day to add to all our big days.

I told baby J today that we would get to meet his brother or sister tomorrow and that we would bring home pictures (of our embryo) to show  him. Then, I told him, in about 8 months, we get to meet his brother or sister in person.    !!!

I don’t know if he understood any of it. It doesn’t seem like a normal conversation to have, but maybe, people in our situation have these kinds of conversations with their children. I don’t want to conceal the process as I have nothing to hide. I’m not ashamed. I don’t have guilt about IVF. I’m so honored to have the opportunity to conceive and give birth to my child.

I don’t say much about my faith, but I just can’t wrap my mind around how we got here this time. I understand the science of it. I understand the process. We’ve been through so many obstacles, low AMH diagnosis, MTHFR diagnosis, tried IUIs, IVF, and then one more obstacle: Asherman’s Syndrome. Last year, at this time, I had NO UTERINE CAVITY. It was adhered together, flat like a pancake, growing no endometrium. The surgeries opened and helped clear the scar tissue, but the endometrium was so badly damaged that it wasn’t responding well to hormones. On the ultrasounds, you can see scar tissue deep in the uterine tissue, which obviously causes a problem when it needs to grow a functional layer to slough each month.

But here we are with a 7.2 lining as of last Tuesday. The past two months’ lining didn’t even make it to 6.

Science can only do so much. We know this. We don’t have all the answers.

This is God stuff.

Tomorrow is God stuff.

Science can coordinate all the events, but life begins only with God.

If you could, say a prayer. Pray not for me, but for all of us, that we all find the God stuff. There is enough glory given to the gore and other stuff barraging us all the time.

Let’s give the glory to God.

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