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

 

 

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Beta 44 – now grow baby grow!

Staying the course with all meds. Feeling slightly nauseous, tired, all the normal stuff with all the progesterone and what not. 44 is not very high, but it can grow, so now we’re all praying baby sticks around and that number grows exponentially by Tuesday.

So grateful to get this chance. So grateful to have my little man, J.

J was a rainbow baby for us after our miscarriage. Now, two miscarriages later, we are hoping for a second rainbow baby. I guess that would make a double rainbow in our family. Praying for that double rainbow and believing that God knows best.

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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Modified bed rest day 2!

I don’t remember the bed rest part being this boring. I’ve plenty of books, movies, things to do but I’m just tired of sitting. I’m not good at “being still” for very long. 30 minutes tops, really.

So, day 2 is almost done and my awesome parents have been taking care of everything they can, mostly chasing and entertaining the always busy Toddler J. He gave me a hug the morning of the transfer and said “I love you, brother.” Then, after transfer said, “I can’t wait to see my brother.” I asked him how he knew he was going to have a brother and he said, “I just know.” He then informed me that he wants two, a brother and a sister. Asking for the moon and the sky, too!

The transfer was a breeze. Started my 32 oz water intake 15 minutes early just like in the trial transfer, then took the valium, had acupuncture, and just as we walked out the escalator, our embryologist greeted us and brought us back. Perfect timing. Frosty baby embryo #3 was transferred at 11:33am on May 29. #3 was a day five embryo so our embryologist said implantation typically happens between days 5 and 7, so possibly not even until tomorrow. #3 was hatching out already, so I imagine it would be likely to connect sooner than later, but given my history of scar tissue and FET failures, who knows. Just praying this one is super sticky.

Started lovenox this morning and continuing the baby aspirin, vitamins, progesterone in oil (IM every day), estrace suppository (twice a day), and delestrogen (IM twice a week). I had one more subQ hcg shot this morning with the final one in three days. Baseline pregnancy test is 9 days post transfer (Friday, June 8) with final pregnancy test 12 days post transfer (Monday, June 11). If I have a positive, I’ll go in for another intralipid infusion.

Trying to think positive. As of this moment, I am pregnant!

Decision Day. Lining 7.3!

FET is a go!!

Last week, the ultrasound revealed a triple layer lining at 5.8mm. Today, just five days later, the lining was at 7.3 and our doc felt good about moving forward with the transfer. The human growth hormone was added to my protocol after some new research came out in December of 2017. Maybe it was that. Maybe it was the time off from treatments. Either way, God is in control and whatever happens is for the best. We may not understand it, but He knows better than us.

We trigger tomorrow, then switch to other meds, cutting out the pentoxy, viagra, and vitamin E, adding progesterone every day and hcg shots every couple days for a week. After transfer, I’ll also add lovenox shots. After meeting with my doc today, I did an intralipid infusion. The IV needle is never fun, but it really wasn’t a big deal. The taste of the intralipid is so strange. Why do I taste it when it’s put straight into my blood? Crazy.

Super bloated and craving chocolate. Even had a dream that I ate a deliciously soft, even fluffy chocolate cookie AND a brownie….. with a panic attack soon to follow due to “messing everything up” but then I woke up. Whew. ;) I have the most vivid dreams on IVF meds.

 

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.

Finding balance.

Sometimes, I clean. Almost always, I cook. Rarely, I bake. Often, I am in the moment, enjoying and soaking it in. Sometimes, I fall apart. Many times, I take a deep breath and try again, or walk away. More often now, I’m reading scripture. Always, I love, even if I don’t like the behavior, I love the other human beings trying to do their best like me, even if it’s sometimes, almost always, rarely, or often.

Trying to find a balance between my professional goals and my personal life; fun and the desire for home-made meals, cleanliness, tidy rooms, and a well-behaved and happy toddler; wife and mother and daughter and neighbor and friend.

It’s a first for me since quite a while back. I’m finally able to look for a “normal” balance outside of the IVF realm.

In the midst of IVF, there is no balance. While life is going on outside of treatment (family, professionally, globally), that treatment is all-consuming. Medications. Appointments. Complimentary treatments requiring more appointments to aid the medications or relieve symptoms. More medication: needles and pills and suppositories and supplements and patches and more needles… and more pills.

And the hot/cold highs/lows and crashes.

And the tears. The guilt. The loss.

But the toddler, he is proof that all that stuff can work. He is ridiculously intelligent and challenging and I don’t even care if I only think that because I’m his mom – because I’m his MOM. Something I once thought was quite possibly impossible. I’m so thankful.

 

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