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.

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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.

 

Good night, sweet prince.

Our first beta on Friday was 7 and that number fell even further to 3 today. I knew it was coming, because a 7 at 11 days past a 5 day transfer is not a good number.

Estrogen is sky high 2000+ and progesterone is over 100. The crash will be fierce.

I did absolutely everything I could do. Prayer. Prayer warriors. Acupuncture twice a week for 6 weeks prior. Blood-building diet. Bone broth. High protein diet. 2-day bedrest. Acupuncture on site before and after transfer. Didn’t lift anything over 10 lbs. Barely used any stairs. Watched funny movies. Ate pineapple core for 5 days after transfer. Took Lupron, Cialis, Pentoxifylline, intralipids IV drip, low dose aspirin, extra vitamin E, food-based prenatal, extra methylated B vitamins, extra vitamin D, estrogen suppositories and injections, progesterone injections, HCG injections, no exercise, no caffeine, no chocolate, no coffee, no dairy, no sugar, no alcohol, no gluten, organic as much as possible, and still… no success.

I cannot take this burden on myself. I did everything there was to do. Now I pray for peace that only God can provide – that which passes all understanding.

But tonight, I say good night to our baby boy, our prince. We will meet you again one day.

Surgery #5

Yep. Fifth surgery on this tough mudder of a uterus.

I get so frustrated that she isn’t doing what she should but she has been through a lot and she keeps trying. She has survived the worst of scars and, according to my doc, looks pretty good. He removed one patch of scar tissue and a few nodules, but she looked pretty good. He even wonders if there was some embryo issue (even though we had PGD, it could’ve been something else, not chromosomal) and if the failure really wasn’t to blame on the lining… who knows.

What I do know is that he said, “this is your last surgery. I don’t want to do another surgery because it looks good.” So, I’m going to take that and run with it.

We look good.

We are going to heal well through healthy movement, great food, happy times, and reduced stress. We are doing everything we can to build a safe, healthy home for our next embryo to grow strong. We look forward to bringing another brilliant, independent child into this world to love and cherish.

I started estrogen injections and suppositories this morning. Here we go… again!

If you knew what was in store for you…

you would laugh instead of cry.

This was the message loud and clear this morning. As I was working on a project, I  emptied my thoughts to God. I asked him questions that have been troubling me lately and He responded.

But he didn’t respond with a verse from the Bible, instead, I strongly felt a reference to a show my hubby and I have been watching on and off for a while now. In this show, one brother comes to power while the other brother is on the sidelines, watching. The second brother endures some really rough circumstances and goes to a “see-er” who tells him the message I received today. The words were a little different. I believe he was told that he would “dance naked on the beach.” Well, here’s to dancing!

Yes, I’m struggling with this.

I cannot pretend to understand why some people are so blessed with children, in quick succession, to multiple partners, with no honor to marriage while other committed couples cannot even become pregnant with the help of very skilled scientists and surgeons.

I cannot pretend I’m not hurt or angry about being denied another baby with our most recent FET failure.

The message this morning was so strong, but I can’t seem to find a specific scriptural reference.

I’m doing my best to empty myself, giving God the opportunity to speak to me, provide peace, and strength as we move forward. I’m doing my best to pour my heart out whenever I can so He can fill it the way He desires.

We have another surgery on the books for later this month. A couple months of hormone therapy will follow. With out next FET after recovery, the plan is to trade the prednisone for intralipids and add low dose lovenox. I’ll have some more learning to do as I’ve not experienced either of those treatments before.

I’m trusting HIM that HE knows better than I and that HE will guide us through whatever life sends our way. Thinking of you all and sending you our love.

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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