Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Arg! This cycle's a bust!

So close - and yet so far away!
   We went to the clinic this morning for bloodwork and an ultrasound to make sure we were on track for a Jan 3rd transfer.  They did the U/S and the nurse said my lining looked great (8.2mm) - so they taught us how to do the progesterone injections, gave us some last- minute prescriptions (valium, antibiotic,etc.) and our instructions for the procedure on Monday and sent us on our way.  We were so excited - I called my Asst. Principal to ensure that I'd have a substitute on monday (I'd already written sub plans) and we called our parents so they could be praying b/c Monday was the big day....

     A few hours later, the nurse called back with some "bad news."  My progesterone level was way too high; I must have ovulated so we'd have to cancel this cycle.  Apparently, they started me on a lower dose of Estrace b/c they were stretching it out over the holiday - and that dose was too low to suppress my ovaries.  She didn't want to take the risk of "wasting" the embryos; we canceled the cycle and I'll start over.  Now I have to stop all my meds, wait for my period to start and then we'll begin again, with a higher dose of Estrace this time.  I am SO disappointed.  I was so excited; we were moving forward - we were 5 days away from embryo transfer!  I felt like I was so close - and now I feel like it's so far away: like it'll never happen.

    I need to get some perspective here.  First of all, as far as "bad news" I could have gotten from a doctor, this is no big deal.  I'm okay.  M's okay (my husband.)  The embryos are ok.  (They've been frozen 10 years; another month is nothing!)  I'm actually grateful that the nurse views these embryos as precious life that shouldn't be wasted.  Even if this doesn't work, I want to be able to look back and say that I gave these 'snowflake babies' the best possible chance at life.  We've lost nothing - just a little time.  I haven't had any bad side effects from the meds either; just a little more difficulty keeping my emotions in check.  (It's like I've had PMS for 2 weeks straight.)  Really, losing a month is such a small part of the big picture.  We started 'trying' 20 months ago - what's another month?
       But yet, I'm so disappointed.  If I knew a month ago that we'd have to wait, it would have been okay - but it's much harder now that we've started the process.  I've taken meds, endured ultrasounds and bloodwork, and most of all: gotten my hopes up.  I was at an all-time high in hopefulness when they said we were good to go this morning.  Proverbs says "hope deferred makes the heart sick" - and that's exactly how I feel.  My hopes are deferred. Not dashed.  Not shattered.  Just deferred- and I'm sad about it.

   I think I finally have to tell my principals what's going on.  I don't really want to let them in on this personal piece of my life, but the last minute changes in substitute needs is probably getting old.  (This is the second time I've called in for a sub and then my appt was cancelled.)  My assistant principal is great; he'll be understanding and compassionate.  At the end of the month, though, the sub calls go to the principal instead - she's not so great.  She'll find some way to hold it against me.  I guess I don't have to tell her right away. 

    Now I'm just waiting for my period to show up. Yuck.  They told me that I should stop my meds today and my period will come in a week or two.  (So now I have to be prepared at every moment for that  Who would have thought I'd be so eager to have my period????

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What? ...... Why now?

So, we got an interesting phone call yesterday – from Bethany
Christian Services.  Months ago, before we began our embryo adoption
journey, we met with a social worker from Bethany to begin the process
of adopting an infant.  At that time, our Bethany branch wasn’t taking
new applications for adoptive couples.  (They only keep ~ 50 families on
file b/c they place ~50 babies a year.)  She told us she would call when
we had openings – probably in about 8 months.  It was partly the
discouragement that we couldn’t even begin the adoption process for
another 8 months that led us to do more research and consider embryo
adoption.  We are convinced that EA is the path God has chosen for us to
walk down.
       But then, Bethany called yesterday.  Why yesterday?  The social
worker told us that they need more families willing to adopt bi-racial
children.  We are actually excited about the possibility of bi-racial
kids.  In fact, M was a bit disappointed that our embryos are fully
Caucasian.  We are planning on adopting internationally or trans-racial
domestic at some point in the future.  But why now?  What is God up to?
   I don’t get the timing.  If they called last month, we probably
would have pursued that instead of praying for embryos.  If they called
next month, we’d know whether this FET (embryo transfer) worked.  But
yesterday?  I can’t understand God’s timing.  And I don’t know
what to tell the social worker.  If we say “not now,” we’ll go
back to the bottom of the waiting list.  If we start that process,
there’s a chance we could be chosen to adopt a child while I’m
pregnant with another adopted child, or shortly thereafter.  Or the
embryos won’t stick and we’ll be glad we started the infant adoption
process.  Or… Or…. I just don’t get it.  Why is God opening this door
right now?
       Then there’s the money issue.  We used all of our savings for
the embryo adoption – we have no money to start an infant adoption.
Infant adoption will cost ~$25,000.  If EA works for us, it’ll be a
much more cost effective way to build a family.  Of course, the concept
of embryo adoption is really cool to us; we’re giving life (we hope)
to babies that would otherwise be thrown away.  With infant adoption,
there is always another couple wanting the child.  It seemed so clear to
us that God was leading us to down THIS road.  So, why now is the door
to infant adoption open?  I just don’t get it.  What is God doing?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

And so it begins!

I'm officially *in* my cycle!  We're starting - we're doing something.  I could be pregnant a month from now.  It's so exciting.  After nearly 2 years of waiting, it all seems to be happening so fast!
    I got my period last weekend, so we called them and made an appt for monday morning.  On Monday, there was some confusion as one nurse (on the phone) said "it's too late to start now, we'll put you on birth control to stall your cycle for 2 weeks" but the nurse we actually saw said "never mind her, we'll make this work."  She was super great; I liked her.  In fact, I like everyone at our clinic: the receptionists, the nurses, the insurance specialist even, everyone has been so nice and so helpful.  You would have no idea that they deal with hormonal women everyday!
     So, I started Estrace last Tuesday and today the rest of my medicines arrived.  I was worried about ruining my Christmas season with hormones and medication, but it's not bad at all.  All I'm doing now is taking the Estrace, pre-natal vitamins and baby aspirin until after Christmas.  (I had to get new pre-natals vitamins; I had thrown a nearly-full bottle away in frustration and anger when we learned M's diagnosis.)  I've been told that the Estrace makes people crazy and emotional.  I've only been on it 6 days, but so far - I'm doing okay.  I think that's b/c I'm on the lookout for hyper-emotionalism.  As soon as I feel myself getting upset or emotional, I stop and remind myself that it's just the drugs and that I have to pull myself together.  It might get worse as I'm on it longer, but so far, I'm doing well.  I'd like to think I can keep my emotions under control, but I'm likely just fooling myself.
       I'm on the Estrace longer than usual; they are 'dragging it out' a bit b/c the Dr is away for Christmas.  I'll go back on the 29th to check my lining, do more bloodwork and then we'll start progesterone.  Originally, she was only going to prescribe Crinone, so I asked her if that's the best option.  She said "well, IM is best, but most people don't like to do the injections."  I told her I wanted to do whatever it takes to give this the best possible chance of working.  So, now she's giving me a combination of Crinone and Progesterone-in-oil (PIO.)  I might regret opening my mouth later, when I'm actually taking the shots, but I don't want to get a BFN (negative pregnancy test) and look back saying "I wish I had done ____."  Anyway, our tentative transfer date is Jan 3rd.  (I love having a date on the calendar!)
    Another very cool thing:  my insurance covers most of my medications!!!  I didn't expect that.  I paid ~$75 so far, and all my meds were delivered to my house.  The Crinone isn't covered ($400), so the insurance specialist at the clinic has some samples for me - we may have to pay some of that, but she's cutting down the cost significantly. 
     We have been so blessed every step of the way.  God really is providing for us as we walk down this road.  The FET cost we had to pay when we recieved our embryos was EXACTLY the amount we had saved.  The insurance is covering most of the meds.  The timing is working out beautifully.  I'm afraid to be too optimistic, but it does seem that perhaps God has special plans to give these embryos life.  I wonder what these children will do for the Kingdom!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Moving Forward... already

   It looks like we'll be moving forward much sooner than I thought.  I figured we'd probably be looking at a January transfer cycle, at the earliest, but when we talked to the clinic last week, they were in favor of us starting right away.  So now we're just waiting for my period to start - which should be tomorrow.  Tomorrow!!  Technically, we could start our cycle tomorrow.  Wow - that's happening fast.  (Not sure I wanted everyone in real life to know when my period is, lol.) 
   I don't think I've been this eager in nearly 2 years to see my period start.  When it does, we'll call the office for an appointment in the next day or 2.  (I have sub plans all ready for Monday, but if our appt ends up being Tuesday, I'll have to go write new plans.  I don't like this unpredictability.)  I'm very eager to have that appointment so I'll know what to expect in the coming months.  I've read so many EA stories, and everyone's medication protocol is different.  I'm eager to see what mine will be.  I like to know stuff - see the big picture, plan ahead and be prepared.  I'm a perfectionist.  God is slowly pointing out the sin in my perfectionistic tendencies - in my need for control, I often fail to submit to God's control. Perhaps this is just another lesson in letting go.
      On a different note, I'm a little hesitant about doing this all through the Christmas season.  I was hoping for a relaxing, fun, happy Christmas season.  Instead, I'm going to be amped up on fertility meds; from what I've been told, I'll be an emotional mess.  And I'll be anxious about the whole process.  (This is really my first fertility treatment; I'm so not looking forward to the actual procedure.)  My mom and sister are coming to visit this year and we have a big celebration with M's family too.  I don't want to ruin that time by being emotional and anxious. 
       But on the other hand, we're actually doing this!  I'm so grateful for God's blessings.  We know that He knows who are children will be and how He'll use them for the Kingdom.  Perhaps (hopefully) these little almost-discarded frozen babies will be those children!