Sunday, January 30, 2011

My new favorite number....

... so my new favorite number is 52.  Though I'm hoping that tomorrow, I'll have an even newer, more favorite number that is at least DOUBLE that.  That's all I'm saying right now.
(If you comment, please be vague.)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Waiting, waiting, waiting

Waiting does funny things to your mind.  It’s only been a week
since transfer, but I’ve run the full gamut of emotions.  Sometimes
I’m hopeful; I start thinking that maybe I really am pregnant.  But
that seems too good to be true.  Then I think I’m probably not
pregnant – and I try to imagine how I’ll deal with that news.  But
when people ask about summer plans (i.e. “are you going to work as a
raft guide this summer?”) I answer as if I’m not pregnant, but
secretly hoping that my answer isn’t accurate.
       I’m so afraid of it getting a negative test.  First of all,
there’s the disappointment.  Then, there’s all the money we’ve
wasted.  Most of all, what about all the people waiting to hear the
news.  It’ll be like I’m letting them down.  So many people think
it’s great that we’ve adopted embryos and they’re counting on the
test to be positive.  A lot of people have faith that this will work and
I’ll be pregnant.  I don’t want to be responsible for shattering
their faith.  I don’t think I can bear sharing the news if it’s
negative.  I’ll wonder if I did something wrong.  (i.e. should I have
taken the PIO shot at the exact same time everyday?)  And where will we
go from here?  We don’t have other embryos.  Our clinic doesn’t have
embryos.  We’ll be starting all over.
       I know I shouldn’t be thinking like that, but I think I tend
to react to optimism (everyone else’s) with a dose of pessimism (mine)
so balance it all out and be realistic.  I think the scariest thing is
that, in a week, this whole journey could be over.  We started
considering EA months and months ago.  We’ve had the embryos since
November.  We’ve been carrying this hope for so long – I’m not
sure I’m ready for it to end.  Yesterday, I was defeated and
frustrated and my rear end is sore and I just wanted to quit – but
that was temporary.  In reality, I don’t want this journey to end.  I
think I’d rather stay in the 2WW forever, rather than face potentially
bad news.
       I don’t know why I’m so negative.  I’m not usually a
negative person.  (Realistic, yes – negative, no.)  I think I’m just
preparing myself for disappointment so that I’ll be pleasantly
surprised if we are successful.  In the meantime, I just keep waiting.
There's enough other stuff going on in my life right now to keep me
distracted from the wait.  Imagine how much I'd overthink if I had more
time!  In the meantime, I need to choose hope over fear.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Today, I'm carrying triplets!

   I think I'm still in shock.  M and I have been trying to start a family for nearly 2 years now, and today - I know for sure that there are 3 little embryos in my uterus.  They are really there - I saw them myself on the ultrasound.  (Well, I saw a little white blob of culture medium with the embryos in it - but they're in there.)  It's such a cool feeling!
    The transfer itself wasn't as smooth as I'd hoped, but the end result is that the embryos are where they're supposed to be.  I was told not to empty my bladder for 1/2 hour before the appt.  We stopped at a McD's about 45 min from the clinic so I could pee one last time.  I was afraid of it being too empty, because I've head of other women who have had to have their bladders filled with a catheter b/c it wasn't full enough and I did not want that.  We got to the clinic, and I already had to go again, so by the time they drew blood, got M and I all dressed in our surgical gear, discussed our embryos, etc - my tiny bladder was really full.  (Funny side note, the booties didn't fit over M's feet, so he had to wear the surgical caps over his shoes - lol!)   Anyway, my bladder was so full that it made it difficult for the doctor to see my uterus.  Then he couldn't get the catheter where he wanted it.  It's rather unsettling to look down and see the doc between your legs with his eyebrows furrowed in frustration.  He ended up taking it all out, using an internal ultrasound, and starting over, but he finally got the embryos right where he wanted them.  M took a picture of the ultrasound screen with the little blob on it.
     We also have a great pic of our embabies too.  The doctor said that one looks particularly strong, but the other 2 look good too.  He wanted to make sure we were aware that triplets were a possibility (a 2% possibility.)  We assured him that we knew the risks, but were choosing to err on the side of multiples as opposed to transferring 1 or 2 and not having it work.

      We came home and I went to bed for a few hours; the valium must have worn me out.  When I got up, M had cleaned up the living room, built a fire and was starting dinner.  I laid around on the couch all day while he made me Shrimp Scampi over pasta.  It was so good!  I have an amazing husband.  I'm so blessed.
     I took tomorrow off from school tomorrow - I didn't want to be stressing over 7th graders the day after the transfer.  I plan on laying around all day tomorrow too.  I had big plans for getting some reading done while I'm laying around, but I haven't done anything yet.  I need to let that go and work on relaxing.  That's the doctor's order: to relax! 
     So, I guess we'll know in a two weeks if we're successful.  Until then, I'm "pregnant until proven otherwise!!!"

To my children

My dear embryonic children,
    I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.   (Phil 1:3-6)

     Today is your big day!  After 10 years of being ‘in limbo’ – being frozen in a tank – today, you have the opportunity to live and fulfill your purpose in sharing the gospel.  It’s sad for me to think that, in giving you a chance to live, I’m also giving you a chance to die.  You each have a purpose, and one or more of you may have already completed your purpose and will have the unique privilege of going on to Glory without ever being lost here on earth.  Each of you have already partnered in sharing the gospel as we’ve talked about you, shared our hopes for you and placed our trust in God for your lives as well as ours.  You have provided us hope and increased our faith.  A community of believers is strengthened by your very existence.  Together, we model God’s love: you are adopted into our family, just as all believers are adopted into God’s family.  You are an incredible reminder to me that you can be used of God just by being  His child.  You don’t have to do anything, you just have to be who He created you to be.  What a great lesson you’ve shared.
            Of course, I hope that God has big plans for you here on earth.  It would seem that He does – He has gone ahead of us and worked every step of this adoption out.  We are humbled that God has chosen us to be your parents – to carry you, deliver you, and raise you to be the men and/or women that He designed.  10 years ago, you were created for ‘such a time as this.’  So, settle in.  Get comfy.  Plan on sticking around for the next nine months.  I promise to make your new home the best environment that I possibly can for you.  And know, as we do,  that whatever happens, God will carry out this good work He’s begun in you.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

New Transfer Date!!

       We have a date!  At our appointment yesterday, the nurse said everything looked good and scheduled my Embryo transfer for this coming Wednesday (1/19)!  I am so excited and nervous at the same time! My uterine lining was 7.5 or 8.4 (why are the measurements so different?) - I think that's on the lower end of the 'good' range, but the nurse was confident that it's fine.  I wonder if it will continue to thicken as I'm on the Estrace for a while still.  My bloodwork looked good this time, so we're all set!  Wednesday is the big day!  I'm so excited to have it on the calendar, but I'm still nervous and anxious about the procedure.  I tried to convince M that I need a 'fertility massage' at the spa next door to the clinic, but there's no way to make that work logistically.  Oh well, it was worth a try!
     I started the progesterone today, too.  I'm using both Crinone (vaginal gel) and Progesterone-in-oil (PIO - injections.)  M gave me my first shot today.  He feels like doing this for me is one way he can be involved in getting me pregnant.  He was really nervous about it, but was trying not to let it show.  (He made all kinds of jokes about looking forward to 'shooting me in the butt,' but really - he was afraid of hurting me.)  I got the syringe all ready and handed it to him; he stared for a minute before asking "how far does this go in?"  (The needle is long and it goes all the way in - lol.)  He was a trouper though - he did a great job!  I think it was much more difficult for him than for me - needles are no big deal for me.  He'll be more relaxed now, I think, after seeing that the injection doesn't really inflict pain on me.  Well, the needle doesn't - my muscle is sore now, but I'll get used to it.  I swim a few mornings a week - perhaps if I increase to everyday, using those butt muscles to swim will help disperse the oil and minimize the ache.  We'll see.  (It means I leave the house at 5:30am - I don't know if committed enough to do that everyday.)
    So, keep us in your prayers - especially Wednesday morning!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I hate uncertainty!

     So far things have been going really well this cycle.  I'm on the Estrace 3x a day - and I haven't had any side effects.  I don't even think I'm extra-emotional or irritable.  (Of course, my husband might disagree - lol.)  But really, I haven't had that whole "I'm-so-frustrated-for-no-good-reason-and-I-can't-control-my-emotions" feeling.  (That happened just once last time - and it always happens right before I get my period.  I hate giving in to emotions!)  This part of the protocol has been really easy  - as long as I remember that middle pill each day!
     I go back Friday for a lining check and blood work.  Then they'll schedule my transfer.  (I'll also start the progesterone shots then; that part of the protocol may not be so easy - we didn't get that far last time.)  But really, I'm just eager to know which day my transfer will be.  I'm a planner.  And I'm a teacher - which makes planning really important.  I keep switching my lesson plans around to accommodate my appointments in an effort to leave sub-friendly plans.  (Last time, I had a retired Science teacher for a sub - who loves teaching genetics as much as I do - so he got my class way off topic and didn't make it through my plans.  I'm OK with that, I'm just sad I missed the off-topic conversation.  I swear, I just say the words "sperm and egg" and the random questions come flying.  But, they are 12 - who else can ask and get legitimate answers?  I actually love this part of my job.)
   Ok, speaking of off topic conversations....   .... my point was that I'm trying to plan around my transfer day so I have an easy lesson for the sub - but I don't know what day that'll be yet.  I just want to know!  On another note:  how much and how long did you EA ladies rest after your embryo transfer?   My clinic just says "take it easy" for the rest of the day.  I think I'd like to lay around horizontally for the rest of the day and perhaps the next day too.  Is that reasonable, or unnecessary?  The nurse said I could go back to exercising right away - I can even do Zumba if I keep it low impact for a while.  (I do NOT plan on doing that, for the record.)  Does anyone have advice?
   I'll post again Friday, when I know my transfer date.  I'm so eager to find out - partly because it's just so exciting - and partly b/c I had the uncertainly of not knowing my schedule! 

Friday, January 7, 2011

Starting Over - already

     Wow - that came fast!  Just 2 weeks ago, I found out my FET cycle was cancelled and already, we're in attempt #2.  The time just flew by - I guess I was thinking about how it would be next month, but really, it was just the rest of the month I had to wait out before starting again.  Maybe it was due to Christmas vacation or the craziness of going back to work with squirrel-y 7th graders that made it all go so fast.  Whatever the cause, I was shocked yesterday when AF ("aunt flow" - aka, my period) showed up.  I guess I knew it would be sometime around this weekend, but still - it came so fast.  I guess after TTC (trying to conceive) for 15 months, a few weeks' wait seem practically negligible.
      So, here we go.  Yesterday, AF showed up.  We called the clinic this morning and then we each had to scramble to leave work early to get to the clinic (over an hour away) before they closed.  We did the baseline stuff (B/W and U/S) again, got instructions to start Estrace tomorrow and... we're off.  This time they put me on Estrace 3x a day - which is their normal protocol.  Last time, they started with a lower dose to stretch the cycle out but it wasn't enough to prevent ovulation.  The nurses assured me that this time would be different.  AND, they are going to monitor me more frequently.  I go back in 7 days for another U/S and B/W.  They'll tentatively set a transfer date at that time.  I'm so excited to be starting again - moving forward - making progress - it feels so productive!

      On another note, I ended up talking to both of my administrators about our infertility.  The assistant principal was super compassionate, as I'd thought he'd be.  He said he knows what that's like; he and his wife had some fertility struggles, but they are on the other side of it now.  (She's due any day now.)   Then today, I had to tell my principal too.  A last-minute doctor's appointment on a Friday afternoon is not the most believable scenario.  So I told her we were having 'fertility issues' and that meant that I'd need subs often in the next few weeks, even last minute occasionally.  I explained that sometimes, I'd ask for a sub in advance and then not need it, as in the cancelled 'procedure' over break.  (I didn't go into EA or any specific details.)  Surprisingly, she was GREAT.  She was understanding, and happy for us that we're trying to start our family and sorry for us that it's not working out yet.  She's willing to be flexible as things come up and told me I can text her anytime to request/cancel substitutes.  Really, I was surprised.  I thought she'd put on her 'supportive face' and then remind me that education of our students comes first.  But she didn't.  She really was genuinely supportive.  So that's a relief.  I don't need to be apprehensive about taking time off in the coming weeks.
   So - YAY - our cycle has begin.  This should be THE cycle.  About a month from now, I could know if any of those frozen, microscopic humans are the children that God intended for us.  I am continually amazed at how God goes ahead of us and prepares a path for us.  Even with last month's 'setback' - this process has been nothing but smooth and peaceful.  Thank you, God, for your Providence!