Friday, November 15, 2013

A little worried....


It’s been a rough few weeks.  Just like last time, the “morning” sickness is kicking my tail.  I’m so happy to be pregnant and I’m so thrilled to be having this child… … … but I wish I could bypass the sickness part.  As Micah gave me my PIO shot this morning, I told him “I would take these shots every day for the entire pregnancy if I could just not be sick – can’t I trade?”  It’s just not fair – after everything we go through to have a child, couldn’t we have easy pregnancies?  
OK – enough whining!  Things seem to be going well.  I’m a little worried about our last ultrasound though.  A week ago, the baby was measuring a little ahead at 6w6d.  (I was 6w4d)  This week, the baby was measuring 7w0d (at 7w4d).  The nurse that did that measuring wasn’t concerned about this week’s measurement.  She said these machines could be off of several days to a week.  And she was able to measure the heartbeat at a healthy 166bpm.  She said all is well.
But when I got home, I started looking at the numbers.  Last week the baby was 9.1mm and this week it was 9.9mm.  She MUST have measured wrong, right?  Did my baby really only grow .9mm??  It’s supposed to grow that much every day, not every week!  Yet, I don’t think baby stopped growing.  There was definitely a strong heartbeat – and the blob looks  bigger this week.  I’m hoping it was just a mistake.  I’m trying to not stress – the nurse wasn’t worried.  But then again, a different person does the ultrasound every week – so maybe she didn’t realize there was little growth.  Micah’s not worried because the nurse said it was ok.  And I’m still really sick – getting worse – so that has  to mean that everything is progressing, right?  I’m trying to be positive.  I can’t believe that God would bring us this far to have the pregnancy fail……

On another note – part of my sickness is due to sinus issues – I’m super stuffed up and there’s a ton of (TMI alert) post-nasal drip that I keep swallowing.  I’m sure that’s contributing to the ‘gonna-puke-any-minute’ feeling.  I keep thinking it’s going to get better, but it’s not.  I’m wondering if it’s time to go to the doctor and get an antibiotic.  (I don’t have an OB yet, so it’d be from Urgent Care.)  I’m a little afraid b/c it’s so early in the pregnancy.  I really don’t want to take drugs that could potentially affect my baby.  But I also don’t know if this infection will take care of itself.  I’m so torn…..

So, that’s my update.  Thanks for keeping us in your prayers!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Yup, still pregnant


   After so many failures and losses, I have trouble believing that this pregnancy is for real. I'm waiting for something bad to happen, so I'm over analyzing every little thing.  My progesterone level was only 20 last week (it was 40 earlier).  20 is still totally normal, the nurse wasn't even slightly concerned - but it freaked me out.  And the gestational sac was smaller than it was with Leah - so of course I "researched" (i.e. read stuff online)  and discovered that it's the bottom end of normal for this point.  So - that means normal.  But yet, I worry.  Why am I such a worrywart?  I don't want to be that person!

     I don't know how I can even doubt my pregnancy with the awful morning sickness I've been having.  With Leah, I got really sick; I could barely function, even with Zofran around the clock - up until week 17.  I was in the ER twice (b/c I was trying to not take so much Zofran) due to severe dehydration b/c I couldn't keep water down.  I was really hoping this pregnancy would be different.  But... ... not so much.
I'm just barely 6 weeks now - and while I haven't thrown up, I'm nauseous ALL the time.  I'm eating crackers every hour it seems b/c it keeps me from puking.  I'm already unbuttoning my pants and looking forward to wearing maternity pants.  I remember this from last time too.  My pants pressing against my abdomen made me feel more nauseous.  

But you know what?  I wouldn't trade it for the world.  I am SO grateful to be pregnant.  All this sickness just reminds me that there's a little life growing inside of me - and I'm so thankful for this miracle.
Here's a pic of our little one:  (well, the sac the little one will grow in)


I have another ultrasound next week - hopefully we'll see the little heartbeat along with the fetal pole and yolk sac.  And hopefully, I will be able to rest assured that God really is gifting us with a second miracle!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I'm really pregnant!!!

    This is really happening!!  After getting two pink lines on Friday, I had my blood draw and the beta number came back at 158.  That's even stronger than Leah's beta was.  I know I shouldn't compare pregnancies, but after our dragged out miscarriage a while back, I'm just happy to have such a high number.  The second draw was yesterday and came back at 738!!!  So, yeah - I'm pregnant.  And my progesterone was around 40 both times, which is a relief too.  
   We told both of our parents yesterday, which was so much fun.  I'm making a Shutterfly book of Leah's second year and I've been showing my MIL the book as I've worked on it.  (We made a video of her 1st year, but now I want to go back and make a book for that year too.  And a book of her embryo adoption story.  I'm a bit behind.....)  Anyway,  I added a page that says that "Leah will become a big sister in June."  She and my FIL were looking at the book and when they got to that page, they just stared at it for the longest time before asking "is this for real?"  Yep - it's for real.
   My mom came up to visit last night as well and we had a "big sister in training" T-shirt on Leah.  She was equally as shocked.  We told the siblings today  - and that's it for a while.  I'm not ready to tell the world yet.  It's still so early - though I have to believe that God will complete this miracle and bless us with this baby.  (or babies, we don't know yet.)
   I have my first ultrasound scheduled next week, so I'm excited to see a nice dark blob on the grey screen!  I might have to pee on a stick again between now and then, just to make sure I'm still pregnant.  It seems so far away....

Thank you again for all of your prayers!

Friday, October 18, 2013

So THIS is what that's like.....

You know, when you pee on a stick and see TWO PINK LINES!!!!!
In 4 1/2 years of trying to have children, this has never happened to us. Until today!!!!
(Well, we tested after the + beta with Leah but that doesn't count.)

Yes, ladies- I am pregnant. It didn't even take the full 3 min and I didn't have to squint to see the line. It is 9dp5dt after all.  Today is my beta. I'm actually sitting in the hospital waiting room now- at 6am- for my blood draw.  I'll go down to the Fertilty Clinic in Syracuse for beta #2 - mostly so I can celebrate with the staff.

We haven't told anybody in real life. We're dreaming up plans for that- were hoping to surprise our family since we didn't tell most of them about this cycle.

Today, the secret is between Micah and I (and now you.)  I know that so much could still go wrong. But today, we rejoice in God's gift of life!!!  Thank you all for your prayers.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

When to test.....


   Waiting is hard.  You've all been there!  I recently read through my blog entries from our first transfer with Leah – and I have this same sentiment:  as difficult as it is to wait, it’s easier than getting a BFN and having this all be over.  We prayed so much for these embryos – like all the others, we believe they are a miraculous gift.  If this cycle is negative, we have nothing:  no more money, no more embryos.  Of course, we’re praying that THIS is the time we get our BFP. 
     So, on the subject of BFPs… … … I’m not sure when to test. With Leah, we didn’t test until after the positive beta.  With the others, we tested early and got all negatives.  I’m not sure seeing a negative HPT is any better than just waiting it out. The difference is that this time, Micah and I won’t be together when the clinic calls with the results.  We used to both take the day off and travel to Syracuse and then spend the day together waiting for the phone call.  But we really don’t have the time for that.  I’m going to do the blood test at our local hospital at 6am before I go to work.  And then be working when they call.  And then play phone tag.  Sounds exciting, no?
    The beta is this Friday (9dp5dt.)  I’ll likely test that morning just so when know what to expect when they call.  But… … today is 6dp5dt – I could  potentially get a positive result today – or tomorrow.  I just can’t decide if I want to do that to myself or not. 

            In an effort to think positively, I got my “pregnancy ring” out and started wearing it.  When I was pregnant with Leah, my fingers swelled so much that I had to stop wearing my wedding rings so I bought a different ring to wear on my wedding finger instead.  It’s a small silver band that says “everything is possible when you have faith.”  I am wearing it on my right hand this time (for now at least.)  I don’t know if I would swell this time since it’s winter, but I will wear the ring throughout my pregnancy.  Let’s just pray that I don’t have to take it off on Friday!


If I decide to test early, I will certainly let you all know.  Stay tuned…… ...

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Transfer: complete

I'm officially "pregnant until proven otherwise!"  Now I can make jokes like "I'm eating for 4" (since we transferred 3 embies.)  Meet our newest babies:

None of them look particularly amazing to me, but maybe that doesn't mean anything.  (I studied embryology in college, but maybe I don't know as much as I think I do.)  The doctor said they are beautiful.  Of course, he always says that.  The bottom line is that we don't know which little frozen lives God intends to live here on earth - hopefully 1 (or 2) of these little guys will join our family.

It's been a great day - if nothing else, it was nice to relax.  We slept in a little, dropped Leah off at the sitters and had a nice drive to Syracuse.  Some of our favorite nurses assisted with the transfer.  Our RE is a little fruity - but we only see him on transfer day anyway.  We stopped for a quick lunch and I've been on the couch ever since.  Leah sat and cuddled with me while watching "Super Why" for a little while - that was a sweet moment.
   Speaking of my "fruity" RE - I took some pics of the transfer room to show you all.  This guy is *really* into Eastern philosophy and "zen" type stuff.  He has acupuncturists on staff; they will even come into your transfer room before and after for treatment.  (I tried that last time - didn't like it.)  He built a spa attached to the clinic with a massage therapy, a yoga room, etc.  As a result, the transfer procedure rooms look like a spa treatment room.  It's an interesting juxtaposition of medical equipment and spa elegance.
 The bureau where the set out the med supplies (and keep blankets, sheets, etc.) is nicer than my dressers at home.  Even the wastebasket is a nice rattan matching basket.  The door to the embryology lab is a gorgeous wood/frosted glass - it's really well thought out.
They don't use stirrups for the transfer, you just set you feet on the bed.  The ultrasound machine looks funny in contrast to the decor.  They even give you a warm blanket to cover up during the procedure.
   
 I know we are fortunate to have such a relaxing, friendly clinic.  However, the FET success rates are far below national average.  I would prefer a sterile, clinical environment if it meant a better chance of success.  Part of the reason that the success rate is low is that they freeze every embryo that doesn't die on it's own - regardless of quality.  So, let's just hope that these little "embabies" are good quality and that they are snuggling in for a healthy 9 months........ 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

It's real now

I'm transferring tomorrow.  It's become real.  I can take Estrace 3x a day and not feel like this is really happening, but once you stick that PIO needle in your rear - reality hits!  (In my exhausted stupor yesterday, I got the needles mixed up and injected with the 18 gauge... ...ouch!) 
   Plans are all set for tomorrow.  I've scheduled for a substitute and left all the plans.  (I swear it's more work to be absent than it is to show up and teach.)  Micah is showing a video at youth group tomorrow night so that I can stay home and rest on the couch.  I've got a brisket all ready to cook in the crockpot so I can have a yummy ready-made meal when I come home from the clinic.  There is so much anticipation; I'm trying hard to get excited.  But somehow, I'm still guarding my heart.  I'm mustering up all the faith that I can manage to believe that God is going to do something good here.  I have to trust that He sees the big picture where I only see a little dot.
   We haven't told people about this cycle; except my brother and sister in law.  They've been through infertility, so they "get" our emotional roller coaster.  But we didn't tell anyone else in the family.  I keep thinking that it'll be fun to 'surprise' them with a pregnancy announcement if all goes well.  We just want to be able to find a creative way to announce our pregnancy just like the fertile people get to.  Though the last few cycles haven't worked - and it's not any easier to tell the family "we tried again and failed."  Hopefully this time we won't have to say that!  Maybe THIS will be they cycle that our dream comes true...

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Lining looks good - transfer set....

First of all - Congrats are in order for my Blogger friend Diane on the birth of her daughter Lucy!  I'm sure she's busy these days loving on her baby girl - but stop over and say congrats anyway...

OK - on to me.  I had my lining check today - 9mm and triple stripe.  All looks good.  I'll start my progesterone Friday night (both Crinone and PIO shots) and my transfer is next Wed - Oct 9th.  The nice thing about an FET is the flexibility.  That day worked best in terms of my lesson plans, so we were able to schedule it that day.  With all of my other transfers, I dropped everything in my life to schedule the fertility appointments.  This one, I'm just squeezing them in - the world is not coming to a stop.  Usually I take 2 days off of work for a transfer (day of and day after) - but not this time.  I'm just taking Wed off.  (But I did plan a video lesson for Thursday, so while I'm going back to work - it will be very low key.)
   The excitement is still kind of lacking.  Maybe it's because I'm so busy right now.  Maybe I'm jaded by the failures in the past year.  Though I will say - all of the positive news from my blogger friends is rather encouraging.  I'm sure if these babies stick, my excitement will go through the roof!

     On completely different note, my daughter just ran downstairs to tell me she went poopy on the potty!  She's getting pretty consistent about peeing on the potty (except when she's out and about and having too much fun to tell us...lol)  But poop has been a different story - so this is such great news.
   I've had so much fun watching all your kids grow up, that I realized that I could probably post a lot about my little Leah Rae.  After all, some of you knew/followed me back when we were going through our initial embryo adoption journey and when I got my BFP.  And now that BFP is 2.  TWO!!!  (Her birthday was last week - when did that happen??)  She's a sweet, smart little girl - super helpful and has a great sense of humor.  We are loving every day of being her parents!  (DIane - you think you love Lucy now.. ...just wait - every single day gets better and better, as hard as that is to imagine right now.)  Here are some recent pics:







Friday, September 27, 2013

...losing excitement in the journey....


Remember the first time you started a fertility cycle?  Remember how much joy and adventure and hope there was?  You were sad to be in that place where you needed to start a fertility cycle, but the hope of good things was the predominant feeling?  
   I remember getting this big 'ole box of meds in the mail that first time.  I opened it and looked at everything.  I marveled at the amount of meds I would be taking (and it was only a FET.)  I recall taking pics of the meds and the giant needles, wondering exactly what I was getting myself into.  But it was kinda... ... fun.  It was an adventure.  I even happily handed my husband the syringe for that first PIO shot.  I was excited about it!
Do you remember those days?

Our first cycle was cancelled b/c I ovulated on my own and they couldn't be sure when.  But we started again a few weeks later and our first complete cycle resulted in our beautiful, sweet Leah Rae.  That was nearly 3 years ago.  Since then, we've tried four more times with 1 miscarriage and 3 BFNs.  The excitement is gone.  The adventure is gone.  It doesn't even "feel" like I'm trying again.

Don't get me wrong - receiving these embryos was definitely a miracle.  And we are hopeful that God is going to bless these embryos (and us) with life.  But the journey isn't so exciting any longer.  My baseline b/w and ultrasound was all good.  I'm taking estrogen pills 3 times a day as well as aspirin and and prenatals.  (I had stopped the prenatals in complete frustration after the last BFN.)  But I feel like I'm just going through the motions.  My brain has so much hope, but my heart is so numb.  
   My lining check is next Wednesday.  If all looks good, they'll schedule the transfer for the following week.  Hopefully, I'll have mustered up some excitement by then... .... 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A miracle in progress

What a crazy time in our spiritual lives! 
     While we were struggling with the next steps that we might take in building our family, we found out that my sister-in-law is expecting Baby #5.  Learning of a pregnancy is always difficult for a couple dealing with infertility – but this one was especially rough.  She is not thrilled to be pregnant.  Nor does she seem to enjoy the 4 she has. Don’t get me wrong – she definitely loves her children and she takes great care of them.  She’s able to stay home instead of working and she provides a nice home for them, nearly any toy they want and they are all involved in activities of their choice.  She’s a good mom – but they seem to be a source of stress (and sometimes irritation) to her. Maybe I just don’t understand b/c I only have one, but she is often overwhelmed and rarely expresses joy at motherhood.  So, learning that she is expecting again was difficult for us.
     But God has taken us to a new place this time – perhaps because we are more willing now to look at His perspective.  I’m coming to understand that “the line is a dot” to me.  In the timeline of Eternity – or even in my lifetime, the moment that I’m experiencing is just a tiny dot.  I don’t see the big picture or how God intends to use our family to build His Kingdom.  Since I can’t see that – I can either trust that God does and accept my “dot” with joy, or I can be bitter and angry. Well, the bitterness thing didn’t work for me, so this time I’m learning to accept our struggle and trust that God sees the whole line.  As I seek God’s perspective, I am also coming to understand that His purpose is intimacy with us.  I can let sharing the disappointment of our situation draw me closer to God, just as adding another child might be the thing God uses to draw my sister-in-law closer to Himself.
    At the same time, Micah and I both had a sense that something special was about to happen in our lives.  That perhaps my SILs news was a ‘test’ of our reactions and attitudes.  We weren’t sure what that was, but we sensed a new season coming.  On a TMI note, my period is late this month.  (well, sort of.  I used to be like clockwork, but the last few cycles were really short, so I was expecting this one to be short too.)  I hate these days of running to the bathroom every few hours b/c I think I’m starting...  … more than actually having my period. Ugh.
    As I was driving home from work last week, I thought.  “How cool would it be if Micah was healed and I got pregnant?”  As I pondered that thought, I heard God ask “what is the greatest blessing I could give you right now?”  In the midst of financial struggle, family issues and Micah’s unemployment, my immediate answer was “to get pregnant: either naturally, or for Pati to call with embryos for us (that survive).” (She’s the donor coordinator at our clinic.)   Honestly, either would be a miracle; our clinic rarely has embryos needing a family.  And I truly have no preference for having genetic children.  I love my Leah’s embryo adoption story and I am passionate about EA.  In fact, that was my biggest concern with our donor sperm contemplations; I really do feel called to adopt already-created embryos.
  
            Yesterday, our miracle happened.  I finished teaching and picked up my phone to find a voicemail from Pati.  There are 3 embryos waiting for a chance at life.  She emailed to profile.  The patient who donated them used both an egg donor and a sperm donor – and had achieved pregnancy.  While we don’t know the grade – these are likely really good embryos.  And now they are ours. J  We are in shock.  God IS up to something special.  THIS is why my period is late. I can start this cycle in the next day or so, whenever it shows up.  This is God’s providential timing.  He has given the greatest blessing that I could have asked for.
     I’m assuming these embryos will result in a child.  While it’s hard to be positive after so many losses, I understand now that my attitude is a choice.  I can be guarded and afraid, but that doesn’t really minimize the disappointment.  My EA blogger friend Jess recently posted about how na├»ve she was with her first child and how much harder it is to be positive when the innocence is stripped away by so much loss.  I totally agree, but I’m going to try so hard to regain that naivety and believe that this is going to work.  God has brought us to this point and given us these embryos.  For that, I rejoice.  The line is a dot to me, and I’m going to be grateful in this moment for the gift of embryos and not worry yet about which way the line will go.

           Thank you all so much for your prayers.  Even though I don’t update a lot, I still feel like you all are my friends and I love reading your blogs.  Diane and Paula, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts on donor sperm.  I am so confident that both of your children will bring Glory to God and further his Kingdom.  Jess – I am stalking your blog to find out how many siblings Maddie is getting.  Tracy and Diane – I’m praying for healthy, safe delivery of your baby girls.  Paula – wishing you a healthy 9 months.  I promise to post more, now that I’m out of my spiritual funk; I was just so numb for so long.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Secondary Infertility - and other thoughts


     I’ve pretty  much dropped off the blogging scene - because I didn’t really have anything to say.  (I still read my friends’ blogs; I love keeping up with you all.)
We both felt really beaten down after our last failed FET.  Emotionally and spiritually, Micah and I were both bewildered and downtrodden.  It’s been a rough season.   We were SO sure that those embryos were providentially chosen for us - they seemed like a gift from God’s hand.  (Both sets: the Indian embryos and then the last failed set.)  It was just such a shock that none of them stuck.  We’ve had 4 failed FETs in the last 18 months.  It’s disheartening.   But we know that donor FETs work.  Our amazing, wonderful, sweet EA daughter will turn 2 next month.  We are so blessed to have her - I love being a mom even more than I thought I would.
     And that’s what makes this infertility so much more difficult.  I’m finding this ‘secondary infertility’ even more painful than it was before we had Leah.  I long so desperately to be pregnant again.  I want so much to give Leah a sibling - to nurse another child - to expand our family.  It’s just not working.  Our clinic had several sets of embryos available this summer - but we didn’t have enough money saved to ‘adopt’ them.  Now that we’ve figured out how to pay for our next embryo adoption, there are none available.  So we wait.  And wonder - should we even try again?  Most would be tempted to give up after 4 failed FETs.  But our first FET worked - so we’re 1 for 5.  (Our clinic’s success rates aren’t that great, so we should expect that.  The clinic freezes all embryos, not just the high quality ones - so in reality, we’re getting lower quality leftovers than other clinics.  We knew that going into it and we’re happy to give any embryo a chance.)  So, I guess we just wait and keep trying, right?

    Except that my husband threw me a curve ball this week.  He suggested we consider donor sperm.  We talked about that briefly in the beginning of our journey.  Financially, it makes the most sense.  Our insurance covers IUIs -so we’d only have to pay for the sperm (which is WAY cheaper than adopting embryos!)
But it didn’t feel right for us.  We felt called to adopt - and I’m perfectly fertile.  We really believed that God was going to create our family through embryo adoption.  And He did.   When we began to try for a 2nd child, we were stilll confident that this is how God was working.  Even after a few failed transfers, we still thought that.  But now we’re not so confident.  Maybe I need to be more open to God working differently than I thought.  Maybe God is working on our hearts to be ready for this option?
    I would LOVE to hear from you ladies; how did God lead you to the path you’re on??  (Especially Diane and Paula -I appreciate any thoughts you might share!)  I’m not sure if we’re truly being led in this direction or if we’re just considering taking the faster/cheaper way out.  I love to share Leah’s adoption story.  What would I tell this child (if we concieved?)  I have so many questions jumbled in my head... ... ...

Saturday, May 11, 2013

It only takes one, right?

After dragging and dragging, this cycle kicked into gear and we transferred our little embie yesterday.  I tried acupuncture this time, both before and after the transfer.  I'm not sure that I love acupuncture... ... but if it could possibly help, I'm willing to do it.  (For the money, though, I would much rather have a massage.)
   We had two embryos left, but only one survived the thaw.  (This is the first cycle we've  had one not make it.)  It's kind of discouraging.  I feel like our chances of success are much lower with one (as opposed to 2 or 3 embryos.)  The RE was optimistic though - he said the one we have looks really good.  He reminded us that it only takes one embryo to grow into a baby.
   I would have never chosen to do a single embryo transfer.  We are not alarmed by the risk of multiples - we would happily welcome twins.  All of our other transfers have been 2 or 3 embryos.  Doing the math, we've transferred 11 embryos and had 1 child.  So, it's hard to hold out hope for this little one.  But, as so many of you keep reminding me (which I'm so thankful for) - God knows which children He intends to use here on this earth and which will join Him immediately in Heaven.  And He could fully intend to bless us with this little one now resting in my womb.  Or not.  We'll just have to wait and see.

   The waiting is complicated by the fact that our clinic has a slew of donor embryos available right now.  There hardly ever have embryos - it's just not a well utilized program - and right now they actually have 5 different sets.  I so want to jump on them.  But it seems silly to spend a ton of money to reserve embryos right now when we don't know if we'll end up pregnant from this cycle.  But by the time we have our beta, they could all be gone - they go really fast b/c our clinic doesn't get many of them.  
   Micah thinks that we should just wait and let God work out the timing.  If we snatch up these embies, we are displaying a lack of faith in God.  If we are meant to grow those embryos in our family, then they will still be available if we get a BFN.  Or perhaps God will bless us with a BFP and none of this all matters.  It's just hard to sit and wait.  Waiting is always hard.
     
   I've spent yesterday and today relaxing on the couch.  Well, as much as I can with a toddler.  We had some friends watch Leah yesterday so I could have some time to rest after the transfer.  Things are about to get really busy in the next 2 weeks - so I'm trying to "store up" as much rest as I can... lol!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

This is taking forever!

For some reason, it feels like this cycle is taking forever.  It feels like my baseline was so long ago - and my lining check is weeks away.  It's not - it's only days away, but it feels like weeks.  Usually, the time goes by really fast; I don't know what the difference is this time.  I'm just as busy as usual.  I've got just as much stuff on my mind.  I'm not really dwelling on the cycle and the waiting, but somehow it just seems to have dragged on.
   Maybe it's because I kind of feel like we're just going through the motions.  Since we have these 2 embryos left, we might as well give them a chance before we try to figure out what God has next for us.  I don't that's a poor mindset - but maybe a BFN will be less disappointing if I go through it with an indifferent attitude.
   Not much to say right now.  I'm doing my first acupuncture appointment right after our lining check next week.  I'll post more then......

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Here we go again......

Once you go through numerous Embryo Adoption cycles, it's hard to get excited about them.  It's a strange balance - trying to be hopeful, yet aware of possibility of loss.  I was so hopeful last time - which ended in so much disappointment.  I'm much more indifferent this time.  So much so, in fact - that I've already started thinking past this cycle.
   So, we ended up doing the endometrial biopsy.  After much prayer, I decided that if God worked out the timing, we would do it.  And He did - so we did.  I took some extra painkillers and got through it.  It sucked in the moment - but it gives me confidence that I am doing everything I can for these last 2 embryos that have been entrusted to us.  
    I'm also trying acupuncture this time.  My RE recommends it so heavily that he offers it free on the day of transfer.  (He's really into Eastern Medicine and he has a "healing arts" center with massage, acupuncture and other spa amenities attached to the clinic.)  I was hesitant at first, but the more I researched and talked to some people, I feel good about it.  A friend of ours pointed out that the tiny needles actually cause micro-injury which brings new blood flow and healing agents to the area.  (Hmmm... same idea as the endometrial biopsy!)  The Bible has lots to say about new growth coming from pruning or cutting back existing stuff...  ... so I decided to embrace that thought, rather than all the other new age-y aspects of acupuncture.  Besides, people talk about how relaxing it is - and I'm definitely up for some relaxing.  (If nothing else, I lay on a table for an hour and do nothing - how often does that happen?)  My first appointment is next Monday and then I'll do it again the day of the transfer.  I know they recommend it for weeks ahead of time, but I just don't have time for that!
   
    We are IN our cycle already.  I'm taking the Lupron shots and Estrace.  The shots are funny - after doing the PIO with the giant needle, the Lupron feels like we're playing with a toy.  Those needles are so tiny in comparison.  It's actually kinda cute.

  My lining check is May 6th and I expect my transfer to be on the 13th - or near there.  Like I said, I'm kind of indifferent - we've just had 3 failed cycles in the past year.  (1 miscarriage and 2 failed FETs.)  On one hand, I really, really hope this cycle gives us another child.  But it's hard to hope.  I find some hope in the stories of my EA bloggy friends.  Jenn - your story is super encouraging in that your 3rd attempt resulted in your beautiful twins.  You are totally right - there is no way to predict which embryos will become children.  And Tracey, being pregnant with Jenn's kids' siblings - that's actually the 4th transfer from that batch, right?  So attempts 3 and 4 brought life to babies?  That encourages me.  But I'm still afraid to hope.  It's hard to explain.

   I've already started thinking about the "what if"s.  If this fails, we have no more embryos.  We will have failed with 2 different donors.  Do we keep trying???  Do we look into foster-adoption?  Or start the process for international adoption?  We've discussed those things before - and we intend to pursue them when our embryo-adopted kids are older (if we're in a better place financially.)  I hoped we'd have more than one EA child.  I thought we'd be better off financially by now.  But Micah keeps reminding me to take things one step at a time.  He's right.  I know I need to sink my focus into *this* transfer and pray for THESE embryos.  So - that's where I'm at.  Getting ready for another go at this whole embryo adoption process.  Thanks, everyone for your comments and your prayers.  I really do feel like I have a great set of friends here in the EA circle!!

Monday, April 8, 2013

What does it mean to trust God?

We've been asking ourselves this question a lot the past few weeks.  We trusted God to build our family - and it hasn't worked out quite like we'd hoped.  Which is ok - I really do want what God has planned for us.  I don't understand why He has allowed us to suffer the losses that He has - but again, I choose to follow Him even when I don't understand.
   The harder part is making decisions for the future.  I am willing to do whatever God leads us to do, but I'm not always sure what that is.  We have 2 embryos left.  Does "trusting God" mean that we just jump in and transfer them, believing that He will give them life if they are the children He has for us?  Or do we wait for a few months, perhaps get a second opinion on why I bleed early?  And what about the endometrial biopsy?  If I do it, is it because I'm trusting in statistics or grasping at anything that might work?  Does it demonstrate a lack of trust in God's providence?  Am I attempting to force God's hand my trying to make the embryo implant?  Or, on the other hand, is it me willing to do whatever it takes me give these little embryos a chance to live?  What does trusting God look like in this situation?
     This stuff has been mulling around in my head for the past few weeks.  In the meantime, I've been recording basal temps and doing OPKs in an attempt to figure out when I ovulate.  (Contemplating a natural cycle this time.)  I think I've made a discovery;  I have a somewhat short luteal phase.  Before we had our baby, I ovulated around day 18 - but my cycle was 32-33 days, so it was not a concern.  (I charted in great detail until we discovered Micah's disorder.)  When I got my cycles back after nursing Leah, it shortened to 28 days - sometimes even 27.  As I charted this cycle, I realized that I still ovulate around Day 18 - making my LP only 10 days.  So...  ...when I started bleeding at 5 days past transfer (= 10 days past ovulation), perhaps that WAS normal.  Maybe the doctor was right - I just started bleeding b/c the embryo didn't implant and my so it was time to shed the lining.  That actually makes me feel better.  Maybe there isn't something wrong after all.
    As we continued to pray, I set out a "fleece."  (You know, the Bible story in Judges where Gideon wants to be absolutely sure God was leading them in to battle, so he set a fleece cloth on the ground and ask God to make the ground wet with dew but keep the fleece dry, if it was in fact His will to go into battle.)  We considered whether to try again with the April cycle or wait till June.  (May wouldn't work b/c of travels.)  We considered the biopsy.  We would have to do the biopsy this week b/c of a youth group trip next week and work schedules before my next period.  So we prayed that if it was God's will to do it - they would be able to schedule it.  And they were.  They have an opening for tomorrow.  So, I guess I'm doing it.
    I am happy about it for 2 reasons.  One is that we can test the lining to make sure it's healthy.  And 2) at least I will be confident that we did everything possible to give these embryos a chance to survive in my womb.  I'm unhappy about it too - cuz I'm scared to death.  Silly me, I searched the Internet to see what I should expect and there are horror stories upon horror stories.  That test is painful!!!  Why wouldn't they put you out for something like that??  I am so scared and nervous about it.  But I finally decided that pain was not a good reason to NOT do it - I just need to suck it up.
   So, keep me in your prayers tomorrow.  I'll be so glad when it's all over.  I can't quite process that we're starting yet another cycle yet - the test is the only thing in my radar.  I'd love any words of wisdom that you all have... ... ...

Monday, March 25, 2013

BFN :(

     The fact that I haven't posted in a while, coupled with my last post about spotting, probably clued you all in to my negative results.  It was no surprise to me; by the time we had the test, I had already been bleeding for 4 days.  Micah was very disappointed - he is ever the faithful optimist and he was holding out hope that somehow God was performing a miracle in the midst of the bleeding.  I love his faith - but it means we process things differently.  By wednesday, I had already realized that this cycle failed, cried, mourned, thrown things, etc.  When the news hit him, he had to deal with it while I had already moved on.

   We do have 2 embryos left, but I needed some answers before we just blindly allowed history to repeat itself.  This is the 3rd loss we've had and the 2nd time I'd started bleeding before beta.  So we scheduled a consult to talk to the doctor, which we did today.  I do like the RE that we met with, but I'm not sure I left with any answers.  He talked about research and how the word 'implantation' is a misnomer.  (Really, the lining grows up around the embryo, it doesn't burrow itself into the lining.)  The general gist of the conversation is that I'm normal.  The reason that I'm bleeding early is just because the embryo has failed to implant.  It's about the embryo, not me.  It has nothing to do with my hormones or my uterus or anything like that.  He thinks the the reason we've not been successful all boils down to the viability of the embryos.
     The RE made an interesting point in terms of embryo donation (or adoption.)  We talk about how we are giving 'leftover' embryos a chance at life.  Point being - they are leftovers.  While embryo grading is just guess about quality based on it's appearance, they use the embryos with the highest grade first.  So, chances are, when we receive a donation of embryos, we're not getting the best.  I guess I knew that - but I hadn't really looked at it that way.  (He also talked about the percent of embryos that are actually viable and mentioned that even in natural conception, embryos are likely fertilized month after month, but most don't end up as children.)  The bottom line is that persistence is key; it just might take several tries to find the embryo that will become our next child.

   The one other things that he said we *could* try is to do an endometrial scratch (or endometrial biopsy.)  Basically, there are some studies in women with recurrent implantation failure that show that "injuring" the lining in the cycle prior increases the chance of implantation.  The RE didn't think that I fall into the "recurrent implantation failure" category since I've carried a child to term and my miscarriage last spring indicated that implantation is very possible.  His words were "we can try that if it would make you feel better for the next cycle."
    So, now I don't know what to think.  First of all, the procedure does NOT sound like fun; most women call it painful.  Secondly, he doesn't sound like it would be that helpful   - we would be doing it just to try something different.  On the other hand, if there is a chance it could help implantation, then shouldn't I try it?  Or would I just be wasting my time, since success is mostly determined by the embryo quality?

  So - there's my update.  I don't know what our next step is.  Do we just jump right in with another cycle?  Do we try this scratch thing first?  Since these that we have left are likely even lower in quality, do we donate the embryos back and look through FIRMs profiles again?  (It would be much cheaper to use the ones we have, since they are already ours.)  I don't know.  I would love any advice or thoughts that any of you have.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

So much for that.....

My last post was all full of positive thoughts.  Those are all gone and I'm discouraged and frustrated.  I'm bleeding.  Not just spotting - bleeding.  Already.  And I'm having deja vu.

I'll admit that, as positive as I was, I still checked the TP every time I used the restroom.  (TMI sorry)  After the last 2 losses, I am conditioned to do that, I guess.
Yesterday afternoon, I discovered some "old blood." I was ok with that.  But then there was a little more in my underwear.  I texted Micah (who was out of town) and told him to start praying for our embryonic children.  It wasn't much of the rest of the day, so I assumed I was good and went to bed.  I was a little worried, just b/c of all that we've been through - but I tried to stay positive.  The RE said that spotting is normal.

But this morning, I woke up with red blood.  Off and on, pretty much all day.  Sometimes, I see more brown clumpy "old blood" but most of the time it's bright red.  I'm not filling a pad an hour (RE said to call if it gets that bad) - but I am changing my pantyliner every few hours.  I just want to cry.  It's too early to be my period.  (I'm just 6dp5dt.)  But clearly, something is wrong.  This is exactly what happened with our other failed cycle.  (And the miscarriage, but that didn't start until after the positive beta.)  That time I blamed it on the lack of progesterone.  (I was using Crinone only, and it was down near 5, instead of 20 like it's supposed to be.)  But this time, I'm using the PIO - I should have plenty of progesterone.  There should be no bleeding.  This baby needs to stay in there.  That was an incredible hatching embryo that needs a home - why is my body denying it that?  My cycles are so normal and regular all the time.  I just had a SIS done to make sure my uterus looked good.  There is no reason that my body is doing this.

   Micah is still positive (as usual.)  I am really trying - but he's not the one that sees what's in my underwear every time I use the restroom (which is often, lol.)   I'm praying for a miracle; for the bleeding to stop and the baby to hang on.  But I'm doubting it'll happen.  I'm right back where I was 9 months ago.  It doesn't help that I would likely have a baby now if I hadn't miscarried (I would have been due this pas week.)  It's just a lot of emotional baggage.
 
  I guess I'll go back to doing what I do best: staying busy.  Then I can pretend that this isn't happening AGAIN.  Seriously, will God drag us through this yet again?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Holy Hatching, batman!

     As I said earlier, I am feeling very positive and hopeful about this cycle.  This is not like me - I tend to be a pessimist.  (Well, I call myself a realist, but Micah says I'm a pessimist.)  I'm just all too aware of what can and often does go wrong.  I know statistics and maybe a  little too much biology.  Sometimes ignorance is bliss.
     With the last few cycles, Micah was always so positive - he would always tell me that God wants us to have children and He could save this baby (when we were losing them.) My response was always - sure, He could - but I don't think He's going to.  Maybe it's just a difference in theology - my God is not all sunshine and roses; not everything works out the way the Christian wants them to.  Sure, God works all things for the good of those who love Him (Roman 8:28) but that doesn't mean we get our way in the moment.  So - usually, I'm cautious, I'll admit - even pessimistic.  Maybe I just like to protect myself from disappointment.

  But THIS cycle - it's totally different.  I really believe that I'm going to have a baby in 9 months.  I think that this child is a gift straight from God's hand and that He'll breathe life into these embryos.  I was feeling positive even before this weekend. But in church on Sunday, as we were worshipping, I began to feel even more hopeful.  They played two songs that are very special to us.  First was "Never Once" by Matt Redman - talking about how God has been with us through all the trials and battles and He's never left us.  Then we sang "Mighty to Save" by Chris Tomlin - which has sort of been "our" song - we chose it for worship at our wedding and it was a special experience where everyone in the room (nonbelievers too) could sense the presence of the Holy Spirit.  (The non-christians didn't call it that - but they commented on "something spiritual' going on.")  As we worshipped God through those songs, I began to feel even more confident and hopeful that God is going to do another miracle for us through this cycle.

  Then we got to the clinic on Monday morning.  We had a couples massage right before my transfer.  (To help me relax - and Micah wanted one too.)  There is a spa attached to the clinic so it was all very relaxing.  Then I saw our embryos.  Check out this pic:
That little one is really hatching.  Not just a little bit - it's looking of a place to implant.  Hopefully, it found one!  The transfer went smoothly.  They are trying something new where they squirt a little HcG into the uterus about 7 min before they put the embryos in - I guess studies have shown that HcG increases the receptor cells in the uterine lining.  Whatever - I'm up for anything they think will help.  (It just meant that I had to lay there for 7 minutes with the catheter through my cervix before they transferred the embryos.)

   I've just been laying around resting yesterday and today.  The next week is super busy - Micah is going out of town with our teens for a few days and I have lots of work to do.  Our first beta is next Wednesday.  (We've only told 3 family members, and they all think beta is Friday - so we can see if it doubles before telling anyone.)  I think the time will fly by quickly.  I hate waiting.  I just want to know right now if it worked!
   
    I realize that by being so positive and hopeful, I'm setting myself up for greater disappointment if it fails.  But the outcome will be the same regardless of how I feel about it.  So I'm going to choose to be positive this time.  I'll keep y'all posted.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Aahhh - that familiar pain in the rear.....

We are just days away from our FET! 
We started the PIO shots yesterday - and, as it was last time - Micah did a great job with the shot itself - barely felt it.  Later in the day, I walked down the hall and thought "ahhh.... there it is" - the sore butt with the achiness shooting down my left leg.  The knowlege that it's only going to get worse.  The memories of limping and the bruises built up. Followed by the joy of knowing that I'm doing everything I can to create a healthy environment for this next little embryo.  The 2 "failed" cycles we had were both with Crinone only, so I am actually pleased to be on the PIO.  It makes me more confident.
  In fact, I'm feeling very positive about this whole cycle.  The first time, I was nothing but hopeful.  I hadn't experienced the pain of loss yet.  But after a 6w miscarriage and a failed cycle - my innocence is gone.  I know all too well that things can (and do) go wrong.  I imagine that I'll be checking the TP every time I go to the bathroom.  But I do feel good.  Micah scheduled a massage for me to help me relax before my transfer on Monday.  I took both Monday and Tuesday off from school so I can lay on the couch all day. 
   I'm already planning on being pregnant this spring and summer.  I'm in a wedding so I'm trying to find a maternity bridesmaid dress.  In talking about vacation plans, I'm assuming I'll have a newborn next Christmas.  I know the danger in planning ahead.  (In fact, my due date for the one I lost is next week - I had planned on having a baby now.)  But, yet - my mind is off and running.  I'm taking it as a positive, healthy sign b/c I can be a bit of a pessimist.  This time, I'm hopeful.
Send some prayers my way on Monday morning if you think of it - pray that those embies snuggle in tight!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Something different this time

     We had our baseline appointment at our clinic yesterday.  It was so fun because everyone there is so thrilled that we got donor embryos and they are really hoping that we end up with another little one.  They marvel over how cute our DD is and give her fruit snacks.  It reminded me how blessed we are to be able to stay with our clinic in NY instead of traveling to Florida.
     Everything looked fine for my baseline.  They told me they have a new FET protocol. In the past, I've just used Estrace and either Crinone or PIO.  This time, they are adding Lupron.  It seems strange to me.  I've known lots of people (well, known them online) that have used it - but usually they use it before their period, along with BCPs.  I'm only using it for 10 days, along with the Estrace.  The nurse explained that it shuts down my own hormones so my body doesn't make progesterone before it's time.  I'll stop the Lupron when I start the progesterone.  Then they said if it was too expensive, I don't have to do it, but they really recommend it.  I guess I'm up for anything that they think will help.  I'm a little concerned because I've never seen it used this way; but I'm sure the RE knows a lot more than me.  So, I have a box arriving in a few hours and I'll get started on it.  (And, as a bonus - the insurance covered most of it!)
    Also, they've changed their standard protocol back to PIO for the FETs (which is what I used when we got DD).  I'm actually very happy about that.  (How often do you hear that?)  The last 2 cycles I used only Crinone - and while my rear end was thankful, my progesterone levels dropped and I lost the first baby and the second cycle failed.  There's no way to be sure it was the progesterone that caused those things, but I will feel more secure using the PIO.  Not that I'm looking forward to the sore rump for 12 weeks, but at least I'll feel like I did everything possible on my part.  (Plus, they gave me progesterone in ethyl oleate - it's much thinner than the PIO I had before - so maybe I won't be as sore?)
  I go back for blood work and US on March 4th.  If all looks good, my transfer will be 5 days after that.  I'm just so happy to be starting all this again.  I feel very hopeful about this cycle.  It seems that God is at work, and so I hope the completion of that work is a little baby.....

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

It has begun

"It" being our cycle.

Wow - so after we considered our 'crazy options,' we decided to choose the embryos at our local clinic and we released the ones in Fl back into the donor pool.  I'm sure that God has a family in mind for them too.  I just felt that the embryos at our clinic were a gift straight from God's hand.  We didn't even ask for them; they called us!  (Which is not usually how they operate.)  We love our clinic and were sad to have to go elsewhere.  PLUS, the donor coordinator agreed to waive that 'case management fee' since we've been with them for so long.  That's another $500 savings in addition to the cost we save by not having to travel.  Plus, the timing was so specific with the FL situation; if my period came on the wrong day, it wouldn't have worked this month - or next month.

Well, yet again - it's clear how God goes ahead of us and provides what we need.  My period came early.  I woke up with it this morning - 4 days early.  That's very strange b/c I'm quite regular.  (My sister is living with us now; maybe her hormones messed me up.)  However, it's all ok because I'm using the clinic here in NY.  My baseline is thursday and I'll start my meds and get my schedule then.  FET cycles are very simple at our clinic.  My transfer will be in about 2 weeks!  

I'm so optimistic and excited!  I feel confident that we are walking along the path that God has laid out for us.  And I hope and pray this time, that path leads to a baby.....

This is NOT second best!!

Why do people assume that embryo adoption is less than God's best, divine plan?

     My husband's parents run a "healing room" - which is basically a consistent place/time that people can go seek prayer.  Sometimes it's helpful to have someone you may not know so well pray you you and your situation.  It's kind of a neat thing.  So we went for prayer last night - partly b/c our whole family has been sick - and partly to pray for our upcoming adopted embryo FET.
     So, we went and a small group of people prayed for us to beat this stupid cold/flu thing that's lingered.  Then we asked them to pray for our frozen babies and upcoming transfer.  They did - and it was mostly encouraging.  But the one guy then said "while it's great that they have this option, I'm sure what you really want is to be healed and produce a biological child, so let's pray for that."  Then they proceeded to pray that Micah's body would do what it's supposed to so he can father his own child.

    They really had the best of intentions, but I was rather annoyed.  First of all, Micah IS a father and Leah Rae IS his own child.  I don't think a dad could love his daughter more.  But more than that, I felt like they were saying that somehow our family is second best - this is not God's perfect healing.  Healing comes in lots of ways. In our case, we believe that Micah and I were designed perfectly to adopt embryos and give them a chance at life.  He has Klinefelters'; I am healthy and fertile.  We each had a heart for adoption before we were married.  And I believe that complete healing occurs when we reflect God's glory in a perfect way.  Our family IS perfect - and our adoptive story reflects the Christian's adoption into the family of God.  God has aligned the desires of our hearts to His perfect plan for us.  What further healing needs to take place?  To be honest, I'm not sure that I would even want a biological child at this point.  I'm so excited at what God's done to bring us little Leah and I can't wait to see what He does next.

  It just frustrates me when people can't see it from my perspective.  And I know that's self-centered.  But really, I want to shout from the rooftops - our family is not second best.  Embryo adoption IS God's best for us.  And it's most definitely God's best for my daughter and any siblings she might have.  Family is not all about the parents - it's also about the children that need parents: frozen or otherwise.  Adoption is not about the parents wanting a child - it's about the child needing a family.  Embryo adoption is no different.  It's about the kid's that we're giving life to and loving - not just about us.  THIS is God's best.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Crazy Options!

Wow - sometimes God does something crazy and throws you a curveball.  And sometimes you just don't know what to do with it.

We are all set to begin our cycle in ~10 days: embryos are selected, meds are ordered - really, we are all set.

Then yesterday, our clinic here in NY called because they had embryos donated; they are offering them to us.  We got the profile last night - they look great.  Young, healthy, acheived pregnancy from a frozen cycle.  It seems perfect - like a gift straight from the hand of God.  We love our clinic; I would love to do our cycle here.  It has been over a year since they've had ANY embryos donated- which is why we pursued the clinic in Florida.


So, what about Florida?  The coordinator there is SO nice and has been SO helpful.  Our meds are already ordered for that cycle - we're just waiting for my period to start.  We haven't paid the deposit on our embryos there yet - but we should today.  (So we have to decide what we're going to do - today.)

I'm so confused!

The one thing that I did say to my husband before our clinic called was that I was afraid we were running ahead of God by going to the Florida clinic.  With our daughter, everything fell into place perfectly and we knew that God was providing for us.  This time, I felt like we were deciding what to do and asking God to bless it and guide us.  We weren't banging down any closed doors, but we weren't really waiting for God to open them either.  Then we got the phone call from our clinic that was clearly God opening a door for us.

Since when is too many embryos a problem?  Yet, I feel conflicted.  Should I stick with the embryos we have reserved in Fl?  Or choose the ones our clinic is offering us?  I feel somewhat obligated to go to Fl since they have already reserved them for us and sent in the prescriptions for our meds.  But our clinic would be a better experience and cost less.  The program fees are essentially the same, but we'd save $1200 in travel costs by not having to fly to Florida.

I just don't know what to do.  My husband thinks we should keep both sets of embryos.  (After all, we went for years with no embryos.)  I fear that might be selfish, since there are lots of families wanting donor embryos.  But what if we choose 1 set and the cycle fails?  How long would it be before we could try again?

Agghh - Someone tell me what to do!  (lol)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Another step...

     We are the proud parents of two little Mexican/American blastocysts!  
(Well, we will be tomorrow once we pay the deposit.)  But they are reserved for us!  These little ones were our 2nd choice, but it's probably a better option after all.  The first set we had chosen were created with eggs and sperm from 37 year olds (but had resulted in a baby from that  set).  They were no longer available, so we went with this Mexican/American set.  The mom was 24 when the embryos were created.  They didn't have any kids from the fresh transfer, but they later had a spontaneous pregnancy (that apparently was a rough one) and decided they were done.  We were a little concerned that no pregnancy resulted from these embryos - but I remind myself that there are a LOT of reasons that a couple might not get pregnant - it might have nothing to do with the sperm fertilizing the egg.  Given all the options, we are certain that this is the best choice for us and we're super excited to meet these little children.
     I had the SHG done last week and all is well.  There was some issue with the clinic in NY not receiving the lab order from the clinic in Florida - and of course we got the once nurse who can be a little snotty.  She told me that they really shouldn't do the test without having the order, but she supposed they could do it anyway.  (The doc that actually did test was our favorite doc at the clinic.)  Except for a few minutes of serious cramping, it wasn't bad - but I'm glad it's over.  And I'm glad my uterus looks good. :)
     So, here were are:  SHG: check.  Embryos selected: check.  Next step: start our cycle!  So now I'm just waiting for my period.  I'm about 2 weeks away.  Once it starts, we jump in with the meds and off we go.  I should be transferring in about a month!
     I'm really hoping that my period comes when it's supposed to, because the timing will be tricky.  The clinic checks the lining on day 13 and the transfer is 6 days later.  If my period comes right on time, it'll be perfect.  If it comes too early, it will interfere with a HUGE youth group fundraiser that we can't miss.  If it comes too late, my husband will be in Boston with some of our teens.  It really has to fall in between.  I thought about waiting a month, but then it would fall right about the same time as a youth group trip that we have planned in April.  Waiting two months... ...oops, runs into another conflict.  (Yep, we are too busy!)  I don't want to wait until June.  Of course, there are lots of things that could happen between now and then to screw things up - but I'm praying that God works it out perfectly.
     It is starting to seem more "real" now that we have embryos.  I keep looking at the profile and think "this describes my next kid."  I have to think positively: after a loss and a failed cycle, I know that things can go wrong.  But I am determined to believe that God has a plan that includes bringing these children into our family.  At least, I hope so.....

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Moving along...

We're making baby steps in our progress toward another little one.  We had our phone consult with the Dr at a clinic in Florida.  He is requiring me to have an SHG since it's been a while since I had my daughter.  I got that scheduled for tomorrow - I'm so NOT looking forward to it.  I've read that it's a much easier test than the HSG I had when we first did infertility testing - but still.... catheters, dye, ultrasound probes pressing all around... yuck.  I might take some anti-anxiety meds that my mom has laying around, just to make the process better.  Ultimately, I'm hoping it leads to the next baby - so I'll focus on that.  Hopefully, if all looks good, we could choose our embryos and proceed next month!

Which is the next thing: how the heck do I "choose" embryos?  The last time, the clinic had some donated and we pretty much said "yep, we'll take 'em."  This time, I have a dozen profiles to look through.  It just feels weird to think that we're choosing our next child - and not choosing all the rest.  What criteria is important?  The doctor told us that younger eggs make better embryos, so obviously that's a consideration.  (Race is not important to us; I carried an Indian embryo till 6 weeks and was devastated to miscarry.)  But what about medical history? In one profile, the male had an aneurysm.  That's not genetic, right?  That shouldn't affect my decision, should it?  In another, the couple tested positive for chlamydia - again, not a genetic issue, so I shouldn't care - but I think I do.  The profiles disclose previous pregnancies.  One had a 'spontaneous' pregnancy, but it doesn't say if any children resulted from this IVF batch.  Can I assume that if they didn't get pregnant with the embryos, that I might not either?  Or maybe the embryos are fine, but it was something in her body that prevented implantation.  Who knows?
I'm finding it *more* difficult to have this info.  I think I'd rather have someone say "here, these embryos need a family - do you want them?"  Who wants to pick my next child for me?


I'm still following all of you, even though I don't post.  I'm super excited for Tracy (and Jenn/Aaron) and Diane & Em and praying for Jess and Liz and Paula.  (Is it ok to through out other bloggers names in my blog post?)  If nothing else, this blog gives me a chronicle of our journey.  I'm sure my blogging will pick up once things start moving a little more quickly.  For now, it's one step at a time!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Back at it!!!


     I’m supposed to be writing my youth group message right now - but I just feel the urge to blog again (and I finally have a few minutes to myself.)  We just scheduled our phone consult with a clinic in Florida to begin the EA process all over again!!!
     You might remember that we adopted some Indian embryos last spring.  We were so excited about adding those little Indian babies to our family - it sure seemed like God had ordained that.  In fact, I am still sure that God planned for us to adopt and transfer them - even though none of them were meant to live in our family.  The first attempt resulted in a pregnancy that we lost at 6 weeks.  The second attempt failed.  I found out later that the Indian culture values boys so much that the wealthier Indian families will sometimes do IVF  - just to screen out the girls.  I learned that these embryos were probably the unwanted girls (though the profile didn’t indicate that.)  I feel blessed to have ‘wanted’ these girls and to give them a chance at life.  I don’t know the ‘big picture’ of God’s plan for them - or for us, but I still have to trust Him despite those losses.  (I can say that now - I might have said something different at the time....)

Our clinic doesn’t have any more embryos - and we hit some tough times financially, so we’ve just been waiting.  and waiting.  and waiting.  Finally, Micah had a really big sale with a good commission which gets us on the road to Embryo Adoption once again.  (Hopefully, a tax return will make up the difference.)

We’ve looked at lots of programs and talked to lots of people.  It’s so helpful to talk to people who’ve used different clinics and programs.  We finally decided on a program in Florida.  (Thanks Jess!)  We got all the paperwork in , sent our records and we get to talk to the doctor tomorrow.  I don’t know how quicky or slowly things will go from here - but it feels good to be moving forward.

I’ll keep you posted - if anyone still follows me on here.  Please know that I read blogger all the time, even if I don’t post.  I just haven’t had anything interesting to say in months!  I pray for you and I enjoy following your journeys.  (Diane - I just referred someone to your blog b/c she’s had some EA frustrations and is moving to donor sperm - I hope you don’t mind.)

Thanks everyone for your encouragement!!
Ok, back to the youth message: how do we know the Bible is true........