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!