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... ... ...