Tag Archives: FET

Facing the Giant {Again}

This morning as I was reading my Bible I came across these verses:

“Look carefully then how you will walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16)

This is the prayer of my heart right now as I juggle raising two toddlers with my husband, managing our home, getting projects done around the house (hello new fixer home) and working part time. I want to be a light (Eph. 5:8)– not only to my children but also the community around me.

After eleven wonderful months, all signs point toward the endometriosis coming back with a vengeance. I’m so bummed. I actually thought I would have a bit more time. My periods have been barely making a blip on the radar with one, maybe two, days of mild cramping. And then this month happened. I actually believed I was possibly pregnant because I had cramping and nausea for seven straight days (around the clock) before my period started. I thought that maybe it was implantation cramping. However, my period started up 3 days late and once it started, the cramping was horrible with ibuprofen barely touching the pain. I had to rest a lot of else the nausea from the pain would become too great. It was a real drag, and lasted longer than I thought it would! All in all, this cycle affected me so that I was unable to function at full capacity for about 9 days. I’m not happy about that.

I semi-joined this endometriosis support group on facebook (meaning I occasionally read comments, but that I’m not very committed to it) and if there’s anything I’ve learned from it — it’s that so many women have much more HORRIBLE endometriosis than to me. We’re talking debilitating daily pain that causes endless surgeries, nerve blocker pumps being placed, years of requiring menopause-inducing medications, loss of employment and other daily activities because the pain is too great. And let’s not forget to mention that the scope of infertility affecting these women is vast. So, I have a healthy fear of endo – not only from what these women have shared, but from my own personal experience with it prior to IVF and having children. Crippling pain for two to three weeks out of the month was my thing back then, and it stunk.

I have enjoyed not living in pain and I want to keep it that way, if I have any power to do so. I don’t want this disease to try to take over my life, like I have seen it do to many other women. So I am prayerfully considering what the best “next step” will be. I want to be wise, so that I will be able to teach my son preschool, take my kids to the park and on walks, and be able to work on our house. I want to have energy to help and bless others when there is a need.

On another note, not being pregnant when I had so much hope that I actually might be (despite that <1% chance of a natural pregnancy that I had, ha) was hard– I shed a few tears over that one! But I’m glad it happened, because it revealed to me that I really do want more children. There was not a hint of “How will we afford another child?” “Where will they sleep?” or “How will we manage?” There was just sheer excitement. So this will be something I will need to hold onto loosely, because I don’t know God’s plans for our family! All I know is that His plans are BEST, and I trust Him for our future. I just have to look at Josh and Rachel to be reminded of that.

Thanks for praying for me, if you think of it. I’m going to start by getting an HSG this Friday (hysterosalpingogram). This will tell me if my remaining fallopian tube is even patent (open). If it’s not, or if there’s water blocked in the tube (hydrosalpinx) then there’s really no point in taking the time to try to conceive naturally (you know…because a 1% chance is still greater than a 0% chance…). My hubby and I will have to prayerfully consider where to go from there, depending on the HSG results.

In the meantime, here are some pictures from last December depicting God’s blessings on us through our marriage and children. How blessed we are! Pictures are by my friend Katherine Owens.

 

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Filed under Endometriosis, Motherhood, Pain

Only a Month to Go! {Inducement Date Scheduled}

I had my 32 week appointment today with my OB as well as antenatal testing.

I found out that Kaiser doesn’t mess around when it comes to intrahepatic cholestasis in pregnancy. I’m being induced on 9/13, when I will be only 36 weeks and 2 days. I sort of expected my OB to say “This isn’t really a big deal, but as a precaution I guess we’ll induce you at 38 weeks.” Nope. They want this baby out before 37 weeks. At 37+ weeks, apparently, my bile acids could spike dangerously high at any given time and harm or even kill the baby. Scary.

While I feel relieved to not be worrying that my baby will die in utero, I’m fighting some fears today that she will be little. Really little (Josh was 6 pounds 13 oz at 39 weeks). And that maybe she might not nurse so hot right off the bat. That she might have some respiratory complications. Of course, there are many 36 weekers out there that eat and breathe like champs and act like grown up term babies. I’m praying that our little girl will be one of them!

The NST went really well and baby passed with flying colors. She had good movement and good heart rate. I have an anterior placenta so her movement is muffled a bit — I have to be paying attention most times to notice her movements. Baby was already in vertex cephalic position, which was awesome! (Now please stay that way, little girl!) The ultrasound showed excellent fluid levels and lots of fluid around her umbilical cord. The nurse was great and she felt like an old friend by the time I left. Another nurse came in and wanted to discuss my ultra-hot feet at night time and came up with 3 or 4 solutions for me to keep them cool. They took good care of me, and I’m grateful for that! I’m going to be spending lots of time with them before this baby comes.

The nurse then gave me a TdAp and I didn’t even feel it. Not even a pinch – nothing (I admit to looking for an injection site). I’m so thankful for this vaccine which will protect my baby from pertussis until her 2 month vaccines– given that she’ll be little and it will be the winter months by the time she gets her first round of vaccines.

In the exam room, my OB answered a lot of my questions today (I brought in a long list). Information she passed along to me:

  1. The medicine I’m on (Ursodiol) may or may not help decrease bile acid levels, but it should decrease the amount of itching I have.
  2. She will not be checking my bile acid levels again unless I have a major change of symptoms (i.e. I become jaundiced, etc). Since baby is being delivered early I am fine with that. Currently my liver enzymes are normal and the bile acids are just slightly elevated.
  3. She said that diet changes won’t help– but that it would be a different story if I had gall stones (which I don’t).
  4. They don’t know what causes Cholestasis in pregnancy, but they do know that there is a genetic component and that it’s related to hormones. Patient with twins and triplets are more likely to get it, as well as patients who went through IVF (increase in hormones = higher risk of cholestasis). Since no one else in my family has had this, I’m guessing that the IVF/embryo transfer is the culprit in our case.

I can’t believe our baby will be here in a month. I’m not even to that really uncomfortable pregnancy stage yet or feeling like it’s time for this baby to come out. As I process her early inducement date, I’m definitely feeling a mix of excitement and fear. I will be praying much over this next month for our little girl’s safety. Please pray with me!

Now off to get this toddler of mine to sleep for his nap. Teething has ruined his happy napping schedule!

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Filed under Baby, Pregnancy

Another FET = Another Pregnancy

Yes. You probably already read my previous post. But in case you didn’t, I’m PREGNANT! We are expecting another baby in early October! Thanks be to God, we have made it past 12 weeks so far. We had a bit of a scare around 6 weeks — I wrote about what was happening at the time but wanted to wait to post about it. You can catch up on the past weeks and days below!

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{This post was written on Thursday, February 19th.}

A few months have passed by since our chemical pregnancy back in early December. I thought we would take a break and save up for the final transfer of our remaining two embryos, but  instead we jumped right back into it. The day after I miscarried I started birth control to start my next FET cycle. I didn’t have to order meds for the new FET because I was already stocked up from the last one. I also got to bypass a water sonogram and several labs due. After dealing with all the ups and downs of the last cycle, this FET just seemed so… easy.

Ease aside, I ignored the fact that we were going through another FET as much as I possibly could. I tried not to think or talk about it. I was still pretty numb from our chemical pregnancy. I prayed and asked God for another baby. I tried to hope. But I dreaded the idea of more heartbreak. Adding to this stress was the fact that these were our last two babies in storage. My husband and I were very uncertain as to whether we would go through a second full IVF cycle in order to retrieve more eggs and eventually embryos. In other words, we were coming to grips with the fact that our son might be an only child.

Those six weeks proved to be a hard time for me. For one of the first times in my life, I didn’t want to share with people what was going on with us. I just wanted to get it over with and take the time I needed to adapt to whatever scenario the Lord brought us.

On the day of the embryo transfer, January 21st, our RE transferred in two lovely 4AA embryos, one expanded and one not quite expanded. As the bed rest and two week wait progressed, I began to have mild cramping. I breathed a sigh of relief, taking this as a good sign. Sure enough, on the day of my beta at 12 dpo, my beta came back at 103. We were elated and even wondered if I were pregnant with twins. Two days later, at 14 dpo, my beta more than doubled and came back at 227. At 24 dpo, my beta continued to double perfectly and was 7,383. I was having very light cramping and some pretty extreme first trimester fatigue. The nausea started the night before I hit 6 weeks and I felt completely relieved that everything was seeming to be progressing as it should be. I allowed myself to dream a little, to think about my due date and maybe what kind of stroller I would purchase for two or more children. My husband and I were nothing short of excited.

And then on Sunday, when I was 6 1/2 weeks along, in the midst of feeling quite nauseous, I noticed that I had some moderate cramps starting while sitting in church. I wasn’t sure which was making me feel more uncomfortable — the cramps or the nausea — but I stayed seated during the service until I decided that it would probably be a good idea to go out to the car and lie down. My plans didn’t quite go as planned though as I heard Josh crying from the nursery as soon as I left the sanctuary so I grabbed him and the diaper bag on my way out. As I sat in the car with Josh on my lap, the cramps started to worsen. My husband came out to the car right after the service and I told him that I felt concerned that I might be starting to have miscarriage.

When we got home, I went straight into the bathroom and discovered that I was bleeding bright red blood. “Oh, no, oh no, oh no” I cried as I looked into the toilet bowl and discovered that it was completely red from blood. The cramps felt like menstrual cramps and I knew that they plus bright red blood were not a good sign in pregnancy. My heart sank lower than it had been in a long, long time. I started to sob and my husband heard me and came into the bathroom. His heart sank too when he realized that I was probably miscarrying.

I finally pulled myself together enough to lay on the bed and call the clinic. I left a message telling them what happened and that I had likely miscarried. Then I called my mom and the we both cried on the phone together. Somehow, hearing her own sorrow and pain at receiving my sad news helped to comfort me.

The nurse at the clinic called me back promptly and told me that she was trying to be hopeful about the bleeding and cramping and scheduled me for an ultrasound the next day. I told her that I knew about subchorionic hematomas (a tear between the sac and the wall of the uterus) but that I was bleeding quite a bit and that I still had a lot of cramping. At the time I had thought that subchorionic hematomas didn’t come with cramping. She didn’t say much at my comment but did acknowledge that a hematoma could be a possibility.

That afternoon and night I researched like crazy. My bleeding had tapered off and completely stopped by the evening. And I was still nauseous. That didn’t seem to add up to a miscarriage in my mind. I learned that the cramping from miscarriages are often pretty painful (although mine wasn’t with my chemical pregnancy, most likely because the baby hadn’t developed very far) and that the bleeding increases and lasts for days, not hours. I also learned that subchorionic hematomas often do come with cramping, because there is blood in the uterus and the uterus becomes irritated from it and tries to get it out (hence the cramping). As I learned more, I began to feel a little hope that maybe I wasn’t going through a miscarriage. But I also felt prepared to receive the possible news that there might not be a heart beat.

The next morning a friend graciously watched Josh, and my husband and I headed off to the clinic. My RE started the ultrasound and there I saw it — a sac with a flickering light! Our baby had a heart beat and was alive! Tears of joy filled my eyes. But then I saw a large fluid-filled pocket adjacent to the baby. My RE confirmed that it was indeed a subchorionic hematoma. The baby measured perfectly — 6w3d — but the hematoma was twice the size of the baby’s sac. My RE didn’t seem to be as concerned about that. The important part, he said, was that it shared about 30% of the baby’s sac with the hematoma. If it grew to share more than 60%, he said that it could constrict the baby from growing and cause it to arrest. Another possibility, he said, was that it could cause the sac and placenta to detach.

After the ultrasound, my RE discussed bed rest with us. He said I needed to be very careful not to exert myself or to lift anything heavy. We asked more questions to clarify — exactly what level of bed rest was he talking about? He never said “strict” bed rest but then he said we should “call in all our help” to get through this time, because I wouldn’t be able to pick up Josh at all, cook, do laundry or even go anywhere. My husband and I looked at each other. We were scared but we were determined. We would do everything we could to prevent a miscarriage. More than anything, we wanted to hold this baby in our arms when the time came!

When we left our appointment my RE wrote in big letters on my medical sheet “Threatened Abortion.” I felt sick just seeing him write it. “I have to write it on the sheet,” he said, slightly apologetic. “It’s not a high chance that you’ll miscarry (he couldn’t give statistics when I asked for them) but the chances are increased.”

On the drive home my husband and I began planning how we would both survive (potentially) weeks of strict bed rest. Everything I had read said to plan on WEEKS for hematomas to either be reabsorbed or to bleed out. Most resolved by 20 weeks, but the earlier the diagnosis in a pregnancy (meaning the first trimester as opposed to the second), the better the prognosis.

In the meantime, I am bed resting. Or rather, sofa-resting. Trying to make the best out of our situation. My husband has really kicked into high gear and is doing a great job taking care of Josh while also juggling the other jobs of the house. He’ll be going back to work next Monday and my sister will be helping out for a few weeks then.

As I lay low, we are all praying that this hematoma will miraculously resolve. We’ll find out more on Tuesday.

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Coming up next: Bed rest under my older sister’s care.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under IVF, Miscarriage, Pregnancy, Uncategorized

Miscarriage Thoughts, Josh’s 9 Month Birthday & Christmas

Belated Merry Christmas!

Please excuse my little break from blogging — life has been busy and I just haven’t really had a lot of mental energy to blog. It’s been a little bit of a hard season for me.

I miscarried on December 9th, when I was 5 weeks and 5 days along. I didn’t think I’d know if I passed the baby or not but it was definitely obvious when I did. So much excitement and hope gone with sheer certainty on that day. Although I thought I was getting over the disappointment, I cried when I passed the baby. To throw it away in the trash felt so wrong and awful.

The final wave of tears came when a beautiful card from my infertility clinic arrived in the mail two days later, signed by all the nurses and staff.  I realized that for my own sense of closure, I needed to keep some momentos from this experience. I saved the card and inside it I placed the photos our clinic gave us of our embryos along with some other things from our FET experience and beginning weeks of pregnancy. I also want to print out a picture of a positive pregnancy test I had. I will store it away in the bottom of one of my dresser drawers, and someday I will pull it out and it will help me remember this time. I want to remember it all — the utter disbelief I felt when I heard I was pregnant and the ensuing building excitement of the thought of another baby. The calculating of due dates and thoughts of purchasing new maternity clothes. Then the lurking fear that maybe something was wrong to then the non-stop tears that happened the day I learned we were losing our little one.  I want to remember how immense my love was for that little embryo that tried to grow– but couldn’t.

On a much happier note, Josh turned nine months old a few weeks ago. It felt like we had hit some sort of monumental milestone, but really I don’t think any new milestones have actually been reached. Josh is still our very focused little boy. He loves to fiddle with the zipper on my fleece and he’s figured out how to unzip it. He loves feeling different textures and likes the feel of silky tags. He likes to fiddle with things and I always imagine him taking things apart when he gets older. He’s getting a little pushy at times — squawking when we don’t get his bottle in his mouth fast enough or occasionally when we take something away from him. In general though he’s still pretty easy going. He’s sitting, rolling, and scooting –but still not crawling and not really making any attempts to do so. He likes to stand (with our help) and likes his walker. I try to get him out in the stroller daily and he loves that too.

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9 month photos by my friend Katherine.

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Josh was pretty stingy with his smiles on this day!

 

As far as food goes, Josh likes anything that’s not made by mom! I just can’t get the texture right. At least I think that’s what the problem is. He eats it, but he winces and shudders and sometimes his eyes even get teary with each swallow. It’s not that he rejects it — he will still open his mouth for another bite — but you can tell he’s in agony with each swallow. Many times I have thought: “So much for all my hard work!” So after several attempts at this I gave up and just buy it. He gets 3 meals a day, oatmeal and fruit with breakfast, and usually a veggie and meat combo for both lunch and dinner. He gets a bottle roughly every 4-5 hours and takes anywhere from 3-7 oz. I still can’t get him to take much water from ANY of the sippy cups I’ve tried — he chokes about 85% of the time on them (and we’ve been at it for almost 3 months!). I’ve tried just about every single kind of sippy cup. Not sure what his deal is but I’m guessing that it’ll smooth out once we take away the bottle and he only has one type of cup to take fluid from.

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First time eating chicken nuggets.

 

Josh still takes a bottle sometime in the middle of the night (any time between 1- 5 am) and will often guzzle down 6 oz. This night time feeding is silly though and I know the kid can make up for the volume during the day! One of these days I’m going to wean him of it. It will just take a bit of training and a few nights with probably quite a bit less sleep for us both. His night time bottle is just a quick fix to get him to fall back asleep quickly, and I know it’s not one of my best parenting moves.

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Josh still adores books. When I pull a book off the shelf and sit him on my lap, he literally shakes and kicks his legs and arms in an excited fashion and squeals in delight! As soon as I finish the story, he looks longingly at the other books left on the shelf left to be read. If I pull another book out he squeals again happily! We could easily read 10-15 books at a time. Actually, we usually stop reading because I’m over it — but I wonder how long he’d sit there and listen happily? I should find out sometime when I feel like reading all day.

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Trying to get a ‘proper’ 9 month photo while Josh enjoys non-toys.

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Who knew a rug was so amazing?

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The hardest habit Josh has right now is his screeching habit. When he gets bored or tired he will scream at a pitch that compares to finger nails on a chalk board. He’s had this awful habit for a few months now — some days he screeches a lot and other days (thankfully) not so much. He always seems so proud of the sounds that come out of his mouth. I’ve tried to break him of this habit several times consistently, but unfortunately he also consistently seems to not be getting the message. Maybe in another month or so. In the meantime, Mommy and Daddy think a baby muzzle wouldn’t such a bad idea…  (JOKING!)

Christmas with our families was a blessing this year. I specifically remember this time last year being really difficult because I had horrible abdominal pain start at around 7 pm on Christmas Eve and ended up going to bed early, only to lay there and cry in misery. Those days were so fraught with a mix of excitement of a coming baby and horror of continual pain. This year was so much better! Josh did great and enjoyed playing with the wrapping paper most of all (which was funny because his 8 month old cousin was MOST afraid of the wrapping paper and cried whenever someone opened a package). Everyone had fun holding him and by the end of day there were hardly any smiles left in that exhausted kid. He got a ton of toys, some clothes, a baby swing for outside, a pair of leather shoes, some ornaments with his name on it, and books!

Josh was pretty tired here, but here he is getting his stocking from Grandma. He got so much stuff it didn't even all fit into the GIANT stocking my mom knit for him!

Josh was pretty tired here, but here he is getting his stocking from Grandma. He got so much stuff it didn’t even all fit into the GIANT stocking my mom knit for him!

I’m so grateful for our little family and for our extended family, too. God has blessed our socks off, not just in the people He’s placed in our lives or the material things He’s given us, but the gift of Himself — available to each and every person. The word ‘Emmanuel’ means “God with us,” and that immeasurable gift of Himself is what we receive when we come to the Lord. He is with us. He will carry us. He will help us. So much hope and promise brought to us all by a little baby born to Mary over two thousand years ago.

As the New Year comes in, I’m not thinking about exercising more or trying to live better in some way. No – my hope is solely to remember and carry these things closer to my heart. There may be more heartbreak in store for us in 2015; we just don’t know. Perhaps it will be a year of answered prayers. But as the days go by, may Emmanual be on my lips and residing in my heart as a reminder as to who ordaining each moment.

And lastly, here’s some more photos…

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Josh wearing his first Christmas hat his Mimi and Papa got him!

 

I love this family photo! Josh's cousin is trying to pull off Mimi's hat...and my hubby and his brother are clearly noticeable in the mirror taking our picture.

I love this family photo! Josh’s cousin is trying to pull off Mimi’s hat…and my hubby and his brother are clearly noticeable in the mirror taking our picture.

 

I wonder who the center of attention is in this photo???

I wonder who the center of attention is in this photo???

 

We're not the best at family photos. This was the best we could do, and Josh isn't even smiling. In any case, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

We’re not the best at family photos. This was the best we could do, and Josh isn’t even smiling. In any case, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

See you in 2015!

 

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Filed under Miscarriage, Pregnancy

It’s Over

My beta came back today at 145. It dropped quite a bit since Tuesday and we officially had a chemical pregnancy. I have to get my beta levels checked in a week to make sure it’s not ectopic (the nurse didn’t think so). We had hoped and prayed for a miracle, but no miracle happened.

And that is okay.

I cried and grieved a lot Tuesday and Wednesday. Today, a few hours after I got the results back, I began to look forward to the future again. There have been sad moments. My empty pill box and huge cardboard box filled with IVF meds made me sad, as I have stopped all medication today. The “Expecting Mother” parking sign I saw today at BuyBuy Baby made me sad, as I no longer fit in that category. My mom asked me what I had wanted for Christmas, and I had excitedly said, “maternity clothes!” Those will no longer be needed.

So much hope and excitement all coming to a crashing halt.

And still it is okay.

I trust the Lord for my future. I started to spiral into fear the other day — worrying that I wouldn’t ever get pregnant again… then what would we do? Would Josh be an only child? I would so love a sibling for him to play with. And then I realized I was just borrowing trouble, and I needed to stop. And focus on the fact that the Lord gives GOOD gifts to His children. That’s me. So I can rest, and be hopeful. Because even though things feel like “they’re over” right now, they truly aren’t.

We don’t know when we’ll do our next FET with our remaining two embryos. I don’t know if I can commit to blogging about it when the time comes. I felt compelled to blog about my experience with this FET, and maybe I’ll never know exactly the reasons why. But I can say that blogging about it has blessed my socks off — so many people have reached out to me, prayed for me, called, come over, sent a text message, made me a meal, etc. I even had a dear friend come over to be with me this morning to give me a huge hug and remind me of truth when I got the bad news today. I have truly felt supported and loved through this rather painful ordeal. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

May the Lord bless you for your kindness and generosity of care for me.

 

6 Comments

Filed under FET, Pregnancy

Taking a Deep Breath…

I’m so sorry to keep some of you out of the loop about this pregnancy and hcg levels. Thank you for checking in with me.

I discovered that my first beta of 20 was actually done at 11 dpo instead of 12 dpo like I had originally thought. This made me feel a little bit better about it being on the lower side. I discovered that the average beta for 11 dpo is something like 24.

My second beta was done last Wednesday at 13 dpo and was 60. The nurse was very happy with this number, but did mention that I was pregnant “most likely with a singleton.” I definitely felt a sense of relief that things seemed to be progressing like they should.

After my blood test last Wednesday I headed to my parents with Josh to help them get ready for Thanksgiving. On Thursday, we returned as a family to celebrate. What a blessing to be thankful out of overflowing gratitude for this new baby instead of out of obedience had we gotten a negative test. But even then, I know I would have been thankful for this almost 9 month son of ours that brings daily smiles to our faces.

Over the weekend we headed to the mountains for a quick vacation at my parents cabin. Overall I’ve just been feeling… well, normal. Very normal. With Josh I was already feeling very “off ” by this point. But I guess I shouldn’t compare pregnancies. In any case, it’s been a little bit of a struggle not to worry and to just enjoy this period of feeling decent while it lasts.

I did, however, get my next beta test moved from Saturday to this Tuesday. I’m needing reassurance that things with this baby are okay. As you can see… I’m a little bit of a worrier. Not something I’m proud of.

Whether this baby goes to term and we get to hold him or her in our arms, or whether I miscarry and things don’t work out at all like we had hoped for — God is greater still, always working, always faithful.

Today I am 4 weeks 3 days. These are early, early days! Thanks again for your prayers for this little one inside. 🙂

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Filed under FET, Pregnancy

Deflated Before Test Day

Things aren’t looking so good. 😦

I took a test yesterday and today and both were negative. I’m 5dp6dt. By this time last year, I had a faint positive test with Josh. But the cramping stopped a few days ago and I just feel completely normal. Feeling can lie, but I don’t feel pregnant.

My mom called earlier and I told her the news. We chatted about what I would do if the test came back negative tomorrow. I cried. There is only one trick left up my sleeve that I know of that might help curb the endometriosis. I don’t know if it will work or fail. If it fails I’ll need surgery again.

In any case, maybe God will work a miracle and maybe my beta will come back tomorrow with a surprise. Or maybe our wonderful family of 3 is what God would like us to be content with for now.

Jesus may you give me peace to get through tonight and tomorrow.

Thank you all for your amazing kind words and prayers. It means a lot to me!

4 Comments

Filed under FET

Torture Before Testing

Well folks, no one said this waiting period would be easy.

It’s far from easy. In the infertility world, I’m what you’d call 3dp6dt. That’s 3-days-past a 6-day-transfer, to equal 9 dpo (which translates to 9 days past ovulation). A little early for a home pregnancy test, although some women pregnant with multiples get positives this early. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Back to our embryo transfer.

Our frozen embryo transfer (FET) was on Tuesday. All in all, it was a rough day. For the first time ever, I blogged in real-time about the phone call from our RE announcing the poor prognosis of one of our embryo. After that blog post, I got an email from my RE. I won’t go into detail because it’s not important. But let’s just say that he was pretty rude and unkind in this quick email. It had nothing to do with the transfer that day, it was a response to an email I had sent him the prior week regarding my thyroid. On any given day, the email would have just made me mad. But on FET day, the day I am injected full of hormones, the day Josh is for some reason out of sorts and threatening to be screaming during our (already stressful) transfer, and most of all the day I hear one of my babies might be dying — well, I burst immediately into tears.

Thankfully, my husband called his mom to babysit Josh and she came to the rescue with 3 minutes to spare! I popped my prescribed valium, guzzled the prescribed amount of water, loaded up and hit the road.

And on the drive to the clinic, I let the email go. It didn’t matter. What was important was getting those babies transferred where they belonged.

When we arrived it was clear our RE didn’t want to transfer in our embryo that was looking less than great (I never did hear what the official “grade” that the embryo was). We went back and forth as I tried to ascertain what the actual status of the embryo was. My RE said that in his opinion, the embryo was a “demise.” A demise? A demise means dead. “Is it dead?” I asked. No, he said it wasn’t dead, but it was as good as dead. “Death is pretty black or white, is it dead?” I asked again. He said it was black or white for him — it might as well be dead. So he wasn’t willing to call it dead.

Because it was not dead.

He stepped out of the room and gave my husband and I a minute to decide what we wanted to do. But we already knew we were transferring in this struggling embryo. We talked about it for about one second. My RE came back in the room and we told him we wanted both embryos transferred.

Ten minutes later, both embryos had been transferred without any complications. He handed us pictures of our embryos, then in the blastocyst (about to hatch) stage. I looked at each embryo with wonder and amazement– these were our children. One of the embryos, the struggling embryo, had some cells that had burst, indicating that things were not good. But there were still cells that were intact. It still had a chance, even if it is a very, very small chance.

As my RE was walking out the door, he said, “This is good. You only want one baby. You don’t want twins. One baby is best.” The door slammed behind him. I couldn’t help it — I gave the biggest eye roll at his comment. Never mind the prior appointments where I told him we were comfortable with the idea of twins. Never mind the fact that it was his idea to transfer two embryos last summer. How wrong he was, and how frustrated I felt with him for not rooting even a little for our struggling embryo. I’m not sure what was going through his head, but he seemed to be wrapped up in the well being of his clinic’s statistics of viable pregnancies.

Then, our lovely nurse (who I adore) asked to see the pictures of our embryos. “Hmm” she said. “They’re not what I’d call great looking embryos, but you never know.” The truth is, I had been thinking the same thing (comparing only with pictures of blastocysts I’d seen on the internet) and inquired further. Why did she think that? I appreciated her giving me her honest opinion. She popped her head around the door to speak with the embryologist. The embryologist explained that no, one of the embryos was of excellent quality (4AA) but it just hadn’t had time to re-expand after being thawed. My nurse said, “Well, the embryologist is the expert!” I breathed a sigh of relief. It was clear that the nurse just didn’t know as much about it, although I know she’s worked at the clinic for a long time.

Lastly, during the thirty minutes that I had to lay still on the bed following the transfer, my husband laid hands on me and prayed over our embryos. There was nothing sweeter that happened that day than his act of headship over our family.

We came home from the clinic and the 3 days of bed rest and waiting began. Within a few hours I felt some tugging and pulling. Could it be the beginning of implantation? It was a little sharp, but didn’t last long. I felt the same thing later on that night and then the next morning. Then more consistent cramps began and didn’t let up for a day. They started again yesterday afternoon and took another break this morning. Then more cramps this afternoon. But none now. I had cramping with Josh so I see it as a very good sign that I might be pregnant. But then when the cramps fizzle out I start to feel unsure again. And the thing is, cramps are not a guarantee of pregnancy. It could be false hope. I just don’t know the outcome, and I won’t know until next week.

So thanks for praying for me. All in all, it’s going much better than last time. I’ve only cried once. But it’s still hard.

I was in the car today, taking Josh with me to Trader Joes to pick up some ice cream and chocolate (um, what else?!) and Seeds of Faith was playing for about the billionth time. The words from Isaiah 41, “Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” played over and over and the words began to sink in after a while. And I thought: I’m not alone in this. If I don’t get pregnant, He is with me! and if I don’t get pregnant, He will strengthen, help and uphold me.

There is nothing sweeter than that.

I’ll have an update for you sometime next week. I’m not trying to be vague, it’s just that my clinic ordered my beta (blood test indicating a pregnancy or not) for Monday due to the holidays and I really feel that it’s waaay too soon. I’ll only be 12 dpo on Monday. I would hate to get a false negative– it’s like signing up for pre-planned torture. So I may just call the clinic Monday morning and request a later date for the lab draw. I haven’t decided yet.

Again, thanks for your prayers! And thanks for helping to support me through this journey!

 

 

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FET Day

We just got a call from our RE. Already things are not going as planned. They thawed two of our 6-day embryos, and one is looking great, the other is “surprisingly not looking great” (my RE’s words).

My RE’s question: Should he discard the bad looking one, thaw one more and transfer the two, or just transfer the original good one?

My question: Can’t we still transfer the original two (including the “not so good looking one”), even though one doesn’t look like it will survive long?

He said we could transfer both, as long as I understood that it had less than a 15% of survival.

I understand. And that’s what we’re doing. I’m not about to give up on my baby, just because things don’t look good.

Friends, please pray for our embryos. Our transfer is still over 2 hours away. I feel like my chances of getting pregnant are dropping as the minutes go by, but really– there are so many miracles I need the Lord to do in order to get pregnant, and this is just one of them.

He is able. But we need your prayers!

 

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Injections & Headaches

Injections for our embryo transfer are under way. Gave my first IM shot on Monday! I didn’t even feel it! Since I started the process for the FET on Oct. 2, it feel like it’s been a long month of meds and headaches. I’m so thankful we’ve only got 11 more days to go until they transfer in those embryos! Not that many of my meds will change, and I’ll still have to give myself shots after that (at least until we know if I’m pregnant or not), but this initial period of sorting out my TSH and getting acclimated to new medications will be DONE!

What a huge difference between going through IVF last year and going through the FET this year. I’ve learned so much about the Lord and myself during this space of time. Last year I was a complete basket case. I cried a lot during IVF and during the two week wait (2WW) until the blood test to find out if I was pregnant or not. I could barely hold it together, and I was so afraid to HOPE. But other than feeling fatigued, I really didn’t feel that bad with all the medications I was on at the time. Fast forward a year and some months… this time around I have complete peace about our FET. I don’t know if I’ll get pregnant, but I pray for it daily. I know it’ll be really hard if I don’t get pregnant, though. On the flip side, this round has been very tough physically. I’ve had headache almost every day for FIVE WEEKS. It’s been a total pain! I thought back and I think there have been 3 days where I did not have a headache.

My RE said he thinks the headaches are caused by the Lupron, even though I told him I’ve had the headaches for 5 weeks and I’ve only been on the Lupron for 2 weeks. He gave me the option to stop the thyroid medicine (he said he thought it was doubtful that it was causing the headaches). But it’s the only thing I’ve been on consistently for the last 5 weeks. I feel a little nervous to stop it as the research shows that a higher TSH is linked with miscarriages. But my TSH wasn’t that high to begin with (2.6). So I’m going to pray about stopping it today. Because I’m tired of functioning so poorly with these headaches. My concentration has become very poor.

So that’s the news. Not a lot to report, it’s kind of the same old story: “Blah blah blah headaches blah blah headaches…”

Thanks for praying for us!

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