Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Implantation day and results

On March 8th, our little family of three went to the IVF clinic for our appointment. On the way, Nathan fell asleep so we thought, great, we should be able to keep him asleep and quiet for the procedure! However, he awoke as soon as we arrived and he wanted to RUN (as boys usually do). So, when it came to actual procedure time, Dan and Nathan had to step out of the room.
As soon as we arrived, I was instructed to take my Valium and wait to be called back. Once in the room, I was checked to make sure I had a full bladder (I had downed over 48 oz of water so I knew I did!) and then the catheter was placed. At one point, I noticed that the door was wide open to the hallway and that anyone could just be walking by and see everything! But, everyone there had already seen everything anyway and the door needed to be open so they could bring the embryo through safely. As they were bringing the embryo through, I hear the Star Wars theme song playing.... at least I thought I did or maybe the Valium was really working on me?? The doctor began to place the embryo and I was able to watch on the ultrasound monitor. I saw the catheter enter and then a flash of white as the embryo was pushed out and into my uterus. Then the doctor made a comment about the Star Wars music which made me feel better that I wasn't totally hearing things! I was then instructed to lie there for 20 minutes and then I was able to empty my bladder, get dressed and go home and relax (with a toddler, ha ha). :)

The pregnancy test was 9 days later, on Friday March 17th, St. Patricks Day. Nathan and I went in first thing in the morning and then off to work we went. I was told I would get the call within 2 hours and I had hoped that it was between clients so that I could answer. It was and the clinician told me that I was in fact pregnant....... wait what?? This is something that in all of our IVF cycles had never happened before! Every other time, they told me my results were always negative. So, I was very surprised and nervous and excited! I either called or sent a text to every family member and close friend I could that day and celebrated the fact that it worked over the whole weekend. I was told to come back Monday for "baseline blood work" and that my number was a 22 and "anything over 5 was considered a pregnancy so 22 was a good place to start".

On Monday the 20th, Nathan and I went back in for the baseline blood work and then off to his gymnastics class. I was told I would get a phone call within two hours. So just as we were walking out of gymnastics, the call came in. I could tell something was not right by the sound of the clinician's voice. She said that unfortunately my number had dropped down to 14 and that the numbers are supposed to rise or double every 24 hours so that this was possibly a "chemical pregnancy" but that I should continue my medication and come back on Wednesday morning for another blood test. So, I cried much of yesterday between napping and trying to be a "present mom". I also called all of my family and close friends back to tell them the sad news. I received many heartfelt responses that more prayers were being sent up that there was maybe lab error or that the embryo shifted or that maybe my body is just being silly but the baby is fine. We shall see tomorrow I guess. I did some research to learn that a Chemical Pregnancy in IVF means that the embryo does in fact implant but for some genetic reason, it fails to grow. I guess that is encouraging in a way that it means that I can get pregnant...... which I already knew because I have had these same symptoms often very early on and then I miscarry.

We have one more little embryo left so one more shot, one more potentially heart breaking cycle or a successful to term cycle. I was told by a fellow infertile friend that in these moments we should allow ourselves the day or two that we need to grieve and then get back up and move on. Before Nathan, that was much easier said than done. I did give myself yesterday though and got back up and enjoyed my time with him today. We have played in the yard, went on a long walk, watered the plants (and he watered himself) and we ate popsicles because it was a really hot day! He went down for a nap easily and after a couple of hours, he is awake again so I should sign off for now and make dinner!

I will update tomorrow evening with the final (?) blood test results.

Thank you all for your continued thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The date has been set!

I had another ultrasound yesterday and everything looks great! So, we have a date set for March 8th for implantation. Now the fun begins of adding additional medications to my day, woohoo! ;)

On another note, Nathan has been battling a ridiculous virus these last two weeks so I am asking that on top of praying that all of this will work out, I am also asking for healing prayers for our little mister! Even sick though, he is mostly a happy, easy going dude! Here are some recent photos...

 Valentines day 2017

 He was "helping" with the laundry! lol

 Just enjoying the beautiful Tucson "winter".

 



Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Moving right along

Yesterday was another ultrasound to check my system to see if it was ready to start the next round of drugs for our transfer and everything looks great so I started the next round of drugs last night! So far so good and we are set to transfer in exactly 4 weeks from today!

That is really all I have to report on that front so in order to make this post a little longer, I want to share some awesome things Nathan has been up to lately!

1) He has learned to climb and he is so proud of himself for it too! Here are a few pictures:





2) He is pointing to pictures in books when I name them or ask "where is the ___?"

3) He is beginning to use sign language more independently for things the wants like "milk please" when I ask him "what do you want?" or to tell me he wants to "go again" on the slide or swing.

Finally,

4) This one makes my heart SO happy..... he is finally trying to mimic what I am saying and I can't share the audio file here but I will try to add it to the comments section when I share it to FB.

Once again, thank you all for your thoughts and prayers!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Road Trip Day!

Well, today was the day that was scheduled for me to pick up our embryos from the old IVF clinic in Phoenix and take them to our new office in Tucson. So, we got up early and I packed the car with the things a toddler needs for a day at the sitter's, got dressed and got on the road. I dropped the dog off first and then Nathan and headed to the new IVF clinic to get their nitrogen tank to take to the old clinic so the embryos could be packed safely for travel.

Let me back up to yesterday when I was driving home from the store and my AC went out on my car.... That was not a good moment! I thought then, why in the heck couldn't it have waited until Wednesday to go out??!?!?!? I guess because that is just  the way things go! Just in case you don't live near me, I will tell you because you probably don't know that it can still  get quite hot in the desert in January so I was sort of freaked out that I was supposed to be traveling with embryos that are frozen and need to stay that way to survive!

Thankfully, I had already asked my dear friend P to travel with me for moral support and she said yes. So I had to call her last night and ask if since she was coming with me anyway, could we take her car too and of course since she is awesome like that, she said it was not a problem. Phew!

Back to today, I arrived at the clinic and P was already there so we went in to retrieve our other traveling companion Mr. Nitrogen Tank. Now, I don't know what I was picturing but this guy was large! I guess I sort of thought that it would be small since embryos are small but not so much. Here is a picture of Mr. N.T..




The second photo is of the regulator that recorded the temperature of the inside of the tank from the time that they turned it on to the time that I delivered it back to them and they retrieved the embryos from it. I felt a bit better about the trip knowing that they were able to monitor the temperature that way! After a few papers to sign and strategic placement of Mr. N.T. in P's car, we were on the road. We took it sort of easy getting there and stopped for gas and food on the way up. 
In and Out Burger by the way opens at 10 am even though their doors say 10:30am, so yes, we had burgers and fries at 10am and it was delicious! 
We arrived at the old clinic just before noon and took Mr. N.T. in to be loaded with my two embryos. The embryologist greeted us and told us it would only take 5-10 minutes to load and then he took the tank back. True to his word, he came back about 10 minutes later with Mr. N.T all loaded up, gave us his best wishes for safe travels and made sure I knew that he was no longer responsible for them once I took over. We carefully carried Mr. N.T to the car and wedged him tightly on the floorboard behind the seat (suggestion from the new clinic's embryologist). Then, after a quick prayer and a few deep breaths from me, we headed down the road. We entertained ourselves by chatting with another BFF from college and laughing about what would happen if I got pulled over. Like, how would I explain the nitrogen tank in the back or what would happen if I just didn't pull over and kept on driving with my blinker on like I was going to at some point??? Thankfully, that was just a good thing to laugh about that didn't actually happen! (I stayed only 3 miles over the speed limit the whole time.)
Less than two hours later, we arrived safe and sound and the regulator showed that the temperature never dropped too low during the whole time! Here I am at the new clinic with Mr. N.T and the embryos. 
PHEW!

Afterward, I celebrated the uneventful trip by taking Nathan for ice cream. Here is his happy chocolate face!

 Yesterday was my followup ultrasound to see if the cyst I had was still causing trouble and I am happy to report that it is no longer acting up and I was able to start my injections. So, now that the babies are safe at the new clinic and I have started the medication to prepare for transfer, all we do now is wait for everything to line up right and my body to respond correctly. My next appointment is on the 7th of February and we will see how things are progressing then.

Thank you all so much for your prayers and support!


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

We have hit the first bump in the road of our new journey.....

Well it was bound to happen I guess and maybe it is for the best but we are currently at a short standstill because my body has a mind of its own and refuses to cooperate when it comes to fertility treatments!

I went in today for a baseline ultrasound and to have blood work done. The ultrasound showed a small cyst and the blood work showed that my estrogen was way too high to begin the regiment of fertility drugs.

So, I have to double up on birth control which really does a number on a woman hormones, in this case, that will be good to decrease the estrogen but may really increase my irritability, sorry friends! I will try my best not to bite any one's head off! (Just don't say something silly and I won't bite ;))

I have to do the birth control thing until the 30th and will then go in for another ultrasound and blood work check.

On the 31st, I will be transporting those two sweet embryos from Phoenix to Tucson. PLEASE PLEASE PRAY YOUR HARDEST FOR A SAFE AND UNEVENTFUL TRANSPORT THAT DAY!!! We need them to stay nice and frozen and to not get shaken up.

I'll update again on the 30th. Until then, please pray for the cyst to decrease and to stop pouring out all that estrogen (no wonder I have been crying at stupid things!)

Thanks for listening, I am off to play with my handsome little two year old! Who by the way is not only matching colors but identifying patterns of colors too! We have a quiet little smarty pants on our hands!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Another Journey....

First, let me tell you that Nathan is growing so fast! He is showing us every day how smart he is and what he can do. He is slowly starting to say a few words but hasn't done so consistently just yet. He is getting support for that though and we know that he will be a chatterbox soon enough!



Now, as you may remember, we have two embryos left. With our last two failed attempts with our surrogate, we decided to go a different route. I found a new IVF doctor here in Tucson. She is great! She went through IVF to have her children so she is compassionate for sure. She is also encouraging and very knowledgeable. I was able to have a free consultation with her to go over my options. Could I potentially be able to do this on my own? Are there any other things to try given that I tried three times before with no luck? What are my odds? These were just some of many questions I had for her that day.
After our initial meeting, I had bloodwork done and then went through another fertility test that was not fun at all and nothing I will share here in too much detail but it was basically to see the uterine lining and make sure that there wasn't anything there that could prevent pregnancy from happening. According to the testing, everything looks just as it is supposed to and according to the doctor, there isn't a reason why I shouldn't be able to do this.
I met with her a third time and we came up with a plan of action. She thinks that I should try since I never tried with our donor eggs. All of our failed attempts were with my own eggs and most miscarriages happen for genetic reasons. She said by using donor eggs, we are eliminating my genetic issues that could have caused the failures. So, we started on that plan today and if all goes well, we will be transferring in mid February.
I am telling you all this because I am asking that you will please, please pray for us during this journey. Pray for an uneventful drive as I bring my embryos from the old clinic to the new one, pray for healthy embryos to survive the thaw and pray for "sticky eggs" once we do the transfer and for us to get our Big Fat Positive results back 10 days later. I truly believe it was the power of prayer that brought Nathan to us the first time around and this is why, this time around, I am sharing this journey with you all again.
Thank you in advance.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Another attempt.....

About this time last year, I wrote of our attempt at trying for number two with our fantastic surrogate, friend and family member. She was and is so amazing of a person and a believer that she really wanted, believed and hoped that if we tried again it really would happen.


So, we went down that road again. She did all the ridiculous things a woman has to do to go though an IFV transfer such as shots times too many and blood draws galore and after many setbacks, she was finally able according to the Doc, ready to transfer.

We tried on the 13th. Maybe a bad omen, maybe not. Our weekend was not unlike our first attempt that was super successful and that brought us Nathan. We enjoyed a weekend of fun and went to the new OdySea museum with Nathan and that was incredible! We enjoyed time together as a family and prayed and hoped for the best! In so many instances, the whole trip went exactly like it had when we were successful before.

We waited the two weeks all the while feeling very positive yet trying not to get too hopeful. Two days before learning that we were not successful, I dreamt that we were and that we were having a girl. While that would have been something to get used to given that I feel that I am a good boy mom..... it was good feeling!

On the day of the blood test though, I woke up feeling super negative and end the end, the results were actually, negative.

No second baby in our immediate future. We have two embryos left and may or may not try again soon.

I feel that a lot of this is my fault. When Nathan was successful, I shared everything with all of you prior to success and requested prayers throughout everything! While plenty of people family wise were praying this time, maybe that wast enough?

Maybe though, it wasn't meant to be right now either. Nathan is amazing and sweet and the best child ever but he also has some needs that require mommy and daddy's full attention at this time. So, maybe God knows what he is doing and maybe he has a plan all along. We shall see....

Thank you all for your time and love.

Now,

An open letter to our surrogate, birth mother of Nathan..... We love you so much! We wouldn't have ever gotten the chance to be parents had it not been for your love an generosity! Thank you so much for your gift to us and for believing in us! We promise to try to give him the best life possible and to raise him in a happy healthy home. We want him to know and love you too and to know that you are not just a family member but someone special! Please don't ever think that you have failed us or that we deserve more.... you have already given us so much more than we have ever thought possible! Thanks to you, our family is more than it ever was and we are joyful! We pray that you are continually blessed with peace and love from God and those around you. Amen.