Wednesday, December 9, 2015

FET Follow Up Appointment

 - Follow Up Appt -
Thomas and I went into our appointment yesterday for our first Frozen Embryo Transfer cycle follow up.

 And it went exactly how I thought it would.
You see, this last round was a perfect round.

My lining was the 6mm triple lining they wanted because the amount of Lupron they gave me to stimulate it.
 All the blood work was perfect.
So were the ultrasounds.
The embryos thawed out perfectly and were starting to re-expand already.
The procedure to transfer them also went perfect.
And we still did not get pregnant.

Statistics folks.
They are statistics for a reason.
For every embryo transferred, it is only a 25% change that they will implant.
And those 2 littles did not.
And it is perfectly ok.

Because the best news is, WE HAVE 3 MORE LITTLES!
And we get to try again. 
And that makes my heart happy.

And we get to try again immediately.
Which means after the negative test, it took me 6 days to be weened off of the estrogen to start again. 
That was a lot of estrogen I was on folks, if I had to be weened off of it?! Yikes.
And here is where some of you may no longer want to read. Lots of TMI going on in there.
Skip to the what's next part.

- Cycle to Cycle -
I started my cycle with in a day of being weened of the hormones.
Normally they would start me on Lupron 21 days after the start of my cycle so that I could be on it for 7 days before I start my next cycle and the beginning of  FET ROUND 2!!!
(Remember that Lupron suppressed my system so that I don't ovulate? We don't want my body messing up this round by doing something like ovulating!)

Whelp since I have a 33-34 day cycle not the normal 28 day cycle (day 1 of starting cycle until the last day before the start of the next cycle), I get to start Lupron at day 26.
Which puts me right smack in the middle of my California Christmas time. 
But this is why I love the Gyft Clinic. My nurse said that they can do the ultrasound on the 23rd right before I leave and I can start Lupron on the 26th still. Love those flexible ladies.
Now we just need to pray that I actually keep my 33-34 day cycle and don't start early!
We can't have that now!
Basically that will bring me to the 2nd or 3rd of Jan and we get back the morning of the 3rd. 
So I could get into the Gyft Clinic on the 3rd day after my cycle starts (the 4th ish) and all will be right in the world.
- What's Next-
We need prayer that my cycle will not start any earlier then the 2nd.
Unless God has other plans and timing. In which case, do your thing cycle, do your thing.
Second, Dr Murrain did not think we were crazy yesterday when we said we wanted to put all 3 littles in this next round. So pray with us that if God wants us to put in less that He will show us!

And third, when I start up the estrogen in January, that I will have prepped myself (and Thomas)! 
That is rough you guys. But that is for another post. 
Whew! Seriously rough!

And finally. if everything works out perfectly and we do indeed start this round on the 2nd, I will give you all the calender again then.

Until then, enjoying the month of December and all that this Christmas season brings.
And definitely trusting the journey we are on. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

We Got the Results This Afternoon

It has been a wild ride since Sunday morning. 

I broke my not taking a pregnancy test early streak and took one Sunday morning. And I shall never do that again. There was a reason I was so strong every other round. When the test showed up negative I had the exact thoughts I knew I would have which were that it was too early and maybe it was wrong. But at the same time I grieved. I didn't tell anyone, even Thomas until later that day (and he says I can't keep a secret) and didn't even tell else until the nurse when I went in for my blood work this morning. 

I hadn't really felt pregnant, but then of course my mind played lots of tricks on me both convincing myself I was and I wasn't. As we waited around today it was a beautiful day with lots of friends reaching out and loving on me. God definitely knew I needed people even before I asked Him.

So when we got the call this afternoon that the blood work was indeed negative it wasn't really a surprise. 

And as I sit here in the aftermath, I don't know how to feel. I am bummed that these 2 little that were gifted to us were not given life. I hurt for the couple that gave them to us, for Thomas who is so disappointed and for all of you who are cheering us on and loving on us. But for myself? I don't really feel devastated like I was all the other rounds, but I think it is because those 3 littles that are a mile away give me such hope. Because I know God has a great plan for them because of the story He has given them. And because I know that this is just God saying not yet. And they still symbolize hope to me. 

And we all know my personality. I am sure it will catch up to me soon and I will cry and be sad for a moment, but right now? I have already created a calendar to see when we can do our round again. Which by the way we do not need to wait a month like IVF rounds. We can just jump right back on the wagon and try again next month! So yes, I will eventually grieve and probably over this Thanksgiving weekend while we eat food, remember all the amazing things we have to be thankful for, and get lots of things around the house done. But until then, I am holding to the hope that I get to do another round pain free, and I get the hope of 3 littles that Jesus has given me. 

And really?! Who doesn't want triplets right?! :) 

So even though we got a negative test today, I just want to say this.
I am thankful for all of you who love us and loved on me the past few days with your kind words.
I am thankful that I have Thomas and that man has such a tender heart and loves me so deeply. 
I am thankful that we have these 3 beautiful little embryos and get to try again next month.
I am thankful for the Gyft clinic and how much their staff love on us.
And I am so thankful that Jesus has shown me the depths of who He is in this adventure.
And that He always knows what I need before I ask Him.

Happy thanksgiving my friends. 
Seriously thankful for you.

The Crazy Emotions

As the time approaches where we learn if this FET cycle worked or not, my emotions are all over the place. Naturally I blame the estrogen, because I am normally not crazy. Or so I think.

So here is where my brain (and the estrogen) has taken me....

If this round does work and we get 2, oh crap. I could have 5 babies. FIVE! Ah!
Logic tells me that God won't give me more then I can handle. 

If this round does work and we get 1, seriously God?! You think I can only handle 1 kid?!
Logic tells me that God knows my prideful heart and will cut it down.

If this round doesn't work, so now there is something wrong with my body that it won't even accept 2 perfect little embryos?!
Logic tells me that even in perfect circumstances, it is only a 25-30% chance per perfect embryo for them to implant.

All in all, I say these hormones have thrown me on the crazy ride! 

But I have taken it one day at a time (actually the time has flown by) and I know regardless of what happens this round, that we have 3 more beautiful little embryos waiting to be given a chance at life. And God is good and He knows the perfect family that He has for us in His perfect timing.

Let me say that again so you all know the truth that I know.
God is good and knows our perfect family and when it will be perfect timing.

And no, I am not trying to convince myself of this. I know it is truth and I cling to it because this wild adventure He has given Thomas and I has been just that. Wild. And I have gone deeper with Him then I have ever imagined and seen the depths of His love. And I walk in the truth thankful, oh so thankful that I can cling to Jesus no matter what. 

And here are the beautiful things that have spoken to me in the time of waiting.
Thank you Pinterest.

I am just so thankful for His promises.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


I find it fitting that this is my 100th post on The Invention of Tiny Toes blog. 
The day that we have the privileged of walking forward in faith toward a new type of family with our beautiful adopted embryos.
A day where we get to create a new family, a perfect for us family, a different family. 
And I love it!

Ok, here are all the details from our appointment this morning.

This is us on the way, in the waiting room, in the back room, and the moment the embryos were transferred on the ultrasound screen.

The process before we got there was all pretty simple. Jeff had thawed 2 embryos.
And they are beautiful.
There is no fragmentation and there was no degeneration from being frozen.

Let me introduce you to my embryos.
How he does that, is he takes them quickly out of the little vile where they have been living for the past 6.5 years and puts them straight into the first solution for 1 minute.
These 2 littles spent the last 6.5 years here on the little black tip right below the white. Do you see it? Absolutely crazy to think about!
Then into the next solution for 3 minutes.
Then into the final solution for 5 minutes. 
Then they go into a petri dish where he uses a solution to "hatch" them. 
You can see the faint circle around the cells. He uses a solution to break through that zona so that they have a better chance to attach to my uterine lining. 

These little buddies were frozen about 20 minutes before they were transferred into my uterus. Wow.
Jeff said that they were like a little deflated balloon and that in my uterus they should already be pushing out of the blastocele. 

 After they transferred them and waited 1 minute to make sure they floated away from the catheter, then just like in an IVF round, they empty my bladder so I can lay on the bed for an hour. Jeff came in some of that time to show us the DVD with these little embryos.

I also asked him lots of questions about the process of freezing and about the solutions needed to thaw out the embryos.

I also decided to break my traditional mode of not buying any baby clothes until after I knew I was prego for my IVF cycles and decided to just go for it with this FET cycle!

So I got 2 of each.
Can't wait to use these!

What's next?
Welp I keep taking 4 mg of estrodial every 6 hours. So every time the clock strikes 4 or 10, I am taking a pill. You are welcome now when you see the clock and think of me.

And Thomas still gives me a shot in the rear of progesterone.

And now we wait until the pregnancy blood test!

That is all I got.
Happy Saturday you all!

Friday, November 13, 2015

We Officially Adopted Our Embryos!

Insert stunned silence here.

I have been wanting to get my thoughts down about my heart on adopting, but I don't really know where to start. I know that everyone's stories are different, but I think it always boils down to what God's story is for each of us and our road to get there.

I know in my heart of hearts that I have always loved the idea of adopting some day. 
I also know that embryo adoption has from the get go, always been something that has been our "next step" if IVF wasn't God's plan for expanding our family. What I hadn't anticipated, was the beautiful story God had been weaving for us and this other couple who has selflessly given us the ability to parent. And I hadn't anticipated how seamlessly we would roll from a round of IVF to Embryo Adoption.

The thing is, I always imagined that when we went down the embryo adoption route, that would mean having our own biological kids would be completely ruled out. Thomas so gently reminded me that God is a big God, and just because we are pursuing this, doesn't mean that we couldn't do a round of IVF after we bring all these little embryos into the world. And that completely changed my heart. Mainly, knowing it was not a closed door gave me the peace to move forward with this adoption.

And honestly, I am now at a place where if we never have our own biological kids, I am 100% ok with that. I know that being pregnant and then holding the wee one(s) in my arms will make it all very real (as will the lack of sleep I imagine). And I can guarantee that when they are in my arms, I will know that these littles are the ones God create for Thomas and I to parent. Because I already know it in my heart now.

I was created for this.
To adopt.
He created me, knowing we would adopt.
Still floors me.

I love a good story. And God has created my life intertwined with Thomas's to be an incredible story. A story of hope, of letting go, of peace, and of being given the most incredible gift. Of allowing our family to expand through this. Adoption.

I, We have adopted
Thomas and I.
We are responsible for these 5 embryos.
They are ours.
Stunningly beautiful.

When we decided to move onto embryo adoption, to me it was just another step to bringing home a baby. It was right. Smooth and painless. It wasn't until a friend mentioned me in a line of a few other women who have or are going through the process of adopting, that it stopped me in my steps.
I am adopting.

And I don't really know how to process that, because it is just right. It is how it is supposed to be and how our story is written. And I love it and wouldn't change it. And honestly my brain is having a hard time wrapping itself around the fact that we are adopting, because it just feels normal.

And of course I already have 5 littles sitting a mile away just waiting for me.
To be their Momma.
And that helps.Oh warm squishies!

Thank you Jesus for being so much bigger then my small brain. For creating a beautiful story. For caring for Thomas and I as we want to fill our home. For caring for these littles who get to become a part of our family.
So thankful.

And as much as this has been our life for the past year, I am so thankful that in spite of it all, Thomas and I have a beautiful life and our problem isn't really a problem compared to most people.

So so thankful for my life and the hope of our little family expanding in this beautiful way.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Differences between IVF and FET for Me.

 It has been a fascinating change going from IVF rounds to this first FET round. And as I have been walsking through it, I thought I would share how different the rounds have been for me. 

Whew! This has been the easiest part! I have loved being able to skate through this round feeling physically fit and when Saturday rolls around, I won't still be healing from the egg retrieval! I haven't felt a ton of impact physically from the shots or the estrogen. A few twinges now that I am up to 4 mg 4 times a day with the estrogen and now my rear is feeling the sting of the larger needles and more progesterone from the shots. But honestly, I feel GOOD!

And for the hardest part.... the winner is..... the stinking emotions. Man! When you are filling your body chock full of none normal hormones, it makes a HUGE difference! From Wednesday of last week until Saturday, the 5 day window kicked my rear! It was definitely the most "emotional" Thomas has ever seen me. The good thing was that we knew why I was reacting the way I was and I knew to keep my mouth shut!

We have been talking through my reactions so that he understands, but I still get the "your crazy" look from him often. :) And he knows he cannot blame all my reactions on the hormones. And neither can I!

I can say that with pregnancy and post baby hormones in the future, this is a great chance for us to learn to talk through things in a way we never have! Because quite frankly, I am pretty even keel and Thomas knows it! My favorite story from the weekend was when I told Thomas he had another year of my wonky emotions, the look on his face was priceless! And when I told him he should be happy because most women are way more emotional then me, he responded that if I had been that way originally he wouldn't have looked twice at me! And of course I don't blame him because neither of us like drama. So it works.

And this has been the easiest most relaxing part! I know it is hard to imagine, but not having to cheer on my body to produce the perfect number of follicles/eggs, cheer on Thomas's body to produce good swimmers, and then cheer on those little embryos that Jeff put together.... serious lack of strain. The last 2.5 weeks and the few remaining days we have, have been so calm. We are incredibly excited to have 5 of the best embryos both in having the highest scores and being frozen in the blastocyst stage on Day 6, which is the absolutely best an embryo can be frozen at.

The excitement and hope that comes from knowing we are basically passing time until my body is in the right place to take these little embryos and for them to stick on Saturday! I just cannot wait! There is no fear, no worry, not even a little anxiety. I know that God has His hands on which littles Jeff will choose to thaw out on Sat morning, even which additional ones if for some reason the first ones he chooses are not viable and growing.

HOPE is an amazing thing my friends!!!
And I can't wait to see my miracles.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Day 14 - Our Equivalent to Extraction Day!

We are finally here!
14 days after my cycle started, and if we we're doing an IVF round, this would have been the day that we extracted my eggs and Thomas' swimmers. 
Instead we have 5 beautiful littles just waiting there for us and Thomas and I will be pain free for the next few days.

So, here is what happens this time round with the FET.
I continue on with my baby aspirin.
I continue on with the estrogen every 6 hours, but now I am doing 4 mg every 6 hours instead of the 2 mg, 4 mg, 2 mg, 4 mg cycle I was doing the last 3 days since they increased it on Friday.
I stop the Lupron shot in my stomach.
I start the Progesterone shot in my rear.
I start taking the prednisone pill 3 times a day for the next 5 days. I had forgotten why I take prednisone and it is because it is an anti-inflammatory, but it also suppresses the immune system, which we want so that my body won't attack those littles that we will be transferring in. 

And this means that Saturday is the day! 
Nov14th at 10 am, we will be adventuring in to start our family.
There is no procedure really that I have to do that day other then having a full bladder so that when they insert the catheter to transplant the embryos, they can see where they are putting them. 

My uterine lining looks great measuring 14.02 mm. They wanted over 12mm, so I am right on track!
You can see the lining which looks like lips between the 2 blue little plus signs.

Here are all 4 of my ultrasounds. 2 of the uterus and 1 of each ovary. My ovaries are nice and quiet which is what we want for FETs. 

Again, just that God would give Jeff the wisdom with which ones to thaw out and how many. We have had conversations with him, but we trust him implicitly and can't wait to find out what our number is on Saturday morning! It will be as much of a surprise for us as it will be for you! 

Here's to another Kucera Adventure!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Day 9 and Day 11 Updates

So I have discovered how very different IVF is to a FET. 
There is just not the same crazy excitement of cheering my body on to make those little follicles grow! However, there is a peace about knowing that those 5 little are just hanging out waiting to be loved on! They are as far along as they can be grown out of the womb. 

Day 9
I apologize for not getting this out on wed. Time got away from me.

The ultrasounds went perfect. Charlene told me that my uterus looked beautiful. It was nice and layered and was measuring at 9.32 mm. Eventually I would need to get to 12 mm, but I had plenty of time until next Monday.

Also for my bloodwork, we just needed my number to be above 100 to make sure that my body was absorbing the estrogen that I was taking. She did say that because of how well my uterine lining looked, that she could tell I was absorbing it. 

Well between the half carton of raspberries I have been eating and the cup of pomegranate juice I have been drinking every day it had better be good! 

Well, there is the fact that we also upped my 2 mg pill of estrodial every 12 hours to every 6 hours on Wednesday.

Still doing the 5 units of Lupron every day too!

Day 11
OK, now for today's news.

I went in for the ultrasound and Mary didn't say much, but when she went back to talk to Charlene, apparently the numbers were not matching up with how think my uterine lining was. So I went back in and they re-did the ultrasound. And thank goodness because the second one showed that my lining was nice and thick at 11.62 mm! This means that it is already thick enough and I am good for my transfer a week from sat! Yay!!!

Also I asked about the estrodial number from the bloodwork and It was at 128! So being over 100, I again am good to go for the transfer.

And my estrogen tablet was increased so now every other pill intake time every 6 hours, I have to double the pills to 4 mg. Sorry Thomas if I get crazy!

I have 1 more appointment on Monday and then we will be ready to go!
 This one is for you Suzy!

And finally, I just wanted to give a shout out to this lady.
She was one of my very first friends here in WA, but she is also one of those people who God just lined up to be in my path for this infertility journey that was so needed. Her story has encouraged me in a million ways and I am so thankful for every second I have spent with her and her sweet, sassy spirit. And when you nanny for a woman with a 4 year old, twin 1 year olds, and a 4 month old? You spend a lot of time together. 

Catch you up with the next update on Monday!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Frozen Embryo Transfer Process - And Day 3 - Operation Cinco de Pregneto

The Frozen Embryo Transfer Process
What we are just starting! 

  • Start 10 units Lupron about a week before your cycle is supposed to start. Continue on with daily prenatal vitamin.
  • Day 1 of your cycle, decrease to 5 units of Lupron and call and make an appointment for day 3.
  • Day 3 go in to check and make sure your uterine lining is looking good. Also start taking estrogen every 12 hours. And start taking a baby asprin
  • Days 4-8 just keep on the nightly shot and twice daily pills.
  • Day 9 continue shot, but increase estrogen pills to every 6 hours. Also go in for an appointment and blood work. 
 And let me tell you. Choose your times wisely with the every 6 hours! It is painful for me since I get an average of 8.5 hours of sleep every night! I guess it is just a preview of what we will get 9 months from now.
  • Day 11 continue shot, but double the dosage of 2 of the 4 pill times.
  • Day 14 is equivalent to extraction day for Thomas and I's IVF experience. At this point I switch from Lupron shots to Progesterone shots, continue with the pills every 6 hours, but I will increase all 4 of the times to the double dose. We will also add in the prednisone.
  • We then transfer the wee ones most likely 5 days after "extraction day", which will be day 19.
  • Then we wait!
  • And 14 days later do the pregnancy test via blood draw.

Can't wait to see what God has in store for us this round or how many of those 5 littles we will actually implant.

Our littles arrived in WA last Tuesday (Oct 27th)!

Day 3 - Today
With today being day 3, I went into my appointment and everything look wonderful. So now I just wait. Oh, and start the estrogen every 12 hours. And a daily aspirin.
My estrodial level today is at 31.

And of course I looked up from other FET cycles to see what they did. And since we want my uterine lining to be nice and thick, after lots of research I have decided to follow this ladies advice. Because really, it can't hurt! And who doesn't like fresh raspberries daily?

Here is our schedule.

Day 3 - Oct 29th, Ultrasound, blood draw, start estrogen tablets every 12 hours
Day 9 - Nov 4th, Ultrasound, blood draw, increase estrogen tablets to every 6 hours
Day 11 - Nov 6, Ultrasound, possible blood draw, double the dosage every other pill time
Day 14 - Nov 9, Ultrasound, "Extraction Day", double the dosage on every 6 hour increment
Day 19 - Nov 14th (most likely), TRANSFER DAY!
15 days later will be the pregnancy test.

I will be posting these days, but it won't be every day like with IVF cycles. These FET cycles just aren't as riveting daily. :)

Also, did you know that babies cells stay in the mom and mom's cells also cross to the baby? 
Looks like this kid will get a part of me!

I think our biggest prayers right now are:
First that my uterine lining will be perfect. It always has been every other round, but that is the only thing that can make this round not happen.

And second would be that of the 5 littles that we will be thawing out and implanting, that God will give Jeff, our embryologist, wisdom with which specific embryos to thaw and how many. We of course are leaning towards 2, but there is always the possibility that they will not be viable (if their little cells don't keep multiplying after thawing, that means they are not viable) that he will thaw out additional ones. So I just want to pray that God guides his hands in the process.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Starting the Shots TODAY!

Leading up to our little Bali vacation, I was working my tail off with a few people to make this Embryo adoption and the Frozen Embryo Transfer happen. 

I sat down with Charlene on the Sunday (the 4th) before I left, to walk through the schedule. As it turns out, everything lined up for us to possibly start the day we got back!

So we flew in on Sunday night, had an appointment on Monday morning at 8 am to do an ultrasound. This was rule out any cysts on my ovaries.
And I was cleared!

Fast forward to why I am just now writing this today, 3 days later.

Well, when I walked into the Gyft Clinic on Monday morning, one of the first things I had asked, was if the embryos had been shipped from their cozy little home in Utah, to Washington.

So after lots of emails, phone calls, and everyone pulling together for us once again (God really has placed the very best people in my life), I finally got the go ahead email today!

Our little buddies are going to be shipped up here next week, and I get my very first shot today!

I will write tomorrow about the whole process and how different it looks from the IVF process.

But as for tonight, I get to start Lupron. 
Thomas gets to give me shots every day.
And we start this whole embryo adoption/transfer thing.

Thank you Jesus for your goodness to us!
You awe and humble me like no one else.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Steps for Embryo Adoption

Over the past couple of weeks after deciding to do embryo adoption, we have been working hard to make it happen, but I haven't wanted to bore you with the daily details.
 If I had, my posts would have looked like:
Talked to the nurse today.
Talked to the lawyer today.
Forwarded an email today.

 And you all don't need that. And really, it has been lots of logistics, but there are also lots of emotions that happen as well. Such a process!
And this was a beautiful reminder for me.
No matter what, I am His.
And for that I am so thankful!

So the emotional part really hit me, when my friend asked me about hosting a Noonday party, because Noonday Collection is partnering with AdoptTogether to help adopting families bring their children home.
Whoa. I am adopting. Let that sink in.

And while that is sinking in, lets talk about the logistics of getting the beautiful embryos into the state of WA, to the Gyft clinic, into my belly, and ultimately into our arms.

First off, there are a few different ways that you can adopt just like in traditional adoption. For embryo adoption there is the possibility via clinic (like an anonymous donation), via agency (requiring a homestudy) or private (which includes a lawyer) versus international/domestic (although I guess technically it could be.....) although not foster adoption. I don't even know how foster adoption would work, although, maybe that is what surrogacy is? I digress. Onward.

We have been blessed with being able to go through a private adoption. The story is incredibly beautiful and makes me tear up every time I think about it, even now. But because of that, we want to keep a few things out of the lime light. Some day we may share this incredible story, but until then just know there is an incredible family that God worked in their hearts to make this happen. And I am so very thankful for them for giving us this gift.


I love all of these truths. And although I don't see anything bad about our story, in fact I love every second of it, I do know that some people would think there are bad parts. And because of that, the best things will come out of it.

Now for the details.
There are a few things that have to happen to get these 5 little buddies over into our hands.
1. All 4 of us adults have to get STD tested. 
Both the Embryo Donor's and the Embryo Adopters.
There just has to be knowledge that if there is an STD that could be transferred, that everyone is aware.

2. The information from the clinic where the embryos were made as well as where they were stored, about the embryos has to be passed onto the Gyft clinic who will be making the transfer.
The Embryo Report needs to include how many cells each embryo had when frozen and what the quality of each cell was.

3. A lawyer has to be contacted to create the Embryo Transfer Contract between the Embryo Donors and the Embryo Adopters.
This has to be signed and notarized by both parties.

4. The embryos have to be transferred from their current nursery to their future nursery at the Gyft clinic where they will be transferred to me eventually.

All this to say, the process leading up to the shots, unlike IVF which is essentially doing tests on my body to see where it is at, this process requires an incredible coordinating dance with everyone.

Once all of this is coordinated, the next step is Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET). This will now be our new favorite acronym after IVF. If we had additional embryos after any of our IVF rounds, we would have already walked this process. But now we get to walk it hand in hand with embryo adoption. And I cannot wait!
He makes all thing beautiful in His perfect timing. Even the invention of our tiny little toes. In a crazy story we never could have imagined, but is so very perfect.

We will keep working through everything, waiting to see if this FET will happen at the end of this month (October) into the beginning of November.

So keep praying for:
  1. His perfect timing for the FET.
  2. Smooth paperwork processes.
  3. Both the embryo donor's hearts and our hearts as we work through this new adventure.
 The next update will be whether or not we are starting the FET at 3-4 weeks!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

After Round 4 - What's Next!

The past few weeks have just flown by! I cannot believe it has been almost 2 months!

And at the same time, it has been full of prayer and lots of discussions about what's next.

is what is next my friends.
I know embryo adoption is not widely understood, but basically it is this. Someone went through IVF at a different time and was able to freeze their embryos that made it to the Day 5 Blastocyst stage. For what ever reason, they feel as though their family is complete and now we get the blessing of adopting those little embryos. When Thomas and I are ready, we will implant those little guys in my uterus and then similarly to IVF, if they stick, we will be pregnant and have some littles!

We have no idea what that will look like or what the time frame will be, but we are shooting for an end of October/beginning of November time frame. But clearly since this is a new process, it could look differently then what we think it will be.

Not to mention God clearly has our life on a time frame we could never come up with on our own.

So pray! For wisdom, continued peace, for our future embryos, for all people involved including the current parents of the embryos God has for us, and that God would continue to walk hand in hand with us as we start on this new type of IVF adventure.

I will be walking you through what this new routine looks like.

All that being said, it may be a little while until you hear from us again
Like end of October time frame.

Just FYI. You know since I have been so present these last 2 months.

Meanwhile, I would absolutely love to hear your stories about if you have gone through adoption of any type. I want to know the details and the questions you have had. I know embryo adoption is a little different and not very understood, but it is still adoption. And I still want to soak up all your wisdom. So please share with me!

Until then. Enjoy the end of summer and beginning of fall!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Clinging to Our Hope in the Brokenness

The day after we found out Round 4 didn't work, a friend asked me if I would write a post on brokenness as a guest blogger for her blog Cypress and Fern

So I did.
And for those of you who didn't read it there, you can read it here.

Brokenness is....
....sitting in church on Sunday morning, surrounded by godly women who love you, two days after you found out round 4 of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) did not work, holding a 10 week old twin baby girl Emma, the day before it was the due date of the twins I miscarried, silently sobbing while singing,

Over the past 4 years my husband and I have walked the infertility road, and the time of most brokenness has definitely been over the last year as we have gone through 4 rounds of IVF. In each round, brokenness looked very different.

Round 1, the thought never crossed my mind that it wouldn't work for us. And I was devastated when it didn't. Oh so broken. And in the broken He reminded me that it was OK and to cling to Him. That is where He wanted me.

Then Round 2, we got those precious words, "You are pregnant!" It was absolutely a beautiful and weird time. After 3 years and we were pregnant. I didn't know how to react other then pure confused joy. Well 2 weeks later we found out we were having identical twins. But it was overshadowed because I had started to bleed the day before which really freaked us out. A week later when they told us that one and then both of them stopped breathing, it deflated us. And there we were again. In the brokenness. And once again He held on to us as we walked through both the physical and emotional process of  losing what we wanted so badly. But in the brokenness, He reminded us that we have hope. We now know we can get pregnant!

So we excitedly jumped into Round 3. During my first days of bed rest after the procedure to implant those little embryos, fear hit me full force. I had no idea if I could survive finding out that another round did not work. As I was sitting there, Jesus gently reminded me through my bible study, that He had me. That there was nothing to fear. That He would walk with me in the depths of fear and brokenness and that if I would just abide, be still, and cling to him that I would be at complete peace.

After Round 3 did not work and we decided to go forth on Round 4, the brokenness came once again when we heard those dreaded words, "Not pregnant." There is something so terribly hard about all the hope being dashed in seconds. And yet such peace knowing that we can cling to His promises. And I definitely clung to this verse as a reminder. Ephesians 3:20 "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us."

And days later, we still have no idea what we are going to do next or where God will lead us in our adventure, but I do know this. That I would not trade a second of our story. I would not do any of this time over again. The depth of my relationship with my Abba, with my husband, with my family, and my friends has been deepened. And God has used our brokenness time and time again. God being able to shine through our brokenness is the beauty of believing.

My favorite part of brokenness is that it is not just about being in the pit and in the hard. Brokenness is allowing our Abba Father to give us the hope, and the peace, and the beautiful joy that comes with giving everything to Him. With allowing Him to walk with us and love on us in the brokenness.

And although brokenness is bawling in bed later that Sunday night, it is also laying there with your raw heart being offered to our Lord, and feeling like you are wrapped in the comfort of our Abba Father's arms, in the biggest bear hug you could ever imagine filled with the peace, hope, and sweet joy that can only come from Him being with you in the brokenness.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Still Waiting to Grow Our Family

The test was negative. We are not pregnant. 

Just want to get that out there before I ramble on about today.

I woke up this morning and decided that I would take a at home pregnancy test, because quite frankly I felt horrible that the nurse could possibly have to tell me bad news again. So Although I knew, there was still a very small part of me that held on to hope that maybe it was wrong. Which is why I didn't tell anyone. Sorry guys. But seriously that is the reason I never took these tests the last 3 times.

So at 8, I went in and gave my blood. The nurse asked me if I had taken a test and the hopeful look on her face when I said yes, just about broke my heart. Of course I told her it was negative and she cried with me. It really broke my heart when she said, well maybe the test was wrong and I will call with good news! Yeah, maybe.

So I went home and after a little bit, some dear friends Emily and Dave came to visit. They live in the Bay area, so we don't see them that often. Well, after a while we got the phone call to confirm that the home test was correct. Thomas and I hugged and then went back out to spend more quality time. They were incredible and asked what they could do immediately. They were even going to wake up their 5.5 month old so I could hold him! Of course I said no, but you can bet that as soon as that little guy woke up a few moments later (on his own) sweet Teddy was in my arms. Seriously there is nothing better for me then the balm of a sweet baby. I know it is not this way for everyone who walks the infertility path, but I do know that it is all I need.

After an awesome afternoon with them, we got down to the business of texting and calling all our family. And here is what I have been reminded with through your sweet words.

This picture for 1. He is preparing us for greater things.
God is with us in the hard.
That you guys are praying for Thomas and I, and our hearts, not just for us to have babies to hold.
And Psalms 62:1-2 I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him.
2He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken.
Our expectation is from the Lord.
He has a family for us some day, some way.

And although we have no idea what we are going to do next. We are taking the time to be together, to cling to each other and God, and to grieve what could have been. And that is ok. 

We will definitely let you know what we decide to do next. Until then, I cannot tell you all enough that even though God said, "Not yet" today, some day we will all be rejoicing when our family goes from 2 to more then 2. Thank you all for every second of support and cheering on that you all have given us. We are so grateful for you all.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Waiting for the Pregnancy Test

I realized as I go through this waiting period, that I have never written about the thoughts and feelings that accompany it. 

Up until this point of IVF, I feel like there are very tangible things. 
First there is the birth control.

Then there is the shots, the blood work, and the daily calls where progress can be tracked, meds can be changed if need be, and the numbers the next day give you something to look forward too.

Extraction is another tangible because although it is no longer your body you are rooting for, you are rooting for the little embryos that God guided Jeff's hands to put together. Each day you pray and hope, watching the numbers increase or decrease, but still. Progress.

You then implant. Whether it be day 3 or day 5, you put in those little buggers and you are again rooting for them! For me, it was awesome to talk to our embryologist and hear him specifically say that the next 2 days would be the embryos still growing and that implant days are days 5-7 which for us was tues-thurs. There was no question in my mind that I would extend bedrest a day to make sure those little toes had the best darn calm relaxed host they could possibly have. So Sun-Tues I prayed over those littles that they would grow, Grow, GROW! And then Tues-Thurs that they would attach, Attach, ATTACH!!!

And then there is today. I have 168 hours until I get a call next friday afternoon about whether or not my blood work is positive for HCG and I am pregnant. And now I have nothing left specific to pray for. No tangible. Except for these littles to grow.

And this is to me where faith comes in. It is so easy for me to follow the numbers, knowing God has it all under control. But at this point I have ZERO control. Yes I am still treating my body like I am pregnant. I am staying calm, eating right, and praying, but I no longer have specifics to count down, to pray for, to focus on. 

It really is hard to explain this place I am at. I am still taking both estrogen and progesterone which are making my body think it is pregnant. Round 3, I was convinced I was and I wasn't. And normally at this point I just give it to God and try my darndest to not think about it. But this round, I am attacking it differently. I am believing I am pregnant. I know that it will be harder next friday to possibly hear different news, but I am claiming this victory for the next week!

So over the next week as we all anticipate what God has in store for us next, just keep praying that these littles are growing and that our hearts are calm. And I will keep talking to them every day, encouraging them to grow, pray over them and clinging to these promises. Because He will.

Chat with you next Friday the 24th in the afternoon!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Implant - Day 3

Suited up and ready to go! 
 Here is the room I am in for both extraction and implant. 
And here it is! 6 littles buddies being put in my uterus!

Yesterday we were told that we had 2 embryos and 5 more that had fertilized. When we came in today for the implant, of those 7, 6 had actually split and done something. 

So here is the data for each.
1 beautiful 10 cell
1 8 cell with a little bit of a granular texture
1 6 cell with fragments
1 4 cell that is darker
1 3 cell that is a grade 3
1 2 cell with fragments

So basically the top 3 are really good. The 4 cell Jeff isn't so sure about, because it is darker, but it is still growing so he put it in. And then the other 2 just need more time to grow!

Jeff said that because of the amount of eggs I had, they were actually a lesser quality. Which wasn't the best, because this time around Thomas' swimmers were the best they have every looked! But we still got 6 good ones.

I also asked if we put in all 6, if there was 1 that wasn't doing so well, would it hinder the other ones from doing well. He said that actually with all 6 of them in there, the more you put in, each little one does a little magic and gets the uterus ready for implanting. So even if a few of them don't make it, they will be getting the uterus ready and one of the good ones could take over that spot in the uterus. So it could work for the better for all of them!

When we walked in I asked Charlene if she would think we were crazy if we wanted to put all 6 in, and she said nope! That is what Jeff and I were hoping you would do! Jeff even prepared all of them in hopes that they could talk us into all 6!

The procedure itself went off without a hitch once they were able to get the catheter all the way in my uterus. Apparently my bladder was too full and my ovaries were too big that it pushed my uterus out of where it normally was. But we were successful in implanting all 6 in 1 round without messing up any of them!

As I left, Jeff said, "We are really pulling for you. There is no one else in the world we want this to happen more for." I seriously just love these folks at the Gyft Clinic so much! They have become our own little cheering squad family.

Lets see what He says this time!

What's next though. I am on lay on my back hard core bed rest the rest of today (Sunday) and tomorrow (Monday). This is a day longer then normal, because of how delayed some of our little buddies are in growing, like the 2,3, and 4 cells, they still need another 2 days to catch up to make it to a blastocyst. So my taking it easy, will be to allow them to simply grow. 

My Tuesday through Thursday is the implanting and embedding in the uterine wall days. So although I will be lounging around the couch, not lifting anything, and not walking around more then to go to the bathroom and make myself a sandwich, I won't be flat on my back any more either!

So there we are.
Freedom on friday!!!
But really, after this being the 4th round, I am willing to relax a little more to hopefully make a difference! But really we all know God has this under control.

So what you really all want to know, now that you know we put in 6 embryos, is when do we find out if it worked?! 
That would be Friday the 24th after 3 pm PST.
I know the wait is hard, but that is when I will be 4 weeks if I am pregnant and it is when all normal people find out. :)

So now, we are taking name choices. 
We love names that are not normal. Think of names that you maybe only know 1 person with. 
Ready? Go!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Embryo Numbers - Day 2

Today's numbers!

We have 7 little guys showing life.

We have 2 embryos and 5 others that are fertilized, but just haven't had the time to grow further at the moment.

1 6 cell embryo that is a grade 4 (the best grade possible)
1 2 cell embryo that is a grade 3+ (which is right behind a 4)

We need prayers that our little tiny toes will continue to grow.
That my body will be prepared to hold these little buddies.
And for how many of these 7 we should stick in.

Whether is be 2, 5, or all 7!
I know is sounds crazy to put all 7 in and when I look at the odds, over the past 3 rounds, we have put in 8 total with 5 of them being perfect embryos. Of those 8, only 1 stuck. So if we put in 7, I figure the odds are about the same since of the 7 only 2 are doing amazing. Right? Good logic?

Dr Murrain and I talked about what we would do differently this round and the other thing besides only putting me on birth control for 21 days, was to implant the embryos on Day 3 no matter what. This was because he was thinking that maybe the embryos would survive better in the natural environment of my uterus rather then in the media in the petri dish. Also what we would do was put in 1-2 more then we normally do because it is earlier. Well since we normally put in 3 that means we would put in 4-5

Well last week I mentioned to Charlene, the nurse, about putting in 5, she gasped out loud! It cracked me up and after I explained, she told me a story. She said the last time someone sat in that seat on her 6th round of IVF and said put them all in! All 4! She ended up with 4 babies!

So we will see! Although I highly doubt with our history that we will have that many, I know that God already has our family picked out and if it is 1, 2, 5, or 7, He will give us what we need! Including a nanny! ;)

So here are some of the things that have touched my heart lately.

These are my prayers. And with prayers like these, maybe He will give me 5, or 7, or none. I don't know. But what I do know is that I am at complete peace at this moment, knowing that He will put it on our hearts what to do tomorrow. And no matter what, He has been writing our story from the start and knows our tomorrows, and our next days.

So until tomorrow at noon. FREEDOM!!!! :)
Just kidding.