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.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Watching the Numbers - Day 1

A sweet friend  created this for me a during this round of shots. It is sitting on my piano and is the perfect reminder of the beauty that came out of last round. Thank you Erin!

The great news for this round.
Of the 47 eggs that they extracted this time, 21 of them were mature. All 21 of them were ICSIed (a little swimmer was placed into each little egg) and of those 6 of them fertilized. 
Now it has only been about 12 hours since Jeff didn't finish ICSIing all our little buggers until 6 pm last night, so we expect there will still be even more that will fertilize still.

Funny story. When Charlene my nurse called and told me this, she specifically said that all 21 of my mature eggs were ICSIed with Thomas sperm. It made me giggle and think, thank goodness it was Thomas' sperm and not someone else's!

OK, so here is the crude drawing of what our numbers looked like each round.
The first number is the number of follicles they extracted, the second is then the number of mature eggs that were there. The 3rd is how many fertilized on day 1, day 2, day 3, and for round 2 and 3 how many were there for day 5.
And of course we are filling in this beautiful prayer map. 
Just makes my heart warm.

Oh and the procedures went beautiful for both Thomas and I. We are both sore, but not in any real pain. So that is awesome!

Will keep you posted on the numbers tomorrow!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Round 4 - Extraction Day

Both of our extractions went off without a hitch this morning. 

Which was perfect. 
So Round 2 which was our best round they got 24 follicles and of those there were 17 mature eggs.

The only information I know right now is that they lost track of the number of follicles they got, but they did get 47 eggs! Now they only expect about half of those to be mature, but even if it is half that is still 23 mature eggs! Which is by far an incredible number.

So now we pray that God guides Jeffs hands to put the correct eggs and sperm together for our perfect little embryos.
And when I report tomorrow, that there will be a beautiful number of eggs and sperm that fertilized to become little embryos!
Ready for the extraction!
Seriously amazed at how many of you are praying for us. Thank you.
 Thank you all for praying today! 
So blessed by you all!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Day 12 - Final Shot Day!

Day 12:
Round 2 (Day 11) - Uterine lining - 5.6
Left - 18.8, 18.4, 17, 16.75, 16.4, 15, 13.3, 13
Right - 20, 17.5, 17, 16.75, 16.5, 16.5, 15.3, 14.6, 14.4, 12.5
Since Day 11 Round 2 was still the best numbers we have had so far in all of the rounds.

Uterine Lining - 6.2 Triple
Left -

Right -

Charlene knows that she missed a few big ones and she didn't measure a ton of the little ones. 
Which at this point is fine because we just want to see the biggest ones and that there are tons. 
Dr Murrain will retrieve every single follicle that he can safely.

22mm is the biggest I have had out of all 4 rounds so far!

My estrodial was 2587 today compared to 2102 on day 11 round 2. 
I saw it in the paperwork :) That is the highest it has ever been! 
Basically they are ripe for the picking!

Next Up:
So tonight is trigger shot night. At 10:45. So painful!
Which means we get a day off tomorrow.
And then retrieval day will be Thursday. 9:30 appt for me and 11:30 appt for Thomas
And implant day will be Sunday.
If you want to read more of what will go into each of these 3 days, you can read it from Round 3 here.

That both procedures will go incredibly smooth.
That God will guide God's hands when he picks those swimmers and the eggs and that he will put the perfect DNA together to create our tiny little toes.

Fun Pictures:
I have been waiting to take pictures with the two of us because I just knew we were right around the corner from maternity pictures! Well, 3 years later and those pictures have not happened. So about a month ago, a friend was so kind and took a few fun pictures of Thomas and I. Maybe this will be the thing that pushes us over the edge and we will have to do maternity pictures in just a few months! 
I can only hope.

Every time Thomas and I take pictures we get the same thing. 90% of them are of us laughing with our personalities shining through and the other 10% are what most people would think are perfect.
I think that makes 50% of them perfect because I love pictures of our personalities and laughter.

So here you go.
A combination of both "normal" pictures and pictures of our personalities.

He had no idea!
Because I am graceful like that.
"I don't know what to do with my hands!" Thomas said. 
His face! 
My face!
And finally there is a wall worthy one.
Wait, 2 of them?!
Get outta town. 3?!
Emily, you are a rock star my friend.

You get pictures like these when your photographer is a tiny compared to you. That and yes she was jumping too. Talent huh? 
Can't you just hear Thomas say, "I don't know what you are laughing about. I didn't do anything!"
I think this sums up our marriage. Me a hot mess, Thomas looking impishly innocent, and me cracking up. 
Thank you my sweet friend for capturing this after you ran in the Rainier to Ruston. 
We owe you!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Day 11 - Final Day of 3 shots!

Day 11:
Round 2 - Uterine lining - 5.6
Left - 18.8, 18.4, 17, 16.75, 16.4, 15, 13.3, 13
Right - 20, 17.5, 17, 16.75, 16.5, 16.5, 15.3, 14.6, 14.4, 12.5

Uterine Lining - 6.6 mm triple or layered. Found out they are the same thing today.
Left -

Right -

Today Charlene was my nurse and God bless her, she counted each follicle twice. I just love it when she gets me all the info I want!
My estrodial was 1571 today compared to 1946 on day 10 round 2. Apparently they never gave me my estrodial level on day 11 the 2nd round.

Today I stayed with the ganarelix shot, 375 IU of Follistim, and 1cc of Menapur.

And she lets me take pictures of the ultrasounds without me even asking.
Right Ovary 
Left Ovary
When you can see both ovaries and the uterus it is called "kissing". This happens when the ovaries are so big that they push the uterus to the back. I am sure it will be even better tomorrow!
So we are just a day behind schedule. Not a big deal and my body is still responding perfectly.

So I will find out tomorrow for sure, but in talking to the nurse today, extraction will most likely be on Thursday and implant on Sunday.
Will keep you posted tomorrow!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Day 10 - The Same. Shots and an Appt.

Day 10:
Round 2 - Uterine Lining - 5.4 ; Left: 17.6, 3@16, 15.4, 2@14.3, 13.8
13.7, 3@13.3, 4@12, 4@11.2
Right: 18.1, 16.8, 3@15.1, 14.1, 13.2, 4@12.3, 2@11.5, 2@10

Uterine Lining - 5.5 mm
Left -
multiple 13-14 range

Right -
plus more

PS. It drives me nuts when she just said plus more. I want to know exactly how many more!
Our ultimate goal is to get our follicles between 17 and 21mm.
So we are right around the corner!

My estrodial was 1333 today compared to 1946 on day 10 round 2.
The numbers are all a little down from round 2 but they all look great still and are going up compared to yesterday.

So either monday or tuesday will be trigger shot day is my guess.
Which means we are either right on schedule or a day behind schedule.

So extraction on wed or thurs and implant on sat or sun.

I have a few pretty flowers in my garden today.
 Over all my garden is a hot mess. But I can grow a few pretty flowers. Anyone want to come help me plan a garden that will flower all over all summer long?! I need help!

And this is our 1 apple. Yes our tree only gave us one apple! He had better get on it next year!
 And this is what our basement now looks like. We were able to finish all the plywood. All the plywood will be covered in beadboard and the open insulation will be covered in wood and turned into shelves and cabinets.
We are getting there! I feel like this is a good place to rest while we prep for the 4 days of mandatory bed rest. Then we can get back at it after the bed rest weekend.