"But if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea', and it would obey you." -Luke 17:6

Thursday, May 31, 2012

We're Getting There

One of the perks of having a husband who gets to eat in the doctor's lounge at the hospital (rather than the occasional slice of pecan pie that makes it's way home for me...yum) is that he gets to see Dr T on a pretty regular basis at lunch (men are like cats: you keep feeding them, and they keep coming back--lol).  Usually they just do the manly head-nod or slight smile to signal "hello", but this time, Dr T made a point of coming over to talk to him and make sure I was doing okay.  Seriously, isn't he the sweetest?? My husband told him I had been feeling a little run down the last few days (especially a few hours after the shots), but that I was at home resting.  Dr T explained that it was likely due to my estradiol/estrogen levels being up (roughly 1600 at yesterday's appointment, which is slightly high...and the higher the levels, the more likely I am to develop OHSS), and that was why he took me off of one of the medications.  (He is hoping the levels will decline a little but still continue to grow my eggs.)  However, even with the higher estradiol level, and even though my follies still have some growing to do, Dr T thinks things are looking good, and he is anticipating the retrieval to be Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.  We're getting there!  Praise God!

He made a point of telling my husband to make sure that I am not doing anything strenuous, am drinking lots of water (Smart Water, per his nurse, since it has electrolytes in it), and lay on my back with my head slightly elevated (to prevent putting any strain on my big fat ovaries).  So right this minute, I am in my husband's big, comfy chair, propped up with pillows, with my liter of Smart Water on the table next to me and my MIL's strawberry shortcake in a bowl, waiting to be devoured once I click "Publish".  Since it's getting pretty hard to resist, I'm going to have to hurry up and finish this post.  :)

Please keep the prayers coming, guys!  I love you all and I appreciate all of your love, support, and prayers!  To God be the glory, for great things He hath done (and is still doing)!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I'm an Egg-Making Machine

Today was my third doctor's appointment for this IVF cycle, and, once again, I received good news!  Apparently, I'm quite the egg-making machine when given the right medications!  Dr T said I currently have multiple 10, 11, and 12mm's in the right and left ovaries, as well as a 13mm in the left...you can't beat that with a proverbial stick! ;)

He is still concerned about my risk of developing OHSS (ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome), so he decided to stop the Gonal-F and continue with the Menopur (1 vial) and Lupron (10 units) tonight and tomorrow night, and then we'll check out what's happening in there Friday at 7:30am!  The way Dr T explained it to me was like this:  "Since you are responding so well, if we continue to feed those eggs all this medicine, they will keep eating it until they get so full, we're going to have problems!  We've got to feed them just a little over the next few days to help them keep growing, but not to where they're all overstuffed.  We don't want to be greedy!"  Have I mentioned how much I love my doctor??  Total God-send!  He's like Forrest Gump's mama...he always has a way of explaining things so I can understand them.  LOL!

So, until the egg retrieval next week, I've been told to continue to do nothing, take it VERY easy, stay stress-free, and let those babies grow!  Consider it done!  I've got several books to read, shows recorded to catch up on (I'm ashamed to say it's mainly TLC's "A Baby Story"...I know, I know! But it makes me happy! lol), and some super yummy egg drop soup for dinner (thanks to my amazing MIL!), so I'm all set!

I do have to say, rather than the yucky side effects/symptoms associated with having your eggs harvested (such as being bloated/tired/feeling "full"/very tender in the stomach/unable to get comfortable lying down...just to name a few), I still feel very optimistic about this whole process!  I think the trick to staying positive is knowing the fool-proof formula (GOD + PRAYER + FAITH = MIRACLES), and reciting this verse (one of my favorites): "Be still and know that I AM GOD." (Psalm 46:10)  With that combo, there's no way I can be anything but optimistic!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Everywhere I Look There's Baby Bumps!

*Note:  I wrote this blog about a week ago, but wasn't sure if I should post it or not, because I honestly do not want to offend any of my beautifully pregnant friends/family or new mommies.  But I feel like this is an issue that ALL of us women dealing with infertility (or maybe you're just new to TTC) have faced or are facing, so I thought I definitely needed to share it with you all!

If you've ever had trouble TTC, whether it's been a few months or a few years, you know exactly what I mean by the title of today's post! It seems when you're trying to create a little one of your own, you are soooo much more aware of all the pregnancies happening around you!  I went to the grocery store yesterday and saw not one, not two, but ten baby bumps in about a 30 minute time frame...of course, I was thinking, "Let me buy what THEY'RE buying!  I'll take a dozen!" But, in all seriousness, sometimes it can be a little depressing to see all the joys of pregnancy and not being able to experience any of them (yet!).  So how do you lighten your mood and turn this situation from a negative to a positive outlook?? (Besides going home and watching A Baby Story on TLC and eating a pint of Ben & Jerry's---trust me, that really does NOT help!)  Give God the glory!!  That's right, thank God for all these little miracles that are taking place, all these lives that are being created that only HE can create.  Remember that all things happen according to the Lord's time schedule and not our own!

In Genesis 21, the Lord answers the prayer of Sarah, who, up to that point, was unable to have any children with her husband, Abraham.  She continued to be faithful and pray, and God finally gave her a baby.  Genesis 21:2 says "And Sarah conceived, and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time which God had spoken to him." Why did God wait so long to bless this couple with a child of their own?  Because He wanted them (and everyone else) to know, without a doubt, that this baby was a miracle from Him!

So when you get overwhelmed at the sight of all those adorable baby bellies, or you log onto Facebook and see yet another friend is pregnant, remember that those are all gifts from God.  Every single one of those women have been blessed by the Lord to become mommies...He grew those babies out of nothing but a teeny tiny follicle! How can we stay depressed or upset by something that He has blessed others with?! You may be reading this and thinking "Yeah, easier said than done!", and (believe me) I know firsthand how it feels to be surrounded by all of the precious preggos and newborns...it's not always easy!  It takes prayer...constant prayer!  But the trick is to seek out the blessing in every situation, and then give God the glory for it!  After all, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights." (James 1:17)

Gooood Morning!

Gooood morning, guys!  The birds are chirping, it's looks like rain (good napping weather), and I got about 10 hours of sleep last night---it's going to be a fabulous day!  It makes me want to sing that wonderful old hymn/verse: "This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!" (Psalm 118:24)

While I was snoozing away last night, I think my ovaries were pulling an all-nighter, because they're definitely more swollen this morning than they were last night!  The quick growth could have something to do with the changes Dr T made to my medications yesterday: He added Menopur (1 vial) in the belly last night and tonight, decreased the Gonal-F to 150 units (both nights), and kept the Lupron the same (10 units both nights).  He'll adjust it tomorrow based on what he sees....I can't wait to see how our little follies have grown!  

*Side Note (for those ladies going through or considering IVF):  Menopur BURNS.  No lie.  I read about it first and saw that lots of women said it burns, but said "Naaaah, I'll be fine.  I can take it!"  Well, I took it, but not without some complaining! lol  It burns the second you start to inject it and lasts for at least a full minute.  On a lighter note, Lupron only stings initially (nothing compared to the Menopur), and Gonal-F doesn't hurt at all!  My suggestion for when you have to take all three shots is to inject the Menopur first, and then follow it up with the others, because (trust me) you won't even feel the other two once you feel that burn!  Hope that helps a little!  Good luck, girls!  

Monday, May 28, 2012

Moving Right Along!

This morning's appointment went great!  The wait was a lot shorter this time (probably due to the holiday), and Dr T was very happy with the progress my follicles have made!

As far as the sizes and count goes, I have one 9mm and multiple 8mm's in the right ovary and multiple 8mm's in the left (we need to get them to at least 18mm and they grow about 2mm a day, maybe faster with the medications).  He said that's actually a little ahead of schedule, and that he might decrease my medications tonight (I'm waiting for the call with my orders once my blood work comes back) because he doesn't want me to get "too ripe too soon"! lol Since my ovaries are already getting pretty big, Dr T said (with his funny accent), "Do nothing!  No exercise.  Walk sloooooow.  We don't want to shake those ovaries around aaaat alllll!" Duly noted, Dr T...looks like it's a couch day for me! ;)

I'll go back Wednesday morning at 7:30am for another u/s and more labs.  If everything continues to go according to schedule, our egg retrieval should be next Monday, June 4th!  Ahhhh!  How exciting!! 

Since today is going to be a very lazy day, I am devoting a good portion of it to prayer.  (After all, I can't think of a better way to spend this beautiful day than talking to the Master who created it!)  Part of my prayer today is this sweet little poem I read yesterday:  "Lord, I don't know where this is going, or how it all works out.  Lead me to a peace that passes all understanding; a peace beyond all doubt."  Amen!  

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Ok...so maybe I spoke too soon about "feeling pretty good".  That shot last night must have went straight to my ovaries, cause man, are they sore today!  They feel slightly swollen and achy, and it hurts when I twist or bend over.  But I take it as a good sign that I am feeling something, because that means things are working in there!  God is just setting the stage for the creation of His little miracle---woohoo!

I'll do my two shots again tonight, and then go for my appointment at 8am tomorrow morning.  I'll update you all on my follies' progress sometime tomorrow afternoon!  Praying God is going to continue to use me and do big, BIG things! My God is so big, so strong, and so mighty, there's NOTHING my God cannot do!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Night Blessings

Today I'm on CD 7 and shot #3...things are moving right along!  So far I have no bruising, am not sore, and feel pretty good---thank God!  Tomorrow night I'll add the "big gun" (Gonal-F, the shot that will actually make my follicles start a-growin'), and then Monday night I'll add a second follicle-stimulating shot if Dr T approves (to give those ovaries a double whammy).  I am very excited for my appointment on Monday morning to see how our little "future babies" are looking!

In the meantime, while I'm waiting for my eggies to grow, I have really been trying to take it easy.  My stress level has been sooooo much lower since I've been off work and have wonderful family/friends to keep me company and help me out with little things.  Have I mentioned how blessed I am?? :)

Then, to add to my blessings, my husband's family all got together tonight at our house to celebrate his mom and step-dad's eleventh anniversary.  It was bittersweet, since he passed away only a few months ago, but it was such an honor to be able to come together and remember the love that was shared between them, as well as the love he showed our family in the time we knew him.  It also reminded me that our God is such a loving God, and that He gives us certain people in our lives, even if only for a few years, to give us a tiny glimpse of the love He has for us.  We can't imagine loving any one more than we love our spouses, or our children (or our future children), but the love that we feel for them is just a fraction of what our Father feels for us.  How amazing is that??  As unfathomable as it seems at times, it's true!  "And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, how deep His love really is." (Ephesians 3:18)

Wow.  Is it possible that I feel even more blessed after writing that?? :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I Survived!

Well...I did it, guys!  I gave myself the first of many shots in this IVF cycle, and I took it like a champ!  (If I do say so myself ;) )  I have given hundreds of shots throughout my nursing career (and I've actually given myself two shots before during the IUI cycles), but this one was different.  This one wasn't just a shot, but something more...almost like a vow saying, "I'm putting all my faith in You, Lord".  What an awesome feeling that is, totally surrendering myself to God (ALL of me---heart, mind, and body), and knowing that He is going to use ME (yes, lil' ole me) in a mighty way!  Wow!  Gives me "glory-bumps" just thinking about it!

Now, I did have a little scare after I gave myself the shot...and my husband is totally to blame for this.  After taking the shot in the kitchen, I hollered out, "I did it, babe!  It didn't hurt or anything!", and then I went into the office for a little pat on the back (oh come on, it was a SHOT!  I deserved it! lol).  He looked at the small little whelp on my stomach and the red area around it (I suppose that was just from pinching the skin up) and said "Umm...do you think you could be allergic to this??  It is supposed to be raised up and red like that?"  (Keep in mind that he is a Physician Assistant and he knows good and well that I am not having an allergic reaction to it, and he knows what a hypochondriac I am, but he said this anyway.)  So, of course, I did what all us hypochondriacs do: I freaked out.  I started reading the list of side effects again and then checking out my injection site...then I started to think maybe my throat was a little itchy.  OMG, what if my throat closed up in my sleep??  Seriously, people, I am a huge hypochondriac.  In nursing school, I had every disease that we were studying at that time...including the ones that only affected other races, men, or people in Third World countries.  It's that bad.  Finally, after discussing it with my mom (who is also a nurse) and doing plenty of research on the matter, I decided I was probably going to make it through the night and I could go to bed....but not without taking some Benadryl first. (You know, just in case.)  PTL, I can now say I am NOT allergic to Lupron, and I can continue my shots as ordered.  Whew!  But I'm not sure about the other three new medications I am going to have to take this cycle...what if...??  Naaaah, I'm just kidding ;)

So here I go, shot number two!  Praying for perseverance tonight, and keeping this close to my heart: "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize?  So run that you may obtain it."  (1 Corinthians 9:24)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Let's Do This Thaaang!

The day I have been waiting for has finally arrived!  After an hour and a half long wait at Dr T's office, four vials of blood and a rather uncomfortable u/s, I am pleased to report that I have my orders to start the Lupron injections tonight!  Woohoo!

Dr T did my u/s today (usually it's done by the u/s tech) so he could check my "antral follicle count" (the number of itty-bitty 2-8mm follies in the ovaries at the start of the cycle), which can give him a better guess as to how many eggs we have to work with this cycle and how they might respond to the medications.  He was very pleased with the results: 12 in the right ovary and "way more than 12" in the left!  (I do have PCOS, so Dr T said that may be why I have a higher number of antrals.)  So what does this all mean? Well, apparently my total number (24+) suggests that I will respond very well to the meds, should produce a larger number of mature follies, and have a higher chance of actually getting pregnant.  Can I get a hallelujah?!  PTL!

The only bad news is that if all of these teeny tiny eggs turn into nice mature eggs, this puts me at a higher risk for something called "ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome", which is when the ovaries swell up bigger than usual (think larger than cantaloupes), and can lead to serious problems.  Sounds like fun, doesn't it?  Umm...no thanks!  That's why Dr T wants me to come in every other day to keep tabs on these growing ovaries/follicles, and that's a-okay with me!  

So, tonight I will take my Lupron 10 units (as a shot in my stomach), and then starting Saturday night, I'll add the Gonal-F 225 units to my regimen (an additional shot).  I'll repeat this every night until I am seen back in the office Monday morning (that's when the every-other-day appointments will start) for another u/s and blood work.  I am planning on "sticking" (hehehe, that's a nurse joke) with the 9pm time frame, since the nurse said the shots should be taken at close to the same time every night.  Oooh, lookie there--it's time for my first shot!  Let's do this thaaang!  Prayers, please (and thank you)! 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Only One More Day!

Well, I'm back in town and all rested up and ready for this week's events!  My BC pills are all finished (so as of Saturday morning I am officially on cd 1), my antibiotic course (which I can confirm is muy yucko) will be done tomorrow night, and I have my routine u/s and blood work Wednesday morning at 9am.  All of the injectable medications were delivered today, and I have my own little "medication prep area" set up in one corner of my kitchen.  I'm all set!  Only one more day after today!  Eek!  (That's my happy noise.)

So, while I wait for the festivities to begin, I am trying to do as many things around the house as possible, since I may not be able to do a lot over the next few weeks.  The house is clean, the laundry is done, the groceries have been bought and put away, and dinner is in the crock pot for tonight.  Man, my husband isn't going to want to send me back to work after he sees what a good little housewife I can be! Hahaha! Wishful thinking, I know...;)  Tomorrow I will enjoy a nice lunch date with my bestie and hopefully (if weather permits) a nice stroll in the neighborhood with my sweet mother-in-law...life is good!  God is good!

Speaking of how good God is (I love any excuse to talk about God's goodness--can't you tell?? :) )...I stumbled upon another awesome verse this morning while doing my devotional, and I think it's perfect to remember as I wait to get started.  It's Micah 7:7, and it says, "But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord.  I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me." I know my God hears my prayers, and I know He will shower my husband and I with His peace and love during this whole process...I mean, He already has, and it hasn't even really began yet!  However, although God hears our prayers and always answers our prayers, sometimes He does say "no".  I am trying to remember this, and remember that if God says "no" to our prayers for a baby, then that just means He has bigger plans for us in some other area of our lives!  All we can do is keep praying, keep focusing on this path that He has brought us to, and keep remaining faithful that He will see His plan through!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

IVF "Vacation"

Today was a great day.  Not just because I have been given another day of life, or because we leave for a fun-filled trip to Chicago tomorrow (although praise the Lord for both of these!), but because today was my last day at work for five and a half weeks!  This officially kicks off my IVF vacation!

Now, you may be asking what my plans are for the next month and a half, and the answer is simple: absolutely nothing! Well, if you don't count my routine doctor's appointments (starting every other day on May 23rd), multiple daily injections, and keeping you guys in the loop with this blog...after all, those are all part of the process!  Other than that, though, I will be trying to remain as stress-free as possible!  That means catching up on my reading (book recommendations are always welcome!), getting lots of rest, and spending quality time each and every day talking to God and praising Him for the work He is doing in my life.  My goal for this time off is to get even closer to the Lord, while learning how I can be more like Him and how He can use me to serve His purpose.  James 4:8 says "Come close to God and He will come close to you." I can't think of a better way to spend the next 39 days!

In order to achieve my goal, I've made a promise to myself: I will not spend this time putting all my focus into what is going on inside my body, what pregnancy symptoms I am having, or how miserable the medications are making me feel.  I have made this mistake for the last 21 months, and all it did was add more weight onto my already heavy shoulders.  Instead, I am going to use my body as a temple for God, let Him do His glorious work through me, and focus on how serving Him is impacting others!  Whether we go through this IVF cycle and become parents, or whether we remain a family of two, God is going to bless us more than we could ever imagine...even more than He already has!  I have a feeling this is going to be the best "vacation" ever!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Monday, Monday...

Well, after a very eventful (but fun) weekend, I'm back!  This week is going to be rather crazy, too, because I work for three days and then I'm off to Chicago with my husband, his mom, and his uncle for the rest of the week/weekend.  I'm looking sooo forward to a little vacay before the IVF craziness begins! I have to say, I am quite the lucky gal, because when I come back from Chicago, I don't have to return to work until the end of June! Don't I have the most amazing boss (and husband) EVER? I think so!

So, to start out my busy week, I had two appointments today to go over the medication schedule and to have my "mock transfer" done.  I now have in my possession a cute little calendar (thanks to the nurse) with all my important dates on it, so I'm a happy camper! The mock transfer went well (except for the painful parts...whoever created a speculum needs to be beaten with one, because those things HURT!), and Dr T said he shouldn't have any problems once it comes time to transfer our little embies!  Yay!

To give a brief description of what this procedure was (for those of you who are going through or considering IVF), the doctor inserts a catheter through your cervix and into your uterus (same as when they do an IUI) and measures the distance the catheter needs to go to place the embryos where they can implant (and any twists and turns along the way).  The nurse does an abdominal u/s to let him see where he's going.  (The women always have to give directions, don't they??  Haha...just kidding, guys!)  While he is in there, he puts saline into your uterus to check for fibroids, cysts, or polyps...pretty much anything that could interfere with your little ones attaching themselves to the uterine wall.  It's also called "uterine mapping", because he is essentially "mapping out" the best route for the transfer.  We want everything to go as smoothly as possible on the actual transfer date, so I'm all for a little test run, even if it's not the most comfortable procedure ever! I promise, though, the most uncomfortable parts are involving the speculum (grrrrr....) and the almost-full bladder they ask you to have so they can visualize your uterus better.  But "no pain, no gain", right? ;)

Once I got home, I called the fertility pharmacy and ordered all of my medications and supplies (needles, syringes, etc).  They should be delivered next Monday, and then the fun begins Wednesday!  I will go in that day for an u/s and blood work to ensure my levels are all where they need to be post-BC, and then the nurse will call me that night and give me the go-ahead.  Until then, I'm free from appointments and injections!  I do have to start taking an oral antibiotic (Doxycycline) this Friday (which is the last day of my BC pills), and I'll take it for five days.  This is to knock out any infection that may be brewing and prevent any new ones from sneaking up on me, because if I am sick when it's time for the transfer, it'll all be put on hold.  Umm, no thank you! If I'm riding this loooong train to Baby Town, I'm not getting off at any stop before I get there!! lol Well, I say that, but if something were to happen during this process, I would just trust that it was in God's divine plan, and I'd praise Him for getting me that far!

I am still feeling so amazingly at peace about this whole journey.  I feel like my heavenly Father is holding my hand, keeping all of the stress, worry, doubt, and anxiety away from me while He walks with me down this path...what an awesome feeling!  I am trusting that He knows what is best for my husband and I, and that He will bless us when it's His timing, not ours.  This pretty much sums up my way of thinking at this moment: "Commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him, and He will bring it to pass." (Psalm 37:5)  Need I say more? :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Busy Little Bee!

I know you may think I am giving up on this whole blogging idea already, but I promise I'm not!  My husband and I are throwing a very good friend/family member of ours a nursing school graduation party tomorrow at our house, so I've been a busy little bee for the past few days!

I will try to write again ASAP, but that may not be until next week, so don't go away!  Stay tuned because the fun (i.e., injections, ultrasounds, blood work) is going to really going to start in T-minus 12 days!

I'll leave you with a verse that is helping me to get through this crazy week: "I can do ALL things through Christ, who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13) Yes I can!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Say Whaaaaaaat???

After reading through some of my posts, I now realize that sometimes I speak in an entirely different language!  For those of you who have been TTC (see, there I go), some of the terms I use ("BFN", "BFP", "HSG") are common knowledge, but for others it sounds like I'm making this stuff up! Sorry folks!

In order to make it a little easier for some of you to understand the lingo (it's only going to get worse as we start the actual IVF process--again, sorry!), I've added a column to the right side of the Home Page that defines these words/terms for you.  I'll keep adding to them as we go along.  I hope that helps with some of the confusion! (Oh, come on now, Daddy, admit it...I know you were asking Mama what in the heck I was talking about! ;) )

Saturday, May 5, 2012

One Week Down, Two to Go...

I'm already done with my first week of BC pills!  Only two weeks left, and I'll be ready to start my injections!  As painful as I know they will be, I'm still quite giddy with anticipation!  Woohoo!

That's really all there is to share in the baby-making department.  Stay tuned for more updates! :)

Get Behind Me, Satan!

Whew....this week has been a doozie!  Between work/call and all of the other events going on (graduations, retirement dinners, baby showers, wedding showers, etc), I haven't had time (until now) to sit down and collect my thoughts!  But now that I do, I have something I'd like to share (duh, this is my blog, after all! ;) )...

It's very easy to get caught up in life's daily activities and become frustrated when things don't go according to your To-Do List (I'm definitely guilty of this!).   If one thing goes wrong, the whole day seems to fall apart.  Yesterday, after a particularly terrible day at work, I was starting to wonder if it was going to be a full moon or something, because things were crazy!  It wasn't until just now that I realize it was probably Satan trying to trip me up.  He knows what a peace I've had lately, how I've been in constant communication with God, and how I'm putting all my trust in the Lord...and he can't stand it! He hates to see me happy, so he slips a few miserable days in there to see if I'll crack and lose my joy.  Well, I'm sorry, Mr Satan, but not this time!  As Jesus said in Matthew 16:23, "Get behind me Satan!  You're a stumbling block to me; you don't have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."  When things start to get a little nuts, don't let Satan take control and steal your joy!  Just repeat this verse a few times, pray that God calms the storm and guides your boat, and you'll see that there's nothing God can't handle when you let Him take control!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Count Your Blessings, Name Them One by One

Throughout this whole infertility struggle, I have learned to look for the blessings in every circumstance.  Not only is this pleasing to God, but it also keeps me focused on the good things instead of the bad, which can easily overwhelm us.  I want to take a minute to name some of my many blessings, and give the glory to my Lord for each and every one of them!

I am blessed to have a wonderful husband, who not only loves me, but who sees how badly I want to be a mother and will go to the moon and back to help me make that happen.  I am blessed to have parents who loved and nurtured me as a child; who were such good examples of how God wants us to live for Him and love others unconditionally.  I am blessed to be physically, emotionally, and financially able to go through this process.  I am blessed to have a job that is flexible enough for me to be able to schedule doctor's appointments around work, and for a great boss/friend who has been so understanding through all of this and is allowing me to take this much needed time off to focus on becoming a mother.  I am blessed to have in-laws who allowed me to join their family and have always treated me like the daughter they never had.  I am blessed to have met my Fertility Friends, who know exactly what I'm going through and always have the right words to cheer me up if I'm having a bad day.  I am blessed to have friends and family who have poured out their love and support for my husband and I, and who continue to pray daily for God's will in our lives.  And last, by certainly not least, I am blessed to serve a God who supplies all my needs and who loves me enough to send His son to die for my sins so I can spend now and all of eternity praising His name!

There are so many more blessings that I could include, but these are just a few that the Lord placed on my heart to share.  I pray this encourages you to look for the blessings He has placed in your life!  Name them one by one, and you'll see how quickly they add up!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What I Learned Today

When my brothers and I were little, my mom would always ask us when we came home from school, "So, what did you learn today?", to which we would immediately start reciting our newfound knowledge.  We had our IVF consult this afternoon, and so I've been eager like a little school girl to come home and share with you all what I learned today!

-There will be a total of 4 different shots and 2 pills I will have to take from start to finish.  Here's a little bit about them:
     -BC pills: suppresses my ovaries so they can "rest up for the big game"; I am currently taking these 
                     daily until May 18th.
     -Lupron: keeps me from ovulating before my eggies are "plump and juicy"; I will start this daily  
                    shot on May 23rd and continue until the time I take the HCG shot (about 2 weeks).
     -Gonal-F and Menopur: stimulates my ovaries and make those eggies grow!  They are separate 
                    medications that I will combine and give daily for about 10 days (or more if my eggs aren't       
                    responding the way we want them to).
     -HCG: stimulates ovulation; I will take this about 36 hours before egg "retrieval" (and that could be 
                    any time after I finish the growth-stimulation shots).
     -Doxycycline:  an antibiotic used after the embryo transfer; I will take them the day of the transfer 
                    and for about a week after.
     -Progesterone in oil:  keeps the lining of my uterus thick and cushiony so the little embryo will have 
                    some place to snuggle in for the long haul; I will start these shots the day after the transfer 
                    and continue them until Dr T says to stop. 
     *Whew!  I'm going to be a walking pharmacy by the time I take all of those!  But I'm going to be a 
      good patient (hard to do when you're a nurse!) and do as I'm told ;)  

-By the time I have finished the growth-stimulating shots, Dr T said my ovaries will be about the size of two small cantaloupes...sound pleasant, doesn't it??  But the bigger the ovaries, the more likely we are to have a good number of eggies, so I say "grow, ovaries, grow!" Guess I need to add sweat pants to the shopping list, huh? 

-I will have to go in for ultrasounds and blood work every other day for about 2 weeks so they can monitor my egg growth.  This includes weekends.  I had to go in for lots of testing with the other procedures, but this takes the cake! This is like having another full-time job!  But it'll be oh so worth it in the end!! :)

-The egg retrieval will be either June 4th, 5th, or 6th, depending on how my follies have grown.  They will go into each of my ovaries with a needle and take out all of the mature follies.  I will be sedated for this (kind of like when you have a colonoscopy done, so you're awake but you're not really coherent)...praise the Lord!  

-Once they've gotten all the mature follicles out, they'll take them to the lab and make sure each one has an egg in it (sometimes they can be empty).  Those that do will be fertilized and then the 5-day wait begins!

-5 days later, they will thoroughly inspect all of the embryos that have survived and choose the best two to transfer.  Any that are left will be kept just in case we need them later (in case this cycle doesn't work or if we wish to have another baby later on).  If we end up not needing them, we can always donate them to a couple who does!  (I love this part--I can participate in helping someone else's dreams come true! Yay!)

-After the transfer, I will be on bedrest for a few days, just to minimize stress and help those "embies" implant!  11 days after the transfer is done, we should know if we're going to be parents or not!  How exciting!

Man, we sure did learn a lot today!  And it only made us more excited to get this show on the road!  So, the next step is to meet with Dr T's nurse (on Monday, May 14th) to go over exactly when to give the medications and I'll get a calendar to keep me organized (they must know I'm a super organized person--I loooove lists and calendars ;) ).  The same day Dr T will look in my uterus to make sure there are no other cysts in there that could keep the baby from implanting and to "map out" exactly how he will put the embryos in (this is a very important part).  

Well, that's all for now!  Sorry if any of that was boring, but I wanted those of you who may be considering or heading towards IVF to know what to expect, and those of you who are just along for the ride to have a little better idea of what's in store for us!  

Please keep the prayers coming..."Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, and be constant in prayer." (Romans 12:12) Your love, support, and prayers mean so much to us, and I know God hears our prayers!