Friday, August 29, 2014


So Beta number one today came in at a 9.  Sigh.  Knowing we were testing at 8dp5dt I knew it would be low.  But my research indicated that somewhere between a 30-40 would have been average.  I was hoping for something closer to 50 for some reassurance.  Obviously that didn't happen.  While I am extremely grateful that hope is not lost, I am also a complete bundle of nerves.  I won't have my 2nd Beta until Tuesday thanks to the long holiday weekend so we need to see that number quadruple.  I thought about getting some FRER pregnancy tests and testing at home but even if my number doubles in 48 hours like it should, it will still be under a 25 which is where it needs to be for the test to pick it up.  Which means it would basically be Monday before I could get a positive.  But honestly I've been getting up 2 and 3 times during the night to pee, so then I start to wonder if I'd even have enough concentration in my urine to get a positive result and honestly it's just not worth it.  I think I'll just wait it out.

So we continue to pray and think positive thoughts.  I'll take care of myself as best as I can and know that I'm doing everything to help our little one.  To all of you that have been praying for us, offered supportive texts, comments, and emails, or even just took the time to read an update - thank you so much for the support.  I'm not sure if this is it for us, but I'm going to remain hopeful until the end and trust in God's plan.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Am I or Aren't I?

Oh the two week wait.  What can I say about it that hasn't been said before?  Not much.  It's a rare form of torture for all women, but those who have invested so much - money, sweat, blood, tears (did I mention money?!) into fertility treatments there's SO much riding on those few days.  My heart breaks for those women who know this is their last cycle.  I can't imagine all of the additional emotions those circumstances drum up.  I'm so very thankful to know that we have 2 frozen embryos in the bank.  However, that doesn't stop the yearning for this cycle to be successful.  It doesn't take away the ache in my heart or the emptiness in my arms. And it certainly doesn't guarantee us a take home baby of our own.

It's amazing to me that one event (IVF) can create such a conflicting, confusing mass of emotions.  Each day I'm filled equally with excitement and hope, fear and despair, worry and peace.  But really when you think about it what other event has stakes this high?  Yes, planning a wedding can be exciting and stressful.  But the outcome is known regardless of what happens during the planning.  At the end of the allotted time, ready or not, there will be a wedding.  The same could be said for a career change or even the loss of a job.  Although stressful, if persistent you WILL eventually find another job.  It might not be your dream job, or you may have to take a pay cut but I truly believe if you try hard enough you can find employment.  Infertility doesn't care how hard you "try".  You can put tens of thousands of dollars towards treatment, have the very best doctors and labs, the very best quality embryos, but there's no guarantee.  At the end of the road the outcome is unknown and uncontrollable.  We've always been taught that if you work hard enough, want something bad enough, and never give up it will happen.  But I know in my heart I couldn't want this any more, couldn't "try" any harder, and that I've done everything in my power to succeed and still - no guarantee.

Today I am 7dp5dt.  I've had some cramping, which we all know could be good or could be bad.  My boobs are bigger and sore, but that could easily be from the progesterone.  That's about all I have going on.  According to Dr. Google implantation should be complete and HCG should start to enter the blood stream.  Every time I feel the doubt or worry overwhelming me I'm trying to stop and pray.  But right now and for the next 2 days there's absolutely no way to know what's happened to our little one.  So one's left wonder Am I or Aren't I?  I am praying with everything I have that I AM.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


My sweet friend Amanda has done it again.  Every post she writes touches my heart in a new way and this one was no exception.  She makes me want to fight harder, speak kinder, and be a better person.  I can only pray that God gives me half the grace that he's blessed her with during this struggle.  Amanda I am so thankful to have you in my life and feel privileged to call you my friend.

If you have the time please take 10 minutes to read this post. Grace In The Storm.

I've highlighted some of the statements that affected me the most.

The truth is that infertile women often are bitter... I know I've been bitter often throughout these years. This journey is hard. This storm is fierce. But bitterness (particularly abusive, negative, hateful bitterness) will solve nothing, grace on the other hand will soften hearts.

My goal is to shine a light on infertility, educate people about infertility, and offer support to anyone in need... not to bash people or create an environment where we all sit around and hate on fertile people

I'm proud of the community, proud of my friends; I just want others to see us as I do.

Friday, August 22, 2014


7 days.....165 hours....9,900 minutes.....594,000 seconds. This is the amount of time that stands between me and my first beta.  But let me back up and fill you in. 

Yesterday morning I got a call from the receptionist at my clinic informing me we were on for our 1pm transfer. She didn't have any more information but I breathed a sigh of relief assuming this meant at least one of our 11 embryos came back normal. We arrived at the clinic and I was given some Valuim to help me relax. We were led into the OR where we finally got the information we'd been waiting for. We had 5 total embryos that came back normal. This obviously exceeded our expectations and I couldn't hold back the tears that came. Dr. H explained to us that today he wanted to transfer one embryo. We had one grade 1 embryo and it tested normal so that was the one he wanted to go with. I asked him about transferring 2 but he said he wasn't comfortable with that. The goal is a healthy baby, not multiples. He felt like it would be irresponsible to transfer more than one. 

(As you can see the embryo is starting to hatch out of its shell. Another good sign) 

So our big decision wasn't really a decision at all. We signed the papers and then the nurses came in to check my bladder. I did have some free fluid from the follicles that was pushing my uterus over.  For a minute I was worried they were going to tell us we had to cancel transfer but Dr came in and looked and said he didn't forsee it being a problem. Everything else looked good including my lining which they told me was nice and thick. So for the 4th time we watched as the life we worked so hard to create was transferred into my uterus. For those of you that have experienced it you know how emotional that moment is. After the procedure was done Dr. H wished us good luck and the staff left the room to give us a few minutes alone. I just prayed with all my heart for God to bless this little spec of life.  To watch over and protect it. To help it thrive and grow into a healthy baby. 

(It's hard to see because of the shading but it's the tiny white spot towards the top) 

So now we wait. Technically I think my beta should have been scheduled for next Sat. But they scheduled it for Friday the 29th with the 2nd beta on Tues. Sept 2nd due to the holiday. I'm not really sure what that means for my numbers. I doubt I'll be comfortable even if it is positive until I see it double. Let's be honest I doubt I'll be comfortable this entire pregnancy if this actually works. I'm feeling oh so very hopeful that this is our time. We decided not to find out the sex at this time. I just felt like if I knew and this didn't work it would only make it harder. It doesn't matter to us either way of course. 

They also told us yesterday they were going to let the other 4 embryos go to day 6 and would freeze those that were still growing. I called today and found out they were able to freeze 2 of them. Two more chances. God is so good. 

So now we wait. And pray. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Decision

So we are about 28 hours out from transfer.  I'm feeling......pretty good.  Definitely have some nerves setting in about the genetic testing but overall I'm still feeling hopeful and at peace.  The weeks leading up to this cycle I've just been praying for one normal embryo to transfer.  Based on my history there were days that seemed like a long shot.  But now with 11 embryos on Day 3 it seems like we might need to give some thought to the possibility of having more than one "normal" embryo.  Which leads to THE decision.  How many to transfer.  I'm having such mixed emotions about this.  I mean in an ideal world a set of healthy twins would be everything we have ever dreamed of.  However I've done my research and I know the increased risks of twins.  Some of my girls in this community have just recently been through some scary stuff delivering their twins.  Thankfully everything turned out okay but it definitely could have taken a turn in the wrong direction.  My other concern is my lining.  On my first follicle monitoring appointment on Monday Aug. 11th Dr. H. measured my lining at 8mm.  Which is good since they want it at least 8 or higher.  However on that Wednesday when I went back for my second ultrasound he measured it at a 7.  I questioned him about it then and he said he wasn't concerned at all.  He said that it all depends on where you measure it and with estrogen levels as high as mine he felt confident it wasn't an issue at all.  The following day during my last follicle scan he measured it at a 9.  So my fear becomes that my lining isn't that great and we transfer two and neither implants.  On transfer day it will have been a full week since my last ultrasound.  I've been on PIO injections since retrieval.  I'm hoping that my lining has only gotten thicker but with my first two transfer they didn't do a lining check the day of transfer.  Is that uncommon?

For those of you who have been there I'd love to hear your thoughts on how many to transfer and the lining issue.  I've been doing a lot of research but to me those of us living this are the true experts.  One day and counting ladies!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Day 3

I just called the clinic to check on our embabies.  The day has gone so slow and I've felt sick to my stomach for the last hour.  But the news we got is good!  Of the 14 embryos 12 were still dividing today.  One of those was a grade 3 and very fragmented so they don't think that one will make it to Day 5.  But they biopsied the remaining 11 for the genetic testing.  We are still on for a 1pm transfer on Thurs. and they will give us the results of the CGH tests then.

I am thrilled that we still have 11 viable embryos on Day 3.  That's way more than we had in our first two cycles combined which is crazy to me!  I know the genetic test are going to make or break us here but I'm feeling really good about things.  For each milestone I had a number in my head.  For retrieval it was 12 eggs....we got 21.  I was hoping 12 of those 21 would be mature eggs - 16 of them were.  For the fertilization report I was hoping for 10 embryos - we got 14.  Today I had the number 8 in my head and we well surpassed that.  Once again the "too good to be true" is creeping in  my head but I'm doing my best to block it out.  This news just gives us another reason to celebrate and believe that this cycle could be IT for us.  I'm praying day and night that's true and one of these beautiful embryos becomes the baby we've been dreaming about.

Sunday, August 17, 2014


I believe in miracles. I read about them every day in this community. Donors that volunteer their gifts of eggs for no fees, adoptions that come together at precisely the right moment, pregnancies that occur after a doctor has said there's no hope. This weekend I've experienced what I hope is the start of my own miracle. On Saturday morning I went in for my 3rd IVF egg retrieval. As a refresher my first cycle I got 8 eggs, 5 mature, 1fertilized correctly. For my second cycle we got 12 eggs, 10 were mature, 8 fertilized correctly. We transferred 3 (one of which was very poor quality). One implanted but there was no heartbeat at 7 weeks. One made it to 5 day to freeze which we transferred in a FET that was a BFN. Which bring me to now. This cycle we retrieved 21 eggs. Out of them 16 were mature. After 24 hours 14 of those have fertilized correctly and continue to grow. 14. 

I am a complete mess of emotions right now. Obviously I'm thrilled with this number. I'm currently crying tears of gratitude that I can't seem to shut off. I'm so very thankful for each and every one of those 21 eggs that turned into 14 embryos. We'll let our babies keep growing until Tuesday (day 3). At that time they will biopsy 1 cell from the embryos that are still thriving to send away for genetic testing. I'm tentatively scheduled for a 1pm transfer on Thursday (day 5). It will be down to the last min before we get the results of the genetic tests.  

I know there's two ways to look at this situation. The first is to embrace my joy, be thankful and happy and believe that this IS going to work this time. However I wouldn't be honest if I didn't admit there's a part of me thinking this is too good to be true. That even though these number are higher than I ever dreamed my body was possible of producing, when push comes to shove we know my egg quality is crappy. I worry about how many we'll lose between now and Tues. Between Tuesday and Thursday. And then even IF we have a genetically normal embryo to transfer there's still a very long road ahead of us. One we've already been down that ended in heartbreak. 

That being said it's my CHOICE to focus on the positive. To give thanks, be hopeful, and trust in God and his plan for us. 14 beautiful embryos.  Let the miracle begin. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Day In The Life...

Lately I've seen several posts on social media about being kind to others because everyone is fighting their own battle. Obviously this hits close to home for someone like me who's struggling with infertility semi privately. Those of my fertile friends and family that do know of our struggle often ask me how things are going or how I'm feeling. I always hesitate before I respond. There's a million thoughts that run through my head but I usually go with something generic and insincere like "I'm hanging in there". I got the idea to write this post at the start of this cycle. I've put it off because I didn't want people thinking I was having a pity party or looking for sympathy. The opposite is actually true. One thing I can't stand, and probably part of my reason for not being more open, is I can't handle people feeling sorry for me. But for those in my camp that I have opened up to I thought it might be interesting to get a glimpse at a day in the life of an infertile. Here's my best shot  

Disclaimer - these are my personal thoughts and feelings. I recognize they are all over the chart, and I basically sound crazy. But it's honest and real. This is not a representation of all women struggling with infertility. Just me. 

6:15 - Alarm goes off. I check my phone where there's a reminder of my 8am appointment at my clinic. 

7:30am - Showered and ready for work. Make breakfast. Wish for coffee that I can't (shouldn't) have thanks to the caffiene. Settle for orange juice. 

7:40am - Morning suppression injection. Pull out a 1cc syringe and (thankfully) a 27 1/2 gauge needle. Measure out the .25ml dose. Obsess for 5 min over the amount. Is that too little or too much?  Is it better to error on the side of more or less?!  Finally determine it's as close as it's going to get. Lift up shirt to this view 

Try to find a spot that isn't bruised but still located below my belly button and the appropriate distance to the left or right. Worry that the chosen spot is too far out of line. Why do they tell you to make sure it's a couple inches below your belly button and to either side?  Which side did I do this shot on yesterday?!  What are the effects if I mess this up?!  Finally pick a spot, pinch some fat, and stick the needle in. Inject meds, pull it out. Why is it bleeding again?!? That's going to be another bruise. 

8am - Arrive at clinic. Sign in and tell all my friends, oops I mean medical staff, good morning. Relish in the attention and affection from being the favorite patient. 

8:10am - Woman enters clinic with a 1 year old. Forced to sit in the waiting room while 1 year old runs around in front of me. Recognize in my head that said baby is probably an IVF baby. Attempt to block out thoughts about how it's still inappropriate to bring a baby to a fertility clinic.  Mean thoughts are replaced with sad thoughts of how much I wish I had a baby and worries of I'll never have a baby of my own. Heart hurts. 

8:20am - Called back. First stop blood draw. Nurse Jenny has same issue trying to find a non bruised spot on my arm to draw blood. Look away during blood draw because needles make me queasy (yes I did just stick myself 30 min ago - don't ask). Blood draw done and head to exam room. Nurse Jo gives me a hug and says "You know the drill."  Yes. Yes I do. I strip from the waist down and sit on the table attempting to cover my bare ass as best as possible with the paper cover they give me. Stare at this site wondering if I'll ever see my baby on the screen. 

Think for the 100th time how much I hate the dildo wand. 

8:35am - Still waiting on doctor. Definitely going to be late for my first meeting at work. 

8:40am - Dr H comes in. Asks how I'm doing and says "let's see what we have going on in there". I smile but internally I am completely panicked that things are going to be not where they should and cycle will be cancelled. 

My friend the dildo is inserted and I watch the screen feeling like I might puke.  At the first site of a follicle I slightly relax. However now I'm studying them and worrying they should be bigger at this point. And there's too much difference in the sizes. Is there any way to tell if there's an egg in there?!  God, I hope they aren't all empty. 

Dr. H counts off follicles and sizes.  I'm comforted with every new one they record. Maybe this will work this time. Heart hurts. 

8:55am - Get dressed, meet with Nurse Jenny. She will call me when my blood work comes back but we'll most likely stim another night. Pepper her with questions about how many follicles total, their size, whether it's a good or bad thing that we are stimming another night. Scrutinize her face when she tells me everything looks great and is going well. Make her promise to text me the second my blood work comes in ( because yeah she has my number on her personal phone). 

9:15am - Arrive to work and attempt to sneak in meeting. Attempt fails. Co worker asks where I've been. Explain I had a doctors appointment. Her response - "Again??"  Yes. Again. 

10:30am - break time in meeting. Everyone mingles at the coffee stand. Wish again for a cup of coffee but grab a bottle of water. Listen to coworkers cute story about his kid. Try to block out sad thoughts and worries. Heart hurts. 

12:00pm - Lunch time. The meeting is catered and they bring in wraps with lunch meat. I know you shouldn't have lunch meat when you are pregnant. Does that go for when you are growing multiple follicles too?!  Stay seated while everyone goes to get their lunch and google "lunch meat IVF" on phone. 

12:15pm - couldn't find anything that said no lunch meat during IVF but decide it's better safe than sorry and have some fruit and chips. Wish for a diet coke. Have water instead. 

1:00pm - Meeting resumes. First presenter hooks up computer to the projector. Presenter's home screen is the worlds most perfect family photo. Try to block out sad thoughts. Heart hurts. 

2:06pm - receive text from Nurse Jenny. Stim again tonight, another ultrasound at 8:45am tomorrow. Type out several responses with crazy questions that I delete because I don't want to be that patient and more importantly abuse my access to Jenny's personal phone. 

4:00pm - Meeting is wrapped for the day. 
Co worker complains about having to go across town to pick up child from daycare. Don't try to block mean thoughts. Heart hurts. 

4:15pm - driving home talking to D. I've already text him all the news from the appointment but he asks all his questions again. Heart hurts to hear the worry in his voice. Reassure him as best as I can even though I have all the same fears as him. 

4:45pm - arrive home and greeted by ecstatic puppy dog. Put on her leash and head out for a walk. Enjoy the sunshine and her great company. Smile and forget to worry. Pass neighbor with their baby in the stroller. Smile and wave. No sad thoughts- is that hope filling my heart?!  

5:20pm - D is home. Smile for the second time today. Talk about our day as I make dinner and he plays with the dog. Daydream that there's a baby in the picture. Heart filled equally with hurt and hope. 

6:00pm - Eat dinner, watch our shows, cuddle and laugh at the dog. Life is not so bad. Heart at peace. 

8:00pm - time for evening injections. Triple check calendar with list of meds and doses. Get all supplies ready and laid out. 

Once everything is all set out call D over. Suddenly get overwhelmed and eyes well up with tears. I willl not cry tonight. Too late - tears fall. D says nothing just holds me. 

8:10pm - Pull my shit together. D starts with Follistim. Have to be poked twice tonight because the cartridge is almost empty. Move on to Menapur. Hate hate hate how this one feels like fire. Medicine squirts out of the vial when filling needle. Worry that the shortage will cause cycle to fail. D talks me off the ledge. Final shot of the night is estrogen inter muscular shot in the butt.  Move this party from the kitchen to the couch. Lay flat on my stomach and pull down pants. Block out thoughts of how unflattering this position is. Wait for D's count and try not to tense up. Tense up anyway and shot hurts going in. Once it's complete D massages the area to rub in the medicine. Block out additional embarrassing thoughts and say a quick prayer of thanks for this man. 

8:30pm - one more night down. Wonder and worry about what tomorrow might bring. Distract myself by looking at baby stuff on Pinterest. Have a fun talk with D about potential baby names. Feel excited, scared, happy, anxious, guilty, and hopeful all at the same time. Comforted by D's smile. 

10pm - time for bed. Get suppositories out of fridge and insert panty liner into granny panties. Awesome. 

 10:15pm - Set alarm for morning and appointment reminder. Say numerous prayers. Prayers of thanks for d, for our health, for our friends and family, for our jobs, for our home, for the baby girl puppy dog asleep on my feet. Prayers for the eggs (hopefully) growing in these follicles. Prayers for good news tomorrow.  Prayers for a successful cycle. Prayers for a baby of our own. 

10:30pm - D comes to bed, wraps his arms around me, and whispers he loves me. Drift to sleep feeling happy, safe, and loved. Despite it all life is beautiful. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Ultrasound Update

Hey gang!  Sorry I am just getting this post written. Work has been so crazy as July and Aug are my busiest months. I had my ultrasound on Monday and things looked good. I had 19 follicles and they were all between 12 and 15mm. Last cycle I had 18 but I had a couple that were at 20mm and farther ahead than the rest. So based on that information and my estrogen levels we stimmed again last night and tonight and I'll go back for another ultrasound tomorrow morning. I expect we'll have retrieval scheduled for Friday but we will see. I felt so much better after the u/s. It all just gets in my head and even though I've been feeling super bloated and heavy I started thinking it was all in my head and there was only going to be like 2 follicles there. Since we didn't up my meds just changed up a couple things I think my hope was to have the same results as last time so I'm feeling pretty good. I know several of these follicles will be empty. I know not all the eggs they do retrieve will be mature. I know not all the mature eggs will fertilize. And I know not all of the embryos will survive. Finally I know not all of the embryos that do survive will be genetically normal. That being said I am still just hoping and praying for 1 healthy embryo to transfer. I know that might sound pessimistic but this is not my first rodeo people. I know my body and my diagnosis and will honestly be thrilled and hopeful if we even have 1 to transfer. (And terribly disappointed if there's none...). 

So that's where we are. I'm feeling excited and hopeful for tomorrow's u/s. I'm ready to get this show on the road.  There's been so much positive news in our community lately. It fills me with hope and happiness but also scares me a little. We all know the stats and this can't work for everyone. So selfishly I'm wondering if it's me that's going to get the bad news. But I'm doing my best to block those nasty thoughts and stay positive. This very well could be our turn. We've earned it. (Let's be honest we all have girls). We've put in the sweat, blood, and tears. Suffered the disappointment and heartache. And although I've been down I haven't given up. And I won't no matter what. But it sure would be nice if this was our time. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Truckin' Along

This week has been a blur of shots, pills, needles, vials, and prayers.  I'm not feeling too bad from all of the drugs.  More tired than usual and some ovary area pain (which is a hopeful sign to me that the drugs I'm pumping non stop in my body are actually working!).  Monday morning I go in for my first ultrasound to see how the follicles are developing.  This appointment always makes me so nervous as it's basically the first indication of how successful your cycle is going to be.  We'll monitor every morning next week and make adjustments to the meds based on how I'm responding.  If I follow the trend from my first 2 fresh IVF cycles we'll trigger on Wed. for a Thursday retrieval.  Or I could get pushed to Friday if I'm not responding as well.  Only time will time.  

Surprisingly I'm still feeling pretty calm about things.  I wonder if I'm just that jaded or if I'm now immune to the pressure and stress of IVF.  All I really know is I'm ready for some answers.  I'm still hopeful that at the conclusion of this cycle we'll have at least one genetically correct, healthy embryo to transfer.  Every day is one step closer to that goal.  

I wish I had more excitement or even more feeling to put into this post.  I just wanted to check in with everyone and let you know that you are all always in my thoughts and prayers.  I'm still feeling hopeful and excited.  Doing my best to push aside the doubt and worry.  I know it will probably all get more "real" next week with the daily appointments and pending retrieval.  It does fill my heart to think that at this time next week we could have little embryos growing!  At least one more chance of a baby with D's eyes and my nose.  That thought brings tears of hope and joy to my eyes.  

I'm hoping all of you have a great weekend!  I'll let you know how things go on Monday.  If you have some extra prayers we'd appreciate sending them our way. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

The "other" great love of my life

Happy Friday everyone!  This Friday is not a super happy one for me as D is out of town all weekend for a bachelor party. They have headed up north to ride four wheelers all weekend. They will have a great time and are a good group of boys. I just really don't like to be apart from D. Other than the fact that I obviously like him a little since I married him, he's also the stability in our relationship. I tend to be over emotional, dramatic, and sometimes down right crazy (I know you are shocked right?!). He's the calm, the sense, the logic in my world.  However he's currently not easily accessible. And let's be honest after dealing with me the guy probably deserves a break :)

So as of last night it's just me and the "other" love of my life. Yep you guessed it. I'm talking about the baby girl Chloe. 

As I woke up this morning and rolled over to see this....

I thought to myself "What do people without dogs do when their spouse is away?!"  Seriously I know I love this dog more than is most likely healthy (I refuse to look too far into the psychological factors of IF and how that plays into this. I just love her ok?!). But this not so little girl brings me so much peace, comfort, and happiness every single day. And while D is my rock who provides me comfort with his reasoning and words, she just simply loves me unconditionally for being. So I thought I'd dedicate this post to my baby girl. Happy Friday Friends!

(She looks ashamed in this picture but seriously cutest lady bug ever)

(This was during bed rest of my first transfer...snuggler :)