Picture Happy

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Thought it would be fun for a picture post this Memorial Day weekend!! I hope everyone is having a relaxing 3-day weekend, no matter if you are having a big cookout or avoiding one!! Haha :) We are so excited to see everything blooming and growing so beautifully!!

Peony- I transplanted it last year and it never bloomed, but it came up gorgeous this year!

I forget what this is, but the purple is very vivid! It's sort of a groundcover plant, which I don't normally like, but I don't think it's as invasive as some groundcover can be!

Poppy!! There were three blooms already, and there are 3 more coming up!! The blooms are fairly delicate, but this is such a beautiful orange!

Raspberries in the making!

Our veggie garden (L to R: peas, spinach, spinach, lettuce, lettuce, carrotts, broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers)

Peas- glamour shot!

One of my baby daylillies- I separate the huge clumps of daylillies each year and put the small ones in various places in our yard- this one did great- next year it will be huge and time to be split!

Have no idea what flower this is, and I really don't remember buying it, but it's a perennial, and there is this color of pink and a more rose pink, too! They are beautiful and self-cleaning, which is great because I don't have to pinch the old blooms to get new ones!

Banana, queen of our hearts and of the front yard!!

Sweet Punch in the Gut

Thursday, May 27, 2010

This afternoon, after driving 5-hours round trip to my office for three meetings today, I collapsed onto the couch and opened my personal email to see if I had any new mail.

Of course I did. Good thing it was time for me to walk Banana. Gave me reason to close the laptop almost as soon as I opened it.

On the walk, I texted my similarly-babyless friend K: "Another friend preg w number 2. What a punch in the gut."

But it's probably the sweetest punch in the gut I've ever received.

About a month and a half ago, I opened up to this apparently pregnant-again friend of mine (who already has one child) about our struggles, and she has been perfectly supportive ever since. I couldn't have imagined a more compassionate response (and it's what I hope for from my other friends once I tell them, although I doubt they will respond that way). She is pretty much as close to what we infertiles always hope for as far as support from a friend. (I can't leave out that I have another awesome friend H who is equally as spectacular in the support department- she even reads my blog sometimes!)

And true to form, she emailed me my own email to tell me about her newest pregnancy, and it was sensitive and careful (literally, full of care) and tender. If she didn't google "how do I tell my infertile friend about my pregnancy" to know what to write, I think she should start a side business as a fertile friend consultant when it comes to dealing with their infertile counterparts. In fact, to show you that these things are not just figments of infertile's imaginations, here is what she wrote to me:

I am going to send out an update here shortly, but wanted to send you an e-mail first. I almost feel bad telling you this, because of everything you've been going through... but, (hubby) and I are having another baby. I just wanted to tell you in a format other than a mass e-mail. I cannot wait for the day I hear this news from you. We pray for you guys all of the time, and I really hope you don't have to wait much longer.

I am serious! This is what she wrote! Is that not the most perfect announcement you have ever read?! Don't you worry, I will let her know how amazing it was!! It brings tears to my eyes every time I read it.

But of course, as sweet as her email is, it's still a punch in the gut.

(This next part of this post is brought to you by my heart only. When my heart wrote this part, it was not communicating with my head, or any part of my brain that holds what I know by faith. It's just my heart talking.)

It is unfathomable that after all we have been through the last few months, our baby went to someone else. Who already has a baby, for pete's sake!!! I mean, God, when will You stop giving our babies to other people? When will You give our babies the right directions, to our house with its three extra empty bedrooms?? I mean really, it wasn't enough that our last cycle failed? We have to be beaten down again while we can barely get off the ground?

(Okay, enough of that. I know God didnt' give our baby to someone else. But my heart was just wondering...)

Mr. A told me to try not to be disappointed. Sure, I can try. He assures me our day will come. If I'm someone's punch in the gut, I sure hope I'm as sweet as my friend was to me today.

Short Takes

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Like it or not, good or bad, I'm having trouble keeping up with my Baby Bump bloggies. Especially the ones who more or less cycled "with" me last month. I'm so sorry, and I can't really put my finger on why, because Mr. A and I are genuinely happy with trying on our own this time and looking forward to how we will become parents... I guess it's just knowing we'd be 5ish weeks right now, too, if we'd been blessed, stings a little...

My sisters have alot going on right now. One just got engaged and the other just got back from a 2.5 week-long fancy-pants trip to Europe (preceeded last year by a 3-week trip to Hawaii, and the preceeding year by a week-long trip to South Carolina). Compared to them, I feel dreadfully boring and am anticipating not getting a word in edgewise when we are all with our entire extended family coming up to spend time with our grandfather. But even if there were to be a break in the conversation (in between, you know, what fancy dinner did you eat at the Ei.ffel Tower and let me see this rock you got from Tiffan.y's), what am I going to say? Mr. A (God bless him) always tells me to talk about Banana. But that is getting old (at least for me). I have told everyone a million times already that we have a great dog. Maybe we can talk about our exhilirating experiences with writing big checks and having nothing to show for them! (Oh, the cynicism is almost too much even for the joke.)

It's interesting how hubby's deal with infertility, especially failures of significant cycles. A guy we know here (late 50ish) and his wife (late 30ish) are also going through treatments. They, fairly regularly, smoke cigarettes and something-different-than-cigarettes-if-you-get-my-drift, polish off bottles of wine per person, make enough j.ello sh.ots to satisfy an entire fra.t house, drink enough at home to cause passing out on their front porch, and drink enough at a bar to cause a yelling match in the parking lot followed by a poor decision to drive home. All while romantically professing that it is their deepest desire to have a child together. You know, just the people whose first IUI (fairly recently) will be wildly successful. They are having a party coming up, the day after they find out if their IUI worked. We have gone to their parties before (and have chosen coke instead of ya.ger, of course). I told Mr. A that I don't mind going, but he said without equivocation that he doesn't want to go because it will be right after they find out and he doesn't want to be there either outcome. Struck me as a demonstration of how guarded he actually is when it comes to others trying, especially others who have no apparent regard for trying to be as healthy as possible through all of this.

Months off are pretty flirty and romantic, aren't they? I'll just leave it at that. I think we'll enjoy it, yep, sure do!! Surely God can sprinkle some babydust on our marital bliss, right?

Our garden is doing wonderful this year! Our lettuce and spinach have been great, and we're about to get some peas. Coming along nicely are broccoli, carrotts, tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, pumpkins, cantelopes, and watermelons. Not to forget our berry patch with strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries! We just planted the strawberries this year, so we're not sure if we'll get any, but there are a zillion raspberry buds, and quite a few blackberry buds. I can't wait to try to make jam!! I need to plant some herbs- we had basil and oregano last year and it was excellent! At least we can grow things to eat!! All my perennials are looking beautiful, too- I had FOUR poppy blooms this year!!

I just started a new book. The prologue was a little shocking/risque/alarming, but I wanted to try something out of my normal genre/mood of books, and the first chapter has held my attention and not alarmed me further. I'll keep you posted. But, I just finished (again) one of my all-time favorites: "if you lived here"- I love love love this book- it is centered around the main character who is pursuing foreign adoption following infertility. I 100% recommend it to anyone!!! It's a book I never get tired of reading again! (Edited to add that one of the reasons I love this book is that you will immediately find yourself rooting for and ready to defend the main character within moments of "meeting" her!!)

Having alot of peace about placing our quest to conceive entirely in God's hands right now. The emotional transition has happened faster than I think we thought it would. Not that we don't pine to fill up the nursery, but for now we are going to have happy, light hearts- and incidentally, according to my fortune cookie the other night (even in our little rural town, we happen to have the world's greatest Chinese place!), a happy heart is the best medicine. Best of all, it's free!!!

Monday, Monday

Monday, May 24, 2010

Thanks to whoever submitted "me" to LFCA! And welcome anyone who is here from there :)

We are continuing to do pretty well considering the news we received Thursday. Of course there have been some more difficult moments that I will write about soon, but I have a deadline at work today, so I don't really have the time right now.

We're going to take this month (CD3 today) completely off. Then we'll see about what (if anything) we want to do in any upcoming cycles (progesterone? clomid? nothing?). I don't really want to talk to my RE (just because- and I know I shouldn't- but I just feel like an idiot for this not working), but I probably should. Maybe I can get a phone consult with him so I don't have to go sit in the exam room with him and a disinterested intern while he explains why he thinks it didn't work (he never does consults in his office).

I am trying not to assure myself that we'll get pregnant on our "break". That is the ultimate tragic set-up, isn't it? But of course that is what Mr. A thinks will happen, and especially with my grandfather's situation, I have had more than several people tell me anecdotal stories about people getting pregnant while someone close to them is passing away. And maybe deep in my heart that is what I think will happen, too, but it is so unbelievable at the same time. But God's ways are not our ways, nor are His thoughts our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).

We are glad to have this breath of fresh air. I was remarking last night that May has absolutely flown by because of the ivf timeline. I honestly can't believe it is already the 24th. It is refreshing to not have to worry about when is the next shot or next ultrasound. With the exception of two cycles, I have been on follistim since October. We are tired. We are thankful for the chance to just kick back for a while and enjoy a beer (or two) with our fried chicken (which, by the way, how the heck do you get the coating to stay ON the chicken while frying? I dipped in flour, then buttermilk, then flour- and then we used our deep fryer....).

Okay, I really have to get to work. Thank you again for your prayers for us. I love how lengthy my prayer list has become, as I've gotten to know more of you in this community. It is such an honor and a support to pray for each other!!

Why Husbands are Great

Friday, May 21, 2010

Gosh, thank you all for your prayers and hugs. I could never have asked for a more supportive group of friends. You are invaluable!! I so wish we could all meet up!!

Of course we are beyond disappointed our little embie did not stay with us here. Of course we will always remember him/her and can't wait to meet him/her in heaven. Of course I have cried on and off the last 48 hours. Of course we are praying that God has an even more awe-inspiring baby coming our way during this break. Of course this setback in building our family has reminded that we have each other and that we are a great team.

And, this is why God gave us great husbands.

Because although they grieve, too, they grieve differently than we do...in my experience, more objectively or suscinctly, if that makes sense. And after coming home early, giving one of those awesome hugs that only husbands can give, they remind us that we will get through this. And did we want to go play in the yard on this beautiful afternoon?

Specifically, do we want to go play with this?

We treated ourselves to one of these a couple weekends ago, and due to my having been PUPO, I hadn't gotten a chance to try it out. And since I am usually the one who mows the yard, and I love puttering in the veggie or flower garden, this therapy for the crushing news of the day couldn't have been more healing to me. We spent the afternoon taking turns doing donuts in our yard (I mean, responsibly mowing the yard in systematic and methodical rows), trimming the edges, pulling weeds, and admiring the colors of the flowers and the height of our pea plants and the tons of buds on our raspberry and blackberry bushes. By the time me and Banana went on our walk, you would have never guessed our hopes had been dashed a mere 5 hours prior.

Maybe some people would say we're bordering on denial, but I would have to disagree. We would love to have celebrated a positive test, but instead we celebrated us- going through all the shots, appointments, procedures, only to receive a negative result without collapsing in despair is no small feat. We are not pretending the negative beta never happened, but we are healing from this disappointment in the way we'd like to show our kids how to heal from a disappointment, and in this way, we feel like we're honoring our first kiddo (who will hopefully pull some strings for us now....are you listening kiddo??? haha! obey your parents!!).

Mr. A is confident we will be pregnant. And you know what, I am alllllmost 100% with him. No matter what, though, we are confident that God will expand our family in His perfect time. The peace we have is really bizarre (surpassing understanding, Phillipians 4:6-7). The thought that has come to me is that God will use this IVF bfn to show me His amazing greatness. It's as if He is saying to me "I have led you through all these procedures, and I know it doesn't seem right that they would not work. But I have done this to show you that while I can work miracles in conjunction with advanced technology, I can just the same work miracles with even the humblest of circumstances- you, just as I created you."

I often struggle to hear God. But as I have prayed to trust Him through this valley, that "message" from Him has really quieted my frenzied heart. I can't wait to see what circumstances God uses to bring new life to our family! I am grateful for the faith and peace to see beyond this "failure" and excitedly anticipate what good will come of it!

In the meantime, I am enjoying my hazlenut coffee more than is imaginable. I may even meet my sister at the winery down the road for an afternoon this weekend. Who is coming with me?


Thursday, May 20, 2010

It's the end.

Not looking good

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

BFN and some light pink spotting this morning.

11dp3dt is pretty stinkin late for implantation spotting. Mr. A hugged me as I told (cried) him about the negative test, and he chivalrous-ly comforted me to just wait until tomorrow. He is the sweetest thing ever.

Among other things, I am embarrassed that it didn't work. What on earth is wrong with me? I don't even want to see my RE. All I want to do is go to the lab to get my beta, find (and brew) the most expensive bag of flavored coffee on the planet, get a breakfast bagel sandwich at the local place, and not do my work today.

But I will wait till tomorrow. If for nothing else because Mr. A (God bless him) is not convinced that it didn't work. And I'm not one to crush anyone's hope for a baby, especially my dear husband's hope.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I just took a 2-hour nap in the middle of the day.

During which, I had a dream that some bad guys were canvassing our neighborhood stealing everyone's gas grills.

At 10dp3dt, I could definitely have tested again this morning, but as I told my friend K today, at this point, ignorance is bliss. Technically, I'm still PUPO, despite the negative yesterday. Even though I do not have any telltale symptoms, alot of people don't at this point. I don't really think the PIO has given me even PIO-induced symptoms, as I've been on it since the ER, and I haven't had any "symptom" since starting it.

I think by the grace of God, we are still hoping and praying for a miracle positive on Thursday. (Read an excellent post on hope at The Pugh's.) I think Mr. A is more confident that we're pregnant than I am at this point. And as he is the leader of our family, I'm going to follow him on this one for sure!

Sort of a boring post, but I am still kind of dragging after my nap! Thank you for all the prayers for my grandpa. The thought that I could potentially tell him that his first great-grandchild is on the way brings tears to my eyes!


Monday, May 17, 2010

So at 9dp3dt, I decided to take the only test I have, and it was negative. Supposedly, according to the 3dt "what happens", HCG just got started yesterday, but come on. Tons of people get their BFP's earlier than 9dp3dt. I won't be testing again till beta on Thursday.

I don't really have any symptoms except for some mild cramping on and off, and some fairly noticeable bloating.

Against all reason, we're still hoping it could be too early and that we'll get a miraculous surprise. It'd be one of those things that is so cliche and perfect.....

....mostly because my Grandpa has just been diagnosed with pleu.ral mes.othelioma lung cancer and has been given about 2 months to live.

I mean, isn't that what happens? A close relative passes away and then there's a new baby?


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Breaking news, There is some rumbling or vibrating or bubbling going on down in the baby's house. Not gurgling, like literally rumbling from the inside!! I hope there is some serious digging in going on! Anyone else had rumbling?

At 5dp3dt, the only "symptoms" I'm having is this new rumbling, sudden onsets of tiredness throughout the day (but not necessarily in the evening), return of the bloating, and on-and-off cramping (the whole spectrum from pinchy to just achey) since 2dp3dt. My bbs don't hurt AT ALL.

This rumbling is weird. It's happening right now! If I look hard enough, I think I can see my shirt moving!

Lord, please allow me to carry this baby to be born happy and healthy in January!!

Banana has been needing alot of attention lately, with lots of doggie protest if I don't give it to her. Mr. A is convinced she knows she's not the only child anymore...


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My progesterone is NINETY-THREE! HAAAAAA!! I am just cracking up!! I mean, how hilarious is that, given my blah progesterone history?! My estrogen is also good at 376 (they want it to be over 200). Could it be that my hormones (hormoneys) are actually cooperating this time?!

(Incidentally, my daily devotion today is about Eph 3:20-21, and about God doing immeasurably more than we can imagine!)

So needless to say, that put a smile on my face. I am truly revelling in being pregnant and loving every minute of it! Come on, baby!

Yesterday afternoon I felt pretty awful- nauseous, period-type crampy, tired, etc. I'm thinking it is party progesterone and partly baby. HA. Work with me, here! Today (3dp3dt) my back is killing me, and I am feeling some cramps sometimes and some pinchy feelings. Snuggle in tight, little one!

We have been praying like crazy that God is going to allow this baby to stay. We are so amazingly excited at the possibility, and so humbled at the opportunity. We are so blessed! Yesterday my great-great aunt (who is battling uterine cancer- please pray for her) sent me a beautiful card out of the blue that was so encouraging- I'm taking it as a little pick me up from above!!

Happy Mother's Day

Sunday, May 09, 2010

I just want to wish all of us- mothers or waiting-to-be-mothers, a happy day today. Or at least a bearable Mother's Day for people really struggling today. It's such a hard day for those of us waiting, but what makes it easier is that we know that so many of you who have overcome infertility are praying for us!! (At least it does for me!)

The news show we're watching this morning (my back is getting sore from all this laying down, by the way...) mentioned that what is so great about moms is unconditional love. I feel the teeniest bit of that today. I know that a 4-cell embie on day 3 is not exactly the optimal conditions, but I (we) love this little girl/guy more than anything. We have so much hope that he will grow so well inside, and we are encouraged by people who have had success with such a transfer (I'm talking to you, Hoping for a Baby!). But every time we paused from breakfast today to pick up the picture of our little guy (or girl), we affirmed our faith that God can do huge things with what we have! He already has done so much by allowing this little embryo to be created!

I have to admit, there are times when I feel a little anxious and overwhelmed with how amazingly some people respond compared to how I did, or that they could transfer more perfect embryos, but for now, I do my best to push these negative thoughts away and focus on sending healthy, growing thoughts to our little embie. God has a unique plan and purpose for ME, and I'm trying not to compare myself to others. I am pregnant today, and for that I am thankful!! I am praying my heart out that God will allow me to carry this baby and that he/she will light up our lives in 9 months.

And I couldn't end this Mother's Day post without a huge thank you to Mr. A for making such an amazing breakfast while I was in the recliner doing nothing. I love you, sweetie!

We are home!

Saturday, May 08, 2010

I'm pregnant! With our beautiful little 4-cell embryo :) (The other two embies did not divide- which we are bummed about, but now is the time to rejoice over out little one who is perfect!) I'll update with the picture as soon as I scan it- the embryologist said he/she looked very healthy, and that alot of people are actually electing to do single embryo transfer these days. We have so much hope for our little one!!

The nurse commented that it's a perfect weekend for this, it being Mother's Day and all. I totally agree! And I hang on to many of my favorite Biblical encouragements, especially that God's power is made perfect in my weakness. I think alot of people would consider transferring 1 embryo to be sort of lackluster at best, but I am confident that God can do great things with this little embie!! Maybe it seems naive to say "it only takes one", but this little soul has already changed our lives, and I pray that we will get to meet him/her in January and that God will continue to use our family to show what He can do, when it seems like the conditions are not great!

Thank you for all your prayers! Now it's time to pray that our little one is happy and growing well in his/her new home!

So blessed

Friday, May 07, 2010

We are already so in love and so thankful for our little one(s). AND SO EXCITED that (God willing) they will be here in January! We are praying they continue to grow healthy and will give us the honor of being parents. It's very humbling. 5 eggs is not really that great, statistically-speaking. But look at what God has done with the little we have!! Truly, His power has been made perfect in our weakness (2 Cor 12:9). We know we are not pregnant just yet, but we feel like we have received a huge blessing already, and we are hoping and praying our babies are here to stay!

Our transfer will be at 9:30am tomorrow (Saturday)! They don't disturb the babies on day 2, so we are praying and trusting that God is taking care of them and allowing them to be healthy!

I received this devotion below as today's Daily Double Portion from Sarah's Laughter. If you have not signed up to receive these daily devotionals geared towards ministering to women dealing with miscarriage, child loss, and infertility, you should sign up TODAY. They have been a great source of inspiration and comfort to me. I hope it will speak to you if you're struggling, especially since this weekend is so agonizing for those of us with empty nurseries.

How Amazing is Sufficient Grace?

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9

This weekend is perhaps the hardest of your year. Mother’s Day is Sunday. Families will gather and photos will be taken. Churches will hand out flowers and small trinkets and pastors will preach their best sermons about the gift of motherhood. Oceans of tears will flood the faces of infertile women, and hearts still trying to recover from miscarriage or stillbirth will shatter a little more.

Throughout the frustration of Mother’s Day--and all the days leading up to it--there is one powerful reality upon which you can rely. God’s amazing, all sufficient grace.

No matter the specifics of your struggle, you can depend on the sufficiency of God’s grace to be enough for you. How amazing is grace! There is no struggle, no hardship, no holiday through which grace cannot sustain you. It is strong enough, real enough to sustain you. It is made perfectly powerful in your weakness. Even on Mother’s Day.

You may be thinking, “But I’m not a ‘super-Christian’! I fail God way too much for Him to grant such grace to me. If you had heard how I’ve spoken to Him since I’ve dealt with infertility you’d understand.” Or perhaps you’ve not spoken to Him at all lately. You wonder if He’s finished with you as well.

Friend, that’s the beauty of grace.

Grace is unmerited favor. If you had done anything to earn it, it simply wouldn’t be grace anymore. It’d be a paycheck! God gives you His unmerited, unearned favor. He knows you can’t earn His favor so with a heart the size of the Grand Canyon bursting with love for you, He grants His grace. Sufficient grace to get you through your first Mother’s Day without your twins. And the next Mother’s Day. And the next one. Strong enough to sustain you when your period starts again. Powerful enough to hold you together when you feel like you’ll fall apart when someone says something else hurtful and they don’t even realize it. Enough to walk you through more baby shower invitations and pregnancy announcements.

God’s amazing all-sufficient grace. Sufficient for Mother’s Day weekend. Sufficient for you.

The Sarah’s Laughter Prayer Team will be praying for you through Mother’s Day weekend.

(c) 2009-10 Sarah’s Laughter-Christian Support for Infertility & Child Loss


Thursday, May 06, 2010

FINALLY!! My RE just called- out of the 5 eggs:
  • 4 were mature
  • 1 of the 4 mature ones had a protein coating or something? (have to research more about what that is really, or if I'm even understanding that correctly)
  • 1 is definitely fertilized and on his/her way
  • 2 are in the earlier stages of fertilization, so they can't quite tell if they're looking normally fertilized or not
SO, rejoice with me over our little one, and hopefully our other two little ones!!!

In my heart of hearts, I really wish the other two would have been as far along as #1, but my RE said they just do a spot check of them, and it's possible that they're fine and just got a late start or something, or the lab is looking at them from a weird angle. So I'll be praying that all three will be happy and healthy looking tomorrow!

And I know that ONE isn't exactly phenominal numbers, but God has brought so much good out of seemingly unfavorable conditions already this cycle, I can't imagine He'll stop now! (Nevertheless, His will be done...) Thank you Lord for allowing this little one(s)! Please bless them and keep them safe so we can meet them in January! ;-)

PS. We did my first PIO last night, and it was completely painless. Are we doing something wrong? Ha!


Why isn't everyone posting very-exciting things on their blogs this morning so I have something to do while I wait for our fert report, instead of refresh my own blog 20 times a minute?? ;-)

(UPDATED in the "Report" post above!)

Home safe!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Short story: 5 good looking eggies!!! YIPEEEEEE! Thank you, God!!!

Long story: (I'll let you go refill your glass of water and get a snack first....)


Last Friday (when I thought the ER would be Monday), the office manager from the anaesthesiologist's office called me to ask me about payment (I just gave the check to the receptionist at the RE's office) and to tell me "Nothing to eat or drink except clear liquids after midnight the night before the procedure".

Got that? That quote is important.

So I get up this morning, made coffee for Mr. A, and filled up my Na.lgene bottle with water. Mr. A (who is also the most opposite you can get from a morning person) (also a very important piece of the day's story) comes downstairs in his shirt and tie. Um. Did he forget about our ER??!?! So I ask, maybe sounding more shocked than I was, what was he doing wearing his work clothes?!

And being that he rolled out of bed 15 minutes prior, my question was apparently as if I'd asked him to run over his Har.ley with a dumptruck this very second. He was not impressed with my question (or any of my subsequent explanations or attempts to backtrack myself), his tone was absolutely, oh, what would you say, pissed off, and I'm pretty sure this is what happened when whoever coined the term "speak only when spoken to". HA! (Just kidding!!) (Turns out he just wanted to avoid changing after the ER...)

So, in all the "discussions" and getting out the door on time, I left my rings and my favorite cross necklace in my bathroom. Cue the waterworks (again), once I realized it.

Not the super greatest way to start off the morning. But I was determined to not get too down about it- have to make sure my follicles produced happy eggs!! And I don't have to wear my cross for God to know I'm counting on Him for a miracle here.

Luckily after coffee and some time with his eyes open, Mr. A poked me (we had about a 45 minute drive), and said "What is up!?!!?!?"

Well, great, now you're happy?! Ha! Oh well, better late than never!!!!

Anyway, we got to the lab in plenty of time, got checked in right away, and the very-chatty (but cute) nurse came in and started getting me ready. Put the IV in my hand because my veins are just not drinking straws like my dad's. I've never had an IV before, and I thought it would hurt more than it did. Bonus! I saw my RE, who looks remarkably athlectic in his scrubs and running shoes versus his office gear. The anaestheologist was the last one to the party. Here's part of the conversation that we had when he got there:

Anaesth: So, have you had anything to drink or eat this morning?
Me: Just water.
Anaesth: (looking alarmed)
Me: (Why is he alarmed?)
Anaesth: How much water have you drank?
Me: Well, about half that bottle (half a liter?)

Then he goes through the door and talks softly with my RE. They both come back together. I'm thinking, oh my heavens what is going on....

Anaesth: Well this is a really big problem.
Me: (Picking my jaw off the floor)
Anaesth: You weren't supposed to have anything to eat or drink in the last two hours. No one told you that?
Me: (This is where you should remember what the office manager told me on Friday!) No, gosh, your office lady just said nothing to eat or drink except clear liquids after midnight!! She didn't say anything about nothing for 2 hours!! Oh geez. Would it help if I pee?
Anaesth: (Laughing warmly) No, that won't help. The problem with having something in your stomach, even water, is that while you're sedated, your esophagus muscles relax and stuff from your stomach could come up and get in your lungs. And stomach acid in your lungs is not a good situation.
(Mr. A almost passes out in the corner.)
Anaesth: So we only have a couple options. Either we wait a few more hours...
(Now I about pass out.)
My RE: Well, we can't wait any amount of time because she already did the trigger for this to happen now.
Anaesth: Or we just use a different kind of medication on you, one that doesn't put you to sleep. You'll feel more pain...
Me: I don't care about pain!! I'll do whatever, just so that I'm not in danger and that this can still happen!!
My RE: We used to do egg retrievals without such complete sedation all the time. People used to bring in their favorite music to listen to!
Anaesth: Okay, well we'll just use a different medication on you, but be sure to tell me if it is too much and you want us to stop the procedure.
(I'm thinking, yah right, not in a million years!!!)

So, there I go, breaking another mold this cycle. The anaestheologist gave me less medicine than he normally gives people in preparation (relaxation) for their actual sedation. He and I talked the whole time about all kinds of random stuff, and he only had to give me a tad bit more medicine once. He kept saying how he couldn't believe that I went through that with such little medicine. I hope he doesn't try this on the next gal who might not have such a high pain tolerance!!!

Funny story, when they first started the procedure, my bladder was so full they had to drain it with a catheter to see my ovaries! Ha! Water, indeed!!!

All in all, they got 5 eggs!! And I'm under the impression (possibly incorrectly) that that is the number of mature ones because I had at least one more follicle than that and it took them a while after the syringe was passed through the window for them to say the egg count. I could be wrong. I'm praying they are all mature, though!! Overall, it wasn't too painful, although I felt the needle/aspiration, etc., just in a muted way, I guess. It's hard to explain. Afterwards, I felt like I was having period cramps. Luckily they had 2 tyl.enol and a heating pad waiting in my original room!! I was just so thankful that we got 5, even if they're not all mature!!

It didn't take me long at all to "recover", since I'd barely had any sedation medicine. Why didn't they have egg sandwiches on the menu? I settled for graham crackers ;-)

We planned to pick up some lort.ab on the way home. My nurse had called it into WalM.art (
which I hate), so I called when we were exiting to see if it was ready. They said they needed my info before even filling it! GRR. So I gave them everything, and they said it would be 25 minutes, so we went to the bagel shop to get lunch. Then we went back to get the prescription. I get up to pay, and they say that the birthdate year that I gave them is off of the one my nurse gave them.

REALLY PEOPLE? You think there is another me, with the same name, address, birthdate month, and birthdate DAY that you have to verify that I'm the same person as the one my nurse was talking about?? So we had to stand there another 10 minutes while they called my nurse and then (finally) filled it. UGHHH. Damn WalMar.t!!!

But, thankfully, we arrived home safely and Banana has kept me company all afternoon long! I have taken a nap and now writing this hugely-long post! I think another nap is in order after I'm finished!! And, we're ordering Chine.se for dinner- YAH!

So they're calling us with the fertilization report tomorrow. Please pray we have happy healthy babies growing!! Thank you so much for all your good thoughts and wishes and prayers! I think today is just an amazing example of one of my favorite Bible verses from Job:

I know that You can do all things, that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted (Job 42:1-2)

We're praying that it's God's purpose of bringing a little one to us this time, and that He used all the things that went "wrong" to show me that I really can trust Him to come through!! I've felt like that this whole cycle, and today was no different!! God is so good!!

So thank you, again, for all your prayers and thoughts! I will keep you posted!!


Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Trigger last night (9:30pm) went smoothly- but now I'm worried that I'm going to ovulate before the ER tomorrow at 8:15am. Not that I think I usually ovulate earlier than the "normal" 36 hours post-trigger (and we made sure to cover our bases last night before the trigger), but you know, timing is very important this time around!!! No busting through the gate early, eggies!!

But really, I'm not that worried. We are both very excited about our baby(s)! We even were talking about them last night at dinner! We are hoping and praying they will be here this time!! We know it is still ultimately in God's hands as to what happens the upcoming days, and we still have a great feeling about it. (Although we acknowledge that nothing is guaranteed, but we are really trying to focus on the possibility that God will bless us with our baby this way!!) I get teared up thinking our little ones will probably be "here" by Mother's Day!

I had these grand plans of making ravioli's and other prepare-ahead dinners for Mr. A and I, before the ER and ET. Unfortunately, I haven't done anything ahead! And, we haven't gotten to the bank to get our monthly grocery cash, so I haven't even made the menu plan either! Ha! That is on my list of things to do this afternoon. Will I feel very bad the day after ER? Maybe I can go to the grocery store on Thursday... we don't like frozen dinners (even homemade ones) very much anyway- we're pretty spoiled with fresh dinners each night- but we also don't really like eating out all the time either, so I was just wanting to get some ingredients that are easy to combine, etc. when I'm resting after ET.

It feels weird not to do any shots today...

So anyway, we have to be at the center at 7:30am tomorrow, with it starting at 8:15am. How long will it be before we're headed home? Every time I get nervous about it, I remind myself that at every u/s this cycle, I've felt a tiny bit of nervousness beforehand but then the results have always been great!! So I'm feeling grounded and pretty calm in that I have never had reason to be nervous- God has this in control, and so far He has been blowing me away with how He has provided and allowed me to respond (relative to what happened last time)!! I pray it only continues!

Ready to go!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Wow, I cannot even put into words how thankful I am for how this cycle is continuing to go! Ultrasound this morning reveals that all follicles are ready to go (1 29mm, 2 20mm, 1 18mm, 2 15mm)!!! My good gut feeling is still there- I feel like I'm living out Romans 8:28- that God is using what we learned last cycle for so much good this time!!

I also had bloodwork done, but the results are not in yet- it won't change the retrieval date (Wednesday), but it will give us an idea of how the follies are- it's been low(ish) in the past, but I'm praying for a solid number!!!

So, trigger tonight, retrieval Wednesday morning, (probably) transfer Saturday!! I will be PUPO just in time for Mother's Day!! Gosh, I can't believe it!! This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad (Ps 118:24)!!!


Saturday, May 01, 2010

Happy May! Thanks for all the feedback on my "What IF" post- It's uncharacteristic for me to dwell on negative outcomes like that, but it has crossed my mind several times lately, and I was glad to use the project as an avenue to let it out!

The ultrasound went really great this morning! My RE is thrilled with the results! (Quote!) I am up to 6 (maybe 7- one might be hiding?) follicles in the running!! They are not quite growing as fast as they would expect, but my RE said that in some of his reading/research about this protocol, it was mentioned that the antagon may slow down growth for some people. So they are not worried and are actually really pleased with how I'm responding!

I can't tell you how relieved I am. I mean, what an answer to prayer- in the affirmative!!! Please Lord continue to bless me with good growth of these follicles so they can meet up with some handsome swimmers and become our little January baby(s)!!

We are continuing with follistim/ganirelix tonight and tomorrow, and I have bloodwork and an ultrasound Monday morning. I think at that point, I'll start to get worried if they are STILL not big enough, but I'm pretty sure everything will be fine! I have such a great gut feeling about this cycle!! So, ER has been moved back to (probably) Wednesday, but that is okay!

AND, special shout out to my sister who got engaged last night!! Welcome to the family, PW!!!