Saturday, December 3, 2011

In Hiding

Sorry for the long delay, but I have been hiding because I AM PREGNANT:)  I am days away from my second trimester and have my fingers crossed I make it. Yay...almost! No, really, we are excited and pretty much celebrating. I just have that little voice in the back of my head of my doctor saying that Lovenox does work for 80% of the women, but the other 20% it just delays your miscarriage to the second trimester. Please pray I'm part of the 80% this time! Next ultrasound is in a week and a half and I promise to post more after that :) I have been religiously doing 3 shots a day for the past 13 weeks, patches, pills and terrified to do any sort of exercise. That, unfortunately has led me to an early weight times!  I guess I can't complain, right? Thanks for the continued prayers and support. I can't tell you how everyone has helped us to survive this struggle and come out on top...hopefully! :) Talk soon :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Just waiting...again

I'm still here, I'm just waiting for results again. Hoping to have info for you all know how much I LOVE least school is keeping me busy this time. While I have a platform, I just want to take this opportunity to send prayers out to a fellow infertile sister, Guiliana Rancic. She and her husband, Bill, have put their struggle out there for everyone to see and gone through this tough time in front of many tv viewers. Now their struggle only gets worse by her diagnosis of breast cancer recently and my heart just breaks for her. But I know she can fight this just as she has fought infertility for the past few years. My thoughts, prayers and this post go out to her in support. We love you, Guiliana! Be strong and fight this disease just as elegantly and bravely as you have fought infertility.

Friday, September 30, 2011

2 Little Embies

They are in there...we just hope they stay put this time. Awaiting a blood test is the most agonizing thing I can possibly think of right now. I have to say, being at school and preoccupied has helped pass the time quite quickly. I cannot worry about doing too much, standing too long or other silly things while I am too worried about my students and who just put their booger on the wall (yes, that really happened today!). Nice to laugh in between all the anxiety, worry and complete and total fear. I still have a positive attitude, sure, but waiting, just plain sucks, no matter how you look at it. Even if I do have a positive reading, not sure I will believe it. I will have to talk myself out of worrying about a miscarriage just about every hour...yep...that sounds about right. I am already going to the bathroom every hour just to make sure I'm not bleeding. Although each time I don't find any, I still am only appeased for about 30 minutes until I start worrying about it again.

Shots aren't getting any easier either. Room is running out on my belly in between all the bruising and patches. I'm also already having a bad reaction to the Progesterone shots as well...just keep telling myself this will all be worth it.  It better be.  All this over analyzing every move I make, cramp I feel, and pinch I take really takes a toll on a person's psyche. I keep telling myself I can't give up, but eventually at some point I might. Adoption is a very real possibility. But in the back of my mind, I am afraid of that option because it means I gave up on a possibility of our own flesh and blood...sounds silly, I know. But I was very attached to the idea of going through pregnancy and I'm afraid of what will happen if I accept the fact that experiencing that may never happen for me.  Not to mention how much of a failure I would feel like as a woman. Okay...time to stop worrying about that and worry about being pregnant now. Stay positive. I tell myself this every 5 minutes. Don't worry. Calm down. Don't stress. Pray. Relax. Envision the embryos. All of those thoughts seem to be a on a repetitive cycle in my head. It is out of my hands now and I need to relax into that thinking. But first...I have to pee.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

7 and 7

Seven embryos thawed and seven survived! The first of many miracles to come hopefully:) I am truly surprised and very thankful that they survived the thaw. I couldn't believe it when I got the phone call. I thought for sure the phone conversation was going to go something like, " Holly, we're very sorry, but we have to cancel this cycle due to none of the embryos surviving. All of your shots this time were for nothing." BUT, that's not at all what happened.

So out of the seven, they were all still growing the next day as we awaited a time for our transfer. That was still excellent news. Usually most of mine stop growing at some point or another and we end up with only two good ones to transfer.

When asked how many we could transfer, my embryologist said only 2. At my age still, 2 is their protocol since they really don't want anything more than twins. Triplets are a really difficult pregnancy, however, I wish I had that final decision. This is my 7th go around and I would like to be more aggressive. No offense, I don't want to see them anymore. I don't want to do this EVER again. But, they just can't be persuaded, unfortunately.

Everyone failed to mention how much Lovenox burns! So I am enjoying the Progesterone shots as well as the Lovenox twice a day. 3 painful shots a day...there better be a baby on the other end of this path! I am quite calm, which I am also thankful for. So hopefully, all of this...the abundance of embryos, the painful shots and the calm of my mindset...ends in success this time.

Fingers crossed and bountiful prayers! Until the next update...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fear Has No Place Here

For the past two weeks, I have been terrified that I haven't been ready for this round of treatment. I was scared that being so busy with school would negatively impact my abilities to focus and implement my protocol. If you think about it, that is slightly true. I did forget and take all of my antibiotic at once and today I forgot to have them draw the circles for my husband to play target practice on my behind. However, this, as I have said in a previous post, is my 7th time doing this. I AM READY. How could I not be? I know exactly what to expect. I am familiar with all the procedures, medications, blood draws, waiting and vocabulary used. I was afraid I wasn't ready because of just that...fear itself. I know what I'm doing. I know what's happening and I know all the possible outcomes. I have plans of attack for whatever the outcome is. I have been praying like crazy and doing everything I am supposed to do (unless I forget to, ha!). Fear has been driving this lack of confidence. Fear has been in control. As of today, not anymore. Fear can take a backseat because if I end up pregnant or not this time, I have to be proud of how much I have tried and gone through to get where I am.

As of Sunday they will thaw 6-8 of our embryos and from then on, it's in God's hands. Not an ounce of my worrying will matter. My faith will. My lack of stress will. Any amount of stress and anxiety caused chemicals I welcome into my body at this point, will negate any amount of hormones trying to help these embryos attach. Fear doesn't have a place here. Fear cannot control embryos growing and multiplying cells. Fear cannot determine which embryos survive the thawing process. All I can do is what is up to me and that is focus completely on keeping my body healthy and calm to welcome little embies into my warm and welcoming environment. When I look at it in the context of if I am not relaxed or healthy, these embryos won't stick, I am more inclined to work on lessening my anxiety and stress, which I can, to some extent, control. At least I can control that more than whether the embryos survive the thaw or any outside factors that may or may not affect me during my wait time. Fear is not in control, I am. Even if the worst occurs---another miscarriage---we have a plan. We will be okay. But we will not focus on that. We will welcome the embryos the day of the transfer and completely visualize them going through the entire process inutero. We will remain positive and pray to God who will answer our prayers as long as we are listening and are in total reliance on his power and ability to give life. Fear is not in control. God is.

I can do THIS and all things through Him who strengthens me. I was just thinking today and realizing (in awe of myself) how confident, relaxed and completely full of faith in God I was just a few short months ago. I was wondering where that had disappeared to for this round. I wanted that same feeling again to feel ready, but it just wasn't happening. I was in tears last night and couldn't stop. I couldn't fully explain why, but I was just pleading with God to change my heart and my mind. I was beginning to think I lost my "mojo". I wanted it back. I wanted that confidence I once had. I wanted to feel "ready" and be relaxed about the whole process again.  Well I must have found my "mojo" today and I couldn't be more thankful. It came back just in time and all I can do is smile. I can do this, I keep telling myself. I am doing this. I am working full time, taking care of our home, laundry, dogs, dinners, each other and we are going to create a family. I can do this. I can do bed rest and the shots again. I am doing shots again. I am in control.  I know I never lost my faith, it must have accidentally been placed on the back burner again. Life gets in the way, but we can't let it. I can't let it. This is my life. Being a mom. Having a family. I am strong, confident in this time and positive we can survive and I envision it being successful. Can you see it with me? Fear has no place here, where this woman is about to become a mom. One way or another.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Again, Really?

Blood draw appointment this dreary Saturday morning at 8am and what am I greeted by before my coffee has had time to take effect? Kids. Sitting at the reception desk again. One, cute little girl playing computer games while her mommy checks people in for their INFERTILITY appointments. So completely insensitive it is again and I am just in shock. I forgave the last incident as explaining to myself that it was a one time occurrence, probably because her babysitter canceled on her at the last minute. But nope, she must just bring them when it's her Saturday to work. Nice. Real nice. Nothing like having the fact that you don't have children yet rubbed right in your face as soon as you walk in your doctor's door.

Thankfully my appointment only took literally a minute for them to draw my blood so I could get the heck out of there and go about my day of sulking about my situation. On my way out, my husband is coming in the door to be with me at my appointment. Too bad it was already over! So we went to sit for a minute in the car before he had to leave for work. What do we see at 8:11 this morning? My doctor just coming into work. Really? You know you have 8am appointments and you are only at work for 2 hours this morning. You are really going to put yourself behind to start? Why should I be surprised? At my last 8am appointment, I saw him coming in at 8:20.  I love him to death, but his punctuality sucks. He is completely on his own time schedule and his patients can just wait for him. It stinks knowing we are at his mercy.

So my Saturday just started off all wrong. I gave up coffee in preparation for my transfer, knowing that caffeine could be harmful to the embryos. Apparently, I picked the wrong day to stop caffeine. All the rain and college football on TV made for a very non-productive day. Although it was greatly needed. All my anxiety has added up to a nice-sized rash on the side of my neck. All this worry about school, preschool starting, parent orientation, the transfer and as always my weight has me losing most of the sleep I attempt to get at night. Not to mention the hormone fluctuation has me hotter than I can ever remember, more nauseous and on the verge of tears every five minutes. Not the best week in my world. I am praying next week goes a little smoother and is a lot cooler to save me from these hot flashes.

On a positive note, we are getting closer to our transfer. Our next ultrasound and blood test determines when they will thaw the embryos! We are beginning to get excited and in the right mindset for welcoming an embryo into my hopefully very prepped and ready uterus. All the soreness, cramps and oily skin tells me we are getting close! This time I am anxiously awaiting bed rest just for the pause I will be forced to give my body and take with my only focus being relaxing, resting and being a good incubator. Hopefully at my next appointment I won't be greeted by a 5 year old as a reminder that I don't have one yet.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

7th Time's A Charm, Right?

That was my exact question to my doctor this morning as he came into the exam room. He laughed and said, "it's whatever number it needs to be for you." No, not what I wanted to hear. I wanted to hear, yes, it sure is. We have everything figured out and all diagnosed now so nothing else should stand in your way of having a baby. Great. Whatever number it needs to be for me. Well if it isn't a 7 or 8, we won't be back. So for all of our sakes, let's pray for that lucky number 7 to take, shall we? So far, this time doesn't feel lucky. I way more stressed out than last time, not as confident and a lot more symptomatic than I remember. I have continued to bruise myself so badly with the Lupron that my husband has had to take over giving me the shots for the time being. I have had the most severe headaches I have had in a long time, and for a kicker, my eye has decided it's going to twitch. Constantly. For about a week now. AWESOME. I asked why that was and my doctor immediately attributed it to stress. Great, how do I get it to go away when the stress just keeps piling on?

On a good note, my teaching job is going wonderfully. Although preschool hasn't started yet, so that is still to be determined and hopefully not too much more stress or I'm afraid my body will just shut down on me. One of the things I was afraid of has already happened. I found out today I messed up my regimen by overtaking my antibiotic. Oops. I knew working and going through this at the same time was going to be tricky and I was so afraid to miss something. However, in this case, I didn't miss anything. I missed stopping it! Luckily, it's not that big of a deal. I'm just exceptionally clean of bacteria at this point:) And the prescription can be refilled for when I need to continue taking it in a week. I was supposed to take it for 7 days, stop for a while, then take the last 5 days. I just forgot to stop and kept right on going. So proud of myself for finishing it because it was very strong and upset my stomach. It also interacts with the prenatal vitamin so I have to make sure I take them at separate times throughout the day and I cannot have dairy when taking the antibiotic. It was quite annoying to work around so I am slightly annoyed I have to take it yet again for another 5 days. But that is the least of my worries. I have to make sure now that I apply my estrogen patches on time and don't mess those up! I also have to pray big time that when they do thaw the embryos that some of them survive or all of this will have been for nothing. For some reason, that fear has crept into my mind over the past 24 hours and won't leave. Now on top of my fear of another miscarriage, I am constantly worried about that...there goes the eye twitching again.

My husband and I are a little worried because both of our minds have not been focused or in the game at this point. Hopefully the doctor's appointment today turned things around and we can focus, relax and let these actions work so we NEVER have to speak of such things again. Twins. Twins would be nice. Even one. But we want a baby, a family, and most of all, this struggle to be over. These wants are so strong now, they are needs. Persistent prayer. Funny, no, ironic. That's what I taught my second graders about this week in class. Abraham and his persistent praying and how it finally paid off in the end. Too bad it only took him how many years?? Hopefully for us, our prayers are answered after 3 years. I ask for your prayers that I may not forget any more of my regimen, get rid of some of this anxiety and stress and that my damn eye stops twitching so that when I am on bed rest I can REST! 7th time better be a charm.