Saturday, August 27, 2011


Ok, so before I start I have to say that I am going to try and make this post make sense. I am sure it will come out as a big garbled mess. I think it's hard when you are trying to explain feelings. But, I am going to do my best.

A few years ago, heck, a month ago, I would have told you I was a believer, a woman that had a strong faith. I would tell you that I believe in the power of prayer, that God is in control, that I have faith. Yes sir I do!

And when Reid was born, my faith never wavered. I remember thinking that the only thing that was going to save him was prayer. And boy that prayer chain moved speedy quick! When he was still alive 24 hours later I knew he was going to make it, we just weren't sure what the damage was going to be. And then he had is repeat MRI and EEG (If you remember, in the very first post I made on his Carepage, I said "Reid's EEG showed very little brain activity" and "He certainly has brain damage but the extent is unclear and it does not look good.") and they both came back normal. It was then that I knew he was going to be perfectly fine. He wasn't going to have any side effects, no delays, no handicaps, nothing. I think I started saying that almost from the very beginning. I knew it, I had faith.

But now I am being tested again, and I am failing. Every time I found a surrogate, and then it fell through, I crumbled and I doubted. Then I didn't respond to the medicine, and I crumbled and I doubted. Then I was told I only had 3 mature follicles, and I crumbled and I doubted. Things were not going right for me and I thought he wasn't listening or didn't care, or was punishing me. I was too consumed with myself that I couldn't or didn't listen to what He was telling me. He was telling me to stop worrying, that he had a plan for me, that it was all going to work out. Why couldn't I listen?!?!? It was only when things started going well that I could finally hear Him. But why did it take me so long?

I do realize that this may not end the way I want it too, but it will end the way it is supposed to. I just hope my faith remains strong. That I know longer doubt.

As I was driving to work on Friday it all hit me and I got overwhelmed by the amount of His love for me. I don't understand it, I don't get it. Why me? What have I done? I don't deserve it. I doubted, and yet He continued to love me.

2 years ago, when I was in surgery for hours with a doctor trying to save my life, He was there with me. When Reid was in the NICU fighting for his life, He was right there with him, cradling him in His arms. When I went back for my retrieval, he was right there with me, telling me He had everything under control. As I was sitting on my couch, literally sick to my stomach as I waited to hear if any eggs fertilized, He was sitting right next to me, whispering in my ear that it was going to be ok. As my little embies have been sitting in their fancy petri dish, he has been sitting with them. And I know he will be with us tomorrow as we have our transfer, again telling us He has it all taken care of. Its pretty freaking amazing if you think about it. What an amazing love! For someone so small and insignificant as me. WOW!

I want to leave you with 2 songs that have really resonated with me lately. I actually have several I want to share, but I am going to start with these 2 for now.

First, the song Strong Enough by Matthew West (Love me some MW!)  I may not be strong enough to endure everything alone, but with Him, I am!

You must, You must think I’m strong
To give me what I’m going through
Well forgive me, forgive me if I’m wrong
But this looks like more than I can do
On my own

I know I’m not strong enough to be
Everything that I’m supposed to be
I give up, I’m not strong enough
Hands of mercy won’t You cover me?
Lord, right now I’m asking You to be
Strong enough, strong enough
For the both of us

Well maybe, maybe that’s the point
To reach the point of giving up
‘Cause when I’m finally, finally at rock bottom
Well that’s when I start looking up
And reaching out

I know I’m not strong enough to be
Everything that I’m supposed to be
I give up, I’m not strong enough
Hands of mercy won’t You cover me?
Lord, right now I’m asking You to be
Strong enough, strong enough
For the both of us

‘Cause I’m broken
Down to nothing
But I’m still holding on to the one thing
You are God
And You are strong when I am weak
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength
And I don’t have to be strong enough
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength
And I don’t have to be
Strong enough, strong enough
Oh yeah

I know I’m not strong enough to be
Everything that I’m supposed to be
I give up, I’m not strong enough
Hands of mercy won’t You cover me?
Lord, right now I’m asking You to be
Strong enough, strong enough
For the both of us

And my favorite song of the moment, Greatly to Be Praised by Fee. I needed to be reminded of this; no matter what is happening in you life, good or bad, He should be praised.

Lift your eyes, lift your eyes to the One
Who’s reigning over us, for He has overcome
Fill the skies, fill the skies with a song
As heaven sings along, to glorify the Son

Who is like You, none compare
There’s no one like our God

Great and greatly to be praised
Name above all other names
Powerful and strong to save
Hallelujah, our God reigns
Our God reigns

Glory in the highest place
King of mercy, God of grace
Together let the earth proclaim
Hallelujah, our God reigns
Our God reigns

Tell the world, tell the world of the love
He’s lavished over us, His daughters and His sons
Made alive, made alive, now we’re free
Rescued and redeemed, the victory is won

We lift our eyes up, behold the Son
Lift our voices, and sing as one
Hallelujah, our God reigns

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

We Have Fertilized Eggs!

On Sunday I said God was telling us that my eggs were fabulous (hello, look at Mackinley, she's pretty freaking awesome!) so why waste a whole bunch of them when we only need a few. And now I am starting to think I am onto something there! Because all three of my eggs fertilized! I can hardly believe it!I was so preparing myself for bad news, and I am sitting here a little numb and in shock now. 

I know we still have several other hurdles to clear. The eggs could not grow, or start growing and then stop. Or we could implant but not end up with a pregnancy. Or we could get pregnant and then miscarry. There are still so many things that could happen, I know that. But for right now, I am going to be happy! No, I am going to be ecstatic! I am relieved and calm for the first time in over a week, and I am going to enjoy it. My mom always says don't borrow trouble. So I'm going to be a good girl and listen to my mommy. Things may go wrong, and I will be upset, but why be upset for longer than necessary.

For the details: Today is considered day one, and w will not hear from the clinic tomorrow (day 2.) We are tentatively scheduled for a day 3 transfer on Friday. But, if Friday morning the eggs are still looking good and growing vigorously, then we will wait and transfer on Sunday (day 5.) The embryologist will call us as early as she possibly can on Friday to let us know if we are going to postpone. So we are going to go ahead and plan for Friday, but know that it might get pushed to Sunday at the last second.

From what I understand, after consulting Dr. Google, a day 5 transfer is better. But if the eggs aren't growing as well as they would like, then we will transfer on day 3 in hopes that putting them in a more natural like environment will help them thrive. I am just trusting Dr. C to do what will give us the best chances possible. We are going to him because he is considered one of the best, so I am going to trust him.

Now grow babies, grow!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Retrieval Day

Today was our retrieval day. I was not too optimistic going in, but decided to just hope for the best. On Sunday, after my disappointing phone call with Dr. C my mom gave me her Believe in Miracles cross. I have slept with the cross under my pillow the last few nights, and took it with me today. It's been my little sidekick.

We got to the clinic at 7 this morning and signed a few papers. They then took us back to my room where I got to put on my fancy butt revealing gown, blue socks, and hair net. They then took my vitals, (and got my BMI, which looked good!) started my IV, and gave me a dose of antibiotics. The nurse we very nice, and we talked a lot. I asked her if she had ever had anyone come out with zero egg retrieved, and she said no, and we were not going to be her first. She then told us a story of a woman who only got one egg, it fertilized, she came back a few days later for transfer, got a positive pregnancy test 2 weeks after that, and then found out at her first ultrasound that the 1 egg had split and she was pregnant with twins. She also asked us our daughters name, and that led to a discussion of baby names. She said her favorite name has always been Vivianne, but none of her kids would name a grandkid that. I told her if we got some eggs, we would name an egg Vivianne.

After that we just waited. I watched a little I Love Lucy (the episode where they are on a cruise and Lucy gets herself stuck in a porthole.) The anesthesiologist, Ruth, and Dr. C all popped their head in my room and said hello. Then a few minutes after 8 we went back. We got in the room, I got up on the table and got a nice warm blanket. I remember the anesthesiologist putting something in my IV and telling me I was going to start feeling sleepy, and I remember talking to him about A&M going to the SEC, and then I remember waking back up in my room. Dave told me we got 3 EGGS! I was too tired to be excited though. And I don't know how many times he had to tell me before I remembered. I apparently asked him 4 times if he had called my mom and texted L before I was able to remember the answer.

I had to eat, drink, and pee before I could go home. And the surprising thing is it was the bathroom part I had the most trouble with. If you know me, you know I have to go every other second, but this morning I just didn't need to. Probably because I hadn't had anything to eat or drink since dinner the night before. They gave me some crackers and apple juice, and it made me feel nauseous. So I took a little nap, and switched from juice to water, which helped. Finally, maybe an hour later, I finally needed to go, and after that we were on our way home. I was still a little woozy and unsteady on my feet, but my wonderful husband helped me to the car, and into the house, and I have pretty much been on the couch ever since.

I did have the best lunch ever of Panera Bread (chicken frontego panini and a cup of creamy chicken and wild rice soup. YUM!) and have taken several naps, and am feeling almost like my old self again.

We got a call from the clinic later this afternoon and they said D's Herculean little men defrosted well and look great, so they are going to try fertilizing the old fashioned way of just putting them in the petri dish with Vivianne 1, Vivianne 2, and Vivianne 3, play a little Marvin Gaye, and hope for the best. (Or, as my sister said, we put them in the petri dish and let them do the nasty.) Had "the boys" not looked as good, we would have done ICSI, where the embryologist injects a sperm directly into the egg. But Dr. C didn't think we needed that, and I hope he is right.

So now we just sit and wait for V1, V2, ad V3 to do their thing. The embryologist will call in 2 days and let us know if any eggs fertilized, and then they will call every other day to let us know how they are growing. I am trying not to stress about it, and just trying to trust that at least one will fertilize and grow. When we first started this process I was prepared for it to take 2 tries to be successful. Of course, I didn't think it would be at this point that it was going to fail. I figured we would get all the way to transfer and it not result in a pregnancy.  But still, I was prepared for 2 times. But I really, really, really don't want it to actually take two times. And this is my only shot at doing this with my eggs. If this doesn't work we will move to donor eggs, since I apparently don't produce enough. I think it would be too big of a risk to try again with me. And I thought finding the surrogate was going to be the hard part. Boy was I wrong!

So let the waiting game begin!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

And the Roller Coaster Continues

I woke up this morning feeling very positive and upbeat. I wasn't worried at all about today's appointment, I figured it was going to be pretty routine. Boy was I wrong! My appointment started out great. I went in and had more blood taken, and then the ultrasound. As soon as she started the u/s she immediately exclaimed "look how much bigger they have gotten." Music to my ears! When she was finished she said that based on my ultrasound she figured Dr. C would have me take my trigger shot either tonight or tomorrow night, and that they would call as soon as they had my blood results and Dr. C has seen the u/s pictures.

I left the doctor's office and decided I was going to take advantage of tax free weekend and stop and pick up a few extra school supplies for my classroom, then meet my parents for some lunch, before heading back to their house. (I stayed with my parents this weekend while D was in Oklahoma.) But, every single store I wanted to go to didn't open until 11, and it was only 10:30. So I just kind of drove aimlessly, trying to kill some time, and I ended up in front of The Children's Place at about 5 til. So I decided to start there as soon as the opened. My problem was, all the clothes are for fall and winter, and I just could not get into the cool weather mindset while it is 800 billion degrees outside. I think today was the first time I have ever walked out of The Children's Place without buying a single thing.

After that I went over to Staples, because they were finally open, and had my basket loaded up with lots of goodies and was standing in line to pay when my phone rings and its Dr. C. At first I froze and didn't want to answer, but I also didn't want to have to call back, so I suck it up and answer the phone. And lo and behold it is Dr. C himself, and not a nurse. He started with, "Well things are looking disappointing. You only have 7 follicles and only 2 of them look mature. There is one more that is close to mature, but I don't expect it to do anything." As soon as he said that, I couldn't get of the store fast enough. He then went on to say that with any other woman he would have canceled this cycle, but that he doesn't think I would do any better next time, that this is just the best my body is going to do. Basically he gave us the choice to continue and trigger tonight, retrieve on Tuesday, and hope for the best, or cancel and be done. So we have chosen to continue, because I am not ready to give up yet. It only hake one, and if he thinks there are 2, then I have more than I need. Right???? I keep telling myself that over and over, in hopes that I start to believe it, but it is hard to stay optimistic right now. I am feeling so defeated and like I am letting everyone down. A very dear friend of mine (that is also suffering from infertility) said to me "I never thought in a million years having a baby would be so hard." And my response is NO FREAKING KIDDING!  High school kids do it all the time. How come happily married, stable people have so much trouble. What am I doing wrong? Why doesn't my body want to work the way it is supposed to? Would I have had this much trouble getting pregnant with baby #2 if I still had my uterus and nothing had ever happened? I just don't understand. I am trying to have faith, but I am tired of being tested. Hasn't my family been tested enough? When do we get a break? I am just so tired.

It only takes one, it only takes one, it only take one. . .

Friday, August 19, 2011

Ultrasound Day!

So the morning started with a blood draw and then an ultrasound. During the ultrsound the tech said she saw 7 follicles; 3 on the left (my weak ovary) and 4 on the right. She also said that on average women at this point have 8-12, so I am only 1 away from average! She also said, since I don't have a uterus, she would have been surprised if I came in with lots and lots of follicles. That's the second time I have heard about the lack of uterus making things difficult. Again, wish I had known this beforehand. I felt like I was able to take a big sigh of relief as soon as we were able to see a follicle in there. But we still had to wait for the blood results this afternoon. I was checking my phone all day like a crazy person until the office finally called. I talked to a different nurse from my regular doom and gloom nurse, and she sounded so much more optimistic than Ruth. She said my E2 was up to 352, more than double. She also said my largest follicle was at 15, and my smallest as 9 1/2. She said at this point I shouldn't be forming any new follicles, just watching these to seem them grow. Once it seems like we are as mature as they are going to get, we will take my trigger shot, and then do the retrieval 36 hours later. Again, she seemed very positive about how things look. I have another appointment scheduled for Sunday morning, and from there I will go in daily until retrieval. Which means I will miss the first hour of the first day of school. Oh well, it's just a few hours out of a 178 day school year, I think the kids will survive.

I immediately went home and consulted Dr. Google and found out that a follicle is considered mature when it is 18 mm, and a mature follicle releases about 100-150 units of estrogen. Also I read that the HCG trigger shot I will take 36 hours before retrieval will give the follicles what they need for one last growth spurt, so they will be at their max come retrieval time. But there is no guarantee that a follicle contains an egg, we just cross our fingers and hope that they do.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wednesday's Blood Results

My E2 level has gone up to 149. Not great, but not dismal either. And the nurse said the really telling appointment will be on Friday when I have more blood work and an ultrsound.

My appointment today was at 8 this morning, and L had an appointment later in the day to check her lining. When she was there the u/s tech told her that a lot of women without a uterus don't respond to the meds. I wish someone had mentioned that to ME! Do I think knowing that would have altered our plans any, no. But it would have altered my mental state a little.

So now we just wait for Friday, and see what the ultrasound shows. Praying for lots of nice, fat follicles!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Not a Good Appointment Today

I'm just going to copy and paste the email I sent to L, because I really don't feel like talking about it, and thinking about it anymore.

"I started my stims on Saturday, and had my first blood draw this morning. Ruth called with my results this afternoon, while I was in a meeting, so she left a voicemail saying my estradiol level for today was 77. She then said she wanted to confirm the doses of medications I was on (2 vials of Menopur  in the morning, 300 of Follistim, and 5 of Lupron in the evening, which is correct and what I have been doing.) The way she asked it has me worried that 77 is not a good number, and that it should be higher.
I called back as soon as I could and talked to her and according to her, 77 is low. I should be around 100-150 by today. And she is so blunt about everything, so she didn't break it to me easy, just flat out said, that's low. Ouch!
But then I thought of something that made me feel better. I have a weak left ovary. Dr. C has said that numerous times. I started to wonder if that has something to do with my low numbers. (That and the fact the Ruth said try to stay calm, don't get stressed. Well, its the week before school starts - one of the most stressful times ever! So I just have to keep calm and get that ovary doing some sit ups!) So that made me feel a little better until I talked to Gayla. Gayla said weak ovary or not, they still expect you to be at a certain level. Not exactly what I wanted to hear. But she did also say that although 77 is low, its not terrible.

So now I am just crossing my fingers that I am just a slow starter, and that its not that my body just isn't going to respond. Ruth said Friday will be the telling day because I will have more bloodwork and an ultrasound. So I just have to keep calm and optimistic until then."

Not exactly the result I was hoping for today, but I am trying to stay optimistic. I know its not over yet. Even if this cycle doesn't work, that doesn't mean we are out. It just means we try a different drug protocol and give it another shot. And then, if that doesn't work, we move to donor eggs. And then, if that doesn't work, I crawl in a hole and never come out again. So this has to work. It just has to!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Next Step

Ok, so for the past few weeks I have been taking 10 units of Lupron in order to suppress my ovaries. I go in every few days to check my Estradiol (E2) levels, and do an ultrasound on my ovaries, to make sure the Lupron is doing its job. And so far so good. Everytime we do an u/s, they find my right ovary right away and it always looks great. They always have a harder time finding my left ovary, because it is a little smaller. As Dr. C has said, it is a weak ovary. According to Dr. C that just means we won't get quite as many eggs from that side. So fingers crossed I can make enough to move forward.

That has always been a fear hanging out in the back of my mind about my ovaries. I remember after everything happened and my OB was talking to me about breastfeeding. He told me not to stress out if my milk never came in because my body was trying to compensate for all the blood loss. He said that the body protects the major organs by depriving less important organs of blood so that the major organs will have enough. So what if, because of all the blood loss, something happened to my ovaries? I'm trying not to think about that and hopefully it is a bridge we won't ever have to cross.

So on Saturday I will start my stims. I will be taking 150 for Menopur in the morning and then 300 of Follistim and 5 of Lupron in the evening. All my shots will got in my belly, since its nice and fatty. I am about to become a human pin cushion. But it will all be worth it in the end. I will take my stims for a little over a week. I go in pretty much every other day (MWF) for blood work to check my E2 levels, and we want them to start rising. On Friday, in addition to a blood draw I will have an u/s to check my ovaries. I am assuming we will want to see some follicles growing; follicles contain the egg. Depending on what Friday's bloodwork and u/s show it will determine when they will have me do my trigger shot of HCG to get the ovaries to release the follicles. 36 hours after my trigger we go in for a retrieval. And if you are looking at a calendar right now, you will see that my tentative retrieval date is also the first week of school. In fact, I will most likely miss the very first hour of the very fist day of school for a monitoring appointment. Fabulous! Good thing I have my awesome sub A on stand by!

Here are 2 websites that do a pretty good job of explaining IVF and gestational surrogacy.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Dance Class FAIL!

The Nacho had her very first dance class today. To say I was excited was an understatement. I have been looking forward to the day my daughter was in dance since I was a little girl. But, unfortunately, today's class did NOT go well. The Nacho pretty much screamed and cried the whole time, and then peed on the floor at the very end of class, leaving behind a nice puddle. Just fabulous. I am sure her teacher is SO excited to have her back next week. I wanted to tell her teacher that she really is a very cute, sweet, entertaining little girl, and please don't judge her based on this one day. And of course, since I am hormonal right now, all I did was cry. It was terrible. And my mom and sister came to see the Nacho in all her cute glory, but instead got tears, pee, and more tears. Good times for them.

I am thinking maybe a pull up will be used next week. So embarrassed. I think I will go in disguise next time.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Potty Training

A friend gave me a book called 3 Day Potty Training that she had success using to PT her daughter. We are now on day 4 and I have decided the book needs to be renamed 3 Days of Hell.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, August 1, 2011

2 Years Old!

Happy birthday to my sweet baby girl! Your personality lights up any room you are in and you amaze me every day with the things you know/say/do. You are my heart and my world! I am so glad God chose me to be your mommy & even more glad He decided to let me stay and watch you grow up. I love you more than words could ever describe!
 I can't believe my baby is turning two years old! How did that happen? I swear she was just born, then I blinked and now we are walking, talking, and having our own opinions.Slow down, kid, slow down!
So, what is the Nacho like at 2 years old? Well, she makes me laugh on a daily basis. She loves her dogs Molly and Heidi to pieces. She also loves to boss them around. She likes to mimic the things she sees mommy and daddy doing (or saying.) My favorite is when she puts on my sunglasses, grabs the keys, and says "bye" then tries to open the door. Too cute! She can sing her ABCs, can count to at least 10, sometimes even 15. She knows her colors and her basic shapes. She knows several opposites (up/down, hot/cold, happy/sad, open/closed, off/on, and maybe a few others.) I have lost count of her vocabulary, she is just talking up a storm. I really love watching her play, because she has started doing imaginative play; she pretends to feed her doll, or read it a story and rock it to sleep. She also loves music and singing the songs she has learned at school sich as Itsy Bitsy Spider (although to her it is the Icky Icky Spider), Baby Bumblebee, Wheels on the Bus, 6 Little Ducks, and Twinkle Twinkle.
The Nacho loves Yo Gabba Gabba (which is why we are having a Gabba themed birthday party), Cookie Monster, Elmo, and Dora. She also loves playing outside in her playhouse, its just too hot to do so right now, and swimming or playing in the sprinkler. Her favorite foods are all kinds of berries, cheese, ice cream, popsicles (or, as she calls them, poposicles), bananas,  and carbs. 

We were in gymnastics class from February until May, and she was doing so well. We stopped going though, because the gymnastics place was by my school, and since it's summer break, the drive out just didn't make much sense. We are now enrolled in dance classes and start next week. I am so excited and will probably cry at the first lesson. I have always dreamed about the day I would be taking my daughter to dance classes. No worries, I am sure I will have plenty of pictures to share!
Speaking of pictures, here are some of my favorites from the last 2 years.
 Just born

 Before all hell broke loose.

After. (Look how drugged up and out of it I am.)

 Love this one!

 This picture took my breath away the first time I saw it, and it still does today. Look at those lips! Swoon!!

 The Nacho and her Papa. She had him wrapped from second 1!

Going home.

Year One:

(I don't know why this picture is sideways, and I don't know how to fix it.)

These last 3 pictures are courtesy of my friend Carol at His and Hers Creative. She was awesome, and I would highly recommend her services to anyone. I have her info if you want it.

Well, that's picture overload! I will do a second post with pictures from her second year on it later.