Embryo Update

I just got a call from the embryologist lab and our babies are growing beautifully! All 25 are still in the running! 13 of them are As, 4 are Bs, and 8 are Cs. All of which could be used to transfer at some point! We go in on Saturday to decide how many to transfer. I think we will end up deciding 2. I know that if we do 1 and it doesn't take, all I'm going to think about is we should have done 2. Or if we decide to put in 2 and only 1 takes, I will have the sense of relief thinking "if we had only done 1, that 1 could have been the 1 that didn't make it." I can't wait for Saturday to get here so we can put our babies back where they are belong. We will freeze anything that could possibly be viable.

Praise the Lord for healthy baby embryos. Praise him for giving us so many in case this round of IVF doesn't work. Praise him that I never have to go through the shots of IVF again because we have so many that we can freeze. Now it's all in God's hands. Well I guess it always has been hasn't it? :)
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Progesterone Shot

Well we just did our first progesterone shot. Let me tell you, I haven't been looking forward to these. The syringes are so much bigger and longer, but my husband is a rock star! He did so good! My advice would be to ice the area for 15 minutes beforehand. I barely felt the needle go in and only felt when he pulled back on the syringe to check for blood. You have to do this step to make sure you haven't hit a vein, but are actually in the muscle. Check out this video to see a more in depth explanation. I watched it last night in preparation for tonight's event. At one point I even asked Kyle, "are you pushing in the medicine?" So it was a complete success! Thank goodness because we've got alot of these shots ahead of us! And when we get our positive (did you like how I said when? positive thinking here people!) I'm hoping that we will be moved to the suppositories instead of the shots.
And for alittle Halloween humor, I hope all of my friends in the middle of their treatments can get a good laugh!
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Egg Retrieval

The day was finally here!! We got all of our paperwork on Saturday with our instructions to take the trigger shot at 8pm on Saturday evening. All of the waiting for this is finally over! I couldn't believe it! The past 15 months of waiting were finally coming to an end!
I wish I could have posted about it yesterday, but I was really tired from the egg retrieval and all I wanted to do was lay on the couch, drink my water, and sleep!

We woke up at 6:30am to get to the fertility center by 7:30am, but of course, we had to take some picture before leaving!
Once we got to the center, they took us to a pre-op room where I got to change into my lovely outfit. 
We hung out in this room where they put my IV in and gave me my loopy medicine. Oh boy was that fun! When I was 10 I had my tonsils out and had a reverse reaction to the medicine vercid. It's supposed to relax you, but for me, it made me very anxious and I cried and cried. So I told the anesthesiologist about this and his response was, "well do you want to try it?" Well why not? Let's just see what happens. It took about 2 minutes and all of the sudden things were starting to spin. I was actually in the middle of a conversation with Dr. Ku and all of the sudden I said, "ok, this conversation is over because you are spinning." Ha! He told me we could continue our conversation later.

I don't remember much after that. I do remember not seeing Kyle before they took me back, but he reassured me that he saw me before they took me back. I remember talking to Dr. Ku and the anesthesiologist in the operating room about being a teacher and then I remember waking up in my pre-op room. They had a sprite and goldfish for me to eat. It tasted so good since I hadn't eaten anything all morning. And yes, this was right after I came out, I look alittle loopy :)

They told us they got 38 eggs! THIRTY EIGHT! We can't believe how many there were. Actually I can, because my poor belly was so bloated! I've gained 6 pounds since starting the stim shots last week. Getting on that scale was a mistake!

They did warn us about OHSS (Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome). It can happen when lots of eggs are produced and your estrogen is elevated and mine was the entire time through my stim shots. They started me at 225 for my follistim shots and they lowered them drastically every time I came in for blood work. Joan, my nurse, kept telling me slow down, slow down! What can I say? My body reacts to medicine very well!

Unfortunately if OHSS occurs, they'll have to cancel the transfer of the embryos until my body is back to normal. So far I haven't had any symptoms of OHSS. They include severe cramping, vomiting, bloating of the stomach (as big as a women who's 20 weeks pregnant, ouch!), not needing to pee, etc. I did start vomiting yesterday, but it was from the pain meds I took. I'm very sore in my abdomen area and I can't wait for the bloating to subside along with the weight gain.

I heard from the doctor today and from the 38 eggs that were taken, 31 of them were mature enough to inject. So today when they checked on the embryos, 25 of them had fertilized. 25!!! That is such a good number! They will leave the embryos alone until Thursday and then check again and give us a call. Then again on Saturday, they'll check 1 last time to see how many are ready to implanted. From that group we will choose how many we will implant and do the transfer on Saturday. We will freeze the rest to use later.

I can't believe it's finally here! The waiting is over. We could be a momma and a daddy in a little over 2 weeks!
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It's About to Go Down!

Well, today's appointment went AMAZING! My lining is perfect and my eggs are growing wonderfully!! Take a look!! The black holes are my follicles and there are tons more, but these were the best pictures of each ovary. She said they have 30+ eggs!! Wahoo! Praise the Lord!

They have told me that we Kyle will be triggering me tomorrow (I'll post about how that shot goes) and the egg retrieval  will happen on Monday. I can't believe it's finally here! And thank goodness it is because my ovaries are killing me! I am so uncomfortable. If I stand up, sit down, turn over in bed, put my pants, ooo, it kinda hurts. Ready to get these eggs out and turned into embryos and then put them back into their home for the next 9 months!

1 Corinthians 2:9
"However, as it is written, no eye has seen, nor ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him."

I cannot wait to see the amazing plan God has planned for Kyle, and I, and our future babies!

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Blessings Along the Way

As we go along our infertility journeys, sometimes we get so wrapped up in the process, we end up missing out on some amazing blessings that God has laid out for us.

I completely understand being preoccupied with the this wonderful infertility journey, I am completely guilty of it. But if you slow down and really think about it, were there blessings that came along through this trying time that you encountered solely because of the infertility?

When I began thinking about it, I had to think long and hard because honestly all I could think about was, "blessings? ummm, I can't have a baby. I am not blessed." I had to think past the baby wanting gene and dig deep.

1. Kyle and I's relationship has never been stronger

For better or worse. It wasn't until now that I truly understood those words. It's not until you really go through something this hard, that you realize what an amazing spouse you have, and I have a keeper.

2. IUI medicine could be used for IVF

When we got pregnant in July 2013, we actually were gearing up for an IUI cycle. We had purchased all the medicine and miraculously, my insurance covered it! When does that happen? Since we didn't use the medicine for IUI, because I was pregnant, we were able to save it and use it for IVF after I had lost the pregnancy. It ended up saving us about $700.

3. Having the miscarriage

I know you're probably thinking, "how can the miscarriage be a blessing?" Let me elaborate. When we were gearing up for IUI in July 2013, we found out I was pregnant. We lost the baby 10 days later and were put in a holding pattern for 2 months while my body got over the miscarriage. During that time we were not allowed to do any treatments. We planned to do IUI once Kyle had his 6 month check up (we expected him to be cleared since we had gotten pregnant) and I had been cleared by my doctor. That date came and we found out that Kyle's surgery in fact had failed and we would need to do IVF. Had the miscarriage never happened, by the time we found out we needed to do IVF, we probably would have been into our 2nd IUI cycle that wouldn't have worked. IVF would have needed to happen with or without the miscarriage, but the miscarriage forced us to not be able to do the IUI, which in the end would have been in vain. The miscarriage itself was hard emotionally, but it ended up saving us from more emotional heartache due to failed IUI's and financial heartache too.

4. Financial help

Kyle and I have amazing families that rally when someone needs them. Recently, we have been given enough money by one of our family members to pay for 1 round of IVF. They gave it to us this past weekend, and with me being on a crazy amount of hormones from the shots, I couldn't help but cry my eyes out. Whether this cycle works or doesn't, we now have extra money to use to buy things for the babies if it does work, and to try again if it doesn't. Because after this round, we would have to spend a lot of time saving to try again. We are truly blessed by an amazing family.

5. A healthy body

My body is responding beautifully to the medicine. They have to continuously lower my shot dosage because my body is growing my eggs so quickly! Right now we have 14 amazingly beautiful eggs that are growing perfectly! My uterine lining is growing exactly like it should, and I can't help but thank God for allowing my body to handle this entire process so beautifully. I can only pray that my body will do the same for the pregnancy.

6. Renewed relationships

Through my infertility, I have reconnected with so many friends. I can't tell you how many times I have had someone contact me and say "I've just had this feeling to contact you. You've been on my heart a lot." That my friend, is not just a feeling, it's the Holy Spirit. Recently, I have reconnected with a friend from elementary school. She also dealt with infertility, but is now pregnant with triplets! Yes, you read that right. TRIPLETS! I am over the moon happy for her and can't wait to meet their sweet babies in early March of next year!

Even though these past 15 months have been trying, I wouldn't trade them for anything. It will make everything we have longed for that much sweeter.

What blessings have you seen along the way of your infertility journey?

Philippians 2:13
For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
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Day 3 of Follistim and Menopur

Well pinch me and call me a pin cushion!

Oh my goodness, is that how I'm feeling about now. The Leupron shots were nothing compared to these Follistim and Menopur shots. So here's alittle background, the Leupron shots have been suppressing my ovaries. Not allowing eggs to grow. So now we are stimulating them with the Follistim and Menopur shots to allow my body to grow eggs. Lots and lots of them! We are praying for lots so that when the eggs are taken from me we have lots of chances for embryos to form.

So back to the shots. They have to be given in the evening between 6-8pm. I've decide the reasoning behind that is because the side effects aren't much fun, so you can choose to just go to bed. I have no clue if that's the reasoning, but I think it's a good reason, don't you? So my first night (Friday) of these shots wasn't bad. I woke up about 3am with a crazy hot flash. They said that was normal. Oh but last night, things got kicked into high gear! Within 30 minutes,  I was sick (both ends; sorry if that's TMI, it's how I roll), hot flash (I feel so sorry for my menopausal mommas, I totally get you now!), and later on had some major ovarian cramping. This is to be expected, sheesh I'm growing MULTIPLE eggs in there compared to the one that most women grow to full size and then release at ovulation.

Lots more precautions have been started now that we are stimulating. I called my amazing nurse Joan (read more about her here) on Friday and she answered them all for me, laughing along the way of course.

Can I work out? Yes, but not stenuously. That is hard for me. I love my workouts, but it looks like walking on the treadmill is all I can do until this is over. And if we get pregnant, I will GLADLY walk walk walk and never run again!

Can I drink? I have asked Joan this every time I've gone in. I'm sure she thinks I'm an alcoholic by now. She laughs every time because she understands. We both love our wine. Yes, I can drink, but I can't get trashed. Which by the way, getting trashed at my age takes like 3 days to recover. I don't think I'll be getting trashed EVER again. This ain't college anymore guys.

Can we be intimate? For my friends who are reading this, just move right along. Some of the things I'm writing are for those who have found my blog and are trying to learn about IVF :) Yes, you can be intimate up to the egg transfer, but you must use protection. As happy as the doctors would be for us to get pregnant, they don't want us getting pregnant on these meds at the wrong time. Once the egg transfer is done, no intimacy until the pregnancy test.

And the last most important question I had was, "When will the retrieval and transfer be?" It is looking like the retrieval will between October 29-31. We aren't sure on the exact date yet, but they will track my body and will know better the closer we get. I got in tomorrow for my first blood work and sonogram since I started stimulating.

I can't believe it is finally here. In less than a month we may be a momma and a daddy to 1 or 2 babies.

I have been clinging to God's truth so much during this entire process. I wish I could say I'm in the word more than I am, but I'm learning. God is recalling to my memory the verses that I have memorized and uses them to comfort me in this time. Here is one that shows me that what I am feeling is normal.

Proverbs 30:15-16
There are three things that are never filled, no, four that never say, "Enough": The place of the dead, the woman who cannot have children, the earth that is always thirsty for water, and the fire that never says, "Enough."

God designed the woman to want and long for children. He instilled that want and need in me when I was very young. Ask anyone, I have wanted to be a momma for such a long time. I did the right thing. I waited till marriage. I didn't get married young and rush into being a mom. Kyle and I waited until we were ready and even then, we still are not given the desires of our heart. But I know that God is a good God and He will give us the "desires of our heart" if we delight in him. (Psalm 37:4).

So if you are reading this post as a momma who still has not been given the desires of her heart, I pray for you. I pray peace over your heart. I pray understanding in your mind. I pray for friends to surround you that understand you and if you have none, shoot me an email. God calls us to use our situations to encourage and lift others up. I do believe God has called me to just that.

My story will forever be a way for me to encourage other women who are going through this. I pray that I can live out this verse through our journey.

1 Corinthians 1:3-4
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. Hhe comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort other. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us."

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Lupron day 8

Well we are on day 8 of Lupron and it hasn't been that bad. The actual medicine I'm on is Leuprolide which is the generic of Lupron. Exact same medicine, just cheaper! Love generic meds.
I'm only on 10 mL of Lupron and will be going down to 5 mL in the next few days. So it's not alot. See, that needle is nothing! Now, the HUGE one for the progesterone shots, that's a different story! Ouch!
I was told the major side effects would be headaches and I may be a little emotional. The headaches are non existent (thank goodness!) and the emotional side of things has started to level out. The first couple of days, it was literally an out of body experience for me. The tiniest things were making me cry and I felt like I wasn't in control of my body or emotions, but things are starting to level out and I'm not feeling as fragile as I did in the beginning.

Kyle gave me my shot on Sunday. Since he will have to administer my progesterone shots in about a month, we might as well get some practice in now, and boy does he need it! :) He ended up poking me twice before giving me the shot. He said he didn't realize how easily the needle would go in so he had alittle too much force behind his administration and the needle popped right back out. Thank goodness I can't really feel it and had extra patience for him. That's the upside to having alittle extra fat padding in the belly area! Can barely feel these shots.

I'll be adding Menopur shots within the next couple of days. Then we will see how I'm doing emotionally.

We are getting so close to the end, I can't believe it. It's finally OUR time. Through the infertility, the miscarriage, the failed surgery, I know this is our time. I know that God will reward us for it says "Delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalms 37:4. I cling to that promise every time I start doubting.

Prayers are on high all around from family, friends, and even blog readers. I am so grateful for all of the prayers you are praying for our littles. We can't wait to know if IVF worked and if we will be welcoming a baby (or 2) in July!

Twice this week 2 friends sent me twinsie pinterest pictures and of course this hormonal pin cushion cried when I saw both. To be blessed with twins would be such an amazing gift!
And who knows, maybe this double yolk I took a picture of over a year ago before we even knew we would be faced with infertility, actually means something?
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I'm a pro now!

Today was my appointment to have my baseline sonogram done and to begin my Lupron shots. The baseline sonogram showed great results. My uterus was a good size and my ovaries were looking good as well.

The reason for the baseline sonogram is to have a visual of what everything looks like now. So that later when more sonograms are done, they will know that if anything changed, it's been since the cycle has begun.

I also got to give myself my first shot. The nurse asked if I wanted her to do the shot or if I wanted to do it. I knew if I didn't do it, I'd never get over my fear, and tomorrow morning would be terrible as I'd try to give it to myself.

So the nurse drew the medicine for me, I pinched my stomach, and 1,2,3, done! It was so easy and I didn't even feel it! I'm totally a shot giving pro now! Made me feel so much better!

And I know that I've talked about how amazing Dr. Ku is, but I also have to say how amazing my nurse at Dallas IVF is! Her name is Joan and she has been by my side through everything! She originally taught me how to give myself shots when we were preparing for IUI, she was the one who called me to let me know that we were pregnant, she was also there to give me the most heartfelt hug when I came in for the blood work to confirm my miscarriage. I will miss her greatly when I am released to my OB once we are pregnant.

But for now, I will enjoy Joan and our wonderful conversations that are always filled with loud laughter. I'm sure everyone is wondering what kind of treatment I'm getting and are wanting that treatment since I'm always laughing with her!

She did warn me that she has heard from her other patients that Lupron causes you to be a bit emotional. Wonderful! The birth control is already doing that! I watched The Princess Diaries 2 last night and cried at the end. Oh geez a lou! Kyle better watch out! Another side affect is headaches. So I can take tylenol to fix that. No Advil or Ibuprofen during an IVF cycle. Just in case  you didn't know that. For those who are going through IVF of course.

So now I have been instructed to continue birth control for 1 more week then stop. Then, once I began my next cycle, I will call the office and they will instruct me on my next set of shots. Eventually I will be at 3 shots a day of Lupron, Menopur, and Follistim.

But it will all be worth it in the end when I see those two beautiful pink lines! I can't wait.
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It has been a long time since I have updated my personal blog. Mostly because when I started this blog I really thought I'd be pregnant by now. I wanted to document our life as we went through trying to get pregnant, but didn't expect it to be this hard. I mean I know it would be difficult, the doctor told us that. But I didn't expect the trials and difficulties we'd face through it all.

Let's recap what you've missed over the past 6 months.

February 2013- Kyle was diagnosed with varicoceles. This condition causes severe male infertility which we were told could be fixed with surgery.
March 2013- Kyle had the varicoceles surgery. We were told it could take up to 6 months for the surgery to work. So we began our wait.
March 2013- I began seeing Dr. Lowell Ku from Dallas IVF. He diagnosed me with a thyroid problem and slight PCOS. If you are in the Dallas area and need a fertility specialist I HIGHLY recommend Dr. Ku. He has been a God sent!
June 2013- Kyle had his first check up and his numbers had gone up alittle bit! Exactly what the doctor wanted.
July 2013- Kyle's numbers were good enough to try IUI. We waited for my cycle to began, but it never did. I was pregnant.
August 2013- We lost our baby. More than likely due to an unhealthy embryo since the baby was conceived without the proper help from the doctors.
September 2013- Kyle had his 2nd check up where we expected to be told his numbers were back to normal since we had gotten pregnant. The doctor instead told us his numbers were back to pre surgery level and he recommended IVF.
October 2013- We are beginning our first round of IVF.

I have been on birth control since starting my last cycle. Ironic isn't it? But the reason they put you on birth control is to shut down your ovaries so when they are ready to stimulate them, they will grow at the same rate.

Here is all the medicine I will be taking over the next 6 weeks.

I go to tomorrow (October 8) to begin my Lupron shots. They begin 10-14 days after birth control is started. These shots completely supress my ovaries until my doctor is ready to stimulate them.

I am nervous. I am nervous about the shots. I am nervous about the procedure. I am nervous about it working. I am nervous I may never be a mom, but I try to find comfort in the verse Psalm 37:4 "Delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart".

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