Going back to the RE.

There’s a lot that’s been happening on my end over here. Lately I’ve been experiencing a lot of pain in my abdomen, on my sides, and in my lower stomach area. It’s been increasing, comes and goes, but has been noticeably present lately. Since I have severe endometriosis, I am assuming that is what the flare up is. I’m not going to lie though, I AM concerned. I went to my regular doctor and since my doctor is out of the country, I spoke with the nurse practitioner. Her response was – “I think it may be acid reflux.”

Um…WHAT? I’ve never had reflux in my life except for when I was pregnant, towards the end of my pregnancy. Otherwise, I have never experienced it. I know that’s not what it is. It’s all over my middle area and my symptoms don’t go with acid reflux. So I called my gyno to schedule an appointment with her but don’t get to see them until next the end of the month. I felt like no one has been taking me seriously at all – no one. I went to the next step, my RE.

After all, he was the one who discovered how severe my endometriosis was during the laproscopy. I need someone to hear me and to help me. My RE has never failed me in that department (and neither has God!) and so I want to talk to him and see what he thinks. I am leaning towards having a hysterectomy. My RE told me that after I had the boys I would need corrective surgery at some point. I think the point is here. Before I even begin to think to deeply about that though, I want to talk to my RE and find out what his thoughts are. My blood work showed that there was some blood in the urine (TMI, I know) and the nurse wants me to retake it, which I will be doing ASAP this week. I don’t want to jump to conclusions and make a big decision if it’s something like kidney stones. BUT….

All of this has led my husband and I to many discussions about what our next step is going to look like. He would rather have a healthy wife who is free of pain than more kids, in his words. My heart feels content and happy at this point. I’m just wondering if I will end up changing my mind. Will I feel regret in several years when the boys have grown? This isn’t a decision that I can undo. Yet, I’m so tired and weary of dealing with this endometriosis that I’m leaning heavily towards make that decision. This doesn’t mean we have to be “done” (even though we absolutely feel done at this moment in time)…but it would mean that I can’t have any more babies in my belly. Am I ready to decide that at 28 years old?

My heart ultimately feels peace. I know that no matter what happens, no matter what we decide, God is with us in this whole process. I can absolutely feel Him. But will you guys keep me in your thoughts and prayers? I go to see him this Tuesday morning. Since my husband works and my mom works, I will be going alone about an hour away. I really wanted to have my mom or husband with me as we discuss what’s going on with me, but I’ll be solo. I just want this all to be resolved. Let’s see what the RE says.

HPT today..faint positive.

So the first time I went through IVF # 1 I told myself I absolutely would NOT take a home pregnancy test and that I would wait for my beta. The day of my beta I experienced the worst anxiety ever…like, I was practically in tears because I was so nervous! This time around I couldn’t resist and because of all of the pressure I wanted a heads up about what our results would *possibly* be. I took a HPT a few days ago and it was a very faint faint positive. Today I took another one and it was a bit darker. Here’s the pic:

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When I saw that I felt super happy! At the same time, until I get that blood test I won’t get my hopes TOO high but this is the first time on a HPT that I’ve ever gotten positive results.I really just want this to work for us this time! I also told myself I wouldn’t say anything to my husband…but what did I do? Run upstairs, throw on all the lights, and shout “DO YOU SEE IT?! DO YOU SEE IT? IT’S NOT JUST ME IS IT? YOU SEE IT RIGHT?!” Mind you, my poor husband was sleeping. But he agreed that “yes” he saw it too. Let’s go Friday..come on now…I’m ready to hear my results!! I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays!

Some good news in the midst of crazy.

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Well, the good news is that we pretty much have limitless frozen embryo transfers through our insurance. This means we will be paying almost NOTHING out of pocket which is amazing! We thought we could possibly have to pay so we stored up some extra money in savings..but it’s good good news. I’m really happy to know that if I have to stress about getting pregnant at least I don’t really have to worry much about the financial aspect of it. That is a major blessing.

One concern for me is that I notice that I have been cramping a lot lately. I am dreading, dreading, dread my next AF. I have been looking up as much information I can about ways to relieve the pain of endometriosis. One thing I have not considered but definitely want to look more into is diet. Praying for complete and total healing from this. I’m not supposed to get it for a couple of weeks. However, I DO want to fast forward to the transfer! Happy Wednesday all!

Choosing to SEE..in the midst of darkness.

Hey everyone! I thought I would share about this amazing book I have been reading which has been really encouraging, eye opening, and life changing for me during this time in my life where I am struggling with infertility. The book is NOT  book about infertility at all. It is a book about struggles, hopes, and life. The book is called, “Choosing to See” by Mary Beth Chapman .We are reading it for Book Club at church and honestly in my heart I have never felt like this is a book I am meant to be reading at this season in my life.

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For those of you who don’t know, Steven Curtis Chapman (award winning Christian artist..one of the best..) and his wife lost their adopted daughter Maria several years ago, after their son Will accidentally hit her with his car as he was coming down the driveway. The story sparked national headlines as this family dealt with this tragic loss and pain. This book, is the story of the Chapman family, how they got into adoption (they adopted three gorgeous girls from China, one of them being Maria..they have 3 biological children as well) and their journey. It is not only about the loss of their beloved daughter, it is about their life from the perspective of Mary Beth and honestly, it is just an amazing book. I cried the instant I started reading it and every time I read it, I am pretty much crying. Not because it is said, though yes, there are obviously parts that are sad…but because it’s such a powerful story/testimony. How we can “Choose to See” during the darkest times of our lives and choose hope over hopelessness..choose the life giving words of Christ over the lies of the enemy..and is ultimately a story that has greatly encouraged me as I have dealt with my own personal sadness. This book has really given me a fresh perspective. I really want to make the decision to “See” and to pursue hope against all odds, to believe, trust, have faith and move forward in whatever God has for me and ultimately to TRUST His plans for my life even though they may not match up to my own plans for my own life. When we plan things one way, God has His own set plans for our life and they do not always go with what we had planned. What I am saying is this, I want to do more trusting and less fearing…staying positive, believing, and plowing forward in whatever lies ahead of me on this journey. I am going to continue to chase after fertility but also hold on to the truth that God has amazing plans for my life..deep in my heart I know this includes a baby..and that His timing is the best timing ever.

What’s next for us?

Today we had our follow up with our RE. When we went into the office the nurse (Lisa) said she was sorry about what happened. When we went to talk to our doctor he said that everyone was very surprised about the chemical pregnancy because things looked so good. He walked us through our options and we focused on what my husband and I really want to do the most which is the transfer. Basically, the long and short of it, the trasnfer would happen in early December. He walked us through the meds I would have to take and what we would have to do and that it would be fairly simply. The only problem is that most likely two more cycles of my “Menses” will have gone through which means horrible terrible pain and endometriosis. Not looking forward to that. There is pretty much nothing that can be done about it though until I have the corrective surgery which won’t be until after we have children. The doctor did say though, that pregnancy actually helps endometriosis not hurt as much. Bring on the baby please!

I feel hopeful but was a little disappointing at the timeline. I guess I was thinking it would be faster and we could have the transfer done like early November..but I guess it works out holiday wise too. My body probably needs the time to recuperate from everything as well.

When I got home from the appointment, of course I also come home to a medical bill for $750. The whole thing cost us $14,000 around there and my insurance covered most of it, except for the $750. It could be worse, but it is still money that we have to pull from somewhere.

Trying to stay positive and hopeful and believe for the best. I’m hesitant to get too excited about anything. Basically, until I see a heartbeat, I will be cautious. I’m anxious for this next phase to begin.

Colds and Fabulous Husbands

At the moment I am currently dealing with a cold/flu which could not have come at the worst time ever! I was really worried about how this would affect the embies but after some research I found out that I should be okay. I just need to take care of myself, rest, drink fluids, etc. But still deep down I’m thinking, that the timing stinks! I usually get sick during this time of the year as a teacher, dealing with students and all of their germs. I take extra precautions but the cold still comes for me! For those reading, please keep me in your thoughts and prayers.

On a positive note, I feel like I have the best husband ever. Throughout this whole process he has been so supportive and so selfless and amazing. Our schedule is pretty intense typically. For example: Monday nights I have bible class. Tuesday night worship practice. Wednesday night Church. Thursday night once a month Book Club, Friday once a month we help out with the youth at our church, and Sunday we have service. This week was also Back to School Night! Hubby had laundry done, dinner cooked, house cleaned, dishes done…pretty much I was able to come home and actually relax without having to do anything! My husband has an intense job himself, he is a store manager working towards a promotion and works a grueling schedule. During his downtime he could choose to relax and do what he wants to do, but instead he decides to help me out. I feel grateful. Plus, he’s the ones that gave me all my IVF shots from beginning to end..he still gives me the Progesterone shot and I know for a fact, that giving a needle to someone you love is NEVER  fun thing. Yet, he’s done a fantastic job with it. I feel grateful. When we are finally blessed with a precious baby I know he is going to be an amazing Dad because he is pretty selfless when it comes to me. Today I’m going to make him one of his favorite dinners and make sure he just relaxes!

Happy Saturday!

Hoping, believing, trusting! Transfer was yesterday! STICK EMBIES!

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My transfer day was yesterday! I will break everything down  🙂

I had to leave work early (I work as a teacher) because my appointment was at 2:30 an hour away. I came home and relaxed with my husband for about an hour. I was STARVED but actually somewhat scared to eat something big just because I was thinking hmm..soon I’m going to have drink 20-30 ounces of water after eating..I do not want to have any major bowel movements (gross I know) when I’m transferring! Plus, when I’m nervous my stomach gets all messed up and I was super nervous. All I kept thinking was..after this transfer..COMFORT FOOD. I just want a cheese steak roll!! That’s all. Moving on..so an hour before at about 1:30 I downed all of the water I had to drink. Then, we headed out to our appointment an hour away.

By the time I got to the appointment, I really had to use the bathroom. I have a very weak and small bladder to begin with (literally, the nurse once told me my bladder was pretty tiny) so I was ready to get this procedure on the road. Plus, trumping all..I was super excited and just wanted the little embies to be inside of me already! Needless to say, we had to wait a bit because there was another couple ahead of us having a transfer. By the time it was our turn, or so I thought, I told the nurse “look..I REALLY need to use the bathroom. Like…badly…like I can’t guarantee an accident won’t happen during this transfer if somebody doesn’t do something..gross I know but true! It’s how I felt. She let me empty a little bit and then the doctor took me back. However, when we went to the room…we had to go back to the waiting room because they were not quite ready for us yet. By this time I literally wanted to cry..I NEEDED TO GO TO THE BATHROOM. DOES ANYONE UNDERSTAND THIS?! But, I love my doctor and the people there so I took some deep breaths and headed back to the waiting room.

Next, our doctor called us to his office. He showed us the two embryos he was transferring and said they were some “beautiful” looking embryos. He also wanted us to be aware that the chance for twins was 30-40% and asked us “Are you prepared to handle that?” My husband and I had discussed this prior. I don’t think most people are every “ready” to handle a multiple pregnancy but of course we would accept it with joy if that’s what happened. He continued to reiterate the fact that there was a great chance we could have twins. In my mind I was happy because I was hearing “There is a great chance you are going to be pregnant. period.” That’s all that I want. The joy of giving birth to a precious little baby. Whatever God is willing to give me, I ACCEPT!! I’ll take it Lord! After we signed off on the number of embryos being transferred, we went back to waiting.

Finally..after what seemed like an eternity, it was our turn. I changed into a gown and into the little elf hospital scrub shoes and a scrub hat while thinking, man..I should have pulled my hair up. Stuffing my mass of curls into that cap was good times. My husband also had to change into scrubs too. He looked like a cutie off of Grey’s Anatomy – can you tell I find a lot of people on Grey’s cute? Next, I went into the room where the procedure was going to be done. They elevated my legs into these stir up like things and strapped them in. Then, the doctor came in and started the whole process!

The coolest thing was when they put my embryos onto the screen and I pretty much was able to see the doctor putting the embryos in. Like a friend told me today, “You pretty much saw yourself get impregnated…that’s pretty cool!” Not sure if I would word it that way, but needless to say it is pretty amazing how this can all be possible. My husband caressed my shoulder and was so excited. He’s the best.

After the whole thing was done, we journeyed back home and hubby bought me a steak roll and some cheese fries (because literally, he’s the best) and I laid around and relaxed. Today I felt pretty good too. I went to work but tried to sit as much as possible and take it easy. All I want is for these precious little embies to stick. That would be amazing.

Those of you who are on this journey with me, reading my blog, or going through similar things, you are in my heart and prayers. This road is not an easy one and very often it can feel pretty lonely,but You’re not alone. I’m a Christian and I rely so much on my faith in God. Without Him, where would I be? I’m so blessed to have such a strong husband and supporter to stand with me through all of this. I can’t wait to see what God has in store. Be blessed all <3

Transfer day approaching!

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I haven’t been updating this as much as I wanted to. Everything has been happening SO fast.

The latest update…I had egg retrieval on Thursday and they were able to retrieve 10 follicles. From what I understand, they retrieved from my right ovary only because I have a lot of endometriosis happening on the left side and they didn’t want to mess with that (thank God..I would have been in so much pain).

I was really nervous for my egg retrieval because I had no idea what to expect. My anesthesiologist was a huge help in making me feel really relaxed about the whole thing! First off..he looked like a McDreamy kind of guy off of Grey’s Anatomy and he was super nice. He really helped me to relax by asking me questions about my life, job, etc. Then all I remember is waking up in the recovery room and yelling “Thanks!!” to the anesthesiologist. I was a bit ridiculous with it because I was still so out of it. The best part was getting to see my hubby and knowing that the egg retrieval process was OVER.

The thing about egg retrieval is that after it happens you are on all kinds of meds. I keep thinking, man..I’m only 25 years old and I take more pills than my grandmother! At first, the medicine made me nauseous (prometrium, doxy, medrol, etc.) but after awhile my body adjusted and thank God I’ve been okay.
The next day I received a very exciting phone call. There were six embryos that had fertilized out of the ten. How exciting! Of course my worst fear was, what if none of them fertilize?! What then? We were told that our transfer would be on Sunday or Tuesday. This morning they called to tell me that I had SEVEN embryos that fertilized and that they all looked so good and were doing so well that they couldn’t pick the best one to transfer. They told me that I would be coming in on Tuesday instead.

It’s bittersweet because I really don’t want to wait anymore but at the same time, if coming in on Tuesday will increase my chance of a successful transfer and result in pregnancy than I’m game! I’m willing to do whatever it takes. We will find out if we are pregnant on September 28th. I am going to do everything in my power to resist the urge to take a pregnancy test. My deepest heart’s desire is that I will be blessed with a precious baby. I will take whatever God is willing to give me!

It’s especially difficult because this is the season in life where some of my friend’s are getting pregnant or are thinking about having another child. The hardest part about this is that some people know we are trying to get pregnant so they are nervous to tell us whether or not they’re pregnant. I don’t want the pity of people or my friends, which is why I am always so hesitant to tell people about what we are going through.

Plus, in all honesty..sometimes I just don’t want to talk about IVF with people who will not really understand what we are going through, as sympathetic as they may be to us. I feel like it’s too much to explain or sometimes it just hurts me to talk about it. I wish so badly that I could conceive naturally but this is the road that we have been given to take and we’ve embarked on this journey. I just pray that it will end soon. I’m so over the needles!!! That is the latest..feel free to leave a comment, question, etc. God Bless!

Injections begin..eek!

Haven’t blogged in awhile so I wanted to update. I’ve been taking Lupron for about a week now. My husband has been giving me the injections every morning in my belly. The night before my first shot I was super nervous. I could hardly sleep! This whole thing is entirely new to me. This is our first time going through IVF and so I was really not sure how we were going to handle giving me shots regularly. I am extremely squeamish so I can’t give the shots to myself (unless I absolutely I had to..) and my husband doesn’t like to see me in pain at all..so we were both nervous about the shots, needless to say. However, after about a week we have been adjusting to it. I haven’t experienced any major side effects except for being more tired than normal..and I attribute that mostly to my hypothyroidism.

I do have to say though, my husband is a gem. He sets his alarm, wakes up faithfully, prepared the needle downstairs, brings it to me upstairs so that after he gives the shot to me I can go right back to sleep, and then disposes of the needle. I’m just so grateful to have a supportive, loving, and selfless husband who has been with me every step of the way without a single complaint, worry, etc. He’s been one of my greatest sources of comfort, outside of God. I love him so much.

Tomorrow we go for another ultrasound and for more bloodwork. Tomorrow we will find out what’s next and possibly move on to some of the other medications. Believe it or not, one of my biggest concerns is that school starts next week and I’m really worried about the new meds and if they will interfere with my teaching at all. I’m also worried because I will have to miss a lot of school in the first month because of ultrasounds and bloodwork. Don’t get me wrong, I’m super excited to be on our way to a family! It’s just that as a teacher the first two weeks are so critical. The good thing was that I spoke to my principal about the whole matter, since I will be missing days in September and she was super understanding about the whole thing. In short…I need not worry!

Our Road to Fertility…our background.

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I decided to document our process in having a baby because there are probably a lot of people who are going through similar things. I like to write so I thought that this would be a nice outlet in sharing what we are going through.

Here we go.

My husband and I have married for three years. I am married to a wonderful man, who I love and adore…basically, my soulmate. We decided last year around May 2011, that we would stop taking birth control and “see what happens.” We had been homeowners for a year, we both were at great places in our careers, we felt like we had done our traveling and were ready to start a family. We thought we would get off the birth control, and within  couple of months, we would be pregnant. I didn’t track my ovulation or anything like that. It was just a let’s see what happens kind of thing. Our hope was that I would get pregnant during the summer. However, after months of trying, no pregnancy. I didn’t stress out or panic. I thought perhaps the timing was just off. However, come spring 2012..still no baby. I went to my gyno for the routine checkup and mentioned to her that I had been off of birth control since May and she was surprised that I hadn’t gotten pregnant yet. She recommended that I see a fertility specialist. I was surprised when she recommended that. I know it sounds silly, but in my mind I kept thinking..we probably just have our timing off. I probably really need to track everything to the T. However, she was the doctor and if she was recommending I see a specialist..then I was going to see a specialist.

Fast forward..my husband and I saw the fertility specialist and began a round of tests, ultrasounds, and basically the works! The doctor wanted to check every little thing so that he could see what the issue was. He explained that in order to have a baby, the conditions have to be just right, and if something is slightly off it becomes more difficult to become pregnant. He assured us that it wasn’t a matter of IF I could have a baby..he was sure I most likely could..he just wanted to see what could be standing in the way. Finally after what seemed to be forever, even though in reality, it was only about a month, our doctor was ready to meet with us to discuss all of his findings. I thought that we would go in, find out that everything was fine, and move on with our lives. However, it was the opposite. The tests revealed that everything with my husband was perfectly fine, on the other hand, one of my tubes looked blocked and it seemed like there were internal adhesions due to endometriosis. In addition, my ovulation process was weak. He gave me several options..I could start taking medicine to strengthen the ovulation process (which would not address the internal issues), have surgery to fix the internal problem, or start IVF..a last resort option. The problem with jumping straight to IVF would be that my insurance would be less likely to cover it if I didn’t try the other things first. Plus, to be honest, I did NOT was to go through that process until it was 100% necessary. I opted for the surgery, to be done in about one month. The plan was to unblock one of my tubes and then get rid of the endometriosis. Needless to say, I was actually looking FORWARD to the surgery. I figured that immediately after the surgery, within a month or so, we could start trying and voila..we would be pregnant! Boy, was that not the case.

A month later, my surgery was here! Last week I had my laproscopic surgery. I was really anxious and somewhat excited..weird I know, but I was happy that whatever problems I had were going to be fixed during laproscopic surgery. I would be good to go in no time. My surgery went as scheduled. When I finally came to in the recovery room, a nurse began to explain to me what happened. “There was a complication and the doctor was not able to do much of anything during the surgery. He was able to look inside, but when he saw what was going on inside of you, it required a specialist. He didn’t want to complete the surgery without the specialist because of what he found, so I’m sorry to say this but…you still have endometriosis. I’m sorry.”

When she said that to me, I started to cry. I was confused because she really didn’t go into detail about what the doctor found. Also, I was shocked. My doctor told me that he was prepared to fix whatever they encountered inside of me. Why then, did that not take place? The nurse wheeled me to another room where my mother and husband were waiting for me. When they saw me crying it upset them and they insisted that they explain what the doctor told them before I cry. My husband proceeded to tell me that when the doctor went inside of me they were shocked at what they found. One of my fallopian tubes was coiled around my ovary and the other was twisted around my bowel “like a piece of bacon wrapped around a shrimp.” Because of this unexpected turn of events, my doctor decided not to proceed in trying to untwist it because he did not want to compromise my ability to carry a baby. Also, to correct the problem would require extensive surgery and would possibly require specialists as well.His suggestion was that we jump to IVF and begin our family first, THEN start the surgeries to uncoil my tubes. He said that as long as I wasn’t experiencing any pain from them, then he would suggest beginning the process of invitro so that my husband and I could have our family. When I heard that news, I continued to sob. I simply was NOT expecting that news. I was completely shocked. Plus, it was scary. Who on earth wants to know that inside of their body they have their tubes wrapped around parts that they should NOT be wrapped around? Not me! I was too disheartened to really think about anything else. I was just super sad.

The whole way home from the hospital I just cried. I really wanted to have a baby naturally. I wanted it to just happen. Being a woman of faith though, I had to hold on to hope. I’m still holding on to hope. I serve a God of miracles. My husband called our close friends, family, and pastors to explained what happened. People offered me a lot of words of encouragement and were really there for us emotionally. Currently, we are reading lots of information on IVF and getting ready to meet with our doctor on Monday for our follow-up visit and next step meeting. Again, I’m nervous and hopeful at the same time.

My hopes are that our insurance will cover the IVF completely..or most of it…and we can begin the process speedily. This road is not going to be easy, but I know I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me. I will update on Monday..be blessed and please feel free to share some of your story..