Friday, December 21, 2012

Surprise!

My best friend was in town for the last couple nights.  Yesterday we went for manicures and then picked up Gavin and some friends to meet a few more friends out for dinner.  That's what we thought anyway.  We walked into the restaurant, and their was a way bigger group of people saying "surprise!"  An early shower for us!  Since my bestie won't be back again until the little one comes, she wanted to have something for us.  She got in touch with my closest friend here and they planned the get together.  We had no idea and they had been planning this since October.  The biggest surprise is that she cannot keep a secret.  I actually witnessed her tell 2 secrets the night before when we hung out, one to me and one to her mom.  My mom also knew and she can't keep a secret either.  I still can't believe they pulled it off.

The first people we both saw and made us realize what was going on was my brother, sister-in-law, and nephew.  They always call when they come to town, what are they doing here?  They rearranged their Christmas plans to be there and had to drive late into the night after that with their 1 1/2 year old.  They are the best and they're the main reason I cried.  Even little Howie said, "surprise."  We spent the night eating, talking, and laughing; a perfect evening.  As I opened presents, I couldn't help thinking and even said it, "I didn't know if I would ever have a baby shower."  Maybe they had one in case the world ended.  We got lots of fun things for this little one who is obviously already spoiled.

The reason the night meant so much to us is the fact that people didn't just come because it was a shower, they came because they know the time and hardship it took to get to this and they've cared all along.  We couldn't have stayed so strong without good friends and family supporting us and last night was a reminder of how blessed we always have been.  It wasn't just a celebration of our little one, it was a celebration of friends and family, our support system.  I will never forget it.

Thank you so much - Kacee, Anna, Kyle, Brock, Tasha, Sam, Chris, Aaron, Kelly, Angie, Jake, Doug, Cindy, Brock, Robin, Howie, Mike, Tara, Marsha.

P.S.  As a gift we got something called butt paste and Gav thought it was a gag gift, not a real thing.  Ha!             

Sunday, December 16, 2012

16 Weeks

Today we are 16 weeks and ready for a growth spurt!  Here are the updates.

Little One is now the size of an avocado and weighs about 3 1/2 ounces.  Hair and toenails are starting to grow and the little heart is pumping about 25 quarts of blood each day.

Momma is feeling so much better after hearing the heartbeat again last Friday and happy that this is when I'm supposed to be feeling so good.  Maybe even glowing!  Now, I am anxiously waiting for the next step, feeling movement.  Friends tell me that I've probably felt it, but don't know it's the baby yet.  I am slowly wearing a few favorite tops and pants for the last time in awhile.

Daddy is jealous of the hair our little one is starting to grow!  He is excited for our next ultrasound when little one will look more baby-like and is trying to convince me that we should find out if little one is a boy or girl.  So far, he has me convinced to put the info in an envelope and deciding what to do later.  


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Secret's Out and a Naughty Baby

Those years we spent waiting and trying for a baby, I always thought up these fun ways to tell everyone we were expecting.  Then, when it really happened, beside close family and friends, I just wanted to keep it to myself as long as I could.  Partly because I was worried, but partly just to hold on to the time that it was just between us and those closest to us.  I would have waited until 2013 if I could have.

The only people left to tell lately are the people I work with and friends we don't see often.  I thought I had been doing a pretty good job of hiding things at work still and was going to wait until this coming Monday, get one more doctor appointment in.  Then last Monday, someone from another school was visiting my classroom to train my paraprofessionals on something.  I was talking with her and my para, who has worked with me all 7 years, and she says, "How much time are you taking off?  When are you due?"  I barely know her, how would she know?  I said I wasn't really telling people yet, but June 2nd.  Then she said, "Everyone must know, look at your little bump."  My para then, told me that they've been watching my belly grow for awhile and just waiting for me to say something.  So word is out at work.  

Then, I had book club this week and I wanted to tell, but was still nervous.  I couldn't take it anymore and said it.  Apparently, my boobs and the fact that I always have a glass of wine at book club gave it away there!    

Yesterday, we had another doctor appointment and turns out, it's okay to let everyone know our news!   Here's the updates from our appointment.
  • I got my flu shot.
  • Doctor set up monthly labs to check my thyroid.
  • Doctor will check the length of my cervix at the next appointment because of a procedure I had done in 2006 for an abnormal pap.  She's not worried, but wants to get some good measurements.
  • I told her that I'm worried because nothing seems to be going on now that I'm not gagging anymore.  
  • She looked for the heartbeat and it took awhile to find.  Little one was really moving a lot she said.  It was like she had to chase him/her around my belly to find.  She said she knew something's in there because she could hear the movement and "stay still you're worrying your mother!"  Then, there it was, little one's nice strong heartbeat, in the 150's.  Beautiful sound, and I had a few tears of relief.  
  • Next ultrasound is scheduled for New Year's Eve and doctor appt. on Jan. 2.  I have until the 31st to convince Gavin that we shouldn't find out what we're having!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Lemon Drops

This story is a little old, but I had to wait for my sister's news was out to tell the full story.

Growing up, my grandma always had lemon drops; in her purse, on the kitchen counter, in the camper, everywhere.  She always a treat for the grand-kids or whoever she was with.  I probably had one every time I saw her growing up.

Fast forward to about 20 some years later while my sister and I are both in the sickness stage of our pregnancies.  I had a friend tell me to keep sour or hard candies on me for when I felt sick and my sister had seen this tip on-line.  Separately, we went shopping for hard candies to carry with us.  Of course, we both pick up lemon drops, thinking of our grandma.  We talked about it that week of the purchases and laughed and cried about how we thought of her and what she would think about these three little babies.

Around 8 or 9 weeks pregnant, I was driving home from school and couldn't stop dry heaving.  With tears in my eyes because I didn't know if I should pull over and if I could make it home, I dug in my purse for a lemon drop.  Found one, it helped, and I made it home.  How I wished I could have called Grandma Mabel to tell her how I was saved by a lemon drop.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Saying it Out Loud

Besides our closest friends and family, I still am not telling many people about our pregnancy.  Most of those people found out on here, so I haven't actually said it very many times.  It still doesn't seem real.  I've only told a couple people at work, the people who knew our plan and asked.  If they hadn't asked, I wouldn't have said anything.

Last night was my last session of my bible study.  It's always the best night because there are treats, wine (I had apple cider), we find out who prayer partners are, there are special gifts handed out.  I wanted more than anything to share our praise report.  First I would have warned them that I could cry because it's an overwhelming blessing.  I wanted to share with the ladies that I started coming to bible study a couple years ago when I was struggling with understanding God's plan for us and dealing with loss.  I wanted to tell them that even though it felt too personal to share prayer requests, I always felt they were praying for me.  I wanted to thank them for that.  I wanted to announce that after a 5 year struggle with infertility, my husband and I are expecting our first baby.  But, I didn't say any of that because I am still scared that it would be that many more people to tell if something goes wrong.  Maybe I'll be braver when we start the next study in February.

I am stuck in this in-between stage of not feeling sick and not feeling movement yet and it's a scary place to be.  Our next appointment can't come soon enough to ease my worries.  That is next Friday and then I will let people at school know the following Monday.  It's getting harder and harder to hide it.  I wear a lot of the same things over and over and feel like everyone is staring at my stomach when I walk by.  My kids this year aren't very observant!

Here are a couple updates for 14 weeks and 2 days:  Little one is the size of a lemon and can squint, frown, pee, and maybe suck his/her thumb.  Momma is feeling too good, as a I stated above.  I've had some heartburn, so I'm hoping that is just a little sign that things are ok.  I've had a lot of extra time this past week now that I wasn't getting a shot, taking pills and doing "inserts" 3 times a day.  I've used all that time to start knitting a baby blanket.  I also made my first purchases of maternity clothes on cyber Monday.  Daddy said he's putting his foot down after Christmas shopping is done with the budget.  Gotta start saving for the little one!  I'd be so broke without him.

Thanks for checking in!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

13 Weeks

Today marks the start of 13 weeks!  Almost out of the first trimester.  Here are the updates.

Little one:  Fingerprints have formed on baby's little fingers and veins and organs are visible through the still thin skin.  The body is growing and catching up to the oversized head and is the size of a medium shrimp, about 3 inches long.  If it's a girl, she would have 2 million eggs in her ovaries by now, I hope they are good eggs!

Momma:  The biggest news is that meds are all done.  I took the 4 alarms off my phone and today just took my vitamin like a regular pregnant gal.  Such a relief to be done.  I've been feeling great and my bump is getting to be less bloat and more firm.  I'm up about 6 pounds since starting meds in August.  Friday night we went out to hang out with some of my classmates back home.  Just as I was taking my coat off, someone said, "you're already showing?"  To which I quickly replied that it's because of the medications I've had to take.  Then someone said, "it's mostly your boobs."  Then someone else said, "yeah your  boobs are bigger."   These are male classmates, but we've been friends since childhood so it's totally normal, I think.  Gavin and I had just talked about the poor placement of a pocket on that sweater before we left, should have changed!

Daddy:  Not much news for daddy.  We bought a few more hockey team items on Friday, a little hat and onesie.  Then, on our way home from the bar that night after a few drinks, he said we should have gotten the little booties we saw too.  He'd never seen anything so small.  Pretty cute!  He also read in his book that mom's can do pretty much the same level of exercise that they were doing before pregnancy.  Whatever daddy, we'll see if I'm up to it this week!

13 weeks!  Do you think I can still keep it a secret at work?

Loading up the last shot.  Then, we went out to eat to celebrate!

Triplets


Are you making guesses?  It is impossible for our little one to split and divide into triplets at this point, so it's not us.  No, we're not getting another dog.   

By triplets, I mean cousin triplets!  My sister is expecting twins!  She is due 6 days after us, of course twins come early.  Do you remember the day after our transfer when we went to lunch with my sister and brother-in-law at a place called Lucky's, hoping to bring luck for implantation?  We weren't the only ones hoping to be lucky that day, my sister had an IUI that day.  I know, 2 of us in one family, it's not fair.  

We then spent the next 2 weeks waiting together.  The day we had our blood-work and were at my parents, I told my sister, "it worked."  She said. "so did ours."    It was a wonderful moment and I will never forget it.  At the beginning of the summer, my sister and I had gone to lunch and she told me they were going to see a fertility doctor.  I didn't want to hear that my little sister was starting to go through this too, but I tried to be helpful and optimistic for her.  At this point we were in the works of getting our egg donor.  That day she also told me that a few weeks ago she had a dream that we were pregnant together.  I hoped that dream would come true more that anything.  

Then, there we were in September a few days before our transfer and my sister realizes the IUI they have planned is going to be the day after our transfer.  You never know the exact day of those until a few days before.  She offered to cancel, they weren't in $25, 000, but I didn't want that, this was meant to be.    

My sister and I have cousins close in age to us and have many great memories growing up with them.  More sleepovers than we could count.  Cousins are usually your first friends as kids.  I couldn't be happier that these cousins will be so close in age.  Especially beings our little one most likely won't have siblings.  I can't imagine my life without my brother and sister, and I want our little one to have the next best thing.  Now you know another reason why I am extra thankful this holiday season.  I don't know that in infertility time there is a difference between 6 months, 5 years, or 10 years; they are all hard.  I'm so glad that my little sister didn't have to deal with another minute of the hardship though.  I'm so happy that we are going through our pregnancies together and then parenting.  

As my dad said many times this weekend, next year is going to be pretty wild! 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Extra Thankful this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday, one of the two at least.  As kids we would take an extra day of school off and take turns traveling to see family we usually only saw twice a year.  One year a 9 hour road trip to see my aunt and cousin and the next year 10 hours the other direction to see my aunt, uncle, and cousins.  Then, our college years and since we've usually come home to see other family that live near my parents.

Even two years ago when my grandma was in the hospital over thanksgiving, we were sad, but we were all together and memories were still made.  That is a thanksgiving I will never forget.  Gavin had seen my sister and I in a very vulnerable spot, crying and asking God to make her well and begging my grandma to be strong and come back to us.  That night (I know grandma had a part of this) Gavin and I had a night that brought us closer than any other night I can remember.  We laughed, cried, and talked until the morning about everything, including things we'd never said about our miscarriage that summer.  I was so thankful to be married to him.

Now, let's take a moment to remember last Thanksgiving, can't forget that one.  We had decided to do meds and an IUI that cycle.  I had an ultrasound that Tuesday and my follicles were ready to go, but this would mean an IUI on thanksgiving day which the clinic didn't do.  So this left us triggering Tuesday night and the doctor recommending timed intercourse (10 am) on Thanksgiving day.  We were upset, but didn't have a choice and at least the meds were cheap.  We decided to make the best of it and hope to have a funny story someday.  So, there we were at my sister's house Thanksgiving morning.  I had my mom and sister keeping guard in the kitchen while they were cooking.  They were all business beings we had doctor's orders!  Unfortunately, we had a BFN (big fat negative).  This was our last IUI before seriously deciding to go all in and talk to our doctor about using an egg donor.

What a difference a year makes.  This year we have so much to be thankful for.  I've been waiting years for a Thanksgiving like yesterday.  I got to tell my grandpa that we were expecting, actually I got to tell him several times because he has dementia.  Each time, he was so happy and just wanted to be sure that we would let him know and send a picture.  I got a few phone calls from people back home who are so excited and happy for us.

Me and Grandpa

We also celebrated Christmas  beings my parents will be gone then.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mine

I started grieving my eggs back in the spring of 2010 so I was completely ready by the time we made the decision last winter to go ahead with an egg donor.  This summer we had to talk with the social worker from our clinic to make sure we weren't crazy and knew what we were getting to.  At the time we were frustrated in the waste of time and of course that phone call wasn't free or covered by insurance.  Lately I've been thinking about some of the things she said.  I knew I was ready and committed to finding and going ahead with an egg donor, but I did wonder how I would feel if it worked or when the baby came, even feared that I would always feel a little less connected.  She reassured me that the donor is only giving tissue that could be nothing without me or Gavin and said that the baby would always be a part of me too.  I feel like all summer I thought about our donor and as soon as I was in stirrups and the embryos were in me, they were mine.  I mean ours, of course!  I even started to forget about our donor until at our last appointment, when I had to bring the paperwork or her medical history.   It just seemed like information though, but my baby.  I will always remember the sacrifices that "Donna" made and the blessing she has given us, but baby will only be ours.

Now to totally switch gears, just a couple side notes about getting to 12 weeks.  I don't feel like doing a separate post.  I called the clinic to make sure I didn't need any more blood work done before stopping meds on the 24th.  I also wanted to be sure if that meant Friday or Saturday would be my last day, hoping Friday.  It's Saturday and I don't need any tests run before stopping.  I feel like we should have a party after that last shot Saturday night.  They also said to send pictures next summer, they are done with me!  My parents had a potluck at their church yesterday and now that my dad has the go ahead to tell people, I can about imagine the announcement made before the meal.  I hope my belly gets bigger before I'm home for Thanksgiving because he's so excited and I want to have something to show him.  We got our first bill that was completely paid for by insurance.  Now that I'm just a regular pregnant patient that's how it will be.  This is a new and exciting experience for us.  

Have a great Thanksgiving!  I will be posting something exciting after the holiday, but want to wait to post with a picture.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

11 Weeks

Today we begin our 11th week.  Here are the updates!

Baby:  According to the pregnancy app on my phone, baby is about the size of a fig (just over 1 1/2 inches long.  His or her bones are beginning to harden and hands will soon open and close into fists and he or she is already busy kicking and stretching.  Can't wait to feel that in a few months!  Still working on a little nickname for baby while on the inside.

Momma:  My gagging and dry-heaving stopped just before 10 weeks.  Now, I'm just gagging if I get a whiff of a gross or strong smell.  This morning I woke up with some red blotches on my face that I thought were from crying last night, I'm a little emotional.  However, my mom and Gav's mom informed me that I can expect changes to my skin, hair, nails, etc. from the hormones.  I'm still counting down the days for the meds to be done, but other than that, I can't complain.  Here is our first bump pic!  Let's keep in mind the meds I've been on since the beginning of August before saying things like, "Do most gals have a belly at 11 weeks?"  Also, don't worry, I'm getting a haircut this week.



Daddy:  Cool and calm, still not getting too excited, just in case.  He's keeping an eye out for houses and figuring the numbers, but the area we are looking in is very limited.  Big daddy thinks a good "nick"name for the baby while on the inside would be Nick.  He's hoping for a boy if you didn't know!  Today he was reading a few pages from his expectant father book, pretty cute.  Hopefully there was a chapter about dealing with your crying wife.

Thanks for checking in!  Pretty excited to start some weekly posts, I wasn't sure if I'd ever have the chance.  We are so blessed!

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Rainbow

I'm really going to sound like a country girl with this post, but whatever; it's my blog.

Sometimes I like to listen to one of our radio stations that only plays old country music.  I love the way a song can trigger a memory and old country songs trigger memories for me.  My dad still only listens to the old stuff.  He doesn't like any of "that new shit."  A few weeks ago, I was driving home from my part time job listening to that station and heard a song that didn't trigger a memory, but instead gave me hopes of a new memory.  It went something like: "If we're ever gonna see a rainbow, we've gotta stand a little rain."  The song made me think of the rain we've stood in these last 5 years, even a few storms, but I hoped that we would soon see a rainbow.

Today, we got our third look at the babe at our appt.  I finally get to show you because they printed a picture for us this time.  Introducing our rainbow!

10 weeks 1 day
The picture isn't great because it was taken in the doctor's office so I don't think the equipment is as good.  This was our first appointment with an OB.  First he tried to listen to the heartbeat with the doppler, but no luck.  Which was fine, he said that might happen because the baby is so small.  Then, he tried ultrasound on my belly.  Still nothing, and I was getting a little nervous.  So he had to go in with the wand, and then we could see everything is fine.  Turns out my uterus is tilted back and makes everything hard to see or hear still.  I'm starting to wonder if any of my insides are normal.  He also didn't see that clot so hopefully it has disappeared.  I thought I had my countdown for the end of my shots to 14, but found out they go until the end of 12 weeks.  Dang it will be a few more, but I will rally through for the babe.  The rest of the appointment was fine.  Everything is right on track and we'll go back in 4 weeks.

Speaking of old country songs, I should get going.  I think I can hear my husband singing, "lay you down and softly whisper pretty love words in your ear."  Just kidding, but pelvic restrictions have been lifted!  

Friday, October 26, 2012

2nd Ultrasound

We just got home from another look at the baby.  Yes, I said baby.  There is for sure only 1 baby, the other gestational sac has been absorbed by my body.  Sad, but so thankful for the one we are blessed with.  Everything looks good.  Heart rate was 176 and measuring 8 weeks 6 days, so growing right on track.  The clot that they found a few weeks ago is still there, but a little smaller.  I had gotten a letter last week that it was 3.7cm at the longest point.  Today it was still over 3 cm, but they don't seem to be worried.  After the ultrasound, we went upstairs to meet with a doctor, but somehow my appointment got messed up so someone is going to call me tonight instead.  I was a little bummed by that because I had a few questions to ask.  I mostly want to find out if I can stop any of the meds.  The shots, suppositories, and pills are getting old.  I have 5 alarms on my phone to remember when to take everything.

I came down with a fever last night.  It broke during the night, but was back this morning.  We were supposed to go to a hockey game tonight, but I'll stay home and rest instead.  Gav lectured me about getting more sleep.

Thanks for checking in!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Special Delivery

Last night when I got home from a long day, I was looking at the mail and saw something from the insurance company that looked like a check.  I had gotten a check last week for about 30 bucks, so I was expecting something like that.  We've hit the deductible and now that we are pregnant things will actually be covered so I think that was the $30.  Opened up a check for $2500!  Yeah!  Of course we just paid another bill we weren't expecting for twice that, but every bit to build our savings back up helps.  I also had a package from my mom, preggie pops!  Suckers to help with the sickness that they sell at her work.  Thanks mom!  Should have packed one in my purse today, because I was dry-heaving the whole way home from work.

Tomorrow is our ultrasound and appointment with a doctor.  Praying everything still looks good.  I will post tomorrow.

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Best Friend

Just what will a best friend do for you?  Mine will give me an injection in the ass!  

Last week I had a couple days off from school and my best friend from Denver was visiting her family just 3 hours away.  So, I was planning to go visit for a night, but wait.... who will do my shot if I stay over night?  No one is nurse that I know there.  So, I sent her a text and she said to still come; she could do it.  I went to spend the day and a night with her, her little boy, and her mom (my second mom).  We spent the day catching up and eating, only thing missing was wine, for me anyway.  As shot time approached, I got out the stuff and found video directions on-line.  She drew a butt crack on an orange and practiced with an extra syringe that I brought.  When I showed her the bruises on my backside, she asked for a few more minutes to prepare (scared her a little).  She did it and I didn't feel a thing!  I can't think of much we haven't been through over the years.  Thanks friend!


Practice makes perfect!
A little liquid courage, and we're ready to go!

P.S.  Bible study tonight was pretty much just for me.  Beth.Moore may as well have been talking just to me and saying my name all night.  It was all about the relationship of anguish and joy.  I will leave you with the last line she ended class with.  "Anguish is meant to lead to a birth."  Coming from John 16:20-22.  The anguish we have felt for 5 years, please Lord, lead us to a birth in early June!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pen or Pencil

Yesterday I went to our storage unit to find a pregnancy journal my friend had given me when we found out we were pregnant 2 years ago.  This pregnancy was a shock because we got pregnant on our own.  Unfortunately, it ended in an early miscarriage.  For two weeks I knew I was pregnant, but I only filled out 4 questions in the pregnancy journal, in pencil.  I think I was that scared something would happen, that I didn't want to start too much.

Now what should I do?  Should I erase those 4 answers about how we found out and felt during that short miracle of a pregnancy?  Should I leave them and write my new answers next to those memories?  Should I just wait and try to remember everything later when things are farther along?  Should I use pen or pencil this time?

Friday, October 12, 2012

A Scare

Yesterday, we were one week away from our first ultrasound, just patiently waiting.  Things changed quickly though.  I went to the bathroom around 11:30 to find blood.  Not just spotting, it seemed like a lot and was bright red.  Close to tears, I called and left a message with the IVF nurse in town and then left a message with the same clinic, hoping to get any nurse to call me.  Then I called Gavin, this time not just close to tears.  He got me to settle down and I went back to my classroom waiting for someone to call me back.  A nurse called me before noon and tried to reassure me that it could be a lot of different things, and maybe not bad news.  They couldn't move my ultrasound up without getting orders from my doctor who did the IVF.  So, I called and left a message with them and they called back fast saying that they would try to get my ultrasound moved up to Friday or Monday.  I made 2 more trips to the bathroom, finding more blood on the first of those trips.  I had to go to a meeting and pretend to concentrate.  I did consider leaving school, but knew I would just go home and cry so decided it would be best to try and stay distracted.  One of the para's from my room came to get me out of that meeting.  I thought maybe one of the kids was up to something, but it was the IVF coordinator in town saying I could come in for an ultrasound at 3:00.  I went back to the meeting to stare at my papers for another 20 minutes and then headed to the clinic.

I spent the drive praying and asking God what the plan was, fearing that this was the end.  Gav met me there and we had to wait 30 minutes, more time to think and see pregnant ladies in the waiting room.  I was expecting the ultrasound tech (also pregnant, like a mean joke) to turn the screen away and send us upstairs after she took a look.  She turned the screen and quickly said, "there's a heartbeat, right there that little fluttering."  There were tears of joy and relief.  She continued to look around for a long time.  I said they had put 2 in and asked if she saw another.  She only saw a gestational sac and it was empty.  This makes us sad, but so grateful for that 1 heartbeat.  It was measuring 6 weeks 3 days and heart rate was 122, which is good.  She also found a hemmorage that is causing the bleeding.  They think this will work itself out, but I can expect more bleeding as that happens.

We went upstairs to meet with the nurse who said to keep my meds the same, take it easy, and really push fluids.  I'm really bad about drinking water, but doing better today.  They also extended our pelvic rest orders, meaning still no "sexy time."  

We know we aren't out of the woods yet, but reassured by that fluttering.  I didn't know if I would ever see that.  We are so thankful and love this little baby so much.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Your Men

Last night we went to a birthday party for a good friend.  As we were getting ready, Gav asked if I really wanted to go.  It was at a bar and he was thinking everyone would be asking me why I wasn't drinking.  I didn't want to sit at home and so he decided he would just say he didn't know and to go ask me if anyone asked him. Thanks, but I said, I would think of something.  The party was great, got to see a lot of friends who we haven't seen much since school has started.  Turned out that most of the gals there read the blog and none of the men were going to ask, and we found out later that most of them knew too.  

My brother got to town around 10 and joined us at the bar.  We left around 11 to come home.  He has a big day of tailgating today and I was getting tired.  Plus, my friends were going to start getting drunk and annoying!  Gavin stayed to party longer.

Gav got home after bar close and just like every time I come home early and he stays out, he woke me up to chat.  He said that he felt like the party was for him instead of a birthday party, like he was just at his IVF success party.  The birthday boy is one of his best friends and wouldn't mind this comment, he's pretty excited for us too.  Turns out that while the wives and I were chatting, I assumed the husbands were talking about football, baseball, and hockey; they were really talking about our IVF and blog along with the sports stuff.  Gav said that they said the nicest things to him and how everyone is so happy for us.  I guess a couple guys were quite emotional even and Gav couldn't believe how genuine they were with the things they said.  Then, he said that it's all because of the blog.

Here is what I thought Gavin thought about the blog:  He's thinks it's good for me.  He is glad I have an outlet to write about what we're going through.  He looks at it every couple posts.  He knows that I like to update it.  He wishes I put a link to our bank account for donations.

My husband sometimes doesn't know what he's got until someone points it out.  Like when we go to visit his grandpa and he tells Gavin how his wife is good looking and wonders how he got so lucky.  He has dementia so tells him every time we see him too!  Anyway, last night the men (your men) were telling Gavin how much their wives love the blog.  They see them reading it and crying or laughing and then their wives bring the computers over so they can read it or have to read it.  And I may have made a few of the men tear up too.  Here I thought it was just my aunts crying!  Who knew that stories about needles, stirrups, and mood swings would bring friends closer, even the fellas?  I thought they would roll their eyes with the blog coming there way.   After a few comments from his friends, he realized his true feelings about the blog because at 2 this morning he was rubbing my back and told me

Here is what Gavin thinks about the blog:   the blog is "amazing."  I'm so good at writing and our friends love it.  He's proud of me for being so open and sharing our story.

So, at 2:30 when he had passed out and I couldn't fall back asleep, I was thanking God for the wonderful friends in our lives.  I knew the support I've been getting from the ladies in my life, but now I know the support Gavin got from the men, and he needs it just as much as I do.  Thanks guys!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Girls & 2nd Beta

Sorry I didn't post sooner.  This work week has me pretty tired in the evenings.  We had our second beta (pregnancy test) on Monday.  I went in before school for bloodwork and planned to call the message system for results when we got home from work that night.  Plans changed...

Sunday evening I was checking out the girls because they're tender and changing a little.  As I'm doing this, I notice a lump.  Of course I immediately think of guilianna from E news who found out she had breast cancer during IVF.  I have my mother-in-law, the PA, check it out for me too (another perk of living here!).  She said I should have it checked just in case.

So, after my bloodwork on my drive to school, I called to see if I could get in to have a breast exam.  They got back to me right away and said I could get in at 11:00.  So, I had to leave school again, my poor kids and staff, I'm not sure if they like me very much lately.  I got over there and the doctor asked why I was in and checked the computer seeing that I had just told the nurse I had felt a lump and that I was pregnant.  I said, "well I was on Friday.  We just did IVF and I had my 2nd beta this morning, but I'm not sure how the numbers are yet."  He right away said he could look it up for me, it would be in the computer.  I wanted to scream, NOOOOOOO!  This is something I'd like to check in the privacy of my car or home in case it's not good news.  There was no stopping him, he already had it open.

Second beta was 5479 which is a nice rise and on track!  He checked out the lump and said it's nothing to worry about and I should concentrate on my pregnancy.  I will have it looked at again in about a month.

I ran to my car to listen to the message and same news.  They were happy in the rise in numbers and said we could schedule an ultrasound in 2-3 weeks.  What?  Excuse me, I thought they would be checking me before that, a few times.  I guess I'm not there first patient so I should trust them, but we hate to be waiting again.  I will continue all my same meds and patiently await our ultrasound.

Keep the prayers coming.  One more step closer, but a long ways to go.  Thanks and love you all!  

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Beautiful Weekend With Family

This weekend, we headed to my parents' farm.  My dad claims they are "getting too old" to do the tree trimming.  I think he just wanted to get us all home for a weekend now that harvest is over.  Well,  he got us all home and it was a beautiful weekend.  Here's how if all went.  It's a great story, a little long, but you'll like it!

We decided to take Friday off because it was our first blood draw to see if our DE (donor egg)  IVF worked.  Did you like how I just snuck that info in there.  By Wednesday, anxiety was pretty high and we knew we couldn't wait until after work to get the news and we didn't want to get the news at work either.  So, I had my bloodwork at 7:30 and then we just got ready and packed in the morning, very nervous for the phone call.  Then we headed for the farm.  We stopped at our college hockey team's store to shop on the way and grab some lunch.  Still no call and it was 1:00.  I know they aren't open all day on Friday so I was starting to think they left a message on their voicemail system.  Gav said he would listen to it.  I set him up and I think he got cut off twice and pushed the wrong buttons twice, making the suspense build even more.  Finally, he got through and I watched him listening, and then came the fist pump and "we're pregnant, it worked"  I cried and took a turn to listen for myself and then we put it on speaker.  He called his dad and I sent a text to a friend, but wanted to tell my family in person.

We got to the farm and no one was home, but we drove the rhino to where my dad was working, or watching the john.deere guy work.  I didn't want to say anything then in front of the mechanic.  After awhile, I went home and Gav gave my dad a ride to a tractor or something.  By then my mom was home and asked right away.  Her response was "I knew it!"  When my dad got home we told him and of course he made a joke that he thought I'd put on some weight.  You probably have to know my dad to think this is funny.  Then, my brother, sister-in-law, and nephew arrived and my dad said something about Howie being his oldest grandson, and my sister-in-law was in tears, then I was, then my dad was.  It was a great moment and lots of hugs.  My sister and brother-in-law arrived late that night and I told her the next morning.   Saturday brought a long walk, yard work, out to eat, and lots of laughs.

It is very early obviously and Friday is just one of the many hurdles ahead, but we enjoyed celebrating the good news while we could.  Our hcg number on Friday was 1791 which the nurse said, "is a good, strong number, but too early to tell if 1 or 2 worked."  I will go in again for bloodwork tomorrow morning and hopefully my numbers continue to go up.  Doctor wants me to continue all the meds for now too.

Here are a few pics from the weekend!

Gav calling his dad! Found out later he cried like a baby.  Probably because he's hoping we move out! 
Me and Benson doing yard work.  Actually, I just stood around or drove the toolcat.  Gav saw me holding a rake once and yelled across the yard, "PUT IT DOWN, DON'T DO ANYTHING!"

Grandma and Howie in the tractor

Grandpa, Robin (sister-in-law), and Howie going for a tractor ride

Gavin and his brother-in-laws (sister's husband Matt & my brother Brock)

Saki

Saki

Saki

Saki

My mom getting her first saki!
I didn't miss getting a saki shot!  Continue to pray that that things keep going this way and I will hopefully have more good news tomorrow night.  If you know me in real life, let's keep this info to the blog followers only!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Our Final 4 and 5 years

Hello!  Sorry it's been awhile.  Combination of being busy and unsure of what to post.  We are over a week in to this waiting game that is not fun, but we're dealing as best we can.

Here is the scoop on our final 4 embryos that we were waiting to here about freezing.  The day of our transfer, the embryologist said there were 4 embryos to let be for 1 more day to find out if they met qualifications for freezing.  I knew I could find out about them that Saturday after the transfer, but just forgot to call the message system.  Then, last Wednesday on my way to school I remembered them and emailed Gav to remind him.  He said, "check it and let me know."  I don't know what I was thinking calling during the school day.  Anyway, I called and found out that none of the embryos continued to grow and did not meet qualifications to freeze.  In other words, they all died and we have nothing left.  I was crushed.  We weren't expecting this at all.  It never entered our mind that we wouldn't have anything left.  Those little guys were our back-up plan, they were little brothers and sisters for a few years later.  We'd been preparing that this cycle may not work, but we never thought that we'd have nothing to freeze and we weren't prepared for this.  It may sound weird, but I was attached to them already, they were ours, and then suddenly they were gone and I felt like I had nothing.  I was in shock for awhile and then had to say it aloud so I told my friend that I teach with.  She was great and let me cry and gave me the hugs I needed and reminded me of the 2 I have inside and I can't lose hope for them.  There were a lot more tears that day and night, but we were feeling better by the next day.

In other news, we celebrated our 5 year anniversary on Saturday.  My brother, sister-in-law, and nephew were in town for our college football game.  We all went up to tailgating, which was fun even though I was drinking hot tea.  The evening didn't go as planned, and if you know my husband you can guess why with tailgating involved that day.  I don't need to go into details on here in case he checks this again.  I can tell you some other time!  I did get some quality time with my cute nephew Howie though.  Anyway, we went to lunch on Sunday to celebrate instead.  I know he loves me and that's all that matters!  Plus, we've got a lot on our minds, I would have loved to be him on Saturday and just forget about it all, but I had to drink tea. 

We are continuing to wait and stay as hopeful as we can.  Gav has been doing a lot of "researching" which I wish he wasn't doing, but I've been staying away.  We just want the waiting to be over.  Thanks again for all your prayers.               

 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Few More Things

Man, I just couldn't stay away for long!  A couple things came up that I wanted to document and remember, and let you know about.


  • My sister was in town yesterday and we went to lunch at a place called Lucky's, for good luck!
  • Yesterday, I spent most of the day relaxing on the deck because it was a beautiful day and the perfect way to follow doctor's orders.  My sister-in-law and brother-in-law stopped by the house.  They know what our plans are, but don't know about the blog or when we were planning to do anything.  My sister-in-law says, "Have you had your procedure?"  I told her we did the day before.  She asked because she had a dream I was pregnant last week! 
  • This morning at church part of the sermon was about someone in the bible (missed the name, I was a little in and out - I have a lot on my mind, people so don't judge).  Anyway, he had prayed for 10 days waiting for an answer from God.  Father asked, "How many of us have the patience to pray and wait for 10 days for God's plan?  Lord, give that patience. 
  • Later in the sermon, it was a long one, Father was talking about the importance of teaching our children to pray and praying with them.  Yesterday, a friend sent me a text that her little guy, who is 2, has been saying a prayer for us.  He prays for "Sarah and her babies."  Isn't that the cutest thing?  And so great that they pray as a family.
  • Then, they played 2 of my favorite church songs, 1 that they played at my Grandma's funeral. Really made me miss her and think how she would have loved this blog.  I can hear her laughing at us at the rest stop story.  
  • And, yes I was crying in church, but just a few tears though.   I wasn't a wreck or anything!
Thanks for checking back!  Always - Sarah

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Transfer Day & Thank You

Yesterday was our IVF transfer with our donor eggs.  We arrived to the clinic at 7:45 to check in.  I took my ibuprofen there and the embryologist went over the how the embryos were doing with us.  Donna had 11 eggs, 9 of those were mature enough to fertilize, 8 fertilized, 2 didn't make it to 5 days, leaving us with 6.  Two of those made it to 5-day blastocysts, and 4 were still growing and can hopefully be frozen today.  They recommended transferring the 2 blastocysts (graded 3BB and 5BB) as long as we understood the chances for twins.  They were very clear that there is a no return policy!  I cried when she was going over everything with us.  That's the moment when things were feeling very real, our babies.  I dressed and got ready and waited a bit for the doctor.  He went over the process and said they are beautiful embryos, and I got into position.  He first looked and took measurements of my uterus and lining.  Lining was thick and I have a 3 stripe pattern that they look for and said that the meds are working.  He asked Gav if he's been giving the meds and we told him the story about the rest stop the night before.  He hadn't heard that one before!  Then, he puts in the cathedar and waits for the embryologist to bring in the babies in.  They waited until cramping was gone for me, and in they went!  Everything went smoothly.  I cried again and the doctor said he is optimistic, but we need to keep our guard up.  He is so honest and understanding of what we've been through.  That's what I like about him, he acknowledges that it hasn't been easy making the decisions to bring us to this and he says it.

We went back to our hotel and laid around and rested for awhile.  Instructions are to take it easy for 2 days.  Then, we went to meet my bff for lunch because she happened to be in town for a wedding.  Gavin realized on our way to lunch that he lost his wallet.  We're hoping that is our bad luck for the trip.  After lunch we headed for home and got back around 6:30.  Cramping was gone around 7:00, but was feeling tired and rested for awhile.  We went to our friends' who live right behind us for a bonfire last night.  I came home after about an hour, Gavin stayed late as he hasn't been able to party for awhile!

So that was our day.  Now, it's the hard part, waiting.   When we did IVF in 2010 on our own, I was a wreck.  We try to forget about that time.  For example, I remember crying on New Year's because I couldn't find anything to wear.  By crying I don't just mean a few tears, I was a wreck, we barely made it out.  I'm hoping this time will be different.  Other things in life are so hopefully that helps.  The last time was around the holidays, we were keeping it a secret, I was younger, it was rushed, etc.  It doesn't help that I'm all jacked up on hormones though.

I think I will take a break from the blog during this time, unless I have something else non-fertility to share.

Now, for thanking all of you, my family and closest friends, and maybe a few readers I don't know.  I had no idea when I started this blog and being more open about our plans, how much support and love it would bring our way.  Thank you for the text messages, phone calls, emails, cards, "coded" facebook messages, gift cards, inspirational gifts, trips for ice cream, wine nights on the deck, and prayers.  It's getting us through and we know however things turn out, you will all still be here to get us through again.  We do feel a part of our life is missing without children; but we do know how blessed we are.  THANK YOU!

Always, Sarah

Thursday, September 13, 2012

We're Here!

We just got to our hotel.  We both worked full days, packed up, and were on the road.  Of course I still needed my shot at 7:00 so we stopped about half way at a rest stop.  I ran in to use the bathroom while Gav finished getting our hotel for tonight.  Then, he ran in while I got my shot ready.  He gets to the car and it goes something like this:

I kneel on the front seat and get my pants down a bit (shot goes just below the hips).  Gavin pokes, pulls back to check for blood, and starts the shot.  It takes a bit of time because it's a thick oil.  Here comes the maintenance guy (maybe 65) but I can't stop and get my butt down at this point, Gavin is in the middle of my shot, so they chat...

Maintenance guy: "how do you like your car?"
Gav: "like it a lot"
MG:  "what year is it?"
Gav:  "2012"
Me, still kneeling:  "2011" (like it mattered)
MG:  "just bought a 2009 with 35,000 miles and really like it, I can see out great"
Gav:  "you'll really like it on winter roads"
MG:  "yeah, nice looking vehicles."

And pull out shot, and we are back on the road.  Can't make this stuff up folks.  Wish I had a reality show so you could have seen it.  I text my sister-in-law a shortened version and she said we sure have stories to tell the little ones someday.  

I've been pretty stress free this week as it doesn't really feel real yet.  I know the hard days are coming after tomorrow.  I had my first tears today though as my good friend at school wished us well at the end of the day.  She knows the waiting will be the hard part and has already offered to help out if I need it the next few weeks.

Tomorrow is the big day!  We check in at 7:45 and transfer is scheduled for 8:15.  Keep praying!


Monday, September 10, 2012

Trust

Well the doctor and nurses are forcing me to trust them.  Today I had a message saying that the embryos are "looking good."  Why can't I know how many eggs they retrieved and how many embryos are still growing?  I want more information!  At least I know something is going on, and knowing wouldn't change anything, I guess.  Maybe it would just give me more anxiety to know, so I'll move on.  I also keep thinking that the other clinic told us everyday how the embryos were doing, and well; they sucked.  So this has to be the better way.

We will get full report cards on Friday at our transfer as far as how many there are and how good they look.  This is when we will decide how many to transfer.

I also need to really trust my husband right now.  Trust him with a 1.5 inch needle to my ass every night for the next few weeks.  Last night he had a training session with my mother-in-law, she's a PA.  It is handy living here I guess!  Tonight, he's trying on his own!

Thanks for checking in!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Trip #1

Our trip to the cities for Gav's turn was quick, no pun!  He had to work for a couple hours Saturday morning and then had a golf tournament for work.  We didn't leave until about 6:30 and arrived at a friend's house around 10:00.  We hung out for awhile even though it was a really early morning.  

We were up by 5:15 this morning.  I was asking if Gav was excited to give it to Donna on the way there!  This is the only time I will allow this cheating business.  You do know it doesn't happen like that right?  It doesn't really count as cheating if it happens in a petri dish is how we feel.  I guess it was a little early for my humor, because I was the only one giggling!  We were on the road for home right after, because what were we going to do before 7 am?  When we got home, we tried to take a nap and then went and had lunch and watch football.   We toasted our bloody mary's to "my only bloody mary of this football season," hopefully!

I've checked the message system to see if there was a report for Donnna, but no news.  I'm guessing she was in an hour or 2 after Gavin. During that hour or 2, his sperm was washed and spun and the good guys picked out.  She would have been put under for the eggs to be taken out.  We considered sitting in the parking lot and watching for her, but decided it wouldn't be a good idea.  I suppose there isn't a message yet today because they are busy putting everything together.  

This week we will continue to pray and wait.  Wednesday I will  know what time my appointment will be on Friday.  I assume we will be heading back on Thursday night.  Thanks for checking in!  

Sarah

Friday, September 7, 2012

Now We've Got a Plan

We finally had a message this afternoon at about 2:00 with a plan.  I was too busy at school to worry about leaving tonight or packing, so that was good my mind was busy.  However, not a good busy at school.  I am wore out from the first week back with kids.  Quite the week with one kiddo in a fight, another with lots of behaviors, lots of bus issues, and another who whines like he is a baby.  Anyway, you didn't stop by to hear about my week at school; to the plan!

Donna will give her HCG shot tonight.  Well, she probably already did because Gav has to be at the office at 6 am on Sunday morning.  Yes, you read that right, 6 am!   Not excited about the early morning, but I guess we can't be picky.  Have I ever mentioned Gav is NOT a morning person?  Still no word on numbers of follicles, but praying Donna's ovaries have been busy.  That's why we're paying her the big bucks!

This all means that it will be my turn at the clinic on Sept. 14.  Not sure of the time yet, but I'm guessing we will leave Thursday night.

Meds will stay the same until Sunday.  Then, I start the fun stuff of progesterone inserts and Gav giving shots in my backside.  Which I thought he would be looking forward to, but he commented last night that the meds haven't made me crazy since changing to the estrace pills.   He's so sweet!

Keep the prayers coming!  We ARE all in!

Sarah

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Not Much For News

I was in this morning for an ultrasound.  My lining is 8 mm, which is where it is supposed to be.  I will up my meds tomorrow as planned, nothing extra.  Donna was also in and looking good.  Still no numbers or dates; I'm starting to get anxious.  I thought I could start planning for when we will be leaving town.  They will take another look at Donna on Friday and then we will know when to leave and the rest of our plan.

Two days of school in and its going ok.  I will be tired out by Friday.  Not used to these long days!  Love my new kiddos, and my challenging kiddo from last year, still challenging.

Will post on Friday with hopefully some actual news!  It hasn't sunk in that this is happening.  Still feels like we are just getting set up, not like we are right in the middle of it all.  Keep praying for the best!

Sarah

Monday, September 3, 2012

"Bitter or Better; Weaker or Stronger;" and some updates

Last week for teacher workshops we had a speaker on the last day.  Every year, they bring someone in and usually it is really boring.  This year, the gal I teach next too (& good friend) had our laptops along, hoping to get some work done during the speaker.  We didn't even take them out of our bags, he was so amazing.  He's an author and award winning speaker.  He told stories about his life and I think anyone could relate to his stories.  He was inspirational to the start of our school year, but his words could really relate to any part of life.  Some of the time I was thinking about school, but come on, I have bigger things on my mind!

The thing he said that stuck out the most was something his mother told him about going through hard things in life.  For him, it was divorce.  His mother told him that we can come out of the tough things in life:  bitter or better, weaker or stronger and she prayed he would be better and stronger.  Great message!  Praying that whatever our outcome is this month, we are better and stronger for it.  He had many other great messages and I cried of course several times (damn meds) and I want to get his book.

Just a few updates from the weekend:

I went to my brother and sister-in-law's on Thursday night.  On Friday morning, I took my nephew, their black lab, and my dog home to my parents for the weekend.  Trip went smoothly (they all slept).   I spent the Friday with my grandma and nephew.  Grandma had a dr. appointment and she is doing well, visited my mom at the pharmacy and met the pharmacist who was helping with all my meds about a month ago.  Grandma took us to lunch and then we went to see my grandpa.  Great day with them and so fun to see my nephew Howie with them!  Saturday, we went to my aunt and uncle's cabin to see more family and friends.  Not the best lake weather, but so great to see everyone.  They are all following the blog and thinking of us, so that was great to hear.  Sunday was church and then back to my brother's, and then home last night.

Donna the Donor had an appointment on Friday.  The message system said that day that things were progressing nicely and I should continue with my med plan.  She went in again on Sunday.  Things are  progressing REALLY well and she may be ready earlier than we originally thought.  I will go in on Wednesday instead of Friday for an ultrasound to make sure my uterus is keeping up with her eggs in case things go down earlier than planned.  They may increase my meds if needed.  We are happy with Donna's progress, but I haven't gotten any numbers yet.  They just keep saying things like "progressing nicely" and this is "good news," but I'd like to know how many follicles and size, but maybe they will share that on Wednesday.  Just have to trust the doctor and nurses, and be thankful that everything is going smoothly.

I will update Wednesday night!

Sarah

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Looking Good!

By looking good, I do not mean me on the first day back to workshops at school today.  I was bloated, chunky, and have a few more hairs on my chin.  Thank you fertility meds!  At least no one said anything to my face.

But really, thank you fertility meds because by looking good, I mean mine and Donna's ovaries.  All 4 of them!  We were both in for our down-regulation ultrasounds and blood-work this morning, in different cities.  Everything looked good, all ovaries were "resting" and our bodies are ready to be geared back up.  She will start ovary stimulating meds tomorrow morning.  I will start the estrogen pills to build the lining of my uterus.  I will continue my lupron shots, but a lower dose.  My poor belly has bruises and I think I have at least 10 more days of this shot.  They don't hurt and I started school today, so no more belly-baring shirts anyway.  I'll be okay.  I will get another report this Friday to see how Donna is doing because she will be in for another ultrasound.   I will go in again on the 7th and that afternoon we will have the rest of the game plan for when Donna will ovulate and when the hubby and I need to be in the cities. Prayers for lots of eggs!  Come on Donna!

Have a good week - Sarah

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Oh Grandma, you're so funny

Yesterday on my way to my part-time job, I gave my mom a call.  She was at the hospital with my grandma.  What?!  Thanks for the phone call, mother.  I guess everything was fine, so no one called so we wouldn't be worried; and my mom hates talking on the phone so that's the other reason I'm sure.  Anyway, my  mom had taken my grandma in on Friday for chest pains and they were doing some checking to see what was going on.  Turns out she is fine, probably just caused by some stress because she was recently helping take care of her sister who was not feeling well.  As I'm talking to my mom, I can here my grandma saying in the background to make sure and tell me that she'd be home on Friday.  I'm planning to head to my parents for Labor Day weekend and Friday was going to be my day with grandma beings my mom will be working and dad probably farming.  She wanted to make sure that I knew that Friday plans would still be happening!  She is where I get my need to never miss out on anything.  She doesn't like to miss out either and we'd often like to be a few places at once.  I love that gal.  Last summer when I spent the day with her we had so many laughs.  Like how I wore running shorts and went for a run that morning, got to her place, showered, and realized I forgot to pack underwear.  I had to borrow a pair (new ones, but still grandma style).  Then we went to bingo at the senior center and I got carded for lunch to make sure I paid the full price, not the senior discount price.  Sometimes people tell me I look as young as the kids at school and that day I was mistaken for 65!  Hopefully we can go to bingo on Friday!  I guess this doesn't really relate to our journey, but I sure hope I can get her a couple more great-grand-kids someday, and it was just a really cute story about my grandma.  

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Random Updates


Sorry for the bullet list, but wanted to share a few updates. 
  • I started my lup.ron shots last Saturday morning.  This seemed to settle my emotions a little, thank God (Your prayers for my mental health were answered).  Hubby hasn't been singing "crazy bitch" this week.  I felt a little icky on Sunday and Monday with cramping and a little nauseous.  I also finished my last pill of northin.drone yesterday.  
  • Some of the bloating also went down the last few days, but I'm still feeling a little gross.  Not liking the sizes I had to buy for my back to school clothes.
  • I have my down-regulation blood work and ultrasound on Tuesday morning.  I will find out that afternoon how Donna is doing and also if everything looks good for me I will be starting my estrogen pills.  I'm guessing that will make me a little crazy again.  Poor Gavin.  Wonder if I should warn him, or just let him figure it out.  I have a few days to think about that one.  
  • Teacher days also start on Tuesday.  Still looks like I will get the first week of school in before we will have to head to the big city for the IVF procedure.  It will be a busy teacher week and first week of school, but I'm starting to get excited for school and my new group of kiddos.
That's all for now.  I will try and post about the appointments on Tuesday hopefully.  Enjoy the rest of the weekend!  I'm off to my part-time job :(

Sarah

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Back Up Plan


I think I found the back-up plan I was talking about a few posts ago!  

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Prayers

I grew up going to church most Sunday's.  Since college, going to church has always made me feel close to home and I like going.  I should be better about going, but the summer is hard.  I enjoy doing the women's bible studies at my church.  I pray and read devotionals to myself.  Something that I've never been comfortable with yet is praying aloud with other people.

The last bible study I did we had "prayer partners" throughout the study.  We were given the name of someone in the group and were to keep that person in our prayers over the weeks of the bible study.  On the last night as part of our celebration, in small groups we stood in the front and called our prayer partner up by name.  It had been a secret for most people.   The person came up and we were to put a hand on their shoulder and say a prayer for them in person.  This was WAY out of my comfort zone.  Of course I did it, but I just kept thinking that if I could have written her a card instead it would have been much better.  And I almost started tearing up praying for someone I barely knew, but had been praying for over a couple months.  Something about saying prayers aloud, makes me cry.

I still remember being minutes from walking down the aisle as a bridesmaid in my 2nd cousin's wedding.  Praying on the spot and aloud is a strength of hers and I admire it so much.  She was a counselor at bible camp, so maybe she learned this skill there.  She said, let's say a prayer and she started a prayer for her new marriage and her husband.  Two bridesmaids jumped in too.  I started crying immediately and was anxious about what I would say.  Of course I had a lot to say to her on her wedding day, but again would rather write it in a note.  It was so great to be a part of.  We ended up getting called by the pastor, so I didn't have to say anything.  Amen!

Anyway...  This spring I sent this 2nd cousin an email about my blog so she could follow along if she wanted.  She read it all that night and emailed me the very next day.  She has been so supportive and possibly my most faithful follower!  In that email, she didn't just say "I'm praying for you."  She sent me the actual prayer that she was saying for us.  It meant so much to me.  Love you Lyndee!

I am sharing it with you now in case you need a starting place with your prayers like I do; and we need some prayers now, folks.  I guess it is also a song from Bible Camp so if you'd rather sing, go right ahead!

God will make a way
when there seems to be no way

God works in ways we cannot see
God will make a way for me

Christ will be my guide
hold me closely to his side

With love and hope for each new day
God will make a way

Our specific prayer requests:

  • For our bodies:  That Donna the Donor and I respond to medications to prepare our bodies and stay healthy.  That Gavin stays healthy.
  • For our mental health - that we can stay strong and positive and continue to be at our best in the other areas of our lives (work, school, family life)
  • For the strength of our marriage 
  • For the doctor's and nurses' minds and hands as they take care of Donna, me, and our embryos
  • For positive results and a healthy pregnancy
Thank  you so much for your prayers.  Love - Sarah

What if it doesn't work?

Through this egg donor process, I've decided to keep as positive as I can and just focus on the now.  One day at a time.  What I need to do as far as meds, appointments, paperwork, and the rest of my life, etc.  Of course I catch myself daydreaming of what it will be like if it works and I try not to think about it not working.  It's just too depressing.  I realize the statistics and there's a better chance of it not working, but it's just too scary and hurts to think about it like that.

My husband is a little the opposite.  Last night we were talking and he really wants to start thinking about a back-up plan.  I don't want to yet.  I know there are a lot of decisions to make, but I just want to keep hoping for the best and think about that when we need to.  He's so worried about me if it doesn't work and I get that it's a lot for him to go through too and try and hold me up if it doesn't work at the same time.  It's a lot of pressure for him.  

I know that financially and emotionally this is our last shot.  We can only take so much.  We may have some frozen to try someday, but the rest of our life can't wait for that.  We will need to find a house.  Should we  buy something small and keep saving money?  Should we buy something really nice beings we could afford more as a family of 2?  Will I always feel like I'm missing something in my life without kiddos of my own?  Will our marriage make it?  

So many unknowns and it's so hard.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

California





We're back from a great trip to Cali with the hubby's family.  We did all the tourist stuff:  winery, holly.wood, universa.l studios, dod.ger game, stand-by for Con.an but didn't get in, warner.bros tour, San Diego for a pad.res game, beach, and some pool time.  It was our last big thing before school starts for me and of course this egg donor business. 

I started the first med our second day there.  I set my alarm for 5 am to adjust for the time change.  Our donor, who I'm going to start calling Donna, should have started her meds too.   Gavin doesn't love the name, but couldn't think of anything else!  Donna the Donor.  A few side affects.  The girls are a little swollen and tender, but looked great in my swimsuit (trying to look at the positive)!  My feet swelled up one night, but that could also be from the walking and beer at the games.  Some cramping off and on.  And then there was the one night that I got super emotional which I am blaming on the meds.  I start the next med this coming weekend.

As I was writing things in my new school planner last night at my part time job, I noticed that yesterday was an anniversary.  It was 4 years ago that I had my first appointment with an RE.  Seems like longer ago that that.  

Today marks 1 month that we closed on our house.  Also seems like longer ago.  We went to lunch today and actually went to look at a house, just the outside, but might take a look at the inside tomorrow.  The timing is off, but it's a hell of a deal and it's in the country, which I love!  Of course we aren't serious about looking, but we do need to keep our options open.  We can't stay here forever.

Stay tuned for some prayer requests; coming tomorrow hopefully!  Thanks for following and caring about our journey. - Sarah

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Just Can't Catch a Break

Well, yesterday I got a call from the clinic with the results from the sample the hubby froze a few weeks ago.  The numbers were not what we wanted to hear.  There were sperm and things can go on, but we will be doing ICSI for sure now.  Which sucks because it is more expensive and the less "manipulating" they do with the eggs the better, but the hardest part is seeing the hubby with this news.  He was really disappointed and there was nothing I could do or say to make it better of course.  I picked him up and we went to our favorite place for lunch and we went to the train concert last night and partied like we were 21 to forget about it!  It helped, but we sure were tired today.

One package of meds has arrived and I'm expecting the other 2 boxes tomorrow.

We also had our conference call with the social worker on Monday night.  It was a little frustrating because we were told it was optional so we didn't do it.  We've been thinking about the egg donor route for 2 years, we've grieved my eggs, we know what we're getting into, we have a lot of supportive family and friends; we just didn't feel it was something we needed.  Then, the donor coordinator sent me a checklist saying that it was mandatory that we have a consult.  So, I set it up for Monday night and it was fine.  It's meant to be done during the decision process and not now, so we didn't get that much out of it.  Then, when we were ending things, she asked for my insurance information.  Weird, this wasn't helpful to us and we're getting charged $165 for this 20 minute phone call.  Hubby wasn't happy and did let her know.  We just wrote a check for almost $17,000, can't this be included?  Whatever.  I did like to hear Gav's answer about how he feels about the genetics not being from me. It was sweet, but he could have told me that for free.  She did ask if we've decided to tell people about the donor part of our journey.  Umm, kind of started a blog and told my closest family and friends all about it!

Today, I taught summer school and then picked up a shift at my pt job along with my regular shift, so I'm working over 14 hours today.  I did say I needed to stay busier and I am today!

We leave Saturday for CA!!  Excited to get out of town and have some fun.  I'll update when we return.

 - Sarah

Sunday, July 29, 2012

It's started

The anxiety.

The obsessive thoughts about infertility, meds, IVF, etc.

My mind and my emotions are spinning out of control.  And we've just barely started.  It's just like when we did IVF before.  I thought it would be different without all the hormones this time because of a donor.  I guess it wasn't the meds last time.

Of course I wasn't the first to notice.  Thursday night, the hubby played softball and as we were driving home we were chatting about preparing our hearts for the worst case scenario (actually were on our way to have a few drinks with friends, but turned out I couldn't go in public after our little talk).  Hubby is very realistic, hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.  I think he's starting to  think about how he's going to be pulling me up if this doesn't work.  I didn't realize all I'd been holding in until we started talking and suddenly I was a mess.  That's when I realized how this IVF stuff is consuming me, just like before.  I hate this feeling.  I hate to prepare for the worst, when it's something I want so bad.  And imagining moving on after the worst, seems impossible at times.

I've always been better during the IUI cycles.  Probably because it's less of a financial and time commitment.  With IVF, I have to plan more and the process takes longer.  More time to think and that's not good for me.  

Part of the problem is that now that the move is done, I'm not as busy.  This 12 hours a week teaching summer school just doesn't keep my  mind busy enough.  I'm starting 2 more grad classes online next week, so that should help keep me busier.  I'll go to caribou and have an iced mocha and work on homework.  That way, I have to get up and shower too.  Which has been taking a lot of pepping myself up lately.  

Last night I worked my part time job (helping an older fellow "D" with disabilities in his apartment).  There was a gospel band playing in the community room of his building.  He likes music, so we went down and listened.  They were good and "D" was entertained.  Then, they start singing a song; something like:  "Lord, help me slow and live this life of mine."  Hello?  Someone was talking to me!  It really hit home when a gentleman with downs syndrome asked me to dance.  He told me I was a good dancer (which no one has ever said to me and I'll never be told that again, unless I dance with him again).  I've got to learn, this isn't my whole life, there are other things going on for me to enjoy in life now.  Especially dancing and nice compliments!  


This is easier said than done for me.  I will still be consumed by this, but I'm going to work on trying to relax a little more.  Reading my devotions and meditating, get to some yoga classes, take some baths (when it cools off a little), keep my mind challenged and busy.  Accepting other ideas too if you have any!


Update on meds:  Friday I was on the phone with 2 pharmacies about 10 different times.  No wonder I can't think of anything else.  Anyway, with our infertility insurance maxed out, it was cheaper to get  all but 1 med through my mom because she can get everything at cost.  Plus, she wanted to buy it!  Yes, I'm 31 and my mom buys me medicine.  Love you mom!  It cost about half of what we were expecting, so that was good news.
- Sarah
     

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Drugs

This morning I had my medication outline phone call with a nurse from the clinic.  I had gotten the paperwork yesterday in the mail with prescriptions and med schedule.  Luckily teaching summer school is pretty relaxed so I was able to step out of the classroom and take the call.  I had told the kiddos I'd have to answer my phone at 8:45.  Of course they were watching the clock and said my call was right on time.  Ha!   Everything is very organized and well laid out so we can keep track of everything; and it's a lot to keep track of!  There are less meds than if we were using my eggs, but it's still a lot.  I will continue with the bc pills until Aug. 5th and then start the next med which will make my body shed my uterine lining one last time and to prep for the next meds.  I woke in the middle of the night thinking about starting meds while we are on vacation in California.  I was worried it would be an injection med that needed to be in the fridge and how would I get it on the plane?  Luckily, the med that starts then is just a pill. At this point, we only know dates for some of the meds and the next steps depend on how the donor's eggs are coming along.  Everything is at 7 am, so I won't be sleeping in my last weeks of summer break, but hopefully that's just getting me ready for next summer of also not sleeping in!  I have the pharmacy my mom works at checking some prices with her discount.  Hopefully, they can get a few things at a good price, but I know a couple I will have to order from a specialty pharmacy in the cities and I'll do that tomorrow.  It's getting real that we're going for it now!  Get the prayers going now folks!!

P.S.  Last night I caught the hubby reading the blog.  He clicked out as soon as I saw him like he was ordering me a present or looking at something naughty (the second option, much more likely:)!  "I was just reading your stuff."  Ha!  I'll start asking if he wants to do a guest post!

- Sarah

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Date Night

Last night we signed paperwork with a notary for the egg donor process.  We had to make decisions about what happens to our embryos if something happens to one or both of us.  I put all the paperwork in the mail today.  Then, we went and grabbed dinner and drinks and came home to watch the movie that we both fell asleep about 10 minutes in on Sunday night.  Couldn't stay awake Sunday night after a wonderful weekend of golf, lakes, horse races, and sun!  Thursday morning I have a phone conference appointment to go over all medications that I will be on and hopefully find out about getting those ordered.  It's coming fast!

Have a great week!  - Sarah

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I never thought I'd see the day...

Today I received a letter in the mail AND a voice mail from the clinic with instructions that we need to either abstain or use a barrier method to prevent pregnancy even though I started birth control for our upcoming cycle with the donor.  Are you kidding me?  We've been trying for 5 years, is there really a chance I could get pregnant on birth control pills?  I feel like we have a better chance of winning the lottery and we don't even buy lottery tickets.  They repeated this in the voice mail twice so they must mean business.  I guess we'll follow the doctor's orders!

I guess this message doesn't have much to do with our plans, but I just don't want to forget that I was ever told this direction.  And now I have a new joke - "Honey, remember that time we were SO fertile we needed 2 types of birth control."  Never thought I would say that.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Updates

This final week of the move had me so busy, I haven't been able to even read blogs let alone update mine.  I have lots of updates to share so I'm putting in bullet points.  Might need a glass of wine or something for this read!


  • House update:  Last week were our last days in our house.   I was busy packing all day and night it seemed.  Tuesday, I mowed our yard for the last time too.  Which was sad because I do love to mow and we loved that yard and know we will never have a yard that big.  Wednesday was the day and we had to have everything out.  It was a weird day just walking through the empty rooms, making sure we had everything.  Gav came home from work and loaded the last load of boxes into his brother's truck; I was crying in the kitchen.  The 3 of us had one last beer at Meyer Blvd. and Gav took a few last boxes to the storage unit and I called my sister and cried some more.  Gav got back and we sat on the porch and waited for the new buyer's son to come and do a final walk-thru, I was crying again.  He had sunglasses on, but he might have been tearing up a little under there too.  To cheer me up, he said: "now you'll get pregnant and we'll buy my parents house and you can live next to your favorite friend forever."  I hope that's how it works out!  We went to set up a few things at our new "apartment" in my in-law's basement and went and grabbed some food and a beer.  Since then, we are pretty much set up.  We have a few things to move over to the storage unit, but need to see what will fit in our new "apartment" first.  I will post pics when we are all settled in.
  • Distractions update:  Last weekend Gavin was invited to play in a fast-pitch tournament in Wisconsin.  I figured if he was leaving town our last weekend, I was too.  He dropped me off with a friend in the cities and he went on the next day for the tournament.  We went to a concert, shopped, ate out, danced, and went to the lake.  Just what I needed!  Gavin's team ended up getting first place in the tournament which is a pretty big deal as they had a lot of good teams and pitchers there.  It was a late night Sunday, but worth it to get a away from our stress at home for a few days.   
  • Marriage update:  This moving business is hard on a marriage.  I think neither of us thought the other one was doing enough and there was so much to get done.  Tuesday, Gav got home from work and told me that had I really picked it up this week.  I work best under pressure I guess!   He must have forgotten that I was finishing a grad class the week before too.  Whatever.  Change is hard and we have a lot at once and more coming.  We'll get through, but that last week was tough.  
  • Baby-making Update:   We got the information about a possible donor on Monday.  I read through it that day and Gavin did after work.  This would be her 5th time as a donor.  She is healthy, a little taller than me and slightly more green eyes, but looks a lot like me.  This is according to the  coordinator; we don't get to see a picture.  The best part for Gavin, is that she sounds really athletic.  Which I am not and we always joked that hopefully our kids are more coordinated than me.  She is a personal trainer for a job and graduated with a degree in exercise science.  How funny is that?  On Tuesday I called the coordinator and accepted the donor.  We have a match ladies and gentlemen!  I also increased my thyroid meds on Tuesday and they will check in a few weeks to be sure it's enough.  They think the need for a dose increase could be stress related.  Really?!  Gavin went to the cities for softball again this weekend.  He is going to stay and work from the office there on Monday so that he can "do his part" at the clinic.  This will be for a sample to freeze in case we get to the real thing and he is sick or has broken both his arms or something!  They will also do an analysis on the sample and blood work.  
  • The dilemma:   I can keep secrets for other people, but not so much about me.  Pretty much as soon as I started the blog, I told my mom, sister, sister-in-law, aunts, and close girlfriends about the blog.  They are probably the only ones that read it actually!  Now that we have the money in the bank and a donor match, things can start rolling for the IVF cycle when we are ready.  I was struggling with the decision to put dates about our plan on the blog or keep that a secret.  When we did IVF on our own, we didn't tell anyone.  I think I told my sister "sometime in the winter" and our parents probably had a guess because they knew about when I was giving myself shots.  Not telling is nice because then people don't keep asking about it.  Then, when it didn't work, we just told the people we wanted to.  It's also a little stressful to keep it a secret.  If we keep the dates a secret, what will I blog about and a main reason for the blog is to document the journey.  So, I've decided to keep blogging and share dates on here. ** I trust that the people I've told about the blog understand that we don't want everyone and their brother to know about the timing of our IVF cycle.  The friends and family that I told about the blog are also the people we would tell about the success or failure of this cycle.  I hope you keep following with prayers, because here we go people!
  • Dates:  Now that we accepted the donor, the next cycle the clinic does is in September and we've decided to go ahead with this cycle.  Don't worry it won't be the first week of school!  The donor and I both will start taking birth control pills on Sunday to get our cycles in  sync.  Other meds and information will be coming later on.  We have a trip to California with Gavin's family planned in August.  I'm thinking after that trip, I will start backing off the drinking and caffeine and try to eat a little better.  This summer has been bad, kind of like I'm 22 or something.  Sure has been a fun summer though!  Then, I can also tell the people that we won't share the dates with that I am just trying to get my body ready for "maybe" doing a cycle, but nothing specific.   
  • If you read all this, wow!  thanks!  Enjoy the rest of the weekend.  - Sarah