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)





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


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!  


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!


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!


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!