Friday, September 9, 2011

9 week update

I'm currently 9 weeks and 3 days. I went to the RE for the very last time on Wednesday. He graduated us to a normal OB, and I've been putting off making that appointment because I'm just scared to see a new doctor. Our RE is completely incredible. He is the smartest, most selfless man I have ever met. Not to mention his staff. I swear, the office manager is one of the most unsung heroes I know. I've been meaning to write her a card and give her a giftcard to a restaurant or something to say thank you. As soon as I have enough energy to go to the store, that will happen.

Yesterday was the most exhausting day I have ever had. When I woke up, it hurt to roll over or even talk. It was just too much exertion. I managed to get to work and typing hurt. I stuck it out until 11:30 and took a long lunch. I slept for an hour and a half. Mr. woke me up and gave me some soup. I drank it down in about 5 minutes and fell asleep for another 15 until he told me I had to get up and go back to work. I made it to 5pm, came home, fell asleep on the couch after I ate a few bites of dinner and finally called it quits on the day at around 8. I trudged upstairs without even brushing my teeth and just crawled in bed.

I'm thrilled to say that today is much better.

Tuesday, we got to see our babes again. They are SO. DANG. CUTE! I always made fun of people for saying their ultrasound pictures are cute, but I get it. It's so amazing to me that that is MY body. You can see heads and arms and legs. The one on the left waved hello during the ultrasound. It was wonderful to see them when I wasn't still shocked that there were 2 in there, like at the 7 week ultrasound. I could just soak everything in.

Grow strong little gummy bears! We love you!

Friday, September 2, 2011

8 weeks

I've been having crazy dreams lately. Two nights ago, I had a dream that my older sister flat out kicked me in the stomach. I was livid and no one could understand why I would be so mad. I had a terrible day and started freaking out about losing one of the babies. Hormones are raging right now. The nice part of that, though, is that Mr. and I have been having all sorts of "fun". Yay hormones! I feel like it's a little "congrats you made it through IVF" present. I've been working hard to keep my head on straight, to remember that there is no reason for me to stress about losing a baby, and to find something, ANYTHING, that sounds good to eat.

"Morning" sickness is really night sickness for me. I feel queasy in the mornings, but nothing too terrible. But come night time, I am puking in everywhere from the kitchen sink to the bathtub. It's hilarious to be throwing up and laughing at the same time. Mr. didn't know whether to be happy about it or sympathetic to me the first few times it happened. We've now worked out a nice mix of happiness and sympathy.

I'm thrilled to be nauseous. My back already hurts. My chest is HUGE (which I always thought I'd like...not as great as I thought it would be). Every so often I get a terrible headache that nothing can fix. And overall, I'm just exhausted. All for good reason, though! Grow babies, Grow!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bursting at the Seams

I can't believe everything that is happening. I didn't intend to write another chapter, but I want to shout the news to the world. I am seven weeks along today. We had our first ultrasound to make sure everything was measuring exactly as it should.

There are 2 little hearts beating under my own.


Two babies.

Could we be more blessed? I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. Mr. took me out to lunch after the ultrasound to celebrate. I sat down at the table to wait for our food and he got us some waters. Across the crowded restaurant he looked at me and gave me the "Let's do this" smile. I was grinning from ear to ear.

Things are definitely changing quick around here. Two babies changes everything. My heart is about to burst. Car shopping, moving in December instead of May, figuring out finances, buying two of everything, thinking of fun ways to spend the next 3 weeks while keeping our two little secrets under wraps, etc.

I truly can't believe it.

I love you little baby a and little baby b. You are just perfect.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Results are In!

Neither of us slept last night. We woke up groggy and got ready for the day. We were doing a good job of avoiding the subject of the pregnancy test until about 11:30 when Mr. picked me up from work and drove to the clinic. We talked about his school projects on the way there.

The way my clinic works is that they do 2 Betas, but don't tell you the results of either until after your second one. So, Monday was my first. Today we received the results. When we walked into the clinic, my favorite nurse, Tonya, asked me how I was feeling. I said, "Trying not to be scared out of my mind."

Tonya said, "Oh, I'm just so excited for you two."

That really lifted my spirits. She knew the results from my first beta, and I knew she wouldn't have said that if the first one wasn't good.

We went back to get the blood draw. The nurse tried my left arm...nothing. She tried again...nothing. I made a comment about how I didn't even think about drinking a ton of water this morning. I've never had a nurse try more than once to get a successful blood draw! She asked if I was nervous, because that can cause the veins to constrict. I laughed and told her I'd try to relax. She used a smaller needle on my other arm and finally got the blood she needed.

Mr. and I left the clinic holding hands. His palms were already sweating, and I was all sorts of woozy which I don't attribute entirely to the multiple stabs with the needle. We went to Wendy's for some dollar menu nourishment and he dropped me off at a friend's house to take newborn pictures of their little boy. (I'm in no way a good photographer, but I sure can edit!) I took pictures for about an hour, and the new mom took me back to work.

I went to put my phone on ring so I would hear the clinic when they called and I already had a voicemail from them! My heart started pounding. I dialed the voicemail.

"Hi. This is Tonya at Dr. Foulk's office. I just wanted to call you and let you know that we have some..."

And then the message cut off. I stared at my phone in disbelief. Some what?! Good news? Bad news?

I walked out into the hallway (I share an office) and called them back. Tonya picked right up and I waited while she pulled up my results on the computer. Then, really quietly, she said, "First off, I just want to say Congratulations. You're pregnant."

I went completely numb. I just cried and cried and asked her if she was serious over and over again. Then she gave me the numbers. I am 4 weeks 1 day pregnant. My first beta was 123, my second was 330. It more than doubled! She said we have some really strong numbers going into this, which puts my heart at ease. These little babies mean so much to me already. I wish we knew how many were in there!

I immediately texted my friend who was planning on helping me tell Mr. the news. I tried to focus through the rest of my work day until she got there to pick me up around 5.

Once she got there, she gave me a card. This is a friend who has been trying to have a baby for over 4 years now. I knew she wanted to celebrate with me, but I was worried about her feelings. The card, I thought, was her way of showing me how happy she was for me. She told me she wanted me to read it before we went anywhere. I plowed through it as quickly as I could. At the very end it said, "One more thing sweet baby...You're going to have a friend to play with you as soon as you get here...due just weeks before you." My jaw dropped. There is NOTHING that could have made this day better. My sweet friend and I are expecting. Take that infertility!

We swapped stories all the way to the mall. I still don't know how she conceived. She is almost 7 weeks along. Both her and her husband have infertility issues. Statistics say it was impossible, but clearly our God is a God of miracles.

Once we got to the mall, we both stood outside of Gymboree and just looked inside. It felt so weird to be walking in there. For so long, stores like that have brought us such serious sadness, and now here we were looking through the racks with excitement for BOTH of us! I picked out a little onesie with two beavers on it wearing thick glasses. Underneath it said "smart like dad."

On the way to Mr.'s class, I was nervous. We talked about symptoms, worries, excitement, etc. but once we parked, my heart was in my throat. She mentioned how she was so nervous for me it was giving her cramps. I laughed. What were we nervous for? He was going to be thrilled!

We got to the hallway outside his class and asked a janitor to go inside and tell him there was an important message for him outside. Another random girl filmed the whole thing on my little digital camera. My friend, also a very talented photographer, brought her huge camera to capture the whole thing. Mr. walked through the door and I was standing there with the onesie.

We kissed and laughed and cried and hugged. Most of all, we exhaled for the first time in 2 and a half years. This was real. And it was really happening to us.

Mr. had to go back to class for about 20 more minutes and my friend and I went outside to take the first picture for my pregnancy album. She left. Mr. got out of class, and we went to Tucano's to celebrate. All you can eat, for a girl who's eating for 3 now? Yes, please!

We spent all of dinner talking about how to tell our parents. We told his parents first. He called his home phone and asked to talk to his mom. When she answered he asked if her and his dad could go in another room so they could be alone. He said it in such a depressing tone that surprised even me! Once they shut the door, he said, "well, we just wanted to call and let you know that we're pregnant!" They were so excited! His mom was sure it was a "no" because of Mr.'s tone earlier. It made me laugh.

Next up, we called his sister, who is a really talented photographer. She does all of our family pictures. I called her first and said, "Hey, I have a quick question for you. Would you mind taking some pictures of us for something? We're going to need a newborn session in April..."

You could hear the smile in her voice. "A newborn session? Should I be putting you on speaker phone?!"

I had texted my dad before all this, but I knew they were wakeboarding for at least another hour. I told him we had found a few cars we were interested in buying and wanted his opinion before we did anything. He got online to skype with us and we sent him the first picture from my pregnancy album, but titled it "Car1.jpg" Once it loaded he was so excited! It's so fun to tell these people who have been praying and hoping for us all this time. I asked him if he wouldn't mind getting my mom's opinion on our new "car". As soon as she walked in she screamed at the top of her lungs. She started crying and just said, "That's the best looking car I've ever seen."

Last up was my older sister. We called them and asked them for an opinion on this car, but I was too excited after talking to my mom so that kind of spilled the beans. Then, we had technical difficulties so they saw the picture before we were talking to them. It didn't matter though. Everyone was still just as excited by the time we got all the kinks ironed out!

It's hard not to tell everybody. We have a plan to tell our younger siblings next weekend in person. I have asked Mr. so many times if we can tell this person or that person. Most of my IVF friends know. Our very best friends don't know yet. But with news this exciting it's hard not to shout it to the world!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

This is It! - Mr.'s thoughts

This is it! Tomorrow is the big day. I feel like we have said that every night before each IUI, doctor's visit, the egg retrieval, and embryo transfer. Mrs. asked me to write about how I am feeling tonight - the night before we find out if we are pregnant from IVF. I am grateful she didn't request I minimize my feelings to one word because that would be impossible.

First, I am more confident than I have ever been throughout our struggle with infertility. For me, the scariest part was finding out if any eggs were fertilized. I was ecstatic when the doctor informed us that eggs had successfully fertilized. I was so relieved to learn that our baby making parts like each other, that my sperm are not as useless as I have been told, and that us creating life is even possible. So regardless of what news we hear tomorrow I am grateful to know that this process can and will happen again in the future.

I am excited. So many things have fallen into place throughout this process it just doesn't make sense for it not to work. The Lord has blessed us with more tender mercies than I could have ever imagined. Miracles occurred throughout this process and I feel so sure that the Lord is with us. Of course, this also causes me to doubt at times too. With how amazing this process has been, looking back on all the blessings we have received, I am not sure what I would think if this were NOT to work. But I am confident we will know what to do next.

I am scared for the possibility of pain. I can't deny that. However, I am much more hopeful and excited to find out if we are going to have a baby. I feel closer than we have ever been. I trust that we have done everything that we are able to do at this time. I know the doctor we have been working with is competent and gifted and is an instrument in the Lord's hand. As out of control as our lives have been the past seven weeks, I know the Lord has directed us every single day. Tomorrow I will be one step closer to making Mrs. a mom. Tomorrow I will be one step closer to being a dad. And we will be one step closer to growing our family however the Lord wants us to. I am going to sleep good tonight!


It all happens tomorrow. We find out if my babies are still growing inside of me. I am trying to picture two in there. It's not hard to do. I have gained a ton of weight in the past 10 days. My body is already not my own.  It is bruised and bulging and sore. I woke up today in such a great mood - a very welcome contrast to yesterday. Oddly enough, I am not scared today. I was terrified yesterday. Today, I feel great!

Positive thinking is all that's going on in my head right now. It's all I'm allowing in there. The thoughts today are largely based around the question, "What fun way am I going to tell Mr. he's going to be a Dad?"

It mostly depends on timing. If the clinic calls when he's in class, I'll probably do one thing. If they call later in the day, I'll do another. If they call while he's on break between classes, I'll be doing a whole other idea. Either way, I'm scheming today. I decided I am pregnant with twins until told otherwise, because I saw two little babies be placed back into me. It makes the planning fantastically fun! (and I don't feel guilty for feeling hopeful, which is a whole new feeling for me - like a breath of fresh air.)

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Clinic Knows...

...if I'm pregnant or not. I, on the other hand, have to wait 2 more days to find out.

This morning was really rough. There's no other way to describe it. I barely got out the door to go to work. I look terrible. I was pale and quiet in the staff meeting and then let my boss in on just how overwhelmed I am with everything going on. He was wonderful about it and transferred two major projects off my plate. I was feeling crampy (still kind of am) and it scared me so bad.

Mr. picked me up and drove me to the clinic for the blood draw. A woman with two kids shared the waiting room with us. I know eventually I will be the mother with two kids sitting in the fertility clinic waiting room hoping for a third, but today it just felt unfair. The blood draw took a couple seconds, tops. The nurse could tell I wasn't myself. She asked how I was feeling and I just said "nervous, and I've been having a lot of cramps." She made me feel a little better when she said, "Oh, that's probably a good thing. It could be implantation." I left the clinic with my hand in Mr.'s.

When we got to the car, he opened my door. Normally, I give him a quick peck on the lips and hop inside to pop his door open for him, but this time as soon as I looked up at him, he scooped me into his arms and just let me cry in the parking lot.

I think it finally hit me just how terrified I am. I need this to work so desperately. I can't imagine it not working. Our little babies were so strong and healthy when they were placed back into me and my uterine lining looked perfect, according to the doctor.

Please stick little babies.

Please. Please. Please.

Your dad and I would very much like to  meet you.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Two Week Wait

I'm really having a hard time focusing on much of anything. I've been working on my new online design portfolio so I can partner up with photographers and get my design business up and running before we move. (Which probably won't be happening before the baby(ies) come anyway.) After the transfer, I spent 2 days on couch-rest. The first day wasn't so bad, but the second day about killed me. It's one thing to be sick and not want to move. But I felt totally fine and it was frustrating toward the very end of Tuesday night. Around 10pm our best friends called us to tell us their little boy had arrived at 8:22 and that they'd love for us to come see them at the birthing center. (Super mama had a water birth!)

He was so unbelievably cute and tiny! We took a tour of the center after we finished visiting. It's exactly what I want. So calm, private, peaceful. The staff was very friendly. My friend looked amazing regardless of if she just gave birth or not. That is the kind of birth experience I want. As I held their little boy, I couldn't help but think that mine were growing strong inside of me right at that moment. I have babies. They are little tiny ones, but they are mine. They are ours.

As for symptoms, I'm really trying to remember that it's all probably in my head. Either way, though, I am extremely hot and tired all the time which means I'm irritable. Also, I had the most bizarre dream last night that's pretty embarrassing and I don't really think I want to remember it, so I'm just not going to write it down, but vivid bizarre dreams are a symptom too, right? My back and legs constantly ache and most of the time it's all I can do to keep my head up and my eyes open. I am eating the house down and I sobbed 8 times during The Sound of Music last night. It's all in my head, though, right? Right.

I'm not even looking up my due date.
Even though I really want to.

First blood draw is on Monday.
We find out if it worked on Wednesday.

This anticipation is by far the worst.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Picking Up the Kids

from my journal, July 24th 2011 -

There are two little babies inside of me right now! I wish I felt more different, but all I really feel is impatient. I wish they would make me sick or something. I've only been pregnant for a few hours. I'm sure eventually it will kick in. The transfer was wonderful today. We snuck in the back of church & my heart pounded for the entire hour. We left early so no one could have the chance to talk to me. It worked out perfectly. We left right after sacrament meeting, made a quick stop at home, said family prayer and went to pick up the kids. ") My mom came with us & I am so glad she did. She took pictures of everything. The nurse told me I needed to have a full bladder for the procedure & gave me a val.ium to take in the waiting room to help me relax.

I went back to the exam room and waited for the Dr. Right then, my dad called. I am so glad I got to talk to him! He and I chatted for a while. He said he had been and still was praying for me and our family and then laughed and told me to "go get pregnant." I love him. He always knows just what to say.

The procedure only took a few moments. The Dr. explained every part of the process while he did it and in went our 2 strong, healthy, brave little babies. Mr. gave me a blessing after everyone left (& they turned off the music in our room.)

I have faith that this has worked. Satan is fighting that faith hard right now, though, which makes me so grateful that I have kept such a good record. It is so easy to look back and see Heavenly Father's approval for all this. That alone brings me a lot of comfort. We came home, took naps, enjoyed delicious food brought by friends and watched movies. This is going to be a long 48 hours on bed rest, but it will be so worth it!

Grow Babies, Grow!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pre-Transfer Update

I'm feeling pretty OK considering. I slept until about 6:30 and then dozed on and off until 9:30. I'm a little stressed about having a full bladder for the procedure. Timing things like that is always kind of rough. When I woke up this morning, all I could think was "It's all up to my body now, and my body does not feel ready for this. Not at all."

I slept for a while longer and Mr. went downstairs to prep my progesterone shot. When he came back up, I focused on my breathing and staying relaxed throughout the shot. As soon as Mr. pulled the shot out, I was overcome with the feeling that my body is now ready for this. I'm ready for this.

I asked Mr. to write his own update for this, but all he said was to put him down as saying, "Let's do this thing."

So yes, let's do this thing!


Yesterday, Mr. took me for a drive up the canyon to a cute little town. We ended up at a little hole-in-the-wall chinese place for dinner on a friend's recommendation. The food was incredible, and for a while, we were the only ones in the entire restaurant. It was perfection. We played footsie under the table, talked about how things were going to change after the transfer regardless of what happened, fed each other the best bites, and enjoyed the quiet.

We received our bill along with 2 fortune cookies. We each grabbed one, broke it, ate it, and read it.

Mr.'s said "Treat yourself to dessert 3 times a week."

Mine said "You will soon be appointed a great honor."

I don't give fortunes a whole lot of credit, but I was impressed with how applicable it was to my situation right now. I sure hope that great honor is the great honor I've been praying for all this time.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Whole Basketball Team

Mr. and I decided to celebrate our actual embryos starting their little lives yesterday. 12 to be exact. I still can't get over that. TWELVE!

Before Mr. and I were even engaged, we were out to dinner with Mr.'s family at a little local restaurant. I'm not even sure if Mr. was holding my hand or anything, but a cute little old man behind us said, "You're going to have a whole basketball team!" (We're pretty tall.) We laughed and agreed with him, because even though there was no ring on my finger, we knew we were getting married. It makes me so happy to realize that while that dream of a basketball team has been so far off for the past 2.5 years, we are closer than ever to starting it. And we actually have the possibility of even having more than 1 member of the team! Wow. I am so grateful.

Mr. picked me up from work and we went to the library to pick out baby name books and went down to Sub Zero ice cream to cuddle up in a booth and pick out our favorite 12. We got a good laugh over some of the names in the books. So much so that I was laughing so hard my body was hurting. Tons of sharp pains all the way up to my shoulder, but I couldn't stop. We haven't been able to laugh like that in a long time. Probably because of all the stress we've been under lately. When I suggested the name "Keeyatas" we both completely lost it. I love laughing with Mr. His laugh is one of my favorite sounds in the world.

Our favorite 12, though, turned out pretty great.

  • Paige
  • Ella Rae
  • Amoret (<-- Mr. doesn't like this spelling, but I'm in love with it. I think it is so feminine and beautiful...almost romantic)
  • Tenley
  • Mikaylie (Mika <-- pronounced Micah)
  • Aniston

  • Nash
  • Granger (Gray)
  • Anson
  • Emmett
  • Landin
  • Rhett
Obviously, we won't be able to use all these, but it was sure fun to sit around and actually dream about our family again. We allowed ourselves to imagine the best case scenario and it felt so good. We're back to being cautiously optimistic, but we are already so in love with our little embryos! It makes my heart soar when Mr. prays for them to grow healthy and strong.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sperm, Meet Eggs

We have 12 little embryos growing in the lab right now!!

I couldn't breathe all day. And I got temporarily paralyzed when I saw the clinic's number on my phone. The nurse said,

"Hello. I just wanted to call and give you an update. You gave us 35 eggs yesterday. 12 of those fertilized normally. We'll call tomorrow or Friday with another update. Please call us if you are worried about anything and we can check on them for you."

Ohmygosh we have 12 little babies growing right now. TWELVE!

That is unbelievable to me.

I am so glad my eggs and Mr.'s sperm like each other!

*After telling the family we had 12 embryos growing, my sister said "Mr. just got you prego 12 times. Not many men can say that."


Morale is high over here.

Oh this has been a wonderful day!


We'll hear today how many eggs fertilized. I don't think I realized how anxious I would be today. I just want to know we still have a chance. Every phone call from here on out has the potential to be devastating. Since we have 35 eggs to work with, I'm hoping to stay focused on the fact that our chances are pretty great. There are a lot of prayers being said in my heart today. Please let the clinic call soon and give me the reassurance I need!

As far as how I'm feeling physically, I. AM. SORE. I haven't had to take any pain meds though, so it's really not that bad. The most obnoxious part of this entire thing is that I haven't had a bowel movement since the surgery. I know that often happens because of the anesthetic, but the pressure down there...? Ouch! I could barely move this morning. I'm hoping it settles down over the next few days. I think my body is angry at me for letting it be invaded.

Mr. gave me my first progesterone shot this morning. It's about an inch and a half long needle that goes in my rear. I was really nervous for it because the needle is so darn big, but it went great! I'm sure after a few more my bum will get more sore, but for now I'm just going to enjoy only having 1 shot a day.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Retrieval Day - Good Job Body!

Yesterday, the clinic asked me to take a pregnancy test to make sure the HCG Trigger shot was given correctly and that it was in my system. It was so weird to take a pregnancy test and know it would come up positive.

I've never seen that little pink line before! Hopefully in a couple of weeks we'll have a real one.

This morning at 6:30 we checked in for our egg retrieval. I was nervous that something would go wrong with my follicles or that some had ruptured or that my estrogen levels would continue to rise and we'd have to cancel the cycle or something, but it all went so smoothly. After this week, I was really looking forward to some medically induced sleep. It felt so good to just have a day to relax and not worry about anything.

We went into the exam room we were in for the last ultrasound. It was nice to be in a familiar place. It didn't seem so cold to me and definitely helped me relax. On the table were all the vials and tubes for the treatment. There were 24 of them. It felt good to know the doctor had high hopes for my body!

 In all honesty, the hardest part of any medical procedure for me is getting the IV put in. Luckily, our anesthesiologist was an all star. I barely even felt the needle. I was really grateful I was allowed to keep my bracelet on. Mr. got it for me for Mother's Day this past May. It says "Eventually" on it. I love it. It has been such a great source of strength to me. They had Mr. kiss me and head out to the waiting room. I fell asleep about 10 seconds later.

When I woke up, the anesthesiologist walked me into the recovery room and told me that Mr. was back collecting a sample, but should be in in a minute. I was grateful to have the chance to pray for him. The best part of my day by far, though, was when Mr. came through the door to my recovery room. He gave me a kiss on the forehead and held my hand. The sweetest moments in marriage come when you are given the opportunity to conquer something together. It's moments like that recovery room conversation that make me so grateful for this trial. We talked for about 15 minutes and then our brilliant Dr. walked in.

"We were able to get 35 eggs."
*Jaws drop*
"You're kidding me!?"
"Not in the least. And we normally expect about 60% to fertilize, so hopefully that means 15-20 will make it to the next step."

We are floored. On the way home from the clinic, Mr. stopped to pick up my favorite breakfast from my favorite breakfast stop, Kneaders. They have some killer croissant sandwiches and smoothies. Yum! We got home and Mr. helped me up the stairs to bed. He read me a chapter from Harry Potter and we cuddled up for an hour or two of deep sleep. The rest of today has been full of watching TV and eating food. What a glorious day to celebrate.

We couldn't be happier.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Pulled the Trigger

This morning we had another ultrasound appointment. My follicles are growing right along! We now have 26 follicles that are over 10mm a piece.

The stats are:
Left Ovary-
  • 23.9
  • 19.3
  • 19.2
  • 18.7
  • 18.5
  • 18.2
  • 17.6
  • 17.6
  • 17.4
  • 15.1
  • 14.2
Right Ovary-
  • 19.9
  • 19.3
  • 19.2
  • 18.0
  • 17.4
  • 17.1
  • 16.9
  • 15.9
  • 15.4
  • 14.6
  • 14.6
  • 12.2
  • 11.7
  • 11.5
  • 10.7
I love that they are improving! The nurse actually told us that we were good to go for our trigger tonight and about 3 hours ago, Mr. gave me the trigger shot! We are set for the egg retrieval at 7am Tuesday morning. I am so scared and excited. I can't believe we're already at this point. It is coming up so fast. I had a really hard time focusing at church today. We are exactly 1 week away from our 5-day transfer date. I hope that we make it to that point.

I took a picture of my belly today, right after the trigger shot. I'm pretty proud of each of those bruises and bulges. It's all a small price to pay to bring our little one into this world.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

First Ultrasound Monitoring Appointment - Follicle Update

We have 24 follicles!
It's kind of mind blowing at this point. I can't believe my body is actually doing what it is supposed to do! It was unreal to see something other than a uterus wall in the ultrasound. Here are the stats:

Left (top 12):
  • 20.2
  • 16.6
  • 16.5
  • 16.4
  • 15.5
  • 15.1
  • 15.0
  • 14.8
  • 14.7
  • 14.2
  • 13.6
  • 11.9

Right (top 12):

  • 17.4
  • 16.1
  • 15.9
  • 15.7
  • 15.4
  • 14.1
  • 12.8
  • 12.6
  • 12.2
  • 11.4
  • 10.5
  • 10.8
  • 9.9
The left is definitely better than the right, but they said we are probably about a day ahead of schedule and see no reason why we should have more than 20 eggs to work with. TWENTY!!

We find out tomorrow if we get to take the trigger shot tomorrow night. Potential Egg Retrieval is now on Tuesday! 

As far as how I'm feeling, my body is spent. I am sore sore sore today. We went to Cracker Barrel after the appointment for breakfast and I was really shaky from the blood draw. I felt much better after eating something, but my body is still very bloated and sore. Also, I think it's dang tired from growing 24 eggs at the same time. I sat down to work on a project or two and ended up sleeping for 3 hours, drool and all. It felt good, but the only reason I'm not still sleeping is because Mr. woke me up so that I have a chance of actually falling asleep tonight. 

I could potentially take my last stims tomorrow!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sick & Tired

I'm sick. I'm tired. And I'm sick and tired of a number of things. Last night, Mr. and I threw a Harry Potter party to kill time before the midnight showing. It was supposed to start at 8. We only invited the two other couples we bought tickets to the midnight showing with and at about 7:30 I got texts from both of them saying they'd be a little late. Since all "fun" is over today, we decided to fool around a little bit.

We were just enjoying ourselves when a very loud knock sounded at the door. Panic ensued.

"Who is that?!"
"My life is a joke."
"Put your clothes on! I'm not getting the door."

It was my mother-in-law.

I don't even think it's possible to explain how absolutely sick of family I am. I feel like since we started this IVF cycle, that everyone who is related to us has decided that they will come up to see us and stay with us for at least 4 days a piece. I really just want to disappear. And I need my house.

Mr. and I's relationship is the most important thing right now. I really want this to be a beautiful, unified event for our marriage and most of the time it is. I just need everyone else to leave us alone for the next month! I'm going completely insane. Our "open door policy" is now very much closed.

Wish I was gutsy enough to enforce that.


We got home last night around 3:30 am and went straight to bed. Still, 4 hours of sleep really isn't enough, especially when I'm on all sorts of medicines and hormones. This morning, Mr. woke me up and it took everything I had to get out of bed, or even just roll over. I felt nauseous and the shots hadn't even happened yet.

Mr. went downstairs to prep the shots and I got up to get ready for the day. When Mr. was ready for me, I went and laid down on the bed to get the 3 shots over with. Lu.pron was fine. Men.o.pur was terrible, as always. I hate it. I always try to keep my breathing deep and even, but Men.o.pur tends to cause me to panic. The nurse reduced my dosage yesterday from 150 to 75 of Folli.stim, but the cartridge we were using didn't have enough medicine left in it to finish the dose. Mr. was bummed and complained as he went down to get a new cartridge. I had put my hand on my sore belly from the Men.o.pur. When he came back upstairs he told me that he stabbed himself with the other needle. I asked him if he got a new needle. He said, "Of course." I ask him to re-swab my belly with alcohol because my hand has been resting on it and I don't want to get an infection.

He complained on his way back downstairs to get the new swab and whined for me to come downstairs for the last injection. All I could think about was how my belly was really sore and my head already hurt.

I was so angry I stood right up and screamed, "[MR'S FULL NAME] NO!"

I shouldn't have stood up. I got queasy and sick and laid right down again for the last injection.

I know Mr. is just as tired as I am from last night. He doesn't want to go to work either. He's exhausted and I haven't been the easiest to be around lately. I knew that, but it made me so angry that he wanted me to come downstairs. I completely lost my patience. Mr. is the best man I could ever have wished for as a husband. This is all harder than we both imagined.

Mr. asked me to say the prayer and I said, "No." (By this point, he'd already apologized quite a few times and kissed my belly as well.) I shouldn't have said no. Mr. is the sweetest, most genuine man. I am pretty rough around the edges. I hate it when that bratty side of me comes out.

Mr. prayed that my body would have the strength to make it through today. He prayed that I would know how much he loves me for being so strong and willing to do all of this for our babies. He prayed that I would be comforted today. He prayed that I would be kept safe.

After all that, I really don't think my pains are worth being angry about. He is not the enemy. I wonder why that is so hard for me to remember lately.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Remember...Mr. Is Not the Enemy

I'm having a hard time with this. The man wakes me up every morning, kisses my belly, and proceeds to swab it with alcohol and jab 3 needles into it. (The men.o.pur is by far the worst.) Except this morning, he picked up a shift at a Dr's office he used to work at. So he had to be there at 8 and I had to be at work at 8. Normally, I get to work between 8:15 and 8:30. They know what is going on, so it doesn't matter. No one blinks an eye. Today, though, Mr. bellowed down the hall for me to get up. I had 10 minutes to curl my hair, put makeup on, get dressed, get jabbed, eat breakfast, and get out the door. Needless to say, that didn't happen. I still curled my hair, put makeup on, got dressed and got out the door, but the 10 minute part was definitely omitted from the equation. So was the belly kiss. And I don't know why, but it put me in such a terrible mood.

We were both in the bathroom brushing our teeth and Mr. said (completely calm and rational) "Babe, it really bothers me when you do this." (sleeping in until the last possible second.)

Cue the blow up.

"It really BOTHERS me, that every morning I have to get stabbed with meds that make me icky and out of it all day long. Forgive me for not jumping out of bed ready to greet the day every morning. I have a mental battle with myself every morning because I know that as soon as I wake up, the shots are coming.  So be grateful that I'm awake at all."

Yep. Not my proudest moment. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to separate the shots from the shot-giver. So when I dropped Mr. off at his job this morning I kissed two fingers and put them on Mr.'s lips as our "goodbye kiss." As soon as I drove away I regretted it.

I'm going to be missing him worse than ever today.
I don't think he understood just how important that belly kiss is to me.
I don't think I understood either.

** As far as symptoms go, my ovaries already feel heavy. It's comforting to know that something is actually going on down there. I've had friends that get really sick from the stims, so I'm grateful to not be one of them. I did gag pretty bad at dinner last night. Something about the chicken...I couldn't take another bite of it. Also, as soon as the Folli.stim injection is put into my belly, the headache is pretty much instantaneous. I can only imagine it's going to get worse from here. 5 more days of stims and then it's retrieval time! Can't believe it's coming up this fast!

Monday, July 11, 2011


We're 3 days into stims. The shots aren't near as bad as I thought they would be. I'm getting little bruises all over my belly, but Mr. is getting really great at giving me shots. They hardly hurt longer than it takes to get the medicine into me. I'm having a bad day today, though. The headaches these medicines cause are unbelievable. Nothing makes them feel better. I am so family-ed out it's ridiculous. I want to be invisible. Mr. said he would get me an invisibility cloak. I love him.

He takes such good care of me.

Work is over in t-minus 19 minutes.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Faith Precedes the Miracle

I am blown away today. We had an appointment this morning at 8. It takes us about 15 minutes to get to the clinic, so we set the alarm for 7 and went to bed. No one heard the alarm at 7. It was 7:25 and both of us were just waiting for the alarm to go off, so we didn't move and just enjoyed waking up slowly...until Mr. saw what time it actually was. That started a mild panic.

Mr. had to collect the backup sample for the IVF cycle before we left and wouldn't you know it, he was done in 7 minutes! That is a HUGE deal! Normally 45 minutes go by and guilt and sadness reign. Not this time.

He walked into the bathroom where I was getting ready for the day with the most macho swagger I've ever seen on him. I loved it. He looked at me and said "I'm ready to go when you are!" I finished curling my hair and out the door we went.

At the clinic, we did a quick ultrasound (my baseline) to make sure my lining had thinned how it was supposed to and that my ovaries were calm. (they were.) We went into another room and got instruction on the new injections that arrived at our house this week. I am so grateful to know that those massive needles that came with the injections aren't for poking me with!

We took notes and asked questions, held hands and walked to the front of the clinic. I left to use the bathroom while Mr. checked out. I came to the desk and he had our regular checking account debit card out to pay with. I wasn't sure what he was paying for. I just assumed that it was a consultation fee or something and said he should use the medical account. He agreed and continued to pay. He said "There should be about $3,000 left on this card." (We had used the other $2,000 for the meds that are now camping out in the produce drawer of our fridge.) HE WAS PAYING FOR THE ENTIRE IVF CYCLE!! With the medical account, the $1,000 gift we received a couple of weeks ago, and the 50% off we got from our amazing doctor for attending a fundraiser, we didn't pay a single extra dime.

We are blessed. We are so very blessed. It is humbling.

We walked out of that office and realized that we paid cash for every single bit of our IVF cycle, and we still have money in the bank! I am amazed at how we have been provided for. Faith, prayer, obedience works. We are so grateful for the plan our Heavenly Father has for us. I am in awe of His hand in our life.

We stopped at Mimi's cafe for breakfast before Mr. dropped me off at work. I'm having a hard time focusing. Stims start tomorrow! I can't believe we're already here! My Egg Retreival could be less than 2 weeks away!

I've started to get excited about actually being a mom. I find myself constantly wrestling with whether or not I can be confident and hopeful or if I'm just setting myself up for heartbreak. The phrase that keeps resonating in my mind, though, is "Faith Precedes the Miracle." I have to have faith. I have to believe this will work. My baby deserves it. My babies deserve it. I will be faithful. I can't help but feel like they are looking down at all we are doing to get them here and they are grateful and cheering us on as loud as they can.

Faith Precedes the Miracle.

I gotta have faith.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Battle Scars

My belly is bruised. I've been in a huge funk lately. Not being productive at work, at home, in our relationship, etc. We have been bombarded with family lately, and luckily it's turned out to be OK. I think most of the time, I psyche myself up for a miserable time because I think I don't want to see family, but really they rejuvenate me. We are one of the extremely rare and lucky couples that has sensitive, tactful, kind, and supportive family members on both sides of the family. Not to say that I want one of them to move in with us, but the weekends they stay here are really fun, contrary to what I thought.

I've always thought bare belly maternity pictures were weird and awkward. I want the belly, (more than I ever thought I would), but having pictures of the skin exposed just kind of weirded me out before. Now, I want a picture of every mark, bruise, scab, and stretch mark so that one day I can say "Look at what I did to get you here. Don't ever doubt my love for you."

The reality is, this baby is worth every single shot, pill, meltdown, and tear. I would do all of this again and again if it meant being a mother to my child.

I have to write this down because our second shipment of meds came yesterday. Mr. told me I wasn't allowed to look at the new needles. That means they're big. And so, while I'm having this rose-colored glasses approach to shots, I should probably document it because heaven knows it's not going to last! Stims start in 2 days!! Shot class tomorrow.

My belly says, "Bring it on."

Thursday, June 30, 2011


I'm really good at metaphors, similes, comparisons, analogies, etc. Quite often, they only make sense to me. However, Mr. understands my metaphors. It's just one of the many reminders that I married the right man for me. So, here's the deal:

I mentioned earlier how I'm not used to taking pills and getting shots that make me feel worse. I'm really lucky that Mr. gives me the shot each morning because I really really hate how out of it they make me feel. Not to mention the pills and other glorious side effects (I've gained 8 pounds in a week. Yay bloating.)

Have you ever seen Harry Potter 6? At the end, Harry and Dumbledore go to this gloomy, evil island and Dumbledore tells Harry to make him drink the entire potion they find there regardless of how much he begs Harry to stop. A pretty intense scene follows of Dumbledore freaking out about having to take the nasty stuff, but it's all for the end goal. I mentioned this analogy to Mr. this morning and he told me we could re-enact it tomorrow morning. I get to writhe and sob and altogether freak out while he (all dramatically) says things like, "Just one more! I promise you can be done after just this next one!)

Oddly enough, I'm quite looking forward to the theatrics tomorrow. :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Marry a Good Man

While I'm aware the previous post sounds like I'm able to make light of this situation and laugh about it, the truth is that this is hard. It's already much harder than I originally thought it would be. I am amazed by and in love with the man who found me worthy of his affection, dedication, and fidelity for eternity. This texting conversation just happened:

Me: Did I already tell you that? I swear I'm losing my mind.
Him: Yes. Deep breath! You can do this!
Me: Babe, my life is so absolutely out of my control.
Him: ....Let me take control of it? :)

I love him. He is my rock.

I think I'm going to make him a t-shirt that says "I survived [insert list of my meds here] and all I got was this lousy t-shirt. (And a baby!)"

The man is a saint.

I'm losing it

These meds are really starting to get to me. It's such an odd phenomenon. I am so used to getting shots or taking pills to make myself feel BETTER, not worse! It's weird to have to psyche myself up to get a shot or take pills that I know are going to make me feel icky and out of it all day long.

Our original plan, because we knew the meds were going to be bad, was to lay low during these six weeks and not really see anyone to avoid any embarrassing and potentially harmful conversations. Remember plans? Yep, this one has also been completely obliterated.

My father-in-law disagreed with something I had done and let me know it about 2 months ago. We agreed to disagree and left it at that. Somehow it got brought up again, and the next thing I know I was screaming at the top of my lungs at him. My FATHER-IN-LAW. 15 minutes later I was sobbing uncontrollably because I couldn't believe how disrespectful I was. Worrying that he would never forgive me. And all around being a total wreck. Shortly after, we arrived at a dinner for my work where I tried to not sob into my filet mignon.

Slightly before that little episode, Mr. and I had to make a run to Wal-mart for a few things for a baby shower I was throwing for a friend. (She's a really good friend. Otherwise, I wouldn't inflict such pain onto myself. Pretty proud that I made it through 2 hours of baby stories without losing it.) Anyhow, in Wal-mart, I was in the party supply aisle and there was a multitude of large people everywhere. I noticed one, and then another, and another, and another and they all seemed to be exactly where I needed to be!

And so I had a complete meltdown, (with full on waterworks, naturally), because there were fat, slow people in my way.

And I said that.

Out loud.

And Mr. corralled me into the car. So as to avoid being smacked like I most assuredly deserved.

What's worse is that in the next 4 weeks, both sides of our family will be staying with us at one time or another. On Thursday, my sister-in-law was having some serious medical issues and was put on bedrest. Because it's really not fun being on bedrest with 5 roommates, we offered to let her stay in our guest room. Which is totally great. We love her. Over the weekend, her boyfriend slept downstairs on our couch. Which is also totally great. Monday morning, she went back to the hospital to check the progress of her condition, and they admitted her for the rest of the week. Because the situation got a whole lot more serious than we originally thought it was, my mother-in-law flew into town that night. (The night of the work dinner) So now the sister-in-law is sleeping in the hospital, and my mother-in-law is sleeping in the guest bedroom. Which is also totally great. My mother-in-law is an angel who always knows exactly what to say and how to make me laugh at any given time.

We love our family dearly. We do. My family will be here late Thursday night for the 4th of July weekend. I'm not sure where they'll be staying because there's no guarantee that my sister-in-law will be out of the hospital by then and I'm not about to kick out my mother-in-law. Plus, entertaining 1 person who is at the hospital all day is a heck of a lot easier than entertaining six people who have absolutely nothing to do all day and are bummed that I have to work on Friday.

The family leaves Monday morning, at which point we have to drive 40 minutes to another sister-in-law's house for a barbecue on the 4th. [Please understand that any of these activities would be FINE and GREAT on their own. It's when they all pile up one after another in addition to the lovely shots and pills that I can't handle it.]

Tuesday, I'm teaching a cooking class at church.

Wednesday, I'm teaching a private web-design lesson.

Thursday, I'm working on a benefit concert for a friend of mine whose family was just involved in a tragic car accident.

THEN, another sister-in-law is coming up to stay with us for a volleyball camp at the local university and will be here all week.

After that, Mr. will be graduating with his bachelor's degree from that same university and I'm pretty sure I'm forgetting something. OH! Yes, my mom will be coming into town for the 2 "Princess Days" after transfer. Right now, I'm really wondering if I even want her there! [I do. I know I do. I just wish everyone else would get out of my house until then.]

Speaking of which, on Sunday, I got a new calling. I'm now the first counselor in the Primary presidency. Previously, when I've been asked to teach in the Primary, I spend all of Sacrament meeting watching the tears roll off my cheeks and into my lap, find a random substitute or rely on the incredible kindness of others and cry myself to sleep after leaving church early. I just have a really hard time being around kids sometimes. I walked in the door after getting the new calling and Mr. asked me how my meeting with the bishop went. I ignored him and walked upstairs.

He said, "Babe! Come down here so we can talk about it!"

and I, in all of my emotionally stable glory said, "I CAN'T COME DOWN THERE BECAUSE THEY [the sister in law and her boyfriend] ARE DOWN THERE AND I'M GOING TO LOSE IT."

And then I walked up the stairs and slammed the bedroom door, sobbing. I really need the house to myself. [Mr. is always allowed tho.]

And ya wanna know what the main thing is on my mind? It's been WEEKS since the Mr. and I had any sort of "fun" in the bedroom. [Curse you lu.pron and your stupid vaginal flashes...mood swings, etc.] Having other people in the house doesn't make it any easier to relax!

Probably TMI, but I'm 99% sure me and the Mr. are the only ones who read this. :)

Looking forward to:
  • Last BCP on Saturday! WOO! Hello clear skin! 
  • Brad Paisley and David Archuleta concert on Saturday! 
  • The 2 tubs of potato salad in my fridge that I know my family won't touch. :) 
  • A seminar by our incredible Dr. tonight. I just have to make it through 2.5 more hours 
  • The Harry Potter premiere. Mr. and I will be dressing up. Our costumes will be pretty outrageous.  

Monday, June 27, 2011


It's kind of a weird thing to have needles delivered to your door. It also took me by surprise that we didn't need to sign for them and they were OK just leaving them on the doorstep when no one was home.

I was convinced that we started the shots on Friday morning. Thursday night right before bed, I glanced up at the calendar on our bedroom mirror and noticed that the big green "go" box highlighting the shots was on Saturday. So I slept easy for one more night. I really don't like needles.

Friday, we realized that Saturday morning, I would be working in the temple - right when I was supposed to have the first shot. The following sentence came out of Mr.'s mouth: "Well, that's ok! You could just easily give yourself the shot on one of your breaks."

That didn't go over so well.

And so, at 4:45 on Saturday morning, Mr. got the shot ready and stuck me. It was so not as bad as I was expecting it to be! He did such a good job. A friend of mine told me that she has her husband put the shot in as she's exhaling and that seems to help. She also said that she lets the medicine warm up [in the syringe, out of the fridge] for about 5 minutes before the injection. We've always been in too much of a hurry to wait for that, but I'd really like to try it because all 3 shots I've had have left me pretty sore. She also said that she's tried standing up, laying down, and sitting up. She prefers sitting up, I prefer laying down. I think it's because I can relax more.

So what's your trick?

Have you come across anything that makes injections a breeze?

P.S. We are less than a month away from our tentative transfer date!! 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


The first shipment of medicine is on its way to our house. (I'm told that normally there is only 1 shipment of medicine per IVF cycle, but we're going to have 2 for financial reasons.) It's all seeming real to me now. I still don't think it will really hit me until Friday morning when I take the first shot. I'm still trying to figure out if I want Mr. to do it, or if I'm going to do it myself. I don't take to needles very well, but maybe I would like having the control. Maybe I would like this to be something Mr. can do for me, so he feels more involved and connected to me throughout this process.

In other news, my face looks like a mountain range. It's gross. I wash my face every morning, night, and sometimes right when I get home from work just for good measure. I can't wait until I don't have to take the BCPs anymore. They make me feel icky. They've also given me cramps and spotting the past couple days. In our IVF info, we were told to call the clinic to let them know if any spotting occurred, but that it was pretty common and nothing to freak out about. Glad to know I'm normal. [I use that term loosely].

I keep telling myself that this works for people. This treatment could actually result in us becoming parents. It's such a bizarre thing for me to come to terms with. I've felt this entire time like this is just a really good story I've heard and that it's not actually our life.

I do think I'm starting to believe it, though, because last night I set my head on Mr.'s shoulder and whispered, "I don't know how to be a mom."

And he said, "I don't think anyone does, but you are going to be an incredible one."

I love him.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

And so it begins...

I never liked birth control. I went all wonky when I first started taking it right after we got married. (wonky, in this case, means completely insane). Poor Mr.

Today, I'm feeling particularly ugly. Zits have taken over both cheeks, and down my neck. One large one has set up camp smack dab in the middle of my forehead. I washed my face extra good yesterday and lightly lotioned it to keep it from being too dry.

I'm regretting the lotion.

I really am not complaining, though. I'm just grateful to see some signs that the chemicals pumping through my body are actually doing something!

Never thought I'd be grateful for acne. :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

When it Rains it Pours

I mentioned in this post how miracles happened to allow us to move forward with IVF so much sooner than we had originally planned. It seemed like everything had just come together at the right time for us. We were humbled, grateful, and shocked. And we remembered that God has a plan for our little family.

We let the dust settle after all the excitement and were able to look back and see even more little details that showed us that God is watching over us.

And then a big detail happened.

Yesterday, we received an envelope with no marks on the outside. Inside was a folded up piece of white printer paper, a post-it note, and $1,000 cash.

The note said: "Hope this helps you reach your goal. We are thinking of you and praying for you. And we know God is mindful of you."

I cried.

And said "Oh my word" over and over again.

This must be a really, really special baby that's coming to our little family!

IVF #1 - The Schedule

Our appointment went SO well on Friday! It's surreal to think that this is all happening right US. We walked into the clinic and sat down with the scheduler to go over the plan for the next 2 months. Here are the highlights:

  • Pre-natal Vitamins every night with dinner
  • June 8 - Birth Control Pill - take with dinner
  • June 20 - Lu.pron & Doxy.cycline arrives in mail
  • June 25 - Begin 10 units of Lu.pron in the AM 
  • June 25 - Begin Doxy.cycline twice a day for both me and Mr. - take with food
  • June 25 - Begin Baby Asprin 
  • July 2 - Last day for Birth Control
  • July 4 - Last day of Doxy.cycline 
  • July 8 - Baseline Ultrasound, Shot Class, Blood Draw
  • July 9 - Begin Foll.istim in the AM
  • July 9 - Begin Meno.pur in the AM
  • July 13 - Last day for high impact exercise
  • July 14 - Blood Draw
  • July 15 - Last day for intercourse
  • July 16 - Ultrasound
  • July 17 - Ultrasound
  • July 18 - Ultrasound
  • July 19 - for Mr. 
  • July 20 - Possible Egg Retreival!
  • July 23 - Possible 3-day Transfer
  • July 25 - Possible 5-day Transfer
  • July 26-27 - Princess Days (<-- REALLY looking forward to these. :) Basically I just can't really do anything for 48 hours. I'm thinkin' pedicure & chick-fliks) 
It's humbling to realize, we're on step 2 of 22 for this process. BUT, we are moving forward! The days keep passing by and I keep taking pills. I'm so very excited and just grateful to live in a time where this modern medicine is available to us. Thanks for your support and comments! They really help me stay positive! 

Also, battle plan tactic #1 is to only read positive IVF stories, so if you know of any good ones, link me up! There are so many horrible stories out there about failed IVFs, but I have to keep my head up and walk forward with confidence. I need to remember that this really does work for so many people.

Oh, and I should probably mention that we are the proud new owners of a Wii. :) lol. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Next Step

The entire idea of having a "plan" is becoming more and more hilarious to me as the days go by. We left the clinic on Wednesday thinking our next appointment to schedule everything out would be on Monday. We were thrilled to have a plan and looked forward to the next step and having an even more solid plan.
We went to Wal.Mart on my lunch break today to pick up a few things and meandered over to the electronics section to drool over the Wii's. We started giggling and decided that we would let it sit until after the scheduling appointment and perhaps buy a Wii then, if we were still that set on getting one. Which would be fine, if our plan had remained in tact. However, right after lunch I got a voicemail from the clinic asking us to come in today instead because the scheduler would be out of town on Monday. So, perhaps we will be buying a Wii tonight.

We're off to plan! I'm going to just approach the plan with a little more leniency. Heaven knows it won't remain exactly as we plan it out today.

Oh, the unknown is a blast. :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

IVF & A Doctor Who "Gets It"

Yesterday was incredible. That's the best word I can think of to describe it.

Our appointment wasn't until late afternoon. I spent the morning trying to wrestle our charts away from our old clinic and get them transferred to the new clinic. After figuring out how a fax machine works (people still use those! who knew?!), things settled down quite a bit.

Mr. picked me up from work at about 3:30. The drive to the clinic was quiet, but not for lack of communication. There's a lot that can be said while you're just holding hands.

We arrived at the clinic about 10 minutes early, so I gave Mr. the rest of the paperwork we needed to fill out. After he signed everything and finished all of the random "have you ever been treated for..." questions, we said a prayer, had a nice long kiss, and decided to greet the outside world.

Sometimes I feel like I live in a movie. When we walked through the doors of the clinic "I'm a Believer" was playing over the speakers. How appropriate. :)

We sat in the waiting room for a bit while they processed our paperwork. Mr. watched the television, I stared at the floor. Just thinking. Because our infertility is male-factor, I really haven't had very many tests done on me. I haven't taken any medications for our infertility and I have this terrible fear that although my periods are like clockwork, something is wrong with me. The floor was a good place to stare.

The doctor came and got us and we walked back to his office. He cut to the chase quick. "You know you need IVF w/ ICSI, right?"


"Well, all it takes is a sperm, an egg, and a uterus to make a baby. You get all 3 of those together and everyone ends up with a baby."

I laughed. "If only it were that simple."

"It is. You're on cycle day 6, so let's see if we can get your testing done today so you don't have to wait another month before we do this IVF cycle."

And off we went to the ultrasound exam room. He pumped me full of water and poked around my uterus making sure there was no scarring. I was terrified. He kept pointing out little details and I kept asking if that was good or bad. It was always good. No scarring. No cysts. He did point out plenty of healthy follicles. He's not worried about us having good eggs for this procedure. That makes me so grateful.

Mr. rubbed my arm while I was on the exam table. It was kind of fun to have an ultrasound. It made me feel like I belong here in the pregnant world. I've always equated ultrasounds with pregnancy. Now all we have to do is have an ultrasound with a baby in that uterus!

The Dr. did find something. My uterus has a slight septum in it. It's about 5mm deep. The "bad" septums are 30mm deep, so he's really not worried about it. Still, I wish it weren't there. They can cause miscarriage.

Mr. and I went to the back and got blood drawn for the rest of the tests we need before starting this cycle. I'm getting better at giving blood I think. (haha, celebrate the little victories I guess.)

Then, we went back to the front desk where they had all of my birth control pills ready for me. We didn't even have to get a prescription filled! They went over the basic schedule with us.

Right now, we're looking at an Egg Retrieval around July 20th with a 5th day transfer on July 25th.

That means we could find out if we're pregnant on August 5th!

Monday, we have the appointment where we get our formal calendar with all of the medication information and exact dates.

I can't believe this is happening!! We are so excited. :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Low-Down

I don't really know where to start. We were originally planning on meeting with our Dr. on May 27th to start our IVF cycle, but so many things happened and that appointment was cancelled.

Our IUI #3 was cancelled on a Thursday. Friday, we found out about a tax-free medical account available through my work, so we maxed out what we could put in there knowing we'd need every penny for IVF. Saturday, we went to a fundraiser for some friends of ours, who are also trying to save up for this expensive treatment. And that's when everything changed.

Our friends bounded up to us and asked how our IUI had gone. We explained that the Dr. had cancelled it and recommended us for IVF. And they stopped the conversation right there and said, you need to talk to her and pointed to a girl only a few years older than me with thick wavy hair and big blue eyes. Turns out, she was the fundraiser coordinator. She had received an e-mail from a fertility doctor in a clinic right next to our home who was offering anyone participating in the fundraiser 50% off of an IVF cycle.

Our jaws dropped. We waited patiently for the details. Because our regular doctor was going out of town for the summer, we were going to have to change doctors anyway. We planned to just go to another doctor at the same clinic, but our regular clinic is about 45 minutes away from our home. This new clinic is less than 20. This doctor has incredibly impressive success rates over the past 5 years. He has started clinics in Nevada and Idaho and now here in our home town. He is among the top 6 REs in the nation. We are so blessed!

Our consultation with him is this afternoon and I am completely freaking out. I have had 3 meltdowns already without any medications or hormones pulsing through me at all. I am terrified, excited, nervous, anxious, and so grateful.

I feel so strongly that this man is going to help us become parents. He is going to give us the greatest gift we could ever ask for. I can't wait to meet with him, yet at the same time, that nagging little fear in the back of my mind keeps asking "what if this doesn't work? what then?"

The bigger part of me, though, keeps asking "What if this works?! What if it does!?"

Hopefully, this afternoon, we'll have a timeline and more info and a plan! I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Life Saver

Today was not a good day. My period started around 10:30 and I was NOT feeling well. I get all sorts of crampy, woozy, nauseous every single time and while YES, it IS a positive thing to be at the start of our first IVF cycle (!! more details on that coming VERY soon !!), I still feel like garbage. I had cried 3 times before 2 in the afternoon. Ah, hormones. Well, throughout all this, I was a real witch to the Mr. I didn't want to call the clinic to schedule blood work because I hate going to the doctor alone and Mr. is headed out of town for a wedding this weekend. I can't go because we couldn't afford 2 plane tickets. I want to get the blood work done, but it's scary and sad to go alone. Cue the waterworks. Well, Mr. called the clinic and double checked which tests I needed to get done and as it turns out, I can wait until next week when Mr. is back in town! Then, an hour later, he showed up at my office with a midol and a hot hands (small heat pads that rule the world.)

I love him.

That doesn't mean that I won't sob all the way home from the airport in a couple hours, but hey, around here emotional stability is not a common occurrence.

Friday, May 13, 2011

IUI #3: Things Get Interesting

I took the day off work yesterday to relax before our third IUI. I ate breakfast, browsed around on blogs for a while, learned a new hairstyle, and got dressed. Mr. and I ate lunch together got in the car, and ran back in the house about 3 times before we had everything we needed. Once we were on the road, our conversation turned to ways we could pay for IVF. We both knew this IUI wasn't going to work. We arrived at the clinic, and I gave Mr. the best kiss I knew how. Armed with these, he went to the back room to collect a sample. Because of last time, I knew that I needed to have my phone today. 

The minutes passed and I tried not to text Mr. in case things were going well. I still wanted to know what was going on. Suddenly, while I was flipping my phone open and closed, I answered a phone call without knowing it. It was the clinic. I was in their waiting room. Odd. The nurse on the other line told me that our Dr. had gone over our file and no longer recommended us going through with this 3rd IUI because our chances were so low (about 3%). He said that we could absolutely go through with this 3rd IUI if we wanted to, but that we needed to know that he didn't recommend it. He said we should save the money and put it toward IVF, because we have such a better chance with IVF. 

I didn't know what to do. I didn't want to text Mr. in case things were going OK. I didn't want to make this decision by myself. 45 minutes passed and I sent Mr. a simple "I love you." 

No response.

5 minutes later: "I am stressed."

"You can do this. You are amazing and I love you so so much. No one else can do what you are doing. you're the most incredible, handsome, righteous man I know."

"Please come back here."

I walked into the room and gave him a hug. There are moments in marriage where you so desperately need each other. The love between the two of us was tangible. I live for moments like that. That feeling at that intensity has only happened one other time in our marriage. Oh they are sweet. 

I hesitated to relay what the doctor said because I didn't know how Mr. would take it. Once I said, "The Dr. says he doesn't recommend us doing this today." I felt like an angel coming to relieve my sweet husband's pain. We hugged and cried and discussed what perfect timing this was. What are the odds that the nurse, who had no idea that we were even in the clinic today, would call and tell us that right at the right time? 

We had made our decision. I walked out to find a nurse to discuss moving forward with IVF with. Mr. cleaned up and met us in "Exam Room 2." The next hour was spent scheduling, discussing medications, procedures, tests we need to get done, and financing options. 

We left that clinic on such a high! We were cleared for IVF this summer. THIS SUMMER! Before, we had treated IUI #3 as a necessary evil in order for our Dr. to consider us for IVF. We both knew it wasn't going to work. It was just a waste of time, money, hope, and prayers. 

We have an appointment in 2 weeks to get scheduled and on birth control to get things moving! I've never been so excited and terrified at the same time in my life. But oh, how sweet it is to be in this with Mr. He is one incredible man. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Here we go again...

(positive ovulation test today! 3rd & final IUI attempt tomorrow or Friday)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Oh Mother's Day

I know I'm not the only one in the infertility blogosphere that really wasn't looking forward to Mother's Day this year. I will admit, though, that I was really surprised with how completely wonderful yesterday was! Mr. spoiled me like crazy. I had a hard time even remembering that I don't have any children on this Earth yet. My favorite part of the day, though, was reading the card that my sweet Mr. wrote to me. He included this quote:

"You will see the time when you will have millions of children around you. If you are faithful to your covenants, you will be mothers of nations. You will become Eves to earths like this, and when you have assisted in peopling one earth, there are millions of others still in the course of creation. And when they have endured a thousand million times longer than this earth, it is only as it were at the beginning of your creation." 

-Spencer W. Kimball

And I was comforted. And I was strengthened. And I was reminded that I married the perfect man for me. And I remembered just how short this life really is. And I was motivated to endure it well. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

One Meeting Later

First off, I have to say THANK YOU to those of you who have stopped by and commented! I didn't even know anyone knew this blog existed. The kind words of strength and support from you have buoyed me up on more than one occasion, so thank you for taking the time to visit me here and empathize with us. 

Yesterday, we got to meet with a financial advisor. I was NOT in a good mood about it. I had had a long day at work and was not interested in going to meet with a guy who was only interested in selling us something we didn't need, or hadn't done enough research on to decide if we needed it or not. Boy, was I wrong! We got into the elevator and took it to the 3rd floor. I was still angry. Mr. likes making out in elevators. I normally like it too. Yesterday, I wasn't interested. I didn't want to be there.

We met the advisor at the door and he walked us back to a conference room. After some short introductions, we dove right in to our plans for the next 40 years. We covered the basics, and then we dropped the infertility bomb. Because of our situation, we need to be keeping a lot more in savings. We probably won't be buying a home when all of our peers are buying homes. We probably will need to have a serious plan for saving up for missions or education for our children. But the advisor took it all in stride. He treated our unique financial situation like just one more thing to think about when making our overall plan.

And then it struck me, this is just a thing. Our infertility gives us a few different cards to play with, but they're our cards. It's the hand we've been dealt and it's nothing a little extra planning can't fix. (the financial side of things anyway. The emotional side of things is a completely other story!) I've been moping around because we will be living in apartments for what seems like forever. We probably won't be able to buy a car, even though we really need one. We will be scrimping and saving for a long, long while. But if we are smart now, we can plan for our future just like everyone else. We are starting earlier than most. $100 to us now is so much more valuable as an investment than it is in our pocket.

We talked for 90 minutes and not once was there a sales pitch. He asked us what we would like to cover next week and told us up front that he is paid on commission, but that he would not be selling us products. I loved that he wasn't sneaky about things. It was completely transparent. Completely different than any other firm I've met with. He was empathetic to our dream of starting a family, he got all jazzed right along with us when he started putting pieces together to make the financial side of things a huge possibility. He took into account our need for a car, how my benefits at work will be of greatest value to us, how to cover ourselves and maintain our financial independence while still being able to meet the $25K requirement for in-vitro. This man loves his job. And he has figured out that the money side of things will come if he just takes care of his clients.

Some of you will probably think we got schmoozed, but not one cent left our wallets. And he assured us that our money would probably stay in our wallets during our next meeting too. And the value of our discussion was much, much more than we could have imagined. We are on the same page, financially, our plans are in motion. We are completely empowered.

It's amazing what one little meeting with one dedicated and passionate man can do for a couple who once considered themselves hopeless from a financial standpoint.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

IUI #2: Failed

This latest IUI didn't work. I'm not shocked, but it doesn't make it hurt any less. We have 1 more IUI to try next month before we are moved on to IVF with ICSI or adoption.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I believe in miracles

I have hit an all-time low. I don't exactly know what to say about it. I've been so worried about making sure that Mr. is staying afloat or being taken care of that it's taken me a solid year to actually feel. I'm discouraged and sad. I have been breaking down at the most random things. I have no desire to do anything. I don't want to keep doing fertility treatments because I feel like we're doing the same thing and expecting different results. (Or at least I'm expected to hope for different results). And I'm just not willing to do that. I've heard before that infertiles experience the same levels of depression and anxiety as cancer patients. I thought that was absurd when I first heard it, and now I can see it. I can really see how it would be possible.

Today marks 2 weeks since IUI #2. I'm feeling normal. No symptoms, but I think that's also because there really isn't any hope pumping through my veins either. I've been charting as well, and if my body's temperatures actually mean what the experts say they mean, I didn't ovulate until 3 days after the IUI anyway. So really, the 2 week mark doesn't mean squat. And I should be OK to give up on this cycle. But I can't.

After canceling my Dr.'s appointment yesterday because I got home from work and flipped out at Mr. for no good reason. I could tell I was on the verge of a massive emotional meltdown. About 5 minutes later, the meltdown started. I was sobbing and saying how I don't want comfort anymore. I'm sick of praying for comfort. I want a child. I want this to be over. I just want to be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel and there is none. Mr. just held me and let me cry. I was mean. I know I was mean. and I was absolutely wrong. Sometime toward the end of the meltdown, my heart was calmed. I felt the strong need to listen to my husband. I managed to choke out the words, "I don't know what to do anymore. I need you to help me. I will do whatever you ask me to every single day until we hear that our little one is on the way."

Mr. looked at me, probably shocked at the sudden change in my tone, and said "I will pray about it and I will give you a letter later this week." And then he kissed the tears off my cheek. I married a tender man. And I am so grateful, because I am pretty rough around the edges and he is so patient with me.

I did feel, though, that my Heavenly Father has council that will probably only come to me. My Heavenly Father and I have a strong relationship. Some days, I forget that. Yesterday I forgot that. When I woke up this morning, though, I felt the need to pray more sincerely. I knelt down, unrushed, and offered up a simple prayer. I asked that I would know what to ask for. that I would know what He wants me to learn and how I should learn it. that I would be able to feel of His love for me. and that I would know I was not forgotten.

I brought my scriptures and a fresh journal to work with me, so I could study on my lunch break. The question of what I should study stayed in my mind all morning long. I had given a talk on temperance last year sometime and I couldn't get that word out of my head. "Study temperance."

At lunch, I grabbed my purse and found a desk in the hallway. I first wrote in the journal these words:

This is not working!! I am in serious trouble. My life is spiraling so out of control that I don't know which way is up. I have been trying so hard to stay upbeat about our childlessness/infertility that I'm just now starting to really feel everything & it is not good. I do not like myself and I am taking it out on my sweet husband. I have such a bad temper. I need to fix that, now. I say mean & hurtful things and I know he will always forgive me, but it is getting harder & harder to forgive myself. I am also just flat out in a rut. Nothing excites me anymore. Normally, when I get like this, I make a detailed master plan. The problem with that is it's my master plan. I've learned that right now I just don't know what's best for me. I need help. So I've asked Mr. to pray about it & help me know what to do. I'm praying about it too and only planning to do the things that I know come directly from my Heavenly Father.  

I needed guidance and my heart was aching for that guidance. I opened the topical guide to "temperance." There were plenty of references listed, but one stood out to me. 2 Peter 1:6. I don't know why it stuck out. It wasn't marked or anything. The surrounding text wasn't especially interesting. But it was the first (and only) scripture I turned to. When I opened the page, I saw that sometime earlier I had underlined some words in verse 4, so I started reading from there instead.

4. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
5. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6. And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7. And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful...

Wow. Not only have I been told exactly what to do, I have been literally reminded that God is aware of the desires of my heart. He knows what I need and He hears my prayers. He will guide me through this trial. I cannot give up hope because I have not done everything that I can do. God has a plan for me. He is my Father. He knows what is best. He knows what I can handle and what I need to learn.

So the start of that chain is diligence. I must be diligent in my work. I will work every single day to bring our little one safely home. Then comes faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and charity. I will study in depth each one and work hard to having each trait abound in me and in my family. For, "I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say, but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise." (D&C 82:10)

I've always thought that our little baby was going to be our miracle, but I'm starting to see that the miracle might be me.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lift Your Love [#1] - Sketch it up a bit!

In our church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, masturbation is inappropriate unless for fertility treatments. Growing up with this belief made "collecting a sample" really guilt-ridden for my sweet Mr.

I went with him for our first IUI, because the guidelines of the church say that the wife is encouraged to help, as we believe intimacy to be something to be shared only between husband and wife. Turns out, me being in the room with him just stressed him out, embarrassed him, and put extra pressure on him. It was a terrible situation. I pulled out all the stops, but eventually just went out into the waiting room until the sample was collected. I felt helpless. I hated that he had to do that alone. He hated having to do it alone. Not the best experience.

We went about 6 months without going back to that clinic, and I had some time to brainstorm how I could make this easier on my Mr. I knew 3 things:

  1. Me being in the room with him wasn't going to work out. 
  2. The church recommends the wife helping
  3. I wanted him to know how much I supported him. I also wanted to take some of the pressure off of him. 
My solution? 

Take boudoir photos! 

For those of you who don't know, there is an entire branch of photography geared toward taking tasteful (yet somewhat scandalous) images of wives for their husbands. From checking out pricing, though, it was like $350 for what I wanted. (20 images and a book) Fertility treatments take up all of our money, now, and I knew blowing $350 on something I wanted to surprise my husband with would not be a possibility. 

So, I researched a few professional photographers and combed through their portfolios. I took note of poses, lingerie, backgrounds, etc. I told one of my good girl friends what I was thinking about doing and she mentioned how she'd always wanted to do something like that for her husband, so we got to work! One Friday, we snapped pictures for about 4 hours, picked through the images to find our favorites and edited them over the next week. It was a lot of work, but I surprised Mr. with a few of the images (the book is still in the mail somewhere...) before our IUI yesterday and he loved them! Men are extremely visually stimulated, which means my photos made everything easier on him. I felt supportive. I felt like I could help him somehow, and I didn't have to be in the room with him. Every man is different, so this might not be right for everyone. All I know is that it sure made a difference for us! 

I did learn a few things to make this go well: 
  1. Get a nicer camera so you can shoot in RAW mode. Borrow one if you have to. Shooting in RAW mode allows you to change the lighting and white balance of the photos in photoshop. It makes a HUGE difference in making the photos look professional if you aren't a pro photographer. 
  2. You will need Photoshop. You can download a 30-day free trial here
  3. High heels make a huge difference. Get necklaces, hair clips, accessories, etc. to glam things up a little bit. 
  4. Use portraiture to make your skin look incredible! There is a 14-day free trial here
  5. Ask a friend to take the pictures. If you try to use a timer on the camera your images won't be in focus and you won't be able to get the angles that you want. 
  6. Don't be afraid to crop pictures! Mix it up by cropping close up shots and full shots. 
  7. Use a plain white sheet behind you. Then, you can open up any image you would like to use as a background, open it in photoshop, change the blend mode to overlay, and erase it off of you so it is only on the sheet. It will blend perfectly! I shot all of my photos in 2 rooms in our tiny apartment and the photos look like I was in 6 or 7 different places. 
  8. Remember that your husband thinks you are beautiful. He loves you. This is for him. 
  9. In Photoshop, if you go to filter > liquify, you will be able to clean up love handles, thighs, etc. Just don't over do it! You don't want to look fake! 
  10. Even if you get one that is great, it will be worth it! You'll blow him away! :) 
Just a note: Be careful when googling boudoir photography. There are some pretty sketchy things out there. The idea is to make it tasteful and classy. You are not an object. He should not want to treat you like an object. If you do not feel uplifted and beautiful by the images you are seeing, it is not what you want. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

IUI #2

Yesterday, we did our 2nd IUI. It was completely different from the first time. For that, I'm really grateful. This one came with its own set of issues, though. I was reminded, again, just how steep this uphill battle is.

I took the entire day off of work to relax my body as much as possible. I slept in, took a long hot shower, spent an entire hour getting ready for the day, and worked on a little surprise for the Mr. He came home around 11, we left for the clinic around 11:30. We had to make a quick stop to pick up that little surprise, which also happens to be Lift Your Love #1 and will be posted soon. :) I went inside, Mr. pounded an energy drink in the car. (It supposedly helps with sperm motility...and it makes Mr. feel manly, so it's become a tradition.)

Driving up to the clinic, we held hands the entire way. We felt so united for this procedure. We were a team. It had been 6 months since we'd made the drive to the clinic. It's funny how time marches on.

When we arrived, I sat down in the waiting room, and Mr. went back. 15 minutes passed. 30 minutes. 45 minutes. I hate not being able to help him or even know what's going on or if he needs me. (For IUI #1, I went back with Mr. and it only resulted in unnecessary stress.)

Just when I started to panic, Mr. came through the waiting room door. He grabbed my hand and off we went to lunch while the clinic washed and prepped the sample. As soon as we got in the car, I could tell it wasn't good.

"There wasn't very much."
"That was so hard. I hate doing that."

I completely lost it. I was terrified, angry, and confused. We had fasted to be able to do this today! We drove around for a while looking for a place to eat. Mr. probably suggested 15 different restaurants before just picking one for me. I was being a punk. I had already given up on this treatment, and we hadn't even done it yet. (Looking back, I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that it was 2pm and I hadn't eaten anything at all. I think I'm going to make a treatment day to-do list so this doesn't happen again. Emotions will be running crazy anyway, no need to fuel the fire with low blood sugar.)

Mr. walked me inside. I ordered a bowl of clam chowder and finally exhaled. Mr. grabbed my hand and we slowly but surely got back on the same page. By the time lunch was over, the mood had completely changed.

We walked to the car, Mr. gave me a whole-body kiss, you know, the ones where he completely scoops you up and makes you feel like you're the only two people in the world.

And then he winked at me and said, "Let's do this."

For how powerful we felt, we should have been wearing football pads and eye-black. Love and unity in a marriage is an impressive combination.

We went back to the clinic, and sure enough, the sample was about 2ml less than Mr.'s normal. BUT, the motility and viscocity were exactly the same as last time. A "normal" sample of someone without male-factor infertility has about 40 million. We had about 4.7 million to work with. Post-wash/prep, we had exactly 1.0 million of viable sperm.

Shockingly enough, I felt completely calm and confident going in to the exam room. We were together. We were in love. We were sealed for eternity. No matter what, I have the love of my life forever. It hit me hard, there in the exam room, just how blessed we really are.

Mr. rubbed my back until the nurse practitioner came in. She did the procedure and left all in the space of about 3 minutes. I laid down and Mr. gave me a priesthood blessing. I have absolutely no idea how people go through this trial without the gospel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The priesthood power here on earth is such a strength and a comfort to me, and any worthy man in the church can hold it, which means my husband has the power to give me blessings directly from my Heavenly Father.

We walked out to the car with the rest of the day ahead of us. We went shopping at a nearby mall, out to dinner, and cuddled and laughed and made out all the way down the escalator. We escaped the world together for just a day. During treatments like these, for us, it's important to remember that this is a very hard thing we are doing. The most important thing we can do is strengthen our marriage and take care of each other. If we are not united, we have already lost.

14 days from now, we'll know if IUI #3 will be happening or if we got lucky!