10 Words that Describe Infertility

March 28, 2013

A fellow blogger posted this pastor's article on facebook and I had to share.  I copied it below.  Perfect.  I added my own feelings/experiences under each one in red.
Here are ten words I would use to describe how infertility feels:

1. Lonely. We saw couple after couple get pregnant before us, our best friends included. When they told us, we high-fived them, then we went home, and hardly knew what to say to each other. We felt lost, sad, and even lonelier than before. We were excited for them; we were just very sad for us.
It’s okay to go home and cry your eyes out when your friends get pregnant.
What a rock and a hard place.  We so want to be happy for our friends, sisters, extended family, neighbors, x-students who are pumped to be parents.  Our smiles are genuine but they have no clue the firework of emotions and pain and emptiness this throws me into.  "Really sad for us" describes it perfectly.

2. Exposed. Everybody wants to give you advice, and some people say incredibly stupid things. My favorite: “You just need to stop trying so hard!” Some people want to know every excruciating detail of what you’re doing to get pregnant. Suddenly, your most private details are the subject of casual conversation. Once people know you’re trying, people want to know how it’s going, if you’ve done artificial insemination, if you’d consider IVF, and how it felt in that small white room with the gross leather chair & the bad magazines.
It’s okay to avoid the question, smile, and change the subject. Keep as many things private as you can (except to a few trusted friends).
This blog is a great place to be open, vulnerable, and truthful-but it's a secret.  It's easier to "expose" myself to strangers.  It's so true that it's weird people that know about our IVF date really KNOW the moment we "try."  When my sister got pregnant I did not ask her what time of the day, etc. 

3. On Hold. We were always checking the calendar, wondering if we should plan that vacation, or that work trip, because what if we’re pregnant? Then we stopped doing that, because we would have never lived if we would have scheduled everything around a “what if.”
It’s okay to miss a month or two; you have to live your life. This is hard, but over the long haul, it will create more stress if you feel so trapped that you can’t plan anything. We even found that it’s good to take a month off now and then.
This is dead one.  Last year, I almost didn't plan a trip with the students to Spain because I "just knew" I'd be pregnant by summer.  We've been wanting to go on a cruise, but I'm horrified-we have 2 unused IVFs in the future.  I don't want to be shooting up on vacation OR worse, puking my guts out because an IVF actually worked. 

4. Invaded. For women, there are so many things entering your body (probes, needles, drugs) and so many people measuring your progress. Even sex, at the mercy of a calendar or a temperature reading, can feel invasive. The loss of control can almost merge into a loss of self.  But, it feels like once you’ve started down this road, there’s no stopping until you get pregnant.
It’s okay to say what you need, and it’s okay to shore up your boundaries in whatever ways you can.
It's humorous to me that I didn't get my first pap smear til I was 26.  I was super scared and hated the uncomfortable feeling so I had been able to talk myself out of it till I got married.  I cannot count how many times a x-ray tech, OBGYN, RE, or nurse have gone up there now.  Like probably over 40 times.  He is right.  Once you start the road, you will not stop until you get pregnant.  It invades your sex life (months ago I blogged about sobbing during sex because of stress and fear of having to do IVF). 

5. Awkward. During one of the first visits where I was given the small cup and ceremoniously ushered into the small room, I actually ran into some people from my church afterwards. Of course they had their baby with them. I had a small cup that contained very personal contents with me. They asked, “What are you doing here?” I mean, what do you say?
It’s okay to laugh at yourself sometimes. And when someone catches you with your cup in your hand, that’s all you can do.
Seriously.  My poor husband.  He HATES those "donation rooms"  He can hear people outside.  The tecs rarely make eye contact with him.  He gets stressed.  It sucks.

6. Angry. Unfair is the password that gets you into the infertility club. Mary tells a story of a friend asking her if she was angry with God. “No!” she blurted. “I’m angry at pregnant women!” She knew this was irrational, but she also knew that it was good for her soul to be honest in safe places. You actually may be angry with God, and you may need to find some safe places to be honest about that.
It’s okay to express the darkness, even the stuff you’re terribly embarrassed about, because it’s good for your soul. But in the right places, with people who can handle it.
Oddly enough, I had a miscarriage with our first IVF and I wasn't mad.  I was really really sad.  I kept claiming the scripture in Isaiah that says "I won't cause suffering without something new being born."  The anger?  That set in after our FET.  So many prayers.  Perfect little embryos.  Just a cold shoulder from God.  I wasn't mad at Him exactly, just mad.  And pregnant women?  I hate can't be by them.  I don't really hate them, but it's the pregnant women that sting the most (not ones who have babies/children).  I don't know why.  It's ridiculous but it's true.  I have to hide every pregnant friend on facebook.  When I'm with pregnant friends I'm sure they feel like they are on egg shells and to be careful with "Holly."  This makes me sad/angry too. 

7. Stressed. Even though it seems like a stressed out couple is less likely to get pregnant, The American Society for Reproductive Medicine finds that there is no proof stress causes infertility. Besides, trying hard to “not be so stressed about it” never worked for us. It also didn’t help to “just stop trying.” Everybody has a friend who was infertile for 73 years, and the day they stopped trying, they got pregnant. That never happened with us.
It’s okay to be stressed. Don’t stress about your stress. Trying hard not to be stressed is silly.
Stress is the worst and it's so true when people say "don't stress, relax"  That STRESSED me out!  I mean, in the 2ww, how can you not be nervous/stressed?  You just spent you life savings, put your body through hell and back, and probably have a 50% chance you're pregnant.  That is stressful.  You know what else is stressful?  The wife doesn't ovulate unless she takes crazy amounts of femera (resulting in headaches and crazy hot flashes) and temps and takes OPKS every morning; she gets a rush of hope when she sees the positive smile face and wants to tell her husband.  But her husband has low testosterone, low sperm count, low libido.  He can see that "it is time" in her face and panics.  Then she panics.  Then, the window of opportunity leaves and the wife was on all that junk for nothing and the husband feels horrible and they both cry and wait for next month.  That is stress.

8. Despair. The cycle of hope and despair with infertility can take you out. I remember getting so excited when Mary was 2 days late, and just knowing that this time, it’s going to happen! Then, a few days or hours later, when she told me she got “it,” I would plunge into despair. The alternative is to temper your hope so that your despair doesn’t get so low. After about a hundred months of experiencing this cycle, we found that the best route is to keep hoping, and if it doesn’t happen, keep crying. It’s too hard to pretend that you’re not excited and that you’re not depressed. Be excited. Be depressed.
It’s okay to hope, and it’s okay to cry. Keep hoping and keep crying.
This one spoke to me the most.  I am so guilty of "tempering my hope." Because I don't want to fell the pain of failure again.  On our last FET I wouldn't allow myself to get excited that it would work; it didn't.  I was sad anyway.  I love the "Be excited, be depressed" advice.  Don't stop hoping is so so hard but probably so so healthy.

9. Loss. This was not how it was supposed to be. This was not what you dreamed it would be. And you don’t know how it will end.
It’s okay if you don’t know how to wrap your mind around your emotions. Be gentle with yourself for not totally having control of how you feel from moment to moment.
Miscarriage, failed IUIs, failed FETs.  My dreams are a loss.  I thought I'd have all my kids by age 30.  How will it end?

10. Ambivalence. Every time you have to go through another kind of treatment, you ask yourself: “Is it worth it? Do I really want it that bad?” And then in the very next breath, you are taken out by the sheer magnitude of how much you want a baby.
It’s okay to want and not want. That’s normal. 
During our 2nd IVF (the frozen embryo transfer) it was the first time in 2 years of ovulation meds and IVF meds that I said outloud "I don't know how much longer I can do this."  It impacts us financially and emotionally but PHYSICALLY too.  Breaking blood vessels with injections, feeling nasty, gaining weight, all for what?  A negative pregnancy test.  But then, in the next breath, I realize how bad I want that baby and how I will stop at nothing.

If you’re struggling with infertility, it can be such a dark time. You have to be out loud with each other about what you need, and every journey will be different. You have to give yourselves permission to do this journey in whatever way makes the most sense for you.

My blessing for you as you struggle: May God give you what you need, when you need it, over and over and over again.

Just Keep Breathing

March 23, 2013

I posted this song by Plumbline a few days ago called "Need You Now." 

Well, everybody's got a story to tell
And everybody's got a wound to be healed
I want to believe there's beauty here
So, I guess you're tired of holding on
I can't let go, I can't move on
I want to believe there's meaning here

How many times have you heard me cry out
"God please take this"?
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.

Standing on a road I didn't plan
Wondering how I got to where I am
I'm trying to hear that still small voice
I'm trying to hear above the noise


Though I walk, though I walk through the shadows
And I, I am so afraid
Please stay, please stay right beside me
With every single step I take

How many times have you heard me cry out?
And how many times have you given me strength?

The part that most captures my attention is the question: HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU HEARD ME CRY OUT GOD PLEASE TAKE THIS?  I don't know.  I've prayed it so much.  But the 2nd part, HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU GIVEN ME STRENGTH TO JUST KEEP BREATHING? I don't know the answer to that, but a lot.  I've begged God to take this.  This infertility dream crusher.  I've prayed for him to take it-the IVF process, the embryos, everything.  He hasn't taken the pain yet BUT each time He has given me the strength to just keep breathing.

Yesterday was a big step forward for us.  I think I was dreading the "after" IVF period.  Now that it's here, it's almost over.  I get to start femera tomorrow to help me ovulate on my own this month.  Soon this painful FET will be a little bump in the past.  I'm still bruised (heart and booty) but I am breathing.

I read an article yesterday about an infant who was randomly shot while his mother held him.  A friend of a friend who knew she could never get pregnant (since she was young) went through 2 or 3 failed adoptions till they finally got their sweet baby girl  (they are mid-thirties).  Finally their answered prayer had come (this happened about 11 months ago).  2 months ago her husband had a freakish heart attack and died on a school field trip.  These are examples of injustice and true true pain.

While I am heartbroken our little snow babies never get to breath a breath of life on earth, I'm reminded that just beacause I'm a follower of Christ doesn't mean He will answer all my prayers or guarantee me a happy/safe life (although He eventually guarantees that in heaven).  Although I'm still mad, through my tears I can admit that He still answered prayers in this FET:

1.  He said no; I don't get it, but he does.  He promises to do good to those that love Him.
2.  I begged God that if the answer was no that I would get the "not pregnant" result and not have to go through the heartache of miscarriage.
3.  He is good and He has given me the strength to just keep breathing.  I'm alive.

I can't help but wonder if adoption is where He is leading us.  It's so hard because all though we are so open to it, we want to experience pregnancy first.  Just once.  I won't do IVF again if it works.  Too insane.  My heart and head are nowhere near that idea right now.  But perhaps God's plans are reverse.  Maybe there are so many closed doors out of His love for us and a child He knows has to have us.  The only way we pursue that is if everything else doesn't work.  Or maybe He is just allowing this to happen to draw us closer and to have a story to help other women/couples struggling.  I don't know.  But today, I am thankful.  I am thankful there is still hope.  We get to try round 3 whenever we choose.  I am thankful that I have Christ in my life. I am thankful that through the mess and the cries out, that He is still here, giving me strength to just keep breathing.

Enter Anger/Sadness Stage

March 21, 2013

I'm starting my failed IVF period today.  It's tough.  I hate it reminding me about what I felt like we were so close to.  Yesterday as I got in the shower my eye caught my very bruised hips from the PIO shots.   They are still there even though the embryos are not.  After work I ran to my car (it was pouring rain) and my butt muscles KILLED from where those injections were.  The hope is gone for the FET but the side effects aren't.

As we all know, pregnancy announcements can be tough.  I'm usually "cool" with infertile people finally getting pregnant as it give a glimmer of hope, but although 90% of the world has the luxury of getting pregnant when they feel like it, I still get shocked and stung with announcements.  I have WAY too many "friends" on facebook.  One girl I have probably talked to twice in my life posted her positive pregnancy test with something that said "we got the best news of our lives 3 months ago".  I remembered when I got that news 5 months ago.

The hardest part about the post was it was a clear blue digital.  You know the make.  It reads "pregnant" or "not pregnant."  It was the same exact one that I read on Sunday morning but her image was the one I so incredibly desperately wished I could have seen.  For some reason this stupid image made me feel like someone just kicked me in the stomach.  I've been at this for 2 years.  I'm a veteran with BFN and pregnancy EVERYWHERE but ouch today.

Yesterday at a staff meeting they were talking to the online Spanish teacher my age and asked if she wants to be back in the classroom (my ears perked up because I SOO want her job if we get pregnant).  She said "I want  to be back in the classroom but we are going to have a baby in 6 months" all the women smile/gasp/freak out and ask "YOU'RE PREGNANT??""  She smiles and responds, "No, no.  We plan to get pregnant in six months."  I had to swallow puke.  Oh the luxury.

And my poor husband.  I can "turn it on" at work and be my happy self.  I've actually probably been a better teacher lately because I can focus more on it then during IVF crap.  But I'm a zombie at home. No desire to have sex. No desire to have fun.  I want to be sad and angry (just for awhile) and he has to have a sucky wife. He told me hat being depressed is a choice.  I mostly agreed but  I feel depressed right now due to injury. I still have to shed the lining. I have to deal with the "aftermath" of the injections. I feel like I'm been punched 38 times. It's different. This emotion is not a choice, it's an injury. But injuries heal. The bruises will fade, the period will pass, the sun will rise again. 

When Darren and I broke up years ago, I was in such a similar place.  Hopeless and broken.  I found a great Christian counselor.  I called him today.  Thank Jesus for help.

Today I volunteered to help out at the "knowledge bowl meet" at the middle school (helping out a friend) and one of the answers to the questions was the quote "Time heals all wounds."  Isn't that the truth?  I know in my heart, this will pass, it's just I have to WAIT for time to move on.  And it will.

Moving On

March 19, 2013

Throughout the whole IF journey I cope best when I can move on.  With a failed IUI I was like "Darn. okay, I will ovulate again in 2 weeks and try again."  This kept me sane for almost a year. 

With the miscarriage it was hard.  I had to basically wait 3 months to even start up again.  The fact that I don't ovulate on my own was annoying because I knew I couldn't "try" till March.

My RE called me today and told me since it was just a FET, I can start the fresh immediately!! Like, from this failed cycle period I'm wating for and instantly get all geared up again.  I was sure they would tell me to take a month off and then try in late April.  At that point, if I could handle the WAITTTTTTING then I would try to stay strong and wait till June when I'm not working (but if I can do it sooner??)

In the meantime out of our emotional high and lows, before even talking to the RE, Darren and I booked a 6 day cruise to the Caribbean on (read in scary voice) Carnival's newest ship for May 5th.  I told my RE this and he was like "let's try to get the egg retrieval and transfer done before then."  I was tempted.  Almost sad I booked the cruise.  But there is no way in H-E-double-hockey-sticks I am going to be going through that dreadful 2ww in the Bahamas.  Heck to the no.

So basically, he is cool with us going "old school" this month.  Yes, you heard that right.  I'm going to take good old faithful femera to ovulate on my own.  At least I feel like there is a small chance and that we are truly trying.  Darren's sperm has crappy morphology but there are 6% normal ones.  Why not go back to the basics for a month?  Can't wait to get that little heartwarming smile from the clear blue ovulation kit.

Assuming from experience that this cycle won't miraculously happen, then I can start the IVF protocol late April (aka birth control) shoot my little bod up with lupron while I drink pina coladas on the ship and then come back and stim it up.  Loosly meaning we could know by June if IVF #3 let the "odds be in foreva in our favor" (read in Hunger Game accent). 

He mentioned doing a "freeze all" if my estrogen levels are high again and I instantly felt panic.  I got pregnant on a fresh, NOT on a frozen.  Their success rates on ART website for 2011 were only like 35% for FETs.  He said that over the last 2 quarters FET rates are as high as 50% (it actually made me feel a little bit worse our snow babies didn't behave well but whatever). 

So, in the wise words of Tupac I can sit here and obsess forever and stare at all the missing pieces and wonder why and how or I can move the @#%%@%@ on.  It's amazing how much the human spirit can take when the heart has already made a decision on what it wants, stopping at nothing.

The Letter Sums it Up

March 19, 2013

When I texted the bad news to friends and family I asked them not to respond.  I just couldn't handle 80 trillion "we are praying for you" and "it will happens" in that moment.  My mother-in-law, respecting my request, sent a sweet message to Darren.  Last night I emailed her this and after writing it thought, hey, that's a blog post.  It's a huge emotion and it's honest.  In my heart I know "this too shall pass" but come on people, I'm 2 days ahead of a 50% chance that the land of infertility would release me from her evil grasp.  Here's the letter:

Darren read me your text and it was so sweet. I'm kind of in the "indifferent" "numb" "anger" "why does prayer ever matter" zone. So many people prayed and so many are praying for us and I'm kind of like whatever.
I obviously know this is wrong (don't worry, Darry didn't marry a heathen) and I know deep in my heart God is good no matter what. But right now I have a lot of fear and frustration. We will do IVF and this horrifies me because I know what that means. Super spendy meds that make me gain weight and kill my ovaries, egg retrieval surgery, and then that dreaded 10 day wait in between. It's all ahead. With no guarantees. That's scary. And for things to go so smoothly for it to be negative? frustrating.
I get annoyed too when people say maybe it's a timing thing (although it could be) because MOST women are fertile and Heidi's friends are freaking planning the MONTH they want get pregnant with 2nd child. Oh the luxury. I'm annoyed to because its an honest and humble and selfless prayer. Wanting a child is not greedy like give me a ton of money or a nice car or etc. I know its hard to be a mom and parent and pregnancy and the worst part is God PUT it in us to want it so bad. Heart deferred makes the heart sick and my heart is super sick.
I'm better off than I thought. For some reason I knew it was going to be negative. I felt it in my heart. I was so down all day Saturday dreading the results I knew I'd get Sunday. When I took the test my heart was pumping so hard that my arm was literally pulsating with it when I dipped in the test.
God has not directly told me or anyone I will give birth someday. I know I'll be a mom. Right now adoption doesn't bring peace, but I know that if that is the road He wants us to take, He will change our hearts. But YUcKy to be in this zone.
Sorry to be vomiting on paper, just wanted to check in with you and kind of I guess update you on the process. I get to talk to dr. tomorrow and we will talk future plans. they might try something different or we might pay extra to get embryos genetically tested to make sure they are healthy (maybe something is wrong since they are not implanting). It's annoying though because according to the textbook, from at least what they can see, the embryos were super high quality.
I love you and I'm sorry you have to watch us go through this. You have an amazing son and he is perfect in supporting me through this. Ive been a little bitter and crying and high and low and he remains stable and loving. Thank God I at least have him, many women my age don't even have that so they can't worry about child bearing.
anyways, rant over. Thank you for being so loving and supportive too.

*side note, although it's hard for me to even whisper a prayer, I heard this song on the radio the day after the bad news, and I felt like my broken spirit couldn't have said it better.


March 18th, 2013

9dp 5dt.  I took 2 tests, very sensitive ones.  Both BFN but this is how they feel when I read them (see profane image below).  I'm so disappointed that this FET failed but what can I say or do? I'm left pretty speechless.  It is what it is and God is good and I can't question that.  Lots of tears, a lot of fear of "what if it never happens," but still crazy enough a small tiny minute size of hope that someday, somehow, I will carry a child.

*Side note, if you are currently in a cycle or waiting for a cycle, please don't let this discourage you.  IUI's and IVF and FETs work for SO many women, we just happen to be on a rough streak.  Comparing can cause un-needed fear.  You are not me, you have your own story, and hopefully, it ends a little quicker than mine.

48 Hours

March 15, 2013

Google should be outlawed (probably shouldn't say that since blogger belongs to them but still).  Each day I google way too much for reassurance.  I've googled "when can I test after 5dt FET" 100 times. 

A doctor websites gives this break down and it looks like day 9 after transfer is when you can expect to get accurate results:
Days Past
Transfer (DPT)
Embryo Development
OneThe blastocyst begins to hatch out of its shell
TwoThe blastocyst continues to hatch out of its shell and begins to attach itself to the uterus
ThreeThe blastocyst attaches deeper into the uterine lining, beginning implantation
FourImplantation continues
FiveImplantation is complete, cells that will eventually become the placenta and fetus have begun to develop
SixHuman chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) starts to enter the blood stream
SevenFetal development continues and hCG continues to be secreted
EightFetal development continues and hCG continues to be secreted
NineLevels of hCG are now high enough to detect a pregnancy

But many women test like Day 6, 7, or 8 and get their answers.  Tomorrow is day 8.  I told myself I'd wait till St. Patties, but I dont' know if I can handle it.  If it's negative tomorrow, I'll be in a weird zone.  There will still be that like 10% hope its too early.  But if I don't test, I'll still be in a weird zone of wondering. I feel like Sunday will give me a strong yes or strong no (of course then I'll get nervous about BETA and doubling but first things first).  But tomorrow is sooner....

I really have had no symptoms but from what I've read, that's fairly normal.  I mean, the embryos have only been alive 12 days.  Most don't experience symptoms till 5 or 6 weeks.  It still makes me nervous.  I wish I had something to make me think it was working.  And then, I'm on meds.  Progesterone in oil can cause "fake" symptoms but I don't even have that.  I swear I poked my chest 25839257 times this last week and nothing.  Mild cramping a couple days after transfer.  I did have a "flash" cold 2 days after transfer that only lasted like 5 hours.

Last night I had a melt down.  I told my husband "I have a bad gut feeling."  He asked me if that was gut feeling or fear.  He could have a point.  I mean, I wasn't Mrs. Nancy Negative herself with our first few IUIs.  He pointed out that we've felt positive and optimistic for a while and that so many people are praying.  He said maybe I'm going into panic mode because the end or beginning is so near. But considering this FET was our TENTH infertility treatment (2nd IVF), I'm prepared for the worst and kind of expecting it...but this is a natural mechanism.

In less than 48 hours I will have the answer to the question I've been asking since our miscarriage.  Will the next one work?  I'm at the point where I just need to know.  I can handle "no" I've had that answer several times and I will live, but I so don't want it.  And yes?? My mind can go crazy with the feeling I will experience if I see "pregnant" in the box.  I've been waiting over TWO years for this test.  Tomorrow or Sunday will be my day.  Oh God be near. 

A Time to Laugh

March 13th, 2013, 5DPT

I am going insane.  It's so so crazy that no matter how involved in teaching a lesson, or caught up in a movie, or engaged in a conversation, or SLEEPING that I am aware and thinking about this.  I am so excited for the potential extreme joy I may feel and so horrified from the deep disspointment.  I can't stop dreading that moment to pass.  In the meantime, thought now would be a good time to share some of my IF humor I've managed to collect on pinterest:

1.  How we feel sometimes:

2.  Cute!
3.  Love/hate with facebook.  Some people go a little extreme...
4. "May cause extreme sexiness?"  Yes please. By now I'd be supa hott.
5. I LOVE this one.  The "hard core drugs"
6.  I actually did a post about a year ago called "I want the Family Sticker TOOOOO"  well, they have grown to serve as a reminder that I don't have a family.  I found this off an REs blog and had to share.
7.  Poor Mr. Doughboy
9.  One of my favs. 

Pumpkin Noodles

March 11, 2013

Back in November when we did our first IVF I made an online blogger friend who had gone through the same clinic. 

She was incredibly empathetic and could sooo relate to the horror of the "two week wait."  A friend sent here a flannel heart with 2 little hearts sewn inside.  It gave her something to remember/hold on to during during the wait knowing the 2 (or however many) embryos were there.

She makes these little fabric hearts called Pumpkin Noodles, here is her website :
or facebook:

Stitched inside are 2 little hearts that represent the embryos.  In November I carried the embryos for 8 weeks and during that time didn't know if they would make it or not.  I wore this "pumpkin noodle" in my shirt, pressed against my chest.  It was a reminder they were there.

This is an awesome/thoughtful gift for anyone you know going through fertility treatments. It's a sweet reminder of the growing child or what could have been.

I kept my original and pulled it out for this cycle.  I have it out on our table.  I'll probably carry it again if I'm pregnant.  It's so sweet.

I don't even have a full 2 week wait but it is really really hard when you know the exact moment embryos entered your uterus.  With IUIs/trying naturally I knew I had ovulated sometime around a date give or take 48 hours. But now, I know.  No doubt.  I will know the answer in 7 days.  I couldn't sleep last night.  I know this is a good time to trust God, but my mind is so crazy.  I'm scared/excited if I have cramps.  I scared/excited if I don't.  Why doesn't my chest hurt? I have a leg cramp...this happened last time.  I don't feel different.  Do I?  When could I test? They told me not to.  What if I do and it's positive????  What if I do and it's negative?  What if it's too early?  My mind runs.

Father, I trust you.  I give you this.  You hold our lives in your hands.  You hold their lives.  No matter how much bed rest, pineapple core, and prenatals I eat, it really really really boils down to your will.  Give us strength to make it through the week.  I ask that you protect the little lives in me and that you let them stay with us. Give us strength to accept your answer.

Frozen Embryo Transfer Day

March 8th, 2013

I couldn't sleep last night. I had a bad headache and I guess a lot on my mind.  When I woke up, the day I have been waiting for was here!

We got to switch the countdown to ZERO!

Since last time our IVF was TOP SECRET we took a different approach this time.  We invited my mom to come along for the show and asked several friends and family to pray. Special thanks to all you sweet supporters praying too!

I went to acupuncture before to relax (and the clinic highly recommends it).

They got us right in at OHSU.  I had to undress and then the embryologist came to talk to us.  He talked FOREVER but the bottom line:  our good set of embryos dethawed perfectly and one expanded just as it should and the other had started to expand (I think Darren was happy because 3 freaks him out).  Our embryologist's name was Keith.  I thanked him and told him I will name my first kid that.  I then asked him if our embryos looked cute ;) 

Dr. Lee was awesome as usual and that transfer was super fast and super smooth.  He shook hands with my mom and said "it's very rare to be able to tell a child their GRANDMA was in the room when conceived."  I then said, "it's even more rare to say their were FIVE people in the room."  We all laughed. 

When I watched Keith carrying in the embryos in the catheter, I choked up a bit. Here they come!!

I got to watch the little liquid with the embryos appear on the screen and they printed us a picture and one for mom.  Then I laid there for 40 minutes and then back to "after care" acupuncture.

This time I feel more calm.  It' almost surreal.  I'm staying guarded but hopeful.  One day at a time.  I get to go in for HCG blood test in 10 days, March 18th.  I think I'll cheat on St. Patty's Day (1 day before).  When I feel overwhelmed I just whisper Jesus

A Letter to My Loves

March 7, 2013

To My Sweet Snow Babies,

Most women feel sorry for me, that we have to do IVF.  I’ll admit, it wasn’t how I imagined bringing you into this world, but the only thing that matters is that you come.  Unlike most women, I have the privilege of knowing the second that you are created and the second that you are in my body. 
You were created by God’s hands 4 months ago.  There hasn’t been a single second that has passed by without me thinking of you.  Missing you.  Whenever we drive by the hospital my heart skips a beat knowing that I’m so close to you.  Even when I'm happy, I'm a litte sad because I'm wishing you were here now.  Tomorrow, my loves, you come home.  You get placed where you belong.  Inside me.  You have lived in my heart and mind so long.  Tomorrow you’re home.

I cannot begin to describe to you had deeply you are wanted.  So many children are born from accident, out of wedlock, or to mom’s that cry out of disappointment when they find out they are expecting.  You are not going to be a surprise.  You are going to be a gift that we cried for, pleaded with Jesus for, that we physically battled for through the pain of the injections and medicine and surgeries and procedures and failures and doubts.  If you ever question our love for you, I beg you to remember this letter.  You were so incredibly anticipated and sought after, you are our dreams come true.
Tomorrow my loves they take you from the sterile hospital walls and place you home.  With every ounce of my power I beg you to fight too.  Your mommy fights big time for things that others think impossible.  Your dad has overcome so many mountains people never thought he would conquer.  I pray that spirit is in you.  Fight for our family too.  Do what you are supposed to do.  Implant and grow the way God made biology to work.  Develop.  Grow a heartbeat.  Produce in size.  Live.  We want to hold you in our arms more than life itself.  The dethaw process is tough on embryos.  Fight.

We dream of what you will be like. Tall? Athletic?  Funny?  Will you have a sensitive heart and care for the hurting? Will you be cleaver and quick?  Will you do well in school?  We imagine you to have many friends and that you will have a kind heart.  We imagine that you will be happy and a joy. 
We dream of our lives together.  Giggling on the couch.  Daddy teaching you to play basketball.  Learning how to ride a bike.  Dressing you in funny clothes and crazy Halloween costumes.  Cheering for your first competition.  Celebrating your birthdays. Teaching you to love Jesus.  Teaching you how to love others.  Teaching you to be generous, patient, and hopeful. You are so special.  You are me.  You are your dad.  Your parents love each other so much too.  We are far from perfect, but we vow to give you are all.

So my sweet loves, please, I ask again.  Fight.  Snuggle in as you are made to do.  I cannot wait to spend the next 10 days with you and even if Jesus takes you back, I feel privileged to hold you in my womb for even that short of at time.  Tomorrow you will be home. 

BLOOD, Sweat, and Tears

March 4, 2013

Part of the "perks" of having a secret infertility blog is that I have a space to VENT.

Last night we did our second PIO injection (when my mom saw it she said "Holly that looks like a small nail).  All was good until Darren pulled it out.  Blood GUSHED out.  I mean, like I had to catch it with my hand and it soaked up 2 cotton balls.  It didn't hurt (although I feel a bruise coming on), it was just dramatic to see blood shooting out.  My RE assured me I didn't lose any oil and probably just hit a blood vessel.  But it was freaky! I felt bad for myself (I know, get over the self pity party) Ok, vent over.

I talked with the embryologist today and got some good info:

1.  What are the survival rates of embryo dethaw at OHSU?
90-95%!  This made me happy because I read 60% and 80% online at other places

2.  What are the grading/quality of embryos I have left?
4AA, 4AB, 3AA, 3AB :  I didn't realize I have a "perfect" one frozen.  Go team 4AA!!
Want more info on what this lingo means?  This link explains embryo grading:  http://www.advancedfertility.com/blastocystimages.htm

3.  If the embryo's thaw perfectly, are they "equal" to a fresh cycle transfer?No, because of all the stuff they have to go through, success rates are slightly lower (this part made me feel sad, I was on a roll). 

People at church gathered around and prayed. for us.  We have done all we can, it's totally in His hands. (I have to keep reminding myself this)

The Waiting Room

March 2, 2013

 First off, it feels so exciting to see the date March 2nd!  I have been waiting for March for a very long long time.  March 2nd means that March 8th is only SIX days away.  March 2nd means I'm only 16 days away from an answer.  Oh God, be with me.

Yesterday I had to go in for an "lining" check.  I had to sit in the waiting room for a little longer than normal.  I decided to avoid the pregnancy magazines and read Twilight in Spanish.  I couldn't help but notice the other women around me in the waiting room.  What was their story?  Did they have the excitement of their first consultation with all the hope ahead?  Was this their 2nd, 3rd, 4th try?  A couple came out, in tears.  They looked late 30's or early 40's.  Both crying.  I wonder if they just had an ultrasound.  A sickening feeling filled me.  This is real.  This is dealing with deep deep dreams.  This is dealing with life.  Creation.  This process can bring incredible joy or numbing pain.  50% feel the first. 50% feel the second.  The waiting room to me means so much more than the little office at OHSU that I have to sit in.  The waiting room represents the majority of our baby making efforts.  Waiting. 

When they got me back, I was in the transfer room and could actually see the lab door.  Behind it are my dreams.  My loves.  The beginning of our family.  In a freezer! What a strange feeling.  I was alone with them in a sense.  The RE came in shortly after and was super quick and said my lining looks perfect so I'm good to go on the 8th.  I had to practically grab his coat to ask about the frozen embryos.

We have four but I'm not sure what the de-thaw survival rate is there.  I asked the nurse and she said to ask the embryologist.  We want to dethaw 2 but if one doesn't survive, we will probably just dethaw the other 2 and put all 3 in (these are the lowest quality ones).  I really had no idea how this would go down.  Does it take a long time to de frost?  Dr. said it only takes 30 minutes so on Friday we will make the decision.

Of course our desire is that the best 2 survive and we can keep last 2 for future use, but it's literally in God's hands.  Darren is horrified to transfer 3, but I see no point in leaving just 1 frozen.   He he he.  3 years ago at my wedding I don't think I ever thought we would have the talk about what to do with our frozen ninos. :)

On a cuter note, I watched my 4 month year old nephew Ryker for my sister last night and it was a good reminder that babies are hard work. I LOVe my parent's puppy and my little Ryky, and I caught this moment of both of them staring at me.  Sweeeeeeet.

Today I had to start the PIO shots.  The #$$^#^#freakishly huge big ones.  I actually held back tears because the Lupron ones are so small compared to this one and I got scared.  It was fine, just creepy.  It doesn't even hurt going in and I do it to myself.  It was symbolic to though because it means we are close!  So for now, I'm in the "waiting room" but time moves forward and before I know it we will have our answer:  Pregnant or God has a different time/plan.  PLEASE God let it be the first.

My Bucket List:

My Bucket List: