Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Heart Breaker

All this past weekend was a heart breaker for Andrew and I. As I posted earlier we have made the very thoughtful and difficult choice to go through IVF. Unfortunately do to things that are simply out of our control and a wrong judgement in medication this cycle that we were on has fizzled and we had to stop all procedures and medications.

The most difficult piece to all of this is the time, pain, emotions, finances, and sacrifices that went into preparing for the very long journey of doing an IVF cycle. Additionally, this is the fifth time that Andrew and I have come to a cross roads within our infertility journey only to be told that this is not a good cycle for us to continue. We had two attempts on clomid only to find that my body has no reaction to this drug (well lots of side effects), two attempts with IUIs although we never made it to the actual procedure because we were told at the last minute (or final monitoring days) that this was not a good cycle to try an IUI and now with the first attempt to do the IVF procedures.

Quick background: An IVF cycle is when you start on birth control for a set amount of time to stabilize your cycle, then you take a hormone which suppresses your ovulation (I took a generic form of Lupron). Through out this time period you go in for numerous internal ultrasounds and blood work. Finally after a certain period of time you have what is called a base line check which is another internal ultrasound and blood drawn. You are then told what type of stimm medication you should take and at what amounts (I was/am on Follistim). For a period of time you are giving yourself two injections a day. My stomach is still bruised from the injection locations and I have gained quite a bit of weight through out this entire infertility journey :(. Again you are going in about every other day for ultrasounds and blood work. We were getting up and down news about our results, but everyone (doctors and nurses) were still very positive that we would be able to complete the full IVF cycle. Unfortunately on Sunday which would have been one of the last checks before continuing we got the news that all of the follicles that we thought we had are now gone. I was told this is fairly rare and it really had to do with the medication dosage they were giving to me. In their attempt to be cautious (which they have over 30 years of infertility experience) they lowered my Follistim dosage and it literally wiped out all of the follicle growth I had experienced to that point. The recommendation and based on a lot of conversations about timing, money, success rates it was determined that we can not continue with this cycle.

Had we continued I would have given myself a third injection called a "trigger" (I am on Ovidrel) it pretty much tells your body to release all of the eggs which have begun to grow or to ovulate. After which about 36 hours after I give myself the "trigger" shot the retrieval procedures take place. This is also the time when the egg and sperm are mixed together in a dish to see if there are any potential "connections" and development. After that about 3-5 days later depending on the strength of development the fertilized egg is placed back into me for hopes that it will attach and continue to grow. Additionally you have already started to give yourself Progesterone injections which you continue to give yourself for 7-8 weeks. These shots are essential for the growth of your baby(ies) because in IVF your body does not naturally produce enough progesterone. If you want to know why I can explain it later...

This has been a very emotional and psychologically draining experience. I can deal with the pain, bruising, and side effects but the emotional disappointments are much harder. I spent Sunday crying and Monday motivating myself to be strong to praise the Lord in these times and to lean on Andrew for strength. (thank goodness for the very satisfying pleasures of dinner and a movie) But this hurts especially because every time you let yourself hope...

My faith is still strong and we will try again, we just don't know exactly when...Please keep us in your prayers as we both find strength to start again...Lord keep our little baby(ies) perfect in your embrace until they will be given to Andrew and I to raise

Monday, March 8, 2010

Expectations moving forward

All - I want to thank each of you for your love and support. I am going to try and be much better at actually responding to comments on this blog. At first I didn't even know I could do that, but I am fast learner (sort of) and I have figured it out. Okay moving forward I will respond to comments posted here. For those who have already posted. Thank you from the bottom of my heart your words of encouragement and especially your continued prayers mean a great deal to me as they are desperately needed while Andrew and I go down this path. So again thank you. For those who asked some questions. I am going to try and go back through and answer a few of what I have learned or what my particular facility does, recommends, etc. There were not many questions so I may just do it in one post.

Also please note to protect myself and my emotions I am not going to give out exact dates as to when Andrew and I are going to be starting and/or finishing any of the procedures, medications, appointments, etc. As much as I am trying to be open about everything I don't think I have fully prepared myself for the what ifs and I don't know if I can handle questions or inquiries as to if it worked, when is it going to take place etc.

Assuming all goes well I will announce when Andrew and I have made it to the second trimester when I believe we can breathe a bit easier (although I am not naive I know all times during pregnancy require a lot of caution). Additionally, I am planning on taking good notes so that I can reflect back and write about what happened and the step by step process of what it means to go through IVF. How I felt, what I went through, how Andrew felt, those around me, etc.

I will write on here about how I am feeling and thoughts I am having. I will also try and mix it up a bit and simply reflect on what it means to be a woman of God in today's world married to a man trying to change this world :)

Okay all, here we go...

My Simple Prayers

Sorry to those who read this blog - We, Andrew and I have had to make some major decisions and begin some major adventures in this life of infertility. I will tell you for those who have never been down this road before it is scary, humiliating, painful, hopeful, emotional, un-natural, wishful, doubtful, consuming, vulnerable...I could simply keep writing all of the feelings I have been having and still they would not do justice to everything that goes into this journey. Not only do I pray every day (mostly as I am driving an hour to work) that our Lord creates healthy, happy, emotionally strong, curious, intelligent, humbled, faithful followers of Christ, but I also pray for realistic expectations and calming moments for myself. We have a long way to go before I am even pregnant and yet my prayers are constant. I pray the Lord will touch my body let it be a perfect, healthy, secure place that one day will be filled with life. Let our home be filled with joy, faithfulness, and love. Let Andrew and I be constant companions and partners in all that we do filled with love that is centered on our Lord. God bless the doctors, nurses, technicians, and specialists, bless their hands, their knowledge, guide them...

*Disclaimer I have no idea how many we will decide to place back in or how many babies we may have although our facility will only do for someone my age two fertilized eggs. Anyway in my prayers I pray for babies because eventually Andrew and I want more then one. If that happens to be two the first time or two different attempts the prayers are the same :)*

Lord let these baby(ies) grow inside of me one day. Bless them with 10 fingers and 10 toes, bless them with strong heart beats, with growing healthy bodies, growing and stimulated brains, touch each of their organs and let them be strong and develop as they are supposed to, Lord bless their skin as it grows over their bodies, touch their eyes and bless them with the ability to see the beauty of this world both outwardly and inwardly, bless their little ears so they may hear the sounds you have created and bless those little ears with the ability to listen to your whispers, bless their smiles so they are inviting and filled with friendly joy, bless their personalities may they each be filled in individualistic wonders and ideas, with adventures and curiosity, give them imaginations that fill their lives with far away lands, give them temperaments that love others and strength to stand up for what is right even when others fall. Give them a heart for you Lord bless them with faithfulness and a desire to continue to walk in your will and follow your path.

Let Andrew and I be the parents that give our children the direction and care you have called us to give. Let us remain humble in the great responsibility you would bestow upon Andrew and I by blessing us with children that they are only ours temporarily as we are guardians in this world on earth. Give us strength to love, discipline, honor, reward, and guide. Give us discernment in understanding our children and the world they will inherit.