Wordless Wednesday (Almost)

October 31, 2012

24 retrieved, TWENTY fertilized.  Come on babies, hang in there!!!

Egg Retrieval, Check!

October 30, 2012

First of, thank you so much to all of you who prayed for Darren and I.  This morning I woke up with a deeper peace and less fear.

We hit crazy traffic there (there was a wreck on the bridge) and I tried to remain calm, but the trigger shot was taken at exactly 9:00 and I wanted to be there on time.  Darren stopped at Starbucks in hopes of giving his sperm one last boost.

The anesthesiologist was very nice and everything went smooth.  I was awake but don't remember a lot of it.  I do remember a few times feeling a little pain, but nothing bad.  It was over before I knew it and she retrieved 22 eggs which is great!  Of course they won't all get fertilized, but I'm hoping for 6 frozen at the end of it. When the RE announced it was over, I guess I asked Darren if "I get a prize" and they all laughed.  I deserve a prize!  After recovery, they rolled me away in a wheel chair.  Here are some post surgery shots, do I look tough? :)

If I get bad OHSS, then I may never do an egg retrieval again.  I didn't feel nauseous, just foggy.

We went downstairs to get the evil progesterone in oil shots and headed up.  I only had one moment of bad sharp pain when I got up to go to the bathroom, but the quickly took an Oxycontin and it left.

I'm really scared of OHSS hitting (if it does, it should come by this weekend), but I'm going to continue to pray and hope that it's only mild.  In the meantime, I'm drinking lots of Gatorade (gross) which is supposed to help.

It's SO CRAZY to think that today is the day we conceive!  The embryologist is at work (with God guiding his hands), as I type. 

No Turning Back Now. CLICK.

October 29, 2012

It's official. Surgery tomorrow.  Again, I'm calling all prayers to pray!  I'm about 18 hours away from having the largest ovulation in my history.  So sexy right? ;)

All my life I have been more of a "worrier" and anxious.  I HATE doctor visits and talked my way out of pap smears (because I was so freaked) till I got married 3 years ago at 26.  Now look at me!  I cannot count on both hands and feet how many times I've gotten "pap smears" so to speak with things up and in. 

I couldn't sleep last night.  I'm not sure if I'm more afraid of the surgery of what can come after.  The positive or negative pregnancy test seems so far off and out of my mind right now.   I know living in fear is no way to live, but I'm being honest.  I'm horrified.  I know many women have, are, and will go through this "mini-hell" in fights of having a baby.  But now that its me, Holly, it's so real.

Funny thought actually.  As humans, we never really "feel" the pain till we go through it.  Out of sight, out of mind.  I mean I know my close friends feel bad for me and are praying for me, but I guarantee they are not thinking about it every single minute like I am.  It's human nature and impossible.  Even when my husband Darren (the one I love the MOST) had a kidney stone, I felt so bad for him, and he was in so much pain.  But I didn't think about it at work.  I didn't dream about it at night like I do with IVF.  The only people who come close to understanding are you warriors who have been through this zone a time or two. 

I read a quote that was along the lines of "Do what you need to do, even if you don't, time will still go on." 

I guess I'm a little scared to that I've reached the point of no return.  I can't say "never mind."  I mean, there are like 25+follicles in me that have been triggered to ovualte.  If I don't go through this, I can't have the hope of frozen embryos for future tries.  I can't turn back.

Anyone ever seen the the movie "Click" with Adam Sandler?  It's based off an old fable of a man who gets a magical ball of yarn and anytime life is hard or tough he just has to pull it and he automatically fasts forward a bit.  He gets to skip a bit.  Adam Sandler's movie has more humor (he clicks a remote instead if his wife is nagging or he has to do chores).  But in the end of both, they lose control and the yarn/remote start working automatically and next thing they know, they are on their death beds.

I realize time goes fast and it goes on.  I have never ever wanted to "click" any part of my life away.  I get that God teaches us lessons in the most painful situations.  However, if someone gave me a magical remote, I would click it, just once, to get to mid November when it's all over and I know the result.  Click.


Panick Attack #2: Too Much of a Good Thing

October 26, 2012

Yesterday was a great day.  I found out I had a hidden $10 Starbucks cards.  My acupuncturist asked me if I wanted to be a guinea pig for the massage therapist he is hiring at no cost to me to evaluate her.  I happily punctured myself with all the injections assuming today would be the trigger shot day.

I feel so naive.  I have been living the last 8 days in shock that I haven't had any real symptoms assuming I was in the clear.  I celebrated the fact that either A.  God is totally blessing me and keeping me from all the hellish stories I hear about.  B.  I'm one of the lucky few who breeze through (finally, yay!). C. My acupuncturist is a miracle worker or D. All of the above.  Somehow, someway in ALL of my obsessing, researching, blog reading, talking, consulting, etc, I missed one IMPORTANT small piece of information:

Ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome doesn't "enter" until AFTER egg retrieval.

WOW!!  How the heck did this slip by?  I for some stupid reason assumed it happens before.  I couldn't WAIT till egg retrieval because I figured it was all down hill from there.  No more crazy injections (minus the huge scary one that goes in the butt), no more monitoring, all I would have to do is wait for the egg transfer which feels like and IUI.  Since I've done 8, no big deal, right? WRONG.

Today as I was getting monitored, the RE looked concerned.  He said I'm super responding and that there are a lot of good sturdy eggs but there are a lot of little eggs.  Those are what cause OHSS he says.  I was confused so I said, "will I know if I get OHSS over the next couple days?" He replies, "Oh, you usually don't know if you have it till a few days AFTER egg retrieval."  I cannot explain the shock and horror that filled my mind.  I'm not out of the woods yet...not even that close.  He went on to say that we will have to play it by ear, but there is a good chance they will just choose to FREEZE all my embryos this cycle and do a frozen egg transfer when things calm the freak down. He talked about a clinic in Seattle that automatically does this if the patients estradiol level is over 4,000.  Mine is at 2500 and I still have to stim tonight and tomorrow before they check again Sunday.  He was bracing my for the fact that I might not get my answer (pregnant or not pregant) for much longer than I had hoped for (aka mid November). He said that I might not get a bad case of it but then he looked a me and said, "you are thin, the bloating will hit you pretty hard."

Of course, I jumped on google to see who is at high risk, here's my findings from the mayo clinic:

Factors that increase the risk of developing OHSS include:
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome — a common reproductive disorder that causes irregular menstrual periods, excess hair growth and unusual appearance of the ovaries on ultrasound examination
  • Large number of follicles
  • Young age
  • Low body weight
  • High or steeply increasing level of estradiol (estrogen) before an HCG shot
  • Migraine headache
Reading through these I realized HOLY (insert choice word here), I am ALL OF THE ABOVE. I have PCOS, I have sooo many follicles, I'm 10 years younger than their average patient, I'm skinny, my estradiol is sky high and I get migraines!!! God help me.

Today has been really emotional for me.  I fill like I'm walking toward my imminent 8-10 days of scary pain and misery.  I am so afraid of throwing up (I know I know, everyone is thinking and you want to be pregnant?? I think I could handle it knowing a child is in me).  Most women experience some form of OHSS (bloating for a few days), but with me being the perfect candidate for it to hit hard, and the doctor trying to warn me about high chance of canceling egg transfer, I'm scared.

To make it worse, after the appointment I went to the pharmacy to pick up my trigger shot (RE is predicting egg retrieval this Tuesday or Wednesday so PLEASE say a prayer).  While she was ringing me up a woman my age came up to her and handed her the red container they give us to put all our sharps in.  I knew it was an IVF patient.  The pharmacist asked her, "Oh thanks (they dispose them there), do you need an empty one?"

I held my breath for the reply.

"No, unfortunately we don't" said the-I-just-put-my-body-mind-soul-through-a-blender-want-to-be-mom.  Then she said, "I'm so sad."  My heart sunk.  Sometimes things just don't seem fair.

I think the hardest thing for me is the loss of control.  I have to go through egg retrieval no turning back.  Although I know God can curb the chances of OHSS, He has felt so distant for so long.  I feel like I'm walking toward "hell" and know I have to walk through it.  I know people have it way worse, but right now, this is my reality. 

At the end of the day, I'm concluding that I will be a good mom.  I will suffer for my child.  I will do anything for my child because of my love for him/her.  This is just one of the things I have to do.  I'll make it out.

I Hate Your Guts Facebook

October 24, 2012

We all have it.  We all know it.  Facebook.  The new way to connect with the outside world. Social media.  Where all my "friend's" are.

Since we have been dealing with infertility, facebook has the power to act as a bullet to the chest and then the power to fill me with guilt.  Allow me to elaborate:

Bragbook Facebook is a fun way to keep in contact with friends.  When I was single, it was just as painful for me to read about how in love so & so was with so & so.  It seemed like EVERYONE was getting engaged.  People shouted out their undying love for one another while I was stuck at home with Frida (my cat) and a broken heart.  It was hard.  It stewed a lot of secret jealousy (I hid it well).

But, when I got engaged, I kind of forgot about all that and I kind of forgot about all the "facebook pain" I had suffered.  And what did I do?  Posted pics of my fat engagement ring.  Posted songs for our wedding.  Declared my undying love for Darren.  While, in the meantime, single girls may have been logged on despising me or even just feeling like "love" was thrown in their face.  I don't think I did anything wrong, but I simply forgotten how people on the other end felt.

So fast forward to almost 3 years since our wedding date.  I'm high on fertility drugs.  Pumped with them.  My ovaries are obese. Although the side effects aren't awful, they still are rough.  When I sit down, my stomach kills because its sore from the 30+ injections it's gotten.  We want a baby so bad, we are paying a huge chunk of our salaries, a huge chunk of our emotions, and risking my body to carry this child.  I cannot express how painful some facebook "pregnancy announcements" cause me.  I feel no hate or anger towards the pregnant moms, I just feel so deeply reminded that I AM NOT pregnant.  And it hurts.

Don't get me wrong, they are innocent and excited.  Can I really be sad about seeing a growing tummy picture that you take of yourself in the mirror show up on my laptop?  No. Can I really be angry when you and your husband announce the bump in a cute/clever way?  No.  That's where I get mad too because I instantly realize I'm hurt/sad/reminded for no valid reason and then feel guilty, when all I really wanted to do was see if anyone commented on my status in the first place ;)

I'm in a vulnerable spot and need to realize that.  I recognize that I'm more sensitive to baby chatter online.  I usually just "hide" someone when I find out they are pregnant, to avoid myself the pain that comes with the reminder of each update that I am not.  The soreness in my stomach is nothing compared to the ache in my heart for my own child. 

I'm not sure what I will do if/when I get pregnant.  It almost seems weird not to announce it via social media once, but this time around, I'm aware of those secret sufferers.  I'll probably just say something like "After 2 years of trying to get pregnant, 8 failed artificial insemination's, 20k, and IVF, Darren and I are expecting our first miracle."  I'm not going to paint a pretty picture.  This has been ugly, and hard, and uphill.  Maybe when I go "public" with our struggles, I can gain a voice for those of us fighting infertility and create awareness.

All of this just because the 7834 billionth announcement just landed on my screen and it hurt.  I felt the pain and hurt and sorrow in my injection sites.  I felt it in my flashbacks to getting blood drawn.  I felt it in the 10th time they go up inside me to monitor eggs.  But, God has a plan for each of us, and my time will come. 

29 Candles, 1 Pink, 1 Blue Left

October 23, 2012

It's been a busy few days since my last blog with all kinds of action.

I got the blood work back from the RE on Friday and they said it was a "go" to start the stims.  I oddly LOVE the Follistem pen.  I look forward to waking up early and injecting it.  It's really easy to do and I know that this is one of the big guns.  I also started the menopur viles at night.  We had a slight panic because the pharmacy didn't give me the needles I needed to inject them!  Since you have to mix powder with the solution, you need a huge needle to mix it all, and then a smaller to inject.  The pharmacy was closed so I went to Target.  They gave me a HUGE needle and we ended up having to use it on Saturday.  It hurt but I held it together.  It stung but I held that part together too.  We rushed the shots in at 7:oo pm then off we went to a Halloween/1 year old bday for my old roommates daughter.  I was little red riding hood and Darren was the big bad wolf:

Sunday I turned the big 29. It was fun.  We went to church and then shopping and then came back at 4:00 for a "family" birthday.  Ryker (my new nephew) experienced his first bday party!  You know the "rumor" or "old wives's tale" about how ever many candles left that you try to blow out means how many children you will have (or boyfriends in other versions)?  I had 1 pink and 1 blue left.  Oh how AWESOME would that be??  I think it's every IVF patients dream to have a girl and a boy because first off, it's 2 for 1, and second, you know you are guaranteed to raise both genders?  However, I'm not even "praying" for twins.  My prayer is one healthy baby which would be thrilling but deep down, the twins would be crazy!  I'll take what God gives me and cherish him/her/them to death anyway.  During the celebrations I had to sneak home to my secret "medical office" of NEEDLES for the nightly injections.  It's so weird to be keeping this a secret.  I just said I had to change and I did but I also did this:

Monday, I got a massage from the chattiest lady in the world!! What ever happened to relaxation?  I knew sooo much about her personal life by the end (and 3 husbands) it wasn't even funny.  She works where I get acupuncture so she knew I'm doing IVF.  She started off by saying:

Lady: "Do you have any kids of your own already?"
Me: "Nope."
Lady: "Do your sibling's have kids?"
Me: "Yep.  Younger sister just had a baby boy 3 weeks ago."
Lady: "Oh wow, that must have been really hard."

WOW!!  Not only do I want a quiet massage, did she really have to twist the knife that I have long ago pulled out?  All this to say, I'm not going to her again!

Today, Tuesday, I had to go in for my second monitoring.  I had to wait a lot longer.  The bloodwork went fine (needles are child's play these days) and my RE before "going in" said, since it's only day 4 of stimming there won't be much to see.  He then followed it with a "Wow, you win the reward for the best response of the day!  You have a ton of eggs!" then "there is a huge sist, did the other RE see this?" to "don't be surprised if we lower your medication dosage" and that was that.  I was with him about 4 minutes.  They call in the afternoon and they are going to lower my follistim a bit so I don't get overstimulated.  Okay.

Praise the Lord, the crazy side effects I've read and hurt about haven't kicked it.  No crazy bruises.  No long stinging shots.  I have turned into to the wicked witch of the west.  Actually, naturally when I would be feeling angry I feel sad and that has gone up a bit.  At the mall Victoria Secret wouldn't let me return underwear I got online and I started crying!  he he.  I've just had headaches, which I can survive with.

I'm in the heat of the treatment, I'm scared of the egg retrieval but at least I'm close!  Come on November!

Go to Sleep, Go to Sleep, Go to Sleep Little Ovaries...

October 19, 2012

So today marks day 12 of Lupron injections.  These are the ones that are supposed to put my ovaries to sleep. 

Last night was the first time it really hurt.  For so reason, the needle wouldn't go in.  Today, was my first "ultrasound" with the RE at OHSU.  They were checking to make sure Lupron was doing its job and had basically shut down my ovaries.  If it had, tomorrow I would start the stem injections.

The trip was short and sweet.  I get a little nervous driving to Portland, but it was fine.  They took my blood and the ultrasound was done in 4 minutes.  Dr. Lee shook my hand, said nice to meet you again, and then got to work. 

He said things looked good but there is one big follicle on the left ovary.  He said we will have to wait till blood test results come in.  The big follicle could be left over sack from last cycle...or it means one follicle overpowered the evil Lupron injections and that that one follicle could mess up the process of calming the hormones.

As far as I understand, worse casanerio is I keep doing Lupron a bit longer and don't start stemming till a bit later...meaning everything will just take a little longer.  He said that the bloodwork will tell him if it's a new follicle trying to ruin my plans or if its a left over.  I'm hoping for left over because that means I can start the scaryier three times a day shots tomorrow and get this show on the freaking exciting road.

It blows my mind how "Time" works.  When I'm on vacation, like our honeymoon for example, 7 days felt like the snap of a finger.  Between Darren's financial scare and waiting till mid-November when IVF is done and we know POSITIVE (please God) or Negative, seems like a billion years from now.  Days feel like weeks.  Waiting oh how I hate you.

On a funnier note, this weekend I turn 29.  We were out to eat with Darren's family and they all thought this was going to be my 30th.  I was so shocked and offended (not really) that they thought I was going to be THIRTY and I was kind of ranting about it on the way home.  Darren laughed as was like, it's not that far off, one year.  Very true point.  In the meantime though I'm embracing the 20's and hoping this is the best year yet in them.

Lastly, I read a fellow bloggers post and had to share what she wrote.  She said she is praying for 3 things:

1.  To get pregnant.
2. For God's will.
3. For the 2 above desires to finally be the same.

I LOVE this and am praying it too.

Yesterday during acupuncture, he asked "how are you doing?"  Honestly, I don't think there is a moment in the day, even in my dreams, when I'm not thinking about or hoping for the current and up coming treatment.  I've used this image before, but it is SO accurate.  All I can think is baby.  I'm trying to turn worries to prayers, fears to hopes, but none the less, it's still baby.

Panic Attack #1

October 13, 2012

I've been doing really well.  I had a pretty bad "Lupron" headache Monday-Wednesday but started to notice it going away Friday.  The injections have been fine...I get a little nervous right before giving the injection, but it's not horrible yet.  Tonight I get to get off birth control pills then another week of Lupron injections.  I go in this Friday to see if everything is "calm." If so, I'll start stemming on the 20th.

Yesterday I ran into an old friend who has gone through IVF a few times.  I asked for the honest truth about the progesterone-in-oil-shot (the big one), and she, a very calm and level person replied, "oh, you mean the mother FU*%#* shot?"  She said the first one feels like you get punched, and then it gets better.

Last night, I couldn't fall asleep.  I kept thinking about the many more injections I have left, how I'm going to "run out" of spots on my stomach to stick the needles, how I will bruise.  I haven't ordered all the medication and I started having half dreams of them not being here or them not working right.  I woke up yelling for Darren to come back and pray for me (he was still up).  I was crying.  "What if it doesn't work."

I'm going to be honest.  Raw. I believe 100% in faith and God.  I believe HOPE triumphs fear.  But I'm human.  Fear is normal.  I'm just going to verbally throw up my fears and try to move on and continue on it hope.  To force myself to remain positive, I'm going to do what my mom calls the "BUT" statement to each fear.  Here they are in order:

1.  #1 Most obvious fear is "what if it doesn't work?"
BUT, I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plans to prosper you...not to harm you.  IF it doesn't work, I will be sad, BUT I trust God and all He does and it means there is something better down the road. And, because it's only 50-60% odds of success, that is why we are buying 4 attempts.

2.  Miscarriage.  I  read so many BFP stories after IVF all to find out that there is not heartbeat at 6 weeks.  I know I can't "live" with this fear if I get pregnant, but I am scared.
BUT, 90% of pregnancies do not end in miscarriage.

3.  Egg retrieval canceled due to low egg production and/or no embryos being formed after ICSI
BUT, the doctors said this only happens 5% of the time, and they said since I'm young, this would be rare.

4.  The egg-retrieval.  I've never had anesthesia.  I haven't had to give myself an enema.  I've never had a needle up there.
BUT, several people go through IVF and anesthesia on a daily basis.  They survive.  So will I.

5.  Not having frozen embryos left.
BUT, it just takes one embryo to have a baby.

6.  The "BIG" 2 week wait.
BUT, the time will pass.  Time always does.

7.  Throwing up.
This has been a crippling fear of mine.  I know it's nuts, but its a full blown phobia.  I haven't been sick with flu since I was 8.  I'm 29 in 10 days.  I'm horrified. But, it won't kill me.

8.  The progesterone in oil HOLY $h*& shot.
But, I might be pregnant!!

9.  Getting OHSS and all the side effects that naturally come with these injections like crazy bloating.
But, I only stem 10-12 days.

10.  The payments on the $16,500 loan.
But, God has provided us with good jobs and He will provide this.


Preparing for Rain

October 10, 2012

There were two farmers, neighbors, both praying for rain for their crops - for their livelihood. After praying, one farmer waited for the rain; the other farmer went to his field and started preparing for rain. Which one do you think had the greater faith?"
Galatians 4:22-23

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1

7 years ago, when I was suffering from a terrible heart-breaking breakup, my mom had me watch "Facing the Giants." There was a scene where an old man who came into the school to pray over the lockers had told the main character to "prepare for rain."  The man ironically was dealing with infertility, and the old man was basically telling him to start preparing for what needs to happen when God answers his prayers.

 I began to see that God is honored in hope and expectancy. There are so many things we are WAITING on Him for and we can chose to go forward with a spirit of fear, or with a spirit of hope. I believe this verse takes it a step further and encourages us to actually start preparing for what we are asking of God.  Like, expecting Him to move. 

Don't get me wrong, I know I cannot change God's plans.  Sometimes, it is not His will to "rain" so to speak.  However, as we move forward with IVF, we are choosing to present our prayers to God with expectancy.  God has put the desire to parent in our heart.  We are going through the most aggressive treatment out there to reach this desire.  Until God shuts the door, we are going to humbly, prayerfully, and hopefully EXPECT to be pregnant, this cycle.  If He says no, He says no.  But for now, we are going to PREPARE.  As sort of an "act of faith" I bought this bear hat last night, EXPECTING to someday, on MY baby (via IVF, natural surprise, surrogate, or adoption) take this picture shoot:

Shoot Me UP

October 8, 2012

Today Darren and I took the class at OHSU this morning on how to shoot me up.  It was a bit overwhelming walking into the room and seeing needles, viles, powders, fake skin rubber ball things, etc.  The nurse was super nice and we both feel READY.

Oddly enough I feel really happy today.  I'm ready.  I'm praying so hard (and appreciate ALL prayers) that this season, this time, God "remembers me" (as prayed by Hannah, Rachel, and Sarah in the Bible).  I realize despite my efforts the decision and timing remain in His hands.  I'm hoping that this IS HIS timing.  November.

Darren on the other hand is really squeamish and nervous about shots.  He asked if its best to go fast or slow.  He carried my Lupron Kit around.  He looked good with the needles.

Here is a pic of us with our first shot kit!  Again, I can't believe I even thought ONE ovidrel shot was a big deal.  Sigh. 

Darren's scared!                                                                                                    I'm HAPPPPPPPPY

Calm Before the Storm

October 7, 2012

Assuming the RE is fine with me moving forward with IVF despite the mild cervical issues, today is the calm before the storm.  It's funny how "emotional" taking ONE HSG shot made me.  I couldn't believe I was at the level of having to take and injection.  I've done the math.  Starting tomorrow over the next few weeks I will be giving myself over 50 injections!

I follow several blogs and realize there are several attitudes I can choose to acquire during this.  I can go through the "life isn't fair" and "why me" ranging to "this really sucks, but worth it," to "praise the Lord I get to inject myself again because I'm on the way to baby land."  I think I'm going to work on staying in the last 2 mind frames.  I'm human. It will hurt.  The side effects are scary.  I hate needles not to mention Darren is freaked to inject me (we take the class tomorrow).  I don't want to be superficial and act like it doesn't bother me at all, but I also want to remain hopeful and grateful this science is an option.

My sister in law gave me a book awhile back about 3 friends who had issues conceiving.  One had to go on to IVF and talked about the various injections but the one that put the most shutters through me was one she had entitled the "HOLY SH*T SHOT"  (aka the progesterone oil one that goes into butt muscle).  That was is one of the lasts.  I think HOLY SH*T SHOT sounds like a good blog post title.

Although we are keeping this a secret from family, I'm telling close friends.  One friend wasn't aware of what IVF was so I explained it.  She said "I want to have my kids the normal way." Seriously?  Why didn't I think of that? ;)

So today I will relax, organize the house, lesson plan, watch Once Upon a Time, pray.  I can do this.  It will be over in a month.  Bring it.  But, until tomorrow's first Lupron injection (which I heard several refer to as 'Lupron Hell') I'm going to enjoy the calm.

Hosting Baby Shower with Cervial Dysplasia

October 6th, 2012

Today I ran my sister's baby shower.  As planned, it was for today considering Ryker wasn't supposed to come till November 9th.  She decided to keep it.  As the oldest sister, I naturally  and gladly am the one who runs the show.

It was perfect.  My mom has amazing life-long friends in the church and they come to all our celebrations.  I ran the game (Mr. and Mrs. Wright and the Price is Right) and I sat by Heidi and wrote down every. single. item. she received.  TWENTY SEVEN gift givers, and over 100 precious little onsies, shoes, dinosaur hats, nipple pads, dishwasher caddies, blankets, hats with ears, medicine, bottles, etc. 

I was okay but I have to be honest, I am ready to be away from 'baby land' for a bit.  I have learned to swallow the pill that it was God's plan for her to have the first baby and not God's timing for our little boy/girl to enter the scene.  I've accepted that long ago.  But its all real and it quietly tugs at my infertility struggle and fears.

The hardest points were the following:

I've had too many "congrats on becoming an aunt" comments.  They are incredibly innocent but this secret blog is where I can throw up my raw emotions right?  I have been an aunt to my sister-in-laws baby for 2 years.  Don't say "it's not the same, it's not bloooood."  I might adopt some day and that baby won't have my 'blood" either.  I'm not bitter at all (maybe it's been a rough week).  I am happy I am an aunt again, but please please please stop congratulating me on this.  My sister went through hell and back to push the baby out.  Congratulate her.

Heidi (on me driving her from hospital to shower) started crying telling me that she loves her husband more than ever.  Seeing him hold THEIR child that came from THEM.  She explained it as amazing.  God, I want to feel that so bad.  This crazy love all mother's swear by.  That glazed look at my husband for giving me this child.  The feeling she gets when her baby looks her in the eyes.  The beauty of it all actually horrifies me as I realize I may never ever know this feeling.

Thank the Lord IVF is around the corner, there is a little hope left in my soul.

The last hardest part, (and has been), it just the pure fact the oldest child (me) didn't make my parents grandparents, and my grandparents great grandparents.  I can get over that.  At this point, I want a baby.  Period.  But my mom felt the urge to share (at the shower) how she has only heard how awesome it is to be a grandma and can now verify that it's true and her crazy love for this baby.  Grandma mentioned that he is their "First great-grandchild."  The thing is, they have every right to say all this and it's all true.  No one should tip-toe around the "infertile aunt." But for some reason I can't help but have an inner cringe and find myself doing an extra blink to hold back tears during these "announcements" or "sharings."

PS.  Results are in from the Dr.  I have "mild dysplasia" which  refers to the presence of precancerous changes of the cells that make up the inner lining of the cervix, the opening to the womb (uterus). The term dysplasia refers to the abnormal appearance of the cells when viewed under the microscope. Basically he thinks there is a high chance it will correct itself and said it's mild.  He told me to go ahead with IVF and get another pap in 6months -year.  And continue of with IVF I will.

Baby Birth and Birth Control

October 4, 2012

Insane crazy week of events and emotions.  Darren should know about the financial drama tomorrow but has a lot of stress.  I should know my HPV results Monday.  I start IVF Monday if the prior things clear.  THEN...

My little sister's water broke yesterday morning.  She had her baby last night.  He wasn't due till November 9th so he defiantly came early.

I got there in time to be with her during pretty intense contractions.  My baby sister who has a high pain tolerance omitted heartbreaking sobs, groans, and moans during each contraction.  She was begging for the epidural but the anesteiologist was running behind.  It was really hard to watch.

Finally the anestieologist came and within the half hour she was back to her perky self.  I didn't realize "pushing" takes so long.  Her and her husband decided they wanted to be alone as the baby was born.  It took her 2 hours to push him out.  He came at 2:50 am this morning.  5 lbs, 14 oz. 

We were all waiting outside the door.  We heard a nurse say "he's out" but then no cry.  For the next 10 minutes about 6 different nurses/doctors walked in and out, none making eye contact.  My mom was in a frantic "why don't we hear the cry?"  "he should be crying" "I don't hear a cry."  It was silent for a long time.

In those moments, my emotions were raw.  I had been doing an awesome job of hiding any jealousy/pain that today was the day my parents became grandparents from their middle born child, not me.  I was longing to be crying in pain pushing out a child.  I wanted to be in that room, pushing out MY baby.

But in the silent non-baby-crying-filled time frame, all pain from me erased and I instantly realized again people have it worse.  Carrying a full baby to term and losing it or having a still born or even the fear that comes with preemies is worse than any IVF treatment.  In that moment I prayed and tried to barter with God.  God, let this baby be okay.  I would give up me every conceiving for him to live.  As the long silence continued, my mind raced.  There was no sound or cry from the room.  God, let him live

Ryker Joel Jaquith is a fighter.  They chose the name because Ryker means strong.  He had to get whisked away to NICU on breathing tanks (lungs are not fully developed) but he is going to be okay.  Today Heidi got to hold him the first time.  She sobbed.  My mom sobbed.  Something about my mom crying, staring at her firstborn grandchild, reminded me of my own selfish pain.  I left for work.

Irony is so strange.  During Heidi's labor, I had to take one of my birth control pills.  Funny how life works.  I will continue to seek and praise my God and trust His timing for our life.  I am so deeply happy for them, and so deeply reminded of what may never be a reality for us.  Again, the clash of 2 opposite feelings.

Here we are, the new Aunt (me) on left, the new mommy, Heidi, and of course, the sweetest little guy alive, Ryker.

Kink In Plans For the 83402948239592305 Time

October 2, 2012

Crazy how fast things change.  Still waiting on Darren's news...

I got a random call from my normal OBGYN's office this morning.

My pap smear from 2 weeks ago was abnormal.

I forsure carry the HPV virus.

The nurse assured me that 3 out of 4 women carry the virus.  Since they saw "imflamation" there too, they want to do further tests.

They want me to come in November 4th.  They tell me to delay IVF till I get the results.

I beg to let ANY OBGYN to get me in sooner.  There is one open.  Today.

The nurse tells me it will basically feel like a pap smear but its called a "Colposcopy."

I went in, not worried, more annoyed about this delaying IVF. 

But when they took me in the "room" it was different.  It was way more sciency looking.

No one warned me, but this procedure involves FREAKING CUTTING out parts of the cervix to test.

It was a biopsy.

I could hear the snips.  It was worse than HSG.  My legs were shaking after.

I get a call Monday.  If it's clear (which I'm expecting it to be), I can proceed with IVF.

BUT, they said some IVF doctors like to delay treatments a month just to let cervix heal from the cuts.

Back to waiting land where fears become nightmares.


IVF Becoming Reality

October 1, 2012

Went back to OHSU for the last of our "pre" tests.  I had to have a trial transfer and something that counts my possible egg growth.

I was nervous, but excited.  It was almost pain free.  The only real concern was the Dr. said my cervix is a little tricky to get to and isn't centered.  It took him a while to get in where he would drop the embryos.  He said it wasn't anything to worry about. 

In the meantime, Darren was giving a sperm sample as a backup to freeze, just in case.  He said the collection room was incredibly goofy because there was a weired painting of a naked woman on the wall.  LOL. 

I got the call in the afternoon for my "protocol."  It will actually take a little longer than I thought.

I continue on birth control till the 13th

Next week I start Lupron injections to "calm" the ovaries.

About 2 weeks later I start the "stems" FSH and Monopur? 

They start monitoring around the 19th.

If everything goes smoothly, they predict Egg retrieval to be between October 28 and Nov 2....

I thought my insurance would pay 50% but they only cover if its for and IUI.  So, it looks like the meds will be about $2600 additional.  It's okay though.

Still waiting on Darren's end of things...should know Friday.  If financially we are sound, we will start shots MONDAY.  This is becoming really real.

My Bucket List:

My Bucket List: