Born-Again Lupron Virgin

January 30, 2013

Can't help but look back to pre-IVF round 1 and think about how cool it would be if I only had to do it all once?  Maybe pregnant with twins round 1 of IVF and adopt a 3rd or have a "surprise" baby when things weren't so stressful?  The hopeful crazy thoughts we allow in our head on those crazy hopeful days when we allow ourselves to dream of a _____(insert month here 9 months from day of dream) baby.  It happens.  You do hear stories.  But so far no such luck for us. 

I wanted to consider myself a born-again lupron virgin.  To be able to move on from the nightly injections, the eternal headaches, the emotions that come with watching your own hands inject things into your own body.  As a born again lupron virgin, I would forget the pain of the past and move forward, knowing that "season" was done. 

I couldn't help but think about that just about now, I would have been clearing the 12 week mark.  My belly would have been growing.  I would be just 4 weeks away from knowing the gender.  What are the odds that IUI's have a 15% success rate and I did EIGHT and never hit it, but the ONE time I was pregnant I fell into the 15% miscarriage rate?  One thing for sure dear readers, I am NOT planning on buying a lotto ticket any time soon ;) 

Why am I writing about all this?  2 big boxes of lupron and A LOT of needles are sitting on my table, waiting for me.   It's the eve of the eve before I start those shots, and this time for at least a month.

I get that I have a choice.  I can look at them with dread, shutters of the past failure, emotions from round 1.  Or I can look at them as hope, as vehicles that God has allowed us to use to get where we want to go.  What if those 2 kits and all those needles result in one or two healthy little babies?  Will I be sad/complaining/scared/doubtful then?  No. 

So, on the eve of the eve of familiarizing myself with this un-fun drug, I'm going to relax that I don't have to do it tonight, rejoice that is represents March 8th coming closer and rejoice that it can lead to answered prayers!

Shearwater Inn

January 26, 2013
Darren and I just celebrated our 3 year anniversary.  We got this great deal at Lincoln City Beach at the cutest little inn right on the beach.  From our bed you faced a gas fireplace and the ocean and they brought us breakfast in bed each morning.  The weather was perfect and it was so fun to get away from everything for a bit.  Here's a pic of our view from balcony!

There are some "dangers "in too much time though.  We went to the outlet malls at I bought THREE baby outfits for 3 different friends/family in live that have a baby or are about to have a baby.  They are the cutest things ever-pajamas that look like teddy bear fur and the hoodie has ears.  Maybe it was buying those that triggered a ever deep growing sadness I couldn't shake.  Too much down time, too much time to think.  As the sun got brighter, my heart got dimmer.  Falling into a well down slump.

So many fears.  I know that "fear is the opposite of faith" but lets be honest.  I want this FET to work more than anything.  I'm afraid it won't work at all.  I'm afraid it will, all to result into another crushing miscarriage and DandC.  I'm afraid of those horrible horrible dreadful days between when they put the embryos in and when I know if they stuck.  Then I go deeper.  What if it never works?  What if God has some crazy plan of me miraculously getting pregnant in 10 years when I'm 39? (I know His ways are best, but that's a scary thought).  Down down down the slide my mind goes.  Next thing I know, I'm crying alone in my car.  Begging God to answer.  To move.  To breathe a breath of hope.  And poor Darren.  The infertility issue follows us wherever we go.  I asked him to pray for me and then I felt better.  I still think about all these fears everyday, but not to the point of allowing it to really sink in and make me panic.  Oh God, let March come soon.

A cute highlight of the weekend was our trip to the Coach purse store.  Darren has promised me that as an early "push" (or adopt) gift I can get a Coach Diaper Bag at the outlet.  He was like, "Let's get one this weekend just to prepare and be hopeful."  I agreed to look but I don't want to buy one until I hear a heartbeat.  I have enough "faith" gifts laying around.    In the store the sales people were super aggressive and when they heard "diaper bag" the man showed us like ten.  Then he said "this is a gift right?"  Awkward pause....then I say, "Well, we are hoping to get pregnant soon so it's kind of for us."  Then Darren piped in and said, "Yes, it's for us, we are wanting to buy one."

It was really really fun for me to hear him say that.  He has been so supportive of me but rarely talks like that.  It made me smile.  End of story, I walked out with a new purse instead so I'm happy.  Hopefully we can go back in a few months and buy a pink or blue bag...

Shearwater Inn was a good little refresher.  And the king size bed was the best, so comfy.  I've started my protocol of BCP and start Lupron February 1st, just 6 more days till it starts to become more real that IVF round 2 is on it's way!

Angels and Protocols

January 17, 2013

First off, about a week ago my sister in law called me and told me about her medifast coach who had gone through FOURTEEN years of infertility.  This coach is actually a woman I use to babysit for when I was a teenager.  She is a strong Christian and wanted to reach out to me, and reach out she did.

She met up with me for coffee and brought my a "faith gift."  She shared her story and for the first time, I felt like I was finally talking to a live human being who fully "gets it."  IF is so isolating even with the terminology.  My SIL thought the embryo transfer was called the "implantation" (I wish).  Most people don't even know what an embryo is while I, am obsessed.  In fact, last night in the hot tub a bubble floated by and I thought "HEY!  That looks like and embryo!"  (only infertiles understand).  I was telling my mom that I read this quote that says something along the lines of "you can hear me, but you can't understand me."  I have felt that way often. 

Anyways, this woman was one of the first even to do IVF in the US (she did it in the 80's) and was featured on 20/20.  The first try she got pregnant with triplets only to have ALL THREE result in blighted ovums like mine.  Round 2 she had to cancel cycle due to OHSS.  Round 3 with only 2 "lower level" embryos is when she conceived her daughter.  Through her testimony, it was amazing to see how God had clearly weaved His love into her life.

It was also nice hearing HER say the things that kill people going through issues.  "I wasn't even trying" to the 100th baby shower, to jealously/pain mixed with joy when friends/family get pregnant.  She "went there" with addressing the fact that my little sister has a 3 month year old while I have empty arms.  I couldn't help but tell her my most recent "encounter..."

I was selling tickets at our high school basketball game and a sweet-hearted kind woman I work with couldn't wait to tell me she is going to have (read in a really super crazy happy perky voice) ANOTHER grandbaby (her son had a kid like 7 months ago).  Then she went on (repeat reading in even happier, crazy, perkier voice) and they WEREN'T EVEN TRYING!!!  I wish I could say I feel to the ground thrilled or laughing or returning the enthusiam but holding back tears I was like (fake happy voice) that's wonderful!   This is such a good example of why this crap is isolating.  I was hurt by a woman who did NOTHING wrong.  She has every right to be thrilled to be grandma 2 but it still stung.  My sister has the right to adore her baby, but it can still hurt.  My mom has the right to tell me weird stories about her grandchild making cute gurgles, there is nothing wrong at all, but yet, I still hate it.  It makes you feel evil and it turns you into a pro fake-smiler.

Darren, my husband, often reminds me that God doesn't waste time and that perhaps is allowing all this pain/waiting/infertility all to help a younger want-to-be-mom- down the road.  I think God knows who is super strong and who can handle it (and of course, He give us what we need to survive).

One of my favorite moments with her was when I said, "Thanks for making time for me."  Her response was "Someone once made time for me."  It was this beautiful "pay it forward"moment.  I couldn't help but imagine years ago, her husband saying, "someday you will help a wanna-be-mom-"

And help she did.  The faith gift was a little outfit for a boy and girl.  She asked me to leave them in a place where I can see them and EVERYDAY to thank God for what He is orchestrating in the future. She said that she had prayed that God would use her as a 'dispenser of hope."  Her prayer was so answered!  She also promised to pray for me daily, to have hope when I don't, and to not stop until I call her with news of a viable pregnancy.  I walked out feeling hope...a feeling I lost with the

Now onto protocol!!  OHSU called me today and here is the tentative plan:

Jan 19-Feb 10th  Birth Control Pill

February 1- Start the lovely LUPRON injections

Feb 15-first ultrasound

Late February start some estrogen pill (1 a day and increase to 3 a day)

Start the Holy *(^^*(&^&%% injections (Progesterone in oil)

and, drum roll please.......

March 8th is the ETA for my frozen embryos to reunite with my body!! 

It still seems so far, but knowing a date in my head makes me excited!  I'm sure the fears/nervousness/doubt will come in but today I felt hope.

Funny Stuff in the Storm

January 12, 2013

(Little update, no period at all. I was totally "siking" myself into believing it was coming.  It's all good though, I started a 10 day medicine to induce it and then enter the 7 week protocol.)

So, infertility is nasty.   Heartbreaking.  Hopeless at times.  Today I have spent the majority of the day mourning, crying, and praying.  It comes in waves of "I'm great" to "what the h e double hockey sticks just happened?"

But, in all things, there is humor. 

1. The morning on the way home from the doctor I texted the family and friends that knew that "today, confirmed by ultrasound, our sweet little babies went to live in heaven." My inbox was full of kind, loving messages of encouragement and support.

We always tease my mom for her bad text messaging skills. Her message read:

"Holly, I love those little babies so much. I will miss not getting to meet them down here! It makes heaven that much sweeter..knowing someday we will get to eet them."

EAT them?

I had to laugh a little through the tears.

2. Today I read a woman's blog who talked about some weird "good luck fertility" thing you do New Years Eve (WHY did I just find that 12 days late??).  To increase fertility all you do is wear red underwear and eat 12 grapes at midnight and then toss the underwear away the next day.  She went on to say that it was weird but at this point she would be willing to "sacrifice a calf" to get pregnant.  I actually had to agree.  Any one have a calf or red underwear I can borrow??

3.  Speaks for itself, my children will be flawless:
4.  I liked this one too.  Everyone has advice, but if the sperm is low and the ovaries crazy, thanks for your advice (grrrr)

5. No seriously, I need red underwear or a calf...and 12 grapes.

8 Weeks Not-Pregnant

January 9, 2013

I think I may have ovulated around December 21st (I threw OPKs out the window last month due to the miscarriage and all the HCG hormones), which means my period should be starting around now.  I'm pretty sure it is, but it's taking it's time.

This is the first time in about 1.5 years that I'm actually happy to see mother f-ing dear Aunt Flow (I hate that term).  It means I can get to my FET (frozen embryo transfer))sooner! I assumed I would have to take Provera to induce it, meaning another 10 days.  I also assumed that once I got my period, I would be about 3 weeks away from TRANSFER DAY!!! Enter burst bubble:

I emailed my RE yesterday asking what my "protocol" was.  He emailed me back saying "Schedule an appointment with me."  This was somewhat upsetting because I had an appointment with him 2.5 weeks ago.  I called the nurse (I figured he was confused) and he was.  She laughed and said (I SWEAR to heave this is exact quotes), " Dr. Patton is a 'ding-dong." She went on to say that he has been on vacation, maybe had too much wine, and has been spacey.  The place I'm going is often ranked top 10 IVF clinics in the nation and they are telling me my doctor is a "ding-dong?" A bit unnerving but whatev.

So anyway, I ask, "can you tell me protocol."  This was the shocking reply

1.  Wait till my period comes (should be here soon, but who knows, my body is whacked)

2.  Start birth control for 2 weeks on cycle day 3.

3.  Take Lupron injections for a full MONTH (to suppress ovaries)

4.  Take some type of oral estrogen (another 10 days)

5.  Then, start those nasty huge progesterone in oil needles (by the way, my booty still hurts when I run from those guys).

6.  Come in for transfer. 

After reading what seemed like the longest list ever she said, that's your 7 week protocol.  Doing the math, I added another 10 days till I know if it worked.  There you have it.  8 weeks not-pregnant.  My heart sank.  I had just convinced myself it would be like a 2 week protocol, but in reality, its longer than normal IVF protocol. 

I can't complain. Praise God I have this opportunity.  Praise God that I actually have frozen embryos. I'm happy I don't have to do egg retrieval.  I'm happy we could get a loan for this. But 7 weeks feels like a prison sentence.  Ok fine, I'm complaining, but I'm being honest.  It seems so far.

My body WANTS to be pregnant. I can feel it. My mind and heart actually miss the little embryos sitting in that dumb freezer. My womb is empty and wants to be full. 

I know God's timing is perfect, but March seems so far.  I have been on such a crazy cycle of, "it didn't work, let's try next cycle, it didn't work, lets try next cycle" that to have to sit here and wait 4 months from first IVF transfer is killing me.  I can't do anything about it but eat my pre-natal gummies.  Come on March.


January 5, 2013

As most of you know, I've been sentenced to 1-2 months of waiting before trying again for our frozen egg transfer. The doctor told me to wait to get my period, but, with PCOS that means I could be waiting for over ninety days. He did say I could induce my period if it hasn't come by the 14th of January, which isn't too far off. However,when you are waiting, each day seems a bit longer than usual. Thinking realistically it will probably be a month before the embryos return to me seems like a mini eternity. On the flip side, the first two embryos were placed inside Nov 4 and it doesn't seem that long ago...

While I'm waiting, God has been teaching me a few things.  There is this devotional I bought called "A Jesus Calling" and it's written as if God is speaking DIRECTLY to you.  The first thing God has been teaching me came through the book.  Recently, it say to get into the habit of saying aloud "Jesus, I trust you" in ALL circumstances.

I hit a low point a few days ago, because I actually told God how painful the whole thing had been.  To experience and answered prayer inside my womb after so much trying all to have it literally sucked out of my body.  It felt like the answered prayer was "Indian given" if you will.  I couldn't sleep that night.  I had allowed the true emotions to surface.  I thought of Jaden and his/her life with me.  He/she should be growing in my belly but instead is gone.  It was the first time I couldn't shake it.

But then, I felt like God spoke to me.  I'm a Christian.  You can't be half Christian, it's all or it's nothing.  If I truly am a Christian, than no matter what, I have to believe God is good. All that all He does is good.  Period. I than began to realize that my brain is so limited to Him and what He does.  I felt like God was telling me that I am not capable to understand why what happened, happened, but to trust Him to remember that all He does is good.

So, with the encouragement from the devotional, I'm trying to get into the habit of whispering, "Jesus, I trust you."  It's healing.  It brings hope again.  It reminds me that a good Creator is doing what is best for us. 

I am scared the FET won't work:  Jesus, I trust you.

What if I have another horrifying miscarriage?:  Jesus, I trust you.

What if I never can carry a baby?: Jesus I trust you.

The 2nd thing God is teaching me is His ways in things.  For so so so long, I've been frustrated with God because He is all-powerful.  I don't feel like I'm asking a lot when I want Him to simply touch my womb and allow life to grow...heck, it seems like He doesn't have ANY problem doing this for every friend, sibling, and acquaintance in my entire world.  I was like, "come on God, with the snap of your fingers you can end this pain."  He can do anything, so why not just answer my prayer already??

Today in church our pastor was talking about who God really is.  He took us back to Exodus where it talks about God "abounding in love and slow to anger."  The pastor went on to read tidbits of when Moses was asked to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt.  God had actually said something along the lines of "I've heard their cries and I want to help."

For those that know the story, God freed them, but it was an INSANE journey to the promise land.  Even if they would have been perfect angels, they still would have had been in bondage for a long time and then would have had to make the dessert trek completing relying on Him.  They still would have been scared, hungry, tired, etc. 

It hit me that God could have "snapped his fingers" and showed them His glory by zapping them into the Promise Land instantly.  Or  the minute they were freed gave them a break by making it a fun mini-vacay to the Promise Land.  But it was a journey, a process.  Then I realized, there is really no story in the Bible where God instantly does something.  Yes, there are miracles that happen fast, but most of the stories involve a journey.  Even Jesus, again, God could have said "my people need a link to me, and snapped" but instead, Jesus had to in a sense suffer 33 years knowing He had to die.

My infertility journey is a process and Jesus has not chosen to just let me get pregnant fast.  I cannot be mad at Him for this because many people before me also have had to go through long-painful waiting periods to reach the "promised land."  At the end of it all, all I can say right now, through my fears, anxiousness, and CRAZY lack of patience for round two is : Jesus, I trust you.

This song called "These Hands" by J.J. Heller has been very very comforting this month.

My Bucket List:

My Bucket List: