Saturday, October 27, 2012

Reproductive immunology

We are finally moving on to our next endeavor and I'm not talking about the donor embryos. We have decided to work with a reproductive science and immunology consultant. She's experieced infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss herself and has decided to help others determine explanations for their own unexplained infertility. It's not that we are against putting the adopted ones in. I just want to make sure my body wont kill them the way it has possibly killed my own. Have any of you worked with an RI? She's not an actual RI,  just a consultant that helps you find an RI. Since all of this will be long distance, we feel we could use her help and felt her fees were reasonable. Here is what she's helping us with:

"I consult in all areas of infertility and all stages of infertility, but the majority of my clients have "unexplained infertility" or recurrent miscarriages. They have tried IUI and even IVF and failed. I work with them to determine why they have been unable to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term or why their current treatment plan is not working for them.  In order to be thorough, I would like to have a copy of your current medical records. This will allow me to see the tests, results, and treatments that you have completed. I can see what is missing and what may need to be done. I can evaluate how treatments were given and determine reasons for why they may not have worked. Most importantly, based on your past medical history, we can come up with directions and plans for the future. We can also make sure that nothing important has been overlooked (even many things that are not immune related). I will go through your records very carefully and create a "consulting packet" for you. This will contain tests that you have had and an interpretation of them. It will contain tests that I recommend, and why I recommend these tests and what information they will provide us with. Many of the tests can be done through a local lab that is contracted with your insurance company (such as Quest, LabCorp). For the specialized immune tests, your (and your husbands) blood can be mailed to a lab in Chicago called the Clinical Immunology Labs at Rosalind Franklin University. They accept most major insurance plans, but we can email or call them directly to find out if they are contracted with your insurance. If they are, great! If not, we can order from a less expensive lab (that sends the blood to RFU anyway) or we can prioritize the tests to make sure that you are only having the most necessary and fewest tests possible. What I love about this is you can find answers without spending a ton of money (or any money at all).  I can also order blood tests from Rosalind Franklin (an immunology lab) or Reprosource, if that is necessary. I will mail the packet to you and then we will have a comprehensive consultation appointment where we can discuss the packet and I can answer questions about the packet or ANY other questions that you may have. The consultation can be done over the phone or via Skype since you are located in Tennessee. Providing you with the "consulting packet" before we talk makes our time very productive - it gives us plenty to talk about and will give you time to come up with any questions that I can answer during theconsultation appointment . My fee for the comprehensive consultation (reviewing medical records, the packet and the consultationappointment (this appointment usually lasts 2-3 hours) is $500.00. Following the “comprehensive consultation”, you may contact me anytime to ask specific questions about tests, treatments and results, plans or for emotional support during your infertility treatments or pregnancy. Following the comprehensive consultation, my fee is $75/hour (prorated)."

Karen E. Pace, Ph.D.
Conceivable Solutions, LLC.
Reproductive Science and Immunology Consulting

Karen E. Pace, Ph.D.
Conceivable Solutions, LLC.
Reproductive Science and Immunology Consulting

Monday, October 15, 2012

October 15th

Here we are again....October 15, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. A day to remember our lost babies. Unfortunately every year more candles are added because more babies are lost. This year I finally got pregnant again in July 2012. And this October I light a third candle. I really thought this pregnancy was going to be the one that stuck around. It was an IVF baby so she was hand-picked among all those other embryos to be our best chance for a take-home-rainbow baby. This year I add another candle for Allyson Paige to my other two candles for my babies Grant Alexander and Caleb Bradley. I will also add candles for:

M's triplets Mary Elizabeth, Thomas, Ryker,
Missy's twins Leah and Laci,
Lori's first pregnancy loss,
Diane's 2 losses,
Elisha's 2 losses,
Rachel's loss,
Carrie's sweet baby Alli,
Angie's 3 losses,
Tien's son Jhet and her other loss.

If you would like me to light a candle for your baby, please let me know and I will. It's the least we can do since several of us never got to have a proper funeral. I love you babies. See you in heaven one day.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Blood work

I am having blood work done on Tuesday to make sure my body isn't killing babies. I know a lot of you have had autoimmune testing done. Does anyone care to share what yor panel was like? I don't want to miss any tests before we put back adopted embryos. Also around how long did it take your results to get back? I am sooooo ready to move on to something new! Hope this is the answer we've been praying for.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Adoption story

Now that I have a few minutes, I'll explain our latest trip to Cincinnati. We met with our doctor first. He tried to convince us to do donor eggs instead of donor embryos because they have a little bit better success with that but Brad and I aren't comfortable with the baby only being genetically related to one of us so we declined. He said he may possibly want to do another laparoscopic surgery to make sure my endo hasn't returned. When I asked him if it really matters when you do IVF he said not usually but in my case it may make a difference. He left the decision up to us and said to let him know a few months prior to the transfer if we wanted to pursue it. (Any opinions on doing laps once using IVF?) He also said that although our embryo quality isn't ideal, it doesn't necessarily mean we couldn't ever have our own genetic child. It just might mean several more miscarriages and years of trying. We are done with the miscarriages and the years of trying. We are definitely ready to move on to something that hopefully takes away both of those things.

Next we met with the nurse who coordinates the donor eggs and embryos. She was extremely nice-one of those people who you just meet but feel like you've known forever. She showed us the profiles of the families of three groups of embryos. They had information such as medical history from the donor's grandparents, parents and themselves, information about their children and how they were conceived along with the donor's occupation and height, weight, hair and eye color. They also had met with the psychologist and the questions she asked with the answers were attached. The first group was a group of 9 3-day embryos. The second group was a group of 4 6-day blastocysts. The last group was a group of 10 morulas. We read through all three very thoroughly and decided to go with the 4 blasts. Not only were we happy about these being the strongest embryos but the family was the most closely related to our own. I cannot explain much about the family on here for obvious reasons. If it doesn't work and we have to adopt more later, we are OK with that. We didn't want to pick a family based on the number of embryos it would provide us.

Lastly we had to met with the same psychologist that the donating family met with to make sure we understood exactly what all of this means. It felt a little weird sitting on a couch and discussing our childhoods but we got through it. I guess our answers were fine because that very day the embryos got transferred into our names. How simple was that?

We aren't sure when we will transfer them. We are still trying to heal from the miscarriage and the fact that we may never have our own genetic child. We are certainly dealing better with the you may never have a genetic child part than the loosing your baby two weeks ago part. School started this past Monday, August 6. I went to an inservice that I was supposed to miss because it was the date of my first ultrasound. Needless to say it was an incredibly miserable day. I want my baby back.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Allyson Paige Davis

We finally named our baby we just lost. It's not that we weren't wanting to. It's just that with our other two pregnancies we named them as soon as we found out. Both times we didn't think the baby would die so we figured naming them early was fine. This time wasn't the same. Although we were certainly hopeful for this pregnancy to continue, we also knew that with our track record it might not. So we didn't name the baby while I was pregnant.

When I was a little girl, I always named my Barbies and Cabbage Patch Kids Allyson. And yes, she needs a y because her mommy has a y in her name that most people don't either. When I asked Brad what girl names he liked he mentioned Allyson. So Allyson it is. No we don't know she was a girl. We don't know the other two were boys either. I guess if we get to Heaven one day and find out she's a boy, we'll call her Al!

We love you Allyson! We don't understand why you couldn't stay here with us but Jesus needed you there with him. One of my favorite sayings is, " Jesus, we didn't get to put our children on our lap and tell them all about You so now can You put them on Your lap and tell them all about us?" I pray He will. If He does He'll tell you about how much you were loved even before we made you and about how much you were wanted. The week I was pregnant with you was one of the best weeks of my life. We miss you sweet girl.

My favorite quote of all time is "Never regret something that once made you smile." We don't regret one minute of this journey so far.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Embryo donation!!!

I know this seems fast but that's because it is. Our clinic called back today informing us that there are three different sets of donated embryos up for recipients. These three couples already have children from IVF and no longer want to have any more so they are graciously donating their frozen embabies to needy couples like us. They have already signed the paperwork relinquishing their rights so now they just need a family. Our clinic doesn't offer them to people outside the facility. There is another interested couple meeting with them next week to look at the profiles as well.

I don't know everything about the process yet but I do know we get the privilege of looking at non-identifying facts about the couples like height, weight, eye color, hair color, occupation, etc. The families do not have to pick us. Once they sign them over to be donated, they are the responsibility of the clinic to find them a good home. No home studies or adoption agencies. Yay!

We are going to the clinic this week to look at the profiles and decide which group of embryos we want. If everything goes well, then they can be our's very soon. That doesn't mean we will use them right away. Obviously the events of last week have left us too hurt to try again soon. But if we don't go now to get some, there may not be any to get when we are ready. She said the demand for donated embryos is high. There are thousands of embryos in storage of course but most of them will be used by the family they belong to or will remain frozen indefinitely because couples struggle with what to do with them. I am so happy that these three couples thought better of the second option and chose donation. They may be able to provide us with the child of our dreams!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Good news and bad news

So our doctor called today with good news and bad news. Bad news first: We probably cannot have our own biological child. He thinks that because we've been having trouble conceiving for 6 years and now have had 3 early miscarriages, we most likely have poor embryo quality. We do still have a frozen embryo from our IVF cycle that he says is good quality but he's concerned that out of 20 embryos, we've only had one to freeze. That was always concerning to us as well. The good news is we do still have options about pregnancy. He mentioned egg donation but we don't want the baby to be only genetically related to one of us. So the next option is embryo donation.

Embryo donation is when couples who have undergone IVF and have frozen embryos that they don't intend to use for a future pregnancy. (I know most of you already know this but I'm linking this to my facebook where most fertiles aren't familiar with our stinkin' disease.) Instead of donating them to research :( or just letting them die altogether :(:( couples who have completed their families donate their extra embryos to needy couples such as ourselves. Technically it is adoption but without all the craziness associated with adoption. Once the couple signs a paper donating them to you, they are no longer their children but your's! You get to become pregnant with them and when you have the baby, it's your's. They relinquish their rights to the embryos even before the transfer of them into your uterus.

Although it's definitely not want you dream about, we feel it's the next best thing to having your own biological child. I get to be pregnant like all the normal women of the world so I get to be in charge of the prenatal care of our adopted child. We get to bond with our adopted child unlike traditional adoption. But the most important part about this for me is the biological parents cannot take the baby from us or change their mind after he/she is born. I have a ton of respect for couples who undergo traditional adoption. It's such a wonderful gift to a needy child and the parents who get to adopt him/her. But it scares me to death. I'm scared about the prenatal care of the biological mother of course but mostly I'm scared about them changing their minds. And if I'm being totally honest I have an intense need to be pregnant. I know that may sound selfish but it's how I feel. I was only pregnant a week this time and it was one of the best weeks of my entire life. I'm not ready to let that go.

Our doctor said that they have around 80% chance of success with this because the embryos are usually high quality since they are from people who have already experienced successful pregnancies and of course they are blastocysts since they made it to freeze. Although we're deeply saddened at the fact that we will never know our biological child here on earth, this does give us tons of hope in the midst of our grief. Of course for today we're not only grieving the child we just lost but the second child we lost (Happy 4th birthday today Caleb Bradley) and now the loss of any future Brad/Lyndsey babies. It's truly a sad, happy day.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

It's the little things that hurt the most

Grief is strange. One minute you're mad, the next minute you're sad and then you might even think something's funny and laugh. But then when you laugh you feel guilty. How could someone who just miscarried a child into a toilet and flushed him/her down the toilet laugh about anything? So then you cry again.

Then there's your refrigerator. The place that contains all of the healthy foods you bought to help nourish your little one. I am not a healthy eater really but when I get pregnant, I do my best to eat as many fruits and vegetables as I can. I even bought Carnation Instant Breakfast shakes to make sure I was getting everything my baby needed. Now all I want to do is eat a bunch of crap. Well if I'm being honest I really don't feel like eating at all. Why should I when there's nothing inside me worth eating for? Luckily I have the BEST husband anyone could ask for. Without me even mentioning this, he threw out the rest of the cantaloupe I had cut up and threw away that Instant Breakfast stuff. As hard as all of this is, I am so lucky. I know he is hurting just like me but he always seems to take care of me. I wouldn't trade him for any baby and if it means I never become a mother, I will still always have Brad and that makes me smile on this depressed day.

Next is the laundry. Laundry seems simple enough to do now that I'm not in pain anymore (physical anyway). The first problem with doing the laundry is where we sort the clothes. I'm sure like many of you, we have an empty bedroom that's waiting to become someone's room. In the closet of this room are all of the things I've kept from all of my miscarriages so that I will never forget those babies. Needless to say, this room is not the best place for me to go into right now but I did. I start sorting my clothes into the floor and there's the dress that I wore to Nashville when I felt so sick and couldn't finish my meal. There's the dress that I wore when I went I received my positive beta.(I have to wear dresses everyday because I still can't fit into any of my pants.) There's the sports bra I had to wear every night because my boobs were so sore. And there's the tankini bathing suit (I normally wear bikinis but I had so many bruises due to my Lovenox shots and of course I'm still bloated from the IVF) I wore on the day I starting loosing my baby. I can't do the laundry.

I will get through this. I have before. But what's different about this time is it was a pregnancy from IVF so they could look at my embryos and choose the best 3 and I took the shots that were supposed to prevent another loss. What else can be done? We have been reading about autoimmune issues being the cause for recurrent pregnancy loss. I know several of you have taken Prednisone and done the IVIG infusions for these issues so I would love to know more about it. The only thing that is keeping me going right now is the fact that I did get pregnant again. It had been 4 years since my last positive test so to even get pregnant is progress for us. I'm not ready to give up yet. It still may never be possible for me to carry a baby full term but I can't quit until I'm sure and we're not there yet.

Friday, July 27, 2012


My HCG was 4 and progesterone was 2 so there's no possible chance that I have an unaffected baby still in there. So that's that. It's over. Well actually it's only just begun- the pain of passing clots and wondering if that's the one that contained your baby. The pain of knowing you were unable to provide a proper place for your child to grow. The pain of wondering if there was something you did or something you didn't do. The pain of wondering if it was a boy or girl, who she/he looked like, her personality. As bad as all this is, you know you'll do it all over again because there's still that small hope that next time it will be your time. But then next time becomes this time and you're right back where you started once again.... Childless.

The mourning is back and it's worse than before

I'm miscarrying. Ok I don't know that for sure but when you've done it twice before you get pretty good at self diagnosis. It's not too hard to figure out when you are passing tons of blood with clots and horrible cramps. It all started Wednesday morning with a small amount of spotting. I called my clinic and they said as long as it was spotting, I was fine. They also said that doing the Crinone suppositories daily could cause spotting since everything is very vascular right now. I didn't spot the rest of the day so I wasn't too worried about it. Yesterday morning I woke up with the same type of spotting that I had the morning before. I take my Crinone before bed so I figured that was the cause and it wasn't a ton or red so it was not too concerning. Around 3:00 yesterday I started cramping and bleeding. I called my clinic and she said it could be several things. It could be fine or it could be a miscarriage. She said not to stop taking my medications because I could only be miscarrying one of them and the other two or just one may be just fine.It's something called vanishing twin syndrome where the other baby (or babies) are fine and the other twin or triplet dies and either gets reabsorbed by the other babies and there's an empty sac or you can miscarry it altogether. She scheduled me for another beta today but she said it won't tell them much since I've not had one since last Friday. I've had two clots since I talked to her yesterday. I got my blood drawn but the lab tech said I might not get it back today because of my insurance. I started crying and told her I was having a miscarriage and she said she'd see what she could do. I haven't heard back yet but I'll post it as soon as I know. I was farther along than this the other two pregnancies. I thought I might lose this one too but I thought I could enjoy it for longer than a week. I hate my life today. And note to self-when you have a history of miscarriage, don't have baby gaga automatically post on our Facebook wall showing your baby's progress. I don't know why I thought this time might be different. I guess I need to take this Lilypie ticker off my blog too but not today.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Beta Results!

Well I am pregnant! Although I am beyond excited, I thought about how this would make those of you feel who haven't seen that BFP or have recently miscarried. I thought about how I felt when I saw someone else was pregnant again and it wasn't me. It always gave me tons of hope to see others with problems get pregnant but let's face it-when you aren't the one getting that postive poas and beta, it hurts. So please know I understand where you are at and I don't take sharing this news with you lightly.

My HCG was 91 and my progesterone was 40. I thought 91 seemed a little low but the clinic said it was a good number. They don't have you go everyday to see if it's doubling which is a little concerning but let's face it. What can they really do if it's not? Plus I think that might drive me crazy with worry, especially with school getting ready to start again. My ultrasound to see how many are in there and if she/he/they are measuring on track is August 6. That is my first day of school! It's just an inservice with no kids so who cares, right? I'm going to see if there is something else I can go to next week to make up for it.

I have a lot of hope for this pregnancy but I'm still scared. Part of me thinks there's no way God would take this baby from me after all the years of blood, sweat and tears to get here but we all know His plans are not our own. When I got pregnant the second time, I just knew He gave me that child after loosing my first and I thought things would be fine. When that baby was taken as well, it really shook my faith for a little while. I have learned that although we should have faith that He will take care of us in every way possible, sometimes the things that happen to us don't make sense and with IF you still have to guard your heart.

As far as symptoms go, I do have a few. Of course the boobs are still very sore. That may be the pregnancy or the Crinone so it's hard to say. I am burping like a dude! I never burp. I've done these weird hiccup things everyday since I was 16 so I guess that's why I never do. I've also had these waves of nausea the past couple of days but today it was here all day long. It's not like I feel like I am going to throw up. It's more like feeling car sick.  I've been having some really crazy dreams too! I've been writing everything down so that one day I can transfer it to a pregnancy journal. I had a pregnancy journal with my first two babies and I never got to write very much in them. I've decided to wait until after the first trimester and then I'll buy one. I don't need a third one that has nothing in it.

I would like to say THANK YOU to all of you who have offered me support through this process. We couldn't get through something like this without each other and I want you to know how much love I feel with every comment. But most of all I want to thank God for His faithfulness. I don't know why we had to travel this road to get to a baby but He does and He only wants what's best for His children just like earthly parents. I hope that in 9 months Brad and I will get the chance to parent our child(ren) by the example He's shown us. Thank you Jesus for my dancing day today!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I think I'm pregnant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What do ya think? (That second one said 4th morning urine because I ran out of tests and had to go buy some so it's wasn't first morning.)My beta is tomorrow morning!!!!!During my other two IVFs I had already started on Tuesday so to make it to today is amazing. I have had some almost black spotting but not very much at all so I truly believe it was implantation bleeding Sunday and Monday. I think I'm in shock. I haven't seen two lines in four years. Wow. Thank you Jesus. My mourning is turning into dancing already!

Monday, July 16, 2012

The beginning of the end, maybe?

Last night I spotted pink. It was just a tiny bit but it was enough to steal my hope. Beware of this next part TMI!!! This morning it was a small amount of brownish. So I got super mad! How could this be happening to me again? Endomertial biopsy, assisted hatching, three embryos. There's nothing else that can be done now. I got mad, then I sobbed and then just to be sure, I took a HPT. It was positive. So now I don't know what to think. I've not had any more spotting since early this morning so maybe this could be implantation spotting? I know everybody thinks when they are trying to get pregnant that it's always implantation but it does fit with the schedule of when it should have occurred and the color of the blood is the same as what I've read about. There hasn't been any red and it's been such a small amount. Plus I did get a faint positive. I don't think it could still be the trigger since I took that on July 2 but it's a possibility. I'll take another if i don't start and compare the darkness. AF stay away! You're not welcome here! Prayers are appreciated as always!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Symptoms or side effects?

So I hate being on this Crinone progesterone gel. Yes, it's gross but that's not why I hate it so much. The side effects mimic pregnancy symptoms. Tiredness, sore breasts, enlarged breasts (ok that one I like),headaches,lower abdominal pain. So although the trigger shot is probably out of my system by now, I'm having all of these symptoms but you don't know if it's pregnancy or the progesterone. I'm trying to believe it's the medicine so I don't get my hopes up too much just to get let down again for the 400th time but it's hard not to think it could be something else when you boobs hurt this bad. Brad gave me a hug last night and I screamed. :/ Anyone else had these same symptoms while taking Crinone and gotten a BFN? I'm halfway through this 2ww and as you know everyday is the equivalent of two days. Come on Friday!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My odds just went down (imho)

The nurse called this morning with my frozen embryo report. Zero. Out of the nine embies growing none of them made it to blast. I told her that didn't give me much hope for the 3 inside me right now and she said one really didn't have much to do with the other. She said they put the best 3 back so not to get too discouraged. I know she's right but I am discouraged. Out of 20 embryos, we've had one make it to freeze. And these are just the ones they've let grow to day 5, I'm not counting the embryos they've put inside me, which now has been 7. That's 27 embryos altogether. :( To me that sounds like your embryo quality is crap. Especially since the 4 best ones they've put back in my two previous cycles haven't worked. After the second failed IVF, I asked if we needed to move on to donor embryos and the doctor said that that was more for 40-year-olds. But now I'm thinking maybe that is what needs to happen. I'm not saying I can't get pregnant with one of the three they transferred. It may very well happen. But I'm just saying if we can't get any more embryos to blast than one out of 20, the odds aren't good.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What God Meant

The following was taken from another infertile's blog. I can't tell you what reading this meant to me. I hope this touches the rest of you as well, especially those of us who God has chosen this path for us. This makes infertility seem more like a blessing than a curse. What God Meant Author Unknown     What do I think God meant when He gave me infertility?   I think He meant for my husband and I to grow closer, become stronger, love deeper.   I think God meant for us to find the fortitude within ourselves to get up every time infertility knocks us down.   I think God meant for our medical community to discover medicines, invent medical equipment, create procedures and protocols.   I think God meant for us to find a cure for infertility.   No, God never meant for me to not have children.   That's not my destiny; that's just a fork in the road I'm on.   I've been placed on the road less traveled, and like it or not, I'm a better person for it.   Clearly, God meant for me to develop more compassion, deeper courage, and greater inner strength on this journey to resolution, and I haven't let Him down.   Frankly, if the truth be known, I think God singled me out for special treatment.   I think God meant for me to build a thirst for a child so strong and so deep that when that baby is finally placed in my arms, it will be the longest, coolest, most refreshing drink I've ever known.   While I would never have chosen infertility, I cannot deny that a fertile woman could ever experience the joy that I know awaits me.   Yes, one way or another, I will have a baby of my own.   And the next time someone wants to offer me unsolicited advice, I'll say, "Don't tell me what God meant when He handed me infertility. I already know." May we all be blessed with that refreshing drink at the end of our journey.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Three's Company

We transferred three embryos! They were 7, 8, and 10 cells. We don't know the grade because they don't tell you there but I'm sure they aren't A's at 34 years old and they probably wouldn't let us do 3 if they were. I'll post pics later. Right now I'm enjoying my day of rest. We are confident in our decision and that feels nice.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Short Update

All 12 embabies are doing well. Since its only day 2 we don't know the quality yet but we will tomorrow. When we get the grades it will determine whether we put back 2 or 3. I would love to hear your opinions on the subject:2 or 3? Transfer and decision-making time is at 7:15am tomorrow!

Friday, July 6, 2012

A Dozen Krispy Kremes

I woke up at 5:30 this morning to check my phone to make sure I didn't miss a call about our fertilization report. Nope. We go to get a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts because the sign was on (and yes we eat the entire dozen between the two of us), still no call. We drive home and it's around 4:30 and the clinic closes at 5:00 so I called and left a message. They called me back within 10 minutes with a report of 12 out of 13 eggs were fertilized! For two people who can't make babies inside of me work, we sure are good at fertilizing these eggs.

We talked about wanting to know the grade. If they are good, we'll do 2. If they are so-so, we'd like to do 3. The nurse said it was totally up to us although the doctor will probably try to talk us out of it one more time. She also said it was up to us if we'd like to do the 3 day transfer or the 5 day. We definately want to do the 3 day because they can't do assisted hatching on the blasts. Plus we want to freeze our others on day 3 because when they've let our 11 other embryos grow to day 5, only 1 has made it to freeze. She said they will call us tomorrow with the cell-count report and we would be able to determine which way we want to go. 12 embryos. I knew there was a reason we ate 12 donuts this morning. ;)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Lucky 13

My retrieval was this morning and everything went well. They got 13 eggs. I know that seems kinda low compared to most women's retrievals but for me it's a good number. IVF 1 we got 9 with 7 fertilized. IVF 2 we got 8 and all 8 fertilized. So 13 is the most I've ever gotten and tomorrow we'll find out how many fertilized. I expect to have a large number because fertilization hasn't been an issue for us. We told the doctor we would be willing to put back 2 but only if they were grade A. Any other grade, we'd like to do 3. He said ok so now we are just waiting! These next few days can't come fast enough.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

It's time!

I had my final ultrasound and blood work on Monday. I had 14 follicles and my retrieval will be Thursday morning. We did discuss putting in three. He wasn't too happy about it unless we did "selective reduction" otherwise known as aborting one of your babies. For those of you that are ok with that, that's your business. But as for me and Brad, we wouldn't ever do that. I mean which one of your children do you pick? It's just horrible for me to even think about. So needless to say (from great advice from a friend) we are only putting two in if they are a good grade, three in if they aren't great grades. I think that's a good compromise and then none of my babies have to die unless they die on their own. At least then it won't be anything I did to cause it. Our retrieval is on my niece's 10th birthday. I think that's a great sign.:)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Follistim and Luveris!!!

I had my blood work on Friday and I am totally shut down. Yay! I start my stim shots tonight. I am sooooooo excited that I'm finally here again!!! I am cautiously hopeful this time because I had the biopsy done and we are getting assisted hatching as well. Have any of you girls gotten pregnant with this protocol? We are also going to push them to put in three embryos this time. They wouldn't before but maybe since it's our third cycle they will. Third time's the charm, right? And the way I see it's the two of us who are willing to take on the risk of multiples. It's not like I'm asking for 5 or 6. They've been putting 2 in and we've gotten 0. Maybe with 3 we'll get 1 or 2. Plus I'm not sure how many more times we will do IVF, if at all. I'll keep you guys posted!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A nice way to think about things

I was finishing up my Infertility Bible study and this is what I read: "God has a marvelous plan for you. He WILL see you through your infertility and your tears in ways you never dreamed. He can use this struggle in your life to showcase His majesty and use you to bring healing to someone else. What an amazing honor and what purpose for this struggle!"(taken from Surviving Infertility by Beth Forbus) I hate this journey. I really do. But I'd like to think there's a reason that God has chosen this path for all of us. One day I hope to be able to use this to help others. And I prayed that this third attempt at IVF will be my success story so I can use it to bring glory to Him and get busy on my new journey as infertility/pregnancy loss group leader person. I start Lupron shots tonight. SUPER exciting!!!!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Cycle 3

I have officially began my 3rd (and hopefully LAST) IVF cycle. I am currently on the BC and I had the endometrial biopsy done last Thursday. It wasn't fun but luckily it was over quickly. For those of you I haven't told, this isn't truly a biopsy. When girls had perfectly good embryos but were not getting pregnant, doctors started thinking maybe something was going on with their lining. They figured why not do a biopsy to see if there is something cancerous etc. What they found out was there was hardly anything wrong with their lining when they sent The sample off but the amazing thing was after being biopsied, girls were getting pregnant! My doctor said they aren't even sure why this keeps happening but it does. So we have completed that New step plus they are going to do assisted hatching on my embryos this time. That's where they cut a slit in the shell on the outside of the embryo so it can hatch out and implant in the lining. My only problem now is being able to convince them to put in three embryos. They wouldn't do it last time because we had only one failed IVF but now that we've had two, we are going to beg them. It's not like I'm asking for 8. And the way I see it they told us we could've done injectables with IUI since we know we fertilize well and make quality embryos. That is way riskier for multiples than this way.:) I start my Lupron shots on Sunday. Yay!!!!!! So happy to be moving forward.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Waiting is Over (or is it?)

Finally on CD 51 she appears! I spotted a little last night and then this morning I thought I was in full flow force so I called the IVF nurse. I got my schedule and should start my BC Sunday. But now I go to the bathroom to check on things and she's gone again. I was on Prometrium to make me start so I'm wondering if this was a false alarm and the real one will be here in another week. I just finished the last 2 pills last night and they said it usually won't show up until 7-10 days after the last pill. Anybody have any words of wisdom about this situation?I really don't want to leave the nurse another message and say,"Just kidding!"

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

She always comes when you don't want her...she never comes when you do want her

By her I mean AF. I have had very regular cycles since going off BC. Usually every 35 days. Now that I need her to come so that I can plan the biopsy and start my next IVF, she is MIA. Can I use any more acronyms in this post????:) Yes I can-It's CD 42. I took a test even though I knew I wasn't and of course It was negative. Is there anything they can give me to make me start? I've never had this problem and I figured there were plenty of girls out there who have. I am very frustrated because I have to get this thing going in the next 2 weeks or it's going to run into the start of school. Believe me, no one wants to sub in Pre-K in August or September. Heck, I don't even want to go at that time of the year;)Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Another Mother's Day Gone By

Well I'm like most of you. Hoping this would be my first Mother's Day either with a baby or at least a growing one inside me. But yet again, here I sit-motherless. I am SUPER thankful to still have my own mother. I know a lot of people don't have their mothers and I have one of the best ones around. I know there will be a day when she's gone and I will regret these days of feeling sorry for myself and not embracing this holiday. It's hard to do though. We went to church. Normally we sit this one out (along with Father's Day) but we had nursery duty. You can see the service on the tv in the classrooms and of course today was Baby Dedication. 13 of them to be exact. The lady helping us was like, "Ooooo! Turn this up. I want to watch this!" So I excused myself to the bathroom. Later we took Brad's mom to Cracker Barrel where I saw children bring their moms flowers and where the waitress asked if we needed a kid's menu. We sat down at the table where I cried and had Brad orde my drink for me. Soooooo glad this day is over. I REALLY hope next year is a real Mother's Day but after 5 years, I seriously doubt it.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Endometrial Biopsy

This post is actually just a question for those of you out there who have done an endometrial biopsy to improve implantation failure. Do you do the biopsy the same month as your bc pills or do you have to wait until the following cycle to start bc? AF is making me mad because she loves to stay away when I need her to come and I'm so afraid my transfer will fall right in the middle of the beginning of school. August is not a good month to be taking off work when you're a teacher. I know I can call the clinic about this but I'd rather ask you guys! Also what do they actually do to you? Our plan is to do this along with assisted hatching to hopefully get these next ones to implant. Any advice?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Waiting is worse than actually doing treatments

Don't get me wrong....I hate taking shots. I hate the way the drugs make me cry at the silliest things. BUT at least that means we're doing something. Right now I am waiting for my next AF so I can have this endometrial biopsy done. Then I'll wait for the next AF after that to start BC. And when you have cycles that range from 35-38 days, that's a long time away. All of this is actually of my own doing. I wanted to wait until summer to do my next round so I wouldn't miss school but it sucks just sitting around. We buried my grandfather yesterday. I guess a lot of this is stimming from that. He was the only grandparent I had left Now he's gone and he'll never get to meet my children. Everytime he talked to me or my mother, he always asked how the treatments were going. Even though I didn't get to see him all the time, he still always cared what was going on with me and I wanted to give him another grandbaby so bad. So if you are in-between treatments like I am, let's wait together. Maybe we can all entertain each other while we keep waiting to become mothers.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Flip flop

Today is Easter. We kept the 3-year-old class at church because no one really wants to be in the nursery on Easter Sunday. I can't blame them. If I had little ones to dress up and take to church to celebrate our risen Savior, I would want to be with them as well.

Everyone looked so adorable! One little girl constantly wanted to be held and of course I ate that up! Being with all of these little ones makes me think maybe I could be ok with adoption. I know, I know. I've said this before and changed my mind time and time again. And I'll probably change my mind twenty more times before I'm ready to actually commit to something as huge as adoption. But I'm excited that I'm feeling this way for now. Bubba Watson just won the Masters and was so emotional when he mentioned his newly adopted son, Caleb. That was our second baby's name so it really hit home for me as well.

We also kept our "nephew" Friday night. I say it that way because he's not really our nephew but the son of a very close friend. We fed him dinner Friday night and put him to bed with a monitor on my nightstand. Both Brad and I woke up a hundred times any time that monitor made a peep. I wonder if that's really how it would be if we ever got to have a permanent monitor in our bedroom?

He woke up Saturday morning and I made him chocolate chip pancakes, then we played outside the rest of the morning. We hunted plastic eggs, played with the cats and went for a walk picking wildflowers and blowing dandelion seeds everywhere. Later we took him to Brad's parents' house for my belated birthday dinner. She had Brad's old baby plate, fork and spoon out for him. I hurt for her. I hate that we can't give her a grand baby of her own. It was so sweet watching everyone interact with him.

So I don't know how I feel. I know I want to try at least one more time with my body. I'm going to have the endometrial biopsy done in May then start the IVF process in June. After that doesn't work (because it's easier to think like that to guard my feelings) maybe I'll be done and ready to fully embrace adoption. I could take any one of those little kids home from church today and most certainly my "nephew." Maybe pregnancy isn't something I have to experience.

The greatest part about this whole thing is it's totally up to me. I have the most loving, supportive husband any girl could ask for. He said if I want to continue down the road of fertility treatments, I can as long as I feel I need to. If I want to stop today, we can. I feel so fortunate to have these options but I wish I didn't have to chose either one. I wish I could wake up tomorrow and be pregnant with a baby of our own and it would still be alive nine months later. But that isn't going to happen tomorrow so this is where I am. I know this post is everywhere and full of rambling but it's just how I was feeling today.

Happy Easter to all of you who were able to dress up your little ones this morning. Most of all, thank You Jesus for dying for my sins. Kiss my two little ones for me today!

Monday, April 2, 2012

I'm turning 34 :(

Tomorrow is my 34th birthday. I hate this for two reasons.

The first reason being I'm turning 34. We all know the dreaded number that comes next. The number that all fertility clinics ask you about. So technically I've got this upcoming year to make something happen.(Or actually God does. Can't He hurry it up?) Otherwise I'm in the next category. I don't want to be in that one. I don't want to be a 34-year-old childless woman. I never thought this was the way things were going to be for me. If you ask anyone I went to high school or college with, they'd tell you I'd be the first one to get pregnant. It's just my nature, my calling, really. Now everyone I know has already passed me up times three. Now if we even get pregnant I may only get an only child at this point. I know, I should be thankful for that and I will be. BUT I never wanted to have an only child. I wanted three kids at least. All those dreams you have as a little girl don't always come true and that's hard to take.

My second and most important reason for hating my birthday is because 5 years ago tomorrow I found out I was pregnant for the first time. I remember how that felt. Going into the kitchen with my hpt and totally shocking my husband with the news because this was the first month we'd been trying. The pure joy of actually thinking getting pregnant meant having a baby. I miss that feeling. That's a feeling I'll never experience again. I got pregnant again after that only for it to end in miscarriage as well but getting that positive test didn't feel the same because I knew getting pregnant didn't equal baby anymore. I miss my babies. I can't understand why that first pregnancy couldn't mean an actual baby.

So Grant Alexander Davis I write this to you. You made me the happiest mommy in the world 5 years ago on April 3. I will never forget the joy you gave me on that day or the surprise on our parents' faces when we told them about you at my birthday dinner outside on our back porch. And when Daddy and I talked to you in my tummy, even if only for  a short while. We love you and can't wait to see your sweet face.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


I finally got to talk to my doctor yesterday about our failed cycle. The first thing he said was how sorry he was that it didn't work again. The second thing he said was IVF alone would never work for us. Those words were very confusing to me. In my mind IVF was the last resort. What else is left? Donor embryos?

So I asked him if our embryos were poor quality and if donor embryos were our only hope. He said we most definitely did not need donor anything. We fertilize well and made good embryos. The problem is implantation failure. He said if we are willing he would like to try something called endometrial trauma before our next try. (I'm not even sure what that is so if any of you girls have been through this, please educate me. I can't find much about it except clinical studies that talk about injury to the endometrium. Sounds like fun.)

He said we really don't even have to do IVF with this because we know we fertilize well and make quality embryos so the only thing they could do to help would be assisted hatching. He said we could just do injectables with IUI again. But I really feel like that would be a huge step backward. Plus injectables scare me since you have no control over how many babies like you do with IVF.

So I guess it was just news-not necessarily good or bad. Good that we made quality embryos but bad that it doesn't matter how good they are if my body won't implant them. I'm not sure how to feel. Anybody out there want to donate their uterus for 9 months, free of charge?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Well once again I never made it to my beta. It's ironic how on my first IVF attempt I was scheduled for blood work on Friday and started on Tuesday. Apparently my body decides to do this just like clockwork but it can't do anything else right. Either Brad and I make really crappy embryos or my body is defective. Either way I am starting to believe I may never become a mother. I know we can adopt but with adoption comes a road equally as hard as this one. And honestly I want to belong in that pregnant club that God isn't allowing me to be in. I don't want to feel ashamed of myself every time women talk about their pregnancies and child birth experiences. Adoption isn't going to fix that.

The worst part about this whole thing is Brad isn't even here today. He had a meeting this morning in MS so he wasn't here at 4am when this whole thing began early this morning. It's not his fault. He can't just put everything on hold on the chance this might happen without him here. My mom is on her way over here to be with me, but who does he have? At least last time this happened we could be together. Now we are miles apart having to grieve without one another.

Maybe I need donated embryos or better yet a donated uterus. I feel like I'm at the end of my rope because how many more times can we do this? IVF is the last resort and for a couple with zero medical issues to prevent us from getting pregnant, there's really nothing they can do. We are at one of best fertility clinics so there's nowhere else to go. I guess they could do assisted hatching and maybe put three in next time but who knows if that will be the answer? I hate my life today and there's absolutely nothing changing that for now. Brad asked if I'd thrown anything.......Not yet but I'm getting close.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hanging out in the 2ww!

Hey guys! Sorry it's taken me so long to post. Well my 8 embryos grew to day 5 and they picked out my two best ones to transfer on President's Day. The two they chose were one stage until blast and two stages until blast. The doctor said they have until day 6 so it was OK they weren't quite there yet but it still made me nervous. The transfer went well and they said they would call about the rest of them growing to blast to freeze.

They called on Tuesday with the news that none of my other embabies made it to blast. This news was so devastating. Not only was I sad that no one made it but also that maybe the quality wasn't very good. I know they put the best two inside me but still. (I would post a picture of them but my iPad isn't allowing me to post any pics right now.)

This Friday, March 2, is my blood test date. I'm planning on driving to Knoxville that morning, working a half day at school, then taking the afternoon off just in case the news isn't good. I don't think hearing news like that would be very good around a bunch of 4-year-olds. That is, if I make it without AF until Friday. Last IVF I started on Tuesday when the test was on a Friday. Waiting is sooooooooooooooo hard. I bought three HPTs today and I'm trying to wait until Wednesday to take one. If I get a negative then it will help prepare me for Friday. If it's positive, it'll give me hope.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Still going strong

The nurse called this morning with great news! All 8 are doing wonderful with 5 exceptionally well! We are doing a 5 day transfer on Monday. I'm super excited except for we are expecting snow in TN and KY so pray we can get there! This is the first time a teacher is wishing for no accumulation. ;)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Blessings in Disguise

I was eating my lunch at school Monday morning and saw a missed call from my mom. After listening to her voice mail, I saw the saved call from my doctor last Friday. I had already listened to the message. I was specifically listening for the changed dosage of Follistim when I heard the message for the first time. On Monday I decided to listen one more time before I deleted it.

As I listened it said,"....and your trigger shot will be on Sunday night." WHAT? I hadn't taken that shot last night. For some reason I had it in my head that I was not doing any shots Sunday, trigger on Monday and retrieval Tuesday morning. I really don't know why I even thought that though. Last time I did trigger, rest day then retrieval. I had three calendars that said the right days. Now I was panicking.

I called the nurse and she talked to the doctor about what happened. He said it was a good thing I caught it because if I had taken it Monday night and came in Tuesday, there would've been no eggs to get. So now I was triggering Monday night, resting Tuesday and retrieving Wednesday. I was glad I didn't totally screw the whole thing up but I wasn't convinced things were going to go well because of my careless mistake. It's weird that I even did something like this at all because I'm so anal about this whole process. Checking my calendars 5 times a day! So how did this happen? I believe God knows how.

Brad was super sweet during this whole ordeal. Monday night he said we should go out to eat because I didn't need to cook. That was a great idea except I wasn't going to miss giving that trigger again! He said we'd just take it with us in a cooler. So we gave my trigger shot in the Ruby Tuesday parking lot! He's such a supportive husband.

Retrieval day went well. I thought maybe they'd go in and find zero because of my mistake, but they got 8! That is probably close to what they would've gotten had I not messed up because several of them were measuring 10 last Friday. Disaster averted!

So now it's Thursday morning and they just called with a fertilization report. All 8 of my eggs were fertilized!!!!!!! The nurse said,"Remember when the doctor said everything happens for a reason? Well I think he was right. You did better this time than last time!"

He's right. Everything does happen for a reason. There was a reason my mom left that message Monday morning. There was a reason I messed up the schedule. I'm not saying I believe God allowed all this to happen because this definitely is our time. But I do know this wasn't by accident. Hopefully all of this will be our blessing(s) in disguise. We'll transfer Saturday or Monday. Keep those prayers coming. I'll try to show up for transfer on the right day. ;)

Friday, February 10, 2012

An egg hunt for Valentine's!

I have 12 follicles and my lining was great! My retrieval is Tuesday but we aren't sure about the transfer date yet. If we do a 3 day, it will be Friday. They may try to push them to blast and if so, transfer will be Sunday. I have mixed feelings about pushing them. Blasts are much stronger and give us the best chance for implantation and pregnancy. But there is a chance they will try to push them and none of them will live to day 5. Last time we did a 3 day with 2 embryos and they pushed the rest to blast. Only one of those embryos made it and that's the one that we froze. I'm just scared all of them will die and we'll be left with nothing. I guess all we can do is trust the doctor's judgement and pray. Oh by the way did anyone watch the Today Show this morning? There was an infertility segment about a couple who use the same facility we do. They showed a short interview with Dr. Scheiber which is who we saw this morning. Pretty cool!

One of the questions we wanted answered today was the possibility of transferring three embryos instead of two. I explained that we've done countless IUIs with both Clomid and injectables plus our IVF this summer and I've responded beautifully to all these meds BUT none of it works. Our thought was if we transferred two and got none, maybe transferring three would yield one. Basically he said if you're under 35 (I'll be 34 on April 3)they only do 2 unless the embryo quality is poor. He said you really don't want babies born at 26 weeks in the NICU. I had to agree with that. I just want it to work. :(

Our other question was if they would prescribe Lovenox for my clotting disorder should I become pregnant. He said that was actually in my folder to discuss. Last time they weren't so sure if I needed them, that aspirin might be enough but I wasn't convinced or ok with taking that chance. He said I will take aspirin until the day of a positive beta then start on the shots the following day should the test be positive. I will never be so happy to stick myself for 9 months! All in all a wonderful day!

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Sweetest Day of My Life (hopefully)

I had my blood work drawn early this morning so my next step is an ultrasound and more blood work on Friday afternoon to check my growing follicles. If things go as planned, retrieval will be on Valentine's Day and transfer the following Friday. How sweet would it be to be conceived on Valentine's Day? I hope this is the wonderful beginning of our baby's life. Please continue your prayers. :)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Almost there!

Got my blood work this morning. I take 3 more days of Lupron then it's onto Follistim/Luveris! I'm excited about adding this extra hormone since it's a different protocol than before. Start sending your prayers up for growing follicles! That's a really weird prayer but God will know exactly what You're talking about. ;)

Can you tell I'm in a better mood than a few days ago? Oh the ups and downs of being an infertile!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Unhappy birthday

Brad's birthday was yesterday and he turned 31. His birthday reminded me that my own is coming in 2 months and when I realized this, I started to panic. I'm turning 34. I thought I would be completing my family at this age but I haven't even begun. I know it's not my fault. I didn't plan it this way. But it doesn't change the reality of the lack of time I have. I hope no one will say, "You're still young! You've got plenty of time." The reality is I don't know how much time I have. So far I've had 2 pregnancies in 4 years with no baby to show for it. At this rate, things aren't looking good. Plus it's just a medical fact that egg quality diminishes with time. If I knew this round of IVF would work, I wouldn't care about getting older. But I don't know that and I am actually less confident that it will because of failing last time. I pray this is our time but I don't know. I've gotten my hopes up too many times and always left with the same results-empty arms.

Monday, January 16, 2012

BC issues

I've been on the birth control pills now for 2 weeks and there's some strange stuff going on that I don't remember from IVF-1. I've been spotting almost everyday on them and my bbs are extremely sore. And, yes, I took a pregnancy test just to be sure and it was negative. Surprise! I was just wondering if any of you did this? I've not even started on the Lupron shots yet so it's weird.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Here goes round 2!!!!!!!!!

I am beyond excited to announce that we are beginning BC pills today for our next fresh cycle! I can't explain how happy I am today. I know it may not work....I'm used to these procedures failing. But what I can say for certain is we are now moving forward. I've "relaxed" now for 5 months and you saw where that got us. The best news is that no matter what happens, we're doing something. Either it won't work at all, it will work and I'll lose the baby or it will work and I'll actually have a real baby. One of these three scenarios will play out. If it doesn't work at all, we'll use our frosties and see what happens there. If it does work and I lose it, I'll have closure and be ready to end treatments and adopt. Or, you never know. This could actually be our time. If you pray, please be diligent and lift us up through this 2 month process. I'm not scared of the process because I know what to expect. I'm just wanting everything to go smoothly and give us the best possible chance at becoming parents of our own biological child. I want to be a mommy more than anything in the world but to carry my own child would just be icing on the cake. PLEASE Jesus!!!!!! :)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Hopefully Happy New Year

I have mixed feelings when it comes to 2012. On one hand, I can't help but think this will be our year. We are ready to try our next fresh cycle this month or next so maybe second time's the charm? If it's not then we can try our frozen babies. Someone that works at a fertility clinic in Nashville said that some women respond better to frozen cycles because your body doesn't have to go through all the stress like a fresh cycle. But then there's the other hand. The hand that tells me none of this will work and we will be exactly where we are at the beginning of 2012..... Childless.