Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Results are in...

WE'RE PREGNANT!!!!!! We woke up first thing Sunday morning and headed down to SLC (45 min drive) just to get a blood draw. Then we turned right around and headed back home to get ready for church and lead primary singing time.

The whole time, during primary, we sat nervously waiting for the phone call from the clinic. At 11:30 am, just as I was getting up to start singing time Colin ran out of the room. Talk about nerve-wracking. All the while I am leading singing time and wondering why he is taking so long, if it was bad news and he didn't have the heart to come back in yet etc. Well a few minutes later he comes back in, while I am still leading singing time, and gives me this look. It wasn't a happy, excited look, no smile involved, just a somber look. So I am thinking "okay, deep breath, we're not pregnant, deep breath, keep a smile on until after primary". I just wasn't ready to accept bad news until I heard the words out of his mouth because in my heart of hearts I knew I was pregnant. Then when I was done leading singing time we sat down together and I wrote on a post-it note YES or NO. He responds with giving me a piece of paper he took notes on while on the phone with the clinic. It said hcg 546, make 6 week follow-up appt. with Dr. Jones, look for OB etc. We both were in shock, happy and utter shock. Yes this was the initial goal but now it is the beginning of a whole other journey and we are excited. Colin's somber look from earlier was him realizing he is going to be a dad and he was a little overwhelmed. Needless to say we are so excited and so grateful to God for hearing and answering our endless prayers. Thank you for all of your support, prayers and thoughts.

Next step, appt in 2 weeks with IVF dr for viability scan (to see how the embryos are growing), then we will be referred to a regular ob dr. from that point. It's crazy to think but I am 4 weeks pregnant (even though the embryos are only 2 weeks old), they count from the first day of your last menstrual cycle. I will continue the daily progesterone shot until July 1st (only 34 to go?).

Monday, May 18, 2009

the waiting period

7 more days of waiting and wondering. I would say this is the hardest part of the whole IVF process at least emotionally. I am analyzing every little thing that my body is doing and wondering if it means I am pregnant or not. Even though I am trying to distract myself with my book, work, cleaning the house, walking the dog, preparing for singing time in primary next week, designing the wedding cake I am making in August, dreaming of opening a candy shop with Colin, my mind is always wondering and my heart always hoping that I am pregnant.
I have read all about it on the internet. The only real change that I've noticed is mild cramping. I am slightly more hungry but other than that I feel pretty normal. My ovaries are still a little tender from the IVF process but they are feeling better too. If there are any tips you can send my way to get through these next 7 days I am all ears. How to survive the waiting period?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

embryo transfer

these are our 2 little embryos that we transferred

Tuesday morning we went in for our embryo transfer. Of the 9 that were fertilized 7 made it to day 5. We decided to implant the best 2 and cyropreserve the other 5 for future use. The transfer went smoothly and the doctors and staff were so wonderful to us and did a great job. It was amazing because we got to see our embryos through a microscope displayed on a t.v for us before they were implanted. They were nothing but tiny specs of cells but yet they were ours and it was breathtaking.

When the doctor placed the embryos I was moved to tears (although I stifled them until Colin and I were alone). I never imagined that this was how I would get pregnant but amazing nonetheless and even better because we got to see them at the very beginning of their creation as little balls of cells. How many people get to see that? It is miraculous. As soon as those embryos were inside me I felt relief, like my little babies were safe and right where they belonged, no longer in the lab, they were home.

They gave me valium before the procedure so that I would go home and sleep most of the day, which worked. I was so out of it by the time we got home and almost fell asleep while eating lunch. Colin let me sleep away the afternoon while he did yard work. Then some thoughtful women in our ward brought us dinner. One of the women had just gone through IVF herself and got pregnant. It was cute because she brought a bunch of pineapple (some studies suggest the enzymes in pineapple inhibit the embryo to implant). They brought us a lovely dinner as well as a bouquet of flowers, so sweet! I want to return their kindness, they don't realize how much that meant to both of us.

Our pregnancy test is on May 24th. In the meantime I return to work on Friday and life goes back to normal. The rest is in God's hands. I will do everything in my power to take care of my body and those little guys working really hard to stick around. I promised them if they stick they will have an adorable nursery, can play with Jonas, we will go to Disneyland, see Thomas the Engine and do so many other fun things when they are older! We will continue to pray like crazy.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

We got a call yesterday from the embryologist. He told us that of the 12 eggs they got only 10 were mature enough to fertilize. Of the 10 they fertilized, 9 took. Thats 90%, not bad! So as of yesterday we have 9 little embryos. Its amazing and mind boggling to think that we have 9 little Thomas's. :) He said that the 9 were growing and dividing well so they will do a day 5 embryo transfer (day 5 has better pregnancy success than a day 3 transfer). We will get a call tomorrow to schedule our embryo transfer on Tuesday morning.

We are very excited. Just thinking about our little guys constantly, sending them "grow strong" thoughts. Its hard to think about anything other then them. Somehow every conversation goes back to them.

Much love and thanks for all of your thoughts and prayers!

Friday, May 8, 2009

egg retrieval & biopsy

On Thursday morning, bright and early, we headed to SLC for the egg retrieval and biopsy. Before we went to the clinic we stopped at Beth & Brian's, where my dad meet us for father's blessings. We are lucky to have wonderful fathers willing to do this for us on our big day. Thank you.

Beth dropped us off at the clinic at 6:55 am. In sweat pants and baggy shirts we headed inside, both anxious yet excited. The nurses had has go back into one of their treatment rooms. We changed into hospital gowns and socks and sat side-by-side as we got our IV's placed.

Colin went first and the doctor came back from his biopsy after 20 minutes with 2 thumbs up. He said Colin did great and they got lots of healthy, viable sperm. Phew!!!! I was confident they would find sperm but there is some anxiety there until they actually have it. Once they got the sperm they took me back for the egg retrieval. The dr. told me that according to my estrogen levels and ultrasounds they would expect to get 7-8 mature eggs. They gave me Versed right before they retrieval and it knocked me out cold. Although I do remember feeling pain during the procedure and having my eyes swell up with tears. Then they placed oxygen on me and that's all I remember until I woke up 1 1/2 hour later with Colin dressed and sitting next to me in the same room I had the procedure. The dr. came in to check on us and to my delight said they got 12 mature eggs, a dozen is a great number.

this is a picture of one of my ovaries on Tuesday a.m., the big black spots are follices and they are very plump

Shortly after they gave me crackers and juice and I got dressed. They had to push me out in a wheelchair, which I was glad about because I did not feel like I could walk with much balance. But Colin was up and walking around and said he didn't need a wheelchair. I had to tell him he at least needed to let the nurse push me down to the car because he was insisting he do it.
Beth was waiting for us at the car and then we went up to the Huntsman pharmacy for to fill our pain med prescription, which Colin hasn't even used and I only took 1 Loratab and it made me sick. We haven't needed it, Tylenol for me has been fine and Ibuprofen for Colin is all he has needed. After that we headed home to Heber. Beth drove us home, went to the store for us, weeded our yard, took the dog for a walk and made us chicken and dumplings and fruit salad. She even brought no-bake cookies (Colin's favorite) for us to munch on. Although we spent most of the afternoon sleeping it was so nice of her to be there for us. Later in the evening Colin was up and running around working in the yard, even though I told him to rest. Although still recovering he is doing great. I am a little bit slower in the recovery process and still pretty sore. I spent much of the day sleeping but today I am feeling better, still sore and tired when I am on my feet too long. I sort of feel like I am having menstrual cramps and bloating but its not too bad all things considered.

Today we are still taking it easy, watching movies and running a few errands. Its fun to have a few days off together even though we are both sore. We wait to hear from the embryologist tomorrow on the progress of our embryos. He will tell us if the transfer will be on Sunday am or Tuesday.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ovary Awareness

What are supposed to be the size of almonds feel like the size of small apples. Yes thats right my ovaries are swollen or as the dr said "plump and juicy". And I am feeling it. I have never been more aware of my ovaries in my life. I feel them when I laugh, after I eat, when I have a full bladder, when I walk to fast, bend over, lay down and even our nightly ritual when Colin puts his arm across my stomach and I tickle it hurts these days. Its only been the last few days that I have started to really feel discomfort. So here is the update.

Monday, May 4th, 9:30am
We went in for our first ultrasound on Monday morning. The dr. was beaming when she saw how "plump and juicy" my ovaries were. There were lots of follicles on both the left and right ovary but the ones on the left were more mature and numerous. (FYI one follicle contains one egg) She (the dr.) was undecided about whether I should go one more day on all of the meds or come in for the retrieval on Wednesday. She said it would depend on my estrogen levels. So after the ultrasound they took my blood and told me they would call later with the game plan. When they did call, several hours later, they said to stay on my FSH, Lupron and Repronex one more day and come in for another ultrasound in the morning. My estrogen was around 1260 and so they thought if I did everything one more day it would produce a few more "ripe" eggs.

Tuesday, May 5th, 8:30am
Back again for the 2nd ultrasound. Colin and I were amazed and the dr was thrilled that both ovaries had grown so much in just 24 hours (actually it was only 23 if were are being precise). I was sure feeling it too! So she told us to prepare for the egg retrieval on Thursday, May 7th! They took my estrogen level again and it was 1905 which was right were they wanted it. So they instructed me to take my hcg shot at exactly 8:30 pm and that I was done with all the other 3 shots (wahoo!). The hcg shot needs to be given exactly 36 hours before the egg retrieval because it releases the eggs so the doctors can catch them. This really is a science. Anyway this was the first of more to come intramuscular injections! Ahhhhh! Colin did the honors and like a champ darted it right into my bum bum! As if it didn't hurt enough we realized that he had left about 0.6 mls of hcg in the bottle. So we had to draw the rest up and give it another go! So I got 2 IM injections last night, don't you wish you were me? Needless to say I couldn't lay on my right side when I was trying to go to sleep. Oh well!

Wedensday, May 6th
Today is my day off from all shots and I am happy. Colin is home too so we are just getting our chores done and the house clean so that we can lounge around tomorrow after the retrieval and biopsy. He was outside spraying the lawn with fertilizer and came in to find me deep cleaning the kitchen. He made me put my mop down and lay down because he said I was only supposed to do light cleaning. Busted! At least before I got banned to bed I got the dishes done, cleaned the oven, cleaned out the fridge, swept and got half the floor mopped. Ha ha!
So tomorrow is the big day and feeling excited and ready! I'm just praying they will get some good sperm and good eggs to make our little embryos!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

the next 2 weeks

Just got off a very long 12 hour shift and get to do it all over again tomorrow. I am not sure why I am even blogging right now because I am so tired and need to go to bed but since Colin is sitting right next to me on the laptop doing treatments I figured I would blog while I wait up for him.

All of the waiting and hoping for a chance to have our baby finally comes down to the next 2 weeks. Colin and I are taking this one day at a time and staying positive. We appreciate the support of all of you; our dear family and friends. Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers and for many of you who will be fasting tomorrow or have fasted for us, it means the world. We will keep you posted each step of the way over these next few weeks.

Much love and gratitude!